Palermo

Taxonomy

Code

Scope note(s)

Source note(s)

Display note(s)

Hierarchical terms

Equivalent terms

Palermo

Associated terms

Palermo

26 Name results for Palermo

25 results directly related Exclude narrower terms

Aylmer, Charles, 1786-1849, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/470
  • Person
  • 29 August 1786-04 July 1849

Born: 29 August 1786, Painestown, County Kildare
Entered: 21 May 1808, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: Palermo, Sicily
Final vows: 16 January 1820
Died: 04 July 1849, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin

Superior of the Mission : 1819

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Charles. His brother William was an Officer in the Austrian Cuirassiers, and considered one of the best swordsmen in the service.
1814 He studied at Stonyhurst and Palermo, graduating DD there.
1816 Superior Dublin Residence, and again in 1822 and 1841
1817 Rector at Clongowes
1819 Superior of the Mission
1821 Lived at Dublin from 1821 to his death.
1829 At the laying of the foundation stone for Gardiner St
He was a good religious of indefatigable zeal and indomitable spirit.
He published some books, and promotes a society for the printing of Catholic works in Dublin.
There is a sketch of Father Aylmer in Caballero’s “Scriptores SJ” and de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Had studied at Stonyhurst before Ent.
He went to Palermo with Messers St Leger, Esmonde, Ferley, Butler and Cogan, graduating DD. He was present in Rome with the other Fathers at the establishment (Restoration?) of the Society in July 1814 by Pius VII.
1817 He was for a short time Minister at Clongowes, and then in 1817 appointed Rector by Father Grivelle, the Visitor.
1818 Clongowes was closed due to an outbreak of typhus, and immediately he built a Study Hall and Refectory.
1821 He went to Dublin where he remained until his death. He was Superior at the Dublin Residence in 1816, then 1822, and finally 1841. In 1829 the First stone of St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St was laid during his Rectorship. The Chapel at Hardwicke St was then converted into a school, and was the germ of the current Belvedere.
Father Aylmer was an edifying religious man, possessed of moderate but useful talents. He was a zealous, pious and indefatigable Missioner, a man of good sense, sound judgement and fortitude.
He promoted in Dublin a Society for the printing and distribution of cheap Catholic books of piety, when it was much needed.
He was subject to a hereditary disease of the heart which caused his death in a manner similar to that of his father. His end was very sudden.
His brother was an officer of the Austrian Cuirassiers, and considered one of the best swordsmen of that service.
There is a sketch of Father Aylmer in Caballero’s “Scriptores SJ” and de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”

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

Aylmer, Charles (1786–1847), Jesuit priest, was born 29 August 1786 at Painstown, near Kilcock, Co. Kildare, the seat of his father, Charles Aylmer (1720?–1801), one of the county's representatives at the Catholic Convention held in 1792, and said in 1798 to be worth £1,600 p.a. He was the fourth son in a family of six sons, one of whom was William Aylmer (qv), and six daughters. His mother was Charles Aylmer's second wife, Esmay, daughter of William Piers of Castletown, Co. Meath, and his wife, Eleanor (née Dowdall). Charles Aylmer junior studied at the school conducted in Dublin by Thomas Betagh (qv) and at the catholic novitiate at Hodder, near Stonyhurst, Lancashire, moving in July 1809 to Palermo in Sicily to join the Society of Jesus, restored in that kingdom in 1805. While in Palermo he published with Paul Ferley and Bartholomew Esmonde, A short explanation of the principal articles of the catholic faith (1812) and The devout Christian's daily companion, being a selection of pious exercises (1812).

Aylmer's ordination to the priesthood came in Rome in 1814, the place and year of the formal restoration of the entire society, an event at which he was present. He returned to Ireland to become superior (1816) of the Jesuit house in Dublin, and rector (1817–20) of Clongowes Wood College, the Jesuit-run secondary school opened (1814) at a short distance from Painstown. In 1820 he took his final vows. He was again superior of the Jesuit house in Dublin in 1822, 1829, and 1841, as such presiding at the laying of the first stone of the Jesuit church – St Francis Xavier in Gardiner Street. From its origin in 1827 he was an active member of the Catholic Book Society and published further devotional works. On the death of his brother Robert in 1841, he inherited the Aylmer property at Painstown. Charles Aylmer died 4 July 1847 in Dublin.

W. J. Battersby, The Jesuits in Dublin (1854), 118–19; F. J. Aylmer, The Aylmers of Ireland (1931), 212; Timothy Corcoran, The Clongowes Record, 1814 to 1932 (1932); Timothy Corcoran, ‘William Aylmer (1778–1820) and the Aylmers of Painstown’, Seamus Cullen and Hermann Geissel (ed.), Fugitive warfare: 1798 in north Kildare (1998), 34–49

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Charles Aylmer 1786-1849
Charles Aylmer was one of the six novices who set out in 1809 for Sicily to study philosophy and theology on the Restoration of the Society there.

He was born at Painstown County Kildare on August 29th 1896. He was educated at Stonyhurst and entered as a novice at Hodder there in 1808. After his ordination he ministered to the British Army stationed at Palermo.

He witnessed the official Restoration of the Society at the Gesù in Rome :
“At eight o’clock in the morning, His Holiness came in state to the Gesù, where he celebrated Mass at the altar of St Ignatius, attended by almost all his cardinals and prelates, and about 70 or 80 of the Society. After his Mass and Thanksgiving, we ass proceeded to the Sacristy. None were admitted by the Cardinals, Bishops and Jesuits. Here the Bull, which reestablishes the Society all over the world was read. A soon as it was read, the Pope presented it with his own hand to Fr Pannizoni, whom he constitutes Superior in his own States, until the General shall otherwise determine. Drs Milner and Murray Archbishop of Dublin were present. Also the Queen of Etruria, and the King of Torino. Little did I expect to be present at so consoling a ceremony in the Capital of the World. O truly how sweet is victory after such a hard fought battle!”

Fr Aylmer returned to Ireland and held various posts at Clongowes and Hardwicke Street. He was Superior of the Mission 1817-1820. In 1829, while Superior, the foundation stone at Gardiner Street was laid. He, together with Fr Esmonde, did much for Gardiner Street Church, collecting money both at home and abroad for the building of the Church and Presbytery.

He also found time to write and is included in Caballero’s “Scriptores SJ” and de Baecker’s “Bibliotheque”.

He died of a hereditary disease of the heart on July 4th 1849.

Azzopardi, Michael, 1826-1893, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/137
  • Person
  • 05 May 1826-14 December 1893

Born: 05 May 1826, Gudia, Malta
Entered: 11 February 1854, Palermo Sicily Italy - Sicilian Province (SIC)
Final vows: 15 August 1864
Died: 14 December 1893, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin - Sicilian Province (SIC)

Came to HIB in 1861

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
1860 He came to Ireland with Aloysius Sturzo and many other Jesuits and Novices who had been expelled from Sicily. He spent nine years at Milltown as a cook.
1869 He was sent to Gardiner St as Sacristan. He was very diligent and kept everything in excellent order.
1888 He became totally blind, and in spite of that did his best to help, such as drying plates in the scullery, to the edification of all.
1893 He died most peacefully at Gardiner St, 14 December 1893 and is buried in Glasnevin.

Note from Thomas Mahon Entry :
He was sent to Gardiner St and carried out many duties there, including that of Infirmarian very successfully. When the famous Sicilian sacristan Azzopardi was showing signs of failing health, Thomas assisted him and eventually took complete charge.

Bellew, Michael, 1825-1868, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/916
  • Person
  • 27 July 1825-29 October 1868

Born: 27 July 1825, Mountbellew, County Galway
Entered: 28 August 1845, St Andrea, Rome, Italy (ROM)
Ordained: 1858
Final vows: 02 February 1865
Died: 29 October 1868, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Younger brother of Christopher RIP 1867

by 1855 in Palermo, Sicily Italy (SIC) studying Philosophy
by 1856 Studying at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG)
by 1859 at Paderborn Germany (GER) studying Theology
by 1868 at Burgundy Residence France (TOLO) health

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Son of an Irish Baronet (probably the Galway Parliamentarians of the 18th and 19th Centuries). Younger brother of Christopher RIP 1867, but Entered four years before him. Their home was frequently visited by Jesuits, and this helped develop a great love in Christopher for the Society.

He was sent to Rome for his Novitiate, but he was not long there when his strength began to fail. General Roothaan, seeing how valuable a man he might be in the future, sent him to Issenheim (FRA) to complete his Noviceship. When he had completed his study of Rhetoric, he came to the Day School in Dublin, where he trained the boys to great piety. Then he was sent to Clongowes as a Prefect.
1855 He was sent to St Beuno’s for Theology, spending his 2nd Year at Montauban, his 3rd at Belvedere, and his 4th at Paderborn.
After Ordination he was sent to Belvedere for a year.
1860 He was Minister at Tullabeg
1861 He was an Operarius and teacher in Galway.
1864-1867 He was appointed Rector at Galway 26 July 1864, taking his Final Vows there 22 February 1865.
1867 His health broke down, and he was sent to the South of France - James Tuite was appointed Vice-rector in his place. When he returned to Ireland, he stayed at Gardiner St, and died there 29 October 1868.

Berrill, Peter, 1712-1784, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/921
  • Person
  • 29 October 1712-03 April 1784

Born: 29 October 1712, County Meath
Entered: 13 December 1732, Palermo, Sicily, Italy - Siculae Province (SIC)
Ordained: c 1742, Palermo, Sicily
Final Vows; 02 February 1754
Died: 03 April 1784, Leixlip, County Kildare

1760 was in Ireland

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Taught Philosophy as well as Moral and Scholastic Theology in Spain
1748 & 1755 Stationed in Kildare
1776 he signed an agreement with Fullam, N Barron, O’Halloran, FitzGerald, St Leger, Power, Morony, Austin C Kelly, Lisward, O’Callaghan, betagh, Mulcaile and Nolan, all ex-Jesuits (Bracken’s “History of Suppression”)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
1734 After First Vows and studies at Palermo, Sicily, he was Ordained c 1742.
For a time he held a chair of Philosophy at Malta but gave up the post for church work over the next five years until his recall to Ireland, 1750
1750 Returned to Ireland where he ministered at Leixlip, where he eventually became Parish Priest.
At the suppression of the Society he was incardinated in Dublin diocese. He died at Leixlip in 1784

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Peter Berill 1713-1784
Fr Peter Berill was born in Leinster on October 12th 1712, and he entered the Society at Palermo in 1732.

He returned to Ireland sixteen years later, and was Professed on February 2nd, 1754.

He acted as assistant Parish Priest in Kildare and died there in 1784. He was one of the Trustees of the Mission Funds after the Suppression.

◆ MacErlean Cat Miss HIB SJ 1670-1770

Loose Note : Peter Berrill
Those marked with
were working in Dublin when on 07/02/1774 they subscribed their submission to the Brief of Suppression
John Ward was unavoidably absent and subscribed later
Michael Fitzgerald, John St Leger and Paul Power were stationed at Waterford
Nicholas Barron and Joseph Morony were stationed at Cork
Edward Keating was then PP in Wexford

◆ Clongowes Wood College SJ HIB Archive Collection - SC/CLON/142

Peter Berill 1712-1784
Peter Berill, born in Meath, 29 October, 1712, entered the Society in the Sicilian Province, 13 December, 1732. He made his noviceship and ecclesiastical studies at Palermo where he was ordained priest by 1742. After his tertianship he was appointed to a chair of philosophy at Malta but gave up this post after a year and for the next five years engaged in
church work and directed the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin and the Confraternity of the Bona Mors.
He returned to Ireland in 1750 and was assigned to the Dublin Residence but exercised his ministry at Leixlip where he eventually became parish priest. With his ex-Jesuit colleagues he accepted the brief of the Suppression of the Society on 7 February 1774 at Dublin and was incardinated in the diocese. He died at Leixlip in 1784.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BERILL PETER, was born in Leinster, on the 29th of October, 1712, and entered the Society at Palermo, on the 23rd of December, 1732. Sixteen years later he returned to his native Country as a Missionary, and was admitted to the solemn profession of the Four Vows on the 2nd of February, 1754. The year after I find him an assistant to a Parish Priest in Kildare.

Butler, James, 1790-1820, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/78
  • Person
  • 13 November 1790-22 August 1820

Born: 13 November 1790, Dubln
Entered: 07 September 1808, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1814, Palermo, Sicily
Died: 22 August 1820, Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1814 Studied Humanities at Stonyhurst and Theology at Palermo, graduating DD and where he was Ordained.
He went with a band of choice youths who were destined to replant the standard of St Ignatius in Ireland, to Palermo, where he made his studies, graduated DD, and returning to Ireland, had a prominent part in the foundation of Clongowes (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
Dr Olvier gives an extract from a letter to himself from Father Esmonde with edifying details of the death of this learned and holy father. He says that he was in his twenty-ninth year “beloved by God and men”, and that he was a rare association of piety, learning and simplicity. He had said his last Mass at Clongowes on the Feast of the Assumption and went to Dublin the same day for a change of air. “I shall never forget his last night, which I spent at his bedside, it was a practical lesson in how to die. Having asked for and received the last Sacraments with tranquil, unaffected piety, answering to all the prayers, he fell into a slumber. At length awakening he said ‘Farewell, I am dying’, and then giving me some commissions, he added ‘I shall see Clongowes no more. Salute the community in my name. Assure them of my sincerest affection’. He then spoke very calmly of his impending death”
According to Father Bracken, a competent judge, he was by far the most gifted and learned of the Irish Jesuits of his time, and was a Professor of Theology at age 25. He was a most hardworking student and Professor, and of childlike simplicity.
He was carried off by a premature death from consumption.
He had the good and wholesome habit of renewing his Vows every day. (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS for a long sketch)

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After studying Humanities at Carlow and Stonyhurst, he proceeded with a band of choice youths (who were destined to replant the standard of St Ignatius in Ireland) to Palermo, where he went through a course of Philosophy and Divinity. In 1814, this highly gifted young man returned to his native country with a DD, to take a prominent part in the organisation of Clongowes. Here, his classical attainments, his varied learning, but above all, the example of his religious virtues, insured universal esteem and admiration. But a pulmonary complaint was undermining his constitution, and to the grief of every genius and friend, the lamp of life was extinguished on the 22nd August 1821. Two days after a train of sorrowing friends and admirers followed his remains to Mainham Church, adjoining the demesne of Clongowes”
Note from Br John O’Brien Entry :
It may not be out of place to mention that Edmund Hogan stated that the Italian Fathers told James Butler, of Clongowes fame, in 1805, that an Irish Jesuit Synnott was the last to leave off the Jesuit habit worn at the time of the Suppression in 1773 - “Go and tell His Holiness that it was an Irishman was the last member to put aside the habit”. So, Brother O’Brien was the last Brother to put aside the tall-hat in 1892 in obedience to the order of the Provincial Timothy Kenny.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Butler 1792-1820
On August 22nd 1820 in Clongowes died Fr James Butler, who according to Fr Bracken, was the most gifted and learned Jesuit of his time.

He was born in Dublin in 1792 and entered the noviceship at Hodder in 1808. His philosophical and theological studies were carried out at Palermo with such success that he was Professor of Theology at the early age of 25.

Returning to Ireland in 1814, he took a prominent part in the organisation of Clongowes. But, he was suffering from a pulmonary complaint which carried him off at the age of 29. Fr Bartholomew Esmonde has left us an account of his death :

“I shall never forget his last night, which I spent at his bedside. Awaking from sleep he took my hand, saying ‘Farewell, I am dying. I shall see Clongowes no more. Salute the community in my name, ensure them of my sincerest affection’. Of his impending death he then spoke very calmly, asking me to repeat from time to time a favourite Italian hymn ‘O bella mis Speranza’. ‘Tell me Fr Butler’ said I, ‘you are younger than I am, and if restored to health might do much good. If the choice of life and death were left to you, which would you choose’. He paused for a moment, and then turning to me with a smile said ‘If the choice were left to me, I would make none, but leave it to God, for he knows best’. In a few moments his strength was gone, and lisping the names of Jesus and Mary, he died”.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BUTLER, JAMES, after studying Humanities at Carlow and Stonyhurst,he proceeded with a band of choice youths (who were destined to replant the standard of St. Ignatius in Ireland) to Palermo, where he went through a course of Philosophy and Divinity. In 1814, this highly gifted young man returned to his native country, with the diploma of Doctor of Divinity, to take a prominent part in the organisation of Clongowes College. Here his classical attainments, his varied learning, but, above all, the example of his religious virtues, insured universal esteem and admiration. But a pulmonary complaint was undermining his constitution : and to the grief of every friend of genius and religion, the lamp of life was extinguished on the 22nd of August, 1821. Two days later, a train of sorrowing friends and admirers followed his remains to the grave in Mainham Church, adjoining the demesne of Clongowes College. The following extract ot a letter which I received from his Colleague, F. Bartholomew Esmonde, will interest and edify the reader:
“The lamented F. Butler died, I may say, in my arms, in his twenty-ninth year, dilectus Deo et hominibus. What a rare association of learning, piety, and simplicity! the Octave of the Assumption of B. Virgin Mary was his last day upon earth. He had said Mass at Clongowes for the last time on the feast of the Assumption, and came up to Dublin the same day for change of air. In a day or two it was evident that his dissolution was near at hand; and as his strength declined, his piety seemed to increase. I shall never forget his last night, which I spent at his bed-side : it was a practical lesson how to die. Having demanded and received the last sacraments with tranquil unaffected piety, answering to all the Prayers, he fell into a slumber. At length awakening he gave me his hand, saying, ‘Farewell, I am dying’, and then giving me some commissions, he added ‘I shall see Clongowes no more. Salute the community in my name : assure them of my sincerest affection’. Of his impending death he then spoke very calmly, asking me from time time to repeat a favorite Italian hymn by Bd. Ligouri in honour of the Virgin Mary - :
O bella mia Speranza, &c.
This seemed to give him exquisite pleasure. To my inquiry if he was quite happy, if any thing gave him pain, he answered, ‘thanks to God and to the Madonna, I am perfectly happy and resigned’. ‘But tell me’, I resumed, ‘Dr. Father Butler, you are younger than I am, and if restored to health, might do much good. Tell me then if the choice of life and death were left to you, which would you choose?’ He paused a moment, as if I had proposed a difficult question : then turning to me with a smile he said, ‘If the choice were left to me I would make none; but would leave it to God : for he knows what is best’. In a few moments his strength was gone, and lisping the names of Jesus and Mary he expired”.
Who is there that does not envy such a death ?

Castaldi, Heraldus, 1896-1916, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1036
  • Person
  • 26 August 1896-09 November 1916

Born: 26 August 1896, Cospicua, Malta
Entered: 19 January 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly (HIB for Siculae Province - SIC)
Died: 09 November 1916, Palermo, Sicily, Italy - Siculae Province (SIC)

by 1913 came to Milltown (HIB) studying

Cogan, Edmund, d 1810, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1063
  • Person
  • d 14 October 1810

Born: County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1807, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Died: 14 October 1810, Palermo, Italy

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
This pious Scholastic “was beloved by all, died most placidly the death of the just, and wore in death the same amiable expression which he had in life” (Provincial Zuñiga to Father Plowden)

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He went together with Messers Aylmer, Esmonde, St Leger, Ferley and Butler to Palermo to make their noviceship, as appears from a letter of Father Sewall SJ 07 July 1809 Stonyhurst. There is an interesting letter of his in the Irish Archives, written from Palermo to Master Robert Haly (afterwards Father), then a boy at Hodder, Stonyhurst

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
COGAN, EDMUND. This devout Irish Scholastic died at Palermo of a putrid fever, on the 14th of October 1810

Connolly, Patrick, 1830-1853, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1092
  • Person
  • 08 September 1830-31 October 1853

Born: 08 September 1830, County Mayo
Entered: 28 September 1851, Palermo, Sicily - Sicilian Province (SIC for ANG))
Died: 31 October 1853, St Julian’s, Malta - Angliae Province (ANG)

Devine, Charles, 1896-1964, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/740
  • Person
  • 02 August 1896-12 September 1964

Born: 02 August 1896, Dublin / Drogheda, County Louth
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly - HIB for Siculiae Province (SIC)
Ordained: 31 July 1925, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1932
Died: 12 September 1964, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

Transcribed SIC to HIB 1955 by Provincial Father M O'Grady

by 1927 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 3 1946
FROM OTHER PROVINCES :
Malta. (through Fr. Clarke) :
Fr. Devine had an operation for hernia. He hopes to leave Malta in August.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946
Fr. Charles Devine, a member of the Sicilian Province, who has spent over twenty years in Malta, arrived in Dublin in August.

Irish Province News 40th Year No 1 1965

Obituary :

Fr Charles Devine SJ (1896-1964)

Fr. Devine had just completed fifty years in the Society when he died in the Mater Hospital on 12th September. He had been there since the previous November, almost all the time confined to bed. Fr. Charles was born in Drogheda on 2nd August, 1896. He went to the Apostolic School, Mungret, in 1909, and from there to the noviceship in 1914. His noviceship was in Tullabeg, but he had entered for the Sicilian Province. As a boy he had been quiet, studious, serious, taking little part in games at Mungret. A few times he appeared on the stage, in non-speaking parts. In Tullabeg he was gentle, unobtrusive, contented, and used his free time industriously. He set himself the task of getting through the four or five large volumes of a work called The Catechism of Perseverence by Gaume, and completed it in the two years. Afterwards he enjoyed references to Gaume. Part of his time was claimed also by Fr. C. Mulcahy for choir practices as organist. He also played the piano well and accompanied at concerts. In a verse of a topical song, Fr. W. Long, a Maltese Tertian of the English Province, referring to some musical feat in which Charles had a part, finished by saying: “In fact it was devine”. Then and later, Charles would humorously quote A Kempis : “It is not hard to despise human comfort when we have devine”. During philosophy in Milltown also, Charles played the organ for the choir.
He, with eight or nine other Irish scholastics, began philosophy in Stonyhurst, but in the middle of the years 1917-18 they were called back to Ireland, and with a group from Jersey, continued their philosophy at Milltown.
For many years after philosophy the Irish Province saw little of Charles. His work was chiefly in Malta, teaching at St. Aloysius. College. For a short time he was at Palermo. He worked for some time in parishes in Preston and Worcester. Though his health by this time had become rather poor, he led a very busy life in the parishes, and had happy memories of these two places where he made many friends. From 1956 for five years, he was in the Crescent on the church staff, and directed the Bona Mors Arch confraternity and the Apostleship of Prayer, giving the monthly Holy Hour. He prepared very diligently for all his sermons. He left a great number of fully written sermons and much other writing. He wrote well and gracefully and with serious intent.
After a short stay in Manresa, Fr. Devine joined Gardiner Street community. He was not given long for work at the church. A minor stroke incapacitated his limbs, but left him full use of speech, hearing, and mental faculties, so that he could converse and read and keep in touch with life and with friends, and could also give an example of courage in bearing a very tedious illness.
He was able to be present at Fr. Maurice Dowling's jubilee celebration on 31st August, at Gardiner Street. He was brought into the refectory in a wheelchair and made a short and happy speech. A few days later an operation became necessary, which he did not survive. On 14th September he was buried in Glasnevin. Three of his fellow-novices, Frs. Tyndall, Paye and Quigley, officiated at the Solemn Requiem Mass in Gardiner Street. R.I.P.

Dinan, William, 1778-1836, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1190
  • Person
  • 10 June 1778-24 May 1836

Born: 10 June 1778, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1805, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Professed: 27 September 1832
Died: 24 May 1836, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare

In Clongowes 1817

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied at Stonyhurst and Palermo, where he was Ordained.
For some years he was an assistant to a PP in Dublin.
He was eventually appointed Procurator at Clongowes where he died.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was very remarkable for his devotion to the Blessed Virgin, for his love of the Society and his care for the poor. His death was a source of wonder and edification to all on account of the heroic fortitude he had displayed during his illness. On one occasion, holding out his hands all swollen with dropsy, he said to someone “Look at these hands, how unsightly and shapeless they are! But what does it matter, seeing that I am going to God”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father William Dinan 1778-1836
At Clongowes Wood College on May 11th 1836 died Fr William Dinan. Born in Waterford in 1778, he entered the Society in 1805, making his studies first at Stonyhurst, then in Palermo, where he was ordained.

On his return to Ireland he worked for some years at St Michan’s parish in Dublin. He then became Oeconomus in Clongowes, a post he held for a long time.

He was remarkable for his love of the Blessed Virgin, for his love of the Society and for the poor.

His death was a source of great edification to all on account of the heroic fortitude he displayed during his last illness. On one occasions, holding out his hands all swollen with dropsy, he said “Look a these poor hands, how unsightly and shapeless they are. But what does it matter, srring as I am going to God”.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DINAN, WILLIAM, was born at Waterford on the 10th of June, 1778, and joined the Society with several others at Hodder, in 1805. He commenced his Theological studies at Stonyhurst, and finished them at Palermo in Sicily, where he was ordained Priest. On his return to Ireland, he was for several years Assistant to a Parish Priest in Dublin; but eventually was employed as Procurator at Clongowes Wood College, near Dublin, and during a lengthened period discharged the duties of that office with exemplary zeal and punctuality. He breathed his last at Clongowes on the 24th May, 1836, with the greatest calmness and resignation, Prof. 4.

Esmonde, Bartholomew, 1789-1862, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/471
  • Person
  • 12 December 1789-15 December 1862

Born: 12 December 1789, Oberstown, Naas, County Kildare
Entered: 07 September 1807, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: by 1817, Palermo, Italy
Professed: 29 June 1830
Died: 15 December 1862, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

in Clongowes 1817
by 1839 in Professed House, Rome (ROM)
by 1844 in St Paul’s Malta (MEL)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Dr John and Helen née O’Callan. A brother of Sir Thomas Esmonde, and was descended from Lord Esmonde, a famous officer of the time of Elizabeth I.
After First Vows he studied at Stonyhurst and Palermo, where he graduated DD.
He had many gifts : he was a man of great eloquence, chaste artistic taste, and singular affability and tact. He was the author of a few books.
He was Rector of Clongowes, and for two years a Missioner in Malta.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Born of an ancient and noble family of Co Kildare. Early education was at Stonyhurst before Ent.
Towards the end of his Noviceship at Hodder under Fr Plowden, he was sent with five other companions to Sicily, as the Society had been publicly restored in the Kingdom of Naples. He completed his Noviceship there, as well as studies in Philosophy and Theology, graduating DD.
Returning to Ireland after studies, he was found to be in very delicate health. It took a year or two to regain his strength, and then began work with great energy, and never ceased until age and further ill health stopped him.
He was responsible for having the Church at Gardiner St built, and was in large part his own Architect. He was then compelled to seek a change of air, and travelled in England, Rome and Malta. Once returned his strength began to fail, and became somewhat childish. Nonetheless, he continued to give example of patience and resignation both to Ours and externs. He died peacefully 15 December 1862.
He reconciled many sinners and made many friends for the Society. He was a man of great eloquence, chaste and artistic taste, much affability and tact.
From the crowds that attended his funeral, it was easily seen the esteem and veneration in which he was held.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Bartholomew Esmonde 1789-1862
Fr Batholomew Esmonde was born of an ancient noble family in County Kildare on December 12th 1789. He was a brother of Sir Thomas Esmonde, and the family was said to be descended from a Lord Esmonde, a famous officer of Elizabeth I. Educated at Stonyhurst, he entered the Society in 1807 under Fr Plowden.

On the Restoration of the Society in the Kingdom of Naples, he was one of the first five Irish novices, including Peter Kenney, who were sent to Sicily for their training.

He was for some years Rector of Clongowes and two years a missioner in Malta from 1848-1850. He built the Church at Gardiner Street, and for the most part was his own architect.

His health was always poor and he travelled in England, Italy and Malta for a change of air. He returned to Ireland not much improved, and he died on December 15th 1862.

A fine portrait of him is to be seen in the parlour in Gardiner Street.

Eustace, Thomas, 1636-1700, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1261
  • Person
  • 25 November 1638-30 January 1700

Born: 25 November 1638, Craddockstown, County Kildare
Entered: 01 December 1658, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1669, Palermo, Sicily
Final Vows: 02 February 1676
Died: 30 January 1700, Irish College, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)

1675-1686 at Fermo College (ROM) teaching Philosophy and Grammar - and 1681 teaching Theology at Macerata College
1693-1700 At Irish College in Rome taught Theology, Philosophy and Humanities : Rector 1695-1698

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1692-1695 Rector at Rome. While there in 1692, he received letters from Fathers Relly and Wesly at Poitiers. He sought and procured for the “meritorious and afflicted Irish Mission” 50,000 reales from Fr Emmanuel de Sylva SJ, Lisbon. In 1693 he received a further letter from Father Relly, which was directed to the Greek College, Rome. On 05 February 1695, he received from Father Ininger of Ingolstadt, 500 scudi, or 1,000 florins for the Irish Mission.
In 1690 he was at Poitiers when his nephew William, a lieutenant Sir Maurice Eustace’s infantry writes to tell him that his brother has been killed at the siege of Limerick, “riding as a volunteer”. He also asks him to get him transferred into Tyrconnell’s Horse, in which regiment he would have less work and more pay.
1697 There is a petition against him by his sister-in-law, Mrs Eustace at Craddockstown.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of William and Jane née Whyte (daughter of Nicholas Whyte at Leixlip)
Had already studied Philosophy at Antwerp before Ent 02 December 1658 Rome
After First Vows he was sent for Regency at Fermo, and then studied Theology at Palermo where he was Ordained c 1669
1669-1671 Sent teaching at Ascoli
1671-1672 Tertianship at Florence
1672-1678 Taught Philosophy and Theology at Fermo, and also spent one year during that time as Penitentiary at Loreto
1679-1681 Sent to Macerata College to teach Philosophy
1681-1683 Sent to Irish College Rome as Prefect of Studies
1683-1684 Sent to Fermo College again to teach Dogmatic Theology
1684-1690 Sent to Ireland and was appointed Superior of the Dublin Residence and school, and was also made a Consultor of the Mission, and was though to be a very suitable candidate for Mission Superior. He remained there until the Williamite conquest, and the Mission Superior Lynch sent him to Rome as Procurator of the Irish Mission. On the way he spent a year at Poitiers to attend to urgent financial business of the Mission in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Dublin.
1691 Arrived in Rome and proved himself a tower of strength of the mission during the darkening years that preceded the penal times acting as procurator of the Irish Mission.
1694 Appointed Rector of Irish College Rome 10 October 1694 and died in office 30 January 1700.

Ferley, Paul, 1785-1850, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1282
  • Person
  • 22 July 1785-03 January 1850

Born: 22 July 1785, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1807, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1819, Palermo, Sicily
Professed: 01 January 1832
Died: 03 January 1850, Clongowes Wood College SJ

In Clongowes 1817

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Graduated DD at Palermo.
Taught Rhetoric, Metaphysics and Theology at Clongowes.
He had a great love for the Society and great sympathy and charity for his neighbour.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Baptised in the old Parish Church of St Paul’s.
Early education was very successful in Humanities at Stonyhurst before Entry.
After First Vows he was sent with Messers Aylmer, St Leger, Butler and others to Sicily, graduating DD, and was very nearly made a Bishop.
1814 He came back to England and remained six months in Preston as Operarius.
He was then sent to Clongowes, and was one of the first to teach Philosophy and later Theology there.
He was the sent to the Dublin Residence, and was many years an Operarius there.
He was for some time teaching Rhetoric and Prefect of Studies, both at Clongowes and Belvedere.
1842 he finally went to Clongowes, where he remained until his death.
He was very fond of the Society, and remarkable for his great charity, such that the dying, or those in trouble always found him ready to comfort them.
For a few years before his death he suffered partial paralysis of his brain and other parts of his body. When no longer able to say Mass, he wished to hear it as often as possible, though unable to leave his room unaccompanied. Worn out, and fortified by the Sacraments, he died 03 January 1850.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Paul Ferley 1785-1850
Fr Paul Ferley was born in Dublin in 1785, and baptised in the old parish Church of St Paul’s. At the age of 22 he entered the Society at Stonyhurst.

He went with Messers Aylmer, St Leger, Butler and others to Sicily after his noviceship, where on completing his studies, he took the degree DD, and was very nearly made a Bishop.

On his return he worked at Preston for six months. Recalled to Ireland he was first to teach Philosophy, and after a few years Theology, at Clongowes. He laboured for many years as ab Operarius at the Dublin Residence in Gardiner Street. Finally he returned to Clongowes in 1842.

For some years he suffered from partial paralysis. Unable to say Mass, he wished to hear as many Masses as possible. At length, worn out in body and mind, he expired peacefully on January 3rd 1850.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FitzGerald, George, 1583-1646, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1292
  • Person
  • 1583-11 August 1646

Born: 1583, County Meath
Entered: 23 October 1604, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1613, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Professed; 05 March 1624
Died: 11 August 1646, County Kilkenny

Alias Geraldine

Superior Irish Mission 11 August 1646

1613 Catalogue Educated at Douai
1617 In Ireland; 1622 in Leinster; 1626 in Ireland
1637 ROM Catalogue Talent, judgement and experience good, a Preacher

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Educated in Sicily and Rome
1615 In Sicily
1617 In Ireland (IER August 1874) - Preacher; Master of Novices; Consultor of Mission; Praised by Bishop Rothe
From a letter of Mission Superior Robert Nugent 01/10/1640 we learn that he has succeeded Barnaby Kearney as a Consultor of the Mission in Munster.
He is believed to be identical with the George Geraldine of Foley’s Collectanea and Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS

◆ Fr Francis Finegan :
Had previously studied at Douai before Ent 1604 Rome
After First Vows he completed his studies and Rome and Palermo, and was Ordained there 1613
1613 Sent to Ireland but had to wait at Brodeaux for a ship, so did not arrive until 1615
He worked as Missioner in Leinster and then appointed Novice Master at Back Lane, Dublin (1628). In 1630 the Noviceship was dispersed due to a fresh bout of persecution.
1640 Although there is little known of the next ten years, except that he suffered from poor health, he was appointed a Consultor of the Mission
1646 Fr General sent the letter appointing him as Superior of the Irish Mission 11 August 1646, but he died in Dublin the same day.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
George FitzGerald (1646)

George FitzGerald, or Geraldine, was born in the diocese of Meath in 1583. When he had finished his year of logic at Douay, he went to Rome, and entered the Novitiate of Sant' Andrea there on 22nd October, 1604, He studied philosophy at the Roman College, and theology at Palermo, and then went to Bordeaux to await an opportunity of getting to Ireland. He reached Ireland in 1615, and for the next thirteen years worked as a missioner in Leinster. He made his solemn profession of four vows on 5th March, 1621, and when a Novitiate was opened in Dublin in 1628 he was chosen to be Master of Novices. He held that position until two years later a fresh outburst of persecution dispersed the novices. On 29th November he was made Consultor of the Mission and on 11th August, 1646, he was appointed Superior of the Mission, on the exclusion of Fr George Dillon. But this appointment had no effect either, for before it could reach Ireland, Fr George Fitzgerald was dead. He died on 11/21st August, 1646. During his life he had a high reputation as a theologian and a mathematician, and had always been noted for his piety and religious observance.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father George Fitzgerald 1583-1646
Fr George Fitzgerald, or Geraldine as he was sometimes called, was born in Meath in 1583. He entered the Society at Rome in 1604.

Fr thirteen years after his return to Ireland in 1615 he worked as a missioner in Leinster. For many years now, Father Holywood had been requesting the General for leave to open a noviceship in Ireland. There was no lack of candidates. It was only after his death in 1628 that a noviceship was started in Dublin, and Fr Fitzgerald was appointed our first Master of Novices. He held the post for two years, until persecution dispersed the novices.

He was appointed Superior of the Mission in succession to Robert Nugent, but died in 1646 before the letter of appointment reached Ireland.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GERALDINE, GEORGE, was in Sicily, in August, 1615, when his services were required for the Irish Mission. It appears that he was stationed in Munster; for F. Robert Nugent, in his letter of the 1st of October, 1640, after announcing the death of the venerable F. Barnaby Kearney, requests F. George Geraldine to succeed the deceased as a Consultor, on account of his long experience, prudence, “et loci vicinitatem”. I think he had been gathered to his Fathers before the year 1649

Gould, Ignatius, d 1734, Jesuit novice

  • IE IJA J/1381
  • Person
  • d 08 February 1734

Place of birth: [County Cork].
Entered: Palermo, Sicily Italy - Siculiae Province (SIC)
Died: 08 February 1734, novitiate, Palermo, Sicily, Italy - Siculiae Province (SIC)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ
His nationality is not mentioned but his surname suggests he may have been of County Cork origin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-going-multi-denominational/

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 7th Year No 3 1932

Father Peter Kenney Saves the Scholastic Method

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962

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

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

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

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

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

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

MacDavet, Bryan, 1607-1648, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1620
  • Person
  • 15 February 1607-25 September 1648

Born: 15 February 1607, County Derry
Entered: 25 February 1626, Messina, Sicily, Italy - Siculae Province (SIC)
Ordained: 1638, Palermo, Sicily
Professed: 1644
Died: 25 September 1648, Florence, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)

Alias Davitt
Older brother of Hugh - RIP 1633

1639 Came from SIC to BELG
1648 was in Rome 07/08/1648

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Two Entries (1)McDavitt (Davetti in Italian); (2 Bernard David

(1) Bryan McDavitt
Brother of Hugh RIP as Scholastic 15 October 1633
He had been Professor of Humanities and passed a brilliant public examination in universal Philosophy and Theology.
Bought the Printing Press for the Irish Mission which was confiscated by the Confederates for national purposes.
Came to Ireland with the Nuncio (Rinuccini) and was Chaplain to Eoghan Ruadh.
Sent to Rome on special Mission business and died on his way home.
He was a good Preacher and Confessor, liked by high and low.
1644 In Galway, much praised by his Superior as a worthy man and distinguished Theologian. His loss was felt much by his brethren.
A letter from Dr Magennis, Bishop of Down and Connor in 1620, asking the General to send both Bryan and Hugh to their Theological studies
(2) Bernard David
Ent 1625;
Studied in the Low Countries before Ent
1642 Sent from Belgium to Earl O’Neill.
After doing good work in Galway for a while, hen was sent on Irish Mission business to Rome
1648 He was returning with the Nuncio Rinuccini, but on his journey died at Florence 1648.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Older brother of Hugh
1626-1631 After First Vows he studied Philosophy at Noto and Messina where he made a public defence “de universa philosophica”
1631-1635 He then spent four years Regency in four different SIC Colleges.
1635-1638 He was then sent for to Messina (1634-1635), Caltagirone (1635-1636) and Palermo (1636-1638), where he was Ordained 1638, and also where he made a public defence.
1639 Tertianship at Trapani
1640 Sent to Ireland, but recommended by the General to stop in Flanders for a few months to practice his Irish language among fellow speakers there, after his long thirteen years in Siciily In fact he was detained there for three years as a Military Chaplain at Brussels,
1642 Arrived in Ireland at the end of 1642 and was sent to Galway to teach Humanities.
1645 Sent to Rome on business of the Mission and returned with the Nuncio Rinuccini’s travelling party. It was during his return journey from Rome that he bought, for the use of the Irish Mission, the printing press which was later seized by the Ormondist Supreme Council.
1648 MacDavet was acquainted with Eoin Ruadh, probably since his time as a Military Chaplain in Brussels. So, O’Neill on 04/02/1648 chose Brian as his special representative to Pope Innocent X - “Father Bernard MacDavet in my name will kiss your feet as the present war does not permit me to do so in person. He is well versed in public affairs of this kingdom and in my own private concerns and is so endowed with faith and prudence that I have entrusted him with all I wish communicated to your Holiness, and on which I have no doubt the salvation of this kingdom depends. I beg your Holiness, therefore, to treat with him as you would with myself.” At Rome, however, MacDavet, though received by the Pope, was received only in the same audience as was accorded the Bishop of Ferns and Sir Nicholas Plunket, both of whom were opposed to both Rinuccini and Eoin Ruadh. He had to be content with the mediation of one of the Cardinals to bring Eoin Ruadh's secret message to his Holiness.
On his homeward journey he fell from the carriage he was travelling in, and though he was keen to get to Ireland before the Bishop of Ferns and Plunket, before they would encourage the Supreme Council in its’ divisive policy, he never recovered from the serious illness brought about by his fractured his arm and died from the after-effects of the accident 25/09/1648 at the Jesuit Residence, Florence.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Bryan McDavitt SJ 1606-1648
Fr Bryan McDavitt was one of the few Irishmen fro Ulster who entered the Society in the old days. He was born in Derry in 1606 and entered the Society in Belgium in 1624.

He came to Ireland in the retinue of the Nuncio Rinnuccini and was Chaplain to Owen Roe in the Confederate wars.

His importance for us lies in the fact that it was he who brought the printing-press from France for the Irish Jesuits, te press which was used in Kilkenny by the Confederation ro print its proclamations and pamphlets. It was operated by our Brother George Sarrazin.

Fr McDavitt was in Galway in 1644. He was sent on special business to Rome, and died at Florence on his way home in 1648.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DAVID, BERNARD, studied in the Low Countries, and was aggregated to the Order in 1625. Towards the end of July, 1642, he was sent over from Belgium to Earl O’Neil, in Ireland; but certainly from November that year, till August following, was a resident at Galway, where he did good service. Shortly after this he was sent to Rome on the business of the Irish Mission* In October, 1648, he returned in company with the Nuncio Rinuccini. He died at Florence, in his journey to Rome, during the summer of 1648. The loss of his talents and services was deeply deplored by his Superior, F. William Malone, in his letter of 16th December that year.

  • This Father purchased a press in France for the use of the Fathers at Kilkenny, but this was taken from them by Robert Bagot, Secretary of the Supreme Council, in virtue of an Order dated the 28th of May, 1648. Another press belonged to the Fathers at Waterford, to which some of the Irish Bishops subscribed.

Milici, Giuseppe, 1842-1869, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1745
  • Person
  • 21 August 1842-05 October 1869

Born: 21 August 1842, Montalbano Elicona, Messina, Sicily, Italy
Entered: 20 December 1859, Palermo Sicily Italy - Siculae Province (SIC)
Died: 05 October 1869, San Calcedonio, Malta - Siculae Province (SIC)

2nd year Novitiate at Milltown (HIB) under Luigi Sturzo following the expulsion of Jesuits from Naples and Sicily

O'Brien, Michael, 1824-1858, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1858
  • Person
  • 18 September 1824-08 November 1858

Born: 18 September 1824, County Limerick
Entered: 20 September 1850, Avignon France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Died: 08 November 1858, Palermo, Sicily, Italy

by 1856 at Montauban France (TOLO) studying Theology
by 1858 at Palermo Sicily Italy (SIC) studying Theology

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He had completed some of his ecclesiastical studies before Entry,

1857 He was studying 3rd Year Theology at Montauban and then moved to Palermo where he died 08 November 1858

Reilly, Philip, 1784-1868, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2040
  • Person
  • 10 March 1784-10 July 1868

Born: 10 March 1784, County Longford
Entered: 02 December 1812, Palermo, Sicily, Italy - Sicilian Province (SIC)
Final vows: 08 September 1837
Died: 10 July 1868, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

In Clongowes 1817 - infirmarian O’REILLY

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was a model religious.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
When he had finished his Noviceship in Sicily, he was sent back to Ireland with many book and some marble. His ship was wrecked at Dundrum Bay, Co Down, and he was kindly received there by the Russells of Killough. Finally reaching Dublin, he was sent to Clongowes, and worked there for many years.
1834 He was sent to Gardiner St, and worked there until his death 10 July 1868.
He was much esteemed by all who visited the Church at Gardiner St.
Note from John Nelson Entry :
He took his Final Vows 02 February 1838 along with eleven others, being the first to whom Final Vows were given since the Restoration in Ireland. The others were : Philip Reilly of “Palermo fame”; Nowlan, Cleary, Mulligan, Michael Gallagher, Pexton Sr, Toole, Egan, Ginivan, Patrick Doyle and Plunkett.

Riccobono, Angelo, 1844-1913, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2046
  • Person
  • 20 July 1844-04 February 1913

Born: 20 July 1844, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Entered: 05 November 1859, Palermo, Sicily, Italy - Siculae Province (SIC)
Ordained: 1872
Final vows: 02 February 1900
Died: 04 February 1913, Palermo, Sicily, Italy - Siculae Province (SIC)

2nd year Novitiate at Milltown (HIB) under Luigi Sturzo following the expulsion of Jesuits from Naples and Sicily

Riotta, Francesco, 1844-1919, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2052
  • Person
  • 25 June 1844-08 November 1919

Born: 25 June 1844, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Entered: 05 November 1859, Palermo Sicily Italy - Siculae Province (SIC)
Ordained: 1873
Final vows: 15 August 1878
Died 08 November 1919, Collegio Pennisi, Acireale, Sicily, Italy - Siculae Province (SIC)

2nd year Novitiate at Milltown (HIB) under Luigi Sturzo following the expulsion of Jesuits from Naples and Sicily

Shelton, Richard, 1611-1671, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2123
  • Person
  • 01 February 1611-27 July 1671

Born: 01 February 1611, Dublin
Entered: 28 February 1629, Back Lane, Dublin
Ordained: 1637, Messina, Sicily, Italy
Final vows: 01 October 1652
Died: 27 July 1671, Dublin

Alias Nathaniel Hart
Superior of the Mission, 09 February 1658-1663

Sometimes went under the name “Tobias Walker and Nathaniel Hart and also Capitaneus” (HIV III pp 460-464)
Studied Philosophy 3 years and Theology 4 in Society
1633 At Douai studying Philosophy
1636 Not in CAT
1642 Prefect of Irish College Rome (Fr Malone was Rector) Was also Minister and Operarius
1649 Marked at Waterford (1629 after his name)
1650 Catalogue DOB 1607. Came to the Mission 1641. Confessor and Preacher. Age 43. Prof 4 Vows
1666 Catalogue Is dwelling near Dublin. On the Mission 22 years. Consultor of the Mission. Engaged in administering the Sacraments and refuting heretics. After 17 weeks imprisonment he was banished for 6 years.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Two Entries plus one “Nathaniel Hart”
Knew English, Italian and Latin; Four years Theology in the Society; Taught Humanities; Distinguished Preacher and Confessor
1641 Sent to Ireland (HIB Catalogue 1650 - ARSI)
1666 In Dublin and engaged in missionary duties and in controversial disputations with heretics.
After being imprisoned for 17 weeks, he was deported for six years (HIB Catalogue 1666 - ARSI)
Robert Nugent in a letter dated Wexford 28/02/1643 states that he was daily expecting him from France.
Mercure Verdier the Visitor to the Irish Mission names him in his Report to the General 24 June 1649
He had been stationed at Waterford where he had great repute as a Preacher and teacher; A good Controversialist.
He accompanied the Countess of Beerhaven to Spain, and was then about forty years of age, and had spent twenty in the Society;
He died 1671 in Dublin, deserving well of the Society and elsewhere (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS who calls him Robert)
A Belgian Catalogue mentions him as Richard Shelton arriving at the Professed House, Antwerp 12 September 1656, and leaving 24 April 1657

Nathaniel Hart Entry
Ent pre 1649; RIP post 1659
1659 Superior of Mission and wrote a letter to the General 15 June 1659
Probably identical with Mathias O’Heartegan (corrected in pencil beside to “Richard Shelton”) who had good reason to disguise his name.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had already studied Humanities and begun Philosophy before Ent 28 February 1629 Back Lane, Dublin
1631-1637 After First Vows he was sent to Douai for Philosophy and then to Messina in Sicily for Theology where he was Ordained 1637
1637-1641 He made Tertianship and he was sent as Minister and Operarius at Castrogiovanni and Messina.
1641-1644 He was actually sent to Ireland in 1641, but on his way he was kept for a year as Prefect of Studies at the Irish College Rome
1644-1646 Sent to Ireland and firstly to Galway where he taught Humanities
1646 He was sent as Chaplain to Countess Bearhaven on her journey to Spain
When he returned to Ireland he was first sent to Waterford and by 1650 to Dublin
1655 He was was betrayed and arrested in 1655 and deported to the Barbados. There he was not allowed to land there but sent back to Europe. He eventually landed at Antwerp in October, 1656
1657 In spite of his penalties threatened against priests who should care to come back after deportation, he returned to Ireland when appointed as substitute for the Mission Superior Thomas Quin, who had been arrested. He was himself arrested again on his way through England but succeeded in reaching Ireland in the summer of 1657
1658 He was formally appointed Superior of the Mission, 09 February 1658, His term of Office should have ended in 1661 but the newly-designated Superior did not come, and so he continued in office until 1663
He died in Dublin 27 July 1671
He wrote an account of the labours of the Society in Ireland during the thirteen years of the Cromwellian tyranny.
He stoutly opposed Peter Walsh's Loyal Remonstrance.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
Richard Shelton (1657-1663)
Richard Shelton was born in Dublin on 1st February, 1611. His early studies, as far as logic, were made at our Dublin College, and on 28th February, 1629, he entered the Society in the Novitiate of Dublin, recently established. When the heretics suppressed the Jesuit houses and confiscated them to enrich Trinity College, Richard Shelton had to seek his education abroad. He finished his philosophy at Douay, and then was sent to the Province of Sicily. There he studied theology for four years at Palermo, made his tertianship at Trapani, acted as Minister of the College of Enna, or Castro Giovanni, and as Confessor at the Professed House of Messina. In September, 1641, he left Sicily for Ireland. On his way he spent a year at the Irish College, Rome, as Prefect of Studies, under Fr William Malone as Rector. In Ireland he was stationed at Galway (1644-46), teaching, preaching, and confessing. He went as chaplain to the Irish soldiers that accompanied the Countess of Berehaven on her return to Spain, When he came back he was stationed first at Waterford, and then, at the end of 1650, in Dublin, where he made his solemn profession of four vows on 1st October, 1652. He was betrayed in the summer of 1655, and condemned to transportation to the Barbadoes, but before this sentence was carried out he was put on board a ship for Antwerp, and landed there in October, 1656. In spite of the penalties threatened against exiled priests who returned, Fr Shelton did not hesitate a moment when he was ordered to go and act as substitute for Fr Thomas Quin, Superior of the Mission, who had been arrested. He himself was arrested when passing through England, but succeeded in reaching Ireland in the summer of 1657. From being Vice-Superior he was formally appointed Superior of the Mission on 9th February, 1658. His term of office should have come to an end in 1661, but as the new intended Superior never came he continued as Superior till 1663. He wrote an account of the labours of the Society in Ireland during the thirteen years of Cromwellian tyranny. He also distinguished himself by his opposition to the Schismatical Remonstrance of the friar, Peter Walsh, OSF. Fr Shelton died at Dublin on 27th July, 1671.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Richard Shelton 1611-1671
Richard Shelton was born in Dublin in1611 and received his early education as far as Logic in our school in Dublin. Furthermore he entered the novitiate in Dublin.

On the closing of our houses he went to the continent to complete his studies. He left Sicily in 1641 to return to Ireland, but spent a year en route as Prefect of Studies in the Irish College Rome under the Rectorship of Fr William Malone.

Arriving in Ireland he went to Galway for two years teaching and preaching. When the Countess of Berehaven retired to the continent, he accompanied her as Chaplain to Spain. On his return he was stationed at Waterford, then in Dublin, where in 1655 he was arrested and sentenced to the Barbadoes. However, the sentence was not carried out, but Fr Richard was banished to Antwerp. In spite of the penalties threatened him, he returned to once again to act as Superior for Fr Thomas Quin who had been arrested. He himself was full Superior of the Mission 1658-1993.

In correspondence he went by the pseudonym Nathanial Hart.

To his we are indebted for an account of the labours of the Society in Ireland during Cromwellian times.

He passed to his reward on July 27th 1671.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
HART, NATHANIEL. All that I know of him is from his own brief letter, dated the 15th of June, 1659, which shews that he was then Superior of his brethren in Ireland.

SHELTON, RICHARD. In a letter of Father Robert Nugent, dated Waterford the 28th of February, 1643, he says “I daily expect Father Shelton from France”. From Pere Verdier s Report of the 24th of June, 1649, I collect that he had been stationed at Waterford, where he was in great repute as a Preacher; that he had then quitted for Spain, to accompany the Countess of Beerhaven thither; that he was about 40 years of age, of which he had spent 20 in the Society. He died in Dublin, as I find in Father Stephen Rice s Annual Letters, during the year 1671. “in Missions et alibi de Societate bene meritus”.

Spiteri, Salvator, 1815-1871, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2140
  • Person
  • 29 April 1815-29 April 1871

Born: 29 April 1815, La Vittoriosa, Malta
Entered: 30 December 1844, Palermo Sicily Italy - Sicilian Province (SIC)
Final vows:02 February 1855
Died: 29 April 1871, Milltown Park, Dublin - Sicilian Province (SIC)

Came to HIB in 1861

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He came to Dublin in 1861 on the expulsion of the Jesuits from Rome, Naples and Sicily. About twenty Jesuits came, with Aloysius Sturzo as their Superior.
He was a tailor by trade, and he worked at Milltown until his death there 29 April 1871

St Leger, Robert, 1788-1856, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/36
  • Person
  • 08 February 1788-22 June 1856

Born 08 February 1788, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1807, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Final Vows: 09 December 1821, Palermo, Sicily
Died: 22 June 1856, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Brother of John St Leger - RIP 1868, and a nephew of John St Leger RIP 1783

Superior of St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly: 7 July 1818-1831
First Vice-Provincial of Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus: May 1830-1834; 1841-1850

in Clongowes 1817
in Tullabeg 1818/9
1st Vice Provincial 1830
by 1839 in Calcutta Mission

◆ ◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Nephew of John St Leger RIP 1783, and a brother of another John St Leger RIP 1868
1830 Vice-Provincial and again in 1841.
1834 Vicar Apostolic in Calcutta, India. (cf “Mission du Bengale” Fr H Josson SJ, 1924, pp 162-185)
He was remarkable for his gentleness of disposition, clearness of mind, and accurate knowledge of Theology, which he had studied and graduated DD at Palermo.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Nephew of John St Leger RIP 1783
Early education in Humanities and Rhetoric at Stonyhurst before Ent.
One of a band that were sent to Sicily after First Vows, where he studied Philosophy and Theology for six years Graduating DD.
1815 Sent to Ireland and on the Waterford Mission for a while.
1817 Sent to Tullabeg to establish a Novitiate there, and to open a small school, which later became St Stanislaus College. For some years this house suffered from extreme poverty, and it was almost as though he could not appear for a time without being in danger of being arrested. His brother John, having completed his Noviceship, displayed considerable talent for economy and the management of the school, so the debts were cleared and the number of pupils increased. It was possibly an error that Robert appointed John as procurator, as his economies were rather severe. A Visitor was sent from England, and Robert was soon removed.
1830 Appointed Vice-Provincial
1834 He was appointed Vicar Apostolic in Calcutta, India, and his brother John accompanied him. It was unfortunate that ANG opened a school in Calcutta at the same time as Robert, and both he and the ANG Rector were at variance in their views. Complaints were sent to Rome, and perhaps too readily accepted by the General. Robert was unhappy with the position he found himself in, and so he returned to Ireland.
1840 He was appointed Rector of Clongowes which was in sever financial debt at the time
1841 Appointed Vice-Provincial again, holding the position for nine years, and entertained Father General Roothaan in 1849. He was succeeded in 1851 by John Curtis.
1851 He went to live in a house in Killiney, which had been bought with the view of opening a chapel there. This didn’t work out, so he moved to Gardiner St and remained there until his death. His health had been failing, and he was less able to work.
He was a saintly and spiritual man, always held in high esteem by Ours and externs.
The suavity of his manners won over all whom he encountered. When he first came to Ireland from Sicily, his austerity was so great that he applied for permission to refrain from eating meat, and this was refused. He loved the Cross, and asked other to pray for that Grace for him.
He was, at the same time, a man of strong will, and was thought to perhaps stick too rigidly to his own views. He was a man of great erudition and literary knowledge and was also a good Theologian. He was remarkable for his gentleness of disposition, clearness of mind, and accurate knowledge.
His mind became weak in his last illness, which was protracted and severe. He died 22 June 1856

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert St Leger SJ 1788-1856
Robert St Leger came from a family that lived in Waterford, where he was born February 8th 1788. He was a nephew of John St Leger of the old Society, and had a younger bother John who was also a Jesuit.

In 1817 Fr Robert was sent to the newly acquired property at Tullabeg to open a novitiate and a small school there. It was a difficult undertaking financially. Indeed, it was said that at one period the College was so heavily in debt, that Fr Robert could not appear in public for fear of arrest.

He became Vice-Provincial in 1830, and again in 1841. He was also for some time Vicar Apostolic in Calcutta.

I 1851, he opened a new house, Druid Lodge in Killiney, but the venture was not a success.

He played a big part in the founding of the Irish Sisters of Charity, being the spiritual director of Mary Aikenhead. When he was Rector of Tullabeg, she came to Rahan Lodge to be in touch with him while writing the Constitutions,

His last years he spent in Gardiner Street and he died there June 22nd 1856.

Sturzo, Aloysius,1826-1908, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/465
  • Person
  • 24 April 1826-1908

Born: 24 April 1826, Mineo, Catania Sicily, Italy
Entered: 03 November 1840, Palermo Sicily Italy - Siculae Province (SIC)
Ordained: 1857
Professed: 15 August 1859
Died: 17 September 1908, Loyola College, Greenwich, Sydney, Australia - Siculae Province (SIC)

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 18 March 1877-30 July 1880;
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia: 2 September 1883-5 April 1890;

Irish Provincial 18 March 1877
Australian Irish Mission Superior 02 September 1883; then Mag Nov

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a member of SIC and he, along with many Jesuits, was expelled from Sicily in 1860. He and his companions were received with open arms at Milltown. Here he worked as a Master of Novices (he had brought many novices with him from SIC). His brother was also a Jesuit who ended up in Portugal, another was a Priest in Italy, and a cousin was a Bishop of Ancona.
1865 He was loved by all in Milltown and was appointed Rector there in 1865, and built the new Retreat House in 1874.
1877 He was appointed Provincial of HIB, and when he finished that job he was appointed Rector of Tullabeg in 1881.
1883 At the express command of Father General Jan Roothaan, he was sent to Australia as Superior of the Mission. He had been 23 years in Ireland at that stage. When he finished that office, he still took charge of the Novices both in Melbourne and Sydney, until blindness prevented him from continuing.
1908 He died a holy death at Loyola Sydney, 17 September 1908, and he died with the reputation of a Saint.

On his death the following notice appeared in a Sydney newspaper (paraphrased in parts) :
“Australia has lost one of the oldest and notable members of the Society of Jesus, in the person of Luigi Sturzo. For 68 years of his life, which closed at Loyola, Greenwich on Thursday afternoon, he followed in the footsteps of St Ignatius. In the evening of his life, the old Jesuit, who was 82 years of age, and a Sicilian, lived in practical retirement at Loyola. The almost total loss of sight prevented him from doing work for which he was otherwise physically capable, but the giving of instructions to the communities and the private Retreats at the North Sydney Novitiate of the Order brought him some little comfort. Up to the last, his intellect was as vigorous as ever. His funeral was at St Mary’s, Sydney, presided over by Msgr Carroll, with George Kelly at the graveside in Gore Hill, attended by many.
Father Sturzo was a real Jesuit in spirit and deed, and that is saying a good deal. His amiability and genuine kindliness won for him hosts of friends...... although unable to read at Mass, his community read for him. The Church, Rome and the Holy Father and the doings of his Society, these were the subjects that thrilled him.

He was born in Mineo, Sicily. he then went to Caltgirone, where the Society had two houses. Sicilian boys were encouraged to give ‘ferverinos’ to their families, and on one occasion his father remarked ‘Why, Luigi, you are a real Jesuit’. When he finished school, he told his father he wanted to be a Jesuit. Along with a letter of introduction from his Jesuit uncle, his father got him to Palermo, and he was accepted at 14 years and 6 months. This meant he had to wait an extra 6 months to take Vows until he was 17. He subsequently made studies and taught at the Palermo College. He was there when the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception was promulgated in 1854. Garribaldi was in power and came to Palermo, and eventually Luigi found himself in Ireland with the Novices of Sicily and Naples where they had been offered sanctuary. They were nervous going to a country not wholly Catholic, but the warmth of reception and the respect of the people made them feel at once at home. After that he became if anything, more Irish that the Irish! At first they were housed in Tullabeg, and then with the Irish Novices at Milltown. (cf note below of those celebrated Irishmen who were his Novices)

1877 He was made Provincial of HIB, a further proof of the trust reposed in him. In 1881 he was then made Rector at Tullabeg, with William Delaney Rector as Prefect of Studies.

1883 He was sent by the General to Australia as Superior of the Mission, and remained Master of Novices until 1901. So here too the young Australian Jesuits had the privilege of being trained by him.

In Ireland he had spent much time giving retreats, and he had a deep understanding of what lay behind the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius.

His Celebrated Novices : Timothy Kenny and Patrick Keating HIB Provincials and ASL Mission Superiors; James Murphy HIB Provincial and Novice Master; Thomas P Brown HIB Provincial and ASL Mission Superior; John S Conmee ASL Mission Superior; Thomas Gartlan Rector of Riverview; Thomas Fay Rector of St Aloysius; Luke Murphy Rector of Riverview and St Patrick’s; George Kelly Superior North Sydney; James Colgan Superior Hawthorne. In fact all Superiors and prominent Irish Jesuits of the time were either his Novices, or Novices of his Novices, which means he could be called the Father of the Province!

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Aloysius Sturzo was one of four brothers to enter the Society of Jesus, and was the nephew of a well-respected Jesuit, Antonio Ayala. His parents, Don Francesco and Donna Antonia Taranto were traditional pious Catholics, and Luigi followed in the ways of faith of his parents. He entered the Society, 3 November 1840 in Palermo, at the noviciate, which is now the Casa Professa, under the care of the novice master Antonio Vinci. Rhetoric studies followed in the same house for a further two years before two years of philosophy at the Collegio Massimo in Palermo. In his second year he was the beadle of the group.
Regency followed for the next six years at the Collegio Massimo, teaching grammar, history and geography, Italian, Latin and Greek at various times. In his second year he was appointed beadle of the regents.
From 1854-57 Sturzo studied theology at the College Massimo, during which time he was the prefect of the Sodality of Our Lady After ordination he was appointed confessor of the parlour and to prisoners. In 1858 he made his tertianship in the Roman province, and the following year for two years, he returned to Palermo to the House of Probation to be socius to the master of novices, Giuseppe Spedalieri. He was also spiritual father to the young scholastics, and continued his work as confessor of the parlor, and also at the hospital and in the prison. He was solemnly professed of the four vows on 15 August 1859.
In 1860, with the dispersion of many Sicilian Jesuits, together with others, he was invited to Ireland, especially to care for the Italian novices. He became the first novice master of the
Irish province, then rector of Milltown Park, Dublin, 1866-77, followed by provincial of Ireland,1877-80.
He went as rector to St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, 1880-83, and was sent to Australia and was superior of the mission and novice master until 1890, living at Richmond and Xavier College. After that he became rector of Loyola, Greenwich, and was master of novices at the same time, as well as procurator of the mission. He remained rector until his death.
Sturzo had entered the Society six months before the canonical age for the reception of novices, but could not he persuaded to leave. He was highly respected, as he was master of novices at the age of 33. One of his Irish novices and later Irish provincial, John Conmee, praised him for his gentleness, meekness, admirable patience, faith, and ardent love of the Lord. He was greatly respect by all who encountered him, and in his last days, he talked much about Sicily, his family and friends. He never learned to speak English well, but his spiritual sense and inward fervor came through the imperfect utterance. His Australian novices spoke highly of him. As a superior he was mild, but not weak, and was well endowed with prudence and sagacity. He had a sense of humor, and never minded being laughed at for his solecisms in English. He was a truly international Jesuit, highly respected in three countries.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Aloysius Sturzo 1826-1908
Fr Aloysius Sturzo was a Sicilian born in 1826. He entered the Society when only fourteen years of age in 1840. On the expulsion of the Society from Sicily in 1860, Fr Sturzo and his companions were received with open arms by the Irish Province and housed at Milltown Park. Here Fr Sturzo was appointed Master of Novices, becoming Rector of the house in 1865. He was responsible for the erection of the new Retreat House in 1874.

He became Provincial of the Irish province in 1877, and in 1881 was appointed Rector of Tullabeg. At the express command of Fr General he went to Australia in 1883 as Superior of that Mission. He had spent 23 years of must useful administrative labour in Ireland. When he retired from office as Superior, he again became Master of Novices in the noviceship which he himself had founded.

In the evening of his life Fr Sturzo, who was 82 years of age, lived in practical retirement at Loyola. The almost total loss of his sight prevented him from doing work for which he was otherwise capable, though he retained the use of his vigorous intellect right up to the end.

He died a holy death at loyola, Sydney on September 17th 1908 with the reputation of a saint.