- IE IJA J/174
- 24 January 1879-11 December 1951
Born: 24 January 1879, Crough, Kilmacthomas, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1901, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 June 1915, Innsbruck, Austria
Final Vows: 15 August 1919, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 11 December 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
by 1905 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1908
by 1913 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1917 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR) making Tertianship
by 1918 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
After novitiate, juniorate and philosophy, and a year teaching at Clongowes, 1907-08, Halpin arrived at Xavier College, Melbourne, in September of that year. He had an effective but not spectacular career as a teacher, and hall prefect, 1911-12.
◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 27th Year No 2 1952
Father Timothy Halpin
Died December 11th, 1951
A sturdy figure, shod with galoshes and protected with a reliable umbrella against possible vagaries of even a fine June day, is a picture that would readily present itself to those who have lived with the late Father Halpin. To a word of friendly banter he would reply : “the Irish climate is uncertain, we must be prepared for eventualities”.
Small, as this detail may seem, it is characteristic of the man, and it reveals a trait in his character which goes far to explain the success which crowned Fr. Halpin's priestly work - consistent attention to detail.
Born in Kilmacthomas in 1879, he felt an early attraction to ecclesiastical life. In 1893 he entered the junior scholasticate, Blackrock, but, on his return for the summer holidays, his parents were opposed to his continuing there. Instead, he went to Mount Melleray with the fixed idea, in his own words, “of preparing himself for the Jesuit priesthood”. The urgent need of Australian dioceses was brought to his notice, so he offered himself to Dr. Maher for Port Augusta. The Bishop arranged that, on completion of his Philosophy at Melleray, he should go to the Collegio Brigoli, Genoa.
In 1898, having finished philosophical studies with 2nd place, he was admitted to theology. At the end of three years - theology, scripture, canon law - his examination mark was “optime”, but the old determination of the “Jesuit priesthood” came back, and, with Dr. Maher's full approval, he returned to Ireland, and entered the noviceship at Tullabeg, September 7th, 1901.
From his novice-master, Fr. Michael Browne, he learnt above all the value of obedience. One who worked much with him said : “once he knew what his superiors wanted, he just set aside his own will and did as directed”.
In spite of previous studies, Superiors allowed him the full course of philosophy, at Jersey 1904-1907; after which he taught for one year at Clongowes, and four at Kew College, Melbourne.
In 1912 he went to Innsbruck for theology, where he was ordained in 1915. His first Mass was served by the late Fr. Dan Finn and Fr. John Coyne, scholastics at the time. The war upset the normal course of studies. His fourth year theology was done in private at Kalksburg College, near Vienna and for his Ad Grad, he appeared before a board from Vienna, which included the veteran Fr. Straub, author of a tract De Ecclesia. He made his Third Probation at Starawies in Galicia, a house of the Polish Province. The long period abroad made him a master of many languages, and gave him an insight into Church problems, and Society methods of organisation, which remained a permanent inspiration for his later work.
Vienna was noted for the Sodality movement. Of this he made a careful study, applying the principles in the post of Sodality Director, which he held for some years, when he had returned to his Province. Indeed our Lady's Sodality always seemed to him the best guarantee of fruitful missionary work, if well established in a parish.
A former Superior of the Mission Staff paid this tribute : “I always felt sure that he would give his best, and was never disappointed. He would write to P.P.s for details of the coming work, which he would, then send on to his fellow missioners. Nothing would be left to chance”. The trait with which we opened “consistent attention to detail” was carried out in the big things of his life, because it ruled the little programme of each day. The same fellow-labourer said : “I could never think of him as missing a spiritual duty, His views on everything were supernatural”.
“The Jesuit Priesthood” was the tessera of Fr. Halpin's life, reading into the words, of course, all that the Kingdom of Christ involved : the special service of the Ignatian volunteers. So it was that an intense application to work followed him to the end of his life. He has left behind in neatly labelled envelopes a whole series of notes for mission sermons, proof positive of his thorough preparation.
“Inquisitive” is an adjective that might easily be attached to him. He seemed happy extracting information. But, the information thus gleaned entered into the wide array of facts to be used, some way or another, for the interests of the Church and the Order. Generals' letters. foreign mission Publications, Province News and Letters, from all these he had accumulated a vast stock of information. This he was ready to put at your disposal. Originality was not one of his characteristics, but he knew how to turn to best account what he had assimilated from other sources. This he did to the full in the mission field and the retreats. His life was spent at these works. He is still remembered as a forceful preacher and a stimulating retreat giver. Only God's Angel could tell the souls won to God by the kindly spirit incorporated in the pamphlet “Heaven Open to Souls”. To the end this was the consistent inspiration of Fr. Halpin, and we are sure that the welcome of many souls awaited him, when the Master's summons “Well done, good and faithful servant”, came.