Bernal, Patrick, d 1743, Jesuit priest
- IE IJA J/2286
- d 03 October 1743
Died: 03 October 1743, Lima, Peru - Peruvanae Province (PER)
In Chronological Catalogue Sheet and CATSJ A-H
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Bernal, Patrick, d 1743, Jesuit priest
Died: 03 October 1743, Lima, Peru - Peruvanae Province (PER)
In Chronological Catalogue Sheet and CATSJ A-H
Brand, John, 1712-1767, Jesuit priest
Born: 15 September 1712, Dublin
Entered: 23 April 1735, Lima, Peru - Peruvianae Province (PER)
Ordained: 08 September 1742
Final Vows 08 October 1751
Died: 21 January 1767, Peru - Peruvianae Province (PER)
◆ Fr John MacErlean SJ :
Following his ordination, the rest of his life was devoted to work among the pagan Indians. He died about 1762.
Chan, Albert, 1915-2005, Jesuit priest
Born: 25 January 1915, Pacasmayo, Peru / Kunming, Yunnan, China
Entered: 30 July 1934, Rizal, Philippines (MARNEB for HIB)
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977
Died: 10 March 2005, Los Gatos, California, USA - Sinensis Province (CHN)
Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966; HK to CHN: 1992
by 1938 at Loyola, Hong Kong - studying
◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His father brought him back from Peru at the age of 7 and he went to the Sacred Heart School in Canton. He joined the Society for Hong Kong because of his admiration for the Irish Jesuits he had met at Sacred Heart (1928-1934). Fr Dan Finn was the focus of his admiration.
He began his novitiate in Manila, and then he studied Latin and Greek.
1939 He came to Hong Kong and spent a year studying Calligraphy and Chinese Literature.
1940-1942 He taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong
1942-1947 He was sent to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology, and he was Ordained there with Dominic Tang Yi-Ming (later Archbishop).
He was then sent to Harvard University in Cambridge MA for a PhD in the History of Ming China, which he finished c 1954/5
1955-1985 He returned to live at Wah Yan College Kowloon
1985-2005 He went to the USA
He was essentially a Historian of Chinese History. He was the author of many books, articles, writings and collections including :
“The Glory and the Fall of the Ming Dynasty” (1982); “Peking under the Ming Dynasty”; “Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome - a Descriptive Catalogue.
Fr Freddie Deignan says : “He contributed many articles to the “New Catholic Encyclopaedia” (1967) and the “Dictionary of Ming Biography (1368-1644). He left behind an unpublished book “Peking under the Ming Dynasty”. He was well respected for his historical and academic contributions. He had built up a library of more than 70,000 books in his field (some very rare which he bought from used bookstores).
In his later days he concentrated on the Archives of the Jesuits in Rome. Then in 1985 he finally moved to the Ricci Institute for Chinese History and Culture at the University of San Francisco as a researcher, poet, calligrapher and writer.
Interfuse No 132 : Summer 2007
FIRST CHINESE TO JOIN THE IRISH PROVINCE : FR ALBERT CHAN (1915-2005)
Alfred J Deignan
I was in Emo Park as a novice in July 1947 when the newly ordained Father Albert Chan came from Milltown Park to celebrate his first Mass with us novices. We thought that he was crying with joy right through the Mass until we discovered afterwards that his normal voice was very high pitched, like a wailing sound. This was my first encounter with Fr. Albert. I was to meet him many times afterwards in Hong Kong and in San Francisco.
He was born in Peru in 1915. His father was Chinese and his mother a Peruvian. They came to live in Canton and he studied in the Sacred Heart High School where he came into contact with a few Jesuits who were teaching in the school at that time. The Jesuit who impressed him most and who influenced him was the famous Fr. Dan Finn. Fr. Finn became the Professor of Geography in Hong Kong University and as an archaeologist found some important historical sites in Hong Kong. He was also a wonderful linguist. Albert often accompanied him in his diggings and like him, became an extraordinary linguist as he could read Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, German, French and some Russian. He could speak fluently in six languages.
Fr. Dan Finn guided him in his process of discernment and in his application to the Society of Jesus when he graduated from High School in 1932. He always remembered with great affection Father Finn and carried with him until the end, his photo and some photos taken at the excavation sites. When he heard of the sudden death of Fr. Finn on 15 November 1936 while he was in London, aged 50, he was moved to write his first extant Chinese poem in his honour. He was then 20 years old. He composed many beautiful poems in Chinese later in life.
Albert entered the novitiate in Manila in July 1934 and took his first vows two years later. It is interesting that Fr. John Fahy, former Provincial of the Irish Province, and then Provincial of Australia, took his vows. After studying for his B.A. and a Master's degrees in the Sacred Heart College, Manila, he graduated and came back to Hong Kong for his regency in 1941. He was assigned to teach in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, until 1945. Then he left for Shanghai to study theology, but this was disrupted because of the communist revolution in the north and all the scholastics had to move from Shanghai. He was sent to Milltown Park in Ireland and was ordained there in 1947.
Fr. Albert was always very grateful to the Irish Jesuits for their warm welcome, their kindness to him and for their encouragement during these formative years. The Superiors recognized his talents, and he was sent to Fordham University for advanced studies in history, and later to Harvard where he obtained his Ph.D. in Chinese History in 1954. He returned to Hong Kong with his Ph.D. and humbly taught in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, 1954 58, and in Wah Yan College, Kowloon, 1958–60 while continuing to do some research.
In Wah Yan College, Kowloon, he discovered a kindred soul, a Chinese teacher of Literature and History who was an expert on rare Chinese books, Mr. Lau Kai Yip. They became great friends. While in Hong Kong, Fr. Albert went out each day to visit all the second-hand bookshops around and always returned in triumph and joy with some rare books which he had found and bought at a bargain price. Soon there were books everywhere - in his room, in the shower, and under the bed. Eventually they overflowed into the next room until it too was full. Some community members were very afraid that the floors would collapse under the weight! His intention was to build up a library of Chinese books for the use of future young Jesuits in China, a dream which, up to now, has not been fulfilled.
What has happened to his books? Fr. Albert was afraid that with the take-over of Hong Kong in 1997 his books would fall into the hands of the communist government, and all the books, which he so lovingly and carefully collected over the years would be lost. So they were packed into boxes and shipped to San Francisco. There were 80,000 volumes and they were housed in the University of San Francisco Ricci Institute. It is rated as one of the top 15 collections of Chinese History in the USA. Apart from these, he continued to collect books after going to San Francisco, and these ended up in 200 boxes in a friend's basement.
After 1960 he really devoted himself to research and attended many conferences at which he presented papers on Chinese history, especially on the Ming and Qing dynasties, and the history of the Jesuits in China. His doctoral thesis was published in 1982 - “The Glory and Fall of the Ming Dynasty”. And in 1969-76 he did a marvellous job on the Jesuit Chinese archives in Rome, cataloguing and writing a description of each book or document for the future benefit of researchers. This was published in 2002 entitled “Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome”. This was the work of a great scholar and perfectionist. He also did research in the Jesuit archives in Portugal, Spain, France and England on Chinese and European relations in the 16th and 17th centuries. He contributed many articles to the New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967) and the “Dictionary of Ming Biography (1368-1644)”. He left behind a book which has yet to be published - “Peking under the Ming Dynasty”.
Fr. Albert was a poet and we have a collection of his poems. He was also a calligrapher of Chinese script and a connoisseur of Chinese tea. In 1985, when he went with his beloved books to San Francisco, he was appointed to the post of Senior Research Fellow of the Ricci Institute. As he got older his health declined and from 2002 he suffered from cancer and died on March 10h 2005 having reached his 90th year.
He loved people and had many friends. Whenever anyone visited him in San Francisco he gave them a great welcome and invited them to his favourite Chinese restaurant. Besides being an academic he was an expert cook, and so several cooking books can be found in his collection. I remember during Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, when the staff were on holidays, he was delighted to take over the kitchen and cook our meals, providing us with some beautiful and tasty dishes.
He was a humble and holy man who has left us with a wonderful legacy after his quiet, patient research on Jesuits in China and Chinese history for the help of future generations. We are indebted to him and are proud of him as one who began his life as a member of the Irish Province. There are now 18 scholarships set up in his honour in each of the Wah Yan Colleges, promoting Chinese literature and history. And a very good friend of his in San Francisco sent a donation to the Irish Province of $100,000 as an expression of his gratitude to the Irish Jesuits.
Field, Thomas, 1549-1626, Jesuit priest
Born: 1549, Limerick
Entered: 06 October 1574, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Died: 07 July 1626, Asunçion, Paraguay - Paraguayensis Province (PAR)
Son of Dr Field and Genet Creagh
1569 There was a Thomas Field Penitentiary of English, Irish and Scots (is this he?)
1575 In April he and Fr Yates left Rome for Brazil arriving 1577. Fr Yates describes him in a letter as “Yrishe man”
1577 in Portugal ???
◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Son of Dr Field and Genet (Janet) née Creagh (Creah)
In 1586 he was captured and “evil-handed” and manacled by English pirates, put out in an open boat with no rudder or oars and drifted away to Buenos Ayres.
He was one of the three first missioners of Paraguay; of great innocence of life and alone in Paraguay for years.
He is erroneously called a Scot by Charlevoix and an Italian by Franco
(cf Cordara “Hist Soc” AD 1626 and in Foley’s “Collectanea”, p253 there is an interesting letter about him in 1589 by Fr Yates)
Humanities at Paris, Philosophy at Louvain, graduating MA before Entered 06/10/1574 Rome
28/04/1575 Went on pilgrimage with James Sale, an Englishman from Rome to Galicia, and from there to the Brazils without having taken First Vows.
He spent many years in Brazil with Joseph Anchieta (Apostle of Brazil, styled Thaumaturgus) and was his emulator. Ordered from Brazil to Paraguay. After incident above with pirates, he died in Asunçion, Paraguay. (cf "Hibernia Ignatiana" and Oliver, Irish Section, Stonyhurst MSS)
Letter from Fr John Vincent (vere Yates), a Missioner in Brazil, to Fr John Good, dated, St Anthony's Brazil, 02 January 1589 (British Museum Lansdown MSS). he calls him by the alias name of “Thomas Feile” :
“News of Father Thomas Feile are these. Since that I wrote your Reverence of him in my other letter, in 1586 he was sent from St Vincents with three others of our company into a country far from here, which they call Tumumâ, near unto Peru, at the petition of the Bishop of that place unto our Provincial of this Brazil land; and in his way by sea near unto the great River Plate, they were taken by an English pirate named Robert Waddington, and very evil handed by him, and robbed of all those things they carried with them. The which pirate afterwards, in the year of 1587, came roaming along this coast from thence, until he came unto this city, the which he put in great fear and danger, and had taken it that if these new Christians of which we have charge, had not resisted him, so that one hundred and fifty men that he brought with him, he left unto three score slain. On this matter in other letters, I doubt not but that your Reverence shall hear. To return now to the news of Father Thomas Feile, I do give you this knowledge of him that he was very unapt to learn this Brazil speech, but he did always edify us with his virtuous life and obedience to all those with whom he was conversant, unto whom I have sent the letter your Reverence did sent him, and with the same, I sent unto him his portion of the blessed grains and images which came unto my hands, as also the roll of countrymen that be of our company. Whilst he was in this Brazil land, he took not only the holy order of Priesthood, as I do hear he took in the same place where he is now resident, which is as far as Portugal from hence”
(cf IbIg; Oliver, Irish Section, "Stonyhurst MSS")
1574 Left Portugal for Brazil arriving at Bahi in 31 December 1577
Spent 10 years as scholastic living in Piratininga (São Paolo), often accompanying Fr Anchieta on his missionary tours among the Indians
◆ Fr John MacErlean SJ :
1587 Sent to Paraguay (escaped death by pirates after his ship was captured off Buenos Aires)
He spent time at the Mission of Córdoba de Tucuman (Argentina) and then went to Asunçion (Paraguay).
He and Fr Ortega evangelised Indians for hundreds of miles around Asunçion
1590-1599 Founded a Church in Villa Rica, Paraguay
1599 Recalled to Asunción, and the Missions at Villa Rica and Guayra were abandoned until the Province of Paraguay was formed in 1607, and he returned there then.
Eventually returned to Asunción ministering to the Indians until his death in 1626
◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Field (Fehily), Thomas
by Patrick M. Geoghegan
Field (Fehily), Thomas (1546/9–1625), Jesuit priest and missionary, was born in Limerick, in 1546 or 1549, son of a catholic medical doctor, William Field (or Fehily), and his wife, Genet Field (née Creagh). Because of his religion he was sent for his education to Douai and then Louvain, in the Low Countries, and finally to Rome, where he entered the Society of Jesus on 6 October 1574. He trained for the priesthood before being sent on an important mission to Brazil. Travelling from Rome to Lisbon, he was forced to beg along the way, before beginning the long journey to South America in 1577.
In Brazil he worked with the Spanish Jesuit José de Anchieta (1534–97), who was credited with performing many miracles. In 1586 he was one of five Jesuits sent from Brazil on a mission to convert the peoples of La Plata province. During the voyage the group was captured by pirates, some of them Irish pirates who treated Field with utter contempt, despising his catholic zeal. In the end he was put into an open boat without rudder or oars and set adrift, but he survived and arrived safely in Argentina. He is believed to have been the first Irishman to set foot in Argentina and may also have been the first to go to Brazil.
When he arrived at Buenos Aires it had been in existence just seven years and comprised only a dozen houses. With Manuel Ortega as his superior he was sent on a further mission to Paraguay, where he baptised thousands, and was responsible for the conversion of many. He tended to the sick during the great fever epidemic in South America in 1588 and was respected for his hard work and dedication. A man of great piety and humility, as penance he denied himself the use of fruit on the trees. He died 15 April 1625 at Asuncion among the peoples of La Guira, Upper Paraguay.
Henry Foley, Records of the English province of the Society of Jesus (1877), i, 288; Edmund Hogan, Chronological catalogue of the Irish members of the Society of Jesus, 1550–1814 (1888), 5; Thomas Murray, The story of the Irish in Argentina (1919), 1–8; Aubrey Gwynn, ‘The first Irish priests in the new world’, Studies, xxi (1932), 212–14; ODNB
◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Thomas Field SJ 1549-1626
Fr Thomas Field was born in Limerick in 1549 and entered the Society at Rome in 1574. He was attached to the Portuguese Province and from there left for Brazil, arriving at Bahia on 31st December 1577. He spent ten years as a scholastic in what is now known as Saõ Paolo, but made frequent journeys among the Indians with the Venerable Fr Anchieta during these years.
He was transferred to Paraguay in 1587, and on the voyage, narrowly escaped death at the hands of English pirates, who captured his ship off Buenos Aires. He proceeded,to Asuncion, where with Fr Ortega he evangelised the Indians for hundreds of miles around. In 1590 he built a Church at Villa Rica which became his headquarters for the next nine years.
In 1599 he was recalled to Asuncion, and the Mission at Villa Rica was abandoned until Paraguay was made a Province in 1607. He then returned to the scene of his former labours and worked among the Indians until his death in 1626.
Interfuse No 45 : Christmas 1986
Portrait from the Past
FR THOMAS FILDE : 1548/9-1626
The Limerick Jesuit who was one of the founders of “The Mission” - currently showing at Dublin's Adelphi Cinema.
“On the 6th of October, 1574, Thomas Phildius, a Limerick Irishman, twenty-five years of age, enters the Novitiate. His father, Willian, was a doctor of medicine and his mother was Genet Creah. Both his parents are dead. He studied humanities for three years at Paris and Douay, and philosophy for three years at Louvain, where he became Master of Arts... under his own hand - Thomas. Phildius”. So wrote Thomas Filde in the Roman Novice-Book.
Thomas was born at Limerick in the year 1548, or 1549, of Catholic parents, at whose house he most probably often saw the Nuncio, Father Woulfe, S.J., who resided at Limerick in those days. In order to preserve his faith, Thomas was sent to study at Paris, Douay and Louvain; and he was received into the Society in Rome by the General, Everard Mercurian. He showed such advancement and solidity in virtue, that, after six months in the Novitiate, he obtained leave to go on the Brazilian mission.
With four Jesuit companions, he set sail joyfully on the “Rio de Janeiro”, and, after a prosperous voyage, came in sight of South America. They were in the Rio de la Plata and felt free from all fear of the English sea-rovers, when they discovered two sails, which were those of the cruel corsair, Cavendish. The English boarded the Portuguese merchantman, treated the passengers and crew with some humanity, but wreaked all their fury on the Jesuits. The pirates confided them to the mercy of the waves in a boat without rudder, oars, or sails, and left them to be tossed about and die of hunger in these wide waters.
Against all human expectation they drifted into the port of Buenos Ayres. When it was heard at Cordova that they had reached Buenos Ayres, almost dead with hunger and cold, they were met by the Bishop of Paraguay, who pressed them to go to Asuncion, where their Brazilian speech was well understood. Filde, de Ortega (a Portuguese) and Saloni (a Neapolitan) held a consultation, in which, after fervent prayer, they resolved to go to Paraguay, the language of which they spoke. They travelled nine hundred miles partly by land, partly by the Argentine and Paraguay Rivers, evangelizing as they journeyed on, and on August 11th, 1588, they reached a place nine miles from the town of Asuncion. The Governor of the province and other gentlemen went out to meet and welcome them The Indians seeing the respect of the Spaniards for those priests, conceived a high opinion of them, which grew greater when they considered the sympathy which the Fathers showed for them, the zeal with which they instructed them, the courage with which they protected them from Spanish oppression, and the disinterestedness and devotedness with which they had come so far, and through so many dangers, for the sole purpose of saving their souls. The neighbouring Indians hearing of these three holy nen went to see them, and were delighted to hear them speak the Guarani language.
But as the Spaniards were in a sad state in and around the town, the Fathers set to work at once to reform them, preaching to them, catechizing, hearing confessions, often spending whole days and nights in the tribunals of mercy, and scarcely ever allowing themselves more than one or two hours' rest. They converted the whole town. Then they turned to the Indians in and around Asuncion; instructed them, administered the sacraments to them; on Sundays and feast-days they got them to walk in procession, singing pious Guarani hymns. They then visited two distant Indian villages, and evangelized them, and after that Fathers Filde and de Ortega went and preached the Gospel through all the Indian tribes from Asuncion to Ciudad Real del Guayra, and produced most abundant fruit.
At about ninety miles from the first Indian village lived a barbarous race, in almost impenetrable forests and among rocks almost inaccessible. They were brave and robust; but never worked, and spent their time dancing and singing The Fathers sent two Christian natives to them with presents, and with promises of good things if they came out of their fastnesses to them; and in the meantime they prayed fervently that God would draw these poor people towards them. Their prayers were heard, and the head cacique came, with some of his men, dressed in war-paint of various colours and wearing long flowing hair, which had never been cut, with a crown of high plumes on his head. These savages were at first very shy in presence of the two strangers, but were soon attracted to them by the kindness of their looks and actions: they were converted, and promised to lead a good life and to prevail on the rest of their tribe to do likewise. The cacique was induced to remain with the Fathers, while his attendants and forty Indians recently baptized were despatched to bring out the members of his tribe. At the end of a fortnight, they brought with them three hundred and fifty men, women and children, who seened on the verge of starvation. Many children died of hunger the day of their arrival, after receiving the Sacrament of Baptism; the survivors were formed into a pueblo, were baptized, and led a holy and happy life.
The Jesuits baptized many pagans, performed the ceremony of marriage for many Spaniards and many Indians who had been living in a state of concubinage; instructed those ignorant of religion, extinguished long-standing animosities, and put an end to many scandals. The townspeople were so edified by their virtues, that they pressed them to remain and wanted to found a house of the Society in that place. But Fathers Filde and de ortega did not wish to narrow their sphere of action, and, at the end of a month's mission there, they went forth again to pour the treasures of grace on other parts of the province; they evangelized the numerous tribes between Ciudad Real and Villa Rica, baptized all the infidels who dwell along the banks of the Rio Hiubay, banished drunkenness and polygamy from among them, protected them against the oppressions of the Spaniard; and after many hardships and labours reached Villa Rica, and were there received with great solemnity. Triumphal arches were put up and the most fragrant flowers of that delightful country were displayed to do them honour. With military music and singing and other demonstrations of joy and welcome, they were conducted in procession to the church, where they declared the object of their mission. They remained four months at Villa Rica, working with untiring zeal, instructing the Spaniards whom they found ignorant of the truths and practices of religion, and doing all in their power to put in the souls of the colonists sentiments of mercy and kindness towards the poor Indians whom they were accustomed to treat as slaves.
After their apostolic labours at Villa Rica, the two Fathers went forth and converted a nation of ten thousand Indian Warriors, Indios de guerra, called Ibirayaras, who for clothing were contented with a coat of war-paint, and delighted in feeding on the flesh of their fellow-man. The Fathers had the happiness of rescuing many prisoners from being fattened, cooked, and eaten by these cannibals. They then baptized three thousand four hundred of another tribe; but before the work of conversion, Filde's companion narrowly escaped being murdered, and thirty of their neophytes were put to death by some wicked caciques. The two missioners had been often deliberating about going back to Asuncion; but as the inhabitants of Villa Rica built a church and residence for
them, they remained there for seven years longer.
In 1593, Father Romero was sent as Superior of the mission of Tucuman; he brought nine missioners with him, ordered Fathers Filde and de Ortega to continue their work in the Guayra territory, and sent Fathers Saloni and de Lorenzana to their assistance. On the 3rd of November, 1594, these two started from Asuncion, and reached Fathers Filde and Ortega at Villa Rica on the feast of the Epiphany, 1595. In this journey of over five hundred miles, they narrowly escaped being drowned in the Parana, and had often to make their way by swimming, or by wading through marshes and flooded fields. Swimming seems to have been one of the useful, and even necessary, arts of these early missionaries. We are told it of three of them, but not of Filde, who, being born and brought up on the banks of the Shannon, was skilled in the art of natation, and of driving and directing a “cot” or canoe through the water.
Fr. Filde was the sole representative of the Society in the countries of Tucuman and Paraguay until 1605 when he was joined at the residence of Asuncion by Fathers Lorenzana and Cataldino. The former wrote to the Provincial of Peru: “We found in our house, to the great comfort and joy of his soul and of ours, good Father Filde, who in spite of his infirmities has gone on with his priestly work and by his religious spirit and his dove-like simplicity (simplicidad columbina), has edified the whole town very much for the last three years. His is never done thanking God for seeing his brethren again in this far-off land".
In 1610, two Italian Jesuits made their way to Villa Rica, and found there the sacred vessels and the library which belonged to Fathers de Ortega and Filde. In the month of February they went up the River Paranapane, or “River of Misfortune”, to the mouth of the Pirape; they knew from the cacique who guided them with what joy they would be received by the native neophytes of Filde and de Ortega, and the moment they entered the lands of the Guaranis, they were net and welcomed with effusion in the name of the two hundred families whom these first missionaries had evangelized, and to whom the new-comers were bringing the blessings of civilization and liberty. On the very place that witnessed this interesting interview, Fathers Macheta and Cataldino founded the first “Reduction” of Paraguay, which was the model of all those that were formed afterwards.
In 1611, there was a burst of popular indignation against the Jesuits on account of their efforts to abolish slavery. They were “boycotted”, and could not get for charity or money anything to eat. No one would sell them anything. A poor old Indian woman, knowing their wants and the implacable hatred the Spaniards bore them, brought them some little thing to eat every day; but the other Indians had been turned against their best friends by the calumnies of the Spaniards. The Fathers withdrew to a country house in the village of Tacumbu; yet not liking to abandon the place altogether, they left Brothers de Acosta and de Aragon to teach school and Father Filde to say Mass for them. Here the Limerickman spent the last fifteen years of his life.
In 1626, Thomas Filde died at Asuncion in the seventy-eight or eightieth years of his age, and the fifty-second of his religious life, during which he spent about ten years in Brazil and forty in the missions of Paraguay, of which he and de Ortega were the founders.
Lynch, Michael, 1701-1767, Jesuit priest
Born: 13 April 1701, Seville, Spain
Entered: 02 May 1724, Peru Province - Peruvianae Province (PER)
Ordained: 08 August 1733 Arequipa, Peru
Final Vows: 29 June 1745 Moquegua Peru
Died 04 February 1767, Spain - Peruvian Province (PER)
◆ Fr John MacErlean SJ :
He was a distinguished preacher in Spanish, and very efficient in instructing and converting English heretics. He was Procurator of various colleges for many years, as well as Rector. When the decree of banishment came in 1767 he was Rector of the College of Our Lady at La Paz, Bolivia. In spite of his birth at Seville he is called a foreigner by the Spanish officials. He arrived in Europe in 1768.
O'Phelan, Maurice, 1693-1772, Jesuit brother
Born: 16 January 1693, County Waterford
Entered: 22 September 1724, Peru Province - Peruvian Province (PER)
Final Vows: 23 September 1741
Died: 20 December 1772, El Puerto de Santa María, Spain - Peruvian Province (PER)
Cousin of Marcus Dismissed 24 November 1745
◆ Fr John MacErlean Sj :
1726-1772 After his noviceship he taught the lower classes in St Paul’s College for twelve years.
After that he was engaged in domestic duties till his health broke down in 1758.
His whole life seems to have been passed in the Collegium Maximum of St. Paul at Lima, where he was living old and infirm in 1767, when the order of expulsion arrived from Spain.
In spite of his feeble state, he survived the hardships of the voyage, and arrived in Spain, where he was put ashore at Puerto de Santa Maria. He died there a few years later, on 20th December, 1772, in his eightieth year.
◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Brother Maurice O’Phelan 1693-1772
Br Maurice O’Phelan was born in Waterford in 1693, and became a Jesuit in Lima in 1724.
After his noviceship he taught in the lower classes in the school for 12 years. From that time on he was engaged in domestic duties until his health broke down in 1758.
His whole life seems to have been spent in the Collegium Maximum of St Paul at Lima, where he was living old and inform in 1767 when the order of expulsion arrived from Spain. In spite of his feeble health, he survived the voyage and came to Puerto de Santa Maria.
He died there a few years later on December 20th 1772 in his 80th year.
Rumley, Brendan, 1959-1999, Jesuit priest
Born: 12 December 1959, Ballymacoda, County Cork
Entered: 27 September 1977, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Ordained: 03 August 1992, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin
Died: 24 June 1999, Mater Hospital, Dublin
Part of the Belvedere College SJ, Dublin community at the time of death.
by 1987 at Asunción, Paraguay (PAR) Regency teaching
by 1990 at Belo Horizonte, Brazil (BRA) studying
by 1993 at Asunción Paraguay (PAR) working
by 1997 at Cristo Rey College, Tacna, Peru (PER) working
Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000
Fr Brendan Rumley (1959-1999)
12th Dec. 1959: Born in Cork City.
Early Education, Ring College, Castlemartyr College, Clongowes Wood College.
27th Sept. 1977: Entered the Society at Manresa House.
27th Sept. 1979: First vows at Manresa House.
1979 - 1982: Sullivan House, Arts degree at UCD
1982 - 1985: Milltown Park, study philosophy
1985 - 1987; Clongowes, Regency
1987 - 1989: Paraguay, teaching in Colegio Tecnico Javier.
1989 - 1993: Brazil, study theology.
30th Aug. 1992: Ordained priest, S.F.X. Church, Dublin.
1993 - 1997: Paraguay, Pastoral Director, parish work.
1997 - 1998: Peru, Pastoral Director, parish work.
1998 - 1999: Belvedere College, pastoral work at S.F.X, Church.
Brendan returned from Peru in January 1998 and lived in Belvedere. While he had some health problems, he was sufficiently well to go to the U.S.A. that summer to do supply work. While there, his health deteriorated. On his return to Dublin, he was diagnosed to have lymphoma (cancer of the lymph glands) Thereafter he stayed either in Belvedere or with his brother or at Cherryfield Lodge. He went periodically to have special treatment at the Mater Hospital. Members of his family together with Joe Dargan and Myles O' Reilly were with him when he died on the morning of 24th June 1999.
Kevin O'Higgins writes ...
Brendan was a member of the Belvedere Community for eighteen months. He died in June 1999 aged 39 years. Our vigil went on for six months. It began on a cold January day, when we heard the shocking news that Brendan had been diagnosed with a life-threatening form of cancer. It ended on a bright morning in late June, when he drew his last breath and went quietly on his way.
Nothing in Brendan's life had been so undramatic as the manner in which he departed it. In Paraguay, where we worked together for almost ten years, he was regarded as a live wire. He always seemed to be planning some sort of event. He had the knack of living life as if it were a never ending fiesta. Maybe that is why he felt so at home in fun-loving Latin America. Like the good people of Asuncion's poorest barrios, Brendan knew how to turn water into wine. When it came to choosing the gospel text for his funeral Mass, we had no hesitation in opting for the account of the marriage feast at Cana.
Brendan's Christianity was essentially joyful, and he had a horror of solemnity and formality. He was captivated by the itinerant preacher from Nazareth, and felt distinctly uncomfortable in the midst of ecclesiastical pomp and circumstance. He liked to keep things simple and to see people enjoying themselves.
We had gone together to Paraguay in 1986, responding to an urgent appeal for Jesuit reinforcements. The dictatorial government of Alfredo Stroessner had recently expelled a group of our Spanish colleagues. Brendan and myself hoped to fill the gap and help to keep the show on the road. Our arrival in Paraguay opened the door to a whole new world and introduced us to an endless series of experiences of the kind which leave you marked for life.
Brendan was in his mid-twenties when we arrived in Paraguay. Ordination as a priest was still several years off, but that did not prevent him from plunging head-long into the task at hand. He was assigned immediately to work as pastoral director in a large secondary school and was an instant hit with students and teachers alike. His infectious optimism and can-do attitude quickly translated into a whole host of projects.
When he saw that the school was in need of a library, he enlisted the help of some friends in his home town in County Cork, and the Ballymacoda Library blossomed in far off Asuncion. The introduction of an electric kettle turned his little office into a coffee shop, permanently open to all and sundry. His creativity and energy transformed school retreats and special liturgies into memorable, life giving celebrations.
During his years as theology student in Brazil, Brendan launched out in new directions. He began accompanying lay people in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, and even devised his own manual. The idea caught on, and by the time he left Brazil some thirty Jesuit students were engaged in this ministry. During the final weeks of his illness, messages from Brazil and elsewhere spoke of how Brendan's wise and gentle guidance through the Exercises had transformed people's lives.
Brendan's first mission after ordination was back in Paraguay. Priesthood meant that his ministry was enriched by the celebration of the Eucharist and other sacraments. He initiated the custom of early morning mass in the college chapel. At weekends, he exercised his ministry among the poor.
He had a great gift for comforting the afflicted. When a teaching colleague fell victim to a fatal disease and had to be moved to hospital in Brazil, Brendan thought nothing of facing the twenty-hour bus journey to be at his side. He did this trip repeatedly, departing on Friday evenings after completing his work in the College, and returning on Sunday nights, ready to face the following week's challenges.
His last years were spent in Tacna, a small city on the border between Peru and Chile. The rapid increase of Paraguayan Jesuits had led him to wonder whether there might not be a greater need elsewhere. In Tacna, he felt even more at home than in Asuncion. Undoubtedly, he would have spent long years there had illness not intervened. Even while he was undergoing chemotherapy in Dublin, his friends in Peru constantly assured him that they would be happy to take care of him should he wish to return there.
Brendan himself never stopped hoping that he would be able to return. He had vowed to serve the people of Tacna, and he constantly continued to do so right up to the end, in sickness as in health. When it became clear that he was too weak to face the journey, his friends pooled resources to send a representative to Dublin, They wanted him to know how close they were to him in his own time of need.
Right up to the end, Brendan spoke of his strong desire to carry on living and continue his ministry. Even as he grew progressively weaker, he insisted on organising small fiestas for groups of friends. His sense of humour remained undiminished, and he was able to mock his illness. He simply refused to acknowledge defeat. His love of life prepared him to face death with extraordinary courage and deep, unwavering faith. That was his parting gift to his friends.
Interfuse No 103 : Winter 1999
Arica in Chile and Tacna in Peru are just across the border from one another. I was back in Arica for the first time in fifteen years at the end of August 1999. A requiem Mass for Brendan Rumley was held in Tacna on September 17th. At 6.45 a.m. that morning I set out for Tacna. Crossing the Chilean border around 7.30 a.m., I arrived in Tacna at 7.45 a.m. Pedro Barreto, the 'Superior' of the community met me at Cristo Rey College, where Brendan worked. Gerry, one of Brendan's brothers, had arrived the evening before and was staying with a Peruvian family, and Clem, another brother, had been delayed, but was expected at the college around 11.30 a.m. Clem would be bringing the urn with Brendan's partial remains - Brendan's ashes had been divided among his family, the Irish Province, and the college in Tacna.
Pedro spoke about how much Brendan meant to them in the community and in the college, As I listened it became clear that Brendan had a good friend in Pedro, someone who accompanied him with understanding, care, and feeling in the transition from Paraguay to Peru, from Asuncion to Tacna. He would receive Brendan in death back to Cristo Rey, he had prepared for it, and he had got permission from the Bishop for Brendan's ashes to remain in the chapel for always. He showed me a letter from Brendan to him about a year earlier where Brendan spoke about his hope of returning to Tacna. Pedro read from this letter at the liturgy.
Pedro and I and two members of the community met and welcomed Brendan and his brothers Clem and Gerry at the entrance arch to the section of the compound leading to the college auditorium where the Mass was to be celebrated. Staff and students carrying college flags gathered behind the Rumley brothers.
In the Waiting
We all stood in silence for a time while Pedro spoke about how the liturgy would proceed. As I looked at Clem I wondered what it was like for him to travel to Peru with his brother in an urn. My mind also went back to March 1982 when I was about to leave Ireland to live and work among the poor in Chile at a time when that country was in the grip of the death-dealing military dictatorship of General Pinochet. A Mass of farewell was held in St. Francis Xavier Church, Dublin. Brendan, who was not long in the Society at the time, was at the Mass, his desire to minister in Latin America developing in his heart.
I was very happy that I could be in Tacna for him now and that I could make the link on behalf of the Irish Jesuit Province between his funeral Mass and burial in Dublin and his requiem Mass and the placing of the urn in the Jesuit college in Tacna.
I thought of the amazing impact he had made on so many in a relatively short time in Tacna which I had learnt so much more about in the hours before the Mass. All those who spoke to me, including students, singled out this quality in Brendan: his speed at making friends. He had an amazing ability to make friends with many different kinds of people within and outside the college. The other qualities mentioned often were his simplicity and his kindness. He would do things like take cups of tea or coffee to others on a tray, which is not usual for a man feel better. They spoke about how he built up the college library, which has now been renamed 'The Library of Brendan'. His smile, too, was singled out, and his dedication and enthusiasm.
Hernan Salinas Paiza, a teacher who was sent to Brendan in Dublin when he was ill on behalf of the staff, had told me that Brendan had broken a mould by being the first Director of Pastoral Care to also address the needs of the staff. This was repeated to me by other lay staff whom I met before the Mass. They were all visibly upset at Brendan's death.
I also thought of Declan Deane's words to me when we met in Dublin during his visit to Ireland shortly after Brendan died, that he had never met anyone who had become so completely Latin American. Brendan had stayed with Declan in the United States when he was ill before the cancer had been diagnosed.
I thought of Kevin O'Higgins who had been with him for years in Paraguay and who arrived back in Ireland around the time that Brendan was diagnosed with cancer. Kevin had accompanied Brendan all through those final months in a way that, it seemed to me, no other Irish Jesuit could. This was a great consolation to Brendan, and something for which all of us in the Irish Province can be very grateful. Kevin has written his own tribute to Brendan in the November 1999 issue of the Irish Messenger
I thought of the tenacity with which Brendan had fought for life in Kieran and Miriam's home in Terenure, and later in Cherryfield. The last time I saw him in Cherryfield I knew that, medically, he was near the end, I had phoned him that morning to know if he would receive a visit around 6 p.m. I said that John Henry, a Maryland Jesuit, who was a friend of mine working in Arica and whom he knew as a result of visits to Arica from Tacna, was in Dublin and wished to see him. When we got to Cherryfield Brendan had some letters on the bed for John to bring to people in Arica and Tacna. He was that strong, that focused, that thoughtful, and that giving to the end.
Brendan died in the prime of his life, a few months before his 40th birthday. He had lived and worked in Tacna for only two years. And yet back in Dublin as he fought terminal cancer his great desire was for Tacna to be his place of departure for eternity. When his condition meant that he could not travel, his dying wish was that some of his remains would do so instead. He did not want to be separated from those he loved in Tacna, and he knew that they in their love would want him with them. His friend, Hernan, had said as much in his tribute to Brendan that morning in the Tacna newspaper, Prensa Sur: “The delight Brendan felt for the people of Tacna was mutual. It was a delight of giving and receiving, of loving and of being worthy of that love”.
The Farewell in Tacna
Around 12.15 p.m., the procession to the auditorium began. “Hermano del Alma’, Soul Brother/Sister, sung by Roberto Carlos, accompanied us through the college sound system. As we entered the auditorium the soft sound of one of Latin America's best known singers gave way to the power and strength of the College band.
Pedro invited me to speak at the beginning of the Mass and again after the reception of the Eucharist. He told the congregation that I was representing the Irish Jesuit Province and had a message from the Provincial in Ireland. This let the people know that the Irish Province recognized Brendan's gifts and valued him as much as they did. It also made them feel good about themselves.
The message relayed by me on behalf of Gerry O'Hanlon spoke of the bond in the Spirit between the Mass congregation and Irish Jesuits, due to a shared desire to give thanks for Brendan's life of giving and happiness; it said that they would miss Brendan as much as we would; it drew attention to how much it meant to Brendan that so many prayers and messages of support from Tacna came to him during his illness in Ireland, and how much it lifted him to receive a visit from Hernan Salinas on behalf of his colleagues at the College. The last words of the message were: “in solidarity with you in prayer, sadness, gratitude, and friendship”.
In his homily Pedro told the congregation that Brendan was with them still, not only in his remains, but also and even more so in what he meant to each of them in their minds and hearts.
A short video of Brendan and his work followed. This was one of the most moving parts of the whole ceremony as we saw Brendan animating and addressing groups, listening and speaking to people, in prayer and celebrating Mass, and carrying a tray of drinks to children with his distinctive smile and enthusiastic movement.
His brother Gerry spoke for the family, and Hernan translated. He brought them quickly through the story of Brendan's life and did so with humour and a great sense of pride in his younger brother.
The Director of Formation at the College spoke about how he had met Brendan when they were travelling to a conference in Bolivia for delegates of Jesuit schools. This was while Brendan was still in Paraguay. Brendan's capacity to make friends quickly meant that they became friends and he invited Brendan to Tacna. Brendan came, and now he would remain there always.
Two women also paid tribute to Brendan. They did so without words. They were the widow and mother of a man whom Brendan accompanied over many months during the man's struggle with cancer. They were at the front of the congregation where those closest to the deceased tend to be. They were mourning him as one of their own.
Entrusting Brendan to the People of Tacna
During the offertory of the Mass, Clem came forward and gave me the gift of Brendan. He entrusted me with him on behalf of the Rumiley family. I received Brendan on behalf of his Jesuit companions from Ireland. Pedro then took the urn from me on behalf of Brendan's Jesuit companions in Peru, and placed it on the small table in front of the altar. Brendan had gone from Cork to Tacna via the Irish Province. We had done what he had wanted us to do, namely, share him, so that he could remain in Tacna for always.
The offertory procession also included a map of Latin America, taken from Brendan's office. The commentator said, “today we want to present it to you, Lord, as an offering and testimony of the service of our brother”.
After the final song, “Holy Mary of the Journey”, we processed to the College chapel. Inside Pedro told us that Brendan used to come there in the early mornings to celebrate Mass. The Director of the college gave a final tribute, and Pedro showed where Brendan's remains would lie. Because the urn turned out to be bigger than expected it could not be placed there straight away. That would be done later after the space provided had been altered.
The inscription where the urn will stay reads: “UN HOMBRE PARA Y CON LOS DEMAS” - “A MAN FOR AND WITH OTHERS”. Prensa Sur had pointed out that day that laying Brendan's ashes to rest in the college chapel was "an act without precedent in the history of the Society of Jesus in Tacna." Brendan's dates of birth and death are also given. Pedro pointed out that Brendan's birthday, December 12"", was the important date because, for a Christian, to be born is to be born to eternal life. An IHS emblem can also be seen. Amen! Alleluia!
It was now 2.25 p.m. The whole ceremony had lasted almost two and a half hours. It was an extraordinary and unique tribute by people from Peru to a young Irish Jesuit from Cork in their own language and land. The Latin American spring was about to begin, and the sun was shining, but not oppressively.
◆ The Clongownian, 2000
Father Brendan Rumley SJ
When I arrived in Clongowes as Higher Line Prefect, Brendan was starting his final year at school. In his final report he was described by that official as being “ever-courteous - friendly - impeccably-mannered - helpful - but not very involved in games!” He was something of an academic and won the O'Dalaigh Cup for Irish conversation. Apart from urbane conversations, one of his co-curricular interests was the Stewart's Hospital group, which paid a weekly visit to the patients in Palmerstown. My memory is of a serious face suddenly widening into a lightning smile, like the sun on a cloudy day!
It was only in the final months of the year that I came to know him better, when - out of the blue - he told me one evening that he was considering joining the Jesuits and would like to ask me a few questions. For me it turned out to be a real inquisition - and those who know Brendan's tenacity of spirit will readily recog nize what that experience meant for the victim!
Having followed the usual initial formation pattern of a Jesuit - novitiate - university - philosophy, in due course Brendan came to Clongowes as Third Line Prefect in 1985 - the year when I myself left on sabbatical to the Sudan and Zambia. I don't think that he was ever fully at home in the job, for his wanderlust was already calling him to a ministry further afield.
So, the following year, he set off for South America, which was to become his home for the rest of his fully active life. He completed his regency at the Colegio Tecnico Javier in Asunción in Paraguay and in 1989 went on to study theology in Belo Horizonte in Brazil. He returned to Ireland for ordination in 1992 and became Pastoral Director in the Colegio Tecnico. But his urge to move on took him to Peru, where he continued the same kind of work in the Colegio Cristo Rey in Tacna.
He returned to Ireland in December of 1997 and it was while staying in Belvedere that the first signs of illness appeared. But it was not until nearly a year later that his terminal illness was diagnosed. I was with him on the day when the news was broken to him and was privileged to share those first moments and to come to realize the steel which lay beneath his “unobtrusive” surface. In the months to come Brendan showed remarkable fortitude and even good humour in his increasingly weakened state. He died early on the morning of 24 June 1999.
I don't think that I have ever met anyone who made friends as easily as Brendan did. He had an infectious spontaneity which invited response. He drew from his friends a great loyalty towards himself and they found him generous and supportive in their own need. No trouble was too great for him when coming to their aid, especially those who were sick. He was often considered to have a very stubborn streak and this was well exemplified when he thought nothing of making a 72-hour round trip to visit an ill colleague faraway. Even when seriously ill himself, he continued to maintain links with his large circle of friends in South America and in Tacna his friends organized a special pilgrimage for his recovery. But it was not to be - and the outpouring of grief there at his passing was eloquent testimony of how highly he was thought of by those to whom he had given his life. His ashes are shared between the Jesuit plot at Glasnevin, his birthplace-village of Ballymacoda and his chosen home of Tacna.
To quote from the Book of Wisdom, Brendan's death at the early age of 39 “seemed like a disaster” for his life was so full of promise But, like Aloysius, Patron Saint of Clongowes, he had “accomplished a lot in a short space of time” - and his life was an inspiration to everyone who knew him. The Book of Wisdom can again provide a fitting epitaph for him: “When the time comes for God's visitation, he will shine out”.
To Brendan's parents and his brothers and their families, we offer our deepfelt sympathy and we thank them for giving him his infectious smile and for sharing him with us. His travellings are over - may he rest in peace!
Walter, Ignatius, 1625-1672, Jesuit brother
Born: 07 February 1625, Ireland
Entered: 26 May 1669, Mechelen, Belgium - for Peruvianae Province (PER)
Died: 04 June 1672, St Paul’s College, Lima, Peru - Peruvianae Province (PER)
◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica”
Three years after entry he became ill and died at College of St Paul, Lima Peru 1672
◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Brother Ignatius Walter 1625-1672
Br Ignatius Walter was born in Ireland in 1625. He entered the Society at Lima, Peru.
Three years after he entered he fell into bad health, and died at the College of St Paul Lima on June 4th 1672.
Wulfe, James, 1724-1783, Jesuit priest
Born: 26 February 1724, El Puerta de Santa Maria, Cadiz, Spain
Entered: 29 August 1748, Seville, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)
Ordained: c 1754,
Died: 19 June 1783, Ferrara, Italy - Peruvianae Province (PER)
1751 or 1754 He went to Peru certainly there in 1754 and already ordained.
Procurator in several colleges.
At the time of the expulsion he was acting as Prefect of the Houses of Retreats and the Confraternity of Loreto at Arequipa. He survived a journey, and landed in Italy, where he joined other Spanish exiles. He died at Ferrara in 1783.
◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father James Woulfe 1724-1783
Fr James Woulfe was born in Puerto de Santa Maria in Spain of Irish parents, in 1724, and entered the Society at Seville in 1748.
By the year 1754 he was in Peru and already a priest. At the time of expulsion he was Acting Prefect of Houses of Retreat at Arequipa. He survived the horrors of the voyage home and landed in Italy, where he joined his exiled Spanish brethren.
He died at Ferrara in 1783.