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Agius, Thomas J, 1885-1961, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/869
  • Person
  • 08 May 1885-23 June 1961

Born: 08 May 1885, Valetta, Malta
Entered: 07 December 1908, Roehampton, London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 25 April 1918
Final vows: 02 February 1926
Died: 23 June 1961, Stillorgan, Dublin - Angliae Province (ANG)

Member of ANG but died in HIB

by 1920 came to Milltown (HIB) studying
by 1925 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

Ashton, Thomas, 1875-1961, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/880
  • Person
  • 30 August 1875-14 November 1961

Born: 30 August 1875, Golborne, Lancashire, England
Entered: 14 April 1900, Roehampton, London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Final vows: 15 August 1910
Died: 14 November 1961, Stillorgan, Dublin - Angliae Province (ANG)

Died in HIB but member of ANG

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!

Feran, William, 1869-1942, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1280
  • Person
  • 07 November 1869-11 August 1942

Born: 07 November 1869, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Entered: 07 September 1886, Roehampton, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1905
Final Vows: 02 February 1911
Died: 11 August 1942, Stillorgan, Dublin - Angliae Province (ANG)

Kieran, Laurence J, 1881-1945, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/221
  • Person
  • 22 April 1881-18 January 1945

Born: 22 April 1881, Rathbrist, County Louth
Entered: 07 September 1898, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1914, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1917, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 18 January 1945, St John of God's Hospital, Stillorgan, Dublin

part of the Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin vommunity at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1903 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 2 March 1931-7 September 1941.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-jesuits-name-bugs/

JESUITICA: The flies of Ireland
Only one Irish Provincial has had a genus of flies called after him. In 1937 Fr Larry Kieran welcomed Fr Hermann Schmitz, a German Jesuit, to Ireland, and he stayed here for about four years, teaching in Tullabeg and doing prodigious research on Irish Phoridae, or flies. He increased the known list of Irish Phoridae by more than 100 species, and immortalised Fr Larry by calling a genus after him: Kierania grata. Frs Leo Morahan and Paddy O’Kelly were similarly honoured, Leo with a genus: Morahanian pellinta, and Paddy with a species, Okellyi. Hermann served Irish entomologists by scientifically rearranging and updating the specimens of Phoridae in our National Museum. He died in Germany exactly fifty years ago.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 9th Year No 3 1934

On 14th May the following notice was sent by Father Socius to all the Houses of the Irish Province. : “Rev. Father Provincial (Kieran) has been ordered a period of rest by his doctor, and in the meantime, with Father General's approval, Father Cyril Power has been appointed to act as Vice-Provincial.”

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941
General :
Fr. John R. MacMahon, Rector of Milltown Park since August. 1938. was appointed Provincial by Very Rev. Fr. General on 8th September. The best wishes and fervent prayers of the Province are tendered to him on his elevation to his new post of responsibility.
The best thanks of the Province follow the outgoing Provincial Fr Kieran, whose fidelity to duty, understanding ways and kindly charity during the many wears in which he guided the destinies of our Province will long be remembered with gratitude and appreciation. A special feature of his humanity was the quite remarkable devotion and charity which he ever showed to our sick.
We wish him many years of fruitful work for God’s glory and much happiness in his new post as Director of the Retreat, House Rathfarnham Castle.
Fr. Patrick Joy was appointed Vice-Superior of the Hong Kong Mission on 29th July.

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Obituary

Fr. Laurence J. Kieran (1881-1898-1945)

Fr. Kieran, Instructor of Tertians and a former Provincial of our Irish Province, died in Dublin very suddenly on 18th January, 1945. Travelling in the forenoon of that day (which was the Tertians' villa day) in a Bus on the Stillorgan Road, he had a heart seizure and died almost immediately. A Franciscan, who providentially happened to be a fellow-passenger, gave him the final absolution, and shortly after wards he was anointed by the chaplain of St. John of God's, Stillorgan. He was dead on admission to St. Michael's Hospital, Dunleary.
Born at Rathbrist, Co. Louth, on 22nd April, 1881, he was educated at Clongowes Wood College and entered the Society at Tullabeg on 7th September, 1898. Having completed his novitiate and two years of rhetoric there, he made his philosophical studies at Gemert in Holland from 1902 to 1905, and then began his career as master and prefect in his alma mater, Clongowes. He studied theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on 26th July, 1914, by the Most Rev. Dr. Brownie, Bishop of Cloyne. On the completion of his tertianship, under Fr. Ignatius Garlan as Instructor, at Tullabeg, he succeeded the late Fr. James Daly as Prefect of Studies at Clongowes, a post he held till 1925. After spending a year at Rathfarnham Castle as Minister and Procurator, he was transferred to Mungret College where he was appointed Rector on 31st July, 1927. He was made Provincial in March, 1931, and governed the Province for over ten years. When Fr. Henry Keane returned to his Province to take up the post of Rector of Heythrop College, Fr. Kieran succeeded him as Instructor of Tertians at Rathfarnham Castle in the autumn of 1942; he had been Director of the Retreat House, Rathfarnham, after relinquishing the post of Provincial.
Fr. Kieran's unexpected death caused great grief throughout the Province of which he was such an exemplary, efficient, loyal and kindly member. The principal note of his spiritual life was his unfailing meticulous fidelity to his spiritual exercises from the days of the noviceship to the sudden close of his life.
He was an indefatigable WORKER, with a tremendous sense of duty; and it was the happy combination of these two characteristics which rendered him so efficient. No pains were too great when there was question of duty, whether that city was study, teaching or administration. Though not gifted with outstanding philosophical ability, he studied so methodically and consistently that he occupied a very high. place in a very good class in the French Philosophate at Gemert and was more than once chosen to defend theses or make objections in the usual public disputations, acquitting himself well. Studying in the same manner at Militown Park, he completed a very good course of Theology. Though not much of a reader, he would study and read with meticulous care all that his work demanded. And this was true of him as a teacher, as prefect of studies, as Provincial and as Instructor of Tertians. He was always perfectly prepared for any tasks assigned him by Superiors.
His LOYALTY to the Society and to his own Province in particular was admirable. In Gemert, in the olden days, he was always instilling into the minds of his companions of the Irish Province the need of giving a perfect example of observance and hard work to the members of other Provinces. He scouted the idea of any Irish scholastic asking for any dispensation from common life. He led the way by his own example, and his inspiration had not only a striking effect on his Irish companions but established also a tradition, which continued when he left.
Fr. Kieran was a very LOVABLE companion, whether as an ordinary member of a community, or as a Superior. He was unusually homely and natural and sincere, and these qualities shone with special lustre in him when in office and made it particularly easy for all his subjects to approach him without embarrassment. He was full of common sense and understanding. He loved to laugh and to see others laugh, told a story excellently, and, in his younger days showed a great gift of acting.
As a SCHOLASTIC at Clongowes from 1905 till 1911, Mr. Kieran (as he then was) had charge of College theatricals in addition to strenuous work in Line or Class-room. Past students will still retain vivid recollections of the success he achieved as producer of plays like ‘Guy Mannering,’ The Ticket of Leave Man,' operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan To this sphere of 'side-shows,' as he used later call them, he devoted the same meticulous care in preparation and rehearsal which he brought to the more serious duties of his calling.
Returning to CLONGOWES as a young priest, he served a short apprenticeship under Fr. James Daly, the famous Prefect of studies, before he inherited his mantle, and with it that singleness of purpose and devotion to duty which continued to be rewarded with great successes in the public examinations. As confessor, too, of the boys he exerted the widest influence for good, and won that affectionate which prompted so many of them to turn to him for help and guidance in the trials and perplexities of life.
Fr. Kieran's transfer from Clongowes in 1925 came as a surprise to many, including himself. Providence, however, through his Superiors was preparing him for the heavier responsibilities which lay ahead. At Rathfarnham and Mungret he was to acquire an experience in the details of administration and in the handling of new and delicate problems which was to be so useful to him some years later when called upon to govern the Province As RECTOR OF MUNGRET College Fr. Kieran took his responsibilities very seriously. While allowing subordinate officials every scope for initiative, he retained a personal and active direction of every department of school life. His talks to the boys at the beginning of the school year and of each new term, setting forth the lofty purpose of life and the opportunities they were being afforded of developing their God-given talents, made a deep and lasting impression on their young minds. He got to know each boy personally and used every occasion for individual guidance. He taught classes himself, especially in religious knowledge and in philosophy, fostered proficiency in Irish with wise solicitude and no mean success, as is attested by the remarkable results Mungret pupils attained more than once during his term of office at the Thomond Feis in the matter of Irish conversation and dialogue. He never failed to put in an appearance at games on half-days, at concerts and other school entertainments.
The same kindly interest he extended to the APOSTOLIC SCHOOL, with whose Superior he ever remained in the closest and most cordial touch. He gave monthly talks to the apostolics, which were greatly appreciated, as not a few have testified in later life. He erected a two storey building for them, to serve as study-hall, class-rooms, dormitory, kept in close touch with past alumni, promoted the founding of a magazine to link them more closely with their alma mater. In these and other ways he made apostolic students, past and present, feel that the Society, faithful to the best traditions of Mungret Apostolic School, was promoting its true interests to the utmost. The historic visit to Mungret on 21st July, 1928, of the Cardinal Prefect of Propaganda did but confirm these happy impressions : Cardinal Van Rossum, O.SS.R., was visiting Limerick for the jubilee celebrations of the men's Confraternity in the Redemptorist Church, and came out to Mungret at Fr. Kieran's invitation. Before returning, His Eminence left in writing a gracious message of appreciation of the work of the Apostolic School and his blessing, and consented to be photo graphed. These photos were later sent Very Rev. Fr. General at Frascati, where the Curia were in sun mer residence, and occasioned him the liveliest satisfaction and pleasure.
On a day in early February, 1931. Fr. Fahy journeyed from Limerick to tell Fr. Kieran that he had been chosen to succeed him as PROVINCIAL. This news was a heavy blow to the Rector who could not contain his tears of emotion and apprehension at the burden to be laid on his shoulders. His only comfort was the assurance Fr. Fahy gave him that he would govern the Province in the same constitutional way in which he had administered Mungret College.
In this new post which he was to hold for ten years (1931-1941), Fr. Kieran's exceptional talents for ADMINISTRATION were given their widest scope. These may be particularised as prudence and practical judgment joined to a rare dexterity and vigour in the conduct of affairs. From his high sense of duty, coupled with his love for the Society, flowed the determination which enabled him to master so completely the details of his exacting and responsible office. Indeed, at the beginning of his Provincialate he tended to overdo his reading of the Institute during free hours, and to neglect his health, which suffered for some years from overstrain. On three occasions (in August, 1931, in the beginning of the following year and in the summer of 1934), a Vice-Provincial had to be appointed in order to allow him a complete rest. Thereafter his health was quite robust and enabled him to put in a further period of over seven years of strenuous activity and achievement.
Many IMPORTANT EVENTS Occurred during his term of office : the separation (prepared by his predecessor) from the Irish Province of Australia which became an independent Vice-Province (5th April, 1931): the world economic depression so severely felt in the first years of his Provincialate during which he implemented Fr. General's recommendations for succouring the distressed poor, the International Eucharistic Congress at Dublin in June, 1932, during which he led the way in extending to many. Prelates and members of Foreign Provinces of the Society that remarkable hospitality which drew from Fr. General a special letter of appreciation the celebrations in connection with the Centenary of St. Francis Xavier's Church and with the Golden Jubilee of Mungret Apostolic School, both of which fell in the summer of 1932. The completion of the new building in Clongowes, the extension of the Theologians wing and erection of a fully-equipped library on the most modern lines at Milltown Park, the opening of the Language School at Loyola, Hong Kong (September, 1937), the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war (1937), the fourth Centenary of the foundation of the Society (1940-41), the outbreaks of the world war the previous year, which necessitated many adjustments, such as the recalling from Houses abroad of our scholastics, the reception into the Province of members of continental Provinces and Missions, the sending of military Chaplains to the Forces, the providing at very short notice of a Tertianship in the Province, (October, 1939), when Fr. Kieran's dynamic energy was never shown to better advantage. He presided at the three Provincial Congregations held in 1933, 1936 and 1938. the last of which was preparatory to the General Congregation held in Rome, at which he assisted.
The outstanding QUALITIES which Fr. Kieran admired so much in the late Fr. Ledóchowski he possessed himself in a marked degree : a supernatural outlook upon all the problems be had to handle, a burning zeal for the interests of the Church and our Society, a definite conviction that our way to God and to success in our apostolic ministry lay in the acquiring of the true spirit of St. Ignatius, in observance of our rules, fidelity to Ignatian asceticism and those spiritual arms God has confided to our Society : the Spiritual Exercises, devotion to the Sacred Heart through the Apostleship of Prayer, devotion to Our Lady through the Sodality, accuracy in sizing up a situation, and remarkable skill and prudence in advising as to the steps to be taken, a deep sympathy and understanding which enabled him to make allowance for human weakness and human shortcomings while at the same time standing firm where questions of principle and observance of the rules were involved, finally, accuracy and expedition in the transaction of business.
He WORKED TIRELESSLY for the promoting of vocations to our novice ship and for the spiritual advancement of our young men with whom he kept in close touch, made wise provision for the training of professors in our scholasticates, and showed ever a great readiness to oblige His Paternity by sending subjects, as occasion demanded, to the Curia or the Gregorian University. The Hong Kong Mission he promoted to the utmost, and was rewarded by repeated commendation, from Fr. General for the quality and number of the missioners he sent out, with no small sacrifice to the Province. Towards the needs of other Provinces he showed a practical sympathy and to their members who came to Ireland an overflowing charity, which called forth letters of appreciation from their Provincials.
Fr. Kieran was a great believer in the utility of CONFERENCES, held in order to discuss the various problems connected with our work and ministry. He presided at the four he convened in Dublin (in the years 1933, 1936, 1937 and 1941) to discuss the work of our missions and retreats, the development of the Sodality and Apostleship of Prayer and Catholic Action.
Fruit of such Meetings were the BOOKLET he issued in 1938 on the method of adapting the Exercises to various categories of exercitants, the Report on Catholic Action in the Province (1936), the printed Instructions he gave from time to time containing detailed recommendations to missioners, sodality directors, promoters of Catholic Action.
The COLLEGES, of whose working and study programmes he had such accurate knowledge, came in for a large share of his solicitude. Arising out of the Commission appointed by his predecessor to examine the status of our Colleges, he issued in December, 1934, an important document, entitled 'A Memorandum on Aims and Methods in the Colleges,' In November of the same year he appointed an Inspector of the Colleges; and, to implement later one of the Decrees of the General Congregation (1938), set up a Concilium Permanens to advise Superiors on the problems connected with programmes and co-ordination among our Colleges of studies of the pre-examination classes, supervised the proper training of the scholastics during the years of their magisterium and furthered measures to improve a working know ledge of Irish for masters. In September, 1938, he appointed a Committee to advise on the introduction of scholastic philosophy in our schools. Two Conferences he convened in 1935 and 1937) to discuss school problems, and be prepared the material for that useful booklet issued later. 'Hints on the Colleges' for masters and prefects,
In connection with the carrying out of DECREES OF THE GENERAL CONGREGATION already referred to, Fr. Kieran convened in December, 1938, a Meeting of Rectors, and also appointed & Committee to draw up a draft Ordinatio studiorum inferiorum for the Juniorate studies. He had previously sent to Rome a draft Custom Book of the Province for consideration by Fr. General, as well as one for the Novitiate at St. Mary's.
With his practical and thorough-going knowledge of the details of FINANCE, and his desire for greater uniformity in matters touching temporal administration, Fr. Kieran warmly welcomed Fr. Ledóchowski's Instructio de administratione Temporali, issued in 1935. In forwarding Superiors copies of this document he wrote a very able letter to them, drawing attention to its main provisions. Not content with this, he later made a detailed synopsis of the Instructio, in three parts, for the use of Superiors, Ministers, and Procurators respectively, and issued in 1937 a useful Memorandum on the Duties of Minister and Procurator.
In fine, there was no province of our life and ministry which did not benefit by Fr. Kieran's wise and able administration.
Though Fr. Kieran could, and often did, write a forthright and vigorously worded letter, especially to Superiors, his pen was NEVER HARSH or intemperate. And if his correspondence ever hurt, and it did sometimes, the effect was speedily neutralised and forgotten by a personal approach and interview. Then it was that his affectionate heart and understanding humanity were shown to such advantage. This warm humanity made many conquests during his life in the Society, among the boys with whom he had to deal at Clongowes and Mungret, so many of whom kept in touch with him in later life, among the staff' or farm hands, in the houses in which he lived (who for him were never 'hands,' servants,' but, very personally, 'Joe,' or 'Bill,' or 'Bridgie'), among the exercitants at Rathfarnham Castle during the all too brief period he was Director of the Retreat-House there, among his own brethren most of all, especially the scholastics and, in the closing years of his life, the Tertian Fathers with whom he lived on such fondly intimate and brotherly relationship, in that simple naturalness and humility which was his special characteristic.
In an early issue of the Clongownian' we are given a glimpse of L. Kieran, the SCHOOL-BOY chosen for a principal part in the 'Mikado'; This is how a visitor to the College on the night of the entertainment wrote of him :
“L. Kieran as Pooh-Bah could scarcely have been surpassed by any amateur. Without much voice, he went through his songs with skill and taste. But it is his acting which will have won for him a bright place in the memory of all who saw him. Simple naturalness, un marred by any excess of stage gestures or declamation, was his characteristic. There was no straining after effect. He came on and went off, he spoke and was silent, as if he was only moved by his own individual will in such matters, and had never seen such a thing as a stage edition of the play”.
On the wider stage of life Fr. Kieran played his part with the same simple naturalness, the same self-restraint and self-effacement. And when the curtain fell with such tragic suddenness at the close, he passed away, leaving a host of friends, sorrow-stricken, it is true, but inspired by his example to play their parts, shoulder their responsibilities, as he had done with a like simplicity and naturalness, with the same detachment from self, the same consideration for others and the same heroic devotion to duty.
May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Laurence Kieran SJ 1881-1945
Fr Laurence Kieran will go down in the history of the Province as the man who ruled its destinies for over ten years, a record among Provincials of his own day, and certainly a record in the history of the Irish province.

Born at Rathbrist, County Louth on April 22nd 1881, he was educated at Clongowes, entering the Society in 1898.

At the conclusion of his training, he was chosen to succeed Fr James Daly as Prefect of Studies in Clongowes, an appointment which was no mean compliment in itself. He became Rector of Mungret in 1927, and eventually Provincial in 1931 to 1942.

Many important events took place during his term of office. The Mission of Australia became an independent Vice-Province in 1931. He celebrated the Centenary of Gardiner Street Church and the Golden Jubilee of Mungret in 1942. The new building was completed in Clongowes, the Theologian's Wing was extended at Milltown and the new Library built. He founded the Language School at Loyola, Hong Kong, and finally celebrated the fourth Centenary of the Society in 1940.

After relinquishing office in 1942, he became Instructor of Tertians. His end came quite suddenly on January 18th 1945,

He was a man dedicated to God, the Society and his work.

◆ The Clongownian, 1945

Obituary

Father Laurence Kieran SJ

Many people on taking up the morning paper of Friday, January the 19th, must have received a profound shock as they read the announcement of Fr L Kieran's sudden death in Dublin. Although he had been under the Doctor's care during the year for rheumatic trouble, there was nothing to cause anxiety, certainly nothing to indicate that death was so near. A member of the Rathfarnham Community who met him as he walked down the avenue for the last time, was struck by his brisk step, his vivacity and excellent spirits.

At D'Olier Street, Fr Kieran took the Mount Merrion Bus, with the intention of visiting his sister Mrs L McCann, who lives at Stillorgan Park, Blackrock. Nearing Booterstown Avenue, he was seen to be in distress, and, very soon after, he collapsed from a severe heart attack, He was immediately attended by the Rev Father Eustace OFM, Merchant's Quay, Dublin, fortunately a fellow passenger. The Bus drew up at the gate of St John of God's, Stillorgan where every assistance was rendered by Rev Br de Sales (resident Doctor of the House, and brother of Fr Whitaker SJ), and by the resident Chaplain who administered Extreme Unction.

The remains were removed by ambulance to the Sisters of Mercy Hospital, St Michael's, Dun Laoghaire. Office and Solemn Requiem, at which the Very Rev J R MacMahon SJ, Provincial, was celebrant, took place on Saturday, January 20th, The Right Rev Monsignor Dunne PP, VG, presiding. The Sacred Music was rendered by the Choir of Milltown Park. The general attedance included Mr de Valera, Mr Little, Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, W. T. Cosgrave, &c. The Clongowes Union was represented by Messrs J V Doyle, J O'Mara, and W D Frisby.

Fr Kieran was born in Rathbrist, Co Louth, on April 22nd, 1881, where, in the bosom of a deeply religious family, were laid the foundations of that spirit of faith which sustained him through life, and led him to see the loving hand God in everything. After five years as a boy in Clongowes, went to Tullabeg for the Noviceship and Juniorate, and then studied for three years in the French House of Philosophy, at Gemert, Holland. He worked as prefect and Master in Clongowes from 1905 to I911. In addition to the constant arduous work in the Classroom, he took charge of the College Theatricals. The Past have vivid recollections of the marked success with which he produced “Guy Mannering”, :The Ticket-of-leave Man”, and the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

After his Ordination at Milltown Park and Tertianship in Tullabeg, he was appointed Prefect of Studies at Clongowes, in succession to Fr James Daly, whose great work he carried on with remarkable efficiency and success. In 1925 he was Minister and Procurator in Rathfarnham Castle, before going to Mungret College, Limerick, where he became Rector in 1927. In March, 1930, he was made Provincial, a position he held for more than eleven years, years embracing the Eucharistic Congress and the beginnings of the disastrous World War, His tenure of office was marked by prudence and practical judgment, combined with a rare skill in the conduct of affairs.

The outbreak of the war necessitated the closing of St Bueno's, North Wales, and obliged Fr Kieran to open, at very short notice, the Tertianship at home, He set himself to the task with his accustomed energy, and guided and ably assisted by his great friend, Fr Henry Keane, of the English Province, he had the satisfaction of seeing the Tertianship established at Rathfarnham Castle, September the 30th, 1939. He himself was Instructor of Tertians at the time of his death.

When Fr MacMahon became Provincial, Fr Kieran was placed in charge of the Retreat House, Rathfarnham. Here, his zeal, his homeliness and his desire to help made a deep impression on the minds of the exercitants, many of whom came back during the year to lay their troubles before him, to consult him in their difficulties, sure of a sympathetic hearing, certain to go away comforted and encouraged. What a shock it must have been for these worthy men when they learned that Fr Kieran was dead!

When Fr “Willie” Doyle was a Master at Clongowes in 1898, he produced the “Mikado”, and picked out L J Kieran for a principal part. A visitor to the College on the night of the entertainment wrote “L. Kieranas Pooh-Bah could scarcely have been surpassed by any amateur. Without much voice, he went through his songs with skill and taste. But, it is his acting which will have won for him a bright place in the memory of all who saw him. Simple naturalness, unmarred by any excess of stage gestures or declamation, was his characteristic. There was no straining after effect. He came on and went off, he spoke and was silent, as if he was only moved by his own individual will in such matters, and had never seen such a thing as a stage
edition of the play”.

On the wider stage of after-years, just as at school, Fr Kieran played his part with the same simple naturalness, the same self-restraint, the same self-effacement. And when the curtain fell in the last tragic scene, he passed away, leaving a host of friends, grief-stricken it is true, but inspired by his example to shoulder their responsibilities, to play their parts as he had done with such singular detach ment from self, such heroic devotion to duty.

To his sister Mrs L McCann, and to his brother, Mr Robert Kieran, we offer our sincerest sympathy in their great bereavement.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1945

Obituary

Father Laurence Kieran SJ

The Past boys who were at Mungret during the years 1926-31 will learn with deep regret of the death of Father Kieran which occurred with dramatic suddenness at Stillorgan on January 19th, 1945. Father Kieran, who was travelling in a bus, had a sudden seizure; a priest gave a last absolution and after a short time the Sacrament of Extreme Unction was administered.

Born at Rathbrist in Co Louth in 1881, Father Kieran was educated at Clongowes Wood College. He entered the Novitiate in 1898 and passing through the usual course of studies was ordained at Milltown Park in 1914 and then went back to Clongowes as Master and, later, was Prefect of Studies there.

In 1926 he came to Mungret to direct the Studies. He came as a stranger but it was not long till he had an assured place in the heart of the school. His grasp of essentials and his attention to details, his: extraordinary kindness as well as his firmness, when that was called for, endeared him to the boys. Her gave himself completely to his work and the results of the public examinations showed that a master hand was at the wheel.

In the following year he became Rector and it is no truism to say that his zeal and energy made themselves felt in every department of the College. Accommodation was wanted, so he added the New Wing, thus improving the Study Hall for the Lay Boys, increasing the number of classrooms, and giving the Philosophers a new Dormitory. Other schemes to build new refectories; to erect boot rooms; and to improve. the dormitories were in hand, when Father Kieran was called away to be Provincial. During his time as Provinciai he was always interested in the progress of Mungret and one could always count on his interest and encouragement in any scheme for its betterment.

These improvements will always be associated with the name of Father Kieran. But his great work was in fields whose harvests cannot be measured in this world. For he realised that his prime work was to lead. the young to their Heavenly Father, by firmness, if necessary, with kindness always. His genial manner made him a very approachable character, one to whomn boys could speak without fear or reserve. His constant interest in their families, their studies, their games, and their hobbies made them realise that bere was one who was genuine in his desire for their welfare and their happiness. They felt that he, who could so appreciate their boyish interests, could also console them in their sorrows and support them in their troubles.

His authority with boys came, one felt, not so much from his position as Rector but from their instinctive appreciation that his decisions were based on a ripe and rich experience of a boy's mind and world. It was the very “humanity” of the Rector which made them willing to seek and to follow his advice. One of the joys of his later life was when some young friend of former days called on him and they both re-lived their days in Mungret. The Philosophers became in particular his intimate friends and after their ordination they called to give tbeir blessing to him who had so helped them on the road to the priesthood. Reading the letters that came to Mungret on the death of Father Kieran, one cannot help noticing the sense of personal loss which the writers tried to express. They would all endorse the words of one of his past students, now a Monsignor in America: “To all of us he was a devoted father and a model of priestliness”.

His kindness and courtesy were always in evidence in his dealings with the old retainers of the College. He had at all times a kind word for them and his solicitude for them and their families eamed for him their gratitude and their prayers.

To those who mourn the passing of Father Kieran we offer our sincerest sympathy. RIP

Rooms at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly (top floor) named 'Tuck's Terrace' after Kieran, when as Provincial, he partitioned the rooms (whose walls shook in the wind) to make space.

Lynch, Edmund, 1853-1890, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1599
  • Person
  • 05 August 1853-02 March 1890

Born: 05 August 1853, Bruges, Belgium
Entered: 23 September 1871, Milltown Park, Dublijn
Ordained: 1883
Died: 02 March 1890, Gort, County Galway

Part of the Drongen, Belgium community at the time of death
Nephew of Henry Lynch - RIP 1874 and Charles Lynch - RIP 1906

by 1874 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1875 at Laval France (FRA) studying
by 1877 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1880 at Laval France (FRA) studying
by 1881 at Oña Spain (ARA) studying
by 1890 out of Residence :
One idea is that he walked out of Tullabeg and ended up in poor house in Galway

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Nephew of Henry Lynch Sr - RIP 1874 and Charles Lynch - RIP 1906
He studied Rhetoric at Roehampton, Philosophy at Laval and Theology at Oña in Spain.
Becoming mentally affected he was placed in St John of God’s, but he escaped and died at the County Home in Gort, Co Galway.

McHugh, Nicholas, 1892-1972, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1721
  • Person
  • 19 March 1892-12 October 1972

Born: 19 March 1892, Oristown, County Meath
Entered: 18 March 1923, Roehampton London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Final vows: 15 August 1933
Died: 12 October 1972, Stillorgan, County Dublin - Angliae Province (ANG)

Part of the St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Wales community at the time of death

O'Reilly, Michael J, 1909-1975, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/345
  • Person
  • 29 April 1909-05 December 1975

Born: 29 April 1909, Kanturk, County Cork
Entered: 20 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1945, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 05 December 1975, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

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

Early education at Mungret College SJ

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 51st Year No 1 1976

Gardiner Street
Towards the end of October, Fr Michael O'Reilly suffered a stroke. He spent some weeks as a patient at the Bon Secours hospital, Glasnevin, and made marked progress. Afterwards he went to stay at the St John of God convalescent home, Kilcroney, Bray. It was there that the Lord called him to Himself on 5th December: may He reward him! He is very much missed by both the Sisters and the patients at St Joseph's, Portland row, where he had been a most dependable and devoted chaplain for the past few years.

Obituary :

Fr Michael O’Reilly (1909-1975)

Michael O’Reilly had just entered his 50th year in the Society when his death occurred on 5th December 1975. He was always somewhat over-intense in his application of the Rules of the Society, of the Church and of his own life. As a result he broke down in his university studies and again in philosophy. To his credit he came back to both, after an interval, and completed them. With these interruptions he arrived at Milltown Park for theology three years behind his contemporaries.
He passed a rather quiet type of life: never spoke about him self or his relatives, never got involved in arguments. He did have very strong views about the Society and the Church, and his loyalty to both was unquestionable. Many modern tendencies in the Society and the Church gave him anxious moments, and it might have been better if he had expressed his feelings more openly instead of keeping them within himself.
The closing years of his life brought a good deal of satisfaction and contentment to him, for he became chaplain to Portland Row convent and found work for which he was ideally suited. That he was a success was witnessed by the many tributes paid to him and by the praise expressed by the parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes church, under whose jurisdiction he worked.
He was a dedicated Jesuit and an exemplary religious.

Irish Province News 51st Year No 2 1976

Gardiner Street
On Friday, 5th December, 1975, at 10 am, Fr Michael O’Reilly died quietly and peacefully at St John of God's convalescent home, Kilcroney, Bray. He had been moved there the previous Friday from the Bon Secours hospital, Glasnevin. The Mass for Fr Michael was concelebrated here on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and among the concelebrants from various houses were three of his fellow-novices - Frs Johnny McAvoy, Paddy Kennedy and Michael Connolly. Fr Dermot O'Connor directed the choir, and the large congregation was a tribute to the esteem in which Fr O'Reilly was held by the people of the locality, many of whom had experienced his gentle compassion in their trials.

Obituary :

Fr Michael O’Reilly (1909-1975)

More about Father Michael O'Reilly (died 5th December 1975)

An tAthair Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin has sent us this tribute to his memory:
Michael might have become a valued schoolmaster in the Society's best traditions or indeed a professor in either the profane or sacred sciences, for which he was amply fitted by his high intelligence. The man however was a perfectionist, and during his scholasticate, that was his undoing. In his juniorate he was strongly influenced by Fr Michael Browne, the saintly
spiritual father at Rathfarnham, and by the rather overpowering Rector, Fr John Keane.
Michael admired, somewhat uncritically it should be said, the versatility of Fr John Keane for whom he entertained a lifelong veneration, Wiser (but less intelligent) juniors could smile indulgently at Fr Keane when he recounted how he read a whole book of the Aeneid or Odyssey as he wheeled his bicycle up the long hill by Rockbrook and Killakee towards the Featherbed. Unfortunately, Michael took too seriously the quixotic rector's literary enthusiasms and autobiographical asides. During his first Christmas vacation at Mungret in his regency, he read the complete Anabasis, having during the previous months taught himself Greek grammar: but I prefer to pass over in silence other such hardships as he inflicted on his tired head,
In spite of a “broken head”, Michael could relax and did so whenever he mastered his natural shyness. He had a delightful sense of humour. A ridiculous coincidence of circumstances could arouse his mirth and then his laughter was somewhat evocative of Fr Michael Browne's. Once during our years as regents together we went for a summer course in Irish to Ring, There for the first time perhaps I really came to appreciate his sense of fun. Of two very incompetent professors, he could mimic to the life the fuddy-duddy attempts of one to impart a knowledge of phonetics, and reproduce the falsetto declamations of the other who professed to read Irish poetry de la bonne façon.
He was a tower of strength to his contemporaries in times of illness or death, and he had the capacity of pronouncing a solid judgment when his advice was sought. He had the common touch - a trait not so well known to some who were repelled by his apparent aloofness. In the late 1940’s, for instance, when he was conducting a retreat at Castleblayney he paid a visit to my old home some two miles away from the convent. A couple of times along the road he had to make enquiries as to which way to take when he was passing the two crossroads between the convent and my mother's house. As chance had it, he fell in with a couple of the local “characters”. His exchanges with these latter were were eventually repeated to my mother, who was congratulated on the order of affable priests her own son had joined! For long after, the characters', since called to their reward, made kindly enquiries for Fr Michael.
Undoubtedly many modern tendencies in the Society and the Church gave him anxious moments. But it should be stressed, in justice to his memory, that he was no “hard-liner”. He was too faithful and intelligent a son of Holy Church to blame Vatican II. His constant complaint - and he spoke frankly to me on the subject - was the massive ignorance of too many Catholics and priests of what Vatican II was really all about. For Michael the trouble was that journalists and travelling theologians (the “two thousand-dollars-a-lecture men”) got a noisy publicity-start of Vatican II, that set them off on a rip-roaring trail of disturbance and confusion. He had a point.
I am sure his spell in purgatory must have been one of the shortest known to the welcoming angels of paradise. When I received the news of his death, my first instinct was to pray to him.

Power, Patrick, 1907-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/551
  • Person
  • 11 May 1907-28 December 1995

Born: 11 May 1907, Ballyhaught, Kilmallock, County Limerick
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 28 December 1995, St John of God’s, Stillorgan, Dublin

Part of the Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early education at Mungret College SJ

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr Patrick (Paddy) Power (1907-1995)

11th May 1907; Born, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick
Early education: Mungret College, Limerick
1st Sept. 1924: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
2nd Sept. 1926: First vows at Tullabeg
1926 - 1928: Rathfarnham, Home Juniorate
1928 - 1931: Milltown/Tullabeg, Philosophy
1931 - 1934: Clongowes Wood College, Prefect and Teacher
1934 - 1938: Milltown Park Theology
24th June 1937: Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1938 - 1939: St. Beuno's, Tertianship
1939 - 1941: Belvedere, Teaching, Games, Choir
2nd Feb. 1940: Final Vows, Belvedere College
1941 - 1944: Mungret College, Study Hall Prefect
1944 - 1960: Clongowes: Teaching junior classes
1960 - 1963: In poor health

During his first years at St. John of God's Hospital, Fr. Power came regularly by bus to visit Loyola House and would also look up old friends. He came to all celebration meals. În latter years he would be collected by car, but with failing health these visits tapered off. Loyola Community and his own family kept in close contact and celebrated birthdays with him. He continued to concelebrate Mass daily to the end, and loved to use his wonderful singing voice at Mass.

He died unexpectedly on 28th December 1995

Fr. Paddy Power died unexpectedly at St. John of God's Hospital, Stillorgan, on 28th December 1995, having had, on his own affirmation, a great Christmas. On two or three occasions over the long years of Paddy's illness, his general health had given serious cause for concern, but, on each occasion, he recovered, and, in spite of all his sufferings, lived a long life in the Society. He had celebrated in 1994 his seventieth year in the Society, and outlived most of his contemporaries. His long life was surely a tribute to the care he received under the supervision of the Brothers of St. John of God. Several members of his family had died at a much earlier age, so family longevity was not the reason for his long life.

Paddy's parents must have been very religious people: how else can you explain the six religious vocations in the family - Paddy's vocation, two brothers Augustinian Fathers, two sisters members of the Institute of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Mount Anville), and one sister a member of the Good Shepherd Congregation. Paddy always had a deep affection for the members of his family, an affection reciprocated by them. This also must be said for his love for the Society. His fifteen years in formation and twenty years of active ministry had left him many friends, and to the end, he could recall persons and names with great zest and interest. He always much appreciated visits from members of the Society. His memories of earlier days in the Society, and of those he lived with or worked with, or other happenings, were quite remarkable.

By any standard, Father Paddy had an exceptional life in the Society - some may spend their lives as missionaries in far-off places, or teaching in Colleges, or Houses of Formation, or in Administration, but Paddy, after his formation, spent well over half his priestly life in hospital. And yet who can say his life was less productive or precious in God's eyes for all those years he was institutionalised in Hospital? It was a source of great consolation to Paddy (which he often spoke of) when more than one Provincial stressed for him the fruitfulness of his suffering.

Of the seventy years Paddy spent in the Society, the usual fifteen preceded the end of tertianship, a further twenty years or so were spent in : Belvedere (two years), Mungret (three years) and about fifteen years in Clongowes preceding his fairly continuous illness which began in 1960, while still in Clongowes. The psychic disorders which plagued him for the rest of his life (thirty-five years) rendered active ministry impossible.

During his long years of illness, his beautiful tenor voice always stood him in good stead, and helped to attract affirmation and acclaim for his notable talent, which he gently welcomed. Many felt that if he had been properly trained, he could have had an outstanding reputation as a singer. He took a great interest in sport, a throwback to his early years in Mungret as a boy, when he showed considerable hurling skill.

When you went to visit Paddy, it was impossible to give him any news as his sister Vera or some other member of family would have been to visit him and have given him all the latest! His birthdays were celebrated in the hospital with members of his own family and a Jesuit or two from Loyola House present who enjoyed tea and some of the delicious birthday cake. He celebrated Mass daily up to the end, and birthday Masses were special, with a St. John of God Brother and the nurses making a great fuss of him, and dressing him up specially for the occasion.

No one would choose to spend his life in the Society as Paddy did - yet to the end he remained gentle, docile and accepting of his lot. He did not complain. At times, particularly in the earlier and intermediate years of his illness, it was distressing to visit him and find him at that time in the depths of depression. However, people often remarked in latter years how resigned and even cheerful he was, with a sense of great gratitude to God for the enduring love and friendship of his family and Jesuit friends.

Now, he is in a better place where there is no more suffering. He fought the good fight, treasured his priesthood, and kept the faith until the end which came rather unexpectedly on the 28th December 1995. May he rest in Peace!

John Guiney SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1996

Obituary

Father Patrick Power SJ

Fr Patrick Power SJ, who died in Dublin after many years fighting depressive illness on 28 December 1995, was Third Line Prefect for two of the three years he spent here as a scholastic (1931-34). After ordination he returned to teach in 1944, after a three year spell in charge of the study hall in Mungret. His Prefect of Studies there for the three years was Fr James Casey, his fellow-novice, and they moved together to Clongowes. His fellow-novices at Tullabeg had also included Fr Gerry O'Beirne, Fr Charlie O'Conor and Fr Tom O'Donnell, like Fr Casey all very familiar figures in Clongowes in later years.

Fr Power spent some fifteen years on the Clongowes staff teaching religion, mathematics, Latin and English in the junior classes. By 1960, ill-health made it too hard for him to continue and, in 1963, he moved to Eglinton Road. Much of his subsequent life was spent in hospital. He bore his long years of suffering with great fortitude. He concelebrated Mass daily until the end, taking the opportunity to use his beautiful tenor voice, for which he was renowned, when he could. After a final Christmas, which he had particularly enjoyed, he died unexpectedly just before the New Year.