St Francis Xavier's Residence

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St Francis Xavier's Residence

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St Francis Xavier's Residence

242 Name results for St Francis Xavier's Residence

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Aylmer, Charles, 1786-1849, Jesuit priest

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

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

Superior of the Mission : 1819

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

Azzopardi, Michael, 1826-1893, Jesuit brother

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

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

Came to HIB in 1861

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

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

Bannon, John P, 1829-1913, Jesuit priest and confederate chaplain

  • IE IJA J/40
  • Person
  • 29 December 1829-14 July 1913

Born: 29 December 1829, Roosky, County Roscommon
Entered: 09 January 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 16 June 1853 - pre Entry
Final vows: 02 February 1876
Died: 14 July 1913, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

2nd year Novitiate at Leuven, Belgium (BELG)
Chaplain in American Civil War

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Born in Roosky, but his mother was only visiting from Dublin at the time.

On the evening of his death the Telegraphy published an article on him headed “A Famous Irish Jesuit - Chaplain in American War” :
“The Community of the Jesuit Fathers in Gardiner St have lost within a comparatively short time some of their best known and most distinguished members. They had to deplore the deaths of Nicholas Walsh, John Naughton, John Hughes and Matthew Russell, four men of great eminence and distinction, each in his own sphere, who added luster to their Order, and whose services to the Church and their country in their varied lines of apostolic activity cannot son be forgotten. And now another name as illustrious is added to the list. The Rev John Bannon, after two years of inactivity, of sufferings patiently borne, passed away in the early hours of this morning. His death had not been unexpected, but his calm endurance and powerful vitality sustained him to the end, retaining his consciousness and interest in life up till a few hours before he passes away.
Father Bannon was a man of no ordinary gifts. He was a personality of massive character, with a keen intellect, and a mind well stored from his world-wide experience and extensive reading in Theology and literature of the day. Add to this a commanding presence, which compelled reverence and admiration, especially over those over whom his influence was more immediately felt, and the possession of a voice of peculiar sweetness and power, and he stood out as a man fully equipped as a pulpit orator of the very first rank, with a force and charm rarely equalled. He had a vast experience of life, garnered in many lands. Connected by family ties with Westmeath (he was a cousin of Bishop Higgins of Ballarat), his early years were passed in Dublin, where in due time he passed on to Maynooth, where after a distinguished course, He was ordained Priest by Cardinal Cullen in 1853, and he used to recount with pride that he was the first Priest ordained by that eminent churchman. After his Ordination, he came under the influence of Bishop Kenrick of St Louis (from Dublin), to whom he volunteered for work in America.
During the twelve years before the Civil War he led the active and full life of a parochial missionary in St Louis, wit a zeal and energy that are not yet forgotten. The stress of events caused him to cast his lot with the Southern Army, to whose memory he was ever loyal and true, and as Chaplain to the Confederates he went through all the hardships and sacrifices of the campaign, saw all its phases, faced all its dangers, until its final stages ended in peace.
The vicissitudes of life led him back to Europe, where in 1864, on his return from a visit to Rome, he joined the Jesuit Order as a novice in Milltown 09 January 1865, being 35 years of age, and in the full flush of his power and usefulness. After his Noviceship he was sent to Louvain for further studies, and returning to Ireland he was appointed to the Missionary Staff. Few Priests were better known than he was during the years when, as companion of Robert Haly and William Fortescue, his apostolic labours had for their field, almost every diocese in Ireland. After years of arduous toil in the missionary field, many positions of trust in the Order were committed by his Superiors to him in Belvedere, Tullabeg, UCD and at length he was appointed Superior of Gardiner St in 1884. Here for upwards of thirty years he laboured with an ardour and energy characteristic of his powerful will and kindly heart. During all these years his work of predilection was the formation and direction of his great Sodality for Commercial Young Men. To this work he devoted a zeal and energy which were only equalled by the devotedness and affection of those for whom he so unselfishly laboured. Many will have cause to regret in his loss a true friend, a generous benefactor, a wise and comforting adviser. But to his brothers in religion, to those who knew him in the intimacy of his daily life, his memory will remain as that of a man of deeply religious feeling, of profound humility and simplicity of character, and, added to great strength of will, a heart as tender as a mother’s.”

Note from Edward Kelly Entry :
He was ill for a very short time, and died peacefully and happily at Gardiner St. The Minister Father Bannon and Father Joe McDonnell were present at his death.

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

Bannon, John (1829–1913), catholic priest and Confederate chaplain, was born 29 December 1829 at Rooskey, Co. Roscommon, son of James Bannon, a Dublin grain dealer, and his wife, Fanny (née O'Farrell). Bannon had a brother and at least one sister. He was educated locally in Dublin, at Castleknock College (1845–6), and at St Patrick's College, Maynooth (minor seminary, 1846–50; theology course, 1850–53). He was ordained to the priesthood on 16 June 1853; some months later he received permission to transfer to the archdiocese of St Louis, Missouri.

Bannon arrived at St Louis early in 1855; after serving as assistant pastor at the cathedral for some months he became assistant pastor of the church of the Immaculate Conception, and in January 1857 pastor. He appears to have been recognised as a man of ability, for in September 1858 Archbishop Francis Patrick Kenrick (qv) made him secretary to the Second Provincial Council of St Louis (a meeting of the bishops of the American midwest), and the following November appointed him pastor of St John's parish in the west end of St Louis, with a commission to build a large new church and auxiliary bishop's residence. Bannon proved an effective pastor and fund-raiser; the church was largely complete by March 1861. He also became chaplain to a Missouri state militia company.

Missouri was a slave-holding state, and as the southern states threatened to secede from late 1860 tension developed between supporters and opponents of secession. In May 1860 the St Louis militia units (which had been mustered in camp by the pro-southern governor) were surrounded and forced to surrender to Federal troops supported by union volunteers. Father Bannon may have been among the prisoners (who were subsequently released on parole). During the fighting between Confederate and Federal forces in autumn 1861, many of the disbanded militia made their way south to join the Confederate army. On 15 December 1861 Bannon joined them (without the permission of Archbishop Kenrick, who maintained strict neutrality); Bannon had earlier expressed Confederate views from the pulpit, which placed him in danger of arrest. Bannon's admirers tend to emphasise his pastoral concern for his militiamen and his abandonment of bright chances of promotion in St Louis. In his writings and sermons he presented the Confederacy as defenders of Christian–agrarian civilisation against an aggressive, materialistic North.

Bannon reached the Confederate army near Springfield, Missouri, on 23 January 1862. He was attached to the Missouri light artillery but served as a chaplain-at-large to catholic soldiers; since he was not a regimental chaplain he did not receive official recognition (or a salary) until 12 February 1863, when his appointment by the Confederate war department was backdated to 30 January 1862. He kept a diary of his experiences as a chaplain, which he gave to an American historian in 1907; it is now in the University of South Carolina archives and formed the basis of Philip Tucker's The Confederacy's fighting chaplain (1992). He also wrote ‘Experiences of a Confederate chaplain’ (published in Letters and Notices of the English Jesuit Province, Oct. 1867, 202–6).

Bannon was present at the battle of Elkhorn Tavern, Missouri (7–8 March 1862), and accompanied his unit through the fighting around the strategic rail depot of Corinth in northern Mississippi in 1862–3 and on its posting to Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi river, in March 1863. Broad-shouldered and standing over six feet tall, Bannon was a conspicuous figure on the battlefield and many sources testify to his zeal and physical courage in performing his religious duties during the fighting. (He also served as an artilleryman at moments of crisis.) He remained at Vicksburg throughout the siege until the fortress surrendered on 4 July 1863 and its occupants were taken prisoner. After his release on 4 August Bannon went to Richmond, where on 30 August he was asked by Jefferson Davis and the Confederate secretary of state, Judah Benjamin, to undertake a mission to Ireland to discourage recruitment for the Federal forces.

Bannon arrived in Ireland in November 1864. He wrote to the Nation under the pen name ‘Sacerdos’, supplied John Martin (qv) with material for a series of pro-southern letters, and circulated to parish priests and intending emigrants documents defending the southern cause and quoting pro-Confederate statements by prominent nationalists. In February and March 1864 he toured Ireland giving political lectures. His reports to Benjamin (preserved in the Pickett papers, Library of Congress) claim considerable success in discouraging emigration. The Confederate congress voted him its thanks.

In June 1864 Bannon accompanied Bishop Patrick Lynch (qv) of Charleston on a visit to Rome seeking papal diplomatic recognition. By the time his mission was completed it was clear that the Confederacy faced defeat, and neither the civil nor ecclesiastical authorities in St Louis were likely to look favourably on Bannon. He therefore undertook the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius Loyola (in a thirty-day retreat) and at their conclusion successfully petitioned for admission into the Irish province of the Jesuit order. He spent a year in the Jesuit novitiate at Milltown Park, Dublin (1865–6), and studied dogmatic and pastoral theology at Louvain (1866–7). In 1867–70 he travelled Ireland as part of the Jesuit team of missionary preachers. Thereafter he founded several sodalities in Dublin. The best-known of these was the Young Businessmen's Sodality, to which he remained attached until 1911; he may have been the model for the preacher Father Purdom in the story ‘Grace’ by James Joyce (qv). Bannon was regarded as a particularly eloquent preacher and continued to travel widely within Ireland, holding retreats and giving sermons on special occasions. He served as minister at Tullabeg College in 1880–81 and at the UCD residence in 1882–3, but he proved to lack administrative ability. He may have been the John Bannon who wrote a short life of John Mitchel (qv) published in 1882.

Bannon was superior of the Jesuit community in Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin (1883–9), where he spent the remainder of his life. He never returned to St Louis but continued to correspond with, and receive visits from, old military acquaintances and southern historians. In November 1910 he suffered a slight stroke, which left him partially paralysed. He died 14 July 1913 at the Jesuit residence in Upper Gardiner Street and was buried in the Jesuit plot at Glasnevin cemetery.

‘Experiences of a Confederate chaplain’, Letters and Notices of the English Jesuit Province (Oct. 1867), 202–6; Philip Tucker, The Confederacy's fighting chaplain (1992); William Barnaby Faherty, Exile in Erin: a confederate chaplain's story: the life of Father John Bannon (St Louis, 2002); James M. Gallen, ‘John B. Bannon: chaplain, soldier and diplomat’, www.civilwarstlouis.com/History/fatherbannon; http://washtimes.com/civilwar (websites accessed 10 May 2006)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-confederate-priest/

As he lay in prison after the defeat of his troops in the American Civil War, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, received a small token of comfort from Pope Pius IX. It was a crown of thorns, together with a portrait of the pontiff, as a sign of sympathy and support. The man most likely responsible for bringing Davis so firmly to the Pope’s attention was an Irish Jesuit, Fr John Bannon. Fr Bannon became a prominent leader of the Irish community in St Louis and an indefatigable chaplain during the war. He was sent by Davis to Ireland to urge emigrants not to sign up with the Union, and he used his time in Europe to visit the Pope. He had several long audiences with Pio Nono, during which he pressed – successfully, apparently – the Confederate cause.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Bannon 1829-1913
At Roosky County Roscommon on December 29th 1829 was born Fr John Bannon. He was the first priest ordained by Cardinal Cullen in Maynooth in 1853. He came under the influence of Archbishop Kendrick of St Louis USA, and thus came to volunteer for work in America.

For twelve years he led the active and full life of a parochial missionary in St Louis, with a zeal and energy not yet forgotten. The came the American Civil War and Fr Bannon became a chaplain to the Confederate Forces with whom he sympathised.

Having done valiant service in this war until its close, he returned to Europe, where he joined the Society becoming a novice at Milltown Park in 1866, being then 35 years of age.

His first appointment was to the Mission Staff where his companions were Frs Robert Haly and William Fortescue. After years of arduous toil in the missionary field, he held various posts of trust, in Belvedere, Tullabeg, University College, until finally he was made Superior at Gardiner Street in 1884. Here for upwards of thirty years he laboured with his characteristic energy and zeal. He founded and directed for years the Sodality for Commercial Young Men,

The last two years of his life were years of inactivity and suffering patiently borne, and he died peacefully on July 14th 1913.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 113 : Autumn 2002

LEST HE BE FORGOTTEN : JOHN B BANNON

Kevin A Laheen

On 29 December 1829, Mrs. John Bannon was travelling to Dublin to visit her sister who was ill. On reaching the village of Rooskey she went into labour and gave birth to her son, John.

He was educated at Castleknock College, and later on entered Maynooth College to prepare for the priesthood. Just short of his twenty fourth birthday, he was ordained by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Paul Cullen. After a few months of pastoral work in the diocese of Dublin, he received permission from the same Archbishop to transfer to the diocese of St. Louis, USA, where Archbishop Peter R Kenrick was experiencing a shortage of priests in his diocese.

It was not long before the people and priests of St. Louis realised that John was a very gifted preacher. He was said to have “possessed a commanding pulpit presence”, standing as he did, well over six feet in height, and possessing a voice that needed no amplification. While still in his mid-twenties he was appointed pastor and built the magnificent parish church of St. John in downtown St. Louis. This church serves the people of that parish to this day. Very soon there was a feeling among the clergy that the next diocese that fell vacant would be filled by him. However, John had other ideas. He resigned from his parish and joined the confederate army as chaplain.

Stories of his courage, which at times bordered on the imprudent, are legion in the accounts of the various campaigns in which he was engaged. Frequently he crossed into enemy territory to absolve and anoint some of the enemy soldiers who had fallen in battle. When warned about this rashness he merely replied that when God wanted him he was ready to go. There were times when he had escapes which others described as miraculous, such as the time when a federal shell crashed through the church where he was offering mass for the troops.

At the end of hostilities Father Bannon was technically a prisoner of war and confined in his movements. However at the invitation of the southern president, Jefferson Davis, he ran the blockade and crossed the Atlantic in the Robert E. Lee. This was the ship's last escape. The British captured it on its return journey. In 1863 Bishop Patrick Lynch, Bishop of Charleston, and Father John formed a delegation to Pope Pius IX to explain the cause of the Confederacy, which was more friendly to the Catholic Church than the northern states.

When he returned to Dublin he spent much of his time dissuading young prospective emigrant Irishmen from joining the northern cause as he had first-hand knowledge of how young emigrant men were used as cannon fodder by the Federal army. Some New York papers had stated “we can afford to lose a few thousand of the scum of the Irish”. He also exhorted parish priests to influence young men in a similar manner. While in Rome he had made a retreat and also met the Jesuit General. He felt drawn to the Society and on 9th January 1865 he entered the recently opened Jesuit novitiate at Milltown Park.

Most of his life as a Jesuit was spent in Gardiner Street where he was Superior from 1884-90. His reputation as a preacher was well known and he was in constant demand nationwide for his services when sermons on special occasions were needed. Canon McDermot of the diocese of Elphin was a great church-builder and when he died many of these churches were still very much in debt. In November, 1871, Father Bannon preached a charity sermon in Strokestown to help reduce the debt on the new parish church. The Sligo Champion reported that the sermon was such a success that the church debt was almost wiped out. Being, as he was, a native of the diocese, the people regarded him as one of their own, and this may have moved them to be more than normally generous.

After many years of service in Gardiner Street, he died there in July 1913. The Irish Catholic reported that seventy nine priests attended his funeral Mass, and that over a thousand members of his famous Sodality walked behind his coffin on its way to Glasnevin cemetery. As they laid him to rest, he left behind him a life that was as fruitful as it had been varied.

Note: The definitive biography of this great priest is at present being written, and will be launched in St. Louis this autumn.

Barry-Ryan, Kieran, 1929-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/820
  • Person
  • 20 February 1929-17 November 2018

Born: 20 February 1929, Cappaghwhite, County Tipperary
Entered: 06 September 1947, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1960, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1965, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 17 November 2018, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Uper Gardiner Streey community at the time of death.

by 1950 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency
by 1971 at Coventry, England (ANG) working
by 2007 at Annerly, London (BRI) working
by 2011 at Beckenham, Kent (BRI) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/kieran-barry-ryan-sj-a-gifted-marriage-counsellor/

Kieran Barry-Ryan SJ: a gifted marriage counsellor
Fr Kieran Barry-Ryan SJ died peacefully after a short illness in St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin on Saturday, 17 November 2018 aged 89 years. His funeral took place in St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner Street in Dublin on 20 November followed by burial in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Born in Cappaghwhite, County Tipperary, Fr Kieran was educated in Ireland and England before entering the Society of Jesus at St Mary’s, Emo, Country Laois in 1947. His Jesuit training included studies abroad in France and Zambia, and he was ordained at Milltown Park Chapel, Dublin in 1960.
As a Jesuit priest, Fr Kieran taught Religion at Bolton Street DIT in Dublin and was a member of the Gardiner Street community for many years. He was deeply involved in marriage and family ministry. He identified a great need for this work, helping to set up pre-marriage courses, writing the material for them, and training those who would give them.
Fr Kieran said that the most challenging part of marriage and family ministry was encouraging the trainers to reflect and draw on their own experience of faith and prayer. Rather than focusing simply on human development which had a strong gravitational pull for people, he helped to nourish and develop the religious heart of the sacrament of marriage.
He lived in England from 1997 to 2013 where he continued his popular pre-marriage courses. He became known as a wise and kind presence to the many couples and families who were referred to him. Later, he was a Chaplain to Emmaus Nursing Home in Kent, England.
The Irish Jesuit returned to Gardiner Street community in 2013 and spent his last four years in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Dublin where he prayed for the Church and the Society. He died in St Vincent’s Hospital while being surrounded by his family and friends.
Dr Chris Curran, who is working on the Loyola Institute initiative, was a friend who attended the funeral on 20 November. He remarked that Fr Kieran, fondly known as ‘Kerry’, was a person of good fun and laughter: a very good bridge player, a golfer, fluent in French, someone who worked very well with groups and who loved an argument.
“Kerry was a close family friend of very long standing”, said Dr Curran. “He was involved in the life of my family for many years where he officiated over the sacraments. He was dedicated and committed in particular to the marriage apostolate”.
Fr Kieran is sadly missed by his sisters Eileen Dooley, Wimbledon and Patricia MacCurtain, Jesuit confreres and friends. He is predeceased by his sister Maureen Lightburn. ‘Kerry’ was known to be a much loved brother, uncle, granduncle, priest and friend. He will be particularly remembered in Ireland, England and America.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at St Augustine’s, Ramsgate; Downside School, Bath; College of Surgeons, Dublin
1949-1951 Laval, France - Juniorate
1951-1954 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1954-1957 St Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia - Regency : Teacher
1957-1961 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1961-1962 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1962 Teacher of Religion at Bolton St DIT, Dublin
1968-1970 Gardiner St - Assisting in Church; teaching at Bolton St
1971-1976 Leeson St - Director of Marriage Courses at CIR
1976-1997 Gardiner St - Assisting in Church; Marriage & Family Apostolate; Marriage Counselling & Courses
1988 Director of Church Apostolate
1991 Sabbatical
1997-2009 Annerley, London, England - Parish Work; Marriage and Family Apostolate at St Anthony of Padua Church
2009-2013 West Wickham, Kent, England - Chaplain to Emmaus Nursing Home
2013-2018 Gardiner St - Sabbatical
2014 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

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.

Bellew, Michael, 1825-1868, Jesuit priest

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

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

Younger brother of Christopher RIP 1867

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

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

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

Bianchini, Aloysius, 1812-1874, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/922
  • Person
  • 01 September 1812-04 December 1874

Born: 01 September 1812, Camerino, Macerata, Italy
Entered: 27 November 1833, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1843
Final vows: 02 February 1845
Died: 04 December 1874, Lyon, France - Venetae Province (VEM)

Came to HIB in 1861 working at St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin.

Boyle, Robert, 1833-1878, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/939
  • Person
  • 11 June 1833-20 November 1878

Born: 11 June 1833, County Louth
Entered: 30 April 1856, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Clane, County Kildare
Professed
Died: 20 November 1878, Richmond Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Clongowes Wood College SJ community at the time of death.

by 1869 At Home Sick

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a cook in Belvedere and Gardiner St and then went to Clongowes. From 1869 he was “netia domus” and he died at the Richmond Hospital Dublin 20 November 1878.

Browne, Francis M, 1880-1960, Jesuit priest, photographer and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/7
  • Person
  • 1880-1960

Born: 03 January 1880, Sunday's Well, Cork City
Entered: 07 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1921, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 07 July 1960, St John of God’s Hospital, Stillorgan, Dublin

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

Francis Mary Hegarty Browne

by 1902 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 1st Battalion Irish Guards, BEF France

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Browne, Francis Patrick Mary
by James Quinn

Browne, Francis Patrick Mary (1880–1960), photographer and Jesuit priest, was born 3 January 1880 in Sunday's Well, Cork, youngest of eight children of James Browne, flour merchant and JP, and Brigid Browne (née Hegarty; 1840–80), who died of puerperal fever eight days after Francis's birth. The family was well-off and owned a large house at Buxton Hill; Brigid's father, James Hegarty, was a wealthy tanner and a JP, and served as lord mayor of Cork. Francis attended the Bower convent, Athlone (1885–92), the Christian Brothers' college, St Patrick's Place, Cork (1892), the Jesuit college at Belvedere, Dublin (1893), and the Vicentian college at Castleknock (1893–7). He excelled in the classics and modern languages, enjoyed sports, and played on the Castleknock first rugby XV. On leaving Castleknock he made a tour of Europe with his brother William (1876–1938) (also a priest and photographer), and took many photographs, which even at this stage showed considerable talent. On his return in September 1897 he joined the Jesuits, and served his noviceship at Tullabeg, King's Co. (Offaly). After his father drowned while swimming at Crosshaven (2 September 1898), his education was overseen by his uncle, Robert Browne (qv), president of Maynooth College and bishop of Cloyne (1894–1935). Francis took his first vows 8 September 1899, and studied classics at the Royal University at St Stephen's Green, Dublin, graduating with an honours BA (1902). At university he was a contemporary of James Joyce (qv), and ‘Mr Browne, the Jesuit’ makes an appearance in Finnegans wake. He studied philosophy (1902–5) at Chieri, near Turin, travelling throughout Italy during the summer holidays and studying Italian painting. Returning to Ireland in 1905, he taught at Belvedere (1905–11), where he founded a cycling club, a camera club, and the college annual, The Belvederian, which featured many of his photographs.

In April 1912 he sailed on the first leg of the Titantic's maiden voyage (10–11 April) from Southampton to Queenstown (Cobh) via Cherbourg. Friends offered to pay for him to complete the trip to New York, but the Jesuit provincial in Dublin refused him permission. He took about eighty photographs on the voyage, including the last one of the Titanic's captain, Edward Smith, and the only one ever taken in the ship's Marconi room. The Titantic's sinking catapulted his work to international attention, his photographs appearing on the front pages of newspapers around the world. His name forever became associated with the Titanic and he assiduously collected material relating to the disaster, which he used to give public lectures.

He studied theology (1911–15) at Milltown Park, Dublin, and was ordained 31 July 1915. Early in 1916 he became a military chaplain in the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, with the rank of captain. Present at the Somme and Ypres (including Passchendaele), he showed great courage under fire, tending the wounded in no man's land and guiding stretcher parties to wounded men. He himself was wounded five times and gassed once, and won the MC and bar and the Croix de Guerre. His commanding officer, the future Earl Alexander, who became a lifelong friend, described him as ‘the bravest man I ever met’ (O'Donnell, Life, 46). During the war he took many photographs, now held in the Irish Guards headquarters in London. He returned to Ireland late in 1919, completed his tertianship (July 1920), and was again assigned to Belvedere. On 31 October 1920 he cycled to the viceregal lodge to make a personal appeal for the life of Kevin Barry (qv), an Old Belvederean.

He took his final vows (2 February 1921) and was appointed supervisor of St Francis Xavier's church, Gardiner St. (1921–8). Because of the damage done to his lungs by gassing during the war, he spent the years 1924–5 in Australia, making a 3,000-mile trip through the outback, where he took many memorable photographs. By now he and his camera were inseparable and he used it widely on his return trip through Ceylon, Yemen, Egypt, and Italy. Returning to Dublin in late 1925 he resumed his position at Gardiner St. and began regularly to photograph inner-city Dublin life, taking about 5,000 photographs of Dublin over thirty years. In 1926 he took flying lessons and took many aerial photographs of Dublin. He became an important member of the Photographic Society of Ireland and the Dublin Camera Club and was vice-president and a key organiser of a highly successful international exhibition of photography (the First Irish Salon of Photography) during Dublin's ‘civic week’ in 1927; further exhibitions were held biennially until 1939. Appointed to the Jesuits' mission and retreat staff, he was based at Clongowes Wood, Co. Kildare (1928–30), and Emo Court, Co. Laois (1930–57).

Many of these were of the great cathedrals of England, which had a particular fascination for him. With war looming, in 1937–8 he was commissioned by the Church of England to photograph the churches of East Anglia to enable their accurate restoration should they suffer bomb damage. In 1939 his offer to serve as chaplain to the Irish Guards was accepted, but he was refused permission from the Irish Jesuit provincial.

Travelling throughout Britain and Ireland, he continued to photograph and assiduously to practise the technical aspects of photography and build up an impressive array of photographic equipment, including his own developing laboratory at Emo. Most experts believe that his talent matured fully in the 1930s. Given a Kodak 16mm cine-camera by his uncle Robert, he shot a film of the eucharistic congress in Dublin in 1932, and made several subsequent films for state and educational bodies. In 1933 he visited the Kodak works at Harrow, north-west of London, and afterwards received a supply of free film for life and regularly contributed articles and photographs to the Kodak Magazine.

In the 1940s and ‘50s he photographed almost every aspect of Irish life – pilgrimages, ruined monasteries, great houses, and leading religious, political, and literary figures – and his photographs featured regularly in Irish publications. Much of his work dealt with new industries and technology, especially his fascination with transport: aircraft, shipping, and trains. A booklet issued by the Department of Health on the ‘mother and child’ scheme in 1951 was illustrated with his photographs. All his earnings from photography (c.£1,000, 1937–54) were forwarded to the Jesuit provincial treasurer and used for the education of Jesuit students.

As his health faded, he resided at Milltown Park from 1957, and many of his photographs from the late 1950s recorded the themes of old age and death. He died in Dublin 7 July 1960, and was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.

He took an estimated 42,000 photographs throughout his life, but his fame as a photographer was largely posthumous: most of his work lay unnoticed in a trunk in the Jesuit archives until 1986. His photographs were neatly captioned and dated but were mostly on deteriorating nitrate film, and a major restoration effort was required to transfer them to safe film. Photographic experts were astounded at the quality of the work, generally considering it the outstanding photographic collection of twentieth-century Ireland. Fr Browne had all the attributes of a great photographer: a natural eye for line and balance in composition (a talent developed by his study of Italian art) and an ability to anticipate the decisive moment. In photographing people his lens was never intrusive or exploitative, and his sympathy with his subject is always evident. Scenes involving children, in particular, are captured with a natural ease and dignity. He has been described as ‘one of the great photographic talents’ (O'Donnell, Life, 123) of the twentieth century, and compared favourably with the great French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. Since 1986 his work has been regularly exhibited, published in various collections compiled by E. E. O'Donnell, SJ, and featured in television documentaries.

Rudyard Kipling, The Irish Guards in the great war (2 vols, 1923), i, 136, 141, 145–6, 170, 182; ii, 173; Ir. Times, 18 Nov. 1989; E. E. O'Donnell, SJ, ‘Photographer extraordinary: the life and work of Father Browne’, Studies, lxxix (1990), 298–306; id., Father Browne's Dublin (1993); id., Father Browne: a life in pictures (1994); id., Father Browne's Titanic album (1997)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/who-are-the-jesuits/inspirational-jesuits/francis-browne/

Francis Browne
Few can claim to have seen as much in their life as Francis Browne, sailing on the Titanic, serving in World War I, travelling the world. Not only did he live it but, as an amateur photographer, he also recorded his life and experiences, allowing us today immeasurable insight into that period in our history.
Born in Cork in 1880, Francis Browne was the youngest of eight children. His mother died of puerperal fever not long after his birth and his father died in a swimming accident when he was nine, so Browne was taken care of by his uncle, Robert Browne. After finishing school in Dublin in 1897, Browne went on a grand tour of Europe, seeing France and Italy. For his travels, his uncle bought him his first camera as a present, and this began Browne’s lifelong interest in photography.
Upon returning to Ireland, Browne entered the Jesuit noviciate in Tullabeg. He studied at the Royal University of Ireland in Dublin, where he was classmates with James Joyce. In 1911 he began studying theology in Milltown. The following year, his uncle gave him a ticket aboard the newly built ship Titanic, to sail from Southampton to Queenstown, now Cobh. Browne brought his camera, as was his hobby, and took many pictures. When he arrived in Queenstown he would have continued on the crossing to America, but was told in no uncertain terms by his superior to return to Dublin. When word arrived days later of the sinking of the Titanic, Browne realised how valuable his photographs were and sold them to various newspapers leading to the publication all over the world.
Browne was ordained in 1915, and the following year was sent to Europe where he served as chaplain to the Irish Guards. During his time in the service, Browne was at the Battle of the Somme, at Flanders, Ypres, and many other places at the frontline of the war. He was wounded on five occasions, and was awarded a military cross and bar for valour in combat. During this time too he took photographs, recording life at the frontline.
Returning to Dublin in 1920, Browne experienced recurring ill health from his time in the war, and was sent to Australia in 1924. Never parting from his camera, he took countless photos of the places he saw on his way over, as well as in Australia. After returning, he was appointed to the Retreats and Mission staff, and travelled all across Ireland. By the time of his death in 1960, Browne had taken photographs in nearly every parish in Ireland. When his negatives were discovered, twenty five years later, there were in the order of 42,000 of them. Twenty three volumes of his work have now been published and the importance of his work has been recognised internationally.

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/the-last-parting-jesuits-and-armistice/

The last parting: Jesuits and Armistice
At the end of the First World War, Irish Jesuits serving as chaplains had to deal with two main issues: their demobilisation and influenza. Some chaplains asked immediately to be demobbed back to Ireland; others wanted to continue as chaplains. Of the thirty-two Jesuits chaplains in the war, five had died, while sixteen were still serving.
Writing on 13 November 1918, Fr Frank Browne SJ describes the day of the Armistice:
Isn’t it grand to think that the end has come & come so well for our side: please God it will come for us at home soon, & equally well. Here all is excitement and rejoicing. I happened to be in Dieppe at the fateful 11 o’clock Monday last. I was at the Ordnance store outside which is a great railway siding... Eleven o’ clock was signaled by every engine furiously blowing its whistle. Then nearly all of them proceeded to career up & down the hacks – still whistling. On several of them men sat astride the boilers waving flats & ringing bells. This lasted for 20 mins. On the other side of the quarry Co. of Engineers burst a charge displacing several tons of rock, & then fired Verey lights & flares. But all this was nothing compared with the French outburst in the town. As I drove into the town our car was pelted with confetti by girls, all of whom were gay with tricolor ribbons. The Belgian emigres organised a march through the town with their military band and all the soldiers & Officers present. The bugles were blowing as they entered the main street, which was crowded with rejoicing people. Suddenly, the bugles stopped, & the Band struck up the Marseillaise. For a moment there was a kind of silence, then with a roar, the whole crowd of people took it up. Woman appeared at every window waving flags, & singing: assistants rushed to the doors of shops & joined in the great chorus: children shouted & sang & wriggled through the crowd. It was one of the most inspiring spontaneous demonstrations it has ever been my fortune to witness.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 7th Year No 4 1932

China :

The Seminary Aberdeen :
The Seminary is now in full working order. We have all the ordinary exercises of our houses of studies circles, tones, etc. The students take kindly to the tones and are frank in their criticisms. A variant of the ordinary tones is a sermonette on the Life of Our Lord, We are using the Epidioscope and the beautiful slides which Father Frank Browne so kindly sent us. Thus a more vivid picture of the Gospel scenes is impressed on their minds. They have also given lectures to the village-folk with a Synoscope which Father Bourke brought out.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960

Obituary :

Fr Francis M Browne (1880-1960)

The song has it that “old soldiers never die, they only fade away”. Fr. Frank Browne was an old soldier who never said die. He just faded away for a few months until the King whom he served so long and so faithfully called him to the eternal colours on 7th July, 1960, in the 81st year of his life.
Francis Mary Hegarty Browne was born in Cork on 3rd January, 1880. He claimed two Alma Maters - Belvedere and Castleknock - and never lost his affection for both. There must have been militarism in his blood, and the instinct for noble deeds and daring exploits. He went the Ignatian way, entering the noviceship at Tullabeg in 1897. At the completion of his noviceship he was one of a group of brilliant scholastics studying for the Royal - Edmund Power, Patrick Gannon, Austin Hartigan and others. In after years he sometimes mentioned his ability to equal and even surpass in classical lore some of these literary geniuses. After three years philosophy in Chieri, Northern Italy, he spent seven years teaching in Belvedere and Clongowes - mostly in Belvedere. During this period Mr. Browne was the life and soul of Belvedere. The college was small in those days, numbering about 250 boys. There he endeared himself to many who in later years reached the top of their professions. It was there, too, that he became wedded to his camera. While doing full teaching he had cycling club, camera club and every kind of outdoor activity except games.
At the conclusion of this long period of colleges came theology at Milltown Park and Ordination in July 1915 at the hands of his uncle, Most Rev. Robert Browne, Bishop of Cloyne. During his theologate he rarely missed opportunities of long treks over the mountains. It was all a preparation for his duties as military chaplain. World War I broke out in 1914 and in 1916 Fr. Browne became chaplain to the Irish Guards in France and Flanders. He was wounded several times, returning home to hospital with severe shrapnel injuries to his jaw, On his return again to the front he served in the same Irish Division as Fr. Willie Doyle, and was close to Fr. Doyle until the latter was killed in August 1917. From then onwards until the war ended in 1918 Fr. Browne was with the Irish Guards and received several distinctions. As well as frequently being mentioned in despatches he was awarded the Military Cross and the Belgian Croix de Guerre.
Tertianship was in Tullabeg, 1919-1920, and then Belvedere College for two years. A visitation of the Irish Province took place just then and two appointments made by the Fr. Visitor - Fr. W. Power, U.S.A. were Fr. John Fahy as Provincial and Fr. Browne as Superior of St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street. Both were, in a sense, as a bolt from the blue. The advent of a young priest as Superior of Gardiner Street - especially one so dynamic as Fr. Browne-was quite unusual. He was the youngest member of the community. The quiet hum of church work became a loud buzz during his six years as Superior. He was a great churchman. As well as a very eloquent preacher, he was devoted to the confessional, Moreover he was a man of great taste and made many improvements in administration. But he worked himself to a standstill and had to go on a long rest. The long rest was a trip to Australia. It provided Fr. Frank with plenty of shots for his camera and matter for many illustrated lectures in which he was a specialist.
From 1928 until a few years before his death Fr, Browne was on the Mission Staff of the Irish Province. He was stationed in St. Mary's, Emo from the time it opened in 1931. This life gave him ample scope for his unbounded energy. He loved his rest periods in Emo and his camera provided a helpful and lucrative relaxation. His photographs of places of historic interest in every part of Ireland were eagerly sought after by papers like the Irish Tatler and Sketch. In his scholastic days he had made a reputation for himself as Editor of The Belvederian. Anyone who scans the volumes of that magazine will find some wonderful photographs. It was while there he accepted the invitation to go on the first leg of the maiden voyage of the famous Titanic, later sunk by an iceberg in the Atlantic. Fr. Frank's photos of the inside of this luxury liner were about the only ones extant.
It is hardly to be expected that younger members of any religious order could have a correct view of older members, seen and known only in their decline. It is for that reason possibly that these obituary notices appear. It is only fair that a man's life should be seen in its entirety, God does not look at the last decade of a man's life, or indeed at any one decade. God views the whole span, and so should we. Else we miss much that we ought to know for our encouragement. The Society has its menologies, and wants the lives of Jesuits to be known by succeeding generations. For this purpose the menology is read every day. In this rapid and complex world our dead are too soon forgotten. The Irish Province has had many devoted sons to whose favours we of today owe much.
What were the outstanding qualities of Fr. Frank Browne? They are here outlined in order of priority as the writer sees them after forty, if not more nearly fifty, years of acquaintance.
He was a most priestly man. To see Fr. Frank at the altar was most impressive. There was no sign of slovenliness, speed, distraction. From his ordination till his death he put the Mass first. This had one rather amusing aspect. The pair of shoes in which he was ordained he preserved to the end, and only wore them at the altar. They were known to his colleagues as “The Melchisedeck Shoes”. This, in itself, shows his anxiety to preserve the fervour of his early priesthood. There was always a dignity about Fr. Browne whenever he functioned in the church, A man of fine physique and carriage, he looked magnificent in priestly vestments. But there was no shadow of affectation, no over-exaggeration. It was simple, honest and devout.
This priestliness he carried into the pulpit. He was never cheap, witty, frivolous. His preaching was always impressive, his words well chosen, his examples apt. He had a very friendly and sympathetic approach to his congregation. His confessional was always crowded and never hurried. There was the kindly word for everyone. With the secular clergy he was extremely popular, yet always reserved and dignified. It is the truth that he never forgot he was a priest and a Jesuit. He might at times be demanding, but always in a pleasant way,
He was a brave man-brave in every sense of the word. As chaplain he was rewarded for his courage under fire. The soldiers admired him and the officers revered him because of his calmness under fire. An Irish Guardsman, still alive, wrote of Fr, Browne :
“We were in a church somewhere in Belgium and Fr. Browne was in the pulpit. Shells began to fall all around. We began to look around and up at the roof already with many holes in it. Fr. Browne thundered out : ‘What's wrong? Why don't you listen? Which are you more afraid of - God or the Germans?”
In the home front, when he was in Belvedere College, 1920-1922, many a time when the crash of a bomb, thrown at British lorries passing down North Frederick Street, was heard, Fr. Browne was down to the scene at once to minister to any injured. People scattered in all directions, but he remained firm. In October 1920, because he considered it his duty, he made a personal appeal to the military authorities on behalf of Kevin Barry.
He feared no man and feared no man's views. He never gave in an inch on a matter of principle even to the point of being irascible. One can imagine the influence he excited on non-Catholics in the British Army, A high-ranking officer, later a Field Marshal and a Viscount, had the greatest veneration for Fr. Browne and always wore a medal of Our Lady that Fr. Frank gave him.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Francis (Frank) Browne 1880-1960
Fr Francis Browne was a colourful character, full of life and go. He was famous as a Chaplain in the First World War, being decorated many times for gallantry under fire. A soldier wrote of him “We were in Church somewhere in Belgium, and Fr Browne was in the pulpit. Shells began to fall all around. We began to look around and up at the roof which already had many holes in it. R Browne thundered out “What’s wrong? Why don't you listen to me? Which are you more afraid of, God or the Germans?”
Through the good offices of his uncle the Bishop of Cloyne, Fr Frank travelled in the Titanic, on her voyage from Belfast to Cork, where luckily he disembarked. Being an excellent photographer, he had taken snaps of the interior of that famous ship, which are the onl;y ones extant to this day.
As a chaplain he was equally popular with Catholic and Protestant, and counted among his friends the then Prince of Wales, later Edward VII and later again Duke of Windsor. A high ranking Officer, a Field-Marshall and later a Viscount had the greatest veneration for him, and always carried a medal of Our Lady round his neck, which he had received from Fr Frank.
His outstanding devotion was to the Holy Mass. The pair of boots in which he was ordained he kept apart to the end, and in no others did he ever celebrate Mass.
During his period as Superior of Gardiner Street he was responsible for many improvements in the Church, mainly the fine porch and new system of lighting.
The latter part of his life he spent as a most zealous and successful missioner
He died on July 7th 1960.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2002

Farewell Companions : Dermot S Harte

Fr Francis Patrick Mary Browne SJ

If Fr J M O'Connor SJ had a rival for the “Mr. Belvedere” title, it might probably be Fr Frank Browne SJ - another distinguished Alumnus.

Frank was a good friend of mine. I cannot honestly remember where I first met him for he was the sort of person who seemed to have been around forever. He was so unique that everyone who met him felt that they had always known him. From his adventures aboard the “Titanic” and from his days in the hell of the trenches of World War I, when he was a Chaplain in the Irish Guards, he probably became Ireland's most prolific photographer. He was likely to turn up absolutely anytime, anywhere and very often in the strangest of places! I once encountered him on the footplate of a newly acquired locomotive (”The Maeve”) on the Dublin-Cork run covered from head to toe in coal-dust and sundry grime, having made the total journey in company with the driver and fireman and, no doubt, the inevitable camera!

The story of Frank Browne and the 'Titanic' is legendary. He travelled Southampton-Cherbourg-Queenstown (now Cobh) on the vessel during which time he and his camera did noble work! Not too surprisingly, he was prevailed upon to remain on board for the trip to New York. After all the unsinkable! Titanic was the newest and finest ship ever to sail the seven seas! Who wouldn't give their eye teeth for such a once-in-a-lifetime trip? He radioed his Provincial for permission and hoped for the best! The Provincial's return telegram contained five words: “Get off that ship! Provincial”. So an unhappy Frank remained on land whereas the “Titanic” never reached its destination but instead sank off Newfoundland taking with it some 1500 souls.

But there is another side to the saga of Fr Browne and the Titanic! My grandparents' home was in Sandymount directly across the road from the Star of the Sea Church. Early in the twentieth century the then PP prevailed upon my grandmother to accommodate the “Missioners” who arrived twice each year to conduct the Women's and the Men's Retreats. This was to be on a “one-off” basis but like so many “one-offs” the arrangement became permanent and scores of missioners were accommodated over the next 50 or so years. My grandparents died in the 1920's and early 30's and a number of my unmarried aunts and uncles remained. In particular, I refer to my Aunt Moya!

Eventually there arrived on the scene none other than Fr Frank Browne SJ. The main bathroom was immediately commandeered by Frank where all sorts of apparatus were set up by him to ensure that his photographic pursuits remained unhindered. 1 stayed in the old homestead in order to serve his Mass each morning.

One fine morning he and I set off for his Mass as two of my uncles were having breakfast in the nether regions to which they had been banished when a strange spreading “something” was observed oozing under the breakfast room door. The basement was flooding! Loud crashes were heard as ceilings fell down and chaos ensued! The dreaded Frank had put the plug in the bath on the third floor, connected the water to his Developing Tank - and taken off for the Church! So the unhindered water flowed down with fearsome results. How the priests were not banished for ever more - together with my Aunt Moya - must be the greatest miracle since Moses struck the rock! It did nothing to pacify my uncles and their wrath fell on the shoulders of my unfortunate aunt.

But it didn't all end there, for Moya composed a little ditty that started “Father Browne, he didn't go down”. After the retreats, and overcome by remorse for her disrespect to a man of God, she decided that she must be in a state of mortal sin and took herself off to confession. She told me that in confessing this dreadful sin she said to the priest, “Father, I had bad thoughts about a Missioner!” I'll bet that made her confessor sit up and take notice as he was a particularly close family friend! The poor man was convulsed with laughter when he discovered the nature of her “sin” and she was sadly disappointed at receiving a penance of only one “Glory Be”! But she immediately gave up smoking to atone for her temporary lapse from grace - as she saw it!

The last time I saw Fr Browne was on the platform at Limerick Junction station as he returned from one of his many adventures having immortalised on film whatever caught his attention at the time. Whenever I pass through this station, in my mind's eye his Great Spirit still stands there as it did a lifetime ago. I never forget to remember, and to offer a prayer of gratitude for his friendship. Fr Browne was called to his Heavenly Home on 7 July 1960 where no doubt he is still taking photographs, this time, I would imagine, in glorious Technicolour!

After his death over forty-two thousand of his negatives were discovered in Loyola House by Fr Eddie O'Donnell SJ. So the Great Frank who didn't go down, didn't go away either! With the aid of sponsorship from Allied Irish Bank all were restored and three of AlB/Ark Life calendars, including this year's, featured his photographs. I was amazed to see a photograph of myself in one of the earlier calendars taken, I believe, sometime during the '40's.

Seventeen volumes of his photographs have been published and exhibitions in the Guinness Hop-Store, throughout the country, and in the Pompidou Centre in Paris have featured his Dublin Photographs. His 'Titanic' photographs have been exhibited in places as far apart as Hiroshima, Seattle, Chicago, Lisbon, Bruges and Budapest.

I have a feeling that, somehow, he will still be around on the Last Day. What marvellous opportunities for really spectacular photography will then present themselves! I'll bet he is ready and waiting for the off - and is already champing at the bit!

◆ The Clongownian, 1918

Clongowes Chaplains

We should have liked to be able to give a series of letters from Army. Chaplains, Past Clongownians, and former members of the Clon gowes Community, describing their professional experiences. We made considerable efforts and received promises not a few. But in the end, all found that their life was too busy and too irregular to make formal composition of that kind possible, and they one and all shrank from the task. Very often, too, no doubt, there was the fear of the Censor in the background. But notwithstanding this we thought it would be of interest to many readers of the “Clongownian” if we pieced together from these letters the scattered fragments of news coll tained in them. And this is what we have done. We begin with Father Corr, who for several years most worthily filled the position of Editor to this Magazine, and to whom is due the magnificent Centenary Number, 1914

Father F M Browne SJ

Father Browne, who was a master here some years ago, but not a Past Clongownian is with the anc Battalion Irish Guards. He has certainly had considerable variety during his time at the front. He was within the salient of Bourloi Wood when it had its neck cut and barely managed to escape On this occasion he got the bar to the MC. Of this experienc he writes : never went
through any thing like it and I wish there had bee another Lady Butler to pair another Roll Call of th 2nd I G after Bourlon Wood It was one of the saddest sights have ever see Imagine a fair dark night, deep sunken road lined with tiny excavations, some of them covered with oil sheets, etc, and in the middle the wreck of our Battalion. I cannot tell you how many we were when we started nor how many when we ended, for it would be a crime against interfering DORA”. Of his bar to the MC he writes:-“The only thing by which I can account for it was my very narrow escape from walking into the German lines during or rather just before Bourlon”.

During his wanderings Father Browne has not been unmindful of the wanderings of St Brendan, the story of which he has told in his illustiated guide to Lough Corrib. He tells us that he came by accident on an early French poem on this subject, with a commentary, in a Flemish farmer's cottage. This, no doubt, will be an interesting and, we hope, valuable addition to his booklet on this subject.

One little tit-bit of information which he gives us shows how great a change the presence of Irish soldiers must make to a French parish from the religious point of view. “We had a great ceremony on Sunday last - 2,500 Irish, soldiers gathered for Mass in the Cathe dral of --- to honour the new Bishop who presided at the Mass. I said Mass, Father W Doyle preached. Several Generals and big people - all impressed with very great solemnity. We had a guard of honour for the Elevation and trumpeters to play the General's Salute from the organ gallery. Father Doyle preached a very eloquent sermon though he was strictly limited to 15 minutes”. What a sight for the poor French Catholics - the old ones amongst them, no doubt, were brought back in memory to the ages of Faith in the fair land of France!

Browne, Liam, 1929-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/825
  • Person
  • 18 August 1929-26 October 2017

Born: 18 August 1929, Kilmainham, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1960, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1964, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died 26 October 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB : 31 July 1982

by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency
by 1963 at Campion Hall, Oxford (ANG) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/liam-browne-sj-much-loved-missionary/

Liam Browne SJ – a dedicated missionary
Irish Jesuit Fr Liam Browne SJ died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Dublin on 26 October 2017 aged 88 years. His funeral took place on 31 October at Milltown Park, Ranelagh followed by burial in Glasnevin Cemetery. The Dubliner spent much of his early priestly life on various missions in Zambia, before returning home to work at various places in Ireland in 1974. Below find the homily at his funeral mass given by Fr John K. Guiney SJ.
A dedicated missionary
We remember and celebrate a long and eventful life of Liam Browne.
He was born in the Rotunda on 18th August 1929 and brought up in Kilmainham Dublin, went to CBS James’s St... and entered the Jesuits at Emo Park on 7th September 1946, was ordained in Milltown Park on 28th July 1960, and took his final vows at Chikuni in Zambia on 2nd February 1964.
Four of the 12 companions who took first vows with him in Emo are with us still: John Guiney, John Dooley, and Jim Smyth... MJ Kelly who is living in Lusaka, Zambia.
To say Liam had a rich,varied and eventful life is an understatement. He worked in Zambia, Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard, was Chaplain in St Vincent’s Hospital and Marlay Nursing Home and all through was constant in his research on the Chitonga language and culture. He went to God peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge last Thursday at 4pm.
A common theme of Liam’s life was his desire and wish to be close to ordinary people and to understand their cultures and ways of life. In an interview with the Irish Jesuit Mission Office he expressed his desire to become a Jesuit and priest in this way: “to help people and to enable them to experience Christ’s forgiveness and he noted the great influence on his vocation of his grandmother Susan Waldron.
When Liam arrived in Zambia in 1954 he plunged himself into learning the local language Chitonga in the diocese of Monze. He was not only interested in learning a language but set about researching the culture of the people, looking at what makes them tick – trying to understand seeing how culture/religion/faith are interrelated.
His work in the study and preservation of Tonga culture was similar to the work of another renowned student of Tonga culture – Frank Wafer who founded the Mukanzubo Kalinda Cultural Centre in Chikuni. They did so much to record, store and document traditional proverbs, dance, songs, customs and rites of the community. Liam did what every effective missionary does; he fell in love with the people he was called to serve – the Tonga people and culture.
Liam was the go to person for scholastics/young volunteers, learning the language and entering a new culture. He was the person to induct them into Tongaland. Colm Brophy as a scholastic in Zambia in 1969 recounts: “I was anxious to acquire a knowledge of Chitonga. So I asked the Provincial, John Counihan, to send me to a place and to a person who could help me do that.
“In 1969 I was posted to Chilala-Ntaambo (‘the sleeping place of the lion’), a metropolis of remoteness... because I knew it was remote and that I would be living with a man who was very fluent in the language – Liam Browne.”
Liam, he remembers, would spend a lot of his time researching the Chitonga language and culture. He would go around various villages with his tape-recorder interviewing mainly elderly people.
Chilala-Ntaambo was frontier missionary land in the 1960s.
It wasn’t an easy life for Liam there as parish priest. There was no solid Catholic community. The place was new. For Sunday Mass only eight or ten people would turn up mainly from two families. He was ploughing a lone furrow.
Liam continued to work in missionary frontiers in the Fumbo and Chivuna parishes and in 1973 took a break to study cultural anthropology in Campion Hall, Oxford under the guidance of the renowned Professor Evans Pritchard.
Liam then published some of his research on the initiation rites of the Tonga people but fell foul of at least one influential Tonga political leader who felt that secrets of their culture was not for public reading. He was not allowed to renter the country.
Two years ago while visiting Monze I met his mentor and friend in Zambia – the great cultural anthropologist of the Tonga people Barbara Colson who worked with Liam.
She was full of admiration for the work and research of Liam and admitted that Liam’s kind of research is now prescribed reading for students of the Tonga culture in every African library. A real joy for Liam in latter years was The Tonga-English Dictionary that Liam had started in the 60s and was finally completed and published by Frank Wafer just 3 years ago.
Liam returned to Ireland in 1974 and from then to 1989 he went to work in Ballyfermot and began to build firstly a temporary and then a permanent Church with the people and with the able assistance of the Daughters of Charity and especially Sr Cabrini.
His friends in Cherry Orchard still remember him as a man of great kindness and compassion. They remember his outreach to the most needy, his wisdom in counselling people and also his ability to plan, budget and look ahead even when the share budget of the diocese was small. Amongst Liam’s talents was wood work and he loved making things; much of the design and wooden fixtures and paintings were done by Liam in the Churches he built.
Those who knew Liam in Zambia and Ireland remember him as good-humoured, generous and who loved music especially jazz.
His friends also remember Liam as a man who shot from the hip, spoke his mind with a bluntness that could put people off. He had a certain distrust of superiors and people in authority, sometimes with well founded reasons. However, once he had got it out of his system, he got on with things and remained on good terms with all whom he encountered.
Perhaps the phrase ‘he got on with things’ sums up the greatest characteristic of Liam’s life. Liam was a man always available for mission and when the mission he really loved, Zambia was suddenly interrupted – it must have been a heartbreak for him, but he moved on without complaining to the new missions on the home front.
At the end of his life Liam shared with his friends. I am glad I did what I did when I could. He had few regrets. Once he decided that Cherryfield Lodge nursing home was the best, he moved and had the highest regard to all who cared for him there.
He was indeed always ready for a change and recognised in the wisdom of the ancestors that there is a time and a season for all things under the sun. On Thursday last a final time had come; he surrendered in peace to his maker in the presence of his sister Monica.
Finally, a word of thanks to two great missionary families: the Browne’s and the Cassidy’s. Liam’s niece Susan shared with me that as a child she saved up her pocket money for the missions. Monica helped out Tommy Martin for years with cake sales and raffles for the missions and coincidentally two weeks ago we got a letter from a Zambian PP, from that very parish that Liam founded 50 years ago with the help of his family and friends saying hello to Liam.
It reads:
My name is Fr. Kenan Chibawe, parish priest of St. Francis Xavier parish in Chilalantambo, Monze in Zambia. Our parish was officially opened in 1967 by Fr Liam Browne. This year on 28th October, we are celebrating 50 years or Golden Jubilee of the growth of the Catholic faith that was planted by the Jesuit missionaries in particular Fr Brown and the Late Fr Norman McDonald SJ. We would have loved to see Liam here but maybe his age may not allow him to travel. People still remember these priests in our parish.
We too remember and celebrate Liam’s life with the people of Zambia, Cherry Orchard, his former colleagues alive and dead in the Vincent’s and Marlay chaplaincies. We pray for and with Liam in his adopted language Chitonga:
Mwami leza kotambula muzimo wakwe kubuzumi butamani, which means in our own language, Ar dheis dei go raibh an anam dilis.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions :
As in “Jesuits in Ireland” : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/571-liam-browne-sj-a-dedicated-missionary and https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/238-interview-with-fr-liam-browne

Fr. Liam Browne, born in 1929 in Rotunda, Dublin, can easily sum up why he wanted to be a priest: ‘to help other people’, particularly by allowing them to ‘experience Christ’s forgiveness’. Fr Browne had been encouraged in his calling by his grandmother, Susan Waldron, who raised his brother, his sister, and himself after the death of his mother. He had first become interested in the Jesuits after attending a retreat with his school, James’ Street Christian Brothers, and was attracted to missionary work because of the possibilities it offered for helping others abroad.
Fr. Browne left Dublin as a young scholastic bound for Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) to work with the Tonga. Although direct flights now link London and Lusaka, in the 1950s it took three days to reach the Zambian capital by air. Despite the distance and the difficulty, Fr. Browne recalls his first year in Africa as the happiest of his life: ‘it was the happiest time because I was doing exactly what I wanted.’ He spent this first year acclimatising, learning the language, and immersing himself in Tongan culture. His greatest consolation, or most rewarding experience, was learning the language and speaking to the Tongan people about religion. He spent his time with the Tonga working in the mission station and at Canisius College, the Jesuit-run boys’ school, and served in Zambia for a total of thirteen years (three years as a student, and ten as an ordained priest). It is clear that Fr. Browne immensely enjoyed his time in Africa: his only desolation in mission was the frustration of waiting for the rains to come, with October standing out as ‘the most dreadful time of the year’!
Fr. Browne became fascinated with Tongan culture, and with the broader field of social anthropology. He had been able to study Zambezi culture thanks to work by Elizabeth Colson, an American anthropologist who had begun studying the Tonga through the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute. In between postings, he had the benefit of spending a year at Campion Hall, Oxford, studying under Professor Evans-Pritchard at the Institute of Social Anthropology. He states that this training was ‘invaluable’ to his work in Zambia, and recalls Evans-Pritchard (a legend in anthropological circles) as an ‘outstanding’ scholar. Fr. Browne went on to write a detailed study of the Tongan way of life; studies such as these were useful not only in providing a record of Tongan custom, but also for instructing new missionaries about their host culture.
Although life in Zambia was very different to life in Ireland, Fr. Browne never experienced a ‘culture shock’. His entire philosophy was based around being open and receptive to Tongan culture, and he didn’t ‘allow himself the luxury of being shocked’ by unfamiliar practices. ‘I felt you should be open. I was convinced you needed to know the people’s language and customs- if you didn’t know that then you were really clueless! The prevailing view was that you had everything to give and nothing to receive, but I didn’t believe a word of it.’ He argues that this openness is the secret to success in both missionary work and in anthropology: ‘there is a Jesuit saying that one must go in another’s door in order for that other to come out of your door...You need to be receptive.’
Because missionaries had been working in Zambia since 1896, the Tonga were not tabula rasa when it came to the Christian message. However, Christianity still needed to be culturally located: ‘What I believe is that you have to make an effort to understand the people; that will determine your approach to preaching Christianity. To preach in a way which people will understand, you must preach in terms with which they are familiar.’ When asked if African Christianity differs from European Christianity, Fr Browne replies that it does so ‘as much as Africa differs from Europe’. Some interpretations of Christianity were more Pentecostalist than Catholic, but the Tonga were generally a receptive people who took the Christian message to heart. Indeed, Fr. Browne argues that the Zambian mission housed some of the holiest people one could ever hope to meet. In his own words, it takes ‘a hell of a long time to build a Christian culture’: given this, the fact that Christianity has become rooted in African culture in only a few generations is astounding.
However, there were areas in which the acceptance of Catholic doctrine was somewhat superficial. Although the Irish tendency is to assume that we can separate the ‘religious’ from the social or the economic, life among the Tonga shows that this is not the case. For example, polygamy was common amongst Tongan men, even those who were Christian. Converts knew that this went against Biblical teachings on marriage, but because polygamy was seen as an economic rather than a moral practice, they did not view it in the same way that their Irish missionaries did. There were also some issues of cultural ‘translation’: because the Tonga are a matrilineal people, it was somewhat difficult to promote a patrilineal religion such as Christianity, with its emphasis on Father and Son. Fr. Browne argues that new converts always tried to live the Christian life; like all Catholics, however, this was a work in progress.
Political agendas have always been a part of the mission process, and this was equally true for Jesuit missionaries in Zambia. Although race relations in Zambia were significantly less strained than those in South Africa or Zimbabwe, there were still tensions between white and black populations. However, Fr. Browne believes that a distinction was made between white government officials and white missionaries. Missionaries, unlike government officials, made an effort to assimilate into the local culture: they had to, after all, if they were to have any success. Because they were not familiar with Zambezi culture, white government officials misunderstood local power relations. For example, they would treat one man as local headman despite the fact that he was not seen as such by his would-be subjects. This was a mistake which was avoided by missionaries, who had learnt (through living with them) that the Tonga valued democracy and the ability to compromise or broker peace far more than an abstract colonial understanding of power; as the Tongan saying goes, ‘anyone can call himself a chief, but it doesn’t mean we have to obey him’! Headmen tended to be European appointees. Further, Christian missionaries were respected because they had opened schools. Although the British government had claimed that education was important, they had only introduced primary schools, and it was left to religious organisations to open schools for secondary education.
The mission station also benefited the community by distributing basic medical supplies. The Sisters of Charity ran a small bush hospital, and the mission distributed pills, tonics, supplies for cuts, etc. With the nearest hospital 35 miles away, and high rates of infant mortality, this proved a very useful service. The parents of sick children would go to great lengths to prevent their premature deaths. Fr. Browne recalls a woman who decided to begin the 35 mile walk to the hospital in the middle of the night so that her sick baby could get access to medical treatment; although she was eventually persuaded to wait until morning, when she could be driven there, this incident demonstrates the very real danger of having a sick child in the bush.
The mission station is now run by local recruits rather than Europeans. Fr. Browne is ‘delighted’ to see local people running the mission, and has high hopes for Zambia’s future. He believes that the Catholic Church can act as a unifying force in Africa today, because this is the message of the liturgy. Although the mission station is now largely run by African priests and nuns, there is still a role for Irish Catholics to play. Fr. Browne speaks highly of volunteers who give up their time to work in Zambia. He gives a particularly glowing report of a couple from Derry, who taught at the Catholic girls’ school for six years. The children grew up with their parents’ students, and Fr. Browne laughs as he recalls their daughter being taught to dance by the African girls.
If there is an overarching theme around which to organise Fr. Browne’s narrative, then surely it is that of being open and receptive: ‘Be ready to learn. If you go in with a full head, thinking you know everything, you’ll learn nothing.’

1948-1951 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1951-1954 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1954-1957 Chikuni, Zambia - Regency at Canisius College, learning Chitonga
1957-1961 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1961-1962 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1962-1963 Oxford, UK - Diploma in Social Anthropology at Campion Hall
1963-1964 Monze, Zambia - Parish Priest at Sacred Heart
1964-1965 Chikuni, Zambia - Teacher at Canisius College
1965-1972 Chivuna, Zambia - Parish Work at Chivuna Mission
1968 Parish Priest at Chilala-Ntambo, Pemba
1969 Transcribed to Zambian Province [ZAM] (03/12/1969)
1971 Working in Parish at Fumbo
1972-1973 Chisekesi, Zambia - Studying Language and Social Anthropology at Charles Lwanga Teacher Training
1973 -1974 St Ignatius, London, UK - Studying Social Anthropology at London University
1974-1989 Gardiner St - Parish work in Dublin Diocese at Ballyfermot
1982 Transcribed to Irish Province [HIB] (26/03/1982)
1986 Parish Ministry at Blessed Sacrament, Cherry Orchard, Dublin
1989-2017 Milltown Park - Historical Research and Writing
1993 Chaplain at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Dublin
2000 Chaplain at Marlay Nursing Home, Rathfarnham, Dublin
2009 Research in African Studies
2014 Praying for the Church and Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Bury, James, 1866-1927, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/77
  • Person
  • 02 October 1866-04 March 1927

Born: 02 October 1866, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1888, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1903, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1906, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died 04 March 1927, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of St Francis Xavier's Residence, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin.

by 1892 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1905 at St David’s, Mold, Wales (FRA) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After his Novitiate he studied Philosophy in Jersey, and then went for Regency to Clongowes for many years. After that he studied Theology at Milltown, was Ordained there and went on the FRA Tertianship at Mold, Wales.
After Tertianship he spent two years at Clongowes before joining the Mission Staff for a year.
The following four years he spent at Milltown as Minister.
He then was sent to Gardiner St as Minister and held that office for eight years, before his unexpected death at St Vincent’s, Dublin after an operation 04 March 1927.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 2nd Year No 3 1927
Obituary :
Father James Bury
Early in March the province got a painful surprise by the news that Fr Bury was dead. He had been operated on for appendicitis, complications set in, and a second operation became necessary. The heart gave way, and he died on the 4th March. Fr. Bury was carried off in the full vigor of mature manhood. At the time of his death he was Minister of Gardiner Street, Prefect of the Church, had charge of two Sodalities, and of the “Penny Dinners”. He took a full share in the work of the Church, and was head of the missionary staff. He certainly served a full apprenticeship in the Society.
After Philosophy at Jersey, he went to Clongowes, where he spent one year Gallery Prefect, four at 3rd line, and then got charge of the “Big Study”. Theology at Milltown followed and Tertianship at Mold. The next year saw him at Clongowes, where for two years he ruled the Higher Line. In 1907-8 he was Missioner, and for the four following years Minister at Milltown. He then returned to Mission work, and was connected with the Staff until his death.. From 1913 he was stationed in Gardiner Street, and was Minister of the House for eight years.
How much he was appreciated by those with whom he came in contact is, perhaps, best evidenced by the simple address of the Gardiner Street Staff : “Very Rev. Fr, Superior, on behalf of the House Staff, Who sadly miss our lamented Father Minister (RIP), We ask your Reverence to accept this little offering, £2 8s. 6d., for a Novena of Masses to be offered for the Repose of the Soul of dear Father Bury. We believe that this spiritual remembrance would be preferable to any perishable wreath”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Bury SJ 1866-1927
At the comparatively early age of 57 and in the full vigour of his powers, Fr James Bury died in Dublin on March 4th 1927 as a result of an operation.

He was long associated with Gardiner Street, where he was Minister for wight years previous to his death. A great churchman, popular with all, both priests and laity, he had a special gift for dealing with children. He was often called upon to preside at functions for children, and had the knack of producing order out of chaos.

He was born in Dublin in 1866, and he was educated at Belvedere College. He spent some time in Paris and also engaged in business in Dublin before he entered the Society in 1888.

During his time in Gardiner Street and at the time of his death, he was in charge of the Night Workers Sodality, but whom he was deservedly loved.

◆ The Clongownian, 1927

Obituary

Father James Bury SJ

The name of Father Bury will recall many memories to those who were here between the years 1894 and 1907. He came to Clongowes on the completion of his philosophical studies in Jersey, and filled the post of Gallery Prefect for one year. From 1895 to 1899 he guided the destinies of the Third Line, and those who had the happiness of being under him will recall his geniality and ready understanding of, and sympathy with, all that interests and worries boys at that early age. For the following two years he was Prefect of the Big Study; a strict disciplinarian, but withal popular with the boys, who admired him for his zeal for their success at examinations and his helpful interest in the struggling members of the “pass” classes, and the way he joined in their cheers when a surprise Play-day cut short the morning study. Returning from Theology in 1905, he became Higher Line Prefect, relinquishing the post in 1907 to take up the work of giving missions throughout the country, which occupied him more or less continually, until 1921, when he joined the staff of St Francis Xavier's Church in Dublin, becoming Minister the following year, and directing the work of the Missioners until his death.

Father Bury was a specialist in the very difficult work of giving children's missions, and the manner in which he gripped his youthful audiences and wrought them to a pitch of enthusiasm showed a rare power of sympathy and understanding with little folk, combined with great oratorical gifts; Indeed he will be missed by none more than the children of the poor, who idolised him, and on his walks they literally mobbed him for the privilege of holding his hand. He practically never left the Presbytery door but a poor flower-seller waylaid him and presented him with the choicest blooms in her basket.

He was a big-hearted man, very lovable, and the sobs of the poor who crowded the Church at his obsequies and followed his remains to the grave told more eloquently than speech or pen could of his sterling worth as a priest and a Jesuit. RIP

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1927

Obituary

Father James Bury SJ

The death of Father James Bury SJ, on March 4th came as a great shock to all. He had gone to hospital for a very necessary but simple operation, from which no one anticipated the slightest danger. An entirely unexpected complication set in, and, as a result, Father Bury had breathed his last before it was generally known that he was ill. Great was the grief of the Gardiner Street congregation and particularly of the poor when they learned of his unexpected death.

At the time of his death he was Minister of the residence in Gardiner Street, Dublin, and Superior of the Missions given by the Irish Jesuits. Previous to that he had been Minister in Milltown Park, and Higher Line Prefect in Clongowes. In all these offices he was genial to all, ever ready to oblige, devoted to his work, and kind to the poor. A sound, pleasing preacher, whose forte was plain, convincing instruction, he will be greatly missed. In the difficult role of preacher to children he was at his best. In this last work, which was particularly dear to him, he had few equals and perhaps no superior.

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, Davy, 1935-2013, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/805
  • Person
  • 15 January 1935-14 August 2013

Born: 15 January 1935, Dublin
Entered: 14 March 1957, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 02 February 1975, St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street
Died: 14 August 2013, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Iona, Portadown, County Armagh community at the time of death.

by 1971 at Bethnal Green, London, England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/256-goodbey-to-davy-byrne

A uniformed band played ahead of the hearse as they brought Davy Byrne’s body down the Garvaghy Road to be buried. Davy came to Portadown 28 years ago, after working on social services in Gardiner Street.

◆ Interfuse

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/256-goodbey-to-davy-byrne

A uniformed band played ahead of the hearse as they brought Davy Byrne’s body down the Garvaghy Road to be buried.
Davy came to Portadown 28 years ago, after working on social services in Gardiner Street.

Interfuse No 153 : Autumn 2013

Obituary

Br Davy Byrne (1935-2013)

15 January 1935: Born in Dublin.
Early education at the National School, Rialto, and the Kildare Place Training College.
He was in employment from 1949 1956 as a mechanic on duplicating machines before joining the Society.
14 March 1957: Entered Society at Emo
29 March 1959: First Vows at Emo
1959 - 1960: Milltown Park - Cook at Gonzaga
1960 - 1967: Milltown Park - Refectorian
1967 - 1969: St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia - in charge of staff
1969 - 1970: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1970 - 1972: London – Courses in Sociology at Polytechnic, Barking College
1972 - 1974: Milltown Park – Working in Social Service Centre, Gardiner Street
1974 - 1985: North Circular Road - Working in Social Service Centre, Gardiner Street
2 February 1975: Final Vows at Gardiner Street
1985 - 2013: Iona, Portadown;
1985 - 1996: Community Development
1996 - 2004: Community Development and Reconciliation; House Consultor
2004 - 2011: Pastoral Visitation, Bereavement Counselling; Reconciliation
2011 - 2013: Pastoral Visitation, Ministry of Presence, House Consultor

Davy Byrne was born in Dublin on 15th January 1935. His mother died seven weeks later and he knew little about her. One of many things he came to appreciate about his adoptive family was that he got to go to a Protestant school for his early education, despite the protestations of his local parish priest.

He was in employment from fourteen years of age until he joined the Jesuits in 1957, and during that time he developed an enthusiasm for long-distance cycling. He took part in many team races and had one serious fall over the handlebars of his bike.

After the noviceship he worked mainly in the Milltown Park refectory for seven years. From 1967-69 he was in charge of staff at the high school in Lusaka, Zambia. There he experienced the alienation of the manual worker in relation to established Jesuits. He was, nevertheless, convinced of the role of the brother's vocation in the church. It really mattered to him that he was a Jesuit brother. He never had any desire to be a priest. He knew that he could do things as a brother that priests cannot. His friends among the Irish Jesuit brothers contributed wonderful music and prayers to his requiem.

After Tertianship he stayed with a religious community in London while taking courses in sociology at Barking Polytechnic.

Following this, he worked from 1972 to 1985 in the Social Service Centre, Gardiner Street, where he developed a lifelong friendship with his colleague Sister Emmanuel. There he looked after people on the streets who needed food, a wash and a shave. He had great stories about the characters he met. He cared for them, and could understand where they came from.

Being a Jesuit was a deeply important part of his life. Every year he would make the Spiritual Exercises. In these he would hear again the call of Christ to serve his Kingdom. He would also reflect on the experience of God that Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, had at the river Cardoner, near Manresa in Spain. Ignatius never spoke much about what went on in this, other than to say that he experienced God in a completely new way. From then on he was able to see God in all people and in all things. Davy would also remember Ignatius' vision at La Storta in which he saw Christ telling his Father that he wanted Ignatius to follow him. Davy heard that call and responded to it, however much he failed, like the rest of us.

He had a great love of God and of prayer. He used to talk of Holy Cross, the Benedictine monastery in Rostrevor, as his second spiritual home, especially in later years when his health failed. For many years he attended meetings of the European Jesuit Workers' Group. These were Jesuits who worked alongside people in difficult situations in factories and tried to find Christ in their situation. It was important to Davy that these Jesuits came from many different European countries: he knew the Society is an international body.

In 1985, as a fifty-year old true Dub, he took the courageous step of joining the new venture at Iona, Portadown, in the middle of The Troubles. Portadown was to become his home, where he wanted always to be, and he was the first ever Jesuit to be buried in Northern Ireland. There was a Jesuit house in Donard, County Down, in the 19th century with some Jesuit graves, but that was before the creation of Northern Ireland.

The Jesuit work in Churchill Park began with community development, and Davy was part of the setting up of the Drumcree Community Centre. People from there attended his funeral. He developed a more personal mission to people in stress, which was expressed in the Gingerbread group. Many people give testimony to Davy's presence and words of healing wisdom. He said that his real work was being present to people. When he was present and listening to them, God was present.

He made close friends among Protestants, especially in the Corcrain area which is across the peace wall from Garvaghy Road. In Corcrain they paint the kerbstones red and blue and burn foreign flags on enormous bonfires, but on the day of the funeral a woman from there commented on how he was mourned by so many there. It was very important to him that some of his closest friends were Protestants. Building relationships in Portadown between Catholics and Protestants was very important to him. He hated bigotry and sectarianism.

In 2012 he discovered that his mother was buried in Templemichael, near Arklow where she had grown up. He managed two trips to the grave, which meant very much to him. The final trip included a visit to Sr Emmanuel in Co, Wexford. Some months later she preceded him in death. Mutual friends arranged that he was buried with her rosary beads. His friend Gabrielle, of Gabrielle's flower shop, began to send him single red roses for his mother's grave. In the end he sent two for Davy's grave,

He would have loved his own funeral - the uniformed band preceding the hearse, the hosts of neighbours and friends, the sense of a life fulfilled. A fellow Jesuit said it was the happiest funeral he ever attended. The bishop of the diocese, Cardinal Sean Brady, presided over the liturgy, and while Davy may not have been impressed by celebrity, he would in this case have smiled. Fr Thierry OSB was there to represent the Benedictine community of Rostrevor. Davy had very little family but was always close to his nieces and their families in Birmingham. They obviously cherished him, visiting him during his illness and turning out in force for his funeral.

People regretted the passing of a gentleman, a friend, one whose presence was like a timely sent angel. He ambled along, trusting in the right moment, saying it as he felt it, and people got the message and loved it.

Byrne, George, 1879-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/708
  • Person
  • 07 February 1879-03 January 1962

Born: 07 February 1879, Blackrock, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1911, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 03 January 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin

Younger brother of William Byrne - RIP 1943

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Came to Australia for Regency 1902
by 1899 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong Mission : 02 December 1926
by 1927 first Hong Kong Missioner with John Neary
by 1931 Hong Kong Mission Superior 02 December 1926

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
1894-1898 After his First Vows at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, he remained there for two further years of Juniorate
1898-1901 He was sent to Valkenburk Netherlands for Philosophy.
1901-1908 He was sent to Australia and St Ignatius College Riverview for Regency, where he taught and was Third Division Prefect. He was also in charge charge of Senior Debating (1905-1908) and in 1904 was elected to the Council of the Teachers Association of New South Wales.
1908-1912 he returned to Ireland and Milltown Park Dublin for Theology
1912-1914 He made Tertianship at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, and the following year appointed Socius to the Novice Master.
1914-1919 He was sent to Australia as Superior and Master of Novices at Loyola College Greenwich. He was also a Consultor of the Sydney Mission and gave Retreats and taught the Juniors. This occurred at a time when it was decided to reopen the Noviceship in Australia. As such he was “lent” to the Australian Mission for three years, but the outbreak of war and some delaying tactics on the part of the Mission Superior William Lockington, he remained longer than expected.
1919-1923 On his return to Ireland he became Novice Master again.
1930 He went to the Irish Mission in Hong Kong and worked there for many years, before returning to Ireland and Milltown Park, where he died.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father George Byrne
R.I.P.

Father George Byrne, S.J., the first Regional Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits and for many years one of the best Known priests in Hong Kong, died in Ireland on Thursday, 4 January 1962, aged 83.

Father Byrne arrived in Hong Kong from Ireland, with one other Jesuit Father, on 2 December 1926, and at once started to look for work, both for himself and for the Jesuits who would soon follow him to Hong Kong. He found abundant work for both. Within a decade, though always very short of men, he had staffed the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, built and opened Ricci hall, a Catholic hostel for students in the University of Hong Kong, taken over Wah Yan College from its founders, restarted as a monthly the Hong Kong Catholic review, The Rock, which had ceased publication shortly before his arrival, and provided for a time Jesuit teachers for Sacred Heart College, Canton.

These were the works he did through others. His own personal work was infinitely varied, as might have been expected from one of his many-sided character - at once scholarly and practical. At the time of his ordination he had been informed that he was destined a specialist’s life as a professor of theology. This plan was later changed and for the rest of his life he was to be, not a specialist, but one ready for anything. Nevertheless he retained some of the marks of the savant.

He was always a voracious reader, able to pour out an astonishing variety of information on almost any subject at a moment’s notice in English, French, or Latin. This gift, joined to a strong personality, a commanding appearance, and a powerful and very flexible voice, made him an admirable public speaker, whether in the pulpit, at retreats and conferences, at meetings of societies and associations, or in the lecturer’s chair in the University of Hong Kong. Where he readily deputised during the furloughs of the professors of education and of history. As a broadcaster, he had the rare gift of being able to project his personality across the ether and so hold the attention of his unseen audience.

As a writer, and he wrote much, he was primarily a discursive essayist, a member of a literary tribe that seems to have disappeared during World War II. His monthly articles in The Rock and the weekly column that he contributed for years to the South China Morning Post under the title ‘The Student’s Window’ might be in turn grimly earnest, genially informative, and gaily trivial, but they were always written in urbane and rhythmic English that carried the reader unprotestingly to the last full stop.

Despite these numerous public activities, he was probably best known as an adviser. During the many years he spent in Ricci Hall, he was always at home to the great numbers of people of all kinds - lay and cleric, Catholic and non-Catholic, men and women, young and old - who came seeking the solution of intellectual, religious, or personal problems from one who they knew would be both wise and kind.

Father Byrne was in Hong Kong in the early days of the war and displayed remarkable courage and physical energy in defending Ricci Hall against a band of marauders. By this time he was no longer superior, and he was already over 60. He went, therefore, to Dalat, Vietnam, where he spent the rest of the war years, Soon after the war, he went to Ireland for medical treatment and, though still capable of a hard day’s work, was advised on medical grounds that he must not return to the Far East.

This was a blow, but he did not repine. He retained his interest in and affection for Hong Kong, but he quickly set about finding an abundance of work in Ireland. Once again he found it. Not long after his arrival the director of retreats in Ireland was heard to say that if he could cut Father George Byrne in four and sent each part to give a retreat, he would still be unable to satisfy all the convents that were clamouring for him.

He still wrote and he still lectured and he still gave advice. Only very gradually did he allow advancing old age to cut down his work. As he had always wished, he worked to the end.

Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in Ricci Hall chapel by the warden Father R. Harris, S.J., on Monday, 8 January. In the congregation that filled the chapel, in addition to his fellow Jesuits, there were many who still remember Father Byrne even in the city of short memories. Those present included Father A. Granelli, P.I.M.E., P.P., representing His Lordship the Bishop; Bishop Donahy, M.M., Father McKiernan M.M, Father B. Tohill, S.D.B., Provincial, Father Vircondalet, M.E.M., Brother Felix, F.S.C., Father P. O’Connor, S.S.C., representative groups of Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres of the Maryknoll Sisters, of the Colomban Sisters, and many others. The Mass was served by Dr. George Choa.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 12 January 1962

RICCI Souvenir Record of the Silver Jubilee of Ricci Hall Hong Kong University 1929-1954

Note from John Neary Entry
He has nevertheless his little niche in our history. He was one of the two Jesuits - Father George Byrne was the other - who came here on 2 December 1926, to start Jesuit work in Hong Kong. Their early decisions have influenced all later Jesuit work here.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He could be called the founder of the Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong, as most of the older institutions in Hong Kong were started under him at Ricci (1929), Aberdeen (1931 and Wah Yan Hong Kong (1933).
After his term as Mission Superior (1926-1935) he lectured, preached and wrote. He had a weekly column in the “South China Morning Post” called “The Philosophers Chair”. During the Japanese occupation he went to a French Convent School to teach Philosophy. After 1946 he returned to Ireland and taught Ascetical and Mystical Theology yo Jesuits in Dublin.
Imaginative and versatile, pastoral and intellectual, he gave 20 of his peak years to Hong Kong (1926-1946) after which he returned to Ireland to give another 20 years service.

Note from John Neary Entry
In 1926 Fr John Fahy appointed him and George Byrne to respond to the request from Bishop Valtora of Hong Kong for Jesuit help.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

Fr Pigot attended the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo as a delegate representing the Australian Commonwealth Government. He was Secretary to the Seismological Section, and read two important papers. On the journey home he spent some time in hospital in Shanghai, and later touched at Hong Kong where he met Frs. Byrne and Neary.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Leeson St :
We were very glad to have several members of the Hong Kong Mission 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 37th Year No 2 1962

Obituary :

Fr George Byrne (1879-1962)

Few men in the history of the Irish Province for the last sixty years have seen so many aspects of the life and development of the Province as did Fr. George Byrne, who died in Dublin on 4th January at the ripe age of 83, of which 67 were spent in the Society. Born in Cork in 1879, he received his early education first at Clongowes (where he was in the Third Line with a boy three years younger than him called James Joyce!) and later at Mungret. He entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1894; made his philosophy at Vals, in France, taught for seven years as a scholastic in Riverview College, Australia; then back to Milltown Park, Dublin, for theology where he was ordained in 1911. His tertianship was made in Tullabeg, and he remained on there in the following year as Socius to the Master of Novices, but after a few months Australia claimed him again.
Early in 1914 he was named Master of Novices of the resuscitated Australian novitiate at Loyola, Sydney, combining this with the office of Superior of the House until 1918. A year later, in 1919, he is on the high seas again, this time returning to be Master of Novices at Tullabeg from 1919 to 1922,
In 1922 he became an operarius at St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, and during the next four years, among his other ministeria, was the first chaplain to the first Governor-General of the newly-established Irish Free State, Mr. Timothy Healy, K.C.
With 1926 came the decision that the Irish Province establish a Jesuit mission in Hong Kong at the invitation of the Vicar Apostolic, Bishop Henry Valtorta. Fr. Byrne, with Fr. John Neary, arrived in Hong Kong on 2nd December of the same year. Shortly afterwards Fr. Byrne became the Superior of the young mission. The years that followed, until his retirement to Ireland for health reasons in 1946, will undoubtedly be the period of Fr. Byrne's life that will establish his important standing in the recent history of the Irish Province. It is therefore fitting that we should allow them to be dealt with from Hong Kong sources. We take the following from The South China Morning Post for 5th January, 1962:
“News has just been received from Dublin, Ireland, of the death there of Fr. George Byrne, S.J., who was well known in Hong Kong for many years. He was the first Superior here of the Irish Jesuits. He was 83.
Fr, Byrne, with one other Jesuit priest, came to Hong Kong in Dec ember 1926. It was under his direction that arrangements were made for the various forms of work undertaken by the Jesuits in the Colony. The first of these was the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, which was under the direction of the bishops of South China, and was intended for the education and training of candidates for the priesthood in their dioceses. The staffing of it was entrusted to the Jesuits.
Fr. Byrne also arranged for the building of Ricci Hall, a Catholic hostel of the University of Hong Kong. He lived there for many years and always maintained a close contact with the university. He was a member of the Court and deputised, during periods of leave, for the Professor of Education and the Professor of History,
He was prominent in the years before the war as a lecturer and broadcaster and writer. He re-started the publication of the Catholic monthly magazine, The Rock, to which he was a regular contributor. He also for a long time contributed a weekly article, "The Student's Window", to The South China Morning Post.
He took an active part also in cducational matters. He was a member of the Board of Education, and he arranged for the taking over of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from its original founders. He had many associations with the religious institutions, where he was much in demand for conferences and retreats, He spoke with equal fluency in English, French and Latin.
During the war he was in Dalat, Indo-China, and soon after his return to Hong Kong got into bad health and returned to Europe for medical treatment. His recovery was more complete than was expected, but medical advice was against his return to the East.
During recent years, though old and in failing health, he was still very active as a writer in Catholic periodicals, and he always maintained his interest in Hong Kong. He left here many friends who remember him as a man of great kindness and universal sympathy, who carried lightly his wide scholarship, and who was always unchanged in his urbanity and good humour. Many professional men remember him too for his wise guidance in their student days and they, with a host of others, will always recall him with respect and affection”.
It only remains to say that though medical authorities refused to allow his return to Hong Kong, the years from 1946 until his death were as full of activities as ever. He continued to write and to lecture and to direct souls as of old. He filled the important post of Instructor of Tertians for years at Rathfarnham and from than until his death he was Professor of Ascetical Theology and spiritual director to the theologians at Milltown Park. Only very gradually did he allow advancing years to cut down his work. As he had always wished, he worked to the end.

From the Bishop of Hong Kong

16 Caine Road,
Hong Kong
10th January, 1962.

Dear Fr. O'Conor,
The news of the death of Rev. Fr. George Byrne, S.J., caused deep regret among all the many friends he left in Hong Kong, among whom I am proud to count myself.
His pioneer work here was that of a great missionary and of a far sighted organiser. His memory and the example of his zeal will be cherished in Hong Kong.
While expressing to you, Very Reverend Father, my sympathy for the great loss of your Province and your Society, I wish to take the opportunity of assuring you of tne grateful appreciation by the clergy and laity of Hong Kong for the generous collaboration your Fathers are offering to us in carrying the burden of this diocese.
Asking for the blessing of Our Lord on your apostolic work,
Yours very sincerely in Christ,
+Lawrence Bianchi,
Bishop of Hong Kong.

The Very Rev. Charles O'Conor, S.J.,
Loyola,
87 Eglinton Road,
Ballsbridge,
Dublin,
Ireland.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father George Byrne SJ 1879-1962
Few men in the history of the Province for the last 60 years have seen and contributed to so many aspects of the life and development of our Province than Fr George Byrne, who died in Dublin on January 4th 1962.

He was born in Cork in 1879, educated at Mungret at Clongowes, and he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1894.

In 1914 he was named Master of Novices to the resusicitated Novitiate at Loyola, Sydney, Australia, returning from that post to take up a similar one at Tullabeg from 1919 to 1922.

On the foundation of the Irish Free State he became chaplain to the first Governor-General, Mr Tim Healy.

When we started our Mission in Hong Kong, Fr Byrne went out as founder and first Superior. These were creative days,. He built Ricci Hall, negotiated the taking over of the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen, and he took over Wah Yan College from its original owners. At the same time he was prominent as a lecturer, broadcaster and writer, as well as part-time Professor in the University. He started the Catholic magazine “The Rock”, and for a long time contributed to the “South China Morning Post”

For health reasons he returned to Ireland in 1946. During the remaining years of his life he was Tertian-Instructor at Rathfarnham and Spiritual Father at Milltown. He continued to write, give retreats, thus keeping in harness till the end, as he himself wished.

Truly a rich life in achievement and of untold spiritual good to many souls. As a religious, he enjoyed gifts of higher prayer and was endowed with the gift of tears.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1929

Our Past

Father George Byrne SJ

Fr George Byrne SJ, who was in Mungret for some years in the nineties, is bringing glory to the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus. Under him as Superior the little band of pioneer missionaries of the Irish Jesuits at Hong Kong, Canton, and Shiuhing are doing wonderful work for the Church. In addition to his business of organisation, Fr George frequently contributes to “The Rock” and to a new Chinese monthly, the “Kung Kao Po”. His articles are usually reprinted in many of the local papers, with the result that Fr Byrne has gained a great reputation in Hong Kong. He is constantly giving retreats and missions. Two retreats were given by him in Latin to groups of Chinese priests, Fr Byrne is at present attending to the building of Ricci Hall, the new Hostel for Chinese University students. At the laying of the foundation stone by the Governor General, Fr George made a brilliant speech. Plans are being drawn up for the building of a new Regional Seminary. This building will be completed in 1930, and Fr Byrne will have an additional burden thrust upon him. May God give him strength to continue his wonderful work.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1930

Three Years in China : Impressions and Hopes

Father George Byrne SJ

The Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to China, Very Rev George Byrne SJ, visited us in March, and gave us a very interesting lecture. We expected great things from Father George, and were not disappointed. He gave a very clear account of the present position in China, of the Customs and mentality of its people, and of the working of grace amongst them. The many anecdotes told by Father Byrne and the beautiful illustrations he showed us kept our interest alive. Throughout the lecture We heard the call of China - the call of Christ the Redeemer of the world, appealing for helpers to bring those who are in the valley of the shadow of death to the Life that comes by knowledge and love of the Son of God.

We experienced no little joy when we heard of the work that has already been accomplished by the thirteen missionaries who have gone to China during the past three years. Their first task was, of course, study of the Chinese language, and in this they have already made progress sufficient to enable them to under take some missionary work through the medium of that language. The work of editing a Catholic monthly magazine called”The Rock” was entrusted to them by His Lordship the Bishop of Hong Kong; but their biggest undertaking has been the erection of Ricci Hall, a hostel for students attending the University of Hong Kong. When their numbers and resources increase, they hope to undertake a still more important work, namely, the management of the new Regional Seminary which is at present in course of erection, and in which the native clergy of Southern China will be educated and prepared for the priesthood. God's grace is manifestly assisting them in their labours.

Mungret rejoices in these achievements, especially as three of her old pupils and one old master are amongst the thirteen. Father G Byrne SJ, the Superior, was here in the nineties. Father J McCullough SJ, a boy of 1912-14 and a master here a few years ago, is working in Canton. Rev R Harris SJ, who left us in 1922, is teaching in Shiu Hing. Father R Gallagher SJ, who is remembered by many Old Boys, is the zealous Editor of “The Rock”. Anyone who knew Father Dick will not be surprised to hear that in addition to the burden of editorship, he cheerfully shoulders many other burdens.

The interest of Mungret boys in the Mission can be very practical. Help is needed. Perhaps those who read may help in one or many of the following ways: (1) By prayer ; (2) by sending books to stock the libraries of the Hostel or Seminary (Ricci Hall, Hong Kong, China); (3) by collecting old stamps and tin-foil, and forwarding them to Treasurer, Ricci Mission, Milltown Park, Dublin ; (4) by subscribing to The Rock (Editor, PO Box 28, Hong Kong); (5) by contributing to the Ricci Mission Fund (The Treasurer, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin). Those who cannot be with their friends in the front trench, as it were, where Paganism meets Christianity, can help them greatly. Spiritual and material help are necessary. By helping them, you give them strength and courage, and will have the privilege of consoling your Greatest Friend.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962

Obituary

Father George Byrne SJ

It is with great regret we chronicle the death of Father George Byrne, which took place in Dublin on January 4, at the 1 age of 83.

Father Byrne was born in Cork. After leaving Mungret he entered the Society of Jesus. He taught in Australia for seven years as a scholastic, and then returned to Milltown Park for his theological studies.

After ordination, he was recalled to Austrialia, where he became Master of Novices and Superior of the House. After a few years he was back in Ire land again, this time to Gardiner St, While in Gardiner St he became first Chaplain to the first Governor-General of the Free State, Mr Tim Healy, KC.

In 1926 came the decision to establish a Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong, Father Byrne was appointed Superior of the newly-formed Mission. On him fell the burden of much of the organisation. He arranged for the staffing of the Regional Seminary. He also arranged for the building of Ricci Hall, a University Hostel. He was also instrumental in taking over Wah Yan College from its original founders.

In Hong Kong he was a well-known broadcaster, writer and lecturer. He was always prominently associated with education.

In 1946 he returned to Ireland for health reasons. He continued active work. He was Instructor of Tertians for a number of years and after that, until his death, he was Professor of Ascetical Theology and Spiritual Director of the Theologians at Milltown Park, He worked until the end. RIP

Byrne, Patrick J, 1908-1968, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Younger brother of Tommy Byrne - RIP 1978

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

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

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

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Byrne SJ (1908-1968)

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

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

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

Callan, John, 1802-1888, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1003
  • Person
  • 02 February 1802-24 May 1888

Born: 02 February 1802, County Louth
Entered: 01 September 1835, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Professed: 02 February 1850
Died: 24 May 1888, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Was a Priest of the Armagh diocese for some years before Ent.

1841 Teaching at Tullabeg,
1843-1846 Sent to Clongowes as a teacher.
1846-1854 Sent to Belvedere as Teacher and was also Minister for a time there.
1854 Sent to Gardiner St as Operarius, and worked there until his death, including two stints as Superior (1856-1864 and 1871-1877). His death occurred 24 May 1888.

He was a very remarkable man, very straight and thoroughgoing. He was very devoted to the work of the Confessional, but he never Preached. He was sought out by countless penitents, both rich and poor, and to all he was the same, patient and kindly. He also had something of a reputation as a Moral Theologian, and he was consulted in very difficult cases, not only by Priests, but also by judges and doctors, and other professionals.

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.

Cantillon, Eric, 1924-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/769
  • Person
  • 24 September 1924-02 April 2011

Born: 24 September 1924, Cork City
Entered: 28 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 02 April 2011, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/eric-cantillon-r-i-p/

Eric Cantillon R.I.P.
Eric Cantillon SJ was 86 when he died on 2 April. He was a quiet Corkonian with the air of a countryman, loved by his parishioners in Staplestown where he has been a
curate for 32 years, happiest when he had a dog to walk with him, remembered warmly by Mungret alumni, especially the swimmers and athletes – he had trained them in Mungret and Belvedere with startling and untrumpeted success. The memory that unfailingly brought the light to his eyes was of a morning on Lough Currane when he fished the Comeragh river, swollen with fresh rain, where it enters the lake. He was held skillfully in position by boatman Jack O’Sullivan. They packed it in at lunch time with sixteen salmon in the boat – all taken on the one fly, tied by Eric. He landed every fish that rose to the fly, then gave them all away.

◆ Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2011

Obituary

Fr Eric Cantillon (1924-2011)

24th September 1924: Born in Cork
Early education in Lauragh Christian Brothers College, Cork
28th September 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
29th September 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1947: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1947 - 1951: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1951 - 1953: Clongowes – Teacher
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1957 - 1958: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1958 - 1964: Mungret College - Teacher and Prefect
2nd February 1959: Final Vows
1964 - 1965: Gardiner Street - Bursar
1965 - 1973: Mungret College - Teacher
1973 - 1979: Belvedere College - Teacher; Swimming Coach; Pool Supervisor
1979 - 2011: Clongowes: Parish Curate, Staplestown
1979 - 1993: Rector's Admonitor
1998 - 2011: House Consultor
2000 - 2011: Rector's Admonitor
2nd April 2011: Died at Clongowes

Eric had been showing signs of failing health for some months before being admitted to St Vincent's Private Hospital for tests on 8th March. These revealed that he was suffering from cancer of the pancreas, with secondaries. His own wish, as he put it, was for 'comfort, not intervention, and he was very anxious to come home to Clongowes, where the people among whom he had ministered for more than 30 years have some opportunity of coming to see him. Relatives, local clergy, Bishop Jim Moriarty (who had also visited him in Dublin), and his friends from the parish of Staplestown and Cooleragh came to visit him here, after his return on 19" March. Over the following fortnight his condition gradually deteriorated and he died at 9.25 on Saturday morning, 2nd April. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

Obituary by Bruce Bradley
Eric went to hospital in Dublin for tests exactly four weeks before his funeral. I met him on the stairs in Clongowes as he was preparing to travel. “I'm off on my vacation”, he said, with the hint of a twinkle in his eye, though he knew he was unwell and must have been anxious about what lay ahead. After he had returned to Clongowes on 19th March, feast of St Joseph, patron of a happy death, knowing that he had, at the very most, only months to live, he spoke of going on another journey'. On the 2nd of April, much sooner than any of us foresaw, that journey was accomplished.

His reference to another journey puts us in mind of his first journey, the journey that began 86% years ago and took him from his childhood and schooldays in Cork to the Jesuit novitiate in Emo, Co. Laois, then to studies in UCD and Tullabeg and Milltown Park, with an interval of some years spent as a teacher and prefect in Clongowes, culminating in his ordination to the priesthood on 31st July 1956, a few months short of his 32nd birthday. For some twenty years after that he worked in schools – in Mungret until shortly before its closure, then for six years in Belvedere in the middle of Dublin. It was only in 1979 that, in a certain sense, he found his true vocation by coming to the parish of Staplestown and Cooleragh. There he was able to give himself to the pastoral ministry for which he was so supremely fitted and which, as his parishioners and his fellow-priests know so well, was to prove such a wonderful success.

Eric was raised and formed in the pre-Vatican II Church. His faith was planted and nurtured in those more tranquil but also more narrow times. As a young Jesuit, he experienced a formation process in ways out of touch with real life and divorced from people's needs, something for which he had little tolerance and wasn't slow to remark on in later years. Its authoritarianism, in particular, irked him, and authority in any form never got an easy ride from Eric.

Priests formed at that time, including not a few of his fellow Jesuits, were apt to find themselves a little like beached whales when the changes of the 2nd Vatican Council burst upon a largely unsuspecting Irish Church in the 1960s, their theology and spirituality largely irrelevant, leaving them struggling to adapt or function effectively in the new and evolving environment. But not Eric. One of his most obvious characteristics was his independence and his strength of mind. He thought for himself, he was full of common sense, and he kept himself in tune and up-to-date by whatever means it took. He knew who he was and what he wanted and he was unwilling to make himself the slave of any system.

This had some inconveniences at times, if you happened to be his religious superior, but it had huge benefits – for him and for the people to whose care he gave himself so completely. The professionalism with which he equipped himself to be a pastoral priest in a country parish was a quality he had already shown in previous assignments, some of them much less congenial from his point of view. He had a natural interest in and aptitude for sport of all kinds. In Mungret, Fr Jack Kerr had built a swimming pool during Eric's time there, which Eric had helped to run. When Jack Kerr was transferred as rector to Belvedere, a swimming pool, and then Eric, soon followed.

Eric was a countryman to the core, who never lost touch with his roots. He read the Irish Field every week, keen follower of horses that he was, and the Irish Examiner, as we now call it, every day. I cannot imagine that he found living in the cramped conditions of the inner city was remotely to his taste. But he set himself to become a hugely professional and meticulous supervisor of the pool in Belvedere, which not only served a large school but also public clients to whom it was hired out. He gave the long hours and immense care this charge involved, while also engaging with and befriending the boys and their families and coaching many a successful swimming team. Subsequently, through his work with St Kevin's Athletic Club in Cooleragh, he emerged as a hugely committed and highly skilled athletics coach.

Whatever he did, he made himself master of, always quietly and without any fanfare. And he met and mastered the requirements of his pastoral care in the parish in the same way. He absorbed and applied the person-centred theology of Vatican Two in his ministry and preaching and, at an age in life when many of his contemporaries preferred to have nothing to do with such modern gadgets as a mobile phone, Eric - never off duty, even at meal-times - was inseparable from his. The only difficulty that posed was that, in his last years, his deafness meant that we all heard his phone ringing in his pocket long before he did. Then he'd be up with his big diary, entering a new appointment, always available, even in the final months of his life.

Another hallmark of Eric's approach and personality was his love of, even insistence on, privacy. He was a very private man. We in the community heard little enough about his family or his pastoral duties, although we could see his relentless devotion. We almost never heard him preach, unless he happened to be celebrating the funeral of someone connected with the college. Of his success as an athletics coach we heard nothing, and only the chance of Fr Leonard Moloney, headmaster of Belvedere in the 1990s, bumping into him at the All-Ireland Schools Athletics Championships in Tullamore alerted us to the fact that Eric was bringing his young trainees from the parish to the highest levels of competitive achievement.

One of his favourite recreations was fishing - usually indulged just once a year in the west of Ireland, in the company of his Layden cousins and other friends. As a fisherman, he was as professional as he was at everything else to which he tumed his finely tuned practical intelligence. Once again, this was something about which we rarely heard much, not even about his record-breaking catch in the mouth of the Comeragh more than 30 years ago - the astonishing grand total of 16 salmon and a sea trout on a size 7 fly, with the assistance of Jack O'Sullivan. I know even this much because Anita Layden kindly drew my attention to an entry on the internet she happened to stumble on. Exceptionally, in this instance, Eric had actually shared the story with us about a year ago. Someone had written a ballad about the exploit of the Jesuit priest', as he was called, and it was broadcast on the radio. All those years later, quite untypically, Eric actually let us hear the tape. Otherwise - and I think this applied even within his own family – he kept the different compartments of his life almost completely separate.

Eric was a wonderful priest and his great friend, who was his second parish priest in Staplestown, Fr Pat Ramsbotham, spoke eloquently about that on the occasion of his funeral. He was a priest through and through, but he never, mercifully, acquired a clerical personality. In the same way, although he was nearly 87 when he died, he never really became old. It wasn't just the colour of his hair, which doggedly refused to turn properly grey, putting some of the rest of us to shame. It was his whole attitude and demeanour. He remained interested in what was going on and interested, above all, in the lives of people. His great humanity, his shrewd wisdom, and his unselfishness drew people to him. As Frank Sammon accurately remarked, he had a tremendous feel for the life and faith of local people and local priests. His days were shaped by the day-to-day lives of the people. He shared their lives and served them in so many ways. His conversation was not about himself and he was intolerant of pomposity or self-importance in others. He was extremely disciplined.

Following his car accident a number of years ago, he was utterly faithful to the daily walk which was part of his rehabilitation. One of my favourite memories of him now is of seeing him from my window in Clongowes heading off round the track behind the castle one morning, puffing his pipe as he still did at the time, with his little black cat trotting along at a respectful distance behind him.

I should say a word about the cat. He loved wild-life and was immensely knowledgeable about it, although, needless to say, he never flaunted his knowledge. Here, and earlier in Mungret, I think, he had kept a dog. The cat in question was dumped at our door, half domesticated, about six or seven years ago. As soon as he became aware of the cat, he began to feed her. From that time forward, he almost never missed a day and, if he did, Brother Charlie Connor filled in. With his usual professionalism, he provided a judicious mixture of milk, community left-overs and carefully selected cat-food. Inevitably, the cat became Eric's cat. For a long time, she had no name but eventually Eric decided she should be called Reilly because, as he said, she had the life of Reilly. One of our colleagues on the staff, Geraldine Dillon, told me of how she had been rushing from the staff-room one day and was stopped in her tracks by seeing, through the window, Eric sitting on the bench by the castle door, quite still and looking down the avenue. “His cat”, as she said, “was on the bench too, sitting up straight and facing the same direction”. “Apart and close”, as she said.

“Apart and close”. Perhaps that gets something profoundly true about Eric. He was a man apart in ways, partly reflecting the instinct for privacy I mentioned, partly reflecting how unusual and un-stereotyped he was, partly reflecting his priesthood itself. But he was also close to people, as the grief and bewilderment his death, even in his ninth decade, has caused among so many clearly shows. His humanity flowed out in his relationship with people. He had a particular gift for relating to the young, because of his interest in them, the range of his own interests, and the absence of all pomp and ceremony. He didn't waste words. As the old dictum says, he didn't speak if he couldn't improve the silence.

In his room after his death was a small pile of Mother's Day cards, bought for him at his request by Charlie Connor, which he was still hoping to send in the final days of his life. Perhaps the mothers for whom they were intended know who they are and will take them as sent.

They have better than Mother's Day wishes from Eric now.

I think everyone knew he wanted to die in his community in Clongowes and not in “that Cherryfield”, as he was once heard to say, fearing that he would have been too far away from his own people. Just a month before he died, showing clear signs of illness and finally acknowledging them himself, he went to St Vincent's Hospital for tests, which quickly showed that he had advanced cancer. He returned home ten days later and it became increasingly obvious that he had weeks rather than months to live. He said quite clearly on more than one occasion that he had had a good life and believed in the life to come. And so he prepared to embark on that 'other journey' to which I referred at the start.

In his last days, he was unfailingly gentle and grateful to the nurses and members of the Clongowes house-staff who cared for him with so much love and tenderness. He was especially grateful to his great friend in the community, Charlie Connor, who lived in the room beside him and took increasing care of him as the end grew near. The end came quickly. Only hours earlier, he had been looking forward to the Munster Leinster match, for which we had installed a television set in his room. He didn't get to watch television but, as Fr Dermot Murray suggested, he had by then acquired a better seat, May he rest in peace.

Carr, Peter, 1812-1845, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1017
  • Person
  • 29 June 1812-08 April 1845

Born: 29 June 1812, County Kildare
Entered: 14 October 1837, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 08 April 1845, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a dispenser at Gardiner St during 1844, and died there 08 April 1845 greatly regretted.
He was of very small stature.

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, Thomas, 1790-1866, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/110
  • Person
  • 20 December 1790-21 June 1866

Born: 20 December 1790, Edenderry, County Offaly
Entered: 09 October 1825, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Final vows: 08 September 1841
Died: 21 June 1866, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He did a very long Postulancy at Tullabeg, while it was being built, being received there in 1817 by Peter Kenney. he had come with an architect by whom he had been taught masonry.
He eventually Ent formally at Clongowes 09 October 1825.
For forty years he was employed as a mason in different houses, and died at the Dublin Residence 21 June 1866
He was a man of great integrity and true simplicity. Always the same, of a most even temper, he was very well suited to the Society. Even in his long Postulancy and Novitiate, he was remarkable for his deep humility and patience.

Cassidy, Derek, 1943-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/811
  • Person
  • 10 April 1943-30 March 2017

Born: 10 April 1943, Howth, Ballyfermot, Donnycarney, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1965, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final vows: 04 March 1985, Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway
Died: 30 March 2017, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin

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

Grew up in Howth, Ballyfermot, Donnycarney, Dublin.
by 1977 at Regis Toronto ONT, Canada (CAN S) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2013 https://www.jesuit.ie/news/derek-cassidy-sj-man-soulful-presence/

Derek Cassidy SJ – a soulful presence
Fr Derek Cassidy SJ died peacefully on Thursday morning, 30 March, in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. He had been a dialysis patient for many years. In recent months, his health began to deteriorate very rapidly. The staff of Beaumont Hospital knew him well and gave him great care. He lay in rest at Belvedere College SJ on 2 April and his funeral mass took place on 3 April in Gardiner Street Church, followed by burial at Glasnevin Cemetery. Leonard Moloney SJ, the Irish Provincial who worked with Fr Derek in Belvedere College, was the principal celebrant and homilist at the mass.
Fr Derek served as Rector of Belvedere College since 2002 and was a much-loved member of the College community. He was also a member of the Jesuit community in Gardiner St, Dublin and will be sadly missed by them. He is deeply regretted by his brother Damien and wife Anne, sisters Thelma, Sandra and Denise, nephew Joe, nieces Frances, Susan and Jennifer, grandnieces Chloe, Lucy, Katie and Baby Anne, Jesuit brothers, extended family and his many friends.
Tributes were paid to Fr Derek through the Irish Jesuits page on Facebook. Bláth McDonnell commented, “Rest in Peace Fr. Derek. He had always been such a calm, kind and gentle presence around the College and will be sadly missed”. Thomas Giblin said, “What I remember of Derek was his complete presence in a conversation. It is in his eyes in the photo above. When you needed him, he was with you. There was no doubt. That made him a great chaplain and a wonderful friend”. And Clar Mag Uidhrin said, “So sorry to hear this. I’m blessed I had the opportunity to work alongside him. Rest in peace Fr Derek”. And Niall Markey noted, “Rest in peace, Derek. Thank you for the kindness you showed to me throughout my Jesuit journey. God bless”.
Fr Derek worked in school chaplaincy for a large part of his Jesuit life. He also taught as a Religious Education/Religious Studies teacher at Belvedere for several years. His ratings were above the average at 4.35/5 stars as recorded on ratemyteachers.com. Students comments included: “Biggest baller going, inspiration and a half, aspire to be like this man”; “legend of the school”; “great guy”; and “a class act, very quiet but when he preaches it all makes sense, especially with the Simpsons references”. The school’s pastoral blog noted his Golden Jubilee in 2015 and remarked, “Fr Derek is a wonderful example of what Jesuit life represents”.
Fr Derek made deep impressions on the Belvedere community during the last 16 years of his life. Headmaster Gerry Foley was particularly close to him, as evident from this personal tribute:

Remembering Derek
When we gathered in St. Francis Xavier Church, in Gardner Street, we gathered in sadness, but we wanted to celebrate and give thanks for Fr. Derek’s life with his family and with the Jesuit province. Each of us knew Derek in a different way and we all have memories of a man who could laugh at himself, the world and laugh and talk with people of very different ages and backgrounds. In mourning him we remember fondly stories that highlight his wit, his willingness to confront what he perceived was wrong, even if that led to a difficult experience for both himself and whoever thought he was going to hold back, simply because of his vocation. You did not have to guess Derek’s opinions and views. He could be subtle or when required, bold and forthright when subtlety failed.
Derek’s response to illness made you realise that we should never take being alive and having health, for granted. The theology of salvation was not theoretical for him, it was a lived example.
Images of him laughing, chatting driving in the car or the cheerleaders in the minibus, mix with images of him being silent and attentive. I was lucky enough to bring him the Leinster Senior Cup on the Sunday morning after St. Patrick’s Day. He was delighted and it was uplifting to see the chief cheerleader who loved rugby so much. He received that cup three times previously on the Front door of Belvedere House, so it represented commitment and dedication for him.
There are many things in his office, which point to who Derek is and what he brought to the college. There is a small-framed reproduction of the painting, Light of the world, Holman Hunt, Jesus carrying a lantern knocking on the door. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice, open the door, I will come to him, and I will sup with him and he with me”. On the left side is the human soul, locked away behind an overgrown doorway. Derek invited people to listen more carefully for that knock and when it came, wrench open the door, which could be difficult, and invite Jesus in.
On the table in Derek’s office is “The Simpsons and Philosophy, The D’oh of Homer.” It’s noteworthy that Richard Dawkins, Brief Candle in the Dark” is on the shelf, so Derek was catholic in his sources of inspiration. The connection may not seem obvious, but one of Derek’s favourite episodes of the Simpsons, which he used in his homilies, is the one where Bart, declaring he does not believe in having a soul, sells it, only to regret it when he discovers that life with soul is a life deprived.
If you re- watch the episode of the Simpsons he oft quoted, where Bart sells his soul, you will get a better understanding of Derek’s ability to pick something simple and use it to point to what is profound. He used it in his homily to remind all of us that soul is important, the essence of who we are and not to sell out for something else. For what doth it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what should a man give in exchange for his soul?
By using the Simpsons, Derek highlighted the challenge of Jesuit Education, to place the person of Jesus at the heart of what we do.
So, amid all Derek’s jocularity, there lay a sincerity, a belief that life was so much better lived if the gentleness of humility and care of Jesus was our inspiration.
Looking around his office, the photograph of one of the first Kairos, a card depicting Fr. John Sullivan, the photo of Fr. Reidy, photos of his family, the mass booklet from one of the Past Pupil Reunions, the framed newspaper article on the Jes winning the cup, The Belvo black and white, the Poster of the Holy Land, the model of the BMW 3 series reveal that Derek treasured many people and held them close to his heart, and indicated why he was held in their heart.
One of Derek’s many achievements in Belvedere was to develop the role of Rector, which was a challenge given we are not residents in the school but we are a community almost without boundaries. His presence as a man who was reflective and invited reflection has had an impact on so many people and on so many different levels.
His dry wit often brightened the moment and his genuine question asking “How are you?...” was never followed by a hurried moment, he gave generously of his time and gave people space so they could take time out of their hurried day, to stop, think and enter that space where prayer leads us. That appreciation of the moment lay at the heart of so many memories of him either sharing a glass, or at a meal or on a journey in somewhere like Greece, Rome, with students, or for me, very fond memories of when we were setting up the Chinese Exchange or the Boston exchanges. In Hong Kong, climbing a steep hill, the hand drawn rickshaw pullers approached Derek and avoided both the late Barry O’ Leary and I. We joked that it was the result of old age being respected in China, he quipped that their reluctance to approach us was a justified concern for their back, given our weight!
These exchanges expanded the Jesuit network and helped develop the sense of being a community sharing our faith journey. As with his untiring work in Fundraising and on the Buildings Committee, and Jesuit Identity Committee, he was passionate in providing the right environment to nurture community, friendship and learning.
Derek’s publican background gave him the skills to be fully present to people, to hear their story and enter into it with them. That is why so many students hold his memory dearly and fondly. He was there, fully present, not just physically, but in his un-divided attention to them.
If you asked Derek how he was, he never complained, instead he would reply with something like, “looking down on the daisies, which is better than looking up at them!” Even when he lost his toe he made a joke of it, saying the coffin was getting lighter by the day, and that was another aspect of Derek that made him attractive, particularly to students, he was a bit of a rebel, could be anti-establishment, feared not death because he believed and yet remained true to all that was good.
When we went to Hong Kong, Derek met Fr Joseph Mallin SJ (102), the last surviving child of Michael Mallin, executed leader of the Easter Rising in 1916. Derek and he shared a Republican background and he was immensely proud to be Irish. The Coleman’s mustard, sitting on the shelf in his office, is probably the only British thing he would admit tasted good.
On the little table is the statue of the Holy Family, Joseph and Mary looking at Jesus as he learns the trade of carpentry. Joseph’s hand is raised, obviously in instruction, while Mary looks on with great pride in her son. Derek had that care and pride for the students as they grew in their apprenticeship of what would be their adult personality. He loved young people and loved the privilege of being involved in their life. Lastly there was the prayer on the wall, and I think it captures a lot of his humour and honesty.
“Dear God, so far today I’ve done alright, I haven’t gossiped, I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or over indulgent. I’m very thankful for that. But in a few minutes God, I’m going to get out of bed, and from then on I’m probably going to need a lot more help...”
Derek was that help for a lot of us and while extending our sympathy and condolences to his community and his family, I want to extend, on behalf of the Belvedere family, a sincere Thank You. For 16 years, we enjoyed Derek as chaplain, teacher, Form Tutor, Rector and Board member. You shared him with us and we are forever grateful for that. His soul will continue his work with the students and families and we gain strength from his example as a Jesuit, a priest, a friend and a companion.
May he rest in the peace of Christ. Gerry Foley

Early Education at St Mary’s Convent Arklow; SS Michael & John, Smock Alley, Dublin; De La Salle, Ballyfermot, Dublin; Mungret College SJ; Apprentice Solicitor & Barman

1967-1970 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1970-1971 Mungret College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying for H Dip in Education at UCD
1971-1976 Milltown Park - Studying Philosophy & Theology (integrated)
1974 Milltown Park - Administration at Irish School of Ecumenics
1976-1977 Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Studying Theology at Regis College
1977-1978 Tabor House - Vice-Superior; Minister; Assistant Director of Retreat House
1978-1980 Leave of Absence
1980-1982 Coláiste Iognáid SJ - Chaplain; Teacher
1982-1983 Tullabeg - Tertianship
1983-1989 Coláiste Iognáid SJ - Director of Pastoral Care; Teacher
1989-1990 Tabor - Vice-Superior; Young Adults Delegate; Assistant in Retreat House
1990-1999 Campion House - Vice-Superior; Young Adults Delegate; Assists Tabor House & JVC; Young Adult Ministry
1993 Superior at Campion
1995 Principal & Treasurer at University Hall
1996 Formation Delegate
1999-2001 Leeson St - Principal & Treasurer at University Hall; Young Adults & Formation Delegate
2000 Sabbatical
2001-2004 Belvedere College SJ - College Chaplain; Teacher
2002 Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2003 Superior of Gardiner St Community; Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2004-2017 Gardiner St - Superior of Gardiner St Community; Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2011 College Chaplain & Teacher at Belvedere College SJ
2012 Rector of Belvedere College 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.

Coffey, Patrick, 1909-1983, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/94
  • Person
  • 10 June 1909-19 August 1983

Born: 10 June 1909, Cork City
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park
Final Vows: 02 February 1944, Mungret College Sj, Limerick
Died: 19 August 1983, Kilcroney, County Wickow

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

Early Education at Presentation Brothers College, Cork City

1933-1934 Caring for Health
by 1967 at West Heath Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1970 at Southwark Diocese (ANG) working
by 1971 at St Ignatius, Tottenham London (ANG) working
by 1972 at Deptford London (ANG) working

Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 58th Year No 4 1983

Gardiner Street
The summer months saw the passing of two members of our community. Fr Johnny McAvoy († 26th July), who had given us an outstanding example of cheerful endurance during his long struggle with ill health, was the first to go. As noted in our last report, he had had to return to Cherryfield Lodge some months ago, to receive special care. At the very end, however, he moved to Our Lady's Hospice, where he died after a brain haemorrhage which mercifully saved him from prolonged suffering.
Fr Paddy Coffey, who died almost a month later († 19th August), was also attached to our community, though he had been living at St Joseph's, Kilcroney, or many years. It is no exaggeration to say that he was a legend in the Province for his amazing will-power and persistence. It would have been fascinating to listen in to his last battle of with the Lord! His ever-widening circle of friends will miss his gentle but determined winning ways.
May he and Johnny rest in the the serenity of eternal peace.

Obituary

Obituary

Fr Patrick Coffey (1909-1926-1983)

Paddy Coffey arrived in Tullabeg on 1st September 1926: a sporty little Corkonian ready for anything, a bony little flier at football who would go through you with delight, kicking the shins off you in his passage. He seemed to lose a lot of this zest in the he had a period of pious “broken head” - a term which older Jesuits may have to explain to younger, less pious ones.
As far as I recall he was well while in Rathfarnham, where he got an Honours BA, but after that he was seldom free from illness and disability. In philosophy at Tullabeg he had a long and serious illness, during which he was reduced almost to the state of a vegetable. It is said that the authorities thought he should leave the Society, but Paddy dug his heels in. That dogged and even obstinate determination became a well-known characteristic of his. He began philosophy in 1931, but his was so interrupted that it did not end until 1936.
After Tullabeg he spent two years in Mungret, where he was prefect of Third Club and teacher. After theology in Milltown, where he was ordained in 1941, in 1943 he returned
to Mungret, where by far the greater part of his life was to be spent: indeed, he became identified with Mungret. For two years he was prefect of First Club. The boys used to mimic a saying from a pep-talk of his: Rugby is a game of blood and mud! When there was a difference of opinion about policy or a fixture, he would fight quite fiercely to the last and when he yielded, it was from his religious spirit.
Besides teaching, he also edited the Mungret Annual. This was his greatest work in and for Mungret. He had a great feeling for the boys - I never heard him running them down - and an exceptional involvement with the Past: probably the reason he was made editor of the Annual. Indeed, he founded and produced the Mungret Eagle for the Past. This was a brochure of about 8 to 12 pages,containing photographs and all the bits of news that could be gathered about their whereabouts and activities, with a section about the Present. It was sent out free several times a year, and was eagerly read.
I don't think any function of the Mungret Union took place without him. Later on, in Gardiner street, he asked Fr Kieran Hanley if he might go to the Mungret Union dinner. When that benign and not easily outwitted superior, said, “Certainly,Paddy, in fact you ought to go”'. Paddy added, with his little grin, “It's in London, you know”.
Paddy's life-story is less than half told without mention of his serious accident. He was on a supply in the Dartford area of Kent in August 1953: the date was the 16th. His motor-bike stalled as he was crossing the highway, and a speeding car crashed into him. He was unconscious for at least a week and a leg had to be amputated. The hospital staff said that in his situation any ordinary person would have died, and they were astonished at his exceptional determination, which gradually carried him through. He never learned to use the artificial leg as it could be used, but when he returned to Mungret, he had obviously resolved to carry on as if nothing had happened. He got a bicycle made with one loose pedal crank, and on it he propelled himself shakily with one leg into town almost every day. He also insisted on keeping his room at the very top of the house, until the community could no longer bear the nerve-racking sound of him stumping up the stairs at midnight or later. It was during these years that his notable work with the Union and the Annual was done. He also taught (at least until 1964), but was quite likely to fall asleep in class.
He was well-known to be quite shameless and even peremptory in 'exploiting' his friends of the Past with regard to motor transport by day or by night. When he had left Mungret (which he did in 1966), I happened to be with a group who were jokingly recalling the occasions when they were commandeered, and it made me wonder when they ended up saying unanimously “All the same, he was a saint”. I have always suspected that he gave a good deal of his presence to less well-off people in Limerick, but Paddy played his cards so close to his chest that one never
knew the half of his activities,
Mention of cards reminds me that he loved card games, “hooleys”, sing songs, hotels, and visiting his friends. Yet I always felt that though he was ready for any escapade that didn't involve excommunication, with himself he was a very strict religious, unswervingly faithful to the way he was brought up.
I don't think anyone expected that he would ever leave Mungret as well again, but in 1966 he launched out, “wooden leg” and all, to Birmingham, where he did parish work for three years, then for six more years did the same in Deptford (Southwark diocese). In 1975 he joined the Gardiner street community, but lived in some kind of accommodation in North Summer street and worked in Seán McDermott street parish.
He was about a year in Dublin when he suffered a stroke which left: one arm useless and affected his leg. With his unconquerable determination he soldiered on in St Joseph's, Kilcroney, for seven long and trying years, keeping in touch with his friends by continual letters, getting taken out at every opportunity, even when he was reduced to using a wheelchair. He was always glad to see members of the Society. The last, almost inaudible, words I heard from him, a few hours before he died (19th August 1983), were “Coffee, piles of it, but don't tell the nurse!”
May he rest in peace at last, and may his long sufferings and indomitable spirit merit for him 'above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory.

Colgan, James E, 1849-1915, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/96
  • Person
  • 14 January 1849-06 August 1915

Born: 14 January 1849, Kilcock, County Kildare
Entered: 18 March 1868, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1881, North Great George's Street, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1888
Died: 06 August 1915, Mount Saint Evin’s Hospital, Melbourne Australia

Part of St Mary’s community, Miller St, Sydney, Australia at time of death.

Brother of John - RIP 1919
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1871 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1877 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1881 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
Came to Australia 1896

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education at Clongowes.
Owing to ill health he made some studies privately.
He was sent for Regency as a Prefect at Tullabeg.
He was Ordained at the Convent Chapel in Nth Great George’s St Dublin, by Dr Patrick Moran, Bishop of Dunedin.
He was Procurator for some years at Clongowes and Dromore, and was Procurator also at Clongowes, and then Minister at UCD. He also spent time on the Missionary Band in Ireland.
1896 He sailed for Australia to join a Missionary Band there. He was Superior for a time at Hawthorn.
1914 He returned to Ireland but set sail again for Australia in 1915.
1915 He returned to Melbourne, but died rather quickly there 06 August 1915.

Note from John Gateley Entry
1896 He was sent to Australia with James Colgan and Henry Lynch.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Brother of John - RIP 1919

His early education was at Clongowes Woof College before he Entered at Milltown Park.
1869-1870 He was sent to St Acheul, France for his Juniorate.
Owing to ill health he did the rest of his studies privately, and he was Ordained by Dr Moran of Dunedin, New Zealand in Ireland in 1881
1874-1880 He was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg as a Teacher and Prefect of Discipline
1880-1888 He was sent to Clongowes where he carried out much the same work as at Tullabeg
1888-1891 He was sent to St Francis Xavier Gardiner St for pastoral work, and then spent some time on the “Mission” staff giving retreats.
1891-1892 He was sent to University College Dublin as Minister
1892-1896 He went back to working on the Mission staff.
1897-1902 He was sent to Australia and began working as a rural Missionary
1902-1910 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at Hawthorn
1910-1915 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at St Mary’s Sydney

In 1914 he went back to Ireland, but returned to Australia the following year and died suddenly. He was a man of great austerity of life, and was valued as a Spiritual Director.

◆ The Clongownian, 1916

Obituary

Father James Colgan SJ

We deeply regret to learn of the death of the Rev James E Colgan SJ, which occurred at St Evin's Hospital, Melbourne, on Friday afternoon, August 6th, after an operation.

Fr Colgan was born on January 14th, 1849, at Kilcock, Co Kildare, Ireland. He entered the Society of Jesus on 18th March, 1868. His people were large property holders in that county. After entering the Society he studied at Milltown Park, Dublin, and subsequently continued his studies in France, England, and Ireland. He was for some time engaged in teaching in St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, and at Clongowes. After his ordination he filled important positions in both these colleges. Later he was engaged in missionary work. He occupied the position of Vice-President and Dean of Residence in the University College, Dublin. Subsequently he laboured in South Africa.

About 18 years ago he came to Australia, and was engaged in missionary work in Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand. For eight years he was Parish Priest of Hawthorn, after which he was appointed to the parish of St Mary's, North Sydney, which position he held for five years. Two years ago he had the misfortune to break his thigh at North Sydney, and this confined him to hospital for some eight months. After his recovery be proceeded to Ireland, where he spent a year recuperating. He returned to Victoria about three months ago, and whilst giving a retreat at Bendigo recently he was seized with illness, and had to come to Melbourne and undergo an operation, from which he never rallied, passing away peacefully, as stated, on the afternoon of Friday, 6th August, fortified by all the consolations of Religion. On Saturday morning, the 7th August, the solemn dirge for the repose of his soul was celebrated in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Hawthorn, at 10.30 2m. The church was crowded - a proof that the people were not unmindful of the self-sacrificiog labours of the deceased priest, His Grace the Archbishop of Melbourne (the Most Rev Dr Carr) presided, and His Grace the Coadjutor-Archbishop of Melbourne (the Most Rev Dr Mannix) was also present.

“Advocate” (Melbourne), August 14th, 1915,

Colgan, John, 1846-1919, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/578
  • Person
  • 08 November 1846-26 June 1919

Born: 08 November 1846, Kilcock, County Kildare
Entered: 12 November 1867, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1883
Final Vows: 02 February 1886
Died: 26 June 1919, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Brother of James - RIP 1913

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1870 at Amiens, France (CAMP) studying
by 1871 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) Studying
by 1882 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After Noviceship he studied Philosophy in Europe, was Prefect for a long time at Clongowes for Regency, and then did Theology at St Beuno’s.
After Ordination he was appointed Socius to the Novice Master at Dromore, eventually becoming Master himself.
1888 Dromore Novitiate was closed and he took the Novices to Tullabeg.
1890 His health had begun to suffer so he was sent to Clongowes as Spiritual Father, and did this for a number of years.
He was next sent as Minister to Milltown for a couple of years, but again returned to Clongowes in the same capacity as before.
1901 He was sent to Gardiner St. He was always in compromised health and had a very weak voice, but worked away there for a number of years.
In the end he had a very long illness which he bore with great patience and he died at Gardiner St 26 June 1919. His funeral was held there, very simply, as it was difficult to get a choir together at that time.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Made his first Vows at St Acheul, France 13 November 1869

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Colgan 1846-1919
Fr John Colgan was born at Kilcock County Kildare on November 8th 1846.

At the end of his theological studies he was appointed Socius to the Master of Novices at Dromore, eventually becoming Master of Novices himself. In 1888 Dromore was closed and he took the novices to Tullabeg.. His health broke down and in 1890 he went to Clongowes as Spiritual Father. In 1901 he was posted to Gardiner Street.

He was never of robust health and he laboured according to his strength for a number of years. His last illness, which was long, he bore with great patience until his death on June 28th 1919. His funeral took place after Low Mass, as it was impossible to get together a choir of priests. His funeral was very simple, as every Jesuit’s should be.

◆ The Clongownian, 1920

Obituary

Father John Colgan SJ

John Colgan passed quietly away at St Francis Xavier's Presbytery, Gardiner Street, on June 19th last year. He was in Clongowes from 1860-67, where his brothers James and Edward, who both predeceased him, were also students. Fr Colgan spent most of his earlier life as a Prefect in Clongowes, Externally cold and formal, he was in private a most kind-hearted and even indulgent man. His Theological studies over, he was sent as Socius to the Master of Novices at Dromore, county Down. He subsequently became Master of Novices himself, and it was he who took the Novices to Tullabeg after that college had been amalgamated with Clongowes. Not long after, his health breaking down, he came to Clongowes as Spiritual Father, at which post - excepting a short interval as Minister at Milltown Park - he remained until 1901. The remainder of his life was spent in works of the ministry at St Francis Xavier's, Dublin, where he rarely left the precincts of the Presbytery except for an occasional short walk. His interest in and kindly disposition towards visitors helped not a little the success of his sacredotal functions. To his sister we tender the sympathy of many generations who knew Fr Colgan.

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.

Conmee, John S, 1847-1910, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/13
  • Person
  • 25 December 1847-13 May 1910

Born: 25 December 1847, Glanduff, County Roscommon
Entered: 08 October 1867, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 18 April 1880, Thurles, County Tipperary
Final Vows: 02 February 1886
Died: 13 May 1910, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 2 August 1905-1909

by 1870 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1871 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1879 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Born at Glanduff near Athlone, but was raised at Kingsland near Frenchpark, County Roscommon.
Early education was at Castleknock and Clongowes.
After First Vows he was sent for studies to Roehampton and Stonyhurst.
1873 He was sent to Tullabeg for Regency, when William Delaney was rector there at the time. He had a great ability to inspire, excite and sustain the interest of his students, and he remained there until 1878
1878 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology.
1881 he was Ordained at Thurles by Dr Thomas W Croke, Archbishop of Cashel, and then he returned to teaching this time at Clongowes.
1885 He was appointed Rector of Clongowes.
1891 He was sent to Belvedere, and later to UCD.
1895 He was sent to Gardiner St, and appointed Superior in 1898.
1905 He was appointed Provincial, and stood down in 1909 due to failing health. After some months of rest he was appointed Rector of Milltown, but his health gave away completely there and he died 13 May 1910 aged 62.
He was held in great esteem in the Province, and hence the various kinds of high Office, and all of which he was very successful at. He was a very gifted man, a delightful companion, and loved by all who had the privilege of his friendship.

Paraphrase of “Press Report” - Mr RJ Kelly wrote
The late Father Conmee SJ, whose lamented demise we all deplore, was a singularly gifted man. Almost every Catholic in Dublin has heard, at some time or other, his striking eloquence in the pulpit. The obituary notice does him a lot of justice to his many-sided activity, save one which is probably less known. he was a great antiquarian and student of Irish history, deeply read in the history of our country, and, perhaps most particularly in that of his native county of Roscommon, his connection with he was always so proud of. One of the most singularly attractive booklets describing the traditions and customs for a district, once came from his pen, and, was published under the title “Old Times in the Barony” by the CTS. With characteristic modesty, Father Conmee wished his name not to appear on the title page, and at his earnest request, it was published anonymously. I hope it is no violation of the secrecy to now disclose his name. A more graphic and beautiful piece of descriptive writing was probably never penned, and in reading it, one has only one regret - that it runs into so few pages. A further regret is that one who could write so well could also give so little time to doing this. I often asked him to write more on things not well known and of which he might write so well, but the responsibilities of his many high offices left him little time to take up such a task.
This particular work of his was one of the first of our Catholic Truth Publications, and it is no disparagement of many others to say that it was one of the best. It was a valued publication of ours, but not his only service to us. He was one of the most active and prominent of our supporters from the beginning, and to his end he continued his deep and practical interest in our work, regretting that his having to be away so much meant he could not attend our meetings and give us the benefit of his great learning, wise judgement and ripe experience.”

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Conmee, John Stephen
by David Murphy

Conmee, John Stephen (1847–1910), Jesuit priest, writer, and educator, was born 25 December 1847 in Glanduff, near Athlone, Co. Westmeath, the son of John N. Conmee, a prosperous farmer. His family later moved to Kingsland, Co. Roscommon, and it was here that he spent his early childhood. He was educated at Castleknock college, Co. Dublin (1861–4) and at Clongowes Wood college, Co. Kildare (1864–7). On 8 October 1867 he entered the Irish province of the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park, Dublin. He continued his studies at Roehampton, London and Stonyhurst college, Lancashire. Returning to Ireland in 1873 he began his teaching career as a master at St Stanislaus college, Tullabeg, King's Co. (Offaly). His superiors soon realised that he was a born schoolmaster, with a talent for inspiring students. Known for his kindness, he was popular with both staff and students, and became involved in all aspects of college life. In 1878 he went to Innsbruck to begin theological studies and took the opportunity to travel around Europe. He was ordained in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, by Archbishop T. W. Croke (qv) in 1881, taking final vows in 1886.

He returned to Clongowes Wood college and served as prefect of studies (1881–5) and rector (1885–91). During his time as rector he oversaw the amalgamation of Tullabeg and Clongowes Wood colleges. He was appointed to the teaching staff of University College, St Stephen's Green, Dublin, first as prefect of studies and then as dean (1898–1904). In 1898 he was also appointed as superior of St Francis Xavier's Church in Gardiner St., Dublin. His teaching career finished with his promotion to provincial of the Irish province in 1905, after which he visited the Australian mission and toured the Holy Land. He retired as provincial because of ill-health in 1909 and was made rector of Milltown college. After a long illness, he died 13 May 1910 in Dublin.

While remembered as an educator, he also wrote poetry and prose. He published Ephesus (1873), Lines for the opening of the debate (1882) and Old times in the barony (1895). The Jesuit archive in Leeson St., Dublin, has a collection of his unpublished writings, including ‘Essays on spiritual subjects’. He is mainly remembered for his connection with James Joyce (qv), who spent three unhappy years at Clongowes while Conmee was in control. He clearly made a strong impression on the young Joyce, appearing as the kindly rector in A portrait of the artist as a young man (1916) and being mentioned more than sixty times in Ulysses (1922).

IBL, ii (1910), 8; ‘A relic of Father Conmee SJ’, Ir. Monthly , xxxviii (1910), 389–92; ‘Clongowes and Father Conmee: two filial tributes’, ibid., 421–7; Ir. Times, 14 May 1910; The Clongownian, June 1910; Patrick Murray, ‘A portrait of the rector’, IER, ser. 5, cix (1968), 110–15; Bruce Bradley, James Joyce's schooldays (1982); Thomas J. Morrissey, Towards a national university (1983), 190–91, 333, 360; James H. Murphy, Nos autem. Castleknock college and its contribution (1996), 18–19

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280

Note from Thomas Gartlan Entry
In 1908, the visiting Irish provincial said of Thomas that despite his fondness for athletics, he was a very suitable person as Rector. He enforced discipline and was very popular with the people of Sydney, and this led to the success of the College. This report was made by Father John Conmee, when no other College in Australia had escaped criticism.

Note from Luigi Sturzo Entry
One of his Irish novices and later Irish provincial, John Conmee, praised him for his gentleness, meekness, admirable patience, faith, and ardent love of the Lord

Note from James O’Dwyer Entry
When the Irish provincial, John Conmee, came to Australia in 1908, he was not happy with conditions at Xavier College. “It is from almost all aspects, a failure - enormous debt (£30,000), fails miserably and increasingly at exams, fails in all athletic contests ...”. He believed that the college needed an educational rector who would improve the college intellectually and spiritually and remove the debt. James O’Dwyer was appointed rector in May 1908.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Conmee 1847-1910
At Glanduff near Athlone, on Christmas Day 1747 was born Fr John Conmee. Kingsland, near Frenchpark County Roscommons became his home afterwards. He was educated at St Vincent’s College Castleknock and at Clongowes.

He became a Jesuit in 1867 and spent many years teaching in Tullabeg under Fr Delaney. After his Theology in Innsbruck, he was ordained priest in 1881, in Thurles by Archbishop Croke. He resumed his teaching at Clongowes where he became Rector in 1885. Belvedere was the next scene of his labours, where he had a pupil afterwards world famous, James Joyce. He was named Superior of Gardiner Street in 1898, becoming Provincial in 1905. However, his health was not robust, and he retired from this onerous post in 1909, to become Rector of Milltown Park. Here, however, his health broke down completely, and he died on May 13th 1910.

He was a man who inspired great affection in those who knew him, and these were many, as he was for many years in the foremost rank of preachers.

He had great literary gifts. His name will always be remembered for that masterpiece of writing “Old Times in the Barony”. It was founded on his recollection of early years in the country, unsurpassed in its mingled pathos and humour, its nostalgic capturing of a way of life that has passed. He was a great antiquarian and student of Irish history, especially his native Roscommon. In a word, he was a man of the highest gifts, both of mind and heart, all directed to the service of God and the good or religion, by the powerful weapons of good example and persuasion.

He had a peculiar delicate skin which lacked healing power, and for this reason could never use a razor – the necessary shaving being done with a scissors. This defect was what caused his collapse, after an operation which resulted in his death.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1910

Obituary

Father John Conmee SJ

Though Belvedere could never claim the honour of having had among its alumni the Rev J S Conmee SJ, still so close was the link that bound him to our Alma Mater that we cannot omit to include his name in the list of those whom the Master has called to receive the reward of their toil. For some time past, since his return from Australia two years ago, Father Conmee's health had been failing, so much so that last Summer he had to be relieved of the office of Provincial, which he had held for nearly four years. In January of this preserit year, when his health seemed to be improving, he was appointed Rector of Milltown Park, but scarcely had he entered on his new duties when once more his strength gave way, and after fighting the disease for three months he was finally compelled to enter St. Vincent's Hospital shortly after Easter. Report contradicted report, but yet on the whole he seemed to be gaining strength, so that the final announcement of his death, which followed close on an operation, came as a terribly unexpected blow to all who had the happiness of knowing him. For it was indeed a happiness to know Father Conmee. Rarely adorned with gifts of mind and heart, he possessed a manner so charming that it captivated you at once. Those who were, in Belvedere in the years 1891-2 will remember his kind and gentle sway when Prefect of Studies. The writer, who had. the good fortune to know him then, will never forget the kind interest that Father Conmee took in all his boyhood's little aims and dreams.

So it was with all. So great was this personal charm that it seemed to pervade his very sermons and his writings. Who that heard him preach before the great Medical Congress in the Pro-Cathedral, 1898, will forget the vivid eloquence of his discourse? or who that has read that little gem of literature, Old Times in the Barony, will not feel drawn to him who penned its lines?

Ever a friend to Belvedere and Belvederians, Father Conmee has a great claim on all our Past. Will they not discharge their debt in prayers for him who in his lifetime prayed for them?

◆ The Clongownian, 1898

IN MEMORIAM. The Thirteenth of May,

1910

On which departed from earth my dear old Master and Friend,

Father John S Conmee SJ

Once more the Springtime weaves around
Her witcheries of scent and hue;
Life pulses; in delightful sound
Earth laughs back to the mother-blue :

Sunlit, the grave old college towers
Crest the green pastures of Kildare;
Bees murmur in the meadow-flowers;
Keen boyish voices pierce the air.

Alas! How such a scene as this, .
Its harmonies of earth and sky,
Spoke to the soul of him we miss,
The sympathetic heart and eye!

Attuned to all things fair and good,
His spirit from each loveliness
Of Art's or Nature's changing mood
Had caught a charm to soothe and bless.

The child's new grief, the silent tears
Of helpless women, cares that bend
The weary man, youth's perils, fears, -
Knocked at his heart, and found a friend -

How gentle, genial, quick to share
Or joy or grief, to flash or veil
His own bright wit, alert to bear
Toils that o'ertasked a strength too frail,

A thousand mourners tell. The loss,
The pain, is ours; for him the prize:
Lifted at last the life-long cross,
Secure the opening Paradise.

He goes; there fadeth from these walls
Another link with dear days dead;-
But why sad dreams? 'Tis Love that calls
Each old friend homeward. Up, to tread

Their mounting path above these tears!
They wait thee where the shades decline,
Safe in the endless vernal years,
The radiance of the Heart Divine.

Eoghan

-oOo-

Obituary

Father John Conmee SJ

It is with sincere sorrow we chronicle the death of Father John Conmee SJ, formerly Rector of Clongowes. He died in Dublin on Friday morning, May 13th, 1910. Though it is close upon twenty years since he was Rector here, yet we have always counted him as belonging to the College. There was no place in the world so, dear to him; and, perhaps, of his life's work, he would like first to be judged by that done in Clongowes. He loved the old school well - few have loved it so well - and he loved the boys, past and present, with a fondness that had in it some thing of the depth and tenderness of a home affection.

During most of his priestly life he filled posts of superiority. He had a very kindly heart. Indeed it may be said with truth that he hardly.ever served in the ranks as a simple private. He began his career as a young master under Father William Delany in Tullabeg when that college was at the height of its fame. It was curiously said of the Rector of Tullabeg that he got more out of a man than was natively in him-and got it without asking.

But there was a great deal in Mr John Conmee, and all he had he gave unstintingly, He had much to do with the formation of the gifted boys who went out from Tullabeg in those days, and who have made their mark so well in life. Mr Conmee was a born school master. In fact, so striking was his personal influence over the boys that the balance of power was apt to be disturbed, and other masters complained that the boys gave too much time to Mr Conmee's work. He made the class really pleasant, and when he had explained an ode of Horace or a play of Shakspeare, the Mathematical Master got no fair play. The very playground of the boys became seasoned with Attic salt. Mr Conmee helped largely to create that atmosphere of willing work that marked the School. He poured out prologues to plays, racy things like the famous “Talk versus Chalk”, or “Classics v. Mathematics”. He started the debate on Parliamentary lines, and soon had the house ringing with questions that made the boys think and feel; and consequently read carefully and talk really well. He encouraged the musicians by taking an instrument himself in their band. All the while work in the lasses was going on with deadly earnestness.

Such was the state of things when the Rector thought the time had come for letting people know that the work done in Irish schools was as good as the best elsewhere, he steered his little ship of Tullabeg boldly ato the almost unknown waters of English competitive examinations. The result justified he experiment. The chief men of the Irish Parliamentary Party poured in delighted con gratulations. In this brilliant success Mr. Conmee had a good deal to say.

Years passed by, and not long after ordination Fr Conmee was made Prefect of Studies and afterwards Rector of Clongowes. During lis term of office as Rector occurred the most important event in the history of our School - the amalgamation with Tullabeg.

If ever the School needed a good man, then was the time. The step taken in amalgamating the two establishments was a grave one. The difficulties in the way of a successful fusion of the two sets of boys were many. The pace at the time in the steeplechase of Irish Intermediate Examinations was great. There was head-shaking and much croaking about the wisdom of putting all the eggs in one basket. But the young Rector was fearless. No point of the responsibilities that pressed upon him was missed. He radiated confidence and good humour. Studies, discipline, games - he saw the need of many changes in view of the changes going on all around. But he knew his boy world and its citizens - knew them better than they knew themselves. They grumbled at not having this and that. The Rector knew boys had a sort of eternal right to grumble; but he knew that if, in giving them what they grumbled for, you touched, with lightest finger only, any old School tradition, the boy grumbled again - that's why they're lovable.

It was well for Clongowes that the leaders amongst the Clongowes and Tullabeg boys were an exceptionally manly and decent lot of fellows. All went smoothly. The numbers were great, and the vigilant Rector was constantly on his guard against that evil in big schools, which contains every other evil monotony. Inside the house and outside he strove for variety. Indeed this human note was heard in all his work. With him dulness was a deadly sin. In preaching he would have you first make sure of your doctrine ther be interesting. He had an amusing horror of a bore. Outside he started new games, inside he made things bright and pleasant with play-room, music, frequent concerts, theatricals, debates on the Tullabeg lines (and only a little less brilliant), academies of one kind or another. School life went pleasantly.

Though he took an interest in the games such as few Rectors have taken, and helped more than any, I doubt if he ever grasped the power of the games to mould character. But he helped them as they helped against dark dangers - he helped them as relaxation from hard work; he helped them because the boys loved them and he loved the boys; and yet, he hardly knew the difference between an all-cane-bat and a three quarter at Rugby.

The regulation of the studies was not taken up till the following year. Then the Provincial, Father Thomas Browne, sent to Clongowes as Prefect of Studies, Father Daly, whose organising and sustaining power we all appreciate so highly. With the advent of Father Daly the Rector breathed. At once the School, now well knit, leaped to the front, and it has held its place ever since - never once failing. In after years, in whatsoever part of the world he might be, when the Examination results. came out, a hearty message of congratulation was wired to the Prefect of Studies and masters and boys by Fr Conmee.

He loved the place and all in it, and, though far away, it was in his heart. He loved the place and all in it-all the old folk, now past heavy labour, who worked about the grounds, the labourers on the farm, the cottage neigh bours around. They were all part of Clon gowes, and he would go to them, and chat with them about old times and old friends. A little bit of plantation known as Father Mac's wood, gave him the nom-de-plume he signed to “Old Times in the Barony: Max Wood.

Naturally he had a great love for things softened and beautified by the hand of time. He loved mediæval story and mediæval times. The Assisi of St Francis and its rich store of sacred legend had thrown a spell over him to which he rendered himself a willing captive. The old Bohemian town on the Moldau Prague, he loved best of all the towns in Europe.

Along with this we are not surprised to find a highly cultivated classic taste. Indeed, if he had lived in the days when John Philpot Curran and his “monks” flourished Father Conmee would have been admitted to that refined community without even a ballot, for in wit, in taste, and in scholarship he would have been a match for the brightest spirits amongst thetn. “If Gilbert (of operatic fame) were to die”, said a gentleman many years ago, “I know of only one man who could take his place - Father John Conmee”. It is a pity burthens were laid upon him that made writing well nigh impossible.

And yet the man who was all this was a man compact of nervous energy, who keenly watched the times and the trend of things, and strove with all his might to keep his School abreast of the best progress of the day. The old traditions of the School were dear to him, as we have said, but if they were hurtful he spared thern not. Nothing was so dear to him as the.weil-being and the welfare of the boys. That explains much.

Though he could be firm to severity if there : were need, yet he found it hard to refuse when a deputation from the boys came to ask some thing. Once he told the Prefect, on a glorious spring morning, not to permit the boys to come up for a holiday - there was no use in their coming, so let them not come, he would give nothing. The Prefect had his misgivings. He feared the Rector's - great big humanness, and he knew that those blessed boys would go up, despite their slender chances. That poor Jonas carried the message, and preached woe to them that went up. The crowd of Ninevites heard, took counsel, decided to go up, went up, and got the holiday, The Rector looked a delightfully guilty man when later he met that Prefect. Ah! these human weaknesses-these chords of Adam draw us!

He loved coming in contact with the boys, great and small, and loved them to talk freely before liim. It was a little child of eight. He had come to us from South America, Eugene Kenny. His Christmas vacation was to be spent in the College. Everyone, of course, was kind to him, but the friend of friends was the Rector. Go to his room when you might, there was the little chap sitting on the hearth rug before the fire with his toys about him, and occasionally from the toy basket of a child's mind he would draw out such funny questions: “Rector Conmee, could you jump far?” “Rector Conmee, do you own all that letter-paper ?” And, “Do you own all Clongowes, and the cricket-ground and the big roller?” And he crept over to the great man that owned all that note-paper and the big roller. Coming up to Christmas Day the child was terribly excited about Santa Claus. The Rector had evidently been throwing out words of mysterious import. Now, Eugene slept out in the Infirmary. In the middle of the night he was aroused; he heard something he listened, then he felt with his little hands all about. Yes, there they were not his own little stocking, but two big ones - football ones - and full to bursting of everything. He tore out of the bed and, plucky little chap, groped along the dark passage where he heard the creaking sound. He wanted to catch Santa Claus and thank him. But the Rector had got clear away and listened. Both listened - the child above, and the Rector-child below. Then the little feet went back to bed. Oh! the tales on Christmas Day of that adventure, and the tears in the little eyes for missing good Santa Claus; and the wonder, and something else besides, in the gifted man's eyes as he looked upon the little boy the Child Jesus asked him to make home for, as his own home was far away.

Eugene, Eugene! wherever you are, do you hear me? Father Conmee is dead !

One could go on telling many things that would be sweet to those that loved him. Indeed, so many-sided was he that some will doubt if we have not forgotten the best things. I am only asked about the Clongowes days. I have left out so much - those Sunday even ing sermons, perhaps the best ever delivered to boys in the old Chapel. The practical instruction conveyed with beauty of diction and charm of living interest, that made those giddy boys go eagerly to the sermon when the Rector preached. Then the love that lent such persuasiveness to his beautifully modulated voice. How he held them! I recall, too, the College Mass on Sunday morning. The gracious and distinguished look of the Rector in the sacred vestments; the reverence in his movements revealing the deep faith in the awful mysteries; the father-love in his face as he bent to give the Blessed Sacrament to the little ones-all of it comes back now so clearly.

The active brain and the kind heart, they are still in death. We have seen his career as boy, as young man, as Rector; it is hard to think the light of life is extinguished for ever.

When the end was near, the Father who attended him told him of his state. For an instant there was the old fashi Who said so? Have the doctors said so? Yes, Father.

Then, like a little child before a loved father, he said simply, but grandly "”ery well, as God wills”. And so he died.

He hoped for yet ten years of life to put in some good work for God. But the gentle way in which he received the word that all hope was over may count more with God than the years he hoped for. God rest him well, and all our dear dead ones.

◆ The Clongownian, 1931

“The Snows of Yesteryear”

IV The Kings

The memories of Fr Conmee retained by my brother, Con, are so much more vivid than my own that I quote them verbatim here from his manuscript. Afterwards I shall endeavour to depict the other great rector of the eighties, Fr Edward Kelly, from my own recollection. Follows my brother's manuscript:

With Fr Conmee there was without doubt that certain austerity which engendered a feeling of discipline because it seemed to emanate from a personal discipline of his own. But it was an austerity tempered by a generous outlook, a gentle and humorous affability, a wholehearted and complete under standing and an indulgent appreciation of the stuff and nature of youth. Joyously apparent were all these qualities especially when he was in the midst of a throng of clamorous Third-liners. For them he had as many jokes and stories and elusive ways of drawing out funds of spirited repartee, as with the elders. Old and young knew perfectly well that there was no better appreciator of their capabilities howsoever displayed—be it in a joke, a song, a concert or a play or in an achievement of scholarship or debate, than was their Rector.

In the long list of college directors it would be difficult to imagine one better endowed for such a position than Fr Conmee. In appearance refined and debonair, in manner always genial, in stature more than mediuin, his features rounded Father than aquiline, | his presence invariably produced the impression of an active mind and a personality not i only at ease with its environment, but ever alert and responsive to whatever “time and the hour” was capable of. His versatility was as wide as his scholarship was ripe. His indeed was a nature at home with all that was best in Arts or Letters; and together with that, he had the gift of imparting his enlightened enthusiasm to those with whom he had intercourse. His speech, always fluent, was, when occasion offered, often eloquent. His accent was charged with a Connaught “burr” which added homeliness to his utterance. Indeed that same outward sign. of homeliness, had its counterpart in his very spirit of which he has left us an imperishable impression in an essay bequeathed by his pen to current literature entitled “Old Days in the Barony”. Even in this he exhibited another feature of his character, humility, by publishing it under a pseudonym, Only lately have I heard that, the work was so prized for its human and literary excellence I that Walter Pater was in the habit of presenting its merits to his class of Oxford ? undergraduates for their admiration.

Literature was not, however, his sole métier. He had a fine musical taste which ranged from Sullivan to Beethoven, but dwelt with greatest complacency on the grace and tempo of Haydn and Mozart, especially in their minuets, which he had accomplishment sufficient to enable him to render for his own enjoyment, on piano or violin. But while his musical taste was proper it was not esoteric nor did it prohibit him the hearty enjoyment of a song, especially an old one, of any merit. Indeed in the ranges of song he made many a personal sally, not, so to speak, vocally so much as inventively in the sense of verse-interpolation of his own making. I still recall the words he put to two songs that he introduced into the Tavern Scene of Henry IV. The first as a glee that we sang to the setting of that graceful old quartet “See our oars with feathered spray”. But his words were more apropos to an occasion of indoor merriment, and ran thus:

Masters make a merry glee,
Pass the night in jollity,
Send around the ruby wine,
See it in the goblet shine

And deep we'll drown all grief of soul
Within the flowing, flowing bowi,
And here till morning's light we'll stay
And thus we'll chase all cares away.

His other song for the same play was an apostrophe on old Jack Falstaff, viz. :

Jolly old Jack he never doth lack
A quip or a repartee,
And loud he laughs and deep he quaffs
Of the rosy Malvoisie.
And he loveth his sack, doth brave old Jack
As well as well. can be,
And the top of his nose like a beacon glows
That's seen far out at sea.

These excerpts will please be taken not as the measure of his literary ability, but as . an example of his facility in making use of music as a medium for his own addition to the merriment that was going for ward. His sense of humour could always be counted on to better an occasion of merriment. Who that took part, during those days of near fifty years ago, in the staging of Henry IV can ever forget the zest with which Fr Conmee selected and drilled the tatterdemalion ranks of Falstaff's recruits accoutred with tin whistles on which he taught us (for I was one of the tattered band), to march past the footlights to the tune of “The cure, the cure, the perfect cure; the only perfect cure”, on the eve of our departure for the Battle of Shrewsbury. And if Fr Conmee delighted in contributing he equally delighted in receiving.

We had, I remember, one time a Christie Minstrel performance got up by the boys, and no one in the whole audience was more overwhelmed by paroxysms of laughter than our Rector. The bones and banjo were very far indeed from being below the dignity of his appreciation. At the same time his voice was ever ready to applaud our ventures into the spacious realm of Shakespeare, in the rehearsals of which he took an active part.

All that I have written serves to throw a play of light on the joyousness, sympathy and versatility, of Fr Conmee's nature, as well as on his disposition to be a party himself with the boys in their intellectual activities. Up to this, I have dwelt almost solely on the expansiveness of the less serious side of his nature. Now perhaps it is seemly to contrast this with the serious.

When need was for it, nothing could be more solemn than his thorough concentration in chapel functions. No boy, youngster or elder, ever left his confessional without a pause of thought and an after time reflection on his parting “Go in peace and pray for me”. During great Church ceremonies his presence on the altar was in just keeping with the ceremonial and his intonation of the “Preface” or the “Pater Noster” of the Feast day's High Mass, was as much a manifest of his love for the old Liturgical Chant as it was of the authentic voice of the Priest.

Up to this I have said nothing of Fr Conmee's great administrative ability. Let these my final paragraphs suffice to illustrate it.

The direction and administration of a College is no small matter even in its humdrum course of ordinary routine. What then must it be in a time of crisis, but a test of super-ability? Such a crisis did indeed occur in the year 1886, and it was one of a sort to test the hardihood of the best. The demon of fire in one night devoured the old study-hall and with truly demoniacal perspicacity and thoroughness included the refectory in its blaze. We boys only knew of it on rising in the morning at the usual hour. Then the building was a smouldering heap of ashes, and the nearest resembance to a form or remnant of panic lay in a wild-fire humour, that we should all be sent to warm our hearts at our respective homestead hearths.

Within a few days, with dashed hopes, we became increasingly, and I may say, irreconcilably conscious of an over-ruling power undismayed by conflagration and undaunted by adversity. In Fr Conmee the demon of fire had found an intrepid adversary, an antagonist already armed, one who in the encounter revealed all the qualities that belong to courage, force, resource and vision, vision that saw in the embers of the ruined pile but the ashes of a Phoenix preparing to rise in new life to a loftier flight. Fr Conme's vision was as compelling as it was prophetic, and was nothing less than the direct outcome of a strong, forceful, and resourceful vitality and an administrative genius. It would have been impossible for any boy listening to his farewell address to us at the end of that term, on the eve of our joyful departure for summer vacation, to ignore its portent, or to be cold to its perfervid, fire-heated fervour. It was a pæan of enthusiasm for a Clongowes re-endowed and revitalised, and with a future of unprecedented expansiveness.

In what way that was to come about, he did not then disclose, nor did we learn until half the ensuing summer holidays had spent themselves. Then suddenly the public press announcements spelt out solution by proclaiming the amalgamation of Clongowes and Tullabeg. Thus began the Clongowes Wood College we know to-day; its second growth, so to speak, and if the initiation of such a scheme did not originate in Fr Conmee's resourceful brain, to him, and to his courage must be attributed the initial and progressive success that attended the first stages of the new régime. · My own notion is that both the scheme and its success were entirely the work of Fr. Conmee-one of the most notable S examples of that product for which the Jesuiti
order is known in each nation and generation to be the producer, namely--the right man for the right place.

Edward J Little

Corcoran, Kieran, 1869-1956, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/104
  • Person
  • 01 September 1869-08 November 1956

Born: 01 September 1869, Ballycumber, County Offaly
Entered: 08 October 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final vows: 15 August 1902
Died: 08 November 1956, Clongowes wood College SJ, County Kildare

◆ Irish Province News 32nd Year No 1 1957 & ◆ The Clongownian, 1957

Obituary :

Br Kieran Corcoran (1869-1956)

With Br, Corcoran there passed away a figure that had become something of a legend in the life of Clongowes. We of a later vintage lived with him and saw his passing; but who, with a solitary exception, can recall his coming over fifty years ago, or indeed can think of a Clongowes without that stalwart figure moving impressively about its lawful occasions? For even till about a couple of years ago, when his heart attacks became more crippling, he bore himself upright as always, and though his work became more and more curtailed, he sought employment about the house, and it is not so long ago since one saw him, as ever, in the midst of buckets and crates of eggs making his weekly tally! After three months as a Postulant he joined the Noviceship at Tullabeg in 1891, whence he was posted to Galway in 1893, taking his first Vows in the October of that year. From 1893 to early in 1904 he was stationed in our Gardiner Street house and the list of positions he filled makes impressive reading. There he pronounced his final Vows in 1902, and from there he left in February of 1904 to begin his unbroken half-century and more in Clongowes Wood till the day of his death. Jubilee succeeded Jubilee, and on his Diamond one in 1951 he was favoured with a letter from the hand of Very Rev. Father General; and in 1954, the Golden Jubilee of his sojourn in Clongowes Wood, was marked by celebrations and many messages of congratulation.
The maintenance of the fabric of the College was his prime care all those years, that and the employing and supervising of the small army of artisans and servants involved in that care. This he did with conspicuous skill and mastery and he could rightly claim (if ever he thought of it) that his activities vitally touched the lives of masters and boys, asleep or awake at many points. How much of that is simply taken for granted in a big institution and how small the meed of recognition! The host of daily, almost hourly, activities involved in "maintenance" of a large and sprawling and, in places, antiquated building who thinks of them? The endless inspections and checking; the planning ahead; the expert knowledge in many fields; the sudden improvisations called for and demanding sound judgment; crises in lighting or heating or drainage systems, all these involve considerable responsibility and systematic care. Suffice it to say that through all the years of his stewardship Br. Corcoran was seldom or never unequal to the heavy task laid on him by day or by night. For he was thorough in all he did, deeply conscientious and rigidly systematic. Only the best workmanship, whether it was sweeping a Gallery or slating a roof could pass muster with his eagle eye. Workmanship of the best, materials of the best and a job that would last “to and through the Doomsday's fire” if necessary was what he demanded, and he had the knack of getting these from his staff. And he never spared himself physically in his endless routine of daily and hourly inspections. In fact so rigid was his sense of routine that one could almost infer the time of day from his passing, whether it was in and about the building or “beating the bounds” on his daily perambulation of the main and Kapolis avenues! As a result the spick and span state of walls and floors and ceilings everywhere in the place from endless scrubbings and paintings and polishings were justly the admiration of his Brethren and of visitors. He took a pride in his office, and had he been capable of boasting he could justly have pointed to the myriad of improvements he effected (the walls of the Lower Line Gallery were in whitewash when he first came!) throughout his fifty years as an enduring monument to his memory.
And sustaining and inspiring in all this was his sterling worth as a Religious. He impressed all with his deep Faith and simple and genuine piety; his unfailing presence and punctuality at every religious duty; bis reverence for the priestly state and his considerateness for others. In pressing forward for the good of the College he never lost sight of the claims of the individual, and in the exercise of the considerable authority that rested with him he strove for fairness. The handicap imposed by frequent heart attacks must have been a galling one to a man of his disposition, and his endurance of this; his uncomplaining acceptance of God's will, especially in the last year or two, when he had often to keep to his bed or his room, was impressive to those who had any dealings with him.. Characteristic of him was his rejoinder at the very end to one who counselled him to say his prayers internally" instead of vocalising them (as was bis wont), “Oh, but one would have to be very sick to do a thing like that!" And to a visitor leaving his room at night he motioned with his hand to the alarm-clock beside his bed and murmured, "The clock, the clock, wind it! For meditation! It was set for half-past six, and this was the day before he died.
Fully conscious to the end, and in his 87th year, he passed away without pain on the 7th of November in the room he occupied so long in the very heart of the School he served for half a century with such fine loyalty, and with young life pulsating all around him. On the 9th he was borne to his grave down the long avenue so familiar to him in his unvarying daily walk, the community and entire school preceding the coffin. May he rest in peace!

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Brother Kieran Corcoran 1862-1956
Br Kieran Corcoran was identified with Clongowes for over fifty years. The maintenance of the fabric of the College was his prime care, together with the running of the whole place, both Castle and College, Methodical, efficient, though kindly with all, he managed the domestic staff and got astonishing results out of them. As a result, the spick and span state of the walls, floors and ceilings everywhere in the place, from endless scrubbings, polishings and paintings, was justly the admiration of his brethren and visitors.

Sustaining this continual effort was his religious spirit. He impressed all with his simple faith and deep piety. He had a natural dignity which commanded respect and reverence for his cloth.

He entered Tullabeg as a novice in 1891, and in 1954 he celebrated the golden jubilee of his stay in Clongowes. He died on November 7th 1956 in the room which he had occupied for over half a century, in the very heart of the school he had served so well ad majoram Dei Gloriam.

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.

Cullen, James A, 1841-1921, Jesuit priest and temperance reformer

  • IE IJA J/24
  • Person
  • 23 October 1841-06 December 1921

Born: 23 October 1841, New Ross, County Wexford
Entered: 08 September 1881, Leuven Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained 25 October 1864, Cathedral of the Assumption of BVM, Carlow, County Carlow - pre- entry
Final vows: 02 February 1892
Died: 06 December 1921, Linden Nursing Home, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1883 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Excerpts and paraphrase from a notice which appeared in the newspapers on his death :
Early Education at Clongowes, and then at Carlow College where he was Ordained 1964. He was then appointed by the Bishop of Ferns Dr Thomas Furlong as CC in Wexford for two years. in 1866, at the invitation of the Bishop, he became a member of a community of Missioners comprising four Priests in Enniscorthy. He then joined the Society in 1881.

After his Noviceship his career may be divided under three headings : Literary, Missionary, Temperance work.
He is probably best known as the founder of the “Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart”, which he started in January 1888. For sixteen years he watched over the development of his periodical, and starting offshoots such as “Messenger Popular Penny Library” which was the forerunner of the “Irish Catholic Truth Society”.
1904 He was sent to Gardiner St aged 63, and he worked there until his death in 1921. Here he began another phase of his work, that of Missioner and retreat giver. In this work he became known in almost every Parish in the country. In addition to bringing his work to England, he also spent two year long stints working in South Africa.
However, it is mainly his work in the cause of temperance that he is best known. He is sometimes called a “Second Father Matthew”. He had been a leading figure in the temperance movement of Ferns in the 1870s, and in 1885 founded the “St Patrick’s Total Abstinence Association” among the students at Maynooth.
1901 He inaugurated a branch of the “Pioneer Total Abstinence Association”. Confined at the outset to women only, it started with four ladies under the Presidency of Mrs AM Sullivan. However, after a homily he gave in Cork, so many men came to the Sacristy asking for the “Pioneer Pledge”, that he decided to extend the Association to both men an women. The Association made such rapid progress that at a public meeting in the Mansion House he could say that its numbers had reached a quarter of a million, and his Pioneer Catechism had by 1912 reached a circulation of 300,000.
Many messages of sympathy were received at Gardiner St from Bishops and Clergy in Ireland”. (cf https://www.ucd.ie/archives/t4media/p0145-ptaa-descriptive-catalogue.pdf)

“Extract from a paper Entitled ‘The Holy Eucharist in Modern Ireland’ read by the Right Rev Mgr MacCaffrey, President, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, at the International Eucharistic Congress, Dublin 1932”.
The extract eulogises James Cullen for his spread of devotion to the “Sacred Heart” throughout Ireland, his work on the “Apostleship of Prayer” and the “League of the Sacred Heart”. It also eulogises his founding of the “Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart”, and his particular work in promoting the spiritual welfare of its Promoters, with the assistance of local Bishops and Priests, such that in his own lifetime, there was hardly a Parish in Ireland in which devotion to the Sacred Heart had not been established. This in turn left to a devotion to Our Lord and the Eucharist, replacing a spirit of fear with one of love and confidence. The “First Friday” practice, founded on a promise made to St Margaret Mary Alacocque, became widespread in Ireland, and led people to more frequently receive communion. ‘Holy Communion is not to be regarded so much as as a reward for a holy life, but as a means of becoming holy’, wrote Father Cullen.” (The Book of Congress p 161)

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Cullen, James Aloysius
by Diarmaid Ferriter

Cullen, James Aloysius (1841–1921), Jesuit priest and temperance reformer, was born 23 October 1841 in New Ross, Co. Wexford, the eldest of five sons and three daughters of James Cullen, a businessman, and Mary Cullen (née Bolger). He was educated locally by the Christian Brothers in New Ross before moving to the Jesuit college at Clongowes Wood, Co. Kildare, in April 1856. From 1861 to 1864 he was a student at Carlow college and was ordained a priest at Carlow cathedral on 25 October 1864, only five days after he had reached the canonical age. He was appointed curate in Rome Street Church in Wexford and worked closely with Dr Thomas Furlong (qv), bishop of Ferns. He became heavily involved in fighting intemperance, building churches, founding religious teaching institutions and retreats for nuns and priests, and launching the Missionary Institute in Enniscorthy.

Although he had been wary of the Jesuit order from an early age, disliking their association with the middle classes, his preoccupation with the spiritual exercises of their founder, St Ignatius Loyola, and his apostolic endeavours slowly led him to reverse his opinion: in March 1881 he made a vow to enter the order, enrolling in September 1881 at the novitiate of the Belgian province at Arlow, at the age of 40. The following year he enrolled to study moral theology and canon law at Louvain. In September 1883 he took his vows at the Jesuit House of Studies in Milltown Park in Dublin, where he became well known as a missionary of the Blessed Sacrament, a promoter of devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Virgin, and a temperance reformer. He was appointed spiritual father to the students at Belvedere College, Dublin (1884) and national director of the Apostleship of Prayer (1887), marking a further commitment to the spread of Sacred Heart devotion. In 1888 he began publication of the hugely circulated Catholic weekly, the Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart, which he also used to promote temperance. He produced his Catechism of temperance in 1892, and in the same year travelled to South Africa as a missionary, making a return visit in April 1899.

Extraordinarily demonstrative in his personal piety and organisational ability, Cullen established the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart in the presbytery of the Saint Francis Xavier Church in Gardiner St., Dublin, on 29 December 1898. Over the course of the twentieth century it grew into one of the largest temperance movements in the world and claimed 500,000 members by the 1950s. They were labelled ‘Pioneers’ because of a novel method of pledging: Cullen developed the concept of adults (those over 16) making what was termed a ‘heroic offering’, pledging to abstain from alcohol for life, publicly identifiable by the wearing of a pin which depicted a bleeding Sacred Heart. Cullen's initiative was not only the product of an acute social conscience – his early endeavours in Wexford and his work in inner-city Dublin convinced him that much of the poverty and deprivation he witnessed was the result of excessive drinking – but also a belief that intemperance could only be fought by an absolutist life-long pledge, in contrast to the loose ‘en masse’ administration associated with the famed but short-lived temperance crusade of Fr Theobald Mathew (qv) in the nineteenth century. The Pioneers were organised on a parish basis under the guidance of a spiritual director and controlled by a central directorate of Jesuit priests based in Dublin. Juvenile and later temporary pledge branches were also introduced.

A strong opponent of British imperialism, Cullen closely aligned his argument for temperance with the political and cultural nationalism prevalent in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Ireland. Although never a masterful orator, he aggressively pursued the temperance cause through a column devoted to Pioneers in the Irish Catholic newspaper which he wrote from February 1912 until his death. This portrayed Pioneers as the soldiers of Christ engaged in a battle against intemperance which was destroying Irish health, morals, and welfare, and demeaning Irish claims to be a viable political and economic entity. He continually claimed that ‘the only thing wrong with Ireland is the excessive amount of drinking going on’. At the time of his death there were 280,000 Pioneers in Ireland.

Cullen was also active in Dublin's inner city in promoting sodalities, religious leagues and social alternatives to the public house. He also placed exacting spiritual demands on himself including four hours of obligatory prayer every day. He died 6 December 1921 in Dublin; he was said to be elated on hearing of the signing of the Anglo–Irish Treaty, hours before his death. Over 200 priests and ecclesiastical dignatories attended his funeral in Dublin.

Lambert McKenna, Life and work of Rev. James Aloysius Cullen SJ (1924); P. J. Gannon, Fr James Cullen (1940); Diarmaid Ferriter, A nation of extremes: the Pioneers in twentieth century Ireland (1998)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Cullen 1841-1921
Fr James Cullen was born at New Ross in 1841. He received his education at Clongowes, and he was ordained priest for the diocese of Ferns in 1841. For two years he served as curate in Wexford Town. In 1866 he and three other priests of the diocese founded the “House of Missions” at Enniscorthy.

In 1881 Fr Cullen entered the Society. As a Jesuit Fr Cullen is best remembered as the founder of the Pioneer Movement of Total Abstinence, which started in the Presbytery at Gardiner Street in 1898, with a membership of four women. Today its members number thousands, not only in Ireland, but across the sea in America and Australia, and anywhere an Irish Priest works on the Mission.

But his greater claim to fame may be found in the words of Monsignor McCaffrey, President of Maynooth, in a paper read at the Eucharistic Congress in 1932 :
“But, to the distinguished Jesuit Fr Cullen, the great Apostle of Total Abstinence, more than to any single individual must be given the honour of spreading this devotion to the Sacred Heart throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. A man of the highest spirituality himself, thoroughly convinced of the efficiency of this devotion to effect a spiritual revolution, and gifted with wonderful powers of organisation, he threw himself with ardour into the work, once he had been appointed Director of the Apostleship of Prayer and League of the Sacred Heart. Through the pages of ‘The Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart’ which he founded, he carried through this campaign so successfully, that even in his own lifetime, there was hardly a parish in Ireland, in which the devotion to the Sacred Heart was not firmly established. He was also the founder of the ‘Messenger Popular Penny Library’, the forerunner of the ‘Irish Catholic Truth Society’.”

He died on December 6th 1921. Truly, when we think of the Pioneer Movement as it exists today, Fr Cullen’s epitaph might justly be written :
“Exegi Monumentum aere perennius”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1922

Obituary

Father James Cullen SJ

Father Cullen’s Life in brief:

1841 Born at New Ross, Co. Wexford.
1856-61 Student at Clongowes.
1864 Ordained priest at Carlow and appointed Curate at Wexford.
1866 Becomes one of the founders of the House of Missions, Enniscorthy.
1881 Enters the Society of Jesus..
1885 Founded a Total Abstinence Association among Maynooth Students.
1888-1904 Founder and Editor of the “Irish Messenger”, Editor of the “Messenger Popular Penny Library”--the forerunner of the Catholic Truth Society.
1898 Founded the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association,
1904 Attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin,
1921 December 6th - Death. RIP

If the aim of Clongowes is to turn out great Catholics and great Irishmen - and what other aim has any Irish Catholic School? - then Father Cullen is the greatest of her children. His work falls under three heads - Catholic Literature, Temperance, and Mission Work. In the domain of literature he has a unique record. In 1888 he founded the “Irish Messenger” (the sum of one pound being advanced by the Provincial towards expenses !) He watched over its fortunes until 1904, and to-day the “Irislı Messenger” has a monthly circulation of over 300,000 copies, and is read by Irish Catholics in every quarter of the globe. In addition, he founded the “Messenger Popular Penny Library”, which was the forerunner of the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland. His Temperance Catechism - though it comes more under the head of temperance than of literature, had a circulation of over 300,000 by 1912.

His work for temperance began in the House of Missions, Enniscorthy. In fact, he himself has said that he entered the Society of Jesus because he hoped thus to give his undivided attention to the study of the Temperance problem. In 1885 he founded a Total Abstinence Society among the students of Maynooth College. But it was not until 1898 that he founded the association with which he is most identified in the public mind - the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, which to-day has a membership of over a quarter of 2 million.

In the conduct of missions and retreats, he travelled all over Ireland, and worked also in England and South Africa. In this branch of his life's activities, too, he had won his reputation as a young priest in Enniscorthy, and even to this day the old people of the diocese of Ferns talk of those woriderful missions preached by him then and of the great good they wrought.

Such in the barest outline is his life, Up to the time of his death he was still working, and, what is still more wonderful, he had that same interest in the live problems of the day which was his as a young man. About three years ago he visited us here in Clongowes. He heard of the Social Study Club, and at once was interested. He asked to meet the officials, took them for a walk in the pleasure ground, and talked to them of the importance of this new work. Later, speaking to one of the Community who was then President of the Club, he told him how interested he was in social work. “If I was a little younger I would attack it”, he said, “but I am afraid I am too old. It would hardly be worth my while”.

We had hoped that the writer who is engaged in collecting matter for a life of Father Cullen would be able to write a sketch of his career in this year's “Clongownian”. Unfortunately, however, this he found impossible at the last moment owing to illness, and we are compelled to content ourselves with this brief outline.

The beautiful appreciation of Father Cullen which follows is from the pen of an old Crescent boy, and first appeared in the “Irish Monthly”. To the editor of that periodical our thanks are due for permission to reproduce it here. For those who knew Father Cullen, his saintliness, his kindliness, his quaint, pleasant humour this beautiful sketch will recall one whom all looked upon as a personal friend. For those who did not have the privilege of his acquaintance, it may do something to explain the greatness of his personality and the astounding success of his world for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

-oOo-

Recollections of Father Cullen

It was in the year 1876 that I first I heard father Cullen's name mentioned. A kind friend, now dead, had invited me to spend some days at Raheny Park, Dublin. On the first evening he said to me at dinner :
“What drink will you have?” “Is there no good water in the neighbourhood?” I said.
“Oh! so you are a Cullenite”," said he; on seeing my puzzled look, he added “Don't you know Father Cullen, the Jesuit?” I told him I did not. Then he spoke in glowing terms of Father Cullen, a young Wexford priest, who was devoured with zeal, especially for temperance. He told me, further, that the Bishop of Ferns, having set his heart on diocesan priests giving Missions through the diocese, had put certain selected priests in a House of Missions, and among the first, or at the head (I forget which) was Father Cullen. The zeal and success of these priests was such - I hope nobody will be offended if I tell - that in ecclesiastical circles they were (half in joke and half in admiration) styled the Needleguns. (This was a new weapon put into the hands of the French soldiery in the Franco-German War of 1870, spoken of with most as much awe as the “Big Bertha” that bombarded Paris from 80 miles away, during Holy Week in the late war.)

Many a priest calculated to give name and fame to any institution passed through it; two only need be mentioned, His Grace the present Archbishop of Sydney and the subject these lines.

From the House of Missions Father Cullen passed into the Jesuit Noviciate; but, whatever else he left behind him, the divine zeal for Temperance, “like the scent of the roses, hung round him still”. . At any rate so much was I enraptured by my friend's account of him, that from that day forward I had my eye out for “Father Cullen the Jesuit”.

But it was a dozen years or so before I met him. In the year 1888, while I was one of the priests attached to the Limerick Workhouse, two doctors told me that I was threatened with consumption. Late in the month of May, or early in June, I obtained leave to go to Lisdoonvarna. Having got into the train I found only a few in the compartment; but huddled up in a corner, with a black woollen muffler round his neck, was a priest who seemed to me to be aged, and whose harsh cough at once awoke my sympathy, for I was only too familiar with it myself.

I was wondering where he came from, and where going to, when the train, drawing up at Ennis, I found him, like myself, changing into the little West Clare Railway. Oh, for the good old days of earlier years, when we took “the long car” here and drove over the magnificent country through Corofin, Kilfenora, and by Maurya Rua's Castle into Lisdoonvarna, as the afternoon sun was declining towards its bed in the ocean. Thomond of ancient times, with its windowed castles, its ferny hills, and bushy glens, is to my mind the most romantic land in Ireland. Or run in the mail car, if the old mail car is still running, of a summer's evening, for a remembrance that will last you all your life, from Lisdoonvarna by Quinn Abbey in its ruins, through Ruan in its loveliness, into Ennis.

We reached Ennistymon and I found my companion priest preparing to leave. “He is for Lisdoonvarna, on the same melancholy errand as myself”, I said in my own mind. But, no; a private car, in waiting, took him away. I sat in one of the public vehicles, as, bereft of company and interest, I jogged up and down the uneven road to the Spa.

That evening I was surprised to see the place full of priests, going along in soutane and cap, but all solitary and silent. I couldn't think what it meant. Happening, however, to see an old classmate of Maynooth, I stopped to inquire. He put his finger to his lips and whispered : “On Retreat!”

All the priests of the diocese were on Retreat. “Who is conducting it?” I asked hastily. “Father Cullen, the Jesuit; there he is”.

I looked, and saw my companion in the train. I may here add that, at the end of the Retreat, the same priest told me that he thought he never attended so beautiful or so elevating a one; and the subject matter that Father Cullen took was, “The seven steps of : the Priesthood”.

Of all the priests there Father Cullen and I were the only two not on retreat. I watched a favourable opportunity to approach him, I told him where I had first heard his name, and he spoke as charmingly and as delightedly of our common friend of Raheny Park as he had spoken twelve years before of him to me.

We had a high time of it for that week. Every moment that he was free we were off together. We talked of many things as “the bee through many a garden roves”; but when we came to talk of Temperance “we settled there and strayed no more”. At this winding up, I said to him:

“You have now a grand opportunity. You have started your beautiful magazine, The Messenger of the Sacred Heart, which God bless and prosper. Make it a vehicle of temperance”.

It was the first year of the Messenger; and if there is a mistake in the date I have given above, this will correct it. On its appearance I had written to him welcoming it; I had already been getting and circulating the English Messenger.

His answer was: “We must wait till we are fixed in the saddle”. And his final words at our parting on the last day of that week, when I was still insisting, gave this definite promise : “As soon as the circulation of the Messenger reaches 2,000 I will cry, in the words of Father Mathew signing the Temperance Register at Cork, ‘Here goes in the Name of God’.”

During the year I kept dropping him an occasional line, reminding him of his promise. Towards the end he wrote cheerily: “The circulation has reached 5,000; here goes in the name of God”; and the January number, 1889, had duly the beginning of the Temperance Crusade.

Somewhere about this time I had to go to Dublin. At Gardiner Street I learned that Fr Richard Clarke SJ, (the Oxford convert at the time Editor of the Month), would preach on the following day, the 3rd December, on St Francis Xavier. My heart gave a jump. Not long before that, at a critical moment Father Clarke had, all unasked, done me a seasonable and valuable service at a time I badly needed it. I determined at once to be present to hear him, and try to get a chance of saying one word of thanks to him viva voce, I had already written to him, and some letters: had passed between us, but I had never met him.

Next morning I was in good time at St Francis Xavier's. I begged the good Brother to take me where I could see, and not be seen - that the pulpit was all I wanted to see. He took me through corridors and doors, up flights of stairs the inner economy of St Francis Xavier's always reminds me of the Greek cave, where, when one enters, one never could find the way out. He took me, as I thought, up to the ceiling. I said, “O, thank you, Brother, this is grand; but will you come for me again, when the ceremonies are over?” He was good enough to smile at my evident fears and said he would.

With my weak sight I thought I was alone, and was exulting; but a low cough told me there was some one else there. I turned and saw Father Cullen, bent in his characteristic attitude of humility and thought, his cap pushed far down on his head and his Roman cloak about him. I told him what had brought me, and asked him to introduce me to Father Clarke, to say one word of thanks. “We must hurry, then, after the sermon”, he said, “and it must be only one word, for he has to go away immediately”.

I met him, had that one word, was satisfied and glad.

The next place I met Father Cullen was in Limerick, when the present Canon Cregan was the indefatigable Adm of St Michael's. Father Cregan had invited him to conduct a Retreat for the Women's Temperance Sodality and, knowing that Father Cullen and I were old Temperance friends, asked me to meet him, It was in the forenoon, with a brilliant sunshine pouring into the church, that, being put into the organ loft; I was in time to see Father Cullen in the pulpit. He was leaning out over the edge, and a subdued ripple of laughter was passing through the gathering. He was heaping ridicule on the drink fetish: “The baby is born, and there must be drink at the christening; the grandfather dies, and there must be drink at the wake. The horse has got a colic, or the calf has got wind in the stomach - send for whiskey. The boy gets his head clipped and, to prevent ‘getting cold’, he must shampoo with drink. If the day is hot - I'm thirsty, come, and we'll have a pint; is it freezing, come, and we'll have something to warm us. Are you going on a journey, put up a frost-pail. Have you a cough going to bed, put on a night-cap. Have you a pain in your tooth - oh, nothing like a drop to cure a toothache!”

It is singular how trifles remain in one's memory, when serious things, with the passage of years, fade away. I do not remember one thing more about that meeting ; but an incident happened about that time which I tell with some diffidence. It may serve, however, to put learned men “on their taw” about signatures to great things, when one finds a mistake in the case of a small signature.

He wrote to me one morning, saying: “I enclose you a letter, that asks how to establish a branch of the ‘Apostleship of Prayer’. Father Cullen then went on to say that he had a great deal of work pressing on him; and (with some roundabouts and apologies) asked would I write an article or two. My answer was: It was hard for one man to write what was in another man's mind; but I would do my best, and send them to him.

On considering the matter, I thought it would be well to divide it into three papers, and because of the subject, and for Father Cullen's sake, did my best; signed them with his name, and sent them to him. He forwarded them on to the Record, and in due time the first came back to me to be proofed, bearing my name as signature. I corrected it; and because the articles, written at Father Cullen's suggestion, were approved of by him; because I, not being sent, had not authority to preach on the subject, and because Father Cullen's name would carry infinitely more influence than mine, scored out my name, put Father Cullen's to it, and sent it back to the Record.

In a week or two I had a letter from'him, telling me how puzzled he was, when a friend, meeting him in Gardiner Street, spoke of his paper in the Record. He went on to say that at the first opportunity he hastened to find out what his friend had alluded to, and was “so sorry to see the paper with his name to it, that it was a shame”, etc, etc. I laughed at him, and said nothing.
Of course, when the first went on that line, the other two followed on the same rails - with his signature to them.

The last place I met him was at Sacred Heart College, The Crescent, Limerick. It is not many years ago, and again it is only a trifle. All my memories seem to be trifles, but happy trifles inseparably connected with friends, like “the old familiar faces” of poor Charles Lamb; and in the kindly spirit of the gentle philosopher, I make the avowal, with grey hairs on my head and the sands in the glass running low, that God has been kind in allotting to me all through life the truest and happiest friends that human heart could desire.

I forget what Father Cullen was doing at the Crescent - Temperance, I suppose. It was told in Waterford long ago of two brothers who took a hand in stealing sheep, when sheep-stealing was a hanging matter. One was taken, but through some loophole or influence, instead of being hanged, was transported. He served his time, and on returning, the first thing he saw as he set foot on the wharf, was his brother hanging on the gallows. His only comment, they say, was - “Mutton, of course!”

With Father Cullen it was Temperance, of course. He was at luncheon when I called. With the invariable charm and courtesy of the Society towards “an old Jesuit bay”, I was invited in to meet him. My very first look gave me joy, he seemed so hale and vigorous, I reckoned on years and years to come, bringing with them innumerable holy and fruitful works. We shook hands with delight across the table, and in a roguish vein he bent down and kissed my hand. But if he “reviled, I reviled him again”, for before he could withdraw it, I, too, had bent down and kissed his. We then rose up and laughed in each other's faces with gladness, like two schoolboys. God be with him! That is the last time we met.

I saw the noble Avondhu in its flood roll down from the mountains. There was sun shine about it; and on its heaving breast I read the beautiful words of the Holy Book: “I am black, but beautiful” ; black with the burden of riches it bore from its solitary wandering among the distant heights. God had placed riches there, and had bade the infant rivulets to take them in their charge, bear them up in their hands, and carrying them down, fertilize the waiting lowlands, throng. ing with multitudes of men and beasts. One rivulet, hearing God's call before the rest, springs forward, and leads the way; the others follow, all uniting in forming the glorious Avon-dhu.

So it is with the Temperance movement of each generation. The Sacred Heart is scattering its graces on the height. Men come and meditate. Over against is the expelled demon of Drink, having with him (as confessors only know too well) seven others worse than himself; showing the kingdoms of the earth, and crying in his lying voice, for he was a liar from the beginning : “All these will I give you, if, falling down, thou wilt adore me”. Alas! alas ! some poor fools believe.

But the Sacred Heart cries out: “He that will be My disciple, let him deny himself, and so follow Me”. And Father Mathew, in his time, with his vehement slogan,“Here goes in the name of God," springs forth on the height and leads on”. In the next season Fr Cullen, filled with love of the Sacred Heart, devotes a whole lifetime, with all the elan of the mountain flood, to the holy cause. Today men, whose names have not yet become household words, are as truly and wholeheartedly devoting themselves to the sacred cause of temperance: which, religion alone excepted, surer than any other, makes the rough ways smooth and the crooked ways straight.

With the vehemence of the grand old Irish river, they pour down the mountainside, bring ing from theirconversation with God, indelibly written on tables of stone, the peace and blessing of their Creator.

R Canon O’Kennedy

◆ The Clongownian, 1924

Clongownians in Literature

Father James A Cullen SJ - by Father Lambert McKenna SJ

In the “Clongownian”of 1922 there appeaed a very vivid sketch of that distinguished son of Clongowes, the Rev James Cullen SJ. The editor of that date prefixed to this a tolerably complete summary of the work of this man, whose varied activities affected millions of his countrymen. It is unnecessary, therefore, to recapitulate here the career of Father Cullen, but it would be a pity to pass over this biography which, though not the work of an old Clongownian, is still so intimately connected with Clongowes as to fall naturally under the heading “Clongownians in Literature”.

And first, a few words about the book in general before we consider in detail those parts of it which will particularly interest Clongownians. The first, the absolutely essential quality we demand from the author of a life, the primary interest of which is religious, is absolute straightforwardness. He must not fall into the error of imagin ing that because the subject of his work was a very holy man he must be presented to the world as a faultless paràgon. Still less pardonable is the modern error which would transmute charity into common bonhomie, austerity into mild eccentricity, and mistakes and errors into the most lovable qualities in their watered down hero. Father McKenna is utterly removed from either of these irritating attitudes of mind.

Father Cullen is, in every page of the book, a living human being. There is an abundance of detail to enable us to see him as he really was at each stage of his career. It is a record of growing, not a description of a born saint, for if it is true some. saints are born, all are made. Father McKenna shirks nothing, but puts down with frankness and understanding all the facts of this remarkable life, though they are at times puzzling and even disconcerting. But at the end of the book we find ourselves saying, with something a little like awe: “What a life of zeal, of labour, of prayer. If only there were a few more like him”.

The book is well proportioned, much better so than the average biography, and the writing is vivid and clear, and in parts beautiful. The author possesses that vein of quiet humour without which we dare say Father Cullen could not be wholly under stood. He has collected excellent and very complete materials and used them with great effect.

To Clongownians, naturally, the chapter on Clongowes Wood is the most interesting. Father Cullen came to us almost by chance in 1856, and was here five years. He entered in Elements, and until he reached Poetry skipped a class each year in his upward progress and yet found himself each summer an Imperator. It is scarcely necessary to add that in the Debates, the Literary competitions, and the academic dis plays, he was peculiarly distinguished. One good story is told in this connection.

When the subject of the Academy-day Essay (carrying with it a prize of £10) was announced, he found that it was an historical question, of which he was totally ignorant. At the same time, he knew his only serious competitor to be extremely good at history, though poor in graces of composition. He therefore approached this boy with the following novel proposal : I suggest you get up the historical matter and arguments. I will then use them to write two essays one for myself, the other for you. One or other of us will get the prize, which we shall then go halves in. His friend accepted the terms, studied up the matter, and wrote the two essays as arranged. The Master of Rhetoric, who was official judge of the essays, detected signs of James Cullen's style in both compositions. James, summoned before him, stood on the defensive : You have no proof. But all to no purpose. He was to be punished for deceit, etc. James appealed forthwith to the Rector, who admitted the case was not proved against him, but seemed inclined to temporise. James would have none of this: if he was not proved guilty. he was to be treated as perfectly innocent. He therefore did a most unheard of thing. He wrote a long protest to the Provincial in Dublin. He won his case, too, and loyally shared the prize, which was adjudged to the essay he had presented in his own name.

There is another story of a stolen swim which we would dearly like to quote, an episode in which James' audacity brought him even nearer to a flogging, in this case at least well deserved. He had indeed an over-developed liking for playing at Tribune of the Plebs; but apart from that, he seems to have been a studious and quiet boy. He was in after years a great believer in school games, but as a boy was a poor performer. He was, as one expects to find, very pious, more so than is natural in most boys, and it was while serving the Mass of Father Eugene Browne, then Rector of Clongowes, that he felt, as he tells us hinself, with great distinctness, that God wished him to be a priest. There and then his resolve was made, his promise given, and a decision taken which in God's Providence saved, it would seem beyond all doubt, hundreds and hundreds of the souls of his fellow-men.

◆ The Clongownian, 1999

Pioneer Apostle

Father James Cullen SJ

by Bernard McGuckian SJ

Continuing our occasional series on the occupants of the Serpentine Gallery, we feature an essay on Fr James Cullen ST, one of the great apostles of the Irish Church in the late 19th and early 20th century. His enduring influence is to be seen in the periodical he founded in 1888, the “Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart”, and the Pioneer Association to promote abstinence from alcohol and sobriety in its use in honour of the Sacred Heart, founded ten years later. He has found more improbable fame as the original behind James Joyce's Fr Arnall in chapter three of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Previous denizens of the Gallery covered in this series are Sir Nicholas O'Conor (The Clongownian 1994), John Redmond (1995), Archbishop John Charles McQuaid and Oliver St John Gogarty (1996) and Kevin O'Higgins (1997). The contribution on Fr Cullen is by the present Central Director of the Pioneer Association, Fr Bernard McGuckian SJ. Fr McGuckian served on the Clongowes staff for a year before ordination in 1966-7.

For over a century now strangers have been puzzled by our Irish use of two common words, messenger and pioneer. For most of them a messenger was a person, usually male and under twenty, haring around a town delivering goods on a bicycle. A pioneer was an intrepid individual blazing a trail across North America. But here in Ireland these words had a different connotation. “Messenger” meant a little red booklet about the Sacred Heart and “pioneer” someone who took the soft option where drink was con cerned. Behind both these peculiar uses of language is an Old Clongownian and Jesuit priest, one of the Rogues in the Gallery, James Aloysius Cullen.

Late Vocation
Father Cullen's vocation to the Jesuits was slow in coming. He couldn't get far enough away from them on finishing at Clongowes in 1861 although he wanted to be a priest. He opted for his home diocese of Ferns. After four years of study he was ordained at St Patrick's College, Carlow, on 28 October 1864, just five days after his 23rd birthday, the minimum canonical age.

Seventeen years later, after establishing himself as a priest of extraordinary apostolic zeal in Ferns and further afield, he was admitted to the Jesuit novitiate at Arlon, Belgium, on 7 September 1881. He wrote of his intense joy but, particularly, his relief that the Jesuits had been prepared to have him at what he considered that late stage.

For the next forty years his life was an inces sant round of apostolic initiatives of all sorts; missions, retreats, hospital visitations, pam phlets, booklets, conferences, pilgrimages, “magic lantern” presentations, societies, sodalities, St Vincent de Paul meetings, in short, whatever he thought to be “ad maiorem dei gloriam”, the great ideal of his hero, Ignatius of Loyola. It is not surprising that he was a frequent visitor to “Undercliff”, the family home of Fr John Sullivan, in the period leading up to the Servant of God's reception into the Catholic Church. When he died on 6 December 1921, the day of the momentous Anglo Irish Treaty, he was universally regarded as one of the greatest benefactors of the Irish nation of his era.

At Clongowes
His years in Clongowes made a lasting impression on him and he talked affectionately about them afterwards. He was often first in his class, a keen debater and prominent in “Concertationes”, which involved declamation, translation and musical contributions on Academy Day. In a talk at his Alma Mater in 1904 he recalled the games he had played there. “handball-the two kinds of it, Common and Indian - a good old Irish game - cricket, archery, marbles, stilts, peg-tops, battie-dore and shuttlecock”. He was a particularly committed member of the sodality, which was meant to foster regular religious practice. His initiative in founding a branch of the Arch confraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the Conversion of Sinners gave some inkling of his later bent.

Although enthusiastic about things religious he found nothing to excite him in this regard about his Jesuit teachers. From early childhood, particularly through the influence of his very religious mother, he had developed a gen uine passion for the salvation of the world, something that stayed with him for the rest of his life. But he just couldn't see how what the Clongowes Jesuits did had anything to do with this. What had teaching grammar and sums to do with spreading the Kingdom of God? His view, however, underwent a radical change during his years as a dynamic young priest in Wexford, bent on converting the world. By degrees he came to appreciate the apostolic efforts of his old masters as they tried to imple ment the Ignatian vision in the humdrum of life in a boys' boarding school. When he discov ered the wisdom and shrewd apostolic strategy of the Spiritual Exercises he began to rethink his Clongowes experience. In his voluminous diaries (unfortunately lost, but, we hope, not irretrievably) he often laments his short sightedness during his years there. Lambert McKenna's fine biography, the “Life and Work of Father James Cullen SJ” (1924) documents How zealously he made up for any lost time by giving himself totally to the Ignatian ideal during every waking moment of his subsequent life.

The Sacred Heart
The great passion of his life, as with many of his contemporaries in all the provinces of the Society of Jesus at the time, was the spread of devotion to the Sacred Heart. For him, this devotion, as revealed in 1675 to an enclosed nun, St Margaret Mary at Paray-le-Monial, France, and made public through her Jesuit spiritual director, St Claude la Colombière, was the inspired answer to all problems, personal or otherwise. His appointment as Director of the Irish branch of the Apostleship of Prayer in 1887 gave him full scope for his zeal. This work based on Sacred Heart devotion, the brainchild of two young French Jesuits, François X Gautrelet and Henri Ramière, aimed at mobilizing the prayerful support of all believers for the missions of the Church. Fr Cullen's prayer to Christ at the time appears in his diary: “Make this Apostleship the business of my whole life; make all my works for Thy glory succeed - above all the Apostleship and the Messenger”.

Through the Apostleship he encouraged the devotion throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. In a very short time there was a little red light burning before a picture of the Sacred Heart in every kitchen in the country, people were making a morning offering of all their "prayers, works and sufferings of the day to the Sacred Heart, churches became as crowded at Mass on the First Friday of every month as on Sundays and large numbers were attending a "Holy Hour" in the churches every month.

To promote this work he published the first edition of the Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart on 1st January 1888. When he first mooted the idea of a publication to his Rector in Belvedere he was given an assurance of “warm approbation and sympathy”. But the cunning Cullen said “How much do you sympathise?” “One pound” was the answer. This was all he needed. By the end of the year the circulation had reached 9,000 and six years later 45,000. As we enter the new millennium it is still going strong. Between four and five thousand volunteer promoters are responsible for maintaining a very high circulation and keeping distribution costs to a minimum. While exact circulation figures are not available (the Messenger is unique in that it does not carry advertisements), it is probably read by substantially more people than anything else published in this country. “This little red book according to one writer remains one of the most startling phenomena of Irish life”.

The Pioneer Association
Another significant contribution of Fr Cullen was the foundation of the Pioneers. He wanted to alert the Irish people to the need for great care in the use of alcohol as he came to know of the widespread heartbreak caused through abuse of it. As a man of faith he was convinced that a remedy was to be found in the “Heart of Christ, the Abyss of all Virtues”. Among these virtues the one he focused on was sobriety. Jesus had once said that some “demons could only be driven out by prayer and fasting”. Working on the assumption that irrational addictive behaviour was one of these “demons” Fr Cullen set about organising what he called the Pioneer Association of the Sacred Heart, It was to be a concerted campaign of prayer and fasting”. Members were asked to make three simple promises: to pray each day for excessive drinkers, to abstain from even the most innocent use of alcohol for life and to wear publicly a little emblem of the Sacred Heart.

Beginning with four ladies on 28 December 1898, the movement grew phenomenally. Within 20 years over 200,000 Irish men and women from every social class had joined the Association. Eventually Irish missionaries took it overseas so that today there are upwards of 500,000 members worldwide, especially in Africa. It was appropriate that an African should have been the principal speaker at the Centenary Mass in Croke Park, attended by 35,000 people from all five continents on 30 May 1999. His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, who had seen for himself the great transformation effected in the lives of thousands of his fellow-Nigerians by the Pioneer ideals, spoke of how “the careful apostolic planning of Father Cullen had been blessed by Divine Providence". The Cardinal referred to Fr Cullen's insistence on the importance of prayer and his awareness that without Christ we can achieve nothing. Indeed in his diaries he once wrote, “For every one word I say to a sinner, if I am to do that sinner any good, I must say one hundred words to God”.

Another of the “rogues in the gallery”, Doctor James Corboy SJ, a former Bishop in the Diocese of Monze in Zambia, is also part of the Pioneer story. He received his own pioneer pin as a boy in Clongowes from Fr John Sullivan. He has seen for himself the good fruit produced by the little seed thrown into the ground over a hundred years ago by his great fellow-Clongownian. The most recent Pioneer report from Zambia mentions a membership of “16,000 adults and 10,000 youths” and still growing. The first Pan African Congress of the Pioneers is scheduled for 2001 in Nairobi. The story is just beginning.

◆ The Clongownian, 2009

Roundabout Route To The Jesuits

Father Bernard J McGuckian SJ : Central Spiritual Director of The Pioneer Association.

James Aloysius Cullen (1841-1921), founder of both the Messenger, the well known monthly religious magazine and the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart, first came to Clongowes in 1856.

Gifted all his life with a computer-like capacity for recalling dates, anniversaries and minute details about events, he recalled that it was on April 7th of that year that he set out in the family car from his home in New Ross, Co Wexford to Bagenalstown, where he boarded the Sallins-bound train that would take him to Clongowes. While a boarder there he involved himself enthusiastically in the school-activities, especially the music, debating and academic side of things. Sport was not one of his priorities. There was one thing, however, that did not impress him at the time: the Jesuits who ran the place. Although only in his early teens he was greatly taken by things religious and the notion of evangelisation. Yet he saw little evidence of a similar passion in the teaching staff of his school. As priests they were meant to be “saving souls” and spreading the Kingdom of God and yet all they did was say Mass, teach classes, organise games and supervise dormitories. This impression, formed during his school-days became so much a part of him, that while feeling called to priesthood, the last place that he would have considered living out this vocation was among the men responsible for his secondary education. This attitude would later return to haunt him.

At Clongowes he was academically successful. The Christian Brothers in New Ross had done such a good job on young James that he skipped from Elements to Rudiments after a few weeks and for the rest of his time in the school was usually “Imperator” or first in his class. Strangely enough, in spite of being a model student and punctilious about his religious duties, he was often in trouble with his Prefect whom he considered, according to his biographer, Lambert McKenna, S.J., “unreasonable and arbitrary”. Cullen's own independent streak and tendency to originality were also contributory factors in a series of showdowns.

Father McKenna's account of one extraordinary episode is worth reproducing in toto.

When the subject of the Academy-day Essay (carrying with it a prize of £10) was announced, he (Cullen) found that it was an historical question of which he was totally ignorant. At the same time, he knew his only serious competitor to be extremely good at history, though very poor in the graces of composition. He, therefore, approached this boy with the following novel proposal: 'I suggest that you get up the historical matter and arguments. I will then use them to write two essays, one for myself and the other for you. One or other of us is sure to get the prize, which we shall, then go halves' in. His friend accepted the terms, studied up the matter, and handed the result to James, who wrote the two essays as arranged. The Matcer of Rhetoric, who was official judge of the essays, detected James Cullen's style in both compositions. James, summoned before him, stood on the defensive: “You have no proof”. But all to no purpose. He was to be flogged for deceit, etc. James appealed forthwith to the Rector, who admitted that the case was not proven against him, but seemed to temporise: James would have none of this; if he was not proved guilty he was to be treated as perfectly innocent. He therefore did a most unheard of thing; he wrote a long protest to the Provincial in Dublin. He won his case, too, and loyally shared the prize, which was adjudged to the essay presented in his own name.

McKenna commented that this incident “illustrates James's courage, unconventionality, and initiative qualities which under prudent guidance served him well in after-life in”.

Pioneering zeal
On leaving Clongowes he was accepted for priesthood in Ferns, his native diocese and was sent to St Patrick's College, Carlow for studies. Ordained in 1864 when barely 24 years of age, he actually required a dispensation because he was under the canonical age. Right away, he chrew himself into apostolic work with the enthusiasm and zeal that were to characterise all the activity of his subsequent life. Being in demand for missions and retreats all over Ireland did not prevent him from attending to his parish duties. It was while a curate in Ferns that his advocacy of temperance began. He felt impelled to do something drastic to end the widespread heartbreak caused in so many homes as a result of excessive drinking among boatmen along the Slaney.
While seemingly happy and fulfilled in his work, his copious personal diaries reveal. a deep unease during the 17 years after his ordination, Exteriorly his initiatives were attended by success and were attracting universal admiration but he himself was beginning to see things in a new light. The upshot of it all was his application for admission to the Society of Jesus on May 28th, 1881. As it had the consent and approval of his Bishop his application was approved by the Jesuit authorities. Over those years, as he became more aware of the influence of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola in the life and spirituality of the Church, he began to reconsider his attitude to the rank and file of the Society of Jesus. The motto of St Ignatius and his Order, “Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam” (for the greater glory of God) helped James Cullen to understand that very ordinary activities, if done for a good motive and with a right intention could lead to the salvation of souls and the spread of the Kingdom. He later confessed that, if during his school years he had known of the variety of works undertaken by the Society, he would probably have applied for admission on leaving school. However he was unaware of even the great Jesuit missionary outreach, spearheaded in the Far East by the herculean labours of St Francis Xavier. Only slowly did he come to realize that the whole thrust of the works of the Society was “the salvation of souls” and that this could very well be done by accepting the drudgery of correcting the essays of the burgeoning human being and trying to put manners on him before he had become an incorrigible adult! Indeed, it was only after he had reached this conclusion, the result of a long interior struggle, that he considered himself ready for admission to the Society of Jesus. An entry in his diary for July 29th, 1881 reveals the completion of chat extended gestation process: “I feel today quire a consolation in thinking that I shall have much to do with educating boys”. Fr McKenna's comment on this was; “The prospect, which in Clongowes had turned him from the Society, the prospect of teaching boys, even attracts him”.

After his novitiate in Belgium, as a singularly obedient Jesuit, he would have been ready to spend his life as a teacher in a classroom if his superiors had so wished. This, however, was not what he was asked to do. His superiors realized that his talents lay elsewhere. With their blessing he spent his life, based in Ireland, spreading devotion to the Heart of Christ in an endless variety of good works, publishing, preaching, organising sodalities, clubs, counselling people (among them the Servant of God, John Sullivan SJ), promoting sobriety etc. Many of the good works he started are still thriving.

He died on the day the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed on December 6th, 1921. Fr McKenna described his last hours.

A friend said to him; “Fr Cullen, you have done a good work in your day”. He answered: “Well, I think I can honestly say I have tried to do my best”.

On the morning of 6th December when the newspaper arrived he was told that the Peace Treaty had been signed during the night. “Thank God”, he replied, “I have lived to see Ireland free”.

A few hours afterwards he said to the nun attending him: “I am going into port, and he breathed his last peacefully about 12 o'clock”.

Cullen, Paul, 1936-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/479
  • Person
  • 09 February 1936-16 September 1997

Born: 09 February 1936, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Died: 16 September 1997, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB : 31 July 1982

by 1963 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
A familiar picture of Fr. Paul (known as Cu) was of him rubbing the palm of one hand against the back of the other with a skittish laugh.

He was born in Clonmel in Co. Tipperary on in 1936, attended the Christian Brothers there for school and then entered the Jesuit novitiate at Emo Park in 1954. After his degree at University College Dublin and philosophy in Tullabeg, Paul came to Zambia in 1962. This involved, first of all, giving time to learn ciTonga and then teaching in Canisius Secondary school accompanied by the many chores which scholastics had to do when in a teaching job. He enjoyed these three years with his fellow scholastics, for Paul was essentially person-oriented.

Paul returned to Ireland to study theology at Milltown Park in Dublin and was ordained priest there in 1968. Prior to returning to Zambia, he asked to do a course in London (teaching English to foreign students) and a counselling course in the USA, which he believed would be of help to him when he came back whether he was assigned to teach or to work in a parish.

He returned to Zambia in 1969 and went to teach in Canisius for a short time then to Fumbo mission in the valley (which he found extremely difficult) and then back to Canisius. As a priest he wanted to help people. For him people were more important than any issues. Just teaching in a school with a little prefecting was not his idea of priestly work. To counsel schoolboys at a deeper level, he found that the differences in cultural background interfered and were a block. In Fumbo parish he discovered that the type of life there was not for him: the language barrier, cultural differences, loneliness and a certain anxiety in his character, all militated against a fruitful sojourn in the valley.

He left the mission and returned to Ireland in 1972. From then to his death in 1997, twenty five years were spent in parish work in a number of Dublin parishes, Walkinstown, Bonnybrook, Ballymun, and finally in Gardiner Street where he was curate from 1985 to 1991 and then parish priest from 1991 to his death. His priesthood was expressed in his care for people. Working in a parish gave him great scope for this. Always with a thought for others, he had a sensitivity for the concerns of those with different opinions and any differences he had with people were always expressed with an apology.

When a sabbatical year was the in-thing in the eighties, Paul's thoughts turned to Zambia not the USA or Canada, as he wrote to the Provincial there. "I would like a chance to visit old places with the Holy Spirit. I believe it would be good for me personally. However I would also like to help in a genuine way". This offer was accepted in Zambia, but the actual going never materialised.

Paul had a sense of fun and a hearty laugh. He liked to be with people with whom he related. A contemporary of his wrote, "There were great depths of kindness, sympathy, generosity and love in him, which even longed for a fuller expression. He needed his own freedom and the assurance of encouraging affirmation, something Paul did not always experience. He was basically a pastor, sympathising with strange waywardness while kindly suggesting a way forward, or dealing jovially with people".

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 93 : Autumn/Winter 1997 & Interfuse No 97 : Special Edition Summer 1998

Obituary

Fr Paul Cullen (1936-1997)

9th Feb. 1936: Born at Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
Early education: Christian Bros. School, Clonmel.
7th Sept. 1954: Entered Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1956: First Vows at Emo
1956 - 1959: Rathfarnham: Arts at UCD
1959 - 1962: Tullabeg: Philosophy
1962 - 1965; Zambia: Canisius College: studying language;
Canisius College: teaching
1965 - 1969: Milltown Park; Theology
10th July 1968: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park
1969 - 1972: Zambia; Fumbo Parish, Director and Minister; Canisius College, Teacher
1972 - 1974: Walkinstown Parish, Curate
1974 - 1975: Tertianship, California
1975 - 1977: Walkinstown Parish, Curate
1977 - 1982: Bonnybrook Parish, Curate
1982 - 1985: Ballymun Parish Curate
1985 - 1991: SFX Parish, Gardiner Street, Curate until 1991
1991 - 1997: SFX Parish, Parish Priest
16th Sept. 1997: Died aged 61

The seriousness of Paul's illness was diagnosed 6 months ago. He fought it with great determination. He was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge following major surgery, where he received six months continuous Palliative care.

When his energy was good, Paul planned to visit Lourdes in September with his sister, but this was not to be. In the last few days, it was evident that death was near. He faced death with great calmness and died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge in the afternoon of 16th September 1997. May he rest in Christ's Peace!

AN APPRECIATION OF PAUL CULLEN SJ

This writing runs the risk of falling into the two great errors of funeral homilies which we are wisely warned against - giving a “curriculum vitae” or being a eulogy. All judgement has to be left to the Almighty - with normally no declaration of a saint or a giant - Who knows? More fittingly it has to be in line with the biblical advice, which presents death as novelty, and suggests that we leave the past behind: “Remember not the events of the past..... See I am doing something new” (Is 43.18; cf Rev). And while it is more appropriate to try to figure out the greatness to which Paul has hopefully advanced, some glimpses of the past bring to light aspects of him that are (or are coming) to the fore in his new existence.

Death was far from our minds, as Paul Cullen and I and another who left after a few years joked and laughed in an innocent way, while hay making many years ago in Emo. Our conversation, then, as frequently afterwards, turned to the thrills of Munster hurling. Still, despite the gaiety and the apparent ease, Paul made me alert to the insecurity of life in that lovely midland scene. Quietly now and again, he kept me informed that the old horse Quare Times' was running again - meaning that someone was about to leave or had left the noviceship. He could read the signs of the times better than me or perhaps had his ear more to the ground.

A host of Rathfarnham memories and events come back to mind, hours of tame adventure and good-humour, handball games (Paul liked to win, and I often proved a weak partner) etc. But there were tensions too, in a world where the psychological vision of developing youth was gravely lacking - faith in a rule being paramount - and where the acquiring of erudition was grossly over-valued. The wounds Paul suffered there left a deep mark on him. Yet for this there was never any personal bitterness in him - he could readily laugh at the characters of the past - just the plain recognition that the “times and seasons” of that period needed to be changed. His and my blatant revulsion at a refusal to be allowed to listen to a Munster hurling final led to a secret “escapada”, with the aid of an accomplice (since left), to the seismograph house, where the unbecoming world outside gave us some cheer. Our quiet defiance was just an indication that something was rotten in the state we were in, and that “aggiornamento” was called for.

I could go on prolonging the drama of light and shade in his noble character over many years. It was the struggle that was part of his existence, and which sprang basically from his goodness. There were great depths of kindness, sympathy, generosity and love in him, which ever longed for fuller expression. He needed his own freedom and the assurance of encouraging affirmation, to allow these to calmly blossom - something Paul did not always experience, since others, alas, are disjointed too. Yet his truest qualities always marked his life and his winning ways, even when the legitimate circumstances and drives of others and their different views curtailed him and did not smooth his path. He found it hard to accept preferences shown to others. He was intuitively shrewd at assessing people, but was, at times, intolerant of their incapacities or limitations. I have never heard him express an idea that was totally wide of the mark!

He had clear views on the role of a priest. He often quoted what a man once said to him: “Your job, Father, is to keep the God dimension alive in my life”. He was a good parish priest - I can vouch for this myself - with a disposition that left him close to ordinary people. His “forte” tended to be in the charismatic, spontaneous sphere. He might have been more at ease as a secular parish priest. Challenged settings did not suit him.

I have not dwelt enough on his sense of humour, his openness towards life, his profound faith, and the serenity and dignity of his end - something those who knew him well would have expected. It has been said, “As a person lives so he dies”. And doesn't the Bible say that the worldly find it hard to die? Paul was very humble, vividly conscious of human frailty, and used to yielding to life's whims.

And so he has gone forward to probably the stretch called purgatory - which we'll all most likely have to go through. There in the words of Dante, the human soul is purged, 'e di salire al ciel diventa degno'. This marvellous writing on the high peaks to be climbed with difficulty, finishes with a moving account of the complete confession of sins made in shame and humility, and with the washing in the river of forgetfulness, and that of renewal, which magnifies the good deeds of the past. And then it's on to eternal glory - to the heaven allotted to each by the Creator - perhaps even to the highest: “al ciel ch'e pura luce, luce intellettual, piena i amore, amor di vero ben, pien di letizia: letizia che trascende ogni dolzore”.

Paul is the first of our novitiate to go. He was never a beadle or a superior - yet what cares the scales of eternity for such honours! - but has been chosen by God for something greater. He is the one who has gone before us, to be our leader, sharing for us in Christ's role of being 'the pioneer and perfecter of our faith'. He has departed to play his part in hopefully bringing the rest of us to glory. The more one ponders over this, the more one gets a glimpse of the wisdom and the originality of God.

It is inspiring to reflect on the wonderful creature that Paul now is. His dying is not sad, being a call and a mission of love. May divine glory shine through him, creating in him his final adornment. He is hopefully at peace in Christ, and remains as he always was, though now to an unimaginable degree augmented, a comforting friend to many.

James Kelly

Curran, Shaun, 1924-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/622
  • Person
  • 29 December 1924-14 August 1999

Born: 29 December 1924, Dublin
Entered: 02 October 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 06 January 1978, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 14 August 1999, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1949 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1985 at Regis Toronto, Canada (CAN S) Sabbatical

Curtis, John, 1794-1885, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/48
  • Person
  • 19 June 1794-10 November 1885

Born: 19 June 1794, Tramore, County Waterford
Entered: 10 October 1814, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 12 June 1824, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, County Kildare
Final vows: 02 February 1833
Died: 10 November 1885, St Francis Xavier, Upper Gardiner St, Dublin

Vice-Provincial of Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus: 19 March 1850-1856
in Clongowes 1817

Ordained at St Patrick’s College Maynooth, 12 June 1824, having studied Theology at Clongowes

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica”:
His father was a very prosperous master cooper. His sister was an Ursuline of Waterford, and also an authoress.
He has written interesting memoirs of some of his contemporaries of the Irish Province, which are in the HIB Archives. He published a book on the Spiritual Exercises

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Ordained at Maynooth 12/06/1824 by Dr Murray.
1834-1842 Sent as Rector to Tullabeg
1842 Appointed Superior of Gardiner St
1850 Appointed Vice-Provincial
1856 Sent as Operarius to Gardiner St
1864 Appointed Superior of Gardiner St again
1871 He worked as Operarius at Gardiner St Church until his death there 10/11/1885
The last few years of his life saw great suffering. He bore it all with great patience and died with a reputation for great sanctity.
He had published a book on the Spiritual Exercises, and was preparing another before he died.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Curtis, John
by Patrick M. Geoghegan

Curtis, John (1794–1885), Jesuit provincial, was born 19 June 1794 at Tramore, Co. Waterford, second son among eight children of Stephen Curtis and Fanny Curtis (née Evers). Blind until the age of 3, he claimed that he was cured after a priest prayed over him, although he remained partially blind in one eye for the rest of his life. The priest told Curtis that God had restored his sight for His own glory; this was to be an important determinant in his life. Educated in Tramore, in 1810 he went to Stonyhurst College, Lancashire. He received an injury while playing football there, which was to cause him great pain throughout his life. Believing he had a religious mission, in 1814 he joined the Jesuits. The order sent him to Clongowes Wood, Co. Kildare, where he acted as prefect and later master. He had a reputation for being strict but fair. Ordained in 1824, he left Clongowes in 1829 and spent two years in Dublin, before spending a further two years in Rome. He made his solemn profession of final vows 2 February 1833 in Dublin. In May 1834 he was appointed rector of Tullabeg College in King's Co. (Offaly), and was first to assume the office of superior. From there he began a series of church retreats that proved very successful. He became rector of the Jesuit residence in Gardiner St., Dublin, in 1843, and provincial of the Jesuits in Ireland.

Curtis was an enthusiastic supporter of the apostleship of prayer in Ireland, and may even have been its central director for a period. When John Henry Newman (qv) went to Dublin in 1854 to investigate the possibility of a university, the first person he met was Curtis. Pessimistic about the scheme, Curtis informed Newman that the class of youths did not exist in Ireland who would come to the university: the middle class was too poor, and the upper class would send their children to TCD. He argued that the whole idea was hopeless and should be given up. Newman does not appear to have taken this criticism kindly, and later disputed just how good a man Curtis was. A tour of the country, however, convinced Newman that Curtis had a point and that there was no natural class in Ireland from which to draw university students in great number.

Curtis was noted for his strong moral character and his formal, if rather stiff, manner. Archbishop Paul Cullen (qv) of Dublin held him in high regard and is reported to have remarked that Curtis had a free rein to do what he liked in the diocese. In his spare time he enjoyed both cricket and football. He died 10 November 1885 and was buried at Glasnevin cemetery. Two of his sisters, Mary and Ellen, became Ursuline nuns. His niece, Fanny, also became a nun.

Edward Purbrick (ed.), Life of Father John Curtis (1891); Ian Ker, John Henry Newman: a biography (1988); Louis McRedmond, Thrown among strangers: John Henry Newman in Ireland (1990); id., To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Curtis 1794-1885
John Curtis was born in Waterford in 1794, and he entered the Society only shortly restored in 1814.

From 1834-1842 he was rector at Tullabeg, and then Superior at Gardiner Street until 1851. He was nominated Vice-Provincial in 1850. After six years in office, he returned to the ranks and worked as an Operarius in Gardiner Street, till his second periodf of Superiority in 1864.

He laboured earnestly in the Church for the rest of his life, the last few years of which were years of great suffering. He died on November 10th 1885, leaving a reputation for great sanctity.

He published a book on the Spiritual Exercises and wrote interesting memoirs of his contemporaries, which have proven very useful towards the history of the Province.

Dalton, James, 1826-1907, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1156
  • Person
  • 04 May 1826-21 August 1907

Born: 04 May 1826, County Waterford
Entered: 25 April 1845, Amiens, France (FRA)
Ordained: 1860
Final Vows: 15 August 1866
Died: 21 August1907, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

by 1859 in Laval France (FRA) studying Theology
by 1860 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying Theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a younger bother of the celebrated Joseph - RIP 1905

After First Vows he made his studies on the Continent.
He spent much of his life as a Teacher in Clongowes and Belvedere.
He died at Gardiner St 21 August 1907

◆ The Clongownian, 1908

Obituary

Father James Dalton SJ

Father James Dalton was one of the oldest Clongownians. He was at school at Clongowes early in the forties. He will be regretted by all who knew him as master there, for he had a great facility for making friends. We have published several of his poems in “The Clongownian” already, and we publish yet another in this number. We owe this to the kindness of T E Redmond, MP, an old pupil and friend of Fr Dalton.

The following brief account of his career gives the main facts of his life Father Dalton was born at Waterford on May 4, 1826; when 19 years old he entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus, in which his brother Joseph preceded him by nine years, as he had exactly the same start of him in life itself. About the same time two sisters out of this pious family became nuns in the Presentation Convent of Maynooth. For twenty years Father James Dalton was a devoted and beloved master at Clongowės and Belvedere, forming friendships with his pupils which lasted through life. For more than twenty years he laboured zealously at St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin, the house in which he has just died. For some years, indeed, his work had almost been confined to patient suffering. He bore his tedious martyrdom with great courage and cheerfulness, trying to help till the end those who continually appealed to his charity, knowing of old the tenderness of his heart and his eagerness to aid those in trouble. He was a man of very refined taste, and a singularly faithful and devoted friend; and his memory will long be cherished tenderly by all who had the privilege of knowing him intimately.

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.

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

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

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

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

WWI Chaplain

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/from-easter-week-to-flanders-field/

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 31st Year No 4 1956

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

Obituary :

Fr John Delaney (1883-1956)

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1932 : Golden Jubilee

Our Past

Father John J Delaney SJ

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

Our Past

Father John J Delaney SJ

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

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957

Obituary

Father John J Delaney SJ

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

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

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.

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.

Dineen, Michael, 1883-1952, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/122
  • Person
  • 29 September 1883-31 July 1952

Born: 29 September 1883, Limerick City
Entered: 29 June 1905, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 08 September 1918, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 31 July 1952, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 27th Year No 4 1952
St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin :
Br. Dineen :
After a very short illness Br. Dineen died in the Mater hospital on St. Ignatius Day. On July 29th he was, as usual with his unfailing punctuality, at his post in the refectory at 10 p.m. On the 30th he was moved to the Mater hospital, where he received the Last Sacraments and died peacefully at 6 p.m. on the 31st. R.I.P.

Obituary :
Brother Michael Dineen

Br. Dineen's death on St. Ignatius' Day came rather unexpectedly. He had been ailing a few days previously at Gardiner Street. Early in July he had made the community retreat at Rathfarnham, and then spent a few days in his native city of Limerick. On his return he appeared to be in his usual good spirits, but on Tuesday, the 29th he had a sudden heart attack and was removed to the Mater Hospital where he received the Last Sacraments. It had not been previously known that he was suffering as well from diabetes in an advanced state, so that the insulin treatment he was given failed in its effect. He fell into a coma and, as the Angelus bell was ringing on the evening of the 31st he breathed his last.
Br. Dineen was born in Nicholas Street, Limerick on September 29th, 1883. Son of Patrick Dineen and Kate McDonnell, he was educated by the Christian Brothers. He served his full time as an apprentice to the bakery trade at Kiely's, Patrick Street and then worked as a baker at Tubridy's baking establishment, Limerick.
He entered the novitiate on June 29th, 1905 and had Fr. James Murphy as novice-master. After his first vows he remained on at Tullabeg as cook and dispenser till 1912 when he was transferred to Milltown Park. This office of cook he was to hold for an unbroken period of thirty three years in the various houses of the Province, from which fact we can judge of his high competence in the culinary art. He was cook and dispenser at Milltown from 1912 to 1913, in Rathfarnham from 1914 to 1918, in Belvedere College from 1919 to 1926, in Clongowes from 1927 to 1929, in Belvedere again from 1930 to 1933, in Tullabeg from 1934 to 1937, and finally at Mungret from 1938 to 1940.
After this record of service, not often surpassed in our Province, Br. Dineen's energy lessened, due to a decline in health of which, however, he never complained. At Milltown, to which he went when he ceased to be cook, he was occupied in the work of book-binding, under Br. Rogers, and helped also as infirmarian to the late Fr. Vincent Byrne. A familiar picture in those days was that of the good Brother wheeling Fr. Vincent in the grounds of the theologate and listening good humouredly to the nonagenarian as he declaimed with animation extracts from Shakespeare or perhaps Dante, in the original, or as he drew from the ready stores of a well-stocked memory.
From 1924 to 1944, when he was transferred to Gardiner Street, Br. Michael acted as assistant infirmarian in Clongowes. At Gardiner Street he appeared to take on a new lease of life and proved himself efficient and devoted to his tasks as dispenser and infirmarian. He also acted as collector at the church door on Sundays and Holidays and became a familiar figure to the crowds that thronged the Masses.
Br. Dineen never seems to have given a thought to his health and fought shy of doctors, with the result that he did not realise, nor did Superiors, how much his health had deteriorated with the lapse of years. When finally he was moved to hospital on his collapse, he gave great edification to all by the calm resignation with which he faced death. Ever interested in the Province and its activities at home and abroad, Br. Dineen served it himself faithfully and well.
May he rest in peace.

Donovan, Humphrey, 1807-1848, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1198
  • Person
  • 28 November 1807-27 September 1848

Born: 28 November 1807, Tralee, County Kerry
Entered: 22 September 1840, Tournoi, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1847
Died: 27 September 1848, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Most likely that he received his early education at Stonyhurst before Ent at age 33.

1843-1846 Prefect and Master at Clongowes
1846-1847 Studying Theology at Clongowes and teaching Irish.
He died comparatively young, being in his 41st year and 8th in the Society.

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.

Doyle, Martin, 1809-1880, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1215
  • Person
  • 11 November 1809-19 February 1880

Born: 11 November 1809, County Kildare
Entered: 02 February 1843, Clongowes Wood College, Naas, County Kildare
Final Vows: 25 March 1859
Died: 19 February 1880, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He did not join the Society until his 36th year, having spent years before this as a Postulant at Clongowes.
He was one of the most remarkable of the Irish brothers, as he was a most saintly religious. He worked as a carpenter in any place where a Church or House was being erected.
The closing years of his life were spent at Gardiner St, where he gave great edification to all who came to the Church, through his spirit of piety and work. He constantly recommended a devotion to St Joseph. His death at Gardiner St was like his life, truly edifying, and he died 19 February 1880

Duffy, Patrick J, 1814-1901, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/130
  • Person
  • 22 May 1814-27 July 1901

Born: 22 May 1814, Booterstown, Dublin
Entered: 15 August 1834, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 26 March 1848, Rome, Italy
Final vows: 15 August 1867
Died: 27 July 1901, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia

by 1847 in Rome studying
by 1853 at Vals France (TOLO) studying to 1854
by 1856 in Crimea to 1857
Came to Australia 1888

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After First Vows he was sent to Rome and France for studied, being Ordained in Rome 26 March 1848.
1851 He was Minister at Clongowes under Michael A Kavanagh.
1854 He was sent as Chaplain to the Forces in Crimea, a mission he really liked, and where he had full scope for his zeal and charity.
After he returned from Crimea he was sent teaching at Clongowes for some years, and then sent to Gardiner St, where he worked for 29 years.
At Gardiner St, sinners were converted. Many who were caught up in the world saw a different path, and the sick and destitute were visited with great care. Those who hear him Preach, especially at a “Reception” or “Profession” of a nun were hugely impressed by his sincerity. It was said that when he recited the “Hail Holy Queen” after Mass, it was as though he were speaking directly to the Blessed Virgin.
1879 He got a serious illness, and was ordered by doctors to complete change and rest. So, he was sent abroad for six months. he was a great letter writer, and his letters home during this six months contained glowing accounts of his experiences and vivid descriptions of the places he visited. On visiting Lourdes he spoke of his own delight at saying Mass there and was completely captivated by the Basilica : “Nor could you look at it, and walk through it leisurely, as I did on yesterday, without feeling that it was a work of lover - a work, I mean, of persons who had both the will to do it, the money and the skill, and who, prompted by an irresistible feeling of faith and love, and gratitude, were determined to stop at nothing!” During this six months, he visited Paray-le-Monial, Annecy and Switzerland as well, and eventually returned to Gardiner St, with an immense sense of gratitude for having been given the opportunity. He always communicate gratitude easily, and made good friends. Though some timed thought of as somewhat “rough and ready” he was an immensely sympathetic man, and he was clearly a diamond, who cared for anyone in trouble especially.
Following his experience of illness and the sense of gratitude, he was invited to consider going to Australia. He would have declined at an earlier time, so wrapped in his work and relationships. His response at this relatively late stage in life was “Come soldier! here’s a crowning grace for you - up and at it! Away from your country and friends, away off to the far off battlefield of Australia - a land you won’t like naturally, but in which I wish you to finish the fight! Fear not, I’ll give you the necessary strength, and only be a plucky soldier you, and show me what stuff is in you!”
1888 he arrived in Australia and straight away to St Ignatius, Richmond, and gave a series of Missions from there. He was then sent to St Mary’s North Shore. And so it was until his death, Retreats and Missions were his works.
He was a great enemy to self, and when advising on how to be happy he would say “Forget yourself, this is the secret. Think of Christ and His Cause only and leave the rest to Him!” He had great common sense too. He was entirely military in his ideas, and plenty of military references in his ordinary writing and publications, as seen in “The Eleven-Gun Battery, for the Defence of the Castle of the Soul”.
He had just concluded his own retreat and was conducting one for the Sisters of Mercy at Fitzroy, when he turned on his ankle coming downstairs and fractured his hip. He had an operation, but got up too quickly and had a recurrence, and pneumonia having also set in he declined rapidly. He suffered a lot of pain, but bore it with patience, and his end was calm and peaceful on 27 July 1901 aged 88. His funeral took place at St Ignatius, Richmond with a huge crowd in attendance. His desired epitaph was “Here lies one that did a soldier’s part”.

Note from William Ronan Entry :
A Few years after his Novitiate he went with Fr Patrick J Duffy as a Chaplain in the Crimean War, where he worked for more than a year in the hospitals of Scutari Hospital (of Florence Nightingale Fame in the Istanbul Region) and other Military stations.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Duffy 1814-1901
In Australia on July 27th 1901 died Fr Patrick Duffy in the 88th year of his life and the 67th of his life in the Society. He was born in Dublin on May 22nd 1814 and entered the Society in 1834 at Stonyhurst.

After his ordination he was sent as a chaplain to the British Forces in the Crimean War in 1854, an event which was destined to colour his spiritual life and writings for the rest of his life.

After his return from the War, he spent upwards of 29 years of fruitful and zealous work as Operarius at Gardiner Street. As a preacher he was renowned for his earnestness and sincerity, and it is related of him that he recited the “Hail Holy Queen” after Mass, as if he spoke to the Blessed Virgin there present, so earnest was the tone of his voice.

In 1879 after a severe illness, he was sent by Superiors on a tour of the continent for six months. He had a facile pen and left us lengthy and vivid impressions of the various places he visited.

At the advance age of 74, when most men would be thinking of retiring and preparing fore the end, Fr Duffy volunteered for the Australian Mission. What was it that induced him to take this up. He himself reveals the reason in a letter written to a friend some years later :
“Oh, dear me! Had I hesitated when I got the invitation years ago, to break the remaining ties and quit all, what an unhappy man, comparatively speaking, I should be today! I saw then what I see now, the mercy which said ‘Come Soldier, here’s a crowning grace for you, up and at it. Away from your country and your friends. Away to the battlefield of Australia - a land you won’t like naturally, but in which I wish you to finish the fight”.

For about fourteen years he worked unceaselessly on missions and retreats throughout Australia. He always regarded these as “campaigns” and conducted them as “pitched battles”, due to his experiences as a chaplain.

In 1887 he embodied his ideas of the spiritual life in a booklet entitled “The Eleven Gun Battery for the Defence of the Castle of the Soul”, to which is added “A Day-book for Religious of the Art of leading in Religion a holy and happy life, and dying as a certain consequence a holy and happy death”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1902

Obituary

Father Patrick Duffy SJ and Father Charles Walshe SJ

We regret to announce the deaths of two Jesuits long connected with Clongowes both as boys and masters-Father Patrick Duffy and Father Charles Walshe.

Father Duffy died at the ripe old age of 88 in Melbourne, Australia. He entered Clongowes as a boy in 1829 and having passed with distinction through the various classes, he joined the Novitate of the Society of Jesus in 1834. Early in his priestly career he was sent out as chaplain to the forces during the Crimean war, a mission which was peculiarly agreeable to him, and to which in after years he often referred with pleasure. He was beloved by the soldiers an Irish regiment - and on one occasion it is said that they refused to march unless their chaplain were allowed to accompany them. He had a fine, manly, soldierly spirit, a most guileless nature, and he was full of ardour. He was for many years on the staff at Clongowes, and later at St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin. As late in life as his 70th year he volunteered to give his Services to the Australian Mission, where he worked till the end with the zeal and zest of a
youthful beginner.

Dunne, James, 1921-2014, Jesuit brother

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 158 : Winter 2014

Obituary

Br James (Jim) Dunne (1921-2014)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael J Kelly

Dunne, Patrick, 1844-1913, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1237
  • Person
  • 29 June 1844-07 November 1913

Born: 29 June 1844, Loughtown, County Kildare
Entered: 12 November 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1888, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 07 November 1913, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After First Vows he remained at Milltown for some years and was then sent to Gardiner St. Later on he was sent to Mungret, and shortly before his death to Tullabeg.

During the thirty-six years he spent in the Society, he was engaged chiefly in farm work, except during his stay at Gardiner St. One always felt confident that whatever he had charge of was sure to be discharged faithfully. He was a very humble man, never sparing himself and always ready to oblige. Ever fond of a harmless joke and a quiet laugh - he had many friends, especially amongst our scholastics, who enjoyed his quaint wit.
During the last year of his life he suffered much from rheumatism and was compelled to withdraw himself for active occupation. His piety was in keeping with his character - simple. He loved his Rosary and the hearing of Holy Mass.
He has left a memory of a hard worker, ready to assist everyone, and also a man of great faith and deep piety.

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.

Ennis, Aidan D, 1909-2006, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ
Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

Fr Aidan Ennis (1909-2005)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

DEDICATED TO FR AIDAN ENNIS

Thomas MacMahon

A Theme and Three Variations

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

That she might admired be.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 2006

Obituary

Father Aidan Ennis SJ

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

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

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

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

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

Esmonde, Bartholomew, 1789-1862, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Ferguson, Charles, 1808-1845, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1281
  • Person
  • 23 June 1808-24 December 1845

Born: 23 June 1808, Rathkeale, County Limerick
Entered: 26 August 1832, St Andrea, Rome, Italy (ROM)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final Vows: 02 February 1845
Died: 24 December 1845, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a student at the Irish College in Rome when he entered the Society.

He made his Novitiate and Higher Studies in Rome.
1835 He was sent to Dublin and worked there until his death 24 December 1845
He was eloquent, laborious and full of energy, until his health failed. He was sent to travel to try recover, but in fact he needed rest.
He had been appointed Rector of Belvedere, and lived in Rathmines for the better air, in the house of a friend. One day he found that his sight failed him when in conversation with others. Suspecting death was approaching, a friend went in search of a priest, but he did not arrive in time.
He was a pious and holy priest.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Charles Ferguson 1808-1843
Fr Charles Ferguson was born in Limerick on June 23rd 1808. He was a student in the Irish College Rome, from which he entered the Society.

After his return to Ireland he taught Humanities at Tullabeg. From 1835 he was stationed at Dublin. He was eloquent, laborious and full of energy until his health failed. He was then sent to travel for the good of his health, but seemed to require rest more than travel.

In 1843 he was appointed Rector of Belvedere. He was staying at a friend’s house in Rathmines for the benefit of the air, when one day, when conversing with some friends, he suddenly found his sight failing him. Suspecting the approach of death, he asked for a priest.

He was a pious and zealous priest, dying at the age of 35.

Ferley, Paul, 1785-1850, Jesuit priest

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

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

In Clongowes 1817

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ferrari, Dominicus, 1793-1880, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1283
  • Person
  • 04 October 1793-27 May1880

Born: 04 October 1793, Alessandria, Piedmont, Italy
Entered: 30 November 1818, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1831
Final Vows: 02 February 1834
Died: 27 May 1880, Monaco, France - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Came to HIB in 1861 working at SFX, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

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).

FitzGerald, James B, 1914-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/598
  • Person
  • 26 September 1914-13 August 2007

Born: 26 September 1914, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 11 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 13 August 2007, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

During the summer Frs. Jas. FitzGerald, Kearns and Scallan helped in the campaign organised by Dr. Heenan, Superior of the Mission House, Hampstead, to contact neglected or lapsed Catholics in Oxfordshire. Writing Fr. Provincial in August, the Superior pays a warm tribute to the zeal and devotion of our three missionaries :
“I hope”, he adds, “that the Fathers will have gained some useful experience in return for the great benefit which their apostolic labours conferred on the isolated Catholics of Oxfordshire. It made a great impression on the non-Catholic public that priests came from Ireland and even from America, looking for lost sheep. That fact was more eloquent than any sermon. The Catholic Church is the only hope for this country. Protestantism is dead...?”

◆ Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2007

Obituary

Fr James (Jim) FitzGerald (1914-2007)

26th September 1914: Born in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
Early education at High School, Clonmel, and Clongowes
11th September 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
12th September 1935: First Vows at Emo
1935 - 1937: Rathfarnham – Studied Arts at UCD
1937 - 1940: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1940 - 1943: Belvedere College - Teacher
1943 - 1947: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1946: Ordained at Milltown Park
1947 - 1948: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1948 - 1959: Mungret College, Minister, Prefect, Teacher
2nd February 1949: Final Vows at Mungret College
1959 - 1973: Rathfarnham Castle - Minister; Bursar
1973 - 1981: Milltown Park - Minister; Prefect of Health
1981 - 1982: Overseeing building of Cherryfield Lodge
1982 - 1985: Director, Cherryfield Lodge
1985 - 2007: Gardiner Street -
1985 - 1989: Minişter; Health Prefect; Guestmaster
1989 - 1991: Assistant Vice-Postulator cause of John Sullivan SJ; Health Prefect; Guestmaster
1991 - 1997: Assistant Vice-Postulator; Health Prefect
1997 - 2007: Assistant Vice-Postulator
13th August 2007: Died in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Adapted from an interview with Jim in Interfuse #129:

Jim's father was the medical officer in the mental hospital in Clonmel when he was born. They had a very pleasant way of life, very simple, which meant they had their own grounds – marvellous grounds around it - to go through and play. But Jim felt that they were too sheltered and didn't meet enough with the boys that they met at school. He started in Loreto, Clonmel, but the boys were only taken there until the age of 8. Then he went to the Christian Brothers and stayed with them till 1929, when he went to Clongowes, from which he entered the Society four years later.

He heard from the novices in Emo that “the Provincial, Larry Kiernan, was down to see them and he asked them if they knew where one of the new novices was coming from. And then he announced that I was coming from a mental hospital!” And Jim added, “Emo was a very pleasant kind of house to live in”.

His only memories of Rathfarham were recounted as follows: “I tried to show my prowess at the Bird House by jumping a little bit of water that was there with one bound. And, of course, I realised half way through that I couldn't make it. I knocked my knee off the far side, and when I pulled up my trousers I was just pumping blood. When I got back in the Brother fixed me up some way. He should have sent for the doctor”. A fortnight later, when he was sent to the Doctor, he said, “Sorry, I can't do anything with it now. You can't stitch, unless it's done immediately”.

From Rathfarnham he was moved after two years to Tullabeg. “I was thrown out”, he said, “on the results of the second year...I went to Tullabeg. Again it was a very comfortable kind of life”. He was sent to Belvedere after Philosophy. “It was a marvellous house. It was very free and we had a great time there”. He did his three years there and then on to Milltown. After ordination and a final year in Milltown, he went for tertianship in Rathfarnham. Then started his career as Minister for some 40 years in Mungret, Rathfarnham, Milltown, and Gardiner Street. During his time as Minister in Milltown he oversaw the building of Cherryfield Lodge and became its first Director.

Of his move to Milltown as Minister he said: “In Rathfarnham I had Paddy Doyle as Rector at some stage, and when he moved, he said he would like me to come as minister. And I said, ‘No, Father. You'd better give me a bit of time to think that one out’. So he did nothing about it that year. And the next year I was on the status for Milltown and it went quite well. It was a hard house to go to. But I was one of those old fashioned Ministers, who was · supposed to do what the Rector told them. I think that went out after my time. The Minister considered that he was boss in his own line and did what he wanted in his own line”.

As to his assignment to oversee the building of Cherryfield, he commented: “Thinking about it afterwards, it was quite foolish to put somebody in who didn't know what powers he had. I used to wake up at night and wonder had they done such and such. And, very often, I would find out next morning that my worst fears were justified up to a point. Plasterers were so anxious to get the whole job done, that switches and things like that would be covered, there was no sign of a switch. It was a mere matter of locating where it was and then opening it. We had arranged that the doors for the different rooms would be big enough take a bed without any bother, so you could just roll it out the door, twisting it left or right whichever way you wanted it. It was only when the building was complete we found that they hadn't done that. We could do nothing about it”.

In his later years he was appointed Vice Postulator for the cause of Fr. John Sullivan, whom he knew when he was a student in Clongowes. In fact, he died when Jim was there. When asked about his personal devotion to Fr. John, he responded: “Well, I have great admiration for him, but once I put my foot in it in Gardiner Street. Three old ladies stopped me on the corridor one day and said, ‘What about Father Sullivan? Is he going to be made a Saint?’ And I said, ‘Well, pity he wasn't born in Poland!’”

The interview was entitled "Prone to Accidents", so often in his life did he have accidents. But he had no regrets, and ended the interview with the words: “I will never leave here now. Unless, of course, to go to the new Cherryfield, if I last that long. That will be about three years. I doubt if I will last that long”.

A poetic remembrance from Tom MacMahon, 14 August 2007:

Jim and I were novices together -
'Twas in the year of nineteen thirty three;
I'm not altogether certain as to whether
He three or four months older was than me.
Step by step we did the normal studies,
Right 'til we began philosophy;
But he and Dan, those former schoolboy 'buddies',
Skipped a year, and got ahead of me.

Seventy four years on, and still united,
We, the last survivors of our year,
In Cherryfield were, shall we say, 'benighted',
Never thinking death would be so near.

And yet, so quickly, our 'Jim Fitz' was taken -
Quietly and peacefully he went, .
Leaving us two feeling quite forsaken,
Yet grateful for the great life he had spent.

God be with our dear friend, Father Jim.
When our time comes, may we be one with him!

Fitzgerald, Maurice, 1907-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/660
  • Person
  • 28 March 1907-16 October 1996

Born: 28 March 1907, County Waterford
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942
Died: 16 October 1996, Marycrest, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Manresa, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1929 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying

◆ 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 Christian Brothers Waterford before Entry at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1925-1928 He studied at University College Dublin gaining a BA in Latin, Greek and English.
1928-1931 He was sent to Chieri, Italy for Philosophy
1931-1935 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview for Regency
1935-1939 He was back in Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology
1939-1940 He made tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle Dublin
1940 He was sent to work at Gardiner St Parish in Dublin
He then returned to Australia at the Toowong Parish
1950-1961 He was then sent back to Riverview as Minister. He was remembered for his kindness, patience and equanimity, as well as for his efficiency and his Irish stories. The boarders well remember his supervision of the refectory and ringing the bell.
1962-1972 He was sent back to Toowong as Parish Priest at St Ignatius, Toowong
1972-1975 He was sent to Lavender Bay parish in Sydney
1975 He came back and spent the rest of his life in Brisbane. He was chaplain at the hospital and nursing home at Nundah. He eventually settled into the Marycrest Retirement Centre at Kangaroo Point.

He was respected by many for his pastoral work, his preaching, administration of the sacraments, his wise counsel especially to many religious sisters throughout Brisbane. he was also a practical administrator, erecting a purpose built school at Toowong to replace the hall below the Church.
He was also responsible for erecting a second Church in the Toowong Parish - Holy Spirit Church, Auchenflower, a modern construction intended for the post Vatican II liturgy. He is remembered there for his dedication and friendliness, his willingness to help anyone in trouble and for his interest in the youth.
He found the new theology after Vatican II quite hard to accommodate, especially in preaching, and he was grateful to the Archbishop of Brisbane, Dr Rush, for asking him to become chaplain to the Sisters of St Joseph at Nundah. The sisters there were very good to him, and he gradually regained some confidence in his ability to be a pastor and preach again. He loved the pastoral care of the sick and the rose garden there.

He died a happy and contented priest. he enjoyed the Jesuit weekly gatherings at Toowong in his latter years.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 92 : August 1996

Obituary

Fr Maurice Fitzgerald (1922-1997)

1907: Born in Waterford
1923: Entered the Society at
1925 - 1928: Tullabeg Juniorate (National University of Ireland)
1928 - 1931: Philosophy at Chieri, Italy
1931 - 1935: Regency at Riverview
1935 - 1939: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1938: Ordained a Priest
1939 - 1940: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1941: Parish work at Gardiner Street
1942 - 1949: Parish work at Toowong, Brisbane
1950 - 61: Minister at Riverview
1962 - 1971: Parish work at Toowong. Superior/Parish Priest
1972 - 1975: Parish work at Lavender Bay, Sydney
1976 - 1993: Chaplain at hospital and nursing home, Nundah, Brisbane
1994 - 1996: Chaplain at Marycrest Retirement Centre

Fr. Maurice Fitzgerald was born in Ireland in 1907 and entered the Society there in 1923. Like a number of others from the Irish Province, he was transferred in 1931 to what was then the Australian Vice-Province, where, apart from Theology and Tertianship, he spent the rest of his life. Apart from over ten years in St. Ignatius' College, Riverview, his ministry was in parish or chaplaincy work, chiefly in Brisbane. For over 17 years he was on the staff of the Toowong parish, chiefly as parish priest, where he endeared himself to the people by his dedication, friendliness and willingness to help anyone in trouble. He was responsible for the building of a new Church in the parish. Due to ill health he had to retire from the strenuous activity of parish work and the last twenty years of his life were spent as Chaplain to a hospital and nursing home, conducted by Sisters. Here, too, he was much beloved. He delighted to keep in touch with his Jesuit brethren. At the time of his death, he was 89 years of age and had been a member of the Society for 73 years. The Australian Province owes a great debt of gratitude to Irishmen like him who left home and country to minister in a distant land.

Australian Provincial's Office

Flatley, Thomas, 1841-1903, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1310
  • Person
  • 01 January 1841-21 June 1903

Born: 01 January 1841, County Mayo
Entered: 20 June 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1876
Died: 21 June 1903, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Aloysius Sturzo was Novice Master to Thomas at Milltown.
After his First Vows he remained at Milltown as Cook.
He was then sent to Gardiner St as Refectorian. He was known there as a man who always had a god word for you, especially for externs he came in contact with,
1886-1888 He spent a year each in Clongowes and Milltown.
1888 He returned to Gardiner St.
Eighteen months before his death he had a serious operation for cancer, which prolonged his life a little. He was a most edifying patient during his final illness, and died on the Feast of St Aloysius at Gardiner St 21 June 1903

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Thomas Flatley 1842-1903
Br Thomas Flatley, who was born on January 7th 1842, entered the Society 24 years later. He did his noviceship at Milltown Park under Fr Sturzo.

The greater part of his life he worked at Gardiner Street. While there, he ever lost the opportunity of saying a good word in due season, to the many externs with whom he came in contact.

Eighteen months before his death he underwent a sever operation, which only prolonged his life for a short while. His conduct during his last illness was most patient and edifying, and he died calmly on the Feast of St Aloysius, June 21st 1903.

Flinn, Daniel Joseph, 1877-1943, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/151
  • Person
  • 11 January 1877-24 May 1943

Born: 11 January 1877, Arklow, County Wicklow
Entered: 01 February 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 01 August 1909, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1911, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 24 May 1943, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

First World War chaplain

by 1898 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1910 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1918 Military Chaplain: VI Corps Rest Station North, BEF France
by 1919 Military Chaplain: 88th Brigade, BEF France

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 18th Year No 3 1943

Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart :

Father Flinn’s Death :
“So the grand old man has gone to his reward may he rest in peace. He surely did a man’s work in the great cause”. “I never had the pleasure of meeting Fr. Flinn, but from the many letters he wrote me I have a very vivid picture of his great sincerity and unselfish zeal in the noble cause for which he gave his life”. “What a worker, and what a record to leave behind him”. These are but three of the very many tributes paid to Fr. Flinn, by Bishops, priests, religious and laymen from every part of Ireland. Few of Ours can have been as well known, few so much respected as Fr. Flinn. His work of organising and running the Pioneer Association made for him contacts, many personal, others by letter only, but in them all his wholehearted love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was the inspiration of his Pioneer work, was manifest and recognised. He was a truly holy man, in whom the love of Our Lord was a very real and very personal thing. It was thus a personal matter for him that sin should be prevented, and when committed that it should be atoned for. In the curse of intemperance he saw what he believed to be the greatest source of sin in Ireland. and hence he set himself to work. heart and soul to fight intemperance, which so greatly injured the cause of Christ whom he loved. That was his Pioneer creed. That made for him the Pioneer cause a sacred one, for he believed it was the cause of the Most Sacred Heart, and in that belief he was so sincere that his sincerity impressed even those who criticised his methods. It was this sincerity and the zeal which sprung from it, allied with the courage which is
born of true humility, that won for him a deep respect, and often an enthusiastic admiration from all those who came in contact with him.
In 1922 when Fr. Flinn became Central Director, there was a membership of about 250,000 in 410 Centres. At his death the membership had grown to 350,000 and there were more than 950 centres. This great expansion did not bring with it any slackening in the very strict rules of Fr. Cullen. At the Annual Meeting last November, Fr. Flinn could boast that in his 21 years as Director there had been no change in the rules in spite of very great pressure being brought on him to make changes. That is a very remarkable thing, for in the growth
and expansion of an organisation there is almost always modification and adaptation. Not so the Pioneer Association under Fr. Flinn. It grew to be a movement of national importance, but Fr. Cullen's dying wish that there should be no change of rule was for Fr. Flinn a duty. The Pioneer Association today is the Pioneer Association that was founded by Fr. Cullen, with rules no less strict, observance no less rigidly enforced. Here again it was not just sentiment nor a mere hero worship of Fr. Cullen that made Fr. Flinn adopt so uncompromising an attitude. The Pioneer Association was the fruit of fifty years of tremendous experience in temperance work on the part of Fr. Cullen. Movement after movement to fight against intemperance had been started only to fail. The Pioneer Association with its very strict and very rigid rule was begun and was successful where the other movements failed. This success both Fr. Cullen and Fr. Flinn attributed to the strict rules and the strict way in which these rules were enforced. Hence Fr. Flinn was not prepared to depart in any way from a method which was proved by experience and by its results to attain the end for which it had been started. Rule after rule was planned to check what experience had shown to be causes of lapses in the past, and to bar excuses which made pledge-breaking easy. Fr. Cullen was fifty years at the work. His experience was tremendous. “I shall be a long time
in charge before I dare to set my judgment against his." Thus spoke Fr. Flinn at the Annual Meeting last year, and there is little doubt that it was this great loyalty to Fr. Cullen and to the spirit of the Association as founded by Fr. Cullen which made Fr. Flinn's long period as Central Director so successful a one for the Association and so fruitful of great work to the glory of God.

Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin (Juniorate, Tertianship. and Retreat House) :

General :
Fr. Joseph Flinn, who had been resting at Rathfarnham, died on Monday morning, 24th May, deeply regretted by all. He had daily edified the Community by his cheerfulness and courage liable as he was at any moment to serious heart attacks. We offer his Community at Gardiner Street our sincere sympathy on their great loss. R.I.P.

Obituary :

Father Joseph Flinn SJ (1877-1943)

Fr. Flinn died in the early hours of Monday, 24th May, at Rathfarnham Castle, where he had been convalescing after a serious heart attack.
Born at Arklow on 11th January, 1877, he was at school in Liverpool and at Mungret before going to Clongowes in 1891, where he remained until December, 1893. During his stay at Clongowes he seems to have been very popular with the other boys, had a place on the school teams, both rugby a»nd cricket, and during the last term held the position of Vice-Captain of the House. On the day before he left, the boys showed their appreciation of his robust character by according him a wonderful ovation in the refectory.
He entered the novitiate at Tullabeg on 1st February, 1894, and after taking his Vows studied rhetoric for two years. He did his philosophy at Jersey from 1898 to 1901, and in the latter year became Prefect at Clongowes, first of the Gallery (1901-2), then Third Line (1902-3), Lower Line (1903-4), Higher Line (1904-5). He spent 3 years at Mungret before beginning his theology at Milltown, where he was ordained, priest in 1909.
On his return from Tronchiennes where he made his third year's probation in 1910, he started his successful career as missionarius excurrens, being attached first to St. Ignatius, Galway (1911-13) then to Rathfarnharn Castle (1913-17, and 1919-22). While at Galway he had charge of the local Pioneer centre, thus gaining experience of temperance work, towards which he was to make such a vital contribution in later years. In 1917 came the call to act as military chaplain in France during the great war. In spite of the marked distaste he had for the work it was all along more an agony than a service for him - he set about his new duties with characteristic conscientiousness. When hostilities ceased he resumed his work as missioner at Rathfarnham. till his transfer to Gardiner Street Church in 1922, when he was appointed to succeed Fr.James Cullen as Central Director of the Pioneer Total
Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart.
Fr. Flinn was thoroughly equipped for the great task which now confronted him. As a Missioner he had won renown both here and in England by reason of his tireless zeal, and his exceptional talents as an organiser and trenchant speaker. These talents were now pressed into the service of the Pioneer movement, which for the next twenty years and more, under his fostering care, gradually attained that commanding position which it holds to-day. Details of the remarkable growth of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association under Fr. Flinn's able administration are given on another page. Suffice it here to say that his name. which had become a household word in the land, will be ever inseparably linked with those of Fr. Matthew and Fr. Cullen in the history of Temperance. His talents as an organiser probably outdistanced those of Fr. Cullen himself. He was a great stickler for tradition, and much of the success he achieved was doubtless due to his allowing the faultless machinery created by the founder of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association to function undisturbed. Still the fresh impetus given the movement since 1922 must be attributed in large part to Fr, Flinn's strong personality, his gifts as a forceful speaker, the meticulous care with which he organised the annual rallies and most of all to the supernatural outlook which characterised his work.
Fr. Flinn was also a member of the Fr. Matthew Union and of the Committee of the Catholic Social Service Conference.
Just and conscientious to a fault, strong and purposeful by disposition, Fr. Flinn possessed a character of sterling quality. Completely devoted to the cause of God, hard and austere towards himself, unworldly, he showed himself kind and sympathetic towards others with a soft spot in his heart for the poor, the underdog. To an infinite capacity for taking pains he joined an ardour and enthusiasm for work which was infectious. Though for the ten years preceding his death he laboured under a physical disability of a very distressing kind, chronic heart trouble, which more than once brought him to death’s door, he continued his labours undismayed, and retained his courage and serenity to the very end. His devotion to the memory of Fr James Cullen was touching in its humility and self-effacement - when Fr. Cullen’s mantle fell upon his shoulders, he inherited as well that great man's spirit of his selfless devotion to a great cause. R.I.P.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 3 1946

FROM OTHER PROVINCES :

England :
Fr. Quigley, who is Senior Chaplain to the British Forces in Egypt, finds the names of other Jesuit chaplains in the Register at Alexandria, and among them Fr. David Gallery (1901), Fr. V. Lentaigne (1904-5) and Fr. Joseph Flynn (1907-14).

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Joseph Flinn SJ 1877-1943
The name of Fr Joseph Flinn will always be linked with those of Fr Matthew and Fr Cullen in the Ministry of the Temperance Movement.

Born in Arklow on January 11th 1877, he was educated at Mungret and Clongowes. After his ordination as a Jesuit, he was atached to the Mission Staff. He then served as a Chaplain in the First World War, and on his return was assigned to Fr Cullen as his assistant. He succeeded Fr Cullen in 1922 and for twenty years and more guided the Pioneer Association on its ever-expanding path. With his great organising ability and meticulous adherence to the Founder’s ideas, he gave the Movement an impetus which has spread its branches beyond the shores of Ireland.

Completely devoted to God and His Glory, austere towards himself, unworldly, he showed himself kind to others, especially the poor and the underdog. For the last ten years of his life, though afflicted with a heart complaint, he worked as hard and as cheerfully for the Cross as ever.

Fr Joe was possessed of a vigour and drive that was truly phenomenal. This was evident iin all his activities, as Prefect, as Missioner, as Pioneer leader, and was conveyed succinctly by his well known nick-name “The Pusher”.

He had tremendous fire. On the platform he would remind one of the Prophets of the Old Testament, breathing indignation, with fire flashing from hius eyes and his hand uplifted calling on the people of Ireland to follow him to the Holy Land of Temperance and sobriety.

He died at Rathfarnham Castle on May 24th 1943.

◆ The Clongownian, 1943

Obituary

Father Joseph Flinn SJ

News of Fr Flinn’s death has reached us as we are going to press, hence only a very brief notice of his life and work is possible.

In his last year here at school he was second captain of the school. He entered the Jesuit noviceship in- 1894. In 1901, he returned to Clongowes as a Scholastic and was Prefect successively of all three Lines. He took a very deep interest in everything connected with Clongowes, and regularly sent news of “The Past” to the Editor of “The Clongownian”.

He was ordained in 1909. He was immediately appointed to the mission staff and devoted his time to the giving of public retreats and missions until 1922, with an interval when he served as a military chaplain during the war of 1914-1918. In 1922, he was appointed Director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence organization, and gave all his energies to this work up to within a few months of his death.

As missioner and military chaplain he was noted for his unflagging zeal and his gift for winning over “hard cases”. He was a forceful and convincing preacher and public speaker. But his outstanding gift was that of organizing. For over twenty years the Annual Meeting of the Pioneers in the largest Dublin theatre was a triumph of organization. Perfect stewarding ensured smooth handling; of the immense audience. The panel of speakers was well chosen, and there was never any; flagging in interest. Even the smaller details, the musical programme that followed, the singing of the various hymns, all were carefully prepared. The result was always a most inspiring and enjoyable afternoon. Several members of the Irish hierarchy. who addressed these meetings were heard to describe them as amongst the most impressive Catholic gatherings they had ever seen.

This gift of organization was shown on some even greater occasions, as, for instance, the Jubilee of the Association, in 1923, when thousands of Pioneers brought by special trains from all over Ireland, marched through the city to the Royal Dublin Society's Buildings at Ballsbridge, where a monster meeting was held. It was shown again on the occasion of the Eucharistic Congress, in 1932, when again, Pioneers in their thousands, rallied to the shrine of their Eucharistic King.

But it was not merely Fr Flinn's organizing ability that gave to these gatherings their success. An even greater source of inspiration was his devotion to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, and his constant insistence on that devotion as the mainspring of the Pioneer movement. In this, Fr Flinn carried on the tradition of Fr James Cullen, for whose memory he had the deepest veneration. On every occasion, Fr Flinn spoke of Fr Cullen. At all his big meetings Fr Cullen's portrait was prominent, and in recent years one of the nost striking feature was the throwing on a screen of portraits ( Fr Cullen, Fr Willie Doyle, Fr John Sullivan and Matt Talbot, with a reminder to the audience that these four men of God were all Pioneers.

Fr Flinn literally gave his life for the work for the Sacred Heart, as it was undoubtedly his exertions on those great occasions and many others that undermined his health. His reward will surely be great.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father D Joseph Flinn SJ

The generations to come may well rate Father J. Flinn as the greatest of Mungret's sons and it is certain that he will rank as one of the most powerful forces in the new Ireland. His work was the work whose influence will be felt and recognised fully only in the time it will have borne its fruit. It is probable that. Father Flinn's name will be coupled with those of Father Mathew whom he so admired and of Father Cullen whom he succeeded and whose work he put on the lasting basis of an excellent organisation. To this work he came in 1922, prepared with an experience of human nature gained by prefecting boys in Clongowes and in Mungret from 1901 to 1905, by nine years as a missioner throughout the country, and by two years of service in the British army as a chaplain. He came to it with natural gifts of energy, ability in organising and direct forceful oratory. From within he drew zeal that was uncompromis ing and supernatural tenacity of purpose. His twenty years of office saw the Pioneer movement throw off its swaddling clothes and emerge as a national body of sure purpose, unwavering loyalty to its stated ideals and deadly earnestness in the pursuit of them. The Pioneers have counted in Ireland since Father Flinn took charge. In these labours for God and Ireland he wore himself out without counting the cost. The movement is his best epitaph. The apostle has been called from the vineyard. With such glorious work done, his must have been a triumphal entry to heaven. To his brother we offer our sympathy and assure him of our prayers. RIP

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.

Fortescue, William. 1814-1888, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/749
  • Person
  • 26 June 1814-23 February 1888

Born: 26 June 1814, Killyman, County Tyrone (Armagh)
Entered: 24 April 1850, Amiens, France (FRA)
Ordained - pre Entry
Final vows: 15 August 1866
Died: 23 February 1888, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1866 at Rome Italy (ROM) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After First Vows he was for a short time at Clongowes.
1853-1884 He was sent as Operarius and Missioner to Gardiner Street. As a Missionary he preached in all parts of Ireland with Robert Haly and others.
1884-1888 He was sent to Galway and then to Limerick
1888 He was moved to the Mater Hospital Dublin where he died 23 February 1888, and of the Gardiner Street Community.
He was a powerful Missionary, and very strong on Hell!

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father William Fortescue (1814-1888)

A native of Co. Louth, was admitted in France as a secular priest into the Society in 1853. He was many years in Gardiner St Church or engaged in missions throughout the country. He came to the Crescent in 1885 but died in Dublin on 23 February, 1888, after an operation.

Fottrell, James, 1852-1918, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1329
  • Person
  • 23 July 1852-03 January 1918

Born: 23 July 1852, Dublin
Entered: 31 October 1869, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1886
Final Vows: 03 February 1890, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 03 January 1918, Ms Quinn’s Hospital, Mounty Square, Dublin

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

by 1872 at Roehampton London (ANG) Studying
by 1873 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1876 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1884 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1891 at Borgo Santo Spirito Rome, Italy - Firenze (ROM) Subst Secretary

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Belvedere.

After his Noviceship he made studies at Stonyhurst, and then spent a period of Regency teaching in Galway and Tullabeg.
He was then sent to St Beuno’s for Theology.
After Ordination he came back to Ireland and was sent to Limerick and Milltown.
He was then sent to Rome as an Assistant Secretary to the General Anton Anderley until his death in 1892. He was at the General Curia in Fiesole, as the Jesuits had been expelled from Rome. Returning to Ireland, he joined the Mission Staff, eventually taking charge of this group.
1905 He was sent to Gardiner St where he worked until a few days before his last illness. He was the Director of the Immaculate Conception Sodality along with other Church duties. He managed to find time to devote himself to the “Vigilance Committee” (set up by the Dominicans to prevent the spread of bad and unsavoury literature) and his work was felt across the city. He also took a keen interest in the CYMS in Nth Frederick St, and was an active President there for over seven years. He also succeeded James Walshe as Manager of the Penny Dinners. he organised a “Coal Fund” and was an ardent Temperance advocate. He was generally a ready speaker with a great sense of humour.
He died at Ms Quinn’s Hospital after a very short illness, 03 January 1918. he had been doing “Extraordinary Confessor” work and he caught a cold which developed into pneumonia.

Letter from Cardinal Michael Logue to Mother Josephine, James Fottrell’s sister :
“My dear Mother Josephine, I was deeply grieved to see by the papers the death of your saintly brother, Father Fottrell. I most sincerely sympathise with you and your sister, Mother Bernardine, in your sad bereavement.
Tough you and Mother Bernardine will feel the loss of poor Father Fottrell most of all, everyone who knew him will feel his death as a personal loss. He will be sadly missed by the whole country, for there is no good work which could contribute to God’s glory and the welfare of the people, spiritual and temporal, into which he was not prepared to throw himself with earnestness and success. Indeed his whole life was consecrated to every good work which came his way. I am sure he has now received the reward of that life, entirely devoted to God’s work. By his zeal and unswerving labours, he has laid up for himself a great store of merit and now possesses, through God’s goodness, a crown corresponding to his merit. This must be the chief consolation to you, your sister and all who grieve his death.
Wishing you and Mother Bernardine every blessing............. Michael Cardinal Logue”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Fottrell 1852-1918
Fr James Fottrell was born in Dublin on 23rd July 1852, was education at Belvedere College.

Entering the Society at Milltown Park in 1869, he did his philosophy at Stonyhurst, and Theology at St Beuno’s, North Wales. On his return to Ireland he was attached forst to Limerick, then to Milltown. For some years he occupied the post of Assistant Secretary to Fr General Anderledy, and Fiesole, Italy.

Then he joined the Mission Staff, on which he did very useful work, eventually becoming its head. In 1905 he took up residence at Gardiner Street, and he worked there up to a few days before his death in 1918. He was kept busy as Director of the Immaculate Conception Sodality, however he found time for some other apostolic activities. He took an active part in the Vigilance Committee, and the effect of his work was felt in the city. He also took a keen interest in the CYMS North Frederick Street, of which he was an active President for over seven years. He succeeded Fr James Walshe as Director of the Penny Dinners, ad he was a pioneer in organising a Coal Fund. A keen advocate of temperance, he was a man of varied attainments, and a ready speaker with a great sense of humour.

While acting as extraordinary confessor, he caught a cold which developed into pneumonia, and he died resigned and happy at Ms Quinn’s Hospital, Mountjoy Square on January 3rd 1918.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1918

Obituary

Father James Fottrell SJ

The news of Fr Fottrell's death was keceived with widespread regret in the city. It occurred on the 4th January, after a very brief illness. He was bom in 1852 in Dublin and was ordained priest in 1886. After some years spent as Assistant Secretary of V Rev Father General at Fiesole, Italy, and on the Mission staff in Ireland he was attached to St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner St, where he was Superior and where he worked hard until his last illness. He was Spiritual Director of the Sodality of the Immaculate Conception, and Moderator of the Apostleship of Prayer. He was also an active member of the Vigilance Committee, and President of the CYMS, Nth Frederick St.

He organised a coal fund for the deserving poor. He succeeded the late Father James Walshe as manager of the Penny Dinners. He was also an ardent Temperance advocate. A man of varied attainments, a ready speaker, with a great sense of hum our, he made many friends. RIP (Freeman’s Journal)

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father James Fottrell (1852-1918)

A native of Dublin, entered the Society in 1869, and was ordained in 1886. He spent three years of his regency at the Crescent, 1880-1883 and returned as prefect of Studies in 1887-1888. He was again a member of the community in 1893-95 and 1903-05 when he was now on the mission staff. He was appointed superior in Gardiner St in 1905 and continued as a member of that community until his death.

Frayne, William, 1814-1895, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/159
  • Person
  • 01 August 1814-24 February 1895

Born: 01 August 1814, Enfield, County Meath
Entered: 08 February 1843, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final vows: 02 February 1862
Died: 24 February 1895, Mungret College, County Limerick

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was Cook and Dispenser at Gardiner St and also at Belvedere where he lived for many years.
He was at Galway and Tullabeg Colleges over the years, and in 1883 went to Mungret, where he passed a peaceful life, and died 24 February 1895
He was always very neat and obliging.
Note from Christopher Coffey Entry :
He died peacefully 29 March 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.

Freeman, Peter, 1833-1884, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1332
  • Person
  • 29 June 1833-24 December 1884

Born: 29 June 1833, County Kildare
Entered: 23 May 1858, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Final vows: 15 August 1868
Died: 24 December 1884, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a baker by trade, and a Manductor to the Brother Novices at Clongowes.
1866 He was sent to Gardiner St, and he worked hard in various posts until his death there Christmas Eve 1884. By a strange coincidence, Fr Joseph Lentaigne, who had received him as Provincial, died in the same community the day before. Both coffins were laid on the High Altar on 26 December 1884.

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 which 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, Peter Freeman, David McEvoy, James Maguire, John Hanly, James Rorke and Patrick Temple.

Furlong, James, 1882-1958, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/157
  • Person
  • 05 July 1882-10 January 1958

Born: 05 July 1882, New Ross, County Wexford
Entered: 18 March 1904, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1915, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 10 January 1958, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ Irish Province News

Province News 33rd Year No 2 1958

Obituary :

Br James Furlong (1882-1958)

Br. James Furlong was born in July, 1882, in New Ross. He entered the Society on 18th March, 1904. While yet a novice he was sent to Gardiner St. and remained there till his death on the 10th January of this year. He became Sacristan of the Church after the death of Br. Mahon in April, 1917, but had done much of the sacristy work in the previous two or three years.
It is not too much to describe his fifty-two years in Gardiner St. as a chapter in the history of the church which began in 1832. His one interest was in the church. In a special sense he could have said: “I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of Thy house”. This love was shown in his unremitting zeal in all that concerned the altar. Everything was carefully attended to, the chalices, ciboria, candlesticks always polished, the vestments kept clean and in good repair, “the white cloth spread glistening for the Mass”. A nun, writing from Kildare, recalls that when as a young girl she watched Br. Furlong, prepare the altar, she thought : “If only I could live and work like that for Jesus”.
His ordinary work put him in contact with people of all kinds, and he had the gift which made him many friends among them. Thus he had lady helpers, both poor and well-to-do, in making and mending for the altar. He was never without help from the Mass servers and “old boys” to whom his character had some special appeal. He won their hearts, for he was a genuine man. In his dealings with the boys he could be brusque enough. He could hustle and order them about, and often seemed over-exacting in his demands on them. Yet they did not fear him. They sensed that he understood them, and there was no sting in his rebukes.
He had their welfare at heart. He enjoyed organising their little celebrations, preparing for their annual excursion to Clongowes, the big outing of the year. He joined simply and heartily in their occasional parties in the choir room, and got cross with anyone who would not contribute a song or some other item to the entertainment.
His old Mass servers gave a striking proof of their regard for him, when a large number of them gathered to honour him at a Golden Jubilee dinner in the Belvedere Hotel. A source of great happiness to Br. Furlong was the number of sacristy boys who had become priests and brothers. Some are in the Society, some among the diocesan. clergy, at least six are Marist priests or brothers. One joined the Picpus Fathers, and spent many years in Fr. Damian's Island of Molokai.
There was nothing subtle or mysterious about Br. Furlong. He was forthright and outspoken, but not given to expressing his views. He had to be drawn, then he spoke sincerely. He was simple and straight in his outlook. He enjoyed an amusing story or incident, and laughed heartily when he heard it. He would tell it to his friends. On his last visit to an elderly lady who had been confined to her house for some years, he told a story he had heard in the community. A certain victim of heart trouble was given a prescription by the doctor. He was to take the medicine every second day, take it one day and skip the next, and so on. Some time after, the man's wife sadly told the doctor of the patient's death. The medicine had been all right. It was the skipping that killed him. And Br. Furlong's story was a good prescription to cheer a lonely invalid.
Br. Furlong was a happy man. He needed no relaxation outside the ordinary round of his work, which provided him with pleasant contacts with many friends; and the ordinary recreation of the Society where he was an easy and pleasant companion. He was ready to enjoy the simplest bit of fun or engage in an argument. It was all the happier, when, as in recent years, many of these engagements were with two of his former altar boys, Brs. Foley and Colgan.
His life was busy and contented. The work of his department could be taken for granted. He fitted easily into the community. In the past few years impaired health made him hand over more and more of the church work to Br. Foley. He had much illness of body to suffer, but his faculties never failed, and he was at hand to direct, and to do much of the lighter work of the sacristy.
His name is linked with one notable and glorious chapter of Dublin's history, the sanctity of Matt Talbot. Matt was amongst the group to whom Br, Furlong for years opened the church door at 5.30 each morning. And so he was called upon to give evidence in Matt's cause,
Br. Furlong's piety was, like himself, simple. After his work round the altar, he liked to retire in the afternoon to the organ loft or the domestic chapel for a long visit. Love of the church, love of the Rosary, love of the Blessed Sacrament, these were obvious in his life.
So, known far and wide, and associated with the church for so many years, but personally unassuming and sincere in all his ways, Br. Furlong passed from his good and faithful service to the Master's yet more beautiful House.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother James Furlong SJ 1882-1957
Br James Furlong spent fifty two years as Sacristan in Gardiner Street Church. Surely that is a record comparable with the years of service of St Alphonsus Rodriguez as porter in Palma.

His care of the altar and the Church, and all that appertained it was the tender solicitude of a mother for her child. Truly it could be said of him “I have loved, O Lord the beauty of Thy House”. It follows “as the night, the day” in the words of Fr Michael Brown, that such a long period of service in one house was based on an essential fitness and deep spirituality in Br Furlong.

He came into contact with all sorts, high and low, rich and poor. Many friends he made who helped him with the altar. But his best friends were the altar-boys, many of whom, influenced by his example, became priests and religious, Jesuits – one of them a Provincial. On the occasion of his Golden Jubilee, these old boys entertained Br Furlong to dinner. Their number, their excellence, their high standing in their vocations, is sufficient tribute to Br Furlong. “By their fruits ye shall know them”.

He died on January 10th, being born in New Ross in 1882.

Gaffney, John, 1813-1898, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/171
  • Person
  • 14 October 1813-31 March 1898

Born: 14 October 1813, Dublin
Entered: 13 September 1843, Leuven, Belgium (BELG)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final Vows: 02 February 1860
Died: 31 March 1898, Milltown Park, Dublin

Younger brother of Myles Gaffney - RIP 1861
Grand-nephew of John Austin - RIP 1784

by 1847 in St Paul’s Malta

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Younger brother of Myles Gaffney - RIP 1861. He had been Dean at Maynooth, and he resigned that position in order to spend the last years of his life in the Order his older brother had chosen long before him. Their Grand-uncle was the celebrated John Austin, a remarkable Jesuit in Dublin towards the middle of the eighteenth Century.

He did his first Ecclesiastical studies at the Little Seminary of Beauvais, France. From there he went to the Irish College in Rome, and was there in the days when Cardinal Cullen was President, and they had a good friendship. He gained three Doctorates at the Irish College, Philosophy, Laws and Divinity. After Ordination he returned to the Dublin Diocese and was appointed a Curate at Athy, and then Booterstown. And then just before his thirtieth birthday, he Entered the Society 13 September 1843.

By 1847 he had been sent to the Malta station, and he remained there for some time.
After that he was sent to Gardiner St, and spent close on forty years there, and was noted as one of the most active and zealous members of the Society in Ireland. He was mostly identified by Mission work, but he was also devoted to poor schools, particularly for the Catholic youth, who were under intense pressure of proselytism, He was seen as a man who brought salvation to these people. He established a ‘ragged’ school in Rutland St in close proximity to one of the proselytisers schools. He was so successful in attracting students that he had to seek larger premises, building a school on the site which became the St Francis Xavier School on Drumcondra Road. These schools were popularly known as “Father Gaffney’s Schools”.
1884 Failing health meant he had to abandon some of the active work and retire to Milltown. he remained there until his death 31 March 1898.
He was a man of marked ability. He was a profound Theologian and Philosopher, as well as an exceptional linguist, especially in Italian and French. During his years at Gardiner St, he was well known in Dublin, and admired and esteemed by all who knew him.
When he was moved to Milltown, there was a demonstration to keep him at Gardiner St. Later, the illness which caused his retirement became more severe, and his last days were ones of great suffering which he bore with resignation and fortitude. He died aged almost 85, and had spent fifty-five years in the Society. His funeral was held at Gardiner St and there was a large attendance of the clergy in the choir, and the laity filled the Church. Dr Leonard, Bishop of Cape Town presided.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Gaffney 1813-1898
The name of Fr Gaffney was a familiar one in the mouths of Catholics in Dublin in the ‘80s, and his memory will linger long as that of one who “rose in dark and evil days” to fight the battle of the Christian faith against unscrupulous opponents.

Born in Dublin on October 14th 1813, he was educated for the Church in the Petit Seminaire of Beauvais, France. After seven or eight years, he entered the Irish College Rome, in the days of Cardinal Cullen. He got a Doctorate in Philosophy, Theology and Canon Law.

On his return to the Dublin diocese, he was a curate first at Athy and then at Booterstown, but before his 30th birthday in 1843, he entered the Society of Jesus.

He worked for a time in Malta, but the greatest part of his life – 40 years – was spent in Gardiner Street. His main work was to fight against the proselytisers. With this object in view, he opened a school for poor children in Rutland Street, near a centre for souperism. So well did he succeed in his venture that he had to transfer to more extensive premises in Dorset Street, the site of the present day St Francis Xavier’s School. His efforts for the education of Dublin’s poor will cause no surprise when we recall that he was a grand-nephew of Fr John Austin SJ, who had done so much himself in this same cause at the end of the previous century.

Fr Gaffney died at Milltown Park on March 31st 1896. His elder brother, Dr Miles Gaffney had been Senior Dean at Maynooth College and had become a Jesuit in his last years, and predeceased John in 1861.

Gallagher, Leonard, 1898-1942, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/160
  • Person
  • 06 November 1898-14 July 1942

Born: 06 November 1898, Cork City
Entered: 16 September 1916, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 14 June 1932, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1935, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 14 July 1942, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Younger Brother of Richard Gallagher - RIP 1960

by 1927 in Australia - Regency at St Aloysius College, Sydney
by 1934 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
Leonard Gallagher entered the Society in 1916 at Tullabeg, and after initial Jesuit studies was sent as a regent in 1925 to St Aloysius' College, and he taught there until mid~1929. He was also editor of the school magazine and assistant editor of the Jesuit Directory.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 17th Year No 4 1942

Obituary :

Rev Leonard Gallagher SJ

Fr. Gallagher, who was 44 at the time of his death, was a native of Cork City. He was a brother of Mr. Frank Gallagher, director of the Government Information Bureau, and of Fr. Richard Gallagher S.J. (Hong Kong). He entered the Society on 16th September, 1916. After completing his philosophical studies at Milltown Park he was sent in 1925 to Australia, then the Mission of the Irish Province, and spent four years as master in St. Aloysius College, Sydney. He returned in 1929 to do his theological studies in Milltown Park and was ordained there in 1932. After a period of teaching at Mungret College where he was for some years Prefect of Studies and Professor of Philosophy, he went to Gardiner Street in 1937.
As Assistant Director (to Fr. J Flynn) of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, he addressed hundreds of Pioneer Centres throughout Ireland, furthering the Cause of temperance, especially in the Secondary Schools. In conjunction with the Deans of Residence at University College, Dublin, he recently organised a very important centre of Total Abstinence among the students there. He was a gifted and popular preacher and author of several well-known writings on the spiritual formation of youth. He was Spiritual Director to branches of the St. Joseph’s Young Priests' Society. A tireless guide of souls in the Confessional, he spent himself in working for others. His amazing energy, good humour and selfless zeal endeared him to all classes. A writer in at certain Catholic paper said of him : “His booklets for boys and girls conveyed the sweetness of his spirit to tens of thousands of homes, but they were only a minor part of his indefatigable works.” By none will his death be more regretfully mourned than by the young patients of Cappagh Open Air Hospital, Finglas whose lives he helped to brighten in countless ways, and on whose behalf he made frequent appeals over the radio.
On Sunday, 12th July, with a splitting, burning headache he gave a one-day retreat to working girls at the Sacred Heart Convent Leeson Street - 5 lectures - and heard all the Confessions. That night he had violent pains all over the body and could not rest. Next morning he struggled down to say Mass and had to be helped back to his room. The doctor. who was called to see him, found his tonsils fearfully septic, and that evening he went into a nursing home . On Tuesday morning the doctor found him much worse and affected with partial paralysis. In the afternoon, at 3 o'clock, he received Extreme Unction most fervently, and died at 4 o'clock. His brother Mr. Frank Gallagher, and Fr. Superior were with him at the last. The funeral was an extraordinary tribute and demonstration, over a hundred priests were present (though half the Dublin diocesan priests were on retreat at the time). An Taoiseach, An Tanaiste, and many members of Cabinet were present, and there was an enormous congregation, and especially of the poor, at the Office and Mass, to do him honour and pray for his kindly soul. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Leonard Gallagher 1898-1942
The Province lost a lovable gifted and zealous young priest on the death of Fr Leonard Gallagher on July 14th 1942.

He came of a gifted Cork family, being a brother of Fr Dick Gallagher of the Hong Kong Mission and Mr Frank Gallagher, the well known writer and journalist.

Fr Leonard was himself the author of some pamphlets on the spiritual formation of youth. At the time of his early death he was Assistant Director of the Pioneer Association.

He was indefatigable in his work for souls in the confessional, in the hospitals and in giving retreats. But he was renowned above all for his personal gifts of gaiety and lovableness of character.

His funeral was one of the largest ever seen in Gardiner Street. The great crowd that filled the Church was a tribute of gratitude and affection for a priest who was the most unselfish of apostles and the most cheerful of givers.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1943

Obituary

Father Leonard Gallagher SJ

Mungret boys of the years 1934-37 must have been shocked to hear on July 14th, 1942, that Father Gallagher was dead. He was so much the live wire when he was here that death and he seemed likely to be strangers for many a long day. Yet now he was dead. Gone was the cheery, vivacious, humourous man full of energy, eager to do God's work and finding time to do many men's work. You remember him here - early at the altar every inorning his keenness there concentrated on the central act of his day; down for morning study, with a cheery word for the late-comer; round the classes breathing friendly fire, interested in every boy; out on the games field showing how it should be done or doing it with all zest. From preaching a sermon to mending a cricket net or decorating the stage - he had time to do them all well and to do them for you or for me but of course always to do them for God for whom he was literally on fire. The same eager enthusiasm he showed in the work of the ministry, in the great Pioneer work which was his main employment, in singing for poor slum children, in making up games to amuse them. Father Gallagher was prepared to do anything to help the cause of Christ. He died as he lived. He dragged his poor dying body down town and put in a last burst of energy to give a week-end retreat to poor city girls. Then he died. We give a short sketch of his life as it appeared in the press but we are sure that his memory is alive in the hearts of our boys - a bright, vivid, holy memory that will remind them to pray for him but perhaps more impor tant to live as he lived the life of a real follower of Christ on fire with love kindled by prayer.

“Father Gallagher, who was forty-four was a native of Cork City. He was brother of Mr Frank Gallagher, director of the Government Information Bureau; Rev Richard Gallagher SJ, Hong Kong; Mr Ronald Gallagher, BDSI, Waterford, and Sister Finbar, of St Mary's, Cappagh.

He entered the Society of Jesus in 1916 and after pursuing his philosophical studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, spent four years as master at St Aloysius' College, Sydney, Australia.

Returning to Ireland in 1929, he studied theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest in 1932. After a further period of teaching at Mungret College, Limerick, where he was for some years Prefect of Studies and Professor of Philosophy, he came to Gardiner Street, Dublin, in 1937.

As Assistant Director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Movement, he addressed hundreds of Pioneer Centres, furthering the cause of temperance, especially in the secondary schools. A vitally important centre of Total Abstinence he recently organised at University College, Dublin, in conjunction with the Deans of Residence.

A gifted and popular preacher, author of well-known writings on the spiritual formation of youth, Spiritual Director to branches of the St Joseph's Young Priests Society, a tireless guide of souls in the confessional, he spent himself in working for others.

His amazing energy, good-humour and zeal endeared him to all classes.

By none will his passing be more regretfully mourned than by the young patients of Cappagh Open Air Hospital, Finglas, whose lives he helped to brighten in countless ways, and on whose behalf he made frequent appeals from Radio Éireann.

Garahy, Michael, 1873-1962, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/556
  • Person
  • 20 October 1873-14 February 1962

Born: 20 October 1873, Cloghan, Birr, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1912
Died: 14 February 1962, County Waterford

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

by 1896 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1897 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1898
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
Michael Garahy spent part of his schooling at Mungret, and joined the novitiate in 1893. He did philosophy at Valkenburg, 1895-98, and then sailed to Australia and to Riverview, 1899-1904. He taught, looked after boarders and the Sodality of the Angels, all apparently well. When he was moved suddenly from the one class to another, the students of the class protested to the prefect of studies that they wanted him to stay and said, “My word sir, he does get you on”.
Returning to Ireland, his main work as a priest was preaching and parish work.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 12th Year No 4 1937

Rev. Michael Garahy, S.J., and Rev. Ernest Mackey, S.J. have been invited by the Most Rev. Bishop Francis Hennemann, P.S.M DD., to preach at the approaching Centenary Eucharistic Congress - which has already met with a good deal of opposition - to be held at Capetown, South Africa. Dr. Hennemann is Vicar Apostolic of the Western Vicariate of Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope.
Word has come to say that His Lordship is to send full Faculties to the Fathers by air-mail-including power to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation-for the Catholics on Ascension Island and the Island of St, Helena, both of which fall under bis jurisdiction.
They will preach during Congress Week at the Pontifical High Mass and at the Mass Meeting for Men. There will be an official broadcast of these functions, which are to be held in the open air at a short distance from St. Mary's Cathedral.
During the course of their stay in South Africa they are due to deliver special lectures on Catholic Action and kindred subjects to Catholic Men's Societies and to Catholic Women's Leagues. Their programme includes also a series of missions and parochial Retreats throughout the Vicariate beginning at the Cathedral Capetown, as a preparation for the Congress, which is fixed to take place from January 9th-16th, 1938. A special Congress Stamp has been issued to commemorate the event.
At the close of the January celebrations they intend to continue their apostolic labours in the Eastern Vicariate at the request of the Most Rev. Bishop McSherry, D,D,, Senior Prelate of South Africa.
Father Garahy is well-known throughout the country since he relinquished his Chair of Theology at Milltown Park in 1914 to devote his energies to the active ministry.
Father Mackey has been Superior of the Jesuit Mission staff in Ireland since 1927. During his absence in South Africa, Father J Delaney, S.J., Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, will take over his duties. Fathers Mackey and Garahy leave for Capetown on Tuesday, 24th August, 1937, and are expected back in Ireland about Easter, 1938.
Father Mackey has just received a cablegram from Bishop Hennemann asking him to give the Priests' Retreat at Cape Town

Irish Province News 13th Year No 1 1938

Our two Missioners to South Africa, Fathers Mackey and Garahy reached Cape Town on 23rd September.
The voyage was uneventful. They landed at Las Palmas and visited the centre of the Island.
Writing about the road, overhanging a steep precipice, over which they travelled, Father Garahy tells us : “I realised there was nothing between us and eternity except a few feet of road. It seemed to be a matter of inches when we crawled past other cars coming down.” They paid one more visit before reaching Cape Town, and Father Garahy's description is : “A spot of earth more arid than Ascension it would be hard to find outside the Sahara, and yet it grazes about 400 sheep and some cattle on one spot called the Green Mountain.”
Work began the very day after their arrival at Cape Town - a Retreat by Father Mackey to Legion of Mary, with five lectures a day. On the next Sunday, Father Garahy preached at all three Masses in the Cathedral, and again in the evening, The Mission began on Sunday, 3rd October, and from that date to Christmas the missioners had only one free week.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 2 1938

Our two Missioners, Fathers Mackey and Garahy, continue to do strenuous and widely extended work in South Africa. A source of genuine pleasure to them, and one that they fully appreciate, is the very great kindness shown to them by all the priests, not least among them by the Capuchins from Ireland. In the short intervals between the Missions the two Missioners were taken in the priests cars to every spot in the Cape worth seeing. They are only too glad to acknowledge that they will never forget the amount of kindness lavished on them.
In spite of fears the Eucharistic Congress in South Africa was an undoubted success, A pleasant and peculiar incident of the celebration was an “At Home” given by the Mayor of Capetown Mr. Foster, a Co, Down Presbyterian, to the Bishops, priests and prominent laymen. About 600 were present.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 3 1938
South Africa :

A very decided and novel proof of the success of the South African Mission is given by the letter of a certain Mr. Schoernan, a Dutch Protestant, who owns an extensive estate near Johannesburg. This gentleman wrote directly to the Apostolic Delegate for the Union of South Africa requesting that Fathers Mackey and Garahy should be invited to give a series of sermons and lectures to the non Catholics throughout the Transvaal. He had heard the sermons of these two Jesuit Fathers at the Catholic Congress at Cape Town, and concluded at once that the method and style of treatment of their sermons would make an immense appeal. He himself would be prepared to assist in the financing of such a scheme. “Surely”, he concluded, “Ireland could easily afford to forgo their services for a few months longer.”
The Delegate sent on the letter to Dr. O'Leary, Vicar Apostolic of the Transvaal. to answer. Dr, O'Leary explained that the two Fathers had to cancel many other invitations owing to pressure of work at home.
Mr. Schuman answered the Archbishop through Dr. O'Leary still pressing his own proposal.
The Press, including the Protestant Press, has been equally emphatic as to the success of the Mission. A contributor to “The Daily Dispatch”, a Protestant paper writes :
“A mission for Catholics in East London is now in progress at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. It is being conducted by two Jesuits, Father Mackey and Father Garahy, members of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus..... Hitherto, missions in this diocese have been preached, almost exclusively, by members of the Redemptorist Order.... , A Jesuit mission, therefore, is a change, because the methods and style of the Jesuits are different from those of the other Orders in the Church. There is not so much thunder about the Jesuits. They preach more the mercy of God than His anger and His justice. They appeal more to one's intellect and sense of reason than to the emotions.
It has been essentially a mission to Catholics. Controversial subjects have been avoided, but in the sermons there has been a wealth of information and teaching invaluable even to those firmly established in the Catholic faith. To those not of the faith who have attended the mission, the discourses of the two eloquent Jesuits must have been a revelation. I, a practising Catholic all my life, have heard many missions, both in this country and throughout Great Britain, but I cannot recall one in which the teaching of the Church has been so simply and so convincingly substantiated, or one in which the sinner has been so sympathetically, yet effectively, shown the error of his ways. The sermons were all magnificent orations in which facts, arguments, and reasoning were blended into a convincing whole.”
In another place the same contributor writes :
“Masterly sermons were preached by Father Mackey and Father Garahy explaining, as they have never been explained to the people of East London before, the object of man's life in this world, the difficulties he has to contend with......they have shown how the evils of the present day have all arisen from the misuse of men's reason, how the abandonment of God, and the development of a materialistic creed have set class against class and nation against nation, how man's well-being on earth has been subordinated to the pagan ideas of pleasure and financial prosperity........There has been nothing sensational or emotional in any discourse, but the malice of sin has been shown in all its viciousness.
It has been an education listening to these two Jesuits. The lessons of history, biblical and worldly, have been explained in language that carried conviction, and the teaching of the Church on the problems discussed has been put forward with unassailable lucidity.”

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street

The passing of Fr. Michael Garahy from amongst us has left quite a big gap in the lives of many amongst the community and staff of Gardiner Street. For some five months the care of him. day and night, had become a constant occupation for many and despite the attention he required and the trouble he could make at times, he won and held to the end the love and affection of all who were so devoted to him by his simplicity and personal charm which stayed with him until his death. He died on Wednesday, 14th February. He was with us all through his declining years except for the last five days when, where he was, meant little to him and the best that could be done became inadequate. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anant. We take this opportunity to thank Fr. Mark Quigley for his appreciation of Fr. Garahy's life's work which is given elsewhere in this issue of the Province News, Very Rev. Fr. Visitor was present at the solemn Requiem Office and Mass at Gardiner Street on 16th February, having travelled up from Tullabeg where he was then on visitation; Fr. Provincial presided; Fr. Superior was celebrant of the Mass; Fr. Tyndall deacon; Fr. Mac Amhlaoibh sub-deacon; Fr. Raymond Moloney, Milltown, M.C. To Milltown Park we are indebted also for supplying the choir. We wish to record our thanks to them for their generous help on all occasions.

Obituary :

Fr Michael Garahy (1873-1962)

Fr. Garahy passed away peacefully on the morning of 14th February. On the 16th a very fitting tribute was given him by the presence of Fr. Visitor, the Very Rev. John McMahon, S.J., by a large attendance from the Dublin houses of the Society and by a great concourse of people. The Solemn Requiem was sung by Very Rev. Fr. M. Meade, Superior, with Fr, Tyndall as Deacon and Fr. McAuliffe as Sub-Deacon. Mr. Oliver O'Brien performed at the organ and rendered the Dead March as the coffin was carried out of the church.
Fr. Garahy was born on 20th October, 1873. He was a native of Cloghan, Offaly, and lived for a time with his grandmother in Birr while attending the Presentation Brothers school. He was also at Mungret during Fr. Vincent Byrne's rectorship, and at Mount Melleray. He entered the Noviceship in 1893, did Philosophy at Valkenburg from 1895 to 1898, was six years teaching at Riverview and one year at the Crescent, Limerick. He went to Milltown for Theology in 1905, and taught the Short Course there for a year before going to the Tertianship at Tronchiennes in 1911. He taught at Milltown again for two years till 1914 when he became Miss. Excurr, and was stationed at Tullabeg. In 1918 he went to Rathfarnham and was there till 1941 when he went as Operarius to Gardiner Street.
It was in 1914 the present writer knew him first. Of his previous life those of our time only knew of him by hearsay. For example we remember Fr. Martin Maher tell that when Fr. Garahy as a scholastic in Riverview was changed from a certain class, the class came to Fr. Maher, who was Prefect of Studies, to ask to have him left with them. “My word, sir”, they said, “he does get you on”. During the past fifty years and more, I think that as a great personality and because of his very distinguished work, Fr. Garahy has filled a very special place in the Province. As a preacher he was quite outstanding. His voice was powerful and melodious, a perfect instrument for the earnestness and conviction with which he spoke, His message was given in a straight-forward style with plenty of clear and solid doctrine. I think the subjects touching on the Incarnation and the Passion showed him at his best and most typical. Once when some of us went to University Church to hear his Seven Words, we heard a priest who had come in only for the last sermon or two say to another, what a pity they had not been there for them all. Eloquent and thundering in some mission sermons, he had a very intimate, conversational and pleasant way in instructions, and also in enclosed retreats, if one can judge by one retreat he gave to the community at Milltown. He was widely known and appreciated for his retreats to the clergy. Fr. C. Mulcahy once told us of the delight of the parish priest of Rahan, who said that Fr. Garahy had given them in Meath “a retreat full of new thoughts”.
His friendly way made him a great favourite with the parish clergy and with many of the bishops of his time. He found it easy to join in conversation with them, and to be interested in the lives and doings of ordinary people. He had no side and would discuss or argue a question with the simplest of people. He once brought me to Cloghan to visit his mother, a very old lady then. They were discussing the war and she was lamenting some act of the Germans in France. “Wasn't that vandalism now”, she said, “It was not, mother”, said Fr. Michael, and proceeded to explain and to defend the Germans' action. He had always a love for the Germans and would recall with pleasure his days in Valkenburg, and sing or quote songs he had learned there.
In our own communities Fr. Garahy was always a centre of interest, and often of liveliness and fun. He was full of interesting anecdotes of his life on the missions. As well as giving missions in Ireland and England, he had gone on a mission tour with Fr. Mackey to South Africa. He allowed himself to be easily drawn into argument, and would defend his point strongly or indignantly, but sincerely and without bitterness. He lent himself willingly to any simple fun that was going. When Fr. Eustace Boylan came from Melbourne, via Rome, full of life at eighty, and spent a memorable month or so at Gardiner Street, he found Fr. Garahy a perfectly sympathetic sharer in his ever-bubbling hilarity and good humour. On hearing that a fire took place in Newry during the evening devotions when Fr. Garahy was preaching, Fr. Boylan gave rein to his imagination in a few verses to the enjoyment of all :

    Fr. Garahy stood in the pulpit
And spoke to the crowd below,
And his eloquence rose to a terrible height,
As the next day's papers show.

But just as his soaring eloquence
Was going to soar still higher,
A puff of wind caught the last few words,
And the neighbouring house took fire,

And so in Newry nowadays
They brighten the streets at night
With prints of Garahy's fiery words
Instead of electric light

And watchmen heat their tea-cans
At funnels of gramophones
Fitted to discs that thundered forth
The missioner's fiery tones.

And later when 'twas learnt that 'twas
The Bishop's strong desire
That Fr. Garahy should come back
To set the town on fire.

The enterprising shopmen
Advertised the coming sales
Of fireproof frocks for the maidens
Asbestos for the males.

The more one thinks of Fr. Garahy, the more one feels the loss of him as a source of inspiration and happiness in the Province. His strong features could at times express sternness or indignation, but it was some thing evil or mean or unjust that would rouse him in this way. And his denunciation of wrong was effective. A well-known member of the con fraternity in Gardiner Street used to call Fr. Garahy “the hammer of the Society”. His normal expression, however, was one of kindness and the most natural, smiling friendliness.
Apart from the preaching activities already referred to, Fr. Garahy achieved the highest standards in preaching on special occasions. One recalls his Lenten Lectures, published in pamphlets under the title of Idols of Modern Society and a fine sermon on St. Peter Canisius. He gave a weekend retreat in Irish in Milltown many years ago, with Fr. Michael Saul, and gave at least one mission in Irish in Co. Kerry with Fr. Michael McGrath,
All his achievements left him the simplest of men, a man without guile. For the last two years Fr. Garahy's life has been one of inactivity because of his great age. He has needed special help. But in his decline he was gentle, serene and happy.
This grand man, Fr. Michael Garahy, goes from amongst us full of merits, to be greeted by a smile more winning than his own, of the Master he served so happily and so well.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1923

Our Past

Father Michael Garahy SJ

Fr Michael Garahy SJ (M L S, '89-'93), writes to tell us of an exciting journey to Bantry last summer, whither he went to conduct a retreat in the Convent. The railway from Cork to Bantry being torn up and several bridges blown down, he luckily happened on an inhabitant of that town, a man from New Zealaud settled in Bantry. This gentleman he met in a hotel in Cork, and learned from him that he purposed running down in his motor to Bantry that day. He agreed to give Fr Garahy a lift, the only other occupant being an old nun. A mile outside Cork the fun began. From this point for nearly twenty miles the road. lay through boreens, through fields, and, getting near to Bantry, they were forced to take to the railway line, and bump along over the sleepers. The old lady took it with marvellous sangfroid, and appeared to be quite fresh at the end of the seventy miles ride. Bantry presented the appearance of a Mexican town during the late civil war, Every house of any size was sandbagged and bullet spattered. Day and night sniping went on during the retreat, the Republicans usually firing from a wood near the convent down into the town. The firing was so intense one evening that the usual lecture had to be abandoned, and Fr Garahy, on his way home to the PP's house, had to convoy a party of ladies from the convent to their homes into the town amidst a perfect inferno of machine-gun fire..

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

Sermon for the Golden Jubilee of Mungret College SJ

Father Michael Garahy SJ

“In the midst of her own people she shall be exalted, and in the multitude of the elect she shall have praise, and among the blessed she shall be blessed”. (Ecclesiasticus xxiv 3-4).

Your Grace, My Lords, Very Rev Fathers, and Dear Brethren -

The presence within the halls of Mungret of this distinguished gathering of her sons at to-day's celebration is not only a graceful tribute of their respect and a'ection for their old college; it is, I venture to say, a singularly felicitous testimony to the part played by Mungret in laying well and truly the foundations of the success which so many of her students have achieved. To anyone curious to learn what your. Alma Mater has accomplished within the half-century since her foundation the Rev Rector of Mungret might reply without fear of appearing unduly boastful : “Si monumentum quæris circumspice hodie”.

A Happy Coincidence
It is certainly a happy circumstance, that the golden jubilee of Mungret as an ecclesiastical and lay college has synchronised with the most splendid event in the history of the Irish Church, the celebration of the great Eucharistic Congress in the capital of Ireland. That it should also coincide with the fifteen hundredth anniversary of the coming to Ireland of her great Apostle, Saint Patrick, is a matter of more than passing interest to the students whom Mungret has sent forth to preach and uphold the Faith of St. Patrick in lands beyond the seas. Yes, Providence has dealt kindly by Mungret in this year of her golden jubilee by bringing together from near and far, some of them from the far distant outposts of Christ's Empire, the illustrious audience of her sons which I am privileged to address to-day. Mungret welcomes them with the joy of a mother proud to see gathered around her again the men whom she strove to form in the spirit of Christ, whom she sent forth from her halls to play the part of Christian gentlemen, whether as priests or laymen, and her welcome could not be otherwise than heartfelt and proud when she remembers how magnificently her hopes have been realised.

Fifty years is not a long span by which to measure the work done by your college, and yet so much history has been made within that half-century that one is tempted to apply to her the well-known quotation from the Book of Wisdom : “Being perfected in a short space; she has accomplished the work of a long period of years”. Of the nature of that work, of its importance both to Church and State, it is sufficient for the moment to say that from its foundation in 1882 the College of Mungret has served as a training ground for young aspirants to the priesthood and for Catholic boys destined for the lay professions or a business career. I shall speak later of the immense importance of a thoroughly Catholic education to the latter class.

The work of the Apostolic School, concerned with the formation of those whom Christ has called to assume the tremendous responsibilities of the priesthood, naturally claims pride of place in any survey of Mungret's activities.

The Founder Father Ronan SJ
How the idea of founding such a school took root in the mind of the man whose name is imperishably linked with the story of Mungret, is easily explained. Father Ronan, who planned it, and
worked for it, and lived to see the tiny mustard seed he had planted grown to a goodly tree, was first and fore most and all his life through a man of God. He was also a member of an Order whose founder, St Ignatius, had been quick to see the enormous importance of providing the Church, battling for her life against the Lutheran heresy, with learned and holy priests, and had worked with such success towards that end that from the colleges he had established there poured forth the shock troops who held up the sweeping advance of the Protestant heresy in the sixteenth century. For twenty years previous to the founding of the Apostolic School, Father Ronan had been employed in giving missions up and down through Ireland. His missionary work had made him intimately acquainted with the lives and character of the people. He had always taken a deep interest in the young folk of the various parishes in which he had work ed, for the reason that his special line as a missioner had brought him much into contact with them. Father Ronan usually asked for and was allowed to take over the catechising of the young people in the missions in which he took part. He was not slow to see that amongst the boys who attended his instructions, both in town and country, there was an abundance of excellent material to draw upon for the supply of priests so sorely needed on the foreign missions. It was, however, to the poorly staffed dioceses in the English-speaking countries beyond the seas that his thoughts chiefly turned. He had learned how grave was the need of truly apostolic priests in these remote territories where the Catholic population, comparatively small in numbers, and living in an atmosphere either fanatically Protestant or religiously indifferent, were in serious danger of drifting from the faith. The homes of Ireland bred young men admirably fitted to take on this arduous work, but the establishment of a school to prepare them for the priest hood was not to be lightly undertaken, without the necessary financial backing, and the problem that troubled his mind for many years was how to procure the wherewithal to found. such a school. He was already well advanced in years, and at his time of life to set about collecting the money necessary to the success of his project appeared to him to be a task beyond his ability. At the same time he felt that some small beginning ought to be made.

Fr Ronan’s Opportunity
The opportunity offered when Father Ronan was appointed Rector of the Sacred Heart College, Limerick. Here was a school with a staff of professors already in being. He needed only to
rent a house adjoining the Crescent College. His young students would thus be enabled to follow the course of studies in the College, and for their upkeep and educational expenses he trusted to find the necessary funds from the pensions of the students, supplemented where necessary by donations from generous benefactors. His hopes in this direction were more than realised, Beginning with eight students in 1880 the number soon grew to thirty. The Bishop of Limerick Dr Butler, Dr Croke Archbishop of Cashel, and a number of distinguished lay gentlemen - amongst them Lord Emly, Sir Aubrey and Sir Stephen De Vere - gave their wholehearted support to the undertaking, while many of the Irish clergy contributed generously for several years to the funds of the Apostolic School.

Fr Ronan’s Deeptest Concern
But the formation of his students on the right lines was naturally a matter of deeper concern to the founder of the Apostolic School than the money question. The nature Concern of the work he had in view for them called for strong men - strong in character, strong in faith, strong in the love of God, with a clear conviction of the responsibilities of their vocation, and trained to bear the hardships and withstand the temptations that beset the priest in lands where the faith has a hard struggle, and survive in an atmosphere reeking with materialism and unbelief. Father Ronan rightly felt that the young men destined for missions such as these needed a special character formation, needed to be deeply grounded in piety, to be solidly educated. Above all, he saw the necessity of placing them under the watchful care of : a holy and prudent director, so that undesirables might be weeded out, and only those who gave fair promise of doing the work of God conscientiously should be entrusted with the care of souls in these dangerous surroundings. He had heard of and was deeply impressed by the system of training followed in the Apostolic Schools conducted on the Continent by the Fathers of the Society of Jesus. He visited several of these schools, and saw for himself how the young men were prepared for the foreign missions at Tournhout in Flanders, at Poitiers, Monaco, and Anjou.

Fr René’s Services
Father Ronan was fortunate enough to meet at Paray-le-Monial a young French Jesuit who had in the preceding year filled the office Services. of director of the Apostolic School at Poitiers. From their first meeting Father Ronan seemed to see in him the right man to undertake the work of piloting the new school through its first difficult years.

Father René, with the approval of his superiors, gladly consented to accept the direction of the school in Limerick, and was duly installed at the Crescent College in 1887. A couple of years after the school had been transferred to Mungret he was appointed Rector of the College, and it was under his direction that the system of training peculiar to Mungret gradually took shape. Father Réné was a man of unusual ability, a born organiser with a great store of common-sense, a little hard, perhaps, in his methods of government, and with rigid views as to discipline that did not always commend themselves to the freedom-loving young Irishmen committed to his care. But of one thing there can be no doubt : he possessed in a high degree the qualities especially considerate in the young men with whose formation he was entrusted zeal for the glory of God, and a spirit of self-denial that led him, when his work in Mungret came to an end, to volunteer for the terrible mission of Alaska, where he laboured for several years until his health broke down. To Father Réné and the devoted French Fathers who worked with him from 1882 till their return to France in 1888, most honourable mention is due for their distinguished services to the school whose Golden Jubilee we celebrate to-day. Another French gentleman prominently identified with the history of Mungret, a great benefactor of the College and beloved of all the students who knew him, Monsieur l'Abbé l'Heritier, also deserves very kindly mention for his services as professor of science during the many years he filled that office in Murgret.

Founder’s Expectations Realised
Time does not allow me to trace the history of the Apostolic School in the years that followed. It is enough to say that the system adopted in Mungret fully justified the most sanguine
expectations of its founder, Within a few years Mungret began to be favourably known as a school where the boys received an excellent education. In the University examinations, in competition with the highly endowed Queen's Colleges, Mungret students were well to the front, and carried off a goodly proportion of the most coveted distinctions in Classics in English Literature, and in Philosophy. But what gladdened the heart of Father Ronan and the superiors of the College more than anything else were the highly complimentary reports that began to pour in from the heads of colleges where the Mungret students had been sent to complete their studies. It became a sort of tradition in the Propaganda and the American Colleges in Rome, as well as in All Hallows and Carlow, to expect big things of the Mungret men. Their spirit of piety, of hard work, self-reliance, and observance of discipline, could not fail to attract notice, and it was quite a usual thing for the students of Mungret to be promoted to positions of trust in their colleges during their Divinity course. It could hardly be otherwise when one remembers that character formation and the habit of prayer had been carefully cultivated during their years in Mungret.

The System of Training
The system in vogue in the College is roughly modelled on that adopted by the Society for the formation of its own novices and scholastics. It undoubtedly exacts much of the young men to whom it is applied, but if it does, it certainly helps to make men of those who take the training. Perhaps the most eloquent testimony to the efficiency of the system is the fact that the Apostolic School in the comparatively short period of its existence, and with a student roll that has rarely exceeded sixty, has already given to the Church an archbishop and six bishops. Several of her students occupy the responsible positions of heads of colleges - one of them at least as large as Maynooth - in America and Australia, while amongst the prominent Churchmen in the United States and in the British Colonies, Mungret is well represented. Finally, it is worthy of note that a number of her students have won distinction as writers - in philosophy, apologetics, ecclesiastical history, and social science. The chief merit, however, of the Mungret training is that it has given to the ranks of the secular clergy and to the religious Orders so many priests esteemed for their blameless lives, their solid piety, and their devotion to duty, When one considers under what unfavourable conditions these priestly virtues have been exercised, one sees how wisely Father Ronan and his successors builded, how every stone in the edifice was tested, and how the completed work stands as a splendid monument to the zeal and courage of those who made Mungret what it is. In late middle life Father Ronan did not shrink from the hardships of a journey to America to raise funds for the extension of the college buildings. He brought back with him not only the money necessary for that purpose, but a considerable sum to found a number of burses. His work as a missioner often kept him away from Mungret for long intervals, but his heart was always there. He loved every stone in its walls, and when the Winter of his life drew on, and the old man came to rest from his labours, his last years were spent in the midst of his beloved apostles. Too old for active service, he could still pray. Indeed, his days were spent in prayer till the end came and Christ called him to receive the Crown of Justice for which he had worked so faithfully through all the years of his long and faithful life.

Removal of the Apostolic School
When the Apostolic School was removed from the Crescent College to Mungret, Dr Butler, the Bishop of Limerick, who was a great admirer of Father Ronan, and had taken a deep interest in the new foundation, decided to entrust the education of his own diocesan students to the care of the Jesuit Fathers in Mungret. This arrangement, as well as the opening of the new college to lay boys, evidenced the working of the school on efficient lines, for it was obvious that the expense entailed in providing a competent staff of teachers could not be met if the Apostolic School, which only numbered thirty students at that time, were to be run as an independent unit. The Seminarians as the diocesan students were called, followed the course of studies in Mungret for six years, until Dr O'Dwyer, desirous of providing his diocese with a seminary under his own management, withdrew his students to the present St Munchin's College. Their connection with Mungret, brief as it was, won for the College a number of devoted friends amongst the Limerick priests. Mungret is proud to know that they are amongst the most respected priests of the diocese, and she welcomes them here to-day no less warmly than the past students of the Apostolic and Lay Schools.

Jesuits as Educators of the Laity
The foundation of a Lay School in con junction with the Apostolic College had entered into Father Ronan's plans from the beginning. If he looked for great things from the latter as a feeder of the missions, he was also keenly alive to the importance of providing educational facilities after the Jesuit plan to boys intended for a career in the world. In this he was true to type, to which Father Ronan belonged, had from its earliest days devoted itself enthusiastically to the education of the laity. This is not to be wondered at when one considers the motives that led Ignatius to found the Society of Jesus. The dream of his life is embodied in the great meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, “The Kingdom of Christ”. His sure grasp of the realities convinced him that the simplest as well as one of the most effective means of realising that dream was the establishment of schools for the education of Catholic youth. These schools would put into the hands of his Society a powerful instrument for forming the rising generations on the principles of Christ, for training them in habits of virtue, for instilling into their souls at the most impressionable period of their lives a love for God and a respect for His holy law. As a matter of fact, so successful were the Jesuit schools in furthering these ends, and at the same time so high was the standard of excellence reached even in the teaching of secular subjects, that in every country when the Society was permitted to open schools, higher training of the Catholic youth to a large extent passed into their hands. For this success the Jesuits have had to pay a heavy price. It will hardly be disputed that one of the chief reasons why the Society has incurred the mortal hatred of the enemies of Christ, why her schools have been suppressed and her members driven into exile on so many occasions in the various countries of Europe, is that, taking them all in all, the young Catholics trained in their colleges have been the most influential as well as the most determined opponents of the anti-Christian organisations.

Fortress of Christianity
In this connection it is not out of place to call attention to the tremendous pressure that is employed to-day in many countries to close down the schools in which religion is taught to the laity. The enemies of God have learned by experience that the most potent weapon in their armoury to destroy all faith in the supernatural, to uproot Christianity, and establish the reign of materialism, is the Godless school. They are equally persuaded that the religious, schools are the fortresses of Christianity, that wherever religion is inter 'woven with education the materialist advance is held up. One need not be an alarmist to see how the storm clouds are gathering that threaten to engulf our Christian civilisation, and there can be little doubt that the issue between Christ and anti-Christ will be decided in the schools. If the Church in these critical times has need of holy and zealous priests to teach the people the truth, to strengthen them in their faith, to encourage them by their example, she has even more urgent need of brave and resolute men, men of faith and men of action, in the ranks of the laity.

Ideals of the Lay School
I have been at pains to show what the training given in Mungret has been able to effect in the case of the Ideals Apostolic School. I may now be permitted to set. forth the ideals aimed at in
the training of the lay scholars. Stated briefly, these ideals are to make them not only educated men in the common acceptation of the term, but, before all else, to fashion them into good Christians and good citizens. And here is the place to state that education, as we Catholics conceive it, is a much wider thing than the training and perfecting of man's natural faculties. We do not seek to minimise the importance of this training; on the contrary, we demand that the greatest care be taken to bring out all that is naturally good in man. Catholic education looks to the development of the body. It looks more closely to the improvement of the mind. It would bring to bear on the pupil all those civilising influences that help to form the character and refine the mind. It considers a thorough grounding in the classics, in literature, in history, in the arts and sciences, indispensable to a finished education, and it recognises the great importance of cultivating in the pupil a respect for the natural virtues - for truth and justice and honour and temperance. But it does not stop there. This, after all, is only a part, and the least important part, of a man's education, and the reason is obvious, once it is remembered that man is something more than a being composed of a natural body and a spiritual soul, that he has been by the act of God raised above his natural to a supernatural state, that his final end is something immeasurably more splendid than the winning of worldly success, that it is to win the favour and love of God in this world and the kingdom of God in the world to come. Now, since a religion supernaturally revealed and attested by the authority of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has been given to men to enable them to realise this end, to know and love and serve God, it follows that a knowledge of this religion, a respect and love for this religion, is the most necessary element in this education. In a word, true education will aim at making man before all else a good Christian, and in doing that it will also contribute powerfully to mould him into a good citizen.

Definition of a Good Citizen
And first let us be clear as to what we mean by a good citizen. I think it will be generally agreed that these are the broad outlines of his character. He is above all things an upright, honourable man, a man who respects the rights and feelings of others, a man whose conduct is ruled by principle, not by self-interest, a man who is clear in his conscience, and master of his passions. Now, men of this type are not born into the world. These qualities are no natural inheritance. They are the fruit of many a hard and bitter struggle against human passion. Some tremendous power other than mere strength of will or fire of character is required to produce men of this stamp. Catholics know that this power is the grace of God, and that religion is the avenue to the storehouse of God's grace. Leave out religion and you rob man of the most helpful means to fashion himself into a good citizen. Experience goes to show that this reasoning is sound, for the really religious man is invariably a witty member of society, and, contrariwise, a huge percentage of the wastrels of society, the criminal class, the crooks and swindlers and anarchists, are, as a rule, destitute of religious beliefs, and for the most part products of the Godless schools.

It was to offer another training ground for the attainment of these ideals that the Lay College in Mungret was founded. It was felt that association with the brilliant, hard-working students of the Apostolic School could not but have a stimulating effect upon the lay students religiously and scholastically, and looking back at the history of the Lay School, it may be fairly said that the experiment has worked success fully. The lay students of Mungret have reflected credit on their teaching. They are honourably represented in the professions. Many of them have won successes in business, and a very fair proportion are working to-day as zealous priests both on the secular mission and in the religious Orders.

Words of Gratitude
In conclusion I believe I am voicing the feelings of the Society when I offer grateful thanks to this distinguished gathering of students who have honoured us with their presence here to-day; to the many students of Mungret who, though far away, are with us to-day in spirit; to all the benefactors of Mungret, both living and dead; and chief amongst these to the St Joseph's Young Priests' Society; to the Rectors and professors of Mungret, who worked so strenuously to make the College worthy of the object for which it was founded. To each and to all the Society tenders devoted thanks, to those who planted, and to those who watered. Finally, to Him Who blessed their labours, Who gave the increase, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for Whom greater glory the College of Mungret was founded, the Society of Jesus and the students of Mungret unite in offering glory and honour and benediction. Amen

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962

Obituary

Father Michael Garahy SJ

We regret to announce the death of Fr Michael Garahy, which took place on February 14th.

Fr Garahy was born in Cloghan, Offaly. After leaving Mungret he spent some time in Mount Melleray. He did some of his studies in the Society in Germany, and was ordained in Milltown Park in 1908.

He was attached to the Mission Staff from 1914 to 1941, and a well known and distinguished preacher both in Irish and English. His retreats were also much appreciated by the clergy.

Earlier in his career he spent about six years teaching in Australia, and was Professor of Theology in Milltown Park for three years prior to 1914. In 1937 he was invited to make a special preaching tour in the Union of South Africa, which he did with distinction. For the last twenty years he was a member of the St Francis Xavier Community. RIP

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

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr Joesph (Joe) Gill (1915-2006)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 2006

Obituary

Father Joseph M Gill SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

M MACG

Ginivan, John, 1793-1893, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1366
  • Person
  • 08 February 1793-30 January 1893

Born: 08 February 1793, Kilworth, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1819, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 08 September 1837
Died: 30 January 1893, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
John was the eighth Brother to join the Irish Province. He began his Noviceship in the company of John Doyle; Patrick Doyle; Peter Egan and Michael Gallagher, who all Entered on the same day. He was “Master Tailor” and widely known to the Province - there is hardly one he did not clothe, either as boys or Jesuits.

Joseph Dalton writes of him :
“After many years in the College, he did not - though he probably felt it - ‘quorus magna pars fui’, he was moved to Dublin and St Francis Xavier’s Church and Presbytery, where he spent the rest of his days as tailor, assistant infirmarian, and Reader i the Community refectory. This last duty he performed very correctly and wit great ‘gusto’, even in his old age. He was greatly liked by all for his simple piety, respectful manner and kindness to the sick. He was well known by many from all parts of Ireland, who knew him when they were boys in the Colleges, and they spoke of him always with respect and affection. His fellow Lay Brothers looked on him as a Patriarch among them, and treated him with great respect.”

He was a truly edifying religious.

Note from John Nelson Entry
He took his Final Vows 02 February 1838 along with eleven others, being the first to whom Final Vows were given since the Restoration in Ireland. The others were : Philip Reilly of “Palermo fame”; Nowlan, Cleary, Mulligan, Michael Gallagher, Pexton Sr, Toole, Egan, Ginivan, Patrick Doyle and Plunkett.

Gleeson, William, 1862-1951, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/166
  • Person
  • 11 March 1862-30 March 1951

Born: 11 March 1862, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 04 November 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 31 July 1896, St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1898, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 30 March 1951, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

by 1897 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 3 1951

Obituary :

Fr. William Gleeson died on March 30th, 1951, at St. Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner St., Dublin, in his ninetieth year, having been the oldest member of the Irish Province since the death of Fr. P. McWilliams in July, 1950.
He was born at Nenagh on March 11th, 1862, and was the son of John Gleeson, Clerk of the Nenagh Town Commissioners. He was educated at the Christian Brothers School, Nenagh, at Blackrock College, Dublin, and at the Diocesan Seminary, Ennis. He entered the Society on November 4th, 1880, at Milltown Park, where after his noviciate he completed his philosophical studies. Having taught for seven years at Clongowes he returned to Milltown Park for theology. He was ordained in 1896 in St. Francis Xavier's Church, Gardiner St.
Having done his tertianship at Tronchiennes Fr. Gleeson returned to Clongowes for a further period as master and prefect. In 1900 he began his life-work as a missioner and retreat giver. During twenty-six years he made a distinguished name for himself in this field throughout Ireland. He was a vigorous and eloquent preacher and an indefatigable worker in hearing confessions, in visiting the sick and in rounding up the the straying sheep of the flock. He came to Gardiner Street in 1926 and remained there until his death. He will perhaps be best remembered for his work from 1927 to 1943 as organiser and director of the Sodality for the Dublin members of the Garda Siochana. In this capacity he displayed great zeal and untiring energy. The Gardai showed many times how much they appreciated his generous labours on their behalf and as a final tribute to his memory they claimed for themselves the privilege of bearing his remains, after the Office and Requiem Mass, from St. Francis Xavier's Church to the hearse, while a selection of their officers and men marched behind.
As will be evident from this brief record of his long life, Fr. Gleeson was always a strenuous worker, and he worked to the end. He wanted, as he often said, “to earn his daily bread and to die in harness”. In both respects his wishes were fulfilled. He concluded his annual retreat on March 12th. He had been up and about and said Mass as usual the day before he died. In a very true sense he fell asleep in the Lord.
When he was discovered, he was lying on his side, his head cupped in his hand, seemingly sleeping the sleep of the just. As his body was still warm, he was anointed by Fr. Superior. On the previous day he had said apropos of nothing “The Gleesons all die without much warning”.
When in 1930 Fr. Gleeson celebrated his Golden Jubilee in the Society at Gardiner Street, Fr. Macardle, who was then Superior, having paid a fitting tribute to the Jubilarian's versatility and success in the vineyard of the Lord, mentioned that in his earlier years he was an outstanding athlete and skilful in all games. As a scholastic in Clongowes he frequently proved himself a capable cricketer in out matches, while in one historic match against the military from the Curragh Camp, he turned what seemed a certain defeat into a glorious victory by scoring 120 runs, not out. Even at the age of fifty, when he was a seasoned missioner, those who lived with him at the Crescent relate that, when at home between missions, he would walk out to Mungret, play a soccer match with the College boys, walk back to Limerick, play a hockey match with the Crescent team and after it all would appear that evening at recreation as the most sprightly of the. community! Whatever his hand found to do, he did it manfully. He now rests from his labours, for his works have followed him.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father William Gleeson (1862-1951)

Of Nenagh, was educated at Blackrock College and St Flannan's College, Ennis. He was ordained in Dublin in 1896. Father Gleeson's ability in preaching was early recognised and he was appointed to the mission staff in 1900. He was a member of the Crescent community in 1900-01, 1904-6 and 1907 to 1913. From 1926 until his death, Father Gleeson was a member of the Gardiner St community.

Glynn, Mortimer, 1891-1966, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

1926-1927 Tertianship at Tullabeg

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

Fr Mortimer Glynn SJ (1883-1966)

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1967

Obituary

Father Mortimer Glynn SJ (OB 1908)

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

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

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

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

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

Greaney, Roderick, 1902-1994, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/497
  • Person
  • 03 February 1902-16 March 1944

Born: 03 February 1902, Headford, County Galway
Entered: 03 December 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1933, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 16 March 1944, St Joseph’s, Kilcroney, Bray, County Wicklow

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

Gubbins, James, 1889-1946, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/168
  • Person
  • 11 February 1889-29 September 1946

Born: 11 February 1889, Cush, Kilfinane, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1921, Milltown Park. Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1924, Sacxred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 29 September 1946, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1911 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1912 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946
Obituary :
Fr. James Gubbins (1889-1906-1946)

Fr. James Gubbins died peacefully in St. Vincent's hospital, Dublin, at 9.15 p.m. Sunday, September 28th, conscious to within a short time of his death. He had been in hospital since July 5th.
He was born on February 11th, 1889, at Cush House, Kilfinane, Co. Limerick, and educated at Mungret College. On September 7th, 1906, he entered the Society at Tullabeg, where he spent his two years noviceship and two years juniorate, under Fr. James Murphy and Fr. Michael Browne. He was sent to Louvain for his philosophy, but as he got there an attack of rheumatic fever which nearly proved fatal, he was changed to Stonyhurst where he did the remainder of his course. His five years colleges were done in Clongowes and Mungret, and his theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained at the end of his third year, on August 15th, 1921, by Dr. Edward Byrne, who had been made Archbishop only a short time before. He made his tertianship at Tullabeg, 1922-3, under Fr. Welsby.
His first status as Priest was to the Crescent, where he spent the following nineteen years, as master, games-prefect, and as Rector from 1934 to 1942. He was an energetic, practical man, and in ordinary intercourse or in business, friendly, obliging, interested in people and their concerns. He made acquaintances quickly, and very many of these became friends. He had a wide circle of relations and kinsfolk in Limerick, and in a short time he came to occupy a very distinctive position there. He was one of the most popular and esteemed priests in the city and county, both with clergy, secular and regular, and with the laity. As rector he showed remarkable gifts of administration. The church is perhaps his chief monument at the Crescent. He found no difficulty in getting patrons and benefactors to enable him to carry out his plan of interior decoration which has made it the rich and elegant church that it is. The great advance of the school in numbers and prestige is due in great measure to him also. So popular did he become in Limerick, and so associated with the life of the city, religious, social and educational, that some of Ours used to say jokingly that his removal from Limerick would be likely to cause a “schism”.
In 1942 he came to Belvedere as Rector and in a short time had won his way to the confidence and trust of boys and parents. It was impossible not to be attracted by his friendliness and his practical, real, interest in all that concerned the school, the studies and games of the boys, the activities of the Past, and not least the newsboys' club. In 1938 he had been appointed consultor of the Province. In 1943 he was elected Chairman of the Catholic Headmasters' Association. He was thus soon in the full tide of successful activity and popularity and seemed likely to become in Dublin the figure he was in Limerick.
But serious heart trouble - perhaps the effect of his rheumatic fever - began to manifest itself, and he was ordered to rest. He did not improve, and it was decided to relieve him of the responsibilities of Rector. He was transferred to Gardiner Street as Procurator of the house. But his condition grew steadily worse. He was brought to St. Vincent's hospital in July. He knew he was gravely ill yet did not give up hope of recovery. He was always bright and courageous and full of trust in God and resignation to His will. Those who visited him in these last weeks found him the same Fr. James Gubbins, cheerful, bright and in high spirits. He had changed much in appearance, but he remained to the last the same courageous, friendly spirit he always was. He showed also the deep but unobtrusive piety which was characteristic of him.
Fr. Tyndall, Superior of the Residence of St. Francis Xavier, was celebrant of the Solemn Requiem Mass which took place on October 1st, and Fr. Vice-Provincial said the prayers at the graveside at Glasnevin. The church was crowded for the Office and Mass, many of the congregation being friends from Limerick. Not the least of the tributes paid to him came from the newsboys, who asked that some benches be reserved for them in the church.
On normal calculation Fr. Gubbins might be considered to have twenty years of fruitful activity before him. With his gifts and experience he could have given valuable service to the Province. His financial talents would have been very useful in the years to come. But God judged otherwise and found him ripe and called him to his eternal rest. With those who knew him well and especially with his contemporaries in the Society, the memory of his friendly, radiant personality will long remain vivid. May he rest in peace!

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1947

Obituary

Father James Gubbins SJ

In 1942 when Fr. Gubbins came to Belvedere as Our Rector, everybody considered him to have many years of fruitful activity before him. But serious heart-trouble - perhaps the effect of an earlier illness which had nearly proved fatal during his early studies at Louvain - began to manifest itself, and he was ordered to rest. He did not improve and it was decided to relieve him of the responsibilities of Rector.

During that short time at Belvedere he had won the confidence of boys and parents. It was impossible not to be attracted by his friendliness and his practical real interest in all that concerned the school, the studies and games of the boys, the activities of the past, and not least the Newsboys' Club.

In 1943 he was elected chairman of the Catholic Headmasters Association. He was thus soon in the full tide of successful activity and popularity and seemed likely to become in Dublin the figure he was in Limerick.

He was an energetic, practical man, and in ordinary intercourse or in busiriess; friendly, obliging, interested in people and their concerns. He made acquaintances quickly and many of these became friends. As rector he showed remarkable gifts of administration, with his gifts and experience he could have given valuable service to Belvedere. But God judged otherwise, and found him ready for Himself and called hiin to eternal rest. He died peacefully in St. Vincent's Hospital at 9.15 pm, Sunday, September 28th. He had been in hospital since July 5th.

Not least of the tributes paid to him came from the newsboys, who asked that, during the Solemn Requiemn Mass at Gardiner Street, on October 1st, some benches be reserved for them in the Church

May he rest in peace.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1947

Obituary

Father James Gubblins SJ

On September 28th, 1946, Father James Gubbins died after a prolonged illness. He was fifty-seven years of age, and had spent forty years in the Society. He entered the Society from Mungret in 1906. Later he studied philosophy at Louvain and Stonyhurst, He then taught for five years, spending from 1916-18 in Mungret. During his theological studies at Milltown Park he was ordained in 1921. In 1922 he went to Crescent College where he was to spend the next twenty years of his life. At the Crescent he was teacher, games master, and later Rector from 1934-42. He was appointed Rector of Belvedere College in 1942. Through ill-health he had to relinquish this office. Later he was appointed Procurator of St Francis Xaviers', Gardiner St, Dublin,

Father Gubbins was an able adıninistrator yet this did not hide his warm understanding of the troubles of others, and thus gave him a large circle of devoted friends. During his period of Rectorship in the Crescent he was responsible for the re-decoration of the church. His death was mourned not only by merrbers of his own family and the Society, but also by a large number of friends. His Lordship, Most Rev Dr O'Neill, presided at the Solemn Requiem Mass at the Sacred Heart Church, Crescent. To his two brothers and his sister, Sister Mary de Pazzi, we offer our condolence.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father James Gubbins (1889-1946)

Born at Cush, Kilfinane and educated at Mungret College, entered the Society in 1906. He pursued his higher studies at Louvain, Stonyhurst and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1921. Most of his priestly life was passed at Sacred Heart College where he arrived as master in 1923. The Crescent of today owes much to this great man. The prestige of the school in studies and sport increased during his long association with the Crescent (1923-42) and when he retired from the rectorship in 1942 to take up the rectorship of Belvedere College, Sacred Heart College, Limerick, was once again securely in the forefront of Irish Catholic schools. During the rectorship of Father Gubbins, the ambitious scheme of marbling the entire walls of the church sanctuary was brought to realisation. In his youth, Father Gubbins fell a victim to rheumatic fever which had its fatal after effects when he had just attained the prime of life.

Gwynn, John, 1866-1915, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1396
  • Person
  • 12 June 1866-12 October 1915

Born: 12 June 1866, Youghal, County Cork
Entered: 18 October 1884, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1899, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1903
Died: 12 October 1915, Béthune, France - Military Chaplain

Member of the Mungret College, Limerick community at the time of death
Younger brother of William - RIP 1950
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1892 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1902 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education at Coláiste Iognáid.

He studied Philosophy at Louvain and Theology at Milltown. He also did Regency in the Colleges, and at one stage was a Teacher for the Juniors. He was a man of brilliant achievements academically. He was for some years at Crescent as a Teacher and Operarius. He gave Lenten Lectures at Crescent and Gardiner St, reputedly brilliantly. For some years before he became a Chaplain to the troops he acted as Dean of Residence at University Hall.
1914 He became Chaplain to the Irish Guards and continued with them until his death in France 12 October 1915

The following Tribute was paid to him in a letter from Desmond Fitzgerald, Captain Commanding 1st Battalion Irish Guards 16/10/1915 :
“Dear Father Delaney, You will of course by now hard of Father Gwynn’s death, and I know full well that the universal sorrow felt by all ranks of this Battalion will be shared by you and all the members of your University, who knew him so well. No words of mind could express, or even give a faint idea of the amount of good he has done us all out here, or how bravely he has faced all dangers, and how cheerful and comforting he has always been. It is no exaggeration to say that he was loved by every officer, NCO and man in the battalion.
The Irish Guards owe him a deep and lasting debt of gratitude, and as long as any of us are left who saw him out here we shall never forget his wonderful life, and shall strive to lead a better life by following his example. The unfortunate shell landed in the door of the Headquarter dugout just as we had finished luncheon, on October 11th. Father Gwynn received one or two wounds in the leg, as well as a piece of shell through his back in his lung. He was immediately bound up and sent to hospital, but died from shock and injuries at 8am the next morning, October 12th. he was buried in the cemetery at Bethune at 10am October 13th. May his should rest in peace. But, although he has been taken from us, he will still be helping us, and rather than grieve at our loss, we must rejoice at his happiness. Yours sincerely, Desmond Fitzgerald..”

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/201511/john-gwynn-sj-no-greater-love/

John Gwynn SJ – “No greater love”
A memorial mass took place on Sunday 11 October 2015 at the Sacred Heart parish in Caterham, Surrey, to commemorate the centenary of the death of Irish Jesuit Fr. John Gwynn, who was Chaplain to the Irish Guards and who served in France during the First World War. Many knew him as a powerful and eloquent preacher at the Sacred Heart Church and at St. Francis Xavier’s Church in Dublin, where questions of sociology had a strong attraction for him. Fergus O’Donoghue SJ who represented the Irish province at the event said, “I was very glad that myself and Brother Michael O’Connor (former Royal Marine and British Jesuit) had gone because the local parish people had made such an effort, and there was a display on John Gwynn’s life, and generally it was just great.” A memorial plaque was erected in the Church by the Irish Guards who were based at Caterham barracks nearby. Bishop Richard Moth, the bishop of the diocese and former bishop to the Armed Forces, noted the enthusiasm of the Sacred Heart parish and presided over the special mass on Sunday evening. “It was by chance that an article of Fr. Gwynn was seen online by his grandniece from Massachusetts,” says Fr. Fergus. “She got in touch and sent a message. It was lovely because the whole parish got involved.” The mass itself featured the song We Remember You by children from St. Francis’ School as well as the recessional hymn Be Thou My Vision, based on St. Patrick’s Breastplate. Lord Desmond Fitzgerald, the Captain of the 1st Irish Guards has written: “It is certainly no exaggeration to say that Fr Gwynn was loved by every officer, N.C.O. and man in the battalion.” Furthermore, an Irish Guard who was also an Old Belvederian spoke of the Jesuit’s presence at the Medical Officer’s dugout so that he could be near his injured men, and that he organised sports and concerts to keep up morale. He even returned to the battlefield despite being crippled after a shell wounded him.
John Gwynn SJ experienced internal suffering during his lifetime. “It’s quite clear that he had a condition like bipolar disorder (a mental illness characterised by extreme high and low moods), then known as suffering from nerves,” says Fr. O’Donoghue. Through all of this, he was extremely brave and he was an enormously successful chaplain. Fr. Gwynn was fatally wounded in action near Vermelles, Northern France on 11 October 1915 and he died the next day at 50 years old. It was said that he would have been happy to die as a ‘soldier of God’.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280

Note from William Gwynn Entry :
William Gwynn’s father was a military man and had been transferred to Galway by the time that William and his younger brother John (who also entered the Society) were ready for their schooling. Both boys were educated at St Ignatius' College Galway.
.........After tertianship at Linz, Austria, 1901-02 with his brother John

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Gwynn 1866-1915
Fr John Gwynn was born in Youghal on June 18th 1866, and received his early education at St Ignatius Galway. He was one of those who made his novitiate at Loyola Dromore.

He was a man of brilliant attainments. His Lenten Lectures delivered at Limerick and Gardiner Street, were outstanding, and were published afterwards under the title of “Why am I a Catholic?” He acted as Principal of University Hall for some years.

In 1914 he became Chaplain to the Irish Guards, and was killed in France on October 12th 1915. The following are one or two excerpts from the Officer Commanding the Battalion at the time of his death :

“The Irish Guards owe him a deep and lasting debt of gratitude, and as long as any of us are left out here, we shall never forget his wonderful life, and shall strive to lead a better life by following his example. No words of mind could express or even give a faint idea of the amount of good e has done us all out here, or how bravely he faced all dangers, and how cheerful and comforting he has always been. It is certainly no exaggeration to say that he was loved by every Officer, NCO, and man in this battalion.

He was buried in the cemetery at Bethune at 10am on October 13th 1915. May he rest in peace”.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1916

Obituary

Father John Gwynn SJ

Though not. a pupil of Belvedere, Father Gwynn was connected with the College by teaching here for some time, and many who knew him here or came into contact with him in other ways will be glad to read the following brief sketch of his time as Chaplain to the Forces. It was sent to us by one of the Irish Guards, who writes of Father Gwynn thus :

“This account does not in any way exaggerate his doings. On the contrary more could be said by those who were more intimate friends of his.

When he joined us in Meteren last November twelve months. I had a conversation with him, in which I learned he was. an old Belvederian, but before my time. He was actually loved by the men of our battalion, and too much cannot be said of the way in which he looked after each and every man of the battalion.

His first experiences were very rough. It was January 15th when I saw him wading in water up to his chest to reach the front line of trenches to comfort the men with his jolly conversation.

He was as well known and appreciated by the other battalions which comprised our Brigade as he was with us, and made friends with all. He was taken to hospital suffering with lumbago a few days prior to the 18th May, 1915, when I was wounded. His loss was a great blow to all ranks: Not being present at the time, I can only imagine the regret his death caused to all those who had made his acquaintance”

The following is the account referred to :

A short appreciation of his work while he was attached to the 1st Bn Irish Guards, on active service, from November, 1914, until his death from wounds received in action on October 11th, 1915.

This account, written by request, is an attempt to give, quite shortly and . simply, a rough idea of Father Gwynn's work at the front with the 1st. Battalion Irish Gụards. No words could express the amount of good he did, and it is impossible to draw a true picture of his life and work. Only those who knew him personally and watched him, out there, can realise how wonderful his work was.

For many years before the outbreak of war, Father Gwynn was one of the governing body at University College, Dublin, but as soon as the war began he volunteered to act as Chaplain on active service. In the first week of November, 1914, he was attached to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, and joined it forth with, having, as he often said afterwards, but little idea of what his work would be. He was our first war-time Chaplain, so there were no precedents to follow, and he had to strike out his own line. When he joined us he found the Battalion resting and re-equipping in a little French village; for it had just come through very bad days at Ypres, and was greatly reduced in officers and men. We remained in this village until the week before Christmas, and during this rest we were reinforced by large drafts from home. Father Gwynn at once set to work to get to know the men, and very quickly they understood each other, for he and they were Irishmen. His tact and judgment gained for him the confidence of officers and men, and after a very few days he settled into his new surroundings as if he had been in them from the beginning.

From Christmas week onwards the Battalion was employed in trench warfare, and underwent many vicissitudes. Father Gwynn shared with us every hardship and trial throughout the wet winter; he lived with us, and became part of the Battalion. When we were in the trenches or in action he stayed with the Medical Officer at the Battalion Regimental Aid Post, near the Headquarters - the place to which wounded men are taken for first dressings. At other times he would share the Medical Officer's dug-out, so that he might lose no time if a man were wounded but go to him if need be at any moment of the day or night. During the day he would constantly go round the trenches, even when they were being shelled, and visit and talk to the men, heedless of his own danger.

When the Battalion was in billets or resting he would hold services, hear confessions, or give help to any man in his own billet, or in the local churches. Those churches in which he held his services had often had their roofs blown off by German shells. He was ready, too, to take an active part in any concerts or sports for the men, and employed his spare time in training some of them to form a choir to sing at his services. As far as was humanly possible he attended all the wounded and dying, and administered Extreme Unction whenever this was necessary; and he invariably read the burial service over men who were killed, even when it meant, as often it did especially after the British advance in September - that he must stand up at night in the open on a battlefield swept by bullets.

On February 6th, 1915; when an attack was being made, Father Gwynn was slightly wounded by a shell which burst near him. He was shaken, but remained at duty. In April and early May he suffered much from lumbago, but pluckily stayed at work till the middle of May, when, completely crippled, he was carried into hospital on a stretcher. He was absent two months, staying at different French hospitals. During that time another. Chaplain was posted to the Battalion to carry on his work, but Father Gwynn returned in mid-July, before lie was really fit to do so. By sheer force of will, and with the necessary amount of care, he gradually regained a great part .of. his normal health, but he was never quite so strong as he had been before his illness. Nevertheless, from the moment he returned to the Battalion he took up the work he had begun, and continued it right up to his death. In October, 1915, we were employed in holding and consolidating the trenches captured from the Germans, and those days were some of the most unpleasant in our experience. At this time more, if possible, than at any other, did Father Gwynn show the most splendid courage and unselfish care for the men. Certain portions of the line came in for vigorous shelling, and the trench was often blown in by aerial torpedoes, which in some cases buried a number of men. At the worst place would be found Father Gwynn, always ready to help the wounded, or to administer the Blessed Sacrament to the dying. He made it his unaltering practice to write to the relations of any man that had fallen, and in this way his words will have brought comfort to many desolated Irish homes. Thus each day he did his work.

On October 11th, 1915, he was at luncheon in the headquarters dug-out with four companions when a German shell landed and burst in the doorway. Father Gwynn received many wounds in different parts of the body, and one piece of shell struck his back and pierced a lung. That same shell also wounded our Commanding Officer, so that he too afterwards died, and slightly wounded another. Luckily, the Medical Officer was present, and Father Gwynn's wounds were at once. dressed; and, although he was in great pain, he was only unconscious for a few minutes. The stretcher on which he lay was carried with difficulty down a long communication trench-in many places blown in by German shells - and eventually reached the motor ambulance that took him to the Officers' Hospital at Béthune, where he received every possible attention. But it was the end. He died at eight o'clock next morning, October 12th, 1915, from wounds and shock. He was buried at 10 am on October 13th in the Béthune cemetery, where lie so many other officers and men who have likewise given their lives for their country. The burial service was read by Mgr Keating, the head of the Roman Catholic Chaplains in France. All the men would have wished to be present, but the Battalion was still in the trenches, and few could be spared. Yet many other officers and men of other units managed to be there, It can truly be said that the news of his. death was felt as a blow by every officer, NCO and man, and each one realised the loss, pot merely of their chaplain, but of a dearly loved friend.

A monument of marble has been raised by the Battalion over his grave, which bears these two inscriptions :

RIP REV FATHER JOHN GWYNN SJ,
attached to the
1st Irish Guards
He died at Béthune on October 12th,
1915, from wounds received in action
near Vermelles on October 11th,

  1. Aged 44 years.

This Monument has been erected by all ranks of the 1st Bat. Irish Guards in grateful Remembrance of their Beloved Chaplain, Father Gwynn, who was with them on Active Service for nearly, 12 months from Nov 1914, until his death, and shared with unfailing devotion all their trials and hardships.

Father Gwynn was fortunate in his death, and in the cause for which he died, and also fortunate, as he often said, in finding in the 1st Battalion of Irish Guards a splendid and worthy field for his work - a body of men capable of vision and of inspiration as well as. of courage and faith. And now can only be said over again what I said in the beginning : by his deeds, which cannot be expressed in words, he has left to those who saw him at his work an in indelible memory, and -an inspiration.

May his soul rest in peace!”

◆ The Clongownian, 1916

Obituary

Father John Gwynn SJ

Chaplain to the 1st Irish Guards

Born 1866. OT 1884. Died of wounds, Béthune, Oct. 12th, 1915

The following notice of Father Gwynn's death appeared in the Freeman's Journal :

We regret to announce the receipt of intelligence from the War Office by his relatives of the death at the Front of the Rev John Gwynn SJ. The sad event took place on the 12th inst. Father Gwynn had been at the Front almost since the beginning of the war, having been appointed Chaplain to the Irish Guards. He was wounded early this year, and though ill and suffering since that time, and occasionally in hospital, remained at his post as long as he was able. His loss will be greatly felt, not only by the men of his gallant regiment, but by all who had the pleasure and honour of knowing him and his work in Dublin. He was a Galway man, born half a century ago, entered the Society of Jesus in 1884, and was a student at historic Louvain, subsequently becoming a professor in Clongowes and in the University College, Dublin. He was a powerful and eloquent preacher, and questions of sociology had a strong attraction for him.

One of the papers he read some years ago before the Catholic Truth Society on social problems in Dublin was of special interest. His Lenten Lectures at St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, received much attention.

The high esteem in which Father Gwynn was held by both officers and men is shown in the following letter from the late Lord Desmond Fitzgerald to Father William Delany SJ

1st Batt, Irish Guards, BEF,
October 16th, 1936

Dear Rev Father Delany,
You will, of course, have heard by now of Father Gwynn's death, and I know full well that the universal sorrow felt by all ranks of this battalion will be shared by you and all the members of your University, who knew him so well. No words of mine could express or even give a faint idea of the amount of good he has done us all out here, or how bravely he has faced all dangers, and how cheerful and comforting he has always been. It is certainly no exaggeration to say that he was loved by every officer, NCO and man in the battalion. The Irish Guards owe him a deep and lasting debt of gratitude, and as long as any of us are left who saw him out here we shall never forget his wonderful life, and shall strive to lead a better life by following his example. The unfortunate shell landed in the door of the Headquarter dug-out just as we had finished luncheon, on October 11th. Father Gwynn received one or two wounds in the leg, as well as a piece of shell in his back through his lung. He was immediately bound up and sent to hospital, but died from shock and his injuries at 8 am the next morning, October 12th. He was buried in the cemetery at Bethune, at 10 am, on October 13th. May his soul rest in peace. Although he has been taken from us, he will still be helping us; and rather than grieve at our loss, we must rejoice at his happiness.

Yours truly,
DESMOND FITZGERALD,
Captain Commanding 1st Batt, Irish Guards.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1916

Obituary

Father John Gwynn SJ

Most of our readers will have heard of the death of Father Gwynn, which occurred on October 12th, 1915, in France, where he was acting as Chaplain to the First Battalion of the Irish Guards. Our College has much reason to mourn his loss. He was on our Teaching Staff in 1902-03 and again in 1913-14. Soon after the outbreak of the war he volunteered as an Army Chaplain, and those in this house can well remember the eagerness with which he awaited the all too tardy, acceptance of his offer by the War Office, for he was in spirit and temper a born soldier In November, 1914, he was attached to the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards as, their Chaplain. He was no stranger to that regiment; for he gave retreats to them more than once at Knightsbridge and Caterham.

The life of a Chaplain at the front must be a busy one; and certainly Father John did not spare himself: “When the men were in the trenches” a Guardsman says of him, “he constantly shared the Medical Officer's quarters, either in his dug-out or at the Regimental Aid Post, where the wounded were taken for first dressings”. It was his practice also to write to the relations of any man that had fallen, and thus was the means of bringing consolation to many an Irish home. He still managed to spare time to take part in any concerts or sports got up by the men, and he contrived to train some of them to form a choir for his services. He had indeed a great fund of gaiety and bonhomie, and he had much of the boy about him. It was a treat to hear him render “Clare's Dragoons”, “De Wet” or “Corcabaskin”. He had great gifts as a lecturer too, and as a preacher. At the front he had much to suffer. Shortly after his arrival he was knocked down by the concussion of a shell and slightly wounded by a splinter. He soon, however, recovered consciousness and did not even go off duty. On another occasion, while ministering to the wounded under fire, it would seem that he was almost buried under a fall of sand and clay, caused by the bombardment. He had to spend a month or two in a hospital in France because of severe lumbago, and indeed returned to his men before he was completely cured. Finally, on the 11th of October he was in a dug-out with some of the officers when an enemy shell landed in the doorway and, exploding, injured several of them. Portion of it pierced Father Gwynn's left lung, and he was wounded in several other places. Taken at once to hospital he lingered through the night, preserving perfect consciousness. Having received the Last Sacraments he expired calmly on the morning of the 12th. He was buried at Bethune next day with solemn rites, the last blessing being read by Mgr Keatinge, Senior Chaplain to the Forces, who in a letter subsequently described him as “a splendid priest, absolutely devoted to his men”. Another soldier who shared his dangers has written of him - “By his deeds he has left to those who saw him at his work an indelible memory and an inspiration”.

The marble monument which the Irish Guards have raised to his memory in the churchyard at Bethune has this inscription :

R.I.P.
REV. FATHER JOHN GWYNN, S.J.,
Attached to the
1st Irish Guards,
He died at Bethune on October 12th, 1915,
from wounds received in action near
Vermelles on October 11th, 1915,
Aged 49 years.
This monument has been erected by all Ranks of the 1st,
Bat. Irish Guards in
grateful Remembrance of their Beloved
Chaplain, Father Gwynn, who was with
them on Active Service for nearly twelve
months, from Nov 1914, until his death,
and shared with unfailing devotion all
their trials and hardships.

To his sister, Mrs. Daly, Mount Auburn, Mullingar, and to his brother, Father William Gwynn SJ, of Manresa, Norwood, S Australia, we offer our deepest sympathy. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father John Gwynn (1866-1915)

Was born in Youghal and received his early education at St Ignatius' College, Galway. He entered the Society in 1884 and made his higher studies at Louvain and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1899. Father Gwynn spent three years as master at the Crescent, 1903-06. With the exception of one year, 1910-11, when he was temporarily employed as lecturer in theology at Milltown Park, he was henceforth a member of the community at UCD, first at St Stephen's Green and later at Leeson St. He was the first warden of Winton House, the parent of Modern University Hall, Hatch St, Dublin. Father Gwynn volunteered as chaplain in the first world war and earned fame for his courage and devotion to his men. He died in the discharge of his duties as a priest.

Gwynn, William, 1865-1950, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1397
  • Person
  • 17 March 1865-22 October 1950

Born: 17 March 1865, Youghal, County Cork
Entered: 20 October 1883, Milltown Park Dublin; Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 29 July 1900, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1903
Died: 22 October 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin

First World War Chaplain

Older brother of John - RIP 1915

by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1890 at Exaeten College Limburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
Came to Australia 1902
by 1902 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship
by 1919 Military Chaplain : 8th Australian Infantry Brigade, AIF France

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
William Gwynn’s father was a military man and had been transferred to Galway by the time that William and his younger brother John (who also entered the Society) were ready for their schooling. Both boys were educated at St Ignatius' College Galway. Gwynn entered the Society at Milltown Park, 20 October 1883, and studied rhetoric as a junior up to II Arts at the Royal University while living at Milltown Park, 1885-87. Philosophy was at Louvain and Exaeten. 1887-90, and regency at Belvedere Clongowes, and Mungret, 1890-97. Theology followed at Milltown Park. 1897-1901 After tertianship at Linz, Austria, 1901-02 with his brother John, Gwynn, he was sent to Australia where he taught at Riverview, St Aloysius' College and St Patrick's College, 1902-11, before engaging in parish ministry at Sevenhill, 1911-13, and Norwood 1913-17. He taught for a further few years at St Patrick’s College 1917-18, before becoming a military chaplain of the 8th Infantry Brigade AIF, 1918-20, travelling to Egypt, France and Germany. Gwynn returned to Ireland after the war and taught philosophy and mathematics at Mungret. He was later in charge of the People's Church at Clongowes until 1930, and then performed rural missionary work retreats with great vigor and success throughout the country, a ministry he enjoyed while in Australia. In 1930 he was transferred to parish work at Gardiner Street until 1944. In earlier he was in charge of the Night Workers' Sodality. For the last six years of his life he was attached to Milltown Park, living in great cheer and contentment, praying for the Society.
The Irish Province News, January 1951, described Gwynn as an original character. In whatever company he found himself he became the centre of interest by his wit and personality. He was extraordinarily outspoken and frank in his remarks about others and himself. He never made any secret about his own plans and projects. At first sight, he might have been seen as egotistical or cynical or a man who had shed many of the kindly illusions about human nature. But much of that frankness was part of his sense of humor and a pose, it helped to make him interesting and to amuse. He was not a man to give his best in ordinary, every day work. He wanted change and variety. He liked to plough a lonely furrow a man of original mind, who had his very personal way of looking at people and things. He had all the gifts of a preacher - appearance, voice, personality, an original approach to any subject, and a gift for a striking, arresting phrase. His retreats were memorable for their freshness and originality. As a confessor some respected him for being broad, sympathetic and understanding.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 1 1951

Milltown Park :
We regret to record the death, on. Oct. 22nd, of Milltown's Grand Old Man, Father William Gwynn. Only a few days before we had celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his priesthood and heard a message from him, wire-recorded in his sickroom.

Obituary :
Father William Gwynn
Fr. Gwynn, who died after a brief illness at Milltown Park on 22nd October, was born at Youghal, Co. Cork, on the 17th March, 1865. His father was a military man and had been transferred to Galway by the time that William and his younger brother John (who also entered the Society) were ready for their schooling. So, it was at St. Ignatius' College in that city that they both received their education. William entered the noviceship at Milltown Park on 20th October, 1883, and had Fr. William O’Farrell for Master of Novices and also for Superior when the new novitiate at Dromore was opened in May of the following year. He took his Vows at Milltown Park on 1st November, 1885, and studied rhetoric up to II Arts at the Royal University. He went to Louvain and Exaten (in Holland) for his philosophy, 1887-90, and in the latter year began his Colleges. He taught for six years at Belvedere, Clongowes and Mungret, in that order, and then studied theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained on 29th July by Dr. William Walsh, Archbishop of Dublin. After his fourth year's theology he went, with his brother Fr. John, to Linz in Austria for his tertianship. In the autumn of 1902 Fr, William was sent to Australia, where he taught at Riverview, Sydney, for a year and then at St. Aloysius for six and at St. Patrick's, Melbourne, for two years. He was operarius at Sevenhill 1910-12 and at Norwood Residence for the following four years when he had charge of the men's sodality and the confraternity of “Bona Mors”. When at St. Patrick's, Melbourne, as master and operarius in 1918, he was appointed chaplain to the 8th Australian Infantry Brigade and travelled with his men to Egypt, France and Germany. He was not “demobbed” till 1920, and thereafter remained in the Province. For the next two years Fr. Gwynn was philosophy and mathematics master at Mungret College and then went to Clongowes, where he had charge of the People's Church till 1930. During this period he conducted retreats with great vigour and success up and down the country, a ministry to which he had devoted himself zealously when in Australia.
In 1930 Fr. William was transferred to Gardiner Street and was operarius till 1944. For the first dozen years of this period he was also in charge of the Night Workers' Sodality, in which he took a great interest. For the last six years of his life he was attached to Milltown Park, where he lived in great cheer and contentment, discharging his task of “orans pro Societate” agreeably and, we may well hope, fruitfully. Two days before his death a graceful tribute to him appeared in the papers on the occasion of the golden jubilee of his Ordination to the priesthood.
Fr. Gwynn was emphatically a character, an original. In whatever company he found himself, he became at once the centre of interest by his wit and personality. He was extraordinarily outspoken and frank in his remarks about others and himself. He never made any secret about his own plans and projects, about those little manifestations of self-interest which most people keep discreetly veiled. He was equally frank and outspoken about others. At first sight, one would think him egotistical, or cynical, or a man who had shed many of the kindly illusions about human nature. But much of that frankness was part of his sense of humour and a pose. It helped to make him interesting and to amuse.
He was not a man to give his best in ordinary, hum-drum, every clay work. He wanted change and variety; lie liked to plough a lonely furrow. He was a man of original mind, who had his own very personal way of looking at people and things. He had all the gifts of a preacher, appearance, voice, personality, a very original approach to any subject, and a gift of a striking, arresting phrase. His retreats, too, very memorable for their freshness and originality.
He was the least pharisaical of men. He aimed sedulously at concealing his solid piety and simple lively Faith. His rather disconcerting frankness, his trenchant wit, his talk about himself, were really a pose by which he tried to mask his spiritual inner self. It could not be said that he had a large spiritual following of people who looked to him for help. But what he missed in numbers was made up in quality and variety. It was well known that men of the world who got no help from other priests made Fr. Gwynn their confessor and friend. He was broad, sympathetic and understanding and no one knows the amount of good he did to those who came to depend on him. R.I.P

Halpin, Thomas, 1819-1878, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1404
  • Person
  • 11 December 1819-18 July 1878

Born: 11 December 1819, Dublin
Entered: 29 September 1837, Ghent, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 02 June 1849, Maynooth, County Kildare
Final Vows: 02 February 1860
Died: 18 July 1878, Bray, County Wickow

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

by 1851 at St Beuno’s studying Theol 4
by 1865 at Lowe House St Helen’s Lancashire (ANG)

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His early education was at Tullabeg and Clongowes.

After First Vows he was sent to Tullabeg first and then Clongowes for Regency. he also studied part of his Theology at Clongowes, and was Ordained in Maynooth by Dr Murray 02 June 1849. He was a man of superior talent and he was appointed head of the Galway College and built the Church and residence there. He also spent some time on the English Mission. Returning to Ireland, he was sent as Operarius at Gardiner St, and remained there until his death 18 July 1878. He actually died in Bray, where he had gone for a change of air. His sermons were admired by all as perfect compositions. A very large number of priests, Secular and religious attended his office at Gardiner St.

Haly, Robert, 1796-1882, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/473
  • Person
  • 11 April 1796-01 September 1882

Born: 11 April 1796, Cork City
Entered: 07 September 1814, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 28 September 1828, Fribourg, Switzerland
Final Vows: 02 February 1833
Died: 01 September 1882, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

in Clongowes 1817
in Friburg Switzerland 1826
by 1840 Vice Provincial

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of James Haly and Elizabeth née Flyn
Educated at Stonyhurst, where according to Hon R More O’Ferrall, a contemporary, he was the most talented and most popular in a class of thirty-six boys.
1829 Sent to Ireland, and brought with him a letter from the Bishop of Geneva, in which he is said to be “pietate, doctrina, aliisque virtuum meritis maxime commendabilis”.
1839-1857 Consultor of the Vice-Province
1839 Appointed Rector of Clongowes 19 May 1839
1840 Appointed Rector of the College and Residence of Dublin, 15 October 1840.
1844 Sent to Rome as Procurator of the Irish Province
1851-1857 Appointed Rector of the College and Residence of Dublin
1857-1879 Superior of the Missionary Staff
1859-1864 Superior of the Galway Residence.
“Almost every Bishop and Priest in Ireland, and many outside Ireland, with thousands of Irish Catholics at home ad in exile, will receive, like tidings of the loss of a personal friend, the announcement of the death of Father Haly..........The most of his life was devoted to Apostolic toils in almost every Parish in Ireland, either by himself or as Head of a band of Missionaries. Though the hoary head and bent frame of age distinguished Father Haly a great many years ago, his vigorous constitution enabled him to continue the works of the pulpit and the confessional till his years had fully numbered four score. His brethren in the sacred ministry will remember at the Altar this most venerable Priest and most amiable saint” (The Freeman’s Journal, 02 September 1882)
He certainly was most amiable and friendly at all times and to every one - “mitis et humilis corde”.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
The following story is told of Robert Haly by Joseph Dalton :
“During a Mission in Waterford in 1849, some of the ‘salters’ in the bacon store had no chance of getting to the ‘Holy Fathers’. They were kept busy all day and the crowds were too great at night. A group of them hit on the following plan to get to Confession : Father Haly was going home to the Parish Priest’s house, Annhill, after a hard day’s work. It was, I suppose, about 11pm. His road lay through a street in which a number of “salters’ lived. His attention was attracted by a strong light from one of the houses in front of him. On reaching the house, he found two men at the door. They accosted him very respectfully, apologised for delaying him, but asked him to walk in, as they had something to say to him. As soon as he entered, one locked the door, and the other told him plainly that they were poor ‘salters’ (about a dozen men in the room) who had no chance of getting the benefit of the Mission, unless ‘His reverence would forgive them for kidnapping him, and then sit down and hear their Confessions’. “And, your Reverence, we won’t let you out until you hear everyone of us’. Father Haly commenced at once and finished them all off. They went to their duty the next morning.”
Note from Edmund Cogan Entry :
There is an interesting letter of his in the Irish Archives, written from Palermo to Master Robert Haly (afterwards Father), then a boy at Hodder, Stonyhurst

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Haly, James
by David Murphy and Patrick Long

Robert Haly (1796–1882), Jesuit priest, rector of Clongowes Wood College, and missioner, was born 11 April 1796 in Cork city and baptised at SS Peter and Paul's, Cork, on 16 April. Educated at Stonyhurst, he entered the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1814 at Hodder, where he spent his noviciate, being professed of his first vows in 1816. He studied and also taught at Clongowes Wood College (established in 1814 as an Irish counterpart to Stonyhurst), before travelling (1825) to Fribourg, Switzerland, to study theology. Ordained on 29 September 1828, he undertook mission work in Geneva before returning in September 1829 to Ireland, where he joined the Jesuit community in Hardwicke St., Dublin.

Professed of his final vows in February 1833, he undertook his first parish mission in Ireland at Celbridge, and soon established a reputation as a preacher of some eloquence. In 1830 he was appointed as minister of his community while still working as a missioner, and in 1836 was appointed rector of Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. Returning to Dublin in 1841, he worked as rector of the college and community in Dublin, before being appointed as procurator of the Irish province in Rome. A second term as rector at Clongowes began in 1842, a position he held until 1850. He served as the superior of St Francis Xavier's church, Dublin (1851–6), before moving to Galway as superior of the Jesuit community there in 1859. Alongside this appointment as superior in Galway (1859–65), he also served as superior of the newly established province mission staff (1859–76), restarting his career as a parish missioner.

During the next seventeen years he toured the parishes of Ireland and also travelled to England, where he supervised parish missions. By the end of his missionary career he had preached in almost every parish in Ireland and enjoyed a great public following. On one occasion in 1849, while he was engaged in mission work in Waterford city, a group of bacon factory workers kidnapped him. They could not attend his meetings due to their long work hours, and after he had preached a sermon and confessed the workers, he was released unhurt. In July 1857 he was appointed vicar general of the diocese of Killaloe. He was also involved in the erection of commemorative mission crosses in the parishes he visited, over fifty of these being erected during his term as mission superior.

In 1877 he suffered a severe stroke and, moving to the Gardiner St. community in Dublin, confined himself to light duties for the rest of his life. He died in Gardiner St. on 1 September 1882 and was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery. He has left a substantial collection of papers in the Jesuit archives in Dublin, giving details of his missionary work and parish life in Ireland in the nineteenth century. Kevin A. Laheen, SJ, published a study of this collection in Collectanea Hibernica (1997–2000).

Times, Cork Examiner, 7 Jan. 1850; Freeman's Journal, 2 Sept. 1882; ‘Memorials of the Irish Province, SJ’, Cork Hist. Soc. Jn., i, no. 3 (June 1900), 163–4; Cork Hist. Soc. Jn., viii (1902), 95–6; Henry Browne, ‘Father Haly’, John Healy (ed.), A roll of honour (1905), 247–94; Peadar McCann, ‘Charity-schooling in Cork city in the late 18th & early 19th centuries’, Cork Hist. Soc. Jn., lxxxvi (1981), 33, 109–15; lxxvii (1982), 51–7; Hugh Fenning, ‘Cork imprints of catholic historical interest 1723–1804’, Cork Hist. Soc. Jn., c (1995), 129–48; ci (1996), 115–42; Kevin A. Laheen, SJ, ‘Jesuit parish mission memoirs, 1863–76’, Collect. Hib., xxxix–xl (1997–8), 272–311; xli (1999), 153–223; xlii (2000), 120–80; Tim Cadogan and Jeremiah Falvey, A biographical dictionary of Cork (2006); WorldCat online database (www.worldcat.org) (accessed Nov. 2007); information from Fr Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ, Jesuit Archives, Dublin; John Paul II Library, NUI, Maynooth, information from Andrew Sliney; Russell Library, Maynooth, information from Penelope Woods; information from Christopher Woods

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert Haly SJ 1796-1882
Fr Robert Haly was our most renowned and universally loved missioner of the early days.

He was born in Cork on April 11th 1796, and entered the Society on its Restoration in 1814. He held many administrative posts, Rector of Clongowes in 1839, Procurator in Rome in 1844, Superior of the Mission Staff 1857-1879, Superior of Galway 1859-1864. But it is on his work as a Missioner that his fame rests.

During one of his Missions in Waterford in 1849, some of the “salters” from the bacon stores had no chance of getting to the “Holy Fathers”. They were kept busy all day and the crowds were too big at night. A party of them hit on the following plan to get confession. Father Haly was going home to the Parish Priest’s house, Anhill, after a hard day’s work at about 11 o’clock. His road lay through a street in which a number of the salters lived. His attention was drawn by a strong light coming from one of the houses in front of him. On reaching the house he found two men at the door. They greeted him respectfully, apologised for delaying him, but asked him to step in as they had something to say to him. As soon as he entered one man locked the door, and the other man explained that they were poor salters (about a dozen) who had no chance of doing the Mission, unless
“His Reverence would forgive them kidnapping him and then hear their confessions. And Your Reverence, we won’t let you out until you hear every one of us”.
Father Haly, though tired, was touched by their simplicity and faith, and he gladly heard them all.

He died in the residence at Gardiner Street on September 1st 1882, at the age of 86.

Hanly, John, 1832-1897, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/190
  • Person
  • 24 June 1832-25 January 1897

Born: 24 June 1832, Scariff, County Clare
Entered: 23 May 1858, Clongowes Wood College, Naas, County Kildare
Final vows: 15 August 1868
Died: 25 January 1897, Clongowes Wood College, Naas, County Kildare

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Novices had traditionally made their Novitiate at Clongowes under Father Bracken until 1860, when with a few exceptions, the Brother Novices were moved to Milltown. John was one of the exceptions, and did all his Novitiate at Clongowes. He remained there until 1867 as Infirmarian and Sacristan.
1867-1872 he was sent to Gardiner St as Sacristan, and then in 1871 he was made Buyer and Dispenser.
1872-1877 He was sent back to his old job at Clongowes for a short time, and then sent to Galway as Sacristan.
1877-1881 he was sent to UCD as Buyer and Dispenser.
1881-1882 He was sent to Limerick for a year.
1882 He was sent back to his former job at Clongowes, and remained there until his death 25/01/1897.

Old Clongowonians recall fondly the kindly smile and gentle word they always received from him as Infirmarian. Others also testify to his patient and loving care for them when they were sick. Although aged 65 and suffering from heart disease, he continued to work to within a few months of his death. Though he had cared for others most of his life, especially sick people, now confined to his room it troubled him that he was something of a burden to others as they cared for him.
The last thing he did was to sit up, take hold of a crucifix and kiss, He then lay down and died.

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 John Coffey, Christopher Freeman, David McEvoy, James Maguire, John Hanly, James Rorke and Patrick Temple.

Hayden, Daniel, 1835-1866, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1420
  • Person
  • 31 October 1835-01 January 1866

Born: 31 October 1835, Carrickbeg, County Waterford
Entered: 04 February 1859, Beaumont, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Died: 01 January 1866, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Older brother of William Hayden RIP 1919

2nd year Novitiate at Tullabeg
by 1865 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying Theology 1

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Older brother of William Hayden RIP 1919

1862 Sent to teach at the newly opened school in Limerick.
1864 Sent to Rome for Philosophy, but he was sent back to Dublin due to failing health, and he died in a mental home 01 January 1866.

Hayden, William, 1839-1919, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/581
  • Person
  • 22 February 1839-09 January 1919

Born: 22 February 1839, Carrick-on-Suir, County Waterford
Entered: 17 February 1862, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1874
Professed: 15 August 1879
Died: 09 January 1919, Milltown Park, Dublin

Younger brother of Daniel Hayden RIP 1866

by 1865 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1868 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1869 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1872 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying
by 1877 at Roehampton, London (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Younger brother of Daniel Hayden RIP 1866

He did his Noviceship at Milltown under Dan Jones and Joseph Lentaigne. Afterwards he studied Rhetoric at Roehampton.
1866-1869 He taught at Tullabeg for Regency
1869-1872 He was sent to Stonyhurst for Philosophy.
1872 he was sent to St Beuno’s for Theology, was Ordained there and became Professor of the Short Course.
1877 he made Tertianship at Milltown.
1880-1885 He was sent to Gardiner St as Operarius and for some time was director of the Commercial Sodality.
1885-1887 He was sent to Milltown to teach Philosophy.
1887-1888 He was at Limerick for a year.
1889 he joined the Missionary Staff.
Later we find him again at Gardiner St, and during the 90s he was at Galway.
He finally returned to Milltown and lived there until his death 09 January 1919.

He was a man of wonderful abilities and a great conversationalist. He was very cordial and kindly to all. He was also full of peculiar views on many subjects, and this prevented his further appearance in the pulpit.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William Hayden SJ 1839-1919
Fr William Hayden was born in Waterford on February 22nd 1839 and entered the Society in 1862.

He was a man of great and versatile intellectual ability. He professed the short course in St Beuno’s and Milltown Park. One of his controversial pamphlets “An Answer to professor Maguire on Perception” is still extant, while his book on Irish Phonetics was one of the first publications in the restoration of the language.

He was very cordial and kindly in manner, a brilliant conversationalist, no mean controversialist, and eloquent preacher, though he held advanced, if not peculiar opinions on many subjects, which ultimately prevented his appearance in the pulpit.

He finally retired to Milltown Park where he lived for a number of years before his death on January 9th 1919.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father William Hayden (1839-1919

A native of Co Waterford, entered the Society in 1862. He was sometime professor of philosophy at Milltown Park where he spent many years on the retreat staff. He was attached to the Sacred Heart Church in 1887-88.

Headon, Maurice F, 1912-1960, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Studied for BSc at UCD; Tertianship at Rathfarnham

by 1936 at Vals, France (TOLO) studying

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

Henry, William Joseph, 1859-1928, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/704
  • Person
  • 02 April 1859-25 March 1928

Born: 02 April 1859, Cahore, Draperstown, County Derry
Entered: 14 September 1874, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1892, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1895, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin
Died: 25 March 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin

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

by 1877 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1879 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1881 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His brother was Sir Denis Henry KC (First Lord Chief Justice Northern Ireland having been Attorney General for Ireland, Solicitor General and MP for South Londonderry)

After his Novitiate he studied Philosophy at Jersey and Theology at Milltown, and was Ordained there 1892.
He held the positions of Rector at Belvedere, Mungret and Milltown. He was later Professor of Theology at Milltown.
He was then sent to Gardiner St, and left there to become Rector at Tullabeg. His health began to fail and he died in Dublin 25 March 1928.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 3rd Year No 3 1928

Obituary :
Fr. William Henry
Fr. William Henry died at Milltown Park on the 25th of last March.

In 1922, when in class with the Juniors at Tullabeg, he got a paralytic stroke and had to he carried to his room. He never completely recovered, and the third attack, early in March, proved fatal. Fr. Henry entered the noviceship at Milltown 14th Sept. 1874. At the end of two years, he went to Roehampton for his juniorate, but after one year he was recalled and sent to complete the juniorate at Tullabeg, then a flourishing College, with Fr. William Delany as its Rector. At this distance of time the move seems a strange one, and to understand it rightly the state of education in Ireland at the time must be taken into account. In our own Colleges the “Ratio” was still followed, but in many places it had fallen into a gentle slumber, and needed a good deal of waking up. Things were not much, if at all, better in the rest of the country. The educational authorities were satisfied with - a little Knowledge, - indeed a very little was quite enough for them. One day in the Summer of 1873, a learned professor of the Catholic University of Ireland paid a visit to Tullabeg. The three higher classes were brought down in turn to meet him, and he examined them in the Latin and Greek lessons they had for that particular day, The boys did not know what it meant, but in a short time many of them received formidable parchments declaring them to be undergraduates of the C. U. I.
To improve matters, preparation for London University Matriculation Exam was commenced in Tullabeg in 1875.
It was to prepare for this exam. that Mr Henry went to Tullabeg. He was accompanied by Mr Guinee, and at the College they met Mr James Murphy. AIl three passed the exam at the end of the year.
1878 found Mr Henry amongst the philosophers at Laval where he remained for two years, and was then, with the rest of the Community, turned out of the house by the French Government on the 30. June 1880.He finished philosophy at Jersey. It would be putting things very mildly to say that Mr Henry was a hard working student. He was positively, cruel to himself. “To-morrow will be a Villa-day” , he once said to a companion, “I shall tire myself well in the morning, we shall start for the country house as late as possible, and have a walk in the evening”. That was the dominant note of his student life. Furthermore, if hard work ever exempted a man from the law of fasting Fr. Henry was that man, Yet he never availed of his privilege. He fasted rigidly, though the food was so different from that in his own country.
Seven years of teaching followed - two at Clongowes, four at Belvedere, during two of which he was Prefect of Studies, and one at Milltown as Superior and Master of Juniors. That he was severe on the boys he had to deal with admits of no doubt. He expected from them, to some extent, the devotion to duty that he mercilessly exacted from himself. That severity
did not proceed from any strain of unkindness in the man's character, but from a stern sense of what be owed to the boys whose training was entrusted to him. Many an event showed that beneath a hard exterior a kindly heart was beating.
In 1888 he began Theology at Louvain, but in the following year the new Theologate was opened at Milltown and he joined it. After Theology he spent another year teaching at Clongowes, then came the Tertianship at Tullabeg. In 1894 he was appointed vice-Rector of Belvedere, and Rector the year following. He held that office until 1900 when he went to Mungret as Rector. After three years he returned to Milltown as vice-Rector, and was succeeded at the end of the second years by Fr. Peter Finlay. At Milltown he was Professor of the short course for four years, of Moral for one, and spent another as Spiritual Father. In 1909 he went to Gardiner St, where he did splendid work, until in 1919 he became Rector once more, this time of Tullabeg. After eight years he returned to Milltown where the final call came on the 25th March, and he went to his reward.
No one would venture to say that simplicity, in the ordinary sense of the word, was the characteristic virtue of his life, but if we accept the definition given by St. Francis de Sales : “so a heart that looks straight to truth, to duty and to God”, we have found the key to the strenuous, holy, self sacrificing life of Fr. William Henry.

Sincere thanks are due to the author of the following appreciation :
He came from that strong northern stock, and from that corner of the north, that gave, I believe, more than one President to America and many a captain of Industry and many a distinguished soldier to other lands.
Willie Henry was only a few months over 15, when he joined at Milltown Park. But even then the native lines of character were well defined. And yet I have heard those that knew him in the noviciate say that not a novice amongst them was readier to see a yoke, poke a bit of fun, or mischievously pull a friend's leg. But still it was a hard headed, solid little man they got amongst them. In meditation books he chose one after some trial, and stuck to it all the way through - Avcneinus. A tough nut. Even in ordinary noviciate duties fellow novices told of a certain maturity in his attitude towards them that one would hardly expect from the youngest novice of them all. This union of stern purpose in time of silence, and of fun at recreation stamped him all through life.
I am afraid I cannot tell much about his career in the Society. The little I have to tell is of a side of him that is not so well known, indeed by some not even suspected - for energy and laborious, unremitting work were the outstanding features of his life. Duty, God's will, that out-topped all with him. What the work was did not so much matter. Was it his duty? He was every bit of him in it. I was perhaps more struck by some other things.
I remember once, when somewhat ailing, I was sent to his house for a rest. How genuinely good and kind he was. He met me on my arrival, brought me to my room, and saw himself that I had everything I needed. And then, afterwards, would come again and again to see how things were getting on, and if he could do anything for me. Before I left the house he
ceased to be Superior, and I could not help writing him a little note, and leaving it on his table, to thank him for his great kindness (It is no harm, is it, to salute gratefully the setting Sun?) He came to my room to acknowledge it - but Adam's apple gave him a lot of trouble, and he turned away to the window, as he said with big gentleness : “It was only yourself would have thought of it.” This was no new revelation of the man to me.
I had heard him over and over again talking about his boys, and I knew how they were in his heart. Indeed I doubt if I ever knew any master fonder of his boys. It was, I think, in '83 he went with the new Rector, Fr. Tom Finlay, to Belvedere. They made records in the Intermediate that year - records that have never since been broken. How keen Mr Henry was about it all. Once a number of scholastics were discussing the prospects, and one seemed to be a bit pessimistic about some of them. “I’ll Bet” said he “that each of you named will get an exhibition if he gets honour marks in your matter”.
It has been said many a time, that the best the Intermediate did for the schools was to start and foster a spirit of hard work. Mr Henry certainly did his part in that matter - and many a boy owed his after success to that same spirit of work he acquired under him in Belvedere or Clongowes. He was strong, somewhat dour, as I have said, with a voice of thunder that frightened youngsters sometimes, still his youngsters ran to him and gathered round him as he relaxed after school, and twitted them on their prospects of success.
In the closing years he was Superior at Tullabeg and there God's finger touched him - partial paralysis. During these trying years what sweetness and gentleness he showed to all. He kept pulling away at the work as if nothing much were wrong. The Tertian Fathers spoke keenly appreciative things of his head and heart, He was an even and understanding
Superior, eminently sane and manly. As for the two ailing saints who pray and suffer for us all, (two faithful old laundry maids). They never tire telling of his goodness to them. It wasn't merely that he visited them regularly, but he took infinite pains to read up things that would interest them and so distract them from their sufferings.
I have heard there was a strange little scene the night before he left Tullabeg for Milltown Park. The novices had given an excellent concert, and it was well through before the word went round amongst them that their old Rector was going away in the morning. The last item of the concert over, there was something like a rush for him, and forty pairs of hands wanted to take and press his. And many a young face just looked as they felt. They were very fond of him. He was utterly unprepared for it. lt was too much for him. But he was too manly and too pleased to attempt to hide how he felt. Well might he feel affectionate praise like that - praise beyond suspicion from the very little ones of the Province. Genuine it was, spontaneous, simple. You see they have still all that is best and most delightful in boys, and a great deal more that boys never have.
It was the same in the last months at Milltown Park. Every letter from it that mentioned his name - and all did that I saw, told of how he had won home to the hearts of all of them.
God rest you - good, brave, toil worn soldier of Christ.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William Henry SJ 1859-1928
Many priests of the Irish Provice who did their noviceship at Tullabeg will remember the formidible yet kindly face of the Rector Fr William Henry. They can still picture him on his Rector’s walk with a group of novices around him, “Stick to your meditation and you’ll never leave the Society”, was his constant advice to us. It is related of him that in his early years he went through various meditation manuals, and finally selected one to which he was faithful for the rest of his life – Avecannius.

Born in Draperstown County Derry, on April 2nd 1859, he entered the Society in 1874. As a Jesuit he held many offices, b Rector in turn of Belvedere, Mungret and Tullabeg. It was as prefect of Studies at Belvedere in 1883 that he made his name. With Fr Tom Finlay as his Rector, he achieved results in the examinations at the end of the year, which have never been excelled before or after. He had a name for severity, perpetuated in some books written about Belvedere, but nobody could ever accuse him of being unjust. In fact, in the words of a biographer of his “I doubt if I knew any master fonder of boys, and certainly the boys showed their affection for him, as they used to run to him and gather round him in the yard after school”.

His name will always come up for discussion whenever ghost stories are on the round, for he is supposed to have laid a ghost in Mungret. A priest was seen at midnight at the graveyard on the Black Walk. Fr Henry is supposed to have gone to meet him. It is said that on the following morning, Fr Henry said a Requiem Mass, though this was forbidden by the rubrics of the day. Anyhow, the ghost never walked again. The only comment Fr Henry was every heard to make was “Fathers, be careful about your stipends for Masses”.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1928

Obituary

Father William Henry SJ

We regret to have to announce the death of Fr William Henry. To many “generations” of our Past his name will have no significence: but those of them who have passed forty will recall that he was Rector at Mungret from 1900 to 1903. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1874 and after the usual training in the Colleges and having finished his studies, at home and abroad he was in France studying Philosophy in 1880 when the Jesuits were expelled from that country - he was ordained priest in 1891. Three years later he was appointed Rector of Belvedere College, a position he held until 1900, when he became Rector of Mungret. In 1903 he was made Vice-Rector of Milltown Park and at the end of a few years was named a professor of Theology. In 1909 he was attached to St Francis Xavier's Church , Upper Gardiner St, where he worked until 1919 when he was appointed Rector of Tullabeg. He had retired from that office only a few months and was living at Milltown Park, when the last change came. He died this year on the feast of the Annunciation.

The fact that so much of his life was spent in command shows what was thought of his character and abilities, his judgment and firmness. No one who ever knew him had any doubt about his firmness : some would give that quality another name - especially the boys he taught at Tullabeg and Clongowes and Belvedere and Mungret. He could be called a stern man, - he has been so called - but he was certainly a just man. His sternness came partly from his temperament, but also in a great measure from his strong sense of duty and justice. And it was true that no one ever worked harder for his boys or took a deeper interest in them. But behind that granite exterior and that great voice, lay a tenderness of heart which few suspected, but which on rare occasions betrayed itself at some expression of gratitude or little gesture of appreciation and affection. It was certainly that side of his character, along with his cheerful patience in suffering, which manifested itself more and more in his last years at Tuilabeg, in his dealings with Tertians, and Juniors and novices. Requiescat in Pace.

Higgins, Jeremiah, 1892-1965, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1448
  • Person
  • 30 September 1892-23 January 1965

Born: 30 September 1892, Cork City
Entered: 07 September 1910, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1928, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 23 January 1965, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1916 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
1918-1921 Rathfarnham - Studied for BA at UCD
by 1927 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 40th Year No 2 1965
Fr Jerry Higgins SJ (1892-1965)
Fr. John Casey was for many years Spiritual Father to the philosophers in Tullabeg. He was level-headed and solidly sound, and in clear-cut statements gave carefully measured advice. To a philosopher about to begin his colleges he remarked : “I see you are assigned to the Crescent. I see you are the only scholastic there. I see too that Fr. Higgins is going there from Galway. Make a friend of Fr. Higgins. He is a man who will say little at recreation. But visit him in his room. You will find him kind and helpful. He is a friend worth having”.
Fr, Bat Coughlan was a rock of wisdom and learning, a confessor sought after by laymen and priests. “If ever I meet a case”, he once said, “that requires patience and kindness and understanding I know no one better to whom to send it than to Fr. Higgins, I am reluctant, however, to impose on him because I know how much such cases cost him in physical energy”.
These are unsolicited testimonies from two very different men, These were men who had lived with Fr. Higgins and had come to know his worth. Those who had not lived with him or who never broke through his quiet reserve found it difficult to keep in conversation with him. When one knew Fr. Higgins, conversation either flowed naturally or the silences were restful. One did not feel the need to talk, a friend was near. Fr. Higgins will be remembered with affection by all those who lived with him especially in Gardiner Street and more especially during the seven years when he was Minister. It was as Minister that he was forced to show to all, gifts that were well known to his intimate friends. His room as Minister was a “half-way house” for every member of the community, and he was everyone's friend. He was never fussed, one got the impression that the complicated and ever changing weekly lists of preachers, supplies and Masses worked automatically, Fr. Higgins had a charm that attracted every one to him, he was cultured and refined. He knew and loved a good book, he delighted in good pictures and appreciated good music. He read German, French, Italian and Irish classics in their original language, and he wrote perfect Latin with ease and his sermons in English were considered to be gems of literature - many have expressed the hope that they have been preserved and may perhaps be published. Fr. Higgins spent most of his life in the classroom. With his rich background of wide reading and his naturally well ordered mind and a manner, though quiet, demanded respect, he was a teacher well above average. Teaching, however, must have been a trial to him, because he was not the type that would force an unwilling horse to drink ! He was at his best when his listeners were sympathetic. Intellectual converts appreciated him. On every page of the Baptismal Register in Gardiner Street his name appears and often more than once, during his years there. He has an uncanny gift of finding the exact book that answered all the needs of the varied converts whom he instructed during his years in Gardiner Street. One would think that it was just by chance that he picked the right book-but far from it. His knowledge of the good books was wide and his judgment on a piece of writing was accurate and fair. He loved a good joke, and could tell one. He could sum up a person or a situation in a few words that said everything.
Fr. Higgins detested the sham and the artificial in every department, education, spiritual life, national life. His keen and balanced judgment saw through every facade. It was no light cross for him to bear with those who were satisfied with the second-best. Fr. Jerry was a delightful companion on a journey and he 'made' a villa. To the last years of his life he had the gift of joining in the general fun of men twenty or thirty years his junior. A game of cards where Jerry took a hand was sure to be an enjoyable game, if for no other reason than that he gave himself wholeheartedly to it. Order and neatness and regularity and painstaking care to detail marked everything he did. One would venture to say that nowhere in the Province are there Ministers' books written up-to date with a minimum of words and a maximum of information as one will find in Gardiner Street covering the years that Fr. Jerry was Minister there. As a confessor he had a big following of hard cases. “Go to Fr. Jeremiah” was a cant-phrase in the underworld of human weakness. The cardinals in the church missed him much when unable to be their Spiritual Director. The nurses in the Mater wept when he died. He is missed in Gardiner Street community, too. Ar dheis Dé go raibh sé.

Hughes, John J, 1843-1912, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/192
  • Person
  • 03 February 1843-16 June 1912

Born: 03 February 1843, Dublin
Entered: 04 October 1860, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1875
Final vows: 02 February 1879
Died: 16 June 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin

Older brother of Patrick Hughes - RIP 1904

by 1863 at Namur, Belgium (BELG) studying Philosophy 1
by 1873 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a member of an old Dublin family who gave many members to the Church, including Father Patrick Hughes (Younger brother of John J Hughes RIP 1912?) - and a sister who became a Mercy Nun.

He did Regency at Clongowes and Tullabeg for a while.
After Tertianship he was for some time at Milltown and UCD, and then joined the Missionary Staff.
1903 He was appointed Rector of Galway 08 December 1903. After this he moved to Milltown, where he died 16 June 1912

His name will be long remembered for his connection with the Sodality of the members of the Metropolitan Police, and he worked there with great zeal. He was the fond counsellor to many individual members of the force, and by none his death was more regretted than by those whose personal interests seemed to be his unique care.
During the many years he was attached to Gardiner St he was highly esteemed as a Preacher, but his great qualities were his friendly humour, quiet zeal and charity, and these were no better appreciated than in community.
For the three years he was Rector in Galway, he was very popular with both the students and the public.

Note from John Bannon Entry :
On the evening of his death the Telegraph published an article on him headed “A Famous Irish Jesuit - Chaplain in American War” : “The Community of the Jesuit Fathers in Gardiner St have lost within a comparatively short time some of their best known and most distinguished members. They had to deplore the deaths of Nicholas Walsh, John Naughton, John Hughes and Matthew Russell, four men of great eminence and distinction, each in his own sphere, who added luster to their Order, and whose services to the Church and their country in their varied lines of apostolic activity cannot son be forgotten. And now another name as illustrious is added to the list. The Rev John Bannon....

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Clongowes student

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1913

Obituary

Father John Hughes SJ

The last “Belvederian” was scarcely published, when we I heard of the death of Father John Hughes, which took place at Milltown Park on June 16th. - Never very robust, during the last few years of his life his health had been visibly failing, and he was unable to withstand a severe attack of bronchitis which he contracted a few weeks before his death. The end came rather unexpectedly for his many friends, but not for himself, who had been preparing for final rest and reward by a long life spent in the service of his Master.

Born in Dublin, the greater part of his life was spent in his native city. He was educated at Belvedere and Clongowes, and entered the Society at the early age of seventeen, Having completed his philo sophical and theological studies abroad, he was recalled to Ireland, where he laboured for many years in the various houses and colleges of the Order. When he was Rector of St Ignatius' College, Galway, his name was linked with that of his brother, the late Father Pat Hughes, S.J., and his energy and zeal were directed to the improvement and decoration of the Church. His native Dublin was the scene of his most successful apostolic labours. For many years he was attached to St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, where he was highly esteemed as a preacher. His unfailing charity and quiet energy were conspicuously shown in the success which attended his direction of the Sodality of the Metropolitan Police, which he founded and conducted for many years. He was their tried and trusted friend, and many of the individual members will long re member him as a genuine benefactor, whose wise counsel and ready help were ever, even to the last, at their service. Shortly before his death, on the celebration of his golden jubilee in the ministry, his brethren had the opportunity of showing the esteem and affection in which he was held.

He was a man of much culture, with a genial humour peculiarly his own, and his many estimable qualities endeared him to many friends, by whom he was genuinely regretted. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1913

Obituary

Father John Hughes SJ

We much regret to announce the the Rev John Hughes SJ, which took place at Milltown Park in the early hours of June 16th, Feast of St John F Regis S.J. Never very robust, during the past few years his health had been visibly failing and he was unable to withstand a severe attack of bronchitis, which he contracted about three weeks before. The end came unexpectedly for his many friends, but not for himself, who had been preparing for his final rest and reward by a long life spent in the service of his Master.

Bom in Dublin 60 years ago, the greater part of his life was spent in his native city. He was educated at Belvedere and Clongowes, and entered the Society of Jesus at the early age of 17. Having completed his philosophical and theological studies abroad, he was recalled to Ireland, where he laboured for many years in the various colleges and houses of the Order in the usual work of the sacred ministry. During the period in which he was Rector of St Ignatius, Galway, his name was linked with that of his brother, Father Patrick Hughes, who had predeceased him by some years, and his energy and zeal were directed to the improvement and decoration of the church.

As a missioner and conductor of ecclesiastical retreats his name was known and revered in most of the dioceses of Ireland. But his native Dublin was the scene of his most successful apostolic labourers. For many years. he was attached to St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, where he was highly esteerned as a preacher. His unfailing charity and quiet energy were conspicuously shown in the success which attended his direction of the Sodality of members of the Metropolitan Police, which he founded and conducted for many years. He was their tried and trusted friend, and many of the individual members will long remember him as a genuine benefactor whose wise counsel and ready help were ever, even to the last, at their service.

He was a man of much culture, with a genial humour peculiarly his own, and his many estimable qualities endeared him to many friends, by whom he will be genuinely regretted.

“Freeman”, June 17, 1912.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father John Hughes (1843-1912)

A native of Dublin, entered the Society in 1860 and came here shortly after the completion of his studies in 1876. He returned again in 1885 on the teaching staff and was minister of the house. His main work in after years was the conducting of missions and retreats. He had a long association with the Gardiner St Community and spent the last six years of his life at Milltown Park

Hurley, Joseph, 1905-1984, Jesuit priest and Irish language editor

  • IE IJA J/3
  • Person
  • 29 July 1905-20 December 1984

Born: 29 July 1905, Ahakista, Bantry, County Cork
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 20 December 1984, Dublin, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Editor of An Timire, 1949-71.

by 1939 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 60th Year No 1 2 1985

Obituary

An tAthair Seosamh Ó Murthuile (1905-1923-1980)
Fr Joseph Hurley

Born 29th July 1905. Entered SJ on 31st August 1923. 1923-25 Tullabeg, noviciate. 1925-28 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1928-31 philosophy (1928-30 in Milltown, 1930-31 in Tullabeg). 1931-34 Clongowes, regency. 1934-38 Milltown Park, theology (ordained a priest, 24th June 1937). 1938-39 St Beuno's, tertianship.
1939-'46 Clongowes, teaching. 1946-'61 Tullabeg, writing. Editing An Timire (Gaelic ‘Messenger of the Sacred Heart') from c. 1950. Same occupations in Gardiner Street (1961-62), Belvedere (1962-68) and Milltown Park (1968-82) where he gave up on the editorship of “An Timire” c 1971. He was listed as an assistant editor, nevertheless, until 1982. The Gaelic form of his name was used by the Province catalogues only from 1976 on; previously the form used was Joseph Hurley. The last 2.5 years of his life he spent in Cherryfield Lodge nursing unit.

Fr Joe Hurley passed to the Lord on 20th December 1984. Having lived with him for twenty early years of our Jesuit lives, I retain very clearly the memory of Joe at our most revealing period of life. As I recall his virtues and few faults, the first thing I must mention is his charity.He never offended in word or deed. I should add here, though, that he did fail in the virtue by omission. He was a heavy sleeper, especially in the morning, and left us the other scholastics to serve his as well as our own Mass. We used to be rather annoyed at this, and we let him see our annoyance too. Joe however took it all both humbly and penitently. Of course penitence should include a purpose of amendment, but he continued to snore and oversleep on occasions. The truth, though we hardly recognised it at the time, was that Joe was quite a genius, a poet and “dreamer of dreams”, and the strict regularity of scholasticate life was not for poets or dreamers of any kind. It hindered, I think, the flowering of Joe's great abilities.
Joe however made his way through the various stages of the well-meant training though without displaying any great love of philosophy or theology. His first and last love was Irish: and to Dark Rosaleen, in that mythical goddess who for him seemed to summarise all Irish history (or rather, her story) with the dark blemishes blotted out, he clung passionately all his life. I should say here that Joe was an intellectual in the French sense. He lived in and on matters of the mind. Being a poet, he spent much time versifying silently as he strolled around. He dreamed in Irish, he spoke it to all who knew it, he pushed his abnormal interest in things connected with it down your throat. It was all this that made Joe both lovable and exasperating. One admired the untiring devotion to a worthy object, but felt angry at having willy-nilly to share the enthusiasm. Of course he used the pen and wrote many articles both in Irish and English, for he was a real scholar in English too. Much of his writing however came later, when he had exchanged the classroom for the editorial office. He taught Irish and some English(which he hated to teach) for about ten years (regency and after tertianship), and he infused a great enthusiasm for Irish . into some - but not all - of his pupils. He really gave them indigestion by his over-emphasis on the subject. The truth was that he was never meant to be a teacher. It was like asking a racehorse to do the work of a carthorse. Superiors saw this after a time, and mercifully (from Joe's point of view) changed him to Tullabeg. This change finally severed my association with him.
As I try to summarise his character as I knew him, besides the charity I mentioned, I recall the good humour he displayed, and the brilliant limericks he composed to our intense amusement. He was always a pleasant companion, and never took offence. He would and did annoy one by his obsession with Irish, which revealed itself sooner or later in all his conversations. He showed no anger or feeling of hurt when he took a 'nasty dig' from a bored listener. It was this refusal to reply in kind, and his continued pleasant attitude to his teaser, which was Joe's most marked characteristic and one of the causes of his amiability.
I must leave it to someone else to draw up an account of Joe's life from 1946 on, as I never lived with him again. I am glad I had for so long an intimate relationship with him, and benefited greatly from it.

Johnson, Thomas, 1840-1900, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1479
  • Person
  • 19 November 1840-27 May 1900

Born: 19 November 1840, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1877
Died; 27 May 1900, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare

in Vita Functi 1900 Catalogue as JOHN

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His mother was a Catholic and his father a Protestant, and he was raised in his father’s faith. He became a Catholic around nineteen and Entered 07 September 1865, where his Novice Master was Aloysius Sturzo.

1869 After First Vows he remained at Milltown, and then as Janitor and Cust Tricl. at Tullabeg.
1871-1872 He was sent to Limerick, and later on to Clongowes as Dispenser to everyone’s satisfaction (1875).
1880 He was sent back to Limerick, and in 1881 transferred to Galway, and later still to Milltown.
1883 He was sent to Gardiner St as Buyer and Dispenser.
1884 The last five or six years of his life were spent at Clongowes. He was in charge of the Boys Refectory, and he did an admirable job, making sure the boys were comfortable, and he was scrupulously clean. No area of the school was more admired than brother Johnson’s Refectory.
He had been in poor health and used to go up to Dublin for a “Turkish Bath”, and returning on the same day. A few days before his death he had come to Dublin as usual, but unfortunately left the “cooling room” too early, so that when he returned to Clongowes he had started to develop pneumonia. Learning of his impending death, he prayed most fervently. His patience and submission were most admirable. He was assisted in his last moments by his Spiritual Father, Michael Browne, and died 27 May 1900.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Thomas Johnson 1840-1900
In Wicklow on November 19th 1840 was born Thomas Johnson a temporal coadjutor. His father was a protestant and his mother a Catholic, so Thomas was brought up and educated as a Protestant. But the prayers of his good mother prevailed at last, and he became a Catholic at about 19 years of age. On September 7th 1865 he was admitted as a novice at Milltown Park, with Fr Sturzo as his Novice-Master.

He spent many years of faithful and edifying labour in man capacities in our houses, Tullabeg, Limerick, Galway and Gardiner Street. The last years of his life were spent at Clongowes, in charge of the Boy’s Refectory.

He had been in poor health, and he used to run up to Dublin for an occasional “Turkish Bath”, returning home the same day. Some time before his death he came up as usual, but unfortunately lefty the cooling room too soon, caught a chill, and on his return home developed pneumonia.

On hearing of his approaching death, he prayed fervently, and his patience and submission were most admirable. He was assisted in his last moments by his Spiritual Father, FR Michael Browne, and gave up his soul to God in the liveliest sentiments of faith and ardent love on May 7th 1900.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Brother Thomas Johnson (1840-1900)

In the last century, very few of our Brothers were associated with the Crescent and even then for but a few years at a time. Yet, two at least, of their names should find a place in this biographical index.

Brother Thomas Johnson (1840-1900), born in Co Wicklow, was the son of a Protestant father and a Catholic mother. According to the custom of the time, the boy was brought up in his father's beliefs but at the age of nineteen, he became a Catholic. He was admitted to the Society in 1865 and a few years after his religious profession was sent as sacristan to the newly opened church of the Sacred Heart, Limerick. His stay was short but he returned in 1871 and remained two years at the work of sacristan. For sometime after his departure, there were no Brothers attached to the Crescent community. In his time, Brother Johnson's spirit of work and edifying religious life made him a valued member of the Province. His death took place in Clongowes.

Jones, Daniel, 1816-1869, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/454
  • Person
  • 01 February 1816-02 June 1869

Born: 01 February 1816, Banada Abbey, County Sligo
Entered: 15 May 1844, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1852, St Beuno's, Wales
Professed: 02 February 1860
Died: 02 June 1869, Milltown Park, Dublin

Older brother of James - RIP 1893; Cousin of Nicholas Gannon - RIP 1882

First Irish Province Novice Master 1860-1864

by 1847 in Clongowes
by 1851 at Laval (FRA) studying Theology
by 1854 Teaching at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG)
by1859 at St Eusebio, Rome Italy (ROM) making Tertianship
by 1860 Mag Nov at Milltown

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Daniel and Maria née MacDonnell (daughter of Miles of Carnacon, Co Mayo). Brother of James RIP 1893 Loyola, Guipúzkoa, Spain

Early education and Prior Park, Bath, then Louvain and Trinity College Dublin. On his father’s death he succeeded to the family estate, became a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant for Sligo, and was once put in nomination to represent the County in Parliament. Growing weary of the world, he determined to consecrate himself to God in the Society of Jesus, joining the Irish Vice-Province, and his Noviceship was at Hodder, 15 May 1844, aged 28.

1846-1847 After First Vows he taught Grammar at Clongowes.
1847-1851 He then studied Philosophy and some Theology at Laval, and the finished his Theology at St Beuno’s, being Ordained there.
1852 Appointed Socius to the Novice Master at Hodder, while completing his Tertianship at the same time.
1854-1857 Professor of Moral Theology at St Beuno’s, and then taught the short course in Hebrew, whilst acting as Spiritual Father.
1857-1858 Sent to Gardiner St as a Missioner, but soon left for Rome, having got permission to make a second Tertianship, since the first was too much interrupted at Hodder.
1859 Sent to Milltown as Minister
1860-1864 Having taken Final Vows, he was appointed Rector of Milltown and the first HIB Master of Novices, the Vice-Province having been raised to a full Province in 1860.
1864 He was succeeded by Joseph Lentaigne, so he became Spiritual Father at Milltown, and Director of the Spiritual Exerecises to externs, whilst at the same time being Socius to the Provincial.
1869 He died a holy death at Milltown 02 June 1869 Milltown aged 53. A full account of his sickness and death appeared in “Letters & Notices” Vol vi, pp 172 seq :
“Father Jones was a profound Theologian, and deeply versed in Canon Law, and was consulted with very great confidence by many persons far and near. is varied talents were enhanced by a singular humility, a most amiable disposition and a childlike simplicity, and he could never be brought to look upon himself as fit for any post of honour or responsibility. Death alone had anticipated his knowledge of the fact that he had been appointed Provincial”.

He was thrice elected Procurator to represent the Irish Province in Rome : 1860, 1863 and 1868.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Daniel Jones 1816-1869
Fr Daniel Jones was born at Benada Abeey County Sligo on February 1st 1916. He made his classical and higher studies at Prior Park, the University of Louvain and Trinity College Dublin. On the death of his father he succeeded to the family estate, and became a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant for Sligo. Growing weary of the world, he entered the Society at Hodder in 1844 for the Irish Province.

In 1850 he was made Socius to the Master of Novices at Hodder, while doing his tertianship at the same time. In 1857-1858 he was a Missioner at Gardiner Street, but soon left for Rome, having obtained leave to make a second tertianship, due to the interruptions of the first one. He was then appointed first Rector of Milltown Park and Master of Novices.

In 1864 he was succeeded as Rector by Fr Lentaigne, he himself becoming Spiritual Father and Director of retreats. Three times successively he was elected Procurator to represent the Irish Province in Rome. He was a holy man, and also the author that handy little booklet on the Morning Oblation. He was so humble in himself that he never considered himself fit for any post of responsibility. Death alone anticipated his knowledge of the fact that he had been appointed Provincial.

He died a holy death at Milltown Park, June 2nd 1869.

Joy, Francis, 1903-1977, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/193
  • Person
  • 23 March 1903-13 December 1977

Born: 23 March 1903. Killorglin, County Kerry
Entered: 31 August 1920, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1934, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1938, Chiesa de Gesù, Rome, Italy
Died: 13 December 1977, Jervis Street Hospital, Dublin

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

Youngest brother of John C - RIP 1950, Patrick - RIP 1970

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ; Studied for BA in Classics at UCD

Father General's Assistant English Assistant

by 1936 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1937 at Rome, Italy (ROM) working with Propaganda for Faith Secretariat and then Substitute English Assistant
by 1938 at Rome Italy (ROM) Sub English Assistant

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 53rd Year No 2 1978
Obituary :
Fr Francis Joy (1903-1977)
On December 13th, 1977, Father Frank Joy died in Jervis Street Hospital. He had been brought there after collapsing in Dorset Street.
Born in Killorglin, Co, Kerry, on March 23rd 1903, he entered the Noviceship in Tullabeg on August 31st 1920. After the normal course of studies he was ordained priest in Milltown Park on July 31st 1934. His Tertianship was at St Beunos (1935-1936), and he pronounced his Final Vows in Rome, in the Church of the Holy Name, on February 2nd, 1938. They were received by the Vicar General.
Father Joy spent the years 1936-1946 in Rome in the varied works assigned to him. On his return to Ireland in 1946, after some time in Gardiner Street, and Belvedere, he was appointed Rector in Mungret College, in which office he remained from 1950 to 1956. After four years Superior in Manresa Retreat House, he was Rector in the Crescent, Limerick from 1960 to 1965, and then Rector in Clongowes from 1965 to 1968. father Joy spent some years at Retreat work in Leeson Street (1968-1970) and Milltown Park.
Father Joy went to Belvedere in 1971 and remained there in the Office of Bursar and Assistant Bursar until his death in 1976.
Father Frank Joy was very well known and liked in the Province, a thing which emphasises the friendliness and religious spirit that belonged to him. This is significant, for the successive works that were assigned to him were such as would - for the most part, - have drawn little attention to him from his fellow Jesuits in Ireland. Thus his early years in Rome were taken up with jobs that brought no attention to himself: e.g., he was, for a time, Editor of 'Lettres de Rome'. He was successively Rector or Superior of various houses over many years: and then as now a Rector of a College tended to be better known by parents and friends of the students than to other members of the Province outside his own Community. And it was, very fittingly, - in the rather hidden though important work of Bursar that he spent his last quiet years in Belvedere.

◆ The Clongownian, 1978

Obituary

Father Frank Joy SJ

Frank was the youngest of the six members of the Joy family of Killorglin who were educated in Clongowes. He spent four years here form 1916 to 1920. On leaving school he entered the Jesuit Noviceship at Tullabeg, where he had been preceded by his two elder brothers John and Paddy. At the end of his noviceship he went to UCD and took an honours degree in the classics. He then proceeded to Milltown Park to do his philosophical studies, after which he came back to Clongowes and taught classics between 1927 and 1931. His theological studies followed, again in Milltown Park, and he was ordained priest there on July 31st 1934, A spiritual year followed in St Bueno's College, North Wales, and at the end of that year he was summoned to Rome to work at the headquarters of the Jesuit Order, and remained there for nine years from 1939-46.

On his return to Ireland, he was engaged in retreat work in Gardiner Street and Belvedre College. In 1950 he went to Mungret College as Rector. From 1956-60 he was superior of Manresa the Jesuit Retreat House in North Dublin. In 1960 he went back to Limerick as Rector of the Crescent Church and College. In 1965 he returned to Clongowes as Rector, and held that office for three years. In 1968 he moved into Belvedere College, filling the responsible office of school bursar. And so, Frank spent most of his life in administration, and a very capable administrator he was. For the last few years his health had not been good. He went out for a walk in Dublin on December 13th 1977, and suffered a heart attack in the street. He was taken off to hospital and died that night. He was 74 years of age.

Kane, Robert I, 1848-1929, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/25
  • Person
  • 29 March 1848-21 November 1929

Born: 29 March 1848, Dublin
Entered: 03 November 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880, Laval, France
Professed: 02 February 1888, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 21 November 1929, Milltown Park, Dublin

Oldest brother of T Patrick - RIP 1918 and William V - RIP 1945
Cousin of Joseph McDonnell - RIP 1928

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1869 at Amiens, France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1875 at Vals, France (TOLO) studying
by 1877 at Laval, France (FRA) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Oldest brother of T Patrick Kane SJ - RIP 1918 and William V Kane SJ - RIP 1945

Paraphrase/Excerpts“Irish Catholic” :
“Father Robert Kane SJ, well known as ‘the Blind Orator’ died at Milltown Park.... The son of William J Kane of Dublin and his wife Mary MacDonnell of Saggart ... he was a nephew of Sir Robert Kane, distinguished Irish scientist, author of “The Industrial Resources of Ireland”, and first cousin to the famous Admiral Henry Kane. He received his early education at Clongowes (1859-1864) and Ushaw (1864-1866).

After First Vows he went to St Acheul and then Roehampton for studies. He then spent three years Regency at Clongowes teaching Classics, and then back to France at le Mans, then two years Philosophy at Laval and followed by three years Theology and he was Ordained in 1880. Ill health forced him back to Ireland where he finished his Theology.
When the Philosophical school was opened at Milltown in 1881 he was appointed Professor of Physics and Ethics, which due to failing sight he was forced to abandon after a couple of years. He made his Tertianship at Roehampton and was then sent to Gardiner St. for two years and where he made his Final Vows. Then the Theology faculty was opened in 1889, and in spite of his disability, he was appointed Professor, and again after three years he had to abandon this post due to poor sight.
He remained at Milltown after he finished as professor, with the exception of two years at Crescent (1901-1903). He now devoted himself to the ministry of Preaching, Confessing and giving Retreats. Though totally blind for almost 30 years he would not abandon work. His strong and determined character would not consider a life of inaction or repose. He was fifty-six when he started teaching Philosophy and an oculist told him his eyes would not stand the strain, but he went ahead anyway. Instead, knowing blindness would come, he resolved to acquire a thorough knowledge of Philosophy and Theology, a store on which he would have to draw in the future. In the darkness of his blindness he sat composing his sermons and committing them to memory. He was then continuously sought after as a Preacher both in Ireland and England. His style was florid and rhetorical, but the matter was solid and profound. He could make dry scholastic argument live by the touch of his poetic mind.
Although blind he was able to prepare many works for publication, ad so he kept working right until the end. His last illness lasted 10 days and he died peacefully at Milltown.
Shortly before his death the Senate of the National University of Ireland notified him that they intended to confer the Degree ‘Doctor of Literature’ on him, in recognition of his published work.”

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 5th Year No 2 1930
Obituary :
Fr Robert Kane
Fr. Robert Kane ended his long and heroic life at Milltown Park, Dublin, on Thursday Nov. 21st. 1919. Fighting a battle against blindness for 40 years, and during all that time preaching sermons, many of them on great occasions, giving retreats, writing books, travelling alone through a crowded city, going on long missionary journeys, surely all that lifts a man's life to the heroic level. And such was the life of Fr. Robert Kane.

He was born in Dublin on the 29th March 1848, His first school was the Loreto Convent, N. Gt. Georges St, in which street his family then lived. He spent a short time at a school in Gloucester St., then for a year was with the Carmelites in Lr. Dominick St., another year at Newbridge, went to Clongowes in 1859, and finally to Ushaw in 1864 where he put in two years. When at Clongowes he began to think of joining the Society. At that time he was a Ward of Court, under the authority of the Lord Chancellor, and the change to Ushaw was, possibly, to test his vocation. He remained firm and entered the Novitiate at Milltown Park on the 3rd. Nov. 1866. He went to St. Acheul for his juniorate, where, on his 21st birthday, 29th March 1869, he took his vows. A second year's juniorate, spent at Roehampton, followed, and then Clongowes for three years teaching 1st Grammar and Poetry.
It was during these three years that his eyesight, in consequence of a neglected cold, first became affected. A distinguished Dublin oculist, a protestant, told him that he would eventually lose his sight, that he would he unable for a life of severe study, and suggested settling down in the country to farm land. Fr. Kane went to our College at Le Mans instead, and put in a year as lower line prefect.
Next came philosophy, two years at Vals, and a third at Laval. On his way to Vals he got leave to visit Lourdes, and he ever afterwards believed that the result of the visit was a special grace that enabled his eyesight to hold out during the long years of severe Jesuit study. Theology followed immediately - three years at Laval, (at the end of them came the expulsion
from our houses in France), the fourth year was passed in private study at Clongowes. Fr. Kane was ordained in the Cathedral at Laval on the 8th Sept. 1880, travelled to Dublin and said his first Mass at St Francis Xaviers, Gardiner St. on the feast of the Dolours BVM.
Those who made their studies at Laval will remember the excellent custom of having a long sleep to 5am during the minor vacation. Fr. Kane would not avail of this privilege. Up at 4am., and, when the morning devotions were over, pounded hard in his room until 11.45. On Villa days there was a forced march of some 40 or 50 miles. On getting back to Ireland
this too strenuous work was increased rather then lessened. People say that he burned the candle at both ends.
However the studies were get through without serious mishap. From issi to 1991 the 1883 the philosophers of Milltown had him as one of their professors and their immediate Superior. In the latter year tertianship was commenced at Milltown, but did not last long, the eyes were getting ominously bad, and for nearly two years he was laid up partly at Milltown, partly at Dusseldorf. In 1885, all the Catalogue says about him is “Cur Val”. In 1886-87 he made his tertianship at Roehampton, and when it was over went to Gardiner St., remained there for two years and then returned to Milltown as professor of the “Short Course”. He held this position for three years, but the eyes seem to be getting slowly, steadily worse, and by 1892 his energies were confined to “Exam. NN., Trad. exerc. spir., conf. ad jan”. From that date he remained at Milltown until his death, with the exception of two years spent at the Crescent, Limerick . Limited space inexorably compels to postpone a further sketch of Fr. Kane's life to the June number.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 3 1930

Obituary : Fr Robert Kane continued

Up to about the year 1901, Fr. Kane was still able, under favourable circumstances, to read his own manuscripts, large, heavy writing. But about that date the sight failed completely. He became stone blind.
It was then that the heroism of the man asserted itself. He did not lie down under the weight of his heavy cross. He continued to preach, to give lectures, retreats, to move about the country on missionary journeys. And he prepared all his discourses with the upmost care. At first sight this would seem impossible, but with the help of a secretary, and the aid of the more than willing scholastics of Milltown, the work was done.
Fr. Kane's style of preaching had many ardent admirers and many very severe critics, He was quite alive to this fact, and defends himself as follows : “I frankly and most willingly admit that there are able and admirable men who don't quite approve of my style of preaching. To them, and to all those who share their views, I offer my “Apologia”. I never for a moment thought my style is the only good style, nor did I ever fancy that it is the best style. My position is this : My style is the best style for me, and for those amongst my audience whose character and sympathies are like my own.
“Nothing is too good, too beautiful, to he the living shrine of the living Word. The inspired practice of the Church has been always, when this is possible, to build her grand Cathedrals., her humble pretty Chapels for her King to dwell therein. No gold is too pure, no precious stones too costly or too brilliant to enshrine His Precious Blood, no silk too fine, no lace too delicate to adorn His Altar or its ministers. So, too, no oratory is too elevated, or too touching, or too beautiful to be the medium of His teaching or His appeal.
This is true of the personal character of the Priest, as he is Christ's Preacher. To his Divine work, the individual Priest must put all the thinking of his mind, the knowledge of his study, the care of his writing, the accuracy and finish of his speech, the power and attraction of his voice, the fitness, the reverence and the subdued sacredness of good taste in gesture. In all this the Priest must he himself, his very own best self. This is my ideal, and I have tried to realise it in myself.”
The depth of Fr. Kane's holiness has been, fortunately, revealed to us by a little book, a few copies of which were distributed on the occasion of his Diamond Jubilee. It consists of a collection of prayers composed by himself. The prayer for patience occupies just six pages of that book. Though he does not say so, it is quite obvious that his own heavy cross was pressing on him, and the prayer tells us how he bore it. Only a few lines of those six pages can be given : “Jesus Christ, my God and my Redeemer, I accept my cross as a result of my own folly, ignorance, or obstinacy, as a result chosen or permitted by Thy Supreme Will. I accept it as a punishment inflicted by Thine Absolute Justice, As a keepsake sent from Thy Sacred Heart; As the Sign of the Cross upon my life; As a moulding of my life into a likeness of Thine own life. I accept it in union with Thine own most bitter Passion, and in union with the Dolours of Thine own most Blessed Mother. I accept it with unquestioning resignation, with thanksgiving, with gratitude for Thy goodness to me and mine, in reparation for my faults and sins”. He confided to a friend, that it costs him years of struggle to say this prayer with his whole heart. The “Prayer of a Religious” is very striking. Again no mention of himself, and again quite obvious that he is unconsciously laying bare his heart . He thanks God for the “inestimable grace of vocation”, for God's “mysterious mercy”, in keeping him true to that vocation, and then, in impassioned words, begs for the grace to he faithful to that vocation in life and in death. Those who can speak with certain knowledge tell us of his tender devotion to Our Blessed Lady, from boyhood. Of course the “Few Special Prayers” contains prayer to the “Virgin Mother”. But there is scarcely a prayer in the book in which Mary is not called on with tender devotion and absolute confidence. Fr. Kane was very honest when telling us of the praise or blame meted out to him during life. Surely he was not less honest when dealing heart to heart, with God, and these Special Prayers tell us how he dealt. His piety did not lie on the surface, but every page of that book reveals the true Jesuit, the real, genuine A “Man of God”
During his period of total blindness Fr. Kane prepared for the press and published the following : “The Eucharist”; “From Peter to Leo”; The Virgin Mother”; “The Sermon of the Sea and other Stories”; “Socialism”; “The Plain Gold Ring:’ “Good Friday to Easter Sunday”; “God or Chaos”; “From Fetters to Freedom”; “Worth”; “A dream of Heaven and other Discourses”. A poem of his “From out the Darkness” appeared in the Irish Monthly, October 1885, 1885, that gives a good idea of his character.
Shortly before his death, the Senate of the National University notified him that they intended to confer the degree of Doctor of Literature on him in recognition of his published work.
We are again indebted to Fr. P. Gannon for the following appreciation It appeared in the : Standard” 1of Nov. 30th. :
After Fr. Finlay, Fr. Kane, and another link is snapped with the ecclesiastical Ireland of the last half century. Much more, too, than his younger colleague did Fr. Kane pertain to that past. The final years of blindness naturally lessened contact with men and passing events.
Yet Fr. Kane refused to be alone, or to be severed from the world of men. He did not retire to his tent embittered and inactive. He came of a fighting race and continued the good fight, as he saw it, with a gallantry well nigh heroic. He reminded one a good deal of an abbé of the ancient régime - perhaps because so much of his education was received in France. He had the dignity and stately courtesy of older times. His appearance in the pulpit suggested even a prophet of the Old Testament - The handsome face, the flowing beard, the voice, rich and sonorous till age weakened it, the gestures graceful and impressive, the moral earnestness, the air of conviction of this sightless seer caught the attention and stirred the imagination of his listeners. These external characteristics, united with a genuine gift of eloquence which he had cultivated with his wonted thoroughness and assiduity, made him perhaps the most distinguished pulpit orator in Ireland for a whole generation. Loss of sight, making its insidious approach from early manhood gradually forced him to relinquish the professor's chair, for which he was highly qualified, and compelled him to devote all his energies to the pulpit and the lecture platform. He became “the blind orator”, widely familiar as such throughout Ireland and Great Britain, and rarely has success been more nobly won. The style of his oratory is less in harmony with the taste of to-day, and never lacked its critics. It is studied, self-conscious and somewhat artificial. It abounds in antitheses, alliteration, and elaborate cadences, which would have earned for him the reproach of Asianism among the ancients. His very dedication to his art, so admirable under the circumstances, rendered him a victim to its wiles, which are not without their seduction. The loving care which he devoted to his periods robs them too often of naturalness and spontaneity.
But when criticism has had its say, it remains true that he was a very polished, impressive and at times even great preacher, who exercised an undoubted spell upon crowded congregations for almost fifty years, and has left eleven volumes of sermons and lectures to perpetuate his fame.
They are, perhaps, a little too rhetorical, but they are not mere rhetoric, They are informed by a sound knowledge of theology, and philosophy, and give evidence of an earlier literary formation which an almost phenomenal memory kept at his disposal even to the end. This would be no mean achievement for any man, and for him, with his tragic handicap, was a triumph of will-power and brain-power which none can fail to admire.
Indeed we may say that, though he preached frequently and eloquently, the noblest sermon of all was just his life-long fight against disabilities that would have daunted the courage of any heart less resolute than his, or less stayed on God. For the secret of his strength was just an unwavering faith in “HIM who rules the whole”.
His cousin, the admiral, rescued the Calliope from a storm in southern seas in which all others perished. Father Kane saved the vessel of his own career from similar shipwreck by moral seamanship not less wonderful. In addition to his activity in the pulpit he was an assiduous giver of retreats to priests, religious and laymen, He was also a very popular and trusted confessor, and the director of many souls. Many still remain who will mourn hint and miss the cheery tones inculcating courage and confidence all the more persuasively because coming from one who had never failed to exemplify these virtues in his own sorely tried life.
Fr. William Kane once asked Fr. Robert, by letter which of his sermons or sets of lectures did he himself prefer. The reply was a straight and as honest as the passage in which he gives us the criticisms of those who disliked his style of preaching : “The dearest to me of all my writings is my set of lectures on “the Virgin Mother”. They are the realisation of a long cherished hope. They are inferior from a literary point of view to many other sermons and lectures which I have written , yet, as I told you once, I want to have a copy of them put in my coffin. The sermon on Dr. Nulty was the greatest triumph which I have achieved. The fierce feud between the Parnellites and anti-Parnellites, the rancour of anti-clerics, with many other causes, made the occasion one of almost unparalleled difficulty. To my own mind it appears that I never got so near the highest oratory, as in the way in which I approached the subject, marshalled my materials, interested my audience, and won their sympathy for my hero before they were conscious of it, brought his enemies to lay down their arms, brought his friends to be generous towards their opponents. and left the feud buried with the great old Bishop. That will sound very conceited, but it is not really so, I had prayed with the most intense earnestness, and I relied exclusively on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Against the entreaties of my greatest friends and those whose wisdom I esteemed most highly, I neither asked nor took advice. I let my own thought and feeling follow implicitly the inspiration which I knew l had a right to claim from God in the doing of His work.
“Good Friday to Easter Sunday” puzzles me. On the one hand, it is my natural expression of my most intense reverence and feeling, and, as far as I can look upon it coolly and impartially, it seems to me very good literature, as far as my own personal style goes , but, on the other hand, it falls so immeasurably below its subject, that 1 should wish to to rewrite almost every sentence of it, but 1 know and feel that if I were writing and re-writing it for ever I should always remain dissatisfied.
If you find all this too long and too egoistic, you have only got yourself to blame for asking an imprudent question”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert Kane 1848-1929
Fr Robert Kane, well known as the “Blind Orator”, died at Milltown Park on November 21st 1929. He was born in Dublin on March 29th 1848, brother of two other famous Jesuits, Frs Patrick and William. He was a nephew of the renowned scientist Sir Robert Kane, and a firsst cousin of Admiral Henry Kane.

Fr Robert entered the Society in 1866, and he professed Philosophy at Milltown Park, a post he had to relinquish owing to weak sight. On the opening of the Theological faculty at Milltown in 1889, he was appointed to a chair there from Gardiner Street, in spite of his defective sight. Again, after three years he had to give up. From 1889 he resided at Milltown Park, apart from two years at the Crescent.

During all those 37 years he devoted himself to preaching and giving retreats. Though totally blind for 30 years, he never ceased working for God.

At the beginning of his philosophical studies he had been warned that his eyes could not stand the strain of study. Yet he persisted, and he refused to renounce his vocation. Knowing the affliction that would ultimately come upon him, he laid up a store of learning in the Sacred Sciences, that never failed him during his years of darkness.

He was in continual demand as a pulpit orator, both in England and Ireland. His style eas florid and rhetorical, but the matter was solid and profound. It was during this long night of the soul that he prepared for the press those numerous volumes of his including “Sermon on the Sea”, “God or Chaos” and “Socialism”. Thus he kept working up to the very end.

The character and determination displayed by him iin overcoming his handicap, and the vast amount of good he accomplished for religion, are a lasting and inspiring example to all Jesuits.

◆ The Clongownian, 1927

The Past

Father Robert Kane SJ

We take this opportunity of offering to Fr Robert Kane our very sincere felicitations on the celebration of his Diamond Jubilee in the Society, in November last.

His service in the good cause has not been that of those who stand and wait. Through forty long years of the darkness he himself has suffered he has continually upheld the torch to light the way for others. In the pulpit, in the confessional, with the pen, he has laboured with un rernitting vigour, with undaunted courage, with a vision before his eyes which is denied to many who look upon the beauties of this world. Only last year his most recent book, “The Unknown Force”, was reviewed in the “Clongownian”, while large as is the number of his published works, the body of his unpublished work, sermons, lec tures and addresses of various kinds, is greater still. Thus, even in his eightieth year, is his sword not rusted.

Contre mauvaise forturte bon coeur is a motto which Fr Kane will recognise, should these words come to his ears. Courage is the word which seems most effectively to sum up his character and his outlook. His is a courage in the truest and highest sense of the word, a courage which finds its strength in God, and which, relying on Him, has fought its way through black difficulties which most men can but dimly guess at.

◆ The Clongownian, 1930

“My Star” (Ave Maris Stellis)

Father Robert Kane SJ

Hid in tumultuous gloom, the winds made war
On the sad sea, which, wild with pain and white
With terror, leaped from the storm's stroke to height
Of cloud ; then stunned, fell moaning back afar
Down to vague chasms. Forth flashed forked fire to mar
Death's sacred horror with its demon light,
When, through the gale, the gloom, the rage, the night,
Appeared a lull, a gleam, a hope, a star.

Thus did a storm of sorrow , my day
In tangled violence of woe, that tore
My heart with wreck and havoc. But the gray
Grim tempest fled in scattered drift before
My star, and, as its mutterings died away,
The waves still sobbing, smiled and slept once more.

Written by the late Father Robert Kane, S.J.. and first published in “The Irish Monthly”, May, 1896,

-oOo-

Obituary

Father Robert Kane SJ

Nowhere ought the memory of Father Robert Kane be enshrined with more reverent care than in “The Clongownian”. Father Kane was the soul of loyalty to the College, and represented the best type of its sons. From nature he had received striking gifts, but to Clongowes he owed very much of their development and of his life-long characteristics in mind and manners. Holy, priestly, learned, a cultured gentleman-such he was in gerin when in his eighteenth year he left the College walls to enter the novitiate of the Society of Jesus; such he was when he returned thither to form the minds and tastes of another generation of Clongowes' boys; such he was in fullest development when, on Whitsunday, 1914, in the new chapel, he hailed with enthusiastic eloquence the joyful occasion of the College centenary. He was proud of Clongowes, and Clongowes has had good reasons to be proud of him.

Undoubtedly, other influences also moulded him into what he became. Of his early surrender of himself to the Society of Jesus I will not speak, save to recall that it was followed by sixty-two years of unwavering loyalty. He spent altogether nine years in France. There his mind was trained to the orderly and disciplined habits that go to make the clear thinker and the thoroughly Catholic theologian, and that in other ways too help to render life successful and beautiful. But he was too much of an Irishman to like everything he met in France. I think he sensed there a certain narrowness and rigidity which repelled him and which made him throughout life to use a French expression something of a “rondeur” a ready critic of what he thought impostures, and a tendency (controlled, no doubt) to be “agin the government”. He was not always patient with the failures of other people to reach the high ideals he had conceived as to life's conduct; and his refined idealism, combined with a quick wit and a cultivated power of epigrammatic expression, were not gifts calculated to win him unvarying popularity. One thing they would have done, combined with his strong intellect and eager ...ness as a student-that was to make him a brilliant professor. He was beginning to find himself thoroughly, it seemed, as an exponent and disputant in theology or philosophy. But it was not so to - continue at least not in the obvious way.

And so. We come to the last great formative influence in his career. This was his blindness. Induced by whatever causes - imprudence on the part of others, or imprudence in his own application to study - this dread affliction fell upon Father Robert in the prime of his manhood, came as a death-in-life when he was beginning to add to the successes of a gifted professor those of a popular preacher, when, too, he was physically full of a still-juvenile activity. A harder trial could not easily be imagined. Inexorably the shades of i night crept on, while hope after hope faded out, the long succession of forty-three years began to build round the sufferer an ever-closer prison of darkness and repression. No longer could he pick out from their shelves and skin through at will the great tomes that were his chief nental food, no longer stride forthi at four miles an hour to drink in the beauty of mountain Or sea, no longer wander freely through the pictured pages of poet or novelist or essayist.

Yet it was a wonderful proof of his elasticity and resource that he made life for himself so livable in a simply natural way as he did. He was astonishing, even in his completely blind days, as a walker, a skater, a swimmer, a diver, In such recreations he often proved his light-hearted courage in feats that left onlookers open-mouthed. But better than all this was his victorious battle against idleness and uselessness. Early he acquired the habit - afterwards so marked a feature of his career, and his success - of composing sermons and other discourses in his mind not in a vågue or haphazard fashion, but with complete grasp of the whole and the parts, and with exacting choice of every word. {In his published volumes one notices with regret that his inability to revise printers' proofs has often played false with this text). He could then dictate without pause the finished discourse to whatever scribe presented himself or was sent to him by Superiors.

In and above this activity there was something greater than a merely natural force of heroism. The supernatural was needed - and it was there. A temperament that might have been drawn, too violentīy to love of the external world, an abundance of gifts that might have proved intoxicating all these were secured for the highest aims by those angels of Providence that bring at once the chalices of pain and the mystic words of strengthening. Not only of the Greatest of Sufferers has it been written : “And, being in an agony, he prayed the longer”, but also of many a weak human follower. Robert Kane prayed long and well in his cell of darkness, and strength from above was given to him.

It was my good fortune to live on somewhat intimate terms with him during two of the earlier years of his great calamity, when, kept within a shuttered room and plagued with useless drugs, he was still encouraged to keep up the hope that sight would one day again be his. His patience and good humour were uniform. Sometimes he varied graver occupations with verse-making. His fastidiousness as a poet was all that one might expect from such a writer of prose. He anused himself with polishing and refining. I can recall how long he wavered between “whin” and “gorse” as the fitting word for a certain line of a certain sonnet. I wonder does that sonnet - or do others of his poems - survive in accessible form? I made no copies for myself - in those days, of course, carbon copies were a thing undreamt of. But my memory retains something of the most pathetic piece he dictated to me - a sonnet suggested by the first sense of despair as to his cure. It ended thus :

“My eyes shall light with joy no more
Until they look upon His face”.

But, throwing aside despair, he set himself to walk along his lightless way. He performed, during some forty-three years, work oratorical and literary that was, considering his difficulties, both in quantity and quality really astonishing. It had an immediate reward in great popular successes. As to its absolute and lasting value there may be, as there has always been, some difference of opinion. He showed himself a thoroughly-equipped philosopher and theologian - of that there need be no doubt. His literary expression he consciously and conscientiously worked up to the highest standards he knew of. He would rival Ruskin, Chateaubriand and all the literary florists in effectiveness and beauty of language. No flowers were too brilliant to set before the altar of Truth. At the same time he detested along with boldness of expression and commonplace simplicity, the exclusion of emotion, even passion, from religious art - whether music, oratory, or any other. All such negations he anathematized as puritanism, Jansenism, pharisaism. Not going into the deeper questions thus raised, I will merely say that these views of Fr Robert's had for their literary result a deliberate letting loose of emotion, a warmth (or heat) of language and an accumulation of ornament which did not win the admiration of all hearers or readers; and which in some respects such as the abuse of alliteration will be defended by few persons of good taste.

Many, undoubtedly, listened with more complete satisfaction to his less formal, less carefully prepared discourses such as those, for example, that he delivered, during a long series of years to the Students Sodality at University College, Dublin. No one was so frequently invited to help at its meetings, because no one was so surely trusted to please and to do good. Personally, I thought a little discourse of his on St Joseph delivered to that audience the most beautiful thing I ever heard spoken by him.

If there were only room for it, I should have liked to quote here, as a fine specimen of his fully-elaborated rhetorical passages, a piece which is'to be found at page 77 of the volume entitled “The Sermon of the Sea and other Studies”. Its theme is the Church as the friend of human intellectual effort.

Such a passage may well suggest to some of my readers that they have lost a good deal by not reading and studying Father Kane's books. To the more thoughtful, to the youth (for example), who is facing newly a world uncatholic and argumentative, one night suggest - as a first choice - the volume named “God or Chaos”. It was much admired by a school-fellow and unchanging friend of the author's, who was also a man of the keenest judgment - Chief Baton Palles. He said of it that though it seemed at first approach “deep” and “hard reading”, yet, when one read it slowly and thoughtfully, it is “very simple”. It has, in fact, the simplicity that belongs to clear and logical thought; it is a repertory of philosophical and theological argument clothed in a vivid and trenchant style.

Much else might be said concerning Father Kane. Here are set down merely the chief impressions and recollections of one among the many who cherish his memory. His soul is beyond concern for these human appreciations - perhaps already in bliss; still, let none of us forget him in prayer.

G O’N

◆ The Clongownian, 1941

Tribute

Father Robert Kane SJ

In the first four numbers of “Black and White”, a new magazine devoted to the cause of the blind in Eire, there appeared a series of articles on Father Robert Kane SJ, the great preacher and conferencier, familiarly known as the “Blind Doctor”, who died in 1929. These articles are from the pen of Fr Hugh Kelly SJ, and they give in eloquent and touching words the life story of that truly great Jesuit and loyal son of Clongowes. As an obituary notice of Fr Kane appeared in “The Clongownian” of 1930, it will not be necessary to do more than to recall briefly the main features of that wonderful life,

Fr Kane's blindness came upon him just when he felt himself facing his life's work and longing to do great things for The Master. In spite, however, of his great handicap he did the great things that he dreamt of, and did them with a success that he would hardly have attained had he not to face difficulties that would have daunted a less determined spirit. There was hardly an important occasion, or a great ecclesiastical function in Ireland during almost 30 years in which Fr Kane was not a prominent figure. Many will remember the truly eloquent sermon that he preached at the High Mass in our Chapel on the occasion of the Clongowes centenary. It was for him a great occasion, the greatest of his life, as he said, and he rose gloriously to it.

We trust that the purpose for which Black and White was started may be achieved, and we are glad that its earlier numbers are associated with the name of Fr Robert Kane. We are sure that now that he is in the presence of the Great Light he will not forget those, in Eire especially, who are enduring the great privation which he endured so long and so patiently, but will plead for them that they may be comforted, and perhaps relieved, in their hard lot. Certainly in Fr Robert Kane they will have a powerful advocate,

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Robert Kane (1848-1929)

The celebrated pulpit orator was stationed here from 1901 to 1903. He was educated at Newbridge, Clongowes and Ushaw and entered the Society in 1886. He made all his studies abroad chiefly in France and was ordained at Laval in 1880. He was for a time lecturer in philosophy and later, professor of theology at Milltown Park but had to relinquish these posts of responsibility because of failing eyesight. By 1901, when he arrived in Limerick, he had become totally blind. Yet in spite of this handicap, he was one of the most sought-after preachers for great occasions. And his eleven books of published sermons and lectures had a wide popularity in their day.

Kavanagh, Michael A, 1805-1863, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/45
  • Person
  • 11 October 1805-13 February 1863

Born: 11 October 1805, Harold's Cross, Dublin
Entered: 19 September 1823, Amiens, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 24 September 1836
Professed: 02 February 1846
Died: 13 February 1863, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin

by 1829 in Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His father died when he was very young, but his mother was able to attend to his education, and as soon as Clongowes was opened, he was sent there, and she was happy to put him in the care of Peter Kenney. His friends there were keen that he would be come a Jesuit.
Once he finished school he Entered and did his Noviceship in France.
After First Vows he went for studies in Physics at Paris, under Moigno and Lejariel. He was then sent to Clongowes for Regency, where he taught Classics for several years.
When he finished Regency he was sent to England for Theology, and was Ordained at Stonyhurst by Dr Briggs.
1837 He came back to Clongowes, teaching the higher classes with great success, and was appointed Rector in 1850, a position he held for five years. he faithfully adhered to the old custom of wearing a Court Suit on Academy Day.
1855 He was sent to Gardiner St as Operarius, and worked thus for some years. Unfortunately towards the end he suffered greatly from scruples and so was unfit to work. he died quite suddenly in the end. All through his final sickness, he was patient and kind to all.
He was a great classical scholar, a good poet, very zealous, and a pious observant of his faith.

Keane, John J, 1867-1954, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/198
  • Person
  • 04 November 1867-05 August 1954

Born: 04 November 1867, Barraduff, County Kerry
Entered: 31 July 1885, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 28 July 1901, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1904
Died: 05 August 1954, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1903 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 29th Year No 4 1954
Obituary :
Father John Keane
Father Keane was born in 1867 at Barraduff, Co. Kerry, Educated at St. Michael's, Listowel and Clongowes, he entered the Society at Dromore in 1885. He studied rhetoric and philosophy in Milltown; taught classics in Clongowes for six years, did theology in Milltown, where he was ordained in 1901 and completed his tertianship in Tronchiennes. Then followed a memorable period as Master of Juniors in Tullabeg, a short time teaching in Belvedere before going to Milltown in 1913 to become in turn professor of theology and professor of scripture. In 1922 he was appointed Socius to the Provincial; in 1924 he became Rector of Rathfarnham; in 1930 he joined the staff of Gardiner Street where he remained until his death on August 6th, 1954.
His reputation for scholarship, especially in the scriptural, classical and literary spheres, has always been very high. Many who had him as professor of scripture in Milltown or Master of Juniors in Tullabeg or as rector in Rathfarnham can pay tribute to the width and the depth of his learning. Those who knew Fr. Keane intimately will easily imagine him interrupting this inadequate appreciation of his scholarship with a favourite expression of his own “Humbug”! He disliked others humbugging themselves and, perhaps, he instinctively feared that he might himself succumb to self-deception. At any rate, praise always embarrassed him. If anything, he saw, or imagined he saw, his own defects too clearly. Perhaps those who knew him in his prime will agree that this severe self-criticism may have prevented Fr. Keane from writing some work of note.
Yet he could praise himself! He allowed himself indulge his pride in facts that would not upset his humility. Mountain-climbing, walking or cycling were topics on which he would discourse at the slightest opportunity. A contemporary of his remarked recently : “In his young days, Fr. Keane would frighten you! Looking at a map he would say : X to Y, 5 miles - I'll walk that in an hour ; Y to Z, 10 miles - 2 hours more”. His extraordinary physical prowess lasted well on into his old age. When eighty years old, he climbed Croaghpatrick, said Mass, breakfasted very lightly and returned to Achill for the day's first full meal at 8 p.m. No one will say that he pampered himself! He must have been one of the last in the Province to have burned the midnight oil in the literal sense. When Fr. Keane was Master of Juniors in Tullabeg his lamp had to be filled with oil every day whereas the other members of the Community required to have their lamps attended to only once a week!
But the most typical memories of Fr. Keane are those that recall him as a “community man”. Even up to a few years ago he would promptly take over “Domi” to oblige a fellow priest. To be near him at recreation was a real pleasure and a lesson in charity. The “leg-pulling” for which he was noted was never offensive. If one side in a discussion seemed to be getting the upper hand, Fr. Keane would restore the balance by first praising the winning disputant and then by taking the feet from under him. Rarely did be show his hand in a serious discussion except on a religious or patriotic subject. It was no trouble to him to upset a would-be Sir Oracle. His love of fun was so genuine that, even in a bout of pain, he would unfailingly allow himself be distracted by any effort at a joke.
Of recent years he rarely left the house. Indeed, apart from his weekly outing to purchase the Sunday Times (for the cross-word primarily) about the only occasions he put on his hat - he never had much use for an overcoat - were when he attended meetings of the Hospital for Incurables of which he was a governor. His fidelity in attendance at these meetings was most edifying, and many sufferers were deep in his debt for the enthusiasm with which he supported their cause.
He always maintained a priestly dignity with a reserve that seemed sometimes akin to secretiveness. His discomfiture at any serious reference to his talents has been noted already. Remarkable also was his reticence about the very distinguished members of his family. He never complained about the labour of work in the confessional although, up to about two years ago, he occupied a very “exposed” box. Nor did he mention the onerous commissions which “doing Domi” sometimes entails. But he was quick to praise others, to encourage some promising preacher or laud the gifts of some new writer as likely to uphold the high traditions of the Society.
Fr. Keane was a brother of the Most Rev. Patrick Keane, Bishop of Sacramento, U.S.A.; of Very Rev. Wm. Keane, P.P., Valentia; and of Sir Michael Keane, Lt.-Governor of Assam, India, who all predeceased him.
A most irritating form of eczema which had troubled him for years became acute about a year ago. Fr. Keane was one of the few improved by illness. “He suffered agony in good humour”, said one of his Community. His manly spirituality, so unobtrusive during his active years, saved him from self-pity. Even when his mind became so befogged that, at times, he could not distinguish day from night, the intensity of his gratitude to his infirmarian (Br. Colgan) and to the nurses in hospital shone in his every reply to queries as to his welfare. He died in the morning of Thursday, August 5th. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Keane 1867-1954
The reputation of Fr John Keane for scholarship in the scriptural, classical and literary spheres was very high. He had a regard which almost amounted to adoration for his high intelligence and intellectual ability. as Master of Juniors in Tullabeg, he made an undying reputation for himself in the number of honours and scholarships obtained by the Juniors under him.

He was essentially, and before all, a kindly and deeply humble religious, remarkable always for his charity of tongue and deed. He was always ready to do “Domi” for a harrassed brother while stationed in Gardiner Street.

He was a man of extraordinary physique. When 80 years old he climbed Croagh Patrick, said Mass, climbed down and returned to Achill for his days first meal at 8 o’clock.

He was born in Kerry in 1867 of a distinguished ecclesiastical family, one of his brothers was a Bishop (Patrick Keane of Sacramento; also: Sir Michael Keane was Governor of Assam from 1932 to 1937; Fr William Keane P.P., Valentia Island).

Fr Keane died a peaceful and happy death on August 5th 1954 at the ripe age of 87.

◆ The Clongownian, 1955

Obituary

Father John Keane SJ

Father Keane was born in 1867 at Barraduff, Co Kerry. Educated at St Michael's, Listowel and at Clongowes, he entered the Society of Jesus at Dromore in 1885. He studied rhetoric and philosophy in Milltown, and taught classics in Clongowes for six years. As a priest he was successively Master of Juniors in Tullabeg, a teacher in Belvedere, professor of theology and then of scripture in Milltown Park. In 1922 he was appointed Socius to the Provincial; in 1924. he became Rector of Rathfarnham; in 1930 he joined the staff of Gardiner Street, where he remained until his death on August 5th, 1954.

His reputation for scholarship, especially in the scriptural, classical and literary spheres, was always high. But he would interrupt any appreciation of his learning with a favourite expression “Humbug!” He disliked others humbugging themselves and, perhaps, he instinctively feared that he might succumb to self-deception. If anything, he saw, or imagined he saw, his own defects too clearly. Perhaps those who knew him in his prime will agree that this severe self criticism may have prevented Fr. Keane from writing some work of note.

His extraordinary physical prowess lasted well on into his old age. When eighty years old, he climbed Croaghpatrick, said Mass, breakfasted very lightly and returned to Achill for the day's first full meal at 8 pm. No one will say that he pampered himself! In the painful sickness that led to his death, his manly spirituality, so unobtrusive during his active years, saved him from self-pity. “He suffered agony in good humour”, said one of his community. Even when his mind became so befogged that he could not distinguish day from night, the intensity of his gratitude to the infirmarian and to the nurses in hospital shone in his every reply to queries as to his welfare. May he rest in peace.

Kearns, Laurence M, 1912-1986, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/199
  • Person
  • 27 June 1912-28 October 1986

Born: 27 June 1912, Cobh, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Died: 28 October 1986, Jervis St Hospital Dublin

Part of St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin, and living at Our Lady of Consolation, Donnycarney, Dublin at time of his death.

Chaplain in the Second World War
by 1970 at Kitwe, Zambia - working in Educational TV

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Lol was born in Cobh, Co Cork on 27 June 1912. After school at Mungret College, he entered the Society at Tullabeg and did the second year noviceship at Emo. The normal studies of the Society brought him to his ordination on 13 May 1942.

Immediately after theology, Lol (as Fr Laurence was known in the Society) became chaplain in the British Army from 1943 to 1947 and served on the European continent. Towards the end of the war his unit was sent to free Belsen concentration camp, “That's how I saw hell on earth” he wrote. He also tells us about his bad car accident: “While driving in convoy on the first stage of our journey to Brussels, my driver ran the car into a tree north of Magdeburg and my head was banged into the glove compartment in the dashboard. I saw Fr Morrison again at CelIe as he bent over my stretcher and formed the opinion that I should never look the same again. Even my mother did not recognise me at once. But a few months in Gloucester under the great “guinea-pig” surgeon, Emlyn Lewis, who grafted a hunk from my arm into my mouth, set me up again.’ After demobilisation, he made his tertianship 1947/48.

Minister, retreat giver, bursar was his lot at Manresa 1948-'54, '62-'65, '68-'69. He taught religion at Bolton Street Technical College, Dublin 1962-'65.

He attended courses at New York University and at the University of California on TV and film production. On returning to Ireland, he was given the job of minister again but felt rather disappointed at having no outlet for the newly acquired skills he was so eager to practice. The Ministry of Education in Zambia at that time was about to launch an Educational TV Unit in Kitwe, so Lol was sent to Zambia and served two tours in the Kitwe TV Unit, six years in all, 1969 to 1976.

These were happy days for Lol in spite of the hardships of living at a long distance from Jesuit companions, the uphill grind of accustoming himself to a new environment, and the conflict arising from his insistence on precision as contrasted with the easy-going ways of the Zambians he was to work with and train. Lol was a perfectionist who demanded exact standards from his students and apprentices. A stray bit of fluff or a human hair would draw from him a devastating diatribe on sloppy standards. The wear and tear of the consequent tension took its toll on Lol's good humour, so that fault-finding could become obsessive with him.

Naturally, as a priest, Lol was not content to confine himself to civil-service hours. He sought out apostolic openings, celebrating Mass at weekends for neglected congregations, acting as Spiritual Father to a novitiate of Sisters, giving lectures on medical ethics to nurses-in-training, all of which he could do through the medium of English. In addition he became sufficiently adept at ciBemba to celebrate Mass in the local vernacular.

In his last year in Zambia, Lol was responsible for the purchase of the first Jesuit residence in Kitwe on Nationalist Way. He had hoped to be employed by the Zambia Episcopal Conference in communications, but this was not to be. Shortly after returning to Ireland he was invited to inaugurate the communications department of the Catholic Secretariat in Lesotho. So for more than two years in Lesotho, in the face of lack of interest, if not actual apathy, he wore out his energies and enthusiasm. The same problems that he had faced in Zambia he found to be deeper, more ingrained and infinitely less tractable in Lesotho.

He returned to Ireland in 1978 where, at the age of 66, he took up more genial work – curate in Donnycarney. He died in Jervis Street Hospital in Dublin on 28 October 1986.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

During the summer Frs. Jas. FitzGerald, Kearns and Scallan helped in the campaign organised by Dr. Heenan, Superior of the Mission House, Hampstead, to contact neglected or lapsed Catholics in Oxfordshire. Writing Fr. Provincial in August, the Superior pays a warm tribute to the zeal and devotion of our three missionaries :
“I hope”, he adds, “that the Fathers will have gained some useful experience in return for the great benefit which their apostolic labours conferred on the isolated Catholics of Oxfordshire. It made a great impression on the non-Catholic public that priests came from Ireland and even from America, looking for lost sheep. That fact was more eloquent than any sermon. The Catholic Church is the only hope for this country. Protestantism is dead...?”

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 benefitted 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 organising 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 62nd Year No 1 1987

Obituary

Fr Laurence Kearns (1912-1928-1986)

27th June 1912: born in Queenstown (now Cobh). 1925-28 schooled at Mungret College.
1st September 1928: entered SJ. 1928-30 Tullabeg and Emo, noviciate. 1930-33 Rathfarnham, juniorate: BA course at UCD. 1933-37 Tullabeg, philosophy (sick for much of his first year, which he repeated). 1937-39 Belvedere, teaching (H.Dip in Ed.). 1939-43 Milltown Park, theology (13th May 1942: ordained priest).
1943-47 chaplaincy in British army, described by himself in Interfuse, no. 41 (Feb. 1986), pp. 19-26. 1947-48 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1948-54 Manresa: minister, retreat giver, bursar. 1954-62 Catholic Workers' College (now CIR): mostly teaching religion in Kevin Street Technical College. 1962-65 Manresa: minister, then bursar. 1965-68 Rathfarnham, spiritual father and librarian. 1968-69 Manresa, minister and retreat-giver.
1969-78 Africa: 1969-76 Kitwe, Zambia: educational television; 1976-8 Maseru, Lesotho: educational television.
1978-86 curate in Donnycarney parish, Dublin 5. 28th October 1986: died in Jervis Street Hospital.

It was sometime in 1968 or thereabouts that I met Lol in Manresa House while I was on leave from Zambia. He spoke to me of the study-course in communications which he had attended in USA, and of his disappointment on his return at being assigned the job of minister, with no outlet for the newly acquired skills he was so eager to practise. W e discussed possibilities, and having cleared the matter with the Provincial, the upshot was that I brought back with me to Zambia photostat copies of Lol's qualifications. I knew that the Permanent Secretary of the Minister of Education was recruiting personnel for the Educational TV Unit about to be launched in Kitwe, so I placed Lol's qualifications before this official. In due course Lol came to Zambia and served two tours in the Kitwe TV Unit, six years in all.
These were happy years for Lol in spite of the hardships of living at a long distance from Jesuit companions, the uphill grind of accustoming himself to a new environment, and the conflict arising from his insistence on precision and he easy-going ways of the Zambians he was to work with and train. Lol was a perfectionist who demanded exact standards of his students and apprentices. A stray bit of fluff or a human hair on a television-camera lens - a nugatory matter to a Zambian novice technician - would draw from him a devastating diatribe on sloppy standards. The wear and tear of the consequent tension took its toll of Lol's good humour, so that fault-finding could become obsessive with him.
Naturally as a priest Lol was not content to confine himself to civil-service hours. He sought out apostolic openings, celebrating Mass at weekends for neglected congregations, acting as spiritual father to a noviciate of sisters, giving lectures on medical ethics to nurses-in-training, all of which he could do through the medium of English. In addition he became sufficiently adept in Cibemba to celebrate Mass in the local at vernacular.
Lol was a man of great certainties, and his range extended far and wide - from godliness to golf. His expositions were models of clarity. He was at his best with a docile, appreciative audience. His affability and interest would however wane in the face of equally strongly-held counter-arguments.
Perhaps it was this perverse adult propensity towards confrontation that turned Lol off: whatever it was, the presence of a child would divert him from such barren tiresome things and would
claim all his attention. It became in time one of the ways to describe Fr Larry: “He had a marvellous way with children”, a phrase that was repeated over and over at his funeral in Donnycarney.
His funeral was a thronged affair, attended by many Jesuits and diocesan clergy, presided over by the Archbishop of Dublin and with Bishop Kavanagh as the main celebrant. At the final
blessing, Archbishop McNamara recalled that as a young priest in Killaloe diocese he had had a retreat from Fr Kearns, memories of which still remained with him. In his last year in
Zambia, Lol was responsible for the purchase of the first Jesuit residence in Kitwe, on Nationalist Way, since vacated in favour of a community of Holy Cross sisters. Coming to the end of his second tour in Government service, Lol had hoped to be employed in communications by the Zambian Episcopal Conference. As this hope remained unfulfilled, he returned to Ireland rather dispirited and disappointed. Shortly after returning he was gratified by being invited to inaugurate the communications department of the Catholic Secretariat in Lesotho. So for two more years, in the face of disinterest if not apathy, he wore out his energies and enthusiasm. Problems he had faced in Zambia he found to be deeper, more ingrained and infinitely less tractable in Lesotho. Eventually, and not without much soul-searching, he decided to return to Ireland, where, at the age of 66, he took up the more congenial work of a parish curate.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1964

A Portrait of Christ made on Television

Father Lol Kearns SJ

Father Laurence Kearns SJ (1925-28) has had many enthusiastic letters from people all over the country about the portrait of the Head of Christ which he drew during a television programme. We are happy to reproduce the portrait as well as the comments of “TJMS” in the “Irish Catholic” of March 5th, 1964. Father Larry's work was on exhibition in Gill's stand at the Dublin Spring Show and, for those who may be interested, full-size lithographic reproductions, framed in oak, may be obtained from The Committee, Manresa House, Doilymount, Dublin 3. Prayer-book size pictures are also available for a few pence.

-oOo-

Every night, right at tbe end of the Telefís Éireann programme, comes “Recollection”, a short talk given by a Priest or a Protestant clergy man. How many people stay tuned in to this late offering? And how many, I wonder, watch it with interest and derive from it spiritual solace or inspiration?

I suspect that the numbers, comparatively speaking, are poor, but if many of the “Recollections” had the same polish, imaginative presentation and effective message as those recently presented by Reverend Father Laurence Kearns SJ, the viewing audience would grow by leaps and bounds.

The idea of closing the nightly programme with a short talk given by a clergyman is one that was established in Independent TV and BBC TV before Telefís Éireann came into existence. Not unnaturally the type of programme produced in each system tended to be the same. A clergyman sits down facing the camera and delivers his talk straight at his unseen audience. The basic in each case is a radio approach. The talk could be put over even if the TV screen were blank.

In general, the visual of the clergymany gives the TV presentation just that little extra piece of interest - but that is all. Otherwise is it pure radio technique. And at first sight it would seem that there was little else in the way of presentation that could be designed. But Father Kearns proves otherwise.

He appeared for his “Recollection” in front of an easel with a piece of charcoal in his hand and explained that he was going to try the impossible and knew in advance that he would not be successful. And with our attention roused he then proceeded to draw a representation of the face of Christ on his board. As he drew each feature, so he brought Christ nearer to us and, talking quietly and gently sketching, he used a visual to rivet our attention and to bold us while his gentle voice conveyed to us some sound and appealing thoughts. Father Kearns proved that a little imagination can transform any routine “programme” into something really worthwhile.

Not every priest can sketch as well as Father Kearns, but in future everybody who appears in “Recollection” will realise that sitting before and preaching into the camera are not enough. Some thing more in the line of a visual is needed. Meanwhile, our thanks and congratulations to Father Kearns for the valuable “breakthrough” in the “Recoilection” programme.

TJMS in “The Irish Catholic”

Keating, Patrick, 1846-1913, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/201
  • Person
  • 17 March 1846-15 May 1913

Born: 17 March 1846, Tipperary Town, County Tipperary
Entered: 28 August 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880
Final Vows: 15 August 1890, Australia
Died: 15 May 1913, Lewisham Hospital, Sydney, Australia

Part of St Ignatius College community, Riverview, Sydney, Australia at the time of death.

Younger brother of Thomas - RIP 1887
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 3 December 1894-11 November 1900.
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia Mission: 05 April 1890-1894

by 1868 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1869 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying Theology
by 1871 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1878 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1879 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
Early Irish Australia Mission 1884; Mission Superior 05 April 1890
PROVINCIAL 03/12/1894

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Younger brother of Thomas - RIP 1887. They were very close.
Early education was in America and then Clongowes.

After First Vows he did his studies at Amiens and Rome, later at Maria Laach and Innsbruck, and in the end at St Beuno’s. Wherever he went, the same spirit of kindness and good humour went with him, and this was true throughout his life. On Australian who went to visit him in Rome was greeted warmly at first, but when he mentioned that he was to see Father Keating, the courtesy was unbridled.
1870 He was living in Rome at the same time as the “Robber King of Sardinia” Victor Emmanuel laid siege to and conquered the city. he was a student at the time, and not inactive in the siege, going here and there to tend to the injured and dying. He was truly a martyr in desire. The conquerors drove the Jesuits from the Roman College. By 1872 the Jesuits were banished from Maria Laach and Amiens, and he was in these places.
1877 He was sent for studies to Innsbruck where he joined Thomas Browne and Francis Carroll.
1880 He joined Joseph Dalton in Australia, and succeeded him as Rector of Riverview.
1890 He was appointed Mission Superior in Australia.
1894 He was recalled to Ireland as provincial of HIB, and he remained there for six years.
1901 He returned to Australia as Rector of Xavier College, Kew. He then moved to North Sydney, for a time at St Mary’s, then Lavender Bay, succeeding John Gately. While working in these Parishes, his gentleness, friendliness and care for every man, woman and child, won the hearts of all. When he left Lavender Bay for a second stint as Rector of Riverview in place of Thomas Gartlan who had been sent to Melbourne, the people gave him a wonderful send off.
His death took place at Lewisham Hospital (run by the Nuns of the Little Company of Mary) 14 May 1913. The funeral was hugely attended and the Archbishop of Sydney, Michael Kelly, both presided and Preached. The Jesuits at Riverview received countless letters and telegrams from all parts of Australia condoling with them on the death of Father Keating.

Catholic Press, Sydney :
Rev W A Purves, Headmaster of the North Sydney Church of England Grammar School wrote : “I am sure everyone who knew Father Keating feels an individual loss. For myself I never knew quite so courteous and kindly and entirely charming a gentleman; and for you who knew well his other great and endearing qualities, the blow must indeed be heavy. I think sch personalities as his have a strong influence in maintaining friendliest relations among us all, and whilst in a sense one cannot mourn the second and better birthday of a good man, one cannot but miss him sorely.”

Rev Arthur Ashworth Aspinall, headmaster of the Scots College, in conveying his sympathy to the Acting Rector, the Staff and Pupils of Riverview, wrote :
“It was my privilege to meet Father Keating years go and more recently, I realised the charm of his cultured personality, and can thus in some degree realise the loss which the College and your Church has sustained. The State has too few men of culture not to deplore the removal of one so much honoured in the teaching profession.”

Note from Thomas P Brown Entry
1877 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology with W (sic) Patrick Keating and Vincent Byrne

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Although born in Ireland, Patrick Keating received much of his early education in the USA. His secondary education began at Clongowes Wood College, Kildare, Ireland, where he had a reputation as a fine athlete and was a good rifle shot. He entered the noviciate at Milltown Park Dublin, 2, August 1865. His juniorate studies were at the College of St Acheul, France, his philosophy at the Roman College, and theology at Innsbruck and St Beuno's, Wales, 1877-81. Regency was undertaken after philosophy at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, 1871-77, where he was assistant prefect of studies and taught university students.
Keating was living in Rome in 1870. On 20 September the troops of Victor Emmanuel laid siege to the city of Rome. He risked his life by helping the wounded on the streets. The Jesuits were driven from the Roman College. So Keating finished his third year philosophy at Maria Laach during the Franco-Prussian War.
After his ordination in 1880, he taught religion, French and Italian for a short time, 1881-82, at Clongowes Wood, and the following year was socius to the master of novices at Milltown Park, during which time he completed his tertianship.
In 1883 Keating arrived in Australia, joined Joseph Dalton at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, and succeeded him as rector in 1888. He was appointed mission superior in 1890 and resided at Riverview. In 1894 he returned to Ireland as provincial, residing at Gardiner Street.
He returned to Australia in 1901 and was appointed rector of Xavier College, Kew, and taught for the public examinations. From 1908-11, he performed parish ministry at North Sydney and at Lavender Bay, Sydney, and in 1912 was appointed rector of Sr Ignatius' College, Riverview. He died in office the following year following a cerebral haemorrhage.
Patrick Keating was one of the most accomplished Irish Jesuits to come to Australia. He was spiritually, intellectually and athletically gifted, and respected for his administrative skills. People spoke of “his urbanity his culture, his charm, his good looks, his human insight and his ability to inspire affection”.
Christopher Brennan, the Australian poet and former student of Keating, paid him an outstanding tribute. He believed him to be “the most distinguished personality that I have ever met, a standard whereby to test and judge all others. To come into his hands ... was to be initiated to a quite new range of human possibilities”. He praised Keating for his 'rare qualities of gentleness and sympathetic comprehension.
His Jesuit community praised his great spirit of exactness and neatness, the kindness he extended to all, his strong sense of duty, a tender devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and his work in adorning the chapel. Under his direction, Brother Girschik made a line cedar vesting press for the sacristy at Riverview, which still stands.
Writing to Ireland in 1894, Dalton, at Riverview, believed that Keating's students had great confidence in him and “liked him well”. John Ryan, mission superior, did not lavish praise upon him. He believed him to be good at administration, but not with finances, not overly strict in discipline; firm and decisive, but easily influenced by anyone of strong mind, cool of temper, but not fatherly or sympathetic, somewhat superficial, cold and at times sarcastic, discouraging more than encouraging. The Irish provincial, Timothy Kenny, while visiting Australia in 1890 believed Keating to be “the most admirable man I ever met”. That being the opinion that counted, Keating became the next Irish provincial.
In his speeches as rector of the various colleges, Keating showed his openness, appeal to reason and genuine belief in the goodness of human nature. He was truly a cultured humanist. He kept well informed about contemporary ideas in education and gave critiques of them, continually stressing the traditional classical education of the Jesuits. He was concerned at Riverview by the rather poor quality of Jesuit teachers, men “rather broken in health”, who were not helping the boys achieve good examination results.
At the time of his death, Keating was one of the most significant Jesuits in Australia, much loved and most appreciated by those who experienced him, both as a kind and courteous gentleman, and as a cultured scholar.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Keating SJ 1846-1913
Fr Patrick Keating was born in Tipperary on March 17th 1846. Although born in Ireland he received his early education in America, then completing his secondary course at Clongowes Wood.

As a Jesuit, he was present in Rome when it was captured by Victor Emmanuel of Sardinia. In the midst of the bombardment, he went here, there and everywhere, assisting the wounded civilians and soldiers. He, with his companions, were driven from Rome and proceeded to Maria Laach in Germany and then to Innsbruck.

Fr Keating went to Australia where he became the first Rector of St Ignatius Riverview, and then Superior of the Mission.

He was recalled to Ireland to become Provincial in 1894. After his term as Provincial, he returned once more to Australia, where he filled many administrative posts and became a widely-known and popular figure in public life. He figures largely in the long and brilliant school-story of Fr Eustace Boylan”The Heart of the School”. Fr Keating (Keeling of the story) is a winning and lovable Rector of Xavier.

At his death in Sydney on March 15th 1913 there were many generous tributes to his work and character, not only from Catholics, but from persons of all religious denomination.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 42 : Easter 1986

Portrait from the Past

PATRICK KEATING : 1846-1913

Province Archives

The following appreciation of a former Irish Provincial appeared in the CATHOLIC PRESS of Sydney on 22nd May 1913.

Born in Tipperary on 17th March, 1846, Fr. Keating occupied almost every position a Jesuit can occupy except that of General. His last sickness was brief. It was only a few days before his death that he became ill. His medical attendants pronounced his case serious - cerebral hemorrhage - and the last Sacraments were administered to him at once by the Rev. Father C. Nulty, S.J. He was taken to hospital the following day, and had been a patient only twelve hours when he died.

Of Father Keating, as boy and man, as student and teacher, as pastor of souls and Provincial of the Irish branch of his Order, it may be safely said that his whole life was one well-sustained effort to be ready for the final sunmons of the Sovereign Master who has called him home so suddenly. He was Superior of the Australian Mission of the Society of Jesus in 1894. At a later date he governed the Irish Province. He was for some years Rector of St. Francis Xavier's College at Kew, and before he went to Riverview as Rector for a second time, he had been zealously labouring as pastor of souls among the people of North Sydney.

Although he was born in Ireland, Father Keating imbibed the rudiments of knowledge in America. His high-school studies began at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. He entered the Novitiate at Milltown Park, near Dublin in 1865. His later studies were made at the College of St. Acheul, in France; at the Roman College of Maria-Laach, in Germany; at the University of Innsbruck, in the Tyrol; and at St. Beuno's College, in Wales Wherever he went, the same spirit of genuine kindness and genial good-humour that we ourselves witnessed invariably went with him, An Irish-Australian who visited Rome a few years ago called at one of the principal colleges there. The Professor who showed him over the place was kind and courteous; but when the name of Father Keating was mentioned to him, then to kindness and courtesy were added all manner of friendly offices. The Professor had been an old class-fellow of Father Keating, about 40 years before, and his face glowed with pleasure at the very mention of his name.

Father Keating was living in Rome in 1870. On September 20th of that year the troops of the robber King of Sardinia, Victor Emmanuel, laid siege to the city of the Popes, bombarded the walls of Rome, and entered into its streets as conquerors. While all this was going on, Mr. Keating, as he then was, was not inactive. In