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Barrett, Cyril J, 1917-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/641
  • Person
  • 30 April 1917-02 July 1989

Born: 30 April 1917, Charleville, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 08 December 1976
Died: 02 July 1989, St Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Part of the Wah Yan College, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966
◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Cyril Barrett Died after Long Illness, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Cyril Barrett, SJ, died in St. Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, after a long illness, very bravely on Sunday, 2 July 1989.

The late Father Cyril J. Barrett, SJ. was born in Charleville, Co. Cork Ireland in 30 April 1917. He was educated in Clongowes Wood College and in 1935 he entered the Jesuit Order. He finished his academic studies and professional training in 1951 and in that year came to Hong Kong where he has lived and worked since then.

At first he was assigned to study Chinese (Cantonese) for two years and then went to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong at first as a teacher, then in 1954 became Prefect of Studies, in 1956 he was appointed Rector and Principal. In 1962 he went to Ricci Hall Studies, in 1956 he was appointed Rector and Principal. In 1962 he went to Ricci Hall where he was Warden until 1969 and during this time Ricci Hall, with minimal dislocation to the residents was totally rebuilt, and Father Barrett was very busily engaged in the fund raising for this new project. In 1970 he returned to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, as Principal where he continued until 1982. Since then he has in 1983 received an honorary doctorate “Doctor of Social Science” from the University of Hong Kong, and has busied himself with making contact, either in person or through letters with practically every former Wah Yan Student studying abroad. He made long trips to Australia, the United States and Canada, and the United Kingdom, visiting secondary schools and Universities and other higher educational institutions, and there meeting with the Wah Yan past students.

In the past five years he has known that he has a serious cancer condition and other debilitating illnesses. He has suffered a great deal, but was always trying to lead as normal a life as possible. In summer 1988 he went to Ireland on holiday and returned to Hong Kong even though most of his friends thought the journey would be too much for his greatly weakened condition. Since then he has been almost continually in hospital, getting gradually weaker. Until finally on 2 July 1989 he died.

All through his life he was interested in many other matters besides education. He was a dedicated bird watcher and an occasional helper in archaeological digs in the New Territories. He was a fairly constant writer of letters to the papers on matters connected with education.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 7 July 1989

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was the son of a banker and received his early education in Bagenalstown County Carlow and then at Clongowes Wood College.
In his Jesuit studies he graduated BA at UCD, then spent three years studying Philosophy at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.
He was then sent to teach at Belvedere College SJ for Regency.
He then went to Milltown Park for four years Theology, followed by a year making Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle.

1951-1953 He came to Hong Kong and spent two years at Xavier House, Cheung Chau, studying Cantonese.
1953 He began his long connection with Wah Yan College Hong Kong, as a teacher, educationalist and Principal. In 1983 he was awarded a Doctorate of Social Science by the University of Hong Kong, in recognition of his contribution to Hong Kong society. He set up the Wah Yan Post-Secondary Education Trust Fund, set up to award scholarships to former students wishing to study overseas. At the same time he had a keen interest in the archaeology of the New Territories.
He was a regular contributor to the newspapers and a keen campaigner for the Anti-smoking movement in Hong Kong.

Gahan, Matthew, 1782-1837, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1338
  • Person
  • 07 February 1782-22 February 1837

Born: 07 February 1782, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1805, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 16 July 1810, Palermo, Italy
Final Vows: 01 November 1832
Died: 22 February 1837, Kirk Braddan, Isle of Man, England

in Clongowes 1817
by 1831 on Isle of Man

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied at Stonyhurst and Palermo after Entry.
1811 Sent to Ireland in November, he was a curate in Dublin for five years
1816-1822 Minister at Clongowes
1822-1824 With Charles Aylmer at Dublin Residence for two years.
1824-1837 Then for the remainder of his life, he was a Missioner on the Isle of Man, labouring under very great discouragements, privations and difficulties, which he endured with admirable patience. Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS calls him the “Apostle of the Isle of Man”.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Having spent some time working in Dublin and six years as Minister at Clongowes, he asked permission to devote himself to the spiritual care of the poor abandoned Catholics of the Isle of Man, whose spiritual destitution, being without a Priest, and deprived as they were of all consolation of religion, touched him to the heart. To their service and instruction he devoted the remainder of his life, amidst inconceivable discouragements, privations, difficulties, and labours, all of which he bore with exemplary patience and fortitude. He build two Chapels in the two chief centres of the island - Douglas and Castletown. Until his death he remained at his solitary post sustaining unaided the heavy labours of his mission and keeping alive the faith among the people. So he was styles “The Apostle of the Isle of Man”.
He died age 55, consoled by the reception of the last Sacraments, owing to the intervention of Divine Providence, which had sent him a priest, who had no knowledge of his illness, to be with him in his last moments.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 4th Year No 1 1928

We are indebted to Fr. Provincial for the following copy of an inscription on a mural tablet in a Church near Douglas, Isle of Man, He received it from Mr .L. W. R. Murphy :

“Memoriae at quieti Rev Matthaei Josephi Gahan SI, qui suos in Hibernia reliquit ut sese Monam incolentium saluti impenderet. Religionc in Deum, zelo in proximum, benignitate in pauperes, comitate in olmies eximius, inter aspera valetudinis semper indcfessus, bins sacris aedibus erectis, febri tandem, dum agonizanti subveniret correptus, pie obit 22 Feb. 1837, ann. aet. 56.”

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Matthew Gahan SJ 1782-1837
In the Isle of Man on February 22nd 1837, died Fr Matthew Gahan, who had been styled the “Apostle of the Isle of Man”.

He was born in Dublin in 1782 and entered for the Irish Mission at Hodder in 1805.

After having filled various positions in Dublin, and having been Minister for six years at Clongowes, he obtained the permission of his Superiors to devote himself to spiritual care of the poor and abandoned Catholics of the Isle of Man, whose spiritual destitution, through being without a priest and deprived of all consolation of religion, touched him to the heart. He had previously visited them occasionally and cheered them with his presence. To their service, he devoted the remainder of his life amid inconceivable privations and difficulties, all of which he bore with great patience and fortitude.

He built two chapels at the two chief centres on the island, Douglas and Castletown. Til his death he remained at his solitary post, bearing unaided the heavy labours of the Mission and keeping alive the faith among the people. To him, under God, is due the preservation of the Catholic faith on the Island.

It is no wonder he died at the early age of 55, worn out with the hardship and labour. But God, who seeth in secret, did not abandon him in the end. In the time of his great need, Fr Aylmer happened to come across to the island to visit him, not knowing he was sick, and arrived at the spot in time to prepare his soul for its last journey.

If you visit St Mary’s Church in Douglas today, you will see in the wall a stone slab, commemorating Fr Gahan as “The Second Apostle of the Isle of Man” – the first being St Patrick himself.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GAHAN, MATTHEW, of Dublin; born on the 7th of February, 1782 : entered the Society for the Irish Mission at Hodder house, on the 7th of September, 1805 : after completing his Noviceship there, commenced his Theology at Stonyhurst, and finished it at Palermo, where he was ordained Priest, on the 16th of July, 1810. In the November of the following year, he returned to his native Country, and for five years assisted as Curate in the Parishes of St. Michan and St. Nicholas without, in Dublin. In 1816, was stationed at Clongowes-Wood College, in the capacity of Minister, an office which he filled for six years, when he was ordered back to Dublin as Coadjutor to F. Aylmer, in the residence of the Society in that city. At the end of two years his Superiors permitted him to establish himself in the Isle of Man, the poor Catholics of which were lying like sheep without a Shepherd, and whom he had occasionally before visited and comforted, and cheered with his presence. To their instruction, and relief, and service, he devoted the remainder of his life, amidst inconceivable discouragements, privations, difficulties and labours, all of which he bore with exemplary patience and fortitude. This good Father was called to the reward of his zeal and charity, on the 22nd of February, 1837, aet. 55. Prof. 4, after five days illness. He had built a Chapel at Douglass and Castletown. Future generations will hail him as the Apostle of the Isle of Man “supra modum Apostolus Insulae Monae”.

◆ 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.

Galway, David, 1575/7-1643, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1345
  • Person
  • 1575/7-22 December 1643

Born: 1575/7, County Cork
Entered: 10 November 1604, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1609, Rome Italy
Died: 22 December 1643, Cork Residence

RIP 1634 or 1643 (if he appears in Verdier’s Report it is more likely 1643?)

Educated at Irish College Douai
1617 Catalogue Living in Ireland
1621 Catalogue On the Mission. Strong and fitted for more practical than speculative subjects. Not circumspect in conversations. An assiduous operarius
1622 in West Munster
1626 In Ireland

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was a merchant in early life; A devoted and daring Missioner for thirty years.
He had extraordinary adventures in Ulster, the Scottish Isles and Highlands, and the Isle of Man;
He converted hundreds to the orthodox faith; He was idolised in Cork; He was a man of singular mortification and piety; Miraculous things are told of him
(cf Foley’s Collectanea)
He left Ireland for Rome with a letter of introduction from Christopher Holywood. 30 June 1604, and a request that he might be sent to the Noviciate at St Andrea, Rome, and might make his Theology at the Roman College.
1617 In Ireland (Irish Ecclesiastical Record August 1874). After his studies and Ordination he came to Ireland, and visited Scotland and the Hebrides and Orkney Islands three times, in the disguise of a merchant, gaining many souls for Christ. he was a daring ad devoted Missioner for thirty years.
He is named in a letter of Father Lawndry (Holiwood) 04/11/1611 (IER April 1874) being then a companion of Robert Nugent, both of whom were assiduous in labour.
We also find him named in the Verdier Report to General Nickel on the Irish Mission 1641-1650, with an account of his virtues and labours.
His death was occasioned by need and want (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Initially had a career of a merchant, but let that go for Priesthood
Studied at Douai from 1601, but returned to Ireland with Christopher Holywood after his release from prison in 1603. Holywood then sent him to the Novitiate in Rome Ent 10 November 1604 St Andrea, Rome
After First Vows he continued his studies at the Roman College, and was Ordained there in 1609
1609 Sent to Ireland and worked mainly in West Munster, but occasionally went to Ulster, as well as visiting Scotland three times and the Isle of Man In later years he was sought by authorities for having reconciled a Protestant woman with the Church, and so he had to leave Cork. For a while he worked on Clear Island, but when he became ill he returned to the Cork Residence where he died 22 December 1634

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father David Galwey 1579-1643
Fr David Galwey was a merchant in his early life, and well used to the sea. This was of great advantage to him in his later life as a priest. Born in Cork in 1579, he became a Jesuit in 1604. He laboured in Cork City for 30 years, where he was idolised by the people, and after his death on December 22nd 1643, miraculous events were connected with his name.

His most noteworthy exploit was his mission to the Hebrides in 1619. A fluent speaker of Irish, he was at home with the Scots. He visited none of the islands, Islay, Oronsay, Colonsay, Gigha, Kintire, Jura, Arran, Sanday and Torsa. He visited these islands on three separate occasions. While there he went about disguised as a merchant. The Protestants hated him so much that they sent his likeness about in oder to secure his arrest. On wonder what is meant by the word “likeness”. Was it some kind of picture or drawing or a mere verbal description? Be that as it may, his life was hazardous in the extreme. For five months he never changed his garments, though often exposed to wind and rain. He had the consolation of converting many people on the islands, and of saying Mass for Catholics who had never seen the Holy Sacrifice offered up. This mission to the Hebrides was financed by Daniel Arthur, a merchant of Limerick, and fostered by the Irish Jesuits for a hundred years afterwards. A Fr Kelly was there some years after Fr Galwey, and a Fr O’Meara from Drogheda reconciled 200 Scots to the Church in 1712. It is a remarkable fact and a proud memory for the Irish Province, that in the midst of the struggles and dangers of the Penal Times, we still had men and interest for the foreign missions.

Fr David Galwey died himself of a cancer in Cork on December 22nd 1643.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GALWEY, DAVID. In a letter of F. Holiwood, written from Ireland, 30th of June, 1604, he begins by saying, “I send as the bearer of this, Mr David Galwey, an Alumnus of our Society. I wish you to send him to St. Andrew’s house of probation, and to go through his Theological studies in the Roman College. He has been with me for the last year, and in our opinion is fit for the Society, and specially adapted for this Mission, because he is well acquainted with the Irish as well as the English language. The life of a merchant which he followed before, makes him in the transaction of business more cautious and expeditious”. In due time F. Galwey returned to his native country, and multiplied himself in the cause of the Missions. Ireland did not present a field sufficiently extensive for his zeal and charity. For thrice, in the disguise of a merchant, he visited Scotland, the Hebrides, and the Orkney Islands, and gained many souls to God. Severe to himself and dead to the world, he labored and lived but to promote the greater honour and glory of his God. This Apostolical Father died ar Cork, of a cancer, on the 22nd of December, 1643.

Glynn, Mortimer, 1891-1966, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/167
  • Person
  • 30 December 1891-11 August 1966

Born: 30 December 1891, Limerick City
Entered: 24 March 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1928
Died: 11 August 1966, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Catholic Workers College, Ranelagh, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1917 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying

1926-1927 Tertianship at Tullabeg

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 41st Year No 4 1966
Obituary :

Fr Mortimer Glynn SJ (1883-1966)

Fr. Mortimer Glynn was educated at the Jesuit College, The Crescent, Limerick, Before entering the Jesuit Novitiate at Tullabeg in 1914, he had been a clerk in a Dublin insurance company. He was older at twenty-three than the average novice, yet he was a good “mixer”, congenial and blessed with a rich sense of humour. To his fellow-novices he seemed of frail health but on the football field or in the handball alley or leading a “company” on villa-day walks, he displayed amazing energy. His noviceship completed, he spent a short time at Rathfarnham Castle. He was in his twenty fifth year when he was sent directly to philosophy on Jersey Island, where the Paris Province had a house of studies. The First World War interrupted his third year and all the members of the Irish Province were recalled from the continent to the newly-established philosophate at Milltown Park. His three years “colleges” were spent at Mungret (1920-1923). Along with his duties as teacher in the classroom, he had charge of the boys' choir. As choir master, he was in his element, he possessed a good tenor voice and the gift of conveying to the boys the beauty of good singing. His theology was studied at Milltown Park and at the end of two years (profiting by a war privilege) he was ordained priest on the feast of St. Ignatius, 31st July 1925. His tertianship was spent at Tullabeg (1927). His next assignment was to Belvedere College. He was to spend twelve years at Belvedere and these years were probably the most remarkable in his life. He held a variety of offices and all with distinction. He was master in the junior house, choir master to the senior and junior houses, Minister for four years, Editor of The Belvederian and Spiritual Father to the community (1939). But it is as pioneer and producer of a very successful series of Gilbert and Sullivan operas that his name will be for ever linked with the history of music and theatricals in Belvedere College. Members of the community of this time will recall his uphill struggle to carry out his conviction that he could teach the boys a love of acting and an appreciation of the music of Gilbert and Sullivan. It certainly seemed unlikely that one so shy and retiring as Fr. Glynn, could succeed in ultimately making the college “opera-week” the talk of the town. Yet, that is what he achieved. Opera week became a social attraction; dignitaries of Church and State gladly accepted invitations; other schools in the city, envious of these triumphs sought to introduce the operas into their own schools. During opera week at Belvedere a peculiar atmosphere of joyful expectancy hung about the college and the Rector (Fr. P. Morris) often said, “if I wanted to reward a benefactor of the house, I would send him an invitation to opera week!” This was reported to Fr. Mortie, and he was intensely amused by the compliment. More than one professional producer came to learn from Fr. Glynn's arrangements of the stage with its enormous cast (for every mother wished her boy to be included in the conquests of this week). Another producer doubted that the cast was composed only of boys on the college roll, he asserted that past Belvederians supplemented the cast. Only when he was introduced to the cast enjoying a high tea in one of the parlours did he admit his error of judgment. Were we to try to analyse the source of Fr. Glynn's unquestionable success, we might mention a number of factors. He was an artist himself; could portray before the startled boys the various quips and gestures that suited a stage character; he could dance the required steps; he could sing any aria in the score; he could invent graceful movements which gave life and colour to the chorus; and he was so gentle and persuasive that the boys took courage and imitated what they had seen so wonderfully portrayed. Past Belvederians soon founded a Musical and Dramatic Society of their own and attributed their popularity and achievements to what they had learned from Fr. Glynn.
In 1940 Fr. Glynn's health showed signs of deterioration. A change of work, specially church work, appealed to him. He came to St. Francis Xavier's Church, Gardiner Street, and soon established himself as a kind confessor. He had charge of the youths' sodality and endeared himself to the boys and the leaders. He was settling down to this congenial work when he was appointed to a still more important work, Spiritual Father to the community of Rathfarnham Castle. Here he was to spend seven years (1941-48). He proved to be a wise counsellor and those young in heart found in him a sympathetic listener. He had experienced life in the world prior to entering the Society, and he often said that we all need imperatively is encouragement in serving our Good Master. He would be the last man to reveal his personal devotions or acts of piety. Yet, he couldn't hide from others his particular love of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. His furtive and frequent visits to the chapel were known to all who lived with him. In 1949 he returned to his alma mater, the Crescent, Limerick, where he was given the church work he loved. He had the direction of the Arch-Confraternity of the Bona Mors; and often preached on the blessings of dying in God's friendship. His former interests: in the stage and musical comedy were revived by contact with the Cecilian Musical Society, formed by past boys of the Crescent College. He became again the producer and met with the same phenomenal success. On one occasion over sixty of the past Belvederians travelled from Dublin to attend one of his productions. Little did they realise how sick a man he really was. First it was rheumatic fever; later he spent several months in hospital and was considered in danger of death. Tuberculosis was diagnosed and he was ordered to a sanatorium. He came to St. Mary's Chest Hospital, Phoenix Park, Dublin, in the summer of 1951 and for the next fifteen years he was an invalid. He refused to surrender. In St. Mary's Hospital he was fortunate to find as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kevin McArdle, who for many years was to do so much to lessen the hardship of his life by devoted personal friendship and consummate professional skill. Fr. Glynn showed incredible courage and determination. Doctors, nurses and visiting patients of the hospital were amazed at his hidden vitality. Sometimes Fr. Glynn improved so much that he was able to walk about the hospital and grounds. One might have thought he was permanently cured. In 1953 he was sent to Manresa Retreat House, where a former sports' pavilion was turned into a bungalow, admirably suited to his needs. Friends he had made in hospital and whose confidence he had won used come to see him. Occasionally, he was able to hear confessions in the retreat house. One official, attached to a golf club, said of him: “he was the gentlest priest I ever came across”. After eight years at Manresa, during which there were frequent visits to St. Mary's Hospital, a change of house was recommended by his doctor. He was appointed to the Catholic Workers' College. This house was to be his happy home for the last four years of his life. He endeared himself to everybody. For some months he was “up and doing”, then came spells of real sickness and exhaustion. He was so weak at times in these last years that people visiting him would not have been surprised to see him die. There were moments of complete helplessness when his breathing was extremely difficult and he was a pathetic sight to see. But no complaint was heard on his lips. The end came on Thursday, 11th August, in St. Vincent's Private Hospital. He had been suffering acute abdominal pains. An operation was thought advisable and Fr. Glynn was anxious that it should be tried. He rallied for some time after the operation but soon began to lose whatever strength he had gathered the previous days. He was well prepared to meet his Good Master (only Fr. Glynn could tell how often in his 75 years he had been fortified with the sacraments for the sick). It was his apostolate for nearly sixteen years to preach from a sick bed or from inside his room those strong Christian qualities : patience, courage in bearing pain, resignation to the will of his Creator, gentleness above all things. The last quality will always be associated with him by those who knew him well whether in the Society or outside it, the doctors, nurses, fellow-patients, penitents and the domestics of the hospitals and houses of Ours. “Well done! thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of thy Lord!” could well have been Our Lord's greeting to the soul of Fr. Mortimer Glynn.

Hearn, Joseph, 1854-1941, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1429
  • Person
  • 05 August 1854-22 November 1941

Born: 05 August 1854, Ballinrobe, County Mayo
Entered: 31 October 1878, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1890
Professed: 02 February 1896
Died: 22 November 1941, Loyola College, Watsonia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

First World War chaplain

by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
Came to Australia 1892
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 7th Infantry Battalion

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :

Note from John Gately Entry :
Father Gately worked up to the end. He heard Confessions up to 10pm and was dead by 2am. Four hours, and perhaps most of that sleeping! Father Charles Morrough heard groaning and went down, and Father Joseph Hearn, Superior, gave him the Last Sacraments.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/anzac-archives-and-the-bullshit-detector/

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.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/commemorating-the-sesquicentenary-of-the-arrival-of-irish-jesuits-in-australia/

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
Joseph Hearn was an Old Boy of St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, before its amalgamation with Clongowes. He entered the Society at Milltown Park, 31 October 1878, at the age of 24. He taught at Tullabeg College after juniorate studies, 1881-84, studied philosophy at Milltown Park, 1884-89, and theology at Louvain and Milltown Park, 1887-91. He
was then appointed socius to the master of novices while he completed his tertianship at Tullabeg College.
Hearn came to Australia and taught at St Patrick's College, 1892-96, and Riverview for a short time in 1896. He was appointed superior and parish priest of Richmond, 1896-1914, and was a mission consulter at the same time. Then he became a military chaplain and served with the Australian Expeditionary Force in its campaign in the Dardanelles. He served with the 7th in Belgium and then with the 2nd infantry Battalion. He was with the Australian Imperial Force (AIP), headquarters in the UK, returning to Australia early in 1917. He
was awarded the Military Cross for his service.
Upon his return, he resumed parish work at Lavender Bay, 1917-18; North Sydney, 1918-22, where he was parish priest, superior and Sydney Mission consulter, and Hawthorn, 1922-31, at one time minister then superior and parish priest. Despite old age, he was appointed rector of Loyola College, Greenwich, 1931-33, and when the house of formation moved to Watsonia, Vic., became its first rector, 1934-40. His final appointment was parish work at Richmond, Vic.
Hearn was called 'blood and iron Joe', and lived up to this by the severity of his manner, both with himself and others. He did not relate well to women, but men liked him. He had a vein of sardonic humor that suited well with the temper of the First AIF He joined the army at the age of 60. Though his service in the army tended to overshadow his other work, the real high point of his career was his long period as parish priest of Richmond; the parish schools especially are a monument to him.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Entered as Brother Novice. After 6 months postulancy was admitted as a Scholastic Novice

Macardle, Andrew, 1863-1942, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/272
  • Person
  • 17 July 1863-27 December 1942

Born: 17 July 1863, Dundalk, County Louth
Entered: 20 June 1883, Milltown Park, Dublin and Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 31 July 1896, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1900
Died: 27 December 1942, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

by 1899 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/the-macardles-of-dundalk/

The Macardles of Dundalk
Desmond Gibney, Lecturer of Accounting at the National College of Ireland (NCI) in Dublin, has written an article in the Irish Jesuit quarterly Studies about the Macardle brothers of Dundalk. Both brothers were well established in their respective fields, one was in charge of a prominent brewery now owned by Diageo and another was a Jesuit priest (highlighted in the photo) who influenced the writing of James Joyce.
The article entitled ‘Irish Catholics in Early Twentieth Century Ireland: The Case of the Macardle Brothers’ explores the very different paths taken by the brothers of a wealthy Catholic family, around the time of the First World War, Easter Rising and establishment of the Free State. It deals with themes of loyalty of Irish Catholics to the crown, and expands on Fergus Campbell’s study of the ‘Irish establishment’ around the time of the First World War.
Thomas Macardle, was chairman and owner of Macardles Brewery in Dundalk which continues with the brewing of Macardles Ale today. He received a knighthood for his services to British army recruitment during the Great War. His daughter Dorothy was a famous historian and writer, and also served time in jail for her republican activities.
Andrew Macardle, served two terms as Superior in Gardiner Street. He was renowned for his skills in attracting converts to the Catholic faith. He taught James Joyce in two Jesuit schools, Belvedere and Clongowes. In fact, Andrew sent a seven-year old Joyce for punishment for the offence of using vulgar language! Notwithstanding that, Joyce used Andrew as the inspiration for the benign character of McGlade in ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 18th Year No 2 1943

Obituary :

Father Andrew Macardle SJ (1863-1942)

Fr Macardle was born on 17th July, 1863, of a well-known Dundalk family. being the son of the late Mr. E. H. Macardle, J.P.
He was educated at the Marist College Dundalk, and after securing his First Arts in the Royal. University entered the Society on 20th June 1883. his noviceship being spent at Milltown Park and Dromore House Co. Down. His studies both in rhetoric and in philosophy and theology were all done at Milltown Park. He spent three years as master at Clongowes and Belvedere before beginning his higher studies.
He was ordained priest at St. Francis Xavier's Church, Gardiner Street on St. Ignatius' Day, 1896, by the Most Rev. William Walsh and made his third year probation at Tronchiennes with five other members of the Province, of whom Fr. Stanislaus McLoughlin is the sole survivor.
After a year at the Crescent College as Minister, he was appointed to the mission staff, and for the next ten years gave missions and retreats in all parts of the country. For four years he laboured at the Crescent as master and operarius till his appointment as Rector of St Ignatius' College, Galway. During the ten years (1908-1019) of his Rectorate he worked indefatigably in promoting the welfare of the Church and College. To him is due the purchase of the then derelict fields opposite St. Ignatius', and of the Protestant house of worship now the Columban Hall, which has proved, ever since, so useful an adjunct to the College. The familiar statue of the Immaculate Conception in Carrara marble, which he erected outside the Residence was the gift of his mother. The present existing Stations of the Cross in the Church were also donations during his period of office, and the present Sanctuary flooring in tiles was laid by direct labour under his personal supervision. In addition to his other duties in the Church he directed the ladies' sodality, and was choir-master during the ten years he spent in Galway. Under his capable management the College grew in prestige and in the numbers of boys on the school-roll. Three out of the four scholarships granted by the University in those years were secured by the College, and their holders now occupy honourable positions in the civil life of Galway. During this sojourn in the west he had many contracts and made many life-long friends, and appears to have been a power in the land.
In 1919 began that association with Gardiner Street, which was to continue till his death. He was twice Superior - from 1919 to 1922 and again from 1928 till 1934. It fell to his lot during the latter period to organise the celebrations of the first centenary of the opening of the Church as well as those of the Eucharistic Congress Week, details of which will be found in the Province News July and October, 1932. A large measure of the success of both these remarkable functions is attributable to Fr. Macardle's careful planning, which was best seen in the arrangements for the Slav Mass and necessitated much correspondence with Prelates on the Continent.
He directed for years the Ignatian Sociality and the Association of Perpetual Adoration and work for poor Churches. In connection with the latter activity he was able in 1939 to send to the Primate of Spain a magnificent collection of sacred Vestments, Missals. Chalices and other altar requisites to help replace what had been destroyed by the sacrilegious fury of the Reds during the Spanish civil war.
Fr. Macardle excelled as a confessor and as instructor of converts. As early as his first mission, or Retreat given as a tertian in Jersey he showed himself the possessor of special gifts in the matter of converting non-Catholics, and Canon Hourigaa, the well-known Irish pastor on the island, invited him back later to repeat his former successes as preacher and apologist. A conservative estimate of the number of converts he made during his priestly ministry would be six hundred and more.
His devotion to this form of apostolate knew no bounds. His leisure hours in the evening he gave over to the instruction of would-be converts, and he continued to instruct them in the parlour, almost to the day of his death, during the tedious months in which he struggled so manfully with the mortal disease which finally carried him off on 27th December. R.I.P.

We append an appreciation of him which appeared in the Standard of 8th January, 1943, from the pen of an extern :
All that is best in Catholic and Christian Ireland will mourn the passing of Father Andrew Macardle, S.J., truly a great priest, who, in his days pleased God.
Having dedicated himself to God in the Society of Jesus, he became impregnated with its spirit to an extent which few have surpassed. To every task assigned him, he brought the same great Christian culture and kindliness, industry and patience. A true priest and Christian gentleman, he could not but have a host of friends. Yet perhaps his greatest admirers are to be found among the parishioners of St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, for whom he spent himself unsparingly during so many years.
Each day found him for long hours in the Sacred Tribunal, where his wise guidance and sympathetic counsel was sought by a clientele varied as human nature itself.
Driven by failing health from his official duties as a confessor he continued to exercise his influence on souls from his private room, truly a fitting preparation for the account he was so soon to render.
His cultured bearing, breadth of view based on sound theological knowledge had the happiest results with prospective converts. Yet perhaps the greatest fruit of his ministry was gathered from his work as a confessor, for his patience and self-sacrifice made of him another Christ.
In the pulpit, at the Ignatian Sodality of which he was Spiritual Director, in the midst of his devoted flock, Christian culture served always as the handmaid of Christian faith.
So it was that he was venerated as a Superior loved and trusted as a confessor and spiritual father and honoured as a priest a true Jesuit because in faith and hope a soldier, whilst in charity possessing the gentleness of the spotless Lamb of God. “For the greater glory of God”, let us, priests and people, be true to his blessed memory in faithfulness to the example he has left us.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Andrew McArdle 1863-1942
Fr Andrew McArdle was a Dundalk man, born there on July 17th 1863, of a well known family. He entered the Society in 1883, having already go his First Arts exam at the Royal University.

He became Rector of Galway in 1908. It was during his term as Rector that the Columban Hall was purchased. The statue of Our Lady in front of the house was a gift from his mother. The Stations of the Cross in the Church were also presented to him by a benefactor. Under his regime the College grew immensely in prestige.

In 1919 he began his connection with Gardiner Street. He was twice Superior, from 1919-1922 and 1928-1934. He celebrated the centenary of the Church and all its functions in connection with the Eucharistic Congress of 1932 were ably arranged by him.

He was outstanding in the work of the confessional, and did much to build up the reputation of Gardiner Street for that ministry. He also excelled as an instructor of converts, this dated from his first Mission in Jersey. A conservative estimate of the number of converts he made during his priestly life would be 600 and more.

He died on December 27th 1942.

MacCartney, Peter, 1882-1945, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1618
  • Person
  • 10 March 1882-26 November 1945

Born: 10 March 1882, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan
Entered: 01 October 1903, Jersey Channel Islands - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1916, Ore Place, Hastings, England
Professed: 04 April 1921
Died: 26 November 1945, Regis College, Denver, CO, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)

by 1917 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

Peter McCartney, entered Mungret Apostolic School, September 1897 and left September 1903, to enter the French Province for the China Mission. Spent five years teaching in St Joseph's College, Shanghai.

Murphy, Richard James Francis, 1875-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1805
  • Person
  • 24 April 1875-13 November 1957

Born: 24 April 1875, Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1892, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 24 May 1911
Died: 13 November 1957, Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1896 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
Came to Australia for Regency1898
by 1910 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online :
Murphy, Richard James Francis (1875–1957)
by Judith Nolan
Judith Nolan, 'Murphy, Richard James Francis (1875–1957)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/murphy-richard-james-francis-11205/text19975, published first in hardcopy 2000

Catholic priest; schoolteacher

Died : 13 November 1957, Lewisham, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Richard James Francis Murphy (1875-1957), Jesuit priest, was born on 24 April 1875 at Kingstown, Dublin, one of ten children of Richard James Murphy, merchant, and his wife Mary Josephine, née Burden. Dick attended Clongowes Wood College and entered the Society of Jesus at Tullamore at the age of 17. He completed philosophy studies at Maison St Louis, Jersey, Channel Islands, and Stonyhurst College, England, in 1898. Arriving in Sydney in September, he taught at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, and from 1901 at St Patrick's College, Melbourne, where he also organised the work of the Professional Men's Sodality of Our Lady. In 1904 he returned to Dublin. After studying theology at Milltown Park, he was ordained priest on 26 July 1908.

In Sydney again, Murphy taught (1910-11 and 1915-16) at St Aloysius' College. An outstanding tennis player, he was responsible for forming the Catholic Lawn Tennis Association of New South Wales. In 1911 he was transferred to Loyola, Greenwich, to direct retreats for laymen. He developed a strong commitment to medico-moral issues and lectured to nurses at St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst. In 1912 he was a founder of the Catholic Federation of New South Wales. Launched into parochial duties in 1916 as parish priest (superior) at Toowong, Brisbane, he was appointed to Richmond, Melbourne, in 1919. He spent four months in hospital with pneumonia and serious heart problems, but unexpectedly recovered.

Back in Sydney, Murphy was bursar (1920-21) at Riverview for the college and the entire Sydney Mission before returning to pastoral duties at North Sydney (1921-22) and Lavender Bay (1922-24). He lectured on medical ethics to students at the University of Sydney. His book, The Catholic Nurse (Milwaukee, 1923), led him to found the Catholic Nurses' Guild of New South Wales. While superior (1924-33) at Toowong, he supervised the construction of St Ignatius' Church. Between 1933 and 1953 he was based in the parish of North Sydney. With Dr H. M. Moran, he inaugurated the Catholic Medical Guild of St Luke in 1933; he edited its Transactions, in which he published (1943) two articles, 'Catholic Hospitals of Australia' and 'The History of Nursing in Australia'. A council-member of the Newman Association of Catholic Graduates, Murphy founded the Campion Society in Melbourne in 1934 and introduced it to Sydney, where its autonomy was initially suppressed because Archbishop Kelly 'liked to keep a tight rein on his lay societies'. Murphy established the Catholic Chemists Guild of St Francis Xavier. He also set up an organisation for the religious education of Catholic children in state schools.

Although described as a 'diffident' superior, Fr Dick was an enthusiastic, zealous and energetic man who saw the Catholic laity as 'the draught horses of the Church'. He, Dr Sylvester Minogue (a psychiatrist) and others founded Alcoholics Anonymous in Australia in July 1945. Minogue (overlooking Fr Dunlea) noted that with 'the exception of Father Murphy . . . no other clergyman takes any active interest', and observed that he was 'the only one of us with any practical commonsense'. Lillian Roth, the actress, acknowledged the help she had received from Murphy.

In 1955 Murphy retired to Canisius' College, Pymble. He died on 13 November 1957 in Lewisham Hospital and was buried in Gore Hill cemetery.

Select Bibliography
L. Roth, I'll Cry Tomorrow (Lond, 1955)
D. Coleman, Priest of the Highway (Syd, 1973)
C. Jory, The Campion Society and Catholic Social Militancy in Australia 1929-1939 (Syd, 1986)
St Aloysius' College (Sydney), The Aloysian, 1957, p 24
St Ignatius' College, Riverview (Sydney), Our Alma Mater, 1958, p 184
Catholic Weekly (Sydney), 18 Sept 1952, 21 Nov 1957
AA Assn papers (Alcoholics Anonymous Archives, Croydon, Sydney)
Fr R. J. Murphy, SJ, papers (Society of Jesus Archives, Hawthorn, Melbourne).

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Richard Murphy entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 September 1892, completed his juniorate studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, 1894-95, studied philosophy at Jersey, 1895-98, and then was sent to Australia and St Ignatius' College, Riverview, and St Patrick's College for regency, 1898-1905. During that time he taught, and was involved with prefecting and helped with the library and music. At St Patrick's, he was involved with the professional men's Sodality He returned to Dublin, and Milltown Park, for theology studies and Completed tertianship at Tronchiennes, 1909-10.
Upon his return to Australia, he spent a year at St Aloysius' College, before being appointed superior of Loyola College, Greenwich, where he was involved with men's retreats and pastoral work. He was also socius to the master of novices, 1914-15.
He was appointed the first superior and parish priest of Toowong, Brisbane, 1916-19, where he remained until a serious illness saw him once again in Melbourne at the parish of Richmond. Then he spent a year at Riverview and a year in the parish of North Sydney, before being appointed priest in charge of Lavender Bay in 1922. He returned to the Toowong parish, 1924-33, during which time he built the present Church. In 1933 he went to St Mary's, North Sydney, where he spent the next twenty years.
During all his active priestly life he took a great interest in university students and professional men. With Dr Herbert “Paddy” Moran, he inaugurated the Catholic Medical Guild, of which he was the first chaplain in 1934. He was also instrumental in forming similar guilds in Adelaide Perth, Brisbane, Bathurst, Goulburn, and Young. He wrote “The Catholic Nurse” (1923), and several pamphlets.
Some years later he initiated the Catholic Chemists' Guild and the Sydney Campion Society. He took a lively interest in the Newman Association of Australia and in the formation of the Teachers' Guild, for teaching religion in government schools.
Alcoholics Anonymous was another body in which he took a great and practical interest. In all these and other activities that claimed his care and organising ability his knowledge of human nature and common-sense approach endeared him to countless friends and associates. His last years were spent in retirement at Canisius College, Pymble, from 1955.
Murphy was one of the best known and most successful parish Jesuits. He inaugurated the Toowong parish and organised it very well, He founded the Catholic Tennis Association in Brisbane and helped to found it in Sydney. As a superior he was perhaps inclined to be too diffident, but he was very prudent and level-headed and a sound and careful organiser. He was full of enthusiasm without being extravagant, and was able to communicate his enthusiasm to others. Though he learned to drive a car, he always preferred to walk as long as his legs would carry him.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 2 1926

Irish Province News 1st Year No 2 1926

Residence. S F XAVIER (Lavender Bay) :
Lavender Bay became an independent parish in 1921. Its First Pastor was Fr R O'Dempsey. He was succeeded by Fr R Murphy, who built the new school, enlarged the hall, and established four tennis courts. The present Pastor so Fr J Magan. All three are old Clongowes boys. The parish contains St, Aloysius' College, two primary schools and two large convents. Numbered amongst the parishioners is His Excellency the Apostolic Delegate.

Ronan, William, 1828-1907, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/382
  • Person
  • 13 July 1825-10 December 1907

Born 13 July 1825, Newry, County Down
Entered 13 November 1850, Amiens, France (FRA)
Ordained 1848 - pre Entry
Professed 02 February 1865
Died 10 December 1907, Mungret College, County Limerick

by 1855 in Istanbul?
by 1864 at Rome Italy (ROM) making Tertianship
by 1899 at Villa Saint-Joseph, Cannes, France (LUGD)

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had studied at Maynooth and was Ordained 1848 for his native Diocese of Dromore before Ent.

A Few years after his Novitiate he went with Fr Patrick J Duffy as a Chaplain in the Crimean War, where he worked for more than a year in the hospitals of Scutari Hospital (of Florence Nightingale Fame in the Istanbul Region) and other Military stations.
On his return to Ireland he worked for many years as a Missioner, and became well known in almost every diocese and district in the country. Few men were better known as a Spiritual Director in religious communities through Ireland as well as the clergy of many Dioceses.
He was Superior in turn of the Galway and Limerick houses, and was known for extraordinary zeal and devotion to the Sacred Heart. he shared this devotion with one to Our Lady of Lourdes and St Joseph.
1880 While Rector in Limerick, he founded the Apostolic School, and when Mungret was given to the Jesuits, and the AS moved there, he became its first Rector. He considered the founding of the AS as the greatest work of his life. He travelled to the US in 1884/5 to get funds for the AS so that he could set up a more permanent financial foundation for it.
1887 He began the second phase of his life as a Missioner in Ireland, and continued this even when he was appointed Superior at Gardiner St.
1897 By now he was compelled to give up active work due to ill health and he spent some years in the South of France.
1901 He was sent back to Mungret and spent the last six years of his life there as Spiritual Father and Confessor to the Community and students. During these years he had the great consolation of seeing the growth of the College , and always spoke of those Priests, former students, working in all quarters of the world, as his children.

His last days were happy ones “How good God is to me and how happy I am to be here”, were almost the last words he spoke when he was in the full of his health. It was a massive stroke which brought about his death on 10 December 1907 at Mungret, and he was buried in the College Cemetery, following a funeral procession which was led by the younger students walking in twos, followed by the clergy, the the coffin borne by senior students and then the mourners, of whom there were many. Afterwards many stories were shared by his former students in Mungret and the Crescent, as well as many who had come to know him through his Missionary work. General Sir William Butler (who had been educated at Tullabeg), who had visited Father William three days before and listened carefully to him as he spoke about his time in the Crimea, and Sir William thought of him a a soldier of the truest type :
“he said to me some memorable things in that first and last interview I had with him on December 9th. Amongst other things he said ‘In the hospital near Scutari I suppose more that 1,000 poor soldiers from the Crimea were prepared for death by me. Some were able only to utter an ejaculatory prayer, some of them had known little of their faith before this time, but I have never doubted for one moment that every one of those poor souls went straight to Heaven. And when I go and meet them in Heaven, I think they will elect me their colonel, and I shall stand at their head there. I pray our Lord that he may take me at any moment. I am quite willing to go, but I say that I am ready tom stay too, if he has any more work for me to do here’. It is an intense satisfaction to me that it was given to me to see this grand veteran on this, his last full day of his long and wonderful life - all his faculties perfect”.

Note from Patrick Hughes Entry :
1888 He was appointed Rector of Galway, and continued his involvement in the Mission Staff. On Father Ronan’s retirement, he was appointed Superior of the Mission Staff.

Note from Christopher Coffey Entry :
He died peacefully 29 March 1911, and after the Requiem Mass he was brought to the small cemetery and buried between Brothers Franye and MacEvoy, and close to the grave of William Ronan.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Ronan, William
by David Murphy

Ronan, William (1825–1907), Jesuit priest and Crimean war chaplain, was born 13 July 1825 in the parish of Clonduff, near Newry, Co. Down, son of Patrick Ronan, farmer. His mother's maiden name was Rooney. He was educated at St Patrick's College, Maynooth, and was ordained priest in 1848, entering the Society of Jesus in November 1850. Completing his noviciate at Dromore, Co. Down, he studied philosophy at Saint-Acheul, near Amiens, France, and went to Laval (November 1852) to study theology. In 1854 he joined the Jesuit community at St Francis Xavier's in Gardiner St., Dublin. At the end of 1854 he was appointed to serve as a chaplain with the army in the Crimea. This was the first occasion since the reign of James II (qv) that catholic chaplains had been given official status in the British army, and Ronan (along with fellow Jesuit Patrick Duffy and some Irish diocesan priests) travelled to the Crimea at the end of 1854. Specifically instructed to look after the welfare of the Irish Sisters of Mercy working in the hospital at Scutari, he arrived in January 1855 and immediately clashed with Florence Nightingale, who was in charge of the hospital. He disagreed with the way the Irish nuns were employed and also found them living in unsuitable conditions. Following negotiations with Nightingale, the conditions for the Irish nuns improved. He outlined his initial impressions of the Scutari hospital in a letter (preserved in the Dublin Diocesan Archive) to his superior in Dublin, Fr Robert Curtis, SJ. While in the Crimea he occasionally found some Irish secular priests to be hostile towards the Jesuits and experienced particular difficulties with one priest, Fr Michael Cuffe.

Returning to Ireland at the end of 1855 in bad health, he initially worked as a missioner. A noted preacher and retreat-giver, he toured the towns and cities of Ireland before being appointed superior of the Galway Jesuit community. He took his final vows in February 1865. In 1880 he became rector of Limerick and founded the Irish Apostolic School, which transferred (1882) to Mungret College. He then travelled to the USA on a fund-raising tour and raised over £10,000 (1884). In 1887 he worked as a missioner again before joining (1893) the Gardiner St. community, of which he was made superior in July 1895. His later years were overshadowed by controversy, as he was accused of an improper relationship with a wealthy widow, Mrs Doyle. He denied these accusations but spent some time abroad, living first in Jersey and then in the south of France. In 1901 he returned to Mungret and remained at the college until his death. On 9 December 1907 he was visited by Gen. the Rt Hon. Sir William Butler (qv), who was recording the accounts of men who had served in various military campaigns of the nineteenth century, including the Crimean war. At the end of his interview, Ronan remarked ‘I pray hard that He may take me at any moment. I am quite willing to go but I say that I am ready to stay too, if He has any more work for me to do here’ (cited in Murphy, War Correspondent, 45). The next day, 10 December 1907, he suffered a stroke and died. He was buried in the college cemetery at Mungret.

There is a substantial collection of his papers in the Irish Jesuit archives in Dublin. There are further letters in the papers of Cardinal Paul Cullen (qv) in the Dublin diocesan archives.

Fr William Ronan, SJ, files in Irish Jesuit Archives, Dublin; Freeman's Journal, 12 Dec. 1907; Evelyn Bolster, The Irish Sisters of Mercy in the Crimean war (1964); Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991); Tom Johnstone and James Hagerty, The cross on the sword: catholic chaplains in the forces (1996); David Murphy, ‘Irish Jesuit chaplains in the Crimean war’, War Correspondent, xvii, no. 1 (Apr. 1999), 42–6; id., Ireland and the Crimean war (2002); Thomas J. Morrissey, William Ronan, SJ: war chaplain, missioner, founder of Mungret College (2002)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William Ronan 1825-1907
Fr William Ronan was born on July 13th 1825 in County Down. He was ordained priest in Maynooth for his native diocese of Dromore. After two years as a secular priest he entered the Society in the Crimean War, where he laboured for more than a year in the hospitals of Scutari, where, as he afterwards recounted to a famous friend he met there, Sir William Butler, “more than 1,000 soldiers were prepared for death by me”.

On his return to Ireland he worked on the Mission Staff, and he was a much sought after giver of retreats to religious and diocesan clergy. He was Superior in turn at Galway and the Crescent. It was while he was Rector of the Crescent that he founded the Apostolic School, first at the Crescent, and then with the help of Lord Ely and the Abbé Heretier, in Mungret, where he became the first Rector. He went to the United Staes in 1884 to collect funds for the new College.

After another period on the Mission Staff and a period as Superior at Gardiner Street, owing to ill health he had to spend some years in the South of France. In 1901 he returned to Mungret, where he spent the last six years of his busy and extraordinarily fruitful life.

He was a man of remarkable zeal and fervent piety, outstanding for his devotion to the Sacred Heart, and to which devotion he attrubted the great success of all his undertakings.

On the last day of his life, chatting to his old friend Sir William Butler, and referring to the soldiers he had anointed in the Crimean War, he said “I have never doubted for one moment, that every one of these poor souls went straight to heaven, and when I go and meet them in heaven, I think they will elect me their colonel, and I shall stand at their head there”.

Death came on him unexpectedly at six o’clock on the evening of Tuesday December 10th 1907, after he had spent an hour in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, as had been his custom for many years. He survived a heart attack long enough to receive the Last Rites, and was buried in a spot chosen by himself years before, facing the window of the College Chapel.

Stevenson, Robert L, 1906-1977, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/411
  • Person
  • 30 January 1906-01 April 1977

Born: 30 January 1906, Rathmines, Dublin
Entered :31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 June 1937
Final Vows: 02 February 1940
Died: 01 April 1977, Tuam, County Galway

Part of the Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1929 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1939 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 3 1977

Obituary :

Fr Robert L Stevenson (1906-1977)

Father Robert L Stevenson was born in Dublin, June 30th 1906, and after some education privately, went to the Christian Brothers, Synge Street. He entered the Noviceship at Tullabeg on August 31st 1923. Beginning his studies for the BA at Rathfarnham in 1925, he passed through the usual course and was ordained at Milltown Park, June 24th 1937. He had gone to Valkenburg for Philosophy, 1928 1931, and his Tertianship was spent at St Beuno's, 1938-1939. The years 1939-1941 were spent in Galway as Prefect of Studies and teaching, and his work was similar at the Crescent, Limerick, 1941 1946. From 1938 to his death in 1977 he was a missioner, stationed successively at Emo, Belvedere, Tullabeg, Emo and Rathfarnham. His years at Rathfarnham (1969-1977) were brought to a close by his death “in harness” at Tuam, April 1st 1977.

Of his years immediately after the Tertianship we have a clear picture from what Father James Stephenson, The Hall writes:
Bob Steve when I knew him and lived with him in his early years in the Society was what would be called in those days, “a good Community man”. He had a ready wit and was endowed with a felicity of expression and vividness of imagery that was most entertaining and more than usually amusing.
What made him “tick over” was an intense zeal for souls or to put it in modern jargon, his motivation was the betterment of the spiritually" underprivileged". However, after his tertianship, it was some years before he was able to put his ambition into operation. During those early years as a priest he was assigned to administration, and acted for many years as Minister in the Sacred Heart Church, Limerick. It was a post he naturally disliked but he carried on his duties faithfully and effectively. Of course, what made this post tolerable was that he was Prefect of the Church and so had plenty of Church work to do, sermons, confessions, counselling and sodality direction. He was for many years Director of the Ignatian Sodality and a very popular and energetic Director at that. He went to great pains in preparing his talks and sermons, having his eye, I suppose, on the type of work he desired, namely the Mission Staff. This care in preparation of talks and sermons served him in good stead during his life as a Missioner when he had the leisure to write and publish in addition to some pamphlets, a book on the Holy Land and also a biography of a Jesuit he most admired, Father Leonard Shiel.
As a preacher and retreat giver he worked among the Irish in Great Britain. Towards the end of his life he also devoted much of his zeal and energy to mission work in the United States.
It may be of interest to mention in passing that as a scholastic teacher in Belvedere he took a great interest in the Newsboys Club, an interest he translated into practice when making his renunciation before his final vows.
Some years ago he had trouble with his heart and it was that way God took him when giving a mission in Tuam Cathedral. Death came as a thief but it did not find him unprepared. He went to his Maker full of merit and good works. May he rest in peace.

Father Kevin Laheen writes: My first contact with Fr Bob Stevenson was in Belvedere in the thirties when he taught Irish and RK. He was an excellent teacher, had a gift of keeping discipline in a pleasant sort of way, and his ability to impart his knowledge to the boys was something which we, in our youth, could appreciate, and often did publicly admire.
But he did ambition a life of specifically priestly work, as opposed to an administrative job which after all does not call for the sacrament of Holy Orders. Though as Minister in the Crescent he did is job well, his heart was in the pulpit, in the confessional and on the altar.
At length he got the job (as a missioner) for which he was suited, which he loved, and at which there was no way in which it could be said that he was anything but a complete success. An eloquent and - fluent speaker, he could hold an audience in the palm of his hand for anything up to forty minutes, and that in the days when the TV has conditioned people to accept things in capsule form. Although uncompromising in the pulpit in proclaiming the teaching of Christ and the Church (often being accused of being too far right of centre) he could be a most compassionate man when dealing with the weaknesses of those who often lapsed from the strictest following of Christ.
His kindness to women, especially to nuns, was a side of Bob that was not generally known. In the days when the lay sister was regarded as the unpaid servant of the community, Bob was her champion, and I have met many such sisters who have sounded his praises and her own gratitude to him for his understanding sympathy and kindness, to say nothing of his courage in defending these sisters, when to have done so would have risked being “blacked” in the convent where such defence was registered.

In the early forties, just after the war, or even during the last years of it, Fr Leonard Shiel and Father Bob started the mission to the Irish in Britain literally single-handed. Leonard had the ideal that if the Irish brought none of this world's wealth to the land of adoption, they certainly brought their strong Irish faith, and his aim, aided by Father Bob, was to make sure that their faith suffered no injury by the new materialistic surroundings in which they found themselves, so but in addition that these same Irish would be apostles of the faith spreading it among those with whom they lived and worked. An ideal like this took courage. Many a patronising and openly hostile comment was made about this work. But neither of these men could be turned aside from their ideal; and by degrees they were joined by Frs M Bodkin, R Maguire, B Prendergast, B Hogan, T Kilbride and many others, until the thing took on the nature of a crusade. Then the Irish bishops were approached, and nothing happened for some years, Leonard Shiel then approached the English bishops, and at last the two hierarchies got together and other orders came in to help. This work has now virtually passed out of the hands of the Society but its flourishing success, and the immense good it has done, must be ascribed to the inspiration and devotion and zeal of these two men. Without the support of Father Bob I think the scheme would have remained a one man apostolate of Father Shiel. This is a chapter of history that so many younger members of the staff, and indeed of the Province, know nothing about. It took a zeal and single-minded dedication that I have often felt would have cheered the heart of Saint Ignatius. (See, however, Father Bob's book about Fr Leonard Shiel, “Who Travels Alone”, especially Chapters four and five-Ed.).
In the last ten years, Bob was definitely low key, as they would say these days. His preaching was just as eloquent and gripping. His zeal was untiring, but he liked to get back to base a great deal more, and devote so much of his time to writing. He was a man of great linguistic gifts, and apart from having a reading knowledge (and in some cases a speaking knowledge, too) of most European languages, he had also mastered Russian.
I think he was a little worried in recent years about the direction the Society was taking. In his own mind I don't think he was convinced that the balance between the vertical and horizontal approach to the service of God has been found. I also feel that he had some idea that his life was running out, and-looking back over certain things he said to me-I feel he was preparing for the end. Sickness was a thing he never knew nor liked, though to the sick he was devoted and kind. God took him mercifully in the arms of a fellow Jesuit, anointed by another, and receiving expert first aid treatment from the fourth member of the mission team at Tuam.
In the course of his second last mission, in his own native parish of Beechwood Avenue, a lady told me that on many occasions in the course of the mission he said, “Remember, if you knock daily on the Gate of Heaven by saying your daily prayers, when you knock for the last time in death, Our Lord will keep His promise and open for you”. After his devoted life, I have a feeling that the door was always open, awaiting him.

Father Niall O'Neill writes:
Imperial Hotel, Tuam: 1st April 1977:

Supper in the Hotel was at 6 pm. The Missioners Frs Séamus MacAmhlaoibh, Noel Holden and myself - Niall O'Neill - started almost immediately. Fr Bob who had been out of sorts for a day or two came down later and sat with his book at his favourite spot Fr. Seamus MacA gave Fr Bob some notices to be announced at the out-church-Lavally (Leath Bhaile) as we left the dining-room. Bob seemed in good form and gave his usual “OK”.
We went to get ready for confessions in the Cathedral at 7.00 pm, as it was the 1st Friday. Noel went back down to discuss something with Bob at about 6.45. They were talking on the way up the stairs which were very steep, about the closing of the Mission. Noel's room was No.24 at the end of a short corridor at the top of the stairs. At Noel’s room Bob put his hand on the handle of the door and gasped and slumped. Noel caught him and shouted, “Niall, quick, quick”. Séamus and I were together round the corner about 15 feet away; as we arrived Noel was holding Bob in his arms. We brought him to the bed in No 24. Seamus and Noel looked after him spiritually - Absolution and Anointing. While they were doing this I opened collar, thumped his chest and gave artificial respiration (mouth to mouth). A lady came to the top of the stairs and we asked her to ring for a Doctor. Noel said he could feel no pulse. We prayed and gave more resuscitation and respiration. I went for some whiskey and asked at the Desk if they had rung the Doctor - he was on his way. The whiskey wasn't used. I took over the respiration again from Séamus. Noel said, “he's gone”. I went down again and asked at the desk that they would ring Fr Greally, the Administrator. He came on the phone and I told him Bob had had an “attack”. As I was on the phone the Doctor (Cunningham) arrived-it was only 7.05 pm. He confirmed our fears. He left to order the ambulance. Fr Greally arrived at 7.7. We decided that Séamus would go to Lavally. As Noel had had the brunt of the shock he would stay and ring the Provincial and Rathfarnham. 7.10 I went to the Order of Malta Ambulance Unit. As there was to be a Dinner at the Hotel at 7.30 I hurried on the Ambulance, although it was already under way. I went into the Cathedral and started the Rosary for the Mission at 7.20: “This Rosary will be offered for Father Robert Louis Stevenson our Senior Missioner who has been taken ill and has been removed to Hospital”. After the Rosary I found the Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Joseph Cunnane in the Sacristy. He presided at my Mass, I preached on the Sacred Heart and after the sermon His Grace came to the Ambo and announced the death of “Fr. Robert Louis Stevenson”. He paid a tremendous tribute to Bob as priest, missioner, fellow-organizer with Father Leonard Shiel of the mission to the emigrants in England, writer and staunch up-holder of the faith.
In the meantime the Ambulance had arrived at the Hotel at 7.25, and took Bob to the “Grove” Hospital in Tuam which is run by the Bon Secours Sisters. They were marvellous. Bob was laid out in a beautiful private room; they provided a lace Alb, White Vestments (The Resurrection), and arranged the room very attractively: the table with Crucifix, lighted candles on one side of the bed, on the other a table with an exquisite vase of freshly cut Daffodils.
At Lavally Seamus announced the sad news, and Mass was said for Bob at 7.30 and 8.00 pm.
Noel had been trying to contact our Dublin Houses, by phone. When Mass and confessions were over Bob and I removed all Bob’s things from his room in the Hotel and returned the key to the desk. We then went to the Hospital, and with Frs Greally and Gleason joined two nuns (Sr. Loreto, Superioress and another), saying the Rosary, and then said another - the Glorious Mysteries - taking a decade each.
Later at the Presbytery the Priests served tea. Noel had failed to contact Fr Meade, who was absent when he rang Rathfarnham. Eglinton Road, when contacted, deferred any decisions until Fr. Meade had been consulted. At 11.10 Fr. Provincial was on the phone, and later Fr Meade rang. Arrangements were made for a funeral from Gardiner St - the remains to arrive on Saturday at 5 pm. It was now 11.30 pm, and undertakers had to be contacted to arrange for a removal from the Hospital at 10.15 next day, Saturday. Mass was arranged for 11 o'clock at the Cathedral, the departure from Tuam to Dublin to be immediately afterwards.
Near 12.00 midnight lots were drawn to choose an undertaker without favouritism. McCormicks were drawn. We went to his house and aroused him from bed. Then back to the Hotel to compose an Obituary Notice for the papers. After 1 o’clock Noel went back to the Undertaker with the Notice, and so to bed at 1.30 am.
April 2nd, Saturday: As I had to preach at the 8 am Mass, and say the 10 o'clock Mass, while Seamus was at Lavally, Noel attended the removal from the Hospital at 10.15. The Archbishop arrived during the Rosary and joined in; he recited the removal prayers, and the coffin was carried out by the Administrator Fr Greally, Fr Concannon CC, Fr Gleason, CC, and the Doctor on duty. The Archbishop, Noel and all the priests walked in the funeral through the town after the hearse. The shops closed and pulled their blinds. There was a huge crowd at the Cathedral. The coffin was placed in front of the High Altar and a concelebrated Mass followed. The Archbishop was the Principal Celebrant, and Fr Holden preached a particularly fine eulogy of 7 minutes, in which he included sincere thanks to the Archbishop, clergy and people for their sincere sympathy. The Galway community was represented by Frs McGrath and J Humphries, and Brs Crowe and Doyle. After Mass the Archbishop recited all the preyers over the coffin and led us in the “In Paridisum”...as we walked down the aisle of the Cathedral. In his last sermon Bob had said, “I will never see you sgain ...” and this had made a deep impression on the men. After our unvesting the funeral moved off at about 11.50 am. The hearse was escorted to the boundary of the parish by the Galway Jesuits, and Fr Concannon CC. drove us three missioners in his car.
After early lunch in the Hotel we talked about Bob's favourite prayer which Noel had mentioned in his eulogy, “I'll talk with God”: “There is no death, though eyes grow dim. There is no fear while I'm with Him...”
It seemed fitting that the Archdiocese of Tuam should have been the last place for Bob to preach his last Mission, and begin his New Mission with our departed fellow Jesuits in the Communion of Saints: It had large Irish-speaking areas, and Ballintubber Abbey - “The Church that refused to Die”. The End-of-Mission Confessions began at 1.30 p.m. That evening Noel went to Lavally. Seamus gave a Penitential Service in the Cathedral followed by Mass and Confessions. Next day-Sunday, 3rd we spoke at all the Masses, inviting the congregation to the end-of-Mission ceremonies at 7.30 pm. At concelebrated Mass at 7.30 pm. His Grace, Noel and I were concelebrants. Noel preached. Séamus MacA closed in Lavally. Our supper ended at 10.30, and so to bed at 11.00.
April 4th: Monday. Up at 6.00: After breakfast in the Presbytery I drove the ADM to the funeral in Gardiner Street, where Fr Hanley received us and gave the ADM every hospitality. After the funeral we had dinner in SFX where Fr Greally seemed very pleased.
Introducing the requiem Mass in Gardiner Street Church on the morning of Monday, April 14th, Father Matthew Meade, Superior of Rathfarnham Castle where Father Robert Stevenson was stationed, expressed the sympathy of all present--of his brother Jesuits and all those whom Father Stevenson had helped in so many ways - with Father Stevenson’s sister who was present, having crossed over from Richmond, Surrey. Father Stevenson’s life, said Father Meade, was simply summed up in one word: He was a Missioner. A most gifted and eloquent preacher, he had spent some thirty years preaching the Word of God in many lands. He was a tireless worker. Never, Father Meade said, since he first knew him forty years ago, both as a fellow worker with him on the missions and as Director of the Mission and Retreats Apostolate, had he ever known Father Robert Stevenson to refuse any assignment given to him or to fail to answer any call made upon his services on the grounds of being tired or over-worked or unfit to undertake any work to which he was assigned. The circumstances of his death are proof of this generous spirit. While he was engaged in giving a mission in Tuam Cathedral, he died in the arms of his fellow missioners. It was a glorious ending to a life lived out to the full in god's service,
Some little glimpse of Father Stevenson's spirit is seen in something Father Meade related to the Editor : “I cannot lay my hands upon an edition of the Province News which must have come out in 1965/67 when I wrote notes on the work of the Mission. In one of these editions, I remember, I wrote about an extraordinary achievement of Bob’s, which showed his remarkable versatility. I was asked to supply a priest for a mission: I think it was in Kerry or Co. Cork. There were in this place three workers' camps on some big scheme. One camp was of Germans; another of Irish Speakers, and the third English speaking men and women of the locality. The missioner would have to preach to one section in German; to another in Irish and to the third in English. Bob took on the whole mission by himself and did the whole mission as requested. I think I published a letter from the priest there, giving an account of this remarkable achievement on Bob's part and how well he did it all”.
Father Noel Holden, in whose arms Father Stevenson died in the Hotel where the Missioners were staying while giving a mission in Tuam, said that it was clear that Father Stevenson was unwell for some time before he died. Indeed during lunch on that First Friday (April 1st) the Archbishop of Tuam (Dr. Cunnane) by phone had invited Father Stevenson to stay with the Archbishop for the rest of the Mission. His Grace could see that Father Stevenson was very unwell. At the Requiem Mass in Tuam, the chief concelebrant was His Grace the Archbishop of Tuam. At the Mass Father Holden spoke few words. He drew attention to the fact that when Father Bob died the notes were in his pocket for the sermon he was to have preached that day concerning the Sacred Heart. The concluding words of the sermon were to have been: “No stranger of God”. Father Holden reminded his hearers that these words were very true of Father Stevenson himself. His missionary work was the work of a man whose prayer kept him close to God from whom he sought continually for guidance and help in his work for souls.
Fr Holden said that Fr Stevenson had a big 'mail' from people whom he had at some time directed spiritually during his missions. Father Stevenson never preached without having with him a summary of that special sermon: each such occasion, each such congregation, was new, different. And this in spite of the fact that he had so crowded a programme. Fr Holden noted the programme of Fr Stevenson's closing months. In January he had given a mission in Corby, England; from February 6th to 20th he preached at Knock;from February 27th to March 13th his work was in Beechwood Avenue - where he had been born. He died “in harness” in Tuamn on April 1st during a Mission which with three other Fathers he had begun on March 20th. He was very proficient in preaching in the three Irish dialects: that of Donegal - whose Hills he loved - of Connaught and of Munster.
Father Holden reminds us that Father Stevenson wrote a lot. He published many Messenger Office Pamphlets. In 1975 he published a book on Father Leonard Shiel entitled “Who Travels Alone”. His foreword ended with the words: “I have chosen to call his memory - WHO TRAVELS ALONE, for I think it sums up a man both restless and still reserved, a riddle to all of us, his friends”. Fr Holden said that the core of this tribute could be applied also to Father Stevenson himself, for his life was one of restless thought and work in his efforts to help souls to God.
Father Holden could also show that Fr Stevenson did not easily relinquish any project he had turned his attention to. Fr Stevenson had visited the Holy Land some years ago. He made many written notes and also took many photos with the intention that his impressions and reflections when published might help others who wished to study and visit Our Lord's “Native Land”. The following summer Father Stevenson was in Los Angeles where he prepared his book for publication; but when back in Ireland he found that the case containing his manuscript notes and diaries had got lost. But he would not allow his spiritually helpful undertaking to be frustrated. Between his missions during the next year he made use of free intervals to recall his impressions of the Holy Land and wrote-from memory therefore-his helpful and successful Book: “Where Christ Walked”.
Father Holden adds the small but significant addition which helped Fr Stevenson very much to understand and attract Christians other than Catholics: Father Stevenson's father was a Scotch Presbyterian. His mother's people were from Graiguenamanagh, which he had visited as late as last May when giving a Mission at nearby Loughlinbridge.