Sacred Heart College SJ (Crescent) 1859-1974

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Sacred Heart College SJ (Crescent) 1859-1974

Sacred Heart College SJ (Crescent) 1859-1974

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Sacred Heart College SJ (Crescent) 1859-1974

  • UF Crescent College SJ

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Sacred Heart College SJ (Crescent) 1859-1974

293 Name results for Sacred Heart College SJ (Crescent) 1859-1974

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Andrews, Edward Joseph, 1896-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/56
  • Person
  • 12 September 1896-13 July 1985

Born: 12 September 1896, Dublin
Entered: 29 September 1913, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1933, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 13 July 1985, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

by 1924 in Australia - Regency
by 1932 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Edward Andrews came to Australia at the end of his philosophy studies in 1922 and was sent to Riverview. From 1923-25 he was third division prefect, taught in the classroom and assisted with cadets, He seemed to be a born teacher and he enjoyed his time in Sydney.
His subsequent work in Ireland included being prefect of studies in The Crescent and Galway, as well as being rector at The Crescent, finally teaching for 42 years in schools. Andrews was an outstanding Irish scholar, and a fine musician.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 60th Year No 4 1985

Obituary

Fr Edward Joseph Andrews (1896-1913-1985)

Born on 12th September 1896. 29th September 1913: entered SJ. 1913-35 Tullabeg. noviciate. 1915-19 Rathfarnham: 1915-16 home juniorate, 1916-19 studying at UCD. 1919-22 Milltown, philosophy. 1922-25 Australia, regency at Riverview, Sydney. 1925-29 Milltown, theology. 1929-31 Galway, teaching 1931-32 St Beuno's, tertianship.
1932-40 Crescent, prefect of studies. 1940-42 Rathfarnham, minister of juniors. 1942-56 Galway, prefect of studies. 1956-62 Crescent, rector. 1962-85 Galway: teaching till 1972 doc. an. 42); house confessor; 1963-98 spiritual father to community; 1971-85 church and parish confessor.

Edward Joseph Andrews was born in Dublin on 12th September 1896. He was educated at Belvedere and entered the noviciate at Tullabeg on 19th September 1913. During his juniorate in Rathfarnham he took his degree in modern languages, and then went on to philosophy in Milltown. His first experience of college work was in Australia, at Riverview college, where for three years he was Third Prefect. He also taught and was in charge of the junior cadets. He returned to Ireland for theology and was ordained at Milltown Park in 1927.
After tertianship at St Beuno's Fr Eddie went to the Crescent as prefect of studies. He is recalled as having been very active, dedicated and successful. The number of pupils in the school had gone down considerably in previous years: he was responsible for building it up noticeably, especially by giving great attention to the junior classes. He established friendly relations with the parents, and enlisted their aid in securing that sufficient time was given to homework.
In 1940 Fr Eddie was appointed Minister of Juniors, but after two years was transferred to Galway as prefect of studies, which position he was to hold for the next fourteen years. This was probably the happiest and most successful period of his life. His eight years at the Crescent had given him valuable experience, and he was still young enough to undertake his new assignment with enthusiasm. The level of the Irish language was at its highest during these years, largely due to his efforts, and, as previously in the Crescent, he was on intimate terms with both the boys and their parents.
In 1956 he was appointed Rector of the Crescent. He held this position for six years with considerable success, but one gathers that the expectations aroused by his previous success as prefect of studies were not completely fulfilled. It was thought that there were changes in the air which he did not understand, and that his mentality was too greatly influenced by his long sojourn in Galway. At this time also his health began to deteriorate, arthritis making itself clearly shown.
In 1962 Fr Eddie returned to Galway, and was destined to give service to school and church for over twenty more years. For the first few years he did some teaching, but later devoted himself to work in the church, which he was able to continue, though on an ever-diminishing scale, to the end of his life. He had in this period several heart attacks, and his arthritis become more and more crippling. During the last year or so he became almost a complete invalid, and at this time was the recipient of most kind care from Br William McGoldrick and Sr Mary of the Little Sisters of the Assumption.
Towards the end of this year there was a noted deterioration in his condition. On 1st July (a Friday) he had been feeling particularly unwell, and decided not to offer Mass. Later in the evening he felt better and offered Mass at 8 pm, after which Br McGoldrick assisted him to bed. About 1.30 am he rang the emergency bell for assistance, and it was seen that he was near the end. He received the sacrament of the sick, and the doctor was immediately summoned but came only in time to certify death.
Looking back over the long and full life of Fr Eddie Andrews, one sees three outstanding points. Firstly, there was his love of the Irish language. He devoted much time to its study, and made frequent visits to the Gaeltacht, often accompanied by groups of his pupils, to whom he communicated his own genuine enthusiasm. Then there was his great musical talent. He was a good pianist and cellist, had a fine tenor voice, and was the leader of the Milltown choir during philosophy and theology. He encouraged music amongst his pupils, and, during his long period as prefect of studies in Galway, staged, in collaboration with Fr Kieran Ward, a whole series of musical plays. Lastly, one recalls with affection his cheerful and courageous disposition, which remained unchanged during his later years when ill-health made life so difficult for him.
Suaimhneas Dé dá anam.

Barragry, John, 1879-1959, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/58
  • Person
  • 11 April 1879-27 January 1959

Born: 11 April 1879, Oola, County Limerick
Entered: 14 August 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1915, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 27 January 1959, Crescent College, Limerick

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 34th Year No 2 1959
Sacred Heart Church and College, Limerick
With dramatic swiftness, Fr. Barragry passed away on Tuesday, 27th January. On the previous Saturday, he complained of a chill but continued throughout the day at his confessional. On Sunday, he was up and about but complained of loss of appetite. In getting into bed on Sunday night, he felt restless and depressed. Early on Monday morning, he was discovered lying on the floor of his room, by Fr. Rector. The doctor advised his removal to hospital, suspecting a recurrence of the diabetes. From the moment of his arrival in hospital in the late afternoon, his temperature began to rise steadily. He had another very restless night and on Tuesday morning, the community learned that there was no chance of his recovery. He remained perfectly lucid until about forty minutes before his death which occurred about 2.15 in the afternoon. On Wednesday, his remains arrived at the residence about noon and were laid out in the back parlour. Throughout the evening, crowds of his penitents and his friends came to say farewell to this very lovable priest. We all knew that Fr. Barragry was widely respected, but for many of us it was a revelation to discover the extent of his friendships. At the solemn obsequies on Thursday, His Lordship the Bishop attended with a large gathering of the secular and regular clergy. The boys of Sacred Heart College marched with the cortège to the city boundary and many of them finished the journey to Mungret by car or bicycle.

Obituary :
Fr John Barragry (1879-1958)
By the death of Fr. John Barragry on the 27th January the Province has lost, not only a colourful and interesting character, and one who provided a great deal of innocent pleasure for those who knew him or lived with him, but also an observant religious: remarkable for his devotion to poverty and for his exact obedience; a man of deep faith and simple piety, and a great lover of the Society. Many, both inside and outside the Society, feel they have lost a loyal and devoted friend.
Fr. Barragry was born at Oola, Co. Limerick in 1879, educated at the Crescent, and entered the Society at Tullabeg at the age of sixteen. Having completed his novitiate and juniorate, he was sent to Valkenburg in 1899 for his three years philosophy and, to the end of his life he retained an interest in the Niederdeutsche Provinz, and in the careers of those with whom he studied. On finishing seven years' teaching at Clongowes and three years theology at Milltown Park, he was ordained in 1912. Between 1914 and 1920 he was Prefect of Studies at Galway and at Mungret, and those who studied under him recall the firmness, enthusiasm and kindness, which characterised his work on their behalf.
For a short period he was Minister of Juniors and Professor of Mathematics at Tullabeg and then, from 1925 to 1931, he was again Prefect of Studies, but this time at the Crescent. Here, with the exception of seven years, when he taught at Clongowes and at Belvedere - where he was Procurator from 1934 to 1938, he was to spend the rest of his life. In the course of these years at Limerick he contributed in no small way to the success of the college as we know it today, and to the building up of the Ignatian Sodality. From 1944 till his death he was Procurator, and fulfilled this office with that exactitude and care which marked all his work.
Fr. Barragry was an efficient and understanding teacher, and he was remembered with affection by many of his past pupils years after they had left. Gratitude and warm appreciation are still expressed by those who knew him, even as far back as forty years ago. Last September, Monsignor Power of Saltley, Birmingham, recalling the old days in Limerick, asked :
“Is Fr. Barragry still alive? Good! How is he? The same as ever, I hope?”
All his life Fr. Barragly showed a great interest both in men and in affairs, and both his memory for the past and his knowledge of their careers were prodigious. Not a few of his pupils owe their start in life to the solicitous interest he took in placing them after school. Indeed many others also found in him a friend and a willing helper. His apostolate of "job-finding" and assisting the less fortunate, the poor and the unemployed, took up a great deal of any leisure he had.
As time went on he lost nothing of his interest in current affairs, specially in relation to Ireland. He had a deep love of his country, and watched daily, with a growing sense of pride, the material, economic and cultural achievements that had come about since the days of his boyhood. Though he felt that the study of the Irish language was beyond him, he championed its cause on more than one occasion, both , in private and in public.
His savoir vivre was tremendous, and up to the end he remained. keen in mind and active in body. A friend who spoke to him shortly before his death could not but admire the unimpaired, alert mind of a man in his eightieth year. He uttered no complaint on the score of health and was apparently the same as ever."
In 1955, four years before his death, he celebrated his Diamond Jubilee in the Society. His old friends - the Ignatians - gave him great joy by presenting a golden chalice to mark the occasion, and by arranging that an award—the Fr, Barragry medal— should be presented annually to the most outstanding pupil at the College.
During his years as operarius at the Crescent, Fr. Barragry was a kind and conscientious confessor, and as long as health allowed him to preach, his sermons were carefully prepared. Though in his eightieth year, he had no thought of going “on the shelf”, and was active and at his post practically to the end.
After confessions on Friday night, 23rd January, he complained of a bad shivering fit and was advised by the Rector to keep to his room. He said Mass on Sunday and seemed improved, but towards evening he took to his bed. At 4.30 on Monday morning the Rector thought he heard the sound of knocking and went in to see if anything was wrong. He found Fr. Barragry on the floor, where he had fallen during the night, and being unable to rise or attract attention, he had pulled a few blankets from the bed to keep himself warm. Later that day the doctor ordered him to hospital, and on Tuesday, when it was evident that he was dying, he was anointed and received Holy Viaticum about noon. Shortly before two o'clock, Fr. Rector and Fr. Naughton began the prayers for the dying, and at 2.10 he passed peacefully away.
It can be truthfully said that Fr. Barragry went through life joyously, maintaining always a bright and infectious cheerfulness. He dearly loved his little joke.
On one occasion, slipping quietly away for a villa in Donegal, he left strict injunctions that his life-long friend and colleague, Fr. Martin Corbett of Mungtet, was not to be told. As Fr. Martin and he were always keenly interested in the “latest”, he felt he had scored quite a victory in getting off “unbeknownst”, and was determined that when the time was opportune, he would make known his triumph.
Sitting by the side of the road, surrounded by the wild beauty of the Barnesmore Gap and the sunshine, and pulling a picture post card from his pocket, he scribbled with glee - taking pains to avoid any indication of his exact location : “Lovely views! Any news? J.B.”
Fr. Barragry traded his talents industriously, by patient, faithful service and by prayer. We may well hope that he now enjoys the reward of a well-spent life-a far more beautiful sight than he ever saw in Donegal.
Solus na Soillse agus radharc na Tríonóide d'á anam.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father John Barragry SJ 1879-1959
One could hardly live in a community with Fr John Barragry – or Barrags as he was affectionatle called – without feeling the impact of his energetic and vivid personality.
A Limerick man, born in Oola County Limerick in 1879, after a brilliant career as a boy in the Crescent, he became a Jesuit at Tullabeg at the age of 16.

His life in the Society was spent in the Colleges as Prefect of Studies in Mungret, Galway and the Crescent – 30 years in the classroom, as he himself used describe it. The latter part of his life was spent as procurator, first in Belvedere and then in the Crescent. This was his favourite house, and Limerick his natural habitat. “I know my Limerick” he was heard to retort to one he thought had pretensions to a greater knowledge.

He was intensely interested in people and affairs, especially in matters of the Society government and appointments. His curiosity was boundless and harmless, though to some it was irksome and annoying. To many it was a great source of recreation. His storied of how he dealt with difficult situations were famous. While stationed in Tullabeg teaching the Juniors, it was reported that Our Lady had appeared to a little girl on the avenue. There was great excitement, and the local IRA were on duty, armed, to regulate the people who came to see. “Down I went to see” would recount Fr Barragry. “A young fellow on guard stopped me”. “Halt” said he. “Shoot” said I, and that finished him”. To a Rector to whom he had suggested a way of saving money and who took the suggestion as a slur on his vow of poverty, he said “My Dear Father Rector, you mist never confound poverty with economy”.

He was a hard worker for souls, and energetic Director of the Ignatian Sodality, and tireless in his efforts to place old students in good situations in life.

He died on January 27th 1959 after a brief illness.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father John Barragry SJ (1879-1959)

Born at Oola, studied at this school from 1893 to 1895 when he entered the Society at Tullabeg. On the completion of his classical studies, he was sent for his course in philosophy to Valkenburg, Holland (1899-1902). His period of regency was spent at Clongowes, after which he entered on his theological studies at Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1912. For the next ten years after his tertianship, he was engaged in teaching at Galway (1914-1918); Mungret (1918-20); Tullabeg (1920-22), where he was prefect of studies for the scholastics; Belvedere (1922-24). He spent the next seven years at Sacred Heart College where, as prefect of studies, he did much to modernise teaching methods. After a year back in Clongowes (1931-1932) he spent the next six years as procurator in Belvedere College. His last and longest assignment was again at Sacred Heart College where, as procurator, he laboured until his death (1938-1959).
Father Barragry was a man of many gifts; he had a fluent command of German and French; he was an able classical scholar and a brilliant teacher of mathematics. His organising ability was proven in his work as prefect of studies and in the considerable help he gave to the formation of the Belvedere Old Boys' Union. Here, at the Crescent, he reorganised the Ignatian Sodality in the 1920's. He was a talented preacher and sodality director. For many years he was much sought after as a confessor. After an illness of only two days, he died on 27 January, 1959 and was laid to rest in the Jesuit plot at Mungret Abbey. RIP

Barry, James, 1925-2002, Jesuit brother

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary

Br James (Jim) Barry (1925-2002)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-oOo-

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

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1991

Appreciation

Jim Barry SJ

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

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

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

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

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

John Mulgrew

Bartley, Patrick, 1879-1941, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/61
  • Person
  • 05 December 1879-09 May1941

Born: 05 December 1879, Grange, County Limerick
Entered: 30 July 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1915, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 09 May 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1903 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1906 in Saint Joseph’s College, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) studying oriental language

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 3 1941

Obituary :
Father Patrick Bartley
Fr. Patrick Bartley was born near Boher (Grange), in Co. Limerick on December 5, 1879. He attended Crescent College, Limerick as a day pupil for some years, but at the early age of fifteen he entered the Noviceship (Tullabeg) in 1894. After the Noviciate he crossed over to the Juniorate in the same house, commencing his studies for the Royal University of Ireland examination which he passed with high distinction till he obtained his M.A. Degree (Classical) in 1901. He was then sent to St. Helier in Jersey, where he studied Philosophy for two years. In 1904 he was appointed to Belvedere College, Dublin, as teacher, Assistant-prefect of Studies. But in the following year he was one of a small group chosen to study Oriental Languages at the University St. Joseph, Beirut, Syria. In 1906 he returned to his native land - and county - acting again as teacher for two years in Mungret College, Limerick (1907-1909). In September, 1909, he began the study of Theology in Milltown Park, where he was destined to spend most of the rest of his life. He finished his Theological course there in 1912. Tertianship in Tullabeg followed immediately (1912-13), after which he was again sent to Mungret College to resume his teaching career and act as Assistant Prefect of Studies. In 1915 he was appointed professor of Church History and Hebrew in Milltown Park. In 1918 he became professor of Philosophy, helping to inaugurate our Irish Philosophate. When this was transferred to Tullabeg in 1922 he took over the chair of Scripture in Milltown Park, which with Hebrew remained his appointed task till the end. From 1923 onwards he also acted as Prefect of Studies. On May 9, 1941, he died. Such in outline was his career; and it shows that he was preeminently a student and scholar, leading what Cicero calls the vita umbratilis. It gives, however, but an inadequate idea of the depth of his erudition or the singular charm of his character. Only those who had the privilege of living in intimate daily intercourse with him could fully appreciate either his encyclopaedia knowledge, which a marked reserve together with a deep humility concealed from unobservant eyes, or that gentleness of disposition which made him one of the most loveable of men. It may be doubted if anyone ever detected the least manifestation of anger on his part by as much as a gesture. This did not spring from weakness of character or the lack of decisive views. On the contrary, for he had very strong convictions and a quiet obstinacy all his own. But he lacked inclination towards or aptitude for any kind of strife. It would have been difficult to pick a quarrel with him, if anyone ever had the desire, which was never the case. No doubt much of all this serenity was natural to him, the result of a wise sagaciousness which made him see the foolishness of all brawling. But there was obviously much more than that in the unwavering victory of good humour, kindliness and tolerance over all the instability, pettiness, jealousy and selfishness which seem to adhere to the very bones of fallen humanity. Father Bartley was as little given to parading piety as to parading learning. Yet one felt that it was there, deep, solid and efficacious, making one who was by nature a gentleman, by grace an every way admirable and wholly religious. The patience with which he bore the more than ordinary share of sickness that came his way was further proof of this. As a quite young man he appeared to 'enjoy perfect health. In his early years in Tullabeg he was both fond of, and skilled in, all out-door sports and recreations. Tall, lithe and very swift of foot. he excelled in football and tennis, while he was an excellent swimmer and one of the champion walkers of the community. But before he had finished his University studies - while preparing for his M.A. degree - he began to suffer from some internal trouble which necessitated at least one major operation and some lesser ones. To outward appearance he made a complete recovery. Yet it was soon apparent that the old physical energy and vitality were gone. He grew more and more sedentary in his habits as the years went by, until a short solitary walk was almost all the exercise he cared for. Falling a little into flesh in consequence, he had the air of one with whom all 'was not well in spite of his impressive size and fine appearance. Yet no word of complaint was ever heard from him, and until forced to take a change or a rest by the doctor, he kept so consistently to the even tenor of his days, and, above all, was so cheerful and good tempered, that few would suspect him of being ill at all. Only towards the end did his looks betray how rapidly he was ageing and failing. And even in his last sickness, when it was clear that he could not recover, he retained to the end the tranquil serenity which had always characterised him. His whole life was of a single pattern - but a rare and noble one. Few men of his calibre can have lived quite so unknown to the outside world. But few will be more regretted or missed in the circle where he moved.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Patrick Bartley 1879-1941
Fr Patrick Bartley was born near Boher County Limerick on December 5th 1879. He entered the Society at the age of fifteen in 1894. Having read a brilliant course in the Royal University Dublin, he studied Oriental languages for some years in the University of Beirut.

From 1915-1941 he spent his life in Milltown Park as Professor of Scripture and Prefect of Studies. A man of child-like simplicity, in spite of his great intellectual ability, he was ever regarded with affectionate respect by generations of theologians at Milltown Park.

He died on August 9th 1941, some years before his brother and fellow Fr Jesuit Stephen Bartley.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1941

Obituary

Father Patrick Bartley SJ

Past students who were in Mungret in the years 1907-09, and 1914-15 will learn with regret of the death of Father Patrick Bartley SJ. Father Bartley was educated at the Sacred Heart College, Crescent, Limerick, and entered the Society of Jesus in 1894. He was a brilliant classical scholar, taking out his BA degree at the Royal University with first places in Greek and Latin, and subsequently his MA degree in the same subjects. After completing his course of Philosophy he then went to the East and spent two years at the University of Beirut, Syria, studying Oriental languages. On his return to Europe he joined the teaching staff at Mungret where he taught classics to the 1st and 2nd Arts classes. After his ordination he spent a year at Mungret.

In 1915 he was appointed to the staff of Milltown Park, where he filled the post of Professor of Hebrew and Sacred Scripture as well as lecturing on Philosophy and Theology. After an illness borne with exemplary patience and fortitude he died, on May 9th, 1941.

Bartley, Stephen, 1890-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/62
  • Person
  • 25 December 1890-17 May 1955

Born: 25 December 1890, Grange, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 17 May 1955, St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin

Part of St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois community at the time of his death.
by 1911 at Cividale del Friuli, Udine Italy (VEM) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 30th Year No 3 1955

Obituary :
Father Stephen Bartley 1890-1955
Born on Christmas Day, 1890, at Grange (Boher), Co. Limerick, Fr. Stephen Bartley was educated at the Crescent and entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1906, where he also did his juniorate before going to Cividale in Italy for philosophy. His years of regency were spent in Clongowes and in 1922 he was ordained at Milltown Park. With the exception of one interval as Minister in Milltown his whole priestly life was to be spent in Tullabeg, where he was Minister, Procurator and Rector, and in Emo, where he was Procurator for the last eleven years of his life. He died in St. Vincent's Hospital on May 17th.
Many of the qualities that went to make the man as we knew him came with the boy Stephen Bartley from the Co. Limerick farm: a traditional Irish Catholic faith, simple and undemonstrative though rooted deep; a loyalty to men and causes that, once given, was unwavering; a reserve shy to the: verge of secretiveness; an asceticism which had much of stoicism; a memory retentive of facts and a keen mind to order them; an eye for the best in man and beast and soil and a shrewd sense of money which, while never mean, had the millionaire's conviction of the value of a farthing. Those were talents out of the ordinary and within the limits of chronic ill-health-and at times beyond Stephen Bartley traded with them to the full. As Minister, Rector and Procurator he served the Province and the three houses in which his life was lived with devoted loyalty; and few, if any, excelled him in the heroic art of reading the greater glory of God from the prosaic pages of journals and ledgers. His antique battered fountain-pen has the quality of a relic. Barred from the pulpit by ill-health he was to find in the Confessional the spiritual outlet for his zeal. For 17 years his “box” in the People's Church in Tullabeg was a place of pilgrimage; and it would be hard to overestimate the veneration and esteem in which people of every walk in life held him. In Emo he became the valued confessor and confidant of the local clergy and he directed and consoled by letter many of the clients of his Tullabeg days. Many too are those in his own communities who must bear him lasting gratitude for his prudent and kindly guidance. Heroic in the quality of his hidden service to the Society and to souls, he was no less heroic in his acceptance of almost constant discomfort and suffering, Only in the last years of his life was it possible to get round him to make any real concession to his needs. His fire was a community joke; the few medicines he bothered to take were asked for with the simplicity of a novice; he had to be forced to take a holiday. It is probably true to say that no one ever heard him complain - certainly not of anything that concerned his personal requirements.
His very deep love for the Society found a suitable expression in his devotion to community life. His pleasure in recreation was a pleasure to see and save, when overwhelmed by numbers, he took full part in it. Secretly addicted to the reading of P. G. Wodehouse and Curly Wee, he had an unexpected turn of humour that stood him in good stead when parrying the recreational thrusts of his brethren or avoiding coming to too close quarters with some importunate query or request. His answers in such dilemmas have become part of the Province folk-lore. To a Father commiserating with him on the poisoning of a cow he replied gravely: “As a matter of fact, Father, we had one too many”. And after 20 years, one must still chuckle at the discomfiture of the scholastic who asked leave to go to a hurling match : “It wouldn't be worth it, Mr. X. All the best hurlers have gone to America”.
His peaceful and undemonstrative death was utterly in keeping with his life. The humour perhaps was in grimmer key when he begged his Rector not to allow an operation: “I'm not an insurable life, Father”. But his life's dedication to obedience's appointed task was all of a piece. Almost the last words he spoke were: “Everything will be found in order. I have brought the books up to date”. We cannot help being convinced that they are echoed in eternity.

Bates, J Stephen, 1906-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/485
  • Person
  • 26 December 1906-27 June 1990

Born: 26 December 1906, Rahan, County Offaly
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1939, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 27 June 1990, Dublin

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

Full Name James Stephen Bates

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

Bellew, Christopher, 1818-1867, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/63
  • Person
  • 25 July 1818-18 March 1867

Born: 25 July 1818, Mountbellew, County Galway
Entered: 11 February 1850, Issenheim, Alsace, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1856, Montaubon, France
Final vows: 03 December 1866
Died: 18 March 1867, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Older brother of Michael RIP 1868

by 1853 at Vals, France (TOLO)
by 1854 in Cologne, Germany (GER) studying Theology 1
by 1855 at Malta College (ANG) for Regency
by 1857 at Montauban, France (TOLO) studying Theology
by 1860 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying Theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Son of an Irish Baronet (probably the Galway Parliamentarians of the 18th and 19th Centuries). Older brother of Michael RIP 1868. Their home was frequently visited by Jesuits, and this helped develop a great love in Christopher for the Society.
After his early education in Grammar and Humanities, he went to Trinity. As he was an eldest so, his family wanted to prepare him as the future representative of the family in an understanding of Society and Politics. So he also travelled much in Europe for that purpose.
In about 1840 a “fashionable marriage” was announced in the Press between the eldest son of and old Catholic Baronet, and the eldest daughter of an old Protestant Baronet, Sir John Burke of Marble Hall. All preparations were in place and the bridegroom went to Clongowes to make a Retreat before his marriage. His younger brother Michael, already being in the Society, meant that the interest of the Community is Christopher was higher than usual. he impressed all with his piety. Waiting for news of the marriage, it seemed to have been delayed, and after a while, there was a rumour that he was in a Novitiate on the Continent. Apparently an issue had arisen which had proven a stumbling block, namely Christopher’s insistence that any children should be raised Catholic. He communicated this to his bride whilst on retreat. A suggestion came back from her family that perhaps any girls would stay with the mother’s religion. Christopher responded by saying that he could not accept this arrangement. He wrote again indicating that the only solution was to relieve her of her promise, and to declare arrangements at an end. Her family wrote back acceding to his request that the children would all be Catholics, but this letter arrived too late - he had left Clongowes, and nobody knew where he was. For some years he did not return to Ireland, and when he did, he was Rev Christopher Bellew SJ. In the meantime, Miss Burke had herself become a Catholic, and lead a very holy life, remaining single, and devoting her life to charitable works.
Christopher joined the Society at Issenheim in France, and after First Vows, began studies in Philosophy at Vals, France. He was later sent to teach Grammar at a TOLO College. While there he became ill, and so was sent to Malta, where he remained as a Teacher for two years. He then returned to France and was Ordained there 1856 at Montaubon.
He then returned to Ireland and spent three years teaching at Colleges.
1859 He was sent to the Dublin Residence as Operarius, and remained there until his death 18 March 1867. He had been very zealous in the hard work of the Confessional.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Christopher Bellew 1818-1867
The life of Christopher Bellew reads like some edifying romantic tale. He was born in Mount Bellew County Galway, the eldest son of Sir Michael Bellew, Baronet. From his earliest years he had a great knowledge and love of the Society, for during his father’s lifetime “Ours” used frequently visit the family mansion, and stay a few days there.
Having completed his early studies, he was sent by his family to Trinity College Dublin, where he went through a distinguished course. He then travelled extensively on the continent to complete his education.
About the year 1840, his forthcoming marriage to the eldest daughter of Sir John Burke of Marble Hall, was announced in the Press. The bridegroom came to Clongowes to make a retreat prior to his marriage. Needless to say the Community at Clongowes were intensely interested in the matter, especially as Christopher’s younger brother Michael was already a Jesuit. Weeks passed, and still no account in the papers of this fashionable marriage. At length a rumour started which grew into a certainty, that the bridegroom was in a Jesuit noviceship somewhere on the continent.

What had happened was this : All the preliminaries to the marriage had been settled except one, the religion of the children, as the intended bride was a Protestant. According to a custom, which rightly or wrongly existed at the time, the bride’s family insisted that the girls of the marriage should follow the religion of their mother. To this condition the bridegroom would not agree, and he wrote to say that he released the young lade from her promise and that the negotiations were at an end.

The upshot of this was that the young lade became a Catholic and led a holy life in single blessedness, devoting her time to works of charity.

Christopher entered the noviceship at Issenheim in Alsace. He was ordained priest at Montaubon in 1856. Recalled to Ireland, he taught for three years in the Colleges, and then was stationed for the rest of his life at Gardiner Street. There he was an outstanding operarius, zealous and untiring in the confessional.

He died on March 18th 1867. He succeeded his father Sir Michael Bellew in 1855, and is listed in Burke’s Peerage as the Reverend Sir Christopher Bellew.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Christopher Bellew (1818-1867)

Was master at the Crescent from 1860 to 1861 and again from 1862- to 1864. He was the eldest son of Sir Michael Bellew, Bart, of Mountbellew Bridge, Co Galway. After his studies at Clongowes, he entered Trinity College, Dublin and later got a commission in the army. He was heir to the title and family property but resigned his claims in 1850 to enter the Society. The story of his call to the religious life is curious, if not even romantic. From his family's viewpoint, he had made an excellent match in becoming engaged to the daughter of Sir John Burke of Marble Hall, Co Galway. Unfortunately, his bride-to-be was a Protestant, and her family insisted, according to the custom of the time, that any daughters born of the marriage should follow their mother's religious beliefs. Young Bellew, as the time for the marriage-ceremony approached, decided to return to Clongowes to make a retreat under one of his old masters. During his stay at Clongowes, he wrote to Sir John Burke, insisting that all children of the marriage must be Catholics. The Burkes replied that they could not accede to his demands. Bellew now intimated that he felt bound in conscience to terminate the engagement. This time, the Burkes, anxious that the marriage should be gone on with, waived their demands on the religion of their future grand-daughters. But the letter arrived too late to find him. Christopher Bellew had gone abroad. Later it was learned that he had entered the Society in Alsace. On the completion of his noviceship, he entered on his philosophy studies at Vals in the Lyons Province of the Society, and is next heard of as master in a Jesuit College of the Toulouse Province and later in Malta. He returned to France for the study of theology and was ordained at Montauban. Here, it can be recalled, that his former bride-to-be, Miss Burke of Marble Hall, on learning of Christopher's vocation, became a Catholic herself. She never married but spent her life in works of zeal and charity.

Father Bellew's priestly life was short. After his time in the Crescent, he was transferred to Gardiner St Church where he died three years later. Old newspapers of the time refer to him as “The Rev Sir Christopher Bellew, Bart, SJ”. He never used the title himself, although he could not legally renounce it. He was long remembered at Gardiner St Church as a zealous priest, especially in the laborious work of the confessional.

Brady, John M, 1935-2014, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 156 : Summer 2014

Obituary

Fr John Brady (1925-2014)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Toner

Brady, Patrick, 1922-1994, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/482
  • Person
  • 17 March 1922-23 August 1994

Born: 17 March 1922, Dublin
Entered: 02 July 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1953, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 23 August 1994, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 79 : Christmas 1994 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Patrick (Paddy) Brady (1922-1994)

17th Mar, 1922: Born in Dublin
Education: Model School, Marlborough St.
2nd July 1943: Entered Society at Emo, Co. Laois
8th Sept. 1945: First Vows at Emo
1945 - 1950: Rathfarnham, Refectorian
1950 - 1958: Mungret College, Limerick, Supervisor of Domestic Staff
15th Aug. 1953: Final Vows at Mungret College
1958 - 1959: Tullabeg, Supervisor of Domestic Staff
1959 - 1968: Mungret College, Supervisor of Domestic Staff
1968 - 1971: Milltown Park, Supervisor of Domestic Staff
1971 - 1994: Sacred Heart Church, Sacristan, St. John Berchman's Sodality, Assistant Promoter of Missions
1994: Treated for heart failure in St. Vincents and the Royal Hospital, Donnybrook. Discharged to Cherryfield
23rd Aug. 1994: Died at Cherryfield Lodge

Coming away from a funeral, a woman was heard to say to a friend: “Sure, he had a great way with him”. It would be difficult to come up with a better description of Paddy Brady in so few words.

Born in Dublin on St. Patrick's Day, 1922, Paddy Brady attended the Model Schools in Marlborough Street. He worked in Woolworth's for two years and went to Emo at the age of twenty one. For five years, 1945-50, he was stationed in Rathfarnham as refectorian, and from there he went to Mungret for eight years. The year 1968-71, when he joined the community of the Crescent Church. Thus of his fifty one years in the Society he spent forty in Limerick. Despite his long years there and his great love for the city, he remained very much a “Dub” all his life.

One of Paddy's characteristics was his remarkable capacity for making friends and keeping them. He had so many - who included Mungret boys who kept in touch with him for many years, Mungret staff members - several of whom he helped by finding positions for them, people who came to this church, and altar servers here, past and present. Indeed we all felt that none of us had the good rapport with so many people around that Paddy had. An unusually large number attended his funeral Mass, and for days afterwards tributes of appreciation poured in. One man, an old Mungret boy, told us that he had planned to fly to England on the day after Paddy's death, but put off his flight in order to be present at the funeral. Some time afterwards a man who had worked in Rathfarnham Castle in the 1940's called us to offer sympathies and gave us a copy (only a copy, for he still treasured the original) of a letter Paddy had written to him in 1946!

His cheery greeting and friendly manner were often commented on. He brought much encouragement to people and many came to him with their worries, sensing he was their friend and certain he would give them a listening ear. He liked a laugh and was not above playing practical jokes. During his Mungret years he took much pleasure in trying to best Paddy Coffey, a man who did not always appreciate having his leg (even his good one!) pulled,

In community he was very pleasant and congenial, and most obliging, gladly lending a hand here, there and everywhere. He was most reliable, and if he told you he would do something for you, you just knew that it would be done and you did not have to think about it twice. As sacristan he used to open the church door every morning at 7.00am and in his twenty three years here he was known to have missed out on that chore only once. He was an efficient sacristan and never failed to have everything ready for whatever the occasion.

He was a good entertainer, and on the night of his Golden Jubilee he and his brother Chris gave an amusing performance which had us all rocking with laughter. He was very close to the members of his family and liked to remind us that it was his father who had printed the 1916 Proclamation. This fact had given Paddy an entrée into political circles.

He was very much into sports, being an avid soccer fan with a strong allegiance to Liverpool. He was fond too of the horses, and indeed liked to follow on the TV screen football matches of every code.

For years he suffered from heart trouble and diabetes, but he soldiered on actively. Last April, feeling very depressed - which was so unlike his usual form - he went up to Dublin to see his family. Hardly had he arrived than he collapsed. His family brought him to Cherryfield, from where Ned Keelaghan had him transferred to St. Vincent's. His life was in the balance for some days and then he rallied somewhat. But if he did, he had another relapse a few days later, and this remained the pattern of his condition for the next four and a half months. He grew restless in hospital and was transferred to the Therapy Unit in the Royal Hospital. After a short stay, he went to Cherryfield but despite the wonderful care he received, he never really made headway. The awful depression continued and he did not have the will to win through. He died peacefully on the 23rd August.

Daniel Dargan

Brenan, Richard Henry, 1918-1995, Jesuit priest

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1996

Obituary

Father Richard Brenan SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1996

Obituary

Richard Brenan SJ

by Alex Brennan (5a)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alex Brennan (5A)

Brereton, Joseph P, 1920-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/767
  • Person
  • 05 December 1920-07 May 2012

Born: 05 December 1920, Liverpool, Lancashire, England / Lifford Avenue, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 07 May 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse No 148 : Summer 2012 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2012

Obituary

Fr Joseph (Joe) Brereton (1920-2012)

5 December 1920: Born in Liverpool;
Early education in St. Mary's Primary, Liverpool, and Crescent College, Limerick
7 September 1938: Entered Society at Emo
8 September 1940: First Vows at Emo
1940 - 1943: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1943 - 1946: Studied philosophy in Tullabeg
1946 - 1948: Crescent College - Teacher
1948 - 1949: Belvedere College – Teacher
1949 - 1953: Studied theology in Milltown Park
31 July 1952: Ordained at Milltown Park
1953 - 1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1954 - 1960: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
2 February 1955: Final Vows
1960 - 1963: Gonzaga
1960 - 1962: Teacher
1962 - 1963: Minister, teacher
1963 - 1968: Manresa - Minister, Assisted Director of the Retreat House
1968 - 2012: Clongowes
1968 - 1990: Teacher of Religion, French and English
1990 - 1997: Teacher of English; Assistant to Higher Line Prefect; Chaplain to Hazel Hall (1992)
1997 - 2012: Teacher; Assistant to Higher Line Prefect; Tutor to foreign exchange students; Chaplain to Hazel Hall
7 May 2012: Died Cherryfield

Fr Brereton was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 7th January 2012 suffering from recurrent respiratory problems. His treatment necessitated occasional visits to hospital. He remained in good spirits and mentally alert. His condition deteriorated since mid-April. Fr Brereton passed away peacefully in the company of his sister, Josephine, and Fr Michael Sheil in the early morning of May the 7th 2012. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Obituary : Michael Sheil
The Fiant solita suffragia for the average Jesuit extends to a full page - and sometimes beyond, Fr Joe's CV does not fill even one. But then, Joe was not an “average" Jesuit – he was not an “average" person. The fact that he spent all of 44 years in the same job in Clongowes suggests proof of this !

Joseph Brereton was born in Liverpool and was always loyal to his origins - as the many red soccer jerseys given to him by successive Rhetoric Years in Clongowes will atest. When his father died young, Joe's mother moved her family of three boys and two girls back to her native Limerick, where the sons attended Crescent College. From there Joe entered the Jesuits in 1938 – and the subsequent story of his life is simply told.

He followed the traditional Jesuit training course - BA in UCD [40-43] - Philosophy in Tullabeg [43-46] - Regency in Crescent and Belvedere [46-49]. After three years of theology in Milltown Park, he was ordained there in 1952. Tertianship followed in Rathfarnham (53-54] and Joe returned to his Alma Mater in Limerick as a Teacher for 6 years before moving to Gonzaga College (60-63] and was Minister in Manresa Retreat House from 1963 to 1968. In August 1968 he came to CWC. Fr Tom Layden - our present Provincial - who gave the final Absolution - had not even arrived to start school there at that time!

That made up a grand total of 44 years - give or take a few weeks - for there he stayed ever since. He would probably have occupied the same room for all that time, if a new Rhetoric Wing had not been built in 1999 - but he simply moved about 20 metres west and two floors down to his new quarters.

Joe was a very private sort of person himself – but was deeply interested in other people. In his long life of teaching - all of 56 years in total - and looking after his young charges – he fully justified God's faith in his ability to make his five talents bear fruit. It is calculated that he influenced the lives of over 3,000 students in Clongowes alone -- and the many tributes and messages of sympathy to the Community bore rich testimony to their gratitude to him:

The present writer had the joy and privilege of working with him for 18 years as Higher Line Prefect. Joe always referred to the members of his area as Officers – and dismissed all others as Baggage-Handlers until - when I arrived – I insisted on calling my charges Gentlemen ! He was always there in support - to praise - to encourage – to lower the rising temperature (when needed!] - to offer advice - and, on occasion, to chide ! To be called Villain by him was not a compliment. --- and no one, high or low, Officer or Gentleman - Student or Teacher - was spared! On his encouraging side, his trademark phrase was: That's OK ! That's OK ! A few days after he died this email arrived from Hanoi, Vietnam, from a former pupil: Officers and Gentlemen alike (and also some Villains) will be united in sadness at the news of Fr Joe's death -- and equally warmed by the myriad of happy memories of a great Teacher and a remarkable man.

Very often I used to meet past pupils who would enquire after some of their former Jesuit Teachers – and, after giving them the sad news of the death of A + B +C, I might be asked: And when did Fr Brereton die ? I used to reply, to their surprise: Well I saw him this morning and he was OK !

Sadly for them and for us - as we heard in the second reading at his funeral Mass - this will be no longer so. Joe's tent has been folded up - as he moved – for the last time – to an everlasting home in the heavens. In our first reading – the Prophet Isaiah presents the image of God's Kingdom as a banquet of rich food prepared for all peoples. Joe would surely approve of my choice – for, while Joe was a very private person - in his own quiet way, he was quite a party-man ! While he eschewed the grand manner – he loved the occasional (and increasingly frequent] occasions of sharing some sweets - fruit - biscuits - and a variety of other edibles - from the depths of a seemingly bottomless pocket - with unsuspecting beneficiaries who happened on his path.

In the context of the greater world out there Joe's life was unheralded and unsung - but not so in the daily living of a grace-filled and remarkable life - remarkable in its simplicity and commitment. For his was a life full of love – care - kindness – concern -- thoughtfulness for others – phone-calls - cards – notes – all came to surprise and delight the recipients. His was a life animated by prayer - especially by his devotion to Our Lady, which was well-known - the Breviary and his daily Mass [with his own unique liturgy complete with interjections and dialogue questions!] Joe's proverbial kindness - his five talents (it was the Gospel chosen for his farewell Mass] - was an investment which bore rich dividends for the recipients. Many are the memories – personal and precious - which everyone had of his kindness - each person with his/her own story to tell. He had a particular soft spot for the House Staff - and undertook an unashamed defence of the Eves among them – often reminding the Adams of anniversaries/birthdays, which might otherwise have been forgotten! Exchange students were also among his favourites. At the end of one year – during the Leaving Certificate exams in June - Rhetoric Year gave Joe a present of an electric blanket - for he always seemed to feel the cold very keenly – and was often wrapped in layers of pullovers and his famous coat - beneath which (at least it was rumoured] were several hot-water bottles! He put up a notice to thank the Students for their “very thoughtful gift – which will be so useful now that winter is drawing on” .............. and this was in the first week in June !

At an age when most of his contemporaries were long retired or invalid - Joe continued to patrol the corridors of the Higher Line's “R Block” in Clongowes – encouraging the lame ducks – searching for the lost souls – sharing his wisdom with all and sundry. He had such a canny knack of foretelling what might "come up" in the Leaving that there many of his charges could not be persuaded that he did not have “insider information” in the Department !

In the evening of his life Joe became more frail in body - but with his spirit's sparkle never dimmed. The Nurses in Clongowes looked after him with a tender devotion far beyond the call of duty (as did the Staff in the village pharmacies). During his last few months, it was the turn of the Nurses and Staff of Cherryfield to fall under his charm and to care for him with their renowned love and attention. This task carried its own challenge - and many of them found themselves on the receiving end as they enquired after his health -- only to find themselves responding to Joe's interrogation as to how they were getting on ! Joe had never wanted to go there - and it is their great triumph that they succeeded in making it a real home-from home for him. Once a Prefect - always a Prefect - or so it is said! In Cherryfield Joe remained always “on duty”. On one occasion he entered someone else's room late at night and told him to Turn off that TV - and do it now! I have people studying for the Leaving Cert. along this corridor – and you are distracting them! His startled companion duly complied!

Late on the evening of Sunday 6th May the Night Nurse in Cherryfield alerted the Rector and Joe's Sister that he had taken a turn for the worse. I have a very moving cameo-memory of seeing Josephine sitting by Joe's bed, reciting prayers from an old Child of Mary prayerbook - occasionally glancing round at her Brother as he listened to her prayers for and with him - as we shared his last moments on earth. Night Staff in a hospital or nursing home live a sort of owl-like existence - rarely heard or seen ............ Joe introduced us to three wonderful people on that Sunday evening - aş, at the moment of his final departure, they cared for both of us trying to cope with the finality of it all. Three minutes into a new day -- on Monday 7th May - Joe celebrated what the ancient Roman martyrology called our dies natalis - his Heavenly Birthday. He had reached God's holy mountain -- to share in the New Life promised by Jesus to those who eat the Bread of Life and drink from the wells of Salvation.

At the Community Mass in Cherryfield on the day Joe died, Fr Paul Andrews quoted a celebrated phrase of Prof. Winnicott, a distinguished psychiatrist who once said: I pray that I will be alive when I die ........ I pray that I will be alive when I die! This was so true of Fr Brereton - and his spirit will live on - both in CWC and throughout the world – where so many of his former pupils mourned his passing – fully alive, aged ninety-one-and-a-half years old.

◆ The Clongownian, 2012

The passing of Fr Joe Brereton SJ saw Clongowes lose one of its most faithful servants. The many tributes and messages of sympathy referred to by Fr Michael Sheil SJ included the following, one from a present pupil, Tom Goodman, and one from an Old Clongownian...

The Captains Last Voyage

by Tom Goodman (Poetry)

The sky was a ceiling of deep blues and greys when we arrived at the dock. Clouds hid the moon, but from some lighted windows we were able to make out the shape of some of the structures along the seafront. Nature's silence lay our with us, which, combined with the wind and water in their whirling, created a sublime calm. So much so, that we were afraid to speak above a whisper, content to be keepers of serenity. At last we reached the ship, a looming yer majestic vessel bobbing slowly on the chop, and stepping up to the gangplank, we boarded. The ship itself creaked gently as we almost tiptoed across the rain-slick deck. Then, coming to a pair of large wooden doors, banded with riveted iron strips, we stepped in to meet The Captain.

Leaving the rain on the other side of the door, we took off our coats and, in our surroundings, not for the first or last time. The room was quite compact and plain. On one side there stood elegantly a shrine to Our Lady, and on the opposite side to this the room was walled with wooden-slatted shutters that were pulled right down to the ground. Faintly from behind these, the murmur of hymns floated, changing the silence into a soft praising song. Heels clacking on the planks beneath our feet, we approached the shutters and knocked firmly; after a few moments they opened.

The Captain stood there, measuring us intently He was an elderly man, with a kindly face and silky snow-white hair. With a slight hunch he stood shorter than he should and he held his gnarled hands down in front of him. Smiling, he invited us to sit; and we did, the reverent music resounding out behind us from the horn of the gramophone, and waited as The Captain sat silently at his desk, working his way through his rosary beads with quavering lips. Looking past The Captain out the porthole, we caught a glimpse in the newly emergent moonlight of the glorious bone-white castle standing vigilant to the night with its golden doors. The gramophone dinked as the clay disc finished its circuit and The Captain's beads pattered as he laid them on the table and sat back in his padded pinewood chair. Behind us the heavy wooden door groaned to admit a woman with a small frame, long straight brown hair and specracles. Neither we, nor The Captain said a word as she sat herself down on one of the benches at the wall. But after a few moments we realised that she was praying for The Captain, and by this time she had already risen, blessed herself and was making for the door, while The Captain quirked a little smile in thanks. After glancing to each other and then to The Captain, we resumed our quietude.

Sitting for so long in that room with the silent Captain, we began to notice all its little details, as one could not help but do in such a situation. Twelve candles stood in gilded sticks, ten of which were alight, casting a mellow and soft radiance across The Captain's quarters. Out another of the porcholes, which was fitted with red glass, a shining shaft of light shooting from the lighthouse could be seen. It added to the strange atmosphere in the room that persuaded silence. The Captain's kindly smile still lingered from the woman's visit, and rekindled as two more figures stepped through the large wooden doors.

The two men were quite different yer similar in appearance. Both held some weight on their paunches, both looked a considerable age (one more so than the other.) and both looked strangely as if they had just recently emerged into joy from grief. They were speaking quietly to one another as they stepped across the threshold and brushed off their coats, their firm shoes tapping on the floor. After they had said their prayers in a similar fashion to the woman previously, the two men paused to look at The Captain, who was sitting back, straight in the eye. Resuming their conversation (which seemed to revolve around The Captain himself) they quietly departed, leaving The Captain smiling,

The time to speak
Now the time came when we finally began to speak to The Captain and one another; quietly at first but gradually as we breached the swallowing silence of the cabin, the level of our voices began to rise. The Captain sat like a stone through it all, smiling in a calm thoughtful bliss.

It was past midnight when we finally left The Captain. We were admittedly reluctant to leave; but we needed our sleep for the following morning, for The Captain's final journey on the sea. Walking in the crisp, cold night, we left the harbour already dreaming of bed beneath the moonshine in the ever-creeping weariness.

The morning rose bright and blue, but soon the sea-breeze swept clouds in over our heads, and with the clouds came rain, light at first. As we walked down to the docks feeling the first spots of rain on our faces, gulls reeled and screeched along the wind, and from afar we could see the crowd that had formed around The Captain's vessel. Even from that distance we could pick out some officers, though the general rabble of other crewmembers melded into one uniformed crowd. At the fringes could be seen both men and women, dressed in many different fashions. Here some ex-officers in formal. raiment, and there women, both old and young, in their own finery.

Coming closer along the water a wave plashed against the harbour wall, spraying us lightly with an early blessing. The cobbles beneath our feet mimicked tiles in their various colours and shapes and wall murals stuck up at regular intervals. Fourteen we counted by the time we joined the crowd that stood warching the captain on the deck.

The great splayed mix of voices quietened as priests in their white robes stepped up to bless The Captain and his voyage. Silence, as well governed as on the previous night, blanketed the crowd as The Captain was blessed, for it was well known that The Captain himself was a man of God, and as the ceremony progressed, The Captain visibly stepped out of his hunch, standing tall to the wind and vast ocean ahead of him. At The Captain's side stood his sister, regal in her equanimity; for it was no easy thing to do, leaving a brother to the voyage alone. At the will of the priests, we began to sing. Deep sonorous bass notes were complemented by the higher ones, swirling together into a great farewell, filled with the respect and praise The Captain was due. While we slid from song to prayer and back again those men on-deck lined the way to the helm; a guard of honour for The Captain, despite the raindrops, which fell down with abandon. When the songs were over and The Captain stood nobly gripping at the pinewood wheel with his hands, the rest of us that could fit climbed up upon the ship, ready to sail The Captain to the places where map and sight failed to guide. Without order we hitched the booms, hoisted the sails and cast off, the bow cutting into the water, cleaving our way forward with the aid of the sails. With the bowsprit pointing our way we departed, The Caprain leading with an open grin on his face, which had youthened, his hair now turning a tawny colour, and his eyes holding the light of excitement.

After quite some time in the pouring rain, whipping wind and amidst the tang of salt in one's nostril, a small elbow of land sitting green on the horizon came into view, it was on no sea-chart, no map or in no book that the men could find, The Captain had taken us, and he had led with the surety of somebody heading home along an old road from their childhood, but we all knew that he had never visited this place; none of us had. When we made closer to the islands, mists rose out of the sea to shroud them. The Captain bade us stop, so we weighed anchor. The Captain now holding the youthful look of a man of thirty, with all the wisdom of an eighty year old behind the eyes, leapt down onto the deck past us, utterly astonished, to the rowing boats which were cied off at the side of the ships hull and hopped into the sleek, varnished pine boat. We all stood around agape at first as he began to lower himself down, but at the signal of one of the priests who ventured along with us, we began a final lamenting praise for The Captain. Weak and sad to begin, the melody took us to a time when The Captain began to prepare for this voyage, to the care he showed to us, each of his crew-members, his love and concern, his imagination and his ability to see that it was okay when chaos and ruin seemed to loom; to now, as the sky opened up to the warm embrace of the sun we realised that this journey is made by all good men and women, those who are in their nature - for others. The Captain was leaving now, his boat had silently dipped into the water and had begun gliding along, tending towards the shore, but we would see him again. Smiles broke out among the crew as we watched him shrink. When he was still clearly visible he turned his young face that was filled with life ship-ward and smiled one last time for us, as the golden mists enveloped him, hiding him from our view. And so we sat and thought of the time when we ourselves would have to make a similar journey, through this life into another. Still smiling.

And into the misty isles of time,
We all shall sail ourselves.
Whether in morning, day or dusk,
We drink now from the well
That quenches all; the fair of heart
Villains, liars, fiends
And leaves behind no thirst for men
Or thought of mortal dreams.
Failing body, prevailing soul
Through all that ever is.
Someday hope you'll take your boat
On through the golden mists.

-oOo-

Officers, Gentlemen and Villains

by Rossa McDermott (OC ‘78)

It was a far from soft day when the casket of Fr Joe Brereton SJ was lowered into the grave by a new generation of Clongownians in the community graveyard, just off the main avenue. Alongside the recently departed Fr Paddy Lavery SJ, the man more affectionately known ‘Bertie” Brereton was laid to his final place of rest in front of many Clongownians, past and present. It was somehow unfair that this most gentle of men did not get more deserving weather - some bright Spring sunshine - in order to record the sad moment when he left the Clongowes Community for good. But then again, Bertie was never one for the limelight.

In recalling the long shadow he cast over the Clongowes Community, Fr Michael 'Mocky' Sheil fondly remembered that the Bertie era started even before the current Jesuit Provincial, Tom Layden, had arrived in Clongowes many years ago. Mocky estimated that his influence had been cast over 3,000 pupils during his tenure, and a testament to that influence was the cross-section of ages in the Boys Chapel for his funeral service, all reflecting a man who, in a very quiet, yet determined way, had managed to impact on many, many generations during his teaching years.

For those who wondered in the early days why soccer played such a role in the teaching of English, it was due to his roots in Liverpool, where he lived until the premature death of his father, after which the family moved back to Limerick. In looking back over old copy books in clear outs and house moves, it is now clearer to me why so many essays, projects and drawings of the 1974 World Cup were acceptable English copy for Fr Brereton. Unbeknownst to many of us he loved football, but he also took an interest in all sporting achievements of his charges, especially his “Officers”. In a moving, honest and potent homily Fr Sheil recalled a particular rivalry between prefects in the old Rhetoric Building, Since forever, it seemed, Bertie called his fellow dwellers on the top floor of the old 1966 building “Officers”, all seemingly a reflection of a higher quality of Rhetorician in the scheme of things - in his mind. This was carried further in the cup teams and other sports, as no winning team went without a competitive count from Joe Brereton as to his Officer numbers in the wining side.

But it was perhaps the term “Villain” that evoked the most recognition from the packed church during Mocky's fond recollections on Thursday morning. It was the fiercest term that Bertie ever mustered when talking about the most mean of people. In an era when the hard edge of The Raz - aka Fr Gerry O'Beirne - was not slow about calling things as they were (and often in the most non-Jesuitical language) Fr Joe Brereton never moved beyond the term “villains”. This, perhaps, most accurately reflected the soft and caring nature of the man, characterising everything he stood for during his four plus decades in Clongowes. Whatever about being an Officer or a Gentleman, one thing you never wanted to be was a Villain. There was possibly nothing more troublesome.

In the closing prayers at the graveside on Thursday Fr Sheil and Fr Moloney ended concelebrating the life of a great man in the company of Fr John Looby, Fr Phil Fogarty, and Fr Colin Warrack. They did so with a befitting sense of ceremony perhaps so typical of the Jesuit Community over the generations. Sadly though the Clongowes Jesuit community graveyard is filled with too many stalwarts now long since at peace, yet evoking memories for each and everyone of us: Fr Cyril Power, Fr James “Pop” Casey, Fr Charlie O'Connor, Fr Ray Lawler, Fr Percy Winder, Fr Gerry O'Beirne, Fr Frank Frewen, Brother Willie Fitzgerald, Brother William Glanville and the one and only Jim Treacy - to mention just a few. On May 10th 2012 Fr Joe Brereton, SJ sadly joined them. May he rest in peace.

Browne, Michael, 1853-1933, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/74
  • Person
  • 22 April 1853-20 November 1933

Born: 22 April 1853, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 27 July 1891
Final Vows: 02 February 1897, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 20 November 1933, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Br Thomas Johnson Entry :
He was assisted in his last moments by his Spiritual Father, Michael Browne, and died 27 May 1900.
Note from James Dempsey Entry :
He finally retired to Tullabeg and he died there 03 October 1904. he was assisted there in his last moments by the saintly Michael Browne, Rector and Master of Novices.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 3rd Year No 1 1927

Jubilee : Fr Michael Browne
The official celebration in Fr Michael Browne's honour took place in Rathfarnham on the 29th September. After a good deal of College work, Rector of the Crescent, Clongowes and Tullabeg he was Master of Novices at three different periods and is now Spiritual Father to the fifty-seven Juniors at Rathfarnham and, whenever he gets a chance, spends, at least, seven days a week giving retreats,

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934
Obituary :
Father Michael Browne
Father S. Brown has kindly sent us the following appreciation :
On the morning of November the 28th died Father Michael Browne in his eighty first year.

He was born in Limerick in 1853 and was educated partly at Crescent College in that city and partly at Clongowes. On leaving the latter college he applied to enter the Society. Superiors thought him too delicate and rejected the application. He accordingly went to Carlow College to study for the priesthood. But the call was insistent. After a visit to Rome and to Lourdes he tried again and this time was successful. He entered the Novitiate at Milltown
Park on the 7th of September 1877. The fifty-six years of his life in the Society were outwardly uneventful. He had relatively little contact with the outer world and shunned all
appearances in public. But within the Province he held nearly every office of trust and responsibility with the exception of that of Provincial. He was Master in the colleges (Tullabeg
1883-85, Clongowes '86 and Mungret 1891-94). During this last period he was Prefect of Studies. He was Spiritual Father in Clongowes ('96- '99) and later in Rathfarnham (1924-51). He was Rector of Tullabeg from 1920 to 1924, again 1918 to 1910. During these two periods of office he was Master of Novices. He was Rector of the Crescent (I905-7). Finally he was for eleven years Socius to the Provincial. That is surely a remarkable record.
But he will perhaps be remembered not so much for his eminent services to the Society as for his personality. For throughout his life he was known to be a man of deep and genuine holiness and there were many who did not hesitate to speak of him as a saint. Despite all his efforts to conceal it his austerity was well known. Especially in his Tullabeg days he was merciless to himself, Without being a very close observer one could know that he was all tied up with hair-shirts and chains. Indeed this was the origin of some of his characteristic gestures. Superiors had to exercise constant vigilance to see that he took sufficient food. He was more lenient in his later years, but even in his last year he sometimes made his meal of dry bread. He never smoked nor drank wine or spirits. He had schooled himself in the most rigid observance of “custody of the eyes.” He seldom, in fact looked at the person to whom he was speaking and he not infrequently made upon outsiders an impression of aloofness and indifference. There was indeed no little aloofness in his way of life. He made few friends and acquaintances. But his manner was by no means cold and repelling. He had a temper but it was under such stern control that few suspected its existence.
He was the most unworldly of men. He never read newspapers and took little or no interest in the little events of the day. He preached a lofty spirituality that soared high above the earth. One felt oneself among naked mountain peaks and breathed a somewhat rarefied atmosphere. Still humor, of a simple and homely kind, was by no means banished from
his Retreats and exhortations. He even courted a hearty laugh from his audience. He himself could laugh heartily in his deep bass voice and often when telling some amusing anecdote
the tears would run down his cheeks and his mirth would so choke his utterance that listeners sometimes failed to catch the climax or the point of the story. His memory held a great
store of such anecdotes centering very largely in Limerick, which always held a warm place in his heart.
He was always an intense student and a lover of books. He wrote, so far as I know, nothing for publication, but he accumulated copious notes, largely written in shorthand. Many
years ago he discarded large quantities of MS. material relating to his work as a master. He loved to pick up for a few pence in second hand bookshops books that appealed to him. His friends knew that books were the only gifts that would be acceptable. He belonged, one might say, to the Victorian epoch. In literature as in other things, modernity had no appeal for him. His taste was for history and biography and he seems never to have read fiction.
He went to God as straight as he knew how, without hesitations or compromises and regardless of the cost. He thought, as he lived, in straight lines, looking neither to right nor left. His character was strong and simple without subtlety and without crookedness of any kind. On subjects about which he cared at all his principles were fixed, his mind was made up. And as with principles of thought so with principles of conduct. Early in life he had laid down such principles for himself and to these he adhered undeviatingly to the end.
His spiritual life was hidden with Christ in God. One could only guess at its characteristics. It included certainly a great love for Our Lady and he never began an exhortation in the
chapel without reciting in full an Act of Consecration to her. Much of his time, especially towards the end, was spent in the chapel. All who really knew him were convinced of his great holiness.
As long as strength remained to him he worked unsparingly. I have known him to give as many as seven Retreats on end. During these Retreats he was the despair of the Sister who
waited on him at meals. In the last year of his life he was still giving domestic exhortations and lectures in various convents. He held the honorable post of confessor to the Archbishop of Dublin.
In his last illness, as long as his mind held good, he was his old self, concerned only about the trouble he was giving, and praying almost without interruption.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Brown 1853-1933
Fr Michael was preeminently the Ascetic of the Province. His austerity was well known, in spite of all his efforts to conceal it. Especially in his Tullabeg days as Master of Novices, he was merciless on himself. He was a great believer in hairshirts and chains, and Superiors had to exercise vigilance to make sure he took sufficient food. Yet he was not a solitary, given over to lone contemplation. In his time, he held every administrative post in the Province, save that of Provincial, though he acted as Vice-Provincial on one occasion. He was untiring in giving retreats, even up to his last years, and was known to have given 7 retreats on end, without interval.

At the same time he was not a repelling character, rather he engendered great respect and affection. He had his sense of humour, and his deep laugh was familiar to all his listeners.

He went straight to God as he knew how, without compromised. His use of creatures was mainly by abstention. When he died on November 22nd 1933, after 56 years in the Society, one eminent fellow Jesuit remarked that Fr Michael Brown’s holiness was reminiscent of the old Irish monks, to which an equally eminent Jesuit replied “Nay more, his eminence was pre-Christian”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1934

Obituary

Father Michael Browne SJ

Father Michael Browne, whose death took place at Rathfarnham Castle, on Monday, November 20th, 1933, in his eighty-first year, was one of the links that bound together Tullabeg and Clongowes. He was an Old Clongownian, had been a master and Prefect of Studies in both Colleges, was Spiritual Father and Rector of Clongowes and had been twice Rector of Tullabeg when it was no longer a secondary school. For over thirty years before his death, he had no direct connection with Clongowes. His name was hardly known to the later generations of boys here, but those who were at Clongowes in the late nineties realise that a great Clongownian has died.

Michael Browne was born in Limerick on April 22nd,. 1853. His early school years were spent in that city at the Sacred Heart College, then known as St Munchin's College. Having already a wish to become a Jesuit, he came to Clongowes in 1872, and, after two years here, he applied to enter the noviceship. Owing to his delicate state of health the application was refused It was a sore trial; but Michael Browne did not lightly abandon anything on which he had set his heart. He wanted to become a priest and succeeded in gaining admission to St Patrick's College, Carlow. His lungs were weak and his health did not improve, while the call to the Jesuit noviceship became more insistent. Heaven was stormed with prayers by himself and by his friends. It used to be told how his sister, who was a nun and who died at an early age, offered her life that Michael might be able to become a Jesuit. After a visit to Rome and to Lourdes, undertaken to obtain his desire, he asked again to be received into the Society of Jesus. This time he was accepted, and he entered the novitiate at Milltown Park, Dublin, on September 7th, 1877, three years after he had left Clongowes.

Before we write of the man, let us recall dates and occupations, for they are instructive. At the end of his noviceship. at Milltown Park, Michael Browne took his yows on September 8th, 1879. Then followed four further years at Milltown, one as a Junior, the remaining three studying philosophy. From 1883 to 1886 he was Prefect of Studies and Master of English and Mathematics at Tullabeg. He came to Clongowes in the Amalgamation Year, as Assistant Prefect of Studies and Mathematical Master of the Royal University students. From 1887 to 1891, he studied theology, for the first two years at Louvain and later at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1890. During his last year at Milltown as a priest he was a constant visitor to the Incurables Hospital, Donny brook, where the memory of his kindness and of his holiness was still fresh among the patients twenty years afterwards. In 1891, he was appointed Prefect of Studies at Mungret, a position which he held for four years, when he also taught the Royal University students at a time when they were bringing fame to Mungret. On leaving Mungret in 1895, he went to Chieri, Italy, for his tertianship. The next year found him Spiritual Father and a master at Clongowes. When Father Devitt left Clongowes in the summer of 1900, Father Michael Browne succeeded him as Rector, but it was only for a few months, as he was nominated Rector and Master of Novices at Tullabeg towards the end of November of the same year. During this period the late Father John Sullivan was a novice under Father Brownie's direction. They were kindred souls, and ever after novice and Novice Master had a lifelong veneration for one another. In the August of 1905, Father Browne was made Rector of the Sacred Heart College and Church at Limerick, This was, perhaps, the most active period of his very busy life, as, while Rector, he taught in the College, worked in the Church, and had charge of the three branches of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin the Children of Mary whom he addressed once a week, the Ignatian Sodality for young men and the boys' Sodality of Our Lady. In August, 1908, we find him again Master of Novices and Rector of Tullabeg. Three years later he was named Socius to the Provincial, a position which he held for eleven years, during which time also, he was an indefatigable worker in the Church at Gardiner Street, In 1922 he went to Tullabeg as Master of Novices for the third time, and in 1924 he was transferred to Rathfarnham where he was Spiritual Father and occupied in giving Retreats to within a few months of his death. It is a summary of over half-a-century which Father Browne spent slaving in the service of God.

Though holding most important positions within the Society of Jesus, where he earned universal respect and reverence, Father Michael Browne's life was to a great extent hidden from the outside world. But within and without the Society, the striking holiness of his life impressed everybody with whom he came in contact. One could not help noticing his complete other-worldliness. “God everywhere and in everything; a constant endeavour to be pleasing in His eyes, and to require nothing of Him except the means so to be” : such was the motive force behind the life of Father Michael Browne. Despite his efforts to escape notice he could not conceal his austerities. Hair shirts, chains and disciplines were part of his everyday life. His only rest during many years was a few hours on a plank bed. When Father Browne was a priest at Clongowes there was a tradition among the boys that their spiritual father slept on “boards and pebbles”, and the schoolboy phrase was not far removed from the truth. Indeed, Superiors, knowing that he worked very hard, had to be constantly vigilant to see that he took enough food. During Retreats, when urging his hearers to practise what they preached, he frequently mentioned the phrase said to have been used by a member of his congregation to a preacher who had taught stern self-denial : “When I heard you in the pulpit I despaired of salvation, but when I saw you at your meals I took courage again”. When one saw him take his food, the courage was all on Father Browne's side, for dry bread was the chief item of his unchanging menu, While this was his daily routine he astonished all by his capability for constant and trying work. He was known to have given as many as seven Retreats on end. More than once, when others engaged in the same work fell ill, he conducted two Retreats simultaneously.

Yet though he taught self-denial, he would not allow others to do anything rash in this respect : “Take your food”, he would say, “we must keep the engine going, if it is to do its work”. His war on self was relentless. It extended to everything in his life. Passing through Switzerland on his way to Italy, it was known that he did not raise his eyes to look upon the beautiful scenery, upon which he did not expect to have the opportunity of gazing again. It was not, indeed, that he did not like pleasing sights, for while at Mungret as a young priest he used to go to the upper storey of the College to admire the charming sunsets, and then would kneel down and recite the Te Deum. When at Lourdes he prayed that he might not witness a miracle, for he did not want to lessen the full merit of his faith. .

But this war on self was only one means which Father Browne employed to bring him nearer to God. In his eyes, prayer was much more important than exterior mortification. His constant union with God was remarkable. He spent a large portion of the day and many hours of the night in formal prayer. To the ordinary spiritual duties of a Jesuit he added many more to which he was ever faithful. He passed hours each day before the Blessed Sacrament, There, in meditation, he prepared the subject matter of his sermons and Retreat lectures, It was in the Chapel he recited the Divine Office, where in a quiet corner he usually knelt without resting on any support. He had a strong and tender devotion to our Blessed Lady, and from his early years he said the full fifteen decades of her Rosary daily. He once told a friend that the biggest thing in his early life had been his being made a Child of Mary. How really he took this was shown by his unbroken habit of reciting the short act of consecration used in the reception into the Sodality before every spiritual address which he gave. Never was anything allowed to interfere with his spirit of prayer and of recollection. Rarely, if ever, did he read newspapers or novels, unless when such reading was part of his work. This practice he recommended to others. To their questioning, about reading a book or a novel, nearly always came the same disconcertingly logical answer, by way of another question: “Does it help you to say your prayers?” Devotion to the Sacred Heart and to the Passion he held very dear. Among the saints he seemed to be especially devoted to St Teresa and St Francis de Sales, to St Aloysius and St John Berchmans. This last saint had a big place in his life. “What would St. John Berchmans do?” was a frequent question to guide those under his direction.

It was as a Spiritual Director that Father Michael Browne was chiefly known. For those who met him for the first time, and who had never come to him with a serious trouble, there was much in the strict custody of his eyes and a certain aloofness in his manner, which made them think that Father Browne was too cold and too much removed from them to be really helpful. Yet it certainly was not so. When he came in contact with a weak or troubled soul, Father Browne was kindness itself. He was fond of repeating the saying of St Francis de Sales : “You will catch more flies with a spoonful of honey than with a barrel of vinegar”. And again he would say: “I have not found any instance in the New Testament where Our Lord dealt harshly with the penitent sinner”. He dealt with those in trouble as did the Master. The poor around Gardiner Street knew that he was not cold, and felt that “Saint Browne”, as they used to call him among themselves, was their friend.

He would encourage those who had to struggle against temptation by telling them that he had a lifelong fight against a violent temper, and then he would urge the recital of Blessed Claude de la Colombière's Act of Confidence in God. Some of his sayings already mentioned show how Father Browne constantly employed the best method of the Spiritual Director, which consists in making the soul help itself. For him, Spiritual Exercises were always to be under stood in the Ignatian and literal meaning, a real striving after higher things. During Retreats and at other times, he expected a strong effort in response to his advice, yet he was ready to pardon failure which comes from weakness and not from lack of good will.

His marvellous memory held a seemingly inexhaustible store of anecdotes from history and biography, sacred and profane, of which he was a deep student. He was Victorian in his reading and conversation, and most of his stories were of people and of events of the last century. Archbishop Healy and Bishop O'Dwyer of Limerick, whose cousin he was, were the subjects of many a reminiscence. He had a great fund of anecdotes about Limerick, which ever had a warm place in his heart. His sense of humour, another help to holiness, often so overcame him when telling a story that the end was lost in the loud and hearty laugh so characteristic of him, while tears of mirth rolled down his cheeks. His wide reading served him well when preaching and giving Retreats. He prepared his matter most diligently, wrote out his sermons carefully, in which one saw the influence of Newman, with whose writings he was very familiar, but he never used a note nor a book in the pulpit or when giving a Retreat lecture. Yet he would recite a dozen verses of the Scriptures, or a large part of a chapter of the Imitation of Christ, or the full text of one of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius with faithful accuracy.

Father Michael Browne is dead. But he has left behind him among his fellow-Jesuits a lasting memory of great kindness, of severe asceticism, of very hard work, of a prayerful life and of remarkable holiness. To have known him is regarded as a privilege by those who were brought into familiar contact with him during life. To have been asked to pen these lines by the Editor of “The Clongownian” has been looked upon as a very great privilege by the present writer, who gladly pays this tribute to his old Master of Novices and to a loved and revered friend through many years.

May God give His richest rewards to Father Michael Browne who spent his life so generously in working for Him.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1934

Obituary

Father Michael Browne SJ

It is our sad duty to have to record the 1 death of one, whose connection with Mungret goes back to the nineties of last century - Father Michael Browne. But, though it is many years since he was working amongst us, still the memory of him and of his saintliness has remained ever fresh and lasting among those who had the good fortune to live with him.

Father Michael was a Limerick man, born in that city in 1853, the son of the late County Court Judge, Daniel Browne. His early years were spent at the Crescent, Limerick, and then at Clongowes Wood College. On leaving the latter college, he applied to be admitted into the Society of Jesus, but, to his great disappointment, was rejected on the score of ill-health. Being determined to be a priest, he entered Carlow College. Here his vocation for the Society persisted. In response to its dictates, he applied again to be admitted into the Society, and, to his great joy, was accepted. He always attributed the success of this second application to the intercession of the Virgin Mother, and here we have the first evidence of that sweet devotion which was the predominating and all-pervading one of his life.

In 1877 he entered the Jesuit noviceship at Milltown Park. His ideals, like those of all novices, were very high, St Stanislaus was to be outdone, but, there was this difference with Father Michael, as his brethren can attest - he arrived where they. aspired and his striving after sublime perfection never lost the fervour of the noviceship days.

His noviceship finished, Father Browne continued on at Milltown Park, studying Philosophy for three years, and then departed for St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, at that time one of the leading lay colleges in the country. Here he acted as Prefect of Studies in 1883. In the year of “the amalgamation with Clongowes”, 1886, he proceeded there, to act as Assistant Prefect of Studies. Theology absorbed his energies for the next four years, partly at Louvain, partly at Milltown Park, culminating in the long-awaited glory of the priesthood in 1891.

Mungret claimed him for the next three to four years, as Prefect of Studies. During these years, he had charge of the Sodality of Our Lady, an office that was especially dear to him on account of his tender devotion to the Virgin Mother. The following extract from the history of the Sodality is not without interest :

“Father D Gallery (the first Director) was succeeded by Father M Browne. By him the Sodality was directed for four years, and it owes to his assiduous care, the deep root it has taken in the College”. -(”Mungret Annual”, 1897).

From Mungret, he next set off for Chieri, Turin, there to go through his tertianship, the final moulding process of the Jesuit. He returned from Chieri to take up the Office of Spiritual Father to the boys and of Assistant in the People's Church. The kindness and saintliness displayed by him in these functions, won for him the “one post of distinction in the Society-Master of Novices”. This he held for ten years, at different intervals.

For three years he acted as Rector of the Crescent, Limerick, then was Novice-Master again, then Assistant to the Provincial. After eleven years in these duties, for the latter few of which he also exercised the ministry at Gardiner Street with great fruit and renown, he set out for Tullabeg once more, to fill the office of Novice-Master. After two years interval, he became Spiritual Father to the Scholastics in Rathfarnham Castle, which post he filled till his death. Though he had never been a man of robust health, owing to his natural delicacy and to his austerities, nevertheless he had successfully come through many a severe bout of sickness and had often been anointed. So his last illness was not looked upon with any great alarm at the beginning. But after a few days' illness, very little hope of his recovery was entertained, and he passed away, after a comparatively short illness, in his 81st year, on November 20th, 1933.

It would be an impertinence on our part to attempt to give an adequate estimation of Father Browne's lofty character within the narrow limits at our disposal. Suffice it to say, that, within the Order, he was held to be a man of great sanctity and of model observance, without, he was eagerly sought after, as a spiritual guide and Retreat giver by religious and clergy, and as a father confessor by the laity. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Michael Browne (1853-1933)

A native of Limerick city and a pupil of this college, entered the Society in 1877. Until the close of the last century, he was master, or prefect of studies or spiritual father to the boys in Tullabeg, Clongowes and Mungret. From 1900 onwards he was given one post of responsibility after another and gave distinguished service to the Society: Rector and Master of Novices at Tullabeg (1900-1905); Rector of Sacred Heart College, Limerick (1905-1908); Rector again at Tullabeg (1908-1911); secretary to the Provincial (1911-1922); Master of Novices (1922-1924). The remaining ten years of his life were spent as spiritual father to the community at Rathfarnham Castle.

For many years, Father Browne's duties brought him into little contact with the outside world. Apart from his rectorship at the Crescent, his work was within the Society. Yet, without realising it, Father Browne, in his lifetime, was known to many outside the Society as a man of singular holiness. It was he who formed the servant of God, Father John Sullivan in his noviceship days. Until death called both these priests away in the same year, 1933, the former novice-master and the former novice regarded one another with humble veneration. A biography of Father Michael Browne from the able pen of Father Thomas Hurley (master at the Crescent (1928-33 and 1940-52]) was published in 1949.

Burke, Patrick Francis, 1882-1941, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/969
  • Person
  • 05 March 1882-07 September 1941

Born: 05 March 1882, Cork City
Entered: 01 March 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 07 September 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942
Obituary :
Brother Patrick Burke

Brother Burke was known to have expressed more than once the desire to die in harness, yet not even he can have imagined that the end would come so suddenly. He complained for the first time on Monday 1st of September, but it was not until Saturday that his illness took a serious turn and he was removed to hospital. His condition grew rapidly worse and be died the following day.

Born in Cork city in the year 1882, he was from an early age attached to Messrs. Egan, jewellers, and remained with them for twenty two years. From there he went to Stokes in Westmoreland Street Dublin, where he worked from 1918 to 1921. Then. to use his own words, there came to him the call to leave the world and he decided to enter the Society as a, Lay-Brother. His Noviceship days were spent in Tullabeg. In 1925 we find him in Belvedere, in 1929 he went to the Crescent, whence, after a year, he was transferred to Milltown Park. where he remained until his death.

Perhaps it is as sacristan that Br. Burke will be always best remembered. In all that had to do with that office he showed an enthusiasm and devotedness quite remarkable. “The happiest moments of my life were spent in work for Our Lord on the Altar” he was heard to say, and there can be no more eloquent testimony of his devotion to his hidden Master than the care and pains he took with all the Altar arrangements. He rose magnificently to all great occasions, such as major feasts, and, most of all, ordinations, when his altars won many a word of admiration.But his daily care of the altar and of the chapel was a finer proof of the reality of his devotion. Many of us can be painstaking on occasion, but Br. Burke was painstaking in the chapel always. No effort that this work demanded of him was too great for his diminutive. but indomitable frame, no detail too small for his care and attention. Day after day and year after year this unwearying care went on, and Br. Burke continued to be to all who knew him an example of one who waited for his Lord, and kept his lamp trimmed, and all in readiness. With true zeal Br Burke wished to share with others his devotion to the altar. He trained boys to serve Mass and was ever at pains to imbue them with his own reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. He intensified and extended this work in the last year of his life, and the bearing of those he has trained is living testimony to his success. His contact with those who brought flowers for the altar gave him another outlet for his zeal. Those who thus came in contact with him loved him for a may humour he had and for his very real. sympathy with them, but it was his simple and sincere piety that most of all affected them.
Br. Burke's life in the Society was a little life, the thoughtless will say, taken up with simple hidden things. It may seem little in the eyes of the thoughtless, but it was the work his Master had given him to do, and it was splendidly done. That, for all its apparent littleness that his life shone before men is evidenced by the surprising number of people who attended the Requiem Mass for Bro Burke in the chapel of Milltown Park, and followed the coffin afterwards to Glasnevin. Br Burke left many friends to mourn him, not least among them, his little Mass-servers, and many who have learnt from him the beautiful lesson of devoted. reverent service of the Blessed Sacrament. and left behind the record of a life that was this lesson lived. Such a life may be little by the standards of the world, but it must be very great by the only standard that counts when life is over. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Patrick Burke 1882-1941
Br Patrick Burke was referred to by externs as “The Saint”.

Born in Cork in 1882, he was attached to Egan’s the jewellers in that city, and then with Stokes of Westmoreland Street Dublin. It was here that he heard the call in 1921, and answewred it to become a lay-brother in the Society.

Always extremely neat in his person, he was precise in his manner and exact in his duties. All his religious life he devoted to the altar as Sacristan, and there he displayed exquisite taste in adorning the altar and looking after the vestments.

He had a wide circle of friends and admirers, who revered him as a holy man, many of whom had known him “in the world”, under the soubriquet of “The Major”.

He was most closely associated with Milltown Park, where he died an edifying death on 7th September 1941.

Butler, William, 1848-1907, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/814
  • Person
  • 04 September 1848-03 February 1907

Born: 04 September 1848, County Galway
Entered: 07 November 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880
Professed: 02 February 1888
Died: 03 February 1907, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

by 1868 at Amiens, France (CAMP) studying
by 1869 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1871 at Spring Hill College AL, USA (LUGD) Teaching
by 1874 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1879 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Educated at Coláiste Iognáid.

After First Vows he studied Philosophy at Laval and Theology at Louvian.
He was then lent to NOR as a scholastic for three years.
When he returned from New Orleans he was sent to Clongowes for some years. He spent some time as a Priest at Tullabeg, and when the College closed there he went for Tertianship to Drongen. He then joined the Missionary Band and was an excellent and very vigorous speaker.
He spent the remaining years of his life at Gardiner St where he died 03 February 1907

Excerpts (paraphrased in part) from An Appreciation by One Who Knew Him (EM SJ)
He was a native of Galway. That he was endowed with natural talents of no mean order is quite true, talents for a somewhat extended range in Mathematical and Philosophical speculation. It is true that during his lifetime he improved and developed these natural gifts by assiduous toil. Truer still that he possessed a rare sensibility for the fine arts, especially for the art of Music. Those who are capable of forming a just judgement bear witness to the elegance and perfection of execution which he reached on more than one instrument, but especially on his favourite instrument, the violin..........he was far from looking on Music as the serious occupation of his life........He looked on it more as a legitimate means of relaxation after a hard day’s work, or still more, as a legitimate means of ministering to the recreation and enjoyment of others.
........After First Vows he went to St Acheul near Amiens for Rhetoric, and then to Louvain for three years Philosophy. He was then sent for Regency to Clongowes, and Spring Hill College Alabama on the New Orleans Mission. He was then sent to Louvain again for Theology, and was Ordained 1880. His Priestly life was spent at Tullabeg, Crescent and Gardiner St until his death there.
....Father Butler’s nature was highly sensitive and refined will, I suppose, may readily be taken for granted by those who understand what are the qualities which combine to make a talent for music approaches to genius. Whatever Father Butler may have appeared to strangers, this writer can amply testify that he was to those who lived with him, and knew him intimately, the simplest, most genial, and the most kind-hearted of men. To the end of his life he was as light-hearted, I had almost said frolicsome, as a boy. Few men could rival the gusto with which he told or listened to a merry tale. Few equalled the heartiness of his laugh.
....But though taking a measured delight in the innocent joys of this life, it was very evident that his serious purpose was often “to muse on joy that will not cease”. Underneath all his outward gaiety there was the abiding consciousness of weighty responsibility.......laboriously taming and bringing to subjection a somewhat naturally hot and impulsive nature. Certainly he did not wear his religion on his sleeve........but....he possessed in no stinted measure a deep faith, informed by a piety at once simple and tender.......

Note from John Naughton Entry :
1896 He finally returned to Gardiner St again, and was President of the BVM Sodality for girls, being succeeded by William Butler and Martin Maher in this role.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father William Butler (1848-1907)

Born in Galway, educated at St Ignatius College, and received into the Society in 1865, was at the Crescent for two short periods, 1888-1889 and 1901-1902. He was a talented preacher and most of his active religious life was spent as missioner or at work in Gardiner St Church. Father Butler, in his day, was known to many as a musician of outstanding ability. He was a violinist of sensitive technique and his services as leader for orchestral accompaniment to the choir at Sacred Heart Church were frequently availed of.

Byrne, Charles J, 1886-1967, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/985
  • Person
  • 28 February 1886-22 February 1967

Born: 28 February 1886, Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 16 May 1918, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1922, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 22 February 1967, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1907 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 42nd Year No 2 1967

Obituary :

Fr Charles Byrne SJ (1886-1967)

Fr. Charles Byrne was born in Dublin on 28th February 1886. He received his primary education at Synge Street and his secondary education in Belvedere, where he went in 1897. James Joyce was one of his companions but Fr. Charles did not find him a congenial soul. He entered the noviceship at Tullabeg in 1902 and remained there as a junior to study for his B.A. “Work was real, work was earnest”, in those days and he felt grateful to have survived the ordeal unscathed and with a B.A. to boot.
The three years of philosophy were spent at Stonyhurst and on his return to Ireland he was sent for a year to the Crescent where he taught the First Arts class and then for four years, as a teacher, to Clongowes where he had His Grace, Archbishop McQuaid as a pupil. In 1915 he began his theology in Milltown Park and was ordained in May 1918, the early date being due to the conscription scare of that year. At the end of theology he was sent to the Crescent for a year before tertianship and returned there in 1921. For ten years he was operarius, teacher and Minister at the Crescent. Then in 1931 he was transferred to Belvedere where he taught for 29 years without a break. When he retired from teaching he was appointed Superior of Loyola House and then last summer (1966) he returned to Belvedere where he died on 23rd February after the briefest of illnesses.
Of his 65 years in the Society, Fr. Byrne spent 46 in the colleges, doing that work which the General Congregation has again asserted to be one of our most important ministries. He was the kind of totally dedicated teacher that every college wants - for all his activities were centred around the work of the house whether it was teaching or theatricals or games. He had far more of the graces than the average Jesuit and he made use of them in a way that impressed the boys. Thus, he had a fine voice which was heard to advantage at a High Mass; he was a most graceful skater on ice, an elusive half at soccer and so good a hockey player that he was capped for Munster, which must be a Jesuit record.
As a teacher of Latin he used many industriae, mnemonics, rhymes, anecdotes and competitions, so that he rarely had need to order punishment. Then the lazy boy was shamed into working by noticing how hard his master worked for him and he could not help noticing it. Every mark for a theme was duly noted down and every mark in an examination was duly entered so that there was available a complete record of the work of each pupil during his progress through the school. For most of his time at Belvedere Fr. Byrne taught the first divisions in the top years. There was a very close bond between him and his class, so close indeed that when he was replaced by a younger Jesuit they resented losing him and the Prefect of Studies had his work cut out trying to smooth things over.
When Minister at the Crescent Fr. Byrne entered wholeheartedly into the activities of the Cecilian Society and tales of those days are still current in Limerick where he was remembered with affection, as his Christmas post from Limerick testified. On his transfer to Belvedere he put his skill at the disposal of Fr. M. Glynn who had just launched out on his long programme of Gilbert and Sullivan Operas. During opera week Fr. Byrne was a familiar sight in the green room in a khaki dust coat and with neat boxes of grease paint laid out like a surgeon's instruments.
On Fr. Glynn's breakdown Fr. Byrne at a moment's notice stepped into his shoes and with admirable skill and still more admirable patience produced year after year the college opera from 1939 to 1960. He appreciated good singing, good speaking and graceful movement. Year after year to make some forty boys good singers, good speakers and graceful movers called for heroic devotion. Fortunately, like Fr. Glynn, he possessed the secret of attaching the cast to himself so that all were anxious to do their best.
As has been said already any school was glad to have him and the same may be said about any community. The reason was obvious; he was unassuming, considerate and prompt to offer assistance. He was the Prefect of Studies answer to prayer for he considered the work assigned to him on the status had first claims on his time and energy. Only when he had conscientiously done his work did he consider himself free to do work of his own choice.
From our mode of life most of us are inclined to develop marked bachelor characteristics, carelessness of dress, untidy habits and general disregard for what we despise as “the frills”. Others of us react strongly against such ways and Fr. Charles was one of these. He is said to have asked a friend whose dishevelled breviary he viewed with disapproval : “Do you wash your hands after using that book?”
Without being foppish he was always carefully dressed. He took great care of his clothes and made them last a long time. A visit to his room was quite an experience; it was so unlike the typical lair of a Jesuit. Nothing was out of place. Everything was brushed and polished and the humblest furniture decorated.
When he returned to Belvedere last September he endeavoured to follow the order of time as far as possible. And he remained like this to the end. Indeed he was at recreation the evening before he died. Then on the day of his death he celebrated Mass and in the afternoon before dinner walked up and down the corridor saying his beads. Shortly afterwards he was found in his room suffering obviously from a stroke. He was anointed by Fr. B. Murray. A doctor was summoned (Dr. E. Guiney, one of his former pupils) and he advised transfer to hospital. He was brought by ambulance to the Mater, but before he could get treatment he passed quietly away.
He was considerate to the end, dying in the manner that would inconvenience the community as little as possible. May his quiet and gentle soul rest in peace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1967

Obituary

Father Charles J Byrne SJ (Pupil 1897-1902; Teacher 1931-1960)

Fr Charles Byrne died most unexpectedly : on the evening of 22nd February 1967. He had returned to Belvedere the previous summer having spent six years as Superior of Loyola House, Eglinton Road, Dublin. On the day of his death he said Mass, in the afternoon recited his Breviary and before dinner walked up and down the corridor saying his Rosary. Shortly afterwards he was found in his room apparently dozing in his chair but really in a semi-coma. He was conscious of what was going on around him but was unable to communicate with those present though he made efforts to do so. The Last Sacraments were administered to him and then it was decided to transfer him to hospital. He was brought to the Mater Hospital but before he could get treatment he passed quietly away. This gentle and unobtrusive going was in complete keeping with his whole life, considerate for others at all times and dying in the manner that would cause as little inconvenience as possible.

After five years as a pupil in Belvedere Fr Byrne entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Tullabeg in 1902 and after his profession remained there as a junior to study for his BA degree. The three years of philosophy were spent at Stonyhurst College, England, and his teaching as a scholastic extended over six years, one at the Crescent and five at Clongowes where he taught science. In 1915 he began his theology at Milltown Park and was ordained there in May 1918. After tertianship he returned to the Crescent College, Limerick, where he combined the duties of Minister and teacher and was also in charge of the public church. During this period he entered wholeheartedly into the spirit of the Cecilian Society and even to this day he is remembered with affection in Limerick.

In 1931 he was transferred to Belvedere where he resumed a long unbroken association with his Alma Mater for almost thirty years. He taught mostly Latin to the Senior Honours classes in which he had remarkable success. He had a close bond with all his pupils and never had to resort to sanctions as an incentive to work. He had a fund of mnemonics, rhymes, anecdotes which made life for the boy that little more interesting and somewhat easier when it came to imbibing knowledge. He was a very dedicated and industrious teacher, noting down most meticulously every mark for a theme and every mark for an examination, so that there was available a complete record of the work of each pupil during his progress through the college.

Fr Byrne had a lively interest in sport and maintained this interest right to the end. He supported all the college matches and was keenly interested in the welfare of the old boys rugby and cricket clubs. He was no mean athlete himself giving a good account on the soccer field, golf course and tennis court. He had the unusual distinction of being capped for Munster in hockey.

The work for which he is best remembered was the annual staging of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas. For twenty-two years he produced almost single-handed a very polished and finished work. He attended to every aspect of the opera - production, music, dialogue, stage grouping and make-up. No detail escaped his eye whether it was a note of music, a small point of pronunciation, gesture, deportment - all was brought to a fine art making each play more impressive than the previous one. It cannot be said too often that it is to his credit that he secured his achievement from a cast which were in the most literal sense school boys. Year after year to make forty boys into good singers, good speakers and graceful movers called for heroic devotion. Fortunately he seemed to have the gift of attaching the cast to himself so much so that the boys vied with each other in attempting to put his directives into practice.

In the 1948 “Belvederian” we read: “Fr. Byrne labours for some four months and each year he must, if he is human, wonder if this straw will yield brick. Each year as the fruit of his work appears he must have a qualm. Each year we leave saying with awe - he has done it again. There are bold statisticians who tell us this present production is the best ever”. And indeed so it was with all operas - each one seemed to be better than the previous one. The community, the boys, the parents, and the old boys often reminisce on those wonderful and enjoyable nights with his memorable productions. It was his fervent wish that the college operas would be resumed in the not too far distant future. For many years he was the mentor and support of the Old Belvedere Musical and Dramatic Society, guiding it through its hazards in its early years.

In his dealings with others he exercised a gentle but very marked influence. He was unassuming, considerate and ever prompt to offer assistance. He was courteous to the extreme and even the slightest favour rendered would never go unrewarded. He had a wonderful equanimity of temperament and whether approached first thing in the morning or last thing at night he always gave the impression of being ever ready and pleased to deal with the particular situation in hand. With his many loyal helpers during opera week, and there were many, and with others with whom he came into contact during the course of every day life, he left the impression that it was a privilege to be associated with him or having to do business with him.

Ungentlemanliness was foreign to his character and the boys realised this, respected him for it and did their best at all times to behave as gentlemen in his presence. More than once he has been described as one of nature's gentlemen - a truer estimation would be a gentleman of God.

He was happy to return to Belvedere last summer. He entered into the spirit of the college activities, picking up the broken threads after a lapse of six years. He died as was his wish, almost in harness, slipping away in his own quiet and unobtrusive way.

May his kind and gentle soul rest in peace.

Byrne, Daniel, 1920-1964, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/731
  • Person
  • 20 June 1920-05 May 1964

Born: 20 June 1920, Knockaney, Hospital, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambua
Died: 05 May 1964, St Mary’s Hospital, Choma, Zambia

Part of the Sacred Heart, Monze community at the time of death.

by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
It was about 11.30 that morning of 5 May 1964 that the hospital in Choma was asked by the police to send an ambulance immediately to a spot about 15 miles out on the Livingstone road where an accident had occurred. When the ambulance arrived back at the hospital bearing the two survivors who had been found still breathing, the Sister of Charity who met it realized that one of them was wearing a roman collar. On looking closer, she recognised Fr. Dan (who had a sister in Ireland who was a Sister of Charity). In spite of the terrible shock, she immediately phoned the church and Fr Luke Mwanza was on the scene within minutes and gave him Extreme Unction. The bishop had just arrived back in Monze from Chikuni when the news reached him.

No one knows exactly how the accident occurred. Between Livingstone and Choma it is mostly tarred road but at that time there was a stretch of about 25 miles remaining untarred. It was on this "dirt" road that Dan was in head-on collision with another car coming from Livingstone. The coroner at the inquest remarked on the deplorable condition of the road at the part where the collision took place. In the car with Fr Dan were Mr Mungala, his manager of schools, a loyal and devoted supporter of Ours, as well as the manager's nephew. In the other car were Mr Nash, a teacher, and his wife, their two year old daughter and a Mr Hassan. The only survivor of the accident was the child who escaped with relatively light injuries. No witness has been found although the man who first found the crashed cars said at the inquest that, when he returned with the police, the bodies in the Nash's car had been removed from the car to the side of the road.

The burial of the three who died took place at Chikuni on Tuesday 6th May. At the end of the Mass, the Bishop spoke of the universal anguish at the great loss sustained by the Church and the teaching profession.

Fr Dan, who was 44, was born at Knockaney, near Hospital, Co. Limerick. He completed his secondary school at Mount Melleray (Cistercians). He admitted later in life that it was a retreat given at Mount Melleray by a Jesuit that set him on his way to Emo which he entered in 1938. During his formation years, his gifts were more practical than speculative: he liked working with wood and there is hardly a house in the Irish Province which has not got some evidence of his handiwork. He noticed things that needed to be done. There was a quality and finish about everything he set his hands to; he did indeed 'do all things well'.

It was inevitable that Dan's practical abilities should have been recognised and used on the missions. He had not been many months in Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) when he was hard at it, building schools and teachers' houses. From then until his death it is true to say that he had more than a 'finger' in all the major (and minor) building activities of the Mission. Some of the churches he designed and built, for example Fumbo and Kasiya. Later, as education secretary, he really found himself and had much more scope for his talents. His mind was very orderly and he never allowed himself to be snowed under by the mass of architects’ drawings, bills and letters that streamed into his office. When death removed him so tragically from the scene, he had left everything as if he were about to hand over to his successor.

Dan remained always a shy man although he concealed it with a brusqueness that became more pronounced as he got older. This disconcerted people who did not know him; at times they thought him off-hand, casual and blasé. He had little time for non- essentials, came to the point quickly and liked others to do the same. He was completely detached from personal comfort and convenience; at times he expected the same detachment and integrity from others, not doubting that others were as self-sacrificing as himself.

The same attention to essentials was apparent in his spiritual life. There were no 'spiritual frills' in Dan's life. Even in the novitiate there was a quality of robustness about his spirituality. That his devotion went deep is evident by the life he led. He was very much a "faithful and prudent servant" intent on service, indifferent to what people thought of him. He conquered all human respect early in life. One who lived with him in Monze for several years said that he never knew him to miss a spiritual duty, a remarkable thing in a man so busy.

Bishop Corboy said of him: "He was a truly saintly man – in the chapel every morning at five o’clock with his Mass at six. He was unassuming and never displayed his holiness and the love of God that inspired his whole life. Back in the office at 7.30 a.m. a day began that could have fully occupied two men, and that was true of six days in the week. On Sunday he regularly said two Masses at out-stations, and returned here to Monze for lunch. On Sunday afternoon when he was free, he would visit some schools to inspect a building he was erecting. He never took a day off and never had a holiday. He is a great loss, but may God's will be done’.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 39th Year No 3 1964

Obituary :

Fr Daniel Byrne SJ (1920-1964)

The Rhodesian Mission has had its calamities over the years but none as sudden and unexpected as the tragic death of Fr. Dan Byrne on May 5th last. Little did His Lordship Bishop Corboy think, as he bade farewell to Father Dan that very morning at Chikuni, that on the following day he would be officiating at Fr. Dan's burial in the cemetery at Chikuni.
A week before the accident Fr. Byrne had been in hospital at Mazabuka. He was treated for malaria and after a few days rest was back at work. On Saturday, May 2nd he attended a Conference on educational matters. The Monday following he took part in a meeting between a Delegation of Teachers and the Bishop, together with a group of the priests. This meeting, for which he had done a good deal of the preparatory work, lasted until afternoon. He was due in Livingstone on the Wednesday for yet another educational meeting. As his own car was in Monze garage for repairs, the Bishop offered him the use of his. On Tuesday 5th there was to be a Priests' Meeting at Chikuni, called by the Bishop; but Dan had been exempted from attending this. However, he did take His Lordship to Chikuni. On arriving at Chikuni, Dan said to the Bishop “Are you sure you wouldn't like me to stay for this meeting?” The Bishop assured him that it wasn't necessary and Dan left with his African passengers for Livingstone (180 miles).
It was at about 11.30 that morning that the Hospital in Choma was asked by the Police to send an ambulance immediately to a spot about 15 miles out on the Livingstone road where an accident had occurred. When the ambulance arrived back at the hospital bearing the two survivors who had been found still breathing, the Sister of Charity who met it realised that one of them was wearing a Roman collar. On looking closer she recognised Fr. Dan. In spite of the terrible shock, she immediately phoned the Church, and Fr. Luke Mwansa was on the scene within minutes and gave Extreme Unction. The Bishop had just arrived back at Monze from Chikuni when the news reached him.
No one knows exactly how the accident occurred. Between Livingstone there is mostly tarred road, but one untarred stretch of about 25 miles remains. It was on this dirt road that Dan was in head-on collision with another car coming from Livingstone. The Coroner at the Inquest, remarked on the deplorable condition of the road at the part where the collision took place. In the car with Fr. Dan were Mr. Mungala, his Manager of Schools, a loyal and devoted supporter of ours, also the Manager's nephew. In the other car were Mr. Nash, a teacher, and his wife, their two year old daughter and a Mr. Hassan. The only survivor of the accident was the child who escaped with relatively light injuries. No witness has been found although the man who first found the crashed cars said at the Inquest that when he returned to the scene with the police, the bodies in the Nash's car had been removed from the car to the side of the road.
The burial of the three who died in the Bishop's car took place at Chikuni on Tuesday, 6th May. The Requiem was sung by Very Rev. Fr. O'Loghlen. Crowds came for the Mass; there were as many outside the Church as inside and for them Fr. Conway conducted a separate service. Many cars came from as far as Broken Hill and Livingstone, bringing representatives of Government and Education bodies. The Churches were also represented -even to Dan's opposite number in the Salvation Army! At the end of Mass the Bishop spoke of the universal anguish at the great loss sustained by the Church and the teaching profession.
Dan, who was 44, was born at Knockaney, near Hospital, Co. Limerick. He was at school with the de la Salle Brothers at first; then he went to Mount Melleray, where he completed his Secondary schooling. He admitted later in life that it was a Retreat given at Mount Melleray by one of Ours that set him on his way to Emo, which he entered in 1938. In the noviceship he was reserved, and shy. In Rathfarnham he had a broken head for some time, which perhaps forced him to turn his attention to mundane and practical things in the house and grounds. His gifts were more practical than speculative; he liked working with wood and there is hardly a House in the Province which hasn't got some evidence of his handiwork. Even when Dan was on a rest, it was more than likely that he would notice something that needed repairing. He noticed things that needed to be done. one remembers him looking in a calculating way one day at the old pavilion of the tennis courts at Milltown Park. Within a few days thie pavilion had been 'stripped down and in a matter of weeks it had been replaced by a bigger and (of course) better structure. There was a quality and a finish about everything he set his hands to; “he did, indeed, do all things well”. He was the perfect Sub-beadle, an office which he was burdened with from noviceship to tertianship. When Dan took office, there was a big reorganisation, unwonted order was introduced, everything was given its place and it was a delight to use the Sub-beadle's Press.
Dan taught at the Crescent and Belvedere. He was a good teacher, exacting, who was respected by his pupils. It was always hard to know what he thought about things; but one who knew him and worked with him said that he couldn't imagine Dan volunteering to teach for the rest of his life. In Theology, he was always abreast of the work and was better than average at Moral. He had begun in Milltown, to suffer from the anaemia which dogged his days to the end but of which he spoke little.
It was inevitable that Dan's practical abilities should have been recognised and used on the Mission. He hadn't been many months in Rhodesia when he was hard at it building schools and teachers' houses. From then till his death it is true to say that he had more than a “finger” in all the major (and minor) building activities of the Mission. Some of the Churches he designed and built for example those at Fumbo and Kasiya. Later as Education Secretary he really “found” himself and had much scope for his talents. His mind was a very orderly one and he never allowed himself to be snowed under by the mass of architects drawings, bills and letters that streamed into his office. It was the Bishop who said of him that he never knew a man who kept better files, for he could find any document in a matter of seconds. When death removed him so tragically from the scene, he had left every thing as if he were about to hand-over to his successor.
Dan remained always a shy man although he concealed it with a brusqueness that became more pronounced as he got older. This disconcerted people who did not know him : at times they thought him off-hand, casual, blasé. He had little time for unessentials; came to the point quickly and liked others to do the same. Often he had little small talk and could be preoccupied by his work. He was completely detached from personal comfort and convenience; at times he expected the same detachment and integrity from others, not doubting that others were as self-sacrificing as himself.
The same attention to essentials was apparent in his spiritual life. There were no “spiritual frills” in Dan's life; even in the noviceship there was a quality of robustness about his spirituality. That his devotion went deep is evident by the life he led. He was very much “servus prudens ac fidelis”, intent on service, in different to what men thought of him. He conquered all human respect early in life. One who lived for several years with him in Monze said that he never knew him to miss a Spiritual duty - a remarkable thing in a man so busy. And so he had lived since 1938. In the attache case which was retrieved from the wreckage of the car was found, as well as his few toilet things, a book for Spiritual Reading . . . Can we doubt but that he has already received that “unfading crown of glory” of which he read in the last Mass he said, a few hours before he died?
In a letter Fr. O'Loghlen said of Fr. Byrne : “From every point of view it is a terrible blow. He was a first class religious, and there is the consolation of knowing that if anybody was prepared to meet his death he was. The first thing I found in his bag was a book on the Mass which he used. In his work he was equable and capable. He will be very hard to replace”.
Bishop Corboy said of him : “He was a truly saintly man-in the chapel every morning at five o'clock with his Mass at six. He was unassuming and never displayed the holiness and love of God that inspired his whole life. Back in his office at 7.30 a.m, a day that could have fully occupied two men began, and that was true of six days a week. On Sunday he regularly said two Masses at out-stations, and returned here to Monze for lunch, On Sunday afternoon, when he was free, he would visit some school to inspect a building he was erecting. He never took a day off and never had a holiday. He is a great loss but May God's will be done”.

Very Rev. Fr. Provincial received the following letter :
Parochial House,
Fethard,
Co. Tipperary,
May 13th 1964.
Very Rev. and dear Fr. Provincial,
I would like to offer my sympathy to you and to the Fathers of the Irish Province on the sad death of Fr. Daniel Byrne S.J. in Northern Rhodesia.
It is a matter of regret for me that I cannot attend the Mass for him in Gardiner Street tomorrow. I have already offered Mass for him.
He was the first boy in whose vocation I had a hand as a young curate and he was one of the best. One could not fail to be impressed by his sincere piety, kindly disposition and twinkling humour.
I wish too to sympathise on the loss to the Mission of so competent a priest in educational matters. May he rest in peace.
With kind personal regards,
Sincerely yours in Christ, Christopher Lee P.P.

Byrne, Vincent, 1848-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/5
  • Person
  • 5 May 1848-21 October 1943

Born: 05 May 1848, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 16 March 1880, Munich, Germany
Died: 21 October 1943, Dublin, Milltown Park, Dublin

Brother of Henry Byrne LEFT as Novice 1875 due to ill health resulting in death

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
by 1871 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1878 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from James Redmond Entry :
He studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens with Michael Weafer, Thomas Finlay and Peter Finlay, Robert Kane and Vincent Byrne, among others.
Note from Thomas P Brown Entry :
1877 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology with W (sic) Patrick Keating and Vincent Byrne
Note from Br Philip McCormack Entry :
Father Vincent Byrne said his funeral Mass which was attended by many of the Brothers from the city houses.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944

Obituary :

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Fr. Byrne died on 20th October at Milltown Park at the age of 95. He was a brother of the late Mr. George Byrne, of the firm of Messrs. Byrne, Mahony and Co., flour and grain merchants, wbo was for a number of years chairman of the Dublin Port and Docks Board. His nephew, Mr. George Byrne, is a member of the present Port and Docks Board.
Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere College. He entered the Society at Milltown Park in 1866, studied rhetoric at St. Acheul, Amiens, philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany, and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St. Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.
Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama, and through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore, did notable work, as an interpreter of Shakespeare. Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret College, Limerick, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector, from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector, from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forcefui personality.
The present scheme of decoration of the college chapel, with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and its organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil paintings, were all due to his initiative. With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State - like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Most Rev. Dr. Curley - the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Most Rev. Dr. Killian, Mr. Frank Fahy, T.D - he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship. Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Prefect of Studies.
An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.
Father Byrne was the oldest surviving alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher-bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the complete spoilation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.
He was attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over 30 years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with persevering fidelity, and preserved his keen interest in all that touched human life. R.I.P.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 38 : September 1985

Portrait from the Past

FR VINCENT BYRNE : 1848-1943

Seán Hughes

  1. Memories:
    As a young lad: of a quiet gentle confessor in Gardiner Street - though he had a disconcerting habit of dozing in the Box, with the additional alarm caused by the peak of his biretta, on the nodding head, descending like a blackbird. At a later time: or the elderly silk-hatted, frock-coated priest with his umbrella, setting out from Gardiner Street. I never, though, saw him in a tram - like some others of his distinguished-looking, silk-hatted community. As a scholastic: particularly at funerals, when he hatted, gazing down into the open grove of soneome junior to hio. Lastly, in Milltown, pathetically helping or being helped up the two steps to the chapel corridor - Fr. Vincent Byrne, in his nineties, and Fr. Nicholas Tomkins, in his eighties, linking one another from the refectory....

  2. The Official Record:
    Fr. Vincent Byrne was born in Dublin, 5th May 1848. He went to school to Belvedere, and entered the Society in Milltown Park on 7th September 1866. He went to St. Acheul, Belgium, for his juniorate, and was sent to Rome, to the Roman College, for phisolophy. After the fall of Rome, 1870, he moved to Germany to Maria Laach for his second year of philosophy. Then came a five-year regency - a year each in Tullabeg (still a college) and Crescent, and three years in Clongowes where he was Third Line Prefect. To Innsbruck then for theology - and he was ordained on St. Patrick's Day, 1880, in the private Chapel of the Archbishop of Munich: his health having broken down during his second year of theology. A leisurely return home, recuperating his health, became a Grand Tour.

As a young priest, before his tertianship, he spent seven years teaching in different colleges - three years in Tullabeg, two in Galway, one each in Clongowes and Crescent. Apparently a good teacher of languages (he has four to offer) and drama. Fr, Byrne was “in demand”...

In 1889, he was posted to Mungret - first as Minister, for two years; then as rector for nine years. For four of these, 90 - 94, he was in addition Moderator of the Apostolic School. Those years were the apex of his career - the man who Made Mungret - the tangible evidence being the embellishment of the College Chapel. But there was more: those years of Mungret's history were marked by its remarkable successes in the University Examinations of the old Royal University of Ireland. Fr. Byrne claimed that of his pupils in the Apostolic School, nine became Bishops, Archbishop Curley of Baltimore, USA, being the most notable. Ichabod!

After Mungret, Fr.Byrne went to Gardiner Street, where he was to spend all but four years of the rest of his long life. The first four years in Gardiner Street were spent as a member of the retreat and mission staff. There followed, 1904 - 07, three years as rector of Clongowes, then a return to Gardiner Street - as an operarius until 1934; as Conf. Dom., until 1942 - when he retired to Milltown, where it all began seventy-six years previously. He died on 20th October 1943. I don't remember his funeral - but being choir-master, I must have been there.

  1. The Legend:
    Arriving in Mungret, thirty-seven years after Fr. Byrne had left it, I found a green memory of great days and deeds of derring-do. To sift out the facts from the folklore would take a gift of discernment of very high order: so let us be content with the legend w some of the tales may well be apocryphal - but what matter? As Chesterton said about the legends of St. Nicholaus - “He was the kind of man about whom that kind of story was told”. So too “the Pie” - as he was nicknamed, because, it is said, he had a somewhat un-Ignatian “affection” for the dish.

I suppose the legend begins in Rome in 1870 - when he saw “service” with the Papal Army making its token stand at the Port Pia against the invading arny of Victor Emmanuel. The service was, no doubt, as a medical orderly - but, no matter; it was a signal beginning. When we were in Milltown, 1942-43, we understood that Fr Byrne was writing his Memoirs - I wonder where that piece of archives is? The stay in Maria Laach coincided with the beginning of Bismark's Kultur Kampf - and the saving of the library from confiscation by the process of pasting in the book-plate of a friendly Baron in each of the books was another tale.

Although Vincent's health did break down in Innsbruck, he must have been a man of extraordinary stamina and strength. He related, himself, how, when Third Line Prefect in C.W.C., he walked to Dublin (and back) to beg £5.00 from the Provincial to buy a small billiard table for his Line. He rode a bicycle - on what we would seem cart-tracks of roads (and not even a three-speed gear on the machine): he swam - whenever he could, until he was literally rescued from the stormy waters of the Forty-foot in his eighties/nineties and forbidden to swim again. And he died, the oldest member (then) of the Province - but was often heard to say: “That man” (the late E. de Valera) “has taken ten years off my life”. Did he die disappointed?

But the Mungret Legends: Fr Byrne's term as rector of Mungret saw stormy days - on two fronts. The then Bishop of Limerick, Dr. Edward Thomas Dwyer, a man of strong, positive views and irascible temperanent, apparently decided that the Jesuit occupation of Mungret was irregular. His predecessor had invited Ours to run the Diocesan Seminary which he had opened at Mungret. Bishop Dwyer withdrew the seminarians - and left us in occupation. He pursued his case in Rome - and lost it. But Fr Byrne had to face up to the tensions of such a situation. One story may indicate how he coped. He met the Bishop at a funeral. Said the Bishop: “Did you get the letter I sent you?”. Replied the Rector: “Your letter arrived but I did not receive it”. It was related that on another occasion, the Rector was cycling down the Mungret avenue. The Bishop in his coach was driving up to the College. Noticing his visitor, Fr. Byrne continued on his way. The Rector was not at home when the Bishop arrived. The failure of the Bishop's case in Rome did nothing to improve relations.

There was a further assault on his beloved College from quite another quarter. This arose from the complex history of the Mungret establishment. In the 50's the British government decided to do something for the agricultural community. It set up two (I think) agricultural colleges - one of them on land taken from (”ceded by”) the Church of Ireland diocese of Limerick, namely, the Mungret property. The college had a short and unsuccessful life. In or about 1870, the Catholic Bishop of Limerick secured a lease of and premises of the agricultural college, for the purposes of having his diocesan Seminary established there. There was, I believe, some kind of commitment to maintain instruction in agriculture in the new enterprise.

As already related, we remained in occupation of the former agricultural college - now Mungret College and the Mungret Apostolic School. The Protestant Dean of Limerick now challenged our right to be there: the land had been ceded for a specific purpose - which was not being carried out: the agricultural instruction had become a mere token. So, nothing less than a Royal Commission was set up to determine the matter. With the good help of Lord Emly a friend and neighbour, the Commission found a solution - and the Technical School in O'Connell Avenue, Limerick was the British Government's restitution to the people of Limerick.

But more intimate and family adventures: Community relations between Crescent and Mungret were normally very amicable. Whenever one Community was rejoicing, the other was invited to join in the celebration. Indeed it is related that the citizens of Limerick (who always knew, somehow or other, what was going on in either community!) used assemble at Ballinacurra Pike to enjoy the spectacle of the Mungret Long Car bringing one or other community home - rejoicing. Well, on one occasion the Minister of Crescent forgot to invite the Mungret Community to the party. Result: a breach in diplomatic relations - which went unhealed until the said Minister came out to Mungret and read an apology to the Mungret Community - Rector and all present in the Library. (A Community Meeting of a different kind). I mentioned the Long Car which transported the Community of Mungret: all, Rector down, had apparently bicycles: but there was some kind of coach too - for the Rector would be driven to Limerick (or Tervoe, Emly's place). Any respectable coachman would wear a tall-hat: but the Mungret coachman had no such thing. So a tin, black japaned headgear was provided for occasions when the Rector went driving. All was well - until in a bad hail storn descended. The hailstones on the tin hat made such a racket that the horse bolted... History doesn't recount the sequel.

There were tales of cycling expeditions. “Be booted and spurred at such a time” was the Rector's goodnight summons to his men. And off they would go - on their gearless, fixed-wheel bicycles, on the Limerick roads - trying to keep up with the Rector - and trying not to outstrip him when going downhill - a lesson that had to be learnt the hard way! The quality of the lunch depended on the Rector (a) not being overtaken coming down hill and (b) arriving first at their destination. Not all the picnics were cycle runs: there is a tale of an expedition to Killarney (cycling to Limerick Station, of course) with a return in the company of one of the Circuit Court Judges (Adams was his name, I think) who spoke highly of the gaiety of the journey - the bottle had the colour of lemonade (and maybe the label!). One of the party assured me that he found himself in bed the following morning with no recollection of getting there - nor any idea of how he cycled out from Limerick on a bicycle with a buckled front wheel.

There were tales, too, of adventures on villas - the Rector's requirement of his swim before lunch often the nub of the tale - as, for instance, once the party went to the Scelligs (by row boat, of course). Lunch was to be on the rock: but the Rector had to have his swim. The brethren sought to persuade him otherwise - no doubt, it was a hungry and thirsty journey. So they alleged that the waters were shark-infested. Nothing daunted, Fr Byrne had his oarsmen beat the waters - to scare off any intruding shark, while he had his daily plunge...

At home, of course, life was apparently of the “semper aliquid novi” ex Mungret type. Once, the orchard was raided - and the very angry Rector threatened the assembled boys with cancellation of the next free day - unless the culprit owned up. There was silence - and then, Pat Connolly one of the Rector's favourite pupils stood up and confessed. By no means nonplussed, the Rector's anger melted away and in volte face, he cried out: “May God forgive the boy who led this poor child into error. The poor child entered the Society and in the course became the devoted editor of “Studies” for many a long year. It is said that an application from Bruree for a boy with the unusual name of Valera did not meet with the Rector's sympathy - and went to WPB unacknowledged: so the boy went to Rockwell - and, maybe, history was made... With all, the Rector was a forceful personality where the religious, literary and artistic life of the College was concerned. He took his share of teaching and was Proc. Dom. in addition.

His triennium at Clongowes left no such harvest of Folklore. There, he had an outstanding Minister (Fr. Wrafter) and a dymanic Prefect of Studies (Fr. James Daly, in his prime): so Fr Byrne let then run the School while he went to Dublin regularly - coming back every few days to collect his post. It is related that the return was often by the “Opera Train” - the last train from Kingsbridge bringing county theatre goers home - and then by coach from Sallins - the coachman, no doubt, properly attired...

To the end of his active days, he attended both the Spring Show and the Horse Show on each of the four days. Every International Rugby Match and/or Cup Final saw him ensconced on the East Stand at Lansdowne Road, The umbrella element of his tenue on these social occasions, was wielded with vigour on those enthusiasts who stood up at thrilling moves on the pitch and blocked his reverence's view. He was a keen bridge player and commanded his friends to provide “a good four”. However, he developed a habit of pausing during play to recite his favourite poetry - with feeling. The provision of “a good four” became increasingly difficult.

But despite all these eccentricities, Fr, Byrne was one of the devoted and faithful members of the Church staff at Gardiner Street. In a time when the Province rejoiced in having a number of eloquent and sought after preachers - Fr. Robert Kane, Fr. Tom Murphy, Fr. Michael Phelan - Fr Vincent Byrne was 'an eloquent and graceful speaker. A panegyric of St. Aloysius is noted in the Clongownian obituary as outstanding. Some ten years before his death he published a volume of his sermons - and the edition was sold out, which, in 1933 must say something about them.

We shall not see his like again.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1866, studied. rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens, philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany, and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St. Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.

Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama; and through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St Stanislaus College Tullamore, did notable work as an interpreter of Shakespeare. Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret College, Limerick, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector, from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forceful personality.

The present scheme of decoration of the chapel at Mungret with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and its organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil paintings, all were due to his initiative. With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State, like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Most Rev Dr Curley; the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Most Rev Dr Killian ; Mr. Frank Fahy, TD, he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship. Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Prefect of Studies.

An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.

Father Byrne was the oldest surviving' alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher-bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the spoliation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.

He was attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over 30 years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with persevering fidelity, and preserved his keen interest in all that touched human life. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Rector (1904-1907)

Although Fr Vincent Byrne was for over seventy years a member of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, his connection with Clongowes was very short, being practically confined to the three years of his Rectorate. He had indeed been Third Line Prefect and had taught here for a short time, but it was so long ago that it is almost beyond the memory of even the oldest Clongownian. He was, however, known to many of more recent years who remember his eloquent occasional sermons, particularly his panegyric of St Aloysius, which is included in the volume of his published sermons which was published a few years ago and was so well received by the public. His venerable figure was well known to those who live in Dublin where he will be greatly missed by his numerous friends.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Father Vincent Byrne, veteran of the Irish Province and “clarum et venerabile nomen” to Mungret men of his day here, passed away last October, To the last, in spite of his venerable age, he was interested in life and up to a short time before his death, he was one of the best known men in the city of Dublin. Police, newsboys, tram-men, everyone whose business it is to be abroad knew him and recognised him familiarly. His old pupils never forget him and he is a very vivid memory to them indeed. He came to Mungret full of vigour and he was not niggardly of his energy in her service. He built here, decorated, furnished and encouraged every side of college life whether it was sport of music or debates. His own humorous comment in old age when he revisited us “I made Mungret” has its quantum of truth.

Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere College. He entered the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park in 1866, studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens; philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.

Authority on Shakespeare
Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama, and, through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, did notable work as an interpreter of Shakespeare.

Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forceful personality.

The present scheme of decoration of the college chapel, with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil-paintings, were all due to his initiative.

With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State, like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Dr Curley the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Dr Killian; Mr Frank Fahy TD, he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship.

Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Dean of Studies.

An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.

Father Byrne was the oldest surviving alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the complete spoliation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.

He was attached to the Church of St Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over thirty years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with per severing fidelity, and preserved his keer interest in all that touched human life.

Mungret boys of every vintage will not forget to pray for the soul of this great old campaigner. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Vincent Byrne (1848-1943)

A native of Dublin, at the time of his death was one of the oldest priests in Ireland. He was in the Crescent as a scholastic, 1873-1874 and again as priest, 1883-1884. Father Byrne was later Rector of Mungret College (1890-1900) and for a brief period Rector of Clongowes. He was for nearly four decades a member of the Gardiner St. community and was in his day a distinguished preacher. A volume of his occasional sermons was published some twenty years ago.

Byrne, William, 1868-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/83
  • Person
  • 04 October 1868-01 December 1943

Born: 04 October 1868, Cork City
Entered: 12 November 1886, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 02 August 1903
Final Vows: 15 August 1906, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 01 December 1943, Dublin

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

Older brother of George Byrne - RIP 1962

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1898 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1903 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1905 at Linz, Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944

Obituary :

Father William Byrne SJ

Fr. William Byrne. Fr. Byrne was born in Cork in 1868, was educated at Clongowes, and entered the Society in 1886. He pursued his studies at Valkenberg, Holland, Milltown Park, Dublin, Innsbruck, and Linz, Austria. He was ordained at Milltown Park in 1903, and subsequently taught in various colleges from 1906 to 1931. Since 1931 he had been Professor of Science and Astronomy at St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore. He was a brother of Fr. George Byrne, formerly Superior of the Mission in Hong Kong and now at Mission Catholique, Dalat, Indo-China, and of the late Mr. Matthew Byrne, Listowel.
When Fr. Byrne returned to Clongowes in 1894 he began a life long career devoted to teaching. He had a genuine love for Mathematics and Physical Science, and this love he sought to communicate to his pupils. His method of presenting the matter to his pupils was vigorous, patient, attractive, and above all clear. The word “clear” seemed to have a special association with him, it was the keynote of all his demonstrations. Judged by the standard of examination results, Fr. Byrne was not an outstanding success as a teacher, though some of his more talented pupils did brilliantly. His own great knowledge and familiarity with the matter he taught made it not too easy for him to understand the difficulties of beginners. But he was a reilly great educator in the more liberal and higher sense of the word, aid his methods provided a fine mental training with broadness of outlook and accuracy of thought as chief characteristics. He never lost sight of the ultimate aim of all true Catholic Education, the religious formation of youth. His own personal example and tact won high respect.
His public speaking, in preaching and retreat giving, was marked by very evident sincerity and conviction, together with a simple tranquility and sympathy that appealed to his audience. He was a very good preacher and retreat giver.
As a conversationalist he was fascinating and at times very brilliant. He had a fund of interesting knowledge on a great variety of subjects. He had great appreciation of humour and told an amusing story with inimitable grace. He was uniformly genial and good humoured. Though a good speaker himself he was also an excellent listener. His manner and speech were full of great charm.
As Minister in Mungret for five or six years, and again in Galway for two or three years, he was most faithful, though the duties of that office did not have any great natural appeal to him. He was ever most kind to the sick whether boys or members of the Community or poor in the neighbourhood of our Colleges.
For the last fifteen years of his life he was professor of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy in the Philosophate, first at Milltown Park for three years and then at Tullabeg for twelve years. This work was worthy of his attainments and most congenial to him and he accomplished it with great success. By constant study he kept well abreast of modern advances in Science. His experiments were prepared and carried out with utmost care and he had a true scientist's gentleness with his scientific apparatus. He was also a good linguist, speaking German and Irish fluently, and a great lover of Ireland's culture.
Fr. Byrne was truly a man of principle, and his ideals were lofty and truly Jesuit. He was steeped in knowledge of St. Ignatius, and the Early Society and the Institute. His fidelity to the Institute was inflexible. He was hardworking, conscientious, earnest, zealous, generous and most amiably kind. He was certainly a very true Jesuit whose example was a shining light. He was a man of great regularity and punctuality at all Community duties, no superfluity found place in his room. The virtue of Charity was particularly dear to him, his great physical strength, his intellectual gifts and his counsel were at the disposal of any who sought them.
His last illness was short, as he had desired. On Saturday he gave his lecture as usual, on Monday evening he was brought to hospital in Dublin and received the last Sacraments, and died peacefully on Wednesday morning. He was very patient and kindly in his illness. A valiant soldier of Christ be is much missed by all who knew him. R.I.P.

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father William Byrne SJ

In Fr William Byrne Clongowes lost a, son remarkable for holiness, intelligence, and quaint charm, of character, though one who disliked nothing so much as to be remarked. He care of a distinguished family, being a brother of Mr Matt Byrne, the brilliant Cork solicitor, and of Fr George Byrne SJ. Holiness was the first characteristic remarked in him in Clongowes, where he won the admiration of his companions, who readily distinguish between the boy who is merely unaccustomed to wrongdoing and the one who resolutely avoids it on principle. On leaving school he entered the Society and pursued his studies for the most part in German houses. During the nineties he returned to Clongowes for some years as a scholastic, the last period of his connection with his old school. He is remembered at this time for his prowess on the ice. Full of useful work, the rest of his life was yet uneventful. He was Prefect of Studies and afterwards Minister at Galway. He was Minister and teacher at Mungret, and taught also at the Crescent. For some years he prepared the Juniors of the Society for entering the University, teaching them Irish, mathematics, physics, and imperturbability. His last years were spent as Professor of various scientific subjects in the Philosophate at Tullabeg.

It was probably his central independence and love of the hidden life that attracted him to the unspoiled poor of the Gaedhealtacht, and gave him his ardent nationalism. It was rather a cultural than a political nationalism, pacific though uncompromising, and naturally inclined him to a hero-worship of Dr Douglas Hyde and early Gaelic League ideals. He was never more at home than when chatting in his slow, beautiful Irish in some fisherman's cabin. His mind was full of schemes for helping the country folk. One remembers his invention of an instrument for cutting turf and a deeply suggestive but almost un noticed article in Fáinne an Lae on the irrigation of the West. But he was content with knowing that these schemes would work without attempting to push their adoption. One of his greatest cronies around Tullabeg was an elderly lady, an Irish speaker, who lived by hawking debris around in an almost extinct perambulator.

His last illness was over in three days. We should have known that the end was at hand for on his last journey he expressed no curiosity whatever about the machinery and equipment of the motor ambulance that carried him to Dublin. Even then, however, he chafed gently at his illness, for it interrupted his study of a work he had recently acquired on Crystallography. Now his study of crystals is resumed in his contemplation of the jasper and sardonyx of the Apocalyptic City. But one sees him still as he was on his daily walks with his old friend, Fr John Casey, his rosy face lit with its habitual welcoming smile, talking, delightedly and delightfully, stickless, yet looking oddly incomplete without a stick, wearing a hat so small that it seemed to have drifted down autumnally from a restless bough and, all unobserved by him, to have settled furtively on his head. His life at bottom was a quest for beauty or, to be more precise, a quest for the Grail. For there was more knightliness in his character than was superficially apparent.

AL

-oOo-

The following appreciation is from one who lived and worked with Fr William Byrne for many years, Fr John Casey SJ :

We are grateful to Fr. John Casey, S.J., for the following appreciation of Fr. Byrne as a teacher :

“Fr Byrne returned to Clongowes in 1894, and a life-time devoted to teaching then began. He came to his work fresh, eager, young, enthusiastic. He had a genuine love of Mathematics and Physical Science. I once heard him, alluding to the Integral Calculus, call those, strange integ ration signs his “dear, dear friends”. This he said half-jokingly, of course, but very much half in earnest too. This love he longed to communicate to his pupils. His method of presenting the matter to his classes was vigorous, patient, attractive and strikingly clear. His past pupils will remember the oft repeated question : “Is it clear?” and the prolonged emphatic intonation of that word “clear”. It was the keynote of his demonstrations.

In the broad, high, and liberal sense of the word, he was a really great educator. Many of his pupils now look back with pleasure and gratitude to the fine mental training, the accuracy of thought, the broad outlook, given them by his pedagogic methods.

In his years of teaching, he never lost sight of the ulterior aim of all Catholic and Jesuit education, the religious training and formation of youth. His splendid example won respect; and the tactful word in season from one so revered had lasting good results.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father William Byrne SJ

Mungret boys of the years 1910 to 1916 will surely be sorry to hear of the death of their Minister, He seemed to be the fixed star in the comnunity of that period and, though men might come and go, he went on for ever. They will not, we know, forget to pray for the soul of Father Byrne. His death took everyone by surprise, for, though he was not a young man, he did seem to go on for ever. He was teaching the Jesuit students of philosophy for the last twenty years of his life, ever since he left Mungret for the last time in 1922. Mungret he loved and loved in his own way, so much so that he regretted any change in it. He had liked it as it was and he was conservative. Father Byrne was a man of brilliant gifts, an able scientist, whose practical gift was wedded to intellectual grasp. It was a joy to hear him expose scientific theory, but who will forget his naive pride in a nice instrument. He cherished it and woe betide the crude hand that was laid on it. He loved his violin too and charmed dull care away with it every single day. His pupils here will recognise that trait. Simple in all things he was simple with God. No one less like the fictional Jesuit ever perhaps wore the Jesuit gown. Mungret owes him a debt for the years of labour, kindly companionship and good example. She will repay it where remembrance is best. To his brother Father George and to his relatives we offer our sympathy. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father William Byrne (1868-1943)

A native of Cork, entered the Society in 1886. He studied at Valkenburg, Milltown Park and Innsbruck and was ordained in 1903. Father Byrne taught at the Crescent from 1906 to 1908 and again from 1926 to 1929. He was a brilliant mathematician and scientist and gave splendid service for many years in the Jesuit colleges. For the last fifteen years of his life he was professor of science at the Jesuit House of Philosophy, Tullabeg. Father Byrne had considerable gifts as a linguist and was a pioneer Gaelic enthusiast.

Campbell, Richard, 1854-1945, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/86
  • Person
  • 24 January 1854-01 April 1945

Born: 24 January 1854, Sackville Street, Dublin
Entered: 16 September 1873, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 25 September 1887
Final Vows: 02 February 1892, Dublin
Died: 01 April 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1876 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1877 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1886 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Baptised 02 February 1854; Conformed 30 May 1865; First Vows 19 September 1875

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Obituary

Fr. Richard Campbell (1754-1873-1945)

On Easter Sunday, 1st April, 1945, at Milltown Park, where he had spent the last few years of his life, Fr. Campbell died very peace. fully in his 92nd year. He had been anointed again on the day of his death, after he had contracted congestion of the lungs.
Born in Dublin, Sackville Street (as it was then called) on 24th January, 1946, son of Mr. John Campbell, who was twice Lord Mayor of the city, he was educated at Belvedere and Downside. He entered the Society at Milltown Park on 16th September, 1873, and had Fr. Aloysius Sturzo as Master of Novices. He spent one year of Humanities at Roehampton, London, and studied philosophy at Laval in France and then taught at Clongowes from 1879 till 1885. He did his theological studies at St. Beuno's, North Wales, and was ordained priest by Bishop Edmund Knight on 25th September, 1887. On his return to Ireland he taught at Belvedere College til 1890, when he made his third year's probation in Tullabeg, being at the same time Socius to Fr. William Sutton, Master of Novices.
During the following two years he was Minister at Milltown Park, and from 1893 to 1897 was on the teaching staff of the Junior House, Belvedere College. In the latter year he went to Tullabeg as Minister and Socius, posts which he held till the summer of 1906. After spending a year at Crescent College, Limerick, as Minister, he again taught at Belvedere (1907-1918) and at Mungret, where he was Spiritual Father as well. After a two years period at Rathfarnham Castle as Minister, under Fr. John Sullivan as Rector, he was transferred to St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, in 1926, and remained there till 1943.
Two of Fr. Campbell's brothers were Benedictine priests, both of whom predeceased him. One of these, Dom Ildephonsus Campbell. O.S.B., was lost on the 'Leinster' in 1918 on his way back to Coventry from Mungret College, where he had been making his retreat.
An old Belvederian, who knew Fr. Campbell well, the Most Rev. Francis Wall, Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, in a letter of sympathy on his death, written the Superior of Gardiner Street on 2nd April, sums up very appositely, we think, the story of the seventy three years he spent in the Society:
“He was a grand soul, always at work for his Master, but moving so unobtrusively at it, in our midst”.
Outwardly those year's were not spectacular. They marked the even succession of ordinary tasks faithfully and even meticulously performed, as is the case in so many Jesuit lives. Fr. Campbell was a religious of remarkable devotion to duty, of a regularity out of the common, faithful and punctilious to a fault, sincere in his friendships, which were deep and lasting. Behind a brusqueness of speech and manner, which to casual acquaintances seemed gruffness, was an eager and almost hypersensitive soul, around which his iron will, bent on self conquest, had erected a rampart of fictitious asperity. All through his life, this sensitiveness, securely screened from casual observation by his manner, was his greatest cross. Far from rendering him self centred or selfish, this characteristic of his bred in him an almost intuitive sympathy with others, especially those who suffered from loneliness and misunderstanding”.
Fr. Campbell had a very special talent for dealing with young schoolboys. He could inspire them with a lofty idealism in all that pertained to truth, duty and loyalty, and employed many ingenious ways of stirring them to class-rivalry. Without any conscious effort he won their abiding affection, while instilling in their young hearts a solidly Catholic outlook which rendered them proof against the storms of later life. On several occasions his pupils of the Junior House, Belvedere College, have left on record the feelings of regard and affection which they had for him. For example - in January, 1889 - in an ‘Address’ of thanks, which bears among other signatures that of E. Byrne, later Most Rev. Edward Byrne, Archbishop of Dublin, or in that quaint little sheet, decorated with shamrocks “Presented to Fr. Campbell on your retiring from teaching this 6th February, 1897, as a small token of gratitude for your entiring efforts to get us on in our studies”. From a few of his pupils of '96.' This was on the occasion of his going to Tullabeg as Socius. Another, undated. 'Address' to him from his boys in Belvedere runs as follows: “Fr. Campbell, the very kind attention shown by you to us during the past two years was so considerate that the boys cannot refrain from offering you this small token of affectionate gratitude. Every boy joins in thanking you for your kindness and can only wish you a very happy vacation and a long one”.
The same zeal and devotion which characterised his dealings in the class-room were maintained in all spheres of Fr. Campbell's labours, most especially during the long period in the priestly ministry which he spent at Gardiner Street. Despite his growing infirmities he was ever at his post of duty, whether in the pulpit or confessional, at the sick bed or in the parlour, at his own prie-dieu in his room or the little table in the Domestic Chapel giving the Community his Exhortation as Spiritual Father.
The Long Vacation the boys spoke of has come for him at last, and his mortal remains lie in the exact spot he had hoped would be free for him, just inside the railing of the Society Burial Plot, only a few feet from the grave in which his father and mother lie. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Richard Campbell SJ 1854-1945
Fr Richard Campbell was one of those men, who by force of character make an indelible impression on his generation. He was the most quoted man of the Province on account of his pithy remarks, whilst at the same time, most revered for his austerity of life and fidelity to duty.

Born in Sackville Street Dublin, as it was then, on January 24th 1854, he received his early education at Belvedere and Downside, entering the Society in 1873.

It was as Socius to the Master of Novices that he left his imprint on generations of future Jesuits. One of these novices at least, testified to the austerity of his own life afterwards, and that was Fr Willie Doyle.

As Minister of one of our houses Fr Campbell coined the immortal expression “The first year I tried to please everybody and failed, the sencod year I tried to please nobody and succeeded”.

His manner outwardly seemed brusque, but this was really a defence mechanism to cover a sensitive nature, which made him keenly sympathetic with those souls who were lonely and misunderstood.

He live to the age of 92 and died at Milltown Park on April 1st 1945.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1945

Obituary

Father Richard Campbell SJ
Belvedere, 1864-67 - died on Easter Sunday, April ist, in his 91st year,

After leaving Belvedere, he went to Downside with two younger brothers, both of whom became Benedictines.. The elder, Fr Ildephonsus Campbell OSB, was drowned when the Mail Boat, Leinster was torpedoed off the Kish Lightship in 1918. The younger, Fr Martin Campbell OSB, who died in 1938, had been for many years Parish Priest of Beccles, Suffolk.

Fr. Richard was for many years connected with Belvedere. Shortly after his ordination in 1887, he began a connection with his old College, which was to last with some intervals for nearly thirty years. Through all those years he won not only the respect but also the genuine affection of the boys he taught. Those who knew him but slightly sometimes wondered at this, for to casual acquain tances Fr Campbell's manner seemed gruff and brusque. Those, however, who knew him best - most of all, the boys for whom he worked - soon realised that this external manner was but a cloak for an extremely sensitive and affectionate heart. Shy by nature, he found it hard to make advances, but once contact had been established there was no limit to his response. How fully his boys understood him - and he them - is wittiessed by the little addresses which they presented to him, not once only, but many times during his years in Belvedere :

“We the Junior pupils of Belvedere College on resuming our Studies beg most earnestly to testify our respectful and at the same time grateful appreciation of your qualities ... as the guide and master in whom we trust as conscientiously endeavouring to shape our futures both spiritual and temporal. We return dear father (sic) after Christmastide to College with the firm resolution of pursuing our Studies with renewed vigour, and, as far as it is possible for us, to your satisfaction”.

The date is January, 1889, and among the signatories is E. Byrne, who was thirty years later to become Archbishop of Dublin, J A Coyle, Lucien Bull and many other names which are familiar to us.

Seven years later, the boys protest at his being removed from Belvedere to be Assistant Master of Novices in Tullabeg, is quaintly worded :

“ Presented to the Rev Father Campbell as a small token of gratitude for your untiring efforts to get us on in our studies, and as a protest for your retiring from teaching on this 6th February 1897.
From a few of his pupils of 96: Érin go Brágh”. Among the names appended are A McDonald, W Fallon, H Redmond, W Doheny, E O'Farreli and P O'Farrell

There are many other testimonials, and, per haps we may cite the words of just one more. It was presented by the Boys of II Grammar and bears no date, but the concluding words are -

“Every boy joins in thanking you for your kindness, and can only wish you a very happy vacation and a Long one:.

The long vacation has come for Fr Campbell, and looking back on the years of faithful work we may surely say that it is an eternally happy one. May he rest in Peace

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Richard Campbell (1854-1945)

Born in Dublin, educated at Belvedere and Downside, and admitted to the Society in 1873, was at the Crescent as a scholastic in 1878-1879 and again as minister of the house, 1906-1907. He was many years on the teaching staff of Belvedere College and in Gardiner St Church.

Carroll, James, 1934-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/645
  • Person
  • 12 February 1934-02 May 2006

Born: 12 February 1934, Caherconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 06 September 1952, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1966, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1971, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 02 May 2006, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 15 August 1971

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

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Big Jim, as he was often referred to, grew up in Limerick Ireland and was of farming stock. He attended the Jesuit Crescent College in Limerick and entered the Society at the end of his secondary school. At school, he was a fine rugby player and would have gone far in that field if he had not entered the Society. After novitiate, he attended the university for his B.A. and went to Tullabeg outside Tullamore for philosophy.

Then he headed for the then Northern Rhodesia to Chikuni where he remained from 1960 to 1963. Here he learned ciTonga, the local language, taught in Canisius Secondary School along with performing the other duties which a scholastic in regency normally does. He returned to Ireland to Milltown Park for theology where he was ordained on 28th July

  1. On completion of tertianship, he returned to Zambia.

Jim was both able and adaptable. When he returned to Chikuni, he became Minister of the house and assistant parish priest. In 1969, he became rector and taught in Canisius again for six years. He then moved to the parish for five years as parish priest. He went to Monze as secretary to the Bishop, Rt Rev James Corboy S.J. in 1981. This he did for seven years and then became director of building for the diocese. This entailed buying supplies, supervising building, carpentry, electrical work and plumbing. He added wings to Monze hospital and built a chapel there. Outstations benefited from his ability with the building of schools and churches. A special building dear to his heart was the school for the handicapped, St Mulumba, in Choma. His interest in these handicapped children never waned and varied from helping to send a few of them to the USA for the Special Olympics (where some medals were won) to sending money on the 21st birthday of the school so that the children could have a treat.

Heart trouble brought him back to Ireland for two years from 1991 to 1993, where he did some pastoral work in his beloved Limerick. With improved health, he returned to Zambia, this time to a rural area, Chilalantambo, a one-man station on the road from Choma to Namwala.

Jim loved the place and the people. He extended an awning from the veranda of the house and here he met, talked to, chatted with, debated local affairs with the people from all walks of life, including Chief Mapanza himself who lived quite near. Coming from a farming family, he gardened and planted trees in all the places he lived. He helped the farmers around Chilalantambo, buying their maize and selling it in Choma to the Indian traders, bringing back seed and fertiliser for them. He organised schemes for the women for food production. His advice, usually good, was sought for and listened to.

On weekends, Jim would head out to an outstation to celebrate Mass for the people. Confessions, baptisms, church council meetings were all part of the Sunday supply work.

Being of a practical turn of mind, he had a no-nonsense approach to life and its problems and could be quite critical of the institutional Church for its failure to allow and encourage lay participation in the running of the Church. This, combined with his placid and unruffled disposition, did not endear him to everyone. In fact, some found him difficult to understand. He was a good cook and when you went to visit him at Chilalantambo, you were sure of a tasty meal.

After five years in Chilalantambo, he went to Ireland on leave but his health prevented him from returning. That was a sad day for him, for his heart was in Zambia. That was in 1998. He was posted to Gardiner Street, Dublin, where he joined the church team. He never complained about his ill health but would say with a grin, "Looking after your health is a full time job"!

His end was a no-fuss one. He was in bed in hospital and was talking to his sister, a nun, about the possibility of moving out of the hospital when he turned over in the bed and died. He loved Scripture and spent some time in Jerusalem during a mini-sabbatical which consolidated that love.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll.

Note from Bill Lane Entry
On Friday, 9 January 1998, Bill was on his way to Chilalantambo with Fr Jim Carroll to give some Scripture talks to the parishioners. As they drove on that bumpy road, Bill suddenly stopped talking. Fr Jim was shocked to find that Bill was dead beside him. There seems to have been no intervening period of sickness or pain. His departure was, as he had wished, ‘quickly and without fuss’.

Note from Joe McCarthy Entry
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

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
Br Sherry's passing was sudden. On Friday ‘Sher’ (as he was known to his friends) stayed in bed for the greater part of the day. He came to meals and evening prayer. The following morning saw him as usual at the early Mass. At about 1300 hours on Saturday he phoned the Sisters in the hospital. The Sisters and doctor came over. The crisis came at about 22.50 when Sher struggled to the door of Fr Jim Carroll’s room to say that he could not breathe. Sr Grainne arrived and started cardiac massage. But the Lord had called Sher to himself.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

Fr James (Jim) Carroll (1909-2005) : Zambia-Malawi Province

12th February, 1934: Born in Limerick, Ireland
6th September, 1952: Entered in Emo Park, Co. Leix, Ireland
1960 - 1963: Chikuni, Canisius, teaching, regency
28th July, 1966: Ordained in Milltown Park, Dublin
1968 - 1969: Chikuni, Canisius, minister, asst. parish priest
1969 - 1975: Chikuni, Canisius, rector
15th August, 1971: Final Vows in Chikuni
1976 - 1981: Chikuni, Chikuni parish, parish priest
1981 - 1988: Monze, secretary to the Bishop of Monze
1988 - 1991: Monze director of building for the diocese
1991 - 1993: Limerick, pastoral work
1993 - 1998: Chilalantambo, parish priest
1998 - 2000: Ireland, recovering health
2000 - 2006: Dublin, Gardiner Street, assisting in Church
2nd May, 2006: Died in Dublin

Paul Brassil writes:
The death of Fr. James Carroll has come as a shock to all who knew him. The major part of his life was lived out in Zambia where he served from 1960 until 1998. During that time he held inany posts of responsibility in various fields, as well as being a Consultor for both the Province and for the Diocese, a tribute to his ability and adaptability.

There is no doubt that his farming background played a big part in shaping his outlook and apostolate. He was always observant of the natural order, and had a sympathy for those who worked the land. In his pastoral ministry he set an example by planting trees and orchards and getting vegetable gardens under way as soon as he moved into a new parish. For the local farmers he helped organise the provision of ploughs, seeds and fertifiser and assisted them in the marketing of their crops. In this he was very much a faithful follower of Fr. Joseph Moreau the founder of Chikuni Mission back in 1905. Inevitably Fr. Carroll was involved in fighting drought and famine which recurred with dreadful frequency.

Towards the end of his studies in Milltown, consideration was given to sending him on for further studies in Moral/Canon Law. But the need for men back on the mission in Zambia prevailed. With hindsight this was a pity because his practical and down to earth approach to life could have tempered the academic approach more usual in those areas of specialisation.

His talents as organiser were called on to guide the building programme of the Diocese of Monze. In the course of his time in charge of that programme he was responsible for building hospital wards, churches, schools, houses and third level institutions. This meant having three separate teams of builders, carpenters, electricians and drivers. It meant buying, transporting, storing and distributing all necessary supplies. At certain times there were severe shortages due to political instability caused by the war in neighbouring Zimbabwe and the cutting of economic ties with South Africa. In overcoming these difficulties Jim showed great ingenuity.

Among his special interests was St. Mulumba's School for the Handicapped, where he collaborated with Sr. Phillippe in building and supporting various initiatives. It was in connection with St.Mulumba's that he was involved in the Special Olympics. This work was dear to his heart. He was also concerned with the Aids epidemic.

In his pastoral work, especially during his time at Chilala Ntambo, he had warm relations with the local Anglican community, both clergy and laity. At his house the Chief, Chief Mapanza, and other Government officials, could be found enjoying his hospitality and discussing local matters. His voice on these matters was listened to because of his obvious concern for the people. Despite his own poor health, endured for many years, he travelled extensively and regularly on bad roads to bring Mass and services to the far flung out stations of the parish. Jim mixed easily with the people; his fluency in the language greatly helped, as well as his empathy for their rural way of life.

In the course of his missionary life Jim was very interested in the promotion and formation of both diocesan clergy and religious life candidates. Many young seminarians spent extended time with him, getting to know pastoral methods, and learning at first hand parish work. He was very encouraging to the religious Sisters with whom he worked, sympathetic to their efforts and supporting them as best he could

As a young man, Jim was an outstanding rugby player and was considered a loss to Irish Rugby on his entry to the Society of Jesus. He was very athletic, and had a great interest in all kinds of sport. He certainly was a skilled hurler and rode the few horses that came our way bareback. He played many a round of golf and enjoyed the game. He walked the Dublin and Wicklow Hills with verve and energy throughout his time as a student in Rathfarnham and Milltown. He always retained an interest in the horses, and had the occasional flutter. On more than one occasion he mentioned that as a boy he had exercised the greyhounds for his father, In truth he was a real Limerick man in his interests and his skills.

Jim loved a good meal and was no mean cook himself. But for the most part he lived a life of frugality and simplicity especially during the years he spent alone in Chilala Ntambo. This was certainly true during times of famine, when all his available resources were employed for the alleviation of hunger in the area. It speaks volumes for Jim that he found willing allies among the Indian traders in his relief efforts, just another example of his ability to relate well with so many different people.

One special interest that grew with the years was his interest in Scripture. He had the opportunity during his brief stay in Ireland to give a number of retreats to laity and found this work very much to his taste. The role of the laity, as proposed by the Second Vatican Council, was vital for the future of the Church in his opinion. In fact, he was very critical of the institutional Church for its failure to allow and encourage lay participation in the running of the Church.

During a mini-sabbatical he spent some three months in Jerusalem at the Biblicum. This was very special for him; it gave him an abiding interest in the Scriptures and in the Holy Land, which he used with good effect in the various retreats he directed.

It has been a privilege and a blessing for me to have known Jim and experienced his support and kindness. I can only guess at the loss that his family are enduring. For Jim, his family meant so much. He followed their careers with intense interest, especially those of the next generation, and was proud of their achievements. He found in them a source of pride, support and love. May he rest in peace.

Carroll, William, 1939-1976, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/88
  • Person
  • 11 January 1939-24 January 1976

Born: 11 January 1939, Avondale, Corbally, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1957, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 June 1971, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 24 January 1976, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1963 at Chantilly, France (GAL S) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 51st Year No 2 1976

Crescent
Fr Billy Carroll (at school here 1946-257): After a short period in St. John's hospital, Limerick, Billy died in Dublin on 24th January. As a past pupil and member of the Society, he was much loved and respected by his schoolmates and all his friends in Limerick. The concelebrated Mass (29th January) was attended by a great number of past pupils, relatives and friends.

Obituary :

Fr Billy Carroll (1939-1976)

It is difficult to get used to the idea that Billy Carroll, who would have been thirty-seven in June this year, is no longer with us. I spent about thirteen years with Billy in Emo, Rathfarnham, Chantilly, Clongowes and Milltown. He was always quiet, with a wry sense of humour, always able to pick out and imitate the various accents and idiosyncrasies of sports commentator, superior or lecturer. An excellent athlete from his schooldays, he arrived late in Emo because he was playing rugby for Munster in the summer of '57. He was on the Irish school boys international athletic team, and as a novice, junior, philosopher or theologian he seemed at his happiest on the football field.
Billy was never an academic. He found the years of training tough, but quietly and uncomplainingly steered his way through the various intellectual forests. He was at his happiest with youngsters, and the number of them at his funeral witnesses to the fact that they were impressed with his instinctive goodness, ready wit and genuine concern.
Billy did his philosophy in France where if, like the rest of us, he did not learn too much philosophy, he certainly learnt French and was a very popular figure in that large community of Chantilly. His soccer abilities were invaluable to the Chantilly team and his wit enlivened many a gloomy hour in exile. His ability to imitate was used on occasion to brighten up philosophy lectures and when, at the end of a course, it was the custom to do a “take off” of a particular professor, Billy would use his talent to the delight of professor and students alike.
On returning to Ireland, Billy was sent to Clongowes as Third Line prefect. Here he showed great rapport with the boys, but a mysterious Providence had him moved to Limerick the following year. He was happy to be back in his home town.
He ploughed his way through theology with difficulty and was ordained in 1971. The next year found him back in Limerick, and it was here that his illnesses began. His most bitter disappointment was when he was moved from the Crescent to the Milltown Retreat House and he found it difficult to settle into his new job, particularly as his health was poor. But he gave himself to his job with dedication.
It was always difficult to read Billy’s heart, for he seldom spoke of his inner self, but his quiet ways and gentle smile will always be a happy reminder of how good it was to have him around and to have known and worked and played with him. I hear that on the day he died he enjoyed watching the Australia/ Ireland rugby match. It fits. We look forward to joining him in times to come.
PF

◆ The Clongownian, 1976

Obituary

Father Billy Carroll SJ

Those who were in the Third Line in 1965-66 were suddened to hear that their prefect of that year, Mr Billy Carroll, died in January at the early age of thirty-six, just five years after ordination. Although he had never enjoyed robust health, Billy's death came as a shock to his many friends, who will not easily forget his unusual goodness and his quiet, gentle ways.

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 25th Year No 2 1950
GENERAL :
Father Dermot Casey is staying at Wimbledon College, and working each day, from Monday to Friday, at the Manor Hospital, Epsom. His work in practical psychology is so much appreciated by the Principal that when one of the staff left before Christmas to take up another appointment. Father Casey was invited to take his place for as long as he could manage. He is now paid for his work and is gaining most valuable experience. He is also attending a very good course on juvenile delinquency. He is attending the Psychological Congress to be held at Stíllorgan in celebration of the 4th centenary of the death of St. John of God during the week following Easter week.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 92 : August 1996

Obituary

Fr Dermot Casey (1911-1997)

2nd June 1911: Born in Dublin
Early education, CBS Schools, Nth Richmond St
1st Sept. 1928: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
2nd Sept. 1930: First vows at Emo
1930 - 1933: Rathfarnham: Studied Science at UCD
1933 - 1934: Tullabeg: Studied Philosophy
1934 - 1936: Jersey: Studied Philosophy
1936 - 1939: Sorbonne: Doctoral studies in Psychology
1939 - 1940: Mungret College: Teaching
1940 - 1945: Milltown Park : Studies in Theology
29th July 1943: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park
1945 - 1946; Rathfarnham: Tertianship
1946 - 1949: Tullabeg: Prof. of Rational & Experi. Psychology
1949 - 1952: London: Psychologist at Epsom hospital
1952 - 1958: Tullabeg: Professor of Psychology
1954: University of Detroit (Jan-June) Prof. of Psych
1958 - 1970: Leeson St: Founder, Director St. Declan's Child Guidance Centre
1970 - 1975: Rathfarnham: Director St. Declan's School
1975 - 1979: Leeson Street: Director St. Declan's School until 1977
1979 - 1981: Limerick/Clongowes: Counsellor
1981 - 1982: Rathfarnham: Counsellor
1982 - 1997: Leeson Street: Messsenger Office work, Writer

Dermot Casey arrived in Tullabeg on 1st September 1928 to begin his noviceship. I met him at recreation only a few times before his long retreat which was then made throughout October. In the second week of November, Father Martin Maher, the Master of Novices, sent for me to tell me there was another musician in the house - Brother Casey - a 'cellist. Over the next few days I was assigned to preparing with him in free time the pieces he was to play at the novices' concert on the night of the feast of St. Stanislaus. I saw at once that he was no amateur but a musician of impeccable technique. Later I was to learn that Dermot's parents were both professional musicians - his father being leading cellist in the then Dublin Philharmonic Society, forerunner of the Radio Symphony Orchestra.

During our juniorate years, together with Fr. William Saul, we played the Beethoven and Schubert trios. In Tullabeg for our one year of philosophy together, Dermot and I played the same lovely trios with Fr. Arthur Little, probably the greatest violinist the Irish Province could boast of whether before, then or since.

Dermot finished his philosophy in Jersey and then transferred to Paris where he graduated Doctor of Philosophy at Sorbonne. He was able to finish his studies in Paris just before the outbreak of World War II. Strange to say he never returned to Paris. He often remarked to me that he saw during his years there the construction of the great seven storey building in the rue de Grenelle which was not yet occupied before his return to Ireland.

Back in Ireland, 1939, he spent a year in Mungret, teaching and in charge of the choir. We met again in Milltown in the years 1940-42, but twenty more years were to pass before we found ourselves once more in the same community.

He was ordained in 1943 and after the completion of his studies and tertianship was appointed professor of psychology at Tullabeg. He could hardly have foreseen then that Tullabeg would close down as a philosophate in 1962 on the recommendation of the Visitator, Fr. John Mc Mahon (USA). But already he was preparing a new field of activity. Ever since the early 1950's he was engaged in Youth Guidance and took up residence in Leeson Street. The last decade of his connection with Tullabeg must have been demanding on his health as he had now to commute regularly between Dublin and the Bog in the days of bad roads or uncomfortable trains. Already by 1960 he had established St. Declan's. In 1961, I myself was assigned to Leeson St. Over the previous twenty years, it was only on a few occasions, at funerals, that I met Dermot. On my arrival in Leeson Street Fr. Tom Shuley, the minister (and incurable leg-puller), called me aside to warn me against causing any annoyance to Father Casey by asking “how is your backward school doing?” As I suspected, no one ever dared to put such a question to Dermot. He was now an acknowledged power in the land in his clinical work in St. Declan's.

Over the next thirteen years I could appreciate his way of life in his mature years: he was an excellent community man, a self-sacrificing worker - and utterly selfless. He had long given up the 'cello but he would ask me about the piano. There was none in Leeson St. - there was a very bad one in University Hall but I could depend on two houses of friends to keep in practice.

In 1970 he left us for Rathfarnham, after which I saw little of him except at funerals. Four years later I also left Leeson St for work in France. It was about this time he resigned from St. Declan's, but continued work at Child Guidance centres in Limerick and Clane - in these latter years he was a member of the Crescent community and then at Clongowes. He returned to Leeson Street in 1982 and for the next three years was assistant at the Messenger Office. The year before that I returned from France and soon was back visiting the archives in Leeson Street. For the first few years Dermot and I met only occasionally. We were both busy - Dermot at the Messenger Office and myself at work on the Irish Martyrs (chiefly Dominic Collins). We were both in our seventies. There were still a few old Fathers in Leeson St and at a moment's notice Dermot might be called on to drive one of them to see the doctor or the dentist. But towards the end of the 1980's he was suffering from hip-trouble. In spite of a successful operation he was now a changed man.

For the last ten years of his life he became more and more immobile - his walks from “35” were now no further than to the Grand Canal. He was a lonely man, for most of his contemporaries of 1928 were dead and gone. In our Saturday morning chats he would recall dead contemporaries: Pádraig O Brolcháin, Walter O'Connor, Alphonsus O'Connell, Lol Kearns, etc etc. Fortunately his pensive mood would be discontinued by a sally of his delightful, pawky humour: “I say, Frank, this place is a house of communications - you have young women here shouting all day from one landing to the next”. One of these observations became known to the subject thereof and to her hearty amusement: “This is the office of the President of Ireland - Mrs Mary Rickard”. Another day it was the visit of a young theologian at dinner that drew the following observation: “I don't know whether that young man works much at his theology but he is trying to look like Gerry Adams”.

He had a deep love for the Society and regretted much the closing down of Mungret, Rathfarnham and Tullabeg. I did my best to persuade him that all this was in God's Providence and in any case we were recommended by Christ Himself to pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send labourers into his harvest - to send us again many young men as in the past to continue the mission of the Society. That Dermot was nostalgic for the past was understandable. He belonged to the great period inaugurated seventy-five years ago by Fr. John Fahy when the Irish Province was en plein essor, what with its populous scholasticates, good religious observance and generous idealism.

He looked forward to my Saturday visits. When the mood was on both of us we would have some music and now and then he might tactfully ask me would I like to hear my favourite morceau of Brahms. Occasionally too he might mention a passage from a spiritual book which he found spiritually regarding. His favourite authors were always the well-tried classics of the past. In spite of his increasing lameness, he would insist on seeing me off at the hall door. To the last he was courtesy itself. After a meeting with him I felt the real beneficiary. For me, acquaintance with Dermot Casey was one of the great blessings of life. RIP

Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin SJ

Casey, John, 1873-1954, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/91
  • Person
  • 20 November 1873-5 June 1954

Born: 20 November 1873, London, England / Labasheeda, County Clare
Entered: 6 September 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1905, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 2 February 1910, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 5 June 1954, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

by 1900 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1901 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 29th Year No 4 1954

Obituary :
Father John Casey
Father John Casey was born in London in 1873, son of the late Patrick Casey, merchant, formerly of Labasheeda, Co. Clare. He was educated in Mungret College and entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1890. After two years' Juniorate in Milltown Park, he studied philosophy at Louvain and Stonyhurst. A gifted mathematician, he taught for six years at the Crescent, Limerick, and at Clongowes before going to Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest in 1905.
The following year he began his long association with Mungret College, where, from 1906 to 1919, and again from 1927 to 1933, he held appointments as prefect of studies and professor of mathematics and physics. He performed the same duties during the years 1921 to 1926 at St. Ignatius' College, Galway.
In 1933, Father Casey was transferred to Tullabeg, where he taught the philosophers mathematics and teaching methods to within a few years of his death, and was besides Spiritual Father to the Community.
To write an adequate obituary notice of a man who spent over 60. years in the Society, seems at first sight a well nigh impossible task, for almost inevitably the writer belongs to the older generation that knew him best in his prime or to the younger generation that knew him only in his later and declining years.
As one belonging to the former category, I shall try to give an appreciation of Father Casey's earlier years in the Society and supplement it by an account written for his Golden Jubilee by one who knew him, after his ordination, during his long teaching career in the colleges, and conclude with some extracts from the younger generation who knew him well past middle age or, perhaps, only in the sere and yellow leaf.
Those who were boys at Clongowes during the closing years of the last century or the opening years of the present one can call to mind a very unique set of scholastics who helped to mould their spiritual, intellectual and physical outlook on life. But among them all there was none for whom they entertained such a combined hero-worship and holy fear as Mister Casey, the powerful Clareman from Labasheeda.
Spiritually, they knew him or rather took him for granted for what he was : a holy man without any of the external trappings that are so frequently associated with the pedestal. Prayers before and after class, the Angelus at 12, but no “holy talk” in between.
Intellectually, he was par excellence the teacher of Euclid (as it was called in those days) which one was expected to demonstrate intelligibly on the blackboard or be sent for “twice nine” in default. Nor would it suffice to repeat a proposition “by heart”, as one unhappy victim tried to do until he was bidden to change the letters ABC to XYZ, with the result that he was reduced to impotent silence and found himself sentenced forthwith to the inevitable penalty.
Physically, he was the hero of playday walks, who always took a bee-line course, no matter what obstacles were in the way, and expected every boy to follow the leader at the risk of perishing in the attempt, 'or else be left shame-facedly behind nursing his wounds.
Not much of the “delicate” man was apparent in those days, and yet some years after his ordination he had to undergo an emergency operation, his life for a time had been in grave danger, and he survived only to become a comparative valetudinarian. But his spirit was not broken, nor his power of hard work, and he continued for over thirty years teaching mathematics, perhaps the first “Magister Perpetuus” in the Colleges.
Let another old pupil of Father Casey's give his impressions of him when, after his ordination, he fulfilled the dual function of Prefect of Studies and Professor of Mathematics for so many years :
“Looking back over a lapse of more than thirty years, one can see as clearly now as then how he dominated (it is the only word) the scene of activity in class or study hall. Other memories there are, indeed, of masters and boys and affairs, but it.can be safely said that of all who passed through Mungret at that time, there is no one who cannot conjure up at a moment's notice the vision of Father Casey striding swiftly along the stone corridor or appearing as Prefect of Studies at the head of a classroom without seeming, somehow, to, have come in by the door. And what a change was there when he did come! In the most restless gathering ensued a silence which could be heard, the hardiest spirit was reduced to his lowest dimension, and any vulgar fraction of humanity who might have incontinently strayed into a Mungret classroom instantly became a minus quantity.
Many of Father Casey's pupils who have since been called upon themselves to exercise authority of one kind or another, must have wondered enviously how he did it. For he used the physical and adventitious aids to pedagogy rather less than most Prefects of his time. Yet somehow he conveyed by a manner which, if we had had the wit to realise it, must have been sustained by a continuous effort, that if affairs did not progress with the speed and exactitude of a proposition in Euclid, and in the manner he indicated with precision, that then the sky would fall or the end of the world would come, or some dreadful Nemesis of the kind would await the unfortunate who lagged upon the road. ....
I doubt if Mungret has ever had or will ever have a greater teacher of Mathematics than Father John Casey. It is one thing to be a great mathematician and another thing to be a great teacher of mathematics; the combination of the two, as in Father Casey's case, must be very rare indeed. Without pretending to know much about it, it has always seemed to the writer that an expert in any subject was usually a poor teacher at least to elementary students. He knows so much that it is difficult for him to realise how little his pupils know, and it must be heart-breaking to find that there are some to whom the very rudiments of his science are inexplicable. At all events, Father Casey was the best mathematician and the best teacher we ever knew. Here again the achievement was psychological rather than physical ; we got a certain amount of work to do, carefully explained and well within our capabilities; it was conveyed to us as a first axiom that that work had to be done ; the question of trying to dodge it simply never entered our heads ; ergo the work was done and we passed our exams. One could almost hear Father Casey saying Q.E.D. when we got the results.
The greatest achievement of a master, however, is not to be found by measuring the results of examinations ; it is in the amount of respect he earns from his pupils. Father Casey carried away with him not only our profound respect as a teacher but our enduring affection as a man. For if boys recognise weakness and trade upon it, they also know strength and understand the proper and unerring use of it. We know that here was a man who had been given certain work to do and intended to do it for that reason alone....”

To conclude this brief obituary, over to you, Younger Generation :
“Father John Casey died peacefully on June 5th, at the age of 80. During most of his life he had to struggle against ill health. In his last years he was completely blind and so feeble that he had to be assisted to stand. But these infirmities of the body did not subdue his great and courageous spirit. He remained until the end as clear and fresh in mind as those thirty years his junior. His interest in and grasp of events both in the Province and the world in general remained undiminished. Always affable and gay, he was ready at recreation to join in any topic of conversation and the width of his interests was remarkable. Only three days before his death he was expounding the merits of Milton's ‘Samson Agonistes’. It is not surprising that this poem on blindness by a blind man should have made a special impression on him. When, however, Father Casey referred to his own affliction, there was never a trace of self pity. When he did mention it, which was rarely, it was always to note its humorous side.
Three years before his death he asked the Community of Tullabeg to join with him in a Novena that God might spare his eyesight sufficiently to continue to say Mass. But God required what must have been for him the supreme sacrifice. Father Casey quietly accepted. The memory of the calm face of the blind man assisting at Mass each morning will remain always with those who witnessed it.
Father Casey was too reserved and unassuming to wish us to catalogue his virtues. His spiritual children will always cherish his unfailing sympathy and sage and balanced counsel. In fourteen years of closest companionship the writer of these lines never heard him speak an unkind word. May his meek and gentle soul find rest and light at last in the Vision of God”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Casey 1873-1954
The name of Fr John Casey is remembered well and with affection and respect by many generations of pupils in our Colleges, especially Mungret, where he spent many years of his life. Born in London in 1873, and raised in County Clare, his life was no bed of silk.

He underwent a severe operation shortly after ordination which rendered him a veritable invalid all his life. In spite of his bad health, he gave a long life of valuable service to the Society, as teacher, Prefect of Studies, and Spiritual Father. For this last office he had a special aptitude – a clear judgement, an insight into character and a high standard of religious observance. A rector of Tullabeg once said, that as long as Fr Casey was Spiritual Father, he himself had no anxiety about the spiritual condition of the Philosophers.

For the last three years of his life he was totally blind and could not say Mass. This cross, as well as his long life of ill health he accepted cheerfully, as from the Hand of God. Fidelity to duty, thoroughness in work, courtesy to others, these qualities sum up the man.

He died on June 5th 1954 a model in many ways to succeeding generations of Jesuits.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1941

Jubilee

Father John Casey SJ

Its is now just thirty-three years as time has flown - the month of September of the year 1908 to be precise - since the writer entered Mungret for a term of five years. During a great part of these years Father John Casey was at Mungret - either in the capacity of Mathematics Master or as Prefect of Studies. Looking back now over that gap of time, one can see as clearly now as then, how he dominated - it is the only word - the scene of activity in class or study hall, Other memories there are in deed - of masters and boys and affairs - but it can be safely said that of all who passed through Mungret at that time, there is no one who cannot conjure up at a moment's notice the vision of Father Casey striding swiftly along the stone corridor or appearing as Prefect of Studies at the head of a classroom without seeming somehow to have come in by the door. And what a change was there when he did come! In the most restless gathering ensued a silence which could be heard, the hardiest spirit was reduced to his lowest dimension and any vulgar fraction of humanity who might have incontinently strayed in to a Mungret classroom instantly became a minus quantity. Looking back on one's own limitations of these days, one is almost tempted to call it the triumph of mind over matter; but it was not merely a victory in the age-long psychological struggle between master and pupil - it was a rout, utter and absolute.

Many of Father Casey's pupils, who have since been called upon themselves to exercise authority of one kind or another, must have wondered enviously how he did it. For he used the physical and adventitious aids to pedagogy rather less than most Prefects of his time. Yet somehow he conveyed by a manner which; if we had had the wit to realise it, must have been sustained by a continuous effort, that if affairs did not progress with the speed and exactitude of a proposition in Euclid, and in the manner he indicated with precision, that then the sky would fall, or the end of the world would come, or some dreadful Nemesis of the kind would await the unfortunate who lagged upon the road. And of course some inevitably lagged and of course the Nemesis did not come to them even in the measure they deserved, but the illusion persevered and the triumph persisted. It is only with the passing of the years that the realisation comes that here was genius in one of its most unusual and most remark able manifestations.

Once only in my time at Mungret did I see the alter ego breaking through the ego while he was at his own particular work. Be it said parenthetically that when we were out of class or study it broke through continually in the little we then saw of him. But this was a special occasion-he had had to go away for an emergency operation, his life for a time had been in grave danger, and we had not seen him for many weeks and did not know when he would come back. Then one night when, with an indulgent apostolic prefect in the chair, we were in study and studying many books not to be found in the curriculum, my next door neighbour breathlessly whispered the time-honoured formula of the approach of authority. It seemed incredible but I saw a dark shadow appear from the back of the study, stop at every line of desks, collecting various periodicals, while those in front of the line were quite oblivious of anything unusual. It was a scene of the utmost drama while it lasted and ended when, laden with books and papers collected en route, Father Casey turned round at the top to a thoroughly demoralised study hall, smiled broadly and announced “Cæsar has returned to his armies”.

I doubt if Mungret has ever had or will have a greater teacher of Mathematics than Father John Casey. It is one thing to be a great mathematician and another thing to be a great teacher--the combination of the two as in Father Casey's case, must be very rare indeed. Without pretending to know much about it, it has always seemed to the writer that an expert in any subject was usually a poor teacher at least to elementary students. He knows so much that it is difficult for him to realise how little his pupils know and it must be heart-breaking to find that there are some to whom the very rudiments of his science are inexplic able. Probably that is where method comes in. At all events Father John Casey was the best mathematician and the best teacher we ever knew. I write as one to whom the subject was always a great trouble and who would never have passed through the Intermediate without the assistance I got in Father Casey's class. Here again the achievement was psychological rather than physical ; we got a certain amount of work to do, carefully explained and well within our capabilities, it was conveyed to us as a first axiom that that work had to be done; the question of trying to dodge it simply never entered our heads; ergo the work was done and we passed our exams, perhaps not at the top, but certainly not at the bottom. One could almost hear Father Casey saying “QED” when he got the results.

The greatest achievement of a master however is not to be found by measuring the results of examinations - it is in the amount of respect he earns from his pupils. Boys are unerring in sizing up values in those who are placed over them - no psychoanalyst ever found the weak spots with greater certitude or more uncanny comprehension. What in another may be merely an amiable foible is turned to ill account so that it becomes overnight a serious difficulty to a teacher's success. The old Nannies belief that boys of a certain age are “limbs” of diabolical origin, is made manifest to the poor man's serious discomfort. We tried all these arts on Father John Casey but we never found the weak spot. He carried away with him not only our profound respect as a teacher but our enduring affection as a man. For if boys recognise weakness and trade upon it, they also know strength and understand the proper and unerting use of it. We knew as well as if it had been put into words for us that here was a man who had been given certain work to do and intended to do it if for that reason alone; we knew that outside that work no one in Mungret wished us more fun or amusement ; indeed we sus pected that if we scored one up on the Prefect of Discipline outside class and study hours there was a dignified and gentle chuckle from the Prefect of Studies. Father Eddie Bourke SJ, may remember a day when as a boy in 2nd Club he threw a laundry bag through the dormitory window so that it landed in front of Father Casey in the chapel quadrangle. When faces, poked out of the window, were horrified at this catastrophe, Father John gaily and accurately threw the bag up again remarking: “A bolt from the blue” - and went on reading his office. Various illnesses and short-sightedness prevented him from taking much part in our games. Yet whenever nowadays one meets a Mungret boy of the 1908 vintage the first question is “Where is Father Casey now?”

The last place I saw him was sitting on a bench at Lisdoonvarna enjoying a short holiday. He still teaches mathematics he told me - but nowadays to Jesuit scholastics and not to “the likes of us”. Anyway he has passed through all the burden of the day and the heats, and finds himself in the quiet of the evening time. That its peace may long endure as it does when the sun sets on the Shannon over his native Labasheeda, and that his prayer may help them on the more difficult tasks that now engage them as his instruction and example did long ago, will be the wish of all who passed through Mungret in his time, wherever these lines may find them.

DFG

-oOo-

We offer our heartiest congratulations to Father John Casey SJ (1888-'90) on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee as a member of the Society of Jesus, which fell due last September. Father Casey's name is a household word amongst many generations of past Mungret boys, who, we are certain, will revive their impressions of their school-days, when they read on another page the appreciation of their former Prefect of Studies by a distinguished past pupil of Father Casey, District Justice Gleeson (1908-13). Mungret sends her sincere good wishes ad multos annos to Father Casey, whose name is written in indelible characters in the annals of the college.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1955

Obituary

Father John Casey SJ

The death of Fr Casey on June 5th meant the breaking of a link with the past for many old Mungret men. What memories his death evoked, the vision of a figure striding along the corridor or appearing in a classroom to be followed by a hushed silence. Strict yet kind, he had many friends among the Past who will mourn his passing.

He was born in London the son of a Clareman, in 1873. He was educated in Mungret College, and entered the Society in Tullabeg in 1890. After two years juniorate in Milltown Park, he studied Philosophy at Louvain and Stonyhurst.

He taught for six years at the Crescent and Clongowes before going to Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1905. The following year he began his long association with Mungret College where from 1906 to 1919, and again from 1927 to 1933 he held appointments as prefect of studies and professor of mathematics and physics. The following is a testimony of one who was taught by him

“I doubt if Mungret has ever had or will ever have a greater teacher of Mathematics than Fr John Casey. It is one thing to be a great mathematician and another thing to be a great teacher of mathematics : the combination of the two as in Fr Casey's case must be very rare indeed. Without pretending to know much about it, it has always seemed to the writer that an expert in any subject was usually a poor teacher at least to elemertary students. At all events Fr Casey was the best mathematician and the best teacher we ever knew. Here again the achievement was psychological rather than physical; we got a certain amount of work to do, carefully explained and well within our capabilities; it was conveyed to us as a first axiom that that work had to be done ; the question of trying to dodge it never entered our heads; ergo the work was done and we passed our exams.

The greatest achievement of a master, however, is not to be found by measuring the results of examinations; it is in the amount of respect he earns from his pupils. Fr Casey carried away with him not only our profound respect as a teacher but our enduring affection as a man”.

In 1933 Fr. Casey was transferred to Tullabeg where he taught the philosophers mathematics and teaching methods to within a few years of his death, and was besides, Spiritual Father to the community. In his last years he was completely blind and so feeble that he had to be assisted to stand. But these infirmities of body did not subdue his great and courageous spirit. One who lived with him for fourteen years re marked that he never heard him speak an unkind word. May his meek and gentle soul find rest and light at last in the vision of God.

Casey, Seán J, 1921-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/492
  • Person
  • 01 August 1921-21 February 1995

Born: 01 August 1921, Glin, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1959, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 21 February 1995, St Joseph’s, Shankhill, County Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1963 at St Ignatius Chicago IL, USA (CHG) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr Seán Casey (1921-1995)

1st Aug. 1921: Born in Glin, Co. Limerick
Education: Clongowes Wood College
7th Sept. 1939; Entered Society at Emo, Co. Laois
8th Sept. 1941: First Vows at Emo
1941 - 1942: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1942 - 1943: Supplying at Clongowes, Belvedere, Mungret
1943 - 1946: Philosophy at Tullabeg, Co. Offaly
1946 - 1948: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1948 - 1950: Regency at Crescent College, Limerick
1950 - 1954: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1953: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park by Archbishop J.C. McQuaid
1954 - 1958: Teacher - Crescent College, Limerick
1958 - 1959: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1959 - 1962: Teacher, Spiritual Father - Crescent College, Limerick
1962 - 1963; Studied Counselling in Chicago, USA
1963 - 1965: Teacher of Philosophy - Apostolic School, Mungret, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1965 - 1966: Teacher of Philosophy - Rome, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1966 - 1967: Teacher of Philosophy - Apostolic School, Mungret, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1967 - 1969: Spiritual Father and Adult Education - Crescent College, Limerick
1969 - 1972: Ministered in Sacred Heart Church, Limerick and Adult Education
1972 - 1973: Lecturer in Philosophy - Milltown Institute
1973 - 1975: Director of Adult Education - Limerick
1977 - 1980: CLC.
1980 - 1985: Chaplain - "Eye & Ear" Hospital, Dublin
1985 - 1990: Cherryfield Lodge
1990 - 1995: Kilcroney Nursing Home and St. Joseph's Centre, Crinken Lane, Shankill, Co. Dublin
21st Feb. 1995: Died

The words of our Gospel just read really startle us. They contradict our worldly experience and scale of judgements. “Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted”. This does not make sense to us when we feel a great loss and are confronted by the awe and mystery of death. Yet, I think, that it is only in the experience of bereavement that we can come to understand the meaning and truth of these words. For there is a blessedness in mourning that can bring us comfort.

We mourn because we have loved and lose and are loved. And St. John has told us that those who love, live in the light.

When we mourn, we support each other, often in silent, unobtrusive ways. That love between us is a truly blessed thing, for it tells us that God is really present among us and walks with us in our grief.

When we mourn, we often think and talk about the one who is no longer with us. Incidents in his life are recalled, words he spoke, humourous sayings, mannerisms or incidents. This fills out the picture of a person's character and life. But such memories are private recollections, intimate and personal, not shared in public - because they are sacred. But they nourish love. They are a comfort.

When we mourn, we learn what the really important things in life are and accept that suffering and the cross touches every life. We come to understand that a person's worth is not measured by success in life or achievements. It rests on their relationship with God and others, by their sincerity, goodness and generosity.

These were qualities Sean possessed in a remarkable degree. He was blessed with a keen, subtle mind. He loved study and was considered to be a person who would achieve great things in the academic world of philosophy. But ill health constantly interfered with his studies. He had to turn to less burdensome, apostolic work which he pursued with all his kindness and skill.

Then he had the terrible accident that rendered him incapacitated for the remainder of his life.

But I never heard him complain. When I visited him in hospital, I saw many of the beatitudes reflected in his demeanour, gentleness, a poverty of spirit that prevented him from criticizing anybody, Jesuit or non-Jesuit. But frequently I heard him expressing gratitude, especially for the care and kindness he received from the Staff and Community in Kilcroney and St. Joseph's. The patients, too, felt at ease with him, "I like Fr. Casey," a patient said to me the last time I was with him, only two days before he died. "I'd like to meet him and talk with him." This was Sean's apostolate over the last few years as he offered himself daily to be one with the Lord. It is in qualities such as these that true greatness is achieved.

The last great comfort that mourning brings us is that it widens our horizons. Our Lord seems to take us away from the narrow confines of a hospital bed and takes us, as it were, to a cliff-top and directs us to look out at a vast expanse of ocean where death and life intermingle, where love in time flows into love in eternity. Those we love never die. “He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood shall live for ever” Christ said. This, surely, is the greatest comfort for all who mourn.

Paul Leonard SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1995

Obituary

Father Seán Casey SJ

Seán Casey was born on the first day of August in 1921 in Glin, Co. Limerick. After school he joined the Jesuits in Emo and took his First Vows there two years later on 8 Sep tember 1941. He broke off his Arts studies, pursued at UCD while living at Rathfarnham Castle; to help out in his old school and, also spent spells in Belvedere and Mungret. From there, he proceeded to Philosophy at Tullabeg and only when he had completed this part of his course in 1946 did he return to Rathfarnham and UCD and complete his Arts degree.

With one year's “regency”, as a Jesuit's years as a teaching scholastic are known, already behind him, Seán spent only two more at the “chalk-face”, this time back in his native Limerick, at the Crescent. He then went on to Milltown Park for the regulation four years of Theology and was ordained after three, on 31 July 1953, by the late Archbishop John Charles McQuaid.

He went back to the Crescent to teach in 1954 and remained at this work and that of Spiritual Father until 1962, with just one intermission, in 1958, when he made his Tertianship at Rathfarnham.

As the Second Vatican Council was ushe ing in a new era for the Church in the autumn of 1962, Seán headed west to study counselling in Chicago. Immediately afterwards, he went to Mungret to teach Philosophy in the Apostolic School and begin his own doctoral studies in Philosophy, which he later pursued in Rome. After a final year in Mungret, he moved once more to the Crescent, when the work of the Apostolic School ended.

For the next five years, he engaged in Adult Education, acted as Spiritual Father in the school (1967-69) and ministered in the Sacred Heart Church (1969-72). A further five years were devoted to teaching Philosophy in the Milltown Institute (1972-3 and 1975-77) and filling the role of Director of Adult Educaiton in Limerick (1973-75). After that Seán worked for the Christian Life Communities movement (formerly the Sodality of Our Lady) for three years and then, in 1980, took up chaplaincy at the Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin.

Seán's own health, never robust, failed in the last period of his life. He spent five years at the Jesuit infirmary, Cherryfield Lodge, and then, in 1990, when the need for more intensive care arose, he went to Kilcroney Nursing Home. He died peacefully at St Joseph's Centre, Crinken Lane, Shankill, Co, Dublin, where Kilcroney had been transferred, on 21 February 1995.

Seán Casey was a humble, even diffident man, whose considerable intellectual gifts were often concealed by his diffidence. His various postings in Dublin and Limerick gave him opportunities to deploy his gifts for study and teaching and the gentle listening which was one of his marked characteristics. May he rest in peace.

Cassidy, Dermot, 1933-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/828
  • Person
  • 01 June 1933-24 April 2017

Born: 01 June 1933, Ballyfoyle, County Laois
Entered: 17 September 1951, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1966, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 17 June 1981, Sacred Heart Church Crescent, Limerick
Died: 24 April 2017, Mater Hospital, Dublin (Highfield Healthcare, Whitehall, Dublin)

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

by 1970 at Mount St London (ANG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-dermot-cassidy-sj-reflective-voice/

Fr Dermot Cassidy SJ – a reflective voice
Fr Dermot Cassidy SJ passed away peacefully on the night of 24 April at the Mater Hospital in Dublin. Fr Cassidy was 83 years old. Born and raised in County Laois, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1951. During his regency training, he worked as a teacher in Crescent College SJ in Limerick. Upon ordination in 1966, he returned to Limerick where he assisted in the Church of the Sacred Heart and promoted the missions for over thirty years (1975-2006). He spent his last few years between Cherryfield Lodge and Highfield Healthcare in Dublin where he prayed continuously for the Church and the Society.

An interview with Fr Dermot
In an interview with Pat Coyle from Irish Jesuit Communications, Fr Dermot spoke about his Jesuit life. He had a very active pastoral ministry for many years where he loved to talk to ordinary people on the streets, in shops and in pubs. Speaking about meeting people in Limerick, he said, “I was always gentle on them. It wouldn’t mean that you could never have an argument. An argument is often a way of contact too and the next time you would meet then you might discuss things at a more human level.”
Since a child, he had a gift of reflection and could perceive things differently, “That’s my nature you know, and what comes by nature can’t be defeated by artifice and artificiality”.
Fr Dermot saw the spiritual hunger of people as a very positive force. As he saw it, this hunger was a mainstay of Irish life. It showed in the determination of people to learn from the past, to build Irish society with a sense of purpose, and to find new and better ways to do things.
The Jesuit had a special connection with Northern Ireland. “I always had a love for the North and still have. They have changed the world perspective on things. People used to say, ‘You’d never think that Christians could fight’ and the same people have now said, ‘You’d never think that Christians could unite and find a way forward’”. He was a committed nationalist and admired Sinn Féin and the way the party worked to try and bring about a united Ireland by engaging in the peace process. And former Sinn Féin Director of publicity and author Danny Morisson expressed his appreciation to Fr Dermot after the ceasefire with a signed and dedicated book. He always kept that book in his room.
Fr Dermot remembered a spontaneous meeting at a pub in Limerick with a Muslim television journalist who was preparing a production on ‘What is Ireland?’. The Jesuit spoke to him about conflict and peace in Ireland and abroad. He also spoke about the spiritual needs of the world. At the end of the talk, the journalist said: ‘I came in here rather upset, and after our conversation I am at peace’.
Asked if he had any regrets, he said: “Only that I haven’t had more opportunity to say what I want to say and that other people who have nothing to say have every opportunity”. His words were certainly not wasted on the queues of people who often came to see him.

A special friendship
Nissanka (Nicky) Gooneratne was a long-time friend of the late Jesuit. Here, the Sri Lankan pays tribute to and regularly kept in touch through visits to Ireland and via telephone calls across continents. Nicky sought spiritual accompaniment from the late Jesuit right up until the time of his death.
Nicky was a young agnostic engineer when he first met Fr Dermot in London. The Jesuit told him, “London is not a Christian country unlike the USA, Canada and Australia”. After a while, they went for walks in Hyde Park where Dermot spoke about the history of the British empire. Eventually, Dermot returned to Ireland and Nicky visited him on holidays and called him regularly. The Sri Lankan was especially grateful to the Jesuit for helping him to discern his career. For example, his resignation from an engineering job in Scotland brought him great peace.
Nicky returned to Sri Lanka where he got married in the Catholic Church and had five children. From across continents, he often heard of his friend’s love for the sick and poor of Limerick. When Dermot moved to Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, they promised to look out for each other to the end. “I used to call almost daily without exaggeration,” says Nicky, “recently, he used to be asleep quite a bit but he was always sharp. He was always gentle and kind. He used to end our conversations with a long Irish blessing. And I was filled with shock and sorrow when I heard he died.”
The Sri Lankan remembers one of his friend’s favourite sayings: “An answer will be given beyond our thinking”. And he recorded one of Fr Dermot’s poems from 1975, written after a young relation died. :

Door a-jar
Come, guide the stars Little one
God has held for you heaven’s door a-jar. Ah, boy that died Young man profitable Young man, young You started the origins of life to flow.
The high corn
is green grown now The child is borne
The blessing of summer is heaven in the sky
Ah, heaven high
on earth does grow.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at CBS Athy, Co Kildare

1953-1956 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1956-1959 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1959-1960 Crescent College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1960-1962 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1962-1963 Crescent College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1963-1969 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1967 Assistant Editor of “Messenger”
1969-1974 Mount St, London, UK - Assists in Mount St Church
1974-1975 Tullabeg - Assists in Community work
1975-2006 Crescent Sacred Heart, Limerick- Assisting in Church; Promoting Missions
2006-2017 Coláiste Iognáid SJ - Assisting in Church
2009 Praying for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge
2013 Praying for the Church and the Society at Highfield Healthcare, Whitehall, Dublin

Clarke, Arthur J, 1916-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/646
  • Person
  • 11 April 1916-08 March 1995

Born: 11 April 1916, Dublin
Entered: 12 November 1938, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 08 March 1995, John Chula House, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambiae Province

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
After leaving school at Clongowes Wood College in 1933, Arthur worked for about five years in the Hibernian Bank. Later he enjoyed recalling his days as an oarsman in a crew of eight, racing on the river Liffey in Dublin.

Arthur took as his model and ideal his Master of Juniors, Fr Charles O'Conor Don, whose motto, ‘faithful always and everywhere’, Arthur took as his own. He was noticeable for his observance of rules, regularity at prayer, simple faith, thoroughness in his work – even polishing the floor of his room. He was outstanding for his charity especially towards those in trouble or unwell. These traits remained with him all his life. One who lived with Arthur said that he had a characteristic blend of the ridiculous with a stern sense of duty.

When he finished tertianship, Arthur became socius to the Master of Novices for about two years and then became Minister at Clongowes Wood College for two years. The job of Minister seemed to have followed him in all the houses he was posted to.

1958 saw him in Zambia, in Chivuna where he studied ciTonga and acted as Minister. He was transferred to Chikuni, again as Minister, but after two years became Rector there, In the role of rector, as in the rest of his life, Arthur never once showed the slightest trace of malice, vindictiveness or favouritism. 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. Then came the expansion of Canisius with better quality classrooms and dormitories, a fitting dining room and kitchen. Arthur was deeply involved too in the design of the college chapel.

From 1967 to 1973 he was at Namwala Government Secondary School as teacher and later as Deputy Head. Arthur revelled in giving himself to the demands made on him: teaching, conscientious correction of assignments, availability to students, and counsellor to his fellow teachers. Becoming Deputy gave him the extra load of maintaining discipline and setting high standards of behaviour and work among the students. This seems to have been one of the happiest times of Arthur's life in Zambia and every indication was that he had excellent relations with the staff and pupils, due no doubt to his inherent kindness and generosity. He actually wore himself out and was then transferred to the smaller Mukasa minor seminary in Choma in 1974.

However, in 1974, he went on long leave to Ireland where he was exposed to new styles of living the religious life and nuanced modifications of traditional ways of expressing Catholic doctrine. Arthur became confused and deeply upset, as his simple faith had always delighted in accepting the traditional textbook expression of the Catholic faith which he had learnt in theology. So he held on grimly to his convictions for the rest of his life, as he continued to think and preach in scholastic categories. He found Mukasa too small for him after the vastness of Namwala and was moved after two years. His eight years (1976–1984) at Charles Lwanga T.T.C. gave him fresh scope for his zeal and energies. He enjoyed being in a large community house which he kept spotlessly clean during his years as Minister. His lecturers were meticulously prepared and all assignments corrected. He was tireless in supervising teaching practice. He worked hard to build up the morale of a small group of Catholic pupils at Rusangu Secondary School.

In the end he wore himself out again and was transferred to St Ignatius in Lusaka as assistant in the parish (1984-1990). He was especially devoted to hearing confessions and generous in answering calls on his time. When Fr Max Prokoph began to fail, Arthur was as assiduous as ever in helping him. Ascetical in his own life, stern towards those for whom he felt responsibility, Arthur was surprisingly indulgent towards the various strays and ‘inadequates’ who quickly detected in him and easy touch and flocked around St Ignatius.

He was moved to the infirmary at John Chula House as his mind began to fail even though his body was strong and healthy. It was painful to see him slowly losing touch with the outside world as Alzheimer’s took its inevitable toll. At the end, Arthur died quite suddenly. It was discovered that he had widespread cancer of which he never complained. He was never one to vacillate or waffle and when the time came he took his leave of life as he had lived it, with dispatch and no nonsense.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Arthur Clarke (1916-1995)

Arthur Clarke was born on April 11th 1916 in Dublin and went to school in Clongowes, After he left school he entered the Bank of Ireland, but was not fully satisfied. A close friend told me that both he and Arthur considered going to Kenya under a British Government scheme to grow coffee. On a solitary walking holiday in the South of Ireland Arthur stayed in a Trappist monastery and decided that this was what he wanted. A short stay with the monks led to their advising Arthur that “he was too introspective” for their way of life and directed him to the Society of Jesus. There he stayed until he died in the retirement home in Lusaka Zambia on 8th March 1995.

He entered the novitiate in Emo on November 5th 1938 and followed the usual course of formation, doing his regency in the Crescent College Limerick. After Tertianship he was Socius to the Novice Master and then Minister in Clongowes, where he learnt of his appointment to Northern Rhodesia in the normal way, by someone telling him casually on the way into the refectory.

Five of us travelled out by Union Castle to Cape Town. At the Rhodesian border in Bulawayo, Arthur, always a man of integrity, insisted on paying duty on all his new clothes, despite the efforts of the Customs to assure him that as all our goods and chattels were going to Chikuni Mission there was nothing to pay.

This illustrates Arthur's characteristic blend of a keen sense of the ridiculous with a stern sense of duty. When these two clashed, Arthur would resolutely do what he considered was his duty, while muttering the while that it was all a lot of nonsense, but we had to do it. This he applied to his stints as Minister in our communities. He made no secret of his dislike of the job, but laboured might and main to keep the house spotless, and turn out magnificent meals on big occasions, even though he was not at ease in celebrations. From time to time Arthur would recount hilarious incidents of his formation years, normally involving the deflation of some pomposity or affectation. The following morning there would be an attack of conscience resulting in a stern admonition to us scholastics to show more respect in speaking of the very people Arthur had been taking off the previous evening.

Arthur had a difficult time adapting to life in Africa at first, though not through lack of trying. He was of that generation which had done no studies outside Ireland and this must have been his first experience of another culture. He took a long time to shake free of the conventions of the Irish Province, many of which were ill suited to life in the bush.

Arthur became Rector of Chikuni where he ruled with an utterly unbiased if somewhat stern hand. Sean McCarron, in Zambia to build the Teacher Training College, would point out that even he had been taken to task by Arthur for some misdemeanour, leaving us mystified as to why he should consider himself immune to Arthur's sense of what was appropriate behaviour. In the role of Rector, as in the rest of his life, Arthur never once showed the slightest trace of malice, vindictiveness or favouritism.

After his stint as Rector, Arthur went to teach in Namwala Government Secondary School. The Zambian Principal, no doubt in recognition of Arthur's commitment to order and discipline, appointed him Vice-Principal and then allowed him to get on with running the entire school, while he pursued a more leisurely way of life. This seems to have been one of the happiest times of Arthur's life in Zambia and every indication was that he had excellent relations with the staff and pupils, due no doubt to his inherent kindness and generosity.

While stationed at St. Ignatius parish in Lusaka Arthur showed his compassionate side in his care for Fr. Max Prokoph who was deteriorating in health and required constant care around the house, which Arthur showed him to a remarkable degree of patience. Fr. Dominic Nchete, a Zambian priest, said that if for nothing else, this would assure Arthur's going straight to heaven. Ascetical in his own life, stern towards those for whom he felt responsibility, Arthur was surprisingly indulgent to the various strays and inadequates who quickly detected in him an easy touch and flocked around St. Ignatius.

For someone who led such an organised and full life, it was painful to see him slowly losing touch with the outside world as Alzheimer's took its inevitable toll. Increasingly it was clear that he did not recognise those who had lived with him over the years. At the very end Arthur died quite suddenly. He was never one to vacillate or waffle, and when the time came he took his leave of this life as he had lived it, with despatch and no nonsense.

Frank Keenan

◆ The Clongownian, 1995

Obituary

Father Arthur Clarke SJ

After leaving school in 1933, Arthur worked for about five years in an Irish bank. Later he enjoyed recalling his days as an oarsman in a crew of eight, racing on the River Liffey in Dublin.

After his noviceship at Emo Park, he spent four years at Rathfarnham Castle and took a degree in English and other languages. Arthur's model and ideal was his Master of Juniors, Fr Charles O'Conor Don, whose motto, “faithful always and everywhere”, Arthur took as his own.

He enjoyed three quiet years (1944-47) studying Philosophy at Tullabeg, in the heart of rural Ireland. His prowess as an oarsman made him in demand for working the heavy boats on the nearby canal, which was popular on the weekly villa day. His physical strength qualified him for rowing as far as Shannon harbour, 30 kilometres away and back, a feat reserved for the strong.

He was noticeable for his observance of rule, regularity at prayer, simple faith, thoroughness in his work - even in polishing the floor of his room. He was outstanding for his charity, especially towards those in trouble or unwell. These traits remained with him all his life.

After a year's teaching as a regent at Crescent College, Limerick (1947-48), Arthur studied theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1951.

After Tertiariship at Rathfarnham Castle (1952-53), he became Socius to the Master of Novices, Fr Donal O'Sullivan, again at Emo Park. Fr O'Sullivan spoke most highly of his abilities. He then spent two years as Minister at Clongowes (1955-57), before coming to Zambia in 1957

Arthur lived for a year or more at Civuna where he studied Chitonga and worked as Minister. In 1959 he was transferred to Chikuni as Minister, where he soon felt the need to build up Canisius Secondary School, now that Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College had given an example of a higher standard of building. He was appointed Rector of Chikuni in July 1960. 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. 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. Then came the expansion of Canisius, with better quality classrooms and dormitories, a fitting diniingroom and kitchen etc. Arthur was deeply involved too in the design of the College Chapel.

1967 saw him back in Civuna for a year or two, until he was appointed to teaching in the newly opened rapidly expanding Namwala Secondary School, where he lived in one of the staff houses. Arthur revelled in giving himself to the demands made on him - class teaching, conscientious correction of assignments, availability to students, coun sellor to his fellow teachers. When he was appointed Deputy Head of Namwala, he took on the extra load of maintaining discipline in this co-educational school and of set ting high standards of behaviour and work among the students. This involved working late into the night, so that frequently he was unable to get more than four or five hours sleep. It became too much for him, so that he became utterly worn out, and so was transferred to the smaller Mukasa in 1974.

The isolation of Namwala and his commitment to his work there largely protected Arthur from the aggiornamento of Vatican II which was then filtering into Zambia. However, in 1974, he went on long leave to Ireland where he was exposed to new styles of living religious life, and nuanced modifications of traditional ways of expressing Catholic doctrine. Arthur became confused and deeply upset, as his simple faith had ever delighted in accepting the traditional textbook expression of the Catholic Faith which he had learnt in theology. So he held on grimly to his convictions for the rest of his life, as he continued to think and preach in scholastic categories.

On his return to Zambia, he spent about two years at Mukasa as Minister and teacher. He found the place too sinall for him, after the vastness of Namwala.

His eight years as lecturer (1976-84) at Charles Lwanga TTC gave him fresh scope for his zeal and energies. He enjoyed being in a large community house, which he kept spotlessly clean during his years as Minister. His lectures were meticulously prepared and all assignments corrected. He was tireless in supervising teaching practice. He also worked hard to build up the morale of the small group of Catholic students at Rusangu Secondary School.

In the end, he again wore himself out, and so was transferred to St Ignatius as assistant in the parish (1984-90). He was especially devoted to hearing confessions and generous in answering calls on his time. When Fr Max Prokoph began to fail, Arthur was as assiduous as ever in helping him. .

Though Arthur's body was strong and healthy, his mind began to fail. So in 1990, he was posted to Cherryfield Lodge in Dublin, where he could receive extensive health care. He was deeply unhappy there, and begged to be allowed to return to Zambia, nominally as guest master at Chikuni. Soon he found himself in the newly opened John Chula House. Even there he found scope for his charity in helping Eddy O'Connor.

Given his strong constitution, Arthur found his enforced inactivity hard. Early in 1995, his increasing physical pain, of which he never complained, led to the discovery of widespread cancer. The Lord was calling his faithful servant to himself, through a final sharing of His Cross and he died on 8 March 1995. May he rest in peace.

John Counihan SJ

Clear, John B, 1922-2009, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 142 : Winter 2009

Obituary

Fr John Clear (1922-2009)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cleary, James, 1841-1921, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/93
  • Person
  • 10 May 1841-22 August 1921

Born: 10 May 1841, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1870
Final vows: 02 February 1878
Died: 22 August 1921, St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia

by 1869 at Amiens, France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1872 at Glasgow, Scotland (ANG) working
by 1877 at Castres, France (TOLO) making Tertianship
Early Irish Mission to Australia 1884

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He entered from Maynooth where he had already been ordained Deacon.

After Ordination he spent some time at an Operarius, was briefly at Crescent, and for over six years a Catechist on the Missionary Staff.
1883 he was sent to Australia and there he spent some years in Melbourne and Sydney. He was also an Operarius at Hawthorn.
1895 He was at St Patrick’s Melbourne
1901 He was sent to St Aloysius, Sydney.
1902 He was sent to Norwood
1903 He was sent to Adelaide
1905 He was sent to Riverview.
1907 He was sent to Sevenhill
1908-1914 He was sent to Norwood again.
1914 He returned to Sevenhill and he died there 22 August 1921.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He entered the Society as a Diocesan Priest having previously studied at Maynooth.

1868-1869 He was sent to St Acheul, Amiens, France for Rhetoric studies
1869-1870 He was sent to Leuven for theology
1870-1871 He was sent teaching to Clongowes Wood College
1871-1876 He went to Glasgow to work in a Parish there.
1876-1877 He made tertianship at Castres, France
1878-1882 He was a Missioner giving Retreats all over the country
1882-1885 He was sent teaching to Crescent College Limerick.
1885-1886 He was sent to Australia and Xavier College Kew
1886-1890 and 1900-1902 He was at St Aloysius Bourke Street teaching
1890-1891 He was sent for Parish work to Hawthorn
1891-1894 He was sent for Parish work to St Mary’s
1894-1895 He was sent for Parish work to Richmond
1895-1900 He was sent teaching to St Patrick’s College Melbourne
1904-1906 He was sent teaching to St Ignatius College Riverview
1903-1904 and 1907-1916 he was at St Ignatius Parish Norwood.
1913-1921 He was sent to do Parish work at Sevenhill

He seems to have been a little unsettled. moving frequently, and in later life was much troubled by scruples.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father James Cleary (1841-1921)

A native of Waterford, entered the Society in 1866. He was a member of the church staff at the Crescent from 1882 to 1885. This latter year he joined the mission in Australia where he was engaged first as master but later and for many years in church work until the time of his death at Sevenhills.

Coffey, Christopher, 1830-1911, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1062
  • Person
  • 12 July 1830-29 March 1911

Born: 12 July 1830, Trim County Meath/Loughanure, Clane, Co Kildare
Entered: 23 May 1858, Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare
Professed: 15 August 1868
Died: 29 March 1911, Mungret College, County Limerick

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was born at Trim but brought up at Loughanure, on the Meath and Kildare border.

At the time of Entry he had good knowledge of carpentry and building. In the 50 years he spent in the Province, he is in nearly all the houses, wherever a trusty man was needed to oversee and tale charge of a building project, or some important structural change safely through. So, he was at Crescent for the building of the Church there. He was also in Galway during the building of the Church there. Later he went to St Beuno’s in Wales during the construction of the new library there.
1887 By this time he began a special relationship with Mungret. He taught carpentry to a number of young men who came to the house to be trained as Brothers for the Missions. Later he went to Milltown as clerk of works for the building of the chapel there, and then back to Mungret to supervise the building of a new storey on the old buildings of the former Agricultural College.
Even though age had begun to undermine his strength he was still able to do a fair share of work by overseeing the work of others. He was a man of reflective and contemplative style, and his conversation often gave evidence of true insight and good judgement. Among the football and cricket students he was their oracle for the weather!
He was an observant religious, peaceful in his dealings with all, never querulous, and he bore the increasing infirmities of age with great patience. Winters became more taxing, but he always seemed to emerge from this season hale and hearty. Even toward his end, there had been hopes by all that he would be seen strolling thought the grounds and corridors. He said “If the east wind holds it will carry me off, if it changes I shall pull round again for a bit, please God”.
He died peacefully 29/03/1911, and after the Requiem Mass he was brought to the small cemetery and buried between William Frayne and David MacEvoy, and close to the grave of William Ronan.

Note from Francis Hegarty Entry :
He did return after some months, and there he found in Father Bracken, a Postulant Master and Novice Master, and this was a man he cherished all his life with reverence and affection. His second Postulancy was very long and hard - four years. he took the strain and was admitted as a Novice with seven others who had not had so trying a time as himself. He liked to say that all seven along with him remained true to their vocation until death, and he was the last survivor. They were Christopher Coffey, John Freeman, David McEvoy, James Maguire, John Hanly, James Rorke and Patrick Temple.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Christopher Coffey 1830-1911
Christopher Coffey was born in 1830 at Loughanure, on the borders of Meath and Kildare. In 1858 he entered the Society as a coadjutor Brother. He had a good knowledge of building and carpentry, so during the half century he spent in the Society, he resided in those houses where building or structural works were necessary.

This he was at Crescent for the building of the Sacred Heart Church. Similarly he was in Galway for the building of the Church of St Ignatius. He was actually sent across the water to St Beuno’s for the erection of the library there. In 1887 his special connection with Mungret began.

In Mungret he taught a class of young men who had come to be trained as coadjutor brothers for the foreign missions. He interrupted this task to go to Milltown Park for the building of the chapel, but was soon back in Mungret to assist at the building of the new storey to the original house.

He was an observant religious “just before God, walking in all the Commandments of the Lord without blame”. In his old age he was remarkably edifying and cheerful under his disabilities.When hopes were expressed by his friends of seeing his familiar figure round the grounds and corridors for many more years, he used say “If the east wind holds it will carry me off; if it changes I shall pull around again for a bit, please God”.

He retained his faculties to the last, and fortified by the Rites of the Holy Church, he passed away peacefully on March 29th 1911, and he was buried in the cemetery at Mungret, close to the grave of Fr Ronan.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1911

Obituary

Brother Christopher Coffey SJ

Another of the old familiar faces has vanished from our midst. Few of our past students but will remember Br Coffey. On and off he had lived some twenty years in the college. During that time he had ever the cheery “good-day” for all, the big and the little, the young and the old.

Born at Trim in 1830, and brought up at Loughanure, on the borders of Meath and Kildare, Christopher Coffey entered the Society in 1858 as a Lay Brother. He had at the time a good knowledge of building and carpentry, During the half century he spent in the Society he resided in nearly all the houses of the Irish Province, wherever a trusty man was needed to take charge of a rising edifice or to see some important structural change safely through. Thus he was at the Crescent House, Limerick, for the building of the Church of the Sacred Heart some 46 years ago. Similarly he was at Galway, when the Church of St Ignatius was built, and he went later on to the College of St Beuno's, N Wales, for the erection of the new library there.

His special connection with Mungret began about 1887, when he taught carpentry to a number of young men who had come to this house to be trained as Lay Brothers for the foreign Missions, under a plan which was in trial for a couple of years. Later on he was at Milltown Park, as clerk of the works for the building of the chapel, and back here again when the new storey was being added to the old buildings or former Agricultural College.

As age undermined his strength he could still do his share for the general good by overseeing the labours of others. He was of a reflective and even a contemplative turn of mind, and his conversation often gave much evi dence of true insight and sound judginent. Among the football and cricket enthusiasts of the school he was looked up to as their trusted oracle of the weather.

He was an observant religious, and we may say of him that he was “just before God, walking in all the Commandments of the Lord without blame”. Peaceful in his dealings with all, he was in no wise querulous, bearing, the increasing infirmlties of old age with admirable patience: Last winter had tried him severely; but in spite of the ups und downs he would re-appear seemingly hale and hearty as ever. Even to nearly the end, hopes were entertained of again seeing his familiar figure stroll about the corridors and grounds. . But In his own philosophic way; he said - “If the east wind holds it will carry me off, if it changes I shall pull round again for a bit, please God”. He retained his faculties to the last, and fortified with the rites of Holy Church he passed away peacefully on Wednesday, the 29th of March. . On the following Friday, after Requiem Mass and Office, his re mains were borne to the little' cemetery, and were there laid to rest between those of Brs Frayne and MacEvoy, and close to the grave of Fr Ronan, where with them and some other fellow-workers he awaits the final trumpet-call. RIP

Coghlan, Bartholomew, 1873-1954, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/95
  • Person
  • 28 December 1873-10 October 1954

Born: 28 December 1873, Clogheen, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1911, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 10 October 1954, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

by 1896 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1897 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1910 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

Editor of An Timire, 1912.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926
The Irish Sodality : This Sodality is directed by Fr Michael McGrath. It grew out of the first week-end retreat in Irish at Milltown Park in 1916. After the retreat, steps were taken with a view to the formation of an Irish-speaking Sodality for men. Success attended the effort, and the first meeting was held in Gardiner Street on Friday in Passion Week. The Sodality soon numbered 400 members. In 1917 a second Irish-speaking Sodality, exclusively for women, was established. In a short time it was found advisable to amalgamate the two branches. The Sodality is now in a flourishing condition, and has every prospect of a bright future before it. In addition to the Sodality, there is an annual “open” retreat given in Gardiner Street to Irish speakers. The first of these retreats was given in 1923 by Fr Coghlan, he also gave the second the following year. The third was given by Father Saul.

Irish Province News 30th Year No 1 1955
Obituary :
Father Bartholomew Coghlan

Fr. Bartholomew Coughlan Fr. Coghlan was born on December 28th, 1873 at Clogheen, Co. Tipperary. After attending Mungret College he entered the Noviceship at Tullabeg on September 7th, 1893. He went to Roehampton for his classical studies in 1895, and did Philosophy in Valkenburg from 1896-1899. He came to Crescent College, Limerick in the summer of 1899, and taught there until he went to Belvedere in 1901. In 1903 he went to teach in Clongowes, and in 1905 began Theology in Milltown. He was ordained there in 1908 and after Theology taught for a year in the Crescent, then going to Linz, in Austria, for his Tertianship.
After Tertianship, Fr. Coghlan spent a year in Belvedere, teaching, and assisting Fr. Joseph MacDonnell, in the work of the Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart. Then he spent three years teaching in the Crescent, followed by four in Mungret. In 1918 he came to Galway to work both in church and school. He taught in the college until it was suspended in 1926, when he continued on with his work in the church. For a number of years he was Director of the Irish Sodality attached to St. Ignatius.
After long years of unswerving devotion to all aspects of church work, but especially to the arduous toil of the confessional, advancing age began to make its demands on his splendid constitution. For a time he fought off these attacks and continued to live by the regime he made peculiarly his own, but in the end he could no longer rally spent forces, and died peacefully, fortified by the rites of the Church, on October 10th. He was laid to rest mourned alike by the community, to which his very presence gave a special, highly-prized character, and his passing a sense of irreparable loss; and by the people of the city whom he had served so long and so unselfishly.
We give below two appreciations of Fr. Coghlan which have reached us. That the writers are separated by almost a generation suggests the universality of the appeal of Fr. Coghlan's personality,
“A man of giant frame, and of giant intellect and amazing memory; a reader and speaker of the chief European languages, Irish, German, French, English, Italian, Russian and Swedish and a lover of the classics; a historian consulted by many on the bye-ways of history, a theologian whose advice was widely sought for, especially in moral questions; a confessor, who was a real anam-chara, a soul friend, to prelates and priests and people, high and low, from all over Connacht; a true patriot, in the Fenian tradition, one of the first priests to join the Gaelic League, and always at hand with his aid in the fight for freedom - Fr. Batt was all that. But it was his sheer honesty and sympathy with our common humanity, his kindly self-sacrificing ways with the poor and the sick, and his rich fund of humour, springing from its spiritual root, humility, that endeared him to all who were privileged to know him. From that root, too, came a strange childlike simplicity that made him abhor all pose or affectation and was the chief characteristic of his death-bed, when as men view all life from ‘that horizontal’, all pose or affectation falls away.
“We have lost a mine of information, an unsparing confessor and comforter of souls, a true Irish priest, and a real community man.
“Go ndéantar toil Dé. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam umhal uasal”.
“When I thought of writing something by way of appreciation of Fr. Coghlan, a remark of Fr. Peter Dwyer, who died some years since, occurred to my mind : '’ am a good friend of Fr. Coghlan's’ - and then, ruefully, ‘But Fr. Coghlan is very hard on his friends’. He was alluding, of course, to Fr. Coghlan's obliviousness of time, once he had induced you to sit down in the big chair - which he himself rarely or never used, ‘for a few words’. Fr. Coghlan loved a chat - it was his only relaxation in these later years when he became unable to move about freely; the wonder is that he survived, and with relatively good health, without some modicum of physical exercise.
And then while you were thus ensconsed you had the benefit of his varied knowledge the method was informal - the transitions, simplicity itself; but when you surveyed this mass, you found included - Russia and Sweden, and Germany and Italy, an episode from Michelet, a remark from Pastor. But these were only a fraction of his acquisitions; then Silva Gadelica and Séadhna and the Homes of Tipperary brought him home and it was home moulded his outlook, however extensive his other learning. With all that he was not merely bookish; his wide experience as a confessor had broadened the humanity in him which won him so much esteem and so many friends at home and without. Some of these friends were won many years previously, and correspondence continued when direct contact had long become impossible; his Christmas letters were well nigh as far-flowing as his reading - to religious whose vocations he had fostered, to scholastics or young priests who had won his intimacy while attached to the staff here. In his friendship for the latter particularly, I think, he preserved his youth.
His character and whole temperament was simple and straight forward; nothing studied or calculated attracted him; he was impatient of affectation or what appeared affectation to him and he reacted accordingly; if he had a ‘wart’ it was this - that he was possibly over-sensitive on this point.
The sincerity, which was instructive, was readily recognised; the sympathy and consolation he could provide in his equable fatherly way made him the confessor par excellence and priests and laity, having once discovered this treasure, returned continuously over long years for his guidance. These demands were no small burden, but he was devoted to this work and even towards the end - when his strength was evidently overtaxed - he replied to expostulations ‘some people will probably be waiting below who would find themselves less at home with another’ and he trudged to the box.
These appear to be the salient points in this review from one who only knew him late; if Fr. Dwyer's remark was true we only now appreciate ‘when the well is dry’ that the balance of payments for time expended was all in our favour his value was of things from afar. R.I.P.”

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Bartholomew Coughlan 1873-1954
Fr Batt Coughlan, as he was affectionately called, was a man of giant frame, giant intellect and amazing memory, a reader and speaker of the eight chief European languages, including Russian and Swedish.

He was a lover of the classics, an historian, consulted by many on the by-ways of history, a theologian whose advice was widely sought for, especially in moral questions. He was a confessor who was a real “anam-cara”, a soul friend to prelates, priests and people, high and low from all over Connaught.

He was a true patriot in the Fenian tradition, and one of the first priests to join the Gaelic League, always at hand with his aid in the fight for freedom.

But is was his sheer honesty and sympathy with our common humanity, his kindly self sacrificing ways with the poor and the sick, and his rich fund of humour springing up from its spiritual root, humility, that endeared him to all. From that root too came a strange childlike simplicity, that made him above all pose of affectation, and was the chief characteristic of his death bed, when as men view all life from that horizontal, all poise of affectation falls away.

He was born in Clogheen Tipperary inn 1873, educated at Mungret and entered at Tullabeg in 1893.

His life in the Society was spent mainly in the classroom and Church. From 1918 he was stationed at Galway, till the breath left him peacefully and effortlessly on October 10th 1954.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1955

Obituary

Father Bartholomew Coghlan SJ

Fr Batt Coughlan was born on December 28th 1873, at Clogheen, Co Tipperary. After leaving Mungret College he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg in 1893. After doing some of his studies abroad he was ordained in 1908 at Milltown Park. After completing his studies, Fr Coughlan spent a year in Belvedere assisting Fr Joseph McDonnell in the work of the Irish Messenger. There followed three years teaching in the Crescent College, with four in Murgret. In 1918 he went to Galway to work in both school and Church, where he spent the remainder of his life.

Fr Coughlan was a man of great intellect, and amazing memory. He spoke the chief European languages, Irish, French, German, Italian, Russian and Swedish, and loved the classics. He was a historian consulted by many on the byeways of history, a theologian whose advice was often sought on moral questions, a confessor who was a real soul friend to prelates, priests and people of all classes from all over the West. It was, however, his sheer honesty and sympathy with our common humanity, his kindly self sacrificing ways with the poor and sick and his rich fund of humours spring from its spiritual root, humility, that endeared him to all who were privileged to know him. From thắt root too came a strange childlike simplicity that made him abhor all pose and affectation, and was characteristic of his deathbed when all pose and affectation fall away. As some one remarked “We have lost a mine of information, an unsparing confessor and comforter of souls, a true Irish priest, and a real community man”. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Bartholomew Coghlan (1873-1954)

Was born in Clogheen, Co. Tipperary and at the end of his school days at Mungret College, entered the Society in 1893. He studied at Rhoehampton, Valkenburg, Milltown Park, and in Austria. He was ordained priest in Dublin in 1908. Father Coghlan's first association with the Crescent was during his scholastic days from 1899-1901. He returned as a priest in 1908 but spent only a year. He was again at the Crescent from 1911 to 1914. He continued as master at Mungret College (1914-18) when he left for St Ignatius College, Galway, where he remained until his death. By modern standards, Father Coghlan was not a great teacher. He was, perhaps, too learned to be a successful master. His repertoire of languages included Gaelic, French, German, Italian, Russian and Swedish. But he carried his gifts modestly. He was universally loved and respected by his pupils. During his long association with Galway city, Father “Bart”, as he was affectionately known, was the anam-chara of the town and county. His spiritual direction was highly valued by the clergy, religious and laity alike.

Coghlan, Seán, 1933-2021, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2354
  • Person
  • 29 October 1933-02 September 2021

Born: 29 October 1933, Farranshone, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1951, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1965, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1970, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 02 September 2021, St Paul’s Hospital, Hong Kong - China Province (CHN)

Part of the Ricci Hall, Hong Kong community at the time of death

1951-1953 St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1953-1956 Rathfarnham Castle - Studying
1956-1959 St Stanislaus College Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1959-1961 Xavier, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency, studying language
1961-1962 Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Regency, teaching
1962-1966 Milltown Park - studying Theology
1966-1967 Rathfarnham Castle - Tertianship
1967-1978 Wah Yan Kowloon, Hong Kong - teaching; Rector (1972)
1978-1981 Provincial’s Residence, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong
1981-1983 Casa Ricci, Largo de Sto Agostinho, Macau, Hong Kong
1983-1988 Wah Yan Kowloon, Hong Kong
1988-1996 Wah Yan Hong Kong
1996-2021 Provincial’s Residence, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/sean-coughlan-rip/

Remembering Sean Coghlan, SJ (1933-2021)

Sean was born in Limerick in 1833 and was educated at Sacred Heart College, the Crescent. A good student, with a quiet sense of humour and easy manner, he had a keen interest in sport, especially rugby and hurling, though his own slight frame militated against prowess in such games.

Beneath an unassuming exterior, he had a strong will and a deep spiritual sense. He joined the Jesuits on leaving school and followed the usual programme of formation until 1959 when he was appointed to Hong Kong. Returning to Ireland for theology, he was ordained priest in 1965. He returned to Hong Kong two years later and in 1972 was appointed rector of the Wah Yan College, Kowloon. Aged 40 years, he was the youngest of the 46 Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong.

Many years on, marking his golden jubilee in 2001, the General of the Society wrote praising him for his leadership as rector of Wah Yan, Kowloon, 1972-’79, and as principal of Wah Yan, Hong Kong, 1986-1997. There was also a mention of his efforts in support of the rights of seamen (a life-long interest), and his initiatives in the work of street sleepers. The General might have added his service of refugees, and his abiding interest in and care of students, past and present.

In this last area, he and Fr Deignan, as principals of the two Wah Yans, went to Canada in August 1990 as guests of the Past Students Association in Toronto and Vancouver. They received a most warm welcome. Seven years later, during a furlough, Sean had a memorable visit to past students in the United States and Canada. He recalled: ‘Ex-HK people were in tears when they saw me’. He was ‘bewildered and humbled by the gratitude and respect expressed by the alumni’.

One past student put into writing a tribute to Jesuit education which Sean cherished – “Jesuit education … probes the meaning of human life… Its objective is to assist in the fullest possible development of the God-given talents of each individual person as a member of the human community … Jesuit education insists on individual care and concern for each person.” It reflected Sean’s own care and concern.

Despite the responsibilities of position and office, Sean, though he could be quite assertive when the occasion required it, remained affable, approachable, and kept his sense of fun and humour. This characteristic could lead to unusual situations at times. Notably in 1989 when Father General, Pedro Arrupe, visited Hong Kong.

Sean, as rector, and Paddy McGovern, as his minister, waited at the lift one night for the return of the General from a late dinner. From time to time they used to put in time clowning at bull fighting. On this occasion, after a long wait, they indulged in the pursuit. To the extent, indeed, that they did not hear the lift starting up. Consequently, when the General emerged from the lift he found the Father Minister crouched down with his fingers to his head representing horns and fiercely charging the Rector in trousers and singlet, waving his shirt as a cape and executing a dangerous pass. Fortunately, Fr Arrupe, a Basque gentleman, found the spectacle amusing.

Ten years later, in 1999, there was much concern over an operation for cancer on Fr Freddie Deignan. After the operation, Sean sent a relieved fax message to the Provincial that Fr Deignan had come through the operation very well – ‘Shortly after the operation he asked me if Manchester United had won their match last night’.

In 2005, on the occasion of a visit from the Irish taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, Fr Deignan, in his address, mentioned that the Irish province had sent a total of 105 Jesuits to Hong Kong and that now there were just ten left. The decline in numbers led to a decision to produce a history of the Hong Kong Mission. This was commissioned in 2005 and was published in 2008 as Jesuits in Hong Kong, South China and Beyond (1926-2006), a volume of more than 800 pages and 236 photographs.

In the subsequent years the work of the mission proceeded at a somewhat lesser pace, with Fr Deignan receiving honorary doctorates in recognition of his work for education in Hong Kong, while his friend Sean Coghlan remained a welcoming presence at Ricci Hall and went on with his quiet work for students as warden.

For recreation, he continued his practice of long walks, often accompanied by his friend, a Protestant minister. As the years passed, his health deteriorated gradually, but he still kept an active interest in the fortunes in rugby of his home province and rejoiced at the all-Ireland success of his home county in hurling. He died loved and respected at the age of eighty-eight years. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Thomas Morrissey,

Collins, Desmond, 1920-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/493
  • Person
  • 04 July 1920-02 February 1996

Born: 04 July 1920, Clonskeagh, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1956, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 02 February 1996, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

Youngest brother of John (RIP 1997) and Ted RIP (2003)

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr Desmond (Des) Collins (1920-1996)

4th July 1920: Born in Dublin
7th Sept. 1939: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1941: First Vows
1941 - 1944: Rathfarnham Castle, BA at UCD
1944 - 1947: Tullabeg, Philosophy Limerick,
1947 - 1949: Crescent College, Regency
1949 - 1950: Belvedere College, Regency
1950 - 1954; Milltown Park, Theology
31st July 1953: Ordination at Milltown Park
1954 - 1955: Rathfarnham Castle, Tertianship
1955 - 1959; Clongowes Wood College, Teacher and Study Prefect
2nd Feb. 1956: Final Vows
1959 - 1973: Belvedere College, Teacher
1973 - 1976: Rathfarnham Castle, Minister
1976 - 1996; St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street
1976 - 1980: Assistant Prefect of the Church
1980 - 1981: Minister, Church Ministry
1981 - 1990: Chaplain to St Monica's, Director Jesuit Seminary Association (TSA), Church Ministry
1990 - 1994: Assistant Chaplain to St. Vincent's Private Hospital, Director JSA, Church Ministry
1994 - 96: Director JSA, Church Ministry, Assistant to Cherryfield Lodge.
Fr. Collins continued his Chaplaincy work at St. Vincent's Private Hospital until very recently, although in failing health. At the end of January, he got a severe pain and was operated on the same day for a ruptured aneurism. He suffered a heart attack during the operation, followed by renal failure. He never came off the life-support.
2nd Feb. 1996: Died at the Mater Hospital.

“I believe in the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting”.

This belief in the communion of saints is the reason for us all being here today for the funeral Mass of Fr. Des Collins who died last Friday. We are here either because we are his relatives or his companions as Jesuits or parishoners and friends who experienced his love and affection. The communion of saints is a bond which is not broken even by death.

In this funeral Mass we come together to ask God to have mercy on Des and to forgive him any sins which he may have committed in this life and to beg God to admit Des into the company of His saints in heaven.

Our Mass is also our Eucharist. We come together to thank the Lord for all the gifts he has given to this companion of Jesus and for all the good done by the Lord through Des during his life on this earth.

Des gave himself to the Society of Jesus when he was 19. After 14 years in formation, he was ordained a priest of the Society in 1953 and lived the priestly life to the full for 43 years - until he died last Friday, on the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple. Des could say as Simeon said so long ago: “At last, all powerful Master, you give leave to your servant to go in peace, according to your promise”.

I have lived as a priest in Hong Kong for the past 46 years and so many of you had more contact with Des over the years here in Ireland. For the first 18 years of his priestly life he was teaching, first in Clongowes and then for about 14 years in Belvedere. For this period of his life I had little contact with him, as we did not come home so often from the missions. What I remember about him at that time was that he was a dedicated tennis coach in Belvedere, as well as being a dedicated teacher. But for the rest of his priestly life he was involved in more direct pastoral work and for over twenty years lived in this community of St. Francis Xavier's Gardiner Street, assisting in the Church but involved in many other pastoral activities as well.

To find out what people thought of Des, I asked several persons here with whom he lived or who knew him well. Many said he was a quiet, unassuming person. A person of great faith, he had a great love of persons. He had a good whimsical sense of humour. He was a very dedicated person both to his work and to his friends, many of whom were poor or sick. One colleague said to me at breakfast this morning “I wonder what will he say to Martin Luther when he sees him in heaven”, I myself thought afterwards, “And what will Paul the 6th say to him when Des meets him in heaven?” I met Des on the stairs one night at about 12.30, just after he had let a man out of the house. When I asked Des how come, he told me that this person had AIDS and that he was trying to find a place for him to live. Des had his limitations, as all of us have. But he was a kind, dedicated person who stood up for two fundamental values which he considered paramount: in the wider society he was pro-life and in his life in the Society he was pro-Pope. He concentrated so much on these two issues that I myself for a long time thought he over-emphasised them: the dignity of the human person, big or small and loyalty to the Pope as the mark of a Jesuit. But now he knows the truth and I wonder if he will feel vindicated. These two human and Christian values have many ramifications which we are now only beginning to realize.

Christ was a man for others and Des was a follower of his in this respect. When I was asked to say something about Des, a saying from Vatican II came to mind: “God has willed to make persons holy and save them, not as individuals but as members of a people” or of a family. I said that Des was involved in many other pastoral activities besides St. Francis Xavier's Church. For over twenty years he lived here and served in different capacities and was well loved by people in the parish. He was interested in the history of Gardiner Street Church and on the occasion of its 150th anniversary wrote a pamphlet on its history. What, then, were these other pastoral activities? I will mention only two here because I feel those were ones in which he had a special involvement. The first was being assistant chaplain to St. Vincent's Private Hospital. He was chaplain there for only five years but was sad and a bit indignant when his religious Superiors withdrew him for reasons of health. “I consulted several doctors”, he said to me, “and they told me my heart was alright”. But events showed that his superiors were right. The people in St. Vincents, whether patients or staff, had a deep affection for him.

The second pastoral activity was his summer holiday in California. Every year for more than twenty years he took a month or six weeks holiday in Susanville, north California, taking the place of the Irish pastor there who took his holidays in Ireland. Des would protest when we asked him: When are you going on holidays this year? I'm not going on holidays, he would say, I'm going to work in a parish. The parishioners there loved him and I found many letters to him in his room. Des could never take a holiday just for the sake of a holiday. When in Susanville he liked to golf on his free day. But this was an occasion for a group of Irish pastors in the diocese of Sacramento to meet him on the golf course, some travelling quite a distance. I believe he was to many of them an “anam chara” to whom they could bring their troubles, even on the golf course. They will miss him. So too his relatives, many of whom are here today.

One last remark. Since coming back, I have been living in Des's room and only here have I realized how much he himself has suffered from ill-health. I think it was a secret he kept to himself for he never complained until the pain was acute and he had to go to hospital. I chose the reading from St. Matthew's gospel today because I thought it appropriate to Des. Des had a love for persons, especially the sick and the marginalized. It was an Ignatian type of love, shown more by deeds than by words, for Des was not a demonstrative type of person. I can hear Christ saying to him: “Come you blessed of my Father and enter the kingdom, prepared for you since the coming of the world. As often as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me!” May we too hear these words from Christ's lips when we too come to the end of our journey in this life!

Ted Collins SJ, Tuesday, 6th Feb 1996 Feast of SS Paul Miki and Companions.

◆ The Clongownian, 1996

Obituary

Father Desmond Collins SJ

Those who were in Clongowes in the late 1950's may remember Fr Des Collins, who was teacher and study prefect here from 1955-59. A Dubliner, he spent the bulk of his working life as a Jesuit in the centre of the city - seventeen years in Belvedere College and the last twenty years of his life in Gardiner St. He died on the 40th anniversary of his Final Vows, 2 February 1996, aged 75. May he rest in peace.

Connell, Thomas, 1874-1942, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/99
  • Person
  • 03 January 1874-01 July 1942

Born: 03 January 1874, Moylagh, Oldcastle, County Meath
Entered: 09 October 1905, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 08 September 1919, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 01 July 1942, Dublin

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

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 17th Year No 4 1942
Obituary :
Brother Thomas Connell SJ

Brother Connell was born in 1874, near Oldcastle, Co. Meath. He spent several years in he service of the D.U.T.C., and was 31 years of age when he entered the noviceship in 1905. He spent 1907-1912 “ad dom” in Belvedere. and 1913-1914 as cook, infirmarian, and “ad dom” in the Crescent. In 1915 he went to Galway and there began his career as a most diligent and successful gardener. In 1928 he went to Tullabeg where he remained as gardener to his death. He was a very conscientious and genuine religious. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Thomas Connell 1874-1942
Br Thomas Connell was born at Oldcastle County Meath in 1874. Having spent some years as an employee of the Dublin United Tramway Company, he became a Jesuit in 1905 at the age of 31.

His life in the Society was spent as a gardener, first in Galway and then till his death in Tullabeg. A man of few words, he was always absorbed in prayer with God and was considered by many generations of Philosophers as a mystic. He was an example to all in his fidelity to duty and observance of the Rule.

He died in Tullabeg on July 1st 1942.

Corboy, James, 1916-2004, Jesuit priest and Roman Catholic Bishop of Monze

  • IE IJA J/590
  • Person
  • 20 October 1916-24 November 2004

Born: 20 October 1916, Caherconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 24 November 2004, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1951 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969
Bishop of Monze, 24 June 1962. Retired 1992

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
The diocese of Monze was set up on 10 March 1962, an offshoot of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. Fr James Corboy S.J., at that time a professor of theology in Milltown Park, Dublin, Ireland, was appointed to be the first bishop of the new diocese. This new diocese was three-quarters the size of his own country of Ireland. It had a population of a million people, 16% of whom were Catholic. At that time there were 8 mission stations in the whole area centred at Chikuni. It was a daunting task ahead for the new bishop.

Bishop James was born in Caharconlish, Co Limerick, Ireland in 1916. He was the son of a country doctor who lived on a small farm. There he grew up appreciating nature and farming. He attended Jesuit schools and entered the Jesuits in 1935, followed the Jesuit course of studies, arts, philosophy, regency and theology, being ordained priest at Milltown Park on 28th July 1948. After tertianship, he went to the Gregorian University for a doctorate in Ecclesiology. Later as bishop he attended the Vatican Council and became really interested in theology, something that he continued to study passionately throughout his life.

He returned to Milltown Park to lecture and also take charge of the large garden. He always loved pottering around in the garden of any house he lived in. He became rector there in 1962.

At the age of 43 he found himself appointed to be the Bishop of a newly set-up diocese of Monze in Zambia, where the Jesuits had been working since 1905. So on 24th June he was consecrated bishop in Zambia. For 30 years he was the bishop of Monze. The task before him as he saw it was fourfold: development, pastoral work, health and education. He invited a number of congregations to help him in this task. Monze hospital was set up and run by the Holy Rosary Sisters. The Sisters of Charity and the Handmaids were already in the diocese. Presentation Sisters, Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Sisters of Charity of Milan and others entered into pastoral work, and the teaching and healing ministry. The Spiritans, Christian Brothers and John of God Brothers are the chief male religious groups who came to help in various fields.

As early as four years after becoming bishop, he put into effect a project after his own heart – promoting vocations from the people themselves. So in 1966, he built Mukasa, a minor seminary in Choma to foster and encourage young boys who showed an interest in the priesthood. Boys came here not only from the dioceses of Monze but also from, Livingstone, Lusaka and Solwezi. Over 50 Mukasa boys have been ordained priests and several are studying in the major seminaries.

Another project very close to his heart was the establishment of a local congregation of sisters – Sisters of the Holy Spirit – in 1971. The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary helped out in this venture. These local Sisters are involved in teaching, pastoral work, nursing and formation work among their own people. The last eight years of his life Bishop James spent in Milltown Park, Ireland on the advice of doctors both here and in Ireland. Whenever anyone visited him from here, his first question invariably was: "How are the Holy Spirit Sisters”?

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

People found Bishop Corboy approachable, kind, caring and simple. He spoke simply (deceptively so, some said). He could explain himself in quite simple language, understood by all. He had to learn ciTonga in which he had a passable skill and even that was spoken simply but correctly. He was unassuming. Often in a crowd, one would often ask 'which is the Bishop?'. He loved to pray the Rosary. He was a very shy man and avoided large social gatherings when he could. Inevitably after doing a confirmation he would say, ‘Gosh, I’d love to stay for the celebrations, but I have some important business to get back to in Monze’.

On 24 October 1991 he was called to State House to receive the decoration of Grand Commander of the Order of Distinguished Service for his work in the Monze Diocese.

He retired as Bishop in 1992, worked for four years at St. Ignatius in Lusaka before returning to Ireland because of his blood pressure. A short time before he died in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, his nephew, Dr John Sheehan, was with him and thought the Bishop looked distressed and asked if he was in pain. Bishop James replied. "No. God bless you, and good bye"! He died on 23 November 2004, aged 88 years.

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
”Sher is a great loss. Apart from his work, he was a great community man”, said the Bishop of Monze. “He was part and parcel of everything that went on in the community. He was interested in parish affairs. He never stinted himself in anything he did. In community discussions he often brought them back to some basic spiritual principle’.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/celebrating-bishop-corboy-sj/

Celebrating Bishop Corboy SJ
The life and work of James Corboy SJ, Bishop of Monze, Zambia, was celebrated with the launch of his biography by Sr Catherine Dunne, in the Arrupe Room, Milltown Park on Thursday 24 January. It was a great occasion described by some there as a “reunion of the diocese of Monze”. Over fifty people attended the launch, including members of Bishop Corboy’s family, who had an opportunity to meet many of those who had known him in Zambia.

The Irish Jesuit Provincial, Tom Layden SJ, warmly welcomed the publication of Catherine Dunne’s book, ‘The Man Called James Corboy’, published by The Messenger Office and sponsored by the Irish Jesuit Missions. He recalled meeting Bishop Corboy, whilst studying for his Leaving Certificate at Clongowes, and he remembered how he spoke about the plight of farmers in Zambia with real concern.

The Provincial said reading the book he was struck by the impact Vatican II made on James Corboy and how its vision of the Church as the people of God was always to the fore in everything he did in the Monze diocese. It permeated his leadership style and his sense of purpose, he said.

He also referred to the fact that James was given the Tonga name of “Cibinda”, meaning a wholesome person who knows where he is going and where he is leading others. Listen here to his talk. (http://www.jesuit.ie/content/onsite/irish-jesuit-podcasts/two-funerals-for-jesuit- bishop)

Two of James Corboy’s nieces, Joanne Sheehan and Ann Ryan, painted an intimate picture of their uncle, especially in his later years at Cherryfield, far removed from his beloved Zambia.

Ann recalled how she and he shared a great love of gardening, flowers and muck! She said he also took great interest in the progress of his great nephews and nieces. Indeed, his great-nephews, Josh and Alan, and his great-nieces, Anna and Alice, were all present and received copies of the book from Catherine Dunne.
Joanne Sheehan told of how there had been Jesuits in the Corboy family for nearly 200 years. She said her uncle “gave his whole life to other people and in that way he was a real Jesuit – a true man for others.” But he only ever claimed a tiny role for his work in Zambia acknowledging the tremendous group of Irish people who had made an enormous contribution to the country besides himself.

Damien Burke from Jesuit Archives provided a recording of Bishop Corboy’s own words from 1962 on the occasion of his consecration as Bishop, along with slides from his early life and time in Zambia. In the recording Bishop Corboy said that “Africa owes a tremendous debt to the Irish people” and thanked everyone for their continued prayers and financial support.
Sr Pius, an 89 year old missionary nun who worked with him in Monze, recalled his attempts to teach them about Vatican II on his return from Rome. “He said that the Council changed his life forever, and he talked about ‘communio’ so often. Something about him touched our hearts as he tried to teach us about the Second Vatican Council – even us ‘noodley’ heads were moved.” She said he valued people and valued particularly the wisdom of women. “We owe him a great debt.”
Sr Catherine Dunne also spoke and read an appreciation of the book from Sr Rosalio of the Holy Spirit Sisters, the order founded by the Bishop with the assistance of Catherine herself.
She said she was encouraged to know the book meant so much to people because, “many’s a time whilst writing it I heard his voice from behind me saying ‘have you nothing better to do with you time?’ I’m glad I didn’t heed that voice now”.
After the launch and a celebratory lunch, Sr Catherine spoke in depth to Pat Coyle of the Jesuit Communication Centre about ‘This Man Called James Corboy”: Listen here : (http://www.jesuit.ie/content/onsite/irish-jesuit-podcasts/the-man-from-monze).

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 37th Year No 3 1962

GENERAL
On April 18th the midday news from Vatican Radio contained the announcement that Fr. James Corboy, Rector of Milltown Park, had been appointed bishop-elect of the newly-created diocese of Monze, Northern Rhodesia.
The bishop of Monze entered the Society at St. Mary's, Emo, in 1935.. and from 1937 to 1941 studied at U.C.D., where he obtained his M.A. Degree in Irish History. He studied Philosophy at Tullabeg and taught at Belvedere 1944-45. His Theology was done at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in July 1948. After his Tertianship at Rathfarnham, he attended the Gregorian University, where he obtained the D.D. in Dogmatic Theology. Since 1952 he has been Professor of Fundamental Theology and Rector since 1959.
The diocese of Monze comprises the mission area assigned to our Province in 1957 and, before its constitution as a separate entity, formed part of the archdiocese of Lusaka.
Bishop Corboy left Ireland on May 31st for Rome and thence to Rhodesia. The consecration has been fixed for June 24th at Chikuni and the consecrating prelates are Most Rev. Adam Kozlowiecki, S.J., Arch bishop of Lusaka, Most Rev. Francis Markall, S.J., Archbishop of Salisbury, and Right Rev. Timothy O'Shea, O.F.M.Cap., Bishop of Livingstone.
The Province and the Mission received with great joy the news of the erection of the diocese of Monze and of the election of its first bishop, who can be assured of the good wishes and prayers of all for a long, happy and fruitful pastorate.

Milltown Park
It was during the same week that news came of the appointment of our Rector, Fr. Corboy, to the newly-created diocese of Monze. Our pleasure at this compliment to Fr. Corboy and at the progress it signifies in the development of Rhodesia was marred only by our regret to be losing so kind and capable a Superior. A special lecture was organised on May 9th, the proceeds of which were presented to the bishop-elect. We are grateful to Fr. Moloney of the Workers' College for speaking on the title “Education for Marriage, 1962”. At a reception afterwards in the Retreat House Refectory, the Ladies Committee and the Men's Committee both made presentations to Dr. Corboy. A dinner was given in his honour on May 23rd and after it several speeches were made. Fr. Patrick Joy, Acting Rector, took the opportunity to assure Dr. Corboy of the continuing support of all those associated with Milltown, including the Ladies Committee. Fr. Brendan Barry, having prefaced his remarks with the words “Egredere de domo tua”, congratulated the mission on the erection of the new diocese and the election of its bishop. Fr. Tom Cooney then rose to voice on behalf of the missionaries their pleasure at welcoming one so young and capable to the government of Monze diocese. In fact he had to apologise for mistaking the bishop-elect a few days previously for a scholastic. In more serious vein, he went on to trace for us the history of the whole question of the Province's responsibility for a mission territory, since the appointment of a bishop has always been the corollary to that issue. He told us that it all went back to before the war, when it still seemed that we could expand in China. When that proved impossible there was question either of a territory in Rhodesia or of educational work in Malaya. Eventually it was Fr. General who decided on our taking responsibility in Rhodesia. Fr. Cooney viewed Dr. Corboy's appointment in the light of all that development and he wished to pay tribute to the constant generosity of the home Province, towards Australia, the Far East and Rhodesia. Fr. Kevin Smyth spoke on behalf of the Faculty, remarking that he was glad to note the departure from usual practice in selecting the bishop not from the canonists but, as he said, from the theologians. To the speeches of the upper community Mr. Guerrini, our Beadle, added his “small voice” on behalf of the scholastics. He proposed his tribute in the form of a thesis. This thesis, he said, was theologically certain, since it met with the constant and universal consent of the Theologians - not to mention the Fathers. There were no adversaries, and he went on to prove his point from the experience of the last few years. Dr. Corboy then spoke. He expressed his attachment to Milltown and of the debt of gratitude he felt towards all who had worked with him in Milltown. He commended the diocese of Monze to our prayers.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

Bishop James Corboy (1916-2004) : Zambia Malawi Province

Oct. 20th 1916: Born in Caherconlish, Limerick
Early education at The Crescent, Limerick and Clongowes Wood College
Sept. 7th 1935: Entered the Society at Emo
Sept. 8th 1937: First Vows at Emo
1937 - 1941: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944 Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1944 - 1945: Belvedere College - Teaching (Regency)
1945 – 1949: Milltown Park -Studied Theology
July 28th 1948: Ordained at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1950 - 1952: Gregorian, Rome - Studied Fundamental Theology
1952 - 1962: Milltown Park:
1952 - 1959: Lecturing in Theology and in charge of farm
Feb. 2nd 1953: Final Vows
1959 - 1962 Rector; Lecturing in Theology; Prov. Consultor
June 24th 1962: Consecrated Bishop of Monze, Zambia
1962 - 1996: Pastor of Monze Diocese.
1996 - 2003: Retired as bishop; returned to Milltown Park; writer, House Librarian.
2003 - 2004” Cherryfield Lodge.
Nov. 24th, 2004: Died in St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

Bishop James Corboy Pioneer of Catholic Church in Zambia

From: Times of Zambia, 18 Dec. 2004 Written by: James P. McGloin, S.J. (Socius, ZAM Province)

Bishop James Corboy, S.J., the retired bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Monze, died in Dublin, Ireland on 24th November 2004. On 10th December a well-attended memorial Eucharist was held at the Monze Cathedral with Bishop Emilio Patriarca of Monze presiding. Bishop Raymond Mpezele of Livingstone and many clergy from the diocese and elsewhere concelebrated at the Eucharist. Fr. Colm Brophy, S.J., the provincial of the Jesuits, preached.

In 1962 the Diocese of Monze was established from the southern part of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. In March of that year Fr. James Corboy was appointed its first bishop. At the time he was a professor of theology and rector of the Jesuit School of Theology in Dublin. He had never been to Africa before. Looking from our perspective, it seems like a very strange appointment. However, the area of the new diocese was a mission area under the auspices of the Irish Jesuits based in Chikuni. These Jesuits ran the mission, Canisius College and Charles Lwanga Teachers' College in Chikuni along with seven other mission stations in the new diocese. Perhaps the Jesuit missionaries who were already there were thought too independent minded to accept one of their own as bishop. Perhaps it was thought that someone from the outside might bring a new perspective to the work. Whatever the reason, James Corboy, without any experience of Africa, was appointed the first bishop.

Bishop Corboy was born in the small village of Caharconlish in County Limerick, Ireland in 1916. Being from a rural area, he grew up appreciating nature and farming, an appreciation he kept all his life. He did his primary school in the village and got a good basic education. For early secondary school he had to travel to the nearest town. This meant using a bicycle to the train station, then by train to the town, then a walk to school, and back again each day. Since, his travel took so much time each day, his parents later sent him to a Jesuit boarding school to finish his education.

After his secondary school in 1935, he entered the Jesuits and was ordained a priest thirteen years later in Dublin. He went to Rome, then, and studied at the Gregorian University, receiving a doctorate in theology. Returning from Rome, he began his career as a professor in the school of theology, where he eventually was made rector.

At the time of his appointment as bishop, the great reforming council of the Catholic Church, Vatican Council II, began in Rome. Bishop Corboy attend all four sessions of the Council from 1962 to 1965. The Council had an immense influence on him. He was wont to say that, despite his doctoral studies, he never really studied theology until the Council. During the Council he studied and read theology, something that he continued to do passionately throughout his life.

When he was ordained bishop in Monze in June 1962, there were about twenty Jesuit missionaries working in the area, some Religious Sisters of Charity, and one eminent Zambian priest, the late Fr. Dominic Nchete. Bishop Corboy began inviting other missionary groups into the diocese to improve the education and health services of the area. The Holy Rosary Sisters opened Monze Mission Hospital (now District Hospital) and Mazabuka Girls' Secondary School; the Christian Brothers began St. Edmund's Secondary School in Mazabuka and Mawaggali Trades Training Institute in Choma; the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary managed St. Joseph's Secondary School in Chivuna while the Presentation Sisters managed Kasiya Secretarial College; the Sisters of Charity of Milan opened a mission hospital in Chirundu and the John of God Brothers began a rehabilitation centre for the handicapped in Monze. Many lay volunteers came from overseas in these early days to help staff these new institutions.

In the area of development a well-run diocesan office was opened in Monze which, among many projects, offered agricultural advisory services and courses throughout the diocese. The Monze Youth Projects, managed by the Sisters of Mercy, was opened, offering catering, tailoring and carpentry training. In almost every parish in the diocese a homecraft or tailoring centre was begun.

Much of this development took place during the initial, exciting years of Zambian Independence. Bishop Corboy's vision of a better Zambia for all its people went hand in hand with the vision of the newly independent government. His contribution was recognized by President Kenneth Kaunda, who awarded him the honour of Grand Commander of the Order of Distinguished Service in 1991.

The bishop was also concerned with the pastoral development of his diocese. Besides inviting the Spiritans and Fidei Donum priests from other dioceses to open new parishes, he realised the importance of developing a local Zambian clergy. In 1966 he opened Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma as a secondary school for boys considering a vocation to the priesthood. At present there are nearly 50 ordained priests from the boys who began their schooling in Mukasa. These priests work in the Monze Diocese and in other dioceses that send boys to the seminary. He also saw the need for Zambian Sisters and in 1971 began a diocesan congregation of sisters, called the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. Today the sisters have convents in Chikuni, Choma, Chivuna, Mazabuka and Monze and offer a variety of services in the schools, hospitals and parishes.

From the Vatican Council, Bishop Corboy learned deeply that the Church was not just bishops, priests and sisters. Rather the Church, to use the Council's great image, is the People of God. Bishop Corboy wanted a well informed Catholic laity in his diocese, good Christians who could run parish councils effectively, preach and offer Sunday services when a priest was not available, teach young people the essential truths of their faith and prepare them to receive the sacraments. During his time as bishop, St. Kizito Pastoral Centre outside of Monze was open to offer courses in Christian and pastoral formation for the people of the diocese. Oftentimes, the bishop himself would present much appreciated talks on scripture and on different theological topics.

When Bishop Corboy came to Zambia, he studied Citonga and had a passable knowledge of the language. Whenever he preached in the language he spoke simply but clearly and correctly. Even in English, he always preached simply and sincerely also. Every year when he came to Charles Lwanga Teachers' College, his homily was essentially the same. He remembered still his own primary school teachers, men and women, who were dedicated to their work and concerned about the children. Then, he told the Lwanga students that they had chosen a noble profession and how they could be a force for good in the lives of so many young people.

True to his rural roots, Bishop Corboy loved nature and farming. For a day off he might spend a few hours bird watching at nearby Lochinvar National Park. He always had a small garden behind his house in Monze and would often be found there watering or weeding. It is said that sometimes. visitors who did not know him would be told that he was outside. They would meet the old man working in the garden saying, "Brother, we would like to meet the bishop." He would tell them to go back to the office and the bishop would be there in a few minutes. Shortly, the bishop, out of his garden clothes, would introduce himself to the surprised visitors.

A very shy man, the bishop avoided large social gatherings when he could. Inevitably, after doing a confirmation at one of the colleges or parishes, he would say, “Gosh, I'd love to stay for the celebrations, but I have some important business to get back to in Monze." Although shy, the shyness did not deter him from working well with different organisations and groups of people. He was able to listen, to offer advice and to give his lay and religious colleagues plenty of leeway to do their work without interfering.

Bishop Corboy tried always to defer to the opinions of the Zambian bishops in the Episcopal Conference. Archbishop Mazombwe, in a condolence letter, recalled an event in 1973 when he had just taken over from Bishop Corboy as president of the Zambia Episcopal Conference. Bishop Corboy wrote to him, "I am not coming to the Executive Board Meeting of ZEC and I am not going for the AMECEA (the Bishops of all of Eastern Africa) Plenary Meeting in Nairobi. I am tired, I have been teaching mathematics at Mukasa Seminary and I will be in retreat." The Archbishop, who was then Bishop of Chipata, relates how he interrupted his own retreat and said, "My Lord, I have never chaired a ZEC meeting, this will be my first time. I need you. I have never attended an AMECEA Plenary Meeting, I need you.” Bishop Corboy's response was immediate and to the point. "I will come to the ZEC Executive Board Meeting, but I will not go for the AMECEA Plenary because there are enough African bishops with experience."

Looking forward to the day when a Zambian would replace him, Bishop Corboy had his dream come true in 1992, after thirty years as bishop of Monze. In that year Bishop Paul Lungu, S.J. succeeded him as bishop. From the 8 mission stations at the origin of the diocese, there were 21 parishes when Bishop Lungu took over, Bishop Corboy was able to hand over a well-established diocese with an active and effective body of Zambian clergy, religious and laity.

Bishop Corboy did not leave Zambia immediately on retiring. He moved to St. Ignatius Jesuit Community in Lusaka where he frequently helped in the church and served as librarian at the Jesuit Theological Library in Chelston. In 1996 when his health began to deteriorate, he returned to his native country where he continued his reading and writing until his death.
His nephew, Dr. John Sheehan, who worked for sometime in Monze Hospital, was with him when he was dying. Dr. Sheehan saw his breathing was very bad and asked him if he could give him something for the pain. Bishop Corboy, in his typical way, held out his hand and shook hands with his nephew, saying, “No, thanks very much, I'm all right...and then continued, “Good-by now, God bless you”. Then he died. "Good-by. God bless you”-his final words to his nephew-but also to the people of the Diocese of Monze whom he loved so much and served so well.

Tom McGivern wrote in ZAM Province News, Dec. 2004:

The diocese of Monze was set up on 10" March 1962, an offshoot of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. Fr. James Corboy, S.J., at that time a professor of theology in Milltown Park, Dublin, was appointed to be the first bishop of the new diocese. This new diocese was three-quarters the size of the whole country of Ireland from which the new bishop came. It has a population of a million people, 16% of whom were Catholic. At that time there were 8 mission stations in the whole area centred at Chikuni. A daunting task ahead for the new bishop!

At the age of 43 he found himself appointed to be the bishop of the newly established diocese of Monze where the Jesuits had been working since 1905. On the 24h of June 1962 he was ordained bishop in Monze.

For 30 years he was the bishop. The daunting task before him was fourfold as he saw it: development, pastoral work, health care, and education. He invited a number of congregations to help him in this task. The Sisters of Charity and the Handmaid Sisters were already in the diocese. The Holy Rosary Sisters, Presentation Sisters, Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary, the Sisters of Charity of Milan and others entered into pastoral work, health care and education. Spiritans, Christian Brothers and John of God Brothers were some of the men religious groups who came to help in various fields.

As early as four years after becoming bishop, he put into effect a project after his own heart-vocations from the local people themselves. In 1966 he built Mukasa minor seminary in Choma “to foster and encourage young boys who show interest in the priesthood”. Boys came from the dioceses of Monze, Livingstone, Lusaka and Solwezi. At present there are about 50 of these boys who have been ordained priests and there are numbers in the major seminaries.

Another project very close to his heart was the establishment of a local congregation of sisters, the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. In 1971 the congregation began and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary helped out in this venture. As the bishop wished, the sisters are now involved in teaching, nursing, pastoral and formation work among the people of the Monze Diocese. The last eight years of his life Bishop James spent in Ireland on the advice of doctors. Whenever anyone visited him from Zambia, the first question invariably was, “How are the Holy Spirit Sisters?”

As bishop, he regularised the 8 mission stations as parishes and set up 13 more. He also set up a development office in Monze, headed for many years by the late Fred Moriarity, S.J. Because of it, Monze became one of the leading dioceses in development in the country.

In Matthew's gospel when Christ sent out the Twelve, he advised them to be as clever as snakes and as simple as doves. Bishop James was extremely clever and yet very simple. To set up hospitals, schools, parishes, churches et al., money and personnel had to be found mostly from overseas. A frequent question on his lips to his secretary, the late Joe Conway, S.J. was, :Joe, has that cheque come through yet?”

When the war in Zimbabwe was raging, the Zambezi Valley was strewn with land mines, yet Bishop James drove down alone to Chirundu to make sure the people there were safe and to encourage them. After the war some government official wanted to close down the hospital there, but unsuccessfully, as he had to deal with Bishop James.

The bishop was a good theologian, and, for any important conference he had to give, he would retire to Chikuni to pray, read and prepare. Once sisters involved in health care had a day's seminar on the Theology of Healing. His phrase, "Healing begins at the door of the hospital” lasted with them for a long time.

People found him approachable, kind, caring and simple. Simple? He spoke simply (deceptively so, some said). He could explain himself in quite simple language, understood by all. He had to learn ciTonga in which he had a passable skill and even that was spoken simply but correctly. And he was unassuming. Often in a crowd, one would ask, “Which is the bishop?”

From Colm Brophy's homily at a Memorial Mass in Monze:

His nephew, Dr. John Sheehan—who worked here in Monze hospital—was with him when he was dying. John saw his breathing was very bad and asked him if he was in pain and could he give him something for the pain. Bishop James, in his typical way, said: “No, thanks very much, I'm all right”. - and then held out his hand and shook hands with his nephew John and said: “Good-by now, God bless you”. And then he died, That handshake, that “Good-by now, God bless you” was his “Good-by, God bless you” for all of us.

◆ The Clongownian, 2005

Obituary

Bishop James Corboy SJ

James Corboy, who has died at the age of 88, was the first Bishop of Monze in what was then Northern Rhodesia. As a bishop he was to play an important role in the development of church and state in the emerging: Republic of Zambia.

He was born, the third of six children, to Dr John and Josephine (nee Coman) Corboy in Caherconlish, Co Limerick, in 1916. He was educated in Clongowes Wood College and entered the Society of Jesus in 1935. He studied History at UCD where he obtained his MA. After his ecclesiastical studies and ordination, he was sent to Rome to take a doctorate in theology. He returned to Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was a professor of theology becoming rector in 1959. He was made Bishop of Monze in 1962

The second Vatican Council had already begun and so he was plunged into the heart of what was happening in the church. He found himself transferred from a leisurely, well-ordered, sheltered life of an academic into a daunting range of new experiences and demands.

Nothing prepared him for setting up a new diocese, the size of Ireland, in a country and a church of which he knew little or nothing, while grasping and implementing the radically new attitudes of the second Vatican Council. He believed that the mission of the church was the evangelisation of the whole person, not just “saving souls”. He used to talk of his regret at how he had been sheltered from the hardships of the ordinary people of Ireland during the 1940s and '50s and was determined that he would not make the same mistake in the face of the poverty and needs of the poor in his diocese.

At the conclusion of the council, he began to implement its teaching, especially on the church in the modern world. This meant answering the pressing needs of the Tonga people, keen farmers, rearing cattle and growing maize. He began to develop the skills already there in the local people. He gathered around him like-minded people as the Monze Diocese Development Department parish priests, sisters, lay people, some of whom were trained agricultural instructors and social development workers. He was instrumental in starting the first credit union in what had now become Zambia. Monze diocese established excellent relationships with the aid agencies, including Ireland's APSO, which not only provided generous funding for the many projects that he initiated, but also sent out and supported a series of dedicated social workers, teachers and medical personnel.

He was keenly interested in education and recruited religious congregations to staff the schools and training institutes which sprang up under his efforts: the Christian Brothers opened a secondary school and a trades training school; the Presentation Sisters assumed responsibility for a commercial college; the Sacred Heart of Mary sisters and the Holy Rosary sisters both opened secondary schools for girls. The Irish Sisters of Charity, as they were called at that time, added a secondary school to the apostolates they had already begun in the area before James Corboy arrived. Monze hospital under the care of the Holy Rosary Sisters became a centre for the surrounding countryside for childcare clinics and a nursing school.

He used to say that the church in Zambia had to become a church of the laity if it was ever to shake itself free from being an adjunct of the church in Europe, depending on expatriate mission personnel and funding. So he set up Kizito Pastoral Centre, which catered for every sort of training for laity. The bishops of east and central Africa decided that their main pastoral thrust would be based on the formation of small Christian communities. The pastoral centre was timely and provided a centre for the training of the community members.

While he was a shrewd administrator and fund-raiser, he was the most unpretentious of men, with a simplicity that was most effective in winning people's minds and hearts. He was fully accepted by the people of Zambia, from the president down to the simplest subsistence farmer. He seemed to be happiest when working in the vegetable patch that he cultivated in his backyard.

He returned to Ireland where he lived simply and quiety in retirement until his death in November after a short illness. His brother Dr Patrick and sisters Maureen and Dr. Bernie survive him; his brother Shane and sister Alice predeceased him.

The Irish Times

Craig, Harold E, 1901-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/106
  • Person
  • 03 July 1901-29 October 1985

Born: 03 July 1901, North Strand, Limerick
Entered: 01 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 14 June 1932, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1935, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 29 October 1985, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1929 in Australia - Regency at Xavier College, Kew
by 1934 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1935 at Catholic Mission, Ngau-Pei-Lan, Shiuhing (Zhaoqing), Guandong, China (LUS) language studies
by 1936 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
by 1944 at Xavier, Park St, Calcutta, West Bengal, India (BEL M)
by 1948 at Sacred Heart Accrington (ANG) working
by 1949 at St Joseph’s Leigh (ANG) working
by 1955 at St Francis Xavier Liverpool (ANG) working

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Harold Craig, SJ
R.I.P.

Father Harold Craig, S.J., died in Ireland on 31 October 1985, aged 84.
He worked in Hong Kong, mainly as a teacher in Wah Yan College, until 1941. After the Japanese occupation he went to India, flying the hazardous route then known as ‘across the Hump.’ He worked in India till after the end of the war. He then worked in parishes in Lancashire, England, for over a quarter of a century. About a decade ago he transferred to a rural parish in the Irish midlands, and did not give up this work there till after his 83rd birthday. His retirement lasted less than three months.

Few people in Hong Kong will remember Father Craig after a gap of over forty years, but that few will remember him vividly. He was original in thought, word and action. Such men are not easily forgotten.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 8 November 1985

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He came to Hong Kong in 1934 after Ordination and left Hong Kong in 1941

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
In 1942 with Fr Harold Craig - who had come with him in 1933 - he went to Kwelin (Yunan) in mainland China, staying with Mgr Romaniello.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
After early studies in the Society, Harold Craig was posted to Xavier College for regency, where he taught from 1926-28, followed by a year at Riverview in 1929.After tertianship, Craig worked in the Hong Kong Mission, 1934-44, including 1942-44 at Guilin, Guangxi province, China, after the Japanese occupation brought the work of the mission to an effective halt. He then moved to India, 1944-47, working in Calcutta and Darjeeling before going to England. There he worked in a series of parishes until 1977 when he moved to Tullabeg as a base for more pastoral work. Harold Craig was known in the province as a raconteur frequently regaling people with stories of the past, particularly of his time in Australia.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 61st Year No 1 1986

Obituary

Fr Harold Craig (1901-1919-1985)

3rd July 1901: born in Limerick,1911-19. studied at Sacred Heart College, The Crescent. Ist September 1919; entered SJ.
1919-22 Tullabeg, noviciate and home juniorate, 1922-25 Milltown,philosophy.
1925-'9 Australia, teaching: 1925-28 in Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne; 1928-29 St Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney.
1929-233 Milltown, theology (14th ordained a priest). 1933-34 St Beuno's, Wales, tertianship.
1934-44 China/Hong Kong mission. 1934-35 Shiuhing, learning Cantonese. 1935-36 Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, HK, minister. 1936-38 Wah Yan HK again. The Japanese occupation of of Hong Kong brought the work of the Irish Jesuit Mission to a virtual standstill. 1942-44 Kweilin, Kwangsi province.

  1. India. 1944-45 Calcutta. 1945-47 Darjeeling.
    1947-77 England, pastoral work. 1947-48 Accrington. 1948-54 St Joseph's church, Leigh. 1954-77 St Francis Xavier's church and parish, Liverpool.
    1977-85 Tullabeg, pastoral work.
    1985 Cherryfield Lodge nursing unit (his health failing). He died suddenly and and peacefully at 3 am on Tuesday, 29th October 1985.

I personally met Harold for the first time only in 1977, when he came to Tullabeg, so I cannot speak with first-hand knowledge of the earlier and longer part of his life. However, it seems to me that such a man revealed a great deal about the long years that went before: the man who in the late autumn of his life was always friendly, always cheerful and serene, always bubbling with life, always faithful in performing the work to which he had been assigned - this was the Harold I knew.
The most immediately obvious characteristic of Harold was that he was a great talker. He loved to talk and to recount experiences of his long and varied past. (Take for example his four years' teaching in Australia, a period that left an indelible mark on his memory). His love of talk was all part of his instinctive friendliness, his desire to reach out to others. The last time I saw him was about 10th October Cherryfield Lodge, I had feared that enforced inactivity might damp down his accustomed cheerfulness. Not at all. He was as cheerful and talkative as ever. He told me - not without pride - that the people of the neighbourhood, where he had already made many contacts, called him “the friendly priest”. I believe that right up to the end he showed people what he had always been, a sign God's friendliness, of God's interest in them and concern for them.
We all know that there is a vast difference between chronological old age and mental old age. Harold was 84 years of age and therefore chronologically old, but certainly was not mentally old. On the contrary, he had a wide range of interests. Despite the weakness of his legs, he spent at least a couple of hours every day in the garden; he had his favourite tv and radio programmes, he read widely about a variety of topics. That an old man could be so alive is an encouragement to those of us who are beginning to approach old age.
During those years in Tullabeg, I was always moved by the alacrity with which he answered the almost continual summonses to the confessional or hall-door. I do not know how many times I saw him sit down to a favourite tv programme - and getting into a chair was no small feat for him. A minute later he'd be called to the parlour or confessional. Invariably, without a murmur of complaint, he'd manoeuvre himself back onto his feet and go straight to the person who needed him, I am sure this generous availability characterised his whole life.
Finally, Harold had an immense affection for the members of his family. He was interested in each of them - old and young - and very proud of them. When I saw him last in Cherryfield, he told me how warm-heartedly his family responded to his affection, how frequently they visited him, and how happy they were that at last he was allowing others to care for him. His family - like the community in Cherryfield - will miss him greatly. May he live in Christ.

Crotty, Michael, 1864-1909, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1133
  • Person
  • 04 September 1864-27 February 1909

Born: 04 September 1864, County Carlow
Entered: 07 September 1899, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1909
Died: 27 February 1909, Mater Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Crescent College, Limerick community at the time of death

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Before Entry he had been working at a butcher’s in Thomas St, Dublin, and had been a member of John Bannon’s Sodality in Gardiner St.

He made his Novitiate at Tullabeg, and was then sent as Buyer and Cook to Crescent.
1909 He had a bad heart attack due to overwork and strain. He was sent to the Mater Hospital in Dublin, and died there to the surprise and great regret of his community 27/02/1909.
A good, holy, patient, good-humoured and hardworking Brother.

Crowe, Patrick J, 1925-2017, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1977

Appreciation

Father Patrick Crowe SJ

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

◆ The Clongownian, 2017

Obituary

Father Paddy Crowe SJ : A Quality Educator

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cullen, Brian J, 1917-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/481
  • Person
  • 24 June 1917-08 December 1995

Born: 24 June 1917, Armagh City, County Armagh
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1954, Belvedere College SJ,Dublin
Died: 08 December 1995, St Joseph’s, Shankhill, County Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr Brian Cullen (1917-1995)

24th June 1917: Born, Armagh, Northern Ireland
Education: CBS, St. Patrick's College, Armagh
7th Sept. 1937: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1939: First Vows at Emo
1939 - 1943: Rathfarnham, Arts and H Dip in Education, UCD
1943 - 1946: Tullabeg, Philosophy
1946 - 1947: Crescent College, Teaching
1947 - 1948: Belvedere College, Teaching
1948 - 1952: Milltown Park, Theology
31st July 1951; Ordained at Milltown Park
1952 - 1953: Rathfarnham, Tertianship
1953 - 1962: Belvedere, Teacher, Choirmaster
1962 - 1995: Clongowes:
1962-70: Teacher and Prefect of Study Hall
1970-81: Promoting S.R.P.A. and teaching in Naas Technical College.
1981-82: Promoting S.R.P.A. and teaching in Prosperous Vocational School.
1982-90: Promoting Society for Relief of Poor and Aged (S.R.P.A)
1990-95: Retired from active apostolate due to ill health.
8th Dec, 1995; Died.

All his life, Brian Cullen remained proud of his Armagh origins. He was proud of having been an altar server of Cardinal McRory and of having known his successors down the years. His contemporaries recall his powerful build as a novice, his fine voice and his prowess on the violin. In his scholastic years, he was often given the role of choirmaster. He was gifted with his hands; he could make almost anything. As a scholastic in Milltown, he helped Jim Lynch and John McAuley install the first internal phone system in Clongowes!

Brian was of shy disposition, preferring the company of one to a group. Although a bit of a loner, he had a roguish sense of humour. One of his year said of him that “he kept custody of the eyes, yet took everything in!” On one occasion in Rathfarnham Castle he slept it out and missed morning oblation. When he finally appeared on the juniors' corridor he spotted Charlie O'Connor, the minister of juniors, at the chapel end, so he about turned and headed off down the back stairs to the stone corridor on the ground floor. The O'Conor Don, dutiful by nature, pursued him. All in vain; the unrecognised scholastic had vanished into a brush room!

A fellow philosopher in Tullabeg with an interest in the grounds used knock on scholastics' doors for volunteers for outdoor works. Whenever he asked Brian, “Visne rastrare, frater?”. Would you like to do some raking, brother?. Brian used answer with a roguish smile, “Non hodie, Frater”, Not today, brother. On a famous occasion also in Tullabeg, when the rector was away, the scholastics planned a meal in the chemistry lab. Brian's contribution was to supply the chicken. A contemporary recalls Brian returning from the farm, rosary beads in one hand, the dead chicken in the other. Such moments provided a welcome break from class and study that was far from being student friendly.

What carried Brian through these years was his strong desire to be a priest. According to one of his year, “There was nothing Brian wanted more than to be a priest”. His priestly life was spent in two houses: Belvedere and Clongowes. He liked Belvedere and I am told that initially he found the change to Clongowes enormously trying.

Brian's quiet voice and shyness did not help him to establish authority in the classroom. It made teaching difficult. It explains why as the years went by he did less and less teaching and was given the job of study prefect, supervising one of the large study halls: a job he did not like.

These were difficult years, but Brian was not without the capacity to respond creatively. For several years he taught in the Vocational School in Naas and in the mid-sixties started the SRPA (Society for the Relief of the Poor and Aged). He had became aware of many old people living within a few miles of Clongowes, some of whom were on their own and living in poor housing. He saw that responding to their needs could also be a "schola affectus" for the older boys.

For twenty-five years this great work became the focus for all his energies, skills and compassion. He built up a well run organisation. Each year he made a careful selection from the members to form his committee. He taught them how to grow plants, make all sorts of toy animals, dolls, soldiers, lamp-stands and so much else which were sold on Union Day to raise funds.

On Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays his white van would be seen around the country roads dropping off the boys in pairs to visit, clean, paint, chop firewood or just chat with an old person. Eyes were opened, and hearts were moved to respond. Many boys attained a responsibility that might not otherwise have been attained. The SRPA shed occupied a sort of extra territorial status within the school! Prefects and teachers respected this embassy-like status, and never entered. The SRPA was not confined to Clongowes. A branch still functions in Rathnew girls school, and for a time there were other branches in towns where former members lived. Brian wrote out a constitution to guide its development.

One cannot understand Brian without knowing something of his family. When he joined the Society, his mother was already widowed, his older sister Rita was an invalid, and his younger sister, Sally, a nurse in England. Brian worried about them and sought to attend to their needs as best he could. This was especially true of his time in Belvedere when he made many journeys to Armagh at weekends, sometimes “sub rosa’. Perhaps it was through them that he grew sensitive to the needs of the sick and the old.

My first meeting with Brian was not very auspicious! While on a visit to Clongowes as a scholastic, I asked him how the SRPA was going. I got the initials mixed up calling it the SPRA or something. Brian looked at me and said, “You are typical of the Province, you have no interest in what I am doing.....” This unexpected response was perhaps an indication that he felt his work was not appreciated by his brethren.

Ten years later when I was stationed in Clongowes we came to know one another better. It was the year before his stroke. He was still running the SRPA I remember being with him in Rathnew at the opening mass of the year for their ŞRPA. In community he enjoyed the company of some who could pull his leg. With others he was not at ease. Community meetings were not his joy! At recreation his conversation often went back to things of the past which did not make it easy for younger people to engage with him.

He always had a strong sense of priesthood and was most faithful to daily mass, office, and rosary. Brian loved nothing more than to head off in his van for a few days to visit friends. He hated to be tied down. He loved the independence of being able to come and go as he wanted. He was truly blessed in having wonderful friends. It was in their company that he was most at ease, most himself.

In June 1990 all was to change. While staying with his good friends, Maurice and Anne Dowling in Carlow, he suffered a stroke. After a fortnight in St. Vincent's the prognosis was not good. His speech was greatly impaired and conversation was difficult. The medical advice was that he would need some nursing care. I remember telling him that he would be going to Hazel Hall nursing home in Clane. He accepted it without complaint, mentioning he knew it from his visits. Thus began a stay of twenty months. He was well looked after. But it was not home. The day was long and he was often anxious; numerous were the telephone calls to Br. Cha Connor whose care of him was second to none. While he liked to be brought to Clongowes for his lunch, he was always anxious to leave again immediately afterwards. This was a time of adjustment; gone was his van, his bedroom in the castle, the SRPA work. Yet in all this he was sustained by visits from friends and Jesuits and his deep faith in God. In the midst of his confusion he never forgot the things of God and received Holy Communion with utmost reverence. From time to time he indicated his desire to go to confession, through some wordless gesture that I came to know. The mystery of the sacrament was deepened by his utter humility and my inability to understand anything he said.

Then came a moment of crisis that turned into a blessing. Brian began to get confused about which room was his! The nursing home with great regret told us they could not keep him any longer. There was a brief stay in Cherryfield followed by some time in St. John of God's, Stillorgan. It was while in Stillorgan that his close friends of twenty five years, Bill and Bridie Travers, asked if they could look after him in their country hotel in Prosperous, two miles from Clongowes. Their kindness and that of their family to Brian was truly wonderful. He remained with them until his health deteriorated still further and necessitated his going to the new St. John of God's nursing home in Shankill for his last three months.

It was fitting that Brian died in the company of Bill and Bridie, who along with their family had taken turns to keep vigil with him during his last week. Fitting too that Brian who had such love for Our Lady should have died in the early hours of the 8th December.

Charlie Davy SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1996

Obituary

Father Brian Cullen SJ

The death took place of Fr Brian Cullen SJ, founder and first director of the Society for the Relief of the Poor and Aged (SRPA) on the feast of the Inmaculate Conception, 8 December 1995, at St Joseph's Nursing Home, Shankill, Co. Dublin. The following is an extract from the homily preached at Fr Cullen's funeral Mass by Fr Kieran Hanley SJ, for many years his colleague in the Jesuit community and its Rector 1983-89.

Seventy-eight years ago Fr Brian Cullen was born in Armagh on 24 June 1917. He certainly had a happy life as a schoolboy with good parents and two devoted sisters. He always spoke with a certain nostalgia of Armagh. Every step leading up to that majes tic cathedral on its imposing hill, every stone of the cathedral itself, he loved with some thing akin to awe and reverence. His days were spent in the school under the shadow of the cathedral, in the care of the Vincentians, at St Patrick's College.

When Brian was twenty, his father died and in that same year, 1937, he joined the Jesuits. He did all the normal studies performed by young Jesuits at that time. In 1939-45, owing to the war, his opportunity of going abroad to study in Spain or France or Germany did not materialise. He was ordained priest on 31 July 1951 at Milltown Park.

After ordination he spent nine years teach ing at Belvedere, where he had been a scholastic for a year, and the remainder of his life was here in Clongowes. At this stage his mother had poor health and needed constant care. The younger sister developed some sort of paralysis and was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. The other sister had taken up nursing and eventually became matron of a hospital in London. But she too developed a form of illness that necessitated confinement to a wheelchair. For many years Fr Cullen spent all his Christmas, Easter and summer holidays attending to the three patients. This was undertaken without a word of complaint - it was really heroic work and I doubt if anyone heard a tiny grumble from him.
I also think that few were quite aware of the strain that was involved in his life, as he was working during term-time - for eight years he was prefect of the Big Study in Clongowes and then he worked for twelve years in Naas Technical College (1970-81) and Prosperous Vocational School (1981-82).

In 1968 he started the SRPA among the boys in Clongowes. This was a labour of love for Fr Brian. The Lord blessed him with a marvellous pair of hands that could make umpteen sorts of Christmas toys for children that were really works of art. These were sold on Union Day to raise funds for the SRPA. He worked very hard and was a keen judge of a boy's gifts and sense of responsibility. He liked the boys and they appreciated his ideals and what he was trying to do. His work was good for them. The SRPA was his brain-child in every detail, from start to finish. During the years when I was Rector, many past Clongownians asked me how Fr Cullen was. They were obviously past members of the SRPA. This association gave Fr Brian a great sense of fulfillment. He did trojan work in a very professional way and there is no reason why the work of the SRPA should not continue to prosper and thrive.

So, our prayers and the Mass this morning are in thanksgiving for the work Fr Brian Cullen did through the gifts that God gave him. This brought him great joy but also, I fancy, a certain sense of worry and pain, which no doubt eventually brought on the stroke that God, in his plan for Brian, asked him to carry until his death.

Luckily he was blessed by certain families who were very good to him - like the Powers of Co. Waterford, the Dowlings of Carlow and the Travers of Curryhills in Kildare. The Travers nursed him with extraordinary care and love. I speak for the Jesuits and all I can say is this: may the Lord reward them for their wonderful devotion and genuine kindness. It certainly mnade Fr Cullen's last five years on this earth that much more tolerable under such difficult circumstances.

We pray for Fr Brian, his cousins and those who loved him, and we offer them the comfort of our sympathy,

-oOo-

Fr Charlie Davy, Fr Hanley's successor as Rector of Clongowes, writes:

In the mid-sixties Fr Cullen started the SRPA. He had become aware of many old peo ple living within a few miles of Clongowes, some of whom were on their own and living in poor housing. He saw that responding to their needs could also be a schola affectus (a school of love) for the older boys.

For twenty-five years this great work became the focus for all his energies, skills and compassion. He built up a well-run organisation. Each year he made a careful selection from the members to form his committee. He taught them how to grow plants, make all sorts of toy animals, dolls, soldiers, lamp stands and so much else which were sold on Union Day to raise funds.
On Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays his white van could be seen around the country roads dropping off the boys in pairs to visit, clean, paint, chop firewood or just chat with
a old person. Eyes were opened, and hearts were moved to respond. Many boys attained a responsiblity that might not otherwise have been attained. The SRPA shed occupied a sort of extra-territorial status within the school! Prefects and teachers respected this embassy like status and never entered. The SRPA was not confined to Clongowes. A branch still functions in Rathnew, and for a time there were other branches in towns where former members lived. Brian wrote out a constitution to guide its development.

Cunningham, Peter, 1917-1990, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/487
  • Person
  • 29 June 1917-23 October 1990

Born: 29 June 1917, Boyle, County Roscommon
Entered: 25 October 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 23 October 1990, Sacred Heart, Limerick

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

Obituary

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.

Daly, Francis H, 1848-1907, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/112
  • Person
  • 15 July 1848-19 October 1907

Born: 15 July 1848, Dalysgrove, County Galway
Entered: 12 November 1870, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1886
Final Vows: 03 February 1890, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 19 October 1907, St Mary’s, Rhyl, Wales

Part of St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin at time of his death.

Youngest brother of Hubert - RIP 1918; Oliver - RIP 1916; James - RIP 1930 Oliver was the first of the Daly brothers to Enter.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1873 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying
by 1874 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1875 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1877 at Poitiers, France (FRA) Regency
by 1884 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1886 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1902 at Holy Name, Manchester (ANG) Missions

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Third brother of Hubert - RIP 1918; Oliver - RIP 1916; James - RIP 1930 Oliver was the first of the Daly brothers to Enter. They were a very old Catholic family who resided in the Elphin Diocese. Oliver joined earlier than the others in Rome and was allotted to the Irish Province.

After First Vows he studied Philosophy in France and Theology in jersey.
He taught for many years at Belvedere, Clongowes, and Mungret.
He also served on the Mission Staff in Ireland for a short time, and then he went to Manchester as a Missioner.
He received permission to go to Rhyl for a rest, had a stroke there and never recovered consciousness.
Some Fathers from St Beuno’s assisted at the requiem Mass in St Mary’s Rhyl. He was then buried at Pantasaph, North Wales.

Appreciation by Vincent Naish preached at the Church of the Holy Name Manchester :
“...it is my duty, my dear brethren, to ask your prayers on behalf of the soul of my dear old friend and fellow-worker, Francis Daly. It so happens that it is given to me, by chance, to say a few words in support of my plea. I have had the privilege and pleasure of knowing Father Daly well. Forty three years ago we were boys together at school, and during those years of unbroken friendship I never knew a soul more full of zeal for God’s glory, more possessed with simple faith, and more devoted, in his own sweet way, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and His Blessed Mother.
Of the family - a grand old Irish Catholic family - five were boys and three girls; he was the youngest of the boys, who became members of the Society of Jesus, of whom all the three elder survive him. One sister joined a religious Order. That family was known throughout the length and breadth of Ireland for its spotless life and perfect devotion, which seemed to unite all the members in the beauty and piety of the family life. There was a family private chapel in the house, and father, mother, boys and girls all joined together each day at God’s altar.”
He continues saying that the four brothers worked in different parts of the world - in Ireland, England, Scotland and Australia. They in the Holy Name Parish who knew of the devotion and zeal of Father Daly were fortunate, because to very few men was it granted in their time to know a more hard-working Priest, devoted to the spiritual welfare of Catholics in this country of Ireland. Hundreds of hopeless fallen cases of human nature he was ever eager to attend to, and by the very simplicity of his faith, and his transparent earnest manner, he often succeeded where others were afraid or shrank from.
He then asked that as many as possible would attend the requiem Mass the following day, and to offer their Communion for the good, holy, zealous Priest who had gone to his reward. At the end of Mass the organist played the “Dead March” from Saul, and the people stood.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Francis Daly 1848-1907
Fr Francis Daly, who died at Rhyl North Wales on October 19th 1907, was the author of “The Child of Mary before Jesus Abandoned in the Tabernacle”. In 1953, this book had entered on its 38th edition, enjoys to this day a steady sale of 582,000 copies. He was on the staff of Mungret College when he compiled this prayer book. At his request, the profits accruing were expended on the furnishing and establishment of the sacristy of the Boy’s Chapel.

Francis was the youngest of five sons, four of whom became Jesuits, the others being Oliver, James and Hubert. Born in Ahascragh County Galway in 1848, he entered the Society at Milltown Park in 1870.

He taught for many years in Belvedere, Clongowes and Mungret. After some years on the Mission Staff he went to Manchester as a missionary.

While resting at Rhyl in 1907 he had an apoplectic stroke, cause by over exertion in his labours, from which he never recovered. He is buried at Pantasaph, North Wales.

◆ The Clongownian, 1908

Obituary

Father Francis Daly SJ

The Rev Francis H Daly SJ, who was the fourth son of the late Mr Peter Paul Daly, of Dalysgrove, Co. Galway, Ireland, was born on July 15th, 1848. He came of a deeply religious and pious family. There were five boys and three girls. Of the former, four became Jesuits, and of the latter one entered a religious Order. On his mother's side the deceased priest was a cousin of the late Father Peter Gallwey SJ, and also of Fathers Grehan and Sherlock, other well known Jesuits. His brothers, all in the Society of Jesus - Fathers Oliver, James, and Hubert survive him: the first-named is at present in Glasgow, whilst Father James has for over thirty years been Prefect of Studies of Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare, Father Hubert Daly SJ, is in Australia.

The deceased received his early education by private tuition, and subsequently at St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, King's County. Later on he was sent to Mount St Mary's College, near Chesterfield, and afterwards to Namur, in Belgium. His theological and philosophical studies were made on the Continent, and about twenty-five years ago he was ordained priest in the Channel Islands. During his priestly career the late Father Daly SJ, worked with unremitting zeal and energy in many districts, his missionary work in various parts of England, north and south, being well-known and appreciated. With the Irish people in this country he was especially at home, and to them quite naturally was always a welcome visitor. He was most kind and charitable, and many acts, ungrudgingly done, have been related since his death in several quarters. Many a prayer has during the past week ascended to Heaven for the repose of the soul of the dear, good, kind priest.

A Notable Work
The late Father Daly SJ, was the author of the little book known as “The Child of Mary Before Jesus Abandoned in the Tabernacle”. This useful work was intended for the members of the Confraternity of the Children of Mary, and its circulation has run into many thousands, Only this year the tenth edition was published. Its spiritual reading has done incalculable good amongst those for whom it was intended.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1908

Obituary

Father Francis Daly SJ

Two special friends of Mungret have been, during the past year, called to their reward. These were Rev Francis Daly SJ, who died at Rhyl, N Wales, 17th October, 1907; and Rev Jas Murphy SJ, who died at Tuliabeg, Ireland, March, 1908.

Father Francis Daly had been Professor in Mungret College, 1891-1897. It was during those years that he compiled “The Child of Mary” and “The Ignatian Album”, both of which we have reviewed in the “Mungret Annual” on the appearance of new editions. “The Child of Mary” is still used almost universally by the pupils. On Father Daly's initiative the profits on the sale of some of the editions of this little book were allocated to the purpose of furnishing and decorating the sacristy of the college chapel, and this work, carried out under Father Daly's own direction, remains as a monument of his taste and skill. Aster leaving Mungret in '97 he worked for several years on the missionary staff in Ireland and afterwards in England. He never lost interest in Mungret, and remained to the last a steadfast and zealous friend of the college. When he visited Mungret a short year ago he seemed to be as vigorous and cheery as ever, and we were little prepared for the news of his fatal illness which reached us towards the end of September. The apopleclic stroke by which he was prostrated seems to have been hastened, if not caused, by excessive exertion in his missionary labours. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Francis Daly (1848-1870)

A brother of Father James Daly (infra) came to the Crescent teaching staff for one year only, 1887-88. On finishing his tertianship in Belgium, he was engaged in teaching in the Irish Jesuit College, when he joined the mission staff. In 1902 he was loaned to the English Province where he engaged in mission work until his death.

Daly, James, 1847-1930, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/113
  • Person
  • 21 February 1847-27 January 1930

Born: 21 February 1847, Loughrea, County Galway
Entered: 04 November 1864, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1879
Final vows: 25 March 1885
Died: 27 January 1930, Twyford Abbey, London, England

Part of the Clongowes Wood, College SJ, Naas, County Kildare community at the time of his death.
Buried at St Mary's Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kendal Green, London, 30 January 1930, grave number 24NE.

Fr James Daly SJ punished Stephen Dedalus unjustly in James Joyce's, 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man'.

Third brother of Hubert - RIP 1918; Oliver - RIP 1916; Francis H - RIP 1907

Early education at St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg

by 1867 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1868 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1875 at St Bueno’s, Wales (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Third brother of Hubert - RIP 1918; Oliver - RIP 1916; Francis H - RIP 1907 . Oliver was the first of the Daly brothers to Enter. They were a very old Catholic family who resided in the Elphin Diocese. Oliver joined earlier than the others in Rome and was allotted to the Irish Province.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 5th Year No 3 1930
Obituary :
Fr James Daly

Fr, James Daly died at Twyford Abbey on Monday, Jan. 27th 1930.

He was born in Co. Galway on th e21st Feb. 1847, educated at Tullabeg and in Belgium, and entered the Society at Milltown Park on the 4th, Nov. 1864. Fr. Joseph Lentaigne was his Master of Novices. A year's rhetoric at Roehampton was followed by two years' philosophy at Stonyhurst, after which, in 1869, he was sent to Clongowes. Here, according to the good old fashion of those days, he brought his class from Rudiments to Poetry inclusive. Next came the third year's philosophy at Stonyhurst, and four years theology at St. Beuno's. Ordination in 1878. The following year found him at Belvedere teaching , and there ho remained for four years, adding in the fourth year, to his other activities, the duties of Spiritual Father. In 1883, he began his tertianship at Milltown, and, in addition, helped the Master of Novices as Socius. Tertianship over,he was sent to the Crescent to teach . The following year he became Prefect of Studies, and at the next examinations the Crescent took a spring towards the top of the list of Irish schools. The real Daly was discovered!
When the Status appeared it was seen that Fr. T. Brown, Provincial, had named him Prefect of Studies in the recently amalgamated Colleges of Clongowes and Tullabeg. Despite the Limerick success, this occasioned some astonishment and a little criticism, but his marvelous success abundantly proved the wisdom of the Provincial's action. Fr. Daly shot up Clongowes to a high, sometimes the highest place in the Intermediate results list, and kept it there during the twenty-nine years he was Prefect of Studies.
About 1917, his health began to fail, and he was changed, to see what effect the bracing air of Galway would have. It did not produce the much desired result, and Fr, Daly remained an invalid to his holy death in 1930.
Fr. James Daly has certainly left his mark on the Irish Province. What Fr. Peter Finlay did for it in the lecture hall, Fr.Robert Kane in the pulpit, that Fr. Daly did in the classroom where boys were being prepared for the Intermediate Examinations. (All three died between the 21 st Oct, and the 27th of the following January). To say that he was utterly devoted to his work is really, in his case, a “damning with faint praise”. He was absorbed in that work. He seemed to think of nothing else. He actually did what Hamlet said he was going to do : “Yea, from the tablet of my memory I'll wipe away all trivial fond records, All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past, That youth and observation copied there, And thy commandment all alone shall live Within the book and volume of my brain, Unmix'd with baser matter”.
And then, the terrific energy he put into that work. Had a scientist cared to make a study of perpetual motion he had only to visit Clongowes during class hours on any of these days when Fr. Daly was speeding on the studies. Scarcely had the boys assembled in their class rooms at 9.30 in the morning than Fr.Daly was at the door of one of them, and before that door was half opened he had commenced a speech. His speeches were distinctly peculiar, quite characteristic of the man. They were even calculated now and then to produce a smile, but who dared, under the circumstances, to indulge in such a luxury? When the speech was over, if there was a slacker present he was invited to a private interview. There he learned how wicked a thing was idleness, how it endangered the bright future that lay before him if he worked, what a bad return it was to his good father who was paying a high pension for his education, etc, etc. All this punctuated, driven home, by loud-resounding strokes of the pandy-bat,not administered one after another quickly, but at regular intervals.
Then off at full speed to another class, and to another, and another until the bell rang at 3.15 for the end of school. At once, again a peculiarity of the man, he disappeared. Like the witches' “The earth hath bubbles, as the water has, And these are of them. Whither are they vanished”.
However, he was hovering some place about, for coming up to 8.45 he materialised again, took charge of late night studies, and then of “voluntaries”, that, under his too vigorous regime, did not end until 11pm.
Such was the life Fr. Daly led in Clongowes during the 29 years he was Prefect of Studies. He was not a man of high intellectual attainments, nor was he a cultured scholar. His wonderful success must be attributed to other qualities : to his deadly concentration on the work in hand, to his intense energy in carrying that work to a successful issue, and to the large measure of shrewd common sense with which nature endowed him. He certainly had the gift of inspiring masters and boys with an enthusiasm that nothing would satisfy except the very highest places at the end of the year.
But it is a strange fact that he himself was not a good master, yet he knew a good master when he met him, and he certainly got the most out of him. He met good masters, and masters not so good, but he never desponded. He did what was possible with the material at his disposal, and it is not on record that he ever failed to secure success.
If Fr. Daly had to stand an examination in the theory and practice of education, it is probable that our educational experts would feel compelled to give him very low marks indeed. His success did not come from reducing to practice the theories of others however wise these theories might be. When he got a free hand, within the law, he was great. Had he been hedged in by rules and regulations, the chances are that he would have been less than ordinary.
Fr. Daly spent the declining days of his life under the kind care of the Alexian Brothers at Twyford Abbey, near London, where he closed a holy and hard-working life by a very happy death.
The Chaplain who attended him wrote: “It has been a valued privilege to me to help Fr. Daly during his last days. He was so genuinely pious. When I gave him Exterme Unction he was so reconciled, and tried to answer the responses himself, Later when I gave him the Viaticum, he was so devout, and made his thanksgiving and Act of Faith, and renewed his vows very sincerely. He soon became semiconscious, but always tried to make the sign of the Cross when I prayed with him. Yesterday I gave the last blessing and Absolution, and said the prayers for the dying”.
During these last days, Fr. Daly was constantly visited by our Fathers from Farm St, For their kindness they richly deserve,and are heartily given the best thanks of the Irish Province.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Daly SJ 1847-1930
What Fr Peter Finlay was as a theologian, and Fr Robert Kane as preacher, Fr James Daly was as a Prefect of Studies, outstanding in such an eminent degree as to become identified with their respective achievements.

For twenty-nine years Fr Daly held the office of Prefect of Studies in Clongowes, during which period he kept the College in the first rank of scholastic success in Ireland.

Born in Galway on February 1st 1847, he made his mark first as a Prefect of Studies in the Crescent Limerick. Then on the amalgamation of Tullabeg and Clongowes he took charge of the studies at Clongowes, and devoted the rest of his life to that duty. He was not a great scholar, of any outstanding intellectual ability, but he had the gift of detailed organisation, which enabled him to inspire both masters and pupils to the highest attainments. His motto was “Keep the boys writing”.

His last days were truly edifying, being spent at Twyford Abbey, near Lonfon, under the care of the Alexian Brothers. He died on January 27th 1930.

◆ The Clongownian, 1930

Obituary

Father James Daly SJ

Some years prior to 1893 I knew Fr Daly well by reputation. I had brothers in Clongowes since '86 and during their vacations they entertained and frightened the younger members of the family by the recital of blood-curdling yarns about Fr Daly - what he said and most of all - what he did. Since September, 1893, I have been personally acquainted with him; for the first five years of this period as a boy in his classes; later on as a Master working under him, and finally as his assistant in the closing stages of his work in Clongowes, where he took me into his confidence and went to great pains to explain to me his principles, methods of procedure and ideals in the matter of education.

When I arrived for the first time in Clongowes the Retreat was in progress and, being small and young, I was put with those judged incapable of making it. Each day we had class, but not of a serious character, and contrary to my expectations, Fr Daly put in no appearance. On the day the Retreat ended I remember asking an elder brother of mine “When shall we see Fr Daly?” and receiving the answer “Oh, Golly, you'll see him time enough!” I saw him next day. It was in the second class in the wooden building - II Preparatory in those days. Class had not been long in progress when a heavy step was heard on the corridor, in a moment the door was fung open and Father Daly burst into the room. His appearance filled me with apprehension. As he stood before the class he seemed the very embodiment of strength, energy and determination. Though not then as stout as he afterwards became, he looked decidedly big and, as he paced up and down, puffing, expanding his chest and issuing instructions, he decidedly left one under the impression that it would be more prudent to carry them out. His hair, which he wore very tightly cropped, was then turning grey; a beard showed over his Roman collar and gave him a weird appearance; but it was the penetrating and uneasy glance of his small grey eyes which most of all inspired fear in those meeting him for the first time I was to learn later that beneath that awe-inspiring exterior there beat a most kindly and sympathetic heart.

At the time of which I speak, Father Daly had been Prefect of Studies for six years. The resentment and surprise caused by the changes he introduced, by his utter disregard for institutions and customs which generations of Clongownians held in reverence, and, most of all, by his insistence upon hard work and his summary method of administering justice to offenders, had died down, and he and his ways were taken for granted. In later years he often referred to the struggle he sustained at the beginning in introducing the changes which he considered essential and establishing in the College the spirit and atmosphere in which he believed. That it was a struggle those acquainted with the conservatism of Clongowes will readily believe. But the new Prefect of Studies brought with him to the task a combination of qualities which are rarely found united in one man. Physically, he was a man of great strength, upon whom long and continuous periods of labour produced little effect; in addition, his energy, determination of will and capacity for taking pains, were altogether unusual. Nothing was left to chance; he thought out carefully beforehand ways and means and no detail was too small to escape the consideration and attention of his perspicacious mind. Moreover, he was tactful and prudent in dealing with others, dexterous in keeping them in good humour, conciliatory, considerate of their health and comfort and, though intolerant at times of views differing from his own, careful not to offend by openly avowing his true convictions. His knowledge of human nature acted as a curb upon his impetuosity and caused him to temper energy and zeal with prudence and to stop short when further pressure on his part would have resulted in discontent or even revolt. Nevertheless, I believe that notwithstanding these gifts, Father Daly would have failed but for the extraordinary sense of humour which was his, and for the element of comicality which was present in most of what he said and did, and which almost always succeeded in converting anger and resentment into fun and amusement. If I were asked to state from my knowledge of Fr Daly what I believe to have been the mainspring of his activity, I should answer: first, absolute belief in, and enthusiasm for, the educational ideals which were his; secondly, a desire to do something big for God while the opportunity offered, and, lastly, love, enthusiastic love for Clongowes and Clongowes boys.

His methods were vigorous and manly; he had a horror of slacking or half-measures of any kind; he was not harsh or severe, much less cruel, in the ordinary acceptation of those terms. True, Fr Daly was ubiquitous; he was there to catch you no matter with what care your plans were laid; his voice was raised every day in expostulation and warning and encouragement; his old clumsy pandy bat was seen and heard and felt at frequent intervals - and did all this terrorise us and make us unhappy? Not in the least. It made life interesting, lending to it an elment of adventure; and, as time advances, it furnished us with memories which we recall, not with resentment, but with pleasure and affection. No word he spoke in rebuke, not even his pandy bat, caused a pang which endured for more than five minutes. Had they even done so, it would assuredly have been in the case of H F, for if ever Fr. Daly had a bête noir it was he. Both his heart and his hands remained respectively unaffected by the frequent assaults made upon them by his eloquence and his pandy-bat. In pathetic language, Fr Daly appealed to him “to think of his good parents, toiling and working while he, etc, etc”. But in vain. Again, adopting different tactics, he warned him of the “awful future” which lay before him: “Misery-starvation-the poor-house; and last, most dreadful of all, death on the scaffold!” But H went his smiling way until in the end Fr Daly seemed to abandon him to his fate! And now, looking back over the years at these incidents, what are his feelings in their regard? Could anyone imagine for a moment that they are for him anything but happy and amusing memories? And that they are such he very clearly told us in that delightful speech he delivered on the occasion of the dinner of Munster Old Clongownians held in Cork last February, when, with so much humour, affection and gratitude, he recalled the figure of the old man with whose warnings and threats and pandy-bat he was quite familiar as a boy.

On returning to Clongowes in September, 1905, after an absence of seven years, I found Fr Daly and his ways in all essential features the same, though modified in certain minor particulars. Increasing age had produced its mellowing effect upon his character; he was now more paternal, more approachable and more considerate. The atmosphere of mystery in which he lived and the attitude of aloofness he adopted in dealing with boys were less pronounced, though by no means gone. He now greeted a favoured few on their return after the holidays; he invited boys occasionally to let him know if they wished to speak to or consult him, but on the whole the invitation was rarely accepted and for good reason - if one were not certain that one's record was perfect it was dangerous to go too near him. It was at this period that I came to know Fr Daly intimately, not merely from without, as when a boy, but from within. Now for the first time I realised how completely he had devoted himself, his energy and whatever gifts God had given him, to the work in which he was engaged in Clongowes. I realised, too, what a price he was paying in labour, and worry for the success he was winning for the College, year after year. Ways and means of helping the studies and urging boys on to greater effort were constantly the subject of his thoughts, and their reflection bore fruit in the shape of all those devices with which generations of Clongownians are quite familiar, including the famous “Secret of Success”, the appearance of which each year before the Intermediate caused a sensation. He laid great store upon keeping in touch with the work of the House by constantly visiting the classes, and was a firm believer in the power of his eloquence to keep both masters and pupils at concert pitch and urge them on to greater efforts. Those famous speeches of his! So earnest, so rambling and so comical! And yet the substance of them and sometimes, partially at least, the form were carefully prepared beforehand. It was exceedingly hard at times to keep serious during the course of these speeches. I have seen boys at times almost in convulsions in their endeavours to suppress an explosion of laughter; for, in Fr Daly's eyes, to smile or “to grin” on such a solemn occasion was a capital offence. How could one listen with a straight face to a discourse such as this which I once heard Fr. Daly deliver to a class just before the Intermediate : “Listen to me now for a few moments. There is a question I want to ask - a solemn question - (to a boy not attending) - look at me, sir, while I'm speaking a solemn question, and it is this: What will happen to a boy who laughs on the eve of a great crisis? Well?” (looking round the room as though waiting for an answer). “Well, I shall tell you take it down now everybody. First, he will be flogged, not once but several times; Secondly, he will be deprived of the great privilege of sitting for the Examination; and, thirdly, he will get a report - Ah, boys, this is where the sorrow comes in - (in most pathetic and tearful tones) a Report which will make his good parents weep. (Shouting) Think of this selfishness, this ingratitude! Land where will the course of the bounder and the mountebank end? Ah, dear boys (pathetically), his career can be summarised in one expressive Italian word : (spelling) F I A S C O, fiasco!!!”

At the opening of the school year 1916-17 - his thirtieth in the office of Prefect of Studies - Fr Daly's health showed definite signs of failure, and it was clear that his days of active service were drawing to a close. Nevertheless, he tried to carry on as of old in the classroom and study hall, struggling under the weight both of years, and of ill-health. He realised perfectly himself that the great work of his life was over. He grieved most of all at the idea of his coming separation from the boys for whom he had been working so long, and whom, though they little suspected it, ħe sincerely loved. I remember one night at this period his turning to me as I helped him to his room after the late study - which he had himself inaugurated thirty years before - and remarking : “The presence of those good boys keeps me on my feet, when they disappear I collapse”.

After Christmas his health broke down completely and by the doctor's orders he went to England for a change and rest. In May he returned to Clongowes, but was unable to resume work. I was absent in July of that year, giving retreats, and on the morning of the 31st received a letter from him informing me that he was no longer Prefect of Studies and was about to leave Clongowes for good. The letter was a pathetic one, and ended : “J A D Last Day, 1887-1917”. When I returned to Clongowes he was packing his few belongings and preparing for his departure. It was clear he felt leaving intensely, but like a true son of St Ignatius, disguised his feelings and even affected gaiety. On the eve of his departure I asked him at what time I should see him in the morning. “Of course”, he replied, “any time at all you like”. I knew perfectly what he meant - there was to be no good bye, he would slip off unobserved. Next morning he rose early and said Mass; then descending to the corridor he went out by the III Line door, and passing along by the bicycle house, made the circuit of the garden and finally reached the bridge over the Gollymocky on the Sallins road, where a car, by previous arrangement of his own, was in waiting to bring him to the station. Such was his exit from the scene in which for thirty years he played such a prominent and successful part. Fr Daly never saw Clongowes again. Within a few months of his leaving ill-health forced him into complete retirement, where, for the remaining twelve years of his life, he busied himself in preparing to meet in Judgment the Master, Whom, throughout life, he served with so much loyalty and devotion. May he rest ini peace.

L J Kieran SJ

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father James Daly (1847-1930)

Born at Daly's Grove, Co Galway and educated at Tullabeg and in Belgium, entered the Society in 1864. Apart from his fluency in the French language, he seemed, in his formative years in the Society, to be a man of ordinary ability. Ordained in 1878, he was sent to teach at Belvedere. In 1884, he came as master to the Crescent. The following year he was appointed prefect of studies. He had at last discovered his real metier. The remarkable success of the Crescent boys in the Intermediate examinations at once showed that a prefect of studies can achieve genius in his calling. For the next two years, the profession of idling was at an end amongst the boys. The Crescent was making history in the number of its academic successes. Unfortunately, in 1887, Father Daly was taken away to Clongowes where for the next thirty years he kept his school in the forefront of Irish educational institutions. By 1917, however, Father Daly's health was visibly failing and he was transferred to St Ignatius' College, Galway, to teach French. But in the course of the year, he suffered a complete nervous breakdown from which he never fully recovered. His last years were spent in the more benign climate of the south of England. Just a year or two before his death he wrote, at the request of the then Rector of the Crescent, some of his reminiscences of his golden days in Limerick.

Daly, Oliver, 1845-1916, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/115
  • Person
  • 02 July 1845-11 January 1916

Born: 02 July 1845, Ahascragh, County Galway
Entered: 27 April 1861, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1873
Final vows: 22 April 1878
Died: 11 January 1916, St Ignatius College (Coláiste Iognáid), Galway City

Second brother of Hubert - RIP 1918; Francis - RIP 1907; James - RIP 1930 Oliver was the first of the Daly brothers to Enter.

by 1869 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1871 at Pressburg Austria (ASR) studying
by 1872 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1877 at Lyon France (CAMP) making Tertianship
Early Australian Missioner 1877
by 1906 at St Joseph’s Glasgow Scotland (ANG) working

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Second brother of Hubert - RIP 1918; James - RIP 1930; Francis H - RIP 1907. He was the first of the Daly brothers to Enter. They were a very old Catholic family who resided in the Elphin Diocese. Three of his brothers Entered the Society. Oliver joined earlier than the others in Rome and was allotted to the Irish Province.

1858-1859 He first appears in HIB as a Teacher at the newly opened Crescent day school.
he then studied the long course in Theology at Innsbruck, and at the end of his fourth year acted as Minister at Tullabeg.
1876 He was sent on Tertianship (Laudunensis, CAMP)
1877 He sailed to Australia with Daniel Clancy, James Kennedy and Thomas McEnroe.
He was in Australia for about twenty years, including being Superior at Hawthorn, and he returned in charge of Father John O’Neill who had become deranged.
He then spent some time in Glasgow and Milltown.
1907 He was sent to Galway, and remained there until his death 11 January 1916

Note from Thomas McEnroe Entry
1877 He set sail for Melbourne with Daniel Clancy, Oliver Daly and James Kennedy

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was the first of four brothers to become Jesuits, the others being Hubert, Oliver and Francis.

His early education was at Crescent College Limerick

1864-1868 After First Vows and his Juniorate he was sent for Regency to Crescent College teaching Rudiments, Writing, French and Arithmetic.
1868-1871 He went to Maria Laach College in Germany for Philosophy
1871-1876 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology
1876-1877 He made Tertianship at Lyon in France
1877-1880 He arrived in Australia on 12 December 1877 and went to Xavier College Kew, where he was one of the first staff at the College
1880-1881 He was sent to St Patrick’s College Melbourne as Minister and Prefect of Studies, where he also directed the Sodality and did some pastoral work
1881-1882 He went to St Kilda’s House in Sydney as Minister and Teacher
1882-1886 He was sent to Hawthorn and was appointed first Superior and Parish Priest (1883-1886)
1886-1889 He became involved in rural missionary work
1890-1893 He was sent as Superior and Parish Priest of St Mary’s North Sydney
1893-1897 He was sent as Superior and Parish Priest of St Ignatius Richmond
He was subsequently at St Mary’s Parish, North Sydney and Loyola Greenwich for a few years each
1902 He returned to Ireland on 18 December 1902, and he worked in Glasgow Scotland, Milltown Park Dublin and finally at Coláiste Iognáid Galway as a rural missioner.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Oliver Daly (1845-1916)

Brother of the two preceding, (Francis and James) was a scholastic here in the first decade of the existence of the Crescent, 1864-1868. He was many years on the Australian mission but returned to Ireland some ten years before his death.

Dargan, Daniel, 1915-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/592
  • Person
  • 24 January 1915-21 September 2007

Born: 24 January 1915, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 21 September 2007, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Middle brother of Bill - RIP 1983; Herbert - RIP 1993

Great grandnephew of Daniel Murray, 1768-1852, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 134 : Christmas 2007

Obituary

Fr Daniel (Dan) Dargan (1915-2007)

24th January 1915: Born in Dublin
Early education at Christian Brothers, Patrick's Hill, Cork, Patrician Brothers, Mallow, and Clongowes Wood College
7th September 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1935: First Vows at Emo
1935 - 1938: Rathfarnham - Studied Classics at UCD
1938 - 1941: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1941 - 1943: Belvedere - Teacher (Regency)
1943 - 1947: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1946: Ordained at Milltown Park
1947 - 1948: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1948 - 1983: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street
2nd February 1951: Final Vows
1948 - 1957: Editor “Pioneer”; Assistant Director Pioneers 1957
1977: Director of Pioneers; Editor “Pioneer”
1977 - 1980: Assistant Director of Pioneers; Editor “Pioneer”; Assisted in Church
1980 - 1983: Superior; Director, SFX Social Service Centre
1983 - 1991: St. Ignatius, Galway -Parish Priest
1991 - 2003: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick -
1991 - 1992: Ministered in Church
1992 - 1994: Minister; Ministered in Church; House Staff; Director of Pioneers' Society
1994 - 2000: Superior, Prefect of the Church; House Staff; Director of “Pioneers” Society
2000 - 2003: Prefect of the Church; House Staff; Director of “Pioneers” Society, Director Sodality BVM & St. Joseph; Promoter of Missions; President of Cecilian Musical Society; House Consultor
2003 - 2007: Cherryfield Lodge - Praying for Church and Society
21st September 2007: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

Homily preached by Barney McGuckian at the Funeral Mass in Gardiner Street, September 24, 2007
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). These are the words of a man who discovered the identity of Jesus with practically his last breath. They are still appropriate today as we take our leave of Fr Dan Dargan, a man who spent the greater part of ninety years trying to plumb the depths of the mystery that is Jesus, nearly seventy-five of them in the Society of Jesus and thirty-five of them in the community here at St Francis Xavier's. These words are among the Last Seven that loomed so large in the devotion of the people here in the Church during Dan's early years here. He himself must have preached on them on a number of occasions and learned from the edifying attitude and example of the Good Thief. Fr Donal O'Sullivan, novice master of some of us here, (neither the very old nor the very young), used to say that we were all most appropriately represented on Calvary: by two thieves, a good one and a bad one, but both thieves all the same! All of us try to rob God of the glory that is His.

The Good Thief has the distinction of being the only person in the New Testament who addresses Jesus simply as Jesus, without further qualification. Others added titles such as the Christ, Son of David, Master, Rabbi, Teacher, Lord. He simply calls him Jesus or, more probably, Joshua which in his native language literally means "God saves". At this stage all that matter is salvation. The other qualifications are superfluous. As a Jesuit, Dan would have known the importance the founder attached to the very name Jesus. Indeed Ignatius was prepared to abandon the whole project to found an order if he was not permitted to use the very name Jesus.

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”. This request came at the conclusion of an altercation between two of the condemned men about the identity of the third. One was so incensed at the obtuseness of the other that he rounded on him: “Have you no fear of God at all?” He is astonished that even at this late stage, with death staring him in the face, the other man has not even the beginnings of wisdom that comes from a healthy fear of God.

He himself is obviously sorry for his own past life and would love, if possible, to undo it, even at this late stage. He decides to go for it. In a great act of faith he takes the chance that the inscription over the head of Jesus really means what it says: “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews”. He simply asks Jesus to remember him when he comes into his Kingdom.

The reply must have astonished him as much as it does us. “Indeed, I promise you. This day you will be with me in Paradise”. He pulled off the biggest job of his life when he was already on death row. All he did was to make a good confession and say his prayers, which is all any of us have to do if we want to join him in Paradise.

Dan did not wait to the end of his long life to do this. Dan was bom into a privileged situation in the best sense of the word. He came from a happy Catholic family with a long tradition of service to the Church and the Irish people. An intensely private person he did not wear his heart on his sleeve but you just knew it was in the right place. He once confided to me that after his father died his mother told him that they had never had a row during the whole course of their married life. I think this must have had a profoundly formative effect on himself. He was a man of peace who tried to spread it wherever he found himself.

An industrious man, I always thought his signature tune should have been “Perpetua mobile”. It used to introduce Joe Linnane's “Question Time” on Radio Éireann on a Sunday night many moons ago. Perhaps that was the Dargan in him. In a John Bowman programme a few years ago I learned that William Dargan, his illustrious ancestor, builder of so many of the railways of the country at one stage employed something of the order of 140,000 workers. The ecumenical dimension of the family's contribution is evidenced by the fact that even within the last two decades large bridges in both Belfast and Dublin have been named after Dargan. Queen Elizabeth II came over to open one of them. Two of that great man's uncles were hanged in Wexford during the '98 rising.

No Jesuit could lay more claim to a funeral here in St. Francis Xavier's than Dan. His great grand uncle, Archbishop Daniel Murray of Dublin, offered the first Mass here in the Church 175 years ago this year. He himself gave the best years of his life to all the apostolic activity of the house, especially the Pioneer Association, the Pioneer Club and the Pioneer magazine. He was first editor of the magazine, which is still thriving in spite of the changes in society. It will celebrate its 60th birthday in January coming.

He was beloved of the staff in the office, more like an elder brother than a boss. It is wonderful to see two of his secretaries here with us today, Geraldine White (then Murtagh) and Maureen Manning.

In an interview with an internal Jesuit periodical (Interfuse #124) a couple of years ago he confided that he still holds the Clongowes record for the largest score ever run up at cricket, that he played schools tennis at Interprovincial level, and made the First Rugby Fifteen. It was while a student at Clongowes that his decision to enter the Jesuits matured and he followed his elder brother Bill, and later was followed by his younger brother, Herbert. At Clongowes he was privileged to know Fr. John Sullivan whose funeral took place in the college during his final year before going to the novitiate. It was appropriate that his mortal remains for the last two nights in the Sacred Heart Chapel besides those of the great Servant of God.

I first met Dan in August, 1955, when he was on holidays in the Glens of Antrim with Fr Kieran Hanley. They came to see around our family farm, where my father and his brothers had gained a reputation for advanced methods in pig breeding. I was deputed to show these two Jesuits around. I recognised Fr Dan from photos in the Pioneer magazine. It was obvious that the farmer was Kieran Hanley, and that Dan was only there to make up the numbers. When Kieran was dying I brought this up: “I don't think Dan had much interest in the pigs that day”. Kieran pulled himself up in the bed and said, “Absolutely none whatsoever”. But it was typical of Dan to fit himself into whatever situation he found himself in.

I was privileged later to work for a number of years as his Assistant before succeeding him as Central Director of the Pioneers. In that role he was totally at the beck and call of everyone. He drove to parishes, schools, colleges and halls all over the country, never sparing himself. He had not a fanatical bone in his body. He understood the Pioneer Association as an expression of devotion to the Sacred Heart. It would never have entered his head that there was anything evil about wine. But he did realize that if not used wisely and well it can lead to endless heartbreak and sorrow. He was convinced that the Pioneer way of prayer and consecrated abstinence could make a significant contribution to the quality of life of the whole community.

He invested a great deal of time and energy into the Pioneer Club on Mountjoy Square, especially the musicals. He survived the occasional storms in that particular tea-cup. I remember one of his wry comments. “It's extraordinary how the closer people get to the stage the more unreasonable they become”.

Dan appeared always to be in good health, although I learned from one of his Jesuit colleagues, the late Pearse O'Higgins, that as a young Jesuit he became seriously ill. His life was in danger. As a last resort his father, who had the reputation of being a brilliant diagnostician, agreed to examine his son, He came to the right conclusion, prescribed accurately, and his son lived to be 92.

During his declining years Dan was a model patient. He was always in good humour, kept himself alert with the Irish Times crossword every moming, and kept up his reading to the end, both serious and light. He confessed that he had read all Jeffrey Archers novels. I am prepared to forgive him this.

The response of Jesus to the Good Thief was unambiguous. “Indeed, I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise”. The first Joshua led the Chosen People into a Promised Land. We pray that today Jesus, the true Joshua take his friend Dan to the definitive Promised Land to be with Him in joy and happiness forever. As one of those who, with his brothers Bill and Herbert, have instructed many in virtue, surely he will be among those whom the Prophet Daniel tells us will shine as bright as stars for all eternity.

◆ The Clongownian, 2007

Obituary

Father Daniel Dargan SJ

Dan was born into a privileged situation in the best sense of the word. He came from a happy Catholic family with a long tradition of service to the Church and the Lish people. An intensely private person he did not wear his heart on his sleeve but you just knew it was in the right place. He once confided to me that after his father died his mother told him that they had never had a row during the whole course of their married life. I think this must have had a profoundly formative effect on Dan. He was a man of peace who tried to spread it wherever he found himself
His early education began with the Chriscian Brothers in Cork and the Presentation Brothers in Mallow. His five years at Clongowes (1928-1933) saw a period of great transformation with the “New Building” changing the physical face of the College in 1929. In an interview with an internal Jesuit periodical a couple of years ago he confided that he still holds the Clongowes record for the largest score ever run up at Cricket, that he played schools tennis at Interprovincial level and made the First Rugby Fifteen. It was while a student at Clongowes that his decision to enter the Jesuits matured and he followed his elder brother Bill and later was followed by his younger brocher, Herbert, At Clongowes he was privileged to know the saintly Fr John Sullivan, whose funeral took place in the college during his final year before Dan left to enter the Society of Jesus, to begin a long and richly filled life continuing his Family's tradition of service to the Church and the Irish people”.

He began his period of formation with a BA In Classics at UCD, followed by Philosophy in Tullabeg (the former St Stanislaus College boarding school which amalgamated with Clongowes in 1886). He spent two years in regency in Belvedere before going on to Milltown Park, Dublin, for Theology. He was ordained there on St Ignatius Day 1946. Then began his long association with St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner Street, for 35 years, most of them spent as Editor and lacer Director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association. He was first Editor of the magazine which is still thriving in spite of the changes in society and which will celebrate its 60th birthday early 2008. He was beloved of the staff in the office, more like an elder brother than a boss.
In that role he was at the beck and cail of everyone. He drove to parishes, schools, colleges and halls all over the country, never sparing himself. He had not a fanatical bone in his body. He understood the Pioneer Association as an expression of devotion to the Sacred Heart. It would never have entered his head that there was anything evil about wine. But he did realize that if not used wisely and well it can lead to endless heartbreak and sorrow. He was convinced that the Pioneer way of prayer and consecrated abstinence could make a significant contribution to the quality of life of the whole community. He also invested a great deal of time and energy in the Pioneer Club on Mountjoy Square, especially the musicals.

After three years as Superior of the Community and Director of the Social Service Centre and at an age (68) when many of his contemporaries in the world were well retired, Dan started out on 20 years of parish ministry, serving first the Jesuit Church in Galway and then the Crescent in Limerick, where, at the age of 88 he was still Prefect of the Church, Director of the Pioneers, Director of the Sodality of Our Lady and St Joseph, Promoter of Missions and President of the Cecilian Musical Society!

An industrious man an understatement!), Dan's signature tune could have been “Perpetua mobile”. Perhaps that was the Dargan in him. In a John Bowman programme a few years ago we learned that William Dargan, his illustrious ancestor, builder of so many of the railways of the country at one stage employed something in the order of 140,000 workers. The ecumenical dimension of the family's contribution is evidenced by the fact chat even within the last two decades large bridges in both Belfast and Dublin have been named after Dargan. Queen Elizabeth II came over to open one of them. Two of that great man's uncles were hanged in Wexford during the ‘98 rising

With his brothers Bill and Herbert, Dan has ensured that that his family's long tradition of service to the Church and Ireland will long be remembered and, with them, he himself will surely occupy a privileged place when that service is recorded in our country's history.

Dan appeared to always be in good health although as a young Jesuic he became seriously ill and his life was in danger. As a last resort his father, who had the reputation of being a brilliant diagnostician, agreed to examine his son. He came to the right conclusion, prescribed accurately and, in 2003, in sight of his 90th birthday, Dan joined the Jesuit Community in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin, where his final mission was “to pray for the Church and the Society” he had loved and served so well, During his declining years he was a model patient. He was always in good humour, kept himself alert with the “Irish Times” crossword every morning and kept up his reading to the end, boch serious and light. He confessed that he had read all Jeffrey Archer's novels.
Dan's great grand uncle, Archbishop Daniel Murray of Dublin had offered the first Mass in the Church of St Francis Xavier in 1832, and so it was doubly fitting that, as the autumnal leaves began co turn, Dan's Jesuit Companions should gather with younger generations of the Dargan Family to bid him adieu at his Requiem Mass and to celebrate a richly filled and fruitful life in sight of his century. May he rest in peace.

BMcG

Dargan, Herbert J, 1918-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/500
  • Person
  • 20 April 1918-22 June 1993

Born: 20 April 1918, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 22 June 1993, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Peter Faber community, Belfast, County Antrim at the time of death.

Transcribed : HIB to HK; 03/12/1966; MAC-HK to HIB 19/11/1991

Youngest brother of Bill - RIP 1983; Dan - RIP 2007

Great grandnephew of Daniel Murray, 1768-1852, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong Mission: 21 June 1960-1965
Father General's Assistant for East Asia: 1966
Tertian Instructor, Tullabeg: 1978

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966; MAC-HK to HIB: 19 November 1991

by 1956 at Ricci Hall Hong Kong - working
Mission Superior Hong Kong 21 June 1960
by 1966 at Rome, Italy (ROM) Assistant for East Asia
by 1977 at Regis, Toronto ONT, Canada (CAN S) Spiritual year
by 1978 Tertian Instructor

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :

Note from Daniel MacDonald Entry
At the Chapel of Ricci Hall, Catholic Hostel at the University of Hong Kong, a solemn Requiem Mass was offered last Thursday by Father Herbert Dargan, S.J. the present Warden of Ricci Hall, for the repose of the soul of one of his predecessors, Father Daniel McDonald, S.J., whose death occurred in Ireland on 14 May 1957.

◆ 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 into the family of a prominent Dublin doctor. Following his education at Clongowes he was a pre-medical student before joining the Society in 1937. His elder brother Bill was already a Jesuit who was for many years procurator of the Irish Province, and his younger brother Dan also became a Jesuit and was head of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association for many years. Yet another brother was a magistrate in Hong Kong.

He did his Regency at Belvedere College SJ and a HDip in Education, and then he was ordained at Milltown Park i 1951. After Tertianship he was assigned to Hong Kong. he began studying Chinese at Cheung Chau and was then appointed Warden at Rici Hall.. Later he was Rector of Wah Yan Hong Kong (1955-1957).
In 1960 he was appointed Mission Superior in Hong Kong (1960-1965).

He was appointed to the Board of Education which produced a white paper “Reorganization of Primary & Secondary Education”. He was Chair of the “Catholic Grant Schools Council”. He freed Fr John Collins for fulltime social work, set up “Concilium” with Frs Ted Collins, John Foley and Walter Hogan. he also set up CMAC in 1963. He sent Fr John F Jones for special training in Marriage Life. He also sent Fr John Russell to Rome for training in Canon Law. he was involved with rehabilitation of discharged prisoners and he visited prisons.
He was also involve din the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong Housing Society, serving on four of its sub-committees.
He was also involved in religious broadcasting and began regular internal Jesuit communication with the “Hong Kong Newsletter”.

At his Golden Jubilee with Fr Séamus Doris, he was contrasted as being “mobile”, whereas Séamus, who had never missed a class in teaching (1954-1982) was said to be “stable”. He served in Rome as Fr General’s East Asian Assistant (1965-1975), was then Tertian Instructor in Tullabeg (1977-1986), and then went to Belfast to work as a spiritual director of priests

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Herbert Dargan (1918-1993)

20th April 1918: Born, Dublin
Early Education: Clongowes Wood College, and pre-medical year at University College Dublin
7th Sept. 1937: Entered the Society at Emo.
1939-1942: Juniorate: Rathfarnham - UCD Degree
1942 - 1945: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1945 - 1947: Regency: Crescent College, Limerick
1947 - 1948: Regency: Belvedere College (H. Dip. Ed.)
1948 - 1952: Milltown Park - Studying Theology
31st July 1951; Ordained, Milltown Park
1952-1953: Tertianship
1953 - 1955: Cheung Chau - Studying Chinese language
1955 - 1957: Ricci Hall - Superior and Warden
1957 - 1960: Wah Yan College - Rector and Principal
1960 - 1965: Superior, Hong Kong Mission
1965 - 1976; Jesuit Curia, Rome, Regional Assistant for Eastern Asia
1976 - 1977; Sabbatical, Toronto Tullabeg:
1977 - 1986: Tertian Instructor (Superior: 1983-86)
1986 - 1987: Milltown Park - Giving the Spiritual Exercises
1987 - 1989: Manresa - Giving the Spiritual Exercises and Director of NCPI
1989 - 1993: Belfast - Giving the Spiritual Exercises
22nd June 1993: Died in Cherryfield Lodge.

It was in Herbert's last year in Belfast that I arrived there. As a member of the British Province I was soon made to feel at home in Brookvale and this was very much due to his presence. Herbert was first and foremost a member not of the Irish Province but of the world-wide Society of Jesus. It showed in the way that he welcomed Jesuits from any part of the world. His interests too were far from provincial.

During the cricket season he would ask to share my “Guardian”; he would be glued to the TV during the snooker matches, and loved to forecast the next shot. He was at his best when, with a glass of Bushmills in his hand and a cigarette in his mouth, he was telling stories about his friend and hero Pedro Arrupe or encouraging Paddy Doyle in his more extra-terrestrial flights of philosophic fancy.

My most vivid memory of him is at the British Province Assembly the Easter before his death, We invited him to Leeds knowing that it was probably the last time he would be able to visit his many British Province friends. He spoke about his life in Belfast and said that Brookvale was the happiest community he had lived in. He spoke straight from the heart of how the community members prayed with each other and tried to support each other in ministry. It was his best experience of community life. By the many who attended that meeting, his words will long be remembered.

Herbert Dargan was a very warm and loving person. The enlarged photograph that we have hanging in the community room at Brookvale captures something of the freedom and warmth of the man. It was a privilege for me to have lived with him in his last days.

Ron Darwen

Working with Herbert and with Paddy Doyle on his Armagh Priests Survey, I came to appreciate his enormous wisdom. He could listen attentively to a point of view and eventually, without ever claiming to speak from mere authority, he gave his opinion firmly and confidently but without arrogance. His long association with NCPI courses for priests had given him an insight into the lives of diocesan priests as well as a sympathy and understanding which they deeply appreciated.

Over a period of a year we visited nearly every priest in the 60 parishes of the diocese. We met regularly as a threesome and also with the sponsoring committee and it was Herbert who eventually wrote the section on the personal life of the priest. In the light of Pastores dabo vobis and subsequent Roman instructions, Herbert's understandings and insights can be seen to be prophetic. His was a demand for an incarnate spirituality based on a formation and support structure which were firmly based in reality.

All his life experience was drawn on - in Hong Kong and Malaysia, the Far East, Rome and as Tertian Instructor, This reflection went on to the very end.

He drove from Belfast to Milltown Park for the Province Assembly when he was clearly a dying man. The journey back had to be taken in easy stages, but it was a journey he wanted to make. He fulfilled his ambition

Senan Timoney

◆ The Clongownian, 1993

Obituary

Father Herbert Dargan SJ

Death is sad because it is a parting, and partings are painful. But Jesus Christ has promised us that death is only a temporary separation, and that it is the gateway to eternal life. He has told us that this life is a pilgrimage and we are only pilgrims passing through.

We are here this morning to pray for a pilgrim, my brother Herbert, and to ask the Lord in His mercy to grant him eternal happiness.

We are here also to thank God for Herbert and for the good he was able to do throughout his life. He had a very varied life. As a young priest he went overseas to work on the Irish Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong. The first two years he spent in a language school, learning Chinese, which is a very dif ficult language for us in this part of the world. The same sound has a different meaning if spoken on a high, medium or low pitch of tone. I remember Herbert telling me that one morning he said to his Chinese teacher that he wanted to get a haircut that afternoon. So the Chinese teacher told him what to say and patiently got him to repeat it over and over again, so that he would get it absolutely right. That afternoon he went along to a hairdressers, and in his best. Chinese asked for a haircut. The barber looked at him, puzzled, and replied: “Me no speak English”, Herbert felt like coming home on the next boat, but he soldiered on.

The Lord was very good to Herbert, and gave him several gifts, including a level head, an understanding heart and a creative mind.

It was, I suppose, largely due to these gifts that for most of his life he was asked to take on important posts of responsibility. He held the offices of Rector and Principal of Wah Yan College, a large secondary school for Chinese in Hong Kong. He was then made Superior of the Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong, and in 1965 he went as Assistant to our Fr General in Rome where he was based for the next eleven years, with responsibility for the Jesuit Provinces of East Asia and Australia.

On his return to Ireland he became Director of the Tertians. Every Jesuit priest does a third year noviceship after ordination - this is known as his Tertianship, and Herbert was director of the Tertians for nine years.

After that, his main work was giving retreats, and directing twelve-week courses, under the auspices of the National Council of Priests, courses for the pastoral and spiritual life of priests.

When our Jesuit house opened in Belfast in 1988, he was one of the small community. Life in Belfast can be very stressful but he told me that he liked it very much, not only because he was living in a very happy community but also because the bishops, priests and people of Belfast gave the Jesuits such a warm welcome. The Lord also gave Herbert a good sense of humour and an ability to fit in easily with others. He was well-liked and had many friends from all quarters of life.

The first indication of his serious illness occurred when, one Sunday while he was saying Mass for the prisoners in Crumlin Road gaol, he collapsed suddenly. Some days later he received a letter from the prisoners expressing concern about his illness and saying how much they liked him coming to them. He was very touched by this. The day before he died he told me that two good friends of his, Terry and Linda, were coming from the United States to see him, and he added: “I wonder will I be alive”. In fact Fr Paddy Doyle (his colleague in Belfast) phoned them the news of his death. Terry was not able to get away but Linda flew the distance of five thousand miles and arrived at this church just as this Mass was about to begin.

Herbert was a very spiritual person, and several priests and people have told me that he gave them great help with their prayer life, through his talks and spiritual guidance.
With his wide experience and common sense, and his readiness to give encourage ment to others, he was in much demand as a counsellor, and many priests, nuns and lay people used to come to him. Fr Doyle tells me that people were constantly knocking at the door asking to see him.

When he was diagnosed as having a tumour, he accepted the news bravely and with resignation and continued to work for as long as he could. He remained cheerful to the end.

At the moment like this my thoughts naturally turn to my parents, and I feel 'I should say and I know that Herbert would endorse this, that our mother and father, especially as they went on in years, were very grateful to God that three of their six sons became Jesuit priests.

Daniel Dargan SJ (Funeral Homily)

De Hindeberg, Piaras, 1912-1982, Jesuit priest and Irish language writer

  • IE IJA J/183
  • Person
  • 01 December 1912-07 October 1982

Born: 01 December 1912, Portlaw, County Waterford
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, Sacred Heart Coillege SJ, Limerick
Died: 07 October 1982, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Early education at Waterpark College, Waterford; Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Waterpark student
by 1938 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 58th Year No 1 1983
Obituary
Fr Piaras de Hindeberg (1912-1931-1982)

Piaras de Hindeberg's death occurred at about midday on Thursday, 7th October 1982, at Rathfarnham Castle, where he had lived for the last thirty years of his life. He was within two months of completing his seventieth year, and two years past the golden jubilee of his entry into the Society.
Piaras regularly joined a small group of the community for early tea at about 5.30 pm. This group missed him that Thursday. Br Andy Williams, the Minister, went up to his room at the top of the castle and on breaking in the door, found Piaras lying on his bed, fully dressed, his spectacles on, but obviously some hours dead – five, according to medical opinion.
This brief account of the circumstances of his death is revealing in itself.
They missed Piaras, whose company they always enjoyed so much. It was here he was most at home: here he showed his depth and wide range of knowledge, his sharpness of mind, his sense of humour and above all his charity. He was never cynical about the affairs of the Province, or critical about modern trends in the Society or the Church. He could see things in the context of the changed times in which we are living. They missed him. There are more people than we shall ever know of whom the same can be said.
Piaras passed away quietly, in the midst of his work, without being a cause of trouble to anyone - just as he would have wished it to happen. When I say that he died in the midst of his work, I have no doubt that it was this that brought on the attack from which he died. For the last two years or so he had been working against time as though he realised that he was living on borrowed time. There were some students in advanced studies in modern Irish who came to him by appointment in the late evening for sessions which went on into the late hours of night. In preparation for these sessions, he put in long hours of intensive work. One of these students was expected that evening and arrived at the time the announcements of his death were being prepared. It was he who prepared the announcement which was published in the press for the following day. Happily some of these students will be able to assess the value of Piaras's work of a lifetime. It would not be within my competence to evaluate what must contain a monumental collection of material of inestimable value. We must leave this task to the scholars in times ahead.
Unostentatiously but very solidly, Piaras was a man of prayer and religious fervour; his daily Mass, Rosary, pro longed visits to the Blessed Sacrament and the tattered breviary were the substance of his daily life. He believed in physical activity, and for one who sustained a deadly heart attack about nine years ago and suffered three heart arrests while in intensive care, it was unbelievable to see the strenuous exercises he would constantly undertake: brisk walking, work in the grounds with scythe or saw or even a sledge hammer. Always obliging, he would supply Mass at an early hour travelling by motor-bike or even on foot through snow and ice if no other transport were possible. He never failed to keep an appointment and never cared for himself no matter what difficulties he had to surmount.
The late Fr William Stephenson and Piaras de Hindeberg lived for about thirty years together. During all this time, Piaras never spoke a word to the Old man, an omission which the Old man felt very much. He just wasn't Piaras' cup of tea. But a time came when the Old man was no longer able to gather his own firewood and saw it up for the fire which he always had in his room. Piaras quickly saw the Old man's difficulty and, despite his own condition of health, for the last years of Father Stephenson's life, he gathered the fire wood, sawed it up into handy blocks, filled a large basket and day after day carried the load up the back stairs into the Old man's room and left the pile conveniently in the corner: in and out, day after day, and never a word spoken. For his part, Fr Stephenson sent out for a small bag of mints from time to time. He climbed up to Piaras's room, hung the bag of sweets on the door handle and left it there. 'He likes the sweets' the Old man used say to me. Love is shown in deeds.

Piaras was a man of high ideals. He had a clear vision of his calling both in the religious life and towards his kith and kin; his native land; its language, its culture and its people, and from these ideals he never swerved. It took courage and he had that courage, the courage that saints and martyrs are made of. He never curried favour. In him there was no personal pride or selfish ambition. He never gloried in his academic achievements and he had attained the highest. He did not expect others to emulate his standards. Towards others of different background and upbringing, he was tolerant and looked for nothing more in return. “I go my way and you go your way”. When I think of his dedication to the cause of the Irish language and how one might explain it, I am reminded of what was said by somebody when speaking about the miracles at Lourdes: to those who have the Faith, no explanation is necessary; to those who have not the Faith, no explanation is possible.
It was my privilege to have known Piaras from boyhood. We were classmates at Waterpark College, Waterford. There he was recognised as one of outstanding ability not only in Irish, which was bred in him and nurtured from infancy, but in the Classics and in all other subjects. Fr Ernest Mackey was quick to pick him out as a subject for the priesthood and for the Society, which he entered in 1930 and in which he lived out his life in complete fidelity to his religious vocation and to his hereditary culture and ideals.
Nothing could have been more fitting than the tribute paid to him on the occasion of his obsequies at Gardiner Street church. His religious brothers did Piaras royally. May I on behalf of his family thank you all most sincerely for this as they have requested me to do. A special word of thanks is due, I feel, to Fr Seán Ó Duibhir, chief celebrant, and to the choir under the baton of Brendan Comerford. Ar dheis Dé go raibh anam sár-uasal Phiarais.
Matthew Meade SJ

de Maistre, Joseph, 1861-1931, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1434
  • Person
  • 21 June 1861-03 May 1931

Born: 21 June 1861, Beaumesnil, Normandy, France
Entered: 14 August 1878, Angers France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1891
Final vows: 02 February 1894
Died: 03 May 1931, Paris, France - Franciae Province (FRA)

by 1883 came to Limerick (HIB) for Regency 1882-1887

Deevy, John A, 1887-1969, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/800
  • Person
  • 15 June 1887-10 March 1969

Born: 15 June 1887, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1920, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1924, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 10 March 1969, Regional Hospital, Limerick

Part of the Mungret College, Co Limerick community at the time of death.

by 1911 at Cividale del Friuli, Udine Italy (VEN) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 44th Year No 2 1969

Obituary :

Fr John Aloysius Deevy SJ (1887-1969)

For some months before his death Fr. John Deevy had been growing weaker, and experiencing greater difficulty in walking. He had got permission to say Mass sitting down, and as long as he could make his way to the little Altar near his room, even by pushing before him a chair on which he leaned, he clung to his daily Mass. But that period soon passed and he came to need the constant professional care which he could get only in a hospital. His last weeks were spent in the Regional, near Mungret, where he died on Saturday March 10th. He was buried from the College Chapel after a concelebrated Requiem Mass, in which the Rector of Mungret, Fr. Senan Timoney, and ten other priests, chiefly from other houses, took part in the presence of Fr. Provincial. After the Gospel the Rector made a short address in which he dwelt on the two chief devotions of Fr. Deevy's life : devotion to his daily Mass, and his devotion to Mungret. He mentioned that Fr. Deevy, before his last illness had declared that he missed his daily Mass only twice in his life of forty nine years as a priest.
The ceremonies of the Requiem were carried out impressively with the boys choir singing hymns to the accompaniment of two guitars. Afterwards the boys lined the avenue from the chapel to the graveyard where Fr. Deevy was laid to rest among the fellow Jesuits with whom he had lived.
John Aloysius Deevy was born in Waterford on June 15th, 1887. He belonged to a very well known Waterford family, which consisted of four boys and nine girls. None of his sisters married, only one survived him and was at his funeral. He was a layboy at Mungret from 1903 to 1906, when he entered Tullabeg with seven other companions. It was a small vintage, but all of the eight persevered in their vocation and four of them predeceased him. From the beginning he showed himself the John Deevy that so many were afterwards to respect and to like, bright, cheerful, utterly sincere and honourable. The Master of Novices, Fr. James Murphy, at once perceived the sterling qualities of Brother Deevy, and held him up as a model of the spirit he sought to inspire in his novices, which he expressed in his often repeated words : “What is right is right, what is wrong is wrong and that settles the matter”. You could not know John Deevy for any length of time without coming to admire his sincerity and straightness, and his unswerving sense of honour and truthfulness.
His constant flood of energy, and his zeal for what was good, were not always appreciated by less vigorous companions. He was a formidable companion at the pump. For a later and softer generation it should be explained that pumping water up to tanks in the garret was a part of the manual work of the novices. It was also a test of solid virtue. Br. Deevy would throw himself into this back-breaking activity while his companion, wilting over the other handle of the pump, would feel inclined to greet the ardour as an excess of zeal. At the oars in the boats on the canal, on the long summer afternoons, he rowed like a Roman galley slave.
He did his Juniorate in Tullabeg, under Fr. John Keane and then went to Cividale in Italy for his Philosophy. His colleges were done in Belvedere, Mungret and Clongowes. He was an excellent teacher of Latin and, especially, of Mathematics; he had a gift of expounding clearly that severe discipline, if not of enlivening it. From 1918 to 1922 he did his theology at Milltown Park where he was ordained on August 15th, 1920, earlier than the canonical date, because he had been delayed by the war. He did his tertianship under Fr. Bridge, of the English province from 1922 to 1923 at Tullabeg,
For the first years of his priesthood he circulated around the colleges and everywhere he was true to the image he had shown in his years at Tullabeg, friendly, bright, energetic, a thoroughly devout priest but without a trace of smugness or solemnity. After some years he began to be more engaged in administration for which his energetic and practical temperament fitted him. He was changed from the classroom and allotted to the duties of minister, procurator and Superior. Mungret, Tullabeg, Milltown Park, the Crescent, and Emo Park saw him successively. His years at Emo, twelve of them, deserve a special mention. He was Procurator, then Superior and finally Rector. In these positions he came to know intimately the secular clergy of the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin and particularly those who lived about Emo. He was at once accepted as one of themselves, and was soon a welcome and frequent guest at their dinners. He was at home in their presbyteries. The gossip, the politics of the diocese were openly discussed in his presence. And he contributed to the gaiety of the dinner table by his large stock of clerical stories which he narrated with the skill of a born raconteur. As a Superior he had a car at his disposal and he took a boyish delight in dashing into Portarlington and Portlaoise and further afield on errands or business or visits. The Society had opened Emo as a noviceship house in 1930 and were timidly making their way into the good will of the priests of the diocese. Fr. Arthur Murphy, the P.P. of Emo had been our sponsor there, and to him we owe, more than to anyone else, our settlement in the diocese. But Fr. Deeyy's contact with the priests did great service in changing toleration into genuine friendliness. Fr. Deevy was the least “Jesuitical” of men, as defined in the Concise Oxford dictionary, a “dissembling person, a prevaricator”. On everyone who met him he left the impression that he was a man whose word was as good as his bond, whose speech was “yea and nay”.
By temperament he was active and practical and took naturally to administration. He liked working with his hands and was glad to do odd jobs; he spent a good deal of time tinkering with things. He was not a reading man and would not often be seen in his room reading. That was a pity as he was intelligent and had a clear and vigorous mind. It was a pity also that he so early in his priestly life allowed his administrative activities to take him from pastoral work and, especially, from retreat-giving, a ministry which his deep spirituality, his good judgment, his kindness and his bright manner fitted him for to a high degree.
In 1944 Fr. Deevy returned to Tullabeg as Procurator and in 1953 he was assigned, in the same office, to Mungret; it was his last change and it was fitting that the end of his life should be spent in the place where he had made his first contact with the Society. The wheel of his changes had come full circle. For the years left him he was the same useful worker;, the same bright popular community man. He had little contact with the boys, they only remember the white-haired old priest who was so regular with his Mass. A good part of these years. was spent in compiling the Mungret Record, a list of all the past Mungret boys with their places of origin and their years in the College, It was a work which demanded a great deal of minute research in the Mungret Annual, old lists of the Prefects of Studies, of the Procurator, in the account books. It was done with the thoroughness and accuracy that were characteristic of all his work. The typed volume will remain as a very useful book of reference as well as a monument to Fr. Deevy's love of Mungret.
His death was felt throughout the province with a very genuine regret, by those who had ever lived with him. One of these, one who made his acquaintance on the 7th of September 1906, who drove him on the same sidecar to the noviceship, renders in these pages his sincere, if inadequate, tribute, his Ave atque Salve to a Very near friend of a lifetime. Ar dheis-Dé go raibh a anam.
Two of Fr. Deevy's sisters deserve a brief mention, Tessa was a well known playwright. Many of her plays were presented with success at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin and outside Ireland. Another, Agnes, entered the Carmelite monastery, Delgany, where she was known as Mother Mary of the Incarnation and was Mother Prioress for many years. She was revered and loved by her community and those who knew her still cherish the memory of her outstanding charity and holiness.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1974

Obituary

Father John Deevy SJ

John Aloysius Deevy was born in Waterford on 15 June 1887. He belonged to a much-respected Waterford family of four boys and nine girls. His family is perhaps best known because of its accountancy firm which has offices in several Irish cities but it also has to its credit a well-known playwright, his sister Teresa, many of whose plays were presented successfully at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and abroad.

John was a layboy at Mungret from 1903 to 1906 when he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg. He studied philosophy at Cividale in Italy for three years and then taught in Belvedere, Mungret and Clongowes. He was ordained at Milltown Park on 15 August 1920 at the end of his second year of theology. This was a special privilege granted to those who, because of the European war, were kept longer than usual as scholastics in the colleges. It did not, however, dispense them from completing the full four years of theology. After his tertianship, which he did at Tullabeg, he resumed teaching and made the acquaintance of the Crescent.

After a few years he was selected for ad ministrative work and he continued in it until the last few years of his life. The Jesuit novitiate had been changed to Emo Park in 1930 and two years later Fr Deevy was sent there as bursar. He then became superior and finally, when the new house reached its full status, he was appointed rector. In all he spent twelve years at Emo where his chief interest was in developing the farm and in doing pastoral supply work in the neigh bouring parishes. He had a car at his dis posal and it soon became known that he could be relied upon to come to the assis tance of priests and convents who needed help, and that he made demands on no one. In time he won a host of clerical friends and he warmly responded to friendship shown him.

In 1944 his period as Rector at Emo was completed and he was transferred to Tullabeg to become bursar and to take charge of the farm. Nine years later, in 1953, he was sent to take over the farm at Mungret. In 1956 he celebrated his golden jubilee as a Jesuit but he continued to look after the farm until he was in his seventies. When he was relieved of this responsibility he devoted his time and energy to the compilation of the “Mungret Record”. This is a list of all past students with their places of origin and their years in the college. It involved working through all sorts of documents and when lists were completed he had to type them out page by page. It was a very big undertaking but it was a labour of love and he was happy to be able to complete it for distribution in 1963. It is, of course, an invaluable contri bution to the history of the college,

Fr Deevy died on 10 March 1969. Up to the time of his final illness he missed his daily Mass only twice in his life of forty-nine years as a priest. He was a man of quite outstanding uprightness and integrity, of great kindness of heart and he contributed much to every community in which he lived.

Delaney, Hubert, 1929-2001, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001

Obituary

Fr Hubert Delaney (1929-2001)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Gonzaga Record 2001

Obituary

Hubert Delaney SJ

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

May God bless him for his great work.

Fr J Brennan SJ

Dennehy, Vincent, 1899-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/120
  • Person
  • 27 August 1899-30 April 1982

Born: 27 August 1899, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 31 August 1917, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 14 June 1932, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1935, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 30 April 1982, St Joseph's Nursing Home, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

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

by 1924 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1934 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 57th Year No 3 1982

Obituary

Fr Vincent Dennehy (1899-1917-1982)

My first glimpse of Vincent Dennehy was on 1st September 1919; he was a Junior preparing himself for the University; the place was Tullabeg. His singular carriage of his head and his red face singled him out from the others.
Ten years later in the theologate at Milltown Park we really got to know each other. He was a most helpful and thoughtful person. He was keen that all in the house should share in all that went on. When we revived the Gilbert and Sullivan operas at Christmas time he arranged to have a short play or sketch put before the G & S musical. This was done in order that those who were not singers might have a medium in which to entertain their fellow-students and guests.
He was ordained in Congress year, on 14th June 1932. The ordinations were early that year so that we might exercise the ministry to celebrate the bringing of the Gospel to Ireland by St Patrick.
Once the Congress got under way there followed a gruelling beginning to the priestly life in the Dublin churches; midnight often saw us returning from a day spent hearing confessions. It was an immediate and satisfying beginning to our priestly life.
A year later we were together in St Beuno's, North Wales, for our tertianship. This time of renewal was well spent in many acts of sharing and good-fellow- ship. Fr Vincent stood out in this respect and was always in good humour, so that despondent persons found in him a very rational and down-to-earth remedy for their worries.
He was always a man of principle and indeed his favourite argument in favour was always “the principle of the thing”.

A good human Jesuit of those days, untiring in doing good for others, and loyal to the Ignatian way.
At the Crescent, Limerick (1939-949), with Fr Bill Saul (d. 1976), he was involved in the revival of the Cecilian Musical Society in the 1940s. The daughter of the regiment was one of the shows staged by the CMS in those days.

From the time he was assigned to the duty of promoting the cause of Fr John Sullivan, Fr Vincent found a renewal of energy and a stimulating purpose. He really rejoiced in his close association with Fr John and during the many years of his apostolate of promotion he gained the co-operation and affection of a large number of persons. Vincent’s zeal for the work was infectious – so much so that he could and did enlist the help of a number of car owners; from them he formed a panel of drivers, each one pledged to call for him at 6.15 pm on the day of the week agreed upon. From that hour until 10 pm or later he was brought to hospitals and private houses to bless with Fr John's crucifix all who had been listed for that particular day. At a late snack between 10.30 and 11 one could be sure of meeting a very tired but happy Fr Vincent.
North of the Border there is widespread devotion to Fr John, and Vincent travelled there whenever he was wanted. He was in Belfast very shortly after the attempted murder of Bernadette McAliskey (née Devlin) and was delighted to have been called to bless the still unconscious young woman. That she recovered was, no doubt, due to Fr John's intercession, Vincent was so unsparing of himself and so utterly dedicated to his apostolate that he could be quite testy with anyone who seemed to impede or belittle the work. Nor would he allow Fr John to be second fiddle to anyone else however renowned for sanctity. If a patient had on display a picture of someone such as Padre Pio, Fr Vincent passed by! When Vincent's long suffering ended in death I am sure Fr John was at the gate to welcome his confrère and friend.

Devane, Richard, 1876-1951, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/44
  • Person
  • 06 July 1876-23 May 1951

Born: 06 July 1876, William Street, Limerick
Entered: 30 July 1918, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1901, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, County Kildare, pre Entry
Final Vows: 02 February 1929, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 23 May 1951, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Ord pre entry; Early Education at Crescent College SJ, Mungret College and St Patrick’s College Maynooth

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Devane, Richard
by Maurice Cronin

Devane, Richard (1876–1951), Jesuit priest, was born 6 July 1876 at 29 William Street, Limerick, the eldest of three sons and two daughters of Cornelius Devane, merchant, and his wife, Joanna McCormack. His two brothers, John Devane (qv) and James Devane (qv) were medical doctors. Richard was educated at the Christian Brothers’ Sacred Heart College, Limerick, until 1889, and attended Crescent College until he was 17. After this he went to study in Mungret, and then attended St Munchin's seminary until he was 19, finishing his studies in Maynooth, where he was ordained in 1901. He was attached to St Patrick's church, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, until 1904 when he returned to Limerick to a curacy at St Michael's and was also garrison chaplain for ten years. His parochial work included the direction of a conference of the Society of St Vincent de Paul and temperance sodalities for men and women, as well as running a large club for girls. He kept in close touch with labour circles in Limerick on whose behalf he inaugurated a series of lectures on industrial subjects. He was active in rescue and vigilance work, launching a crusade against evil literature, in which connection he published articles in the Dublin Leader. He was responsible for the introduction of a licence to regulate cinema shows, adopted by Limerick Borough Council, and a member of the Limerick technical committee.

He entered the Society of Jesus at St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, on 30 July 1918, being professed two years later. His first appointment with the Society was to the newly founded retreat house for working men at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, where he became the first director in 1922. There he remained organising retreats until 1932 and again from 1945 until his death. From 1933 to 1944 he was director of the retreat house at Milltown Park, Dublin. He was known for his great interest in social legislation and for twenty-five years specialised in an apostolate in favour of the young and their moral protection by legislative means. He did much to further acts dealing with film censorship (1923), censorship of publications (1929), legal redress for mother and offspring in irregular unions (1930), and public dance halls (1935) as well as the criminal law amendment act of the same year. The children's act (1942) set the seal on his practical interest in the fate of children. He published in 1942 Challenge from youth, a fully documented study of modern youth movements in other countries in which he pleaded for a catholic youth movement in Ireland based on a sound Christian philosophy. In another important work, The failure of individualism (1948), he traced the progress of individualism in the religious, political, and economic life of Europe and pleaded for the restoration of the organic structure of society. For many years he was a contributor to the daily press and to various periodicals. His correspondence covered a wide range of subjects touching the welfare of his countrymen: cinema control, dance hall problems, censorship, the imported press, parish councils, adult education, civics, summertime, the retreat movement, national athletics, and national film institutes.

Devane died 23 May 1951 at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin.
Irish Jesuit Archives; Ir. Times, 24 May 1951

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/richard-devane-sj-keeping-the-faith/

Richard Devane SJ: Keeping the faith
If a screen writer were looking for one historic figure to stand in for all the Catholic clergymen who strove to ensure the social purity of the nascent Irish state in the early 20th century, Richard Devane SJ, subject of a new book from Messenger Publications, might be their man. Both as a diocesan priest and after he joined the Jesuits in 1938 at the age of 42, Devane worked tirelessly against what he saw as a rising tide of immorality assaulting the new Ireland. In the words of the book blurb for Richard Devane SJ: social commentator and advocate, 1876-1951 » by Martin Walsh, he was “a sometimes over-zealous gatekeeper of Irish culture and morals”.

Devane’s crusading began early in his priestly life. It appears to have been inspired by his first assignment after ordination in 1903, to Middlesborough, England, which had a burgeoning Irish immigrant population. Many of the Irish migrants worked in the growing number of iron foundries in the area, and they lived in considerable poverty. Devane’s experience there seems both to have instilled a strong nationalist sense in him and to have alerted him to the dangers of, in the words of Martin Walsh, “an altogether different set of English values, values that he would later see as running contrary to everything that he saw as pure about the Irish nation”. Cinemas, music halls, football games on Sunday, salacious newspapers, even more salacious books and ‘penny-dreadfuls’ – all of these and many other features of popular British culture horrified Devane. He made it his life’s task to keep this rot from his native land.

Back in Ireland Devane led many efforts to address what he saw as the single greatest threat to the state of morals in Ireland, namely the intemperance of both men and women. He had witnessed it in his native Limerick, where hard drinking in public was perhaps the natural effect of having 315 public houses in the city.

As well as his work with temperance societies, Devane fought to curb the proliferation of ‘evil literature’, to establish women’s sodalities, to get young women trained for lives of domestic service, to seek the regulation of cinemas so as to prevent the display of immoral films, and the like.

Devane also took a keen interest in the social conditions of the working classes, especially prompted by Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum. It appears to have been, for him, part of the bigger programme of preparing for a new Ireland after Home Rule.

In 1918, Fr Devane joined the Jesuits. For the remaining decades of his life he continued to spend his energies on addressing Catholic values and social problems in Ireland. He worked energetically to shut down prostitution in Dublin, and he tried to get the girls who worked in it to go to Magdalene Laundries. He was greatly exercised by the problem of unmarried motherhood in Ireland. To give him his due, he held that it was wrong that men were not held accountable for their actions in the same way as women were.

One surprising feature of Devane’s life is his role in the establishment of the Irish Film Institute. As he conceived it at the time, the IFI (or National Film Institute as it was known then) was designed to combat the ‘school of corruption’ in the motion picture industry, particularly through Hollywood’s depiction of extra- marital affairs, divorce and other American cultural phenomena from which the Irish people needed to be protected. The patron of the institute was Archbishop of Dublin John Charles McQuaid.

Devane was a man of his time. He provides us with a thick-lined portrait of a highly significant strain of Catholicism that was overt and powerful in Ireland in the decades after independence. It is a phenomenon that still needs to be studied closely, particularly given its traumatic impact on the Ireland of later generations. It is important, of course, to acknowledge the role of this Catholicism in creating shameful institutions and attitudes in Ireland, but one must see too that it was itself formed not just by attitudes within the Church but also by social, psychological, and cultural factors specific to Irish society at large. Martin Walsh’s book on Fr Devane SJ is helpful in this respect.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 3 1951

Obituary :

The Press notices on the death of Fr. Devane were generous in their tributes to his zealous endeavours throughout a long and varied priestly career. Indeed they synopsised the whole story of it so well that it will be sufficient to reproduce here the version found in the Irish Independent, May 24th, 1951 :

“DEATH OF A NOTED JESUIT”
Rev. Richard S. Devane, S.J., whose death has occurred at Rathfarnham Castle, was one of the best-known members of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, and played a notable part for many years in the sphere of social legislation,
Born in Limerick 75 years ago, he was son of the late Cornelius Devane, a well known merchant of that city. Educated at the Sacred Heart College, Limerick, and at Mungret, he passed to St. Munchin's Seminary and to St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, where he was ordained in 1901.
For the next three years Father Devane worked on the English mission, being attached to St. Patrick's Church, Middlesborough. Returning to Limerick in 1904, he spent 14 years as curate at St. Michael's, in charge of a large working-class district. During the first ten years of this period, he was also garrison chaplain.

RESCUE WORK
Father Devane kept in close touch with labour circles in the city, on whose behalf he inaugurated a series of lectures on industrial subjects. He was actively identified also with rescue and vigilance work : he launched a crusade against evil literature, and was responsible for the licence regulating cinema shows which was adopted by Limerick Borough Council. Along with these activities, he was a member of the Limerick Technical Committee.
In the summer of 1918 Father Devane entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, and made his religious profession two years later. He was now to find more leisure and larger scope for his special talents. His first appointment was to the newly founded Retreat House for working men at Rathfarnham Castle, of which he became the first Director in 1922. Here he remained for ten years, and again from 1945 until his death, organising and conducting retreats and imparting to his hearers some of his own enthusiasm for the active apostolate and for social Catholicism. From 1933 to 1944 he was attached to the Retreat House at Milltown Park, Dublin in the same capacity.

SOCIAL LEGISLATION
Father Devane will, however, be chiefly remembered for his work in the sphere of social legislation. For over a quarter of a century he devoted his talents to a specialised apostolate in favour of the young, the promotion of legislation for their moral protection. He did much to place on the Statute Book of the Irish Free State Acts dealing with Censorship of Films (1923), Censorship of Publications (1929), Legal Redress for mother and offspring in irregular unions (1930), Public Dance Halls (1935), and the Criminal Law Amendment of the same year, an Act which dealt with many grave moral problems affecting the young.
The passing of the Children Bill of 1942, by which some provision was made for the education of the children of nomads set the seal on the practical interest which Father Devane had shown in the lot of gypsies and vagrants from the beginning of his priestly life.
The same year saw the publication of his book, “Challenge From Youth”, a fully documented study of modern youth movements in other countries, in which he pleaded for a Catholic Youth Movement in Ireland, based on a sound Christian philosophy. In another important work, “The Failure of Individualism”, published in 1948, he traced the progress of Individualism in the religious, political and economic life of Europe and pleaded for the restoration of the organic structure of society. ... For many years Father Devane was a constant contributor to the daily Press and to various periodicals. His active and facile pen covered a wide range of subjects touching the welfare of his countrymen - cinema control, dance hall problems, censorship, the imported Press, parish councils, adult education, civics, summer time, the retreat movement, national athletics, and national film institutes.

Fr. Richard's death was sudden indeed - he died in his sleep - but not unexpected either by himself or those about him. It was long knon that he suffered from high blood pressure and was liable to a fatal seizure at any moment. The least perturbed by this prospect was himself. His doctor brothers were both much more anxious. But they confessed inability to help in the matter, because the patient was immune from all those vices, major and minor, to which modern medicine men attribute hardening of the arteries and premature old age, There was no good in telling one who never drank anything to curtail his measure of wine, or in warning him to cut down his intake of nicotine when it was already a zero quantity. And so of the rest. The austerity cure was not applicable.
When they complained of this, a fellow Jesuit, who knew “Dick” well, hinted there was one “vice” they were overlooking, namely, his passion for the reforming of a world out of joint. If they could abate this a little, perhaps the fever in the blood might subside to what President Harding styled “normalcy” They answered that this was too much to hope for.
In truth if ever there was a born “Weltverbesserer” it was Fr. Richard. Not that he was a gloomy friar or a red-hot, hell and brimstone revivalist. He was really the happy warrior, for whom a crusade of some sort was a necessity of life. Some cynics hinted that he got quite a.”kick” from restricting the pleasures of others. But this was very unjust. He really only waged war on those basenesses in men and women which increased the misery of the community by multiplying social plagues of one kind or another. Perhaps his only error was that he thought legislation could do more for social amelioration than it can.
But he was right in resisting the false idea that because laws could not cleanse the heart within they were not be invoked at all to protect youth and innocence, oid age and poverty, the neglected and under privileged from the ravages of that satansim which we feel subtly at work under the decorous facade of modern civilised existence. And his knowledge of the problems he dealt with was acquired in the hard way of a personal apostolate. He came in contact with life under nearly all its aspects. And it is to his credit that this knowledge neither soured nor hardened him. Neither did it reduce him to listless despondency. His own morale was never shaken by consciousness of the odds against him in the fight for morality. He seemed to thrive on opposition. It merely stiffened his resolution.
His interests also were Catholic in the sense of universal. He was an integralist in the best meaning of the word. His faith was clear and simple. The Catholic way of life was the path of salvation, temporal and eternal, for individuals and nations alike. If that be bigotry, well he was a bigot - and being called one did not hurt at all. In fact his most salient characteristic was the meeting of criticism with natural and supernatural good humour. He made no bitter reply and bore no enmity. Hence that half serious and half humorous denigration which is such a feature of Irish life did not inhibit him in the least. Yet he was modest with all and began with an attempt to get others better qualified than himself to enter the breach. Only when they did not respond would he start out on his own. His “Failure of Individualism” Owed its origin to the failure of much more learned individuals to do a task he thought a need of the hour. Seeing the dons too disdainful of the red and pink intellectualism of which the most salient feature was its almost moronistic absence of intelligence (accompanied only too often by plain bad faith) he went about the job himself of tracing the process of the revolt against the faith in the sixteenth century through various stages of mental deliquescence, till it ended in the abandonment of reason by the very heirs of eighteenth century Rationalism and finally in the sheer Pyrrhonism of H. G. Wells, Bertrand Russell and the rest of the “forward-looking”, “progressive”, “creative”, “scientific” thinkers, whose logic lies in the use of question-begging epithets for themselves and their adversaries.
And he succeeded. Of course the dons were critical, and found fault. It was simply inevitable that in a book attempting to cover so much ground there would be scope for this. But by and large Fr. Richard's thesis was sound. The questions of detail which afforded matter for debate were neither numerous enough nor important enough to affect the solid value of the complete work,
Similarly his “Challenge from Youth”, though it did not come from a specialist in Pedagogy, as might seem suggested by the title, presented the reader with a whole mass of facts about Youth Movements, gleaned from official documents and out of the way sources, which showed the author as a very industrious maker up of briefs. He would have made a good chamber-lawyer.
But it was in working up a case for legal reform that he showed at his best (or worst, according to your point of view). It was here that his gadfly qualities came into play. Most men love the “quieta non movere” attitude to things that do not impinge upon their own consciousness. The Catholic spirit is supposed by non-Catholics to be eternally obsessed with a bitter zeal to impose itself upon the rest of mankind by guile, force, fraud and physical or moral intimidation. Whereas, in reality. three hundred million of the world's population let themselves be beaten, bullied, bruised and coerced into acceptation of a diminutio capitis, as it was called in Old Rome. The over-all picture of “Christian Civilisation” (the things we are invited to save from the Marxist Inferno) is of an agglomeration of nations, great and small, which no longer take the faith they profess seriously, and which resolutely resent the efforts of the Church of Christ to insist upon the creed as true or upon the Decalogue as binding. To do the former is “intolerance” (final word of anathema), to do the latter is impertinence by suggesting that the “Christian ethic” is the only “ethic”, or any longer binding on those who choose to abrogate it for themselves and their fellow traveller's. Fr. Devane had the audacity to think it is time we rose a little in wrath and called the bluuff of this organised lie.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Richard Devane 1876-1951
Fr Richard Devane played a notable part for many years in the sphere of social legislation in Ireland.

Born in Limerick in 1876, he was ordained for the Diocese of Limerick in 1901. Having laboured zealously for 17 years as a secular priest, 14 of them in Limerick city, where he was regarded by his fellow clergy as eminently “episcopabilis”, he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1918.

As a Jesuit he was identified for years with the Retreat Movement in Rathfarnham Castle, where he displayed special gifts for the direction of youth, and was responsible for many vocations. His social legislation efforts resulted in the Censorship Act, Public Dance Halls and Criminal Amendment Acts. His published works, apart from numerous articles include “Challenge from Youth” and “The Failure of Individualism”.

The following extract from his obit sums up very well and pithily Fr Devane’s character :
“In truth if ever there was born a Weltvertbesserer it was father Richard. Not that he was a gloomy friar or a red-hot hell and brimstone revivalist. He was really a happy warrior, for whom a crusade of some sort was a necessity of life. Perhaps his only error was that he thought legislation could do more for social amelioration than it can”.

He died in his sleep on May 23rd 1951 at Rathfarnham Castle.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1952

Obituary

Father Richard Devane SJ

We regret to record he death of Father Richard Devane which took place suddenly in Rath farnham Castle on May 23rd 1951.

Father Devane was born in Limerick in 1876. After spending some time at the Crescent College, he came to Mungret, and then deciding to become a priest of the Diocese continued his studies at St Munchins Seminary. After completing his Theology in Maynooth he was ordained in 1901. For the next three years, he worked on the English Mission at St Patrick's Church Middlesborough. In 1904, he was recalled to Limerick, and spent 14 years as Curate in St Michael's Church. For the first ten years, he was also Chaplain to the Garrison. During this time Fr Devane carried out an active apostolate among the poor and working classes, and was zealous for their interests. In 1918 to the surprise of many, he announced his intention of entering the Society of Jesus. In that autumn be began his novitiate, and took his vows two years later.

Father Devane's first appointment as a Jesuit was as Director of the Retreat House in Rathfarnham Castle. Those who came in contact with him in that period have a vivid memory of his energetic interest in all forms of Catholic Social work. In 1933, he became attached to the Retreat House at Milltown Park, and besides his work of Retreat giving was engaged on many other social works in the City. In 1944, he returned to Rathfarnham Castle, where he remained till his death.

To Father Devane's active interest and determined energy is due, to a great degree the Acts concerning Censorship of Films, Censorship of Publications, Legal Redress for Mothers, Public Dance Halls Act, Criminal Law Amendment of 1935, and the Children Bill of 1942.

Father Devane's pen was seldom idle, and he was a frequent contributor on matters of Catholic interest to periodicals and newspapers. In addition to his journalistic activity, however, he was the author of two important books, “The Failure of Individualism” and “Challenge from Youth”. Both of these subjects were of keen interest to him through life.

It might be said of Father Devane that he belonged to the “Shock Troops” of Christ, for he was always fighting the battle for souls. His campaign brought him into many aspects of life and he often met bitter opposition from those who made money at the cost of human souls. Yet he never flinched before this, for courage and determination were two of his outstanding characteristics. There were some “within the Fold” who thought he was too grim, but a deeper knowledge of him revealed' a very keen sense of humour. “Off duty” Father Devane could be a most entertaining companion. In his work as a Priest, he saw life in its most depressing and saddening circumstances. He did not understimate the power of paganism backed by wealth, yet these things did not cloud his spirits for his heart was on the hills with Christ. RIP

Devine, Charles, 1896-1964, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

by 1927 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

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

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

Irish Province News 40th Year No 1 1965

Obituary :

Fr Charles Devine SJ (1896-1964)

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1965

Obituary

Father Charles Devine SJ

Father Charles Devine SJ died in the Mater Hospital on September 12th. He had only just completed his fifty years in the Society.

Born in Drogheda in 1896, he came to the Apostolic School in 1908. While in Mungret he was quiet, serious and studious. He took little part in games. He played the piano well, however, and often played the organ.

In 1914 he went to the novitiate. He had elected for the Sicilian Province, so after philosophy he left for Malta. He taught at St Aloysius College. He spent some time also in Palermo. In later life as a priest he worked in parishes in Worcester and Preston.

In 1956 he returned to Ireland and was appointed to the community at the Crescent. He directed the Bona Mors Archconfraternity and the Apostleship of Prayer, and gave the monthly Holy Hour.

After a short stay in Manresa, he was sent to Gardiner Street. However, his time for further labours was short. A minor stroke incapacitated his limbs, A little later an operation was found necessary which he did not survive. Three of his fellow novices officiated at the Requiem Mass, Fathers Tyndall, Paye and Quigley. RIP

Dillon, Edward J, 1874-1969, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/801
  • Person
  • 05 September 1874-29 July 1969

Born: 05 September 1874, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
Entered: 20 May 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1910, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1912
Died 29 July 1969, Talbot Lodge, Kinsealy, Dublin

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

by 1900 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1902 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1911 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 3 1957

St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin
The most important event of the past quarter in Gardiner Street was Fr. Dillion's Diamond Jubilee, which was celebrated on 20th May. A large gathering of his near-contemporaries and those who had been stationed with him during his long and distinguished career in the Society agreed heartily with the felicitous tributes paid to the Jubilarian by Father Provincial and Father Superior and others. This is not the place for an advance obituary notice as Fr. Dillon himself would be the first to reckon our praise: but we cannot omit our tribute on behalf of Gardiner Street to all that he contributes both to our edification and our entertainment. His photographic memory ranges as easily from London in the nineties to Old Trafford in the fifties as from Beaumont to Mungret, and brings alive again all the Society stalwarts and “characters” of the past : our recreations would be vastly the poorer without his reminiscences and our link with the traditions of our predecessors very much the weaker. Withal he is still sturdily at the service of the faithful “ from the distinguished gentleman who will tell you - not that he goes to confession to Fr. Dillion - but that he “consults him professionally”, to the old ladies of seventy-five who are “worried about the fast”. Long may he continue with us!

Irish Province News 44th Year No 4 1969

Obituary :

Fr Edward Dillon SJ (1874-1969)

Fr. Edward Dillon died at Talbot Lodge, Blackrock on July 29th. He was within five weeks of his ninety fifth birthday, and was seventy two years in the Society. He was born in Dunlaoire on September 5th, 1874, and was educated at Belvedere, St. Gall's (Stephen's Green), Beaumont and Trinity College.
He entered the noviceship at Tullabeg on May 20th, 1897. Fr. James Murphy was his novice master.
For Philosophy he went to Vals, in the Toulouse province.
As a scholastic he taught for one year at Belvedere, one year at Clongowes, and three years at Mungret.
He did Theology, and in 1910 was ordained, at Milltown. His tertianship was at Tronchiennes, Belgium
In 1911 he went to Mungret as Prefect of Discipline. Two years afterwards he began a five year term as Minister at the Crescent. sometimes referred to as “the Dillon-Doyle regime”.
After a period of twelve years teaching at Belvedere, Fr. Dillon became Rector of Mungret.
Two years at Rathfarnham Retreat House followed. From 1938 till his death he was on the staff of St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, but for some years he was in the care of the Irish Sisters of Charity at Talbot Lodge,
Fr. Dillon's life stretched far into the past, and during his noviceship there were two priests, Frs. C. Lynch and P. Corcoran who were born about 150 years ago; but he was never out of touch with the present. He was never out of date or old-fashioned in his outlook or ways.
Fr. Dillon had a rare gift for dealing with boys. As Prefect in Mungret he made things go with a swing. He was generous in providing splendid equipment for the games. He improved the libraries and organised the “shop” so that the boys got good value. He was quick and energetic, and could join skilfully and cheerfully in any game. He was not severe, but had no difficulty in controlling boys, who had confidence in him and respected him.
It is recalled by a Father who was in the Community with Fr. Dillon during part of his long period of teaching at Belvedere, 1919-31, that he was an excellent teacher. He taught Honours Latin classes, but also during his teaching career he taught Greek and French.
He did not mix much with the boys outside class. He used to attend, in a class-room in the Junior House at Belvedere to enrol boys for membership of the Pioneer Association. There were no big meetings, big Notices, but “what went on behind those closed doors only Fr. Cullen (in heaven) knows”.
During this time at Belvedere he was very attentive to an invalid brother who lived at Clonsilla. He cycled out regularly to visit him.
In 1931 Fr. Dillon returned to Mungret as Rector. In 1932 he had a busy time organising celebrations for the Golden Jubilee of the College. He succeeded in gathering a great number of past pupils, among them some Bishops from America and Australia who had been Apostolic students, and were in Ireland for the Eucharistic Congress. He had a contemporary of his own, Fr. Garahy, to preach.
While in Mungret he got the College connected with the Shannon Scheme, dismantling the old power house, which had done its work. He also had the telephone installed! There was, no motor car in Mungret in those days, and one remembers Fr. Dillon frequently “parking” his bicycle at the Crescent when he visited the city.
From 1936-38 Fr. Dillon gave retreats at Rathfarnham.
From there he moved to Gardiner Street. He entered zealously into the various activities of the Church. He prepared carefully for preaching. His sermons were direct and practical. He had an easy fluency in speaking and a pleasant and clear voice; and he gained the people's attention as he leaned confidentially over the edge of the pulpit.
His preparation was also notable in another work which took much of his time, the instruction and reception of converts. A sister of his in the Convent next door, Sister Bride, also instructed many of the converts who were received at St. Francis Xavier's. Sister Bride was also well known as a “missioner”, visiting the district. Mountjoy prison was in her area of zeal, and she met and counselled many who were under the death sentence.
Fr. Dillon for some years gave the Domestic Exhortations, which he prepared carefully. Preparation, planning, foresight were in deed very characteristic in his life.
As a confessor he was a very busy man. He had a worldly wisdom that stood him in good stead, and many sought him out because of this. But he was a patient, kind and sympathetic priest, and a great favourite.
Community recreation was always the better and livelier for his presence. His easy manner, conversation and sense of fun enlivened the daily meetings.
For many years at Gardiner Street, he was still as active, alert and full of energy as ever. Games still interested him, though I do not think he went to watch them much. He was still keen on golf, and played it fairly often. His slight figure sped quickly around the course, and he came back with a healthy glow on his face from the outing.
His brother and other members of his family were interested and much engaged with horses and racing, and Fr. Eddie always kept a very remarkable interest in the important races. Even when, at last, sight and hearing were almost gone, he would try to pick up the story of the big races from the TV at Talbot Lodge.
In his last years Fr. Dillon won the admiration of all by the gentle, patient way in which he bore a life of great handicaps and discomfort, and quite an amount of pain. His many ailments did not seem to lessen the robustness of his heart and constitution; though he grew progressively more helpless, needing first one stick, then two, and at last almost unable to move from his bed.
His mind was certainly not affected by his ailments. He was quick to catch the subject of a conversation. He kept up his interest in the community and the Province. He had a great memory which enabled him to relate interesting episodes of the past, or to recount any news he had heard from visitors. He had, during life, made many constant friends, and some of them were able to keep contact with him to the end. His two nieces from Bray were most devoted to him. They visited him regularly, and he was deeply grateful to them, and also to the staff at Talbot Lodge who gave him such care and kindness.
Fr. Dillon was never an effusive man, in any sentimental way; but in the last months when, though still having use of his. faculties and clarity of mind, he felt he had not long to live, he let his appreciation of friendship shown him, appear very visibly. The prospect of the end he felt to be very near, seemed to make him glow with happiness.
Eternal life be his.

Dillon-Kelly, Robert, 1878-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/209
  • Person
  • 03 February 1878-02 February 1955

Born: 03 February 1878, Mullingar, County Westmeath
Entered: 14 August 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1913, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 02 February 1955, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1900 at St Aloysius, Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1912 at St Andrew on Hudson, Hyde Park NY, USA (NEB) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News 30th Year No 2 1955 & ◆ The Clongownian, 1955

Obituary :
Father Robert Dillon Kelly
When Fr. Dillon Kelly died early in the morning of February 2nd, a long and faithful life came quietly to a close. He had just completed his seventy seventh year. The eldest of a family of four brothers, he was born on February 3rd, 1878 in Mullingar, where his father, Dr. Joseph Dillon Kelly, had an extensive practice. He was at school in Belvedere when still quite young, and later went to Clongowes. On August 14th, 1895 he entered the noviceship and had as companions Fr. Finucane and Fr. Barragry, who this year will celebrate their Diamond Jubilee.
When in Belvedere he was taught for some time by Fr. Richard Campbell, and on one occasion missed the memory lesson. Fr. Campbell : “Robert what happens to the little bird that can sing and won't sing?". Robert : “I don't know, Sir”. Fr. Campbell : “It must be made sing!” However, the lesson may have been impressed on him, and most of us can guess, there is little doubt that Robert learned it then once and for all. During all his life as a Jesuit, anything that he was given to do he did faithfully and well. One who was his friend from the noviceship days writes : “We were in the Noviceship together. He found it hard, more than most novices, but bravely went through, It was the same in the Juniorate. He found the studies hard, but kept on doggedly”. So it was through life. Whatever the work, he gave himself to it wholeheartedly and demanded a high standard of achievement both from himself and from others. Affectionate by nature, loyal and sincere, he made many friends and those who needed a helping hand knew the value of his friendship, for he spared no trouble to assist them in their difficulties. In Limerick, where he spent twenty-nine years of his life as a priest, to the many generations who passed through his hands in the School, the Choir, and the Dramatic Societies, he was always and everywhere “D.K.” It was a simple and spontaneous expression of their affection for him. When he would rise to speak at the Ignatian Dinner, his welcome was tumultuous.
Through the long years he spent in the Crescent he filled many duties. He was games-master when he came first in 1914; then and for many years afterwards teacher in the School; later a wise and selfless confessor in the Church. In all he was the same, keen, alert, devoted to his job. But I think he will be best remembered there for his work with the Choir and the Dramatic Societies. From 1914 till he left for Galway in 1943 he was in charge of the Choir, and none will dispute the excellence of his achievement. Perfection was the only standard he accepted, and he did not rest till he obtained it. Early in 1916 lie produced his first play, The Pope in Killybuck, with the boys of the School ; and those who took part in it learned then and, I should say, have never forgotten what good acting and good production mean. A born actor himself, he knew what he wanted from each one, and no detail of gesture or movement or tone of voice was too small to be insisted on. A friend of his writes : “I have seen plays produced by many, but none with the perfection of his”. Year after year, from then on, he produced many plays, both with the boys and with the Dramatic Societies attached to the Crescent. David Garrick and Little Lord Fauntleroy stand out in memory, but perhaps his greatest triumph was The Greek Slave. A new organ was badly needed in the Church but there was no money to pay for it. Fr. Dillon Kelly got permission to do what he could to raise funds. He produced The Greek Slave. It was played to packed houses for a fortnight in the Theatre Royal, and when it was finished he had the money for the new organ, In his last years he would still talk lovingly about that organ. He knew every pipe and stop and piece of timber that went into it.
In 1943 Fr. Dillon Kelly left Limerick for Galway. He was sixty-five, but his health was already beginning to fail. The story of his years in Galway is one of slow but steady decline, with many long spells of serious illness. To one who had always been busy and active the tedium of those years must have been trying indeed. Yet he did not complain. Quietly he adapted himself to his growing weakness. As the years went on he came to live more and more in the past, and loved to dwell on memories of early holidays in Galway as a boy, of Villas with the giants of the past, and of the many happy fishing days in Waterville. With the approach of Summer, memory often became too strong for him, and he would be stirred into making plans for yet one more excursion with rod and line in the old familiar haunts. The spirit was eager, but the tired body was unable to respond. He could but cast his line over the quiet waters of his dreams.
And so slowly, very slowly, came the end. St. James says “patience has a perfect work”, and I think it was in the patient, uncomplaining acceptance of his weakness that the true quality of Fr. Dillon Kelly was revealed. Quick tempered and often superficially impatient of minor annoyances, there was in him a dignity and a nobility of character that shone bright in his declining years. His touching, almost childlike, gratitude for some little act or word of kindness showed a delicacy and depth of feeling unsuspected by many who did not know him well. Of someone it has been said that nothing in his life became him like the leaving of it. I venture to say that nothing in the long life of Fr. Dillon Kelly became him more nobly than his patience in the years when he was failing He had been hoping that Our Lady would come for him on her Feast Day, and she did not disappoint him. May he rest with her in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert Dillon-Kelly SJ 1878-1955
It is the lot of some Jesuits, rare indeed, to be associated with one house or activity for most if their lives. Fr Dillon-Kelly was one of these. He spent 29 years in the Crescent and, to this day, his name is remembered and his memory affectionately recalled as “DK”.

Born in Mullingar in 1878, he was educated at Belvedere and Clongowes. 1914-193 in the Crescent he was in turn, Prefect of games, teacher and operarius. But his main work was with the choir and Dramatic Society. As a producer, it is no exaggeration to say that he would rank with the leading producers in the world. His greatest triumph was “The Greek Slave” which ran to packed houses, and earned enough money to pay for the new organ in the Church. His declining years were painful in their inactivity and illness were spent in Galway, 1943-1955.

He was a great character. Quick-tempered and superficially impatient of petty annoyances, there was in him a dignity and quality of character which shone bright in his latter years. His greatness of heart which went into all his activities, and not least into his personal religious life. He loved Our Lady and she took him as she wished, on her own Feast Day, February 2nd 1955.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1955

Obituary

Father Robert Dillon-Kelly SJ

Father Robert Dillon-Kelly SJ, whose death at St Ignatius' College, Galway, is announced, was son of the late Dr Joseph Dillon-Kelly. Bom at Mullingar in 1878, he was educated at Belvedere and Clongowes Wood Colleges and entered the Society of Jesus at St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, in 1895.

He studied Philosophy at Jersey, Channel Isles, for three years and taught for six years at Mungret and Belvedere Colleges before going to Milltown Park, Dublin, for his theological course.

He was ordained priest in 1912 by the Most Rev Dr Donnelly, Bishop of Canea and Auxiliary of Dublin, and completed his training at St Andrew's on-Hudson, Poughskeepie, USA.

In 1914 Father Dillon-Kelly began his long and notable association with the Sacred Heart Church and College, Limerick. Himself a talented musician, he brought the church choir to a high pitch of perfection and was also most successful in dramatic productions both by the boys of the college and by amateur societies in the city,

In 1943 he was transferred to St Ignatius, Galway, where he worked in the church as long as failing health permitted.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Robert Dillon-Kelly (1878-1955)

Of an old Mullingar family, had received his early education at Belvedere and Clongowes when he entered the Society in 1895. He pursued his higher studies at the French scholasticate-in-exile at Jersey and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1911. He made his tertianship in the USA, and on his return to Ireland was appointed prefect at Clongowes. After two years there, he entered on his long association with Sacred Heart College in 1914 and remained in Limerick for the ensuing twenty-nine years. His first contact with Limerick, however, had been much earlier, when he spent the first year of his regency at Mungret College, 1902-03. Throughout his long years at the Crescent, Father Dillon Kelly gave splendid service to Limerick and the Society. As a master of English or French, he imparted enthusiasm for the subject to his pupils. He helped his pupils to realise the impor tance of correct diction and clarity of expression, and did much to illustrate and implement his teaching on these matters in the debating societies and dramatics. His other notable work for the Crescent was his mastership of the church choir. He gave unsparingly of his time to voice training and the results of his labour soon became evident in the beauty and solemnity of the music of the Benediction services and of the Solemn Masses at Sacred Heart Church.

By the early 1940's, Father Dillon Kelly's health was visibly failing, His physique had never been robust and he was no longer able for the strenuous work attaching to his duties. So, he was transferred to St Ignatius', Galway where his work was less onerous but carried out with the same loyalty and fidelity as in former days.

Donnellan, Thomas D, 1919-2002, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/594
  • Person
  • 26 April 1919-16 April 2002

Born: 26 April 1919, Saint Alphonsus Terrace, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 16 April 2002, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 112 : Special Edition 2002

Obituary

Mr Thomas (Tom) Donnellan (1919-2002)

26th April 1919: Born in Limerick
Early education in St. Philomena's, Limerick and Crescent College, Limerick.
7th Sept. 1936: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1938: First Vows at Emo
1938 - 1941: Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1941 - 1943: Receiving psychiatric treatment at “Health Centres”.
1943 - 1973: St. Ita's Psychiatric Hospital, Portrane
1973 - 2002: Manresa House - Sacristan, Ministered in the community
16th April 2002: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Tom was hospitalised recently in St. Vincent's Hospital for three months and had his left leg amputated. His heart remained weak, as it had been for the last few years. He was discharged to Cherryfield Lodge on 4th April, and died there, peacefully, on 16 April, 2002.

Paul Andrews writes....
Even as Jesuits go, Tom had an extraordinary story. He had deep and affectionate roots in Limerick where he came second in a family of four, of the strong Donnellan clan. Unusually the two boys outlived the two girls, now only Frank is left. Tom spent three years with the FCJs, and ten with the Jesuits in the Crescent. He was bright, led his class all the way, was looked up to as a star athlete, loved life. When he left school in 1936 it was not rare for such a boy to choose the Jesuits. He went to Emo for two years noviciate, then to Rathfarnham to start a degree in UCD.

Here is the sobering bit for us Jesuits. At the end of his long retreat Tom had offered God the unconditional service of his liberty, his mind and understanding. God heard him in a way he would never have wished. He had what was then called a broken head. His contemporaries noticed that he was skipping Sunday walks in order to study more at home. At the age of 21 Tom had a major breakdown, and for many years lost the use of his fine mind and understanding. The hardest loss of all was of his liberty, and for thirty years.

It was before the days of psychotropic drugs and there was little that medicine could do except contain him. A doctor remarked recently that if Tom fell sick that way today, he would be out of hospital after three weeks. But Tom was behind walls for more than a third of his life, while he grew from his splendid youth to middle age.

When his sister Maureen, then married in the USA, visited St Ita's Hospital in 1972, she found her little brother grey-haired, with a wispy beard, in heavy institutional clothes, but with his mind now functioning, with the help of new drugs. In some distress she wrote to Cecil McGarry, then Provincial, who replied with a compassionate letter, and sent out Joe Dargan (Rector of Manresa) and Paddy Meagher (then Socius) to visit Tom in Portrane. Paddy remembers how interested Tom was in the Province, and knew about several moves of his friends.

Maureen was the one who instigated his move back to a Jesuit house. The change was done gradually and carefully, and was slowed down not by any sickness of Tom but by habits born of long institutionalisation. He came to Manresa, which was both a retreat house and, at that time, a novitiate. Where the community treated him with some caution, unsure how to respond, it was the novices who did most to bring Tom back into the human race, treating him in a matter-of-fact but supportive way.

At the age of fifty-four he began to resume control of his own life. Asked about returning to Jesuit living he had said, “I would like to try preaching. My degree was in Latin so perhaps I could teach that”. But he never resumed formal studies, nor prepared for ordination; nor did he receive final vows, though the application went to Rome - the officials there did not want to canonise the role of perpetual scholastic. He loved the service of the altar, preparing the chapel and reading at Mass. He was invited to work in the grounds, but resisted, probably because that had been his staple occupation in Portrane.

He gradually took over other work around the house, and developed a rhythm of healthy habits: walking, collecting his Pension from the GPO on a Friday, sea swimming in all seasons), and nostalgic holidays in Limerick and Kilkee with his brother Frank. He was the proud holder of one record, not mentioned in the Guinness book: among all the Jesuits worldwide, Tom was the senior scholastic.

When we think about the Tom we have known, one grace is remarkable. While he was a quiet, unobtrusive man, he had also an innate dignity, which drew deep reverence and affection from those he met. He never complained, in any of his sicknesses, even at the end when failing circulation led to the amputation of his left leg. There was an interior life there at which we can barely guess. As we grow older, we talk about the difficulty of no longer being able to achieve anything, or to work. Spiritual writers tell us we have to be content just to be rather than do; and in our declining years that can seem hard. It is sobering to realise that Tom, a handsome, athletic man of great ability , faced that for most of his life.

Yet he seemed a happy man. He was conscious of being liked. When in the last month, his illness grew more acute and he was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital, he told them there, in a wry, self-mocking way: In Cherryfield I am the pet. In Manresa, too, we missed him when he was away: not for his work- though it was reliable and invaluable; not for his talk - he would sit happily through a buzzing conversation without uttering a word, though he relished good stories. What we missed was his presence, a gentle, undemanding man with a unique history and a wonderful smile.

He was happy also in his going. The Cherryfield nurses tended him with a care and affection that brought tears to the eyes of his brother Frank, when he recalled it at the funeral lunch in Manresa. On the last evening, three of his community, together with Eddy Fitzgerald, anointed him slowly and lovingly, Tom opened his eyes and took it in. Less than thirty minutes later he had gone to God.

There are times, when the sun is shining and life is sweet, that we may worry that our Lord will say to us at the pearly gates: You have had your reward. There is no such fear in Tom Donnellan; he has had his suffering. His rewards, at least to human eyes, have been few. May God be as good to him as he was to God.

Donoghue, James, 1867-1954, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/125
  • Person
  • 11 October 1867-21 June 1954

Born: 11 October 1867, Kilternan, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1899, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final vows: 02 February 1911
Died: 21 June 1954, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway City

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 24th Year No 4 1949
Coláiste Iognáid, Galway :

Out of Brother Donoghue's fifty years in religion, thirty-seven were spent in Galway. After a year at the Crescent, Limerick, he first came to Galway from 1905 to 1915. Then came seven years at Clongowes, after which he returned to Galway, and has been with us since. During all his years in the Society, Brother Donoghue has acted in the combined functions of sacristan and tailor. He has also the distinction of having acted as reader in the Refectory for thirty-five years, and is justly proud of the fact that our present Fr. General, on hearing of this remarkable record from the late Fr. Hannon, a fellow-novice of Brother Donoghue, sent him a special message of congratulation. Apart from his regular duties, Brother Donoghue has been noted for his kindly interest in the poor of Galway. He has cheered the souls of many generations of the Community by his poems on subjects both religious and secular, and his most intimate friends would find this notice incomplete without a reference to the instrumental recitals to which, in former days, he treated them on favoured occasions.
Among other tributes, Brother Donoghue received the following lines from Senator Helena Concannon :

Dear Brother James, your jubilee
Is like a Golden Cup,
In which the fruits of fifty years
Are fitly gathered up.

Upon Our Lady's Natal Day
You" sought Ignatius' fold ;
And oh! what precious birthday gifts
Your young hands then did hold.

And since that day, in joy or woe,
You gave her service meet,
And prayer and work filled all the years
You now lay at her feet.

And gladly will she stoop to lift
The Golden Cup you bring,
And set it lovingly before
The Throne of Christ the King.

To mark the occasion, the Men's Sodality presented a set of vestments to Brother Donoghue, for use in the church.

Irish Province News 29th Year No 4 1954

Obituary :

The late Brother Donoghue was born in Dublin in 1867 and was a master tailor. In September, 1899 be entered the Society of Jesus and spent the first five years of his religious life in St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore. In 1904 he went to the Crescent College, Limerick as sacristan and tailor. In the following year he came to St. Ignatius in the same capacity, and spent the rest of his life in Galway, except during the period 1915-1922, when he was in Clongowes Wood College. Until 1936 Brother Donoghue was Sacristan, in charge of church collections until 1953, and followed his craft of tailoring until his illness began last March.
If ever an “Institution” passed away with the death of a man, an “Institution” of the Jesuit Church, Galway, and indeed of Galway itself, passed away with the death of Br. Donoghue, R.I.P.; and if ever there was a striking example of the individuality produced by the Jesuit Rule and the Jesuit ways of prayer it was the same Br. Donoghue. His Rule and his prayer, worked out in his life with that diamond-hard-and-bright Faith so characteristic of the Dublin Catholic working man, gave us the humble, cheerful, humorous sanctity which endeared him to all classes of people. The humorous glint in the eye as he held out the collection plate in some strategic position that said “You are getting more here than you'll ever give”.... The day's adventurous routine for this octogenarian . . . “The Way of the Cross” the minute he reached the church ... to point the way for himself. The running from church to domestic chapel and back again to church to catch each Consecration - and if That is the Heartbeat of God dying for love of man, who would not condone interruptions not always noiseless? The cheery professional business query, “How's the ward-robe?” as he sought material for his tailoring - a very finished work it was, until in the end, we had Dante's “old tailor peering through the eye of a needle” - and failing with the thread and even misplacing the button.
But most of all we recall his life-long real apostolate for the sick and the poor, his special favourites. In the days of his musicianship with the mouth organ he was known to have played many a difficult hospital case into the right frame of mind and soul for the Harmonies of Heaven.
And the poor! God alone knows how many he fed and clothed - in that line any object that looked unclaimed or about which the owner couldn't be “rationabiliter invitus” was treasure-trove and so the property of the King, Ri na mBocht, as the Irish has it ... and thereby hangs many a tale at which the Angels laugh.
We shall miss the spare figure with the springy walk as every evening without top-coat, in the worst weather he went to Benediction at the Poor Clares . . . and his cheery Dublin “Up the Jes!” to the boys whether they won or lost a match ... and the wavering notes of “My Old Kentucky Home”, when the sun did not “shine bright”, and “My Lady” the weather refused to “weep no more” in the long-sustained Galway rain.
In the end there was a kind of patient impatience in his hurry to be taken from being a worry to others, and to be with the Mother of God and the Sacred Heart , , . and so when the Novena to the Sacred Heart was filling the church, the welcome home came from that Sacred Heart in the words by which He will test all “I was hungry and you gave me to eat, naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me”.
May we be as ready for that test as Br. Donoghue.

Donovan, Edmund, 1839-1919, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1197
  • Person
  • 09 May 1839-11 May 1919

Born: 09 May 1839, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1858, Beaumont, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 19 September 1874, Laval, France
Final vows: 02 February 1879
Died: 11 May 1919, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

by 1867 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1872 at Laval France (FRA) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had two brothers Priests in the Dublin Diocese, one the PP of Dunlavin and another PP of Celbridge. Both predeceased Edmund.

Early education was at Belvedere.

After his Noviceship he studied Philosophy and Theology at Laval, finishing his Theology at Milltown.
He spent many years in Tullabeg, Clongowes and Galway.
1886 He went from Tullabeg to Galway, and remained there until his death 11 May 1919.

The following appreciation appeared for Edmund in a local paper after his death :
“Father Donovan entered the Society of Jesus on 07 September 1858 and made his Noviceship at Roehampton, under that distinguished Spiritual Director Father Tracey Clarke SJ. He made his Philosophical and Theological studies in France and was Ordained at Laval, and Final Vows 02 February 1879.
His life as a Priest in the Society of Jesus was mostly spent in the seclusion of the classroom and Church. The results of these long years of useful and self-effacing labour are written in the Book of Life and in the hearts and minds of his many pupils. In the year 1883 we find him Vice-Rector at his old Alma Mater, Belvedere.
For the last thirty four years of his life he worked in Galway. Father Donovan is too well known to the residents of Galway to need any eulogies to raise him in their affection and esteem. The sympathetic crowd of all conditions that attended his Solemn Requiem Mass on Tuesday last testify to that. The members of the Sodality of Our Blessed Lady formed a guard of honour at the funeral, and vied with each other for the privilege of bearing his remains to the grave. The poor, whom, as a true Priest, he loved while he lived, also showed that they had not forgotten him in death.
At Wednesday’s meeting of the Board of Guardians, a vote of condolence was passed with the Jesuit Fathers on the death of Father Donovan, the proposer remarking that in both religion and amongst laymen, the deceased was one of the most respected clergymen in the city.”

Note from Patrick Hughes Entry :
He was then sent to Laval for Theology, and in the company of Edmund Donovan, was Ordained there.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edmund Donovan 1839-1919
Fr Edmund Donovan was born in Dublin on May 9th 1839. He had two brothers priests in the Diocese, one was Parish Priest of Dunlavin, the other of Celbridge.

Fr Donovan’s life as a Jesuit was spent in the seclusion of the classroom and the Church. The results of these long years of useful and self-effacing labour are written in the Book of Life and in the hearts of his many pupils, but they deserve to be recorded here, if only as typical of the lives of many of Ours in the Province, especially those who toil in the classroom.

In 1883 Fr Donovan was Vice-Rector of his old Alma Mater, Belvedere, but the main years of his life, 34 years in all, were spent in Galway.

He died in Galway on May 11th 1919 at the age of 80. The huge crowd, rich and poor, which attended his funeral testify to the esteem and affection in which he was held in Galway. The members of Our Lady’s Sodality formed a guard of honour at the funeral, and vied with one another for the privilege of bearing his remains to the grave. The poor, whom, as true priest, he had loved in his lifetime, showed that they had not forgotten him in death.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1920

Obituary

Father Edmund Donovan SJ

Owing to going so early to press last year we were unable to record the death of Fr Donovan at St. Ignatius' College, Galway, on the 11th of May. He was one of our oldest pupils, having entered Belvedere in 1852. We have before us as we write a faded pink programme which records how “at the Christmas Exams. 1855, of the College of St Francis Xavier, the following young gentlemen particularly distinguished themselves”. Then follow the names of these distinguished alumni, and amongst them we see in the “Class of Humanity” Edmund Donovan, figuring as first in Classics and German, and second in English and French.

This promis ing beginning was followed by a long life of successful work in the Society of Jesus. As a master in Tullabeg, Galway, Limerick, Clongowes, as Vice-Rector of Belvedere in 1883, and as a zealous Church worker in Galway for the last thirty four years of his life, Fr Donovan ever played the part of a zealous, unostentatious, sincere worker in the vineyard of the Lord. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1919

Obituary

Father Edmund Donovan SJ

On the 11th of May, at the age of 80, Father Donovan passed away at St Ignatius College, Galway. His School career belongs rather to Belvedere than to Clongowes for he had been five years at Belvedere before coming to us for the last year of his school life. A few months after leaving Clongowes he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus in England. That was in 1858, so that ten years ago he had the happiness of celebrating the Golden Jubilee of his Jesuit life. And that life was one of uninterrupted usefulness and self-effacing labour. He taught in Tullabeg, Limerick, Galway, Clongowes, and Belvedere. Of the last-named, his Alma Mater, he was made Vice-Rector in 1883. “During the time”, says the Belvederian, “he guided her destinies not only did the number of her students increase, but the spirit of work and the general efficiency that marked his reign will bear favourable comparison with the best periods in her long history”.
.
For the last thirty-four years of his life Father Donovan worked in Galway. Up to the last he took his full share in the work of the Church - sermons, late Masses, direction of sodalities, the confessional. His rôle was unostentatious and unassuming, but the sick and the poor will not soon forget his charity, nor his penitents the kindliness and patience of their director.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Edmund Donovan (1839-1919)

A native of Dublin, entered the Society in 1858. He was prefect of studies at the Crescent from 1883-1885. After a year in Tullabeg, he was transferred to St Ignatius' College, Galway where he was at different times, prefect of studies, master, minister and member of the church staff until his death.

Dowling, Maurice, 1896-1965, Jesuit priest, chaplain and missioner

  • IE IJA J/729
  • Person
  • 23 December 1896-27 August 1965

Born: 23 December 1896, Sallins, County Kildare
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 August 1929, Valkenburg, Netherlands
Final vows: 15 August 1933
Died: 27 August 1965, Lusaka, Zambia

Part of the Chivuna, Monze, Zambia community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

1942-1946 Military Chaplain

by 1921 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1927 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1932 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1949 at Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - joined Patrick Walsh and Patrick JT O’Brien in Second group of Zambian Missioners
by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Maurice’s family used to spend a month in Skerries, an Irish seaside resort, in the summer. Maurice Dowling was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning, as a teenager, he saved the life of a girl who was drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr Dowling was reading the evening paper, that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled "Bravo"! beside the passages and silently handed the paper to his son. This incident in some way, sums up a characteristic of Maurice that he had already developed at that age, – he was modest in his achievements and helpful to others.

He was born in 1896 in Dublin. His father was the Registrar of the College of Science in Dublin. His mother died early in her married life leaving Maurice and his brother Desmond behind. Both boys went to Clongowes Wood College for their secondary education.

At the age of 18, Maurice entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg and followed the normal course of studies which were followed by Irish Jesuits of the time. He was ordained in 1929 on 29th August. He spent some time in the colleges as teacher and prefect e.g. the Crescent, Limerick in the thirties.

As a young Jesuit, he learned to speak Irish, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking area). He genuinely loved the language and when home on what was to be his last leave, he was delighted to hear that there were in existence Irish-speaking praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn who died working for the Legion in Africa.

During the Second World War he volunteered as a chaplain. Just before departing, he was involved in an accident where he was thrown through the window of the bus in which he was traveling. As he lay on the ground in his own blood, he heard one of the rescuers say to another nodding towards Maurice "He's had it"! (but in much more colourful language).
After the war, when the Jesuits in Northern Rhodesia were looking for men, two Irish Jesuits volunteered in 1946 (Fr Paddy Walsh and Fr Paddy O'Brien) to be followed by two more in 1947, Maurice and Fr Joe Gill. They came to Chikuni.

The Bishops had been endeavouring then to set up a Catholic Secondary school for Africans. There was only one secondary school for Africans in the whole country, a Government school at Munali, Lusaka which had been founded a few years before. In 1949 Canisius Secondary School opened its gates to the first class. Speaking of Maurice's work in the college during the first few years, Fr Max Prokoph who had been instrumental in getting Fr Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him, "I have never met a more loyal man". Fr Prokoph described how in the initial difficult days, Maurice had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal.
While at Chikuni, he would travel south to Choma at the week-end to say Mass long before a mission was opened in 1957; also to Kalomo still further south. Then back to the school for another week of teaching. In 1962 he went to Namwala to the newly built mission as the first resident priest bringing with him some Sisters of Charity. He later moved to Chivuna in 1964 and died in Lusaka on 26 August, 1965.

Fr Maurice had great qualities: his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. He had a zest for life, his cheerfulness was catching. He was loyal as Fr Prokoph remarked. Loyalty would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater and to his many friends as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army and on the mission.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941
General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorks that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 18th Year No 1 1943

Fr. Maurice Dowling was awarded substantial damages with costs in the action against Great Southern Railways Co. which came before Mr. Justice Hanna and a jury in the High Court on 4th November. It will be remembered Fr. Dowling met with his serious accident 18th August, 1941, when the bus in which he was travelling from Limerick to Dublin in order to report for active service was involved in a collision near the Red Cow, Clondalkin.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Dowling and Gill will be leaving soon for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

Frs. Dowling and Gill who left Dublin for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia, on 7th October reached their destination on 4th November; for the present they are stationed at Chikuni and Lusaka respectively.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949

LETTERS :

Fr. M. Dowling in a letter from Chikuni Mission, N. Rhodesia :
He says there are now 282 boys in the Central Boarding School ; and 60 girls under the care of the Irish Sisters of Charity. All are native Africans, 95% baptised and but a few catechumens. The staff consists of Fr. M. Prokoph, Principal of the School, Fr. Dowling himself, Fr. Lewisha, an African, two Sisters of Oharity, an English laymaster, and four African teachers.

“I am teaching Religious Knowledge, Chemistry, General Science, History and Maths. My classes vary in number between 45 and 50. We are rather understaffed and so are kept busy. The top classes at present reach a standard equivalent to our Inter-Cert. There is also a course for Teachers, and a Trades School for carpenters and brick layers.
The mission depends on us for its Catholic teachers and the number of Catechumens depends on them too. The mission is very short of men and many are old and ill. Many of the Polish Fathers have been out here 20 and 25 years without a break.
Normally the rainy season begins here in October and lasts till March. This year it has been a failure. We have had 18 inches of rain instead of our usual 35-40 and there is grave danger of famine in all Central Africa. Famine has already begun in Nyassaland.
There are six different African languages spoken by different sections of the boys. All teaching above standard IV is in English. Many are quite good at English.
The weather is pretty hot, which I like but some don't. It has averaged 95 degrees in the shade for a long time recently. I have lost two stone since I came here and gone down from 16 stone to 14. You wouldn't know my slender form!”

Irish Province News 41st Year No 1 1966

Obituary :

Fr Maurice Dowling SJ (1896-1965)

Fr. Dowling's death was a great shock even for us on the mission. His operation had been successful, he was making a good recovery, and then the end came suddenly and unexpectedly in a heart attack. Rev. Fr. Superior, who was in Lusaka at the time, was called by telephone and was able to give him Extreme Unction and recite the prayers for the dying. He died during the prayers without regaining consciousness.
The funeral, preceded by Requiem Mass, took place on Sunday afternoon. He was buried in Chikuni, as he certainly would have wished, beside Fr. A. Cox and Fr. D. Byrne, and close to the founders of the mission - Frs. Moreau and Torrend. Fr. Dowling had known Fr. Moreau, he had been with him for a few months before his death in January 1949, and had anointed him before he died.
There was a very big attendance at the Mass and funeral, for he had made many friends during his seventeen years in the country. They came not only from the neighbourhood but even from Livingstone, Lusaka and Brokenhill. They included boys whom he had taught many years ago and who were now young men of importance in Government positions, Sisters and Brothers of several congregations to whom he had given retreats, and many priests both African and European. His Grace the Archbishop of Lusaka and His Lordship Bishop Corboy were also able to be present as they had not yet left for Rome.
In his panegyric during the Mass, Rev. Fr. Superior paid tribute to Fr. Dowling's great qualities, his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army and in the mission, and his reward must therefore be very great.
When Fr. Dowling came to Chikuni in 1948, there was only one secondary school for Africans in Northern Rhodesia, a Government school at Munali which had been founded ten years before. He played a big part in founding the second school, Canisius College. Speaking of his work in the college during the first few years, Fr. Prokoph, who had been instrumental in getting Fr. Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him: “I have never met a more loyal man”. He described how in the initial difficult days Fr. Dowling had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal. Loyalty then would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater and to his many friends as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. He was a man of whom it can be truly said that it was a privilege to have known him and to have lived with him.

Death of a Jesuit Friend
The first intimation our family received on Easter Monday, 1916, that the Volunteers had risen, taken over the General Post Office and other key buildings, was when a neighbour, Mr. P. A. Dowling, Registrar of the College of Science, knocked at the door and excitedly told us the news.
This morning (2nd September 1965) I attended a Requiem Mass in the Jesuit Church, Gardiner Street, offered for the soul of Fr. Maurice Dowling, S.J, second son of the neighbour who rushed to us with the news of the Rising. Fr. Maurice, though he had undergone a serious operation some time ago, had, I under stood, made a good recovery and it came as a great shock to his relatives and friends at home to hear that he died suddenly last month in Zambia, on Friday, 27th August, and was buried the following Sunday.
As I take a look at the ordination card, printed in Irish, he sent me from Germany in 1929, I notice he died - 36 years later on the anniversary of his ordination.
Maurice and his brother Desmond (his senior by a year or so) were educated at Clongowes. After the death of their mother early in her married life, Mr. Dowling eventually married again and it was when he and his second wife came to live on Anglesea Road, a few doors from where we then lived, that the two families became friends. We, as children, came to know the second family very well, only meeting Desmond and Maurice at holiday time and, in any case, they were older than I was by six or seven years. That age gap makes a great difference in early youth, later on it does not.
I recall one incident in the boyhood of the future Jesuit perhaps never known to his step-brothers and step-sisters - to whom he was always devoted as they were young children at the time. I myself was about 10 or 11 years of age, I suppose, and it was Mrs. Dowling who related the incident to me :
Both families used to spend a month or two in Skerries in the summer. Maurice Dowling was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning he saved the life of a girl from drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr. Dowling was enjoying a read of the evening paper that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled “Bravo!” about the paragraph and silently handed the paper across to his son.
But the future Jesuit, teacher, Army chaplain, African missioner, was no quiet, retiring youth in other respects. Of a natural bright, cheerful, optimistic disposition, he was immensely popular with both girls and boys of his own age.
As a young Jesuit he learned to speak Irish fluently, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht. But most important of all, he genuinely loved the language and when home on what was to be his last “leave” he was delighted to hear from me that there were in existence Irish-speaking praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn who had died working for the Legion in Africa and, if I recollect rightly, I gave him a copy of the prayer for her canonisation printed in Irish.
We only met him for a few hours on the rare occasions he came on holidays from Rhodesia. He was always very attached to his family, relations and friends. I could never keep track of all his cousins and friends he mentioned in conversation but I do remember the names of two friends, perhaps because I know both by sight, Fr. Leonard Shiel, S.J, and Very Rev. Fr. Crean, now P.P. of Donnybrook, but Head Chaplain in the last war in which Fr. Maurice also served as chaplain.
He loved to visit the home near Naas of his step-sister, Shiela and her husband, Paddy Malone, taking a great interest in their son and three daughters. The young man is now helping to manage the farm; one of the girls is in the Ulster Bank in Baggot Street, another is training as a nurse in St. Vincent's Hospital and the third is still at school.
Thus, another Irish priest dies in voluntary exile for love of the African people. Go ndeinidh Dia trocaire ar a anam.
Nuala Ní Mhóráin
From the Leader Magazine

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 126 : Christmas 2005

MISSIONED TO ZAMBIA : MAURICE DOWLING

Taken from some 50 “portraits” submitted by Tom McGivern, who works in the Archives of the Province of Zambia Malawi.

The family of Fr. Maurice used to spend a month or two of the summer in Skerries, a seaside resort in Co. Dublin. He was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning, as a teenager, he saved the life of a girl from drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr. Dowling was reading the evening paper that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled “Bravo!” beside the passage and silently handed the paper to his son. This incident in some way sums up a characteristic of Maurice which developed at that age - modest in his achievements and helpful to others.

He was born in 1896. His father was the Registrar of the College of Science in Dublin. His mother died early in her married life leaving Maurice and his brother, Desmond, behind. Both boys went to Clongowes for their secondary education. At the age of 18, on August 18th 1914, Maurice entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg, and followed the normal course of studies followed by Irish Jesuits of the time. He was ordained on August 27th 1929. In the thirties, he spent some time in the colleges (e.g. the Crescent, Limerick) as teacher and prefect. As a young Jesuit, he learned to speak Irish, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht. He genuinely loved the language, and, when home on what was to be his last leave, he was delighted to hear that there were in existence Irish-speaking
praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn, who died working for the Legion in Africa.

Come the Second World War, Maurice volunteered as a chaplain. Just before departing, he was involved in an accident where he was thrown through the window of the bus in which he was travelling. As he lay on the ground in his own blood, he heard one of the rescuers say to another, as he nodded towards Maurice: “He's had it!” (but in much more colourful language). After the war, when the Jesuits in Northern Rhodesia were looking for men, two volunteered in 1946, to be followed by two more in 1947 - Maurice and Joe Gill. They came to Chikuni.

The Bishops had been endeavouring then to set up a Catholic Secondary school for Africans. There was only one secondary school for Africans in the whole country, a government school at Munali, which had been founded a few years before. In 1949 Canisius Secondary School opened its gates to the first class. Speaking of Maurice's work in the college during the first few years, Fr M Prokoph, who had been instrumental in getting Fr. Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him, “I have never met a more loyal man”. Fr. Prokoph described how in the initial difficult days, Maurice had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal.

While at Chikuni he would travel south to Choma at the weekend to say Mass, long before the station was opened there in 1957; also to Kalomo still further south. Then back to the school for another week of teaching. In 1962 he went to the newly built mission in Namwala as the first resident priest, bringing with him some Sisters of Charity. Later, in 1964, he moved to Civuna.

Fr. Maurice had great qualities, his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. He had a zest for life, his cheerfulness was catching. He was loyal, as Fr. Prokoph had remarked. Loyalty would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater, and to his many friends, as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army, and on the mission.

Downing, Edmond, 1870-1933, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/128
  • Person
  • 03 December 1870-07 April 1933

Born: 03 December 1870, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 19 December 1887, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 02 August 1903
Final Vows: 15 August 1906, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 07 April 1933, St Bride's Nursing Home, Galway

Part of Jesuit community, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

2nd year Novitiate at Tullabeg;
Came to Australia for Regency 1893
by 1899 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1905 at St David’s, Mold, Wales (FRA) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Edmund Dowling entered the Society in September 1887, and after novitiate and juniorate at Tullabeg, was sent to Australia for regency at Riverview, 1893-98, which included two years as first prefect 1895-96.

Newspaper obituary, 1933.
Spent childhood in Galway and attended St Ignatius College, Galway.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 8th Year No 3 1933
Obituary :
Fr Edmund Downing

The Irish Province sustained another very severe loss by the death of Father Downing, which took place at St. Bride's Home, Galway, on the Feast of the Seven Dolours, 7th April, 1933. He was 63 years of age, and spent 46 of them in the Society.
About four weeks before his death he began to suffer from headaches, and after some days, prudence suggested his removal to hospital. It was not certain what was wrong, but a tumor on the brain was suspected. He was anointed on St. Patrick’s Day. For the last fortnight he was most of the time unconscious. Each day, however, there were intervals of consciousness, and, thanks to the kind and prudent arrangement of our Fathers, he received Holy Viaticum every day, except the actual day of his death.
Father Downing was born in Limerick, 3rd December, 1870, educated at St. Ignatius' College, S.]., Galway, and began his noviceship at Dromore, 19th September, 1887. The second year and a year's juniorate were passed. in Tullabeg, to which place the noviceship had been transferred, and then his health broke down. 1892 found him at Riverview “Cur. Val”, but for the next five years he seems to have done full work at that College. He made his philosophy at Jersey, theology at Milltown, then tertianship at Mold under Pére de Maumigny, and was then sent to the Crescent. After one year he was transferred to Galway in 1906, where he remained until his death. He was eight years Prefect of Studies, thirteen Spiritual Father, Doc. twenty-six, and, during that last residence in Galway a most strenuous worker in the church, and indeed all over the city.
The people gave him a public funeral. Most Rev. Dr. O'Doherty, Lord Bishop of Galway, presided at the Office and High Mass. During the funeral, houses were shuttered and
blinds drawn all over the city. In front of the hearse marched fifty priests, the Confraternities, Sodalities and school children followed it, then came a host of pedestrians, sixty-four cars bringing up the rear.
One of the public papers writes of him as follows : “In the confessional and to those in any trouble he was especially kind with a gentle, tactful, patient kindness. He might have made
his own the words of the Master - I know Mine and Mine know Me. He was a good shepherd, and he gave his life-work for the flock. He loved his own people, his own Order, and his country, and that triple loyalty was what made him the man, the priest, the friend we knew.
The wise counsellor in worldly affairs, the devoted confessor in the church and at the bed-side of the dying, he became a great figure in the religious life of the people. He knew no dividing line between rich and poor. His early experience as a first-class athlete had given his body a grace and dignity that made him a stately personality..... But all his great powers of body as well as mind were subordinated to and sanctified by the ever present realisation of his holy calling”.
A great Churchman, a sincere and devoted friend, his memory will long be revered in the Galway that he loved, and for which he had done good so unobtrusively and so constantly.
A Father who lived for a great many years with Father Downing sends the following. Limited space prevents the insertion of the entire communication :
It is not any exaggeration to say that the Irish Province, the community of which he was a member, the city where he laboured had sustained an almost irreparable loss. To know him was to know a saint , a more Christlike and more unselfish soul, and a more devoted priest it would be hard to find. As a member of the community he was loved, his presence at recreation always enhanced it. His sermons and instructions were highly appreciated, His thorough grasp of Moral Theology, his broad-mindedness, his prudence, his zeal and union with God, his patience and complete self-abnegation, all contributed largely towards the fruitfulness with which his long years in the sacred ministry were blessed. A few lines written by a lady give a sample of his influence on countless souls : “He gave me a rule of life over eighteen years ago which I have followed faithfully ever since. It has made my life very happy, and I hope, holy”.
When his remains were laid out in the house, rich and poor streamed in to have a last look, for they considered him a saint. At the obsequies, on April 9th, the church was thronged, and a few days later His Lordship, Dr. O'Doherty, assured one of the community that he had never witnessed a more devotional or more impressive funeral service.
During a visit to Dublin, in February, 1932, Father Downing slipped on the street and broke his leg. It never mended. When he returned to Galway he was able, with the help of
crutches, to drag himself to his confessional, and continued to hear confessions to within five weeks of his death, but from the day of the accident he was never able to say Mass. RIP

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edmund Downing SJ 1870-1933
Fr Edmund Downing was born in Limerick City on December 3rd 1870. He was educated in St Ignatius Galway, where he spent most of his life as a Jesuit, and where he became part and parcel of the City’s life. When he died on April 7th 1944 he was given a public funeral. The reason for this sign of esteem can be found in the tribute paid to him in the public press :
“He loved his own people, his own Order and his country, and that triple loyalty was what made him the man, the priest, the friend we knew. The wise counsellor in worldly affairs, the devoted confessor in the Church and at the bedside of the dying, he became a great figure in the religious life of the people. A great Churchman, a sincere and devoted friend, his memory will long be revered in Galway that he loved and for which he has done good so unobtrusively and so constantly”.

He was an authority on mystic prayer and contributed articles on that subject to various periodicals.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Edmund Downing (1870-1933)

A native of Limerick, educated at St Ignatius' College, Galway, entered the Society in 1883. After the completion of his studies, he was assigned to teaching and church work at the Crescent in 1905, but remained only a year after which he was appointed to Galway. Up to a few months before his death, he was on the teaching staff of St Ignatius', but is best remembered as an earnest worker in the church and a spiritual guide of eminence.

Doyle, Charles, 1870-1949, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/129
  • Person
  • 26 October 1870-15 June 1949

Born: 26 October 1870, Dalkey, County Dublin
Entered: 14 September 1889, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1905, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1908, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 15 June 1949, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

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

Brother of Fr Willie Doyle - RIP 1917

by 1893 at Exaeten College Limburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1895 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1896 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1907 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Took First Vows at Milltown Park February 1892

◆ 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 24th Year No 4 1949

Obituary

Fr. Charles Doyle (1870-1889-1949)

He was born on 26th October, 1870 at ‘Melrose’ Dalkey, Co. Dublin, the son of Mr. Hugh Doyle, an official of the High Court of Justice in Ireland. Educated at Ratcliffe College, Leicester, by the Fathers of Charity, where he spent six years, he entered Tullabeg on 14th September, 1889. After two years' Juniorate at Milltown, he did philosophy at Exaten and Valkenburg, Holland for two years and for one year at Enghien in Belgium, and then was master for six years at Belvedere College. He studied theology at Milltown where he was ordained on 30th July, 1905. His third Probation he made at Tronchiennes. He was professed of the four solemn Vows at Belvedere on 2nd February, 1908. A brief record entered up by him in the Catalogus Primus of the year 1930 contains the following summary of the offices he held prior to his appointment as Procurator of the Province in 1925 : "Proc. dom. an. 9: Min. an. 5 ; Soc. mag. nov. an. 3 ; Rect. an. 10.'' He was Rector of the Crescent from 1912 to 1918, then for a short year Rector at Rathfarnham Castle in 1919, where he was succeeded by Fr. John Sullivan, and Rector of Belvedere College from 1919 to 1922.
During the last year of his life Fr. Doyle was subject to many infirmities and had to go to hospital frequently, but despite this he carried on manfully at his appointed tasks and observed common life with edifying fidelity: He died at St. Vincent's Hospital on 15th June, 1949.

An Appreciation :
From the above rather bald and barren collection of dates and places certain events stand out with arresting interest in the life of Fr. Charles Doyle : that he held most of the offices of trust in the Society, that in addition to having been Minister, and Socius to the Master of Novices, he was three times Rector and for nearly 25 years held the onerous post of Procurator of the Province, that he died in his 79th year within a few months of his Diamond Jubilee, a man who can deservedly be reckoned among the “bene meriti" of his generation in the Society.
It would be impossible in a short appreciation such as this to do justice to the many aspects of such a long and varied career. All we can hope to do is to give a few impressions that may serve to describe in outline :
(1) The brother of Fr. Willie.
(2) The Procurator of the Province.
(3) The Man of God

The Brother of Fr. Willie :
The reason, perhaps, why Fr. Charles Doyle's name will be best remembered by posterity is because he was the brother of a saint, or at least of a candidate for canonization. One might add that it is the only pretext he himself would have advanced as a claim for immortality: His veneration for his brother was a veritable hero-worship, the advancement of his cause a holy obsession from which his mind never deflected. There were only three pictures in his room, all of Fr. Willie, as the youth, the young priest, the missioner and chaplain.
Some may see therein an excessive family glorification, but who that has ever read "Merry in God” could not feel "proud' of having had such a brother. Fr. Doyle moreover had additional reasons for sustaining his devotion, for be alone could measure, by a mail-bag that brought letters from every corner of the globe, the universal veneration in which his saintly brother was held, and as a consequence there was none more confidant than he that God willing, the day would eventually come when Fr. Willie would be elevated to the altars of the Church.
Procurator of the Province :
Only one who has held the office of Procurator for a considerable time can appreciate the monotony of the task, the unavoidably material outlook it engenders in the mind, and the intimate contact into which it brings one with the Mammon of Iniquity. It requires much agility of mind and sublimation of the mental processes to convert every figure entered in a ledger and every letter tapped out on a typewriter into an act of the pure love of God. Fr. Doyle, however, appears to have acquired this gift and perhaps also to have discovered therein a clue to the secret of the countless aspirations made by his saintly brother. For twenty-five years he held the office of Procurator of the Province and may without exaggeration be described as the Procurator “par excellence”. Under his skilful guidance the book-keeping of the Province and in the Province was re-organised and standardised. His own books were a model of neatness, accuracy and meticulous care.
He was approachable at all times and patient with all comers, even when they broke into the middle of a long tot or disrupted the counting of a sheaf of notes. For all his manner betrayed, they might only have disturbed him in a cross-word puzzle or a game of patience. He had a keen sense of humour too and enjoyed the good-humoured banter that from time to time was levelled against the hapless holder of his office. He enjoyed the bon mot of the facetious father who said that book-keeping in the Society should be labelled “leger de main” and every holder of the office provided with a treatise on that particular form of craftmanship. No one chuckled more wholeheartedly than he at the alleged quotation from a certain Domestic Exhortation : “In olden days a subject, starting on a journey, meekly approached his superior on his knees with a request for a paternal embrace and a blessing ; now he brazenly beards the Bursar on his hind-legs with a demand for treasury notes and a voucher!”
As a " distraction” from the work of book-keeping he turned his attention to the task of censorship. For over twenty years the words “Censor Deputatus, Carolus Doyle”, were wont to meet the eye on most of the Province and Messenger Office publications. Not that this implied that he had read through everything that bore his sanctioning name on the title page, for presumably even a Censor Deputatus can appoint a deputy in his place. Such was certainly the case with “Carolus Doyle, Censor Deputatus” of many publications in the Irish language, his knowledge of which he could frankly confess was practically nil!
But book-keeping remained his paramount care. Three times within the last twelve months of his life he was compelled to go to hospital and on each occasion he insisted on bringing all the essential paraphernalia of his office with him. Perhaps, it may be urged, he acted unwisely in so doing and should have accepted the services of an “adjutant”, but error, if error there was, was one of judgement, that only served to emphasize his outstanding devotion to duty and his desire to carry out his “job in life” even to the end.
The Man of God :
But the dull routine of book-keeping did not damp his ardour for spiritual things or lessen his desire to take a share in the work of the Ministry. As a young priest and even well past middle age he was recognised as one of the outstanding preachers of the Province, distinct in delivery, sound of doctrine and above all with a telling way of driving home the truth, however unpalatable to his hearers. His Lenten lectures on “The Home” were said to have reached a financial peak, even for that famous annual feature in Gardiner St., though he himself would have been far from using such a measuring rod as a test of their success.
Every year, until his failing health compelled him to reduce the numbers, he gave from four to five retreats and only twelve months ago, in his seventy-eighth year, with sentence of death hanging over him, he conducted a priests retreat, which many a younger man would have hesitated to undertake. The “tableaux vivants”, which were a marked feature of his retreats did not win universal appreciation, but none could question the zeal and sincerity which inspired them.
Except for the purpose of giving retreats and making the annual audit of the accounts of the Province (”Praecursor Visitationis” was one of his soubriquets) he never wandered much abroad and agreed with Thomas A. Kempis “that they who do so seldom thereby become holy”. Indeed, his room was his castle and his only regular wanderings therefrom were for the purpose of making a lodgement in the bank or having a friendly interview with the Income Tax Commissioners.
For the rest, he was the “beau ideal” of Common Life. An early riser with an early Mass every morning, a man who never missed recreation or Litanies (and how grateful some tired father was when he recited them in his stead on a confession day), a man who always answered the first sound of the bell, leaving not only the letter but the figure unfinished, a man who sang his simple song on Christmas night but who also, despite every pretext, always went to bed in good time.
He was not without his idiosyncrasies, however (as what holy man is not?) and it was said of him, as of others who regulate their lives with clock-like precision, that he looked askance at those who, he suspectedwere ready to throw a spanner in the works of what they regarded as excessive routine rigidity. There were occasions too, when he could be exacting to a degree, as his companions knew to their cost. He was notoriously allergic to noise. His hearing was so acute that ever the winding of a watch or the striking of a match was said to reach his ears from overhead and woe betide the man who dropped his boots above him! No time was lost in admonishing the boot dropper, yet it was done in such a disarming fashion that no feud ensued - but the boots ceased dropping!
But, if he could be exacting at times, he was ever ready to make allowance for the foibles of others and never completely lost the human touch himself. His partiality for sweet things, even in old age, was such as would have given serious cause for alarm in the case of a school boy, and even a youngster might have envied the gusto with which he pursued the daily adventures of “Gussie Goose and Curley Wee”. “Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto”, might have been his motto, but “Merry in God” would be more appropriate and could be applied to him with the same aptitude as it was to his saintly brother. For beneath all his merriment lay an abiding sense of the Presence of God.
In that presence he closed his accounts with a smile on his face. If ever he had an overdraft in the Bank of Heaven, it has long ago been converted to a comfortable credit balance, and if his spiritual petty cash did not always balance, 'twas only a matter of pence which the great Auditor assuredly has long since overlooked. May his saintly life and simple merriment long continue to be an inspiration to all those. who are destined for the unenviable task of having care of the purse.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Charles Doyle 1870-1949
Fr Charles Doyle was born in Dublin on October 24th 1870. He entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1889. He made his Philosophical studies at Valkenburg, his Theology at Milltown Park, and his tertianship at Drongen in Belgium.

His life in the Society was spent in offices of administration, being Minister for five years, Rector for ten, and Procurator of the Province for the last twenty-five years of his life.

He was the elder brother of Fr Willie Doyle, whose life he wrote “Merry in God”, and for whose beatification her worked hard for many years.

He was an exemplary religious, an excellent member in community, and he was noted especially for his unfailing cheerfulness. In his personal life he practiced a constant severity or even austerity. Outside the Society he was well known for his Lenten Lectures delivered in Gardiner Street. As a Retreat giver he was much sought after.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1950

Obituary

Father Charles Doyle SJ

Father Charles Doyle died in St. Vincent's Nursing Home on 15th June, 1949, after a long illness patiently endured. He was born at “Melrose”, Dalkey, in 1870, and was the son of the late Mr. Hugh Doyle, an official of the High Court of Justice in Ireland. His early education was with the Fathers of Charity, Ratcliffe College, Leicestershire, where he spent six years. He had very kindly recollections of his school-days and he kept in touch with the Ratcliffe Father's up to his death last year. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1889, and passed through the various stages that the Order requires of its members - two years' novitiate in Tullabeg, two years' juniorate at Milltown Park, three years, philosophy at Valkenberg, Holland, and Enghien, Belgium, six years, teaching at Belvedere College, four years, theology at Miiltown Park, where he was ordained priest in 1905. He completed his religious training by doing his “Tertianship” or third year at Trouchiennes, Belgium.

He held responsible and important positions in the Order during his life as a priest. Immediately after his Tertiarship he was appointed Assistant Master of Novices at Tullabeg. He was Rector of Crescent College, Limerick, from 1912 to 1918, of Rathfarnham Castle in 1919, where he was succeeded by the late Father John Sullivan. He returned to Belvedere College as Rector for the next three years. From 1925 until his death twenty-four years later he was the Provincial Bursar, having charge of the accounts of the Irish Province.

Fr Charles Doyle was a brother of the late Father Willie Doyle, the well-known and saintly chaplain, who was killed in 1917 during the first world war, while administering to the soldiers on the battlefield. His admiration for his chaplain brother amounted almost to hero-worship. He laboured assiduously in collecting evidence of his brother's sanctity and he kept a list of all the favours obtained through his intercession. He was responsible for the publication of a life of Fr Willie called “Merry in God”, which was read all the world over. There were only three pictures in Father Doyle's bedroom, and they were all of Fr Willie at various stages of his career - as a young boy, as a young priest and as a chaplain.

As has already been stated, he was the Provincial Bursar for twenty-five years. But as well, at other stages of his career he was put in charge of the accounts and finances of a few of the Houses of the Irish Province. He had a great aptitude for this kind of work. Under his direction and advice the account books and all the book-keeping of the Irish Province was improved and reorganised. His own account books were perfect models of nreatness, accuracy and the greatest care. His interest in his work was very great, for instance, he had to go to hospital three times during the last year of his life. On all three occasions he insisted on bringing his account books with him. He certainly remained in harness and at his post up to the very end of his life.

He was above all a fervent religious and a man of the highest spirituality. He was a great model to all by his piety, his self-denial, his observance of rule and his observance of common life. He rose at 5.30 every day, said an early Mass and attended all the Community duties day after day with the greatest regularity. He avoided all exemptions even when his health was in a very precarious state. With all this he had a keen sense of humour, and enjoyed the good-humoured banter which is so often found in Community life. He was approachable at all times and most ready to oblige. Every year until his health gave away he spent his summer vacations in giving several retreats to priests and nuns. The retreats were greatly appreciated and are still well remembered by those who made them. About a year before his death he conducted a Priests Retreat in spite of his 78 years of age. He was also an eloquent preacher. His voice was pleasing and distinct, and as might be expected from such a man, his sermons were always most carefully prepared. On one occasion he gave a series of Lenten Lectures in Gardiner Street on the “Home”, and they drew great crowds from all parts of the city and country. These Lectures of his are regarded as among the best that were preached in Gardiner Street. And that says a great deal because the Lenten Lectures were given by some of the most distinguished preachers of Ireland and England,

He was an excellent teacher, but very strict. Some past Belvederians have still vivid recollections of his strictriess as a master. But his strict methods were tempered by kindness and justice, so that the boys had a great respect and veneration for him. As Rector of Belvedere he did much for the College. The number of students increased during his term of office, and as might be expected from his genius in the administration of temporal affairs the finances of the College greatly improved. The games also flourished under his jurisdiction. During the period he was Rector the Belvedere Team made some bold bids to win the Senior Cup, and they succeeded in winning the Junior Football Cup. Foundations were being laid for the excellent teams that Belvedere has put into the field ever since.

Father Doyle is survived by his brother Mr Robert Doyle, KC, former Recorder of Galway, to whom we extend our deepest sympathy. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Charles Doyle (1870-1949)

Born at Dalkey and educated in England, entered the Society in 1889. He pursued his higher studies in Valkenburg, Enghien and Milltown Park, Dublin where he was ordained in 1905. During his life, Father Doyle occupied many positions of trust. He came as master to the Crescent in 1911 and was appointed Rector of the College the following year. Father Doyle's rectorship at the Crescent was passed in difficult times: the college was badly in debt and, owing to the short supply of Jesuit masters, the task of main taining the school was onerous in the extreme. During his six years here, he was a strenuous worker in the classroom and the church. On leaving the Crescent, he was successively Rector of Rathfarnham Castle and Belvedere College. The last twenty-five years of his life were spent in the exacting work of bursar of the Irish Jesuit Province. During his last years, he published (anonymously) a biography of his celebrated brother, Father Willie Doyle.

Duffy, Hugh P, 1936-2017, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Scoil Colmcille, Dublin; Belvedere College SJ

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

Dunne, John A, 1944-2008, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Dunne SJ: funeral homily

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 139 : Easter 2009

Obituary

Fr John A Dunne (1944-2008)

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

Brian Grogan writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Gonzaga Record 2009

Obituary

John Dunne SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JAB SJ

Durnin, Dermot, 1913-1980, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/132
  • Person
  • 11 January 1913-06 December 1980

Born: 11 January 1913, Clontarf, Dublin
Entered: 18 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 06 December 1980, Tenerife, Spain

Part of St Francis Xavier's community, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin.

Younger brother of Des - RIP 1982

Irish Province News 56th Year No 1 1981
Gardiner Street
A week after Dermot Durnin’s death, we are still stunned by the fact. He and his quick wit will be missed very much, not only by his brethren here but also, grievously, by his “ladies” in St Monica’s. He had built up such a cheery relationship with every one of them and used to give them so much of his time that the news was really shattering and has left them still bewildered. At least they must have been comforted by the send-off we gave him: 65 priests concelebrated the Mass in a crowded church. One of the congregation remarked that the ceremony was “heavenly”. (One of the community was overheard wondering aloud if Dermot was digging his friend Pearse O’Higgins in the ribs and begging him to “tell that one again”.) His totally Christian attitude towards death, an attitude of joyful anticipation, prevents us from grudging him his reward, though this doesn't diminish our sense of loss.

On 22nd December, Fr Mark Quigley slipped away from us to make his way to Heaven: requiescat in pace! It was typical of him that his departure was so quiet and peaceful as to be almost unnoticed. When he did not get up that morning, it was found that he was only half-conscious and had the appearance of approaching death. The doctor confirmed that he had only a few hours to live. Many of the community visited him during the morning and prayed with him and for him. Though he could not speak clearly, when asked if he would like the prayers for the dying to be said, by nodding his head he acknowledged his awareness of imminent death. Just about half an hour before he died, he succeeded in pulling his crucifix up to his lips and kissing it. Three of us were with him when he breathed his last gentle breath, without the slightest sound or struggle.
Go ndéanaí Dia trócaire ar a anam mín mánla.

Obituary
Fr Dermot Durnin (1913-1931-1980)
It would of course be presumptuous to attempt to evaluate another Jesuit's quality or achievements. I only wish here to express my appreciation of Dermot Durnin. I knew him well early in his Jesuit life and at the end of it. I did not live with him at all during the central period when he was teaching.
In his young period, Dermot might well have been described as bouncy, buoyant, breezy - or something like that. In his later years these stimulating and attractive characteristics had mellowed into a very deep and helpful optimism, a reassuring hopefulness and good humour that made him many friends and gave him great influence with people. The transition seemed as easy as the transforming of blossom into fruit - but I'm sure much prayer and deliberate effort went into the process.
He was really quite a taut personality. I remember how in the novitiate he used to talk and laugh and sing in his sleep, and how hard it was to wake him gently out of sleep. He was inclined to lash out with shock when he was awakened. In the noviceship he had a few black-outs which gave rise to anxiety about his health and caused his first vows to be postponed for six months. He was always affected by strident noise in his vicinity - and seemed to wilt under excessive heartiness and loudness. But, characteristically, he would calm down the offending trumpeter with a joke rather than a dirty look.
He was always one of the good humoured people in the grim days of too early rising, excessively tense and prolonged periods of silence, along with restricted human contacts and relationships. He rode the adverse currents, and was never submerged by them.
Many sagas, myths and legends of the 30s and 40s will be lost to posterity now that he and Pearse O’Higgins have taken the long car to Glasnevin. He loved to trigger off at will any of Pearse’s stories, and would then enjoy both the story and Pearse’s absorption in the playing of the familiar record. They were both enthusiastic and reasonably skilled performers on the mouth-organ. Dermot had a very good ear for music and languages. He really loved to fire off a sentence in some more unusual language with perfect intonation, so that a speaker of that language would presume that he was fully fluent in it: he did it in Basque, Hungarian and some African language as well as Spanish, French, etc. It made immediate and friendly contact.
He played music constantly in his room. These last few years I never passed his door on the narrow corridor in Gardiner street without hearing the pleasant sounds of Mozart or Bach or someone in Dermot’s room, as he worked on his voluminous correspondence with the supporters of the JSA. Much of the harmony seems to have seeped into his letters. People loved to get them and felt he was a friend of theirs: perhaps he made giving easy. He was devoted to things Irish, but found much of Irish music, strangely, somewhat boring. One of the ways he served the elderly in St Monica's these last years was by getting them to sing at the liturgy. He brought great vitality to them, and nowhere is he more missed than there. I never saw him in action in Lourdes, but have no doubt about the tremendous love he had for the place and all whom he met. He spent some months there every year,
He was always something of a sun worshipper: I remember one villa in Termonfeckin during theology when the weather was very poor and most people spent their time indoors, playing cards or talking the hind-legs off the chairs: Dermot and I used to go down to the beach and absorb whatever rays were percolating through the mists. At the end of the fortnight, when others looked more pallid and dyspeptic than when they started their holiday, we looked as if we had been on the Riviera. So – if he had to go as soon as this – I like to think that he went with the much-loved caress of the sun on his skin; an indication of the warmth and all-embracing nature of the welcome he must have received from the Good Spirit which was his guiding light. I hope he is happy, even laughing, as I write this well-meant rubbish.
Michael Sweetman

Dermot began teaching in the Crescent, Limerick, in 1947. He was an extremely able and dedicated teacher. He could being poor-ability classes to the examination standards required. If boys were anyway weak in subjects they petitioned to be assigned to his classes. While insisting on work being done he was always bright and humorous in class.
He also helped in the production of the school operas - a feature of the school in those days – training the boys in learning and acting their parts. He was also spiritual father to the boys and in charge of some of the school sodalities as well as sub-minister, till his illness necessitated a lessening of activity.

Sr Thérèse Marie of the Poor Clares in Lourdes sent the following tribute:
We think especially of a dear and very good friend, Father Dermot Durnin (SJ, Dublin), who died unexpectedly on 6th December. This year (1980) had been his tenth year coming to Lourdes as Spiritual guide to the Michael Walsh Groups – a job that he took very much to heart, and every one of ‘his pilgrims' left Lourdes full of joy and satisfaction after the 4-5-day pilgrimage that he had helped them to make. He gave hope, joyful hope, to everyone, because he himself had complete trust in the Sacred Heart of Jesus!
Fr Durnin had a deep love for our Lady and for the Rosary, His pilgrims will never forget their nightly Rosary across the river from the Grotto, nor the little story which he loved to repeat to every group, in order to bring them all closer to Her: the story of the small child who got lost in Dublin. She was crying and frightened as onlookers and Guards questioned her: “Where do you live? Where is your home?”, and all the little one could sob out was, “It's where my mammy is!” Then Father would point out to his listeners that our home, our true home, is where Mary, our Mother, is. Surely She welcomed him in there on 8th December! We can picture him now, with that winning, almost laughing smile, saying “Why should you worry? I'm home!”
He will always be remembered here: he was part of our chapel, and we could always count on him, in the absence of our Chaplain, for the Rosary and Benediction. He came many times into the enclosure to bring holy Communion to our sick nuns. None of us looked on him as “a foreigner”. His gentle manner and discretion radiated the peace of Christ whom he carried. His visits to the parlour were a joy. We know that he will not forget us now in the heavenly country where, as he liked to say, all is glorious music and song!

Another former chaplain at Lourdes, who had met Fr Dermot there, namely Fr Hugh Gallagher, PP, Clonmany, Co Donegal, thought highly enough of him to make the long journey from farthest Inishowen to be present at the Gardiner street requiem.

Egan, John, 1875-1938, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1253
  • Person
  • 1875-1938

Born: 10 December 1875, Santry, Dublin
Entered: 7 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 01 August 1909, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1912, Coláister Iognáid, Galway
Died: 19 November 1938, St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1897 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1911 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He Entered the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, in 1893.

1895-1896 He remained at Tullabeg for his Juniorate.
1896-1899 He was sent to Enghien, France for Philosophy.
1900-1905 He was sent for Regency to Mungret College Limerick.
1905-1909 He was sent for Theology to Milltown Park Dublin
1909-1910 He made Tertianship at Drongen Belgium
1910-1914 He was sent teaching to Coláiste Iognáid Galway
1914-1916 He was sent teaching to Crescent College Limerick
1916-1919 He was sent to Australia and St Aloysius College Sydney
1919-1923 He was sent teaching to Xavier College Kew
1923-1938 He did his main work in Australia at the Richmond Parish where he was much appreciated for his wit and interesting sermons.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 14th Year No 1 1939
Obituary
Father John Egan
1875 Born, 10th December, at Santry, Co. Dublin. Educated Belvedere.
1893 Entered Tullabeg, 7th September
1894-95 Tullabeg, Novice, junior
1896-98 Enghein, Philosophy
1899-1900 Clongowes, Doc
1901-1904 Mungret, Doc,, charge of “Mungret Annual”
1905 Crescent, Doc. an. 7 mag
1906-09 Milltown, Theol
1910 Tronchiennes Tertian
1911-13 Galway, Doc. Oper
1914-15 Crescent, Praef. Stud.. Cons. dom
1916 Australia, Milson's Point. Doc. an. 13
1917-18 Milson's Point, Praef. Stud. Cons. dom., An 14 mag
1919-22 Xavier Coll, Doc. an. 19 mag, Praef. Spir. Mod. Apost, Orat etc
1923-38 Richmond, (Melbourne), Praef Spir, Cons dom 6, etc. etc. Min for 2 years

Father Egan died in Melbourne, Saturday, November 19th 1938. RIP

Father Garahy (fellow-Novice of Father Egan) kindly sent the following :
Those who knew Father Egan during the years that he lived and worked in Ireland were shocked to hear of his unexpected death in the last days of November. He taught successfully as a scholastic in Clongowes, Mungret and Crescent College, and after his Tertianship he was attached to Galway College for three years In 1914 we find him Prefect of Studies in the Crescent College. In 1916 he was appointed to the Australian mission as it then was From that year till 1919 he filled the post of Prefect of Studies in St. Aloysius College, Sydney, and from 1919 till 1923 worked as a Master in Xavier College, Melbourne. Since then until his death he was employed as Operarius in Richmond parish, Melbourne.
Although many years have passed since his departure for Australia, Mr. John Egan is still well remembered by his Irish Brethren as a forceful and energetic teacher in the College. Mentally alert and keenly interested in his work, his pupils respected him for his thoroughness and clarity of exposition, and few were the slackers to be found in Mr. Egan's class.
The writer, a fellow Novice, remembers him in those Noviceship days as an edifying religious, with a keen sense of humour and an uncanny faculty for repartee. Years afterwards in the Tertianship, when the acquaintance was renewed, Father Egan had lost nothing of his geniality and good spirits. He went through that period of formation none the less, with the same spirit of earnestness and piety that he had shown as a novice in Tullabeg.
To his Brethren in Australia we offer our sincere sympathy.

◆ The Aloysian, Sydney, 1938

Obituary

Father John Egan SJ

Few members of the Jesuit. Order in Melbourne enjoyed wider popularity than Rev John Egan, whose sudden and unexpected death on Saturday morning caused poignant regret in Richmond, where he had been stationed for the past twelve years. He was loved by young and old, and his death is a severe loss to his Order.

Rev Fr Egan, who was born in Dublin in December, 1875, was only 18 years of age when he entered the Society of Jesus, and he was educated in Belvedere College, Dublin. For several years he taught in Jesuit colleges in Ireland, and thirty years ago he came to Australia, where the remainder of. his life was spent. He was a professor in colleges of his Order in Sydney and Melbourne, where his thorough work won the admiration of the staff associated with him and the students, and twelve years ago he became attached to the parish of St Ignatius', Richmond, where by his geniality and happy disposition he entrenched himself in the hearts of the parishioners. For some time he had not been feeling very well, but he continued doing his parish work until death intervened. Throughout Richmond and in other parts the passing of Fr Egan is very keenly mourned, He gave his best to the sacred ministry, and he worked zealously and devotedly to the end. May his soul rest in peace.

“The Advocate”

◆ Mungret Annual, 1937

Obituary

Father John Egan SJ

Father Egan was born in Dublin in December, 1875, and entered the Society of Jesus at the age of 18. As a novice he was an edifying religious with a keen sense of humour, and an uncanny faculty for repartee. When he came to Mungret, in 1902, he threw himself heart and soul into the work of the College. He was a forceful and energetic teacher, and many of the boys in his higher classes will remember his thoroughness, and clarity of expression; and at the same time will recall in what high respect they held him, for few were the slackers to be found in his class. The whole burden of running the College plays, and erecting the stage, lay on his shoulders - this was no easy task, for in those days plays were held in the Apostolics' dormitory, and the stage had to be put up and taken down within twenty four hours. In addition, in some mysterious way, he found time to edit the :Mungret Annual”. The “Annual” of these years were full of local and topical interest, for Mr Egan was an outstanding editor.

After ordination, he taught in Galway and in the Crescent College, Limerick. In 1916 he was appointed to the Australian mission, as it then was, and was for some years in St. Aloysius College, Sydney, and Xavier College, Melbourne. In 1923 he was attached to the parish of St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, and laboured, there till his death. Speaking at the Requiem High Mass, His Grace the Archbishop of Melbourne paid high tribute to the memory of Father Egan :

“If ever there was one man amongst the clergy, diocesan and regular, who gave an example in his own life of what a good shepherd ought to be, that one was Father Egan. He was not one to appear much in the public eye, and he was not one to attract, or much less seek, notoriety of popularity of any kind, but he was always about his Master's work. He knew how to do it because he moulded himself on the Master, and he did it well. The people of Richmond, and especially the poor, will miss him for many days. I had many opportunities of coming in contact with him, and I know the interest that he took in the people, and his sympathy with the poor and the tact with which he was able to deal with all. I never came in contact with Father Egan without being edified; he was indeed a genuine and loyal priest. His work was done, and it was done well, and the time had come for his Master to call him to his eternal reward. Let us pray for him”.

RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father John Egan (1875-1938)

A native of Santry, Co. Dublin, was educated at Belvedere College and entered the Society in 1893. He was at the Crescent for one year of his regency, 1905-06. The period of his higher studies was spent in Belgium and Dublin where he was ordained in 1909. On his return he was appointed prefect of studies, but after two years, 1914-16, was sent out to Australia where he continued his work in the colleges. The last fifteen years of his life was spent in church work at Melbourne.

Erraught, Joseph, 1909-1974, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/736
  • Person
  • 29 October 1909-24 April 1974

Born: 29 October 1909, Foxford, County Mayo
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 24 April 1974, Crescent College, Limerick

Older brother of Michael Erraught - RIP 1972

Early education at St Mary’s CBS Tralee, County Kerry

Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 49th Year No 2 1974

Obituary :

Fr Joseph Erraught (1909-1974)

Although Fr Erraught had had a seizure in 1972 it was not generally known, apart from his own Community, that he had a heart complaint and the sad news of his sudden death was thus an accentuated grief. His brother, Fr Michael, though younger, predeceased him, again suddenly, in 1971, from a similar ailment and within a week of Fr Joe’s death the sole surviving member of that generation of the family, Mrs Bernard MacSweeney of Tralee, succumbed in the same way,
Fr Joe was born in Foxford, Co. Mayo, on 29th October 1909, but the family in his childhood moved to Tralee where Joe attended the Christian Brothers' schools, primary and secondary. He entered the novitiate at Tullabeg on 1st September 1928, one of twenty, among whom were Patrick Ó Brolcháin, Alphonsus O’Connell and Walter O’Connor, between the latter of whom and Joe there was knit a friendship that continued all through their studies and later years until, necessarily, Fr Walter's status to Zambia partly severed the companionship. They both entered into the humorous quizzing to which they were occasionally subjected as a comment on their partnership. Joe had a keen sense of humour and the baiting, eg about the confidential position he held in Fr Paddy Kenny's esteem in Milltown during his years in theology, generally evoked a hearty laugh enhanced by the merriment of his eyes. He lived strenuous days; his intelligence was keen and he was arduously industrious. He secured a distinguished degree at Rathfarnham and was retained a fourth year in the Juniorate during which he gained an MA in Irish.
1934-36: Tullabeg, now changed to a philosophate, and he completed the course in two years when he was assigned to Belvedere for Colleges. He was a very competent teacher with classes well in control; his alert, energetic manner marked him out as one to be respected, though kindly, and he won the esteem of pupils when life-long friendships were initiated.
1939: Milltown, theology; it might appear that dogmatic theology was his metier did he now show a like competence in other branches of the curriculum: if an opinion was sought among his contemporaries at Milltown there would probably be a consensus opting for him a specialisation in Canon Law but in fact it was not so decided when after ordination, 1942, and tertianship at Rathfarnham, 1943-44, the status appointed him to a post-graduate course at Maynooth. In 1947-48 he lectured on some of the subsidiary subjects at Milltown but work more congenial was allotted to him in the latter year when he joined the Rathfarnham community as assistant director of retreats.
This work which was, it may be said, to engross his interest and attention led to his appreciating the importance of pastoral psychology and, thorough - as was his character, he made himself familiar with the extensive literature concerned with that and kindred subjects. In a relatively short time he was regarded as an authority and was consulted frequently in contexts apart from his more routine commitments.
He was a ready speaker - a distinction and authority, as it were, emanated from him; he had amassed a store of knowledge always at command, During this period at Rathfarnham the direction of the Cinema Workers at Gardiner Street was under his care and possibly it was then that he conducted the Novena of Grace which was repeatedly alluded to in later years by a seasoned critic at Gardiner Street as the best he ever heard.
1953: Promoted to Mission and Retreat Staff with base at Emo Park; his activity was incessant.
1956: Rathfarnham again as Director of Retreats; during this time he was invited to co-operate with Dr J N Moore in the treatment of psychiatric patients at St Patrick’s Hospital. He had regular hours of attendance; among the patients and with the staff he won golden opinions to which the hospital authorities readily testified.
If it was with the desire to give him a more sedentary outlet that Fr. Joe was appointed to the Retreat House at Tullabeg in 1962 the desire was amply fulfilled; his assiduity in the confessional, his readiness to converse with and guide those who came, frequently from far distances, to consult him, his preparedness and variety in arranging retreat lectures, made Rahan well-nigh a place of pilgrimage,
The years from 1969 on at the Crescent Church, Limerick, were largely a repetition of the same apostolic work, save possibly with even wider horizons leading ultimately to the establishment of the Limerick Mental Welfare Association eighteen months ago, to which he was by universal choice elected Chairman.
When he expressed the desire - as noted among the Crescent items in this issue, that he be relieved of the office of Chairman, he must have realised that his energies were declining; the heart attack in 1972 attracted little notice but the strain thereafter must have been cumulative. He carried on, nevertheless.
What was Fr Joe’s attitude in his approach to God? He was loyal to the traditional pieties of the Society; he loved the “beauty of the Lord's house” and had a meticulous regard for the rubrics the result or more probably the cause of his being Master of Ceremonies in whatever house to which he was assigned through out his scholasticate.
On April 24th while transacting some bit of business down town in Limerick he collapsed; he was assisted immediately and conveyed to Barrington’s Hospital where on admission he was pronounced dead, At the obsequies at the Crescent Church, April 26th, concelebrated Mass was participated in by almost forty priests and there was a thronged assistance of the laity. The funeral later proceeded to Mungret for interment. RIP. Among the mourners was his sister, Mrs MacSweeney, and her family; she and they little calculating that she was to follow him so closely. We offer sincerest sympathy to Mr MacSweeney and family, the sole ncar relations. RIP

Irish Province News 55th Year No 4 1980

A tribute in memory of Fr. Joseph Erraught ( † 24th April 1974)

And now there is a question I must ask:
Is it with saddened cowardice that we mask
Acceptance of God's will in calling one
From us who needed him?... That dear, dear one
Whom we shall miss, whose listening ear was there
With kind advice--that Man of God, so rare , .,
Alone and lost we felt. No hand to hold
In friendship's clasp of understanding grip;
Unanchored in a sea, each one a ship
Tossed in the storms of life when he had gone .
Can we be blamed for that? And yet, no one
Was strong enough to say : 'It is God's will
That he no longer works on earth': but still,
We felt that final peace in work well done,
And pride in having shared with him the stone
He rolled away from inner tombs of thought
And so released us from ourselves, and sought
For us to find our peace again and know
That sunshine of God's ways melts deepest snow
Of troubles for us all.... My heart and head
Now tell me that he lives, no longer dead
And lost to us, for now he is with God.
That man who walked with Him on earth for good
And understanding of our minds, he lives
Again for us in every day and gives
The courage that we need to keep in sight
The aims of God as seen through gentle light
Of all he was and is, with every call
For help, when we reach out and touch a wall
Or have our backs to it in sorrow's tide
For now he lives forever by our side,
Frances Condell (ex-Mayor of Limerick)

Fallon, John, 1875-1937, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/144
  • Person
  • 18 August 1875-17 September 1937

Born: 18 August 1875, Dublin
Entered: 11 November 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 01 August 1909, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1911, Mungrtet College SJ, Limerick
Died: 17 September 1937, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1898 at Enghien, Belgium (CAMP) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1899
by 1910 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1927 at Leeds, Yorkshire (ANG) working
by 1928 at Holywell, Wales (ANG) working

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
John Fallon entered the Society in November 1893. In the later part of 1899 he was sent to Australia where he taught at St Aloysius' College, 1900-02. In 1903 he was involved in a reorganisation of the Jesuit scholastics in Australia and was moved to Riverview. From there he went to Xavier, 1904-06, where he taught and assisted with the boarders.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 13th Year No 1 1938
Father John Fallon
1875 Born, 18th August, in Dublin, Educated at Belvedere
1893 Tullabeg, Novice, Entd. 11th Nov
1895 Tullabeg, Rhetoric
1897 Enghien, Philosophy
1899 Sydney (Australia), St. Aloysius, Bourke St., Doc., etc
1902 Sydney, House of Exercises. Ad. disp. P, Superioris, with 10 others
1903 Sydney, Riverview, Doc., care of boats
1904 Melbourne, Kew, Doc., etc
I906 Milltown, Theol. , Ordained, 1909
1909 Tronchiennes, Tertian
1910 Mungret, Doe., etc
1914 Crescent, Doc. Open., etc
1919 Rathfarnharn, Miss. Excurr, Conf. N.N
1921 Galway, Doc. Oper. Exam. and. N.N
1922 Mungret, Doc. an, 20 Mag. , Conf. NN. et alum
1925 England-Leeds, Liverpool, Prescot, Oper
I927 N. Wales, Holywell, Oper
1930 Milltown, Trod. exerc. spir
1931 Milltown, Trad. exerc. spir., Adj. dir. dom. exerc
1932 Gardiner St., Oper., Dir. School, S. F. Xavier
1935 Gardiner St., Oper., Dir. School, S. F. Xavier, Penny dinners
1937 Died at St. Vincent's, Dublin, Friday, I7th Sept.-R.I.P

As may be gathered from the above, Father Fallon's 44 years in the Society is an excellent example of the life of a Jesuit “Operarius”. There was nothing outstanding in it, nothing remarkable, Unless indeed the performance of all his duties faithfully and well, over such a long period is remarkable enough and Father Fallon did that.
He was naturally very reserved, and that fact had to be taken into account when dealing with him. He was straightforward and honest. In religious life he was very exact, very careful in dealing with others, never saying anything against charity, was always in the right place and time for every duty. To the Confessional he was most attentive, indeed it is quite certain that his attention was such that it hastened his death.
During his College career he had to deal chiefly with the lower classes. When he went to Gardiner Street he got charge of the choir, but the object of the appointment was to preserve order for Father Fallon was not a musician, the technical part was done by the Organist, He took a more active part in dealing with the Catechism class held in Gardiner Street every Sunday after last Mass. Besides appointing a number of excellent young men and girls to teach the classes, he gave an instruction every Sunday when their work was done.
He was also quite at home in dealing with St. Francis Xavier's National School, and gave the children frequent instructions. Finally, he effected many first-rate and far-reaching changes when managing the Penny Dinners.
In a word, Father Fallon's life was spent in dealing with the less attractive works of the Society. But he did these works well and is now, please God, reaping his reward.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1937

Obituary

Father John Fallon SJ

Less well known to Belvederians was a relative of the doctor’s, who was also Belvedere boy. Father John Fallon SJ, was born in 1875, and was eucated entirely at Belvedere till the year 1893, when he entered the Jesuit novicehip, but though he taught for many years in our southern colleges and laboured for still more on the mission staff, and since 1932 in Gardiner Street, strangely enough, he was never one of the Belvedere community, yet he retained a real affection for the school and a gratitude to its training, as the present writer can testify. His own exact and devoted life was a credit to his school. For some years before his death, as manager of the Gardiner Street Schools, he had an oppotunity to put at God's service his own talent for bringing young souls to God, and I leading children to piety and discipline by interest and affection.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1938

Obituary

Father John Fallon SJ

Father Fallon was born in Dublinin 1875, and was educated at Belvedere College. He entered the Society of Jesus in November, 1893. When he had completed his philosophical studies, he went to Australia and was appointed to the teaching staff of St Aloysius and St Ignatius, Sydney, and later on at Xavier, Melbourne. He returned to Ireland for his theological studies, and was ordained at Milltown Park in 1909. His priestly life was spent in teaching and in giving missions and retreats. During his period of residence in England he was attached to the church of the Society of Jesus in Leeds; and for three years was parish priest of Holywell, North Wales.

Father Failon was a member of the teaching staff in Mungret from 1910 to 1914; and in 1922 he returned to the College to take charge of the Study, a post which he filled for three years. Although Father Fallon was of a retiring disposition, the boys quickly came to know and appreciate his kindliness of heart. He would never tolerate any nonsense, but at the same time knew how to temper justice with mercy.

In 1932 Father Failon was attached to the Church of St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin. Early last year he contracted a serious malady, and after a short illness he died on September 17th, 1937. May he rest in peace.

LD

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father John Fallon (1875-1937)

A native of Dublin and educated at Belvedere College, entered the Society in 1893. His regency was spent in the Jesuit College in Australia. He made his higher studies in Belgium and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1909. Of his eleven years as master in the colleges, five were spent in the Crescent, 1914-1919. The remaining years of his life were spent as missioner, retreat-giver, or church-worker at Gardiner St, Dublin.

Farley, Charles, 1859-1938, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/145
  • Person
  • 01 August 1859-20 August 1938

Born: 01 August 1859, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 23 September 1888, St Beuno’s, Wales
Final Vows: 02 February 1897, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin
Died: 20 August 1938, St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg

by 1888 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying

Irish Province News 13th Year No 4 1938

Gardiner St :
Father Charles Farley, who had been failing visibly for over a year, was called to his reward on August 20th at 6.5 a.m., passing away peacefully after some days of semi-consciousness. He leaves a splendid record of fruitful labor behind him, For years he was the popular men's confessor in the church. He was indefatigable in his faithful and prompt attention to the “BOX”. Succeeding the gigantic and stentorian Father Bannon, to whom he was a marked contrast in many ways, Father Farley did not seem likely to prove suitable as Director of the Commercial Sodality. His heart was in the work, he lived for those men, his genial personality and unceasing solicitude for every individual in the Sodality - he knew every member by name - overcame his heavy handicap of delicate health and diffidence in public speaking. A very large body of Sodalists attended on August 21st at the 8 o'clock Mass
to offer the Holy Communion for the repose of his soul. In the afternoon when the remains were received in the church a larger body assembled to recite the Rosary. At the Office and Requiem and even at the graveside, hundreds of Sodalists, leaving their business, were present to pay their last tribute of respect to the venerable Spiritual Director who had served them loyally for nearly thirty years. R.l.P.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 4 1938

Father Charles Farley died at St. Vincent's, Dublin, on Saturday 20th August, 1938

Irish Province News 14th Year No 1 1939

Obituary

Father Charles Farley

1859 Born 1st August, Dublin
1877 Entered Milltown, 7th September
1878 Milltown, Novice
1879 Milltown, Junior
1880 Milltown, Philosophy
1882-85 Tullabeg, Prefect
1886-88 St. Beuno's, Theology
1889-91 Tullabeg, Min. Proc., etc
1892 Mungret, Min
1893-94 Belvedere, Min., Adj. Dir., Messenger, e tc
1895 Tullabeg, Agit. 3. Prob
1896-1900 Belvedere, Min, Doc., Praef. Sod. for Boys, etc
1901-03 Gardiner St., Min., Proc., Edit. “Memorials”
1904 Crescent, Min., Proc., Doc., Praes. Sod. for. Boys
1905 Belvedere, Min. Proc., Edit “Messenger”, and “Madonna”
1906-08 Clongowes, Proc. Cons. dom, etc,, etc
1909-10 Clongowes, Proc. Cons. do., Praef. Spir
1911-38 Gardiner St., Praes. Sod., Pro vir. mercan, Edit “Memoriales”.
He was Proc. Prov. from 1913 to 1924. Besides doing the ordinary work of the Church he was, at times, Proc. dom. Conf. N. N., Cons. dom.. etc.. etc

Father Farley died at St. Vincent's, Dublin, Saturday, 20th August, 1938

Father Campbell has kindly sent us the following :
It is not easy to give an account of Father Farley's life before his final appointment to Gardiner Street, owing to the fact that he held so many offices in all the Houses of the Province with the exception of Galway.
Father Farley was born in Dublin, August 1st, 1859, and was educated at Tullabeg, where he had as companions Father Thomas Murphy, who predeceased him by about two years, and Father James Brennan, still happily with us.
He entered the Society at Milltown Park, September 7th, 1877 where he remained for the Noviceship, Juniorate, and Philosophy, at the end of which he was Prefect at Tullabeg for four years. In 1886 we find him at St; Beuno's for Theology and was ordained there two years later. If he had lived two months longer he would have celebrated his priestly Golden jubilee.
Returning to Ireland, he was Minister at various times in Tullabeg, Mungret, The Crescent, Belvedere (three times), Gardiner St. , at Clongowes, Spiritual Father for a couple of years, and in Gardiner St. for seven years Proc. Prov., and for some time he assisted in the “Messenger” Office.
But the real work of his life was the direction of the Commercial Sodality. This Sodality was established by Father Bannon, and on his death, in 1914, its direction fell to Father Farley. This was the great work of his life, into which he put all his energy for 27 years. He was never known to be absent from the various meetings of the Sodality, He so arranged his Retreats, vacation, etc as to enable him to meet the Sodality on every occasion when they assembled. He knew every member by name and was indefatigable in looking them up if they happened to be absent any length of time. When any one was unwell he made it his business to call and inquire for him, and all this in spite of his very delicate health.
The Civic Guards seem to have been his special friends. With them as also with the Tram Conductors he always had a cheery word when he met them. The writer of these lines was frequently asked, especially in shops “How is Father Farley? What a kind gentleman he is. Pity his health is so poor”
As long as health allowed him, he was to be found in the church during the hours appointed for confessions, and every morning he was in his confessional for half an hour before breakfast. In spite of many difficulties “he did wonderful things in his life”. A faithful servant of God and man. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1939

Obituary

Father Charles Farley SJ

Last year we congratulated Father Farley on the celebration of his Diamond Jubilee as a member of the Society of Jesus, this year we had hoped to still further felicitate him on his Golden Jubilee as a priest, but the Great High Priest called him to Himself. Father Farley died at St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, on the 20th August, 1938.

Father Farley was born in Dublin, August 1st, 1859, and entered Tullabeg as a small boy of ten years in 1869. He had as companions there the late Father Michael Browne and Father Tom Murphy and two other members of the Society, who are still happily with us, Father N J Tomkin and Father James Brennan.

On September 7th, 1877, Father Farley entered the Society at Milltown Park where he remained for the Noviceship, Juniorate and Philosophy, at the end of which he was Prefect in Tullabeg for four years. In 1886 we find him at St. Beuno's for Theology and there he was ordained two years later,

In the following years we find him holding various posts in Tullabeg, Mungret, Sacred Heart College, Limerick, Belvedere, and Clongowes and another seven years in Gardiner Street, Dublin. He also assisted for some time in the Messenger Office.

But the real work of his life was the direction of the Commercial Sodality. This Sodality was established by Father Bannon, and on his death, in 1914, its direction fell to Father Farley. This was the great work of his life into which he put all his energy for twenty seven years. He was never known to be absent from the various meetings of the Sodality. He so arranged bis Retreats, vacation, etc., as to enable him to meet the Sodality on every occasion when they assembled. He knew every member by name and was indefatigable in looking them up if they happened to be absent any length of time. When any one was unwell he made it his business to call and inquire for him, and all this in spite of his very delicate health.

The Civic Guards seem to have been his special friends. With them, as also with the Tram conductors he, always had a cheery word when he met them.

In fact, we might say that Father Farley had a cheery word for everyone and the very first time you met him you felt that here was a real friend, one who would always think well of you no matter what happened.

As long as health allowed him, he was to be found in the church at Gardiner Street during the houars appointed for confessions, and every morning he was in his confessional for half an hour before breakfast. In spite of many difficulties “he did wonderful things in his life”; a faithful servant of God and man. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Charles Farley (1859-1877)

Born in Dublin and educated at Tullabeg College, entered the Society in 1878. He was ordained in 1888. In the years following his studies, he was assigned to the post of minister in various houses and spent one year at the Crescent, 1904-05. His long connection with Gardiner St began in 1911 when he took charge of the commercial sodality. He was one of the most beloved priests ever associated with Gardiner St church.

Ffrench, Gregory, 1903-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/147
  • Person
  • 22 December 1903-02 October 1985

Born: 22 December 1903, Kirkcaldy, Fifeshire, Scotland
Entered: 31 August 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1934, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 02 October 1985, St John’s Hospital, Limerick

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1924 at Lyon, France (LUGD) studying
by 1927 in Australia - Regency
by 1937 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Gregory Ffrench entered the Society in 1921, and after novitiate in Tullabeg did juniorate at Fourvière where his health failed in the over-strict regime, and he returned to Rathfarnharn Caste, 1924-25. Now seriously affected by consumption he was sent to Australia where he worked at Burke Hall, 1925-26, and then moved to Riverview until 1928, where he was third division prefect. At Riverview Ffrench made a complete recovery and he returned to Ireland. His Irish colleagues described him as a quiet person, easy to talk to, a man of wide interests with a gentle sense of humor. He was a storehouse of knowledge, extremely well read, and had a very penetrating and accurate mind'. He was a tireless worker.
Amongst Ffrench's claim to fame in Australia was that he severely strapped a young boarder from the country who had been in Riverview only a couple of hours for walking on the front lawns of the College. Despite this, the young student, Charles Fraser, later joined the Society and gave most of his life to teaching at Riverview.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 60th Year No 4 1985

Obituary

Fr Gregory Ffrench (1903-1921-1985)

Born on 22nd December 1903. 31st August 1921: entered SJ. 1921-23 Tullabeg, noviciate. 1923-24 Lyon-Fourvière, juniorate. 1924-25 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1925-28 Australia, regency: 1925-26 Melbourne, Burke Hall; 1926-28 Sydney, Riverview. 1928-31 Ireland, philosophy: 1928-30 Milltown; 1930-31 Tullabeg. 1931-35 Milltown, theology. 1935-36 St Beuno's, tertianship.
1936-38 Emo, socius for scholastic novices to novicemaster, 1938-39 Belvedere, editorial assistant, Irish Monthly and Messenger. 1939-42 Mungret, spiritual father of students; teaching. 1942-50 Clongowes, spiritual father of the boys; teaching, 1950-51 Crescent, teaching. 1951-62 Emo, retreats. 1962-85 Tullabeg, Eucharistic Crusade: assistant; 1970, regional director; 1973 director; also retreat work. 1985 Crescent. Died in St John's hospital, Limerick, on 2nd October 1985.

Entering the noviciate from Clongowes, Gregory Ffrench looked younger than his seventeen or so years, but his boyish appearance was deceptive. He was a mature young man with firmly held views which he was well able to defend. He was a quiet person - one never heard him raise his voice - but he could be quite decisive in his replies.
After his noviciate he was sent for a year's juniorate to Fourvière, Lyon, France. The over-strict regime there told on his delicate health, and after a year in Rathfarnham, seriously affected by tuberculosis, he was packed off to Australia. There he made a wonderful recovery, so that he was able to return to Ireland to complete his studies.
A quiet person, I said, easy to talk to, with a gentle sense of humour. Hence he made a very pleasant companion and a good “community man”, His spiritual life was in no way ostentatious, but it went very deep, and on occasion would flash forth in a phrase or a comment.
The last sentence of St John's Gospel is: “There were many other things that Jesus did; if all were written down, the world itself, I suppose, would not hold all the books that would have to be written”. In the same way I wonder how many books would have to be written to describe all the works that Fr Gregory Ffrench did in his day. It would be no exaggeration to say that from the day he entered the Society of Jesus, the amount of time he spent not thinking of things of God would hardly add up to one whole hour. As far as I could estimate, his mind was always set upon the work of spreading the Kingdom of God and the salvation of souls. For many years in all parts of the country I travelled and worked with him, setting up ‘pockets' of prayer at Crusader centres, giving retreats and missions, and organising various days: days of renewal, of Crusader work, of recollection, Never once in all that time did I find the slightest reason for saying that anything he did or proposed was unsatisfactory. To work with him was a great privilege, and a source of valuable experience. He was the easiest man in the world to get on with. His deep humility, I would say, was the foundation and source of all his wonderful qualities.
I don't think anyone could mention any virtue which Gregory did not possess. I imagine I could run through all the virtues like generosity, patience, tolerance, cheerfulness, prayerfulness, self-giving, and the rest, and find examples of these virtues manifested in his Christ-like living. I am inclined to think that he could also have been exercising virtues that neither I nor anyone else noticed. He was not in any way a show-off. For me he was the perfect example of what Christ asks of us when He says “Unless you become as little children you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Fr Ffrench was a storehouse of knowledge concerning almost everything that had to do with the spreading of the Word of God. He was extremely well-read, and his knowledge embraced every subject. He had a very penetrating accurate mind, and the conclusions he drew from his observations were nearly always correct. In his room, or on the road, or in school class-rooms, he was indefatigable in his work and in his service of those he judged would need his help.
He had wonderful sympathy for the hardships of the poor, and his practical way of helping them was remarkable - even to the extent of supplying them with foodstuffs from the manufacturers. The amount of help, both spiritual and material, which he gave to the people around Tullabeg is inestimable. In spite of being probably the busiest man in the Province, he could always find time to help people out of difficulties, even to the extent of taking out his car and driving them long distances, or otherwise arranging the solutions to their problems, even financial.
When at home he was constantly writing: typing guidelines for the Crusaders, articles for provincial newspapers, letters to persons in authority urging some reforms or calling attention to abuses. He had all the interests of the Irish province at heart.The story will never be told of all he did to keep Tullabeg going as a powerhouse of spirituality and as a viable retreat house. There are many who are now priests, or preparing for the priesthood, who owe their vocations to the interest Fr Ffrench took in them and the valuable help he gave them. In one family near Tullabeg, thanks entirely to his help, two boys are preparing for the priesthood.
He never seemed to tire or become in any way discouraged. The state of things never got him down': everything seemed to be simply a challenge to the work of saving souls, and he enjoyed the challenge. I never heard him complaining, but I frequently heard him rejoicing and praising God because of the work others were doing for Him.
For myself, when Fr Ffrench died, I felt that something which could never be replaced had gone out of my life that the whole world had lost something incredibly valuable. I asked myself: Who could take his place? ... and I have not yet found the answer.

Finegan, Francis J, 1909-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/717
  • Person
  • 18 February 1909-07 March 2011

Born: 18 February 1909, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland / Castleblaney, County Monaghan
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1945, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 07 March 2011, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Early education at St Macartan's College, Monaghan
Tertianship at Rathfarnham

by 1927 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1956 at St Albert’s Seminary, Ranchi, India (RAN) teaching
by 1976 at Nantua, Ain, France (GAL) working
by 1979 at Belley, France (GAL) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fin-again/

The country, the Society of Jesus, the Irish Province and the Gardiner Street community combined beautifully and joyously to celebrate the first Irish Jesuit to reach the venerable
age of one hundred years. Forty Jesuits gathered on 18 February to toast Proinsias O Fionnagain, our “great gift of grace”, as Derek Cassidy, Superior of the Gardiner Street community, said in his warm, welcoming words. What were the messages and gifts? Read more: President Mary McAleese sent a moving letter and a cheque which topped €2500. From Derek Cassidy a card for one hundred Masses. Fr Provincial read a letter from Fr General who mentioned, among many compliments and accomplishments, the fact that Frank’s piano playing has not led to arthritic fingers. John Dardis also read from a poem composed by Fr Tom McMahon before he died, for this special milestone in Frank’s life and the life of the Province. Then the man himself spoke: in Engliish, Irish, French and Latin we heard lovely lines from St Paul and Cardinal Newman. The emotions must have been bubbling away inside, but the voice, apart from a faltering pause, was clear and strong. Then a lovely surprise: Mrs Bridie Ashe and her staff (who pulled out all the stops with the balloons, banners and photos all over the house of Frank wearing the Lord Mayor’s chain of office) presented a beautiful sculpture of St Ignatius, brought from Spain.
The beginning was memorable. All forty diners were upstanding when Frank made his entrance, led by Tom Phelan playing the bagpipes. Tears were wiped from eyes as the musical melody harmonised the room, and Frank took his place between Derek Cassidy and John Dardis, and opposite his nephew who had flown in from Berlin for the party. Next month there will be another celebration for family. Finegan, fin, the end, is again and again and fin-again!

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/our-first-centenarian-an-t-athair-o-fionnagain/

Our first centenarian, An t-Athair Ó Fionnagáin
Wednesday 18 February sees a unique birthday. For the first time an Irish Jesuit has turned a hundred. In the face of Fr Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin you see a man prone to gratitude, with a wardrobe full of memories: of a Spartan early life in Monaghan during World War I; of noviciate in Tullabeg – Frank is the last survivor of that house. He was a teacher of classics in Crescent, Galway and Clongowes; and of philosophy in Ranchi, India. He is a writer, pianist, historian, archivist and librarian, and by his researches contributed heavily to the beatification of Dominic Collins. In 1975, as he qualified for the old age pension, he volunteered for the French mission, and dressed in beret and clergyman served two under- priested areas, Nantua and Belley, for seven years before returning to research and the Irish Mass in Gardiner Street. We thank God, as Frank himself does, for the blessings of his first hundred years.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuit-who-taught-saint-101/

Jesuit who taught saint turns 101
The Jesuit priest who taught Saint Alberto Hurtado English, Fr Frank Finnigan SJ, celebrated his 101st birthday on Thursday 18 February. He is the first Irish Jesuit to live to
such an age. As well as receiving the birthday wishes of his fellow Jesuits in the Gardiner St Community, he also got a congratulatory telegram and cheque from President McAleese. Fr Finnegan’s student Alberto Hurtado was a Chilean Jesuit who died in 1952 and was canonised on 23 October 2005. After joining the Jesuits he came to Ireland and stayed with the Jesuits in Rathfarnham where Fr Finnigan taught him. Fr Finnegan is a fluent Irish speaker. Also, he was a teacher of classics in Crescent, Galway and Clongowes, and a teacher of philosophy in Ranchi, India. He is a writer, pianist, historian, archivist and librarian. His researches contributed heavily to the beatification of Dominic Collins.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/oldest-ever-irish-jesuit-goes-to-god/

Oldest-ever Irish Jesuit goes to God
Yesterday, 7 March, Fr Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin died peacefully in his room in Gardiner Street. Last month he had been touched and delighted to receive a message from President
McAleese, congratulating him on his 102nd birthday. He was the first and only Irish Jesuit to reach 100, and up to recently he thought nothing of walking across the city from Drumcondra to Milltown. In the last few days he had been rising later in the morning. On Sunday he celebrated a public Mass in Irish in Gardiner Street church. Then his strength faded rapidly, and yesterday he went to the Lord peacefully in his own bedroom. While he is remembered by many Irishmen as a teacher of Greek and Latin, he had also given years of his life as a missionary in India and a Curé in France. May he rest in peace.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011

Obituary

Fr Prionsias Ó Fionnagáin (1909-2011)

18th February1909: Born in Glasgow (Nationality: Irish)
Early education at Castleblaney Boys' School and St. Macartan's Seminary
1st September 1927: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
2nd September 1929: First Vows at Tullabeg
1929 - 1932: Rathfarnham - Studied Classics at UCD
1932 - 1935: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1935 - 1937: Mungret College - Teacher
1937 - 1938: Clongowes Wood College - Teacher
1938 - 1942: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1941: Ordained at Milltown Park
1942 - 1943: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1943 - 1952: Crescent College, Limerick – Teacher (Latin and Greek)
2nd February 1945: Final Vows
1952 - 1954: Clongowes – Teacher (Latin and Greek)
1954 - 1957: St. Albert's College, Ranchi, India - Teaching Philosophy
1957 - 1961: Crescent College – Teacher (Latin and Greek)
1961 - 1973: Leeson Street
1961 - 1973: Writer; Librarian
1962 - 1966: Assistant Eitor of Studies
1973 - 1974: Province Archivist
1974 - 1981: France - Curate in Parishes Nantua and Belley
1981 - 2011: SFX Gardiner Street - Work included assisting in the church; Writer; Librarian; House Historian and, in recent years, Aifreann an Phobail
7th March 2011: Died at Gardiner St

Fr Ó Fionnagáin was delighted to receive a message of congratulation from Her Excellency, President Mary McAleese, on the occasion of his 102nd birthday on February 18th last. In subsequent days he became noticeably weaker and tended to celebrate his Mass later in the day than usual. However this did not prevent him from preparing his sermon and celebrating the Sunday Mass as Gaeilge on the day before he died peacefully in his room.

Obituary by Barney McGuckian
Father Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin died peacefully, aged 102, in his room at St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, on the morning of March 7th, 2011. No other Irish Jesuit had ever reached such a venerable age. In command of all his faculties right up to the end, he had celebrated Aifreann an Phobail the previous morning and preached as Gaeilge as he had been doing for several years. In the last month of his life he was still capable of a full genuflection before the Blessed Sacrament each time he entered and left the omestic Chapel.

Of Monaghan Finegan (the one “n” was significant) farming stock, of which he was intensely proud, he was born in Glasgow on 18th February, 1909 but was taken to Ireland in early infancy. As an alert five-and-a-half year old, he remembered the start of the First World War. He was aware that the "big men were going out to fight”. His First Communion, a couple of years later, took the form of Holy Viaticum, as he was not expected to survive the night! He recalled distinctly his father telling him that the War was over, After early education in Castleblayney he became a boarder at St Macartan's Diocesan College. A thorough grounding in Greek, Latin and Irish would later stand him in good stead when he joined the Society at Tullabeg in 1927. A recurrent theme in his later conversation was the reasoning behind his appointment to teach in the Crescent, Limerick. The late Jimmy McPolin, a Crescent student and nephew of the Socius, John Coyne, could benefit from a good course in Classics! He used his knowledge of Irish to good effect through the years, celebrating Mass frequently through Irish after Vatican II authorised the use of the vernacular in Liturgy. He also published in Irish a number of monographs and biographies based on his assiduous research into Jesuit and Irish Church History. Although there is no evidence of his ever having concelebrated Mass himself, he assisted at community Concelebrated Masses. Even after his 100th birthday, with the help of Brother Gerry Marks, he often made his way on Sundays to the Latin Mass in St Kevin's, Harrington Street, where he was held in high regard by members of the Latin Mass Society. He never expressed any preference about the form his funeral should take but, as a mark of respect, Latin, Irish and English were all used in his Concelebrated Requiem Mass at St Francis Xavier's.

At UCD, he studied Classics, although his preference would have been for History. He subsequently taught Latin and Greek in Mungret, Crescent and Clongowes where his pupils still recall the invitation to join in the struggle to turn back the tide of barbarism'. Besides three years teaching philosophy in India and seven as a curate in France, at Nantua and Belley, most of his life was spent in historical research. He was in his element among documents, foraging around archives. Perhaps his most notable contribution in this area was his work on the Causes of the Irish Martyrs. Without his efforts, the Cause of Blessed Dominic Collins could well have been rejected by the relevant Roman Congregation. He argued strenuously and convincingly that although the Blessed had been a professional soldier at one stage in his life and was not an ordained priest, consequently not qualified to be a full Chaplain, his contribution during the Battle of Kinsale was purely religious. His only objective in coming to Ireland was to help consolidate the Catholic faith. Frank deduced from the documents, in particular those of his English captors, that Blessed Dominic could have been set free on condition of denying his faith and abandoning his Jesuit vocation. This Dominic resolutely refused to do.

A highpoint in his life was to have taught English to the future patron saint of Chile, Saint Alberto Hurtado, in 1931. He enjoyed recalling a day in the Dublin Mountains when the Saint volunteered to have a go when the proprietor of the land where they were having a picnic asked “Is there a shot among you?” Confidently, Alberto grabbed the proffered shot-gun and blew the billy-can tossed into the air to smithereens. He had done his military service in Chile and had his eye in.

Anything Frank did he seems to have done to the best of his ability. He was an accomplished pianist but in later years only played for personal pleasure. His attention to the garden was much appreciated in the houses where he lived. In later years he concentrated on flowers and plants, enhancing a number of window-sills around the house. He was tending his beloved gloxinias right up to the end of his life. He attributed his lack of interest in sport to the fact of ill-health in childhood that precluded much involvement in games.

Frank was devoted to his family and friends and carried on a correspondence with them, frequently inviting them to meals in the house. As his hearing was adequate right to the end (although occasionally selective), he could add to the table-talk with his inexhaustible store of anecdotes and corroborative details about events in Irish, British and Jesuit Province history. He never made the transition to the computer but remained faithful to his typewriter. One touching Mass card was from the family who serviced his typewriter over the years. Unfortunately he destroyed his diaries of many years, written in Irish and in his beautiful “copper-plate” hand-writing.

Frank was a man of strong and definite opinions to which he clung tenaciously. At times he could be feisty, a word he would never have used himself. He would have considered it in the same category as “ok” which he eschewed as an instance of encroaching “American vulgarity”. As the decades rolled on he seemed to mellow somewhat and learned to live with things as they were. However, even when well into his second century, there could be the occasional flare-up about personalities, attitudes, situations and decisions from an age long gone. Towards the end, although he would never accept help in preparing his breakfast porridge or doing his own laundry, symptomatic of a deep-seated independent streak, he admitted to some limitations and willingly conceded that it “can be lonely to be so old”.

He was delighted to receive what he described as a “splendid silver medallion” from Mary McAleese, Uachtaran na hEireann, on the occasion of his 102nd birthday. Members of the community who wished were formally invited to a private viewing in his room before 12 30 p.m. each day. The President's warm message of congratulations contained words, most à propos, from a speech she had given before Christmas 2010 at a Reception for Senior Citizens: bua na gaoise toradh na haoise (the gift of wisdom is the fruit of age). In the three weeks left to him after this event he began to become visibly feebler but this did not prevent him walking around the house and carrying on as usual. On Friday, February 25th he actually walked to the Polling Booth to cast his vote in the General Election. Ten days later, he died peacefully on his own in his room.

The “Nunc dimittis” of Simeon, that upright and good man, from Luke, the Gospel read on the occasion of his Final Vows over sixty-five years earlier in the Sacred Heart Chapel, the Crescent, Limerick, on February 2nd, 1945, featured again at his Final Requiem. On that day so long ago, the much desired peace of the nations following World War II was almost in sight. We can rest assured that an tAthair Proinsias is now enjoying a much more comprehensive and lasting peace. Ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann.

Finlay, Peter, 1851-1929, Jesuit priest and theologian

  • IE IJA J/8
  • Person
  • 15 February 1851-21 October 1929

Born: 15 February 1851, Bessbrook, County Cavan
Entered 02 March 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1881, Tortosa, Spain
Final Vows: 02 February 1886, St Beuno’s, Wales
Died: 21 October 1929, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park community at time of death.

Younger brother of Tom Finlay - RIP 1940

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1872 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1879 at Poyanne France (CAST) Studying
by 1880 at Dertusanum College, Tortosa, Spain (ARA) studying
by 1886 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1888 at Woodstock MD, USA (MAR) Lecturing Theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at St Patrick’s Cavan. Admitted aged 15 by Edmund J O’Reilly, Provincial and his brother Thomas A Finlay was a fellow novice.

1868 He was sent to St Acheul (Amiens) for a year of Rhetoric, and then to Stonyhurst for two years Philosophy, and then to Maria Laach for one more year.
1872 He was sent for Regency teaching Latin and French at Crescent for two years, and the four at Clongowes teaching Greek, Latin, French, German, Mathematics and Physics.
1878 He was sent to Poyanne in France with the the CAST Jesuits, expelled from Spain, and then three years at Tortosa, Spain where he was Ordained 1881. He also completed a Grand Act at the end of his time in Tortosa which attracted significant attention about his potential future as a Theologian.
1882 He returned to Ireland and Milltown where he lectured in Logic and Metaphysics for three years.
1885 He was sent to St Beuno’s as professor of Theology and made his Final Vows there 02 February 1886.
1887 He was sent to Woodstock (MARNEB) to help develop this Theologate with others from Europe - including Aloisi Masella, later Cardinal.
1889 Milltown opened a Theologate, and he was recalled as Professor of Scholastic Theology, and held that post for 40 years. During that time he hardly ever missed a lecture, and his reputation as an educator was unparalleled, shown in the quality of his lecturing, where the most complex was made clear. During this time he also took up a Chair of Catholic Theology at UCD from 1912-1923. In addition, he was a regular Preacher and Director of retreats, and spent many hours hearing Confessions of the poor.

He was highly thought of in HIB, attending two General Congregations and a number of times as Procurator to consult with the General.
His two major publications were : The Church of Christ, its Foundation and Constitution” (1915) and “Divine Faith” (1917).
He died at St Vincent’s Hospital 21 October 1929. His funeral took place at Gardiner St where the Archbishop Edward Byrne presided.

“The Catholic Bulletin” November 1929
“The death of Father Peter Finlay......closed a teaching career in the great science of Theology which was of most exceptional duration and of superb quality, sustained to the very close of a long and fruitful life. ..news of his death came as a shock and great surprise to many who knew him all over Ireland and beyond. ...in the course of his Theological studies at Barcelona he drew from the great tradition of Suarez and De Lugo. ....Behind that easy utterance was a mind brilliant yet accurate, penetrating, alert, subtle, acute in its power of analysis and discrimination, caustic at times, yet markedly observant of all the punctilious courtesies of academic disputation. ...The exquisite keenness of his mind was best appreciated by a trained professional audience .... and with his pen even more effective in English than Latin. Those who recall “Lyceum’ with its customary anonymity failed to conceal the distinctive notes of Peter Finlay’s style, different from, yet having many affinities with the more leisurely and versatile writing of his brother Thomas. The same qualities...
were evident in the ‘New Ireland Review”, from 1894-1910. Nor were the subjects ... narrowly limited ... he examined the foundations and limitations of the right of property in land, as viewed by English Law and Landlords in Ireland. On the secure basis of the great Spanish masters of Moral Philosophy, he did much to make secure the practical policies and enforce the views of Archbishops Thomas Croke and William Walsh.
He had a close relationship with the heads of the publishing house of ‘The Catholic Bulletin’. That said, this relationship was far outspanned by his marvellous service in the giving of Retreats to Priests and Religious and Men, added to by his work in the ministry of Reconciliation among the rich and poor alike, the afflicted and those often forgotten.”

Note from James Redmond Entry
He studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens with Michael Weafer, Thomas Finlay and Peter Finlay, Robert Kane and Vincent Byrne, among others.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online
Finlay, Thomas Aloysius
by Thomas J. Morrissey

Finlay, Thomas Aloysius (1848–1940) and Peter (1851–1929), Jesuit priests, scholars, and teachers, were born at Lanesborough, Co. Roscommon, sons of William Finlay, engineer, and Maria Finlay (née Magan), who had four other children: three daughters, all of whom became religious sisters, and a son William, who became secretary of Cavan county council. Tom and Peter were educated at St Augustine's diocesan college, Cavan (predecessor to St Patrick's College), and in 1866 both entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park, Dublin. Subsequently, they were sent for studies to St Acheul, near Amiens, after which they moved in somewhat different directions.

From St Acheul Peter Finlay went to Stonyhurst College, England, for two years philosophy, and spent a further year in philosophic studies at the Jesuit college of Maria Laach in Germany. Returning to Ireland (1872), he taught for two years at Crescent College, Limerick, and for four years at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. His theological studies were conducted with distinction at Poyanne in France and Tortosa in Spain. Recalled home, he lectured in philosophy at the Jesuit seminary college, Milltown Park, and at UCD for three years; and then in theology at St Beuno's, Wales, for three years. The next six years were spent at Woodstock College, USA, where he professed theology. When in 1889 a theologate was established at Milltown Park, Peter was summoned home. He professed theology there from then till his death. His lectures, said to have been models of clarity, were presented in fluent and exact Latin, the medium of the time for such lectures. He also lectured (1912–22) in catholic theology at UCD. In constant demand for retreats and lectures, and with a heavy weight of correspondence, he was also rector (1905–10) of Milltown Park, and was three times elected to represent the Irish province at general congregations in Rome. Peter Finlay did not have his brother's range of interests nor his literary productivity, but his published writing on theological and apologetic themes were widely read. These included The church of Christ: its foundation and constitution (1915), Divine faith (1917), and smaller works reflecting the issues of the day, such as The decree ‘Ne temere’; Catholics in civil life, The catholic religion, The catholic church and the civil state, The authority of bishops, Was Christ God?, The one true church: which is it?, and Is one religion as good as another?. He was an unassuming man, dedicated to a life of poverty, obedience, and obligation – never, it was said, missing a lecture for thirty-nine of his forty-four years as lecturer. He died of cancer of the kidneys on 21 October 1929, having lectured till 2 October, the day before going to hospital for the final time.

The brothers were among the most influential academics in Ireland in the last quarter of the nineteenth and the first quarter of the twentieth centuries. Thomas was described by W. E. H. Lecky (qv) as probably the most universally respected man in Ireland. Peter, who professed theology in Britain, America, and Ireland for 44 years, was widely consulted on most aspects of theology and highly regarded for his gifts of exposition.

Provincial consultors' minute book, 20 Feb. 1890 (Irish Jesuit archives, Dublin); Irish Jesuit Province News, Dec. 1929 (private circulation); ‘Sir Horace Plunkett on Professor Finlay's career as social reformer’, Fathers of the Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: story of University College, Dublin, 1883–1909 (1930), 246–57; W. Magennis, ‘A disciple's sketch of Fr T. Finlay’, Belvederian, ix (summer 1931), 19; obit., Anglo-Celt, 13 Jan. 1940; George O'Brien, ‘Father Thomas A. Finlay, S.J., 1848–1940’, Studies, xxix (1940), 27–40; Aubrey Gwynn, obit., Irish Province News, Oct. 1940 (private circulation); R. J. Hayes (ed.), Sources for the history of Irish civilization: articles in Irish periodicals (1970), ii, 310–12; Thomas Morrissey, Towards a national university: William Delany, S.J. (1835–1924) (1983); Trevor West, Horace Plunkett: co-operation and politics (1986)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926

On March 2nd, Fr Peter Finlay celebrated his Diamond Jubilee. After a brilliant Grand Act at Tortosa, Fr. Peter was working at Hebrew and Arabic, with a view to further study at Beyrouth, when a telegram summoned him back to Ireland to be Prefect of Studies at Tullabeg. From Tullabeg he passed to Milltown to Professor of Philosophy, thence to St. Beuno's where he professed theology, but Fr General sent him to Woodstock instead. From Woodstock he was transferred to Milltown in 1889; he took possession of the Chair of Theology and held it ever since. Fr, Finlay has spent 42 years professing theology, and during all that time never once missed a lecture till he fell ill in March, 1924.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 1 1929

Obituary :

Fr Peter Finlay

Fr. Peter Finlay died at St. Vincent's hospital, Dublin on October 21st of cancer of the kidneys. Some twelve months previously, he felt the first symptoms of the attack. But so far was he from giving in, that he continued his lectures during the entire scholastic year that followed. This year he gave his last lecture on October 2nd, went to hospital on October 3rd, and died on October the 21st. His loss will be keenly felt far beyond the limits of the Society, for his opinion on all questions of theology was eagerly sought for and highly valued here at home in Ireland, and in many another country outside it, into which his wide learning and wonderful power of exposition had penetrated.

Fr. Peter was born in Co. Cavan, on the 15th February 1851, and educated at St. Patrick's College, Cavan. He had just turned his 15th year when on March 2nd 1866, he began his novitiate at Milltown Park. He made his juniorate at St. Acheul, France, two years philosophy at Stonyhurst, a third at Maria Laach in Germany, and returned to Ireland in 1872, Two years were passed at the Crescent and four in Clongowes as master. Theology was commenced at Poyanne in France, where the Castilian Jesuits, driven from Spain, had opened a theologate. The remaining three years of theology saw him at Tortosa in Spain, and the course was concluded by a very brilliant Grand Act.
Fr. Peter was working away at Hebrew and Arabic, with a view to further study when a telegram recalled him to Ireland. Milltown Park had him for three years as Professor of philosophy, and St. Beuno's for two as Profcssor of theology. It was said that at the end of these two years he was under orders to start for Australia, but Fr. General sent him to America instead to profess theology at Woodstock.
In 1889,the theologate was established at Milltown Park, and of course Fr. Peter was summoned home to take the “Morning” Chair. That chair he held with the very highest distinction, and without interruption, until less than a month before his death. In all, Fr Finlay was 44 years professing theology, and it is said that he never missed a lecture until he fell ill in the year 1924. And often, these lectures were given at a time when suffering from a bad throat.
Milltown Park had him for Rector from 1905 to 1910, and he was Lecturer of Catholic Theology in the National University Dublin, from 1912 to1922.
Fr. Peter was three times elected to represent the Irish Province at General Congregations, and on three other occasions at Procuratorial Gongregations at Rome.
His published works are : “The Church of Christ, its Foundation and Constitution”, 1915; “Divine Faith” 1917. In addition, he has left us several smaller publications, such as : “The Decree Ne Ternere”; “Catholics in Civil Life”; “The Catholic Religion”; The Catholic Church and the Civil State”; “ The Authority of Bishops”; “Was Christ God”; “The One Church, which is it”.
Fr. John McErlean, who had the privilege of having him as Professor for four years, writes as follows : “Merely to listen to his lectures was an education, for he was gifted with a wonderful power of exposition before which difficulties dissolved, and his hearers became almost unconscious of the subtlety of the argument. A past master of the Latin tongue, he poured forth without an instant's hesitation, a stream of limpid language in which the most critical classicist failed to detect the slightest grammatical inaccuracy in the most involved sentences”.
In addition to his duties as professor, he was frequently employed as Preacher, Director of the Spiritual Exercises etc. His correspondence alone must have been a heavy tax on his time, for his advice was much sought after by all classes of society. All these manifold duties did not prevent him from spending many hours every week hearing the confessions of the poor in Milltown village.
Fr. Finlay's piety was not of the demonstrative order, but was very genuine. He was a model of regularity. Day after day he said one of the very earliest Masses in the Community. He was most careful to ask permission for the smallest exemption. In the matter of poverty, he was exact to a degree that would astonish a fervent novice. He never parted with a trifle nor accepted one without leave. Devotion to duty, to the work in hand, accompanied him through life. His brother, Fr. Tom, gave his usual lecture in the University on the very morning that Peter died, and another lecture on the day of the Office and funeral. When some one mildly expostulated with him, his answer was : “I have done what I knew would please Peter, and what I am sure he would have done himself under like circumstances”.
Peter is now, please God, reaping the rich fruits of his 63 years loyal and devoted services to the Society.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 2 1930

Obituary : Fr Peter Finlay
We owe the following appreciation to the kindness of Fr, P. Gannon
“No man is indispensable, but some create by their departure a void that is very sensible and peculiarly hard to fill. To say that Fr. Peter Finlay was one of these is certainly not an exaggeration. Milltown Park without him causes a difficulty for the imagination. He was so large a part of its life since its foundation as a scholasticate, its most brilliant professor and most characteristic figure. Others came and went, but he remained, an abiding landmark in a changing scene. Justice demands that some effort be made to perpetuate the memory of a really great career, which, for many reasons, might escape due recognition. In this notice little more can be attempted than an outline sketch of his long and fruitful activities.
Fr. Finlay was born near the town of Cavan on Feb, 15, 1851, of a Scotch father, and an Irish mother. He was one of seven children of whom three girls became Sacred Heart Nuns, and two boys Jesuits.
The boys of the family attended St. Patrick's College, the seminary to Kilmore. Diocese, - then situated in the town. In 1866 Peter, now barely fifteen years of age, entered the Noviceship, Miiltown. Park, where his elder brother Torn soon joined him, and thus began a brotherly association in religion that was to be beautifully intimate and uninterrupted for over sixty years - par nobile fractum.
In 1868 he went to S. Acheul for his Juniorate. In 1869-70 he did his first two years Philosophy at Stonyhurst, and his third at Maria Laach (Germany) in company with his brother (1871-2). On his return he commenced his teaching in the Crescent (1872-74), passing to Clongowes in 1874, where he remained till 1878. The versatility of the young scholastic may be gauged from the fact that he is catalogued as teaching Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Latin, Greek, French and German.
In 1878 he was sent to Poyanne, France, where the exiled Castilan Province had opened up a house of studies. Here he commenced his study of Theology (1879-9). This was continued in Tortosa, Spain, (1879-82), and crowned by a Grand Act which became historic even in that land of theology, and marked him out at once for the professor's chair.From 1882 till 1885 we find him in Milltown Park teaching Philosophy and acting as Prefect of Studies. From 1885-1887 in St. Beuno's, Wales, teaching Theology (Short Course), In 1887 he was invited to Woodstock USA. where he lectured on Theology for two years with Padre Mazella, the future cardinal, as a colleague. In 1889 he finally cast anchor in Milltown Park, as professor of “Morning” Dogma. and this position he held till within a few weeks of his death in 1929 - over forty years. He was also Prefect of Studies from 1892 till 1903, and Rector from 1905 (Aug.) till 1910. In 1912 he was requested by the Bishops of Ireland to undertake the Lectureship in Dogmatic Theology which they were founding in the National University of Ireland. This he retained till 1922 when he insisted on resigning. The weekly lectures he delivered during Term time were published in full in “The Irish Catholic” and made his teaching accessible to wide circles. They formed the basis of his two published works “The Church of Christ” and “Divine Faith”. Earlier in his career he had written some articles for The Lyceum, under his brother's editorship, which caused no small stir and led to certain difficulties. It would almost appear as if this disagreeable experience had frozen a promising fountain at its source. For a long time it ceased to play. The invitations of The Catholic Truth Society and the pressure of friends to reprint his University lectures were needed to win him back to authorship, For the C.T. S. he wrote several very valuable pamphlets such as “Was Christ God”, The “Ne Temere Decree” etc. Occasionally also he penned public utterances of great weight and influence as, for example, his letter to the Press vindicating the Bishop's action in regard to Conscription (1918 and his article in Studies on Divorce when that topic occupied the attention of the Dáil (1924-25).
To finish with his literary activities a word of criticism may not be out of place, And the first thing that occurs to the mind is a sense of regret that he did not write more, he, who was from every point of view so well equipped for the task. What he has left us is very precious. All he wrote was solid, practical and beautifully clear. He had in a high degree the gift of exposition and could render the abstrusest questions of theology intelligible to any educated reader. He passed from the technicalities of the Schools to the language of the forum with instant success. Only those who have attempted something similar will be in a position to appreciate the skill with which he could combine thoroughness, accuracy and lucidity. His style was very correct. Indeed he was a good deal of a purist. He abhorred slovenliness, slang, journalese and Americanese. His prose is consequently classical clear, flexible, fitting his thought like a well-made garment, but perhaps a trifle cold, lacking colour and emotional appeal.
The occupations hitherto outlined might seem enough to fill his days and hours, But Fr. Finlay managed to add many other zealous endeavours. He was one of the founders of the Catholic Truth Society and remained to the end an energetic member of its committee. He played a large part in the creation of The Catholic Reserve Society, which has done such good work in the fight against Protestant proselytism in its meanest form.
During his Rectorship and under his auspices Week-End retreats for Laymen Were inaugurated in Milltown Park. And it would be difficult to estimate all the good these have done in the intervening years, He was a lover of books, and all through a busy life found time to keep an eye on booksellers' catalogues for rare and useful volumes, especially in Theology,
Philosophy, Church History and Patristics. More than anyone else he is responsible for the excellent library which Milltown possesses.
It was he who built what is sometimes known as “the Theologians' wing” and sometimes as “Fr. Peter's building” with its fine refectory characterised by beauty of design without luxury or extravagance. Finally he did much for the grounds and garden, planting ornamental and fruit-bearing trees. And unlike Cicero's husbandman he lived long enough to enjoy the fruit and beauty of the trees he planted.
In his relations to the outer world Fr. Peter never became as prominent a public or national figure as Fr.Tom. But he was well known in ecclesiastical circles, where his advice on theological questions was often sought. Through diocesan retreats and in many other ways he came into contact with most of the Irish bishops of his time, and he was on very intimate
terms with Cardinal Logue. He was regularly invited to examinations for the doctorate in Maynooth, when his mastery of theology and dialectical skill were conspicuous.
He counted many of the leading Catholic laymen of Ireland among his friends, such as Lord O'Hagan and Chief Baron Palles, to name only the dead. His inner, personal knowledge of Catholic life in Rome, Spain and England was also considerable , and in private conversation he could give interesting sidelights on much of the written and unwritten history of the Church in his generation.
As a confessor and director of souls he enjoyed a wide popularity. His prudence, wisdom and solid virtue fitted him peculiarly for the ministry, and his labours in it were fruitful Since his death the present writer heard quite spontaneous testimony from two nuns in widely different places as to the debt they owed him. They went the length of saying that they attributed their vocation and even their hopes of salvation Under God to his wise and firm guidance in their youth. He possessed a rare knowledge of human nature and he spared no pains in helping all who came to him. His fidelity to the Saturday-night confessions in Milltown parish chapel to the very end, in spite of obviously failing health, was truly edifying. And spiritual direction involved him in a wide correspondence that must have made big inroads on his time. In general Fr.Finlay was prodigal of time and trouble in helping others, whether by way of advice, theological enlightenment, or criticism of literary work. This seemed to spring from that strain of asceticism in him which was noticeable in his whole life - in his regularity, punctuality and devotion to duty. There was some thing of the northern iron in his composition or, as some might style it, Scotch dourness. He could be steely at times in manner, but most of all he was steely with himself. This was seen very clearly in the closing years of life when he really kept going by a volitional energy and a self-conquest which, though entirely unostentatious, was yet unmistakable to close observers, and revealed to them as never before the fundamental piety of his character - a piety made manifest in his death .
It was, however, as a professor that he won his high reputation and gave the true measure of his greatness.Only those who had the privilege of knowing him in this capacity were in a position to appreciate his real eminence. He seemed the incarnation of what Kant calls a the “pure intelligence”. He united qualities rarely combined, subtlety, profundity, clarity. He had something of the nimbleness of a Scotus without his obscurity. And that perhaps explained his marked leaning to Scotistic views on disputed questions, and his liking for Ripalda. His mind seemed attuned to theirs, though he was too independent to be addictus iurare in verba magistri. When we add to these characteristics a conscientious care in preparation, an admirable method, and a power of expressing himself in a Latin which Cicero could hardly have disowned (allowance being made for the necessary technicalities of the schools), it will be seen that his. equipment for his life's task was very complete. At his best he was a model of scientific exposition. Theology is a vast and difficult science. How would it be otherwise in view of what it treats? And to expound it adequately demands a combination and gifts granted to few. Fr. Finlay's pupils were nearly unanimous in the belief that hardly anyone of his generation possessed this combination in a higher measure or more balanced proportions than he. The only exception that could be taken to his lecturing was perhaps that it was more analytical and critical, or even destructive, than constructive. But these very features of it gave one the assurance that a conclusion which had stood the test of his scrutiny was sound indeed. Moreover he was genuinely tolerant of dissent from his views. Though a professor of dogma he was the least dogmatic of men and even strove rather to elicit your own thinking than to impose his on you. He revelled in the thrust and parry of debate and respected a good fighter. This could be seen best during the repetitions at the end of the year, and in the examinations, where he sought to test the pupil's understanding and grasp of principles rather than mere memory of councils or scripture texts. His objections were clear, crisp, to the point and faultless in form. There was no side-stepping them, no escape into irrelevancies, no chance of eluding him by learned adverbs or ambiguous phrases. Patiently, with perfect urbanity, but with deadly insistence he brought the candidate back to the point and held him there till be solved the difficulty or confessed that he could not do sol which was often enough a saving admission. Yet on the other hand no examiner was really fairer. For he seemed to see one's thoughts before they were uttered, and could penetrate through the worst Latin periphrases to what one was really trying to say. Hence no one was ever confused by misunderstanding him or lost by being misunderstood.
Neither did he keep urging a difficulty when it was solved. The answer once given he passed, easily and lightly, to something else.
Again, in Provincial congregations, of which he was the inevitable secretary, his conduct of business was a sheer delight. His writing of minutes, his resumés of previous discussions were masterly. Many a speaker was surprised, and perhaps a little abashed, to hear all he had laboured, in broken Latin and through many minutes, to express, reproduced integrally, in a few short sentences, which gave the substance of his remarks without an unnecessary word. As this was done almost entirely from memory, with the help of a few brief jottings, it compelled a wondering admiration. His election to represent the Province in Rome was nearly automatic. He attended every Congregation, general or procuratorial, which was summoned since the election of Fr. Martin, After the last general congregation he was specially thanked by our present Paternity for his signal services as head of the Commission in the Reform of Studies. These services taxed his strength severely and on his return the first clear signs of serious infirmity made them selves manifest. If even then he had taken due precautions, his essentially robust constitution might have enabled him to live for many years. But he would not take precautions and no one dared suggest any remission of work. He obviously wished to die in harness. And he did. His last lecture, as brilliant as those of his prime, was delivered within three weeks of his death, which took place on Monday Oct. 21, 1929.
No life escapes criticism, and it would be idle to pretend that Fr. Peter did not come in for his share of it. It would be even flattery to deny that he afforded some ground for it. But, take him all in all, only blind and incurable prejudice can deny that he was a very remarkable man, intellectually and morally, an ornament to the whole Society and a just source of pride of the Irish Province, which is the poorer for his loss and will feel it for many a day. May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Peter Finlay 1851-1929
In the death of Fr Peter Finlay at Milltown Park on October 21st 1929, the Province lost its greatest Theologian. His death ended a teaching career in Theology, which was of exceptional duration and superb quality, which made him renowned not only in Ireland, but far beyond.

He was born in County Cavan on February 15th 1851 and was educated at St Patrick’s College Cavan. He was accepted for the Society by Fr Edmund O’Reilly at the early age of 15.

His teaching career began in 1872 at the Crescent, followed by four years at Clongowes, during which his curriculum included Greek, Latin, French, German, Physics and Mathematics. At the end of his theological course at Tortosa Spain, he was chosen for the Grand Act, the public defence of all Philosophy and Theology. His brilliant defence placed him in the front rank of the rising generation of Theologians. He lectured in Philosophy at Milltown, Theology at St Beuno’s and at Woodstock USA.

On the opening of the theologate at Milltown Park he was recalled to fill the chair of Dogmatic Theology, a chair which he held for a full 40 years, even during his Rectorate of Milltown Park from 1905-1910.

When a chair of Catholic Theology was established at the National University, Fr Finlay was appointed and continued to held it from 1912-1923.

He was an able administrator and builder. The old Refectory at Milltown, which later burnt, was built by him. He often represented the Province in Rome. He was an able controversialist and an incisive writer, as may be seen by the numerous articles of his in the Lyceum and the New Ireland review. His writings, popular and appreciated even today, include “The Church of Christ”, “Divine Faith”, “Catholics in Civic Life”, “The Authority of Bishops”, “Was Christ God?” and “The one Church, which is it?”.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Peter Finlay (1851-1929)

A native of Co. Cavan and educated at St Patrick's College, Cavan, entered the Society in 1866. He did all his studies abroad, in France, Germany and Spain. His future work in the Irish Province was in the chair of dogmatic theology at Milltown Park, where he was engaged for the next forty years. Father Finlay was one of the most brilliant theologians of his time. He spent two years of his regency at Crescent College along with his brother, Thomas Finlay (q.v. infra).

Finlay, Thomas A, 1848-1940, Jesuit priest and economist

  • IE IJA J/9
  • Person
  • 06 July 1848-08 January 1940

Born: 06 July 1848, Lanesborough, County Roscommon
Entered: 01 November 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880
Final Vows: 25 March 1885
Died: 08 January 1940, Linden Nuring Home, Dublin

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

Older brother of Peter Finlay - RIP 1929

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
by 1871 at Lacens College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1878 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Peter Finlay Entry
Early education was at St Patrick’s Cavan. Admitted aged 15 by Edmund J O’Reilly, Provincial and his brother Thomas A Finlay was a fellow novice.
Note from James Redmond Entry
He studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens with Michael Weafer, Thomas Finlay and Peter Finlay, Robert Kane and Vincent Byrne, among others.

See: Morrissey, T. J. (2004). Thomas A. Finlay: Educationalist, editor, social reformer, 1848-1940.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online
Finlay, Thomas Aloysius
by Thomas J. Morrissey

Finlay, Thomas Aloysius (1848–1940) and Peter (1851–1929), Jesuit priests, scholars, and teachers, were born at Lanesborough, Co. Roscommon, sons of William Finlay, engineer, and Maria Finlay (née Magan), who had four other children: three daughters, all of whom became religious sisters, and a son William, who became secretary of Cavan county council. Tom and Peter were educated at St Augustine's diocesan college, Cavan (predecessor to St Patrick's College), and in 1866 both entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park, Dublin. Subsequently, they were sent for studies to St Acheul, near Amiens, after which they moved in somewhat different directions.

Thomas Finlay went (1869) to the Gregorian University, Rome, and thence, after Garibaldi's invasion, to Maria Laach where he was trained (1871–3) in modern scientific methods and was impressed by the new agricultural policy of the Prussian government, an experience he drew on in his later work. On his return to Ireland (1873) Tom joined his brother at the Crescent, Limerick, where he stayed till 1876, acting as headmaster as well as teaching German and French. He also found time to publish, under the pseudonym ‘Thomas Whitelock’, a best-selling novel, The chances of war, based on the life of Owen Roe O'Neill, which went through several editions. In addition he wrote pamphlets and was co-founder of the periodical Catholic Ireland, which became the influential Irish Monthly. In 1877 he went to St Beuno's for theology, and was ordained in 1880. His self-reliance, great energy, equable temper, and gifts for making and keeping friends were already in evidence, as also his prowess as a conversationalist and a fisherman. In 1881 he was placed in charge for a short time of St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, near Tullamore, before being entrusted with the joint task of rector of Belvedere College, Dublin (1882–7), and fellow of the RUI in classics. In 1883 he and Peter were appointed joint professors of philosophy at UCD. He occupied the chairs of philosophy (1883–1900) and political economy (1900–30). Hence his unusual distinction of professing in three different disciplines – classics, philosophy, and political economy. Like Peter, he was a highly successful lecturer, noted for his clarity of exposition, and popular also with the students for his human qualities and his policy of promoting responsibility and independence. At Belvedere he built a new wing and purchased additional playing fields, while at the same time reconstructing the philosophy programme of the Royal University and responding to demands for retreats and spiritual lectures from the clergy of different dioceses. In 1887 he took up residence at UCD and turned again to writing as well as teaching. He translated articles from German on philosophy, and Stockle's History of philosophy. The extent and range of his articles during a busy life may be judged from the incomplete list of titles in R. J. Hayes's Sources . . . articles in Irish periodicals. He founded and edited the Lyceum magazine (1889–94) and the New Ireland Review (1894–1911), which was succeeded by Studies in 1912. In addition, as part of his deep involvement in the Irish cooperative movement, he founded and was an incisive editor of the Irish Homestead. In support of the movement, he traversed the country preaching the merits of being industrious and self-supporting, and won support among northern unionists as well as southern farmers. Sir Horace Plunkett (qv), founder of the movement, termed him ‘a remarkable living Irishman’ who had ‘largely moulded my own life work’, and who, ‘for a full half-century, laboured disinterestedly for the moral, social, and economic uplifting of the Irish poor’ (A page of Irish history, 246–7). Finlay's strong advocacy of high moral standards in public life made him enemies in the Irish parliamentary party; and his critical review of Cardinal James Gibbons, Our Christian heritage (1889), led to complaints to Rome from American Jesuits and his suspension from writing (1890–92).

Despite these varied activities, he was primarily an educationalist. Apart from his teaching in Jesuit schools and at UCD, he was a commissioner for intermediate education for many years, was active in establishing and administering a system of technical education at the start of the century, was editor-in-chief of the ‘School and College’ series of books for pupils and students, and inspired and guided those who created the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. Moreover, he was for many years a prominent member of the senate of the NUI and of the governing body of UCD, and was chairman (1909–38) of the trustees of the NLI. Little wonder that his successor to the chair of economics, George O'Brien (qv), remarked in Studies (1940) that ‘to write about him is like writing about a number of persons rather than a single man’. He alleged that in forty-seven years Finlay ‘never broke an engagement, never missed a lecture, never was late for a meeting’. Finlay's retirement (1930) was marked by a collection to provide a presentation portrait (now in UCD) by Leo Whelan (qv). It was so generously subscribed that funds were available to endow an annual Finlay lecture on an economic theme; the first was given by John Maynard Keynes. Tom Finlay died 8 January 1940 in his ninety-first year. He had been an invalid from 1936.

The brothers were among the most influential academics in Ireland in the last quarter of the nineteenth and the first quarter of the twentieth centuries. Thomas was described by W. E. H. Lecky (qv) as probably the most universally respected man in Ireland. Peter, who professed theology in Britain, America, and Ireland for 44 years, was widely consulted on most aspects of theology and highly regarded for his gifts of exposition.

Provincial consultors' minute book, 20 Feb. 1890 (Irish Jesuit archives, Dublin); Irish Jesuit Province News, Dec. 1929 (private circulation); ‘Sir Horace Plunkett on Professor Finlay's career as social reformer’, Fathers of the Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: story of University College, Dublin, 1883–1909 (1930), 246–57; W. Magennis, ‘A disciple's sketch of Fr T. Finlay’, Belvederian, ix (summer 1931), 19; obit., Anglo-Celt, 13 Jan. 1940; George O'Brien, ‘Father Thomas A. Finlay, S.J., 1848–1940’, Studies, xxix (1940), 27–40; Aubrey Gwynn, obit., Irish Province News, Oct. 1940 (private circulation); R. J. Hayes (ed.), Sources for the history of Irish civilization: articles in Irish periodicals (1970), ii, 310–12; Thomas Morrissey, Towards a national university: William Delany, S.J. (1835–1924) (1983); Trevor West, Horace Plunkett: co-operation and politics (1986)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

University Hall :
On November 16th the Community at Lesson St. celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Fr T Finlay. As a scholastic, Fr Finlay helped Fr. Matt Russell to found the Irish Monthly and the Messenger. The latter periodical ceased to appear after a short time; it was to be revived later, again under Fr Finlay's inspiration. He took a leading part in conducting the brilliant but short-lived “Lyceum”, and its successor the New Ireland Review. For Belvedere College his rectorship represented, until quite lately, the high-water mark of its success. Since 1883 he has been a Professor at University College, first under the Royal and then under the National University. During that time he has been prominent in many movements for the betterment of his Country. He was a member of the Boards of National and of Intermediate Education, is still Chairman of the National Library, Committee, has organised food depots for the poor, while his work for industrial and agricultural co-operation has won him fame in many lands. As a preacher and a lecturer his success has been extraordinary. And though he no longer appears in the pulpit, his power and his popularity as a lecturer are as great as ever. From 1912 to 1922 he was Superior in Leeson St, and President of University Hall.

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

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

Irish Province News 15th Year No 2 1940
Obituary :
Father Thomas Finlay
When the Editor of “Province News” did me the honour of inviting me to write a notice of Father Finlay's life, he added a comment on the usual summary of dates which he
enclosed from the annual Catalogues : “Never did Catalogues conceal so completely the life of a Jesuit as Father Finlay's Catalogues conceal his splendid and most active life.” There is a great deal of truth in this comment, though the fault does not lie with the compiler of the annual Catalogues. From his early years as a Scholastic in Rome, Maria Laach, Limerick and St. Beuno's, Father Tom was never lacking in that remarkable power of initiative which enabled him to attempt and accomplish so much during his long life of ninety-one years. His initiative was largely personal, and many of the works for which he was known throughout the country are not even mentioned in the official records of the Catalogues. Apart from his activities, Father Tom's fame was largely due to his great gifts of personal charm, sympathetic kindness and quiet humour. No man was better. fitted to make friends everywhere, and Father Tom made and kept a host of friends during his long and most useful life. Even his birthplace is matter for dispute among the learned. He was always claimed as a Cavan man; but a record is extant from his novitiate, in which he himself has entered his birth-place as Lanesborough, Co. Roscommon. The mystery is solved by a reminiscence, of which he was proud. His father was an engineer on the Shannon River works, and young Tom Finlay was born on an island just north of Lough Ree, which his father was later to submerge beneath the waters of the Shannon. One of his favourite reminiscences was of a Hedge-schooI which he attended somewhere near the Shannon in the early fifties. The master used to test the ability of his pupils by making them spell “Antitrinitarian.” But discipline was too severe for the engineer's young son, and he ran away home from class on the second or. third day. He was then sent to school at St Patrick's, Cavan, where he remained until he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Milltown Park, on November 12, 1866. He took his first vows at Milltown on the Feast of St. Stanislaus, 1868. Just seventy years later it was any privilege to say Mass for Father Tom at Linden Convalescent Home on the Feast of St Stanislaus, 1938. He had then been an invalid for two years and was almost ninety years old. He had been wheeled into the Convent Chapel in a chair, and heard his Jubilee Mass in the midst of the patients and children of Linden. “Consummatus in brevi explevit tempera multa.” The young novice of 1868 can have little dreamed how many long years lay before him. But there was a great deal of simple novice's piety about Father Tom in his last years. Day by day he was wheeled into the Chapel for his morning Mass; and it was seldom indeed that he would allow his nurse to keep him away from the Chapel for the daily Rosary, which he loved to recite with the other patients every evening. From Milltown he was sent to the French Juniorate at Saint-Acheul. where he spent part of the year 1869. Then, with Father Vincent Byrne as his companion, he was sent to the Gregorian at Rome, where they witnessed the stirring scenes of the Vatican Council and Garibaldi entry into Rome. In 1936, Father Vincent McCormick, then Rector of the Gregorian visited Dublin, and stayed in Lesson Street, where Father Finlay was still resident. He was introduced as a past student of the Gregorian. “And when were you in Rome?” asked the Rector, not realizing how old his new acquaintance was “At the Vatican Council” was the smiling answer, and Father Tom’s eyes were twinkling, for he felt that he had scored a point. Garibaldi's entrance into Reine threw the Gregorian into confusion, and Father Tom was sent to Maria Laach, where he spent the next two years (1871-73). It was here that he was impressed by the new agricultural policy of the Prussian government - a lesson in practical economics that he was later to turn to most practical uses. And it was from the German Fathers at Maria Laach that Father Tom received his training in modern scientific methods, which (for a time, at least) made him anxious to specialise in Biology. His intellectual activity during these years must have been remarkable. When he became Professor of Metaphysics in Father Delany's University College ten years later, one of his chief enterprises was to bring Irish Catholic students into contact with modern German thought by the translation of German works on Scholastic Philosophy.
From 1873-76 Mr. Thomas Finlay was teaching his class at the Crescent College, Limerick, with extra work as French and German master and (for the last two years) as Prefect of Studies. A full programme for most men. and the work was not lessened by the fact that the Irish schools were adapting themselves to the new Intermediate System in these years. Mr Finlay's results were brilliant in the new system of competitive examinations, but that did not prevent him from writing his historical novel, “Chances of War,” during these same years. As an old priest, with a long record of useful work behind him, he was fond of telling a story that happened in these Limerick years. Some of the older Fathers found this young scholastic too enterprising, and complaints reached the Irish Provincial, who was a firm believer in the established order of things. Father Tuite summoned the budding author to his presence, and gently suggested to him that “he should remain in his legitimate obscurity.” But the Society has its own ways of checking too great enterprise for a time, and Mr. Finlay was sent to St. Beuno's for his four years of Theology in 1877.
Father Tom was ordained in 1880, he lived to say the Jubilee Mass of his ordination in 1930. There is no trace of his Tertianship in the official Catalogues, and the reason is not far to seek. When Father Tom emerged from Theology in 1881 the Irish Province was faced with an unusual responsibility. The Catholic University which had been founded, with Newman as Rector, in 1851, had failed, so far as practical results were concerned. But the long struggle for equality of rights in University education had at long last met with a partial response from the English Government of the day. The Royal University of Ireland was founded as an examining body, with a limited number of endowed fellowships, in 1881, and the Irish Hierarchy invited Father William Delany, whose energy and ability had made Tullabeg a centre of intellectual life, to take over control of University College under the new conditions. Father Finlay was sent to Tullabeg without further delay, to assist Father Delany as Assistant Prefect of Studies. From Tullabeg a small group of Jesuit Fathers came to Temple Street in Dublin, whilst the Bishops were negotiating the final transfer of University College. As soon as the teaching staff of the new College was formed, with Father Delany as first Rector, Father Finlay was nominated to one of the fellowships in the Royal University, and was appointed Professor of Metaphysics. He held this chair until 1900, when he resigned it in favour of his most brilliant student in these early years, the present Professor William Magennis. Meanwhile, another of his brilliant students, William Coyne, had been appointed Professor of Political Economy. University College suffered a sore loss by William Coyne's death in 1904 and Father Tom Finlay, who had meanwhile taken a leading part in the Co-operative Movement throughout the country, took over the vacant Chair of Political Economy in the same year, He held this chair until the end of the Royal University in 1909; and was immediately appointed to the same chair in the new National University of Ireland. It was this chair that he resigned in 1930, having taught his classes without interruption for forty-seven years (1883-1930). It was his boast that, during all those years he had never omitted a lecture for ill-health or any other reason. God had certainly blessed him with a wonderfully strong and harmonious constitution.
During the first five years of his new career, Father Finlay was not resident in St. Stephen's Green, but was Rector of Belvedere College (1883-87) with his duties as fellow and professor of the Royal University as an extra charge. It is indeed hard to understand how any man can have thrown himself with such energy into his various activities as Father Finlay did during these early years. In Belvedere the new school-buildings were rising as proof of his keen organising ability; and they were only the symbol of an active intellectual life that was attracting general attention to the College. Father Finlay planned a whole series of school text-books and copy books that were to help him pay off the debts incurred in the erection of the new buildings. But this policy was checked for a time, and Father Finlay left Belvedere for University College in 1887. Memories still survive among some old inhabitants of North Dublin : Father Tom Finlay, as a young, vigorous and good-looking priest, riding a fine, black horse down the streets of Dublin to the Phoenix Park. For the Rector of Belvedere College was a conspicuous figure in the social life of Dublin City at that time. The friendships which Father Tom made in the 'eighties and nineties opened up a new sphere of activity, which led to his becoming one Of the best-known and influential priests in the country. His influence in Government circles was very great. He was appointed a Commissioner of National Education, a Trustee of the National Library, and a member of various Royal Commissions. His word was often decisive in the appointment of some Catholic to a post that had hitherto been jealously reserved by the Protestant ascendency, and Father Tom had the knack of making himself liked as well as respected for his solid judgment and courageous support of what he held to be good and true. During these same years he founded and edited two notable monthly magazines : “The Lyceum” (1889-94), and the “New Ireland Review” (1894-1911). There is no space here to tell in any detail the story of Father Tom Finlay's work for the Irish Co-operative Movement, by which he will probably be chiefly remembered in Irish history. It was work that could only be done by a man who had attained the special position which he held in Irish public life. But it is worth recording that gratitude to Father Tom was felt by the poor as well as the rich, for he would spare no time and trouble if he thought the Irish people could be helped by his labourers. His memory is perhaps most cherished .in Foxford Co. Mayo, where he took a leading part in the establishment of the Providence Mills, that have been founded and managed from the first by the Irish Sisters of Charity. During his last illness two of the workers in the Mills were married in Foxford. They were old friends of Father Tom, and they were not satisfied until they had travelled to Dublin in one of the lorries owned by the Mills, to get the old priest's blessing on their married life. When news of his death reached Foxford this year, telegrams of condolence were sent by the staff as a whole, and by some of his personal friends in the Foxford Mills. A notice of Father Finlay's life would be incomplete without some reference to the out-door sports which he had always clung to, in the midst of his busiest years. He was a firm believer in the policy of one good holiday a week, for which good Jesuit tradition can be quoted. His own tastes favoured fishing and shooting, and his friendships. through the country gave him opportunities that were sometimes perhaps the subject of envious comment. Father Tom and his brother Father Peter were keen sportsmen, but it is not certain that their skill was equal to their interest in the sport. Both men were individualists; and their individualism was sometimes erratic in quality, One leading Irish statesmen still has memories of a day's shooting on the lands of O'Conor Don. The party went to to the bog after breakfast; and a council of war was held during the lunch interval. The more cautious members gave it as their opinion that there was only one completely safe position in the field. You could get it by drawing a straight line between the two brothers Finlay! Even his brethren in Leeson Street were sometimes inclined to be sceptical. To the very end, when Father Tom was already long past eighty he made it a practice of. going off for a few days fishing in the Easter holidays, and Good Friday was not complete unless Father Tom brought home a salmon for the community. It was always welcome; but some at least of the Fathers used to murmur that perhaps a faithful Gilly in Co. Wexford was as much responsible for the salmon as Father Tom. But that was a joke that no one would venture to make in Father Tom’s presence. The end came, after four long years of illness, on January 8th. 1940. Father Tom had been stricken down in Leeson Street in the early autumn of 1936, and ever since he had been confined to his bed-room and an invalid chair. It was a long trial, which he bore with wonderful patience, and it was good to think that so many of his friends showed their loyalty and gratitude to him by their frequent visits and messages of sympathy. He died peacefully, having spent the last two days in almost continuous prayer. The funeral Mass at Gardiner Street gave a last opportunity for a tribute of respect and affection, which, once more, revealed the wide connections that Father Tom Finlay had made in his long and laborious
life. May he rest in peace. “A. Gwynn”

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1931

A Disciples Sketch of Father Tom Finlay SJ - William Magennis

When I first saw Father Finlay he was the youthful Rector of Belvedere College. Of middle height, squarely built - so the ordinary man of his physique would be described. But in Father Finlay's case, the face at once captured and held one's notice. It was a strong, somewhat Milesian face, marked with firm decision; not stern, however, for the shrewd bright eyes were always ready to light up with a genial smile. Even then they had that surround of wrinkles which are supposed to indicate advancing age but are more likely to be born of frequent laughter. His hair was coal-black and it lay on his shapely head just as Mr Leo Whelan's masterpiece of portraiture shows it in the painting with which he has immortalized himself.

Like, “Father O'Flynn”, Father Finlay had and still has - the wonderful way with him. Tho' he was Rector and I was an Intermediate boy, he treated me - or so it seemed to me as an equal. Never in his career, not even when in later years he was an intimate of Mr Gerald Balfour, Chief Secretary for Ireland, and Lady Gerald Balfour (a very exceptional and gifted woman of influence) and was high in the councils of the great, did he ever “put on side”. He was invariably simple, and unpretentious, apparently unconscious of his own per-eminence.

At the time I first came under his spell, he had built Belvedere College, for he was full of enterprise and courage. In spite of his humility he had faith in his own designs and projects. To me he is the living embodiment of Russell Lowell's dictum. The confidence of the world is guided to a man by a well grounded confidence in himself.

The building was erected on the grounds of Belvedere House, one of those glorious mansions which serve to make us realize to what a level of superb culture the eighteenth century Anglo-Irish - or were they Irish English? - had attained. The Rector's reception-room was at the back of the grand salon, a former music-room probably, and its windows looked out on the facade of the new building. It was there I saw him first, and the memory of him, in his fine environment, remains to me a living vivid memory unduled by all the years between.

Not the least, by the way, of his minor contributions to Dublin's improvement, was the pious care with which he had the exquisitely beautiful stucco enrichment by Italian artists that decorate the hall and staircase of the mansion, restored and delicately picked out in refined colouring.

In those years Belvedere had no playing fields; but later on, he bought grounds between Palmerston Road and Cowper Road, and constructed a bridge across the railway line to give access to them.

He was then a Nationalist in politics, and had considerable weight with not a few of the Irish Parliamentary Party. He secured entrance into the Party for Sir Thomas Grattan Esmonde, but Parnell rather suspected the neophyte as a possible instrument of a Jesuit intrigue. That superstition about Jesuitry dies hard, or rather, it lives hard; Even John Dillon, a devoted Catholic, shared it: he said to me one day - in a moment of expansion during our campaign for a new University - “That friend of yours, Father Finlay, is one of the d---est intriguers in Ireland!” When I expostulated that others might engage in intrigue, but Father Finlay never, Mr, Dillon retorted, “That only shows how he has hoodwinked you!!!”

In course of time I became a teacher of English Literature in Belvedere, and as I was simultaneously a student of Father Finlay in Philosophy, I enjoyed the inestimable advantage of walking with him from his house to the old University College in St Stephen's Green, where he lectured as a Fellow of the Royal University in Mental and Moral Science - as Philosophy was then nicknamed for prudential reasons.

T D Sullivan, poet and patriot, had fallen on evil days financially and was losing heavily on the weekly which he had acquired from his more eminent brother, “A M” Sullivan. This, “The Nation” (founded by Thomas Davis, the elder Dillon and Gavan Duffy) lived largely on recollections of its past, and had a slender circulation. Father Finlay came to T D's rescue by suggesting that three of us, of University College, should be permitted to contribute articles. The present Professor Robert Donovan, who was a tutor in English and several years our senior, Joe Farrell (long years dead) and I were thus introduced to Journalism under Father Finlay's auspices.

The mention of this serves to introduce another of his projects - provision of a Club which would serve as a social centre for Catholic professional men and others in Dublin who had passed through “Tullabeg” (then a College for laymen), Clongowes, Mungret or St. Ignatius. The late Sir Joseph McGrath (who died Registrar of the National University) and his partner “Dan” Croly, MA, who was lecturer in many Catholic institutions, were the only people connected with it whom I ever knew. It was called the “Lyceum Club” and it had the ambition, I heard, at one time to rival the Trinity College Club in St Stephen's Green. It was, however, a vaulting ambition, and it “fell on the other” financially. It was still alive, tho' moribund, when Father Finlay had us made members of it, that we might have the facilities it provided for reading magazines and reviews.

Writing and publishing had always a powerful attraction for Father Finlay. While a “scholastic” he wrote an Irish historical novel treating of the times of Owen Roe, “The Chances of War”, by Rev Thomas Whitelock - I had the pleasure in later years of making it a school reader with my photograph of the author as a frontispiece. He helped the Land Movement, I remember, by pamphleteering - one pamphlet, I remember “Ricardo on Rent”. The Lyceum was a more ambitious - undertaking, a monthly magazine cultivating philosophic politics, sociology, and the Arts, especially Literature. In the first years, Father Finlay was The Lyceum. But I need not recite its history in detail here, for my old friend and college companion-Professor John W Howley of University College, Galway has performed that service with consummate ability and considerable accuracy, in view of the fact that he was not a Lyceum-ite, his history of it forms a chapter in “A Page of Irish History” (Talbot Press). His tireless anxiety to develop his students led him to initiate all sorts of College Societies, not to speak of the Sodality. One of these was a Shakespeare reading society, and Father Finlay was fond of explaining to us different interpretations of favourite passages. I fear, however, few of our number had any histrionic capacity. He promoted, notwithstanding, college theatricals and one of his younger “stars” Tom Molloy, grew stage-struck and joined the company of Beerbohm Tree. I saw him on the boards of the “Gaiety” as Roseneranz or was it Guildenstern? - in Hamlet. He worked up also a Debating Society; and under its favouring conditions “Alex” Sullivan, now Sergeant Sullivan, KC, of the London Bar, first displayed his hereditary powers of oratory.

As regards public speaking, Father Finlay taught by example. He was never what I would call an orator. He was always a finished speaker. He himself, I fancy, rather scorned those elements, rhetorical turns of expression, semi-poetical diction, ornament and emotional appeal, which mark out oratory from the less ornate utterance of ideas. There are sincere souls to whom these “flights” savour of insincerity, or affectation. Where Father Finlay excelled was in the orderly marshalling of his facts, in lucid exposition, and ice-cold, clear-cut, hard, close reasoning that never turned aside until it had remorse lessly demolished the opponent's case. I have always thought what a magnificent equity lawyer and Lord Chancellor were lost to fame when T A Finlay entered the Jesuit Order.

There is, indeed, in the present generation a young T A Finlay who has already made his forensic mark, is an KC and TD, and will assuredly one day ornament the bench of the Supreme Court.

At the expiration of his rectorship, Father Finlay took up residence in University College, where Father Delany reigned as President, The building, famous from long before, as the city dwelling-house of Buck Whalley (a Hell Fire Club-inan with Curran) had been the scene of Newman's ill-starred attempt to found a Catholic University. Father Delany and Father Finlay, aided by colleagues like the historian of Cromwellian Ireland, Rev Denis Murphy; the Irish Mezzo-fanti, Rev J O'Carroll; Rev Gerard Hopkins, the poet; Rev Joseph Darlington (friend of Everyman), were able in some miraculous fashion, to galvanize the corpse that Newman's failure had left unburied, into healthy, vigorous life. And its activities made the National University of Ireland possible.

In St. Stephen's Green, Father Finlay found more leisure - if “leisure”can be used, without a “Bull”, to name a host of varied occupations. He gave scholarly courses of Lenten Lectures, making dry-as-dust Theology a popular “draw”; he organised Needlework Depots, creating industries, and enlarging employment for women and girls; helped to establish woollen mills; founded a publishing firm; was controlling editor of “The New Ireland Review”, and editor-in-chief of “The School and College Series” of books for pupils and students; assisted the Creamery movement; lectured all over Ireland in praise of co-operative industry; inspired and guided the men who created the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction.

During the Parnell leadership controversy, Father Finlay, who, in virtue, perhaps, of his semi-Scottish ancestry, had always been rigidly austere in moral matters even to Puritanism, assailed Parnell vigorously, and joined with the late Mr Tirnothy Healy in calling for his deposition. To me, an ardent Parnellite, it seemed an unhappy alliance. The friendship of the two men, thus begun, remained firm and unbroken till death, some months ago, severed it rudely.

Father Finlay magnanimously forgave my political break-away from his leadership; and it speaks eloquently for his tolerance, that the strong divergence of opinion which grew up between us as the years went by never threw its shadow on our relations as co-workers in the production of school-books, and as colleagues in the University Department of Philosophy.

The hero-worship with which from the first years I could not but reverence him, survived in spite of his union with the Horace Plunkett group in a movement into which Nationalist prejudice did not permit of his being followed. Father Finlay, thanks to his reaction against Parnellism, and his deepened sense of the vital importance of economic matters in the life of the Nation, had come to consider direct, constructive effort among the farmers a more potent instrument of building up a prosperous, Catholic Ireland than political action in way of agitation could ever provide. His satirical humour, of which he has a fund, loved to play its blistering tongue on the moving and passing of resolutions, and “voicing the aspirations of a down-trodden and oppressed nationality”. Clap-trap, raimeis, make-believe, falsities and lies, he abominates by instinct. And, I fear, he relegates our political propaganda to that infamous dust-bin of things despicable.

They who have only an external acquaintance with Father Finlay cannot even guess what depths of genial humanity lie hidden from them in the man. It would, I know, displease him were I to make public here even a fraction of what I know of his innumerable benefactions. St Francis of Assisi was happily styled the “friend of every friendless beast” : Father Finlay I would style the
friend of all the friendless poor. He has a strong sense of duty; but his large heart gives as strong an urge.

Father Finlay has a keen zest for shooting and fishing, he has fished trout from every lake in the Comeragh hills, in Galway and Mayo, Sligo and the North-West. He has no less zest for humorous narrative; and can rival, at times, even Dickens in giving a comic colouring to the most unpromising materials.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1940

Obituary

Father Thomas Finlay SJ

Though he was not educated at Belvedere it would be the blackest of ingratitude if Belvedere did not recognise in Fr Tom Finlay one who had paramount claims upon the School. Others have spoken and written of the wider activities with which this great man's later life was crowded, but we cannot o help rejoicing that the educationalist, who was for many years a pillar of the
National University and an outstanding force in the intellectual life of his country, served his apprenticeship to education and public affairs in Belvedere.

He was a young man, a very young man as Jesuits go, when in 1883 he s became Rector of Belvedere. Yet, he had already about him the elements which were to build up his great prestige. He was already associated with those views and projects which made him not only an ideal Commissioner of Education, and Dean of the Philosophic Faculty in his University, but Founder of the Irish Co-operative Movement and of University Hall. In a true sense, he was the second founder of Belvedere. Materially; certainly. For with the widest vision, backed by the financial resources of his own active brain and pen, he set to work to provide adequate accommodation for a great School for over fifty years.

Incredible as it seems, Belvedere had then carried on with no larger accommodation than the stately drawing-rooms and parlours of Lord Belvedere, where ugly partitions hid the beauty of the decoration and familiarity exposed it to damage. It is hard to-day to realise what those improvised class-rooms and mutilated halls must have been like; what handicaps it had of air and light and heat and cold, and noise and crowding. Fr Finlay swept all that away. First, built the new school buildings in solid red brick which now, as then, though almost doubled by recent additions, housed the Senior school. There was a fine, if small, chapel, excellent laboratories, a “manual work” room, and plenty of class-room space, well lit and warmed. It was work done, not for a day or a year, but for a century or two at the least. Not content with this achievement, he built our theatre and gymnasium, built it so well that it serves admirably the needs of what has become one of Belvedere's most remarkable activities, our popular opera week. In its construction vision, vision once again united with common sense, the spacious and solid with the practicable and the useful. Lastly, he acquired that fine mansion, fit neighbour to Belvedere House, which had been the residence of the Earls of Fingal. Part of this was designed as club house, it has since served to house the Irish Messenger Office, whose connection with Belvedere has been so happy a thing for the School. But for many years before Fr Finlay's policy could be carried further by the acquisitions Nos 7 and 8 Great Denmark Street, it served as a Preparatory school, too, and generations of Belvederians began their school life in the “Little” House. Such a record needs no emphasising. Fr Finlay's was a unique opportunity. He rose nobly to it, and all future generations have only to follow his lead..

Spiritually, perhaps, he meant even more to the School. For Fr Finlay was anything but a mere efficient machine, a juggler with bricks and mortar pounds and pence. To those who knew him that idea is so absurd as to be laughable. For those who did not, one glance at the fine countenance in Leo Whelan's portrait should reveal that wonderful combination of head and heart which made him the great man he was. One misses indeed the little smile the eyes began and the fine, sensitive lips finished, but there is in that broad clear brow and firm glance, and in the enviable repose of the features, a summary of Fr Finlay's qualities. He was one who loved knowledge greatly for herself but more for her kindness to mankind. He was one who loved boys, but again loved manhood more. This made him a teacher, a director of studies and a inspirer of studies at once zealous and not fanatical, wide and not wasteful, noble and not visionary. Of his government of boys. it can be said with certainty that it was much ahead, both in theory and practice, of the normal expectation of his time. Father Finlay was as incapable of harshness, even of what could fairly be called severity, as he was unyielding in his demand for the essentials and just in his sense of proportion. Character in him was fused with kindness. Only a few months before his death a distinguished Belvederian priest, whose picture adorns our pages, found himself in Ireland for a brief spell and learn of his old rector's accessibility even in retirement. He was on the eve of his departure to what is perhaps the world's most arduous and dangerous mission On the day he sailed he went out to Linden. There the two had long talk. Who shall say what they remembered or what they anticipated. But as his visitor rose to go Fr Finlay, with real feeling, asked for a last blessing and with tears in his eyes, his admiring son did for the last time what he was bidden The episode is characteristic. To hear Fr Finlay talk of his old boys was to hear him tell stories of the happy intercourse that can exist between master and boy almost in proportion to the humility, nay, the reverence of both.

He was too short a time (1883-1888) in Belvedere, for it was impossible to expect he should be allowed to give to one limited sphere and group the talents which have enriched the nation. But he never altered his allegiance to his old School. At the Centenary Celebrations in 1931, when he was well over eighty he preached the sermon at the commemorative High Mass, and linked with glowing words, a worthy past to the hopes of a proud future. God spared him to his ninety-second year, with all his wonderful powers of mind and affection intact, and in the final years he would enquire from his visitors after the health and happiness of the School which he had led out of the stages of childhood to the full growth of manhood and maturity. Always it was with a mind eager to hear of new effort and fresh achievement, so that his hearers surely cannot doubt that it will be part of his reward to assist from the Kingdom of Glory those who still struggle with the problems, the works and the opportunities in which he merited so splendidly of boyhood, of his country and of God.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Thomas Finlay (1848-1940)

Entered the Society some eight months after his younger brother. He also did all his higher studies abroad, as, in those days, the Irish Province of the Society had not enough men to maintain their own houses of studies. Thomas Finlay was a student of philosophy in Rome when Garibaldi took the city. He finished his philosophy in Germany and it was during this time he first acquired his interests in scientific methods of agriculture. He spent his regency at Crescent College, 1872-1877. In 1875, although he was still only a scholastic, he was appointed prefect of studies. His versatility was remarkable during his years in Limerick: he was master, prefect of studies, master of the choir and novelist! it was at this time he published his novel, “The Chances of War”. Shortly after his ordination in 1880 a new and brilliant career lay ahead for him. He became a Fellow of the newly established Royal University of Ireland and until 1900 was professor of metaphysics. It is a significant tribute to his physical, no less than his mental energy, that for the first five years of his professor ship at University College, Dublin, he was also Rector of Belvedere College.

In 1900, Father Finlay, who for years had taken a leading part in the co-operative movement, was appointed to the chair of Political Economy, and held this post with distinction for the next thirty years.

Finneran, Patrick J, 1915-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/659
  • Person
  • 23 January 1915-01 October 1989

Born: 23 January 1915, Boyle, County Roscommon
Entered: 07 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained :28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 01 October 1989, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Patrick Finneran SJ
R.I.P.

Father Patrick Finneran of Wah Yah College, Kowloon, died on 1 October 1989.

Father Finneran, who was still working last week, collapsed suddenly on the evening of Sunday, 1 October. He retained consciousness long enough to receive the Last Sacraments, but died very soon after that, aged 74.

Father Finneran was born in Roscommon, Ireland, on 23 January 1915. He was educated in Mungret College, Co. Limerick, where he showed himself an outstanding games player. He joined the Jesuits in 1934, was ordained priest in 1948 and came to Hong Kong in 1950.

The rest of his life was devoted mainly to his work as teacher and sports master in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He took a deep interest in this work and in the students he was working for. He was happy to spend long hours training students in sports and showing by example how things should be done. For many years, under his direction, the tennis teams of Wah Yan, Kowloon, played a major part in schools tennis in Hong Kong, to his great satisfaction.

He had a special gift of a virtue much praised by the Apostles, hospitality. Visitors to Wah Yan, Kowloon, were made to feel that he was glad that they had come and that he hoped that they would stay.

His cheerful disposition won him many permanent friends both among Wah Yan students and among the people he met in the course of pastoral work. He will be missed by many.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 1 October 1989

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was at Mungret College SJ in Limerick. With the encouragement of Michael Murphy he then entered the Novitiate at St Mary’s, Emo under the newly appointed Novice Master John Neary. Michael Murphy followed him to Emo as Spiritual Father, and then onward to Rathfarnham as his Prefect of Studies in the Juniorate. Paddy was then sent to Tullabeg to study Philosophy. He was then sent for Regency to Crescent College Limerick and Belvedere College SJ, Dublin, where he also studied for a H Dip in Education at University College Dublin. Ted Collins was with him in Limerick, and among his students were Ciarán Kane and Frank Doyle in Belvedere.
1945-1949 He was at Milltown Park Dublin studying Theology, and then on to Tertianship at Rathfarnham under George Byrne.

He came to Hong Kong as a young priest with Peter Dunne and 5 Scholastics - Liam Egan, Paddy Cunningham, Matt Brosnan, Tom O’Neill and Tony Farren. He spent two years at the Battery Path Language School learning Cantonese.
1956-1958 He went to Way Yan College Hong Kong as Minister
1958 He went to Wah Yan Kowloon and remained there until his death.

He taught students English and Biblical Knowledge, and every year he baptised some of his students - over 100 in total. He also published some books on the teaching of English. However it is as a Games Master that he will be particularly remembered. He was one of the driving forces behind Wah Yan’s sports. He loved and coached tennis and won many championships.

For many years he also gave monthly talks to the Maryknoll Sisters and was active in other spiritual ministries. he gave Retreats in many Catholic schools in Hong Kong and was also involved in religious activities in Singapore and Malaysia

Finucane, James, 1878-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/153
  • Person
  • 25 December 1878-25 January 1957

Born: 25 December 1878, Carrigparson, Cahirconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 14 August 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 25 January 1957, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1900 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1902 in Saint Stanislaus, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) studying Arabic
by 1903 in Collège Saint-François Xavier, Alexandria, Egypt (LUGD) Teacher
by 1912 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Extracts from a letter of Fr. Patrick McGrath, S. J., St. Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, to Fr. Finucune, 10-9-945. Fr. McGrath is an old Crescent boy who while stationed at the Crescent 34 years ago volunteered for the (then) Australian Mission. :
“Your letter arrived just in time for the celebration of the Golden Jubilee. Besides the House celebration there was a Parish celebration in our Hall. I knew nothing about it till three days before. Since I came to Australia I have spent most of my time between Melbourne and Sydney as Parish Priest. I did some six years' teaching in St. Aloysius, Sydney, twelve year's Parish Priest there, and the rest of my time in Melbourne as assistant, but mostly as Parish Priest. I broke down in Sydney. The hilly land there was too much for my growing years, and after a rest of a few months in our Theologate at Pymble I was sent back here as a Curate and I was very glad of it. I certainly never regretted coming to Australia.
Our Parish here is a very large one, and on the whole a very Catholic one, made up almost entirely of working people, for the most part very sincere and practical Catholics and most generous and easy and pleasant to work with. The same may be said of our Parish in Lavender Bay, North. Sydney,
The church of St. Ignatius in this Parish is a magnificent one, pure Gothic, in a commanding position, with a spire 240 feet high, the most perfect and beautiful spire in Australia. The stone of the church is Blue Stone but the upper part of the spire is white.
Looking up the Irish Catalogue a few days ago I was surprised to find that I know so few there now. Here in Australia the Irish Jesuits are dying out. The Vice-province is going on well. It is fully equipped with everything, novitiate, scholasticate with Juniors and Philosophers, and a special house for Theology, and we have this year a tertianship with 14 Australian Tertians. We want more novices, but there is good hope that there will be an increase this year. Our colleges here are doing very well. Both in Sydney and Melbourne there is a day-school and a boarding-school. The buildings in both places are first class”.

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 2 1957

Obituary :

Fr James Finucane (1878-1957)

Fr. Finucane was born at Carrigparson, Co. Limerick, and educated at the Crescent, entering the Society at Tullabeg in 1895. He studied Philosophy at Vals and then, as his health seemed precarious, he went to the drier climate of the Levant, continuing his studies at Beirut and teaching for two years in our college in Alexandria. Next came five years teaching in Mungret, at a period when higher studies were successfully undertaken there and many entered for university examinations. His first two years of Theology were passed at Milltown Park, and his third year at Ore Place, Hastings, then the theologate of the Paris Province. After his ordination in 1912 he went on at once to his Tertianship, and then spent eight years in Mungret as Prefect, Minister and Procurator of the farm. In 1922 he went to Clongowes where he taught and managed the farm until 1940. Then, after a few years teaching at the Crescent, he went to Leeson St, as Procurator, until his health declined so much that it was thought advisable to send him to Rathfarnham, where he could avoid to a large extent the labour of climbing stairs. He died in St. Vincent's Nursing Home, 96 Lower Leeson St., on 25th January.
It is probable that Fr. Finucane will be best remembered for his long association with Clongowes - and it is both as a farmer and a teacher of French that he will be remembered. The years there were happy years for him; he liked his work on the farm and his classes furnished him with a real interest: it might almost be said, indeed, that his classes were for him a delightful hobby, for though he taught several of them, he was not a full-time teacher. Old loyal workers who served under him on the farm in Clongowes remember him with admiration and affection : “He did not mind what a cow ate, but he hated to see good fodder between her feet”. And he knew good work when he saw it, and his praise was therefore the more appreciated, and he had high standards too : “Whatever he done, he done well!” An agricultural expert might perhaps criticise his policy and practice as being “undercapitalised” and say that production could have been increased: but what was done was indeed well done, and no beast went hungry. Clongowes was a land of sleek cattle and strong fences, and rich grass.
As a teacher he often obtained high places for his best boys in the public examinations, but he was most successful by the soundest criterion of all - his boys became fascinated with the study of French and every year some left his classes with an interest in the language and literature that was to be a source of genuine pleasure to them all their lives. It might be said that he did not take a whole class along with him, that a number of boys dropped out, and that his best boys did well because they worked for themselves. That is true; but the fact that he could lead them to this is a measure of his gifts as a master, gifts that will be always envied by lesser teachers.
Some people thought his interest in French literature, especially classical literature, strange in a man whose work and preoccupations were fundamentally agricultural, But it was a natural direct interest, utterly remote from sophistication and artificiality and jargon. The great authors wrote to be enjoyed, not to afford matter for pedantic lucubrations and university theses. He enjoyed them, and therefore his boys did also. And they enjoyed him, standing before a class, his arm gesturing vaguely like some weed moving gently in a placid stream while he talked of Le Cid or trumpeted nasally his delight in Monsieur Jourdain or Harpagon, Turning so naturally from the cares of ploughing or hay-making to Racine and Molière, he was to them the personification of l’honnete homme - in the seventeenth century sense.
His interest in his boys lasted long after they had left school, but it was an interest generally conditioned by their proficiency at French; that was a touch stone. Once, when he had left Clongowes, he was asked by a former Crescent teacher for news of a boy at the Crescent who was in one of his classes. “Mark my words”, he answered, “that boy will give trouble, he will bring sorrow to his parents! He never learns his irregular verbs!” If a boy did well on the Rugby field, it was often because he was “intelligent”, because he liked Molière; if a proficient student failed to get into the Sodality, there was something seriously wrong with the organisation of the Sodality.
A few days before he died he sent for a former pupil, a very prominent doctor from another hospital. “I am going very soon”, he said, “I have just sent for you to say good-bye”. And he shook hands. It was a symbolic hand-clasp and those who owe him so much would have longed to share it, to bid him a very grateful farewell. They will not forget him in their prayers.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Finucane SJ 1878-1957
Fr James Finucane was born in County Limerick and received his early education at the Crescent. From there he entered the Society in 1895.

For the benefit of his health, he was sent to Beirut as a scholastic, and it was here he acquired that love and mastery of the French language, for which he was renowned afterwards. He also had a great interest in the land, and for most of his life as a Jesuit, he was in charge of our farms, mainly at Mungret and Clongowes.

His association with Clongowes covered many years, and he will long be remembered by generations of old boys, especially for his powers as a French teacher.

After retiring from teaching he spent some time in Leeson Street and Rathfarnham, where he died on January 25th, 1957.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father James Finucane (1878-1957)

Of Carrigparson, Co. Limerick, was educated at the Crescent and entered the Society in 1895. He made his higher studies in France and Beirut, and during his sojourn in the east did part of his regency in the French Jesuit College of Alexandria. On his return to Ireland he continued his regency at Mungret College. He completed his theological studies in Hastings, where the French Jesuits were then in exile, and was ordained in 1912. Father Finucane spent the years 1913-22 as farm procurator in Mungret and occupied the same position in Clongowes until 1940. He came to his old school as master of French the same year and remained here until 1944 when he was appointed bursar at 35 Lower Leeson St.

FitzGerald, Edward J, 1918-2003, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/560
  • Person
  • 05 April 1918-01 November 2003

Born: 05 April 1918, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1954, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 01 November 2003, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1954 at Rome, Italy (ROM) - studying

◆ Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2005

Obituary

Fr Edward (Eddie) Fitzgerald (1918-2003)

5th April 1918: Born in Dublin
Early education at St. Gerard's, Bray and Clongowes
7th Sept. 1936: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1938: First Vows at Emo
1938 - 1942: Rathfarnham -Studied Classics at UCD
1942 - 1945: Tullabeg- Studied Philosophy
1945 - 1946: Mungret College, Limerick - Regency(Teacher)
1946 - 1947: Belvedere College - Regency (H Dip Ed UCD)
1947 - 1951: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1950: Ordained at Milltown Park
1951 - 1952: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1952 - 1954: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick - Ministered in the Church
1954 - 1956: Gregorian University, Rome - STD
2nd Feb. 1954: Final Vows, Sacred Heart College, Limerick
1956 - 1967: Milltown Park - Professor of Dogma, Liturgy
1967 - 1973: Mungret College, Limerick - Teacher
1973 - 1980: Milltown Park - Lecturer in Theology at M; Spiritual Director (SJ)
1980 - 1984: Sullivan House - Lecturer in Theology at MI; Spiritual Director (S.J.)
1984 - 1985: Tullabeg - Director Spiritual Exercises
1985 - 2003: Milltown Park - Chaplain at Eye & Ear Hospital
1994: Assists in Cherryfield Lodge
1997: Spiritual Director (S.J.)
1st Nov. 2003: Died at Cherryfield Lodge.

Fr. FitzGerald was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in September, 2003, when cancer of the bone was diagnosed. There he received palliative care, remained in good form and was free from pain. In the last week he began to weaken, but his death on Saturday afternoon was quite unexpected.

Noel Barber writes:
When I think of Father Eddie Fitzgerald and look for a biblical character to reflect his personality, I think of Nathaniel, who makes two fleeting appearances in John's gospel but appears nowhere else in the NT. Nathaniel's quality without guile' conveys so much about the character of Eddie Fitzgerald who was indeed without guile, highly intelligent, modest, one of the least self-centred people I have ever met, ever willing to do whatsoever required doing, a man of prayer and solid piety, above all a man of prayer. He loved prayer: to love prayer is to love the one to whom one prays and with whom one journeys. One found him regularly in the early hours of the morning in our community oratory.

At his death, those to whom he was near and dear were unashamedly caught up in their loss, sorrow and pain. He was a much loved, and significant figure in his community, family, in the Eye and Ear Hospital where he ministered and in many other places. In losing him we lost something of ourselves. In his case, the manner of his death softened the pain of loss. Death cut prematurely the relentless advance of his cancer. The palliative care he received in Cherryfield Lodge kept him in good form, free of pain and with his many interests undimmed. He had just completed Declan Kiberd's Inventing Ireland and had cheered on the Irish rugby team - albeit in vain – against Australia. The sudden death spared him much and for that we were all grateful. This truly good man without guile was born in Dublin into a distinguished legal family 85 years ago. He was educated at St. Gerard's, Bray and Clongowes and entered the Jesuits in 1936 followed by his brother, John, the next year Having completed his novitiate he studied Classics at UCD where he took a first class primary degree followed by an MA. He then studied Philosophy in Tullabeg. Before going on to study Theology, he taught for two years, the first in Mungret and the second in Belvedere. I was a small boy in Belvedere at the time. He did not teach me but I recall that he was noted for his kindness, which the Belvederians exploited with characteristic wickedness. He was ordained at Milltown Park in 1950 with his brother, John. After his theological studies in Milltown he was sent to Rome where he obtained a doctorate in Theology. It seemed then that he was destined for an academic life for which his ability and interests well equipped him. Not only was he a competent scholar, he was an excellent lecturer. Allied to his mastery of his subject was a keen interest in his students, a kindness and of course a totally unpretentious disposition, a characteristic not found universally amongst the professorial class. To his colleagues as a student and young priest he was companionable, supportive, always kindly and obliging. The orderly aspect of religious life appealed to him; he was a natural rule follower to whom obedience came easily as did simplicity of life. Intellectually he became progressively more liberal but by temperament and style of life he remained to the end conservatively monastic. At times he seemed a little ashamed of his opinions and would apologise profusely for holding outrageous views, views, it must be said, that often seemed far from outrageous to his companions.

After twelve years lecturing on Theology he fell ill: he had a breakdown and this experience developed his already considerable capacity to help others, and to feel for them in their sickness. He then taught in Mungret College before returning to lecture in Milltown, to be the Spiritual Director there and then to the Jesuit university students. All the time he gave retreats, and was spiritual director to several groups of religious sisters. In these tasks he gave great satisfaction to all but himself. He was never able to savour his own ability, gifts and attainments while ever keen to observe and appreciate those of others. Within the community he was a gem: interested in and supportive of all: ever willing to help in every way he could. Any notice asking for a priest to supply here or there would have his signature at once. He was, of course, tense and somewhat strained, could build up a steam of exasperation and let fly against something “ghastly”, a favourite word of his in an exasperated state. That exasperation could, at times, be exasperating. But to all of us who lived with him he leaves a most benign and lovable memory.

At the age of 64 he was appointed Chaplain to the Eye and Ear Hospital, Adelaide Road where he remained until the end of this summer when cancer of the bone was diagnosed. There he flourished; it gave him an outlet for his pastoral zeal and he was at his happiest in serving the sick with absolute devotion and total commitment. The work revealed all his fine qualities and he won the hearts of staff and patients alike. Of course, when he spoke of the hospital, he spoke never of the good he did but of the good the Hospital did to him, giving him those happy years. Typically, he was ever aware of the goodness of others to himself but discounted his goodness to them.

At this time he developed an apostolate to dying Jesuits in Cherryfield Lodge. He spent hours praying with and for his colleagues in the final stage of their lives, supporting them as they left this world. This he did unstintingly. His presence there is sorely missed

He accepted his cancer easily and in the final weeks his talk was all about the excellence of the care he received, the goodness of the staff and the great kindness of all who visited him. He faced death as he faced life in steadfast faith and firm hope. So while his sudden death left his family, community and friends stunned it must have been a delight for him. One moment he was sitting waiting for his supper, then in a blink of an eyelid he was facing the Lord he served so well. Now he has been received into that place of peace and joy that was prepared for him from before the foundation of the world.

FitzGerald, Thomas R, 1905-1967, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/149
  • Person
  • 08 February 1905-12 July 1967

Born: 08 February 1905, Glin, County Limerick
Entered: 20 September 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1939, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 12 July 1967, St Francis Xavier, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore - Hong Kongensis Province (HK)

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

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

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Thomas FitzGerald, S.J., who worked in Hong Kong from 1938 to 1955 and in Malaysia or Singapore for the past twelve years, died in Singapore on Wednesday, 12 July 1967, aged 62.

Father FitzGerald was born in Ireland on 8 February 1905. He entered the Jesuit novitiate there in 1922 and was ordained priest in 1936.

He came to Hong Kong in 1938. After two years spent studying Cantonese, he went to the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, where he taught philosophy and later theology. Towards the end of the war he went to Macao to teach in the College of St. Luis Gonzaga. After the war he taught English Literature in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong till 1955. For many years he combined this teaching with a vigorous chaplaincy to the R.A.F.

In 1955 he went to Singapore to lecture in the Teachers’ Training College. In 1958 he moved to Penang as chaplain to a very large complex of educational works run by the Sisters there. In 1964, with seriously impaired health of which he took singularly little notice, he returned to Singapore, still ready for hard work. In the last year of his life he took over the editorship of the Malaysian Catholic News and the wardenship of Kingsmead Hall.

The extraordinary variety of posts filled by Father FitzGerald - lectureship in philosophy and theology, secondary school teaching R.A.F. chaplaincy, convent chaplaincy, administration, editorship - and the success he achieved in them testify to his extraordinary power of concentration on the matter in hand, whatever it might be. In ordinary conversation this concentration amounted to and endearing eccentricity - he would concentrate fully on the subject under discussion if he was distracted from that subject; he was totally distracted and showed no memory of the original subject. In his work this was no eccentricity, but and astonishing power of focusing all his remarkable powers on whatever task lay before him.

Even the onset of very bad health could not rob him of this invaluable gift, He was a sick men, already in his sixties, when he started his highly successful editorship of the Malaysian Catholic News, but he greeted the work with all the enthusiasm with which he had greeted the first work that had fallen to him as a young priest.

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.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 21 July 1967

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013.
His early education was at Laurel Hill Convent in Limerick and then he spent 8 years at Crescent College, before he Entered the Society in 1922.

He got a 1st Class Degree from University College Dublin and then a H Dip in Education.. He then studied Philosophy at Milltown Park.
He was sent for three years Regency, 2 at Mungret College SJ in Limerick and 1 at Belvedere College SJ Dublin. He then returned to Milltown Park for Theology and was Ordained there in 1936, followed immediately by Tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales.

1938-1940 Immediately after Tertianship he came to Hong Kong and spent the first two years at Tai Lam Chung Language School
1940-1943 He was sent to teach Philosophy at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen.
After WWII he taught briefly at St Luis Gonzaga College in Macau
1946-1955 He was sent to Wah Yan College Hong Kong
1955-1958 He was sent to Singapore as a Lecturer at the Teachers Training College
1958 He was sent to Penang as Chaplain to the HIJ sisters.
1964-1966 He was engaged in Retreat work in Singapore and Malaysia. His final post there was as Editor of the Malaysian Catholic News and as Warden at Kingsmead GHall.

He had a flair for languages - he knew Cantonese, Latin, Greek, Irish, French and Spanish.

Note from Timothy Doody Entry
Another passage in this book also describes Mr. Doody busy amid shelling and bombing. During a lull in his billeting work he found a new apostolate. Two priests were sheltered in the M.E.P. Procure on Battery Path. Mr. Doody took up his position outside the Procure and boldly enquired of all who passed if they were Catholics, and, if they were, did they wish to go to confession. The results were almost startling. The most unexpected persons turned out to be Catholics, from bright young things to old China hands, and after the first start of surprise at the question in the open street in staid, pleasure-loving Hong Kong, they generally took the turn indicated by Mr. Doody and found Father Grogan of Father Fitzgerald of Father O’Brien ready to meet them inside.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Arrivals :
Our three re-patriated missioners from Hong Kong: Frs. T. Fitzgerald, Gallagher and G. Kennedy, arrived in Dublin in November and are rapidly regaining weight and old form. Fr. Gallagher has been assigned to the mission staff and will be residing at St. Mary's, Emo.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Leeson St :
We were very glad to have several members of the Hong Kong inission with us for some time: Frs. P. Joy, T. Fitzgerald, and H. O'Brien, while Fr. George Byrne has joined us as one of the community.

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

Irish Province News 42nd Year No 4 1967

Obituary :

Fr Thomas Fitzgerald SJ (1905-1967)

When Fr. Thomas FitzGerald died in Singapore on 12th July 1967, the Hong Kong Viceprovince lost one of its most attractive characters. At his funeral Mass in St. Ignatius Church the presence of an archbishop, a bishop and a large crowd of priests, religious and layfolk gave eloquent testimony to the respect and affection with which he had been regarded. One of the priests, in fact, had travelled 500 miles to attend his funeral.
Fr. FitzGerald had spent the last twenty-nine years in the Far East. After the usual course of studies he went out to Hong Kong as a priest in 1938. His two years in the language school at Taai Lam Chung gave him a knowledge of Cantonese which made him one of our best Chinese scholars. Afterwards, he was to be for several years a member of a government examining board to test the proficiency in Chinese of European police-officers. Throughout his life Fr. FitzGerald was an excellent linguist and had a real interest in languages. Although he never lived in France he became a fluent French speaker - which was later to prove a useful asset in dealing with the French clergy in Malaya - and he learned Spanish just because he liked the language.
From 1940 to 1946 Fr. FitzGerald was on the staff of the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong. Here, at various times, he professed ethics, theology and dogma. These were difficult years, covering as they did three and a half years of the war in the Far East. The main difficulty was the shortage of food. Fr. FitzGerald used afterwards recall how, when he was sent down to Macao towards the end of the war, his brethren there failed to recognise him in his emaciated state.
Immediately after the war he came back to Ireland for a rest. Here he puzzled the doctors with a peculiar fever which turned out to be a recurrence of malaria, already contracted in the Far East. Many years later he used to take pride in the fact that a slide of his blood was still being used in U.C.D. to teach the medical students what malaria looked like!
In 1946 Fr. FitzGerald went to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, where he spent the next nine years. In addition to his classwork he took a lively interest in the school dramatics and revealed unsuspected talent as a make-up artist. He also, during these years, took on the extra-curricular post of officiating chaplain to the R.A.F. in Hong Kong.
Fr. FitzGerald was sent, in 1955, to the newly-established house in Singapore, to take up an appointment as Lecturer in English at the Teachers Training College. Three years later he suffered the first of a series of heart-attacks. After a spell in hospital he was sent back to Ireland to recuperate. Having spent six months there he was returning to Singapore by ship when he got another attack and had to be taken ashore and hospitalised in Bombay. He finally reached Singapore in January 1959. On the night of his arrival his condition caused concern and the doctor was summoned at 11 p.m. The following evening Fr. Tommy was calmly strolling round a trade exhibition on the other side of Singapore! This was typical of the man and of his attitude to life. For the last nine years of his life Fr. FitzGerald was told by every doctor who examined hiin that he had a heart so badly damaged that it could stop at any moment. His only reply was : “Well, the only thing to do with a heart like mine is forget about it”, and he acted accordingly. Time after time he suffered minor setbacks, but as soon as he felt a little better and he seemed to recover with incredible speed he wanted to be up and about at once.
After a couple of months in Singapore Fr. FitzGerald was sent to Penang where he spent the next four and a half years, living with a French parish priest and acting as chaplain to a large convent school and spiritual director to several religious institutions in the diocese. Although very fruitful in apostolic work these were rather lonely years for a community-man like Fr. Tommy.
He was happy, then, to be recalled to Singapore in 1963 to be Director of Retreats in Singapore and Malaya. During the next few years Fr. FitzGerald toured the peninsula giving retreats to priests, religious and lay-people. This was the sort of thing he liked - to be a member of a community without being tied down for too long to any one place. There was an element of wanderlust in Fr. Tommy.
Last year, at a time when his doctor was surprised that he was still alive, he opened a new chapter of his life by accepting two posts in which he had had no previous experience, Warden of Kingsmead Hall and Editor of the Malaysian Catholic News. It was these posts that he was filling with distinction when he suffered another massive heart-attack and died.
Among the many letters of condolence received from his friends after Fr. FitzGerald's death, there was one from Mr. Frank James - the father of our Fr. Brendan. In it he writes :
“There was so much that was loveable about Fr. Fitz. He had a genius for putting you at your ease and for making friends. My wife and I have known him for many years, and always he was so unruffled, so much at peace with himself and with the world around him”.
This comment aptly describes one of the most notable features of Fr. FitzGerald's character. He was a simple, uncomplicated man. He liked people and they liked him. Totally unselfconscious, he moved through life in an abstracted sort of way, with only an intermittent grasp, one felt, on reality. His phenomenal absent mindedness, his tendency to disrupt a conversation with an apparently utterly irrelevant remark, could at times be mildly exasperating. But exasperation soon gave way to amusement, especially at the look of oblivious innocence on Fr. Tommy's face. Sometimes, particularly in later years, when he realised from the sudden silence that he had stopped the conversation dead, he would try, with an apologetic smile, to trace the wavering line that connected in his mind the former topic with his abrupt intervention. This was always listened to with great interest. The connection was usually quite fantastic.
In view of his disjointed manner of conversation it is perhaps surprising that Fr. FitzGerald was such an excellent teacher. The fact is that when he put his mind to one subject he had a tremendous power of concentration. And he was extremely painstaking about his work. Often, when he was lecturing at the T.T.C. he would write out a whole lecture in full, and it would be a model of clear and interesting exposition. It is no wonder that his students remembered him with gratitude and affection many years after.
And so do we remember him. He was a man of peace, and his influence on any company of which he was a part was to quiet discords and reduce tensions. We may hope, with considerable confidence, that he has received the reward promised to the peace makers, that his childlike eyes now gaze at God.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962

Malaya

Father Thomas R Fitzgerald SJ

Malaya is a land of strange contrasts. Big, bustling cities such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpar, Penang, side by side with trackless jungle. In Penang Island, about a year ago, three men went out on a hike through the jungle, At the end of three days three gaunt and tattered figures appeared on the island shore and hailed a passing fisherman. They had lost their way, and what they had intended as an afternoon stroll turned into a fight for survival, And this on an island which one can motor round in an afternoon. Admittedly, the case is rare. But that it can happen at all shows what one is up against once ont leaves the beaten track.

We may add other jungle hazards. Elephants, tigers, pythons, cobras, the seladang or wild ox - the most formidable of all the wild animals of Malaya, it will attack on sight. Swimming in the larger rivers is dangerous on account of crocodiles, and when out bathing on one of the beaches one has to be on the look out for basking sea-snakes. Their bite is frequently lethal.

A land, too, of striking contrasts in its inhabitants. They are of different levels of culture and each race speaks its own group of languages. In the depths of the jungle live the oldest inhabitants of Malaya, the Sakai. They are a primitive people who go about in loin cloths armed with blowpipe and poisoned arrows. They have a common lodging house for the whole community and live off the animals of the jungle and partly by primitive agriculture. The earliest invaders were the Malays who form the majority of the present population of Malaya. For the most part they are farmers and live in kampongs, or villages, in houses raised five or six feet above the ground on wooden pillars. Their dress is colourful, the baju-shirt, or blouse, and the sarong a piece of brightly coloured cloth extending from the waist to the feet.

During the past one hundred and fifty years Malaya has witnessed a vast immigration of Chinese and Indians. The Indians are easily distinguished by their almost European features. Most of them come from the South of India and are dark complexioned. The majority of the Indians are rubber tappers, but they are to be found in all walks of life. They are keen businessmen, take a prominent part in the trades union movement and in the legislative assemblies of both Singapore and the Federation. They include many distinguished lawyers and doctors. While many Indian families have adopted European dress, the common wear among the lower classes is the dhoti, a skirt of white cotton gathered up between the legs, for men, and for women the sari.

The Chinese are mostly town and village folk. In the mixture of races that go to make up the population of Malaya they are the most vigorous and progressive element. Most of the shops in the towns and villages are owned by them, Chinese run big firms in the cities, own rubber estates and factories. In the two big universities of Malaya and Singapore respectively they easily outnumber the Malays and Indians. They have a separate university for themselves on Singapore Island. And, of course, they form the majority of the professional classes.

Most new Catholics are Chinese. The Malays being strict Moslems are almost impossible to convert. The Indians are hard to reach, since most of them live in remote rubber estates. Also, they are more wedded to their Hindu religion than the Chinese are to either Buddhism, Taoism or Confucianism. I do not wish, however, to say that Indian Catholics are few in number, The Church in Malaya contains a fairly equal number of Indians and Chinese. But most Indian Catholics come from the South of India, where the Church has been established for centuries and where their ancestors had been converted. Many of them, too, come from Goa, where until recently the Portuguese flag flew.

In the home each race speaks its own language. The Indians from the South of India speak Tamil and Malayalam; Urdu is commonly spoken by immigrants from Northern India. The Chinese speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Hoilam, Hakka, Teochew, each of which differs from the others enough to constitute a separate language. For instance, a Cantonese speaker is absolutely at sea when addressed in Hokkien unless he has previously learnt the language. Hokkien is generally spoken by the Singapore and Penang Chinese, while most of the Chinese in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of the Federation, and in Ipoh and other large towns speak Cantonese.

The Church has met this difficulty by making parishes racial, not local. For instance, in Singapore there is a separate church for the Indians, one for the Cantonese, one for the Teochew and Hokkien speakers and several churches for the English-speaking majority. But this does not solve the difficulty that the speakers of these different languages are spread throughout the length and breadth of Singapore, and many of them may have to travel many miles to get to the church where their own language is spoken. All agree that it is an unsatisfactory way of meeting the difficulty. But at present there is no other way of meeting it. Otherwise the missionaries would have to follow in the footsteps of Mezzafonti. And as things are, the average missionary -he is generally French-has to learn English, Malay, and one dialect of either Indian or Chinese.

The two Irish Jesuit parishes, St Ignatius in Singapore and St Francis Xavier's in Kuala Lumpur are cases in point of the language difficulty. In Singapore the majority of our parishioners are English-speaking. In the parish area there is an enormous number of non-Christian residents, mainly Chinese. To win them over we must have a good speaker of the Hokkien dialect, And so Father Gerard Keane has had to spend a year in a language school in Kuala Lumpur to add Hokkien to his Cantonese. Our parish in Kuala Lumpur contains a large Cantonese village, but there are very many Indians in the parish, too. To meet their spiritual needs, Father Paul Jenkins has had to devote two years to the study of Tamil, an exceedingly complex language.

Recently I have been instructing a Cantonese lady. Here in Penang. where I am living, I am the only Cantonese speaking priest. The lady was unfortunate in that, unlike most of the Chineses, she spoke only one dialect. Penang, like Singapore, is divided into an Indian parish, a Chinese parish and two parishes for English speakers. In the Chinese parish the priest in charge speaks Mandarin, Hakka and English, So there was nobody there to attend to the needs of the Cantonese lady.

In this age of materialism and comfort, it is heartening to see how many men and women are prepared to make great sacrifices for the Faith. Recently I was visited by the second wife of a prominent lawyer in one of the large towns of Malaya. She had had a chequered career. Now forty years of age, she was the mother of three children and held a respected position in the non-Christian society of her town. She had come to the Faith through devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. And so she asked me: “What must I do to be baptized?” The answer was simple, but it demanded the heroic.

“You must separate from your husband. If he refuses to give up your children you must part from them, too”.
“That is hard, Father, but since it is God's will, I will do it”.

And she did. She gave up her wealthy home and her children and went to live with her brother, who was a poor rubber tapper. She was instructed in the Faith and baptised. She came to me after her baptism and told me she was happy in spite of the separation from her children, because she knew she was doing the will of God and he gave her much consolation.

What of the future of our work here in Malaya ? At present we Irish Jesuits are following the traditional policy of the Society in trying to in fluence the intellectual elite and the professional classes. To this end we have established two hostels for university students, one in Singapore and the other in Kuala Lumpur. By keeping the students under our care we will be able to confirm the Catholics in their faith, which is exposed to many dangers in the non-Christian atmosphere of the universities. And we will be able to smooth the path to the Church for non-Catholics of good will.

For many years we have been in contact with the teachers of Malaya. Jesuits have acted as lecturers in the Government Teachers' Training College in Singapore. Recently, however, all the Europeans on the staff have been eliminated, and so the Jesuit lecturers have had to relinquish this important work. But we still carry on as Catholic chaplains to the Teachers Training Colleges of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. . There is certain evidence of mounting Muslim opposition to the growth of the Church. The Education Department in the Federation has compelled Catholic Schools to take in teachers of the Koran for the Malays attending the schools. It has forbidden the teaching of religion during school hours for all Christian schools, including biblical knowledge, formerly a recognised subject for the Leaving Certificate. Instead, a course in Islamism is being arranged. If this course is easy it will attract many Chinese students. But in spite of this opposition the work of conversion goes on and the influence of the Church is growing daily.

There is another side of our work I have not mentioned. That is the giving of retreats to children in schools, religious and army personnel. Father Eddie Bourke, well known to past Mungret boys of the twenties, spends his time travelling the length and breadth of Malaya giving retreats. Just at present he is enjoying a well deserved holiday in Ireland, but he expects to be back at the work by the end of the year.

Finally, a word about another old Mungret man, now also working with us in Malayaa. Father Ed Sullivan (Mungret 1918-1922, and Third Club Prefect 1929-1932) taught for many years in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He is now assistant to the Parish Priest of our Church of St Francis Xavier near Kuala Lumpur. He is well able to cope with the large Cantonese village I have previously mentioned, as he is a fine speaker of Cantonese.

Fitzgibbon, Daniel, 1884-1956, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/154
  • Person
  • 17 September 1884-04 August 1956

Born: 17 September 1884, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1904, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1919, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1923, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 04 August 1956, Calvary Hospital, Galway

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

Older brother of Michael Fitzgibbon - RIP 1973

by 1909 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1912

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Daniel Fitzgibbon was a novice under Michael Browne in 1904. In 1911-12 he spent a year at Belvedere before being transferred to Riverview, 1912-16. Apart from teaching and prefecting, he was in charge of the chapel, and the theatre. He was known an avid Irish patriot and a student of Irish.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 31st Year No 4 1956
St. Ignatius Church and College, Galway
A short and apt account of Fr. Dan (Fitzgibbon) appeared in the Irish Times. It was from the pen of an old boy of St. Ignatius; was entitled “Sagart Mín”, and ended thus : “Ní dream iad Scoláirí Meánscoile a bhíos de shior ag moladh a gcuid múinteoirí, ach is minic agus is rí-mhinic a chualas Scoláirí i gColáiste lognáid ag rá : 'Naomh críochnaithe sea an t-Athair Mac Giobúin. Fear beanaithe gan aimhreas é.' Agus ní ag magadh a bhíodar ach oiread”.

Obituary :

Fr Dan Fitzgibbon (1884-1956)
Fr. Fitzgibbon was born at 1 Bedford Row, Limerick, on September 17th, 1884, and was educated at Mount St. Alphonsus' Redemptorist College and at the Crescent College, Limerick. He entered the Society at Tullabeg in September, 1904. After his Juniorate at Tullabeg he secured his B.A. Degree at the old Royal University of Ireland. Having studied Philosophy at Stonyhurst he was sent to Australia, where he taught at Riverview College, Sydney, until 1916, when he returned to Ireland. He studied Theology at Milltown Park and was ordained in 1919. Having completed his Theology in 1920 he spent a year at Mungret before going to Tullabeg for Tertianship, 1921-22. He then returned to Mungret for two further years. We find him at Belvedere for the year 1924-25 and at the Crescent for the next year, 1925-26. Then began his long term of fourteen years at Clongowes, where he taught successfully and produced the annual opera. In 1940 he was transferred to Galway, where he remained for the rest of his life and where he died happily in Calvary Hospital on August 4th, 1956.
If ever a man was “young of heart” it was Fr. Dan. Youthful in his enthusiasms, seeing persons and things with the fresh eye of a child, childlike in his simplicity and frankness, even to the very end ; that sums up in a few words one of whom we can say: “We shall not see his likes again”.
“Young of heart”, and well the children knew it. One of the last things he did was to bring the children of “Club na n-Og” for their annual picnic, and, as usual, he had a fine day for it. It has been known for the sun to shine, apparently “by special arrangement”, wherever Fr. Dan held his picnic, while all the rest of Galway was washed with rain. The good Lord no doubt repaid the childlike trust and the selfless devotion of an aged and delicate man to His little ones, by such privileges. For Fr. Fitzgibbon did devote himself to the little ones of Christ. Evening after evening he played away at an old piano for their dancing; year after year he prepared them for their recitations and little plays for Feis an Iarthair and An Tóstal; why, he even wrote their plays for them.
But all this was not merely amusing children. Convinced as he was that one of the greatest safeguards of their Faith was our own Irish culture. Fr. Fitzgibbon sought by these simple means to instil into these children a knowledge and love of Gaelic and the Gaelic way of life. He was as wholehearted and enthusiastic as a youth for all that was Gaelic. He had no time for pessimists and hesitaters—all that was needed was the will to win. So he went ahead, sparing nothing, sparing no one, least of all himself, in his endeavours to enlist all in the Cause. “Ar son na Cuise” - that was explanation and reason for everything, but most of all for his untiring self-sacrifice.
Fr. Fitzgibbon did not wait until he found himself in Galway to devote himself to and stir up in others, a devotion to things Gaelic. During his fourteen years in Clongowes he ceaselessly promoted the same Cause. Among his many interests was always one for drama. He was the “venerabilis inceptor” of those annual dramatic performances for which Belvedere and Clongowes have become well-known. In the days of his work as producer of plays and opera in Clongowes, no entertainment would take place unless an Irish play preceded the main item of the programme, and none finished without the enthusiastic singing of his own composed Anthem, sung in the tongue of the Gael.
All this must not let us lose sight of his priestly work. Fr. Fitzgibbon was a devoted and most kindly confessor and a greatly appreciated preacher and retreat-giver. And who would wonder at that, for few knew the human heart as he did ; and his great love for the oppressed and the troubled assured everyone of his boundless sympathy and help. "Poor so-and-so is in trouble," one often heard him say, and one knew that “so-and-so” had found his comforter and true friend. It was this same sympathy which made him such a wonderful teacher of those pupils whom no one else seemed to be very anxious to have in his class-tho' he could and did teach the brilliant brilliantly.
“Unless ye become as little children” - Fr. Dan has fulfilled the divine condition, and we know that he has gained the Kingdom promised to such.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Dan Fitzgibbon 1884-1956
If ever a man kept young at heart even with advancing years it was Fr Daniel Fiztgibbon. Youthful in his enthusiasms, seeing persons and things with the fresh eye of a child, childlike in his simplicity and frankness, that sums up in a few words one of whom we can say “we shall not look upon his life again”.

Born in Limerick in 1884, he was educated at the Crescent, entering the Society in 1904.

As a priest, he spent his whole life teaching in the classroom, another of our hidden saints of the blackboard and chalk, in Mungret, Crescent, Clongowes and finally Galway. But his chief love was the children and the language of old Ireland. Year after year he prepared them for their competitions in singing and recitation. He even wrote plays for them, for he was a poet of no mean order, both in English and Irish. He was also much appreciated as a preacher and retreat giver, a most patient confessor, but his childlikeness and love of the little ones were his outstanding characteristics.

“Unless you become as a little child ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven”. This seems to have been his motto in life, and surely gave him immediate entry when he died on August 4th 1856.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1956

Obituary

Father Daniel Fitzgibbon SJ

We regret to report the death of Fr Dan Fitzgibbon SJ, who had spent a long enthusiastic life in the service of God and the education of youth. Of his fifty-two years in the Society he had spent only two years here, but his charm of personality makes him one remembered by all who knew him. May he rest in peace.

A native of Limerick, the late Fr Fitzgibbon was a noted Irish scholar, and many of his translations of Irish religious poems of the twelfth and thirteenth: centuries have been published. He was an active member of the Gaelic League, and was one of the founders of Club na n-Óg, which sponsors Irish music and dancing amongst the youth of Galway,

The late Fr Fitzgibbon was educated at Mount St Alphonsus Redemptorist College, and Crescent College, Limerick. He entered the Jesuit Novitiate in 1904, and studied at Stonyhurst College and the Royal University, Dublin, from where he graduated with a BA degree. From 1912 to 1916 he worked on the Australian Missions and, three years after his return, he was ordained at Milltown. Park. During the next year he was Editor of “The Messenger”, while attached to Belvedere College.

After some years at Mungret College, and Crescent College, he returned to Belvedere for a further year, and then spent fourteen years in Clongowes Wood College, where he produced the annual opera. He came to St Ignatius in 1940, and had remained in Galway until the time of his death.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Daniel Fitzgibbon (1884-1956)

A native of Limerick and a former pupil of the Crescent, entered the Society in 1904. After studies in Ireland and England he spent his regency in Australia. He was ordained in Dublin in 1919. Before his arrival in the Crescent in 1925, Father Fitzgibbon had been master in Mungret and Belvedere. He spent only one year in his old school. Of the remaining thirty years of his life, fourteen were spent in Clongowes and sixteen in Galway, Father Fitzgibbon was a popular master wherever he went and will long be remembered for his untiring work for the Irish language.

Fitzgibbon, Michael, 1889-1973, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/709
  • Person
  • 29 September 1889-22 January 1973

Born: 29 September 1889, New Street, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 18 December 1921, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1928, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, Australia
Died: 22 January 1973, Kostka Hall, Melbourne, Australia - Australia Province (ASL)

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

by 1911 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1913

Younger brother of Fr John FitzGibbon SJ ?

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at the Presentation Sisters, Sexton Street, Limerick and with the Jesuits at Crescent College, before he Entered at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1908-1910 He remained in Tullabeg for a Juniorate in Latin, Greek and English, gaining a BA from University College Dublin
1910-1913 He was scent to Leuven Belgium for Philosophy
1913-1919 He was sent to Australia for Regency, first to Xavier College Kew, and then St Patrick’s College Melbourne, where he taught Junior classes and French to the Senior classes.
1919-1922 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park Dublin for Theology
1922-1925 He was sent teaching first to Clongowes and then Coláiste Iognáid
1925-1926 He was sent to Hastings to complete his Theology
1926-1927 He made Tertianship at Tullabeg.
1928-1934 He came back to Australia and St Aloysius College Sydney
1934-1936 He was sent to the Richmond Parish
1936-1953 He was back teaching at St Patrick’s College
1953-1973 He was sent to Kostka Hall at Xavier College, where he taught Religion, French and History until 1964

As well as teaching, he worked weekend supplies, heard confessions and gave retreats and tridua. He was Spiritual Father to the Boys and directed the Crusaders and Apostleship of Prayer Sodalities. He always appreciated the many contacts with priests, former students and friends.

He was an enthusiastic man and very Irish in his leanings. He was pious but also communicated contemporary devotion to the boys.

He spent the last few years of his life in nursing homes, and he found the inactivity tough. He eventually came to some peace about this, as he came to accept the death of friends, being out of Jesuit community, and he died a happy and contented man.

Foley, Edward, 1900-1967, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1320
  • Person
  • 07 September 1900-20 October 1967

Born: 07 September 1900, Dublin
Entered: 30 April 1925, Tullabeg
Final Vows: 02 February 1936, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 20 October 1967, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin

◆ 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 grueling 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 43rd Year No 1 1968

Obituary :

Brother Edward Foley's death came as a shock to most of us. He looked so fresh and youthful that few realised that he was just three years short of the seventy mark. When we heard the details of his last illness the comment was “just as he would have it, no full”. For the record we give the details. On October 19th he said that he was very tired, too tired to remain on his feet. The doctor wisely suggested anointing. He received the last sacraments and slept his last sleep.
Brother Ned, as he was known, was a favourite everywhere, and he shared his light-hearted laughter wherever he went. The community to which he belonged was always the better of him being of it, whether it was the three-man community of Manresa in its earlier days or the almost one hundred strong of Tullabeg.
He had the ability to settle in wherever he was; he could adapt himself to circumstances or rather he was independent of them. In his exile in Tullabeg his laughter filled the recreation room in an enthusiastic game of cards or his voice filled the back kitchen as he sang while he peeled the potatoes. In Manresa where he was lonely he made friends with the local cat and it was amusing to see pussy at his heels the whole length of the avenue.
His light-heartedness was not an unfeeling indifference to people and things, on the contrary it was a deep thoughtfulness that had measured accurately the value of life, “Why worry?” he used to say “make the most of what you have”.
This thoughtfulness made Br. Foley's opinion on things most valuable. His criticism of a film, a play, a football game, or on more sedate things like music, a building or a sermon was always well worth hearing. The late Father Meaney, who preached well, when in the Crescent frequently read his sermons to Brother Ned and added or expanded where Brother Ned suggested that idea was not clearly explained.
His judgement of men was still more valuable. He could measure a boy on the staff, a scholastic, a Superior or a minister quicker than most, and his measure would be an accurate one, and a generous one.
His witty retorts were good, always made in a roguish way that could not offend. When the new drinking glasses he put on the table in the Crescent were criticised by Father Dillon-Kelly of happy memory : “I suppose they are Woolworth's best, Brother”. “I beg your pardon, Father, these are from Barbara Hutton's” - and he got by.
Brother Foley always got by, whether it was a Long Table dinner with the preparations left to the last minute or getting into Croke Park on an All-Ireland Final as when he put out his chest and swung his arms and joined the Artane Boys' Band as Brother in Charge.
Brother Foley had been working as a watch-maker before he joined the Society in 1925 at the age of twenty-five. A short while after his noviceship in Tullabeg he went as a founder member to Emo where with Fr. Corbett and Brother Tom Kelly (no longer in the Society) he did real hard work preparing Emo, which had been unoccupied for many years for the coming of the novices in
1930.
The Crescent was his home for fourteen years from 1932-46. Here he was cook, infirmarian, in charge of the staff and general factotum in the house and, for good measure, in the summer he took on the sacristy and Church collections. It was no trouble to him. He had that rare gift of being able to delegate, moreover, he could select a reliable delegate, and still more, he instilled a loyalty that made one feel privileged to have been chosen. This was so because he himself was most obliging and generous; a meal at an unusual time - “I'll have something for you”; a boy on the staff anxious to get to some special engagement - “You run off, I'll stand in”. He did these good turns so spontaneously and so cheerfully that one was more than happy to be able to do something for him by way of return.
From the Crescent he went to Clongowes for one year and in 1948 he went to the newly opened Retreat House at Manresa where he worked again as a general factorum for six years. In 1954 he spent one year in Tullabeg and then moved to Gardiner Street. This assignment was not an easy one. Though it brought him to his own locality in Dublin and to the Church where as a boy and a young man he had served on the altar, yet he was second in command to Brother Furlong. Brother Furlong, ageing at this time, had been over fifty years in office when Brother Foley arrived to take over, Here more than anywhere else the true Brother Foley showed itself. With a wisdom that was natural to him, and with a patience that was truly supernatural he smilingly played second fiddle and played in tune. While in Gardiner Street the first signs of illness showed themselves. He lost considerable weight and be came emaciated diabetes was diagnosed, but this he took in his calm philosophical way.
The last years of his life - 1962-67 - he spent at Manresa and there he died on October 20th, and died as he would have wished, giving trouble to no one.

Foley, Henry, 1862-1930, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/762
  • Person
  • 14 February 1862-01 March 1930

Born: 14 February 1862, Newtown, Kinnity, County Offaly
Entered: 11 September 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1893
Final Vows: 02 February 1899, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 01 March 1930, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1898 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/jesuits-and-the-influenza-1918-19/

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.

In St Ignatius College, Galway, Fr Henry Foley SJ wrote on 25 February 1919: “We have been hit hard again by the Flu”. Three Jesuits were laid up and “43 of our pupils [out of 100 pupils] are in bed... There have been many deaths lately, and the infection shows no sign of abating. Otherwise things are fairly well.”

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 5th Year No 3 1930

Obituary :

Fr Henry Foley

Fr Foley was born on the 14th Feb. 1662, educated at Tullabeg, and on the 11th Sept. 1880 entered at Milltown, where he spent six years, two as novice, one as Junior, three as philosopher. In 1886 he was sent to Clongowes, but left after a short time for the Crescent. The regency was passed at the Crescent, Mungret, Belvedere, then back to Milltown in 1890 for theology. When it was over he returned to the Crescent, and put in three years there before going to the tertianship at Tronchiennes. Tertianship finished, he had the short course at Milltown for one year, Moral and Canon Law for another, and then went to Galway, There he remained for 22 years, For four of them he was Rector, for twelve, Minister, and or the entire period had charge of the Men's Sodality, as well as doing a large amount of teaching. 1922 saw him in Gardiner St. as “Praef Spir and Oper”. Early in 1929, his health broke down very badly, heart failure, and the August of that year found him in Tullabeg. It was not to rest, for the Sodality attached to the Church, was entrusted to him, and he worked it with energy and success as long as he was able to stand. His holy death took place on Saturday, the 1st March, 1930.
Had Fr, Foley lived a few months longer he would have celebrated his Golden Jubilee in the Society. That well nigh half century was a period of constant, hard, unselfish work, and of work done very often in the shade. As soon as he got into the sunlight he seemed to get dazed, and sometimes failed to do himself justice. This was very much in evidence for the two
years he professed theology at Milltown. During the twenty-two years that the Galway Sodality was under his care he made himself a host of life-long friends, and, better still, he did an amount of good that will surprise a great many when the curtain is lifted at the end of time.
Fr. Foley was by no means a pulpit orator, but his sermons were full of practical common-sense , and the grave, experienced Fathers of Gardiner St. speak highly of the domestic exhortations he gave them, replete with sound spirituality, kindliness, and grounded on solid principles of theology.
It has been said of an American Father who died recently that “90 per cent of the care of souls is accomplished by being kind. For that Fr. Rielag needed no prodding. He couldn't be anything else...He was an expert at self-effacing”. That hits off Fr, Foley's character to the letter.
No outstanding achievement marked his career, but his personal holiness, his gentle, kindly cheerful ways, his unremitting hard work, endeared him to ail that knew him, and have prepared for him a splendid reward that he is now enjoying in the happy land above.
We owe the following appreciation of Fr. Foley’s work in Galway to the kindness of Fr E Downing : “The news of Fr. Foley s death was heard in Galway with deep, sincere and universal regret as the passing of one who had endeared himself to all, rich and poor alike.
For nearly quarter of a century, Galway was the field of his missionary and educational acitvities, as priest and teacher, as confessor and preacher, as Director of the Men's Sodality BVM, as Minister, and finally as Rector. In all these various works, he displayed his characteristic virtues of zeal and devotion, urbanity, cheerfulness, charity.
As a schoolman. he is gratefully remembered by crowds of his old boys, many of whom have spoken to me since his death with “tears in the voices”.
As a preacher he is remembered for the soundness and clearness of his reasoning and doctrine. He was more of the eloquent lawyer than the passioned orator.
But it was as a confessor he was best known and most widely appreciated. He had been professor of Moral Theology at Milltown Park, and the knowledge, there acquired was placed at the disposal of the city and county of Galway and of the many summer visitors to this well known sea-side resort. He was ever ready to be called to the “box”. It was more than once remarked that he lived in the Confessional.
As Rector he was in authority during the dark days of the of the “Black and Tans”. His sympathy with his countrymen was not concealed, and in consequence he was subjected to much verbal bullying the night our house in Galway was raided.
His pure soul and kindly spirit were wafted heavenwards. with many a heartfelt “God bless him”, “God speed him” from the lips and hearts of those who felt that they had lost awhile a holy priest, a wise adviser and a good friend in Fr, Henry Foley”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1930

Obituary

Father Henry Foley SJ

Gardiner St, Mungret, Limerick, knew Fr Foley : but, Galway may be said to be the scene of his life's labour. He worked there for about 25 years, Quiet, unassuming, undemonstrative he attracted little attention at first, engaged in rather full school and church work. But very soon his kind and fatherly heart, his wide and sound knowledge of Theology, (he had been Professor of Moral Theology in Milltown Park), his unremitting devotion to his Confessional attracted an ever-widening circle of penitents. Little children, business men and women, University students and professors, professional men, the diocesan clergy, all found in him a Spiritual Father after their own hearts, and he became really a great Confessor. He was a model representative of the Person and Power of Him, who said “Come to me, all you that labour and are heavy burdened, and I will refresh you”.

Though wanting in the qualities which go to make a great preacher, his sermons were carefully prepared, practical, sincere, and effective, productions of real spiritual good. In particular his Instructions - the short five-minute Catechetical lectures prescribed in the Diocese - were master-pieces of clear, accurate, succinct Theology, delivered fluently, with great rapidity, and withal distinctly, so that not a word was lost.

Fr Foley endeared himself to the hearts of the Galway people by his Priestly intercourse with all classes. A medical practitioner, who had exceptional opportunities of knowing the facts once said to me “Wherever there is in Galway any sickness or trouble of any kind, there Fr Foley is sure to be found”. A true follower of His Divine Master, “he went about doing good”. He practically never visited in the merely social sense of the word, yet, by his gentle, kindly, cheerful disposition he brought comfort to the sick, hope, consolation and resignation to the dying, strength and courage to the sorrow-stricken.

Thus by unremitting and self-sacrificing work, chiefly amongst the poor - hidden and humdrum work in the sight of the world, but surely truly great in the sight of Heaven - Fr Foley quickly became, what be continued to the end of his stay in Galway, a well-known popular figure, loved, revered, trusted by all classes of the community. “With glory and honour, Thou hast crowned him”.

When we reflect that these unceasing priestly activities were combined with the constant grind of professional duties, and, (for most of the period already described) with the responsible, and often, no doubt, worrying duties of Minister or Rector, we realise the fulness of Fr Foley's average day. What a stupendous driving force lay concealed in that timid, unostentatious, apparently unenthusiastic exterior! The hidden flame of Divine Love, must have glowed with strong and powerful intensity, in the heart revealed to us by a life of such unsparing zeal.

“By their fruits, you shall know them”. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Henry Foley (1862-1930)

Born at Kinnity, Offaly and educated at Tullabeg College, entered the Society in 1880. He spent one year of his regency at the Crescent, 1886-87. He was ordained in 1893. On the conclusion of his studies he returned to the Crescent for three years, 1894-1897. He spent twenty-two years at St Ignatius' College, Galway, where he held the positions of rector and of minister. He was on the church staff of Gardiner St, 1922-1929.

Foley, Peter, 1826-1893, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/158
  • Person
  • 06 January 1826-01 February 1893

Born: 06 January 1826, Carrigaholt, County Clare
Entered: 06 January 1856, Amiens France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final vows: 15 August 1866
Died: 01 February 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

in 1857 2nd yr Nov at Beaumont, England (ANG)
1856 Cat says Ent 22 December 1855

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He Entered at Beaumont (or finished there?) already a Priest of the Killaloe Diocese, and at exactly 30 years of age.
1858 He was “per exam. ad gradum” at Clongowes.
Soon after he was sent to Crescent in Limerick, and there he spent two long periods of his life as Minister, Prefect of Studies and Spiritual Father. He was also for some years at Clongowes in the same capacity.
1891/2 Failing in health he was sent from Limerick to Tullabeg, and he died there as he had lived, piously 01 February 1893.
He was greatly esteemed and loves, most kind and charitable to all.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Peter Foley (1826-1893)

A native of Carrigaholt, was a secular priest and sometime professor of theology at Maynooth College before he entered the Society in 1856. Father Foley was one of the founder members of the first community in Hartstonge St in 1859. Nearly all his religious life was spent in Limerick. He was a member of the Limerick community from 1859 to 1876. There followed a break with Limerick for some years when he was a member of the Clongowes and Galway communities. He returned to Limerick in 1885 but owing to increasing ill-health retired to Tullabeg, where he died on 1 February, 1893.

Father Foley was an able master and a zealous worker in the church where he was long respected by the people of the city. He was a fluent Gaelic speaker, and, so far as official records go, was the first Irish teacher in the Jesuit colleges before the Gaelic revival.

Forristal, James, 1857-1930, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1326
  • Person
  • 02 June 1857-19 February 1930

Born: 02 June 1857, Kilkenny City. County Kilkenny
Entered: 14 August 1887, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final Vows: 15 August 1898, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 19 February 1930, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

2nd year Novitiate at Drongen Belgium (BELG);

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 5th Year No 3 1930
Obituary :
Fr James Forristal

On the 2nd June, 1857 Fr. Forristal was born, and 30 years later entered the Society at Dromore, as a priest. The 2nd year's novitiate was made at Tronchiennes, after which he went to Milltown and repeated his theology with success. A year at Belvedere and two at the Crescent brings him to 1893 when he became Professor of the short course at Milltown. At the end of two years, Mungret had him as Director of the Apostolic School. Five years were spent at this important work. A year at the Crescent followed, and then back to profess the short course at Milltown. In 1903, he became Professor of Scripture. From 1907 to 1924 his time was divided between Crescent, Galway, Milltown and Mungret, discharging varied duties. In 1924, there was a very bad heart failure, and he passed the rest of his life in Tullabeg, “Cur, Val”. He died on Monday, Jan. 27th 1930. Death was very sudden. He had been at recreation, which ended at 5,30, in the best of spirits. An hour later, the Br. Infirmarian knocked at his door, and receiving no answer, thought it well to enter. He found Fr. Forristal dead. His head and shoulders were resting on the pillow of the bed, his feet stretched out on the floor. One boot was off, lying beside his foot. Presumably he sat down on the side of the bed to take off his boots. The effort of stooping was too much for his weak heart, and without struggle or pain, he passed to his reward. The Rector and Minister were at once on the scene. He was absolved, and received Extreme Unction. The body was still warm. It is a great consolation to know that he was able to say Mass every day up to the very end.
Fr. Forristal occupied nearly every position that a Jesuit could occupy, from Master of elements up to Professor of theology, and to all he brought the same steady, quiet energy that ensures solid success. He was a very observant, excellent religious. If one would single out any one of the qualities that adorned his life it would certainly he the unfailing good humour that accompanied him wherever he went, and endeared him to all who had the good fortune to know him and live in the same house with him.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Forristal 1857-1930
Fr James Forristal was in Kilkenny on June 2nd 1857 when he was already a priest. Thirty years later he entered the Society as a novice at Dromore.

For two separate periods he was a professor at Milltown Park, first as Professor of the Shorts 1893-1895, and then from 1900-1907 as Professor of Scripture. He also spent five years as Director of the Apostolic School Mungret. Having spent some years in various capacities at the Crescent, Galway and Milltown, in 1924, he had a stroke which invalided him, and he spent the remaining 6 years of his life in Tullabeg.

Death came very suddenly on Monday January 27th as he left recreation at 5.30 in the best of spirits and apparently in good health. An hour later, the Brother Infirmarian found him dead, head and shoulders resting on the bed, with one leg off, as is the effort of bending down was too much for his weak heart.The Rector and Minister were soon on the scene. He was absolved and anointed, the body being still warm. He had been able to say Mass every day up to the end.

He had led a busy and industrious life in the Society, carrying out his various duties with a quiet energy, which ensures solid success. An observant religious, he was endowed with unfailing good humour which assisted him greatly in his work, and endeared him to the different communities in which he had lived.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1930

Obituary

Father James Forristal SJ

It is many years since Fr Forristal came to Mungret. He was here about thirty years ago. He is well remembered by the boys who were here then. He was for a time Moderator of the Apostolic School and Director of the BVM Sodality. Having left Mungret, he taught Theology for some time at Milltown Park, and was for a long time attached to the Sacred Heart Church, Limerick. He was for a time in charge of the week-end Retreats at Milltown. For many years he was in weak health, but he always kept his cheerfulness. He was known widely throughout Ireland, and loved for his genial kindly character and unfailing courtesy.

His death occurred rather suddenly at Tullabeg, in March. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father James Forristal (1857-1930)

Was born in Kilkenny and was a secular priest when he entered the Society in 1877. He was a member of the Crescent community, 1891-1893, 1900-1901 and 1907-1915. Father Forristal was sometime professor of theology at Milltown Park and for five years superior of the Apostolic School of Mungret College.