County Tipperary



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County Tipperary

  • UF Tiobraid Árann
  • UF Tipperary
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  • UF Tiobraid Árann

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County Tipperary

165 Name results for County Tipperary

17 results directly related Exclude narrower terms

Barron, Nicholas, 1719-1784, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/902
  • Person
  • 16 January 1719-28 April 1784

Born: 16 January 1719, Fethard, County Tipperary
Entered: 05 January 1741, Seville, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)
Ordained: 1748, San Hermenegildo, Seville, Spain
Final Vows: 02 February 1757
Died: 28 April 1784, Cork City, County Cork

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Had studied at Seville and was Professor of Jesuit Scholastics there for three years.
Letters of his dated Cork and Clonmel, 1751 and 1753 are preserved at Salamanca

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied at Irish College Seville for two years before Ent 05/01/1741 Seville
After First Vows he was sent to complete his Philosophy at Granada and then Seville for Theology where he was Ordained in 1748
1750-1752 Returned to Ireland and began working in Clonmel
1752 Assigned to the Cork residence
After the Suppression he was incardinated - presumably into Cork, where he died in Cork city in April 1784

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Nicholas Barron SJ 1720-1784
Fr Nicholas Barron was one of the handfyl,of Jesuits left in Ireland at the time of the Suppression.

He was born in Fethard County Tipperary on January 16th 1720. It was in Seville that he entered the Society in 1741.

Nine years later he was sent to the Irish Mission, where Clonmel was the field of his labours.

He died in Cork in 1784, which leaves him a record of thirty-four years of active work as a priest, sharing these difficult days of the Penal Laws.

◆ MacErlean Cat Miss HIB SJ 1670-1770

Loose Note :
Nicholas Barron
Those marked with * were working in Dublin when on 07/02/1774 they subscribed their submission to the Brief of Suppression
John Ward was unavoidably absent and subscribed later
Michael Fitzgerald, John St Leger and Paul Power were stationed at Waterford
Nicholas Barron and Joseph Morony were stationed at Cork
Edward Keating was then PP in Wexford

◆ Clongowes Wood College SJ HIB Archive Collection - SC/CLON/142

Nicholas Barron 1720 - 1784
Nicholas Barron, born in Fethard, 16 January 1719, entered the Irish College, Seville, in September 1739. After some fifteen months there he was admitted to the Society in the same city on 5 January 1741. He finished his philosophy at Granada but returned to Seville, I745 to study theology at the College of St Hermengildo where he was ordained priest 1748. Recalled to Ireland, 1750, he exercised his ministry first at Clonmel after which he was assigned to the Cork Residence. At the Suppression of the Society he was incardinated, presumably, in the diocese of Cork as he died in that city towards the end of April 1784.
• At the Franciscan House of Writers, Dun Mhuire, Killiney there is a book formerly the property of N.B. Nics Barron his book bought in Seville the 26 Jan 1748.Proce 6 dollars for this and the other tome Ihs". On the flyleaf Idelphonsus de Flores S.J., “De Inclyto Agone martyrii” (Cologne 1735).

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BARON NICHOLAS, was born at Fethard, Munster, on the 16th of January, 1720, and entered the Society in the Province of Seville, on the 5th of January, 1741. Nine years later he was sent to the Irish Mission, where Clonmel was the field of his labours for some time. He survived the suppression of the Society and died at Cork.*

  • A pardonable Inattention to the keeping of Records and Registers arose in turbulent times, when the Discovery might prove fatal to the Possessor, or the Parties therein mentioned; but the terror of Penal Statutes long survived their force and operation, and unfortunately the habit of neglect became generally inveterate. Hence the importance of preserving fragments and traditions, lest they perish.

Barry, Joseph, 1880-1922, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/905
  • Person
  • 01 May 1880-04 October 1922

Born: 01 May 1880, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1899, Roehampton London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1913
Final vows: 02 February 1916
Died: 04 October 1922, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Part of the Mount St Mary's, Derbyshire Community at the time of death

by 1915 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

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

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

Bergin, Michael, 1879-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/140
  • Person
  • 18 August 1879-11 October 1917

Born: 18 August 1879, Fancroft, Roscrea, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 August 1911, Hastings, England
Final vows: 17 November 1916
Died 11 October 1917, Passchendaele, Belgium (Australian 51st Battalion) - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Buried at the Reningelst Churchyard Cemetery, Belgium
First World War Chaplain.

Transcribed HIB to LUGD : 01 January 1901

Fancroft is on border of Offaly/Tipperary. The border dissected Fancroft Mill, the family home on one side (Tipperary).
by 1901 in Saint Stanislaus, Ghazir, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) Teacher and studying Arabic
by 1904 in Saint Joseph’s, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) teaching

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online :
Bergin, Michael (1879–1917)
by J. Eddy
J. Eddy, 'Bergin, Michael (1879–1917)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1979

Died : 11 October 1917 Passchendaele, Belgium

army chaplain; defence forces personnel (o/s officers attached to Australian forces)

Michael Bergin (1879-1917), Jesuit priest and military chaplain, was born in August 1879 at Fancroft, Tipperary, Ireland, son of Michael Bergin, mill-owner, and his wife Mary, née Hill. Educated at the local convent school and the Jesuit College at Mungret, Limerick, he entered the Jesuit noviceship at Tullabeg in September 1897. Two years later he was sent to the Syrian mission where English-speakers were needed; he felt the break from home and country very keenly but became absorbed in his missionary work and the exotic customs of the local peoples. After learning Arabic and French he studied philosophy at Ghazir, and in October 1904 began teaching at the Jesuit College in Beirut.

In 1907 Bergin was sent to Hastings, England, to complete his theology studies and was ordained priest on 24 August 1910. After a short time at home he returned to Hastings for further study and then gave missions and retreats in the south of England. He returned to the Middle East in January 1914 and was in charge of Catholic schools near Damascus until the outbreak of World War I; along with other foreigners in Syria, he was then imprisoned and later expelled by the Turkish government. By the time he reached the French Jesuit College in Cairo in January 1915 the first Australian troops had arrived in Egypt, and Bergin offered to assist the Catholic military chaplains. Though still a civilian, he was dressed by the men in the uniform of a private in the Australian Imperial Force and when the 5th Light Horse Brigade left for Gallipoli he went with it. Sharing the hardships of the troops, he acted as priest and stretcher-bearer until his official appointment as chaplain came through on 13 May 1915. He remained at Anzac until September when he was evacuated to the United Kingdom with enteric fever.

Bergin's arrival home in khaki, complete with emu feather in his slouch-hat, caused a sensation among his family and friends. Though tired and weak after his illness, he was anxious to get back to his troops for Christmas. He returned to Lemnos but was pronounced unfit and confined to serving in hospitals and hospital-ships. Evacuated to Alexandria in January 1916, he worked in camps and hospitals in Egypt and in April joined the 51st Battalion, A.I.F., at Tel-el-Kebir. He accompanied it to France and served as a chaplain in all its actions in 1916-17; these included the battles of Pozières and Mouquet Farm, the advance on the Hindenburg Line and the battle of Messines. He was killed at Passchendaele on 11 October 1917 when a heavy shell burst near the aid-post where he was working. He was buried in the village churchyard at Renninghelst, Belgium.

Bergin was awarded the Military Cross posthumously. The citation praised his unostentatious but magnificent zeal and courage. Though he had never seen Australia he was deeply admired by thousands of Australian soldiers, one of whom referred to him as 'a man made great through the complete subordination of self'.

Select Bibliography
L. C. Wilson and H. Wetherell, History of the Fifth Light Horse Regiment (Syd, 1926)
Sister S., A Son of St. Patrick (Dublin, 1932)
51st Battalion Newsletter, July 1962
F. Gorman, ‘Father Michael Bergin, S. J.’, Jesuit Life, July 1976..

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

JESUITICA: Irish Jesuit at the front
When they remember their war dead on Anzac Day, Australians include in that number Fr Michael Bergin SJ, an Irish Jesuit who signed up with the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF)
in order to accompany them as chaplain to Gallipoli. Two facts give Fr Bergin particular distinction. Firstly, though he served with the AIF he never set foot on Australian soil. And secondly, he was the only Catholic chaplain serving with the AIF to die as a result of enemy action – not, however, in Gallipoli, which he survived, but in Passchendaele, Belgium, in 1917. According to the citation for the Military Cross, which he received posthumously, Fr Bergin was “always to be found among his men, helping them when in trouble, and inspiring them with his noble example and never-failing cheerfulness.”
Tomorrow, Remembrance Day, we might think of Michael Bergin, born in Roscrea, schooled in Mungret, a remarkable Irish Jesuit chaplain with the Anzac force, which he joined as a trooper in order to accompany the Australians to Gallipoli. He was the only Australian chaplain to have joined in the ranks, and the only one never to set foot in Australia. He always aimed to be where his men were in greatest danger, and having survived the Turkish campaign he was killed by a German shell on the Ypres salient in Flanders. The citation for the Military Cross, awarded posthumously, read: “Padre Bergin is always to be found among his men, helping them when in trouble, and inspiring them with his noble example and never-failing cheerfulness.”

Roscrea remembers a heroic Jesuit
An exhibition of the life of Jesuit war chaplain Fr Michael Bergin, who died on 12 October 1917 at Passchendaele on the Western Front, was launched on 4 October in Roscrea Library, Tipperary. Fr Bergin grew up in the millhouse of Fancroft, just a couple of miles north of Roscrea.
Though an Irishman, Fr Bergin joined the Australian forces during the war. He befriended some Australian soldiers during a stint in Egypt and then joined them, first as stretcher-bearer in Gallipoli and later as chaplain in Belgium. It was there he died from German shell-fire, one of the half-million casualties of the Third Battle of Ypres, at Passchendaele.
The exhibition was launched by Simon Mamouney, First Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy. The curator of the exhibition, Damien Burke, assistant archivist of the Irish Jesuit province (pictured here), also spoke at the event. In attendance too were Fr. Frank Sammon, a distant relative of the Bergins of Fancroft, and Marcus and Irene Sweeney, current owners of Fancroft Mill. Irene Sweeney, in fact, is a cousin of another Irish Jesuit, Fr Philip Fogarty. The exhibition remains open until 31 October.
Damien Burke also marked the anniversary of Fr Bergin’s death on Tuesday, 10 October, with a talk in Mungret Chapel, Mungret, Limerick – appropriately, as Fr Bergin attended the Jesuit school Mungret College. About thirty people attended the talk. It was 100 years to the day since Fr Bergin made his way to the Advanced Dressing Station of the 3rd Australian field ambulance near Zonnebeke Railway Station, Belgium. The following day he was badly wounded by German artillery fire, and a day later, 12 October, he died from his wounds. He was posthumously awarded the Australian Military Cross of Honour. Damien mentioned that Michael Bergin was President of the Sodality of Our Lady while a boarder at Mungret College and “would have prayed and formed his vocation to the Jesuits here in this space”.

Jesuits at the front
This year of commemorating Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War will continue with an exhibition by Irish Jesuit Archives at Roscrea Library, Tipperary, from 2nd to 31st October. It will focus mainly on Fr Michael Bergin SJ (pictured here), a Roscrea-born Jesuit who was killed at the front in 1917, and five other Jesuits who served as chaplains with the Australian army in the First World War.
Fr Michael Bergin SJ holds the distinction of been the only member of the Australian forces in the First World War never to have set foot in Australia, and he was the only Catholic chaplain serving to have died as a result of enemy action.
Born in 1879 at Fancroft, Roscrea, Fr Bergin was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, and joined the Society of Jesus in 1897. From 1899 until the outbreak of war in 1914, he worked on the Syrian mission, which entailed his transfer to the French Lyons Province. When war broke out he was interned and then expelled by the Turks from Syria. While in Egypt in 1915, he become friendly with the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF), then training in Cairo.
In May of that year he went to Gallipoli with the Australian Forces, having enlisted as a Trooper. He carried out his pastoral duties as a priest, and worked as a stretcher-bearer and medical attendant. After his formal appointment as a chaplain in July 1915, Fr Bergin suffered influenza, chronic diarrhoea and enteric fever at Gallipoli, and was evacuated back to London to recover. Even though it was obvious that he was medically unfit to return to the front, he insisted on doing so and was back at Gallipoli in December 1915. Due to his ill health, however, he was transferred to hospital work.
In June 1916 Fr Bergin went to France with the 51st Battalion of the 13th Brigade. He lived in the front trenches, hearing confessions and celebrating Mass. He accompanied his men through such battles as Poziéres and Mouquet Farm, and was promoted from Captain to Major.
On 10 October 1917, his battalion moved up to the Front line Jesuitat Broodseinde Ridge. The next day he was with the Australian Field Ambulance when German shell-fire severely wounded him. He died the next day. There are a number of different accounts of his death but he died the following day. He is buried in Reninghelst Churchyard Extension, Belgium.
One colonel who knew the padre remarked, “Fr Bergin was loved by every man and officer in the Brigade... He was the only Saint I have met in my life.” The citation for the Military Cross awarded posthumously but based on a recommendation made prior to his death read: “Padre Bergin is always to be found among his men, helping them when in trouble, and inspiring them with his noble example and never-failing cheerfulness.”

On Saturday 25 April, the annual dawn Anzac commemoration will take place. It is the centenary of the failed Anzac engagement at Gallipoli. Six Jesuits, five of them Irish-born, served with the Australian Imperial Forces in the First World War. Frs Joseph Hearn and Michael Bergin both served at Gallipoli.
Fr Bergin describes Gallipoli in 1915: “There are times here when you would think this was the most peaceful corner of the earth – peaceful sea, peaceful men, peaceful place; then, any minute the scene may change – bullets whistling, shells bursting. One never knows. It is not always when fighting that the men are killed – some are caught in their dug-outs, some carrying water. We know not the day or the hour. One gets callous to the sight of death. You pass a dead man as you’d pass a piece of wood. And when a high explosive catches a man, you do see wounds”

Commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia
This year the Australian Province of the Jesuits are commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia. Australia became the first overseas mission of the Irish Jesuit Province. To mark the occasion the Archdiocese of Melbourne are organising a special thanksgiving Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne 27 September. On 20 June Damien Burke, Assistant Archivist, Irish Jesuit Archives gave a talk at the 21st Australasian Irish Studies conference, Maynooth University, titled “The archives of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931”. In his address Damien described the work of this mission with reference to a number of documents and photographs concerning it that are held at the Irish Jesuit Archives.
Irish Jesuits worked mainly as missionaries, and educators in the urban communities of eastern Australia. The mission began when two Irish Jesuits Frs. William Lentaigne and William Kelly, arrived in Melbourne in 1865 at the invitation of Bishop James Alipius Goold, the first Catholic bishop of Melbourne. They were invited by the Bishop to re-open St. Patrick’s College, Melbourne, a secondary school, and to undertake the Richmond mission. From 1865 onwards, the Irish Jesuits formed parishes and established schools while working as missionaries, writers, chaplains, theologians, scientists and directors of retreats, mainly in the urban communities of eastern Australia. By 1890, 30% of the Irish Province resided in Australia.
By 1931, this resulted in five schools, eight residences, a regional seminary in Melbourne and a novitiate in Sydney. Dr Daniel Mannix, archbishop of Melbourne, showed a special predication for the Jesuits and requested that they be involved with Newman College, University of Melbourne in 1918. Six Jesuits (five were Irish-born) served as chaplains with the Australian Forces in the First World War and two died, Frs Michael Bergin and Edwards Sydes. Both Michael Bergin and 62 year-old Joe Hearn, earned the Military Cross. Bergin was the only Catholic chaplain serving with the Australian Imperial Force to have died as a result of enemy action in the First World War.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
After his education at Mungret, Michael Bergin entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1897, and two years later volunteered for the Syrian Mission and was sent to Lebanon to study Arabic and French before moving on to philosophy at Ghazir, and in 1904 to teach in the Jesuit College in Beirut.
Bergin did his theology in England at Hastings, and following ordination did retreat work in southern England until returning to Syria in January 1914. With the outbreak of World War I, he was interned by the Turks and then expelled from the region to arrive in Egypt in January 1915. Bergin offered to assist the Catholic chaplains of the newly arrived AIP, and, though still a civilian, was dressed in a privates uniform by the men of the 5th Light Horse, and left for Gallipoli with them.
He acted as priest arid stretcher-bearer until his formal appointment came through in May, and he remained on Gallipoli until invalided home in September with enteric fever. A photo taken of him in slouch hat and emu feathers created something of sensation at home, but he was not there long, returning to work on hospital ships until January 1916, when he went to Egypt with the 51st Battalion. He followed the battalion to France, serving as chaplain during some key battles leading up to the attack on the Hindenburg line. In 1917 a long-range shell burst near the aid station where he was working and killed him.
Bergin never came to Australia, but was awarded a posthumous Military Cross and in the late 1990s was awarded the Australian Gallipoli Medal. There is a memorial to him at the back of the Cairns Cathedral, as the soldiers he mainly worked with were from North Queensland. His life is included here because of his unique connection with Australia.
John Eddy has an entry on him in the Australian Dictionary of Biograpy, p. 274.

Note from Edward Sydes Entry
He and the Irish Jesuit Michael Bergin, who served with the AIP but never visited Australia, are the only two Australian Army chaplains who died as a result of casualties in action.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Bergin 1879-1917
Fr Michael Bergin was born at Fancroft, about two miles from Roscrea, on August 16th 1879. His early education he got at the Sacred Heart Convent Roscrea, and then at Mungret. In 1897 he entered the noviceship at Tullabeg.

Together with two other scholastics, Mr Hartigan and Mr Fitzgibbon, he was sent to Syria and the University of Beirut. Here under the French Fathers, he did his Philosophy and Regency. While in Beirut he volunteered for the Syrian Mission, and there he returned after his ordination in 1913.

On the outbreak of the First World Ward he, with all the other priests and religious, was expelled by the Turks, and he went to Cairo. There Fr Bergin became Chaplain to the Australian Expeditionary Force. He came to France with them, and he was killed by a shell at Zonnebeke, North East of Ypres on October 11th 1917. He was buried near Reningelst.

His life story was written by his sister, a nun, under the title “A Son of St Patrick”, and it gives an idea of the steadfast, simple yet heroic life of Michael Bergin.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1904

Letters from Our Past

Michael Bergin SJ

Ghazir, Syria

“Mr. Power and Mr. Hartigan arrived safe and sound at Beyrouth. They paid a visit to Ghazir shortly after their arrival. They were looking very well. They had no difficulty in recognising me in spite of my venerable beard. They stay at Beyrouth, where they study. Oriental languages.

We are only ten Philosophers, but there are also four teen Scholastics destined for the Mission, who are making a biennium of Arabic. There are also three Juniors, and fortunately for them, we are all in the same Community. It is not a bit like Christmas here, except for the rain, We are too near the sea at Ghazir to have frost, but the mountains quite close to us are covered with snow. We have a pretty little Crib in the chapel, but there are no other decorations. The Maronites have Midnight Mass in a great many churches, they have also a Novena with Benediction and Recitation or Office in preparation for Christmas. Their faith is, perhaps, more demonstra tive, but scarcely as solid, as that of the Irish. Sometimes they fall out with their bishop or priest, and threaten to be come Protestants or Schisinatics, if they don't get what they want, and sometimes too, unfortunately, they execute their threat. The English and American Protestants, as well as the Russian Schisinatics, do a great deal of harm. They have schools, and, as they are rich; they can hold out great inducements to the poor. Our Fathers, with very little money, have to fight against them. The Maronite clergy, although rich enough, do very little, and give nothing, and thus it is for us to do all. After all it is hard to find people as good as in the old country”.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1905

Scenes and Manners in Syria - from the Letters of

Michael Bergin SJ and Austin Hartigan SJ

St Joseph’s University Beyrouth

I will tell you all about our vacation, perhaps it will interest you. We went to Tanail, where our fathers have a farm and an orphanage. Tanail is situated in the Bekka or plain that lies between the Lebanon and Anti Lebanon Mountains. This plain is eighty or ninety miles long and about fifteen broad. Tanail is just in the middle of this plain and half way between Beyrouth and Damascus. We went from Beyrouth by train. The journey is very interesting. On leaving Beyrouth you pass through a very fertile plain planted with olive trees. After about half an hour begins the ascent of the mountain. It is very steep in some places, so, to make it possible for the train to mount, there is a third rail with notches and the engine has a wheel with cogs which fit into these notches and thus prevent the train from slipping back. There are some very pretty little villages in the mountaiti. Most of the Beyrouth people pass the summer in one or other of these villages. Near the top of the mountain there are some villages inhabited by Druses. These are a people whose religion is a secret. They have some very curious customs one of them is that a Druse can never dispose of his property. He can spend his income as he wishes, but the real property always belongs to the family. The train goes very slow on ascending, so one has plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. The whole journey, which includes the descent as well as the ascent, is about forty miles, and we were over four hours in the train. When you are on the top of the mountain the plain opens out before you like a great lake shut in between the two mountains. Here and there are scattered little villages and spots of verdure these latter always marking the existence of water. The descent is quickly over, but the rocking of the train is so great that two or three were on the point of getting sea-sick, Our house is about half an hour's walk from the station. There are a good many trees, nearly all poplars, on the property, and so we enjoyed the luxury, so rare in this country, of walking in the shade. The sun is very warm here. You have no idea how hot it is from nine or ten in the morning to four or five in the evening; in the night and morning it is a little cooler, At Tanail the air is much drier than at Ghazir. At Ghazir one cannot walk for a quarter of an hour without being covered with perspiration; but in the plain, though one is scorched with the sun, one scarcely perspires at all. There are some interesting walks about. Amongst others is what is called:

The Tomb of Noah
Tradition says that he died and was buried near Zahleh, a village not far from Tanail. We went to-pay a visit then to this tomb of our common ancestor. We found the place a long, low, flat roofed, rectangular building, about forty yards long and three wide, which the Musulmans use as their mosque. The whole length of this house, and just in the middle, runs a piece of masonry about two feet high, and underneath this are said to rest the mortal remains of poor Noah. He must have been inconveniently tall.

The Excusrsion which lasted Four Days
One fine day, at half-past nine in the morning, seventeen of us started. The sun seemed to be specially hot that day, still we marched on bravely, after an hour and a half we came to a river - the biggest in Syria - which had to be crossed, and as there was no bridge we had to take off our boots and stockings, tighten up our soutanes and walk through. For the next two hours and a half we did not meet a single spring, and a two hours' tramp without water, where it is so warm, is no joke. However, four hours after our departure, we came to a long-wished-for well. We drank and washed, and started again for the village where we were to pass the night. After three hours we arrived there, and went to the priest's house. The only Catholics there are of the Syrian rite, and they are not very numerous. The rest of the inbabitants are either Druses or Greek Schismatics. The priest's house was a poor little cabin, consisting of two or three rooms. He received us very well - of course we had all our provisions with us, we had two mules to carry them on their backs, not in cars, because there are no roads only paths. We cooked our dinner and ate it in the Arabic fashion, ie, without plates, knives, spoons or forks. Soon after dinner, as everyone was a bit tired; we went to rest, We had brought a sack of blankets, one for each one. Five or six slept in the parlour which was at the same time bedroom, the rest slept on mats made of rushes, some in a little room beside the house, the rest outside the door. We used our shoes as pillows. The “beds” were rather hard and the night was very hot, so we did not sleep much. Next morning we had Mass in the little chapel close by, and after breakfast we started for Mount Hermon, which is the highest peak in the Anti-Lebanon Range. I forgot to describe the parlour of the priest. The chief “ornament” was his bed. The room was carpeted, but there were no chairs. You take off your boots on entering and leave them at the door, and you sit cross-legged on the floor or on a cushion. This room was about four yards square.

There is not a single spring between the village and the top of the mountain-and in the village itself the only water they have is what they collect in cisterns during the winter. So we had to bring some with us. The climb took about five or six hours, and had it not been that we had three or four horses, which each one mount ed from time to time, I doubt if many would have arrived to the top. After about five hours it became so very steep that the horses could go no farther so we halted and dined. Thus fortified we did the last hour's climb. In the shaded hollows there was still snow. We put snow into the water we brought, and it was not too bad. The Arabs call this mountain the Mountain of the Old Man, because the snow is supposed to represent the grey hair, From the top the view is magnificent. We saw the Holy Land, the Sea of Tiberias, the Jordan, Mount Thabor, Mount Carmel; also we could see Damascus, a white speck, hidden in its gardens of verdure, and the Hauran. On the very highest point of the summit are the ruins of an old temple. After enjoying the scenery and reposing ourselves we began the descent on the other side of the mountain towards Damascus. The path was very narrow and in places very steep, however, in the evening, after about four hours march, we arrived at another little village, Kalath-el gendel, one of the dirtiest and most miserable villages I have ever seen, even in the East. Here the majority of the inhabitants are Druses.

An Arab Meal
On our way we passed through another village and we went to a house to buy a drink of milk. The only thing they had was thick milk, the people are very fond of it like that, and we, for want of butter, took it The lady of the house would not be content if we did not sit down, so she spread a mat on the floor, and on this we had to squat like tailors. In the middle was a little table about a foot high, and on this she put a bowl of milk. Then came the Arabic bread, the “hubs”. This is made of flour and water, and is almost as thin as an altar bread and quite flexible. Each cake is round and has a diameter of about two feet. But the real difficulty was to take the milk with the bread. The people never use knives or spoons, the bread does all this. They tear off a little bit of bread and make a scoop of it, with this they take their milk or whatever it may be, and each time they eat their spoon as well as what is in it. It is convenient, for after dinner they have not much to wash up. Tumblers are as rare as knives. They have water in little earthenware jars like a teapot, with a little spout. This they do not put into their mouth, they keep it a distance of about a font away, and simply pour it down their throat. In the beginning this is not so easy. The first time I tried I got more down my neck and up my nose than I got into my mouth.

The Earthly Paradise
Leaving this early next morning we continued our journey to Damascus. The day was very hot and the country an arid waste. Still we toiled on and we were at last rewarded with a view of what Mahomed rightly called the earthly Paradise! To the way-worn traveller, dust stained and thirsty, whose eyes have been for hours blinded by the glare from the rocky soil, the city of Damascus, surrounded by its fresh green gardens, filed with every variety of fruit-trees, watered by the brimming stream, at whose source we stopped and washed, offers a vision of refreshing beauty that none can appreciate but those who, like us, have toiled through the heat of the day. Passing through the shady gardens, our ears filled with the murmuring of the clear, cool streams, refreshed by the delicious fruit that abounded on every side, we can easily understand why St Ignatius laid the scene of our First Parents' happiness in this, the East's most lovely city.

As it is the most beautiful so is it also the most characteristically Eastern. For here are gathered together all that is most un-European Here are centered all those streams of caravans that bring from far in the interior of Asia the rich products of those world-famed looms. Here is no sign of modern civilization to remind one of the distant West. To give an adequate idea of this other world, I can do no better than describe the Bazaar and some street scenes in this city of Fair Delight.

The Bazaar
It is in the bazaar that locomotion is most difficult. This gives one time to look about and admire the variety of nationalities that the traffic of the quarter has collected. Bedouins with huge high boots, a long stiff cloak of brown and white, often richly embroidered at shoulders (these cloaks “mashlah” are absolutely devoid of cut, except for short sleeves beginning at elbows and reaching to wrists), loose white drawers reaching to top of boots, embroidered vest. On the head, the “kofieyeh” or veil of brilliant colours. often of silk, ornamented with tassels. It is most graceful. This veil is secured on head by two circles of camel's hair, while the ends hang down on the back and breast or are brought up under chin, and attached to the coils above. They are finely built, these Bedouins, tall and spare, square-shouldered, active and strong, with dark piercing eyes, that seem to be everywhere at once. Druses, with snow-white turban and heavy scimitar; Turkish “effendis”, in badly made, and worse put on, European dress; Persians, in light brown hats, once and a-half as high as our tall hats, slightly conical in shape, tight-fitting dresses and flowing beards; Kurdish shepherds, dressed in skin and stiff black felt cape, reaching to knees; villainous looking Albanians, with voluminous kilts and belts bristling with weapons; add thievish-looking Circassians, effeminate Damascenes, gliding figures enveloped from head to foot in a light sheet like garment of white, or green and red shot silk, with veiled face, and called women, and you have a faint idea of the 'souqs' of Damascus. Yet I have said nothing about the seller of pasties, who balances on his head a small shopful of dainties; the sherbet-seller, with a huge bottle strung round his neck, and brass cups jingling in his hand. On more than one occasion I have seen a seller of drinks and a seller of creams stand as near each other as
their implements permit, the one slaking his thirst, the other gratifying his palate, by a mutual exchange.

The Houses of Damasucs
But the glory of Damascus consists above all in its private houses. The Arabic proverb has it: “The houses of Damascus from without, sooty; from within, marble”. Nothing could be more true. Outside one would take them for the stables of the mansion, with their plain, windowless walls, and massive, ungainly doors., Enteringly a narrow passage of varying length, a remnant of darker days, we find ourselves in a court with marble pavement, shaded by olive, orange, or lemon trees, and refreshed by a fountain or several of them, whose waters are contained in a deep basin of variegated marble. At one side is the “bewan”, or deep recess, strewn with rich carpets and soft cushions, and arched over in true Arabic style. Opposite is the salon, the masterpiece of the house, and where even struggling families manage to make a show at the cost of the rest of the house. Here, again, we meet the marble fountain on either side of what are the halves of the chamber, one half being raised about two feet. The walls are covered with the richest marbles, in endless variety of colour and form. Here and there are recesses backed by mirrors, while above are texts of the Koran in golden letters, entwined in the most puzzling combinations. Above these are scenes and landscapes painted in bright colours. The ceilings (which are always formed of round rafters laid so as to touch the flat cemented ceiling, leaving a space of some inches between each rafter) are painted in the most fantastic designs and often really beautiful. The effect of the whole is most striking. Now, I think, you have my impressions of what Damascus is like.

In the evening we left Damascus by rail and came back here, our minds stored with the many wonders we had seen. And now I think you know something of our life out here. I hope I have not been too tedious. If you wish I shall tell you more another time.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1918


Father Michael Bergin SJ

It is with the greatest regret we have to report the death of Fater M Bergin SJ, which occurred in France late in October last. After working in Syria for some years he was in Egypt at the outbreak of the war and volunteered as a chaplain. He saw service in Gallipoli and on the French front. The officer commanding the battalion to which he was attached writes :

I am sure no man was, nor could be, more popular and loved, not only by members of his own flock; but by all others.

In a report made in July, 1916, by the then commanding officer of the battalion giving the names of those who had shown qualities of conspicuous merit, the following entry is made opposite the name of our late Padre :

“For ready attention to wounded, indomitable energy, and pervading all ranks with cheerfulness.”

The subsequent months proved that those words only modestly express what we all owe to him, and those of us who had the privilege of knowing him longest find it difficult to believe that he really has left us for good and will not some day appear again with his usual smile and cheery words. He was killed instantly, by a fragment of a large shell which fell close to a party of officers belonging to the Brigade headquarters.

Our deepest sympathy to his brother, Mr John Bergin of Fancroft, Roscrea, and to his other relatives. RIP

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1932 : Golden Jubilee

Michael Bergin : A Mungret Jesuit at the Front

Father Michael Bergin SJ

Foreword to a memoir of Fr Bergin, shortly to be published under the title of “A Son of St. Patrick”.

To all who had the privilege of knowing Fr Bergin in life the following memoir will make instant appeal. How far it. will arrest the attention of others is more difficult to determine. It will hardly enter into rivalry with Prof O'Rahilly's “Life of Father Doyle” either as literary achievement or as a spiritual manifestation. It raises no problems, psychological or hagiographical. It is not likely to inaugurate any “cultus” of one, who, though undoubtedly holy and even heroic in his spirit of zeal and self sacrifice, was rather a finished specimen of what the institute he embraced aims at producing than an abnormal phenomenon. He is seen as an imitator, at a distance perhaps, of St John Berchmans rather than of St Aloysius Gonzaga. His sanctity though very real was not spectacular. He was just a zealous religious who practised in a very unobtrusive way the difficult art of self conquest, and thus prepared himself for facing the ordeal of the Great War with the certainty of playing a man's part in it, and, if needs be, of dying a brave man's death.

This he did, always without ostentation, always with that pleasant mask of a sunny smile, which veiled from the casual observer the depth and intensity of the spiritual fire burning in the soul of him all the time. His letters, utterly unstudied and unaffected, let us into the secret of his gaiety and make very beautiful the lifelong struggle against weak health which was his.

The present writer had the good fortune of knowing him in Tullabeg during two years and of meeting him once again just as he returned to the Front for the last time. And the impression left by that acquaintance tallies exactly with the picture those letters trace. Br Bergin was just one of some thirty young men being moulded in the Ignatian crucible, and taking shape gradually like the rest. He was fervent, no doubt, but in outward seeming indistinguishable from all others, except perhaps for a gaiety that, without being boisterous or even noisy, was infectious. I might sum him up by saying that you felt he was a good companion in recreation or on a walk, and a still better comrade in a tight corner. I have particularly in memory the sight of him holding on to an oar, on our rare boating excursions, until he was ordered by the person dressed in a little brief authority to relinquish it, and cheerful when other's nerves were getting a bit frayed and causing some outbursts of the old Adam in many, who, after all, were only ex-schoolboys labouring hard, but not always too successfully, to expel nature with a pitchfork. Though physically frail he not only never shirked his share of the common burden, he even clamoured for more, simulating immunity from fatigue. And it was curiously the same individual, only riper now and obviously more master of nature, whom I met for a few days at Ore Place, Hastings, in the winter 1915-16 - the precise date escapes my memory. He had been invalided home from the Front after a most trying time with the Anzacs in Gallipoli. He was obviously worn out and really unfit for further service. The thin form looked thinner than ever, the old stoop, indicative of the weak lungs that made Irish Superiors willing to part with this devoted worker in the hopes that the eastern sunshine might prolong a useful career, was more pronounced. He reluctantly admitted fatigue but insisted on reporting again for duty, when he need not have done so; and on going out once more to the Australian lads in danger, who had won his love and repaid it with a solid affection which does them honour. My counsel of prudence was wasted on one who never steered by that commonplace light when there was good work to be done. Yet, and here too he ran true to form, he tried to persuade me that it was just the fun of the thing that made him go forth again. In this, to tell the truth, he was not too successful, for I knew him of old. But of course I said nothing, and the last I saw of him was when he laid aside his vestments after his last Mass in his old scholasticate and hastened away, with a brave smile lighting up the tired face, to confront danger with the fearlessness he had already shown in action.

Apropos of danger I asked him once whether he had felt afraid under the rain of shells and bullets. His answer was characteristic: “At first the sensation is a bit curious. But you soon get used to it, and then do not mind it much”. Perhaps he had the gift of physical courage. But somehow the delicate frame and sensitive nature, responsive to all that was bright and joyous in life, did not indicate any natural indifference to death and its wartime horrors. Rather, I think, he found his strength in higher sources, even though his fine reserve recoiled from any parade of the deeper, supernatural impulses, which, for all that, very clearly guided his life.

War books are now a bit out of fashion - unless it be unsavoury, psychoanalytic pictures of men's bestiality in war. This may possibly militate against the success of this little volume where nothing is to be seen, but the white soul of one who walked this earth very innocently and quitted it very gallantly, displaying at all times a great unselfishness and an attractive piety. We may note that the piety is twofold. It is first of all and above all the Christian virtue of that name. But it answers also to the pietas of Virgil or the best pagans. His love of God and devotion to the greatest of all causes is found in perfect harmony with the human sentiments of family affection, love of country, sympathy with sorrow and affliction. Over all plays a sense of humour, genuine, natural, unfailing. If he had never died in action or left any line of self revelation, those who knew him would remember him as one who laughed easily (though not loudly), and made others laugh (without any pretentions to the reputation of a wit); who never seemed happier than when he could do a service to someone and would never admit that he was too tired or too busy to lend a helping hand; who was never censorious or critical of others; who fitted into various surroundings without friction of any kind; who glided serenely down the stream of life, making no noise and causing no commotion, well content to be unknown and accounted as nought - a beautifully placid nature to all appearance, yet not dull or apathetic, and always busy at some quiet task, tackling studies, for which he had no predilection, with conscientious ardour, aspiring unobtrusively to loftier heights of spiritual perfection than might have been suspected.

His biography may prove practically helpful to the general, fun of readers, whether in religion or in the lay pursuits, who feel no vocation to don the seven-league boots of the saints and stride from crest to crest of the Alpine heights, too far above the snow line for ordinary aspirations, but who never the less do desire to acquit themselves as men in the Great War always raging which is called Life. From him they can learn to hold their few yards of trench steadfastly and to the end, without flinching whether all be quiet on the front or the lines wake up to feverish and deadly activity, without “grousing” whether the petty hazards of the game or its major calamities try the temper. Here was one who to the outward eye gave no promise of special heroism, but when the call came said “Adsum” not only courageously but buoyantly, even boyishly, and above all without fuss or affectation, internally unconscious, I should think, that Gallipoli or Flanders were to be taken a whit more tragically than a long walk through the Bog of Allen or a long day at a creaking thole-pin. If any one had told Fr Bergin that a life of him would be written when he was gone it would have seemed to him the joke of the season. This will explain and excuse, if excuse be necessary, the homely style of his correspondence. He certainly never expected that any lines of his would have to face the scrutiny of critics on a printed page. If he had had the slightest suspicion of such a possibility, they could never have been written at all. He could not have penned a line with the spectre of publicity before his eyes, and he would laughingly have seized upon it as an excuse for saving precious time. He wrote as he lived, frankly and sincerely, without arrière pensée and he would only have shuddered at the very idea of posthumous fame. We have him thus in these pages as he was, without trappings of any kind, and I shall be surprised if the reader does not feel that his acquaintance was well. worth making

P J Gannon SJ

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

“A Son of St Patrick” by Sister S

Father Michael Bergin SJ

It is safe to say that most of our boys I will not even know the subject of this biography. Many will have seen his name in that list of our Sodality that hangs by the chapel door and may have wondered, half-idly, in the manner of the post-war generation, at the legend, “Killed in action, October, 1917”. To them and to many older boys we recommend this little book, unaffected in style, unadorned with wealth of words, but effective in its directness and simple truth. For we ought to know about this Mungret boy, who was President of Our Lady's Sodality, who went unselfishly to the East to work for Christ, and who, in the strange ways of God's providence, fell in Flanders at his post, for Christ. That he was one of ourselves should interest us. in his life. He answered the morning bell, he ran like us to morning chapel, he turned out to games with gusto, and he turned into study with the same cheerful grumble. He was a Mungret boy and he tried to be a saint. He tried in a way, that should encourage us all, not the way of frightening asceticism and mystic prayer, but the way, we all can try, of honest fervent piety and perfect obedience to God's Holy Will. How he succeeded in his effort, this life tells.

Simple, as we have said, and unaffected, this story of Father Bergin's life is attractive for its very simplicity. We have here no revelations of a soul's struggle, no attempt to read import into every slight action, no psychologizing of the saints. The story is told directly and with sympathy and by this is made human and appealing. The man himself speaks to us in his letters; frank, honest, brotherly letters, full of news and love and piety. He tells of himself as we feel we could do ourselves; but the plain tale he tells, we easily understand, to hide a life of daily heroism and striving after sanctity.

Michael Bergin was born at Fancroft, a few miles from Roscrea, in August, 1879, and spent his early days there, in the ideal Surroundings of a truly Irish Catholic family. He came to Mungret when he was fourteen and impressed his masters and his fellows as a pious, unselfish, jolly boy. Here God called him to the religious life and he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg in 1897. He finished his novitiate there, and to his surprise found himself next dispatched to Syria, to study Eastern languages at the University of Beyrouth. For two years he worked at the college and then went to Ghazir to study philosophy. Again he returned to college work at Beyrouth until Theology took him to Hastings in England, where he was ordained in 1910. He was back again in his beloved mission in 1914 at Damascus, and while working there the war broke out. First a “private soldier” chaplain and then a full recognized army Padre, he served in Gallipoli from 1915 to 1916. Then after a short leave, France claimed him and in a front line trench in Flanders he fell on October Iith, 1917.

We have told his career briefly lest we should ornit to give its outline in our anxiety to stress the importance of his life. There, is the life of a Mungret boy, told in short, and indeed a short life it was, and, taken in its period, no more eventful than many another. But this Mungret boy lived his life heroically and prayerfully throughout, and he taught himself to make great sacrifices with a careless smile and a convincing laugh. As a boy we find him jolly and natural; but he was the boy who walked to let others cycle; he was the boy who made himself nurse to a poor cripple; and he was the boy who fought for the right to say long prayers. We are very sure that he did these things with easy grace and without notice then, it is the retrospective eye that sees that here was a boy trying to be holy.

We feel, however, that it required genuine bravery of soul, to leave gaily a loved family circle and native land, to go alone, a boy, into the East. The novice is only a boy, for all his real spirituality, and the boy must have felt that wrench, felt it all the more when the novelty of a strange land passed and life became routine. But these honest letters of his show no trace of this; he loves all at home too well to share his sorrow.

He tells them all his adventures; he tells them, with a natural eye for beauty, of the sights of the East and of the flowers of its fields. Yet, now and then, we see that he has made a sacrifice, for he longs for Ireland's green fields and simple flowers. He grows a little jaded with brilliance and longs for plain things much loved and he often looks over the Mediterranean, westward, towards home.

In 1916 he knew the question was being discussed, as to whether he should remain permanently on the mission in Syria or return to his own Province. The heart could answer that question in but one way. To be permanently there meant that he belonged not to his own Irish Province, but to the French Province; it meant, one might say, naturalizing himself as a foreigner. It meant exile for ever. “Storm heaven that I may be kept”, he writes to his sister ; “yet non sicut ego volo sed sicut Tu”. This is the noble spirit that offers what it holds dearest and makes sacrifice almost easy, by forestalling it. Here is that touchstone of sanctity, the agere contra of St Ignatius; but here the man conceals it all, under a laugh, and makes his suffering appear a favour. This, we think, is the attractive thing in Father Bergin's attempt on the battlements of holiness. He carried them with honest gaiety, concealing high purpose and great determination.

When the Great War came, Michael Bergin was a priest and a Christian missionary in Damascus. He was a foreigner in the territory of Turkey. It was with difficulty he escaped spending the period of the war chafing in some internment camp; but he did manage to reach Egypt, and immediately looked for work. He found work among the soldiers of the Australian Expeditionary Force. He had no official standing among them, but zeal was ingenious in overcoming army regulation. He enlisted as a stretcher-bearer in order to be with his newly found flock. With them he went through the horrors of Gallipoli and endeared himself by gallantry and unselfish devotion to those careless, cheery souls. For sixteen months he lived in France with his Australians and fell among them, working to the last.

In that strange army life we notice the same characteristics we have seen in the religious. There is no capacity shown for finding the limelight; he did not “star” in the trenches. All day he worked unobtrusively and tirelessly, caring for the souls of the living and burying the bodies of the dead. Then he sat down in his dug-out and wrote cheerful letters to dear ones, laughing at his own exhausted body, relating the minor adventures of the day and asking for prayers for himself and for his men. Those who knew him in those days, tell the kind of story we would expect. They saw that the Padre was always at his post and did not seem to mind innumerable calls on him. They noticed that he walked six miles in the desert to say Mass and made no fuss about it. They felt, as we feel, that this quiet constancy and cheerfulness in duty called for admiration.

And all through, we find him asking for prayers for himself that he may be holy. He did not forget the goal of life in the adventures of war. Simple, open comments on his own unworthiness fill his letters. He calls himself a slacker, his soul is like his torn clothes, he is a spiritual bankrupt, Thus he spoke of himself, humbly, because to the really holy soul, humility is natural and without suspicion of the hook. We easily come to have a fellow-feeling for him. He finds, like us, that it is hard to live up to high ideals, that our spiritual lives suffer badly in the preoccupations of daily work.

We feel, like him, that we want a Retreat to tone up our systems and to invigorate the life of our souls. But this fellow-feeling must not make us think that he was as we are. He kept his love for prayer and his desire to be alone with God, in all the weary disgusts of war. A young scholastic, a boy, he had learned to turn towards the higher things. A delicate man, he lived the roughest of lives, upheld by an indomitable spirit and the zeal of an apostle. He wore himself out working, but never. ceased from prayer, that he might be holy. . He had learned to make sacrifice early, and his death was almost chosen, for he gave up his leave, when he heard the whisper that his lads were to go over soon. No one would blame a tired soldier-priest for taking his furlough, even on the eve of a "big push"; but such is not the way of the saints. The boy who prayed to be kept in Syria, far from home, the theologian who left his dying father, because he had not leave to stay, the chaplain who gave up his leave to help others to meet death, in these we see the same man rising to the heights on the wings of simple love.

This is the story of Father Michael Bergin SJ, a true son of St Patrick, told with evident affection and attractive simplicity by Sister S. We hope that what we have written may stimulate Mungret boys and others to read this life of a schoolfellow. They will find there a personality easy to love and the romance of one like themselves, Encouraged by so natural an example they may themselves strive forward, in simple piety and frank devotion, to the heights, which are the goal of all of us, but which so few reach.


Bonfield, Francis, 1911-1988, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/494
  • Person
  • 08 April 1911-22 July 1988

Born: 08 April 1911, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 20 April 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1945, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 22 July 1988, Inverin, County Galway

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 4 1988 (Final Edition)
Br Francis Bonfield (1911-1935-1988)
Br Francis Bonfield was born in Nenagh on 8th November 1911. He entered the noviceship at Emo on 20th April 1935. After his vows in 1938 he went to Manresa House, Roehampton, London, to train as an infirmarian. He returned to Milltown Park in the summer of 1939 to look after the refectory. The next year he was sent to Tullabeg as infirmarian and in charge of staff. He stayed there until summer 1952, when he was transferred to Galway, Sacristan (to the church and community chapel) and infirmarian were his principal occupations, For the first few years he also had charge of staff. So at his death “Bonnie”, as he was affectionately known by us all, was thirty-six years in Galway. He was also the last member of a large family to die: his sister preceded him before Christmas 1987.
In Tullabeg he was very popular, especially with the philosophers, as he looked after their health. He also got to know the local people over the years there. He continued to maintain an interest in them and their families, even during his time in Galway.
These were pre-Vatican II days when he came to Galway. As church sacristan, he had to be up every morning to ring the angelus at 6 am, and to have the church open and ready for the 6.50 am Mass. usually said by Fr Paddy O'Kelly († 1968). In summertime, the holiday season, you could have any number of Masses being said by visiting priests at the various altars in the church and community residence. Most of these priests would be seculars from all over Ireland. Then there were a lot of devotions: so his life was a busy one.
In those days also Fr Kieran Ward was in charge of the St John Berchmans Altar-Servers Society. The servers then continued to serve Mass up to and even during their Leaving-certificate years. Here Bonnie's charisma for making lasting friendships displayed itself. He made friends with many of those Mass-servers, and the friendships lasted right up to his death. Some would call and bring him out for a meal: others would bring him for a weekend holiday, or invite him to their weddings. He also had numerous friends amongst the people who came to the church: he was concerned about them and their families.
As sacristan, he was witness to and involved in all the changes that took place in the church and its liturgy after Vatican II.
Up to 1977 Bonnie was very active: but on 22nd April 1977 he was affected by a severe stroke. He was suffering from high blood-pressure, and did not seem to know it. He went into Merlin Park hospital, and was there for months. When he came out, after the best of medical attention, his right side was somewhat paralysed, and he had not the use of his right hand. It was noticed also that there was an impediment in his speech. With the great help of Fr Richard Butler, Bonnie made valiant efforts to deal with this handicap. Gradually, over a space of time, his speech came back to normal.
Over the years since, Bonnie has been a living example to us of how sickness can be no less a gift than health. He edified us and many others by how patiently, nay, how cheerfully he accepted this cross in his life. It meant now, for example, that such things as dressing oneself were difficult and time-consuming. He had to make a complete adjustment to his way of life. His handicapped physical condition confined him more or less to the house and church and their environs. He could not go up town or to Salthill on his own, as he was unable to travel on buses. However, he never complained.
At Christmas-time, Bonnie was faced with a problem. What would he do about sending greetings to his relatives and friends? With his usual tenacity he came on a solution to his problem. He ordered his Christmas cards like all the rest of the community. He enlisted help to draw up a list of those to whom he was accustomed to send cards, bought the required number of stamps, and so with help he continued to greet those whom he loved.
Members of the community and province had sympathy for him and helped him when possible. Bonnie often expressed his gratitude for this at community meetings. He loved a Sunday-afternoon excursion in a house-car. Part of the ritual when he went out in the car was the reminder to purchase some ice-cream. He got extra enjoyment out of it when he knew he had persuaded the driver to pay for it. He was able to get to Lourdes. He even went to at least one all-Ireland hurling final with the help of an tAthair Connla O Dúláine. Then the Brothers of the Province rallied round and took him with them on their holidays, be it to Cork, Wexford, or Donegal. Actually he died at the end of a holiday that Fr Frank Sammon had arranged for him.
One of the main characteristics of Bonnie's life was his love for people. This showed itself in the enjoyment he got out of attending parish socials, senior citizens' Christmas parties, and other functions. Another was his love for his own community. His contribution to the Galway community is enormous. Apart from his example in adversity he was always amiable, affable, and cheerful; was interested in everything, loved theological discussions, which he some times initiated, and wore his heart upon his sleeve about some things such as hurling, his native county of Tipperary, and his political affiliations. These fatter were the cause of much merriment and debate, especially as Galway are so prominent in hurling at present.
He once expressed a wish to a lay friend of his that he would like to have the Coolin played at his funeral Mass. In the circumstances of his death, and at such short notice, it was not possible to have this done. However, at his month's mind Mass, concelebrated in the church by the Rector, Fr Murt Curry, with other members of the community, there was a beautiful rendering of the Coolin on a violin.
Bonnie has died: but the love he had for the Society, and the way he lived up to the Jesuit ideal, especially with his infirmity, will remain as an example and inspiration to us all.

Bourke, Edward, 1895-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/64
  • Person
  • 02 January 1895-29 April 1985

Born: 02 January 1895, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 08 December 1926, Convent of Mercy, Waterford City
Final vows: 22 April 1977, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Died: 29 April 1985, Xavier Hall, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966
by 1932, fifth wave Hong Kong Missioners.
◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Edward Bourke, S.J.

Father Edward Bourke, SJ, formerly of Hong Kong, died in Kuala Lumpur on 29 April 1985, aged 90.

Father Bourke came to Hong Kong as a young Jesuit priest in 1930 and worked here for the following 25 years. He was one of the first Jesuits to teach in Wah Yan College and he became Rector shortly before the siege of Hong Kong. During the siege he showed outstanding courage in caring for the spiritual and bodily welfare of all in need. After the surrender he had the difficult task of keeping the school in being. As an Irish citizen he was not interned, but he had endless difficulties to meet. With equal fortitude and ingenuity, he overcame countless obstacles, and there was still a Wah Yan Chinese Middle - when liberation came.

After the war he taught in the two Wah Yans for about a decade - first in Hong Kong, later in Kowloon. At the end of that time he moved to Singapore, leaving behind memories, not only of his educational work, but also of much sympathetic and assiduous pastoral work. He was always a man of many friends.

In Singapore and Malaysia over the past thirty years, he devoted himself mainly to pastoral and apostolic work, even in advanced old age.

For his last few months he was feeble in body, but his mind retained all its clarity.

Mass of the “Month’s Mind” will be celebrated in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, at 6pm on Wednesday, 29 May.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 17 May 1985

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was at the Presentation Convent National School and St Mary’s National School in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, and then he went to Mungret College SJ in Limerick.

He entered the Society in 1912, did Regency at Belvedere College SJ and made tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales.
He was a teacher at Wah Yan College Hong Kong, and later at Kowloon. He made outstanding contributions in educational and pastoral apostolic works.
He was nicknamed “The Grand Old Man” of the Province.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947
Frs. Bourke and John O'Meara returned from Hong Kong on 25th November for a reşt. Fr. Joseph O'Mara, who had returned to the Mission some time ago after a stay in Ireland, was forced by ill-health to come back to the Province. He reached Dublin on 13th January, and is now teaching philosophy at Tullabeg.

Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985
Fr Eddie Bourke (1895-1912-1985) (Macau-Hong Kong)

Born on 2nd January 1895 in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary. Baptismal name: Edwardus. Civic official name: Edmond. 1901-10: studied at local Presentation convent first, then at local Christian Brothers' school. 1910-12: studied at Mungret.
7th September 1912: entered S], 1912-14 Tullabeg, noviciate.
1914-18 Rathfarnham, juniorate, specializing in History and Irish. Gained a BA (Hons). As a precaution against being conscripted, he received minor Orders.
1918-19 Belvedere, teaching.
1919-22 Milltown, philosophy.
1922-24 Mungret, prefecting and teaching.
1924-28 Milltown, theology. Ordained a priest by Bishop Hackett, CSSR, in Convent of Mercy, Waterford, on 8th December 1926.
1928-30 Mungret, prefecting and teaching.
1930-31 St Beuno's, tertianship.
To Far East: 1931-2 Shiuhing, learning Cantonese.
1932-39 Wah Yan Hong Kong, minister and teacher
1939-'40 Loyola language school, Superior.
1940-48 Wah Yan Hong Kong, Rector.
1948-54 Wah Yan Kowloon, spiritual father, teacher, bursar and assistant to prefect of studies.
1954-57 Cheung Chau, superior, directing Spiritual Exercises.
1957-63 Singapore, directing Spiritual Exercises, spiritual father, Superior.
1963-65 Penang, operarius at Cathedral.
1965-72 Petaling Jaya, Superior, bursar;
1972-78 parish assistant;
1978-84 chaplain to Assunta hospital;
1984-85 praying for Church and SJ.
Died on 29th April 1985.
For details of Fr Bourke's assignments and those of many other Hong Kong Jesuits who predeceased him, the present editor is deeply obliged to Fr Joseph Garland, Socius to the Provincial, Hong Kong.

During many of Fr Eddie Bourke's earlier years in the Society I was in community with him: in the noviciate, juniorate, Belvedere, philosophy and the four years of theology. We were very good friends, and were drawn together by certain common interests. We were both vigorous walkers and enjoyed together long tramps over the then unspoiled Dublin mountains. Together with the late Fr Michael Kelly, we formed a preaching club which met on Sunday mornings in the old kitchen of Rathfarnham Castle, and Fr Eddie was my patient tutor in my earliest efforts to master the Irish language.
I therefore knew Fr Eddie very well, and yet I find a certain difficulty in the task of setting down my memories of him and thus leaving for future generations a picture of his early life in the Society, There were no outstanding events in that life. It was just a succession of years spent most perfectly in religion. I can sum it up briefly by saying that Fr Eddie Bourke was one of the holiest and most lovable men whom I have been privileged to know.
When I endeavour to go a little into detail, the first characteristic that recurs to me is his extraordinary charity. He was the kindest of souls: I could not imagine a harsh word coming from his lips. He was always ready to help others in unattractive jobs, I recall in particular with what infinite patience he coached a fellow-theologian who without his help would never have reached ordination. He was what we called "a great community man": a delightful companion on our excursions to the mountains; taking a prominent part in the plays which we produced at Christmas; one of our star players at football and handball; a good pianist, and able to act when needed as substitute organist.
Amidst all these virtues and gifts perhaps the most characteristic was a great simplicity - one might almost say a childlike simplicity. His heart was, in the best sense, always on his sleeve. In conversation with him one always felt at ease. He had no reticences, no strong prejudices. His views were always expressed openly, but with good humour and tolerance. I have no doubt but that this admirable openness and candour contributed largely to that wonderful success as a missionary which
is chronicled below. May God rest his gentle soul.
Fergal McGrath

My earliest recollection of Eddie Bourke is seeing him as a young priest during the Easter vacation marking the tennis courts in Mungret for the summer term. He was First Club Prefect for a year in 1928 or 1929. We were inclined to help him, but found the task of getting four right angles in unison beyond our ability, so we left Fr Bourke to his mathematical calculations but were impressed by his devotion to duty. Though being in the Apostolic School I had no direct contact with Eddie Bourke, I sensed his personal interest in boys and never looked upon him as a disciplinarian.
When I arrived at the language school in Tai Lam Chung in 39, Fr Bourke was our superior. This time our engagements were again on the tennis-court, but in lawn bowls. Eddie was always a very keen competitor in all games, and even in old age was a reckless swimmer. Often we pleaded with him to swim parallel to the coastline, but he preferred to go straight out until he was a speck in the distance. Of his driving it was said that he had caused many of his guardian angels to be sent for psychiatric treatment.
By now Eddie had acquired a reputation as a manipulator of names. Ordinary mortals are stumped when they cannot recall names from the past, Eddie Bourke was never at a loss even when the names of those present escaped him. Influenced by the war bulletins of those days, when he referred to Mr Mannerheim we knew he was talking about Joe McAsey. If he said he was going to Belvedere for lunch we guessed that the distance between Clongowes and Belvedere was about the same as Wah Yan from the language school. For the first of his many jubilees, 50 years in the Society, which he celebrated in Singapore, I wrote a short appreciation which the late Terry Sheridan read at the jubilee dinner. In praise of Eddie I contrasted the skill of Fr Dan Donnelly who claimed that as prefect of studies in Wah Yan he knew every boy in the school by name within three weeks of the beginning of the school year. Within a shorter time, Eddie's charism enabled him to know every boy in the school by another name than the one by which his mother knew him. Yet his influence with boys has been attested by many generations of teachers and pupils of Wah Yan.
During his year in the language school Eddie began his magnum opus, which brought tears to the eyes of its censors and yet went through many editions. He was not gifted with the accuracy of exposition or theological acumen to be the author of a catechism. The result could be said to be a combined effort. The message was Eddie's but the expression of it was produced by those who sweated to revise and clarify. Eddie never lacked courage to undertake a task which he thought could produce fruit for the kingdom of Christ. Years later in Malaysia he was still receiving royalties from new printings of his catechism in Hong Kong. To the great relief of his brethren the plans he entertained to write shorter works on various theological subjects never saw the light. In his later years he was very impressed by a series of tapes by Archbishop Fulton Sheen and made use of them in instructing catechumens.
During the siege of Hong Kong and the looting to which it gave occasion, Eddie like another of the “old guard” Fr George Byrne showed great courage in dangerous situations. Of his moral courage in dealing with the Japanese authorities I leave others to testify. It is worth noting that he was headmaster of Wah Yan before, during and after the occupation, and yet his name was never tainted with any suspicion of “collaboration”. It is a tribute to his sincerity as much as to his ingenuity.
Eddie Bourke had a penchant for dealing with 'free thinkers' in high position and writers who had lapsed from the fold, Such people represented a challenge to him, since he was sure he could convince them of the error of their ways. It did not worry him that some of his brethren thought he was guilty of semi-pelagianism in his approach to possible converts. He was acting according to one arm of St Ignatius' famous dictum, “Work as if everything depends on you”. In the event it was Eddie's goodness that impressed people much more than his syllogisms. Eddie Bourke had a heart of gold but his training was in the era of apologetics and rational arguments, and he never resolved the tension. It may be that he never formulated such a conflict as existing in himself.
My longest association with Eddie Bourke was for a period of 13 years in the parish of St Francis Xavier in Petaling Jaya. When we arrived there in 1965 he was already 70 years of age. Though I was more than 18 years his junior in age I could not keep up with him either at the pace he walked or the amount of work he got through. He had a special interest in the sick and every week brought communion to the elderly and the infirm in their homes. This round took nearly two hours by car and at one point meant climbing to the sixth floor of a block of flats that had no lift, in order to visit a blind lady. Until he was 83 Eddie continued this apostolate and was never questioned about his driving licence which seemed to be able to renew itself like the eagle. His preaching was of the vigorous kind and was more appreciated by the parents and grand parents than by the youth of the parish. Like many of his generation, and indeed those of many generations after him, he lacked familiarity with the bible and there tended to be ignore evidence of Genicot than of the Gospels in his sermons. He recognised the need of family virtues and had a strong devotion to the Holy Family which he frequently referred to as the “University of Nazareth”. In his seventies he had to resurrect the musical talent he had 60 years earlier, when he played the piano. On many occasions he had to play the organ at church weddings. To the satisfaction of all, he gave a competent rendering of "Here comes the bride and the wedding march.
The Spiritual Exercises had a strong appeal for Eddie. He looked back on his early years in Malaysia as the best of his life, as he travelled up and down the country giving retreats, mostly to the Infant Jesus communities. It was a grievous blow to him when a new book, “A modern Scriptural approach to the Spiritual Exercises, proved to be altogether different to what he expected.
He ordered a dozen copies of the book on the recommendation of a review he had seen. When he opened the book he decided he had been cheated. Apparently he had hoped that every meditation of Ignatius would be supported by scripture passages. He wasn't appeased when we told him that the title of the book mentioned an 'approach' to the Exercises. In frustration and disappointment he insisted on writing to Dave Stanley accusing him of giving a title which was not only misleading but deceitful. The brethren, in the meantime, both in P.J. and Singapore, were able to possess a personal copy of the work, owing to Eddie's prodigality and high hopes.
In his last few years Eddie was very proud of the fact that, in terms of years in the Society, he was the senior Irish Jesuit. There were a few Jesuits in Ireland who were older in years but had entered the noviciate later than he. About a year ago he wrote to Zambia to a boyhood friend from Carrick-on-Suir. He received a reply from the superior in Chikuni to say that Fr Tom Cooney was unable to write and that his mind was failing. Tom Cooney's health had never been good, so it was a surprise to Eddie they were in the home stretch together: Eddie was still confident that he would survive his friend from Carrick, but it was not to be.
Up to the end, Eddie was occupied in finding solutions to the problems of salvation. When Fr General visited Petaling Jaya in February, Eddie attended the open session where questions were asked and information exchanged. Knowing that Fr General had spent much of his life in the Middle East, Eddie was keen to explain his conviction in a private interview about the salvation of Muslims. According to Eddie they would all get to Limbo.
When Eddie meets Pat Grogan in the life where time is no longer of any importance, and tales are told about the thousands of pupils they knew in Robinson Road, Eddie will have all the names at his finger-tips. But now Eddie will be just as accurate as Pat. Each boy will have his proper name.
J B Wood

Bourke, Joseph P, 1903-, former Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA ADMN/7/15
  • Person
  • 31 March 1903-

Born: 31 March 1903, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

Left Society of Jesus: 13 March 1930

Boyton, William, 1610-1647, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/941
  • Person
  • 15 August 1610-13 September 1647

Born: 15 August 1610, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 27 September 1630, Mechelen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1637, Antwerp, Belgium
Died: 13 September 1647, Cashel, County Tipperary - described as Martyr

Son of Edward Boyton and Helen Suetonia (Sutton?)
“I studied in Ireland under Fr John Shee, then Philosophy at Lille with the Jesuits from 1627-30. Admitted to Society in Flanders Belgian Province at Brussels 20 September 1630 and then at Mechelen 28 September 1630”
1633 at Louvain
1636 at Antwerp
1638 at Castrensi Mission - (Chaplain to the army?)
1639 at Brussels College
Killed 13/09/1647 at Cashel - hacked with swords by lunatic soldiers in Church of Cashel, or shot near B Virgin’s altar while hearing confessions

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Edward and Helen Sueton (Sutton?) - Mechelen Album
Early education in Ireland with John Shee SJ then went to St Omer from 1627-1630. He was then admitted to the Society by James Stratius, BELG Provincial, at Brussels 20 September 1630, from where he went to the Mechelen Novitiate. (Mechelen Album, Brussels and Arch. de l’État, Brussels, vol ii, p 518).
He was a Martyr for the Catholic faith - cut down,,or, as others say, shot near the Blessed Virgin’s altar in the Rock of Cashel, while hearing confessions. The soldiers who killed him especially marked out Priests for death. (cf Drew’s “Fasti”).
Had been a military Chaplain in Holland.
1649 Came to Ireland (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Edward and Helen née Sweetman
Received his early education from John Shee. Then in 1627 went to the Jesuit College at Lille to study Rhetoric before Ent 27 September 1630 Mechelen.
1632 After First Vows he was sent for studies in Philosophy at Louvain and Theology at Antwerp, where he was Ordained 1637.
1638 His Tertianship at Lierre was interrupted by war and he served as a military chaplain until Summer 1639.
1639 Sent to Ireland and the Cashel Residence. He taught in the School and worked in the Church there.
1647 He died in the Cashel massacre of 13 September 1647 while hearing confessions for the beleaguered at the Cathedral Church. He was stabbed to death near the altar of the Blessed Virgin.
His name is on the list of Irish Confessors and Martyrs submitted for beatification to the Holy See.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William Boyton 1609-1647
Fr William Boyton was born in 1609 and entered the Society at Mechelen in 1630.

His short life as a Missionary in Ireland was crowned by a martyr’s death at Cashel during the Confederate War. When the town was captured by the Parliamentarians under Lord Inchiquin, “Murrough of the Burnings”, the garrison, together with priests and religious and citizens withdrew to the Cathedral, which occupied a strong position on the famous Rock of Cashel. Here they held out until overcome by numbers.

“As the enemy forced their way in, Fr Boyton exhorted all with great fervour to endure death with the constancy for the Catholic faith, and was wholly occupied in administering to them the sacrament of penance. The enemy, finding him at this work, slew the father with his children. But God avenged the unworthy death of His servants, and by a magnificent sign, showed the cruelty of the massacre.

A Garrison of heretical troops was stationed on the Rock. On a certain night, an old man of venerable aspect appeared to its commander, and taking him by the hand, led him forcibly to the top of the Church tower, and asked him how he dared so impiously to profane that holy place. And as he trembled and did not answer, he flung him down into the cemetery below, where he lay half-dead and with many bones broken, until the following day, when having fully declared the divine vengeance which had overtaken him, he expired”.

(“Sufferers for the Catholic Faith in Ireland”, Myles O’Reilly, p 214)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BOYTON, WILLIAM. We know little more of this Father than that he was barbarously murdered by the Parliamentary troops, at the taking of Cashell, on the 13th of September, 1647.

Bracken, Kevin, 1904-1931, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/699
  • Person
  • 12 February 1904-29 April 1931

Born: 12 February 1904, Limerick
Entered: 23 November 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final vows: 02 February 1913
Died: 29 April 1931, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Belvedere College SJ. He then studied Pharmacy and worked as a qualified Chemist in Dundalk.

1926-1930 After First Vows at St Stanislaus Tullabeg, he went to Rathfarnham as Infirmarian and in charge of the servants
1930 He became ill and was sent to Australia, stationed first at Riverview, then at Sevenhill and finally at Norwood, Adelaide, where he died.

Brother of Brendan Bracken (1901–58), politician.

◆ Irish Province News :
Irish Province News 6th Year No 3 1931

Obituary :
Br Kevin Bracken

Br. Bracken died at Norwood, Australia, on Wednesday 29 April 1931. His unexpected death, at the early age of 27, was a shock to all his friends in Ireland. Since the sad news arrived one of our Scholastics received a letter written by Br. Bracken 29 March. It is showed him to be in excellent health and as energetic as ever. Unfortunately, no details of the sad event have yet come to hand.

Br. Kevin Bracken was born 12 Feb. 1904. educated at Belvedere, and on leaving school, spent some time in the world as a chemist. For good reasons he preferred to join the Society as a Lay Brother, and began his noviceship 23 Nov. 1923 at Tullabeg. The noviceship over he get a hospital training in England that made him - when he returned to Ireland - a very efficient infirmarian at Rathfarnham. In addition to his work as infirmarian he had charge of the general up-keep of the house, and it was often remarked that under his care Rathfarnham was second to no house in the Province in neatness, and general material order. It came as a surprise to many that Br. Bracken sailed for Australia with the party that left Ireland in 1930.
Having spent a short time at Riverview he was sent to Sevenhill to nurse Fr. Fleury, and, when the patient died, was changed to Norwood to look after the material up-keep of the house. Here he died 29 April.
Br. Bracken was indeed a conscientious religious and attended as carefully to the interests of his own soul as he did to the various household duties that he discharged so thoroughly and so well. RIP

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Kevin Bracken SJ 1904-1931
Br Kevin Bracken was born in 1904. His family resided first at Kilmallock and then at Templemore. He was a brother of the famous Brendan Bracken, who was Minister of Information in Churchill’s Cabinet in World War II.

Kevin was educated at Belvedere College and spent some years after school training to be a chemist. He entered the Society in 1923 as a temporal coadjutor, declining the priesthood., He was of large stature, powerfully built with a luxuriant shock of red hair, cheerful nay even gay in manner, following that dictum of WB Yeats “For the good are always the merry save by evil chance…”

He was very popular with generations of Juniors in Rathfarnham, where he acted as Infirmarian. In September 1930 Br Kevin went to Australia where, to the surprise of all, he died the following year on April 29th 1931, young in years, but rich in merit.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1931


Brother Kevin Bracken SJ

It was only last August that Brother Bracken, full of buoyancy and health, left us for Australia. He was then in his twenty-seventh year. Bidding him farewell his many friends wished him every blessing during the long years of service that seemed in store for him under the southern skies. How great then was the shock with: which, at the end of April last, we received the sad announcement of his death. Few could have dreamt that God had destined to call him so soon from our midst. As we write, details of his death are not yet to hand. Having left Belvedere, in 1919, Kevin Bracken, the son of the late J K, and Mrs Bracken of Ardvullen, Kilmallock, and of Templemore, for some time studied pharmacy and worked as a qualified chemist in Dundalk. In 1923, however, he abandoned his position and at his own special request was admitted as a lay-brother postulant into the Society of Jesus. He did his noviceship in Tullabeg College, Offaly, and went afterwards as infirmarian to Rathfarnham Castle where he remained until his departure for Australia last August. In Australia he spent some time at St. Ignatius' College, Riverview, at St Aloysius', Sevenhills, and went finally, to Norwood in Adelaide, where he was stationed at the time of his death. He was the first Jesuit lay-brother ever attached to the house of the Society there and, as he said himself in a letter, tragically received some days after the announcement of his death, was the . cause of “a lot of curiosity”, at the time of his arrival. In his care of the sick none could be more devoted, while his previous training and experience as a chemist made him most efficient in every way. Deeply do we regret his early death; and to the sorrowing members of his family most truly offer our sincere sympathy. RIP

Bray, Francis, 1584-1624, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/949
  • Person
  • 04 October 1584-16 October 1624

Born: 04 October 1584, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 18 July 1614, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 10 April 1611 Salamanca, Spain - pre Entry
Died: 16 October 1624, At Sea off the Belgian Coast - Flanders Province (FLAN)

Had studied 5 years Humanities; 2 years Philosophy and 2 years Theology on entry (Ord 10 April 1611); then studied 2 years Theology in the Society
1617 at Rome
1622 at Bourges College for preaching and Mission
1624 Killed in naval battle

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1617 Appears to have been in Rome (Irish Ecclesiastical Record, August 1874)
Had been stationed at Cork and Rome.
He was a Navy Chaplain; A man of great piety and courage;
Killed by a canon ball in a naval battle between the Spaniards and the Dutch; He was “the soul of the fight”, and there Spaniards, when he was shot, blew up the ship.
(cf An Account of his heroic death in “Imago Primi Saeculi” and “Historica Societatis”)
Catalogue BELG (FLAN) reports his death in “Missione Navali”
Cordara calls him “Strenuus in paucis et praelii quasi fax atque anima”.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son John and Ann, née Whyte
Had already studied at the Irish College Salamanca where he was Ordained 1611 before Ent 18 July 1614 Rome.
1616-1618 After First Vows he completed studies at Naples, Italy
1618-1621 Sent to Ireland and to Clonmel to work with Nicholas Leynach (or Cork with Edward Cleere?), but only spent three years there due to ill health
1621-1623 Stationed at Antwerp, he served as a military Chaplain
1623 Richard Conway (Rector of Seville) asked for him to be sent to Seville. The General agreed but asked that he be detained at Flanders until he should have a travelling companion as information had been received that Bray had discussed affairs of state with the Duke of Buckingham in England on his way from Ireland to Flanders. Bray was also advised by the General to decline respectfully any request from O'Neill to conduct political business. By Summer 1624 Bray had not yet set out for Spain and in the event never returned there. He was killed in a naval engagement between the Dutch and Spanish off the Belgian coast in October, 1624.
According to the eulogy of his career, circulated in the Flanders Province after his death, Francis Bray was reckoned as eminently fitted for his work as a chaplain as he had a ready mastery of Irish, English, French, Flemish, Spanish and Italian, all of which languages were spoken by the different nationalities in the Spanish army. To his gift of tongues he joined a remarkable zeal for souls and was able to bring the consolations of religion even to the most dissolute of the soldiers. During his three years at Antwerp he received some 600 Protestants into the church.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Francis Bray 1584-1624
Fr Francis Bray was born in Clonmel on October 4th 1584, the son of John Bray and Anne White. Already a priest, he entered the Society at Rome in 1614.

He was sent to Antwerp, where he became Chaplain to the soldiers who were pouring into the Low Countries on the expiration of the truce between Spain and Holland, April 19th 1621. He received a special message of congratulations for the General Fr Mutius Vitelleschi on the marvellous success of his ministry with the troops. Here he came in contact with the Irish Brigade under Owen Roe O’Neill, and became a fast friend of the future Irish Leader. He received an offer for the foundation of a Jesuit College in Ireland.

In 1624 he became Naval Chaplain to the Spanish Fleet. As a result of a naval engagement the Spanish Fleet got tied up in the “Roads of the Downs” between Dover and Ramsgate. Fr Bray made valiant attempts to get help, going twice to London and once to Brussels. Finally on October 15th, the Dutch attacked. Fr Bray was on the flagship. He held aloft the crucifix, crying “It is for King and the Faith”. He rushed to the assistance of the Captain who had been wounded, and both fell dead, killed by the same cannon-ball.

Breen, Michael, 1804-1861, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/950
  • Person
  • 29 September 1804-11 April 1861

Born: 29 September 1804, Ballynamona, County Tipperary
Entered: 30 September 1838, Drongen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BEL)
Ordained: 1848
Professed: 02 February 1850
Died: 11 April 1861, Chandannagar, Kolkata, India - Belgicae Province (BEL)

Brett, William, 1907-, former Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA ADMN/7/18
  • Person
  • 14 February 1907-

Born: 14 February 1907, Fethard, County Tiopperary
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

Left Society of Jesus: 31 October 1934

Early education at Mungret College SJ

by 1929 at San Ignacio, Sarrià, Barcelona, Spain (ARA) studying

Butler, Reuben J, 1890-1959, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/980
  • Person
  • 21 October 1890-05 December 1959

Born: 21 October 1890, Foilnamuck, Dolla, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 24 October 1912, Senbahanoor, Madras, India - Tolosanae Province (TOLO)
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926
Died: 05 December 1959, St Anthony’s Hospital, North Cheam, Surrey, England - Madurensis Province (MDU)

Transcribed : TOLO to MDU

by 1921 came to Milltown (HIB) studying 1920-1924
by 1925 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 35th Year No 2 1960
Obituary :
Fr Reuben J Butler (1890-1950)

Reuben Butler was born on 21st October, 1890, at Dolla, Nenagh, in Co. Tipperary. He did his secondary studies at Mungret College, 1906-12, In the Mungret Annual for 1913 there is the note: “R. Butler, B.A. is in the novitiate S.J. at Shembaganur, India, for the Madura Mission”. He did his Philosophy in the same house after the Noviceship.
The following brief account of the saintly life and death of Fr. Butler. is given in the Chaplain's Weekly, 30th December, 1959 :
He entered the Society at Shembaganur, S. India, on 24th October, 1912, for the Madura Mission, now a Province, but then dependent on the Province of Toulouse. He taught at St. Joseph's College, Trichinopoly, from 1917-1920. Then he came for Theology to Milltown Park, where he was ordained on 31st July, 1923. Tertianship followed immediately and was done at Tullabeg. In the summer of 1925 he became chaplain at New Hall, Chelmsford, Essex, where he also took his last vows and where he spent the rest of his priestly life. In July 1959 he entered St. Anthony's Hospital, North Cheam, to undergo an operation, but he gradually grew weaker. He was anointed on 30th November and he died very peacefully on 5th December. His nephew, a priest from Ireland, was with him a few hours before he died, and shortly after his death Archbishop O'Hara, the Apostolic Delegate, who happened to be at the hospital, prayed by his bedside. In view of his long and devoted connection with New Hall, the Mother Prioress asked that he might be buried there and her request was granted. She writes the following account :
Fr. Butler came to New Hall in the summer of 1925 and during his thirty-four years as Chaplain all whose privilege it was to know him came to appreciate the sincerity, sympathetic understanding and unfailing kindness that was so characteristic of him. A scholar, widely read and knowledgeable on a number of subjects (1), leading an unobtrusive life, he had words of wisdom and sound advice and encouragement for the many who sought his guidance. Above all it was the evident sanctity that attracted people, giving them confidence in his judgment and making them aware of the strength imparted by the holiness of one whose priestly life was so wholly hidden in Christ. On 8th December, twenty-one weeks after he had left us to undergo an operation, his body was brought from Cheam and the Office of the Dead was sung by the community. His nephew, Fr. Joseph Butler, remained in the chapel during the night. On the following day Solemn Requiem was sung by Monsignor Wilson, P.P. of Chelmsford, in the presence of the Bishop of Brentwood, who was attended by his Chancellor, Monsignor Shanahan, and his secretary, Fr. David Donnelly. Fr. Cammack represented the Provincial and many of the diocesan clergy, who also provided the altar staff, attended. His two nephews, Frs. Reuben and Joseph Butler from Ireland, his sister, Mrs. Slattery, and his niece were present, while the large congregation of local people showed how much he had been esteemed during his long years at New Hall. The Absolutions after the Mass were performed by the bishop and the burial in the convent cemetery followed immediately”.
Mother Prioress adds : “We shall miss him more and more as time goes on. His quick recognition of difficulties and the needs of others and his prompt meeting of them kept so much running so smoothly. How much he was doing comes perhaps to be realised only when it ceases to be done. May he rest in peace”.

(1) In 1948 Fr. Butler published a book, The Words of the Mass (Clonmore and Reynolds, Dublin), which was very highly praised in The Clergy Review. He had hoped to follow it up with a book on the Divine Office, but ill-health forced him to give up the idea.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1913

Letters from Our Past

Father Reuben Butler SJ

India - Reuben Butler writes from Sacred Heart College, Shembaganar, Madura District, India, March 12th, 1913:

I am praying that it may be God's will to send some good labourers from their (the apostolics') midst, to Madura. It is a beautiful mission. I do not think that any mission in India has such a history, We have St Francis Xavier, Blessed John de Britto and Father de Nobili with a host of other apostolic ancestors to urge us on, and to look after us in Heaven.

The mission is extremely well regulated. Every month the missioners meet at a convenient centre to look after the interest of their souls, and to enjoy a little holiday. The work is rather trying. Their parishes are large and of course the heat is sometimes strong. Their converts are sufficiently nunerous but possibly not always fervent, and of course the missioner cannot see them all very often.

There is a crying need for more labourers here. There are villages quite close to us in which there are no Catholics and this want is solely due to want of priests. There is no one who can be spared to go to them. It is the same story all over the mission. The devil reigns supreme in many places and over many hearts. It is heart-rending to see the Sacred Heart deprived of such a beautiful country.

The Protestant missionaries do a good deal to hinder Catholicity, anyone whom they are unable to catch themselves they try to prevent from becoming a Catholic.

Here in Shembaganar the surroundings are very beautiful and extremely interesting. It is well suited to a naturalist's taste. There are all kinds of insects, birds and reptiles and also a good selection of animals. The blackberries are ripe here now, though they are not so plentiful as on the “Blackberry Road”. There seems to be no regard for seasons here. Some trees are just in blossomn while others of the same kind are bearing ripe fruit. The highest temperatore recorded this year has been 26° centigrade, that is, in the shade. The thermometer has fallen to 4°c during the month of January. We see hoar-frost on the mornings of villa-days, a little higher. up in the mountains,

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1915

Letters from Our Past

Father Reuben Butler SJ

writing from Madura, tells us of an exciting event :

I was in Madras, when it was bombarded by the Emden, but escaped with being dis : tracted during Iny evening examen....

There is fine work here in a climate that is no doubt hard, but in which one can live and work with ordinary health. There is no lack of labour. There are about 6,000,000 pagans to be converted here in Madura alone. There is no fear of being a martyr unto blood, though all may be martyrs of charity.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1920

Letters from Our Past

Father Reuben Butler SJ

Rev Reuben Butler SJ, writes from Trichinopoly:

Though St. Francis Xavier laboured a good deal in the mission, it was really founded in the early 17th century by Fr de Nobili, a man famous in missionary history in India for his efforts to convert the Brahmins by a complete adoption of their social customs. He was succeeded by such great men as the martyr, Blessed John de Britto, and Fr Beschi, The latter was not only remarkable for his apostolic labours and sufferings, but is also one of the foremost names in Tamil literature, the language spoken in this part of India. The mission cultivated by these men was much larger than the present, and numbered at the beginning of the 18th century some 150,000 Christians. During the suppression of the Society in the Portuguese Dominions the Mission suffered severely; some Christian, centres were completely ruined, others were played havoc with by the Protestants. It was again handed over to the Society in 1838, and later on constituted a diocese. The present diocese numbers over 267,000 Catholics, out of a total population of over 6,000,000, mostly Hindus, and covers an area of 16,500 square miles. Imagine, if you can, our difficulties -137 priests have to look after our various institutions and 267,000 Catholics spread over an area of two-fifths that of Ireland, and to try to convert a population half again as large as that of Ireland, For the year ending June, 1918, the latest returns that I have, there were over 9,000 conversions from paganism. No other reason for the fewness of conversions is needed than the want of missionaries; our missionaries are all busy with their Christians, and they can exert but a very indirect influence on the pagans. If one could set aside a certain number of men for the pagans alone, I have no doubt but that things would be otherwise.

Long, long ago, St Patrick heard the voices of the Irish calling on him to come to their rescue, and to bring them out of the darkness of paganism to the light of truth. St Patrick responded to the call, and it is due to his faithful response that Ireland is a holy Catholic Ireland, The very same cry is wafted to-day not from the children of Ireland to the ears of the youthful Patrick, but from the children of India steeped in paganism, to the children of Ireland, glorying in the possession of the Faith. How many generous souls listen to it?

Speaking of St. Joseph's College, he says:
In St Joseph's College we have well over 2,000 students, divided pretty equally between the school and college departinents. Of these, over 700 are Catholics, the major portion are Hindus, mostly Brahmins, with an insignificant sprinkling of Protestants and Muhammadans. Of the 700 Catholics, about 500 are boarders, who spend the day from sunrise until after dark in a special institution called the Semiboarding, set aside for them. The home life of the poorer people in India is very badly adapted for studies. About 200 of our Catholic students attend the University classes in the College department.

It would be difficult to give you any idea of the standard of knowledge required in the students, but the standard is very high, and the studies are extensive and require a very well-equipped institution. The physics and chemistry laboratories have few equals in private colleges the world over. Our library is up-to-date, and contains nearly 12,000 volumes; and the museum is a great centre of attraction for visitors. A large hall, capable of containing between two and three thousand students, serves as a theatre for the college assemblies, debates, etc, and for a study for the students during leisure hours. You have no idea as to the size of the various buildings; they are simply colossal.

In the school the numbers of students in a class are limited to forty, so we have the phenomenon of one class being divided into several sections. In the college there is no limit, the number of students in a class ranges between 120 and 200, and approaches nearer the latter in the History branches. It is wonderful with what ease those large classes can be managed. I do not suppose that a class of European boys, of like size, would be so easily controlled.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1960


Father Reuben Butler SJ

The death took place on December 5th of Father Reuben Butler SJ, at St Anthony's Hospital, Cheam.

Born in Ireland in 1890, he came to the Apostolic School in 1906. Leaving in 1912, he joined the Madura Province of the Society of Jesus. After Philosophy he taught in the College of Trinchinopoy 1917-20, and then came to Milltown Park for Theology, where he was ordained in 1923. After Tertainship he became Chaplain to the Convent of the Holy Sepulchre, New Hall, Chelmsford, Essex, where he spent the remainder of his priestly life. All at New Hall came to appreciate his sincerity, his sympathetic understanding and unfailing kindness. He was a widely read scholar, but it was his sanctity that attracted people, giving them confidence in his judgment and making them aware of the strength given by holiness in one whose life was hidden in Christ. To his nephew we offer our deep sympathy. RIP

Butler, Theobald W, 1829-1916, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/981
  • Person
  • 13 July 1829-08 December 1916

Born: 13 July 1829, Ballycarron, County Tipperary
Entered: 23 September 1846, Dôle France - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Ordained: 08 September 1864, Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church, New Orleans LA, USA
Final vows: 15 August 1869, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome, Italy
Died: 08 December 1916, St Stanislaus College, Macon, GA, USA - Neo-Aurelianensis Province (NOR)

Transcribed HIB to LUGD : 1859; LUGD to NOR : 1880
by 1851 at St Charles, Grand Couteau LA, USA (LUGD)
by 1857 at New Orleans College LA, USA (LUGD)

Superior of the New Orleans, USA Mission (LUGD)

◆ The Clongownian, 1899
Four Jesuits among our Past

The last number of “The Clongownian” contained some account of our Past in the Army, an account which, though extended, has proved by no means exhaustive. It is now proposed to give a similar record of four members of another societas militans, though their warfare is not of this world.

Third on our list shall be a Jesuit who came to Clongowes sixty years ago, and who has done great work for God in the New World Father Theobald William Butler has consented, “for the sake of his dear old Alma Mater, to undertake to humble humility”, and the account we give is substantially in his own words.

He was born July. 13, 1829, at Ballycarron, on the banks of the Suir, within full view of the Galtee Mountains, between Golden and Cahir. His maternal uncle, Gerald Standish Barry, of Lemlara, was the first Catholic member for Cork County since the days of James II; his first cousin, Lieut-Gen Sir W F Butler, was born at Suirvale, a property adjoining Ballycarron. In 1839, with his brother, now Major-General Henry Butler, he came to Clongowes. The latter afterwards entered the army, joined the 57th regiment, and went through the entire Crimean campaign, being in the trenches before Sebastopol when many of his brother officers lost their lives. From 1839 to 1844 Theobald Butler was a Clongowes boy. “My first teacher”, he writes, “in Rudiments, was Mr Ffrench, afterwards English Assistant of the Father General. He gave us boys a proof of his astounding humility by kneeling down in the class-room on the last day of class, and asking our forgiveness for any of his shortcomings. This act left an indelible impression on my mind, although at the time I was unable fully to comprehend all it meant”. During the three years of Grammar his master was Mr Cunningham, “a strict disciplinarian”, while Father Patrick Duffy, SJ, a Clongownian of 1826, now in Australia, taught him Poetry and Rhetoric. “Schoolmates were James Dalton, William Seaver, Edward Kelly, Andrew Rorke, C Palles, Thomas Francis Meagher, Francis Cruise, Charles Kennedy, Richard Martin. Mr Matthew Seaver SJ, directed the Sodality, to which, under God, I think I owe my vocation”. In 1840 he went to Oscott, “Wiseman being President, Errington Vice President, and the saintly Spencer Spiritual Father”.

In 1846 he entered the Novitiate at Dôle, Jura, with Father William Kelly, under the care of Father Joseph Dalton. The revolution of 1848 broke up the Jesuit houses, and when the young novice was making his way home he met at Le Havre a band of Jesuits of the Province of Lyons, bound for New Orleans, “none one of whom could speak a word of English”. He offered to join them, was accepted, and though for some years reckoned on the Irish mission, he has ever since worked in the Southern States. In September, 1848, he took his vows at Springhill College, New Orleans, and taught in New Orleans for the next twelve years, studying philosophy and theology meanwhile. In 1864, after ordination, he started for Fourvières, to study Dogma, and visited Ireland. “Having ohtained leave to visit home”, he writes, “I landed at Queenstown, took the train for Limerick Junction, and reached Ballycarron unexpected. No one recognised me, and I had to make myself known to my mother and sisters. I had been away for eighteen years, and the South had wrought a great change”. He took his last vows before Fatlier Beckx, at the Altar of St Ignatius in the Gèsu, Rome, on the feast of Assumption, 1869; and returned to New Orleans. In 1873 he visited Ireland again, in quest of subjects, and the first to offer himself after reading the notice in the “Freeman”, inserted by Fr Edward Kelly, was Father William Power, of Ranelagh, now Superior of the Mission of New Orleans. The visits to Europe were repeated in subsequent years, and many of the distinguished fathers of the mission to-day were received by him. In 1880 he was made Rector of the New Orleans College, and Superior of the Mission.

In April, 1888, he was sent, as Rector, to Galveston; where he built the beautiful church of the Sacred Heart, opened in January, 1892. The next month found him Vice-Rector of the House of Studies at Grand Coteau, and in 1897 he was at Macon, the Novitiate, “as Spiritual Father, and waiting still for orders”. Father Butler's Golden Jubilee as a Jesuit was celebrated, with every mark of reverence and affection throughout the Mission, in September, 1896.

◆ The Clongownian, 1917

Father Theobald Butler SJ
Father Theobald Butler SJ, died last year a short time after he had celebrated the seventieth anniversary of his entrance into the Society.

Although educated in Clongowes, he' spent the greatest part of his long and laborious life on the American Mission. He was in turn Superior at Augusta, Ga, Superior of the New Orleans Mission, Rector of Galveston, and Rector of Grand Coteau. In 1908 he paid a short visit to Clongowes. He died at the Jesuit Novitiate Hudson River.

Butler, Thomas J, 1683-1712, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/983
  • Person
  • 18 March 1683-24 January 1712

Born: 18 March 1683, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 28 October 1700, Ratisbon (Regensburg) - Germaniae Superioris Province (GER SUP)
Died: 24 January 1712, Liège, France - Angliae Province (ANG)

Excellent character, seems capable of discharging any duty in the Society

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1655 At Paderborn

Butler, Thomas, 1718-1779, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2291
  • Person
  • 20 November 1718-04 May 1779

Born: 20 November 1718, Lancashire, England
Entered: 07 September 1739, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1746
Final Vows: 02 February 1757
Died: 04 May 1779, Eyne, Hereford, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Hon Thomas Butler alias Thompson, Baron Caher - Son of Thomas 6th Baron Caher and Frances Butler - Older brother of John RIP 1786

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BUTLER, THOMAS, was born on the 20th of November, 1718, commenced his Noviceship at Watten, on the 7th of September, 1739, and was Professed in the Order on the 2nd of February, 1757. I am informed that he had been Minister of Clermont College at Paris : afterwards he was in Spain, and was there involved in the expulsion of his Brethren, on the 4th of April, 1767. F. Thomas Butler died at Eign adjoining Hereford, (where the Chapel probably was, before the house in Byestreet was purchased) on the 4th of May, 1779. For a short period he had resided at Home Lacy, a seat of the late Duke of Norfolk, about five miles distant from Hereford.

Cahill, Edward, 1868-1941, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/55
  • Person
  • 19 February 1868-16 July 1941

Born: 19 February 1868, Callow, Ballingrane, Askeaton, County Limerick
Entered: 08 June 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1897, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1905
Died: 16 July 1941, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1904 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

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

Cahill, Edward (1868–1941), Jesuit, was born at Callow, Ballingrane, Co. Limerick, on 19 February 1868, son of Patrick Cahill, a farmer, and his wife, Lucy (née Culhane). One of a family of eight (he had three half-brothers, a half-sister, two full brothers, and a full sister), he was educated locally at the Jesuit-run Mungret College and then at St Patrick's College, Maynooth, from where, on completing three years of theological studies, he joined the Society of Jesus (10 November 1890). He was ordained priest in 1897 at the Jesuit church in Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. From then until 1923 he was back at Mungret as master, prefect of studies, and rector, and finally as superior of the apostolic school attached to the secondary school. As rector he ‘had the opportunity to implement his ideas for the cultural and intellectual development of Irish youth along national lines’ (obituary, Ir. Independent). While at Mungret he wrote his first pamphlet, Rural secondary schools (1919).

In 1924 Cahill moved to the Jesuit house of studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, to become professor of church history and lecturer in sociology, and eventually (1935) spiritual director. There his influence grew as he contributed articles to the Irish Ecclesiastical Record (the catholic bishops’ monthly), the Jesuit-published Irish Monthly, and the popular Irish Messenger. He wrote a five-act play, The abbot of Mungret (1925), and two full-length books, Freemasonry and the anti-Christian movement (1929; 2nd ed., 1930) and The framework of a Christian state: an introduction to social science (1932). Several articles were republished as pamphlets: Ireland's peril (1930), The catholic social movement (1931), Capitalism and its alternatives (1936), Ireland as a catholic nation (1938), and Freemasonry (1944). The titles of these works are highly indicative of Cahill's interests and opinions. In October 1926 he and other Jesuits formed, for the purpose of establishing ‘the social reign of Christ in modern society’, a body they called the League of the Kingship of Christ (also known by the Irish form of its name, An Rioghacht). Cahill's pamphlet Ireland and the kingship of Christ (1928) is an apologia for that body.

In 1936, with Bulmer Hobson (qv) and Mrs Berthon Waters, Cahill formed a group to create public interest in banking, currency, and credit in accordance with his own views at a time when a government commission was inquiring into that subject. The group influenced a rural member of the commission, Peter O'Loghlen, whose minority report (which accused civil servants at the Department of Finance of being ‘hypnotised by British prestige and precedent’) it practically drafted. In September of the same year Cahill sent Éamon de Valera (qv), with whom he was very friendly, a submission outlining catholic principles on which he believed the new constitution being drawn up by the head of government ought to be based. Although a committee of five Jesuits (Cahill included) was set up by the Jesuit provincial to consider the constitution, Cahill presented a memorandum of his own to de Valera and wrote him three letters advocating a much stronger catholic ethos. It is argued that Cahill ‘may have been indirectly influential’ in the wording of article 44 referring to religion (Keogh). His initiatives were regarded with disquiet by his confrères.

A firm believer in farming as a vocation, Edward Cahill was associated with Muintir na Tíre, seeing it as the practice of the ‘corporatism’ recommended in the papal encyclical Quadragesimo anno (1931). He was also an enthusiast for the Irish language. He died 16 July 1941 at Milltown and was buried, with de Valera among his mourners, at Glasnevin cemetery.

Ir. Independent, 17 July 1941; bibliography, Irish Province News (Oct. 1941); Bulmer Hobson, Ireland yesterday and tomorrow (1968), 171; Ronan Fanning, The Irish Department of Finance (1978); Dermot Keogh, The Vatican, the bishops and Irish politics, 1919–39 (1986), 208–9, 275–6; Seán Faughnan, ‘The Jesuits and the drafting of the Irish constitution of 1937’, IHS, xxvi (1988–9), 79–102; Dermot Keogh, ‘The Jesuits and the 1937 constitution’, Studies, lxxviii (1989), 82–95; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991), 282–4; information from the Rev. Stephen Redmond; Dermot Keogh & Andrew J. McCarthy, The making of the Irish Constitution 1937 (2006)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

Fr. Cahill is spiritual director of the An Rioghacht, a Catholic Citizens' League. lt was inaugurated on October 31st, 1926, Feast of Christ the King. This League, which owes its foundation to the devoted interest in social work of Fr. Cahill, will, it is hoped, do for Ireland what the Volksverein has done for Catholic Germany.

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

Obituary :

Father Edward Cahill

Fr. Edward Cahill died on July 16th, 1941, after a long and trying illness borne with exemplary patience. He was 73 years of age and had just completed fifty years in the Society.
He was born at Callow, Ballincrane, Co Limerick, In February 1868. He received his secondary education at Mungret, and three years of theological training at Maynooth. Like Fr Matthew Russell, he was in Major Orders though not yet a, priest, when he entered the Society on June 8th, 1891. His Ordination to the priesthood took place six years letter at Gardiner Street. The years of his priestly life were spent mainly a Mungret and Milltown Park. with brief periods at Galway and Clongowes. At Mungret, his “alma mater”, he was in succession, Master, Rector and Superior of the Apostolic School. After one year, as Spiritual Father in Clongowes. he went to Milltown Park in 1924. as Professor of Church History, Lecturer in Sociology, and, later, Spiritual Father. He was stationed at Milltown Park up to the time of his last illness.
One of Fr. Cahill's older pupils at Mungret has borne enthusiastic testimony to his skill as a teacher and to the esteem in which he was held by the boys. As Rector he had the opportunity to implement his ideas for the cultural and intellectual development of Irish youth along national lines. To promote amongst the boys a realisation of their social duties and responsibilities, he founded an Academy in the School for the study of social problems. This Academy foreshadowed the study-circles of “An Rioghacht”. As Superior of the Apostolic School, Fr. Cahill devoted himself wholeheartedly to the intellectual and religious training of large numbers of young men who were later to do credit to Mungret as missionary priests in America, South Africa and Australasia. Mungret had no more loyal son than Fr Cahill - the College and its pupils, past and present were ever the objects of his affectionate interest.
From 1924 onwards Fr. Cahill lectured at Milltown Park, Church History to the Theologians and Sociology to the Philosophers. In the latter subject he was most at home. His enthusiastic interest in social problems communicated itself to his students, though they might on occasion, smile at his homely illustrations or novel remedies for very complex economic ills. After Fr. Fegan's death Fr. Cahill became Spiritual Father at Milltown. His domestic exhortations were remarkable for their solid piety and constant emphasis on the essentials of Jesuit spirituality, rather than for eloquence or entertainment value. But it is as a, wise, kindly and sympathetic friend and father to whom the members of his community could turn in trouble or perplexity, sure of the needed encouragement or advice, that he will be remembered by many generations of Miltown scholastics.
Fr Cahill's chief work amongst externs was that of a teacher of Catholic social principles by voice, pen and personal contact. In October, 1926, on the occasion of the first celebration of the Feast of Christ the King, he founded : “An Rioghacht”, the League of the Kingship of Christ. He was acutely conscious of the need for combatting the modern anti-Christian movement which seeks by all means to discredit Christianity and to substitute a. purely secular ideal of life for the Christian ideal. He held that Ireland was by no means immune
from the influence of this movement, nay rather that the Irish Catholic Nation, for historical reasons was in some ways more exposed to un-Catholic and un-Christian influences than any other Catholic people in Christiandom. He sought a remedy in the teaching of recent Popes Leo XIII and his successors, especially Pius XI had repeatedly insisted on a sound and widespread knowledge of Catholic social principles, and on lay organisation as the pressing needs of the hour. Hence the objects which “An Rioghacht”, under the aegis of Fr Cahill, has pursued quietly but with considerable success for the past fifteen years. Serious social study, freely undertaken is something which appeals to a very limited number of lay people. Still the study-circles of “An Rioghacht” have been well attended, and several of those who learned Social Science under its auspices, now occupy public positions in the State. The study-circles of the C.Y.M.S. in some cases carry on the good work commenced by “An Rioghacht.” Besides these study-circles, “An Rioghacht”, under Fr.CahilI's guidance, organised public meetings three or four times a year, published pamphlets on current topics and even attemtbed to produce a weekly paper to further its ideals.
Fr. Cahill's output of written work is a monument to his unobtrusive. but tireless, labour during the years when he was professor and Spiritual Father at Milltown Park. When we glance over the Table of Contents of the “Irish Ecclesiastical Record” from 1923-1930, and again from 1925 to 1940, and remember his “Notes on Sociology” which appeared constantly in the “Irish Monthly” from 1923 to 1929, and add to these the number of his books and pamphlets (a list of which we append) we are amazed at the amount of quiet work which must have been on behind his closed door on the Retreat House corridor.
His achievements show Fr Cahill to have been a man of more than ordinary mental ability, but, perhaps it was his qualities of character which most influenced people, rather than his intellectual gifts. To great gentleness, sympathy and kindness, he joined an amazing fund of quiet courage and determination. If he thought that any enterprise were for the glory of God and honour of Ireland, and that he had the slightest chance of carrying it out, he would undertake it with a light heart despite all difficulties. He was exceedingly loyal to his friends and his principles. He had a charming affability, even towards strangers which won him many friends, and his utter sincerity was enhanced by that touch of simplicity, which sometimes characterises very earnest people.
Father Cahill’s social ideals were those of the Papal Encyclicals which he had studied thoroughly. They may be summed up in the quotation from Pius XI, which appears on the title page of “Framework of the Christian State” : “When once men recognise, both in private and public life, tat Christ is King, , society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony.” May he rest in peace.

The following is a list of Fr Cahill’s writings (besides magazine articles) :

Books :
The Abbot of Mungret - a play in 4 acts (1925)
Free-masonry and the Anti-Christian Movement - 1929 )1930 second edition)
The Framework of the Christian State (1932) - reprinted Pamphlets
The Truth about Freemasonry (Australian C.T.S.)
The Catholic Social Movement (Irish Messenger Office)
Rural Secondary Schools (Irish Messenger Office)
Ireland and the Kingship of Christ (Irish Messenger Office)
The Oldest Nation in Europe (Irish Messenger Office)
Ireland as a Catholic Nation (Irish Messenger Office)
Ireland’s Peril (Messers. Gill)
Capitalism and its Alternatives I.C.T.S.)

There is a note in the Province News of December, 1929, which apropos of Fr. Cahill's book on Freemasonry recently published, quotes from a review in the “Irish Catholic” as follows :
“We consider this book indispensable to every Irish Catholic who would claim an intelligent acquaintance with the bearing of the principles of his religion upon Irish public life. It should be found in every library, public and private. The wide dissemination of the knowledge it contains must needs have a salutary effect on the whole public life of the country.”
This book gave rise to controversy in the public press, but Fr. Cahill maintained his position successfully and his book had a wide circulation. His other book, '”The Framework
of a Christian State”, in which he established in orderly form the principles of Catholic Social Science has proved to be of the highest utility and has supplied later Catholic writers with the fundamental arguments of this science.
It is as Superior of the Apostolic School that the name of Fr Cahill will be best remembered and most revered. For twelve years he devoted himself whole-heartedly to the mental and moral formation of the young levites entrusted to his care. No detail was too insignificant, no task too onerous when it was a question of a better formation or a closer approach to the Ideal. He kept ever before the students' minds the lesson of Our Lord’s life and his constant exhortation was “to spend themselves and be spent in His service”. The many priests that he formed will remember with gratitude the sound training in prayer and perseverance and in self-denial - all of which he exemplified in his own laborious and prayerful life. In later years Fr. Cahill was wont to reproach himself for expecting too much from boys and setting too high a standard. This is not without a certain element of truth but the same boys will remember that Fr Cahill himself led the way in all that he asked of others. News of his death will be heard with sorrow in America, South Africa and Australia and many a priest will breathe a fervent Requiescat in Pace for his kind and generous soul.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edward Cahill 1868-1942
The outstanding work of Fr Edward Cahill was his foundation of the Catholic Social Study Circle called “An Ríocht”. All his life he was intensely interested in this apostolic endeavour. He was the author of numerous works on Social questions and on Irish National movements. His best known works are “Freemasonry” and “The Framework of the Christian State”.

He was closely associated with Mungret, first as an ecclesiastical student of the Diocesan Seminary, when that institution was under the care of Ours in Mungret. Having entered the Society from Maynooth in 1891, he returned to Mungret to become Director of the Apostolic School for twelve years and Rector of the College for three.

During the last years of his life he was stationed at Milltown Park, as professor of Church History and Spiritual Father. He was most deeply religious. Kind in word, deed and aspect, he never judged even the worst harshly. “Substantially” was his saving word. Of the greatest villain in history, he would say that he was “substantially” good.

He was a true patriot. He loved everything Irish, the people, the language, the very land itself. He had high hopes for the future of Ireland, and helped by his advice the framing of her Constitution. But his great kindness and humility prevented him from hardness or bitterness towards those who did not share his convictions.

He died on July 16th 1941, being aged 73 and 50 years a Jesuit.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1942


Father Edward Cahill SJ

The death of Father Edward Cahill SJ, which occurred in the summer of last year, was a source of heartfelt grief to the wide circle of his friends both at home and abroad, and brought to a close a life dedicated to the service of God and the well-being of Ireland. As a tribute to the memory of one of Mungret's illustrious sons, who, besides the services rendered to his country, devoted well-nigh a quarter of a century to the education of youth in his Alma Mater, we offer the following short account of Father Cahill's life and achievements.

Early Years
The son of a well-to-do Munster farmer, Edward Cahill was born at Callow, Ballingrane, Co Limerick, on October 19th, 1868. In order to prepare for the secular priesthood he came, in 1883, to Mungret, which, besides Father Ronan's Apostolic School, contained the seminary for the diocese of Limerick. Mungret students in those days were prepared for the examinations of the Royal University of Ireland, In 1887 Edward Cahill, at the comparatively early age of nineteen, took out his BA Degree with Honours, securing Second Place in Mental and Moral Sciences, as well as an Exhibition. In the same year he went to Maynooth College, where he completed his course of Theology and was ordained Deacon; and in 1891 he entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus. In 1894 he re turned to Mungret, where, with the exception of two short intervals each of but one year's duration, he was stationed until 1916.

He was ordained priest in 1897; and in 1904 he was appointed Superior of the Apostolic School, an office which he held until 1918, and again from 1921-1923.

Superior of the Apostolic School, Mungret
It is as Superior of the Apostolic School that Father Cahill will be chiefly remembered and revered by past students of Mungret. During the eleven years in which he held this important and responsible office, Father Cahill devoted himself whole-heart edly to the intellectual and spiritual forma tion of the young aspirants to the priest hood entrusted to his care. He zealously availed himself of the different opportunities afforded him to speak to the boys of God and the things of God. On such oc casions he emphasised in particular those aspects of the spiritual life that had direct reference to the priesthood. But it was in those intimate personal conversations with each individual boy that Father Cahill ful filled in an especial manner, the rôle of Spiritual Director, emphasising those high ideals which were the guiding principles of his own interior life.

While thus training to holiness Mungret's future priests, Father Cabill constantly kept before their minds the great mission fields in which they were one day to labour. Every week he read to the boys extracts of letters which he received from past Mungret students, giving an account of their missionary work; and priests returned from the Missions were invited to lecture on their apostolic labours in distant lands. By such means, as well as by his own lectures and exhortations, he created and maintained in the hearts of his youthful disciples the spirit of missionary zeal.

“To spend oneself and be spent in the service of Jesus Christ” - these words were constantly on the lips of Father Cahill and aptly summarise the high principles by which be was guided in the training of Mungret students for the priesthood. In after years he was wont to reproach him self for his excessive strictness in dealing with boys, and for not making sufficient allowance for the failings of the young. On one occasion, at a dinner for the Past in Cruise's Hotel, Limerick, he made public confession of what he considered his short comings in this regard. Replying to Father Cahill's speech Mr Eamonn O'Neill TD, said that he and his school-companions were impressed not so much by Father Cahill's words, as by the example of his life. Mr O'Neill's appreciation of Father Cahill will, we feel assured, find an echo in the hearts of many a Mungret priest in distant lands, who will make kindly allowance for what ever must be admitted in Father Cahill's humble self-accusation. They will remem ber the sound training which he gave them in prayer and self-denial, and the shining example of his holy and self-sacrificing life.

Rector of Mungret

Education and Patriotism
Father Cahill was appointed Rector of Mungret in 1913, an office which afforded him ample scope for putting in practice his schemes for a sound system of Irish education. Besides religious and intellectual training, Father Cahill considered that the cultivation of patriotism, so much neglected in Irish schools in those days, should occupy a leading place in the College curriculum. Father Cahill's own mind was steeped in the history and traditions of his country. All who had the privilege of a personal ac quaintance with him will recall the thrill which swept his spirit at the sight of some noble Irish landscape, or by a visit to some historic locality such as the Rock of Cashel or the Glen of Aherlow, or St Kevin's sanctuary in Glendalough. Father Cahill was born when Irish had all but ceased to bę a spoken language, and he went to school before the revival of the national tongue had been undertaken. Not the least strik ing proof of the intensity of his patriotism was the zeal with which he applied himself amidst all his varied occupations, to the study of Irish.

With a mind and heart thus “pledged to Ireland”, Father Cahill made it his aim to revive in Mungret the knowledge and love of the Irish past, and to fire the hearts of the young with the patriotic ideals which were a part of his own life. Prominent leaders in Irish national life were invited to lecture to the boys. Amongst the most distinguished of these lecturers were An t-Uachtaran (Dr Douglas Hyde) at that time Pres of the Gaelic League; Rev Dr Henebry, the great authority on Irish music; Mr Francis J Bigger, MRIA, and Rev Thomas Finlay SJ. To encourage the study of Irish history and anti quities, Father Cahill offered an annual prize for the best Essay on some aspect of Irish life. By such means he strove to create & truly national spirit, and to counteract the policy of anglicisation that had made such deep inroads into Irish life.

Education for the Land
As an educator, Father Cahill was deeply concerned with the sociological aspects of Irish country life. While fully alive to the importance of business and the professions, he never lost sight of the fact that the land was the great source of Ireland's wealth, and that for the great majority of our young people Irish education should have a strong agricultural bias. From this point of view he judged that the programme of the then existing Intermediate Education Board was quite unsuited to the needs of the country. During the years spent at a secondary school the boy from the rural district lost contact with the land, and ac quired an unhealthy taste for urban life. At the same time Father Cahill was a strenuous opponent of the current idea that second ary education was not necessary for a far mer, or that if a boy received a secondary education and returned to the farm, his education was thrown away. In a pamphlet, published in 1919, and entitled “Rural Secondary Education”, he outlined a system of Education for the Land in which a boy, while receiving a good course of general culture, was at the same time given practical instruction in farming, and thus kept in constant touch with agricultural life. The problem of rural Ireland has to-day be come little short of a grave national crisis; and it may well be that the solution of this problem is to be found in Father Cahill's scheme of agricultural education.

The Mungret Social Study Club
The great Dublin Strike of 1912 took place the year before Father Cahill's appointment as Rector of Mungret; and for a long time after the public mind was preoccupied with the deep-seated social grievances which the Strike had revealed. It was in these circumstances that the Social Study Club was founded in Mungret in the Rectorship of Father Cabill. Besides the study and discussion of social questions, the boys engaged in active social work, collect ing money and clothes for the poor, and or ganising sports for the children of the locality. By means of the Social Study Club the senior boys were made familiar with the great problems of modern industrial life, and were instructed in the principal duties of citizenship. Is it fanciful to see in the Mungret Social Study Club the germ of “An Ríoghacht”?

Father Cahill Catholic Sociologist

Catholic Social Education
To the great majority of his fellow countrymen it was as a Catholic Sociologist that Father Cahill was a well-known, indeed, almost a national figure. It is no small indication of Father Cahill's intelligence and discernment that he should have perceived so keenly the widespread need in Ireland of thorough education in Catholic social principles. His sound diagnosis of the chief social ills from which our country suffers is an additional proof of that intelligence and discernment. For a time he looked around and waited, hoping that someone would appear who would launch a movement for the Catholic social education of Irish lay-people outside the Universities, where the “Leo Guild” had been doing good work amongst the students of University College. No one appeared, and so with that simple courage which was characteristic of him, he determined to be the pioneer himself. Though no longer young, he took up seriously the work of studying, teaching and writing on Catholic sociology. He was aware of his deficiencies in knowledge and training, and worked hard to remedy them. But if his learning had lacunae, Father Cahill had that shrewd penetration of intellect, that intuition of social needs and remedies, those qualities of character--sincerity, zeal for justice, courage, patriotism-which are more im portant for the sociologist than mere book lore.

An Ríogacht
Through Father Cahill's enterprise, the League of the Kingship of Christ (An Ríoghacht) was founded on the occasion of the first celebration of the least of Christ the King, October, 1926, Father Cahill was acutely conscious of the Deed of com-. bating the modern anti-Christian movement which seeks by all means, overt and hidden, to discredit Christianity and to substitute a purely secular ideal of life for the Christian ideal, He held that Ireland was by no means immune from the influence of this movement; rather, that the Irish Catholic Nation, for historical reasons, was in some ways more exposed to un-Catholic and un-Christian influences than any other Catholic people in Christendom. He sought a remedy in the teaching of recent Popes Leo XIII and his successors, especially Pius XI, had repeatedly insisted on a sound knowledge of Catholic social principles and on lay organisation as the pressing needs of the hour. Hence the objects which Father Cahill set before his newly-founded organisation. These objects are, briefly :

(a) To propagate among Irish Catholics a better knowledge of Catholic social principles.
(b) To strive for the effective recognition of these principles in Irish public life.
(c) To promote Catholic social action.

And the means used to achieve these objects are:

(1) Study-centres where members can work through a systematic course of Social Science.
(2) Public Lectures.
(3) The or ganisation of Summer Schools.
(4) The publication of pamphlets, as well as articles in current reviews and magazines.
(5) Independent research work on social matters by members.

For sixteen years An Ríoghacht has been pursuing these objects quietly but with considerable success. The study-circles are Well attended, Several of those who learned Catholic Social Science under its auspices, now occupy public positions in the State, and have an opportunity of putting their knowledge to good use. Three or four times a year An Ríoghacht organises public meet ings at which papers bearing on Irish social problems are read and discussed. These meetings are a means of propagating Cath olic social principles. An Ríoghacht has published several useful pamphlets on social questions. It has also attempted, though unsuccessfully, to publish a weekly review.

Irish Rural Problems
Next to his Faith, Father Cahill loved his native land, and promoted by his work and writing its material and cultural well-being. He was specially interested in the welfare of the country-people, believing with Gold smith, that a bold peasantry is its country's pride. In his opinion, the land of Ireland could easily support four times its present population. He was an advocate of small farms and plenty of tillage. As already mentioned, he deplored the urban bias of much of our education, and called for the establishment of rural secondary schools for the education of a race of enterprising, scientific farmers. For a period of his life he was in favour of organising cottiers on large estates directed by religious, as was customary on the medieval Irish monastic estates. He had in mind a similar scheme for the development of our sea-fisheries.

Principles of Social Reform
The ends which Father Cahill's social policy aimed at achieving were such as must recommend themselves to right-thinking Catholics. Regarding the means by which he proposed to attain those objectives - especially the economie means - not all Catholic sociologists would be disposed to agree with him. Thus towards the close of his life, Father Cahill was profoundly influenced by : the economic teachings of Major Douglas on the control of credit. He endorsed, on the whole, the Douglas criticism of the existing system, but rejected the positive proposals of the Douglas system, preferring the plan outlined in the Third Minority Report of the Banking Commission of 1988.

Last Years and Death
During the latter years of his life Father Cahill suffered from chronic ill-health, and after a lingering illness, borne with Christian fortitude and resignation, he died in Dublin on July 16th, 1941.

His funeral was attended by a distinguished gathering of the clergy and the laity. The Rt Rev Mgr James D'Alton, DD, President of May nooth College, presided at the Requiem Mass. Amongst the large number of clergy present were Very Rev P Canon Dargan, President, Clonliffe College; Very Rev T W O'Ryan, PP, St Audeon's; Very Rev M F Boylan, Adm, Pro-Cathedral; Very Rev J A Kelly, O.Carm, Prior, Orwell Road; Very Rev S P Kieran, SM, Provincial; Very Rev Laurence J Kieran SJ, Provincial, as well as many other Superiors and members of the Society of Jesus. The general attendance included An Taoiseach and Mrs. de Valera; Very Rev Bro J P Noonan, Sup-Gen., Christian Brothers; Mr P J Little, Minister for Posts and Telegraphs; Mr Frank Fahy, Ceann Comhairle; Mr Sean Brady, TD; Senator Liam Ó Buachalla, Senator Seán Goulding, Mr Kevin Haugh, SC, Attorney-General; Mr Justice Gavan Duffy, Mr P J Kenny, Acting Honorary Consul for Chile; the Supreme Knight and Council of Directors, Knights of Columbanus. An Ríoghacht was represented by Mr J Waldron, President; Mr B J McCaffrey, Secretary, and other members. The Catholic Truth Society was represented by Dr F O'Reilly, KCSG, Organising Secretary; and Mr Peadar O'Curry, Editor, represented Mr T P Dowdall, TD, the Chairman, and the Directors of “The Standard”.

For God and Ireland
In reviewing the manifold activities of Father Cahill's long and useful life, there springs instinctively to the lips, in all its depth of meaning, the time-honoured phrase: “For God and Ireland”.

Father Cahill appears, first and foremost, as the saintly priest and religious, living for Jesus Christ, and zealous for the spread of His Kingdom; then as a patriot with soul aflame with a passionate love of Ireland and the Gaelic heritage, and as à Catholic social reformer, toiling to mould the young life of a free and indepen-- dent Ireland in accordance with the great Christian social principles outlined by Pope Leo XIII and Pius XI, and in harmony with the cultural and economic life of the Irish people. While admittedly inexpert on many technical points of political and social economy, and advocating plans of reform that were open to question, it cannot be denied that Father Cahill's broad and general principles of social reconstruction were thoroughly sound.

Father Cahill did not live to see the fulfilment of his cherished hopes. Indeed, the closing years of his life were clouded with doubts and fears of Ireland's future, which found expression in his pamphlet entitled : “Ireland's Peril”, a work which strikes a very serious note of alarm for the Irish race both at home and abroad. As Father Cahill lay slowly dying in a nursing home in Leeson St, Dublin, Ireland was celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of Easter Week, 1916. Twenty-five years is a short stage in the life of a nation, Progress journeys slowly by zig-zag paths of trial and error; and many problems in Ireland's cul tural, social and economic life are still out standing. If our country is to remain true to her religious and national ideals, she must in many things follow the path pointed out to her by Fr. Cahill. When the goal is at last attained, it may well be that a nation's voice may acclaim Father Cahill as one of the truest and noblest of Irish patriots, and rank him with the makers of twentieth century Ireland.

Callaghan, John, 1808-1879, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1000
  • Person
  • 12 July 1808-22 August 1879

Born: 12 July 1808, Minorstown, County Tipperary
Entered: 13 March 1843, Ste Marie, Bardstown KY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Professed: 02 February 1861
Died: 22 August 1879, Jersey City Sisters Hospital, NJ, USA

Part of the Fordham College, Bronx, New York USA community at the time of death.

Cantwell, James, 1825-1895, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1006
  • Person
  • 23 July 1825-27 May 1896

Born: 23 July 1825, Thurles, County Tipperary
Entered: 14 September 1853, Florissant MO, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)
Professed: 15 August 1864
Died: 27 May 1896, St Louis University, St Louis, MO, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)

Carey, James, 1903-, former Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA ADMN/7/26
  • Person
  • 11 December 1903-

Born: 11 December 1903, Mullinahone, County Tipperary
Entered: 26 September 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

Left Society of Jesus: 19 June 1928 (from Rathfarnham Castle)

Chamberlain, Michael, 1590-1662, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1041
  • Person
  • 01 August 1590-27 December 1662

Born: 01 August 1590, County Meath
Entered: 13 May 1610, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1618, Douai, France
Final Vows: 1619
Died: 27 December 1662, Cork City, County Cork

Studied Humanities in Ireland and Philosophy at Douai
1611 Sent to Flanders for health
1615-1619 at Douai studying Philosophy (not in FLAND CAT 1619)
1619 Came to Irish Mission in weak health but with 3 Final Vows
1621 On the Mission, health delicate, good judgement and prudence
1622 In Meath or Dublin
1626 In Ireland & 1637; 1649 in Cork
1649 Fr Verdier mentions him as chaplain to a noble family. A man of great integrity, possible Master of Novices
1650 A preacher and confessor for many years

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied Humanities and two years Philosophy before Ent, and three years Theology in the Society. He knew Irish, English and Latin.
1617 Was in Belgium
1619 or 1620 Came to Ireland, and taught Humanities for three years, and was a Confessor and Catechist (HIB Catalogue 1650 - ARSI) and was a good religious and excellent Preacher (Foley’s "Collectanea")
Mercure Verdier’s Reoprt to Fr General on the Irish Mission 24 June 1649, mentions him as being then chaplain in a nobleman’s family, and a man of great integrity, and about whom there was a question of his being made Master of Novices. (Oliver, "Stonyhurst MSS")

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ
Son of Stephen and Margaret née Deise
Studied at Douai before Ent Rome 1610
During his Novitiate for health reasons he was sent to complete this at Tournai.
After First Vows he studied at Douai and Ordained there in 1618
During Mercure Verdier’s Visitation of 1648-1649 he said that Chamberlain was living, not in a Jesuit community, but in the house of a nobleman. He also mentioned him as a potential Master of Novices.
1620 Returned to Ireland and ministered in Leinster. During the early “commonwealth” years he worked in Tipperary and later in Cork where he died 27 December 1662

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Chamberlain SJ 1590-1662
Fr Michael Chamberlain entered the Society in 1610.

In 1640, together with Fr O’Hartegan and Fr Thomas Maguire he was appointed Chaplain “ad castra regia” this was to the Confederate Army in Ireland.

He was still alive in 1649, a sexagenarian and acting as chaplain to a nobleman’s family.

He hasd the reputation for prudence and sanctity, and there was a question of appointing him Master of Novices, a post later filled by Fr John Young.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CHAMBERLAIN, MICHAEL. I meet with two Fathers of this name.
The Senior is mentioned in a letter of the 22nd of November, 1640, as having been sent “ad regia castra” about two month’s before. Again, in F. Verdier’s Report, dated 24th of June, 1649, as being then Chaplain in a nobleman s family that he was a Sexagenarian a man of great integrity and that there was question of appointing him Master of Novices.

Clarke, Daniel, 1806-1886, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1047
  • Person
  • 15 October 1806-20 January 1886

Born: 15 October 1806, Cloughjordan, County Tipperary
Entered: 28 August 1838, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province
Professed: 25 March 1851
Died: 20 January 1886, Georgetown College, Washington DC, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Coghlan, Bartholomew, 1873-1954, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Editor of An Timire, 1912.

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1955


Father Bartholomew Coghlan SJ

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

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

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Bartholomew Coghlan (1873-1954)

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

Conmee, John S, 1847-1910, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1910


Father John Conmee SJ

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1898

IN MEMORIAM. The Thirteenth of May,


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

Father John S Conmee SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Father John Conmee SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1931

“The Snows of Yesteryear”

IV The Kings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edward J Little

Conway, John, 1597-1642, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1094
  • Person
  • 1597-10 August 1642

Born: 1597, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 1620, Seville, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)
Ordained: 1628, Seville, Spain
Died: 10 August 1642, Cashel, County Tipperary

1625 at Salamanca
1625 at Seville 2nd year Theology
1628 a native of Cashel is Minister and Operarius or Irish College Seville
John Conway of Ross in Villagarcía 1301, 1617, 1619
John Conbeus (no 2) of Ross DOB 1598, at Salamanca 1621
John Conbeus of Ross in College of Leon 1628
1637 Catalogue at ARSI proficient in letters, judgement, experience and prudence mediocre
also DOB 1600 Cashel; Ent 1620; 1625 at Seville Theology; 13628 at Seville Minister and Operarius
also DOB 1598 Ross Diocese; Ent 1617; 1619 at Villagarcía; 1625 at Salamanca
Much confusion of John Conways here - there are 4 : 3 priests and 1 brother the confusions is with the priests

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He is described as a religious hardworking priest; Came to Ireland 1630 (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Peter and Elizabeth née Saule
Had begun studies at Salamanca 04 June 1620 before Ent 1620 Seville
After First Vows he was sent for studies to San Hermegildo in Seville and was Ordained there 1628
1628-1630 Sent as Minister to Irish College Seville
1630 Sent to Ireland and Cashel where he died 10 August 1642. He was described by the Mission Superior as “a man of deep piety and a useful missioner”

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CONWAY, JOHN. This Professed Father died at Cashell, on the 10th of August,1642, “Vir vere Religiosus et in vinea hac utilis operarius”, as his Superior, F. Robert Nugent, writes of him, 10th of October that year.

Conway, Patrick, 1605-1662, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1095
  • Person
  • 1605-14 May 1662

Born: 1605, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 1625, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: 1635, Alcalá (Alcalá de Henares), Spain
Died: 14 May 1662, Llerena, Badajoz, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

1625 In Madrid Novitiate - is more than of mediocre talent
1628 Taught at College of Plasencia (TOLE)
1635 On Irish Mission - being at Cashel in 1649, Superior of a Residence for 3 years then returned to Spain in Cromwell’s time
1655 CAT Taught Grammar at Ocanna (TOLE)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1628 At College of Placencia, Spain (in pen)
1635 Came to Irish Mission
1649 In Cashel - “a very worthy man”; Was Superior at Cashel; Taught Humanities;

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows he studied Philosophy at Murcia and then Theology at Alcalá, and was Ordained c 1635
1635-1654 Due to ill health he was sent to Ireland, and was appointed to Cashel Residence. It is most likely that he was Ordained before he departed on the journey. He was at Cashel for nineteen years and for a time he was Superior. During the “Commonwealth” period he was deported to Spain and TOLE.
1654 He served as Operarius at Ocaña and later Llerena, where he died 14 May 1662
He was thought to have some ability as a Moral Theologian and to have been a zealous Spiritual Director

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CONWAY, PATRICK. This worthy Missionary was stationed at Cashell, in 1649. He was then about 44 years of age, and of a feeble constitution

Cooney, Maurice 1917-, former Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA ADMN/7/36
  • Person
  • 22 July 1917-

Born: 22 July 1917, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois

Left Society of Jesus: 08 May 1943

Educated at Mungret College SJ

Cooney, Thomas, 1896-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/102
  • Person
  • 02 December 1896-17 July 1985

Born: 02 December 1896, Carrick-on-Suir, Tipperary
Entered: 22 May 1920, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1937, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 17 July 1985, Chikuni College, Chisekesi, Zambia - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969

Studied BSc Engineering at Royal College of Science, Merrion Square 1915-1919 before entry, and awarded a 3 year “Exhibition of 1856” thereafter which he did not complete.

Awarded a B.Sc. honoris causa by the N.U.I. in 1936.

by 1930 Third wave Hong Kong Missioners
by 1935 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
Mission Superior of the Irish Province Mission to Hong Kong 09 November 1935-1941

by 1952 in Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was educated by the Christian Brothers at Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary. Afterwards he attended University taking a BSc (Engineering) from the University of London and a BSc (Hons) from University College Dublin.

1922-1929 After First Vows he studied Philosophy and Theology at Milltown Park Dublin, and was Ordained in 1928.
1929-1945 He was sent to Hong Kong, where he became Rector of the Seminary (1929-1945) and became Superior of the Mission (1935-1941). This also included a break to make his tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales (1934-1935)
He lived through the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong (December 1941-August 1944). He left for Macau for a short time and then moved to Australia as his health had broken down.
1945-1953 He taught at St Ignatius College Riverview where he related well with everyone and was an efficient Prefect of Studies. Many people sought his counsel. He taught general Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry and achieved good examination results. His students felt his interest in them and found him very supportive and encouraging.
1953-1985 He went to the Irish Province Mission in Zambia and remained at Chukuni until his death. From 1955-1970 He was the Mission Bursar. When the Teacher Training College at Charles Lwanga was to be built in the late fifties, he was the one who looked after the construction of a dam. before the spillway was ready there was an exceptionally heavy rainfall that caused the dam to fill rapidly, so that there was a danger the dam wall would be swept away by the pressure of water. Every morning during those critical days, he was down early to scrutinise the rising levels of water.

He had a real fondness for animals. He rarely took a holiday but loved a visit to a game park.

He was a gentleman in every sense of the word, and he had an extraordinary gift for making people feel welcome at Chikuni, carrying the bags of visitors, making sure they were looked after and would try to e present when they left to wish them a good journey.

He was a very dedicated and painstaking teacher of Mathematics and Science at Canisius College and was appreciated by his students - no nonsense was ever tolerated in his classroom!

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
On 17 July 1985 in his 89th year, Fr Tom Cooney went to his long awaited reward. He was born on the 2 December 1896 in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, Ireland. He attended the Christian Brothers school in Carrick-on-Suir and won a scholarship to the university in his last year at school. He was a brilliant student and took his B.Sc. from London and a B.Sc. from Dublin, getting honours in the latter. He was a mechanical and electrical engineer.

He first learned about the Jesuits from the Encyclopaedia Britannica which did not speak too highly of them in that particular edition but Tom decided to join them. While an engineering student in Dublin (1915-1919) he used a lot of his spare time in the making of bombs in the Dublin Mountains as his contribution to the final struggle for independence.

He joined the Society in 1920 and, after the usual studies, he was ordained a priest in Milltown Park on 31 July 1928. He was appointed superior of Hong Kong while still in tertianship and arrived out there in 1929. While there, he was Rector of the Major Seminary and also acted as Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University in Hong Kong. He lived through the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong and left for Macao for a short time before moving on to Australia (1946-53), as his health had broken down. He had a hard time persuading the Japanese that being Irish was not English, but he succeeded and so was not interned.

In Riverview College, Sydney, he taught for seven years, being completely fulfilled in the job. He often said that he liked the Australian boys. He was heart and soul in the effort then being made to overhaul the curriculum. In the senior Mathematics and Physics classes he was able to bring promising pupils to their full potential.

When the Irish Jesuits came to Zambia in 1950, the Provincial, Fr Tommy Byrne, was on a visit in 1952 and was being asked for more men especially for one or two senior men. He thought of Fr Tom in Australia and wrote to him that evening inviting him to come, extolling the excellence of the climate (it being the month of May!) and describing it as a veritable paradise. Fr Tom flew to Johannesburg and from there took the three day train journey to Chisekesi, arriving on 15 February 1953 in the middle of a downpour of rain which did not let up for two weeks. His transport got stuck in the Magoye river on the way to Chikuni and for a fortnight after his arrival he could be seen at midday sloshing his way in wellingtons and umbrella across the campus to the dining room. More than once he was to exclaim, "This is what Tommy Byrne called a pleasure resort"!

From 1953 to his death, he always lived at Chikuni both as a teacher at Canisius Secondary School and as procurator of the mission for many years. No big decision was taken on the mission without sounding out the advice and experience of Fr Cooney. When the Teacher Training College at Charles Lwanga was to be built in the late fifties, Fr Cooney was the one who looked after the construction of the dam. Before the spillway was ready, there was an exceptionally heavy rainfall which caused the dam to fill rapidly, so that there was danger of the dam wall being swept away by the pressure of water. Every morning in those critical days an anxious Fr Cooney was down early to scrutinize the rising level of the water.

He had a fondness for animals. Though he rarely took a holiday, a visit to a game park was an occasion he would always rise to. The instant memory people have of Fr Tom is the sight of him walking in the evening with his dog. His favourite one was a collie called Pinty.

Fr Cooney was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He had an extraordinary gift for making people feel welcome to Chikuni and would carry the bags of visitors, making sure that they were looked after and he would try to be present when visitors left, in order to wish them a safe journey.

He was a devoted, dedicated, painstaking teacher at Canisius, something which the pupils appreciated and realized that no nonsense was ever tolerated in his classroom. In the early years, when Grades 8 and 9 were usually 'fails' in the Cambridge examination, he would tell his pupils, "Gentlemen, Grade 8 is a fail and Grade 9 is a first class fail"!

He was a good Jesuit and had a great devotion to the Mass and the Divine Office. His kindliness and welcoming traits reflected that inner appreciation of the person of Christ which flowed out in his attitude to people. He was so willing to help others. Fr Tom was lent to the mission for two years but stayed 32 years until his death.

A strange thing happened on the day Fr Tom was laid to rest in the Chikuni cemetery. "Patches", his last dog, died on that same day.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He lectured (Electrical Engineering) at the University of Hong Kong, as he had graduated from University of London in that subject. During the war years (1942-1945) he went to Macau teaching at Luis Gonzaga College. He was Rector of the South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, Hong Kong in 1931. In 1936 he was responsible for obtaining a large telescope from Ireland which he used in the Seminary for the education of the seminarians. His idea was that Hong Kong would join the Jesuits in Shanghai and Manila in astronomical observation and meteorological work.
In 1953 he was Mission Superior in Zambia where he died.

Note from Joseph Howatson Entry
He came to Hong Kong as Regent with Seán Turner who was a different personality and whose whole world was words and ideas. Travelling with them was Fr Cooney who was bringing the Markee telescope

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 60th Year No 4 1985


Fr Thomas Cooney (1896-1920-1985) (Zambia)

Born on 2nd December 1896. 22nd May 1920: entered SJ, 1920-22 Tullabeg, noviciate. 1922-25 Milltown, philosophy. 1925-29 Milltown, theology. 1934-35 St Beuno's, tertianship,
1929 to Hong Kong. 1930-32 Ricci Hall, minister and lecturer in university. 1932-34, 1935-37 Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, rector. 1935-41 Superior of the Mission. 1941-43 Wah Yan Hong Kong, teaching. 1943-45 Macau, Mission bursar, teaching.
1945-53 Australia, Sydney, Riverview, teaching.
1953-85 Zambia, Chikuni: teaching till c 1982; 1955-70 Mission bursar; confessor to community and local Sisters. Died on 17th July 1985 in Monze hospital.

In the last few years Fr Cooney's declining health gave plenty of scope to Ours at Chikuni to exercise true fraternal charity. In spite of a heavy workload they all rose to the challenge magnificently. One of those who knew him since 1953 writes:

On 17th July 1985 in his 89th year, Fr Tom Cooney went to his long-awaited reward. He was born on 2nd December 1896 in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, Ireland. He attended the Christian Brothers' school in Carrick-on-Suir and won a scholarship to the university in last year at school. He was a brilliant student and took his BSc (Engineering) from London and a BSc from Dublin, getting honours in the latter.
He first learned about the Jesuits from the Encyclopaedia Britannica which did not speak too highly of them in that particular edition, and Fr Tom decided to join them. While an engineering student in Dublin during the years 1915 to 1919, hę used a lot of his spare time experimenting with the making of bombs in the Dublin mountains.
In 1920 he joined the Society of Jesus and after philosophy and theology in Milltown Park, Dublin, he was ordained a priest on 31st July, 1928. He completed his Tertianship at St Beuno's in Wales during which year he was appointed Superior of the Mission in Hong Kong. From 1929 to 1946 he worked in Hong Kong, being among other things Rector of the Major Seminary. He lived through the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong and left for Macao for a short time before moving on to Australia as his health had broken down. Seven years he spent in Australia teaching at the Jesuit college at Riverview.
The Irish Jesuits had been asked to come to the then Northern Rhodesia to help their Polish fellow-Jesuits there. Fr Tom was asked to join them in 1953. From 1953 to his death, he lived at Chikuni both as teacher at Canisius Secondary School and procurator of the mission for many years. No big decision was taken on the mission without the advice and experience of Fr Cooney. When the Teacher Training College at Charles Lwanga was to be built in the late fifties, Fr Cooney was the one who looked after construction of the dam.
Before the spillway was ready, there was exceptionally heavy rainfall which caused the dam to fill rapidly so that there was danger of the dam wall being swept away by the pressure of water. Every morning in those critical days, an anxious Fr Cooney was down early to scrutinise the rising level of the water.
He had a fondness for animals, Though he rarely took a holiday, a visit to a game park was an occasion he would always rise to. I suppose the instant memory people have of Fr Tom is the sight of him walking in the evening with his dog. Among the many dogs that trailed at his heels over the years, his favourite one was a collie called Pinty.
Fr Cooney was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He had an extra ordinary gift of making people welcome to Chikuni, would carry the bags of visitors, making sure they were looked after, and would try to be present when visitors left to wish them a good journey.
He was also a very devoted and pains taking teacher at Canisius. The many pupils who have had him for maths and science appreciated this talent but at the same time realised that no nonsense was ever tolerated in his classroom. His dedication and 'being an elder' (he was fifty-seven when he first came to Chikuni) offset any discipline he would insist on. In the early years in Chikuni, when Grades 8 and 9 were “fails” in the Cambridge examination, he would tell his pupils: “Gentlemen, Grade 8 is a fail and Grade 9 is a first-class fail.”
Of his spiritual life one can say only what one saw. He was a good Jesuit and had a great devotion to the Mass and the Divine Office. His kindliness and welcoming trait reflected that inner appreciation of the person of Christ which flowed out in his attitude to people. He was ever willing to help others.
To end this brief appraisal: a rather strange thing happened on the very day Fr Tom was laid to rest in Chikuni cemetery - 'Patches', his last dog, died.
May Fr Tom's soul now rest in peace.

Corbett, Martin Burke, 1876-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/103
  • Person
  • 27 December 1876-05 January 1957

Born: 27 December 1876, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 December 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, Belvedere College SJ
Died: 05 January 1957, Mungret College, County Limerick

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 32nd Year No 2 1957

Obituary :
Fr Martin Corbett (1876-1957)
On the morning of Sth January, Fr. Corbett was unexpectedly taken from us in the 81st year of his age and the 62nd of his religious life, Only a few days before, during the Christmas festivities, we had been celebrating a well-known domestic event, his birthday. This year there seemed to be special cause for jubilation. Fr. Corbett had just made a very good recovery from a cycling accident which had kept him in St. John's Hospital for many weeks, he was now almost back to normal activity, and we looked forward with confidence to see him add quite a few more years to the goodly four score completed, On Friday, the day before his death, he had an X-Ray examination in St. John's which it was hoped might throw light on a certain stomach trouble that had been causing anxiety over Christmas. He returned to us at midday, a little tired after the ordeal, but obviously pleased that a thorough investigation had been made, and also relieved that nothing serious had been discovered. The remainder of that day went in the usual community round and he retired after Litanies at 9 o'clock. Next morning he was up in good time and apparently fully dressed when he felt the first warning of a heart attack, without seeming to recognised it as such. When it was just time to go down for Mass he came out to the corridor and, finding one of the Community nearby, asked him to come over to his room. Here he explained in a few words the symptoms of a sudden attack which seemed to puzzle rather than frighten or distress him. With a slight hesitation he accepted a suggestion to lie down for a while, then stretched himself as he was full length on his bed and seemed to settle down to rest. In perhaps less than a minute more, and with only a slight sign of struggle, he had passed into unconsciousness.
Father Rector was immediately summoned and anointed him. All the available members of the Community gathered to say the last prayers.
At the Solemn Office and Requiem on Monday His Lordship the Bishop presided and gave the last Absolution. Father Rector was celebrant of the Mass and Father Provincial said the prayers at the graveside. A large number of priests and laity were present.
Fr. Corbett was born on 27th December, 1876. After five years as a boy in Clongowes he entered the Noviciate on the eve of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1895. When the usual period of Noviceship and Juniorate was completed he was sent to Valkenburg for Philosophy where he remained three years. His first year of colleges was spent in his Alma Mater as Prefect and Editor of The Clongownian. Next year he was transferred to the staff of Belvedere, where, besides being engaged in teaching, he was assistant editor of the Messenger for two years, In 1905 he returned to Clongowes as Prefect for four years after which he went to Milltown Park for Theology. He was ordained priest in 1912 and made his Tertianship in Tullabeg the following year. From 1913 to 1917, years eventful enough in Irish and world history, he was Minister in Belvedere College and was witness of many stirring scenes in Dublin in those days. In 1917 he went for a year as Procurator to Tullabeg and then as Procurator to Clongowes for a further six years. In 1924 he began his long association with Mungret, where he was first Procurator of the house and farm for two years, then Procurator of the farm for the next seven years. From 1933 onwards he was chiefly engaged in teaching, most of the time taking charge of the subsidiary subjects, English and Physics, in the school of Philosophy. In this work he continued to the end, and no doubt will be kindly remembered by many an Old Mungret priest on the Foreign Mission field.
Fr. Corbett was an excellent community man. Despite his deafness, increasing with the years and so patiently borne, he always managed to keep contact with the brethren and to contribute a full share to the happiness and gaiety of every one. The community was his home, he was never willingly far away, Polite and courteous - in a word, found as he would like to be found, a gentleman. His sound judgment, accurate memory and shrewd sense were recognised, and his verdict or opinion sought on a variety of subjects. Was there a big legal case or a sworn inquiry in the news - he was in his element commenting on the cross examination, speculating on the probable result. Invariably he would recall a similar case of long ago, or tell a good story of a clever swindle or a dramatic arrest-his stories in this line were numerous, but he had many others too, not all in serious vein, of course, but all told word perfect. In matters of practical bearing on the improvement of Mungret, which indeed he ever had at heart, his suggestions were listened to by Superiors with respect and often acted on with profit. It was no small tribute to his practical versatility that he was chosen by Fr. Fahy, when Provincial, to take charge of the arrangements for the preparation of St. Mary's, Emo, for the Novices in 1930. When he was Master of a Villa the community could be confident that every detail would be seen to, in particular that the commissariat would be all right. They could be sure too, incidentally, that, kind-hearted though he was, a modicum of discipline would be maintained for the good of everyone. Fr. Corbett was himself, first and last, a man of regularity, who did not believe in avoidable absence or un - punctuality in community duties. His own example in this, and in particular his devotion to the Brothers' Points night after night for over twenty years were most edifying.
But no picture of Fr. Corbett could be complete without the old bicycle. The local people will surely miss the vision of the ageing priest, upright on the high frame, quietly and purposely pushing his way, hugging the side of the road - he took no needless risks - as the cars and lorries whisked past. It was his afternoon recreation, simple, inexpensive and healthy, and must have kept him not only healthy but cheerful and bright in darker times. He loved the countryside, the stretch of Lough More, the ploughed fields, the waving corn. He loved the Limerick Docks and the ships from all parts - to speak here and there perhaps with an old friend or acquaintance and then to tell at home of all he heard and saw. “A grand old man” “a noble priest” “a most loyal Jesuit”, they said about him.
At the turn of the year, when days are lengthening, a season of hope, he liked to talk about and think upon, it was then it came the day that knows no darkening - “that the highest Truth ever enlightened, a day always secure and never changing its state for the contrary”. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Martin Corbett SJ 1876-1957
Like Fr William Kane, Fr Martin Corbett was connected so long with Mungret as to become almost identified with it. Like Fr Kane too, his imposing frame seated on the inevitable bicycle was familiar to all the inhabitants of Mungret and the denizens of the Docks. This was his invariable form of recreation and exercise for years.

A man of remarkable gifts of mind, he was hampered throughout his life by deafness, yet his judgement and practical ability were prized by Superiors.

He held the post of Procurator in Tullabeg, Clongowes and Mungret, and was chosen for his administrative ability by the Provincial Fr Fahy, to open our new house at Emo.

He was a valuable asset in the community, a model of punctuality and observance, faithful to the duties assigned to him, teaching English and Physics to the Apostolic School for many years. All of these past Apostolics will remember him with affection and gratitude.

He had quite a flair for writing in his younger days and wrote a couple of boys’ stories which had a wide circulation published by the CTSI and the Messenger Office.

He died quite suddenly on January 5th 1957 in his 81st year, having lived 61 years in the Society he loved so well.

◆ The Clongownian, 1957


Father Martin Corbett SJ

Father Corbett was born on December 27th, 1876. After five years as a boy in Clongowes, he entered the Novitiate on the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1895. When the usual studies of Humanities and Philosophy were completed, he returned to Clongowes as Prefect and editor of “The Clongownian”. Next year he was transferred to the staff of Belvedere where, besides being engaged in teaching, he was assistant editor of the Irish Messenger for two years. In 1905 he returned to Clongowes as Prefect for four years, after which he went to Milltown Park for Theology. He was ordained priest in 1912 and made his Tertianship in Tullabeg the following year. From 1913 to 1917, years eventful enough in Irish and world history, he was Minister in Belvedere College and was witness of many stirring scenes in Dublin in those days. In 1917 he went for a year as Procurator to Tullabeg and then as Procurator to Clongowes for a further six years; In 1924 he began his long association with Mungret College, where he was first Procurator of the house and farm for two years, then Procurator of the farm for the next seven years. From 1933 onwards he was chiefly engaged in teaching, most of the time taking charge of the subsidiary subjects, English and Physics, in the School of Philosophy. In this work he continued to the end, and no doubt will be kindly remembered by many an Old Mungret priest on the Foreign Mission field. May he rest in peace.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957


Father Martin Corbett SJ

Although Fr Corbett was not an Old Boy of the College it would be ungracious not to pay a tribute to him considering the number of years he was on the staff.

In 1924 he began his long association with Mungret where he was first Procurator of the House and farm for two years, then Procurator of the farm for seven years. From 1933 onwards he was chiefly engaged in teaching English and Physics in the Apostolic School. In this work he c012 tinued to the end and will no doubt be remembered by many an old Mungret priest on the Mission field.

Fr Corbett was an excellent community man. Despite his deafness he always managed to keep in contact with others in the College, and contribute to the happiness and gaiety of everyone. Polite and courteous-found as he would like to be found, a gentleman. He was always ready to stop and chat with others about local topics in which he had a great interest. He had a great interest in past students of the College, and a great interest in the College itself. He was deeply devoted to its welfare. In his death we are sure he was remembered by many a far flung Apostolic with love and respect. To his brother and relatives we offer our deep sympathy. RIP


In Memory of Father Corbett SJ - RIP

By O Kemp

He was a man, a man of God
He fought for right, he fought the wrong
But now he's laid beneath the sod
His life was like one long sweet song.

Although he's gone, there still remains
A memory we hold most dear
A golden sheet without a stain
A life heroic without fear.

Then let his lasting epitaph be
He loved all as the one above
He departed life lightly and free
To all he gave his labour and love.

And then o'er his lonely grave at night
As the bloss'ming flowers sway to and fro
As the twinkling stars above show their light
On his lonely gyavestone on earth below
We send up a prayer which comes from our hearts
That he may go to God ne'er more to part
And may he abide with his cherished reward
With God and His Mother to act as his guard.

Corcoran, John, 1874-1940, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1105
  • Person
  • 24 April 1874-14 May 1940

Born: 24 April 1874, Roscrea, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 October 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1904, Petworth, Sussex, England
Final Vows: 02 February 1915, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 14 May 1940, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Younger Brother of Timothy Corcoran - RIP 1943

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1895 at St Aloysius, Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1903 at Petworth, Sussex (ANG) health
by 1904 in San Luigi, Napoli-Posilipo, Italy (NAP) studying
by 1905 at Petworth, Sussex (ANG) health
Came to Australia 1905

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His parents were Irish, and whilst they left Australia to return to Ireland, he later joined the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

His studies were in Dublin and Jersey, Channel Islands, and then he was sent to teach mathematics at Mungret College Limerick and Belvedere College Dublin. He then became ill and was sent to Petworth, Sussex, England where he made Theology studies. He was Ordained there in 1904 and then sent to Australia.
1904-1906 He arrived in Australia and was sent to the Norwood Parish
1906-1913 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview
1913-1914 He returned to Ireland and St Stanislaus College Tullabeg to make his Tertianship.
1915-1919 He came back to Australia and Riverview
1919-1940 He was appointed Novice Master and remained in that position at Xavier College Kew until his death in 1940. He was highly regarded by the Jesuits whom he trained.

When he was at Riverview he was given the task of Minister and so had responsibility for the wellbeing of the boarders. He was considered very adept in catching any boy who returned later after leave in the city, or in posting or receiving letters in an unorthodox way. He was known as the “Hawk”, but this name was given with the utmost respect for him, as the boys experienced him as a most charming man who went about his duties very quietly and thoroughly. They also liked his sermons.

His Novices appreciated his thirty days Retreat. He addressed them four times a day, sometimes speaking for an hour without the Novices losing interest. He spoke with considerable eloquence and feeling, slowly, pausing between sentences, and from time to time emphasising something dramatically. While Novice Master he hardly ever left the house. He lived for the Novices. His life was quietly and regularly ascetic. He went to bed around midnight at rose at 5.25am. He loved the garden, especially his dahlias.

His companionableness was memorable. The Novices enjoyed his company on their walks. He was unobtrusive and yet part of it, a most welcome presence. He was an unforgettable person, a wise and gentle director of souls. He taught a personal love of Jesus and was deeply loyal to the Society. he considered the rules for modesty to be among the great treasures of the Society, and gave the Novices true freedom of heart to make wise decisions.

He was a cheerful man, optimistic in outlook and easy to approach. People at once felt at home with him. He was experienced as a striking personality, a kind man with a sense of fun who spoke little about himself.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 15th Year No 3 1940
Obituary :
Father John Corcoran
1874 Born 24th, near Roscrea, Co. Tipperary Educated Clongowes
1891 Entered. Tullabeg 7th October
1892 Tullabeg, Novice
1893 Milltown, Junior
1894-1896 Jersey, Philosophy
1897-1900 Mungret, Doc
1901 Belvedere. Doc
1902 Petworth. Cur. Val
1903 Naples, Thel.
1904 Petworth, Cur. Val. Ordained 1904
1905 Norwood (Australia) Cur. Val
1906-1907 Riverview, Adj, proc, Doc. Stud. theol. mor.
1908-1912 Riverview, Minister, Adj. proc., etc.
1913 Tullabeg, Tertian
1914 Richmond (Australia), Oper
1915-1918 Riverview, Minister &c.; Doc. 17 an. mag
1919-1940 Mag. Nov. First at Loyola, Sydney; then at Victoria. For a time he was. in addition. Lect phil. in Univ., and for a great many years Cons. Miss. Sydney, as well as lending a hand in many other ways.

Fr Bernard O'Brien, one of Fr Corcoran's novices, kindly sent us the following :
Half the members of the Australian Vice-Province have done their noviceship under Fr Corcoran, and it seems strange to think that the noviceship is no longer under his kindly care.
His health was always weak, and his heart gave him trouble, he used to chuckle as he recalled how his ordination had been hastened for fear that he might die at any moment.
He could be extremely stern. He had no patience with deliberate wrong-doing, with irreverence or contempt of holy things. The novices sometimes' received electric shocks, as when after retreat points on sin that grew more and more heated he turned back from the door and burst out “There is no omnibus marked Jesuit for heaven”.
He kept himself, however, remarkably under control. Though at times the blood would rush to his face, he would say nothing at the moment, but sleep on the matter before acting, a practice he frequently recommended to his novices. Often nothing came of it at all, but the dead silence and the suspense of anticipation was a punishment severe enough to sober any culprit.
He became more and more kindly and sympathetic as time went on. “Gently Brother!” was a favourite remark of his.
He came to rely less and less on external regulations and reproofs, and to form his novices by personal contact and encouragement. In his first years he used to check all trace of slang, but later it became common to hear a novice who had received an order leave him with a cheery “Good-O Father!”
He gave and aroused great personal affection. The timid first probationer, whatever his age, was at once called by his Christian name and adopted among his “babies”. As the noviceship was usually small, he could give each novice individual attention. Even the candidates who left remained strongly attached to the Society.
Fr Corcoran was a man of strong emotion and imagination. He disliked giving the more abstract exercises of the long retreat, and was happiest when he came to the early life of Our Lord. He had made a thorough study of historical Palestine and one heard much about the Vale of Esdraelon and Little Hermon. Some of the other Fathers in the house were shocked to see coloured pictures of camels crossing the sandy desert appear at this time on the novices' notice board.
United with this imagination and emotion went a deep spiritual life. He may not have supplied very clear notions of Church and Society legislation, but he gave his novices strong draughts of the true Jesuit spirit : devotion to Our Lord, constant striving to give God greater glory and better service, love of the Passion and zeal for souls.
One Christmas he gave a remarkable series of points for meditation. He took as subjects the crib, the straw, the cave, the star and so on. The points began with homely remarks and simple reflections, but almost imperceptibly the objects described became symbols and we were on a high level of contemplation.
In his deep and gentle affection, his preference for the concrete and his high spirituality there was much to remind one of St. John, whose name he bore.

◆ The Clongownian, 1940


Father John Corcoran SJ

Father Corcoran was born near Roscrea, in Tipperary, on the 24th of April, 1874. In October, 1891, soon after leaving Clongowes, he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Tullabeg, where he had been preceded by his brother, Rev T Corcoran SJ, whose fame as an educationalist is world-wide. Ill-health. limited Father John's literary studies at Milltown Park to a single year, and from 1894 until 1897 he studied philosophy with the French Fathers at Jersey. The next five years were spent in teaching-four at Mungret, and one at Belvedere. His great understanding of boys, and his bright, genial sympathy made him a great favourite with all.

It was now time to study Theology (1902). His health had been seriously impaired by tuberculosis, which was to give rise to grave fears for a number of years, and Theology requires hard work and strength. But, to quote a phrase which Father Corcoran loved to repeat in later years, “difficulties are things to be overcome”, and at Petworth, in England, and at Naples, he overcame them sufficiently to be ordained priest in September, 1904.

The following year he was sent to Australia, and under its sunny skies he regained the health and strength required for his future work. After recuperating for a year at Norwood, he spent the years 1906-1913 on the staff of Riverview College.

In 1913 he returned to Tullabeg for his Tertianship; and twelve months later said a last good-bye to his native land, whose green fields and limpid streams lingered in his memory, and gave him “heartaches”, as he put it, even during his last years. After a year at Richmond, he once more became the Father Minister at Riverview, in 1915. In May, 1919, he was given the responsible position of Master of Novices at Loyola, Sydney, a position which he filled for the remaining twenty-one years of his life. Henceforth all his energies were to be devoted unsparingly to the religious formation of Jesuits. He used laughingly to speak of his novices as his “babes”, and he was in truth the spiritual father of the whole generation of post-war Jesuits in Australia.

His genial simplicity and kindness won the veneration and deep affection of all with whom he had to deal. He had the happy gift of making people feel at once at home with him; but perhaps his strong influence over others came mainly from his intense but child-like spirit of faith, which made him converse as familiarly with the Holy Family as with his novices, and which transformed the world for him into a temple of God. He was an enthusiastic gardener who loved weeding his flower beds, and tending his dahlias - but a gardener who could describe the garden as one of the best teachers of the spiritual life. It is often said that Christ's life was full of sorrow from the beginning; but, for Father Corcoran, “the rafters of the Holy House must often have rung with the sweet laughter of the Boy Christ” characteristic illustration of the joyful spontaneity of his own character and outlook.

He could be stern when occasion required; but those he trained treasure the memory of his remarkable gentleness - a trait which became more and more pronounced during the last years of his life. A prominent Jesuit remarked of him that he was an outstanding example of the transforming power of the Jesuit rule when it is lived and sincerely loved in all its fullness; and those who knew him during the latter part of his life were astonished at the constant mellowing of his sanctity. The Society of Jesus in Australia has suffered a great loss by his death, but he himself has surely passed to the happy state which he delighted to think of as “home”.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1939


Father John Corcoran SJ

As we go to press a cablegram from Australia announces the death of Father Corcoran at the age of sixty six. Of these years forty-eight had been spent as a Jesuit. For the last twenty-two years he fulfilled the important office of Master of Novices and had given retreats to the clergy both in Australia and New Zealand. Father Corcoran's connection with Mungret was not very long - 1897-1901 - but the boys of these years never forgot the kindly scholastic who played with them and who prayed with them and who always found time to give them a word of encouragement in their trials. He was always ready to smooth out their difficulties and to lighten their load. He treasured to the end of his life, a kindly message from Florida that reached him through the “Annual” in 1907. It was as follows:

“If Father John Corcoran is still in this vale of tears, let him rest assured that the lads of 1900 loved him. In him we ever found a sincere sympathiser in our little troubles and I could not restrain my tears when I grasped his hand for the last time at Naples in 1902”.

Father Corcoran said that since the day of his ordination he never forgot these “boys” in his daily Mass. They are now priests and we ask them and indeed all Mungret priests, to pray for the repose of the kindly soul of Father John Corcoran. May he rest in peace,

Corcoran, Timothy, 1872-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/49
  • Person
  • 17 January 1872-23 March 1943

Born: 17 January 1872, Roscrea, County Tipperary
Entered: 06 December 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 01 August 1909, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 21 November 1938, St Ignatius, Leeson Street, Dublin
Died: 23 March 1943, St Vincent's Nursing Home, Dublin

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

Older brother of John Corcoran - RIP 1940

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1902 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

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

Corcoran, Timothy (1872–1943), priest and educationist, was born 17 January 1872 at Honeymount, Dunkerrin, Co. Tipperary, eldest son of Thomas Corcoran, a large farmer, and Alice Corcoran (née Gleeson). His father was locally prominent in the Land League and GAA, and first chairman of Tipperary (North Riding) county council. Corcoran was educated at Lisduff and Roscrea national schools, Clongowes (whose history he later wrote), and the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg, which he entered in 1890. He taught classics and history at Clongowes 1894–1901, followed by studying philosophy and education at Milltown Park (first-class honours BA (RUI), 1903) and Louvain. His Belgian experience influenced his preference for European over British educational models, and his support (albeit limited) for recruitment in 1914. In 1909 he became first professor of education at UCD (1909–42). His teaching positions brought contact with the nationalist elite. Corcoran served on the Molony viceregal commission on intermediate education (1918–19) and advised the dáil commission on secondary education (1921–2) and national programme conferences on primary instruction (1920–21, 1925–6). He successfully advocated imposition of Irish-only teaching on primary schools whose pupils, like Corcoran, knew no Irish.

Corcoran saw education as inculcating received knowledge by memorisation and the authority of the teacher. He opposed ‘progressive’ teaching methods as pandering to corrupt and wilful human nature. He idealised medieval education, claiming it created a meritocratic elite, and denounced the reformation as an aristocratic takeover. Corcoran attacked John Henry Newman's (qv) views on university education, believing the disinterested pursuit of knowledge impossible, and holding that universities existed to transmit vocational skills. He generally rationalised existing educational practices, projected on to the medieval and Gaelic past.

Corcoran edited many classical and other texts for school use, serving as general editor of Browne & Nolan's intermediate textbook series. He published numerous text selections and educational pamphlets (some in Latin) in limited editions for UCD students. His major publications concerned the history of Irish education: Studies in the history of classical teaching, Irish and continental, 1500–1700 (Dublin, 1911); State policy in Irish education, A.D. 1536 to 1816. Exemplified in documents. . . with an introduction (Dublin, 1916); Education systems in Ireland form the close of the middle ages (Dublin, 1928); The Clongowes Record, 1814 to 1932. With introductory chapters on Irish Jesuit educators 1564 to 1813 (Dublin, [1932]); Some lists of catholic lay teachers and their illegal schools in the later penal times, with historical commentary (Dublin, 1932). He argued that eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century hedge-schools were slandered by British officialdom and superior to the national schools that replaced them, a thesis developed and modified by his pupil P. J. Dowling. Corcoran was a founding member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission. He wrote extensively for Studies (which he helped to found) and the Irish Monthly on educational and historical subjects. He has been accused of misrepresentation of evidence, and of supplying students with ‘cribs’ in examinations.

Despite early praise for the exploits of Clongownians in the British army, Corcoran soon moved to supporting Sinn Féin, and took a leading role in attempting to organise a ‘National Academy of Ireland’ in protest at the expulsion of Eoin MacNeill (qv) from the Royal Irish Academy after the 1916 rising. Corcoran opposed the treaty, and became one of the most extreme nationalist spokesmen of the 1920s through his contributions to the monthly Catholic Bulletin from the early 1920s until its cessation in 1939. The Catholic Bulletin (founded 1911) was noted for outspoken republicanism and long-winded and scurrilous abuse of opponents; it supported Fianna Fáil from 1926. It denounced the Cumann na nGaedheal government as culturally and economically subservient to protestant and West British interests. Corcoran wrote for the Bulletin under numerous pseudonyms (notably ‘Inis Cealtra’, ‘Conor Malone’ ‘J. A. Moran’, ‘Art Ua Meacair’, ‘Momoniensis’, ‘Dermot Curtin’, ‘Donal MacEgan’, and ‘Molua’), partly to avoid being held accountable by religious superiors. He used the Bulletin to carry on vendettas against academic opponents such as the UCD economics professor and advocate of free trade, George O'Brien (qv) (‘the Hamlet of Earlsfort Terrace. . . economist in chief to Green Grazierdom’). The weekly Irish Statesman edited by A E (qv) and sponsored by Horace Plunkett (qv) was particularly targeted for its criticism of literary censorship and compulsory Irish, its support of free trade, and its defence of the view that the Anglo-Irish tradition was a distinctive and legitimate element of Irish civilisation. Corcoran declared in numerous articles on ‘squalid ascendancy history’ that the mere existence of an Anglo-Irish protestant tradition implied a continued claim to ascendancy; only assimilation to catholic and Gaelic Irishness was acceptable. Protestants should be excluded from public positions that might endanger the faith of catholics. Protestant nationalists were wolves in sheep's clothing, catholic clerics of West British tendencies were enemies of faith and fatherland, and English catholics were hardly catholic at all (notably for their failure to establish an independent catholic university; Corcoran believed catholics should be forbidden to attend Oxford and Cambridge). Corcoran's views and language represent the extreme development of catholic and nationalist positions in nineteenth-century religious and political conflicts over land, education, and nationality.

From 1938 Corcoran developed arteriosclerosis and suffered from partial paralysis. He died from cardiac failure at St Vincent's Nursing Home, Dublin, on 23 March 1943.

Catholic Bulletin; D. H. Akenson, review of P. J. Dowling, The hedge schools of Ireland (paperback ed., 1968), IHS, xvi, no. 62 (Sept. 1968), 226–9; E. Brian Titley, Church, state, and the control of schooling in Ireland 1900–1944 (1983); Séamus Ó Riain, Dunkerrin: a parish in Ely O'Carroll (1988); Brian P. Murphy, ‘The canon of Irish cultural history; some questions’, Studies, lxxvii, no. 305 (spring 1988), 68–83; John Joseph O'Meara, The singing-masters (1990)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 1 1925

Fr. Lambert McKenna is Chairman of a committee appointed by the Ministry of Education for the purpose of reporting on the National Programme of Primary Education. During the meetings of the Committee, very valuable evidence was given by Father T. Corcoran

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 3 1927

University Hall :
Fr Corcoran has added another to his remarkable series of works concerned with the history of education. In the preceding volume (Renovatio Litteraruml he gave, in their own admirable Latin, the educational theories of the sixteenth-century humanists. In this volume (Litters Renatael he describes, again in the language of the original documents, the realisation of these theories in the Ratio Studiorum of the Society. The work is invaluable for all the students of the history and practice of education.

Irish Province News 6th Year No 1 1931
Brussels Congress :
Fr. Rector (John Coyne) and Fr. J. O'Meara (Louvain) represented the College at the First International Congress of Catholic Secondary Education, held at Brussels July 28 . August 2. Fr, O'Meara read a paper on State Aid in Irish Secondary Education. Our Irish Jesuit Colleges were well represented in the Exhibition organised by Fr. Corcoran S. J.

Irish Province News 8th Year No 4 1933

Father T. Corcoran's labours in connection with the examinations for the Higher Diploma had scarcely concluded when he had to betake himself to Holland to preside at the second International Congress of Catholic Secondary Education. The meetings of the Congress took place at the Hague each day from 31st .July to 5th August.
Their Excellencies, the Bishops of Holland, were patrons of the Congress, which was attended by some 350 delegates representing the leading Catholic countries. Among the delegates were about 45 members of the Society from lands outside Holland. Prominent among the visitors were the Provincial of the Paris Province, with various Rectors and Prefects of Studies from our French Colleges. Père Yoes de la Brière, the Rectors of Brussels, Namur, Liege and other Belgian Colleges, Fathers Errandonea, Herrera and others from Spain, the French Oratorian Sabatier and various distinguished lay-men from Germany and Italy.
Cardinal Pacelli, in the name of the Holy Father, sent a long and cordial telegram of good wishes to the Congress , also the Nuncio Apostolic in Holland, who was prevented by serious illness from attending in person.
In the absence of the Nuncio the final allocution was delivered by the Bishop of Haarlem, after the Rector Magnificus of the University of Nijmegen and Father Corcoran, as President of the Congress had already spoken. Mr. J. O'Meara from Louvain Messrs. B. Lawler and C. Lonergan from Valkenburg acted as assistants to Father Corcoran at the Hague.
A splendid paper on “The Present Condition of Secondary Education in Ireland” was read by Dr. John McQuaid, the President of Blackrock College. All accounts agree in stating that the Congress was a brilliant success.
As the proceedings at the Hague coincided with the Biennial Conference of the World Federation of Education Associations, Father Corcoran was unable to be present at the functions in Dublin, but an important paper from his pen was read by Mrs McCarville, Lecturer in English in University College, Dublin. This paper expounded the Catholic philosophy of Education.

Irish Province News 10th Year No 1 1935

Works by Father Timothy Corcoran SJ

  1. Studies in the History of Classical Education, Irish and Continental AS 1500-1700
  2. Renovatio Litterarum - Academic Writers of the Renaissance, AD 1450-1600, A.D. 14,50-I6ro, with Documentary Exercises, illustrative of the views of Italian and French Humanists.
  3. Renate Litterae - Latin Texts and Documentary Exercises exhibiting the Evolution of the Ratio Studiomm as regards Humanistic Education, A.D, 1540-1600
  4. Plato : De Juvenyute Instituenda - Greek Texts, from Dialogues other than The Republic, with Introduction and Documented Exercises
  5. Quintilianus Restitutiae Ltinis Preceptor - Latin Texts with Introduction and Exercises on Quintilan's influence on Renaissance Education
  6. Newman's Theory of Liberal Education -The three Discourses on Liberal Knowledge, as in the text of the First Edition Dublin, 1852 , with Preface, Historical and Philosophical Introduction, and Documentary Exercises
  7. Education Systems in Ireland A.D. 1500-1832 - Selected Texts. with Introduction
  8. O’Connell and Catholic Education - Papers for the Centenary Year of Emancipation. With a Portrait hitherto unpublished (out of print)
  9. Catholic Lay Teachers. Regional Lists, A.D. 1711-1824 - with Historical Commentary, Illustrations, and Three Maps
  10. The Clongowes Record, A.D. 1814 to 1932 - With Introductory Chapters on Irish Jesuit Educators A.D. 1564-1813 with 40 pages of Illustrations outside the Text
  11. Narrative Text, with Supplemental Documents for Professional Students of Education, issued separately.

Irish Province News 18th Year No 1 1943

Presentation to Fr. Corcoran :
The Chancellor of the National University, Mr. de Valera, the Minister of Education, Mr. Derris, and the Ceann Comhairle, Mr. Fahy, were among the large attendance at a ceremony at 86 St. Stephen's Green, on Saturday, 12th December, when Fr. Corcoran was presented with a portrait of himself by Sean Keating. R.H.A., on the occasion of his retirement from the Chair of Education at U.C.D., which he has held since 1909.
Senator Michael Hayes, making the presentation, said it had been his privilege to be a student, a colleague, and close friend of Fr. Corcoran, a friend who, like many another, owed much to his counsel and encouragement. He was being honoured that day as a professor, a guide, and an example to research students, a scholar and a clear sighted lover of Ireland. He had always been. careful, methodical, meticulous, accurate over a wide range of learning, punctual to an unusual degree, and redoubtable in argument. No professor could have been kinder, more considerate and more helpful to his students. The portrait by Sean Keating was a fitting tribute. The artist had caught the spirit of his sitter and had given a work worthy of his subject. On behalf of Fr. Corcoran he returned the most sincere thanks to his many old students, who had contributed to the Presentation.

Irish Province News 18th Year No 3 1943
Obituary :
Father Timothy Corcoran SJ (1872-1943)
Father Corcoran died at St. Vincent's Nursing Home, Dublin, on March 23rd, 1943. He had been ill for about a month and during the past year his general strength had been failing rapidly. He had resigned his post as Professor of Education in U.C.D. in September, 1942.
Father Corcoran was born at Honeymount, Roscrea, on 17th January, 1872. He went as a boy to Tullabeg in 1885 for the last year of the old school's separate existence, and was transferred to Clongowes in the following year. During the next four years he won high distinction as a prize-winner and medallist under the Intermediate System laying a wide foundation for his future studies in Classics, History and English Literature. He entered the novitiate at Tullabeg on 6th December, 1890. Within a few months his younger brother John (the future Master of Novices tor the Australian Mission and Vice-Province) followed him to Tullabeg. They were together in Tullabeg until 1894.
From his Juniorate Mr. Corcoran went direct to Clongowes, where he taught for seven consecutive years (1894-1901). These were the years when Clongowes was leading the country in the Intermediate prize-lists. under the stimulating direction of Father James Daly, and Mr. Corcoran was one of a small group of “the experts” whose abilities as teachers were mainly responsible for these successes Many Fathers of the Irish Province have vivid recollections of his classes in the old Junior. Middle and Senior Grades. When he died. Father Corcoran left behind him among his private papers a small note-book in which he had noted the name and class of every boy he had taught, with a note as to their later careers. The letters “S.J.” are common after many of these names. Others went to Medicine, the Bar or one or other of the professions at home or abroad. The notebook. was thus a miniature record of the careers of a very representative group of the alumni of Clongowes in the last years of the past century. Those who remembered Mr. Corcoran’s classes in his last two years (he returned to Clongowes from Louvain in 1904, and taught for two more years before his Theology at Milltown Park) will remember a tradition that he never “sent a boy up”, and indeed the legend round his name in those later years was sufficient to guarantee due awe and respect. But Father Corcoran, in later and more reminiscent years, would recall earlier days when he had won his control over difficult classes by the simple method of prescribing “twelve” at regular intervals to boys whose habitual record was always a justification for drastic action.
From 1904 Father Corcoran studied Philosophy at Louvain, taking his B.A. degree at the same time under the old Royal University. He was never a metaphysician, and Belgian Jesuits of later years. who had been his very much younger contemporaries at this time, remembered a solitary and imposing figure, who walked in stately majesty round the small garden reserved for the Philosophers, and seemed to take little interest in life's petty round. But Louvain has seldom had a more loyal past student than Father Corcoran. On more than one occasion he contrived to secure his own nomination as the National University's representative at the public functions which have marked the various stages of Louvain's recent history, and he collected an unusually fine series of old and modern works on the University’s history. A student of Louvain who came to Ireland could always count on Father Corcoran's s support for any scheme which involved full recognition of his studies abroad. Indeed he used to boast he had persuaded the National University to give Louvain a recognition which was denied to Oxford and Cambridge.
After his nine years at Clongowes, Father Corcoran went to Milltown Park for three years, in the old “short course” of pre-Codex days. Even during his course at Milltown he was marked out as the probable holder of a chair in the new University.
Father Corcoran had applied for the post of Professor of the Theory and Practice of Education (then a relatively new subject in the more modern Universities), and he was appointed as the first Professor of this subject during the winter of 1908-9. He had taken his B.A.. with first place and first-class Hons. in History in 1903, and his Higher Diploma in Education in 1906, with a special gold medal. He was also University medallist in Latin verse and English verse. Apart from his long years of experience in the Honours classes at Clongowes and his exceptional gift of methodical teaching Father Corcoran had a quite unusual gift for map-making in illustration of his class-work. When he was being considered as a candidate for the Chair of Education he organised an exhibit of these maps, and tales are still told of the assistance given him by his friends at Milltown Park in that first venture.
There is no space here to record the many achievements which have made Father Corcoran's long tenure of this post (1909-42) one of the memorable phases in the life of University College, Dublin. It seems hard to believe that the difficulty at first was to get any student at all. Ever willing to oblige fellow-Jesuit Farther Darlington - who had himself retired from the University in 1909 - wrote round to suggest a course in Education to past students of the College. A small group was got together, and Mr. Eamonn De Valera’s name is claimed as his first student. Professor W. J . Williams, who was later to succeed him in the chair, was another of the same group. When Father Corcoran retired in 1942 the annual classes were seldom less than a hundred and were often very much more numerous. Public tributes have been paid by many of his past students not only to Father Corcoran’s gifts as a teacher and organiser, but also to his unfailing willingness to help any student whose need of help was brought to his notice. For more than thirty years Father Corcoran made a special study of the history of Catholic education, with special reference to Ireland and to the tradition of the Jesuit schools. His “Studies in the History of Classical Education” (1911) won him the degree of D.Litt. - it is a study of the Irish Jesuit Father William Bathe's “Janus Linguarum”. The publication of his “State Policy in Irish Education” (1916) established Father Corcoran’s reputation for pioneer work in a new field of Irish historical study. The book is now very rare, for the whole stock was burnt in Easter Week, but Father Corcoran used most of the materials in this book as a basis for his lectures on Irish educational history and he could justly claim that he had stimulated more than one good student to produce work on similar lines under his direction. The Clongowes Record appeared in 1932, and was in large part a study of the old Jesuit Ratio Studiorum as applied in pre-Intermediate days at Clongowes. Soon afterwards one of Father Corcoran's ablest students Father Allan P. Farrell, published an important work on the history of the early Ratio Studiorum (The Jesuit Code of Liberal Education) which he had originally prepared as a thesis for the Ph.D. degree under Father Corcoran’s personal direction at University College, Dublin. Father Farrell’s book is generally counted the ablest work that has yet appeared on this important phase of early Jesuit history. For many years Father Corcoran also issued, for private use in his own class-room, a series of important volumes on various aspects of educational theory and history which have had a very great influence on educational thought and policy in this country. “Renovatio Litterarum” (1925) and “Renatae Litterae” (1926) dealt with the main aspects of Renaissance thought and the origins of Christian humanism in education. His volume on “Education Systems in Ireland” (1928) repeated a good deal of what was in the earlier volume, now inaccessible on “State Policy in Irish Education”. A volume on “Newman’s Theory of Liberal Education” (1929) is a highly controversial account of the ideas set forth by Newman when he was asked by the Irish Bishops to organise Catholic University in this country. There were also volumes on Plato, Quintilian, the Irish School-teachers in Penal Days etc. In 1938 Rev. Fr. General promoted him to solemn profession of four Vows in recognition of his “Eximium Scribendi talentum”.
Father Corcoran's work on behalf of Catholic education was revised abroad as well as at home. At home he was an influential and very active member of all the various Educational Commissions which have marked out the new tendencies of educational policy in this country since 1909. He attended Catholic Educational Congresses at Brussels and Amsterdam in the years before the war, and was elected President of the Amsterdam Congress. Our late Father General was anxious to have the benefit of his advice and experience when he was working on a scheme for the reorganisation of studies in the Juniorates of the whole Society, and arrangements had been made to enable Father Corcoran to spend some months in Rome during the academic year 1938-9. But the imminent danger of war caused a postponement of this scheme, and Father Corcoran never saw Rome. His own health was beginning to fail about this time, and it became more and more evident that the strain of continuing his work for the large classes in U.C.D. was beyond his powers. But Father Corcoran was not easily induced to surrender to any sign of physical weakness, and the illness of his colleague, Mr. W. J. Williams, threw extra work upon him at a time when he himself was obviously in need of assistance. The last two or three years of his active work were thus a painful struggle against a breakdown that all who saw him knew could not long be delayed. A paralytic stroke, shortly before Christmas 1941 ended his teaching days, but he did not formally resign his position as Professor until the following September.
Meanwhile a committee had been formed among his past-students to present him with a portrait-sketch by Mr. Sean Keating, as a token of their high regard for his long years of service. The presentation of this portrait was almost the last public function which he attended in the University, though he continued to the end to take an active interest in all its doings. He was particularly proud of the success of the new Graduates Club in 85 and 86 Stephen's Green, towards which he himself had contributed much useful work as a member of the Senate and Finance Committee of the University. His death was the occasion of many touching tributes from past students, men and women, who recalled his stimulating influence as a teacher and his personal interest on their behalf through so many years. A characteristic sign of Father Corcoran's personal kindness towards those who helped him in his work is the fact that the Hall-porters in the College felt his death as the loss of a personal friend. He had never failed to thank them in person for anything they had done, and his almost miraculous punctuality had made their task easier in a world where punctuality is not always guaranteed! R.l.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Timothy Corcoran SJ 1872-1943
Fr Timothy Corcoran will always be remembered, both inside and outside the Society as the great authority in educational matters. He was Professor of Education and University College from 1909-1942. His published works include “Studies in the History of Classical Education” and “State Policy in Irish Education”.

Born in Roscrea on January 7th 1872, he was educated at Tullabeg and Clongowes. Brilliant as a boy in Classics, History and English Literature, he pursued and taught the same subjects as a Jesuit with equally brilliant success. It could be impossible to give an adequate account of the extent of Fr Corcoran’s influence on University life and on his contemporaries and on current affairs. He was intensely interested in all things Irish, especially our Irish games, and was proud to be the promoter of such in College.

His manner by some was considered brusque, and he certainly did not suffer fools gladly, yet he was capable of arousing almost fanatical admiration in his pupils. “If I had my way, there would be a public statue of Fr Corcoran in University College”, said one of his illustrious pupils, many of whom became the leaders of the Nation.

In 1938, by solemn decree of His Paternity Fr Ledóchowski, he was promoted to the solemn profession of four vows, in recognition of his “eximus talentaum scribendi”.

He died at St Vincent’s Nursing Home on March 23rd 1943

◆ The Clongownian, 1943


Father Timothy Corcoran SJ

Two years ago, 1941, on the occasion of the celebration of his Golden Jubilee in the Society of Jesus, an appreciation of the late Fr Corcoran appeared in the pages of “The Clongownian”, together with a list of his published works. To this we refer those of our readers who may wish to know him in his later, more public and more important sphere of activity. Here we merely give the impressions and recollections of one who was a member of the first Senior Grade Class taught by Fr Corcoran in Clongowes, and who has known himn intimately ever since. But we preface it by a tribute from a distinguished Professor of Education, who was for several years associated with Fr Corcoran as extern examiner in Pedagogics.

Dear Fr Barrett,

Would you be good enough to express to the members of your Society my sorrow at the death of Professor Corcoran and to extend to then my sympathy in the loss the Society of Jesus in particular, and the cause of Education in general, has thereby sustained? I considered it a great privilege to be associated with him in examining the Clongowes Wood candidates for their Certificate.

Yours sincerely,

Robert R Rusk, MA, Professor of Education,

My acquaintance with the late Fr Corcoran began in 1895, when, after a year or so teaching some elementary class while studying for his own BA degree, he postponed academic honours to begin a full time dedication to what was to be a very remarkable pedagogic, career, He became Master of Rhetoric; and took over from Fr John Keane, then Mr Keane, a Poetry or Middle Grade which had annexed six out of the thirty-six exhibitions awarded to that Grade. There was already in Senior Grade one pupil, Matt Kennedy, and perhaps another, who had been kept back a year in. the hopes of brighter laurels.

Further, John Houlihan had come in from Fermoy where he had already shone in previous tests. So that, all things considered, a great teacher had worthy material to work upon. The class was also strengthened (and dignified) by the presence of two youths, even then distinguished and destined to far higher distinctions in later life - Pierce Kent and Joe Cahill - who were reading for Honours Matriculation and sat in splendid isolation at the back of the room.

Everyone who knew Mr Corcoran, as he then was, or the later Dr Corcoran, will easily understand that he would lay himself out to train his team to the last ounce and would reckon with confidence on proportionate results. Later I was to learn that he made no secret of his high expectations, predicting almost in detail what prizes his various pupils were to win. It was an unfortunate instance of counting the chickens before the shells broke. The great class “flopped” rather badly and had to be content with one exhibition near the tail of the list, some book prizes and retained exhibitions.

I have never been able to explain how the anticlimax came about. True, two of the best of the possible “starters”, Tom Kettle and Peter Byrne, were “scratched” and reserved for the 1897 Derby, in which they led the field and carried off the Blue Riband, as it was then called that is, first place in Senior Grade and the gold medals in English and Classics, with some composition prizes. But the rest, including such outstanding talents as Arthur Clery, failed to run true to form. And thus one of the greatest of all teachers in the history of Irish secondary education began with what looked like a rebuff from fate. Yet, if so, the fault did not lie with him, and the fiasco was to be amply atoned for by the exceptional success which crowned Fr Corcoran's occupation of “the Chair” of Rhetoric-nine years in all.

The fault was not his ; nor, as far as I can recall, was it ours. We not only studied hard but we really “knew our lines”, and why we did not do more credit to our master I have never been able to discover. Years later I was able, in a chance rencontre with the Results List of 1896, to see that, if the later and much better arrangement of Groups had then been in vogue, the Clongowes “string” would have justified the stable and trainer by a quite brilliant performance. Sed disaliter visum. I was later, as successor to Fr Corcoran, to learn that, while examination results followed anticipations very closely as a rule, the most paradoxical and scarcely intelligible surprises would be caused by the Results Book, underlining the warning of “The Biglow Papers”: “Don't never prophesy unless you know”.

Mr Corcoran was also very popular with his class, though personally I felt slightly more regard for Mr Keane and Mr William Byrne, who, though differing much from him and from one another in their methods, inspired a great respect into all reasonably disposed pupils. In later life Fr Corcoran was liable to alternations of mood that led to much misunderstanding. Unless you knew him well and made allowance for this fact, you ran risk of being seriously offended by a manner that at times appeared charged with studied rudeness. He was my friend from our first encounter till his lamented death. His advice, his help, his sympathy, his immense industry, were at my service (as at that of many more) whenever I cared to call upon them. And when the genial mood was upon him, he would drag me off, if needs were, to his room, set me down in an arm-chair and retail with boyish zest, yet complete lack of malice, all the gossip of the University or the Village (meaning Dublin). On other, much rarer, occasions, he would greet me with a Judge Jeffrey's voice and the scowl of a Cataline (immortalised by Cicero), as if I were a negro bell-boy breaking in upon the busy hours of the President of Harvard. At first I was hurt. But I soon learned how to deal with the situation. I would just say : “Please reserve your ogre's mask for your Higher Dip class-room, to overawe the giddy graduettes into silence. I see behind it”. Then the mask would drop, like an April cloud passing from the face of the sun and it was odds that I would be kept till I was late for my next: appointment.

It would be idle to pretend that this trait in his character was not a defect without serious consequences. Not everybody saw behind the mask, and many never had the opportunity of correcting the impression made by even one exhibition of what seemed arrogance and bad forin. I have heard him described as “a bear with a toothache”,; and felt at once that the indictment was intelligible, yet radically and terribly unjust. Fr Corcoran was temperamental. He was also a man of strong prejudices and decided views, always based upon solid learning and ripe reflection. But so far from being arrogant, I think his brusquerie was the obverse of his shyness, a sort of protective pigmentation of the soul within.

But all this has relation only to later life. In those distant and nostalgic days when first I knew him, I cannot recall a single instance of sternness even, not to speak of harshness. Fr John Byrne SJ, who was also a member of the class, has vivid recollection of one - only one - occasion when he barked out : “ Keep silence, Kent; you're always talking”. This may, of course, be true, but I cannot recall it; nor can the victim of it, Pierce himself.

The fact, of course, was that Mr Corcoran exercised an easy, natural and inevitable ascendancy over his pupils. Corridor gossip invested him with a halo for scholarly attainment. Had he not won a gold medal, no less for both Latin and English Verse from the University? True, he looked the least poetic of men; but against the testimony of two gold medals, what did that matter? Shakespeare never acquired even one! (Gracious! but it is good to be young and simple of heart. O fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint!)

Hence the question of asserting his authority never arose, and he regarded corporal punish ment as a confession of failure on the teacher's part, at least in general. But there was much more than this negative side to things. Mr Corcoran was a born teacher. He had the authentic vocation and was wholly devoted to his task. He was interesting because he was interested, not merely in Intermediate results, which he had too much good sense. to despise, but which he felt might be left to take care of themselves if the teaching was well done, And even under the handicap of a system which put a positive premium on cramming, his principles were justified by the pragmatic argument of success. Only in one respect did he seem slightly wanting. As professor of Latin, Greek, English, History and Geography, he had three-quarters of the whole cultural training of the curriculum to impart. And in the conveying of knowledge he was as nearly perfect as one can hope for in a defective world. But out of a certain shrinking from self-revelation, as I conjecture, he refrained from pointing out the literary beauty of the classics, and even smiled semi-approvingly upon the “Nil admirari” attitude which the school-boy loves. In encouraging us to think for ourselves, as he certainly did, he showed indulgence when we thought foolishly and very immaturely. He left us to grow up. Perhaps, also, he was himself slightly lacking, despite the two gold medals, in æsthetic feeling and enthusiasm for the merely artistic as such. His great motto was the “Rem tene, verba sequentur” of grim old Cato. His own style was always clear, vigorous and impeccably correct. But all the charms of all the muses hardly flowered in a lonely word. And, indeed, he would have blushed at the idea of turning florist at all. He would, on occasions, read for us an exceptionally good leading article from some of the greater newspapers, and point out how, with an economy of language, it combined lucidity, directness, persuasive force. All the rest in his eyes was little more than trimmings about which serious people scarcely bothered.

It is evident at once that in all this there was much wisdom and good sense; and that in seeking to discipline our Celtic exuberance in language he was essentially right. Yet it is also clear that great literature and great art, like great music, contain a certain intangible element which makes an emotional appeal, and which may all the less be ignored because it is the very index of inspiration. Mr Keane, though he laboured to drive the texts into our heads as assiduously as Mr Corcoran, or more so, did not neglect at times to touch upon literary merits. His immediate reward was, of course, derision, Yet our scepticism was less sure of itself, and, even while we scoffed, we feared that the De Falsa Legatione might be a fine speech after all, and the Medea have a meaning: It is a pity, and a handicap, that schoolboys find themselves forced to read, in a strange tongue, of “old, unhappy, far-off. things and battles long ago”, without any interest in the events or sympathy with the characters, I or any consciousness that the Odyssey, for example, is a more thrilling boy's tale than Robinson Crusoe, and the Iliad a finer historical romance than Ivenhoe, not to speak of Henty or “Deadwood Dick”. If they could be persuaded to take the fact on faith at first, they might be encouraged in their struggle with the linguistic difficulties. And it is the duty of a teacher to instil, as far as he can, a love as well as a knowledge of the old masterpieces that have proved their universality of appeal. by outliving-all the passing fads and fashions of centuries.

Mr Corcoran remained master of Rhetoric for eight years after I left. Then he passed, on to very much higher pursuits and more: important activities. But I never “sat at his feet” again. Instead, I was called upon, in 1907, to try to fill his shoes, or, perhaps one might say, seven-league boots, in Senior Grade (not immediately, for one or two others had intervened), and inherited his array of beautiful maps and the high standard he had set. I felt like David donning Saul's armour ; and sought all the hints I could get as to how to use the panoply. Everything he knew or had was at my disposition. No man of his generation was so prodigal of time and labour in assisting others. He worked, of coursey with the ease and speed of a perfect machine well-oiled. For all that, it was a source of perpetual astonishment that he could meet a simple request with reams of beautifully written sheets or polygraphs containing every thing you could wish to know.

Outside class, Mr Corcoran mingled little with the boys. In our games he took no interest at all; but, as President of the Higher Line Debate, he was brought into some contact with a circle wider than his own class. And he was always easy of approach to those who wished to consult him, for though never familiar, or piously avuncular, he was singularly affable, friendly and considerate. He never nagged or scolded, and was ideally patient even with poor achievement, if he felt it was not the result of laziness or indifference. The whole year passed without an unpleasant incident of any kind, and the work was well done in spite of the paradoxical outcome in the public examinations.

Just prior to these, and during them, he unbent considerably, and did a lot of informal coaching, which he could make very pleasant. Gathering us surreptitiously under the hideous bust of Demosthenes, which then stood symbolically 'in the classroom, he would produce from one of the presses, a large box of strawberries-purloined, we used to suspect, from the garden-and he would try to give Matthew Arnold's “sweetness and light” motto a very literal application. All things considered, he was already in those early days a model schoolmaster.

If this were meant to be a critical appreciation of his whole career, I would not be the person to undertake it, nor “The Clongownian” the medium for its presentation, It would raise larger issues which would call for elaborate examination. No man of his generation has exercised more influence upon the whole educational policy of the Saorstat or Eire. No single professor in the National University has stamped his personality more upon it. The chair he held made that inevitable. But his indefatigable industry, his profound knowledge of his subject, his decided views and tenacity in the propagation of them, in a word, his all-round competence, made him certainly one of the moulders of the young university, and through it the chief shaper of the teaching body that in both primary and secondary schools is now responsible for the education of the country.

This makes it inevitable that much will be heard about his policy in the days to come ; but the final judgment must wait till time lifts many à curtain not yet within reach of the scene-shifter. I have merely endeavoured. to give a thumb-nail sketch of him in his first year as a teacher, and will only add that I think he never altered in one thing: he remained constant to the Scholastic principle : “Prima et maxime sancta professoris lex discipulorum utilitas esto”. As a consequence he enjoyed their confidence more than any other of his colleagues, as his perpetual re-election by Convocation proved. This confidence he always merited and finally repaid, full measure pressed down and running over, in the magical transformation of 86 St. Stephen's Green. There his spirit can say: “Non omnis moriar”, or, “Monumentum si quaeris, circumspice”. I know Latin tags are anathema to the stylists of to-day. But they slip irresistibly from the pen when I think of him who first gave them a meaning for me, and who stood stoutly to the end for the Classics in a world losing humanity because it has thrown the Humanities out of doors, with other even more precious things.

P J Gannon SJ

Corr, James, 1655-1713, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1111
  • Person
  • 04 May 1655-31 August 1713

Born: 04 May 1655, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 01 October 1675, Avignon, France - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Ordained: c 1688, Avignon, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1693
Died: 31 August 1713, Toulouse, France (Alès, France)

1688 Professor of Mathematics at Irish College Poitiers
1690-1691 Taught Humanities, Rhetoric & Mathematics at Irish College Poitiers

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
712 In LUGD Province. Proposed as fit to be Rector of Irish College Poitiers. He died in the course of 1714

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
1677-1679 After First Vows he was sent for Philosophy at Lyons
1679-1684 Sent for Regency at Roanne and Dôle
1684-1688 Sent for Theology to Avignon where he was Ordained was Ordained c 1688
1688-1691 Teaching at the Irish College Poitiers AQUIT,
1691 He then returned to LUGD and made his tertianship at Lyons
1694-1698 Sent to teach Philosophy at Nîmes and Arles
1698-1710 Began Missionary work in the Cévennes
1710 Fr Anthony Knoles, Superior of Irish Mission wanted him appointed Rector of Irish College Poitiers, but instead he was appointed Rector of the Seminary at Alès
1713 While on a Mission at Toulouse, he contracted the plague working among the sick and died 31 August 1713
On the orders of the General Father Cor's library was assigned to the Cork Residence

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
COR, THOMAS, was in the Lyons Province in the spring of 1712, and was proposed as a fit person to be Rector of the national Seminary of Poitiers. He must have died in the course of the year 1714; for I find a letter of F. Lavallin, dated September 6th, 1714, thanking his Superior for allowing him the use of the Library belonging to the deceased F. Cor.

Coyne, Edward J, 1896-1958, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/50
  • Person
  • 20 June 1896-22 May 1958

Born: 20 June 1896, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly - Hiberniae Province (HIB) for Sicilian Province (SIC)
Ordained: 31 July 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1932, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome Italy
Died: 22 May 1958, Milltown Park

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Studied for MA in Economics at UCD

by 1927 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1932 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
1930-1931 at Haus Sentmaring, Münster, Germany
by 1933 at Vanves, Paris, France (FRA) studying

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Coyne, Edward Joseph
by Anne Dolan

Coyne, Edward Joseph (1896–1958), Jesuit priest, was born 20 June 1896 in Dublin, eldest of five children of William P. Coyne (qv), head of the statistical section of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction, and Agnes Mary Coyne (née Martin). Educated at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare, from 1908, he joined the Society of Jesus at St Stanislaus College, Tullamore (1914). After an academically distinguished student career at UCD, he taught for three years at Belvedere College, Dublin, during which time he published a series of articles in the Irish Monthly under the name ‘N. Umis’. He studied theology (1926–8) at the Franz Ferdinand university, Innsbruck, returning to Ireland for his ordination (1928) and to begin an MA in economics at UCD. On completing his religious training at Münster, Westphalia, he divided his time between the Gregorian University in Rome, the Action Populaire, and the Sorbonne, Paris. A term at the International Labour Office, Geneva, marked the first practical application of his special studies in sociology and economics. In 1933 he was appointed professor of ethics at St Stanislaus College, a position he held until becoming (1938) professor of moral theology and lecturer in sociology at Milltown Park, Dublin. Although he remained at Milltown Park for the rest of his life, he played a prominent part in the development of Irish social and economic thought. The driving force behind the 1936 social order summer school at Clongowes and the foundation of the Catholic Workers' College (1948), he was selected by Michael Tierney (qv) to organise UCD's extramural courses in 1949.

Editor of Studies and a regular contributor to Irish Monthly, he also placed his knowledge at the disposal of several individuals, institutions, and organisations. As a member of the Jesuit committee assembled in 1936 to contribute to the drafting of the new constitution, he corresponded regularly with Eamon de Valera (qv) and had a significant influence on the document submitted. In 1939 he was appointed by the government to the commission on vocational organisation and was the main author of its report (1943), which was highly critical of the anonymity and inefficiency of the Irish civil service. Despite later government appointments to the Irish Sea Fisheries Association (1948) and the commissions on population (1949) and emigration (1954), he was always prepared to question government decisions, querying the report of the banking commission (1938), the wisdom of plans by the minister for social welfare, William Norton (qv) to unify social insurance schemes (1949), and the morality of the ‘mother and child’ scheme (1951). Serving on several public boards and industrial committees, including the Joint Industrial Council for the Rosary Bead Industry (1939), the Central Savings Committee (1942), the Law Clerk's Joint Labour Committee (1947), the Creameries Joint Labour Committee (1947), and the National Joint Industrial Council for the Hotel and Catering Trades (1957), he worked closely with both employers and workers. He also took an active role in the cooperative movement, becoming president of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (1943). A staunch supporter of John M. Hayes (qv) and Muintir na Tire, he was a frequent speaker at the organisation's ‘rural weeks'. He died 22 May 1958 at St. Vincent's nursing home, Dublin, after a lengthy illness, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery. Among the many mourners was his brother Thomas J. Coyne (qv), secretary of the Department of Justice (1949–61). His papers are held at the Irish Jesuit Archives.

Ir. Times, Ir. Independent, Ir. Press, 23 May 1958; Clongownian, June 1959, 6–11; J. H. Whyte, Church and state in modern Ireland 1923–1979 (1984), 88, 180, 259; J. Anthony Gaughan, Alfred O'Rahilly I: academic (1986), 95–6, 186–90; Seán Faughnan, ‘The Jesuits and the drafting of the Irish constitution of 1937’, IHS, xxvi (1988–9), 79–102; J. J. Lee, Ireland 1912–1985: politics and society (1989), 274–5; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991), 277, 285–7; Dermot Keogh, Ireland and the Vatican (1995), 324–5; Dermot Keogh & Andrew J. Mc Carthy, The making of the Irish constitution (2007), 58, 95, 98–100

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Counihan and Edward Coyne are acting as members of a Commission set up by the Government Department of Social Welfare, at the end of March, to examine Emigration and other Population Problems. The former is still working on the Commission on Youth Unemployment, while Fr. Coyne, who served on the Commission on Vocational Organisation appointed in 1939, and whose Report was published five years later, is at present Deputy Chairman of the Central Savings Committee, Chairman of the Joint Industrial Council for Beads Industry, Chairman of the Joint Labour Committee for Solicitors, Member of the Joint Labour Committee for the Creamery Industry, Member of the Council of the Statistical Society.

Irish Province News 33rd Year No 4 1958

Obituary :

Fr Edward J Coyne (1896-1958)

I want to set down in some detail the record of Fr. Ned Coyne's life because I think that the Province would be the poorer were the memory of him to grow dim. I shall attempt no contrived portrait; in an artless narrative I run, less risk of distortion. Indeed in a bid to avoid being painted in, false colours, Fr. Ned played with the idea of writing his own obituary notice; in the week following his operation he succeeded in dictating several fragments, but realising later on that they were written in the exultant mood that followed his acceptance of his death-sentence, he insisted that I should destroy them.
Edward Joseph Coyne was born in Dublin on 20th June, 1896. He was the eldest son, of W. P. Coyne, Professor of Political Economy in the old University College and founder-member of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. To mention these positions indicates at once the influence of father on son. As that influence ran deep, I must say something more of his father whose name lives on in U.C.D. in the Coyne Memorial Prize. Though struck down by cancer at a comparatively early age, W.P. had already made his mark both as an economist and an administrator, Gifted with a clear head and tireless industry, he was not content to remain master of his own science but read widely outside his professional field of economic and social studies. One aspect of his best illustrated by recalling a favourite saying of his : “the old philosophy will come back to us through Dante”; another aspect by the mention of his special competence in the art and literature of the Renaissance. When I add that W.P. frail of physique, possessed unusual powers of head and heart, of incisive exposition and innate sympathy, it will be indeed clear that Ned was very much his father's son. Were he now looking over my shoulder as I write, he would be quick to remind me of what he owed also to his gentle, sensitive mother of whose bravery as a young widow bringing up five children. he was so proud.
After a short period at Our Lady's Bower, Athlone, Ned was kept at home to be educated privately from the age of seven to twelve on account of his frail health, Next came the decisive influence of six and a half years in Clongowes which he entered in 1908. He was second to none in his generous appreciation of all that Clongowes had given him. He belonged to the fortunate generation that knew Clongowes in her hey-day in the years before the centenary : Fr. Jimmy Daly and Fr. "Tim” Fegan were at the height of their powers and were supported by a team of brilliant masters. If I single out one, the then Mr. Boyd Barrett, I do so for two reasons: from him Ned derived lasting inspiration in class-room and in the Clongowes Social Study Club; to him Ned gave a life-time's gratitude expressed by constant letters all through the “misty” years. And when he came to die, a letter from his old master cheered him greatly on a hard spell of the road. Anyone who turns up the Clongownians of his time will see the role he played in every part of school life. Fond as he was of books, his school career is not merely a long list of exhibitions and gold medals; he played out-half and won his “cap” of which he was proud, he kept wicket, he was second-captain of his line, he was the first secretary of the Clongowes Social Study Club which Mr. Boyd Barrett founded. In these pages I can but skim the surface of his life, but however brief the treatment I must find room for some quotations from his Union Prize Essay on “The Necessity of Social Education for Irishmen”, published in the 1914 Clongownian :
“It is sheer folly and shameful conceit for anyone to think he can remedy Ireland's social disorders without social education. There are very few really active workers in Ireland today; but these few are of more value than three times their number of 'social adventurers. For they are trained in the school of experience to have a definite knowledge of what they know and what they do not know. There is no room for social amateurs; if we want to succeed, we must be specialists and experts....
What we plead for is that all the great Catholic colleges of Ireland should start at once some system of social education, If they did so, we should have fifty or sixty young sons of Ireland coming forth each year, full of energy and fire, ready to take their proper places in the great social movements of today. The young men are the hope of France,' said Pius X, and the young men are the hope of Ireland too. The suggestion made recently by a learned Jesuit of having University diplomas for social work is certainly a very good one. But I would wish to begin earlier. It is not every schoolboy who goes to the Universities; many enter business or do some other work. I would have these trained for social work; trained well, too, in those vital questions which are now so much discussed.
That august and venerable College to which I have the honour to belong has taken up the task of social education for her children. It is to be hoped that many will follow her example.

On 31st August, 1914, he began his noviceship in Tullabeg under Fr. Martin. Maher; eleven others entered with him that day and all stayed the course. After the noviceship they remained in Tullabeg for a year's Juniorate which Fr. Ned always regarded as one of the most rewarding years of his life : Fr. Charlie Mulcahy, Fr. W. Byrne and Mr. H. Johnston gave them of their best.
In U.C.D. Fr. Ned read history and economics for his degree, taking first place in both subjects. He was the inspiration of a lively English Society that included Fr. Paddy O'Connor, Violet Connolly, Kate O'Brien, and Gerard Murphy among its members, and was auditor of the Classical Society in succession to Leo McAuley (now Ambassador to the Holy See) who in turn had succeeded the present President of U.C.D.
Moving across to Milltown Park for philosophy Fr. Coyne managed to combine with it fruitful work on a first-class M.A. thesis on Ireland's Internal Transport System. Next came three successful years in Belvedere : his pupils and a series of articles under the thinly-veiled name of N. Umis in the Irish Monthly provide the best evidence for his zest for teaching. He made his theology in Innsbruck, returning home for ordination in 1928. On completing his theology in Innsbruck, he made his tertianship in Munster in Westphalia under Fr. Walter Sierp, He divided his biennium between Rome and Paris, studying in the Gregorianum under Fr. Vermeersch and later in the Sorbonne and at the Action Populaire. He also spent three months at this period in Geneva at the International Labour Office,
On returning to Ireland he was posted to Tullabeg to teach ethics and cosmology. Those who sat at his feet found in him a professor of outstanding clarity, who had, besides, a rare gift of stimulating interest. In November, 1936, he was transferred to Milltown Park. It was not long before his influence began to be felt in various spheres. In due course he was appointed to the Moral Chair and by that time he was more than fully occupied. He did signal service as a member of the Commission on Vocational Organisation, appointed by the Government in 1939 to report on the practability of developing functional or vocational organisation, in Ireland. Ten years later he was named a member of the Commission on Population,
In 1940 he was elected Vice-President and in 1943 President of the I.A.O.S. From his first association with the society be took an intense interest in the co-operative movement; he knew the movement from every angle, legal, economic and above all, idealistic. He astonished the members of the many societies he visited over the years by his complete grasp of the technical problems involved. Some years ago he delivered an address in London at the annual general meeting of the Agricultural Central Co-operative Association of England which created an extraordinarily favourable impression and resulted in invitations to address a number of English co-ops. Even before his active association with the I.A.O.S. he had already been early in the field supporting Fr. John Hayes in the founding and developing of Muintir na Tire at whose Rural Weeks he was a frequent speaker,
Besides his interest in rural affairs, Fr. Coyne was also closely in touch with industrial problems; he was chairman of the Law Clerks Joint Labour Committee, of the National Joint Industrial Council for the Hotel and Catering Trades, and of the Joint Industrial Council for the Rosary Bead Industry
In 1949, Dr. Michael Tierney, President of University College, Dublin, invited him to organise an extra-mural department. Thanks to the generous co-operation of the members of the staff of U.C.D. and of many graduates, and to the enthusiastic support of leaders and members of the trade unions, this department has proved very successful. Before undertaking the organisation of the extra-mural courses, he had already laid the foundations of the work now so well developed by Fr. Kent and his confrères in the Catholic Workers' College.
So much for the external story. Though he lectured widely with rare clarity and power and wrote convincingly from time to time in the periodical press, Fr. Coyne may well be best remembered for his outstanding gifts of personal sympathy and insight which enabled him to guide and encourage men and women from surprisingly varied walks of life. Few men can have meant so much to so many. All through his illness one constantly stumbled upon some new kindness he had done unknown to anyone but the recipient; and after his death the striking sincerity of the tributes paid to him on all sides was convincing evidence of his superb gift for friendship. One and all found in him understanding and help given without stint with a charm and a graciousness that reflected the charity of his Master, Christ.
Those who made his eight-day retreat or who were formed by him in the class-room will recall his insistent harping on the need of integrity of mind. It is only right that I should say how acutely conscious he was of his own extreme sensitivity that made him petulant by times, and of his shyness which made him. often hold himself aloof. Best proof of all of his clear-sightedness was the occasion when he was playfully boasting to Fr. Nerney of his docility. Taking his queue from Buffon's “Cet animal est très mechant”, Fr. Nerney, with Fr. Ned's help, composed this epitaph, feeling his way delicately, as if trying out chords on a piano : “Le biffle est un animal très docile : il se laisse conduire partout ou il veut aller”. Fr. Coyne, with a self-knowledge and a humility that deserves to be put on record, often quoted that verdict, smiling wryly and beating his breast. As I watched him in his last sickness that phrase often rang through my head. On first hearing that his condition was hopeless, he was lyrically happy in the knowledge that he was going home to God. But as the weeks dragged on he began to see that the way he was being led home was one which humanly speaking he was loath to choose. In that familiaritas cum Deo which he commended so earnestly in his retreats, he won the immense courage which buoyed him up in the long weeks of humiliating discomfort so galling to his sensitive nature; however much, humanly speaking, he shrank from it, by God's grace he gladly accepted and endured, proving himself indeed completely docile to God's Will. May his great soul rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edward Coyne 1896-1958
In the death of Fr Ned Coyne, the Province lost one of its most brilliant, active and charming personalities that it has been blessed with for many a long year.

Born in Dublin in 1896, he was educated at Clongowes, and after a brilliant course of studies, entered the Noviceship in Tullabeg in 1914.

His career in the formative years as a Jesuit fulfilled the promise of his schooldays, culminating after his Tertianship in his specialising in Social Science at Rome and Paris.

After some years as Professor of Philosophy in Tullabeg, he moved to Dublin, filling the chair of Moral Theology at Milltown Park.

In 1950 he was elected President of the IACS, and took an intense interest in the Co-operative Movement, acquiring a complete grasp of the technical problems involved. He was a wholehearted backer of Canon Hayes and the Muintir na Tire movement, was closely associated with various labour organisations, and ran the Department for Extramural Studies at University College Dublin. He also laid the foundations for our own Catholic Workers College. All this while Professor of Moral Theology at Milltown.

A full life, a rich life – a spiritual life – for in spite of the multifarious occupations Fr Ned always managed to keep close to God and to maintain that “integrity of mind” he so often harped on in his retreats.

He had a rare gift for friendship, and rarely to such a man life would be sweet. Yet when sentence of death was announced he took it gladly. His heroism in his last illness is sufficient testimony to the spirituality of his intensely active life and to his own integrity of mind.

He died on May 22nd 1958 aged 62 years.

◆ The Clongownian, 1959


Father Edward J Coyne SJ

Edward Joseph Coyne was born in Dublin 20th June, 1896. He was the eldest son of W P Coyne, Professor of Political Economy in the old University College and founder member of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. To mention these positions indicates at once the influence of father on son. As that influence ran deep, I must say something more of his father whose name lives on in UCD in the Coyne Memorial Prize. Though struck down by cancer at a comparatively early age, W P had already made his mark both as an economist and an administrator. Gifted with a clear head and tireless industry, he was not content to remain master of his own science but read widely outside his professional field of economic and social studies. One aspect of his interests is best illustrated by a recalling favourite saying of his: “the old philosophy will come back to us through Dante”; another aspect by the mention of his special competence in the art and literature of the Renaissance. When I add that W P frail of physique, possessed unusual powers of head and heart, of incisive exposition and innate sympathy, it will be indeed clear that Ned was very much his father's son. Were he now looking over my shoulder as I write, he would be quick to remind me of what he owed also to his gentle, sensitive mother of whose bravery as a young widow bringing up le children he was so proud.

After a short period at Our Lady's Bower, Athlone, Ned was kept at home to be educated privately from the age of seven to twelve on account of his frail health. Next the the decisive influence of six and a half years in Clongowes which he entered in 1908. He was second to none in his generous appreciation of all that Clongowes had given him. He belonged to the fortunate generation that knew Clongowes in her hey-day in the years before the centenary: Father Jimmy Daly and Father “Tim” Fegan were at the height of their powers and were supported by a team of brilliant masters. If I single out one, the then Mr Boyd Barrett, I do so for two reasons: from him Ned derived lasting inspiration in classroom and in the Clongowes Social Study Club; to him Ned gave a life time's gratitude expressed by constant letters all through the “misty” years. And when he came to die, a letter from his old master cheered him greatly on a hard spell of the road.

Anyone who turns up the “Clongownians” of his time will see the role he played in every part of school life. Fond as he was of books, his school career is not merely a long list of exhibitions and gold medals; he played out half and won his “cap” of which he was proud, he kept wicket, he was second-captain of his Line, he was the first secretary of the Clongowes Social Study Club which Mr. Boyd Barrett founded. In these pages I can but skim the surface of his life, but however brief the treatment I must find room for some quotations from his Union Prize Essay on “The Necessity of Social Education for Irishmen”, published in the 1914 “Clongownian”:

It is sheer folly and shameful conceit for anyone to think he can remedy Ireland's social disorders without social education. There are very few really active workers in Ireland today; but these few are of more value than three times their number of “social adventurers”. For they are trained in the school of experience to have a definite knowledge of what they know and what they do not know. There is no room for social amateurs; if we want to succeed, we must be specialists and experts.....

What we plead for is that all the great Catholic colleges of Ireland should start at once some system of social education. If they did so, we should have fifty or sixty young sons of Ireland coming forth each year, full of energy and fire, ready to take their proper places in the great social movements of today. The young men are the hope of France, said Pius X, and the young men are the hope of Ireland too. The suggestion made recently by a learned Jesuit of having University diplomas for social work is certainly a very good one. But I would wish to begin earlier. It is not every schoolboy who goes to the Universities; many enter business or do some other work. I would have these trained for social work; trained well, too, in those vital questions which are now so much discussed....

The august and venerable College to which I have the honour to belong has taken up the task of social education for her children. It is to be hoped that many
will follow her example....”

When you link up those lines written in 1914 with the work he did in the last decade of his life, you see immediately how his life was all of a piece, how indeed the boy was “father of the man”.

On 31st August, 1914, he began his noviceship in Tullabeg under Father Martin Maher; eleven others entered with him that day and all stayed the course. After the noviceship they remained in Tullabeg for a year's Juniorate which Father Ned always regarded as one of the most rewarding years of his life: Father Charlie Mulcahy, Father W Byrne and Mr H Johnston gave them of their best.

In UCD Father Ned read history and economics for his degree, taking first place in both subjects. He was the inspiration of a lively English Society that included Father Paddy O'Connor, Violet Connolly, Kate O'Brien and Gerard Murphy among its members, and was auditor of the Classical Society in succession to Leo McAuley (now Ambassador to the Holy See) who in turn had succeeded the present President of UCD.

Moving across to Milltown Park for philosophy Father Coyne managed to combine with it fruitful work on a first-class MA thesis on “Ireland's Internal Transport System”. Next came three successful years in Belvedere: his pupils and a series of articles under the thinly-veiled name of “N Umis” in the “Irish Monthly” provide the best evidence for his zest for teaching. He made his theology in Innsbruck, returning home for ordination in 1928. On completing his theology in Innsbruck, he made his tertianship in Münster in Westphalia under Father Walter Sierp. He divided his biennium between Rome and Paris, studying in the Gregorium under Father Vermeersch and later in the Sorbonne and at the Action Populaire. He also spent three months at this period in Geneva at the International Labour Office.

On returning to Ireland he was posted to Tullabeg to teach ethics and cosmology. Those who sat at his feet found in him a professor of outstanding clarity, who had, besides, a rare gift of stimulating interest. In November, 1936, he was transferred to: Milltown Park. It was not long before his influence began to be felt in various spheres. In due course he was appointed to the Moral Chair and by that time he was more than fully occupied. He did signal service as a member of the “Commission on Vocational Organisation”, appointed by the Government in 1939 to report on the practability of developing functional or vocational organisation in Ireland. Ten years later he was named a member of the “Commission on Population”.

Father Coyne was also closely in touch with industrial problems; he was chairman of the “Law Clerks Joint Labour Committee”, of the “National Joint Industrial Council for the Hotel and Catering Trades”, and of the “Joint Industrial Council for the Rosary Bead Industry”. After his death messages of sympathy were received from many trade unions, amongst others: The National Agricultural and Industrial Development Association, Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, Workers' Union of Ireland, Congress of Irish Unions, The Irish Union of Distributive Workers and Clerks, Post Office Workers' Union, National Executive of the Irish Post Office Engineering Union, The Provisional United Trade Union Organisation, Marine Port and General Workers' Union, and the Irish Bookbinders' Union.

So much for the external story. Though he lectured widely with rare clarity and power and wrote convincingly from time to time in the periodical press, Father Coyne may well be best remembered for his outstanding gifts of personal sympathy and insight which enabled him to guide and encourage men and women from surprisingly varied walks of life. Few men can have meant so much to so many. All through his illness one constantly stumbled upon some new kindness he had done unknown to anyone but the recipient; and after his death the striking sincertity of the tributes paid to him on all sides was convincing evidence of his superb gift for friendship. One and all found in him understanding and help given without stint with a charm and a graciousness that reflected the charity of his Master, Christ.



Ned was one who liked to count his blessings. Among these, his grateful nature valued especially the happy home of his childhood and the last pre-war years at Clongowes. He loved Clongowes. He often spoke of the security and confidence and hopes these years had held. It is true that the latter half of his school life saw the most bitter economic struggle Ireland has known since the Land League and the re-birth in controversy and schism of the policy of physical force as a political weapon. He was not unaware of these things, but their implications were not clear enough to daunt a fighting spirit and, as we shall see, they rather stimulated than oppressed him. He was never an angry young man and like most of his tragic generation of young men, he foresaw in his schooldays little of wbat has since happened.

He was at Clongowes from 1908 to 1914 - the full six years and each year with its victories and its successes seemed to be prelude to the fitting end, the happy sunshine of the Centenary Celebration. On his death bed, Ned could recall details of those June days of carnival and triumph. Less than two months later the first of all world wars had begun, but that lay in an unguessed-at future.

Ned also liked to believe that he belonged to a remarkable generation of Clongowes boys. He had as classmates and rivals for the Imperatorship of Rhetoric (successful rivals, be it said) such men as John Gilligan and Louis Carroll, both destined to bear back bright to the Coiner the mark of the mint, and many others not less gifted were his class mates: Father Hugo Kerr and Father Arthur Little, as well as Mr Justice Sheil and Mr Alban O'Kelly.

Of course it was not only among his classmates that he had friends and companions. To one of these, destined to the most dis tinguished future of all that group, he spoke on his death-bed of his pride and privilege in having rubbed shoulders on gallery, class room and playing-field all unawares with so many fine men in the making. Yet it is not too much to say that of all that galaxy, his star shone even then with a unique lustre.

He had, literally, all the qualities of the ideal schoolboy. His physique was graceful, if slight, his looks bright and cheerful. If he was certainly no Hercules, he had quite remarkable gifts as an athlete. He won the Backs cap for Rugby, playing on a side that included future internationals. He kept wicket and goal for Cricket and Soccer elevens. His skill matched his courage and his dash, but all the time one was conscious that he played games, so to speak, with his left hand. An intimate school friend, who sat beside him in the refectory, could not recall his ever talking about games and was not surprised when after Ned's death he mentioned his outstanding prowess to a niece, to be met with the reply: “But was Father Ned good at games?” It was no pose on his part to get a companion to stand by the Soccer goal-posts when he was “keeping” in a big match and when play drifted up-field to read for their discussion bits of the poets. He was then in love with Thompson, Browning and Belloc.

He comes back to the eye of memory with a book always under his arm, but it would be a mistake to think of him as a book-worm, still less as an academic pot-hunter. He collected each year his exhibitions, often duplicate ones, his medals in English and History and all the highest Clongowes honours except the Palles Medal. Religious Knowledge twice, the first time from Poetry year, the Prize Essay, the Debate. He was an honours mathematician and first-rank Grecian. At the University, in First Arts, he was to take six subjects and be first in four and second in two, and in Clongowes his range was much wider than the class-room demanded. Literature, history, religion, even the unlikely by-paths of aesthetics or the infant science of psychology were as likely to be topics of his talk as school gossip or current events. But he was never anything of a prig. Already he had at his command a prompt and sharp sword of repartee. And it must be admitted that he had a temper. He did not lose it often; it only came when provoked or even justified, but it was frightening, quite devastating and sometimes ferocious. This quality, I think, disappeared completely and at once in the Jesuit, and the older man was ashamed even of the occasional sharpness of his tongue. That was to be expected, for even as a boy, thc formation of his character was Ned's conscious aim and his integrity (a word he loved) was already remarkable. He was not only twice Line Captain but a Sodality Prefect, and from his Third Line days he and all his friends took it for granted that he would be a Jesuit.

The boy is father to the priest and perhaps it is in view of the work of his mature years that two elements of his schooldays seem especially memorable. Among the boys his was certainly the inspiration in a quite new development, the birth, as we might call it, of a social conscience, In holidays he gave a good deal of his time to practical work, especially in the first of all Boys Clubs in Dublin, that run by another Old Clongownian, Dr. Lombard Murphy, At school he was secretary and leader of the newly-founded Social Study Club. During the Centenary Celebration the club showed its paces and its secretary read a paper at a special meeting. The subject was of his own choosing: The Patriotism of Social Work. He was in future years to address many distinguished gather ings, but, as one of his friends liked to remind him, none more so than this one. The cardinal, seven bishops, the national leaders in politics, law and medicine came, perhaps to hear his father's son, but certainly to hear as balanced, as lucid and as noble an appeal as any schoolboy could be expected to make. It was characteristically his own thought and had not even been read by any of his friends in the Community.

If one incident in his Clongowes career lives in the memory of those who were with him it must surely be a night when the Higher Line Debate met under the flaring gas-jets of the Higher Line Gallery. The motion asked for support for the Irish Volunteers and the boys were to hear both Tom and Laurence Kettle make worthy speeches; but surely the night's honours fell to a boy. In lucid, simple speech, such as he was to use on hundreds of platforms to audiences learned and unlearned, he developed his theme. But then, throwing down his few notes, he said slowly: “I have appealed to your heads; I would rather trust your hearts”. In a couple of minutes he had voiced for us all just those aspirations to which the country was awakening, a passionate love of Ireland and a passionate love of liberty.

Yes, the social worker, the speaker - he perhaps came to eschew oratory but never lost his power to move - were already there, and there too was the third quality in the man we have lost. It is impossible to express his gift for friendship, his cult of it, and perhaps still less all he has meant to so many friends. But those who knew him best in Clongowes do not think of the athlete, the wit, the orator, the scholar or even the leader, but of their friend-for ever.

Two men were probably responsible for directing the varied and outstanding talents of young Edward Coyne into the field of social and economic studies. He was a son of William P Coyne, Professor of Political Economy in the old University College, Dublin. When his father died, the young schoolboy came under the influence of Father Thomas Finlay SJ, himself an experienced economist and later Professor of National Economics at University College, Dublin, Two such men could not fail to inspire the talented boy towards that branch of knowledge in which each had attained such eminence. His interest in Ireland's social and economic problems were further stimulated by individual masters and school companions. Both he and they took a lively interest in the Dublin labour troubles of 1912-13. In his final year at Clongowes, 1913-14, he was among the founder-members of the Clongowes Social Study Club, a society which gave the boys of those years the opportunity to learn and discuss some of the grave social problems of the day. The Dublin members of the club sacrificed a goodly portion of their Christmas and Easter holidays to visit boys' clubs, night shelters, hospitals and the homes of the poor and destitute. This study and experience gave the young Edward Coyne much food for thought. In “The Clongownian” of 1914 we find him setting down his thoughts in an essay on “The Necessity of Social Education” which won for him the Clongowes Union Silver Medal. This essay reveals a mature understanding of the gravity of the social problems of those days. His own studies and experiences had already convinced him that education had an important and necessary role to play in solving such problems. Moreover, he asserted then that the social teaching of the Church was, as Pope Pius XII was later to say, “the only teaching capable of remedying the widespread evils existing in social life”. A lifetime of study and experience only served to convince him of the correctness and wisdom of his schoolboy convictions.

He entered the Noviceship of the Society of Jesus, as has been said, in September, 1914. Of the nineteen years that followed, six were devoted to special studies in sociology and economics at first in Ireland and later in Rome, Paris and Geneva. He returned to Ireland in 1933 and from then until his untimely death in 1958 he placed his knowledge of the social sciences at the disposal of countless individuals, clerical and lay, government commissions, public boards, trade unions, industrial committees and Co-Operative societies. No person or group was unimportant in his eyes and he availed of every opportunity-private con sultations, public lectures and discussions and lucid articles in “Irish Monthly” and “Studies” - to relate the social teaching of the Church to the problems of the times. His was a busy life, a life spent in the service of his fellowmen, a life modelled on that of his divine Master, Who came into our world not to be served but to serve.

His studies led him to realise the impor tance of agriculture in Irish economic and social life. From the start, he supported the late Canon Hayes in developing Muintir na Tire. And, following in the footsteps of his boyhood guide and friend, the late Father Thomas Finlay SJ, he took a keen interest in the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society, of which he was president from 1943 until his death. He came to know this co-operative movement from every angle-legal, economic and above all, idealistic. In so far as the many calls on his time would allow, he visited and spoke to the members of co-operative societies in many parts of Ireland. At the same time he was not unmindful of the needs and problems of Irish industry. He served for many years on Joint Industrial Councils and other bodies connected with industrial life. Businessmen and trade union officials frequently consulted him about their many problems and all found in him a wise counsellor and sympathetic friend.

But despite his varied interests and activities, he did not lose sight of the subject of education as a basis for social reform and economic progress, a subject which had held his attention since his days at Clongowes. In the mid-thirties, we find him taking a prominent part in the Clongowes Social Summer School. A little later he is collaborat ing with Dublin Legionaries of Mary in organising social study groups in the City of Dublin. Towards the end of the second world war, we find him in the company of the late Father Joseph Canavan SJ and Father Thomas Counihan SJ, planning for a more permanent educational institution for social studies. This led to his founding the Catholic Workers' College in 1948. Today, as it enters on its second decade, the college, which he founded, is staffed by seven Jesuit priests and two Jesuit Brothers who are assisted by the voluntary labours of twenty-four lay lecturers; there are over one thousand students on its rolls; and it is housed in specially designed, modern buildings. It will remain for future as a lasting monument to his wisdom and courage. Nor is this the only legacy he bequeathed to his fellow countrymen in the field of social education. In 1949, at the request of Dr Michael Tierney, President of University College, Dublin, he organised the University College Extra-Mural Courses in Social and Economic Studies and in the Liberal Arts. These courses later spread to the towns of Leinster. He personally super vised this work and found time to visit the provincial centres and encourage both teachers and students alike. He was Director of this important work until he died.

As one who was privileged to work with him in the later years of his life, the writer of these lines can testify that all this varied activity was possible only because he was prepared to work from early morning until late at night all the year round. He was a worker, but he was much more. He was, first and last, a religious man, a man of prayer who brought to all his activities a deep spirit of Christian idealism. He saw his daily work, not merely as a service to his countrymen, but as his way of serving God. His lively faith and deep insight into the true meaning of life, personal and social, inspired all his activities and enabled him to “keep going” when many a more robust man would have cried “enough”. Considerate for others, he did not spare himself where work was concerned. In his case, as in the case of his divine Master, it is a question of where one man has sown, others have reaped, Those who carry on the work he started, are ever mindful of the debt they owe him. Father Edward Coyne has passed to his eternal reward but his memory and ideals live on in the minds and hearts of countless men and women. May his great soul rest in peace.


Creagh, Peter, 1612-1685, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1121
  • Person
  • 1612-17 November 1685

Born: 1612, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 27 September 1635, Mechelen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 07 April 1640, Antwerp, Belgium
Final Vows: 1654
Died: 17 November 1685, Limerick City, County Limerick

Alias Piers Crow

His father John was an alderman in Cashel. His mother was Elizabeth Flemine
Studied at Cashel, then Lille, Louvain and Douai under Jesuits
1642 at Lyra (Lier FLA)
1644 First came to Irish Mission
1654 a formed Spiritual Coadjutor
1655-1658 at Arras College (FRA) teaching
1666 Living near Limerick teching Grammar, Catechising and administration - then banished to France for 6 years

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of John and Elizabeth née Flemme. Uncle of Dr Creagh, Archbishop of Dublin.
Early education was at Cashel and then studied Humanities under the Jesuits at Lille and two years Philosophy at Douai at Anchin College before Ent. He was admitted to the Society by the FLA Provincial Frederick Tassis, and Brussels 28/09/1635 (Mechelen Album)
After First Vows he did three years Theology taught Humanities for five years
1642 At the Professed House in Antwerp (FLA Catalogue)
1644 Came to Irish Mission (HIB Catalogue 1650 - ARSI)
1666 Living near Limerick, teaching Grammar and Catechism, and administering the Sacraments
He was an exile in France for six years and on the Mission for twenty-five (HIB CAt 1666 - ARSI)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of John (Alderman) and Elizabeth née Fleming
Studied Humanities under lay masters at Cashel and later at the Jesuit College of Lille. He then began Philosophy at Douai before Ent 1640 at Mechelen
After First Vows he was sent for his studies at Antwerp and was Ordained there 07/04/1640
1641-1642 Tertianship at Lierre (Lier)
1644 He sent to Ireland and to the Limerick school to teach Humanities.
1652-1660 Under the “Commonwealth” he was deported to France, where he taught Humanities at Arras College and later Prefect at Bourges
He returned to Ireland again after the restoration, and sent first to Cashel, but then in 1666 until his death he worked as a teacher and catechist at Limerick, where he died 17 November 1685

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Piers Creagh 1612-1685
Piers Creagh was born in Carrigeen Castle 3 miles form Limerick on the Robborough Road in 1612. He was a nephew of the Primate Martyr, and a brother of the Mayor of Limerick who distinguished himself during the siege. Another brother was Domestic Prelate to Alexander VII.

Piers entered the Society in 1637. He was attached to our College in Limerick as a Master, as we find in the examination of Fr Netterville of October 1678. Later he taught at Poitiers, where he had as his pupil his nephew Peter, later Bishop of Cork and finally Archbishop of Dublin.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CREAGH, (or Crow) PETER, was 33 years of age in 1649, and then residing at Limerick

Cullen, Paul, 1936-1997, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

James Kelly

D'Arcy, Ambrose L, 1850-1875, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1244
  • Person
  • 27 March 1850-19 August 1875

Born: 27 March 1850, County Tipperary
Entered: 03 September 1870, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 9 August 1875, St Louis, MO, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)

Part of the Woodstock College, Maryland, USA community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to MIS : 1872

Brother of William D’Arcy RIP 1884, a scholastic, and also of John D’Arcy a priest RIP 1884 - within four months of each other

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Involved with Father De Smet from 1872

D'Arcy, John, 1848-1884, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1245
  • Person
  • 23 September 1848-04 June 1884

Born: 23 September 1848, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 28 September 1867, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1883
Died: 04 June 1884, Cannes, Alpes-Maritime, France

Brother of Ambrose D’Arcy (MIS) RIP 1875, (a scholastic), and six months after another brother William who died a Scholastic 1884.

by 1870 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1871 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) Studying
by 1873 at Antwerp Institute Belgium (BELG) Regency
by 1882 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Brother of William D’Arcy RIP 1884, a scholastic, six months after him. Brother also of Ambrose D’Arcy who Entered at Milltown and then joined MIS, and he died at St Louis MO 1875 also a scholastic.
He was sent to be a Teacher at Tullabeg and a Prefect at Clongowes for Regency.
He studied Rhetoric at Amiens, and then Philosophy and Theology both at Louvain.
He died of rapid consumption at Nice, France.

D'Arcy, William, 1847-1884, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1246
  • Person
  • 25 July 1847-15 February 1884

Born: 25 July 1847, County Tipperary
Entered: 09 October 1871, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 15 February 1884, Milltown Park, Dublin

Brother of Ambrose D’Arcy (MIS) RIP 1875, (a scholastic) and six months before, another brother John who died a Priest 1884.

by 1874 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1875 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Brother of John D’Arcy RIP 1884 six months before him as Priest. Brother also of Ambrose D’Arcy who Ent at Milltown and then joined MIS, and he died at St Louis MO 1875 also a scholastic.

He had studied Rhetoric at Roehampton and Philosophy at Louvain.
He was then sent to Regency teaching at Clongowes for some years.
Then he spent some time caring for his health at Tullabeg. He then retired to Milltown, where he died after much suffering of decline 15 February 1884.

Dargan, Joseph, 1933-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/847
  • Person
  • 21 January 1933-01 June 2014

Born: 21 January 1933, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 24 May 1964, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Final Vows: 02 February 1968, Catholic Workers College, Dublin
Died: 01 June 2014, Blackrock Clinic, Dublin

Part of the Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus : 01 September 1980-1986

by 2003 at Mwangaza Nairobi, Kenya (AOR) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Joe Dargan: vision and task

It is rare for us to mourn such a servant of the Irish Jesuits as Joe Dargan. His looks were unremarkable: small, bespectacled, usually smiling. He was sturdy, a wing forward on Clongowes cup teams. His friends would describe Joe’s style of rugby as robust. It showed the steely determination hidden under a mild façade.

Wherever he went, he was landed with responsibility: starting with Third Line Prefect in Clongowes (he commented ”In 1958 when I volunteered to go to Zambia, I was told that my Zambia was to be Third Line prefect in Clongowes.”). He went on to be Director of the Province Social Survey, Rector of Emo, of Manresa (twice), of Clongowes, of Gonzaga, and of Belvedere. He was Master of Novices, Instructor of Tertians, Pastoral planning Consultant to the Irish Bishops, and also to the Major Religious Superiors (CMRS), director of the Manresa Centre of Spirituality, Socius to the Provincial, and Provincial. They never made him General, though it’s said that they thought of thrusting a bishopric on him.

You’d imagine that a man with such a gift for administration might be a nerdy type, with rows of secretaries ticking boxes for him. Joe was indeed a methodical man, who consulted wisely, prayed before making decisions, and stayed on the job till it was complete. For instance, he not merely designed the tertianship house in Manresa, but visited the site every day, made friends with the workmen, and so created a beautiful, functional building.

When, as rector of Belvedere, he had to raise funds for a school building, he showed his ability to balance the short-term and the long-term issues. As he put it to groups which he addressed: “A vision without a task is but a dream. A task without a vision is drudgery. A vision with a task is the hope for the future.” Parents were constantly reminded that education was the greatest gift they could leave to their children. With this vision before them, Joe and his collaborators worked on a 30-year plan. Part of the process entailed winning over all the constituents of the college: the Jesuit community, boys, teachers past and present, and past pupils. The target was four million pounds, and Belvedere passed it. If it has received generously, it also gives generously. Between their various projects Belvedere boys raise about a quarter of a million euro annually for charity. It is that vision of men for others, rather than lists of figures, that made these years a stimulating time for Joe Dargan rather than a begging bowl nightmare.

What people remember of Joe, however, is not so much his administrative ability as his kindness, and his readiness to give his time lavishly. He was every inch a priest, with a special gift for being with those in their last illness. It was probably this ease in his priestly role, coupled with his passion for sport, that underlay his friendship with Alex Ferguson of Manchester United.

When he was told some very few months ago that his illness was terminal, Joe was immediately filled with consolation and gratitude for the key people in his life – those he had met and loved, in his family, in the Society, in those extraordinarily rich friendships that he so enjoyed with such beloved friends, male andfemale. As the doctor actually spoke to him, those people’s names and images passed before his inner eye and he was filled with joy and gratitude. Most of us would have sunk at such a moment: not Joe, because the gratitude was to God and to those who were God’s hands and eyes and ears for him in this life.

A friend remarked that Joe was the most extraordinary of ordinary men, unthreatening, affable, and open to the Lord, who achieved great things through him.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 157 : Autumn 2014


Fr Joe Dargan (1933-2014)

21 January 1933: Bom in Dublin.
Early education at Dominican Convent, Eccles Street, Dublin, Belvedere, Rockwell College and Clongowes Wood College
7 September 1950: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1952 First Vows at Emo
1952 - 1955: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1955 - 1958: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1958 - 1961: Clongowes – Third Line Prefect: Teacher
1961 - 1965: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
24 May 1964: Ordained at Clongowes Wood College
1965 - 1966: Rathfarnham – Tertianship
1966 - 1968: CIR – Director of Province Social Survey
2nd February 1968: Final Vows at CIR
1968 - 1969: Emo - Rector & Master of Novices
1969 - 1974: Manresa House – Rector and Master of Novices
1974 - 1977: Manresa - Rector; Director Centre of Spirituality
1977 - 1979: Clongowes - Rector; Asst. Provincial (visitor)
1979 - 1980: Socius to Provincial
1980 - 1986: Loyola House - Provincial
1986 - 1987: Loyola House - Sabbatical, assisted CMRS
1987 - 1993: Gonzaga - Rector & CMRS General Secretary
1993 - 2002: Belvedere - Rector; Consultant to Bishops on Pastoral Planning; Belvedere – Rector; Consultant to Bishops on Pastoral Planning (until 1997) Chair of Boards of Management of Manresa and Belvedere College.
2005 - 2014: Manresa – Vice-Rector; Tertian Director
2006 - 2012: Manresa Rector; Tertian Director
2012 - 2014: Vice-Rector and Tertian Director

Joe was not feeling well for some weeks and went into the Blackrock Clinic on March 23rd. Tests revealed extensive cancer. He accepted the results and the prognosis with grace and faith, continuing to reach out to people over the following weeks. There was a gradual decline in his condition and he died peacefully on Ascension Sunday morning. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Since Fr Joseph Dargan, or just Joe (as I came to know him), passed away on the day we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension, he has been pointing not to himself but to the God he loved. In the manner of his dying, down to the very timing, and at his funeral, he was asking us to grapple with the question in the first reading at the funeral Mass from Deutero-Isaiah: “Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges: can you not see it?” He was inviting us to listen to the message of hope and encouraging us to live out of that hope. The words of St. Patrick's Breastplate have been reverberating in my mind these past days:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me.

These words represent the key to understanding what Joe desired, and the reality to which he pointed in all his interactions with us, when talking of God or mammon (in the form of Manchester United) - and everything in between.

The American Poet, Mary Oliver, in Honey Locust, describes a tree, native to North America, in blossom and the bees seeking the nectar:

The bees circle the tree and dive into it.
They are crazy with gratitude,
They are working like farmers.
They are as happy as saints.

I am going to frame my words around these lines.

The bees circle the tree and dive into it
This is the disposition that Fr. Joe brought to everything he did. He engaged fully. He dived into life, in whatever circumstances: in Manresa, in the then CMRS, in Gonzaga, Clongowes and Belvedere, in Mwangaza, in Loyola. And in whatever role, from Provincial to spiritual director, from Chair of the Board to lover of family, and so on.

And how he loved bis family: while I name only his brother Michael (or Mick) and his beloved sister Mairéad, they stand for all the family, those who have gone before Joe, those here present including the 18 nieces and grandnieces - not forgetting the nephews, including Joe the younger. He also enjoyed the deepest of friendships. And I have often thought that his great gift of being able to relate with women was modelled on the way that Jesus himself related to women in the Gospels, Joe engaged with all persons in the fullest way possible.

The bees are crazy with gratitude
Joe had almost zero concern for the material things of this world. As a. novice, I remember a fellow novice speculating one day that he thought that Joe had only one pair of shoes: in fact, watching thereafter, we never saw him in other than that one sturdy, black pair. That's not to deny that he didn't enjoy being able to stream the big football game - say Man U at home to Liverpool this season! But when challenged about such a worldly use of the computer, Joe would say simply, that the computer is merely an apostolic aid!' He was truly indifferent to worldly possessions. Given that significant business people who came to know him well, even to depend on him in some measure, would say that had Joe chosen a different path, that he would undoubtedly have been a very successful businessperson, we might ask ourselves, what is the source of his indifference to worldly goods?

The answer in significant part lies in the reading from Deutero Isaiah. Like the exiled Jewish people in Babylonia, so Joe needed to hear - and did hear at the deepest level of his being - those words from God through the prophet:

“I regard you as precious, since you are honoured and I love you. Do not be afraid for I have redeemed you. No need to remember past events. Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges: can you not see it?”

These words were heard as being addressed to him - and to each of us! It intrigued Joe that the reading ends with a big question: “Can you, can we, not see it?” In the Ascension, God did something new with Jesus and it emerges that there is hope and that hope is grounded in the death, resurrection and ascension of the Son of God. And, in his dying on the Feast of the Ascension, God did something new in Joseph. Can you not see it?

Out of this was born the person that Joe became: a most grateful person.

When he was told some very few months ago that his illness was terminal, Joe was immediately filled with consolation and gratitude for the key people in his life - those he had met and loved, in his family, in the Society, in those extraordinarily rich friendships that he so enjoyed with such beloved friends, male and female. As the doctor actually spoke to him, those people's names and images passed before his inner eye and he was filled with joy and gratitude.

Most of us would have sunk at such a moment: not Joe, because the gratitude was to God and to those who were God's hands and eyes and ears for him in this life.

But, to be clear, Joe was not like a plastic or alabaster statue. As a young Jesuit student in Rathfarnham and Tullabeg and Milltown, he would come from his room, football boots in his hands, pay a visit to the Blessed Sacrament on the way to the pitch, pray intensely out of gratitude to God - and then go out on the pitch and hack down anyone who dared to try and pass him, leaving his opponent sprawling on the ground, with Joe standing over him, full of concern!

And in the spirit of consolation that sustained him in recent weeks, on being visited by Mr. Gerard Foley, currently headmaster of Belvedere, Joe's mischievous sense of humour enabled him to whisper, Thank God you came in to Belvedere when you did: that other fellow left an awful mess!'

Gratitude and grace - the latter understood as relationship with God - and consolation - but never without bite, never without humour!

The bees around the honey locust are working like farmers
Out of that spirit of gratitude, I suspect that unlike most of us, Joe wasted very few moments during his 81+ years. He gave his all to every project and to every person: in his presence, one never felt that Joe had to be elsewhere - you got his undivided attention.

From sticking faithfully to a physiotherapist's instructions, to thorough engagement with the Irish Province social survey in response to Vatican II back in the 1960's, to the meticulous attention to detail in the planning document, Our Mission in Ireland drawn up during his time as Provincial - strategic planning was a prominent feature of every work that he engaged in, not least with the CMRS - down to the legacy that is the tertianship today, co-created with his Dutch colleague Fr. Jan van de Poll - in all of that, the focus was always on the mission, to bring the love of Christ to the other.

Who knows how many lives he saved - I mean that in the deepest sense - through his love-enriched, Christ-focused interaction with so many people, bom of the Spiritual Exercises, of his love of the poor - witness his work in Africa, his work on the bursary programme in Belvedere, his reception of the orphans from Africa every summer - and of his love of the Church?

In the Letter to the Ephesians, read like Deutero-Isaiah at his funeral, St Paul prays for his “hidden self to grow strong”. Richard Rohr says somewhere that “the True Self is that part of you who knows who you are and whose you are, although largely unconsciously. Your False Self is just who you think you are - but thinking doesn't make it so”. Throughout his life, Joe took the risk of going deeper, below the ego, to discern “who and whose” we are. Joe lived the self-reflective prayer of Ignatius known as the Examen. He truly devoted himself to prayer and reflection. And so his “hidden self” grew out of and into God, into Jesus Christ, enriched greatly through his love of Mary, the Mother of God, and of the Church, and of the Society of Jesus.

Everything he did was to try to get us on the same path, knowing it was the way to genuine inner peace and contentment for each of us. In the prayerful words of the late Pedro Arrupe S), former General of the Society:

Grant me, O Lord, to see everything with new eyes,
To discern and test the spirits
That help me read the signs of the times,
To relish the things that are yours
and to communicate them to others.
Give me the clarity of understanding that you gave Ignatius'.

This became Joe's own prayer.

In a wonderful little piece, Leonard Cohen asks, “what is a saint?”:

A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love. Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve the chaos....but he is at home in the world. He can love the shapes of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have amongst us such (persons), such balancing monsters of love.

Joe was just such a person, filled with the energy of love and with that balance. He knew, of course, that it is in Christ that an ever deeper hope resides.

But this is not to go back to the alabaster statue. A Jesuit friend and I went out to dinner one night, in a restaurant very close to Manresa. (I remember it well because I paid!) This mutual friend put a little idea into our heads: why not call in to visit Joe on the way home, but not tell him why we were there together, leaving him with the impression that the Provincial had given us a very important task, on behalf of the Province, which we were not free to talk about! We didn't have to travel far into Manresa: there was Joe walking the upper path, rosary beads in hand. At every opportunity, for months after, indeed for the past couple of years, Joe never missed an opportunity to try to find out what was going on. He was innately curious. He loved to know what was going on.

A Board colleague of the time reminded me of a Board meeting in Belvedere in the days when Belvedere was well run!) when, as headmaster, I conveyed some information about an issue to do with rugby (of all things!). Joe, sitting next to me, rounded on me and asked if I was informing the Board of this matter or asking their opinion. A bit perplexed, I - allegedly - floundered and said I supposed I was informing the Board. Joe's two hands stretched out, in a familiar gesture of his and said: “Fine, fine, that's fine - because if you were asking us, I wouldn't agree with you!” Saintly, but as cute as a fox, wise as the serpent, simple as the dove.

Like his fellow Jesuits, he knew himself to be a sinner yet loved by Jesus: on his sick-bed he acknowledged that he had made mistakes in his life, but that these were forgotten and forgiven.

Those bees are as happy as saints
The integrity, the consistency of the spoken word and gesture, and the manner of his dying, confirm for us that Joe meant what he said, and said what he meant.

He understood himself and each one of us to be a new creation, and that in life and in death we give witness to the Resurrection. All this in faith and in hope. He made as his own Pedro Arrupe's prayer in his own illness:

Now more than ever I find myself in the hands of God.
This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth.
But now there is a difference:
The initiative is entirely with God.
It is indeed a profound spiritual experience
To know and feel myself so totally in God's hands!

In recent times, Joe was unable to celebrate Mass: a Sister friend suggested to me the other evening that this was his time to be, like Pierre Teillhard de Chardin SJ, offering his “Mass on the world”. Once, when in China, Teillhard had no bread or wine with which to celebrate Mass. He expressed his deep love for the Eucharist in his essay of that name, which begins:

Since once again, Lord .... I have neither bread nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the real itself; I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and it will offer you all the labours and sufferings of the world.

Joe chose the funeral Mass reading from Matthew's Gospel because the words, “This is My body - this is My blood”, were the centre-piece of his vocation. These, he said as he faced death, are the most important words to say at that hour.

In the final lines of Honey Locust, Mary Oliver writes:

So it is if the heart has devoted itself to love,
There is not a single inch of emptiness.
Gladness gleams all the way to the grave.

A fitting epitaph for Joe, as God in him and throughout his life, says to us: “Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges: can you not see it?!”

Leonard Moloney

Joe Dargan: Three Memories

Brendan Staunton

First memory:
During my first year theology in Milltown, Joe asked me to come to Manresa on Sunday mornings and introduce the novices to literature. So I'd cross the city on my Honda 50, with Saul Bellow, Ayn Rand, James Joyce and Co., in tow. The rhetoric of fiction was closer to my existential concerns than the theological questions we were being fed. In fact, the fare was all answers to issues and battles fought long before our time. So the answers were stale. The waves of Vatican Two were approaching, however, onto Irish shores, and Milltown, broadly speaking, was receptive and open to the experiential and empirical. So Joe's invitation was a Godsend, and at the end of our two-hour sessions he would hand me a ten pound note, saying “that's for petrol”! (Less than two would fill the tank!)

Second Memory:
I'm about to go on Tertianship. Joe calls. He had been at a function in The Red House, where Dermot Ryan had complained about all the Religious going abroad to be trained for formation work Particularly the USA. Joe, Head of CORI, told him he had someone at home now who had trained in London. So the idea of Loreto House was born, and I was asked to set it up and get it going with two Sisters. And the rest is history!

Third Memory:
We are in Rome for a month's Conference on the Spiritual Exercises, attended by 101 people, mostly Jesuits, but also other religious and lay collaborators from 40 countries. The approach is mostly academic: content orientated; lecture style; dense and heavy. Starting with Fr General, the lecturers were all stately, formal figures from the Greg. After three long mornings, Joe raised his hand, and asked a question. A huge burst of applause broke out! Only Joe would have got away with it, as there was no offense heard, but the feedback hit the nail on the head. The fact of his being a previous Provincial probably helped too, and the talks and afternoon sessions became more experiential and participative.

◆ The Clongownian, 2014


Father Joe Dargan SJ

“Fr Joe Dargan SJ who died in June, had been ill for the previous three months” - writes the Headmaster, Fr Moloney. “Fr. Joe was at school in Clongowes, where he won a JCT medal and served as Captain of the College. He joined the Jesuits straight from school, returning as Third Line Prefect from 1958-61 and as Rector in the late 1970's before going on to be Provincial of the Irish Province (1980-'86). Until recently he was Tertian Master at Manresa House in Dublin. In his time he was also Master of Novices, Rector of Belvedere (1993-2002), spiritual director at the Jesuit Retreat House in Nairobi, and Director and Rector of Manresa Retreat House. He was a great person, accepting the results and prognosis of recent medical tests with grace and faith, continuing to reach out to people over the past few weeks, He died peacefully on Ascension Sunday morning”.

We print the following tribute to Fr Joe, Courtesy of Irish Jesuit News ...

Joe Dargan: vision and task

It is rare for us to mourn such a servant of the Irish Jesuits as Joe Dargan. His looks were unremarkable: small, bespectacled, and usually smiling. He was sturdy, a wing forward on Clongowes cup teams. His friends would describe Joe's style of rugby as robust. It showed the steely determination hidden under a mild façade.

Whereverhewent, he was landed with responsibility, starting with Third Line Prefect in Clongowes (he commented “In 1958 when I volunteered to go to Zambia, I was told that my Zambia was to be Third Line prefect in Clongowes”.). He went on to be Director of the Province Social Survey, Rector of Emo, of Manresa (twice), of Clongowes, of Gonzaga, and of Belvedere. He was Master of Novices, Instructor of Tertians, Pastoral Planning Consultant to the Irish Bishops, and also to the Major Religious Superiors (CMRS), director of the Manresa Centre of Spirituality, Socius to the Provincial, and Provincial. They never made him General, though it's said that they thought of thrusting a bishopric on him.

You'd imagine that a man with such a gift for administration might be a nerdy type, with rows of secretaries ticking boxes for him. Joe was indeed a methodical man, who consulted wisely, prayed before making decisions, and stayed on the job till it was complete. For instance, he not merely designed the tertianship house in Manresa, but visited the site every day, made friends with the workmen, and so created a beautiful, functional building.

When, as rector of Belvedere, he had to raise funds for a school building, he showed his ability to balance the short-term and the long-term issues. As he put it to groups, which he addressed: “A vision without a task is but a dream. A task without a vision is drudgery. A vision with a task is the hope for the future”. Parents were constantly reminded that education was the greatest gift they could leave to their children. With this vision before them, Joe and his collaborators worked on a 30-year plan. Part of the process entailed winning over all the constituents of the college: the Jesuit community, boys, teachers past and present, and past pupils. The target was four million pounds, and Belvedere passed it. If it has received generously, it also gives generously. Between their various projects Belvedere boys raise about a quarter of a million euro annually for charity. It is that vision of men for others, rather than lists of figures, that made these years a stimulating time for Joe Dargan rather than a begging bowl nightmare.

What people remember of Joe, however, is not so much his administrative ability as his kindness, and his readiness to give his time lavishly. He was every inch a priest, with a special gift for being with those in their last illness. It was probably this ease in his priestly role, coupled with his passion for sport that underlay his friendship with Alex Ferguson of Manchester United.

When he was told some very few months ago that his illness was terminal, Joe was immediately filled with consolation and gratitude for the key people in his life - those he had met and loved, in his family, in the Society, in those extraordinarily rich friendships that he so enjoyed with such beloved friends, male and female. As the doctor actually spoke to him, those people's names and images passed before his inner eye and he was filled with joy and gratitude. Most of us would have sunk at such a moment: not Joe, because the gratitude was to God and to those who were “God's hands and eyes and ears” for him in this life. A friend remarked that Joe was the most extraordinary of ordinary men, unthreatening, affable, and open to the Lord, who achieved great things through him..


Davin, James, 1704-1760, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1167
  • Person
  • 11 November 1704-28 July 1760

Born: 11 November 1704, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 28 October 1725, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: 1734, Toledo, Spain
Final Vows: 02 February 1743
Died: 28 July 1760, Colegio Imperial de Madrid, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)

Nephew of Thomas Gorman SJ - RIP 1767

1757 At the Royal College of Madrid

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Nephew of Thomas Gorman
1725 Went to Compostella, and entered the Society at Salamanca.
He spent his life at Imperial College Madrid teaching.
Author of “Cartas Edificantes”, translated from French to Spanish by Diego Davin. These are in the old Jesuit Library at Waterford.
Many of his letters to John O’Brien, Rector of Salamanca are extant. As father O’Brien was in Salamanca until 1760, the cessation of letters in 1756 might suggest Father Davin’s death (Irish Ecclesiastical Record March, 1874)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Nephew of Thomas Gorman
1727-1730 After First Vows he was sent for studies to Oropesa for Philosophy
1730-1734 Sent for Theology first to Murcia and then Toledo where he was Ordained 1734.
1735 Following Tertianship he was sent as professor of French at the Imperial College Madrid where he lived for 22 years, sometimes as Minister, and in his latter years as Operarius until he died 28 July 1760
His magnum opus was his translation from the French into Spanish of sixteen volumes of the Jesuit Relations - “Cartas Edificantes”.
He was a prolific correspondent and many of his very readable letters to Fr. John O'Brien are preserved in the Salamanca Archives
A fluent Irish speaker, he was asked for repeatedly for· the Irish Mission by Thomas Hennessy. his Spanish Superiors fought to keep a man of his ability and succeeded

Devitt, Matthew, 1854-1932, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/121
  • Person
  • 26 June 1854-04 July 1932

Born: 26 June 1854, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 11 May 1872, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 29 July 1887
Final Vows: 03 February 1890, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died 04 July 1932, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin community at the time of death
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ
by 1885 at Oña Spain (CAST) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 7th Year No 3 1932
Milltown Park :
Father Devitt celebrated his 60 years in the Society, I2th May. The day before, Mr. Sologran, class beadle, read an address in Latin, offering him the congratulations of his class. The theologians gave him a spiritual bouquet of Masses, Communions, prayers. Forty-five visitors came to dinner, Archbishop Goodier SJ, Father Provincial, and Fathers from all the houses were there. Father Rector spoke first, recalling Father Devitt's long connection with Milltown, and his life's greatest work, the teaching of moral to almost all the priests of our province, and to many others. Father Provincial read a letter from Father General, who sent his congratulations, and applied 60 Masses “ut Deus uberrime benedicat eum”. He spoke of Father Devitt's gifts of head and heart, and of the debt of gratitude owed him by many within and without the Society for help and guidance. In a charming speech Father Michael Egan told of his early meetings with Father Devitt as Rector Clongowes, how his genial kindness won the love and respect of all. In the Society he found him beloved by his Community. As a theologian in Father Devitt's class he still remembers what Father Rector referred to as “the Saturday morning trepidation,” and still remembers the unfailing politeness which somehow failed (and fails) to calm it. Mr, Bustos, senior of the moral class, read a Latin poem in honour of the Jubilarian.
Father Devitt replied in a strong clear voice. He thanked those present and those who had written assuring him of their prayers and congratulations. It was hard not to feel deeply moved by the kindness shown him, “to resist sombre reflections as I gaze round and see the snow-flakes of time settling on the now venerable brows of those I taught.” He wished everyone the long life and happiness which he himself enjoyed and still enjoys, in the Society”.

Irish Province News 7th Year No 4 1932

Obituary :
Fr Matthew Devitt
On 6th July, with a prevailing sense of loss, the Irish Province consigned to their last resting place the remains of her steadfast loyal son, Father Matthew Devitt.

Born at Nenagh 26th June, 1854, and educated at Clongowes, Father Devitt began his noviceship at Milltown Park,11th May 1872. After a short juniorate he was sent to Clongowes, then to Tullabeg, and in 1880 began philosophy at Milltown. A year's teaching at Clongowes followed, after which he went to Oña for theology. He had as fellow students the twin-brothers John and James Murphy, and Father Luke Murphy still teaching vigorously, in his 77th year.
Father Devitt made his tertianship at Tronchiennes, and at its conclusion, 1889, was appointed V. Rector and Procurator at Belvedere. Next year he became Rector, held the position
for one year and was then transferred to Clongowes as its Rector. In this same year he was named Consultor of the Province From 1891 to 1900 he was Rector of Clongowes, Procurator most of the time. In 1900 he took possession of the Chair of Moral Theology at Milltown. Here, with the exception of one year, he remained almost to the day of his death in 1932. From 1908 to 1915 he taught Canon Law as well. The interruption was caused by the Rector of Clongowes, Father V. Byrne breaking down in health. In all he was one year V. Rector, ten years Rector, seventeen Consultor of the Province, twenty-three Consultor of the House, thirty-one Professor of Moral, and seven years Professor of Canon Law. This brief record shows in what confidence and esteem Father Devitt was held by his Superiors, And I think I may say with truth that every man in the Province who knew him will gladly admit that he was eminently worthy of every post he held, The judgment of his Superiors was ratified by a wider circle. Two Provincial Congregations chose him as delegate to the last two General Congregations, and he was sent (I do not know how often) to represent the Irish Province at the triennial Congregations of Procurators.
His success as a Professor of Moral Theology has to be determined on a franchise indefinitely extended. If we except a few veteran Fathers, nearly all the priests of the Irish Province
learned their Moral from Father Devitt. And not only these. To collect all the votes one would have to visit Australia America, and almost every Jesuit Province in Europe, If any one could make such a tour and collect the votes of all who studied Moral under him I am sure the report would be “Omne tulit punctum”, and there would not be a dissentient voter.
His lectures were not at all spectacular, but he impressed on the minds of the scholastics the great moral principles, how far they could be applied in the solution of cases, and where
they fell short of application. He got a scholastic to repeat the work of the week every Saturday. According to the testimony of all who know, the repetition was so searching as to be a test of nerve and brain, Not that Father Devitt would lose his temper or indulge in peevish comment. He was above all that. It was his silences, whenever a scholastic dried up in theological narrative, that were so disconcerting. During the longest pause Father Devitt spoke no articulate words at all, but only the semi-articulate words peculiar to him eked
out, with an occasional pinch of snuff. Worst of all, he would end the longest silence with “Nunc, quid ad questionem?” - A query little calculated to restore tranquility. And yet the
scholastics never resented the protracted probing. They realised that Father Devitt was utterly incapable of anything unworthy, and that the probing was simply the manifestation
of his resolve that the Moral must be known.
If his lectures were not spectacular, they were solid to the last degree, and he seems to have been unsurpassed in the solving of difficulties. One who had been Father Devitt's Minister
when he was Rector of Clongowes, once said to the writer of these notes : “You never knew Father Devitt's reserved power until a big difficulty arose”. His pupils say precisely the same of him as professor of Moral Theology, that it was only in face of big theological difficulties that he showed his great grasp of principles, and their application to particular cases. The scholastics who passed under him had complete confidence in him both as a professor and as a man.
His reading was not limited by matters theological. He read widely. To the end of his life he used to read the ancient classics. Those capable of judging bear witness to his knowledge of archaeology and history, especially of post-Reformation Irish and English history.
Of Father Devitt's social side it is not easy to write accurately. He was a man of much reserve, and led a life very much apart. But, in a small way, it is possible to draw aside the curtain that sheltered him from publicity. For years he was a victim to arthritis, and went every summer to Lisdoonvarna to be treated for it. There he was a prime favourite with the visitors both priests and laymen , always accessible, always courteous, a man of abounding common sense, and well informed , one who, without ever thrusting himself forward or dominatingthe conversation, could talk well on whatever subject happened to come up for discussion.Even at such times he always kept up a certain reserve , but it was always the reserve proper to one of his calling and profession, and was free from the least touch of conscious superiority. In consequence all admired and respected him, and many of the annual visitors have said since his death “Lisdoonvarna will not be Lisdoonvarna without Father Devitt”.
He did not wear his religion on his sleeve, but he was, and was acknowledged to be, a deeply religious man , most punctual in the discharge of his religious duties , and, in his judgment every work which obedience marked out was a religious duty. His charity was something quite remarkable. He had wonderful and constant guard on his tongue. It is not merely that he was free from censorius, uncharitable comment. he had no time for more tittle-tattle. He had a genius for keeping inviolate the smallest secret committed to him.To this wonderfully prudent silence was due, in large measure, the confidence which all placed in him.
Father Devitt died in St, Vincent's Private Hospital on 4th July. After the Office and Requiem Mass, celebrated in St Francis Xavier Church, 6th July. He was buried in Glasnevin
May God give him eternal rest. The Irish Province mourns his loss, and yet, in reality, he is not lost to the Province. heaven he will remember the Province which he served so faithfully, and will plead with God for all its necessities. We owe the above appreciation to the kindness of Father Edward Masterson

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Matthew Devitt 1854-1932
On July 4th 1932 died Fr Matthew Devitt, the outstanding Moral Theologian of the Province, having held that chair at Milltown for 31 years. He was born in Nenagh in 1854.

In the Society his work was not confined to moral theology. He was also a great administrator and Superior. Hardly had he finished his tertianship in Drongen, when he became rector of Belvedere and then of Clongowes. Two Provincial Congregations chose him as Delegate to General Congregations, and he was several times rep[representative of the Irish province to the triennial Congregations of Procurators.

He was a full man, not a man of one book or one branch of knowledge. To the end of his life he used read the classics, he was well versed in archaeology and history, especially in Post-Reformation Irish and English History.

But first and foremost he was a deeply religious man, whose life was regulated in all the details by religious motive. His name and fame however, will rest on his ability as a moral theologian.

His death was felt as a loss by many an ecclesiastic throughout Ireland, and all of us who did our theology in Milltown in his time as Professor felt it a privilege to have so competent a master.

Nephew of General Sir Thomas Kelly-Kenny, GCB, GCVO (27 February 1840 – 26 December 1914), a British Army general who served in the Second Boer War.

◆ The Clongownian, 1933


Father Matthew Devitt SJ

Father Matthew Devitt SJ died on July 4th of last year of heart failure, after a short illness, at the age of seventy-eight. His health had given cause for anxiety for some years, but his vigorous constitution, aided by his calm courage, had brought him through several crises. Not mnany weeks before his death his brethren had assembled at Milltown Park to celebrate the completion of his sixtieth year in the Society, and though he was far from well he made a speech on that occasion which will remain long in the memory of those who heard it.

Matthew Devitt came to Clongowes in 1865, at the age of eleven. He left in 1869, taking with him, among other things, the elements of sound Classical scholarship and a great love for his old school. His love of the Classics and of Clongowes remained with him and grew stronger all his life. He began the study of medicine in Trinity College, but his true vocation was not long in asserting itself, and, in 1872, just before the end of his eighteenth year, he entered the novitiate of the Society at Milltown Park.

After the usual round of novitiate, humanities, philosophy, he was sent to Tullabeg as a master. Here his fine intellect and his strength and sincerity of character made themselves felt, and superiors marked him out for positions of responsibility. When he had finished his Theology in Spain and been ordained priest, he was made Rector of Belvedere in 1889, and of Clongowes in 1891.

The Clongownians of that period did not at first appreciate their new Rector at his full worth. He succeeded Father Conmee, a prince among men, all kindliness and courtesy and with an exquisite literary gift that made his conversation a delight even to schoolboys. Father Devitt seemed to us by comparison cold and hard, though from the beginning we respected his evident strength and his entire fairness. He was very far indeed from being as cold as we thought him to be. He was genuinely kind-hearted and sympathetic, but two things helped to mask his kindness. One was his shyness, the great shyness of a strong and self-contained character, an invincible reluctance to wear his heart on his sleeve. The other was his natural hatred of sentimentality, and his consequent distrust of emotion,

Not many years after leaving Clongowes as a boy, I returned there as a Jesuit, and was astonished to find that the Rector who had seemed so cold and unapproachable (like “an Englishman”, I had thought, though he was really the most Irish of men), was idolised by his community. They were not only quite at home with him in Clongowes, but were genuinely grieved whenever he was not able to go with them on vacation. Another surprise was to learn of the warm and constant friendship, interrupted only by death, between him and Father Conmee. These two men, poles apart to a superficial observer, were really kindred spirits. The qualities that won all hearts in Father Conmee were buried more deeply in his friend, and revealed only to his intimates - and to the poor, who all loved “poor Father Devitt”. Both were generous, hospitable, lovers of letters and of scholarship, sincerely and deeply religious. One could hardly imagine either of them doing an unkind thing or saying an un charitable thing. The artistic side of Father Conmee's nature was far more developed; the qualities that stood out in Father Devitt were strength and clearness of judgment, and a great and quiet courage. I have never known anybody who could make up his mind so quickly and with so sure a judgment, or who could be more confidently relied on to stand by his word in the face of difficulties of whatever sort. His reckless daring on horseback was almost legendary, and his moral and intellectual courage were no less remarkable, though they were tempered by a discretion which he left behind when he mounted a horse,

In 1900 he left Clongowes to become Professor of Moral Theology at Milltown Park, and he held this post, with an interval of two years, until he died. It was a position of great responsibility; from him the young priests of the Society imbibed the principles they were to use whenever their counsel was asked for in or out of the confessional. His fearlessness in facing a difficulty, his power of getting straight to the principles involved and following them to their logical conclusion, his sympathetic realisation of human nature, made him a peerless guide. He was con stantly being consulted by priests engaged in missionary or pastoral work, by his own past pupils as a matter of course, and by others also in large numbers. His promptitude in dealing with his large correspondence was wonderful. If one wrote to him, even about a technical point requiring the consultation of documents, one could generally count on an answer by return post, frequently a post card with six words that settled everything,

He returned to Clongowes in 1907 as Rector for the second time. He built the Chapel, a worthy memorial of him, His health was this time not good, and the government of the College weighed heavy upon him, so that he was glad to be allowed to return in 1908 to his congenial work in Milltown Park, and to remain at it till death claimed him last July.

He was a completely simple man, as unlike as possible to the Jesuit of legend. And yet he was a Jesuit through and through; he had the most intense love for the Society, he was saturated with its spirit, and he was intimately acquainted with it in all its workings. Over and over again he was sent to Rome as the chosen delegate of the Irish Province to headquarters, and he always carried with him the absolute confidence of his brethren.

His piety matched his character; it was simple, sincere, unsentimental, but charged with deep feeling. The penitents in the Magdalen Asylum at Donnybrook, good judges of reality in spiritual things, liked him best of all the priests who came to preach to them on Sundays. “What does he speak to you about?” asked someone who was rather surprised to hear this; for Father Devitt was not an orator, though he could speak with clearness and force. “About the love of God”, was the answer. God rest his good soul !


Dohan, John, 1815-1883, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1192
  • Person
  • 02 May 1815-31 March 1883

Born: 02 May 1815, Thurles, County Tipperary
Entered: 13 February 1844, Florissant MO, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)
Final Vows: 15 August 1857
Died: 31 March 1883, St Louis College, St Louis, MO, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)

Drennan, Mike, 1942-2023, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J718
  • Person
  • 21 April 1942-19 April 2023

Born: 21 April 1942, Piltown, Co Kilkenny
Entered: 27 September 1977, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Ordained: 06 June 1965, St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny (pre Entry)
Final vows: 22 April 1990, St Francis Xavier’s, Gardiner St, Dublin
Died: 19 April 2023, Cherryfield Lodge, Milltown Park, Dublin

Part of the Manresa Community at the time of death

Older brother of Bishop Martin Drennan


    Born :  21st April 1942     Piltown, Co Kilkenny
Raised : Piltown, Co Kilkenny
Early Education at Kilkenny NS; CBS Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary; St Kieran’s, Kilkenny; San Diego Diocese; Gregorian University, Rome, Italy

6th June 1965 Ordained at St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny
27th September 1977 Entered Society at Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
27th September 1979 First Vows at Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
1978-1979 John Austin House - Second Year Noviciate; Vocational Counselling at John’s Lane; Assistant Retreat Director in Rathfarnham
1979-1988 Campion House - Vocational Counselling
1988-1989 Tertianship at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg and Campion House, Osterley, London
1989-1993 Gardiner St - Superior; Vocational Counselling; Director of Works
22nd April 1990 Final Vows at St Francis Xavier’s, Gardiner St, Dublin
1993-2000 Manresa House - Director of Ignatian Centre and Retreat House; Directs Spiritual Exercises
1994 Rector; Bursar
1999 Spiritual Direction at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co Kildare
2000-2003 Clongowes Wood College SJ- Spiritual Director at St Patrick’s College National Seminary & Pontifical University
2003-2010 Milltown Park - General Secretary CORI (to 2007)
2005 Vice-Rector
2007 Child Protection Delegate; Spirituality Delegate
2010-2012 Loyola House - Child Protection Delegate; Spirituality Delegate
2012-2023 Manresa House - Rector; Child Protection Delegate; Spirituality Delegate; Directs Spiritual Exercises
2021 Directs Spiritual Exercises; Building Programme; Healthcare

Mike Drennan SJ: His legacy lives on

Fr Mike Drennan SJ died peacefully, surrounded by his family, at Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Milltown Park, Dublin on 19 April 2023.

Archbishop Dermot Farrell of Dublin, four other bishops, and many priests joined the Jesuits and people from all over Ireland for Fr Mike’s funeral Mass in St Francis Xavier’s Church, Gardiner Street, Dublin on 24 April, followed by burial at Glasnevin Cemetery. Fr Mike is predeceased by his brother Martin, former Bishop of Galway, who died only five months ago.

Fr Mike was born in 1942 and raised in Piltown, County Kilkenny. He was educated at Kilkenny NS, CBS Carrick-on-Suir in County Tipperary, and St Kieran’s secondary school in Kilkenny. He trained for the diocesan priesthood in St Kieran’s diocesan college, Kilkenny, and was ordained at St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny in 1965. He ministered in San Diego Diocese, USA, and studied psychology at Gregorian University, Rome.

Fr Mike entered the Jesuits at Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin in 1977, and worked in the field of vocational counselling for many years while living at John Austin House, Campion House, and Gardiner Street in Dublin.

After taking Final Vows he served in numerous roles, including as Director of Manresa Jesuit Centre of Spirituality, Dublin; Spiritual Director at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth; Secretary General of CORI (Conference of Religious in Ireland), and Child Protection Delegate for the Irish Jesuit Province. He was a skilled spiritual director and gave retreats all over Ireland for many years.

He recently published a book on the ministry of spiritual direction entitled See God Act (Messenger Publications) ». He also completed a full liturgical year of gospel inspiration points for the Sacred Space book (2024) and online prayer website – a job normally done by at least 12 people, according to John McDermott, Director of Sacred Space, who greatly appreciated the work he did and the insights he shared. “His work will help the prayer of many thousands of people down the years to come,” says John; “His inspiration still goes on.” As Fr Tim Healy SJ said in his homily at the funeral Mass, “What Mike did he did with energy and creativity. During the pandemic, for example, with the help of Piaras Jackson at Manresa, he recorded hours of video and presided over hours of Zoom meetings in online retreats for diocesan priests.”

Regarding this new online presence, Piaras Jackson noted that “The pandemic seemed likely to narrow his scope and limit his ability to minister, but he mastered Zoom and was chuffed to find himself featuring on videos where he offered material for hope and meaning at a confused time. Casual YouTube surfers looking for snappy upbeat content may have quickly slid past his presentations, but those who knew and trusted him appreciated their thoughtful and rich content and welcomed how Mike was reaching out and relating rather than waiting it out or staying silent; for him, this was “keeping in contact as best we can” – communicating, not about himself, but opening new perspectives and meaning for others. And it’s important to say that all of Mike’s activity sprung from his own prayer; having invited us Jesuits in Manresa to commit to a time of daily prayer together during the lockdowns, I value the memory of how Mike was faithfully present day after day in our community chapel.”

As he lay in repose in Cherryfield on Sunday 23 April, a steady stream of people from all over the country came to say a final farewell and offer their condolences to his family, including brothers John, Paddy, and Jim. Many shared stories of how much Fr Mike had meant to them. It was clear that all through his lifetime he had encountered many people from a variety of backgrounds and all of them held one thing in common, namely the esteem and genuine affection they felt for him.

Mary Rickard, Health Delegate for the Jesuits, noted that it was fitting that he spent his last weeks in Cherryfield when in earlier times as a board member for over fifteen years he was centrally involved in setting up both the Milltown community building and Cherryfield Lodge nursing home as a centre of excellence for older or convalescing Jesuits from home and abroad.

At a meeting of the board just after his burial Mary Rickard, as Chair, read out the prayer attributed to St Ignatius which she felt summed up Fr Mike’s life of dedicated service to God: “Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve; to give, and not to count the cost, to fight, and not to heed the wounds, to toil, and not to seek for rest, to labor, and not to ask for reward, except that of knowing that we are doing your will.”

At the end of the Mass, Fr Mike’s nephew Karol spoke warmly of the man who was his uncle and summed up well the effect Mike’s short illness and premature death had on his fellow Jesuits. “It was like an earthquake,” he said. He will be sorely missed. But his videos are available on Manresa’s YouTube » and ‘Retreats @home’ ». They will surely remain valued by the many who were blessed by Mike’s generous life; the conclusion of his first video appearance is poignant as Mike offers an Easter blessing » before walking away.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Ennis, Edmund, 1601-1636, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1256
  • Person
  • 1601-09 October 1636

Born: 1601, Fethard, County Tipperary
Entered: 1625, Lisbon, Portugal - Lusitaniae Province (LUS)
Ordained: 1630, Coimbra, Portugal
Died: 09 October 1636, Irish College, Lisbon, Portugal - Lusitaniae Province (LUS)

1624 in the Novitiate at Lisbon (LUS)
1628 Studying Theology at Lisbon
1633 Teaching at San Miguel, Azores (LUS)
1633 Teaching at Irish College in Lisbon

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
He had already studied Philosophy at Irish College Lisbon and received Minor Orders there 24 February 1623 before Ent 1625 Lisbon
After First Vows he was sent to Coimbra for studies and Ordained there c 1630
1633-1635 Professor of Moral Theology at the College of S Miguel in the Azores
1635 Professor of Dogmatic Theology at Irish College Lisbon until he died there 09 October 1636

Everard, James, 1575-1647, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1262
  • Person
  • 1575-30 June 1647

Born: 1575, Fethard-on-Sea, County Wexford
Entered: 1598, Portugal - Lusitania Province (LUS)
Ordained: 1604, Coimbra, Portugal
Died: 30 June 1647, Cashel Residence, County Tipperary

1603 At Coimbra (LUS) in 3rd year Theology
1606 Teaching Theology at Irish College Lisbon
1616 Catalogue Superior of Mission thinks he to fill Chair of Theology. Missioner
1617 Is in Ireland. Prudent and assiduous operarius, very hot tempered
1622 In Leinster
1626 Good in all, preaches well, not circumspect, choleric

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
(cf Foley’s Collectanea and Fr Young’s sketch in “Spicilegium Ossorium, Vol ii)
1607 Sent to Irish Mission from Spain, at the time his brother John, a judge, quitted the bench for conscience sake.
He is named in the letter of Father Lawndry to the General 04/11/1611 as then labouring assiduously on the mission in his neighbourhood. He was employed at Cashel chiefly for forty years, and was a distinguished Preacher.
He is named in a Report of the Irish Mission 1641-1650 (Verdier?). His virtues are fully recorded in this Report.
His death is recorded at Cashel residence a few months before the destruction of the city and church.
Is said to have died on his knees on Good Friday 16/04/1647 (though Easter Sunday was 21 April 1647!)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Redmond Everard. Brother of Sir John Everard, Speaker of the House of Commons
Had studied Humanities at the Irish College Lisbon and Philosophy at Coimbra before Ent 1598 Portugal
After First Vows he resumed his studies at Coimbra and was Ordained there 1604
1604-1605 Sent to lecture Philosophy at Braga
1605-1608 Sent to lecture Philosophy at the Irish College Lisbon
1608 Sent to Ireland and was at Callan by May, and then sent to the Dublin Residence
1621-1631 Sent to Drogheda and with Robert Bathe established there the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin. he was also a Consultor of the Mission.
1631 Sent to Cashel residence. In spite of poor health he was zealous in Ministry until his death there 30 June 1646

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father James Everard SJ 1575-1647
Fr James Everard was born in Fethard in 1575. He entered the Society in Portugal in 1598, the year the irish Mission was founded, by the appointment of Fr Holywood as Superior.

After some years spent professing Theology in Portugal, Fr Everard succeeded in getting to the irish Mission in 1607. That same year, his brother, who was a judge, resigned his post rather than act against his conscience.

His talents as a preacher were remarkable, and for 40 years he laboured unceasingly as a missioner amid innumerable perils. Cashel was the scene of his apostolic labours, though his name appears in a State paper as being secretly kept by Archbishop Matthews in his hose in Dublin in 1611.

He was of delicate health and suffered a good deal during his life, but his ill health never made him less prompt for any call.

He was found dead on his knees on Good Friday morning, April 16th 1647, aged 72, of which 50 were spent in the Society.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
EVERARD, JAMES. This Rev. Father offered his services for the Irish Mission early in 1605, but could not be spared from Spain until the Autumn of 1607, at the very time that his brother John, an eminent lawyer and judge, quitted the Bench rather than betray his Conscience. At this period, intolerance, with the denial of civil rights, stalked abroad through his native Country, and the best men were seized for its victims, and the British Constitution was the by-word for injustice, oppression, and persecution to death for liberty of Conscience. During 40 years, F. Everard was reserved for Apostolic labor chiefly at Cashell. As a Preacher, he ranked in the first class : and though of a delicate constitution, and generally unwell, he was ever prompt and eager to fulfil the duties of his ministry. Severe to himself, he was all condescension and charity to his neighbours. On Good Friday, 16th of April, 1647, the venerable man was found dead on his knees.

Everard, Peter, 1642-1686, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1264
  • Person
  • 23 May 1642-18 January 1686

Born: 23 May 1642, Fethard, County Tipperary
Entered: 20 July 1670, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Died: 18 January 1686, Portumna, County Galway

Was he the Padre Everardus mentioned by Carol Sforza Palavicino 09 May to Fr Spreul SJ?

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Peter and Kathleen née Nash
Had studied at Santiago and Salamanca and was Ordained before Ent 20 July 1670 Villagarcía
1672-1678 After First Vows he taught Humanities at Monforte and later at Arévalo
1678 Sent to Ireland and to the Connaught Mission. He died at Portumna 18 January 1686

Farrell, James, 1894-1933, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/576
  • Person
  • 27 July 1894-27 December 1933

Born: 27 July 1894, Terryglass, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1927, Redemptorist Monastery, Pennant Hills, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died: 27 December 1933, St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia - Australiae Province

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931
by 1923 in Australia - Regency
◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He Entered the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg in 1912.

1914-1918 He was a Junior at Rathfarnham Castle
1918-1920 He was sent teaching to Mungret College Limerick for Regency
1920-1921 He was sent to teach Philosophy at Milltown Park
1921-1924 He was sent to Australia due to ill health with TB and he was sent to Xavier College Kew as Prefect of Discipline and a Teacher
1924-1925 He spent a little time caring for his health at a hospital in the Blue Mountains
1925-1931 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview. The Rector there at the time was William Lockington and he tried to take him in hand endeavouring to effect a cure, and not entirely in vain. At first he was engaged in trying to get enough Theology to be Ordained, which did take place at the Redemptorist Monastery, Pennant Hills on 15 August 1927. He undertook various activities in Prefecting, and in 1930 it was hoped that he might be appointed First Prefect, but this was too much for him. His students appreciated him for his interest in them and his gentleness and kindness. In 1931 he suffered a relapse and was sent to Sevenhill.

He bore his physical sufferings with much resignation

He had a fine mind and showed himself to be a strong and balanced character, with a shrewd and kindly discernment, a wide sympathy and genuine spirituality. He was a quiet and sensitive man, urbane, affectionate and selfless, compassionate and warm and one of nature’s gentlemen.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 9th Year No 2 1934
Obituary :
Father James Farrell

Mr. G. Ffrench, who knew Father Farrell intimately, has kindly sent us the following :
Father Farrell was born 27th July, 1894. He came first into touch with our people when, in 1908, he went to Mungret from his home in Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary.
School friends remember him as taking a full part in the life of the School, prominent at work, in games in the plays. Here as everywhere, he was liked by everyone. He was a Sodalist and became Prefect of the junior Apostolics. In 1912 he began his noviceship in Tullabeg, and in 1914 passed on to Rathfarnham, where he did a year's rhetoric previous to attending the University for three years. He took a classical degree, won prizes, and was the first to preach at the Castle the Latin sermon on St. john Chrysostom. He returned to Mungret in 1918, taught there for two years, and in 1920 was on the status for Philosophy at Milltown. However, the lung trouble, which eventually carried him off, had appeared, so a period of rest at Petworth and private study were decided on.
The hoped for improvement was not shown, and in 1921 he went to Australia. He never came home, but during his long absence never lost touch with his contemporaries. He wrote long, bright letters, full of humour, even in the last weeks of his life.
During his thirteen years in Australia he managed, despite some relapses, not only to complete his priestly studies, but to do valued work in the Colleges. In 1924, 1926 and 1931 were more periods in hospital or the Blue Mountains. His active service consisted in being II Div. Prefect in Xavier in 1922 and 1923, Prefect in Studley Hall for a time in 1925, III Div. Prefect in Riverview for the second half of 1928, I Div. Prefect there for the two years 1929, 1930. For the rest of the time he was mostly in Riverview studying privately and doing some light work in the school.
He was ordained on August 15th, 1947, by the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Cattaneo, at Pennant Hills, the Redemptorist theologate, near Sydney. A serious relapse at the end of 1930 sent him again to the Blue Mountains, whence after a year, he went to Sevenhills. But the last decline had set in, and after lingering for two years, unable to say Mass in the last months, he died on December 27th, 1933. Such was his life.
Given health and the opportunities normal in the Society, Father Farrell, with his fine mind, his strong and balanced character, his discernment shrewd and kindly, his wide sympathy, his genuine spirituality would have done rare work for God. One is apt to estimate him, like all men whose gifts are largely frustrated, by what he would have done in other circumstances. There is no need to do so. Merely to have borne his physical sufferings with resignation would have been a life not lived in vain. To have made one's way through philosophy and theology to the priesthood without the usual helps and in infirmity to have, furthermore, lent an ever willing always capable hand where help was needed, would have been a stewardship many would have been glad to account for. To have done all this with a disregard of self that was utter, with no suggestion of the extraordinary, still less of the heroic or of the tragic with an exquisite simplicity, with the cheerfulness of a boy, with the courage of a man - that is what Jimmy Farrell did. That is why his brethren gave him their affection, his superiors their trust, his boys their reverence.
And they did revere him. The seniors were old enough to suspect how much all he did for them was costing him. He was popular and had good order. Even the younger boys felt “he was too decent a man to muck-up on”. One of his boys wrote of “his gentleness and kindliness.........He was always the same........approachable.......made us feel he was interested in us personally, the muff felt he was someone after all whenever he had a talk with Father Farrell.”
The last words of one of his letters will best enshrine his memory for us. “I have not said Mass since July - God help me - but D.V., I hope to gather my energies together again soon and say a few more Masses of thanksgiving for God’s Goodness”.
His Grace the Most Rev. Dr. Killian, Coadjutor Archbishop of Adelaide, presided at Father Farrell's obsequies, and at the conclusion of the Mass addressed the congregation. He referred to the fact that Father Farrell, like himself, was educated at Mungret College, as well as some priests present and many more in the far flung Diocese, who were not there because the distance made it impossible. He stressed the admirable patience of Father Farrell, his zeal, which even in his sickness, urged him constantly to be doing any little thing he could to help on the spread of the Kingdom of Christ on earth. Especially noted, too, by him was the constant cheerfulness of Father Farrell, how always he was not merely one of an assembly of gathered friends, but the like of that gathering with his wit, banter, interesting conversation and deep sympathy, his grasp of the important aspects of any question under discussion, and the edification he carried about with him, a kind of spiritual aroma shed round him, coming from his soul filled with sanctifying grace.
“Everywhere he went”, said His Grace, “he came like a ray of sunshine fit to pierce the deepest fogs or clouds of depression. He was a model priest, and though cut off in the years when men reach their prime, God surely knows that he had served Him as a faithful servant, and in the short span allotted him, had fulfilled the works of a long life, and though now we pray for him, we cannot but feel that he personally has little need of our prayers, but that, if God so willed, the graces that such prayers win for him will be there as a reservoir of grace for Father Farrell to dispense, through God's hands, to those objects and persons which were his special care on earth and will still remain so to him in heaven.”
After his affecting discourse, His Grace gave the Final Absolution, and the remains of Father Farrell were placed beside those of the great pioneers, Fathers Tappeiner, Pallhuber and Rogalski. The comrade we loved so well lies awaiting his Resurrection in one of the holiest spots in Australia.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1934


Father James Farrell SJ

It is with sincere sorrow that all his contemporaries will read of the death of one, they all knew as a genuinely holy and lovable character, Father Jimmie Farrell.

He was born at Terryglass, Co. Tipperary, in 1894, and came to Mungret in 1909.. Having matriculated there, he passed on to the Jesuit noviceship at Tullabeg in 1912. After the usual two years of noviceship, he passed on to Rathfarnham Castle, where he spent three years, taking out his BA degree in 1918. Instead of going on to Philosophy, as is the usual course, he was sent down to Mungret to teach. This, evidently, was owing to some weakness of health or tiredness of head following on the sustained years of intense study. In September 1921, he was sent to Australia with the idea that the warmer climate would be more beneficial to his health. Superiors there allocated him to Xavier College, Melbourne, where, besides teaching, he filled the exacting post of Prefect of Discipline and succeeded in combining strict fulfilment of his duties with the winning of the affections of the boys a rare accomplishment and an eloquent testimony of his character.

In 1925 he was transferred to Sydney. Having concluded his Theological studies, he was ordained to the priesthood by His Excellency, Dr Cattaneo, Apostolic Delegate, at the Redemptorist House of Studies, Pennant Hills, on August 15th, 1927. He was appointed First Prefect at Riverview College, Sydney, in 1929. Here he laboured until 1932, when he was advised by his doctor to take a good rest. His zealous fulfilment of his duties had not been calculated to give his delicate constitution that care and attention it needed. At St Aloysius', Sevenhills, he improved somewhat, for a time, owing to the change of air and his healthy surroundings. But it was only for a time. God had found him ripe for his reward, and he passed away, rather suddenly, in the early hours of the morning of Wednesday, 27th December, 1933.

It is no polite conventionalism to say that Father Jimmie was a holy and a lovable soul. Any one who lived with him will say that and mean it. His was a life of steady, unobtrusive, cheery, self-sacrificing lab our. That the sincere and solid nature of his service was not unnoticed or unappreciated is testified by the numerous and representative gathering that assembled for his Obsequies. His Grace, the Most Rev Dr Killian, Coadjutor Archbishop of Adelaide, presided in person and preached his Panegyric before giving the Final Absolution.

“Everywhere he went”, said His Grace, “Father Farrell came like a ray of sunshine to pierce the deepest fogs or clouds of depression. He was a model priest, and, though cut off in the years when men reach their prime, God surely knows that he had served Him as a faithful servant”.

Father Farrell lies buried in the vault beside those Jesuit pioneers of Australia, Fathers Tappeiner, Pallhauber and Rogalski. May he rise with them, in the end, to enter on his glorious reward!

FitzGerald, James B, 1914-2007, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

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

◆ Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2007
Fr James (Jim) FitzGerald (1914-2007)
26th September 1914: Born in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
Early education at High School, Clonmel, and Clongowes
11th September 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
12th September 1935: First Vows at Emo
1935 - 1937: Rathfarnham – Studied Arts at UCD
1937 - 1940: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1940 - 1943: Belvedere College - Teacher
1943 - 1947: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1946: Ordained at Milltown Park
1947 - 1948: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1948 - 1959: Mungret College, Minister, Prefect, Teacher
2nd February 1949: Final Vows at Mungret College
1959 - 1973: Rathfarnham Castle - Minister; Bursar
1973 - 1981: Milltown Park - Minister; Prefect of Health
1981 - 1982: Overseeing building of Cherryfield Lodge
1982 - 1985: Director, Cherryfield Lodge
1985 - 2007: Gardiner Street -
1985 - 1989: Minişter; Health Prefect; Guestmaster
1989 - 1991: Assistant Vice-Postulator cause of John Sullivan SJ; Health Prefect; Guestmaster
1991 - 1997: Assistant Vice-Postulator; Health Prefect
1997 - 2007: Assistant Vice-Postulator
13th August 2007: Died in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Adapted from an interview with Jim in Interfuse #129:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A poetic remembrance from Tom MacMahon, 14 August 2007:

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

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

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

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

Fitzgerald, John, 1814-1873, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1300
  • Person
  • 01 July 1814-09 April 1873

Born: 01 July 1814, Mortlestown, County Tipperary
Entered: 19 October 1843, Florissant MO, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)
Final Vows: 15 August 1855
Died: 09 April 1873, St Mary’s, Kansas, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)

Flinn, William, 1815-1875, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1316
  • Person
  • 17 March 1815-21 May 1875

Born: 17 March 1815, Monsea, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 December 1857, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)
Final vows: 19 March 1868
Died: 21 May 1875, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Frewen, Francis J, 1915-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/601
  • Person
  • 10 April 1915-28 October 2000

Born: 10 April 1915, Kingswell, County Tipperary
Entered: 30 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Died: 28 October 2000, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse No 112 : Special Edition 2002 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2002


Fr Francis (Frank) Frewen (1915-2000)

10th April 1915: Born in Kingswell, Co. Tipperary
Early education at Our Lady's Bower, Athlone, and Beaumont College, Old Windsor, England.
30th Sept. 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
1st Oct. 1935: First Vows at Emo
1935 - 1937: Rathfarnham - Home Juniorate
1937 - 1940: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1940 - 1942: Crescent College - Regency
1942 - 1944: Clongowes Wood College - Teaching
1944 - 1948: Milltown Park - studying Theology
30 July 1947: Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1950 - 1962: Clongowes Wood College - Teaching
2nd Feb. 1951: Final Vows at Clongowes
1952: Study Prefect 1958 Minister
1960: Teacher
1962 - 1974: Mungret College - Teacher, Farm Manager
1971: Minister
1974 - 1997: Clongowes Wood College
1974 - 1997: Supervisor of Farm, Garden and Pleasure Grounds
1980 - 1983: Vice Rector
1990: Ministered in People's Church
1992: Guestmaster
1997 - 2000 Cherryfield Lodge
28th Oct. 2000: Died at Cheryfield Lodge, Dublin

Father Frewen was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in April 1997. He had become frail and his eyesight was poor. Although his health was declining, he continued his daily walks up to a few weeks before his death, although he latterly needed assistance.

Michael Sheil writes:
The story of Frank Frewen's life is simply told - as simply as Frank himself lived. But he was such a private sort of person that his background seemed always to be shrouded in mystery!
He received his secondary education in Beaumont College, Old Windsor. So his students thought that he was English through and through. But, in fact, he had been born in Kingswell, Co. Tipperary and spent his primary school years in Our Lady's Bower, Athlone.

He entered the Society in 1933 and followed the classic formation programme. Rathfarnham, Tullabeg, Crescent and Clongowes for regency, theology at Milltown - and he was ordained on July 30 1947. After Tertianship in Rathfarnham he began nearly fifty years of an active life as a priest. Two periods of 12 years each were spent, first in Clongowes (where, in turn, he was Teacher, Study Prefect and Minister) and then in Mungret, where, as well as teaching, he was in charge of the farm. After Mungret's closure, in 1974, Frank returned to Clongowes, where, for all of 23 years, he was Supervisor of the Farm, Garden and Pleasure Grounds, Vice-Rector and Priest-in charge of the People's Church, and Guestmaster.

I was a student for 6 of Frank's years in Clongowes and remember an (already silver-haired) urbane Jesuit, polite but not aloof, who brought to the soul-destroying job of big Study Prefect a great sense of humanity, humour and (there again!) even urbanity. Subsequently, I began my working life as a priest in Mungret, where I came to appreciate even more the rich qualities of this very private and reserved companion. We were to meet again for 15 years in Clongowes, where Frank never seemed to age until his sight began to fail.

In 1997, with failing health and poor eyesight, he was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge, where he waited quietly and simply for the final call, which came on October 28th 2000.


In his homily, preached at the Funeral Mass in Clongowes on the Eve of All Saints' Day, I think that Senan Timoney caught something of the simplicity and mystery of Frank's life when he spoke as follows:

Thee, God, I come from, to Thee go." This is the first line of a poem of Gerard Manley Hopkins, which well describes the circle of life, from origin to terminus. The ring of life can be of a wide diameter, in Fr Frewen's case a very wide one - 85 years of age, 67 years as a Jesuit, 53 years as a priest. He served in many roles, but he was always a priest - a priest-teacher, a priest-farmer, a priest-administrator, saying the Sunday Mass for the cement workers when in Mungret, and then for many years the early morning Mass in the People's Church in Clongowes, hearing confessions and other priestly functions - all this means that his priesthood was central to him.

But his was not a disincarnate spirituality. It was rooted in his surroundings. He came not to be served, but to serve - by teaching and in farm management for well over thirty years. As a teacher his integrity and honesty commanded reverence and respect. He inspired boys with enthusiasm for English literature and gave them tools for sound criticism.

Common sense belonged to Frank, and in his family I know that this was highly regarded. He took a pride in the farm in Clongowes and in Mungret and this was pride he shared with those with whom he worked.

In one of his lectures Cardinal Newman says that it is almost a definition of a gentleman to say that he is one who never inflicts pain. Fr. Frewen was a gentleman and a farmer. He was not a gentleman-farmer. He took a pride in the golf course in Clongowes, and it was only when you saw him hit a four-iron from a tight lie on the fairway that you realized that here was an artist at work.

Recently I met him in Cherryfield Lodge, where he was cared for so devotedly over the last three years of his life. His face lit up when I mentioned Mungret (where we had worked together for many years). It was only then perhaps that I realized how much of a loss his failing eyesight was and how it must have affected him, who was such an avid reader.

In this life we see through a glass, dimly, - then we shall see God face to face. This is our prayer for Frank: :Thee, God, I come from, to Thee go...”

Fr Frank's life was a life of distinguished service, if an unspectacular one - and yet, what is fame? What is glory? What is exploit? Living the Beatitudes (the Gospel text of this funeral Mass) is not spectacular - but it is distinguished service.

There is another Hopkins sonnet, which Frank would surely have known. It was written on the occasion of the canonization of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, who for forty years was porter at the College of Palma in Majorca (and we celebrate his feast on this eve of All Saints' Day).

He that hews out mountain, continent
Earth, all at last; who, with fine increment,
Trickling, veins violets and tall trees makes more
Could crown career with conquest. While there went
Those years and years by of world without event
That in Majorc' Alonso watched the door.

Galwey, William, 1731-1772, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2324
  • Person
  • 30 September 1731-27 April 1772

Born: 30 September 1731, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary
Entered: 20 September 1752, Paris, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Died: 27 April 1772, Waterford City, County Waterford

◆ HIB Archive CAT SJ Notes

CATSJ A-H has “Wm Francis Galwey”; DOB 30 September 1731 Carrick-on-Suir; Ent 04 October 1752 or 20 September 1752 in France;
Did MA at Poitiers
1757 At College of Arras (FRA)
1761 2nd year Theologian & Bidell in the Boarding House attached to La Flèche
1762 at La Flèche (FRA)

◆ JC Archive Notes

  1. He was Dean of Waterford. 2. He was educ in Rome, entered the Jesuit Order 20 Sep 1752 (Ref 2 per Rev JB Stevenson SJ). 3. At the time of Anthony Galwey of Rochelle’s marr (1761) Rev WF Galwey was a Jesuit at La Fleche and was chosen to represent his father, but was unable to attend. 4. He was inducted PP of Trinity Within, Waterford, 13 Oct 1767 (It was not uncommon for Jesuits to undertake parochial duties at this period. All members of the Order became secular priests after its suppression, and remained so until its restoration in 1811). 5. He made his will 25 Apr 1772. 6. He was reported to be 'universally beloved and esteemed'. 7. The inscription on his tomb in St Patrick’s churchyard, Waterford styles him ‘Very Rev William Galwey’ (Canon Power considered that ‘Very’ coupled with the fact that his successor was appointed Dean immediately after his death indicates that he was Dean of Waterford (Refs 3 & 4). 8. His will (in which he styles himself ‘gent’ without any ecclesiastical prefix) is printed in Ref 5.

  2. Blackall, H., Galweys of Munster, Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, Vol. LXXII No. 215 (Jan-Jun 1967) p. 43.

  3. Records of the Jesuit Order in Ireland. 3. Catholic Record of Waterford & Lismore, 1916-17 4. Power, Hist of Dioc of Waterford & Lismore, p. 274. 5. Waterford Arch Soc Jn, vol 17, 1914, p. 103.

Gleeson, William, 1862-1951, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/166
  • Person
  • 11 March 1862-30 March 1951

Born: 11 March 1862, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 04 November 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 31 July 1896, St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1898, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 30 March 1951, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

by 1897 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 3 1951

Obituary :

Fr. William Gleeson died on March 30th, 1951, at St. Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner St., Dublin, in his ninetieth year, having been the oldest member of the Irish Province since the death of Fr. P. McWilliams in July, 1950.
He was born at Nenagh on March 11th, 1862, and was the son of John Gleeson, Clerk of the Nenagh Town Commissioners. He was educated at the Christian Brothers School, Nenagh, at Blackrock College, Dublin, and at the Diocesan Seminary, Ennis. He entered the Society on November 4th, 1880, at Milltown Park, where after his noviciate he completed his philosophical studies. Having taught for seven years at Clongowes he returned to Milltown Park for theology. He was ordained in 1896 in St. Francis Xavier's Church, Gardiner St.
Having done his tertianship at Tronchiennes Fr. Gleeson returned to Clongowes for a further period as master and prefect. In 1900 he began his life-work as a missioner and retreat giver. During twenty-six years he made a distinguished name for himself in this field throughout Ireland. He was a vigorous and eloquent preacher and an indefatigable worker in hearing confessions, in visiting the sick and in rounding up the the straying sheep of the flock. He came to Gardiner Street in 1926 and remained there until his death. He will perhaps be best remembered for his work from 1927 to 1943 as organiser and director of the Sodality for the Dublin members of the Garda Siochana. In this capacity he displayed great zeal and untiring energy. The Gardai showed many times how much they appreciated his generous labours on their behalf and as a final tribute to his memory they claimed for themselves the privilege of bearing his remains, after the Office and Requiem Mass, from St. Francis Xavier's Church to the hearse, while a selection of their officers and men marched behind.
As will be evident from this brief record of his long life, Fr. Gleeson was always a strenuous worker, and he worked to the end. He wanted, as he often said, “to earn his daily bread and to die in harness”. In both respects his wishes were fulfilled. He concluded his annual retreat on March 12th. He had been up and about and said Mass as usual the day before he died. In a very true sense he fell asleep in the Lord.
When he was discovered, he was lying on his side, his head cupped in his hand, seemingly sleeping the sleep of the just. As his body was still warm, he was anointed by Fr. Superior. On the previous day he had said apropos of nothing “The Gleesons all die without much warning”.
When in 1930 Fr. Gleeson celebrated his Golden Jubilee in the Society at Gardiner Street, Fr. Macardle, who was then Superior, having paid a fitting tribute to the Jubilarian's versatility and success in the vineyard of the Lord, mentioned that in his earlier years he was an outstanding athlete and skilful in all games. As a scholastic in Clongowes he frequently proved himself a capable cricketer in out matches, while in one historic match against the military from the Curragh Camp, he turned what seemed a certain defeat into a glorious victory by scoring 120 runs, not out. Even at the age of fifty, when he was a seasoned missioner, those who lived with him at the Crescent relate that, when at home between missions, he would walk out to Mungret, play a soccer match with the College boys, walk back to Limerick, play a hockey match with the Crescent team and after it all would appear that evening at recreation as the most sprightly of the. community! Whatever his hand found to do, he did it manfully. He now rests from his labours, for his works have followed him.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father William Gleeson (1862-1951)

Of Nenagh, was educated at Blackrock College and St Flannan's College, Ennis. He was ordained in Dublin in 1896. Father Gleeson's ability in preaching was early recognised and he was appointed to the mission staff in 1900. He was a member of the Crescent community in 1900-01, 1904-6 and 1907 to 1913. From 1926 until his death, Father Gleeson was a member of the Gardiner St community.

Gorman, Thomas, 1690-1767, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1377
  • Person
  • 29 December 1690-19 June 1767

Born: 29 December 1690, Clonmel, Co Tipperary
Entered: 09 March 1714 , Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 1721, Salamanca, Spain
Final Vows: 15 August 1726
Died: 19 June 1767, At sea, Gulf of Corsica - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Taught Grammar 4 years
1737 On the Irish Mission
1761-1762 At the Irish College Poitiers

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied Humanities at Compostella beginning 1709 before Ent.
1724 Sent to Ireland serving in Clonmel, Limerick and Cork, and he was in the latter in 1755 (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
1728 Fixed his Residence as Limerick (cf White’s “History of Limerick)
1763 At Poitiers (Arret de la Cour du Parliament de Paris, 1763)
“Of uncommon talent”; A Good Preacher; Stationed at Clonmel, Limerick and Cork

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Edmund and Margaret née Meagher
He studied Philosophy at Santiago 1709-1712 and having begun Theology at Salamanca Ent there 09 March 1714
After First Vows he was sent to Santiago to teach Humanities and then to Royal College Salamanca for Theology where he was Ordained 1721
1721-1724 Teaching Humanities at Logroño when he was sent to Ireland
1724-1728 Returned to Ireland and sent to Clonmel and worked for four years under Thomas Hennessy
1728-1737 Sent to re-open the Limerick Residence and was there for nine years.
1737-1761 Sent to Cork where he continued his Ministry of Administering Sacraments, Catechising, Preaching and preparing young men to enter the Irish Colleges in Europe.
1761 With Fr General’s permission he retires to the Irish College Poitiers as his health was in decline. He arrived there only a few months before the Society was expelled from France and the College (Irish property) was seized by the state.
1762 He found refuge in his origin Province of CAST and was sent to St Ignatius Church, Valladolid where he lived until the Society was expelled from Spain in 1767
On a journey to an unknown destination - including to the passengers / fellow exiles - he died of hardship at Sea near the Gulf of Corsica 19 June 1767. He was buried at sea.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GORMAN, THOMAS, born in Munster, on the 29th of December, 1691; was admitted in the Castile Province of the Society, on the 12th of March, 1714 : and ten years later came to the Irish Mission. His services were bestowed at Clonmel, Limerick, and Cork, when he shone as a Preacher. I believe he ended his days at Cork, where I leave him in 1755.

Gough, James, 1700-1757, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1379
  • Person
  • 25 July 1700-25 January 1757

Born: 25 July 1700, Clonmel, Co Tipperary
Entered: 11 September 1721, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 27 November 1729, Salamanca, Spain
Final Vows: 15 August 1737
Died: 25 January 1757, Irish College, Santiago de Compostela, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Alias St Leger

1754 At Compostella teaching
Was a Doctor of Divinity. Taught Grammar, Theology and Philosophy

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Writer and Professor of Theology
1725 Father Gorman desires to be remembered to Father James St Leger (McDonald’s “Irish Colleges Abroad” and de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”)
His Theological MSS are at Salamanca

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of William and Joan née St. Leger - like many Irishman in Spain he used his mother’s name (such practice was used by Irishmen in Spain in an attempt to outwit the English authorities who were intercepting correspondence between Irish families and their sons in Spain)
Had studied at Santiago before Ent 11 September 1721 Villagarcía
After First Vows completed his Philosophy at Palencia, and then went to Royal College Salamanca where he studied Theology and was Ordained there 04 December 1729. He continued his studies there graduating with a DD
1732-1738 Professor of Philosophy successively at Royal College Salamanca, Mithymna, Medina del Campo, Valladolid.
1738-1741 He then returned to Royal College Salamanca to hold a Chair of Theology
1741-1757 At Compostella where he had a Chair of Theology until his death there 25 January 1757
Ignatius Kelly and Thomas Hennessy tried to have St Leger sent to the Irish Mission. The Provincial of CAST agreed with the proposal but only on the condition that Ignatius Kelly should return to Spain to take up the Rectorship of the Irish College, Salamanca. The clergy and people of Waterford prevented the exchange of the two Jesuits

Gough, John, 1580-1652, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1380
  • Person
  • 1580-12 December 1652

Born: 1580, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 1630, Ireland
Ordained: - pre Entry
Died: 12 December 1652, Clonmel, County Tipperary

Alias Goggins

1650 Catalogue “Gough” Good musician. Has been Rector at Clonmel 3 years and is a Confessor

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied Moral Theology privately. Knew Irish, English and Latin.
Rector of a Residence for three years and a Confessor for fifteen.
An accomplished musician.
1650 In Ireland

Guinane, Gerard, 1900-1971, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/169
  • Person
  • 21 September 1900-26 June 1971

Born: 21 September 1900, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 31 August 1917, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1936, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 26 June 1971, Crescent College, Limerick City

Second World War chaplain

by 1928 in Australia - Regency at St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney
by 1935 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Gerard Guinane was only sixteen when he entered the Society at Tullabeg, and following early studies he was sent to Riverview in 1926. He taught in the school, was prefect of the study hall and, for a while, was assistant rowing master. He was very successful as a teacher and highly regarded by William Lockington. After ordination and tertianship, Guinane spent most of his life teaching, principally at Mungret and Limerick.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941
General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorks that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Frs. Guinane, Pelly and Perrott C. have been released from the Army. Fr. Guinane is now Minister at Mungret, Fr. Perrott is posted to Galway, and Fr. Pelly is awaiting travelling facilities to go to our Hong Kong Mission. Fr. Martin, a member also of the Mission, was to have been released from the Army on December 12th, but on the 11th be met with a serious accident in Belfast (see letter below). Fr. Provincial went to Belfast on Wednesday, January 9th, to visit him at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Fr. C. Murphy hopes to start on his homeward journey from Austria on January 14th and to be released from the Army by the end of January.

Irish Province News 46th Year No 3 1971

Obituary :

Fr Gerard Guinane SJ (1900-1971)

Fr Gerard Guinane was born in Clonmel on 21st September 1900, He was an only child. The family moved to Limerick in 1906 and at first resided at St. John's Villas. His father was manager of Cleeve's Confectionery Ltd.
He received his very early education with the Loreto nuns, Clonmel, and shortly after coming to Limerick, he entered Crescent College where he continued for the remainder of his schooldays. Gerard Guinane entered the Jesuit noviceship at St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore, on 31st August 1917 and on the completion of his noviceship spent a further year there as a junior, when he moved on to Rathfarnham Castle from which he attended University College, taking his degree in Celtic Studies with distinction in 1924. He next spent two years studying philosophy at Milltown Park, Dublin, on the completion of which he went to Australia for four years as teacher and prefect in the colleges of Holy Name, Brisbane, and Riverview, Sydney. On his return to Ireland he again went to Milltown Park to study theology for four years. He was ordained priest there in 1933. After tertianship in St. Beuno's College, North Wales, Fr Guinane came to Crescent College in 1935 for one year, and then moved to Mungret College where he was engaged as teacher and minister until 1941.
From 1941 to 1946 he served as military chaplain in the Second World War, mainly with the Royal Ulster Rifles. During this period of chaplaincy he frequently sacrificed the opportunity of leave home to undertake retreat work to religious communities and their schoolgirls and was much loved for this service, the more so that he was supplying for an urgent need where retreat givers were less available.
He then returned to Mungret College for a short period and finally came to Crescent College in the Autumn of 1946 where he spent the remaining years of his life - a period of twenty-five years. He died on Friday, 25th June 1971. To a large section of people, Fr. Guinane was chiefly known for his connection with rugby football. For his uncanny knowledge of the game, his skill as a trainer, his truly marvellous capacity in estimating the ability and temperament of the individual player, he was outstanding. In addition, he took a very keen personal interest in hundreds of players of the game at home and abroad, and was loved and respected by them all. In his early years as games master in. Crescent College, Fr Guinane trained teams that won the Munster Schools' Senior Cup three times within a half-dozen years. On those teams were included many players who subsequently became well-known personalities, such as rugby internationals Gordon Wood, Paddy Berkery, Paddy Lane (now vice-president of the N.F.A.), and film star Richard Harris, who utilised his rugby training most effectively in This Sporting Life.

In the administrative side of rugby, Fr. Guinane once again figured very prominently. He was president of the Munster Branch of the I.R.F.U., and served for some time as a member of the executive of the Irish Rugby Union. For many years he was a member and chairman) of the Munster Referees' Association. He was founder and later president of the Old Crescent Rugby Football Club, in which he took a very deep, dedicated and affectionate interest. But Fr. Guinane's interest and competence in sport were not confined to rugby football. As a scholastic in Riverview College he was given charge of the rowing, a heavy and responsible business involving the training of crews, the running of the annual college regatta and the presenting of an eight and two fours for the great Public Schools' Regatta, one of the sporting highlights of Sydney life. All this he carried through with energy and drive at a period when he was full-time teacher and prefect of the senior study hall. He also had more than a passing interest in almost every variety of sport and in his youth was regarded as an outstanding handball player. A highly important period in Fr Gerry's career was when he was selected as military chaplain in the Second World War and appointed to the Royal Ulster Rifles. A personal accident during training for D-Day invasion of Europe prevented him from taking part in the regiment's activities overseas. Nevertheless, the friends he made in the R.U.R. were very many and very close. This was particularly true of Lt. General Sir lan Harris, who retired as G.O.C. Northern Ireland in 1969 shortly before the recent troubles broke out there. Fr. Guinane was a regular guest at regimental dinners and was invited by the regiment to officiate as Catholic chaplain at the ceremonies when it merged with two other regiments to form the Royal Ulster Rangers. From time to time members of the Royal Ulster Rifles, when on business or on holiday in Southern Ireland, if they happened to pass through Limerick, made a point of calling on Fr Guinane, whom they regarded with singular esteem and affection, While serving as chaplain in England, he received the highest commendation for the immense amount of personal contact service he operated for the men in the forces, righting marriages, solving family troubles, befriending individuals who were down in their luck, in addition to performing his official duties, like saying Masses at three widely separated centres on a Sunday morning.
Another interesting sidelight on this period of his career was the way in which he succeeded (or manoeuvred) in accommodating Irish communities of nuns in England, by securing the necessary travel permits from the British Government for certain Irish Jesuits to give these nuns their annual retreats. There are other aspects of Fr Guinane's life which passed almost unnoticed by the outside world. One of these was his interest and skill in the retreat movement, especially for nuns, and his remarkable competence in the direction of those in religious life. Restricted opportunity limited his activity in this line considerably, but it is quite astonishing how much his direction and advice were sought by individual religious and by religious superiors. His sound commonsense, balanced judgment, broad outlook, wide experience, clear and unhesitating decisions, were instrumental in bringing mental peace and happiness to many who suffered from distress and uncertainty. And, occasionally, when a rugby fixture brought him far away from base, his companions afterwards would good-humouredly suffer delay, while Fr Guinane had gone to some hospital or convent to console or direct someone in trouble or distress. Closely allied to this aspect of Fr Guinane was his generosity to people in need or want, a trait which was sometimes indeed taken advantage of by clients who realised that he was “good” for a bit of assistance. He was often approached by those who had “just come out of jail” or “were going to England for work” or who had been “staunch supporters at rugby matches”, and in most cases, however tenuous the claims to his benefactions were, the petitioners “had their claims allowed” by the man who had indeed made a diagnosis of their real ailments, and a very clear assessment of the various subterfuges. He gave of his time and of the limited resources at his disposal without stint. Unselfishness was something that was really basic to his nature. He would stop at nothing to help a friend. Many of his friends were quite unaware that he sometimes went to an important international rugby match without an admission ticket - he had given he last one, his own, to someone whom he felt that he could not refuse. In community life also he was most obliging with his services and his time. He could always be depended on at short notice to take a sermon, or supply for a Mass or confessions even with considerable inconvenience to himself. Fr Guinane was widely known as a skilled diplomatist and a man of remarkable shrewdness. Yet, he always played his cards within the law, and could only win admiration and respect from those whom he had legitimately outwitted. One of his great friends - himself a man of no mean intelligence and perspicacity, who was locally renowned for his flair in making an apt and witty remark, described Fr. Gerry as “The Twentieth Century Fox”.

Fr Guinane fundamentally was an extrovert in quite an admirable way. His interest was in people people of all sorts and ages. He was happy with schoolboys, treated them with kindness and consideration, and knew how to bring out the best that was in them. He was perfectly at home with adult men of every creed and class, and by his sincerity, unselfishness and understanding and urbane manner won their respect, admiration and loyalty. With the Sisters in various religious communities, the ladies with whom he came in contact, in retreats, sodalities, hospitals and a multiplicity of other organisations, his same sterling characteristics had a wide and lasting influence and won for him a very deep regard, The exceptionally large number of people from all parts of the country who expressed their sympathy, and who travelled long distances to attend his final obsequies are a lasting tribute to the esteem and affection in which he was universally held. May he rest in peace.

Guiry, Eric, 1935-2020, former Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 04 April 1935-15 April 2020

Born: 04 April 1935, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1953, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1967, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1972, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 15 April 2020, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin (Monkstown, County Dublin)

Left Society of Jesus: 30 May 1975

Educated at Mungret College SJ

Hanregan, Thomas, 1592-1623, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1408
  • Person
  • 1592-1623

Born: 1592, Clonmel, CoUNTY Tipperary
Entered: 1616, Landsberg, Germany - Gemaincae Superioris Province (GER SUP)
Ordained: 10 June 1622, Ingolstadt, Germany
Died: 23 October 1623, England in transit

1619-1621 At Ingolstadt, in Theology and teaching Philosophy
1623 Sent from Germany to Ireland via England (1622)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1617 In Bavaria
1622 In Fourth Year Theology at Ingolstadt
Sent for by Christopher Holywood

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ
Had studied at Douai and graduated MA with a brilliant public defence before Entry 1616 Landsberg
After First Vows he studied at Ingolstadt and was Ordained there 1622.
1622 Sent to Ireland for health reasons. He was so poorly that he had to spend a year convalescing at Munich before departing for Ireland. He then died 23 October 1623 England in transit

Hayden, William, 1839-1919, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/581
  • Person
  • 22 February 1839-09 January 1919

Born: 22 February 1839, Carrick-on-Suir, County Waterford
Entered: 17 February 1862, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1874, Stonyhurst, Lancashire, England
Final Vows: 15 August 1879
Died: 09 January 1919, Milltown Park, Dublin

Younger brother of Daniel Hayden RIP 1866

by 1865 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1868 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1869 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1872 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying
by 1877 at Roehampton, London (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Younger brother of Daniel Hayden RIP 1866

He did his Noviceship at Milltown under Dan Jones and Joseph Lentaigne. Afterwards he studied Rhetoric at Roehampton.
1866-1869 He taught at Tullabeg for Regency
1869-1872 He was sent to Stonyhurst for Philosophy.
1872 he was sent to St Beuno’s for Theology, was Ordained there and became Professor of the Short Course.
1877 he made Tertianship at Milltown.
1880-1885 He was sent to Gardiner St as Operarius and for some time was director of the Commercial Sodality.
1885-1887 He was sent to Milltown to teach Philosophy.
1887-1888 He was at Limerick for a year.
1889 he joined the Missionary Staff.
Later we find him again at Gardiner St, and during the 90s he was at Galway.
He finally returned to Milltown and lived there until his death 09 January 1919.

He was a man of wonderful abilities and a great conversationalist. He was very cordial and kindly to all. He was also full of peculiar views on many subjects, and this prevented his further appearance in the pulpit.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William Hayden SJ 1839-1919
Fr William Hayden was born in Waterford on February 22nd 1839 and entered the Society in 1862.

He was a man of great and versatile intellectual ability. He professed the short course in St Beuno’s and Milltown Park. One of his controversial pamphlets “An Answer to professor Maguire on Perception” is still extant, while his book on Irish Phonetics was one of the first publications in the restoration of the language.

He was very cordial and kindly in manner, a brilliant conversationalist, no mean controversialist, and eloquent preacher, though he held advanced, if not peculiar opinions on many subjects, which ultimately prevented his appearance in the pulpit.

He finally retired to Milltown Park where he lived for a number of years before his death on January 9th 1919.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father William Hayden (1839-1919

A native of Co Waterford, entered the Society in 1862. He was sometime professor of philosophy at Milltown Park where he spent many years on the retreat staff. He was attached to the Sacred Heart Church in 1887-88.

Hayes, Jeremiah, 1896-1976, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/180
  • Person
  • 08 February 1896-21 January 1976

Born: 08 February 1896, Davis Street, Tipperary Town, County Tipperary
Entered: 01 September 1913, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1928, Oña, Burgos, Spain
Final Vows: 02 February 1931, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 21 January 1976, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Editor of An Timire, 1931-36.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1927 at Oña, Burgos, Castile y León, Spain (CAST) studying
by 1929 at Comillas, Santander, Spain (LEG) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 51st Year No 2 1976

Rathfarnham Castle
The happy death of Fr Jerry Hayes took place on Wednesday, 21st January. Though he showed signs of failing for some six weeks and knew that the end was fast approaching, he was in full possession of his mental faculties up to about ten days before he quietly passed away at about 3 pm in the afternoon with Br Keogh’s finger on the ebbing pulse until its last beat. For Br Keogh it was the end of thirty-three years of devoted care and skilful nursing and a patience which never wavered. For Fr Hayes it was happy release from a whole life-time of suffering heroically borne. Br Joe Cleary, who took over with Br Keogh for about the last six years, rendered a service which Fr Hayes himself described as heroic. Despite his sufferings and his physical incapacity, Fr Hayes lived a full life of work and prayer and keen interest in the affairs of the Society and the Church and of the world, and of a very wide circle of intimate friends with whom he maintained regular contact either by correspondence or by timely visits to them in their homes or convents, We have no doubt that the great reward and eternal rest which he has merited will not be long deferred. Likewise, we considered it wise and fitting, that the necessary rest and well deserved reward of their labours should not be long deferred in the case of those who rendered Fr Hayes such long and faithful service. This we are glad to record Brs Keogh and Cleary have. since enjoyed in what Br Keogh has described as a little bit of heaven.
As one may easily imagine, Rathfarnham without Fr Jerry Hayes is even more empty than it was. Yet, we feel that he is still with us and will intercede for us in the many problems which our situation presents both in the present and in the future. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis!

Obituary :

Fr Jeremiah Hayes (1896-1976)

Jeremiah Hayes was born at Davis Street, Tipperary on 8th Feb, 1896, the eldest of a family of two brothers and two sisters. His early education, from 1902 to 1911, was with the Christian Brothers in his native town, and he came to Clongowes for the Middle and Senior Grades of the Intermediate system. As a boy, he showed that ability and industry which marked him in later life, winning prizes in all the four grades. In 1913 he entered the noviciate at Tullabeg.
Fr Jerry Hayes’s life falls naturally into two periods, his active years up to his ordination, and the long martyrdom of the ensuing forty-seven years, which he was to bear with such heroic courage. His life as a scholastic was not marked by any very outstanding event, but the few of his contemporaries who have outlived him recall that it was full of quiet and constant activity which seemed to foreshadow a most fruitful priestly life. He was a remarkably steady, conscientious worker, took a good honours degree at the end of his juniorate in 1919, and was one of the keenest students in the ensuing three years of philosophy at Milltown Park. The writer repeated philosophy with him during two of these years, and has a clear recollection of his diligence, thoroughness and sound grasp of the subject.
His three years of teaching in Belvedere were marked by the same characteristics of quiet diligence and devotion to the work in hand. He used to recall that it was during those years that he developed a taste which was afterwards to be a great source of consolation to him. He had always been fond of music - he had a pleasant tenor voice and read music well - but it was in Belvedere that one of his fellow-scholastics introduced him to classical music, for which he had previously had no understanding
At his own request - he had always had a love of foreign languages - he was sent for theology to Oña in Spain. Life there cannot have been too easy for him. The only member of his own Province with him was Fr John Hollis, of what was then the Australian mission, and they must have felt rather lost in the immense Spanish community. Having successfully completed three years of the higher course and been ordained in 1929, he completed his fourth year at the Pontifical University, Comillas, Santander. It was about this time that the symptoms appeared of the arthritis which was so soon to cripple him. He returned to Rathfarnham Castle, and there he passed the rest of his life as a semi-invalid.
Another, and better qualified fellow-Jesuit will speak of the ensuing years. The present writer will merely briefly record that he spent ten years under the same roof as Fr Jerry. The first four were 1929-33, at the very outset of his long trial, the last six were 1961-67, when the end was not so far off, During those very considerable periods, he displayed courage and resignation to God's will which, even at the time, were remarkable, but which, viewed in retrospect, are truly heroic. He had obviously, from the beginning, determined to accept generously the Cross laid upon him, to show no quarter to the demon of self-pity, and to live as perfect a religious life as was possible in his very helpless state,
He was helped in this task by his natural characteristic of methodical diligence. The day was conscientiously marked out, with time for his Mass, his office, his rosary and other prayers, his visits to the Blessed Sacrament, his correspondence, and the various small, but useful tasks which he managed to deal with, in particular the necessary, but thankless work of censorship for publication. It was notable that, unlike many other invalids, he seemed to be much more interested in the joys and sorrows of other people than in his own, and he was always delighted to get news about the doings of members of the Province or other friends of his.
He had, undoubtedly, some very great helps, the devotion of his infirmarians, the outings so willingly provided by the Juniors and friends, and, most of all, his ability to say Mass almost to the end. Yet, over the immense span of forty-seven years, there must have been many periods of depression, times when the problem of his almost helpless existence must have presented itself with cruel insistence, Fr Jerry Hayes was not naturally an extrovert. One did not hear him frequently expressing in words his resignation to God's will or the vivid faith which enabled him to fulfil his religious duties so faithfully under such dis heartening difficulties. But his life, as a whole, was more eloquent than any words, and will long be a source of inspiration and courage to those who were privileged to know him.

Br Edward Keogh writes:
A month after Fr Hayes's death, I am at a loss to set down something you would listen to and read. My trouble is, in talking about such a wonderful life as he led amongst us during all these years, to know where to begin. You would fancy that after thirty-three years I would have no difficulty in giving an account of what was my almost daily contact with him; but the problem is that there is so much I could say about that long period that my difficulty is to make a suitable selection of what I should say, and tell what struck us most about this wonderful man. What am I to say about the man, the priest, with whom I was privileged to be so closely associated during the long years of his trying illness?
Fr Hayes in my estimation was one of whom we can be proud, one of the real “greats”, to use a modern term. We can speak of him in the same way as we do of Fr John Sullivan, or Fr Michael Browne, or indeed many others whom we have all known. The Irish Province today can feel proud of the formation it has given men of the calibre of Fr Jeremiah Hayes. How one man during all those years could bear such a heavy cross will remain a mystery, and an inspiration to the whole Province, If I were asked to give an opinion of what kept Fr Hayes going, I would pick out one fact primarily: the fact that he was able to say Mass almost daily. Birrell I think it was who said “It is the Mass that matters”, and it was the Mass that enabled Fr Hayes to carry on his deeply spiritual life. Through the Mass he was able to exercise his apostolic work par excellence. After his Mass, he had his day ordered in such a way as to express that independence which every man so dearly cherishes and likes to have a little of in his life. He took a great interest in his tropical fish, his canary, and above all his daily routine of work and prayer. His little trips with Mr Shannon were so much enjoyed and even looked forward to: they helped him to see the outside world.
I could in fact, had I the skill, write a book on all the various little incidents of his life which keep crowding into one's mind during these days after his death. One quality he had was imperturbability. On one occasion we put him into the old St Vincent's hospital. Against our advice, he decided to leave hospital, in his wheelchair, by way of the front steps. Horror! The chair proved too much for the person who was charged with the task of getting it down the steps, and bump, bump, went the chair down the pavement. All poor Fr Hayes was able to do was to break into a broad grin. Everything was a story.
I should mention the devotion of what he liked to call his “charioteers”, the scholastics who so unselfishly brought him on outings or individual trips around the district.
I began caring for Fr Hayes about January 1943, and strangely enough, by God's providence, Br Cleary and I were with him until his last moments in January when he passed to his eternal reward. A realist to the end, he recognised the fact of the imminence of his death, and was entirely resigned to the Will of God in this regard. In a weak voice he asked me how much further he had to go. I answered him quietly that only God knows that. His actual passing was very peaceful, at five minutes to three in the afternoon of 21st January, 1976. Throughout his last hours he looked utterly tranquil, and it could be said of him, truly and literally, that he fell asleep in the Lord.

◆ The Clongownian, 1976


Father Jeremiah Hayes SJ

Fr Jerry Hayes ended his long and extraordinary life peacefully in the afternoon of January 21st, a few weeks before his eightieth birthday, in the room in Rathfarnham Castle where he had lived for the past forty-seven years.

He was born in Tipperary in 1896, the eldest of a family of four. He went to school with the Brothers in the town till he was fifteen, when he came to Clongowes, His time here was marked by quiet success in his studies, for which he won a series of prizes. He was a. member of the Sodality when it was directed by Fr Sullivan and, as he liked to recall with some pride, a classmate of the late Archbishop John McQuaid and the Vatican astronomer, Fr Dan O'Connell SJ.

On leaving school he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg. The later years of formation took him to Rathfarnham Castle (where he did Celtic Studies in UCD), Milltown Park (philosophy), Belvedere (where he taught for three years), and, finally, Spain - first at Oña, where he was ordained in 1928, and then a finishing year at Comillas, He returned from Spain with the first symptoms of a rare form of arthritis which progressively and quickly crippled him almost completely. He was then thirty-three, and destined to spend the rest of his life as an invalid.

His active life, all of it spent in preparation, was already over.

There is scarcely one further incident of conventional interest or importance to record in Jerry Hayes' life. To compare his picture in The Clongownian of 1913, a schoolboy with the promise of his life before him, and the wizened, cruelly crippled old man whom I knew half a century later, is to be confronted with the deep mystery of God's designs. No one can have faced this more squarely than Fr Jerry himself. It needs little imagination to appreciate how enormously he must have suffered at the frustration of all he hoped to do. But of such inner struggles there was no outward sign. We knew him as a friendly, cheerful, well-balanced and, above all, self-contained man. This was extraordinary in view of what seemed his humiliating dependence on others for the smallest details of his existence. Yet his style was so unassuming that we almost took his faith and endurance and complete lack of self-pity for granted.

He took a keen interest in what his fellow-Jesuits and his many other friends were doing, and kept up a large correspondence. He and his “charioteers”, as he liked to call the young Jesuit university students who took him out in his wheelchair, were a familiar sight in Rathfarnham over the years, and he made many friends around the district. The students found him easier to approach - once they had overcome their initial awe - than most men of his relative seniority. Indeed, his contact with them on such a regular basis throughout his life was a factor contributing to his freshness of mind, which aged according to a law quite peculiar to itself. He was not only a remarkable example to us of what Christianity means (as was the unselfish devotion of Bro Keogh and Bro Cleary, his infirmarians), at the beginning of our careers, but also a valued friend.

The worth of Jerry Hayes’ life is beyond calculation.

Bruce Bradley SJ

Headon, Maurice F, 1912-1960, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/181
  • Person
  • 22 November 1912-06 August 1960

Born: 22 November 1912, Ballyporeen, County Tipperary
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 06 August 1960, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Early education at Schoil Mhuire, Marino and O’Connell’s School;

Studied for BSc at UCD; Tertianship at Rathfarnham

by 1936 at Vals, France (TOLO) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960
Obituary :
Fr Maurice Headon (1912-1960)
When the news came to Hong Kong that Fr. Maurice Headon would not be returning to the mission people were surprised. When the reason given was that he was in ill-health, there was a temptation to incredulity. It was harder still to believe when it was told that he was suffering from hardening of the arteries, that there was danger of gangrene setting in, that his leg might have to be amputated. He was in the Mater Hospital during last summer, cheerful, unconcerned, yet the doctors said he would never again be able to walk more than a hundred yards. It was all very puzzling. Last autumn he gave a retreat in Galway to the Women's Sodality and he seemed in very good health. One day last August a friend called to see him in Gardiner Street whither he had returned from the Mater. Fr. Headon seemed to be in very good health and spirits; the next day he was found dead in his room. He was never a man to fuss about himself. Unselfishness was outstanding in his life as it was outstanding in the days leading up to his death.
Maurice Headon was born in Ballyporeen in Co. Tipperary in 1912. He finished his secondary studies in O'Connell Schools, Dublin, and in September 1930 he entered the Novitiate, in Emo. It was the first year of the Novitiate in its new surroundings; the Philosophers had taken over Tullabeg. Mr. Headon studied Science in the University and took his degree in 1935. Philosophy in Vals followed and then came three years of teaching in Clongowes. In his first year there he was in charge of the meteorological station and took his Higher Diploma in Education. He was prefect of the Gym for his three years and left a memory among those he taught for his kindness and for the trouble he took to help on those who were weak in their studies; he even gave special classes to those who could not manage their mathematics.
He studied Theology in Milltown Park and was ordained there by the Archbishop of Dublin in the summer of 1944. Tertianship was in Rathfarnham under Fr. Neary, 1945-1946, and then he was sent to the Crescent where he taught Science for three years. Even in his first year he was a favourite with the boys; and it was remarkable how many continued to write to him all during his years in Hong Kong. Prefects of Studies always placed a high value on Fr. Headon's teaching, though his preference was for more directly apostolic work.
The Hong Kong mission was in great need of additional competent Science masters and in the summer of 1949 Fr. Headon left Ireland and his many friends for a few field of labour. He was then thirty-seven years old and the assignment was not an easy one. Fr. Headon on his arrival in the mission did not go to the Language School. He was needed in the Colleges and to Wah Yan, Hong Kong, and to a heavy round of teaching in the “Afternoon School” he now gave himself. For at least three of his teaching years in China he taught Science, but he also found time to begin a study of Chinese which he later used to great effect in preaching and hearing Confessions. Great praise is due to Fr. Headon for the extraordinary diligence with which he studied Chinese. At the end of his ten years in Hong Kong there were few Fathers on the mission who knew as many Chinese characters as he did and all those years he studied with the sole aim of being able to preach better and with a wider vocabulary.
In 1952 Fr. Headon began to work in Wah Yan, Kowloon, first in its temporary quarters in Nelson Street, later in the present fine building. In 1955 he was editor of the college magazine, The Shield, and for his last two years in Hong Kong he was Prefect of Studies in the same college, He kept up an interest in his pupils, even after they had left his care and he undertook the heroic labour of keeping in touch by letter with all the past students of Wah Yan who had gone abroad for further studies. The summer of 1959 saw him on his way back to Ireland after ten busy years to a well-deserved rest. He spent most of his time in St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, and it was there that death found him on Saturday, 6th August. He was forty-eight years old. Unobtrusiveness, perhaps, was the main characteristic of Fr. Headon's work inside the house and out. He rarely referred to either; he rarely made use of the personal pronoun “I”, so if we learned of his apostolate outside, it was from those who benefited from it. In Hong Kong, he was confessor to the Good Shepherd Sisters and their charges after their expulsion by the Communists from Shanghai. His sympathy, his patience and understanding, his personal charm and friendliness, and his readiness to help made him greatly loved by them all, and it was with intense regret they saw him leaving when his canonical period as confessor had ended.
His heart was in this direct apostolic work, so he jumped at the chance of a weekly supply in the parish church of St. Francis of Assisi. Here, again, his friendly spirit, his zeal and his understanding of human nature made him extremely popular. He preached every Sunday in Chinese at the public Masses, drew big crowds to his confessional and was ever at the beck and call of the parish priest who had the greatest esteem for him and the highest appreciation of what he was doing for his Catholic flock. The parish priest was shocked enough when he heard that he was losing Fr. Headon for a year at home; he was overwhelmed when he heard of his death. He is having a special Requiem Mass said for Fr. Headon; and he knows that he will have a packed church. The number of people who have come to the school to ask if it is really true that he is dead has revealed to us the breadth of his hidden apostolate and the number of Masses for his soul asked for shows their affection for him. . Here in the school the boys were boys were utterly shocked when news of his death arrived. He was a good teacher, and as Prefect of Studies had shown himself most approachable, and the boys knew that they would always get a fair and sympathetic hearing in his office. Those boys “in trouble” would present their appeal without any fear, and if they left his office, the “trouble” remaining withal, they recognised at least that they had got a fair hearing. His death will be a great loss to the community. Many, indeed, is the recreation he enlivened with his keen sense of humour and his love of argument. Philosophy, theology, the different methods of the apostolate, the school curriculum and the means of dealing with boys--these were all rich grain to his mental mill, and he enjoyed nothing better than a hammer and tongs discussion about them. After winning an argument, he might be reminded that he had defended the opposite opinion some months before just as vigorously, and he would break out into laughter and state that he “had read another book on the subject since” or that he “had changed his mind as we must march with the times”. Then he would be ready for another discussion on “changing your mind”!

Hearne, John Francis, 1808-1847, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1435
  • Person
  • 17 February 1808-29 April 1847

Born: 17 February 1808, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary
Entered: 27 June 1835, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Died: 29 April 1847, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1844 at St Wilfred’s, Preston (ANG)
by 1847 at St Aloysius Glasgow (ANG)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied Humanities at Stonyhurst before Ent

After Studies, and Regency, he was sent on the Wigan Mission, where he was attacked by a typhus fever, removed to Hodder, and died there 29 April 1847 aged 39, and before making Final Vows.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
A Secular Priest in Manchester before Ent.

Not clear immediately after First Vows, but did spend a number of years teaching Grammar at Tullabeg.
A young Priest friend of his sought to join the Society, and he was unsuccessful through a misunderstanding with the Provincial. Fr Hearne then applied to join the ANG Province and specifically the Wigan Mission.
He was an ardent man, not always under control, but otherwise a very edifying priest. He worked with great zeal until his death 29 April 1847.

Heffernan, Thady, 1601-1639, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1436
  • Person
  • 1601-02 December 1639

Born: 1601, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 1628, Back Lane, Dublin
Ordained: - pre Entry
Died: 02 December 1639, Dublin, Dublin City, County Dublin Residence

Alias O’Hiffernan

1636 ROM Catalogue Talented, judgement and experience good

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Already a priest before Ent 1628 Back Lane, Dublin
After First Vows he seems to have been working in Dublin all his life, and because of lameness, to undertake missionary journeys. He died at the Dublin Residence 02 December 1639

Henessy, James, 1711-1771, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1441
  • Person
  • 23 July 1711-09 January 1771

Born: 23 July 1711, Kilmacthomas, County Waterford
Entered: 22 September 1737, Madrid, Spain - Toletanae Province (TOLE)
Ordained: 1740, Alcalá, Spain
Final Vows: 15 August 1755
Died: 09 January 1771, Ireland

1755-1757 At Villareal College, Master of Rhetoric, Admonitor and Spiritual Father, Prefect of Sodality
1764 Rector of Navalcarnero College (Madrid) TOLE - had also been Minister
1765 Not in TOLE Catalogue (Ireland??)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was public Professor of Rhetoric in TOLE.
1747-1755 In Clonmel (1747-1752) and back in TOLE in 1755 (HIB Catalogues 1752 and 1755)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied Philosophy at Madrid and Theology at Salamanca before Ent there 22 September 1737
After First Vows sent to Alcalá to complete studies and was Ordained there 1740
1740-1741 Sent to College of Nobles, Madrid to teach Rhetoric
1741-1724 Sent to Alcalá as Minister
1724-1747 Sent to Villarejo teaching Rhetoric to Jesuit Scholastics
1747 Sent to Ireland and to St Mary’s Clonmel, and was Superior of the Residence for a while until the parish was taken by secular clergy
1753-1758 Sent to Villarejo to teach
1758-1762 Rector of Ocaña
1762 Sent as Superior of the Residence and Church at Navalcarnero (South of Madrid)
1767 Jesuits expelled from Spain
1771 Left for Ireland on 10 July 1771
Nothing further known
(Note: the catalogi of the Toledo province assign three different birthplaces for James Hennessy:-
(1) 'Balligrimminensis', diocese of Cashel; (2) Clonmel; (3) ' Kilnemackensis' of the diocese of Lismore.)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
HENNESSEY, JAMES, was born in Munster,on the 16th of January, 1720, and became a candidate for the Society at Madrid, in 1737. Ten years later he came on the Irish Mission, and was stationed at Clonmel; but after a few years labor returned to Spain, where 1 find him in 1755 after which time he eludes my observation.

Hennessy, Thomas Aloysius, 1677-1752, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1442
  • Person
  • 10 June 1677-14 April 1752

Born: 10 June 1677, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 13 February 1701, Paris, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1709, Paris, France
Final Vows: 15 August 1716
Died: 14 April 1752, Clonmel, Co Tipperary

Alias Quades
Mission Vice-Superior 1731-1732
Mission Superior 16 May 1733 until 29 October 1750

Studied 1 year Philosophy and 4 Theology in Society
1706-1707 Studying 1st year Theology at Irish College Poitiers
1708 At La Rochelle Collège
1712 On Irish Mission- built a Church in Clonmel at great expense
1714 CAT Teaching Grammar and Philosophy. At present PP and strong
1717 CAT Has been PP at Clonmel, praise by Archbishop who gives him all powers and privileges. Learned with good judgement. Has already converted many heretics, and would do more were it not for the severe penal laws. The heretics tolerate his ministry. Prone to anger.
1736-1742 Superior of Mission
“Index of Irish Wills” suggests Fr Hennessy died in 1752 - Roman Catholic priest, Clonmel

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1712 Came to Ireland, and worked there to the great good of the flock, and great satisfaction of the Bishop who had given all faculties. He had converted some Protestants, is a learned man of sound judgement (HIB Catalogues 1714 & 1717)
1725 With Father Gorman had charge of Clonmel and its neighbourhood for three miles out (Dr McDonald and Foley’s Collectanea)
1729 Superior of Irish Mission
Professor of Philosophy
Liked even by the Protestants

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had previously studied two years Philosophy before Ent 13 February 1701 Paris
1703-1706 After First Vows he completed his studies and then taught Humanities at La Rochelle for three years
1706-1709 Then he was sent to Poitiers and later Paris for Theology and was Ordained there 1709
1709-1712 He was then sent as Minister to a Flèche Collège and a year later to teach Philosophy at Quimper
1712 Sent to Ireland and as PP at Clonmel - and effectively Vicar General of the united Dioceses of Waterford and Lismore. He was seen by a “priest hunter” giving Benediction in Clonmel and reported to Dublin Castle
1731-1732 Vice Superior of the Irish Mission during the absence of Ignatius Kelly.
1733-1752 Appointed Superior of Irish Mission 16/05/1733 until 29/10/1750, and continued on as PP at Clonmel until his death there 13 April 1752
During his Office as Mission Superior, the number of Jesuits in Ireland doubled. He was however unsuccessful in getting more Irish speaking Jesuits for the Mission. One of the issues in this was that it had been noted that Irish speaking Jesuits generally had a very good facility for European languages, and therefore were a valuable commodity on the Continent.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
Thomas Hennessy (1733-1750)
Thomas Louis (or Aloysius) Hennessy was born near Clonmel, in the diocese of Lismore, on or about 10th June, 1677. After studying philosophy for two years he entered the Society in the Novitiate of Paris on 13th February, 1701. After his noviceship he completed his philosophy and taught humanities at Le Rochelle for three years. He began his theology when at the Irish College of Poitiers in 1706, was ordained in 1709, and finished his theological course at Paris. He became Minister of the Boarding College of La Flèche that year (1710-11), and was in the following year Professor of Logic at Quimper. At the end of 1712 he returned to Ireland, and was stationed at Clonmel. Having ventured to give Benediction vested in a cope, a priest-hunter reported on 10th January, 1713, that a Popish Bishop who acted after the rules of a Cardinal had arrived in Clonmel. Dublin Castle, of course, issued orders for the arrest of the Roman Cardinal, but the local authorities, knowing Fr Hennessy, took the matter more quietly. Fr Hennessy acted as Vicar-General for the exiled Bishop of Waterford and Lismore from 1615 on, but did not exercise his authority in matters of jurisdiction. He was Vice-Superior of the Mission during Fr Roche's absence (1731-32), and became Superior of it on 16th May, 1733. During his Superiorship he showed he was a good businessman and a strong personality, but at the same time he manifested his profound religious spirit by prompt obedience to the decisions of his Superiors. The Mission grew under him to almost double its numbers. He died at Clonmel on 13th April, 1752.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Thomas Henessey 1677-1752
On the 10th of June 1677 in Clonmel was born Thomas Aloysius Henessey. He entered the Jesuits at Paris in 1700 and was professed of four vows in 1706, from which short course we gather that he must have had all his studies complete, or even been ordained before entry.

He came to Clonmel in 1712 prepared as he said himself “to undergo every danger”. The anticipation was fulfilled, for during the 40 years he ministered in Clonmel, he had more than once to ho into hiding, and at any time was liable to the penalties of high treason.

Havinf ventured to give Benediction in a cope, a priest hunter reported that a Popish bishop, who had conducted himself as a cardinal, had arrived in Clonmel. Dublin Castle issued orders for the arrest of the Cardinal, but the local authorities, who knew Fr Henessey, and connived at his ministrations, took no steps. To evade identification he passed under the nam Aloysius Quades in Jesuit correspondence. In the local records of Clonmel for the year 1727 we read “the lease of the Masshouse was renewed by the Corporation”.

Two years later Fr Henessey was made Superior of the Mission, and under his able administration, it rew to twice its size in numbers.

He died in Clonmel on April 14th 1752. In his will, dated November 28th 1751, he desires his burial to be the most frugal, and he bequeaths £10 each to his brother William and his sisters Mary and Catherine. Mr James Henessey is named as executor and heir to the residue, while Nicholas Baron is one of the witnesses. Both of these men were his fellow Jesuits in Clonmel at the time.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
HENNESSY, THOMAS. I find in a letter of F. Walter Lavallin, dated from Poitiers, the 1st of January, 1713, that F. Thomas Hennessy had sailed for Ireland “paratus ad omnia pericula subeunda”.

Hogan, Michael, 1816-1897, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1454
  • Person
  • 02 February 1816-01 July 1897

Born: 02 February 1816, Golden, County Tipperary
Entered: 18 August 1847, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Professed: 15 August 1858
Died: 01 July 1897, Holy Cross College, Worcester, MA, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Hogan, Michael, 1835-1903, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1455
  • Person
  • 31 December 1835-28 November 1903

Born 31 December 1835, Nenagh, Co Tipperary
Entered 28 March 1852, Montréal, Québec, Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)
Professed 02 February 1866
Died 28 November 1903, St Andrew on Hudson, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEV)

Hogan, William, 1895-1964, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1457
  • Person
  • 08 April 1895-27 May 1964

Born: 08 April 1895, Castleisland, County Kerry
Entered: 07 September 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1926, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1929, St Aloysius College, Milsons Point, Sydney, Australia
Died: 27 May 1964, Mater Hospital, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, Australia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1917 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1928 at St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
William Hogan received his secondary education from the Cistercian College Roscrea monks at Roscrea, and amongst other things was reputed to have played on the wing for the first XV. He entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 September 1912, and then went to Rathfarnharn Castle, Dublin, for his juniorate. Philosophy was studied at Jersey in the Channel Islands, 1916-17, and on his return to Ireland he went to teach at Belvedere College, Dublin, 1919-21. These were troubled times in Ireland, when feelings were strong and the atmosphere was tense. He had many friends amongst the organisers of the 1916 rebellion and afterwards. Superiors may have thought he was becoming too deeply involved in matters politic, for he was transferred to Mungret, to complete his magisterium, 1921-23. Theology was studied at Milltown Park, Dublin, 1923-27, where he acquired a reputation as a moral theologian amongst his contemporaries. He was ordained on 31 July 1926, and tertianship followed at St Beuno's, Wales.
Hogan sailed for Australia in 1928, arriving in Sydney in September. Then began his long association with St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point. Except for three years spent as minister at Xavier College, Kew, 1937-39, which he humorously referred to as “the years of captivity”, the rest of his life in Australia was spent in the service of St Aloysius' College.
Hogan belonged to the college, and spent over 32 years on the staff, a respected teacher and sometime minister and bursar. He organised the transport passes for the students. He loved mathematical calculations, and was a good mathematics teacher. He had a passion for rulers and measuring tapes, while his judgment on moral cases was second to none. He could hold a religion class of young boys with the clarity and cogency of his arguments. He was always kind and encouraging to his students.
He was a shy, retiring man with a sparkling sense of humour. His usually stern countenance could relax with an inimitable and infectious grin-the preface of some priceless remark. He was appointed sports master in 1929, and had many stories to tell of that eventful year - how the boys were almost decapitated by an unusually strong finishing tape; how he solved the problem of whether to play back or forward on a wet wicket. As a young man he taught Leaving Certificate modern history, and his students recalled the sidelights and biographical notes not to be found in textbooks. He was an avid reader with sound retentive powers. He was a meticulous minister, his books always carefully up to date, and the keys hung in well-labelled order. Everything was done with great precision.
He had a devotion to the Holy Souls, and kept a record of the date of the death of each Jesuit that he knew and each Old Boy that he had taught, so that he could pray for each on his
anniversary. He was remarkable for his personal and idiosyncratic practice of poverty. Towards the end he suffered a mild cerebral spasm and later a stroke from which he died. He was buried from the college he had served so well.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 39th Year No 4 1964

Obituary :
About the middle of March 1964, Fr. Hogan suffered what the doctor described as a mild cerebral spasm. Anxious not to cause any trouble and hoping that the disability would pass he kept silent about it. He tried to carry on the work of bursar, which he had so efficiently and faithfully done for many years but found that it was no longer possible. The doctor who was called to him (Dr. L'Estrange), ordered his immediate removal to hospital and he entered the Mater Miserecordiae Hospital on Saturday, 20th March. In a short time his speech improved greatly, he got back the power of his right arm and was able, with the aid of the nurses, to walk a little around the room each day. He still had difficulty marshalling his thoughts. He would begin a sentence and find that he could not finish it. When this occurred he gave a shrug of his shoulders, grinned and said “no good”.
About the middle of May, he suffered a renewed attack and the right arm had to be placed back in splints. When asked if he would like to be anointed he said yes, and this was done at once. He was able to receive Holy Communion up to a few days before his death. Then came a series. of attacks and it was obvious that the end was approaching. He suffered a severe one about 2.30 a.m. on Thursday, 25th May and lapsed into a coma. Fr. Rector went at once to the hospital, gave him absolution, anointed (he said “yes”, when asked if he wished it) He was able to receive until shortly before 5 a.m. on Saturday morning when the hospital rang again to say he was dying. Fr. Rector was with him to the end and gave him a final absolution as he left this world about seven o'clock as many of the community were about to offer Mass for him. He belonged to St. Aloysius, having spent over thirty-two years on the staff, so we felt that he would prefer to be buried from here. His remains were brought to the college chapel on Sunday night and next morning all the boys had an opportunity to offer the holy sacrifice for the repose of his soul. His funeral Mass was on the following day and His Eminence Cardinal Gilroy kindly came to preside at the Requiem offered by Fr. Rector. The boys formed an impressive guard of honour as the body was borne from the chapel. How embarrassed he would have been had he witnessed this last tribute to him! His weary bones rest at last with Fr. Tom Hehir in the Jesuit plot at Gore Hill.
It would take someone more competent than the writer to give a pen picture of Bill Hogan in a few sentences. Born in Co. Kerry in 1895, he received his secondary education from the Cistercian Monks at Roscrea and amongst other things was reputed to have played on the wing for the 1st XV. He entered the Society at Tullabeg and after satisfying the authorities there, as to his suitability, he went to Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, for his Juniorate. Philosophy was studied at Jersey in the Channel Islands and on his return to Ireland he went to teach at Belvedere College in Dublin. These were troubled times when feelings were strong and the atmosphere was electric. He had many personal friends amongst the organisers of 1916 and afterwards. Superiors may have thought he was becoming too deeply involved in matters politic for he was transferred to Limerick to complete his magisterium. Theology was studied at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he acquired a reputation as a moral theologian amongst his contemporaries. His stories of life in “Plug Street” then, were always worth hearing.
He was ordained on 31st July 1926. Tertianship completed at St. Bueno's, he sailed for Australia in 1928, arriving in Sydney in September. Thus began his long association with St. Aloysius. Except for the three years spent as Minister in Xavier College, Melbourne, which he humorously referred to as “the years of captivity” the rest of his life in Australia was spent in the service of S.A.C.
He was a shy, retiring man with a sparkling sense of humour. His usually stern countenance could relax with that inimitable and infectious grin - the preface of some priceless remark. He was appointed Sports master in 1929 and had many stories to tell of that eventful year - how the boy was almost decapitated by an unusually strong finishing tape how he solved the problem of whether to play back or forward on a wet wicket, etc.
As a younger man he taught Leaving Certificate modern history and many of his students can still recall the sidelights and biographical notes not to be found in textbooks. He was an avid reader with great retentive powers. When he left for the hospital his books were all up to date, everything in its place and carefully dated. He had a great devotion to the holy souls and kept a record of the date of the death of each Jesuit that he knew and each Old Boy that he had taught, so that he could pray for each on his anniversary.
If were there was a faithful servant of St. Aloysius College, he was one. and we pray that he is enjoying the reward of all faithful servants.

Holywood, Christopher, 1562-1626, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1459
  • Person
  • 1562-04 September 1626

Born: 1562, Artane, Dublin, County Dublin
Entered: 1584, Verdun, France - Campaniae province (CAMP)
Ordained: 1593, Pont-á-Mousson, France
Final Vows: 04/10/1598, Padua, Italy
Died: 04 September 1626, Dublin City, County Dublin

Alias Bushlock
Superior Irish Mission 16 March 1604-04 September 1626

Studied Humanities at Paris and Ent June or January 1584
1584-1590 At Pont-á-Mousson (CAMP) Studying Metaphysics, Philosophy
1590 Studying Theology at Pont-á-Mousson
1593 Not in Campaniae Catalogue but at Dôle College
1596 Teaching Moral Theology at Venice College (Paul Valle and Anthony Maria Venù were teaching Scholastic Theology)
1597 At Padua College teaching Theology
1617 CAT Superior of Irish Mission, with 37 members in Ireland, 28 in Spain, 9 in Portugal, 7 in Belgium, 2 in Bavaria, 2 in Austria, 2 in Italy, 1 each in France, Mexico and Paraguay. 25 October 1617 proclamation against anyone harbouring Jesuits (1622 Catalogue)
He knew Bellarmine at Ferrara and Padua

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Professor of Philosophy at Theology at Padua; Prisoner in Tower of London, Wisbech Castle and Framlingham Castle; Superior of Irish Mission for 23 years; Writer on Controversy and Physical Science; Especially denounced by James I;
Alias : Sacrobosco; Jo. Bus; Thomas Laundry (not the only one who took the alias “Bosco” - John Halifax of Yorkshire author of De Sphoera Mundi” in 13th century was also called “de Sacro Bosco)
He was heir to Artane Castle
He was appointed Superior of the Irish Mission, he travelled from Dieppe, January 1599, disguised as a merchant, was seized at Dover, carried to London and strictly examined by Lord Cobham and Secretary Cecil. First at Gatehouse Prison, Westminster then on the accession of James I moved to Framlingham Castle, and then deported 1603. He eventually reached Ireland from St Malo 1604.
(For his literary productions cf Southwell’s “Biblio Script SJ”, and De Backer’s “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ:
Son of Nicholas, Lord of Artane
After First Vows he was sent for studies to Pont-à-Mousson where he was Ordained 1692/3
1593-1958 Taught Theology successively at Dôle and Padua
1598 Appointed Superior of Irish Mission 26/09/1598 which had been undertaken by the Society at the request of Pope Clement VIII
1599 Set out for Ireland but was arrested on his journey at Dover, England, and imprisoned for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy
1603 He was released from prison May 1603, but only to be deported
1604-1626 Arrived in Ireland 16/03/1604. For the next twenty-two years he organised the mission with such success that the number of Jesuits in Ireland increased from seven to forty-four while Residences were established in ten cities and towns. His influence with Catholics was so great that the Protestants called “Teacher of the Papists of Ireland”. He died in Office 04 September 1626, leaving behind a great reputation for holiness, prudence and love of the poor
He published two controversial works and a treatise on meteorology.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Holywood, Christopher
by Judy Barry

Holywood, Christopher (1559–1626), Jesuit priest, was son of Nicholas Holywood of Artane castle, Dublin, lord of manors in Co. Dublin, Co. Meath, and Co. Wexford. His mother was a niece of Christopher Nugent, Baron Delvin. He was educated at the University of Padua and entered the Society of Jesus at Verdun (1584). He was subsequently professor of divinity and philosophy at Dole and Pont-à-Mousson, and of scripture at Padua. He was ordained a priest in 1593 and took his final vows in 1597.

In 1598, when a third Jesuit mission was sent to Ireland at the request of Pope Clement VIII, Holywood was appointed superior. He sailed for England disguised as a merchant, but was arrested at Dover. On refusing to swear the oath of supremacy, he was taken to London and examined by the secretary of state, Sir Robert Cecil, who told him that he would not suffer for his religion so long as he did not meddle in political matters. However, when Holywood persisted in defending his order, Cecil had him imprisoned at Wisbech castle and later at Framlingham castle, Suffolk, where he devoted his time to scholarly work. He was released in May 1603 and banished to the Continent, where he completed two books for publication in the following year: Defensio decreti Tridentini et sententiae Roberti Bellarmini, S.R.E. cardinalis, de authoritate Vulgatae editionis Latinae (‘Defence of the decree of the council of Trent and of the opinion of Cardinal Bellarmine concerning the authority of the Latin Vulgate’) and De investiganda vera ac visibili Christi ecclesia libellus (‘A treatise on the true and visible church of Christ’).

He arrived in Dublin (16 March 1604) to take up his original appointment and was sheltered by Sir Christopher Plunkett (qv). The mission under his direction numbered six Jesuits and was at first centred on Dublin and the Pale. This was partly because he and his companions came mainly from gentry families in the city and county of Dublin and did not speak Irish, and partly because of a new government policy insisting on the declared loyalty of the patrician leaders of the city. Up to this point the evidence of open catholic practice had not been regarded as sufficient reason to doubt the political loyalty of the municipality, and indeed the Dublin merchants had been active in raising money in support of the war against O'Neill. In 1600 Patrick Plunkett, Baron Dunsany, had written to Robert Cecil advising that Holywood be released, since the priests in the English Pale were ‘firm in dutiful allegiance’ and quite different from ‘Tyrone's priests’.

Under Sir Arthur Chichester (qv), however, anxiety about security led the government to demand that leaders of the civic community take the oath of supremacy and attend protestant service on Sundays and holydays. Those aldermen who refused were imprisoned and proceedings were taken against them in the court of castle chamber. Holywood and his fellow Jesuits were active in encouraging a defiant attitude among the catholic patriciate, and assisted in preparing the defence of those who were brought to court. Their affirmation that they could give political allegiance to James I, but could not acknowledge that he had jurisdiction over spiritual matters, formed the basis of the campaign for legal redress led by Patrick Barnewall (qv).

Although the Jesuits were few at first, their familiarity with Dublin city and county, and the tightly knit network of blood and matrimonial ties to which they had access, ensured them protection and hospitality, and their letters indicate the range of pastoral services to which they attended. As the mission expanded, it extended its operations. In 1610 Holywood organised a system of separate ‘residences’, each responsible for a particular area and each with a spiritual father. By 1619 he had established these in Dublin, east Munster, west Munster, and Connacht. Expansion prompted greater discretion and Holywood successfully opposed the return of James Archer (qv) and Henry Fitzsimon (qv) to the Irish mission. In 1617 and 1619 he received papal permission to set up sodalities, including those with female members, in Carrick, Cashel, Clonmel, Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick, and Waterford. A sodality introduced to Drogheda without papal authorisation (1619) led to a protracted conflict with the Franciscans and Dominicans, in the course of which Holywood disregarded instructions from the Jesuit general in Rome that were designed to bring the dispute to an end.

Although he often expressed a desire to retire, he died in office on 4 September 1626. By that time there were 43 Jesuits in Ireland and many more Irish Jesuits abroad. In 1619 Holywood had published a new edition of De investiganda and written an unpublished treatise ‘Opusculum de virtutibus’ (‘Little work on the virtues’). Shortly before his death he wrote another book, which the Jesuit censors rejected. Until 1618 he used the pseudonym ‘John Bus’ (or ‘Bushlocks’): later, he called himself ‘Thomas Lawndrie’. Occasionally, he used the Latin equivalent of his name, ‘a sacro bosco’.

CSPI, 1599–25; DNB; Edmund Hogan, SJ, Distinguished Irishmen of the sixteenth century (1894), 393–499; James Corboy, SJ, ‘Father Christopher Holywood, S.J., 1559–1626’, Studies, xxxiii (1944), 541–9; Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin, SJ, The Jesuit missions to Ireland in the sixteenth century (c.1970; privately published), 76; John Kingston, ‘The Holywoods of Artane’, Reportorium Novum, i (1956), 342–3; Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ, ‘The Jesuit mission in Ireland’ (Ph.D. thesis, The Catholic University of America, 1982); Colm Lennon, The lords of Dublin in the age of reformation (1989), 174–85, 209–12

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926
On the 4th September the Irish Province will celebrate the tercentenary of the death of one of its most distinguished members.
Fr Christopher Holywood entered the Society in 1582, and in course of time became Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Padua,
On his arrival in England he was arrested and kept in prison until I 603, when he was exiled, and ordered not to return, However, the following year he succeeded in reaching Ireland.
Two other Missions of Jesuits had been sent to Ireland by the Popes: the first comprised Frs. Salmeron and Brouet, 1541 ; the second under Fr David Wolfe, 1560.
The first lasted a very brief time; the second held on until 1986. Some of the members were exiled ; others were martyred or died in prison. When Fr. Holywood arrived he found just five Jesuits in the country. His first care was to provide for the future by having candidates for the Irish Mission accepted in Spain, Italy, and other Provinces. The effects of his work ih this respect are traceable for more than half a century, The Irish Catalogue, 1910, gives the state of our Province in I609: (Holywood became Superior in 1604), 18 priests in Ireland, 20 priests, 82 scholastics, and I brother scattered through Europe, I priest *in Paraguay. He remained Superior to the end of his life. When he died the Irish Mission had been thoroughly organized. There were 42 Jesuits in the country, with reserves in various places in Europe. There were residences in Dublin, Kilkenny, Waterford, Clonmel, Cashel, Cork, Limerick, Galway, and in Ulster. Fr. Holywood had permanently established the Society in Ireland. To him, too, must be given the credit of keeping the faith alive amongst the Anglo-Irish Catholics.
All this great work was carried on in the midst of constant danger. He tells the story himself in a letter written in 1617. “Our brethren” he writes, “are so hotly pursued that, in order to keep at large and perform the functions or their ministry, they have to travel by out of-the-way paths, and pass over walls and hedges, and through woods, and even to sleep on straw, in cornfields and old ruins at which times they always sleep in their clothes in order to be ready to escape”
However, God abundantly blessed their strenuous work. Fr. Holywood again writes in 1622 : “Your Paternity has every reason to thank God for the great success of the Irish Mission SJ, the fragrance of which is the fragrance of a full field which the Lord hath blessed. People never cease admiring and extolling the charity and humility of our Fathers, who shrink from no labour or trouble in working for the salvation of Souls.”
Fr. Holywood is the author of two theological works, and a Latin treatise, De Metearis. The man, whom we may fairly call the founder of the Irish Province, died in Dublin, his native city, the 4th September 1626.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
Christopher Holywood (1598-1626)

Christopher Holywood, son of Nicholas Holywood, lord of Artane, was born in 1562, and entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Verdun, in France, in the month of June, 1584. Having completed his studies at the University of Pont-à-Mousson, he lectured on theology at Dôle in France, and at Padua and Milan in Italy, On 26th September, 1598, he was appointed Superior of the Mission to Ireland undertaken by the Society at the request of Pope Clement VIII. Having made his solemn profession of four vows at Padua on 4th October, 1598, he set out on his journey, but was arrested on landing at Dover in January, 1599, and imprisoned for refusing to take the oath of supremacy. Released and banished in May, 1603, he made his way back to Ireland, arriving there on 16th March, 1604. During the next twenty-two years he organised the Mission with such success that the number of Irish Jesuits increased from seven to forty-four, and Residences were established in ten towns : Dublin, Drogheda, Kilkenny, Waterford, Carrick-on-Suir, Clonmel, Cashel, Cork, Limerick, and Galway. His influence with Catholics was so great that the heretics called him the Teacher of the Papists of Ireland. He published two controversial works and a treatise on meteorology, He died on 4th September, 1626, leaving behind him a great reputation for holiness, prudence, and love of the poor

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1I 1962

Fr Christopher Holywood was the first Superior of the first permanent mission of the Society of Jesus in Ireland. In previous articles I have sketched the lives of Fr Henry Fitzsimon and Fr James Archer. These two pioneer Jesuit missionaries were eminent men of their day in Ireland, It was they who established the mission which was ruled and organised for twenty-three years by Fr Holywood, the subject of the present biography. The task of preparing the way for an organised mission had been a long one. It was not set up, finally, until the last years of the sixteenth century. Before giving an account of Fr Holywood's life, it is opportune to review briefly the activities of the Irish Jesuits from their arrival in Ireland until that time.

The first mission to arrive in Ireland and actually the first Jesuit mission outside the continent of Europe was that of Frs Alphonsus Salmeron and Paschase Brouet. They were the Pope's nuncios apostolic. Three Irish princes - Conn O'Neill, of Tryone, Manus O'Donnell of Tyrconnell, Morogh O'Brien of Thomond - had begged Paul III to send envoys to Ireland. They arrived in this country on the 23 February 1542. Their work was carried out under the greatest difficulties. The Irish Chieftains who had already surrendered, in word at least, to Henry VIII were afraid that the presence of Papal Legates might compronise their position in the eyes of the king, During their short stay of thirty-four days the two Jesuits succeeded in visiting many of these chieftains. Thus on their return to Rome they were able to give a first-hand account of the state of affairs in Ireland. Possibly, too, they helped to bind the people in greater union with Rome, a union which later became so outstanding a characteristic of the Irish Catholics.

The next Jesuit mission was not inaugurated until 1561, some sixteen years later. Laynez, General of the Society of Jesus, was requested by the Pope to send a holy and prudent man to Ireland to confirm the people, both cleric and lay, in obedience to the Holy See, Fr David Wolfe, a Limerick man, was chosen; for not only did he possess the stipulated qualifications of prudence and sanctity of life, but he was also an experienced missionary. On the 20 January 1561 Wolfe landed at Cork, Having declined the episcopal honour offered by the Pope, he was appointed Apostolic Commissary and was given the fullest faculties, including power to open schools, reform monasteries and report on the dispositions of the Irish Bishops.

Fr Wolfe seems to have made a very favourable impression on the Irish. Barefoot, the people travelled miles to meet him and made their confessions, and it is recorded that they returned to their homes filled with a great esteem for the Church of Christ and the Holy See. In a few months he rectified over a thousand marriages which had not been validly contracted. With the help of two other Jesuits, Fr William Good, an Englishman, and Edmond O'Donnell, an Irishman, he opened a small school at Limerick, which owing to the persecution then rife had shortly to be transferred to Kilmallock, later to Clonmel and finally to Youghal, where it continued to exist for about fifteen years. After its suppression, the Jesuits could not dare to make any other foundation until the reign of James I. David Wolfe was one of the most remarkable Irishmen of the century and possibly had more influence in ecclesiastical affairs in Ireland than anyone else of his time. He was arrested at least twice, but managed to escape. He died in Lisbon in 1579. His companion, Edmond O'Donnell, was captured by the English, given a mock-trial and, having been tortured several times, was condemned to death for the faith. On the 25 October 1572 he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Cork - the first of a long line of Jesuits to die for the Faith in Europe.

Dr Tanner, Bishop of Cork, writes of two other Jesuits, Frs Charles Lea and Robert Rochford, who arrived in Ireland about this time: “They are spreading the best of their institute in Youghal, where they teach school and, with great industry, train their scholars in the knowledge of the Christian doctrine, in the frequentation of the sacraments, and in the practice of solid virtue, In spite of the hardships they endure, their efforts are attended with the greatest success”. Lea was arrested soon after his arrival in Ireland, but was later released and laboured in the country until his death in 1586. Rochford, more famous than his companion, is frequently mentioned in contemporary official documents. For many years he was well known as a zealous missioner, rousing the suspicions of the English who offered a reward for his capture, dead or alive, In 1501 he had to leave Ireland and, after his escape, at least four persons were hanged for affording him shelter, Seven years later in 1588, another Irishman, a novice of the Society of Jesus named Maurice Eustace, was hanged, drawn and quartered in Dublin.

Thus almost all the Jesuit missionaries who came to Ireland in the sixteenth century was either executed or banished from the country, From 1586 to 1596 there was no Jesuit in Ireland; but several attempts were made by Irish bishops and Princes to induce the Pope or the General of the Society of Jesus to send Irish Jesuit Fathers to Ireland. This would not have happened had not the names of their predecessors been held in high veneration among the Irish. Perhaps one might wonder why the Irish Jesuit mission was not opened again until so late at 1596? Why did Fr Aquaviva, General of the Jesuits, hesitate so long before sending his men to Ireland?

Possibly he was influenced by the sad state of affairs in England. There he would have heard in 1595 of the martyrdom of Frs Walpole and Southwell, the imprisonment of Frs Jones and Baldwin, and the banishment of Fr Jasper Haywood. Already Frs Campion, Cottam and McMahon, an Irishman, had died on the gallows at Tyburn, and Fr Persons was in exile on the continent. The fate of the Jesuits who had come to Ireland was little better, as we have seen. No wonder then that Aquaviva hesitated. But finally, yielded to numerous appeals, he agreed to reopen the mission to Ireland.

The history of the first five Jesuits to be sent to Ireland at that time can be told briefly. Fr Henry Fitzsimon was imprisoned in Dublin Castle two years after his arrival. · A few years later, his companion Fr James Archer was forced to go into exile, barely escaping with his life, while Fr Christopher Holywood did not even reach Ireland, being captured in England and lodged in the Tower of London. In 1602 Dominic Collins, a lay-brother, was captured in Cork and hanged. Only one of these men, Fr Richard de la Field, temporary Superior in the place of Fr Holywood, was able to work in comparative peace and elude the hands of the English. It was in these circumstances that Fr Holywood undertook to establish a permanent Jesuit mission in Ireland. With what success we shall see later.

Christopher Holywood was born at Artane, near Dublin, in the year 1559, one year after Elizabeth's coronation in England, Belonging to a very old Anglo-Irish family, his father, Nicholas Holywood, was Lord of the manors of Artane, Great Holywood in Santry, and of several other estates in the counties of Dublin, Meath, and Wexford. His mother was the niece of Baron Devlin and heiress-general of the fifth Earon Dunsany.. Holywood could count as relations such prominent families as those of Dunsany, Fingal, Westmeath, Inchiquin and Netterville. This factor was of the utmost importance later, when these houses came under the influence of the reform movement.

Holywood was sent to the University of Padua when he was twenty years of age. Here he came into contact with the Jesuit Fathers of the city, and in 1584 he entered the Society of Jesus. Having made his noviceship at Dôle in France, he afterwards distinguished himself in his philosophical and theological studies. In 1593 we find him at the University of Pont-à-Mousson. The Chancellor of the University at the time was another Irishman, the renowned Fr Richard Fleming, who had succeeded the even more famous Fr Maldonatus in the chair of theology. For a short period Holywood was engaged in teaching philosophy in the University, after which he professed theology at Dôle and later at Pont-à-Mousson again. Finally he was sent to Pauda to teach Sacred Scripture. Here he took his final vows in 1597, at the same time making the acquaintance of Robert Bellarmine. In 1598 he was in Milan. On the 10 June of the same year he wrote to the General of the Jesuits asking for special faculties for the fathers who had gone to the Irish mission. Unfortunately we do not know the circumstances of Holywood's own mission to Ireland, and when we next hear of him he is a prisoner in the Tower of London.

On the 1 May 1599, writing in the third person under the pseudonym of John Bushlock, he gave an account of his journey to England and his capture. From Rome he travelled to Switzerland, then into Spires, finally to Brussels, where the Superior of the house warned him that it was dangerous for a Jesuit to travel through Holland. Leaving Brussels, he went to Arras and then to Abbeyville, where, although disguised as a merchant, he was recognised as a Jesuit. Whereupon he left hastily for Dieppe and, “finding an obscure inn, told its owner that he was an Irishman and a subject of the Queen of England. He was returning home, but feared that English on account of the war which some of the Irish were waging against the Queen”. The inn-keeper stood the test valiantly and at once gave Holywood a secret room. Unable to procure a ship for Ireland, he was compelled to board an English vessel. Very soon he was suspected of being a traitor, but the inn-keeper informed the hesitant captain that “he was a merchant and no traitor”. Taking no risks, Holywood abandoned the ship and travelled on another, whose captain was a French Huguenot. Having arrived at Dover, he was tendered the oath of supremacy and, of course, refused to take it. Instantly he was cast into prison and later placed in the Tower of London. As yet the English did not know that their captive was a priest, much less a Jesuit. After several futile attempts to secure his liberation, he was brought before Lord Cobham, to whom he made known his identity. He declared that he was returning to Ireland solely for the salvation of souls, To Cecil he gave the same information, but only succeeded in rousing his anger - for, according to Holywood, Cecil feared and hated the Jesuits. He issued an order that the priest be placed in close custody.

After some time Holywood was offered his release, if he would take an oath to persuade the Irish that it was unlawful to resist the royal power in Ireland, He refused the offer and was transferred from the Gatehouse prison to Wisbeck Castle. The Superior of the English mission, Fr Henry Garnet, who in a few years was to die a martyr for the faith, reported in May 1600 that Holywood helped to comfort the other Jesuits at Wisbeck and edified all while he was in the Gatehouse. Like his comrade, Fr Fitzsimon, who at this time was closely confined in Dublin, he must occasionally have endured the greatest privations, for we know that the prisoners were not even provided with beds to sleep on. Like Fitzsimon, too, while a prisoner, he held many disputations with the Protestant ministers.

On the death of Elizabeth in April, 1603, Holywood was removed from Wisbeck to Framlington prison in Suffolk. Very soon after this time - the date is uncertain - he was sent into perpetual banishment. He proceeded to Belgium, whence he wrote to his General begging either to be permitted to return to Ireland or to be sent back to his own province at Dôle. The General granted the former request, and on the 16 March 1604. Holywood landed in Ireland. He was again appointed Superior of the mission, and for the next twenty-three years filled that office with remarkable success. The uncertainty of the times did not favour the fostering of a new mission; but, thanks to the prudence and courage of Fr Holywood, rapid strides were made and successful reports poured in from every side. Holywood himself was in constant danger of capture and had to change his abode frequently. Writing to the General of the Jesuits, he says: “I have not been able to write since Easter, as I was obliged to go to remote parts, in order to keep clear of the more than usually troublesome presence of our adversaries. In this retreat I devoted myself to help a very extensive diocese, and I did so at the invitation of its ruler. With our assistance he has set his province in very good order and has given regulations adapted to the tines”. In a letter written about the same time, Fr Wise, a Jesuit living in Waterford, says: “Our pilor, Sacrobosco (Holywood), was fiercely pursued, but escaped; he is accustomed to these storms ...”

All through the first half of the reign of James I. the Irish priests and especially the Jesuits were continually harassed by the government. Thus it was almost impossible for Holywood to set up an organised mission of even the most flexible nature. He had not yet founded a single fixed abode for his men. For almost twenty years after the arrival of Fr Archer in 1596, the Jesuits lived in private houses, or stayed with a bishop or priest in the remote part of the country, and were of course, always disguised as laymen. In spite of these hardships I think it is not untrue to say that their success in Ireland was hardly excelled by that of even the most famous Jesuit missions of the day. For all that they are scarcely mentioned in the ordinary school text-books, and in the histories of the counter-reformation they find no place.

The story of the Irish Jesuit mission between 1604 and 1626, that is during Holywood's period of leadership, is one of intermittent persecution and of constant insecurity. Externally the mission had no organisation. It is true that the letters of the times frequently make reference to residences; but the name if residence was loosely applied to a large district in which a number of Jesuits worked under one superior, but did not necessarily live in the same or in any fixed abode. Thus the residence of Galway comprised all the Jesuits who were working in Connaught, living from hand to mouth in private houses, but under the supervision of the same superior who usually resided in Galway. The Irish Jesuits did not establish their first college in the modern sense until 1619 at Kilkenny - and they had no noviceship for almost another thirty years.

Internally, however, the mission was remarkably well organised, and to this factor more than anything else its success can be attributed. All the year round, the Jesuits travelled through the country ministering and preaching to the people, hurrying from place to place as their identity and place of residence became known to the authorities - at one time preaching in the open air to a group. of. poverty-stricken people, at another uniting chieftains and their ladies: who were at daggers drawn, encouraging all alike to remain steadfast in the practice of their Faith. Everywhere they went the people received them with a never failing welcome. Often they made their confessions on the roadside as the Jesuits passed through the district. Not once do we hear of a betrayal or an act or disloyalty, at a time when treachery meant money and fidelity meant hardship and penury.

In 1619, Fr Holywood wrote a long letter to his General describing the missionary activities of his men. By this time he had established residences in Dublin, Kilkenny, Waterford, Cashel, Clonmel, Cork, Limerick, and one house in Connaught. The first school of the mission was founded in Kilkenny in 1619, After speaking of the work of the Jesuits in the country, he goes on to say: “There are so few priests in the Kingdom that one priest has often charge of four or five parishes. To help them, our fathers go from village to village by day and by night, according to the necessities of the faithful, hearing confessions, giving communion, baptizing, attending the dying, preaching, teaching the catechism, and promoting the interests of peace”. Down in Cork and Kerry we hear of a “successful mission, which they reached by difficult ways, through robbers and Protestant foes, over bogs and mountains, often being without food or drink or a bed. They approached in disguise, converted, and prepared for death nearly all the forty seven pirates captured on the southern coast ...” Fr Galway, a Cork Jesuit, visited the islands. north of Scotland and ministered to the faithful there, many of whom had not seen a preist for years. In the north of Ireland, Fr Robert Nugent gave a running mission over a sixty-mile area. These few examples are typical of the work that was being done all over the country. At this time there were about forty Jesuits in Ireland and all were engaged in active missionary work.

Before I conclude this short sketch of the life of Fr Holywood, I shall refer briefly to his literary work; for besides being an outstanding organiser, he was also an author of no small merit. After his release fron prison in 1603 he went to the continent and in the following year published at Brussels two works entitled “Defenso Concilii Tridentini et sententiae Bellarmini de actoritate Vulgatae Editionis” (a book of four hundred and sixteen pages), and “Libellus de investiganda vera et visibili Christi Ecclesia”, a much smaller treatise. It is interesting to note that James Ussher, in theological lectures which he delivered in Dublin in 1609, quoted Holywood's “Defensio Concilii Tridentini” thirty times. His second work he wrote while in prison in England to help the Protestant ministers and learned men who came to him for advice. In 1604 also he wrote another work entitled “Magna supplicia a persecutionibus aliquot Catholicorum in Hibernia sumpta”, which remained unpublished until Fr Edmund Hogan edited it in the “Irish Ecclesiastical Record” of 1873. In it he gives an account of the fate that befell many of the religious persecutors in Ireland between the years 1577 and 1604, and ends with a eulogy of the Irish Catholics who, despite every persecution, could not be induced to give up the Faith. After his return to Ireland in 1601, Holywood had no further opportunity for literary work.

In February 1622, Holywood was reported to be in bad health and unable to write. Two years later he founded the first Jesuit residence in the north of Ireland. When next we hear of him in 1626, he is still Superior of the mission; but, worn out by the labours and hardships of twenty-three years of missionary activity, he died at the end of the year. It was to his prudence and zeal, in a time fraught with the greatest difficulties, that the General Fr Vitelleschi attributed the success of the mission. On his arrival in Ireland there were only five Jesuits in the country; at his death they numbered forty-two and had nine residences. Until late in the second decade of the seventeenth century, the Jesuits were usually attached to the houses of the gentry, whence they made frequent incursions into the country to give missions and administer the sacraments, After that, through the enterprise of Fr Holywood, they obtained residences of their own, some of which had a community
to eight members, while none had less than three. Thus during his period of office as Superior, the Irish Jesuit mission was stabilised and, became a province of the Order in every respect save in name.

James Corboy SJ

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Christopher Holywood 1562-1626
Christopher Holywood was born in 1562 at Artane Castle, which may still be seen in the grounds of Artane Industrial School. He entered the Society at Verdun in France in 1584.

He is the founder of the Irish Province of the Society as we know it today. He was a brilliant Professor, occupying chairs at Pont-á-Mousson, Dôle and Padua. He was personally acquainted with St Robert Bellarmine, whom he defended against his enemies in a book he published entitled “Defensio Decreti Tridentini”.

In 1596 he was chosen to head the Mission to Ireland, but was captured en route and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Ultimately he was released on the accession of James I of England. He took up duty in Ireland in 1604.

For 22 years he organised the Mission with such success, that on his death on 4th September 1626, he left 42 Jesuits where he found seven, and established Residences in ten towns, one of these in the North.

In his voluminous correspondence, he was force to use many soubriquets, Thomas Lawndrie, Jophn Bushlock, John Bus Jobus, but his favourite one was John de Sacro Bosco, the name of an ancestor, who was a famous mathematician and lectured in Oxford and Paris in the 13th century.

He published two controversial works and a treatise on Meteorology.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
HOLIWOOD, CHRISTOPHER, (often called a Sacro Bosco) was born in Dublin, in the year 1562. At the age of 22, as it appears by one of his letters, he embraced the Institute of St. Ignatius, at Dol, in France, and in the sequel distinguished himself as a Professor of Philosophy and Divinity at Padua. Ordered to Ireland to preside over his brethren, he took shipping as a merchant in January, 1599, at Dieppe, but was apprehended on reaching Dover, and committed to prison for refusing the Oath of Supremacy. Escorted to London he underwent an examination by Lord Cobham, Governor of the Cinque Ports, and was then forwarded to Secretary Sir Robert Cecyll. The Father told Sir Robert at once, that he was a Priest and a Member of the Society of Jesus. (He was induced to do so, as he was aware many persons then in the kingdom were well acquainted with him at Padua.) The Secretary inquired the motives of his coming hither. He answered for the Salvation of souls. But what need have we of your assistance? said the Secretary. Are not we Christians? That is not at all sufficient, said the Father, unless you be Catholics. Well, replied the Secretary, as no one can help your believing what you think right, until God enlightens your mind, you shall not suffer anything for your Faith; but if you are found guilty of meddling with changes and state affairs, 1 promise you, you shall not escape with impunity. The Father rejoined. Long since I have renounced the world : I no longer mix myself up with secular concerns, and I am unable to do so : for they are foreign to my Institute. The Secretary then began to inveigh against the Society of Jesus, on which the Father boldly undertook its defence, and plainly told him, that the Society proposed nothing to its members which was not praiseworthy; on which the Secretary ordered him to be removed, and kept in close custody in which state he continued for three months, until his relation, Lord Dunsany obtained for him the liberty of the prison, which consists in this, that he is not denied the liberty of receiving his friends. The above particulars I collect from a letter, dated Dublin, 11th of May, 1599.
F. Henry Garnett, in a letter of the 19th of April, 1599, announces the apprehension of F. Holiwood as a recent event : and in his letter of the 22nd of May, 1600, says of him, “he doth much comfort our friends at Wisbich, and was of exceeding edification in the Gatehouse. There is hope of getting him at liberty, and sending him into his Country”. Change of prison, however, was the only relief that this Irish Father could procure, while the tyrannical Elizabeth swayed the sceptre : his friends at length obtained his removal to Framlingham Castle, which he quitted for perpetual banishment, in virtue of the Proclamation of James I. at his accession to the throne of England. I find the Father writing from Lisle, 30th of June, 1603, and from Douay, 16th, of July, 1603. In the last dated letter, he states, that a short time before the queen’s death, the Catholics in Dublin had experienced the storm of persecution. The instigators were Terrell, the Mayor of the City, and Rider, the dean of St. Patrick s, and polemical antagonist of F. Henry Fitzsimon. Many Catholics quitted the town, and the leading citizens were committed to gaol. Baron Mountjoy was then absent in Connaught; at his return the citizens presented a memorial of their grievances. Turning to the Mayor, his Excellency said, “I am putting an end to warfare abroad, and you, Sir, are sowing the seeds of wars at Home”. It was thought that his Excellency had received information of the Queen’s dangerous illness, with instruction to pacify and conciliate the public mind. The letter adds, that on the news of Queen Elizabeth’s death reaching Ireland, in the cities of Waterford, Kilkenny, and Cork, and in various ether places the churches were seized on and restored to Catholic worship. Lord Mountjoy began to apprehend lest the greater part of the island would join in the insurrection. He had come to a composition fortunately with O’Neil, and having collected all his forces from the North he hurried down to the South to arrest the progress of discontent : and having succeeded in his object, sailed from Dublin to England. F. Holiwood embarked from St. Malo, and reached Ireland the 16th March, 1604, the Eve of St. Patrick, “Omen uti spero felix”, as he expresses it. Towards the end of Lent he met FF. Nicholas Lynch, Richard Field, Walter Wale, and Barnaby Kearney, brother to the Archbishop of Cashell, and Andrew Morony. At this time the Catholics of Ireland enjoyed a certain negative freedom of their religion. But this was of short duration. As soon as James thought himself sufficiently secure on his throne, he basely recalled all his promises of toleration.
His subsequent conduct shewed how dangerous it is for the civil and religious rights of subjects to depend on the will of any man, and especially on the caprice of a drunken and voluptuous sovereign, as James unquestionably was. His Proclamamation, dated Westminster, 4th July, 1605, was published with great solemnity in Dublin, on the 28th September, in which his Majesty desires that no one should hope for his tolerating the exericse of any other worship, but that of the church established by law; he commanded all his subjects to attend the Protestant Churches on Sundays and festivals - requires all Priests to withdraw from the realm before the 10th of December; forbids any of his subjects to harbour any Priest; and renews the penal statutes of the late Queen against Popish Recusants and Popish Priests and Jesuits.
From an interesting letter of F. Holiwood, dated 10th of December, 1605, I discover, that to strike terror amongst the Catholic population of Dublin, who nobly refused to sacrifice their religion to Mammon the Lord Lieutenant and Privy Council, had sent to prison on the 22nd and 27th of November, several members of the Corporation, and some of the principal citizens. A deputation of gentlemen from the Counties of Kildare, Meath, and Louth, upon this, waited on his Excellency, and petitioned for a suspension of the system of coercion, until they could be allowed to visit his Majesty s Court, and represent their case. After a delay of fifteen days, his Excellency, in the exercise of despotic power, threw some of the deputation into gaol, and ordered others to confine themselves to their houses, and neither to write to any one, nor speak to any person who was not part of the family, under the penalty of a thousand pounds English money. A large body of troops was assembled at Dublin, and detachments were drafted off for the apprehension of Priests all over the kingdom. F. Holiwood incloses the lists of some of the Prisoners :
The following are citizens of Dublin : “Mr. Walter Seagrove, John Shelton, James Beelowe, Thomas Penket, Kennedy, Stephens, Tornor, Kearroll, &c.
These and others were first commanded to go to church by proclamation; again by special commandment; last by commandment upon the duty of allegiance, under the broad seal, and therefore indicted after, in the Star Chamber, fined, and committed for contempt. Noblemen and gentlemen committed for putting in of a petition.
‘My Lord Viscount of Gormanston, My Lord of Lowth (as I heare), Sir Patrick Barnwall, close Prisoner, Sir James Dillon. John Finglass, Richard Netirvil and Henry Burnell, committed to their howses only by reason of their adge’.
But the heart is sickened with these abominable reprisals on conscience with these impious attempts of a government to force its novel opinions on a nation, and rob a people of its religious freedom. The history of the Irish Reformation is indeed a compound of absurdity and barbarity, unprecedented in the Annals of mankind.
To return to F. Holiwood. He continued in very difficult times to render essential services to his county and to religion, by his zeal, wisdom, charity and fortitude, until his pious death on the 4th of September, 1616. His pedantic and blgotted sovereign had expressly denounced him in his speech to the Parliament, 1st of May, 1614, and the Royal Commissioners reported in 1615, that “Hollywood, a Jesuit, was kept and harboured by Sir Christopher Plunkett”.

From the pen of this Father we have :

  1. “Defensio Concilii Tridentini et Sententice Bellarmini de auctoritate VuLgatae Editionis”, with an appendix.
  2. “Libellus de investiganda vera et visibili Christi Ecclesiae”. This is a 4to. volume printed at Antwerp, 1604. It was re-printed with additions at Antwerp, in an 8vo form, 1619, under the name of John Geraldini.
  3. A Latin Treatise “De Meteoris”.
  • He sometimes signs himself Johannes Bushlock
  • This hollow and rotten hearted prince had been a pensioner of the Pope, and the king of Spain. F. William Creitton, in a letter to F. Thomas Owen, dated Billom, 4th of June, 1605, says also. “Our Kyng had so great fear of ye nombre of Catholikes, ye pui-saunce of Pope and Spaine, yet he offered Libertie of Conscience and send me to Rome to deal for the Pope’s favor and making of an Scottish Cardinal, as I did shaw the Kyng s letter to F. Parsons”. In the sequel this contemptible tyrant considered a petition presented for Liberty of Conscience as an indignity, and committed the petitioners to gaol for their presumption!

LAWNDY, THOMAS, was the acting Superior of the Irish Mission in 1623,4,5, as his letters demonstrate, and appears to have had habits of business.

Hurley, Michael, 1923-2011, Jesuit priest and ecumenist

  • IE IJA J/775
  • Person
  • 10 May 1923-15 April 2011

Born: 10 May 1923, Ardmore, County Waterford
Entered: 10 September 1940, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 15 August 1954, Leuven, Belgium
Final Vows: 03 February 1958, Chiessa del Gesù, Rome, Italy
Died: 15 April 2011, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Older brother of Jimmy - RIP 2020

Founder of the Irish School of Ecumenics 1971
Founder of the Columbanus Community of Reconciliation, Derry, 1983

by 1952 at Leuven (BEL M) studying
by 1957 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
by 1981 at Nairobi Kenya (AOR) Sabbatical

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Hurley, Michael Anthony
by Turlough O'Riordan

Hurley, Michael Anthony (1923–2011), ecumenist and theologian, was born on 10 May 1923 in Ardmore, Co. Waterford, the eldest of four children (two boys and two girls) of Michael Hurley, a small businessman, and his wife Johanna (née Foley), who kept a guest house. He won a scholarship to board at the Cistercian Trappist Mount Melleray Abbey (1935–40), and on 10 September 1940 entered the Jesuit novitiate at Emo Park, Co. Laois, drawn to the order's intellectual reputation. He studied classics at UCD (1942–5), graduating BA, and philosophy at Tullabeg, Co. Offaly (1945–8), before teaching Latin and Irish at Mungret College, Limerick (1948–51). At Mungret, he established a reputation for radical, independent thinking. He set up a study circle that examined Marxist texts, and published an assessment of The Communist manifesto in the Irish Monthly (1948). A brief student hunger strike at the college (in protest at poor food) was blamed on Hurley by his provincial, and when he was observed by Garda special branch entering the communist book shop in Pearse Street, Dublin, in clerical garb, gardaí visited Mungret to notify his superiors.

He studied theology at Louvain (1951–5), and was much influenced by the ecumenist Professor Georges Dejaifve. Interested in workers' councils, Hurley spent summers volunteering with the Young Christian Workers in the Charleroi coal mines in Belgium (1951) and in a steel factory in the south of France (1952). He was ordained at Louvain on 15 August 1954. His postgraduate work at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (1956–8) (where his rector was the ecumenical Charles Boyer, SJ) resulted in a doctorate in theology (1961), published as Scriptura sola: Wyclif and his critics (1960), in which Hurley posited a traditionalist view of the teachings and biblical exegesis of the dissident English priest John Wyclif (d. 1384).

Returning to Ireland, Hurley was appointed professor of dogmatic theology to the Jesuit faculty of theology at Milltown Park, Dublin (1958–70). He was instrumental in establishing an annual series of public lectures (1960–81) which anticipated many of the themes addressed by the second Vatican council (1962–5), and propagated its teaching. His lecture on 'The ecumenical movement' (9 March 1960), benefiting from the guidance he received from Raymond Jenkins (1898–1998), later Church of Ireland archdeacon of Dublin (1961–74) (who introduced Hurley to George Tyrrell (qv) and anglican theologians), was published as Towards Christian unity (1961) and praised by Fr Denis Faul (qv). Although Archbishop John Charles McQuaid (qv) of Dublin and Hurley's Jesuit superiors opposed his accepting an invitation to lecture the TCD Student Christian Movement (May 1962), Hurley gave the lecture off campus; it was later published in the Irish Ecclesiastical Record (1962). He also lectured methodist theological students at Edgehill Theological College, Belfast (1963), and addressed lay groups such as Muintir na Tíre and Tuairim at ecumenical forums from the early 1960s. Delivering the annual Aquinas lecture at QUB in March 1964, Hurley suggested the Vatican council pursue church reform to 'restore once again that diversity of rite and usage and human tradition which is the authentic and due manifestation of true Christian unity' (Ir. Times, 9 March 1964). In May 1966 the Irish Times intended to reprint his article on mixed marriages from the Irish Furrow, but this was halted at the last minute by McQuaid. Hurley's April 1968 Milltown lecture addressing original sin suffered a similar fate, and McQuaid sought to expel him from the Dublin archdiocese. Only the intercession of Fr Cecil McGarry (rector of Milltown (1965–8) and Irish provincial (1968–75)) allowed Hurley to remain.

A committed ecumenist, Hurley sought to confront the latent sectarianism found among both Irish catholics and protestants. His engagement with the wider international Christian communion, whose variety within and across denominations fascinated him, was marked by his coverage of the 1963 Paris meeting of the World Council of Churches for the Irish Press, attendance at the general council of the world alliance of presbyterian reformed churches in Frankfurt (1964) and at the World Methodist Council in London (1966), and lecture on the catholic doctrine of baptism to presbyterian students at Assembly's College, Belfast (February 1968). He was a member of the organising committees that established the Glenstal (June 1964) and Greenhills (January 1966) unofficial ecumenical conferences, ensuring that presbyterian and methodist representatives were invited to the former, and edited collected papers from these conferences in Church and eucharist (1966) and Ecumenical studies: baptism and marriage (1968).

Hurley's contacts with methodists led to his appointment (1968–76) to the joint commission between the Roman catholic church and World Methodist Council. He was attracted to the ecumenical nature of the spirituality of John Wesley (qv), and edited Wesley's Letter to a Roman catholic (1968) (originally published in 1749 in Dublin), which required adroit navigation on either side of the denominational divide. Hurley's Theology of ecumenism (1969) concisely summarised the relevant theology, urging participative ecumenism and the ecumenising of clerical theological education, which provoked further opposition from McQuaid. To mark the centenary of the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland, Hurley edited Irish anglicanism 1869–1969 (1970), comprising essays by Augustine Martin (qv) and John Whyte (qv) among others. In its conclusion, Hurley argued that 'Christian disunity is a contradiction of the church's very nature' (p. 211). At its launch, the book was presented to anglican primate George Otto Simms (qv) during an ecumenical service that was broadcast live on RTÉ (15 April 1970). Reviewing in the Furrow (October 1970), Monsignor Tomás Ó Fiaich (qv) commended the volume's 'spirit of mutual respect and genuine reflection'.

In October 1970 Hurley founded the interdenominational Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE). An independent institution, unattached to a theological college or university department, it had patrons from the anglican, catholic, methodist and presbyterian churches in Ireland. Based in Pembroke Park, Dublin, it was named Bea House after the Jesuit cardinal who had piloted Vatican II's decree on ecumenism (1964), and adopted the motto floreat ut pereat (may it flourish in order to perish). The results of the school's consultation and research on mixed marriages (September 1974), addressing Pope Paul VI's motu propiro, Matrimonia mixta (1970), were edited by Hurley as Beyond tolerance: the challenge of mixed marriage (1974). This angered Archbishop Dermot Ryan (qv) of Dublin (1972–84), who complained to Hurley that the ISE 'was a protestant rather than an ecumenical institute' (Hurley (2003), 86). A well-regarded consultation marking the thirtieth anniversary in 1978 of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights indicated the ISE's increasingly expansive and pluralist approach. It promoted ecumenism in pursuit of social justice, human rights and reconciliation, focused on training and education to spur inter-church dialogue, and communicated international ecumenical developments to an often insular Irish ecclesiastical world. In 1980 Hurley resigned as ISE director, primarily to improve the school's relations with the catholic hierarchy.

A sabbatical (1980–81), spent travelling in Africa, the Middle East, China and Europe, led to a profound period of spiritual reflection. Hurley was perturbed at the continued resistance to both practical and theological ecumenism by evangelical protestants and the Roman catholic hierarchy, and at how Orthodox Christianity, which he experienced first hand at Mount Athos, viewed western Christians as heretics; he saw this schism reflected in the concomitant stance of conservative catholic theologians towards reformed Christianity. After visiting a variety of Christian communities, Hurley decided to found an interdenominational religious residential community. Developing the idea with the support of Joseph Dargan, SJ, his Irish provincial, he consulted widely among friends and religious communities of varying denominations, and conceived of a liturgical community of prayer combining facets of a Benedictine monastery and Jesuit house, engaging in apostolic outreach. The Columbanus Community of Reconciliation was inaugurated on 23 November 1983, the feast of its patron saint, as a residential Christian community on the Antrim Road, Belfast, to challenge sectarianism, injustice and violence; Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich agreed to be a patron. Hurley led the community until 1991, before withdrawing in 1993 aged 70; he remained a trustee until 2002. Despite deteriorating community relations in Northern Ireland, it made some discernible progress in ecumenical initiatives and dialogue.

Hurley was coordinator for ecumenism with the Irish Jesuit province (1995–2004), and led retreats as director of spiritual exercises (2004–11). His relentless promotion of educational integration and meaningful interfaith dialogue marked the limits of functional ecumenicalism. Anointed the 'father of Irish ecumenism' (Furrow, April 1996) by Seán Mac Réamoinn (qv), Hurley was awarded honorary LLDs by QUB (1993) and TCD (1995), and honoured by a Festschrift, Reconciliation (1993; ed. Oliver Rafferty), emanating from a conference held that year in Belfast. In his memoir Healing and hope (1993), he noted that he would probably have embraced presbyterianism but for his upbringing, and that 'while the change of terminology, and of theology, from unity to reconciliation, is a sign of maturity, resistance to it is also a sign that we are still wandering in the desert' (Hurley (2003), 122). The same memoir lists his extensive bibliography. A selection of his writings and reminiscences, Christian unity (1998), was followed by his editing of a history of the The Irish School of Ecumenics 1970–2007 (2008). At its launch, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin apologised to Hurley for his treatment in the 1970s by the Dublin archdiocese.

Having endured cancer for a number of years, Hurley died on 15 April 2011 at St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, after a heart attack. His brother James Hurley, SJ, was principal celebrant at his funeral (19 April) at St Francis Xavier church, Gardiner Street, Dublin; mass was sung by the choir of the anglican St Patrick's cathedral, Dublin. Hurley's sister Mary was, as Mother Imelda, an abbess of the Cistercian St Mary's Abbey, Glencairn, Co. Waterford. The annual Michael Hurley memorial lecture commenced at Milltown in 2012.

National University of Ireland: calendar for the year 1946; Ir. Times, 12 Oct., 7 Nov. 1963; 9 Mar 1964; 11 Mar. 1965; 1 Jan., 16 May, 2 Aug. 1966; 8 July 1972; 2, 9 Sept. 1974; Michael Hurley, 'Northern Ireland: a scandal to theology', occasional paper no. 12, Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Edinburgh (1987), 26; id., Christian Unity: an ecumenical second spring? (1998); id., Healing and hope: memories of an Irish ecumenist (2003); Francis Xavier Carty, Hold firm: John Charles McQuaid and the second Vatican council (2007); Ronald A. Wells, Hope and reconciliation in Northern Ireland: the role of faith-based organisations (2010); Patrick Fintan Lyons, 'Healing and hope: remembering Michael Hurley', One in Christ, xlv, no. 2 (2011); Clara Cullen and Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh, His grace is displeased: selected correspondence of John Charles McQuaid (2013); Owen F. Cummings, 'Ecumenical pioneer, Michael Hurley, SJ (1923–2011)' in One body in Christ: ecumenical snapshots (2015), 40–52

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Michael Hurley SJ, RIP
Well-known ecumenist and co-founder of the Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE), Michael Hurley SJ, died this morning, Friday 15 April, at 7am in St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin. He was 87
years old.
He was Director of the ISE from 1970 until 1980. In 1981, whilst on retreat in India, he had the vision of an ecumenical community of Catholics and Protestants living together somewhere in Northern Ireland. He made that vision a reality in 1983 when he co-founded the Columbanus Community of Reconciliation on the Antrim Rd, North Belfast, in 1983. He lived and worked there for ten years.
He has written extensively on the subject of ecumenism and his publications include Towards Christian Unity (CTS1961), Church and Eucharist (Ed., Gill 1966), Reconciliation in Religion and Society (Ed., Institute of Irish Studies, Belfast 1994), Healing and Hope: Memories of an Irish Ecumenist ( Columba, 2003) and Christian Unity: An Ecumenical Second Spring? (Veritas) – the fruit of some forty years of ecumenical experience in both theory and practice. The book carries prefaces from the leaders of the four main Churches in Ireland who pay generous tribute to the author’s work- work which was once seen as quite controversial.
Michael Hurley was born in Ardmore, Co.Waterford and joined the Jesuits on 10 September, 1940. He was educated in University College Dublin and Eegenhoven-Louvain, before completing his doctorate in theology in the Gregorian University in Rome. He received an honorary doctorate (LLD) from Queen’s University Belfast in 1993, and from Trinity College Dublin in 1995.
He lived with the Jesuit community in Milltown Park from 1993 until the present. He was Province Co- ordinator for Ecumenism from 1995-2004 and writer and Director of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius from 2004 to 2011.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Michael Hurley
Referred to as the ‘father of Irish ecumenism’, Michael Hurley devoted his life to promoting unity in the midst of conflict and division.
Michael Hurley was born in Ardmore, Waterford, in 1923. After having attended school at Mount Melleray he entered the Jesuit noviciate, at the age of seventeen. As part of his studies to become a Jesuit, Fr Hurley was educated in University College Dublin and the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, before completing his doctorate in theology in the Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained a priest in 1954 and, having finished his studies, began teaching at Mungret College near Limerick in 1958.
Throughout his time as a Jesuit, Fr Hurley was a strong advocate for ecumenism, that striving for unity between the various Christian churches which was given real impetus at the Second Vatican Council between 1962-1965. Fr Hurley was a true pioneer in giving practical expression to the revised ecclesiology of the Council. He left his teaching role at Mungret in 1970 and then co-founded the Irish School of Ecumenics at Milltown Park.
The school dealt with relations in Northern Ireland at a time when the Troubles were very much a reality of people’s everyday lives. However, the then Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid, did not approve of Fr Hurley’s work with the school, and a ban was issued on him speaking within the archdiocese on ecumenical matters. This was only lifted through the intervention of the Jesuit provincial in Ireland. Archbishop McQuaid died in 1973, but his successor continued his opposition against the school, and in 1980 Fr Hurley felt it necessary to step down as director.
This was by no means the end of Fr Hurley’s active role in ecumenism in Ireland, however. In 1983 he co-founded the inter-church Columbanus Community of Reconciliation in Belfast, as a place where Catholics and Protestants could live together. He himself lived and worked there for ten years before moving to the Jesuit community in Milltown Park in 1993. That same year he received an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University Belfast, and Trinity College awarded him one two years later.
From 1995 to 2004 Hurley was the Province Co-ordinator for Ecumenism, and the Director of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius from 2004 until his death in 2011, at the age of eighty-seven. In 2008, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin apologised to Hurley for how he had been treated in the past, and acknowledged the greatly important work he had done.

Many tributes have been paid to Fr Michael Hurley SJ, who died on Friday 15 April at the age of 87. Hundreds attended his requiem mass in Gardiner St. on Tuesday 19 April. Considered by many to be ‘the father of Irish ecumenism’, he was co-founder of the Irish School of Ecumenics in 1970 and remained Director there for ten years. In 1981, whilst on retreat in India, he had the vision of an ecumenical community of Catholics and Protestants living together somewhere in Northern Ireland. On his return in 1983 he co-founded the Columbanus Community of Reconciliation on the Antrim Rd, Belfast. He lived and worked there also for ten years, always giving a sincere and warm welcome to visitors north and south. Read below for an appreciation by Donal Neary SJ, Parish Priest of Gardiner St.
Michael had a huge capacity for friendship. He often remembered all sorts of details, great and small, about novices he had befriended. The renewed community life of the post-Vatican II years gave many Jesuits a new and more personal form of community life. This spoke to Michael, who was an active initiator of the first small community in Milltown Park, and this was the beginning of many sustained links with younger Jesuits, who, he said, kept him young.
He struggled with the loneliness of academic life, working hard not to let it limit his care and interest in his fellow Jesuits and many friends. Today we might call him an iconic figure – he was this in worldwide ecumenical circles, and a larger-than-life member of the Irish Jesuits. His sense of humour, as well as skilled diplomacy, got him through many potential crises. He invited us to many hilarious and kindly gatherings in Milltown Park, and even engaged us in humorous yet deeply spiritual plans for his funeral. A new book, a milestone birthday, a jubilee of priesthood or Jesuit life, to which people of many churches and ways of life would find their way — all of these could be occasions for Michael to gather his friends around him.
He allowed us share some of the frustrations of illness over the last years, whether in conversation over a good lunch or on the telephone. Jesuit students remember the famous occasion when a lecture he was due to give was cancelled as it was considered potentially offensive by certain Church leaders. We younger students looked on him favourably as one of the ‘rebels’ after Vatican II, always pushing the boat out a bit into deeper ecumenical and theological seas.
We might recall that Michael never gave up – on life which he faced always courageously, on his friends whom he thought so highly of even when we did not deserve it, on the church’s movement into ecumenism which he pushed on with patience and zest, and on God whom he heartily believed never gave up on him.
Donal Neary SJ

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011


Fr Michael Hurley (1923-2011)

10th May 1923: Born in Ardmore, Co. Waterford
Early education: National School; Mount Melleray Seminary, Cappoquinn
10th September 1940: Entered the Society at Emo
11th September 1942: First vows at Emo
1942 - 1945: Rathfarnham: studied Arts at UCD
1945 - 1948: Tullabeg - studied philosophy
1948 - 1951: Mungret College - regency.
1951 - 1955: Theology at St Albert College, Eegenhoven, Louvain
15 August 1954: Ordained at Eegenhoven, Louvain
1955 - 1956: Tertianship in Rathfarnham
1956 - 1958: Gregorian, Rome: biennium in dogmatic theology
1958 - 1970: Milltown Park: Professor of Dogma
3rd February 1958: Final Vows at the Gesu, Rome
1970 - 1980: Director of Irish School of Ecumenics
1980 - 1981: Sabbatical
1981 - 1983: Special project: ecumenical community in N Ireland
1983 - 1993: Milltown Park: fouding Columbanus House, Belfast Province Coordinator of ecumenism
1993 - 2011: Milltown Park: writer, director of Spiritual Exercises
1995 - 2004: Coordinator of ecumenism
2004 - 2011: Writer, director of Spiritual Exercises
15th April 2011: Died at Cherryfield

Fr Hurley had a successful hip replacement in March 2011. After some time he moved to Cherryfield Lodge for 2 weeks recuperation, and he was expected back to Milltown Park shortly. He was unwell for a few days and died suddenly on the morning of 15th April 2011. May he rest in the peace of Christ.

Obituary from several hands
In the Milltown Park Community, where Michael Hurley had recently celebrated fifty years of residence (though ten of them were spent in Belfast), his death leaves a more than usually obvious hole. He was a strong presence, a genius at finding reasons to celebrate, and also with a sharp sense of how things could be improved, not merely in the Church and the Society, but also in the community. He had a huge capacity for friendship, and remembered all sorts of important and relevant things about his friends. The renewed community life of the post-Vatican II years gave many Jesuits a new and more personal form of community life. Michael was an active initiator of the first small community in Milltown Park, and this was the beginning of many sustained links with younger Jesuits who, he said, kept him young.

He struggled with the loneliness of academic life, never allowing it to limit his care and interest in his fellow Jesuits and many friends, Today we might call him an iconic figure – he was this in worldwide ecumenical circles, and a larger-than-life member of the Irish Jesuits.

Frances Makower's collection of Jesuits telling their faith stories, Call and Response, contains a chapter by Michael, which he called “Triple Vocation" - as an ecumenist, a Jesuit and a Catholic: a Catholic since he was born, a Jesuit since his late teens and an ecumenist since his late thirties. His account relates his rootedness in the faith of his family community in Ardmore, his Jesuit formation and his theological studies in Louvain. He reflects. “For me the Spirit of God lives in all three and is never grieved in all three at the same time. Despite the sin and unbelief in any one or two of them, the Spirit subsists in the others(s) giving me the energy and consolation to persevere”.

Michael was a prophet: not a prophet in the way that popular culture uses the term, but in the biblical sense of someone who is called and sent by God to speak out to the community about its restricted thinking and behaviour, and to call the community to hear anew the voice of the Lord.

In his account of his life and spiritual journey, Michael relates how somewhat to his surprise, in 1959 and then into the 1960s, he found himself moving into and developing both ecumenical theology and personal relationships with the churches, leading of course to the commemoration of the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland in 1969 for which he edited a volume of essays, Irish Anglicanism. He founded the Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE) in 1970, and published his classic little book The Theology of Ecumenism. In 1981, while on a thirty-day retreat in India as part of a sabbatical, he felt called to found an ecumenical community in Belfast and so the Columbanus Community of Reconciliation was born. He wrote extensively on the subject of ecumenism, and his publications include Towards Christian Unity (1961), Church and Eucharist (1966), Reconciliation in Religion and Society (1994), Healing and Hope: Memories of an Irish Ecumenist (2003) and Christian Unity: an ecumenical Second Spring? (2004) - the fruit of some forty years of ecumenical experience in both theory and practice. The book carries prefaces from the leaders of the four main Churches in Ireland who pay generous tribute to the author's work, work which was once seen as quite controversial.

Michael's early ecumenical initiatives were “a source of anguish” to John Charles McQuaid, then Archbishop of Dublin, who decided to impose an absolute prohibition on Michael “speaking within my sphere of jurisdiction”. It was only the able and passionate defence of Michael's cause by Provincial Cecil McGarry that persuaded John Charles to relent. Difficulties continued with his successor, Dermot Ryan. Michael later recalled: “Archbishop Ryan became somewhat unhappy with the Irish School of Ecumenics, and with myself in particular, because, although I'm called after the archangel, I'm no angel in my behaviour. So, towards the end of the ISE's first decade, it seemed best to remove myself from the scene. After that the school's relationship with the Catholic archdiocese did improve”. Cardinal Connell later became the first Catholic archbishop of Dublin to be a formal patron of the school.

In 2008 Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who uncovered the archival material relating to Fr Hurley, apologised to him “for some misunderstandings on the part of my predecessors”. In a good-natured exchange at Milltown, Michael spoke of his "great sense of relief and joy and gratitude" as he listened to Dr Martin's magnanimous apology. It was a mark of Michael's own style in the community that he was quick to apologise if he sensed a cloud over some relationship.

What was central to Michael, as to other prophets, was his deep faith, his unwavering hope and his powerful love. His faith, his hope and his love shine through the risks he took in his many ventures, especially the big ones, the Irish School of Ecumenics, the Columbanus Community and the consultations. Even when he was under pressure from ecclesiastical authorities - and like the prophets, he endured much - he continued to stay grounded in his faith, his hope and his love.

He wasn't a personal empire-builder - witness the ISE's brilliant motto Floreat ut pereat. The honours he received, honorary doctorates from Queen's and Dublin universities, the Coventry Cross of Nails, and the Festschrift, were honours for his work, for what he had been sent to preach and to bear witness. He changed us, not merely through the institutional legacy of the ISE, but through our emotional and intellectual response to other Christian churches, and through our keener grasp of the ministry of reconciliation, a strong theme in the Society ever since the time of Ignatius and Peter Faber.

Michael was energetic for God's work. When that energy began to fade in his latter years, he was deeply frustrated. The perseverance and resilience that he talks about in his memoir became a frustration, both for him and his community. Prophets find old age and the limitations of health difficult. But he was never bitter. He never gave up - on life, which he always faced courageously, on his friends who he thought so highly of even when they felt undeserving of it; on the church's movement into ecumenism, which he pushed on with patience and zest; and on God who he believed never gave up on him.

Homily at Michael Hurley's Funeral : 19th April 2011 - David Coghlan
This homily has been in incubation for a long time. Frances Makower's collection of Jesuits telling their faith stories, Call and Response, contains a chapter by Michael, from which I'll draw. Michael gave me a copy of that book for Christmas, and on the flyleaf he wrote, “If you are going to preach at my funeral, you'd better have a copy of the authorised version of my story”. The date of that inscription reads Christmas 1994! There was hardly an occasion when we were together since that he didn't ask me if I had written his funeral sermon yet! Michael asked that his funeral be joyful. He looked forward to being in attendance and to enjoying a celebration of his life with his Jesuit brothers, his family, and his friends in all the Churches. My task this morning is not to talk about Michael, though I will do that a lot, but to talk aut God primarily, and about God as he worked in Michael's life.

Michael called his chapter in the Call and Response book, “Triple Vocation” where he narrated his vocation as an ecumenist, a Jesuit and a Catholic: a Catholic since he was born, a Jesuit since his late teens and an ecumenist since his late thirties. His account relates his rootedness in the faith of his family community in Ardmore, his Jesuit formation and his theological studies in Louvain. He reflects. “For me the Spirit of God lives in all three and is never grieved in all three at the same time. Despe the sin and unbelief in any one or two of them, the Spirit subsists in the others(s) giving me the energy and consolation to persevere” (p. 135).

I lived in community with Michael in the early 1970s, in a small community which he referred to as “Finkewalde”, and another Christmas present from Michael that I have since 1973 is a copy of Bonhoeffer's, Life Together, a little book that we often talked about and which was influential in forming Michael's spirituality. The insight I received at that time, and which has not been superseded in the 40 years since, is that Michael was a prophet, not a prophet in the way that popular culture uses the term but in the biblical sense of someone who is called and sent by God to speak out to the community about its restricted thinking and behaviour and to call the community to hear anew the voice of the Lord. Hence the reading from Jeremiah to which we have just listened. In his account of his life and spiritual journey in Call and Response, Michael relates, how somewhat to his surprise, in 1959 and then into the 1960s, he found himself moving into and developing both ecumenical theology and personal relationships with the churches, leading of course to the commemoration of the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland in 1969 for which he edited a volume of essays, Irish Anglicanism, the founding of the School of Ecumenics in 1970 and his classic little book The Theology of Ecumenism. In 1981, while on a thirty day retreat in India as part of a sabbatical, he felt called to found an ecumenical community in Belfast and so the Columbanus Community of Reconciliation was born. The gospel story to which we have listened was a treasured text for Michael as it signified for him that he understood how the risen Jesus walked with him, supported him and constantly taught him and led him.

Like prophets, what was central to Michael was his deep faith, his unwavering hope and his powerful love. Whatever we want to say about Michael and there are many things we can say, his faith, his hope and his love shine through the risks he took in his many ventures, especially the big ones, The Irish School of Ecumenics and the Columbanus Community and the consultations. Even when he was under pressure from ecclesiastical authorities, and like the prophets, he endured much, he continued to stay grounded in his faith, his hope and his love. He wasn't a personal empire builder; “Floreat ut pereat” bears witness to that. The honours he received, honorary doctorates from Queen's and Dublin universities and the Coventry Cross of Nails, and the feschrift were honours for his work, for what he had been sent to preach and to bear witness. In this regard he notes in his chapter, referring to the Spiritual Exercises, “Must I not desire and choose, must I not prefer failure with Christ on the cross rather than success, provided equal or greater praise and service be given to the Divine Majesty?” (p.146)

Michael was energetic for God's work and when that energy began to fade in his latter years, he was deeply frustrated. The perseverance and resilience that he talks about in his chapter became a frustration, both for him and his community, Prophets find old age and the limitations of health difficult. But he was never bitter. When I visited him in Mt. Carmel a couple of weeks ago we spent time talking about the card he had propped up on the windowsill where he could see it from his bed. It was a triptych of religious scenes from old masters, including Fra Angelico's Annunciation.

So then, what about us? There is a sense in which we are all called to be prophets. There is an invitation to hear God's voice, to respond to how God invites us, each in our own personal story and concrete circumstances to confront the challenges in our world that are destructive of faith, of hope, of love, of human dignity, of justice, of peace, of reconciliation and so on,

I suggest that we consider that Michael's life is a life about God - about how God graced a man to be his prophet, to speak to our age about the scandal of Christian disunity not in condemnation, but as a call to a deeper shared faith, hope and love. Jesuits define themselves as sinners, yet called to be companions of Christ sent to the inculturated proclamation of the gospel and dialogue with other religious traditions as integral dimensions of evangelization. Michael devoted his Jesuit life to living this. I am confident, rather than closing this few words with a prayer for him, Michael would approve of me closing with Christ's and his prayer: “That all may be one”.

Call and Response: Jesuit Journeys in Faith. Frances Makower (ed.) Hodder & Stoughton; London, 1994

Keane, Gerard, 1926-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/819
  • Person
  • 02 December 1926-27 November 2018

Born: 02 December 1926, Shelbourne Road, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 22 April 1977, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore
Died: 27 November 2018, Assisi Hospice, Thomson Road, Singapore - Indonesiae Province, Malaysia-Singapore Region (IDO-MAS)

Part of the Kingsmead Hall, Singapore community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to IDO (MAS) 1991

Educated at Crescent College SJ

by 1953 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Gerard Keane SJ – down to earth and deeply loved
Fr Gerard (Gerry) Keane SJ passed away on 27 November 2018 at Assisi Hospice, Singapore aged 92 years. His funeral took place in St Ignatius Church, Singapore on 30 November. He was the last of the Irish Jesuits who served in the Region of Malaysia-Singapore. Fr Gerry was a great friend of Paul Andrews SJ. Extraordinarily, they both entered the novitiate together and were ordained together; finally, they both died on the same day, and both of them had their funerals on 30 November, Paul in Dublin and Gerry in Singapore.
The Catholic News in Singapore provided the obituary. Born in Limerick in 1926, Fr Gerry once observed about his calling: “I thought that if what Christ is all about is true, then it [the priesthood] is the only thing worth doing.” He entered the novitiate at 17 years old and later did his regency training in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. He returned to Ireland for his theological studies and was ordained a priest in 1958.
Fr Keane then missioned as an assistant parish priest and spiritual director of St Ignatius in Singapore when it was first established. He was editor of the Malaysian Catholic News and broadcasted on Radio Singapore. Other roles included chaplain at a junior college, superior of the Jesuit community and director of an Ignatian spirituality and counselling centre.
When Fr Gerry lost his voice to cancer in 2001, he retired from active service at St Ignatius Parish but continued to write for the weekly parish bulletin up to a few months before his passing. The parish celebrated Fr Keane’s Golden Jubilee of Priesthood in 2008. He was much loved and will be remembered for his wonderful gift of friendship.
Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye of Singapore was a former student of Fr Keane who gave the homily at his funeral. He said: “Deep in our hearts, truly, when we think of the life of Father Gerard Keane we are filled with joy because he has lived the fullness of life. He is one of those very rare, true blue, missionaries and pastors...a man who was called early, a man who responded to God’s call and a man who was faithful to his call until death.”
The archbishop spoke of Fr Gerry’s fatherly love where in recent years he was still able to connect with young people and who expressed a holiness through his simplicity. He joked that the secret to his long life was due to his drinking of Irish whiskey which killed all the germs in his body. “He was a man who was able to feel the humanity of others, a very down-to-earth person, a person who can feel the struggles of the ordinary man and woman...a true human being because he was just himself.”
There was also a reference to the latter stage of Fr Keane’s life when he could not speak due to cancer. The archbishop commented on the value of elderly people in a country where euthanasia is considered by some to be a good option.” Fr Gerard Keane was still doing something by doing nothing,” he said.
Irish Jesuit Fr Jimmy Hurley joined the Society of Jesus along with Fr Gerry and Fr Paul Andrews in 1944 and were also ordained together in 1958. Fr Hurley said that Fr Keane was very highly regarded among his peers. He noted his exceptional football skills and language skills when they were sent as missionaries to Hong Kong.
“He was very perceptive and he anticipated the changes of the ecclesiastical Church before Vatican II,” said Fr Hurley. After ordination, Fr Hurley returned to Hong Kong and Fr Keane went to Singapore, but they remained friends over many years. Fr Hurley visited his fellow Jesuit when he lost his voice. They communicated with each other for several hours and their friendship strengthened.
They met again a few years ago in Thurles, County Tipperary along with John K. Guiney SJ and Paul Andrews SJ. “A testament to his character,” said Fr Hurley, “was that even during this brief stay in Ireland, his parishioners back in Singapore were anxious that he would return and live out his remaining years there. He was deeply loved.”
Fr Gerry is the beloved son of the late Jim and Nellie Keane. He is predeceased by his brothers Paddy, Michael & Seamus and sister Marie (Lambe), formerly of Bon Accord, Ennis Road, Limerick. He is survived and lovingly remembered by his brother Louis, sisters-in-law Grace & Tanis, nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces and great grandniece. He is sadly missed by his colleagues in the Jesuit Community, his wonderful carers, his loyal parishioners in the Parish of St Ignatius and by his many friends in Ireland and Singapore.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions :

“Christ on a bike!”—or, a priest on a Honda 50—was rare in 1970’s Ireland, well in Tipperary anyway. I suppose it was summer 1974 when Uncle Gerard, as we referred to him, was on one of his visits to Ireland. In my hometown Thurles, he appeared up the lane unannounced and under the radar as usual. He took the windy mountains road from Limerick to Thurles. No one knew who it was until he lifted the helmet and beamed a big smile.
Then after we all sat looking at him for an hour, he said in his calm quiet voice: “Take it for a spin”. I think I was 11—this was some laugh—we had a long lane up to the house so we spent the afternoon wobbling and weaving up and down, my first and last time riding a motorcycle. To us Uncle Gerard was alternative and novel and fun and didn’t wear a collar, so the contrast was refreshing and “cool” in Ireland of the time.

Growing up in Thurles, Ireland
Our childhood and growing up years were marvellous in Thurles. We were fortunate: a big house with many people coming and going, family shop and pub and filling station. Marie Keane, my mother, was Gerard’s only sister and married my dad, Patrick Lambe in 1953. She was a student of the Ursuline Convent in Thurles and latterly a PE teacher there, which explains how she came to meet my father. She died from cancer in 1975 at the ridiculously young age of 48.
My Uncle Gerard looks so familiar to me, at 88, he now looks more like his mother and my mother, the big face-changing smile is a dead giveaway. One wonders how he heard the news of his only sister’s passing thousands of miles away and how he coped without close family with whom to grieve.

Our Uncle Gerard, a Jesuit priest in Singapore
In his all too rare visits to Ireland he would bring gifts for the women, dresses and kimonos and shawls, all in traditional far-eastern patters and styles, silks and satins: beautiful and graceful gowns in fantastic colours. For the men, linen summer shirts with outrageous colours and patterns, only worn in public for a bet!
Our earlier impressions and memories of Uncle Gerard are episodical, for the main part we only ever saw, or knew, of his life when he visited Ireland and there were long gaps in between. Strangely, Uncle Gerard didn’t discuss his missionary work at any length with us when he came to visit. He suffered from that false modesty and self-deprecation that we Irish do all too well. Only recently we have become aware of his writing and broadcasting accomplishments in Singapore.

“Please, no fuss”
When Uncle Gerard was in Thurles he would stay for a few days or a week. He loved nothing more that to sit in kitchens and talk into the late hours, and sip the whiskey, and smoke Consulate—my goodness those all-white menthol cigarettes I remember so well—and the laughing and the smoke filled room. He never had a tourist agenda, all he wanted was to meet people and spend time together.
He has just returned to Singapore after a visit to Limerick and Tipperary, only made possible by the unbelievable generosity and love of his friends in Singapore. And again this time all he wanted was just to meet friends and family and spend time: “Please, no fuss”.
I remember when he visited in a summer of the late sixties: he was driving a brown Morris Minor. We all piled into it with towels and swimmers and careered around the roads of Tipperary. I especially remember he drove us to our cousins in Templemore who had a marvellous garden and swimming pool. Well, the squeals of laughter can be still heard and the memories everlasting. Uncle Gerard is a dude and our coolest uncle.
When you try too hard to impress kids they are reticent and wonder : “What’s with this guy?” A gentle demeanour and a sense of humour are all you need and the communication lines are established, no in-your-face inquisition, just understated and calm. They say the loudest person in the room is the weakest. Well if this has merit, then the corollary is true of Fr Gerry.

In the heart of his family
We were and are immensely proud of him and his pioneering spirit. We loved to tell people of “our Uncle Gerard, a Jesuit priest in Singapore”. Even now in the globalised world of instant communication and fast travel, there is great kudos in having a gregarious missionary in far-flung places, and to have one as cool as Gerry Keane is a bonus.
Approaching our last few years, we would all want to have our loved ones close and to spend time just listening and talking and sharing. Gerard is our flesh and blood, our pride and joy, but his true family is with him where he lives, and has lived for most of his life, and we thank God for that.
It gives us great peace and comfort to know for sure that our dear and much loved uncle and brother is right in the heart of his family.
Author: Patrick Lambe, October 2015

Kearney, Barnaby, 1567-1640, Jesuit priest and writer

  • IE IJA J/1497
  • Person
  • 29 September 1567-19 August 1640

Born: 29 September 1567, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 17 October 1589, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 14 February 1598, Louvain, Belgium
Final Vows: 02 August 1605
Died: 19 August 1640, Cashel, County Tipperary

Alias Bryan O'Carney

Son of Pat Kearney and Elizabeth Connor
Master of Arts and studied Philosophy for 6 years - studying at Douai (1588) - D Phil (1589)
1593 at Antwerp teaching Humanities and Poetry
1597 2 years Theology at Louvain
Taught Rhetoric at Lille for 2 years
1599 At Bourges teaching Greek?
1617 In Ireland
1621 Superior of Jesuits in East Munster.
“chiolericus, has judgements and prudence and a good preacher”.
Uncle of Walter Wale - RIP 1646; James O’Kearney - RIP 1648

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Son of Patrick O’Carney and Elizabeth née Coney. Brother of the Archbishop. Uncle of Walter Wale.
Ent 17 October 1589 Tournai; RIP 20 August 1640 Cashel
Studied in Ireland and then four years Philosophy, graduating MA and D Phil at Douai
Admitted by FLA Provincial Oliver Manraeus 17 October 1589, and Noviceship at Tournai
1591 October 2 Sent to St Omer for studies in Humanities
Regency teaching Greek and Rhetoric at Antwerp and Lille;
1603 Arrived with nephew Walter Wale in Ireland
Both he and his nephew were tried and condemned to death
Writer; a fervid Preacher; gave Missions throughout Ireland
He went in disguise for many years and had many hairbreadth escapes (Foley’s Collectanea)
He is also mentioned in the Report of the Irish Mission SJ made to Fr General Nickell (1641-1650) which are preserved in the English College Rome, and a copy at RHC London.
(cf Hibernia Ignatiana" for letters of Fr Kearney recounting his work in Ireland; Oliver’s “Collectanea”, from Stonyhurst MSS; de Backer’s “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ” for published sermons)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Patrick and Elizabeth née Convey
Studied in Ireland and under the Jesuits at Douai and graduated MA before, and Later DD Ent 05 October 1589 Tournai
1591-1595 After First Vows he taught Humanities successively at St. Omer, Antwerp and Lille.
1595-1598 He then studied Theology at Louvain and was Ordained there in 1598.
1698-1601 He had requested to be allowed go to the Irish Mission, and while waiting for permission taught at Bruges and Douai
1601-1602 Made Tertianship at Tournai
1603 Late Spring accompanied by his nephew Walter Wale (both sent an account of their journey to the General once arrived) he set out for Ireland where he was sent to Cashel and Kilkenny but his last years were passed in Cashel, where he died 20/08/1640. In the early days of his ministry he was seen in many parts of Munster and also was able with his nephew Walter to reconcile the Earl of Ormonde with the Catholic Church. He died at Cashel 20 August 1640.
He was for many years a Consultor of the Mission.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Kearney, Barnabas (Ó Cearnaigh, Brian)
by David Murphy

Kearney, Barnabas (Ó Cearnaigh, Brian) (1567–1640), Jesuit priest and writer, was born 29 September 1567 at Cashel, Co. Tipperary, son of Patrick Kearney and Elizabeth Kearney (née Convey). His elder brother was David Kearney (qv), a secular priest who served as archbishop of Cashel (1603–24). Educated locally, Barnabas left Ireland for the Spanish Netherlands and studied philosophy at the Jesuit college in Douai, where he graduated MA (1588), later obtaining a doctorate in philosophy. He entered the Society of Jesus at Tournai on 5 October 1589 and, after his noviciate, taught humanities at Saint-Omer, Antwerp, and Lille (1591–5). Completing his studies at Louvain, he was ordained priest (1596) and then taught at Bruges and Douai. He completed his tertianship at Tournai in 1601–2.

In 1603 he travelled to Ireland with his nephew, Walter Wale, SJ, and for the next thirty years he played a prominent part in the work of the Irish Jesuit mission. Based in Cashel, he enjoyed the assistance of his brother David and, with Walter Wale, worked as one of the pioneers of the counter-reformation in Ireland. Discouraging locals from attending protestant services, in 1605 he avoided being captured by English soldiers when a party of men from the town assisted his escape. A powerful preacher and fluent in Irish, he worked mostly in Munster but also travelled to areas of Leinster, where he worked giving basic religious instruction and also trying to raise the level of the diocesan clergy. In 1610 he was appointed as consultor of the mission and, with Wale, was reputed to have brought Thomas Butler (qv), 10th earl of Ormond, into the catholic faith.

He published collections of his sermons, having manuscripts smuggled abroad to printers on the Continent. His first collection of sermons, Heliotropium, sive conciones tum des festis quam de Dominicis quae in solani totius anni circulo occurrunt, was published in Lyons (1622). In 1623 he sent over a second collection of sermons, ‘Tragici discourses de Passione Domini’, but the Jesuit censors refused to approve it for publication. The manuscript no longer exists and the reason for the censors’ decision remains unclear. Another collection of his sermons was, however, later approved by the censors and published as Heliotropium, sive conciones de mysteris redemptionis humanae quae in Dominica Passione continentur (Paris, 1633). This was dedicated to Archbishop Thomas Walsh (qv), who succeeded Kearney's brother at Cashel. Among the earliest collections of counter-reformation sermons, both of Kearney's publications are now extremely rare, only two copies of his 1622 Heliotropium surviving in Irish libraries (one in TCD, another in the Milltown Institute Library).

In 1629 he was appointed superior of the Cashel ‘residence’ (the territory of the local Jesuit community). His brother had left a small house to the Society and he later supervised the establishment of a small Jesuit community in Cashel. He died 20 August 1640 in Cashel. A collection of his letters is held in the Irish Jesuit Archives, Dublin.

‘Irish ecclesiastical colleges since the reformation: Salamanca, III’, IER, x (Aug. 1874), 527; E. Hogan, SJ, Ibernia Ignatiana (1880); B. Millett, ‘Irish literature in Latin’, NHI, iii, 579; Francis Finnegan, SJ, ‘A biographical dictionary of the Irish Jesuits in the time of the Society's third Irish mission, 1598–1773’, 142–3 (MS volume in Jesuit archives, Dublin); Charles E. O'Neill, SJ, and Joaquín M. Domínguez, SJ (ed.), Diccionario histórico de la Compañía de Jesús: biográfico-temático (Madrid, 2001), iii, 2182; information from Fr Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ, Jesuit archives, Dublin

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Barnaby O’Kearney 1565-1640
One of our greatest Missioners during the Penal Days was Fr Barnaby O’Kearney. Born in Cashel in 1565, where his brother David was afterwards Archbishop, Barnaby entered the novitiate in 1589, and was a brilliant classical scholar, teaching in Antwerp and Lille.

He came back to Ireland with his nephew Walter Wale SJ in 1603, and there he laboured for 37 years. He worked most of hism time in Munster, based in Cashel. On one mission he terrified 5 men who were leading wicked lives, by his description of hell, so that they mended their ways. In another sermon he converted a Viscount and his three brothers. The restitution he caused to be made for sins of injustices in Munster amounted to thousands.

Naturally he incurred the fierce hatred of the priest-hunters. The story of his escape from almost certain capture read like episodes of life in the Wild West. So great was the improvement in public morality as a result of his work, that the judges of the Assizes declared in open court, that Barnaby O’Kearney and Walter Wale did more to prevent robbery than all the enactments and terrors of the law.

It is truly remarkable that this man, in spite of the hazards and perils of his life, lived to celebrate his jubilee in the Society, and also had time in thew midst of his labours to publish his sermons, one volume of Homilies for Sundays and Feasts and another volume on the Passion of the Lord.

He died an old man of 75 years on August 20th 1640.

◆ The English Jesuits 1550-1650 Thomas M McCoog SJ : Catholic Record Society 1994
With his Jesuit companion Walter Wale, Kearney stayed in London with Henry Garnet during the Winter and Spring of 1602/1603 (AASI 46/23/8 pp 399-400

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
KEARNEY, BARNABY, was born at Cashell in 1565, and was brother to David, Archbishop of Cashell. He was admitted into the Society at Douay in the 24th year of his age. After teaching Rhetoric and the Greek Language at Antwerp and Lisle, he was ordered to the Irish Mission, where he arrived with his nephew, F. Walter Wale, in the summer of 1603. Both vied with each other in giving themselves up to the ministry of the Word : and both were marked out for the vengeance of the government. A troop of horse was sent by the Viceroy to Cork to apprehend them at the dawn of the 5th of September, 1606 : but God delivered his servants from their malice. F. Kearney in a letter dated the 4th of October, that year, after mentioning this escape, writes that he followed his Excellency’s footsteps to Waterford, and entered that City unsuspected with the immense concourse of the spectators, and was an ear and eye witness to his triumphant reception. His Excellency on arriving at the Court House, summoned before him eleven of the most respectable inhabitants of Waterford, viz. Paul Sherlock, who had been elected Mayor for the ensuing year, Nicholas Marian, Michael Brown, Nicholas White, James Fagan,* Nicholas Strong, James Sherlock, Richard Wadding, James Walsh, Patrick White, Richard Boucher; six neglected to make their appearance, and were heavily fined, and ordered to present themselves at Cork. The five who attended, with great spirit professed that they would never swerve an iota from the Roman Catholic Religion which they had inherited from their Fathers; but should ever manifest loyal allegiance to their Sovereign, and obedience to his representatives in all civil and political matters. His Excellency marked his indignation at this bold expression of sentiment imposed a heavy fine, and gave them in charge to his Secretary, until they should alter their opinions. Finding them immovably firm in their faith, he caused them to appear before the Lord Chief Justice, who endeavoured to gain them over by promises of place and emolument, and assured them that the Government would be satisfied, if they would but once attend the Protestant service. But these heroes well knowing that dissimulation in Religion was inadmissible, refused their consent, telling him, that they had given, and ever would give undeniable proofs of their civil allegiance; that it could never benefit the king’s interests for them to act against the dictates of conscience; and that they could not believe that the King wished them to make such a sacrifice of principle. The Sheriffs JAMES WAISH and JAMES BREWER “vere duae olivae in Domo Dei”, were then attacked; but with no better success. One hundred and sixty citizens were then selected as likely persons to be prevailed on to surrender conscience to the motives of fear and interest; but God who chooses the weak things of the world to confound the strong, supplied them with courage to resist every assault, and not one, God be praised, of the whole number, nor even in the whole population of Waterford, comprising many thousands of inhabitants, would degrade himself by an act of hypocrisy and apostasy. In revenge, tyrannical iniquity, calling itself justice, and the gospel of the Redeemer, inflicted pecuniary penalties. The base attempt of the Chief Justice to rob the inhabitants of Ross of their conscientious integrity proved equally abortive. “The Viceroy in his progress towards Carrick was informed that Nicholas Madan harboured in his castle of Whitfeld, three miles from Waterford, a learned English Priest, Thomas Hill, an Alumnus of the English College at Rome. Under some specious pretext, his Excellency proceeded in that direction with a troop of horse, and sent a detachment to search every corner of the Castle; but they found nothing, and Mr. Hill, thanks be to God, is still safe in Ireland”. The letter is dated from his hiding place, where his brother, the Archbishop of Cashell lay also concealed “e nostro latibulo, ubi frater modo est”, 4 Octobri, 1606.
F. Kearney continued during the long period of 37 years and in very difficult times the diligent and faithful Steward of the mysteries of God. The friend of peace, the promoter of habits of honest industry and sobriety, this true patriot, deserved to hear that his efforts to advance the public good, and prevent the disturbance of the public tranquillity, were duly appreciated by the constituted authorities. Even judges of assizes were known to declare in open court, that the two Jesuits, Barnaby Kearney and Walter Wale, did more to prevent robbery, than all the terrors of the law, than all the framers of coercive restrictions. I find by a letter of F. Robert Nugent, dated (ex Hybernia 1 Octobris, 1640) the following account of his death :
“F. Barnaby Kearney, an old man of 75 well spent years, quitted on the 20th day of August the labors of this life, as we hope, for everlasting rest, fortified with all the Sacraments of the Church. He had spent 51 years in the Society, and 37 in the Mission, was professed of the Four Vows, and was always zealous in preaching, (some of his sermons are in print) : in various places he taught the people with Evangelic fervour and abundant fruit!”
The sermons alluded to in this paragraph are in Latin for the Sundays and feasts in the whole year. The Title of the book is “Heliotropion”, in 8vo. printed at Lyons in 1622. A second volume of his sermons, on the Passion of Christ, was published in an octavo form at Paris, in 1633. He left in MS. an account of the death of the Earl of Ormond. This nobleman, I take it, was Thomas Butler, called “The Black Earl”, in whose conversion before his death, in 1614, F. Kearney was greatly instrumental.

  • The Fagans were generous supporters of religion. F. Fitzsimon, in a letter dated 25th of November, 1599, mentions, “Dominus Thomas Fagan, insignis Benefactor noster”. as entitled to the special prayers and gratitude of the Society.

Kearney, James, 1601-1648, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1499
  • Person
  • 27 January 1601-13 June 1648

Born: 27 January 1601, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 26 January 1621, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: c 1627, Salamanca, Spain
Professed: 1634
Died: 13 June 1648, Irish College, Santiago de Compostella, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Alias O’Carney

??Studied Literature, Humanities Philosophy and Theology??
1619 Teaching Grammar at León College, Spain
1625 Teaching at Valladolid College
1639 Rector at Compostella
1645 Rector at Compostella

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was Rector of Santiago, of brilliant talents and solid piety.
Rector and preserver of Irish College Salamanca.
Held in the highest of esteem by the Bishops of Spain for extraordinary learning and piety
(cf Irish Ecclesiastical Record sketches of him by Dr McDonald and Hogan)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Philip and Helen née Sall. Nephew of Barnaby O’Kearney.
He had completed two years Philosophy at the Irish College Salamanca before Ent 26 January 1621 Villagarcía
After First Vows (Noviceship was both at Villagarcía and León) he resumed studies at the Royal College Salamanca where he was Ordained c 1627
1628-1631 Operarius at Valladolid
1631-1646 Rector of Santiago. About this time Robert Nugent tried to have him applied to the Irish Mission but he was kept as Rector at Santiago until 1646
1646 Sent to the Jesuit College at Compostella as Spiritual Father where he died 09/06/1648
Notable amongst contemporary tributes to his memory is the letter of Peter Redan : “For all his intellectual gifts, he abitiononed purely spiritual work such as Preaching and other opportunities of an Operarius”.
He was a noted missioner also and throughout his long association with Compostella was one of the Bishop's examiners for candidates for Holy Orders

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Carney (Kearney, O'Carney), James
by Patrick M. Geoghegan

Carney (Kearney, O'Carney), James (d. 1648), Jesuit priest and rector, was born in Cashel, Co. Tipperary. As a youth in Cashel, he studied classics before being sent to Spain, because of legal restrictions, to complete his education. He read philosophy at the Irish college of Santiago de Compostella, in Galicia, before studying theology at Salamanca. He is mentioned in some accounts as a priest at the college of Salamanca in the early 1610s. He left Salamanca in 1612 to assist Theobald Stapleton (qv) with the formation of an Irish college at Seville, of which Carney and Maurice Regan became the first superiors. The Jesuit order took over the college in 1619, and it later became attached to the college at Salamanca. Carney followed this example and joined the Jesuits himself in 1620. Possessing extreme modesty throughout his life, Carney insisted that he wanted to join the Jesuits to allow more intelligent and talented men to concentrate on important duties, leaving the menial work to him. Nevertheless he was considered the most outstanding student of his generation, and when called upon to defend his theological theses he impressed the doctors of the University of Salamanca with his intelligence, his arguing ability (especially the fact that he never lost his temper), and most of all his modesty. He was extremely talented and pious; his fellow students respected his holiness, noting that he never disobeyed a rule of the order. He professed his four vows in 1634.

As his fame spread throughout Spain, he won the respect of the bishops of Spain with his learning and piety. Appointed president and rector of the Irish college at Santiago, alongside Fr Richard Conway (qv), he was credited with maintaining its existence, and enhancing its reputation, through his extensive work in raising money and by his prayers. His reputation ensured a steady stream of pilgrims from all classes, and he was always willing to give his blessing. He would also engage, in any spare time, on religious missions throughout Spain. He engaged in long fasts and passages of penance, including self-mortification, and sometimes would pray throughout the night. His superiors in the order were regularly forced to intervene for the sake of his health and urge moderation. During an illness in 1643 he made a number of prophecies, one (apparently correctly) predicting the time and nature of his death; because of this he was credited with the gift of prophetic sight. He died 10 June 1648 at Santiago. There were scenes of mass grief at his funeral, which was attended by the dignitaries of the town, and large crowds paid their respects outside.

William MacDonald, ‘Irish colleges since the reformation’, IER, viii (1872), 469; ix (1873), 208–9, 212; x (1874), 174–7; Edmund Hogan, ‘Irish colleges since the reformation’, IER, ix (1873), 1–5; id., ‘Chronological catalogue of the Irish province of the Society of Jesus’, Henry Foley, Records of the English province of the Society of Jesus, vii (1893), 29; id., Distinguished Irishmen of the 16th century (1894), 63; J. Walsh, The Irish continental college movement (1973)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Carney 1598-1648
Fr James Carney was born in Cashel in 1598 of very respectable and pious parents. Having received a solid classical education in his native town, he then went to Compostella for philosophy, and then to Salamanca for Theology. During this time of 1620/1 he entered the Society.

With the exception of two years as Spiritual Father at Compostella, his whole life was spent governing the irish College of Salamanca.

He wrote the preface to Fr Reddan’s Commentary on the Maccabees, and also the epigram “Rupes et Nardus”, found in the same Commentary.

He died on July 26th 1648.

Keating, Patrick, 1846-1913, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/201
  • Person
  • 17 March 1846-15 May 1913

Born: 17 March 1846, Tipperary Town, County Tipperary
Entered: 28 August 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 21 September 1880, St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Wales
Final Vows: 15 August 1890, Australia
Died: 15 May 1913, Lewisham Hospital, Sydney, Australia

Part of St Ignatius College community, Riverview, Sydney, Australia at the time of death.

Younger brother of Thomas - RIP 1887
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 3 December 1894-11 November 1900.
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia Mission: 05 April 1890-1894

by 1868 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1869 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying Theology
by 1871 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1878 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1879 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
Early Irish Australia Mission 1884; Mission Superior 05 April 1890
PROVINCIAL 03/12/1894

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Younger brother of Thomas - RIP 1887. They were very close.
Early education was in America and then Clongowes.

After First Vows he did his studies at Amiens and Rome, later at Maria Laach and Innsbruck, and in the end at St Beuno’s. Wherever he went, the same spirit of kindness and good humour went with him, and this was true throughout his life. On Australian who went to visit him in Rome was greeted warmly at first, but when he mentioned that he was to see Father Keating, the courtesy was unbridled.
1870 He was living in Rome at the same time as the “Robber King of Sardinia” Victor Emmanuel laid siege to and conquered the city. he was a student at the time, and not inactive in the siege, going here and there to tend to the injured and dying. He was truly a martyr in desire. The conquerors drove the Jesuits from the Roman College. By 1872 the Jesuits were banished from Maria Laach and Amiens, and he was in these places.
1877 He was sent for studies to Innsbruck where he joined Thomas Browne and Francis Carroll.
1880 He joined Joseph Dalton in Australia, and succeeded him as Rector of Riverview.
1890 He was appointed Mission Superior in Australia.
1894 He was recalled to Ireland as provincial of HIB, and he remained there for six years.
1901 He returned to Australia as Rector of Xavier College, Kew. He then moved to North Sydney, for a time at St Mary’s, then Lavender Bay, succeeding John Gately. While working in these Parishes, his gentleness, friendliness and care for every man, woman and child, won the hearts of all. When he left Lavender Bay for a second stint as Rector of Riverview in place of Thomas Gartlan who had been sent to Melbourne, the people gave him a wonderful send off.
His death took place at Lewisham Hospital (run by the Nuns of the Little Company of Mary) 14 May 1913. The funeral was hugely attended and the Archbishop of Sydney, Michael Kelly, both presided and Preached. The Jesuits at Riverview received countless letters and telegrams from all parts of Australia condoling with them on the death of Father Keating.

Catholic Press, Sydney :
Rev W A Purves, Headmaster of the North Sydney Church of England Grammar School wrote : “I am sure everyone who knew Father Keating feels an individual loss. For myself I never knew quite so courteous and kindly and entirely charming a gentleman; and for you who knew well his other great and endearing qualities, the blow must indeed be heavy. I think sch personalities as his have a strong influence in maintaining friendliest relations among us all, and whilst in a sense one cannot mourn the second and better birthday of a good man, one cannot but miss him sorely.”

Rev Arthur Ashworth Aspinall, headmaster of the Scots College, in conveying his sympathy to the Acting Rector, the Staff and Pupils of Riverview, wrote :
“It was my privilege to meet Father Keating years go and more recently, I realised the charm of his cultured personality, and can thus in some degree realise the loss which the College and your Church has sustained. The State has too few men of culture not to deplore the removal of one so much honoured in the teaching profession.”

Note from Thomas P Brown Entry
1877 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology with W (sic) Patrick Keating and Vincent Byrne

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Although born in Ireland, Patrick Keating received much of his early education in the USA. His secondary education began at Clongowes Wood College, Kildare, Ireland, where he had a reputation as a fine athlete and was a good rifle shot. He entered the noviciate at Milltown Park Dublin, 2, August 1865. His juniorate studies were at the College of St Acheul, France, his philosophy at the Roman College, and theology at Innsbruck and St Beuno's, Wales, 1877-81. Regency was undertaken after philosophy at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, 1871-77, where he was assistant prefect of studies and taught university students.
Keating was living in Rome in 1870. On 20 September the troops of Victor Emmanuel laid siege to the city of Rome. He risked his life by helping the wounded on the streets. The Jesuits were driven from the Roman College. So Keating finished his third year philosophy at Maria Laach during the Franco-Prussian War.
After his ordination in 1880, he taught religion, French and Italian for a short time, 1881-82, at Clongowes Wood, and the following year was socius to the master of novices at Milltown Park, during which time he completed his tertianship.
In 1883 Keating arrived in Australia, joined Joseph Dalton at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, and succeeded him as rector in 1888. He was appointed mission superior in 1890 and resided at Riverview. In 1894 he returned to Ireland as provincial, residing at Gardiner Street.
He returned to Australia in 1901 and was appointed rector of Xavier College, Kew, and taught for the public examinations. From 1908-11, he performed parish ministry at North Sydney and at Lavender Bay, Sydney, and in 1912 was appointed rector of Sr Ignatius' College, Riverview. He died in office the following year following a cerebral haemorrhage.
Patrick Keating was one of the most accomplished Irish Jesuits to come to Australia. He was spiritually, intellectually and athletically gifted, and respected for his administrative skills. People spoke of “his urbanity his culture, his charm, his good looks, his human insight and his ability to inspire affection”.
Christopher Brennan, the Australian poet and former student of Keating, paid him an outstanding tribute. He believed him to be “the most distinguished personality that I have ever met, a standard whereby to test and judge all others. To come into his hands ... was to be initiated to a quite new range of human possibilities”. He praised Keating for his 'rare qualities of gentleness and sympathetic comprehension.
His Jesuit community praised his great spirit of exactness and neatness, the kindness he extended to all, his strong sense of duty, a tender devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and his work in adorning the chapel. Under his direction, Brother Girschik made a line cedar vesting press for the sacristy at Riverview, which still stands.
Writing to Ireland in 1894, Dalton, at Riverview, believed that Keating's students had great confidence in him and “liked him well”. John Ryan, mission superior, did not lavish praise upon him. He believed him to be good at administration, but not with finances, not overly strict in discipline; firm and decisive, but easily influenced by anyone of strong mind, cool of temper, but not fatherly or sympathetic, somewhat superficial, cold and at times sarcastic, discouraging more than encouraging. The Irish provincial, Timothy Kenny, while visiting Australia in 1890 believed Keating to be “the most admirable man I ever met”. That being the opinion that counted, Keating became the next Irish provincial.
In his speeches as rector of the various colleges, Keating showed his openness, appeal to reason and genuine belief in the goodness of human nature. He was truly a cultured humanist. He kept well informed about contemporary ideas in education and gave critiques of them, continually stressing the traditional classical education of the Jesuits. He was concerned at Riverview by the rather poor quality of Jesuit teachers, men “rather broken in health”, who were not helping the boys achieve good examination results.
At the time of his death, Keating was one of the most significant Jesuits in Australia, much loved and most appreciated by those who experienced him, both as a kind and courteous gentleman, and as a cultured scholar.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Keating SJ 1846-1913
Fr Patrick Keating was born in Tipperary on March 17th 1846. Although born in Ireland he received his early education in America, then completing his secondary course at Clongowes Wood.

As a Jesuit, he was present in Rome when it was captured by Victor Emmanuel of Sardinia. In the midst of the bombardment, he went here, there and everywhere, assisting the wounded civilians and soldiers. He, with his companions, were driven from Rome and proceeded to Maria Laach in Germany and then to Innsbruck.

Fr Keating went to Australia where he became the first Rector of St Ignatius Riverview, and then Superior of the Mission.

He was recalled to Ireland to become Provincial in 1894. After his term as Provincial, he returned once more to Australia, where he filled many administrative posts and became a widely-known and popular figure in public life. He figures largely in the long and brilliant school-story of Fr Eustace Boylan”The Heart of the School”. Fr Keating (Keeling of the story) is a winning and lovable Rector of Xavier.

At his death in Sydney on March 15th 1913 there were many generous tributes to his work and character, not only from Catholics, but from persons of all religious denomination.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 42 : Easter 1986

Portrait from the Past


Province Archives

The following appreciation of a former Irish Provincial appeared in the CATHOLIC PRESS of Sydney on 22nd May 1913.

Born in Tipperary on 17th March, 1846, Fr. Keating occupied almost every position a Jesuit can occupy except that of General. His last sickness was brief. It was only a few days before his death that he became ill. His medical attendants pronounced his case serious - cerebral hemorrhage - and the last Sacraments were administered to him at once by the Rev. Father C. Nulty, S.J. He was taken to hospital the following day, and had been a patient only twelve hours when he died.

Of Father Keating, as boy and man, as student and teacher, as pastor of souls and Provincial of the Irish branch of his Order, it may be safely said that his whole life was one well-sustained effort to be ready for the final sunmons of the Sovereign Master who has called him home so suddenly. He was Superior of the Australian Mission of the Society of Jesus in 1894. At a later date he governed the Irish Province. He was for some years Rector of St. Francis Xavier's College at Kew, and before he went to Riverview as Rector for a second time, he had been zealously labouring as pastor of souls among the people of North Sydney.

Although he was born in Ireland, Father Keating imbibed the rudiments of knowledge in America. His high-school studies began at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. He entered the Novitiate at Milltown Park, near Dublin in 1865. His later studies were made at the College of St. Acheul, in France; at the Roman College of Maria-Laach, in Germany; at the University of Innsbruck, in the Tyrol; and at St. Beuno's College, in Wales Wherever he went, the same spirit of genuine kindness and genial good-humour that we ourselves witnessed invariably went with him, An Irish-Australian who visited Rome a few years ago called at one of the principal colleges there. The Professor who showed him over the place was kind and courteous; but when the name of Father Keating was mentioned to him, then to kindness and courtesy were added all manner of friendly offices. The Professor had been an old class-fellow of Father Keating, about 40 years before, and his face glowed with pleasure at the very mention of his name.

Father Keating was living in Rome in 1870. On September 20th of that year the troops of the robber King of Sardinia, Victor Emmanuel, laid siege to the city of the Popes, bombarded the walls of Rome, and entered into its streets as conquerors. While all this was going on, Mr. Keating, as he then was, was not inactive. In the midst of balls and bombs, in the midst of whizzing bullets and falling masonry, at the risk of his own life, he went here, there and everywhere on his mission of assisting to the best of his power the wounded and dying soldiers and civilians. He was truly a martyr in desire. The same bandits that deprived the Pope of his dominions deprived the Society of their college. They were driven from the Roman college in 1870. In July, 1872, they were banished by the German government from Maria-Laach, a college they had acquired only ten years before. If Father Keating had remained only a little longer, at Maria-Laach and St. Acheul, he would doubtless have driven out of house and home like so many of his brethren, at the point of the bayonet.

In 1877, Father Keating was sent to Innsbruck, where he studied for a time with Father T. Browne and Father Carroll, of North Sydney.

Three years after his ordination, which took place in 1880, Father Keating came to Australia. He joined the late Father Dalton, founder of the college, at St. Ignatius', Riverview, and succeeded him as Rector. He held the position for six years, and was then appointed Superior of the Jesuits in Australia. He was recalled to Ireland in 1894 to be Provincial of the Irish Province, an office he filled with distinction for six years. He returned to Australia in 1901, having been appointed Rector of Xavier's College, Kew. He was transferred to North Sydney some years ago, and for a time was on the staff at St. Mary's, Ridge Street. Thence he was placed in charge of St. Francis Xavier's, Lavender Bay, succeeding the late Father Gately. While working amongst the people of the parish, Father Keating's gentleness, geniality, zeal and solicitude for the welfare of every man, woman and child in his flock, won the hearts of all, as they did everywhere he laboured throughout his career.

When he left Lavender Bay in January 1912 to assume the Rectorship of Riverview for the second time, in the place of Father Gartlan, who was transferred to Melbourne, the people entertained him, and demonstrated their affection for hin in no unmistakable way.

The late Father Keating belonged to an old Tipperary family. An elder brother, Father Thomas Keating, S.J., came to this country two years before him. In Ireland he had been Rector of Clongowes Wood College. In Australia he joined the teaching staff of St. Aloysius' College, then in Sydney. He died many years ago in St. Francis Xavier's College, Kew. The deepest affection existed between the two brothers. Both were excellent religious and most saintly men. Their immediate relatives reside in a fine place close to Chicago, USA.

Father Keating's death took place as described at Lewisham Hospital on May 14th, 1913. The obsequies were largely attended and were presided over by His Grace, the Archbishop of Sydney, who, after Mass, preached the panegyric, basing his discourse on the inspired words of St. Luke:- “Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when He cometh, shall find watching. Amen, I say to you, that He will gird Himself, and make them sit down to meat, and passing will minister unto them, and if He shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But this know ye, that if the householder did know at what hour the thief would come, he would surely watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken open. Be you then also ready; for at what hour you think not, the Son of Man will come”. His Grace said the Divine Redeemer spoke these words tacitly for circumstances like those in which they were now assembled. One of their number had been called away, his soul had gone to eternity, and the earthly tenement of that soul lay on the catafalque before them like a house broken through, the spirit gone. This fact shocked them, but Holy Faith told them that blessed was the soul that was found watching, as Father Keating's was.

Now that they were gathered together according to the traditions of the Church, to mourn together, they must attend to the spiritual profits to be derived from the occasion, and first of all heap up powerful supplications for the soul that had been called away that it might speedily, if not immediately, enter into the joy of the Lord. The sacred liturgy which guided them to that bier to send forth their last prayers, and to accompany those mortal remains to the grave, wished that they would first of all derive consolation from the solemnities, and secondly, edification. The good man would be encouraged to greater perseverance, the tepid would be made fervid, and those who might be asleep in the sleep of sin, induced by the concupiscence of the flesh, would be wakened up. Father Keating served God and guided youth in the paths of learning and holiness which were characteristic of himself when his soul inhabited that human frame, with its vital organs stilled in death, and like a house abandoned. The earth would go back to the earth until the Last Day, but the soul was at that moment in the strange land from which no traveller returned. What did they think had been its lot? A week ago Father Keating had been with them in the flesh as a brother, as a fellow-worker, but suddenly he was caught up and taken from their midst. Well for his friends to know what a life Father Keating had led, happy for them that the record he wrote upon their memories was ripe in personal sanctification and spiritual victory. Therefore, he was found watching in the observance of the rules of his Order, watching at his post of duty, Father Keating had triumphed, he had fought the good fight, and kept the faith. But though they looked upon him as one already saved, he might be crying out for their suffrages from the fires of Purgatory. Sinners though they be, they could help him, for in the economy of God's Providence prayer was the Key of Heaven. God would hear their supplications on behalf of the faithful departed, but he would be dear to their prayers when they themselves were bring purged. Hence, let them studiously avail themselves of the period during which the recollection of Father Keating would be living amongst them to send up this prayer from the bottom of their hearts: “Eternal rest grant him, O Lord, and let perpatual light shine upon him. From his iniquities cleanse him, for all human frailties forgive him. What is man taken from this vale of tears that he shall be justified in the sight of God? Purify, O Lord, all this is to be purified, and take the soul of your servant and our brother, and peruit him to pass quickly, if not at once, into the joys of your heavenly abode”.

The Archbishop then vested in cope and mitre, and pronounced the Last Absolutions. As the strains of the “Dead March in Saul” throbbed through the church, the coffin was raised on the shoulders of the bearers and carried to the main entrance, the Archbishops and priests accompanying the remains to the hearse, where the Benedictus was chanted.

The Jesuit Fathers at Riverview received countless letters and telegrams from all parts of Australia condoling with them on the death of Father Keating.

In the course of his letter, the Rev. WA Parves, head-master of the North Sydney Church of England Grammar School, wrote: “I am sure everyone who knew Father Keating feels an individual loss. For myself, I never knew quite so courteous and kindly and entirely charming a gentleman; and for you who knew well his other great and endearing qualities, the blow must indeed be heavy. I think such personalities as his have a strong influence in maintaining friendliest relations among us all, and while in a sense one cannot mourn the second and better birthday of a good man, one cannot but miss him sorely”.

The Rev. A. Ashworth Aspinall, head-master of the Scots College, Bellevue Hill, in conveying his sympathy to the acting-Rector, the staff, and pupils of Riverview College, wrote:- “It was my privilege to meet Father Keating years ago and more recently, and I realised the charm of his cultured personality, and can thus in some degree realise the loss which the college and your Church has sustained. The State has too, few men of culture not to deplore the removal of one so much honoured in the teaching profession.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1913


Father Patrick Keating SJ

The news of the death of Fr. Keating came as a shock to us in Kew. Schools change fast, and there are few of the boys of his time amongst us this year, but his passing stirred up again in many of us the very kindly feeling that accompanied his presence when he was amongst us before.

Fr Keating was born in Tipperary, in 1846. He left his native land for the United States when still young, and found his home for a time in Illinois; but he returned to Ireland as a student of Clongowes, of which his brother at that time was Rector. Some old Xaverians will remember Fr Thomas Keating as he came to Australia later, and was on the staff of Xavier for a few months of 1887, teaching classics in the Honour Class till within a couple of days of his death.

According to contemporary accounts, Fr Keating was very prominent in school life at Clongowes, leading in class and sports. He was a good all round athlete, and to his early training must have been due the fine physical development which he retained to his later years. He was a good rifle shot, and kept up his interest in everything touching on school life to the end.

His studies took him to France, Germany, Austria and Rome, and he had many interesting recollections of life in those places. He was present in Rome during its bombardment by the Garibaldians, which resulted in the breach of the Porta Pia and the spoliation of the States of the Church. In 1883 he came to Australia, and was a master in Riverview till 1990, when he was appointed Superior of the Society of Jesus in Victoria and New South Wales. In 1894 he was transferred to Ireland, as head of the Irish and Australian Province, and after seven years spent in that office he returned to Australia to be Rector of Xavier in 1901. In 1908 he was sent to North Sydney to take up parish work at Lavender Bay, wliere he had as his assistant Fr Corish, who had been minister here with him for some years. The good work done by these two old Xaverians there was such as those who knew them both could expect. The same' kindly spirit accompanied Fr Keating. always, finding everywhere the same return. He liked his work, and him self was liked by young and old. So it was with a feeling of distress that he received the cabled order to return to Riverview as Rector. But the buoyancy of his spirit soon showed itself, and, as was his way, he entered heart and soul into his work there. During the illness of Fr Brown he was called upon to take up again the burden of Superior, until he was relieved after a few months by the appointment of Fr Ryan.

As he was settling down now to work, as he hoped, undisturbed, he was taken ill on May 12, and died early on the morning of the 15th. His death was the occasion of most generous expressions of a kindly feeling on all sides, induced as was evident, not so much by his position as by his personal qualities.

Fr Keating was a man of many parts as we knew him. His unfailing kindliness and courtesy made everyone feel at home with him; and, what is" after all perhaps the best test of a character, those who lived on closer terms with him, felt that in parting with him they had lost a friend.

May his soul rest in peace.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1913

Father Patrick Keating SJ

At the last Old Boys' dinner I promised to say something about Father Keating in this “Alma Mater”. At that time his death was too poignantly near to allow (so it seemed) of any direct emotional expression in English verse or of elaborated and transposed elegy in one of the classic tongues; and I stipulated for mere personal reminiscence. in pedestrian phrase. And then, as I came to carry out my promise, I felt a certain disgust with what I was trying; it was not worthy of the dead man, and all that I owed him, and who was I to utter my school-boyish reminiscences: among others so better called to speak? So, at. the risk of exhausting all the editors' kindness - and patience, I destroyed what was beguin, and I waited and waited, until at last I have, perhaps, fallen between two stools - the Pindaric ode and the Boswellian note-book - missing both.

I first came under Father Pat Keating in the year 1885. It was my happy chance to spend the five best years of my boyhood under two Keating brothers. At old St Kilda and St. Aloysius', in Bourke Street, I had for two years sat under Father Tom, that gentle ascetic with the full head of silvery hair, and beneath it a face like that of a kindly Moltke, and the shrewd fold of the eyelids; Father Pat had the same, but whereas his eyes never missed anything (I remember well!), Father Tom's often seemed to be gazing within. But how could there be two Fathers Keating? I wondered and wondered - for a boy is slow to catch such a likeness: he knows father and uncle, but has no idea or fancy of how they were boys and brothers together, how much less then will he imagine his masters as standing in human kindship to each other or anyone at all? - and it was months before some better-informed schoolmate, who had preceded me from St Aloysius', amazed me with the truth. My amaze was further excusable in as much as there was twenty years between the brothers, and Father Tom had seemned such a very old man. How different Father Pat!

To live at a boarding school has this advantage, that one meets one's masters outside the class-room, adi comes into touch with their personality. I was probably just at the right age to undergo the influence, and absorb the charm of a personality when I met Father Keating and that, perhaps, has helped to make ineffaceable the impression I received from him. But time and favouring occasion are of no avail unless the personality, unless the man is there. And Father Keating was unique.

Distinction is a subtle thing: unmistakable to perception, intangible to analysis and definition. Everyone, I think, who uses and understands the word must have, in his mind's eye, some persons, and pre-eminently one, to make his idea of distinction palpable to his thought and fancy. For me, Father Keating always was and shall be that man; easily the most distinguished personality that I have ever met, a standard whereby to test and judge all others. To come into his hands, at that age and at that conjunction of things, was to be initiated to a quite new range of human possibilities. It is not always nor altogether an easy and flattering thing, such initiation. One feels oneself rebuked, by the unspoken contrast between what the other is and one's own crudeness; so at least it was with me, and it is another proof of Father Keating's rare qualities of gentleness and sympathetic comprehension that he bore for a long time with the wily discourtesies of what was, after all, only a distorted admiration. At last he had it out with me, man to man, and that made me his friend for ever. It showed me, behind all that perfection of word and manner and bearing that might have been the envy of any diplomat or man of the world, the simple and affectionate humanity that was always there, in Father Keating, for those who wanted it or appealed to it.

It is curious how, when one reflects upon one's impressions of Father Keating, one never thinks of him in terms of this or that; it is always the man and the personality that lives before one. Not that one abstracts from the things he was, but they do not force themselves to the front. Thus, Father Keating was of course Father Keating, and a priest of the Society, and one never knew him otherwise and yet even that seems, as it were, absorbed into the nature of the man that one remembers. And so with the rest. He was a fine athlete, and it was a sight, regularly expected, regularly recurring, to see him lift a leg-ball right out of the cricket-ground; but it seemed all to be done by the way. Just so, for all his fine knowledge of the classics (and how much else!) one hesitates to call him a scholar; that name seems to be better reserved for smaller men who have chosen the one-sided development of a single faculty. And yet the classics will help me to express, to some degree, what I feel. I remember how he enjoyed doing Horace; and there was a certain Horatian felicity and perfection of style about everything he did. I think he was aware of it, and it was a pleasure to him; but the thought never came and never can come to one that he tried after it; it was all so natural, so himself, Even so, the word “gentlemanly”, would be all too common, in fact all too shoddy for Father Keating's exquisite ways. It was just that: he was unique, he was hirrself.

When I first knew him, Father Keating was in his early prime, only just forty. I had three years with him; then during my University years I saw him continually. Then we went our ways in life (and his took him far), and after 1894 many a year went by without our meeting; when, one day, a letter arrived, in his well-known hand, telling me that he had discovered my whereabouts and asking me round to St. Xavier's. I found him there, just a little stooped and his hair whitening, but otherwise the same as ever. I was looking at the bookshelves as he came into the room, and he asked me what had caught my notice. It was the life of Coventry Patmore, and I remarked what a great poet he was: “But not as great as Homer, surely”! said Father Pat. He showed me where his old copies of Homer and Horace stood, but regretted that parish work left him but little time for such reading, Then, I remember, some incident of his morning's round led him to remark on the lack of politeness in our youth: “I remember I had a lot of trouble with you”, he said, turning to me with a smile. I confessed that I had been something of a cub and that I had deserved to catch more than I did catch.

I was Father Keating's guest twice after his return to Riverview. One noticed, just now and then, a little sign of approaching age: a slight uncertainty of vision, where the eyes had once been so keen; a slight uncertainty of movement, where the hands had once been so precise. But old age had not yet overtaken him, and it seemed as if he yet had many a happy year before him. I was thinking to myself: “It's too bad, you haven't been up to Riverview for some time now”, and planning to get a day free in a fortnight or so, when, one morning, the paper opened on his portrait and I knew that I should not see him in this life again.

We were a small class in those days at Riverview, Steve Burke and myself; Harry Fitzgerald was with us for a while, but I think we always regarded him as an outsider; we had gone through St Kilda and St Aloysius' side by side, and come up to Riverview together. Our little class was tended by three teachers, Father O'Malley, Father O'Connell, and especially Father Keating. And now they are all gone: Steve is dead and Father O'Connell and Father O'Malley, and now, at last, Father Keating. Life begins to get lonely when one thinks of the best days of one's boyhood and finds none of those who were an intimate part of them to share or stimulate one's memories. And for me a great part of what is dear and precious in life was carried away as I saw his coffin borne out of the church, and whispered to myself just the simple farewell, “Good-bye, Father Pat”.


The Late Father Keating

In setting out to write this little sketch of Father Keating, we are fortunate in having his autobiography at hạnd. It was begun at Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, during his rectorship of that College, on a piece of notepaper, and on the last sheet we find the last entry, recording, his entrance into office as Rector of Riverview, in January, 1912. A feeling that it was perhaps too intimate to expose to the gaze of all who may read has prevented its inclusion; its substance is our guide in what will follow. Father Keating often used to say, in his characteristic way, that one should leave one's things in order and not cause people unnecessary trouble, even at the end; and we have no doubt that it was sheer good nature that urged him to leave us his life in miniature.

Father Patrick Keating was born at Tipperary, in Ireland, on the 17th March, 1846; of an excellent Catholic family which had the distinction of giving three of its members to the service of God, in religion. His elder brother, Thomas, like himself, became a Jesuit; a sister is a Sacred Heart nun in America. In 1850, a little boy of four years old, he went to America with his parents, to live at Elgin, Kane County, Illinois. His first education was obtained at a private school at Elgin; in 1861 he was sent by his parents to the Jesuit College, at Clongowes Wood, Co. Kildare, Ireland. After four years at Clongowes, in 1865, being then nineteen years of age, he entered the Irish Jesuit novitiate, taking his vows two years later, in 1867. He spent the next two years studying thetoric at St. Acheul, Amiens, and in 1868 went to Rome to study philosophy at the Roman College. He was in Rome during the Session of the Vatican Council at which the dogma of Papal Infallibility was declared, and in the same year, 1870, the Italian army entered Rome through the breach in the Porta Pia, after the famous siege.

It must have been a stirring time! We have heard Father Keating describe the walks the philosophers would take in the city during the siege. There was one poor fellow who had both legs blown off by a shell. Father Keating and his companions took pity on him, and told him he should resign himself to the misfortune God had sent him. “But how can I?”. he cried, “what can I do without legs?” Then they carried him to his home. There must have been many such scenes, and one can easily imagine the charitable “Mr” Keating of those days, often rendering such assistance.

The Roman College was appropriated by the government - it is still in use as a caserna, or military barracks and the philosophers moved to Maria-Laach, in Rhein Preussen. Here Father Keating completed his third year of philosophy. During his stay at Maria Laach the Franco-Prussian War was going on, and we have been told some interesting stories of the community at the German house, where Frenchmen and German would fraternise, forgetting or trying to forget national animnosities, while their compatriots were killing each other almost within view of the College. In 1871 he returned to Ireland to act as Prefect of the Lower Line at St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, and to teach the classes of rhetoric and poetry till 1877. In this year he went to study theology at Innsbrück, in the Tyrol. After two years at Innsbrück, he was sent to complete his theology course at St Beuno's College, North Wales, and here he was ordained, in 1880, on September 21st. He next returned to Clongowes and taught for a year, going to his tertianship ini 1882.

During most of his “third year:, he acted as Socius to the Master of Novices in Milltown Park, Dublin. He spent the last three months of the year of the tertianship at Hadzor House, near Worcester. In 1883 he came to Australia with Fathers Sturzo and Edward Murphy, and taught at Riverview for seven years. In 1889 he was appointed Rector of Riverview, and in 1890 Superior of the Australian Mission. In 1899 he was recalled to Ireland to act as Provincial of the Irish Province. In 1901 he returned to Australia as Rector of Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne. In 1908 he took charge of St Francis Xavier's Parish, Lavender Bay, North Sydney. In 1912 he succeeded Father Gartlan as Rector of Riverview, entering on his office early in January.

During this, his second rectorship of Riverview, he again won the respect of all. The boys thought him a little strict at first, but his sterling character soon won their admiration and affection. We who lived intimately with him then had an opportunity of noticing more closely his salient characteristics. There was a great spirit of exactness and neatness; a kindness extended to all; a strong sense of duty; a tender devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and a great desire to beautify and adorn the chapel, and all connected directly with it. There was renovation and improvement in many quarters, but the chapel got most of it, and nothing seemed too good for God's own house. Under his orders, Brother Girschik made a fine cedar vesting press for the Sacristy, and we know that it was his intention to complete the Chapel furnishing before all else. We were hoping to have him with us for many years when God saw fit to take his to Himself, after a little more than a year of office.

On Monday, May 20th, he took the mid-day meal with the Community, and chatted after dinner in his usual cheerful way. During the afternoon he told Father Pigot that he felt unwell, and he was advised to rest himself. In the evening his illness took a serious turn, and next morning we were grieved to hear that he was very ill. He had developed a cerebral hemorrhage, and the doctors said that the only chance of recovery lay in his immediate removal to the hospital, and con stant skilled attention.

He showed the greatest resignation and sweetness throughout. He often used to say, when in health, that he would be ready to go “on the last journey at any moment”, and this was literally true of him. When Father Corcoran went to his room early on the Tuesday morning, he said, quietly, “Well, Father Minister, I will be going home before you, after all. I believe I am going there now”. Father Corcoran was on the eve of his departure for Ireland, his homeland, and the remark was characteristically supernatural.

He was taken to Lewisham Hospital that morning, and edified all by his patience, even joyfulness, at the call of God. When he was brought to his room in the hospital, he looked round quietly and smiled, and said, “Everything is so nice and neat; so it's here it is to be”. When told by the Sister that he might die, he said, “Yes, but I received the last Sacraments two days ago, and am ready”. He passed away gently and unobtrusively - his death was like his life - in complete peace and resignation, early in the morning of Thursday, the 22nd May. He really was “going home”,' and why should he be sad?

On Friday evening the remains were brought to the College, where an escort was waiting at the avenue gates to welcome all that was left of one whose death had made a void in the hearts of many in Riverview. The Rosary was recited by all, and when the Chapel was reached we said the Vespers for the Dead, and then during the evening many a boy, and many a master, would say a prayer for the soul of their dear Rector. Next morning we sang a short Requiem Mass, and then the remains were conveyed to St Mary's, Ridge Street, North Sydney. Here an immense concourse of members of the clergy and laity had assembled to take part in the Solemn Office for the Dead and Requiem. His Grace the Archbishop presided. Very Revs T O'Reilly PP, VF, and J P Moynagh PP, VF, acted as deacons at the Archbishop's throne. The chanters at the office were Revs L Chatelet SM, and T Hayden. The Mass was celebrated by Rev E Corish SJ, the deacon being' Rev J HealySJ, and the sub deacon Rev Father Ignatius CP, (an old Stonyhurst boy). Among the clergy: present: were Right Rev Monsignor O'Haran DD, PA, Right Rev Monsignor. O'Brien DD, Right Rev Monsignor Coonan PP, VG,. and Venerable Archpriest Collins PP, Very Rev P B Kennedy OFM, Revs H E Clarke OFM, R Piper OFM, F S McNamara OFM, M P Kelly, OFM, Very Rev P Treand MSH, Revs E McGrath MSH, F Laurent SM, Ginsbach SM, Very Rev Father Francis CP, Revs P Tuomey DPH, W McNally, E Brauer, P Walsh, T Barry, W Barry, T Phelan PP, J Kelly, J Roach, R O'Regan, J Rohan, R J O'Régan, R Darby, P Nulty, A O'Farrell, M Rohan, J J O'Driscoll, T Whyte, P Murphy.

Representing: the Society of Jesus there were present the Community of Riverview College, also Fathers J Colgan, J Brennan, P McCurtin, E Sydes, J Forster, R O'Dempsey, R J Murphy, T Cahill, T Fay, T Carroll. There were also representatives of the Marist. Brothers and Christian: Brothers; De la Salle Brothers, Sisters of the Little: Company of Mary, Sisters of Charity, Sisters of Mercy, Loreto Nuns and Sisters of St Joseph. Many prominent members of the Catholic laity were present, including a large number of Riverview ex-students. One seemed to recognise old Riverview boys everywhere, and all ages were represented.

Among the laity present were the President of the Ex-students Union, Mr A W M d'Apice BA, LLB, Hon Thomas Hughes MLC, Messrs T J Dalton KCSG, James Dalton KSG (Orange), T Mac Mahon, C. Brennan MA, C G Hepburn, F W T Donovan, T McCarthy, P Minahan, I B, Norris BA, LL, Lieutenant-Colonel Fallon, J Lane Mullins, B A McBride, G E Flannery, BA, LLB, P J ODonnell, G B Bryant, C Moore, Roger Hughes BA, A Deery, P Moore, Bryan Veech, A Moran and very many others. All the great public schools were represented at the church or at the funeral, the Headmasters' Association being specially represented by the Rev C J Prescott MA (Newington College), Brother Borgia (St Josephs College), and Mr Lucas (Sydney Grammar School).

After the last Gospel His Grace the Archbishop: delivered a touching panegyric based on the text from St Luke, “Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when He cometh, shall find watching”.. His Grace referred to the shock which such a sudden death must give to all, and to the temper of consolation to be found in our Holy Faith, and the doctrine of the Communion of Saints, by which we believed that we could help our suffering departed friends by our suffrages to God, that their purging pains might be shortened, and they might soon enter into the life of bliss, a life which Father Keating had “richly deserved”, we might hope with assurance, by his many good deeds. We should all be ready like him, at the call of our: Maker, to render an account of our stewardship. After His Grace the Archbishop had pronounced the last absolutions, the funeral procession proceeded to Gore Hill Cemetery. The cortège was headed by a detachment of cadets from St Joseph's College, Hunter's Hill, St Aloysius College, North Sydney, The Sydney Grammar School, and the Church of England Grammar School,
The cadets from Riverview College formed the immediate guard of honour to the hearse, and: the detachment marched with reversed. arms, while muffled side-drums rolled a plaintive accompaniment to the marching. Major J Lee Pulling, of the Church of England Grammar School, was in command of the military escort, and was assisted by Lieutenant Murphy, of St Aloysius College Corps, and Lieutenant Loughnan, of Riverview, while Staff-Sergeant Major Harvey represented the Fifth Brigade.

The cortege was a very long and representative one, many, who had attended the long church service walking in the funeral procession to the graveside, as a last tribute of respect.

At the graveside the Rev J Corcoran SJ, performed the burial service, at the termnation of which the Riverview choir chanted the “Benedictus”. The guard of honour saluted our departed Rector by presenting arms, and then rested on reversed arms, while the bugler of St Joseph's College Corps sounded the “Last Post”.

Father Keating was a man of great culture and charming personality. He was a master of the Latin and Greek languages, and conversed fluently in French, German, and Italian, As one can see from the life account we have given, he spent many years of his life in various parts of Europe, as well as America and Australia, and perhaps this contact with diverse types of men gave to him much of the urbanity which was to many his greatest charm. One remembers the interesting way he would chat about his stay in Rome during the siege of 1870, of the Vatican Council, of his life at Maria-Laach, and the almost constant habit he had of breaking off into snatches of foreign popular airs.

The charm of his personality seems to have been felt by all who knew him. Among the very numerous letters and telegrams which came to the College for several days after his death, there were many from old boys, from parents of present boys of the college, from those who had found in him a strong guide and a warm friend. But perhaps what impressed one most was the obvious effect of his personality on those who had not known him so intimately as his confrères, his pupils, or his clients. From headmasters of the schools, from mernbers of the legal and medical professions, from the clergy, from men of commerce, came a continual stream of letters, in which one and all attested their conviction of his sterling worth. Mr W A Purves MA, headmatser of the Sydney Church of England Grammar School, wrote: “I am sure everyone who knew Father Keating feels an individual loss. For myself, I never knew quite so courteous an entirely charming a gentleman. I think such personalities as his have a strong influence in maintaining friendly relations among us all, and while in a sense one cannot mnourn the second and better birthday of a good man, one cannot but miss him sorely”.

In a letter from the Rev Ashworth Aspinall MA, headmaster of the Scots College, we find these words: “It was my privilege to meet him years ago, and more recently, and I realised the charm of his cultured personality, and can thus in some degree realise the loss which the College and your Church has sustained. The State has too few men of culture not to deplore the loss of one who so muclı honoured the teaching profession”.

The letters received from old pupils were characterised by a note of warm affection, Everyone who knew Father Keating intimately loved him. At the Annual Dinner of the Old Boys' Union, held shortly after his deatlı, several told of incidents illustrating all those things that went to make up “dear Father Keating's” character - how he had reproved one for his good, and almost crushed him with sarcasm; how he had encouraged another, how he had entered into the sports of the boys to gain their hearts, how he had shown sympathy with the sorrows of the new boy whose heart ached with thoughts of the home he had left. The homesickness of one new boy seemed incurable. Father Keating, Rector of Riverview at the time, won his affection and it was lifelong and cured his homesickness by chaffing him about his untidy hair, and brushing it for him in quite fine style with his own hair brush! Perhaps the occasion may excuse the writer for telling of Sunday mornings he remembers himself, when Father Keating's room would be invaded by an army of small folk - Father Keating always loved the little ones and a judicious selection would be made from the throng. We would go off bird-nesting, and the two hours before dinner-time would pass in a flash. Everyone would enjoy the walk, Father Keating himself most of all. It was difficult to say why one liked him so much; perhaps it was the simplicity of his view which suited the young ones. He seemed, like them, to have an insight into the things which are more real because invisible and intangible, the really beautiful things which Plato imagined to be stored away in some ideal place where all is perfect and without spot.

Looking back one sees that those early days of companionship were indeed a time when the common things of nature.
“did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream”.

Further intercourse with Father Keating at a more mature age has strengthened this feeling; the key to his charm lay in the simple child-like, single view of all, which gave a zest to life. One felt in his presence the value of living, and the joy; the supernatural became evident in his cheerful, bright view of all eventualities, actual or possible. It did one good to know him, and one felt a participation of the strength which the supernatural view of all things gives, a strength proof against all vicissitudes, against the onslaught of external or internal foes, an unutterable security which seemed to be his reward for his perfect life; and which radiated in some way from Father Keating to all those who had the privilege of knowing him.



Lines to Father Keating, Scholar and Priest

Was it from wells of ancient classic lore
He drew his cultured sweetness, and the store
Of high and holy thoughts that made his life
So gracious, yet so firm-amid the strife
Of warring creed and class - that if the world
Had crashed, and all its fragments wildly hurl'd
Thro' space, his soul had still stood unafraid?
Perchance 'twere so! But something he displayed,

Ne'er caught from Greece or Rome's most glorious days,
That, more than classic culture, won the praise
And love of men. For now, the Light of Old
Is but a lonely star, that sternly cold,
Keeps from the frighted herd of clouds apart,
Or stoops to let them pass with scornful heart,
And glimmers thus thro' life, and dies at death.
Not thus was he! His was the mighty Faith.
Unclouded, glad, and simple as the sun,
That saw and met life's sorrows one by one,
The weariness—the sadness—and the crime,
The “tears of things” but straight, o'erleaping Тіmе,
Reached out to Heav'n with hands of eager prayer,
And caught and flung the mantle of God's care
O'er all the world-and what before was night
And night's wild storm-lo! now was Peace and Light.


◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, Golden Jubilee 1880-1930

Riverview in the ‘Eighties - A McDonnell (OR 1866-1888)

Father Pat Keating (whose brother, Fr, Tom Keating was then at Bourke St.) was a most remarkable man in many respects. A scholar in every sense of the term, he was a man of a most striking personality. Strikingly handsome, he was an all round athlete. It would be hard to find a game requiring strength and skill, which he could not play well. He used to play as a member of our team when the teams of the most formid able cricket clubs about Sydney visited Riverview. Being an all round expert at the game, he used to surprise these strangers, as the following incident will show. A match was being played against one of Sydney's best clubs, and the visitors won the toss. Father Keating went on as one of the bowlers. I was sitting near, and just to the rear of Father O'Connell, who was sitting next to the club's scorer and Secretary. Their admiration of Father Keating's bowling was freely expressed. As the bowler at the other end was also of good quality, the visiting team was out in a short space of time, and Father Keating was one of the opening batsmen. When he proved himself as expert with the bat as he had with the ball the visitors applauded heartily; but when he drove a ball from the visitors' best bowler far into the bush beyond the boundary, the gentlemen with the scoring book jumped to his feet and shouted: “By- that - parson can play cricket”. We did not laugh-aloud..because “language” was bad form; but I noticed that Father O'Connell's back underwent some decided convulsions for some time after.

Father Keating was a man of untiring energy. His day began before five in the morning, and he was still at work at ten o'clock at night, and this year in and year out. His was the first Mass celebrated, and for several months, I, with another boy, served this Mass. Father Keating always acted as prefect of the late or “voluntary” study—from nine to ten pm, and many a knot he solved for me when construing. It was he who awakened in me the admiration for Cicero which I have ever since retained. Though a man naturally of a quick and violent temper, no one could believe such to have been the case except on his own admission. He had so far trained himself in this respect that no one ever saw him exhibit the slightest annoyance or impatience, in word or action, although his face might flush. Some of the wilder spirits used to try to annoy him, but they never succeeded. He succeeded Fr Dalton as Rector at Riverview, and after he had been called by his Order to serve in the United Kingdom he was again made Rector at Riverview, and held that office until his death, which came alas too early, and we may well say we shall never see his like again. He united in himself so many great and admirable qualities, and such high attainments in the intellectual sphere, and yet he was the most humble and approachable of men. A great priest, a great scholar, a cul tured gentleman, a sterling friend, a model of the highest type of manhood, a great member of a great Order, the death of such a man leaves this world much poorer.

◆ The Clongownian, 1913


Father Patrick Keating SJ

A cablegram received yesterday at St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, an nounced the death at Riverview College, Sydney, Australia, of the Very Rev Patrick Keating SJ. Although his field of duties during the greater part of his full and laborious life lay outside Ireland, there are still very many amongst us to whom the announcement of his death will cause a pang of bitter regret. Among the older generation, to whom he was a familiar figure, whether in his schooldays at Clongowes, or in the later years as Master there, and in Tullabeg, his name will come back as a fresh and invigorating memory. Prominent in his class, first in games, first in the affection of his school-fellows, such was he during his earlier years, and his later life did not belie the promise of his vigorous youth.

He was born in the town of Tipperary, and from there his family proceeded to America while he was yet very young. Later on he returned to pass his schooldays in Clongowes. He entered the Society of Jesus immediately after his course of rhetoric, and having gone through the full course of studies of literature in France and philosophy in Rome and Ger many, he was called back to Ireland to take up the work of teaching for six years before proceeding to his final theological studies. These were made in Austria and in England. In the year 1883 he volunteered for missionary work in Australia. His name and fame are well known in the Commonwealth. He directed with signal success the destinies of the important College of Xavier in Melbourne, and, later, Riverview, Sydney. Having been for many years Superior of the whole Australian Mission, he was recalled to Ireland to undertake the government of the Irish province. Having accomplished the work with conspicuous success, to the general regret of his friends in Ireland he was recalled to the broader field of his labours, and directed by his gentle and effective sway the Xavier College, Melbourne, before he was sent to undertake again the direction of the great Riverview College, overlooking Sydney Harbour. This position he occupied for some time past, and his later letters from there, received in Dublin during the week, gave his friends no indication either of weakened health or failing powers.

Thus the cable yesterday came as a great shock to his brethren. Father Keating was a man of varied parts. In a remarkable degree his gentleness, prudence, and knowledge of men were evinced in all his dealings and intercourse with others. He seemed particularly suited to the work of conducting retreats to the communities, but his labor lay mostly in other fields. It was, however to those who knew him most intimately, who enjoyed his confidence and friendship, to those who shared with him the intimacy and amenities of community life - it was to his brethren in religion to whom the charm and worth of his character were best known. His death is a serious loss to the Australian Mission as well as to the whole Jesuit Order in Ireland.

“Freeman” May 16th, 1913.

Keating, Thomas, 1827-1887, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1502
  • Person
  • 06 July 1827-13 March 1887

Born: 06 July 1827, Tipperary Town, County Tipperary
Entered: 24 September 1849, St Acheul, Amiens, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1863, Stonyhurst
Final Vows: 15 August 1866
Died: 13 March 1887, St Patrick’s College, Melbourne, Australia

Older brother of Patrick - RIP 1913

by 1854 at Brugelette College, Belgium (FRA) for Regency
by 1863 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying Theology 4
by 1865 at Tournai Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
Early Irish Australian Mission 1882

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Brother of Patrick - RIP 1913
His family emigrated to the USA. Thomas did not go with them and studied at Thurles and Maynooth. His family had owned an ironmongers shop in the town.

Fellow Novices of his in France were Christopher Bellew and James Tuite.
He was sent to Laval for Theology, which he completed at Stonyhurst at a later time. A reason for the delay in Ordination was because he did not wish to receive it from a French Bishop. So, in the intervening years before he completed his Theology and was Ordained at Stonyhurst, he had been a Teacher and prefect under John Ffrench at Tullabeg.
1856-1862 He was a Teacher at Clongowes.
1863-1864 He completed his Theology and was Ordained at Stonyhurst.
1864-1865 He was sent for Tertianship to Tournai.
1865-1869 He was again sent teaching at Tullabeg and Clongowes.
1869-1873 He was sent as Operarius to Gardiner St, and preached frequently.
1873-1876 He was appointed Superior of St Patrick’s (Catholic University).
1876-1881 He was appointed Rector of Clongowes on 17 February 1876.
1881 He returned to Milltown. he had offered for the Australian Mission, and sailed there with Joseph Brennan, who was a Novice Priest at the time.
When he arrived in Australia, he was sent to St Aloysius, in Sydney as a Teacher.
1886 He was sent to St Patrick’s in Melbourne, where he died March 1887. His brother Patrick had come from Sydney to be with him when he was dying. he died aged 60, which was a real surprise in the community, as he had appeared to be a very strong man.

He was a very capable man. The Abbé of Dunleary said he was very knowledgeable of the Fathers and Scripture, and he gave many Priests retreats. he was though to have a somewhat cold manner and perhaps not very genial, but was considered kind.

Note from Joseph Brennan Entry :
1882 He and J (Thomas) Keating arrived in Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Thomas Keating, older brother of Patrick, studied at Thurles College and the Maynooth seminary before entering the Society 24 September 1849. He was professed of the four vows on 15 August 1866 during his time of teaching the humanities at Clongowes Wood College. From 1874-76, he was superior and procurator at St Patrick's House, Catholic University of Ireland. Then he was appointed rector and prefect of studies of Clongowes Wood, 1876-81, before being sent to Australia.
Upon arrival in Australia in 1882, he went to St Aloysius' College, where he worked until his early death.
He was considered by the Irish provincial to be of “great merit and learning, and full of zeal for God's Kingdom”. Bishops admired him for his retreats, but he was not recommended to be a superior, as he was previously rather stern and exacting on others. Despite this, Jesuits in Ireland held him in “great esteem”.

Kelly, Jeremiah, 1890-1950, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/206
  • Person
  • 10 August 1890-12 January 1950

Born: 10 August 1890, Dromgill, Borrisoleigh, County Tipperary
Entered: 15 October 1910, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1927, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 12 January 1950, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Studied for BA in Classics at UCD; Ordained at Milltown Park

by 1915 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1917 in Australia - Regency at Xavier College, Kew
by 1922 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
1925-1926 Paray-le-Monial - Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Jeremiah Kelly entered the Society at the age of twenty, and after initial Jesuit studies taught at Xavier College, 1916-20, as well as being hall prefect and in charge of the choir.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 25th Year No 2 1950
Fr. Jeremiah Kelly (1890-1910-1950)
Fr. Jeremiah Kelly was born at Dromgill, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary on August 10th, 1890. In August, 1905 he entered the Apostolic School and went through the full course of Secondary Studies and took the Firsts Arts Examination in 1910. He then entered the novitiate and later finished his course for the B.A. which he passed in 1914.
After his Philosophy course at St. Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, he went to Xavier College, Kew where he was both Master and Prefect for five years. Little is known by the present writer of his activities in Australia, but one thing that he brought back from Australia was a great love for that country and the Australians. On his return from Australia Fr. Kelly was sent to Louvain for his Theology. He returned to Ireland for his ordination which took place in Milltown on 31st July, 1923. He finished his Theology and went to Paray-le-Monial for his Tertianship. He both hoped and expected to go to Australia and thus went into “training” round the “track” at Paray-le-Monial. He bought his “tropical” outfit but to his surprise the status of 1926 listed him as Superior of the Apostolic School.
As a Jesuit Fr. Kelly spent 21 years at Munget : 15 as Superior and 6 as Rector. When Fr. Kelly took up office in 1926 he found on the staff of the College, Fr. W. Kane who had taught him as a boy. Both men served as admirable links with past students and past traditions.
Fr. Kelly's work for the Apostolic School may best be summed up in the words of a former student who, on the occasion of Fr. Jerry's: death wrote :
“He made the Encyclical on the Priesthood the standard for the Apostolics and he lived it himself. Many were the material problems which Fr. Kelly had to face in his early days at Mungret but he never allowed them to overshadow. the primacy of the spiritual life of the Apostolics. His weekly talks on the Encyclical were summarised in typewritten form on a sheet and hung up in public so that the students could refresh their minds on the matter of the lecture. It was his aim to nake sure that every student who left the Apostolic School should know not only the dignity to which he was called but also the responsibilities of his calling.
His devotion to the spiritual life of the Apostolics was shown in a remarkable way by his devotion to the explanation of the points for their morning meditation. Most of us realise the monotony of explaining the same series of meditation points from the same meditation book day in day out for some years. But to have done so for some 15 years is a labour which should reap for him now a bountiful harvest of prayers from his former students. And Fr. Jerry did find the strain of the constant explanation of ‘points’. How often did he say : ‘Weekly talks are a pleasure, but points drain the life's blood out of me”.
Yet he remained faithful to his purpose and his devotion to duty in this matter was a most forceful argument to his appeals to the Apostolics to be ‘faithful to the last’. Fidelity to duty, fidelity to duty now in small things, was a constant theme in his talks. But above all, faithfulness to duty in spiritual things was of real importance in his life and in the lives of the future priests.
Under Fr. Kelly there was no danger that the Apostolics would lose themselves in vague dreams of the glories of a missionary life. The ‘Present’ was not to be wasted in thinking of ‘The Future”. While urging them on to higher things - his duc in altum became a constant refrain - he left them under no illusions about the value of the work in which they were engaged at the moment--for as he would often say ‘Your first parish is Mungret and so let your light shine before men’.
That he was a strict disciplinarian no one will deny. Yet while he could be severe in reprehending breaches of discipline, he had that wonderful art by which the delinquent realised that there was nothing personal in the reprimand and relations between offender and superior were very quickly brought back to that harmonious level which Fr. Jerry so deeply prized. He was a great believer in what he called ‘Informal Education’. As the child learns, almost unconsciously from the constant and intimate living with its parents, so too the boy in our colleges was to learn from the constant contact with real religious men—the future priest from the actual priest in whom he should see the concrete fulfilment of the Encyclical on the Priesthood.
As a teacher of Philosophy, Fr. Kelly seemed to have been specially graced by God to teach the future priests of the foreign missions. He himself professed that he knew little about Philosophy, yet all his students paid and still pay tribute to his remarkable method of getting across not only the theoretical philosophy but also the practical philosophy. From his almost unending correspondence with past students a labour of love indeed, but very much a labour when one's hands are crippled by rheumatism -- he kept himself fully informed of the problems of the young priest and in his lectures he prepared them for the actual problems they would have to face. His determined aim was to get in philosophy as a whole and many students have spoken of the way Fr. Kelly would come into class with only a Theses Sheet and there and then show how one thesis was linked with another and thus ‘the wandering class’, was often the most instructive. His introduction of a De Universa Examination at the end of the two years course in Philosophy was a move which raised in definite manner the standard of philosophy and earned for our students when they went to Theological colleges a solid respect for their philosophical equipment.
Fr. Kelly was determined that his students should have not only a high standard of philosophical knowledge but also a high standard of general culture. He encouraged them constantly to cultivate the habit of reading and provided them with a really wonderful library. He wanted them to get the ‘atmosphere’ of books so that they would feel lonely without them. His attention to the various exercises in public speaking was most devoted and he was certainly anxious that they should be able to speak the word of God with dignity. Moreover being himself a living example of the text : ‘To be all things to all men’ he did everything in his power to encourage his boys to mix with one another and to be a thoroughly happy family. For the philosophers he built the Smoke Hut where they could realise both their dignity and the trust he placed in them. For the other boys he provided billiard rooms, tennis courts and other facilities of recreation where they could meet and get to know one another”.
Though Fr. Kelly realised that his first work for many years was that of the Apostolic School, yet he was never too busy to take a deep and living interest in the rest of the house. He always had a cheering word and a smile for the boys as they came to and from class. He had the gift of remembering family details and many a 3rd clubber was charmed to hear Fr. Jerry ask about his little sister who had, accompanied her brother on his first trip to Mungret. For eight years he was Spiritual Father of the Layboys and in the period before leaving school many of the senior boys sought his advice in their own personal problems.
Difficult, indeed, were the material problems, caused by World War II, which faced Fr. Kelly when he became Rector of Mungret in 1941. His aim was to prevent, as far as possible, any curtailing of the usual amenities for the boys and, on the other hand, to avoid, by sedulous administration, increasing debt. The anxiety and worry of these difficult years were probably the cause of his somewhat premature death. For many years he had suffered from various forms of rheumatism and arthritis, and while he did his best to hide his suffering those near him realised what he suffered. He remained always cheerful and never wished to have things better than others. One must indeed, admire the greatheartedness of the man who could say with a smile playing round his lips : “I'm bad to-day, thank God”. When Fr. Kelly laid down his office as Rector in 1947, he had the satisfaction of knowing that the number of students in the college had increased by about one-third.
The late Fr. Canavan once described Fr. Kelly as “The Prince of Hosts”. This was an aspect of Fr. Kelly's character somewhat unknown to those who had no direct contact with Mungret. Members of the Society who came to Mungret as visitors will always remember the man who was there to make them feel at home who seemed to have little else to do but to entertain them and to see that they had all the little attentions so often indeliberately forgotten. Be the visitor brother, scholastic or priest, there was always the same real genial welcome. Past students, lay and apostolic, were always welcome and made feel that they were returning home. One of our own has summed up the man in the following lines. “Unfortunately I did not know him - I think I spoke to him only twice. But I remember on each of these occasions a warmth and sincerity that were out of the ordinary”. The warmth and sincerity were certainly there but perhaps not many are aware that such geniality and hospitality were not the outcome of a natural social disposition but the outcome of a conscious virtue. Those who knew him intimately knew how he dreaded the servant's approach with the message of visitors and they have seen him, after the visitors had departed, lying on his bed prostrate with exhaustion.
In July, 1947 Fr. Kelly went to Milltown as Procurator. For a time he seemed rejuvenated. The Dublin air had apparently cured him of his rheumatism and arthritis and his friends were amazed to see him move his hands and feet with such freedom. But such a happy state did not last long. In summer of 1949 he was in St. Vincent's with high blood pressure. After a long stay there he returned to lead a very quiet life at Milltown. Shortly after Christmas he had a stroke and returned once more to St. Vincent's where on the 12th January, 1950 a great-hearted soul that had exhausted itself in the service of others went quietly to its reward. We close this notice with the words of a mother of a past pupil :
“May the clay lie softly on his bones-to know him and to shake him by the hand was to love him”. R.I.P.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1942

Very Rev Father Rector

Father Jeremiah Kelly SJ

By his appointment last July to the office of Rector of Mungret, Father Jeremiah B Kelly becomes yet more intimately associated with the destinies of his Alma Mater. Father Kelly came to Mungret in 1905; and at the conclusion of his College studies entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus in 1910. After his noviceship he attended the National University, where he took out his Degree in Classics. He made his philosophical studies at St. Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, on the completion of which he werit to Australia, where he was assigned the offices of Prefect and Master in St Francis Xavier's College, Kew, Melbourne. After five busy years in Kew, he returned to Europe to prepare for the priesthood. He made his theological studies at Louvain; and after a year at Paray-le-Monial, he was appointed Şuperior of the Apostolic School, Mungret, in 1926.

During the long space of fifteen years Father Kelly has been engaged in the very responsible duty of training boys for the Church; and a young generation of fervent and zealous priests in distant parts of the world are living witnesses to the fidelity and prudence with which he administered the household of the Lord. Besides the spiritual formation of his young charges, Father Kelly made ample provision for their material and intellectual needs. The extension of the College buildings made by Father Kieran provided a new Dormitory and a Study Hall for the Apostolics. As a result, Father Kelly obtained scope for his many plans of improvement. He provided a fine full-size billiard table for the Senior recreation room. He created the Junior recreation room, which was also liberally furnished with billiard and bagatelle tables, that supple mented the already existing indoor games. For outdoor recreation he laid down a fine set of tennis courts, which provided a welcome summer game and a pleasing variety from hurling and football. Special mention must also be made of the handsome and comfortable summer-house built for the Philosophers at the entrance of the walk provided for their special use.

But the most outstanding of Father Kelly's great enterprises is unquestionably the Apostolics Library. By a systematic and judicious expenditure covering a great number of years, he assembled a large number of the best modern books on a wide variety of subjects, literature, history, the Missions, social science, biography, travel, fiction, etc. In addition there is a special section for the Philosophers, with its fine collection of works on every branch of this subject. As we review all these additions and improve ments we are inclined to ask if anything remains to be done for the Apostolic School.

To all who have the progress and prosperity of Mungret at heart, the appointment of Fr Kelly as Rector will be welcomed with gratitude and with confidence in the future. Father Rector brings to his task a vigorous and experienced mind, capable of handling the manifold problems of a big educational institution; and his long acquaintance with Mungret has familiarised him with its numerous departments and activities. At the present moment it must suffice to maintain the "essential services” of the College ; and we owe hiin a debt of gratitude for his able administration in days when the problem of existence assumes such alarming proportions. When peace returns to Europe, and life resumes its normal course, Father Rector will find wider scope for his untirin energy: and it is then that we confidently expect from him a record of high achievı ment such as he has established as Superior of the Apostolic School.

And so, with a joyous Céad Mile fáilte to her distinguished son, Mungret stretches forth the hand of welcome to Father Rector, praying that God may shower on him graces in abundance to enable him to fulfil for many years, to come, the duties tha devolve on him in the government of the College.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1950


Father Jeremiah Kelly SJ

Fr Jeremiah Kelly was born at Dromgill, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary. He came to Mungret in 1905 and went through the full course of Secondary Studies and took the First Arts Examination in 1910, He then entered the Jesuit novitiate and later took his degree in Classics. He made his Philosophical Studies at St Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, on the completion of which he went to Australia, where he was assigned the offices of Prefect and Master in St Francis Xavier's College, Kew, Melbourne. After five busy years at Kew he returned to Europe to prepare for the priesthood. He went through his Theological Studies at Louvain and after a year at Paray-le-Monial, he was appointed Superior of the Apostolic School.

During the long space of fifteen years, Father Kelly was engaged in the very responsible task of training boys for the Church, and a young generation of fervent and zealous priests in distant parts of the world are living witnesses to the fidelity and prudence with which he administered the household of the Lord. Besides the spiritual formation of his young charges, Fr Kelly made ample provision for their intellectual and material needs. The extension of the College buildings by Fr Kieran provided a new Dormitory and Sturly Hall for the Apostolics. As a result, Fr Kelly obtained scope for his many plans of improvement. He provided a full size billiard table for the Senior Recreation room. He created the Junior Recreation room which was liberally provided with billiard and bagatelle tables, that supplemented the existing indoor games. For outdoor recreation, he laid down a fine set of tennis-courts, which provided a welcome summer game and a pleasing variety from hurling and football. Special mention too, must be made of the com fortable summer house built for the Philosophers at the entrance of the walk provided for their special use.

But the most outstanding of Fr Kelly's such enterprises is unquestionably the Apostolics' Library. By a systematic and judicious expenditure covering a great number of years, he assembled a large number of the best modern books on a wide variety of subjects; literature, history, the missions, social science, biography, travel, fiction, etc. In addition, there is a special section for the Philosophers, with its fine collection of works on every branch of the subject. As we review these addi tions and improvements we are inclined to ask if anything else remains to be done for the Apostolic School. To all who have the progress and prosperity of Mungret at heart the appointment of Fr Kelly as Rector of Mungret in 1941 was welcomed with gratitude and confidence for the future. The new Rector brought to his task a vigorous and experienced mind, capable of handling the manifold problems of a big educational institution, and his long acquaintance with Mungret had familiarised him with its numerous departments and activities. Difficult, indeed, were the material problems caused by World War II which faced Fr Kelly. His aim was to prevent, as far as possible any curtailing of the usual amenities for the boys and, on the other hand, to avoid, by sedulous administration, increasing debt. The anxiety and worry of these difficult years were probably the cause of his premature death. For many years he had suffered from various forms of rheumatism and arthritis. When Fr Kelly laid down his office as Rector in 1947 he had the satisfaction of knowing that the number of the students in the College had increased by about one-third.

Fr Kelly was then appointed Procurator in Milltown Park. For a time he seemed rejuvenated. The Dublin air had, apparently, cured him of his rheumatism and arthritis and his friends were amazed to see him move his hands and feet with such freedom. But such a happy state did not last long. In summer of 1949 he was in St Vincent's with high blood pressure; after a long stay there he re turned to Milltown Park to lead a quiet life. Shortly after Christinas, he had a stroke, and returned once more to St Vincent's where on the 12th of January a great hearted soul that had exhausted itself in the service of others went quietly to its reward.

The news of his death was received with something like dismay by the many young priests, all over the world, who had received their first training in the ministry from Fr Kelly. The past Mungret men in Capetown sang a Solemn Requiem Mass in St Michael's Parish, Ronbebosch, on January 30th. Many letters of sympathy, with promises of many Masses for the repose of Fr Kelly's soul, came to Mungret. To his sisters, Mrs Kennedy of Templemore, and Mrs Finn of New York, and to his brothers, we offer our sincere sympathy. To those who so kindly offered Masses the Jesuit Fathers wish to return sincere thanks. RIP

Kelly, Patrick J, 1835-1887, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1508
  • Person
  • 12 April 1835-27 September 1887

Born: 12 April 1835, Clogher, Co Tipperary
Entered: 17 March 1858, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)
Ordained: 31 July 1870, Vancouver, Washington USA (Canada)
Professed: 02 February 1876, Santa Clara CA, USA
Died: 27 September 1887, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Kennedy, Gerald L, 1889-1949, Jesuit priest and medical doctor

  • IE IJA J/214
  • Person
  • 24 June 1889-06 February 1949

Born: 24 June 1889, Birr, County Tipperary
Entered: 31 August 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 18 October 1926, Fourvière, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1932, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 06 February 1949, St Francis Xavier, Lavender Bay, North Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Studied Medicine before entry. Had studied 1 year Theology at Dalgan Park, County Meath with the Columban Fathers and was destined for Chinese Mission

by 1927 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) studying
by 1929 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1930 third wave Hong Kong Missioners
by 1934 at Gonzaga College, Shanghai, China (FRA) teaching
by 1938 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - working

Served as Medical Doctor in RAMC during the First World War.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Gerald Kennedy served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during WW1 in Flanders and on a ship on the Atlantic. He entered the Society 31 August 1919 (1921 in fact) at Tullabeg with a medical degree, and after Philosophy at Milltown Park, 1923-25, and Theology at Ore Place, Hastings and Fourvières, 1925-28, completed Tertianship at St Beuno’s, 1928-29.
He was then sent to the Hong Kong Mission 1929-1945, and spent these years at Ricci Hall, the university residence, the seminary (at Aberdeen) or Wah Yan College, lecturing and teaching as well as doing pastoral work, but he never learned the Chinese language. He was popular with the students in the seminary, entertaining them with his charm. He gave the Jesuits their hints on how to be successful classroom teachers, and wrote a textbook in Chemistry and Physics whilst at Wah Yan.
He spent 1934 with the Jesuits and Shanghai, in Gonzaga College. From 1938 he worked with refugees in a hospital in Canton. Medical supplies were scarce, but he discovered a partial cure for cholera. He worked as rice-forager, money collector and spiritual guide to the sisters who ran the hospital. During 1941 he was at St Theresa’s hospital Kowloon, but he was worn out. He had fought the good fight.
As a result, he was recalled to Ireland, where he recovered his former vigour sufficiently to give Retreats in Galway, 1945-46, and did pastoral work in Tullabeg. He was sent to Australia and the Lavender Bay parish 1948-49, where he worked for six months in the chapel of the Star of the Sea, at Milsons Point. He was remembered for having a dry, searching humour, and a mixture of kindly trust and breeziness.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Doctor before Entry

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Arrivals :

Our three repatriated missioners from Hong Kong: Frs. T. Fitzgerald, Gallagher and G. Kennedy, arrived in Dublin in November and are rapidly regaining weight and old form. Fr. Gallagher has been assigned to the mission staff and will be residing at St. Mary's, Emo.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Kennedy G., O'Flanagan and Saul leave for Australia on 9th July.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 2 1949

Death of Fr. Gerald Kennedy :
Fr. G. Kennedy died in Australia on February 6th. He had been in failing health for a considerable time, and it was hoped that the Australian climate might restore his former vigour. But in China, before and during the war, he had been prodigal of his energy in the service of others. He did wonders during the cholera outbreak at Canton he accomplished wonders, not only by his devoted attention to the sufferers, but by his medical knowledge. Out of the very limited resources available he compounded a remedy which saved many lives and achieved better results than the Americans were able to obtain with their vastly superior equipment.
To know Fr. Kennedy was to love him. He has left to the Province a fragrant memory.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949


Fr. Gerald Kennedy (1889-1921-1949)

When Gerald Kennedy became a Jesuit, he was already a mature man of thirty-two. Born in 1889, he took his medical degree at the National University in Dublin, went through World War I in the R.A.M.C., and then settled down to a dozen years of country practice in Nenagh and Birr. Having spent a few months at Dalgan Park, he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1921. His noviceship over, two year's philosophy at Milltown Park were followed immediately by theology at Hastings and Fourvière, where he was ordained on December 18th, 1926. After making his tertianship at St. Beuno's (1928-1929), he sailed for Hong Kong. He remained on the Mission until his return to Ireland in November, 1945. He then spent a year on the retreat staff. The 1946 Status found him once more back in Tullabeg as Prefect of the Church, in which office he continued until June, 1948. That same summer he made his last trip - to Australia, which he reached in August. He was assigned to parish work in Melbourne, and there he died on February 6th, 1949.
In his twenty-eight years as a Jesuit, Gerald Kennedy won the esteem and affection of all who lived with him. The measure of that warm respect may be found in the name by which he was universally known : “Doc”. It was a term that did more than merely remind us that he had lost none of the shrewd skill and observation of the country practitioner. It held a far richer connotation. “Doc” was, in the best sense of the world, a character. There was nothing dark about his dry, searching humour-a mixture of kindly thrust and breeziness (no one who heard it will forget his cheery salute to the company : “God save all here - not barring the cat!”). In spontaneous mood he was inimitable for his humorous description of situations and personalities. His account of a Chinese banquet will be remembered as a masterpiece of gastronomic analysis. For all his sense of fun, however, “Doc” had a deep and steady seriousness of mind - his very gait was purposeful. A constant reader, his main interests were biography and history with a particular leaning towards French culture. Both as a doctor and as a Jesuit, he was for years keenly preoccupied with the psychological problems of the religious life and of spiritual experience. One of his many obiter dicta was to the effect that no Jesuit should be allowed on the road as a retreat-giver or spiritual director, who through ignorance or prejudice was incapable of helping souls in the higher forms of prayer. His own spiritual life was simple, direct and matter of fact. A strong yet gentle character, his unobtrusive simplicity went hand in hand with a certain blunt forcefulness of purpose. Outstanding among his virtues were a remarkable sense of duty and an unfailing charity.
Of his life as a Jesuit, Fr. Kennedy spent more than half on the Hong Kong mission. Over forty when he arrived in China, be never acquired a grip of the language. This did not prevent him, however, from quietly poking fun at the advanced students and old hands, to gravely correcting their tones or shamelessly manufacturing new phrases for their puzzlement and exasperation. Nor did his ignorance of Chinese materially lessen his usefulness. During his early years on the mission, he was in turn Minister in the Seminary and on the teaching staff of Wah Yan, His Ministership coincided with the period of the building and organisation of the Seminary - a harassing time. His cheerfulness was well equal to it. As an extract from a contemporary letter puts it : “In spite of many inconveniences of pioneering (e.g. the absence of a kitchen and a water supply) the Minister's sense of humour remained unshaken”. While at Wah Yan, he found time and energy (and, considering the steam-laundry quality of the climate for many months of the year, that says much) to compose a small text-book of Chemistry and a further one of Physics for his class. He was always on the job.
It was from 1938 onwards, however, that “Doc” really came into his own. In the November of that year a food ship was sent from Hong Kong to the relief of the refugees in Japanese occupied Canton. Fr. Kennedy travelled up as one of the organising committee, On account of his medical experience he was soon attached to the Fong Pin hospital, run by the French Canadian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. Here he found full scope for his doctor's knowledge and for his untiring charity. There was work for a dozen doctors and for as many administrators. Fr. Kennedy was alone. He had to deal with a hospital overcrowded beyond all reasonable capacity, to refuse patients was to let them die on the streets and to incur the censure of the Japanese. The nursing staff was pitiably inadequate and could not be made good even by the heroic devotion of the Sisters. Sufferers were two and three in a bed, and on the floor of the wards, the dead, awaiting removal and burial, lay cheek by jowl with the dying. All medical supplies were scarce - some were unobtainable. It was in such conditions that “Doc” had to treat his patients. Yet, amazing as it may seem, it was in the midst of such killing and stupefying work that Fr. Kennedy discovered a partial cure for cholera. He did some thing more amazing still - with his work as doctor he managed to combine the offices of rice-forager, money-collector and spiritual director to the Sisters. Both in Canton and in Hong Kong he went the rounds raising supplies and funds for the hospital, and gave the Sisters regular conferences and an eight-day retreat-in French. He kept up this pace for over two years.
He was back in Hong Kong for the outbreak of war in December, 1941. During the hostilities and for the most of the subsequent Japanese occupation of the Colony, he was in St. Teresa's Hospital, Kowloon. His work there was much the same as he had had in Canton, although the conditions were slightly better. He was doctor, administrator and again, spiritual guide and consoler to the French Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres. With his fellow Jesuits he underwent all the strain, mental and physical, of those three and a half years. More than others, perhaps, he suffered from the almost starvation diet. Yet, his cheerfulness never failed nor his unremitting devotion to his work. The same cannot be said for his health. When the peace came, he was a tired man, worn out in mind and body.
Fr. Kennedy was always a fighter. Back in Ireland, he recovered some of his old vigour - sufficient, at all events, to urge him to volunteer for Australia. He must have suspected that he had not very long to live, for shortly before sailing he expressed the hope that he might be given two or three years of work in which to justify the expense of his passage out. He need not have worried. Six months was all he had in Australia, it is true. But by his whole life in the Society, by his fund of good humour, by his charity, by his immense labours on the mission, by his deep, simple spirituality, “before God and men”, “Doc” more than paid his way.

Kenny, Michael, 1863-1946, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1528
  • Person
  • 28 June 1863-22 November 1946

Born: 28 June 1863, Glenkeen, County Tipperary
Entered: 06 September 1886, Florissant MO USA (MIS for Neo-Aurelianensis Province NOR)
Ordained: 01 August 1897, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1903
Died 22 November 1946, Touro Infirmary, New Orleans LA, USA - Neo-Aurelianensis Province (NOR)

part of the Spring Hill College, Spring Hill AL, USA community at the time of death

by 1895 came to Milltown (HIB) studying 1894-1897

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1897
Marching Through Georgia
Father Michael Kenny SJ

Writing from the South, as we term the southern half of the United States, the first thing that just now occurs to one to speak of is the climate. The papers are raging with yellow fever in Louisiana, much more than is Louisiana herself, and New Orleans used to have a bad name in Ireland, I remember, before I came to America, having been comforted by my friends with the statement, “New Orleans is the Irishman's grave”. Well, I have since lived thereabouts several happy years, and have not yet owned in it even grave. I have been through the South, from Missouri to Mobile, and from Georgia to Texas, and I can say with truth that its climate, though not so bracing, and not always so pleasant, is as healthy as that of Ireland. The hot season is longer than in the Northern States, but never so oppressive. Sunstroke is practically unknown in the South. The thermometer scarcely ever shows more than 86° in the shade, and, owing to the dryness of the air, 90° in the South is not more severe than 75° in Ireland. The Gulf Stream, it must be remembered, is our next-door neighbour, and its effects on the South would be even more noticeable than on Ireland, were not the equator a close neighbour too.

"But, then, what about your yellow fever?” It is not ours; it is an intruder. It comes in from the Central American States when the quarantine officers are napping. It has occurred only about as often as an Irish rebellion. When it stays it does less damage than smallpox, and it disappears before the breath of the first wind from the North, The terror it inspires in non Southerners is not much better grounded than that of the English traveller in Ireland, who expected to see a blunderbuss aimed at him from behind every hedge.

So much by way of introduction. Let us be “marching through Georgia”. I select Georgia, as “the subject of my story” because certain incidents that occurred during my stay there are likely to prove interesting, and because the College in which I lived frequently reminded me of Mungret. It looks out from the summit of a gently sloping hill over a wide-extending plain. It is three miles west of Macon, a city of much the same size as Limerick, and a mile south of it flows the Ocmulgee, a river as large, though not so imposing, as the Shannon.

The State of Georgia is about the size of New York, but the population, half of which is negro, is not yet quite as large as that of Ireland. Except in the larger cities, there is scarcely any Catholic population.

So much are the sons of Ireland identified with the Catholic Faith, that the terms Irish and. Catholic are synonymous. This was brought home to me before I was a day in Georgia. Arriving in Macon, I called for a buggy - every conveyance that is not a railway-car or a wheel-barrow is a “buggy” - and I told the driver, a “coloured gem'man”, to take me to Pio Nono College.
“Dar ain't no Nono College round heyar, sah”.
“Isn't there a college at Vineville?” “Oh, yas, sah, de Irish College!”
And when I asked him on the way why he called it the “Irish” College, he replied, “ “Caw, sah, dey is aw Irish up dar”.
I told him this was not so. There were Americans, French, German, and even English.
“Yas, sah, but dey is aw Irish. Yous aw done jined de Irish Chu'ch”.

Pio Nono College having become a Jesuit .Novitiate, the name was changed to St Stanislaus, and, to advertise the fact, an arch was erected over the main entrance on which the new name was painted in prominent characters. The intelligent natives at once concluded that the “Irish College” was now the property of Mr Stephen Stanislaus, who was presumed to be the “boss” of the whole concern, and vendors of eggs and poultry would frequently call on their way to market to ask “Mr Stanislaus” to “sample their wares”. And so it remained the “Irish College”.

In the rural districts around us there was not a single Catholic, white or black. Most extraordinary notions were prevalent about Catholics and their faith. They worshipped idols several times a day, and whenever and wherever they had the power they delighted in feeding their cattle on good fat Protestants. This doctrine was preached from a “white” pulpit in our neighbourhood. The particular breed of cattle named was pigs!

When we passed near their houses the negro mothers were on the look out lest we should kidnap their children, for we were supposed to be medical students. When they passed our grounds and saw us robed in gown and cincture, they were greatly puzzled, never having seen the like before, and one was overheard to say, with a sigh of relief, “Gosh! dey wear pants, anyhow!” But we soon became better known by white and black, and their ignorant prejudices were dissipated.

Having come to know the neighbourhood, we were on the look-out for lost sheep, chiefly black ones. One negro told me his grandfather was “Irish”, and he himself was inclined “dat a-way”, but was not as yet quite “contracted and disposed to it”.

“But”, he said, “yous aw should see Josh Brown; he's Irish, you bet”. “You mean Catholic?” “Yas, sah, dat's what he says. I reck'n Josh's a Ca'h’lic f'om away-back. He talks religion in de forge ovah yondah. Yas, sah, he's a blacksmith, an' I tell you, sah, he kin talk. White gem'men argufy wi' Josh!”

This was a very high testimonial to a negro's respectability and attainments, so we determined to interview “Josh”.

We met him coming out of his forge one evening. He was a man of fine proportions, in spite of the absence of a part of one of his legs. His features were regular and pleasing, and, unlike negroes generally, his forehead was high and broad, and did not recede; but his face was as black as night. Change his colour, and he could pass as a good type of Caucasian. Even his accent or manners would not betray him, for he spoke and acted like his white neighbours, and his moral tone would certainly not suffer by comparison with theirs. We told him we were informed he was a Catholic.

“Yes, sir”, he said, doffing his hat, and holding it out at arm's length; “I believe in the Holy Roman Catholic Church!”.
Expressing our pleasure at the news, we asked where he went to church.
“Sir”, he answered, “I don't go to church. I was never in a Catholic church in my life”.
“And you say you are Catholic?” .
“Yes, sir, I have been a Catholic seventeen years”.
We explained the inconsistency of his position. He admitted it.
“But”, he added, “to go to a Catholic Church I have to expose myself to the contempt and the slights of the whole white congregation, and I don't think the Lord expects me to do that. They look down upon me as a ‘nigger’, and would despise me as an intruder, and neither there nor elsewhere do they want my company. So, sir, I say my prayers - the Catholic prayers and worship God in my own house, and I trust he hears me”.

When we tried to show him his mistake, he interrupted us with a story :
“Shortly before the War” - the American War of Secession is always referred to as ‘the War’ - “I was walking one Sunday with my wife in the streets of Atlanta. As we passed an Episcopal Church we heard the organ playing and the choir singing. We stopped to listen, and my wife was so attracted by the music that she went just inside the door to hear it better: I called her back, but she did not hear me, and I walked on. As she entered the door the preacher was ascending the pulpit. He saw her, and immediately called to the clerk :
‘Take that impudent negress and teach her not to dare enter the company of white people. Give her thirty lashes’.
And he gave them. She came to me bleeding and crying, and I swore a solemn oath never to enter a white man's house or a white man's church. Was I wrong?”
“You did'nt swear not to enter God's church when God Himself commanded you to enter?”
“Well, no, sir, but you see ...”
Not waiting to see, we explained to him that, with Catholics, there was no distinction of class, or colour in church matters, and that, believing in the Catholic church, he was bound to become a Catholic in reality, and we invited him to the College chapel for the following Sunday.
“Are there any Irishmen there, sir?” “Oh, yes, plenty of them; I'm one”.
“Then, sir, I'll be there. Irishmen were the only whites that ever treated me as if I had a soul. They would speak to me, and instruct me as a fellow man. It was an Irishman taught me to read, and it is owing to Irishmen I am a Catholic. Sir, I will attend your church next Sunday”.
It is but just to Catholics of other nationalities to add that Irishmen were nearly the only Catholics that had come in Brown's way.
Sunday morning arrived, and at the hour appointed, a large sable figure stalked up the avenue with great dignity, and Brown entering the chapel knelt down, stowing away his wooden leg as best he could.

After Mass the Father Superior interviewed him, and was astonished at his thorough know ledge of the Catholic religion and his quick intelligence. He talked with ease and directness about what he knew, and never about any thing else. His manner had much more of the unconscious tone of independence of the American white than the unconscious servility of the American negro. As he was thoroughly instructed he was told to prepare for baptism in a few weeks; in the meantime I ascertained his history.

He had been born a slave in Virginia, and his master was a Doctor Griffin, a brother of Gerald Griffin, a name that should be dear to Mungret men, who have within easy reach the scenes immortalised by his pen. Doctor Griffin, himself, taught him to read and write, contrary to the wishes of his American wife and the laws of Virginia, which forbade, under heavy penalties, the teaching of reading or writing - not to say arithmetic - to any coloured person. This law was not peculiar to Virginia. But Dr. Griffin's tuition stopped there. He gave no religious instruction. Brown, like all negroes, felt the need of some religion, so he attended the services of the nearest negro conventicles. He “sat under” Baptists Northern and Southern, Hard-shell and Soft-shell; Methodists North and Methodists South, Methodists Episcopal, Non-Episcopal, and Afro-Americans; Seventh day Adventists, Moravians, and Presbyterians of every variety. He shook with Shakers and quaked with Quakers, and even once had his feet washed gratis at a gathering of Feet washers, whose religion consists exclusively in “washing one another's feet”.

But he “found salvation” among none of them. The most devout at these meetings were the loudest shouters, and the favourite preachers were they who screeched and jumped most frantically. Brown grew tired of shouting and being shouted at, so he read his Bible at home on Sundays, and observed the Christian law as best he knew how to. Only one thing he had in common with his neighbours thorough going hatred of the “Irish” religion, and if half the atrocious things he had heard about it were true, he would have been quite justified.

One day, however, while working as a rail road blacksmith, his boss, who happened to be an Irishman, talked to him about religion. There was a warm controversy, which resulted in the Irishman lending Brown Challoner's Catechism and Reeve's History of the Bible. Brown slept none that night. “I commenced Challoner at sun-down, and at sun-up I had him read through”. He then took up Reeve, and when he had finished he re-read both, verifying the Scriptural quotations in his Protestant Bible. He was surprised to find that some of the books referred to were omitted. He borrowed a Catholic Bible and some other Catholic books from Irish acquaintances, and found that the omissions from the Protestant Bible and the alterations of texts were quite arbitrary, Finally he got together the Catechisms of the principal Protestant sects, compared them; one by one, with the Catholic Catechism (Butler's), and by burning them, throwing in the Protestant Bible, as “lagniappe”.

“I found”, he said, “more sense and truth in one page of the Catholic Catechism than in all their religions put together”.

When he returned the books to his Irish friends, and told them the result, they made him a present of the whole collection. He had them bound, and, owing to his constantly circulating them, had to repeat the process several times. When I saw then they were tastefully bound in calf, but the leaves were in rags. “I'll keep them as long as I live”, he said, “and whenever my eyes fall on them, I offer a prayer for all Irishmen”. About the same time somebody gave him a newspaper cutting of a sermon on the Church by Fr Damon SJ, a famous American preacher. Finding it to express his views accurately and precisely, be read it as a profession of faith every Sunday.

When he had become thoroughly converted, as he thought, great zeal began to stir up within him. He would spread the light of truth among his brethren; so he became a Sunday-school teacher teaching Catholic doctrine at Methodist Sunday-schools. But the preacher detected him, denounced him as a “wolf in sheep's clothing”, and he had to quit. He tried the Baptists next, but they also expelled him as a dangerous heretic, and finally he confined his propaganda to his forge, where, hammer in hand, he boldly preached and stoutly defended Catholic truth from behind an anvil. I found him once engaged in controversy with a white gentleman, while the hoof of a mule was reposing in his apron. In spite of the difficulties of the situation, he reduced his educated opponent to silence. In fact, to anyone who attacked the Catholic religion from a Protestant standpoint, Brown was a dangerous adversary. He knew his ground, had a quick, logical mind, and his practice for years in debating with all comers had made him ready of thought and speech.

He was baptized in due time, and when, soon after, his wife followed his example, ho obtained a list of devotions as practised in Irish Catholic families, drew up an “order of time” for the same, and he and his wife continue to practise them faithfully to this day.

Catholics, white and coloured, are numerous in his neighbourhood now, many of whom owe their conversion to his word and example: They all respect and esteem him as a model Catholic. Had he lived in the days when to be a Catholic was to be a saint, his brethren in the faith would have done no less.

The first white converts in the district owed their conversion to Brown. There was a young man of twenty who used to amuse himself occasionally by chopping logic with “Uncle Josh”. Having travelled somewhat, he had few anti-Catholic prejudices, being rather inclined to think there was something good in the Catholic religion, since every liar he knew had a fling at it. However, he tried to take a fall out of Josh on the subject. But for once declining discussion, Brown produced his Challoner, Řeeve, and the “Faith of our Fathers”.

“Take these, Master Willie”, he said, “and read them, and when you know what you're talking about I'll argue with you”.

When “Master Willie” had read the course prescribed, he had no longer a desire for argument. He was convinced, but for various reasons was unwilling to join the Church just then. Brown introduced him to us. There was no moving him. “But”, he said, “you must see my grandmother. She is very old and cannot have long to live. She was never baptized in any church, and I should like to see her become a Catholic before she dies”.

I had often heard the negroes speak of “ole Mrs. Reilly”. She was rich, wicked, and wise, I was told, and very close in her business dealings, though she could at times be generous. Negroes she held in supreme contempt, all except Josh Brown and his wife. These were of the few “niggers” she would allow to have any claim to heaven, and she would relegate even them to a separate compartment labelled “coloured”, as in railway carriages, and far away from “white folk's heaven”. She would have naught to do with the hypocrites in the various churches around her, and she delighted to give the full length of a terrible tongue to any preachers who presumed to crack their wares at her door.

Nevertheless, the “Irish preachers” marched upon her fortress with a brave show of courage - the presence of her grandson ensured our safety from the dogs. Entering we saw a sharp featured intelligent-looking old lady seated in an arm-chair. Her great age may be inferred from the fact that her husband had fought at the battle of New Orleans, which took place in 1813, and only a few years before their marriage. At the time I speak of, 1888, she was still in receipt of a pension awarded for his bravery.

She neither welcomed nor repelled us, but sat in her chair with a fixed expression on her face as if she had made up her mind to hear us out, We talked of the weather, the crops, her health, and finally her name. Her husband, she said, was of Irish origin. We told her the O'Reillys were a famous Irish family, to which O'Reilly, the Spanish Governor of New Orleans, and many other celebrities, belonged She told some humorous stories of Irishmen she knew; we added our quota, and when leaving we were invited to call again. Meanwhile her grandson explained away some of her objections to Catholicism, and our next visit found her disposed to receive instruction. Her grandson and another non-Catholic undertook to teach her the Catechism, and they did it so well that in a few months she was ready for baptism. She had only one difficulty. Baptism would wash out not only all the sins of her long life, but all the punishment due to them, and of so great a grace she was utterly unworthy. When with the thought of her unworthiness she weighed the other thought of God's mercy, all her difficulties vanished, and her prejudices along with them. She wished all negroes to be saved, and even prayed for them.

I thought the edge of her tongue had disappeared too, for so far I had seen no indication of it. But the day before her baptism it proved as sharp as ever. A swarm of grand-children, and even great-grand-children, hearing of the intended ceremony, swooped down upon her from the city to dissuade her; and one after another took up the note, rebuking her and reviling the Church.
“What religion would you have, me join” she asked. This was a bombshell in their midst. Belonging to different sects and sub-divisions thereof, they were all at one another's ears in a moment, each declaring that his or her's was the only genuine article. Then the old lady gave her temper full swing.

“Away with ye, ye gibbering hypocrites! Ye come here hovering around me like a flock of buzzards, waiting for any body to drop, to gorge on my property. Not content with wishing my old carcass in the grave, ye would give my soul to the devil, and ye dare to dispute, here before my face, about the worst devil to give it to. Away with ye, ye pack of rattle snakes!”

Mrs Reilly was baptized in her eighty-eighth year, and it was affecting to see the tears course down her furrowed cheeks as the cleansing waters flowed upon her head. She lived only a few years, and died with the blessing of the Church. Nor did her grandson and the other non-Catholic who instructed her “unto justice” themselves become “cast-aways”. They married, entered the Church, and are now rearing a large family of Catholics.

After Brown's conversion several scholastics devoted their walks to giving instruction to the negroes, old and young, who were willing to receive it. Contrary to Brown's theory, two of the most indefatigable and persevering were not Irish. One was an American - the negros called him Mr “McLoch” and the other a young Englishman, whose name they turned into something like - “Bamboo”. They frequently walked miles under a hot sun to instruct an old negro or negress, and returned, time, after time, to find everything forgotten. As we were passing once the shanty of an old man of eighty, whom we had been trying for weeks to enlighten on the Trinity, he called out, hobbling after us :
“Ques'on me, sah ; ques'on me. I knows it au now, sah, right sma't”.
“Well, how many Persons in One God?”
“Wall, sah, you see, dar is” - and he 'pro ceeded to count on his fingers - “dar is de Fadah, an' de Son, ar' de Holy Ghost, an' Amen!”

It took over a year to instruct him, but he was finally baptized If he was weak in knowledge, be was strong in faith. He wore his beads around his neck, and his scapulars out side his coat, and, to be an out-and-out, finished Catholic, he asked for a gown and cincture like “Massa M'Loch's”. He reached his ninetieth year, and died in the faith.

The children were more easily instructed, and some of them were very intelligent, but, being utterly unaccustomed to Catholic ways of looking at things, their answers were sometimes startling. Here is a dialogue that took place at our Sunday-school :

“What are angels, Ebenezer?” “Dem's heaven's folk, sah”. “George Washington, is that right?”
“No, sah, 'cause dar is oder folk in heaven 'sides angels”.
“Well, then, what are angels?”
“Dem's God's own folk, sah!”
“Augustus, what is the most necessary thing for baptism?”
“Do watah, sah!” “Next?” “The priest, sah!” “Next?” “De baby, sah!”

I had some prints representing St. Peter Claver baptizing a very repulsive-looking negro. I thought it a very suitable prize for negro children. Before distributing to the deserving ones, I held the prints up to their admiring gaze. Pointing to St Peter Claver, I asked who they thought that was. “I reck'n dat dar is a saint”, said Ebenezer, “dar is a yaller rim 'round his head”.
"And what is he doing?”
“He's Christ'nin' the devil, sah”.
The prizes were never awarded.

Though my store of reminiscences are not exhausted, my time and space are, so I will no further tire my readers. A variety of incidents came under my notice during my stay in Georgia which would furnish to a Catholic “Ian MacLaren” still untouched material for an interesting and edifying book. Should these notes fail to inspire some still unknown genius with the desire of portraying negro life, perhaps they would suggest to him the nobler thought of saving negro souls.

The American negroes ignorance of the Christian Religion is almost as dense as that of those who were the object of Claver's zeal and the occasion of his crown. Yet they are an intensely religious race When you speak to them of Christ they will listen eagerly, and religion is the frequent subject of their conversation They undergo no small part of the privations and sufferings that induced the poor of the Roman Empire to turn to Christianity for consolation. Yet there are in a civilized land eight million negroes outside the Church of Christ, and absolutely ignorant of its truths.

This ignorance is not to be laid at their door. They have not rejected the light. They have never seen it While the various sects have expended millions, and are yearly expending immense sums in providing them with so called Christian teachers, the Catholic Missionary has done for them practically nothing. Irish and Irish-American priests are doing noble work among the whites in America, but their hands are full. Anyhow, they have not reached the negro.

Yet, I believe if a Columbkille or Columbanus were amongst them, he would find opportunities Is the race of the Columbas and Galls and Aidans dead in Ireland? Are there not in the cradle-land of apostolic men youths generous enough to emulate the example of the noble Spaniard, “the slave of the slaves for ever”? Such a man should be ready to endure the sufferings and toil of the apostleship of the heathen, without its glamour; contempt, and persecution from without and from within, sustained by no hope of a martyr's crown. He should be a man of unbounded zeal and unshakeable constancy, of warm heart and generous sympathies; a man who beneath dirt and rags and colour can recognise a soul and love it.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1900
Our Past
Father Michael Kenny SJ

The name of Rev M Kenny SJ, is by this time very familiar to every reader of “The Mungret Annual”, and to him the magazine owes a great deal, both in its foundation and afterwards. His kindly advice and generous sympathy encouraged in no small degree the first editors to undertake a task which at the time seemed hazardous ; and the high excellence of his literary contributions and the trueness of their spirit to the object of the magazine have been an essential element in obtaining for “The Mungret Annual” the position it occupies among college journals. We feel confident that we only echo the sentiments of all our readers when we express a hope that Father Kenny will continue to allow many an old friend to enjoy in “The Mungret Annual” some of the fruits of his spicy wit and his Fare creative fancy.

Father Kenny entered the Apostolic School in the Crescent College, 1880. He afterwards read what promised at first to be a very distinguished University course in Mungret, where from the beginning he gave evidence of rare literary talent. Owing however, to excessive application when studying for a scholarship in Ancient Classics, RUI, in 1883, he contracted a tedious headache, which resulted in his being compelled to leave Mungret before obtaining his degree. He was among the first band of Apostolic students to leave Mungret for America, and entered the noviceship of the Society of Jesus for the New Orleans Mission in 1886. He read his Theology in Milltown Park, Dublin, was ordained in 1897, and after spending his year of Third Probation in Tronchiennes, Belgium, he returned to America, where he is now attached to Spring Hill College, Mobile, Ala.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1902

Letters from the Past
Father Michael Kenny SJ
Rev Fr M Kenny, who is now working among the negroes in Macon, Georgia, writes to us in his usual racy style. The following extracts will be of interest :--

“I'm a kind of a pastor here, but I've got to make my own parish. You remember, perhaps, something I had in the first “Annual” about Marching through Georgia. Well, here I am again marching over the same ground, but now as a priest, gathering together the few surviving veterans, healing the ‘wounded soldiers’, and, above all, raising recruits, maintaining meanwhile perpetual skirmishes with the devil, the world, and the flesh, in the shape of heretics and heresiarchileens of every denomination, but principally Methodists and Baptists and the countless sub-divisions thereof: Baptists, Regular and General, North, South, Coloured and White, Separate, United, Primitive, Freewill, Hard-shell, Soft-shell, Feet washers, Six Principle, Seventh Day, Original, Old Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit-Predestinarian! etc; Methodists, Episcopal, North, South, African, White, Wesleyan, Protestant, Congregational, Zion Union, Evangelical, Primitive, Free, Independent, etc. Yesterday I met a boy who told me he belonged to the Brick Methodists, and of course I told him he was a brick.

This state of things has its humorous aspects, but in itself it is all very sad. We have organized Catechisin classes for Whites and Coloured, which are doing very well, especially the latter. It would do your heart good to hear forty darly children singing ‘Teach me, teach me, Holy Mother!’ To appreciate it to the full you should stand at least a quarter of a mile away. I go around every day and catechize on the highways and bye ways, 'in season and out of season, Black and White, at home and abroad.

If I had time I would write you an article, but this sketch of my present work (omitting many other duties) will convince you that I have not.

Please pray for my catechumens, Black and White, and particularly that I may find means to erect a church anir folwol for them. I am especially here for that purpose. But the folk here are all poor, as poor as I ever saw thein in Connemara, and I have to depend on the charity of outsiders altogether. I want to establish if possible, an Industrial School, to be placed in the charge of a sisterhood instituted for that purpose. So please pray, and get the Mungret boys to pray, that we may succeed, for it is a truly apostolic work, in spite of the fact that the apostolic character is lamentably deficient in the projector of the enterprise. But ecclesia supplet”.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1907a

Letters from Our Past

Father Michael Kenny SJ

The following extract from a letter of Fr M Kenny SJ, under date October 22nd, 1906, relates incidents which seem so characteristic of missionary life in the Southern States of America that we venture to quote it:

On my way last year to. Palm Beach, on the eastern coast of Florida, I made Jacksonville, Florida's chief city; a half-way house. I was received with open arms by my old friend and fellow Tipp, Father Michael Maher, and I assure you I never felt nearer to Mungret or Tipperary since I left them. God be with them both! Fr Maher is pastor, and deservedly held in high respect by all. He is at present building a $100,000 church, which is not likely to be in debt when completed. Fr Veale who has charge of missions in the neighbourhood - that is, within sixty miles or so - dropped in while I was there, on the grounds that he had a right to a short rest, having just completed a school edifice, every brick or which he laid will his own hands. He proved himself as proficient in the nicest points of Theology as in brick-laying, not to mention innocent jollity. Fr Veale is a man of earnest and efficient zeal and solid, unassuming ability, of whom Mungret may be proud. We phoned to Fr O'Brien, at Fernandina - about 1oo miles away, and the same evening he was taking supper with us. It was a great pleasure to me to meet him, for he is the same quiet, warm-hearted scholarly old friend as in Mungret days. We were soon the four of us - on both sides of Shannon's banks, and while we recalled reminiscences of all kinds, and praised and blamed, we felt that Mungret is very dear to a Mungretman.

My stay was short perforce, but its pleasant memories had not faded from my mind when, after travelling several hundred miles my train stopped at St. Augustine, the oldest city in America, and I was met at the station by another Mungretman, Father Curley. He took me to the Cathedral, where my name alone made me welcome. Bishop Kenny is the worthy prelate who rules the Floridas. I told him I was rejoiced that, after struggling hard for a thousand years, the Clan-Kenny had at last succeeded in producing a bishop (St Kenny was only an abbot, I believe). After that we took a genial swim together in the broad Atlantic. The bishop spoke in the highest terms of the zeal and ability of his Mungret priests. Those I have met, including Fr Parry, (whom I had the pleasure of entertaining in Augusta, last February) are certainly a credit to their Alma Mater ; and our Florida fathers are loud in praise of all the Mungretmen in that diocese.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1932 : Golden Jubilee

Our Past
Father Michael Kenny SJ
The name of Fr Michael Kenny SJ, (1882-'86) has frequently appeared beneath interesting and witty articles in the earlier numbers of the “Annual”. The “Annual” owes a great deal to him both in its foundation and afterwards. Fr Kenny belongs to the rapidly dwindling band of pioneers who joined the Apostolic School in the Crescent. He afterwards read what promised to be a very distinguished University course in Mungret, where from the beginning he gave evidence of rare literary talent. Owing, however, to excessive application when studying for a scholarship in Ancient Classics, RUI, in 1883, his health became impaired and he was compelled to leave Mungret before obtaining his degree. He was among the first band to leave Mungret for America, and entered the noviceship of the Society of Jesus for the New Orleans Province in 1886. He read his theology in Milltown Park, Dublin, was ordained in 1897, and, after spending his year of Third Probation in Tronchiennes, Belgium, he returned to America.

He was for some years Professor in Spring Hill College, Mobile, Albama, and in St Charles' College, Grand Coteau, La. His literary talents got full play when he was appointed one of the editors of the “Catholic Weekly, America”, then just founded. It is in no small part due to his unsparing energy that America is at present one of the most important and influential Catholic papers in the United States.

For many years he was Regent of the School of Law at Loyola University, New Orleans. Well known as an author and lecturer, his latest book, Catholic Culture in Alabama, has been well received, not alone by Catholic journals, but by the whole American Press.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1935

Moscow in Mexico
Father Michael Kenny SJ
The American Public has been aroused out of its apathy towards things Mexican by the facile pen of this great friend of Mexico, who has not shirked the toil and danger of a long journey through the country to collect first-hand information for his exposure of the present Mexican situation in the World Press.

The Mexican Crisis
To a Missionary as well as to a liberty-loving people, Mexico should prove a gratifying and even inspiring theme.

In the latest of a series of articles I. have been writing. on Mexican conditions, at the instance of Mungret's illustrious alunmus, Archbishop Curley, for the “Baltimore Catholic Review”, I recorded that though less than three hundred priests are now tolerated, in all Mexico, some two thousand are still toiling bravely for their people at the risk of liberty and life.

I mentioned the aged Archbishop Orozco who lately ordained twenty priests in a cave, and other hunted prelates who pontificate in rags, particularly one who is unnamed because Federal assassins are upon his track. For its reminiscence of the heroism of Irish penal: days, this passage may be cited :

A theologian of highest rank, a scholar, an orator, a teacher and a writer of distinction, this prelate has for nine year's defied decrees of expulsion, and, despite constant espionage, has traversed the Sierra from crag to crag, bringing encouragement to his people, who in turn risk" their lives for his defence. The Mexican constitution also prohibits priestly training. This Bishop is providing for the priesthood of the future. There is a rude log cabin in the Sierra Madre which is dormitory, dining room, lecture, and study hall and chapel for twenty-two young men whom he himself is training for the ministry and providing the complete ecclesiastical course. Often they have had to fly for their lives and build another log seminary in a more remote Sierra fastness.

In the Irish penal days Bishop O'Gallagher held such a seminary in the mountains of Donegal, and, driven thence, Heroism. he trained other youths in the Bog of Allen. From that school came several patriot prelates, among them Dr Doyle, who divides with O'Connell the honours of Catholic Emancipation. May we not expect that emancipators of Faith and country will yet issue from that log seminary in the Sierra, where again Bishop and priest aspirants meet feloniously to learn?”

The Indians
Extending 1833 miles on the south western border of the United States, Mexico has a population of 15,000,000, of whom some forty per cent are pure Indian, fifty per cent Mestizo or Indo-Spanish with Indian usually predominating, and ten per cent purely white. There are scarcely any negroes; for the reason that slavery was never permitted in Mexico. It is predominantly an Indian nation with native outlook in all except in its Christian culture; and in both these respects it presents a striking contrast to its northern neighbour where the native The remnants are less than one Indians. half of one per cent, and scarcely one half of these are Christians. The relative conditions are due to the fact that the first aim of Spanish policy as well as of missionary effort was to Christianize the natives and preserve them. Aiming solely at profit and aggrandisement and finding the natives an obstruction to material progress, the Protestant Auglo-Saxons crystalized their policy in, the phrase, “a good Indian is a dead Indian”. Hence, the United States has no Indian problem, having killed it off; and Mexico, with her natives kept both alive and good by Christian zeal and sacrifice, presents the problem of a mainly Indian nation, foreign in most respects to the European, but particularly to the Anglo-Saxon concept of material civilization.

Early Evangelisation
There is now more Indian blood in Mexico than Cortez found there at his conquest; and it is there because Christian zeal prevailed over profiteering. In.1524, twelve Spanish and three Flemish “Franciscans” entered Mexico. They and their successors, aided by the converted natives; transformed the warring nomad tribes into a devout people of a distinct and autonomous Catholic culture.

Jesuits, Dominicans, Benedictines, Augustinians, also founded training schools, academies of arts and crafts, colleges of higher studies, for natives and Mestizos as well as Spaniards and Creoles, and they formed pueblos with church and school and hospital, from coast to coast under native mayors, governors, and teachers.

This marvelous transformation was accelerated by the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin at Guadalupe, near Mexico City, to a poor Indian named Diego, on whose mantle she imprinted the marvelous image that is now universally venerated as Our Lady of Guadalupe. It soon became imprinted on the native heart, and the imprint is still there.

The decline of Spain in the 18th century affected her colonies also. The expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767 brought about the ruin of all work for the good of the native. communities. Schools became abandoned and illiteracy became general when the anarchic regime, which subverted the Spanish rule, shut out the priests from the schools. A fund of some fifty million dollars, which the Jesuits had established for the benefit of small farmers was confiscated.

Masonic Activity
Von Humbolt wrote in 1810 that the schools and colleges and various benevolent - institutions in Mexico were in number and character far in advance of the United States of that period and literacy was more universal than in any other American country.

Rapid decline of general culture and public well-being followed the replacement of Spanish domination in 1810 by a series of mock republics ruled for the most part by a bandit minority who robbed and antagonized the Church to maintain them selves in power and pelf. This antagonism was promoted by the Masonic Order, which again was fostered and in part founded by the first United States Envoy, Joel R. Poinsett, in order by secret machinations to organize parties who would sell out northern Mexico to the United States. He thus created a political pro American machine of Masonic personnel and purpose which, through the arms and other support it has received from American administrations, has been enabled through a less than ten per cent minority 'to rule and ruin Mexico for the greater part of a century.

Poinsette's immediate aim was to form enough slave states out of Mexican territory to enable the pro-slavery South to dominate the abolitionist North, and he found that in order to effect this, the power of the Catholic Church in Mexico must be broken. In New Orleans, 1825, he got the Supreine Masonic bodies to head their signed and sworn program with resolutions that the Church must be shorn of all civic rights and that all her schools and all education must be monopolized by the state, and religion must be excluded from all teachings. This is the program that the Juarez code enacted in 1857, that the Carranza and Villa banditry further extended in the Constitution of 1917, and Calles and his communists gang have fully and finally realized in 1934, by the imposition of the most rabidly atheizing education on all schools by constitutional amendment.

By their assistance in men, money and arts, from the days of President Buchanan down to the seizure of Vera Cruz and Tampico by President Wilson, the United States administration have given consistent support to the bandit minority, and: never once to the conservative leaders who think and would govern on essentially American principles.

The Cristeros
The Cristeros rose in 1926 under the banner of “Christ the King” for Faith, Fatherland, and Liberty; and despite the strict embargo held against them by our government while it supplied munitions freely to their enemies, they were making a winning fight in a dozen states when Calles patched up a treaty with the Church that stopped the revolt. He and his gang broke their pledge within a week, and they have since executed some five thousand of the Cristero leaders, and priests unnumbered. The orgies of persecutions and robberies and murderings went on until now the Church is as bare of property and rights as happened in the worst of Ireland's penal days, and to Church and people there is not a shred of religious or any other liberty left.

American Vested Interests
The bigoted sects that had dominant political influence in the United States up to the repeal of the Prohibition amendment, and the Supreme Council of the 33rd degree Scottish Rite Masonry gave enthusiastic support to the Mexican persecutors of the Church. This and the urgings of powerful American Companies and individuals, that secured and still secure oil and mining concessions in Mexico, will account for United States support of the persecuting and corrupt regimes and of the present Ambassador Daniel's laudations of Calles, and his dereligionizing acts and policies:

Moscow in Mexico
But the power of the United States sects has waned, and the Masonic Council's claim of political control over its three million membership has been exploded. Following my exposure in October of present Mexican conditions the general public gradually became aware that the National Revolutionary Party, the only one permitted in Mexico, was a communist, atheistic force, as determined as Moscow to extinguish not only the Catholic religion but all religion and set up an atheistic communism on the grave of liberty.

Press Investigation
The exclusion by the Mexican government of some secular papers of wide range that published my interviews stimulated inquiry, and the general arraignment that followed in the Catholic press and in public meetings addressed often by leading Protestants and Jews, and specifically in Congress by non-Catholic as well as Catholic Congressmen and Senators, induced the great dailies of New York and Washington and Chicago and other cities to publish series of articles by special correspondents on Mexican conditions. This is the first time that the American press has furnished the people with some idea of the communistic system on their borders and the unspeakable outrages that have been perpetrated with their own government's contrivance and often with its positive support.

These revelations have also aroused the Catholic body to a unity and energy of civic protest that it had not risen to before. A resolution that was sent out in October of last year by the students of Spring Hill College to a thousand educational institutions throughout the States brought about a widespread student propaganda in favour of Mexico, and was the model of thousands of resolutions that poured and are still pouring from all quarters into Washington.

Canabal’s Atheistic Education
What impressed the public imagination most was the barbaric lewdness of the anti-Christian teachings row being forced by public authority on all the children of Mexico, and the clear evidence that the onslaught was made not merely on the Catholic Church, but upon religion as such and all the moralities it fosters. The grand exemplar whom Calles held up as the model of all governors was Garrido Canabal of Tabasco. Having expelled all priests from that State and closed and confiscated all churches, he issued a treatise on Socialistic Education, which his picked legislature promptly adopted as ordered. He had it illustrated with pictured mockeries of the Way of the Cross and of the most sacred religious beliefs and practices, and he tells then that God and Christ and religion are myths and were debasing the masses until he had taught then to burn up their Christianl symbols and “fetiches” and schooled them in scientific socialism.

How it is Done
Premising that “God is a grotesque, fanaticizing, debasing myth”, they put this Canabal system into organic law and are now enforcing it throughout the land. How, it is asked, can a less than ten per cent minority impose such Soviet monstrosities on a people more than ninety per cent Catholic. Their style is simpler even than Moscow's. The minority have organized gangs, called army and police, thoroughly supplied with United States arms, minitions and aeroplanes; and the people are shut out from such supply. Their armed gangs run the elections, and if, despite these precautions, hostile candidates are elected, the PNR Committee on qualification of candidates promptly counts them out. This happens in all state and Federal elections, with the result that the National Revolutionary Party Candidates are always returned, even when overwhelmed at the polls. This will supply the answer to another obvious question, “Why do people put up with it?”

Heroic Resistance
In fact they do not; and their heroic resistance at terrible risks augurs well for the liberty movement they are now organizing widely and effectively against overwhelming odds. Two million voters had sent in signed resolutions of protest; and when these were ignored by the mongrel legislatures, they had the courage to make their protests vocal and public. Recently a hundred thousand men and women marched in Mexico City, in face of tear gas and batoning; in like demand. Similar marchings of women and school children as well as fathers of families and youths have been held throughout the country, though subject to the firing and bombshells of Canabal's Red Shirts and police. At Guadalajara on March 3, over three thousand women and Children, bearing placards denouncing atheo-communist education, braved the fire of the Red Shirts; and though several were killed and many wounded, they marched to the governor's palace urging their demands and crying, “Viva Cristo Rey”. Monster indignation meetings that were organised by fathers and students were also shrapnelled; and this but served to further unify the University bodies against the whole government program and personnel.

Students Public Protests
I was present at a secret convention in Mexico City of delegates from the twenty four Universities of the country. For six days, under the guidance of the Jesuit Fathers, they discussed the best methods of resisting the atheizing education and other dereligionizing projects and of de feuding and diffusing Christian culture. They returned to their States, Students and within a week, the Federated University Students. were holding meetings and marchings and organizing public protest against atheo-commuuist education. They succeeded in forcing the government to exempt the Universities from its application ; and their influence is now extending, further.

Defenders of Liberty
The allied societies of Fathers and Mothers of Families have practically emptied the government schools in many districts. Since private schools are forbidden they hold classes in their homes, graded from house to house; and the raiding of these by the Red Shirts and police has become increasingly perilous to the raiders. The defenders of Liberty groups have been multiplying, and they have managed to get sufficient arms to hold their own against the Red Shirt gangs. They are being formed into a nucleus in many states somewhat after the Sinn Fein fashion of Michael Collins, for the general revolution that is now in the making.

United States Sympathy
This a national uprising against Callism on civil, social, and economic grounds, and is not specifically religious. The Church is not a party to this movement,. but Archbishop Ruiz, the Apostolic Delegate, has emphasized, in a recent Pastoral, the right of the people to defend themselves; and should they determine that only by arms can they recover and defend their natural rights, the Church would have thought to say, “neither promoting nor prohibiting”. Their prospects of success are enhanced by the understanding and practical sympathy now being manifested
for the first time by the people of the United States. The secular press in the larger: cities have been issuing a series of revealing articles on the persecutions they found launched by law and force against all religion and all liberty in Mexico; and Father Coughlin, the famous “Radio priest” of Detroit, has given to his more than ten million audience a clear and inspiring account of the Mexican horrors and their own government's responsibility for the tyranny that perpetrates them. This was at the instance of his Bishop, Most Reverend Michael Gallagher DD, a Mungret College alumnus.

The Catholic body is now more united and determined and its action more intelligent than heretofore in regard to Mexico's rights and America's duties.

Intelligent Co-operation
The Knights of Columbus, are now organizing the Catholic laity to demand and exact as citizens that our Intelligent government take suitable action against the destruction of human rights in Mexico. Protestant and Jewish as well as Catholic legislators introduced resolutions in Congress to that effect; and Senator Borah brought before the Senate his famous Resolutions demanding a Congressional investigation into the facts of the persecution in Mexico and effective corresponding action by the government.

Borah Resolution Undermined
But the Administration proved mysteriously obstinate. Millions of protests against their connivance with Mexican tyranny through Ambassador Daniels' favouring utterances and otherwise, went unheeded; and they exercised every influence to kill the Borah Resolution. This was due to the underground influences, Masonic and financial and sectarian, that had hitherto been able to frustrate all action in favour of a Catholic people by a government which had again and again intervened in favor of oppressed of other faiths in distant lands.

Archbishop Curley Intervenes
This is all the more 'strange in view of the “New Deal” which President Roosevelt based on the principles of the Leo XIII and Pius XI encyclicals. However, the latest news is that the administration has suddenly modified its attitude and will no longer oppose Congressional investigation. On March the 25th, at the Jesuit College auditorium in Washington, within earshot of the Capitol and White House, Archbishop Curley delivered an address which has changed the situation. He stated on personal knowledge that the Administration had given instructions to frustrate further efforts on behalf of persecuted Christians in Mexico and to prevent Congressional investigation into these inhuman outrages, even when infringing on American rights. Citing the numerous historical interventions of President and Congress in favor of persecuted Christians and Jews in distant lands, he said :

“'Secretary of State Hull, in refusing to express a formal and dignified protest to the Mexican Foreign Office, is creating a new departure in American diplomatic practice and is reversing an honourable and time-honoured principle of American sympathy and protest on behalf of the oppressed in other lands, substituting for this century-old tradition an unjustifiable policy of ignoble silence...... Millions of American citizens who have devoted their blood and treasure for the maintenance of this republic have a right to learn from some authoritative source just what is blocking public hearings on this question. One word from the Administration would secure consideration. This word has not been uttered...... Consequently, our fellow citizens, irrespective of race of creed, are faced with the regrettable but undeniable fact, that the present Administration is ranged in definite opposition to the maintenance of one of the most prized principles of American life and international obligation.

The Effect
The Archbishop of Baltimore's words, as wise and timely as they were courageous, have had instant effect throughout the country, as in Washington, and give promise of moving the Administration to range itself no longer with the destroyers of all liberty in Mexico. Even this negative assistance will suffice to enable the defenders of liberty to overthrow the clique
that enchains it. A postscript to my articles, which will soon be issued in book form, has some acknowledgements which may throw further light on the kind of people they were pleading for:

Inspiring Examples
The writer would pay tribute to the many men and women in Mexico who supplied him at much risk with ample materials, were not their taming the equivalent of sentences to jail or to death. He would also record his lasting indebtedness for the thrill of inspiration furnished him by the examples of heroic sacrifice and religious loyalty it was his privilege to witness in men and women and children of all classes.

Among these he would mention the Indians who wove so cunningly an immense carpet of multicoloured flowers for Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine that he mistook it for a great Persian rug, and who, by faithful worship in their plundered churches, atone for such sacrilege; the tradesmen and peasants who set up altars in their shops and homes when their churches were robbed of them; the children who sang out bravely in chorus, “Hay, Dios, hay, Dios”, when taught that God is not; the student delegates of twenty-four universities, who risked their careers by training for a week in Mexico City under Jesuit guidance to preserve their nation's institutions from the atheo-communist taint; the Catholic leaders of National Defence who daily challenge death for liberty; and the two thousand priests who, often in penury and rags and hunted as felons, still bring the Bread of Christ to their people.

The Jesuits in Mexico
A secular correspondent gives the Jesuits the credit for preserving the Faith in Mexico. This is generous exaggeration; but fraternal bonds must not deprive them of their due. They
are some two hundred in number, all native Mexicans, and all under sentence of expulsion; but every one of them is there, under varied guise, organising young and old, parents and sodalities, students and teachers, workers and merchants, employers and employees, and issuing and distributing apposite literature, to keep the Faith in Mexico. Experience in many Provinces of both hemispheres warrants the judgment that, in ability and virtue and multiple sacrificial activity and in sterling patriotic as well as religious devotedness, there is no Jesuit body in the world superior to the Jesuits of Mexico, nor truer to the ideals of Ignatius of Loyola. The spirit of Father Miguel Pro, Mexico's most venerated martyr obviously animates his brethren.

Altogether, our people may take the message confidently to heart : The Catholics of Mexico are brethren worth praying for and working for and fighting for.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Our Past
Father Michael Kenny SJ

Father M Kenny SJ (1882-86) has never failed to provide matter for a note in the Annual. He is eighty now but still going strong. Mons R O'Donoghue (1906-'12) brought him over to St Mary's from Springhill College to celebrate his birthday in proper style - with a dozen old Mungretensians. Father Kenny's literary vein is far from exhausted. He sends us a copy of the Catholic World in which he has a timely article on Hispanidad - the spirit of Spain. He brings his ripe culture to bear in explanation to the USA citizen of why the South American wishes to be very much a Spaniard in spite of the good neighbour policy. Father Kenny also writes an introduction to the poems of Father O'Brien “Sagart Singing”. Last, we notice that he has collaborated in a study of a parish in Tipperary-Glankeen. Readers of the first numbers of the “Annual” will remernber a poem on Glankeen, signed “MK”. Surely Father Kenny merits the words of the Catholic World : “he represents the best in the culture of the old and the new worlds”.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1947

Father Michael Kenny SJ

Readers of the “Mungret Annual” and many of our Past will have learned with regret of the death of Father Kenny who died on the 22nd November, 1946, at Springhill College, Mobile. He was one of the first Apostolic students, entering the Apostolic school in its infancy at the Crescent, October, 1880. As a student he was outstanding and was prefect of the Seminarists in his last year at Mungret. He was among the first batch to enter the New Orleans Provence of the Society in 1886. He returned to Ireland for theological studies and was ordained in Dublin in 1897. Father Kenny's services to the Church in America during his long course as Professor of Philosophy, Jurisprudence, Sociology, Regent of Loyola Law School and Associate Editor of America, would be impossible to estimate. Yet these numerous occupations did not mean that he had forgotten his Alma Mater or the “Mungret Annual”. As early as '97 we find him contributing a poem called “Mungret Old and New”, and again in ‘99 and the following year we find his versatile mind putting into poetry the old story of the “Dead Language Duel” and many following editions of the Annual have his name among its contributors. To these we must add his priestly work of giving retreats and missions. Among his outstanding works as an author are “The Mexican Crisis”, “Catholic Culture in Alabama”, “The Romance of the Florida's”, and “No God next Door”.

His last visit to Mungret was to be present at our Golden Jubilee, 1932. We mourn the passing of one of our earliest students and one of our most outstanding Past. To his relatives and friends we offer our sincere sympathy.

Kerwick, James, 1796-1870, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1534
  • Person
  • 02 February 1796-04 April 1870

Born: 02 February 1796, Co Tipperary
Entered: 20 September 1827, Hodder, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Final Vows: 15 August 1839
Died: 04 April 1870, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Kirwan, Francis, 1589-1661, Roman Catholic Bishop of Killala and deathbed Jesuit

  • IE IJA J/1544
  • Person
  • 1589-27 August 1661

Born: 1589, Galway City, County Galway
Entered: 27/08/1661, Rennes, France (”in articulo mortis”)
Ordained: 1614, Cashel, Co Tipperary
Died: 27 August 1661, Rennes, France

Parents Matthew and Juliana Lynch both from distinguished families.
Received early education from his uncle Fr Arthur Lynch. Higher education at Lisbon
1614 Ordained by AB Kearney of Cashel
1618 At Dieppe College teaching Philosophy
1620 Appointed VG by DR Conry AB of Tuam and later by AB Malachy O’Queely
1645 Consecrated Bishop of Killala at Paris 07 May 1645. Member of Supreme Council of Kilkenny. Opposed to Nuncio on Censures, but later publicly renounced opposition.
1649-1652 Worked zealously and had to evade capture,, by hiding in cellars of friends home in Galway 14 months.
1655 Exiled with AB of Tuam and others till death. Lived mostly at Nantes in poverty and prayer, Wrote that the Society had always been loved by him. His funeral was described as more like a canonisation than a funeral. A Jesuit delivered the homily and he is buried in Society grave at Rennes. Reputed to be a “saint”, and miracles attributed to him (Fr General.
Left monies in Ireland for the purchase of a Residence/School for the Society

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Bishop of Killala
His life was written by Dr Lynch “Pii Antistitis Icon”
1660 Father Quin writes to Father General “Dr Kirwan is reputed a saint here”. Miracles were performed by him.
The saintly Father Yong says his obsequies were more like a canonisation than a funeral.
Received into the Society by General Vitelleschi pro articulo mortis 15 January 1640, since he could not be received otherwise at that time.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Matthew and Julia née Lynch
Early studies under an uncle Arthur Lynch and later priestly studies at the Irish College Lisbon.
Ordained in Ireland by Archbishop Kearney of Cashel 1614
1614-1620 Teaching Philosophy in France and spent some time in Louvain, before being appointed Vicar General of Tuam by the exiled Bishop. e exercised this ministry assiduously, visiting many priests and regularly accompanied by various Jesuits, as he was very attached to the Society.
1645 Became Bishop of Killala 06 February 1645.
Exiled under the “Commonwealth” he found refuge with the Jesuits at Rennes. Before or on his death (”in articulo mortis”) he was received into the Society. He died at Rennes and was buried in the Jesuit church of that city

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Kirwan, Francis
by Terry Clavin

Kirwan, Francis (1589–1661), catholic bishop of Killala, was the son of Matthew Kirwan and his wife, Juliana Lynch, both of Galway city. He was taught at Galway by his maternal uncle, Arthur Lynch, who was a priest, and subsequently studied at Lisbon. In 1614 he was ordained a priest by David Kearney (qv), archbishop of Cashel, before travelling to France where he was teaching philosophy at Rouen by 1618. Subsequently, his uncle William Lynch removed Kirwan (against his wishes) to Louvain in the Spanish Netherlands. There he impressed Florence Conry (qv), archbishop of Tuam, who sent Kirwan back to Ireland in 1620 to act as vicar general of the archdiocese of Tuam.

Kirwan was indefatigable in attending to his duties as vicar general and effective head of the catholic church in Connacht, travelling to the most remote areas of the archdiocese. His ascetic lifestyle and modest demeanour earned him the respect and awe of the catholic laity, although he was criticised for his tendency to favour the hospitality of wealthy catholics. He worked particularly hard to ensure that his clergy met strict counter-reformation standards, stipulating that each priest could have only one parish, and supervising those training to become priests. Generally the local authorities turned a blind eye to his activities and Kirwan seems to have been on friendly terms with William Daniel (qv), the protestant archbishop of Tuam. Indeed, his main opposition came from his own clergy, many of whom preferred a more lax brand of catholicism.

Conry died in 1629, but his successor as archbishop of Tuam, Malachy O'Queely (qv), retained Kirwan as vicar general. About 1637 he decided to depart for France to preside over the education of a group of Irish youths there. They settled at Caen and were maintained for several years by funds sent from Ireland. However, the beginning of a long period of warfare in Ireland in 1641 meant that this revenue source was cut off. Kirwan's scholars dispersed and he travelled again to France, where he attempted unsuccessfully to gather together the Irish students under his leadership and tried to organise the sending of arms to the catholics in Ireland. During this period he also befriended Vincent de Paul.

As early as 1625 Kirwan had been recommended for a bishopric, and on 7 May 1645 he was consecrated bishop of Killala at the church of St Lazarus in Paris. He travelled to Ireland and, after being warmly received by the supreme council of the Catholic Confederation at Kilkenny, took possession of his see in October 1646. The most powerful local lord was Ulick Burke (qv), marquess of Clanricard, a strong royalist with whom Kirwan became close. As well as attending to his pastoral duties, he frequently travelled to Kilkenny and Waterford to participate in the confederate assemblies.

In June 1646, along with the rest of the catholic hierarchy, Kirwan supported the decision of the papal nuncio GianBattista Rinuccini (qv) to excommunicate those who adhered to the alliance between the Catholic Confederation and the protestant royalists. However, his association with Clanricard put him on the moderate wing of the church and increasingly at odds with the nuncio. In May 1648 he was among the minority of bishops who opposed Rinuccini's excommunication of those who supported the truce between the confederates and Murrough O'Brien (qv), Lord Inchiquin, the commander of the protestant forces in Munster. Later that year he helped Archbishop John Bourke (qv) of Tuam celebrate mass at the collegiate church in Galway, in defiance of the nuncio's interdict. His stance was vociferously opposed by his own diocesan clergy, who complained against him to Rinuccini.

From 1649 to 1652 he was active in the last struggles of the confederates and strongly supported Clanricard, who became royalist lord deputy of Ireland in 1650, against the more hard-line members of the hierarchy. He was also involved in efforts to persuade the duke of Lorraine to intervene in Ireland on behalf of the catholics. After the Cromwellian forces had completed their conquest of Connacht in the summer of 1652, he spent nearly two years in hiding, constantly pursued by the authorities. Weary and in poor health, he gave himself up in Galway in 1654, before being freed in December that year on condition that he left Ireland within two months. In the event, he sailed into Nantes with other exiled catholic clergy in August 1655. He spent two years there before settling in Brittany. Virtually destitute on his arrival in Nantes, he was maintained by grants from the French clergy and by the patronage of noblewomen. He also repented of his past opposition to Rinuccini, and in 1655 appealed to Rome for absolution, which he received two years later. He died 27 August 1661 at Rennes and was buried in the Jesuit church there. Long an admirer of the Jesuits, he was admitted as a member of their order on his deathbed.

Laurence Renehan, Collections on Irish church history (1861), i, 397–8; G. Aiazzi, The embassy in Ireland of Monsignor G. B. Rinuccini, trans. A. Hutton (1873), 468; J. T. Gilbert, A contemporary history of affairs in Ireland. . . (3 vols, 1879), i, 653; ii, 141, 191; iii, 124, 178; John Lynch, The portrait of a pious bishop; or the life and death of Francis Kirwan (1884), passim; J. T. Gilbert, History of the Irish confederation. . . (7 vols, 1882–91), iii, 183; vi, 211–12, 226; vii, 58, 213; Comment. Rinucc., vi, 126, 191–2; Patrick Corish, ‘Rinuccini's censure of 27 May 1648’, Ir. Theol. Quart., xviii, no. 4 (Oct. 1951), 322–37; Peter Beresford-Ellis, Hell or Connaught (1988), 106–8; T. Ó hAnnracháin, Catholic reformation in Ireland (2002), 238

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
Francis Kirwan, Bishop of Killala (his Lordship had obtained to be admitted into the Society “pro bona mortis”, and was buried in the Jesuits Church at Rennes)

Leonard, John A, 1912-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/477
  • Person
  • 22 January 1912-08 January 1992

Born: 22 January 1912, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1947, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 08 January 1992, Fethard, County Tipperary.

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

Brother of Paul Leonard - RIP 2001; Nephew of Patrick Leonard - RIP 1909 (Scholastic)
Cousin of John P Leonard - RIP 2006

Early education at Belvedere College SJ and Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1936 at Vals, France (TOLO) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 75 : Christmas 1993 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995
Fr Jack Leonard (1912-1992)
Jack Leonard was born in 1912 in Dublin, the eldest of five children of whom Miriam and Paul survive. He was educated in the Holy Faith School, Glasnevin, Belvedere and Clongowes Wood College. Of these, Clongowes held pride of place in his heart, at least until he joined the staff of Belvedere. His memory of the Belvedere of his schooldays was not flattering: “A place in which there was much fun but little learning”, he used to say. When he was a young scholastic the Rector of Belvedere, a fanatical Belvederian, teased him - a dangerous past-time - by saying that the best of the Leonard family were his sister and his young brother, Paul. “No doubt they are, Father”,, Jack replied. “They are the only members of the family who did not go to Belvedere”.

In all his schools he was notably able, successful and mischievous. A mischievous rogue he remained until the end. His old friend, Chris Heron, told me that shortly after Jack became Prefect of Studies in Belvedere, his son came home and told him that Jack had brilliantly caught him out in some schoolboy prank. Chris told his son that he was dealing with a poacher turned gamekeeper and that there was nothing a schoolboy could think of doing that the Prefect of Studies had not done himself as a boy.

One of Jack's characteristics was the number of friendships formed in his schooldays and retained throughout his life. He had great capacity for making and keeping friends, and for making friends with his friends' children. In this way he became a member of many families that will miss him greatly.

In 1930, with 29 others, Jack entered the novitiate in Emo. Of the 30, his life-long friend, Donal Mulcahy, Martin Brenan and Mattie Meade survived him. After Emo, he went to Rathfarnham and UCD where he obtained a first class degree in English. He enjoyed those years under the benign and civilised rectorship of TV Nolan. He then went to Vals to study Philosophy. There he developed his knowledge and love of the French language of which he was to become a masterful teacher. His proficiency in French caused a French Jesuit to remark many years later that Jack's French was almost too correct for a native. This was a criticism which all of us could bear with equanimity. He greatly appreciated his professors in Vals, the course of study he pursued and the general ambiance of the place. There, too, he formed many, long-lasting relationships. He was fond of telling a mischievous story of those years, Seemingly the Irish Provincial of the time heard of some little escapade Jack got up to. The Provincial, if the stories of him are true, was a petty man of monumental dullness, the antithesis of Jack. He wrote to Jack to say that he could not sleep at night lamenting the fact that he had sent him to France. As Jack told the story it was clear that he got much pleasure from the thought of this dull, little man in Gardiner Street tossing and turning throughout the night on his account.

Having completed his Philosophy, Jack went to the Crescent for two years and Clongowes for one where he began to demonstrate his skills as a teacher. Then he went to Militown, a place for which he retained little affection, where he was ordained in 1944. His contemporaries at this time would have seen him as gregarious, witty, with a keen mind and sharp tongue, that he used to effect on friend and foe alike, and an excellent raconteur, who, of course, did not scorn poetic license. But, behind the sophisticated and somewhat flippant exterior, was a deeply serious religious.

His first appointment after ordination was to Clongowes in 1946, where he remained until 1961. These were years of immensely effective and productive work. He was an outstanding teacher. Like all good teachers, he was the master of his subject, diligent in preparation, careful in reviewing progress and interested in his pupils. But Jack was more than a good teacher, he was superb. His intellectual ability and broad intellectual interests enabled him to open up new vistas for his students, enthuse the better ones and leave all with a deep appreciation of what he taught and of himself as a teacher. One of those students, an academic of distinction, remarked that if the had learned nothing in Clongowes but what he learned from Jack's following of “red herrings” he would have had an excellent education, so broad was Jack's reading and so keen his intelligence. In this period of his life he made many friends. Relationships matured from casual acquaintances of master and pupil into deep and enduring friendship. There are many of that generation of Clongowians who sadly lament the passing of a loyal and generous friend. During these years he was in constant demand as a retreat giver to religious, priests and laity. He was an accomplished spiritual director, particularly of lay people. He had the gift of enabling one to see one's problems more clearly, to solve those that had a solution and to live with the many that were insoluble.

In 1961 he went to Belvedere and in the following year he was appointed Prefect of Studies. This was at the end of an era. An ethos was collapsing in Ireland, in the Church and among the Jesuits and a different ethos was emerging to which Jack was implacably hostile. In the minds of many he is defined in terms of that hostility. Certainly, he was far too sweeping in his condemnation of anything of which he disapproved and far too sharp in his criticism of those with whom he disagreed. However, during his time as Prefect of Studies he laid the foundations of much of what is excellent in Belvedere today. Above all, he recruited excellent young men for the staff. He did not merely hire them, he coached them, encouraged them and supported them staunchly. He cultivated in them the skills and values that he himself possessed as a teacher and they responded splendidly. One of these men celebrated his twenty fifth year in Belvedere recently and at the celebration he recalled eloquently and accurately the esteem, admiration and reverence in which Jack was held by the lay staff. In addition to the care of the staff, Jack built up and strengthened whole areas of the curriculum: Maths., Science and, surprisingly, Irish.

When he completed his term as Prefect of Studies, he returned to the class room as a teacher from 1968 until 1976. It was then that I got to know him, observe his excellence as a teacher and profit from his advice. The presence of so many of his pupils from the seventies at his funeral Mass was a testimony to the esteem in which he was held by yet another generation of students, some of whom have told me that Jack's teaching was the best they experienced not only during their secondary schooling but in all their years of education. He taught French, Latin and Religion, As a teacher of Religion he was old fashioned and trailed his old fashioned coat - often outrageously - but he was an effective teacher of Religion in difficult times, more effective than many who were more up to date. He was effective not just in transmit ting knowledge but also in the transmission of values and attitudes: a fact attested to by some who went from Belvedere to the priesthood and religious life.

After Belvedere he went to Leeson Street where he became Superior in 1984 for six years. There he was in charge of the elderly community and was exceptional in his care for the sick and the old. For the past year or so he had begun to fail not greatly but perceptibly. The end came unexpectedly. It was a blessing in many ways. He died in the house of the sister he loved and in the company of his beloved niece, Ida. He did not have the suffering and humiliation of a long drawn out sickness and was in relatively good for to the end.

So we salute a superb teacher, an able administrator, an excel lent retreat giver and a shrewd spiritual director but first and fore most a zealous priest and religious, a man of simple faith, of unshakeable hope and of profound love of the Lord and Master he served so well and in whose company he must surely be rejoicing in that place of peace and happiness that was prepared for him since before the foundation of the world.
Noel Barber SJ

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1992


Father John A Leonard SJ

Jack Leonard was born 80 years ago in Dublin , the eldest of five children of whom Miriam and Paul survive. To them, who were bound so closely to Jack by such strong bonds of affection and respect, we offer our special sympathy. With Miriam who lost her husband our sympathy and prayers go with special fervour. We sympathise, too, with Billie, his sister-in law, his nephews, nieces, the grand-nephews and grand-nieces in whom he took a lively paternal interest, an interest returned with regard and affection.

He was educated in the Holy Faith School, Glasnevin, Belvedere and Clongowes Wood College. Of these Clongowes held pride of place in his heart, at least until he joined the staff of Belvedere. His memory of the Belvedere of his schooldays was not flattering: “A place in which there was much fun but little learning”, he used to say. When he was a young scholastic the Rector of Belvedere, a fanatical Belvederian, teased him - a dangerous past-time - by saying that the best of the Leonard family were his sister and his young brother, Paul. “No doubt they are, Father”, Jack replied. “They are the only members of the family who did not go to Belvedere”.

In all his schools he was notably able, successful and mischievous. A mischievous rogue he remained until the end, His old friend, Chris Heron, told me that shortly after Jack became Prefect of Studies in Belvedere, his son came home and told him that Jack had brilliantly caught him out in some schoolboy prank, Chris told his son that he was dealing with a poacher turned gamekeeper and that there was nothing a schoolboy could think of doing that the Prefect of Studies had not done himself as a boy.

One of Jack's characteristics was the number of friendships formed in his schooldays and retained throughout his life. He had great capacity for making and keeping friends, and for making friends with his friends' children. In this way he became a member of many families that will miss him greatly.

In 1930, with 29 others, Jack entered the novitiate in Emo. Of the 30, his life-long friend, Donal Mulcahy, Martin Brennan and Mattie Meade survive, After Emo, he went to Rathfarnham and UCD where he obtained a first class degree in English. He enjoyed those years under the benign and civilised rectorship of T V Nolan. He then went to Vals to study Philosophy. There he developed his knowledge and love of the French language of which he was to become a masterful teacher. His proficiency in French caused a French Jesuit to remark many years later that Jack's French was almost too correct for a native. This was a criticism which all of us could bear with equanimity. He greatly appreciated his professors in Vals, the course of study he pursued and the general ambiance of the place. There, too, he formed many, long lasting friendships. He was fond of telling a mischievous story of those years. Seemingly the Irish Provincial of the time heard of some little escapade Jack got up to. The Provincial, if the stories of him are true, was a petty man of monumental dullness, the antithesis of Jack. He wrote to Jack to say that he could not sleep at night lamenting the fact that he had sent him to France. As Jack told the story it was clear that he got much pleasure from the thought of this dull, little man in Gardiner Street tossing and turning throughout the night on his account.

Having completed his Philosophy, Jack went to Crescent for two years and Clongowes for one where he began to demonstrate his skills as a teacher. Then he went to Milltown, a place for which he retained little affection, where he was ordained in 1944. His contemporaries at this time would have seen him as gregarious, witty, with a keen mind and sharp tongue, that he used to effect on friend and foe alike, and an excellent raconteur, who, of course, did not scorn poetic licence, But behind the sophisticated and somewhat flippant exterior, was a deeply serious religious person.

His first appointment after ordination was to Clongowes in 1946 where he remained until 1961. Those were years of immensely effective and productive work. He was an outstanding teacher. Like all good teachers, he was the master of his subject, diligent in preparation, careful in reviewing progress and interested in his pupils. But Jack was more than a good teacher, he was superb. His intellectual ability and broad intellectual interests enabled him to open up new vistas for his students, enthuse the better ones and leave all with a deep appreciation of what he taught and of himself as a teacher. One of those students, an academic of distinction, who is here today remarked that if he had learned nothing in Clongowes but what he learned from Jack's following of “red herrings”, he would have had an excellent education, so broad was Jack's reading and so keen his intelligence. In this period of his life he made many friends. Relationships matured from the casual acquaintance of master and pupil into deep and enduring friendship. There are many of that generation of Clongowians who sadly lament the passing of a loyal and generous friend. During these years he was in constant demand as a retreat giver to religious, priests and laity. He was an accomplished spiritual director, particularly of lay people. He had the gift of enabling one to see one's problems more clearly, to solve those that had a solution and to live with the many that were insoluble.

In 1961 he went to Belvedere and in the following year he was appointed Prefect of Studies. This was at the end of an era. An ethos was collapsing in Ireland, in the Church and among the Jesuits and a different ethos was emerging to which Jack was implacably hostile. In the minds of many he is defined in terms of that hostility. Certainly, he was far too sweeping in his condemnation of anything of which he disapproved and far too sharp in his criticism of those with whom he disagreed. However, during his time as Prefect of Studies he laid the foundations of much of what is excellent in Belvedere today. Above all, he recruited excellent young men for the staff. He did not merely hire them, he coached them, encouraged them and supported them staunchly. He cultivated in them the skills and values that he himself possessed as a teacher and they responded splendidly. One of these men celebrated his twenty fifth year in Belvedere recently and at the celebration he recalled eloquently and accurately the esteem, admiration and reverence in which Jack was held by the lay staff, In addition to the care of the staff, Jack built up and strengthened whole areas of the curriculum. One thinks of Maths., Science and, surprisingly, Irish.

When he completed his term as Prefect of Studies, he returned to the class room as a teacher from 1968 until 1976. It was then that I came to know him, observe his excellence as a teacher and to profit from his advice. The presence of so many of his pupils from the seventies at his funeral is a testimony to the esteem in which he was held by yet another generation of students, some of whom have told me that Jack's teaching was the best they experienced not only during their secondary schooling but in all their years of education. He taught French, Latin and Religion. As a teacher of Religion he was old fashioned but he was an effective teacher of Religion in difficult times, more effective than many who were more up to date. He was effective not just in transmitting knowledge but also in the transmission of values and attitudes: a fact attested to by some who went from Belvedere to the Priesthood and religious life.

After Belvedere he went to Leeson Street where he became Superior in 1984 for six years. There he was in charge of an elderly community and was exceptional in his care for the sick and the old. For the past year or so he had begun to fail not greatly but perceptibly. The end came unexpectedly. It was a blessing in many ways. He died in the house of the sister he loved and in the company of his beloved niece, Ida. He did not have the suffering and humiliation of a long drawn out sickness and was in relatively good for to the end.

So we salute a superb teacher, an able administrator, an excellent retreat giver and a shrewd spiritual director but first and foremost we take our leave of a zealous priest and religious, a man of simple faith, of unshakable hope and of profound love of the Lord and Master he served so well and in whose company he must surely be rejoicing in that place of peace and happiness that was prepared for him since before the foundation of the world.

May the Lord bless him abundantly.

Noel Barber SJ

Lery, Thomas, 1624-1691, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1574
  • Person
  • 25 March 1624-28 September 1691

Born: 25 March 1624, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 05 August 1649, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: c 1651,
Final Vows: 15 August 1666
Died: 28 September 1691, Limerick

1651 Scholastic at Arévalo Spain (near Avila)
1651 ANG Catalogue Was at Salamanca in 4th year Theology, was a priest before Ent, suitable for rectorship in Irish Seminary in Spain
1655 At Pontevedao College (CAST) teaching Grammar (B)
1666 ROM Catalogue At Cashel : Restored the BV Sodality, preaches, administers Sacs and 5 years PP. Gives satisfaction ro “U Geul”, after whose death he devotes himself to affairs of the Irish Mission. Was 7 years on the Mission (D)
1678 At Poitiers Minister and teaching Humanities

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1657 Came to Irish Mission and worked from Waterford and Cashel Residences. When Andrew FitzBennet Sall was committed to prison in Waterford, 22/01/1658, Thomas Leary supplied for him in the town and country.
1669 He was in Cashel, and witnessed the miraculous cure of his niece, Elizabeth Xavieria Leri, of Cashel, who was cured by a Novena to Francis Xavier (cf Morris’s Louvain “Excerpts”; Foley’s Collectanea and Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of John and Isabel née Young
Had studied Philosophy at Santiago and two years Theology Salamanca before Ent 05 August 1649 Villagarcía
1651-1652 After First Vows he was Ordained and sent on Regency to Arévalo
1652-1658 He then continued studies at Salamanca followed by a period teaching Humanities at Pontevedra
1658 Sent to Ireland and initially probably at Cashel. For a while he replaced Andrew Fitzbennet Sall at Waterford when he had been captured, and deported. After restoration he was sent to Cashel where he ministered at Catechising, Preaching and administering the Sacraments and where he also restored the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin
1674 Appointed Consultor of the Mission and sent to Dublin.
1677 Sent to conduct business for the Mission Superior at Poitiers, investigating complaints brought against the Rector Ignatius Browne. Though it was intended that he return immediately, he was kept in France until the end of the Titus Oates Plot
1680 He returned to Cashel where he remained until the arrival of William's army. He then withdrew to Limerick and died there 28 September 1691

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
LEARY, THOMAS, arrived in Ireland during the latter end of 1657, and “was stationed at Waterford”. When F. Andrew Sall, (of whom we have made mention in a note to the article on Ignatius Brown), was apprehended in that city on the 22nd of January following, and thrown into jail, F. Leary supplied his place in town and country with great spirit and success. In 1669 I meet him at Cashell, where he witnessed the remarkable cure of his niece, Elizabeth Xaverira Leary, of dysentery and deafness, after performing a Novena in honour of St. Francis Xavier. The fact was certified by the grand Vicar of Cashell, as F. Stephen Rice reports it in the Annual letters. After this event I lose sight of him.

Leynach, Nicholas, 1567-1624, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1576
  • Person
  • 1567-27 January 1624

Born: 1567, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 1586, Lisbon, Portugal - Lusitaniae Province (LUS)
Ordained: c 1594, Lisbon, Portugal
Professed: 1616
Died: 27 January 1624, Clonmel, County Tipperary

Alias Leinagh

1590-1592: Studying Theology at Funchal College, Madeira (LUS) Age 21 Soc 3.
1597: At St Anthony’s College Lisbon, Minister and Confessor there since 1594.
1600: Came to Mission Was Superior in West Munster, ie Limerick, Waterford and Clonmel.
1616: Catalogue Prefect of Ours in Residence of Munster some years. Was Consultor some years in Spain. Delicate in health a good Moral Theologian. Prudent though sometimes choleric, though inclined to meekness. Governs with tact, esteemed by the people.
1621: Catalogue Better suited for practical than speculative subjects.
1622: Catalogue Consultor in East Munster.
ARSI “A man of great prudence, circumspect, zealous and energetic. Had special credit and authority. There was a Nicholas Lynach at Newgate Prison 1598 or 1599.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
He wrote from St Anthony’s College Lisbon, Portugal, 25 September 1598, begging to be sent to the “holy and happy Irish Mission”.
He was assigned to Munster with Andrew Morony, and known to be in Ireland 1617.
In a letter from Fr Lawndry (vere Holywood) to Richard Conway 14 November 1611 (Irish Ecclesiastical Record April 1874) he says “Of the west part of the Southern Province Nicholas Lynach hath care, assisted only by Thomas Shine and Thomas Bourke, save what help he hath from Andrew Morony” (cf "Hibernia Ignatiana for several more letters).
Alive in 1622.
He was a man of talent; a great Preacher; “hath” says the Attorney General “special credit and authority” (State Papers); “Circumspect, zealous and energetic” (Holywood)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
1588-1590: After First Vows he spent two years Regency at Évora and Funchal, Madeira.
1590-1594: His studies were limited to a course in Moral Theology in Lisbon and he was Ordained there c 1594.
1594-1601: Operarius at Irish College, Lisbon and Minister for a while.
1601: Sent to Ireland in February. Most of his work was done in Munster, though he did visit many parts of Connacht during his first decade back in the country with Andrew Mulrony
1610: Consultor of Mission.
1621: Stationed at Clonmel where he died 27 January 1624 and is buried at St Mary’s Church, Clonmel

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Nicholas Leynich SJ 1567-1624
The names of Fr Walter Wale and Fr Barnaby O’Kearney are always linked together for many reasons, so also the names of Nicholas Leynich and Andrew Morony. Both were born in Clonmel around the same time, entered the Society within a few years of each other, and finally come to Ireland together in 1601, and laboured both outstandingly in Munster.

Nicholas Leynich was born in the 60’s of the sixteenth century in Clonmel, entering the Society in Spain in 1586. In a letter dated 25th September 1598, from St Antony’s College, Lisbon, he pleaded with the General to be sent on the Irish Mission. He got his request, and worked with such great profit of souls, that he was marked out by the authorities as one of their greatest enemies. The Superior at the time, Christopher Holywood entrusted him with a great deal of the governance of the province of Munster and Connaught.

He was engaged for a few years in the educational work in Dublin along with Frs Field and Wale. His death occurred some time after 1622.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
LYNCH,NICHOLAS, (sometimes called Leynach) applied from St. Anthony College, Lisbon, 25th September, 1598, “to be named, though an unworthy and useless servant, amongst the labourers in the holy and happy mission of Ireland”. His earnest petition was granted. Minister was assigned to him and his colleague, F. Andrew Morony, as a field for Apostolic labor : and this Province had cause to say in the words of the Acts xvi. 17. “These men are servants of the High God, who declare the way of salvation”. In a letter dated, “ex desertis Hyberniae”, the 3rd of April, 1605, “he recommends that none be sent over to this Mission, but men that are ripe and sedate, conversant with the Institute of the Society, interior, solid, and mortified men; for such are truly required for this new plantation; not indiscreet young men, conceited in their own judgment”. F. Nicholas was still living in February, 1622.

Lisward, Edward, 1715-1791, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1581
  • Person
  • 01 February 1715-13 September 1791

Born: 01 February 1715, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 04 May 1741, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: Salamanca, Spain - pre Entry
Final Vows: 15 August 1755
Died: 13 September 1791, John’s Lane, Dublin

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He died in the Augustinian House at John’s Lane
Great Preacher; Professor of Humanities
1752 In Dungarvan
1761-1766 Rector at Salamanca
Note from Gaspar Stafford Entry :
1739 One of the Examiners of Father Lisward (Dr McDonald and de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Hugo and Kathleen née Norris
Had studied at the Irish Colleges of Santiago and Salamanca where he was Ordained before Ent 04 May 1741 Villagarcía
1743-1745 After First Vows sent to Royal College Salamanca for further studies
1745-1750 Taught Humanities at León and for a time was Minister
1750-1761 Sent to Ireland and Dungarvan where he worked for eleven years
1761-1765 Rector of Irish College Salamanca
1765 Sent to Cadiz to arrange the business of the Mission and then to Ireland and the Dublin Residence. There is little record of his work in Ireland after his return until the suppression of the Society.
He was one of the signatories to the instrument accepting the suppression and became incardinated in Dublin diocese. he was a Curate at St. James's parish but in consequence of some difference with the PP he went to live with the Augustinians in John's Lane and ministered at their chapel, where his sermons attracted large numbers, until his death 13 September 1791

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edward Lisward 1715-1791
Fr Edward Lisward was the pioneer of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Ireland. He was Parish priest of our parish in Waterford from 1750-1761. There he founded a Confraternity of the Sacred Heart, the first in Ireland, anticipating by more than fifty years the Confraternity founded in Dublin by Archbishop Murray in 1816.

Fr Lisward had done his studies in Spain, and there he had drank in the devotion from Fr Bernard de Hoyas, who in turn had imbibed it from Fr Gilifret in France, who himself was a disciple of Blessed Calude la Colombière. So, the devotion came to Ireland in a direct line from its original sources.

Fr Lisward was born in Clonmel, the son of Hugh Lisward and Kathleen Morris. He entered the Society in 1741, and was Rector of Salamanca after his period in Waterford from 1761-1766.

He died in Dublin on September or December 13th 1791, in the Augustinian House at John’s Lane.

◆ Clongowes Wood College SJ HIB Archive Collection - SC/CLON/142

Edward Lisward 1715-1791
Edward visward, son of Hugo and Kathleen née Morris was born in Clonmel in February, 1715 and made his ecclesiastical studies at Santiago and Salamanca He was already a priest when he was received into the Society at Villagarcia, 4 May 1741. After his noviceship he was sent to complete his theological studies at the Royal College,Salamanca. From 1745 to 1750 he taught humanities and was also Minister at the College of Leon. On his return to Ireland he was assigned to work in Dungarvan and district and exercised his ministry there until summer 1761 when he was appointed rector of the Irish College Salamanca. Three years later he returned to Ireland. On his return to Ireland he seems to have settled in Dublin, certainly after the suppression he lived and died at the Augustinian monastery at John's Lane. He had already officiated at St James’ Parish but he left it in consequence of some difference with the Parish Priest.

Note, St James's Parish registers C of I “Burials: September 15 Rev. Mr Lisworth, Thomas St”.

◆ MacErlean Cat Miss HIB SJ 1670-1770

Loose Note : Edward Lisward
Those marked with
were working in Dublin when on 07/02/1774 they subscribed their submission to the Brief of Suppression
John Ward was unavoidably absent and subscribed later
Michael Fitzgerald, John St Leger and Paul Power were stationed at Waterford
Nicholas Barron and Joseph Morony were stationed at Cork
Edward Keating was then PP in Wexford

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
LISWARD, EDWARD, was born at Clonmel on the 1st of February, 1715, and joined the Society at Salamanca, on the 5th of May, 1741. Nine years later he revisited his native Country as a Missionary, and was placed by Superiors at Dungarvan. After his Profession of the Four Vows, on the l5th of August, 1755, I can no longer trace him.

Lonergan, James, 1835-1918, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1590
  • Person
  • 15 August 1835-16 October 1918

Born: 15 August 1835, Holycross, County Tipperary
Entered: 08 September 1854, Spring Hill, Mobile AL, USA - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Professed: 02 February 1878
Died: 16 October 1918, New Orleans, LA, USA - Neo-Aurelianensis Province (NOR)

MacCormack, William, 1863-1931, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/280
  • Person
  • 20 February 1863-26 September 1931

Born: 20 February 1863, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1881, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 30 July 1899, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 August 1901
Died: 26 September 1931, Dublin

Part of Mungret College community, Limerick at time of his death.

Early education at St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg

by 1900 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1895

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 7th Year No 1 1932

Obituary :

Fr William McCormack

Fr. McCormack died in Dublin, Saturday 26 September 1931. For some years previously he had been in very feeble health. It could scarcely be said that he suffered from any disease to which a descriptive name could easily be given, but there was a gradual sinking, a steady wasting away until the end came last September.

He first saw the light in Cork 20 Feb. 1863, was educated in Tullabeg, and began his novitiate at Milltown Park 7 Sept. 1881. In the same place he did Rhetoric for one year and Philosophy for three. Six years at Clongowes and two at Mungret as Master and Prefect brought him to 1895. Even at this early date the nerves were giving considerable trouble, and he was sent on a trip to Australia in the hope that a long sea voyage would bring about a recovery.
On his return the following year he began Theology at Milltown, worked at it for three years, and then went to Tronchiennes. From 1900 to his death in 1931 he was stationed either at Galway, Clongowes, or Mungret. In all, dating from his Philosophy, he spent 17 years in Mungret, 14 in Clongowes, 8 in Galway.
He was Minister in Galway for 3 years, and, in spite of his bad health had change of the “big study” in Clongowes for five. In the Catalogue he has the honourable record - an 35. Mag.
Nearly the whole of Fr. McCormack's life in the Society was one long struggle against feeble health, and,as can be gathered from the above record, a victorious struggle. With the exception of the last few years, when he was utterly prostrate, he ever and always put in an honest day's work. He was efficient, very punctual, and quite ready to meet any emergency that might arise in the discharge of his duty.
Despite the nerve trouble he was generally in good humour, hearty, enjoyed a joke, and was not a little amused by the small foibles and peculiarities inseparable from every day life, even in the Society.
The source of all his strength was a fund of genuine holiness from which he constantly drew to support his suffering life, and which enabled him to persevere along the path of duty even to the very end.
The following appreciation has been kindly sent us by Fr. J. Casey and J. Mahoney :
“The last eight years of Fr. McCormack's life were spent at Mungret. Owing to his chronic ill-health he was unable to undertake much school-work. But as a confessor his services were much in demand , and the large numbers who thronged to his confessional testified to the great influence which he exercised in the spiritual life of the boys. As a preacher too he was very successful - the boys often expressed their appreciation of his sermons and instructions. He frequently gave retreats in convents and convent-schools, and he acted as extraordinary confessor to the nuns of the Mercy Convent, Nenagh. He was devoted to the sick and poor in the neighbourhood of Mungret, all of whom will feel that in the death of Fr. McCormack they have lost a very true and devoted friend.
Fr. McCormack’s influence for good must to a very great extent be ascribed to the innate kindness and gentleness of disposition. He suffered frequently from nervous prostration and the mental depression which companies such forms of disease, but neither physical nor mental suffering could deprive him of that inbred courtesy which was one of his characteristic traits, and which gained for him the respect and love of all with whom he came in contact”.
When stationed in Galway Fr. McCormack did full Church work. In addition he was Prefect of Discipline in the College, and taught some classes.
It will interest some people to know that he often spoke with appreciation of the fact that he studied Homer when a boy in Tullabeg under Fr Henry Browne S. J.

◆ The Clongownian, 1932


Father William MacCormack SJ

Father William MacCormack SJ, was born in Cork, February, 1863, and was educated at Tullabeg. He entered the Society in 1881, and after the usual years of noviceship and study, he went to Clongowes as Prefect. Here he remained for six years, when he was transferred to Mungret. After two years there he was, owing to ill health, sent to Australia, where he remained a year, returning in 1896 to Milltown Park for Theology. He was ordained in 1899, and after a further year on the Continent, he was sent back to Clongowes to take charge of the Big Study. From 1908 to 1914 he was on the teaching staff in Mungret. From 1914-17 he was Minister in Galway, returning to Clongowes, this time to take charge of the Small Study until 1920. From 1926-23 he was stationed in Galway, whence he was transferred to Mungret, where he remained till his death.

Father McCormack was nearly all his life in, very indifferent health; yet, notwithstanding, he ever did a day's work. In the Study Hall he was most efficient, in the Class Room most effective; as a Minister he was most successful. He was endowed with a charming personality. He captivated the boys who had the privilege of being in his class and many of them afterwards spoke of him with sincere affection. As a companion he was most lovable, ever ready to enjoy a joke, but never saying an unkind word about others. He was an excellent cricketer and tennis player, and could play a good game of golf. Games often test a man, but Father McCormack would never lose his good humour and patience on the links, even when his companion was simply outrageous. As a Confessor his advice and direction were keenly sought and appreciated; as a preacher he was quiet but apostolic; as a retreat giver he was a great favourite. He had a keen sense of justice and would never stand for any harshness to the poor. It was hard for him to do, and to be, all that, for he was never for any length of time in good health. He suffered greatly, but, nothwithstanding it all, he was ever the gentleman, smiling, kind and unselfish. Some of us have lost a dear personal friend. May. God have mercy on his soul. RIP

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1932 : Golden Jubilee


Father William MacCormack SJ

On Saturday 26th, the news of Father McCormack's death reached us. It was the inevitable end of a life-long struggle against ill-health carried on with a stern determination on his part never to yield any ground to an enemy that, even in his early manhood attempted to lessen the usefulness of his life in God's service. Except during the last few years of his life, when the weight of years had crushed his vitality and completely prostrated him, he worked constantly and strenuously. He was a kindly master, but efficient and never wanting in correct judgment of the boys with whom his class work brought him into contact; ready, too, to meet any emergency that might arise in the discharge of his duty.

He first came to Mungret in 1907, and continued there until 1914, when he left to take up duties as minister in St Ignatius College, Galway His name will awaken in the minds of boys of that period memories of his prowess on the cricket pitch, where on some memorable occasions he carried his bat.

Returning to Mungret in 1923, he spent the last eight years of his life there. Owing to his chronic ill-health, he was unable to under take much school work. But as a confessor his services were much in demand, and the large numbers that thronged to his confessional testified to the great influence he exercised in the spiritual life of the boys.

As a preacher, too, he was very successful - the boys often expressed their appreciation of his sermons and instructions. He frequently gave Retreats in convents and convent-schools. He was devoted to the sick and poor in the neighbourhood of Mungret, all of whom will feel that in the death of Father McCormack they have lost a true and. devoted friend.

His influence for good must, to a very great extent, be ascribed to his innate kindness and gentleness of disposition. Neither physical nor mental suffering could deprive him of that inbred courtesy which was one of his most characteristic traits, and which gained for him the respect and love of all with whom he came into contact. Lux perpetua luceat ei.

Mackey, Ernest, 1884-1968, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/737
  • Person
  • 09 January 1884-18 January 1968

Born: 09 January 1884, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1901, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1916, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1922, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 18 January 1968, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1905 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1907

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Eddie O’Connor Entry
Fr Ernest Mackey S.J. was a well known school retreat giver. The vocations of Fr Eddie O'Connor and a few years later of Walter, his brother, were influenced by him. The father of the two brothers was Peter 0'Connor a local lawyer and former Olympic champion. The story has it that Peter, encountering Fr Mackey after Fr. Eddie had entered the Society, said
‘That man has taken one of my sons’. Fr Mackey's undaunted reply was, ‘And now, he is coming to take another (Walter)’.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Ernest Mackey entered the Society in 1901, and, as a regent, taught at St Aloysius' College in 1908, and was prefect of discipline. He did the same work at Riverview, 1909-10, and Xavier, 1911-12, and was finally at St Patrick's College.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 12th Year No 4 1937
Rev. Michael Garahy, S.J., and Rev. Ernest Mackey, S.J. have been invited by the Most Rev. Bishop Francis Hennemann, P.S.M DD., to preach at the approaching Centenary Eucharistic Congress - which has already met with a good deal of opposition - to be held at Capetown, South Africa. Dr. Hennemann is Vicar Apostolic of the Western Vicariate of Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope.
Word has come to say that His Lordship is to send full Faculties to the Fathers by air-mail-including power to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation-for the Catholics on Ascension Island and the Island of St, Helena, both of which fall under his jurisdiction.
They will preach during Congress Week at the Pontifical High Mass and at the Mass Meeting for Men. There will be an official broadcast of these functions, which are to be held in the open air at a short distance from St. Mary's Cathedral.
During the course of their stay in South Africa they are due to deliver special lectures on Catholic Action and kindred subjects to Catholic Men's Societies and to Catholic Women's Leagues. Their programme includes also a series of missions and parochial Retreats throughout the Vicariate beginning at the Cathedral Capetown, as a preparation for the Congress, which is fixed to take place from January 9th-16th, 1938. A special Congress Stamp has been issued to commemorate the event.
At the close of the January celebrations they intend to continue their apostolic labours in the Eastern Vicariate at the request of the Most Rev. Bishop McSherry, D,D,, Senior Prelate of South Africa.
Father Garahy is well-known throughout the country since he relinquished his Chair of Theology at Milltown Park in 1914 to devote his energies to the active ministry.
Father Mackey has been Superior of the Jesuit Mission staff in Ireland since 1927. During his absence in South Africa, Father J Delaney, S.J., Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, will take over his duties. Fathers Mackey and Garahy leave for Capetown on Tuesday, 24th August, 1937, and are expected back in Ireland about Easter, 1938.
Father Mackey has just received a cablegram from Bishop Hennemann asking him to give the Priests' Retreat at Cape Town.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 1 1938
Our two Missioners to South Africa, Fathers Mackey and Garahy reached Cape Town on 23rd September.
The voyage was uneventful. They landed at Las Palmas and visited the centre of the Island.
Writing about the road, overhanging a steep precipice, over which they travelled, Father Garahy tells us : “I realised there was nothing between us and eternity except a few feet of road. It seemed to be a matter of inches when we crawled past other cars coming down.” They paid one more visit before reaching Cape Town, and Father Garahy's description is : “A spot of earth more arid than Ascension it would be hard to find outside the Sahara, and yet it grazes about 400 sheep and some cattle on one spot called the Green Mountain.”
Work began the very day after their arrival at Cape Town - a Retreat by Father Mackey to Legion of Mary, with five lectures a day. On the next Sunday, Father Garahy preached at all three Masses in the Cathedral, and again in the evening, The Mission began on Sunday, 3rd October, and from that date to Christmas the missioners had only one free week.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 2 1938
Our two Missioners, Fathers Mackey and Garahy, continue to do strenuous and widely extended work in South Africa. A source of genuine pleasure to them, and one that they fully appreciate, is the very great kindness shown to them by all the priests, not least among them by the Capuchins from Ireland. In the short intervals between the Missions the two Missioners were taken in the priests cars to every spot in the Cape worth seeing. They are only too glad to acknowledge that they will never forget the amount of kindness lavished on them.
In spite of fears the Eucharistic Congress in South Africa was an undoubted success, A pleasant and peculiar incident of the celebration was an “At Home” given by the Mayor of Capetown Mr. Foster, a Co, Down Presbyterian, to the Bishops, priests and prominent laymen. About 600 were present.

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

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

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949
Fr. Mackey was installed as acting Master of Novices to the Alexian Brothers, Cobh on 8th September last. Details of his work appear below.
Fr. Mackey, writes from St. Joseph's Court, Cobh on 13th November :
“You ask me for some information concerning my whereabouts and my work. I was installed here as Master of Novices on 8th September last. With me is an Assistant - a Brother from Manchester. He corresponds to our Socius.
St. Joseph's Court was the property of a Mr. Jackson-bennett. The house is quite suitable for a Religious Congregation. It is just two miles from Cobh - rather ungettatable either by cycling or walking, owing to some enormous hills.
The Alexian Brothers follow the Rule of St. Augustine, and are under a Cardinal Protector at Rome. They have the usual six months postulancy, followed by two full years of noviceship. At the end of the Novitiate they take the customary simple vows. These are renewed for two single years, then for three full years, after that for life. At present they have numerous houses in Germany and the States; five in England, two in Ireland, one in Belgium and one in Switzerland.
They take charge of hospitals, asylums and convalescent homes. On leaving the Novitiate many of them do a three years course of professional nursing at the York City Hospital.
Their religious habit is somewhat similar to that of the Redemptorist Fathers. It is of black cloth, a girdle of black leather, a scapular from shoulders to ankles, white colar, a capifolium and full black mantle with a cowl not unlike that of the Cistercians. Their Superior General is a German-American. He is very keen on all things Ignatian. He has ordered that every novice in the States, is to be presented with Fr. Rickaby's three volumes of Rodriguez on his Vow Day. They are all in favour of the Long Retreat but cannot have it for the present, owing to structural changes to be completed.
They lead a very monastic life here. The Benedicamus Domino is at 5 a.m., all lights out at a quarter to ten. They have three quarters of an hour meditation before Mass, which is at 6 a.m. Their day, which consists of the usual noviceship routine - five exhortations a week - is four times broken for Community prayer. The Office of the Passion is recited every day in common. I have just 20 Postulants and Novices at the moment, with some others due to come after the New Year.
Their Provincial bas just sent every novice a copy of the new edition of Fouard's Life of Christ, two volumes in one. It is a splendid edition (12/6) but without notes. I hope to get them to memorize the most practical passages from a concordance of the Four Gospels, at the rate of a few verses a day - to make them familiar with the sacred text”.

Irish Province News 43rd Year No 2 1968

Obituary :

Fr Ernest Mackey SJ (1884-1968)

Fr. Ernest Mackey died in St. Vincent's private hospital on January 18th. He was 84 years of age on January 9th. Despite the fact being known to his friends that he had had a stroke several weeks previously, the news came as a bit of a shock. Anyone who visited him in hospital considered the stroke was a light one. Some of his closest friends postponed their visit. They did not consider there was any urgency.
Amongst these was Frank Duff, founder and president of the Legion of Mary. For over 40 years they were close friends. When the message of Fr. Mackey's death reached Frank by phone, he exclaimed, “He was a Trojan character”. There are very many priests and religious to-day who would re-echo that sentiment.
Ernest Mackey was a man of sterling character. He had inherited much from his uncle, the late Fr. Michael Brosnan, C.M. He often spoke of this man who for nearly half a century was Spiritual Director in St. Patrick's College, Maynooth. In fact he was the only relative that he ever mentioned. Frequently when in the mood he quoted some of Fr. Brosnan's sayings. For example “Be a gentleman from the soles of your feet to the tips of your fingers, and have those clean”. He spoke of his uncle's death in these words : “He wanted no visitors in his last days, left all letters unopened, and looked at God”.
There was a majesty and a dignity about Ernest Mackey. He always carried himself erect and walked with measured step. One of his disciples remarked that he had a touch of the “Omnipotens Sempiterne Deus”. He had a presence at all times, and in all places. He walked up the Church, or emerged from the sacristy on his way to the pulpit, with arms slightly extended as a large bird about to make an impressive flight. Everything about his ministry was majestic and even overpowering. The sharp features, the very deep collar, the long flowing soutane - all contributed to this presence.
This dignity and grandeur emanated from his realisation of his priesthood. He felt himself as a man specially designated by God - to a great apostolate. Never did he seem to lose sight of this. He spoke with authority. He had that virtue of forthrightness. It never left him all his life. He detested sham and humbug. He hated hypocrisy, and make-believe, and with characteristic gesture swept them away. His conversation was always a tonic. It was wonderful at times to listen to a conversation between himself and Fr. John M. O'Connor, who pre-deceased him by ten years. Both were remarkable men, each in his own sphere. They left an abiding impression on youth. Men and priests of this calibre are the great need of to-day.
From what has been written it is clear that Ernest Mackey lived his name. He was determined and dedicated to his allotted work. He paid not the slightest attention to critics. He never courted popularity. He was earnestness personified. He rarely, if ever, commented on the preaching of his colleagues. As the Superior of the Mission staff for fifteen years he relied on his men to do the work assigned above all to preach the Spiritual Exercises. On one occasion as he came into the sacristy after the Rosary he said to a young colleague: “You are going out to preach on sin. Don't touch the Angels”. Fr. Mackey's pulpit preaching was not his strongest point. It was unique in its way. He had an amazing intonation of voice that ranged over a whole octave. People listened more because of his dominating presence than of his logic, He could stop for over a minute, and shoot out in a commanding voice a text of the Gospel that seemingly had no bearing on his subject.
What was Ernest Mackey's strongest point? What was it in his priestly life that was a creation of his own, and that will persist down the years? Undoubtedly his Boys Retreats, and through these his amazing success in vocations to the priesthood. In this matter he was out on his own, and the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus owes a lot to him.
This work came into being under the provincialate of the late and great Fr. John Fahy. During his decade in Belvedere as Prefect of Studies, Fr. Fahy was responsible for a number of vocations to the Maynooth Mission to China among the boys of the College. He was Rector for six of these ten years and had great influence over boys. He must have asked himself many a time why some very outstanding vocations were lost to the Society. These boys wanted China. It came as no surprise therefore, that during his provincialate, Fr. Fahy opened our mission in Hong Kong. This demanded a big campaign for vocations. Ernest Mackey, already showing talent along this line, was the man for the job. He was put in charge of the Mission Staff. This left him free to take on all the boys' retreats possible. He gave most of these himself, and entrusted many into the capable hands of Fr. Tim Halpin and Fr. Richard Devane.
It was then that Fr. Mackey perfected his vocation technique. Boarding school retreats were lifted up to a high level. The full vigour of the Ignatian Exercises was applied. He stressed real prayer, conquest of self, a sense of the malice of sin, the call of the King, and all the salient thoughts of Ignatius. He got results.
But there was the vast field of day schools, especially the secondary schools of the Irish Christian Brothers. Those in Dublin could be catered for in the Retreat House at Rathfarnham. There Frs. P. Barrett and Richard Devane were already doing wonderful work with week-ends for working men and with mid-week retreats for senior boys of the Dublin day-schools.
Something must be done for the schools outside Dublin, It must be to the lasting credit of Ernest Mackey that he rose nobly and energetically to the occasion. He introduced a truly magnificent semi-enclosed retreat in the school itself. The system can be studied in the printed volume “Our Colloquium”. This is not the place to discuss that great compilation so splendidly edited by the late Fr. Michael F. Egan. Sufficient to say that the greatest contribution was that of Fr. Mackey. He supplied every detail on these retreats. He followed Ignatius rigidly. His great success was due to his placing of the highest ideals of holiness before boys, his whole hearted dedication to the work, his attention to details.
He often in later years spoke of these retreats in schools. He even considered them as of greater value than a fully enclosed retreat in a retreat house. But that was because Fr. Mackey directed them. Arriving at a secondary School he took complete command. He left nothing to chance. He always received the most enthusiastic co-operation from the Brothers. Vocations were needed. “Come after Me and I will make you fishers of men”. Ernest Mackey must have had these words of the Master ever in his mind. He was a fisher for vocations. He was not a lone fisher. He nearly always had fishermen among the Brothers. Their business it was to indicate where he was to cast his net. He had the magnetism - almost the hypnotic power - to attract the good fish. He was human and could make mistakes. But the man who makes no mistakes makes nothing. He landed a great haul for the Society and for the priesthood. He toiled hard. He toiled long.
The secret of his success is obvious from what has been written. He employed the means that Ignatius himself applied to himself and to all others - the Spiritual Exercises. One cannot imagine Ernest Mackey asking the Brothers in a school, the nuns in a convent, the priests in a diocese, what he should say to them, or to those under them, in a retreat. He was eloquent in his closing years on what he called the utter nonsense of such enquiries.
He remained the same Ernest Mackey to the end. He spoke of all those in the Province who were “over 70” as the Old Society. He loved to recall men like Michael Browne, Henry Fegan, and Michael Garahy. He lived in that age and never modernised. As a result his last years were spent in retirement in Manresa House. There he loved to meet the Old Society.
Now he has gone to the real Old Society in Heaven; but his work goes on in the army of Christ on earth, the ranks of which he helped to fill while on earth. May he rest in peace.

Maguire, Rory, 1913-1971, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/726
  • Person
  • 19 January 1913-23 February 1971

Born: 19 January 1913, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 16 November 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 23 February 1971, Cahir, County Tipperary

Part of the Tullabeg, County Offaly community at the time of death.

by 1960 at Brophy Prep, Phoenix AZ (CAL) working
by 1962 at St Francis Xavier Phoenix AZ, USA (CAL) working

Died in a car accident.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Rory Maguire S.J.

Father Rory Maguire, S.J., formerly of Wah Yan Colleges, Hong Kong and Kowloon, was killed in a road accident in Ireland on 23 February 1971, aged 58.

Father Maguire came to Hong Kong in 1947. His whole time here was devoted to education. He was principal of the afternoon school in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, and later was prefect of studies in Wah Yan College, Kowloon.

During much of his time in Hong Kong he suffered grievously from an intractable slipped disc. Ultimately he had to go to Arizona, where the extreme dryness of the climate helped him to a partial recovery. After a period there he was able to return to Ireland, but there was no prospect of his being able to stand up to Hong Kong humidity.

Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul will be celebrated at 6pm, today, Friday, 5 March, in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 5 March 1971

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 46th Year No 3 1971

Obituary :

Fr Rory Maguire SJ (1913-1971)

Sudden death always leaves a sense of shock; sudden and violent death leaves one numb. When the news of Fr Rory Maguire's death in a car crash reached us on Tuesday, February 23rd, those of us who knew Fr Rory well were overwhelmed. He had left Dublin that day with Wilfrid Chan, SJ, to go to Cork. Near Cahir, about 2.30 p.m., the fatal accident occurred. Fr Rory was killed instantly and Wilfrid Chan was seriously injured. Fr Knight, CSSp, of Rockwell College, and Mr Carey of Cahir Vocational School, the occupants of the other car, were both injured but are now well on the road to recovery. Wilfrid Chan, after a long and painful time in St. Vincent's Hospital, Elm Park, is now back in Milltown Park and making satisfactory progress.
On Wednesday evening, February 24th, Fr Rory's remains were brought from Cashel Hospital to Gardiner Street Church. Those who travelled with the funeral will long remember the immense crowd awaiting the arrival at Gardiner Street - a tribute from so many people to one who during his life as a priest had been a sincere friend and unfailing helper to countless people in all walks of life. That tribute was repeated on Thursday morning in a packed Gardiner Street at concelebrated Mass. At Glasnevin he was laid to rest and one felt that each person at that graveside mourned for a personal loss. In his lifetime as a Jesuit he had endeared himself to all with whom he came in contact,
Fr Rory's life as a priest was lived in three continents. His early years, since he joined the Society in 1931, were all spent in Ireland. Those early years of study were not easy for him, but he applied himself to them with that spirit of duty and devotedness that were to be so characteristic of all his work in later years. After ordination in 1945 and tertianship in 1946-47, he went to Hong Kong. Those who worked with him on the mission during the long years he spent in the Far East, bear the highest tribute to his zeal and energy as a missioner, the impact he made on all he met and, above all, his tremendous influence on the boys he taught and guided for so many years in Wah Yan College.
It was in China that he contracted that back illness that was to stay with him until the end of his life and cause him so much suffering. After a disc operation in Hong Kong, he returned to Ireland and the next few years were spent in and out of hospital and always pain and discomfort. Yet, through all this, Fr Rory was always looking for something to do in the way of an apostolate. And in all those efforts the man, who was also the priest, shone out. No one, not even his closest friends, will ever know the work he did for people in those days.
On medical advice, he went to Arizona, to the Jesuit house in Phoenix and his next few years were spent there doing church work and teaching religion. After the years in Arizona, with little by way of improvement to his health, he returned to Ireland and joined the church staff in the Crescent, Limerick. The same devotion to duty, the same concern for people characterised his work there and his box in the church was a popular one. 1970 saw him transfer to Tullabeg and the mission staff. He was happy in this work as it gave him many opportunities to work.
His sympathy and his understanding, his unfailing good humour and his obvious sincerity won him many friends all over Ireland and England during his short time on the mission staff. A heart attack during the last year before his death forced him to retire from the too heavy work of travelling and preaching missions and he joined the Retreat House staff in Rathfarnham. This was his last appointment and in the short time he was to spend at this work he gave the same zeal, enthusiasm and effort. His life might be summed up in words written of another great Jesuit : “He was at home with all kinds of people and in many different worlds - this was part of his greatness - but his own personal world had at its centre that priestly and religious dedication to which he was heroically true to the end”. May he rest in peace and to his family, four brothers and one sister, deepest sympathy from all who were privileged to have known Fr Rory.

Maher, Thomas P, 1885-1924, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1658
  • Person
  • 10 May 1885-12 February 1924

Born: 10 May 1885, Borrisoleigh, County Tipperary
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 16 May 1918, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1922, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 12 February 1924, Thurles, County Tipperary

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

Educated at Mungret College SJ

by 1907 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1909
by 1910 returned to Australia

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After his Novitiate he was sent to Stonyhurst for Philosophy and then to Australia for Regency.
He came back to Milltown for Theology, was Ordained there and after Tertianship he was sent back to Australia. However, a pernicious attack of anaemia meant that his passage on the ship to Australia was cancelled, and he slowly wasted away.
He died at the residence of his sister in Thurles 12 February 1924. During his illness the local clergy were most attentive, visiting him daily as his end drew near. He was also frequently visited by the Provincial John Fahy. His remains were brought to Thurles Cathedral. John Harty, Archbishop of Cashel presided. He was later buried at Mungret.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Thomas Maher entered the Society at Tullabeg in September 1902, and after novitiate and juniorate he studied philosophy at Stonyhurst in 1907. In mid-1910 he sailed for Australia and taught at So Patrick's College in 1911 in the middle school years. He was very successful teacher, and as a result was moved to Xavier College, 1912-15, as the second division prefect to fill an urgent vacancy. After returning to Ireland he developed pernicious anaemia, and died from this condition.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1924


Father Thomas P Maher SJ

Fr Thomas P Maher SJ, was born at Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary, and died at Thurles, Co. Tipperary, on 12th February, 1924, in the thirty-ninth year of his age. He received his early education at Borris, and entered the Apostolic School at Mungret College, Limerick, in 1901, He left Mungret in 1902, and entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus, Tullabeg, in the September of the same year. In 1906 Mr Maher was sent to St Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, Lancashire, to study philosophy.

In 1909, he came to Australia and was stationed for three years at St Patrick's, East Melbourne. He came to Xavier as Second Division Prefect in 1912 and reinained here till 1915. In this capacity he had the training of many future members of the championship football team of 1917. Although no footballer himself, he knew how to make footballers of others, so that Fr O'Keefe's work as coach in 1917 was considerably lightened by the excellent grounding which the best members of the team had received at Fr Maher's hands.

In 1915 he was sent back to Ireland to Milltown Park, Dublin, where he finished his theological studies. He was ordained on 16th May, 1918, and remained at Milltown until the August of 1919. During the year following his ordination, Fr Maher acted as chaplain to the George V Military Hospital, Dublin, and God Himself only knows how many souls were saved there by Fr Maher's agency. In 1917 he was teaching at Mungret College and was Director of the Holy Angels Sodality. In 1921 he went back after twenty years to make his tertianship at Tullabeg.

In 1922 Fr. Maher returned to Mungret as First Prefect, and in the August of the same year was transferred to the Crescent College, Limerick, where he acted as a teacher, Director of Our Lady's Sodality, and Sports Master. He volunteered for Australia, and was among those appointed to come here in August, 1923. His preparations were finished and his luggage sent on to London when he decided to have his teeth attended to. All of his teeth were taken out, but he seemed to make no improvement. Pernicious anæmia had set in and all hope of his travelling had to be put out of the question. He grew worse and worse, although there were a few spells of seening improvement. He spent much of his time with his sister in Thurles, so that he might have the benefit of his native air. He had a bad attack on 2nd February, and then grew steadily worse.

A Novena was being offered to Our Lady of Lourdes for his recovery, but it pleased God that Fr Maher should go to Himself and to Our Lady. He was conscious right up to the end, and died quietly and without a struggle on the morning of 12th February while the bell for Mass to be offered for him was ringing. A solemn Requiem Mass was offered for his soul in Thurles Cathedral in the presence of the Archbishop of Cashel and over fifty priests. After the Mass, the funeral of over seventeen vehicles set out for Mungret, forty-seven miles away. He was buried at Mungret
in the College cemetery.

Fr Maher's life was hidden and un eventful, but it was the life of a hero, just as his happy and holy death was the death of a saint. May his soul rest in peace.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1924


Father Thomas P Maher SJ

Yet another of Mungret's Sons has gone home. He has “fought the good fight” and now He is in peace.

His was in a sense an uneventful career - at least in the world's eyes. He performed no great achievements, and yet he lived the life of a hero. and died the death of a saint. He was made of the stuff of which heroes are made. He was not extraordinarily gifted, but his dogged perseverance and determination overcame all obstacles. He fought and conquered. Whatever he got to do he did with his whole heart. He was made great in little things done well.

Born May 10th, 1885, he was the son of Mr Michael Maher of Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary. He entered the Apostolic School, Mungret, September, 1901, where he remained until June, 1902. September 6th of the same year he entered the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg at the age of 17. He remained there until September, 1906, when he went to St Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, to study Philosophy. Three years later he was sent by his Superiors to Australia, in the Autumn of 1909, where, until 1912, we find him teaching at St Patrick's College, Melbourne. In that year, he went as Second Prefect to St Francis Xavier's College, Kew, Melbourne, and remained thers until 1915.

He was then. sent to do his theological sturlies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he continued till August 1919. He was ordained to the Priesthood in 1918, and during the following year was Chaplain to George V Military Hospital. In this, his first public ministry, he acquitted himself of a difficult task very creditably. He was liked by all and it will only be known on the Judgment Day the numbers that he brought back to their duty. In 1920 he was on the teaching staff of his Alma Mater, and in 1921 he went to his Tertianship at Tullabeg.

In 1922 he came back to Mungret as First Prefect over the lay-boys. In August 1922, he went to the Sacred Heart College, the Crescent, Limerick, where, besides teaching, he had charge of the Sodality of BVM, and of the games. In the Winter of that year while giving retreats, he caught a cold, and this may have proved the beginning of his subsequent delicacy. By the Status of July 31st, 1923, he was destined for Australia. He had made preparations for leaving, had left the Crescent College, and had even sent forward his luggage to London - when it was found that his health would not permit of his travelling. His sickness proved to be pernicious anaemia, and for months he wasted away, not however without some spells of seeming improvement. Much of this time he spent in the house of his married sister in Thurles. In the midst of all his suffering he never lost his habitual cheerfulness. A novena was being made for his recovery in connection with the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. But Our Lady answered the prayers by taking him to herself. He passed away at Thurles on the 12th of February, 1924 - the day after Our Lady's feast, just as the bell for a Mass being offered for him, was ringing. Though greatly emaciated, he was conscious up to half an hour before the end. He died, aged 39.

A little more than a year ago we heard him preach St Francis Xavier's panegyric in the College chapel. It was a beautiful sermon, and began with the death-bed scene. We remember how he emphasised the loneliness of it, especially dying away from his brothers in religion because obedience so ordained. We little thought that obedience was to ordain the preacher's death away from his religious brethren. But we are glad it was in that sanctuary of Religion - an Irish home - and Mungret will not forget the first of her priest-sons to be buried in her sacred ground. RIP

Mahony, Michael J, 1859-1936, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1662
  • Person
  • 29 September 1859-13 March 1936

Born: 29 September 1859, Ballylooby, County Tipperary
Entered: 09 September 1886, Frederick MD, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)
Ordained 28 June 1898, Woodstock College, Maryland USA
Final vows: 15 August 1903
Died: 13 March1936, New York NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

by 1899 came to Milltown (HIB) studying

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1936


Father Michael Mahony SJ

Early in March the news. of Father Mahony's death reached Mungret. Though the venerable scholar had passed the three score and ten limit yet his passing came as a surprise. He had been with us for our Jubilee in 1932 and his intellectual vigour and upright carriage gave one the impression that he would labour for many another day in the lecture halls he loved so well.

Ml Mahony was born at Ballylooby, Cahir, Co Tipp., on September 29th, 1860. The career of teaching, to which he devoted his whole life and in which he : was such an outstanding success began at an early age for at the age of eighteen he was Monitor in the National Schools and in 1880, when in obedience to a higher call he entered the Crescent, he was already a qualified teacher, drawing the princely salary of £35 per annum.

He was the first student to enter Fr Ronan's school in Limerick and he was wont to tell how he got in some hours before the others who formed the pioneer band. He has therefore been regarded. always as the eldest-born of the Apostolic School and Mungret has always followed . his career with particular interest. He was prefect at the Crescent house and later on when the school was changed to Mungret. Ml Mahony was prefect of the Seminarians and, after taking his BA degree in 1885, taught for a year. In 1886, he entered the novitiate of the Maryland Province at Frederick, with his lifelong friend, Terence Shealy. With that date begins the long preparation and silent formation that was to bear such a rich harvest in later years. Having completed his philosophy and his regency in the college's of Maryland Province, we find him next at Woodstock where he was ordained in 1898. His last year of theology was spent at Milltown Park and brought, to his sensitive heart, the great consolation of being able to say Mass for his parents in the home of his boyhood.

Back once more in the States he was engaged in various colleges till in 1911 he was appointed to the chair of Philosophy in Fordham University. The connection lasted till his death with the exception of one brief interval when in 1932 he visited Ireland for the Eucharistic Congress and came to Mungret for the Jubilee, During his short stay with us he lived again those distant days and visited once more the scenes of his youthful escapades. The Chapel, the study hall, the dormitories, all spoke to him of experiences that were engraven on his memory. One incident, small in itself, showed the simple soul and childlike piety of the great scholar. Entering the dormitory, where fifty years before he had been prefect of the Seminarians, he found where his old cubicle stood; he went down on his knees in prayer and kissed the time-worn boards; it was a sacred spot for it was there he got the vocation that he cherished so. dearly. His reminiscences were full of love for the past and for those that helped to direct his young footsteps to the Altar. Yet he was no “laudator temporis acti” for he never tired of telling of the kindness of his friends across the sea. Superiors who so gladly procured him the privilege of seeing his native land once more; kind friends, who saw to it that he lacked nothing that generosity could procure and the students of Fordham University, “ninnies” and all, who made the evening of his life so pleasant.

Fr Mahony had spent more than a quarter of a century at Fordham and the April number of the Fordham Monthly is dedicated to him and his labours. From it we take the following:

The ever increasing numbers of Fordham students who have gone forth from her halls during the past quarter of a century or more, and who were privileged to have had Father Mahony as a teacher, will, with one voice, proclaim his greatness and his enduring influence. (Rev Fr Hogan SJ (President).)

In the same number, Fr Betowski, AB, one of his pupils, and now Professor at Dunwoodie, says : “Unrelentingly he drove towards the seriousness of understanding principles: Meditating upon the directive value of eternal verities, there was an apostolic echo in his voice as he said : ‘My dear young men, if I could get this truth into your minds so that you would understand it and be guided by it, I would be willing to lay down my life’. All his devotions led up to the Blessed Mother and culminated in Christ, while his untiring search for causes invariably ended in the contem plation of the First Cause, God”.

“He had a heart of gold, a kind word, a ready clasp of the hand and a smile for everyone”, is the testimony of Justice Glennon of the Supreme Court of New York.

Marquette University had honoured Fr Mahony by conferring on him the degree of LLD in 1930 ; Fordham had made him her own; his Alma Mater had made him her guest of honour in 1932, there was but one degree waiting, the one Father Mahony prized most - I’ll get my next degree in heaven”.

Manby, Peter, 1691-1752, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1669
  • Person
  • 01 January 1681-15 January 1752

Born: 01 January 1681, Derry City, County Derry
Entered: 18 August 1703, Lisbon, Portugal - Lusitaniae Province (LUS)
Ordained: 1712/3, Coimbra, Portugal
Died: 15 January 1752, Clonmel, County Tipperary

Was younger brother of John Manby - RIP 1748

Studied in Soc Philosophy and Theology
1717 Catalogue Approved Scholastic came to Mission 3 months ago and in the country with a private family. I have not been able to get to him and there are no socii near him who could give information. Came here from Portugal and their Catalogue will give necessary info
1732 At Poitiers operarius
“The Considerations” by Peter Manby said to be at Clongowes

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Dean, and grandson of Colonel Manby (Harris “Irish Writers”) Younger brother of John.
Imprisoned for the faith before Entry.
Writer; Studied at Coimbra (Franco “Annales Lusitaniae”)
1717 On Irish Mission (HIB Catalogue 1717)
Third Entry : No Ch Name Manby
DOB Leinster; Ent 1703.
Brother of Peter (Harris)
(This seems to be the same Entry, and perhaps should read brother of John??)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Peter (Dean of Derry an afterwards received into the Church). Younger brother of John Manby
After First Vows he studied at Coimbra where he was Ordained 1712/13
1716 Sent to Ireland. He lived near Dublin at the house of a nobleman, exercising the ministries of Chaplain, Schoolmaster and assistant Priest for the local clergy. He worked later at the Dublin Jesuit school before he returned to Poitiers in 1730
1730-1733 Minister of Irish College Poitiers
1733 Sent back to Ireland. For a time he was tutor to the family of Lord Dunboyne, but then moved to Clonmel where he died 15 January 1752

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Peter Manby SJ 1681-1752
Peter Manby was born in Ireland in 1680, the son of a Protestant Clergyman, Robert Manby. His father however was converted himself and became a friar, his two sons, John and Peter, becoming Jesuits.
Peter was educated in Portugal and entered the Society in 1703. In 1714 he applied for the Irish Mission.
He published a book in Dublin in 1724 entitled “Remarks on Dr Lloyd’s Translation of the Montpelier Catechism”. His contention was that it was marred by Jansenism.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
MANBY, PETER, was in Portugal in the spring of 1714, and had applied, as I find by F. Anthony Knoles’s letter, dated from Ross, the 6th of April, that year, to come over to serve the Irish Mission.

Mann, Maurice, 1801-1877, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1672
  • Person
  • 25 September 1801-07 February 1877

Born: 25 September 1801, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 July 1837, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1841
Final vows: 02 July 1850
Died: 07 February 1877, Stonyhurst, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Early education at Trinity College Dublin, graduating BA 03 March 1835

Ordained at Stonyhurst September 1841 by Bishop Walsh.

After Ordination he was sent to Stonyhurst to teach Latin and Greek at the College and Seminary for five years.
1847-1851 Sent to the Wigan Mission
1851-1854 Sent to Tunbridge Wells
1854-1858 Appointed Rector of Mount St Mary’s
1858-1870 He was sent to the Holywell Mission, where by his great exertions he founded the hospice for poor pilgrims
1870-1872 He was sent to the new Mission at Bournemouth
1872-1873 He was sent again to Mount St Mary’s as Minister.
1873 he was sent to Stonyhurst for health reasons where he died.

McCurtin, Patrick J, 1865-1938, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/282
  • Person
  • 01 February 1865-16 July 1938

Born: 01 February 1865, Tipperary Town, County Tipperary
Entered: 01 February 1883, Milltown Park, Dublin and Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 01 August 1897, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1900
Died: 16 July 1938, Mount Saint Evin’s Hospital, Fitzroy, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Xavier College, (Kostka Hall) Kew, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

by 1899 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1889 for Regency

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick McCurtin was one of the best prefects of studies the Australian province has ever seen, and perhaps the best all round educationist. He was a most dynamic and active presence in both New South Wales and Victoria, and made a deep impression on all colleagues, but especially non-Jesuits. The Teachers' Guild of NSW benefitted by his services as member, councillor and president during the years, 1912-21. He was appreciated for his influence, wit and keen insight into all matters under discussion. He endeared himself to people by his unfailing courtesy and solicitude for the welfare of everyone. From 1914-16 he was the Catholic representative on the Bursary Endowment Board of NSW, a strong voice, with “breadth of view and clear outlook”, seeking equality for Catholic schools. McCurtin was also active during the school holidays giving retreats. McCurtin's early education was at Rockwell College before entering the Jesuits at Milltown Park, Dublin, 1 February 1883, After philosophy in 1888, he was sent to Xavier College, Melbourne, until 1894, teaching senior classes and assisting the prefect of studies. He returned to Ireland for theology, and was then sent to Belvedere College, 1897-98, before his tertianship at Tronchiennes. He returned to Belvedere in 1899 and was prefect of studies for 1901 before he left for Australia again, arriving at St Patrick's College as prefect of studies in 1901. When sending McCurtin to Australia, the Irish provincial, James Murphy, wrote to the mission superior, John Ryan, that he should be grateful to receive “an invaluable man, most holy and edifying, earnest, active and unsparing, methodical and practical”.
From 1903-10 he was prefect of studies at Xavier College before his appointment as rector of St Aloysius' College, 1910-16. It was during these years that college rectors expressed considerable concern about the insufficient quality of Jesuit teachers, especially for the senior classes. Many fathers were considered too old or unwell. McCurtin was particularly concerned that St Aloysius College was given poor quality teaching staff by a succession of mission superiors, hence its reputation for inefficiency. He believed that superiors did not believe in the future of the college. He was concerned about the lack of professionalism of Jesuits in education, and the lagging response of Jesuits to progressive changes in educational theory and practice. Furthermore, there was not money for secular teachers, and Catholic teachers were hard to find. Despite his concerns, St Aloysius' College was registered as a first class school in New South Wales and ranked among the best schools. The public examination results were good and the spirit among the boys most pleasing.
The question of poor teaching staff at St Aloysius' College led to the dramatic resignation of McCurtin as rector in 1916, when the mission superior transferred Dominic Connell, “one of our best masters”, to become parish priest at Norwood, SA. At the time there were very few competent teachers on the staff, and finances were not good, which made the employment of lay teachers difficult. McCurtin believed that the image of the school would suffer. Jesuit superiors, including the General, did not appreciate this resignation. After a further period as prefect of studies at Xavier College, and Riverview, 1917-21, he returned to Ireland, where he later became superior of the Apostolic School at Mungret and rector of the Crescent College, Limerick, 1923-31. Wishing to end his days in Australia he returned to do good work as headmaster at both Burke Hall and Kostka Hall. He died in St Evin’s Hospital after sustaining a heart attack. McCurtin was a striking figure-a small, slight, alert, active, dapper person. He was fond of flowers and beautiful things, was orderly and methodical, artistic with exquisite handwriting, and humorous, with great social charm. His Jesuit brethren found him to be a colleague with very definite opinions strongly held and, on occasion, vigorously expressed, but he was also a tolerant and kind character with a keen sense of humour. Because he was what he was, he found it difficult working with immediate superiors who did not possess his own qualities. As prefect of studies at Riverview, 1918-21, he experienced much frustration, anxiety and illness because of the disorderliness and apparent lack of enthusiasm for academic excellence. He showed special interest in the Old Boys of all the colleges in which he served. While in Ireland he kept up continual correspondence, especially with Xavier College and St Aloysius College. Former students praised him for his fatherly care, his spirit of broadmindedness and tolerance, and other good qualities that made him a universal favorite. They spoke of him as a dynamic personality, builder and developer, and a polished gentleman. During his educational work, Patrick McCurtin was continually involved with educational issues, both for the development of Jesuit pedagogy and Catholic schooling in Australia. Australia was fortunate to have had the services of McCurtin's considerable administrative ability and clear vision. He was totally professional in his approach to education, an attitude not always appreciated by his superiors. Together with James O'Dwyer, to whom he dedicated a marble altar in the Burke Hall chapel, he improved the attitude of Australian Jesuits towards academic achievement, while his contact with educational organisations and State committees of education gave the Jesuits wider influence in the community.

Note from Dominic Connell Entry
He was sent mid year to Manresa Norwood to replace Henry Cock. This resulted in a major drama when the Rector of St Aloysius, Patrick McCurtin, resigned in protest, claiming that Dominic was his only good Jesuit teacher

Note from John Forster Entry
He returned to Australia and St Aloysius Sydney, and he was appointed Rector there in 1916 following the resignation of Patrick McCurtin

Note from John Williams Entry
John Williams (RIP 1981) had a sad childhood. His Irish mother and Welsh father died leaving five small children, three boys and two girls. He was looked after by a relative of his, Father Patrick McCurtin, and was a boarder at Mungret.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 4 1926
College of the Sacred Heart Limerick : On May 16th, Fr McCurtin's appointment as Rector was announced. On the same day, his predecessor, Fr L. Potter, took up his new duties as Superior of the Apostolic School. During his seven years' rectorship the Church was considerably extended, a new organ gallery erected, and a new organ installed. A beautiful new Shrine in honor of the Sacred Heart was added, and a marble flooring to the Sanctuary laid down.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 4 1938
Obituary :
Father Patrick McCurtin
1865 Born 1st February in Tipperary town
1883 Milltown. Novice
1884 Dromore, Novice (Noviceship changed to Dromore)
1885-87 Milltown, Philosophy
1888-93 Kew (Australia) Doc., etc
1894-96 Milltown. Theol
1897 Belvedere. Doc. Cons. dom
1898 Tronchiennes. Tertian
1899 Belvedere. Doc.. Cons. dom
1900 Belvedere. Praef. Stud. Cons. dom
1901-02 Melbourne. St. Patrick's. Praef. Stud.. Cons. dom
1903-09 Kew. Doc. Cons. dom
1910-16 Sydney, Milson's Point, Rector, Doc. Oper
1917-19 Kew, Praef. Stud. Doc. an. 25, Cons. dom
1918-20 Riverview, Sydney, Preef. Stud. Cons. dom
1921 Clongowes, Doc. Praes. acad. sen., etc
1922 Rathfarnham. Miss. Excurr
1923-25 Mungret, Superior Apostol., Lect. Phil., Cons. dom
1926-31 Crescent, Rector. Doc. an. 37 mag., etc
1932 Australia, Loyola, Soc. Mag. Nov
1933-36 Kew, Min. Burke Hall, Doc. an. 42 mag. Cons. dom
1937-38 Kew, Min. Kostka Hall, Doc. an. 42 mag. Cons. dom

He went to Australia for the third time in the autumn 1931. Died Saturday, 16th July, 1938

Outside studies, etc., Father McCurtin spent only twelve years of his Jesuit life in Ireland. The rest, thirty-three years, was passed in Australia where he held with distinction many important posts including the Rectorship of Milson's Point for six years. He died when in charge of the newly established preparatory school Kostka Hall. He holds the distinguished record of forty-four years teaching in one or other of our Colleges.

◆ The Aloysian, Sydney, 1923

An Appreciation

Father Patrick J McCurtin SJ

In 1911 we schoolboys of St. Aloysius' saw a pile of luggage heaped at the back of the Masters' house. · On the following day someone had a letter from a boy at Xavier, where Father McCurtin had previously taught, saying that the school name of our new Rector was Fr McCurtin. That was our first introduction. We met him lter, and it is not too much to say that we found him quite unlike the priest we had pictured in imagination.

He was short in build, and dressed then, as he always was, immaculately. I think he was the only one of the staff who wore a silk hat; he fitted a “bell-topper” so well that we would almost have doubted his identity were he crowned only with felt, and minus cuffs and stick. I believe he abandoned some of these distinguishing marks in later years. He was thin and spare. A man of intense enthusiasm and energy such as he possessed could not well be otherwise. We did not know that even then his health was not good; his consistent vitality gave indication of a robust constitution. We always thought him a much younger man than he was; his appearance belied his age. Brisk walker, brisk thinker, brisk and sure in judgment-everything: about him told of the high-tensioned mechanism that controlled him, or, rather, that he had learned to hold in subjection. Strachey's description of Arnold fitted the Rector admirably: “His outward appearance was the index of his inward character; everything about him denoted energy, earnestness and the best intentions”. His eyes read a person at a glance. I cannot remember any boy trying to deceive him or treat him in any other way than siti cerely and earnestly. We felt that it wouldn't pay: or, perhaps, a keen boyish instinct convinced us that he deserved the best treatment we could give.

When Father McCurtin came to Aloysius we felt that progress was assured ; we were impelled by the influence of a great personality to co-operate in that progress. Few lagged behind; success and an increase in attendance came at an incredible pace.

He taught English and Religious Know ledge during my time. His methods were very direct. He was accustomed to give his views - favourable or otherwise on the suitability of a text-book, and, sometimes, on the mythical Board of Examiners who set the book. This method of critical analysis soon showed its influence on the boys, who began to look for faults and virtues in a book, and gradually ceased to read as a task or merely from the motive of idle curiosity. His speech as President, of the Teachers' Guild of NSW recalls much of what he said to his boys in 1912 and 1913. In 1915 he was able to say that the Representatives of the Registered and State Schools had met the Board of Examiners and secured a certain amount of success. In typically sarcastic language the long-experienced teacher had a gibe at the methods of these theorists in education : Usually, the teacher has to gaze at the examiner and the law-giver from a respect fui distance, and strive to gauge his be nevolence through the thunderous cloud of his majesty. But last year the very gods came down from a remote Olympus and mixed with mortals. Thus a better under standing has arisen between the University authorities and the members of the teach ing profession”.

Another feature of the Rector's teaching was to encourage individual effort.. He could gauge a boy's likes and dislikes; he directed each one wisely along the road adapted for him by Nature. Take the modern school curriculum as an example of crushing out individuality. The day is full of half-hours devoted to a dozen subjects; and the boy must try to get a superficial knowledge of all these or be plucked in the examinations These public exami nations have been so magnified in impor ance that they are regarded by a natic of shopkeepers as the criterion of a boy or a college's efficiency. Yet, how many! the successful candidates have ever bee introduced into the portals of the hall { learning; how many have ever been taugl to study for the love of study or knowledg or without constraint from a master's las or a possible examination failure hangin over their heads like a threatening swor of Damocles. The best proof of the inad: quacy of our examination system is ti current belief that a boy'is educated whe he leaves school. The truth is that by the he should have learned how to begin 1 study seriously. Father McCurtin ha something to say about the crammin system in his 1915 address to the Teacher Guild:

“There is, indeed, one problem which is a spectre of the future, but is right here with us. It is really one part of a problein, though. very important part. We have a syllabus for a schools, for all candidates. One may introduce slight variations here and there for some pupil but the freedom possible is not great when it comes to practice. Whether it would be wise not to cast varying minds and varying taste, and aptitudes into one mould, I shall not discuss. ... Ordinarily, it is safer to propher after an event, but I do hazard the forecast that the matter will some day clamour for attention at the hands of our educators in New South Wales”

Father McCurtin was not lacking in el couragement for every honest effort. Ei couragement is becoming out of date i modern times, in proportion to the growt I of self-interest and the cult of selfishness. A pat on the back for an honest attempt may change the whole trend of life for a honest boy. But surprisingly few teachers and employers notice the good points in an effort; they concentrate on condemning the deficiencies which are evident to them after years of training and experience. Father McCurtin could wield a weapon of the most cutting sarcasm when he wished; but after the lash had fallen beavily he would always bring out some balm of encouragement for a good point that had lain hidden under the defects. He had a hand always ready to assist the less capable boy; a lash (nearly always verbal) to urge on the lazy; and a rapier. of sarcasm to deflate the swollen pride of the unwarrantably venturesome. But he never completely deflated the boyish balloon; he discharged the hot-air and tied it firmly to mother-earth lest it rise too quickly and immaturely. I was once told of an incident concerning a school essay; it illustrates this trait of his teaching, A certain student whose literary attempts had never shows any more than the evi dences of unpleasant tasks, and from whom the Rector expected better results, deter mined to take a rise out of the master. He compiled a plan, vrote an essay in rough, amended it, and finally handed in a ten page manuscript that was considerably above the average for a schoolboy. He took the precautiou to leave it unsigned. On the Tuesday following the Rector placed the pile of essays on the desk; and promptly, as was his wont, rejected half of them as worthless. He commented on the remainder, reserving the ten-page effusion for special comment. The laudatory com .ments were directed at a boy who found · no opportunity to disclaim ownership until the end of a long review. When the real author was discovered the Rector changed his tactics, and re-examined the essay. Be ginning with the plan, following paragraph after paragraph, analysing construction of sentences, criticising phraseology, concep tions and presentation, the unfortunate author was quickly convinced that little more than the title was unassailable. I have heard that boy say many a time tirat that essay and that day's criticism started him to think seriously of writing. Some years later that same boy handed over the manuscript of a lengthy book to the same master, and begged of him to dis sect and reject, feeling confident that what Father McCurtin left intact would be av cepted by the world at large. He did dissect with an incredible precision, insiglit and minuteness, and sent a covering letter, which I was allowed to read, and from which I am granted permission to reproduce the opening sentences. He wrote: “My dear --; I have just finished the last line of your book, and wish to send you my warmest congratulations at once. The thing I do wish especially to write is: God bless you... I feel as proud as Punch of you."

His educational efforts were not confined within the walls of Aloysius'. For nine years - 1912 to 1921- he was an influential member of the Teachers Guild of New South Wales. The Hon Secretary of the Guild gives the following information con cerning his activities in educational matters :

“Father McCurtin joined the Guild somewhere about 1912. In 1913, when Rector of St Aloy sius' College, he opened a discussion on the revised syllabus for Secondary Schools in consequence of which important resolutions were passed and forwarded to the Board of Examiners. He was elected Vice-President in 1913, and was President for the year 1914-15; and thereafter was on the Council till he went abroad. Always a keen debater and vigorous uphoider of the I rights of the non-State seliools, he was deputed to speak on behalf of the Headmasters' Association at the meeting held at the University in 1921, when the matter of the compulsory registration of teachers was advocated. It was his telling speech that defeated the measure as being one for which the time was not yet ripe in this State, and as being likely to bring the schools more and more under Government control.

He represented the Catholic schools on the Bursary Board from March, 1910, until February, 1917, when, on being removed to Melboume, he resigned his position. He severed his connection with the Guild on his departure for Europe in 1921”.

An appreciation of his services in the cause of education in Australia appeared in “The Australian Teacher” (April, 23). Since the notice represented the views of his associates in educational matters who were members of every religion, it may be taken for granted that the eulogism is un biassed and deserved.

“The Guild has suffered a distinct loss in the departure of Father McCurtin. His shrewd and logical criticism was always helpful, and facili tated the solution of many problems. He is at present engaged in missionary work in Ireland”.

Far be it from my intention to criticise the wisdom of Father McCurtin's transfer to Ireland. It can be said with impunity, however, that Australia suffered an almost irreparable loss when he left our shores. Our educational efforts, which are for the most part in the tentative and experimen tal stage as they must be in a young country-needed. the advice and ripe di rection of such a man. We can hardly spare men of the Father McCurtin capabilities and experience, who can speak with authority and suggest directions when the politically driven ship of national education is grating on the rocks of disaster.

He has now a responsible position in Ireland as Spiritual Director to the ecclesiastical students at Mungret. He is eminently suited for any position where the training of young men is concerned. From him they may learn wisdom that has heen gained by long and varied experience; from contact with him they may grow like him. For his personality is such that it irradiates manliness and culture, just as the flowering wistaria vine perfumes and be decks with a rich splendour the battered shed wherein such mundane creatures as cows and chickens sleep.
Father MeCurtin has left his impress upon hundreds of Australian boys, now grown into respectable citizens of a young Commonwealth. They are in every walk of life; in the Church, medicine, law and business; distinguished in war and in peace. They are his best biography. He left an indelible mark on all people and organisations associated with him.

We can say truthfully of him: Australia is a better country because he once lived in it; it is poorer than it would have been had he remained in it.


◆ The Aloysian, Sydney, 1933

Golden Jubilarian

Father Patrick J McCurtin SJ

The courteous patience of the Rev Editor of the School Magazine should have been incentive sufficient to make me begin and finish this article. But as usual I am running late, and probably, delaying the issue of the magazine. My greatest difficulty, I find, is to make a literary sketch of Father McCurtin. In a sketch the lines must be few and definite, but complete. The task for a draughtsman would be easier than for the writer, because Father McCurtin's spare frame is more angular and more linear than that of any other Jesuit. (And that is a bold statement about an Order where the litheness of the athlete has been a consistent character istic, as befitted “runners of God” on a world-wide course.) Nevertheless, the spare frame of this good Jesuit is charged with such energy that only a sculptor, using all the dimensions, might portray it fittingly. And this sculptor would need to be proficient in the art of making marble eyes that would mirror a great soul; for Father McCurtin is gifted with eyes that see and understand all things, eyes that can coax or threaten, sympathise or smile, despite the firm-set mouth. In stature he is small, so small that the unexpected demeanour of strength, which he manifests, overwhelms boys completely. His self-sufficiency, general proficiency, and equanimity cannot fail in arousing spontaneous hero-worship. One naturally expects six-foot giants to manifest strength, because they seem to be built for it; but when the capacity for government is manifested in a small man, one sits up and takes notice. The small man is more picturesque; thus was Bonaparte.

I write of the Father McCurtin whom I knew twenty years ago; since then I have often met him, but I have always avoided seeing him as the years have changed him. A few months ago I dined with Father McCurtin at Burke Hall, Melbourne, after he had put to bed several baby boys who seemned not at all in awe of him. Though time had brought me closer to his own level of knowledge I could, or would, not discard the mantle of pupil in the presence of the master. It was not mere imagination, nor might it be explained modernly in the terms of an inferiority complex. For here is the proof: he and I played billiards doggedly, unremittingly, interminably for almost two hours, neither one of us manifesting any skill in the game, and we might have continued until doomsday had not an urgent call put an end to the game. I detest billiards at any time and in any place; but I detest the game with an added zest when it is played with so interesting a man as Father McCurtin.

I suppose I should not allow the preceding paragraph to go to the Editor; it is quite uninteresting, I know. Moreover, such writing is bad-form in these days of Oxford drawls, languid-self interest and regulated behaviour. It is bad form to register the human interest of a pupil's affection for an old master. Nowadays such is quite rare; masters are compelled to become machine-like purveyors of information that is weighed out and apportioned according to the requirements of a nationalised syllabus. (A foretaste of the Soviet, of which the nation is unconscious!) Overworked pupils must study only their text-books, not their masters. It is only an exceptional master who can rise above the system, and only a philosopher or incipient Bolshevik pupil who can follow suit. But twenty-five years ago we took our time, and when I come to think of it I believe that those pupils did not turn out so badly after all for many of them went to Anzac, whence some never returned. I am at a disadvantage when meeting the masters of to-day, for I meet them on terms of equality, and a pupil is the best judge of the master as a patient is the best judge of the physician. So, if pupils a quarter of a century hence remember their masters as we of prior generations remember ours, the present system, or more correctly, its exponents, will be honorably and affectionately esteemed. How long ago, how anciently, does that sentence indicate! Yet, to-day Father McCurtin seems as young, or as old, as he did that quarter of a century ago.

Three days ago I was at Bourke in the far-west of New South Wales, and I was thinking of Father McCurtin, or rather thinking about the necessity of writing this article. No superior would ever have sent Father McCurtin to Bourke; he simply would not have fitted into the west; but there he was surely enough, enthroned in the affectionate remembrances and conversation, and evident in the wide-outlook and zeal of two Irish priests, whom he had taught and fashioned at Mungret. The McCurtin impression is, I believe, as widely circulated and as indelibly impressed on worthy men as is the King's head on the coinage of the realm. In such fruits of his labours he may, and should, take much satisfaction; good, wholesome pride that his work has been worth while and permanent, helping to maintain the Kingdom of God in more than one country of the world.

Though I fully believe that this article has too much of the first personal pronoun in it, and is much too flattering in tone to afford any satisfaction to its subject, I am determined to publish it for more than one good reason. First of all, this tone is the fashion. Every man who can seems now to be writing his autobiography, and not one of these is justified. Second, the lack of opportunity for Father McCurtin to enter a defence against my remarks gives me a doubtful victory over him, for which I have waited for many years. I have had many masters, but he was the only one whom I determined to master. A vain ambition, no doubt, but really not so foolish as it would first appear. An unimaginative master may work his pupils as wax and succeed in leaving his excellent impression upon them, after which they will assuredly grow into respectable citizens. Give a sheep dog to a childless, wealthy woman and she will nurse it and domesticate it until it has not more of dog left in it than an imbecile pomeranian. Give the same dog to a sheepman; he will put it to work, beat it into energetic life, impose tasks that would convulse pomeranians and embarrass men, and threaten to discard it should it prove a failure. Similarly with the imaginative school master. (Those who were pupils of Father McCurtin will recognise that the dog metaphor is not at all strained; more than one of us were so often referred to as “Puppies” that we readily answered to the name.) So, let the master train the puppy pupil in the basic principles of education; then give him the field and ask a dog's work of him.

Throw to the pupil slabs of Milton or chunks of Dryden. If he cannot comprehend, tell him he is lacking in ordinary intelligence, for all small boys of his time knew these things at the age of two. Then if the pupil has left a spark of self-respect he will beg, borrow or buy the works of Milton or Dryden and read therein so as to rise to the heights of intelligence and knowledge required of a boy of ten or twelve. I should be sorry if this badinage obscured the useful lesson which is contained in the foregoing sentences. That lesson is that by so provocative a form of teaching the boy of initiative will be allowed to discover himself, after having searched for and found and read some of the better works of literature. He will begin to read for the love of reading, not because he is forced to cram in set text-books. Father Mc Curtin may not have adopted such methods in teaching; he might be violently opposed to them and regard my philosophising as erroneous; but, at all events, that is the impression I have of his teaching. And as a pupil I found it encouraging, and as a grown man I look back on it gratefully. Someone may ask what good has it done me; or what have I done because of it. Again, I am forced to introduce the first personal pronoun into the argument; but I do so, I believe, so that it may encourage both pupils and teachers. I distinctly remember determining as a boy to write an essay that would be difficult for even Father McCurtin to criticise adversely. I spent much labour on it, three full days, and presented it unsigned. It was adversely criticised: but it taught me that I had some facility for writing and aroused an ambition to continue. I still have that essay, preserved as affectionately as a mother keeps some relic of her first child's infancy. Now, I have several volumes to my name, and al though they may be regarded in various ways by the discerning and the less discerning public, I am honest in asserting that had it not been for the provocative teachings of Father McCurtin I should never have written a line. Australian writers are few; the Australian is timorous of self-expression with the pen; perhaps, the pupil is dried up by forced study when young; and set text books have made literature as unattractive as Arnold's Latin grammar.

The article on Father McCurtin, which the Editor asked me to write, has not been written, although my ruminations will occupy much space in the magazine. However, it is unneces sary to write an article so as to arouse affectionate memories among his past pupils. Let me tell them that in this year he celebrates fifty years of mem bership in the Society of Jesus, and all will pray that God may let him live to celebrate another jubilee. We need such men as he is; when he left Aus tralia in 1920 there were many who resented his going, who felt that he was more needed in Australia than in Ire land. He returned to us again in 1931, as fresh as ever. He is now in charge of Burke Hall in Melbourne.

Here are some outstanding dates and events in his career. They were sent by the Editor to guide me in writing a biographical article. As they will probably be of more interest to readers than what I have written, I append them. They represent the multifarious activi ties of a long and useful life; con sequently, they speak for themselves.

In 1883, on February 1, he entered the Society. From 1886-8 he studied philosophy at Milltown Park, Dublin, From 1889-95 he was teaching at Xavier, in Melbourne, and in 1891 was Prefect of Studies there. From 1895-8 he studied Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained to the Priesthood in 1897. In 1998 he taught at Belvedere, Dublin, and in the following year he was in Belgium for his Third Year. The beginning of the century saw him at teaching work again at Belvedere, 1902-3 were spent at St Patrick's, Mel bourne, and 1903-5 witnessed valuable work at Xavier. Then came his splendid career at St Aloysius' College as Rector (1910-16), during which he resurrected the Old Boys Union and almost trebled the enrolment of pupils. 1914-16 were marked by his efficient services as Catholic representative on the Bursary Board of NSW, when he not only. succeeded in winning due rights for all Catholic Secondary Schools, but also gained such general esteem from his fellow members that they marked his departure from their midst with evident regret. 1917 was spent at Xavier, and 1918-19 at Riverview. In 1920 he re turned to Ireland, where he was occupied in preaching retreats and for a period was Superior of the celebrated Apostolic School at Mungret. From 1926-31 he was Rector of the Sacred Heart College, Limerick, where he rebuilt the Community House and School and decorated the public church. In 1931 he returned to Australia, and in 1932 was appointed to the charge of Burke Hall, Melbourne, where he still flourishes in excellent health.

Ad multos annos, .


◆ The Aloysian, Sydney, 1938


Father Patrick J McCurtin SJ

The following account is taken from the “Advocate”, Melbourne.

An educationalist of high standing in the Jesuit Order, Rev Patrick McCurtin, who did outstanding work in the colleges of his Order in Ireland and Australia, died on Saturday morning in Mt St Evin's Hospital, after an illness of three weeks. His death is a heavy loss to the Society of Jesus, and to educational circles, in which, for more than fifty years, he was a distinguished figure. Of a genial and kindly disposition, his pupils idolised him, and there was deep and poignant sorrow at Kostka Hall, Brighton Beach, when the news of his death was made known.

Born in Tipperary, Ireland, Fr Mc Curtin, who was 73 years, studied for the priesthood in the Jesuit College at Milltown Park, Dublin. As a scholastic, he began teaching at Xavier College, Kew, and in 1886 he was prefect of studies there. His fine work met with well merited recognition, and he was appointed Rector of St Aloysius' Coll ege, Sydney. Later, he was attached to Riverview College, Sydney, as prefect of studies. In 1921, Fr McCurtin returned to Ireland, and in 1922 he was made Rector of the Crescent College, Limerick - a position he filled with eminent success. Returning to Australia in 1930, he was appointed headmaster of Burke Hall, a preparatory school affiliated with Xavier. He did much to place this school on a sound basis. When a second preparatory school in connection with Xavier College was established at Brighton Beach in 1937, the headmastership was conferred upon Fr McCurtin, who held this position up till his death.

Archbishop's Tribute

His Grace Rev Dr Mannix, paid the following graceful tribute to Fr McCurtin:

The prayers of the priests and people are most earnestly requested for the eternal repose of the soul of Fr Mc Curtin. On the day before his death, when I saw him for the last time, he had just received the sad news of the death of his brother in Ireland. He told me that he had been closely attached to his brother, but he took the sad news with resignation and with confidence that everything was right with his brother, who, as he said, had always been a faithful Catholic. Naturally, the news coming to him when he himself was almost exhausted, must have made a deep impression upon him, and perhaps hastened his own death. The two brothers had been closely attached during life, and in death they are not divided. Fr McCurtin is lost to us all: Priests and people have come here in large numbers to testify the esteem in which he was held, and to offer their sympathy to the Jesuit Fathers, who have lost one of the brightest ornaments of their Order in Australia.

The passing of Fr McCurtin naturally brings to our minds that long line - uninterrupted line, I might say - of Irish Jesuits who have come here to work and to labour in Australia. They were great men, many of them, and good men, all of them. They have done in Australia a marvellous work for Christian learning and culture, for re ligion and for God. Now another of them has gone to his reward. Some indeed, of the old ones amongst them are still with us, thanks be to God, and long may they be spared to do and continue the work in which they are engaged. But Fr McCurtin's work is over. He was not the least of the Jesuit Fathers. He came, I believe, from that part of Ireland which gave us an other great Jesuit Father, whose name is remembered in benediction - Fr James O'Dwyer. There was much resemblance between the two, and they have left the stamp and zeal of their own lives and their example and teaching upon the minds and hearts of many of those who are prominent in Catholic life in Melbourne and Australia. Fr McCurtin's work, like that of Fr O'Dwyer's, will remain, His mortal days are ended, but the stamp and seal put on many lives will remain to bear fruit and fructify in Australia, I hope, in the years that are to come.

One of the greatest consolations that the Jesuit Fathers have, looking back upon the great work done by their Order in Australia, is that now young Australian Jesuits are coming to step into the places that are being left vacant, one by one, by the great old pioneers, the Irish Jesuit Fathers, who came to this land. Fr McCurtin had great gifts, and he used them all. Perhaps the one great gift that God gave him was that of being a teacher, not merely a teacher in the ordinary sense, but one who built up the character of the boys committed to his care. I was myself closely associated with him while he was at Burke Hall, and I could not fail to be deeply impressed by the manifest impression that he made upon the boys who were sent to the college. He had the gentlest ways and was always bright and cheerful, and he seemed to radiate happiness wherever he went. While he was gentle and kind, still he was always the master. Side by side with his great gentleness of character was a real robust manliness, and the staunchest of principles that never deserted him. He was a great favourite with the boys, and seemed almost to be one of them, and it was quite evident that he was always seeking to mould their characters and preparing them to be, what I hope they will be, a credit to their Jesuit teachers and to the Church to which they belong. All his life was spent in that work, and his only thought was to serve the Master by moulding the character of the young.

He has been an outstanding success in Australia, as he was in Ireland, and the Jesuit Fathers will find it hard to replace him. We all miss him. We have lost a great friend and a great priest. We can only hand him over to the tender mercies of the God Whom he served so long and so well. In spite of his saintly character, human nature is weak, and maybe there are still some stains upon his soul. We pray to-day, and will pray for many days, that if there be any stain remaining it may be wiped out in the mercy of His Redeemer, Whom he served so faithfully and so affectionately, and Whose living Image he tried to impress upon so many of the young people of Australia. May God have mercy upon his soul and upon the souls of all the faithful departed, and may eternal Light shine upon him.

An Old Aloysian’s Tribute

23 Salisbury Road,
Rose Bay. ii.
23rd July, 1938.

Dear Father Hehir,
Although personally unknown to you, I am writing as the oldest member of the St Aloysius' Old Boys' Union to express the. deep regret I feel with regard to the death of Father McCurtin; and to express my sympathy with the Jesuit Order in his loss.

He endeared himself to everyone that he came in contact with while at the college, and there will be many who will feel his loss deeply.

Yours faithfully,

Arthur Barlow

◆ Mungret Annual, 1937


Father Patrick McCurtin SJ

On the 16th July, 1938, Father McCurtin died at Mount St Evin's Hospital, Melboume. Though he had reached the three score years and ten, yet the news of his death came as a shock. His life was so regular, his days so methodically arranged and the triumph of his strong will over ill-health so consistent, that even at 73 years of age one did not regard Father McCurtin as old.

Born in 1865, in the shadow of the Galtee mountains, in the town of Tipperary, he received his early education in Rockwell College. In 1883 he began his novitiate in Milltown Park and completed it next year in Dromore, Philosophy followed at Milltown Park, and in 1888 we find him at Xavier College, beginning a connection with Australia that was to last for thirty-three years. He returned once more to Milltown for. theology, and was ordained in 1896. Tertianship and two years at Belvedere followed, and once more he took up the threads of the work he had begun so fruit fully in Australia. From 1901 till his death, in 1938, with the exception of twelve years in Ireland, Father McCurtin devoted him self to the service of education in Australia,

Father McCurtin's connection with Mungret was brief, 1923-26, but his work there was enduring. His long experience in Australia, his knowledge of the needs of the priesthood gleaned from his own experience in giving retreats and his knowledge of the educational system of that country, were all brought to bear upon the office entrusted to him. No detail that helped towards the advancement of culture, no practice that helped to the building up of character and the acquiring of solid virtue in the young aspirants to the priesthood, was neglected. To build the supernatural on a good natural foundation was his ideal, and, to achieve this, he spared no pains.

No sketch of Father McCurtin's life that did not take into account his work for the church in Australia, would do him justice. As master, as prefect of studies, or as recior, he worked in St Patrick's, Xavier, Riverview, and St Aloysius. All these colleges owe much to the meticulous care. and the sure grasp of essentials that Father McCurtin brought to bear upon their studies.

Nor were his educational activities restricted to these colleges. His expert knowledge and wide grasp of the secondary school system was put at the service of the State when a scheme was being drafted for school registration. In like manner, he helped the various convents and drew up for them a course of studies that facilitated registration when this became obligatory.

The last years of Father McCurtin's life must have been his happiest. He was successively Head Master of Burke Hall and Kotska. Hall. Here he renewed his youth with the generous youth of Australia and formed the young lads as he had formed their fathers and perhaps their grand fathers - years before at Xavier. Just when Father McCurtin seemed set for a century, the call came. The work of “the good and faithful servant” was completed and he entered on his reward.

His Grace, Archbishop Mannix, paid a warm and grateful tribute to Father McCurtin at his Solemn Requiem at Hawthorn:

“Father McCurtin had great gifts and he used them all. Perhaps the one great gift that God gave him was that of being a teacher, not merely a teacher in the ordinary sense, but one who built up the character of the boys committed to his care. I was myself closely associated with him while he was in Burke Hall, and I could not fail to be deeply impressed by the manifest impression that he made upon the boys that were sent to the college. He had the gentlest ways and was always bright and cheerful, and he seemed to radiate happiness wherever he went. All his life was spent in that work and his only thought was to serve the Master by moulding the character of the young”.

May he rest in peace.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Patrick McCurtin (1865-1938)

Was born in the town of Tipperary. He was admitted to the Society in 1883 and ordained at Milltown Park in 1895. Apart from his studies in Ireland, Father McCurtin spent only twelve years of his religious life in this country. He spent his scholastic years in Australia and returned there in 1901 where he was to spend twenty years. He returned to Ireland in 1921 and came as rector to the Crescent in 1926. During his term of office he did much for the progress of the school and greatly improved the church. On the separation of the Australian mission from the Irish Province of the Society in 1931, he elected to finish his days where so much of his best years had been spent. He died in Melbourne 16 July, 1938.

McGrath, Patrick, 1870-1948, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/290
  • Person
  • 02 July 1870-09 February 1948

Born: 02 July 1870, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 14 August 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1913, St Mary’s, Miller Street, Sydney, Australia
Died: 09 February 1948, St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province

Transcribed HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

by 1900 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1911 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1911

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick McGrath was educated at the Crescent, Limerick, and worked for some years with Pim Brothers, drapers, in Dublin. He entered the Society at Tullabeg, 14 August 1895, and after the juniorate studied philosophy at Vals, did regency at the Crescent, Limerick, 1901-05, studied theology at Milltown Park, Dublin, 1905-08, and again taught at the Crescent, 1908-10, before tertianship at Tronchiennes, 1910.
He came to Australia on the ship Ormuz in August 1911, worked in the parishes of North Sydney and Richmond, and taught at St Aloysius' College, 1915-18, but his main work was
chiefly in the parishes. He was superior at Sevenhill, 1918-20, and Richmond, 1920-31. He also worked at Lavender Bay, 1932-43, as parish priest, then at Canisius College, Pymble, for a few years, before his final placement at the parish of Richmond, 1944-47. He was a consulter of the vice-province from 1939-44.
He had, according to Albert Power, “a deep sympathy, wide knowledge of human nature, practical common sense, and great kindliness, and large-hearted generosity. He was totally devoted to his people. He was, moreover, a man of shrewd business talent, and, at the same time, a man of vision and resolution”. He was remembered in the Richmond parish for building the spire on the church, and in Lavender Bay for the parish schools. His main recreations in later life were his violin and his pipe. He practised his violin every morning for a short time before breakfast. He finally died from heart disease combined with high blood pressure.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 7th Year No 3 1932

Richmond Parish
Father Patrick McGrath, S.J., who had been P.P. of Richmond for twelve years, also bade farewell to his parishioners at a public meeting. Amongst the crowd of distinguished people assembled to say good-bye was Mr. J. H. Scullin, ex-Prime Minister. He was the chief speaker on the occasion. He said that they had assembled to say good-bye to Father McGrath. They would much prefer to be welcoming him back again. There was no one in Richmond who had endeared himself more to his people than Father McGrath, who was part of the whole city and the forefront of the parish. He had left an indelible mark on the parish, and the completed church would ever be associated with his name. Not only did he leave monuments in bricks and stones, but he had won a lasting place in the affections of the people by his fine qualities of heart and mind, and his readiness to share the sorrows and joys of his parishioners. Father McGrath would never leave the parish. He had won the respect of all classes in the community.
There were several other speeches, and when Father McGrath had made a moving reply, he gave his blessing to the great crowd that had assembled to say farewell.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Extracts from a letter of Fr. Patrick McGrath, S. J., St. Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, to Fr. Finucane, 10-9-945. Fr. McGrath is an old Crescent boy who while stationed at the Crescent 34 years ago volun teered for the (then) Australian Mission. :
“Your letter arrived just in time for the celebration of the Golden Jubilee. Besides the House celebration there was a Parish celebration in our Hall. I knew nothing about it till three days before. Since I came to Australia I have spent most of my time between Melbourne and Sydney as Parish Priest. I did some six years' teaching in St. Aloysius, Sydney, twelve year's Parish Priest there, and the rest of my time in Melbourne as assistant, but mostly as Parish Priest. I broke down in Sydney. The hilly land there was too much for my growing years, and after a rest of a few months in our Theologate at Pymble I was sent back here as a Curate and I was very glad of it. I certainly never regretted coming to Australia.
Our Parish here is a very large one, and on the whole a very Catholic one, made up almost entirely of working people, for the most part very sincere and practical Catholics and most generous and easy and pleasant to work with. The same may be said of our Parish in Lavender Bay, North. Sydney,
The church of St. Ignatius in this Parish is a magnificent one, pure Gothic, in a commanding position, with a spire 240 feet high, the most perfect and beautiful spire in Australia. The stone of the church is Blue Stone but the upper part of the spire is white.
Looking up the Irish Catalogue a few days ago I was surprised to find that I know so few there now. Here in Australia the Irish Jesuits are dying out. The Vice-province is going on well. It is fully equipped with everything, novitiate, scholasticate with Juniors and Philosophers, and a special house for Theology, and we have this year a tertianship with 14 Australian Tertians. We want more novices, but there is good hope that there will be an increase this year. Our colleges here are doing very well. Both in Sydney and Melbourne there is a day-school and a boarding-school. The buildings in both places are first class”.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 2 1948


Fr. Patrick McGrath (1870-1895-1948) – Vice Province of Australia

Perhaps the first thought of his friends, on hearing of the death of Fr. Patrick McGrath, was “we have lost, indeed, an Israelite, in whom there was no guile”. For though the call to religious life came to him much later than to his fellow-novices, the business career in the world, which he had mapped out for himself, left no trace on his soul, which remained childlike to the end.
Born in Nenagh, he received his secondary education at the Crescent College, Limerick. He went through the classes with the quiet, solid perseverance which characterised his whole life. He was then apprenticed to a Dublin draper (Messrs. Webb), and he persevered at the trade until his 25th year, when the ‘Leave all and follow Me’ won his unhesitating assent. He entered the noviciate, Tullabeg,