Subfonds GARD - St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Identity area

Reference code



St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin


  • 1706 - 2022 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

15 boxes

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Name of creator


Administrative history

The Church of St Francis Xavier in Upper Gardiner Street was one of the first churches to be built in Dublin after Catholic Emancipation (Catholic Relief Act) in 1829. The Jesuits had a small church in Hardwicke St (1816), and with the building of the St Francis Xavier's, turned the Hardwicke St property into a school, later to be named Belvedere College SJ.

In 1 July 1829, the first stone was laid at Upper Gardiner Street by Fr Charles Aylmer SJ (1786-1847), and the first Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Murray on 2 May 1832. The church cost £18,000 to build and was designed by Fr Bartholomew Esmonde SJ (1789-1862) and John B Keane (died 1859).

Those associated with the church include Matt Talbot and John Henry Cardinal Newman. Gardiner Street Church is also the resting place of Blessed John Sullivan SJ.

In 1974, Gardiner Street Parish was established by Archbishop Dermot Ryan.

Other Jesuit associations in the parish include: Belvedere College SJ, Young Adult Ministry, Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, The Peter McVerry Trust, St Joseph's Penny Dinners, Polish Ministry, Jesuit Refugee Service, and the Irish Jesuit Mission Office.

Edward Kelly
William Ronan
John Conmee, Vice-Superior
John Conmee, Superior
James Fottrell
Michael Weafer
Andrew Macardle
Francis M Browne
Fergal McGrath
Robert J Tyndall
Timothy Mulcahy
Matthew Meade
John McCarron
John Murphy

Archival history

Material collected by Irish Jesuits.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The papers of St Francis Xavier’s, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin concentrate on the history and work of the church and community, domestic and spiritual matters, penny dinners, benefactors, general administration, finances, retreats, lectures, novenas, missions, sodalities, relics, the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association and St. Francis Xavier's Hall.

The material is mainly in the form of letters, ledgers, plans, maps and photographs.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

All items retained permanently.


System of arrangement

Material was catalogued in 2000, with some additions in 2009 and 2013.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

The Irish Jesuit Archives are open only to bona fide researchers. Access by advance appointment. Further details: [email protected]

Conditions governing reproduction

No material may be reproduced without the written permission of the Archivist. Copyright restrictions apply. Photocopying is not available. Digital photography is at the discretion of the Archivist.

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Publication note

Casey, Christine, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin, p.133, 2005.

Publication note

Cuffe, Tomas S., 'Dublin and Its Jesuits', Sunday Independent, p.5, 18 October 1931.

Publication note

Grimes, Brendan, ‘Commodious temples: Catholic church building in nineteenth-century Dublin', 13th Sir John T. Gilbert Commemorative lecture at Dublin City Library and Archive Lecture, part of which related to Saint Francis Xavier’s, Gardiner Street, 21 January 2010.

Publication note

Ryan, Maureen, 'Roman Opulence in a Dublin Church. The High Altar of St Francis Xavier's', Irish Arts Review Yearbook 14 (1998), pp.33-39(illus.).

Publication note

Ryan, Maureen, 'The Church of St Francis Xavier, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin', unpublished MA thesis presented to University College Dublin, November 1994.

Publication note

‘SFX church in Dublin’, Irish Jesuit Directory and Year Book, pp163-179, 1931.

Publication note

150th anniversary of St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street souvenir of anniversary, 1980-1981.

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Dates of creation revision deletion

2000; 2021




Accession area