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Byrne, Patrick J, 1908-1968, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/738
  • Person
  • 26 January 1908-13 March 1968

Born: 26 January 1908, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 02 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 August 1938, Ignatiuskolleg, Valkenburg aan de Geul, Holland
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Died: 13 March 1968, Jervis Street Hospital, Dublin

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

Younger brother of Tommy Byrne - RIP 1978

by 1936 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 43rd Year No 3 1968

Gardiner Street
The even tenor of our ways was rudely disrupted by the 'tragic death of Fr. Paddy Byrne in a road accident on the night of 12th March. A note on the circumstances of the occurrence, based on the horarium made out by Fr. B. O'Neill, a witness and almost a fellow-victim, is appended to the obituary account.
The remains were removed from Jervis Street Hospital on Thursday evening at 5.15. It was a moving and unique tribute to him from his old friends the Civic Guards of whose sodality he had been director. All the traffic lights in O'Connell Street were turned off (at the peak hour), the Guards on duty stood to attention as the cortege passed and saluted, all along the route to Gardiner Street. As someone remarked, it was a pity Fr. Paddy was not alive to see it.
The funeral took place on Friday morning after Office and Mass at eleven o'clock, to Glasnevin Cemetery. His brother Fr. Tom sang the Mass, with Fr. Superior as deacon and Fr. O'Neill as sub-deacon. Very Rev. Fr. Provincial presided. The Bishop of Nara, an old friend of the family, attended. The church was packed to overflowing. There was a very good representation of his old friends from Clongowes, from the Army, the Guards and, of course, all his clientele from his well-known box in the corridor. His death leaves a big gap in our midst in Gardiner Street for he was a great community man. A more detailed appreciation on him will be found in the Obituary notices.

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Byrne SJ (1908-1968)

Fr. Patrick Byrne was born in Dun Laoghaire (then Kingstown) on 26th January 1908. He was educated at O'Connell School, North Richmond Street, Dublin, and always maintained an affectionate loyalty to the Irish Christian Brothers. Paddy, along with his elder brother, Tommy, was an altar-server at Gardiner Street : thus his acquaintance with old vintage of Jesuit preachers eloquent orators who captivated the Dubliners of earlier generations went back very far and he could list their names for the edification of his own contemporaries. When Tommy had just completed his noviceship, Paddy entered the Society at Tullabeg.
After three years of juniorate in Rathfarnham and two years of philosophy at Tullabeg, he went to Mungret as a teacher for three years. He taught mathematics mainly, but also took some classes for Geography, Latin and other subjects. In 1935 he began Theology at the German house of studies, Ignatiuskolleg, Valkenburg, Holland, where he was ordained. He was one of the first group of tertians at Rathfarnham, the outbreak of war had occasioned the policy of having tertianship in Ireland instead of at St. Beuno's, Wales.
In 1940 Fr. Byrne returned to the colleges and served as an unremitting teacher of Mathematics at Mungret for two years and at Clongowes for twenty. In 1962 he was transferred to Gardiner Street, where he remained until he was accidentally killed at the end of the Novena of Grace this year.

• The following paragraphs give a memoir-sketch from the pen of a colleague.
Was it Chesterton who remarked that we, rational animals, make a fetish of consistency, whereas of all the animals we are inconsis tently the most inconsistent? That was true of Fr. Paddy Byrne known affectionately as “Patch” among his closer friends in the Society. He was a strong personality, a character, but a personality revealing on closer examination traits running counter to each other in a very human inconsistency.
Outwardly he was a rugged individualist, cynical, tough, hard boiled. Inwardly, deep down, he was of softer fibre, one might even say, over emotional. He had an intense love of the Society, especially Gardiner Street, and all that appertained to it, where in his early days he was an altar server. He had his heroes from those days, Fr. Bury, Fr. Tom Murphy, Fr. Kirwan. No one could now come up to their standards nor equal their achievements. Clongowes also had a niche in his heart; Clongowes where he spent upwards of twenty years teaching and looking after the grounds. Yet he could be fiercely critical of individual Jesuits, if in his opinion, they had let down the Society. Careerists and exhibitionists were anathema to him. His criterion of a good Jesuit was one who did a good day's work and work for him meant primarily work in the classroom. At the same time, he, himself, in the opinion of many was no great advertisement for the same Society, mainly owing to his manner of speech and carelessness about his personal appearance. This latter external fault sprang from his excessive love of poverty which often degenerated into love of economy. He could not stand anything that smacked of waste or extravagance among Ours : “Pouring the people's money down the drain” was his way of describing this. He took pride in the fact that the ordinary coat he wore in the house was over twenty year's old, a cast-off of Br. Corcoran's rescued at Clongowes. At the same time no priest could look more impressive than himself with his height and commanding presence when dressed and smartened up for an occasion, and his speech was always impeccable in his public utterances.
Though outwardly rugged in manner and facetiously cynical in his conversation - that exterior was his defence mechanism. It concealed a heart, tender (I do not exaggerate) to the point of pain. For his mother, whose photograph always held a place of honour in his room, he had a love and reverence that amounted almost to adoration. Her opinions and sayings he often quoted as oracular. For Mary, the Mother of God, he had such a tender devotion that he found it difficult to recite her litany in public without being moved and his voice breaking. This same emotional susceptibility appeared in his confessional work and in the parlour when on “domi”. The sad cases, the tragic stories all took their toll of him. He identified himself with his client, was never niggard of his time or sympathy. He had a special grá for defenceless widows and lonely spinsters, living on meagre pensions and apt victims of red tape and tricksters. During the few years he spent in Gardiner Street he endeared himself to the old women of the neighbourhood. Some saw in him a great resemblance to Spencer Tracy, the actor, others were reminded of the good Pope John. An old bicycle was his means of propulsion up to hospitals and off to remote side streets on errands of mercy and friendly interest. “I was rebuilding my house, Father”, one of his friends reminisced, “he'd often drop by and examine progress and make sure the contractors weren't cheating me”. Talking of his bicycle, an institution in Gardiner Street, his favourite pastime, apart from golf, was to go down to the docks on his warhorse and sit on the wharfs reading his office and chatting to the dockers. He had the human touch in excelsis : nil humanum illi alienum.
He used to say that his long years of teaching in Clongowes had unfitted him for church work. The fact of the matter is, the comparatively few years he spent in Gardiner Street brought out the basic pastoral traits in him. He was diffident of himself in his public appearances, yet his sermons and addresses to the various sodalities he directed in his time, were always meaty and genuinely appreciated by his audiences. His big appearance and naturally slow delivery lent weight and authority to his utterances. This was only to be expected, for he was of very high intellectual ability.
His years in the juniorate and University College, Dublin, were devoted to science and mathematics, during which period he had charge of the now-defunct seismograph. His regency was spent in Mungret. He was more at home in theology than in philosophy, both moral and dogma, in which disciplines he was at once clear, accurate and reliable. At the same time he took pride in his knowledge of farming. I suspect his secret ambition as a Jesuit was to be put in charge of a farm. His criticism of procurators of our farms was scathing, with perhaps one exception. He was adept with his hands with mechanical devices and electrical gadgets : his elaborate electrical invention for lighting cigarettes was a great source of amusement to his friends. His room was full of clocks he was mending for his clientele in the church. He was a fund of esoteric information on all subjects ranging from good recipes for the kitchen to cures for varicose veins.
His intellectual powers, however, were marred by two faults. Firstly he was never able to convey his ideas clearly to an audience. This was sometimes manifest in his teaching, in his relations with superiors, in social intercourse. He was inarticulate, spoke in unfinished sentences and gestures, with resultant impatience when the listener failed to understand. So he gave the impression of being supremely intolerant of fools. Paradoxically enough, he was master of the telling phrase, the quip, some of which will go down in history. Secondly, his intellect was impeded by deep prejudices. His years in Valkenburg imbued him with a horror of Nazism which coloured a great deal of his political thought. He blamed all the world's troubles on clumsy American diplomacy. It was futile to argue with him on matters Irish. As for innovations in the liturgy, he had no time for them. He had witnessed the beginning of this movement in Germany long before Vatican II and was not impressed. Indeed he never tired of hearing the story repeated of the old woman who asked her confessor, “Father, is it a mortal sin not to join in the shoutin' at Mass?” To many generations of Clongownians he was known as “The Genius”. Perhaps with the schoolboys unerring instinct to pinpoint a basic trait, they were right. He was a genius but cursed by an inability to express himself clearly, because from his early days he never disciplined that genius by writing. Whenever he did so (and it was torture) as in his sermons and addresses, he was precise and telling. He was a man of strong opinions with a weltanschauung, as he used to call it, which often enough gave rise to weltschmerz.
Yes, he was a character and his tragic passing creates a gap in Gardiner Street not easily filled. He will be missed too, by many young Jesuit priests of the Province to whom he was guide, friend and counsellor during their college days, Ours don't usually cry over the death of Ours but there were many who were not ashamed to drop a tear over “Patch”. Of the contradictory traits which went to make him what he was, his qualities of heart, sympathy and understanding, were basic and permeating. A man who succeeded in his time in winning the affection of his fellow Jesuits, in worming himself into the hearts of the people of Gardiner Street, was certainly of solid worth in that which is, after all is said and done, the essential, love of one's fellow men and he went before his master full of good works and fortified with the rites of the Church he loved and served so well. He loved a joke and I'm sure he'll give a wry smile as I suggest this epitaph-a parody of a phrase famous in rugby circles : “He went over the line, festooned with souls”. May he rest in peace.

12th March 1968 : Fr. Patrick Byrne, being on “domi” duty, was constantly called to the parlour during the afternoon and evening, He helped Fr. O'Neill in sorting out the Mass stipends and Br. Davis in counting the Novena of Grace offerings. He assisted in giving Holy Communion at the evening Mass. He presided over his St. Vincent de Paul Confreence meeting. Coming from a final parlour interview and confession at 11 p.m., he had a late supper in the refectory and went out with Fr. O'Neill for a breath of fresh air at the end of a tiring day. As they were crossing an apparently deserted street at the corner of Mountjoy Square, a van suddenly swept towards them at high speed. Fr. O'Neill saw the van, uttered a warning and jumped forward to the kerb, thinking that they were evading the danger together, but - “I heard a tremendous thud or impact and saw Fr. Paddy tossed into the air, turning over and landing on the pavement with a horrifying bump. I ran to him, called him by name, got some reaction and immediately absolved”. He had been struck on the head and must be on the verge of death. Fr. MacAmhlaoibh brought the oils from nearby Gardiner Street and gave the last anointing on the way by ambulance to Jervis Street Hospital. The medical and nursing staff made a supreme effort to save Fr, Byrne's life, until soon after midnight he was pronounced dead.

Byrne, Thomas, 1904-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/82
  • Person
  • 30 November 1904-03 August 1978

Born: 30 November 1904, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1941, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Died: 03 August 1978, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

Older brother of Patrick Byrne - RIP 1968

by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 15 August 1947-30 July 1953.
Mission Superior, Hong Kong, 09 May 1957
Father General's English Assistant (Substitute), at Rome Italy (ROM) 1962

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Thomas Byrne, S.J.

Father Thomas Byrne, Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits from 1957 to 1960, died in Ireland on 3 August 1978, aged 73.
Father Byrne was born in Ireland in 1904. He joined the Jesuits in 1922 and was ordained priest in 1933. In 1934, the Irish Jesuit Province lent him to Hong Kong, where he taught Philosophy (1934-1936) and Dogmatic Theology (1936-1939) at the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen. He returned to Ireland in 1939 to complete his Jesuit training.

After a period as Master of Novices, he was appointed provincial Superior of the Irish Jesuit Province.
He returned to Hong Kong as Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits in 1957. In 1960, he was summoned to Rome to be Assistant to the Jesuit Superior General (1960-1963). In his last years he was assistant priest at St. Ignatius Church, Galway, Ireland.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 August 1978

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Educated at O’Connell’s School Dublin, he Entered the Society in 1922 at Tullabeg. He obtained a BSc and MSc and then did Philosophy at Milltown Park. He then went straight from Philosophy to Theology
In 1936 he was sent to the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen as Professor of Dogmatic Theology.
In 1939 he returned to Ireland to make Tertianship and was then sent to Tullabeg to teach Philosophy.
In 1945 he was appointed Master of Novices
In 1947 he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province
In 1957 he was appointed Superior of the Hong Kong Mission

During his term as Provincial (1947-1953) he sent many Jesuits to Hong Kong, and then in 1951 he started the Irish Jesuit Mission to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). He also saw the needs in Singapore and Malaysia and sent Jesuits to work there - like Kevin O’Dwyer, who built St Ignatius Church in Singapore; Patrick McGovern who built St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, and also Liam Egan, Gerard (Geoffrey?) Murphy and Tom Fitzgerald. He opened the Novitiate in Cheung Chau in 1958, starting with 10 Novices.

In 1960 he was brought the Roman Curia as the English Assistancy Assistant to Father General, and held this role until 1965.
In 1965 he returned to Ireland and teaching Theology at Milltown Park.

He was an intellectual. His social contribution in public committees included the housing Authorities and Discharged Prisoners Society.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 4 1978

The death of Fr Thomas Byrne on August 3 came as a great shock. He became unwell after dinner on August 2. When the doctor saw him, he ordered him into hospital immediately. His heart condition worsened that evening, and he died on the morning of August 3, R.I.P. The funeral Mass was on August 5. Dr Eamonn Casey, Bishop of Galway, presided. The Provincial, Fr Patrick Doyle, the Rector and Parish Priest, Fr Robert McGoran, and Fr Bernard Murray, were the chief concelebrants. Very many members of the Province travelled to Galway to pay their last respects to Fr Byrne.
Herewith is a tribute by Fr McGoran to Fr Byrne in the September issue of the Parish Newsletter
“Hardly had we recovered from the sense of loss at the death of Fr Jack Kerr, when God took to himself a second member of our Parish team, Fr Tommy Byrne. Although Fr Byrne had had a rather severe operation last February, he appeared to be holding his own in recent months - although everyone noticed that he had slowed down a great deal. However, for a week or two before his death he was visibly failing; yet he remained faithful to his parish duties right up to the eve of his death.
During his eight years here in Galway, Fr Tommy endeared himself to all the parishioners, and many felt his death as the loss of a close friend, and one who felt for them in their cares and difficulties. He was untiring in his visitation of families and utterly devoted in ministering to the sick and the aged. He took a keen personal interest in the families entrusted to this care and had a very special way with children. He was a kindly and encouraging man and seemed able to forget his own ailments in his solicitude for other people”.

Another tribute is paid by Fr Desmond O'Loghlen in the July/August issue of the Jesuits in Zambia News. Sincere thanks to him for it.
“Fr Thomas Byrne did not spend long in Africa, only three months. Nevertheless the occasion of his death calls for grateful remembrance of his lasting contribution of the Jesuit Mission effort in Zambia, To this end we may make use of a report on the Chikuni Mission written in 1967 for the Sociological Survey of the Society. (It should be borne in mind that at that time the Lusaka Mission and the Chikuni Mission had not yet amalgamated to form the Vice Province, but were still separate, attached to the Polish and Irish Provinces respectively).
Fr Thomas Byrne Irish Provincial at the time) arrived to visit Northern Rhodesia (as it then was) in April 1952. He spent about three weeks in Africa, met the Apostolic Administrator (Very Rev Adam Kozlowiecki SJ) and the Regional Superior (Very Rev Marian Folta SJ) and saw all the Irish Jesuits in the country. Fr Byrne was the Provincial, who, in 1950, had taken the generous step of Officially pledging the Irish Province to help the Mission. On his initiative nine new members, (eight priests and one brother) joined the Mission in 1950, and eight more in 1951 (five priests, two scholastics, and one brother) and others followed yearly. From this visit of Fr. Provincial, in consultation with the Apostolic Administrator and the Regional Superior, emerged the main lines of development followed by the Irish Jesuits for the next ten years, through the establishment of the Chikuni Mission in 1956 up to the establishment of the Diocese of Monze in 1962.
Plans were made to continue the pastoral and educational work already built up around Chikuni by Frs Moreau, Zabdyr, Prokoph, and others. Three new stations had been already started at Chivuna, Kasiya, and Fumbo. Plans were also made for pastoral coverage of Mazabuka, Monze, Choma, Kalomo, with an eventual westward thrust to Namwala. Provision was made for Irish Jesuits to work in Lusaka.
Fr Byrne again visited the Mission in 1963, now as Assistant of the English Assistancy, and took deep interest and evident satisfaction in the progress of the work, which owed so much to his earlier initiative. At this time he explored views about the possible union in one Province of the Jesuit Missions in Zambia and Rhodesia. However, this project was halted by the declaration of UDI to the south of us, and subsequent developments.
In December 1969, when the Zambia Vice-Province was established, Fr Thomas Byrne was an honored guest at an informal gathering in Dublin to mark the occasion. We can trust, now that he is in Heaven, his interest and his benign influence will continue to benefit the work in Zambia. May he rest in peace”.

Obituary :

Fr Thomas Byrne (1904-1978)

On August 3rd Father Tom Byrne died at Galway, where for nearly eight years he had been engaged on Parish work. This period in Galway was the peaceful, retired conclusion to an exceptionally active, varied and front-line work as a Jesuit.
Father Tom Byrne was born at Dun Laoire on November 30th 1904. He entered Tullabeg as a novice on August 31st 1922. Having pronounced his First Vows on September 1st 1924 at Tullabeg, he passed through the rest of the scholasticate training in Ireland: from Rathfarnham he studied Science at UCD (1924-1927); 1927 to 1934 were spent studying Philosophy and Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on July 31st 1933. He completed his Tertianship at Rathfarnham: 1939-1940.
From the end of his Tertianship in 1940 to his commencement of parish work in Galway in 1970, Father Tom Byrne was a “specialist” in one form or another. He was Lecturer in Sacred Scripture and Dogma in the Regional Seminary, Hong Kong: 1934-1939. He lectured in Philosophy in Tullabeg 1941-1945; 1953-1957. He was Master of Novices in Emo for two years (1945-1947). He was Provincial in Gardiner Street from 1947 to 1953: and it was by his enterprise and decision that the “mission” in what is now part of the Vice-Province of Zambia was begun by the opening of the Irish Mission at Chikuni: eight priests and one brother reached Chikuni from Ireland in August 1950. They began at once to work in the Mission Church at Chikuni, to open “mission stations” further afield, and to staff Canisius College which rapidly developed to become a splendid Secondary School. For many years after our arrival at Chikuni there was only one other Secondary school in “Northern Rhodesia” (now Zambia): the Government Secondary school Munali in Lusaka.
Father Byrne visited us within a few years of 1950 and continued generously to send brothers, scholastics and priests, so that Ireland's commitment in what is now the Vice-Province of Zambia developed rapidly.
After his second period as Lecturer in Tullabeg - after being Provincial - (1953-1957), Father Tom Byrne went to be Superior in the Hong Kong Mission. He remained in this Office until 1960 when he went to Rome for five years as English Assistant, substituting for Father J Swain who was Vicar General (1960-1965).
Father Tom Byrne was Prefect of Studies and Spiritual Father in Milltown Park from 1965 to 1968. There followed two years in Tullabeg as Spiritual Director of the Sisters there (1968 to 1970). In 1970 he moved to take up the parish work in Galway which occupied the last eight years of his work-filled life.

One of his many admirers - Father Harold Naylor, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, writes:
“As a philosopher in Tullabeg I remember being impressed by the vigour of the religious observance of ‘Tommy’ who was then professing Psychology. He was the first at Morning Oblation at 6 am. I met him again in 1977 in Galway and found the same man I had always known, with alert mind and zealous heart. Assistant to the Parish Priest in St Ignatius, he was always ready to hear confessions and take calls at the door to help people. I noticed something else which is not common in Jesuits of over forty - he had great hope in the future of the Church and of the Society. He had well assimilated the thrust of the Second Vatican Council, and made his own the content of the last two General Congregations. He was at home in the new Church, and the modern Society and had no nostalgia for the past. He could appropriate to himself our new life style and see every advantage in it. I sometimes wondered if this was not partly due to what he taught on obedience of the intellect, and to a real self abnegation, seeing the Will of God in everything and having the real spirit of Ignatian indifference ...”
See also the special tributes included in the contributions from Galway, tributes from Galway and Zambia.

Irish Province News 54th Year No 1 1979


Fr Thomas Byrne RIP
We are greatly indebted to an unnamed contributor to the Hong kong Vice-Province Letter/August, 1978, for the following account of Fr Thomas Byrne's life. Sincere thanks to him. The account arrived too late for inclusion in the October issue of the Province News,
Fr Thomas Byrne, Superior of the Hong Kong Mission from 1957 to 1960, died on 3rd August, after a few hours of illness, aged 73. The following account of his life has been contributed by one who knew him well.
Though he is a major figure in the history of the Hong Kong Jesuits, Fr Thomas Byrne spent in all only eight years here. For information about his pre-Jesuit years, his forty-five Jesuit years in Ireland, and his three years in Rome, I have had to rely on vague memories and hearsay. Much must be left vague, and some details may be inaccurate. .
He was born on 30th November 1904, and was educated at O’Connell’s School, Dublin. In 1922, he entered the novitiate at Tullabeg, where he had as contempararies R Harris, C Daly, and G Casey. As a junior, he did a brilliant BSc. He later - during his philosophy at Milltown Park, I think tried for a travelling studentship (in Philosophy?), but was beaten, to the surprise of many, by the Clonliffe student who, as Fr. Boyland, was to leave the Dublin Archdiocese to become a Carthusian.
Mr. Tommy Byrne, already destined for a professorial chair, did no “colleges”, and went straight from philosophy to theology. He came, I think, to regret this gap in his formation, especially when appointment as a major superior made him responsible for the well being of many schools.
He was ordained priest on St Ignatius Day, 1933. In 1934, the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, found itself critically short of staff. The Irish Provincial, Fr L Kieran, lent Fr Byrne to Hong Kong, on the understanding that, when the Seminary could spare him, he should return to Ireland to do his tertianship and then settle down there as a professor, probably of philosophy. He came to Hong Kong, by ship of course, with Fr H Craig and two scholastics, F Cronin and T Sheridan, and for his first two years taught philosophy in the Seminary.
Since he had not come as a permanent member of the Mission, it was taken for granted that he should not even attempt to learn Cantonese - another gap in his formation that he was to regret in later years.
In 1936, he became professor of dogmatic theology in the Seminary. It was in that year that I first met him. I still feel gratitude for the warmth of the welcome he gave me on my arrival in Hong Kong. By then he had developed to the full his aptitude for giving lengthy analysis of any subject that might turn up - the state of the world, the calling of a bridge-hand, St Jerome’s outlook on bishops, or his own outlook on his duties as minister. This may suggest that he had turned into a bore. The suggestion is false. He was interested in your views as well as in his own, and he was unaffectedly delighted when you knocked him off his perch. This made all the difference.
He went to Ireland for tertianship in 1939, making no secret of his wish to return to Hong Kong if possible. However, when his tertianship ended, the course of World War II had made immediate return impossible. After tertianship, Fr Byrne went to Tullabeg to teach philosophy. In 1945 he was appointed Master of Novices.
He was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province in 1947. By then the world was beginning to settle down after the confusion and frustration of war and its aftermath. The time called for initiative, and Fr Byrne was ready to initiate. In the course of his provincialate the Manresa Retreat house and the Workers' College (now the College of Industrial Relations) were opened, and the Irish Province accepted a new mission in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Not since the legendary days of Fr Sturzo had any Irish Provincial added so much to the work of the province.
I myself left Ireland soon after Fr Byrne's appointment. I therefore know little about his administration or his dealings with individuals. I do remember an aged fountain of ideas. Fr R Devane,
saying rather sadly: “At last there is a Provincial who will listen to me; but I am too old now". There are rumours that scholastics were put off by Fr Byrne's highly characteristic habit of gazing into the middle distance and musing on the nature of things or giving gnomic advice. Presumably they felt inhibited from knocking him off his perch - unfortunate but inevitable.!
At the end of his term as Provincial, Fr Byrne returned to Tullabeg, and seemed likely to spend the rest of his days there. Then in 1957, to the surprise of the most highly skilled forecasters, he was appointed Superior of the Hong Kong Mission. He returned with delight; an eighteen-year-old dream had come true.
Neither Hong Kong nor Singapore was in great need of initiative. In Hong Kong, the two new Wah Yans had been built shortly before, and it would have been difficult to find staff for new works. In Singapore, the plans laid in the earlier 50s were moving towards fulfilment. In Malaysia, however, things were still tentative. The cancellation of a government invitation to undertake a major work faced the Superior with the decision: to go forward or to retreat. Fr Byrne decided to go forward. Perhaps nothing in his superiorship interested him more deeply than the problems of Petaling Jaya. A grasp of the geography of Kuala Lumpur and its environs became necessary for anyone who wanted to understand his conversation.
In Hong King, Fr Byrne’s main task was to encourage the work that was being done by individuals and institutions. For himself, he took up the work of public committees - the Housing Societry, the Discharged Prisoners Aid Society and so on. In Ricci Hall, where he lived, he quickly made many friends among the students. Equally quickly he made himself a welcome guest in all Jesuit houses. When he had to act as Superior he was unmistakably the Superior. At other times, like a famour duke, “he never remembered his rank unless you forgot it”. In spite of recurring bad health - stomach trouble and phlebitis - he enjoyed life, and he wished others to enjoy life. The brilliant frivolity of Fr J B Wood’s speech of farewell at the end of Fr Byrne’s Superiorship was a tribute to the friendliness and personal equality that he had made characteristic of his period of authority here.
He was Superior for only three years. In 1960 he was summoned to Rome as Substitute Assistant for the English Assistancy. Of what happened at that high level I know nothing except that Fr Byrne seemed to enjoy it.
He returned to Ireland after the 31st General Congregation, but his interest in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia never waned, as returning visitors from these parts will testify.
He spent his last years as curate in St. Ignatius' Church, Galway, and it was there that I last met him. He was unchanged - full of interest in the Vice-Province and better informed about it than I was - ready to speculate about the state of the world and of all things in it, and full of philosophical interest in the future of the Jesuit parish in Galway,
No hint had been received here that his health was failing. The news of his death came as a shock, and to many it meant, not “a former Superior has died”, but “a cherished friend is dead”.

Casey, Dermot M, 1911-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/22
  • Person
  • 02 June 1911-16 February 1997

Born: 02 June 1911, Phibsborough, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died 16 February 1997, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at O’Connell’s Schools

by 1935 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
1936-1939 at Paris France (FRA) studying psychology

Clear, John B, 1922-2009, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 142 : Winter 2009


Fr John Clear (1922-2009)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cronin, Fergus, 1909-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/651
  • Person
  • 29 March 1909-08 December 1990

Born: 29 March 1909, Roscommon Town, County Roscommon
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1944, Manresa House, Roehampton, London, England
Died: 08 December 1990, Canossa Hospital, Old Peak Road, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

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

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

Early Education at O’Connell’s Schools, Dublin
Tertianship at Rathfarnham

WW2 Chaplain 1943-1947

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966
Mission Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong: 10 August 1965-03 December 1966
1st Vice-Provincial of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong: 03 December 1966-1972

by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency
by 1936 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Regency
Hong Kong Mission Superior 10/08/1965

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Fergus Cronin, S.J.

Father Fergus Cronin, SJ., of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, priest in charge of the Catholic Centre Chapel, died at Canossa Hospital on Saturday, 8 December 1990, aged 81.

In the course of his long life here he won distinction both as a priest and as a voluntary servant of the public. Yet he will be remembered most vividly for his almost unrivalled power of making personal friends and giving wise and sympathetic personal advice.

Father Cronin was born in Co. Roscommon, Ireland, in 1909, the youngest of three children of an early-widowed mother. His only sister became a Dominican nun. His elder brother became a Vincentian priest. He himself joined the Jesuits in 1926.

He first came to Hong Kong as a Jesuit scholastic in 1934, and spent three years studying Cantonese and teaching in Wah Yan College, then housed in Robinson Road. He returned to Ireland in 1937 to complete his Jesuit training and was ordained priest in 1940.

In 1942 he became a chaplain in the British army, serving in the U.K., the Faeroes and Iran and Iraq. In 1944, he had the rather gruesome task of organising replacements for Catholic chaplains who were wounded or killed in the allied assault on Europe.

He was demobilised in 1946 and, apart from one year in India, spent the rest of his years serving the Church and the people of Hong Kong.

The posts he held testified to his gifts as an administrator and a leader - Warden of Ricci Hall, University of Hong Kong; Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in Macao, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia; Rector, first of the Jesuit community of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, and later of the Ricci Hall Community; Director of the Hong Kong Catholic Centre; Bishop’s Delegate for Charismatic - the list is incomplete. In 1964 the Jesuit Superior General sent him to India for a year to make a survey of the intellectual resources of the numerous Indian Jesuit Provinces. The gifts that drew these offices to him were apparently family characteristics his elder brother revived the C.B.E. for his work as head of the Teacher’s Training College in Strawberry Hill, London, his sister became Prioress in one of the chief girls' schools in Dublin.

For many years he was lecturer on Logic in the University of Hong Kong. For decades he acted as a Justice of the Peace and was a member of the Hong Kong Housing Society. He took these tasks very seriously and was awarded the O.B.E. in recognition of his services.

All this may seem to add up to a very full life. Yet to those who valued him most, lists of posts held and of work done seem almost irrelevant. The Father Cronin they mourn was the adviser who guided them and the friend who sustained.

He spent his life forming and keeping friendships - men whom he taught as boys in the 1930s, men and women to whom he lectured in the 1950s, former students of Ricci Hall, hosts of those with whom his busy life brought him into contact, have cherished his affection through decades and are permanently grateful for his wise counsel.

His advice was always personal and was often unexpected. It could be bracing, astringent or gentle as the occasion offered. Always it was based on a sympathetic and intelligent assessment of the person he was advising.

Since the vast majority of the people of Hong Kong are Chinese, the vast majority of his friends were Chinese, but there were no national limits to his friendship. Recent years had brought many Filipinas within its scope. Other Asians, Europeans, Americans and Australians in great numbers will be saddened by the news of his passing. Only lack of opportunity robbed him of African friends.

These friendships were independent of social and economic status. He will be mourned equally by Sir Philip and Lady Haddon Cave, the Frequenters of the Catholic Centre Chapel, the members of the Catholic Women’s League, the members of the Little Flower Club, and Pak Ching and A Chau, two former number on servants of Ricci Hall. He valued people, not for what they possessed or what they had achieved, but for what they were - as he might have said, “because of the love that I bore them.”

We shall not see his like again.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 14 December 1990

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

Note from Alan Birmingham Entry
On the death of Father Fergus Cronin SJ, Father Alan took over as rector of the busy Catholic Centre Chapel.

Note from Thomas Fitzgerald Entry
A Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in the chapel of Wah Yan College Hong Kong, on Monday, 17 July, by Father F. Cronin, S.J., Regional Superior.

Note from Jimmy Hurley Entry
Martin Lee Chu-ming, former legal advisor to The Justice and Peace Commission :
Lee said that he could find many similarities between Father Hurley’s life and his own. They were both inspired by Father Fergus Cronin in the fight for people’s rights. Lee recalled how Father Hurley sought clearance before attending a press conference to speak for the students and Father Cronin, the then-Jesuit superior in Hong Kong, told him: “Go James, attend! This is where you must be.” Father Hurley said he could not forget such a clear instruction and was grateful for the support. Lee recalled that when he started in politics, he also visited Father Cronin, who was then seriously ill, and asked what he could do for the Church. Father Cronin told him to follow his conscience and do what he thought he should do.

Note from Terry Sheridan Entry
The chief celebrant, Father Fergus Cronin, Provincial Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits and one of Father Sheridan’s oldest friends in Hong Kong, paid the following tribute. I suppose all of us here are people who knew Father Terence Sheridan so it is not necessary for me to say who he was nor to mention many of the things he did....

Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
1st Vice-Provincial of Hong Kong (1967-1972)

His older brother was a Vincentian Priset and was awarded a CBE for his work at the Teachers Training ollege at Strawberry Hill London. His sister was a Dominican sister who became Prioress at one of the chief Dublin Girls School.

1928-1931 He studied Histroy at UCD graduating BA (Hons)
1931-1934 He was sent for Philsophy to Tullabeg
1934-1935 He was sent teaching to Hong Kong and the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen for Regency
1935-1937 He moved to Wah Yan Hong Kong
1937-1940 He was back in Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park
1941-1942 He was at Rathfarnham making Tertianship
During 1962-1964 he toured the Asian Provinces to assess what kind of Provincial cooperation might be possible in the intellectual level.
1963-1965 He was Superior at St Joseph’s, Wise Mansion
1972-1974 After finishing as Vice-Provincial he was in charge of St Joseph’s Church and the Catholic Centre for the Diocese of Hong Kong
1980-1986 He was Superior of Ricci Hall
1986-1990 He was Director of the Catholic Centre.

He was in Hong Kong for over 40 years. He was a gifted administrator and leader as Vice provincial in Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore.He pursued the expansion of the Province and was very keen for inter Provincial cooperation in east Asia. He was once the Bishop’s Delegate for Charismatics and also a lecturer in Logic at HKU (1946-1962). He was appointed by the Hong Kong Governor as a member of the Board of Education, a member of the Education Appeals Board, the Council for Social Services and the University of Hong Kong Council.
He was also active in the Catholic Women’s League, Catholic Marriage Council and American Sailors Catholic Service. He served as Rector at the Catholic Centre, the English Catholic “public relations” and a member of the HK Housing Society.
He was awarded a “Justice of the Peace” in Hong Kong as well as an OBE in recognition of his services.

◆ 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

Cusack, Patrick, 1918-2003, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/591
  • Person
  • 29 August 1918-06 March 2003

Born: 29 August 1918, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, Della Strada, Dooradoyle, Limerick
Died: 06 March 2003, Cherryfield Lodge Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005


Fr Patrick (Paddy) Cusack (1918-2003)

29th Aug. 1918: Born in Dublin
Early education in Dominican Convent, Eccles Street, and CBS, Richmond Street
7th Sept. 1936: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1938: First Vows at Emo
1938 - 1941: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1944 - 1946: Crescent College, Limerick - Regency
1946 - 1950: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1949: Ordained at Milltown Park
1950 - 1951: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1951 - 1953: Mungret College - Teaching
1953 - 1954: Clongowes -Teaching
1954 - 1959: Mungret - Teaching, Spiritual Director (Boys)
1959 - 1968: Emo:
1959 - 1961: Master of Novices
1961 - 1968: Rector; Master of Novices
1968 - 1974: Mungret:
1968 - 1971: Spiritual Director (Boys); Teacher
1971 - 1974: Rector; Teacher
(Mungret closed Summer '74)
1974 - 1978: Sullivan House - Director Spiritual Exercises; Member of Spirituality Centre
1978 - 1983: Dooradoyle - Chaplain; Teacher; Spiritual Director (pupils)
1983 - 1984: Tullabeg - Co-ordinator of Apostolate.
1984 - 1989: Leeson Street - Spiritual Exercises & Retreats
1989 - 2003: Belvedere:
1989 - 1990: Spiritual Exercises
1990 - 1992: College Confessor
1992 - 1993: Asst.Pastoral Care Co-ordinator
1993 - 1994: Adult Education on Prayer
1994 - 2003: Director Spiritual Exercises; Adult Prayer Education; College Confessor
6th March 2003 Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

After a long illness, borne peacefully and patiently, Paddy died at Cherryfield Lodge in the presence of family members and Father Eddie FitzGerald from the Milltown community.

Kevin Laheen writes:
Paddy Cusack had just left for Rathfarnham when I arrived in Emo in 1938. The novices who were still in Emo remembered him very well and gave us, newcomers, a fair picture of him. Some said he was fervent, others described him as edifying, while Sean O'Connor, (my 'Angelus' and now a missioner in Nairobi) said he was meticulous. When I got to know him in Rathfarnham he certainly lived up to the reputation he had earned for himself in Emo. But I learned a lot more about him as the months in the Castle passed. He was a placid man whom nothing could ruffle, but in our eyes there was a downside to him. He had no athletic ability and no taste for games. He never played tennis, nor handball, but because he felt it was the will of God he turned out to play that is the wrong word) football, for he was essentially a passenger on the field. He once brought a book to the pitch to have a little read just in case nobody passed the ball to him. They never did.

When I joined him in Tullabeg he had become a great reader. He never again ventured on to the football pitch but in his many long walks, aided by his musical ear, he had become an expert in identifying the birds by listening to their songs - in Tullabeg their name was legion. Apart from our days in Milltown Park prior to ordination, I never lived with him again until we both were stationed in Mungret. There he was a good teacher but his appointment to the post of Spiritual Father to the boys gave a pointer to what would occupy him for the rest of his life. Apart from his days as the last Rector of the college, all his work for the rest of his life was associated with spiritual formation. As Master of Novices I am sure that many of his novices would enrich this picture of him by adding their own memories.

He was a great friend of the nuns all over the country. There was many a convent that had an open door and a bed for the night whenever he found himself stranded between retreats. The number of Long Retreats he directed exceeded thirty, and he had a particular weakness for the convent that had a piano. Paddy was a lover of the piano but he hesitated to play before an audience. As he pursued his nomadic life he always tucked away in his case a few sheets of piano music, with a preference for Mendelssohn. Towards the end of his life when the burden of travel became too heavy he spent longs periods at Knock Shrine assisting many people with guided prayer. He became known as the “be still and know that I am God” priest for that was how he always began his prayer sessions. His name is still remembered there with affection and appreciation.

During my own sojourn in Cherryfield, Paddy paid a few short visits. He had become more quiet, took little part in recreation, spent more time in the chapel or pacing up and down the corridor. When able, his great achievement was to take a trip into the city and have a cup of coffee in Bewleys, and later he would talk of it as a real triumph. The end came rather suddenly and I am sure he had the support of the prayers of the thousands whom he had helped during his life as a priest. May he rest in peace.

Delaney, Brian, 1938-1973, Jesuit novice

  • IE IJA J/119
  • Person
  • 15 February 1938-18 July 1973

Born: 15 February 1938, Limerick and Dublin
Entered: 23 September 1972, Manresa, Dollymount, Dublin
Died: 18 July 1973, Wicklow Town, County Wicklow

Part of Manresa community, Dollymount, Dublin at time of his death.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 48th Year No 4 1973

Obituary :

Mr Brian Delaney (1938-1973)

Brian was what would be called nowadays “a delayed vocation”, entering the novitiate at Manresa at the age of thirty-four. He was born 15th February, 1938, and entered 23rd September 1973. His first contact with the Society was as a small boy at the Crescent. His memories of those days in Limerick were hazy as he left with the family for Dublin when he was nine. He received his secondary education at Marino, O’Connell Schools and CUS.
Equipped with Leaving Cert. and Matric he went into Esso Petroleum Company and spent thirteen years with the firm, the last seven as a representative, In 1961 he obtained the Diploma in Public Administration. From 1969 he ran his own very successful service station,
While in Esso Brian became associated with Manresa Retreat House as a promoter and continued the good work even after he had left the company. During the retreat in January 1972 he came to the present writer for a chat. The burden of his remarks, of which he often spoke afterwards was that he was great for about a month after each retreat and up for early Mass, etc. but that then the effects wore off. In his complete sincerity this worried him so it was arranged that if he did not get in touch after a month he was to be “looked up”.
He was back in a month and all was well; some weeks later, back again to say that his business while prosperous was appearing to lose interest for him and that he would like to be a priest. The next time, with no prompting, he expressed a wish, diffidently but earnestly, to enter the Society. From that time until he was accepted formally his one anxiety was that he may be deemed unsuitable.
As a novice he was happy as never before. He said after several months that he was always wondering when the “let down” would come. Perhaps the only real problem for him was the effort to give up smoking - not surprising since he had contracted a habit of very heavy consumption of cigarettes; he mastered the weakness to the extent that he could accept a cigarette on the community occasions they were available without trepidation of a relapse.
The Irish and English novices had their villa arranged for Wicklow - a reciprocation of last year's villa in the Isle of Wight. On the afternoon of this fifth day of the holiday, July 18th, Fr M P Gallagher who was in charge went golfing in company with Brian and one of the English novices, Stuart Agnew. Brian was an expert and the others merely beginners. He however did not appear to be on his game. Coming up the hill at the fifth hole he got a pain in the chest and had to rest. He thought it a recurrence of an ulcer complaint from which he had suffered formerly. The pain seemed to pass and they decided to continue the game. Not for long, alas, for with the second hole he seemed to stagger and admitted it had come again; they decided to return to the club house, playing a hole going that direction any way. When Fr Gallagher looked towards him he saw him lying on the ground : it was serious. Stuart went for a doctor while the priest gave absolution; the matron of the local hospital was on the links at the next green, and came endeavouring to render artificial respiration but in vain - a coronary attack of a massive type had intervened.
The doctor arrived within ten minutes but too late.
Fr Gallagher continues : “the novices assembled in the improvised chapel where Brian had received Holy Communion that morning seemed possessed with a common recognition that Brian had found the Lord, ‘in the middle of life's span’, in a manner that provided for him great happiness and preparedness to enter into His presence”. RIP

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 Mission 1880- 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
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 21st 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

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

Delaney, John J, 1883-1956, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/29
  • Person
  • 04 July 1883-08 August 1956

Born: 04 July 1883, North Strand, Dublin City
Entered: 23 September 1904, Drongen Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 31 July 1916, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1921
Died: 08 August 1956, St Francis Xavier, Upper Gardiner St, Dublin - Belgicae South Province (BELG)

WWI Chaplain

by 1920 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship
by 1933 came to St Francis Xavier (HIB) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

‘From Easter Week to Flanders Field’
From Easter Week to Flanders Field: The diaries of and letters of Fr John Delaney SJ, 1916-1919′ is the latest book by historian Thomas Morrissey SJ. John Delaney SJ walked the streets of Dublin during Easter Week 1916, recording in a diary everything he encountered along the way. This treasure came to light in the Jesuit archives five years ago, and is reproduced in the book and so public for the first time.
The next year, in 1917, John Delaney was sent to the battlefields of Europe, where he served on the front line as an army chaplain. It is his letters, in this instance, that provide a first-hand account of the realities of war. Putting both experiences together, this volume provides an eye-witness account of two major events of the early twentieth century.
Thomas Morrissey SJ brings us through Delaney’s life and times from Dublin to Flanders, later on to service in Ceylon, then his final years back in Dublin. “Ypres, Louvain, Rheims, were before our mind’s eye in a moment and we thought – war had come to us at last. Dublin was in flames. The roar of guns was in our ears, at our very door, and men were falling. Men were dying not on the fields of France or in the trenches of Flanders, but on the streets of Dublin. It was really dreadful; too dreadful to look at, too dreadful to hear, too dreadful to think of… We went down to prayers. I could not help thinking of the poor fellows dying not so far from us amid the shot and shell whilst we repeated in our little chapel, ‘Ora pro nobis’ ”, wrote John Delaney SJ, Thursday 27 April, 1916.
The book was launched on Monday 23 March at St Francis Xavier’s Church, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. Fergus O’Donoghue SJ, Superior of Gardiner St community, warmly welcomed those at the launch. He said that when that when Todd (Thomas Morrissey) first approached him about the book he advised him that he wouldn’t have enough material and Todd agreed. Then totally unexpectedly he was given a link to published correspondence of John Delaney in the ‘Old Boy’s Journal’ of the Jesuit College in what is now Sri Lanka.
Launching the book, Professor of history Fergus D’Arcy began by reciting a chilling list of the numbers of young men from all the countries involved in WWI who died in battle. The room went very quiet. He called the war “the beast of the apocalypse”, a war “so awful that it raises questions about the beautiful gardens around the world that commemorate it”.
Commenting on John Delaney’s diary entries regarding the Easter Rising, Prof. D’Arcy said his first-hand account, warts and all, was fascinating. Delaney was a chaplain to the Gardaí at the time. For this reason a specially invited guest at the launch was Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey (pictured here with Fr Morrissey). He said he was delighted to represent the Gardaí at the launch of such a book and he wanted to honour the memory of John Delaney SJ who served the Gardaí so well.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 31st Year No 4 1956

St. Francs Xavier's, Gardiner Street
By the death of Father Delaney, on 8th August: we suffered the loss of one of the best-loved priests in the Church. Even though illness had for almost the last two years removed him from his many posts of duty, there were constant affectionate enquiries for him, and requests for his spiritual assistance: up to the time of his leaving Gardiner Street last Autumn he was always ready to come down from his room in response to the latter. Messages of sympathy on his death reached Father Provincial and Father Superior from many sources: large numbers of Mass-cards were left on the coffin: and, at his funeral, the Civic Guards whose Sodality he directed So splendidly turned out such a Guard of Honour as he himself, always so pleased with a uniformed and well-drilled parade, would have thoroughly appreciated. May he rest in peace!

Obituary :

Fr John Delaney (1883-1956)

Fr. Delaney was born in Dublin in 1883 and educated in O'Connell Schools and at Mungret Apostolic School, from which he graduated as B.A. in the old Royal University. In 1904 he entered the Society of Jesus at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and he studied philosophy in Louvain before going to teach for four years in St. Aloysius College, Galle, Ceylon.
Returning to Ireland for his course of Theology, he was ordained in Milltown Park in 1916. The following year he was appointed Army Chaplain and he saw service in Flanders and France during the years 1917-1919, succeeding the late Fr. Willie Doyle as chaplain to the “Munsters”. At the end of the war he returned to the Mission in Ceylon, where he remained until 1932, being Director of Studies at $t. Aloysius College, Galle, for six years and later Principal of St. Mary's College, Kegalle.
During the twenty years he spent in Ceylon Fr. Delaney rendered valuable services to the cause of education in that country, where, in St. Aloysius College, Galle, he succeeded another Irishman, the late Fr. Denis Murphy, as Principal. He was responsible for the building and equipment also of St. Mary's College of the Society of Jesus at Kegalle, with a roll of 600 students.
In 1932 he returned again to Ireland to become an outstanding figure as a giver of missions and retreats throughout the country. In 1944 he joined the staff of Gardiner Street Church, where he remained until his death. At Gardiner Street he was Director of the Sodality for members of the Dublin Metropolitan Gardaí, and Director also of the Arch-Association for Work for Poor Churches, the annual Exhibition of Vestments of which he organised so efficiently. For a number of years he was also responsible for the organisation of Irish Jesụit Mission Week in St. Francis Xavier's Hall; and was the imperturbable Traffic Superintendent-in-Chief of the huge Crowds during the Novena of Grace.
For the last year or two of his life he had been in poor health. He died suddenly and peacefully on Wednesday, August 8th. The Civic Guards, whom he had admired so much, did him honour in death. They formed a Guard of Honour in the Church, acted as pall-bearers and lined the path way to the graveside in Glasnevin. The Commissioner, Chief Superintendents and Superintendents were in attendance in the Church and at Glasnevin.
One shall not easily forget the glamour of his rhetoric in the pulpit or the record of his patience and prudence in the confessional. He was particularly successful in the direction of nuns and of scrupulous people. But, indeed, his guidance as a confessor was sought by all classes of people, and he had the very precious gift of being able to inspire people with confidence in their last moments. I think it was just three years ago that Fr. Delaney was flown to the death-bed of a gentleman in London. This gentleman had been away from the sacraments for many years; he had met Fr. Delaney only once, before, and accidentally; but, when he came to die, he asked for Fr. Delaney to help him make his peace with God.
For the past year Fr. Delaney had been almost completely helpless. He required assistance to even change his position in his chair; he could not feed himself. For a man of such abounding energy formerly this was a particularly heavy cross. Yet he bore it with a superb patience. He never murmured. To Fr. Superior and Fr. Minister he would say : “Is there any thing I could do for you?” He was surely touched to receive Fr. General's blessing a few months ago. To Fr. Superior Fr. General had written : “Nuntium de conditione adeo gravi Patris Joannis Delaney maxime dolebam; cui caro Patri qui in ista provincia et in missionibus indicis per tot annos cum zelo laboravit velim Reverentia Vestra paternam benedictionem significet”. Fr. Delaney was especially pleased that he should have been considered a carus pater. He was indeed beloved by all, by none more than by his community. He was a great community man. But, then, he did all things well.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Delaney 1883-1956
Fr John Delaney was born in Dublin in 1883, educated in O’Connell’s Schools and Mungret College, whence he joined the Belgian Province of the Society.

As a scholastic he worked in St Aloysius College, Galle, Ceylon, which he helped attain that position of scholastic achievement, initiated by another Irish Jesuit, Fr Denis Murphy.

Having served as a Chaplain in the First World War, he returned to work in Ceylon until 1932, when he came back to Ireland. Here he became an outstanding figure on the Mission Staff until 1944, when he was appointed as Operarius in Gardiner Street. The glamour of his rhetoric in the pulpit and his patience and prudence in the confessional will not be forgotten. He had a charisma for scrupulous souls. On one occasion he was flown to London to hear the confession of a dying man years away from the Sacraments. This man had only met Fr Delaney once in his life. Such incidents could be multiplied and they speak volumes of the character and spiritual quality of Fr Delaney.

He died on August 8th 1956, a jubilarian of the Society.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1932 : Golden Jubilee

Our Past

Father John J Delaney SJ

Fr J J Delaney SJ was a companion of Father Willie Doyle during the Great War. After years of teaching at St. Aloysius College, Galle, he is now in charge of St. Mary's School, Kegalle, where he has renewed the face of the earth. He is easily the most popular and effective preacher in the island, a wonderful raconteur, and doing no end of good,

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

Our Past

Father John J Delaney SJ

Father J J Delaney SJ, (1899-1924) is home from Kegalle, Ceylon. It was said that he came home for a rest. Father John's definition of rest must be change of climate, for he has never ceased work since he returned. He has made a name in Ireland already as a preacher and director of Retreats. On Whit Sunday he received our Sodalists and delighted all the boys with his sermon for the occasion. We have seldom heard so many tributes from them after a sermon.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957


Father John J Delaney SJ

We regret to announce the death of Fr John Delaney which took place on August 8th. Fr Delaney was born in Dublin in 1883. He was educated in O'Connell schools and Mungret Apostolic School where he graduated as a BA in the old Royal University. In 1904 he entered the Society of Jesus at Tronchiennes Belgium. After Philosophy he taught for four years in St Aloysius College, Galle, Ceylon. Returning to Ireland for Theology he was ordained in Milltown Park in 1916. The following year he was appointed military chaplain and saw service in Flanders and France during the years 1917-19. At the end of the war he re turned to Ceylon where he remained until 1932. Here he was responsible for the building of St Mary's College at Kegalle.

In 1932 he returned to Ireland where he became an outstanding giver of Retreats and Missions. In 1944 he joined the staff at Gardiner St, where he remained till his death. In Gardiner St. he was Director of the Sodality of the Dublin Metropolitan Gardai and Director also of the Arch-Association for work for poor Churches. In his life his guidance was sought by all classes of people in the confessional. He was particularly successful in the direction of nuns. At his funeral the Guards formed a guard of honour in the Church, and acted as pall bearers. They whom he admired so much in life honoured him in death. RIP

Doherty, Patrick, 1905-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/123
  • Person
  • 26 November 1905-25 September 1957

Born: 26 November 1905, Manchester, Lancashire, England / Dublin City
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1941, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 25 September 1957, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Early education at O’Connell’s school Dublin and Mungret College SJ
Tertianship at Rathfarnham

by 1930 in Vals France (TOLO) studying
by 1952 in Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick Doherty came to Australia in 1951 to give the priests of Melbourne archdiocese their annual retreat, and to use the retreat to introduce them to the Pioneers Total Abstinence Association. Archbishop Mannix seems at that time to have been keen to get the PTAA established. When he first approached Mannix it is reputed that the Archbishop said that the PTAA was a very good idea, and perhaps Doherty should start with his own brethren.
Doherty came to Australia with a considerable reputation as a successful leader of the PTAA, who had renewed and modernised it, and also as a sought-after retreat director. He was an excellent speaker, engaging and witty He seemed to connect well with the diocesan clergy. He was a man of vivacity and charm and was much liked. He lived at Richmond when he wasn't on the retreat circuit. When he was not giving priests' retreats, he spent quite some time travelling around Australia. visiting Jesuit ministries especially - setting up branches of the PTAA.
He spent part of that year giving retreats to other religious orders. By the time Doherty left Australia, the PTAA was established and reasonably well known in quite a few parts of Australia. He handed over the management of the Australian PTAA to Lou Dando, who drew other Jesuits into the task of spreading the word and the organisation.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 33rd Year No 1 1958

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Doherty

Not long after his ordination, Fr. Doherty confided to a friend: “When I stand at the altar during my Mass I am so overwhelmed by the thought of what is happening that I feel inclined almost to look down and see if my feet are touching the ground!”
This same spirit of faith developed with the years and reached its climax in his last illness. To visit him and pray with him was a spiritual tonic “as good as a retreat”. He was radiantly happy at the thought of the near approach of eternity. “I am interested in nothing only the growth of divine life in my soul. Never think it is hard to die. Often when giving retreats I used to wish I could only do myself what I was telling others to do. At the stage I have now reached God treats you as if you had done it”. Told of a doctor who had some remarkable successes with cancer patients, his comment was : “Thank God he didn't try his treatment on me!”
He described for the writer the plans for his funeral with the same ease as if he was speaking of someone else. Seeing this, I ventured, to hint that I had been asked to do his Obituary. He seized my hand : “Tell them I am the greatest proof of the mercy of God you ever came across”.
He was the edification of doctors and nurses who declared he was dying like a saint. “He is giving the most effective retreat [ ] gave” was the verdict of his Rector. Nor did his sense of humour ever forsake him. After a severe vomiting or a violent spasm of pain he would at once brighten up and show himself eager to continue a conversation. His poor body was wasted away till be weighed only four stone, but his mind was alert right up to the end. When his aged mother came to see him he twitted her : “Mother, what are you fretting for? Sure you'll probably be on the next old bus anyhow, and I'm only going on ahead to open the gate for you!” Later he wrote her a letter of more than three pages, to console her, “in my best handwriting”.
The effort called for something not far from heroism.
Indeed, he “opened the gate” for many a soul. Tributes flowed from all sides to the selfless devotion with which he gave himself to “talks” and the confessional during the many retreats he conducted. He continued this arduous apostolate when those of us who were near him realised that the work was draining every ounce of energy from him. But “he was too concerned for others to be interested in himself” - to quote from his review of The First Jesuit. The words are descriptive, not of our Father Ignatius only, but of this son of his who wrote them. The secret of his success was, in large measure, his gift of sympathy. He really entered into the trials and difficulties of others and suffered them as if they were his own.
That review evoked high encomiums from the censors and a strong recommendation that he should write more. His “Centre Survey” in the Pioneer magazine, where he had a field for poking fun, which never lost sight of the seriousness of his message, ranks with the very popular “Colum's Corner" in another magazine. Had God spared him he could have wielded a doughty pen in the service of souls.
Mention of The Pioneer reminds us that no account would be complete without at least an attempt to tell what he accomplished for the Association. For many years he was Spiritual Director of the Garda Branch. Before me lies a letter from a member, written in 1955, expressing the deep affection he won from the men, and their grief on learning that he had been transferred to other work. He led a group in pilgrimage to Fatima and “we will never forget the thousand and one things he did for us, and, above all, the cheerful manner in which they were done. It was with pardonable pride that we heard his name announced to give the Holy Hour for all the English-speaking pilgrims”.
In 1948 Fr. Doherty represented the Association at Lucerne and it was as a direct result of his presence and influence there that the Pioneer Movement began on the continent. Later he went to Melbourne where he organised the work, and the best comment on his efforts is that today there are eighty centres in Australia. During that year, too, he gave several retreats, including one to the Melbourne priests with many of whom he formed lasting friendships.
Another instance of his mischievous spirit recurs here. A Father had been asked to address his Garda Centre. A week or so before the address, he received a letter from Fr. Doherty, explaining that the men were keenly disappointed to learn that it was not he himself who was coming, and suggesting that perhaps a last-minute switch could be made! For quite a while that Father was completely taken in.
In many ways he always retained in his make-up some elements of the enfant terrible. A picture of him comes to mind in the early days of theology, in which, with many groans of mock grief, he bemoaned the fact that he was like a dog on & chain! He was a great favourite with the older Fathers and would often speak of his affection for them, His youthful ways endeared him to young people inside and outside the Society. No one escaped his sallies at recreation. He was quick at repartee and told a funny story well, obviously enjoying the telling. He had a keen sense of justice and would quickly flare up where he considered wrong was done, nor did he lack eloquence and vigour in defending a difference of opinion.
He would be the last man in the world to wish that these human. traits should be glossed over here.
Fr. Doherty has gone from us, having given “in his whole life and much more in death” an inspiring example of that “living faith and hope and love of those eternal good things which Christ Our Lord has merited and acquired for us”. No one who knew him but will be glad to meet him again. Our consolation is the hope that he is only gone on ahead to open the gate for us.
He was born in Manchester in 1905, went as a boy to O'Connell Schools and to Mungret; entered the Society in 1924 and followed the. usual curriculum University, Philosophy in France, Colleges in Belvedere, and Theology in Milltown. He was ordained by Bishop Wall in 1938; did Tertianship under Fr. Henry Keane at Rathfarnham, after which he taught in Belvedere till 1943 when he was appointed to the Pioneer Association. He died in Dublin on September 25th, 1957. May he rest in peace!

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Doherty 1905-1957
“Nothing in his life became him like the leaving of it” could be aptly applied to Fr Patrick Doherty. It is no exaggeration to say that for many years past, no Jesuit of this Province died so happy and so edifying a death. One might almost envy him the joy, happiness and peace he radiated, while at the same time he was racked with pain, which even drugs had failed to stem. People came from far and near to see him and have a few last words with him. “Now I realise what I have so often spoken of in Retreats, the great happiness which God has reserved for us”. Of each member of his family, he asked what they most urgently needed from God, and he promised to get their request. Each one got his petition, and one of these certainly was a near miracle.

He was a great talker in the pulpit, at the conference table, on the stage and in the community. This gift he used to great advantage as Assistant Director of the Pioneer Association. At the request of Archbishop Mannix, he went to Australia to found the Pioneer Movement there. He was also a writer of no mean merit, as the columns of the Pioneer Magazine prove.

At the early age of 52, he died of rapid cancer on September 25th 1957.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1953

A College of the Church Universal : Australian Experiences

Father Patrick Doherty SJ

“It won’t be so cold as this in Melbourne!” exclaimed the priest who was escorting me to the London plane at Collinstown. The gentleman immediately in front of us wheeled round. “Who's going to Melbourne?” he asked in surprised tone. “I am”, I said eagerly; “are you coming too?” “I have just returned from there”, replied this young doctor, a past pupil of Crescent College; “I hope to go back again soon”. On the way to London he gave me his impressions of Australia. “Once you settle down”, he said, “you will grow to love the Australians”. As the following year unfolded itself, I found myself in full agreement with all his favourable opinions of the “Land of sunshine”. Little did I expect, however, on that evening of December 5th, 1950, that my adieu to Melbourne, some fifteen months later, would be one of the hardest farewells of my life.

Since my return many people have expressed surprise at my admiration for Australia. “They don't all like it”, I am told. Oddly enough, some of these criticisms can be traced to articles in cross-Channel newspapers. England is not always the most affectionate of mothers! Of Irishmen in Australia I met only two who judged harshly the land of their adoption. I met hundreds of Irishmen, and many of other European nationality, whose longing for the home land was strictly limited to a desire “to see the old country before I die”.

No one in Australia was more hospitable, helpful and encouraging to me than Fr. Jim English. I was sitting in his presbytery in Mordialloc, outside Melbourne, drinking his health - in Pepsi Cola of course - on his birthday, when the phone. rang. It was a call from his, home in Tipperary town, to wish him many happy returns. I called in to his people in Tipperary since my return, but I did not like to suggest that we put a call through to Melbourne. Two great pioneer priests who stood by me all the way were Father Eddie Durcan and his brother. Father Eddie still has the same Pioneer badge that he received as a boy in Mungret.

I had many delightful meetings with Mungret priests in the course of my travels. Although everyone of them, without exception, spoke affectionately of the College, I think they all preferred Australia!! When I went from Melbourne to Parkes, to give the retreat to the priests of Wilcania-Forbes, I got out at Tocumwal, New South Wales, first stop in the 800-mile flight, to stretch my limbs. Three priests, on their way to make the retreat, were awaiting the plane. Irishmen all, two of them were educated in Mungret. That night, shortly before the first lecture of the retreat, the last group arrived - another party of three - and they were Mungret men all! They had covered 400 miles by car since morning. First to emerge from the car was Dean Sexton, whose Vincentian nephew, Father Kevin Cronin of Strawberry Hill fame, and whose Jesuit nephew, Father Fergus Cronin of Hong Kong, I knew well. The Dean was very thrilled to learn that I had visited his late sister, in a Dublin hospital, shortly before her saintly death. After the Dean came Father Treacy, a fine man, built on generous lines, and hailing from County Galway. The third man was my old friend of Mungret days, Father John Boylan from “the wee County”. He is the same gentle, soft-spoken John, beloved of the people of his vast Bush parish. I began to realise that Mungret belongs very literally to the Church universal!

Among the audience at a retreat to the Melbourne priests, it took me some time to pick out Father Albert Gilhooly. After all, I had not laid eyes on this mature-looking parish priest, whose hair is beginning to recede from the temples, since he was a youngster in Junior Grade in 1924! Some time later I spent a wonderful week with Father Albert in his country parish of Trentham, Victoria, before his promotion to the Melbourne suburbs. We kept very late hours that week, re-living schooldays separated from the present by a gap of thirty years.

“They gave us a great character training”, Father Albert said of the Apostolic School directors. “Don't ever allow yourself to do things in order to be admired by others”, was one of Father Jerry Kelly's famous sayings that burned themselves into our minds. And Father Gilhooly is one of many who paid remark able tribute to the gentle and refining influence of the late Father Freddy Cuffe SJ.

Many of Mungret's past pupils are Jesuits in the Australian Province. First to greet me, when I reached the land of the sun, was Father Tom Barden, Rector of the Jesuit College in Perth. I reminded Father Tom of the day in Septem ber, 1922, when we both left Dublin, via Athenry, on a roundabout first journey to Mungret during the disturbed days of the Civil War. When, at long last, we had arrived at the gates of Mungret, we felt like travelled men who had seen a bit of life! For both of us it was but the first of many long and roundabout journeys. At the gates of St Louis College, Perth, stood the portly. figure of Father John Williams, Gone indeed are the ascetic lines and emaciated appearance that I had always associated with John! But the welcoming smile is more genial than ever and, when I had my farewell chat with him, just twelve months ago, I found myself talking to the same grand person whom I sat beside for the Junior Apostolics' photo in 1924 and whom, thank God, no passage of time could change.

In Richmond, Victoria, I spent a year under the same roof with Father Michael Morrison. Between army and Australian experiences, Mick has seen quite a lot of life in the past decade, and has been in close contact with death too. He was the first chaplain to enter Belsen concentration camp towards the end of the war. From Father Morrison's room in the Richmond presbytery, one can see the dome of the chapel of Xavier College. At Xavier, Father Michael O'Mahony is now a familiar - I had al most dared to say a “venerable”! figure, for he laboured there as a scholastic in the pre-war years and has been there ever since his return to Australia in 1946. With him is Father Dan Fitzpatrick who is quite an expert at teaching chemistry and does a good deal of preaching in his spare time. With these two men I had a glorious fortnight's holiday along the Victorian seaside shortly after my arrival in Australia. I shall always remember the unremitting feud that went on, day and night, be tween Father O'Mahony and the mosquitoes ! Another great Mungret. man, whom I saw, alas! only too rarely, was Father Con Finn who has made a great name in university circles in Adelaide.

I could chatter on endlessly about these and other Irishmen who came and saw and were conquered by Australia. I might as well end this ramble near its starting point - at Tilbury Docks, in fact. I was not long on board the SS Himalaya, on the way down the English Channel, when I was greeted by a very charming young priest - another Mungret man, Father Dan Boylan of Portlaoighse and Ballarat Cathedral. Father Dan was returning to base after a holiday at home. An ideal companion for a long sea journey, he painted a colourful and very impressive picture of Australia as he had known it for some twelve years. Yet not even the masterpiece of an artist could portray the full splendour of the masterpiece of Divine artistry which I was to see with my own eyes for fifteen wonderful months.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1958


Father Patrick Doherty SJ

Fr Doherty whose death took place in Dublin on September 25th was born in Manchester. Educated at O'Connell Schools and Mungret College. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1924. After completing his studies in various houses of the Society, he was ordained in 1938.

After Ordination he taught in Belvedere College from 1940 till 1943. In that year he was appointed Assistant Director of the Pioneer Association, in which he was to do so much work. During the succeeding years he visited nearly every town in Ireland lecturing on, and enrolling members in, the Pioneer Association. He was for seven years Spiritual Director to the Pioneer Centre at the Garda Depot, where he made many close friends.

In 1948 he represented the Pioneer Association at the Temperance Congress in Lucerne. It was a direct result of his presence there that the First Pioneer Centres were established on the Continent. In 1951, at the Invitation of Archbishop Mannix he went to Australia. Here he spent a year organising Pioneer Centres in inany Dioceses. While there he also gave many Priests Retreats.

In 1955 he joined the Retreat staff at Rathfarnham Castle, and until shortly before his death was engaged in giving retreats around the country.

He had a strong spirit of Faith, and knew well he was going to die. However it was an event he looked forward to, and calmly discussed plans for his funeral with a friend beforehand. All through his life he possessed a strong sense of humour. Of him it might be truly said as was said of another Jesuit, that he was merry in God. RIP

Doyle, Patrick J, 1922-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/772
  • Person
  • 24 April 1922-14 September 2008

Born: 24 April 1922, Dublin
Entered: 01 October 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 16 November 1974, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 14 September 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 09 September1975-1981

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

by 1965 North American Martyrs, Auriesvile NY USA (BUF) making Tertianship

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

The death of Fr Paddy Doyle SJ
Former Irish Jesuit Provincial Fr Paddy Doyle SJ died in Cherryfield in the early hours of Sunday morning. His body was in repose at Cherryfield on Tuesday Sept 16 at 2.30pm
followed by prayers at 4pm. His funeral mass will take place in Milltown Park chapel on Wed Sept 17th at 11am. As he had worked for peace on the frontiers, he crossed the final frontier peacefully. God be good to him. In sickness and in health Paddy was a man who meant a lot to the Irish Province. He was 31, a seasoned engineer, when he entered the noviceship, almost a grandfather figure for his peers. For the Jesuit students he cared for in Rathfarnham, he was a source of encouragement and affirmation, giving them a sense of warmth and freedom in their vocation. Succeeding Cecil McGarry as Provincial he showed a strongly contrasting style, but like Cecil contributed to the Province’s growth in a providential way. Paddy had negotiated first with Derry, then with Armagh, for access to the North, and he spent the rest of his active life as a brilliantly unobtrusive yet effective presence in Portadown. When he was gradually debilitated by strokes, his personality remained serene, humorous, accepting, deeply rooted in his faith. As he had worked for peace on the frontiers, he crossed the final frontier peacefully. God be good to him.

Paddy Doyle and the ISE
Many others besides Jesuits have felt the loss of Paddy Doyle SJ, former Irish Provincial, who passed away recently. Below is a piece from Robin Boyd, the second director of the
Irish School of Ecumenics, who offers an intriguing perspective on Paddy’s contribution to the school at a crucial stage of its development. “Slight in stature but strong in presence,” Boyd comments, “Paddy was a man of warmth and quiet friendliness, sometimes few in words, but the words were worth waiting for.”

Remembering Paddy Doyle SJ - By Robin Boyd
With the death on 14 September of Fr Patrick Doyle the Irish School of Ecumenics has lost a true friend and effective supporter. Born in Dublin in 1922, Paddy Doyle studied Physics at UCD, and became a research worker at ICI and the Research Institute; and it was not until he was thirty-two that he entered the Society of Jesus. He was ordained in 1963 and took his final vows at Milltown Park in 1974. He became Provincial of the Irish Jesuits in 1975, and was succeeded by Fr Joseph Dargan in 1980, the changeover happening at precisely the time when I entered on my term as Director of the ISE. So although he was no longer the Roman Catholic Patron of the School and President of the Academic Council by the time I assumed office, I knew that in those capacities he had played a vital part in the process whereby the School’s founder, Fr Michael Hurley, was succeeded by a Protestant, and not – as had been widely expected, not least by the Hierarchy – by a Catholic. The story is told by Michael in chapter 2 of The Irish School of Ecumenics (1970- 2007).
It was – for Paddy and Michael as well as for the School – a very tense and difficult period; but Paddy was tactful as well as fearless, and was able to pilot the School through stormy waters not only safely but successfully. For myself I am glad to relate that my relations with Archbishop Dermot Ryan were always cordial; Paddy had smoothed the way. And I think I can truly say that had it not been for Paddy Doyle I might never have come to the ISE; and that was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Paddy was largely responsible for the establishment of Jesuit communities in the North of Ireland, first in Portadown (1980) and later in Belfast (1988). The Portadown experiment coincided with the development of the School’s Northern Ireland programme, when it first became affiliated with what was then the New University of Ulster. Paddy’s presence in Portadown was a great help and encouragement to Brian Lennon SJ and later Declan Deane SJ – who operated the Certificate programme from this base – as well as to me and other members of staff who were frequent visitors to “Iona”, the small but welcoming council house where Paddy lived.
Slight in stature but strong in presence, Paddy was a man of warmth and quiet friendliness, sometimes few in words, but the words were worth waiting for. He suffered a number of small strokes in 2002, and latterly lived at Cherryfield Lodge, where he continued to exercise a ministry of prayer. The last time I saw him, his powers of communication were sadly diminished, but his smile and the twinkle in his eye were still there. We give thanks to God for this good man.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 138 : Christmas 2008


Fr Patrick (Paddy) Doyle (1922-2008)

24th April 1922: Born in Dublin
Early education in CBS, Synge St, BSc (Phy) and MSc (Phy) at UCD.
He was employed in research work at ICI and the Research Institute before joining Society.
1st October 1954: Entered the Society at Emo
2nd October 1956: First Vows at Emo
1956 - 1959: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1959 - 1960: Clongowes - Teacher (Regency)
1960 - 1964: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1963: Ordained at Milltown Park
1964 - 1965: Tertianship at Auriesville, USA
1965 - 1967: Mungret College - Prefect of Studies
1967 - 1971: Rathfarnham- Rector, Minister of Juniors; Co-ordinator of Studies in the Province
16th November 1974: Final Vows at Milltown Park
1971 - 1974: Milltown Park - Rector, Co-ordinator of Studies in the Province; Provincial Consultor
1974 - 1980: Loyola House -
1974 - 1975: Vice-Provincial
1975 - 1980: Provincial
1980 - 1988: Portadown - Superior, Pastoral Ministry
1988 - 1994: Belfast - Superior; Directed Spiritual Exercises; Church Assistant, CLC
1992 - 1994: Tertian Director
1994 - 2002: Milltown Park - Directed Spiritual Exercises
2002 - 2008: Cherryfield Lodge - Prayed for Church and Society
14th September 2008: Died at Cherryfield

Brian Lennon Remembers taken from his Funeral Homily):
.....Paddy went to school in the Christian Brothers in Synge St, then to UCD, and then he worked in England for over 10 years as a physicist before finally joining the Society at the then ripe old age of 32. Eddie O'Donnell tells us in one of his books that Frank Browne, a famous Jesuit, was saying Mass in Beechwood Avenue Church - it is less than a mile from our chapel here in Milltown and during his sermon he said that he was now an old man and was looking for someone to take over from him as a Jesuit. So he asked any young - or not so young man who felt like responding to come and see him in the sacristy after Mass. Paddy Doyle turned up.

Paddy made an enormous contribution to the Irish Province. He spent 25 years in administration. He became Provincial in 1974-75 at the age of 52. Much of his work as Provincial was about planning, as we worked out how to respond to Vatican II. One of the ideas going the rounds was MBO (Management by Objectives). Someone came up with the idea of CFP (Concept of Forward Planning), but Paddy capped that with CRP (Concept of Retrospective Planning). That was the one that worked! It allowed Paddy to proclaim modestly “I always said that was the way things would turn out!”

Some people wondered where all the planning was going. In fact I suspect Paddy didn't know, any more than the rest of us. To me this was one of his most attractive qualities - he was an explorer, not somebody with all the answers, and he never pretended otherwise. So, I have memories of him at large meetings of Jesuits, drawing overlapping circles on the board to make some big point about organisations and I don't think he knew where it was all headed. But it didn't worry him. He trusted his instinct. And he was right. He made a real contribution to helping us to take on changes that were absolutely necessary,

He was great with younger Jesuits. I doubt very much if I myself would still be a Jesuit had it not been for the support, encouragement and challenge of Paddy. I know that is true of others who were with him when we were in Rathfarnham going to University. Before his time as superior, young Jesuits were meant never really to mix with other students in College. God knows what that could lead to. Paddy changed all that – he allowed us to do our own exploring, because he believed deeply that exploring was a large part of what human beings are about. He allowed us to grow as human beings, to test our vocations, to see where it was that God was really calling us. He opened up possibilities for us to explore. That mattered a lot.

In 1981 Paddy moved to Northern Ireland. He was the one who set up JINI (Jesuits in Northern Ireland) and during his time as Provincial he had made a major effort to open a house there. He succeeded when Cardinal O'Fiach gave us permission to open the community in Iona in Portadown. Ask any of the older people in the local estates in Portadown and they will remember “Wee Fr. Doyle”. Paddy had to deal with local Church people, with ecumenical encounters, with political difficulties and with local people, and he did all that - as far as I could see - without making enemies. I can think of the night that the police fired 135 plastic bullets into a local crowd, the night they put an Orange parade up the road having banned it a few hours beforehand, and decisions had to be made about how to respond to these and other events. On all these occasions Paddy was passionate about justice, but he was also wise. He was able to think things through, to look at the wider consequences, to recognise that no one side had all the right or all the wrong, that it was important to think about future relationships.

My biggest memory of him, though, was of him with local people. I remember going out one evening and seeing him with one man who was a great talker. Four hours later Paddy was still there, still listening, still involved, still caring.

One of the locals said to me: "You could learn from Paddy what it means to be a Christian”. They really felt his loss when he moved to start the new community in Belfast in 1988.

This was also was a difficult task for him because he had to work at getting the community accepted in the diocese and by the local clergy. There also he got involved with groups of local people, especially with CLC, which was something very dear to his heart. At the heart of community was coming together to work out what they were being called to do by the Lord.

The joint British-Irish Tertianship, which he started with Ron Darwen, was another important new venture. It helped the two Provinces to work together. It trained young Jesuits. And because there were three communities of young Jesuits, from many parts of the world, in different parts of Northern Ireland, it made an impact on local people, and helped young Jesuits to learn from them how to become Jesuits.

Paddy was always committed to ecumenical work and he was a strong supporter of the Irish School of Ecumenics.

In 1994 illness struck – a hard, harsh illness that impaired his memory, at times his ability to read, and at times his speech. It gradually got worse. Yet during that time, more than ever, he showed an extraordinary serenity. He was always able to smile at people, tell them that he hadn't a clue of their names – no change there - he had always been bad at names, and then start communicating deeply with them.

My more recent memory of Paddy was seeing him in Cherryfield where he would – with great difficulty – often end up saying something similar to what he had said many times before: “You are there, and I am here. And I am connected to you, and you are connected to me, and we are all connected with everyone in the whole world”. It didn't come out like that. The words came with groping effort, with hesitancy, but always with the serene smile. Then at the end he would say something like: “The whole thing is a mystery, a complete mystery. But it is going to be great, absolutely great - I am sure of that”.

Noel Barber Remembers (the Novice 1954-1956):
On October 194 1954 I was the first novice into the refectory after evening meditation. There was one person there at the end of the Novices' long table: a small elderly man - he turned out to be all of 32 years. It was the new novice we had been told about who had an MA in Physics and had worked in industry in England. Br. Doyle, as we got to know him, was quite unlike most of us, who had entered straight from school. However, we did have other older novices, among them Neil O'Driscoll, an army officer, but they were younger than Paddy by several years. I remember Paddy Gallagher engaging him in detailed discussions about Physics and his experience in England; another novice, long left us, questioning him endlessly on the possibility of England's conversion back to the true Faith. Paddy was affable, unassuming, gentle, with an unforced superiority that was not sought but readily conceded and taken for granted by all. Never did he show the slightest irritation at the pettiness of the novitiate regime though he must have felt it. Fortunately we had Donal O'Sullivan as Master of Novices, whose magnanimity mitigated that pettiness and would have been particularly helpful for the 'older' novices, Paddy acted from time to time as Donal's driver and this entailed days in Dublin and afternoons on the loose in the big city while the great man went about his business.

I wonder how adolescent we appeared to him and what he made of our almost unnatural seriousness. Whatever he thought, he never gave the slightest indication that he was out of sympathy with anything in the Novitiate, not even the unpredictable interventions of the Socius, Arthur Clarke. His adjustment to the boarding school regime of Emo seemed perfect. Given his subsequent history, I suspect, however, that he smiled inwardly and took some of what was on offer with a pinch of salt.

Senan Timoney Remembers (the Mungret Prefect 1965-1967):
To follow directly in another's footsteps is to get a first hand impression of so much of one's predecessor's activities. Three times in life I followed Paddy - first in 1967, after he had been Prefect of Studies in Mungret for two years, and later in Portadown in 1988 after he had pioneered the return of the Jesuits to the North, and, finally, in 1994 when he set up our house in Belfast in 1988.
Looking back I can see how much he was an agent of change. In Mungret he set about the provision of Science Laboratories and a different regime of study for senior students in their final year. In Portadown he managed to insert the Jesuit ethos in a non-threatening way among the people of all sides who didn't know what to expect; and in Belfast his task was to direct a Jesuit way of proceeding in response to a situation which combined welcome with restriction.

Paddy's gentle nature might suggest contemplation rather than activity but that was not the case. As I read the documents of GC 35 I realise how much Paddy in his relatively short Jesuit life anticipated much of their spirit – especially Decree 3 - Sent to the Frontiers.

Gerry O'Hanlon Remembers (Rathfarnham Rector 1967-1971)
I first met Paddy in 1967 when I arrived as a Junior in Rathfarnham Castle just as he took over as Rector. He was a breath of fresh air: opening all kinds of then closed doors to us in our Jesuit lives as College students (I was given permission to play rugby at UCD), but always with the kind of wisdom and prudence which avoided a populist, overly-permissive approach (I was told I could play matches on Saturdays but not go to mid week practice sessions, in case my studies suffered; a glorious period of a year playing for UCD 3rd B's followed!).

That same wisdom was available to me when I went through a long period, during my time at Rathfarnham, of wondering should I really be a Jesuit at all. About once a month, for well over a year, Paddy listened patiently, completely unfazed, suggesting various strategies for arriving at a decision. I always remember that, in the end, he suggested Easter Sunday as a deadline for decision. I duly trooped up to his office on that Easter Sunday, my heart in my boots, to tell him that I still could not make up my mind. I was afraid he would be annoyed, fed-up at my indecision and what seemed to me like the waste of all his time. Not a bit of it: he was calm, said that while deadlines can be helpful they didn't always work, better not to force, it will come...and it did, about 3 months later, when I wasn't thinking consciously about the matter at all, like an apple falling from a tree. He was such a good father-figure.

He had great intellectual curiosity and ability, without at all being an academic. His musings about Jesus Christ as Everyman, the way we are all, everywhere and from every age, linked to him, so that ultimately to know Christ is to know every man and every woman – these were not the common currency of Christology in those pre-anthropological, pre-interfaith dialogue days. Some of these musings were, if I remember correctly, written up with the help of Des O'Grady as an article for an Irish theological journal.

There was something a little unconventional, even anti establishment characteristic of Paddy's deep humanity which I found very attractive. He was a loyal Catholic and a happy Jesuit: but his obedience was always thoughtful and his belonging was never exclusive of wider interests and loyalties. A great man, a great Jesuit.

I found it touching and inspiring to meet the Paddy Doyle of Cherryfield years. Forgetful and struggling for words, he still radiated that lively curiosity and trustful serenity characteristic of the whole of his life and expressive of his deep faith.

Kennedy O'Brien Remembers (the Provincial 1975-1980):
Paddy Doyle was Provincial when I joined the Society in 1975. I met him first during the interview process. This focussed entirely on my interests, my sporting career at Coláiste Iognáid, my enjoyment of English at school, and my love of nature (including some discussion of fishing Lough Bofin, a small lake just outside Oughterard; I was delighted that Paddy could be as enthusiastic as myself about this little lake).

After the interview Paddy walked to Milltown Park with me, and having shown me to my room, handed me his key to the front door. He asked me to take particular care of this key; he had already lost one, and thought it unlikely he would be given another.

After supper at Eglinton Road later that evening, recognizing that I was no expert on the geography of south Dublin, Paddy got into his little Toyota and led the way to Kenilworth Square where I was due to have a psychological assessment. I was, needless to say, astonished by the level of personal care taken of me by the Provincial; I felt deeply respected despite my schoolboy status.

Another memory that comes to mind was Paddy's arrival at Manresa the evening that Conall O Cuinn and I took vows. It was my father who commented afterwards how impressive it was to see how Paddy, as Provincial, moved about among the other Jesuits without fuss, almost unnoticed, and very obviously a “first among equals” rather than someone who expected to be afforded special treatment in recognition of the dignity of his office.

Declan Deane Remembers (Portadown Superior 1980-1988):
I soldiered with Paddy Doyle for 7 years in Iona, Portadown. Whenever I come across Kipling's line - “(If) you can walk with kings, nor lose the common touch”, I think of Paddy Doyle. Not that we had kings crossing our threshold at Iona, but there was a constant stream of learned people from many disciplines who came to pitch their tent on the notorious Garvaghy Road. Paddy could hold his own, with a considerable degree of dogmatism, on virtually every topic from history to nuclear physics to politics to philosophy to theology. But we knew that his real delight was to sit down before the fire in our neighbours' houses, debating whether the new fireplaces were superior to the older ones or whether the “Wheaten rounds” on sale up the town were the equal of those dispensed by Jerry in the Spar. Basically, everyone in Paddy's life was treated like royalty.

Paddy had an instinctual knowledge of human nature. He knew what made people tick. Example: shortly after I arrived in Iona, a delegation of the local women showed up, presumably to vet me. I offered them tea, but they declined. I tried again and got the same response. Soon Paddy arrived and rounded on me saying, “Why did you not offer them tea?” I replied, “I did, twice”. With a twinkle in his eye he scolded me, “Did you not know you must offer three times?” Whereupon tea was served all round, and a lesson learned.

It was Paddy's extraordinary hopefulness that I now remember most. When things seemed at their bleakest in Northern Ireland, he refused to be downcast. “They'll soon have to sit down and talk, it could happen any day now”, he'd say. To me it seemed the Troubles could go on for five hundred more years. Thank God he was right, and I was wrong.

More on his hopefulness: it extended to the weather. This was a touchy point with me, who am an acute sufferer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). But for the Irish climate, I would still be living happily in the bosom of Prov. Hib. So there was many a morning when I would greet Paddy gloomily with some comment on the frightfulness of the day. He would “Tsk, tsk” reproachfully, pull aside the curtains, draw on his cigarette and point to the sky: “I'm certain I can see a little patch of blue”. In later years when he was prostrated by his stroke, I often thought of that remark as I joined the many pilgrims to his little room in Milltown and later in Cherryfield. His good humour was indestructible, his hopefulness intact. Alone among us all, he could discern that little patch of blue and knew it would win the day. Lux eterna luceat ei.

Brian Mac Cuarta remembers (Belfast Superior 1988-1992):
It was an evening in February 1988. The scholastics were on a mid-term visit to Belfast. The house had recently opened. We were all gathered in the large lounge of the Jesuit house, overlooking the street and the waterworks, enjoying a buffet meal. Suddenly the cry went up “Some is trying to break into one of the cars!” Without a moment's hesitation, Paddy, then aged 66, rose from his chair, and moved like lightning down the stairs, and onto the street. His presence scared the culprits, and he gave chase, before returning to the gathering.

Ron Darwen Remembers (Tertian Director 1992-194):
My memories of Paddy Doyle are of a very warm and deeply spiritual human being When I think of him my mind always goes back to the community room in Brookvale where, late at night, he would be sitting chatting with Herbert Dargan, cigarette in hand pontificating on the state of play in a snooker match.

He was a man who made friends easily. I was always impressed by the many different kinds of people who came to see him and treasured his friendship. It is true that you always had to give him the leeway to take off on one of his latest scientific theories but he always came down to earth, and was willing to get stuck into the nitty-gritty of life.

I count my days in Northern Ireland among the happiest I have spent in the Society. It was Paddy who set the tone of the house, and made it feel like a home. He did not fuss. The atmosphere he helped to create was warm and friendly yet deeply spiritual. He was insistent that we met regularly for prayer and sharing every Thursday morning. We listened to one another. He always made sure that we were heard. I count it a great privilege to have worked with him as a co-tertian instructor

It was always an inspiration in his later days to visit him in Cherryfield. He would never remember my name but the smile on his face when the penny dropped made the visit worth while. Paddy Doyle, like his great friend Herbert Dargan, was a great man and an inspiring Jesuit.

Colm Lavelle remembers:
I find it fascinating looking at Paddy's curriculum vitae. Most of the tasks he was given in the Society were things for which, in spite of his years of study, he had little preparation, and into which he entered exceedingly well. His vision was not burdened by preconceptions, but carried by the spirit and respect for those around him. He was always accessible. To enter into discussion with him was always a pleasure, whether or not you agreed with him before or after. He was always an alert listener.

In spite of being by nature a philosopher, he was a great lover of people. Was he driven primarily by his love and interest in people or by his love of ideas, or by vision? Was it a capacity to see in the dark, to recognise and work for the possible, or into the future to recognise the Lord's call into the unknown? He was not afraid of uncertainty.

My memory of him in his later years in Milltown during his ill health was that there was always a quiet serenity and humour - even after his move to Cherryfield, that he was glad to be back with old familiar faces and places in Milltown. He was always a grateful patient. Just occasionally in the last weeks, he was frustrated by the feeling that he did not know where he was or what was going on - however this would not last with the help of those caring so well for him.

It was my experience that in his last months or year the old love for discussion and exploring things was as alive as ever, but that you had to fish around for a while to find what roads were still open to traffic and those that were blocked by landslides caused by his stroke or other troubles. In many ways it was a question of trying to show him the patience and respect for his current thought processes which he had always shown to others.

For those friends from Ulster and elsewhere who could not often visit him, it must have been very painful to find him so helpless. But they readily recognised that he was happy to be with them, as they were with him, and that he knew them, whether or not he could name them. He was certainly showing us all how to be ready, and how to walk forward with confidence to the Kingdom prepared for us.

Tom Layden Remembers:
I first met Paddy Doyle just before Easter 1975 in Clongowes during his visitation as provincial. I was a sixth-year student seriously thinking about entering the Society. His low key, self-effacing approach immediately put me at my ease. Though aware that I was in the company of a man who was wise and had broad life experience, I felt treated as if I was an equal.

My next meeting with him came three years later when I was trying to come to a decision about when I should actually enter the novitiate. Some friends were saying to me that I should decide to either join straight away or else give up on the idea of vocation. I did not feel comfortable in either of these options. I have a clear memory of meeting with Paddy in his office in Eglinton Road. In the course of a conversation that helped me to adopt a more relaxed approach to my situation, he made a comment about the mystery of vocation. He said to me “you never know with a vocation. It could all become clear in a year's time. Or it might take ten years”. In my case it would become clear in a year's time. But his words had the effect of giving me a sense of freedom to be led in the Lord's time. There was no pressure to decide straight away. This was enormously liberating for me at the time. And Paddy was the Provincial who admitted me to the Society when I joined in 1979.

My last sustained contact with Paddy was in the summer of 2006. The Belfast house was undergoing refurbishment and I spent most of the summer in my sister's house in Carrickmines. I got into the pattern of attending the Cherryfield Mass on a regular basis. Paddy's benign presence at the Mass and at the subsequent cup of coffee is one of the cherished memories I have from that time. There was that characteristic gentleness, lack of fuss and absence of self-preoccupation which I found refreshing. That freedom of spirit in Paddy I had first encountered in Clongowes over thirty years earlier was still there and I was greatly edified by the way in which he was able to surrender and let go of the past and simply be present to the people in Cherryfield.

Oliver Rafferty Remembers:
Over the years I spent a couple of summers at Portadown and became a member of JINI. Paddy was a considerate chairman of JINI and despite my status as a lowly scholastic he always encouraged me to have my say at meetings. I did not, however, really get to know him until I went to live in Belfast in 1988 when the house there was first opened. Paddy subsequently told me that the Irish Province had asked for me to be loaned to the Belfast house for its first years. The Irish province had produced three 'heavy weights for those early years, Paddy himself, Herbert Dargan and Finbarr Lynch and then there was me.

It was an exciting time and Paddy steered the community through those early days with a mixture of patience, latitudinarianism and steely determination. Herbert Dargan once told me that when he was tertian instructor not one of the tertians had a bad word to say about Paddy as provincial. I think he was at his best when dealing at that macro level. In day-to day decision- making, in a small house with different and competing personalities, his grasp on details was not always comprehensive. There could be flashes of temper but these quickly subsided and so far as I could tell he never held grudges and was the most tolerant and forgiving of individuals. Paddy was a kindly and compassionate man with an immense capacity to listen and was unbendingly supportive to those who had difficulties or problems of any kind.

Paddy was very much a man of faith. The search for God came naturally to him and he had an unaffected piety. He was also something of an iconoclast, in a gentle way, and attributed this to a sceptical disposition he inherited from his father. He sat lightly to what he considered the more overweening demands of ecclesiastical authority. He was, however, no rebel, either religiously or politically.

Although in no way an academic or indeed not even especially widely read, he had a genuine philosophical turn of mind. He thought deeply about people and situations and was as interested in ideas as he was in individuals. It was a sorry sight to see him in his declining years when a once vigorous mind was reduced merely to periodic recollections of personalities, situations and events.

Kennedy O'Brien Remembers:
I was privileged to experience the British-Irish Tertianship, in Belfast, under Paddy and Ron Darwen. The image comes to mind of Paddy, relaxing with his post dinner whiskey one evening, discussing the simple beauty of “chaos theory”. For him “finding God in all things” was not a lofty ideal; it was the everyday experience he shared enthusiastically with anyone who would take the time to listen.

Feeney, George, 1933-1989, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/657
  • Person
  • 12 July 1933-09 February 1989

Born: 12 July 1933, Dublin
Entered: 16 March 1955, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1966, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 09 February 1989, University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambiae Province

Part of the Chikuni College, Chisekesi, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Br George Feeney was born in Dublin, Ireland, on the 12 July 1933. He attended school in that same city at St Canice's and O'Connells Secondary School, and also attended Bolton Street Technical School.

At the age of 22, he entered the novitiate at Emo Park in March of 1955. A couple of years after taking vows, he was sent to the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. This was in June 1960 and his first posting was at Charles Lwanga TTC where he stayed for two years looking after the water supply and things mechanical. In 1962 he was transferred to Chikuni across the river where he lived the rest of his life except for the year's tertianship at Tullabeg (Ireland) where he took his final vows in August 1966. Later he lived for a short spell at Kasisi, outside Lusaka.

George was very versatile and he turned his hand to many different types of work, from gardening to farming when the need arose, from mechanics to being minister in the house, while continuing with the very essential job of keeping the mission supplied with water. When someone went on leave, George was there to fill the gap until the return. He was a Jesuit for 34 years, 29 of which were spent in Africa, in Chikuni.

This very factual account of his life as given above does not do justice to the man George. Apart from the various jobs he did so ably, an outstanding quality which he had was his ability to make friends. To the many schoolboys who passed through Canisius, George was a good friend. It was not just the work that kept him going but just strolling down through the school in the evening for a bit of a chat. A not uncommon picture was to see him sitting on the low wall outside the house chatting with schoolboys while at the same time he pulled no punches and was very straight in his speaking with them.

He was very generous with his time and talents when people came to him for help or advice or both. The number of people who turned up for his funeral is clear evidence of the esteem in which he was held. He was a sharp card player as his friends knew well and sometimes his solution to a problem could be quite radical when with a characteristic shrug of the shoulders, he would say, "scrap the whole thing, matey, and put up a new one".

He came to Luwisha House a week before he was due to go on leave and receive medical treatment. He was quite sick really and was eating nothing and developed what seemed to be a high fever on Monday, the 6th February. He was taken to UTH to be put on a drip for the night. Next day it was suspected that he had blackwater fever and anaemia. But on Wednesday it was clear that it was more serious than that. The final diagnosis was leukaemia at an advanced stage. He must have had it for some time and yet continued with his work. He received blood transfusions from his fellow Jesuits. On Thursday he was in a comatose state not recognising anyone. That evening there were five Jesuits and a number of Sisters who knew him well, praying at his bedside. At 2100 hours he was moved to the Intensive Care Unit and died fifty-five minutes later. It was a shock to all, the speed with which the leukaemia acted. The funeral was held in Chikuni. The evening before many people both religious and villagers assembled in the church for the vigil. On the 13th February George was buried. The Bishop of Monze was the main celebrant at the funeral Mass, aided by the Archbishop of Lusaka and many Jesuit and other priests.

His life was one of faith, a constant presence in Chikuni. He, as a Jesuit, was "prepared and very much ready for whatever is enjoined upon us in the Lord and at whatsoever time without asking for or expecting any reward in this present and transitory life, but hoping for that life which, in its entirety, is eternal through God's supreme mercy".

Flood, Kenneth, 1930-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/730
  • Person
  • 17 August 1930-19 April 1962

Born: 17 August 1930, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1961, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 04 April 1962, James Connolly Memorial Hospital, Dublin
Died: 19 April 1962, James Connolly Memorial Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1957 at Chivuna, N Rhodesia - Regency
by 1958 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia - Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Ken was only 32 years of age when he died, so young for a Jesuit, just at the beginning of his priestly life. He was born in Dublin on 17 August 1930. After being at O’Connell’s School he entered the Society at Emo on 7 September 1948.

After studies at Rathfarnham and Tullabeg, he volunteered for work in the Chikuni Mission, Zambia, where he was sent in August 1956. He went to Chivuna to learn the language in 1957. The following tribute was paid to him by Fr Dominic Nchete, the vicar general and first Tonga priest of Monze diocese, "Fr Flood was a first rate missionary. During his language studies he had prepared and instructed many children for baptism. Those whom he had prepared for baptism burst into tears when they heard of his death".

Fr Ken went to Chikuni, to Canisius Secondary School to teach for his second year. This work he tackled with characteristic devotion, although he found teaching hard. He was not blessed with any great reserves of energy. Already perhaps at Canisius, the disease from which he was to die less than four years later was slowly undermining his health and sapping his strength.

Cancer of the ear was diagnosed in August 1958, so he was sent back early in September to Ireland to pursue theology at Milltown Park where he was ordained priest on 31 July 1961. An X-ray check revealed lung trouble. On 15 February 1962, he was operated on and went to Galway to convalesce. While saying his last Mass on the feast of St Joseph, 19 March, Ken felt the beginning of his collapse. He returned to the hospital where the doctors diagnosed serious internal complications and gave him less than a month to live.

Fr Ken showed a courageous acceptance of the news which was all the more striking in one whose outward life was that of an ordinary but devoted Jesuit. During his last illness, he bore his suffering with great resignation. No word of complaint or self-pity was heard from him. Death was to be his final sacrifice, the sacrifice of his own great desire to spend his priestly life as a missionary among the BaTonga people. He died on 19th April 1962.

What was perhaps most characteristic about Fr Ken, that which impressed both those with whom he lived and externs who had dealings with him, was his great sincerity, completely devoid of any affectation or artificiality. He was a man of prayer and a zealous priest. His life and death in the Society was an inspiration.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 37th Year No 3 1962

Obituary :

Fr Kenneth Flood (1930-1962)

Fr. Kenneth Flood died on Holy Thursday morning, April 19th, in the James Connolly Memorial Hospital, Blanchardstown. He was admitted to hospital in February after an X-ray had revealed lung trouble. On February 15th he underwent an operation after which he was sent to : Galway to convalesce. It was there that the deep-rooted nature of his illness revealed itself. While saying his last Mass on the feast of St. Joseph, March 19th, Fr. Flood felt the beginnings of his collapse. He returned to Blanchardstown where the doctors diagnosed serious internal com plications and gave him less than a month to live. When informed of the gravity of his illness, Fr. Flood showed a courageous acceptance of the news which was all the more striking in one whose outward life was that of an ordinary but devoted Jesuit. On April 4th Fr. Flood took his Final Vows in the presence of Fr. Visitor who was deeply impressed by his fervour and peace. Fr. Flood looked on his approaching death as a return to his Father whom he had served so well. During his last illness he bore his sufferings with quiet resignation. No word of complaint or self-pity was heard from him. Death was to be his final sacrifice, the sacrifice of his own very great desire to spend his priestly life as a missionary among the Batonga people,
“Ken” Flood, as he was known to his contemporaries in the Society, was born in Dublin on August 17th, 1930. He was educated at O'Connell School, North Richmond Street, where he was an active sodalist. He entered the Novitiate at 'Emo on September 7th, 1948. He took his First Vows on September 8th, 1950, and then followed the usual course of studies at Rathfarnham and Tullabeg. He volunteered for work in the Chikuni Mission to which he was sent in August 1956.
This tribute was paid to him in a recent letter received from Fr. Dominic Ncete :
“Fr. Flood was a first-rate missionary. During his language study at Chivuna he had instructed and prepared many children for Baptism. Those whom he had prepared for Baptism burst into tears when they heard of his death".
In his second year he taught in Canisius College, Chikuni. This work he tackled with characteristic devotion to duty, although he did find teaching hard. Ken Flood was not blessed with great reserves of physical energy. Already, perhaps, at Canisius, the disease from which he was to die less than four years later was slowly undermining his health and sapping his strength. In September 1958 he returned to Ireland from the mission as his health was giving serious grounds for anxiety. He commenced his Theology at Milltown Park and was ordained a priest on July 31st, 1961. Thus, in the Providence of God, his life's ambition had been realised.
Ken Flood, both as a scholastic and a priest, was always a familiar sight in the grounds of our houses which he tended with great diligence. He was especially noted for his willingness to help out with Confessions in “The Incurables”, where he is remembered with much gratitude and affection.
What was, perhaps, most characteristic about Fr. Flood and that which most impressed those with whom he had lived and externs who had dealings with him, was his great sincerity, devoid of all affectation or artificiality. He was quiet and unassuming. He was a man of prayer and a kind and zealous priest. His life and death in the Society have been an inspiration to us all.
O. Mwami, ko mwaabila kulyookezya lyoonse.

Geoghegan, Anthony J, 1931-2015, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/840
  • Person
  • 31 October 1931-15 November 2015

Born: 31 October 1931, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 15 November 2015, John Chula House, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM HIB to ZAM

by 1958 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 162 : Winter 2015


Fr Anthony (Tony) Geoghegan (1931-2015)

Fr. Anthony (Tony) Geoghegan was born and raised in Dublin. There he was educated by the Christian Brothers. In 1949 he entered the Jesuits at Emo Park. He followed the usual course of studies: a degree at UCD (in Irish and English), philosophy in Tullabeg and later theology at Milltown Park. He was ordained in Dublin on 31 July 1963.

Tony spent all his apostolic life in Zambia and Malawi. Coming originally as a scholastic for regency in 1957, he spent time learning Chitonga and then teaching at Canisius Secondary School. When he returned as a priest in 1966, he began a ministry in the classroom that lasted twenty years. He was a teacher and chaplain in a secondary school, a headmaster at a minor seminary, a lecturer in education in a primary teachers' college and later a secondary teachers' college.

In 1987 the bishop in charge of seminarian formation asked that he be appointed spiritual director of the major seminary in Lusaka. While teaching spirituality at the same time, he served in that position for the next five years. In 1992 he went to Malawi to serve the philosophy section of the major seminary in the same position. Tony spent the next 13 years as spiritual director and lecturer in the seminary.

In 2005, his movement began to deteriorate because of osteoporosis. Over the next six years he did pastoral work as well as he could in a number of parishes in Malawi and Zambia. Finally in 2011 the Provincial asked him to move to the Province Infirmary where he began a ministry of prayer.

Apart from his dedicated apostolic work, Tony was a pleasant companion in community. He was a great story teller with an abundance of tales to tell. A welcoming presence, with a warm smile, visitors always felt at home with him. He also could be a support especially to young Jesuits in times of difficulty.

After a few weeks in the hospital, he died on 15 November 2015 following complications from a surgery. May God welcome his faithful servant and missionary into the fullness of life and joy.

Jim McGloin

Headon, Maurice F, 1912-1960, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/181
  • Person
  • 22 November 1912-06 August 1960

Born: 22 November 1912, Ballyporeen, County Tipperary
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 06 August 1960, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Early education at Schoil Mhuire, Marino and O’Connell’s School;

Studied for BSc at UCD; Tertianship at Rathfarnham

by 1936 at Vals, France (TOLO) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960
Obituary :
Fr Maurice Headon (1912-1960)
When the news came to Hong Kong that Fr. Maurice Headon would not be returning to the mission people were surprised. When the reason given was that he was in ill-health, there was a temptation to incredulity. It was harder still to believe when it was told that he was suffering from hardening of the arteries, that there was danger of gangrene setting in, that his leg might have to be amputated. He was in the Mater Hospital during last summer, cheerful, unconcerned, yet the doctors said he would never again be able to walk more than a hundred yards. It was all very puzzling. Last autumn he gave a retreat in Galway to the Women's Sodality and he seemed in very good health. One day last August a friend called to see him in Gardiner Street whither he had returned from the Mater. Fr. Headon seemed to be in very good health and spirits; the next day he was found dead in his room. He was never a man to fuss about himself. Unselfishness was outstanding in his life as it was outstanding in the days leading up to his death.
Maurice Headon was born in Ballyporeen in Co. Tipperary in 1912. He finished his secondary studies in O'Connell Schools, Dublin, and in September 1930 he entered the Novitiate, in Emo. It was the first year of the Novitiate in its new surroundings; the Philosophers had taken over Tullabeg. Mr. Headon studied Science in the University and took his degree in 1935. Philosophy in Vals followed and then came three years of teaching in Clongowes. In his first year there he was in charge of the meteorological station and took his Higher Diploma in Education. He was prefect of the Gym for his three years and left a memory among those he taught for his kindness and for the trouble he took to help on those who were weak in their studies; he even gave special classes to those who could not manage their mathematics.
He studied Theology in Milltown Park and was ordained there by the Archbishop of Dublin in the summer of 1944. Tertianship was in Rathfarnham under Fr. Neary, 1945-1946, and then he was sent to the Crescent where he taught Science for three years. Even in his first year he was a favourite with the boys; and it was remarkable how many continued to write to him all during his years in Hong Kong. Prefects of Studies always placed a high value on Fr. Headon's teaching, though his preference was for more directly apostolic work.
The Hong Kong mission was in great need of additional competent Science masters and in the summer of 1949 Fr. Headon left Ireland and his many friends for a few field of labour. He was then thirty-seven years old and the assignment was not an easy one. Fr. Headon on his arrival in the mission did not go to the Language School. He was needed in the Colleges and to Wah Yan, Hong Kong, and to a heavy round of teaching in the “Afternoon School” he now gave himself. For at least three of his teaching years in China he taught Science, but he also found time to begin a study of Chinese which he later used to great effect in preaching and hearing Confessions. Great praise is due to Fr. Headon for the extraordinary diligence with which he studied Chinese. At the end of his ten years in Hong Kong there were few Fathers on the mission who knew as many Chinese characters as he did and all those years he studied with the sole aim of being able to preach better and with a wider vocabulary.
In 1952 Fr. Headon began to work in Wah Yan, Kowloon, first in its temporary quarters in Nelson Street, later in the present fine building. In 1955 he was editor of the college magazine, The Shield, and for his last two years in Hong Kong he was Prefect of Studies in the same college, He kept up an interest in his pupils, even after they had left his care and he undertook the heroic labour of keeping in touch by letter with all the past students of Wah Yan who had gone abroad for further studies. The summer of 1959 saw him on his way back to Ireland after ten busy years to a well-deserved rest. He spent most of his time in St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, and it was there that death found him on Saturday, 6th August. He was forty-eight years old. Unobtrusiveness, perhaps, was the main characteristic of Fr. Headon's work inside the house and out. He rarely referred to either; he rarely made use of the personal pronoun “I”, so if we learned of his apostolate outside, it was from those who benefited from it. In Hong Kong, he was confessor to the Good Shepherd Sisters and their charges after their expulsion by the Communists from Shanghai. His sympathy, his patience and understanding, his personal charm and friendliness, and his readiness to help made him greatly loved by them all, and it was with intense regret they saw him leaving when his canonical period as confessor had ended.
His heart was in this direct apostolic work, so he jumped at the chance of a weekly supply in the parish church of St. Francis of Assisi. Here, again, his friendly spirit, his zeal and his understanding of human nature made him extremely popular. He preached every Sunday in Chinese at the public Masses, drew big crowds to his confessional and was ever at the beck and call of the parish priest who had the greatest esteem for him and the highest appreciation of what he was doing for his Catholic flock. The parish priest was shocked enough when he heard that he was losing Fr. Headon for a year at home; he was overwhelmed when he heard of his death. He is having a special Requiem Mass said for Fr. Headon; and he knows that he will have a packed church. The number of people who have come to the school to ask if it is really true that he is dead has revealed to us the breadth of his hidden apostolate and the number of Masses for his soul asked for shows their affection for him. . Here in the school the boys were boys were utterly shocked when news of his death arrived. He was a good teacher, and as Prefect of Studies had shown himself most approachable, and the boys knew that they would always get a fair and sympathetic hearing in his office. Those boys “in trouble” would present their appeal without any fear, and if they left his office, the “trouble” remaining withal, they recognised at least that they had got a fair hearing. His death will be a great loss to the community. Many, indeed, is the recreation he enlivened with his keen sense of humour and his love of argument. Philosophy, theology, the different methods of the apostolate, the school curriculum and the means of dealing with boys--these were all rich grain to his mental mill, and he enjoyed nothing better than a hammer and tongs discussion about them. After winning an argument, he might be reminded that he had defended the opposite opinion some months before just as vigorously, and he would break out into laughter and state that he “had read another book on the subject since” or that he “had changed his mind as we must march with the times”. Then he would be ready for another discussion on “changing your mind”!

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

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.

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.

Johnston, James, 1916-1949, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1483
  • Person
  • 23 November 1916-11 February 1949

Born: 23 November 1916, Dublin
Entered: 14 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 11 February 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
(Killed in the Fire at Milltown Park 11 February 1949)

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 24th Year No 2 1949

The Fire at Milltown Park :
Early in the morning of Friday, February 11th, fire broke out in the tailor's shop over the Refectory. The alarm was given and the Fire Brigade summoned. At first the progress of the fire was slow, but after a short time it became terribly rapid, and some of the Community were rescued barely in time. Fr. Johnston, Fourth Year Theologian, lost his life. He had remained to dress himself completely, as he was due to say Mass at the Sisters of Charity, Mount St. Anne's, and was asphyxiated by the fumes before he could escape - one may say, a martyr of Duty. Fr. Gannon got severely burned, and Mr. Reidy suffered injury to his spine as the result of a fall ; both are doing well and will, it is hoped, be none the worse in the end. The Fire Brigade was able to prevent the fire from spreading beyond the building where it had broken out.

Milltown Park, Dublin :
The morning of Friday, February 11th was a tragic morning here in Milltown Park. The two top stories of the Theologians House (built in 1908 by Fr. Finlay) were burnt out. Fr. James Johnston, a 4th Year Theologian lost his life, Fr. Gannon was severely burnt on his hands and face, and Mr. Reidy dislocated some of the vertebrae of his spine, jumping from a ledge underneath his window.
At 5.30 Br. Kavanagh discovered a fire in the Tailor's Room. He summoned Fr. Smyth, acting Minister, who telephoned for a fire brigade, while a few scholasctics endeavoured, unsuccessfully, to extinguish the fire with Minimaxes and water. Br. Kavanagh carried. Fr. W. Gwynn (aged 84) to safety, and Fr. Smyth warned the occupants. of the Theologians House to make for the fire escape.
By this time the stairs end of the Theologians' House was burning fiercely; the fumes and heat in the corridors were unbearable, and it is due to the Mercy of God that so many were able to get to the fire escape before they were overcome with suffocation. In the meantime, the first of the fire brigades had arrived and Frs. Power, Hannigan, Gannon and a couple of scholastics were rescued. The firemen then concentrated on saving the New House which was by this time filling with smoke.
A roll-call shortly after 6 o'clock confirmed that Fr. Johnston was missing, but by this time the whole of the doomed wing was ablaze. Coincidentally with the celebration of the Community Mass at 7.15 the six fire brigades got the conflagration under control.
Offers of assistance and accommodation began to pour in from all sides and within a couple of days ran into thousands.
The Scholastics were transferred to the Retreat House, Rathfarnham, where they stayed for four days. They will always remember the kindness and hospitality shown by the Rector, the Community and the Retreat House staff of Rathfarnham.
On Tuesday 15th the Scholastics returned to Milltown, where a field kitchen, presented by the Army, had been installed. They occupied the Retreat House and many of the rooms had to accommodate two occupants, as the Minister's House also had to be vacated owing to damage and water.
On Friday 18th, the ‘octave' of the fire’, lectures were resumed, and routine was gradually established.
Fr. Gannon recovered rapidly and hopes to be back in Milltown soon. Mr. Reidy is also on his feet again, and he too hopes to be out of hospital in the near future, though he will be partially encased in plaster of paris for a considerable time.
The majority of the occupants of the Theologians' House lost all their personal effects, notes, etc. Fr. Gannon, however, being at the end of the corridor, and having his door closed, will salvage all his books and notes.

Gardiner Street :
On February 13th the remains of Fr. J. Johnston, who had perished in the fire at Milltown Park, were brought to the church, where they were met by a great and most sympathetic crowd. On February 14th the Office and Solemn Requiem Mass were held, which were attended by 200 priests and a vast gathering of lay-people. His Grace, the Arch bishop presided; there were present also Bishop Dunne, Mgr. Dargan, Mgr. Moloney, Canon McArdle, Canon T. Ryan, Canon O'Callaghan. An Taoiseach, Mr. Costello had a prie-dieu out in front. Very Rev. Fr. L. O'Grady, Rector of Milltown Park, was the celebrant of the High Mass. Mr. H. Dargan was M.C. The very large congregation was a striking manifestation of sympathy to tbe family of Fr. Johnston and to the Society for the sad accident. Many lesser expressions of sympathy were given to the Fathers here.


Fr. James Johnston (1916-1936-1949)

Father James Johnson was born in Dublin on November 23rd, 1916. He was educated at O'Connell School and is remembered by his teachers and contemporaries there as a quiet, unassuming student of considerable ability. Jim Johnston was one whose gifts of mind and character were fully appreciated by relatively few of his classmates. Shy and reserved he had a natural distaste for superficial prominence of any kind, but those who knew him intimately saw clearly his fine qualities and found in him a devotedly sincere friend,
In September, 1936 he entered the noviceship at Emo, and on September 15th, 1938 pronounced his first vows. In the Juniorate he studied Latin and History as subjects for his degree which he secured with honours in September, 1941. The same month he began philosophy at Tullabeg. After one year of teaching at Clongowes where he obtained his Teaching Certificate with distinction, he began theology in Milltown Park, being ordained on July 28th, 1948.
Jim Johnston combined great intellectual gifts with remarkable versatility and efficiency in practical hobbies. At times his shyness prevented him from revealing his true ability, and he rarely, I think, did himself justice in formal public appearances. A notable exception to this was the examination for Diocesan faculties when his clear answering won special praise from the examiners. His contemporaries know how thoroughly he could master a subject, and bow clearly and simply he could discuss and explain difficult-points without ever sacrificing depth or accuracy. This was especially true of Moral Theology, and many will remember with gratitude the help he gave them in this and in other subjects.
At Clongowes he was a soundly successful teacher, and his classes liked and respected him for he rarely had to resort to sending boys out, never lost patience, and accepted lack of response with that attractive dry humour which never failed him. His achievements as a student and teacher are all the more remarkable in view of the fact that early in his studies he began to suffer from headaches and tiredness, and his power of work could never quite measure up to his natural taste for study. Yet he never complained that he was not feeling well, but carried on with a quiet determination that at times must have amounted to heroism.
His competence in practical matters was remarkable. In Rathfarnham and in Clongowes later he was in charge of Meteorology, and this office meant more to him than a routine recording of thermometer and rain-gauge reading, for he also mastered the theory of the science. But gardening was his favourite hobby and in Tullabeg and Milltown Park he devoted almost every free day to working in the grounds. He worked with meticulous care and visitors who admired the neatly laid out flower-beds and skilfully blended colours paid tribute, un knowingly, to the patient work of Jim Johnston. An adept at electricity he installed the stage lighting for the Christmas plays each year in each of the scholasticates. His versatility extended to photography at which he was quite an expert, and indeed he never dabbled in any thing, for the same quiet efficiency characterised everything he did.
It is not surprising that such versatility was duly recognised by others and that he was constantly asked by fellow-scholastics to do various jobs great and small. With a ready and unfailing charity he always obliged and never showed the slightest reluctance nor even gave the impression that his time was being encroached upon though such must have been the case.
Anyone who knew him intimately during his fourth year at Milltown was impressed by his deep appreciation of the priesthood, and several have remarked that with his ordination he had acquired a new confidence and assurance. Supply work appealed greatly to him and he was always particularly glad when given an opportunity of hearing confessions.
Fr. Johnston's qualities of intellect and character, his practical efficiency and unassuming charity made him loved and respected, and gave assured promise of a zealous and fruitful apostolate, and the sound success of any work appointed him by Superiors. On February 11th, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, he was to have said Mass at 7 o'clock in Mount St. Anne's. Shortly after 7 o'clock that morning many members of his community were offering Mass for the repose of his soul. His death came as a great shock to them and to all the Province. May be rest in peace.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 51 : Special Issue – Dublin Millenium 1988


Denis Nerney

The late Fr Nerney, writing in December 1949, describes the calamity which many of our older readers will remember vividly. The photographs are from the Francis M. Browne S.J. Collection.

On the morning of Friday, 11th February, 1949, there was a serious fire at Milltown Park in which one young priest, Father James Johnston, lost his life, two were gravely injured and many others suffered from burns and shock.

The fire was discovered at 5.40 a.m., twenty minutes before the time for rising, in the north-east corner of the Finlay House. A pantry on the ground floor was on fire and the room above it was full of smoke. Those living nearby were aroused immediately; the Fire Brigade was summoned and the alert was given in the various houses.

When Fr Smyth, Acting Minister, had telephoned for the Brigade, he ran up the stairs to make sure that everyone was ready. Finding the lower corridor already on the alert, he proceeded to the top corridor, opening every door. Up to the time when he had nearly reached the south end, just before 5.49, there was no impression of an imminent emergency. There was no fire or smoke about and all seemed normal in the corridor. But at that moment (i.e. some seconds before 5.49) there was a muffled explosion down in the stairs, a great wave of fire and smoke rose to the roof and began to flow into the corridors of the Finlay House and into the Rector's House. The roof of the Finlay House went into flames, the lights went out and within one minute the north ends of the corridors and the passages into the Rector's House were burning fiercely, while the whole place was engulfed in thick smoke and fumes. Immediately Fr Smyth ordered everyone to go straight to our fire ladder at the south-west end. His call was so piercing that it was heard in the corridor below, in the Rector's House and even outside in the grounds. The difficult manoeuvre of getting away by the ladder in darkness, thick smoke and intense heat was carried out with great order and speed. Those whose rooms adjoined the fire ladder kept shouting directions in the corridors until nearly overcome; they were among the last down the escape.

At approximately 5.50, ten minutes, therefore, after the fire was discovered and one minute after the explosion - the upper storeys of both Houses were so choked with fire and smoke and fumes that they became quite impassable. Such was the precipitate course of events that a number were trapped in their rooms. Five were rescued by ladders and two jumped from outside ledges. A roll was called immediately to make sure that all were safe. When Fr Johnston did not answer, a search was made for him and stones were thrown at his window. One attempt to reach his room had to be turned back as the roof and upper corridor were in flames; and not even the firemen could get into that part of the building until about 7.30. All that is known with certainty is that he attempted some time after 5.50 to reach our escape - a matter of half a dozen paces - and was overcome on the way. His next-door neighbour had actually made the same attempt about 5.50, was forced back into his room and had to be rescued by the firemen through his window. Nothing in the desperate ordeal of the fire affected the community so profoundly as the tragic death of this young priest.

Such was the suddenness of the final conflagration that the firemen were amazed that many more had not lost their lives. They explained that our fire was of the “flash-over” type, an unusual and treacherous kind of fire which is propagated by the secret spread of smoulder inside floors, stairs, partitions and lofts until a critical temperature is reached and the smoulder bursts into flames
3, simultaneously or in rapid succession at different points. The probability is that a concealed smoulder fire had been working its way during the night from the north-east corner of the Finlay House, up the stairs, and that it had reached at least half-way across the roof loft by 5.48; further, that it had penetrated both floors, possibly over their whole length. As a result, the fire was beyond the control of our fire appliances when it was discovered; and at 5.48, when there was as yet no visible sign of an emergency in the corridors, the Finlay House was riddled with smoulder. The rising temperature reached its flash point a few seconds later; and immediately, one may say without exaggeration, the Finlay House exploded, allowing no one in it much more than a minute, many less and some no time at all, to escape by our ladder.

The material damage was considerable. In the Finlay House 32 rooms and in the Rector's House 10 rooms were burnt out or rendered uninhabitable. All the rooms off the stairs and in the top storey of the Finlay House were utterly consumed with everything in them. The soaking contents of a few rooms in the lower corridor were saved. The refectory beneath was partly on fire, and water was cascading through the ceiling and floor into the kitchen and domestic offices below it for 24 hours. In addition, therefore, to the loss of 42 living rooms with most of the contents (furniture, clothes, books) the entire domestic economy of Milltown Park, which catered both for the community and the House of Retreats, was destroyed; and for a week there was nothing to be had except a cup of tea made on a primus stove.

The community had no choice in the circumstances but to scatter to other houses for food and shelter. A small number who were able to stay on in the Retreat House, said Mass and had their meals at local Convents, with the Sisters of Charity at Mount Saint Anne's and Donnybrook and with the Dominican Sisters at Muckross Park. The immense hospitality and kindness of these Convents and of our own Houses must be recorded here. We had offers of accommodation for our homeless from Maynooth, Clonliffe, the Holy Ghost Fathers and the Marist Fathers, as well as from private families. His Grace the Archbishop of Dublin called twice and gave . us £1,000 for reconstruction. Others to visit us were Dr Dunne, Bishop of Nara; Dr Kissane, President of Maynooth; the Taoiseach, Mr Costello; Dr O'Higgins, Minister for Defence; as well as very many other friends of the community and neighbours. On its own initiative the Army sent us a camp kitchen and a company of soldiers to install it. With its help our domestic economy was re-established and the community was able to return home.

Within a few weeks, in spite of restricted space and an improvised economy, the work of the theologate and the retreats was resumed. Two members of the community who had suffered very grave injuries in the fire, made a full recovery at St Vincent’s, the hospital refusing all remuneration for surgical and other expenses. One storey of the Finlay House has been dismantled; the rest is a ruin; while part of the Rector's House is in no better condition. In the meantime, we are looking forward to the construction of a new House of Studies at Milltown Park.

Kane, Ciarán, 1932-2013, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/852
  • Person
  • 28 December 1932-05 February 2013

Born: 28 December 1932, Clontarf, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 25 March 1968
Died: 05 February 2013, Eastern Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Xavier House, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK: 25 March 1968; HK to CHN 1992

by 1958 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1967 at Mount Street London (ANG) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
A dignified missionary presence lost
A quiet, but dignified missionary presence was lost to Hong Kong on 5 February 2013 with the death of Jesuit Father Ciaran Finbarr Kane. He was 80 years old.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1932, he joined the Society of Jesus in 1950, graduating from the University College Dublin, now known as the National University of Ireland, before coming to Hong Kong in 1958. He was ordained a priest at the Jesuit house of Milltown Park, Ireland, on the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, on 31 July 1964. A talented and adaptable man, he taught at both Wah Yan Colleges, in Kowloon and Hong Kong, but in 1971 he became the founding chaplain at the Adam Schall Residence of the United College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he forged good relationships with both the administration and teaching staff until the university took over management of residence in 1994. A tribute from the current management of the college notes, “Throughout his distinguished affiliation with United College in the past decades, Father Kane has given invaluable advice and guidance to the development of the college. He was loved and respected by the college community; his dedication will be forever cherished.” During his time in Hong Kong, Father Kane was also on the staff of Star of the Sea parish in Chai Wan, but in 2004 he moved to the society’s retreat centre, Xavier House, in Cheung Chau, where he lived quietly as a spiritual director until 2012, touching the atmosphere within the walls and grounds with the serenity of a man of God. His other great love was music and he became the well-known voice of RTHK4 (Radio Television Hong Kong) presenting sacred music for its programme, Gloria.
The director of the Hong Kong City Chamber Orchestra paid tribute to Father Kane’s appreciation of the religious dimension of music last year, when he took part in a presentation of Johann Sebastian Bach by cellist, Artem Konstantinov. The musical presentation was interspersed with the words of Christ, read by Father Kane.
“It has been a pleasure to develop the idea of combining Bach’s unaccompanied cello suites with passages from the bible with both Father Ciaran Kane and Artem,” the director wrote at the time. “It has also been a thought-provoking task, for such a combination of scripture readings and unaccompanied music has never been done before worldwide, I imagine,” she continued. The newsletter also pays tribute to the artistic suggestions of Father Kane in creating a suitable atmosphere in the small chapel of St. Stephen’s College in Stanley, with candlelight and shadows. His broadcasting career saw him presenting both Catholic and ecumenical programmes, including Morning Prayers and a twice-weekly Midday Prayers, together with live broadcasts of Sunday religious services on a monthly basis. He is especially remembered for his tribute to fathers on a Fathers’ Day programme, featuring the music of Eric Clapton. He was a member of the Religious Broadcasting and Television Advisory Committee at RTHK and made the move to free-to-air television, taking part in discussions on the infant TVB on matters as diverse as Christmas and Easter, coverage of the visit of Pope Paul VI to Hong Kong in December 1970 and the opening of the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to usher in the Jubilee Year in 2000. His sister, Eileen Kane, said on 13 February at a vigil Mass in St. Margaret’s, Happy Valley, the evening before his funeral, that her brother had no other dream than to join the Jesuits. She related how she accompanied him to a talk given by a Jesuit priest when he was a young man, saying that from that day on, he was quite convinced he had found his true vocation and road in life. Father Kane died peacefully after being hospitalised for three weeks in Eastern Hospital. He was buried from St. Margaret’s on 14 February in St. Michael’s Happy Valley Cemetery.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 February 2013

Note from Frank Doyle Entry
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 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.”

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions :

Missionary in Hong Kong 2012
Ciaran Kane, SJ
Being a missionary anywhere today is very different from what it was 50 years ago, when I first arrived in Hong Kong. Both the world and the church have changed so much in the meantime. For the church, a richer understanding of what ‘mission’ means, and that the idea of ‘mission’ is a call to all Christians. For the world, the onset of globalisation bringing peoples and cultures into closer contact and mutual influence and interdependence.
In the past, more than today, being a missionary implied coming from a faraway place bringing a set of beliefs, practices and values that were ‘foreign’ to the people you came to serve. Whether admired or reviled, the missionary had a distinctive status with his/her people. But global communications, international travel, studying and service abroad, and the shrinking of our world have now levelled the ground, and, I think, integrated the missionary more into the local church and society.
So, for me being a missionary today is a consciousness of serving the universal church, the international body of Christ, people of many races and places. As a Jesuit my specific mission is a ministry that involves me with Catholics and other Christians, local Chinese and foreign residents, working with men and women, young and old, religious and lay, married and single --- in short a microcosm of the universal church. But it’s also important for me as a citizen of this city to be concerned about society as a whole, about the social milieu in which I live and work, and to give witness to a Christian presence in civic and cultural life. I hope I can be a useful instrument in the Lord’s vineyard.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was born in Dublin and was educated at Belvedere College SJ, and he then joined the Society in 1950.

1958-1961 He came to Hong Kong for Regency where he learned Cantonese and taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.
1967 After Ordination he returned to Hong Kog with a mission to focus on communications.
1972-1994 With the opening of the Adam Schall Residence at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, he became its founding Warden serving students and faculty.

He was known to be always friendly and approachable and had a keen interest in Church music. His sister taught Organ Music and Music History at University College Dublin. He became involved in Radio Hong Kong (RTHK Radio 4), and was greatly appreciated by them for his religious broadcasts and religious music programmes from 1967. That year he was appointed as a Member of the Advisory Committee on Religious Broadcasting nd Television, an ecumenical committee, and in 1969 was appointed Chairman.

When he retired he went to Cheung Chau helping in the Parish and as an advisor on Spirituality at the Centre.

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 152 : Summer 2013


Fr Ciarán Kane (1932-2013)

Fr. Ciarán F. Kane S.J. died in Hong Kong on 5 February 2013, at the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital. During the final weeks of his long illness, and in the days around his funeral, the structural lines and the wide outreach of his ministry were brought into focus. Visitors came to the hospital from United College, in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, from RTHK's Radio 4, from the Star of the Sea parish in Chai Wan, and from Cheung Chau. Some were past pupils of the Wah Yan Colleges, others alumni of United College. There were broadcasters and people who had come to know Ciarán through his work on radio, friends at whose marriages he had officiated and whose children he had baptized, people who had come to him for spiritual direction. Other friends telephoned from the United States, Canada, England, Malasia and Ireland as well as from Hong Kong. All showed a real affection for him, as well as great appreciation of all he had accomplished in fifty years of ministry in Hong Kong.

Ciarán was born in Dublin on 28th December 1932. He attended school, first locally in Clontarf, and then at Belvedere College, which had a decisive influence on him. There, his intelligence and his giftedness were fostered. Not only did he shine academically, but his fine singing voice was recognised, and he was given leading roles in the annual Gilbert and Sullivan operas that were a feature of those years. It was also at Belvedere that he came to know about the work of Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong.

Ciarán entered the Jesuit Noviciate at Emo, on 7 September 1950. There followed, from 1952 to 1955, three years of studies in Latin and French for a B.A. at University College Dublin, and three years of Philosophy at Tullabeg, at the end of which, in the Summer of 1958, he was assigned to Hong Kong. His parents had no need to ask whether Ciarán was happy about being sent to Hong Kong - nothing could have been more evident. For two years, based in Xavier House, in Cheung Chau, he studied Cantonese, and then spent a year teaching Mathematics, English and Religion in Wah Yan College, Kowloon.

Back in Ireland, after three years of Theology, Ciarán was ordained a priest at Milltown Park on 31st July, 1964. Then, having completed the Tertianship year, also in Dublin, he embarked upon courses in media studies, in order to train as a broadcaster on radio and television. These courses took him to England, to work at the B.B.C. with the well-known broadcaster of religious programmes, the Franciscan Fr. Agnellus Andrew. He also went to Paris, to the French broadcasting station, ORTF, and worked in Dublin at the Catholic Communications Centre in Booterstown. Thus equipped, he returned to Hong Kong in the summer of 1967. In due course he became a member of the Chinese Province.

Ciarán's first assignment as a priest was at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, teaching English and Religion, but right from the start, he was also scripting and presenting religious programmes on radio. Not long after his arrival, in 1967, he was asked to take over the twice weekly programme called 'Midday Prayers', and from then on, for the next twenty-something years, he was heard each week by a growing and ever more appreciative audience. When Ciarán's mother visited Hong Kong, in 1970, she was introduced to a lady who said she loved to listen to Midday Prayers. “I'm not a Catholic”, she said, “but I asked my Pastor, and he said it was all right to listen to Fr Kane”. Forty-three years later, at Ciarán's funeral, a gentleman came to say that he had listened regularly for twenty-two years, and that, spiritually, the prayers had helped him greatly. He had taken notes from them, which he still used, he said, and he spoke of the programmes as part of “Fr. Kane's spiritual legacy”. His one regret was that he had missed the first few years, because he had not known about the broadcasts then, but he had got in touch with Ciarán personally, and, over the years, had met him regularly to talk about spiritual matters. Another of Ciarán's friends, and a former colleague, expressed a keen interest in helping to publish those programmes, or a selection from them, either in book form or on disk. It is hoped that this may indeed be possible. In the course of time, “Midday Prayers” became “Morning Prayers”, and by August 1994, Ciarán had presented these programmes more than 2700 times.

There were other broadcasts, too. Still in the 1960s, he broadcast a series of programmes on English cathedrals, called “Sounds in Stone”. Later, in the series he called “Kyrie” he introduced sacred music, as well as the spoken word. “Kyrie” was hugely successful, and reached the highest audience ratings of any English-language programmes on Radio 4. Another popular series was called “Gloria”, and he also, for a number of years, presented sacred music for Advent and Christmas. Besides all this, in 1969, he was elected Chairman of the Religious Broadcasting and Television Advisory Committee for Radio-Television Hong Kong - RTHK He was also a member of the Sacred Music Commission in the Diocese of Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the Jesuits, along with the Maryknoll Sisters, had taken the initiative of providing a new Student Hostel, Adam Schall Residence, in United College, in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, at Shatin in the New Territories. The residence opened in 1971 with Ciarán as its first Director. That new position brought with it new possibilities, and also new tasks, in liaising with people on various levels, whether students, administrators, academics or higher management. The tiny Jesuit community at Adam Schall was international, consisting of at most three men of as many different nationalities. Ciarán enjoyed his work there, and created an atmosphere in which the students' work flourished. Ciaran celebrated Mass each morning, and found himself acting as what he himself termed "the unofficial Catholic Chaplain' at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

At Adam Schall, he also kept up his interest in music. He sang with the Hong Kong Philharmonic chorus and with the Bach Choir. His voice had an unusually wide range, so that he could sing with the basses as well as with the baritones and the tenors. He even discovered, though, as he said himself, it was a bit too late to be useful, that he could sing falsetto.

In 1994, at the close of the academic year, Ciarán retired from United College. He took a sabbatical year, which he spent, for the first semester, at Boston College, and then in spiritual renewal at St. Beuno's in Wales. On his return to Hong Kong, in 1995, Ciarán was assigned, as assistant to the Parish Priest, to the new parish church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in the district of Chai Wan, which the Jesuits had undertaken to run. Again, it was a new sphere of work, with new possibilities, especially where the Liturgy was concerned. Typically, he embraced the task, and quickly made an impact, as well as many new friends. This assignment was also an opportunity for him to get to know better some of his Irish Jesuit confrères, from whom he had been somewhat isolated during his twenty-two years in Shatin. After six years of parish work in Chai Wan, Ciarán returned to Cheung Chau, and Xavier House, where his life in Hong Kong had begun. Tasked with heading up a renewed Centre of Ignatian Spirituality there, he had first to undertake extensive renovation and rebuilding of part of the house itself. This meant that he had also to fund-raise, a task which brought him back into contact with at least one Old Belvederian, who had 'made it good' globally, and visited Hong Kong on a regular basis. In the task of renovating Xavier House, he also had scope for using his artistic flair, and he enjoyed collaborating with the project's architect, in creating and furnishing new spaces for prayer, both indoors and in the gardens, as well as ensuring that the rooms for retreatants and staff were more than just basically fit for purpose.

Ciarán's return to Cheung Chau coincided with the onset of illness. This began with a heart attack in Manila, in the year 2000, a degenerative condition in the spine about two years later, which made walking somewhat difficult, a diagnosis of prostate cancer in 2006 and leukaemia in 2007. Characteristically, he took it all in his stride – literally, it might be said, because he continued to come and go, up the steps or by the longer pathway between the ferry-port and Xavier House, sometimes more than once in the day. He was meticulous about taking his medicines at the correct times and the correct intervals, but otherwise, he did not allow his condition to interfere with his life, and would not even speak of it except in response to a direct question. He continued to broadcast on RTHK Radio 4, and to participate in the musical life of Hong Kong. In his last series of programmes on Radio, entitled “Oratorio”, he presented extracts from most of the best-known titles, as well as many that had scarcely been noticed before.

In 2010, he was presented with a 'Veteran Broadcaster award, and he continued to plan and work on new ideas for programmes for Radio, the medium he liked best. His last stage appearance was in January 2012, when he read excerpts from the gospels of Luke and Mark, in a performance over two evenings of Bach's solo cello concertos, entitled “Words of Christ in the music of Bach”.

In recent years Ciarán was able to return to Dublin for one month in the Summer, usually June. It was a break to which he looked forward eagerly, because it gave him the opportunity to meet and catch up with news of his friends, Old Belvederians, colleagues and cousins. He particularly looked forward to meeting for an annual lunch with the men who had entered the Noviciate with him. He also made sure that he met up with all his many cousins, and was delighted to have an excuse to travel to Cork or to Connemara. Travelling, going on pilgrimage - to Japan or to Spain - were the mature version, in his later years, of the cycling trips that had taken him, in his youth, over every possible road - or so it seemed to his family - that could be traversed in either Dublin or Wicklow

On his last visit to Dublin, in June 2012, it was obvious that Ciarán's health was relentlessly deteriorating. In September, he was airlifted from Cheung Chau to hospital in Hong Kong. There were tests, and more tests, in four different hospitals, over the months of October and November, in between which he stayed at Ricci Hall. Finally, on 17th December, he was admitted to the PYN Eastern Hospital. He celebrated his 80th birthday in hospital, on 28th December. That week, which included Christmas, he was undergoing radiation treatment daily for pain relief, but he still smiled for the cameras of all those who came to visit him, and they were many.

Towards the end of the eight weeks of his final stay in hospital, Ciarán was not always able to respond to visitors, but they continued to come. Some simply came and went. One group, and one individual friend, sang to him. Some came and wept, and went away again. As his sister, there was nowhere else I wanted to be other than by his bedside, in those last weeks. “I know that the Lord is calling me”, he told me, “and I want to go, but I can't. It is all a great mystery”. He received Holy Communion for the last time on Monday 4th February. Next day, peacefully, serenely, he was able to answer the Lord's call.

Eileen Kane

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2013

A Missionary in Hong Kong

The following is an article written by Fr Ciaran Kane RIP (OB 1950) in 2012 :

Being a missionary anywhere today is very different from what it was 50 years ago, when I first arrived in Hong Kong. Both the world and the church have changed so much. For the church, a richer understanding of what 'mission' means, and that the idea of 'mission' is a call to all Christians. For the world, the onset of globalization has brought peoples and cultures into closer contact and mutual influence and interdependence.

In the past, more than today, being a missionary implied coming from a faraway place bringing a set of beliefs, practices and values that were 'foreign' to the people you came to serve. Whether admired or reviled, the missionary had a distinctive status with his or her people. But global communications, international travel, studying and service abroad, and the shrinking of our world have now levelled the ground, and, I think, integrated the missionary more into the local church and society.

So, for me being a missionary today is a consciousness of serving the universal church, the international body of Christ, people of many races and places. As a Jesuit my specific mission is a ministry that involves me with Catholics and other Christians, local Chinese and foreign residents, working with men and women, young and old, religious and lay, married and single - in short a microcosm of the universal church. But it's also important for me as a citizen of this city to be concerned about society as a whole, about the social milieu in which I live and work, and to give witness to a Christian presence in civic and cultural life. I hope I can be a useful instrument in the Lord's vineyard.

Fr Ciaran Kane SJ

Kerr, John B, 1919-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/220
  • Person
  • 06 April 1919-28 February 1978

Born: 06 April 1919, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1954, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 28 February 1978, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

by 1975 at Canisius College, Buffalo NY, USA (NEB) Marriage Encounter◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 2 1978

The sudden death of our parish priest, Fr Jack Kerr, came as a great shock. Although he had been parish priest here for only a little over two years, he had achieved a great deal, and had endeared himself by his kindness, generosity, and openness to all. His work in the parish, his involvement in Marriage Encounter, the Charismatic Movement, and the Samaritans, brought him very many friends not only here in Galway, but elsewhere as well. This was evident in the huge number of Mass cards for him, and in the very large attendance at his funeral.
His remains were removed from the Residence to the Church on the evening of March 2. The Assistant Provincial, Fr Joseph Dargan, was present. Immediately afterwards Fr Jack's cousin, Fr Frank Kerr, a diocesan priest from Clones, Co. Monaghan, said the public evening Mass for him.
On Friday, March 3, over forty priests concelebrated at his funeral Mass, and many more were in the congregation. The chief concelebrants were the Provincial, Fr Patrick Doyle, the Rector, Fr Robert McGoran, and Fr Frank Kerr. The former Bishop of Galway, Dr Michael Browne presided. The present Bishop, Dr Eamonn Casey was unavoidably absent, as he was confined to the house after a severe dose of the flu. In his sermon, Fr McGoran paid fitting tribute to Fr Kerr and his work.
To Fr Jack's sister and brother and his many relations our sincere thanks.

Crescent College Comprehensive
At the moment of writing, the very sad news has reached us of the death of Fr Jack Kerr SJ, former Chairman of the Board of Management. Few did more for the new Crescent than Jack did. From the preliminary planning stages in the 1960's right through his period of active chairmanship up to 1974 the school could not have had a better friend and champion. In very difficult moments his support of the school administration and his genuine concern for the well-being of pupils and staff was of incalculable importance: with humour and great humanity he helped to unify diverse elements in the new Board of Management structure and to ensure that the over-all good of the school was served with dedication and competence. Jack Kerr brought joy and laughter to so many that his death is felt in a very personal way: to have known him, worked and laughed with him was a bonus to life. May he experience everlasting joy. On Monday, March 6th, the members of the Board of Management, staff and pupils will join in offering Mass for his eternal happiness and peace.

Obituary :

Fr John Kerr (1919-1978)

The Province received an unpleasant shock when it heard of the death, on February 28th, 1978, of Father John Kerr. Father Kerr had not yet completed his sixtieth year, so that his sudden death was a serious loss to the Province in which Jesuits of the most active years of life are becoming alarmingly small in number.
Father Kerr was born in Dublin on April 6th 1919. He was educated at O’Connell’s School and entered the Noviceship in Emo on September 7th, 1936. He completed all his studies in Ireland and was ordained in Milltown Park, Dublin, on July 28th 1948. He pronounced his Final Vows at Belvedere College on February 2nd 1954.
Father john Kerr spent the years 1950-1960 in the Irish Messenger Office, Belvedere; and after a year at Manresa he spent a year in Tullabeg as Professor of Metaphysics, and Minister (1961 1962), He was Rector and doctor of Philosophy in Mungret College 1962-1968, and Rector in Belvedere from 1968-1974,
Father John Kerr spent the year 1974-1975 studying “Marriage Encounter”, at Canisius High School, Buffalo.
From 1975 to his death in February 1978 he lived in St Ignatius college, Galway, where he was Promoter of “Marriage Encounter” and where he was Parish Priest of the Church.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1978


Father Jack Kerr SJ

Those who knew Fr Jack Kerr during the years he lived in Belvedere first as National Director of the Sodalities of our Lady and later as Rector must have been deeply shocked by the news of his sudden death on the last day of February this year. Those close to him knew that he had not been well for some time - he had been in hospital twice undergoing treatment for angina - but there did not appear to be reason for undue alarm. He had just returned to Galway after a period of recuperation in Dublin when he took ill and died within an hour.

Fr Kerr had many gifts which were given ample scope to develop in the various posts he held in the Society of Jesus. Shortly after ordination, he was: made national Director of the Sodality, a post he held for eleven years. Then followed six years as Rector of Mungret College, Limerick, after when he came to Belvedere as Rector in 1968. In 1974, he went to the United States to gain experience of Marriage Encounter, which was growing in importance both in the States and in Ireland. The following year, he returned to Ireland and was sent to Galway as Parish Priest of St Ignatius parish and to initiate Marriage Encounter in the West of Ireland.

His six years as Rector in Belvedere were years of achievement: they were also years which saw the growth of many close friendships with a host of people connected with Belvedere. Fr Kerr brought to fruition the preparatory work done by a number of previous Rectors with the building of the new school block, the gymnasium and the swimming pool. It was due to his energy and devoted hard work that the Covenant Scheme was launched, which over the years has done so much to meet the very large costs of building and maintaining the complex. It was he also who was responsible for buying the land at Nevinstown, which may well prove of great value to the College in the years to come.

Those who were associated with him during those years might well have considered that his outstanding gifts were organisational: he had a shrewd business sense, an ability to grasp complex details and great energy and drive. But this was only one aspect of his character: more important for his work as a priest and as a Jesuit was the quite unique gift he had for relating to people. He had always possessed great humanity, warmth, sympathy and understanding. There are many connected with Belvedere, I know, who can vouch for this ability of his to comfort and strengthen in times of bereavement and distress. But it was in the last years of his life during his time in Galway that these gifts really came to flower: his life appeared to take on an added quality. In a short period of two and half years, he affected many people in quite an astonishing way and his death has left a void in their lives. He made people believe in thernselves; he made them feel special; he healed them emotionally and spiritually; he helped them to forgive themselves; he gave them a spirit of joy. He accepted them for what they were with all their faults and failings, just as he accepted himself with his own weaknesses. And this attitude to people was a mirror to of his attitude to God: for him, God was a Father who knew his failings and yet loved him and loved all of us. As a result of contact with him, people developed an attitude of more joyful trust in the Lord.

We offer our sincere sympathy to his sister and brother and his other relations and friends who feel his loss deeply; and we pray that God our Father may take Fr Jack back to Himself to the peace and joy which will be his forever.


Lonergan, Cornelius, 1909-1963, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/743
  • Person
  • 06 December 1909-18 May 1963

Born: 06 December 1909, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 17 July 1938, Innsbruck, Austria
Final Vows: 02 February 1945, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 18 May 1963, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Stanislaus College community, Tullabeg, County Offaly at the time of death.

Early education at Belvedere College SJ

by 1933 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1936 at Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria (ASR) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 8th Year No 4 1933

Father T. Corcoran's labours in connection with the examinations for the Higher Diploma had scarcely concluded when he had to betake himself to Holland to preside at the second International Congress of Catholic Secondary Education. The meetings of the Congress took place at the Hague each day from 31st .July to 5th August.
Their Excellencies, the Bishops of Holland, were patrons of the Congress, which was attended by some 350 delegates representing the leading Catholic countries. Among the delegates were about 45 members of the Society from lands outside Holland. Prominent among the visitors were the Provincial of the Paris Province, with various Rectors and Prefects of Studies from our French Colleges. Père Yoes de la Brière, the Rectors of Brussels, Namur, Liege and other Belgian Colleges, Fathers Errandonea, Herrera and others from Spain,the French Oratorian Sabatier and various distinguished lay-men from Germany and Italy.
Cardinal Pacelli, in the name of the Holy Father, sent a long and cordial telegram of good wishes to the Congress , also the Nuncio Apostolic in Holland, who was prevented by serious illness from attending in person.
In the absence of the Nuncio the final allocution was delivered by the Bishop of Haarlem, after the Rector Magnificus of the University of Nijmegen and Father Corcoran, as President of the Congress had already spoken. Mr. J. O'Meara from Louvain Messrs. B. Lawler and C. Lonergan from Valkenburg acted as assistants to Father Corcoran at the Hague.
A splendid paper on “The Present Condition of Secondary Education in Ireland” was read by Dr. John McQuaid, the President of Blackrock College. All accounts agree in stating that the Congress was a brilliant success.
As the proceedings at the Hague coincided with the Biennial Conference of the World Federation of Education Associations, Father Corcoran was unable to be present at the functions in Dublin, but an important paper from his pen was read by Mrs McCarville, Lecturer in English in University College, Dublin. This paper expounded the Catholic philosophy of Education.

Irish Province News 38th Year No 3 1963

Obituary :

Fr Cornelius Lonergan SJ

On Saturday, 11th May, Father Con Lonergan was informed that he was incurably ill. He received the sober tidings with a light-heartedness and equanimity which astonished even those who had long known his solid spirituality. A year previously an operation had revealed a fatal cancer, but it had been thought right to withhold this diagnosis from him until his second visit to hospital. He died at St. Vincent's Nursing Home on 18th May. At his Requiem in Gardiner Street, and funeral in Glasnevin, an unusually large concourse of Jesuits from all the houses and colleges paid tribute to one of the Province's best-loved members.
Cornelius Lonergan was born in Dublin in December 1909, and after schooldays in O'Connell's and Belvedere, entered the Novitiate in Tullabeg on 1st September, 1927, In the opinion of his masters in Belvedere he was a boy of character and talent. Every morning he served the Mass of Father Joe McDonnell, the then Editor of The Irish Messenger, and Con's good friend. At the end of his three years in Rathfarnham, he went for philosophy to Valkenburg. There one of his professors was' Fr. Joseph de Vries, whose textbook of Critica Con himself was to expound so ably for many years in the Irish Philosophate of Tullabeg. Somewhat to Con's disappointment, he was given no period of teaching in the colleges, but went immediately to Innsbruck for theology; there he was ordained in 1938. By then Hitler's anschluss had taken place and the political outlook of central Europe was ominous. So Fr. Con and Fr. Brendan Lawler were recalled to Ireland, to finish theology in Milltown Park. One of his Milltown professors later commented on Fr. Lonergan's remarkable clarity of mind. Having successfully surmounted the Ad gradum, he went on to Rathfarnham Castle, where he was a member of the restored Irish Tertianship during its first year, 1939-40.
The Status of 1940 appointed Fr, Lonergan to Tullabeg, his home for the remaining twenty-three years of his life. His career as a professor began by a year lecturing on psychology. There followed two years of private study of psychology, diversified first by a period as Minister, and later by a spell in hospital with tuberculosis. Then two further years teaching psychology; after which he switched to “Critica”, the subject he was destined to teach with distinction until the suspension of the Tullabeg Philosophate in 1962.
Never was there a more conscientious professor than Fr. Con Lonergan, He read copiously and continuously. He was for ever revising and improving his course, subjecting his doctrine to relentless scrutiny, modifying it in the light of maturer thought, changing his presentation of it as a result of his teaching experiences. His lectures never became stereotyped. There were always new insights to be communicated, new difficulties to be examined and resolved, new efforts to achieve maximum precision and clarity. His class sometimes found it difficult to grasp the new point of view, and it was always necessary to be on the alert. But when the professor was approached in private for elucidation, he was affable and enlightening. As a examiner he was kindness itself.
On the retirement of Fr. John Casey in 1954, Fr. Lonergan became Spiritual Father of Tullabeg, and held that office until the end. His domestic exhortations were something to look forward to. It cost him more than an ordinary effort to overcome his natural reticence and modest estimate of himself, but the discourses which resulted were truly remarkable for their interest, originality and spiritual wisdom. Nobody had ever the slightest trepidation about approaching him for counsel or consolation, though it was not always easy to obtain access to him. Quite frequently the warning “flag” on his doorknob reminded callers of that indifferent health and weakness of constitution which required a daily period of rest and sometimes laid Con low for days on end. He succumbed easily to colds and flu, and having had one bout of T.B., wisely took pains to avoid a repetition of it.
This lack of robust health did not, however, materially interfere with his work as professor, spiritual Father, and holder of many minor offices as well. Every summer he gave one or two retreats to nuns and went to England for some weeks to enable a parish priest friend to have a holiday. Then he thoroughly enjoyed his own well-earned villa in Galway, where he appeared daily on the golf course, never lightly surrendering a hole to his opponent. The communities to whom he gave retreats were enthusiastic about them; the letter of Mother M. White, printed below, is typical of many testimonies, oral and written, made even during his lifetime. One can guess the qualities that made his retreats so memorable: the kindliness and sincerity of the Director in Confession and consultation, the sound and thoroughly spiritual judgments, the carefully-prepared, inspiring lectures. It is understandable that Fr. Lonergan was repeatedly appointed to give our Novices in Emo their annual short retreat; he was also extra ordinary confessor to the novices.
As a personality, Fr. Con was gentle and kindly almost to a fault, as the saying is. The fault in this case may have been a certain lack of drive and assertiveness which, in a man of his unusual ability, might have achieved quite exceptional results, say in writing, lecturing and research. But who knows? More “dynamism” (to use a word which often made Con smile) might have negatived the great good he undoubtedly achieved by gentler methods. He was a man of wide and truly humane culture interested and well-informed in literature, music, history, films and sport. One rejoiced to be near him at recreation or at dinner on talk-days. His conversation was sometimes fascinating, often witty; for he had a keen perception of the humorous in sayings, situations and characters. And he had a surprising store of excellent stories, though never one with a barb. But these gifts, as a rule, only appeared when he conversed with one or two. In a large group, he was pleasant, an interested listener, but somewhat self-effacing. Though he never obtruded himself, he was liked by all who got to know him. He was sensitive, but far too reasonable to allow his sensitivity to get the better of him. He was not the athletic type, but, as already mentioned, he played a resolute, well-studied game of golf. During the summer before he entered the Noviceship. Con and toured Ireland on a motor-bike. This mode of travel always attracted him; when about 1950 the professorial staff of Tullabeg acquired a rather powerful motor-cycle-and-sidecar, Con was one of the few people who could really master this formidable machine.
Fr. Lonergan's last year of life was not an unhappy one, though he must have suspected for months that the fatal disease was gaining. On his deathbed he expressed deep gratitude for the kindness he had received during that year, especially for the tactful, undemonstrative consideration of the Tullabeg community.
To the Father who anointed him, he smilingly remarked that the “count down” had now commenced. To one of his former colleagues he spoke jokingly about calling on the resources of Theodicy to enable him to face the end. His principal concern seemed to be the distress that his relatives felt about his approaching death. He himself was cheerful and unperturbed. All this was typical of him his wish to avoid anything that savoured of the “phoney” (his own word), but plenty of quiet courage, “joined with a lively faith and hope and love of the eternal blessings”. Whether he consciously adverted to it or not, Fr. Con Lonergan, it would seem, did in fact observe the Rule of the Summary which reads: “As in the whole of life so also and much more in death, let each of the Society make it his effort and care that God, Our Lord, be glorified in him and those around be edified....”

20 Upper Gardiner Street,
Dublin 1.
Letter of Mother M. White, Sacred Heart Convent, Mount Anville, to Fr. Provincial :
Dear Father,
Allow me to offer you the very sincere sympathy of the community on the loss of Fr. Lonergan, R.I.P. - and please count on much earnest prayer from us for the repose of his soul. The news of his death came as a shock to us as we did not know of his illness, and we realise that he must be a great loss to you.
Father gave us an outstanding retreat here in 1958 under very trying conditions (during the re-roofing of the house). Many graces were given to souls through him and since then we always considered him as one of our “special” Jesuit friends.
You have had great losses in the Province this year, but I expect the price must be paid for the wonderful apostolic work being down by the Fathers and Brothers.
With sincere sympathy and begging your blessing,
I am, dear Father, yours respectfully in Christ,
M. White, R.S.C. 22nd May, 1963.

Letter to Fr. Provincial from Fr. Geoffrey Crawfurd, parish priest of Holy Family Church, 226, Trelawney Avenue, Langley, Bucks :

Dear Father O'Connor,
I needn't tell you how shocked and sad we all were here in Langley to hear of poor Fr. Lonergan's death last Saturday. (I saw it in the Irish Press.) As you know he had come here every summer for the past four years and we were all looking forward to welcoming him here again this year. He really endeared himself to my parishioners by his kindness and obvious priestly goodness. Although we only heard the news yesterday evening I have already had a number of requests for Masses for his soul.
We shall all miss Fr. Con more than I can say. May I offer my deep sympathy to you and the Province. Please pray for me.
Yours in caritate J.C.,
Geoffrey Crawfurd

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1964


Rev Cornelius Lonergan SJ (OB 1927)

On Saturday, 11th May, Father Con Lonergan was informed that he was incurably ill. He received the sober tidings with a light-heartedness and equanimity which astonished even those who had long known his solid spirituality. A year previously an operation had revealed a fatal cancer, but it had been thought right to withhold this diagnosis from him until his second visit to hospital. He died at St Vincent's Nursing Home on 18th May. At his Requiem in Gardiner Street, and funeral in Glasnevin, an unusually large concourse of Jesuits from all the houses and colleges paid tribute to one of the Province's best-loved members.

Cornelius Lonergan was born in Dublin in December, 1909, and after schooldays in O'Connell's and Belvedere, entered the Novitiate in Tullabeg on 1st September, 1927. In the opinion of his masters in Belvedere he was a boy of character and talent. Every morning the served the Mass of Father Joe McDonnell, the then Editor of “The Irish Messenger”, and Con's good friend. At the end of his three years in Rathfarnham, he went for philosophy to Valkenburg. There one of his professors was Father Joseph de Vries, whose textbook of Critica Con himself was to expound so ably for many years in the Irish Philosophate of Tullabeg. Somewhat to Con's disappointment, he was given no period of teaching in the colleges, but went immediately to Innsbruck for theology: there he was ordained in 1938. By then Hitler's anschluss had taken place and the political outlook of central Europe was ominous. So Father Con and Father Brendan Lawler were recalled to Ireland, to finish theology in Milltown Park, One of his Milltown professors later commented on Father Lonergan's remarkable clarity of mind. Having successfully surmounted the Ad gradum, he went on to Rathfarnham Castle, where he was a member of the restored Irish Tertianship during its first year, 1939-40.

The Status of 1940 appointed Father Lonergan to Tullabeg, his home for the remaining twenty-three years of his life. His career as a professor began by a year lecturing on psychology. There followed two years of private study of psychology, diversified first by a period as Minister, and later by a spell in hospital with tuberculosis. Then two further years teaching psychology; after which he switched to “Critica”, the subject he was destined to teach with distinction until the suspension of the Tullabeg Philosophate in 1962.

On the retirement of Father John Casey in 1954, Father Lonergan became Spiritual Father of Tullabeg, and held that office until the end. His domestic exhortations were something to look forward to. It cost him more than an ordinary effort to overcome his natural reticence and modest estimate of himself, but the discourses which resulted were truly remarkable for their interest, originality and spiritual: wisdom. Nobody had ever the slightest trepidation about approaching him for counsel or consolation.

Every summer he gave one or two retreats to nuns and went to England for some weeks to enable a parish priest friend to have a holiday. Then he thoroughly enjoyed his own well-earned villa in Galway, where he appeared daily on the golf course, never lightly surrendering a hole to his opponent. The communities to whom he gave retreats were enthusiastic about them. One can guess the qualities that made his retreats so memorable: the kindliness and sincerity of the Director in Confession and consultation, the sound and thoroughly spiritual judgments, the carefully-prepared, inspiring lectures. It is understandable that Father Lonergan was repeatedly appointed to give our Novices in Emo their annual short retreat; he was also extraordinary confessor to the novices.

Father Lonergan's last year of life was not an unhappy one, though he must have suspected for months that the fatal disease was gaining. On his deathibed he expressed deep gratitude for the kindness he had received during that year, especially for the tactful, undemonstrative consideration of the Tullabeg community.

To the Father who anointed him, he smilingly remarked that the “count down” had now commenced. His principal concern seemed to be the distress that his relatives felt about his approaching death, He himself was cheerful and unperturbed. All this was typical of him-his wish to avoid anything that savoured of the “phoney” (his own word), but plenty of quiet courage, “joined with a lively faith and hope and love of the eternal blessings”.

Maguire, Richard J, 1906-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/528
  • Person
  • 31 October 1906-21 January 1993

Born: 31 October 1906, Rutland Street, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 21 January 1993, Our Lady's Hospice, Dublin

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

by 1958 at Holy Name, Manchester (ANG) working

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 82 : September 1995
Fr Richard Maguire (1906-1993)

31st Oct. 1906; Born, Rutland Street, Dublin
Educated at St. Agatha's/Christian Bros., North Richmond Street, Dublin.
Employed as Solicitor's Clerk for 13 years.
7th Sept. 1935: Entered the Society at Emo
1937 - 1940: Philosophy at Tullabeg
1940 - 1944: Theology at Milltown Park
29th July 1943: Ordained
1944 - 1945: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1945 - 1952; Mission Staff, living at Emo
1952 - 1957: Mission Staff, living at Rathfarnham
1957 - 1960: Church work, Holy Name, Manchester
1960 - 1965: Mission Staff, living at Belvedere
1965 - 1969: Mission Staff, living at Manresa
1969 - 1973: Minister at Tullabeg
1973 - 1979; Chaplain to Incurables Hospital, Donnybrook, living at Milltown Park
1979 - 1989: Chaplain to Incurables Hospital, Donnybrook, living at Leeson Street.
1989 - 1993: Cherryfield Lodge
21st Jan. 1993: Died at Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross

Richard was born in Dublin, educated by the Christian Brothers and worked as a solicitor's clerk for 13 years before entering the Jesuit Novitiate in 1935 at the age of 29. He was a member of the Legion of Mary before he entered and remained a Legionary at heart all his life.

After a short course of studies he was ordained in 1943, eight years after joining the Novitiate. Following Tertianship, he served on the Mission Staff for twenty-one years, ministered in the Church of the Holy Name, Manchester for three years, was Minister of the House in Tullabeg for four years and in later life spent sixteen years as chaplain to the Royal Hospital in Donnybrook, In his mission and retreat work he put a number of young men in contact with the Society and they became, and still remain, eminent and excellent Jesuits.

Richard was gifted with a beautiful singing voice and in early life received great commendation from Mrs. Boylan who taught singing and led a famous choir. Mrs. Boylan was the mother of Dom Eugene Boylan (Cistercian), and his Carthusian brother in Parkminster,

Richard acknowledged himself that the most suitable work for him was the chaplaincy to the sick, many of whom were incurably ill, in Donnybrook's Royal Hospital, and he was confirmed in his view by Father General in a personal letter on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee as a Jesuit in 1985. In 1989 he retired to Cherryfield Lodge but he battled bravely with declining health, away from his beloved Community in Leeson Street. Early in January 1993 he asked to be admitted to Our Lady's Hospice at Harold's Cross, and died there on January 21st. May he rest in peace.

Edward Keelaghan

Mayne, Charles, 1906-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/675
  • Person
  • 02 September 1906-28 November 1990

Born: 02 September 1906, Moss Side, Manchester, Lancashire, England
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1940
Died: 28 November 1990, Kostka Hall, Melbourne, Australia

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1929 in Australia - Regency

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online :
Mayne, Charles (1906–1990)
by John N. Molony
John N. Molony, 'Mayne, Charles (1906–1990)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 2012

Catholic priest; religious writer; theological college head; theological college teacher

Died : 28 November 1990, Kew, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Charles Mayne (1906-1990), Jesuit priest and teacher, was born on 2 September 1906 at Moss Side, Manchester, England, son of William Mayne, clerk, and his wife Norah, née Mulvey. Charlie was reared in Ireland and educated by the Christian Brothers in North Dublin. In 1924 he joined the Society of Jesus and in 1927 ill health prompted him to take a teaching position at St Ignatius College, Riverview, New South Wales. He remained there until returning to Ireland in 1931 to complete his studies. On 24 June 1937 he was ordained a priest.

Voyaging back to Australia in 1939, Mayne taught English to several Jewish refugees, one of whom remained his friend for life. After a further two years at Riverview, in 1942 he was appointed dean of discipline at Corpus Christi College, Werribee, a seminary serving Victoria and Tasmania. From 1947 to 1958 he was rector of the college, although a less likely administrator is difficult to imagine. He was so painfully shy (while also aware of his responsibilities as a disciplinarian) that he habitually averted his eyes when passing students lest he observe them engaged in behaviour judged to be unbecoming in young men destined for the priesthood.

Despite his seeming ineptness, Corpus Christi flourished under Mayne, both at Werribee and following its transfer to Glen Waverley, where he was rector in 1960-68. He was determined to form men who would become good priests, rather than good priests who happened to be men. He trusted students to follow their interests and manage their own engagement with the community; he encouraged laymen and women to address the student body; and he taught seminarians to value the fundamental role of the laity in the Church.

Concerned with social issues, Mayne discussed in Exit Australia (1943) the declining birth rate and proposed practical policies in support of large families. As professor of Catholic Action and moral theology, he advocated the role of small groups in Christianising their environments, but insisted that any involvement in politics by Catholic Action was injurious to the divine mission of the Church. He almost physically abhorred B. A. Santamaria’s Catholic Social Studies Movement.

After retiring from Corpus Christi, in 1971 Mayne embarked on work in Papua New Guinea, leading the clergy and laity in spiritual formation. Back in Australia from 1976, he advised Archbishop James Gleeson in Adelaide on the development of parish councils and wrote Parish and Lay Renewal (1979) with Fr Bob Wilkinson. Returning to Melbourne in 1985, he assisted in the Ministry to Priests program.

A man of unflinching integrity and decency, Mayne urged all he met to fulfil their destiny. He could never be stereotyped: no one knew where he was likely to turn up next, brimming with new ideas. No priest exercised a greater influence on the Catholic Church of his time in Australia. He died on 28 November 1990 at East Kew and was buried in Boroondara cemetery. In his funeral homily Archbishop Frank Little, a former student, honoured Mayne’s ‘outstanding contribution’ to his church.

Select Bibliography
D. Strong, The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography (1999)
Footprints (Fitzroy), vol 8, no 1, 1991, p 1
private information and personal knowledge.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Charles Mayne was raised in Ireland and educated by the Christian Brothers in North Dublin. He joined the Society, 1 September 1924, and was sent to Australia in 1927 as a scholastic to teach at St Ignatius' College, Sydney, where he remained until 1931 when he returned to Ireland to continue his philosophical studies. He was ordained a priest, 24 June 1937.
He returned to Australia in haste in 1939 aboard a ship carrying a number of Jewish refugees fleeing Europe. He taught some of them English, and retained friendships with them.
His first appointment was to teach at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, 1940-41, but in 1942 he was appointed to teach at Corpus Christi College, Werribee, and this began his 27 year association with the seminary formation of priests for Victoria and Tasmania. For twenty years he was rector of the seminary, first at Werribee, and later at Glen Waverley. During the years of the Vatican Council he was a wise guide to both staff and students, advising bishops about the needs of priests in a changing era.
Mayne blended the human touch with a wise, firm spiritual direction. He had the gifts of discernment and of encouraging people. He would urge everyone to develop any special gifts
and interests that might help future ministry in the Church. Students were also advised to read widely, to investigate ideas, and familiarise themselves with all kinds of movements taking place in the Church. Visiting women lecturers were also welcomed long before the role of women in the Church was topical.
He did much to humanise seminary life and training. He treated students with trust and gave them responsibility. He strongly defended the integrity and freedom of the person. He inspired all with a missionary vision of what was possible in the Church. He constantly proposed to priests that they be role-determining rather than role-deterrnined, and enabled priests to escape an identity crisis by convincing them that they had to be themselves.
During his years as rector he wrought many changes to the seminary. He opened the seminary doors to visiting speakers, lay and clerical, male and female, believers and non-believers. He was closely associated with bringing the Cluny nuns into seminary life.
His former students appreciated him for his freshness of mind, breadth of vision and ability to inspire. He was not an academic, but a good practitioner who taught many subjects - theology, philosophy, canon law, languages, spirituality, and “Catholic Action”. It was in this last field that he had great impact in Australia, the involvement of laymen and women in the apostolate of the Church.
For 50 years and more he was constantly lecturing, writing, and guiding groups of people in the lay apostolate. He helped the seminarians in their work with their future parishioners. He was involved with such bodies as at the Young Christian Workers, Young Christian Students, the National Catholic Rural Movement, and the National Catholic Girls' Movement. Training for leadership in the Church was important for Mayne long before VaticanII, he followed the Cardijn programme of “see, judge and act”.
At the age of 65, Mayne undertook a missionary~type assignment in Papua New Guinea in 1971, working especially with the Indigenous congregation, “The Handmaids of Our Lord” in their renewal programme, and at the Xavier Institute for the Sister Formation Course, living in Boroko. For four years he worked in that country with many religious congregations in spiritual formation and leadership courses. These initiatives reached people from many countries of the Pacific.
For the following ten years, from 1976, he lived mainly in Adelaide, where he became a resource person for the archbishop in the development of parish pastoral councils and the development of lay ministry in the Church. While in Adelaide, he co-authored, with Father Bob Wilkinson, a small handbook, “Parish and Lay Renewal”, for use in the archdiocesan renewal programmes.
In the 1980s he was involved with renewal programmes for priests at the St Peter Centre in Canberra and much appreciated by both the director and participants in the enterprise.
From 1985 he continued his interest in working with diocesan priests. He lived in the presbyteries of East Keilor, Cheltenham and East Kew, supporting the clergy, and giving spiritual direction to his many friends. He read books and wrote letters continually, keeping up a wide network of contacts until he died in his chair.
Mayne was a priest of vision, a prophetic person of zeal and youthful hope, yet a very private man. He was appallingly shy, nervous, and diffident person, often ill at ease with people. Yet these qualities gave him a great sympathy with the shy, anxious, introverted and sensitive, those who were struggling with life themselves, or troubled in their vocation.
In Mayne, one could discern a man of prayer, deeply humble, with a great respect and love for everyone he encountered. He was a missionary at heart, keen to communicate the means of spreading the Kingdom. Throughout his life he responded to God's call to explore new and richer ways of being a priest. He believed he was called to challenge and support the laity to be more active in spreading the divine Kingdom. By working with men and women in the lay apostolate he discovered the effectiveness of gathering people into small groups, to reflect on their lives, and to discern and respond to the call of God. He once remarked that he would like to be remembered as one who had been able to inspire others to action. He achieved that goal.

McCarron, Seán J, 1907-1975, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/275
  • Person
  • 01 October 1907-16 July 1975

Born: 01 October 1907, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 16 July 1975, Mungret College, County Limerick

Part of the Sacred Heart, Crescent, Limerick community at the time of death

Early education at O’Connell’s School Dublin

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
John McCarron was known as Sean. Even as a novice, his qualities of leadership and practical common sense were recognised. He was self-confident, sure of his judgment and, on occasion, forthright in urging his point of view. His self-confidence stood to him in counselling and directing the large number of people, both clerical and lay, who sought his advice.
He was born in Dublin on 1 October 1907 and entered the Society in 1925. After the normal course of studies, juniorate, philosophy, regency and theology, he was ordained at Milltown Park in 1938.

For 15 years (1942 to 1957) Fr Sean was the Central Director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association (PTAA) with the exception of the first year when he was the assistant. He possessed tremendous drive and was demanding of others both as to the quality and quantity of their work. Some within the Society said he was too demanding. However he had the knack or ability to draw around him people of talent and dedication who would give of their best.

He had a genius for organisation and administration which showed itself in the restructuring of the Pioneer office, in the conducting of Pioneer affairs and also in the overall direction of the memorable Golden Jubilee of the Association in 1949 which entailed a huge parade through the centre of Dublin and a massive meeting in Croke Park. He founded and launched the Pioneer Magazine in 1948 which quickly built up a good circulation in spite of the pundits who said that such a magazine would not be a practical proposition. He even procured a car for his work of promoting the Association - a very progressive action at the time. Until the late 40s, the only cars permitted in the Province were the four official cars for the country houses - Emo, Clongowes, Tullabeg and Mungret. The annual Pioneer Rally at Dublin's Theatre Royal was certainly the biggest annual rally of any group in Ireland. Because of the Association, he became one of the best known priests in Ireland.

An amusing incident took place when he was Director of the Pioneers. One afternoon seeing a poor woman pushing a pram up the hill in Gardiner Street, he went to assist her and found himself pushing a pram, not with a baby, but one full of bottles of beer!

He left the Association to be posted to Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) for the express purpose of building and setting up Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College. His right hand man was Br Pat McElduff. It was quite a showpiece with even a fountain on the campus. He was a tremendous worker but at the same time he had great kindness towards the workers and foremen. The firms he dealt with had great respect for him as he was always so straight and clear about what he wanted. He lived where he worked, in a small house, the inside of which was littered with plans everywhere – on the floor, on the table, on his bed. Zambia was a very happy episode in his life which revealed his charm and affability.

Back in Ireland he founded Manresa Retreat House and was the first Superior of Loyola House, the provincial’s new residence. His health had not been good for a number of years though he always made light of this. The end came suddenly early in the morning of 16 July 1975 in Limerick where he had been living.

Note from Arthur J Clarke Entry
During his six years as rector, he was blessed with such outstanding heads of Canisius as Dick Cremins and Michael J Kelly. Arthur's vision for Canisius as a leading secondary school was influenced by his experience of Clongowes Wood College in Ireland. First, he wanted a proper house for the community. Though the actual building was the responsibility of Fr McCarron and Br Pat McElduff, the siting and design of the spacious community house are largely Arthur’s.

Note from Pat McElduff Entry
For the construction of the Teachers Training College Charles Lwanga across the river from Chikuni, Br Pat was the obvious man for the building together with Fr McCarron just out from Ireland.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.
We moved in on Saturday morning, 14th August. Fr, Superior (Fr. McCarron), Fr. Minister (Fr. Kearns), and Bro. E. Foley constituted the occupying force, and Fr. T. Martin not only placed his van at our disposal, but gave generously of his time and labour for the heavy work of the first day.
A long procession of vans unloaded until noon, when the men broke off for their half-day, leaving a mountain of assorted hardware and soft goods to be unpacked and stowed. By nightfall we had a chapel installed, the kitchen working, dining-room in passable order, and beds set up, so we said litanies, Fr. Superior blessed the house and consecrated it to the Sacred Heart.
Next morning Fr. Superior said the first Mass ever offered in the building. It was the Feast of the Assumption and a Sunday, so we. placed the house and the work under the Patronage of Our Lady and paused to review the scene. Fr. Provincial came to lunch.
The building is soundly constructed from basement to roof, but needs considerable modification before it can be used as a temporary Retreat House. The permanent Retreat House has yet to be built on the existing stables about 130 yards from the principal structure, but. we hope to take about twenty exercitants as soon as builders, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and decorators have done their work.
Fr. C. Doyle is equipping and furnishing the domestic chapel as a memorial to Fr. Willie, who worked so tirelessly for the establishment of workingmen's retreats in Ireland. A mantelpiece of this room has been removed, and thermostatically controlled electric heating is being installed. Lighting is to be by means of fluorescent tubes of the latest type.
With all due respects to the expert gardeners of the Province, we modestly assert that our garden is superb. Fr. Provincial was so impressed by the work done there that he presented us with a Fordson 8 H.P. van to bring the surplus produce to market. Under the personal supervision of Fr. Superior, our two professional gardeners took nine first prizes and four seconds with fourteen exhibits at the Drimnagh show. Twelve of their potatoes filled a bucket, and were sold for one shilling each. The garden extends over 2 of our 17 acres and will, please God, provide abundant fruit and vegetables.
From the beginning we have been overwhelmed with kindness: by our houses and by individual Fathers. Fr. Provincial has been a fairy-godmother to us all the time. As well as the van, he has given us a radio to keep us in touch with the outside world. We have bene fitted by the wise advice of Frs. Doyle and Kenny in buying equipment and supplies, while both of them, together with Fr. Rector of Belvedere and Fr. Superior of Gardiner Street, have given and lent furniture for our temporary chapel Fr. Scantlebury sacrificed two fine mahogany bookcases, while Frs. Doherty and D. Dargan travelled by rail and bus so that we might have the use of the Pioneer car for three weeks. Milltown sent a roll-top desk for Fr, Superior's use. To all who helped both houses and individuals we offer our warmest thanks, and we include in this acknowledgement the many others whom we have not mentioned by name.
Our man-power problem was acute until the Theologians came to the rescue. Two servants were engaged consecutively, but called off without beginning work. An appeal to Fr. Smyth at Milltown brought us Messrs. Doris and Kelly for a week of gruelling labour in the house. They scrubbed and waxed and carpentered without respite until Saturday when Mr. Kelly had to leave us. Mr. Hornedo of the Toledo Province came to replace him, and Mr. Barry arrived for work in the grounds. Thanks to their zeal and skill, the refectory, library and several bedrooms were made ready and we welcomed our first guest on Monday, 30th August. Under the influence of the sea air, Fr. Quinlan is regaining his strength after his long and severe illness.
If anyone has old furniture, books, bedclothes, pictures, or, in fact anything which he considers superfluous, we should be very glad to hear of it, as we are faced with the task of organizing accommodation for 60 men and are trying to keep the financial load as light as possible in these times of high cost. The maintenance of the house depends on alms and whatever the garden may bring. What may look like junk to an established house may be very useful to us, starting from bare essentials. Most of all, we want the prayers of the brethren for the success of the whole venture, which is judged to be a great act of trust in the Providence of God.
Our postal address is : Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.

Irish Province News 50th Year No 3 and 4 1975

Obituary :

Fr Seán McCarron (1907-1975)

Fr Kevin O'Donnell writes:
“I went to Tullabeg in September 1925, a few days after Seán McCarron. We were together from that date until the end of our Tertianship in 1940, moving on from the Noviceship to the Juniorate, then to Philosophy, to Clongowes, to Milltown Park and finally to Rathfarnham.
Father Paddy Kenny was in constant attendance during our years of formation, being Socius and Minister during our noviceship and coming with us to Rathfarnham. He was appointed Minister in Clongowes at the same time as we were sent there as scholastics. We had, therefore, the benefit of the guidance and example of an outstanding Jesuit - a practical and deeply spiritual man.
Seán would be astonished if he heard anyone attempting to draw a comparison between himself and ‘PK’, and I don't intend to try it. His long and constant association with ‘PK’ undoubtedly influenced Seán.
Even in the Noviceship, Seán's qualities of leadership and practical common sense were recognised. At ‘outdoor works’, when Seán was in charge of a group, we all knew whom to obey, Seán was aware of his gifts - he was self-confident, sure of his judgement and, on occasion, forthright in urging his point. This self confidence stood to him in later life in counselling and directing the very large number of people - clerical and lay - who sought his advice.
In addition to a very practical mind and his gift of leadership, Seán had a deep and genuine spirituality, zealous and generous in giving the Spiritual Exercises, and a great worker on a Mission.
He gave devoted and distinguished service to the Society which he joined fifty years ago. God grant him his reward”.

Fr Dan Dargan writes about Seán as Director of the Pioneers :
“In 1942 Fr Seán McCarron was appointed assistant to the Director of the Pioneer Association, Fr Joe Flinn. The following year Fr Flinn died and Seán succeeded him as Central Director. He remained in that office until 1957 when he left Ireland to work on the Zambian mission.
For nine years I was his assistant, and during that time I grew to look on him as one of the most able men I have met in the Society. He was highly intelligent, practical and forceful, he commanded widespread respect throughout the country and became one of the best-known priests in Ireland. Himself possessing tremendous drive, he was demanding of others, both as to the quality and quantity of their work. In the Society some said that he was too demanding. Outside the Society I have known several people who were ready to work themselves to the bone for Fr McCarron and glad to be able to do it. Indeed a secret of his success in whatever he undertook was his ability to draw around him people of talent and dedication who would give of their best.
I was often struck by his handling of a thorny issue. He would study it, would get right to the kernel and would evaluate reasons for and against. Then, where others might hesitate, he would make a decision and would fearlessly execute it. He had a genius for organisation and administration, as he showed in his efficient re structuring of the Pioneer Association office, in his overall direction of the memorable Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Association in 1949, and in his conducting of Pioneer affairs. He was much sought after as a spiritual adviser, especially during his years at Manresa Retreat House. I have heard people speak of the valuable direction he gave them with his commonsense approach and generous kindness to them.
Until recently it fell to the lot of few Jesuits to be assigned to more than one totally new work in the course of their lives. Within ten years Seán McCarron was given three such assignments: he was appointed founder of Manresa Retreat House, first superior of Loyola, and was sent to Zambia for the express purpose of building and setting up the Charles Lwanga College. One reason for these appointments was his great initiative, to which any house where he was in charge bears witness. In the Pioneer Association, before his coming on the scene, it was the official viewpoint that a special magazine for the Association would not be a practical proposition. In 1948 Seán blew this theory to bits when he founded and launched the Pioneer magazine, which quickly built up a good circulation. After the Second World War, as soon as motor cars began to appear freely on the roads, Seán procured a car for his work of promoting the Association - an action which at the time was considered very progressive! (It may come as a surprise to younger Jesuits to learn that until the late 1940s the only cars permitted in the Province were the four official house cars allowed to our country houses, one each to Emo, Tullabeg, Clongowes and Mungret).
For him a favourite occasion was the annual Pioneer meeting in Dublin's Theatre Royal. This was quite a remarkable meeting, certainly the biggest annual rally of any group in Ireland. The theatre, which held three and a half thousand people, was always packed. No sooner had Seán risen and said a few words than you could see that he held his audience in the palm of his hand. He would begin in a relaxed, humorous vein, often referring jocosely to his personal proportions - at that time he weighed 18 stone - and he would have his listeners chuckling away merrily. Then he would grow serious, would speak with impassioned eloquence, often lifting his listeners to heights of enthusiasm. On many occasions he hit out hard at drink abuses, including breaches of the licensing laws. He was sometimes criticised by members of the Province for this, but he was convinced that he was justified in making strong protests against abuses which produced such damaging effects on the moral and social life of our people.
Those of us who worked with him often marvelled at his powers of persuasion in bringing people around to accept his viewpoint. On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Association, he pro posed to archbishop McQuaid his intended programme involving a huge parade through the centre of Dublin and an open-air meet ing in Croke Park. The archbishop was anything but encouraging. Undaunted Seán explained to the archbishop the spiritual motivation of the Pioneer Association, and said that the rally would afford a unique opportunity to put this motivation before the general public. The archbishop withdrew his disapproval and gave his sanction to Seán's plans.
Almost on the eve of a national Pioneer pilgrimage to Knock in the Marian Year (1954), the men in the GNR company in the Drogheda area became involved in a dispute with the management, and decided that until they got satisfaction they would not operate any trains on Sundays. Realising the disappointment this would bring to people in Meath and Louth, Seán went up to Drogheda, met the men and appealed to them to run the trains for the Pioneer pilgrimage. To do so, he told them, would not adversely prejudice their case, but rather would win admiration from the public. The men were impressed, responded to his appeal, and - the Pioneers got to Knock!
It came as a surprise to many outside the Society to learn after his death that he experienced bad health in many forms for many years. He himself always made light of this, would even joke about it, but throughout his ill-health and suffering he showed remark able courage, never giving way to self-pity and showing a deep spirit of faith. He knew that the end might come suddenly at any time, and so it did, early in the morning of the 16th July, 1975, May his great soul enjoy happiness with God whom he served so cheerfully and courageously”.

Mary Purcell has a 3-page illustrated article on Seán in the Pioneer (September 1975).

Fr Charlie O'Connor writes about Seán in Zambia :
“I have a very clear picture of Seán in Zambia. I think he was in his element there. He had a job to do and he was complete boss in that job - and I think Seán needed to be completely in charge. He made a great job of the building of Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College: it was quite a showpiece - who in Africa had ever thought before of including a fountain in a campus?
The word I find coming to mind for the McCarron of those days (1956-'63) is genial. There was great affability towards workers and foremen - but the affable face could set in serious lines when problems arose. The firms he dealt with had great respect for him - I suppose because he was so straight and so clear about what he wanted.
Another picture comes to mind: he lived on his own in one of the teachers' houses he had erected. You'd go in and find him in a room littered with plans on the floor, table, bed, plans everywhere.
Another picture: You'd meet him making his way very purposefully towards one of the sites, his huge wide-brimmed hat on his head - that was quite a characteristic feature of Seán in those days - in shirt and trousers - and with a rolled plan under his arm.
I'm certain Zambia was a very happy episode in his life - and perhaps revealed more than other periods his great charm and affability. Before that I had thought of him as autocratic and not very warm.

McCarthy, Joseph, 1912-1986, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/277
  • Person
  • 17 April 1912-05 January 1986

Born: 17 April 1912, Dublin
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1946, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 05 January 1986, Monze Hospital, Zambia - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Part of the Kasisi Parish, Lusaka, Zambia at the time of death

Younger brother of Michael McCarthy - RIP 1956

Early education at O’Connell’s School Dublin

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1956 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fifth wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Because Joe was such a ‘character’ - widely known and admired (as it were from a distance), fondly mimicked, amusedly quoted in his characteristic phrases like ‘old chap’, ‘nonsense!’ ‘My community’ etc, perhaps the full depth of his humanity and Jesuit identity were known only to a small circle of friends with whom he felt totally comfortable. His achievements as a missionary can easily be narrated for the edification of others or the annals of history.

Born on 17 April 1912, to a Dublin family of Cork stock, Joe had to compete with several brothers and sisters for the approval of his father; his mother had died when Joe was very young. After secondary school with the Christian Brothers, he entered the novitiate at Emo on 3 September 1930. As a junior he finished with a B.Sc. in Mathematics from U.C.D. Philosophy, regency and theology brought him to ordination at Milltown Park on 29 July 1943. He went to teach at Clongowes Wood College and was looked upon as a very competent teacher. From his oft repeated anecdotes of his life there, it is very clear that he enjoyed himself immensely.

A call for volunteers to meet the needs of the Jesuit Mission in the then Northern Rhodesia, saw Joe packing his bags to say goodbye to Clongowes. His ability to discard the comforts of life would be a feature of his life right up to his dying moments, despite the fragility of his body and the poor state of his general health. He came out with the first nine Irish Jesuits in 1950.

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 who fondly spoke of him as ‘Makacki’. For four years he was in Namwala, again building the mission house, a sisters' convent and outstations. In both these places he was full time parish priest.

The new Bishop of Monze, in his wise fashion appointed Joe as his Vicar General in the newly established diocese of Monze. Few (if any) could match Joe's qualifications for such a post: clear-sighted, wide experience in pioneering Church expansion, adroit in negotiating with local authorities, well able to collaborate with so varied a group of people, and an ability to make most of the limited funds available. Joe contributed enormously to the expansion of the church in Monze diocese during those years.

At the Bishop's request he was assigned to Chirundu, to the Zambezi Farm Training Institute, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Milan. In those ten years Joe became known in the vicinity and was highly appreciated by government officials, trainees and their families.

It was characteristic of Joe that wherever he lived and worked soon became ‘his’. He would speak of ‘my’ mission, ‘my' road, ‘my’ community etc. He loved to reminisce about the good old times of his life as he got older, amusedly recalling the characters of the old days, their witty sayings that indicated their nimbleness of mind. Such memories provided him with immense entertainment. The older he got the more he tended to repeat himself.

The Society he loved and felt part of was the Society of pre-Vatican II days, the Society in Ireland before the 60s; or the pioneering Society of Chikuni Mission characterized by the thrust and energy of the newly arrived Irish Jesuits, enjoying a degree of autonomy and homogeneity. How often would he later recall those great times. The present-day emphasis on community meetings, faith-sharing, more open dialogue between the members of the community continued to baffle him and defeat him to the very end.

His health was never very good and began to wane. After surgery in early 1977, Joe realised the strong possibility of the recurrence of the cancer. However some years later, the end came quickly. Jim Carroll was with him for his last four hours of life. When taking his leave of Jim in his final moments, Joe revealed so much of himself in his final words: ‘I think you should leave me here, old chap; there are certain formalities to be undergone from here on’! Within minutes Joe had died, leaving behind so many friends regretfully but at the same time looking forward to meeting so many others.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 61st Year No 2 1986


Fr Joseph McCarthy (1912-1930-1986) (Zambia)

17th April 1912: born. 3rd September 1930: entered SJ. 1930-32 Emo, noviciate. 1932-35 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1935-38 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1938-39 Clongowes, regency, 1939-40 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1940-44 Milltown, theology. 1944-45 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1945-50 Clongowes, teaching. 1950-86 Zambia.
1950-51 Chikuni, learning language. 1951-57 Chivuna, administering trade school (1954-57 Vice-superior). 1957-58 Chikuni, assistant administrator of schools. 1958-59 Kasiya. 1959-62 Namwala. 1962-66 Kasiya, acting vicar general of Monze diocese. 1966-68 Monze, building Chirundu. 1968-75 Lusaka, St Ignatius, administering Chirundu. 1975-77 Chikuni, teaching. 1977-86 Kasisi: 1977-82 Superior, 1982-86 administering Kasisi farm. 5th January 1986: died.

The following obituary notice is taken from pp. 6-9 of the Zambian Province news-letter, February 1986.

As we stood mournfully round Fr Joe McCarthy's grave at Kasisi Fr Felix Kalebwe asked the Jesuit novices to kneel round the grave and realise that they were blessed to have been able to participate in the burial of a great Jesuit; and they were invited to remember this event for the rest of their lives, and to try to emulate Fr McCarthy in his zeal and dedication.
Later, as we came away from the burial-ground, avoiding the large pools of rain-water, one of the loveliest things of my life happened: many people, Jesuits and non-Jesuits, expressed their sympathy for me personally, in words like, “You will miss him greatly; you were such great friends”.
Because Joe was such a “character”, widely known and admired (as it were from a distance), fondly mimicked, amusedly quoted in his characteristic phrases like “I say, old chap”, “Nonsense”, “My community”, perhaps the full depth of his humanity and Jesuit identity were known only to a small circle of friends with whom he felt totally comfortable. Yes, his achievements as a missionary are part of history, can easily be narrated for the edification of others or the annals of our history. But lest his shyness with so many, and his inclination to resort to eccentric behaviour would hide the warm and gentle character of Joe, I would like to try to describe Joe the man who was a dedicated Jesuit and a very warm friend to a few of us.
Born on 17th April, 1912, to a Dublin family of Cork stock, Joe had to compete with several brothers and sisters for the approval of his father; his mother died when Joe was very young. After secondary school with the Irish Christian Brothers Joe entered the Jesuit noviciate at Emo on 3rd September, 1930. University studies followed at University College, Dublin, and despite being incapacitated by tuberculosis he finished with a good BSc Mathematics. On to Tullabeg for philosophy, where his keen intellect continued to reveal itself. Regency at Clongowes, followed by theological studies at Milltown Park; he always claimed in later life, in his characteristically boastful way, that he was an outstanding moral theologian of that era! What is clear from his studies throughout his Jesuit formation is that Joe could easily have gone on to lecture in any of the three fields of mathematics, philosophy or theology - and would have made his mark in whichever he chose.
Instead, after ordination on 29th July, 1943, fourth year of theology and tertianship, Joe went to teach at Clongowes Wood College. He was looked up to as a very competent teacher while at Clongowes. And from his oft repeated anecdotes of life in Clongowes at that time it is very clear that Joe enjoyed himself immensely while there, and later treasured fond memories of characters like The Prince McGlade and Patch Byrne. A life of satisfying teaching, accompanied by the gracious- ness of castle life lay before him; an inviting prospect for a humanly intellectual person like Joe.
But the Irish Provincial of the time, Fr Thomas Byrne, called for volunteers to meet the need of the Jesuit mission in the then N. Rhodesia. Joe packed his bag and said goodbye to the status and comradeship of Clongowes. In no way did he gladly turn his back on Ireland, the land and people that he loved so much, whose history and literature were so much part of him. That innate asceticism in him, the willingness to leave what he treasured so dearly and with which he was so personally involved, led him to offer himself for the challenging work of a new mission. This ability to discard the (justifiable) comforts of life would be a feature of Joe's life till his dying moments, despite the fragility of his body and the poor state of his general health.
The long boat and train journey to Chisekesi, language study at Chikuni, and then assignment to Kasiya Mission, where he quickly proved his qualities as a missionary. In the late '50s Joe pioneered Chivuna Mission, where he built the house, church and Trade School with the able cooperation of Br Jim Dunne, and won the esteem and affection of the people in the locality, who fondly spoke of him as “Macacki”.
At this stage of his life Joe had entered into the zenith of his apostolic life. Besides being a pioneering missionary and full-time parish priest, he was soon to be an invaluable consultor of the regional Jesuit superior of the Chikuni Mission. His clear-mindedness, coupled with an imaginative zeal and appreciation of the people's needs made Joe a very valuable consultor. Besides providing the superior with the benefits of his knowledge, Joe was energetically pursuing his own expansion of the church. Teachers, headmen and chiefs appreciated his efforts to extend education in their regions. His working relations with all of them were always amicable, and highly appreciated - often still recalled with great admiration and affection even thirty years afterwards. Numerous primary schools in the southern province of Zambia are monuments to Joe's zeal and competence.
Whether as planner, builder, adminisrator, pastoral worker, negotiator, adviser, fruit farmer, cattle farmer or whatever, Joe could not only turn his hand to it, but excel in it. And could (and would!) talk per longum et latum on any of these achievements; as indeed he could talk on any other subject on this earth. He needed to talk about what occupied his time and energy, to think aloud and sound out his grasp of the subject, rather than to learn from another. He was very much a self-made man, believing that with intellect nearly everything could be mastered practically by personal trial and error). Of course he found it next to impossible to admit to others that he ever made a mistake!
The new Bishop of Monze, James Corboy, in his wise fashion appointed Joe as his Vicar-General in the newly established diocese of Monze. Few (if any) could match Joe's qualifications for such a post: clear-sightedness, wide experience in pioneering the church expansion, adroit in negotiation with local authorities, ability to collaborate with so varied a group of people, and an ability to make the most of limited funds. Joe contributed enormously to the expansion of the church in the Monze diocese area in those years. Up to last year Bishop James was still in the habit of calling on the services of Joe when negotiations had to be made with some government ministry. Joe always looked on such a task as a great honour to himself . . , “to help James”.
At the Bishop's request Joe was assigned to Chirundu, to launch the Zambezi Farm-Training Institute, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Milan. In those years (about ten) Joe became known in the vicinity, had cordial relations with all officials in the locality, and was highly appreciated by government officials, personnel of the Archdiocese of Milan, as well as by the trainees and their families who passed through the Institute. During those years, often living alone, Joe was able to give free rein to his personal eccentricities, that would make it difficult for him to re-enter into ordinary community life. To all practical purposes he was Chief of Chirundu, and would later recall the advantages of that way of life. Life at Chirundu also afforded Joe opportunity to find pleasure in the wonders of nature; his knowledge of fossils, birds and trees was very extensive indeed; and his enquiring mind found such delight in so many simple objects of nature.
It was characteristic of Joe, that wherever he lived and worked soon became “his”. He threw himself totally into whatever he was doing, mastering it and achieving his goals in it; never withholding himself from a place or a work. I guess this partly explains why he developed the habit of claiming districts, missions, churches, schools, roads, farms, communities, even cattle for his own: “my” mission, “my” community, ...
This praiseworthy characteristic, to make anything his own, might account for Joe's long-standing resistance to the formation of the Province of Zambia. It took him years to accept that such a change did not inevitably mean a neglect of the Chikuni area or of the diocese of Monze. Those areas, where for the best part of twenty years he had spent himself untiringly - often to the neglect of his health - were to remain, even to the end, of great concern for him.
As the strenuously active part of his life came to an end, other aspects of Joe's character began to manifest themselves more. He always held that he came from a long line of traditional Irish bards or poets, and was convinced that he had the gifts of oratory. He loved to reminisce about the good old times in his life, amusedly recalling the characters of those days, their witty sayings that indicated nimbleness of mind: the memorable incidents of life in Clongowes, the victories of McCarthy and O'Riordan in the early mission days, the achievements of Namwala and Chirundu, brought to life by accolades for the colourful characters of those of those days. Such memories provided Joe with entertainment. And the older he got the more he tended to repeat himself; he was aware, to a degree, that such constant re-living of the past could bore his listeners; but that did not deter him from an exercise that gave him such great delight!
The competitive element of Joe's character, which had helped make him such a zealous missionary in the 50s and 60s, remained with him in later life. How he yearned to preach the greatest sermon, even to the children of Kasisi primary schools, or to be the most heal-ing of confessors to the people of the parish! How he wanted to be the best cattle farmer, the best buyer of necessities for the community! How he was spurred on by a crossword puzzle, by a debate. Such competitiveness quite often could lead him into what seemed rudeness towards others, as he grabbed the limelight in company. Joe was never content to sit back and listen, allowing someone else to be the 'soul of the party'. He had to be the one who dazzled!
The Society he loved and felt part of was the Society of pre-Vatican II days, the Society in Ireland before the 60s; or he pioneering Society of the Chikuni Mission, characterised by the thrust and energy of the newly-arrived Irish Jesuits, enjoying a degree of autonomy and homogeneity; how often he would later those “great times”. The present day emphasis on community meetings, faith-sharing, more open dialogue between all members of the community continued to baffle and defeat him to the very end. Of course he was incapable of admitting to this bafflement, and so tended to dismiss it all as emotional immaturity, decrying the absence of the old solid virtues of self-reliance and selflessness.
How remarkable that Providence : should lead him, for the last eight years his life, to Kasisi, a non-Irish environment, As superior he was able to show his innate kindness to members of his community, to the Sisters in the nearby community and to guests who visited Kasisi to rest or make their annual retreat. All were the recipients of Joe's hospitality.
After surgery in early 1977 Joe realised the strong possibility of a recurrence of the cancer in him. But he would never discuss his anxiety with anyone else. He preferred to carry on as if
everything was okay, doing his duty; and whenever close friends tried to get him to share his anxieties with them, he would quickly switch the conversation into less personal channels. And few people were better than Joe at giving direction to a conversation, in fact at taking over the conversation completely and not giving the other conversant (!) a chance of changing it back on course!
The end came quickly: fighting for life in the intensive care unit at the University Training Hospital, imbalance of body fluids with intermittent hallucinations, infection of the surgery wound, removal to Chikuni and Monze hospitals, an apparent recovery, a lapse into pneumonia, accompanied with a great peace and acceptance of the inevitable. Jim Carroll, who was with Joe for his last four hours, describes his death as a most beautiful one, with Joe eagerly looking forward to seeing his mother and Jesus. When taking his leave of Jim, recall in his final moments, Joe revealed so much of himself in his final words: I think you should leave me, here, old chap; there are certain formalities to be undergone from here on! Within minutes Joe had died, leaving behind so many friends regretfully, but at the same time looking forward to meeting so many others.
In recent annual retreats Joe had confided in me that he had been over- whelmed by God's love for him. I honestly think that he made great efforts in returning that love through his deeds; may he now rest in that same love.

McCarthy, Michael, 1905-1956, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/278
  • Person
  • 21 October 1905-14 May 1956

Born: 21 October 1905, North Circular Road, Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1939, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 14 May 1956, Mater Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Belvedere College SJ, Dublin community at the time of death

Older brother of Joseph McCarthy - RIP 1986

by 1938 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 31st Year No 3 1956
Obituary :

Fr Michael McCarthy

Fr. Michael McCarthy died on Monday, May 14th in the Mater Hospital Nursing Home, after an illness of nearly five months.
He was born in Dublin in 1905, the eldest son of John McCarthy, a distinguished member of the Survey and Valuation Office. He was at school at O'Connell School, Dublin. In the large world of that school he was known and appreciated as a good student and a very good athlete. It was too large a place for the flowering of his gifts and he left memories of a very quiet boy of piety and talent rather than of striking intellectual power. He entered the Society in 1922 with Fr. Thomas Byrne, who was later to be his Provincial, and together they passed into and through the influence of Fr. Michael Browne. In 1924 Michael McCarthy came to Rathfarnham Castle and spent a year as a home junior, preparing for his Matriculation examination and for an entrance scholarship in Mathematics. It was here that his talents, now maturing, became very plain. He showed all the signs of the first class mathematician and took his scholarship with first place. In his first year examinations he again came first in his subject, but added to it leadership in English, which surprised none who knew him and least of all the many readers of the juniorate magazine. His writings had a quality of clear simplicity and dry humour, humour often barbed delicately, which made it obvious that we had in our midst a mathematician with elegant prose style. It was unfortunate for the Province that Michael McCarthy who was never a robust man, should have contracted “broken head”, as it was called. This interfered so much with attention to severe study, that his brilliant course was ended and he was sent, out of time, to teach in Clongowes. So ended his academic career in the National University to the deep regret of his professors and his contemporaries.
Self pity was no part of Michael McCarthy's make up and he set to work in Clongowes as if the heights had never beckoned. He taught Mathematics and played games and relaxed his strained nerves in field sports which admirably suited his temperament. In a quiet way he became a near authority on fishing and shooting and indeed developed a certain out of this century air of the educated man who is at home with nature and knows it very well. After three happy years in Clongowes, where he recovered his health and learnt to enjoy and love men like Fr. Wrafter and Fr. Elliot, he went on to Tullabeg to take up again the student's yoke. The atmosphere of these years in Tullabeg is one most cherished by those who lived there. No day was a dull day here. There was adventure in the classroom, on the football field, with the boats and after wild fowl on the bog. Here Michael McCarthy flourished and was very much at home. Here he found himself as a good community man and here he made his friends.
After Tullabeg the more sober air of Miltown in 1933. He went into the Shorts as the only possibility for one of his disposition of health and in that less tense atmosphere studied his Theology. He was a very good moralist. By nature he was not of speculative bent, in fact he rather disliked the metaphysical approach, while the legal dissective method suited his instinct and training. He was ordained in 1936 by His Grace the Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J, and after his fourth year went on to St. Beuno's for his tertianship under Fr. Leonard Geddes.
In 1938 he went to Mungret to teach and act as Spiritual Father to the boys. To his great satisfaction it was English he was asked to teach and here too for the first time he began a favourite work, that of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
In the following year he became Minister in Belvedere in the days of the Rectorship of Fr. J. M. O'Connor, and for the first year he was also Assistant Prefect of Studies. He enjoyed telling stories of his days as Minister to Fr. O'Connor; picturing himself as the quiet man of routine and placid method in double harness with the drive, energy and unexpected inspirations of his Rector. But the combination worked and between the two to the last there was a strong bond of affection and mutual respect. From 1942 to his death Michael taught Mathematics and for all but his last short year he was Spiritual adviser to the College Conference of St. Vincent de Paul, Last autumn he gave up his formal connection with the Conference and returned to his earlier and less pleasant job as Assistant Prefect of Studies. He spent nearly twenty years in Belvedere and there was no phase of college life in which he had not a keen, appreciative and intelligent interest. His great gifts were, with patience and generosity, put at the disposal of the boys and staff of the College. He was a very successful teacher and he owed it not to his knowledge or forceful personality, but to his intelligently humorous understanding of schoolboys. He was never dis appointed, never impatient. He never looked for either the mature or the angelio in his classes so there were none of the spurious scenes, no unfocussed situations, no dramas. The principal actor did not favour melodrama. Belvedere boys will miss him for this understanding quality.
It goes without saying that Michael McCarthy is a loss to the Province. He was a young man as years go and we might have expected to have him for many years to come. He is a very great loss to Belvedere College and to all his friends. Neither health nor natural temper made him the man of marked personality who cannot be overlooked. Health and temper produced a retiring, unobstrusive man, but his colleagues and the boys whom he taught knew him for more than the delicate, reserved teacher. In him natural piety had matured into one for whom the spiritual life was not artificial, not worn as a cloak, however hardly won, but as his natural life, simple and spontaneous. He was a model of formal regularity, but never intolerant of others; he was devout without ostentation, he was charitable to his brethren without any condescension and with humour; he worked hard and unfailingly under the handicap of ill health. He was perhaps a little intolerant of artists and their temperamental vagaries, but in all else he was such a religious as St. Ignatius would have wished to see us all.
His favourite work with the Conference of St. Vincent de Paul was a little known outlet for something deep in his character, which lay concealed beneath a certain exterior reserve and restraint. Even his friends can have little idea of his influence with the poor, of the affection they had for him and of his love for them. He visited them at home, heard the whole tale of their woe and coped with their problems. Manner, elegant figure, delicate air, all meant gentleman for them and he was their “kind gentleman”. He looked after them body and soul and while he was in no doubt about values he yet knew he was dealing with human beings. Their concern for his health was amusing to him, but to others, touching. He had their prayers and Masses. They asked about him regularly. They mourned him deeply. They had lost not a benefactor, but a friend, one of themselves, another Christ.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael McCarthy 1905-1956
Fr Michael McCarthy died on May 14th 1956 at the age of 51. With his death the Province lost a truly spiritual, congenial and lovable character, a man of exceptional mathematical and literary talents, which ill health prevented from blossoming into full maturity.

Born in Dublin in 1905, he was educated at O’Connell Schools, entering the Society in 1922. His early studies were crowned with brilliant success, but that bane of many a Jesuit “the broken head” marred his chances of further achievement.

He bore his cross lightly and good-humouredly, by no means making a martyr out of himself. His zeal and apostolic fervour found an outlet in the St Vincent de Paul Society attached to Belvedere College, where he laboured for the best part of his life as a Jesuit priest.

An unobtrusive hero, shy and reserved as to his real self, he served God faithfully in the classroom and on his quiet visits to the poor. A life hidden in God. A character truly lovable and to be admired.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1956


Father Michael McCarthy SJ

The death has occurred of Rev Michael McCarthy SJ, of Belvedere College, Dublin, to which he had been attached for almost 20 years. A native of Dublin, he was aged 51.

Fr McCarthy was the eldest son of Mr John McCarthy, a distinguished member of the staff of the Survey and Valuation Office, Dublin. He was educated at the O'Connell School where he was a brilliant scudent as well as a fine athlete. He entered the Society of Jesus at St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, in 1922. After his novitiate, he entered UCD as a Scholar in Mathematics and read a most successful course there, being Prizeman in Mathematics and Mathematical Physics. He then taught his subject in Clongowes Wood College for the next three years before going back to Tullamore in 1931 to study Philosophy. After two years there followed four years at Milltown Park where in July, 1936, at the end of his third year, he was ordained priest by His Grace Most Rev Alban Goodier SJ. He completed his training as a Jesuit at the House of Third Probation, St Beuno's, North Wales, in 1938.

During the next year he taught English Literature at Mungret College, Limerick, and at the same time he was Spiritual Director to the boys of the college. Then in 1939 began his long association with Belvedere College. He was Vice-Rector of Belvedere from 1939 until 1942, and for some time Assistant Prefect of Studies. During the whole period he taught Mathematics in the upper classes and until the last few months acted as Spiritual Director to the College Conferences of St Vincent de Paul.

Fr McCarthy's brother, Rev Joseph McCarthy SJ, is Superior of the Jesuit house at Chikuni, Northern Rhodesia. Another brother, Mr Owen McCarthy, BE, is at the Survey and Valuation Office, Dublin; while his third brother, Mr. James McCarthy, is Professor of English at Cairo University. His three sisters living in Dublin are Mrs N McCauley, Santry; Mrs Hastings, and Miss McCarthy.

The death of Fr. McCarthy is a severe loss to Belvedere College, and is a personal bereavement for the boys and men who have had the privilege of his company and training during almost twenty years. There was no phase of college life in which he had not a keen, intelligent and appreciative interest. He was a man of exceptional intellectual gifts, distinguished by rernarkable clarity of thought allied to clarity of expression, and given normal. health would have been a leader in the field of mathematical analysis. His great gifts were generously put with patience and success at the disposal of the boys and staff of Belvedere, and his monu ment as a teacher is their achievement.

He was widely read, possessed a critical mind, and wrote English with such elegance and distinction that his opinions were widely sought and his rare writings and sermons highly valued. He has a special niche in the hearts of the poor over a large area of the City centre. He was their trusted confidant, and their regular and honoured visitor in tenement homes.

Ill-health never interrupted his apostolate of the poor and it was an apostolate all the more valued because it was so spontaneous in its interest. His friends of the poor, hawkers, newspaper sellers, flower sellers, revered and loved him, whom they called with affection “the poor, kind gentlemnian” - well-chosen words which declared his character.

All those who suffer by his loss, his colleagues, his thousands of pupils, his poor, will pray for eternal rest for his soul.

McKenna, Dermot B, 1929-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/859
  • Person
  • 18 September 1929-21 January 2020

Born: 18 September 1929, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 01 October 1947, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park , Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1976, John Austin House, Dublin
Died: 21 January 2020, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early Education at O'Connell Schools, Dublin

1949-1952 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1952-1955 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1955-1956 Crescent College SJ, Limerick - Regency : Teacher
1956-1958 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Teacher; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1958-1962 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1962-1963 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1963-1964 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher; Chaplain Belvedere Newsboy’s Club
1964-1974 Rathfarnham - Teacher & Chaplain at Bolton St College of Technology, Dublin
1969 Sabbatical
1970 Province Social Survey
1974-2010 John Austin House - Teacher & Chaplain at Bolton Street College of Technology, Dublin
1987 Vice-Superior
1991 Bolton Trust - Development Director & Secretary; Sabbatical
1995 Vice-Superior
1997 Chair of Co-operative Development Society
2010-2014 Gardiner St - Chair of Co-operative Development Society; Vice-President of Bolton Trust; Writer
2014-2020 Milltown Park - Chair of Co-Op Development Society; Vice-President ‘The Bolton Trust’; Writer
2015 Researching Ecology
2018 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :
Dermot McKenna, just turning 84, is celebrating the silver jubilee of the Bolton Trust. He traces his interest in cooperatives to Maggie Thatcher. In 1987 Dermot was a chaplain in Bolton Street College of Technology,… and teaching management and industrial psychology to engineers, showing how people can achieve a lot if they organise in small groups.
In the terrible recession of the 1980s (not as bad as the one we are suffering now) he and his colleagues saw their graduates snatched off to jobs in the offshore island by interviewers sent over by English companies.
“After all our labours, off they went to work for Maggie Thatcher. A group of us used to meet over lunch, and eventually came up with the idea of setting up a kind of co-op, a company limited by guarantee. 25 years ago we formed the Bolton Trust which started in Bolton Street and spread to the other DIT colleges. Its mission is to foster entrepreneurship and grow sustainable indigenous enterprises. A lot of teachers joined in, salaried by the DIT but giving their services freely to the Trust. A key figure in the development was Rea O’Neill, who has put enormous work into it and is highly regarded in all the colleges.
“The ESB gave us an old hotel down on the docks where we could bring in people and they could set up their own companies. At first we used that as our centre – about 20,000 square feet, which was rather small. In 1999 the Bolton Trust took over the East Wall Enterprise Centre from the IDA, renamed it the Docklands Innovation Park (DIP) and formed a long-term plan to upgrade the extensive facilities and create a hub for enterprise and innovation.”
The DIP is now home to some 40 established companies, and it “incubates” a further 40 start-ups every year. Its tenants employ some 350 people. It is central, connected by road and rail in all directions, with excellent online and phone services in its modern and secure offices. It is well described as a dynamic entrepreneurial environment. In its meeting rooms you sense a buzz of young, technically sophisticated people whose horizon is the globe.
The Bolton Trustees still remember with gratitude the support of Dermot McKenna throughout its life (he is still Vice-President), and the financial help of the Irish Jesuit Province at a time when the DIP was just a bright idea, a sign of hope. It is an example of two of the three dimensions which Fr General seeks in our ministries: the promotion of justice and collaboration with others.

Dermot McKenna SJ: animated by Vatican II
It was Vatican II above all that gave Dermot McKenna SJ, who passed away on 21 January, aged 90, the freedom to live out his Jesuit life fruitfully, according to Gerry O’Hanlon who gave the homily at the requiem Mass on 24 January.
The council brought with it “a retrieval of the mystical, more emotionally charged, and experiential version of Ignatian spirituality, the opening to finding God in all things and an understanding of the faith that does justice”. It was all of this that allowed Dermot to “breathe in a way that wasn’t so easy beforehand, despite his idealism, his love of God”.
Fired by this new spirit in the Church, Dermot became engaged in technical education, especially in Bolton Street College of Technology. According to Gerry, Dermot threw himself into “direct analysis and dialogue around the world of work and all it demanded”, studying urban sociology and social psychology. Eventually he set up the Bolton Trust to help fund and support the cooperative movement in Ireland, his great passion in life.
Dermot passed away on 21 January 2020. You can read Gerry O’Hanlon’s homily notes here » Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Homily notes by Gerry O’Hanlon SJ
After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my lambs.” A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.” A third time Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter became sad because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” and so he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep. When you were young, you used to get ready and go wherever you wanted to: but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you up and take you where you don’t want to go’
— John 21: 15-18
You can sense Simon Peter a bit impatient and uneasy as Jesus asks him three times, do you love me? Well, those of you who knew Dermot so well can imagine how blunt he might have been in his reply!
But as we gather to celebrate and give thanks for him, to mourn his passing, I think those words of love and of being young and old say a lot about someone we have all known, will miss so much, and of whom we have our own particular memories.
When you were young: I think first of his time as a young Jesuit, joining in 1947 – not so easy: a pre-Vatican II church that saw the modern world as its enemy, a Society of Jesus that had a tough, of its time, emotionally illiterate formation, a spirituality that focussed on an ascetic reading of the Spiritual Exercises, and a notion of obedience that often bypassed consultation and discernment. The camaraderie that existed among the foot soldiers was often accompanied by an anti-authority hostility and even anger.
And then the climate changed. The Church in the modern World of Vatican II, a retrieval of the mystical, more emotionally charged, and experiential version of Ignatian spirituality, the opening to finding God in all things and an understanding of the faith that does justice
– all this meant that Dermot could breathe in a way that wasn’t so easy beforehand, despite his idealism, his love of God. He found Paddy Doyle in Rathfarnham to be a kindred spirit in the 60s and 70s, and he became engaged in the main apostolate of his life, Bolton Street College of Technology, later to become the Dublin Institute of Technology, now part of a University.
It’s almost as if those changes in title – reflecting a struggle for parity of esteem on behalf of technical education, taken for granted in continental Europe but always somewhat second-class till then in Ireland – mirrored the kind of project Dermot and his colleagues were engaged in. In retrospect it seems to me that he – and they, including Brendan Duddy who is still with us today – were kind of unsung heroes, in first touch with the secularisation and secularism which we take for granted in Ireland today but which then was new, with a group of students who were often viewed as second best by wider society, and, as priests, in a role was really very un-clerical, demanding new responses.
Dermot and his colleagues had different ways of going at this challenge. Some preferred a more traditional, chaplain and pastoral/sacramental role, while others, Dermot among them, preferred a more direct analysis and dialogue around the world of work and all it demanded. Dermot studied in urban sociology, in social psychology, and with apprentices, students of professions, trades and crafts, taught and ran groups which took into account their experience of the world about them and tried to point to the values they might otherwise have missed. Above all, with the help of many staff members, and through his study of the Mondragon Cooperative project in the Basque Country in Spain, he eventually set up the Bolton Trust to help fund and support the cooperative movement in Ireland, his great passion in life – more of this later in the mass.
He was a great walker, hill walker, as well, and he often joined staff and families on walks on weekends. And so, over decades, this often hidden work, took shape: a real option for the poor, with Catholic Social Teaching at its core, but always in the humble guise of service, for believer and unbeliever alike, far from the critique of clericalism and entitlement which Pope Francis sees as such an obstacle to the gospel proclamation in these days.
And so at the banquet at the end – see Isaiah (25: 6-9) – this unsung work, these seeds scattered without apparent much fruit – need to be celebrated and told about.
And his family: his five brothers, Kieran, Padraic, Gearoid and Tome, all of whom are here today, as well as John who is in Canada and whom I got to know through Dermot, with Pat his wife, both of them wonderful people who would love to be with us today – would be part of this celebration, with their wives and children, and their children, as well as his cousin Angela. Dermot was a quiet and thoughtful presence in his family – well, they will admit themselves that it’s sometimes hard to get a word in edgeways when they’re all in full flow! – but he enjoyed the banter and slagging, often spoke about them, was proud of their achievements.

I had an email from John and Pat in Hamilton, Ontario, last night in which they wrote that they are with us in spirit today and that “Dermot was a special person and we all have great memories of him. We saw him in November and said our goodbyes to him then. His caregivers in the nursing home were caring and compassionate and gentle with him”.

  1. When you are older.... like many of us, Dermot found it hard to transition into older age, to leave his beloved NC road for Gardiner Street and then later Milltown and here in Cherryfield. As he said, close enough to his death, how come the birds outside Cherryfield were so happy and free and he was locked into his chair? He knew then, and also earlier in life, through his own insecurities and weaknesses, that he needed God’s mercy, the experience of the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises. He could be grumpy, stubborn, blunt, not mincing his words. One of my last conversations with him, familiar to many of you I’m sure, began with me asking how are you, and he replying, awful! But then, before too long, even with some confusion and fading memory, he was smiling and there was even the old familiar laugh. His traditional faith would have helped him: he did love Jesus, he knew that if God is for us nothing can be against us (Romans, 8: 31-35, 37-39). He knew, with Rahner, that all life is a giving-back to God of what God freely gives to us and that death is the last big gift we give, of our own life, like a little child jumping from a high wall into the arms of his mother or father.
  2. Life is changed, not ended –
    Our great hope of course is the resurrection, based on our faith in Jesus Christ. This is where the sophisticated Athenians walked away from Paul at the Areopagus, the Public Square – this was too much to believe! And yet Paul himself says we are the most foolish of people as Christians if there is no resurrection. There is a natural human longing for life and its continuance. And so we speak of heaven, sometimes in terms of eternal life, sometimes as the beatific vision, and sometimes – as I prefer – beatific life, a changed life, the fullness of life, in communion with God and all those we love. And so Dermot, we hope with a sure hope, has gone before us into this new life, with his virtues celebrated and his weaknesses healed, enjoying a table of good food and wine, getting more than the odd word in!
    It was a kind of running joke between Dermot and myself that when we ran into one another (we had first met when he trained the U-16s rugby team of which I was a member in 1964 in Belvedere!) he would greet me with something like, “Do I know you?”, with a twinkle in the eye and the smile and then laugh. And so it requires no great leap of my imagination to see that scene between Jesus and Peter now unfolding between Jesus and Dermot, as Jesus asks “Do I know you” and Dermot smiles, at rest, seeing, sensing the fullness of life that is before him.

McKenna, Donal, 1933-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/684
  • Person
  • 06 July 1933-24 May 2000

Born: 06 July 1933, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1955, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1966, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1973, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Died: 24 May 2000, Blantyre, Malawi - Zambia-Malawi province (ZAM)

Part of the Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 02 February 1973

by 1961 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
To walk into Fr Donal's room was like walking into a multi-purpose workshop. Apart from his bed and table and wash sink, there were pieces of machinery, electrical components, bottles of a variety of liquids, exercise books and other mysterious pieces of equipment. In a tribute to him it was said, ‘He was a good engineer, mechanic, electrician, scientist, teacher, agriculturalist, and above all a man of prayer’.

Donal was born in Dublin on 6 July 1933 into a family deeply connected with Irish history, for his father was Chief of Staff of the Irish Army for many years. He was educated by the Christian Brothers at O’Connell's School in Dublin, after which he went to University College, Dublin where he received a B.Eng. (Electrical). He worked as an engineer in Switzerland for a year. He then entered the Society in 1955. For regency he came to Zambia in 1960, learned ciTonga and then taught science at Canisius Secondary School.
Returning to Ireland to study theology, he was ordained priest in Milltown Park in 1966.

He returned to Zambia in 1968 and remained at Canisius Secondary School until 1982. During this period, apart from teaching and using his many talents in answer to the many requests made to him, he did the Post-Graduate Certificate of Education (PCE) at UNZA by correspondence. He was also Headmaster from 1974 to 1978. It was in 1978 that he handed over the post of headmaster to Mr Mooya Nyanga, the first non-Jesuit and Zambian headmaster. He then returned to being an ordinary teacher under the new head.

During this time too, he developed Chikuni Rural Industries (CRI) involving the manufacturing of soya bean inoculum, a bacteriological fertilizer. The extraction of oil from sun flower, the compounding of animal feed and an eight year crop rotation experiment, all came under the CRI. His ever-productive mind led him both to silk worm and mushroom cultivation. In recognition for his work at Canisius, Donal received the Order of Distinguished Service, First Division in the 1978 Freedom Day Awards from President Kenneth Kaunda.

He moved to Kasisi, just outside Lusaka (1982 -1990) as superior. He worked in the Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre where he developed the pedal water pump and the ox-cart with rubber wheels and a timber axle.

Then a complete change of scene brought him to Harare in Zimbabwe for one year as spiritual father in the juniorate. Not such a change of work really, since Donal, in the midst of a hyper-busy life, kept studying theology and spirituality at a deeper level which he used in his own life and in retreat giving. Sunday was his day for theological studies. One of his brethren remarked “If you were looking for a novel in Donal's room you would in all probability find Schillebeeckx!”

He was recalled to Zambia and sent to Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma as headmaster and superior from 1991 to 1996, back to the classroom and the grind of trying to make ends meet in a boarding school. He then returned to Chikuni as farm manager. In May 2000, he had gone to Blantyre in Malawi to give a retreat to the Sisters of Divine Providence. On the 24th, he collapsed at table and died.

In that full life, Donal always had time for people, was always warm and welcoming in the house and took great care of all visitors. Whenever anyone wanted help, Donal would immediately drop everything and come to the rescue – e.g. ZESCO electrical failure, water pump stoppage, ‘dead’ engines brought back to life. The autoclave in Monze Mission Hospital was maintained by him and when he decided to learn the computer he became an expert, and his expertise was often called on! He was most sensitive to the needs of others in all fields, whether spiritual or practical.

Note from Fred Moriarty Entry
When the young Fred Moriarty arrived at the Jesuit Novitiate he was surprised to find a pupil from his own school with him. That companion was Fr Donal McKenna who was two years ahead of him at O’Connell's School, Dublin.

Moriarty, Frederick, 1934-1998, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/678
  • Person
  • 17 December 1934-24 July 1998

Born: 17 December 1934, Dublin
Entered: 24 September 1955, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1967, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1973, Canisius College, Chi9kuni, Zambia
Died: 24 July 1998, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the Bishop’s House, Monze, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 15 August 1973

by 1962 at Chivuna Monze Northern Rhosesia - Regency studying language
by 1970 at Swansea, Wales (ANG) studying

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
When the young Fred Moriarty arrived at the Jesuit Novitiate he was surprised to find a pupil from his own school with him. That companion was Fr Donal McKenna who was two years ahead of him at O’Connell's School, Dublin. They were to be working in Zambia for both their lifetimes. Fr Fred Moriarty's specialisation was development in Monze Diocese.

Fr Fred was born in Dublin 17 December 1934. He was a late vocation. He had done a full year of engineering and part time studies in accounts and commerce before joining the Jesuits. He played entertaining jazz on the piano and really enjoyed the New Year celebrations at Mazabuka annually. He studied philosophy at Tullabeg from 1958 to 1961. He arrived in Zambia on 15th August 1961. His ciTonga language study was from August 1961 for one full year. He spoke ciTonga fluently and in a businesslike manner. Then he taught in Canisius for two years. With Fr Shaun Curran, he leveled the second football field and prepared the running track. His theology was done at Milltown Park from I964-1968. Ordination was on 28 July, 1967. This was followed by tertianship in Rathfarnham in 1968-69. Fr. Fred did a post-graduate Diploma in Social Administration at the University of Wales, Swansea in 1969-1970.

From November 1970 to August 1971 he began his pastoral work at Kasiya Parish. He liked to move around on a Honda motorcycle. When he was changed to Chikuni the following year as Parish Priest, his mode of travel did not change.

Fairly quickly he had a tractor available for hire for the local farmers. Getting paid was a problem here but Fr. Fred's ciTonga was able to reach bargaining level before too long. He inherited the Credit Union from Fr Joe Conway and was able to live with all the hassle involved. Some thieving went on at the parish house on account of his having to go to Canisius College for supper. One day he came across someone wearing his shirt and had the courage to confront him. One rainy day on the way to Chipembele for Sunday Mass on the Honda he got drenched. During Mass his clothes were left hanging out to dry! He got a development team started in Chikuni. His last parish assignment was to St Mary's Parish in October 1975 until May 1978. St Mary's spreads north to Kazungula and beyond and Fred reached those places by Honda.

Bishop Lungu had responsibility for maize distribution during times of famine for the whole of Zambia. Fr Fred and himself were a wonderful team. Only God knows the good they achieved together in those desperate years. Around this time, Fr Fred went to India to have a look at the possibilities of silk worm culture in Zambia. He was also on the alert to learn from development in India. The Jesuits there have many different projects. He was always open to change and improvement. He could live with taking risks.

Fr Fred was a radio program coordinator. He recorded many programs in ciTonga and English for ZNBC. He coordinated with Fr Bill Lane and Fr Max Prokoph in this area. He had all the equipment with him and set himself up in Chikuni parish house or wherever he could get another program. He stuck to his task and only left when he had another program tucked under his sleeve. He did this as an extra for years.

On 25 April 1998, Fr Fred left Zambia. He was not in good health and was complaining of stomach pains. Bishop Paul Lungu left him to Lusaka but was killed in an accident himself a few days later. Fr Fred was diagnosed with cancer of the liver. He took his suffering like he had lived. He was interested in all the details regarding his illness. He was curious about what it would be like on the other side of life in this world. He had a lot of visitors when in hospital. The Mission Office and its supporting team were generous in their care. After visitors laid hands on him in prayer Fr Fred joined in with his own prayer for them. His family was present at that special time. He died peacefully on 24 July 1998. Fr Eddie Murphy did the homily at his funeral Mass in Dublin. His classmate, Fr Donal McKenna preached at Mass for him in Monze and finally Fr Colm Brophy spoke at his Mass at St. Ignatius in Lusaka.

His two ciTonga nicknames were Chimuka and Haamanjila. The first one was based on the fact that Fr Fred used never quite make it in time for meals. His work and the workers and the people being served took priority over food. His second name refers to his custom of checking out the food on the stove in Monze. He was always curious and wondered could more sugar be added to the jam as it boiled. Maybe he is still asking questions there where he is in his eternal well-earned reward.

Note from Bishop James (Jim) Corboy Entry
He regularised the eight mission stations as parishes and set up 13 more parishes. Development was another project close to his heart. With the help of Fr Fred Moriarty SJ Monze became the leading diocese in the country in promoting development

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 100 : Spring 1999


Cletus Mwilla - Monze

I sit down to mourn Fr. Fred Moriarty. As many people have missed and miss Fred, I miss him for many reasons.

The memories of my childhood miss Fred as my Parish Priest in Chikuni. I miss a fast driver both on a Bike and in a Car. As children we fancied seeing Fred past our villages as Pastor. It was during his time in Chikuni that I received first Communion after he gave me Conditional Baptism. He led me to the Eucharistic Christ. I was his Altar Boy too.

I miss Fred as a family member. We lived together for almost five years in the community. I remember him as one who was humble enough to accept his Altar Boy as his Parish Priest. I miss Fred's generosity - always ready to assist. He went about the whole Parish celebrating Masses. Even when I left out his name for Sunday deliberately, so that he would get a rest, Fred knocked even almost at midnight to take his assignment.

I miss Fred's spiritual and chronicle generosity. I miss Fred's inclination to community life. Though late for meals, Fred always came to join. Hence his nickname: “The Late Fr. Moriarty”. He is indeed late now. “Pray for us, Fred”. I miss Fred and his love for eggs - another nickname in Tonga: “Njanda obile”. He always wanted two eggs.

I miss Fred for his commitment to duty, within and without time. A hot afternoon. He has just arrived from an outstation, drenched in the sweat and he finds someone waiting for him. Fred does not rush to the table. He attends to the one waiting. I miss his generosity.

I miss Fred's continued desire to walk with the poor, the needy. “I was hungry, you fed me”. I miss his love for justice.

Fred loved his dance. I miss Fred's Irish dance.

The opening line in his book “The Road less traveled” Scott Peck says “Life is difficult”. That is how much I remember and miss Fred. “You have run the race Fred; you have finished. Remember us to Jesus. Remember the needs of the poor and do not forget Southern Province for rain”.

Mulvany, Joseph, 1853-1931, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1792
  • Person
  • 14 March 1853-14 December 1931

Born: 14 March 1853, Castleknock, County Dublin
Entered: 18 March 1882, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1894, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 14 December 1931, Milltown Park, Dublin

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Glazier and Painter before entry

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 7th Year No 2 1932
Obituary :
Br Joseph Mulvany
Br. Joseph Mulvany was born near Castleknock on 14 March 1853. While he was a boy, his family moved into Dublin, and he went to school at Richmond St. During his school-days, he was an altar boy in Gardiner St. He began his noviceship at Milltown Park in 1882 and finished it two years later at the newly established house in Dromore, Co. Down. During his life of 49 years in the Society, he discharged, at one time or another, nearly every duty that falls to the lot of a lay-brother. For some years, when stationed at Belvedere, he is entered in the Catalogue “Adj Dir. assoc. S. S. Cor,”. Sacristan seems to have been his speciality, for he held that important position for no less than 38 years. For 26 years he was stationed at Milltown, 8 at Belvedere, 5 at University College, Stephen's Green, 4 at the Crescent, 3 at Clongowes, 2 at Gardiner St,, and 1 at Dromore.
Most people will remember Br. Mulvany as sacristan in Milltown. He did his work in the Chapel with a regularity and fidelity to routine that were characteristic of him. Towards the end of his time, when scholastics who were helping him decorated the altar in some novel way, he would murmur disapprovingly, “more in sorrow than in anger”. It was never
done before Gradually he was relieved entirely of any work, he was becoming so weak. He used to hobble about in the garden, sit in the little kiosk saying his beads. He must have said millions of heads, His fidelity to the spiritual duties used to impress those that lived with him.
For a few weeks before his death, he complained of being very weak, but with a will to live, about which he did not mind being joked, he kept up as much as possible. He was at dinner in the refectory three days before he died. Had he lived for a few months more he would have celebrated his Golden Jubilee in the Society. He died at Milltown on Monday 14 Dec. 1931.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Joseph Mulvany 1853-1931
Br Joseph Mulvany was born at Castleknock on March 14th 1853. His family moved into the city, and so young Joseph was enabled to go to O’Connell’s Schools, and to become an altar boy in Gardiner Street. He entered the Society at Milltown in 1882, and completed his noviceship at Dromore County Down.

His work in the Society was mainly as Sacristan, at which he excelled, holding that post for upward of 38 years, the majority of them at Milltown Park. When he grew too feeble to work, he used hobble around the garden and sit in the kiosk telling his beads. He was never without them, and his litany of rosaries must have run into millions.

He died at Milltown on December 14th 1931 within a few months of his golden jubilee as a Jesuit.

Murray, Bernard A, 1917-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/638
  • Person
  • 01 August 1917-25 August 2007

Born: 01 August 1917, Hillstreet, Drumsna, County Roscommon
Entered: 14 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1952, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 25 August 2007, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Coláiste Iognáid, Galway community at the time of death.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 135 : Spring 2008


Fr Bernard (Barney) Murray (1917-2007)

14 August 1917: Born in Hillstreet, Co. Roscommon
14th September 1936: Entered the Society at Emo
15th September 1938: First Vows at Emo
1938 - 1941: Rathfarnham -Studied Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1944 - 1946: Mungret College, Limerick - Regency
1946 - 1950: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31 July 1949: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1950 - 1951: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1951 - 1970: Belvedere College - Minister; Teacher (English, Religious Knowledge - Senior School)
2nd February 1952: Final Vows
1955 - 1962: Teacher in Prep. School
1962 - 1970: Assistant to Prefect of Prep School; Teacher (Religion, Maths and English)
1970 - 2007: St. Ignatius, Galway -
1970 - 1978: Teacher (Art); Ministered in Church
1978 - 1990: Parish Curate
1984 - 2004: Director of Nazareth Fund; St. Vincent de Paul and Legion of Mary
1990 - 1992: Chaplain to Scoil Iognáid
1992 - 2004: Asst. in Church; Asst. Chaplain in Univ. Hosp.
2004 - 2005: Asst. in Church; Director Nazareth Fund
2005 - 2007: Cherryfield - Prayed for Church and Society
25th August 2007: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Bruce Bradley writes:
Bernard Murray “Barney” as we often referred to him, but Bernard is the name he wished to be known by - was born on August 1, 1917, in Hillstreet, Co. Roscommon, where he spent his early years. While living in Co. Roscommon he attended Kilbride National School. When the family moved to Dublin he was at school with the Christian Brothers, Richmond St., and, as a boarder, at St Mel's, Longford, where he won an All-Ireland Colleges Football medal, of which he was very proud. In later life, he liked to narrate how the medal was lost in the Milltown fire and, long afterwards, he applied to Liam Mulvihill, general secretary of the GAA, and, to his delight, was given a replica. He entered the Society in Emo in September 1936 and was ordained in Milltown Park thirteen years later in 1949.

All his life he worked in, or was associated with, the schools. His regency was in Mungret, 1944-46, and, after tertianship, he was sent to Belvedere, where he was to spend almost twenty years. He taught in both the senior and junior schools and also functioned as minister and as assistant to Junior School prefect of studies, Eddie Murphy. The role of minister included supervision of the boys' dining room at lunchtime and Bernard kept a sharp eye on what happened there. Boys who were showing themselves less than enthused at the somewhat pedestrian fare, or who misbehaved, were apt to find themselves being brought to the phone for a pep talk with their parents at home. For those who were in Belvedere in those years, the friendship between Bernard and the much-respected Fr. Charlie Byrne, producer of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas and considerably his senior, was noteworthy and they were often seen walking together in the city after school was over.

After such a long stint in Dublin, the move to Galway in 1970 was a big change but he responded by re-inventing himself as an art teacher, and staying there for the rest of his very long life, until ill-health forced him to move to Cherryfield in his closing years. It was obvious that he was happy in Galway, and someone who knew him said that he felt it was there that he really found himself. He took over Liam Greene's art classes in the lively years of transition at the 'Jes' under the headmastership of Seán O'Connor. It was a completely new world for Bernard but he quickly made himself at home and had the capacity to make others around him feel at home too. He took on the challenge of teaching art with enthusiasm and applied himself to it methodically. His colleagues enjoyed his friendship and were glad to work with him.

From the start he also worked in the church and, in 1978, he was appointed curate, a role he continued to exercise until 1992. He was particularly committed to house visitation, where his capacity to make contact and develop friendships stood him in excellent stead. He became a well-known figure in the parish, much-appreciated for always seeming to have time and an interesting word with the people he met. When he retired as curate he continued to work in the church and began to assist the chaplaincy team at University College Hospital. He continued this latter work for thirteen years. He is fondly remembered for this by patients and the team alike.

Gradually the boundaries of his parish widened and he took up supplying in a parish in California. It was there that he took up oil-painting in his spare time, a pastime he brought back to Galway. Liam Greene, who knew his work, has written of how observant he was and how aware of details. “The subject matter of his painting was often the same – the wild Pacific Ocean, with waves crashing on the rocks'. He would sometimes speak to Liam of 'the delicate moments when he tried to capture the light reflected on the breaking wave and the difficulty of doing so'. His love of the sea expressed itself in a different form in his commitment to regular swimming in Galway, even into old age.

He was chaplain to Scoil Iognáid for several years. He was director of the Nazareth Fund, which raised money to alleviate hardship for people who had known better times financially, and continued this work for twenty years. It continues to flourish. In his latest years, he began to come to Clongowes to supply for the 'incumbent of the People's Church, wholly equal to the demands of rising early, celebrating every day and preaching to the local people, many of whom he came to know, on Sundays. Towards the end he was troubled by increasing deafness and, in 2005, he suffered a stroke, which brought his hospital work to an end. Fr. Bernard Murray was very independent. He had been attending a cardiologist for a weakening heart in early 2005 and was transferred from hospital in Galway to Cherryfield Lodge on 4th March 2005. He made a full physical recovery from the stroke, but had dysphasia (could not be understood when trying to talk) which was very frustrating for him, but he remained very pleasant, gentle and mobile until 20th August, when he got weak and was confined to bed from then onwards. He died peacefully on August 25, 2007, full of good works and days.

For an Old Friend and Fellow Jesuit
That soothing phrase for "death" doth close apply
To dear old Barney Murray here today:
Just at 4.40 p.m., with quiet sigh,
He left us. He had simply "passed away”.

We'll miss his glowing cheeks and charming smile,
Though communication oral was his problem,
He, none the less, could most of us beguile
With 'buzz-buzz' noises Words? He'd simply gobble-em!

His life was colourful and his heart was large,
He painted many pictures in his day.
His “Fund” for poverty he made his special charge,
His paintings to his friends he gave away.

May God reward this “good and faithful servant”
In ways beyond the scope or need for speech.
We follow “Barney” with our prayers fervent,
Assured that he is not beyond our reach.

Thomas MacMahon SJ, Cherryfield Lodge, Sat. 25h August, 07, at 10.10 pm

Ó Brolcháin, Pádraic, 1909-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/315
  • Person
  • 22 October 1909-08 January 1955

Born: 22 October 1909, Clontarf, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1945, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 08 January 1955, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of Coláiste Iognáid community, Galway at time of his death.

Early education at O’Connell’s School

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 30th Year No 2 1955

Obituary :

Father Pádraic Ó Brolcháin

Fr. Pádraic Ó Brolcháin was born in Dublin on October 22nd, 1909. Educated at O'Connell Schools, he joined the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg on September 1st, 1928, and did his two years of noviceship under Fr. Martin Maher. There followed the usual University studies spent at Rathfarnham Castle and then philosophical studies in Tullabeg. From 1936 to 1938 Mr. Ó Brolcháin taught in Clongowes Wood College, and his third year of “Colleges” was spent at the Crescent. He was pleased in after years to have had the experience of teaching in both boarding and day schools as a scholastic. Many of the experiences of those Clongowes and Crescent days are to be found in an unpublished novel which he wrote later on, as a break during Theology which he studied at Milltown from 1939 to 1943. Ordained in 1942, he did his tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle and from there was appointed Vice-Superior of the Apostolic School at Mungret where he remained until his transfer to Galway in 1948. He was attached to the teaching staff there until his death which took place at St. Vincent's Private Nursing Home, Dublin, on the morning of January 8th last.
It is difficult to summarise a man's life under a single heading, but perhaps it was his courage that distinguished Fr. Ó Brolcháin. A man's organising ability, and Fr. Ó Brolcháin had plenty of it, will avail little if he has not the courage to overcome difficulties and for Fr. Pádraic, difficulties were obstacles to be overcome not yielded to - Plays, dancing, swimming, Tóstal and Connradh na Gaeilge activities - all having a connection with his manifold Gaelic activities for boys, presented each its own crop of difficulties, but it was typical of the man that he overcame them all in his own quiet, diplomatic way. That these spheres of activity all demanded self-sacrificing devotedness was apparent, but Fr. O Brolcháin would be the last to talk about the cost to himself.
To some who may have thought that he organised to an excessive degree, it may come as a surprise that on his own admission, he was not methodical by nature . . . he had taught himself to be so. It was not only in his extra curricular activities that he was systematic; his class-preparation was also meticulous.
Like so many busy men, Fr. Pádraic was most prodigal in giving his time to others and his “tar isteach” was always an invitation to take as much tinę as you wanted. He was always interested in new ideas, always willing to listen and, if he did not agree with you, he would tell you so and leave you none the less satisfied, for you felt you had had a sympathetic listener. In conversation one came to learn also of the Catholicity of his interests and of his literary tastes. His delight indeed, when he took a night off, was to read.
It was easy also to speak to him of things spiritual, for here was a well-ordered mind which had thought the Constitutions and Exercises over for itself. His great belief was in the necessity and supremacy of the interior law of charity and love. It was this interior law which made him such an obliging member of the community, ever ready to help out in any need.
His last year of life saw Fr. Pádraic no less active but he had not been feeling too well, and at the end of August underwent a severe operation whose chances of permanent success he knew to be slight. The month of November he spent in Galway where he was the same affable, approachable person welcomed back now by both boys and community. He could speak of his own sickness with such detachment that one imagined that a third party was being discussed. He left us at the beginning of December to go on pilgrimage to Lourdes and Loyola, but he was not destined to recover. On the morning of January 8th he gave his soul back to God.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Pardaig Ó Brolcháin SJ 1909-1955
Fr Padraig Ó Brolcháin was born in Dublin in 1909. His father was an intimate friend and collaborator of Arthur Griffith, and was by him put in charge of the educational policy on the foundation of the Irish Free State. Padraig was educated at O'Connells Schools and entered the Society in 1928.

He was a dedicated soul, dedicated to God, to the Society and to all things Irish. He was a man of tremendous enthusiasm, of great organising ability and of great courage and pertinacity in carrying out his ideas.He had a keen zest in the outdoor life, and the duty of it all was that he died so young, before all his plans and ideas reached full fruition.

He was an effective and zealous spiritual father to the boys in Mungret for some years after his tertianship, but bis best work was done in Galway, where his zeal and keenness on physical fitness found permanent expression is his swimming club for boys.

He touched everything, even writing, being a fairly steady contributor to the Timire and Madonna, and leaving behind him an unpublished novel on school-life in one of our Colleges.

Being informed that he had cancer, he accepted his fate with the same cheerfulness which he had gone through life. His last act was to go to Lourdes to seek a cure, if it were God’s will, but He called him home instead on January 8th 1955 at the early age of 46.

Ár dheis laimh Dé go faibh a anam!

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Pádraig Ó Brolcháin (1909-1955)

Was born in Dublin and educated in O'Connell's Schools. He spent one year of his regency at the Crescent, 1938-39. After the completion of his studies - he was ordained in 1942 at Milltown Park - Father O'Brolchain was appointed vice-superior of the Apostolic School, Mungret College. In 1948 he was transferred to Galway. His appointment to Galway was a source of deep pleasure for him, for it brought him to the heart of a Gaelic speaking area. Throughout his too short career in the Society, his enthusiasm for the Irish language, which he spoke from his tenderest years, was almost infectious. Yet, his enthusiasm was never aggressive. Urbanity was of the essence of the man. In Galway, his work for the language was self-sacrificing and cheerful. But as in the earlier days at Clongowes, the Crescent or Mungret, so in the later years at St. Ignatius', he was not merely their teacher, but guide, philosopher and friend for the boys with whom he came in contact.

Ó Peicín, Diarmuid T, 1916-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/611
  • Person
  • 16 October 1916-04 March 2008

Born: 16 October 1916, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1953, Sacred Heart College SJ (Crescent), Limerick
Died: 04 March 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Dermot Peakin - by 1985 Diarmuid Ó Peicín;

by 1967 at Handsworth, Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1968 at Erdington, Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1970 at Walthamstow, London (ANG) working
by 1971 at London, England (ANG) working
by 1975 at Dockhead, London (ANG) working
by 1976 at Redcross, London (ANG) working
by 1977 at London W2 (ANG) working
by 1978 at Rotherhithe London (ANG) working

O'Brien, Francis X, 1881-1974, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1851
  • Person
  • 01 December 1881-24 February 1974

Born: 01 December 1881, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1899, Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 17 March 1918, Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 24 February 1974, Little Sisters of the Poor, Drummoyne, Sydney - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Lavender Bay, North Sydney, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1906 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1905
by 1918 Military Chaplain: No 5 POW Cam,p APO, S20, BEF France
by 1919 Military Chaplain: 30 general Hospital, APC 4, BEF France

Brother: Ó Briain, Liam (1888–1974), republican, scholar of Romance languages, and Irish-language enthusiast.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Jesuits and the influenza, 1918-19
Damien Burke
The influenza pandemic that raged worldwide in 1918-19 (misnamed the Spanish flu, as during the First World War, neutral Spain reported on the influenza) killed approximately 100 million people.

The influenza was widely referenced by Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War. Fr FX O’Brien comments from France in September 1918 that: “I suppose you had your share of influenza that swept over Ireland recently. Here even still, we get traces of it”.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
FX, as he was affectionately known, was educated by the Irish Christian Brothers and entered the Jesuits, 7 September 1899, at Tullabeg. He obtained first class honours in Latin and second class honors in Greek during his juniorate and later studied physics at the Dublin College of Science.
As a regent he was sent to Riverview, 1906-12, where he taught senior classes. worked in the boarding house and was editor of “Our Alma Mater”. He had a choir from 1909-12. After theology at Milltown Park and tertianship at Tullabeg, 1912-17, he became a military chaplain, 1917-19 serving the No. 5 German Prisoners of War Company, as well as the 30th General Hospital, BEF France. He arrived back in Australia in 1920 to spend a few years teaching at Riverview.
From 1922-31 FX was rector of St Aloysius' College, and usually prefect of studies as well, taught, directed the Sodality and a choir. Some Jesuits claimed he was too hesitant and undecided be a rector, and not much of a preacher or public speaker.
However, in 1931 he was appointed rector of Xavier College for three years, and then worked in the parish of Richmond for a further two. From there he went as superior to the Toowong Parish in Brisbane and returned to St Aloysius' College from 1940-49, being rector again, 1944-48.
He spent one year at the preparatory school to Riverview, Campion Hall, before returning to parish responsibilities at St Aloysius' College, 1950-55 . He worked from the church of
the Star of the Sea. His final placement was the North Sydney parish. During that time he cared for patients mainly at the Mater Hospital, where he spent his day visiting everybody,
whatever their religious persuasion. He was much loved because of his infectious good will, friendliness, and interest in people. In his earlier days he was much in demand for weddings and baptisms, but in his latter days funerals predominated.
FX was a bright, cheerful, breezy person, wonderful at malting friends, and had a prodigious memory. He made most impression on individuals and families, and he was a good community man. As rector of St Aloysius' College, he left no buildings, there were no departures from tradition and yet he was one of the most loved Jesuits ever experienced at the college. He revived the Old Boys Union, almost moribund for many years. He was president of the Registered Schools Association in 1927, one of the founders and first president of the Associated Secondary Schools of NSW, and was a member of the Catholic Education Council and the Catholic Schools Association. At the time of his death he was the doyen of the province.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 49th Year No 2 1974

Obituary :

Fr F X O’Brien (1881-1974)

When Fr F X O'Brien died in the Retired Priests' Home in Sydney on February 24, the Australian Province lost its oldest and one of its best-known members.
Fr O'Brien (better known as FX) was born in Dublin on 1 December 1881, received his early education from the Christian Brothers at O’Connell Schools, and entered the Society at Tullabeg on 7 September 1899. Endowed with a phenomenal memory for people and events, right up to the end of his long life, he frequently recalled those testing years in Tullabeg under the direction of that redoubtable novice master, Fr James Murphy. Grateful to survive the two years, he passed on to juniorate studies, and later to philosophy in Stonyhurst. In 1906, he was sent to Australia as a missionary (he always insisted on this term), spent six years teaching in Riverview College, Sydney, and then returned to Ireland for theology in Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on 3 July 1915. In 1916 he went to Tullabeg for tertianship, but when the Long Retreat was over, he went to France as military chaplain, where he remained till the war ended in 1918. He then returned to Tullabeg to complete his tertianship and in 1919 returned to Australia. The years that followed were mostly spent in the colleges. He was Rector of St Aloysius, Sydney, Rector of Xavier College, Melbourne, Parish Priest of Toowong, Brisbane, and Rector of St Aloysius College for another term. For the last twelve years of his life, he lived at St Mary’s Presbytery, North Sydney, where he was a most zealous and devoted chaplain to the Mater Hospital nearby. Up to a year ago when he was ninety-one, he was in excellent health, then he had to undergo a prostate operation after which he never recovered his old vigour. He declined steadily, and was placed under the care of the Little Sisters of the Poor in the Retired Priests Home where he died peacefully in his ninety-third year on February 24.
Although a man of sturdy and independent character, Fr O’Brien had a graciousness, affability and friendliness of manner that won him a host of friends. While he loved Australia and its people, he retained a deep attachment to the old country, and was a most faithful member of Irish societies in Sydney. He was a most obedient, humble and loyal Jesuit, deeply attached to the spirit and traditions of what some now call the Old Society.bewildered at the change of direction it has taken in recent years, and saddened by the large number of defections among its priest members. To our traditional spiritual practices, morning meditation, Rosary, etc he was faithful to the end of his life. In Community life, he was always pleasant, jovial, and gracious. There is no doubt that dur ing his long life he served his Master with a loyalty, love and devotion truly worthy of imitation.
The large crowd of over a 1,000 people which filled St Mary's Church for his Requiem Mass on February 27, which included the newly-consecrated Irish bishop, Bishop Cremin an old Mungret boy), the Australian Provincial, Fr Patrick O’Sullivan, and about fifty priests, was an eloquent tribute to the esteem and affection in which he was held. It was fitting that the funeral on its way to the cemetery should make a detour so as to pass by the Mater Hospital where as chaplain over the years he had helped so many to meet their Maker, and where doctors, Sisters, nurses, and even patients stood in silent tribute to a much loved and devoted pastor.
We offer sympathy to Fr O”Brien's brother, Mr Liam O’Brien, emeritus Professor of French, UCG, for whom the bereavement is the heavier in that he had planned to visit Fr F X in Sydney during the coming summer.

O'Dwyer, Kevin, 1912-1987, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/329
  • Person
  • 27 August 1912-23 January 1987

Born: 27 August 1912, Dublin
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 06 January 1945, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 15 August 1948, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 23 January 1987, Mount Alvernia Hospital, Singapore - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Part of the Kingsmead Hall, Singapore community at the time of death

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

Early education at O’Connell’s School, Dublin

by 1939 at Loyola Hong Kong - studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Kevin O’Dwyer

Father Kevin O'Dwyer, SJ., formerly of Hong Kong, died in Singapore on Friday, 23 January 1987, aged 74.
Father O'Dwyer was born in Ireland in 1912 and joined the Jesuits in 1930. He came to Hong Kong as a scholastic in 1938, studied theology in Australia 1941-1944 and was ordained priest there. After further studies in North America on social work, he returned to Hong Kong where he worked chiefly in organising cooperative marketing. In 1959 he went to Singapore where he served in St. Ignatius Church till his death. His health was failing in his later years, but he worked to the very end.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 6 February 1987

◆ 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 Byrne Entry
During his term as Provincial (1947-1963) he sent many Jesuits to Hong Kong, and then in 1951 he started the Irish Jesuit Mission to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). He also saw the needs in Singapore and Malaysia and sent Jesuits to work there - like Kevin O’Dwyer, who built St Ignatius Church in Singapore; Patrick McGovern who built St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, and also Liam Egan, Gerard (Geoffrey?) Murphy and Tom Fitzgerald.

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
He sent young Jesuits to work on social activities there - Patrick McGovern and Kevin O'Dwyer

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Frs. John Carroll, Kevin O'Dwyer and Cyril Peyton, of the Hong Kong Mission, who completed their theology at Pymble recently, left, Sydney on December 9th on the Aquitania for England via the Cape. They hope to be home by the end of January. They are accompanied by Fr.. Vincent Conway, an old Mungret boy, member of the Vice Province. All four will make their tertianship in Rathfarnham next autumn.

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 62nd Year No 2 1987


Fr Kevin O'Dwyer (1912-1930-1987) (Macau-Hong Kong)

27th August 1912: born in Dublin. Schooled at Dominican Convent, Eccles Street; Holy Faith Convent, Glasnevin; O'Connell (CB) Schools, North Richmond Street.
3rd September 1930: entered SJ. 1930-32 Emo, noviciate. 1932-35 Rathfarnham, juniorate. BSc in mathematics and mathematical physics. 1935-38 Tullabeg, philosophy.
1938-41 Hong Kong: 1938-40 Taai Lam Chung language school, learning Cantonese; 1940-41 Wah Yan HK (2 Robinson road), form-master of 2B, and teaching mathematics to matriculation class.
1941-5 Australia: '41 (for four months, while awaiting the start of the Australian academic year) Xavier College Kew, Melbourne, teaching; 42-5 (four years) Pymble, Sydney, theology. 6th January 1945: ordained a priest.
1946-47 Ireland: 1946 (January-June) Mungret, teaching; 1946-47 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1947-48 Tour of inspection of co-operative organisations, in order to learn their method and success: in Ireland, Britain, Scandinavia, Low Countries, France; Antigonish (Nova Scotia), where he spent two months as guest of SFX university extension department; then to about twenty cities, four in Canada and the rest in USA.
1948-54 (Feb.), 1955-'9 Hong Kong: 1948-49 Regional seminary, Aberdeen (HK), improving his Cantonese and writing a report on co-operatives; 1949-52 (Feb.) Ricci Hall, minister. While there he acted as organising adviser in the setting-up of the rural service division of the HK government's vegetable marketing organisation. This was the foundation for the co-operative development in Hong Kong (his own words). In November 1949 he went on a lecture-tour of the Philippines, representing Mons. L. G. Ligutti, Vatican observer to the United Nations agency.
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation), He spent three weeks visiting most of the main centres of the islands and lecturing on the advantages of co operative organisation, 'the presence of a priest being considered essential for the proper selling of the idea to the people'. 1952 (Feb.)-54 (Feb.) Faber House (of writers), Braga Circuit, Kowloon, minister. During this period he became a member of the vegetable marketing advisory board, chaplain to the HK defence force and committee member of the HK housing society. (1954 (Feb.)-55 Singapore. 1955 (for a short time) Ricci Hall, then, 1955-59, Wah Yan HK, port chaplain (Apostleship of the Sea), bursar, 1954 (Feb.)-55, 1959 (Nov.)-1987 Singapore: 1954 (Feb.)-55, helping Fr Paddy Joy to equip the newly-built hostel for student teachers (Kingsmead Hall). Bursar (of the house (1960-87), of the parish (1961-87), and of the new “Dependent Region' of Malaysia-Singapore” (1985-87). “Builder” of the church of St Ignatius, its first administrator (1961-66) and its first parish priest (1966-74). Minister (1960-63, 1978-87). Warden of Kingsmead Hall (1967-72), then Warden's assistant (1972-86). 23rd January 1987: died.

The Australian province's Fortnightly report (15th April) quotes a letter from a Sr Elizabeth Curran: "I was in Singapore (a stop-over on my return trip to Adelaide) and I saw the beauty of death on the face of Fr Kevin O'Dwyer, SJ, I was with the FMM Community to sing Vespers near Fr Kevin. The Asians made carpets of flowers round the coffin for their beloved parish priest. Resurrection ‘was in the atmosphere’ ... there was deep peace everywhere ... By request of Fr Kevin, the Chinese New Year decorations and banners were still in the church: it was a triumphant celebration”.

Irish Province News 62nd Year No 3 1987


Fr Kevin O’Dwyer (1912-1930-1987) (Macau-Hong Kong)

Memories of earlier days
Kevin entered the novitiate one year after me and I was, in fact, his angelus. Nevertheless, even though he was with me in Rathfarnham and later in Tullabeg, Hong Kong and the Australian theologate at Pymble, it is not easy to recall, after all these years, any particular incident, whether humorous or exciting in which he might have been involved, except very pleasant memories of a good Jesuit and an entertaining companion with a ready laugh and a fine sense of humour.
In Tullabeg, he was a keen tennis player and reached the high level of skill which earned him a place in Arthur Little's exclusive tennis team, a great honour not easily achieved.
Kevin was also very keen on music, so much so that when Hilary Lawton formed the Tullabeg orchestra, Kevin painstakingly taught himself the violin so that he would at least be able to make some small contribution to the second or third strings.
He arrived in Hong Kong in 1938 and was subsequently among the second group of Hong Kong scholastics to go to Canisius College in Sydney for theology.
During his period in the theologate, he found an outlet for his love of music. He organised an orchestra (no easy feat in wartime) with literally no instruments to begin with except a piano, an old trombone and a couple of violins. This did not daunt him, however. Somehow or other, he managed, with the help of an army chaplain, to obtain a contract to make (or rather assemble) sets of plastic rosaries which were sold, mostly, to the army.
With the small income from this and probably some other donations he gradually acquired two drums, a clarinet, a flute, a cello (which someone had learnt to play), more violins, one viola and probably some instruments I can now no longer remember. Soon there was an orchestra of about eight or more players and the community was successfully entertained to pieces like Tancredi, Hebrides March, Rosamund Ballet and the Second Movement of Haydn's Surprise Symphony.
On his return to Hong Kong as a priest in 1947, Kevin was able to make a lasting contribution to the life of the farmers in the New Territories, Tommy Ryan, then Mission Superior, sent him to the Cody Institute attached to St Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where he made a close study of co-operative societies.
On his return to Hong Kong, he was instrumental, together with Mr (now Sir) Jack Cater, in forming the first vegetable co-operatives to be established in Hong Kong. These co-operatives and the vegetable co-operative markets have been operating successfully in Hong Kong for more than 30 years and have saved many a farmer from the greed of the middle-man.
Some people gave Kevin the nickname 'Barbdwyer.' This could give a wrong impression to those who did not know him. Kevin loved the cut and thrust of good repartee. It did not matter what the subject was, he watched with glee to see how his opponent would extricate himself, or, with a chortle, concede defeat.
John Collins

Vivacious to the end
My earliest recollections of Kevin go back to noviceship days in Emo. He was delivering one of those short practice sermons on the theme of the Epiphany. Being mere schoolboys, the theological significance of the feast was somewhat beyond us, and in those days our familiarity with Scripture was that of the aver age Catholic closer to Vatican I than Vatican II. What impressed Kevin about the Magi was that at the end of a long, tiresome journey, they were still on talking terms with each other!
In this reflection on the Wise Men, Kevin was being quite realistic. He was a great talker and, at the end of a long trek in Tullabeg days while still smartly stepping out a military pace with three other stalwarts, he would keep the conversation moving until they reached home.
For almost two years before his death, Kevin was receiving blood transfusions to make up for the haemoglobin deficiency in his system. Despite this marrow failure, he remained vivacious to the end. At first, the transfusions fasted several months but later had to be repeated at shorter intervals until finally his energy dissipated after a few weeks.
Though with his community he spoke in a light-hearted manner about his illness, he did recommend in glowing terms the article in the December 1986 issue of The Furrow by Fr Peter Lemass, 'The call to live.'
Like Fr Lemass, Kevin had many people supporting and encouraging him in his struggle to survive. When an appeal for blood donations was made from the pulpit over a year ago the response was overwhelming. On that occasion no blood type was indicated. Last December, when another appeal was made this time for “B” type blood, several parishioners apologised for being unable to donate according to the specific type. It turned out that type “B” is quite rare in Singapore. One of the last to donate blood was a girl Legionary from the University of Singapore. Kevin was spiritual director to one of the six praesidia on the campus.
Despite the rare type of blood he needed, Kevin was never denied blood when it was required. About a week before his death, he was given a transfusion of six pints and when they did not raise his haemoglobin count sufficiently, he was given two more pints before being allowed home.
On Wednesday, January 21, at 3 am, suffering from high fever and body pains, he phoned doctor and ambulance and was taken to the intensive care unit of Mount Alvernia Hospital, in the care of the FMDM Sisters. Only Tom O'Neill was disturbed by the commotion and finding a taxi cruising at that unearthly hour followed the ambulance to discover what was amiss. What had been feared from the beginning of the illness had happened. He was stricken with a virus infection and was unable to combat it. I had the privilege of anointing him and giving him Communion that afternoon. On Friday, about 11.30 am, his brea thing became difficult and he died with out further suffering.
Despite my recommendation that all watching and praying close down at 11.00 pm, while Kevin's body was lying in the parish hall, his friends would have none of it. For three nights, they organised relays of watchers, while some remained through the night. There were several phone calls from people who said he had officiated at their marriage twenty or so years previously and had baptised their children.
John Wood

Respect, yes - but affection?
To those who knew Kevin O'Dwyer only as an efficient Minister, a meticulous Econome, a competent teacher and, at times, a quite sharp-tongued critic, the depth of mourning displayed at his passing would have come as a surprise.
He died rather suddenly at the end, just before noon on Friday, 23 January, The body was embalmed and brought that same evening to the Parish Hall. At 9.00 pm there was a concelebrated Mass in the Hall at which about three hundred people were present. How the word had got around so fast is still a mystery.
Over the weekend the parishioners took it in turns to watch by the body, day and night. Each evening at 9.00 Mass was said. On Monday morning Archbishop Gregory Yong concelebrated the funeral Mass together with over 70 priests before a full congregation. Although it was an ordinary working day, three busloads of parishioners, as well as several private cars, went to the cemetery.
All this was a tribute to a man who many would have thought incapable of inspiring such affection. Respect, yes - but affection? The answer seems to be that Kevin did not wear his heart on his sleeve, but, over the years, a great number of people came to realise that, while he might sometimes seem severe on the outside, he was, on the inside, not only a big-hearted man but a tender hearted one.
To say that Kevin O'Dwyer could not accept fools gladly would be misleading: it depended on the sort of fools. With those who were simply impractical or woolly-headed, he could be quite gentle. His sharp tongue was reserved for those who engaged in bombast, boasting or loud-mouthed proclamations of their opinions. Towards these he could be scathing.
But with the poor, even the 'under serving poor', Kevin was not only sympathetic but helpful in a practical way.
Twenty-five years ago, as soon as the Church of St Ignatius was built, he started the St Vincent de Paul Society and remained their Spiritual Director until his death.
Towards the sick his devotion knew no bounds. For years he brought Holy Communion to the sick in their homes every week and even when he himself was ailing, he continued to visit sick parishioners in various hospitals until the doctor insisted that he must confine himself to one hospital each day.
For almost two years Kevin was living on borrowed blood and therefore as he well knew, on borrowed time. Yet, although he could speak fluently on many subjects, he rarely spoke of this, He just went on working, in a restricted fashion as he grew weaker, until the end. Three days before he died, he was still busy at the accounts.
On one occasion he had confided that he did not want to end up a burden to the community. He didn't. He died quickly and quietly, without a fuss. Kevin always disliked making a fuss.
Liam Egan

Where only the best was good enough
I used to think that procurators generally were mean with money. Living with Kevin cured me of that. I do not consider myself stingy but he was far ahead of me in generosity.
Many a time I asked him for alms for a deserving case. “How much?” he would say and then suggest an amount far more than I had in mind. The same was true on occasions when, as a community, we discussed making a donation to some current charity or other. There was no single time when Kevin's proposed figure was not far above my own.
But a “bum” (a specifically “Kevinensian” term) got short shrift. For the uninitiated, a “bum” was/is someone “on the make”, a fraud, a faker of hard-luck tales, a taker who never gives. The direct opposite, in other words, of Kevin's own blunt honesty and self-giving. On one famous occasion, the (locally-born) priest secretary of one of our inter-parish meetings faithfully recorded the term in his minutes but confessed he had to consult a dictionary as he had thought the word had only one meaning,
Two things were always calculated to rile Kevin: if you asked a silly question, you got more, far more, than a silly answer! And if you happened to turn up even a little late for a public Mass or stupidly forgot some parish matter you were supposed to attend to, it was best to keep out of his path for a while until he had simmered down a bit.
The parishioners deserved only our best and always. They knew that, too. His service of them was complete dedication. That was why they loved him; and unceasingly asked for and after him during his illness; and why they poured in to pay their respects and shed their tears when the news spread, like a prairie fire, that God had taken him home.
A parishioner whose opinion I greatly value asked if we priests could do more to influence the parishioners. “Let them see the priests praying”, she said, “We know you pray but let them see you at it”. It so happened that only Kevin and I were in residence at the time and I saw at once that this was a gentle admonition to myself.
My preparation for Mass and thanksgiving were done in private, in my room or the sacristy, but Kevin was long on his knees daily in church before and after his Mass. He was a prayerful priest. Go to his room any day about 5 pm and you would find him saying his rosary.
In the final months, when his activities were necessarily curbed, he spent long periods, not with his beloved music or engaged in reading, but in the domestic chapel, next to my room. I saw him there, to quote a Milltown professor, whom my contemporaries will instantly identity, with my own two eyes'. For that example, as for so much else, I am
very grateful.
Des Reid

O'Higgins, Pearse, 1916-1976, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/334
  • Person
  • 16 October 1916-30 May 1976

Born: 16 October 1916, Dublin
Entered: 14 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 30 May 1976, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Brother of Criodán O'Higgins - LEFT 19 March 1950

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 51st Year No 3 1976

Gardiner Street
We end on a sad note. Fr Pearse O’Higgins died on the morning of Sunday, 30th May. His death was a terrible shock for the community and indeed for everyone living in the parish and in the Pioneer circle. Pearse will be a real loss to us here, not only for the wonderful work he did but above all for the extraordinary support his presence meant in the community. May the Lord be good to him!

Obituary :

Fr Pearse O’Higgins (1935-1976)

Though I spent thirteen years of formation with Pearse, we did not share the same roof since we endured tertianship together in 1949-50. In the intervening years, on those occasions on which I met him, he seemed to be unchanged and unchangeable. Large, deep-voiced, welcoming, and always, always equitable: with his unending supply of funny stories and his acute memory for situations and events in Emo, Rathfarnham and Tullabeg, he was always good company. There was a great solidity about Pearse, a great durable sanity: a blending of deep spirituality, good humour and common sense. With his political and linguistic back ground, one might have expected Pearse to hold extreme positions on all sorts of questions, but he was so open to reality and so capable of an accepting awareness of many views that his attitudes were sympathetic and moderate.
My memories of Pearse on the playing-fields of Emo and Tullabeg are comic. He wasn’t a born athlete and I think he disliked football but he togged out just to be with us and to lumber around in search of the ball which never seemed to be where Pearse was. I was quite astonished when I learned that in recent years he had become quite a good golfer. Now that I come to think of it, I remember seeing himself and the braces-wearing Dr Corboy playing havoc on the links in Balbriggan!
Golf courses and football pitches are not, to be sure, the serious arenas of life, but personalities are often revealed on them, Pearse remained as unaffected by his success in golf as by his clumsiness at football: both revealed that in-built stabilising quality which, to my mind, was Pearse's greatest human attribute. Maybe memory, like the sundial, records only the sunny hours of my friends : be that as it may, I can never recall Pearse being down or touchy or in bad form: Pearse was always ... just the large-bodied, good-natured, humorous man of God.

Here, surely, was a man in whom there was no guile. Above all his many virtues he stood out as a man of principle, and nothing could cause him to swerve from the path he thought fit to take. He never acted hastily-in word and deed he was slow-moving, but always got there'.
With his natural power of mimicry, which was always good for a laugh but which never gave offence, and his wonderful gift as a raconteur, a gift he used unsparingly, he was delightful company, At recreation, to get him going, it was sufficient to throw out a phrase like “Do you remember such-and-such?”, and he was off at once entertaining all within earshot - and his range was extensive! Some of his recollections, told always with unerring accuracy and detail, I must have heard fifty times over, but they never failed to raise a laugh,
He was a man of deep faith and fervent but never ostentatious prayer. This, united with his perennial good humour, won admiration and respect from all wherever he went or worked. His passing is a sore loss to all who had the pleasure of his companionship. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam caomh!

◆ The Clongownian, 1976


Father Pearse O’Higgins SJ

Just as we go to Press, we learned the sad news of Fr Pearse O'Higgins's sudden death in St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, on Sunday, May 20th - Union Day. Fr Pearse had spent a number of years teaching and doing church work both in the Crescent, Limerick, and in St Ignatius College, Galway, where he had been Rector for some six years, before coming to Clongowes in 1965 to join the teaching staff. Though he spent only a year with us, in that short time he endeared himself both to his confrères and pupils. He had a genius for getting to know people, and was interested in all they did and in all belonging to them - and he never seemed to forget a name or a face. He will be sadly missed by all, but especially by the Pioneers, for whom he did so much throughout his lifetime in Limerick, Galway and in Dublin. Ar dheis láimh Dé go raibh a anam

O'Neill, Ignatius, 1905-1934, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/342
  • Person
  • 11 June 1905-01 July 1934

Born: 11 June 1905, Dublin City
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 01 July 1934, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Stanislaus College community, Tullabeg, County Offaly at the time of death.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 9th Year No 4 1934
Obituary :

Mr Ignatius O’Neill
Mr. M. McCarthy -
On the 2nd July Mr. Ignatius O'Neill died at St. Vincent's Hospital. He had come up from Tullabeg with the intention of undergoing an operation if it were considered necessary by the doctors. Then he was to use the summer vacation to fit himself to begin theology at Milltown in the autumn. In spite of his weak state, and the pain he suffered, the operation appeared successful, but suddenly his heart gave way under the strain. Early on Monday morning he began to sink rapidly, dying about four o’clock that evening.

Mr. O' Neill was born on the 11th June, 1905, and was educated at the O'Connell Schools, Dublin. He entered the Society in 1923 at Tullabeg, studied at Rathfarnham for three years and then, owing to the state of his health, was sent to Belvedere. Here he had to spend two long periods in hospital. He was liked by the boys and the Community, and was very capable at his work. In 1931 he went to philosophy in Tullabeg, where his health seemed to improve. Then, when he had finished the third year, the end came with tragic suddenness.
The illness of which he died had, all his time in the Society , caused him trouble, the extent of which one could not easily guess by just living with him. For this was most characteristic of him that he was always of an even, pleasant temperament. Though living under difficulties which would have upset most, he lived with that unconscious simplicity and courage which does the right thing without having to think very much about what it is, or urge itself in the doing. His religious life was unobtrusive, natural, and deep. One of his superiors said of him that this extended to those simple devotions and observances which can go easily out of a scholastics life under pressure of study or class work, and which are the result of an unaffected piety of mind. The manner in which he bore his ill-health was typical of all this. He finished up his school life in 1923 by winning a triple scholarship, yet at the University he did not do at all as well as this gave one reason to expect. However, he neither complained nor explained. He had done what he could under the disadvantage of health, and he left it at that. In fact he never complained at all of the suffering that was to bring him to an early death. One knew that he was delicate and under the care of doctors, but how much pain or weariness he felt can only be judged from his premature death. No one could estimate it from his own account, for he give no account of it. Nor could anyone estimate it from his behaviour towards others
In community life he was always kind end pleasant, with that kindness of heart which thinks no evil and feels no bitterness.
He died as any one of us would wish to die, in peace in spite of his pain and completely resigned to God's choice. He seemed to be disturbed by the suffering his death would cause his family and not at all by what it meant to himself. “You should be smoking,” he said to his brother, “there are some cigarettes in the drawer.” This incident is typical of all his life - pleasant kindness to others. silence about himself. This was his outstanding characteristic, and for this he is remembered with affection by those who knew him.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Scholastic Ignatius O’Neill 1905-1934
The early and unexpected death of Mr Ignatius O’Neill came as a shock to his Jesuit contemporaries and friends. He was only 29 years of age, and he had managed. in spite of poor health, to go through the ordinary stages of training up to Theology.

An operation was advised, more to improve his health than to avert serious development. As an operation it was successful, but it proved too much for his heart, and he died on July 2nd 1934.

He was always of an even and pleasant temperament, and he went through his years in the Society with an unconscious simplicity and courage, which does the right thing without having to think very much about what it is or the urge itself in the doing. Such a character with such equanimity gave promise of great work for God, by He thought otherwise. “For My Ways are not your ways, nor your thoughts my thoughts”.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1935


Ignatius O’Neill SJ

Any of our present and not a few of our past will remember Mr O'Neill, who was on the teaching staff, in Belvedere but a few years ago. It is with deep regret that we publish the news of his death, after a brief illness. Educated at O'Connell Schools, Mr O'Neill entered the Society of Jesus in 1923. He spent three years at Rathfarnham Castle, and then joined the Community at Belvedere. His health always gave cause for anxiety, but the cheerful manner in which he endured the difficulties which this brought was a source of great edification to all. At Belvedere he was noted for his gentleness and serenity, and for this will lie be remembered. We offer our sincere sympathy to his family.

O'Sullivan, Francis X, 1913-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/536
  • Person
  • 17 May 1913-18 May 1996

Born: 17 May 1913, Inchicore, Dublin
Entered: 07 October 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 18 May 1996, Cherryfield Lodge, Milltown, Dublin

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Evening Prayer: Chad and Belvedere
Fr Gerry Clarke, a member of the Rapid Response Unit of the Jesuit Refugee Service, has just been appointed National Director of the JRS in Chad, where he has been working for some month. When we asked him what it was like, he gave an atmospheric reply:

..........I turn into the gates of the Catholic Mission. The last basketball players drift past me in groups of chatter and exhaustion; some wash the dust off and drink long draughts from the water jars at the gates of the residence, like Greek warriors after battle or the games. I’m hoping that the electricity will be running to give me light for my own shower. Did I remember to fill the water buckets? And in the near quiet of my room broken only by the whirr of the fan above my head, I retreat into the sanctuary of mosquito net and head-torch and recall a moment in Belvedere College community where I spent two years during Jesuit formation. Fr. FX O’Sullivan sits quietly before the Blessed Sacrament. The feeble light of four o’clock on a December afternoon barely penetrates the darkened chapel. He doesn’t stir but sits silently as my eyes and ears adapt to this place of prayer. In the yard outside the voices of the last schoolboys rise and fall indistinctly; not a disturbance, more a confirmation of the outside and the inside, the inner and the outer. By his reverence and stillness Fr. FX is my leader in prayer, and we enter into a communion of silence, of listening and learning from which both of us depart more quietly than we came.

◆ Interfuse No 92 : August 1996 & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1996

Fr F X O’Sullivan (1913-1996)

17th May 1913: Born in Dublin
Educated at Belvedere College
7th Oct. 1931: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Oct. 1933: First Vows at Emo
1933 - 1935: Rathfarnham, Arts at UCD.
1935 - 1938: Tullabeg, Study of Philosophy
1938 - 1941: Mungret College, Regency
1941 - 1945: Milltown Park, Theology
31st July 1944: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park
1945 - 1946: Rathfarnham, Tertianship
1946 - 1994: Belvedere - Teacher, Spiritual Director in Junior School
1994 - 1996: Pastoral care of Staff in Junior School

Fr. F.X. O'Sullivan was the Great Old Man of Belvedere. A doctor's son and close neighbour of the late Dr. Dermot Ryan, Archbishop of Dublin, Frank was born and reared in Inchicore. He was educated at Belvedere College and except for his years of study as a Jesuit and a short spell in Mungret College, he spent all of his teaching life in the Junior School in his old school. Mindful of the words of Jesus, “suffer little children to come unto me”.

F.X. ensured that all the thousands of young Belvederians entrusted to his care knew who their true friends were. His great devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Virgin was crystal clear to all who had the privilege of being taught by him. Every boy was cared for individually and his ability to quietly expose, praise and develop their latent talents endeared him to all, but particularly to the shy and diffident young pupils. The super academic teenage sophisticates were expertly taught the virtue of humility and the art of tactfully and charitably assisting the slower learners among their peers. Many of his pupils owe a keen interest in reading to him as he was an assiduous reader. For many years he stocked the Junior School Library with the type of books that even the most reluctant readers could not resist.

My first clear recollection of Fr. F.X. O'Sullivan was during one of his lively geography classes in Rudiments, when he engaged us in naming all the stations on the railway line from Dublin to Cork. “At least one of you know, what's at Limerick Junction. Isn't that so Eddie?”

That remark started our favourite subject of conversation, which brightened many days for both of us over the next fifty years. It was a great boost for me, a raw recruit to this very big city centre school, to realise that even Jesuits could be interested in horses.

He taught us the importance of accepting God's will in everything and doing the very ordinary daily assignments extraordinarily well. His pupils in the 40's and 50's will always remember with joy his many visits to Dublin factories, when, every Wednesday he brought them to visit them. His meticulous preparation and organisation of educational tours to Shannon, Cobh, Armagh and other such places ensured his pupils full enjoyment of these never to be forgotten days. Mindful of the importance of having happy staff colleagues he was warm in his welcome for new members of staff and deeply appreciated their friendship and loyalty and attended all their social functions.

In addition to teaching, he was confessor to the Christian Brothers in Marino and for many years in O'Connells' schools where his kindness and understanding were treasured. For some thirty years he took a supply in Worthing for approximately three months. He endeared himself to both the parishioners and clergy in Worthing and always availed of generous offers to visit Plumpton, Fortwell and Glorious Goodwood! Away from the crowds on the beach near Worthing he daringly wore his “sin suit”, as he called the jeans he purchased much to the wonder of many who admired this gentle conservative. Working in Worthing he developed an understanding of family difficulties which helped him in his counselling ministry to past pupils who frequently sought his advice and prayers in their hour of need.

God gave him excellent health and up to his illness some years ago he seemed to have the gift of perpetual youth. Always an avid walker even in old age, he thoroughly enjoyed his “canters” in Dun Laoghaire, the Phoenix Park and Dollymount. He had great taste for good music and frequently visited the theatre. Early lunches on Saturday graciously supplied by his great friend Br. Pat McNamara, SJ, enabled him for many years to attend “devotions” as he jocosely described his visits to Naas, the Curragh, Punchestown, Fairyhouse and Kilbeggin. Fifty years in the Society of Jesus called for something very special and we were happy to bring him on a never to be forgotten visit to Cheltenham. The opportunity to meet top trainers and racing personalities, from both sides of the pond, was way beyond his wildest dreams. God was good to his faithful servant!

Though very friendly to everyone F.X. would not allow anyone to encroach on his privacy. He always needed his own space and particularly his long prayerful sessions where he remembered all of us daily. Death came peacefully after some two years of constant illness very patiently and courageously borne. It was terrible to see the once so agile F.X, an invalid. He was heroic in his illness. A true Jesuit, he welcomed worthwhile changes in both the Society of Jesus and the Church which he judged would help to get more people nearer to the God he loved so well.

To his brother David and sister-in-law Paddy we extend our deepest sympathy on the loss of a loyal and devoted teacher for over fifty years.


Reid, Derek, 1927-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/693
  • Person
  • 01 March 1921-30 November 1992

Born: 01 March 1927, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1962, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 30 November 1992, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Sinensis province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1953 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Derek Reid S.J.

As reported in our last issue and also in the daily press, Father Derek Reid SJ died in mysterious circumstances at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, on 29 November 1992.

Cardinal Wu was the chief concelebrant at a Requiem Mass attended by a packed church in Causeway Bay on 5 December and burial followed immediately afterwards at Happy Valley.

Father Derek Reid was born in Dublin, Ireland, on 1 March 1927. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in Emo, Ireland, on 7 September 1944, and went through what was then the normal course of formation for Irish Jesuits.

After two years of novitiate, he studied for a B.A. degree at University College, Dublin, a constituent college of the National University of Ireland. This was followed by three years’ study of philosophy in St. Stanislaus College, situated in the Irish midlands.

Father Reid came to Hong Kong in 1952. His first two years were spent in the study of Cantonese. For the first year he stayed at the MEP House, 1 Battery Path. This building was later used for law courts and now houses part of the Government Information Services. In the second year, he transferred to the newly-acquired Xavier House in Cheung Chau.

From 1954-55, Father Reid, still a scholastic, spent one year teaching at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, then situated in Robinson Road.

He returned to Ireland in 1955 for four years of theology at Milltown Park, in Dublin, At the end of the third year he was ordained priest on 31 July 1958. Theological studies were followed by a final year of spiritual formation in Rathfarnham Castle, also in Dublin.

In 1960 Father Reid returned to Hong Kong where he was to spend the rest of his life and went back to teaching in Wah Yan Hong Kong. The college had in the meantime moved to its present site in Wanchai. During those first years he is listed as teaching religion, history and English Language. He was also the spiritual director of the boys and in charge of the night school (since discontinued).

In 1966, he became principal and supervisor of Wah Yan College in Waterloo Road, Kowloon. He held this post for 12 years and was largely instrumental in maintaining the high standards for the which the school is known.

In 1978 he returned to Wah Yan Hong Kong as a teacher in the ranks but in 1983 he was appointed principal and supervisor of the college.

In 1985, he stepped down as principal but continued part-time teaching. In 1989 he became superior of the Wah Yan Hong Kong Jesuit community, a post he held until this year, when Father John Russell assumed the post.

During the Requiem Mass on 5 December, Father James Hurley SJ, assistant pastor at St Vincent’s Parish, Wongtaisin, and a contemporary of Father Reid, gave the homily in Chinese.

Father Hurley pointed out that Father Reid was a man of all-round and exceptional ability. This was recognised soon after he joined the Jesuits and, even before his ordination as a priest, he had been given many responsibilities. After his return to Hong Kong his great qualities were even more clearly seen.

Whatever work was entrusted to him, he took seriously, worked hard at it, did it competently, undeterred by difficulties, and never gave up until it was completed.

He had a deep sense of responsibility and people naturally had great confidence in him, He was always very ready to help people and Father Hurley gave examples of the help that had been given to himself and others.

Father Reid made an outstanding contribution to the education of young people in Hong Kong and one that was greatly appreciated. He not only encouraged students to study hard, he urged them to take part in a wide range of extracurricular activities, to broaden their outlook, and show their concern for people and for society.

He had great confidence in young people, and while some urged him to act with greater caution, he proceeded to give great freedom to the students of Wah Yan Kowloon in organizing and building up a Students’ Association, something which they did very successfully.

In a pastoral letter in 1989 Cardinal John Baptist Wu urged Catholic school authorities to raise the level of education in democracy in schools. Father Reid had already anticipated the Cardinal’s recommendations more than a decade previously.

Father Reid had many interests. For example, he was a very good football player and, in his later years, he regularly played tennis. Indeed, he had played a game on the day of his death.

Besides his educational work Father Reid did a good deal of pastoral work both in school and in the many churches where he regularly said Mass, preached and administered the sacraments. He was not only a great headmaster, he was also a great priest, said Father Hurley.

Father Reid was highly respected by those who had dealings with him, He had very many friends. All of them, Jesuits, co-workers, students, Catholics and non-Catholics, will miss him greatly. “We shall never forget him,” said Father Hurley in conclusion.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 18 December 1992

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was born in Dublin in 1927. He first came to Hong Kong as a Regent in 1953, and then returned as a Priest in 1960. He was a modest man of simple tastes and ordinary interests, who worked hard and go along well as a gentleman.

He was a highly respected Principal from 1967 until his untimely death in 192. He was open yet cautious and inspired great confidence in others. Many past students of Wah Yan feel they owe him much.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 72 : Easter 1993

Respected teacher and Educational Administrator : Fr Derek Reid

Harold Naylor

Now six weeks after his death, the “Agatha Christie: mystery of it all remains. A few hypotheses from the accompanying letter have been interpolated into this account (penned on 28th December, 1992) after the paragraph that ends, There is still no police report of the cause of death.

Referring to the 29th November, the Chinese Province News says, “He was last seen at around 8.00 pm on Sunday evening. On his table was found the missal opened at the readings for the Mass for the morning of the 30th”.

To say that many felt the grief of loss for the example of a Confucian gentleman would be an understatement. The large numbers at the HK Funeral Parlour on the night of 4th Dec., and the great funeral Requiem Mass in the Chapel of Christ the King (where he often said the English Sunday Mass), St. Paul's Convent, Causeway Bay, showed not only the respect of priests (over a hundred concelebrating) and Religious, but also the few hundred past students who made up the majority of mourners at the 10 am Requiem Mass on Saturday December 6th. At the interment later, which Cardinal Wu officiated at, there was an unusual crowd of people who felt they had lost a good friend.

I first met Derek as my examiner for the De Universa in Tullabeg in 1959. He was discreet and retiring, as he always was. In August 1960 we travelled from Naples to Hong Kong, in company with a fellow scholastic Brendan James, and priests returning: James Hurley, Peadar Brady, Gerry Keane. The talk among us was that Derek would be Principal of Wah Yan College. In fact he was an ordinary teacher of English and European History, until six years later when he became Principal in Kowloon Wah Yan. In his twelve years as Principal, he earned the deep respect of the teachers for his gentle manner, which never confronted anyone, but rather gave each a feeling that he had good plans for many years ahead.

The senior students found him very supportive. Under him the new Students Association became the most prominent in the whole of Hong Kong, It was at the time of cultural revolution in China, and of strong student movements. He gave the students much autonomy and support, and they in return gave not only full cooperation but made the school known as the freest and most democratic in Hong Kong. He not only wrote good testimonial letters for students leaving the school, but continued to take a personal interest in them in later years.

A good footballer until the early seventies, he took a keen interest in school sports. This gave him an added contact with students. By about 1975, he had an operation for varicose veins in his leg and so gave up football. He took up tennis. In fact, the very afternoon he died he was playing a spot of tennis with Paddy O'Rourke and two lay teachers, as was his Sunday afternoon custom.

Leaving Kowloon as Principal, he went to Hong Kong Wah Yan as an ordinary teacher, He preferred this, and had started there in 1954. Being a teacher did not prevent him being an advisor to many educators outside. He had been chairman of the Grants School Council (72-74) and earned the respect of many heads of schools. He was conservative in an intelligent way, and also very human, but in a very retiring way. He was a man of regular habits and settled tastes. He liked a game of bridge. He used to keep up contact with Donny Reynolds, after he left the Society in '76 by playing bridge with him once a month or so. Donny went to his reward and Derek was at his funeral - about four weeks before his own. In fact, Derek was playing bridge with his brother Desmond, along with Joseph Garland and Robert Ng, two nights before he died.

I appreciated Derek for fully supporting the Education Department request to take in two extra classes to enable the policy of compulsory free education for all to the age of fifteen, which was introduced in 1972 after the Governor, MacLehose's, speech. As a teacher under him, he gave me all the freedoms took, and supported my strange methods and deep involvement outside the school in ecumenical and social movements. I think most of the other teachers felt that they had a friend in the shy and cool man, who kept much to his office, and yet knew every thing that was going on.

Now six weeks after his death, the “Agatha Christie” mystery of it all remains. On the morning of Monday 30th November, the Canteen staff knocked loudly at the room of Seán Coghlan (Principal) at 6.15. There was panic, and mutters of the body of Joe Mallin in a rubbish container in the school canteen. John Russell (Rector) had also been stirred. Fortunately, Joe Mallin was seen on the stairs, and the three went to the canteen. The police were already there and nothing could be touched. They saw the body of an old grey haired caucasian in a 1.3m oil barrel which was used for refuse. The head was bowed. He was not recognised! Seán had a quick breakfast foreseeing difficulties with the students already arriving. The Vice-Principal came. Soon the boys came looking for Fr. Reid, who was to say the 7.45 Boys Mass. There was a search made for him, and when his room was entered, there was every evidence that he had not used it at night. Gradually the tragedy dawned. That body in the canteen, with shoes neatly by the barrel and glasses neatly on the table, was Derek's! The Police report was of no marks of violence on the body. The detective in charge later said, that he had taken the barrel away and tried to get into it, but failed. There is still no police report of the cause of death.

He certainly did not commit suicide, and there could be no one who could have anything against him. there is not only grief in his community, but also fear. It is not know how he died. It is a mystery, We await a police report on cause of death... If it says by suffocation - then could it be robbers? But there is nothing to steal! There are reports of the canteen having been burgled of money from the soft drinks dispensing machine in the past, about £30 or $40 which only teenagers might be interested in - But how did Derek get there? There is talk of Derek missing his tennis cap and going down to the canteen, next to the tennis court - Two tennis caps were found in his tennis bag in is room! Could he have recognised some boys, did something go terribly wrong? - I dread to hear the end for the sake of stupid boys. Was it some mad man? - But could he do it alone? and why bring the body there? It is a mystery, which had better be forgotten. Let us remember this good man.

Several days after, I met Francis Chen, one of his close friends. They liked each other's company and watched the golf championships every year. Francis had met him in very strange circumstances. A few weeks after Derek came here as Principal, the eldest son, then a senior student in the school, was found hanging in the bathroom at home. The mother had a Master's degree in counselling from Cornell Uni, N.Y. Francis found in Derek a sympathy and understanding which made them friends evermore. Then Mabel Chou is another, whom he baptised when her son was a senior student here. It could be said that she saved his life seven years ago, when she visited him in hospital with her husband, a cardiac specialist. Derek's medication was changed and he survived as a frail man with Parkinson's disease. He retired as Principal of HK Wah Yan in 1988. He became Rector in 1989 but resigned for health reasons in July 1992. A holiday in Ireland brought him back with more vigour and absence of shaking of the hand and head. I met him on the feast of Christ the King, when he brought his brother Des (Singapore) from the airport, Des was to preach at his funeral three weeks later!

Regularly saying English Sunday Mass in a parish or Wah Yan, he was a good religious Jesuit, calm and regular. May we remember him as a respected teacher and gentleman. And may his gentle prayers help his past students and friends to be more like him!

Reid, Desmond, 1921-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/727
  • Person
  • 14 May 1921-20 February 2007

Born: 14 May 1921, Dublin
Entered: 07 December 1940, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 22 April 1977, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore
Died: 20 February 2007, Mount Alvernia Hospital, Singapore - Indonesian Province - Malaysia (MAS)

Part of the Kingsmead Hall, Singapore community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK : 04 February 1977 ; HK to IND (MAS) : 1991

by 1973 at Singapore (HK) working

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - O’Connells Schools; Apprenticed to an outfitter before entry

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007


Fr Desmond (Des) Reid (1921-2007) : Malaysia Singapore Region

14th May 1921: Born in Dublin
Early education - Eccles St. Dominican, and O'Connell's CBS
7th December, 1940: Entered the Society at Emo.
1942 - 1945: Rathfarnham - BA in UCD History, Latin
1945 - 1948: Tullabeg - Philosophy
1948 - 1950: Mungret - Teacher
1950 - 1954: Milltown Park - Theology
31 July, 1953: Ordained at Milltown Park
1954 - 1955: Rathfarnham – Tertianship
1955 - 1963: Leeson Street - Minister, Asst. Editor, Studies.
2nd February, 1956: Final Vows, St. Ignatius, Leeson St.
1963 - 1969: College of Industrial Relations - Minister, Lecturer in Social Philosophy, Director Pre-Marriage Courses
1969 - 2006: Singapore, Parish of St. Ignatius, Kingsmead Hall
20th February, 2007: Died at Mt. Alvernia, Singapore

Excerpts from “A Tribute to Fr. Desmond Reid”, published by the Parish of St. Ignatius, Singapore, May 2007:
Once upon a time, a young Irishman left home and family for a distant land not knowing what lay ahead, but only that he had to go because the people there needed him. More than the apprehension of what to expect of a different culture, he was initially overwhelmed by the incredibly hot weather, only to thrive in it later as he was a “hot-house plant”.

The natives were extremely friendly and welcoming. Before long, everyone in the village got to know this humble, kind, caring, amiable, learned ang-moh, whom they invited to their homes and social functions. He would make it a point to mix with all who would invite him. He was at home with the young and old, the well-heeled and those whose heels had seen better days, the erudite and the retired. He was, if you wish, like the proverbial fairy godmother in every fairy tale, except that this one was for real.

He made it a point to be available to all who called on him because he was faithful to the One Who sent him. He tried his best to speak and think and act like the One Who, because of which he touched the lives of many individuals. Never judgmental or harsh, he attended to each and everyone with such care and attention that it made them feel special. This issue of SHARING features the stories of some of these folks.

Plagued by a bad back and a pair of equally disagreeable legs, he never complained or let them get in the way of what he was doing. Always mindful of the One Who sent him, he remarked several times that he was ready to “go home” if the One should call. That didn't happen for many, many years, until that fateful 20" February morning in 2007. And he lived happily ever after in the house of the One Who sent him,
Stephen Lee

He came for his first meeting with us on his scooter -- thin, wiry and white-haired. He told us he had a few health problems. Foremost of which, at that time, was the tendency to get a clot in a leg artery which caused the leg to swell like Popeye's. This was accompanied by fever and a lot of pain. They told him in Ireland that the heat in a tropical climate would do him good. This was one reason why he was sent here.

I was first surprised by his homilies – which we call allocutions. Coming from a Jesuit, they were unfanciful, down to earth, factual, and yet powerful in content. Later, we discovered what a lasting impact had on us. He was much quoted and appreciated.

One of the Junior Legionaries remembers best the parable that Fr. Reid told of the boy who was walking along the road and saw a snail crossing the road in the path of a car. The boy kicked the snail quickly to get it out of the way, and thus saved it. Nursing his pain in the ditch, the snail cursed the boy who kicked him. Fr. Reid said we are often like that with God. He sends us pain and sorrow, and we curse our fate. Only God, who can see the bigger picture, knows why it happened. Often it is to save us from greater dangers we cannot see or fathom. We have to remind ourselves of this story and encourage others, too, in their woes to trust in God.

The grapevine told us that Fr. Reid was a worrier because if things could go wrong they usually did. His mother died when he was young. His father's business failed, but he forbade his two priest sons from leaving the priesthood to help out. His priest brother, a Jesuit in Hong Kong, was shot and killed when investigating a night-time intruder. For someone who knew the value of suffering, sometimes Fr. Reid wondered if God sent him many sufferings for the good of souls. But as he lamented to someone, it is easier said than done to accept God's will constantly.

A familiar sight was that of Fr. Reid walking down the driveway with the Indian drunk who had come again for a handout. The man was clutching a two-dollar bill and Fr. Reid had his arm around the man's shoulders, like one supporting a good friend, and escorting him down the road for a good send-off.

Fr. Reid was specially known, of course, for his homilies. We are all familiar with the way he spoke, commanding attention from his first word to the last. He spoke barely above a whisper, but always simply and in a measured tone. As a teacher I always longed for this gift of Fr. Reid.
Joan Fong

I would see Fr. Reid sitting outside the residence, quietly praying, his gaze always on the statue of Our Lady. He would always greet me warmly and ask how I was, and I would share with him my thoughts and worries, and he would always say, “You're alright”, and tell me to keep praying and to trust in God. I came to experience real pastoral comfort and solace through this simple man, who accepted me with all my faults and welcomed me with open arms. He might never have thought that he was doing anything special, but he would be surprised how many others feel differently. I began to walk to church not just to pray, but to be just simply with Fr. Reid. I thank God for the special moments with Fr. Reid, priest and friend extraordinaire.
Terence Teo

Ryan, Michael J, 1917-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/797
  • Person
  • 06 September 1917-03 April 2008

Born: 06 September 1917, Dublin
Entered: 17 October 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1955, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 03 April 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Entered St Mary's, Emo, County Laois: 07 September 1936; Left: 02 March 1939; Re-entered: 17 October 1941.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Michael Ryan SJ, RIP
The funeral of Fr Michael Ryan SJ took place in Milltown Park, Dublin on April 7, 2008. Michael died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin on Thursday, April 3, 2008, aged 90 years.
Born in Dublin, his early education was with the Christian Brothers on North Richmond Street. He entered the Jesuits in Emo in 1936, then studied Arts at UCD, followed by Philosophy at Tullabeg. His Regency was at Mungret and Clongowes, and he studied theology at Milltown, where he was subsequently ordained in 1951. As a priest, he worked first as a teacher in Clongowes and then in Gonzaga College. From 1957 he ministered in the Sacred Heart Church, Limerick, for three years and then assisted in the Milltown library until 2006, when he was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge. His condition had deteriorated in his last six months and he had to be transferred to hospital for treatment, eventually returning to Cherryfield in March before his death on April 3. May he rest in the peace of Christ.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Went to Juniorate without Vows. Sent away because of bad speech impediment. Reentered

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 136 : Summer 2008


Fr Michael Ryan (1917-2008)

6 September 1917: Born in Dublin
Early education at CBS, North Richmond Street, Dublin
7th September 1936: Entered the Society at Emo
1938 - 1939: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
31st July 1939: Left the Society for health reasons
1939 - 1941: Studied Arts at UCD
17th October 1941: Re-entered the Society at Emo
2nd February 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1947: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1947 - 1948: Mungret College - Regency
1948 - 1949: Clongowes Wood College - Regency
1949 - 1952: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1951: Ordained at Milltown Park
1952 - 1953: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1953 - 1956: Clongowes Wood College - Teacher
2nd February 1955: Final Vows at Clongowes
1956 - 1957: Gonzaga College - Teacher
1957 - 1960: Sacred Heart, Limerick - Ministered in Church
1960 - 2007: Milltown Park - Assisting in Library....
21st August 2006: Admitted to Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin
3rd April 2008: Died at Cherryfield

Fergal Brennan writes:
Michael Ryan was a most unusual character. He possessed a unique combination of charm, humour and suspicion. The Milltown Community Staff found him very pleasant and likeable. He was always smiling, told them jokes, and plied them with stories about fishing. His family were fond of him, and his funeral was delayed so that some relatives could return from Australia to attend.

Born in Dublin in 1917, Michael attended O'Connell Schools, where he was impressed by several of the Brothers. Entering the Noviceship in 1936, he was already an accomplished fisherman, catching pike in the Emo lake. Paddy Kelly reports, however, that several people objected to Michael using live, fluffy, little coot chicks as bait. At the end of his time in Emo, Michael did not take First Vows, but he did go on to Rathfarnham and started studies in UCD. He left the Society the following summer, but continued to associate with the Juniors, going for walks up the hills with them, and attending the Irish Villa. On such Villas in Ballinskelligs, Michael taught fly-fishing to Des O'Loughlen and anyone who was interested. When he finished his degree in 1941, it is said that Michael “talked his way back into the Noviceship”. This time he did take Vows, and his progress through ‘Formation' was quite standard after that, including Ordination in Milltown.

After Tertianship, Michael started on a life of teaching - first in Clongowes, then Gonzaga, where the students in his Irish Class did extremely well in the Leaving Certificate. However, Michael was not suited to the work, and transferred in 1957 to the Sacred Heart Church in the Crescent, Limerick. A physically active man, he loved travel and sport. He not merely fly-fished at Castleconnell, and played golf in Ballybough, but, whenever he could, he would take the bus to Kilkee to go swimming in the Pollock Holes. In the Church, he was regarded as a kind and sympathetic confessor, of great assistance to people with scruples. Michael was considered to be hard-working, religious and committed, very useful in the Church, a man of prayer, but somehow different, perhaps even odd, though this wasn't really his own fault. However, tensions arose between Michael and the Minister. Gradually, the tensions grew, eventually culminating in Michael preaching a public sermon criticising the Minister, while the latter was saying the Sunday Mass. This brought matters to a head, and Michael was moved to Milltown Park.

During his time in Milltown, Michael helped out in the Library, particularly in the Irish Section. He was happy there and enjoyed doing research, mostly on Irish history and ancient languages. He was convinced that all languages are derived from the language of Adam. The older languages include Old Irish, and so it could provide clues to the meaning of Old Testament names. St Patrick was a major subject of Michael's research. It was remarkable that he concluded that our Patron Saint was born in Boulogne-Sur-Mer, in France, without being aware that the citizens of Boulogne were already convinced of that; a school, a parish, and some streets there are called after him. But the Boulognnais based their conclusion directly on tradition, without taking the route touristique through Britannia Secunda and Bun na hAbhann, Normandy and Neustria, which could last the whole of a St Patrick's Day Long Table. Micheal had the imaginative talent of a novelist, piling on the embellishments. It is reported that a whole Supper was spent explaining how the story of the Knock apparitions was fabricated by the Nun of Kenmare.

Fishing remained an important hobby for Michael, and he would spend two weeks every year in Pontoon with Jack McDonald and Dermot Fleury, fishing from a boat on Lough Conn. He practised golf in the Milltown grounds, swam in the pool, and spent a lot of time at "outdoor works", slashing vigorously at tussocks along the Black Walk. He remained an acute observer of nature, especially of birds and plants.

Basically a kind man, Michael helped foreigners with their English, explaining to them the anomalies of the language. Still, he was not above a bit of “divilment”. Before a meal, he would go to the Library and read up a topic in an Encyclopaedia article. In the Refectory he would sit with Eddie FitzGerald, and bring up the topic during a lull in the conversation. Eddie took the bait every time, and a long argument would ensue. After one such exchange, when Michael had left, Eddie said to me: “Actually, I don't know much about it, but I do know Michael Ryan can't be right!” In fact, much of the time Michael was right. He took considerable delight in being able to hold his own in a discussion with a learned professor. In so doing, he proved something to himself and he felt the better for it.

Michael enjoyed teasing people and challenging them, particularly if they were authorities of some sort. But sometimes his words were awkward or aggressive, and his attitude was misread. At a Province Meeting in Rathfarnham, he famously threw down the gauntlet by asking the Provincial would he not agree with the “Danish proverb” that says, “A fish rots from the head down”. There was no real malice in Michael. He was never actually uncharitable about others, though he remained quite convinced that some of them were out to get him. He was particularly worried about John Hyde, watching him and following him around. Michael was convinced, too, that his neighbour was interfering with his hand basin and had bugged his room. There were two reasons for this. Not only did this man live in the room next door, he was also a leading ecumenist, and Michael was ever a loyal defender of the “Catholic truth”.

Old age mellowed him considerably, dampening much of his prickliness and suspicion. He grew tolerant of Superiors, and was liked increasingly by many people. It was sad, though, to watch his powers deteriorate and his confusion grow.

He gave up gardening. Golf became too much for him. He started losing things in his room, though he no longer blamed this on anyone else. As his confusion grew, he seemed to grow in calmness and self awareness. He enjoyed the company of Magda, his Polish care-giver. Beaming, he would come down the stairs to go for a walk, with Magda on his arm. “Don't marry a Polish wife!” he would chuckle, obliquely expressing his appreciation of her solicitude. In fact, he was grateful to the Staff for all the help he received, and very grateful to Mary Mooney, who brought him his breakfast and took care of his room. Finally, Michael's confusion grew too great. He was moved to Cherryfield in August 2006. Suffering from senile dementia, he was well cared for by the Staff there. He died peacefully on April 2008.

Michael lived much of his life in a world of his own imagining. He was a fundamentally decent human being, though haunted by recurrent suspicions which were largely beyond his control. I hope that he has found peace, now, and freedom from all his fears.

Spillane, P Gerard, 1919-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/616
  • Person
  • 01 November 1919-26 May 2000

Born: 01 November 1919, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1956, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 26 May 2000, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Studied 1st year Engineering at UCD before entry

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000

Fr Gerard (Gerry) Spillane (1919-2000)
1st. Nov. 1919: Born in Dublin
1931 - 1938 Christian Brothers' O' Connell Schools, Dublin - Leaving and Matric.
1938 - 1939: UCD for a half-year, studying Engineering.
7th Sept. 1939: Entered the Society at Emo.
8th Sept. 1941: First Vows at Emo.
1941 - 1944: Rathfarnham-studying Arts at UCD.
1944 - 1947: Tullabeg- studying Philosophy.
1947 - 1950: Clongowes- Teacher; Prefect; Clongowes Certificate in Education.
1950 - 1954: Milltown Park- Theology
31st July 1953: Ordained at Milltown Park.
1954 - 1955: Tertianship at Rathfarnham.
1955 - 1962: Clongowes- Teacher, Higher Line Prefect
1962 - 2000: Belvedere- Teacher; Games; Vice-Rector. Since 1988 he has served as Health Prefect; Chaplain St. Monica's Nursing Home; Sacristan; Guestmaster.

From March 1999, Fr. Spillane's health was in decline. He was admitted to the Mater Hospital and was diagnosed to be suffering from cancer in July of that year. Since then, he spent several periods receiving special nursing care in Cherryfield Lodge, after which he would be well enough to return to Belvedere. He was again admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in March, but was not confined to bed and until shortly before his death he was able to go for walks around the grounds. He died peacefully on 26th May 2000 at the age of 80.

Joe Dargan writes ...
Behind the simple facts of the Curriculum Vitae given above there was a life of faithful commitment and service which was the heart and soul of Gerry. He touched the lives of many people who valued his support and judgement and recognised that his influence on their lives was deep and personal. Fr Gerry was above all else a Religious and Priest. His life was centred on the Eucharist. Through it he became an act of worship of God. The witness of his life spoke volumes. The quiet impact he made on people was shown by the numbers and variety of people who attended his funeral.

As a teacher in Clongowes and Belvedere he dedicated himself to the hidden, constant and grinding work of the classroom as well as forming boys according to the values of Jesus Christ. When his close friend, Fr. Tom Scully, died in 1968 at the age of 46 Gerry became chaplain and mentor of the Catholic Housing Aid Society which provides accommodation for the aged poor as well as newly weds. At the time of his death another flat complex was near completion.

In 1988 Gerry retired from teaching. He became Chaplain to St. Monica's Nursing Home. His care of the sick and dying was unstinting. He would sit for hours with a dying patient, just being present offering support and prayer. At his death the patients of St. Monica's asked that the funeral from Gardiner Street to Glasnevin cemetery would pass and stop at St. Monica's.

Gerry is greatly missed by the members of the Belvedere Community. His was a constant presence and made everyone feel welcome. One of his late colleagues wrote this letter to the community at the time of his death.

"I regret that I cannot attend the funeral of Fr. Gerry Spillane this morning. Gerry is in my prayers. I send my sincere condolences to his family and the community. Gerry was already an established and hugely respected member of the staff of Belvedere when I arrived in 1965. I well remember that he made me feel very welcome and was kind and helpful to me as I settled in to life in Belvedere. We struck up a nice bond of friendship as we chatted on the corridor. I was struck from our first meeting by his transparent decency. I never heard him raise his voice to any boy - nor did I ever hear him speak badly of any boy. He had a great respect for our students and they had huge respect for him.

I was always aware of his love for all sports. He seemed to believe that the real value of sport was in contributing to the good of the team, rather than seeking personal glory. I feel that Gerry was very much at home in Belvedere. He knew Belvedere and its community very well and was most generous in giving his time and energy for their good.

I believe that Gerry lived his vocation fully every day of his life. I feel privileged to have known him as friend and colleague over 30 years. Please convey my deepest sympathies to his family and members of the community.

John Brown."

May he rest in the Peace of Christ,

Joseph Dargan SJ

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2000
Father Gerry Spillane SJ
Gerry Spillane was born on 1 November 1919, one of three brothers, a north Dubliner, from the district around Drumcondra and Glasnevin which - as he liked to point out - produced so many Jesuits around those years, mostly, like himself, pupils of the Christian Brothers at O'Connell's (for whom he always retained great regard). He had in a high degree the virtues typical of his background: straightforwardness, conscientiousness, great human decency and loyalty to the traditional values he had inherited at home and in school.

Having started an engineering degree at UCD, he soon abandoned it to follow what he had come to recognize as his true vocation and he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Emo, Co Laois, in September 1939, in lean times just as the Second World War was breaking out. He was a few months short of his 20th birthday.

He followed an entirely traditional course of Jesuit formation, mostly during the war-years and their aftermath; after Emo, juniorate in Rathfarnham Castle, while studying for the BA at UCD, philosophy in Tullabeg, Co Offaly, three years as a teacher and prefect in Clongowes and then theology in Milltown Park. Following ordination on 31 July 1953 by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, there was a fourth year of theology, and finally tertianship back in Rathfarnham.

He had hoped to go on the newly-opened Irish Jesuit mission to Zambia (known in those pre-independence days as Northern Rhodesia) but was sent instead to teach in Clongowes. It was not a posting which greatly appealed to him. Quite apart from the thwarting of his missionary desires, boarding school life in the early fifties was austere and relations between pupils and staff were formal and relatively remote.

Within a year, Gerry was appointed Higher Line Prefect, which meant that, in place of teaching, he was responsible for the discipline and good order of the school as a whole and of the most senior pupils - the Higher Line - in particular. His sense of duty and his scrupulous anxiety to ensure the highest standards of behaviour in the school probably had the effect of concealing his enormous humanity from those in his charge (his formation had partly concealed it even from himself) and only the more perceptive among them descried it.

1962 marked a watershed in his life: it was the year he was transferred to Belvedere, in the wide-ranging “reshuffle” of Jesuit assignments made at that time by the American Jesuit plenipotentiary sent by Father General to visit the Irish Province. This change brought him back to his north Dublin roots and set him to tasks which were more congenial than the role of Higher Line Prefect, faithfully though he had discharged that office. He was to spend his remaining thirty-eight years in the college - until 1988 as a member of the staff, thereafter, until his health failed, as chaplain to a nearby nursing home.

Gerry taught mathematics and his specialty was the “matric” class at the top of the school. His teaching had all the hallmarks of the man himself: solid, faithful, meticulously and painstakingly prepared. In the first years, he also taught religion. But 1962 was another, deeper watershed, not only for him but for priests of his generation and the church they served. In October of that year the Second Vatican Council began. It was to transform the landscape and seemed to render the theological studies Gerry had undertaken with such careful fidelity suddenly irrelevant. Like others, he lost confidence and found it difficult to master the new insights so prodigally unleashed in those years. After a short time, he stopped teaching religion and never gave a retreat again.

He had come to Belvedere as replacement for Tom O'Callaghan, sent to Limerick the year Gerry arrived. He inherited not only Tom's classes but also his teams and, for the next nineteen years, his name became synonymous with Junior Cup rugby in the college. Tom - regarded by Tony O'Reilly as the best coach he ever had anywhere - had ended a long sequence of semi-final near-misses through the fifties by winning in 1960 and 1961 and had failed only narrowly to make it three-in-a-row with a talented team the following year. Gerry Spillane, with less natural flair, was to maintain Belvedere's high standards at this level throughout his long term in charge.

But he was dogged by every kind of misfortune in the Cup itself and, despite reaching five finals, he never succeeded in winning the trophy. One year, there was the loss of key players through freak injuries between a drawn match and a delayed replay against Blackrock (delayed, as he would explain to you, against his will); defeat through a last-minute try and touchline conversion at the hands of Pres Bray another year; a comeback from 3-14 down to 13-14 against Blackrock finally thwarted in the closing minutes, with 'Rock on the ropes, by the referee's failure to play advantage, a third year. “What do you have to do?” he wondered aloud on the night of his last final in 1979, when Conor Hickey's team had lost by only a single score - once again to Blackrock. It was hard to find an answer.

Gerry's own tension and nervousness on big match days was apt to communicate itself to his young teams and may have played a part in their undoing. But there is no doubt that he made a huge contribution to the welfare of the game in Belvedere and he did much to develop the school's rugby talent in his time. What he lacked in flair he made up for by dogged, methodical study of the game, which helped to make him the perceptive coach he was.

It was typical of him that he looked after equipment - balls, pumps and the rest - with scrupulous care, preferring to keep them in his own room rather than entrust them to anyone else. There was no waste, no needless damage or loss, no lavish expenditure of any kind. That was how he conducted his entire life. (Instances of venality among the clergy and the abuse of the Mass-card system by some of them was one of his well known conversational whipping-boys). His whole approach was somehow epitomized in the vision of him on so many winter afternoons setting off on his bicycle at the end of a full day's class (he didn't drive), already middle-aged, three or four rugby balls laced together and hung from the handle-bars, for another carefully prepared practice in Jones's Road.

He expected of his players the same high standards of application and attention to detail he set for himself and he helped to pass on these standards to his successors.

His preparatory work in the earlier years must surely be given some of the credit for the memorable Senior Cup successes of 1968, 1971 and 1972, under Gerry Brangan, Paddy Lavery and Jim Moran. Needless to say, he would never claim such credit for himself - he shunned the limelight and took a dim view of coaches who were less self-effacing, whether colleagues at schools level or those on the national stage. There were certain bêtes noires in particular, but they cannot be named here!

After his retirement from coaching in 1981 - he was by then 62 and had been fit enough to referee until shortly before - he retained a close interest in the school's fortunes. Whatever rueful reflections it may have inspired in him, he greatly rejoiced at the ending of the long drought in 1994 and the two further Junior Cup successes of the nineties. He may be forgiven if he found the victories over Blackrock, at whose hands he had so often tasted bitter disappointment, especially sweet.

He had much better fortune as a coach on the athletics track and his sprinters, hurdlers and relay teams won several Leinster and All-Ireland championships over the years. Even here, there were, of course, occasional disasters', as he would have said himself - his sprinters misplaced by a negligent judge on the tape, recalcitrant parents, long meetings in the parlour, to little avail, and so on. Gerry had a certain expectation that reality would disappoint him and, although he loved to win, he probably found losing fitted better into his view of the world.

He also had success coaching cricket in Belvedere, somewhat to the surprise of those who had known his apparent disapproval of it in Clongowes. One of his junior teams famously ran up such a big score (a currently very prominent Jesuit playing a starring role) that his opponents refused to bat and conceded the game in high dudgeon. Gerry's hyper-caution in this instance was punished by - horror of horrors - having the incident reported in the newspapers. This he would certainly have regarded as “Disastrous in the extreme”! He had been a gifted tennis player in his youth, but he didn't talk about that. He was somewhat less private about his support for Manchester United, whom he followed loyally, if at times a little despairingly, until the good times came at last - happily he lived long enough to see them reach their present heights, even though he would have found adjustment to such a flood of good fortune quite hard to cope with.

When he retired from teaching in 1988 - by then he was beginning to find classes harder to control (and the milder sobriquet “sausage” for troublesome boys was giving way with growing frequency to somewhat harsher terms) - he suffered a minor crisis. For someone so unstintingly devoted to duty and so averse to relaxation or self indulgence of any kind, not working seemed close to not being. He was a life-long Pioneer and he didn't smoke. He wasn't a reader and he lacked cultural interests. Well-intentioned (or occasionally mildly mischievous) efforts by colleagues in the community to remedy such defects by luring him to a concert or a play were apt to founder on Gerry's imperviousness to the delights of coloratura cadenzas or what he regarded as the unintelligible, unfunny fantasies of the stage and screen. He found holidays a penance and was glad of an excuse not to take them. An invitation to join some of the community on a picnic outing to the Dublin mountains one St Stephen's Day was met by the puzzled - and, of course, unanswerable - enquiry, “What's the purpose?” Loyalty made him accept occasional invitations to class reunions of former pupils of both Clongowes and Belvedere - so many of whom had, at worst, sneaking respect for him, while many more felt genuine affection - but it was against the grain and, having made a brief appearance, he would be gone.

With such a temperament, reinforced by the rigidities of his training in the thirties and forties, retirement from the work he had been doing all his life was very difficult. But with time and care the crisis passed. In due course, and with real success, he undertook chaplaincy to the nursing home run by the Irish Sisters of Charity, St Monica's, across Mountjoy Square in Belvedere Place. Although he had spent so much of his life in the classroom, Gerry had always been very much a priest. His pastoral instincts expressed themselves in his care for his family, in his work with Fr Scully Flats (Tom Scully had been his colleague in the Belvedere community), and in many other ways, most of them known only to himself and those for whom he worked. His recent, harrowing experience of personal weakness helped to bring some of his deep humanity more visibly to the surface. He greatly admired the dedication of the Sisters and his gentleness and compassion and zeal as a priest found a new outlet in his ministry to the sick and dying old ladies in his care in St Monica's.

His significance in the Jesuit community grew steadily over the last fifteen or twenty years of his life. He had lived through the changes in community brought about by the Council and survived them. His official role for much of the last period of his life was that of guestmaster (or, as he half-jokingly preferred to insist, eschewing the appearance of self-importance through use of the official title, “distributor of rooms”) and he was a warmly welcoming presence for the many visiting Jesuits, from Ireland and abroad, who came each year to stay in Belvedere.

But his profile in the house far transcended any formal function - he was also, at different times, vice-rector, prefect of health, and sacristan. His warmth and capacity for humour, his lack of self-regard, the simplicity of his personal life, his courtesy and graciousness, his obvious rectitude and integrity, all these and something else, a certain enduring youthfulness of spirit, despite being old-fashioned in so many ways, something irreducible which was just “Spillane”, gave him unique stature and he became, for far more reasons than the length of time he had spent there, 'father of the house, loved and respected, the very heart of his community.

Cautious and conservative by instinct and training as he was (he never, for example, wore anything but clerical black), he genuinely enjoyed being teased and taken for what he emphatically was not. The sheer absurdity of having it suggested to him that he was a crypto-charismatic, a “banner man” who, beneath the sober surface, was really into “raising and praising”, greatly tickled his fancy and no one saw the ludicrousness of it more keenly than himself. Some of the things that made us - and him - laugh most were stories he told about himself, usually with a hint of the absurd lurking not far away, Thus, he took pleasure in recounting how he had responded to an earnest American lady who, on learning that he was in Belvedere, asked him expectantly how the Jesuits now viewed their famous past pupil, James Joyce (of whom Gerry would, on principle as well as by disinclination, almost certainly have read not a single line): “As a bowsy!”

He enjoyed telling us, too, of the times when he had been mistaken for the then Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Henry McAdoo, to whom he bore more than a passing resemblance. One lady, who had insisted that, despite his denials, he must be Dr McAdoo, had forced him to walk away from the bus-stop where he was standing and seek alternative means of transport. Someone else had taken him for 'the Abbot of Mellifont and he had had to flee then too! Another topic we liked to draw him out on was the terse one - or two - line letters he had written in his time in response to parents whom he regarded as unduly interfering or presuming to tell him how to train - or, much worse, pick - his rugby teams. Such Spillane rebuttals would have invited no further dialogue on the recipient's part and he richly enjoyed our detailed analysis of the merits of his literary style!

In July 1999, when he was nearly 80, after being in obvious decline for some months, he was admitted to the Mater Hospital and diagnosed as having cancer. The progress of the disease was quite slow and, after periods of convalescence in Cherryfield Lodge, the Jesuit nursing home beside Milltown Park, he was able to return to Belvedere. His lack of energy distressed him and - consistent with the gentle pessimism which was part of his make-up - he could always find some reason for a measure of frustration, some minor “disaster” to lament. But the prevailing note was of patient resignation in the face of illness and the mystery of life and death, great gratitude for what the nursing staff in the Mater or Cherryfield Lodge were doing for him, and deep, characteristically undemonstrative faith.

In March of the present year, Gerry returned to Cherryfield, where he died on 26 May, halfway through his 81st year, predeceased by his brothers. May that slightly taut smile, worn so often in life, relax now in joy and surprise as he beholds the unclouded glory of God.

◆ The Clongownian, 2000
Father Gerard Spillane SJ

Fr Spillane was teacher and Third Line Prefect for three years 1947-50, while preparing for the priesthood. Later, he returned to teach and then become Higher Line Prefect in 1955,
remaining until 1962. He was to spend the rest of his life in Belvedere College and died, aged 80, on 26 May 200. The following is a slightly edited extract from the obituary which recently appeared in “The Belvederian”.

Following ordination, Fr Gerry Spillane had hoped to go on the newly-opened Irish Jesuit mission to Zambia (known in those pre-independence days as Northern Rhodesia) but was sent instead to teach in Clongowes. It was not a posting which greatly appealed to him. Quite apart from the thwarting of his missionary desires, boarding school life in the early fifties was austere and relations between pupils and staff were formal and relatively remote.

Within a year, he was appointed Higher Line Prefect, which meant that, in place of teaching, he was responsible for the discipline and good order of the school as a whole and of the most senior pupils - the Higher Line - in particular. His sense of duty and his scrupulous anxiety to ensure the highest standards of behaviour in the school probably had the effect of concealing his enormous humanity from those in his charge (his formation had partly concealed it even from himself) and only the more perceptive among them descried it.

1962 marked a watershed in his life: it was the year he was transferred to Belvedere, in the wide-ranging reshuffle of Jesuit assignments made at that time by the American Jesuit plenipotentiary sent by Father General to visit the Irish Province. This change brought him back to his north Dublin roots and set him to tasks which were more congenial than the role of Higher Line Prefect, faithfully though he had discharged that office. He was to spend his remaining thirty-eight years in the college - until 1988 as a member of the staff, thereafter, until his health failed, as chaplain to a nearby nursing home.

Stephenson, James B, 1906-1979, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/410
  • Person
  • 16 April 1906-11 April 1979

Born: 16 April 1906, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Innsbruck, Austria
Final Vows: 02 February 1941, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 11 April 1979, James Connolly Memorial Hospital, Blanchardstown, Dublin

Part of the University Hall, Hatch Street, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at O’Connell’s School, Dublin; 1st year Arts at UCD and 1 yeat Philosophy at Holy Cross College, Clonliffe, Dublin before entry

by 1936 at Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria (ASR) studying

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Holy Cross College Clonliffe before entry

Taaffe, Thomas G, 1862-1913, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/430
  • Person
  • 31 March 1862-08 January 1913

Born: 31 March 1862, Dublin
Entered: 28 September 1880, Château de Gemert, Netherlands - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 1900
Final Vows: 02 February 1912, Miltown Park, Dublin
Died: 08 January 1913, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1886 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) Studying
by 1902 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1903 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) Lecturing
by 1904 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) Lecturing

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education at Christian Brothers Richmond Street, Dublin. Brother Swan taught him and knew him to be a very clever young man. He was later sent to an Apostolic School in France, and joined one of the French Provinces in 1880 (Château de Gemert, Holland CAMP), and he was destined for the Chinese Mission. In 1884, the HIB Provincial Thomas Browne was travelling in Europe when he heard about this very clever Irish Scholastic, then studying at Louvain and had him transferred to the Irish Province.

1883-1886 Made a brilliant coursw in Philosophy at Louvain
He then came to Ireland and was sent to teach at Mungret, and later for a short time at Crescent and Belvedere.
He then went to Milltown for Theology and was Ordained at St Ignatius Galway by Dr Francis McCormack, Bishop of Galway.
After Tertianship (in Drongen) he was sent to teach Philosophy at St Mary’s, Stonyhurst, and then professor of Theology at St Beuno’s.
He then returned to Ireland as Professor of Theology at Milltown. He was considered clear and brilliant as a lecturer.
1912 He began to complain of what he thought was an acute attack of lumbago, but in fact it was more serious than that. He died after several weeks of painful illness 08 January 1913 at Milltown.

Chief Baron Christopher Palles said of him “He was a Priest of great gifts, and he must be a loss to the Society”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Thomas Taffe 1862-1913
Fr Thomas Taffe was born in Dublin in 1862 and was educated at O’Connell’s Schools. Fr Thomas Browne, Provincial of the Irish Province, while travelling on the continent for his health came across Fr Taffe as a member of the French Province of the Society and had him transferred to his own Province.

Fr Taffe taught for some years in the Colleges and finally was made Professor of Theology at Milltown Park. As a lecturer he was clear and brilliant.

His early death at the age of 51 was a great loss to the Theological faculty at Milltown.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Thomas Taaffe (1862-1913)

Was born in Dublin, educated at the Christian Brothers' Schools, North Richmond St, and received into the Society in the Paris Province of the Society. He was transferred to the Irish Province in 1884. Father Taaffe was a member of the teaching staff at the Crescent from 1897 to 1900. He displayed uncommon brilliance in his higher studies and for some time was on loan to the English Province where he held the chair of theology. Recalled to Ireland, he was appointed professor of theology at Milltown Park where he remained until his death.

Ward, Eugene A, 1906-1976, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/437
  • Person
  • 15 November 1906-20 January 1976

Born: 15 November 1906, Dublin
Entered: 15 November 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 20 January 1976, Our Lady of Victories, Floral Park, New York NY, USA

Unlce of Séamus - RIP 2011

Early education at O’Connell’s School, Dublin and completed 1st Arts in Commerce at UCD before entry

by 1933 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1973 at Hoylake MA, USA (NEN) working
by 1976 at Floral Park NY, USA (NEB) working

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Eugene Ward, S.J.

Who taught in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, in the early 1930s, died recently in the U.S.A., aged 69. Even after four decades, some elderly gentlemen will remember the energy and personal interest with which he overwhelmed them long ago.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 13 February 1976

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 51st Year No 2 1976

Obituary :

Fr Eugene Ward (1906-1976)

Eugene Ward will always be remembered by his contemporaries and friends as a man of tremendous energy and of boundless zeal for souls. He was a born organiser. He was one of the group of scholastics who were the last to study Philosophy in Milltown Park before the transfer of the Philosophate to Tullabeg in 1930. During that year in Milltown Eugene was treasurer of the Ricci Mission Unit founded a year or so before by Frs C Daly, N Roche and Dick Harris. Needless to say the Unit proved a marvellous springboard for Eugene's organising activities. When our coming departure for Tullabeg was officially announced, the problem of transposing the Ricci Mission Unit and its effects arose. Eugene, of course, had a master plan. I, the secretary, was sent into Gardiner Street to see Fr Provincial to ask leave to go by car (a most unusual and unheard of thing in those days), in two stages, first to Roscrea monastery on Saturday; stop the night there and proceed to Tullabeg on Sunday, I remember well Fr Fahy’s beetling eyebrows moving up and down as he said to me, “You may go, but only on one condition - that you do not stop there”.
Then followed two happy years in the Bog (Tullabeg). Grim according to modern standards but happy, with our sketches on Feast Days and plays at Christmas; great villa days on Thursdays, out in the boats on the canal and rivers, to Pollagh, Three Rivers, Shannon Harbour and further.
At the conclusion of the Philosophical Course, Eugene put his zeal into practice and departed to our foreign mission in Hong Kong, where he had full outlet for his missionary spirit but for reasons of health (he was plagued all his life with stomach trouble though physically of great vigour), he never returned to the mission after his tertianship in Rathfarnham, For the rest of his hard-working life he was assigned to pastoral work, Retreats and Missions. His spell in Rathfarnham as Director of Retreats easily compared with that of Fr Barrett, the founder. He built up into a very effective organisation the Knights of Loyola, a lay group dedicated to help the Retreat House.
For five years he was operarius in St. Francis Xavier’s, Gardiner Street, where he lived up to his reputation for work and drive as preacher, confessor and director of Sodalities. His talents as Retreat House Director were again called upon in Manresa Retreat House, where he refurbished the old stables and made them into rooms, and thereby increased the accommodation for Retreatants. After Manresa he spent the rest of his life on the Retreat Staff, with special attention to the Apostleship of Prayer, Our Lady's Sodality and the Blessed Sacrament Crusade, the latter which he worked up very effectively in colleges, schools and institutions throughout the country. During these years of ceaseless work, he had at various times serious illnesses sometimes involving surgery, but they never seemed to sap his energy, though in appearance he grew rather gaunt and emaciated. Finally, in 1971 he went to the United States to fill a need of the diocese of Springfield, Mass. He served at the Church of Our Lady of Victory, Long Island, and also teaching Philosophy at the College of Our Lady of the Elms, Holyoke, Mass. Before Christmas he grew mortally ill and died on January 20th, 1976. He was 50 years in the Society and 37 years a priest.
Eugene was first, last and foremost an apostolic priest who spent his life working for souls. It is no mere pious cliché to say of him that he passed to his Maker, a Jesuit full of merit leaving behind him in Ireland, England, Hong Kong and the States very very many who thank God for his help and ministrations.
“Euge, euge, serve bone et fidelis, intra in gaudium Domini tui”.