Ranelagh

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Ranelagh

91 Name results for Ranelagh

7 results directly related Exclude narrower terms

Andrews, Paul W, 1927-2018, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

Baggot, P Anthony, 1918-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/585
  • Person
  • 21 October 1918-19 March 2001

Born: 01 October 1918, Dublin
Entered: 14 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1954, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 19 March 2001, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001

Obituary

Fr Anthony (Tony) Baggot (1918-2000)

21st Oct. 1918: Born in Dublin
Early education at Dominican College, Cabra and Belvedere College
14th Sept. 1936: Entered the Society at St. Mary's, Emo
15th Sept. 1938: First Vows at St. Mary's, Emo
1938 - 1941: Rathfarnham, studying Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1944 - 1946: Belvedere College - Regency
1946 - 1950: Milltown Park - studying Theology
31st July 1949: Ordained at Milltown Park
1950 - 1951: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1951 - 1953: Emo - Socius to Novice Director
1953 - 1959: Clongowes - Rector
2nd Feb. 1954: Final Vows
1959 - 1962: Rathfarnham - Spiritual Father to Juniors; Assistant Director of Retreat House
1962 - 1969: Leeson St. - Director Sodalities; Editor of Madonna
1969 - 1978: CIR - Superior
1978 - 1983: CIR - Director Marriage Courses,
1983 - 2001: Gonzaga - Director Marriage Courses, Courses in spirituality and relationships.

Tony was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in July 1999 suffering from prostate cancer. He remained in reasonably good health until three months before his death, when walking became difficult for him. He died peacefully at Cherryfield at 3.30 a.m. on Monday, 19th March, 2001.

Myles O' Reilly preached at Tony's Funeral Mass...

We are all here because we have known Tony Baggot in some capacity - as a friend, a relative, a Jesuit colleague, a counsellor, a participant in one of his retreats or workshops, or a grateful reader of his writings, or a carer from the Jesuit nursing home in Cherryfield. We have all been deeply touched and enriched by his gentle spirit, by his wisdom, compassion and his kindness, We are here because we want to acknowledge our love for him and our gratitude to God for him. We are only a small fraction of the many thousands of people that Tony touched throughout his 64 years as a Jesuit. To Tony all this positive regard for him would be totally mystifying. He placed himself in the lowest seat at the table of the Lord, but we intuitively know that Jesus will place him in the highest seat - “Well done good and faithful servant, come and inherit the kingdom which God has prepared for you since the beginning of the world”.

Tony had a secret weapon that enabled these qualities that endeared him so much to others to shine forth and through him. A prayer that he loved and said everyday and that he said frequently at his weekly Mass with the boys and the teachers here in Gonzaga for the last 15 years of his life, barring the last two when he got sick. It is a prayer he often used during his Retreats and Workshops also. It goes like this:

Lord Jesus I give you my hands to do your work
I give you my feet to go your way
I give you my ears to listen like you I give you my tongue that I may speak your words
I give you my mind that I may think like you I give you my heart that you may love in me
I give you my spirit that you may pray in me
I give you my whole self that you may grow in me So that it is you, Lord Jesus, that may live, love and pray in me.

What we loved in Tony were the qualities of Jesus shining through him - the Beatitudes - poor in spirit, gentle, merciful, a peacemaker etc. There are many eras to Tony's life, an only child born to Patrick and Harriet Baggot. Tony a Belvederian, who as a boy was a splendid pianist and tennis player, joined the Jesuits at the age of 18 and did the usual training. He was ordained in 1950 and only then did his interesting and varied pastoral life begin. He started with two years as Socius to the Novice Master in Emo.

Then, at the age of 32, he was made Rector of Clongowes for 6 years - he was the youngest Rector ever in the history of the Irish Province. One of our Jesuit Gonzaga community remembers at the age of 11 going to Clongowes and Tony was the first Jesuit he shook hands with. Little did he know that he would be the last Jesuit to hold Tony's band before he died last Monday night - on the Feast of St Joseph, patron of the dying.

After Clongowes Tony went back again to formation work, to being spiritual father to the young Jesuit Juniors in Rathfarnham for 3 years, and also to being a retreat director at the retreat house there. Then, in 1962, he was appointed as Editor of the Madonna, which came on in leaps and bounds under his control. That was where I first met Tony through his writings in the Madonna. I used to marvel, as a novice and a Junior, at his ability to weave passages from novelists like Graham Greene and Morris West into his articles and show how all that is, is Holy, and that God is the deepest inside of us.

Then, in 1969, Tony went to NCIR from where he became director of the Jesuit pre-marriage course for 17 years. He became a legend in his own time in his work. On some of his courses he had over 100 couples, and had no difficulty in filling the Milltown Park hall for a public lecture on marriage. During this time he wrote 3 books on marriage that were best sellers in their day, “To have and to hold”, “You and your marriage” and “Enjoy a happy marriage”.

Tony was a great listener and was particularly sensitive to women. He was an intuitive feeling type, as in the Myers Briggs personality definition, rather than a rational thinker. He learned from experience more than from principles. I am currently chaplain to a group of young married couples that meet every fortnight to help one another grow in their marriage. Only last month one of them read “To have and to hold”, and was enthralled by it, and wants it to be one of the prescribed books for the group. During these 17 years Tony gradually got into counselling, and helped hundreds, if not thousands, of couples.

One of those couples who met Tony 38 years ago, and who are here today, went to Tony with a dilemma – The mother of the Bride to be, who was not too keen to let her daughter go, said her daughter was too young and wasn't ready to get married etc. Tony paused for a while then broke into a grin. “Why don't you go to the maternity boutique in Leeson Street, and buy a maternity dress and hang it up in your wardrobe - that will surely help her to let go!!!”

Tony came to Gonzaga here in 1983 and continued his marriage work for 3 more years. After that he became a full time therapeutic counsellor and ran courses on spirituality and relationships in Tabor House, Chrysalis Conference Centre, and in the Dominican centre in Sion Hill. He became very interested in healing early childhood wounds and pioneered some splendid work in this area, which is still carried on in Chrysalis today.

He never charged any money for his work but he received so many donations that he refused to take a state pension – “Others might need it more than me”, he would say. All this wonderful productivity and creativity came from Tony's depths and from his spirituality. Some quotations from Tony's writings will give us an idea of what resonated with Tony.

Inevitably we live in the presence of holy mystery, a presence we cannot escape, for we are immersed in it. In music, in the sea, in a flower, in a leaf, in an act of kindness, I can see what we call God in all these things."

I said to the cherry tree, “Tell me of God”, and the cherry tree blossomed. That is more eloquent than any definition of God for me.

When I address God I do not address one who is outside. God is the deepest inside of everything, myself included, and the goal of personal growth is the birth of God in the soul. Life itself is the primary sacrament. Religious faith is human life seen as a disclosure of God.

What is called losing the faith is often not so, but a search for a deeper one.

God speaks from the depths of the heart, not the top of the head.

The movement of God, or the movement, which is God, activates me, flows through me.

Rather than governing from without, God is enlivening from within.

This one work has to do - Let all God's glory through (G M Hopkins)

Spiritual life is the flowering cosmic energy and Jesus, as the high point of God's presence, released a new spiritual power - the Christ power. That presence which radiated from his physical body in Palestine is to radiate through his mystical body in the world now.

He was one who, precisely by being human in the fullest degree, was God's existence in the world -- His divinity or godly quality was not something different from his humanity but was his humanity at its highest point. The Ignatian description for Tony's spiritual journey during these fruitful years would be that he lived the grace of the Second Week. That is, working and labouring with Christ in bringing about his kingdom in the world. But little did he know that, like his master, Jesus, his last few years would be a sharing in the sufferings of Christ before he entered into his glory.

Tony gave his last retreat almost three years ago. From then on his health went slowly into decline. The slow onslaught of what turned out to be cancer of the bone began. Tony lost all his physical energy, he lost all taste for things he liked - gardening, reading and writing. His memory was deteriorating, too. He could no longer do his counselling. He loved being a priest and felt he understood it more richly than ever. He cried with frustration at the loss of not being able to minister any more.

The black dog of depression set in with bouts of scrupulosity. He felt so guilty at occupying a room in Cherryfield at such expense. Surely he wasn't sick enough. He was, like Christ on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me”. He felt so empty. The days were so long - nothing to do - nothing to live for – he couldn't pray, read, think.

Even though this was his inner state most of the time, he was always so gracious with the nurses, never failed to be aware of any act of kindness and always quick to thank them. Thank you for your care' he used to say and they grew to love him. They could see that there was something special about Tony, a childlike transparency, a constant sincere gratitude, a freedom from pretence, an honesty of feeling whether positive or negative, never a sharp or nasty word - always gentle. Their acts of kindness were his experience of God during those last dark years, as also were the visits of his friends that he so much appreciated.

Last September a change came about in Tony - a peace came into his soul and it came from saying over and over again this simple prayer every night in the dark of the chapel for half an hour. There was more surrender and humble simplicity in this prayer than in the previous one. Through this prayer he found the peace and the capacity to accept what was happening to him.

I place my hands in yours. I place my will in yours, Lord
I place my will in yours. I place my days in yours, Lord
I place my days in yours. I place my thoughts in yours, Lord
I place my thoughts in yours. I place my heart in yours, Lord
I place my heart in yours. I place my hands in yours, Lord I place my hands in yours.

Angela Ashwin

Whenever his friends would visit him in Cherryfield he would always be glad to give them his blessing before they left. He would always say with a sign of the Cross on the forehead - May Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit guard you and guide you on your way'. One day, close to his death, I was with him, and was about to leave, but Tony wasn't offering his blessing. “Aren't you going to give me your blessing?” He looked confused. The words wouldn't come to him. And then, after a pause, he said “My suffering is my prayer for you”. We can be sure that his sufferings were offered for all of us, not just me.

All he had left to give were his sufferings and his gratitude. Like his saviour on the cross, on Monday night, surrounded by a few friends Tony's work was finished. With Him he could say “It is finished. Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit”. “Lord Jesus receive my soul”. A few hours before he died, Tony's eyes came back from their unconscious glazed state, and focusing, looked intently across to the far window as if he was seeing somebody, he smiled and sank back into his glazed look again. Blessed are those who die in the Lord. Happy indeed, the Spirit says. Now they can rest forever after their work, since their good deeds go with them. (Apoc. 14.13) We surely have an advocate in heaven in Tony Baggott.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 2001

Obituary

Tony Baggot SJ

The Community and College gladly mourn Fr. Tony Baggot SJ, who died peace fully after a long illness on the 19th March, the feast of St. Joseph: gladly, because he richly deserves to be with his Lord; mourn, because we have lost a truly gentle man, who brought peace, comfort and solace to so many of us and others over a long life. Tony's main work throughout his 64 years of Jesuit life was in relationship counselling, especially marriage and personal development counselling. Through his pre-marriage courses, which he directed for 17 years, he let Christ touch many thousands of lives and relieved so many from wrongful perceptions of God; Tony's love and care modelled God's love for them.

Tony came to Gonzaga in 1983 to continue his very extensive counselling prac tice. He joined in with the College pastoral programme by helping with the daily Morning Mass, the sacrament of Reconciliation and other liturgical celebrations, especially at Christmas and Easter and Graduation. His stately figure roamed the grounds, engaged many in conversation, pointing out God's gesture to us in the environment; Tony contributed to beautifying the environment by his work on the rockery beside the tennis courts and the flowerbed at the house. Tony's knowledge of the trees, their provenance and characteristics, was amazing, but only to those who did not appreciate his integration of the whole of creation with God's caring provision for all our needs, body, mind and spirit.

Tony's touchstone prayer reveals the man and the spirit he would have us live by:

Lord Jesus I give you my hands to do your work
I give you my feet to go your way
I give you my ears to listen like you
I give you my tongue that I may speak your words
I give you my mind that I may think like you
I give you my heart that you may love in me
I give you my spirit that you may pray in me
I give you my whole self that you may grow in me
So that it is you, Lord Jesus, that may live, love and pray in me.
(From Fr. Myles O'Reilly's homily)

Tony's Funeral Mass in the college was attended by his cousins, a goodly number of his Jesuit confreres, and a not surprisingly large number of friends and acquain tances. The occasion was graced by an excellent homily by Fr. Myles O'Reilly SJ and the Senior Choir, under the baton of Mr. Potts and organist Mr. Murphy. Fr. Rector and the Community would like to thank all who participated in celebrat ing Tony's life and who have conveyed their sympathies.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Fr John A Dunne SJ

Bannon, Andrew TJ, 1929-1997, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/496
  • Person
  • 24 December 1929-02 November 1997

Born: 24 December 1929, Dublin
Entered: 16 March 1951, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 02 February 1962, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 02 November 1997, Gonzaga College SJ, Ranelagh, Dublin

Barry, James, 1925-2002, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/555
  • Person
  • 23 July 1925-27 November 2002

Born: 23 July 1925, Mallow, County Cork
Entered: 11 March 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1955, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 27 November 2002, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary

Br James (Jim) Barry (1925-2002)

23rd July 1925: Born in Mallow, Co. Cork
Early education in St Peter's, Bray, and Presentation College, Bray
11 March 1944: Entered the Society at Emo
12th March 1946: First Vows at Emo
1946 - 1956: Emo- Gardening.
15h August 1955: Final Vows
1956 - 1958: Milltown Park - Gardening, Farming
1958 - 1964: Clongowes - Supervisor of Staff
1964 - 1965: St. Ignatius, Galway - Supervisor of Staff.
1965 - 1974: Catholic Workers College - Assisted in the Community
1974 - 1975: Crescent/Mungret - arranging for closing down of school buildings
1975 - 1991: Gonzaga College - Supervisor in College; Sacristan
1991 - 2002: Leeson Street -
1991 - 1997: Minister; Assistant Treasurer
1997 - 2002: Minister; Assistant Treasurer; Health Prefect

Following several months of concern about his health among members of his community, Jim was prevailed upon to go to Cherryfield for a rest on 25th October, 2002. He was transferred to St. Vincent's Private Hospital for tests on 4th November, where he was diagnosed as having an advanced form of lung cancer. He was half-way through a course of radium treatment, when his condition deteriorated suddenly on the evening of Sunday, 24 November, and he was found to have contracted pneumonia. That night, and during the following day, he experienced periods of distress, but on Tuesday he became more comfortable, and slipped into a coma. He died peacefully on Wednesday, 27" November, at about 7.30 p.m.

Fergus O'Keefe writes:
Jim Barry may have been born in North Cork but his first years were spent in West Cork. His father lived and worked in Timoleague. Jim always identified with his native county's successes in hurling and gaelic football. The family moved to Bray, where he received his early education. He always remained close to his family and was a regular visitor to his brother's and sister's homes in Bray. One nephew, Oliver Barry, an Oblate, is a parish priest in England.

Jim spent thirteen years in Emo as postulant, novice, refectorian and gardener. He had a powerful physique, tall, spare and strong. A novice on experiment in those days tells of being put standing on the head of the refectory squeegee, already weighted with lumps of lead, while Jim hauled it to and fro to bring up the shine on the waxed floor. He had a droll sense of humour, asking another novice, “Do you know how to play darts?" "Then dart down there with some plates.” At harvest time when all hands used be called to the farmyard to help, Jim was to be seen heaving huge sacks of grain effortlessly from the threshing machine to the waiting trailer. When the novices, teenage townies most of them, would begin to wilt, Jim would spur them on with an encouraging word and that memorable basso-profundo chuckle that seemed to rumble up from his boots. He was a faithful supporter of the local Emo footballers and would often travel to matches or to Croke Park with them.

For ten years (1946-1956) Jim worked in the walled garden at Emo with John Treacy who had worked there in earlier times under the head-gardener, Dan Deegan. Dan could remember the Earl of Portarlington on horseback marking out with canes the spots where the Wellingtonia avenue saplings were to be planted. John used to speak, engagingly, of “the Lord's time”. Years later when Jim was in Dublin the papers carried a death notice for a John Treacy in Emo. Several members of the Province travelled to Emo for the funeral, only to discover that retired gardener John was in attendance, too. Next time the canny Jim was visiting Emo, John chided him, “You never came to my funeral!”

After two years spent in the garden and on the farm at Milltown Park, Jim was appointed to Clongowes. From 1958 to 1964 he had charge of the many staff there, skilled and unskilled. Most of the refectory and cleaning staff then were young lads who lived on the premises. Jim's room adjoined their dormitory (now the SRPA loft) and he would have had them into work by 6 a.m. In those days there were no summer projects, as now, when staff could be retained and gainfully employed while school was out. Instead Jim organised ambitious schemes, joining in the work - and the fun - himself. One year it was all hands on deck to rip up the worn-out wooden floorboards of the boys' refectory. Dry fill was wheel-barrowed in, concrete poured and skimmed, tiles laid and sealed – a perfect finish, still good to this day. In the course of another summer, indoor and outdoor staffs combined to surface the entire length of the side avenue, boiling the tar, spreading it, coating it with limestone chippings and rolling it, proud as punch and enjoying themselves in the summer sunshine under Jim's genial supervision.

A year in Galway was followed by nine assisting in the community at the Catholic Workers College. Changes of Jesuit personnel and policy in what became the College of Industrial Relations did not affect Jim greatly and he always seemed content there, getting on well with community, staff and students alike.

In 1974 he was chosen for a daunting task - to assist Fr Scan McCarron in closing down Mungret College, disposing of furniture, etc. One morning Sean failed to turn up for Mass. Jim went to his room and found him dead. Being on his own after that, he was anxious about security; so he spread the rumour among the locals that the college was haunted. If Jim was to be believed (frequently problematic – Jim was a past master at 'codding', the national pastime), the rumour was not unfounded. One night the remains of several Jesuits that had been exhumed from a small burial plot close to the school were being held on the premises in readiness for reinterment next day in the enlarged Jesuit plot in the old Mungret Abbey cemetery. As Jim told it, Sean and himself were wakened in the middle of that same night by persistent ringing on the door bell.

Except for that year in Mungret, from 1964 on Jim was to then spend thirty-six years in Dublin. In those days he was a familiar, if incongruous, sight setting off to visit family in Bray, this gentle giant on his wee Honda 50. There was a touch of bravado about his regular trips to the Forty Foot for the Christmas Day swim and many an afternoon in between, wrapped only in a faded gaberdene. No leathers for Jim! No persuading him to invest in a bigger bike. He had always tried to save money wherever he had worked; so he was never going to start spending on himself.

As part of the administrative team at Gonzaga (1975 1991), Jim was, as one colleague recalls, "very dependable, a great companion." He related well with staff, treating all with respect and good humour. Some became his friends for life. Standards of maintenance, decoration and cleanliness improved greatly under his leadership. With the proliferation of prefabs, so difficult to keep clean, Gonzaga, of all places, had become a bit of a slum. Jim and his staff were happy to see the end of them. He coped well with two successive sets of contractors, come on site to build, first, the eight-classroom block and, later, the science building. With his keen eye for good workers, he spotted a likely candidate for groundsman in the foreman on the latter building. Typical of Jim's tongue-in-cheek humour was his instruction, to the consternation of the same groundsman, that the great purple beech on the front lawn, the glory of the college grounds, would have to come down. Needless to say, it is still standing, as magnificent as ever.

Those were happy years for Jim. The boys used to crowd into his little office at breaks to join in the craic. He shared their enthusiasms, especially for sport. The boys were fond of him - he was a ready and sympathetic listener. In his own schooldays at Presentation College, Bray, he had been known to take a penalty at soccer with such force that it carried both ball and goalie to the back of the net. His rugby loyalties were divided between Gonzaga and Pres Bray, where a nephew was on the cup team. Jim supported winners and was annoyed when Gonzaga let the Senior Cup slip out of their grasp in the semi final. He switched allegiance to Liverpool at a time when they were on the up-and-up in the League.

It was the same when Jim went to the races. He always seemed to back winners; at least, the community never heard of him losing. He loved horses and claimed to be able to spot the winner by “the glint in the eye”. Even for years after Jim had left Gonzaga, appreciative parents would present him with an annual pass to the enclosure at Leopardstown Racecourse. At the races past students would gather round as soon as they saw him. At Jim's funeral the mother of a past Gonzagan spoke of him as “a dote”. She recalled that whenever the parents were organising a function he would welcome them with a warm smile and would have everything they needed set out for them.

Sadly, in latter years Jim seemed to lack the energy to attend race meetings. His years at Leeson St (1991-2002) were dogged by ill-health, yet he was determined to carry out to the full all his tasks as Minister, Assistant Treasurer and Health Prefect. His total dedication, even when his energies were fading, was remarkable. Rather than look for help, he would still try to do everything himself, even when he was no longer able. His feet gave him trouble; he couldn't walk or stand for any length of time. His prayer-life was undemonstrative. Every morning he would spend half-an-hour in the community oratory and again ten minutes at night.

Over his last few weeks at St. Vincent's Private Hospital his sheer goodness made a deep impression on the staff there. Despite his suffering and weakness he was totally undemanding, He never once rang the bell for assistance. Most of all, the nurses loved his smile, bashful maybe, but always warm. The only word his friend Fr Todd Morrissey heard him say was “Tough going”.

-oOo-

In the November issue of the Messenger, Paul Andrews writes of Jim: “Fifteen years ago he was operated on for cancer, something went wrong, and he was at the point of death. Later he told me about the day of extreme crisis. Though apparently unconscious, he was aware of a sense of foreboding around his hospital bed, and he felt his body in terrible shape while medics worked feverishly to keep him alive. Then Jim's mind withdrew from the body, and he remembers moving across a bridge towards a bright, beautiful place on the other side. He was happy, buoyed up by a feeling of joy and anticipation. Round the middle of the bridge the joy was interrupted. People were pulling him back, and when he came to himself he was, sadly, in the hospital bed, in a painfully sick body, disappointed and rather angry at being hauled back from happiness. For the next fourteen years he laboured in an increasingly sick body, and was noted for his tender care of sick people. Perhaps he could convey to those who were facing the end, that there was a lot to look forward to, and that the last act of life is beautiful. When his final sickness overtook him, he went in extraordinary peace”.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1991

Appreciation

Jim Barry SJ

Brother Barry, Jim to his friends, left Gonzaga this summer quietly and unexpectedly. He occupied the post of Administrator for seventeen years. Jim is a big man, strong and quietly courageous. Gonzaga's urban setting and attractive grounds have made it the target of occasional hostility. Jim's determination stood the test of many such an unpleasantness. The school's ivory redoubts had a powerful defender. His practical abilities were many and varied. He repaired broken windows, hacksawed sealed lockers, repaired over-head projectors with equal patience and thoroughness.

He was most frequently found, untipped cigarette in hand, seated in his narrow Spartan office. To offer him a 'safer' brand was to cause him quiet amusement. He welcomed callers, who frequently remained conversing until displaced by his next client. He became confidant to students whose status did not normally bring them into benign contact with adults. He had a remarkable understanding of and tough sympathy for the marginalised underdog. His influence in certain circles was as considerable as it was informal. He was unofficial Form-Tutor to the Gonzaga underworld.

Jim's comments were refreshingly free from the evasions and obfuscation of institutional man. His analysis of school current affairs had an uncompromising clarity, simple yet thought provoking.

His role involved a complex of major and minor responsibilities. They ranged in time from 8 o'clock in the morning until 11 o'clock at night. They varied, expanded or contracted entirely, frustratingly at the whim of others. He opened all doors, conferring all keys. To lose one was, in his eyes, the grossest of moral turpitudes. Staff members who erred in this regard skulked belatedly to his office to cringe and be shriven. They received a replacement key imploding painfully under his querulous gaze. One staff member was so fearful and guilt-ridden that he changed the lock on his classroom door, financing the deceit himself. Inevitably, Jim discovered this crime and sentenced him to years of internal exile. He had subtle ways of exercising sanctions against those who would not accept his standard of security or order.

His interests extended well beyond the perimeter of the College. He was a keen racing man and follower of Gaelic football. When his beloved Cork was playing, Jim had no time for objective comment. You were 'for him or agin him’ in most things. His willingness to be available each day to carry out often irritating tasks patiently and efficiently was at times truly heroic. I will remember his tall strong figure with waves of pupils washing around him as he dispensed Mars bars and packets of biscuits at lunch-time.

John Mulgrew

Benn, William J, 1882-1952, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/917
  • Person
  • 06 May 1882-21 February 1951

Born: 06 May 1882, Castleconnell, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1901, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 June 1915, Woodstock College MD, USA
Final vows: 02 February 1919
Died: 21 February 1951, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA, USA - Oregonensis Province (ORE)

Transcribed HIB to TAUR : 1903; TAUR to CAL : 1909; CAL to ORE

Bourke, Gerard, 1926-2017, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to JPN : 16 December 1960

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/much-travelled-jesuit/

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

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

Brady, John M, 1935-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/849
  • Person
  • 03 September 1935-15 April 2014

Born: 03 September 1935, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1953, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1973, College of Industrial Relations, Dublin
Died: 15 April 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1970 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuit-economist-honoured/

John Brady SJ was conferred with an Honorary Fellowship by the National College of Ireland on Friday 20 Nov,’09. Many former colleagues, Jesuits and friends were there to celebrate his achievement. John Brady SJ spent thirty years of his life at the NCI which was formerly known as the National College of Industrial Relations, based in Ranelagh. According to Dr Tony White of the Milltown Institute, who gave the citation, John Brady was a moderniser. He said it was mainly during his time that the college moved from being a college of adult education to a mainline third-level institution. He also oversaw the employment of lay staff along with Jesuits.”That expansion of course increased the cost base but John’s skills extended to ensuring that the College increased its financial resources to pay for this expansion. He may have had a vow of poverty, but he understood money. After all he is an economist!” Click here to read the full text of Tony White’s speech.
Citation for Reverend John Brady SJ on the occasion of the conferring of an Honorary Fellowship by the National College of Ireland , 20 November 2009
It is very appropriate that we should today be conferring an honorary fellowship on Father John Brady. John Brady is somebody who has made an immense contribution to developing this college and bringing the National College of Ireland to its present position, and it is right that we should acknowledge this contribution in a tangible way.
John Brady is a northside Dubliner. He was educated at Kostka College in Clontarf. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1953. Following two years of novitiate at Emo he continued his studies of economics and history at University College Dublin where he graduated in 1958. Three years of the study of philosophy followed at Tullabeg, after which he spent four years teaching at Crescent College in Limerick and Belvedere College. He then went to Milltown Park to study theology and was ordained there in 1968.
He came to this college in 1970; at that time it was known as the National College of industrial Relations and was located in Ranelagh. He would remain a member of the college staff for thirty years. During his first two years he completed a master’s in economics at University College Dublin. In 1972 he was appointed Director of the College and he held that position for ten years.
John Brady was a moderniser. During his time as Director NCIR made the transition from being primarily a college of adult education to becoming a mainline third-level college. The College had opened as the Catholic Workers College in 1951, and it developed from the skills and contacts of a small and remarkable group of Jesuits in the 1950s and 1960s.
Most of them were still at the College when John joined the staff. He built on the tradition they had established. He consolidated relations with the social partners, and the National College of Industrial Relations became a meeting point for unions and management. John Brady helped to make it very much a crossroads and a good place for what we now call networking.
The College built up a unique niche for itself in industrial relations nationally. John had the diplomatic skills to enable the College to maintain good relations and respect with both sides of industry, no mean achievement in the Ireland of that time. The traditional links with the trade union movement which had been there from the beginning were built on further , and in addition the College became a nationally recognised centre of excellence for teaching what was then referred to as personnel management, and what is today called human resource management.
That was the point at which the College made the transition to becoming a third level institution. John Brady saw the need for external accreditation and recognition of the College’s awards and under him NCIR had its first experience of state recognition with the National Council for Educational Awards, the forerunner of what is now HETAC The National Diploma in Industrial Relations Studies achieved recognition in 1976. This was a major breakthrough because there were at that time many, including a number of influential public servants, who were reluctant to see private colleges like this college achieving state recognition. Under John planning also began on the next phase, which was the move upwards to degree work which took place in the 1980s. These steps constituted the largest and most important transformation in the College’s history and they happened under John’s leadership.
While John was the driver in transforming the College into a third level institution and meeting all the quality inputs, demands and targets that this required, it was also a priority for him that the College would not neglect its roots and that its newly acquired status would not choke the important role which it had always given to access, to looking after those who were often overlooked by the rest of the higher education system. For him the commitment to access, to ensuring that people could have a second chance at achieving their potential, was something of a mission. He ensured that this would remain a college where so far as possible every individual, regardless of what their previous educational history had been, would be afforded an opportunity to develop their full potential. More than anyone else he helped maintain that balance which saw this college achieve genuine third level status, while at the same time maintaining that commitment to offering a very wide level of access to higher education that has put NCI into the unique position nationally which was recognised by the OECD report in 2004.
By the same token John was good at spotting talent, and good also at letting people have their head. In his time as Director the staff grew significantly and he was the one who introduced the first cohort of lay staff. Previously the staff had been almost exclusively Jesuit. That expansion of course increased the cost base but John’s skills extended to ensuring that the College increased its financial resources to pay for this expansion. He may have had a vow of poverty, but he understood money. After all he is an economist.
John Brady has also during his career been a regular contributor to newspapers and journals on economic and social matters. His primary interest was economics, but he was one of those economists whose scope was wide and who wrote on political economy and the social impact of economic decisions and trends. He was also one of those people who reflected and wrote about how the problems of Northern Ireland might eventually be brought to resolution. He was not just a highly practical and effective administrator but by his writing and his activity in the public arena he helped to create the acceptance of this college as one where serious scholarship and intellectual reflection took place.
Asked what characterised John Brady, one of those who worked with him in the early years of the College suggested that he was somebody who offered calm leadership to very strong individuals. He is indeed a calm, gentle and courteous man, a widely – read man and someone with a great interest in music. You are liable to bump into him regularly at the National Concert Hall. Nevertheless behind that gentle exterior there was the passion, the determination, the steel and the vision that tend to be marks of successful leaders of complex institutions like this College.
It is fitting then that this serious scholar and far-seeing manager should be numbered among the honorary fellows of this College, and it is my privilege and pleasure to commend Father John Brady SJ for this distinction.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 156 : Summer 2014

Obituary

Fr John Brady (1925-2014)

3 September 1935 : Born in Dublin
Early education at Holy Faith Convent and Kostka College
7 September 1953: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1955: First Vows at Emo
1955 - 1957: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1957 - 1961: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1961 - 1963: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
1963 - 1965: Belvedere College - Teacher
1965 - 1969: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
10 July 1968: Ordained at Milltown Park
1969 - 1970: Tertianship at St. Beuno's
1970 - 1984: College of Industrial Relations
1970 - 1972: Lecturer; Post-grad. Studies in Economics (MA from UCD)
1973 - 1982: Director of CIR; Lecturer
15 August 1973: Final Vows
1982 - 1983: Sabbatical year
1983 - 1984: Lecturer in Economics at C.I.R.
1984 - 2014: Gonzaga College - Lecturer in Economics at NCIR; Writer
1987 - 1994: Lecturer in Economics at NCR; Writer; Research Lecturer
1994 - 2000: Chaplain and Lecturer in Economics at NCIR; Writer; Research
2000 - 2001: Writer; Research Lecturer
2001 - 2004: Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Sacred Space contributor
2004 - 2010: Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Prefect of Health; Writer
2010: Prefect of Health. Assistant Chaplain Cherryfield Lodge; Writer, Emeritus
2010 - 2011: Assistant Chaplain at Cherryfield Lodge; Writer, Emeritus Lecturer at NCI
2011 - 2012: Emeritus Lecturer at National College of Ireland.
2012 - 2014: Resident, Cherryfield Lodge. Prayed for the Church and the Society

Fr. Brady was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 26th October 2012 when he needed nursing care. His condition deteriorated over time, more so over the last couple of months. He died peacefully before 6:00 am on l5th April 2014. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Fr John Brady died in Cherryfield Lodge on 15 April, at the age of 78. The big crowds at his Removal and Funeral Mass were a reminder of his range of interests, and of the affection with which so many regarded him. He was educated at an interesting school with Jesuit roots, Kostka College in Clontarf, founded and managed by Louis Roden who had been a Jesuit novice. John entered the Jesuits at 18. Son of a civil servant, with roots in Cavan and Meath, his Jesuit life was mainly centred round the College of Industrial Relations, where he was first a lecturer in Economics, then director of the college from 1973-1982, then, for a further 17 years, lecturer and chaplain. His publications, in clear and dispassionate prose, centred mainly on questions of economic and social policy, in the Republic and in Northern Ireland.

He had joys and interests outside his work, notably in art, tennis, music and sailing (he was active in the Glénans organisation, first as an apprentice sailor, later as an instructor). John was open-minded, supportive of younger colleagues, and with a keen curiosity about the world he lived in. As a scholastic in Crescent College in 1962, he had shown a capacity for strategic thinking and action. Brendan Staunton, then a Fifth Year pupil, remembers how John was introduced to the tennis team as their new coach. “He looked the part, with his dazzling head of blond hair. His speaking style however was new to us, and his knowledge of tennis sounded esoteric, most un-Limerick-like. The team progressed to the final, in which they beat Glenstal. At a school assembly John Brady was acclaimed for his shrewd knowledge of the game and his team. What we didn't realise until well after our win was something John Brady did behind the scenes. Glenstal had played their previous rounds on hard courts. John quietly managed to have the final played on grass, in the Club where four of the team were members. And that made all the difference!”

In his homily at John's Requiem Mass, Bill Toner noted the same capacity for strategic thinking:

I was only head-hunted once in my life, and that was by John, who had just been appointed Director of the College of Industrial Relations. He was very strategic in his approach to the job. One aspect of that was that he kept an eye out for young Jesuits who might be persuaded to work in the College. I had studied accountancy in my younger days, and John had just finished designing a National Diploma course in industrial relations which included a subject called 'Financial Control Systems'. So I was quickly in his sights. Anyway the result was that I spent 17 happy years in the CIR, and for the first seven John was my boss.

John was great to work with. When I look back at it now I imagine he must have found me insufferable at times, but he never showed it. He was very humble, and that is why the Beatitudes came to me when I was suggesting a Gospel for the Mass. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. I was full of new ideas when I arrived and I must have frequently strayed onto his patch, but he never pulled rank or said I am the boss here. He seemed to enjoy the contribution made by the various young Turks, Jesuit and lay, who came to work in the College. He was not himself a revolutionary by temperament, but he was greatly fascinated by people who wanted to shake things up and rock the boat and was always ready to give them their head. The result was that there was a great atmosphere of freedom and bold ideas in the College. Lecturers were, to my knowledge, never reined in. If a lecturer was reported to have said something outrageous, rallying people to the cause of the class war or something like that, John would find it amusing rather than shocking. He presided every week at extraordinary faculty meetings - I mean extraordinary in the sense of bizarre rather than unscheduled - which Fr. Bill McKenna used to call the weekly blood letting. These were an occasion for outrageous statements and the taking of indefensible positions. I don't think John could always have found these amusing, but he presided over them with great calm and dignity. I think he regarded them as part of the cut and thrust of academic life. It is said that Henry Kissinger was once given a choice between being president of an American university or working to solve Vietnam conflict and he chose Vietnam as the less stressful of the two. In the end indeed the pressures of being Director of the College for nine years began to tell on John and he gave up the job in 1981, confining himself after that to lecturing in economics.

As Director, John had a great relationship with the students. He took very seriously the characteristics of Jesuit education which have been developed over centuries. In the current Jesuit document on education we can read: The human person, understood in the context of his or her eternal destiny, is the central focus of the Jesuit college. Jesuit education insists on individual care and concern for each person. It invites each student onto their unique journey of personal, moral and spiritual development. Our Mission is to help the students grow holistically. John really believed in that. He encouraged us on the staff to get to know all the students personally, never regarding meetings with individual students as a waste of time. In the early days many of the trade union students had left school at 14 but John was always quick to spot potential and he would talk to them and encourage them to go as far as they could and as far as they wanted to. Many people owe the flowering of their personal academic development to the College and to John. John brought the same concern for the personal care of students to his work as a member of the board of Greendale Community School in Kilbarrack.

John was every inch a Jesuit. He loved the Society. I could say that he was very faithful in going to functions in various Houses, but it was much more than that – he really enjoyed meeting the brethren. In fact he was exceptionally good at meeting people from all walks of life and maintaining firm friendships. He had great friends in the trade union movement, and also in management. John was not naïve. He knew that there were many people in the trade union movement who didn't trust the College and what it was doing, seeing it as an effort to de-radicalise the trade union movement. On the other hand he knew that there were employers and managers who didn't like us because we were giving their workers strange ideas and teaching them to speak up for themselves. The college brought many of these people, managers and union officials, together under the one roof. I can remember one occasion when the lights were on all night in the college. It marked a pause for breath during an E.S.B. strike. The College was chosen as a neutral venue where the E.S.B. unions and management could hammer out an agreement, which they did at 7 a.m. A number of commentators, some critical and some not, have suggested that the College played an important role in developing the concept of partnership in the conduct of industrial relations in Ireland. Although national wage agreements may now be a thing of the past, they probably played a crucial role in the steadying of the ship after some of the disastrous and destructive labour and management disputes of the 60s.
It is interesting to note that seven national wage agreements were negotiated during the period that John Brady was Director of the College. Although John was not directly involved in these, he and the College were definitely making a contribution, big or small, to the creation of a climate where people in industry could talk to one another. John had so many interests outside the College that it would be impossible to list them all. He was a man of deep culture. He had Norah McGuiness paintings hanging in the College tea room before most people had even heard of Norah McGuiness. He loved the theatre and good books. He was passionately interested in politics. He came to the College just as the conflict in Northern Ireland broke out, and he was a leading member of the Jesuit network, Jesuits in Northern Ireland, where he made very thoughtful contributions, with interesting angles on difficult questions. Blessed are the peacemakers - John tried his best to be a peacemaker whether in the field of industrial relations or in the Northern Ireland conflict.

John's basic discipline was economics, and he did his master's degree in the economics of transport in Ireland, a subject which fascinated him. He was an academic in the best sense of the world, not because he liked arguing about arcane concepts, but because he could see the power of ideas-and-solid-arguments to bring about change. He was a very popular lecturer in the college. Remarkably, considering his success as a Director, he suffered from a very bad stammer, and nothing showed the determination in his character more than his refusal to let that prevent him from doing anything he wanted to do, whether it was saying a public Mass, or giving a public lecture, or addressing the students at conferring. It was in itself a lesson to all of us not to let some real or imagined problem pull us down. Again, only a very humble person could deal with something like that – he was not too proud to let his fragility show.

John was a very generous person, and could rarely resist helping a poor person who asked him for help. Some would say that he was generous to a fault, but perhaps that accusation would also be laid at the feet of Jesus Christ. St Paul said of Jesus: "Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us”. I don't think John's generosity was a fault that he needed to worry about when he went to meet his maker.

It was sad that John's last years were blighted so much by illness and by memory failure. A time like this is a good time to remember him at his very best, as a good and talented and prayerful Jesuit, to thank God for the contribution he made to the economic and cultural life of his country. We pray for the consolation of his relatives and friends, especially Luke, his brother, his sister in law Catherine, his niece Lisanne, and his nephew Colin. And we pray for John himself that he is now at eternal peace with God.

Bill Toner

Brenan, Richard Henry, 1918-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/495
  • Person
  • 07 April 1918-31 December 1995

Born: 07 April 1918, Ballyragget, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, John Austin House, Dublin
Died: 31 December 1995, Gonzaga College, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1951 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) making Tertianship
by 1975 at Franklin Paris (GAL) teaching

◆ The Clongownian, 1996

Obituary

Father Richard Brenan SJ

Fr Richard Brenan SJ was born at Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny and came to Clongowes from CBC, Kilkenny. His course of Jesuit studies followed what was then the standard pattern: novitiate at St Mary's, Emo; an Arts degree at UCD, while residing in Rathfarnham Castle; philosophy at Tullabeg and theology at Milltown Park, after three years' teaching, in his case at Crescent College, Limerick, Dick was ordained on 31 July 1949. When he finished his theological studies the year after, he went to Paray-le-Monial in France to do his tertianship, the year of spiritual renewal which is the last stage of formal Jesuit training.

On his return from France he went to Mungret as prefect, teacher and gamesmaster for four years (1951-55) and then spent a further two years in Gonzaga fulfilling similar functions. After that he moved to the work of giving missions and retreats which occupied much of the rest of his life. He spent a decade in Tullabeg on the staff there and then two years at Milltown Park as assistant director of the retreat house. From 1969-74 he was assis tant to the Novice Master at Manresa (for two years), vocations promotor and assistant director of the retreat house.

He spent 1974-75 on sabbatical in Paris and then resumed his work as a retreat-giver, first at John Austin House on North Circular Road in Dublin and finally at Rathfarnham Castle, where he was superior and director of the retreat house in the last three years of its existence as a Jesuit house (1982-85). When Rathfarnham closed he went to Leeson St as minister and assistant to the editor of The Messenger. Finally, in 1991, he went back to Gonzaga, where he continued to do some work for The Messenger and gave some pastoral assistance in the school.

Since the move to Gonzaga, there were periodic spells in the nearby Jesuit infirmary, Cherryfield Lodge, although he always managed to return to Gonzaga. It was there that he died on the last day of 1995, having managed to say Mass daily to the very end.

As the career outlined above suggests, Dick Brenan was a good and loyal servant of the Jesuit province, using his gifts in a variety of functions. He was a friendly, approachable man, with a gift for working with young people, despite a capacity to take himself some what seriously (”Brenan with one ‘n’” was a refrain familiar to his fellow-Jesuits!) While actively involved in the ministry, he found time to write a book on the Jesuit scholastic St John Berchmans, which sought with some success to make the image of the young Belgian more vivid and accessible. He also pursued his interest in photography.

He bore his infirmity at the end of his life with good humour and little fuss and died peacefully, although unexpectedly. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1996

Obituary

Richard Brenan SJ

by Alex Brennan (5a)

I regret that I only came to know Fr Dick Brenan in the later years of his life at Gonzaga. At the time he was suffering from Friedrich's Ataxia, which caused a slow deterioration of his muscles. It was very distressing to see a man with such clarity of vision and dexterity of mind, crippled by such a de bilitating physical ailment. For the final two years of his life, Fr Brenan had become almost completely immobile. I know that he was greatly distressed when he became unable to enjoy fully the grounds of his beloved Gonzaga.

Richard Brenan was born in 1918 in Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny. Educated at Clongowes Wood College, he joined the Jesu its at the age of 18 and was ordained in Milltown Park in 1949. His first encounter with Gonzaga College was as a teacher in 1955. He remained for two years, before postings to Tullabeg, Milltown and Manresa. In 1974 he spent a year in Paris at L'Ecole St. Louis de Gonzaga.

In 1985 he was made Assistant Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger, and was based at the Jesuit House in Leeson Street, before returning to Gonzaga in 1991, where he re mained until his death.

In the company of his other great Jesuit colleague Fr. Frank Browne, Fr. Brenan had an abiding passion for photography, which re mained with him well into his later years.
As a person, Richard Brenan was blunt and to the point. In contrast, his spirit and compassion commanded the respect of all who met him. I first encountered him as my reli gion teacher in Prep. 4. I was somewhat awe struck at the time by his control in class; while he had some difficulty in walking, his strength of personality shone through.

A class in First year cemented our friend ship of six years, disproving his modest sugges tion that classes would "outgrow his company. Our friendship proved something of an enigma to many staff members who heard him joke that we were somehow related. It was not the case.

As our friendship developed I found in Fr. Brenan a confidant, someone to ask for advice, or simply an interesting companion with whom to pass an hour or two. He was always interested in anything I was involved in and his extensive learning made talking with him an enjoyable and educational experience.

I will always remember Fr. Brenan in a very special way. I know he will be remembered for his generosity of spirit and kindness to all. He had always promised to help me with my French as I approached the Leaving Cert.; I hope I can do justice to his faith in me.

Alex Brennan (5A)

Brennan, Joseph A, 1929-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/809
  • Person
  • 13 November 1929-08 January 2018

Born: 13 November 1929, Dalkey, County Dublin
Entered: 15 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1981, Gozaga College SJ, Dublin
Died: 08 January 2018, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1966 at Brussels Belgium (BEL M) studying

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/he-was-a-good-man/

‘He was a good man’
Jesuits, family, friends and colleagues of Joe Brennan SJ, packed the Church of the Holy Name in Beechwood Avenue to bid him a fond farewell at his funeral Mass, on Friday 12 January, 11am. They were joined by the staff and students of Gonzaga College. John O’Keeffe SJ presided at the Mass, and Myles O’Reilly SJ, a former superior of the Gonzaga Community that Joe was a member of for 43 years, gave the homily. Joe had taken ill in late December and was moved to St Vincent’s Hospital where he was diagnosed with a respiratory illness. He died peacefully on the morning of January 8th 2018, aged 88.
Fr Joe was born and raised in Dublin, and he joined the Jesuits in 1948 at the age of 18. He was a keen sportsman, playing inter-provincial rugby for Leinster. He was also an accomplished musician, particularly on the piano, so he would have appreciated the singing of the Gonzaga student choir at his funeral Mass.
Most of his Jesuit life was spent as a teacher of religion and philosophy. He taught in Mungret, Clongowes, Belvedere, and finally Gonzaga. Brian Flannery, Education Delegate, said Joe had been fully engaged with Gonzaga in one way or another right up to the time of his illness in late December. “He was known for always encouraging students to think for themselves,” said Brian; “Also for instilling values. ‘If you don’t stand for something,’ he loved to say, ‘you will fall for anything.'”
Fr Joe had a few such sayings that he was famous for repeating, and the school had them printed on the back of his funeral Mass booklet. “Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved”, he would say. Or, “Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.” And he would remind the students, “Faith is not against reason, it’s beyond it.”
In his homily, Fr Myles O’Reilly referred to the first reading from Isaiah and the banquet the Lord prepares for His trusted servants. He spoke of the many years of faithful service Joe had given as a follower of Jesus. He had served his fellow Jesuits, his students and his family, all with great generosity and wisdom. It was his turn now to be served and take part in the banquet prepared for him, as promised by the prophet Isaiah, said Myles.
Joe’s many nieces and nephews also attended the Mass. One of them, Ross Brennan, paid a warm tribute to their uncle at the end of the service. He spoke of how loved Joe was by his extended family, of the kindness he always showed, and of the help he always gave to them.
The funeral Mass preceded that of his fellow-Jesuit Kennedy O’Brien, also a teacher in Gonzaga, who had died suddenly, earlier that week. The principal of Gonzaga, Damon McCaul said that it had been a very difficult week for the staff and students in the school. He said that Fr Joe had made such an impact on his students that older past pupils still remembered him with deep regard and gratitude. “And it’s the same with Kennedy for a new generation of pupils and past pupils. Both men were outstanding teachers and educators.”
The final word on Fr Joe was a simple line in the funeral Mass booklet, underneath a photo of him saying Mass in Gonzaga: ‘He was a good man’.

Early Education at Sacred Heart, Leeson St, Dublin, Ring College, Waterford & Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
1950-1953 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1953-1956 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1956-1959 Mungret College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1959-1963 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1963-1964 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1964-1965 Trier, Germany - Liturgy Studies at Benediktiner Abtei St Mathias
1965-1966 Brussels, Belgium - Catechetics Studies at Lumen Vitae
1966-1968 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Teacher; Prefect; Lecturer in Catechetics at Milltown Park
1968-1969 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher; Musical Director; Lecturer in Catechetics at Milltown Park
1969-1974 Mungret College SJ - Teacher; Gamesmaster
1974-2018 Gonzaga College SJ - Teacher; Lecturer in Catechetics at Milltown Park
1983 Rector; Director of Pastoral Care
2010 Chaplain at Marlay Nursing Home, Dublin; Assistant Treasurer; Teacher of Religion
2014 Ceased Teaching

Clancy, Finbarr GJ, 1954-2015, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

by 1989 at Campion Oxford (BRI) studying

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obituary

Fr Finbarr Clancy (1954-2015)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May he rest in peace.

Cleary, Joseph, 1921-2012, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/770
  • Person
  • 21 January 1921-09 October 2012

Born: 21 January 1921, Ringsend, Dublin City
Entered: 25 May 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1958, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 09 October 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/brother-joe-cleary-rip/

Brother Joe Cleary RIP
Brother Joe Cleary SJ died in Cherryfield on 9 October, aged 91. A native of Ringsend, Dublin, he had a variety of jobs before entering the Jesuits at the age of 27: 3 years egg-
testing and store work, 8 years delivering groceries, four of them by horse and cart, and four driving a lorry.
He was a keen soccer-player, a member of St John’s Ambulance, and, during the Emergency, of the Local Defence Force.
As a Jesuit he will be remembered above all for his long record of care of the sick, and his cheerful, kindly disposition – he was always good company and will be sorely missed. God be good to him.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 51st Year No 2 1976

Rathfarnham Castle
The happy death of Fr Jerry Hayes took place on Wednesday, 21st January. Though he showed signs of failing for some six weeks and knew that the end was fast approaching, he was in full possession of his mental faculties up to about ten days before he quietly passed away at about 3 pm in the afternoon with Br Keogh’s finger on the ebbing pulse until its last beat. For Br Keogh it was the end of thirty-three years of devoted care and skilful nursing and a patience which never wavered. For Fr Hayes it was happy release from a whole life-time of suffering heroically borne. Br Joe Cleary, who took over with Br Keogh for about the last six years, rendered a service which Fr Hayes himself described as heroic. Despite his sufferings and his physical incapacity, Fr Hayes lived a full life of work and prayer and keen interest in the affairs of the Society and the Church and of the world, and of a very wide circle of intimate friends with whom he maintained regular contact either by correspondence or by timely visits to them in their homes or convents, We have no doubt that the great reward and eternal rest which he has merited will not be long deferred. Likewise, we considered it wise and fitting, that the necessary rest and well deserved reward of their labours should not be long deferred in the case of those who rendered Fr Hayes such long and faithful service. This we are glad to record Brs Keogh and Cleary have. since enjoyed in what Br Keogh has described as a little bit of heaven.
As one may easily imagine, Rathfarnham without Fr Jerry Hayes is even more empty than it was. Yet, we feel that he is still with us and will intercede for us in the many problems which our situation presents both in the present and in the future. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis!

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 150 : Winter 2012

Obituary

Br Joseph (Joe) Cleary (1921-2012)

21 January 1921: Born in Ringsend, Dublin.
Early education at St. Patrick's National School, Ringsend
1937 - 1948: Worked in a variety of commercial enterprises: 3 years egg-testing and store work; 8 years delivering groceries: four years by horse & cart and four driving a lorry
25 May 1948: Entered the Society at Emo
28 May 1950: First vows at Emo
1950 - 1955: Rathfarnham - Refectorian Catholic
1955 - 1965: Workers' College (NCIR) Refectorian/Houseman
1957 - 1958; Rathfarnham - Tertianship
15 August 1958: Final vows
1965 - 1970: Loyola House - Refectorian
1970 - 1976: Rathfarnham - Assistant Infirmarian (care of Fr Jeremiah Hayes); Sacristan
1976 - 1982: Milltown Park - Infirmarian; Assistant Sacristan; Ongoing Formation; experience with St. John's Ambulance and an active representative in the organization for 6 years, at rugby matches, horse racing etc.
1982 - 1993: Cherryfield Lodge - Infirmarian
1985 - 1986: Mater Hospital - Pastoral care course
1993 - 2012: Milltown Park
1993 - 2002: Sacristan, Infirmarian
2002 - 2007: Sacristan
2007 - 2008: Assisted in community
2008-2012: Cherryfield Lodge: Praying for the Church and the Society

Brother Joe Cleary was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in May 2008 where he was active and enjoyed many outings, including a trip to Lourdes in 2011. Over the last year, he slowed down and showed signs of old age but, thankfully, he remained mentally alert to the end. His condition deteriorated over the past several weeks and he died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge on Tuesday 9th October 2012. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

“Look at the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your Father takes care of them all so that not one of them falls without your Father knowing about it. Are you not worth more than many birds?” Matthew 6:26

This verse was the guiding light of Pauline Cleary (née Kelly) mother of Joseph Cleary. It later became the guiding light of Br. Joe's life. He was born on the 21st January 1921, in Ringsend Dublin. He was the third of six children. Joe often told how he was born with a “caul”. This was part of the amniotic sac which sometimes adheres to the head of a new-born baby. There is a belief that it is the sign of great good fortune and particularly that the individual will be protected from drowning. Joe did speak of how he came close to drowning on a number of occasions. He grew up beside the Liffey but never learned to swim

Joe's education began at the age of four in St. Patrick's NS in Ringsend. Joe did not take easily to schooling in a class of 70 bare footed youngsters, few of them rich enough to own a schoolbook, During these years his great relief came playing soccer, at first in bare feet, in Ringsend Park. He left school at fourteen, and got his first job helping a delivery man with the Swastika Laundry in Ballsbridge. Around this time he began playing soccer with CYMS. The team was managed by Willie Behan who went on to play for Manchester United. During his time with CYMS he won medals at every level in the League of Ireland.

Joe's next job was with Carton Bros, in Halston Street. He first worked as an egg tester and later delivered groceries for eight years, four of them by horse and cart, and four driving a lorry: altogether a more interesting preparation for the religious life than many of his Jesuit brethren. Around this time he discovered the Retreat House in Rathfarnham. He made a retreat there and got to know a Fr. Farrell and a Br. John Loftus. He soon became a promoter for the Retreat house and used to borrow the van from Carton's at weekends to ferry men to Rathfarnham for retreats.

At the outbreak of World War Two, or the Emergency, as it was known in Ireland, he enlisted in the Local Defence Force (Army Reserves) and served for the duration of the war.

During all this time Joe kept up his contact with the Jesuits in Rathfarnham and after the war his thoughts turned to a Jesuit vocation. He talked to his friend Fr. Farrell, who encouraged him, and after an interview with the Provincial, Fr. Tommy Byrne, he travelled by bus to the Jesuit noviciate at Emo Park in late 1947. After two and a half years Joe took his first vows on the 28". May 1950. In July of that year he moved to Rathfarnham Castle where he looked after the refectory for five years. In 1955 he moved to the “Catholic Workers College," where he worked for ten years. He was the first Jesuit Brother to work there.

After that he spent five years at Loyola House, the Provincial's office. Then it was back to Rathfarnham as Infirmarian. As a Jesuit he will be remembered above all for his long record of care of the sick, and his cheerful, kindly disposition. For seven long years in Rathfarnham he looked after Fr Hayes, who was confined to a wheelchair. Joe admitted that it was a heavy job, that took a lot of dedication and devotion. “I often reflected then and since that I could never have continued in a work like that without the support of my Jesuit spirituality and my prayer life”.

In 1976 he moved to Milltown Park where he served as Infirmarian and Sacristan. During this time he joined the St.John's Ambulance Brigade. This was a work that he enjoyed. During this time he also did a course in pastoral care in the Mater Hospital; he may have been the first Irish Jesuit to do so. He also spent some years working in Cherryfield Lodge and then back to Milltown.

He was always good company and will be sorely missed. In a recent interview he said: “During all these years and indeed throughout my life as a Jesuit I have always been very content. If I had to do it all again, I would not change anything”.

Rest in peace Brother Joe, you are greatly missed.

Joe Ward

Connolly, Michael J, 1906-1994, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/489
  • Person
  • 20 January 1906-01 January 1994

Born: 20 January 1906, Ballinagh, County Cavan
Entered: 21 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 01 January 1994, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Cherryfield Lodge community, Dublin at the time of death.

Early Education at St Patrick’s College Cavan and St Patrick’s College, Maynooth

by 1938 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1939 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr Michael Connolly (1906-1994)

20th Jan. 1906: Born Ballinagh, Co. Cavan
Secondary studies: St. Patrick's College, Cavan
Third level studies: St. Patrick's College, Maynooth - H. Dip in Ed
21st Sept. 1926; Entered Society at Tullabeg
28th Sept. 1928: First Vows at Tullabeg
1928 - 1930: Philosophy at Milltown Park
1930 - 1933: Regency in Belvedere College
1933 - 1937: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1936: Ordained a Priest in Milltown Park by Bishop Alban Goodier
1937 - 1938: Tertianship, St. Beuno's, Wales
1938 - 1939: Gregorian University, Rome
1940 - 1941: Milltown Park - Studies in Economics
1941 - 1961: Tullabeg - Professor of Ethics and Anthropology,
1947 - 1953: Rector
1953 - 1961: Prefect of Studies
1961 - 1969: Rathfarnham Castle - Tertian Director
1969 - 1993: National College of Industrial Relations - Lecturer in Philosophy of Person, Treasurer, Coordinator of Missions, Retreats and Novenas
1993 – 1994: Cherryfield - Prays for the Church and the Society
1st Jan. 1994: Died at St Vincent's Hospital

Michael Connolly spent the last twenty five years of his life as a member of the Jesuit community at the National College of Industrial Relations (Sandford Lodge). Those of us who knew him in those years remember his strong and faith-filled presence in the community. Michael in these years had left behind the years in Tullabeg as teacher of philosophy and superior of the Jesuit community, and no longer was the tertian instructor. So, we knew him as an energetic and active Jesuit, giving of his best to the community and apostolate in the twenty five years or so that made up this phase of his life. Michael's love for the Society was evident in the way he participated so fully in many community and Province events during these yeras, and discussed the issues of the day with concern and energy. He wasn't slow to argue his point, and would put difficult questions to you when necessary. He found great freedom in these years to rediscover aspects of Ignatian spirituality and Jesuit life. He had great energy for tackling difficult reading material. He always approached the liturgy of the word with a scholarly knowledge of the text, which he wanted to share at a concelebrated liturgy.

Of course we joked, too, about his approach to life. As a bursar, Michael took the financial side of the community very seriously. He lived a very frugal life himself. He would be the one at night to turn out electric lights when others wouldn't be bothered to ask who was going to pay the bill. Even with the community hog, it was recounted that Michael would usually look for a monthly account of masses and stipends, before dispensing with the monthly allowance! Kevin Quinn. a renowned economist, had the theory that all communities needed some kind of a "slush fund" out of an experience at the NCIR of buying Sultan, an expensive dog, and then having to request Michael Connolly for the full amount of the purchase.

In the final years of his life, Michael had a great determination to go on living life to the full, and not be deflected by emergency visits to the hospital nor special nursing at Cherryfield. No sooner had he recovered from one of these set-backs than he was taking steps to be back in his room and resuming duty.

The changes that took place in Michael's long association with the College - from Catholic Workers' College to College of Industrial Relations to National College of Industrial Relations - show how Michael's links with the College spanned the best part of forty years. Michael's serious approach to his topic as a teacher meant that he would be well prepared. He probably lacked the imaginative flair to be a memorable teacher. Yet, his conversation and his ability to meet with students and teachers meant that he played an important role in the vision of the Jesuits at NCIR to be a presence in the world of work at a key phase of the development of an industrial society in the Republic of Ireland.

Michael Connolly was born on the 20th January 1906 in Ballinagh, Co. Cavan. He received his secondary education at St. Patrick's College, Cavan, and then went on to St. Patrick's College, Maynoth for his arts degree and Higher Diploma in Education with a view to ordination in the diocese of Kilmore. However, Michael decided to enter the Society of Jesus, and went to Tullabeg in 1926. He went on to Milltown Park for two years of philosophy, and then did regency at Belvedere College from 1930 to 1933. This time at Belvedere was a time that Michael looked back on with a lot of satisfaction. It gave him the opportunity of learning to be a teacher, and to be involved with the pastoral care of the students, and to be interested in all their activities. He also liked to mention that he was the editor of the Belvederian during those years. Theology at Milltown Park followed, from 1933 to 1937, with ordination at Milltown Park on the 31st of July 1936 by Archbishop Alban Goodier. The ordination retreat given by Alban Goodier made a deep impression on Michael, He often spoke about it in later years when talking about preaching and giving the Spiritual Exercises. Michael went to St. Beuno's in Wales for his tertianship.

The next important event in Michael's life was the Provincial's decision to send him for the biennium in Rome, specializing in moral philosophy. This was a vote of confidence in Michael's abilities at his studies. However, looking back in his later years Michael regretted that he had not been informed earlier in his formation that he was to specialize in this field. He felt that he might have been better able to be competent in these disciplines were he to have worked at them over a longer period. Among his fellow students at the Gregorian was Bernard J.F. Lonergan - the great Canadian philosopher and theologian. His room was beside Michael's. Michael often recounted how with the onset of the signs of war in Italy in 1939, Lonergan spoke about the certainty of the direction events were taking, and of the way war would shape their lives. Michael had to leave Rome after a year's study - again, something he felt made it hard for him to feel competent at teaching in the specialized discipline of moral philosophy.

Michael was sent to Tullabeg to teach philosophy in 1939. This was to be his home until 1961. He taught moral philosophy and was rector of the community from 1947 to 1953. He also gave retreats in the summers. He acted as visiting confessor to some of the religious communities in the mid-lands, going out on his bicycle to visit them.

During the 1950's the Catholic Workers' College was beginning and Michael came to Ranelagh every Thursday - to teach courses in social ethics and on the philosophy of man (or of the person, as it would be called today). During these years Michael was a member of the European Jesuits in the Social Sciences, which met every two years, and which later took on the title of Eurojess. He was glad of the opportunity to meet at these gatherings some of the experts in Catholic Social Teaching: Oswald von Nell-Breuning and Leonard Janssens.

The next major turning point in Michael's life was his appointment as tertian director in 1961. He was to hold this position until 1969 when the tertianship at Rathfarnham was closed. Michael prepared for his post as tertian instructor by visiting Auriesville, New York, and other tertianships in the United States. Tertian Instructor was a demanding job. The whole shift in emphasis in Jesuit formation during those years with the 31st Congregation and the Second Vatican Council meant that Michael found it hard to meet all the expectations of young Jesuits. For those in the Juniorate at Rathfarnham, Michael could also be a bit demanding: Michael had a more orderly life than the Juniors and their late night arrival at Rathfarnham might disturb the quiet of the tertians' corridor. Among the tertians at Rathfarnham was Ignacio Ellacuria, who was one of the Jesuits murdered in El Salvador in November 1989.

Michael was appointed to the Catholic Workers' College in 1969, The Workers' College was later to change to the College of Industrial Relations and more recently to the National College of Industrial Relations. Michael was appointed bursar and also taught courses in the philosophy of the person.

During his years at what is now the NCIR, Michael was also the director of the Jesuit Mission band. He responded to requests for Jesuits to give Missions and retreats. He also gave retreats himself. Right down to his eighty-fourth birthday, Michael continued to give retreats and missions.

Frank Sammon SJ

-oOo-

Albert Cooney remembers Michael and some of his outstanding gifts: In Belvedere during my Regency I first met Michael, a confident, self-assured young man with a quiet sense of humour. He was liked by the boys, and they trusted him and confided in him. Often I remember saying to one of the boys: “Better talk that over with Mr, Connolly”. The Bicycle Club went to Pine Forest and the Glen of the Downs, and Michael found wise and entertaining stories to amuse the boys.

I next met him when I returned from Hong Kong. He was Rector in Tullabeg, courteous and affable - one of the best Rectors I have met in the Society and I have been in many houses all over the world.

When I was in Malaysia I mentioned to our Provincial the possibility of Michael coming to Malaysia where he would find interesting and useful work, and learning a language would not be necessary as in Hong Kong. Michael heard no more of that proposal. That's the Michael I knew. We kept in touch up to the end when he died here. I cannot say that his road of life was paved with friends. But they were many and true. He will remember us all now where there is Peace and Rest in the sunlit uplands of Eternity. His epitaph could be: 'He never spoke an unkind word about anyone'.

Michael was a conscientious and hard-working Jesuit. In his later years he had remarkable will-power to keep going, despite emergency visits to St. Vincent's hospital.

Michael had wide-ranging interests. He was interested in the life of priests and liked to be informed about developments in the places where Jesuits were working. He also had a keen interest in the Missions: his brother was superior-general of the Columbans.

Through his work in social ethics and in Catholic Social Teaching, Michael developed an interest in the co-operative movement. For many years he administered the funds of the Finlay Trust - a small fund established to foster the co-operative movement,

Michael Connolly's life touched each decade of this twentieth century, His faith helped guide his steps through these decades. He often felt himself not quite properly equipped to face the challenges and tasks he was asked to take on as a Jesuit. Nevertheless, in later life he had mellowed, and seemed to be able to smile wryly that life never works out exactly as we would plan it. Yet he would always want to be a man of the “magis” of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. We thank the Lord for having given him to us during these decades as our companion.

Coyne, Edward J, 1896-1958, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/50
  • Person
  • 20 June 1896-22 May 1958

Born: 20 June 1896, Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly - Hiberniae Province (HIB) for Sicilian Province (SIC)
Ordained: 31 July 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1932, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome Italy
Died: 22 May 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Studied for MA in Economics at UCD

by 1927 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1932 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
1930-1931 at Haus Sentmaring, Münster, Germany
by 1933 at Vanves, Paris, France (FRA) studying

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Coyne, Edward Joseph
by Anne Dolan

Coyne, Edward Joseph (1896–1958), Jesuit priest, was born 20 June 1896 in Dublin, eldest of five children of William P. Coyne (qv), head of the statistical section of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction, and Agnes Mary Coyne (née Martin). Educated at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare, from 1908, he joined the Society of Jesus at St Stanislaus College, Tullamore (1914). After an academically distinguished student career at UCD, he taught for three years at Belvedere College, Dublin, during which time he published a series of articles in the Irish Monthly under the name ‘N. Umis’. He studied theology (1926–8) at the Franz Ferdinand university, Innsbruck, returning to Ireland for his ordination (1928) and to begin an MA in economics at UCD. On completing his religious training at Münster, Westphalia, he divided his time between the Gregorian University in Rome, the Action Populaire, and the Sorbonne, Paris. A term at the International Labour Office, Geneva, marked the first practical application of his special studies in sociology and economics. In 1933 he was appointed professor of ethics at St Stanislaus College, a position he held until becoming (1938) professor of moral theology and lecturer in sociology at Milltown Park, Dublin. Although he remained at Milltown Park for the rest of his life, he played a prominent part in the development of Irish social and economic thought. The driving force behind the 1936 social order summer school at Clongowes and the foundation of the Catholic Workers' College (1948), he was selected by Michael Tierney (qv) to organise UCD's extramural courses in 1949.

Editor of Studies and a regular contributor to Irish Monthly, he also placed his knowledge at the disposal of several individuals, institutions, and organisations. As a member of the Jesuit committee assembled in 1936 to contribute to the drafting of the new constitution, he corresponded regularly with Eamon de Valera (qv) and had a significant influence on the document submitted. In 1939 he was appointed by the government to the commission on vocational organisation and was the main author of its report (1943), which was highly critical of the anonymity and inefficiency of the Irish civil service. Despite later government appointments to the Irish Sea Fisheries Association (1948) and the commissions on population (1949) and emigration (1954), he was always prepared to question government decisions, querying the report of the banking commission (1938), the wisdom of plans by the minister for social welfare, William Norton (qv) to unify social insurance schemes (1949), and the morality of the ‘mother and child’ scheme (1951). Serving on several public boards and industrial committees, including the Joint Industrial Council for the Rosary Bead Industry (1939), the Central Savings Committee (1942), the Law Clerk's Joint Labour Committee (1947), the Creameries Joint Labour Committee (1947), and the National Joint Industrial Council for the Hotel and Catering Trades (1957), he worked closely with both employers and workers. He also took an active role in the cooperative movement, becoming president of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (1943). A staunch supporter of John M. Hayes (qv) and Muintir na Tire, he was a frequent speaker at the organisation's ‘rural weeks'. He died 22 May 1958 at St. Vincent's nursing home, Dublin, after a lengthy illness, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery. Among the many mourners was his brother Thomas J. Coyne (qv), secretary of the Department of Justice (1949–61). His papers are held at the Irish Jesuit Archives.

Ir. Times, Ir. Independent, Ir. Press, 23 May 1958; Clongownian, June 1959, 6–11; J. H. Whyte, Church and state in modern Ireland 1923–1979 (1984), 88, 180, 259; J. Anthony Gaughan, Alfred O'Rahilly I: academic (1986), 95–6, 186–90; Seán Faughnan, ‘The Jesuits and the drafting of the Irish constitution of 1937’, IHS, xxvi (1988–9), 79–102; J. J. Lee, Ireland 1912–1985: politics and society (1989), 274–5; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991), 277, 285–7; Dermot Keogh, Ireland and the Vatican (1995), 324–5; Dermot Keogh & Andrew J. Mc Carthy, The making of the Irish constitution (2007), 58, 95, 98–100

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Counihan and Edward Coyne are acting as members of a Commission set up by the Government Department of Social Welfare, at the end of March, to examine Emigration and other Population Problems. The former is still working on the Commission on Youth Unemployment, while Fr. Coyne, who served on the Commission on Vocational Organisation appointed in 1939, and whose Report was published five years later, is at present Deputy Chairman of the Central Savings Committee, Chairman of the Joint Industrial Council for Beads Industry, Chairman of the Joint Labour Committee for Solicitors, Member of the Joint Labour Committee for the Creamery Industry, Member of the Council of the Statistical Society.

Irish Province News 33rd Year No 4 1958

Obituary :

Fr Edward J Coyne (1896-1958)

I want to set down in some detail the record of Fr. Ned Coyne's life because I think that the Province would be the poorer were the memory of him to grow dim. I shall attempt no contrived portrait; in an artless narrative I run, less risk of distortion. Indeed in a bid to avoid being painted in, false colours, Fr. Ned played with the idea of writing his own obituary notice; in the week following his operation he succeeded in dictating several fragments, but realising later on that they were written in the exultant mood that followed his acceptance of his death-sentence, he insisted that I should destroy them.
Edward Joseph Coyne was born in Dublin on 20th June, 1896. He was the eldest son, of W. P. Coyne, Professor of Political Economy in the old University College and founder-member of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. To mention these positions indicates at once the influence of father on son. As that influence ran deep, I must say something more of his father whose name lives on in U.C.D. in the Coyne Memorial Prize. Though struck down by cancer at a comparatively early age, W.P. had already made his mark both as an economist and an administrator, Gifted with a clear head and tireless industry, he was not content to remain master of his own science but read widely outside his professional field of economic and social studies. One aspect of his interests.is best illustrated by recalling a favourite saying of his : “the old philosophy will come back to us through Dante”; another aspect by the mention of his special competence in the art and literature of the Renaissance. When I add that W.P. frail of physique, possessed unusual powers of head and heart, of incisive exposition and innate sympathy, it will be indeed clear that Ned was very much his father's son. Were he now looking over my shoulder as I write, he would be quick to remind me of what he owed also to his gentle, sensitive mother of whose bravery as a young widow bringing up five children. he was so proud.
After a short period at Our Lady's Bower, Athlone, Ned was kept at home to be educated privately from the age of seven to twelve on account of his frail health, Next came the decisive influence of six and a half years in Clongowes which he entered in 1908. He was second to none in his generous appreciation of all that Clongowes had given him. He belonged to the fortunate generation that knew Clongowes in her hey-day in the years before the centenary : Fr. Jimmy Daly and Fr. "Tim” Fegan were at the height of their powers and were supported by a team of brilliant masters. If I single out one, the then Mr. Boyd Barrett, I do so for two reasons: from him Ned derived lasting inspiration in class-room and in the Clongowes Social Study Club; to him Ned gave a life-time's gratitude expressed by constant letters all through the “misty” years. And when he came to die, a letter from his old master cheered him greatly on a hard spell of the road. Anyone who turns up the Clongownians of his time will see the role he played in every part of school life. Fond as he was of books, his school career is not merely a long list of exhibitions and gold medals; he played out-half and won his “cap” of which he was proud, he kept wicket, he was second-captain of his line, he was the first secretary of the Clongowes Social Study Club which Mr. Boyd Barrett founded. In these pages I can but skim the surface of his life, but however brief the treatment I must find room for some quotations from his Union Prize Essay on “The Necessity of Social Education for Irishmen”, published in the 1914 Clongownian :
“It is sheer folly and shameful conceit for anyone to think he can remedy Ireland's social disorders without social education. There are very few really active workers in Ireland today; but these few are of more value than three times their number of 'social adventurers. For they are trained in the school of experience to have a definite knowledge of what they know and what they do not know. There is no room for social amateurs; if we want to succeed, we must be specialists and experts....
What we plead for is that all the great Catholic colleges of Ireland should start at once some system of social education, If they did so, we should have fifty or sixty young sons of Ireland coming forth each year, full of energy and fire, ready to take their proper places in the great social movements of today. The young men are the hope of France,' said Pius X, and the young men are the hope of Ireland too. The suggestion made recently by a learned Jesuit of having University diplomas for social work is certainly a very good one. But I would wish to begin earlier. It is not every schoolboy who goes to the Universities; many enter business or do some other work. I would have these trained for social work; trained well, too, in those vital questions which are now so much discussed.
That august and venerable College to which I have the honour to belong has taken up the task of social education for her children. It is to be hoped that many will follow her example.

On 31st August, 1914, he began his noviceship in Tullabeg under Fr. Martin. Maher; eleven others entered with him that day and all stayed the course. After the noviceship they remained in Tullabeg for a year's Juniorate which Fr. Ned always regarded as one of the most rewarding years of his life : Fr. Charlie Mulcahy, Fr. W. Byrne and Mr. H. Johnston gave them of their best.
In U.C.D. Fr. Ned read history and economics for his degree, taking first place in both subjects. He was the inspiration of a lively English Society that included Fr. Paddy O'Connor, Violet Connolly, Kate O'Brien, and Gerard Murphy among its members, and was auditor of the Classical Society in succession to Leo McAuley (now Ambassador to the Holy See) who in turn had succeeded the present President of U.C.D.
Moving across to Milltown Park for philosophy Fr. Coyne managed to combine with it fruitful work on a first-class M.A. thesis on Ireland's Internal Transport System. Next came three successful years in Belvedere : his pupils and a series of articles under the thinly-veiled name of N. Umis in the Irish Monthly provide the best evidence for his zest for teaching. He made his theology in Innsbruck, returning home for ordination in 1928. On completing his theology in Innsbruck, he made his tertianship in Munster in Westphalia under Fr. Walter Sierp, He divided his biennium between Rome and Paris, studying in the Gregorianum under Fr. Vermeersch and later in the Sorbonne and at the Action Populaire. He also spent three months at this period in Geneva at the International Labour Office,
On returning to Ireland he was posted to Tullabeg to teach ethics and cosmology. Those who sat at his feet found in him a professor of outstanding clarity, who had, besides, a rare gift of stimulating interest. In November, 1936, he was transferred to Milltown Park. It was not long before his influence began to be felt in various spheres. In due course he was appointed to the Moral Chair and by that time he was more than fully occupied. He did signal service as a member of the Commission on Vocational Organisation, appointed by the Government in 1939 to report on the practability of developing functional or vocational organisation, in Ireland. Ten years later he was named a member of the Commission on Population,
In 1940 he was elected Vice-President and in 1943 President of the I.A.O.S. From his first association with the society be took an intense interest in the co-operative movement; he knew the movement from every angle, legal, economic and above all, idealistic. He astonished the members of the many societies he visited over the years by his complete grasp of the technical problems involved. Some years ago he delivered an address in London at the annual general meeting of the Agricultural Central Co-operative Association of England which created an extraordinarily favourable impression and resulted in invitations to address a number of English co-ops. Even before his active association with the I.A.O.S. he had already been early in the field supporting Fr. John Hayes in the founding and developing of Muintir na Tire at whose Rural Weeks he was a frequent speaker,
Besides his interest in rural affairs, Fr. Coyne was also closely in touch with industrial problems; he was chairman of the Law Clerks Joint Labour Committee, of the National Joint Industrial Council for the Hotel and Catering Trades, and of the Joint Industrial Council for the Rosary Bead Industry
In 1949, Dr. Michael Tierney, President of University College, Dublin, invited him to organise an extra-mural department. Thanks to the generous co-operation of the members of the staff of U.C.D. and of many graduates, and to the enthusiastic support of leaders and members of the trade unions, this department has proved very successful. Before undertaking the organisation of the extra-mural courses, he had already laid the foundations of the work now so well developed by Fr. Kent and his confrères in the Catholic Workers' College.
So much for the external story. Though he lectured widely with rare clarity and power and wrote convincingly from time to time in the periodical press, Fr. Coyne may well be best remembered for his outstanding gifts of personal sympathy and insight which enabled him to guide and encourage men and women from surprisingly varied walks of life. Few men can have meant so much to so many. All through his illness one constantly stumbled upon some new kindness he had done unknown to anyone but the recipient; and after his death the striking sincerity of the tributes paid to him on all sides was convincing evidence of his superb gift for friendship. One and all found in him understanding and help given without stint with a charm and a graciousness that reflected the charity of his Master, Christ.
Those who made his eight-day retreat or who were formed by him in the class-room will recall his insistent harping on the need of integrity of mind. It is only right that I should say how acutely conscious he was of his own extreme sensitivity that made him petulant by times, and of his shyness which made him. often hold himself aloof. Best proof of all of his clear-sightedness was the occasion when he was playfully boasting to Fr. Nerney of his docility. Taking his queue from Buffon's “Cet animal est très mechant”, Fr. Nerney, with Fr. Ned's help, composed this epitaph, feeling his way delicately, as if trying out chords on a piano : “Le biffle est un animal très docile : il se laisse conduire partout ou il veut aller”. Fr. Coyne, with a self-knowledge and a humility that deserves to be put on record, often quoted that verdict, smiling wryly and beating his breast. As I watched him in his last sickness that phrase often rang through my head. On first hearing that his condition was hopeless, he was lyrically happy in the knowledge that he was going home to God. But as the weeks dragged on he began to see that the way he was being led home was one which humanly speaking he was loath to choose. In that familiaritas cum Deo which he commended so earnestly in his retreats, he won the immense courage which buoyed him up in the long weeks of humiliating discomfort so galling to his sensitive nature; however much, humanly speaking, he shrank from it, by God's grace he gladly accepted and endured, proving himself indeed completely docile to God's Will. May his great soul rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edward Coyne 1896-1958
In the death of Fr Ned Coyne, the Province lost one of its most brilliant, active and charming personalities that it has been blessed with for many a long year.

Born in Dublin in 1896, he was educated at Clongowes, and after a brilliant course of studies, entered the Noviceship in Tullabeg in 1914.

His career in the formative years as a Jesuit fulfilled the promise of his schooldays, culminating after his Tertianship in his specialising in Social Science at Rome and Paris.

After some years as Professor of Philosophy in Tullabeg, he moved to Dublin, filling the chair of Moral Theology at Milltown Park.

In 1950 he was elected President of the IACS, and took an intense interest in the Co-operative Movement, acquiring a complete grasp of the technical problems involved. He was a wholehearted backer of Canon Hayes and the Muintir na Tire movement, was closely associated with various labour organisations, and ran the Department for Extramural Studies at University College Dublin. He also laid the foundations for our own Catholic Workers College. All this while Professor of Moral Theology at Milltown.

A full life, a rich life – a spiritual life – for in spite of the multifarious occupations Fr Ned always managed to keep close to God and to maintain that “integrity of mind” he so often harped on in his retreats.

He had a rare gift for friendship, and rarely to such a man life would be sweet. Yet when sentence of death was announced he took it gladly. His heroism in his last illness is sufficient testimony to the spirituality of his intensely active life and to his own integrity of mind.

He died on May 22nd 1958 aged 62 years.

◆ The Clongownian, 1959

Obituary

Father Edward J Coyne SJ

Edward Joseph Coyne was born in Dublin 20th June, 1896. He was the eldest son of W P Coyne, Professor of Political Economy in the old University College and founder member of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. To mention these positions indicates at once the influence of father on son. As that influence ran deep, I must say something more of his father whose name lives on in UCD in the Coyne Memorial Prize. Though struck down by cancer at a comparatively early age, W P had already made his mark both as an economist and an administrator. Gifted with a clear head and tireless industry, he was not content to remain master of his own science but read widely outside his professional field of economic and social studies. One aspect of his interests is best illustrated by a recalling favourite saying of his: “the old philosophy will come back to us through Dante”; another aspect by the mention of his special competence in the art and literature of the Renaissance. When I add that W P frail of physique, possessed unusual powers of head and heart, of incisive exposition and innate sympathy, it will be indeed clear that Ned was very much his father's son. Were he now looking over my shoulder as I write, he would be quick to remind me of what he owed also to his gentle, sensitive mother of whose bravery as a young widow bringing up le children he was so proud.

After a short period at Our Lady's Bower, Athlone, Ned was kept at home to be educated privately from the age of seven to twelve on account of his frail health. Next the the decisive influence of six and a half years in Clongowes which he entered in 1908. He was second to none in his generous appreciation of all that Clongowes had given him. He belonged to the fortunate generation that knew Clongowes in her hey-day in the years before the centenary: Father Jimmy Daly and Father “Tim” Fegan were at the height of their powers and were supported by a team of brilliant masters. If I single out one, the then Mr Boyd Barrett, I do so for two reasons: from him Ned derived lasting inspiration in classroom and in the Clongowes Social Study Club; to him Ned gave a life time's gratitude expressed by constant letters all through the “misty” years. And when he came to die, a letter from his old master cheered him greatly on a hard spell of the road.

Anyone who turns up the “Clongownians” of his time will see the role he played in every part of school life. Fond as he was of books, his school career is not merely a long list of exhibitions and gold medals; he played out half and won his “cap” of which he was proud, he kept wicket, he was second-captain of his Line, he was the first secretary of the Clongowes Social Study Club which Mr. Boyd Barrett founded. In these pages I can but skim the surface of his life, but however brief the treatment I must find room for some quotations from his Union Prize Essay on “The Necessity of Social Education for Irishmen”, published in the 1914 “Clongownian”:

It is sheer folly and shameful conceit for anyone to think he can remedy Ireland's social disorders without social education. There are very few really active workers in Ireland today; but these few are of more value than three times their number of “social adventurers”. For they are trained in the school of experience to have a definite knowledge of what they know and what they do not know. There is no room for social amateurs; if we want to succeed, we must be specialists and experts.....

What we plead for is that all the great Catholic colleges of Ireland should start at once some system of social education. If they did so, we should have fifty or sixty young sons of Ireland coming forth each year, full of energy and fire, ready to take their proper places in the great social movements of today. The young men are the hope of France, said Pius X, and the young men are the hope of Ireland too. The suggestion made recently by a learned Jesuit of having University diplomas for social work is certainly a very good one. But I would wish to begin earlier. It is not every schoolboy who goes to the Universities; many enter business or do some other work. I would have these trained for social work; trained well, too, in those vital questions which are now so much discussed....

The august and venerable College to which I have the honour to belong has taken up the task of social education for her children. It is to be hoped that many
will follow her example....”

When you link up those lines written in 1914 with the work he did in the last decade of his life, you see immediately how his life was all of a piece, how indeed the boy was “father of the man”.

On 31st August, 1914, he began his noviceship in Tullabeg under Father Martin Maher; eleven others entered with him that day and all stayed the course. After the noviceship they remained in Tullabeg for a year's Juniorate which Father Ned always regarded as one of the most rewarding years of his life: Father Charlie Mulcahy, Father W Byrne and Mr H Johnston gave them of their best.

In UCD Father Ned read history and economics for his degree, taking first place in both subjects. He was the inspiration of a lively English Society that included Father Paddy O'Connor, Violet Connolly, Kate O'Brien and Gerard Murphy among its members, and was auditor of the Classical Society in succession to Leo McAuley (now Ambassador to the Holy See) who in turn had succeeded the present President of UCD.

Moving across to Milltown Park for philosophy Father Coyne managed to combine with it fruitful work on a first-class MA thesis on “Ireland's Internal Transport System”. Next came three successful years in Belvedere: his pupils and a series of articles under the thinly-veiled name of “N Umis” in the “Irish Monthly” provide the best evidence for his zest for teaching. He made his theology in Innsbruck, returning home for ordination in 1928. On completing his theology in Innsbruck, he made his tertianship in Münster in Westphalia under Father Walter Sierp. He divided his biennium between Rome and Paris, studying in the Gregorium under Father Vermeersch and later in the Sorbonne and at the Action Populaire. He also spent three months at this period in Geneva at the International Labour Office.

On returning to Ireland he was posted to Tullabeg to teach ethics and cosmology. Those who sat at his feet found in him a professor of outstanding clarity, who had, besides, a rare gift of stimulating interest. In November, 1936, he was transferred to: Milltown Park. It was not long before his influence began to be felt in various spheres. In due course he was appointed to the Moral Chair and by that time he was more than fully occupied. He did signal service as a member of the “Commission on Vocational Organisation”, appointed by the Government in 1939 to report on the practability of developing functional or vocational organisation in Ireland. Ten years later he was named a member of the “Commission on Population”.

Father Coyne was also closely in touch with industrial problems; he was chairman of the “Law Clerks Joint Labour Committee”, of the “National Joint Industrial Council for the Hotel and Catering Trades”, and of the “Joint Industrial Council for the Rosary Bead Industry”. After his death messages of sympathy were received from many trade unions, amongst others: The National Agricultural and Industrial Development Association, Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, Workers' Union of Ireland, Congress of Irish Unions, The Irish Union of Distributive Workers and Clerks, Post Office Workers' Union, National Executive of the Irish Post Office Engineering Union, The Provisional United Trade Union Organisation, Marine Port and General Workers' Union, and the Irish Bookbinders' Union.

So much for the external story. Though he lectured widely with rare clarity and power and wrote convincingly from time to time in the periodical press, Father Coyne may well be best remembered for his outstanding gifts of personal sympathy and insight which enabled him to guide and encourage men and women from surprisingly varied walks of life. Few men can have meant so much to so many. All through his illness one constantly stumbled upon some new kindness he had done unknown to anyone but the recipient; and after his death the striking sincertity of the tributes paid to him on all sides was convincing evidence of his superb gift for friendship. One and all found in him understanding and help given without stint with a charm and a graciousness that reflected the charity of his Master, Christ.

RBS

-oOo-

Ned was one who liked to count his blessings. Among these, his grateful nature valued especially the happy home of his childhood and the last pre-war years at Clongowes. He loved Clongowes. He often spoke of the security and confidence and hopes these years had held. It is true that the latter half of his school life saw the most bitter economic struggle Ireland has known since the Land League and the re-birth in controversy and schism of the policy of physical force as a political weapon. He was not unaware of these things, but their implications were not clear enough to daunt a fighting spirit and, as we shall see, they rather stimulated than oppressed him. He was never an angry young man and like most of his tragic generation of young men, he foresaw in his schooldays little of wbat has since happened.

He was at Clongowes from 1908 to 1914 - the full six years and each year with its victories and its successes seemed to be prelude to the fitting end, the happy sunshine of the Centenary Celebration. On his death bed, Ned could recall details of those June days of carnival and triumph. Less than two months later the first of all world wars had begun, but that lay in an unguessed-at future.

Ned also liked to believe that he belonged to a remarkable generation of Clongowes boys. He had as classmates and rivals for the Imperatorship of Rhetoric (successful rivals, be it said) such men as John Gilligan and Louis Carroll, both destined to bear back bright to the Coiner the mark of the mint, and many others not less gifted were his class mates: Father Hugo Kerr and Father Arthur Little, as well as Mr Justice Sheil and Mr Alban O'Kelly.

Of course it was not only among his classmates that he had friends and companions. To one of these, destined to the most dis tinguished future of all that group, he spoke on his death-bed of his pride and privilege in having rubbed shoulders on gallery, class room and playing-field all unawares with so many fine men in the making. Yet it is not too much to say that of all that galaxy, his star shone even then with a unique lustre.

He had, literally, all the qualities of the ideal schoolboy. His physique was graceful, if slight, his looks bright and cheerful. If he was certainly no Hercules, he had quite remarkable gifts as an athlete. He won the Backs cap for Rugby, playing on a side that included future internationals. He kept wicket and goal for Cricket and Soccer elevens. His skill matched his courage and his dash, but all the time one was conscious that he played games, so to speak, with his left hand. An intimate school friend, who sat beside him in the refectory, could not recall his ever talking about games and was not surprised when after Ned's death he mentioned his outstanding prowess to a niece, to be met with the reply: “But was Father Ned good at games?” It was no pose on his part to get a companion to stand by the Soccer goal-posts when he was “keeping” in a big match and when play drifted up-field to read for their discussion bits of the poets. He was then in love with Thompson, Browning and Belloc.

He comes back to the eye of memory with a book always under his arm, but it would be a mistake to think of him as a book-worm, still less as an academic pot-hunter. He collected each year his exhibitions, often duplicate ones, his medals in English and History and all the highest Clongowes honours except the Palles Medal. Religious Knowledge twice, the first time from Poetry year, the Prize Essay, the Debate. He was an honours mathematician and first-rank Grecian. At the University, in First Arts, he was to take six subjects and be first in four and second in two, and in Clongowes his range was much wider than the class-room demanded. Literature, history, religion, even the unlikely by-paths of aesthetics or the infant science of psychology were as likely to be topics of his talk as school gossip or current events. But he was never anything of a prig. Already he had at his command a prompt and sharp sword of repartee. And it must be admitted that he had a temper. He did not lose it often; it only came when provoked or even justified, but it was frightening, quite devastating and sometimes ferocious. This quality, I think, disappeared completely and at once in the Jesuit, and the older man was ashamed even of the occasional sharpness of his tongue. That was to be expected, for even as a boy, thc formation of his character was Ned's conscious aim and his integrity (a word he loved) was already remarkable. He was not only twice Line Captain but a Sodality Prefect, and from his Third Line days he and all his friends took it for granted that he would be a Jesuit.

The boy is father to the priest and perhaps it is in view of the work of his mature years that two elements of his schooldays seem especially memorable. Among the boys his was certainly the inspiration in a quite new development, the birth, as we might call it, of a social conscience, In holidays he gave a good deal of his time to practical work, especially in the first of all Boys Clubs in Dublin, that run by another Old Clongownian, Dr. Lombard Murphy, At school he was secretary and leader of the newly-founded Social Study Club. During the Centenary Celebration the club showed its paces and its secretary read a paper at a special meeting. The subject was of his own choosing: The Patriotism of Social Work. He was in future years to address many distinguished gather ings, but, as one of his friends liked to remind him, none more so than this one. The cardinal, seven bishops, the national leaders in politics, law and medicine came, perhaps to hear his father's son, but certainly to hear as balanced, as lucid and as noble an appeal as any schoolboy could be expected to make. It was characteristically his own thought and had not even been read by any of his friends in the Community.

If one incident in his Clongowes career lives in the memory of those who were with him it must surely be a night when the Higher Line Debate met under the flaring gas-jets of the Higher Line Gallery. The motion asked for support for the Irish Volunteers and the boys were to hear both Tom and Laurence Kettle make worthy speeches; but surely the night's honours fell to a boy. In lucid, simple speech, such as he was to use on hundreds of platforms to audiences learned and unlearned, he developed his theme. But then, throwing down his few notes, he said slowly: “I have appealed to your heads; I would rather trust your hearts”. In a couple of minutes he had voiced for us all just those aspirations to which the country was awakening, a passionate love of Ireland and a passionate love of liberty.

Yes, the social worker, the speaker - he perhaps came to eschew oratory but never lost his power to move - were already there, and there too was the third quality in the man we have lost. It is impossible to express his gift for friendship, his cult of it, and perhaps still less all he has meant to so many friends. But those who knew him best in Clongowes do not think of the athlete, the wit, the orator, the scholar or even the leader, but of their friend-for ever.

Two men were probably responsible for directing the varied and outstanding talents of young Edward Coyne into the field of social and economic studies. He was a son of William P Coyne, Professor of Political Economy in the old University College, Dublin. When his father died, the young schoolboy came under the influence of Father Thomas Finlay SJ, himself an experienced economist and later Professor of National Economics at University College, Dublin, Two such men could not fail to inspire the talented boy towards that branch of knowledge in which each had attained such eminence. His interest in Ireland's social and economic problems were further stimulated by individual masters and school companions. Both he and they took a lively interest in the Dublin labour troubles of 1912-13. In his final year at Clongowes, 1913-14, he was among the founder-members of the Clongowes Social Study Club, a society which gave the boys of those years the opportunity to learn and discuss some of the grave social problems of the day. The Dublin members of the club sacrificed a goodly portion of their Christmas and Easter holidays to visit boys' clubs, night shelters, hospitals and the homes of the poor and destitute. This study and experience gave the young Edward Coyne much food for thought. In “The Clongownian” of 1914 we find him setting down his thoughts in an essay on “The Necessity of Social Education” which won for him the Clongowes Union Silver Medal. This essay reveals a mature understanding of the gravity of the social problems of those days. His own studies and experiences had already convinced him that education had an important and necessary role to play in solving such problems. Moreover, he asserted then that the social teaching of the Church was, as Pope Pius XII was later to say, “the only teaching capable of remedying the widespread evils existing in social life”. A lifetime of study and experience only served to convince him of the correctness and wisdom of his schoolboy convictions.

He entered the Noviceship of the Society of Jesus, as has been said, in September, 1914. Of the nineteen years that followed, six were devoted to special studies in sociology and economics at first in Ireland and later in Rome, Paris and Geneva. He returned to Ireland in 1933 and from then until his untimely death in 1958 he placed his knowledge of the social sciences at the disposal of countless individuals, clerical and lay, government commissions, public boards, trade unions, industrial committees and Co-Operative societies. No person or group was unimportant in his eyes and he availed of every opportunity-private con sultations, public lectures and discussions and lucid articles in “Irish Monthly” and “Studies” - to relate the social teaching of the Church to the problems of the times. His was a busy life, a life spent in the service of his fellowmen, a life modelled on that of his divine Master, Who came into our world not to be served but to serve.

His studies led him to realise the impor tance of agriculture in Irish economic and social life. From the start, he supported the late Canon Hayes in developing Muintir na Tire. And, following in the footsteps of his boyhood guide and friend, the late Father Thomas Finlay SJ, he took a keen interest in the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society, of which he was president from 1943 until his death. He came to know this co-operative movement from every angle-legal, economic and above all, idealistic. In so far as the many calls on his time would allow, he visited and spoke to the members of co-operative societies in many parts of Ireland. At the same time he was not unmindful of the needs and problems of Irish industry. He served for many years on Joint Industrial Councils and other bodies connected with industrial life. Businessmen and trade union officials frequently consulted him about their many problems and all found in him a wise counsellor and sympathetic friend.

But despite his varied interests and activities, he did not lose sight of the subject of education as a basis for social reform and economic progress, a subject which had held his attention since his days at Clongowes. In the mid-thirties, we find him taking a prominent part in the Clongowes Social Summer School. A little later he is collaborat ing with Dublin Legionaries of Mary in organising social study groups in the City of Dublin. Towards the end of the second world war, we find him in the company of the late Father Joseph Canavan SJ and Father Thomas Counihan SJ, planning for a more permanent educational institution for social studies. This led to his founding the Catholic Workers' College in 1948. Today, as it enters on its second decade, the college, which he founded, is staffed by seven Jesuit priests and two Jesuit Brothers who are assisted by the voluntary labours of twenty-four lay lecturers; there are over one thousand students on its rolls; and it is housed in specially designed, modern buildings. It will remain for future as a lasting monument to his wisdom and courage. Nor is this the only legacy he bequeathed to his fellow countrymen in the field of social education. In 1949, at the request of Dr Michael Tierney, President of University College, Dublin, he organised the University College Extra-Mural Courses in Social and Economic Studies and in the Liberal Arts. These courses later spread to the towns of Leinster. He personally super vised this work and found time to visit the provincial centres and encourage both teachers and students alike. He was Director of this important work until he died.

As one who was privileged to work with him in the later years of his life, the writer of these lines can testify that all this varied activity was possible only because he was prepared to work from early morning until late at night all the year round. He was a worker, but he was much more. He was, first and last, a religious man, a man of prayer who brought to all his activities a deep spirit of Christian idealism. He saw his daily work, not merely as a service to his countrymen, but as his way of serving God. His lively faith and deep insight into the true meaning of life, personal and social, inspired all his activities and enabled him to “keep going” when many a more robust man would have cried “enough”. Considerate for others, he did not spare himself where work was concerned. In his case, as in the case of his divine Master, it is a question of where one man has sown, others have reaped, Those who carry on the work he started, are ever mindful of the debt they owe him. Father Edward Coyne has passed to his eternal reward but his memory and ideals live on in the minds and hearts of countless men and women. May his great soul rest in peace.

EK

Crowe, Patrick J, 1925-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/826
  • Person
  • 05 March 1925-04 July 2017

Born: 05 March 1925, Edenderry, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1961, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died 04 July 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1977 at St Ignatius College Prep San Francisco CA, USA (CAL) Sabbatical

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/paddy-crowe-sj-a-quality-educator/

Paddy Crowe SJ – a quality educator
Paddy Crowe SJ died peacefully on Tuesday morning, 4 July, in the wonderful care, love and compassion of the staff at Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, Milltown Park, Dublin 6. At his funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on 6 July, former community member and friend Bruce Bradley SJ gave the homily. He was buried in the Community Cemetery in Clongowes, Clane, Co. Kildare.

Born on 5 March 1925 in Edenderry, Co Offaly, Paddy was the oldest boy in a large family. He was educated at Clongowes Wood College SJ in Co Kildare before entering the Society of Jesus in 1943. Early on, it was thought he would make a good professor of philosophy, but he had a more active interest in schools. He soon found himself working in education under various roles. At Clongowes Wood College SJ, for example, he became teacher, prefect, rector, and eventually headmaster.

He served as Director of Education Policy and Education Delegate for the Irish Province and worked at several other schools, including Crescent College SJ and Mungret College SJ in Co Limerick, and Belvedere College SJ, Gonzaga College SJ, and Greendale School in Dublin. Referring to his personality, Fr Bradley said: “He was an extrovert and had such a sense of humour. He was bravely adventurous, who loved to travel, have new experiences and make new friends”.

“Educational value,” Paddy said once, “is based largely on personal contact of good people with the young.” Fr Bradley, who worked with him for many years, noted: “In all the schools where he served, he was demanding and firm, but fair. He lived in the continual tension between the old and the new, always reading, questioning, and seeking to move on”.
One of his former students commented: “You always knew where you stood with Fr Crowe”.

Paddy was consultant to Fényi Gyula Jesuit High School, the only Jesuit school in Hungary, founded in 1994. He was heavily involved in the University of Scranton (USA) Scholarship Scheme, which led in time to his honorary doctorate in education, of which he was justly proud.

Later from 1998 to 2009, he returned to Clongowes where he lived among his Jesuit community; acted as spiritual father for students; assisted in a local parish and ministered to the Holy Family Sisters. His mind remained very alert as his physical health deteriorated. As one friend said of him: “He was a great man to have a conversation with but a terrible man to play scrabble with”. He also retained a great interest in computers and loved using up-to-date devices.

His passing is deeply regretted by his family, Jesuit companions, friends, former colleagues and his many students, some of whom posted warm tributes on Facebook. Fr Bradley concluded: “As Paddy arrives at last at the father’s house, we can rejoice with him and for him. Paddy, go without fear. Amen”.

Early Education at Edenderry NS; Knockbeg College, Carlow; Clongowes Wood College SJ

1945-1948 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1948-1951 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1951-1953 Crescent College SJ, Limerick - Regency : Teacher
1953-1954 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Third Line Prefect; Studying for CWC Cert in Education
1954-1958 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1958-1959 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1959-1960 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Lower Line Prefect; Teacher
1960-1965 Mungret College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher
1965-1976 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher
1968 Rector
1971 Headmaster
1976-1977 St Ignatius Prep. San Francisco, CA, USA - Sabbatical
1977-1978 Loyola House - Province Special Secretariat
1978-1979 University Hall - Vice Superior; Province Special Secretariat; Director Province Education Policy
1979-1984 Belvedere College SJ - Working in Education; Director Province Education Policy
1980 Headmaster; Teacher; Education Delegate; Colloquium
1984-1987 Campion House - Education Delegate; Director Colloquium
1985 Manager Gonzaga College SJ; Chair Board Gonzaga College SJ; Vice-Superior
1987-1992 Loyola House - Superior; Education Delegate; Director Colloquium
1990 Central Province Admin; Asst Education Delegate; Chair Board Gonzaga College SJ
1992-1995 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Rector; Provincial Team
1995-1998 Belvedere College SJ - Principal of Junior School
1997 Chair Board Cherryfield Lodge
1998 - 2017 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Assists in Clane Parish of St Patrick & St Brigid
1999 Chair Board of Greendale School, Kilbarrack, Dublin
2001 Spiritual Father to Third Line
2006 Ministry to Holy Family Sisters, Clane, Co Kildare
2009 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ The Clongownian, 1977

Appreciation

Father Patrick Crowe SJ

It is doubtful if anyone has had such a varied experience of responsibility in Clongowes as Fr Crowe, our first Headmaster, who left us last summer. He was Third Line Prefect 1953-54, Lower Line Prefect '59-60, Prefect of Studies '65-68, Rector '68-71 and finally Headmaster from '71 to '76. For eleven years, then, his office, if not regal, was at least consular in the Roman sense: he was one of two holding “imperium” in our little state. Anyone in a position to make a “before-and-after” assessment of that period in Clongowes must agree that the many changes which took place have amounted to a transformation. These range from unlocked notice-boards and study. halls to new buildings, from boys distributing their own letters to voluntary Mass on week-days, from entrance exams to self-service in the refectory, from a catering committee to a School Council, from monthly breaks to women teachers, from an integrated staff lunch to a stand-by generator, from cups for tennis, choir and orchestra to work for the poor and aged of the district and the handicapped children in Stewart's hospital, from masters' classrooms to parents' meetings, from social evenings to an O Level year, from boys telephones to a crowded programme of holiday engagements in the college. The degree of Fr Paddy's involvement in these changes varied, of course, from agonising personal decision to mere encouragement of other people's energy and initiative. But the work of any man in government or administration is judged, for credit or condemnation, by what actually took place during his term of office. By that test our first Headmaster when he comes back to visit Clongowes - which we hope he will do very often - will be able, with all the confidence and gratification of Christopher Wren in St Paul's, to look around and see everywhere monuments to his vision and efficiency. His devotedness to visiting the sick and attending funerals will endure in the grateful memory of very many parents and past pupils, the community and teaching staff, and all whom, in a favourite phrase, he liked to call the “Clongowes family”.

◆ The Clongownian, 2017

Obituary

Father Paddy Crowe SJ : A Quality Educator

Fr Paddy Crowe SJ died peacefully on Tuesday morning, 4th July, 2017 in the wonderful care, love and compassion of the staff at Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, Milltown Park, Dublin 6 and was buried in the Community Cemetery in Clongowes, Clane, Co. Kildare. Paddy spent much of his life in Clongowes, first as a pupil and then as teacher, prefect, rector as well as being the first headmaster. At his funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on 6th July, former community member and friend Bruce Bradley SJ gave the homily

Herbert McCabe, the English Dominican theologian of Irish descent and a near contemporary of Paddy's, wrote in his book, “Faith Within Reason”, published posthumously in 2007: “The whole of our faith is the belief that God loves us; [...] there just isn't anything else. Anything else we say we believe is just a way of saying that God loves us”. And the corollary of that is that everything we hear in Scripture is the message of God's love. The whole of salvation history, the account of God's interaction with us from the beginning of time, through different epochs, across diverse cultures, expressed in a variety of human literary forms and devices, all of that history recorded in the complex collection we call 'the Bible', carries the same message, finally summarised in St John's heartbreakingly simple phrase of just three words at the end of the New Testament: “God is love”.

Herbert McCabe's fellow-Dominican, the great Flemish theologian Edward Schillebeeckx, prefaced his book on the Church with a memorable anonymous quotation: “People are the words with which God tells his story”. In the Word of God we read at a funeral, we seek to cast light on the human life we are celebrating and to discern the working out of God's love in that life. It's not difficult to see that the leit-motif of Paddy Crowe's story, the leading theme, was education. On one occasion, speaking in this instance about Clongowes - but the remark has much wider application when referred to himself - Paddy said: “We think Clongowes is a good school and to it we are willing to give our time, our energy. our humanity, our lives”. Education, the eliciting of potential and the nurturing of gifts and talents in young lives, is, properly understood, above all a work of creative love. And that is the work to which Paddy gave himself, directly or indirectly, for much of his long, dedicated life.

Clongowes, of course, where he went after the local national school and a period in Knockbeg, looms large in his story. The oldest boy in a large family from Edenderry, to which he remained always attached, he was there as a student in the war years from 1938 to 1943. The records - as is often the case - hardly presage the distinguished career in education that lay ahead of him, although he was clearly an able first division student and produced excellent Leaving Certificate results. He was a prominent and able debater from the beginning and in his second year - perhaps a little harder to imagine but accurately reflecting the interest he always had in music - he was praised for his portrayal of the shy and petite Germaine in the comic opera “Les Cloches de Corneille!”

His keen, enquiring intellect
Having joined the Jesuits straight from school, in the course of his formation he was at one stage envisaged as a future professor of philosophy. That points to his keen, enquiring intellect but it was almost certainly a misreading of his temperamental inclinations and he was destined to more active work in schools for almost all of his life. He served as Third Line Prefect in Clongowes from 1953 to 1954, as Lower Line Prefect from 1959-60, as Prefect of Studies from 1965 to 1968, as Rector in the old days of the Rector Magnificus from 1968 to 1971, as Headmaster from 1971 to 1976, as Rector again from 1992 to 1995 (though by then, as he discovered somewhat to his disappointment, with headmasters now in place to lead the school the role had gone down a bit), and, finally, for the years from 1998 to 2009, as a member of the community and carrying out some duties inside and outside the school, but without the burdens of office which he had carried for so long and at a time when his health was beginning to decline.

“But Clongowes was far from the whole story. Apart from the valuable work he did in other Jesuit schools in Ireland - the Crescent in Limerick; Mungret, where he was Prefect of Studies for five years before moving to the same role in Clongowes; Belvedere, where he served as Headmaster for four years at the beginning of the eighties, after his long stint in Clongowes, and later as Principal of the Junior School in the mid nineties; and Gonzaga, where he was manager for a time - he was also Education Delegate to the Provincial in the 1980s, giving him oversight of all the schools and those who worked in them. In addition, he was heavily involved in these years in promoting what was known as the Colloquium, which brought Jesuit and lay teachers together to talk about their shared aspirations - the kind of dialogue he had come to believe in more and more. It partly explains, too, his great interest in psychology. And I have not mentioned the many organisations and projects and committees beyond the Jesuit sphere to which he made substantial contributions, often in leadership roles, to promote an educational vision and foster its practical application to the actual life of classrooms; or his chairing of the board in Greendale Community School in north Dublin for several years from 1999; or his heavy involvement in the Scranton University scholarship scheme, which led in time to an honorary doctorate in education, of which he was justly proud; and so on. And that list, long as it is, is not exhaustive.

Paddy thought a lot about education and, over his time of leadership in Clongowes, he delivered reflective, well-crafted addresses at the annual past pupils' dinner, expounding his own developing understanding and the need for change. One such speech even made the front page of The Sunday Press! His first administrative appointment was to Mungret in 1960 and he would remain in school leadership continuously until 1976, almost two decades, which finally left him exhausted. This was a period of huge change in ireland and further afield. Paddy was keenly aware of such change and worked hard, reading and consulting widely, to keep abreast of it. in his speech to the Clongowes Union, in the autumn of 1969. he made what must have been one of the earliest references to computers in such a context - computers, as we know, would prove a lifelong passion and his room in Cherryfield became something of a computer graveyard, as latest model succeeded latest model in the relatively confined space, all identified and ordered on-line by Paddy himself! In that speech he also spoke, in the same sentence, of the government's pivotal Investment in Education report and the all-important decree of the Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 'The Church in the Modern World'. The introduction of free education in Ireland, followed by the points system, gradually transformed the system here, asking new questions of Clongowes and all the Jesuit schools. The Church's role in education, as has become so familiar to us now, was beginning to be called into question. Les évènements in Paris in 1968 took place as he was making the transition from Prefect of Studies, in which he had been, in the words of “The Clongownian”, “the architect of aggiornamento”, to the heavier responsibilities of Headmaster.

Personal contact of good people
“Educational value”, he said once, “is based largely on personal contact of good people with the young”. Paddy himself was one such good person and he sought this kind of contact to the extent that he could. Over time, his direct manner, which could be intimidating, softened considerably. In all the schools where he served, he was demanding and firm but fair. One former student was quoted as saying that you always knew where you stood with him. He was never afraid to confront but colleagues and parents found him accessible and often became his good friends. A notable part of his legacy in Clongowes was the effective abolition of corporal punishment, which took full effect after he left. In Belvedere he put an end to streaming just before he completed his term, a no less important change for the atmosphere and culture of a school. Schools, boarding schools especially perhaps, have a tendency to be somewhat conservative places and Paddy was well aware that his modernising policies were the subject of criticism inside and outside the school. He confronted the challenge directly at the Clongowes Union Dinner in 1974. “Meeting many of the older men here”, he said, “sets me thinking of all the things that have changed”. Having listed some of the changes, he asked: “How did it happen? If you like simple answers to complex questions, take your choice: ‘they’ have gone permissive, soft, have no backbone, will not stand out against the rot... As we see it, things began to happen, matters were forced on our attention - we began to listen to others, began to accept an enormously changed world, began to reflect more on what we were trying to do and what in fact we were doing. The Catholic school could easily become a place of comfortable conformity, he had said a year earlier.... Priests and religious do not wish to stay in their schools for this ... We are at the end of Phase | Catholic Education in Ireland. The response of 1814 does not answer the needs of 1973”.

He ended one of his addresses by quoting the inspirational Jesuit General of the time, Father Pedro Arrupe, whose “Men for Others” address in Valencia would soon make its impact on all Jesuit schools: “If our schools are to perform as they should, they will live in continual tension between the old and the new, the comfortable past and the uneasy present”. Paddy, destined to lead schools in a period of extraordinary change, always wanted them to live in that way. That was where he tried to live himself, always reading and questioning and seeking to move on.

Bravely adventurous There is so much more to be said but time does not allow and, despite what you might think, this is not, in the end, intended to be a lecture on the educational career of Paddy Crowe or a mere personal eulogy. Through these - often lonely and taxing - endeavours (and he could get down and discouraged), Paddy was working out his vocation, responding to God's call, telling God's story through his own life. In this very inadequate sketch, I have stressed the educational component and the richness of what he achieved, for particular reasons. From our present vantage-point, Paddy's life easily seems to fall into what we might almost think of as two “halves”. There have been more recently what seem - and certainly seemed to him - like the long years of decline, which weighed so heavily on him, despite the devotion - and even, we have to say, the forebearance! - of Mary Rickard and Rachel McNeill and the staff who cared for him in Cherryfield, since he went there actually less than a decade ago. Even before that, in his last years in Clongowes, as the extrovert that he was, with such an appetite for life and involvement and activity, as a man who was so bravely adventurous and loved to travel and have new experiences and make new friends, as a man used to being in authority and exercising influence and in control, he felt himself”'beached” and on the sidelines and found this very painful. Who knows what heroism he practised, behind the mask of failing powers and old age, as he went, increasingly and inscrutably silent, through all this? And so it is appropriate to correct the balance and beware of forgetting his achievements in the many earlier decades of his life. That's my first reason for laying such emphasis on them now, as the trajectory of that life comes more clearly into focus.

The second reason for thinking about those achievements, which perhaps brings us closer to what Paddy's inner experience was like, is that I think he did not always believe in all the good he had accomplished himself. And, for all his extroversion and his capacity to encourage others and promote development around him, there was a depressive side which showed at times and he was prone to self-doubt or at least to doubt the extent to which his efforts were appreciated by others. For him, on a superficial level at least, the measure of success - and perhaps of approval - was always further worthwhile employment. And when, in the judgment of others though not his own, he was past that, he found it harder to cope.

I began by quoting Herbert McCabe and I want to end with him. Paddy, full of humanity, longed for acceptance and emotional connection with others. In him I sensed that the emotion was often masked behind the brusque, direct, sometimes even abrasive manner. He was hardly aware of this or the degree to which it conditioned some of the responses he evoked in others. I think, to the extent that I knew this or have any right now to make such a surmise (and we lived and worked together in a variety of capacities over many years), in some measure it affected his spirituality and his search for a closer felt relationship with God. The uncertainty of the prodigal son in the parable in Luke's gospel at the reception he might expect from his father when he returned home, the journey on which we are all embarked, sometimes, judging by what he would say himself, seemed to infect Paddy's efforts to pray and to find rest in prayer. Herbert McCabe, interpreting that wonderful, utterly seminal parable in his posthumous book earlier referred to understands the essence of the story of the prodigal not to be the father's forgiveness of the son, but the father's welcoming and celebrating the son's homecoming with a feast. The love shown in this by the father is, for McCabe, analogous to God's love for us, sinners that we are. “His love”, he writes, “does not depend on what we do or what we are like. He doesn't care whether we are sinners or not. It makes no difference to him. He is just waiting to welcome us with joy and love”. As Paddy arrives at last at the Father's house and the banquet of which Isaiah writes so eloquently (Paddy would appreciate that!), the good fight finished (and he was always a fighter) and his race run, we can rejoice with him and for him that he knows the truth of the parable of the returned prodigal and the heavenly Father's welcome now. Now he can say with the psalmist that, through all his endeavours and all his struggles, “I was always in your presence; you were holding me by your right hand” (Psalm 73 1721,23). In the words Pope Francis, a man after Paddy Crowe's heart, likes to use for such a moment, we say to him: “Paddy, avanti senza paura! Go without fear! Amen”.

Dargan, Joseph, 1933-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/847
  • Person
  • 21 January 1933-01 June 2014

Born: 21 January 1933, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 24 May 1964, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Final Vows: 02 February 1968, Catholic Workers College, Dublin
Died: 01 June 2014, Blackrock Clinic, Dublin

Part of the Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus : 01 September 1980-1986

by 2003 at Mwangaza Nairobi, Kenya (AOR) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/joe-dargan-vision-and-task/

Joe Dargan: vision and task

It is rare for us to mourn such a servant of the Irish Jesuits as Joe Dargan. His looks were unremarkable: small, bespectacled, usually smiling. He was sturdy, a wing forward on Clongowes cup teams. His friends would describe Joe’s style of rugby as robust. It showed the steely determination hidden under a mild façade.

Wherever he went, he was landed with responsibility: starting with Third Line Prefect in Clongowes (he commented ”In 1958 when I volunteered to go to Zambia, I was told that my Zambia was to be Third Line prefect in Clongowes.”). He went on to be Director of the Province Social Survey, Rector of Emo, of Manresa (twice), of Clongowes, of Gonzaga, and of Belvedere. He was Master of Novices, Instructor of Tertians, Pastoral planning Consultant to the Irish Bishops, and also to the Major Religious Superiors (CMRS), director of the Manresa Centre of Spirituality, Socius to the Provincial, and Provincial. They never made him General, though it’s said that they thought of thrusting a bishopric on him.

You’d imagine that a man with such a gift for administration might be a nerdy type, with rows of secretaries ticking boxes for him. Joe was indeed a methodical man, who consulted wisely, prayed before making decisions, and stayed on the job till it was complete. For instance, he not merely designed the tertianship house in Manresa, but visited the site every day, made friends with the workmen, and so created a beautiful, functional building.

When, as rector of Belvedere, he had to raise funds for a school building, he showed his ability to balance the short-term and the long-term issues. As he put it to groups which he addressed: “A vision without a task is but a dream. A task without a vision is drudgery. A vision with a task is the hope for the future.” Parents were constantly reminded that education was the greatest gift they could leave to their children. With this vision before them, Joe and his collaborators worked on a 30-year plan. Part of the process entailed winning over all the constituents of the college: the Jesuit community, boys, teachers past and present, and past pupils. The target was four million pounds, and Belvedere passed it. If it has received generously, it also gives generously. Between their various projects Belvedere boys raise about a quarter of a million euro annually for charity. It is that vision of men for others, rather than lists of figures, that made these years a stimulating time for Joe Dargan rather than a begging bowl nightmare.

What people remember of Joe, however, is not so much his administrative ability as his kindness, and his readiness to give his time lavishly. He was every inch a priest, with a special gift for being with those in their last illness. It was probably this ease in his priestly role, coupled with his passion for sport, that underlay his friendship with Alex Ferguson of Manchester United.

When he was told some very few months ago that his illness was terminal, Joe was immediately filled with consolation and gratitude for the key people in his life – those he had met and loved, in his family, in the Society, in those extraordinarily rich friendships that he so enjoyed with such beloved friends, male andfemale. As the doctor actually spoke to him, those people’s names and images passed before his inner eye and he was filled with joy and gratitude. Most of us would have sunk at such a moment: not Joe, because the gratitude was to God and to those who were God’s hands and eyes and ears for him in this life.

A friend remarked that Joe was the most extraordinary of ordinary men, unthreatening, affable, and open to the Lord, who achieved great things through him.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 157 : Autumn 2014

Obituary

Fr Joe Dargan (1933-2014)

21 January 1933: Bom in Dublin.
Early education at Dominican Convent, Eccles Street, Dublin, Belvedere, Rockwell College and Clongowes Wood College
7 September 1950: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1952 First Vows at Emo
1952 - 1955: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1955 - 1958: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1958 - 1961: Clongowes – Third Line Prefect: Teacher
1961 - 1965: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
24 May 1964: Ordained at Clongowes Wood College
1965 - 1966: Rathfarnham – Tertianship
1966 - 1968: CIR – Director of Province Social Survey
2nd February 1968: Final Vows at CIR
1968 - 1969: Emo - Rector & Master of Novices
1969 - 1974: Manresa House – Rector and Master of Novices
1974 - 1977: Manresa - Rector; Director Centre of Spirituality
1977 - 1979: Clongowes - Rector; Asst. Provincial (visitor)
1979 - 1980: Socius to Provincial
1980 - 1986: Loyola House - Provincial
1986 - 1987: Loyola House - Sabbatical, assisted CMRS
1987 - 1993: Gonzaga - Rector & CMRS General Secretary
1993 - 2002: Belvedere - Rector; Consultant to Bishops on Pastoral Planning; Belvedere – Rector; Consultant to Bishops on Pastoral Planning (until 1997) Chair of Boards of Management of Manresa and Belvedere College.
2005 - 2014: Manresa – Vice-Rector; Tertian Director
2006 - 2012: Manresa Rector; Tertian Director
2012 - 2014: Vice-Rector and Tertian Director

Joe was not feeling well for some weeks and went into the Blackrock Clinic on March 23rd. Tests revealed extensive cancer. He accepted the results and the prognosis with grace and faith, continuing to reach out to people over the following weeks. There was a gradual decline in his condition and he died peacefully on Ascension Sunday morning. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Since Fr Joseph Dargan, or just Joe (as I came to know him), passed away on the day we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension, he has been pointing not to himself but to the God he loved. In the manner of his dying, down to the very timing, and at his funeral, he was asking us to grapple with the question in the first reading at the funeral Mass from Deutero-Isaiah: “Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges: can you not see it?” He was inviting us to listen to the message of hope and encouraging us to live out of that hope. The words of St. Patrick's Breastplate have been reverberating in my mind these past days:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me.

These words represent the key to understanding what Joe desired, and the reality to which he pointed in all his interactions with us, when talking of God or mammon (in the form of Manchester United) - and everything in between.

The American Poet, Mary Oliver, in Honey Locust, describes a tree, native to North America, in blossom and the bees seeking the nectar:

The bees circle the tree and dive into it.
They are crazy with gratitude,
They are working like farmers.
They are as happy as saints.

I am going to frame my words around these lines.

The bees circle the tree and dive into it
This is the disposition that Fr. Joe brought to everything he did. He engaged fully. He dived into life, in whatever circumstances: in Manresa, in the then CMRS, in Gonzaga, Clongowes and Belvedere, in Mwangaza, in Loyola. And in whatever role, from Provincial to spiritual director, from Chair of the Board to lover of family, and so on.

And how he loved bis family: while I name only his brother Michael (or Mick) and his beloved sister Mairéad, they stand for all the family, those who have gone before Joe, those here present including the 18 nieces and grandnieces - not forgetting the nephews, including Joe the younger. He also enjoyed the deepest of friendships. And I have often thought that his great gift of being able to relate with women was modelled on the way that Jesus himself related to women in the Gospels, Joe engaged with all persons in the fullest way possible.

The bees are crazy with gratitude
Joe had almost zero concern for the material things of this world. As a. novice, I remember a fellow novice speculating one day that he thought that Joe had only one pair of shoes: in fact, watching thereafter, we never saw him in other than that one sturdy, black pair. That's not to deny that he didn't enjoy being able to stream the big football game - say Man U at home to Liverpool this season! But when challenged about such a worldly use of the computer, Joe would say simply, that the computer is merely an apostolic aid!' He was truly indifferent to worldly possessions. Given that significant business people who came to know him well, even to depend on him in some measure, would say that had Joe chosen a different path, that he would undoubtedly have been a very successful businessperson, we might ask ourselves, what is the source of his indifference to worldly goods?

The answer in significant part lies in the reading from Deutero Isaiah. Like the exiled Jewish people in Babylonia, so Joe needed to hear - and did hear at the deepest level of his being - those words from God through the prophet:

“I regard you as precious, since you are honoured and I love you. Do not be afraid for I have redeemed you. No need to remember past events. Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges: can you not see it?”

These words were heard as being addressed to him - and to each of us! It intrigued Joe that the reading ends with a big question: “Can you, can we, not see it?” In the Ascension, God did something new with Jesus and it emerges that there is hope and that hope is grounded in the death, resurrection and ascension of the Son of God. And, in his dying on the Feast of the Ascension, God did something new in Joseph. Can you not see it?

Out of this was born the person that Joe became: a most grateful person.

When he was told some very few months ago that his illness was terminal, Joe was immediately filled with consolation and gratitude for the key people in his life - those he had met and loved, in his family, in the Society, in those extraordinarily rich friendships that he so enjoyed with such beloved friends, male and female. As the doctor actually spoke to him, those people's names and images passed before his inner eye and he was filled with joy and gratitude.

Most of us would have sunk at such a moment: not Joe, because the gratitude was to God and to those who were God's hands and eyes and ears for him in this life.

But, to be clear, Joe was not like a plastic or alabaster statue. As a young Jesuit student in Rathfarnham and Tullabeg and Milltown, he would come from his room, football boots in his hands, pay a visit to the Blessed Sacrament on the way to the pitch, pray intensely out of gratitude to God - and then go out on the pitch and hack down anyone who dared to try and pass him, leaving his opponent sprawling on the ground, with Joe standing over him, full of concern!

And in the spirit of consolation that sustained him in recent weeks, on being visited by Mr. Gerard Foley, currently headmaster of Belvedere, Joe's mischievous sense of humour enabled him to whisper, Thank God you came in to Belvedere when you did: that other fellow left an awful mess!'

Gratitude and grace - the latter understood as relationship with God - and consolation - but never without bite, never without humour!

The bees around the honey locust are working like farmers
Out of that spirit of gratitude, I suspect that unlike most of us, Joe wasted very few moments during his 81+ years. He gave his all to every project and to every person: in his presence, one never felt that Joe had to be elsewhere - you got his undivided attention.

From sticking faithfully to a physiotherapist's instructions, to thorough engagement with the Irish Province social survey in response to Vatican II back in the 1960's, to the meticulous attention to detail in the planning document, Our Mission in Ireland drawn up during his time as Provincial - strategic planning was a prominent feature of every work that he engaged in, not least with the CMRS - down to the legacy that is the tertianship today, co-created with his Dutch colleague Fr. Jan van de Poll - in all of that, the focus was always on the mission, to bring the love of Christ to the other.

Who knows how many lives he saved - I mean that in the deepest sense - through his love-enriched, Christ-focused interaction with so many people, bom of the Spiritual Exercises, of his love of the poor - witness his work in Africa, his work on the bursary programme in Belvedere, his reception of the orphans from Africa every summer - and of his love of the Church?

In the Letter to the Ephesians, read like Deutero-Isaiah at his funeral, St Paul prays for his “hidden self to grow strong”. Richard Rohr says somewhere that “the True Self is that part of you who knows who you are and whose you are, although largely unconsciously. Your False Self is just who you think you are - but thinking doesn't make it so”. Throughout his life, Joe took the risk of going deeper, below the ego, to discern “who and whose” we are. Joe lived the self-reflective prayer of Ignatius known as the Examen. He truly devoted himself to prayer and reflection. And so his “hidden self” grew out of and into God, into Jesus Christ, enriched greatly through his love of Mary, the Mother of God, and of the Church, and of the Society of Jesus.

Everything he did was to try to get us on the same path, knowing it was the way to genuine inner peace and contentment for each of us. In the prayerful words of the late Pedro Arrupe S), former General of the Society:

Grant me, O Lord, to see everything with new eyes,
To discern and test the spirits
That help me read the signs of the times,
To relish the things that are yours
and to communicate them to others.
Give me the clarity of understanding that you gave Ignatius'.

This became Joe's own prayer.

In a wonderful little piece, Leonard Cohen asks, “what is a saint?”:

A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love. Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve the chaos....but he is at home in the world. He can love the shapes of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have amongst us such (persons), such balancing monsters of love.

Joe was just such a person, filled with the energy of love and with that balance. He knew, of course, that it is in Christ that an ever deeper hope resides.

But this is not to go back to the alabaster statue. A Jesuit friend and I went out to dinner one night, in a restaurant very close to Manresa. (I remember it well because I paid!) This mutual friend put a little idea into our heads: why not call in to visit Joe on the way home, but not tell him why we were there together, leaving him with the impression that the Provincial had given us a very important task, on behalf of the Province, which we were not free to talk about! We didn't have to travel far into Manresa: there was Joe walking the upper path, rosary beads in hand. At every opportunity, for months after, indeed for the past couple of years, Joe never missed an opportunity to try to find out what was going on. He was innately curious. He loved to know what was going on.

A Board colleague of the time reminded me of a Board meeting in Belvedere in the days when Belvedere was well run!) when, as headmaster, I conveyed some information about an issue to do with rugby (of all things!). Joe, sitting next to me, rounded on me and asked if I was informing the Board of this matter or asking their opinion. A bit perplexed, I - allegedly - floundered and said I supposed I was informing the Board. Joe's two hands stretched out, in a familiar gesture of his and said: “Fine, fine, that's fine - because if you were asking us, I wouldn't agree with you!” Saintly, but as cute as a fox, wise as the serpent, simple as the dove.

Like his fellow Jesuits, he knew himself to be a sinner yet loved by Jesus: on his sick-bed he acknowledged that he had made mistakes in his life, but that these were forgotten and forgiven.

Those bees are as happy as saints
The integrity, the consistency of the spoken word and gesture, and the manner of his dying, confirm for us that Joe meant what he said, and said what he meant.

He understood himself and each one of us to be a new creation, and that in life and in death we give witness to the Resurrection. All this in faith and in hope. He made as his own Pedro Arrupe's prayer in his own illness:

Now more than ever I find myself in the hands of God.
This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth.
But now there is a difference:
The initiative is entirely with God.
It is indeed a profound spiritual experience
To know and feel myself so totally in God's hands!

In recent times, Joe was unable to celebrate Mass: a Sister friend suggested to me the other evening that this was his time to be, like Pierre Teillhard de Chardin SJ, offering his “Mass on the world”. Once, when in China, Teillhard had no bread or wine with which to celebrate Mass. He expressed his deep love for the Eucharist in his essay of that name, which begins:

Since once again, Lord .... I have neither bread nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the real itself; I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and it will offer you all the labours and sufferings of the world.

Joe chose the funeral Mass reading from Matthew's Gospel because the words, “This is My body - this is My blood”, were the centre-piece of his vocation. These, he said as he faced death, are the most important words to say at that hour.

In the final lines of Honey Locust, Mary Oliver writes:

So it is if the heart has devoted itself to love,
There is not a single inch of emptiness.
Gladness gleams all the way to the grave.

A fitting epitaph for Joe, as God in him and throughout his life, says to us: “Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges: can you not see it?!”

Leonard Moloney

Joe Dargan: Three Memories

Brendan Staunton

First memory:
During my first year theology in Milltown, Joe asked me to come to Manresa on Sunday mornings and introduce the novices to literature. So I'd cross the city on my Honda 50, with Saul Bellow, Ayn Rand, James Joyce and Co., in tow. The rhetoric of fiction was closer to my existential concerns than the theological questions we were being fed. In fact, the fare was all answers to issues and battles fought long before our time. So the answers were stale. The waves of Vatican Two were approaching, however, onto Irish shores, and Milltown, broadly speaking, was receptive and open to the experiential and empirical. So Joe's invitation was a Godsend, and at the end of our two-hour sessions he would hand me a ten pound note, saying “that's for petrol”! (Less than two would fill the tank!)

Second Memory:
I'm about to go on Tertianship. Joe calls. He had been at a function in The Red House, where Dermot Ryan had complained about all the Religious going abroad to be trained for formation work Particularly the USA. Joe, Head of CORI, told him he had someone at home now who had trained in London. So the idea of Loreto House was born, and I was asked to set it up and get it going with two Sisters. And the rest is history!

Third Memory:
We are in Rome for a month's Conference on the Spiritual Exercises, attended by 101 people, mostly Jesuits, but also other religious and lay collaborators from 40 countries. The approach is mostly academic: content orientated; lecture style; dense and heavy. Starting with Fr General, the lecturers were all stately, formal figures from the Greg. After three long mornings, Joe raised his hand, and asked a question. A huge burst of applause broke out! Only Joe would have got away with it, as there was no offense heard, but the feedback hit the nail on the head. The fact of his being a previous Provincial probably helped too, and the talks and afternoon sessions became more experiential and participative.

◆ The Clongownian, 2014

Obituary

Father Joe Dargan SJ

“Fr Joe Dargan SJ who died in June, had been ill for the previous three months” - writes the Headmaster, Fr Moloney. “Fr. Joe was at school in Clongowes, where he won a JCT medal and served as Captain of the College. He joined the Jesuits straight from school, returning as Third Line Prefect from 1958-61 and as Rector in the late 1970's before going on to be Provincial of the Irish Province (1980-'86). Until recently he was Tertian Master at Manresa House in Dublin. In his time he was also Master of Novices, Rector of Belvedere (1993-2002), spiritual director at the Jesuit Retreat House in Nairobi, and Director and Rector of Manresa Retreat House. He was a great person, accepting the results and prognosis of recent medical tests with grace and faith, continuing to reach out to people over the past few weeks, He died peacefully on Ascension Sunday morning”.

We print the following tribute to Fr Joe, Courtesy of Irish Jesuit News ...

Joe Dargan: vision and task

It is rare for us to mourn such a servant of the Irish Jesuits as Joe Dargan. His looks were unremarkable: small, bespectacled, and usually smiling. He was sturdy, a wing forward on Clongowes cup teams. His friends would describe Joe's style of rugby as robust. It showed the steely determination hidden under a mild façade.

Whereverhewent, he was landed with responsibility, starting with Third Line Prefect in Clongowes (he commented “In 1958 when I volunteered to go to Zambia, I was told that my Zambia was to be Third Line prefect in Clongowes”.). He went on to be Director of the Province Social Survey, Rector of Emo, of Manresa (twice), of Clongowes, of Gonzaga, and of Belvedere. He was Master of Novices, Instructor of Tertians, Pastoral Planning Consultant to the Irish Bishops, and also to the Major Religious Superiors (CMRS), director of the Manresa Centre of Spirituality, Socius to the Provincial, and Provincial. They never made him General, though it's said that they thought of thrusting a bishopric on him.

You'd imagine that a man with such a gift for administration might be a nerdy type, with rows of secretaries ticking boxes for him. Joe was indeed a methodical man, who consulted wisely, prayed before making decisions, and stayed on the job till it was complete. For instance, he not merely designed the tertianship house in Manresa, but visited the site every day, made friends with the workmen, and so created a beautiful, functional building.

When, as rector of Belvedere, he had to raise funds for a school building, he showed his ability to balance the short-term and the long-term issues. As he put it to groups, which he addressed: “A vision without a task is but a dream. A task without a vision is drudgery. A vision with a task is the hope for the future”. Parents were constantly reminded that education was the greatest gift they could leave to their children. With this vision before them, Joe and his collaborators worked on a 30-year plan. Part of the process entailed winning over all the constituents of the college: the Jesuit community, boys, teachers past and present, and past pupils. The target was four million pounds, and Belvedere passed it. If it has received generously, it also gives generously. Between their various projects Belvedere boys raise about a quarter of a million euro annually for charity. It is that vision of men for others, rather than lists of figures, that made these years a stimulating time for Joe Dargan rather than a begging bowl nightmare.

What people remember of Joe, however, is not so much his administrative ability as his kindness, and his readiness to give his time lavishly. He was every inch a priest, with a special gift for being with those in their last illness. It was probably this ease in his priestly role, coupled with his passion for sport that underlay his friendship with Alex Ferguson of Manchester United.

When he was told some very few months ago that his illness was terminal, Joe was immediately filled with consolation and gratitude for the key people in his life - those he had met and loved, in his family, in the Society, in those extraordinarily rich friendships that he so enjoyed with such beloved friends, male and female. As the doctor actually spoke to him, those people's names and images passed before his inner eye and he was filled with joy and gratitude. Most of us would have sunk at such a moment: not Joe, because the gratitude was to God and to those who were “God's hands and eyes and ears” for him in this life. A friend remarked that Joe was the most extraordinary of ordinary men, unthreatening, affable, and open to the Lord, who achieved great things through him..

PA

Delaney, Hubert, 1929-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/557
  • Person
  • 24 October 1929-01 April 2001

Born: 24 October 1929, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1966, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 01 April 2001, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Hubert Delaney was born in Dublin on 24 October 1929. After secondary school at the Christian Brothers in Dublin, Hubert entered the Civil Service for 15 months. However a higher calling brought him to the novitiate at Emo Park in 1948. He did the normal course of studies, B.A., philosophy, regency and then theology at Milltown Park in Dublin and crowned them with his ordination to the priesthood on 1962.

After tertianship, his life was lived in educational work. Up to 1974, secondary education occupied him, first at Belvedere College as prefect of studies of the Junior School followed by a year at Clongowes Wood College as teacher and higher line prefect. This was again followed by a three year stint as Headmaster at Gonzaga College in Dublin.
He moved from this into tertiary education and it was philosophy which absorbed his interests for the rest of his life. He lectured at the Milltown Institute in philosophy for eight years up to 1982. He continued lecturing but also studied for his M.A. in philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. He later obtained a Doctorate at Cork University and then went on a sabbatical 1989/1990. He went back to the Milltown Institute as lecturer and was also Director of the Lonergan Centre. He took a year off lecturing and went to Leeson Street as writer and researcher. For two years, 1993 to 1995, he was a tutor in philosophy at the Milltown Institute.

A complete change of venue brought him to Zambia, Africa, to the University of Zambia in Lusaka, invited by Fr Dillon-Malone, head of philosophy there. He stayed for a year lecturing and returned to Ireland to write but he first moved to Korea to lecture for a semester at Sogang University in Seoul. He was back in Leeson Street in 1997 as writer and doing research work again.

His health had not been good. He developed a serious heart condition and other ailments which hospitalised him several times. A stroke in March 2001 sent him to the Mater Hospital. Cerebral apathy and liver disease were diagnosed. All these led to his death on 1 April 2001.

Spontaneous testimony came from two of his former students who later became members of the staff of the Milltown Institute. Both spoke of him as a wonderful teacher, interesting, stimulating, challenging, but, most significant of all, he invited one to enter into a personal engagement and psychological growth. In his teaching he was not only the educator but also the pastor and the priest.

Friendship and service were two of Hubert's qualities. There were many on-going friendships with his former pupils and their families, as well as in the Jesuit communities in which he lived and in the family of his brother Peter. The Morning Star Hostel for ‘down and outs’, the Patricians, the Cenacle Retreat House were some of the areas where Hubert was of service. He had a love of literature, of classical music and of football. He missed all these when he came to Zambia for a year. After all, he was 66 years of age when he came and it is so difficult to make new friends and to fit into a new culture at that age .However he was of service at UNZA when he did come. Hubert's life was one of developing the talents that God had given him, a life centred on his priesthood and on the Mass.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001

Obituary

Fr Hubert Delaney (1929-2001)

24th Oct. 1929: Born in Dublin
Early education in St.Patrick's, Drumcondra and CBS, Richmond Street, Dublin.
1947 - 1948: 15 Months in Civil Service
8th Sept 1948: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept 1950: First vows at Emo
1950 - 1953: Rathfarnham, studying Arts at UCD
1953 - 1956: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1956 - 1959: Belvedere - Teacher, H.Dip in Ed. at UCD
1959 - 1963: Milltown Park - studying Theology
31 July 1962: Ordained at Milltown Park
1964 - 1964: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1964 - 1965: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
1965 -1970: Belvedere College: Prefect of Studies of Junior school
2nd Feb 1966: Final Vows
1970 - 1971: Clongowes: Higher Line Prefect and teacher
1971 - 1974: Gonzaga College: Headmaster
1974 - 1982: Milltown Park - Lecturer in Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1982 - 1985: Lecturing in Philosophy at Milltown Inst. studying for MA in Phil. Ed. at TCD
1985 - 1989: Doctorate studies in Philosophy at UCC
1989 - 1990: Sabbatical
1990 - 1992: Lecturer in Philosophy at Milltown Institute; Director, Lonergan Centre
1992 - 1993: Leeson St; Writer and Research
1993 - 1995: Tutor in Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1995 - 1996: Lecturer in Philosophy at UNZA, Lusaka Writer;
1996 - 1997: Lecturer in Philosophy at Sogang University, Seoul, Korea (Spring semester)
1997 - 2001: Leeson St; Writer & Research; Chair Virgin Mary School Board, Ballymun
1st April 2001: Died in the Mater Hospital, Dublin

In 1997 Hubert developed a serious heart condition, cardio myopathy, for which he was receiving regular medical treatment. Within the past three years he was hospitalised several times - to have an artificial knee joint fitted, a hip joint replaced and multiple skin grafts on his legs.

The state of his health had been declining noticeably since last September and even more so since February of this year. On March 21s he suffered a stroke and was admitted to the Mater Hospital, where cerebral apathy and liver disease were diagnosed. The combination of his many ailments led rapidly to renal failure, which was the immediate cause of his death.

Des. O Grady preached at Hubert's Funeral Mass...

Hubert has us all where he wants us now - gathered together with him as his sisters and brothers in our Father's house. We are brought together here by our love of Hubert and by the faith we share with him, our faith in the power and love of God who is the Father of us all: “the Father from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name”.

We are brought together today by our sorrow and our need, by our desire for the support we find in the company of one another and by our need to pray for Hubert, to give thanks for the gift he has been to us, and to surrender him back to the Father. In doing so we echo the faith of Job, which is also the faith of Hubert: “I know that my redeemer lives... These eyes of mine will gaze on him and find him not aloof”.

Jesus lives now for Hubert as the one who has gone before him to prepare a place for him. We pray that Hubert will now hear the words: “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord”.

We need not be in any doubt about Hubert's being welcomed into our Father's house. If we who are so poor in love always had a welcome for Hubert in our homes, how much more will our heavenly Father welcome him into his true home now. Unprofitable servants we may be, but beloved children first and last.

Our confidence for Hubert today is our confidence in the Father's love for him. That love has showered gifts on Hubert in this life, gifts that Hubert has turned to good account for us as our presence here today testifies more eloquently than anything I can say

If one looks through the official record of Hubert's assignments as a Jesuit priest Hubert's commitment to education is what stands out most of all. Hubert has worked at all levels of education - primary, secondary and tertiary, as well as in adult education. He taught in Belvedere, Clongowes, the Crescent, and in Gonzaga. He served as prefect of studies in the junior school in Belvedere and as headmaster in the senior school in Gonzaga.

In 1974 Hubert came to Milltown and began his career in third level education and I had spontaneous testimony to the value of his work there from two of his former students who are now members of the staff of the Milltown Institute. Both spoke of him as a wonderful teacher: interesting, stimulating, challenging, but most significant of all, as inviting one to personal engagement and growth. In his teaching he was not only the educator, but the pastor and the priest.

Hubert was able to teach so well because he himself was a lifelong student. And if we look at the topics of his MA thesis, “Imagination in Aristotle”, and his Ph.D. dissertation, “The Self-correcting Process of Learning”, we will realize that Hubert's study, though enjoyed for itself, was always focussed on the service of others. Hubert, like his Lord and Master, was among us as one who serves, and we have all benefited from the graces that God has given to Hubert.

That, as I said, is the official record. But off the record there is a whole parallel world of friendship and service; the Teams of Our Lady, the Morning Star, the Patricians, the Cenacle Retreat House, to name but some of the ones I know of Added to that there is his on-going friendship with many of his former pupils and their families, and, last but not least, his presence in his Jesuit communities and in the family of his brother Peter.

As we pray for Hubert today we can draw confidence from our faith in God and from the evidence of God's love in the gifts and graces he has showered upon Hubert, gifts Hubert turned to good account in his priestly life. Hubert's priesthood was at the centre of his life. He shared the word of God with us all and he gave of himself unsparingly. And at the heart of his every day and every work was the Mass.

There is so much more that could be said - his love of nature, and the joy and inspiration he drew from it - his doctoral dissertation about human development was entitled “The Tree of Life”. Then there was his love of literature. During the last few months he was reading again the novels of Jane Austen. Then there was music - mainly classical, and, of course, football.

Right up to the end Hubert enjoyed all of these. The day before he went to hospital for the last time, just two weeks ago today, he was, much against my wishes, let it be said, in Ballymun to chair a Board meeting of the Virgin Mary School, and then after than he spent the evening with his friends, Michael and Aileen Hardigan. The following day Hubert was too weak to get himself out of bed in the morning, and had to be taken to the Mater Hospital where, in spite of the best efforts of the doctors and nurses he died on Sunday morning of renal failure.

He died, yet he lives. He lives on in our hearts and our thoughts but also, we confidently trust, in our Father's home where he continues to work for us and bless us.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 2001

Obituary

Hubert Delaney SJ

Fr Hubert Delaney was Headmaster of Gonzaga 1971 - 1974, and under his leadership the college expanded considerably. A further stream was added to the school. He was very interested in developing the curriculum of the school and he gave a great impetus to drama and music through his wise appointments. His relation ships with members of the staff were particularly friendly and he is remembered with affection. He is also remembered as an administrator who was capable of taking innovative risks. His period of office was one of growth for the College.

May God bless him for his great work.

Fr J Brennan SJ

Diviney, Andrew, 1930-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/593
  • Person
  • 11 February 1930-26 May 2006

Born: 11 February 1930, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1961, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 26 May 2006, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1978 at San Francisco CA, USA (CAL) sabbatical
by 1992 at Northridge CA, USA (CAL) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr Andrew (Billy) Diviney (1930-2006)

February 1930: Born in Dublin
Early education at CBS, Synge Street
7th September 1948: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1950: First Vows at Emo
1950 - 1952: Rathfarnham - Studied Science at UCD
1952 - 1955: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1955 - 1958: Clongowes - Teacher; Third Line Prefect
1958 - 1962: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1961: Ordained at Milltown Park
1962 - 1963: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1963 - 1977: Clongowes -
1963 - 1966: Lower Line Prefect
1966 - 1969: Minister
1969 - 1977: Teacher
1977 - 1979: San Francisco - Parish Ministry and Sabbatical
1979 - 1980: Loyola - Exec Officer of Marriage & Family Apostolate
1980 -1982: Milltown Park - Assistant to President and Treasurer
2nd February 1981: Final Vows at Milltown Park
1982 - 1983: Gonzaga - Minister; Director, Adult Education Registrar and Treasurer at Milltown Institute
1983 - 1991: Crescent College Comprehensive; Dooradoyle - Teacher
1991 - 2004: California - Our Lady of Lourdes, Northridge, Pastoral Assistant
2004 - 2006: Milltown Park - Praying for Church and Society
26th May 2006: Died in Cherryfield, Dublin

Liam O'Connell writes:
Andrew Diviney was born the third child of six, Michael, Angie, Billy, Margo, Ted and David. Nobody is exactly sure why Andrew ended up being called Billy, but as a young person that name stuck with him in his family and among his friends.

A picture of his parents was always prominent in Billy's room. His family were very important to him, and his strong affection for them extended to his nieces and nephews. He in turn was important to his family, and they loved the attentive, joyful and personal way he celebrated their weddings and religious profession and baptisms. When Billy's niece, Helen, entered religious life, Billy gave her a copy of the Imitation of Christ, with a passage from Philippians inscribed on the front page. This passage was chosen for his funeral Mass and is a reminder of what was important to him in religious life.

Billy went to school in Synge Street, where he was in the scholarship class. He was twice the Leinster Schools 100 yards champion, and won the Lord Mayor trophy for athletics. He enjoyed school and always spoke of his Christian Brother teachers with admiration and great affection. He used to say that they were Great Men.

When Billy joined the Society in 1948 in Emo, he was a member of a large year of 22 other novices. His contemporaries include Joe Brennan, Joe Cleary, Tom Morrissey Conla O Dulaine and Frank O'Neill. Two others, Jimmy McPolin and Joe Shields died recently. Billy was a gentle and popular member of the group, and an outstanding soccer player. His contemporaries noted his lifelong gift for enjoying good company and appreciating other people.

In Mark's Gospel, when Jesus is baptised, we hear the Father taking delight in Him as He says, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”. Delight and enjoyment and love are at the heart of God. Billy had this divine gift, the ability to delight in other people, and to enjoy and relish what others might have been too hurried to appreciate.

After studies at Rathfarnham and Tullabeg, Billy went to work for three years in Clongowes, and for two of these years he was the Third Line Prefect, in charge of the first and second year students. He still has good friends from these years. Billy then resumed his studies in Milltown, and, after ordination and tertianship, he returned to Clongowes in 1963, first as Lower Line Prefect and Minister, and then as a teacher of Mathematics and Religion. In religion class he taught the Papal social encyclicals, because he. believed that they were revolutionary and liberating, and his teaching method was based on the asking of questions and the querying of the students' assumptions. These classes often produced heat as well as light.

Life in large communities produced its own tensions, and Billy was one of those who oiled the wheels of community life at Clongowes. He turned the annual holiday, the community villa, from being an ordeal into a pleasure for his colleagues. A close Jesuit friend from these years says that Billy regularly took on difficult and unpleasant work, and this friend admired him for his lifelong faithfulness and integrity.

Many people only learn to identify the “good old days” years later and while looking backwards. They end up saying. Those were the good old days, 20 or 30 years ago, and we did not realise it. But this was not so for Billy. He had a great capacity to enjoy small things and his enjoyment was infectious. He took delight in people, and he knew at the time, that these were the good old days. Past students from Clongowes and Crescent remember these qualities of delight and enjoyment and encouragement. While in Clongowes, Billy would go on Saturday afternoons to the races with his elderly father, and this was important to both of them.

Billy was concerned for people who put themselves under undue pressure. I can remember him in Clongowes calming people down who were upset and overwrought, with an extended hand and the word Easy said in a soothing tone. He worried about those whom he described as Driven. He admired people with balance in their lives, and a word of great praise from him was when he described someone as Poised.

During a sabbatical year in San Francisco, Billy studied psychology, which he found personally enriching. On his return to Ireland he worked for a time with marriage counsellors and those involved in parenting courses. He organised a significant Irish visit by the well-known author and counsellor Jack Dominian. At this time he also taught religious knowledge to seniors at Belvedere.

Next he worked for a period as Registrar in the Milltown Institute. In 1983, when he was 53, he returned to teaching, at Crescent College Comprehensive in Limerick. Today people think of retiring from teaching at this stage of their lives, but Billy enjoyed his return to the classroom and was great company in the staff room, where he made many strong and lasting friendships, and these friends still quote his sayings.

During summer holidays Billy had ministered in parishes in the Los Angeles diocese, and when he retired from teaching he worked for 13 years in Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Northridge, California. These were great years, or as he would say himself 'marvellous years'. He treasured his priesthood, and he enjoyed the reading and work he put into preparing his homilies. He was happy to release his fellow priests by saying the Sunday evening Mass. Billy was loved and appreciated and the parishioners were able to express their gratitude to him in 2001 when Fr. Peter Moran and the parishioners celebrated in style the 40th anniversary of his ordination

In his 60's, Billy took up golf and played with Roddy Guerrini in a four-ball every Tuesday at Elkins Ranch, north of Los Angeles. It should not have been a surprise that the athletics champion developed an effective swing and a tidy golf game. But in golf, too, he never became a fanatic. Just as he never needed to be told that these were “the good old days”, Billy did not need to be told as a golfer to smell the flowers. At golf he enjoyed all of the small things, and he delighted in the company of his friends.

When Billy returned to Milltown fourteen months before his death, he faced serious health problems. The support of his own family was important to him at this time. In the last four years, Billy and his family had to cope with the death of four of his own brothers and sisters, and David is the sole surviving family member. Billy did not speak often about the things that were most important to him, but those who lived with him knew that he was strong and serene and happy as he prepared for the final journey, on Slí na Firine.

Billy died close to the feast of the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, when heaven and earth are brought close together. We trust that the delight that Billy took in living, the delight that he took in his friends, and the delight he took in simple pleasures, will increase and flourish. We trust the God of Surprises to surprise him when Andrew Billy Diviney learns the length and breath and depth and height of the delight that God takes in his beloved son.

◆ The Clongownian, 2007

Obituary

Father Andrew (Billy) Diviney SJ

Andrew Diviney was born in Dublin on the 11th February 1930; he was the third child of six. Nobody is exactly sure why Andrew ended up being called Billy, but as a young person that name stuck with him in his family and among his friends. A picture of his parents was always prominent in Billy's room. His family were very important to him, and his strong affection for them extended to his nieces and nephews. He in rurn was important to his family, and they loved the attentive, joyful and personal way he celebrated their weddings and religious profession and baptisms. When Billy's niece, Helen, entered religious life. Billy gave her a copy of the Imitation of Christ, with a passage from Philippians inscribed on the front page. This passage was chosen for his funeral Mass and is a reminder of what was important to him in religious life.

Billy went to school in Synge Street CBS, where he was in the scholarship class. He was twice the Leinster Schools 100 yards champion, and won the Lord Mayor trophy for athletics. He enjoyed school and always spoke of his Christian Brother teachers with admiration and great affection. When Billy joined the Society in 1948 in Emo, he was a member of a large year of 22 other novices. His contemporaries include Joe Brennan, Joe Cleary, Tom Morrissey Conla Ó Dúlaine and Frank O'Neill. Two others. Jimmy McPolin and Joe Shiels died recently. Billy was a gentle and popular member of the group, and an outstanding soccer player. His contemporaries noted his lifelong gift for enjoying good company and appreciating other people. In Mark's Gospel, when Jesus is baptised, we hear the Father taking delight in Him as He says, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”. Delight and enjoyment and love are at the heart of God. Billy had this divine gift, the ability to delight in other people, and to enjoy and relish what others might have been too hurried to appreciate.

After studies at Rathfamham and Tullabeg, Billy went to work for three years in Clongowes, and for two of these years he was the Third Line Prefect in charge of the first and second year students. He still has good friends from these years. Billy then resumed his studies in Milltown and, after ordination and tertianship, he returned to Clongowes in 1963 first as Lower Line Prefect and Minister, and then as a teacher of Mathematics and Religion. In religion class he taught the Papal social encyclicals because he believed that they were revolutionary and liberating, and his teaching method was based on the asking of questions and the querying of the students' assumptions. These classes often produced heat as well as light. Life in large communities produced its own tensions, and Billy was one of those who oiled the wheels of community life at Clongowes. He turned the annual holiday, the community villa from being an ordeal into a pleasure for his colleagues. A close Jesuit friend from these years says that Billy regularly took on difficult and unpleasant work, and this friend admired him for his lifelong faithfulness and integrity.

Many people only learn to identify the 'good old days' years later and while looking backwards. They end up saying those were the good old days, 20 or 30 years ago, and we did not realise it. But this was not so for Billy. He had a great capacity to enjoy small things and his enjoyment was infectious. He took delight in people, and he knew at the time that these were the good old days. Past students from Clongowes and Crescent remember these qualities of delight and enjoyment and encouragement. While in Clongowes. Billy would go on Saturday afternoons to the races with his elderly father, and this was important to both of them. Billy was concerned for people who put themselves under undue pressure. I can remember him in Clongowes calming people down who were upset and overwrought, with an extended hand and the word 'easy said in a soothing tone. He worried about those whom he described as “driven”. He admired people with balance in their lives, and a word of great praise from him was when he described someone as “poised”.

During a sabbatical year in San Francisco, Billy studied psychology, which he found personally enriching. On his return to Ireland he worked for a time with marriage counsellors and those involved in parenting courses. He organised a significant Irish visit by the well-known author and counsellor Jack Dominian. At this çime he also caught religious knowledge to seniors at Belvedere. Next he worked for a period as Registrar in the Milltown Institute. In 1983, when he was 53, he returned to teaching, at Crescent College Comprehensive in Limerick. Today people think of retiring from teaching at this stage of their lives, but Billy enjoyed his return to the classroom and was great company in the staff room, where he made many strong and lasting friendships, and these friends still quote his sayings.

During summer holidays Billy had ministered in parishes in the Los Angeles diocese, and when he retired from teaching he worked for 13 years in Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Northridge, California. These were great years, or as he would say himself ‘marvellous years'. He treasured his priesthood, and he enjoyed the reading and work he put into preparing his homilies. He was happy to release his fellow priests by saying the Sunday evening Mass. Billy was loved and appreciated and the parishioners were able to express their gratitude to him in 2001 when Fr Peter Moran and the parishioners celebrated in style the 40th anniversary of his ordination. In his 60's, Billy took up golf and played with Roddy Guerrini in a four ball every Tuesday at Elkins Ranch, north of Los Angeles. It should not have been a surprise that the athletics champion developed an effective swing and a tidy golf game. But in golf, too, he never became a fanatic. Just as he never needed to be told that these were “the good old days”, Billy did not need to be told as a golfer to smell the flowers. At golf he enjoyed all of the small things, and he delighted in the company of his friends.

When Billy returned to Milltown fourteen months before his death, he faced serious health problems. The support of his own family was important to him at this time. In the last four years, Billy and his family had to cope with the death of four of his own brothers and sisters, and David is the sole surviving family member. Billy did not speak often about the things that were most important to him, but those who lived with him knew that he was strong and serene and happy as he prepared for the final journey, on Slí na Firine. Billy died close to the feast of the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, when heaven and earth are brought close together. We trust that the delight that Billy took in living, the delight that he took in his friends,

Doyle, Francis, 1931-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/771
  • Person
  • 04 October 1931-17 March 2011

Born: 04 October 1931, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 25 March 1963, Wah Yan College, Kowloon
Final Vows: 22 April 1977, St Francis Xavier, Kulala Lumpur, Malaysia
Died: 17 March 2011, Arrupe, Quezon City, Manila, Philippines - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

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

by 1958 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1961 at Bellarmine , Baguio City Philippines (ExOr) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Former editor dies

A former editor of the Sunday Examiner and the first Jesuit to be ordained a priest in Hong Kong, Father Frank Doyle, died in Manila, The Philippines, on 17 March 2011, after suffering a stroke on 6 February 2011. He was treated at the Medical City in Manila, but his condition continued to deteriorate.

He was farewelled from the Loyola House of Studies on the campus of Ateneo de Manila University on 23 March 2011, with Father Mark Raper as the main celebrant at his requiem Mass, and buried at the Jesuit novitiate in Quezon City.

Born in Ireland on 4 October 1931, he entered the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1949. His ordination at Wah Yan College Chapel in Kowloon on 25 March 1963 is described as being a big moment in the history of the Jesuits in Hong Kong, receiving headlines in the newspapers and on the radio news.

The newly ordained priest did interviews for the radio and historian, Father Thomas Morrissey, described it “a widespread manifestation of friendliness towards the Church and the society,” in his book, The Jesuits in Hong Kong, South China and Beyond.

He is described by Paul K. B. Chan, as “as a very friendly teacher and a good spiritual director.”

During his years in Hong Kong, Father Doyle was at the forefront of many activities and was particularly active in the push for direct elections from 1988 into the early 1990s. He addressed a forum of 10,000 people, along with the Democratic Party champion of the cause, Martin Lee Chu-ming, and on 21 May 1989 was present at a prayer meeting in St. Margaret’s Happy Valley at the end of a day when an estimated crowd of between 400,000 and one million people walked the streets of Hong Kong in support of the issue.

Father Doyle also worked in the Jesuit Centre of Spirituality at Cheung Chau, as well as among the students at Ricci Hall, and was among the first group to go from Hong Kong to the East Asia Pastoral Institute in Manila to study.

After an initial stint teaching at Wah Yan College, Father Doyle went to Singapore, where his career with newspapers began, working on the diocesan publication, Catholic News. He later became the founding director of the Pastoral Institute in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he stayed for the full 10 years allowed to a foreign resident by the government at that time.

Back in Hong Kong, he continued his writing at UCA News, before coming to the Sunday Examiner. He is remembered from his years at the editor’s desk (1991 to 1993) as an extremely good speaker of Cantonese, as well as a joyful and enthusiastic person.

“He would sing as he worked,” one of the staff said, “adding that he seemed to be able to do almost everything from writing articles to designing advertisements and doing the artwork himself.”

He is also remembered for giving a job to a hearing impaired woman. Staff who go back that far, say that he was patient and took time to teach her how to cut and paste to set out a page for the printers. They say that he continually encouraged her and, gradually her self-confidence grew and she began to speak more freely. Eventually, even, her hearing appeared to improve and in the end, she could talk quite fluently.

Father Ciaran Kane, from Xavier House in Cheung Chau, studied with him in high school in Ireland and they were again together in the Jesuit formation programme, coming to Hong Kong at about the same time.

Father Kane described his old friend as charming and a man who made friends easily, although in many ways he could be called a loner, as he liked to do his own thing in his own way. Father Kane said that something changed in him in later years. In describing him as dapper, he noted that in his later years he become really casual and even grew a beard.

“But he really loved writing,” Father Kane said, “and he was good at it. For many years after he went back to Ireland, he would return to Kuala Lumpur and do a month at the Catholic paper each year. He wrote many things.”

Father Doyle left Hong Kong when he finished at the Sunday Examiner and returned to Ireland where he worked in high school ministry and also retreat work.

Father Kane said, “He never forgot his Cantonese though and kept contact with Chinese people in Ireland and England, as well as in Vancouver and New York for many years.”

Father Doyle finished his days in Manila among the Jesuit scholastics as a spiritual adviser. He is also remembered as an author of prayers and reflections.

He once wrote, “Perhaps I haven’t seen things from this perspective, or have forgotten it, but it is the truth of my life: I am called by name, journeying along a unique path, God with me, God before me, all along the way that is mine.”

Tributes to him have poured in from every country in which he worked. May he rest in peace.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 3 April 2011

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/frank-doyle/

Frank Doyle, an Irish Jesuit priest of the Chinese Province, died on Saint Patrick’s Day 2011. After some years working in Ireland, Frank had returned to Asia in 2010, undertaking
work as a spiritual director in Manila. For many years he wrote the Living Space commentaries – reflections on readings and saints – on the Sacred Space website. His requiem and burial took place in Saint Ignatius Oratory, Loyola House of Studies, Manila on 22 March. Messages sent on news of his illness and other more general comments indicate how meaningful his apostolate had become to so many whom he had helped in their search for the Lord. The text of the homily delivered at his funeral can be read at Living Space, courtesy of Mark Raper SJ, President of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific. The text of the homily (http://sacredspace.ie/livingspace/funeral-homily/)

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/frank-in-sweaty-manila/

Frank Doyle SJ (left in photo) recently exchanged the green and leafy delights of Gonzaga for the humid heats of Manila, where there has been no rain for a long time and it is extremely hot, exceeding 30C and going up to 36, with humidity to match. After years in Hong Kong, Frank served Chinese exiles in many parts of the world, including Dublin. His ease with groups of diverse languages and cultures will stand to him in his new job as spiritual director to Jesuit students from at least twelve different countries. On arrival he joined a team directing the spiritual exercises in an upcountry retreat house. He lives on the large (Belfield-size) campus of the Jesuit university, Ateneo de Manila, and is praying for some cool rain

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

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
Among his students were Ciarán Kane and Frank Doyle in Belvedere

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011

Obituary

Fr Frank Doyle (1932-2011) : China Province

Obituary by Myles O'Reilly
Who is Frank Doyle? He had so many lives within one life that no one seems to know the whole Frank. On top of that, he was quite a private person and very self-sufficient. No wonder the editor found it so hard to find someone to write his obituary and the lot falls to me, being his last Rector in Ireland. Outwardly Frank was an exemplary novice like monk who never wasted a minute of his time. He rose at six in the morning, faithfully meditated for an hour, had breakfast in silence on his own, dutifully sat at his desk dealing with emails, researching, reading and writing for his Sacred Space contributions, celebrated Mass once weekly in Gonzaga school, and for the rest of the week at 10 30 a.m. with the Cherryfield community, for whom he had great affection, continued his morning desk-work until lunch to which he went with a certain reluctance (Frank was strongly one-to-one in preference).

After a short friendly chat in the kitchen with Linda the cook, he went to his room for a siesta, continued his reading and writing but interlaced it with listening to the radio, listening to his favourite music, usually jazz, and getting some physical exercise. This brought him to a late supper where he was careful to eat a healthy diet. After this, he played the piano for half an hour, relaxed in the library, having a chat with Kennedy O'Brien, whenever he was there, and then went off to bed. He was usually cheerful, had a great hearty laugh, loved a joke, passed many a one by email to his friends (including blue!!). He wore simple clothes, always wore a ring as a sign of his commitment to Christ, and always kept his room simple and uncluttered.

Yet he was also deeply serious and reflective and could be easily drawn into a theological discussion, usually taking a liberal line but in a gentle, non-aggressive way. Despite being wedded to his routine, he was always ready to drop it at the request for some help of any nature. He was also generous with his time for directees or friends that came to visit him. On Sundays he joined the Dublin Chinese community for Eucharist, after which he would join his brother Philip and his family for lunch, where he was a great hit with his nephews and nieces, and their children, all of whom he baptized and with whom he would watch television (only time in the week he permitted himself such an indulgence!). . For some of his summer, Frank became a curate in an all-Chinese community in New York, In September he offered himself as chaplain to a group that went to Lourdes every year. Occasionally throughout the year he would give a preached retreat, usually to nuns in the Loreto retreat centre in Linsfort, Co Donegal. He also loved to stand in as chaplain in St Vincent's private hospital in Dublin when required. So far this is only a brief external description of Frank in his Gonzaga incarnation

From his outer conformity to routine, you could be forgiven for thinking that Frank could just as easily have been a Cistercian as a Jesuit, but when you read his retreat reflections from the early 90's you realize that nothing could be further from the truth. True to Ignatian spirituality, we are defined by what is our deep heart's core. Even the ancient spirituality of the Upanishads recognized this. “You are what your deepest driving desire is; as your desire is, so is your will, as your will is so is your deed” The following is how Frank expressed his deepest desire.

    “My deepest desire is
to work for the kingdom of God
in whatever place
and in whatever work
to which I believe God is calling me
In the spirit of the beatitudes
especially in companionship with Christ today
in the poor and the discriminated against
even if it means suffering and rejection
using only the weapons of compassion, justice and freedom”.

We can easily hear the call of Christ the King, and the “Two Standards” in this deepest desire. True to it, throughout his reflections in his diary and his retreat notes, Frank is always questioning himself as to whether he is in the right place or doing the right work in terms of promoting God's kingdom. Could he be more effectively employed elsewhere? Even though the Chinese left the deepest imprint in his heart, it did not stop him from wondering whether it would be best for the Hong Kong mission that he leave, as a more indigenous Church would be more acceptable to mainline China when they would take over Hong Kong in 1997. Ought not the Hong Kong Church stand on its own feet, and best evangelize its own people? A combination of external circumstances and internal discernment led Frank to switch his missionary life to Malaysia where he put down fruitful roots for 10 years, enhanced by his willingness to learn the Malay language. He was deeply impressed by the strength of the indigenous church there, which gave him the freedom to consider turning the last quarter of his life to the Western world. The first part of this was spent in Canada where he was confronted with the challenge of making a stand for the gay community on what he saw as a human rights issue. This led to his having to leave ministry there and come back to Ireland as chaplain to Gonzaga school, which he undertook for three years.

Inwardly Frank was always chiding himself for writing just for himself alone. He saw it as too self indulgent. “Did not Ghandhi write solely for the edification of people? And Jesus did not write at all!!” But somehow he knew his vocation was to write. He had been editor of the “Hong Kong Examiner” and he had ambitious writing goals to fulfil. He longed to write about the Eucharist, the Beatitudes, New Testament syllabi for Hong Kong schools, sermon notes, Discernment of Spirits, and the use of “eros”, “philia”, and “agape” in the New Testament.

Late in his life he got his opportunity, a chance to channel all his in-depth reflections over the years on these topics through “Sacred Space”, which had an outreach to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. He was asked to provide reflections on the liturgical readings of each day in the year and on the lives of the saints. He thrived on this mission and even found time to write a book on “A New Sexual Ethic” in his spare time, that I hope the Jesuits will find in his computer in the Philippines. The quality of the responses that Frank got from all over the world from his readers, when they heard of his stroke, was amazing. Emails came flooding in from Italy, Canada, India, Scotland, Brazil, Norway, USA, England, Portugal, Philippines, Malta, Korea, Honk Kong, Malaysia, Australia, Ireland and Spain in their hundreds. I quote a few just to give the reader a flavour of the remarks.
“You communicate the message of Christ convincingly to contemporary culture”...
“You touch, inspire and challenge me, I relish the Jesuitness that oozes out from your deep integrated life” ...
“On many occasions, I felt like the disciples on the way to Emmaus having the scriptures opened to them”...
“You are like St Paul, Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” etc

When Frank was riding high apostolically at the age of 77, his deepest desire, the guiding principle of his life, did not leave him. It led him to agreeing to go back to Manila in the Philippines, to where he did his theology as a scholastic, as chaplain to 40 Chinese students. There was a feeling of St Paul leaving one of his missionary communities, never to return, as we said good bye to him on the steps of Gonzaga community two years ago, as he headed off to the East yet again to fittingly die among the people that struck the deepest chord in his heart, the Chinese on, of all days, St Patrick's Day!! St Francis Xavier will surely gladly be among the welcoming party for Frank, but might be a little envious that Frank got to work and live among the Chinese, spoke their language, and travelled his missionary 100,000 miles by plane and train!!! May he rest in peace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1965

Sons of Xavier

Father Frank Doyle (1949). The only other who belongs to this part of the world and is within it is Father Frank Doyle, who is just now concluding his Tertianship and is due to return in the middle of May. He is to work with the “China News Analysis”, a weekly publication run by Jesuits which sifts the news published in China and is highly respected as an interpreter of current events and trends in Communist China.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1986

News of the Past

Frank Doyle SJ

Frank Doyle SJ (1949) was in Belvedere this summer: I spent seven years in Belvedere, from 1942 to 1949.

In that year, I entered the Society of Jesus with three other classmates, two of whom are still in the Society - Denis Flannery(Zambia) and Percy Winder (Clongowes). There followed two years as a novice in Emo, three years in Rathfarnham studying Classics at UCD. (then in Earlsfort Terrace), and three years of philosophy at St Stanislaus College in Tullabeg, near Tullamore.

In 1957, I went to Hong Kong. The first two years there were spent in our language school and the third year was spent teaching in a Jesuit secondary school, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong (not to be confused with Wah Yan College, Kowloon).

At the end of the third year, I returned to Ireland to begin theology at Milltown Park in Dublin. But after one year, I transferred to Bellarmine College at Baguio City in the Philippines. Studying here also gave me an opportunity to study Mandarin Chinese, the mostly widely spoken form of Chinese. (In Hong Kong I had learnt Cantonese which is spoken by “only 30 million” people.)

In 1963, I was ordained priest at the chapel of Wah Yan College Kowloon in Hong Kong - the first Jesuit to be ordained in Hong Kong.

After completing theology at Baguio in 1964, I went to Chabanel Hall in Manila for tertianship, my final year of formation, “Hall” was really a euphemism for a collection of galvanised metal huts which had in previous years served as a prisoner of war camp for both Americans and Japa nese during the Second World War.

In 1965, I returned to Hong Kong to start my career as a “formed” Jesuit. In the first year, I worked with Fr Ladany, a Hungarian Jesuit, on “China News Analysis”, a weekly newsletter which Fr Ladany single-handedly edited from 1953 to 1982. He has now retired and handed over to a younger generation.

In the following year, I was assigned back to Wah Yan College Hong Kong as “spiritual father” to the boys and minister to the Jesuit community.

In the summer of 1967, I was asked by the superior Fr Fergus Cronin if I would like to spend two months of the holidays in Singapore. I was delighted at the idea.

The day after I arrived in Singapore towards the end of July, I was put in the editor's chair of the local Catholic newspaper although I had no experience whatever of this kind of work. The two months became two years. In 1969 I parted company with the paper. The Archbishop of Singapore was not too happy with my freewheeling editorial policy.

Instead I was transferred to neighbouring Malaysia where I was to spend 10 years (so much for the two months in 1967). I only left after 10 years because the government's policy towards missionaries did not allow me to stay any longer.

My work in Malaysia was very varied. There are not many priests there and one finds oneself doing all kinds of things. So I found myself helping out in parishes at weekends, being chaplain to two universities (at the same time), helping out in a pastoral institute, editing a diocesan newsletter, giving retreats, seminars and talks, teaching religion in schools... In my final year (78-79) I was a parish priest. My time in Malaysia was a very enriching experience.

In 1979, I was back in Hong Kong. My first year back was spent relearning Cantonese, which had. grown rusty from lack of use over 12 years. There followed one year of teaching but since then I have been mostly engaged in editing work of one kind or another. In 1982 I began editing “Correspondence”, a newsletter whose intention was to keep Jesuits informed on what was happening to the Church in China. Also in that year, I began an association with UCAN (Union of Catholic Asian News). UCAN is a Catholic news agency which covers the East and Southeast Asian region. Each week it sends out a dispatch to subscribing newspapers. It has also been preparing a directory of Catholic dioceses in the region of which I was the editor. In more recent years, it began publishing a weekly newsletter of Church news in Asia. I was also involved with this.

On a more directly pastoral level, I have been helping out in a parish at weekends and been spir itual adviser to a Christian Life Community group in one of our schools. There have also been retreats and talks to various groups.

Hong Kong in many ways is an exciting place to be. The Pacific Basin is now probably the fastest growing area economically in the world today and Hong Kong is one of its hubs. The many changes taking place in China and it assumption of sove =reignity over Hong Kong in 1997 also present excit ing challenges. Not least to the Jesuits. I am very happy to be part of that.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1991

Interview

At Home in the World : Talking to Father Frank Doyle SJ

Frank Doyle SJ (1949) has spent most of his time since joining the Jesuits in the Far East and works in Hong Kong, now facing reunification with China in six years' time. On one of his occasional visits home, when he likes to stay in Belvedere, Conor Patten interviewed him for The Belvederian in October 1990.

When did you enter Belvedere?
I joined the Junior House in 1942 at the age of eleven and a year later went on to the Senior School, where I spent all six years of my secondary education.

What are your memories of the school?
Well, I can remember being very happy there, I enjoyed the school a lot. I was very involved with the Vincent de Paul Society - in those days there were terrible slums down in Parell Street and we would visit people there and bring them food tickets, which were worth about five shillings, sometimes ten. That's roughly twenty-five pence nowdays. It was really Sean O'Casey poverty - have you seen Juno and the Paycock? It was just like that. Whole families living in rooms. I was also very keen on the Camera Club. We had a Jesuit (Fr Scantlebury) in charge who was also editor of The Irish Messenger. He was very interested in archeology and every Saturday or Sunday we would head out for some archeological site in the country and photograph it, so combining the two interests. I can remember the bicycles that we used, it was always bicycles. In that way I visited most of the archeological sites in Dublin and the surrounding counties,

Do you think the school has changed since then?
Of course! It has changed a lot! Mostly for the better, I think. I haven't had much exposure to the classroom since I returned and I haven't been in contact with many of the students but I can see changes have taken place. The curriculum has certainly changed: everybody studied Latin up to the Leaving when I was in school and there was a straight choice between Science and Greek in Fifth Year. Society changes and the school changes with it.

Do you think that the Jesuits in Belvedere influenced your decision to become a Jesuit yourself?
Yes, I do. We had nine scholastics in the school during my final year and I got to know the Jesuits well. I think they did influence my decision.

Did you know any of the community back then who are still here today?
I knew quite a lot - Br Coigan [R.I.P.), Fr Reidy, Fr Schrenk, Fr McLaughlin and Fr MacSeumais.

How do you think Ireland as a society has changed in the years that you have been away?
Well, I think that there is a lot of wealth around now that was not there when I was at school. The greatest changes are economic, People seem to have more money, even students have more money. I remember receiving two and sixpence a week, which is about fifteen pence now. Looking back, those days seem a very austere time. Those who were considered the “comfortable middle class” would not be considered middle class today. There also seems to be a much greater split in society - the gap between rich and poor and the haves and have-nots seems to have grown.

Did you join the Jesuits straight after leaving school?
I graduated from Belvedere in 1949 and went straight to Emo Park where I spent two years, then I took my vows and then spent four years studying Classics in UCD, then came my three years of Philosophy.

Why did you volunteer for the missions?
I think that it was because I saw that nobody else from my year was going to apply, and I knew that there was a great need for people out there. They usually send at least one scholastic out every year and it seemed that no one else was interested in going. I think I also wanted to see other parts of the world, I wanted to travel.

How did you feel on arriving at Hong Kong?
It was very exciting - the day I arrived must have been the most exciting day of my life. I can remember being very impressed by Hong Kong, it seemed a very impressive place compared to Ireland's bare existence. For instance, we had a brand new Jesuit school which was very modern. I think I fell in love with Hong Kong. I wasn't homesick at all, as a matter of fact. I found leaving Hong Kong a lot harder than leaving Ireland.

What were your duties while you were there?
I spent two years learning the language, Cantonese Chinese. Although it is a British colony, the work of the Church is in Chinese, and in my third year there I taught in the two Jesuit schools - one on the mainland and the other on the island.

How did you find the students in Hong Kong compared to students in Ireland?
The Chinese are very future-orientated: from a very young age they are talking about their careers and what they want to become. There are always exceptions, just like there are anywhere, but discipline is not a major problem. There seemed to be a very good relationship between the pupils and staff. I found myself so much at home there I didn't want to leave at all!

Your next posting in the Far East brought you to the Philippines: what were your experiences there?
I spent my tertianship, which is a period of renewal before your Final Vows, in Manila. It was suggested that I go out there because I would be able to lean Mandarin Chinese in a theology house that was near the city. After the Communist take-over, there was a lot of pressure on the Jesuits to leave China, so they just moved the whole community from Shanghai to Manila. Of course, they never expected the Communist regime to last so long! After that I spent some time in a place out in the countryside which was called Chabanel Hall of, as it was sometimes called, Chabanel Hell! It was a former prison used by both the US and Japan during the forties and was just a collection of corrugated iron sheeting which, of course, became very, very hot during the day. The only window was a small mosquito-screen which we would leave open to try and cool the place a little.

Did you witness any of the events which led to the elction of Ferdinand Marcos?
Yes, they held the election just before I left in 1965. He was just like any other Filipino politician - presumed corrupt. But he seemed very capable, a very canny and shrewd politician, He was a qualified lawyer, and the most prestigious exams in the Philippines are Law exams that take place every year. To come in the top ten of your class marks you out as an exceptional man, Marcos came first. He was also known to have killed a man, but he defended himself and was acquitted.

I think he probably could have brought the country out of the problems it had, but he got caught up in the political system that exists in the Philippines. It's very feudalistic, the country is iun by the powerful families. Things haven't really changed, even under Aquino. If you can remember back to the revolution when they stormed the palace, there was a lot of talk about “People Power”. “People Power” is a myth! Mrs Aquino is finding it hard to cope with these powerful families, just like he did.

Where did you go after your Final Vows?
I returned to Hong Kong where I expected to spend a lot of time, but things were not to work out as I had expected, I began working with a priest who was a well known expert on China, There is only one paper allowed out of China and that's The People's Daily. Of course, it's just a mouthpiece of the Communist Govertiment, full of propaganda, but by carefully reading between the lines this priest could see some of the power struggles that were taking place in the party. It didn't really work out too well though: he was the sort of man who could only work by himself and after a year I went back to teaching.
'
At the beginning of the summer holidays it was suggested to me that I work in Singapore for a couple of months. A week later, I arrived there, was brought downtown to the headquarters of the Catholic newspaper, shown the editor's chair and told to sit down! So I had to start from scratch and my two months quickly turned into two years. I was eventually fired from my post by the local Archbishop who was not happy with my work.

Was there any particular reason for your dismissal?
Yes, to be honest there was. At the time I was editor, around 1968-69, Humanae Vitae was published and there was a great debate going on inside the Church for and against it. I regarded myself as a serious journalist and set about publishing views for and against the document, and this angered the Archbishop. He didn't mind me publishing articles in favour of Humanae Vitae but he wasn't too happy with me publishing articles against it. I think we had a basic difference of opinion - he felt the paper should have been an organ for teaching the faithful the doctrine of the Church, whereas I felt it should give both sides of the story and let people know what was going on. Anyway, at the end of my second year, it was the general feeling that it would be better for me to leave.

Where did you go?
I volunteered for Malaysia because I know they were very short-handed and Jesuits from Hong Kong were reluctant to go there. As it turned out, I spent almost all of the seventies there, from 1969-79. I was chaplain to two universities and I gave a lot of retreats and things like that. In my last year I was a parish priest.

In 1979 you returned to Hong Kong. How had the colony changed in the years you had been away?
Hong Kong is constantly changing, new buildings are always going up, new property constantly being created. For instance, they had a totally new road system which had been built while I was away. I didn't feel the same excitement that I had felt when I first arrived in the colony, but it is still a very vibrant place. I taught in a school up until 1981 but then I decided that teaching was not my strongest skill so I started to work in a new Catholic newsagency called UCAN. I've been helping to edit and report for the agency from then until now.

What is your opinion of the student demonstrations that took place last year in China and their significance for Hong Kong?
Well, the year that looms larger over the colony is 1997 when Britain hands it back to the Peking government, but I'm optimistic in the long run. : Hong Kong has gone through a lot of crises through the years and its people are very resilient. The people of China are very pragmatic, and I think the crackdown on the students was a setback, not a real change in direction. Two years ago China was regarded as the leading reformer in the Communist world, flow it is the last. Its political struggles are happening at the top, and things will change in the end.

Hong Kong is of colossai importance to China, in terms of economic and political power. It's very small but it is the eleventh largest industrial unit in the world. If China would only unleash the energies of its people it would become a huge power.

Your trip to Ireland is nearly at an end. Where do you think your travels will bring you next?
I could be spending a lot of time in Hong Kong, but you can never know for sure. If there was somewhere else I thought I was needed theri I would go. This is a very exciting period for the whole region - for the whole of the Far East and the Pacific Rim.

After spending most of your life in the Far East, where do you consider home?
I love Ireland, but I think I belong to the whole world rather than a single place. I see the whole

Did you ever think you would have ended up on the other side of the world when you decided to become a Jesuit?
To be honest, I had no idea! My original ambition was to become a teacher in a Jesuit school somewhere in Ireland. I volunteered for Hong Kong because I thought no one else would go.

Any regrets?
None at all.

Doyle, Peter, 1932-2017, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/829
  • Person
  • 06 September 1932-21 February 2017

Born: 06 September 1932, Fairview, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 July 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final vows: 15 August 1964, Mungret College Sj, Limerick
Died: 21 February 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early Education at St Joseph’s, Marino

1956-1957 Tullabeg - Cook; Refectorian
1957-1960 Milltown Park - In charge of Staff; Refectorian
1960-1963 CIR - Ministers in Community
1963-1974 Mungret - Ministers in Community; Tertianship in Tullabeg (1963)
1974-1981 Coláiste Iognáid, Galway - Maintenance; Carpentry
1981-1982 Chelston, Lusaka, Zambia - Maintenance at Jesuit Education Centre, Xavier House
1982-1983 Chisekesi, Zambia - Maintenance at Canisius College
1983-1985 Manresa House, Dublin - Maintenance; Painter; Ministering in Community
1985-1992 Chisekesi, Zambia - Maintenance at Jesuit Residence, Canisius College
1992-2002 Mazabuka, Zambia - Maintenance and General Services at Nakambala Catholic Church
2002-2017 Manresa House, Dublin - Cares for the fabric of the House and Grounds

Duffy, Hugh P, 1936-2017, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/hugh-duffy-gentle-jesuit/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Scoil Colmcille, Dublin; Belvedere College SJ

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

Dunne, James, 1921-2014, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/845
  • Person
  • 22 May 1921-07 November 2014

Born: 22 May 1921, Kilbeggan, County Westmeath
Entered: 07 November 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final vows: 02 February 1960, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 07 November 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969; ZAM to HIB 1979

by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
In 1951 he accompanied the first two scholastics, Bob Kelly and Joe Conway, and Br. Jim Dunne, on their way to the then Northern Rhodesia.

Note from Joe McCarthy Entry
In the late 50s, Joe pioneered the Chivuna Mission where he built the community house, church and Trade School with the co-operation of Br Jim Dunne and won the esteem and affection of the people in the locality

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 158 : Winter 2014

Obituary

Br James (Jim) Dunne (1921-2014)

22 May 1921: Born in Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath.
Early education at Rahugh National School and CBS Tullamore.
Worked in the family business
7 November 1949: Entered the Society at Emo
8 November 1951: First Vows in Zambia
1951 - 1959: Chivunia Mission, Zambia – Teacher in technical and building skills
1959 - 1960: Manresa, Roehampton - Tertianship
1960 - 1974: Bishop's House, Monze - Builder
2 February 1960: Final Vows at Chikuni
1974 - 1981: Belvedere College - Minister
1981 - 1983: CIR - Secretary to the College
1983 - 1985: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street - Minister; Supervisor of staff
1985 - 1987: Tullabeg - Minister
1987 - 1988: Tullabeg - Sabbatical; studying Theology at Milltown Institute
1988 - 1995: Milltown Park - Treasurer
1995 - 1999: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street - Assisted in the church
1999 - 2007: Milltown Park - Assisted in the Community
2007 - 2014: Cherryfield Lodge – Prayed for the Church and the Society

Brother Jim Dunne was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 13th July 2007. He was a happy resident and enjoyed fairly good health over the years. His condition deteriorated over time and he died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

On Friday, 7th November 2014, Brother Jim Dunne, a member of the Milltown Park community, died at Cherryfield Lodge, at the age of 93 years and several months - a monumental age for a man of many monuments. Always a man of few words, Jim became more quiet-spoken as the years advanced. But underneath this quiet exterior lay a deeply spiritual man whose longings and desires were always for the Lord and how he could use his talents to make the love and service of Christ our Lord a reality in his own life, as well as in the lives of his fellow-Jesuits and the many individuals whom he encountered during his many years with us.

From the very beginning of his religious life, Jim was a rock-solid man of God. Very early witness to this was the trust that the Irish Provincial, Fr. Tommy Byrne, placed in him by sending him in his second year as a novice to Northern Rhodesia, to what was then a newly developing world for Irish Jesuits. Jim was just over 30 at the time, mature in years but still grappling with the beginnings of the religious life. However, there was no need for any fear about the depth of his commitment. His solid spirituality stood by him through the long sea and rail journey from London (via Cape Town) to Chisekesi and on to Chikuni, where he arrived early in September 1951, and during the months of learning Chitonga in the somewhat spartan conditions that then prevailed. And it never deserted him after he took vows in Chikuni on the feast of St. Stanislaus Kostka later that year. This gave Jim the remarkable distinction of being the only Irish Jesuit ever to take his First Vows in what today is Zambia. He reaffirmed his Jesuit commitment on 2nd February 1960 when he took his Final Vows, again at Chikuni.

Endowed with great practical intelligence, Jim brought into the Society a wide range of skills developed and exercised in the family's workshop not far from Tullamore. Construction, artistic brick-laying, carpentry, joinery, plumbing, electrical work – he took all of these in his stride, almost as if they were second nature to him, and yet he was always prepared to learn more from those who were more qualified than he was. Jim was also a gifted manager, with a flair for organising and getting the right people, with the right tools and equipment, into the right place at the right time. His ability to give directions simply and effectively, and his own manifest skills, helped greatly in building up confident teams of proficient and well-motivated building workers. Working with and through these, Jim became key to building-development in what was to become the Diocese of Monze. But in addition to the buildings that bear his stamp even today, Jim also left a great monument in the skills that he passed on to the local people with whom he worked. He was very particular that anything he turned his hand to should be of the highest quality and he always tried to make sure that his trainees and workers would also be concerned not just with getting a job done but with getting it done to the highest possible standards.

One of Jim's earliest assignments was to develop and run with Father Joe McCarthy the Civuna Trades Training Institute (TTI). In time, the TTI gave way to a secondary school for girls, but not before, under Jim, it had qualified several hundred first-rate carpenters and brick-layers who fanned out to bring building development across much of the southern part of Zambia. Later, when the Diocese of Monze was established, Jim became in effect its building manager, working closely with Fr. Fred Moriarty and others in the development of Kizito Catechetical Centre, churches, parish houses, schools, and houses for teachers and catechists.

In the strangely coincidental ways in which God's providence works, another Jesuit Brother from the Irish Province came to Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) in 1952, one year after Jim's arrival in Chikuni. This was Pat McElduff who in his younger years had done some of his apprenticeship as a tradesman in Rahugh on the borders of Westmeath and Offaly where, in the years before he joined the Jesuits, Jim himself had been trained. The two knew each other from these early years and now they found themselves working together again, this time on a larger canvas. And almost after the manner of the Apostles Peter and Paul, building responsibilities were assigned to them in different ways: Jim became responsible for all projects that belonged to Monze Diocese, while Pat took on those that belonged to the Jesuits (or Chikuni Mission). As a result of this arrangement, for the last period of his life in Zambia, from 1960 to the time of his return to Ireland in 1974, Jim lived in what was to become the Bishop's house in Monze. While he was happy there and got on very well with Bishop Corboy and the rest of the community, at times he felt almost out of his depth and yearned for more interaction with the fellow-Jesuits he had lived with in earlier days. In the way of many quiet people, things sometimes got through to Jim, making him feel that bit down in himself. However, as a solid religious man, he would not let this interfere with his commitment as a hard working Jesuit but would eventually regain his equilibrium through his prayer, work, community involvement and, sometimes, rest and better physical health.

Jim was a very agreeable companion, one who was easy and enjoyable to live with. He was quiet in his manner but this did not stop him enjoying a game of cards, a good movie or the comradeship of a walk in the evening with one of the community. He was greatly loved by the Batonga people among whom he worked and is particularly remembered for the concern he showed that their marriages be happy and stable and that their children attend school. He showed special kindness and understanding towards Jesuit scholastics newly arrived in the country and was particularly attentive to their health needs; many a young Jesuit received gentle but firm admonitions from him about taking their anti-malaria medicines or wearing a hat until acclimatised to the sun.

Ironically, it was malaria that brought Jim's years in Zambia to a close. He contracted fever in days long before Artemesin or other drugs could provide powerful protection. Though frequently quite unwell, he continued with his work as best he could, but in time developed a recurrent form of malaria that was intractable to treatment. In the circumstances, the Holy Rosary Doctor-Sisters (Lucy O'Brien, Maureen O'Keeffe, Eileen Kane) advised that he return permanently to Ireland, because remaining in Zambia would always mean serious health problems for him.

So it was that after 23 years in Zambia, from 1951 to 1974, Jim returned to Ireland and was re-incorporated into the Irish Province. Until his mid-80s he was busy, a wonderful man to have on your side, practical and resourceful, moving where he was needed, always concerned about those around him; ever seeking perfection in anything undertaken by him or any of those for whom he was responsible; and always, simply always, a solid man of God, devoted and faithful to his religious duties, serving the God he loved through what he could still do, building up others through his sympathetic and understanding nature. Jim, sparing of speech, gentle and perceptive, contributed massively to the smooth running of the five Irish houses in which he served. These were not always the havens of peace one would like to imagine. Belvedere, where he was Minister for seven years, was a settled (I nearly wrote entrenched) community, hard-working but not easy to administer. If Jim was quiet, he was also alert, and concerned about everyone around him. From his sick bed in Cherryfield he would admire and appraise the craft of workmen in the building opposite. His regular greeting of How are you? was no formality. He wanted to know. No wonder he is missed. May God be good to this deeply spiritual Jesuit.

Michael J Kelly

Dunne, John A, 1944-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/773
  • Person
  • 15 May 1944-27 December 2008

Born: 15 May 1944, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1962, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final vows: 31 May 1979, Crescent College Comprehensive, Dooradoyle, Limerick
Died: 27 December 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Loyola, Sandford Road, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/john-dunne-sj-rip/

John Dunne SJ RIP
Fr John Dunne SJ died peacefully at 10:30 am on the morning of 27 December 2008, the Feast of John the Evangelist. He was commended to the Lord by the prayers of his sister, Anne, Jesuit colleagues and nursing staff.

John Dunne SJ
15 May 1944 – 27 December 2008
John’s early education was in Trim and Coláiste na Rinne, Dungarvan. After secondary school in Clongowes Wood College he entered the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1962 at Emo. After First Vows, John went to Rathfarnham and studied Arts at ucd and later Philosophy at Milltown Park. He taught at the Sacred Heart College in Limerick before returning to Milltown in 1971 to study theology.

After ordination on 21 June 1974, he studied guidance counselling at Mater Dei and went as teacher and guidance counsellor to Crescent College Comprehensive where he remained until 1981. During this time he made Tertianship in Tullabeg and took his Final Vows on 31 May 1979. While in Limerick he studied computing and continued this interest, later beginning LayJay bulletin, forerunner to today’s AMDG.ie. He served in Galway from 1981 to 1987 as Rector, teacher, guidance counsellor and chair of the board of management. In 1987 John was appointed to Gonzaga where he was to spend the next fourteen years in roles as various as pastoral co-ordinator, guidance counsellor, teacher, librarian and Rector.

Following a year’s sabbatical, during which John spent some time at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, California, and travelling in Asia and Africa, he moved to Loyola House in 2002 where he became Superior and Socius (Assistant Provincial).

John was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 19 December following a short illness which was diagnosed at the beginning of October. He died peacefully on the morning of Saturday 27 December, feast of Saint John the Evangelist.
May he rest in the peace of Christ

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/john-dunne-sj-funeral-homily/

John Dunne SJ: funeral homily

The death of Fr John Dunne has drawn condolences from near and far, including, from Zambia-Malawi, Declan Murray SJ and Provincial Peter Bwanali. Also, there have been
numerous requests for the text of the homily which Brian Grogan SJ gave at the funeral mass in Gonzaga Chapel. Brian spoke warmly of John’s life and character, concentrating on three areas – the “three E’s”: the Enterprise of John’s life, his Endurance, and his Everlasting joy. Read the full homily below :

It’s impossible to capture a person’s life fully and I shall not try. But John loved photography: he lost 18 volumes of snapshots in the fire on Good Friday 2007! So I too shall be content with snapshots. I also note that at the Vigil we held for him last evening, friend after friend came up to the microphone and each gave us a distinct snapshot of how John had impacted on their lives. And the stories will go on and on. So I shall focus just on three areas:

The Enterprise of John’s life – this is the longer bit! His Endurance. His Everlasting joy. Three “Es” so you will know when I’m coming in to land!

  1. The Enterprise of John’s Life
    We celebrate a good man. Now that may seem obvious: but I believe that one should try to write a homily with the bible in one hand and the Irish Times in the other – which makes it hard to do any writing, but there you are! Now there are two things to note about today’s Irish Times: first, those of you who are worried about your stocks and shares should take my advice and not invest in Pringles (= a form of potato crisps), because the value of these shares has plummeted since John lost his appetite!

Next, the paper is full, as always, of the wrongdoings of many people: violence, deception, murder, rape, domination – the unsavoury side of humankind. Measure John’s life against that picture. True, his life was ordinary: he taught for 25 years, but many of you have taught for much longer. He was a Superior for 18 years, but that was nothing special. We had a famous man, a scripture scholar, who was once asked if he’d like to be a Superior. ‘No’, he said finally, ‘but I’d like to live like one!’ But in fact it’s an ordinary job of service, just as being the assistant to the Provincial is. An ordinary man: John was not an academic; he liked the quip: ‘You can tell an intellectual but you can’t tell him much!’

An ordinary man. A good man. 46 yrs of service as a Jesuit. His story is ours. We can relate to him: I speak to the ordinary among you – please remain seated! The others can stand!
There’s a book of short stories by Flannery O’Connor: A Good man is Hard to Find. Good people are hard to find, and would that our world had more of them. Don’t take the faithful servant for granted! God doesn’t: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’

About 50 years ago John made a decision as an adolescent: not to do his own thing, not to win public approval or to make lots of money. He chose a life of love and service. He would serve the world! ‘In all things to love and serve’ is an Ignatian phrase. It sounds fine, but he took it seriously and lived it out, year after plodding year, until Dec 19 of this year to be exact, after the end- of -year office lunch. He then went home and spruced up for a Christmas meal given by Anne, his sister. That evening he gave in and went to Cherryfield. Two days earlier he had summoned up enough energy to go to Dundrum and do his Christmas shopping. Many of the gifts have yet to be given out.

To serve the world, through the Jesuit Order. This was his enterprise, and he fulfilled it. It wasn’t easy. He loved the Society & the Province & the community, and he loved his family and friends. A loyal servant, he was ‘Ready for everything’ – It’s an Ignatian phrase, and he lived it. He did all that was asked of him, especially when made Assistant to the Provincial 6 yrs ago. Punctual, organised. He was out to work by 08.00, home for 6 p.m. day after day, not knowing what demands each day would bring.

In mid-Oct the doctors told him he could go home – ‘But no work!’ We were so amazed at his going back to work after hospital in mid-Oct that we thought he hadn’t understood that he was terminally ill. Only accidentally did I learn that on his discharge he had told the hospital chaplain that he ‘was going home to die.’

A Good Man is hard to find. Good people – ordinary good folk – change the world. This world of ours has been the better for John’s presence, for his carrying out his freely chosen enterprise.

As the second reading emphasised, our enterprises must be loving ones. Perhaps each of us is asked by God to reflect to the world a particular facet of the divine? So God asks one person to reflect energy, another justice, a third compassion, a fourth good administration and so on. I suggest John’s task was to reflect lovableness! That’s what I’ve heard most emphasised over these days. He loved his family and his friends and his Jesuit brethren, and in return he was well loved.

He was amazed at the outpouring of concern, care, prayer, compassion, love, for himself when sick. He couldn’t see why this should be. He was humble. He never knew over the last days that many of the Jesuits in Cherryfield had said that they would cheerfully have taken his place – they were retired and ill, whereas he had still so much potential. That’s a nice tribute, to find others willing to lay down their lives for you! Check it out!! Don’t get me wrong: his loving was of the unique Dunne brand! He could be gruff; he could get mad with you! But the squall passed and blue skies returned.

John was uniquely present to reality. If he was eating, that’s what he was engaged in. If he was sorting out a mess created by someone, that’s what he was doing. He got to appreciate Buddhism during his sabbatical in 2001. He had Buddhist qualities: that of being full present to reality. He could also, like Buddha, enjoy life to the full, whether it was TV, DVDS, recliners, holidays, good company....In Jewish folklore, the single question that God will ask as we approach the pearly gates is: Did you enjoy my creation? ‘Yes, yes, yes!’ must have been John’s answer the other morning! Most obviously at table: the feast of flowing wine etc... – And the pouring cream! John enjoyed it all. I sometimes fantasised, as he put on more weight and several chairs gave way, that perhaps he was becoming a reincarnation of the Buddha...
It was hard to stay mad with him for long. In our little community of four we divide time into BC – before the conflagration – and AD, after the disaster. Well, when we got into our new house after much work on John’s part, we found that there were two en-suite and two plain bedrooms. I proposed in best Ignatian fashion that we should do a discernment in order to choose who got what. ‘Fine’, said John as he ambled up the stairs, ‘I’ll take the en-suite on the left and you boys can discern about the other three!’ But the same man would give his time and ability endlessly to sort out my computer problems after a long day in the office.
It was because he was so massively present that his death creates a massive loss. Others of us are more peripherally present to what we do. For John, his Yes was Yes, and his No was No! He could be devastatingly honest. I felt he used to contradict me a lot, and I said one day: ‘There isn’t a single statement that one could make in this house that won’t be contradicted.’ Immediately John shot back: ‘That’s not true!’
It’s time to move on.

  1. His Endurance
    Chardin wrote a book about the divinising of our activities and of our passivities. He divided life thus into two: what we do and what happens to us. For him, what happens to us is about 80% of our life experience, and his concern was how we respond.

We’re talking about the things that happen to us and how we respond. We’re talking about the sanctification of the ordinary, about the tradition in Christian spirituality that unavoidable suffering, patiently endured, is graced. We’re talking about the simple Morning Offering.

For John, as for all of us, there were the times he lived in: Post-war world. Dev’s Ireland. Economic development. Vatican 2. GC 31 – the Jesuit effort at genuine renewal. Subsequent turmoil in the Church and in the Society. Assassination of JFK and MLK. Communism and its fall. Northern Ireland Conflict. Rwanda. Palestine. Kosovo. Decline in vocations. The loss of many things cherished. The Celtic Tiger and its demise. Scandals and tribunals. Child Sexual Abuse.... The list continues. We can ignore it, get depressed at it, become cynical about it, or we can entrust our battered world to God and pray and do what we can about our troubled times. Ignatius speaks of ‘courage in difficult enterprises’ and John had that.

Moving along in this area of the things endured: Close to his heart was the death of his sister Margot. Last year there was the fire and the loss of everything. This year: His knee replacement; End of use of motorbike. It was hard for him but no complaining. Then his incipient deafness humbly acknowledged.

Then in October, his final illness. He was so massively practical about it: ‘The news is bad!’ ‘I’m going home to die!’ ‘This is how it is. We’ll see.’ He had in consequence to let go of his trip to the Holy Land in October, though he sneaked a trip to Fatima in early December!

You know the novel by P J Kavanagh: The Perfect Stranger? Well, over the past three months, John was the perfect patient. One morning at breakfast recently I said to him: ‘ You’re very patient.’ He replied: ‘What else can one do?’ ‘Well’ I said, ferreting around in my own feelings, ‘you could choose depression or rage or self-pity? ‘I’d hate that’ he said.’ Days before his death a visitor asked him how he was feeling? ‘Smashing!’ was the reply.

Sickness is no less a gift than health – so said Ignatius rather tersely. Perhaps I’m beginning to see the meaning of that. There’s so much to be learnt from him on how to face sickness. And I have been struck by all the good that has come out of this mess, this mess of sickness and of dying, which is not the way God intends things to be; I mean the love and care from others, in Cherryfield and right across the world. I think I believe more than before that God brings good out of evil, and that’s a blessing.

  1. His Everlasting Joy
    So much for the outer side of his life. But as the fox said to the Little Prince, ‘The things that are essential are invisible to the eye.’ At the end of all his letters as Assistant to the Provincial, John had: Working for God on earth may not pay much, but the retirement plan is out of this world! It took some faith to write that!
    What’s the Retirement Plan? For those of us who see our pension schemes fall apart, it would be good to know that there is one that won’t fail! Another John Donne, 1572 – 1631, (died at 59) to help us catch the mystery of how it is with him now: it’s from the Holy Sonnets, since not all his sonnets were such!

Death, be not proud: though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so...
For those whom thou thinkst thou dost overthrow Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
And soonest our best men with thee do go...
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more: death, thou shalt die.

So what do we wake to? Firstly, there’s God, a God who is pleased with him and loves him. There’s the welcome and congratulations as he staggered over the line on the 27th, the feast, of course, of St John the Evangelist! The loveableness he was entrusted with is now perfected. The Lover gives all to the beloved! So says Ignatius at his mystic best... What is that like? Multiple overwhelmings... Later in this Mass we acknowledge: ‘We shall become like him, for we shall see him as he is.’

Next, I can imagine John looking around to see where the banquet is set! Then there’s the unalloyed joy of great companionship. Then agility of body. John’s body was worn out at the end: now Hopkins line comes into play: “This jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood/Immortal diamond/Is immortal diamond.” Then insights into the mysteries of God: his imagination caught.

Then a commissioning ceremony: asked by God to be caring still: to be a solid presence to the rest of us until we meet him again. ‘Placed over many things!’
John loved celebrations: he is now celebrating what we celebrate here: that Jesus Christ by dying destroys our death, and by rising restores our life. He is all Joy. This is how Jesus expresses it in St John’s gospel: ‘I will see you again and Your hearts will rejoice, And no one will take your joy from you’ (16:22).
May it be so for us all. Amen.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/losing-john-dunne/

Losing John Dunne
In the consciousness of Irish Jesuits, the dominant mood this Epiphany is of loss. It is just a week since we buried John Dunne, who had been Socius (companion, secretary,
counsellor, support) to the last two Provincials, a cheerful, competent, selfless presence at the heart of the administration. Conscious of his terminal state with galloping cancer, he worked until he dropped, a good model of Winnicott’s prayer: ‘May I be alive when I die’. He had served Galway, Gonzaga, Eglinton Road and Sandford Road as superior; and the Institute of Guidance Counsellors as their president for many years. A crowd of friends, from all the chapters of his life, packed Gonzaga chapel to overflowing in a memorable funeral Mass, and responded warmly to Brian Grogan’s affectionate homily. It was a good send-off, one which John would relish. But the loss is heavy, most of all for his sister Anne.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 139 : Easter 2009

Obituary

Fr John A Dunne (1944-2008)

15th May 1944: Born in Dublin
Early education at Mercy Convent and CBS, Trim; Ring College, Dungarvan; Clongowes Wood College
7th September 1962: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1964: First Vows at Emo
1964 - 1967: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts
1967 - 1969: Studied Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1969 - 1971: Dooradoyle - Teacher at Crescent Comprehensive
1971 - 1974: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
21st June 1974: Ordained at Gonzaga College Chapel
1974 - 1975: John Austin House - Studied Guidance and Counselling at Mater Dei Institute, Dublin
1975 - 1981: Teacher, Guidance Counsellor
1977 - 1980: University of Limerick - Computer Studies
1977 - 1978: Tertianship at Tullabeg
31st May 1979: Final Vows at Crescent College Comprehensive, Dooradoyle
1981 - 1987: Galway - Rector; Teacher; Guidance Counsellor, Chair, Board of Management
1987 - 2001: Gonzaga -
1987 - 1993: Pastoral Care Co-ordinator; Teacher, Guidance Counsellor
1993 - 1998: Rector
1996 - 1998: Guidance Counsellor; Teacher
1998 - 2001: Information Technology Co-ordinator; College Librarian; Assistant Pastoral Counsellor; Teacher of Computer Studies
2000 - 2001: Minister; ECDL Course
2001 - 2002: Sabbatical
2002 - 2008: Loyola House - Socius, Superior; Province Consultor; Provincial's Admonitor; Provincial Team
27th December 2008: Died in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Brian Grogan writes:

An Ordinary Man
John was born in Dublin, but the family lived in Summerhill, near Trim in Co. Meath, so he received his early education at the local Mercy Convent, and then at the CBS. His father was an army man, and he had two older sisters, Anne and Margot. He spent some time in Colaiste na Rinne, Dungarvan, and then went to Clongowes. He entered the Society at Emo in 1962, immediately after school, then studied arts, including archaeology, at UCD, 1964-1967. He studied philosophy at Milltown 1967-1969, when the Institute was just beginning. Following two years teaching at Crescent College Comprehensive, and three years of Theology again at Milltown, he was ordained on 21 June 1974, and spent the following year at Mater Dei, studying Guidance Counselling, which became a lifelong interest: he was later President of the Association of Guidance Counsellors in Ireland. He taught again in Limerick for the next six years, and took up a part-time course in Computer Studies in 1977: computers were to fascinate him for the remainder of his life. He was Rector in Galway from 1981-1987, and in Gonzaga 1993-1998 where he spent fourteen years in all: he was Superior in Loyola and Socius to the Provincial from 2002-2008.

All told, he taught for twenty-eight years and was a Superior for seventeen. He enjoyed a well-earned sabbatical in Berkeley, Thailand and Nepal in 2001-2002, where he developed an interest in Buddhism. He left behind several photos titled “The Buddha and I', and his gastronomic exploits made one wonder if he might become a reincarnation of the Buddha. His hobbies were photography and computers; he read no newspapers or serious novels, but was well informed on current affairs, and had a sharp mind and a good memory, as well as a sound knowledge of the Irish Province. He liked TV and DVDs, and his preferred mode of travel was the motorbike, which he relinquished only after a knee operation in May 2008.

After forty-six years of Jesuit service, he died at sixty-four, having been diagnosed with cancer in early October 2008. He spent a little over a week in Cherryfield, and was the first to die in the new building. He died, appropriately, on the Feast of St John the Evangelist, after whom he was named. He saw himself as an ordinary man: he was not an academic, and liked the quip: "You can tell an intellectual, but you can't tell him much!' But about fifty years ago he had made a decision: not to do his own thing, not to win public approval or to make lots of money. He chose a life of love and service: he would serve the world through the Jesuit Order. This was his enterprise, and he fulfilled it in the demanding times in which he lived.

A Good Man
There's a book of short stories by Flannery O'Connor: A Good man is Hard to Find. As the media make clear in giving us our daily dose of bad news, good people do seem hard to find, and God doesn't take them for granted. The gospel text for his requiem was: 'Well done, good and faithful servant!' People who spoke at the Vigil in Gonzaga Chapel the night before his funeral said over and over: He was a good man! Ordinary good people change the world, and many testified that their world was so much the better for John's presence, for his carrying out his freely chosen enterprise.

John came across as a good man because of his love. He loved family and friends, but especially he loved the Society and more concretely the members of the Irish Province. Being a Jesuit was a fulltime reality for him, and it came across. A loyal servant, he was “ready for everything” as Ignatius would have wished. He did all that was asked of him, especially when made Assistant to the Provincial six years ago. Punctual and organised, he was at his desk early and working his way through the myriad mundane tasks that fall to a Socius - fifty per day, according to a survey! When the curia moved to Sandyford after the fire, he prepared his lunch daily from the leftovers of the previous evening meal and set off before 8 am, and was a genial Office Manager, with an inimitable style. “Carry on the good work!” was his usual phrase to encourage the staff in their labours.

When his diagnosis was confirmed in mid-October the doctors told him he could go home - “But no work!” In the community we were so amazed at his going back to work immediately that we thought he hadn't understood that he was terminally ill. Only accidentally did we learn that on his discharge he had told the hospital chaplain that “he was going home to die”. But instead he went home to serve out the remaining weeks of his life to the full. “In all things to love and serve” is an Ignatian phrase which sounds fine, but he took it seriously year after plodding year, until December 2008 - to be exact. After the end-of-year office lunch in the IMI he went home to spruce up for a Christmas meal given by his sister Anne. That evening he gave in and went to Cherryfield. Two days earlier he had summoned up enough energy to go to Dundrum Shopping Centre to do his Christmas shopping. He never had the joy of distributing most of the gifts, which were found after his death. Many of us, I suggest, if we were told at his age that we had three months to live would leaf through A Thousand Places to See Before You Die and ask for an open credit card. Nothing wrong there, but John's loyalty and tenacity brought him in another direction.

Living to the Full
John enjoyed living. He was welcoming and hospitable, believing that enjoyment was to be shared. He engaged fully in whatever he was doing, whether it was a good meal, a sabbatical, a glass of brandy, an administrative issue, a DVD, a discussion, a computer problem, a rugby match on TV, a holiday with his sister Anne. It is said that part of Jewish belief is that eternal judgement will consist in a single question from God: 'Did you enjoy my creation?' To this John would have given a resounding Yes! This quality of complete engagement gave him a certain magnificent simplicity. His Yes was Yes, and his No was a definite No: he had little space for indecision, and would engage in robust discussion to bring things to conclusions. At his funeral Mass the Provincial, John Dardis, told of times when he himself would return enthusiastically from Rome with a bright idea on how to move Province affairs forward, If John didn't like it he'd bark out: “That's ridiculous! Won't work!” Yet he was open to persuasion and then embrace the project wholeheartedly.

Clearing his plate meant not only enjoying good food to the last bite: it also meant that he liked to delegate. When commissioned to get something done his strategy was to delegate rather than to do the job alone. So in early October last when Fr Jack Donovan died in London, John, who was in hospital at the time, was assigned to see to arrangements, and I got a call: “Will you take this over?” - after which John presumably moved on to the next task. He enjoyed this style of management, somewhat more, perhaps, than those at the receiving end of his phone calls! But it was hard to stay mad with him for long. When after the fire we got into our new house - due to much work on John's part, we found that there were two en-suite and two plain bedrooms. It was proposed in best Ignatian fashion that we should do a discernment to choose who got what. “Fine”, said John as he ambled up the stairs, “I'll take the en-suite on the left and you boys can discern about the other three!” But the same man would give his time and ability endlessly to sort out someone's computer problems after a long day in the office.

It was because he was so massively present to whatever he was doing, whether looking after others or discussing or relaxing, that his death creates such a massive sense of absence. Others of us are more peripherally present to what we do. Not for him the soft-footed approach: he could be devastatingly honest. I used feel that he used the contradictory mode perhaps a shade too much, and said one day:
“There's not a single statement that one could make in this house that won't be contradicted”. Immediately John shot back: “That's not true!” He could be gruff, “like an angry bear” as someone said “but a teddy-bear beneath it all”. He could get mad with “eejits” but the squall passed and blue skies returned. He travelled unencumbered by the baggage of resentment or self-pity.

Enduring to the End
John not only enjoyed the good things of life: he also endured its painful side patiently. For him there was the post-war Irish scene: firstly de Valera's Ireland, succeeded by economic development, then difficult times, then the Celtic Tiger and its demise. Add into the mix the Northern Ireland conflict, political and financial scandals and endless tribunals. In the religious dimension there was the hope and promise of Vatican Two, and in the Society and the Province the hard-won renewal set in motion by GCs31 and GC32; all of this to be followed by turmoil in the Church and in the Society, and in our relationship with the Vatican, leading to the resignation of Arrupe and its aftermath. Locally there was the spectre of Child Sexual Abuse. The list could continue endlessly. How did John respond to these situations which were not of his making, not part of the plan?

In the seventies a commentator on religious life observed that the contemporary religious would suffer the loss of many things cherished: colleagues, vocations, institutions, thriving apostolic works etc. So it has been, and John's stance was to face the difficulties and diminishments within the Province and the Church honestly, without growing cynical or indifferent. Ignatius speaks of “courage in difficult enterprises” and John had that. He worked energetically against the corporate depression which can accompany diminishing numbers and their consequences. Long before GC35 he promoted the renewal of the Province with a project titled “Sparks Light Fires” and no one who attended Province events over the past decade will have failed to notice John's recurring bidding prayer for an increase in vocations.

Closer to home was the untimely death of his sister Margot. Then on Good Friday 2007 there was the Loyola fire and the loss of everything, including for him eighteen treasured volumes of photos of family, friends, Irish Jesuits etc. (cf the interview he gave to Paul Andrews, shortly after the fire, but not published until one year later - Summer 2008, Interfuse #136) It was his mammoth task with Bill Toner, John Maguire and others, to deal with the curial aftermath of the fire, to find new premises for the community, and to help each member to find appropriate ways of coping. This he did by gathering us regularly for a Revision de vie, followed by a Eucharist and a meal, together with some sessions in post-traumatic stress. He dealt with all of this in a healthy matter-of-fact way, though he used to refer to the fire as the elephant in the corner - something he had not yet fully integrated, despite his dedicated efforts at (retail therapy' on that Good Friday afternoon.

The Perfect Patient
In May 2008 he had a knee replacement; this meant the end of motorcycling, hard for him but there were no complaints. In August his incipient deafness was noticed and humbly acknowledged. In October, out of the blue, began his final illness. He was massively practical about it: “The news is bad!” “I'm going home to die!” “This is how it is. We'll see”. He had to let go of a planned trip to the Holy Land, though he sneaked a “pilgrimage” with his sister to Fatima in early December, and regaled us afterward with tales of the delights of a Lisbon hotel.

John was the perfect patient. One morning at breakfast, weeks before he died, I said to him: “You're very patient”. He replied: “What else can one do?” “Well”, I said, ferreting around in my own feelings and drawing on my Kubler-Ross theories about stages of dying, “you could choose depression or rage or self-pity?” “I'd hate that”, he said. Days before his death, when his breathing had become difficult, a visitor asked him how he was feeling. “Smashing!” was the one-word reply.

Sickness is no less a gift than health: so said Ignatius rather tersely. Perhaps those who were close to him saw something of the meaning of that. “Let them give no less edification in sickness than in health” for there was much to be learnt from him on how to face sickness. And good things came out of this tragedy of his sickness and dying. He was amazed at the outpouring of concern, prayer and compassion for himself. he couldn't see why this should be. But people found him lovable, presumably because they experienced that he loved them. He never knew that in his last days many of the Jesuits in Cherryfield had said that they would cheerfully have taken his place – they were retired and ill, whereas he had still so much potential.

Joy
So much for the outer side of his life. What about the inside? At the end of all his letters as Assistant to the Provincial, John had the slogan: Working for God on earth may not pay much, but the retirement plan is out of this world! John never got to elaborate on the Retirement Plan, for he was not an eschatological speculator, but perhaps he would have agreed with the earlier John Donne, 1572 - 1631, who wrote:

Death, be not proud: though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so...
And soonest our best men with thee do go...
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more: death, thou shalt die.

So what did he wake to? To the welcome and congratulations of those gone before him, Jesuits and family and friends, as he staggered over the line on December 27th. Then the multiple overwhelming by God: “the Lover gives all to the beloved” as Ignatius says at his mystic and cryptic best. Next, one can imagine John sniffing the air for hints as to where the great banquet might be set! Then there's the unalloyed joy of great companionship, the excitement of the vastness of the world of God, agility of body and so on. Then a commissioning - placed over many things and asked by God to be a caring presence to the rest of us until we meet him again. John loved celebrations: he is now celebrating endlessly on the inside what we celebrate fitfully and in hope. He is all Joy.

Here is another farewell, different, spoken by Jim O'Higgins at John's Month's Mind, and copied as it was forwarded:

Fifty years ago the face of welcome
In his solid frame, from John the delegate
To call my name and he greeted me
To that large Kildare domain
The prefect later on, that John
sent out again to ease the tense
the taut and restrain the mini gangs

John the true disciple of Loyola
Guidance counselled young hope
from west to east and once again
he's called to mediate between
the grief of parents of the suicided child
Or the dumbfounded ire of the mother
of a manslaughtered son and the why
the what of that God of his
and his own priestly purpose
Or ask in whose image we are made
or where was The Virgin in the keep
at Lourdes on that drowning day

John, called to jollify and feast with
with friends, a Friar Tuck, called
Bonzo, Buster or, with bourgeois respectability, Fr. Bun
The love of Table talk in his so communitaire
of duties in an S.J. house or sitting
in a kitchen ,one leg on the bench
and, not quite a keg ,upon the table
Or in the deep affection of his
nieces and proud nephew in Dublin
six, fourteen, or four of Tullamore
And for the many pieces de resistance
He could rely on his beloved Anne to
see him well ensconced in some
exotic Resto or Hotel Excelsior
Or in sweet Silverdale
Or Long Island Sound

John gifted with the rooted gem
of insight in himself so he could discern
what he could do within
what was beyond his reach
he humbled hubris and defaced its mask
in a paradox of earthy tongue
relating us and our mere creaturehood
To Immanence and Who it was we served
Chuckling his falstaffian way
to his next set of minutes or report

John called to be the techie in I.T.
The Socius systems, Sounder out
The teller of the truth without the frills
And yet again being sent on far flung
Flights with postcards from the edge
in misspelt greetings from some land
remembering and reminding us
in that unsure hand of what we are to him
and we know now what he is to us

John who could be nothing but a goodly man
You leave us for a while on the day of your
own feast of John loved Disciple.

Another appreciation, different in style, from Michael Hurley:
The thoughtfulness of the following letter from John is deeply moving; the circumstances make it more so, and the strained light heartedness at the beginning and end makes it still more moving.

Dear Michael,
May we bury the hatchet for the moment in exchange for prayers for my tryst with the medicos, hopefully from tomorrow. Learnt this morning of liver trouble and bile duct blockage — yellow as a canary, I am. This is by way of communicating!
John A. Dunne, SJ (September 25, 2008 4.51 pm)

The bone of contention between John and myself was my continuing emphasis on communication in the Province, or, rather (as I experienced it), the lack of such communication: in particular between M and the rest of us. I had suggested a Curia Newsletter and sent him a draft of a letter about the matter - which I thought of sending to a Delegate - and later a draft of a few words I might possibly say at a Delegates Friday lunch. He didn't like my drafts, especially a suggestion that if we knew what was happening at IMI we might be less worried about whether our (sic) money was being used responsibly.

Preparations for the visit of the Assistant halted these discussions. What happened next was that Kevin O'Rourke, our Rector, sharing some of my concern, made arrangements for a visit here of three of the delegates; he did so independently but with the knowledge and encouragement of John. This turned out to be a very happy, successful, community event at which I took the liberty of broaching the idea of a Curia Newsletter.

John and I were not at daggers drawn, far from it, but his letter, so remarkably thoughtful, so magnanimous, did enable us, in the time he had left, to communicate not only amicably but affectionately. Which I trust will continue.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 2009

Obituary

John Dunne SJ

Fr. John Dunne died on the 27th of December 2008. His death drew condolences from near and far, not just within Ireland, but also from as far away as Zambia and Malawi. However, it will be his contribution to Gonzaga which will receive most attention here.

He came from Summerhill, Co. Meath, received his early education in Trim and then went to Clongowes. He entered the Jesuits in 1962, studied Arts in U.C.D., with a particular interest in archaeology. He was ordained in 1974, which was followed by a year at Mater Dei, studying Guidance Counselling, which became a lifelong interest.

He taught at the Crescent College Comprehensive for six years, during which he took up a course in Computer Studies. Computers fascinated him for the rest of his life.

He was superior in Colaiste Iognaid, Galway from 1981-1987, and in Gonzaga from 1993-1998, where he spent 14 years in all. From 2002-2008 he was superior in Loyola House, Eglinton Road, where he was Socius (assistant) to the Provincial. All told, he taught for 28 years and was superior for 17. After 46 years of Jesuit life, he died of cancer, aged 64.

He saw himself as an ordinary man. He was not an academic. He liked the quip “you can tell an intellectual, but you can't tell him much!” His Yes was Yes, and his No was a definite No. He could be devastatingly honest and gruff “like an angry bear” as someone said, “but a teddy-bear beneath it all”. He could get mad with “eejits” but the squall would pass and blue skies return. He travelled unencumbered by the baggage of resentment or self-pity.

It was in 1987 that he came to Gonzaga, remaining here for fourteen years. He was superior of the Jesuit community from 1993 to 1998. He made many contributions to the life of the school, but particularly in Career Guidance, Computer Studies, pastoral care and photography.

He was a very active member of the Career Guidance Association, being its president for many years. He transformed the place of such guidance in Gonzaga, and is remembered very genuinely and gratefully by many of the past pupils because of his professional services.

It was Fr. John who basically introduced Computer Studies to the school. He began with the staff, and many of his colleagues have expressed their indebtedness to him. The acquisition of equipment and its location provided many problems, but John's optimism overcame them all. That having been achieved he offered evening classes to interested parents.

In the field of pastoral care he involved himself in many areas. He brought groups of 6th year boys to London with the annual Dublin pilgrimage. He developed what was known as the “urban plunge”, where 6th years lived in the inner city. He organized retreats for the senior students and it was under Fr. John that the practice of having a "forum" for the parents of each year was initiated and which has proved such a blessing for both school and parents.

Throughout the school year he was always on the watch-out for the opportunity of a good photograph. Many a "Gonzaga Record” benefited from his enthusiasm. It was most unfortunate that most of his collection was lost in the fire at Loyola House, Eglinton Road on Good Friday 2007.

He had a sabbatical year 2001-2002 where he first studied at Berkeley, California, and then travelled to various Jesuit missions in Asia and Africa. Later in 2002 he was appointed Socius to Fr. Provincial and became superior of the community there. He made the Province much more email friendly, thereby improving its efficiency. In October 2008 he was diagnosed with cancer, but he continued working. On the 19th December he was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, where he died on Saturday 27th December, the feast of St. John the Evangelist.

Good came out of his sickness and dying. He was amazed at the outpouring of concern, prayer and compassion for himself; he could not see why this should be. He never knew that in his last days many of the Jesuits in Cherryfield had said that they could cheerfully have taken his place - they were retired and ill, whereas he had still so much potential. Yet this brief account shows that John did indeed fulfil his potential in a most varied and generous way. He was truly a blessing for all in Gonzaga College SJ.

JAB SJ

Ennis, Aidan D, 1909-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/597
  • Person
  • 15 March 1909-29 April 2006

Born: 15 March 1909, Ballymitty, County Wexford
Entered: 16 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1944, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 29 April 2006, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ
Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

Fr Aidan Ennis (1909-2005)

15th March 1909; Born in Ballymitty, Co. Wexford
Early education in Dominican College, Wicklow, and Clongowes
16th Sept. 1926: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
17th Sept. 1928: First Vows at Tullabeg
1928 - 1931: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts in UCD
1931 - 1934: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1934 - 1937: Clongowes - Teacher (Regency)
1937 - 1941: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1940: Ordained at Milltown Park
1941 - 1942: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1942 - 1944: Mungret College - Minister
2nd February 1944: Final Vows at Mungret College
1944 - 1945: Milltown Park - Minister
1945 - 1947: St. Francis Xavier, Gardiner St. - Pastoral Ministry
1947 - 1962: Mungret College
1947 - 1955: Farm Manager; Teacher; Lecturer in Philosophy, Confessor
1955 - 1959: Teacher; Lecturer in Philosophy; Spiritual Director
1959 - 1962: Teacher, Lecturer in Philosophy
1962 - 1965: Catholic Workers College - Minister, Lecturer
1965 - 1969: Mungret College - Spiritual Director; Teacher, Lecturer in Philosophy
1969 - 1976: St. Ignatius, Galway
1969 - 1975: Teacher; Ministered in Church;
1975 - 1976: Parish Curate
1976 - 2006: Gardiner Street
1976 - 2002: Ministered in the Church; Gardener
2002 - 2006: Cherryfield Lodge - Prayed for the Church and the Society
29th April 2006: Died peacefully in St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin,

Fr. Aidan Ennis was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in January 2002. He was frail and needed nursing care. He remained in reasonably good health for the next four years. His condition began to deteriorate, especially in the final four months.

Proinsias Fionnagáin writes:
Aidan Ennis was born on 15 March 1909 in the parish of Ballymitty, Co. Wexford. His birthplace was an old residence and park a short mile away from the Catholic parish church. French tourists to that district might certainly describe the Ennis property as a gentilhommiere. There were two sons in the family, Patrick John, the elder, and Aidan, and four daughters. The Ennis family is now extinct.

Aidan and his brother were both educated at Clongowes. Aidan entered the Society in 1926 at Tullabeg. When the present writer entered, one year later, he could not fail to notice that Aidan was one of seven Clongownians of the 1926 vintage. His fellow OCs were John Burden (+1974), John MacAvoy (+1983), Gerard Perrott (+1985), Brendan Lawler (+1993) and Michael O'Meara (+1998). Cecil Hayden, a deeply spiritual man, was deemed over-scrupulous by superiors and told to go back to his family's business, HAYDENS' HOTEL, in Ballinasloe. He never returned to Ballinasloe, but became a hotel manager in Dublin and an apostle of devotion to the Holy Rosary. Aidan survived many of his fellow novices and I was the only fellow-novice to be able to attend his funeral.

My only memory of Aidan in the novitiate is of summer 1928, when he seemed to have given himself a special apostolate of encouraging first-year novices like myself to seek permission to make the Vows of Devotion. It was only the Father Provincial who could sanction this act of devotion. So far as I could learn later, only Brother Thomas O'Sullivan was granted the privilege. Both the Father Provincial and the future Father Thomas had been Old Boys of St. Ignatius College, Galway--another proof that blood is thicker than water!

In June 1931, our Major Villa was housed in Castlebellingham Castle, Co. Louth. A first-year junior, Dan Fitzpatrick, destined for the new Vice-Province in Australia, was looking out for a cycling party to visit his mother and grandmother at Omeath, Co Louth. Omeath was the last and soon to be extinct Gaeltacht on the east coast of Ireland. Dan's grandmother was a native Irish speaker of Omeath. Aidan got interested in the prospect of the trip to Omeath, and, as we may be sure, proved a welcome addition to Dan's other companions as well. By some alchemy of fate, conversation with Dan Fitzpatrick's relatives produced some remarkable associations for Aidan. Dan's dead father had been a member of the crew on the Titanic on her tragic maiden voyage to America in April 1912. An aunt of Aidan was the wife of one of the pursers on the doomed ship. The Ennis home in Ballymitty appears in a published work dealing with Irish victims on the ship and the address of this purser. Aidan was pleased when I brought this book to his notice; he was but an infant when this uncle by marriage perished.

Sometime, during my scholastic career, I met Aidan's parents on holidays and I noticed an uncanny resemblance between Aidan and his father. The elder son, Patrick, did not have a like paternal resemblance.

Allow me to record here another name from the Ennis family tree. I had noticed in a book review on the west of Ireland mention of Bishop Patrick Duggan of Clonfert whose massive memorial Celtic Cross is to be seen close by the lasting resting place of the patriot Archbishop of Dublin, William Walsh, and other dignitaries of the archdiocese in Glasnevin cemetery. I was mentioning the book at table when Aidan broke in. “Proinsias”, he said, “you are talking about a kinsman of mine”. Bishop Duggan of Cionfert was born in Belcare, archdiocese of Tuam, in 1813. His family on the distaff side was descended from an old and distinguished stock, the Canavans, and Aidan's mother was an out-cousin of the Duggans of Belcare. She was a Canavan and had handed on to her son, Aidan, the story of her distinguished relative. In August, 1896, Bishop Duggan arrived in Dublin on business with his solicitor. He got ill unexpectedly, was brought to Jervis St. Hospital, and a few days later died on 15 August. That very same evening his remains were transferred to our church and reposed for three days in the Ignatian Chapel. Archbishop Walsh was celebrant of the solemn Mass in the church, in the presence of Cardinal Logue and some three handred priests, diocesan and regular.

When I returned from France in 1981 I was appointed a member of the Diocesan Commission of historians studying the Causes for Beatification of the Irish Martyrs for the faith in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. I did not foresee that the years 1982 to 1992 would be the busiest of all my experience of life in the Society. My status in the community was simply 'assistant in the church'. Aidan had the same status but had a noticeably large following, whether in the church or the Ignatian Chapel. with the Gaelgóirí. His only light reading seemed to me to be the Gaelic poets Piaras Ferriter, Tadg Gaelach Ó Súilleabhain et al. I associate him with our popular pilgrimage to Carraig an Aifrinn, Co. Wicklow...another instance of his lack of physical stamina. His only recreation seemed to be practising golfing shots in the garden when no one was around. He was well into his eighties and still driving the house car. It was the general disapproval of the community that called for his abandonment of the steering wheel. It was felt that he was endangering the lives of himself, Diarmuid Ó Laoghaire, Seamus Mac Amhlaoibh et al., setting off for the annual holidays in Co. Donegal, after passing through the troubled counties of Tyrone and, especially, Fermanagh.

Aidan was not only a devoted assistant in the sanctuary or confessional in the church; he was a devoted trainer of the altar boys and, yes, the boy-scouts.. A new parish priest started to innovate 'in the alleged and mostly unapproved) spirit of Vatican II. He decreed that the boy servers were to be helped out by girly servers. Anybody could predict the result: the boys fled the sanctuary never to return. The boy scouts, too, disappeared over- night. The last boy-scout was an obese child. The recently recruited girl-scouts quickly tired of their social promotion and left to be with the boys. Fr Aidan must have felt deeply distressed by all the changes in the 'spirit of Vatican II'. Much of Aidan's unknown kindnesses could be guessed at from our casual meeting in the streets with persons, poor as well as well-to-do, who asked for Aidan, who was helping them to cope with the inevitable disappointments in life.

When Aidan was well into his eighties he could still deliver an admirable sermon. I remember the funeral Mass of the last of his sisters. Aidan produced a wise and instructive homily on the subject of death and its appositeness for deepening the faith of the living. Not long after he was invited by Belvedere College to preach at the obsequies of Father Peadar MacSéamus who, just before his last illness, had completed fifty years in the College. On this occasion Aidan excused himself from accepting the invitation to preach - a sure sign of Aidan's declining stamina.

His last two decades amongst us must have been lonely years. One by one, his brother and four sisters quit this valley of tears. One death after another must have been for Aidan an indication that the Ballymitty Eunises were approaching extinction. Eventually, Aidan, sole survivor of the family, was now the heir-at-law of the gentilhommiere in Co. Wexford. And so ended his paternal surname in the old beloved homestead. It is comforting to know that in his closing years in Cherryfield he experienced tender care and affection up to his last and eternal Status.

From the homily by Derek Cassidy at the Funeral Mass in Gardiner Street:
Aidan was born into a Home called "Springwood", and, as the name suggests, it was well supplied with Trees and Bushes and many different coloured shrubs and flowers. Perhaps it is this very early exposure to the seasons of growth, flowering and decaying, that gave Aidan his calm, tranquil and easy going disposition to the happenings of day to day living: whatever, he was a man of considerably even temper

I have selected the readings from Aidan's own copy of the Jerusalem Bible, wherein I discovered some of his notations. I want to finger a moment on that reading from Paul's letter to the Romans, chapter 12, verses 1 & 2. Aidan re-phrased the last sentence slightly, to read “Then you will be able to discern the will of God”. In his praying and reflection on the message of the two verses, Aidan stressed for himself, and from his place now with God, stresses for you and me, God's mercy. When I am fully aware of the quality of mercy that God offers me, when I am ready to live in that awareness, then I can avoid modelling my behaviour on the world around me, and, instead, allow my behaviour to be modelled by my appreciation of God's mercy, and then, and because Aidan underlined for himself this word “then”, I must say, then, and only then, will be able to discern the will of God, and know what is good, what it is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do.

Over the very many years of his dedicated life in the Jesuits, almost 80 years of commitment, Aidan was very well practiced in the exercise of applying God's mercy. He was infinitely patient - like the Gardener must be whilst waiting for the soil to give birth to the flower. He was tender, kind and compassionate in his Healing Ministry in the Confessional, especially here in St Francis Xavier's Church, where Aidan spent a total of 28 years. He would say himself that he learned much more about life from the people here in Gardiner Street than he was ever able to teach about life! He had a deep affection for the devoted congregation here, and in a way the people of Brendan Behan Court were his Pets!

Fr Aidan also spent some time in Mungret College, Limerick, now closed. I first met him there, where he taught Philosophy to young men preparing for Priesthood on the Missions. Fr Willie Reynolds told me yesterday that he had been speaking with some of those who knew Fr Aidan from Mungret, and they offer their Prayers of support to us.

The psalm that I selected from Aidan's notes was Ps. 25, with the response “To you, Yahweh, I lift up my soul”. I mentioned that Aidan is 80 years in the Jesuits this year - in September. In those 80 years he lifted up his soul to God each morning and evening, some minimum of 58,400 times!! That is once more a dedication quite similar to what is required of a Gardener: digging and weeding and watering and waiting for the blossom to show. Love, Forgiveness, Mercy: these three qualities are sung of in Ps 25. All three are qualities attributed to God; all three are the qualities that Aidan modelled his life around.

I chose the Gospel of the Ten Lepers from amongst many that Aidan has noted. I chose it mainly because of the plea made by the ten, “Jesus! Master! Take pity on us”. What a very beautiful prayer of regard. I can only imagine that it is a prayer that Aidan himself used frequently. I humbly suggest that Aidan today commends this prayer to you and me. So as we continue with our Prayer of Thanksgiving for Aidan's life and gift to us, we might allow our hearts to accompany him now through our Faith as he enters into the full blossom of Life with the God of his dreams.

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

DEDICATED TO FR AIDAN ENNIS

Thomas MacMahon

A Theme and Three Variations

Original
Who is Sylvia? What is she,
That all our swains commend her?
Holy, fair, and wise is she;
The heaven such grace did lend her.

That she might admired be.

“Two Gentlemen of Verona”
William Shakespeare
1564-1616.

1
Who is Aidan? What is he,
That all S.J.'s commend him?
Hoary hair, grey eyes has he,
The staff such drapes did lend him
That he might attired be.

“One Clergyman of Cherryfield”
Thomas Mac Mahon 1915-present (etc. DV)

2
Cé hé Aodán? Céard é féin,
Go molann é gac éinne?
Naofa, geal agus eolach é,
An oiread gräs thug Neamh dó,
Le go dtiurfai moladh dó.

“Beirt Duine Uasal ó Bheróna”
Liam Crith-Slea 1564-1616

3
Quis est Aodan ? quidnam est,
Pagani ut inirentur?
Sanctus, clarus, prudens ille,
Talem gratiam dedit caelum
Ut is mirus haberetur.

“Duo Nobiles Veronenses”
Gulielmus Hastam-Verberans MDLXIV -MDCXVI

◆ The Clongownian, 2006

Obituary

Father Aidan Ennis SJ

Aidan Ennis was born on 15 March 1909 in the parish of Ballymitty, Co. Wexford. His birthplace was an old residence and park a short mile away from the Catholic parish church. French tourists to that district might certainly describe the Ennis property as a gentilhommiere, There were two sons in the family, Patrick John, the elder, and Aidan, and four daughters. Aidan and his brother were both educated at Clongowes. Aidan entered the Society in 1926 at Tullabeg and was one of seven Clongownians of the 1926 vintage.

He studied Arts in UCD and Philosophy in Tullabeg before spending three years teaching in Clongowes. He then studied Theology in Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1940. He took his final vows at Mungret College in 1944 where he was serving as Minister. Following short spells in Milltown Park and Gardiner Street Aidan went to Mungret College where he taught and lectured in Philosophy. He worked for three years as Minister in the Catholic Workers College before he returned to Mungret for four years before moving to Coláiste lognáid in Galway in 1969. He spent seven years there before returning to Gardiner Street where he ministered in the church.

When I recurned from France in 1981 my status in the community was simply “assistant in the church”. Aidan had the same status but had a noticeably large following, whether in the church or the Ignatian Chapel, with the Gaelgeóiri. His only light reading seemed to me to be the Gaelic poets Piaras Ferriter, Tadg Gaelach Ó Suilleabhain et al. I associate him with our popular pilgrimage to Carraig an Aifrinn, Co. Wicklow. His only recreation seemed to be practicing golfing shots in the garden when no one was around. He was well into his eighties and still driving the house car. It was the general disapproval of the community that called for his abandonment of the steering wheel. It was felt that he was endangering the lives of himself and others by setting off for annual holidays in Co. Donegal.

Aidan was not only a devoted assistant in the sanctuary or confessional in the church; he was a devoted trainer of the altar boys and the scouts. Much of Aidan's unknown kindnesses could be guessed at from our casual meeting in the streets with persons, poor as well as well-to do, who asked for Aidan, who was helping them to cope with disappointments in life. When Aidan was well into his eighties he could still deliver an admirable sermon. I remember the funeral Mass of the last of his sisters. Aidan produced a wise and instructive homily on the subject of death and its appositeness for deepening the faith of the living. Not long after he was invited by Belvedere College to preach at the obsequies of Father Peadar MacSeamus who, just before his last illness, had completed fifty years in the College. On this occasion Aidan excused himself from accepting the invitation to preach - a sure sign of his declining stamina.

One by one, his brother and four sisters quit this valley of tears and eventually, Aidan, sole survivor of the family, was now the heir-at-law of the gencilhommiere in Co. Wexford. And so ended his paternal surname in the old beloved homestead. It is comforting to know that in his closing years in Cherryfield he experienced tender care and affection up to his last and eternal Status.

Fay, Henry J, 1912-1939, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1277
  • Person
  • 14 January 1912-20 September 1939

Born: 14 January 1912, Ranelagh, Dublin
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 20 September 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Companions in Mission - Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Gerald (Gerry) Brangan Entry
Gerald had difficulties with the study of humanities even though he was intelligent and endowed with excellent judgment and much common sense. So it was with some relief that he moved on to Tullabeg for philosophy. His years at Tullabeg were happy ones. He was encouraged and guided in his study of philosophy by his former school friend Henry Fay, himself a very talented and kind scholastic.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Clongowes student. Died in Theology

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 15th Year No 1 1940

Milltown Park :
On September 20th, Mr. Harry Fay died in St. Vincent’s Hospital. He had spent two years in Milltown although during his first year he had not followed lectures as he was even then suffering from heart trouble. Although frail in health, his vigour, even brilliance, of mind and his remarkable power of friendship made him more than ordinarily popular. We will miss him, but Heaven has the first claim on us all. RIP

Obituary :
Mr Henry Fay

1912 Born in Dublin, 14th January
1919-22 Catholic University School
1922-26 Belvedere College
1926 30 Clongowes
1930-32 Emo Park - Novice
1932-34 Rathfarnham - Juniorate
1934-37 Tullabeg - Philosophy
1937 38 Belvedere - Irish Monthly
1938-39 Milltown Park - Theology

When Harry Fay was struck down when only a Junior by a disease which wrecked his physique and promised to carry him off in as short time, many must have felt that here was a tragedy, the tragedy of promise that could never be fulfilled. But when Harry Fay died, those who knew him wondered more at all that he had done in his short days than at all might he have done. It is a trite phase to use of the young dead “consummatus in brevi tempora multa explevit - but of Harry Fay it was fully true. Scarcely ever can there have been a young man in the Province. or even in the Society, who had spent such full days and whose death affected so many. He was an invalid for most of his life with us. Deprived of the joy of games, walks, boats - things he loved - and confined very much to the house and to his room. Yet he was never outside the life of the house, never a hermit. Rather did the number of his friends seem to grow, until everyone was his particular friend, and a stranger to the house would be told “You must meet Harry Fay”, as if to know him were to give your allegiance. And to know him was to give your allegiance for he was that rare soul, one whose nature has been perfected and completed by religious life. He was a natural Jesuit, as it were, and his formal commission to the company seemed merely a recognition of that.
Harry Fay had a genius for friendship. Why had he such a capacity? How did he use the gift? When we answer these questions we shall find ourselves explaining his wide influence
on others. Rich gifts of character, temperament and mind combined in him in a rare balance - there were few men of nicer balance among us. He radiated sincerity. There no pose, no polite affectation, of interest, no selfishness to mar the genuine love of his fellows, to obstruct his keen desire to help them, or to raise barriers between him and others. The idlest observer keen that in every community where he lived he was the resort of all lame dogs. They came to him for consolation in depression, for assistance in their work, often enough for confirmation in their purpose in life. No claim for help was denied, to everyone in need he gave liberally of his time, his energy and his advice. It was often humorously said that no spiritual father was more consulted than he. lt is quite true that no spiritual father could have been more sincerely interested or more anxious to help. His own health, which would have depressed the spirits of a less valiant man, never interfered with his unobtrusive charity. He had the great gift of doing things for you as if he really liked you which is we think the real virtue of love. All who genuinely want to help others and who are willing to be inconvenienced and disappointed in the process will gain respect, not all will be taken into confidence completely conquered. Harry Fay made complete conquests. His power of sympathy was great, his mind keen and his balance superb. He had no touch of small-mindedness. His horizon was broad, it stretched out to Heaven and he strove always to see things in the clear light of heaven and to keep true proportion. How he succeeded his friends will know and all can judge from the admirable life he led when death was always near. His patience under suffering was new or that conscious patience which often irritates, it was an apparently careless patience that provoked astonishment. He seemed scarcely to advert to his suffering and there were times when one had to say to oneself - he is sulfuring - lest one should forget. In all his worst bouts of illness and in his last fatal illness one van scarcely recall a moment when cheerfulness lapsed or the invalid manner appeared.
Harry Fay was not alone a young imam of the richest character with extraordinary depths of holiness, he was also of the first order of intelligence.
The most superficial acquaintance with him was enough to show that he was talented, he had power of concentration, desire to know - he had intellect. Where others acquired
philosophy, Harry Fay was a philosopher. He had the “mens naturaliter” philosopher and he was mature in this that his life was informed by his philosophy - for him it was not a sterile discipline of the mind but a manner of living, of giving that reasonable service that God asked of him in his vocation.
It is no one's to search the secrets between God and his fellow. So it will suffice to say that we think that Harry Fay was very much a chosen soul and among chosen souls rare. The beautiful blend of nature and grace made him attractive, made him one to admire to love and if possible to imitate. Ignatius, the Captain of Our Company, is surrounded in heaven by a noble body, but surely marshalled there with the boy Saints, Aloysius, Berchmans, Stanislaus stands a new arrival - who loved the Society dearly, so dearly that he read and reread her early history so that he might know what hind of man Ignatius wished the Kings men to be, who shared with Stanislaus the frank sincere love of his fellows, with Aloysius his gallantry in every trial his spirit of sacrifice, his knightly bearing, with Berchmans his care of little things, his tender love of Our Lady, and surely the company triumphant saluted in their heavenly ranks as another worthy of their steel took his place.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1940

Obituary

Harry Fay SJ

Though Harry Fay was only with us for four years, from 1912, it was as a junior boy, yet we felt a closer connection than that might warrant, for were not all the Fays Belvederians? When he left School, where he had been one of the leaders of a brilliant intellectual group, Harry decided to be a Jesuit. The decision must have been a hard one, for it was clear to all that Harry was destined to a distinguished career. He was already “a charmer” in the exact opposite way to that in which the word is usually used. His charm consisted in a sincere and courageous mind, naturally active, disciplined and alive to beauty. He would infallibly gather round him a wide circle of friends, even disciples. The fact that spiritual beauty and knowledge meant more to him than anything else insured that his friends should be an élite, that his influence would be, through them, lasting and widespread. This God gave him almost, one might say, in return for what He took. For quite early in Harry's religious life it was clear he would never enjoy normal health. As his strength ebbed and his resistance deteriorated, he must often have wondered would he live to the priesthood. Actually he died in Milltown Park when only a fraction of his theological studies were over. But to that great disappointment he bowed with the same cheerfulness and resignation as he always met pain and disillusionment. He returned to us a little while ago to work on the Staff of the Irish Monthly, and though the effort proved beyond him, we can record how hard he strove and how earnestly he desired to do whatever was within his power. His death at the early age of twenty-eight robbed many of a much-loved friend, and many more of a wise, a sympathetic and a holy counsellor.

◆ The Clongownian, 1940

Obituary

Father Harry Fay SJ

Few who have passed through Clongowes have had such gifts of intellect and character as those which Harry Fay possessed. In his four years here he did brilliantly at his studies besides taking a prominent part in Line and House activities.

What his contemporaries will recall most of all was his extraordinary unselfishness, and his evident sincerity. These two qualities, combined with a rare power of sympathy, were to make many friends for him both here in Clongowes and afterwards in the Society of Jesus. His genius for friendship - and it certainly was genius - undoubtedly had its foundation in his capacity for unselfish interest in others. He was genuinely delighted to help others and this help was always free from the slightest suspicion of patronage or condescension. In Clongowes too his complete freedom from any pettiness of mind was remarkable, indeed, if anything really exasperated him at school, it was any exhibition of pettiness either on the part of a master or a boy.

His sincerity was also manifest in his piety which was so much part of him that it had none of that self-conscious affectation which irritates. This meant that he was able to do much good because he used the most effective means - example.

It was but natural - considering his name - that he should be very interested in art, literature (especially drama) and music. In these respects he had an advantage over his fellows, for from his earliest childhood he had been familiar with all that was best in music, and when he grew older he was to learn of the work his uncles, Willy and Frank, did for the theatre in Ireland. Throughout his life he had a great interest in and understanding of these subjects.

When in 1930 he entered the Society of Jesus one would have prophesied for him a distinguished career as a writer, professor or spiritual director but God had chosen a different path for him. He had barely completed his noviceship when he was struck down by the disease which was to bring him to his grave in the middle of his twenty-ninth year. For the next six years he was to call forth the admiration of all who met him by the cheerful and patient manner in which he bore the cross of his suffering. As usual he was completely unconscious of any heroism on his part, but we have only to consider that before he died he was to have to relinquish one by one his interests and ambitions in order to under stand what a series of sacrifices his illness entailed.

He had a first-class intellect and a lively interest in studies but he had to abandon all thought of going to the University. In his ecclesiastical studies he was making brilliant progress, but here again he had to give up all hope of doing them as thoroughly as he would have wished..

He was naturally very lively and active, yet for six years he had to give up all exercise. Also he was anxious to be able to work for and to take part in external activity for the salvation of souls - for was not that part of his vocation - and here he was an invalid for whom there could be no question of doing such work.

Yet despite these hardships and handicaps, the amount of work Harry did before he died was truly amazing, so much so that it was no wonder that, when people considered the depths of holiness which his six years of suffer ing had so clearly revealed as well as the good which he had done, they should say of him consummates in brevi explevit tempora multa, for it was literally true of Harry.

To his mother and father and his brother we extend our sincere sympathy on their sad loss. May he rest in peace.

Feeney, Peadar J, 1919-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/596
  • Person
  • 13 May 1919-22 February 2000

Born: 13 May 1919, Galway City
Entered: 04 October 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1954, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Died: 22 February 2000, University Hospital, Galway

part of the Coláiste Iognáid, Galway community at the time of death

by 1979 at Manhattan Beach CA, USA (CAL) working
by 1986 at Santa Barbara CA, USA (CAL) working
by 1989 at Long Beach CA, USA (CA) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000

Obituary

Fr Peter (Peadar) Feeney (1919-2000)

1919, May 13th Born in Galway
Early education, Patrician Brothers and St. Ignatius College, Galway
1937, Oct 4: Entered the Society at Emo
1939, Oct 5: First vows at Emo
1939 - 1942: Rathfarnham, Arts at UCD
1942 - 1945: Tullabeg, studying philosophy
1945 - 1948: Clongowes, teacher, Cert. in Education
1948 - 1952: Milltown Park, studying theology
1951, July 31: Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1952 - 1953: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1953 - 1954: Gonzaga College, teaching
1954 - 1958: Clongowes, teaching, Dir. Dramatic Society
1958 - 1965: St. Ignatius, Galway, teaching, Rowing club
1965 - 1970: Clongowes, teaching, Dir. Dramatic Society
1970 - 1976: St, Ignatius, Galway, teaching, Games Master, Rowing Club
1976 - 1978: Belvedere, teaching
1978 - 1995: California, parish work
1955 - 2000: St. Ignatius, Galway, ministering in the community

Peadar was admitted to the University College Hospital, Galway, on 21st January. After surgery on 10th February his health continued to deteriorate. He died peacefully on 22nd February 2000, Feast of the See of Peter, aged 80.

Bob McGoran writes ...

Peadar Feeney and I entered the Society on the same day, October 4th 1937. We were pert of a group of six, who for various reasons arrived later than the usual September novices. I soon learnt that Peadar was a Galway city man, living only a stone's throw away from the Jesuit house. over the next few years I got to know his family well - father, mother, one brother and three sisters. My friendship with them continued over many years.

Peadar had many talents and abilities. Physically strong and hardy, he was an excellent oarsman, swimmer and diver. A fine Gaelic footballer, he had been selected for the Galway minor team. He was also a talented actor and had won various awards in Feiseanna and festivals at a national level. He had a fine tenor voice and he later became a fluent French and Spanish speaker. All of these stood him in good stead in his later work in the Colleges.

He spent almost thirty years of his life teaching in various colleges, especially Colaiste Iognáid and Clongowes. He was a strict teacher - possibly over strict. Not many of his pupils came up to the standard he expected of them. There was no doubt about his ability and knowledge of the subjects he taught : his more talented pupils invariably did well. But the poor progress of others often led to tension in the class-room.

Peadar was a happier person on the playing field or on the river. Here again, he expected a high level of dedication and application, He coached the rowing crews in Galway for a number of years with great success. An indication of this is given by one of the teachers whom I quote later on in this account.

Peadar's other great love was acting and the stage. His productions in both Clongowes and Galway were highly successful. In Clongowes, he was director in the Dramatic Society for the pupils for the two periods he was teaching there. In Galway a great deal of his leisure time was devoted to drama. He founded the highly successful Dominican and Ignatian Dramatic Society (the D&I) among adults, producing mostly Shakespearean and well-known plays such as “Macbeth”, “As you like it”, “The Barrets of Wimpole St.”, “Pride and Prejudice”, “Rebecca” and many others. He had a flair for discovering and developing talent in quite ordinary people and he insisted on high standards not only in the acting but in the staging, costumes and attention to detail. “Even a whisper” was one of his sayings “must be heard at the back of the hall”. Peadar was almost sixty years old when he felt the need to take a break from college life and seek a wider experience. Over the years, he had spent many Summer holidays helping in parishes in America. Now he felt the desire to go into full-time parish work there. He had become friendly with a Pastor in Manhattan beach in California who was glad to have him on a full-time basis. Peadar was very happy in this situation. However, when the Pastor was changed things were not working out so well. He got a change to Santa Barbara parish and a final assignment to Long Beach, a parish which was largely for Spanish-speaking people. Altogether he spent seventeen years in this Apostolate.

Peadar was a man of strong convictions and definite standards. In religious and spiritual matters he was an upholder of traditional values and practices. The liturgy was to be treated reverently, without undue haste. In church, his congregation - many of them daily Mass-goers - did not quite see eye to eye with him, but Peadar could not be budged from his principles, The Mass and the Breviary were sources of great strength to him and he was unfailingly faithful to them up to the time of his death.

At Peadar's funeral Mass, new ground was broken in the oration being delivered not by the usual S.J. but by one of the lay staff in the college, Mr Bernard O'Connell. Bernard had known Peadar for many years and grew particularly close to him in the period before his death. He spoke very eloquently of Peadar in both Irish and English. I finish this account with some short quotations from the sermon.

It was designed to be a five minute visit. Saturday afternoon afforded its usual tempting possibilities but having been sufficiently discommoded to visit a doctor about my back, I wasn't too inclined for temptation. It's a very strange sensation to talk to a dying man and hear him give you eminently sensible advice about your back and your health. But after the advice was proffered and duly accepted, discourse ensued. Five minutes became ninety. A conversation which concentrated on topics such as education, sport, music, the Coláiste, Galway and the call to the Society of Jesus was both rich and provocative

From his entrance into the Society of Jesus on October 4th 1937, Peadar set the highest standards both for himself and others. Meeting him on the Prom on vacation from the States he would despair at the state of the bay. He'd ask you directly what were you going to do about it? Not much, as it happened. But I did admire that righteous indignation of his. About Peadar's prowess as a rowing coach I admired the man that brought a Jes senior crew with just one sixth year aboard to within half a canvas of the Maiden Championship of Ireland in 1974. The winning Garda crew later beat its own senior crew that season. Subsequently, the Guards won the Petite Final at the Olympics and were timed fourth fastest in the world. And Peadar's fifth year lads nearly beat them.

Bob McGoran SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 2000

Obituary

Father Peadar Feeney SJ

Fr Peadar Feeney was three times a member of the Clongowes community and staff. He taught here as a scholastic between 1945 and 1948. He returned after ordination in 1954 for four years as teacher and director of drama and he repeated this dual role for a further spell from 1965 until 1970. He had been in California engaged in parish work from 1978 until five years before his death, when he came back to the St Ignatius community in his native Galway, where he died peacefully in University College Hospital on 22 February 2000, at the age of 80.

Fitzgerald, Kyran J, 1922-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/504
  • Person
  • 03 March 1922-07 May 1997

Born: 03 March 1922, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1940, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 September 1977, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Died: 07 May 1997, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 92 : August 1996

Obituary

Fr Kyran Fitzgerald (1922-1997)

3rd Mar. 1922: Born in Waterford
Early education: Waterpark College and Clongowes Wood College.
7th Sept. 1940: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1942: First Vows at Emo
1942 - 1945: Rathfarnham, Arts at UCD
1945 - 1948: Tullabeg, Studying Philosophy
1948 - 1951: Clongowes, teaching Cl. Cert in Education
1951 - 1955: Milltown Park, studying Theology
29th July 1954: Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1955 - 1956: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1956 - 1961: Clongowes, teaching
1961 - 1968: Mungret College, teaching
1968 - 1970: College of Industrial Relations, studying Psychology at UCD
1970 - 1971: Galway, teaching & Career Guidance
1971 - 1986: Gonzaga, teaching & Career Guidance work ('71-'85)
1985 - 1986: Sabbatical
1986 - 1991: Chaplain, Lansdowne Road N. Home Subsequently listed as "assistant librarian" "writer".

Homily at Funeral Mass of Fr. Kyran Fitzgerald

We have come together this morning for Mass, to celebrate the eucharist: to remember with gratitude, with sorrow and with concern the passover of Christ in the first place, but today the passover also of Kyran. Doing this in memory of him, breaking together the Bread of the Word and the Bread of the Eucharist, we give thanks for the life and work of Jesus of Nazareth, for his suffering death and resurrection which, as the Creed puts it, were for us and for our salvation. But in that gratitude today we give special place to Kyran as a priest of the Society of Jesus. We give thanks for his life of self-sacrifice as a faithful Jesuit religious, a life which started long ago in 1940 when soon after the beginning of the London Blitz we both went as novices to Emo Park near Portarlington; we give thanks for his ministry as a devoted teacher of History and of Latin not only in Gonzaga but previously in Clongowes, Mungret and Galway, especially for his pioneering work as a career guidance counsellor: he was one of the founding members of that profession in this country; we give thanks too for his great capacity for friendship, for his gleaming eye and sense of humour, for his winning way with young people, for his love of fun and games and of celebrations such as the great party which - with so much thoughtfulness and imagination - the Matron of Cherryfield gave for him recently on the occasion of his 75th birthday.

As well as giving thanks at Mass we are sorry and ask forgiveness firstly of course for our ungratefulness and unfaithfulness in our following of Christ but in our sorrow at today's Mass we include and ask forgiveness for our failure to love Kyran as much as we should have, our failure to recognize and appreciate to the full all that he was by God's grace. He was a real charmer, brilliant in conversation skillful in argument and debate, patient and courageous and hopeful in suffering (as the first reading recalled so beautifully and so appositely), wide and catholic in the scope of his interests and strong in his convictions but tolerant, benignly tolerant with those of us who were unable to go along with all his views, political or theological, or unable to match his skill at bridge. And although he once loved to play a card game called 'Spite and Malice' and of course to win and therefore to beat you and to enjoy winning and beating you, there was in Kyran not the slightest trace of any spite or malice. He was innocent of all unkindness and uncharitablness. For our failure to appreciate to the full all these and other spiritual gifts, all these and other signs of God's goodness and grace we ask Kyran's forgiveness at this Mass.

But the eucharist, our Mass, expresses not only our gratitude and our sorrow but also our concern, our concern for the salvation of God's world, so we make intercession for God's people and in that intercession today we naturally give pride of place to Kyran's relatives, to his sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and extended family, to his Jesuit confreres, to all those whose interests he had and still has so much at heart: asking the Holy Spirit to come and comfort and console us. A special memento is of course owing to Dr. Joe Martin and to the Matron of Cherryfield, Nurse Mary Ryan and all her staff: they took exquisite care of him in his last years and in that way made all the more real for Kyran God's own loving care of him.

For me it is a special comfort and consolation that we are burying Kyran on what is in Ireland the Vigil of the Feast of the Ascension and that Wednesday last, the day he died, was the Vigil of the Ascension in most of the rest of the Christian world. There is, as I tried to tell him on Wednesday afternoon, a certain appropriateness in dying at Ascensiontide when we celebrate what was for Jesus the end of his earthly existence and his return to the Father in Heaven. Above all the Ascension reminds us of the great mystery enshrined in the last article of our Creed: “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sin, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting”,

This mystery is hard to take, hard to stomach as the fourth gospel puts it with reference to the related mystery of the eucharist - the bread of immortality. It is mind-blowing, mind-boggling and we are all, each and every one of us, only too conscious of our hesitations and uncertainties, of our unbelief. But it is perhaps communities who believe rather than mere individuals and the Christian Community's sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, as expressed at Mass, in today's Mass especially, is therefore a great comfort to us in our own personal unbelief. We find our hearts strangely warmed by the Church's confident faith in the next life, in the after-life, in life with God, in everlasting life in the heavenly places where, as St. Paul tells the Corinthians, (1 Cor 15:42-54), our corruptible bodies will be mysteriously clothed with incorruption and immortality and glory and power.

When I was saying Mass last Wednesday evening shortly after visiting Kyran just two hours before he died and with him especially in mind, the epistle for the day was taken from St. Luke's account in the 17th chapter of Acts, of St Paul's speech to the Athenians in which he had proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Verse 32 read “at this mention of rising from the dead, some of them burst out laughing”. Still today, perhaps even more so today and not only in Athens but everywhere, belief in the other world and in the last article of the Creed is just laughable, an idea to be dismissed with a laugh. For too many people the parameters and perspectives of their lives are very much this-worldly: getting and spending we lay vast our powers; a materialism and consumerism which puts things before people is too pervasive. Death makes such a life style very questionable: for those of us with any vestige of belief it is a salutary reminder that life may begin but hardly ends here below.

According to the Christian faith of the Church, life for Kyran is now changed not ended. He has completed his baptism into the death and resurrection of Christ, he has entered his promised inheritance and his joy none can now ever take from him. He has been warmly welcomed into Paradise not only by the choirs of angels and saints and by the Blessed Trinity but also by the members of his own family to whom he was always so devoted and whose photos were so prominent in his room: his mother and father, his beloved sister Peggy, and his distinguished brothers Oliver, Paddy, Gerald and Alexis. He will also have been warmly welcomed by the many friends who have gone before him marked with the sign of faith and not least, if I may say so, by our mutual friend, John Mulligan, with whom we both spent many an enjoyable holiday and with whom it will no doubt give Kyran special pleasure to discuss again the evolving political situation not only in these islands but all over the world.

We can no longer see or touch or hear Kyran but he is none the less close to us. The visible and tangible and audible is only a very small part of reality. Kyran has become part of the more vast, invisible universe and paradoxically but truly become even closer to us, because no longer subject to the limitations of life here below, the limitations of time and space. He has passed on, passed over, passed out of this world into the peace of heaven. We pray for him that he may rest in peace but only because we know that the rest and peace of heaven are not by any means to be equated with inactivity and indifference.

Shalom, the peace of heaven, is life, life in all its fullness and vibrancy, eternal life. As Jesus ascended into heaven 'on our behalf (Hebrews 6:20), 'for our good', 'to prepare a place' (In 14:2) for us, to give us hope, to send us the Spirit as a foretaste and promise here and now of the liberation and joy of the hereafter, so Kyran has gone before us not to abandon us but to prepare a place for us, not to forget us but to pray for us and indeed not only for us but for the whole Church and the whole world and the whole Society of Jesus. In Heaven, like Jesus and with Jesus, he now lives for ever to make intercession for us, to send down on us the Spirit who renews the face of the earth and the face of the Church; he has gone before us so that where he is we also may be: with him in our Father's house where there are many rooms.

And now what he is probably trying to say to us is what, according to St Luke (Acts 1:11), the Angels said to the disciples just after the Ascension: why are you standing around here, hanging about here, looking up into the sky, into heaven, star gazing? Kyran would surely want us to do as the disciples did in response to those reprimanding words of the Angels after Jesus left them; he would want us after the funeral to go back home full of joy, our hearts burning within us, to praise God and to be witnesses to the resurrection in our daily lives.

Michael Hurley, SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1997

Obituary

Father Kyran Fitzgerald SJ

Kyran Fitzgerald was born in Waterford in 1922 and came to Clongowes after attending Waterpark. His Jesuit studies, on which he entered immediately after school followed the then standard course of novitiate at Emo, uni versity studies at Rathfarnham Castle, philoso phy at Tullabeg, regency and theology at Milltown Park, ending with tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle. Kyran's regency con sisted in a three-year teaching stint as a scholastic in his old school, 1948-51.

Following ordination in 1954, he returned here to teach for another five years, 1956-61. He taught at Mungret until 1968 and then stud ied psychology at UCD, where he had taken his Arts degree, to prepare himself for the work of career guidance to which he devoted the next fifteen years of his life, first in Galway for a year and then in Gonzaga. After a sabbatical year, he spent the last years of his active min istry as chaplain to a nursing home and helping in various capacities in the community.

By 1991, Parkinson's Disease, the ravages of which he bore with remarkable patience and courage, made it impossible for him to con tinue working. He died in the Jesuit infirmary at Cherryfield on May 7 1997.

Gallagher, Michael Paul, 1939-2015, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 162 : Winter 2015

Obituary

Fr Michael Paul Gallagher (1939-2015)

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

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

In memory of Michael Paul - A letter of thanksgiving

Brendan Staunton

Dear Michael Paul,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Messenger of wonder and wonderful messenger

Tom Casey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam uasal

◆ The Clongownian, 1980

Interview : Young People and the Faith Today

Father Michael Paul Gallagher SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clongownian
Where do you see the gap there?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clongownian
Fr Gallagher, thank you very much.

◆ The Clongownian, 1988

A Month in Paraguay

Father Michael Paul Gallagher SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gill, Joseph M, 1915-2006, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/623
  • Person
  • 03 February 1915-22 June 2006

Born: 03 February 1915, Westport, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 22 June 2006, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1949 at Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - joined Patrick Walsh and Patrick JT O’Brien in Second group of Zambian Missioners
by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
The sad and peaceful death of Fr Joe Gill, SJ, took place in the afternoon of 22 June, 2006, in the Jesuit Nursing Home, Cherryfield, Dublin. His passing marked the end of an era, for he served 72 years in the Society of Jesus. May his noble soul be at the right hand of God.

Joseph Mary Gill was born to the late Dr Anthony and Mary (nee Mulloy) Gill of Westport on 3 February 1915. He got his early education in the Mercy Convent and the Christian Brothers' Schools in Westport and in Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare.

At the age of 19, Joe entered the Jesuit noviceship at Emo Park in 1934 and took his first vows in 1936. During the following ten years (1936-1946) he completed his third-level studies in arts (at UCD, 1936-1939), in philosophy at Tullabeg (1939-1942) and in theology at Milltown Park, Dublin (1942-1946). He was ordained a priest at Milltown Park on 31 July, 1945.

After his tertianship (1946-1947) he taught for a year in the Crescent Secondary School for boys in Limerick. He took his final vows as a Jesuit on 2 February 1948.
In 1948, Fr Gill was chosen to become one of the 'founding fathers' of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Zambia in Africa (then known as Northern Rhodesia). During his eight years in Zambia he worked tirelessly as pastor, builder, teacher and administrator in St Ignatius Church, Lusaka, in St Peter Canisius College, Chikuni, and in the mission outstations of Kasiya, Chivuna and Fumbo.

On his return to Ireland in 1956 Fr Joe was made minister of the recently founded Catholic Workers' College in Ranelagh, later to be known as the National College of Industrial Relations and today renamed as the National College of Ireland.

It was in 1958 however, that Father Gill was given his major appointment for the pastoral, spiritual and administrative care of souls in St Francis Xavier's Church, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. This was to be his spiritual vineyard for the next 48 years. For the first 44 years of his time in Gardiner Street, Fr Joe achieved an extraordinary grace as pastor and spiritual counsellor. He spent hours upon hours hearing confessions and trying to bring peace of mind to a wide variety of penitents from the ranks of clergy, religious and laity. He was always available as long as his health enabled him. In addition to the onerous tasks of the confessional and the parlour, Fr Joe encouraged an extraordinary gathering of devout souls in the Sodality of Our Lady and Saint Patrick and the Association of Perpetual Adoration. He became spiritual director of both groups in 1989. Every year his dedicated friends would make a wonderfully colourful variety of vestments for Churches in Ireland and in the Mission fields. Fr Joe was extremely proud of the creative work of his team.

Following an accidental fall in 2002 which resulted in a hip replacement (in Merlin Park Hospital. Galway), Fr Joe's health began to fail somewhat. This extraordinary pastor kept up his role as spiritual counsellor in the Jesuit Nursing Home until all his energy had faded away. His passing marked the completion of a very full life as a priest and as a kind friend.

Fr Joe will be sadly missed by his Jesuit brothers and members of his family. Although living and working away from Westport, he kept constant contact with the parish of his birth and early rearing. He is survived by his sister.

Note from Maurice Dowling Entry
After the war, when the Jesuits in Northern Rhodesia were looking for men, two Irish Jesuits volunteered in 1946 (Fr Paddy Walsh and Fr Paddy O'Brien) to be followed by two more in 1947, Maurice and Fr Joe Gill. They came to Chikuni.

Note from Bill Lee Entry
In 1951, two of these places (Kasiya and Chivuna) became new mission stations. Kasiya was set up by Fr. Bill Lee in 1951, the year after he arrived in the country. Later in December, he was joined by Fr J Gill.. When Fr Gill arrived and a 250cc motorbike was available, Fr Gill looked after the station and set out to visit the centers of Christianity within a radius of up to 30 miles.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948
Frs. Dowling and Gill will be leaving soon for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia.
Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949
Frs. Dowling and Gill who left Dublin for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia, on 7th October reached their destination on 4th November; for the present they are stationed at Chikuni and Lusaka respectively.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr Joesph (Joe) Gill (1915-2006)

3rd February 1915: Born in Westport, Co. Mayo
Early education in Mercy Convent & CBS Westport and Clongowes Wood College
7th September 1934: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1936: First Vows at Emo
1936 - 1939: Rathfarnham -Studied Arts at UCD
1939 - 1942: Tullabeg -Studied Philosophy
1942 - 1946: Milltown Park -Studied Theology
31st July 1945: Ordained at Milltown Park
1946 - 1947: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1947 - 1948: Crescent -Spiritual Father (boys) & Teacher
2nd February 1948: Final Vows at Sacred Heart College
1948 - 1949: St. Ignatius Church, Lusaka
1949 - 1951: Canisius College, Chikuni - Minister and Teacher
1951 - 1952: Kasiya - Building Outstations
1952 - 1954: Civuna and Fumbo -Building Outstations
1954 - 1956: Canisius College, Chikuni - Minister and Teacher
1956 - 1958: Catholic Workers College, Dublin - Minister
1958 - 2006: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street -
1958 - 1977: Pastoral Ministry; Director SFX Social Services;
1977 - 1985: Ministered in the Church
1985 - 1989: Sub-minister
1989 - 2002: Assisted in Church; Director of the Sodality of Our Lady and St. Patrick and the Association of Perpetual Adoration and work for poor parishes.
2002 - 2006: Cherryfield - praying for the Church and the Society.
22nd June 2006: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Micheál MacGréil wrote in the Mayo News July 12th 2006:
Joseph Mary Gill was born to the late Dr Anthony and Mary (nee Mulloy) Gill of Westport on February 30, 1915. He got his early education in the Mercy Convent and the Christian Brothers' Schools in Westport and in Clongowes Wood College.

At the age of 19 years, Joe entered the Jesuit Noviceship at Emo Park (near Portarlington) in 1934, and took his first vows as a Jesuit in 1936. During the following ten years (1936-1946) he completed his third-level studies in Arts (at UCD, 1936-1939), in Philosophy (at Tullabeg, County Offaly 1939-1942) and in Theology (at Milltown Park, Dublin 1942-1946). He was ordained a priest at Milltown Park on July 31, 1945. Following a third spiritual year (Tertianship, 1946-1947), he taught for a year in the Crescent Secondary School for boys in Limerick. Fr Joe took his final vows as a Jesuit on February 2, 1948.

In 1948, Fr Gill was chosen to become one of the founding fathers' of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Zambia in Africa (then known as Northern Rhodesia). During his eight years he worked tirelessly as pastor, builder, teacher and administrator in St Ignatius Church, Lusaka, in St Peter Canisius College, Chikuni, and in mission outstations in Kasiya, Civuna and Fumbo.

On his return to Ireland in 1956, Fr Joe was made Minister (administrator) of the recently-founded Catholic Workers' College in Ranelagh (later to be known as the National College of Industrial Relations and today renamed as the National College of Ireland).

It was in 1958, however, that Father Gill was given his major appointment for the pastoral, spiritual and administrative care of souls in St Francis Xavier's Church, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. This was to be his spiritual vineyard for the next 48 years. For the first-44 years of his time in Gardiner Street, Father Joe achieved an extraordinary grace as pastor and spiritual counselor. He spent hours upon hours hearing confessions and trying to bring peace of mind to a wider range of penitents - from the ranks of clergy, religious and laity.

He was always available as long as his health enabled him. In addition to the onerous tasks of the confessional and the parlour, Father Joe encouraged an extraordinary collectivity of devout souls in the Sodality of Our Lady and Saint Patrick and the Association of Perpetual Adoration. He became spiritual director of both groups in 1989. Every year his dedicated friends would make a wonderfully colourful variety of vestments for Churches in Ireland and in the Mission fields. Father Joe was extremely proud of the creative work of his team.

Following an accidental fall in 2002, which resulted in a hip replacement (in Merlin Park Hospital, Galway), Father Joe's health began to fail somewhat. This extraordinary pastor kept up his role as spiritual counsellor in the Jesuit Nursing Home until all his energy had faded away. His passing marked the completion of a very full life as a priest and as a kind friend.

Fr Joe will be sadly missed by his Jesuit brothers and members of his family. Although living and working away from Westport, Father Joe Gill kept constant contact with the parish of his birth and early rearing. He is survived by his sister, Moya Gill, Westport; his nieces Marlene Lavelle (Achill), Brenda Furnace (Dublin), Janice Gill (England) and by his nephews, Joe, James, Peter and Vincent McGovern (Newport, Westport, Galway and Naas), John and Paul Gill (Dublin), Anthony, James, John and Joseph Gill (England).

Fr. Joe was predeceased by his twin sister, Ella McGovern, and his brothers, Dr Anthony, Lt. Col. Gerrard (Engineer Corps) and Xavier (Xavie) Gill. His removal and funeral Mass were celebrated in St Francis Xavier Church, where he ministered for so long. The final tribute to Father Joe was given by the Jesuit Superior of St Francis Xavier's Community, Father Derek Cassidy, SJ, during his sermon at the funeral Mass. There was a very large and representative attendance at Fr Joe's funeral Mass, including members of his extended family from Ireland and abroad.

The Irish Jesuit Provincial, Father John Dardis, SJ, and the former Jesuit Provincial of Zambia, Father Paul Brassil, SJ, concelebrated the Mass with scores of other priest colleagues of Father Joe's. A substantial representation of Jesuit Brothers, and Sisters and Brothers of other congregations also took part.

It was very fitting that so many friends travelled from west Mayo to make their prayer of farewell to 'one of their own', whose great love was boating on Clew Bay, Sagart dilis, muinteartha, carthanach a bhí ann. Rinne sé a dhícheall ar son an tsoiscéil bheo. I bhfochair Dé go raibh sé.

◆ The Clongownian, 2006

Obituary

Father Joseph M Gill SJ

The sad and peaceful death of the late Fr Joe Gill SJ, took place in the afternoon of June 22, 2006, in the Jesuit Nursing Home, Cherryfield Lodge, Ranelagh, Dublin. His passing marked the end ofan era, having served 72 years in the Society of Jesus. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

Joseph Mary Gill was born to the late Dr. Anthony and Mary (nee Mulloy) Gill of Westport on February 3, 1915. He got his early education in the Mercy Convent and the Christian Brothers Schools in Westport and in Clongowes Wood College, near Clane in County Kildare. At the age of 19 years, Joe encered the Jesuit Noviceship at Emo Park in 1934, and took his first vows as a Jesuit in 1936. During the following ten years (1936-1946) he completed his third-level studies in Arts (at UCD, 1936-1939), in Philosophy (at Tullabeg, County Offaly 1939-1942) and in Theology (at Milltown Park, Dublin 1942-1946). He was ordained a priest at Milltown Park on July 31, 1945. Following a third spiritual year (Tertianship, 1946-1947), he taught for a year in the Crescent Secondary School in Limerick. Fr Joe took his final vows as a Jesuit on February 2, 1948.

In 1948, Fr Gill was chosen to become one of the “founding fathers” of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Zambia in Africa (then known as Northern Rhodesia). During his eight years he worked tirelessly as pastor, builder, teacher and administrator in St Ignatius Church, Lusaka, in St Peter Canisius College, Chikuni, and in mission outstations in Kasiya, Civuna and Fumbo, On his return to Ireland in 1956, Fr Joe was made Minister (administrator) of the recently founded Catholic Workers' College in Ranelagh (later to be known as che National College of Industrial Relations and today renamed as the National College of Ireland).

It was in 1958, however, that Father Gill was given his major appointment for the pastoral, spiritual and administrative care of souls in St Francis Xavier's Church, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. Father Joe achieved an extraordinary grace as pastor and spiritual counselor. He spent hours upon hours hearing confessions and trying to bring peace of mind to a wider range of penitents - from the ranks of clergy, religious and laity. He was always available as long as his health enabled him. In addition to the onerous tasks of the confessional and the parlour, Father Joe encouraged an extraordinary collectivity of devout souls in the Sodality of Our Lady and Saint Patrick and che Association of Perpetual Adoration. He became spiritual director of both groups in 1989. Every year his dedicated friends would make a wonderfully colourful variety of vestments for Churches in Ireland and in the Mission fields. Facher Joe was extremely proud of the creative work of his team.

Following an accidental fall in 2002, which resulted in a hip replacement (in Merlin Park Hospital, Galway), Father Joe's health began to fail somewhat. This extraordinary pastor kept up his role as spiritual counsellor in the Jesuit Nursing Home until all his energy had faded away. His passing marked the completion of a very full life as a priest and as a kind friend.

Fr Joe will be sadly trissed by his Jesuit brothers and members of his family. Although living and working away from Westport, Father Joe Gill kept constant contact with the parish of his birth and early rearing. He is survived by his sister, Moya Gill, Westport; his nieces Marlene Lavelle (Achill), Brenda Furnace (Dublin), Janice Gill (England), and by his nephews, Joe, James, Peter and Vincent McGovern (Newport, Westport, Galway and Naas), John & Paul Gill (Dublin), Anthony, James, John and Joseph Gill (England). Fr Joe was predeceased by his twin sister, Ela McGovern, and his brothers, Dr Anthony, Lt Col Gerrard (Engineer Corps) and Xavier (Xavie) Gill. His removal and funeral Mass were celebrated in St Francis Xavier Church, where he ministered for so long.

The Jesuit Superior of St Francis Xavier's Community, Father Derek Cassidy, SJ, gave the final tribuce to Father Joe during his ceremony at the funeral Mass. There was a very large and representative attendance at Fr Joe's funeral Mass, including members of his extended family from Ireland and abroad. The Irish Jesuit Provincial, Father John Dardis, SJ, and the former Jesuit Provincial of Zambia, Father Paul Brassil. SJ, concelebrated the Mass with scores of other priest colleagues of Father Joe's. A substantial representation of Jesuit Brothers, and Sisters and Brothers of other congregations also took part.

It was very fitting that so many friends travelled from West Mayo to make their prayer of farewell to “one of their own”, whose great love was boating on Clew Bay. Sagart dílis, muinteartha, carthanach a bhí ann. Rinne sé a dhícheall ar son an csoiscéil bheo. I bhfochair Dé go raibh sé.

M MACG

Glynn, Mortimer, 1891-1966, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/167
  • Person
  • 30 December 1891-11 August 1966

Born: 30 December 1891, Richmond Terrace, Limerick
Entered: 24 March 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1928, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 11 August 1966, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Catholic Workers College, Ranelagh, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1917 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying

1926-1927 Tertianship at Tullabeg

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 41st Year No 4 1966
Obituary :

Fr Mortimer Glynn SJ (1883-1966)

Fr. Mortimer Glynn was educated at the Jesuit College, The Crescent, Limerick, Before entering the Jesuit Novitiate at Tullabeg in 1914, he had been a clerk in a Dublin insurance company. He was older at twenty-three than the average novice, yet he was a good “mixer”, congenial and blessed with a rich sense of humour. To his fellow-novices he seemed of frail health but on the football field or in the handball alley or leading a “company” on villa-day walks, he displayed amazing energy. His noviceship completed, he spent a short time at Rathfarnham Castle. He was in his twenty fifth year when he was sent directly to philosophy on Jersey Island, where the Paris Province had a house of studies. The First World War interrupted his third year and all the members of the Irish Province were recalled from the continent to the newly-established philosophate at Milltown Park. His three years “colleges” were spent at Mungret (1920-1923). Along with his duties as teacher in the classroom, he had charge of the boys' choir. As choir master, he was in his element, he possessed a good tenor voice and the gift of conveying to the boys the beauty of good singing. His theology was studied at Milltown Park and at the end of two years (profiting by a war privilege) he was ordained priest on the feast of St. Ignatius, 31st July 1925. His tertianship was spent at Tullabeg (1927). His next assignment was to Belvedere College. He was to spend twelve years at Belvedere and these years were probably the most remarkable in his life. He held a variety of offices and all with distinction. He was master in the junior house, choir master to the senior and junior houses, Minister for four years, Editor of The Belvederian and Spiritual Father to the community (1939). But it is as pioneer and producer of a very successful series of Gilbert and Sullivan operas that his name will be for ever linked with the history of music and theatricals in Belvedere College. Members of the community of this time will recall his uphill struggle to carry out his conviction that he could teach the boys a love of acting and an appreciation of the music of Gilbert and Sullivan. It certainly seemed unlikely that one so shy and retiring as Fr. Glynn, could succeed in ultimately making the college “opera-week” the talk of the town. Yet, that is what he achieved. Opera week became a social attraction; dignitaries of Church and State gladly accepted invitations; other schools in the city, envious of these triumphs sought to introduce the operas into their own schools. During opera week at Belvedere a peculiar atmosphere of joyful expectancy hung about the college and the Rector (Fr. P. Morris) often said, “if I wanted to reward a benefactor of the house, I would send him an invitation to opera week!” This was reported to Fr. Mortie, and he was intensely amused by the compliment. More than one professional producer came to learn from Fr. Glynn's arrangements of the stage with its enormous cast (for every mother wished her boy to be included in the conquests of this week). Another producer doubted that the cast was composed only of boys on the college roll, he asserted that past Belvederians supplemented the cast. Only when he was introduced to the cast enjoying a high tea in one of the parlours did he admit his error of judgment. Were we to try to analyse the source of Fr. Glynn's unquestionable success, we might mention a number of factors. He was an artist himself; could portray before the startled boys the various quips and gestures that suited a stage character; he could dance the required steps; he could sing any aria in the score; he could invent graceful movements which gave life and colour to the chorus; and he was so gentle and persuasive that the boys took courage and imitated what they had seen so wonderfully portrayed. Past Belvederians soon founded a Musical and Dramatic Society of their own and attributed their popularity and achievements to what they had learned from Fr. Glynn.
In 1940 Fr. Glynn's health showed signs of deterioration. A change of work, specially church work, appealed to him. He came to St. Francis Xavier's Church, Gardiner Street, and soon established himself as a kind confessor. He had charge of the youths' sodality and endeared himself to the boys and the leaders. He was settling down to this congenial work when he was appointed to a still more important work, Spiritual Father to the community of Rathfarnham Castle. Here he was to spend seven years (1941-48). He proved to be a wise counsellor and those young in heart found in him a sympathetic listener. He had experienced life in the world prior to entering the Society, and he often said that we all need imperatively is encouragement in serving our Good Master. He would be the last man to reveal his personal devotions or acts of piety. Yet, he couldn't hide from others his particular love of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. His furtive and frequent visits to the chapel were known to all who lived with him. In 1949 he returned to his alma mater, the Crescent, Limerick, where he was given the church work he loved. He had the direction of the Arch-Confraternity of the Bona Mors; and often preached on the blessings of dying in God's friendship. His former interests: in the stage and musical comedy were revived by contact with the Cecilian Musical Society, formed by past boys of the Crescent College. He became again the producer and met with the same phenomenal success. On one occasion over sixty of the past Belvederians travelled from Dublin to attend one of his productions. Little did they realise how sick a man he really was. First it was rheumatic fever; later he spent several months in hospital and was considered in danger of death. Tuberculosis was diagnosed and he was ordered to a sanatorium. He came to St. Mary's Chest Hospital, Phoenix Park, Dublin, in the summer of 1951 and for the next fifteen years he was an invalid. He refused to surrender. In St. Mary's Hospital he was fortunate to find as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kevin McArdle, who for many years was to do so much to lessen the hardship of his life by devoted personal friendship and consummate professional skill. Fr. Glynn showed incredible courage and determination. Doctors, nurses and visiting patients of the hospital were amazed at his hidden vitality. Sometimes Fr. Glynn improved so much that he was able to walk about the hospital and grounds. One might have thought he was permanently cured. In 1953 he was sent to Manresa Retreat House, where a former sports' pavilion was turned into a bungalow, admirably suited to his needs. Friends he had made in hospital and whose confidence he had won used come to see him. Occasionally, he was able to hear confessions in the retreat house. One official, attached to a golf club, said of him: “he was the gentlest priest I ever came across”. After eight years at Manresa, during which there were frequent visits to St. Mary's Hospital, a change of house was recommended by his doctor. He was appointed to the Catholic Workers' College. This house was to be his happy home for the last four years of his life. He endeared himself to everybody. For some months he was “up and doing”, then came spells of real sickness and exhaustion. He was so weak at times in these last years that people visiting him would not have been surprised to see him die. There were moments of complete helplessness when his breathing was extremely difficult and he was a pathetic sight to see. But no complaint was heard on his lips. The end came on Thursday, 11th August, in St. Vincent's Private Hospital. He had been suffering acute abdominal pains. An operation was thought advisable and Fr. Glynn was anxious that it should be tried. He rallied for some time after the operation but soon began to lose whatever strength he had gathered the previous days. He was well prepared to meet his Good Master (only Fr. Glynn could tell how often in his 75 years he had been fortified with the sacraments for the sick). It was his apostolate for nearly sixteen years to preach from a sick bed or from inside his room those strong Christian qualities : patience, courage in bearing pain, resignation to the will of his Creator, gentleness above all things. The last quality will always be associated with him by those who knew him well whether in the Society or outside it, the doctors, nurses, fellow-patients, penitents and the domestics of the hospitals and houses of Ours. “Well done! thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of thy Lord!” could well have been Our Lord's greeting to the soul of Fr. Mortimer Glynn.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1967

Obituary

Father Mortimer Glynn SJ (OB 1908)

Fr Morty Glynn died after a severe illness on 11th August last. For the last fifteen years of so of his life he had been practically an invalid though, apart from relatively short periods in hospital, he continued to reside in various Jesuit houses. When he had entered the Society in 1914, older than the average at his age of twenty-three (he had been working as an insurance clerk), Fr Morty seemed to be of frail health but nevertheless capable of great energy. With his sense of humour he was an amusing companion. After the novitiate he studied in France for a time, then taught at Mungret College. He was ordained in 1925 and two years later was assigned to Belvedere.

Fr Glynn's twelve years in Belvedere College were quite remarkable. He held a variety of offices : master in the junior house, choir master to the senior and junior houses, minister for four years, editor of The Belvederian (1937), and Spiritual Father to the community. But it was as pioneer and producer of a very successful series of Gilbert and Sullivan operas that he will be best remembered. It seemed unlikely that so gentle and retiring a person as Fr Glynn could succeed in making the college “opera week” the talk of the town - yet that is what he did. The week became a great social attraction and seems to have led to the introduction of operas in other city schools. During the opera week there was a great atmosphere in Belvedere; invitation cards were much sought after. But the crowds came not merely for a social occasion; they were attracted principally by the high quality of the offering.

Fr Glynn was correct in his conviction that he could teach the boys in his casts a real love of acting and an appreciation of music. One measure of his success was the formation of the Old Belvedere Music and Dramatic Society formed by past pupils who attributed much of their success to what they had learned from him. Even professional producers came to learn from Fr Glynn's handling of the large opera casts. An artist himself, he could portray for the boys the actions of any character, dance the required steps, sing any song; his persuasive manner led the boys to imitation and thence to those wonderful productions which reached such a high standard for school performances.

In 1940 Fr Glynn's health showed signs of decline and over the next ten years he was in a succession of Jesuit houses in an effort to find some clime where he could continue to do good work. One place to which he was very happy to return was Crescent College, where he had been at school before coming to Belvedere. His former interest in the stage was revived by contact with the Cecilian Musical Society, formed from past pupils. Again he became a most successful producer. On one occasion over sixty Old Belvederians travelled from Dublin to attend one of his productions.

But by this time Fr Glynn was a really sick man. He spent some time, seriously ill, in hospital and in 1953 had recovered just sufficiently to take up residence in Manresa Retreat House. There many friends he had made in hospital came to see him. After eight years in Manresa he was stationed in the then Catholic Workers College, now known as the College of Industrial Relations. This house was to be a happy home for him during the last four years of his life. In those years he suffered greatly, and impressed greatly everybody who came in contact with him. They witnessed his great patience, courage and resignation; above all perhaps the gentleness that had characterised him all his life. It was in fact his apostolate during his later years to preach those virtues by example from his sick bed. The end came peacefully in hospital; Fr Morty was surely well prepared to meet his Master. God rest his soul.

Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin, 1950-

  • IE IJA SC/GONZ
  • Corporate body
  • 1950-

In 1947, the decision to open a Jesuit school on the south side of Dublin was taken. The purchase in 1949 of Sandford Lodge and Sandford Hill belonging to the Bewley Estate consisted of 15 acres in Ranelagh, two miles south of Dublin city centre. The college opened on 8 September 1950, with 52 boys registering. The founding Jesuit Superior (and later first Rector) was Fr Charles O' Conor SJ (The O' Conor Don) (1906-1981) and the first Prefect of Studies was Fr Bill White SJ (1912-1988).

Greene, Liam F, 1942-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/777
  • Person
  • 24 September 1942-15 February 2008

Born: 24 September 1942, Dublin
Entered: 04 October 1964, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final Vows: 17 January 1984, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 15 February 2008, St James's Hospital, James Street, Dublin

Part of the Campion, Hatch Street, Dublin Community at the time of death

by 1973 at Brussels Belgium (BEL M) studying
by 1974 at Cambridge MA, USA (NEB) studying - Harvard
by 1991 at Oakland CA, USA (CAL) Sabbatical

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/liam-greene-rip/

Liam Greene RIP

Please pray for the soul of Fr Liam Greene SJ, who died unexpectedly Friday morning, 15 February 2008 after taking ill suddenly. He was 65 years old and was working with the
JUST programme in Ballymun. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Rev. Liam Greene, S.J.
who died at St. James Hospital, Dublin on 15 February 2008, aged 65 years.
24 September 1942 Born in Dublin
Early education at CBS, James’ Street. Studied English in UCD.
4 October 1964 Entered the Society at Emo
5 October 1966 First Vows at Emo
1966-1968 Milltown Park – Studied Philosophy
1968-1970 St. Ignatius, Galway – Teacher 1970-1973 Milltown Park – Studied Theology
1973-1974 Harvard (USA) – Studied Philosophy and Theology
21 June 1974 Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1974-1984 St. Ignatius, Galway – Teacher; Director of “Irish Studies”; Retreats; Regency 1978-1979 Tertianship at Tullabeg
17 January 1984 Final Vows
1984-1987 Tabor House – Retreats to young people; Chaplain to DIT, Rathmines; part-time lecturer in Communications
1987-1989 Attached to Tabor but resident at 73 Croftwood Park, Ballyfermot 1987-1990 Chaplain and part-time teaching at DIT, Rathmines
1990-1991 Oakland, California – Sabbatical; MA in Spirituality
1991-2008 Campion House –
1991-1993 Development Creation Spirituality Project; Assistant in Tabor; retreats for young people
1993-1996 Communications Centre; Librarian
1996-2000 Also Lecturer in Communications, Ethics and Psychology at DIT
2000-2001 Lecturer at DIT / RTE
2001-2004 Writer; Media analysis (RTE / DIT); Spiritual Director (SJ)
2004-2006 Writer; Media analysis (RTE / DIT); Chaplain: Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital; Spiritual Director (SJ)
2006-2008 JUST Project, Ballymun.
15 February 2008 Died in St. James’ Hospital, Dublin.
Liam collapsed at home in Campion House and efforts to revive him failed. Further attempt to revive him at St. James’ also failed and he was pronounced dead at around noon on Friday 15 2008.
May he rest in the Peace of Christ
Liam was a graduate of UCD, where he majored in English, before he joining the Jesuits. In addition to the above, he also graduated from Louvain University. Harvard University accepted Liam as its only European student the year that he went there. From then, and from his time in Berkeley in 1990, he had many American Jesuit friends.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 136 : Summer 2008

Obituary

Fr Liam Greene (1942-2008)

Paddy Greene writes:
Liam Greene died unexpectedly on 15 February, 2008, in his community home, Campion House, Hatch St. He had not shown any signs of being unwell in the previous days, and, in fact, had worked with his students in the JUST Project in Ballymun earlier that week. His favourite text was: "I have come that they may have life, life to the full"(In.1 0, 10), and it can be said that his life here ended with him living it to the full.

Liam was born in Dublin on 24 September, 1942. His mother, Jane Landers, was a nurse from Cork, and his father, Michael Greene, from Tullow in Co. Carlow, worked in the administrative staff in UCD. Three significant events happened during Liam's teenage years that had a profound bearing on the rest of his life.

First, it was identified that Liam had epilepsy. Learning to live with an unpredictable illness which necessitated a variable dosage of tablets introduced a degree of uncertainty to his moods and energy. Indeed, the many attacks of a greater or lesser extent that he endured throughout his life made him all too aware how consciousness can be snuffed out so quickly. On the positive side, he became passionate in his determination to make as much use of the present moment as possible, in fact, to live life to the full. Situations, therefore, that stopped him doing so provoked in him a harsh response, something that was not always understood by others.

Secondly, his mother, in an attempt to offset the setback of the epilepsy, sent him to evening classes in the National College of Art. So, for five years, as the youngest student there during all his time, he studied all aspects of art from life drawing to painting to art history. From it he got a lifelong fascination with creatitivity, particularly how it manifested itself throughout the centuries in the fine arts, but also in outstanding individuals. Napoleon was his teenage hero.

Thirdly, the death of his brother, Gerard, in an accident left him numbed for a long time - why had he been left and not his brother? It also raised for him questions of meaning, ultimate meaning. It led him to seek to enter the Jesuits after his Leaving Certificate, but the Provincial, Fr. Tommy Byrne, felt it would be too hard on his mother to lose another son so quickly, and so he persuaded him to go to University and consider his vocation after his degree. This he agreed to do.

Liam studied Pure English in UCD with Old Irish as a minor subject. There in 1961, 1 had the good fortune to meet Liam - I had just come from Emo after Vows - and we remained friends ever since. Dermot O'Connor was with Liam in Pure English, and perhaps it was through our friendship with Liam a path to the Society was more fully opened. Anyway, at the end of his degree, in 1964, he joined the Society.

After Vows, Liam went to Milltown Park for Philosophy. They were the heydays of Phil McShane, Conn O'Donovan and Eamon Egan. Liam revelled in all the intense work on Lonergan from McShane and O'Donovan while he also loved the gentle, yet precise, probing and alternatives offered by Egan.

Full of energy and enthusiasm, Liam joined me in Galway for Colleges. First, he had a month's immersion in Connemara to brush up on his Irish. The family he stayed with - Peig, Colie and Bairbre - took him to their hearts and they remained his Connemara family from then on. In the school Liam revelled in teaching, where his expansive style and flair got a great reception from the boys. In the community, Sean Mallin, in his late incarnation as a radical theologian, became great friends with Liam. In 1970, Seán O'Connor, as Headmaster, began his innovative approach to education and Liam became a staunch supporter. Although he was in theology when the experiment ended in grief, Liam always believed that Seán had been on the right track.

Back in Milltown for Theology, Liam was part of the BRA (Basement Residents Association), one of the small communities into which the scholastics were divided as an experiment in more personal living. Situated in the basement of the Retreat House, it included among others Michael Hurley and Brian Lennon, and the rumbustious debates among them all were legendary. Liam spent a semester in Brussels; it was dark and wet and dreary, but it was enlivened by the presence of an Irish-American Jesuit from Newry.

The issue of Liam's epilepsy became a problem with Rome in his third year. Cecil McGarry, as Provincial, took his part, but the negotiation with Rome took time so Liam in his fourth year went to Harvard University in Boston. There he did an MA in Religion and Culture. He was in his element again with the ferment of ideas and people making a heady cocktail. It was there that the story goes that Liam being asked to do a module on statistics (he hated maths) declined, offering the excuse that Ireland was so small that it did not need statistics, as everyone knew everyone else. He got away with it!

His diaconate took place in Boston, where he was supported by Jack and Mary Ryan, parents of Jack Ryan of the New York Province whom Liam and I met on our first visit to the US in 1971. Then home for ordination - a time of sublime celebration for Liam, his parents and family.

After being appointed to the College in Galway, Liam became a teacher of Religion, English, Art and History. These subjects gave him ample scope to express his gifts and training in these areas. He was an inspirational teacher who could convey a love and passion for his subject in a way that has stayed with many of his students to the present day. Like many an artist, he was not the most organized of people in starting out, but, once launched, there was a sureness and flow to his discourse that was compelling. His love of learning is best exemplified in History, which he began to teach with the encouragement of Pádraig O Cúaláin, the senior history teacher. His early enthusiasm for Napoleon was now broadened to encompass the colours and shades of the European canvas and he delighted in telling the stories of the individuals, great and small, that peopled that crowded space.

Special Sunday night Masses for sixth years and their female friends became a feature of the religion programme. Liam, with his powerful homilies and the time and interest he gave to individuals, was a major contributor at that time. Also, he was an essential part of the team that organized and ran the Roundstone retreats where 6th years and a group of teachers spent an intensive few days in an encounter-group retreat. These had a profound effect on the 6th years, and, consequently, the atmosphere in the whole school benefited from them. Liam's love of conversations was an essential part of his ministry and enabled him reach a range of personalities often missed by the rest of us.

Learning through experience was central to Liam's approach to education, and so, school tours to the Continent where religious, artistic, literary and historical events had occurred were undertaken by him. Memorable trips to Spain and Italy, where John Humphreys and myself were the bus drivers, were followed by an annual journey to Paris starting on St. Stephen's Day. This week was filled with the Louvre, the Jeu de Paume, the Tuileries, Versailles and Chartres. To listen to Liam speak of the great works of art, or the wars of history, was to be taken into areas of life that were before only glimpsed from a distance. It was education at its best.

Musicals had been a tradition in Galway under Eamon Andrews and Kieran Ward. During the early 70's Bob McGoran and Murt Curry revived the tradition and Liam joined in with great gusto. He helped with the production, the lighting, the painting and stage design, the costumes. It was a great experience of what makes a Jesuit school such a demanding and rewarding place, and where a lasting influence is had on the students.

After ten hectic years in Galway, Liam was moved to Chaplaincy in the DIT in Rathmines in 1984. The change came as a shock to him and it took him a good while to get used to it. Living in Tabor House was a help to him as it brought him in contact with young adults. The work of a chaplain is so less organized than a teacher, and meeting students is very much a hit and miss business. Liam's ability to drink endless cups of coffee and hold long chats stood him in good stead. However, he was primarily a teacher, and when openings occurred in the school of Film and TV, he took them, as it gave him a chance to lecture, debate and then move into the direction of students in making films. Because of the long and broken schedule of third level, Liam's health during these years was uneven. The correct prescription of medicines for epilepsy is an art not a science, and Liam suffered as a result. Over-prescribing left him depressed and heavy, while the opposite risked the onset of an attack. But despite the setbacks, Liam always bounced back. It gave him the impetus towards what had not yet happened and an impatience with any structure that stood still. And yet, the number of close friendships among lecturers and students he made in those years tells of his real commitment at all times to the individual.

After Tabor House closed, Liam went to live in Cherry Orchard with Gerry O'Hanlon and Bill McGoldrick. Liam in his own way got to know the local people and befriended them. His sense of humour helped to lighten even the most difficult situations, and there were some tricky ones in Cherry Orchard! So the move later to Campion House, Hatch Street, was to a quieter place, although Liam missed the involvement with the local people. As a part-time chaplain in the Eye and Ear Hospital he was able to show his care for those in need. His interest in the students in University Hall led to friendships that lasted many years, and led to links with families in Florence, Rome, France and Lithuania. He even gave a retreat to Jesuits in Lithuania using an interpreter! At this time as well Liam took a renewed interest in his mother's relations in the Galtee Mountains in Co. Cork. He became a source of the family lore of the older generations that stretched back to Famine times, but especially the burning of the local “great house” during the Troubles. Being with them and the very personal way he had of saying Mass became a great consolation to them in times of pain and loss.

When Kevin O'Higgins started the JUST Project in Ballymun in 2006, Liam became a member of the team. He spent a few days a week there and once more his teaching abilities came to the fore. He was greatly involved with helping the students master the skills of writing and presentation in the programmes geared to help them gain entry to third level education. He was also in charge of the cultural dimension to the programme, introducing students to the galleries, museums and theatres of the city. His work with the post-graduate group led to wide-ranging debates on art, history and matters of faith. Liam was in his element again. And that is how death found him: in good health, in good form, in full flight, in work he loved. He went at the height of his powers to a place of greater and deeper connections and explorations. Among his papers was found the following piece:

The Green Wood and the Dry
I'm not saying the journey is over
I'm not saying the end is in sight.
I cannot even call up those metaphors for the end:
The chapter closing;
The folding away of the blanket;
The putting of affairs in order.

My affairs are not in order and they never will be.
I am always beginning to spring-clean
And it never comes to an end.

I'm just saying that I am beginning to forget.
Whether this is age, weariness
Or just simply the overloading of the system,
I don't know.

But this has been a week where the refrain
“Lest we forget” has been repeated over and over again,
(By some - only by some.)
And while it would suit me to forget
To get lost in the whole business of trying to keep up with now,
I would not like to be forgotten,
Especially by those who have heard very little from me
And for whom my whole life must have been a mystery,
As much a mystery to them as to me.

I see this piece as an introduction Liam intended for some reflections and recollections on his life that he never got to write. Perhaps more enduring will be the sculptures he carved in France in the last few years. Although an artist, Liam had never tried sculpture until he got the opportunity to participate in a class while on holiday in France. The teacher, Christine, was gifted and she prodded and poked Liam into committing himself to the work. In the first year came what I call the Pretty Face - an initial study in the craft. The next year came The Hand, tentative, reaching out, just failing to grasp, or something else. It is striking in the complexity of its symbolism of the human condition. Then followed the Job-like head filled with pain and anguish and a scream for help that he said was what he often felt in his life. But he also felt a lot more than that, because his final sculpture is that of a serene, wise, peace-filled face gazing from a place of immense peace and certainty. That was his last statement that stays with us.

I finish by remembering Liam's love of meals, of the gathering of family, of friends, like Joan and Cathal in Barna, with Connla Ó Dúlaine in Aran, of the community with Charlie O' Connor in Hatch St., of the gatherings for the sacred meal of the Eucharist that he put his heart and soul into. Now he is, I am sure, taking part in the Eternal Banquet and awaiting our arrival.

Guiney, John, 1928-2019, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/856
  • Person
  • 25 January 1928-17 November 2019

Born: 25 January 1928, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 17 June 1976, Loyola House, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 17 November 2019, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1994 at Rome Italy (ROM) Assistant to General Treasurer

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/john-guiney-sj-a-man-of-unfailing-courtesy/

John Guiney SJ – a man of ‘unfailing courtesy’
Fr John Guiney SJ died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge, Milltown Park, Dublin 6, on Sunday 17 November 2019. His funeral Mass took place at Gonzaga College Chapel on Wednesday 20 November followed by burial in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Fr Guiney was born in Dublin on 25 January 1928. He attended Belvedere College SJ and entered the Society of Jesus at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois, in 1946. His Jesuit training included studying Arts in UCD, philosophy in Tullabeg, regency in Mungret College SJ and theology in Milltown Park before being ordained in 1959.
He discovered his metier early in life. His brilliant head for figures and his shrewd judgement made him a ‘natural’ for financial matters. This led to a thirty-one years posting as Revisor, and later Irish Province Treasurer, followed by a six years stint on the Roman Curia’s Financial team.
In his later years, he served as Minister in Milltown Park and was Financial Director in Cherryfield Lodge. He prayed for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge before passing away aged 91 years.
Fr Guiney is predeceased by his brothers Tom and Eddie and his sister-in-law Sheila. He is fondly remembered by his nephews Edward and Michael, niece Carina and their partners, Aoife, Carrie and Darren, grandnephew Senan and grandnieces Beth and Ruby, and his Jesuit Community in Milltown Park.
Bill Toner SJ, current Irish Province Treasurer, gave the homily at the funeral Mass (Click here to read full homily).
Fr Toner began by thanking God for the life and work of Fr Guiney, to pray for his happy repose, and to offer condolences to his relatives, especially Edward, Michael and Carina, and their families.
Fr Toner referred to John as a “very shrewd investor” but noted that his business acumen did not interfere with his ability to relate to others. “John himself was a man who took great care to preserve good relationships with everyone he came into contact with in the course of a day’s work. This included in the first place his fellow Jesuits, and lay colleagues, but also bank officials, investment managers, estate agents, insurance brokers, solicitors and so on.”
Remarking that when he himself left the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice to become Province Treasurer he turned from a socialist to a capitalist overnight he went on to joke, “I never saw it written down anywhere, but I am sometimes told that Jesuits at large are supposed to pray for their Province Treasurers, that is, for their eternal salvation, not for their investing skills”.
He continued in humorous vein recalling that John often said to him that “I never fell out with anybody about money. On hearing this one Jesuit said to me, well, he didn’t fall out with anyone over money because everyone was afraid to ask him for money.”
According to Bill, John is remembered with great fondness by older Jesuits who encountered him when he worked in the finance office in the Head House, or Curia, in Rome. He brought a “joie de vivre” to the community life there through “introducing novel practices such as Friday night films and golf outings, and evening excursions to enjoy gelato”.
In his concluding remarks, Fr Toner said: “John could have done many different things in his Jesuit life. He was extremely well-read and was very good at languages... But I think that John recognised that his work enabled many other Jesuits to work, to keep close to God, to stay healthy, and to grow old gracefully... May he rest in the Lord’s peace.”
Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilís.

Early Education at Belvedere College SJ

1948-1950 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1950-1953 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1953-1956 Mungret College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1956-1960 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1960-1961 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1961-1962 Milltown Park - Treasurer; Sub-Minister; in charge of New Building Construction
1962-1993 Loyola House - Revisor of Temporal Administration of Houses; Revisor of Province Funds
1966 Minister; Assistant Provincial Treasurer
1974 Superior; Province Treasurer; Revisor of Temporal Administration of Houses
1988 Sabbatical - (Sep 88 to Jan 89 & Sep 89 to Dec 89)
1993-1999 Borgo Santo Spirito, Rome, Italy - Assistant to General Treasurer; Revisor of Temporal Administration of Roman Curia
1999-2019 Milltown Park - Minister
2000 Cherryfield Lodge Consultant
2002 Vice-Rector; Treasurer; Financial Director in Cherryfield Lodge
2004 Treasurer; Financial Director in Cherryfield Lodge
2018 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Hamilton, Timothy, 1916-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/602
  • Person
  • 02 September 1916-08 March 2006

Born: 02 September 1916, Leap, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 April 1983, Loyola House, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 08 March 2006, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

Fr Timothy (Tim) Hamilton (1916-2005)

2nd September 1916: Born in Leap, Co. Cork
Early education at Rochestown College
7th September 1934: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1936: First Vows at Emo
1936 - 1939: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1939 - 1942: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1942 - 1945: Belvedere College - Teacher
1945 - 1949: Milltown Park -Studied Theology
28th July 1948: Ordained at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Tertianship at Rathfarnhamn
1950 - 1951: Gonzaga College - Teacher
1951 - 1954: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
1954 - 1956: Gonzaga College - Minister; Teacher
1956 - 1987: College of Industrial Relations - Lecturer in Economics and Sociology
3rd April 1983: Final Vows at Loyola House
1987 - 1989: Assistant at Centre for Faith and Justice
1989 - 1990: Sabbatical
1990 - 1998: College of Industrial Relations - Writer; Directed Spiritual Exercises; Province Spiritual Director
1998 - 2005: Gonzaga - Writer, Directed Spiritual Exercises; Province Spiritual Director; Rector's Admonitor; Spiritual Director SJ
2005 - 2006: Cherryfield Lodge - Praying for the Church and the Society
8th March 2006: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

Fr. Hamilton was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 19th April 2005. He was very weak and had a history of falls. His condition deteriorated rather rapidly and he was not expected to recover. However, hie slowly improved and resumed daily activities: walking with an aid, reading and receiving visitors. He remained very fragile and required nursing care. There was a marked deterioration in his condition on Tuesday evening, 7th March. He died peacefully on Wednesday 8th March at 12 midday.

Noel Barber writes:
Fr. Tim Hamilton was for many years an influential 'backroom' member of the Province and a prized Spiritual Director. He exercised his influence on Province policy as a Consultor and as a highly regarded advisor of Provincials. His influence was at its height at the time the Province was grappling with the implementation of the Faith and Justice thrust of the Society. It was a thrust that had his whole hearted and steadfast allegiance. As a lecturer for over 30 years in the College of Industrial Relations, he was, despite his shyness and reserve, an effective teacher and a strong influence on his students. A quintessential scholar himself, he could communicate effectively with students of little educational background and develop in them an intellectual curiosity. When he was in community - here lies a paradox in his life - he was shy, reserved, and unfailingly courteous, and some, at least, held him not only in admiration but also in affection.

He was born in Leap, West Cork on September 2nd 1916, the second of two sons. His mother was the daughter of a small farmer and his father, a fisherman, had been an Able Seaman in the British Navy, a fact not always alluded to in a family that became strongly nationalistic. He always had a strong bond with his family and he was a beacon of sanity in his brother's family, a fact beautifully depicted in his nephew's book Speckled People. He was educated on a scholarship in the Franciscan College, Rochestown, Cork where he was an able and diligent student. Reading O'Rahilly's life of Fr. Willie Doyle pointed him away from the Franciscans and towards the Jesuits. Was it Doyle's asceticism as a religious or his heroism as a Chaplain that appealed so strongly to him? We do not know, but join the Jesuits he did in September 1934. He left Cork and was not to spend much time there again. But, as the saying goes, one can take a person out of Cork but you cannot take Cork out of a person. He remained a Corkman all his life: to the day he died he retained his Cork accent - not without an effort, one suspects - identified with the county and exhibited the shrewdness that rightly or wrongly the rest of us attribute to Corkonians.

He found the Novitiate difficult. He was wont to portray himself there as a simple country boy amongst sophisticated urbanites with a Novice Master who found his Cork accent painful and made it abundantly clear that he did so. Perhaps the Master's displeasure may have been the reason that he retained the accent so tenaciously. In a delightful interview he gave to Interfuse (Easter, 2006) shortly before he died, he recounted with great pleasure how the Ground's Man in Gonzaga said to him, “Well there is one thing for sure, you never lost your West Cork accent”.

After the novitiate he studied Classics at UCD and did very well, as he did at Philosophy. Then he went to Belvedere where the simple country lad from West Cork had no difficulty in keeping the Dublin sophisticates under his thumb. He was an efficient, strict and somewhat distant teacher. He did his Theology at Milltown Park. Given his keen interest in Theology and his intellectual ability, one would have expected that he would have been a star there. In fact, due largely to indifferent liealth, he left Milltown without the Ad Grad and so was not considered for further studies in Theology. One suspects that the Province lost a first class Theologian. He was ordained at Milltown Park on July 28th 1948. He did his tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle in 1949/50 under that strange figure, Fr. George Byrne, a great weeper, who wept his way through the Second Week of The Exercises. At the end of the Repose Day before the 3rd week, an irreverent Tertian – not Fr. Hamilton – said to a colleague, “Listen, you bring a raincoat and I'll bring a brolly”.

After tertianship he was sent as a “founder member” to Gonzaga College along with Frs. Charles O'Conor, Bill White and John Murphy. It was often said that Gonzaga was founded on blood (The O'Conor Don), beauty (Murphy), brains (Hamilton) and ballast (White). Given Fr. White's contribution to Gonzaga the description of him as mere ballast was very wide of the mark. So the young Fr. Hamilton spent the year teaching boys of Junior School age. Hardly, one would have thought, his natural métier. At the end of the year lie moved to the Crescent where he taught Classics, Irish and Religion. One of his brightest pupils remembers him as a strict but kind teacher, methodical with a good feeling for the average pupil but not inspiring.

After three years in Limerick he was back in Gonzaga for two more years as teacher and Minister; he carried out both tasks with his characteristic diligence. At this time Fr. Eddie Kent was keen to get him for the staff of the then Catholic Workers' College, and, as a first step, suggested that he should give some classes there while still teaching in Gonzaga, The Rector of Gonzaga strongly resisted the suggestion and it was not until he had left office as Rector did Fr. Hamilton move to the Workers' College to the delight of Fr. Kent. However, that relationship was to end in tears.

While the Kent/Hamilton partnership began promisingly, it has been suggested that Kent interpreted Hamilton's attentive listening as a sign of agreement and was not pleased when he found out that this was not the case. Be that as it may, what is certain is that there was a falling-out and that, as a result, Fr. Hamilton actually ceased living with the community and spent most of his time with his family, coming to the College to work. Needless to say this arrangement caused eyebrows to be raised and questions to be asked. However, the pattern remained, albeit in an attenuated form, until he went to Cherryfield.

He said that his experience in the College of Industrial Relations enabled him to enter the world of the working class. He saw himself as having been working class, but becoming middle class by joining the Jesuits. Indeed, one occasionally got the impression that he believed that if he had not entered the Society he would have remained a simple country lad and avoided the stigma of being middle class. Of course, given his education and ability, he would have become middle class in any case. One can easily imagine him becoming a senior Civil Servant as so many able people of his background did. It was precisely by becoming a Jesuit that he was given a way back to the working class. That would not have happened had he become a senior Civil Servant or an academic. He tended to attribute to himself rather exceptional insight into workers' lives. In the interview in Interfuse he suggests that in the Province only Bill McKenna has his knowledge of their lives!

From the late 1950s he spent his summers in Germany studying Theology in which he was passionately interested and read voraciously. The Second Vatican Council gave his theological interest a great boost and it is said that at this time Bishop Corboy used him as a theological consultant. To the end he remained open and fresh in his theological thinking, always balanced in his judgement with a deep respect for the Church and its teachings.

He was an avid Gaelic enthusiast, having a love for the language, history and culture of the country. He always hoped that he would attract people to an appreciation of the 'hidden Ireland of the heart, culture, civilization and language that people knew nothing about for about 1,000 years'. In this, as in all other matters, he was convinced that one should work with persuasion and attraction, never polemically.

He was completely committed to the 32nd Congregation's teaching on Faith and Justice and, as a Consultor, used his influence to advance that teaching. At a Province assembly some 10 years ago, he gave a review of the previous 30 years in the Province. It was remarkable in that he was totally positive; he did not seem to entertain a single doubt about decisions that had been taken. He either did not observe any negatives or chose to play them down in the light of what he believed to be the overwhelming benefits of the changes to the Society after the Council. Some were surprised that he did not address some of the misgivings.

He became a spiritual director of Jesuits and others who found his attentive listening, his ability to get people to see the good in themselves and his generous way of speaking enormously attractive. I am told that some have attributed the saving of their vocation to his guidance.

In April 2005 he was admitted to Cherryfield after a series of falls, and was not expected to recover, but did so sufficiently to resume his reading, receive his many visitors and walk with some assistance. However he was fragile and at times gave the impression that he was fading away. He deteriorated sharply on March 7h 2006 and died peacefully the next day.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 2006

Obituary

Tim Hamilton SJ

Fr Tim Hamilton was for many years an influential 'backroom' member of the Irish Jesuit Province and a prized Spiritual Director. He exercised his influence on Province policy as a Consultor and as a highly regarded advisor of Provincials. His influence was at its height at the time when the Province was grappling with the implementation of the Faith and Justice thrust of the Society. It was a thrust that had his wholehearted and steadfast allegiance. As a lecturer for over 30 years in the College of Industrial Relations, he was, despite his shyness and reserve, an effective teacher and a strong influence on his students. A quin tessential scholar himself, he could communicate effectively with students of little educational background and develop in them an intellectual curiosity.

He was born in Leap, West Cork, on September 2nd 1916, the second of two sons. His mother was the daughter of a small farmer and his father, a fisherman, had been an Able Seaman in the British Navy, a fact not always alluded to in a fam ily that became strongly nationalistic. He was educated on a scholarship in the Franciscan College, Rochestown, Cork, where he was an able and diligent student. Reading O'Rahilly's life of Fr Willie Doyle pointed him away from the Franciscans and towards the Jesuits. Was it Doyle's asceticism as a religious or his heroism as a Chaplain that appealed so strongly to him? We do not know. But join the Jesuits he did in September 1934. He left Cork and was not to spend much time there again, but as the saying goes, you can take a person out of Cork but you can not take Cork out of a person. He remained a Cork man all his life: to the day he died he retained his Cork accent - not without an effort, one suspects - identified with the county and exhibited the shrewdness that rightly or wrongly the rest of us attribute to Corkonians.

After the novitiate he studied Classics at UCD and did very well, as he did at Philosophy. Then he went to Belvedere where the simple country lad from West Cork had no difficulty in keeping the Dublin sophisticates under his thumb. He was an efficient, strict and somewhat distant teacher. He did his Theology at

Given his keen interest in Theology and his intellectual ability one would have expected him to have been a star there. In fact, due largely to indiffer ent health, he left Milltown without the Ad Grad and so was not considered for further studies in Theology. One suspects that the Province lost a first class Theologian. He was ordained at Milltown Park on July 28th 1948.

After tertianship he was sent as a 'founder member to Gonzaga College along with Frs Charles O'Conor, Bill White and John Murphy. It was often said that Gonzaga was founded on blood (The O'Conor Don), beauty (Murphy), brains (Hamilton) and ballast (White). Given Fr. White's contribution to Gonzaga, the description of him as mere ballast was very wide of the mark. So the young Fr. Hamilton spent the year teaching boys of Junior School age. Hardly, one would have thought, his natural métier. At the end of the year he moved to the Crescent where he taught Classics, Irish and Religion. One of his brightest pupils remem bers him as a strict but kind teacher, methodical with a good feeling for the aver age pupil but not inspiring. After three years in Limerick he was back in Gonzaga for two more years as teacher and Minister; he carried out both tasks with his char acteristic diligence. At this time Fr Eddie Kent was keen to get him for the staff of the then Catholic Workers College and, as a first step, suggested that he give some classes there while still teaching in Gonzaga. The Rector of Gonzaga strongly resisted the suggestion and it was not until he had left office as Rector that Fr. Hamilton moved to the Workers' College, to the delight of Fr Kent. Fr Hamilton said that his experience in the College of Industrial Relations enabled him to enter the world of the working class. He saw himself as having been working class, but having become middle class by joining the Jesuits. Indeed, one occasionally got the impression that he believed that if he had not entered the Society he would have remained a simple country lad and avoided the stigma of being middle class. Of course given his education and ability, he would have become middle class in any case. One can easily imagine him becoming a senior Civil Servant as so many able people of his background did. It was precisely by becoming a Jesuit that he was given a way back to the working class. That would not have happened had he become a senior Civil Servant or an academic. He tended to attribute to himself rather exceptional insight into workers' lives.

From the late 1950s he spent his summers in Germany studying Theology, in which he was passionately interested and read voraciously. The Second Vatican Council gave his theological interest a great boost and it is said that at this time Bishop Corboy SJ used him as a theological consultant. To the end, he remained open and fresh in his theological thinking, always balanced in his judgement with a deep respect for the Church and its teachings. 1. He was an avid Gaelic enthusiast, having a love for the language, history and cul ture of the country. He always hoped that he would attract people to an apprecia tion of the 'hidden Ireland of the heart, culture, civilization and language that peo ple knew nothing about for about 1,000 years'. In this, as in all other matters, he was convinced that one should work with persuasion and attraction, never polem ically.

He became a spiritual director of Jesuits and others who found his attentive lis tening, his ability to get people to see the good in themselves, and his generous way of speaking enormously attractive. I am told that some have attributed the saving of their vocation to his guidance.

In April 2005 he was admitted to Cherryfield after a series of falls and was not expected to recover, but did so sufficiently to resume his reading, receive his many visitors and walk with some assistance. However he was fragile and at times gave the impression that he was fading away. He deteriorated sharply on March 7th 2006 and died peacefully the next day.

Fr Noel Barber SJ

Hanley, Kieran C, 1915-1998, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/603
  • Person
  • 06 October 1915-22 July 1998

Born: 06 October 1915, Castletownbere, County Cork
Entered: 08 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 April 1983, Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 22 July 1998, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999 & ◆ The Clongownian, 1998

Obituary

Fr Kieran Hanley (1915-1988)

6th Oct. 1915: Born in Castletownbeare, Co. Cork.
1929 - 1934: Educated in Mungret College, Limerick.
8th Sept. 1934: Entered the Society of Jesus at Emo
9th Sept. 1936: First vows at Emo
1936 - 1939: Rathfarnham - BA (English History)
1939 - 1942: Tullabeg - Philosophy
1942 -1944: Belvedere College - H.Dip
1944 - 1949: Milltown Park - Theology.
28th July 1948: Ordained at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1950 - 1962: Tullabeg - Minister & Bursar, Farm from 1953
1962 - 1965: Clongowes - Farms in CWC and Tullabeg
1965 - 1972: Tullabeg - Superior; Assistant in Parish; Minister
1980 - 1981: Loyola - Socius
1981 - 1983: Socius and Superior
1983 - 1989: Clongowes - Rector
1989 - 1993: Manresa - Rector, Socius to Novice Master; Director Spiritual Exercises
1993 - 1997: Clongowes - Assistant in People's Church.
1997: Cherryfield

Kieran went to Cherryfield at the beginning of December 1997. After Christmas he spent some weeks in the Bons Secours Hospital and then returned to Cherryfield where he made some improvements but was still weak. On Sunday, July 12th Kieran had a turn which left him very weak. Since then he had slowly deteriorated and passed away very peacefully on Wednesday morning July 22nd, 1998.

Kieran Hanley SJ was born in Castletownbeare on the southern tip of Co. Cork and maybe his interest in the origins of others grew from his own inordinate pride in the place of his birth. Certainly, he knew where everyone known to him came from. And he seems to have known everyone, whether it was in the years that he ministered in the midlands, or when he supervised in the Jesuit farms, or when he lived in the Jesuit schools.

Although he lived into his eighties and was a prodigious worker, he was no stranger to illness, and indeed he nearly died before completing his theological studies. It was therefore a particular joy for him and his family when he was ordained in 1948 and took his final vows in the Society of Jesus on the 3rd of April 1983.

In 1950 he began a career as an administrator in the Jesuit order that encompassed nearly 50 years. For 23 years, at the college and farm outside Tullamore, he learnt about farming from his neighbours and first displayed his particular gift of absolute integration into the midland's community. He was a bright and willing student, as some who attended his funeral remember, and soon he undertook the direction of the Clongowes farm as well. He was to spend 10 years in Dublin, in Gonzaga College, as superior in the church in Gardiner Street and as assistant to the provincial of the order. Finally he became rector in Clongowes Wood College in the plains of Kildare in 1983 and it was here he was to end his days, except for a four year interlude as rector of Manresa, the retreat house in Clontarf. It was to Manresa that the beautiful Evie Hone stained glass windows were moved and suitably housed under his supervision and he rejoiced in displaying them to visitors.

It was in Clongowes that he seemed most at home and during his 11 years there he got to know every pupil in the school, all their parents and most of their relations. He was a great raconteur and had an infectious sense of humour. His ability to orchestrate and transmit the best of West Cork common sense was an absolute delight and was perhaps the secret of his rapport with people. His advice was worth having and you would not go far wrong if you listened to it.

He died peacefully on July 22nd at Cherryfield Lodge, the Jesuit nursing home in Dublin, and is buried in the community graveyard at the top of the long avenue in Clongowes, past the large beech trees, where small black crosses with Latin inscriptions mark the graves. A student visited the new grave some days after the funeral and then proceeded up to the castle, only then to realise what Fr. Hanley's death meant when he did not find Kieran walking around and cheerfully welcoming him by name. There are thousands all over Ireland and in the diaspora who will miss this generous man and yet still feel his presence, most of all his family. Only six months before he died he had overcome what seemed certain death, but once more he recovered. Finally he was too weak to fight death anymore.

He was a very modest man who loved to joke about his contributions. He recalled that his novice master, in an effort to foresee the future, foretold distinguished futures for all other novices, but paused when he came to Kieran, and then he said that a holy man would be welcome in any house. The poor man did not know the half of it, but he was right; Kieran Hanley was always welcome in any house. With his other unique attributes there was a true humility. Finally, Fr. Hanley invariably added to his farewells the phrase, “and thank you”. Now, we all reluctantly say farewell, and thank you.

Hayes, James FG, 1933-2016, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/838
  • Person
  • 06 July 1933-31 January 2016

Born: 06 July 1933, Pery Square, Limerick
Entered: 14 September 1951, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1965, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 31 January 2016, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1976 in London, England (ANG) working
by 1991 at Torry, Aberdeen, Scotland (BRI) working
by 1994 at Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland (BRI) working
by 2001 at Liverpool, England (BRI) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jim-hayes-sj/

Jim Hayes SJ
AMDG Express has saluted two of the Irish Jesuits working in Britain: Kieran Barry-Ryan and (posthumously) Jack Donovan. Jack’s near-contemporary, Jim Hayes, is living in
Liverpool, but for many years he has hardly featured on the horizons of Province activities despite a remarkably active priestly life. Paul Andrews’ report on a recent conversation with Jim.
When I rang Jim Hayes to hear his story, one picture stayed vividly with me. Jim asked had I seen “Tunes of Glory”, and in particular the scene in an officers’ mess, where you see officers at each end of the dining room table, eating in a shared solitude, with nobody saying hello. Jim’s first breakfast in Belvedere, in the early 70s, was like that. He had moved across the city from Milltown, appointed as Minister to a large community which he had never known before. He sat at one end of the table, some of the brethren gathered at the other end, and nobody greeted the newcomer or said hello. Things eased with time. Rupert Coyle, Michael Reidy, Jim Dunne and others became and remained good friends. But the Belvedere of 1970 tolerated unfriendliness, even inhumanity, in a way that reduced everyone’s energy.
Jim is remembered in both Milltown and Belvedere not just for efficiency as a Minister, but for an almost maternal eye for the needs of the brethren, and readiness to take pains and spend money to meet those needs. He is remembered with affection, and it is important for him to realise that.
Despite his frosty start in Belvedere, he worked hard at his job and grew to like it there; so he was sad, and felt it as something of a reproach, when the Provincial moved him after three years. He is happy to recall that years later the same Provincial wrote to him with an apology for making that move, and an acknowledgement that he had followed the wrong advice and done Jim an injustice.
After a short spell in his native Limerick, (at that time there were more priests in its main street than in the whole of Zambia), he was invited by Fr Oliver McTiernan to ease the shortage of priests in London. With the support of both Irish and British Provincials he moved to Islington for fifteen happy years. Both Oliver and Bruce Kent, his companions in Islington, later left priestly ministry, but Jim stayed with his parish, schools and hospital.
In the mid-1980s he felt moved to offer himself for the diocese of Aberdeen, where the shortage of priests was so chronic that it survived only through an infusion of Jesuit volunteers. Jim was parish priest in a Highlands parish west of Inverness, then in a city parish, and then for seven years in the Shetland Islands. When he went there, he found only four native Catholics, but with the development of the oil fields their number was swollen by a surge of workers, from Scotland, England, Ireland, Poland and elsewhere.
Despite the loneliness and the long winter nights, Jim enjoyed Shetland very much, moving round his parish by car and boat. But ten years ago he found that his half-moon glasses no longer served him adequately. A specialist told him that he was suffering from loss of central vision due to diabetes (of which he was unaware). His sight gave way suddenly. He could not distinguish parishioners, and he knew he had to leave the parish and the island.
He was happy to accept an invitation from the British Provincial to serve as full-time chaplain in the Catholic Institute for the Blind in Liverpool. He had to give up the chaplain’s post when he found he could no longer see faces clearly enough to recognise them. Now he is a resident, in a state of high dependency, blind and afflicted by Parkinson’s, but still able to celebrate Mass. When I asked him about the good and bad years in his memory, he said that most of his years had been good, but the last year has been an annus horribilis. Is there anything we can do to bring this good Jesuit closer?

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/20674/

Fr Jim Hayes RIP: committed to kindness and service of the Gospel
There were two sides to Jim Hayes, the Limerick-born Jesuit who has died at the age of 82. At first blush a stranger might find him serious, almost stern, in face and manner; but where he was looking after others – as he was for most of his ministry – he was kindness itself. He is remembered in both Milltown and Belvedere not just for efficiency as a Minister, but for an almost motherly eye for the needs of the brethren, and readiness to take pains and spend money to meet those needs. Any Jesuit in the job of Minister lives in a tension between the needs of the brethren and the moneywise watchfulness of superior and bursar. In that tension Jim put the brethren’s needs first. So he is remembered with great regard and affection. He sometimes felt the pressure of the bursar’s books, for instance when he was unexpectedly moved from Belvedere. Years later the Provincial who moved him wrote to him with an apology for making that move, acknowledging that it was a poorly-founded decision.
After a short spell in Limerick, (at that time there were more priests in its main street than in the whole of Zambia), he was invited by Fr Oliver McTiernan to ease the shortage of priests in London. With the support of both Irish and British Provincials he spent fifteen happy years in Islington. Both Oliver and Bruce Kent, his companions in Islington, later left priestly ministry, but Jim persevered faithfully.
In the mid-1980s he felt moved to volunteer for the diocese of Aberdeen, where the shortage of priests was so chronic that it survived only through an infusion of Jesuit volunteers. Jim was parish priest in a Highlands parish west of Inverness, then in a city parish, and then for seven years in the Shetland Islands. When he went there, he found only four native Catholics, but with the development of the oil fields their number was swollen by a surge of workers, from Scotland, England, Ireland, Poland and elsewhere.
Despite the loneliness and the long winter nights, Jim enjoyed Shetland, moving round his parish by car and boat. But ten years ago he found that his half-moon glasses no longer served him adequately. A specialist found that he was suffering from loss of central vision due to diabetes (of which Jim was unaware). His sight gave way suddenly. When he could not identify parishioners, he knew he had to leave the parish. The British Provincial asked him to serve as full-time chaplain in the Catholic Institute for the Blind in Liverpool. He worked there for fourteen years until, blind and afflicted by Parkinson’s, he returned to Ireland and settled well into Cherryfield Lodge. His condition deteriorated quickly in the past two weeks, and he died peacefully on 21 January, surrounded by his family and Jesuit companions.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 162 : Winter 2015

Obituary

Fr James (Jim) Hayes (1933-2016)

6 July 1933: Born in Dublin. Raised in Limerick City.
Early education at Crescent College SJ, Limerick.
14 September 1951: Entered Society at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
15 September 1953: First Vows at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
1953 - 1956: Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1956 - 1959: Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1959 - 1962: Clongowes - Regency : Teacher; Prefect; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1962 - 1966: Milltown Park - Studying Theology
29 July 1965: Ordained at Gonzaga Chapel, Milltown Park, Dublin
1966 - 1967: Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1967 - 1970: Milltown Park - Minister
2 Feb 1968: Final Vows at Gonzaga Chapel, Milltown Park, Dublin
1970 - 1974: Belvedere - Minister
1974 - 1975: Crescent - Minister in Church
1975 - 1990: London, UK - Curate at Church of St John the Evangelist, Islington
1990 - 1993: Aberdeen, Scotland, UK - Parish priest at Sacred Heart Church, Tory
1993 - 1999: Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland, UK - Parish Priest at St Margaret's
1999 - 2013: Liverpool, UK - Chaplain at Christopher Grange Centre for the Adult Blind
2013 - 2016: Loyola - Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Having worked mostly in parishes in Britain, Jim returned home to Cherryfield Lodge from Liverpool on February 2nd 2013. He settled very well into Cherryfield, and while his overall wellbeing was fragile, he enjoyed life again in an Irish community. His condition deteriorated quickly in the past two weeks, and he died peacefully surrounded by his family, his sister Thérèse, brother in law John, nieces and nephew, and members of the Jesuit community, May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

James Francis Gerard Hayes, was born on 6th July 1933, in Limerick City. He was the eldest in the family, and he had a brother and two sisters.

In 1951 Jim joined the Jesuits in Emo, and three others who joined the same day, Sean Coghlan, Dermot Cassidy and Harry Naylor are still living. After doing an Arts degree in UCD and studying philosophy in Tullabeg. He then worked for three years in Clongowes. Here he taught French, History and Geography, and he was he also was the choir master. For the study of Theology Jim went to Milltown Park, where he was ordained on 29th July 1965.

After Tertianship Jim's first appointment was as Minister in Milltown Park in 1967. This was a community of 45 priests, 9 brothers and 54 scholastics, and the Minister also had responsibility for the catering and maintenance of Tabor Retreat House. At this time the furnishings and décor were institutional. Jim had a different vision of caring after people, and of surprising them and giving them more than they expected. The celebrations and fellowship that Jim enabled brought the Jesuit community together, and when Jim died, there were many stories of his kindnesses and care of the Milltown Park Community.

After two years, in 1970 Jim was sent to the Belvedere College community, to bring about the same changes in the community there. Apparently he was not welcomed with open arms, and he remembered his first morning there at breakfast, where the atmosphere was decidedly chilly. However his care for people warmed the atmosphere at Belvedere too, and Jim formed great friendships there. Four years later when he left Belvedere, Jim was especially missed by the catering and maintenance staff at Belvedere House, because he was a wonderful person to work for.

After Belvedere, Jim was then sent to be Minister in the Sacred Heart Church in his native Limerick. However Jim longed for direct pastoral work, and was attracted by the need in London, which were described to him by his friends, Fr Ken Mc Cabe and Fr. Oliver McTiernan,

So for fifteen years Jim went to minister at the church of St. John the Evangelist, in Islington, from 1975 till 1990. When Jim died the present parish priest of St John's, Mgr. Seamus O'Boyle, wrote to assure Jim's family and Jesuit colleagues of his prayers and those of the parish. Seamus reflected that parish register in St Johns tells its own story, of hundreds of baptisms and weddings and Anointings of the sick, conducted by the youthful Fr. Hayes. When Jim arrive at Islington Harold Wilson was Prime Minister, and when he was leaving, John Major was taking over from Margaret Thatcher. These were turbulent years in Britain, with the IRA bombings in Hyde Park and Regents' Park and Brighton. These were also years of deep divisions in society, of the miners' strike, and of massive protests for nuclear dişarmament, led by the secretary of CND, Mgr. Bruce Kent who lived in the same rectory as Jim. These were also turbulent years in the church too, and both Bruce Kent and Oliver McTiernan eventually left the priesthood. During all these upheavals and during all of this unrest, Jim Hayes faithfully preached the Gospel of love and forgiveness and the mercy of God, at the parish of St. John in Islington.

In 1990 Jim moved again, to where the need was great, to Scotland. He worked in Aberdeen for three years, at the Sacred Heart Church in Torry and then in 1993 at St Margaret's Church at Lerwick on the Shetland islands. Lerwick is further north than Oslo and Stockholm, with long summer evenings, and dark cold winters. Despite these extremes Jim loved it there. Here his congregation was made up of a small number of native Shetland people and a large number of immigrants who worked in fisheries and on oil rigs. On hearing of Jim's death, Anil Gonzalves of St Margaret's church wrote to say: “I am sorry to hear about Fr Jim Hayes. I will inform the parish and a Mass will be offered for his intentions”.

Jim's sister Theresa and her family, the Hurleys, were regular visitors to Jim in Lerwick. Jim's sister Mary visited him there too, and Jim had happy memories of Mary clearing the snow with a brush from the roof of the presbytery. When Mary sadly died about 15 years ago, Jim recalled these carefree times. Mary's death was a heavy cross for Jim to bear.

After nine years in Scotland, in 1999 Jim was surprised to learn the reason for the rapid deterioration of his eyesight. It was caused by diabetes, and the damage to his eyes was permanent. Even in in his blindness, Jim was willing to go where there was an apostolic need, and so he went at Chaplain to Christopher Grange Centre for the Adult Blind, in Liverpool. For three years he celebrated the sacraments for this special community, and learned to master technology so that he could 'read' the texts to celebrate Mass, and to administer the sacraments. During his period Fr. Matthew Power SJ from the nearby Jesuit community kept in touch with him, and his long-term medical needs were monitored by his sister Theresa, and by Mary Rickard, the Irish Provincial's health delegate. Theresa and Mary formed a mighty alliance, and they liaised with Bernadette Lavin, who looks after the health of the British Jesuits.

After complex negotiations, diplomatically handled, Jim came to live in Cherryfield in 2013. The transfer was planned with military precision, with a vanguard, a main guard, and a rear-guard action. The time in Cherryfield was a time of great blessings in Jim's life, because he could be close to the Hurley family, and when Jim was able to perform the baptism of baby Sam Fogarty, his grandnephew, last June, in the Cherryfield chapel, it was a special time of blessings for everybody.

The time in Cherryfield gave the Terry and her Hurley family a chance to be close to Jim, and he loved their visits and support. They shared their pride in Munster Rugby and their careers, and Jim was proud of them.

About six years ago, while in Liverpool, Jim prepared the liturgy for his funeral Mass. The readings and the hymns, and special recorded music reflected the interests of a person coping with serious illness and with his blindness. The pealing of church bells, which was a feature of a Sunday morning BBC programme he loved, and the signature tune for the BBC Shipping forecast called “Sailing By”, were played at his request. The Gospel included Jesus reassurance “It is I, do not be afraid”. In Jim's final years he suffered from Parkinson's disease, and despite the kindness of the Cherryfield staff and the support of his family and Jesuit colleagues, these were difficult years. When Jim died on January 31st, 2016, the prayers for eternal rest had a special poignancy.

Liam O’Connell

Hughes, Seán J , 1910-2003, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/604
  • Person
  • 29 October 1910-19 June 2003

Born: 29 October 1910, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 02 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 19 June 2003, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early education at O’Connell’s School

by 1935 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary

Fr Seán Hughes (1910-2003)

29th Oct. 1910: Born in Dublin
Early education in National School, Fairview and O'Connell School (CBS), Dublin
2nd Sept. 1929: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
3rd Sept. 1931: First Vows at Emo
1931 - 1934: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1934 - 1937: Jersey - Maison St. Louis - Studied Philosophy
1937 - 1939: Mungret College - Regency (Choir Master)
1939 - 1940: Clongowes - Regency (Choir Master); Clongowes Certificate in Education
1940 - 1944: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
29th July 1943: Ordained at Milltown Park
1944 - 1945: Mungret College - Sub-Minister
1945 - 1946: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1946 - 1953: Mungret College
1946 - 1949: Minister; Lecturer in Philosophy
1949 - 1953: Teacher; Lecturer in Philosophy, Choir Master
3rd Feb. 1947: Final Vows at Mungret College
1953 - 1959: St. Ignatius, Galway - Rector; Men's Sodality
1956 - 1964: Province Consultor
1959 - 1965: Gonzaga College - Rector
1965 - 1973: Crescent College - Rector; President: Sod. BVM
1973 - 1974: Belvedere - Director, Secretariat Catholic Secondary Schools (1973-1977)
1974 - 1977: John Austin House - Bursar, Belvedere
1977 - 1984: Manresa - Minister, Asst. Director, Retreat House; Socius to Novice Director
1984 - 1995: John Austin House - Superior, Directed Spir.Ex.
1995 - 2003: Loyola House
1995 - 1997: Librarian; Treasurer; Directed Spir. Ex.
1997 - 2001: Assistant Treasurer; Directed Spir. Ex., Sacristan; House Historian
2001 - 2003: Resided in Cherryfield Lodge

Following his return to Cherryfield from four weeks in the Royal Hospital in May, where Seán regained some mobility, and his sharpness of wit returned, he took a sudden turn on June 16th during the night. His heart and kidney function deteriorated rapidly over the next few days but he entertained friends even on the previous Thursday afternoon! Seán on 19 June 2003, at Cherryfield Lodge, aged 92 years.

Dermot Murray writes:
Seán Hughes was born on 29th October 1910 in Dublin. He attended the National School in Fairview and O'Connell Schools before entering the Society in Tullabeg at the age of eighteen. Following the noviceship (Tullabeg and Emo) and his degree studies in UCD, he was sent to Jersey for Philosophy in 1934. Two years in Mungret, one year in Clongowes and three years in Milltown Park were followed by ordination on 29th July 1943. His fourth year in Milltown was followed by a year in Mungret before Tertianship in Rathfarnham, a return to Mungret in 1946 and the beginning of his life of service as a priest in the world of education.

After his seven years in Mungret, Seán went to Galway as Rector. Six year later he went to Gonzaga again as Rector and this was followed by eight years as Rector in Crescent, where he was deeply involved in the move to Dooradoyle and the setting up of Crescent College Comprehensive. On his appointment as Director of the Secretariate for Catholic Secondary Schools, Seán left Limerick in 1973 and, following a short stay in Belvedere, moved to John Austin House in 1974. He then spent seven years in Manresa before returning to John Austin House as Superior from 1984 to 1995. Then, at the age of 85, he moved to Loyola House where he spent six happy years before moving to Cherryfield House for the last two years of his life. He died on 19th June 2003.

In a letter to Fr. Provincial on the occasion of Seán's death, Mr. Seán McCann, General Secretary of ACS paid him this tribute:

“The history of School Management in Irish Post primary education cannot be adequately written without honouring the    memory of Fr. Sean Hughes'

There is no need in this obituary to go into the details of his work in the development of the structures of second level in education in Ireland. But it is worth quoting the words of Eileen Doyle in her book, Leading the Way in which she notes that”'the credit for proposing a managerial body that would represent the interests of all the churches is rightly attributed to John Hughes SJ”.

Seán worked very hard to obtain this. The fruits of his efforts – his among others - lie in the Secretariate for Catholic Secondary schools and in the Joint Managerial Body (MB), representing all secondary schools. And when he became Chairman of the Board of Crescent College Comprehensive, he was one of the founding fathers and the first Chairman of the Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools (ACS).

I first came to know Seán when I was a scholastic in Crescent in 1965 when Sean was appointed as Rector. He had already been Rector in Galway and in Gonzaga and some members of the Crescent community at the time thought that his appointment was another example of musical chairs. But they were wrong. I was a young scholastic at the time, beginning my second year of regency in Crescent. What struck me then - as it did in the years since – was that, despite his many and well known foibles, Seán was a Vatican 2 person and remained so until the end of his life.

I came to know him more deeply when he was Chairman of the Board of Crescent College Comprehensive and I was Headmaster. We became great friends and I became aware of the depth of his own spirituality – confirmed by the letters received since his death - and his wonderful humanity. He performed an enormous service to the world of Irish second level education. He had a wide range of friends and a wonderful sense of family; and he did love 'fine wines and foods rich and juicy' as Isaiah described the banquet that Lord would prepare for his people. May he enjoy it eternally in heaven.

Humphreys, John, 1943-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/846
  • Person
  • 30 April 1943-10 October 2014

Born: 30 April 1943, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1961, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 May 1981, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 10 October 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1970 at University of Warwick, Coventry (ANG) studying
by 1975 at Rome, Italy (DIR) studying
by 1997 at Cambridge MA, USA (NEN) Sabbatical

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/loss-leader-john-humphreys/

Loss of a leader: John Humphreys
Last Friday, 10 October, the Irish Jesuits lost one of their great servants. John Humphreys, aged 71, had been unconscious for two days, and increasingly sick with a brain tumour for five months. John was a Limerick man, a passionate fan of Munster rugby. His father, 25 years older than his mother, had died in 1953, leaving 10-year-old John as man of the house. He learned to manage the burdens of responsibility in a calm and kindly style, and as a result was landed with them all his life, as captain of Clongowes, beadle of scholastics during his years of study, Socius (companion and close advisor) to three Provincials, and Rector of several houses. When he was taken sick he was in his ninth year as rector of St Ignatius, Galway, charged with the thankless task of raising two million for school buildings.
John’s administrative gifts would not explain the grieving crowds who packed Gardiner Street church for his funeral. John was loved, and will be terribly missed. His style was upbeat, encouraging and giving. He was a humble man, a quiet listener, ready to learn from his mistakes. A Jesuit friend remembers him as good company at table, not saying much, but smiling at the craic and adding to it.
The source of this warmth became particularly clear in his last months of life. When he learned that his cancer was probably terminal, he lived with it, and his increasing sickness, with good humour nourished by his prayer. He asked a friend to seek out the text of a prayer which touched him, and described his spiritual state:
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve. I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 158 : Winter 2014

Obituary

Fr John Humphreys (1943-2014)

30 April 1943: Born in Limerick,
Early education at Sacred Heart College, Limerick and Clongowes Wood College
7 September 1961: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1963: First Vows at Emo
1963 - 1967: Rathfarnham - Studied Science at UCD
1967 - 1969: Milltown Park - Studied Philosophy
1969 - 1970: Warwick University - Studied Philosophy
1970 - 1971: Clongowes - Lower Line Prefect: Regency
1971 - 1974: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
21st June 1974: Ordained at Gonzaga Chapel, Dublin
1974 - 1976: Gregorian, Rome --Studied Theology (Residence: S. Roberto Bellarmino)
1976 - 1981: Galway – Teacher
1978 - 1979: Tertianship in Tullabeg; Vice-Rector; Teacher
1979 - 1981: Rector; Teacher; Province Consultor (1978)
15 May 1981: Final Vows at Galway
1981 - 1987: Milltown Park - Rector; Delegate for Formation; Province Consultor
1987 - 1996: Loyola - Socius; Vice-Superior; Province Consultor
1991 - 1996: Socius; Province Consultor. Chair of Board Crescent College Comprehensive
1996 - 1997: Sabbatical – Weston Jesuits, New England
1997 - 1999: Clongowes - Chaplain; Pastoral Care Corordinator; Chair, Vocations Vocations Promotion Team
1998: Acting Socius
1999 - 2002: Loyola - Superior; Socius; Prov. Consultor; Provincial Team; Chair Vocations Vocations Promotion Team
2002 - 2005: Dominic Collins - Province Consultor; Prov. Assistant for Strategic Planning; Delegate for Child Protection; Revisor of Province Funds
2005 - 2014: Galway - Rector; Revisor of Province Funds; Province Consultor; Child Protection Delegate; Spirituality Delegate; Chair Coláiste lognáid Board
2008 - 2014: Galway - Rector; Director of Spirituality Centre; Revisor of Province Funds

Fr. John Humphreys was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 19th May 2014. He settled in well though his condition deteriorated over time. He died peacefully in Cherryfield on 10th October 2014.

“Past all grasp God-throned behind death with a sovereignty that heeds, but hides, that bodes but abides”. Hopkins stretching words about the mystery of death and God.

I remember my mother told me one time whenever John's father, Louis, would tell a funny story – long before be got to the punch line he would get into helpless fits of laughter and tears were running down his face, so that everyone around started laughing with him and you mightn't get the punch line at all, but it didn't matter. And the same was true of John. The abiding truth of John was that you just felt better in his company - his humanity and palpable goodness made those with him feel good about themselves. An extraordinary gift!

When Sir Thomas More heard about the sudden death of Bishop John Fisher at the hands of Henry VIII because he had refused to bow to his bullying: More said: Ah, Fisher, a lovely man. An amazing number of people would say just the same of John Humphreys: a lovely man.

Karl Rahner, the German 20th century Jesuit theologian, was asked in an interview how could a modern man become or remain a Jesuit. And part of his answer was: my reason is not because the Society of Jesus still has a significant influence within the Church or in the broader world. Rather, it is because I still see around me living in many of my companions a readiness for disinterested service carried out in silence, a readiness for prayer, for abandonment to the incomprehensibility of God, for the calm acceptance of death in whatever form it may come, for the total dedication to the following of Christ crucified.

It could be a pen-picture of John's life-of many others too as Rahner says – but John is the focus today : disinterested service – John was the Provincial's (three of them in fact – Philip Harnett, Laurence Murphy & Gerry O'Hanlon) Socius, or right hand man or consigliere for many years - I used to refer to him as 1A - the servant of us all in the Irish province of the Jesuits – enormously competent; painstaking, generous, good-humoured, compassionate, including his hidden & committed labour in the not-easy area of child-protection. Readiness for prayer: John's faith in Christ Risen was the constant and the anchor in his life, and his abandonment and calm acceptance were astonishing when he suddenly became ill in April and was soon diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour, which claimed his life within 6 months - John's dealing with this was for us Jesuits an embodiment of the P & F in the Spiritual Exercises where Ignatius writes that we were all made to praise, reverence and serve God our Lord, and everything else in creation was made to help us do this - and so we should neither prefer a long life to a short life, sickness to health - John lived this freedom or detachment as it's sometimes called. Mary Rickard, our Province Health Supremo who with John's doctor-niece Sally masterminded John's care, said of his time in Cherryfield, where he was so lovingly cared for, that he was no trouble - So easy to look after – and he just slipped away last Friday afternoon - no trouble - he died as he lived.

However, unlike yourself or myself, John wasn't perfect in every way. My mother again was a source of information on his earlier years - reminding me that she asked John once when he was about eight, how do you say what time is it in French - John replied grumpily claratelle - my mother (a French teacher) tried to correct him, but John wouldn't budge - his father had told him it was claratelle. And claratelle it was. As stubborn as a mule. Loyal to the end. Then shortly afterwards he got his appendix out and he completely changed, she said, and became the delightful John we all knew! John and I use to play Mass too when we were about 10 - though he claimed that I was always the priest and he was the server. Well, that all certainly changed in later life! But he could be fussy and get a bit ratty too - on holiday he once rebuked me for not getting to the washing up. I replied any time I go to it you have it half-done already - it was so strange seeing him completely passive in our most recent holiday last July in Alison & his late-cousin Seamus’ Glandore house.

As you well know, John had a great sense of humour - his great friend Tom told me that John's own father had named a horse Bundle of Fun after John when John was only an infant! he was always ready for a party and dance - Louis told me he burned up many a dance-floor at weddings, had a spontaneous awareness of beauty and beauty responded; he was a charmer ! Always happy for a sing-song -- now he was no Pavarotti and would never have got into OLCS, but he was totally involved, with his head and feet going steadily to rhythm right to the end in the Cherryfield masses. We'd often speak in authentic Limerick accents when together - and he'd get great mileage if I told him I was listening to two men talking at the traffic lights in Limerick one time : and one said the doctor told me to take it easy; Geez, replied the other fella, you'll find that very hard you've done feck all for the last 40 years !

He loved Galway - spending two sustained spells there in the Jes both in the 70s and for the last eight years in many roles-where he has been loved and hugely appreciated, and where he will be, like in so many other places, greatly missed.

John was matured and purified by his life's experience: his father died when he was about 10, his mother (my godmother) was very unwell in her latter years, his lovely sister Reena, and only sibling, died 18 years ago after a long illness and her husband Paddy, 10 years ago – their legacy is the delightful family of his nieces and nephew, Sally, Louis and Judith, whom he dearly loved. And now John, just over the Biblical three score and ten. He had his difficult moments too: having an academic stumble in Warwick University in his earlier years, where he went full of Lonergan philosophy to the uncomprehending English - there he found that so many conversations ended with: Oh, how very interesting – but after all, who's to say?! And all his time of shepherding Jesuit scholastics in Milltown Park was no bed of roses.

I think that this purification made him such an attractive person to so many people - there was nothing threatening or intimidating about John - he was a great listener -- and when he had positions of responsibility he was just so human, so humble, so understanding, so compassionate.

The readings: Wisdom 4: 7-15; 2 Tim 4; 6-8; Mt 5: 1-12 - speak for themselves, perhaps most eloquently Paul's own farewell.

Fr Pedro Arrupe, the then General of the Jesuits, meeting with the provincials of the Philippines some years ago, was trying to clarify the main characteristic to be sought in Jesuits who are making final vows (sjs take final vows a few years after ordination) and thrashing it around for a while someone eventually said 'disponibilité' ie availability, freedom from possessiveness, or a sustained freedom from selfishness and self-concem. Arrupe nodded vigorously and said, that's it. John was available. The late Fr Michael Sweetman was a boy in Clongowes when Fr John Sullivan was there and Sweetman wrote about him: ‘he had wiped out selfishness so completely that you could not fail to see what, or rather Who, was in him.

There was nothing else there: he was all goodness, all Christ.' I think that's not a bad description of John. There wasn't a bone of selfishness left in him. I think Ignatius would have been pretty pleased.
And when you come to think of it isn't that what the Christian life is all about too !

So, while John's death is profoundly sad for us all, it's not tragic, though leaving us all bereft -- he did live over the three score and ten: the psalmist says our span is 70 and 80 for those who are strong - though we thought John was strong! We have all been enormously enriched by him. He was sublimely ready to go. He was just serenely waiting for the call in the last few months. So while we grieve as we must, we grieve not as vague agnostics, but like John himself as followers of Christ Risen, recognising as Paul Claudel wrote that Christ has come not to explain suffering, but to share it and to fill it with his presence.

There is, of course, no way in which anyone's life, not to mention that of a person of John's calibre and influence, can be remotely captured adequately in a homily or a panegyric - it can just be hinted at. But we are surely called to give profound thanks for John, for his life, his companionship and his service. And his swift departure is a call to all of us to get our own lives more into perspective, to shed some of our illusions and foolish obsessions and preoccupations – we are so easily seduced by the ephemeral and unimportant. John's death can teach us how to walk more lightly through life – to live in a less cluttered way - to attend to what is essential & important – to live more nobly and more generously – in the words of St Paul, to live a life more worthy of our vocation. And more in the spirit of inner freedom & serenity that John embodied. Helmut Thielicke, the German Lutheran theologian wrote: “Because of the Resurrection everything is now different: we do not know what is to come, but we do know who is to come. And if the last hour belongs to us, we do not need to fear the next minute”. And in conclusion St John of the Cross pithily: 'In the evening of our lives we will be judged on love'. It's an exam in which I think John will do rather well.

Peter Sexton

Hutchinson, John W, 1917-1970, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/189
  • Person
  • 22 May 1917-24 January 1970

Born: 22 May 1917, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1953, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Died: 24 January 1970, Regional Hospital, Galway

Part of the Coláiste Iognáid, Sea Road, Galway community at the time of death

Irish Province News 45th Year No 2 1970

St. Ignatius College, Galway
On December 31st came the sad news of Father Cashman's death in Rathfarnham. He passed away quietly in the last hours of the old year. May he rest in peace. He came here from the Tertianship in August 1934 and after 33 years spent in Galway he left for Rathfarnham in September 1967. He was the most popular priest in the city, keeping in constant contact with the people and helping them in every need. He was well known for the helpful advice he gave and was loved by all for his friendliness and good will. He was the originator of the plan for the houses at Loyola Park, and saw the plan carried through. He took a keen interest in the Wheelchair Association and when men could not find employment he was the man to whom they came and the one who found jobs for them. In his early sixties he had a prolonged period of ill health, was in and out of hospital, but on his return from the U.S.A., after a few months spent with his brother, a Parish Priest, he seemed to have been given a new lease of life. At breakfast, on the morning after his return, he was so overwhelmed with the warm céad míle fáilte he got that in his own inimitable way he quoted two apt lines from the “Exile's return” : “I'd almost venture another flight, there's so much joy in returning”. The move to Rathfarnham was a hard blow to him. As he said in a letter to a Galway friend. "I loved the people back in the West". He accepted it quietly and settled down to his life of retirement. Fine tributes appeared in the Connaught Tribune and Cork Examiner, but the greatest tribute of all was the profound feeling of sorrow and of personal loss shown by such a multitude of friends in Gal way. The people of the West loved him, too. A life-long lover of his native language he spoke it fluently, taking his place at table with the school fathers, so as to have a chance of speaking it.

The last week of January brought us new cause for grief. After a month in the Regional Hospital, Father Jack Hutchinson died of a heart-attack on Saturday evening, 24th January. On Monday there was a Concelebrated Requiem Mass, 15 priests taking part, including Fr. Provincial and Father Rector who was the chief Celebrant. His Lordship, the Bishop presided. During the Mass the choir rendered hymns in Irish. Fr. P. Meagher, Socius, read the Gospel and Father P. O'Higgins read the bidding prayers in Irish. The impressive funeral and the large number of “Ours” from all over the Province who followed his remains to the graveside were ample testimony of the esteem in which he was held by all who knew him.
Father Jack was here as a Scholastic, 1943-46, and as a priest from 1963 till his death. He suffered a severe heart attack at Easter 1968, and since then his health was never very good. During the last two years of his teaching career he was also Spiritual Father to the boys, and when he became Operarius in the Church, he continued on as Sp. Father to the boys in a number of classes. He paid frequent visits to the Regional Hospital, and it was while getting ready to visit a patient there on the evening of December 23rd that the heart trouble came, which led to his death, a month later. During that last month, his lovable personality and fund of humour contributed much to the happiness of his fellow patients. He was the life and soul of the ward, and the men grew very fond of him and missed him sorely when he died. He was the last of five from our former community to die within the short period of 18 months, and yet, accustomed as we had grown, in that time to death, we seemed to feel all the more keenly this fifth last good-bye. Ar láimh dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha :
Fr. Hutchinson's Sodality and the boys of the 6th year presented Rev. Fr. Rector with a chalice as their tribute to the memory of a priest whom they loved.

Obituary :

Fr Jack Hutchinson SJ (1917-1970)

The announcement of the death of Fr. Jack Hutchinson was received with great regret not only by the members of his own community who knew him well, but also by the Province at large in which he had many friends and was universally liked.
After completing his secondary education at O'Connell Schools Jack Hutchinson entered the Noviceship at Emo in September 1935. As those were years of large numbers in the novitiate, Jack had the advantage of a large circle of contemporaries as he made his studies through the various houses of formation. All his training was done in Ireland. He was a naturally good student and applied himself seriously and successfully to Arts, Philosophy and Theology. He enjoyed games and played them well, especially soccer, his first love. He was often out in the boats in Tullabeg and took part in dramatics.
After Tertianship in Rathfarnham, Jack was assigned to teaching, which was to be his main work to the end. For eleven years, Gonzaga knew him as a devoted and efficient teacher, one who ever had the best interests of the boys at heart. His aim was to cultivate an easy relationship with his pupils. Nothing was too much trouble and his pupils appreciated the work he did for them. Because of his anxious temperament, teaching took more out of Jack than it did out of others of more relaxed nature.
During the Summer of these years, he gave retreats. He agreed that he found this type of work difficult. He was fond of quoting a friend who maintained that his own retreats must do enormous good, because of the effort they caused him in the giving. This was a view with which Jack concurred. For years he went to Lourdes each summer, to work as a chaplain and there took up the study of French at which he soon became proficient.
In 1962, he was transferred to the teaching staff of Galway, an assignment for which he was very suitable. As a scholastic he had spent two years teaching in Coláiste Iognáid and his ability to teach through Irish made him a most valuable member of the staff. He was equally at home and effective teaching Irish, Latin and French. For a number of years, he produced school plays in Irish at home and at Drama Festivals. In this field he was very successful and was awarded many prizes. He was always a great lover of the Irish language and of all that goes with it. He held very strongly that schools in Ireland should be trying to give an education suit able to Irish boys. Later, Summer months found him providing an outlet for his zeal in doing supply work on Bofin Island and in English parishes.
Jack Hutchinson was a very easy man to live with, the community to which he was appointed meant everything to him. His broad charity and friendliness were at the centre of his dealings with each one. If ever his feelings were ruffled or if he felt that he had spoken a word out of place, it seemed to him the most natural thing in the world to apologise. He had a lively sense of humour and on villa or festive occasions, he was at his best with stories and jokes of a most kindly nature, Twenty years of teaching can make inroads on the health of any man and with a man of Fr. Hutchinson's devotion and concentration, the effect was bound to be serious. Many and many an evening, he just about dragged himself to his room after a heavy day. A serious heart attack came after he had acted as Chairman to a meeting of Jesuits at Milltown Park, His recovery slow and tedious he bore with great patience and it was a wonderful uplift to his morale when he was told that he would be returning to Galway and was to work in the church. His zeal was his undoing. When human need demanded he knew no bounds and so eventually, he had another heart attack. He slept well the day he died and woke 'to find the doctor and nurses about his bed. He thanked them all for their care of him and kindness to him. Those words of thanks, the last he spoke, were characteristic of the man. Fr. Jack Hutchinson was a man of integrity, a fine teacher, and a good priest. He died at the age of 52. His memory will live on with affection in the hearts of many.
Proof of the regard in which the boys held him was not slow in coming. During his time as Spiritual Father to the boys, he had instituted class masses regular days for mass for each class in the Boys' Chapel. These were intimate gatherings and proved very popular with the boys. He re-organised Cuallacht Mhuire on lines of his own and again he was proved right. And so it came about that within a fortnight of his death, quite spontaneously in an intimate ceremony Cuallacht Mhuire presented to the Rector an engraved chalice and Paten, dedicated to his memory.
Go ndéana' Dia Trócaire air.

Kavanagh, James, 1910-1982, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/196
  • Person
  • 22 July 1910-14 March 1982

Born: 22 July 1910, Dolphin's Barn, Dublin
Entered: 19 January 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 02 February 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 14 March 1982, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 57th Year No 2 1982
Obituary
Br James Kavanagh (1910-1934-1982)
Brother James Kavanagh was born in Dolphin's Barn, Dublin, on 22nd July 1910. His father was from Wexford and his mother from Cavan. He received his early education at the local national school and James's street Christian Brothers' school. He did well at his studies and was keen on most games. At eighteen he started work in T. & C. Martin & Co., D'Olier Street, and remained with them till he joined the Society. As a young man his favourite sport was soccer. He played first for Bridewell, then advanced to Shelbourne. He said that had it not been for an accident to his ankle, soccer would have been his profession. For his entertain ment he went to dances and loved music and enjoyed a few drinks with the lads in their favourite pub, His Jesuit vocation he attributed to a week-end retreat in Rathfarnham, where Fr Patrick Barrett (d. 1942) usually spotted a possible vocation and in James's case was right on target.
He entered the Jesuit noviciate at Emo at 5.30 am on the morning of 11th on 19th July 1933, three days before his 23rd birthday. He himself told the following story: as a novice, he got a fit of the 'blues', feeling 'fed up', so he went to the master of novices and told him he wanted to go home. Of course the novice-master tried to calm him down and said, “Now, James, all this will pass away in time,' 'No, Father', said James: I have made up my mind.' So a car was to take him to the railway station after dinner the next day. He came down from the dormitory with a suitcase in each hand, left them in the hall, and went into the domestic chapel to pay (as he thought) his last visit. While praying before the blessed Sacrament he became worried about his decision to go, asked for divine guidance, then concluded that he was mistaken in wanting to leave. He came out, went straight to the master of novices and told him he wanted to stay. “You're most welcome”, said he. For the rest of his life James had no doubt about his vocation. After his First Vows on 19th July 1936, he was sent to Clongowes, where he spent six months. Here he learnt from Br Corcoran (d. 1956) the management of domestic staff.
The 1937 Status assigned Br James to Milltown Park as supervisor of domestic staff and dispenser. Here he was to stay till 1952. In those years Milltown was noted for its large community - at times over a hundred - and it was not easy for with the problems of maintaining supplies. There were problems too with staff; the supervisor training them as cooks or waiters, then after a year or more seeing them move to higher-paid jobs and having to begin all over again with others. Many of his former staff, nevertheless, returned to thank James for his guidance and kindness. With the community he was popular: his sense of humour and general interest in people made life less lonely for others. It was he who discovered the tragic Milltown fire at 5.20 am on the morning of 11th February 1949. He actually carried Fr Bill Gwynn (age 84; d. 1950) to safety. Fr James Johnston lost his life in that fire, and the Theologians House was completely burnt out. In the noviciate Br James had been trained as a cook: as such he was sent to Mungret, where as in Milltown he did a fifteen-year spell. He was a very good cook and actually liked cooking. He took a great interest in the students and with his general knowledge of sports won many friends among them. In later years he often spoke with affection about the years he spent in Mungret, and was really sorry when he heard that it was to be closed.
In 1967 he returned to his native Dublin and there spent the rest of his life. His next post was Gonzaga, where he was supervisor of domestic staff and dispenser. While here he was drawn into the high-level consultations on what 31st General Congregation envisaged as the role of the Brothers. In accordance with its 7th Decree, Fr General Arrupe recommended that an advisory commission on our Brothers be set up in every Province. Fr Brendan Barry, then Irish Provincial, set up our Commission on Brothers (1968), to which Br James was appointed as member and secretary. It was remarked in these pages that this commission had been very busy holding its own meetings, sending out circulars and convening regional meetings of Brothers, In 1969 Br James was chosen by Fr General as one of the four representatives of the English Assistancy to attend the World Congress of Brothers in Rome (May 1970). He was happy and glad to report on the long-overdue reappraisal of the Brothers' vocation and role which the Society had undertaken. After five years Br James moved down the Gonzaga avenue to the College of Industrial Relations, where he became Secretary. To quote CIR’s appreciation from last year: “His genial personality and genuine understanding of the Dublin working man won him many friends amongst the scores of students who check-in nightly at the enrolment desk. On his part, Br James had a remarkable memory for names and faces and personal details, a talent which helped to forge close links between students and College”.
In January 1981 he became very sick: he felt that his health was failing, After six weeks in St Vincent’s hospital it was obvious that he would not be able to continue working in CIR. He asked to be transferred to Milltown Park, and there he went. For the next year he was looked after by Br Joe Cleary, and James on many occasions praised his kindness and patience. As time went on he improved a little and asked the Rector to give him some kind of work to do. However, in January last he had a recurrence of his previous sickness, was put back in hospital for two weeks, came out only to deteriorate surprisingly quickly, and finally was moved back to hospital (2nd March). He died very peacefully on 14th March.
It is difficult to avoid superlatives in speaking of Br Kavanagh, and it can truly be said of him that he was an excellent Jesuit Brother. He was a most exact religious, filled with deep piety and devotion to the blessed Sacrament, our Lady and the saints. He was particularly dedicated to spiritual reading and was familiar with most of the spiritual classics. He was highly efficient in his work and had a wonderful memory for details. To the poor he was always generous and helped a number of people to find employment. There was a balance in his life-style: he loved music (not “pop”); he thoroughly enjoyed a good film and a game of cards, and never lost. interest in Gaelic and soccer games; horse-racing also took his fancy. One can say that James was a happy man and a good community man: one who responded easily to any social demands that came his way, May he rest in peace!

Kavanagh, Joseph, 1913-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/197
  • Person
  • 05 February 1913-27 May 1982

Born: 05 February 1913, Dublin
Entered: 11 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 27 May 1982, County Wicklow (in a car accident)

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 57th Year No 3 1982
Gonzaga
A phone-call about midnight of 27th/28th May brought us the tragic news of the death of our colleague, Fr Joe Kavanagh, What exactly happened is not entirely clear, but it appears that Fr Joe was involved in a hit-and-run accident while travelling on his Honda motor-cycle at about 11 pm near the Glen of the Downs, co. Wicklow. He was buried from St Kevin’s church, Harrington street, where he had been a curate for the past two years, and he got a send-off that he must have appreciated from his lofty position. A very large number of concelebrants, both Jesuit and diocesan, joined Fr Rector in the requiem Mass; the music was provided by Our Lady's Choral Society, of which Joe had long been a zealous and active member; two Bishops presided, the Most Rev Joseph A Carroll and the Most Rev Donal Murray; and among the congregation were the Lord Mayor (an old pupil) and Mr John Wilson (government minister and an old teaching colleague). We miss Joe very much. Though working in a parish he was always very much a member of the Gonzaga community, in reality as well as in spirit. He joined us as often as his duties would allow and was always a welcome, refreshing, peaceable presence. May he rest in peace.

Obituary
Fr Joseph Kavanagh (1913-1931-1982)

In the last issue of the Province News the editor had a few interesting words to say about the commissioning of obituary notices. In asking me to present a pen- picture of Joe Kavanagh he didn't have to do any serious arm-twisting: I, am more than glad to be able to pay my tribute to a man who was my companion for many years and whom I, among many others, will sadly miss now that he is gone.
Let us start with the timetable, as it were, of Joe's life. He was at school in Belvedere, entered the noviceship in Emo in 1931. This was followed by Juniorate in Rathfarnham where he pursued a French course with considerable success: philosophy in Tullabeg from 1937-1940, and from these years arises a clear memory of Joe working out, with marvellous patience and good humour, a quartet from Gilbert and Sullivan that was somewhat beyond the vocal range of those whom he was directing. The regency years were spent at Mungret (1940-42) where he was obviously very happy and very successful, but the exigencies of the time demanded that he move to Clongowes for his third year, to get his Certificate in Education. From 1943 to 1947 he was in Milltown for theology, and from those days too I can picture him at the piano preparing a motley caste for a brief season of operetta, or playing at centre-forward on the soccer pitch where he was no mean performer, and many of his contemporaries will remember that deft flick of his that was productive both of goals and serrated shinbones.
After tertianship in Rathfarnham Joe spent a year in Clongowes, followed by three years in the Crescent and then, in 1952, he came to Gonzaga where he was to remain until 1971. After this long period of teaching the rest of his days were to be passed working for the "Diocese' - seven years in the Blackrock area, where he was chaplain to Obelisk Park and also taught in the Blackrock Technical school, three years in East Wall and his last two years as a curate in Harrington street.
When Joe's remains were brought to St Kevin's Church on the evening of 29th May, his parish priest, Fr Dermot O'Neill spoke a few words and described Joe as “a nice, quiet, unassuming, hard working priest”, and most would agree that that is a very fair description. He always had this air of quiet about him; perhaps “serenity” would be a better word, or even “unflappability”. In my mind’s eye I can see him, good humoured and unperturbed, surrounded by a mob of unruly schoolboys or refereeing an under-10 rugby match with tremendous aplomb. There was an occasion when, in the act of refereeing, Joe fell backwards over a stray mongrel that had wandered onto the pitch: except physically he wasn't the slightest bit upset. Teaching, I suspect, was always a little against the grain for Joe. but he applied himself to this task over many years with admirable patience and dedication, and must have passed on much of his own great enthusiasm for the French language: certainly many of his pupils remember him with great affection and while they may beat their breasts a little for the merry dance they sometimes led him in the classroom they recall with gratitude his quiet tolerance and inspiration.
There was a period when Gonzaga took its cricket seriously, and this was one game that Joe particularly enjoyed. I remember him playing in the Staff versus Boys matches, tying up the opposition with a mixture of slow googlies and chinamen; and at other times he could be seen umpiring at square leg or behind the wicket, always perched upon a shooting stick.
When at last his teaching days came to an end and he moved out into the “Diocese” he brought the same calmness and application to his new duties. I know that as a curate he undertook very seriously the job of visiting his parishioners. But all the time - from 1971 - that Joe was working as a curate he remained a member of the Gonzaga community and this he was both in fact and in spirit; for hardly a week passed that he didn't join his brethren there, and they will now miss his quiet presence, his informed conversation and his generally optimistic view of world affairs.
Joe seems to have suffered from some sort of a chronic ulcer. Certainly, over the years he was taking something for this ailment or observing a mild diet. And yet I always regarded him as a man of rude health, a man who not all that long ago put-putted his way on his motor bike all the way from Dublin to some place north of Rome where the machine “packed up”, unable any longer to match the vigour of its rider. It was on his motor-cycle, in his 69th year, that he met his sudden tragic death, (27th May 1982), the victim, apparently, of a hit and-run accident around 11 pm in the Glen of the Downs, though the exact circumstances may never be known. .
For his funeral Joe got a great send off. St Kevin's Church, Harrington' street, was packed for the requiem Mass concelebrated by a very large number of both Jesuit and diocesan priests and presided over by two bishops. But what must have given him, watching from above, especial satisfaction, was the fact that the Gardaí spontaneously provided a cycle escort to expedite the funeral cortège to Glasnevin (he had worked with them in the parish), and that the music was provided by Our Lady's Choral Society of which he had long been an active and zealous member. His love for music had always been conspicuous. He was always the choir master, the organist, the musical director of shows and entertainments from novice to tertian, and even after. Nothing he liked better than to be seated a a piano when he displayed the extraordinarily wide range of his musical interests, at one time fingering a Beethoven sonata, at another belting out something straight from Tin Pan Alley.
There can be no doubt but that now he is a member, perhaps even the director, of a celestial choir and that he will continue to make sweet music to the Lord for all eternity.

Irish Province News 58th Year No 2 1983

Gonzaga
Fr Joe Kavanagh
Further light has been thrown on the circumstances surrounding the accident that ended in the tragic death of Fr Joe Kavanagh at Glen o’ the Downs on the night of 27th May 1982. The following reconstruction is based on the evidence presented in Bray district court on 7th January, at the hearing of the prosecutions brought under the Road Traffic Act against the two motorists involved in Fr Kavanagh's death.

The first impact
A woman was driving south in this area around 11 pm. There was a heavy drizzle. Some distance behind her was another car driven by a Mr Fiach McDonagh of Wexford, who thus described the whole occurrence. As he came around a bend on to a straight stretch of road he saw sparks come from under the car in front of him. The car appeared to be on the correct side of the road at the time, then swerved over to the right-hand side of the road and carried on some distance ending up in a ditch. It wasn't until he came level with a helmet which he spotted lying on the road that he realised that an accident had taken place. He turned his car round towards Dublin and stopped on the Dublin-bound carriageway, with his light shining full on the motor-cyclist, who was positioned with his entire body lying on the hard shoulder except for his head, which was on the roadway. A car came from the direction of Dublin: he stopped it and asked the driver to get help. Then he spoke to the priest on the ground and told him he was sending for help.
The car that he had seen sparks come from had travelled weil over a hundred yards down the road. He noticed some body get out, walk around the car, look and get in again; then it slowly began to drive away.

The second and fatal impact
Ms McDonagh went back to his own car and saw at the same time a car travelling from the Wicklow direction, This car kept coming even when it was in full view of the car stopped in the middle of the road. At the last minute it swerved suddenly to the inside of the stopped car on to the hard shoulder. Here it struck the bike and the man on the ground, swerved to the right-hand side of the road and ended up in the ditch on the opposite side. The impact had flipped the priest right up in the air and over, reversing his position. Two men got out of the car, both as it transpired ambulance men. When they saw the priest on the ground they went back to their car, took out a first-aid kit to do whatever they could, but found no pulse.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1982

Obituary

Father Joseph Kavanagh SJ

When I joined the Gonzaga Community in 1961, the oriental-like inscrutability and rather dis tant manner of Father Kavanagh gave me a little indication of his real qualities. In fact he proved to be a delightful companion, whose gentle sense of humour, generosity and undemonstrative kindness greatly enhanced community life. In the school, while he did not attain sufficient command of a class to be an excellent teacher, he won the affec tion of the pupils capable of distinguishing quality of personality from pedagogical skill. Later, in parish work, his quiet and undemonstrative devo tion to his parishioners was most impressive and much appreciated. To this the attendence at his funeral bore eloquent testimony. As a friend - I had the good fortune to enjoy his friendship for 21 years - he was warmharted and generous and a kindly and wise counsellor.

There was about him a self confidence and magnanimity reflected in his judgements of others which were almost always positive and generous: never destructives, never petty. He was as patient with the shortcomings of others as he was of his own and always keenly aware of the qualities and strengths of others.
He was a good man, a sound religious and a loyal friend. May he rest in peace.

Keane, Edmund, 1916-2000, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949
LETTERS :

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

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

Obituary

Fr Edmund (Eddie) Keane (1916-2000)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aidan Matthews

Interfuse No 106 : Autumn 2000

FATER EDMUND KEANE SJ

Joe Brennan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Gonzaga Record 2000

Obituary

Edmund Keane SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aidan Matthews

Keaney, Joseph, 1948-2021, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2357
  • Person
  • 22 December 1948-20 July 2021

Born: 22 December 1948, Galway City
Entered: 07 September, 1966, St Mary’s Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 23 June 1978, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final Vows: 22 August 1988, Kitwe, Zambia
Died: 20 July 2021, St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia - Southern Africa Province (SAP)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 22 August 1988

1966-1968 St Mary’s, Emo
1968-1971 Rathfarnham Castle - studying
1971-1973 Milltown Park - studying Philosophy
1973-1975 Canisius College, Chikuni, Zabia - Regency, studying language
1975-1977 Milltown Park - studying Theology
1977-1978 Tabor House - studying Theology at Milltown
1978-1979 Missionary Institute, The Ridgeway, London, England - studying Theology
1979-1980 St Kizito Pastoral Centre, Monze, Zambia
1980-1982 Catholic Church, Namwala, Zambia - Parish Priest
1982-1983 Galway - Chaplain at Coláiste Iognáid
1983-198 Jesuit Residence, Kitwe, Zambia - teaching
1986-1987 Joint HIB/BRI Tertianship - Tullabeg and St Beuno’s
1987-1993 Jesuit Residence, Kitwe, Zambia - teaching
1993-199 St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia

https://jesuitssouthern.africa/2021/07/20/fr-joseph-keaney-sj-rip/
RIP
Fr Joseph Keaney SJ
22 December 1948 – 20 July 2021

The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) mourns the loss of Fr Joseph Keaney SJ.

After a long battle with serious illness he passed away peacefully this afternoon, Tuesday 20 July 2021, at St Ignatius Jesuit Community in Lusaka. Fr Keaney will be remembered for his pastoral care and missionary zeal. He was a friend to many and will be fondly remembered.

We commend Fr Keaney to the Lord, knowing that he is now at peace and has no more pain.

Kelly, Joseph A, 1931-2008, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-joseph-a-kelly-sj/

“Some people become priests because they love God, some because they love talking about God, and some, like Fr Joe Kelly, because they love people.” Joe had moved from Dublin to Jersey City in 1968, and worked in particular with students, and later actors – he played a Catholic priest in City Hall with Al Pacino. The crowds who attended Joe’s funeral in Jersey City, and the memorial Mass in Milltown Chapel, showed the affection he inspired, and the impact he made during his 59 years as a Jesuit.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/celebrating-the-pastor-of-broadway-2/
Celebrating the Pastor of Broadway
Fr. Joe Kelly SJ served for years on the Boards of the Broadway Association, the Times Square Alliance, and the Mayor’s Midtown Citizens Committee. He was also the
beloved Parochial Vicar of St. Malachy’s, The Actors’ Chapel, and was responsible for having the section of 49th Street between 8th Avenue and Broadway named “St. Malachy’s Way”. He was a much-sought-after speaker and a friend to all. To honour him for his tireless work and his wonderful contributions to the Times Square neighbourhood and the entertainment community, his caricature will hang with the “greats” on the wall at Sardi’s, a well-known Broadway restaurant. The picture will be unveiled at a cocktail party on Wednesday, May 26, 5:30-7:30 pm.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 139 : Easter 2009

Obituary

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

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

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

The Joe of Surprises

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interfuse No 162 : Winter 2015

REMEMBERING JOE KELLY

Fr Joseph Kelly (1931-2008)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael J Kelly

Kelly, Thomas P, 1890-1977, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/210
  • Person
  • 07 April 1890-29 July 1977

Born: 07 April 1890, Blackrock, County Dublin
Entered: 01 October 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1926, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 29 July 1977, Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross Dublin

Part of the College of Industrial Relations, Dublin community at the time of death

Older brother of Austin Kelly - RIP 1978

I year of Theology at Holy Cross College, Clonliffe, Dublin before entry
Studied for BA at UCD

by 1916 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1945 at Cardigan Road, Leeds (ANG) working
by 1948 at SFX Liverpool (ANG) working
by 1950 at Bourton Hall, Rugby, Derbyshire (ANG) working
by 1954 at St Ignatius London (ANG) working

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 4 1977

College of Industrial Relations
On Friday morning, July 29, Fr Tom Kelly died in Our Lady's Hospice at the fine old age of 87 years. He had been steadily deteriorating and passed away quietly and peacefully just as he would have wished. Fr Tom was essentially a simple man prone to scrupulosity. He had endeared himself to the Sisters and Nurses who showed him much kindness at all times. He is sorely missed by his nephews and nieces, particularly Rose Maguire who was very devoted to Fr Tom.

Irish Province News 56th Year No 3 1981

Obituary
Fr Thomas P Kelly (1890-1912-1977)
As a scholastic he had the unpleasant job of Gallery Prefect in Clongowes (at least I think so) and had to help out in the big study when the priest in charge was sick. He made his tertianship in Tullabeg under Fr Bridge, 1925-26, and together with his brother Augustine, who afterwards became Provincial in Australia, he gave the Lenten Mission in the “People's Church”. It was said that the men preferred Fr Tom and the ladies, Fr Austin. He was a chaplain during World War II.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1978

Obituary

Father Tom Kelly SJ (1907)

The Reverend Thomas Kelly S.J. who died on 29th July 1977 was one of a fast diminishing group of Old Belvederians who came to the College at the beginning of the present century. Fr Tom was the second of three brothers. Eddie, the eldest, died at an early age; Austin, the youngest, still survives, and is a Jesuit priest belonging to the Australian Province. Austin was in Australia when that area was separated from the Irish Province and has remained there ever since.

Fr Tom, who was born on 7th April 1890, maintained throughout his long life a loyalty to his old school which remained undimmed in spite of the many other interests which occupied his mind, and the diverse occupations which claimed his attention. While at school Tom was not only successful in his academic pursuits but also excelled in the athletic activities of the College. Tall and strongly built, and a strong runner, he also possessed the characteristics of a leader. It followed almost as a natural consequence that he should be elected to captain the school Rugby XV, a position which he filled successfully in the season 1906/1907, impressing on the team his own high standards of sport smanship and discipline. His activities, however, were not confined to field sports, for his physique and his environment combined to make the water almost a second element. He became an excellent water-polo player and in his last year at school, at the annual swimming gala, a feature of those days, he won the College 100 yards Championship.

Tom left school in 1907 and, following his vocation to become a priest, and feeling that his vocation lay in parochial work, entered Clonliffe College. In 1911 he took his degree at the recently founded National University of Ireland. Meanwhile his younger brother Austin had joined the Jesuit Noviciate at Tullabeg, and in the Autumn of the year 1912 Tom left Clonliffe and was accepted into the Jesuit Noviciate. Tom and Austin were ordained on the same day, 31st July 1923.

From the date of his joining the Society in 1912 until 1945 Tom spent varying periods, in the normal occupations of a Jesuit, in every one of the Houses throughout Ireland, and in addition, in Stonyhurst in England, where he studied philosophy from 1916 to 1918. In 1945 however, he had a change of scene and of activities when he went to England to assist at Missions and Parish work. Here he spent ten years chiefly in the North of the Country. At the end of this period, Father Tom returned once more to Ireland and was stationed at Mungret again, after an absence of ten years. It was here that he remained until he retired in 1974. During the last years of his life, Father Tom was stationed at the College of Industrial Relations in Sandford Road, Dublin.

This brief chronicle of a very full life can only be an outline sketch the details of which are so many and so varied as to crowd the canvas. The amount of work included in so long a span, the priestly, the apostolic, the academic, the vast amount of help and sympathy and advice to those in need of it, tend to be overlooked, and indeed taken for granted; but these attributes were merely the development of those characteristics of loyalty a sense of duty and discipline which distinguished him as a school-boy some seventy years ago. To those who knew him, and are the better for that knowledge, to his relatives and specially to his brother Austin, we offer our most sincere sympathy.

May God have his soul in His Divine keeping.

Kent, Edmond, 1915-1999, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

LETTERS :

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

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949

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

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

Obituary

Fr Edmund Kent (1915-1999)

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

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

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

May he rest in the peace of Christ.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fr Edmund Kent: born 1915, died November 1999

Laheen, Kevin A, 1919-2019, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/854
  • Person
  • 18 February 1919-26 March 2019

Born: 18 February 1919, Bray, Co Wicklow & Dublin
Entered: 16 September 1938, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 26 March 2019, Highfield Healthcare, Whitehall, Dublin

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

Brother of Br Christopher J Laheen - LEFT 08 September 1942
Early Education at Presentation College Bray, Co Wicklow; Belvedere College SJ

1940-1943 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1943-1946 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1946-1949 Belvedere College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Choir Master; Studying H Dip in Education at UCD (46-47)
1949-1953 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1953-1954 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1954-1957 Mungret College SJ - Teacher; Liturgical Music; Librarian
1957-1962 Gonzaga College SJ - Teacher; Games Master; Subminister
1962-1985 Rathfarnham - Mission Staff; Giving Retreats
1981 Association Rathfarnham
1983 Promoter of Apostleship of Prayer; Writer
1985-2019 Leeson St - Mission Staff; Giving Missions and Directs Spiritual Exercises; Promoter of Apostleship of Prayer; Writer
2001 Council Member of Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and Ecclesiastical Master of Ceremonies
2014 Highfield Healthcare, Swords Road, Dublin 9

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/kevin-laheen-rip/

Kevin Laheen RIP
Fr Kevin Laheen SJ, died peacefully on Tuesday 26 March 2019 in the Highfield Healthcare centre, Drumcondra. His Jesuit brothers, family and friends gathered for his funeral Mass in Milltown Park Chapel at 11am the following Friday. Fr Kevin died just a few weeks after his 100th birthday which he celebrated with the same family and friends and fellow Jesuits, back in February. Charlie Davy SJ was the principal celebrant and homilist on Friday. He warmly welcomed those present and in particular the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and those friends who had been so faithful visiting Fr Kevin in his last five years in Highfield. He also spoke briefly about Fr Kevin’s life, noting that he was born in 1919, so his childhood was in the troubled years before and after the founding of the state. He grew up during economic war of the 1930s and lived through the second world war as a scholastic. “They were authoritarian times in the Church and in the Jesuits,” said Fr Charlie, adding that this “did not favour a more rounded personal formation... but today we thank the Lord that Kevin along with seven others of his Belvedere year responded to the Lord’s call.” That calling led Fr Kevin to become a teacher first, then for the greater part of his active life he was a preacher of parish missions the length and breadth of the country, helping many on their journey of faith, according to Fr Charlie. In later years he wrote books on Mungret and Tullabeg, the Mission crosses of Killaloe as well as many articles so that there would be a historical record of work done by his brother Jesuits of earlier times. In his homily Fr Charlie spoke about Fr Kevin’s association with the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, whom he said, gave Kevin great support in his latter years, and share his love of the Holy Land. Fr Kevin had brought many groups there to visit the places where Jesus walked, and preached and healed. He also spoke about the ‘Our Father’, as the prayer that came to him when he was reflecting on what to preach about at Kevin’s requiem Mass. “It seemed appropriate,” said Fr Charlie, adding, “It’s one of the first prayers we learned at home. A prayer utterly familiar to Kevin from his daily Mass, and the morning and evening prayer of the Church which formed his daily prayer routine. It was surely a prayer that would have come to life for him in the Holy Land as he travelled through isolated places where Jesus would have gone off to pray to his Father.” But it was the words ‘Our Father’ that Fr Charlie singled out as the most important phrase of the prayer, noting that Jesus invites us into the intimacy of his divine family allowing us to address God as ‘Abba Father’, encouraging to pray with the confidence of a child before its father. And he went on: “If Jesus asks us to say Our Father it surely means that we never pray in isolation from the needs of all our brothers and sisters. While it is natural that our own needs our foremost in our prayers it can never be the whole agenda. The intercessory dimension of praying for others has to grow and grow. And so it is that today we put our own concerns to one side as we reach out to pray to the Lord for Fr. Kevin and also all those with whom he lived and worked, those who crossed his paths: those who were helped by him but also those who maybe were hurt by something he said or did through human frailty”. Fr Charlie also referenced the phrase ‘lead us not into temptation,’ noting that there is a great need to make this prayer in a world of so much violence and injustice. And finally he noted that, “The Our Father provides a sort of road map for Christian prayer and life. To let this prayer become part of we can follow St. Ignatius’ recommendation of praying it slowly, one phrase at a time.” He then invited all the congregation to take a few moment to pray the words ‘thy kingdom come’ silently and slowly together so that, he said, “God’s kingdom would take deeper root in our hearts and in our actions and finally praying for Kevin that he might be made ready to enter his eternal home in God’s kingdom.” Fr Kevin was cremated in Glasnevin Crematorium, after the funeral Mass. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Obituary

Kevin Laheen, SJ

Born in 1919, Kevin’s early years were lived in the troubled around the founding of the state, growing up during the economic war of the 1930s and living through the second world war as a scholastic. They were authoritarian times in the Church and in the Society, a fact which did not favour a personal formation.
After school, along with seven others of his Belvedere year, he entered the novitiate in Emo. As the last survivor, he prayed daily for that group. Kevin followed the usual formation: an Arts degree in UCD, philosophy in Tullabeg, regency in Belvedere and theology in Milltown Park. It was there he was ordained in 1952.
His early ministry was in the schools: Mungret 1954-57 and Gonzaga 1957-62. Kevin was a good teacher and was games’ master in Gonzaga. His strong voice and commanding presence meant he had no problem with class discipline. Pupils knew that “ the RevKev” could fly into a temper. It did not happen often and as pupils I don’t think it bothered us much. We learned to adapt to the personalities of different teachers, most of whom we liked. However, years later I met a class mate at a union dinner, whose anger was aroused at the mention of Kevin’s name. As a pupil, this doctor never played rugby, but loved to kick a soccer ball about with a few others after school. As games’ master, Kevin forbade the playing of soccer. Rugby only.
It was in his early forties that Kevin joined the Mission staff, to which he would be assigned for a number of decades. This new apostolate was a good move for him. He had a desire to preach the gospel to adults willing to listen. I may be wrong, but his rector, Sean Hughes, might also have encouraged this new direction!
Kevin liked driving and I imagine he enjoyed the freedom to travel the length and breadth of the country and follow up his historical interests. He also enjoyed giving community retreats in convents.
It was during these years that he began to visit the Holy Land. Over many years he led groups there. Pilgrimages which opened a space in people’s hearts to imagine gospel stories in situ. In recognition of his work, he was made a knight of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. He was a council member of the Irish knights. They celebrated an annual Mass in Knock at which Kevin concelebrated until the year before he died. This group was a great source of support to him.
In later years he wrote books on Mungret and Tullabeg, the Mission Crosses of Killaloe as well as articles in Collectanea Hibernica so that there would be a historical record of work done by his brother Jesuits of earlier times. A final volume on Mungret was never completed. He wrote a life of St. Patrick and edited a prayer book on the Stations of the Cross with beautiful images.
The Society’s training during Kevin’s time of formation was heavily intellectual. The affective side was left to nature, one’s contemporaries and family. Unfortunately, Kevin’s spiritual and intellectual development was not integrated with his emotions. This was the tragedy of his life. Was Kevin ever able to talk in confidence and receive help?
It is hard truth to admit, but Kevin’s relationship with one woman caused trauma to her and her family. I suspect that this relationship may have traumatised him too and exacerbated his anger both towards himself and those with whom he lived. His increasing deafness was painful for both him and his community.
Due to complaints from a male member of staff, a moment was reached when it was felt that Kevin could no longer live in the Leeson St. Cherryfield, did not feel resourced to take him.
So began his final four plus years in Highfield Health Care on the Swords Rd. For Kevin, this was exile, no longer fit to live with his brothers. While he had a pleasant room, the whole unit was under lock and key. Most of the men suffered from some form of dementia. Highfield did have a chapel, but access would probably have been dependent on a member of staff accompanying him.
Two women friends, a Holy Faith sister, Marie Therese Carney and Nora Finnegan, a single woman, were his ever regular visitors. Jesuits also visited, but often found that Kevin was not there. Sr Marie Therese used take him out for lunch and later to her convent in Glasnevin where he would spend a few hours and celebrate Mass. Nora Finnegan used take out to lunch once a week.
Five weeks before he died, he celebrated his 100th birthday. It was an event that he looked forward to. I think he saw it as a sort of final accomplishment. It was celebrated fittingly in Highfield with Mass and a meal in the presence of Jesuits, family and friends.
As he approaches the Light of Truth, I feel sure that Kevin would want to acknowledge his failures, seek forgiveness and ask of our prayers. Even if little known to most of us, he was our brother.
Fr. Kevin brought many groups to the Holy Land to see the places where Jesus lYou, his friends in the order of the Holy Sepulchre who gave him such support in his old age shared his affection for the Holy Land which you express in supporting a school in Jordan.
Last week when I began to think of what gospel I should choose for Fr. Kevin’s Mass this gospel of Jesus teaching his disciples the Lord’s prayer came to me. It seemed appropriate.
It’s one of the first prayers we learned at home. A prayer utterly familiar to Kevin from his daily Mass, and the morning and evening prayer of the Church which formed his daily prayer routine. It was surely a prayer that would have come to life for him in the Holy Land as he travelled through isolated places where Jesus would have gone off to pray to his Father.
The most important phrase is surely the first: Our Father. Only Jesus can truly call God Father. He is his only Son. But Jesus invites us into the intimacy of his divine family allowing us to address God as Abba Father, encouraging to pray with the confidence of a child before its father.
If Jesus asks us to say Our Father it surely means that we never pray in isolation from the needs of all our brothers and sisters. While it is natural that our own needs our foremost in our prayers it can never be the whole agenda. The intercessory dimension of praying for others has to grow and grow. And so it is that today we put our own concerns to one side as we reach out to pray to the Lord for Fr. Kevin and also all those with whom he lived and worked, those who crossed his paths: those who were helped by him but also those who maybe were hurt by something he said or did through human frailty.
Our Father may your name be held holy: be treated with respect and reverence. Our relationship with God is a wonderful mixture of both intimacy and reverence.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done....Jesus teaches his disciples and us too to put the things of God first: to pray for the coming of his kingdom of love and justice. It is a challenge to seek first the things of God and to trust that He will give us what is best for us. Ad maiorem Dei Gloriam: we seek God’s glory first and try not get in the way.
Give us this day our daily bread...how we need, day after day, for the Lord to nourish us in faith, hope and love.
Forgive us as we forgive others....a difficult prayer? Surely a grace to pray for. As Fr Kevin makes his final journey home to the Lord we pray that he may receive this grace.
Jim Tarpey....
Finally we pray to be led safely through temptation and delivered from evil. How great a need to make this prayer in a world of so much violence and injustice.
The Our Father provides a sort of road map for Christian prayer and life. To let this prayer become part of we can follow St. Ignatius’ recommendation of praying it slowly, one phrase at a time.
Let’s take a few moments to pray “thy kingdom come” silently, slowly repeating it again and again. Praying for ourselves that the God’s kingdom take deeper root in our hearts and in our actions and finally praying for Kevin that he might be made ready to enter his eternal home in God’s kingdom.
Pray for us, O holy mother of God that he might be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Pray for us, O holy mother of God that we too might one day be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Leahy, Maurice A, 1920-2004, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/732
  • Person
  • 22 July 1920-26 October 2004

Born: 22 July 1920, County View Terrace, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1978, Mazabuka, Seminary, Choma, Zambia
Died: 26 October 2004, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin Dublin - Zambia-Malawi province (ZAM)

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

Brother of Henry (Harry) Leahy - LEFT 10 January 1944 for medical reasons

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 01 December 1977

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Brother of Henry (Harry) Leahy - LEFT 10 January 1944 for medical reasons

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
To look at Fr Maurice, a rather frail figure, one would not imagine that he was a fine rugby player on the school team during his schooldays at the Crescent College, Limerick. In a way, Maurice was a Limerick man through and through. He was born there on 22 July 1920, grew up there and went to school there. He was a bright student coming top of his class year by year and winning many prizes. He was a good sportsman and athlete, playing on the school junior and senior rugby teams. With those long thin legs of his he was, not surprisingly, the Boys’ High Jump Champion of Limerick.

He joined the Society in 1937 at Emo Park, took Latin and History at University, studied philosophy at Tullabeg and went back to Limerick for regency to his old school. After ordination at Milltown Park, Dublin, in 1952, he spent six years at Gonzaga College in Dublin teaching and holding the job of minister. From 1960 to 1972 he was back in Limerick, first in Crescent College teaching and then for five years at Mungret College, again teaching and vice-superior at the Apostolic School. His qualities of simplicity and outstanding patience and kindness must have made teaching rather a trial.

1966 seems to have been a turning point in his life as regards work. He moved to the Sacred Heart Church in Limerick as a pastoral worker for six years, functioning quietly and successfully. In 1972 another big change took place in his life, this time he was missioned to Zambia at the age of 52 where he spent the rest of his life at pastoral work. After his ordination he had asked to be sent to the missions (Hong Kong) and twenty years later his wish was answered (Zambia).

To begin with, he studied ciTonga at Chikuni and then moved to Namwala (1973) as parish priest and superior there. Here he had plenty of practice at the language as he worked in the parish with all that that entailed. After nine years there he was transferred to Assumption Parish in Mazabuka for a year before moving to the Sugar Estate at Nakambala, where he worked for eleven years in the parish, ten years of these as superior and eight years as parish priest.

His younger brother Harry singles out his gentleness and simplicity. He was always kindly and thoughtful, never bad-tempered or argumentative. He really was ‘the good peaceable man’ of Thomas a Kempis. Everyone was good in Maurice’s eyes. His brother tells of his happiness during these years in Zambia. He was at home among the villagers in Namwala, the urban dwellers in Mazabuka and Nakambala, as well as the sick and feeble in Chikuni hospital. As one person put it: ‘A man of simple and quaint goodness, who had his heart in the right place’.

In 1994, Maurice now 74, moved to Chikuni again as pastoral worker. He was a very dedicated priest, a man of God and deeply spiritual. This the people recognized in their own perceptive way. He was an easy person to live with as he was so undemanding even as a superior. He became a charismatic, again in his own quiet way and became a much-sought-after giver of directed retreats.

He developed a peculiar up-down characteristic in his speech, one minute bass and the next falsetto. This affected his preaching in public but it did not interfere with his retreat giving. He was a very methodical man. The data on the outstations where he supplied were kept up to-date so that the priest who took over the outstations, when Maurice was transferred to Chikuni, had a clear picture of each of these outstations and of the people there, who were being prepared for baptism, for marriage and so on.

At the end of 2003, he was operated on in Lusaka for a colostomy and moved to John Chula House. While there the doctor remarked that Maurice had the recuperative powers of a man of 25! – Maurice was 83 years of age at the time. The doctor suggested that he return to Ireland for the next operation for a number of reasons. This Maurice did on 14 February 2004. The operation was a success. Later, while at Cherryfield Lodge, he suffered a stroke, unrelated to the operation and he died on 26 October 2004 in Dublin but he was buried in his own beloved Limerick.

Lee, William M, 1915-1992, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

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

Obituary

Fr Bill Lee (1915-1992)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1992

Obituary

William Lee SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edmund Keane SJ

Macken, John C, 1943-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/531
  • Person
  • 22 December 1943-07 May 1996

Born: 22 December 1943, Ballinasloe, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1962, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final Vows: 10 January 1986, John Sullivan House, Monkstown, County Dublin
Died: 07 May 1996, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Leinster Road, Rathmines, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1972 at Regis Toronto, Canada (CAN S) studying
by 1974 at St Ignatius Guelph ONT, Canada (CAN S) studying
by 1978 at Tübingen Germany (GER S) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr John Macken (1943-1996)

22nd Dec, 1943: Born at Ballinasloe, Galway
Early education: Crescent College, Limerick and Gonzaga College
7th Sept. 1962: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1964: First Vows
1964 - 1967: Rathfarnham, Study of Eastern languages at UCD.
1967 - 1969: Milltown Park, study Philosophy/M.A Languages, UCD
1969 - 1971: Crescent College - teaching/H DipEd, UCC
1971 - 1973 Toronto, Regis College, Guelph, Master of Divinity
21st June 1974: Ordained priest, Milltown Park
1974 - 1977: Loyola House, Special Secretariat
1977 - 1984: Tubingen, Doctoral Studies, Theology Tullabeg,
1984 - 1985: Tertianship
1985 - 1992: Sullivan House, Lecturer in Theology, Milltown Institute
1992 - 1995: Dominic Collins House - Superior/ Milltown Institute
1995 - 1996: Residence, Leinster Road/ President and lecturer at Milltown Institute

John felt very tired at the Easter break and had some tests done which revealed cancer of the liver. Further tests showed this to be the secondaries. The doctors discussed the option of treatment with John, but in the light of the prognosis it was decided against. He died peacefully a month later on 7th May.

Sermon at the Funeral Mass of Fr. John Macken

When Sir Thomas More heard of the death by execution of one of the bishops who had refused to bow to Henry's bullying: he said, “Ah Fisher, a lovely man”. Perhaps that sums up what is to be said about John - a lovely man.

Everyone here has their own treasured memories of him - how can you sum up anyone's life on their funeral day - it's foolish to think you can - but perhaps we can get glimpses. Asking a fair number of people over the last few days - perhaps the most consistent word was “gentle”.

We are faced with a mystery, dismayed and bewildered by the abrupt summons and departure of John, and we mourn and grieve as tenderly as we awkwardly can with his mother Eleanor, his brothers James and Frank, and sisters, Marian, Eleanor, Sheila and Nuala; their spouses Maeve, Andrew, Paraic and Susan, their children and the Macken relatives - but also with his large Jesuit family, his many friends and colleagues from the Milltown Institute, whose president he briefly was, friends in Toronto and Tübingen - the list goes on of those his life has graced

But we try to face into this mystery in the light and hope of the Resurrection - as Fr. Laurence Murphy said last evening John staked his life on the Word of God, on Christ - and his faith quickened and sustained many others.

St. Paul reminds us that we are God's work of art - everyone of us is a word of God - John was a special word and work of God's art. Our grief and loss are tempered by gratitude for such a gentle, lovely, gifted, simple man.

He was not faultless (unlike yourself and myself) - he could be heavy or morose or irritable. But these limitations were vastly outweighed by his gifts (as indeed they are in all of us if only we could see with God's eyes.)

He was a man of learning - but learning worn so lightly and unselfconsciously. He sort of belied the Gospel today, (Matt.11, 25 30) being the exception to whom the things of God are revealed. He was a scholar, a theologian, ecumenist, yet combining great intellectual integrity with a corresponding intellectual humility. He never patronised you or put you down. He could correct you, and very directly, but somehow graciously, painlessly. After five weeks in Tübingen he knew more about theology than others who had spent 20 years. When he left Crescent 100 years ago to move to Gonzaga, we all breathed a sigh of relief because we all moved up a place in class. “If he wasn't so nice and good”, a relative was saying yesterday, “he would have been intolerable, he knew so much”.

But he was also a very human and simple man: a great companion and dear friend - so easy to be with (most of the time anyway), so non threatening or judgmental. Interested in you and understanding - gently compassionate - courteous - in a delightful simple sense of humorous enjoyment. “Don was always a peacemaker”, his mother used to say of him - he spent many happy hours with his friends the MacNamara's in Waterford and Kilkee and his visits were much looked forward to by many. Sr. Marie in Maryfield - in visiting his mother used to say of him: “He left a kind of peace”. A colleague on a commission - he didn't say very much, but you were always aware of his supportive presence. He was a man of faith - his family was very important to him and he to them - he was so faithful to his mother and to Eleanor his sister, ill for many years, faithful to his calling as a Jesuit priest, a son of Ignatius - a faithfulness that was profoundly focused and simplified in his last weeks. The way he handled his illness was astonishing, to me certainly, but consistent with his life up to that point. He remained attentive to others and concerned about them to the end, and so appreciative of anything done for him. Mary, a nurse in Cherryfield said it was “a privilege to look after that man”.

God certainly put him to the test and found him worthy of him, as the reading from Wisdom said. He had said 'yes' to his life and he said yes to his death, with a courage ad objectivity that neither exaggerated or minimised the reality he was undergoing - yet without any posturing or bitterness that I could see - on the contrary his tranquillity made it all easier and bearable for his family and the rest of us.

If John of the Cross is right when he said “in the evening of our lives we will be judged on love” John will do very well in this only ultimately important exam. So while we do mourn most painfully even more do we celebrate and give thanks for such a rich and fruitful life, which has graced us all in different ways, evoking in everyone so many good feelings. He did incarnate Newman's prayer “Help me to spread your fragrance everywhere I go”.

So perhaps mysteriously, providentially Don's work is done: and ours now to follow with appreciative hearts this gracious, gentle friend of Christ, privileged to have walked some of the way with him. Maybe Bernanos was right in saying that the only sadness is not to be a saint. A lovely man, increasingly like his Lord who said “Come to me all you who labour.....”

It seems appropriate to end with a prayer written by Karl Barth, perhaps the most influential Protestant theologian of this century, and John's special study:

At the Start of Worship
O Lord our God! You know who we are, men
with good
consciences and with bad, persons who are
content and
those who are discontent, the certain and the
uncertain,
Christians by conviction and Christians by convention,
those who believe, those who half-believe,
those who
disbelieve.
And you know where we have come from:
from the
circle of relatives, acquaintances and friends or
from the
greatest loneliness, from a life of quiet
prosperity or from
manifold confusion and distress, from family
relationships
that are well ordered or from those disordered
or under
stress, from the inner circle of the Christian
community or
from its outer edge.

But now we all stand before you, in all our
differences, yet alike in that we are all in the
wrong with
you and with one another, that we must all one
day die,
that we would all be lost without your grace,
but also in
that your grace is promised and made available
to us all in
your dear Son Jesus Christ. We are here
together in order
to praise you through letting you speak to us.
We beseech
you to grant that this may take place in this
hour, in the
name of your Son our Lord.

Peter Sexton SJ

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1986

John Macken SJ

I came late to Gonzaga, joining Fourth year in 1962. I had already been in a Jesuit school, in Crescent College in Limerick, where I grew up, though I was born in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway. Going to Gonzaga appealed to me. I wanted a Jesuit school and had at the back of mind the idea that I might join the Jesuits. Gonzaga did little to hin der and much to reinforce the idea. The atmosphere, like the grounds, was open, positive and encouraging, in fact one might say sunny. The approach to education was a broad one and most of us enjoyed it thoroughly. What added an extra spice to our year was that we had in Paul Durcan a genuine poet who kept us entertained with his juvenilia.

My religious inclination was catered for by Mass-serving (we cycled in early to school and home again for break fast) and Fr Sean Hutchinson's sod ality as well as the excellent R.E. programme. (I still preserve some note books from fourth year as well as notes from a retreat in Rathfarnham Castle which now have first-class his torical value!) I did in fact join the Jesuits in 1962 and to my surprise I had two companions: David Murphy and Frank Roden. It was a surprise because each of us had kept the decision very private. I'm sure we weren't the only ones to whom the idea occurred, but it wasn't something to be discussed.

The two years noviceship in Emo Park were much as they had been described in Ben Kiely's There was an ancient House twenty-five years before, monastic and quiet - too quiet some of the time! In UCD I was asked by Fr Charles O'Conor to study subjects that would prepare me for theology later on, so I took Hebrew with Prof Dermot Ryan (later Arch bishop) and Greek with Prof. Michael Tierney jun. We took as much part in College life as we were allowed -- joining College societies was permitted except for L & H and Dramsoc. I enjoyed UCD and continued with it for two more years, doing an MA simultaneously with philosophical studies in Milltown Park. But Mill town was the more exciting place to be then, studying with Philip McShane, an uncritical enthusiast for the transcendental Thomism of Bernard Lonergan. A welcome interruption to studies was the two years I spent teaching in my old school, Crescent College in Limerick, which was then beginning to go comprehensive. There I also did a HDip in UCC under the direction of Fr James Good.

In 1971 I was permitted to go to Toronto, Canada for theological studies. This was a great experience as the Canadians were at the time far more advanced than we in the study and practice of Jesuit spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises, in pastoral training (it was the age of the encoun ter group and of Rogerian counselling) and in ecumenism. The college was joined in a consortium of seminaries that included Anglicans (High and Low), United Church and Presbyterian as well as three Roman Catholic Institutions. Students were encouraged to take lectures in Colleges of the other denominations, although the main ex aminations and the syllabus remained that of one's own college. I was especially grateful to a Scotsman, Dr David Hay, for a lively introduction to Presbyterian theology. My ordination in Gonzaga Chapel in 1974 alongside David Murphy was a memorable ex perience. But it was followed, not by pastoral activities, but by three years of administrative work with the Jesuit Provincial. I was leader of a team of management consultants for the Irish Jesuits. (The experiment has since been dropped!) Thereafter I was still wondering what I would do when I grew up! In fact, I returned to Fr. O'Conor's vision of me and went to Germany for seven years, studying philosophy and theology in Tübingen and Munich under Prof. Walter Kasper. My Presbyterian training stood me in good stead and I returned with a thesis on the famous Swiss theologian Karl Barth, whose centenary occurs this May. I began teaching theology this year (1985-86) in Milltown Park (now a consortium of eleven religious orders) and am enjoying it thoroughly.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1996

Obituary

John Macken SJ

by Peter Sexton SJ

John Macken SJ, president of the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy in Dublin, died at the age of 53 on May 7th. The death of such a gifted man, apparently in the summer of his career, has left his many col leagues, students and friends deeply saddened. And yet, as Bernanos says, perhaps the only sadness is not to be a saint.

John (Don to his family) was the son of Eleanor and the late Matthew Macken, former Dublin city and county manager. He was born in Ballinasloe and educated first in Crescent College, Limerick, where his father was city man ager at the time, and later in Gonzaga College, Dublin.

He joined the Jesuits in 1962 and stud ied Eastern languages at UCD under Professor (later Archbishop) Dermot Ryan. He combined an MA at UCD with philosophical studies at Milltown. After two years on the staff of Cres cent College, he went to Regis College, Toronto for theology.

After ordination in 1974, John worked for a number of years on the Provincial's ad ministrative team, before taking up post-gradu ate studies in Tubingen under Walter Kaspar. His doctorate, for a dissertation on the concept of autonomy in Karl Barth's theology, was awarded in 1984. Soon afterwards, he began teaching at the Milltown Institute.

Throughout his life, he was a commit ted ecumenist and in those years he also taught in the Irish School of Ecumenics and the Church of Ireland theological College. In August 1995 he became president of the institute, but his term in office was cut tragically short by his premature death.

John Macken was a brilliant and cultured man, who excelled at every stage of his studies. He had remarkable powers of concentration, that capacity for "attention” which Simone Weil considers to be the heart of study. He was an ideal companion when travelling - anywhere in Ireland, in Paris, Tubingen, Rome – because of his easy, profound grasp of history. But he wore his broad learning lightly and unselfconsciously. "If he wasn't so nice and good", one of his rela tives remarked, “he would have been intoler able - he knew so much!”

He was a great friend to so many people, human, simple, gentle, non-judgemental, quali ties which made a deep impression on those he met. He had an unusual ability to be on equal terms with all sorts of people, including children.

News of his cancer came as a great shock to those who loved and admired him. But the dignity and unfussy realism with which he faced his illness gave courage and a certain peace to his family and friends, during the short weeks which remained to him in the gentle, compe tent care of St. Vincent's Private Hospital and Cherryfield Lodge.

Our deepest sympathy goes to his wonderful mother and family. A friend, speaking for all of us, wrote on hearing of his death:

Farewell, noble friend. God knew you under the fig tree,
God knows You now, gentle one The cup drained, pain spent, the
burden shouldered, No projects unfinished,
Consummatum.

Maguire, John, 1933-2020, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/862
  • Person
  • 15 June 1933-16 April 2020

Born: 15 June 1933, Glenfarne, County Leitrim
Entered: 01 July 1968, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Professed: 02 February 1981, Lusaka, Zambia
Died: 16 April 2020, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1980 at Lusaka Zambia (ZAM) working

Early Education as Grocer in Ireland and England; Rathmines Tech, Dublin; Catholic Workers College, Dublin

1970-1974 Milltown Park - Secretary to Provincial; Studying
1974-1975 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Studying Theology at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co Kildare
1975-1980 Milltown Park - Secretary to Provincial
1977 Studying Theology at Milltown Institute; Assistant Secretary to Provincial
1978 Tertianship in Tullabeg
1979 Member of Special Secretariat
1980-1984 Lusaka, Zambia - Secretary to Rector of St Dominic’s Major Seminary
1984-1987 Loyola House - Minister; Province Secretary
1985 Editor of Province Newsletter
1987-2020 Milltown Park - Province Secretary
1993 Canterbury, Kent, UK - Sabbatical at Franciscan Study Centre
1994 Administration in Provincial’s Office
2017 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/br-john-maguire-sj-one-of-leitrims-treasures/

Br John Maguire SJ – ‘One of Leitrim’s treasures’
Brother John Maguire SJ died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Ranelagh, Dublin, on 16 April 2020. Due to government guidelines regarding public gatherings, a private funeral took place on 18 April, followed by burial in Glasnevin Cemetery. A small number of relatives attended. Fr Bill Callanan SJ and Fr John K Guiney SJ represented the Jesuits. Around 100 messages were left on the online Condolences Book (RIP.ie), such was Brother John’s influence on the lives of lay people and religious over many decades. Many remember him for his quiet reassuring presence and for his wise judgement and administrative skills while working for the Irish Jesuit Province.
Brother John was born in Glenfarne, County Leitrim, in 1933. Before entering the Jesuits at 35 years old, he worked as a grocer in Ireland and England and attended Rathmines Tech and Catholic Workers College in Dublin. After his novitiate at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois, he worked as secretary to the Provincial and studied at Milltown Park, Dublin, followed by theology studies at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. He continued his studies and administrative work in Milltown Park and did his tertianship in Tullabeg, County Offaly.
From 1980 to 1984, Brother John was a missionary in Lusaka, Zambia, where he was secretary to the rector of St Dominic’s Major Seminary. He also took his final vows there.
Upon his return to Ireland, he worked as minister for the Loyola House community in Dublin, acted as Province secretary and editor of the Province newsletter. He continued his work as Province secretary, took a sabbatical at the Franciscan Study Centre in Canterbury, England, in 1993, and was involved with administration in the Provincial’s office right up until 2017. In recent years, he lived in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, where he prayed for the Church and the Society of Jesus.
The private funeral which took place on 18 April was officiated by Fr Bill Callanan SJ and assisted by Fr John K Guiney SJ. Fr Guiney, director of Irish Jesuit Missions, thanked the four members of Brother John’s family who travelled from Leitrim on the morning of the funeral. He was grateful for their presence in the difficult circumstances where it was not possible to do a normal Jesuit funeral and to fully celebrate Brother John’s wonderful life as a Jesuit companion.
Fr Guiney thanked the Maguire family for giving Brother John to the Society and for his service of so many in Zambia and Ireland. He said that his gracious, gentle, dedicated and humble service touched the lives of so many down through the years. His sister Peggy was unable to attend because of government constraints, but she was well represented by her family. Brother John occupies the last place available in the old graveyard at Glasnevin Cemetery and the next Jesuit burial will take place in the new one.
A number of other Jesuits have expressed their condolences for the loss of their dear brother in the Lord. Tom Layden SJ, former Irish Provincial, commented:
“May John rest in the peace of the Risen Lord and may the hope of the resurrection bring comfort to his family and friends. I thank the Lord for John and his gifts of kindness, quiet competence and friendliness.”
Kevin O’Higgins SJ, Director of Jesuit University Support and Training (JUST) in Ballymun, said:
“It is lovely to see so many tributes to John. Like St Peter Faber, one of the first Jesuits, John was a ‘quiet companion’, always courteous, anxious to help, unfailingly kind and generous. After a lifetime of dedicated service, may he now rest peacefully in God’s love.”
Paddy Carberry SJ, former novice director and editor of Messenger magazine, commented:
“I have known John for many years, and worked closely with him at one time. He was always kind, obliging, gentle and good-humoured. I will miss him. I have offered Mass for him. My condolences to his family and to all who miss him.”
The Provincialate staff in Milltown Park remember him as a great colleague. They said:
“Brother John helped new staff settle into their jobs in so many little ways and was welcoming and good humoured to all who came into the office.
“We have memories of him loving the fun at coffee breaks, for his gifts of homemade biscuits and for his tin whistle playing.
“He was a gentleman in every sense with a lovely simplicity, albeit with a touch of delicious roguery! He was one of Leitrim’s treasures. May he rest in endless peace.”
Paddy Moloney, who used to visit Brother John in Cherryfield Lodge, also paid tribute to him.
“John was gentle, and was particular about any job he did. He liked the garden, flowers, was a player of the tin whistle and played in bands in his hometown. He was in a small 3 piece Irish music group in Dublin.
The other two remained his friends for life. My wife Aline worked as a receptionist in the Curia and knew him when he was well and said he was interested in people and she always found him helpful.”
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

McAsey, J Edward, 1920-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/631
  • Person
  • 04 March 1920-30 December 2001

Born: 04 March 1920, Rathgar, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 30 December 2001, Manresa, Dollymount, Dublin

??Brother Joe McAsey - RIP 1991??

by 1985 at Nairobi, Kenya (AOR) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 112 : Special Edition 2002

Obituary

Fr Edward (Ted) McAsey (1920-2001)

4th March, 1920: Born in Dublin
Early education at Belvedere College
7th Sept. 1938: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1940: First Vows at Emo
1940 - 1943: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1943 - 1946: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1946 - 1948: Mungret - Teacher
1948 - 1949: Clongowes Wood College - Teacher
1949 - 1953: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July, 1952: Ordained at Milltown Park
1953 - 1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1954 - 1958: Mungret - 3rd Club prefect
1955: 1st Club prefect
1958 - 1960: Rathfarnham - Assistant to Director of retreats.
1960 - 1962: Manresa House - Teacher of Religion in Vocation Schools and Bolton Street
1962 - 1968: Gardiner St. - Teacher of Religion in Bolton St. Church work in Gardiner Street
1968 - 1969: Eglinton Road - Studied psychology at UCD
1969 - 1970: NCIR - Studied psychology at UCD
1970 - 1973: Gardiner Street - Teacher of Religion in Vocation Schools and Bolton Street
1973 - 1984: Tullabeg - Directed Spiritual Exercises
1975: Spent 3 months in Far East.
2nd Feb. 1981: Final Vows at Tullamore
1984 - 1989: Nairobi - Mwangaza House - Minister, Directed Spiritual Exercises
1989 - 1995: University Hall - Assistant Prefect; Director LRA, Directed Spiritual Exercises
1995 - 1998: NCIR - Director LRA, Directed Sp. Exercises
1998 - 2001: Manresa - Director LRA; Counselling; Health Prefect; Director, Spiritual Exercise

Ted was on his way back from saying Mass in Balally on December 30, 2001, when he died at the wheel of his car, probably from a heart attack. He will be terribly missed, not only by numerous clients and apostolates, but by the elderly and sick of Manresa, to whom he was devoted; and by all of us as a lively, happy companion.

Todd Morrissey writes....
Perhaps the most striking aspect of Ted's sudden and dramatic death has been the gap it has left in the lives of so many. Several weeks after the event, one woman commented: “I still expect to hear his large cheerful voice on the phone, I cannot believe that he is dead”. In the community, one still expects to see him stride into the refectory exuding vitality, and always in good form. The gap reflects somehow his bigness in so many ways. He was big physically, with a big voice, a big laugh, and with a big heart, which was reflected in his care of others, his interest in others, his availability to others. Whether as friend, spiritual guide, or psychological counsellor, he gave the impression of solidity, of being there for one, ready to listen and, if needed, to provide shrewd advice and encouraging, yet searching analysis.

“Compassion” is a word that so many of his clients use in his regard. It was evident in his last two communities, at Sandford Lodge and Manresa, where he had care of the sick. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble, and service always seemed to be accompanied by a quip or a laugh. His interest in those who were ill was reflected also in his frequent visits to Cherryfield. During his twelve years as spiritual director to the Lay Retreat Association, numerous members experienced his compassion, and a number of retreatants were surprised and touched to receive a phone call from him a couple of weeks after a retreat, asking how they were getting on and how they were managing with the problem they had discussed.

Ted's vitality, trim appearance, and full head of hair made him seem younger than he was. He lived a disciplined life: early to bed, early to rise, and a short snooze after dinner, combined to leave him with what seemed an endless supply of energy. Each day, up to his final two years, he had a continuous stream of clients, Monday to Saturday Saturday evening and Sunday were frequently devoted to LRA retreats. Holiday periods were filled with tridua or eight-day retreats. Last summer was devoted, after a couple of retreats, to several weeks of supply work in a parish in California, where he was the sole priest. A friend, studying nearby, who rang and suggested they go out for a meal, was told he had not the time - there were weddings, christenings, funerals, on top of the usual masses, confessions and sick calls, and he was enjoying every moment of it! Not surprising then that so many experience a large gap in their lives, and none more than his only, much loved niece, Phena Gee, in Australia, with whom he kept in regular contact, and with whom and her family he spent a memorable few months during his 79th year.

Ted was born in Rathgar, Dublin, on March 4, 1920, one of three children. He seems to have had a happy childhood and to have enjoyed his school days at Belvedere. On September 7, 1938, he entered the Society at Emo. One contemporary recalls him as a large, energetic, noisy and awkward youth, cheerful and anxious to please. During the novitiate there was a severe prolonged frost, and old ice-skates were brought out for skating on the lake. Ted is remembered as giving so much time to fixing the skates of others as to have had little time to skate himself. His generosity, however, was not entirely appreciated. His awkwardness did not make for skill, and some of his fellow novices, with a facility in Latin, were heard to remark - “Quod tangit, frangit”. After Emo, Ted went through the usual round of studies at Rathfarnham/UCD and Tullabeg, before going on to regency at Mungret and Clongowes Wood colleges, 1946-49. His ordination was at Miltown Park in 1952, and his tertianship at Rathfarnham.

Then, free at last, he spent the years 1954-1958 at Mungret College, first as Third Club, and then as First Club, prefect. It was a difficult time at Mungret, but he relished the work as prefect. It provided an outlet for his vast energy, and revealed his capacity for detailed organisation and his ability to deal with large numbers of boys in an ordered yet human way. After Mungret, he moved to Rathfarnham as assistant to the director of retreats. There he had his first in depth contacts with the men of the Lay Retreat Association. From 1960-1973, he worked as a teacher of religion in vocational schools, and especially in Bolton Street. During that time he spent two valuable years studying psychology at UCD. It was an important time for his own development, and for his subsequent capacity to help countless people with their personal and psychological problems. It also helped him work on his own natural impatience and impetuosity. In 1973 he moved to the type of work that was to occupy him for the rest of his life - namely, directing the Spiritual Exercises, and counselling, first in Tullabeg, then in Kenya, and finally back in Dublin. In the Jesuit retreat house in Nairobi, he was minister as well as spiritual director, and he learned much from two Indian Jesuit directors on the staff with him.

A feature of Ted's life was his openness to new experiences, to new learning. One of the joys of his work with the LRA, during the last twelve years of his life, was the fact that his predecessors had opened the theology and spirituality of Vatican II to the members. This challenged him to keep reading, to keep updating his knowledge and spirituality. Shortly before his death, he eagerly shared with others what he was learning from the tapes of Raymond Brown on the Acts of the Apostles, and on the Gospel of St. John. In the community, Ted coordinated the Revision de Vie meetings, and from his frank comments it was clear that prayer was frequently a struggle for him, and yet he was to be seen in the chapel for an hour every morning giving his time to meditation. The effort paid off. The impetuosity and impatience that marked his earlier years disappeared almost entirely, and he became increasingly a man for others.

A central feature in each day was his celebration of Mass with a few members of the community. Fittingly, his final religious service was offering Mass for some of his friends of the sisters of Charity. Afterwards, he was the life of the party as usual, and then drove some of the sisters to their lodgings with no intimations of mortality. A few minutes later, on the road home, life ended with a crash - without danger to anyone else. An appropriate way to go for someone who radiated life and energy, and whose favourite texts were: “I am come that they may have life and have it to the full”, and the saying attributed to Irenaus, “The glory of God is man fully alive”.

McCarthy, Thomas G, 1915-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/786
  • Person
  • 03 October 1915-18 June 2008

Born: 03 October 1915, Sherkin Island, County Cork
Entered: 04 October 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1952, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died 18 June 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Della Strada, Crescent College Comprehensive, Dooradoyle, Limerick community at the time of death.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/remembering-tom-mccarthy-sj/

Remembering Tom McCarthy SJ
Fr. Tom McCathy SJ was born in Co. Cork in 1915 and he entered the Society at Emo in 1937. He studied Arts at UCD before his philosophy and theology, and was ordained in Milltown Park in 1949. He taught in Clongowes Wood College for 8 years before going to St. Ignatius, Galway as Minister. Over the years, he also taught in the Crescent College and Gonzaga College, gave the Spiritual Exercises, and worked with the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Limerick. He went to Cherryfield Lodge in 2004 and despite deteriorating health, he enjoyed being out in the garden. He died peacefully on Wednesday, 18 June 2008, aged 92 years.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 137 : Autumn 2008

Obituary

Fr Thomas (Tom) McCarthy (1915-2008)

3rd October 1915: Born in Sherkin, Co. Cork
Early education at Sacred Heart College, Cork
4th October 1935: Entered the Society at Emo
5th October 1937: First Vows at Emo
1937 - 1940: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1940 - 1944: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1944 - 1946: Clongowes Wood College - Regency
1946 - 1950: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1949: Ordained at Milltown Park
1950 - 1951: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1951 - 1959: Clongowes Wood College - Teacher
2nd February 1952: Final Vows at Clongowes Wood College
1959 - 1961: St. Ignatius, Galway - Minister
1961 - 1963: Crescent, Limerick - Teacher, Games Manager
1963 - 1965: Gonzaga College - Teacher
1965 - 2004: Limerick -
1965 - 1977: Crescent College
1977 - 1978: Dooradoyle - Vice-Superior; Teacher
1978 - 1982: Superior
1982 - 1983: Sabbatical
1983 - 1997: Dooradoyle - Directed Spiritual Exercises
1997 - 1999: Parish Visitation
1999 - 2004: Parish Visitation; St. Vincent de Paul Society
2004 - 2008: Cherryfield Lodge - Praying for Church and Society
18th June 2008: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Liam O'Connell writes:
Sherkin Island:
Tom McCarthy was bom on the 3rd October 1915, on Sherkin Island, off the coast of Cork, and he had a strong love of his family and his native place all his life. His parents had seven children, Patrick, James, John, Simon, William, Mary and then the youngest, Tom. One day when Tom was 9 years old, his father went away for the day. Tom took this chance to take out his father's boat, hoisted the sail and manoeuvred his way over and back around an inland lake, and he handled the boat very well. What he did not know until much later was that his father had returned early from his business, and from a distance he saw Tom sailing the boat. His father was very impressed by Tom's skill and was proud of him.

On May 21st, 1927 when 11-year-old Tom and his father were out fishing from a boat when Charles Lindberg passed overhead while flying from the USA to Paris, on one of the early translantic flights. Tom explained that at first they thought they heard a ship's engine, and then they thought they saw a large bird flying towards them, before then they realised that it was an aeroplane. Lindberg afterwards wrote about this: "The first indication of my approach to the European Coast was a small fishing boat which I first noticed a few miles ahead and slightly to the south of my course. There were several of these fishing boats grouped within a few miles of each other.

There is another story from Tom's childhood, which gives a hint of what is everlasting. One Christmas Eve, Tom and his mother had gone shopping to the mainland, to the town of Baltimore. During the day a storm blew up, and they were marooned in Baltimore, and feared that they would miss Christmas back in Sherkin with their family, because the seas were too dangerous. Late in the evening the captain of the ferry decided to set sail, and they all arrive home safely. 80 years later Tom still recalled the delight of going home with his mother and being reunited with his family.

The sea was one of Tom's great loves. Another was a life long love affair with language. He loved to find the right word for a situation. He delighted in words like 'insouciance' or
apposite' or 'flout - used correctly of course. This craft with words went back a long way. One day a schools inspector at his national school asked the students to spell three words: Furze, Yacht and Arctic. Tom got the prize for being the only person to get all three spellings correct. All his life until fairly recently he was a great reader, especially of biography and history, and books about sailing, and he loved good writing.

In 1978 when Tom retired from teaching, I suspect that it was not because he lacked energy, but, perhaps, because of the terrible things his young scholars did to language, and that this began to wear him down.

Jesuits
As a boy Tom moved from Sherkin Island to the mainland to stay with an uncle and aunt, to attend school in Baltimore, and then he moved on to the Sacred Heart Secondary School in Cork city as a boarder. After school he joined the Jesuits in October 1935. He formed great friendships with his contemporaries, especially with Michael Reidy and Eddie Diffley. In later years in community Tom was a most kind and encouraging presence, with a great sense of humour, and a lovely ability to laugh at himself. Sometimes his encouragement took the form of long homilies that kept us late for dinner on cold winter days. But no one could deny that these came from a kind spirit and a sincere zeal for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tom's work as a Jesuit brought him as Minister to Galway, and he taught Irish in Gonzaga College, and Latin and Irish in Clongowes. When he came to Limerick in the 1961 Tom taught these subjects again, and he also took on the job of Games Master. During the holidays he gave retreats, and he did Summer supply in a parish in New York. This also helped him to keep in touch with his brothers and sisters over there, and their families.

Old Crescent, Vincent de Paul
He was a Munster Schools Rugby Selector, and a Patron of Old Crescent Rugby Club. Devotion to Old Crescent was a big part of his life. It went very deep and in pride of place in his room was a picture of him blessing the new pavilion at Rosbrien. He enjoyed his visits to the clubhouse, where he was made feel so welcome, and where his pipe smoking was graciously tolerated.

Tom's other great interest was the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, and the Conference of past students of Crescent, that works in St. Joseph's hospital. On Tuesdays after dinner, Tom first enjoyed a good smoke of his pipe, a mixture of Balkan Sobrany and Maltan tobacco, and then he was collected by some kind Brother, to go to St. Joseph's hospital, where they organise entertainment during the winter months. During the summer months they held outings to scenic locations around Limerick. The Brothers of this Conference of St. Vincent de Paul, and the patients of St. Joseph's were strong and constant friends to Tom. In recent years Tom said Mass at the Oratory at the Crescent Shopping Centre, and again made very good friends here. Retirement

After teaching, Tom worked with the parish priests in Southill on Parish visitation, and he travelled there on his Honda 50. He enjoyed this contact and admired the good people of Holy Family Parish. In later years, and in another part of the city, much closer to the city centre, Tom was driving by one day, when he came upon an altercation. He stopped the car and walked into the middle of the furore, and said something like “Desist from this inappropriate and unseemly behaviour”. The assailants could not believe what they were seeing and hearing; they scattered before this vision of a frail but valiant 82 year old.

Golf
Tom was a beautiful golfer with a neat and tidy swing, and he loved the cut and thrust of competition. Just before ordination in July 1949, he had a golf lesson from Christy Greene in Milltown, and discovered the secret of golf. By the end of the lesson every shot was perfect, and he could not wait to try out his new swing in a full round. However he had wait, first because of a Retreat and then Ordination and First Mass and then Mass in Sherkin Island. Eventually, two weeks later he got back to a golf course, in Killarney with his brothers. But alas! He used to chuckle as he explained that the secret of golf had escaped again. Tom had the distinction in Limerick Golf Club of winning a stroke competition, the Mungret Cup, despite taking 10 shots at one hole. Later he won the Holmes Cup with a partner, but Tom would never allow his partner, to say that 'we? won the cup, as Tom disparagingly refused to acknowledge the other's contribution.

Cherryfield
In recent years Tom's independent Island Man spirit meant that he did not want to accept help in coping with old age. However that most persistent of women, the Jesuit Health Officer, Mary Rickard, cajoled Tom to stay at the Jesuit Nursing Home in Cherryfield from time to time on short visits. At first he went reluctantly. Tom even went missing during some of Mary's visits to Limerick, but then as he grew weaker, he enjoyed the extraordinary care and goodness of the staff there, and he came to love Cherryfield, and in turn was loved and cherished by the Cherryfield Staff.

When Tom was Superior of the Jesuit Community at Dooradoyle, there was a frugality about the living conditions at Della Strada. However this was frugality with a purpose, as the community made a large contribution towards the cost of a new Jesuit community house in Kitwe in Zambia. Today this house serves as a home for Jesuits working in the University and in a Spirituality Centre. Nowadays. We use the phrase "Live simply so that others may simply live, but Tom anticipated this worldview of sharing. It came from a spirituality of the Body of Christ, which values solidarity and communion between people, and where we are all our brothers and sisters keepers.

When he was well into his 60's Tom was sent on a sabbatical year to train as a Spiritual Director and Retreat Giver. His letters from the training course to his community in Dooradoyle were masterpieces, as Tom poked fun at himself and his mistakes. But these letters were also profound, and gave an insight into Tom's willingness to unlearn old ways and to learn new skills, and to retain what was central to the message of Jesus Christ, and the Jesuit way of life. These letters showed that Tom was both daring and humble in the face of change. We had a sense that he walked with his God at his side, and in the middle of every difficulty God was his shield and his staff.

We pray that the love he learned from his father and mother, this love story with God which began at Tom's baptism, this love he kept alive all his live, will be enjoyed by Tom forever. Go dté tú slán ar shlí na firinne. Mile buíochas duit. Go dtreorai na haingil isteach sna flaithis thú.

McDonagh, Peadar, 1922-1973, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/803
  • Person
  • 11 November 1922-26 April 1973

Born: 11 November 1922, Galway City
Entered: 06 September 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1961, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 26 April 1973, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 48th Year No 2 1973

Belvedere
We have still another sudden death to record, that of Fr Peter MacDonagh. He was attending the Province Meeting at Rathfarnham on Thursday April 26th, but feeling indisposed he returned home shortly after lunch; he had difficulty ultimately in reaching his room and died about 4 o'clock. It was most unexpected.

Obituary :

Fr Peter McDonagh (1922-1973)

Fr Peter McDonagh came to the noviceship at Emo Park a day too soon!, but then all 14 companions did likewise because Sept. 7th, the official day of entrance, was a Sunday and train Services were restricted in the emergency conditions of the war. Thus Saturday, Sept. 6th was an uncounted day of initiation - presumably not much adverted to since the ensuing years were already accepted as a long haul. He was one of several representatives of Coláiste Iognáid, hailing from across the street and acquainted with church and school from childhood.
He was born Nov. 22nd, 1922 and was consequently 19 when he entered, having completed a year at University College, Galway immediately after leaving school. He settled down equably at Emo, earnest and conscientious, regular and companionable, a ready sense of humour and a gay laugh audible possibly on occasion after the challenger had sounded. He had an interest in nature study, trees and plants and birds - an advantage in the Emo environment. He was an adept with a cross-cut and enjoyed pike fishing on the lake when opportunity occurred during the Major Villa. It could be said of him then and later that his relaxations were in a demure unelaborate kind.
He pronounced his vows Sept. 9th 1943 and proceeded to Rathfarnham, resuming the Arts course he had interrupted at University College, Galway. 1945 Degree and Tullabeg for Philosophy; 1948, two years at the Crescent and a final year at Coláiste lognáid; he was an energetic industrious teacher inspiring interest in his subjects, organising and engaging in debates and other extra curricular activities which brought him into closer contact with the boys among whom he had a way.
1951 found him at Milltown Park amid the lean years of Genicot and Dogma (at which he acquitted himself cum laude). He took his part in Holy Week Ceremonies and the Christmas plays, presenting himself in anything but the role of “odd man out”.
1954 ordination; 1955 Tertianship at Rathfarnham. His life as a priest differed little, apart from his priestly duties, from what had been the tenor of his life previously. In 1956 he returned to the school-room - a year a Gonzaga and the succeeding years to Belvedere where he remained until his untimely death.
In his latter years at Belvedere he suffered increasingly from a form of asthma which necessitated his being provided habitually with an “inhaler”. He appears on occasion to have been heedless in applying this remedy and possibly as a result he was afflicted with a kind of nervous tension which compelled him to seek hospital treatment on occasion to obviate the distress. A certain
reticence and reserve grew upon him and his energies were not sufficiently resilient to cope with the exuberance of the class room. A change of occupation was advisable and in 1971 while remaining domiciled at Belvedere he was transferred to the Social Service Centre at Gardiner St, where to all evidence he gained a new lease of life. He was devoted to the work which fortunately provided him with a wide variety of interests in assisting and relieving the poor. Meals on wheels, flat hunting, landlords to be bearded, Senior Citizens to be catered for and entertained, all was grist. His depression lifted, the buoyancy returned. He attended the Province Meeting at Rathfarnham, April 26th. The present writer sat opposite him at dinner and we laughed and joked. He was in the best of form. Then it was “Grace” and I helped him as he gave a hand at drying. It was like Emo again, a day too soon ... and now in a sense history was to repeat itself for the Lord was good to call him to Himself - at 50 and with so much to do a day too soon.
His death which occurred as he betook himself to his room in Belvedere that same afternoon was tragically sudden. A post mortem assigned its cause to a cardiac attack during an asmathic spasm. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1973

Obituary

Father Peadar McDonagh SJ

The death of Fr. Peadar McDonagh occurred with tragic suddenness on the afternoon of April 26th this year. He had attended a large meeting of the Jesuit Province in Rathfarnham Castle that very morning and the previous day, during which he had been in more than usually good form. Apparently not feeling well, he had slipped away from the meeting without fuss and died just outside his room in Belvedere on his return.

It was typical of Fr Peadar that he died, causing, a minimum of trouble and disturbance to others. Of a gentle and pleasant disposition, he had carried on his work during his life quietly and unobtrusively. He came to Belvedere in 1957, three years after his ordination, and taught here for fourteen years. He was a painstaking and conscientious teacher and his classes fully appreciated the solid preparation that went into his teaching and his orderly presentation. He had a pleasant relationship with the boys and numbered some of the lay masters among his closest friends.

During the latter years of his teaching, increasingly bad health made his daily programme a heavy burden indeed, which he bore with great patience until forced to give up in 1971. A change of occupation then became advisable and while continuing to live in Belvedere, he was transferred to the Social Centre in Gardiner St. The new interests awakened there gave him fresh impetus and he became very devoted to the work and keenly interested in the plight of the old people and of the poor. It revealed him more than ever as a man of great sensitivity with a sympathetic interest in others.

To Father Peadar's family and close relatives we in Belvedere offer our deepest sympathy. They are a family who have always been closely associated with the Jesuits since the time they became practically our next-door neighbours in Galway. In particular, to his mother, his sister, Joan, Mrs McKiernan, and brother-in-law, Mr Patrick McKiernan, who have three sons in Belvedere, and to his brother, Padraic, we extend our sympathy.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

R McG

McGrath, Thomas, 1947-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/635
  • Person
  • 01 November 1947-27 October 2000

Born: 01 November 1947, Dungarvan, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1966, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 August 1980, Dungarvan, County Waterford
Final Vows: 03 February 1991, John Sullivan House, Monkstown, County Dublin
Died: 27 October 2000, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

by 1976 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR) studying
by 1981 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001

Obituary

Fr Thomas (Tom) McGrath (1947-2000)

1st Nov 1947: Born in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford
Early education at CBS in Dungarvan
7th Sept. 1966: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1968: First Vows at Emo
1968 - 1971: Rathfarnham - studying Arts at UCD
1971 - 1973: Milltown Institute - studying Philosophy
1973 - 1975: CIR - studying Psychology
1975 - 1980: Innsbruck - studying Theology
30th Aug, 1980: Ordained priest
1980 - 1982: Innsbruck - Doctoral studies in Psychology
1982 - 1986: CIR. - Lecturer; Doctoral Studies, Psych.
1984 - Minister, CIR
1986 - 1988: Leinster Road - Lecturer, St. Vincent's Hospital;
1987: Superior
1987 - 1988: Tertianship (2 Summers) at Wisconsin
1988 - 1990: Cherry Orchard - Psychotherapy work;
1990 - 1996: Sullivan House - Rector; Social Delegate;
3rd Feb 1991: Final Vows
1996 - 2000: Leeson Street - Director of St. Declan's
1999: Sabbatical leave
27th Oct. 2000: Died in Dublin

About a year before his death, while Tom was in Germany, he developed severe headaches. He was diagnosed to be suffering from a brain tumour. Returning to Ireland, he was operated on, but the doctors were able only partially to remove the tumour. In August, while in France on holiday, he unexpectedly took ill and was brought back to St. Vincent's, from where he was later transferred to Cherryfield on 2nd September, 2000. While his condition was weak, he enjoyed a reasonable quality of life and was lucid to the end. He died on Friday, Oct. 27, 2000.

Brendan Murray preached at Tom's Funeral Mass...

When Tom McGrath was a young child growing up in the midst of a very loving family in Dungarvan, his early years were often darkened by illness, and brightened again by frequent excursions to the seaside. On one of these excursions Tom picked up a shell from the beach and began to wonder what was inside it. Then he looked out over the water at the horizon and began to wonder what was beyond it.

That childlike sense of wonder remained with Tom throughout his life, first as an inner source of energy, which released in him (what he called) 'a rage for knowledge and then as a driving force that helped him to develop the wide array of his God-given talents. Like Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Tom saw life as an adventure to be lived, as a challenge to be faced, and as a hymn to be sung.

I don't know if he always had a feeling that his time on this earth would be short but he certainly had that feeling during the last year of his life. Even when he was in full health there was always a sense of urgency about him, an impatience to get things done. The world spun on its axis, but never quite fast eriough for Tom. He needed an extra hour in every day, an extra day in every week, and an extra week in every year. And for him there was always an agenda to channel his energies and time: tasks to be done, articles to be read, calls to be made, people to be helped, appointments to be kept, and - most important of all - occasions to be celebrated.

During his last working week in August, when he was already greatly restricted by his illness, he took his first client for analysis at nine o'clock in the morning and his last one at nine o'clock in the evening. Later, he had a drink and a chat with a friend or with one of his family.

That, of course, was no surprise to his community in Leeson St who were familiar with his ways and well used to the sight of him scurrying down the back garden at seven-thirty every morning and hearing the sound of his battered little Starlet roaring off the grid on its way to Saint Declan's School, usually at top speed, and usually modh díreach in a bus lane.

In Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, where Tom was so happy and appreciative of the care that he received when recuperating after surgery and again during the final stages of his illness, there is a saying of Fr John Sullivan pinned to the wall in the matron's office which says: “If you can say Deo Gratias to everything, you are a saint”.

In life, Tom never claimed to be a saint and, in death, he would, I suspect, be a most un-cooperative candidate for canonisation - but he certainly was grateful for everything that he received: for the many gifts that he was given and for the many opportunities that came his way, but more especially for the affection and support of his family, for the companionship and loyalty of his friends, and for the camaraderie and understanding of his Jesuit colleagues.

Tom's training as a Jesuit taught him to seek God in all things. His training as a psychoanalyst taught him to search deeply for the relevant data and to respect their truth. These two sources of formation were fused together in Tom's colourful, complex personality and enabled him to accept the reality of facts whilst discerning in them a veiled reality of gifts. For Tom believed passionately that everything that is, is given; and that it comes to us from the hand of a loving God. He believed passionately that God's creative and forgiving love imposes on us a debt of gratitude and that our sense of gratitude is both the source and measure of our generosity. That is why he tried, as best he could, to give freely what he had freely received.

One of the most revealing memories I have of Tom is of a week end in 1989 when a number of us assembled in Tullabeg to reflect together on the signs of the times. At the social gathering, which opened that seminar, I watched Tom patiently listening to one of the brethren who kept asking, “What do you analyst people do?” Eventually, Tom responded, “I listen”. “And what do you listen for?” “I listen for the word”, said Tom.

At the time, I don't think any of us realised the significance of the word in Tom's life. He listened for the word in his professional work, the voice of the real self as opposed to the echoes of intrusive elders, or idealised expectations, or presentations designed to appease harsh authorities. But he also responded to the word of God: the creative word that called him into being at his birth, the sacramental word of baptism that called him into the community of Christ and the family of the Trinity, the mysterious word of his vocation that called him into the Society of Jesus to be with him as a companion and to labour with him as a disciple, the symbolic word of nature that spoke to him powerfully in the sunset and the dawn, and finally the commanding word of God that summoned him in death into the communion of the saints.

Tom was an independent spirit who liked to be in control of his own destiny. Listening came easily to him. Letting go did not, but as his final illness progressed he gradually found the freedom to speak to others about his fears and his loneliness until those twin spectres were eventually disarmed forever. He even found the freedom to speak about his death.

This day last week a close friend came to visit Tom in Cherryfield and left him with a promise that he would see him again on Friday, not knowing that Tom had other plans for that particular Friday, which was the Feast of St Otteran and the anniversary of Tom's mother's death. As soon as his friend had gone out the door Tom turned to his family and remarked drily: “He'll have a job finding me on Friday”.

The night before he died he recited the Hail Mary with his family, emphasising the final petition, “Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death”. Then he shared with them a simple reflection: “We came into this world without fear and we should leave it without fear”. Tom had reflected deeply on the relationship of law and liberty in the epistles of Saint Paul and saw his whole life as a journey from coercion to freedom, or, as he preferred to put it, as a movement from “should” to “want”.

-oOo-

Brendan Staunton writes...

It would be easier to talk to Tom than write about him. Tom was someone you could talk to. He once said in an interview with the Irish Times, not long after he had returned from his psycho analytic training in Austria, Innsbruck and Igor Caruso, that the goal of analysis was to help people “author their lives”. How do I author an obituary for such a complex and lovable person?

A colleague once teased him by asking, “What do you do all day?” “I listen”, Tom replied. “And what do you listen for?” his colleague persisted. “I listen for the word”, said Tom. I think the word that governed Tom's life is to be found somewhere between psychology and religion, spirituality and psychoanalysis. The relationship between them, not to mention the threshold between psychoanalysis and philosophy, was a central concern, a prime preoccupation ever since I first got to know him in 1970.

Two images from his funeral mass on October 30th, 2000, resonate: as a young man, while walking the beach in his native Dungarvan, he looked into a shell and wondered about its hidden depths? Then he raised his head and gazed out to the horizon, and pondered on what might be beyond the horizon? These two images reminded me of Kant's insight about the only two horizons worth studying: the starry heavens above and the moral law within.

Tom took the latter path, which led to his becoming a Jesuit priest, which in turn led to his following Freud, who saw that the inner world of every child was a life being lived, and not just a passive preparation for adulthood. Tom liked the Cat Stevens's line, “from the moment I could talk, I was ordered to listen”, which for him expressed well how misunderstood children could be. He brought this aliveness to his work in St Declan's, a school for troubled kids. This work followed his years of working with Jesuits in formation, and his teaching in the Milltown Institute, NCIR, LSB and the School of Psychotherapy in St Vincent's Hospital, Here his work with the Association for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in Ireland built on his experience as a founding member of the Irish Forum for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Constitutional, ethical and organisational issues interested him from his psychological days in UCD.

While Tom loved his work, his first love was his family and friends, Jesuit and non-Jesuit alike. Many of us miss the convivial conversations in pubs and elsewhere. I know he is missed by Eithne, Frank, Helen, Jim, Mary, Niall, Patrick, and many more, especially his Sunday evenings with his sister, Assumpta, his brother-in-law, and family. He was a good friend, in smooth and rough times; he could acknowledge mistakes with friends, but this ability for friendship never left him right up to his untimely death.

As well as the world of childhood and the world of organisations, Tom was also alive to the gap between faith and culture that is a feature of the way we live now in Ireland. Tom lived that tension, trying to do justice to both, without the refuge of a facile harmony or a nostalgic solution.

His fighting spirit shone in his final year. It was a testing, trying and tense time, as his many visitors would testify. And the many people who visited him were a testimony to the affection and love he inspired. Family, friends and faith shone in the passionate uncertainty of Tom's treatment. We couldn't see the depths of the shell, nor beyond the horizon of death and dying. It was difficult to accept that he was dying.

Thinking of Tom at Conferences, (from Rome to Rio de Janeiro), on Committees (IFPP; APPI), his concern with psychoanalysis in all its shades was a constant thread. He pulled and pushed that thread through traditional theology, and I will always remember a passionate outburst during a meeting where Tom's openness to the feminist horizon urged a re-reading of the early history of Christianity, and how that story needs to be told from a different perspective. That men made all the rules alone angered him. He once told me, “Creation is for revelation, and revelation for freedom, a freedom that worked for a more just ordering of society”.

His never-to-be-completed doctorate would have contributed to the debate on the relationship between psychology and religion, spirituality and psychoanalysis. He saw not only the differences but also their common ground. Socrates, Freud and Jesus were three in one for Tom.

“The sense of humanity has not yet left me”. These words, spoken by Kant to his doctor, nine days before he died, could be applied to Tom, yet he often questioned the ethics of self fulfilment, and had no time for the viewpoint that the only point to life was the point you gave it. While appreciating the uniqueness of subjectivity he knew this meant transcendence and therefore a dimension of gift, and word. And yet Tom believed passionately in the truth of experience being the most important norm for human knowing. His ample library bore witness to his thirst for knowledge.

For Tom, Christianity was not against culture. History for him was the medium through which the Divine is realised. The bible was dependent on neighbouring cultures and wisdom traditions, and he, therefore, could never see eye to eye with people in Religious Life who saw Freud as “a pagan”. Augustine appreciated Aristotle! Aquinas loved Plato!

A true reflection on Tom's life would require other people's thoughts, too. Tom was a simple, complex and untidy character. No obituary can do him justice in a way. As Tom battled to accept his brain tumour, his serious spirit became more intense, and paradoxically calmer. There is no denying how difficult his last year and a bit was, for him and for all who cared for him. He underwent a sort of sea change. What moon pulled the tide of his thinking and feeling, sexuality and spirituality, silences and speeches is a mystery. How would Tom like us to remember him? Maybe with some unanswered questions. Like why did he die on his feast day? Or why so young? Why did he not take more care of himself?

“Readiness is all”, he might reply, and raise a glass to us with a twinkle in his eye, cigarette in hand, a sanguine rub of his beard, or an acerbic judgement on someone in authority. Tom was amazing, really, in that he could be a stirrer and a calm presence, but always curious to know what was in that shell by the sea side. And even when he saw a grain of truth, he never imposed it in a doctrinaire kind of way. He lived our zeitgeist with zest. I feel blessed to have known him, and sad he is no longer with us, and miss his sagacity, secretiveness and spirituality. But as Lacan reminds us, separation can mean se parare.

McKenna, William, 1921-2013, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/752
  • Person
  • 12 August 1921-02 March 2013

Born: 12 August 1921, Ballybunion / Listowel, County Kerry
Entered: 07 November 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1957, Catholic Workers College, Dublin
Died: 02 March 2013, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1970 at Southwell House, London (ANG) studying and the London School of Economics

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-liam-mckenna-dies-at-91/

Fr Liam McKenna dies at 91
Fr Liam McKenna died on 2 March in Cherryfield, having moved there from his community in Gardiner Street five days earlier. He was 91, but was alert and engaged to the very end of a full and fruitful life. Liam (as he was known in his family – Jesuits tended to call him Bill, with which he was happy) was born in Ballybunion and grew up in Listowel, though with long periods away from home as a boarder first in Kilashee, then in Clongowes, where in his last year he was captain of the school.
He had an early interest in economics, but was put on for a classics degree in UCD. It was only after several false starts that he was launched into the work which was to occupy most of his life, as a mentor of trade unionists in public speaking and in negotiation – but a mentor who was himself learning every step of the way. In a rambunctious partnership with Fr Eddy Kent he helped to found and develop the Catholic Workers College. It was not an academic setting, though the team (McKenna, Kent, Hamilton, Kearns, Des Reid, Michael Moloney) included some of the brightest in the Province, who would spend their summers upgrading their expertise in European countries.
Back in Sandford Lodge, where money was scarce, they would spend their afternoons putting out the chairs and preparing the classrooms and canteen for the evening sessions. They gradually built up a trusting relationship with the unions, and a clientele of up to 2000 adult students. Bill spent 35 years training shop stewards and foremen in the sort of speaking and listening skills that would empower them for their work in the unions, shaping their own destiny.
In the mid-1970s Bill moved to work for the Province, then for the Centre of Concern, the conference of Religious, and the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. He paid the penalty for heavy smoking in a serious heart attack, but lived life to the full, aware that he could drop dead at any moment. In Gardiner Street he would join in concelebrated Masses twice a day. On 24 February he acknowledged his need for full-time care, and moved to Cherryfield, after arranging daily delivery of the Financial Times.
He was alert until shortly before his peaceful death, as his curious, questing mind moved to explore the ultimate mystery of God.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 152 : Summer 2013

Obituary

Fr Bill (Liam) McKenna (1921-2013)

12 August 1921: Born in Ballybunion, Co. Kerry:
Early education in Kilashee Prep, and Clongowes Wood College
7 September 1939: Entered Society at Emo
8 September 1941: First Vows
1941 - 1944: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1944 - 1947: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1947 - 1950: Mungret College - Teacher
1950 - 1954: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31 July 1953: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1954 - 1955: Rathfarnham: Tertianship
1955 - 1969: College of Industrial Relations - Studied Economics / Sociology at UCD; Lectured in Sociology, Economics and Industrial Relations at CIR
2 February 1957: Final Vows
1969 - 1970: Tavistock Institute, London - Research
1970 - 1976: CIR – Lectured in Sociology, Economics and Industrial Relations
1976 - 1979: Loyola - Member of Special Secretariat
1979 - 1980: Milltown Park – “Centre of Concern' Office”, University Hall & Heythrop
1980 - 1982: Director “Centre of Concern” Office (moved to Liverpool Jan 1982)
1982 - 1984: Espinal - Secretary to Commission for Justice CMRS (Justice Desk)
1984 - 1989: Campion House - Secretary to Commission for Justice CMRS
1989 - 2005: Belvedere College
1989 - 2002: Assisting in Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice
2002 - 2003: Assistant Guestmaster
2003 - 2005: Assisted in SFX Church, Guestmaster
2005 - 2013: Gardiner Street: Assisted in SFX Church, Assistant Librarian (since 2011)

By mid-February, Bill was becoming weaker and eating very little. He was still concelebrating Mass twice daily in the church and in the house chapel. On Sunday 24" February, he agreed that he needed full time care, so he moved to Cherryfield Lodge the following day. Bill appreciated the care and was alert until very shortly before his peaceful death at 7.35pm on Saturday 2nd March.

Liam McKenna died only eleven days before the election of Pope Francis, having taken a great interest in the resignation of Pope Benedict. A Jesuit Pope would have provoked many a question from Liam and many a conversation. His mind remained lively until the very end of his long life, so his deep love of the Church and his commitment to prayer and to the Eucharist would have informed anything he might have said about having a Pope from his own Order. His breviary and missal were well used, and he had spare copies of each.

There is a photograph, taken in the mid-1920s, of Liam, as a very small boy, with his mother and his elder brother: Mrs McKenna is a slim, elegant and very well-dressed woman; Liam and Jack wear expensive clothes. The image is one of comfort and security, as might be expected from a very successful merchant family in a Kerry town, but Jack's health was so precarious that his mother sent him to Switzerland for a year; he is still in good health at 95. Liam became a Jesuit and his two sisters (who predeceased him) became Ursulines, so Jack was the only one of the four siblings to marry.

Listowel was not a town where Catholics were universally welcomed: one of Liam's sisters wanted to join the local tennis club, which was reserved for Protestants, so Mr McKenna was forced to enlist the unwilling help of the bank manager by the simple threat to move his account elsewhere. Liam's attitude to everything was influenced, and positively so, by being a younger brother all his life.
Liam (as he was known in his family - Jesuits tended to call him “Bill”, with which he was happy) was born in Ballybunion and grew up in Listowel; his Kerry roots remained very important throughout his life, despite long periods away from home as a boarder in County Kildare, first at Kilashee, and then at Clongowes, where he was captain of the school. Bill went to the noviceship at Emo just a few months after leaving school.

He had an early interest in economics, but was told that the topic was “of no use”, so he was sent for a classics degree in UCD. Bill followed the normal Jesuit formation of the period and, in a time of European war, it had to be entirely in Ireland, up to his completion of Tertianship at Rathfarnham in 1955. His formidable brain helped him to see that many aspects of Jesuit formation were outmoded, and over stylised. Bill emerged from Tertianship with a great love of the Society, a deep commitment to his priesthood and a great ability to recognise nonsense when he saw it.

Until that point, Bill's Jesuit career had been like many of his Jesuit contemporaries, until he was assigned to the Catholic Workers College in 1955. He was based there for twenty-one years. Bill had finally managed to study economics and sociology at UCD, so he lectured in sociology, economics and industrial relations. Significantly, Bill was launched into the work which was to occupy most of his life, as a mentor of trade unionists in public speaking and in negotiation - but a mentor who was interested in everything and who himself was learning every step of the way. In a rumbustious partnership with Fr Eddy Kent, he helped to found and develop the College. It was not an academic setting, though the team (Kent, Tim Hamilton, Lol Kearns, Des Reid and Michael Moloney) included some of the brightest in the Province, who would spend their summers upgrading their expertise in European countries. Back in Sandford Lodge, where money was scarce, they would spend their afternoons putting out the chairs and preparing the classrooms and canteen for the evening sessions.

They gradually built up a trusting relationship with the unions, and a clientele of up to 2000 adult students. Bill spent 35 years training shop stewards and foremen in the sort of speaking and listening skills that would empower them for their work in the unions, shaping their own destiny. The Catholic Workers College evolved into the National College of Industrial Relations and now, on a different site) is the National College of Ireland.

The three-man Special Secretariat was set up in 1972 following the McCarthy Report on Province Ministries. Liam joined it in 1976, when it was no longer quite so centered on Jesuit Province administration, leaving its members free to work elsewhere. Liam gave great help to the Holy Faith Sisters as they produced new Constitutions.

Liam's passion for social justice was based on calm analysis and passionate commitment. It was the focus of his work from 1979 until 2002, no matter where he was living, be that London, Liverpool, Gardiner Place, Hatch Street, Belvedere College or Gardiner Street. He helped set up, with Ray Helmick (New England) and Brian McClorry (Prov. Brit.), the Centre for Faith and Justice at Heythrop, then in Cavendish Square in London. The 1970s and early 1980s could fairly be described as 'strike-ridden'; in or about 1982, Liam and Dennis Chiles, Principal of Plater College, Oxford, were joint authors of a 91-page pamphlet Strikes and Social Justice: a Christian Perspective, but it may have been for private circulation.

In all those years of activity, Liam made many friends. He was especially kind to anybody who was ill, but very impatient if he detected excessive “self-absorption”. Liam's style of talk was unique, with every word well enunciated and with a regular, almost rhetorical, pause as he gathered himself to declare a supplementary opinion. Was he disappointed at never becoming superior of a Jesuit community? Being highly intelligent, he may have realised that his gifts would be wasted in such a role. Liam always admired those who did any job well; he was very proud of his niece who became a forensic scientist.

Liam gave the impression of being very serious, and he did some very serious reading, but there was a lighter side. He kept all the novels of Dick Francis; he had boxed DVD sets of every television series that starred John Thaw. Videos, DVDs and his own television entertained him when it was no longer easy for him to leave the house. Liam was the only member of the Gardiner Street community to have a small coffee bar in his room. He became a familiar figure on Dorset Street, as he walked briskly along, pushing his walking frame.

Liam paid the penalty for heavy smoking in a serious heart attack, but lived life to the full, aware that he could drop dead at any moment. In Gardiner Street be would join in concelebrated Masses twice a day (one in the church and the other in the house chapel). On 24 February 2012 he acknowledged his need for full-time care, and moved to Cherryfield Lodge, not permanently, after arranging daily delivery of the Financial Times. He was alert until shortly before his peaceful death five days later, as his curious, questing mind moved to explore the ultimate mystery of God.

Meagher, Patrick, 1917-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/636
  • Person
  • 11 April 1917-07 February 2005

Born: 11 April 1917, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Died: 07 February 2005, Cherryfield Lodge Dublin

Part of the Manresa House, Dublin community at the time of death.

Younger brother of D Louis Meagher - RIP 1980
Cousin of John P Leonard - RIP 2006

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ : Admissions 1859-1948 - Born Ratoath, County Meath; St Finian’s Mullingar student

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

Patrick (Paddy) Meagher (1917-2005)

11th April 1917: Born in Dublin
Early education at the National School in Ratoath, Co. Meath and St. Finian's, Mullingar
7th September 1935: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1937: First Vows at Emo
1937 - 1940: Rathfarnham - Studied Classics at UCD
1940 - 1943: Tullabeg -Studied Philosophy
1943 - 1945: Mungret College, Limerick - Teacher (Regency)
1945 - 1949: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
28th July 1948: Ordained at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1950 - 1953: Clongowes - Teacher
1953 - 1956: Mungret College - Teacher
1956 - 1960: Gonzaga College - Teacher; Minister, Assistant Prefect of Studies
1960 - 1968: Mungret College - Teacher, Sub-Minister
1968 - 1972: Loyola - Socius to Provincial
1972 - 1973: Rathfarnham -Studied catechetics at Mt. Oliver, Dundalk
1973 - 1974: Manresa House -Assistant Director; Directed Spiritual Exercises
1974 - 1975: Belvedere College - Teacher
1975 - 2005: Manresa House -
1975 - 1985: Assistant Director, Directed Spiritual Exercises
2nd February 1981: Final Vows at Manresa
1985 - 1992: Socius to Director of Novices
1992 - 1996: Directed Spiritual Exercises
1996 - 2001: Rector's Admonitor, Spiritual Director
2001 - 2004: Spiritual Director (SJ)
2004 - 2005: Assisted in the community
7th February 2005 Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Fr Meagher visited Cherryfield Lodge many times over the years for respite care. He was admitted in May 2004. He had become weak with chronic chest and circulatory problems. He was treated with antibiotic therapy and pain relief. In the last two weeks his condition weakened further and he died peacefully but unexpectedly in Cherryfield Lodge.

Paul Andrews writes:
Paddy was born in Ratoath, Co. Meath, the fourth child and second boy in a family of six. Three of the four boys became priests, and one of the girls a nun. They were blow-ins, not native to Meath. Paddy's father was from Templemore, his mother the child of a Co. Offaly farmer who had given up farming and moved to near Mulhuddert when the absentee landlord put up the rent. So strong was the anti-landlord feeling that when the family moved away from Offaly, the neighbours came in and knocked down all the buildings, Perhaps it was from this maternal grandfather that Paddy inherited the core of steel that could surprise strangers to this mild little man.

He was closer to his father, admired by neighbours and family as a gentleman of gentlemen, of small stature (all the children inherited this) and incapable of saying a rough word. Mother had the better business head, and thought her husband unsuited to the job of a Ratoath merchant, running a general store and pub. Too little interest in money, she said. He'd have been better in the bank.

Paddy was delicate as a young boy. After National School le went as a boarder to St Finian's in Mullingar. He was small like his father, and never shone at games, though he played Gaelic and carried the mark of a stray hurley in a scar under his eye. He was a bright student, and St Finian's gave him a good foundation in Greek and Latin.

His brother Louis had gone to Belvedere while lodging in Huntstown with his grandmother. There he had come under the influence of Fr Ernest Mackey, the assertive promoter of vocations (perhaps one reason why older Irish Jesuits shudder when Fr General urges us to be aggressive in our search for vocations). Ernest would dine with the Meaghers every Christmas, and exerted such an influence, first on Louis, then on Paddy, that when Tom, two years younger and less academic than Paddy, went to the Holy Ghosts, the local lads used ask him, Would the Js not take you?

Paddy followed Louis's footsteps to Emo. The parents were supportive of their multiple vocations (Maureen had become a Loreto sister). They visited Emo, and when Paddy walked tlırough the parlour door in his Jesuit gown, his mother cried, Oh, a saint! as she rushed to embrace him. That would not have been Paddy's style. He was uneasy with sensible devotion, cool-headed yet with a personal warmth that drew people to him; but the opposite of charismatic.

He eschewed scenes of high emotion. In the tempestuous seventies, the Grubb Institute led a group session for several days in Tullabeg, and explored the emotional sensitivities of the sometimes unwilling participants. Towards the end Paddy exploded: For the first time in 25 years you have made me lose my temper. No, said the Australian leader, For the first time in 25 years we have given you permission to lose your temper. Paddy did not like it.

When we were looking for a photo of Paddy for his memorial card, we wondered: What age are we in heaven – with what sort of a face? God gives you your eyes but you gradually make your own mouth. Earlier photos show Paddy's lips as judicial and stern. As a teacher he had to compensate in gravity of personality for a slight physical presence; and compensate he did. He was respected and liked, a most effective teacher in Mungret, Clongowes and (as one of the earliest staff) Gonzaga. In the councils of staff and community his voice was calm and reasonable. When Cecil McGarry became Provincial, he looked for Paddy as his Socius because he was wise and respected, easy to get on with and of good judgment.

So he was at the Provincial's side through those tumultuous years. The job suited him in many ways. He was an easy companion and could exercise independent discretion when needs be. When a rather forward Jesuit rang Loyola looking for an appointment with the Provincial, Paddy gave him a time in late morning. The visitor asked: Does that include an invitation to lunch? No, said Paddy quietly.

It was heart trouble that forced him to give up the job of Socius with its daily quota of serious business. Physically he may not have been able for high stress. When John Guiney brought him from Loyola to St Vincent's A and B with angina, they put him to bed quickly. A priest appeared and then two doctors. Paddy promptly responded by getting a heart attack. Over the years he became a model of how to live with a wacky heart. In early 2003 we worried about his stomach aneurysm which could not be mended because the operation might kill him. On the last day of 2003 he was anointed. Three days later Mary Rickard said he was sinking. Seven days later he asked about prayers for the dying. But he bounced back.

Coming from Loyola to Manresa did not mean an abdication of intelligence. Both within the community and with the many people he helped here, you could trust him to use his head, always sage, humane, insightful. The sisters seeking the Lord in Manresa liked him because he reflected assurance, a known way of proceeding, and a calm judgment. Many still remember his pithy, succinct homilies.

He did not sit lightly to the sillier aspects of media culture, such as pop music, designer stubble, or phrases like: Go with the feeling. His sense of irony carried him through such inanities – and through the bandying of religious jargon - without becoming grumpy; he could be teased about them. There were other changes which he accepted but suffered, such as the reshaping of the Manresa community chapel: he would have liked fewer windows, more pictures, a crucifix and sanctuary lamp. He did not relish the sharing of reflections and experiences at concelebrated Mass. But he was there every day.

In Cherryfield people remarked on Paddy's clarity of mind and the tenacity with which he held on to life. When one of the brethren brought over blue and orange shirts from his room, Paddy thanked him for the blue but queried the orange: I thought I mentioned a beige shirt. Up to the day of his death he was bubbling with enquiries about the Province and life outside.

In 2004 he left this note to his Rector, to be opened when I die:

Paul, I would wish that the homily at my funeral Mass be short, i.e. three and a half to four minutes - no more. I was a small man, so there is no need to make me seem bigger than I am (was). Just ask the SJs and people to thank God for whatever good I may have done, and ask his pardon for all my shortcomings.
And end with Cardinal Newman's prayer: May he support us all the day long...
Thanking you for all your caring for me in my last years. Paddy.

Alas, some of these wishes were not met, because the Rector was away when Paddy died, and the touching letter lay hidden in his safe. But Dermot Mansfield's homily at the funeral did justice to Paddy in Dermot's own way, and the back of his mortuary card carries the Cardinal's prayer.

What we miss is the smiling or laughing Paddy. It is no accident that in his reading he reverted to PGWodehouse and a light-hearted view of life. He showed how to shuffle off responsibilities in this passing life, and face the beatific vision with a contented and hopeful heart.

◆ The Clongownian, 2006

Obituary

Father Patrick Meagher SJ

Fr Patrick Meagher SJ who died at Cherryfield Lodge on 7th February 2005 at the age of 87, spent three years teaching in Clongowes from 1950-1953. Born in Dublin in 1917 he entered the Society at Emo where he took his first yows in 1935. He studied in Rathfarnham, Tullabeg and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1948. As well as Clongowes, Fr Meagher taught in Mungret, Gonzaga and Belvedere College. He also served in Manresa House where he directed Spiricual Exercises and took his final vows in 1981. May he rest in peace.

Merritt, William B, 1914-1973, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/247
  • Person
  • 04 September 1914-25 April 1973

Born: 04 September 1914, Limerick City
Entered: 09 September 1932, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 25 April 1973, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

Part of the Mungret College, Limerick community at the time of death

by 1939 in Vals France (LUGD) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Casey G., Grogan and Sullivan leave England for Hong Kong on 2nd July on the ‘Canton’. On the following day Fr. Kevin O'Dwyer hopes to sail with Fr. Albert Cooney from San Francisco on the ‘General Gordon’ for the same destination.
The following will be going to Hong Kong in August : Frs. Joseph Mallin and Merritt, Messrs. James Kelly, McGaley, Michael McLoughlin and Geoffrey Murphy.

Irish Province News 48th Year No 2 1973

Obituary :
Fr William Benedict Merritt (1914-1973)
Fr Willie Merritt was born in Limerick Sept. 4th 1914. After schooling with the Christian Brothers at Sexton St, he concluded his secondary course at Mungret and entered the noviceship in 1932, was ordained at Milltown Park 1946 and died in Galway while on a short visit to his younger brother during the Easter break on April 25th, 1973. For his years in the Society he had a very full life. As a junior at Rathfarnham his success at UCD led to his being allotted another year during which he secured an MA in History and the Higher Diploma in Education. He likewise had a bent for Mathematics and had musical talent, vocal and instrumental, which committed him to directing the choirs, coaching troupes of carol singers at later as a priest officiating at Missa Cantata and High Mass.
He made his Philosophy at Vals and after two years of Colleges at Belvedere he began his Theology at Milltown Park 1943; Ordination 1946; Tertianship 1947. In 1949 he was assigned to the Hong Kong Mission where he was engaged in the strenuous work of the Colleges. During this period he prepared and produced a text-book in History which is still esteemed and used in the schools of the colony.
Ill health now intervened and he was compelled to return to Ireland seriously indisposed. After some months of anxious convalescence he was again able to resume work and with congenial occupation soon became fully active.
He was appointed to assist Fr Martin in the Mission offices which was being set up in Gardiner St. in 1953. He worked very hard and for long hours at the new chores. Much of the method in the office, the setting up of the card index system, the schemes for collecting funds, were devised by Fr “Gully”. He was never happier than when he was organising a Sale of Work or a Garden Fete. In 1957 Fr Gully was asked to help Fr Dargan the Province Procurator, and went to live at Loyola. Later he became Bursar and Minister at CIR and taught Trade Union History there. His last status was back to Mungret in 1968 where he again acted as Bursar, answering to a variety of other calls likewise.
During the latter years Fr Merritt’s health again began to cause anxiety; he suffered several heart attacks from which he rallied and recovered but which compelled him to acquiesce to a quieter tempo than what had been his wont, in following a team, verbi gratia.
During the few days in Galway in April be suffered an attack which was followed in a few hours by a repetition from which he didn't survive.
The Requiem Mass in Mungret in April 27th was concelebrated by 36 priests among whom Fr Provincial was the principal con celebrant. There was a large attendance of personal friends from Limerick. His two younger brothers, Denis and Michael were the chief mourners together with his Aunt, Mrs Clohessey, who had been his second mother since his own mother had died during Willie's Juniorate and his father had died before he entered.
Those who new him will remember him with affection; his loss will be severely felt. If we could summarise his life briefly we would say that he loved the Society, that he was kind and good humoured towards all who came his way, and that he was a devoted priest. He was always good company and even though he had his leg pulled on innumerable occasions he never bore resentment. He was known affectionately as “Gully” and it is a measure of the affection with which he was regarded that even when he was “in foreign parts” it was sufficient (and habitual), to refer to him as Gully.
As he realised the condition of his health he was fearful that he would be compelled to abandon his work. He was a man of prayer and his daily Mass was a source of strength and consolation to him; he was a community man essentially, in whose company gaiety and a bantering good-humour spontaneously generated. He had his foibles, one of which particularly, his meticulous accuracy in his professional work of accountancy, was a source, on occasion, of annoyance but overall of fun at least in later narration.
This meticulousness was not captious or officious; it came from scrupulosity which affected his whole life and which at times caused him much mental distress.
He had a great love for his native city; he was catholic in his interest in games and the fortunes of the city soccer team he followed with zest.
He was buried as he would desire at Mungret which he loved. As I stood at the grave-side listening to the final prayers being recited by Fr Provincial I couldn't help feeling he had gone to the Lord with full hands. RIP

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1974

Obituary

Father William B Merritt SJ

Fr Willie was a Limerickman. He was born in Limerick and he is buried in Mungret. He was the eldest of three children, all boys and all three completed their school days at Mungret College.

In his younger years three influences played a part in his vocation to the Society of Jesus, family life, his participation as an altarboy in St John's Cathedral and his training in self-discipline and habits of study begun under the direction of the Christian Brothers. Mungret and later the Society of Jesus reaped where others had sown.

He entered the Society of Jesus in September 1932 and after two years novitiate, where he is still affectionately remembered as an enthusiastic “outdoor works” man he spent four years in Rathfarnham where he attended lectures in UCD. After finishing his course in UCD he left for France in September 1938 with a BA and an honours MA under his already ample belt. His philosophical studies in Vals were cut short by world war two and he finished his philosophy at St Stanislaus College, Tullamore. He then went on to teach with success at Belvedere and at that time trained some of the best junior cup teams of those years. His interest in and enthusiasm for rugby and soccer remained with him all his life; the fortunes or misfortunes of Limerick AFC were clearly read on his Monday morning face for he was the most honest and transparent of men, totally unlike the caricature of the wily Jesuit of fiction!

His ordination to the priesthood in July 1946 brought out in him that more serious side of his character which impelled him to seek “perfection” in all things. He could never be satisfied with “second-rate work” of any kind in himself or in others. He gave the next ten years of his life to the missions, working as a teacher in our college in Hong Kong. His history notes - which were clear, succinct and easily learned were published there in book form. Teachers also profited from them and a reputation for good history teaching often rested on the envied possession of Bill's notes!

Without his realising it, he made very great demands on himself. Eventually the strain of his work and the pressures of the political situation in Hong Kong under mined his health. He returned to Ireland in the early 1950s far from well, He never fully recovered his health frorn that time. Despite that, he held various posts in the Order, in St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, the Provincial's Residence, and the College of Industrial Relations, before he finally returned to Mungret College in 1967. Like the Master, whom he sought to follow, he did all things well and as a bonus was a good “community man” to boot! Serious by nature with a deep sense of responsibility which sometimes weighed upon him, he achieved a balance by his sense of humour, his deep faith and unostentatious acts of piety (he was a regular visitor to Our Lady's Shrine at Knock) and his interest in people and in sport. He loved Mungret and there is no denying that the decision to close his old school saddened his last years. May his generous soul rest in peace.

EK

Moloney, Michael, 1913-1984, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/252
  • Person
  • 25 March 1913-05 June 1984

Born: 25 March 1913, Abbeyfeale, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 05 June 1984, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Part of the St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1965 at Loyola Watsonia, Australia (ASL) working

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Michael Moloney on coming to Zambia wrote a short 250 word account of his life, at the end of which he put: “He arrived in Zambia in May 1967 and was attached to Mukasa Secondary School at Choma. He spent x years there. He died at xx in 19xx...May he rest in peace”. PLEASE PUBLISH NO MORE THAN IS IN THIS ACCOUNT Signed: Michael Moloney S.J. 14 April 1967.

He had had four heart attacks before this date and this might have prompted him to write his own obituary! So brief! So succinct! That was Michael! Yet he lived another seventeen years, in Zambia, fully occupied.

Michael was born on 25 March 1913 in Abbeyfeale on the border of Co. Limerick and Co Kerry. His secondary education was taken in St Michael's College, Listowel, and at the Jesuit College of Mungret. He entered the Society in Emo in 1931, pursued the normal Society studies with regency at Clongowes Wood College. He was ordained in July of 1945 at Milltown Park, Dublin and after tertianship went to Belvedere College to teach for four years. He moved to Leeson Street as minister and editor of the IRISH MONTHLY which ceased publication in 1953. From 1953 to 1959, he was attached to the College of Industrial Relations (CIR) as director of the Cana Conference which organised pre-marriage courses. These were a liberating experience for many couples whom were deeply in love and full of hope and good intentions. The spirit prevailing during courses were happy - even hilarious at times, deeply spiritual in the best sense, full of the wisest insights he could muster from wide reading and from his sympathetic and naturally optimistic temperament.

In 1959 he went to Loyola University, Chicago, USA, where he gained a degree in social and industrial relations and returned to CIR. He began to have heart attacks during these years (1961-64). For four years he went to Australia as a director of a retreat house near Melbourne.

He arrived in Zambia in 1967 to teach in Mukasa Minor Seminary for a year before being moved to St Ignatius in Lusaka. He became director in the Zambia Institute of Management and spent eleven years at Evelyn Hone College of Further Education, becoming Head of the Department of Business Studies. He retired in 1981. He was kept busy at St lgnatius helping with pastoral work, preaching, marriage counselling, writing leaflets and pamphlets on Christian values in the modern world. He was very conscientious in his work and totally dedicated to whatever work he was asked to do. He highly valued his religious life as a Jesuit and was very loyal to the Church. He loved a challenge and was always ready to take up his pen to defend the Church. He started the Kalemba Leaflets to bring out the deeper aspects of our common faith.

He was a good companion and, as well as enjoying his own talk, he could listen to others. He had certain conventions to which he held tenaciously, but he was not hidebound nor narrow. On the contrary, he loved freedom and the liberty to express every truth and facet of life as it was, or as he saw it. He was essentially logical and exact and could be impatient when undue consideration was being given to illogical and incalculable elements in human behaviour. He rejected all nonsense.

On and off during his seventeen years in Lusaka, some health symptoms occurred that slowed him up and endangered his life.

He returned to Ireland threatened with gangrene on the toe. The time he spent before and after the amputation was no more satisfactory than could be expected. There were times when he wanted to die. His lifelong sense of friendship with Christ seemed to become more vivid in that last year or so. He worked over many thoughts for the defense of the faith and these he hoped to continue publishing in Zambia in the Kalemba Leaflets. That was not to be. He was sensitively cared for in Cherryfield Lodge, the Jesuit Nursing Home in Dublin where, in the end, his death came unexpectedly on 5 June 1984.

Note from John Coyne Entry
Fr Michael Moloney writes:
‘Fr Coyne took a very keen interest in what Jesuits had done in Zambia since the coming of Frs Moreau and Torrend for whom he had a deep admiration. Admiration for people who did "great things for Christ" was a permanent attitude of his. His standard for a Jesuit was that he should be "a saint, a scholar and a gentleman" and he clearly tried to exemplify that in his own life. He was a kindly man yet at the same time a puzzle to many. Many wondered what "the real John Coyne was like" because externally he seemed to be set in a conventional spiritual mould and to be rather formal in much of his behaviour, so much so that one cannot escape the conclusion that he was a man with a conflict between his personality traits and what he considered Jesuit spirituality demanded of him. In Zambia he was faithful to his afternoon stroll during which he would meet people and through which he made some friends whose hospitality he was pleased to accept".

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Michael Moloney came to Australia as director of the retreat house at Loyola College, Watsonia, and worked with Conn Finn, 1964-66.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 59th Year No 4 1984
Obituary

Fr Michael Moloney (1913-1931-1984) (Zambia)

1931-33 Emo, noviciate. 1933-36 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1936-29. Tullabeg, philosophy. 1939-42 Clongowes, 1942-46 Milltown, theology. 1946-47 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1947-51 Belvedere, teaching. 1951-55 Leeson St., Minister, Ed, Irish monthly. 1955-59 Catholic Workers College, dir. Cana Conference. 1959-60 Loyola University, Chicago, stud sociology and industrial relations. 1960-63 Catholic Workers' College, lect and psychology. 1963-67 Loyola College, Watsonia, Victoria, Australia, dir. retreat-house.
From 1967 on: in Zambia. 1968-83 St Ignatius Residence, Lusaka, Zambia, dir Zambia Institute of Management (till 1970. then:) lect. Evelyn Hone College of Further Education/Applied Arts and Commerce. 1984 convalescing in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin, after hospital treatment. Died there on 5th June 1984.

To write about someone I knew as well as Michael is surprisingly difficult, I have little interest in cataloguing the events of his life, and no inclination, or right, to reveal the inner person I came to know so well. What then can be said? As a young man in the Society (1931-47) he was very well liked; comfortable and relaxed in a rather tense era; lively and zestful for life; stalwart in his convictions and strong in their expression. He worked hard, and was always good at mastering a subject accurately and expressing it clearly. After the years of 'formation we never lived in the same community again. Our relationship was full of absences, crowned by the final departure so well described by Jean Guitton: “From the angle of the living and of those who have not yet made the great journey, the absence of the dead is more than a sorrow. It is so incomprehensible, so ironical, to see them no more, not to be able to communicate with someone who was a substantial part of one's life, and who seems to have gone away one evening in a fit of madness leaving no address....
In the close community of the early years he would be remembered for his pleasant singing of ballads like “Ivan Skivinski Skivar” or “The garden where the praties grow” on days of celebration; and indeed how he would become voluble and expansive after one glass of the unnamed wine we used to get on rustication days! He was good company; and, as well as enjoying his own talk, he could listen. He had conventions which he held to tenaciously, but he was not hidebound or narrow: on the contrary he loved freedom and the liberty to express every truth and facet of life as it was, or as he saw it. His competence on formal occasions combined well with an unfettered and untrammelled spirit at other times.
He had an orderly mind, symbolised by his very clear and firm handwriting and the way he typed his letters, with seldom a misprint and never a faded or blurred ribbon. He was essentially logical and exact, and could be impatient of undue consideration being given to the illogical and incalculable elements in human behaviour. He threw out nonsense, We often disagreed as to what constituted nonsense.
Nevertheless, during one of the most fertile periods of his life he was dealing with what might be thought of as the most illogical and irrational area of human life - sexuality. Here his sound judgement rescued him from the then conventional attitude of clerics to marriage as essentially a legal contract with rights and duties. He knew instinctively that this was an inadequate and he could not accept the sexual apparatus as some kind of mechanical device, kept in a bedside locker, to be used or not according to a complicated set of philosophical and legalistic nostrums, devised largely by the inexperienced. Hence his pre-marriage courses in the CIR were a liberating experience for many pairs in love, and full of hope and good intentions. The courses, I understand, were happy, even hilarious at times; deeply spiritual in the best sense; full of the wisest insights he could muster from wide reading and from a sympathetic and naturally optimistic temperament.
I cannot speak with any assurance of the other long period he spent in adult education, in the Evelyn Hone Institute in Lusaka, He went through some difficult times with courage and faith, and kept working hard even when he felt some degree of disapproval and a sense of being undervalued. On the whole, though, my impression was that he got satisfaction from and gave satisfaction in his work there. He did not take too kindly to the onset of old age or the intimations of mortality: he was in fact rather disbelieving of its drastic effects. Those who die young have this advantage over us, I now realise, that they come to fulfilment when still fastened to their “own best being and its loveliness of youth” (Hopkins: The golden echo), and do not have to reverse of anticlimax and slow decay to get there. About twenty years before he died he had some trouble with heart and circulation. Then he went to Australia, where he was very active in retreat-giving, and made at least one rich and lasting friendship. Off and on during the sixteen years he spent in Zambia some symptoms occurred that slowed him up and endangered his life. When he came on holiday to Ireland he took things physical quietly, On villa in Achill he showed no tendency to climb the lovely mountains, but would kindly drive me to the foot and would stay below until I returned many hours later, on one occasion to find that he had had a very serious fall from the pier at Dugort. On the last villa we spent together at Banna Strand, Co Kerry, we took little exercise, he much less than I. He was contented to mooch about the dunes when it was fine, and look long meditatively over the Atlantic to the and setting sun.
When he came back some months ago threatened with gangrene in the toe, he was a very changed man. The time he spent before and after the amputation was no more satisfactory than could be expected. There were times when he wanted to die. His lifelong sense of friendship with Christ seemed to become very vivid in this last year or so. He worked over many thoughts for the defence of the faith: these he hoped to continue publishing in Zambia, as the Kalemba Leaflets. He was sensitively cared for in Cherryfield Lodge, where in the end his death came unexpectedly. I viewed his remains in Kirwan's funeral parlour. They did not look like remains, but like him: determined, and ready to spring into animated conversation at the right stimulus. I came by chance into possession of a record of Verdi's Requiem a few days after his burial, and will I hope always enjoy thoughts of him as I listen to its gentle and its thunderous passages. May he enjoy eternal life. the years
Michael J. Sweetman

Monaghan, Hubert M, 1938-2000, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/637
  • Person
  • 26 November 1938-29 May 2000

Born: 26 November 1938, Hardwicke Street, Dublin
Entered: 06 April 1958, St Mary's , Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1971, Clongowes Wood College
Died: 29 May 2000, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin

by 1991 at Toronto Canada (CAN S) Sabbatical

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000

Obituary

Br Hubert (Hughie) Monaghan (1919-2000)

1938 Nov 26th: Born in Hardwicke Street, Dublin
Hubert was educated by the Christian Brothers at CBS Richmond Street, Dublin.
He went to Sandymount High School and was an apprentice Radio Serviceman before he entered.
6th April 1958: Entered the Society at Emo
7th April 1960: First vows at Emo
1960 - 1962: Tullabeg - Refectorian ; Infirmarian
1962 - 1969: Milltown Park - in charge of staff
1969 - 1970: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1970 - 1975: Galway - Supervisor of staff, Assistant Director “Boys' Club”
1975 - 1981: CIR - Subminister, College Tutor; Supervisor of staff
1981 - 1983: CIR - Minister; Supervisor of College
1983 - 1990: CIR - Subminister; Supervisor of College
1990 - 1991: Toronto - Sabbatical year
1991 - 1997: Gonzaga - Assistant Co-ordinator of Pastoral Care; Ass, Administrator.
1997 - 2000: Gonzaga - Minister; College Administrator, House Consultor

Hubert was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 11th May 2000 following major surgery at St. Vincent's Hospital. After an initial steady recovery from his operation he passed away suddenly but peacefully on Monday 29th May at 3.30 p.m

Mícheál Mac Gréil preached at Hubert's funeral mass in Gonzaga

It is but right and proper that I should begin this sermon on the untimely death of a very dear friend, Hughie Monaghan, RIP, by expressing my ; sincerest sympathy to his brothers and sisters-in-law, Denis and Eileen and Tony and Dorothy, to his nephews and nieces, to his Auntie May Drumgoole and his cousin, Marie Drumgoole, to his Jesuit colleagues, to his many friends, neighbours and to all who mourn Brother Hubert today. It is great to see you all here. I welcome especially Bishop James Corboy, SJ, and the great number of Jesuit Brothers and Priests as well as the staff and students of Gonzaga College. This requiem Mass gives us an opportunity to bid farewell to Hughie and reflect on his life and death.

What does Dying Mean to the Christian?
This is one of the most profound questions which each of us must attempt to answer. It is in its answer we begin to grasp the true meaning of life. In a sense we all should live to die well. I understand that for the many young students here present death is something quite remote but, as Pádraig Mac Piarais wrote in his poem on death: “Brón art an mbás, ní féidir a shéanadh” ("Death is sad, it cannot be denied"). Death cannot be denied or avoided. So, let us face up to it!

I have been pondering on the question of the meaning of dying since I was very young and I have tried to find the answer wherever I could. It was while I was a student of philosophy in Louvain in Belgium in the early 1960s that I got a most helpful answer form a wise and holy Jesuit priest. He said that my whole life comes together or converges into one act at the moment of death. It is really the completion of life and the moment of transition between time and eternity!

The Lifting Up of the Mosaic
It is necessary that we distinguish between physical death, which can be explained by doctors, i.e., the failure of the cardiac and respiratory systems leading to or caused by a cessation of brain function, and what happens to the spiritual and metaphysical person as the body dies. The body becomes a remains! What is in the coffin before us is not Hubert Monaghan, but rather, his remains. We will not bury Hughie in Glasnevin. He is now complete and more alive than we are. So Pádraig Mac Piarais was incorrect when he said in the poem (already quoted): “Och, is fuar é do leaba sa gcillin uaigneach” ("Alas, your bed is cold in the lonely graveyard”). Hughie is alive because as St. Paul says in the Letter to the Romans (just read): “Alive or dead we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14).

Returning to the mosaic analogy, the holy and wise Flemish Jesuit put it like this. Imagine, an artist creating a large mosaic. He builds it piece (or gem)-by-piece over time. He places each precious stone upside down on a flat surface. When the artist has the last gem in place, he binds all the pieces together with a strong adhesive substance. Then comes the great moment of lifting up the mosaic and exposing the completed work of art for the first time to the ecstatic joy of those who view it!

So it is with the life and death of the Christian and of the good person. Throughout our lives we place the precious stones on the mosaic of our lives, i.e., all of those acts of kindness and support, all the sufferings endured, all our work and prayer for others, our good intentions, our good thoughts and prayers, and so forth. The artist building my mosaic is myself responding to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit within me and the good people around me. (Sins do not constitute any part of the mosaic as they are negations, and, once I repent and God forgives, they
are blotted out). We are all contributing to our own mosaic of life every time we do even the smallest act of goodness every day we live and as long as we live! Our guide to those acts of goodness is summarised in the eight beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12), just read in the Gospel Dying, then, is the moment our mosaic is completed and it is unveiled in one great act that brings all my life together. This view of me is what God sees and embraces (it is my judgement) and welcomes home-my true self.

Let Us Now Reflect on Brother Hubert's Mosaic!
Hughie was born and reared in Hardwicke Street, Dublin, and grew-up in a good family. He went to school in Brunswick Street C.B.S. and spent two years as an 'apprentice Radio Serviceman'. He was a very dedicated altar boy in St. Francis Xavier's Church, Gardiner Street (at a time when I used to attend the early Mass each morning when working in Lucas' in North Portland Street in 1950, but I did not know Hubert at the time). He also joined the drama group 'Jo Mac's Productions' and entertained the children in Temple Street Hospital.

When he was nineteen years old (1958) he joined the Jesuits in Emo Park. He served in the Society of Jesus for forty-two years and I had the privilege of sharing a community with him for twenty-two years (i.e. in the Noviceship in Tullabeg, in Milltown Park and in the C.I.R.). What kind of gems did he place in his mosaic? In a short homily it is very difficult to do justice to Hubert.

(a) He was a Hard Worker: Hard work is our best way of serving others. Those of us who knew Hughie must agree he was a very hard worker. There was not an idle bone in his body! If St. Benedict is right when he implied "Laborare est orare" then Hughie was a prayerful man! As a worker he was most obliging. Right up to his final illness, as the staff and students of Gonzaga will bear witness, he worked hard and long hours in the College and in the Community.

(b) He was a person for Others: Hughie, according to most people I have consulted when preparing this sermon, was a person for others. My own experience of him confirms this view. He tried to help people and to persuade others to do likewise. While he was not reluctant to give his view, he was also a good listener, and he was very witty.

When serving in Tullabeg, for instance, Hughie organised a 'school for the house staff and others and I were recruited to help out. Again, in Milltown Park he roped others and me into teaching the house staff in the 'staff school'! We even gave out certificates to those who attended. While working in Galway, he also looked after the staff and became Assistant Director of the 'Boys Club' of which he was very proud.

When Brother Hubert came to the C.I.R. in 1975 for a term of service of fifteen years he worked beyond the call of duty and got to know and help the staff and students. He knew the names of every one of them. He was the human face of the Jesuits for many. He was a quiet, almost hidden worker, who had very little time for image or glossy recognition. He was plant manager of the C.I.R. for years and contributed to its successful survival in a most important way.

For the past nine years he has served in Gonzaga College and Community, where he become College Administrator, Minister of the Jesuit Community and House Consultor - all responsible positions. But Hubert worked on in support of students and staff, His colleagues Ben and Bennie, the Ladies Community and the students owe him much. He has been happy here in Gonzaga.

(c) Hubert the Family Man Hubert was very close to his family as his family was to him. He appointed me as an honorary chaplain' to the Monaghans and this enabled me to get to know his late mother, Madge, his Auntie May (still with us, thank God) and his brothers, sisters-in-law and nephews and nieces. He was very proud of his nephews and nieces. Every Sunday he was free, Denis would call and they had the day together. He loved to visit Tony and family in Preston and enjoyed going to football matches in the local club. He loved football. He was very attached to his family.

(d) Hubert the Jesuit His brother Denis told me the other night that ever since he was an altar boy in Gardiner Street Church, Hubert had only one major desire – to be a Jesuit. And in my experience of him he was a real Jesuit. We both had our difficulties, which we shared, but that even made him (and I hope me) more committed to the Society of Jesus.

Hughie was a Jesuit Brother, which I often think is the truly Jesuit vocation. Often the glamour and prestige of the priesthood gives us Jesuit priests a double identity which may obscure our religious Jesuitness. On completion of my own studies, I remember going to the Rector to explore the possibility of becoming a Jesuit Brother and continuing my academic work as a Brother, I feel I must say this to bear out the point I am making. Of course, my superior's advice was to seek ordination! I still maintain, however, that Jesuits like Hubert only had their Jesuit religious status and in that way they were and are very privileged.

He Brought Christ Closer
The Mosaic of Brother Hubert is now completed and what a mosaic it is! He radiated that basic goodness. Your turn-out today and the impressive scene in the hospital morgue when his Rector, Fr. Brendan Staunton, was visibly and emotionally grieving the loss of such a fine companion and fellow-worker, speaks volumes. He will indeed be missed by his family, by his Jesuit colleagues and all who had the privilege of knowing him. For me, he brought Christ closer. In a way he fulfilled his calling by becoming an Alter Christus for all of us. Thanks Hughie, for being yourself?

Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

Micheál Mac Gréil, SJ

-oOo-

Beyond an odd handshake at Province gatherings, I had no contact with Hughie Monaghan until 1975, when he arrived in the College of Industrial Relations. We quickly became good friends. I found Hughie to be a very warm person. He made people feel appreciated and I found him an affirming presence. He was a very hard worker, and very flexible, and he made it possible to introduce initiatives in the College that would have been very difficult without him.

At that time, around 1975, Hughie liked an odd pint, as did I. Some evenings after class we would go down to the Sandford House and review the joys and crosses of the day. But we could really only do this in summertime, when there was late closing, as it was customary to offer the students a free cuppa after night classes, so that it was nearly eleven when the premises was vacated. Eventually this got Hughie down, SO (without stating the real reason) he suggested that tea be served between classes, at five minutes to nine. He argued that all the students would go to the tea-room, instead of about a quarter of them, and that this would improve the students' social life. This proved quite correct, and the College's tea bill soared by 400%. The faculty were sceptical that as many as two hundred students could be served tea in 15 minutes, but Hughie ran the tea points like a military operation. The tea-break became the high point of college life, and undoubtedly helped retain and attract students. Perhaps this bears out Camus's assertion that "all great thoughts and all great deeds have ridiculous beginnings".

Hughie talked a lot about the Boys' Club in Galway, where he had been assistant Director. He deeply loved the Club and seemed somewhat sore that he had been moved from Galway. Many people connected with the Club continued to contact him when they were in Dublin and undoubtedly he brought the same warm and caring qualities as he did to his later work

When we began to run classes for unemployed people in the College I encouraged Hughie to get involved, which he did with relish. He was particularly good helping students who had reading and writing difficulties. But he also had a gift for just talking to course participants (he would not have called it 'counselling) and for giving them encouragement during what was a rough patch in their lives. Unfortunately the classes for unemployed came to an end and Hughie missed the involvement. He had a yen for something other than pouring tea and shifting chairs which over time led to a fairly deep dissatisfaction with his role in the College and even in the Society. He did not feel he had fulfilled his potential.

Hughie's deep spirituality sustained him through difficult times. He had been an altar boy in Gardiner Street, just around the corner from his home, and no doubt this laid the foundation of his vocation to the Society. He was not particularly 'pious', but he had a very homely relationship with God. Whenever he talked about God he spoke of him as a good and understanding friend, and I am sure he cheered many people up (he certainly cheered me) with his pithy observations on this theme.

Hughie and I shared a good few interests. One was folk music. He liked to organise parties from time to time in his mother's flat in O'Deveney Gardens, and invited a host of people, Jesuits and others, who could make music. His aunt May, who lived in the flat next door, played the piano for us. He had a group of mainly lay friends who loved music and for many years of the 70s and 80s we gathered regularly in houses and hostelries and played and sang into the small hours. Hughie was more of an appreciative spectator than a performer, but he had a few songs, such as “The Singing Bird", that he sang with great feeling to wild applause. Hughie and I also enjoyed a game of pitch and putt, and when we were in CIR Wednesday afternoon trips to Sandyford became a ritual that helped keep us both sane. We enjoyed a number of holidays together too, including a memorable week in Inishbofin where there were no Gardai to enforce closing time.

Hughie was the quintessential “Dub” and he was intensely proud of his roots in Hardwicke Street. He felt the death of his mother keenly, and the break with the old home. He was a great family man, and was very close to his brother Denis, whom he met every week without fail. He showed enormous devotion to his aunt May as her health gradually declined and there is great poignancy in the fact that she outlived him.

In his fine homily at Hughie's funeral, Micheál Mac Gréil spoke of the part Hughie played in setting up the staff school in Milltown Park. This was typical of Hughie because he always had an eye for the lame ducks or the people on the margins. In the noviceship we were told, “Always look after general needs before particular needs”, but Hughie tended to do the opposite and if someone was in trouble or had a problem everyone else could wait! In CIR Hughie was perhaps closest of all to the voluntary helpers, whose status in the organizational pecking order was probably lowest. He took a keen interest in the Cherry Orchard apostolate, and every Christmas he would give me a big bag of sweets for the local children. When he heard that the children often asked me for stationery items he began to pass on to me the fruits of the end-of term clean ups in Gonzaga, pens, pencils, copy-books and so on left around the place.

Hughie had a rocky start in Gonzaga, but it forced him to face up to some of the tensions in his life. As he gradually worked through these he became much more settled in himself, and happier and more calm than I had ever seen him. I heard from many quarters how much he was liked by the children and the staff and how much they appreciated his warmth, cheerfulness and hard work.

After we both left CIR I did not see so much of Hughie. We enjoyed a few days together in Clogherhead each summer where we could renew our rivalry on the pitch and putt course. He would occasionally meet a group of us who met in Burchill's on Monday night, but as he had decided to give up the drink he was not happy sipping rock shandies and he never stayed for long. In retrospect I think he was also growing tired, and various illnesses and complaints which later became serious were beginning to slow him down.

Hughie is the first close friend I have lost, and his death creates a great gap in our circle of friends. Still, Hughie's vitality and optimism were so great right up to the end that I am still very conscious of him looking down on us with wry humour as we complete our own pilgrimages. May the God he knew as a friend during his life be close to him now in his place of rest.

Bill Toner

◆ The Gonzaga Record 2000

Obituary

Hubert Monaghan SJ

Brother Hubert Monaghan SJ worked at the College from 1991 until shortly before his death, first as Assistant Co-Ordinatior of Pastoral Care and Assistant Administrator, then as Administrator, Community House Consultor and Minister.

After major surgery at St. Vincent's Hospital in May 2000, Hubert was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge where, after an initial steady recovery from his operation he passed away suddenly but peacefully on Monday 29'h May. The following tribute is excerpted from Michael MacGreils sermon at Hubert's funeral mass in Gonzaga.

Hubert Monaghan was born and reared in Hardwicke Street, Dublin, and grew up in a good family. He went to school in Brunswick Street C.B.S. and spent two years as an appren tice radio serviceman. He was a very dedicated altar boy in St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner St. He also joined the drama group “Jo Mac's Productions” and entertained the children in Temple St. Hospital.

When he was 19 years old in 1958 he joined the Jesuits in Emo Park. He served in the Society for 42 years and I had the privilege of sharing a community with him for 22 years, in
Tullabeg, in Milltown Park and in the CIR. In a short homily it is very difficult to do justice to Hubert.

Hard work is our best way of serving others. Those of us who knew Hughie must agree he was a very hard worker. There was not an idle bone in his body. If St. Benedict is right when he implied laborare est orare then Hughie was a prayerful man! As a worker he was most obliging. Right up to his final illness, as the staff and students at Gonzaga College will bear witness, he worked hard and long hours in the College and the Community.

Hughie, according to most people I consulted when preparing this sermon, was a person for others. My own experience of him confirms this view. He tried to help people and to persuade others to do likewise. While he was not reluctant to give his view, he was also a good listener, and he was very witty.

When serving in Tullabeg, for instance, Hughie organised a “school” for the house staff and others and I were recruited to help out. Again in Milltown Park he roped others into teaching the house staff in the “staff school”! We even gave out certificates to those who attended. While working in Galway he also looked after the staff and became assistant director of the Boys' Club, of which he was very proud.

When Brother Hubert came to the CIR in 1975 for a term of service of 15 years he worked beyond the call of duty and got to know and help the staff and students. He knew the names of every one of them. He was, for many, the human face of the Jesuits. He was a quiet, almost hidden worker, who had very little time for image or glossy recognition. He was plant manager of the CIR for years and contributed to its successful survival in a most important way.

For the past nine years he served in Gonzaga College and Community, where he became College Administrator, Minister of the Community and House Consultor-all responsible positions. But Hubert worked in support of students and staff. His colleagues Ben Donovan and Benny Lynham, the Ladies Committee and the students owe him much. He was happy here in Gonzaga.

Hubert was very close to his family, as his family was to him. He appointed me as honorary Chaplain to the Monaghans and this enabled me to get to know his late mother Madge, his Auntie May, and his brothers, sisters-in-law and nephews and nieces. He was very proud of his nephews and nieces. Every Sunday he was free, Denis would call and they would have the day together. He loved to visit Tony and family in Preston and enjoyed going to football matches in the local club. He loved football. He was very attached to his family.

His brother Denis told me the other night that ever since he was an altar boy in Gardiner St. Hubert had only one major desire-to be a Jesuit. And in my experience he was a real Jesuit. Everything in his life made him more committed to the Society of Jesus.

Hughie was a Jesuit Brother, which I often think is the truly Jesuit vocation. Often the glamour and prestige of the priesthood gives us Jesuit priests a double identity which may obscure our religious Jesuitness. On completion of my own studies, I remember going to the Rector to explore the possibility of becoming a Jesuit brother and continuing my academic work as a Brother, I feel I must say this to bear out the point I am making. Of course, my superior's advice was to seek ordination! I still maintain, however, that Jesuits like Hubert only had their Jesuit religious status and in that way they were and are very privileged.

Hubert radiated basic goodness. This turn-out today and the response of his friends and colleagues speaks volumes. He will indeed be missed by his family, by his Jesuit col leagues and all who had the privilege of knowing him. For me, he brought Christ closer. In a way he fulfilled his calling by becoming an Alter Christus for all of us.

Thanks, Hughie, for being yourself! Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

Morahan, Michael J, 1914-1992, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-jesuits-name-bugs/

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

◆ Interfuse

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

Obituary

Fr Michael Morahan (1914-1992)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ár Dheis De go raibh a anam!

MC

Moylan, John, 1938-2012, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

Mulcahy, Donal B, 1912-1994, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/521
  • Person
  • 22 April 1912-21 April 1994

Born: 22 April 1912, Sandymount, Dublin
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 21 April 1994, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Belvedere College SJ

◆ Interfuse No 82 : September 1995 & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1995 & ◆ The Gonzaga Record 1995

Obituary

Fr Donal Mulcahy (1922-1994)

12th April 1922: Born in Dublin
Education: Holy Faith, Glasnevin; Belvedere
3rd Sept. 1930: Entered Society at Emo, Co. Laois
4th Sept. 1932: First Vows at Emo
1932 - 1935: Rathfarnham, Arts at UCD, BA
1935 - 1938: Philosophy at Tullabeg, Co. Offaly
1938 - 1941: Belvedere College, Teacher and H.Dip in Ed
1941 - 1945: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1944: Ordained a at Milltown Park by J.C. McQuaid
1945 - 1946: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1946 - 1953; Mungret College, Teacher and Spiritual Father to the boys
1953 - 1962: Gardiner Street and teaching Religion at DIT (Bolton Street)
1960 - 1962: Minister, Ministering in the Church
1962 - 1971: Manresa House, Superior
1972 - 1979; Consultor of the Province
1973 - 1977: Dooradoyle, Superior
1977 - 1983: Tullabeg, Superior
1983 - 1993: Gonzaga, Minister, Treasurer
1983-1985: Treasurer, Rathfarnham Castle
1983-1989: Milltown Institute, Financial Director
1993 - 1994: Gonzaga, living in Cherryfield
21st April 1994: Died

A perspicacious man my father would have called him - and Donal was a father to me for over 12 years. Perspicacious means: of quick mental insight, understanding, perceptive, reasoned, comprehending. The reading from the Book of Wisdom rightly celebrates Donal's wise common sense and his quality of judgement - totally caring, totally honest, never judgmental.

It was that wisdom that the boys in Mungret received when he was spiritual father, Latin teacher, Junior Cup Team trainer. The students in Bolton Street enjoyed that same wisdom during his time as chaplain there in the 50's. Those who were Province consultors or house consultors with him over the years experienced and appreciated it. It was this wisdom, deepened with prayer, that he brought to his community building, his genius for home making.

Donal's home making career began here in Gardiner Street in 1960 and it was this trade that he continued to ply as Rector in Manresa from '62, Minister in Crescent from '71, Rector in Dooradoyle, which he built from scratch in '73, Superior in Tullabeg at Rahan from '77 and as minister/bursar in Gonzaga from '83 up to last summer. In all of these places he enhanced the physical surroundings, and community facilities, with an eagle eye to financial rectitude! In so doing he freed his fellow Jesuits for their work, with confidence that there was a warm home to return to and be refreshed humanly and spiritually. The second reading could not be more apt to describe Donal's philosophy and way of life.

Let love be genuine, hate what is evil; hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection, outdo one another in showing honour, never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer, contribute to the needs of the saints, practise hospitality.

Communities in Donal's care lived in that atmosphere. His nephews, nieces and grand-nephews/nieces will attest to his deep interest in their well-being, academic, sporting, career prowess, his shrewd assessments and warm encouragement. We Jesuits received the same concern and help. Truly a man who overcame evil with good.

The loyalty and generosity Donal showed to everyone, high and low, is legendary. The contacts he made through the Garden Fetes in Manresa and Tullabeg, the custom he gave those who were loyal to him, the reliability of his husbandry and hospitality, reminded me of the Gospel scene, where Jesus tantalised his friends only to enrich their understanding and grasp the real meaning of life. Donal lived that hospitality that made people “stay awhile” and break bread with him.

But despite all this, Donal was not perfect, you'll be sorry to hear. And if ever you watched TV with him, it is something to hear you would get..... in the form of quite disconcerting snoring! followed by an awakening and the question...,”Did I miss much” or “tell me what has happened so far!”. I understand such a characteristic was shared with his brothers: I do not know if it is hereditary! But I'm sure his sense of humour is, and his enjoyment of the simple things in life: there was nothing he liked better than a good variety show with wholesome humour. He was even addicted to the Late Late Show, God help us, Glenroe and the Rose of Tralee, the highlight of the year, along with Tops of the Town. He enjoyed a good “who done it” novel, or his fishing when on holidays.

Donal's untiring humanity is borne out in the courage he had in overcoming his speech impediment and the crippling arthritis over so many of his later years. Can any of us remember him complaining, making demands, being inconsiderate of others? The manner of his dying typifies his character, no fuss, minimal disruption, the choir didn't even get a day off school!

Donal's last words to me Thursday evening, about 20 minutes before he died, were, “There's nothing I need and thanks very much for coming” - a typical response from him.

My last words to you, now, Donal are: “Thanks for being there, so many times, for so many of us in our need. You revealed the Lord in the hospitality of the home, in the breaking of the bread for us, may you now be "at home", as he breaks bread with you”.

John Dunne

Mulligan, John M, 1920-1986, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/187
  • Person
  • 18 April 1920-29 May 1986

Born: 18 April 1920, Swinford, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 29 May 1986, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Bray, County Wicklow

Part of Gonzaga College SJ community, Ranelagh, Dublin at time of his death.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 61st Year No 3 1986
Obituary
Fr John Mary Mulligan (1920-1943-1986)
18th April 1920: born. Lived in Swinford, Co Mayo. Studied for the diocesan priesthood at Clonliffe and Maynooth colleges. 7th September 1943: entered SJ. 1943-45 Emo, noviciate. Bypassed juniorate. 1945-48 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1948-51 Mungret, regency. 1951-56 Milltown, theology. 1956-57 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1957-69 Gardiner Street: 1957-60 assistant, Jesuit Mission office, also (1958-60) house bursar; 1960-69 assistant to national director, Pioneer TAA.
1969-71 minister of houses: 1969-70 Mungret, 1970-71 Gonzaga.
1971-86 curate in Dublin parishes: 1971-77 Finglas West, 1977-83 Halston Street and Arran Quay, all the while attached to Belvedere; 1983-86 Bray (Queen of Peace), while attached to Gonzaga. 29th May 1986: died.

John Mulligan was 24 when I first met him, in my first year in the noviceship, and his second, We looked on him as very old, not just because of the six-year gap between him and us boys just out of school, but because he had experienced a lot. He could entertain us with stories of his home in Swinford - he always had deep roots in county Mayo - and of his school days in the national school and in Blackrock college, which he loved dearly and spoke of always with affection. More than that, he knew Clonliffe, where he was classmate of many who
were to go into Dublin diocese. He could speak of Maynooth too, which he had left to enter the Jesuits. He seemed to be a man cut out in every way to be a priest. Even though his mother was alive and survived for many years, he was in a sense an alone man. His father had died when John was young and his only sister Kitty died tragically only two years
after our noviceship together. He was a bit like that legendary biblical figure Melchizedeck, who is remembered as a high priest and as a man without ancestors, without family, a man alone.
John did indeed cling closely to his family. He had cousins and relations all over Ireland, and he worked to keep in touch with them. He travelled to Cork and Wexford and Mayo and Dublin and kept all the different relations in touch with all the rest.
Yet there was the lonely priest about him. He had a clear public personality. He presented himself easily, warm, talkative, with a fund of entertaining chat. He had an extraordinary memory for names. He was a people's person. He loved people, wherever he went, in Finglas, Halston street, Bray, all around the country in the earlier years, he met people, placed them in their relations, and was enormously interested in them. He was indeed a man of considerable culture, and a clever man, which you discovered if you played bridge with him - he had a remarkable head for cards.
He was a very sharp chess player. He could finish the Times crossword as fast as anybody I know. He had a great store of literature by heart; loved to recite Macaulay's passage on the Church of Rome which would outlast empires; and the last paragraph of Francis Thompson's life of Ignatius Loyola, with its vision of the soldier saint.
But “culture” did not mean as much to him as people. On one occasion he was on a holiday with friends in Vienna, admiring the masterpieces of European Art in the Staatsmuseum. John made an excuse and slipped away from them, and was found later poring over the London Times in a coffee shop. He had calculated that the only newspaper available in Vienna that would cover the Irish general election - then at the counting stage - would be the Times : so he found a newsagent that sold it, and devoured it to satisfy his hungry curiosity as to who had got the fifth seat in the Laois-Offaly constituency. He loved Ireland, loved its people, even its politicians, loved them as he found them, as they are.
John's easy presence and talk, his public persona, stood him in good stead in the one work as a priest which he did superbly, the most important task in the life of a parish priest, namely visiting the parish. He was faithful to his district, visited everyone systematically, and this is not always easy. You may arrive in the middle of a good television programme, or in the middle of a fight between children of parents; you may be rebuffed or made unwelcome. But John persisted as the presence of the Christian community, of the Church, in going from house to house, and letting people know that he was interested in them.
As we think about the public person of John, we must ask how did he keep it up? There was another side to him. He had few and simple pleasures: reading the paper, doing the crossword, talking to friends. A few years ago he gave up two of the pleasures which meant a good deal to him, smoking and alcohol. Again one wonders about the private life that lay behind such a renunciation. It was a life hidden in God. Again you wonder how he was so contented in himself, happy with the second place. He was Assistant throughout his life: assistant to the director of foreign missions, assistant to the director of the Pioneers, assistant to this or that superior, assistant in parishes - at 66 he was still a curate. Yet one never felt an ambition in him, or a resentment at not having the top job. There was an unworldliness about John. It wasn't that he didn't see worldliness: he could be very funny about people who were too attached to money, whether clergy or laity. But he didn't rant against them, and himself he was open-handed and generous.
He had in the last months quite a sense of his final call. A couple of weeks before the end, in Lourdes, when he was wheeling an invalid around, he felt a stabbing pain and had to stop. He was found to have had a coronary attack; but he carried on, and did not talk about it when he returned to Ireland. One Saturday, in a house with friends, invited to play a boisterous game with children, he said: 'I can't anymore. My hands feel like sacks of potatoes.' A few days later in the sacristy he felt another warning pain, and before he went to bed he got in his car and drove into Gonzaga to talk - to say goodbye? - to his community. Then he went to bed and died peacefully in his sleep, as he would have wanted. He always said that in his family he couldn't expect to live to seventy. May he continue to remember us to God, as we remember him.
Paul Andrews

Murphy, David, 1944-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/19
  • Person
  • 15 May 1944-21 May 1982

Born: 15 May 1944, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1962, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final Vows 29 December 1980, Tabor House, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 21 May 1982, St Luke's Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1968 at Chantilly France (GAL S) studying
by 1975 at Grenelle Paris (GAL) teaching
by 1979 at Copenhagen Denmark (GER S) working

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
‘A tall, determined young man’ is what first comes to mind when David's name is mentioned. He was born in Dublin on 15 May 1944 and attended Gonzaga College for his secondary schooling. He was one of the school's first vocations and entered the Society at Emo in 1962. At the University he took English and French for his degree and French culture had a special appeal for him, so he went to Chantilly, France, for his philosophy in 1967. For regency he came to Zambia in August 1969 and after six months working at the ciTonga language, he moved into Canisius Secondary School as a teacher. ‘A certain intolerance for what he saw as the merely conventional began to emerge. There was something a little wooden and naive in his own attitude but his indignation at another man's apparent failure in charity or common sense for the sake of conventional propriety never led to a lessening regard for those he disagreed with’. He took on a number of 'causes': prisoners' rights (Dublin, Copenhagen, Northern Ireland), opposition to apartheid in South Africa, Third World problems (which increased that intolerance), and a distaste for injustice of any kind.

He was ordained in Milltown Park on 21st June 1974 and went to America for a few months. It was while there that the brain tumour which finally killed him came to light. That settled the question of whether he should return to Zambia where he had so enjoyed teaching. Still, though slowed down by his illness and treatment, he went to Paris for two years to study pastoral theology. After a year in Gardiner Street parish, he returned to Paris for another year 1977.

In 1978 he undertook what was perhaps the most amazing adventure of all, he became prison chaplain in Copenhagen (Denmark) to those non-Danish prisoners who neither spoke nor understood either English or French. His sense of outrage at what he saw as the callous mistreatment of a fairly wretched group by a reputedly sophisticated society was quick to surface and he did not hesitate to communicate it to others’. The last two years of his life he spent in Dublin receiving treatment for his tumour. He did a little parish work and prison visiting at Mountjoy prison.

His final illness as he moved in and out of comas and became increasingly paralysed and humiliatingly dependent was a deeply harrowing time, above all for David himself but also for his community and brave family. He died on 21 May 1982 in his 38th year of life.

People who knew David found him to be gentle, humorous, kindly, while at the same time determined and single minded. He was angered by humbug and pretence. On these occasions he could be rigidly uncompromising. His strong character showed a deep personal honesty and integrity. To the end, he was very appreciative of the dedicated help he received from those who were looking after him, both at St Luke's Cancer hospital and from his own religious community.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 57th Year No 3 1982
Obituary
Fr David Murphy (1944-1962-1982)

David Murphy came to the Society in the middle of the brief boom at the start of the sixties. Son of Michael, an active and well-loved Old Clongownian and related, through his mother, to Fr Paddy O’Kelly, he had spent his schooldays in Gonzaga and was one of the school's first vocations. We were 24 in the class of ‘62, reduced to 15 by vow-day two years later and now, with David’s course already completed, numbering just eight. But in those days the cameratas bulged on the seams, we had enough to play two soccer matches on a Sunday afternoon and Fr Socius Timoney’s eyes gleamed at the prospect of a huge workforce to be unleashed on the unsuspecting “clochar”, come the Long Retreat.
From the beginning David stood out. He was a big man, both in body and spirit. The monastic style of Emo in those preconciliar days required just the qualities of generosity and inwardness which David abundantly possessed. He was a very diligent, reliable novice but never lacking in a sense of humour to keep things in proportion. He was a good athlete - who can forget him, then and later, putting in those disconcertingly long-legged tackles at centre-half and rising above everybody to head clear? On the tennis-court, where a novice's spirit of charity could be tested, David was a tough but always impeccably courteous opponent.
He was in Rathfarnham from 1964-67 and enjoyed the university years. He was a solid student and got a solid degree in English and French. But for David there was much more to life in UCD than study or the narrow constraints of the set curriculum. It was from him that we all first heard of Merleau-Ponty and we used to be aghast at his facility for persuading the likes of Monsieur Cognon and Dr Denis Donoghue to take him down to the Shelbourne between lectures for coffee and earnest discussion. These encounters were neither engineered to curry favour with his teachers nor narrated afterwards to impress his companions in the Juniorate. I have rarely known anyone so free of human respect or fear of what others might think.
French culture had a special appeal for David - he was to spend five of his 20 years as a Jesuit in France - and in 1967 he went to Chantilly for philosophy. He became interested in Freud, an interest he never lost, and was reputed to have managed an interview with the reclusive Samuel Beckett by the simplest of stratagems - going along and knocking on the great man's door.
He volunteered for the missions after philosophy and went to Zambia with Colm Brophy in 1969. That David should have wanted to be a missionary was wholly in character and exemplified his courage, generosity, independence and spirit of adventure. It was in France and in Zambia, I think, that something else began to emerge - a certain intolerance of what he saw as the merely conventional. There was possibly something a little wooden and naïve in his own attitude but his indignation at another man's apparent failure in charity or commonsense for the sake of conventional propriety never led to a lessening of respect for those he disagreed with. He was not inclined to judge motives; he simply could not understand their behaviour. In later years, when he was ill and when his causes had become prisoners' rights (whether in Dublin, in Northern Ireland, or in Denmark) and opposition to apartheid, the intolerance increased and the interpretation of some situations could seem a little lopsided. But behind it was always David's own utter decency and his extreme distaste for injustice of any kind.
After three years in Milltown Park at theology, he was ordained by Archbishop Ryan on 21st June, 1974 and, that summer, while he was in America, the brain tumour which finally killed him first came to light. After that there could be no question of returning to Zambia. But, although slowed down by his illness and the treatment, David was not prepared to make major concessions to it or to opt for the life of an invalid. He went to Paris for two years and did his best to study pastoral theology. After that there was a year in Gardiner street, where he did some work in the parish and even began to teach himself Spanish. Typically, he visited the headquarters of Sinn Féin in Gardiner Place (now the Workers' Party) and, despite their known Marxist leanings and presumed hostility to the Church, coolly informed them that they were in his area and that he was available, should they require him in his capacity as a priest. History does not record what they said; they were probably too surprised to say anything.
In 1977 he went back to Paris for another year and then, in 1978, undertook what was perhaps the most amazing adventure of all, becoming prison chaplain in Copenhagen to those non-Danish prisoners who spoke or could understand either English or French. Without Danish or German (the native language of most of the Jesuits in Scandinavia) and not well enough to try to learn either, most others would have been daunted by such an assignment. But not David. His sense of outrage at what hę saw as the callous mistreatment of a fairly wretched group by a reputedly sophisticated society was quick to surface and he did not hesitate to communicate it to others. At that time he was full of hopeful and touchingly zealous schemes for other Jesuits to come from Ireland and join him. But of his own ministry he told us little or nothing. It appears that he and his Mexican colleague were awarded a substantial humanitarian prize in Denmark for a report they drew up on the sufferings of prisoners in solitary confinement. How typical of David that we should learn of this only now, after his death.
The last two years of his life were spent between Tabor, Milltown Park, Sherrard street and St Luke's, under the darkening cloud of his illness. He did not cease to work for as long as he could, among other things involving himself in prison visitation at Mountjoy. Although formally assigned to tertianship in the autumn of 1980, he never went. Instead, he made his solemn profession, in the presence of his family, his Jesuit friends and a few others, in Milltown on 29th December. It was not a sombre or despairing ceremony but serious, courageous, trusting. The readings were David's own choice, beginning with the vocation of Abraham narrated in the Book of Genesis: “Leave your country, your family and your father's house, for the land I will show you ....” It seemed to express not only his history as a missionary but also a constant quality of detachment in his own life and his mysterious and painful destiny to leave all things in death a few days after his 38th birthday.
After that the visits to St Luke’s became more frequent and more prolonged. His final illness, as he moved in and out of comas and became increasingly paralysed and humiliatingly dependent, was a deeply harrowing time, above all for David himself but also for his community and his brave family. He (and they) bore it with courage and with a dignity that was always distinctive of him, a sense of inwardness and understatement noticeable in him from the beginning. He died early in the morning of 21st May and was buried the next day, after a moving funeral Mass in Gardiner street.

Many of us who knew David found him to be gentle, humorous, kindly: while at the same time, determined and single- minded. In his last years of failing health these qualities were very much to the fore. Determination and single-minded ness marked his struggle to cope with his illness. Not a moment was wasted. He was constantly planning, even against the odds, for future work and leisure. He vibrated enthusiasm in his own unique way, living a very full and varied life, never giving in to the pressures and limitations of deteriorating health.
One of the most remarkable features of the past seven years of David's life has been that they were years of solid achievement despite the burden of ill-health.
As a prison chaplain he was outstanding. His strong character was shown at its best in recent years in the lively and sincere concern he shared with those who were suffering or oppressed. Only those who were closest to him know of the active and priestly work which consumed so much of his little energy. Typical of such activity was his work in the prisons at Copenhagen and Mountjoy. One of his fellow-chaplains remarked recently that what impressed the prisoners deeply was 'the driving interest David had in their welfare - when it was perfectly obvious to even the most casual observer, that he was gravely ill. Yet his major concern seemed to be with their problems rather than his own. Here, as in everything else, he gave himself unstintingly to the needs of others.
His influence was pervasive. He made many friends in widely differing walks of life and, as always, once he made friends they became friends for life. He had the respect and affection of those who were close to him. Not surprisingly, he is sorely missed.
David was at his best when faced with challenge. When the serious nature of his illness first became apparent the immediate future looked extremely gloomy. It seemed evident at the time that David's highly active life was going to be greatly restricted. Yet, after initial hospital treatment, he was off on his travels once again - this time back to Paris where he continued to take his English classes at Franklin. His dogged determination to live as normal a life for as long as possible was remarkably obvious. He had great difficulty at this time in adapting to the fact that his resources of energy were much diminished. He tried so very hard to continue as before but it was clear that changes would have to be made.
When David returned from France many of us expected him to slow down the pace – at least a little! But he had hardly settled back before he was off again: this time to Copenhagen as prison chaplain to the English-speaking prisoners. He spent two years in Denmark. While he found his work very satisfying and invigorating he found certain aspects of community life very difficult.
His qualities of gentleness and concern for those who were oppressed were predominant at this time. He was particularly prominent in speaking out on behalf of those whom he considered were being treated unfairly or unjustly. His major concern was for the dignity of the individual which he considered to be sacred. He was angered by humbug or pretence. On these occasions he could be rigidly uncompromising. There are many stories and anecdotes he used recount of his experiences in Copenhagen. But even when he spoke of the setbacks they were usually related with a touch of humour And yet he was very appreciative of rather than bitterness.
So many of these experiences reveal his questioning mind which refused to be browbeaten. His strong character showed a deep degree of personal honesty and integrity.
David felt very strongly on certain matters. His stand on such issues as anti-apartheid, prisoners' rights, Northern Ireland, the Third World etc. left no room for ambiguity. While many in the Province may not always have synchronised with his views there was never any doubting his personal integrity and dedication. David advocated his cause fearlessly and enthusiastically, always seeking to implement his vision. Even when time for active involvement was obviously getting shorter, his lively spirit did not diminish. To the end he was alert to the issues which gave him so much of his inner fire.
He was gifted with an active and enquiring mind. The adventure and mystery of life provided him with a never-ending search into the deeper questions of the world which surrounds us. This search, for him, could never be satisfied by dallying on the surface. Before his illness, David had a deep-rooted fascination with the power of the written word as an instrument for research and as a means of expression. One of his greatest frustrations in recent years was the incapacity to express himself clearly in writing. And yet his enquiring mind remained unbowed: always the active lively interest in so of his causes célèbres'. In the closing weeks of his life he was gathering his thoughts on the dignity that is due to the 'incurable patient in hospital. He was adamant that patients in hospital should never be made feel that they are in danger of being reduced to the category of prisoner' with no control over the ordinary decisions that affect their lives. His own reaction to hospitalisation was a clear indication of his feelings on this matter.
And yet he was very appreciative of the dedicated help he received from those who were looking after him. He had respect and admiration for the staff of St Luke's whom he considered to be “good listeners and who did not make you feel that there were two types of person, the sick and the non-sick”. He was also very much aware of the fact that without the devotion and selfless generosity of Br Joe Cleary he could never have managed to have the degree of independence that marked his time at Milltown.
To say that David had a zest for living would surely be a gross understatement!, He had an insatiable appetite for travel and new discovery. It was reflected in his great enthusiasm for life. He loved people and he loved living. Despite the difficulties with which he struggled during the past seven years the bedrock of his enthusiasm remained undimmed.
So many of his friends remember, maybe even with a touch of humour, how the suggestion of foreign travel could revive David's spirits in recent times. Shortly before his death he was already preparing for the possibility of another trip to the Holy Land. It was fitting. Many of those who knew him intimately will remember him as a citizen of the world', always preparing for new Voyages of discovery and . meeting new people.
He went to God on the day following: the Ascension. We can only imagine how enthusiastically he is revelling in this new! to the world of discovery. It is difficult to visualise David resting in peace with many such a brave new world to be explored!
It is only the annals of eternity that will reveal to the full the outstanding and selfless dedication of this remarkable priest. His deep faith and trust in God was an inspiration. It was typical of the man that self-pity and self-concern were never his major preoccupations. The heavy burden of ill-health he accepted as part of the mysterious plan of redemption for a suffering world. His faith was solid and shown in his apostolic enthusiasm. He was constantly preoccupied in trying to bring the peace of God to those whop were suffering in any way. Much of this work is hidden in the God whom he served faithfully. he comforted many who wept the tears of life, and gave new hope and encouragement to those threatened by difficulty and despair.
He was truly what Ignatius would like us all to be: a man for others.
CH

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 66 : September 1991

JUNE 1991 - 1491 TO 1991

Jim O’Higgins

A memorial, sent to the host of the Province Day, by Jim O'Higgins, brother-in-law of the late David Murphy, S.J.

This is the best day of my life he said
Dougie in the dining hall
Where sacerdotal homburg hat had just been
recorded as a rarity
Yet welcomed by the sweaters and the jeans
All synthesising with the greys, the garbs
The collars of the brothers
Vested in the clothes
of ordinary people
As Inigo on the path to Monserrat

First Salmeron and Brouet from Romes perspective
Strove to understand the lapsing unbelief of chiefs
Of Northern Donegal
And the Celts invective almost quenched
Their spirit but for the epistle from
the Basque
Now from Northwest of Ireland the Companions
They have sent their own emissary
To Rome to reach to unbelievers with good news

This is 'effective effective as the infiltration
Of Peter Kenny and his confreres
To prepare a people for emancipation
Through Castle Browne and Galway

Urging and creating a new “energy”
And support for ancient classicists and young feminists

For Arrupe, Peter-Hans G.C. 32
For Kostka and Columbiere

In 1991 in June they gathered
A great day in my life said Dougie
Quincentennial day for comrades
For the men for others.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1986

David Murphy SJ

David was born in 1944 in Dublin, and spent his school days at Gonzaga Col lege. On leaving school he entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1962. The monastic style of Emo Park in those days re quired just the qualities of generosity and inwardness which David abund antly possessed.

He was in Rathfarnham Castle from 1964 to 1967 and enjoyed his years at university. He took his degree in English and French. French culture had a special appeal for David, and he spent five of his twenty years as a Jesuit in France. He went to Chantilly for philosophy. He became interested in Freud, an interest he never lost, and was reputed to have managed an inter view with the reclusive Samuel Beckett by the simplest of stratagems – going along and knocking on the great man's door. After philosophy he did his regency in Zambia. He returned to Milltown Park for theology and was ordained by Archbishop Ryan on 21 June 1974.

While he was in America that sum mer the brain tumour which finally killed him first came to light. Typically, David was not prepared to make major concessions to it or opt for the life of an invalid.

In 1977 he went back for a third time to Paris for pastoral theology. In 1978 he undertook what was perhaps the most amazing adventure of all: he became prison chaplain in Copenhagen to those non-Danish prisoners who spoke or could understand either English or French. His sense of outrage at what he saw as the callous treatment of a fairly wretched group by a reputedly sophisticated society was quick to surface and he did not hesitate to communicate it to others. He and a Mexican colleague were awarded a substantial humanitarian prize in Denmark for a report they drew up on the sufferings of prisoners in solitary confinement. It was so like David that we learned of this only after his death.

The last two years of his life were spent between Tabor, Sherrard Street, and St Luke's Hospital. He was too weak to undertake the Tertianship. Instead, he made his solemn profes
sion in the presence of his family and some friends in Milltown Park, on 29 December. It was not a sombre cere mony, but serious, courageous, and trusting. The readings were David's own choice, beginning with the voc ation of Abraham: 'Leave your coun try, your family, and your father's house, for the land I will show you? It seemed to express not only his history as a missionary, but also a constant quality of detachment in his own life, and his mysterious and painful destiny to leave all things in death a few days after his thirty-eighth birthday.

Murphy, Edmond, 1913-1994, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/12
  • Person
  • 08 July 1913-20 January 1994

Born: 08 July 1913, Limerick City
Entered: 04 October 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows 02 February 1951, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 20 January 1994, Beechfield Manor, Dublin

Part of Belvedere College SJ community at time of death.

by 1979 at Coventry England (ANG) working.

◆ Interfuse No 82 : September 1995 & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1995

Obituary

Fr Edmond (Eddie) Murphy (1913-1994)

8th July 1913; Born in Limerick
Secondary studies: C.B.S., Sexton Street, Limerick. Taught at primary level for two and a half years.
4th Oct. 1937: Entered the Society at Emo
5th Oct. 1939: First Vows at Emo
1939 - 1941: Lived at Rathfarnham while studying Arts at UCD.
1941 - 1944: Philosophy at Tullabeg
1944 - 1945: Regency in Belvedere College
1945 - 1949: Theology at Milltown Park
28th July 1948: Ordained a priest in Milltown Park by Bishop J.C. McQuaid
1949 - 1950: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1950 - 1965: Belvedere College, Prefect of Studies, Junior School
1965 - 1967: Gonzaga College, Prefect of Studies
1967 - 1978: Belvedere College, Teacher
1978 - 1980: Coventry, England, working in a Parish
1980 - 1984: Belvedere College, Teacher
1984 - 1985: Loyola House, Province Secretary
1985 - 1994: Belvedere College
1985 - 1991: Writer and Confessor to the Boys
1991 - 1994: Praying for the Society and the Church
20th Jan. 1994: Died at Beechfield Nursing Home, Shankill, Co. Dublin

To the believing Christian the words of St. Paul (from our first reading) “Our homeland is in heaven” give meaning to the gift of life - to our passage through life - and, finally, to our passage from life. As we celebrate this Mass in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Eddie Murphy, we rejoice in his passing from this world in spite of the sorrow that his death occasions in each of us. Such is the paradox of the Christian Faith - such is the gift of that Hope in which we live out our lives - and such are the thoughts which our love for him bring to our hearts this morning.

The life of Fr. Eddie Murphy can be traced in the footsteps of His Master and Teacher. From early childhood - and numerous are the instances recounted by his family! - by word and example he taught his younger brothers and sisters the path of rectitude and right living. After leaving school in his native Limerick, he became a Primary School Teacher, and at the age of 24, joined the Jesuits in 1937. He received the B.A. degree in English, Latin and Irish, and, apart from the period of formation, spent nearly all of his life in the classroom, most of it in Belvedere College.

He is remembered as a person with a deep love of the vocation of Teaching - with high and strict standards set and demanded - yet he is recalled as a person with a deep interest in the individual student, which extended far beyond the confines of the classroom. He is also fondly remembered for the help and advice given to many young teachers starting out on their career. For 15 years - from 1950 to 1965 - Eddie was a much respected Headmaster of the Junior School in Belvedere. He brought to his mastery of the classroom techniques a great love of music - he was an enthusiastic listener, player and even composer - witness his STRING QUARTET in E MINOR of 1982!

That, in a few short lines, is the resume of the life of this teacher, faithful both to that profession and to his Jesuit vocation. After his retirement from teaching, he spent two years in parochial work in Coventry (during which time he undertook the challenging task of translating into English the Memorial of one of the founding companions of the Society of Jesus, B1, Peter Fabre). Unfortunately, he did not live to see his work in print. He also wrote short lives of Jesuits Blessed and Saints. At the end of 1980 he returned to his beloved Belvedere to live out the last 15 years of his life.

Apart from two years spent under his guidance in regency in Gonzaga College in the 60's, it was during these last years that I knew him best. His urbane deportment and interest in all things intellectual failed to hide a quite delicious and often mischievous sense of humour, of which the brethren in the community have been recalling the most outrageous examples during these past two days.

Just over 5 years ago, Fr, Eddie suffered the first of many minor strokes, which gradually slowed him down, and eventually led him along a path which, known only to God, seemed such a mysterious vocation for one who had been gifted with such an outstanding interest in the things of the mind.

The words of Christ in St. John's Gospel in this Mass summarise very well the diptych which has been his life. When young and in his prime, Fr. Eddie enjoyed God's gifts to the full - and he shared the fruits of them with others........ but, in the evening of his life, he followed St. Peter: “when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will bind you and take you where you don't want to go”.

I think that it is in this latter living out of his vocation that Eddie made his greatest offering to God. It is not for us to pass judgement on the ways in which God deals with another, yet there were times when we were tempted to ask why the Lord did not call him home, as his bodily strength failed, as his contemporaries passed on and as he faded into silence. But we can always bear witness to the ways in which God speaks to us through others.....and it is in this faith-context that we can thank God for the gift of Eddie Murphy, the patient.

One of the pillars of the Foundation of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises is the unconditional and complete offering of ourselves to God - in such a way that, “as far as we are concerned, we should not prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, honour to dishonour, a long life to a short life”. Over 50 years ago, Eddie made that offering when he pronounced his First Vows in the Society of Jesus, and how well was that young man's commitment honoured in these last years of life, unheralded and unsung in the eyes of the world, yet as precious and fruitful as any years spent in his active ministry. Of what use, the world may ask, was this life of helpless existence? Only to the eyes of Faith can the answer be apparent - for I deeply believe that Eddie was asked to “hang on”, as it were, so that God could show forth the strength of love and draw out from others the extraordinary outpouring of living care and concern of which Eddie was the recipient from those whose vocation it is to look after the sick and helpless. I can only record my unbounded admiration for the nursing and caring Staff who showed their love for an old and feeble man in such a deeply Christian way. As I welcome you here, I hope that, when you think of Fr. Eddie Murphy, you will do so with pride in your work and with a deep sense of gratitude to God for having given you the grace to love him so well! In shouldering his needs, you have shouldered the yoke of Christ - you have learned from Eddie as well - and you have been gentle and very loving in heart - and you brought him rest for body and soul. Thanks to you, he could find Christ's yoke easy and His burden light.

Eddie waited so long for the coming of Our Saviour to call him home - but now his old enfeebled body (St. Paul speaks of "these wretched bodies of ours") will be transfigured into a copy of Christ's glorious body.

Fr Eddie's passing reminds us of the gift of life and the mystery of death - of God's forgiveness and our hope in Him - of our need to count on His word and to wait for Him.

To those of you who have joined us this morning to say farewell to Eddie, we, his Family and his Brother-Jesuits, thank you for the gift of your friendship and love for him.......and we pray that God, who spoke to you through him, will reward you for your love of him, “in full measure, pressed down and overflowing”.

We cannot but rejoice with and for Eddie - even in the midst of our sadness at this parting. But, when our sorrow has eased with the passage of time, may we be able to look back and recall what we shared together - and laugh at the fun-times - and in our laughter, may we give thanks.

As we celebrate this Eucharist, we reaffirm our Faith that “our homeland is in heaven”. As we pray for Eddie, we ask God to grant us the grace to be reunited with him in that heavenly home. As we say farewell, we say may you be with God, Eddie. And we say may God be-with-you, GOOD-BYE!

Michael Sheil

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1994

Obituary

Edmond Murphy SJ

Prefect of Studies 1965-7

If only to jog the memories of those past pupils who knew Fr Eddie I shall begin my small tribute by putting him into his proper context in Gonzaga history.

He came to Gonzaga in the August of 1965 to assume the role of Prefect of Studies (the title 'Headmaster' had not yet arrived) in succession to Fr Bill White who was kicked upstairs to be the Rector in place of Fr John Hughes. He came to us after fifteen very successful years as Prefect of Studies of the Junior School in Belvedere and, when he departed again in 1967, he was sucked back once more into the life of that college, where he remained a superb teacher of English and French until the years caught up on him. He was succeeded in Gonzaga by Fr Paul Andrews.
His two years among us were significant in many ways. Apart from his own substantial contribution to the academic life of the college, these were years when the lay staff included such notable personalities as Cathal O'Gara, Ray Kearns, John Wilson, Tom O'Dea and Edmundo Volpi, while among the Jesuits on active service in the classroom were Fr Joe Veale, Fr Joe Kavanagh, Fr Bill Lee, Fr Diarmuid O’Laoghaire, Fr John O'Leary, the two Fr Redmonds (Stephen and John), Fr Fred Cull, Fr (then ‘Mr') Michael Sheil, and myself.

His arrival in Gonzaga coincided with the erection of the great steel frame that was the skeleton of the present Boys' Chapel. 1966 was also the year when a large group of our senior boys marched in the 1916 Anniversary Schools' Procession to Croke Park, proudly carrying the tricolour and the school pennant, and the Proclamation was solemnly unveiled in the school theatre by Cathal Brugha, grandson of the 1916 leader, and read aloud by the captain, James O'Rourke. It was in this year too that Barry Bresnihan got his first call-up as centre-three-quarter against England at Twickenham.

Fr Eddie Murphy was a man of many parts. Limerick-born, he received his early education at the CBS in Sexton St, but did not enter the Society of Jesus immediately after his secondary schooling. Indeed, he had already attained the ripe age of 24 and had some two-and-a-half years' teaching in a national school behind him before he appeared on the steps of Emo Park to begin his noviceship. He then followed the normal course of Jesuit formation - two years' noviciate, three years attending UCD from Rathfarnham Castle and equipping himself with his BA and HDip in Ed, three years' philosophy in Tullabeg, a year's regency (i.e. teaching) in Belvedere, and four years' theology in Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on 28 July 1948. Then began his long association with Belvedere, interrupted only by his short stint at Gonzaga.

A man of many parts, I said. Yes, a man who gave his full commitment to the task in hand and while with us he generously shared his gift for organisation, his pedagogical experience, his aptitude for making friends, his rich vein of humour, his understanding of youth, his wise counselling and encouragement, and all his other many talents. I have spoken to a number of past pupils who were in Gonzaga between 1965 and 1967 and I have found that they all remember him with affection, recognising a person who was efficient, helpful, kind and very fair. In his dealings with boys, especially seniors, there were no 'scenes’, no tirades. His own mature handling of situations seemed to call forth a reciprocal maturity. One past pupil reminded me of how he would visit a classroom and, having made whatever pronouncement the occasion required, he would move towards the door, but then, as if an afterthought, deliver himself of an exit line in the form of an apt quotation, not infrequently in Latin.

Thinking of Fr Eddie there comes naturally to my mind the passage from Goldsmith's The Deserted Village:

A man severe he was, and stern to view;
I knew him well, and every truant new;
Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace
The day's disasters in his morning face;
Full well they laugh'd with counterfeited glee
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frowned;
Yet he was kind; or if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault.

Yes, he was, perhaps, a trifle ‘stern to view'. His fiery top contributed somewhat to this image, and I recall now the remark of a colleague who one day caught him in a pensive mood, in a pose that had him glaring at his fingernails “as if he were daring his fingers to answer back'. In memory's eye I see him with those same fingers poised menacingly over the keyboard of a piano, an instrument he always played fortissimo and, at times, agitato: I see him with his head thrust forward like a turtle's, his nose almost pressed against the sheet of music because of his short-sightedness. He was no mean musician and among his compositions is a String Quartet which had its premiere in Belvedere.

But then, I suppose, anyone who takes on the job of Prefect of Studies must make an effort to look a bit severe, and his pupils may see only one aspect of him. As one who shared his student days and had him as a friend and colleague in Gonzaga, I can assure all who served under him that Fr Eddie was a man of infinite wit, with a loud and infectious laugh, and he was a great swopper of stories - 'for many a joke had he'.

Yet he was kind; or if severe in aught,
The love he bore for learning was in fault.

Fr Eddie was a learned man with a deep love of learning. Most of his time in Belvedere he taught English and some French, but also spoke Irish fluently. In any language he was a purist and perfectionist and was steeped in semantics. As a former Classics teacher I like to think that this derived from his profound knowledge of Latin, and here I might add that among his works was a translation of the Memoriale of Br Peter Faber SJ commissioned by the Jesuit Resources Institute in the USA. For many a year he accompanied a group of Belvedere boys to Stratford-on-Avon, and so became known to many Gonzagians who shared this experience with the sister college.

While in Gonzaga he gave no evidence of athletic prowess; he was far more at home with dusty volumes than muddy fields. Yet I remember him as a faithful follower of this College's fortunes when the Cup matches got under way. One picture I relish of him was the occasion when he had been persuaded to take bat in hand for some cricket match - it may have been Staff versus Boys, I don't rightly remember. Anyway I see him now, caparisoned in minuscule pads, standing uncertainly at the wicket and peering suspiciously towards the other end as if there was a Curtly Ambrose lurking to deliver a lethal ball.

As he neared his four-score years his health collapsed and the dimming of an already weak sight must have been a great frustration to one for whom books and learning were such nourishment. His final period on earth was spent in a nursing home where he gradually loosened his grip on this world and began to breathe the airs of eternity. He passed away quietly on 20 January 1994, aged eighty-one.

May his gentle soul rest contentedly today in the happiness of God's home.

Edmund Keane SJ

Murphy, John E, 1914-1986, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/265
  • Person
  • 06 February 1914-23 September 1986

Born: 06 February 1914, Donabate, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1932, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 23 September 1986, St Vincent's Private Hosptial, Herbert Avenue, Dublin

Part of St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin.
Brother of Dermot - RIP 1979

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Dermot Murphy Entry
His brother John, also a Jesuit, was with him when he died. When John arrived, Dermot was in a coma. John wrote, ‘He (Dermot) did not give any sign of recognition but I had the uncanny feeling that he knew I was there’.

◆ Irish Province News 61st Year No 4 1986 & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1987

Obituary

Fr John Murphy (1914-1932-1986)
4th February 1914: born. Schooled at Belvedere. 7th September 1932: entered SJ. 1932-34 Emo, noviciate. 1934-37 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1937-40 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1940-42 Clongowes, regency. 1942-46 Milltown, theology (31st July 1945: ordained a priest). 1946-47 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1947-50 Clongowes, teaching. 1950-54 Gonzaga, minister, teaching,
1954-58 Gardiner Street, pastoral work. 1958-69 Loyola: 1958-60 mission and retreat staff; 1960-69 promoter, Apostleship of Prayer; 1962-73 promoter, Eucharistic Crusade; 1966-69 Superior. 1969-83 Gardiner Street: 1969-74 Superior; 1970-81 director, SFX social service centre; 1982-86 executive member, Catholic Social Service Conference.
1983-86 Leeson Street chaplain to St Anne's cancer hospital. 23rd September 1986: died.

In attempting to describe Fr John Murphy's life, it's hard to know where exactly to start or what precisely to stress. For one reason he had so many genuine interests, and for another, the Lord blessed him with so many fine gifts. A younger brother of his, Dermot († 1979), also became a Jesuit priest, and worked in Ireland and Zambia before ill-health and doctor's orders forced him to live in a different setting. Their only sister became a Dominican nun and worked in Africa. In later life, when John became chaplain to the Dominican sisters in Eccles street (near Gardiner Street), this family link made his job a labour of love.
John was a Jesuit for 54 years of his life, and before he became one, as a schoolboy in Belvedere was in contact with the Society. We were impressed by his outstanding qualities as a good priest and a marvellous “community man”. As he met all sorts of people, one assumes that many were attracted by his sense of humour and admired his sound judgement and his unique planning ability. His mind seemed permanently working at full stretch, always one if not two steps ahead of every one else's.
John spent nine years teaching at Clongowes and Gonzaga, and an excellent teacher he was. For many more years, as Irish national director of the Apostleship of Prayer's Eucharistic Crusade, he had a wide-ranging influence on young people. All this was grist to his mill, adding to a store of knowledge and experience to be used later.
Perhaps his most fruitful years were the eighteen which he spent at St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, where his various interests were aired and often put into execution. John was indeed a "man for others'. The parish social service centre, a few yards from St Francis Xavier's, was his brain-child, and it brought him into close contact with the Irish Sisters of Charity.
As the years passed, his horizons widened. The Catholic Social Service Conference, with its city-wide organisation, brought him into friendly association with Bishop Kavanagh, and later with Bishop Desmond Williams. For both bishops he had an immense regard, and was glad of support and very proud of their friendship.
Not many people knew of John's great interest in St Vincent's Centre for industrial training, run by the Daughters of Charity. He spent many hours planning and praying for the success of this venture. (More about it in IPN, Oct. 1983, p. 377.) The House-a-marriage (HAM) project, which aims at providing flats for newly-weds, took up much of John's time. He greatly admired that band of businessmen who gave so generously of their time, energy, expertise, advice and enthusiasm in an apostolate so appealing to any christian-minded Dubliner. (More about HAM in his Maker. IPN, Oct. '84, p. 103.)
In 1983 John arranged that he should be chaplain to St Anne's hospital, Northbrook Road, off Leeson park: an institution run by the Daughters of Charity for patients with cancer or skin disorders. He was greatly impressed by the hospital staff and interested in his work as chaplain, which gave him an opportunity of meeting terminally-ill patients. By a strange coincidence he had somehow been attracted for some years to this type of work. Man proposes but God disposes. John gradually learned the truth that his own days were numbered. He acquired the gift of speaking to patients with delicate sympathy and at the same time with strong conviction and sincerity. It's not surprising that he became a founder-member of the Bethany Support Group - an organisation one of whose aims is to help the terminally ill. (More about this in IPN, Apr. '86, p. 250)
In the Gospel, Christ blessed Martha and Mary, so that they became great friends of his. John was blessed with marvellous friends, especially one family who nursed him with loving care both in Galway and in Dublin till shortly before his death: may the good Lord reward them for their kindness.
John loved his fortnight's holiday each summer. Of late years he stayed in their west Cork house, where he relaxed and talked to his heart's content about the things that mattered. One fine sunny day last July, while sailing in Bantry bay off Whiddy island, gazing at sea and mountains, with a smile on his face he said quietly to the present author, “This is like heaven”. He felt drawn nearer to the God he loved and served so well.
There is an old Persian proverb which says that life is summed up in four that words: Men live, men die. Fr John Murphy lived life to the full with enthusiasm, zest and idealism, and - more importantly - was prepared with courage, trust and contentment to meet his Maker.

Murphy, Martin, 1934-2015, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/843
  • Person
  • 07 August 1934-12 March 2015

Born: 07 August 1934, Ringsend, Dublin
Entered: 10 August 1966, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Professed: 15 August 1985, Luwisha House, Lusaka, Zambia
Died: 12 March 2015, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1974 at Canisius Chikuni, Zambia (ZAM) working
by 1979 at Babati, Tanzania (AOR) working for “Concern”
by 1995 at JRS Malawi (MOZ) working

Early Education at National School; Ringsend Vocational School

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/br-martin-murphy-sj-may-he-rest-in-peace/

Br Martin Murphy SJ: may he rest in peace
Death has finally got the better of Martin Murphy, but after a mighty struggle. Born in Ringsend, he learned his building skills and qualifications (a Diploma from the Catholic Workers College) before he entered the Jesuits at the age of 32. Over the next 50-odd years he practised or taught motor mechanics, building maintenance, construction, irrigation and pastoral care of refugees. Nearly thirty of those years were given to Africa, especially Zambia and Malawi.

Martin was strong as an ox, but he suffered enough sicknesses to fill a text book. His multiple health problems, touching all his senses and most parts of his sturdy body, involved treatment in four hospitals. He made full use of medical help, and carried his oxygen supply with care as he walked the pavements round Gardiner Street. He would not let medical problems absorb his energy.
At the age of 73 he embarked on a 5-year course in theology with the Tallaght Dominicans. He worked his way right up to the last assignment, on “The Just Society”, at which he balked. Why? they asked. “Because I never lived in a just society, and do not know what it is like.” Dear Martin was a strong and distinctive presence in the Irish Jesuits, a model for anyone who with God’s help has to fight sickness. “Death, be not proud.”

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 160 : Summer 2015

Obituary

Br Martin Murphy (1934-2015)

7 August 1934: Born in Dublin.
Early Education at National School; Ringsend Vocational School
1961 - 1965: NCIR. Socio-Economics Study (Diploma)
10 August 1966: Entered Society at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
15 August 1968: First Vows at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
1968 - 1969: St Mary's, Emo - Mechanic; Maintenance
1969-1975: Chisekesi, Zambia - Construction; Irrigation; Teaching at Canisius College, Chikuni
1975 - 1978: Milltown Park - Maintenance
1978 - 1983: Tanzania, East Africa - Working for “Concern” at Babati, Tanzania
1983 - 1984: Tullabeg - Tertianship
1984 - 1986: Lusaka, Zambia - Minister at Luwisha House
15 August 1985: Final Vows at Luwisha House, Lusaka, Zambia
1986 - 1992: Mazabuka, Zambia - Concern Development Project
1987: Youth Development Project at St Paul's, Nakambala
1992 - 1993: Santry - Pastoral Care of Refugees
1993 - 1994: Limbe, Malawi - Working for JRS
1994 - 1995: Mozambique - Working for JRS
1995 - 1996: Clongowes - House and College Maintenance
1996 - 2015: Gardiner St - Assists Director of Arrupe Society
2009 - 2014: Hospital visitation; Studying at Priory Institute, Tallaght
2014 - 2015: Residing at Cherryfield Lodge

In October 2014, Martin was admitted to hospital after a fall. He had many health problems, which meant treatment in four hospitals. He moved to Cherryfield Lodge on 25th February 2015. He was happy to be in Cherryfield again, where he died peacefully on 12th March. May he rest in the peace of Christ.

After a mighty struggle, death finally got the better of Martin Murphy on March 12, 2015. His sisters had prayed to St Francis Xavier that the Lord would spare him further suffering, and in response he died on the final day of the Novena. His funeral was delayed because an autopsy was required, and so he was finally laid to rest on March 19, the Feast of St Joseph. Martin had had a strong devotion to Joseph the Worker, so things fitted in nicely at the end of his life.

Like Joseph, Martin was a great worker: before he joined the Jesuits, he worked for Cramptons, the builders. His grandfather had been in the same trade, and had helped to build the Titanic! This came to light only when Martin showed up in Youghal in 2012 for the launch of Eddie O'Donnell's book on Fr Browne and the Titanic! Sadly, Martin's building work, so helpful to many people, carried the seeds of his own death, because as we now know, he died of asbestos poisoning.

His early education was in the National and Vocational Schools in Ringsend, where he was born. He then began his building career, From 1961-65 he did a Diploma in Socio-Economics at the Jesuit-run NCIR. It appears that he was so impressed by the Jesuit teachers there that he decided to join them in 1966, at age 32. He waited till his mother died to do this, as he was one of her carers.

Martin was a perfectionist, took pride in his work, and always did a great job. He could turn his hand to anything, including leatherwork. He was also a great teacher of his crafts and skills. I had the good fortune to discover him early on, and we became lifelong friends, even if not without some awkward moments! In 1967 I wanted to build a back wall to the handball alley in Milltown and got his help, though he was a novice at the time. It was very definitely his wall, not mine, but he never emphasised the fact. We worked in the early mornings before my classes began, and he would then continue through the day, while I dug academic furrows. One dull morning Martin looked up with an innocent smile at the Milltown buildings and asked, 'Why is it that the scholastics mostly pray in the dark'? Later Martin built the bindery which still stands at the back of the Library. And when a Le Brocquy mosaic of the Madonna and Child came our way mysteriously in the late seventies, he put it up single handed, though it weighed three quarters of a ton. It is now in the Milltown Community foyer. He was, as one of the Brothers said admiringly, “a mighty man”.

He liked philosophy, and especially the ideas of Bernard Lonergan. He could get so animated about these that when driving in Zambia he would slow down to get his point across, which lengthened journeys considerably. At the age of 73 he embarked on a 5-year course in theology in the Priory Institute in Tallaght. He worked his way right up to the last assignment, on “The Just Society”, at which he balked. Why? they asked. “Because I never lived in a just society, and I don't know what it's like”. He enjoyed the phrase “the hermeneutic of suspicion” because it gave him the leeway he needed to be devastatingly honest.

Africa
He went to Zambia in 1969, and worked there and in Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique, with occasional breaks, for 25 years. He built churches and schools, dug wells and cultivated a huge garden. He practised or taught motor mechanics, building maintenance, construction, irrigation. He also engaged in pastoral care of refugees. He was well loved by those who worked with him. He delighted in planning and carrying projects through. He loved the moment when he could hand over a set of keys of a new building and say: 'The job is done’. But he had time for soccer also. I have it on reliable authority that when he was playing in Dublin for Transport FC, he was considered to be of international standard. And the Zambians used watch him admiringly: Kalango mulilo! they'd shout - “Look at his fire!”

The Acting Provincial of Zambia, Jim McGloin, said in his message of condolence: “The hidden nature of the work is often the case for the Jesuit Brother. Although Brother Martin did the actual building of the Church in Chikuni Mission in the 1970's, it was the parish priest who received the credit. The serving tables in Luwisha House are still used today, thirty years later, but no one remembers that it was Brother Martin who built them.... While the workmanship was appreciated, the worker often went unnoticed. Yet the professional workmanship of Br Martin itself stands as its own monument. And those who saw his effort and dedication were grateful.'

Martin had used his many talents 'to help others' in simple ways, as Ignatius would have wished. But by 1995, the outer job was done: he had to retire because for the remaining twenty years of his life, ill health dogged him -- glaucoma, diabetes, arthritis, lung problems. But even when exiled from Zambia he always kept in contact and retained a deep love for his 'first mission'.

The inner side
Martin had his own unique relationship with God - his secret scripture. He prayed. He loved his time in the Holy Land. He lived simply. But like the rest of us, he had his own fixed attitudes, his weaker points, his awkwardnesses. A mature man by the time he joined the Jesuits, he had, not surprisingly, something of a Trade Union perspective on things. This included a keen sense of what he perceived as injustice, foot dragging, and so on. The Jesuit way of proceeding, he felt, was not always the most efficient. With his critical mind, he found it hard to be asked to do things by people who, he felt, didn't know what they were talking about. He had little time for eloquence that was not matched by action. “They can talk the talk” he'd say “but can they walk the walk?”

Martin would tell it like he thought it was, and his craggy style disconcerted more than a few, and left people feeling uncomfortable. He was, one might say, of the warrior class. Critical of many in authority, at the same time he was a great defender of the small and the poor. He volunteered for Tanzania because it was one of the twenty poorest countries in the world. He was both admirer and critic of Julius Nyerere, founder of the state of Tanzania. But his mischievous humour carried him a long way. He would say outrageous things just to get a reaction: often he didn't want to be taken too seriously. And he could get caught out himself on occasion, as when he had an appointment with a consultant about his glaucoma: the great man was late and eventually came into the waiting room to apologise, only to find Martin reading the Irish Times. And he would smile and laugh at himself. A stern commentator on the foibles of humankind, he also had a great and welcoming smile.

Stay Clear! God at Work
God was steadily at work in him, as in us all. That work is to make us grow in love', to bring out the best in us. In the final phase of his life, a deep mellowing took place while he endured enormous discomfort, especially in his breathing. He carried his oxygen supply as he walked the pavements round Gardiner Street. He did not complain. His time and energy were taken up with coping with his own illnesses. He made the rounds of many hospitals and consultants, and his reports of medical encounters were never dull. To one man who wasn't measuring up, Martin said: “Take a good look at my face!” “Why?” said the consultant. “Because”, said Martin, “you won't see it again!” His humour never deserted him, and he would get great joy out of recounting such incidents. He told me how grateful he was to his family for all their care and love; and to the Cherryfield staff for looking after him so well. In turn, they enjoyed his company; he had a word - often funny - to say about everything. They loved him. And he became a grateful man.

So when the moment of death came, and Martin met the Lord face to face, the “inner job” was substantially done. Like Peter in the Gospel, he jumped out of the safety of his life's boat and struggled to the shore where Jesus was waiting, watching. Surely like Peter, Martin heard Jesus say, “Bring the fish you've caught, and come, let's have breakfast!”

Then, we may surmise, came the one-to-one chat with Jesus, who now could safely ask him: Martin, do you love me more than these others do? There would have been no digging-up of the failures of the past. No comparisons and contrasts with others. The present state of his heart was all that mattered. He would have answered like Peter: Lord, “You know everything, you know I love you”. That would be enough. Because in the evening of life we will be examined in love.

It so happened that when the news came to me that Martin had died, I was reading a book titled Love is Stronger than Death, by Cynthia Bourgeault. It tells of a Trappist monk in Colorado who had a turbulent personality and was awkward in his relationships. Community life fell short for him, and so he moved out and became a hermit. He wrestled much of his life with God and others. But at the end he became liberated and happy. I felt this man's life and Martin's had parallels! In our final conversation a week before he died, he had told me he had been struggling, not with the problem that others were not measuring up, but that he wasn't measuring up. He found it consoling to hear Pope Francis' remark from The Joy of the Gospel, “When everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved”. Perhaps, then, he felt, all would be well at the end, because God's love is stronger than our failings or our death.

And so, off he went, happily, into eternal glory. He is now fully alive, radiant with his best self, supporting us on our pilgrim way, looking forward to the great reunion when all will be made well.

Brian Grogan

Murphy, Vincent, 1929-2016, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/834
  • Person
  • 19 April 1929-28 November 2016

Born: 19 April 1929, Ranelagh, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1972, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Died: 28 November 2016, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM: 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB : 1989

by 1960 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

Early Education at CBS Synge Street; Bolton Street DIT

1956-1959 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1959-1961 Monze, Zambia - Regency : Bursar at Charles Lwanga Teachers’ Training College; Learning CiTonga
1961-1965 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1965-1966 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1966-1972 Mazabuka, Zambia - Parish work in BMV Assumption Parish & Nakambala Sugar Estate
1972-1987 Gardiner St - Director of Mission Office; + Province Vocations Task Force
1972 Transcribed to Zambian Province [ZAM] (02/02/1972)
1977 Assists in Church
1987-1988 Sabbatical
1988-1994 Crescent Church, Limerick - Superior ; Prefect of the Church; BVM & St Joseph Sodalities; Promoting Zambian Missions
1989 President “Cecilians Musical Society”
1989 Transcribed to Irish Province [HIB] (05/12/1989)
1994-1996 Gardiner St - Promotes Apostleship of Prayer and Messenger; Ministers in Church
1996-2016 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Treasurer and Administrator; Ministers in People’s Church; 2000 Assistant Chaplain in St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Dublin
2007 Assistant Guestmaster; Assistant Community Treasurer
2010 Ministers in People’s Church: Assistant Community Librarian
2014 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Jean Indeku Entry
During this time his real solace, as he says himself, was the weekend supplies in Mazabuka where he was duly missioned together with Frs Tom O’Meara and Vinnie Murphy.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/rip-vincent-murphy-sj/

RIP: Vincent Murphy SJ
Irish Jesuit Fr Vincent Murphy passed away peacefully on the morning of Monday 28 November at Cherryfield Lodge, Milltown Park. A native of Ranelagh, Dublin, Fr Vincent qualified as a Quantity Surveyor and played for Shamrock Rovers FC prior to joining the Jesuits in September 1954. He was ordained ten years later, in 1964.
Vincent spent a number of years on mission work in Zambia, then returned to Dublin, where he was in charge of the Mission Office in Gardiner Street and was Chaplain in St. Vincent’s Hospital. In 1996, Vincent moved to Clongowes Community, and he remained there until 2014, when a stroke required that he move to Cherryfield.
His last few weeks were spent very peacefully, and he told his Rector that Cherryfield was a great preparation for heaven because of the care he was receiving there from the Staff who came to love him dearly.
Below is the homily given by Fr Michael Shiel SJ at the funeral Mass :
“This I know, that my redeemer lives, and, after my awaking, He will set me close to Him. And from my flesh I will look on God.”
As we gather to celebrate the long and full life of Vincent – rich in years and bearing much fruit – the above words are very appropriate to sum up the depth of faith of this follower of Ignatius Loyola and his ‘Friends in the Lord’. For if ever anyone was prepared to meet His Lord it was Vincent.
Some time last year, when I visited him in Cherryfield, he told me that his consultant had promised that he would live to see the new RWC Champions crowned. After the final, I asked him what his next deadline was. He said: “Now, I’m just waiting for Godot!” To which all I could say was: “Well, I hope you’ll have more luck than the other pair – Vladimir and Estragon!
Today we, as Christians, believe that he has. For we believe in the promise of Jesus just heard in the Gospel: “I am going to prepare a place for you, and I shall return to take you with me”.
Vincent was born in the year of the Great Depression. He went to school in Synge Street – and how proud he was of his Christian Brothers’ education there! He joined the Jesuits in 1954 as a late vocation, having qualified as a quantity surveyor in Bolton Street, DIT. Outside his professional life, he made his mark in (as he put it) the glory-days of Shamrock Rovers! His contemporaries in the Society used to recount how frustrated Vincent could become as they tried to find an approach to the beautiful game other than a Jack Charlton-like Garryowen-type hoof and follow!
The Irish Province’s mission to Zambia was still developing, and Vincent joined the growing band of Irish Jesuits for his regency there in 1959. After theology and ordination here in Milltown, and a final year of study in Rathfarnham, Vincent returned to Africa where he ministered in parish work before coming back again to Ireland to head up the Mission Office in Gardiner Street. His generous care of returning missionaries knew no limits and was greatly appreciated. He also helped out in the Church, and he was Vocations Director as well.
est of his apostolic life was spent in Dublin and Limerick, before he joined our Community in Clongowes just 20 years ago. He followed in the footsteps of Fr John Sullivan as he served in the People’s Church and then ministered as Chaplain in St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin. And lastly, as failing health brought him to Cherryfield Lodge, his final – and very important – mission was to pray for the Church and the Society of Jesus, for his Companions who continue to carry on God’s work in many different fields.
Such, in very few lines, is the life of Fr Vincent Murphy SJ. He was unsung and unheralded in the world at large, but so too was he rewarding and fruitful in doing good and in enriching the lives of very many people and families to whom he brought the Good News of God’s saving power, as he lived it in his own life. God’s love was indeed inscribed with iron chisel (his faith) and engraving tool (his generosity) cut into the rock of people’s lives as they experienced his ministering zeal. Nowhere was this seen to greater effect than in his years as Hospital chaplain, where his patience and care for both the sick and the hospital staff bore much fruit and brought comfort and hope to those who were facing an uncertain future.
In later years, first of all in Clongowes Wood College and more recently in Cherryfield, God continued to give Vincent as a special gift to others, this time as someone in need of their love and care. It is only right, at a time like this, to pay tribute to the CWC Infirmary Nurses and Community Staff whose care allowed him bonus-years there.
For someone who, as I said at the start, was surely prepared to meet his Lord, Vincent seemed simply not to want to let go of his Cherryfield carer-friends, as I was to witness during the past week. It began for me as a simple overnight stay, and it ended as an extraordinary and privileged experience of seeing at first hand – behind-the-scenes, early mornings and late nights – the care of every single one of the staff, both nursing and support. It was fitting that the former dispenser of God’s caring love as a hospital chaplain should himself be the receiver of a quite extraordinary outpouring of care and love by the team in Cherryfield. On behalf of the CWC Community, and of the Irish Jesuits, I can only say a deep-down thanks to each and every one of you.
“I am going to prepare a place for you – and, after I have gone and prepared a place for you – I shall return to take you with me, so that, where I am, you may be too.”
It is our Christian faith which brings us to the Eucharist this morning – our Faith that Christ did indeed return to call His disciple home, when just two days ago, accompanied by George Fallon and myself, Vincent came to the end of his long and faith-filled journey. It was his dies natalis, his heavenly birthday, as the Roman martyrology called it, as his tent that we live in on earth was folded up, and he moved to the everlasting home, not made by human hands, in the heavens. Now, in his turn, Vincent has gone ahead of us to help prepare a place for us and he will be on hand to welcome each one of us to Our Father’s home.
So often in life we say good-bye. It comes from the ancient wish or prayer ‘May God be with you’. And today we say it to Vincent at this, his last Mass.
And so we pray: “May Christ enfold you in His Love, and bring you to eternal life; may God and Mary be with you.”
Be assured that we will pray for you, Vincent. May you also pray for us. And so we say farewell, and, until we meet again, good-bye.

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

Note from Tommy Martin Entry
1974 He retired from this work of Missions Procurator and handed over to Vincent Murphy.

◆ The Clongownian, 2017

Obituary

Father Vincent Murphy SJ : A Special Gift to Others

A member of the community of Clongowes Wood College SJ, Fr. Vincent Murphy SJ, passed away peacefully last November (28th), in Cherryfield Lodge, Milltown Park; he will be sadly missed.

Vincent was a valued member of the Clongowes Community since his arrival here in 1996 as Treasurer and Administrator. In 2014 Vincent suffered a mild stroke and spent a weekend in Naas Hospital. He then transferred to Cherryfield Lodge where he lived very contentedly until around Hallowe'en when he began to decline. His last few weeks were spent very peacefully, and he told his Rector that Cherryfield was a great preparation for heaven because of the care he was receiving there from the staff who came to love him dearly.

Below is the homily given by Fr Michael Shiel SJ at Vincent's funeral Mass.

This I know, that my redeemer lives, and, after my awaking, He will set me close to Him. And from my flesh I will look on God. As we gather to celebrate the long and full life of Vincent - rich in years and bearing much fruit - the above words are very appropriate to sum up the depth of faith of this follower of Ignatius Loyola and his “Friends in the Lord”. For if ever anyone was prepared to meet His Lord it was Vincent. Some time last year, when I visited him in Cherryfield, he told me that his consultant had promised that he would live to see the new Rugby World Cup Champions crowned. After the final, I asked him what his next deadline was. He said: “Now, I'm just waiting for Godot!” To which all I could say was: “Well, I hope you'll have more luck than the other pair - Vladimir and Estragon!” Today we, as Christians, believe that he has. For we believe in the promise of Jesus just heard in the Gospel: “I am going to prepare a place for you, and I shall return to take you with me”.

Vincent was born in 1929 - the year of the Great Depression. He went to school in Synge Street - and how proud he was of his Christian Brothers' education there! He joined the Jesuits in 1954 as a late vocation, having qualified as a quantity Surveyor in Bolton Street, DIT. Outside his professional life, he made his mark in las he put it) the glory-days of Shamrock Rovers! His contemporaries in the Society used to recount how frustrated Vincent could become as they tried to find an approach to the beautiful game other than a Jack Charlton-like Garryowen-type hoof and follow!

The Irish Province's mission to Zambia was still developing, and Vincent joined the growing band of Irish Jesuits for his regency there in 1959. After theology and ordination here in Milltown, and a final year of study in Rathfarnham, Vincent returned to Africa where he ministered in parish work before coming back again to Ireland to head up the Mission Office in Gardiner Street. His generous care of returning missionaries knew no limits and was greatly appreciated. He also helped out in the Church, and he was Vocations Director as well. He was not destined to return to Zambia, although he retained strong affectionate links with Africa. The rest of his apostolic life was spent in Dublin and Limerick, before he joined our Community in Clongowes just 20 years ago. He followed in the footsteps of Fr John Sullivan as he served in the People's Church and then ministered as Chaplain in St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin. And lastly, as failing health brought him to Cherryfield Lodge, his final - and very important - mission was to pray for the Church and the Society of Jesus, for his Companions who continue to carry on God's work in many different fields.

Such, in very few lines, is the life of Fr Vincent Murphy SJ. He was unsung and unheralded in the world at large, but so too was he rewarding and fruitful in doing good and in enriching the lives of very many people and families to whom he brought the Good News of God's saving power, as he lived it in his own life. God's love was indeed inscribed with iron chisel This faith) and engraving tool (his generosity) cut into the rock of people's lives as they experienced his ministering zeal. Nowhere was this seen to greater effect than in his years as hospital chaplain, where his patience and care for both the sick and the hospital staff bore much fruit and brought comfort and hope to those who were facing an uncertain future. In later years, first of all in Clongowes Wood College and more recently in Cherryfield, God continued to give Vincent as a special gift to others, this time as someone in need of their love and care, It is only right, at a time like this, to pay tribute to the Clongowes Infirmary Nurses and Community Staff whose care allowed him bonus-years there.

For someone whom, as | said at the start, was surely prepared to meet his Lord, Vincent seemed simply not to want to let go of his Cherryfield carer-friends, as I was to witness during the past week. It began for me as a simple overnight stay, and it ended as an extraordinary and privileged experience of seeing at first hand - behind-the-scenes, early mornings and late nights - the care of every single one of the staff, both nursing and support. It was fitting that the former dispenser of God's caring love as a hospital chaplain should himself be the receiver of a quite extraordinary outpouring of care and Love by the team in Cherryfield. On behalf of the Clongowes Community and of the Irish Jesuits, I can only say a deep-down thanks to each and every one of you.

“I am going to prepare a place for you - and, after I have gone and prepared a place for you - I shall return to take you with me, so that, where I am, you may be too”.

It is our Christian faith which brings us to the Eucharist this morning - our Faith that Christ did indeed return to call His disciple home, when just two days ago, accompanied by George Fallon and myself, Vincent came to the end of his long and faith-filled journey. It was his “dies natalis”, his heavenly birthday, as the Roman martyrology called it, as his tent that we live in on earth was folded up, and he moved to the everlasting home, not made by human hands, in the heavens. Now, in his turn, Vincent has gone ahead of us to help prepare a place for us and he will be on hand to welcome each one of us to Our Father's home.

So often in life we say good-bye. It comes from the ancient wish or prayer May God be with you and today we say it to Vincent at this, his last Mass. And so we pray:

May Christenfold you in His Love, and bring you to eternal life; may God and Mary be with you. Be assured that we will pray for you, Vincent. May you also pray for us.

And so we say farewell, and, until we meet again, good-bye.

Nolan, Patrick, 1904-1967, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/306
  • Person
  • 23 September 1904-25 March 1967

Born: 23 September 1904, Dublin City
Entered: 12 November 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1935, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Died: 25 March 1967, Gonzaga College, Dublin

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 42nd Year No 3 1967
Obituary :

Br Patrick Nolan SJ (1905-1967)

Br. Patrick Nolan was born in Dublin on 23rd September 1905 He received his early education at the National School, Haddington Road, and then went on to the Christian Brothers at Westland Row. A young boy at the time of the 1916 Rising, he could give you a pretty full account of the doings around Mount Street Bridge, and the Haddington Road area in general. He came to have strong views on the political upheaval of those times, but it was always interesting to hear him relate his experiences of his childhood in Dublin. For five years, 1919-24, he was an apprentice in the business of Messrs P. Conway & Co., Exchequer Street, Dublin. He entered the Society on 1st May 1924 at Tullabeg. After his First Vows he remained on at Tullabeg as Manuductor from 1928-31. He was then sent as cook to Clongowes Wood where he had a long spell, from 1931-45. These included the war years which was a very trying time for anybody grappling with the problems of fuel and food, and hungry boys.
We next find him at the Crescent College, Limerick, where he was cook and dispenser from 1945-52. His next appointment took him to St. Ignatius' College, Galway, where he was cook, dispenser, and in charge of staff from 1952-60.
In 1960 he went to Gonzaga College, where was cook and in charge of staff until his death on 25th March 1967.
What most struck one about Br. Patrick was probably his versatility. He had a very enquiring mind and many interests. Dealing with the domestic staff can be a very frustrating experience. He had long years of it. It must be very disheartening to take a boy who knows nothing, train him as a cook for several years, then watch him move on to a higher paid job, and begin all over again with somebody else. This is a regular pattern in our houses. To his great credit Br. Patrick never tried to hold a domestic staff member by any argument of gratitude. He liked to see them move on to a job where they could afford to marry and settle down to a normal life.
In spite of the time-consuming nature of his job. Br. Patrick managed to cultivate side-lines. He got interested in music, and was quite capable of re-stringing a broken-down piano if need be. He had a real appreciation of classical music. Of late years he became interested in the repair of broken-down radios. He became quite an expert in this field. He often regretted the lack of technical training which forced on him a hit-and-miss method. But it is really remarkable how expert he became in the field. He was extremely intelligent and would have profited greatly from a wider education followed by technical training. One can only rejoice in the long overdue re-appraisal of the vocation of the Brothers which the Society has recently undertaken. In a rejuvenated Society with full education and proper technical training of the Brothers, one feels that Br. Nolan would have contributed outstanding service to the Society and the Church. On one issue he became rather unbalanced. He had no love for the “sons of Israel” and was inclined to see them as sinister figures behind most modern social movements. One learned to keep off the subject with him. But he could be a very pleasant companion, was a good religious, and under the most trying circumstances no community in which he worked ever saw the Minister put up a notice saying : “No dinner today”. Do we all take this simple daily routine of our meals too much for granted?
Br. Patrick had not been very well for some years. He suffered a good deal from nervous tension and exhaustion. But he learned to live with it, and carried on his full day's work. His death came as a great shock. And there is many a poor person outside the Society who will miss his cheerful arrival to fix up a radio or T.V. that has broken down. May he rest in peace.

Ó Laoghaire, Diarmuid M, 1915-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/639
  • Person
  • 01 August 1915-21 July 2001

Born: 01 August 1915, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 21 July 2001, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1944 at St Mary’s College, Aberystwyth, Wales (ANG) studying
Editor of An Timire, 1971-1997.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Ó Laoghaire, Diarmuid
by Brian Mac Cuarta

Ó Laoghaire, Diarmuid (1915–2001), writer and lecturer on Celtic spirituality, and Irish-language enthusiast, was born 1 August 1915 in Dublin, one of three children of Michael O'Leary from Doneraile, Co. Cork, and Mary O'Leary (née Flood), from Co. Meath; his father was manager of McBirney's department store on Aston Quay, Dublin. Brought up in Glasnevin and educated at Holy Faith convent school and Belvedere College (where he acquired a lifelong interest in cricket), he joined the Jesuits on leaving school in 1933.

Under the influence of his Irish teacher at Belvedere, the layman Tadhg Ó Murchadha, Diarmuid's interest in the language developed. He took Celtic studies at UCD, gaining an MA (1939) for a thesis on ‘Eochair-sgiath an Aifrinn’, a text on the mass by the seventeenth-century priest Geoffrey Keating (qv). He was awarded the NUI travelling studentship in Celtic studies. Because of the war, the British Museum manuscripts had been moved to Aberystwyth, Wales; at the suggestion of Robin Flower (qv), it was there that Ó Laoghaire pursued further research. Ordained in 1948, in the 1950s he was responsible for the Jesuit students in Rathfarnham Castle, while engaged in research, writing, and work with the Irish-language community. Prefect of studies at Belvedere (1960–62), he taught Irish at Gonzaga (1962–77), and thereafter was a member of the Jesuit community, Milltown Park. He was awarded an NUI Ph.D. from UCD in 1967 for a thesis on the lives of the saints, in Irish, in the medieval period. This research led to scholarly publications in Celtica, xxi (1990), 487–522, and a critical edition of ‘The Liber Flavus Fergusiorum infancy narrative’ (M. McNamara et al., Apocrypha Hiberniae (Turnhout, 2001), 142–245).

As well as speaking immaculate Irish, and fluent in French and Breton, he was well known throughout Wales, for he talked regularly on Welsh radio, and appeared on Welsh television. He translated a collection of short stories from the best modern Welsh authors into Irish (Glór ár nGaolta: Rogha scéalta na linne seo ón mBreatnais (1992)). For his abilities in Welsh he was made a member of the Gorsedd of bards in the Eisteddfod, the Welsh cultural festival; he preached in Welsh on occasions. His wide knowledge both of the spiritual texts and of the history and contemporary situation of the Celtic languages made him a respected authority on the Christian heritage of the Celtic world. On this topic he lectured in Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Dublin, and elsewhere. His Milltown Institute colleagues honoured him with a Festschrift (Mac Conmara agus Ní Thiarnaigh (eag.), Cothú an Dúchais (1997)), which included contributions from scholars in Wales, France, and Ireland. His academic, linguistic, and cultural interests were deeply integrated into his personal faith and his sense of mission as member of an apostolic order.

He was dedicated to exploring and fostering the link between Christian faith and Gaelic culture. Along with his more strictly scholarly interests, he devoted much time and energy to supporting and enriching the faith of the Irish-speaking community. This project was greatly energised by the change from Latin to the vernacular in the liturgy of the catholic church after the second Vatican council (1962–5). He rendered long and faithful service to a wide variety of groups, including Cumann na Sagart, Conradh na Gaeilge, An tOireachtas, Pobal an Aifrinn, An Chuallacht, Scoil Ghaelach Bhrí Chualann, and especially An Réalt, the Irish-language section of the Legion of Mary. In recognition of his services to Irish-language groups he was awarded Gradam an Phiarsaigh (the Pearse award) in 1992.

As editor of FÁS (Foilseacháin Ábhair Spioradálta, publisher of religious material in Irish), and through translations and other writings, Ó Laoghaire was one of those who ensured that a relatively varied spiritual and liturgical literature is available in Irish. Long a contributor, he was editor of An Timire (1972–97), the Irish-language devotional magazine founded by the Jesuits in 1911. A major contribution to the study of popular spirituality was his collection of prayers from the Gaelic oral tradition of Ireland and Scotland, Ár bPaidreacha Dúchais (1975), a book which has run into four editions. He died 21 July 2001 in Dublin. A catalogued bibliography of his books and pamphlets is in Milltown Park Library, Dublin.

R. Ó Glaisne, ‘Diarmuid Ó Laoghaire’, M. Mac Conmara agus E. Ní Thiarnaigh (eag.), Cothú an Dúchais (1997), 11–51

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 51st Year No 4 1976

Gonzaga
Many will have seen on the front page of the Universe (August 13th) the large photo of Fr D Ó Laoghaire swathed in the green robes of a Welsh Bard: he had recently been honoured by initiation into the Gorsedd of Bards during the National Eisteddfod of Wales at Cardigan, which he was also at tending as official delegate of the Oireachtas. An article by Nodlaig McCarthy in The Irish Times (August 24th) describes the event and expresses surprise that while “the fact that the honour was given in the 800th anniversary year to an Irish Catholic (sic) Jesuit aroused considerable media interest on the other side ... the only picture to appear in an Irish daily paper after the event was one of the Welsh rugby player, Gareth Edwards, who was also honoured on this occasion”. Fr Ó Laoghaire set off on August 28th to attend the Oireachtas Festival at Cois Fharraige, Connemara.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 112 : Special Edition 2002

Obituary

Fr Diarmuid Ó Laoghaire (1915-2001)

1st Aug. 1915: Born in Dublin
Early education in Holy Faith, Glasnevin, and Belvedere College.
7th Sept. 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1935: First Vows at Emo
1935 - 1939: Rathfarnham - Arts (Celtic Studies) at UCD
1939 - 1942: Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1942 - 1945: Alberystwyth - Doctorate in Celtic Studies (Ph.D. UCD 1967)
1945 - 1949: Milltown Park - Studying Theology
28th July 1948: Ordained at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1950 - 1960: Rathfarnham Castle - Minister of Juniors.
2nd Feb. 1951: Final Vows at Milltown Park
1960 - 1962: Belvedere College - Prefect of Studies.
1962 - 1977: Gonzaga College - Teacher; Writer; studying Celtic Literature and Spirituality
1977 - 2001: Milltown Park - Visiting Lecturer at Institute; Editor An Timire; Studying Celtic Literature and Spirituality
1997 - 2001: Cherryfield Lodge - Studying Celtic Literature & Spirituality; Praying for Church and the Society
21st July 2001: Died in St. Vincent's Private Hospital, Dublin.

In 1997, Fr. Diarmuid's mobility was decreasing, and, as he needed assistance to walk, he took up residence in Cherryfield, where, even though wheelchair-bound, he was able to continue his many works dealing with Celtic literature and Spirituality. For as long as possible, he went to Milltown weekly for lunch. He passed away peacefully as he approached his 86th birthday.

Stephen Redmund writes....
I first got to know Diarmuid when I went to Milltown for Theology in 1947, in our “pilgrimage” to seven altars of repose on Holy Thursday in the pre-liturgical reform tradition, and as a guest at his first (or second?) Mass in the Holy Faith Convent in Finglas, and at the reception in his uncle's rambling “period house” nearby.

Many years later, we met again in Gonzaga, where he gently and devotedly represented an cultúr Gaelach (something far more than grammar and a few texts) to the boys. And, to their bafflement and delight, he revealed himself as a star batsman in “the English game”. I suspect that he counted the runs as Gaeilge.

Behind the gentleness and civility there was a passion for an Gaeleachas; he saw it as, in large measure, a vehicle, an expression of the faith. I think that, while he may have had reservations about the post-Vatican 2 liturgy, he was happy that it allowed him to celebrate Mass in the language of Ó Rathaille, Ó Clery, Keating, Ó Donnell, and Ó Brolcháin. He lived just long enough to see some resurgence of Gaeleachas in the religious celebrations for the millennium.

In 1966, Nelson's Pillar was very professionally and 'neatly' blown up. It was thought that Breton nationalists were involved. The Gonzaga community enjoyably indulged the rumour that Diarmuid knew them, or knew of them, from his pan-Celtic interests. Was it possible that our quiet scholar had such revolutionary contacts? For a while we looked at him as, I imagine, English Jesuits looked at Henry Garnet at the time of the Gunpowder Plot.

In 1968, I provided a mild sensation myself, by getting a song with an Irish lyric (Gleann na Smól) as far as the final of the National Song Contest. I like to think that Diarmuid was pleased that such a song came from a confrere of his. Did I show the text to him? My memory stickers. I do recall bringing him subsequent efforts produced with much page-flipping of Dinneen's Dictionary, since my Irish was not that good. He would shake his head sadly over this word or that ("Sorry, obsolete since the 17th century!"), or unpedantically concede me poetic licence.

He had a great sense of humour, at times directed against himself. For instance, the story about his visit to the doctor prior to his joining the Society, when the doctor asked him euphemistically had he passed water recently, and he replied that he had just passed over the canal. No great lover of British influence in Ireland, he must have enjoyed the irony of being a one-night guest of his Britannic Majesty's police in an Oxford air-raid shelter during the war, when he couldn't get into Campion Hall.

His most influential publication was his remarkable anthology, Ár bPaidreacha Dúchais. His introduction to this is a striking testimony to his Gaeleachas-articulated faith; one might call it a spiritual testament. When I asked his permission regarding publication by Veritas of my translations of fifty Dúchas prayers (Prayers of Two Peoples), he was graciousness itself. My last conversation with him was on the phone in connection with my hope that Veritas would publish sixty more of the prayers in translation. If they do, the book will be dedicated i gcuimhne dil chara agus sár-saoi an Ghaelachais.

Let me conclude by quoting one of his past pupils, Simon White, in a letter of condolence to Paul Andrews:

“My grasp of Irish was not good. I was aware of his efforts to help me....I never remember him being cross with me and he always displayed kindness....I count myself very privileged to have been able to share, as an altar boy, many early morning Masses alone with him. This was very special. He was one of nature's purest gentlemen. He had such a kind smiling way about him. Finding you were on the roster to serve his Mass guaranteed you a happy week.

He spoke Irish to all the other boys who could banter with him, and they enjoyed it...I was eternally grateful that he always spoke to me in English and made me feel at ease. His humour was, like himself, gentle and as sharp as steel....basically he was a lovely, lovely, man...I have never been able to satisfactorily unravel the meaning of the expression, Go neirí an bóthar leat. But I think it is a fond farewell one can wish him with confidence - that the road leads somewhere very special”.

-oOo-

Brian Mac Cuarta wrote in An Timire.... : Translation by Brian Grogan

Diarmuid O Laoghaire SJ died on July 21. He was a writer and lecturer on Irish spirituality, and active in the world of Irish for almost seventy years. Born in Dublin, he received his primary education in the Holy Faith School in Glasnevin and then in Scoil Phadraig, Drumcondra. He admits that he had no interest in or respect for Irish before his sixth year in Belvedere. He had an abiding memory of a moment in fifth class in Scoil Phadraig, when his teacher, Mr O Sithigh, son of the renowned footballer John Joe Sheehy, tired of young Diarmuid’s indifference, said jokingly, “O'Leary, you'll be the Professor of Irish in Trinity College some day if you're not careful!”

Everything changed when he met with a Belvedere teacher named Tadhg Ó Murchadha, who awoke in his heart a love for Irish language and culture which lasted till the day he died. Influenced by his teacher he founded a Cumann Gaelach in Belvedere. He entered the Jesuits in 1933 and was awarded an MA in Celtic Studies in UCD in 1939. His thesis emerged from a text on the Mass by Séathrún Céitinn (c1580-c1644), and won him an NUI Travelling Scholarship. Because of the Second World War the British Museum’s Celtic manuscripts were moved to the University of Wales in Aberystwyth, and on the advice of Robin Flower Diarmuid went there to study the lives of medieval saints written in Irish. He won his PhD in UCD in 1967. Many were his scholarly writings, and Celtic scholars from far and near knew and appreciated him.

He always said that Fr Donnchadh Ó Floinn influenced his thought deeply. Fr Donnchadh gave priority to faith over language but acknowledged the depth of faith in the minds of Irish speakers. This insight encouraged Diarmuid and gave focus to his life and work.

Diarmuid was one of a very few who were proficient in Irish, Welsh and Breton. He regularly attended the Welsh Eisteddfodd (Assembly), and was honored with the award of Draoi (Druid). He was interviewed often on Welsh TV. He lectured on Irish spirituality in Milltown Institute in Dublin and was Editor of An Timire from 1977-1998, and of FÁS - Foilseacháin Ábhar Spioradálta: in this post he edited many spiritual books. He gathered many popular prayers into Ar bPaidreacha Dúchais, which went into four editions. The devotion of our ancestors to the Mass is revealed in his pamphlet Our Mass Our Life.

Diarmuid was a member of the group who helped to advance Irish liturgy after the Second Vatican Council (1965). He played an active part in the life of Irish speakers as a member of organizations which included Cumann na Sagart, Conradh na Gaeilge, An Réalt, Cuallacht Mhuire, Pobal an Aifrinn. He regularly served on the Oireachtas, on the Irish-speaking pilgrimage to Knock, and on other Gaelic events. In his latter years he used go on vacation to Gort a'Choirce, in Donegal.

In1997 when he could no longer walk without help, he had to go to Cherryfield Lodge, where he continued to work until his sight failed him. It was heart-breaking for a man so at home in books to be able to read no longer, but he bore this loss gracefully and patiently. In his final year he tried to write a small prayer: It was illegible, but illustrates how he was thinking: ‘The prayer of a good Christian on their d