University College, Dublin

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University College, Dublin

University College, Dublin

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University College, Dublin

  • UF 85 St Stephen's Green

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University College, Dublin

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Allen, William, 1900-1964, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/553
  • Person
  • 05 October 1900-15 May 1964

Born: 05 October 1900, Slaney Street, Wexford
Entered: 07 October 1918, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1934, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1937
Died: 15 May 1964, Talbot Lodge, Kinsealy, Dublin

Part of the St Stanislaus College community, Tullabeg, County Offaly at the time of death.

by 1929 in Australia - Regency

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
1927-1929 Sent to Australia, being assigned to St Ignatius College, Riverview as a teacher and Prefect of the Chapel.
1929-1931 Xavier College, Burke Hall as Prefect of Discipline and assistant Master of Ceremonies.
1931-1935 Returned to Milltown Park for Theology
1935-1936 Tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales
1936-1938 He returned to Australia and St Aloysius College, Milsons Point as Minister and Director of the Crusaders of the Blessed Sacrament. He also edited the “Aloysian”.
1939-1946 He was appointed to Burke Hall teaching and Prefect of Discipline.
1947 Back in Ireland and spent the rest of his life as assistant Director of the “Ricci Mission unit”, helping with the periodical “Irish Jesuit Missions”.

He was a man noted for his wit and acting ability, but did not seem happy or successful as a classroom teacher.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 2 1947
Clongowes :
Fr. W. Allen, of the Viceprovince of Australia, arrived in Dublin on 16th March, and is now teaching at Clongowes.
Irish Province News 39th Year No 4 1964
Obituary :
Fr William Allen SJ (1900-1964)

Fr. Allen was born in Slaney Street, Wexford, on 5th October 1900. He went to school first at the Mercy Convent, and later, when the family moved to Dublin, to the Christian Brothers School, Synge Street.
It was at a mission given by Fr. Tom Murphy, S.J. in St. Kevin's, Harrington Street, that Fr. Allen decided to become a Jesuit. Fr. Murphy arranged for him to see Fr. Michael Browne, of whom he wrote long after: “I was at once impressed and captivated by the sanctity of the priest”.
Fr. Allen entered in Tullabeg on 7th October 1918. After the noviceship he spent a year in the Juniorate before going to Rathfarnham and U.C.D., where he took his B.A. degree in 1924. For the next three years he studied philosophy in Milltown Park. In 1927 he went to Australia for his teaching, first in Riverview, then in Burke Hall, the preparatory school for Xavier, Melbourne.
In 1931 he returned to Milltown for theology, and was ordained on 31st July 1934. In 1935 he went to St. Beuno's for his tertianship, and in 1936 returned to Australia, teaching at St. Aloysius College, Sydney. In January 1937 he became Minister there, teaching, and in charge of the Crusaders and the Holy Angels Sodality. After some years he was changed to Burke Hall, prefecting and teaching, and in charge of the Apostleship of Prayer.
Fr. Allen returned to Ireland at Easter 1947, and went to Clongowes where during the summer he worked in the people's church. His Sunday sermons were appreciated by the people. However, already he was experiencing the defective hearing and consequent anxiety about Confessions, which were to restrict his work in the coming years. On the Status he was changed to Tullabeg, engaged in the work of the Ricci Mission Unit, as the Stamp Bureau was then called. He remained at this post till the end of his life, nearly seventeen years later. His heart was in Tullabeg, and although he greatly missed the philosophers when they went abroad in 1962, he was grateful to have been left in the place he liked best.
Shortly before Easter of this year he became unwell. An operation was found necessary, and was successfully undergone early in April. Throughout, he was in good spirits, “won all our hearts”, as the surgeon put it. He was sincerely appreciative of the kindness shown him during his illness by Fr. Rector, the doctors, nurses, and by Ours who visited him and supported him by their prayers. A good recovery followed. While waiting for a room in the convalescent home at Talbot Lodge, he spent some days in Milltown Park which he greatly enjoyed. He then went to Talbot Lodge, where every day he was up and about, and able to go out. But on Friday, 15th May, he collapsed and died.
Fr. Allen came of a family of whom two became priests - an Oblate Father, and himself a Jesuit - three became Christian Brothers, and three sisters became nuns in the Convent of the Incarnate Word, Texas.
He was a man of deep faith and simple piety. As a small boy, he used to serve Mass in the Franciscan Friary in Wexford. All his life he remained devoted to the service of the altar, training acolytes in the colleges, and later, when the scholastics left Tullabeg, instructing the small boys from around to serve in the people's church. It was with such younger boys that his work had mostly brought him into touch. His kindly ways, his jokes, won them to him, though their collective exuberance sometimes eluded his control.
The boys valued his kindliness. Some of them, some of their parents, kept in touch with him since his earliest days in Australia. Through the Advocate, coming each week from friends in Melbourne, through the college magazines carefully preserved in his room, through the catalogues and the Australian Province News, he followed with interest the careers of boys he had known, and the work of our Fathers in Australia.
In community life, he was always kindly, and, when in good spirits, cheerful even to infectious hilarity over stories, jokes, verses, sometimes of a nursery rhyme variety.
He preserved to the end and mellowed in that simple piety of childhood, a piety reflected in an exact observance of rule. In times of depression in these latter years, he sometimes, though always without a trace of bitterness, contrasted the little he seemed to himself to have achieved in life, with the accomplishments of others busy in active apostolate. He was consoled by the assurance that a hidden, prayerful life like his own, could do as much for God and souls as any absorbing apostolate.
He had learned well the lessons of his noviceship in Tullabeg, particularly about fidelity to the spiritual duties of rule. His day began with morning oblation and closed with visit after night examen.
In the people's church, which he loved so well and where he usually: said Mass, he celebrated with a prayerful reverence by which he will be best remembered.

Andrews, Edward Joseph, 1896-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/56
  • Person
  • 12 September 1896-13 July 1985

Born: 12 September 1896, Dublin
Entered: 29 September 1913, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1933, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 13 July 1985, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

by 1924 in Australia - Regency
by 1932 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
Edward Andrews came to Australia at the end of his philosophy studies in 1922 and was sent to Riverview. From 1923-25 he was third division prefect, taught in the classroom and assisted with cadets, He seemed to be a born teacher and he enjoyed his time in Sydney.
His subsequent work in Ireland included being prefect of studies in The Crescent and Galway, as well as being rector at The Crescent, finally teaching for 42 years in schools. Andrews was an outstanding Irish scholar, and a fine musician.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 60th Year No 4 1985

Obituary

Fr Edward Joseph Andrews (1896-1913-1985)

Born on 12th September 1896. 29th September 1913: entered SJ. 1913-35 Tullabeg. noviciate. 1915-19 Rathfarnham: 1915-16 home juniorate, 1916-19 studying at UCD. 1919-22 Milltown, philosophy. 1922-25 Australia, regency at Riverview, Sydney. 1925-29 Milltown, theology. 1929-31 Galway, teaching 1931-32 St Beuno's, tertianship.
1932-40 Crescent, prefect of studies. 1940-42 Rathfarnham, minister of juniors. 1942-56 Galway, prefect of studies. 1956-62 Crescent, rector. 1962-85 Galway: teaching till 1972 doc. an. 42); house confessor; 1963-98 spiritual father to community; 1971-85 church and parish confessor.

Edward Joseph Andrews was born in Dublin on 12th September 1896. He was educated at Belvedere and entered the noviciate at Tullabeg on 19th September 1913. During his juniorate in Rathfarnham he took his degree in modern languages, and then went on to philosophy in Milltown. His first experience of college work was in Australia, at Riverview college, where for three years he was Third Prefect. He also taught and was in charge of the junior cadets. He returned to Ireland for theology and was ordained at Milltown Park in 1927.
After tertianship at St Beuno's Fr Eddie went to the Crescent as prefect of studies. He is recalled as having been very active, dedicated and successful. The number of pupils in the school had gone down considerably in previous years: he was responsible for building it up noticeably, especially by giving great attention to the junior classes. He established friendly relations with the parents, and enlisted their aid in securing that sufficient time was given to homework.
In 1940 Fr Eddie was appointed Minister of Juniors, but after two years was transferred to Galway as prefect of studies, which position he was to hold for the next fourteen years. This was probably the happiest and most successful period of his life. His eight years at the Crescent had given him valuable experience, and he was still young enough to undertake his new assignment with enthusiasm. The level of the Irish language was at its highest during these years, largely due to his efforts, and, as previously in the Crescent, he was on intimate terms with both the boys and their parents.
In 1956 he was appointed Rector of the Crescent. He held this position for six years with considerable success, but one gathers that the expectations aroused by his previous success as prefect of studies were not completely fulfilled. It was thought that there were changes in the air which he did not understand, and that his mentality was too greatly influenced by his long sojourn in Galway. At this time also his health began to deteriorate, arthritis making itself clearly shown.
In 1962 Fr Eddie returned to Galway, and was destined to give service to school and church for over twenty more years. For the first few years he did some teaching, but later devoted himself to work in the church, which he was able to continue, though on an ever-diminishing scale, to the end of his life. He had in this period several heart attacks, and his arthritis become more and more crippling. During the last year or so he became almost a complete invalid, and at this time was the recipient of most kind care from Br William McGoldrick and Sr Mary of the Little Sisters of the Assumption.
Towards the end of this year there was a noted deterioration in his condition. On 1st July (a Friday) he had been feeling particularly unwell, and decided not to offer Mass. Later in the evening he felt better and offered Mass at 8 pm, after which Br McGoldrick assisted him to bed. About 1.30 am he rang the emergency bell for assistance, and it was seen that he was near the end. He received the sacrament of the sick, and the doctor was immediately summoned but came only in time to certify death.
Looking back over the long and full life of Fr Eddie Andrews, one sees three outstanding points. Firstly, there was his love of the Irish language. He devoted much time to its study, and made frequent visits to the Gaeltacht, often accompanied by groups of his pupils, to whom he communicated his own genuine enthusiasm. Then there was his great musical talent. He was a good pianist and cellist, had a fine tenor voice, and was the leader of the Milltown choir during philosophy and theology. He encouraged music amongst his pupils, and, during his long period as prefect of studies in Galway, staged, in collaboration with Fr Kieran Ward, a whole series of musical plays. Lastly, one recalls with affection his cheerful and courageous disposition, which remained unchanged during his later years when ill-health made life so difficult for him.
Suaimhneas Dé dá anam.

Andrews, Paul, 1927-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/818
  • Person
  • 10 January 1927-27 November 2018

Born: 10 January 1927, Campsie, Omagh, County Tyrone
Entered: 14 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1962, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 27 November 2018, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1951 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1960 at Nth American Martyrs, Auriesville NY (NEB) making Tertianship
by 1964 at Selly Oak, Birmingham (ANG) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/a-man-of-many-talents/

A man of many talents
Milltown Chapel was packed on Friday morning, 30 November, for the funeral of Paul Andrews SJ, who passed away peacefully in Cherryfield Nursing Home on 27 November. A large number of family members joined Paul’s fellow-Jesuits, and they paid tribute, both by bring up gifts and by recounting stories, to the deep and meaningful role he played in their lives. In his opening remarks, the principal celebrant Bill Callanan SJ noted the many talents Paul had received and the generous way in which he responded to them. Paul was a writer, a therapist, a psychoanalyst, an educationalist, and a spiritual director. He was also a pivotal presence at critical moments in the life of the Irish Jesuit province.

In his homily Bruce Bradley SJ picked up this same theme, emphasising Paul’s willingness and enthusiasm when it came to a new venture. He was particularly heartened by his work in the 1970s chairing several national committees and writing their reports, most notably the ICE (Intermediate Certificate Examination) and FIRE (Future Involvement of Religious in Education). But his involvement in education was not only at a policy level. Over the years he taught in Clongowes, head-mastered in Gonzaga, and was rector of Belvedere College. He also, for 18 years, directed St Declan’s special school, a venture founded by the Jesuits for primary school children who need special attention and support for personal or emotional reasons. He was especially dedicated to this work. Both in St Declan’s and through private practice, Paul served about 10,000 individual clients in psychotherapy or spiritual direction. As Bruce Bradley said, “Paul was effortlessly intelligent and correspondingly but unselfconsciously articulate, but he wore his learning lightly and what he knew and what he could achieve through his education was essentially in aid of the pastoral ministry to which he had dedicated his life.”

Fr Bradley also recalled a curious accomplishment of Paul’s from his time as editor of the Old Clongownian, when he was a scholastic:
In 1955, well-read and highly cultured man that he was and always remained, with full knowledge of what he was doing, he invited a near-contemporary of Joyce to write his reminiscences of the college in the 1890s, in which the writer recalled what he had heard of Joyce at that time. This was the first occasion when any reference had been made to the school’s most famous past pupil for more than fifty years, even his death in 1941, as by then a world-renowned writer, having been passed over without comment in the college magazine and in other Jesuit quarters. Undeterred, not setting out to shock or act as the enfant terrible and draw attention to himself, which was never his way, but judging that it was time and, although even – as it used to be said – ‘a mere scholastic’ (how we wish we had a few more ‘mere scholastics!’) and in his mid-twenties, Paul was quite prepared to break the disapproving silence and begin the process of setting the record straight at last.

In many ways throughout his Jesuit life, Paul proved himself to be a skilled communicator. He wrote over 300 articles for the Sacred Heart Messenger, about 1700 contributions to Sacred Space, a best-selling book called Changing Children, and many sections of other books and magazines, in psychology, Jesuit history, and spirituality. In 2010 he began working in Irish Jesuit communications, editing Irish Jesuit News and Interfuse, and writing the obituaries of Jesuits.

The enthusiasm which Paul showed in all his work ventures also showed in his more leisurely activities. In particular he was a very keen fisherman, in Ireland, England and even New Zealand, which he loved to visit in the later years of his life.

Ar dheis Dhé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at Cross & Passion, Lytham St Annes; CBS, Great Crosby; Belmont Abbey, Hereford; Wimbledon College, London; St Columb’s Derry; Blackrock College, Dublin
1946-1950 Rathfarnham - Studying Classics at UCD
1950-1953 Pullach, Isartel, Germany - Studying Philosophy at Berchmanskolleg
1953-1955 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; CWC Cert in Education
1955-1959 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1959-1960 Auriesville, NY, USA - Tertianship in Our Lady of the Martyrs
1960-1963 Rathfarnham - Minister of Juniors; Inspector of Studies in Colleges of Province; Psychology Studies at UCD
1963-1966 Birmingham, England - Studying Pedagogy at Birmingham University
1966-1972 Gonzaga College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher of Religion; Province Prefect of Studies
1971 Directory of Province Organisation Project
1972-1976 Loyola House - Special Secretariat; Writer
1976-1982 Belvedere College SJ - Rector; Lecturer in Psychology at UCD & Milltown; Director of St Declan’s, Northumberland Road, Dublin
1982-1989 Gonzaga College SJ - Director of St Declan’s; Lecturer in Psychology at UCD; Writer
1988 Psychotherapy Studies - St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin
1989-2000 Leeson St - Director of St Declan’s; Lecturer in Psychology at UCD
1992 Province Consultor; Chair Board of St Declan’s School
1996 Consultant Psychotherapist; Lecturer; Writer
1999 Sabbatical
2000-2006 Manresa House - Rector; Continuing Formation Delegate; Treasurer; Counselling; Writer
2006-2010 Leeson St - Director Communications; Associate Editor Sacred Space; Therapist; Directs Spiritual Exercises; Board Jesuit Communications
2008 Editor “AMDG” & “AMDG Express”
2010-2018 Milltown Park - Assistant Editor Sacred Space; Editor AMDG Express; Directs Spiritual Exercises; Therapist; Writer
2012 Editor Irish Jesuit News; Editor Interfuse; Editor Province Obituaries; Assistant Chaplain at Cherryfield Lodge
2015 Chaplain at Cherryfield Lodge
2016 Editor “Interfuse”; Province Obituaries; Rector’s Admonitor
2017 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Baggot, P Anthony, 1918-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/585
  • Person
  • 21 October 1918-19 March 2001

Born: 01 October 1918, Dublin
Entered: 14 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1954, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 19 March 2001, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Gonzaga College, Dublin community at the time of death.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001

Obituary

Fr Anthony (Tony) Baggot (1918-2000)

21st Oct. 1918: Born in Dublin
Early education at Dominican College, Cabra and Belvedere College
14th Sept. 1936: Entered the Society at St. Mary's, Emo
15th Sept. 1938: First Vows at St. Mary's, Emo
1938 - 1941: Rathfarnham, studying Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1944 - 1946: Belvedere College - Regency
1946 - 1950: Milltown Park - studying Theology
31st July 1949: Ordained at Milltown Park
1950 - 1951: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1951 - 1953: Emo - Socius to Novice Director
1953 - 1959: Clongowes - Rector
2nd Feb. 1954: Final Vows
1959 - 1962: Rathfarnham - Spiritual Father to Juniors; Assistant Director of Retreat House
1962 - 1969: Leeson St. - Director Sodalities; Editor of Madonna
1969 - 1978: CIR - Superior
1978 - 1983: CIR - Director Marriage Courses,
1983 - 2001: Gonzaga - Director Marriage Courses, Courses in spirituality and relationships.

Tony was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in July 1999 suffering from prostate cancer. He remained in reasonably good health until three months before his death, when walking became difficult for him. He died peacefully at Cherryfield at 3.30 a.m. on Monday, 19th March, 2001.

Myles O' Reilly preached at Tony's Funeral Mass...

We are all here because we have known Tony Baggot in some capacity - as a friend, a relative, a Jesuit colleague, a counsellor, a participant in one of his retreats or workshops, or a grateful reader of his writings, or a carer from the Jesuit nursing home in Cherryfield. We have all been deeply touched and enriched by his gentle spirit, by his wisdom, compassion and his kindness, We are here because we want to acknowledge our love for him and our gratitude to God for him. We are only a small fraction of the many thousands of people that Tony touched throughout his 64 years as a Jesuit. To Tony all this positive regard for him would be totally mystifying. He placed himself in the lowest seat at the table of the Lord, but we intuitively know that Jesus will place him in the highest seat - “Well done good and faithful servant, come and inherit the kingdom which God has prepared for you since the beginning of the world”.

Tony had a secret weapon that enabled these qualities that endeared him so much to others to shine forth and through him. A prayer that he loved and said everyday and that he said frequently at his weekly Mass with the boys and the teachers here in Gonzaga for the last 15 years of his life, barring the last two when he got sick. It is a prayer he often used during his Retreats and Workshops also. It goes like this:

Lord Jesus I give you my hands to do your work
I give you my feet to go your way
I give you my ears to listen like you I give you my tongue that I may speak your words
I give you my mind that I may think like you I give you my heart that you may love in me
I give you my spirit that you may pray in me
I give you my whole self that you may grow in me So that it is you, Lord Jesus, that may live, love and pray in me.

What we loved in Tony were the qualities of Jesus shining through him - the Beatitudes - poor in spirit, gentle, merciful, a peacemaker etc. There are many eras to Tony's life, an only child born to Patrick and Harriet Baggot. Tony a Belvederian, who as a boy was a splendid pianist and tennis player, joined the Jesuits at the age of 18 and did the usual training. He was ordained in 1950 and only then did his interesting and varied pastoral life begin. He started with two years as Socius to the Novice Master in Emo.

Then, at the age of 32, he was made Rector of Clongowes for 6 years - he was the youngest Rector ever in the history of the Irish Province. One of our Jesuit Gonzaga community remembers at the age of 11 going to Clongowes and Tony was the first Jesuit he shook hands with. Little did he know that he would be the last Jesuit to hold Tony's band before he died last Monday night - on the Feast of St Joseph, patron of the dying.

After Clongowes Tony went back again to formation work, to being spiritual father to the young Jesuit Juniors in Rathfarnham for 3 years, and also to being a retreat director at the retreat house there. Then, in 1962, he was appointed as Editor of the Madonna, which came on in leaps and bounds under his control. That was where I first met Tony through his writings in the Madonna. I used to marvel, as a novice and a Junior, at his ability to weave passages from novelists like Graham Greene and Morris West into his articles and show how all that is, is Holy, and that God is the deepest inside of us.

Then, in 1969, Tony went to NCIR from where he became director of the Jesuit pre-marriage course for 17 years. He became a legend in his own time in his work. On some of his courses he had over 100 couples, and had no difficulty in filling the Milltown Park hall for a public lecture on marriage. During this time he wrote 3 books on marriage that were best sellers in their day, “To have and to hold”, “You and your marriage” and “Enjoy a happy marriage”.

Tony was a great listener and was particularly sensitive to women. He was an intuitive feeling type, as in the Myers Briggs personality definition, rather than a rational thinker. He learned from experience more than from principles. I am currently chaplain to a group of young married couples that meet every fortnight to help one another grow in their marriage. Only last month one of them read “To have and to hold”, and was enthralled by it, and wants it to be one of the prescribed books for the group. During these 17 years Tony gradually got into counselling, and helped hundreds, if not thousands, of couples.

One of those couples who met Tony 38 years ago, and who are here today, went to Tony with a dilemma – The mother of the Bride to be, who was not too keen to let her daughter go, said her daughter was too young and wasn't ready to get married etc. Tony paused for a while then broke into a grin. “Why don't you go to the maternity boutique in Leeson Street, and buy a maternity dress and hang it up in your wardrobe - that will surely help her to let go!!!”

Tony came to Gonzaga here in 1983 and continued his marriage work for 3 more years. After that he became a full time therapeutic counsellor and ran courses on spirituality and relationships in Tabor House, Chrysalis Conference Centre, and in the Dominican centre in Sion Hill. He became very interested in healing early childhood wounds and pioneered some splendid work in this area, which is still carried on in Chrysalis today.

He never charged any money for his work but he received so many donations that he refused to take a state pension – “Others might need it more than me”, he would say. All this wonderful productivity and creativity came from Tony's depths and from his spirituality. Some quotations from Tony's writings will give us an idea of what resonated with Tony.

Inevitably we live in the presence of holy mystery, a presence we cannot escape, for we are immersed in it. In music, in the sea, in a flower, in a leaf, in an act of kindness, I can see what we call God in all these things."

I said to the cherry tree, “Tell me of God”, and the cherry tree blossomed. That is more eloquent than any definition of God for me.

When I address God I do not address one who is outside. God is the deepest inside of everything, myself included, and the goal of personal growth is the birth of God in the soul. Life itself is the primary sacrament. Religious faith is human life seen as a disclosure of God.

What is called losing the faith is often not so, but a search for a deeper one.

God speaks from the depths of the heart, not the top of the head.

The movement of God, or the movement, which is God, activates me, flows through me.

Rather than governing from without, God is enlivening from within.

This one work has to do - Let all God's glory through (G M Hopkins)

Spiritual life is the flowering cosmic energy and Jesus, as the high point of God's presence, released a new spiritual power - the Christ power. That presence which radiated from his physical body in Palestine is to radiate through his mystical body in the world now.

He was one who, precisely by being human in the fullest degree, was God's existence in the world -- His divinity or godly quality was not something different from his humanity but was his humanity at its highest point. The Ignatian description for Tony's spiritual journey during these fruitful years would be that he lived the grace of the Second Week. That is, working and labouring with Christ in bringing about his kingdom in the world. But little did he know that, like his master, Jesus, his last few years would be a sharing in the sufferings of Christ before he entered into his glory.

Tony gave his last retreat almost three years ago. From then on his health went slowly into decline. The slow onslaught of what turned out to be cancer of the bone began. Tony lost all his physical energy, he lost all taste for things he liked - gardening, reading and writing. His memory was deteriorating, too. He could no longer do his counselling. He loved being a priest and felt he understood it more richly than ever. He cried with frustration at the loss of not being able to minister any more.

The black dog of depression set in with bouts of scrupulosity. He felt so guilty at occupying a room in Cherryfield at such expense. Surely he wasn't sick enough. He was, like Christ on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me”. He felt so empty. The days were so long - nothing to do - nothing to live for – he couldn't pray, read, think.

Even though this was his inner state most of the time, he was always so gracious with the nurses, never failed to be aware of any act of kindness and always quick to thank them. Thank you for your care' he used to say and they grew to love him. They could see that there was something special about Tony, a childlike transparency, a constant sincere gratitude, a freedom from pretence, an honesty of feeling whether positive or negative, never a sharp or nasty word - always gentle. Their acts of kindness were his experience of God during those last dark years, as also were the visits of his friends that he so much appreciated.

Last September a change came about in Tony - a peace came into his soul and it came from saying over and over again this simple prayer every night in the dark of the chapel for half an hour. There was more surrender and humble simplicity in this prayer than in the previous one. Through this prayer he found the peace and the capacity to accept what was happening to him.

I place my hands in yours. I place my will in yours, Lord
I place my will in yours. I place my days in yours, Lord
I place my days in yours. I place my thoughts in yours, Lord
I place my thoughts in yours. I place my heart in yours, Lord
I place my heart in yours. I place my hands in yours, Lord I place my hands in yours.

Angela Ashwin

Whenever his friends would visit him in Cherryfield he would always be glad to give them his blessing before they left. He would always say with a sign of the Cross on the forehead - May Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit guard you and guide you on your way'. One day, close to his death, I was with him, and was about to leave, but Tony wasn't offering his blessing. “Aren't you going to give me your blessing?” He looked confused. The words wouldn't come to him. And then, after a pause, he said “My suffering is my prayer for you”. We can be sure that his sufferings were offered for all of us, not just me.

All he had left to give were his sufferings and his gratitude. Like his saviour on the cross, on Monday night, surrounded by a few friends Tony's work was finished. With Him he could say “It is finished. Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit”. “Lord Jesus receive my soul”. A few hours before he died, Tony's eyes came back from their unconscious glazed state, and focusing, looked intently across to the far window as if he was seeing somebody, he smiled and sank back into his glazed look again. Blessed are those who die in the Lord. Happy indeed, the Spirit says. Now they can rest forever after their work, since their good deeds go with them. (Apoc. 14.13) We surely have an advocate in heaven in Tony Baggott.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 2001

Obituary

Tony Baggot SJ

The Community and College gladly mourn Fr. Tony Baggot SJ, who died peace fully after a long illness on the 19th March, the feast of St. Joseph: gladly, because he richly deserves to be with his Lord; mourn, because we have lost a truly gentle man, who brought peace, comfort and solace to so many of us and others over a long life. Tony's main work throughout his 64 years of Jesuit life was in relationship counselling, especially marriage and personal development counselling. Through his pre-marriage courses, which he directed for 17 years, he let Christ touch many thousands of lives and relieved so many from wrongful perceptions of God; Tony's love and care modelled God's love for them.

Tony came to Gonzaga in 1983 to continue his very extensive counselling prac tice. He joined in with the College pastoral programme by helping with the daily Morning Mass, the sacrament of Reconciliation and other liturgical celebrations, especially at Christmas and Easter and Graduation. His stately figure roamed the grounds, engaged many in conversation, pointing out God's gesture to us in the environment; Tony contributed to beautifying the environment by his work on the rockery beside the tennis courts and the flowerbed at the house. Tony's knowledge of the trees, their provenance and characteristics, was amazing, but only to those who did not appreciate his integration of the whole of creation with God's caring provision for all our needs, body, mind and spirit.

Tony's touchstone prayer reveals the man and the spirit he would have us live by:

Lord Jesus I give you my hands to do your work
I give you my feet to go your way
I give you my ears to listen like you
I give you my tongue that I may speak your words
I give you my mind that I may think like you
I give you my heart that you may love in me
I give you my spirit that you may pray in me
I give you my whole self that you may grow in me
So that it is you, Lord Jesus, that may live, love and pray in me.
(From Fr. Myles O'Reilly's homily)

Tony's Funeral Mass in the college was attended by his cousins, a goodly number of his Jesuit confreres, and a not surprisingly large number of friends and acquain tances. The occasion was graced by an excellent homily by Fr. Myles O'Reilly SJ and the Senior Choir, under the baton of Mr. Potts and organist Mr. Murphy. Fr. Rector and the Community would like to thank all who participated in celebrat ing Tony's life and who have conveyed their sympathies.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Fr John A Dunne SJ

Bannon, John P, 1829-1913, Jesuit priest and confederate chaplain

  • IE IJA J/40
  • Person
  • 29 December 1829-14 July 1913

Born: 29 December 1829, Roosky, County Roscommon
Entered: 09 January 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 16 June 1853 - pre Entry
Final vows: 02 February 1876
Died: 14 July 1913, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

2nd year Novitiate at Leuven, Belgium (BELG)
Chaplain in American Civil War

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Born in Roosky, but his mother was only visiting from Dublin at the time.

On the evening of his death the Telegraphy published an article on him headed “A Famous Irish Jesuit - Chaplain in American War” :
“The Community of the Jesuit Fathers in Gardiner St have lost within a comparatively short time some of their best known and most distinguished members. They had to deplore the deaths of Nicholas Walsh, John Naughton, John Hughes and Matthew Russell, four men of great eminence and distinction, each in his own sphere, who added luster to their Order, and whose services to the Church and their country in their varied lines of apostolic activity cannot son be forgotten. And now another name as illustrious is added to the list. The Rev John Bannon, after two years of inactivity, of sufferings patiently borne, passed away in the early hours of this morning. His death had not been unexpected, but his calm endurance and powerful vitality sustained him to the end, retaining his consciousness and interest in life up till a few hours before he passes away.
Father Bannon was a man of no ordinary gifts. He was a personality of massive character, with a keen intellect, and a mind well stored from his world-wide experience and extensive reading in Theology and literature of the day. Add to this a commanding presence, which compelled reverence and admiration, especially over those over whom his influence was more immediately felt, and the possession of a voice of peculiar sweetness and power, and he stood out as a man fully equipped as a pulpit orator of the very first rank, with a force and charm rarely equalled. He had a vast experience of life, garnered in many lands. Connected by family ties with Westmeath (he was a cousin of Bishop Higgins of Ballarat), his early years were passed in Dublin, where in due time he passed on to Maynooth, where after a distinguished course, He was ordained Priest by Cardinal Cullen in 1853, and he used to recount with pride that he was the first Priest ordained by that eminent churchman. After his Ordination, he came under the influence of Bishop Kenrick of St Louis (from Dublin), to whom he volunteered for work in America.
During the twelve years before the Civil War he led the active and full life of a parochial missionary in St Louis, wit a zeal and energy that are not yet forgotten. The stress of events caused him to cast his lot with the Southern Army, to whose memory he was ever loyal and true, and as Chaplain to the Confederates he went through all the hardships and sacrifices of the campaign, saw all its phases, faced all its dangers, until its final stages ended in peace.
The vicissitudes of life led him back to Europe, where in 1864, on his return from a visit to Rome, he joined the Jesuit Order as a novice in Milltown 09 January 1865, being 35 years of age, and in the full flush of his power and usefulness. After his Noviceship he was sent to Louvain for further studies, and returning to Ireland he was appointed to the Missionary Staff. Few Priests were better known than he was during the years when, as companion of Robert Haly and William Fortescue, his apostolic labours had for their field, almost every diocese in Ireland. After years of arduous toil in the missionary field, many positions of trust in the Order were committed by his Superiors to him in Belvedere, Tullabeg, UCD and at length he was appointed Superior of Gardiner St in 1884. Here for upwards of thirty years he laboured with an ardour and energy characteristic of his powerful will and kindly heart. During all these years his work of predilection was the formation and direction of his great Sodality for Commercial Young Men. To this work he devoted a zeal and energy which were only equalled by the devotedness and affection of those for whom he so unselfishly laboured. Many will have cause to regret in his loss a true friend, a generous benefactor, a wise and comforting adviser. But to his brothers in religion, to those who knew him in the intimacy of his daily life, his memory will remain as that of a man of deeply religious feeling, of profound humility and simplicity of character, and, added to great strength of will, a heart as tender as a mother’s.”

Note from Edward Kelly Entry :
He was ill for a very short time, and died peacefully and happily at Gardiner St. The Minister Father Bannon and Father Joe McDonnell were present at his death.

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

Bannon, John (1829–1913), catholic priest and Confederate chaplain, was born 29 December 1829 at Rooskey, Co. Roscommon, son of James Bannon, a Dublin grain dealer, and his wife, Fanny (née O'Farrell). Bannon had a brother and at least one sister. He was educated locally in Dublin, at Castleknock College (1845–6), and at St Patrick's College, Maynooth (minor seminary, 1846–50; theology course, 1850–53). He was ordained to the priesthood on 16 June 1853; some months later he received permission to transfer to the archdiocese of St Louis, Missouri.

Bannon arrived at St Louis early in 1855; after serving as assistant pastor at the cathedral for some months he became assistant pastor of the church of the Immaculate Conception, and in January 1857 pastor. He appears to have been recognised as a man of ability, for in September 1858 Archbishop Francis Patrick Kenrick (qv) made him secretary to the Second Provincial Council of St Louis (a meeting of the bishops of the American midwest), and the following November appointed him pastor of St John's parish in the west end of St Louis, with a commission to build a large new church and auxiliary bishop's residence. Bannon proved an effective pastor and fund-raiser; the church was largely complete by March 1861. He also became chaplain to a Missouri state militia company.

Missouri was a slave-holding state, and as the southern states threatened to secede from late 1860 tension developed between supporters and opponents of secession. In May 1860 the St Louis militia units (which had been mustered in camp by the pro-southern governor) were surrounded and forced to surrender to Federal troops supported by union volunteers. Father Bannon may have been among the prisoners (who were subsequently released on parole). During the fighting between Confederate and Federal forces in autumn 1861, many of the disbanded militia made their way south to join the Confederate army. On 15 December 1861 Bannon joined them (without the permission of Archbishop Kenrick, who maintained strict neutrality); Bannon had earlier expressed Confederate views from the pulpit, which placed him in danger of arrest. Bannon's admirers tend to emphasise his pastoral concern for his militiamen and his abandonment of bright chances of promotion in St Louis. In his writings and sermons he presented the Confederacy as defenders of Christian–agrarian civilisation against an aggressive, materialistic North.

Bannon reached the Confederate army near Springfield, Missouri, on 23 January 1862. He was attached to the Missouri light artillery but served as a chaplain-at-large to catholic soldiers; since he was not a regimental chaplain he did not receive official recognition (or a salary) until 12 February 1863, when his appointment by the Confederate war department was backdated to 30 January 1862. He kept a diary of his experiences as a chaplain, which he gave to an American historian in 1907; it is now in the University of South Carolina archives and formed the basis of Philip Tucker's The Confederacy's fighting chaplain (1992). He also wrote ‘Experiences of a Confederate chaplain’ (published in Letters and Notices of the English Jesuit Province, Oct. 1867, 202–6).

Bannon was present at the battle of Elkhorn Tavern, Missouri (7–8 March 1862), and accompanied his unit through the fighting around the strategic rail depot of Corinth in northern Mississippi in 1862–3 and on its posting to Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi river, in March 1863. Broad-shouldered and standing over six feet tall, Bannon was a conspicuous figure on the battlefield and many sources testify to his zeal and physical courage in performing his religious duties during the fighting. (He also served as an artilleryman at moments of crisis.) He remained at Vicksburg throughout the siege until the fortress surrendered on 4 July 1863 and its occupants were taken prisoner. After his release on 4 August Bannon went to Richmond, where on 30 August he was asked by Jefferson Davis and the Confederate secretary of state, Judah Benjamin, to undertake a mission to Ireland to discourage recruitment for the Federal forces.

Bannon arrived in Ireland in November 1864. He wrote to the Nation under the pen name ‘Sacerdos’, supplied John Martin (qv) with material for a series of pro-southern letters, and circulated to parish priests and intending emigrants documents defending the southern cause and quoting pro-Confederate statements by prominent nationalists. In February and March 1864 he toured Ireland giving political lectures. His reports to Benjamin (preserved in the Pickett papers, Library of Congress) claim considerable success in discouraging emigration. The Confederate congress voted him its thanks.

In June 1864 Bannon accompanied Bishop Patrick Lynch (qv) of Charleston on a visit to Rome seeking papal diplomatic recognition. By the time his mission was completed it was clear that the Confederacy faced defeat, and neither the civil nor ecclesiastical authorities in St Louis were likely to look favourably on Bannon. He therefore undertook the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius Loyola (in a thirty-day retreat) and at their conclusion successfully petitioned for admission into the Irish province of the Jesuit order. He spent a year in the Jesuit novitiate at Milltown Park, Dublin (1865–6), and studied dogmatic and pastoral theology at Louvain (1866–7). In 1867–70 he travelled Ireland as part of the Jesuit team of missionary preachers. Thereafter he founded several sodalities in Dublin. The best-known of these was the Young Businessmen's Sodality, to which he remained attached until 1911; he may have been the model for the preacher Father Purdom in the story ‘Grace’ by James Joyce (qv). Bannon was regarded as a particularly eloquent preacher and continued to travel widely within Ireland, holding retreats and giving sermons on special occasions. He served as minister at Tullabeg College in 1880–81 and at the UCD residence in 1882–3, but he proved to lack administrative ability. He may have been the John Bannon who wrote a short life of John Mitchel (qv) published in 1882.

Bannon was superior of the Jesuit community in Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin (1883–9), where he spent the remainder of his life. He never returned to St Louis but continued to correspond with, and receive visits from, old military acquaintances and southern historians. In November 1910 he suffered a slight stroke, which left him partially paralysed. He died 14 July 1913 at the Jesuit residence in Upper Gardiner Street and was buried in the Jesuit plot at Glasnevin cemetery.

‘Experiences of a Confederate chaplain’, Letters and Notices of the English Jesuit Province (Oct. 1867), 202–6; Philip Tucker, The Confederacy's fighting chaplain (1992); William Barnaby Faherty, Exile in Erin: a confederate chaplain's story: the life of Father John Bannon (St Louis, 2002); James M. Gallen, ‘John B. Bannon: chaplain, soldier and diplomat’, www.civilwarstlouis.com/History/fatherbannon; http://washtimes.com/civilwar (websites accessed 10 May 2006)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-confederate-priest/

As he lay in prison after the defeat of his troops in the American Civil War, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, received a small token of comfort from Pope Pius IX. It was a crown of thorns, together with a portrait of the pontiff, as a sign of sympathy and support. The man most likely responsible for bringing Davis so firmly to the Pope’s attention was an Irish Jesuit, Fr John Bannon. Fr Bannon became a prominent leader of the Irish community in St Louis and an indefatigable chaplain during the war. He was sent by Davis to Ireland to urge emigrants not to sign up with the Union, and he used his time in Europe to visit the Pope. He had several long audiences with Pio Nono, during which he pressed – successfully, apparently – the Confederate cause.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Bannon 1829-1913
At Roosky County Roscommon on December 29th 1829 was born Fr John Bannon. He was the first priest ordained by Cardinal Cullen in Maynooth in 1853. He came under the influence of Archbishop Kendrick of St Louis USA, and thus came to volunteer for work in America.

For twelve years he led the active and full life of a parochial missionary in St Louis, with a zeal and energy not yet forgotten. The came the American Civil War and Fr Bannon became a chaplain to the Confederate Forces with whom he sympathised.

Having done valiant service in this war until its close, he returned to Europe, where he joined the Society becoming a novice at Milltown Park in 1866, being then 35 years of age.

His first appointment was to the Mission Staff where his companions were Frs Robert Haly and William Fortescue. After years of arduous toil in the missionary field, he held various posts of trust, in Belvedere, Tullabeg, University College, until finally he was made Superior at Gardiner Street in 1884. Here for upwards of thirty years he laboured with his characteristic energy and zeal. He founded and directed for years the Sodality for Commercial Young Men,

The last two years of his life were years of inactivity and suffering patiently borne, and he died peacefully on July 14th 1913.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 113 : Autumn 2002

LEST HE BE FORGOTTEN : JOHN B BANNON

Kevin A Laheen

On 29 December 1829, Mrs. John Bannon was travelling to Dublin to visit her sister who was ill. On reaching the village of Rooskey she went into labour and gave birth to her son, John.

He was educated at Castleknock College, and later on entered Maynooth College to prepare for the priesthood. Just short of his twenty fourth birthday, he was ordained by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Paul Cullen. After a few months of pastoral work in the diocese of Dublin, he received permission from the same Archbishop to transfer to the diocese of St. Louis, USA, where Archbishop Peter R Kenrick was experiencing a shortage of priests in his diocese.

It was not long before the people and priests of St. Louis realised that John was a very gifted preacher. He was said to have “possessed a commanding pulpit presence”, standing as he did, well over six feet in height, and possessing a voice that needed no amplification. While still in his mid-twenties he was appointed pastor and built the magnificent parish church of St. John in downtown St. Louis. This church serves the people of that parish to this day. Very soon there was a feeling among the clergy that the next diocese that fell vacant would be filled by him. However, John had other ideas. He resigned from his parish and joined the confederate army as chaplain.

Stories of his courage, which at times bordered on the imprudent, are legion in the accounts of the various campaigns in which he was engaged. Frequently he crossed into enemy territory to absolve and anoint some of the enemy soldiers who had fallen in battle. When warned about this rashness he merely replied that when God wanted him he was ready to go. There were times when he had escapes which others described as miraculous, such as the time when a federal shell crashed through the church where he was offering mass for the troops.

At the end of hostilities Father Bannon was technically a prisoner of war and confined in his movements. However at the invitation of the southern president, Jefferson Davis, he ran the blockade and crossed the Atlantic in the Robert E. Lee. This was the ship's last escape. The British captured it on its return journey. In 1863 Bishop Patrick Lynch, Bishop of Charleston, and Father John formed a delegation to Pope Pius IX to explain the cause of the Confederacy, which was more friendly to the Catholic Church than the northern states.

When he returned to Dublin he spent much of his time dissuading young prospective emigrant Irishmen from joining the northern cause as he had first-hand knowledge of how young emigrant men were used as cannon fodder by the Federal army. Some New York papers had stated “we can afford to lose a few thousand of the scum of the Irish”. He also exhorted parish priests to influence young men in a similar manner. While in Rome he had made a retreat and also met the Jesuit General. He felt drawn to the Society and on 9th January 1865 he entered the recently opened Jesuit novitiate at Milltown Park.

Most of his life as a Jesuit was spent in Gardiner Street where he was Superior from 1884-90. His reputation as a preacher was well known and he was in constant demand nationwide for his services when sermons on special occasions were needed. Canon McDermot of the diocese of Elphin was a great church-builder and when he died many of these churches were still very much in debt. In November, 1871, Father Bannon preached a charity sermon in Strokestown to help reduce the debt on the new parish church. The Sligo Champion reported that the sermon was such a success that the church debt was almost wiped out. Being, as he was, a native of the diocese, the people regarded him as one of their own, and this may have moved them to be more than normally generous.

After many years of service in Gardiner Street, he died there in July 1913. The Irish Catholic reported that seventy nine priests attended his funeral Mass, and that over a thousand members of his famous Sodality walked behind his coffin on its way to Glasnevin cemetery. As they laid him to rest, he left behind him a life that was as fruitful as it had been varied.

Note: The definitive biography of this great priest is at present being written, and will be launched in St. Louis this autumn.

Barden, Thomas, 1910-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/57
  • Person
  • 31 March 1910-03 June 1997

Born: 31 March 1910, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1945
Died: 03 June 1997, McQuoin Park Infirmary, Hornsby, NSW, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Aloysius College, Milsons Point, Sydney, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
A twin - his sister Hyacinth was a Loreto Sister and worked in Africa. His brother William was a Dominican and Archbishop of Tehran until the overthrow of the Shah.

His early education was with the Presentation Sisters and the Christian Brothers. In 1922 he gained a scholarship to Mungret College SJ.

1929-1932 He did his Juniorate at Rathfarnham graduating BA from University College Dublin in Celtic studies.
1932-1935 He was at St Aloysius College, St Helier, Jersey for Philosophy, which gained him a lifelong interest in French language.
1935-1939 He made Regency at St Aloysius College, Sydney, and accepted Australian citizenship in 1936.
1939-1943 He studied Theology at Milltown Park Dublin
1943-1944 He made Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1944-1945 He was at Liverpool, England doing parish work.
1945-1947 He returned to Australia and St Aloysius, Milsons Point.
1948-1952 He was appointed Rector at St Louis School, Perth. He became popular there with local families who helped develop the oval facilities for the school. His students there remember his wit, shrewdness and ability to inspire them.
1964-1961 He was appointed Headmaster at St Ignatius College, Norwood. His style and manner during these years did much to establish the tradition of rapport and affection between staff and students. He was a firm disciplinarian, and the tongue lashings he gave were formidable, as was his humour and the twinkle in his eye, which indicated a man who loved the school, the work he was doing and the boys he taught. He also employed the first lay teachers there.
1962-1964 He was dean of students at St Thomas More University College, Perth, but he did not enjoy working with tertiary students.
1965-1968 He returned to St Louis, Perth, as Vice-Rector and Prefect of Studies.
1969-1974 He was a respected French teacher and Form Master At St Aloysius College, Sydney.
1975-1984 He was French teacher and Form Master at St Ignatius College, Athelstone SA, and was also the community bursar there.
1985-1993 He was back at St Aloysius, Sydney. where he taught for a number of years.
1993 For the last seven years at St Aloysius his memory had become unreliable, and so he moved to the retirement home at McQuoin Park, where he was happy and well cared for. When his health failed finally, he was transferred to the Greenwich Convalescent Hospital.

He was very Irish, a great conversationalist and storyteller, entertaining and witty. He was a good companion and a joy at any party. As an administrator he was efficient and fair, and incisive in his decisions. He had a gift for preaching and was a good retreat giver, though not creative in thought. He was experiences as a wise counsellor and a fair judge of human nature. He made many friends among the parents in Perth, Adelaide and Sydney, some of whom kept lifelong contact.

Barrett, Charles Harold, 1903-1944, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/59
  • Person
  • 13 December 1903-07 March 1944

Born: 13 December 1903, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny
Entered: 31 August 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1938
Died: 07 March 1944, Dublin

Part of Clongowes Wood College SJ community at time of his death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1937 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 19th Year No 2 1944

Obituary :

Father Charles H Barrett SJ (1903-1944)

Fr. Charles H. Barrett (1903-1944). Fr. Barrett was born in Kilkenny, but spent most of his early life in Tralee where his father was Manager of the Provincial Bank. He came to Clongowes in 1916 and left in 1921. During that time be gave promise of a distinguished future; he was a prize-winner in the College Debating Society, he won the Palles Gold Medal for Mathematics, and he secured an exhibition in the Senior Grade Intermediate examination.
He entered the Society on August 31st, 1921, at Tullabeg, and after his noviceship he studied for the B.Sc. Degree at Rathfarnham, obtaining Honours at the Degree examination in 1926. He completed his Philosophy course with distinction at Milltown Park, and in 1928 returned to Clongowes as a Scholastic, teaching Mathematics in the honour's classes with conspicuous success. It was while he was at Clongowes that he revealed his great organising abilities which he was to devote so generously to God's service later on during the relatively short years of his priesthood. He went to Milltown for Theology in 1932 and was ordained in 1935. After the Tertianship in St. Beuno's, he was appointed Prefect of Studies in Mungret in 1937, and remained there until 1941 when he came to Clongowes again to hold the same position there.
In both Colleges he brought his systematic mind to bear on the special problems that confront every school, and the splendid examination results obtained in each under his direction are a proof of the success of his method. Masters and boys who worked under him will long remember his unflagging interest, his wise counsel, his industry and bis complete lack of consideration for himself. Those who knew him best will recall his solid piety and the edifying regularity of his religious life. Nor will they forget his readiness to help others in their difficulties and, one of his most characteristic traits, his continual good humour and cheerfulness.
For many years Fr. Barrett had not known a day's illness, and so the shock for those who knew him was all the greater when death, with tragic suddenness overtook him. On Tuesday, March 7th, he cycled quietly to Dublin to see the Senior Schools' Cup match against Blackrock College. Although the match was being closely contested, Fr. Charlie showed no signs of great excitement but was talking calmly to a friend who stood beside him. Suddenly he collapsed, unconscious, and was attended to immediately by two doctors, one of them a former pupil of his own. They quickly saw that he was dying, and Fr. Rector at once gave absolution. Fr. Barrett was carried into the pavilion and there anointed. He never regained consciousness, and died within five minutes of his falling down. His body was removed to St. Vincent's Hospital and on the next day brought to Clongowes. A very large number, including the Blackrock College team, were present at the removal of the remains.
The funeral at Clongowes was most impressive, and, in spite of transport difficulties, was attended by a representative gathering of the clergy, religious and secular. Fr. Provincial presided at the Office and officiated at the grave, while Fr. Rector sang the Requiem Mass. Several of the Theologians from Milltown Park were present in the choir. The boys, by their own wish, carried the coffin to the grave while the rosary was recited. The College L.D.F., in which Fr. Barrett had taken great interest, provided a Guard of Honour. Very many letters and telegrams of sympathy, and a large number of Mass Cards, testified to the widespread sorrow that was felt at the sad news of Fr. Barrett's death. R.I.P.

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father Charles Barrett SJ

Fr Charlie Batrrett was a Clongownian of the Clongownians. Yet not in any irritating or bigoted sense; for Mungret boys will long remember his love and service of their school; and he had a most genuine interest in the welfare of Irish Education, extending beyond the classrooms of Clongowes and showing itself in the careful, thorough work on draft-reports and schedules which he so often prepared for our educational authorities. But it remains that the old school had a very special place in his heart, and nothing that touched its interests escaped his attention or failed for lack of his assistance.

As a boy at school he had been an out standing figure in a very gifted group and gave promise of a distinguished future. He was a prize-winner in the Debating Society, he won the Palles Gold Medal for Mathematics, and he secured an exhibition in the Senior Grade examination. He was already universally respected, not only as a member of the Sodality, but as one whose avowed intention of becoming a Jesuit was something which boys felt did honour to him and to the Order.

On his return to Clongowes as a Scholastic, he at once undertook the teaching of the Senior Honours Mathematical classes, then, as now, a very difficult task as the high standards demanded by the programme were within the reach of only a comparatively small minority. He combined always an excellent judgment of the talent required and a clear, methodical exposition which enabled the maximum number to profit by the special training which advanced Mathematics affords. To this task, as to all other tasks, he brought a most conscientious industry that was an example to pupil and colleague alike. During this time the enforced absences of the Prefect of Studies because of ill-health gave Mr Barrett an opportunity to show, as an unofficial understudy, a marked capacity for organization and for loyal co-operation.

On the completion of his theological studies, Fr Charlie went to Mungret, and there for four years was a most successful Prefect of Studies, bringing his systematic mind to bear on the special problems which confront every school and exploiting to the full the special advantages Mungret offered. It was far more than a splendid examination record that the College owed to him, though that record was certainly a proof of the success of his method.

It was therefore not until the war-years were upon us, with their many trials and few advantages, that he came to Clongowes to take over the office previously held by Fr Rector. Though Fr Barrett himself was one who would have passionately repudiated the notion that any individual is necessary to God's plans for Clongowes, yet it must be owned that his early loss was and is a real blow to the school. For in a brief time he had made it quite clear that he possessed many, indeed, almost all the qualities needed for a great Prefect of Studies, and possessed them in remarkable abundance. Not a few foresaw for him a long life of ever-growing efficiency, authority and honour. God took the beginnings in token of the finished work.

The first and most obvious virtues which he brought to the position were the mathe matician's qualities of a clear head, a mind patient to drudgery, ordered thought and a capacity for long planning. No detail was too small for him, nothing was forgotten or mis placed. His tidy desk was the symbol of his orderly school. But he was much more than a routine administrator, If he possessed in a : remarkable degree the official mind, with its affection for the written memorandum, the schedule, the procedure, he had also an exceptional willingness to innovate after all the pros and cons of innovation had been con sidered. To take only a few examples, and those deliberately chosen outside his own proper sphere, it is right that Clongownians should know how enthusiastically he supported the inauguration of the LDF in the College; with what care and patience he arranged the method by which our boys might take a practical part in the country's agricultural revival. Indeed it is remarkable to look back and see how vivid was his interest in and support of every activity in the school life : his unfailing attendance at debates, his assistance in play productions, his now only too clearly tragically realized interest in the school games. To this was added a very strong will, so that he was unalterably fair, very rarely, if ever, over severe, while he had no temptation at all to gain an easy popularity by spoiling boys or by extravagant concessions or remis sions. Of a most happy and equable temper, he was entirely free from any form of personal dislike, appreciated “straight talk” and encouraged it from boys and masters, and was accessible to all and at all times.

A picture, therefore, emerges of a man giving himself wholly and entirely, without other interest or preoccupation, to the boys whom God had entrusted to his case. This they realized, if not always at once, at any rate in time, when his constant preoccupation had followed each one with an amazing and generous solicitude into the affairs of their after-lives. For no trouble was too great for him to take if he could help one of his old boys whether of Clongowes or Mungret. He was no orator and is better remembered, perhaps, reading those balanced and faintly ironical reports that he delivered on prize-giving occasions.

But many of us will remember the sincere and simple words in which he called us to a duty not romantic but noble, the example he gave us to that end in his too short but laborious life, and the promise of a better reward than prizes or medals--that reward which he was never slow to hold up equally before the schoolroom plodder and the schoolroom genius whose lives were motived by supernatural ideals. It is his glory to have been something of both, and his own life so inotived will surely have a great reward.

We tender our deepest sympathies to his mother in her tragic loss.

MB

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father Charles H Barrett SJ

With sorrow we pay our tribute to the memory of Father Barrett. He was with us so recently and he was so very much a part of our lives here that his loss was in the deepest sense personal. He spent four years here and in that time, apart from his routine work which was unremitting and exact, he identified himself with Mungret. Every thing which concerned the boys and the school was of interest to him and became an object of his zeal. Every boy was a personal problem for him and his help followed them out of class into the world. The whole school felt the impact of his energy and all responded to that nice combination of drive and good humour which was his peculiar gift. It is scarcely necessary to say that the boys recognised his ability and his interest in them. They knew that he was working to make them not only successful men, if that were possible, but better still, good Christian men. His name is a household word in Mungret yet, and Mungret will not forget him in their prayers, Holy Mass was celebrated for the repose of his soul, the whole school attending. RIP

Barrett, Cyril D, 1925-2003, Jesuit priest, art historian, and philosopher

  • IE IJA J/561
  • Person
  • 09 May 1925-30 December 2003

Born: 09 May 1925, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, ST Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 30 December 2003, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1962 at St Ignatius, Tottenham London (ANG) studying
by 1963 at Mount Street, London (ANG) studying
by 1964 at Church of the Assumption, Warwick (ANG) studying
by 1973 at Warwick University (ANG) teaching
by 1993 at Campion Hall, Oxford (BRI) teaching

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Barrett, (Denis) Cyril
by Patrick Maume

Barrett, (Denis) Cyril (1925–2003), Jesuit priest, art critic and historian, and philosopher, was born Denis Barrett in Dublin on 9 May 1925 (Cyril was his name in religion). He was the son of Denis Barrett, the last assistant commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police. His mother died of cancer when he was aged three, and his father subsequently remarried; the two marriages produced four sons and a daughter. Young Denis grew up at the family home in Booterstown, south Co. Dublin; his relationship with his stepmother Evelyn was close and affectionate. The family background was well‐to‐do catholic with some landed gentry elements which might have been described as ‘castle catholic’ but which offered scope for self‐expression, often eccentric; like several of his ancestors, Barrett was noted for charm, eccentricity, and intellectual brilliance.

He was educated at Killashee school in Naas, at Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, and at Clongowes. He joined the Jesuits in 1942, underwent a Thomist training in philosophy at the Jesuit college in Tullabeg, and studied theology at Milltown Park in Dublin. The Jesuits recognised and encouraged his academic vocation, and his career took advantage of the wide latitude allowed to an imaginative Jesuit in pursuance of his vocation. He studied Latin and history at University College Dublin (the latter discipline, as taught by John Marcus O’Sullivan (qv), had a strong philosophical component, and Barrett recalled being introduced to political philosophy by studying Rousseau as being thrown in at the deep end) and graduated with a first class BA in 1947. After a year studying anthropology and the role of myth at the Warburg Institute, Barrett began a peripatetic teaching career, including three years at Clongowes, three years teaching psychology at Tullabeg, and a period at Chantilly (France). He also studied theology at Milltown Park. Barrett was ordained priest in 1956 and took his final Jesuit vows in 1960. He undertook advanced research in philosophy at the University of London, receiving a Ph.D. in 1962 for a dissertation on symbolism in the arts.

In 1965 Barrett was one of two founding members of the philosophy department at the University of Warwick, where he was successively lecturer (1965–7), senior lecturer (1967–72) and reader (1972–92). Shortly after his appointment to Warwick he established his reputation, first by editing a well‐received selection of papers by innovators in the philosophy of art and criticism, Collected papers on aesthetics (1965), then by persuading the notoriously reluctant Wittgenstein estate to allow him to publish a collection of notes by three students of Wittgenstein of the philosopher’s remarks on aesthetics, psychology and religion. Lectures and conversations on aesthetics, psychology and religious belief (1966) offered new perspectives on Wittgenstein’s aesthetic and religious interests, whose extent had barely been realised, and became the basis for an extensive critical literature.

Barrett maintained his involvement with Wittgenstein throughout his career, summing up his views in Wittgenstein on ethics and religious belief (1991). He maintained that the gap between Wittgenstein’s early and late views had been exaggerated; the importance Wittgenstein attached to value remained constant and the Tractatus logico‐philosophus, widely seen as an exercise in positivism, was in inspiration a document of moral inquiry. He did not call himself a Wittgensteinian (he was sceptical of the concept of philosophical discipleship) but was influenced by Wittgenstein in his eclectic preference for addressing disparate problems rather than seeking to build an overarching system, and in his interest in the nature of perception.

The mature Barrett held the Wittgensteinian view that religion could not be stated in propositional terms (i.e. as a set of beliefs) but can only be experienced as a way of life, though Barrett also maintained that this did not entail relativism between such ways; real belief was required. This view would have been seen as heterodox by large numbers of Christians throughout the history of Christianity (including some of Barrett’s contemporaries) but was part of a wider reaction within twentieth‐century catholic theology against what were seen as excessively mechanical and rationalistic forms of neo‐Thomism and of a desire to rediscover the approach of the early church fathers based on the view that reason might illuminate faith from within but could not create it where it did not exist.

Barrett disliked clerical politics and what he saw as the intellectual narrowness and social conservatism of the church hierarchy. He was hostile to the neo‐orthodoxy of Pope John Paul II; his comment in a public venue on the day of the pope’s attempted assassination by Mehmet Ali Agca (13 May 1981), that the greatest fault of ‘that bloody Turk’ had been not shooting straight (Times, 15 Jan. 2004), was occasionally cited by more conservative catholics as symbolic of the perceived deterioration of the Jesuits after the second Vatican council. Barrett’s friends recall, however, that despite his pleasure in flouting what he regarded as petty‐fogging rules and the constraints of his calling, he maintained a deep personal faith in God and was a valued and compassionate confessor and adviser; beneath his questing was an underlying simplicity.

He was a champion of various schools of modern art, particularly Op Art (in 1970 he published one of the first significant books on this form of abstract art, which uses optical illusions to focus the viewer’s attention on the process of perception). He was a regular visitor to eastern Europe where he combined religious activity with encouragement of those artists who were resisting official pressure to conform to Soviet realism; his trips were financed by eastern bloc royalties from his own publications (which could not be transferred into western currencies) and the profits from smuggling out disassembled artworks as ‘agricultural implements’. He also helped to mount several art exhibitions to popularise favoured trends, and established extensive (and hard‐bargained) relationships with London dealers. He played a significant role in building up Warwick University’s art collection, and at various times donated forty works from his own collection (including items by Bridget Riley, Micheal (Michael) Farrell (qv), and Yoko Ono) to the university. Barrett’s fascination with kitsch led him to produce a paper, ‘Are bad works of art “works of art”?’ (Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures, vi (1973), 182–93), inspired by some of the religious art he encountered at Kenilworth Priory, Warwick. (Barrett’s answer was a qualified Yes.)

He did much to popularise modern art in Ireland through his frequent contributions to the Jesuit quarterly review Studies (he was assistant editor for a year in the early 1950s, and throughout his subsequent career wrote and reviewed for the journal on a wide range of topics) and other journals such as The Furrow and Irish Arts Yearbook. He produced a widely respected catalogue of nineteenth‐century Irish art (Irish art in the 19th century (1971)), and with Jeanne Sheehy (qv) contributed two chapters on the visual arts and Irish society to A new history of Ireland. VI. Ireland under the union, II. 1870–1921 (Oxford 1996) and an account of twentieth‐century art to A new history of Ireland. VII. 1921–84 (Oxford 2004). He also published monographs on the artists Micheal (Michael) Farrell and Carmel Mooney.

Although his flair for teaching and disputation was celebrated on campus, Barrett, like many old‐style academics, lacked administrative aptitude and in his later years at Warwick he was irritated by the increasing bureaucratisation and quantification of higher education. In 1992 he retired from Warwick to Campion Hall, the Jesuit college at Oxford, where he organised an exhibition of its art holdings, used the Latin‐language procedure in applying for a Bodleian reader’s ticket, and was a frequent visitor to the rival Dominican hall, Blackfriars. At Campion Hall he continued to work as a tutor, though he maintained that leisure (expansively defined as ‘life lived to its fullest’) was the proper end of human life and the proper state of mankind; he devoted as much time to it as possible.

He was a world traveller (wont to describe some of the ricketier charter planes he encountered as ‘Holy Ghost Airlines’), a gourmet cook who loved to entertain guests, a convivial drinker, and fond of betting on horseraces; he regularly attended the Merriman summer school in Co. Clare with his friend the broadcaster Seán Mac Réamoinn (1921–2007). He was a voluble critic of the provisional IRA. At the time of his death he was working on an analysis of the morality of war (he was always critical of the view that a just cause justified any means), a philosophical autobiography My struggles with philosophy, and a revision of the Spiritual exercises of St Ignatius Loyola. He also wrote poetry inspired by his reactions to the cancer which was killing him. Cyril Barrett died in Dublin on 30 December 2003.

Ir. Times, 10 Jan. 2004; Times (London), 15 Jan. 2004; Independent (London), 25 Feb. 2004; https://warwick.ac.uk/services/art/teachinglearningandresearch/onlineexhibitions/cyrilbarrett/

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

Fr Cyril D Barrett (1925-2003)

May 9th 1925: Born in Dublin
Early education at Kiliashee, Naas, Co.Kildare, Ampleforth College, Yorks. and Clongowes
Sept. 7th 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
Sept. 8th 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1947: Studied Arts at UCD
1947 - 1950: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1950 - 1953: Clongowes - Prefect and Teacher
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
July 31st 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park
1957 - 1958: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1958 - 1959: Leeson Street - Minister, Asst. Editor Studies
1959 - 1960: Tullabeg - Prof. Psychology; Subminister
Feb. 2nd 1960: Final Vows
1960 - 1961: Tullabeg -Prof. Psychology; Minister
1961 - 1964: London - Postgraduate Studies (History of Philosophy), London University (PhD)
1964 - 1965: Chantilly, France - Lecturer in Philosophy
1965 - 1966: Warwick University - Lecturer in Philosophy
1966 - 2003: Milltown Park
1966 - 1967: Dean of Philosophy; Prof. Philosophy at MI
1967 - 1972: Senior Lecturer in Philosophy - Warwick U.; Reader / Visiting Lecturer - Milltown Institute
1972 - 1992: University of Warwick - Reader in Philosophy
1992 - 2002: Oxford - Tutor in Philosophy
2002 - 2003: Milltown Park - writer
Dec. 30th 2003: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

Fr. Barrett was diagnosed as suffering from cancer in Autumn 2003. Despite a brief remission his health deteriorated steadily. He was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on Christmas Day. There he died on the morning of Dec. 30th 2003.

Obituary from Times of London, January 15, 2004:

Dinner with Father Cyril Barrett - and you would dine well with this accomplished cook, even if in somewhat chaotic surroundings – was an intellectual feast composed of unpredictable ingredients. A man of huge charm, voracious curiosity and lively humour, he made an open house of his great learning. It was a place that offered inspiration and discovery to those who stepped across its threshold, at the University of Warwick where he taught philosophy for nearly three decades, in Dublin and London, or on his adventurous travels on a Jesuitical shoestring. (Holy Ghost Airlines, he would joke about the dodgier charter flights to dodgy destinations.) As an experimental new university in the mid-Sixties, Warwick attracted, and was attracted by, his interdisciplinary and questing cast of mind. Barrett was as authoritative on Op Art as he was on Wittgenstein's aesthetics.

Inducted almost straight from school into the Society of Jesus but, wisely, given free rein to pursue his strong academic vocation, Cyril Barrett found his reference points as writer, critic and lecturer in philosophy, aesthetics and a lifelong engagement with religious meaning; but he branched outward in multiple directions. He could discourse as intriguingly on hot racing tips, the samizdat blue films circulating in Cold War Central Europe (about which he was alarmingly well informed), kitsch or even knitting, as he talked about medieval aesthetics, Kierkegaard or Picasso. The most unclerical of priests, his faith was deep yet never unquestioning, just as the intellect that made him a renowned philosopher and art critic was tempered by the intensity of his inner spiritual dialogue.

Denis Cyril Barrett was born in 1925 in Dublin, to the sort of horse-and-hounds family that throws up, as it did with his great-uncle Cyril Corbally, such eccentric luminaries as champion croquet players. But this was independence-era Dublin, with its charged politics. His father Denis, the last Assistant Commissioner of the pre-1922 Dublin Metropolitan Police and the first of the Garda Siochana that replaced it, was to resign out of disgust with de Valera's brand of nationalism and the virulence of the IRA – a disgust always shared by his son. His mother died when he was three, and he was brought up by his adored stepmother Evelyn.

His early trajectory was conventional, from Ampleforth to a first in History and Latin at University College, Dublin, and thence to licenciates both in philosophy and in theology before ordination. How little these disciplines were to confine him was demonstrated by his doctorate, on symbolism in the arts, and a subsequent year studying anthropology and the role of myth at University College, London and the Warburg Institute, His large body of books and essays was to be almost equally devoted to modern art --- where his influence was enormous and Europe wide -- and to philosophical studies.

As a philosopher, Barrett became celebrated for publishing, in 1966, a selection of student notes of Wittgenstein's lectures and conversations on aesthetics, psychology and religious belief -- a small corpus out of which has developed a massive secondary literature and which has profoundly influenced aesthetics and theology. All his formidable persuasive skills were put to the test in gaining the consent of the notoriously possessive executors; Wittgenstein declared that "only aesthetic and conceptual questions” really gripped him, but without the Barrett enterprise, few would have known for many years of his grapplings with the former, or indeed with religion.

A quarter of a century later he gave his own considered account of Wittgenstein on ethics and religious belief, arguing that his views on value developed but did not change. Wittgenstein, he maintained, held that seeking to inculcate moral principles, and teaching religion in propositional form, is contrary to the true nature of ethics and religious belief - a position he endorsed. But he resisted the influential misinterpretation according to which Wittgenstein held religious belief to be nothing more than a way of life according to a picture. Belief is involved. The “picture” of Judgment Day is more than a mere picture or exemplar; it is a picture to live by, and there are better and worse such pictures; Wittgenstein “was no more a relativist than any reasonable person can avoid being”.

While never a Wittgensteinian, and indeed hostile to the notion of philosophical discipleship, he certainly learnt from him, and in aesthetics this influence came out in at least two ways. First, in his preference for tackling particular problems and clarifying ideas, over constructing elaborate theories, and secondly in his engagement with the interconnections between aesthetics and psychology, expressed most notably in his pioneering work popularising and explaining Op Art, both in books and by organising exhibitions. As an art critic he was wide-ranging and formidable -- his catalogue of 19th-century Irish Victorian Art is a classic of its kind - but also creative. He was a driving force in establishing Warwick University's art collection, and in cultivating understanding of modern art in Ireland. “Are bad works of art ‘works of art’?”, he asked in an influential essay; his suitably nuanced answer was that they may well be.

Jesuits, avowedly and by direction, are deeply involved in the world's affairs - and the greatest of them are mavericks. To someone of Barrett's catholic interests, impatience of convention and detestation of intellectual narrowness, Catholicism can be a hard master. Like many Jesuits down the centuries, Barrett made no attempt to disguise his chafing at the Vatican's hierarchical politics and social conservatism - going so far as to declare on the day of the attempted assassination of the Pope, in a bellow that filled a London restaurant, that “the only thing wrong with that bloody Turk was that he couldn't shoot straight”. The religious affairs correspondent of The Sunday Times, seated at a nearby table, turned beetroot.

Yet Barrett could readily assume his priestly guise and, in that capacity, was a compassionate and subtle counsellor and eminently practical moralist, ultimately convinced of the intelligence as well as the goodness of the Holy Spirit and able to instil that belief in others.

Academic politics bored Barrett at least as much as the priestly variety, and the world of league tables, research assessments and other bureaucratic rigidities even more. He left Warwick in 1992 for Campion Hall, Oxford, with some relief, striding into the Bodleian and demanding (successfully) to use the Latin language procedure for registering for a reader's ticket,

He continued writing to the very end of his life, back in Dublin, and was working in the last weeks on books and articles ranging from the morality of war to the limits of science, as well as writing poetry and rewriting the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. Barrett would, however, have described this as the pursuit of leisure, which for him was “not a trivial pursuit”, and nothing to do with idleness, but, rather, “life lived to its fullest”.

Work was necessary for survival, he wrote, but “It is not an end in itself. Leisure is. It is the end, the goal, of human life, the proper state of man” -- which is why the quality of leisure matters. There are echoes here of Aristotle, even of St Augustine's idea of entering the holy Sabbath of God. But Cyril Barrett's genius was to draw the classical forward into the present; to cite one of his aphorisms, “philosophy may be perennial, but it is not static”.

◆ The Clongownian, 2004

Obituary

Father Cyril Barrett SJ

Father Cyril Barrett, SJ, who died on December 30th, 2003 aged 78, was a philosopher and art critic of international renown. He had his first direct encounter with philosophy as a student at University College Dublin, through Prof Marcus O'Sullivan's treatment of Rousseau. Philosophy, he would later remark, was a matter of learning to swim by diving in at the deep end but, he cautioned, the deep end of Rousseau's political philosophy was not to be recommended.

He wrote in “Studies” on subjects ranging from Picasso to Kierkegaard. His first book on Wittgenstein, dealing with aesthetics, psychology and religious belief, was published in 1966. Twenty five years later, he published Wittgenstein on Ethics and Religious Beliefs, a mature exposition of the questions that engaged him as a philosopher.

He played a major role in fostering an appreciation of modern art in Ireland. He was a member of the committee of ROSC that provided a showcase for the work of leading international artists. A regular contributor to “Art Monthly”, his publications include a study of op art and monographs on : Michael Farrell and Carmel Mooney. He contributed a section on art in the 20th century to the most recent volume of “A New History of Ireland” (2003).

Denis Cyril Barrett was born on May 9th, 1925, in Dublin, the son of Denis Barrett and his wife Lily (née Kearney). His father was assistant commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and the family lived in Booterstown. His mother died when he was three and his father later remarried. His early education took place at Killashee, Naas, Co Kildare, Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, and Clongowes Wood College. In 1942 he entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained in 1956, taking his final vows in 1960.

He studied arts at UCD and in 1947 secured a first class honours in Latin and History. Having studied philosophy at Tullabeg, Co Offaly, he taught for three years at Clongowes. He spent the next three years studying theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. Following a year as assistant editor of “Studies”, he taught psychology at Tullabeg. He completed a PhD at London University in 1964 and afterwards caught philosophy at Chantilly, France, and at the University of Warwick, where he remained until 1992. Retirement from Warwick brought him to Campion Hall, Oxford, as a tutor for 10 years. Throughout this time he was a visiting lecturer at Milltown Park.

At the time of his death he was in the process of writing a philosophical memoir with the working title “My Struggles With Philosophy”. In it he addressed the question of understanding other philosophers whose views are alien, not only to one's own thought but also to the precepts of common sense.

A man of many parts, he was a world traveler, a gourmet cook who liked to entertain and he had the knack of picking a winner on the racing page or at an occasional race meeting. He also enjoyed attending the Merriman Summer School with his friend, Seán Mac Réamoinn. But, as his colleague, Father Bill Mathews, said at his funeral Mass, “At the centre of it all, I believe there was in him a very simple faith in God and in the goodness of God”.

Predeceased by his brother Matthew, he is survived by his stepmother Evelyn, brothers John and Father Francis, and sister Eve.

Courtesy of The Irish Times

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, Hong Kong
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.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1989

Obituary

Father Cyril Barrett SJ

Those who were in Belvedere between 1943 and 1946 will remember Mr Barrett, as he then was. Cyril spent most of his life working in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, and he leaves behind him golden memories of his exceptional capacity for personal friendship and his enormous commitment to Hong Kong and to Wah Yan in particular. On his retirement from the position of Principal of Wah Yan in 1982, the University of Hong Kong conferred an honorary doctorate on him in recognition of the work he had done for education at all levels. Stricken by cancer, he paid a final visit to Belvedere in the summer of 1988, when he was unfortunately too weak to explore the new buildings which have arisen here since his years as a scholastic forty years ago. Few of his Hong Kong brothers thought he would ever retum but Cyril Barrett had no intention of dying away from the land he had made his own. He died there on 2nd July 1989.

◆ The Clongownian, 1989

Obituary

Father Cyril J Barrett SJ

The late Fr Cyril J Barrett, was born in Charleville, Co Cork, Ireland on 30th 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 where he was Warden until 1969 and during this time Ricci Hall, with minimal dislocation to the residents, was totally rebuilt, and Fr Barrett was very busily engaged in the fundraising for this new project. In 1970 he returned to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, as Principal where he continued until 1982. Since then in 1983 received an honorary doctorate “Doctor of Social Science” from the University of Hong Kong, and 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 Yah past students.

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 con nected with education.

Barry, Brendan, 1920-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/60
  • Person
  • 09 May 1920-30 January 1972

Born: 09 May 1920, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 30 January 1972, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 5 August 1965-24 July 1968.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 34th Year No 4 1959

GENERAL
On 17th June Very Reverend Fr. General appointed Fr. Brendan Barry as Socius to Fr. Provincial in succession to Father John Coyne. Thus came to an end a term of office which had lasted for nearly a quarter of a century. This surely must be an easy record. Many members of the Province had known no other Socius and some of the younger generation might not have been able to name any of Fr. Coyne's predecessors. Provincials might come and go but Fr. Coyne remained, an abiding element in a changing world. In all, he worked under four Provincials; Fr. Kieran, during whose period of office he became Socius (22nd February, 1935), Fr. J. R. MacMahon, Fr. T. Byrne and Fr. M. O’Grady. On more than one occasion he deputised as Vice-Provincial. He had come to be regarded as an almost indispensable appendage of government, and then in June the appointment of a new Fr. Socius came as a reminder that even Socii are, after all, subject to the law of mutability.
At the celebration of his golden jubilee in 1956, Fr. Coyne said that his career in the Society had been a series of false starts and changes of direction. But these seemingly false starts, his interrupted classical studies, his years as Substitute to the English Assistant, as Rector of Belvedere and as Master of Novices were preparing him for what was to be the great work of his life. These experiences gave him an understanding of the day-to-day business of the government of the Society and of individual houses, and, of course, his impeccable Latin prose and mastery of curial style. At the same jubilee celebrations the Provincial for the time being and two former Provincials paid tribute to his skill in the dispatch of business, his loyalty, generosity and other personal qualities. To these the Province may add: his courtesy, tact, sympathy and good sense. The timid or diffident who considered a personal interview with Fr. Provincial too formidable found in Fr. Coyne the perfect intermediary. To all who had permissions to ask or MSS. for censorship or other small business to transact he was always approachable and gracious. The province takes this opportunity of thanking him and of expressing its admiration, not to say amazement, at the cheerfulness with which year after year he went about the infinity of his important but monotonous tasks. It also extends a warm welcome to Fr. Barry in his new work.

Irish Province News 47th Year No 2 1972
Obituary :
Fr Brendan Barry SJ (1920-1972)
Father Brendan Barry was born in St John's Parish, Limerick, on May 9th, 1920. He was an only child. His early schooling was at the Christian Brothers in Roxboro Road. At the age of twelve, he was sent to the Augustinian College, Dungarvan, as a boarder. However, after two years absence, he continued his secondary education with the Christian Brothers, Limerick. While there, he made a Retreat under the direction of Fr Ernest Mackey and one result of this was that he entered the novitiate at St. Mary's, Emo, on 7th September. There were in all nineteen novices in his year, of whom fourteen were subsequently ordained priests. He took his first vows on September 8th, 1939, a few days after World War II had erupted. For the next six years he lived in communities of scholastics who varied in number between forty-four and fifty-one. The years 1939-42 were spent at Rathfarnham where after three years study he took his BA degree with honours in English and and Latin. The next three years were spent at Tullabeg where he studied Philosophy.
Those who knew him in these early years remember him as a quiet, reserved, cheerful and occasionally gay young man who, like everyone else, accepted philosophically the small privations and restrictions which World War II made inevitable. During these years, his intellectual gifts were slowly revealed and his zeal was manifested in his work for the Men's Sodality, then attached to the People's Church. Two years of Regency, 1945-47, followed. These two years at Belvedere were years that lived in his memory. In later times, he often spoke of them with real affection. The value of Regency in bringing a scholastic to full maturity was manifest in his case. From now on it became increasingly difficult for him to hide his gifts. What was hitherto known to a few, now became common knowledge; he was a religious of regular observance, of unostentatious piety, of dedicated attention to the work he was given to do: teaching, prefecting or refereeing rugby football. He did all these things well, and, while he particularly enjoyed the company of his fellow scholastics, he became and always remained a good “community man”.
Such was the reputation he brought with him to Milltown Park in the Autumn of 1947; and meeting him there for the first time, I came to appreciate his quiet strength of character, his invariably cheerful disposition and his dedication to the work in hand. One of his Professors at that time described him as “a gifted student” and he passed his Ad Gradum examination in 1961 after 4 years of consistent application to his studies. As he had little interest in organised games, he found his relaxation in walking and swimming; and from this period dates his long association with the “Forty Foot” Swimming Club. His administrative gifts became apparent at this time and his appointment as Beadle of the Theologians caused no surprise. On July 31st, 1950, he was ordained priest by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. John Charles McQuaid, of whose policies and plans Fr Brendan was, in future years, to be such a stout defender and champion. His relationship with the Archbishop, which was at first necessarily indefinite, became in time confidential and and intimate. It was founded on the same virtue of Faith which in later years made him, what he sometimes jokingly called, “a Pope's man”.
Now this aspect of Fr Brendan's outlook was derived from his understanding of the mind of St Ignatius in founding the Society and in placing it at the service of the Church and of the Pope. In a letter to the Province in 1967, he wrote: “It is obvious our ministries will not be renewed without internal renewal, without a deep knowledge of the Ignatian idea of our vocation ... To develop (this) in ourselves we need to study the person and writings of St. Ignatius - in his autobiography and his letters, in the Constitutions and in the Spiritual Exercises ... This will ensure great co-operation among ourselves, with the diocesan clergy and the hierarchy, with other religious and with the laity ...” This letter, so full of high ideals and sane ideas, mirrors, as do few other things he wrote, the spirit of faith in the Church and in the Society which was so characteristic of him. He never saw the Society, which he loved dearly, as an end in itself, only as a means; never as master, but always as a servant at the disposal of the Pope and the Bishops and of the People of God. His faith in the Pope and the Bishops as successors of Peter and his fellow Apostles and as divinely ordained teachers and rulers of the Church, never wavered. And he saw the role of the Society in the Church to-day as being loyally and fully supportive of papal teaching and policy, in every field and in every detail, in every place and at all times. Much prayer and study, much discernment and self-discipline led him to lay aside all private judgment and “to obey in all things the true spouse of Christ our Lord, the Hierarchical Church”.
During 1952-53, he made his Tertianship under his former Master of Novices, Fr John Neary. He welcomed this opportunity to deepen his understanding of the Institute of the Society and of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. This understanding was to serve him well when he was elected as a delegate to the General Congregation in 1965. He attended both sessions of this Congregation, during the first of which, he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province, an appointment which was announced on August 5th, 1965. To this office he brought the fruits of thirteen years of varied administrative experience, a year as Minister in Galway, followed by four years as Minister in Milltown Park. In 1952, he was appointed Superior and Bursar of the Apostolic School at Mungret College. In the early summer of 1959, his appointment as Socius to : Fr Michael O'Grady was announced. He continued on as Socius to Fr Charles O'Conor on his becoming Provincial in July, 1959. Fr O'Conor recalls those days: “Although Fr Barry had already been a member of the Province for over twenty years, it was not until 1959 that our paths first crossed, One afternoon towards the end of May of that year, we found ourselves leaving Eglinton Road together armed with the knowledge that we were to be Provincial and Socius in the near future. We were both wondering, no doubt, how this hitherto unforeseen alliance would work out. In the sequel it fared very well. Once the initial stages had been passed, we found ourselves firm friends and remained so ever since”.
In ordinary circumstances, it could have been expected that he would remain as Socius for a longer term. Apart from this being a tradition in the Province, Fr Brendan brought to this Office a knowledge and love of the Institute and an administrative capacity and experience of a high order. But it was not to be. Indeed, as subsequent events will show, the fragmentary nature of his apostolate was to continue throughout his entire career. In the summer of 1962, he was appointed Rector of Milltown Park in succession to Fr James Corboy. Thus, after an absence of four years, he returned to a house where almost a third of his religious life in fact was spent, In August 1965, his “apprenticeship” being completed, he crossed over the Milltown Road to take up residence in 85 Eglinton Road as Provincial. During his three years in this office he was responsible for many initiatives. In his anxiety to get the best advice on many, difficult problems, he set up the following : the Commission for Studies and Training of Ours; the Commission on Ministries, the Social Survey; the Man-Power Planning Commission; the Commission on our Brothers; the Advisory Committee on Comprehensive Schools. He saw clearly that, in regard to our apostolic works and the manner in which we conducted them, it was vital that we recognise that we were living in a world of rapid and profound changes and that we be ready to adapt our ministries and methods to meet these changes. In this connection, too, he stressed the value of community discussions on all our problems, local and provincial, for he saw that it was necessary not only to arrive at the correct solutions, but also to enlighten one another about the reasons for consequent changes. He knew that such discussions involved “self-denial in working together at a common task” but he also knew that they were, today, recommended to us all both by the Church and by the Society. His, too, was the final decision to build a new Retreat House with a Circular Chapel at Manresa, Dollymount. During his years as Provincial, he visited our Mission in Zambia and concluded a friendly pact with the newly independent Vice-Province of Hong Kong. Among the many assessments of his work in the Province up to this point, the following by his former Provincial and life-long friend, Fr John R MacMahon, summarizes what many members of the Province should like to say: “In a way I knew him well. As my Minister in Milltown, as my Rector there and as Provincial, he impressed me as being a loyal and efficient assistant, a prudent and kindly Superior and as a courageous and faithful ruler. I refrain from using superlatives, though they are richly deserved. If I wanted an ‘Imago optimi Superioris’, I would find it in him”.
Now, looking back over his life, I am of the opinion that if he was drawn to one Jesuit ministry more than another, it was to the giving of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to priests, religious and to the People of God. As Minister and Rector of Milltown, he gave many a week-end Retreat. As Provincial he encouraged the holding of Seminars and other meetings for those engaged in this ministry. In his letter of September 1967, he urged Retreat-Directors not to spare themselves in trying to think themselves into the minds of retreatants, giving what is most suitable to young and old alike. It was fitting, then, when he was relieved of the responsibility for the whole Province, that he should, after a brief period as Minister and Bursar in the College of Industrial Relations, spend what were in fact to be his last years as a director of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. In this miniştry, he excelled, and he ran by faith to this work of bringing Christian life and hope to dead and despairing men and women, Between July 1969, and January 1972, a period of two and a half years, he directed three Retreats of 30 days-two to students at Clonliffe and one to the Religious of Jesus and Mary, Gortnor Abbey..seventeen eight-day retreats, seven six-day retreats, twenty tridua, several days of recollection, and one Novena of Grace. Right up to the end his one anxiety was that he would not have enough to do. His programme for 1972 already included six retreats in succession, between June and July, followed by a 30 day retreat in August and another in September October. He was booked, also, to give a third 30 day retreat to Loreto Nuns in Johannesburg, South Africa in December next. In all this, he felt confidently prepared; and how well prepared he was, is attested by tributes from religious in all parts of the country and of England.
The following will suffice as being typical of all: “I know that many of our sisters valued his personal direction and advice. I have been very much struck by the fact that he is so much regretted by
people of such different age-groups and of widely different views. He, undoubtedly, understood the young and was greatly trusted by them. They valued his honesty and appreciated especially his wide knowledge of Council documents. But, I think that he will be best remembered in our Irish Province for his retreats. In particular, I have heard many sisters mention a Superior's retreat which he directed, based on the Gospel of St. John, and, as he changed his retreat so often, this may not be the one you know. Every Sister I met who made that retreat has spoken of it as an exceptional spiritual experience”.
Before concluding this notice, it will be of interest to have a record of some of the judgments passed on his life and work by ours and by others for whom he worked. The following are typical examples : “Brendan was by disposition undemonstrative and retiring but he was incisive in his assessments of people and situations. He was most conscientious in regard to his work and very loyal to his friends. He could be sensitive in some matters and wonderfully resilient in others”. “He was somewhat reserved and he did not wear his heart upon his sleeve. But, there was no doubt about the depth of his sincerity and I looked on him as a true friend on whose sympathy and solid help I could rely. This may seem too formal, even frigid. It may give a false impression. Perhaps, I, too, don't wear my heart on my sleeve”. “I was always impressed by his great sincerity, by his balanced judgment, by his generous and completely detached spirit of service, by his simplicity, his kindly tolerance and his sense of humour”. “His was a sane and balanced approach, in his own homely style, he flavoured his talks with his own dry humour, e.g. ‘the modem superior can't be remote. If he is remote, they write him off! If he is not remote, his personal faults stand out - the boys know!’” “We have lost in Fr Barry a dedicated friend, an enlightened spiritual guide, whose humility and limpid sincerity were notable characteristics of his personality”.
For myself, in the quarter of a century that I have known him, I had come to see his fine physical stature as a living symbol of the greatness of his mind and heart. He had a mind that could go to the heart of any question and his judgments of men and affairs were rarely wrong. While he did not suffer fools gladly, he did feel and sympathised with the failures and follies of his fellow men. He was less interested in condemning a man than in seeking a practical solution to his problems. He was loyal to commitments and to persons. He was not a respecter of persons and friendship for him never degenerated into favouritism. He was, in truth, detached even from his friends. Though like most men, he had need of friends, in whose company he could relax and come out of himself and relieve the inner loneliness that dwells in the heart of every man. This loneliness is said to be more keenly felt by those whose ministry separates them from community life. In the last few years, Fr Brendan was always happy to return from his frequent ‘missionary expeditions to the Community at “35”, where he found a homely welcome and congenial company. The knowledge of this was not the least of this Community's consolations at the time of his sudden death at the comparatively early age of 52. The Irish Province has lost one of its really great men; his spiritual children have lost a sympathetic guide and his friends everywhere a man whose judgment and companionship were a source of encouragement and strength. May he rest in peace.

An appreciation by Most Reverend Dr. Joseph A. Carroll, President of Holy Cross College, Clonliffe
It is no easy tasks nowadays to give the Thirty Days Retreat. The classic material has to be adapted to the new mentality and up dated in accordance with the new insights in Sacred Scripture and Theology. It is as true as ever that the success of the Retreat de pends to a large extent, under God, on the qualities of the Director. Young people to-day are not particularly impressed with a man's erudition nor even with his eloquence. What they look for and are quick to recognise is his sincerity. Father Brendan was both erudite and eloquent but his outstanding quality, as we saw him, was hs sincerity. It was patent to all. When one adds to this an immense patience and capacity for listening, a complete dedication to the task, a large fund of common sense and a keen sense of humour, one begins to understand how the Thirty Days Retreat that could so easily be a burden was not simply tolerable but decidedly acceptable to our Second Year students. I have a distinct recollection of meeting one of them during the Retreat last year and asking him how things were going. “Father Barry”, he said “is terrific”. The fact that they asked him to return on more than one occasion to give a Day of Recollection is a measure of their appreciation. He will be greatly missed in the College. With his unassuming manner and the twinkling bashful smile he had won the affection of the Staff. We always welcomed him as an amiable companion during the Thirty Days he spent with us each year. May he rest in peace.

NB - Members of the Province may not have known that Father Brendan was on the staff of the Mater Dei Institute of Education, He gave occasional lectures to the students there on the spiritual life. Right up to his death, he frequently offered Mass in the Oratory of the Institute and preached a homily. The Director of the Institute, Father Patrick Wallace in the course of a recent letter writes: “To the students of the Mater Dei Institute Father Brendan Barry, SJ, was a man of God. He spoke so convincingly of the need for prayer, he treated every problem so calmly, he showed such respect for everyone who met him that one had to conclude that here was a man who had a deep experience of God in his own prayer life, who had received God's guidance in tackling the problems life had posed for him, who had reached the heights of appreciating the dignity of every man as a brother in Christ. In the homily delivered at the Requiem Mass in the Institute the celebrant spoke for us all when he said 'while we mourn the loss of Father Barry we rejoice that through him the Spirit of Christ was visibly active among us for so long'. The above sentiments are genuinely the sentiments of the students and the staff”.

Bartley, Patrick, 1879-1941, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/61
  • Person
  • 05 December 1879-09 May1941

Born: 05 December 1879, Grange, County Limerick
Entered: 30 July 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1915, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 09 May 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1903 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1906 in Saint Joseph’s College, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) studying oriental language

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 3 1941

Obituary :
Father Patrick Bartley
Fr. Patrick Bartley was born near Boher (Grange), in Co. Limerick on December 5, 1879. He attended Crescent College, Limerick as a day pupil for some years, but at the early age of fifteen he entered the Noviceship (Tullabeg) in 1894. After the Noviciate he crossed over to the Juniorate in the same house, commencing his studies for the Royal University of Ireland examination which he passed with high distinction till he obtained his M.A. Degree (Classical) in 1901. He was then sent to St. Helier in Jersey, where he studied Philosophy for two years. In 1904 he was appointed to Belvedere College, Dublin, as teacher, Assistant-prefect of Studies. But in the following year he was one of a small group chosen to study Oriental Languages at the University St. Joseph, Beirut, Syria. In 1906 he returned to his native land - and county - acting again as teacher for two years in Mungret College, Limerick (1907-1909). In September, 1909, he began the study of Theology in Milltown Park, where he was destined to spend most of the rest of his life. He finished his Theological course there in 1912. Tertianship in Tullabeg followed immediately (1912-13), after which he was again sent to Mungret College to resume his teaching career and act as Assistant Prefect of Studies. In 1915 he was appointed professor of Church History and Hebrew in Milltown Park. In 1918 he became professor of Philosophy, helping to inaugurate our Irish Philosophate. When this was transferred to Tullabeg in 1922 he took over the chair of Scripture in Milltown Park, which with Hebrew remained his appointed task till the end. From 1923 onwards he also acted as Prefect of Studies. On May 9, 1941, he died. Such in outline was his career; and it shows that he was preeminently a student and scholar, leading what Cicero calls the vita umbratilis. It gives, however, but an inadequate idea of the depth of his erudition or the singular charm of his character. Only those who had the privilege of living in intimate daily intercourse with him could fully appreciate either his encyclopaedia knowledge, which a marked reserve together with a deep humility concealed from unobservant eyes, or that gentleness of disposition which made him one of the most loveable of men. It may be doubted if anyone ever detected the least manifestation of anger on his part by as much as a gesture. This did not spring from weakness of character or the lack of decisive views. On the contrary, for he had very strong convictions and a quiet obstinacy all his own. But he lacked inclination towards or aptitude for any kind of strife. It would have been difficult to pick a quarrel with him, if anyone ever had the desire, which was never the case.
No doubt much of all this serenity was natural to him, the result of a wise sagaciousness which made him see the foolishness of all brawling. But there was obviously much more than that in the unwavering victory of good humour, kindliness and tolerance over all the instability, pettiness, jealousy and selfishness which seem to adhere to the very bones of fallen humanity. Father Bartley was as little given to parading piety as to parading learning. Yet one felt that it was there, deep, solid and efficacious, making one who was by nature a
gentleman, by grace an every way admirable and wholly religious. The patience with which he bore the more than ordinary share of sickness that came his way was further proof of this. As a quite young man he appeared to 'enjoy perfect health. In his early years in Tullabeg he was both fond of, and skilled in, all out-door sports and recreations. Tall, lithe and very swift of foot. he excelled in football and tennis, while he was an excellent swimmer and one of the champion walkers of the community. But before he had finished his University studies - while preparing for his M.A. degree - he began to suffer from some internal trouble which necessitated at least one major operation and some lesser ones. To outward appearance he made a complete recovery. Yet it was soon apparent that the old physical energy and vitality were gone. He grew more and more sedentary in his habits as the years went by, until a short solitary walk was almost all the exercise he cared for. Falling a little into flesh in consequence, he had the air of one with whom all 'was not well in spite of his impressive size and fine appearance. Yet no word of complaint was ever heard from him, and until forced to take a change or a rest by the doctor, he kept so consistently to the even tenor of his days, and, above all, was so cheerful and good tempered, that few would suspect him of being ill at all. Only towards the end did his looks betray how rapidly he was ageing and failing. And even in his last sickness, when it was clear that he could not recover, he retained to the end the tranquil serenity which had always characterised him. His whole life was of a single pattern - but a rare and noble one. Few men of his calibre can have lived quite so unknown to the outside world. But few will be more regretted or missed in the circle where he moved.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Patrick Bartley 1879-1941
Fr Patrick Bartley was born near Boher County Limerick on December 5th 1879. He entered the Society at the age of fifteen in 1894. Having read a brilliant course in the Royal University Dublin, he studied Oriental languages for some years in the University of Beirut.

From 1915-1941 he spent his life in Milltown Park as Professor of Scripture and Prefect of Studies. A man of child-like simplicity, in spite of his great intellectual ability, he was ever regarded with affectionate respect by generations of theologians at Milltown Park.

He died on August 9th 1941, some years before his brother and fellow Fr Jesuit Stephen Bartley.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1941

Obituary

Father Patrick Bartley SJ

Past students who were in Mungret in the years 1907-09, and 1914-15 will learn with regret of the death of Father Patrick Bartley SJ. Father Bartley was educated at the Sacred Heart College, Crescent, Limerick, and entered the Society of Jesus in 1894. He was a brilliant classical scholar, taking out his BA degree at the Royal University with first places in Greek and Latin, and subsequently his MA degree in the same subjects. After completing his course of Philosophy he then went to the East and spent two years at the University of Beirut, Syria, studying Oriental languages. On his return to Europe he joined the teaching staff at Mungret where he taught classics to the 1st and 2nd Arts classes. After his ordination he spent a year at Mungret.

In 1915 he was appointed to the staff of Milltown Park, where he filled the post of Professor of Hebrew and Sacred Scripture as well as lecturing on Philosophy and Theology. After an illness borne with exemplary patience and fortitude he died, on May 9th, 1941.

Benson, Patrick J, 1923-1970, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/735
  • Person
  • 19 December 1923-15 May 1970

Born: 19 December 1923, Kilkishen, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 15 May 1970, Fordham University, The Bronx, New York, USA - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Part of the Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia community at the time of death

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
The suddenness of Fr Paddy's death came as a great shock. He had left Chikuni for a well deserved leave in January 1970 and during the course of that leave went to the USA to do some career guidance. He had been doing this at Canisius Secondary School with great success and went overseas to acquire the latest techniques. He was staying at Fordham University when he died, and an extract from a letter from the Rector there, Fr James Hennessey S. J., gave the details of Fr Paddy's death:

"He had been here a month and we were delighted to have him. Rarely has anyone fitted into the community so well. He was always pleasant and his humour was delightful, he went about his business seriously and impressed all who came into contact with him. He was cheerful to the last; several who were with him at dinner last evening remembered that he had been in fine fettle. He must have retired early. This morning a relative, Br Bernard F.M.S., came to call for him. They had planned to spend the day together. It was about 10 a.m. and when Paddy did not answer, he went to his room and found him dead. It looked to me as if he had tried to get up, then had fallen back and died quickly and peacefully. There was no evidence of struggle or pain. Fr Minister anointed him and our house doctor pronounced him dead of a coronary".

Paddy was born in Co. Clare, Ireland, on 19th December 1923, an only child. He went to St Flannan's College in Co. Clare and after his final year in school, entered the Society on 7 September 1942 much to the regret of the diocesan clergy who would have liked him for the diocese. He went through the usual training in the Society doing his regency at Belvedere and Mungret. While at these places he was known for his selflessness and the memory everyone had of Fr. Paddy was of his willingness to help others in any way he could. He was ordained at Milltown Park on the 31st July 1956, a happy event which was tempered by the fact that neither of his parents lived to see him ordained. After his tertianship he came to Zambia.

After spending some time learning the language, he became Manager of Schools for a year, then did two years at Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College and finally came to Canisius in 1962, as Senior Prefect, a position he held until 1969 when he was acting principal for almost a year.

If one were to pick out two virtues in Fr Paddy, all would agree that his ever-cheerfulness and readiness to help others are the two outstanding ones. He was a man who rarely thought of himself or his own comfort and this combined with a simplicity of soul, endeared him to all who had dealings with him. In all the houses in which he had been, he left his mark, for he was gifted with his hands and electricity had always been his chief hobby. In Milltown Park, Dublin he did the wiring for the telephone system while he was studying there. In many houses in Zambia, both in the Society and elsewhere, there are "many things electrical" which are working due to Fr Paddy's dexterity.

He was never too busy to help others and was ready to drop everything in order to be of assistance to the many who called on him to do "little jobs", to fill in for a supply if someone was sick or unavailable, or just to be cheerful in conversation. This willingness to help others and his fondness for the steering wheel, gave him a certain mobility and it was not uncommon to see him disappearing in clouds of dust down the avenue.

He led a tiring life but even so, at the end of a hard week put in at the school work, he would go off on Mass supply to preach and baptise or help in the parish at Chikuni. To one who lived and worked with Fr Paddy for many years, the oft quoted Latin tag "consummatus in brevi, expleveit tempora multa" (he accomplished much in a short time) takes on a new meaning.

Though he died in New York his body was returned to Ireland to be buried at Mungret where he had taught and which was not too far from his old home.
Many letters of sympathy came to Fr O’Riordan, Education Secretary General, not least from the Minister of Education and his Permanent Secretary. Here are some extracts: "Fr Benson will always be remembered for his warm humanity, keen sense of humour and willingness to assist others." (Minister of Education); "Fr Benson's calm and reasoned approach to education problems, his sense of humour and the cooperative and helpful spirit with which he went about his affairs, remain in the memory." (Permanent Secretary, Min. Ed.).

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 45th Year No 3 1970

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Benson SJ (1923-1970)

The news of Fr. Benson's death in New York on May 15th had a stunning effect on those, and they were many, who but a short time previously had welcomed him back for the holiday break from Zambia; he had spent some intervals in his native Clare and had visited a number of friends in the various houses and professed himself sufficiently fit to do an educational course at Fordham before returning to the missions proper.
After the first announcement of his death Fr. James Hennessy, Rector of Fordham, set himself immediately to give a more detailed account : “Several of those who were at dinner with him last evening remarked that he had been in fine fettle. He must have retired early. This morning a relative, Br. Bernard, F.H.S., came to call for him. They had planned a day together. It was about 10 am, and when Paddy did not answer Br. Bernard went to his room and found him dead. It looked to me as if he had tried to get up, then had fallen back and died quickly and peacefully. There was no evidence of struggle or pain. Fr. Minister anointed him and our house doctor pronounced him dead of a coronary”.
Fr. Provincial here was contacted and it was decided to have the burial at Mungret sixteen miles from Fr. Paddy's native place Kilkishen, across the Shannon.
In Fordham the obsequies were not neglected; over twenty Jesuits were present at the exequial Mass on May 18th; the lessons were read by Frs. Joseph Kelly, Brian Grogan and Hugh Duffy. Fr. Paddy Heelan gave an appreciation of his contemporary and friend at an evening Mass previously and Fr. George Driscoll, Superior of the Gonzaga Retreat House for boys, with whom Fr. Benson had already formed a firm friendship, gave the homily or funeral oration. The suffrages on Fr. Benson's behalf from the Fordham community amount to 150 Masses.
Fr. Paddy was a student at St. Flannan's College, Ennis, and had come to our novitiate in 1942 in company with his fellow collegian Michael O'Kelly whose lamentable early death occurred when later they were theologians together in Milltown. Paddy followed the conventional courses - juniorate and degrees from UCD at Rathfarnham; colleges at Belvedere and Mungret, and theology at Milltown, priesthood 1946.
He went to Zambia (North Rhodesia then) in 1948. An energetic teacher and missionary with considerable versatility and skill in practical matters - his flair with electric fittings saved the mission considerable incidental expenses, obliging and resultantly much in demand. He possessed a pleasant sober manner, not dominating but willing to take his share quietly in the conversation, a sense of humour and a droll remark where apposite. About five years since he was home for the normal break and on this present occasion no one from his appearance would have surmised that the end was approaching; since his death we have been informed that in Africa, he had recently experienced a bout of languor which made it advisable that he take a change which he did in Southern Rhodesia and he appeared to have been re-established on his return to Ireland; the sad and unexpected event of May 15th proved other wise. May he rest in peace.

Fr. C. O'Riordan has forwarded the following letters of sympathy from the Minister of Education and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education in Lusaka :

Dear Fr. O'Riordan,
I have learned, with a deep sense of shock, of the untimely death of Fr. Benson whilst in New York. To those of us who were privileged to have known and worked with Fr, Benson, this comes with a heartfelt sense of regret.
Fr. Benson, apart from his long and dedicated service both at Charles Lwanga Training College and Canisius Secondary School at which, towards the end of last year, he acted as principal, will always be remembered for his warm humanity, keen sense of humour and willingness to assist others.
I am writing to you because of Fr. Benson's involvement in education, but would be most grateful if you could convey my sincere condolences, coupled with those of the Minister of State, to Fr. Counihan and to His Lordship, Bishop Corboy, to each of whom Fr. Benson's death must be a grievous loss.
Yours sincerely,
W. P NYIRENDA (Minister of Education).

Dear Fr. O'Riordan,
I was deeply shocked to hear, from our telephone conversation this morning, of Fr. Benson's death.
One is conscious of the significant contribution he made, both at Canisius Secondary School and Charles Lwanga during the years he served in Zambia. His calm and reasoned approach to education problems, his sense of humour and the co-operative and helpful spirit with which he went about his affairs, remain in the memory.
Please accept not only my own heartfelt condolences, but those on behalf of all my officers within the Ministry, who I know will feel Fr. Benson's death keenly.
Yours sincerely,
D. BOWA (Permanent Secretary).

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1970

Obituary

Father Patrick Benson SJ

Fr Benson taught in Belvedere as a scholastic during the years 1951 to 1953. He went to Zambia in 1959 and was engaged in teaching. This spring, he passed through Dublin on his way to the States for further study and paid two visits to Belvedere of which he cherished such happy memories. It was a great shock to all when he died suddenly in Fordham University early in May.

Birmingham, Alan, 1911-1991, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/642
  • Person
  • 02 January 1911-03 October 1991

Born: 02 January 1911, Ballinrobe, County Mayo
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1976, Hong Kong
Died: 03 October 1991, 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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1937 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

Second World War Chaplain

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Alan Birmingham, S.J.
Former editor of “Sunday Examiner” dies in Hong Kong
R.I.P.

Father Alan Birmingham, a long-time editor of the “Sunday Examiner” died here after a brief illness on 3 October 1991.

Father Birmingham, a Jesuit, had lived in Hong Kong for almost 50 years, having first arrived here in November 1936.

Born in Co. Mayo, Ireland, in 1911, he joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1928 after secondary school and went on to take an honours degree in mathematics in the National University of Ireland.

After his arrival in Hong Kong in 1936 he studied Cantonese and then taught for a year in Wah Yan College, then in Robinson Road, before returning to Ireland a few months before the outbreak of the Second World War to complete his Jesuit training.

Ordained a priest in Dublin on 13 May 1942, he became a Catholic chaplain, with the rank of Captain, in the wartime British Army, thus delaying his return to Hong Kong.

Having served in England and Northern Ireland, he was assigned to land with the Allied forces sea and air assault on the north coast of France on “D-Day”, 6 June 1944.

He afterwards said that his main task on those fateful first days ashore was burying the dead on the beaches where they had landed.

He stayed with his soldiers in France, Belgium and finally Germany until mid-August 1945.

He was then re-assigned to India from where he was “demobbed” (returned to civilian life) in October 1946.

After returning to Hong Kong in February 1948, he was sent for some months to Canton (Guangzhou) where a Jesuit colleague, Father John Turner, was lecturing at Chung Shan University.

That summer he moved back to Hong Kong, becoming a professor of Dogmatic Theology and later of Sacred Scripture at the then Regional Seminary in Aberdeen where Chinese priests from many dioceses in South China received their professional training. He held these posts for nine years.

During those years he also lectured briefly on philosophy and English literature at the University of Hong Kong.

In 1957, he was appointed editor of the “Sunday Examiner.” He was by far the longest-serving editor of the paper, remaining in the position for 33 years until his 80th birthday on 2 January this year.

On the death of Father Fergus Cronin SJ, Father Alan took over as rector of the busy Catholic Centre Chapel.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 November 1990

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Having graduated from UCD with an Honours degree in Mathematics he was sent to Hong Kong in 1936.
He studied Cantonese in Hong Kong and then did some years of teaching in Wah Yan Hong Kong.

After Ordination in 1942 he was appointed Catholic Chaplain with the rank of Captain in the wartime British Army. He was assigned to land with the Allied force on “D-Day”, June 6th 1944. He remained with his soldiers in France, Belgium and finally Germany until mid August 1945. He was then reassigned to India until October 1946, when he returned to civilian life.

He returned to Hong Kong in February 1948and took up a post as Professor of Dogmatic Theology, and later Scripture at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He also lectured in Philosophy and English Literature at the University of Hong Kong.

He was the Editor of the “Sunday Examiner” for almost 33 years (1957-1991). For more than twenty years he edited the English writings of László Ladányi in the “China News Analysis”. He also celebrated Mass regularly at St Joseph’s Church on Garden Road for over thirty years.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1992

Obituary

Father Alan Birmingham SJ

Learned Priest Who Served Faithfully for “Fifty” Years in Hongkong.

Fr Biriningham did not say Mass in the Catholic Centre Chapel, in busy Hongkong Central District on Wednesday, October 4th. He had done so the day : before, and for many months since Fr F Cronin had died. Instead, Fr S Coghlan and Fr M McLoughlin took him to St Paul's Hospital Causeway Bay. He was feeling groggy and could not lift one of his arms. That afternoon, in the Intensive Care Unit, he died. A little more than a year previously, he had had heart surgery (aneurysm) but recovered. But he had a long beard which made him look like a retired sea captain. All his life he had had good health. He fought a cold on his feet, and though he did not feel so well in the mornings, regained his strength by the afternoon. For thirty years, he was never a patient in a hospital.Priests throughout East Asia and beyond will have known him as the editor of the Sunday Examiner, which was appreciated for his wide cover age of church news in the world, as well as for its well written editorials. In the diocese, he was not so much widely known, as well known. Some priests remember his kindness from the days he taught them Theology in the Seminary (1949-1956). Those who went to the nine o'clock Sunday Mass at St. Joseph's remember him since the days of Fr Franelli, which go back more than thirty years previously. His deep voice was often remembered as a mutter, inspiring devotion and trust. He often heard confessions in St Joseph's and the Catholic Centre Chapel.

He first went to Hongkong in 1936, where he spent time learning Cantonese, and then teaching in Wah Yan College, Robinson Road. He was born in Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, where the family had a wholesale business. His father qualified as a medical doctor, but never practised, taking on the family business, but retiring to Dublin when he was 45 years old. Alan first went to the Carmelite Fathers in Terenure, and retained an affection for the Carmelites. He then went to the Jesuit Colege, Belvedere, and after five years entered the Society of Jesus in 1928. His university studies at UCD were in Mathematics, and sometimes it was said that, in later life, the prime numbers gave him sleepless nights. After three years in Hongkong he returned to Ireland to study Theology and was ordained in 1942. While he was a priest in the Jesuit Church of Gardiner Street, the Provincial requested him to be a Chaplain in the British Army. He gave family reasons for not doing so, and he was told that these were valid but not sufficient to refuse the pastoral needs of those in the War. He joined as an Army Chaplain as part of christian charity and out of human solidarity. He was with the first wave to land on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day June 1944. He remembered a day when he saw 700 wounded and 250 burials. He was demobolised in 1947, and did Tertiaship in Dublin under Fr J Neary, who also had been in Hongkong.

When he returned to Hongkong as a priest in 1948, he went to join Fr Tumer at Chung Shan University, Gaungzhou, but after a few months was asked to teach in the South China Regional Seminary, Aberdeen. He taught Dogma and Scripture until he was asked to assist Mgr C Vath at the Catholic Centre, with the editing of the Sunday Examiner. And he did it for 33 years! Quietly working as a priest, he slowly did his writing. He always used a pen, and never a typewriter. He was a very slow worker, and always worked deliberately and accurately. He was never in a hurry and always had time for people. His clear English style was highly esteemed. His funeral was at St Joseph's Church, where he was known as the priest at the Sunday Masses for thirty years. The main celebrants were Cardinal Wu, whom he taught, Archbishop Tang, Fr W Lo, and 39 of his fellow Jesuits, thirty other priests; more than a dozen diocesan, a dozen Maryknollers, and those of other con gregations, not least being the PIME Fathers. The Mass was at 12.30 to enable the people from government and business offices to be present, and about
150 of them were there.

His brother had been a medical doctor teaching at University College Dublin. His father was anti-clerical, but a devout Catholic. “Alan” was more pastoral than clerical, and though his theological thinking was conservative, it was always kind, and at the service of people. Learned and kind, writer and at the service of all, such was the man all remembered.

Bodkin, Matthias, 1896-1973, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/6
  • Person
  • 26 June 1896-2 November 1973

Born: 26 June 1896, Great Denmark Street, Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1931, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1934, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 02 November 1973, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1933 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Bodkin, Matthias McDonnell
by Felix M. Larkin
found in Bodkin, Matthias McDonnell (1849–1933), journalist and lawyer, was born in October 1849 at Tuam, Co. Galway

Bodkin married (1885) Arabella Norman (c.1854–1931), daughter of Francis Norman, solicitor, of Dublin, and Margaret Norman (née Adrian; c.1820–1883). They had two sons and four daughters, of whom the eldest, Thomas Patrick Bodkin (qv), was director of the NGI 1927–35. Their youngest daughter, Emma Bodkin (1892–1973), was one of the first women chartered accountants in Ireland. Two other daughters became Carmelite nuns. The youngest of the family, also Matthias McDonnell Bodkin (1896–1973), was a Jesuit priest and author. Born 26 June 1896 in Dublin and educated at Belvedere College and Clongowes Wood College, he entered the Jesuit noviciate in 1914 and was ordained 1932. For many years a teacher in Clongowes, Mungret College, and Belvedere, he served as a Royal Navy chaplain during the second world war in Derry and for a brief period in the Pacific on board HMS Anson. Afterwards, his eyesight failing, he undertook mainly retreat work and counselling. He died 2 November 1973 at Milltown Park, Dublin. Like his father, he was a prolific writer – largely on religious themes, but also of adventure stories for boys. His most substantial book, a life of fellow-Jesuit Fr John Sullivan (qv) (The port of tears (1954)), did much to spread Fr Sullivan's reputation for sanctity. So as to differentiate his own from his father's work, Fr Bodkin never used his second Christian name.

NAI, private accession no. 1155; NLI, MS 10702 (F. S. Bourke collection: letters to M. McD. Bodkin and his wife, mainly 1880–1910), MSS 14252–64 (manuscript literary remains of M. McD. Bodkin); Freeman's Journal, 24, 25, 28–30 Jan. 1908; A considered judgment: report of Judge Bodkin forwarded to Sir Hamar Greenwood and read in open court at Ennis, Co. Clare, on Sat., 5 Feb. 1921 (1921); Another considered judgment: second report of Judge Bodkin (1921); Ir. Independent, Ir. Press, Ir. Times, 8 June 1933; Ir. Independent, 3 Nov. 1973; Lawrence W. McBride, The greening of Dublin Castle: the transformation of bureaucratic and judicial personnel in Ireland, 1892–1922 (1991); Frank Callanan, The Parnell split, 1890–91 (1992); Eamonn G. Hall, ‘Introduction’, M. McDonnell Bodkin, Famous Irish trials (1997 ed.); Anne Kelly, ‘Perfect ambition: Thomas Bodkin, a life (with particular reference to his influence on the early development of Irish cultural policy’ (Ph.D. thesis, TCD, 2001); Felix M. Larkin, ‘Judge Bodkin and the 1916 rising: a letter to his son’, N. M. Dawson (ed.), Reflections on law and history (2006)

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Note from Daniel Fitzpatrick Entry
He was sent to Mungret in Limerick for his education. He had very fond memories of Mungret, especially his Jesuit teachers, like Mattie Bodkin, who had a significant influence on him.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935

Works by Father Mattie Bodkin SJ :

  1. “Flood-tide” - A school story
  2. “Lost in the Arctic” - A translation from the German of Svenson's " Nonni and Manni”.
  3. “Studies in Sanctity” - Biographical essays
    Pamphlets
  4. “The Stop Gap” - School story
  5. “The Captain” - School story
  6. “Saint Robert Southwell” - Hagiography
  7. “Saint Bernadette” - Hagiography
  8. “Blessed Peter Faber” - Hagiography
  9. “Father Stanton” - Biography
  10. “Forest and Jungle” - Biography
  11. “Father De Smet” - Biography
  12. “The Black Robe” - Biography
  13. “Guy De Fontgalland” - Biography
  14. “The Soul of a Child” - Biography

Irish Province News 16th Year No 1 1941

Clongowes :
Fr. Bodkin is to be congratulated on the production of his latest book, “Halt, Invader.” Its publication caused great interest here. We hope that his present work of contemplation and stimulation of youth at study will keep the springs of inspiration bubbling.

Belvedere :
An enthusiastic welcome has been accorded Father Bodkin's novel. “Halt Invader” whose hero is a Belvederian. One member of the Community believes that the Government should
subsidise the book and give a copy of it to every Irish citizen seeing that the book is, in his opinion, an exposition of the ideology of Irish mentality in the present war.

Irish Province News 49th Year No 1 1974

Obituary :

Fr Matthias Bodkin (1896-1973)

By way of preface to the appreciation proper we offer some salient dates and details of Fr. Bodkin's earlier years ;
He was born in Dublin - Great Denmark St - June 26th, 1896, the younger son of Judge Matthias McDonnell Bodkin. He was one of a family of six, one brother, Tom, a sister, Emma, of both of whom more anon, two sisters who became Carmelite nuns and a sister who became Mrs John Robinson. Fr Mattie was the last survivor of his generation.
He got his early schooling at Belvedere, practically adjoining his home and thence he later went to Clongowes and from there he entered the novitiate at Tullabeg on August 31st 1914. He was one of the “Twelve Apostles” of whom he himself gave some account in the obituary of Fr Fred Paye, from his hand, which appeared in the July number of the Province News, 1972. (He was an excellent panegyrist, and was frequently applied to to formulate an appreciation and readily obliged, despite the incapacity in later years of poor eyesight.) From Tullabeg after a brief period in the - home Juniorate, then usual, he advanced to Rathfarnham where he got a distinguished degree at the University in History. Thence to Milltown for Philosophy and in 1924 back to Clongowes and later to Mungret, Doc. Among his pupils in Mungret was Tadhg Mannion, Archbishop and Cardinal to be, who on a recent occasion visiting his Alma Mater affectionately recalled Mr Bodkin, as he then was, and wished particularly to be remembered to him. Milltown again for Theology and ordination 1932. On returning to Clongowes after the Tertianship he acquitted himself with success as Prefect of Studies for four years and later at Belvedere as teacher. One of the chores which regular fell to his lot was the editorship of the College Annual and in his leisure time he produced several school stories of dimensions of novels, “Flood Tide” being the more popular. He likewise wrote a memoir of Fr John Sullivarı... “The Port of Tears'.

Fr Bodkin's death in the night between All Saints' Day and the Commemoration of All Souls, when by a special effort he had said the customary three Masses for the Dead, after midnight, was in many ways a fitting end to a long life during which he had always been notable for the energy with which he threw himself into whatever task assigned him,
Those who saw the memorial card which was made after his death were somewhat taken aback to realise how much Fr Mattie's face had changed in appearance during his long, strenuous and often hard life. No man was better able to enjoy fun or any form of relaxation that appealed to him but there was always a sense of duty to be done, and done generously, at whatever cost to himself. He had a real gift of friendship and he was never short of friends. Whether as a teacher or a preacher, naval chaplain or confessor, in his last years, to more than one community of young Irish Christian Brothers, he gave himself heartily to each. The free independent judgment which was always a marked characteristic of his advice made him in old age an admirable confessor, just as in his youth the same independent judgment made him, to use a phrase from one who knew him many years ago in Belvedere, a superb teacher of history and English literature. Clongowes and Belvedere were very much the centres of Mattie’s life down to the year 1940 when he volunteered as a naval chaplain in Derry and in the Far East.
The fact that he was one of a very well known and respected Dublin family and that he lived in or near Dublin for so many years gave him a great advantage in forming the friendships which meant so much to him personally and which were so marked a feature of his apostolic work. He lived more than seventy years of life in Dublin at a time when Dublin was very much the centre of modern Irish life and his memory (usually but not always accurate in detail) made his conversation a stream of reminiscences that were always vivid to himself and of interest to his hearers, Again and again it was remarked that what Mattie remembered was almost always some kind word spoken to him or some good deed which had made an impression on him, possibly long years ago. He was quick to complain of some passing episode that irritated him but his wide ocean of personal memories seemed full. to overflowing of kind and generous thoughts.
The failure of Fr Bodkin's eyesight which was so heavy a cross for him to bear in the years after his return from service in the English Royal Navy exacted more from him than from most other sufferers from this affliction for all through life he had been a great reader of books and a lover of fine pictures. As a boy, in his father's house he had the good fortune of knowing Sir Hugh Lane, then at the height of his influence in Irish artistic life and in later years, he had the constant stimulus of his brother Tom's example, first as Director of the National Gallery in Dublin, then of the Barber Institute in Birmingham
But there was another strand of the family tradition: if Tom Bodkin's name will always be remembered in connection with theNational Gallery and the controversy that arose over the final disposition of Hugh Lane's bequest to Dublin the name of his sister, Emma, was even more closely linked with Frank Duff’s apostolate and work for the Legion of Mary at home and abroad. It was probably Emma's influence which first turned Mattie's thoughts to the welfare, spiritual even more than temporal, of the young girls who for one reason or another had been left without family or friends to help and advise them. What Fr Mattie did for those girls and often for many years successively, when they turned to him as to a friend upon whom they could always count, is known only to God. Emma predeceased him by a few months here in Dublin. Both, we are confident, have received in Heaven the reward which the Lord promises to those who give and give generously to children and to those in need. Requiescant in Pace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1974

Obituary

Father Matthias Bodkin SJ (1896-1973)

Fr Bodkin's death in the night between All Saints Day and the Commemoration of All Souls, when by a special effort he had said the customary three Masses for the Dead, after midnight, was in many ways a fitting end to a long life during which he had always been notable for the energy with which he threw himself into whatever task assigned him.

Those who saw the memorial card which was made after his death were somewhat taken aback to realise how much Fr Mattie's face had changed in appearance during his long, strenuous and often hard life. No man was better able to enjoy fun or any form of relaxation that appealed to him but there was always a sense of duty to be done, and done generously, at whatever cost to himself. He had a real gift of friendship and he was never short of friends. Whether as a teacher or a preacher, naval chaplain or confessor, in his last years, to more than one community of young Irish Christian Brothers, he gave himself heartily to each. The free independent judgement which was always a marked characteristic of his advice made him in old age an admirable confessor, just as in his youth the same independent judgement made him, to use a phrase from one who knew him many years ago in Belvedere, “a superb teacher” of history and English literature. Clongowes and Belvedere were very much the centres of Mattie's life down to the year 1940 when he volunteered as a naval chaplain in Derry and in the Far East.

The fact that he was one of a very well known and respected Dublin family and that he lived in or near Dublin for so many years gave him a great advantage in forming the friendships which meant so much to him personally and which were so marked a feature of his apostolic work, He lived more than seventy years of life in Dublin at a time when Dublin was very much the centre of modern Irish life and his memory (usually but not always accurate in detail) made his conversation a stream of reminiscences that were always vivid to himself and of interest to his hearers. Again and again it was remarked that what Mattie remembered was almost always some kind word spoken to him or some good deed which had made an impression on him, possibly long years ago. He was quick to complain of some passing episode that irritated him but his wide ocean of personal memories seemed full to overflowing of kind and generous thoughts.

The failure of Fr Bodkin's eyesight which was so heavy a cross for him to bear in the years after his return from service in the English Royal Navy exacted more from him than from most other sufferers from this affliction for all through life he had been a great reader of books and a lover of fine pictures. As a boy, in his father's house he had the good fortune of knowing Sir Hugh Lane, then at the height of his influence in Irish artistic life and in later years, he had the constant stimulus of his brother Tom's example, first as Director of the National Gallery in Dublin, then of the Barber Institute in Birmingham.

But there was another strand of the family tradition: if Tom Bodkin's name will always be remembered in connection with the National Gallery and the controversy that arose over the final disposition of Hugh Lane's bequest to Dublin the name of his sister, Emma, was even more closely linked with Frank Duff's apostolate and work for the Legion of Mary at home and abroad. It was probably Emma's influence which first turned Mattie's thoughts to the welfare, spiritual even more than temporal, of the young girls who for one reason or another had been left without family or friends to help and advise them. What Fr Mattie did for those girls and often for many years successively, when they turned to him as to a friend upon whom they could always count, is known only to God. Emma predeceased him by a few months here in Dublin. Both, we are confident, have received in Heaven the reward which the Lord promises to those who give and give generously to children and to those in need. Requiescant in Pace.

◆ The Clongownian, 1974

Obituary

Father Matthias Bodkin SJ

Early on the morning of All Souls' Day, 1973, Fr Mattie Bodkin died at Milltown Park. He had arranged to say after midnight the customary three Masses for the dead, so as to leave himself free for some apostolic work in the morning. He had been in poor health for the past few years, and this final effort proved too great. It was a fitting end to a long life of devoted and strenuous work as a priest.

Mattie Bodkin was at Clongowes from 1910 to 1914. His father, Judge Matthias McDonnell Bodkin, was an old Tullabeg boy, and his brother Tom, later Professor of Fine Arts in the University of Birmingham and Director of the Barber Institute, had preceded him at Clongowes by some ten years. Mattie entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1914, took his MA in history in University College, Dublin, taught for some years in Clongowes and Mungret, and, after the usual theological studies was ordained in 1931.

The next ten years of Fr. Bodkin's life were spent teaching or directing studies in Clongowes and Belvedere. His work was characterised by energy and originality. To give an example of the latter characteristic, when prefect of studies in Clongowes, he was responsible for three institutions all of which were, for those days, distinctly forward-looking. These were the “Society of St Patrick” which put the senior boys into touch with charitable institutions in Dublin, in the hope of their being enlisted, a lending library of non-fictional books which the boys could carry about with them, and a special meeting room for the Irish Society in which all the furniture and decorations were examples of Irish craftmanship. He was a stimulating teacher, and was indefatigable in guiding boys to suitable careers, getting them openings and keeping in touch with them in after life. This personal relationship with his pupils and past pupils was perhaps the greatest apostolate of Fr Mattie's life.

In 1943 there was an urgent request from the head chaplain of the British forces for a naval chaplain. The post was offered to Fr Bodkin, who willingly accepted it. He acted at first as Port Chaplain in Derry, where he had a very friendly reception from the then bishop, Dr Farren. His work there was varied by a strenuous patrol journey to Iceland on a destroyer. He then joined HMS Anson, and did duty in many parts of the world, Malta, Australia, Hong Kong - where he arrived just as the last Japanese were leaving, and where he met the Irish Jesuit missionaries who had survived the ordeal of the occupation - Japan and Singapore. Though he never saw fighting, he had innumerable adventures and had constant opportunity for priestly work.

He was demobilized towards the end of 1946, and spent the next twenty years giving missions and retreats. To this work he applied himself with characteristic vigour, and became well known to the clergy throughout Ireland. During all this time he kept up his friendships with his former pupils, and contracted many more, among all walks of life, as a result of his unfailing readiness to help those who were in trouble. But as years went on, his eye sight gradually deteriorated, and finally he had to live a more or less retired life at Milltown Park. Fr Mattie, however, could never be idle, and to the last he endeavoured to carry on some literary work. He had, for instance, planned an article for 1974 to mark the centenary of the birth of Sir Hugh Lane, whom he had known when he was a boy. It also gave him great happiness to be able to carry on his priestly work to the end, acting as spiritual adviser to several communities of young Christian Brothers.

Fr Bodkin was a man of wide and varied interests and talents. His special subject was history and here his quite phenomenal memory stood him in good stead - but he had also an encyclopediac knowledge of English literature, and was himself a prolific and able writer. As a young man, he published three excellent stories for young people,” Floodtide”, “The Treasure of the Mountain” and “Halt Invader”, and in later life an historical novel, “Borrowed Days”, in the background of which figured houses he had lived in, Emo Park, Belvedere, Clongowes, Among his other works were a study of the life and spirituality of Fr John Sullivan, “The Port of Tears”, which recreated in a striking way the Victorian background of Fr Sullivan's early life, and a particularly attractive illustrated book, “A Christmas Novena”. He was also the author of many excellent painphlets on the lives of the saints, amongst them St Bernadette, St John Berchmans, St John de Brébeuf and Blessed Ralph Corby.

A minor work of his was a first-class piece of literary detection. This was a paper which he read to the Royal Irish Academy in 1924 on a memorandum preserved in the Clongowes library. It is obviously the work of a confidential agent, and expresses in very frank terms the writer's opinion of the members of the Irish House of Commons in 1773. Fr. Bodkin identified the author as Sir John Blaquire, secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, Lord Harcourt, and also gave an enlightening view of the contemporary political situation.

Fr Mattie had also a fine artistic taste. He had a wide knowledge of the great artists and paintings of every age, and in parti cular had made a special study of the art as well as the history of Egypt. Through his association with his brother Tom, he had come to know many contemporary Irish artists, in particular Jack B. Years, on whose work he was invited to lecture on several occasions at the Sligo Yeats Festival.

Booler, Arthur J, 1907-1986, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/930
  • Person
  • 11 July 1907-20 August 1986

Born: 11 July 1907, Carlton, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Entered: 27 March 1928, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Final vows: 15 August 1944
Died: 20 August 1986, Canisius College, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Ent as Scholastic Novice

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He lived in Huntsville, a South Sydney suburb and he was educated by the Christian Brothers, first at St Charles and then Waverley College where he had gained a scholarship. he then went on to begin an apprenticeship in pharmacy. A year into that he entered St Columba’s Seminary at Springwood for priestly studies. There he read the story of William Pardow, an American Jesuit, and the inspiration and attraction he got from this led him to ask to be released by the Archdiocese.
Having entered as a scholastic novice at Loyola Greenwich, he was subsequently sent to Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin for his Juniorate, graduating from University College Dublin with First Class Honours in Hebrew and Aramaic, the first Jesuit to attain this distinction at that time. From there he was sent to Pullach in Germany for Philosophy, in the process leaning German, which he attempted to maintain through the rest of his life.
During his time abroad the first signs of epilepsy appeared. He returned to Australia and was sent to Xavier College, Kew for Regency. Because his condition continued it was decided that he would not proceed the scholastic course of studies to ordination. This decision brought him to a crossroads which tested his vocation. The Provincial of the time, John Fahy earnestly urged him to leave the Society, which advice was a source of resentment for the remainder of his life. He was obsessed with scholarship, and becoming a Brother would mean the end of his studies. He was pained by being separated from his scholastic companions and joining in with the Brothers, who in general would have had simpler tastes than his, but he decided to do so in order to remain a Jesuit.

1938-1940 He went as a Brother to Sevenhill, which was something of a refuge for men in difficulty of one kind or other, and it was thought that the climate would be good for his condition.
He was then sent to the Noviciate at Loyola College Watsonia as kitchen hand, occasional cook and infirmarian. The latter did not suit his temperament, but he was faithful to his duties. Here he also learned some basic bookbinding from Brother Maurice Joyce. With characteristic thoroughness he decided that he wished to master this craft. He was unable to do this until such time as a retired chief bookbinder of the Sydney Municipal Library gave him weekly lessons.
1944-1986 His remaining years were spent doing the work of bookbinding at Canisius College Pymble, and the Theologate Library contains many of his professionally bound books and periodicals.

At times he felt frustrated that much of the work given to him was unworthy of his talents, and in addition when many of the Latin Missals he had bound he took to the incinerator following the liturgical renewal. As with everything he faced these trials with a brave and humble heart.
Even in his later years he could be called on in an emergency, stepping in to cook meals or help clean up a room of one of the older men when nobody else could, and he did so with a certain joy in facing the challenge presented.
For many years he had shown a degenerative condition of the spine which occasioned spondylitis, and this caused him increasing pain and distress. It was a relief to his sufferings when he died at Babworth House, the Sydney mansion at Darling Point that had been the home of Sir Samuel Horden and his family, but acquired by the Sisters of Charity and used as an adjunct to St Vincent’s Hospital. He would have been pleased to die in the midst of such expired affluence.

He was a great raconteur and enjoyed talking about his time in Europe and about the sayings and doings of Ours. In his earlier days he enjoyed walking and went on many long hikes with scholastics, especially in the region around the holiday house at Geoora. Each year he joined the Riverview Villa (holiday) in December and was a regular member of the card players. He was a good companion and a faithful Jesuit.

Booth, Edward, 1917-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/483
  • Person
  • 24 November 1917-12 April 1988

Born: 24 November 1917, Kells, County Kerry
Entered: 14 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1957, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 12 April 1988, St Joseph’s, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

Part of the Belvedere College SJ community, Great Denmark Street, Dublin at the time of death.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 3 1988

Obituary

Fr Edward Booth (1917-1938-1988)

24th November 1917: born in Kells, near Cahirsiveen, Co. Kerry. Schooled at local national school; Christian Brothers' school, Cahirsiveen; and Mungret College.
14th September 1938: entered SJ. 1938-40 Emo, noviciate. 1940-43 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1943-46 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1946-48 Mungret, Third-club prefect. 1948-52 Milltown Park, theology. 31st July 1951: ordained to priesthood by Archbishop John C McQuaid. 1952-53 Rathfarnham, tertianship, during which he received his assignment to Zambia (then called Northern Rhodesia). During the summer of 1953, along with his fellow-missionaries he received a course of vaccine injections against tropical diseases. (The other members of the group departed for Africa on 11th August, without Ted.)
On or about 6th August 1953: the stroke which changed his life. 1953-55 Milltown Park. 1955-70 Clongowes. 1970-85 Belvedere. 1985-88 Kilcroney nursing-home, Bray, Co Wicklow. 12th April 1988: died.

Fr Ted, or, as he was better known to his family and Jesuit colleagues, simply "Ted", was a true Kerryman, as he delighted in reminding us all. For his regency he was assigned to Mungret College, where he had been schooled and where he had full scope for his down-to earth practical ability.
It was two years after his ordination to the priesthood and five days before his expected departure for Zambia that Ted suffered a very sudden stroke and brain haemorrhage, which caused semi paralysis and effectively deprived him of speech for the remaining thirty-five years of his life. Suddenly and unexpectedly life had radically changed. The strange ways of Providence and the mystery of suffering in the world were exemplified in Ted's life during these thirty-five years. His frustration was intense, and he often expressed it in words soon to become very familiar to us: “Long time”. Heroically he carried his cross during all these years. The will power he manifested in his daily endeavours to overcome his disability was matched by the ingenious ways he devised of coping with it and preserving his limited independence.
The ultimate suffering for Ted came during the last three years of his life, as his condition in 1985 necessitated that he should be moved to the St John of God Brothers' nursing-home in Kilcroney. There he received the most dedicated care and attention of the community and staff. The limited communication which he had was now reduced to mere recognition. Life in a Jesuit house with a Jesuit community had been one of the supports of Ted's life, but now this strong support was removed, and he suffered the corresponding pain of such a loss. He died peacefully and suddenly in the late evening of 12th April. Ted's poignant “Why?” in relation to his suffering is now no longer dependent on our feeble attempts to answer or to clarify.
Ted was always practical and down-to earth, with a no-nonsense approach to all aspects of life. Those who were more at home in abstract speculation and decidedly ill-at-ease and lacking on the practical level could expect a knowing and sympathetic nod from Ted. Back in Milltown, in 1949, he was one of the first to alert the community on the fateful night of the fire. He it was who brought the aged Fr Bill Gwynn to safety on that night. Study was not an indulgence for Ted; it was a laborious and heavy burden, but one he shouldered with great determination and tenacity.
To us in the community, Ted was a very rich presence. He was our brother, who had come through the years of formation with several of us, and could share the jokes about our noviceship under Fr John Neary, Tommy Byrne's philosophy lectures (“stingo”), and all the rest. In his tragic incapacity, his few words and his extraordinary sense of fun, he was like a child in our midst, almost a son to us. But in the unspoken and inexpressible mystery of his vocation to share the Cross of Christ so intimately, he was our father, one who had gone far ahead of us on the path to Cal vary by which we must all walk.
In community, he was always at hand, and always ready to extend a welcome to visitors with his familiar salutation “Hello” or “You are well?”. He was a catalyst at recreation, and where the laughter was, there you might expect to find Ted. He had a great sense of humour, especially when subjected to leg-pulling. Of course you had to give him the opportunity of scoring off his teaser, and this gave him great delight. He thoroughly enjoyed the cut and thrust of an argument, and his “Good, good” left no doubt where his sympathies lay, while “Bad, bad” clearly indicated his strong denunciation.
There was a minimum of self-pity about Ted. He immediately related to anyone he met. His regular fortnightly visit to Mrs Carroll was an important event on his agenda. She gave him devoted medical attention, of which friendship, hospitality and support always formed part. A special gift to Ted was his family, especially his sisters Katty and Peggy, whose love and care for him were very special indeed. How Ted used to look forward to holidays with them in Kerry! In the mutual attention, concern and devotion Ted had for his nieces and they for him, the age gap was completely swept aside. The members of the Clongowes and Belvedere communities, among whom Ted spent almost the entire thirty-five years of his illness, showed him extraordinary consideration, understanding and consistent kindness. The constant caring attention of Fr Jim Lynch in Belvedere was a never-failing source of strength and support for Ted.
Ted was a man of prayer and a very holy man, with the Mass as the centre of his very life. His customary early-morning ritual was to trudge over to Gardiner Street or celebrating Mass in Belvedere. He lived the Cross in his daily life and so could appreciate in the Mass the Sacrifice of the Cross. The gospel read at his funeral Mass said of St Peter: “When you were young you , . . walked where you liked; but when you grow old . . . somebody else will ... lead you where you would rather not go”. St Peter would have grown old before he was led away, but Ted was still a young man, strong and ready for action, when he was led where he would rather not go.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1988

Obituary

Father Edward Booth SJ

Fr Booth was not a past pupil of Belvedere but he lived in the Jesuit community here from 1970 until 1985 when he had to gointo a nursing home. Ted, as we knew him, was not, either, strictly a member of the College staff, well known as he was to all of them, because he had been severely incapacitated by a stroke when he was 35, shortly after his ordination, and this effectively deprived him of speech for the remaining 35 years of his life, preventing him from carrying on any priestly ministry in the normal sense.

The boys saw little of him over the years he was here, although he did for a while appoint himself “Yard Supervisor” with responsibility for seeing that perfectly good lunches were not thrown away by the younger ones. Many an unthinking malefactor found himself being hauled unceremoniously back to the bin - Ted was very strong, despite paralysis on one side - to retrieve what he had discarded, the whole business being embarrassingly accompanied by stern cries from his captor, the intent of which was perfectly clear to all, even if the words were not!

But this conveys little of the richness of Ted's presence to us in the community. He was always at hand, always ready to extend a welcome to visitors, a catalyst at recreation, with a great sense of humour and a minimum of self-pity. He was a very important part of life in the house, laughing at our over busyness, mocking any hint of foolish self-importance in anyone, young or old, a living reminder of the things that really matter. These pages chronicle many wonderful achievements but few have fashioned any thing more wonderful out of their lives than Ted Booth did.

He died suddenly and peacefully in Kilcroney on April 12th. We miss him sorely and we remember him with affection, gratitude and reverence. We realise now what a mysterious privilege it was to have lived with him.

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.
R.I.P.

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

Obituary

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 con- scripted, 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, Gerard, 1926-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/812
  • Person
  • 17 January 1926-20 August 2017

Born: 17 January 1926, Ranelagh, Dublin
Entered: 14 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 03 December 1981, Tokyo, Japan
Died: 20 August 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Japanese Province (JPN)

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

Transcribed HIB to JPN : 16 December 1960

by 1952 at Eiko, Yokosuka-shi, Japan (JPN) studying
by 1959 at Hiroshima, Japan (JPN)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/much-travelled-jesuit/

A much-travelled Jesuit
Irish Jesuit Fr Gerry Bourke SJ, who spent a good part of his Jesuit life in Japan, passed away on Sunday 20 August. He was aged 91 years. His funeral Mass took place in Milltown Park Chapel on Tuesday 22 August.
Fr Bourke SJ, a native of Ranelagh, Dublin, was a student in CBS Synge St. before he joined the Society in 1943. Shortly after his ordination in 1957, he joined the Japanese mission, and in 1960 he became formally a member of the Japanese Jesuit Province. After a short period as parish priest in Hiroshima, Gerry spent many years teaching in a Jesuit high school in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo. He left in 1971, and went to New York, and then to Hawaii, where he did academic and pastoral work. He returned to Japan in 1984, where he taught and ministered at Sophia University in Tokyo.
After another stint in Hawaii, Gerry returned to Ireland in 2001, and for much of the next decade was deeply immersed in Jesuit communications, particularly with the innovative and thriving apostolate of Sacred Space. He moved to Cherryfield Lodge nursing home in his native Ranelagh in 2013 where he settled in very well and appreciated all that was done for him. It was there that he passed away peacefully on Sunday 20 August.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at CBS, Synge Street, Dublin
1945-1948 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1948-1951 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1951-1954 Yokosuka, Japan - Regency : Learning Language; Teaching at Eiko Gakuen Jesuit High School
1954-1958 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1958-1960 Hiroshima, Japan - Parish Priest at Gion Kioku kunai
1959 Tertianship at Hiroshima
1960-1971 Yokosuka - Teaching at Eiko Gakuen Jesuit High School
1971-1972 Fordham University, New York - Education Studies; Parish Ministry; Family Consultation Service
1972-1978 Riverdale, New York - Campus Ministry at College of Mount St Vincent
1974 Lecturer in Psychology at Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry New York
1978-1984 Honolulu, Hawaii - Superior at University of Hawaii Jesuit Community; Campus Ministry
1984-1991 Sophia University, Tokyo - Director of Counselling Institute; Lecturing in Psychology
1991-1996 Honolulu, Hawaii - Parish Ministry at St Anthony’s Church, Kailua
1993 Parish work at Star of the Sea Church, Honolulu
1994 Pastor at Sacred Heart Church, Pahoa
1995 Parish Administrator at St Ann’s Church. Maui
1996-1997 Manila, Philippines - Lecturing at East Asia Pastoral Institute
1997-2001 Farm St Church, London - Ministering to Japanese Community in London; Parish Staff
2001-2017 Leeson St - JCC; Sacred Space; Editor of “Latest Space” & “Interfuse
2003 Editor “Scared Space”
2014 Praying for Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Brady, John, 1935-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/849
  • Person
  • 03 September 1935-15 April 2014

Born: 03 September 1935, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1953, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1973, College of Industrial Relations, Dublin
Died: 15 April 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1970 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuit-economist-honoured/

John Brady SJ was conferred with an Honorary Fellowship by the National College of Ireland on Friday 20 Nov,’09. Many former colleagues, Jesuits and friends were there to celebrate his achievement. John Brady SJ spent thirty years of his life at the NCI which was formerly known as the National College of Industrial Relations, based in Ranelagh. According to Dr Tony White of the Milltown Institute, who gave the citation, John Brady was a moderniser. He said it was mainly during his time that the college moved from being a college of adult education to a mainline third-level institution. He also oversaw the employment of lay staff along with Jesuits.”That expansion of course increased the cost base but John’s skills extended to ensuring that the College increased its financial resources to pay for this expansion. He may have had a vow of poverty, but he understood money. After all he is an economist!” Click here to read the full text of Tony White’s speech.
Citation for Reverend John Brady SJ on the occasion of the conferring of an Honorary Fellowship by the National College of Ireland , 20 November 2009
It is very appropriate that we should today be conferring an honorary fellowship on Father John Brady. John Brady is somebody who has made an immense contribution to developing this college and bringing the National College of Ireland to its present position, and it is right that we should acknowledge this contribution in a tangible way.
John Brady is a northside Dubliner. He was educated at Kostka College in Clontarf. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1953. Following two years of novitiate at Emo he continued his studies of economics and history at University College Dublin where he graduated in 1958. Three years of the study of philosophy followed at Tullabeg, after which he spent four years teaching at Crescent College in Limerick and Belvedere College. He then went to Milltown Park to study theology and was ordained there in 1968.
He came to this college in 1970; at that time it was known as the National College of industrial Relations and was located in Ranelagh. He would remain a member of the college staff for thirty years. During his first two years he completed a master’s in economics at University College Dublin. In 1972 he was appointed Director of the College and he held that position for ten years.
John Brady was a moderniser. During his time as Director NCIR made the transition from being primarily a college of adult education to becoming a mainline third-level college. The College had opened as the Catholic Workers College in 1951, and it developed from the skills and contacts of a small and remarkable group of Jesuits in the 1950s and 1960s.
Most of them were still at the College when John joined the staff. He built on the tradition they had established. He consolidated relations with the social partners, and the National College of Industrial Relations became a meeting point for unions and management. John Brady helped to make it very much a crossroads and a good place for what we now call networking.
The College built up a unique niche for itself in industrial relations nationally. John had the diplomatic skills to enable the College to maintain good relations and respect with both sides of industry, no mean achievement in the Ireland of that time. The traditional links with the trade union movement which had been there from the beginning were built on further , and in addition the College became a nationally recognised centre of excellence for teaching what was then referred to as personnel management, and what is today called human resource management.
That was the point at which the College made the transition to becoming a third level institution. John Brady saw the need for external accreditation and recognition of the College’s awards and under him NCIR had its first experience of state recognition with the National Council for Educational Awards, the forerunner of what is now HETAC The National Diploma in Industrial Relations Studies achieved recognition in 1976. This was a major breakthrough because there were at that time many, including a number of influential public servants, who were reluctant to see private colleges like this college achieving state recognition. Under John planning also began on the next phase, which was the move upwards to degree work which took place in the 1980s. These steps constituted the largest and most important transformation in the College’s history and they happened under John’s leadership.
While John was the driver in transforming the College into a third level institution and meeting all the quality inputs, demands and targets that this required, it was also a priority for him that the College would not neglect its roots and that its newly acquired status would not choke the important role which it had always given to access, to looking after those who were often overlooked by the rest of the higher education system. For him the commitment to access, to ensuring that people could have a second chance at achieving their potential, was something of a mission. He ensured that this would remain a college where so far as possible every individual, regardless of what their previous educational history had been, would be afforded an opportunity to develop their full potential. More than anyone else he helped maintain that balance which saw this college achieve genuine third level status, while at the same time maintaining that commitment to offering a very wide level of access to higher education that has put NCI into the unique position nationally which was recognised by the OECD report in 2004.
By the same token John was good at spotting talent, and good also at letting people have their head. In his time as Director the staff grew significantly and he was the one who introduced the first cohort of lay staff. Previously the staff had been almost exclusively Jesuit. That expansion of course increased the cost base but John’s skills extended to ensuring that the College increased its financial resources to pay for this expansion. He may have had a vow of poverty, but he understood money. After all he is an economist.
John Brady has also during his career been a regular contributor to newspapers and journals on economic and social matters. His primary interest was economics, but he was one of those economists whose scope was wide and who wrote on political economy and the social impact of economic decisions and trends. He was also one of those people who reflected and wrote about how the problems of Northern Ireland might eventually be brought to resolution. He was not just a highly practical and effective administrator but by his writing and his activity in the public arena he helped to create the acceptance of this college as one where serious scholarship and intellectual reflection took place.
Asked what characterised John Brady, one of those who worked with him in the early years of the College suggested that he was somebody who offered calm leadership to very strong individuals. He is indeed a calm, gentle and courteous man, a widely – read man and someone with a great interest in music. You are liable to bump into him regularly at the National Concert Hall. Nevertheless behind that gentle exterior there was the passion, the determination, the steel and the vision that tend to be marks of successful leaders of complex institutions like this College.
It is fitting then that this serious scholar and far-seeing manager should be numbered among the honorary fellows of this College, and it is my privilege and pleasure to commend Father John Brady SJ for this distinction.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 156 : Summer 2014

Obituary

Fr John Brady (1925-2014)

3 September 1935 : Born in Dublin
Early education at Holy Faith Convent and Kostka College
7 September 1953: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1955: First Vows at Emo
1955 - 1957: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1957 - 1961: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1961 - 1963: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
1963 - 1965: Belvedere College - Teacher
1965 - 1969: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
10 July 1968: Ordained at Milltown Park
1969 - 1970: Tertianship at St. Beuno's
1970 - 1984: College of Industrial Relations
1970 - 1972: Lecturer; Post-grad. Studies in Economics (MA from UCD)
1973 - 1982: Director of CIR; Lecturer
15 August 1973: Final Vows
1982 - 1983: Sabbatical year
1983 - 1984: Lecturer in Economics at C.I.R.
1984 - 2014: Gonzaga College - Lecturer in Economics at NCIR; Writer
1987 - 1994: Lecturer in Economics at NCR; Writer; Research Lecturer
1994 - 2000: Chaplain and Lecturer in Economics at NCIR; Writer; Research
2000 - 2001: Writer; Research Lecturer
2001 - 2004: Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Sacred Space contributor
2004 - 2010: Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Prefect of Health; Writer
2010: Prefect of Health. Assistant Chaplain Cherryfield Lodge; Writer, Emeritus
2010 - 2011: Assistant Chaplain at Cherryfield Lodge; Writer, Emeritus Lecturer at NCI
2011 - 2012: Emeritus Lecturer at National College of Ireland.
2012 - 2014: Resident, Cherryfield Lodge. Prayed for the Church and the Society

Fr. Brady was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 26th October 2012 when he needed nursing care. His condition deteriorated over time, more so over the last couple of months. He died peacefully before 6:00 am on l5th April 2014. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Fr John Brady died in Cherryfield Lodge on 15 April, at the age of 78. The big crowds at his Removal and Funeral Mass were a reminder of his range of interests, and of the affection with which so many regarded him. He was educated at an interesting school with Jesuit roots, Kostka College in Clontarf, founded and managed by Louis Roden who had been a Jesuit novice. John entered the Jesuits at 18. Son of a civil servant, with roots in Cavan and Meath, his Jesuit life was mainly centred round the College of Industrial Relations, where he was first a lecturer in Economics, then director of the college from 1973-1982, then, for a further 17 years, lecturer and chaplain. His publications, in clear and dispassionate prose, centred mainly on questions of economic and social policy, in the Republic and in Northern Ireland.

He had joys and interests outside his work, notably in art, tennis, music and sailing (he was active in the Glénans organisation, first as an apprentice sailor, later as an instructor). John was open-minded, supportive of younger colleagues, and with a keen curiosity about the world he lived in. As a scholastic in Crescent College in 1962, he had shown a capacity for strategic thinking and action. Brendan Staunton, then a Fifth Year pupil, remembers how John was introduced to the tennis team as their new coach. “He looked the part, with his dazzling head of blond hair. His speaking style however was new to us, and his knowledge of tennis sounded esoteric, most un-Limerick-like. The team progressed to the final, in which they beat Glenstal. At a school assembly John Brady was acclaimed for his shrewd knowledge of the game and his team. What we didn't realise until well after our win was something John Brady did behind the scenes. Glenstal had played their previous rounds on hard courts. John quietly managed to have the final played on grass, in the Club where four of the team were members. And that made all the difference!”

In his homily at John's Requiem Mass, Bill Toner noted the same capacity for strategic thinking:

I was only head-hunted once in my life, and that was by John, who had just been appointed Director of the College of Industrial Relations. He was very strategic in his approach to the job. One aspect of that was that he kept an eye out for young Jesuits who might be persuaded to work in the College. I had studied accountancy in my younger days, and John had just finished designing a National Diploma course in industrial relations which included a subject called 'Financial Control Systems'. So I was quickly in his sights. Anyway the result was that I spent 17 happy years in the CIR, and for the first seven John was my boss.

John was great to work with. When I look back at it now I imagine he must have found me insufferable at times, but he never showed it. He was very humble, and that is why the Beatitudes came to me when I was suggesting a Gospel for the Mass. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. I was full of new ideas when I arrived and I must have frequently strayed onto his patch, but he never pulled rank or said I am the boss here. He seemed to enjoy the contribution made by the various young Turks, Jesuit and lay, who came to work in the College. He was not himself a revolutionary by temperament, but he was greatly fascinated by people who wanted to shake things up and rock the boat and was always ready to give them their head. The result was that there was a great atmosphere of freedom and bold ideas in the College. Lecturers were, to my knowledge, never reined in. If a lecturer was reported to have said something outrageous, rallying people to the cause of the class war or something like that, John would find it amusing rather than shocking. He presided every week at extraordinary faculty meetings - I mean extraordinary in the sense of bizarre rather than unscheduled - which Fr. Bill McKenna used to call the weekly blood letting. These were an occasion for outrageous statements and the taking of indefensible positions. I don't think John could always have found these amusing, but he presided over them with great calm and dignity. I think he regarded them as part of the cut and thrust of academic life. It is said that Henry Kissinger was once given a choice between being president of an American university or working to solve Vietnam conflict and he chose Vietnam as the less stressful of the two. In the end indeed the pressures of being Director of the College for nine years began to tell on John and he gave up the job in 1981, confining himself after that to lecturing in economics.

As Director, John had a great relationship with the students. He took very seriously the characteristics of Jesuit education which have been developed over centuries. In the current Jesuit document on education we can read: The human person, understood in the context of his or her eternal destiny, is the central focus of the Jesuit college. Jesuit education insists on individual care and concern for each person. It invites each student onto their unique journey of personal, moral and spiritual development. Our Mission is to help the students grow holistically. John really believed in that. He encouraged us on the staff to get to know all the students personally, never regarding meetings with individual students as a waste of time. In the early days many of the trade union students had left school at 14 but John was always quick to spot potential and he would talk to them and encourage them to go as far as they could and as far as they wanted to. Many people owe the flowering of their personal academic development to the College and to John. John brought the same concern for the personal care of students to his work as a member of the board of Greendale Community School in Kilbarrack.

John was every inch a Jesuit. He loved the Society. I could say that he was very faithful in going to functions in various Houses, but it was much more than that – he really enjoyed meeting the brethren. In fact he was exceptionally good at meeting people from all walks of life and maintaining firm friendships. He had great friends in the trade union movement, and also in management. John was not naïve. He knew that there were many people in the trade union movement who didn't trust the College and what it was doing, seeing it as an effort to de-radicalise the trade union movement. On the other hand he knew that there were employers and managers who didn't like us because we were giving their workers strange ideas and teaching them to speak up for themselves. The college brought many of these people, managers and union officials, together under the one roof. I can remember one occasion when the lights were on all night in the college. It marked a pause for breath during an E.S.B. strike. The College was chosen as a neutral venue where the E.S.B. unions and management could hammer out an agreement, which they did at 7 a.m. A number of commentators, some critical and some not, have suggested that the College played an important role in developing the concept of partnership in the conduct of industrial relations in Ireland. Although national wage agreements may now be a thing of the past, they probably played a crucial role in the steadying of the ship after some of the disastrous and destructive labour and management disputes of the 60s.
It is interesting to note that seven national wage agreements were negotiated during the period that John Brady was Director of the College. Although John was not directly involved in these, he and the College were definitely making a contribution, big or small, to the creation of a climate where people in industry could talk to one another. John had so many interests outside the College that it would be impossible to list them all. He was a man of deep culture. He had Norah McGuiness paintings hanging in the College tea room before most people had even heard of Norah McGuiness. He loved the theatre and good books. He was passionately interested in politics. He came to the College just as the conflict in Northern Ireland broke out, and he was a leading member of the Jesuit network, Jesuits in Northern Ireland, where he made very thoughtful contributions, with interesting angles on difficult questions. Blessed are the peacemakers - John tried his best to be a peacemaker whether in the field of industrial relations or in the Northern Ireland conflict.

John's basic discipline was economics, and he did his master's degree in the economics of transport in Ireland, a subject which fascinated him. He was an academic in the best sense of the world, not because he liked arguing about arcane concepts, but because he could see the power of ideas-and-solid-arguments to bring about change. He was a very popular lecturer in the college. Remarkably, considering his success as a Director, he suffered from a very bad stammer, and nothing showed the determination in his character more than his refusal to let that prevent him from doing anything he wanted to do, whether it was saying a public Mass, or giving a public lecture, or addressing the students at conferring. It was in itself a lesson to all of us not to let some real or imagined problem pull us down. Again, only a very humble person could deal with something like that – he was not too proud to let his fragility show.

John was a very generous person, and could rarely resist helping a poor person who asked him for help. Some would say that he was generous to a fault, but perhaps that accusation would also be laid at the feet of Jesus Christ. St Paul said of Jesus: "Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us”. I don't think John's generosity was a fault that he needed to worry about when he went to meet his maker.

It was sad that John's last years were blighted so much by illness and by memory failure. A time like this is a good time to remember him at his very best, as a good and talented and prayerful Jesuit, to thank God for the contribution he made to the economic and cultural life of his country. We pray for the consolation of his relatives and friends, especially Luke, his brother, his sister in law Catherine, his niece Lisanne, and his nephew Colin. And we pray for John himself that he is now at eternal peace with God.

Bill Toner

Brady, Peter, 1926-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/719
  • Person
  • 01 July 1926-22 October 2007

Born: 01 July 1926, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1962, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 22 October 2007, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 01 January 1968; HK to CHN : 1992

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1954 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Scholar and missionary to Hong Kong dies in homeland
Father Peter Brady
R.I.P.

Father Peter Brady of the Society of Jesus, died peacefully in Ireland on 23 October 2007 at the age of 81. A published writer and a teacher of ethics, he first set foot in Hong Kong in 1952, finally returning to Ireland in 2001.

Born on 1 July 1926, Father Brady joined the Jesuits in 1944, and earned a bachelors’ degree in philosophy at University College Dublin. He then came on mission to Hong Kong in 1952, where he spent two years studying Chinese and another year teaching at Wah Yan College, Wanchai.

Returning to Milltown Park, Ireland, he studied theology and was ordained on 31 July 1958. Two years later he arrived back in Hong Kong and took up the post of assistant to the editor of China News Analysis while continuing his Chinese studies. From 1961 to 1962 he lectured on the history of philosophy and sociology at the Holy Spirit Seminary College in Aberdeen before heading for Melbourne, Australia, for a year to work on his masters degree in modern philosophy.

Upon his return to Hong Kong, Father Brady taught philosophy at the seminary as well as ethics at Wah Yan College in Kowloon.

Ethics would become his life’s work and he taught the subject at Wah Yan, until 1973, then subsequently at the seminary from 1973 to 1996.

He wrote and published several books which were also translated into Chinese: Practical Ethics (1970), Love and Life (1979), Introduction to Natural Family Planning (1980), Medical Ethics (1983) and Ethics (2001), as well as textbooks on ethics for secondary schools.

In later years Father Brady worked on weekends at St. Joseph’s Church in Central, where he made many friends. He had a great sense of humour and was loved by everybody.

In 2001, poor health saw him returning to Ireland where he stayed at a nursing home for Jesuits. He enjoyed receiving visitors from Hong Kong and kept up-to-date on the territory through the weekly editions of the Sunday Examiner.

A memorial Mass was celebrated for him at Ricci Hall Chapel on 10 November 2007.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 November 2007

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He joined the Society of Jesus in 1944. After the usual Jesuit studies graduating BA at UCD and then studying Philosophy, he was then sent to Hong Kong in 1952.

1952-1955 he began studding Chinese for two years before spending a year teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.
1955-1958 He was back in Ireland and Milltown Park, studying Theology and he was Ordained in 1958.
1960-1962 He returned to Hong Kong and took up a post as Assistant to the Editor of the China News Analysis, as well as continuing to study Chinese. He was then appointed to the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen as a Lecturer in the History of Philosophy and Sociology.
1962-1963 He went to Australia where he graduated MA in Modern Philosophy (at Campion College, Kew, Australia)
1963 Returning to Hong Kong, he lectured at the Seminary in Aberdeen, and at the same time he was teaching Ethics at Wah Yan Kowloon (1965-1973).

According to Freddie Deignan : “During that time Peadar wrote and published several books which were translated into Chinese : “Practical Ethics” (1970); textbooks on Ethics for Secondary Schools : “Love and Life (1979), “Natural Family Planning” (1980), “Medical Ethics” (1983), and “Ethics” (2001). He also wrote many articles on sexual ethics and natural family planning for CMAC. In his latter years he loved his weekend apostolae at St Joseph’s Church, where he made many friends. he had a great sense of humour and was loved by everybody.

Due to ill health he left Hong Kong and went to Ireland in 2001, where he lived at the Jesuit nursing him in Cherryfield Lodge.

Brangan, P Dermot, 1932-2021, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/351
  • Person
  • 20 July 1932-04 January 2021

Born: 20 July 1932, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 18 March 1965, Tokyo, Japan
Final Vows: 15 January 1978, Japan
Died: 04 January 2021, Loyola House, Tokyo - Japoniae Province (JPN)

Transcribed HIB to JPN, 15 August 1967

Born : 20th July 1932, Dublin
Raised : Drumcondra, Dublin
Early Education at Coláiste Mhuire, Dublin
7th September 1950 Entered Society at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
8th September 1952 First Vows at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1952-1955 Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin – 3rd level studies at University College Dublin
1955-1958 Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany - Studying Philosophy
1958-1960 Eiko Gauken, Yokosuka-shi, Japan – Regency Studying Japanese language
1960-1962 Hiroshima Gaukin, Hiroshima-shi, Japan - Regency : Teaching
1962-1966 Iesus Kai Dhudoin, Nerima-ku, Tokyo, Japan - Studying Theology
18th March 1965 Ordained at Tokyo
1966-1967 Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin – Tertianship
1967 Transcribed to Japanese Province [JPN] (15/08/1967)
15th January 1978 Final Vows in Japan

◆ Obituary and Tribute
FR PATRICK DERMOT BRANGAN, SJ
July 20, 1932 ~ January 4, 2021

Perhaps because there are too many “Patricks” in Ireland (and because his father’s name was Patrick), he was always known by his middle name “Dermot,” frequently shortened to “Derm.” His mail address, however, was “branganpatrick,” and it might have been the influence of St Patrick, the great British missionary to Ireland, that prompted the Irishman Fr Dermot Brangan to bring Christ to another island country, Japan.
He was born in Dublin on July 20, 1932, the last of five siblings, and was baptised four days later. As a teenager, Dermot attended an Irish-language high school, where he acquired a great love and appreciation for Irish culture and traditions. Surely these enhanced that enjoyable Irish wit that he carried with him throughout his life.
On graduating from high school at the age of 18, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Emo on September 7, 1950. He was fortunate to have as his novice master Fr Donal O’Sullivan, a man known to be very wise and even “ahead of his times.” Three years of humanities (1952-55) at University College Dublin followed on his novitiate, and then he was sent to Pullach in Germany to study philosophy (1955-58). While there, he became proficient in the German language, which was to prove useful in his future community life among German Jesuits in Japan. In fact, someone mentioned that it might have been as a preparation for missionary work in Japan that he was sent to Germany for philosophy.
Having been accepted for missionary life in Japan, Dermot set out with a group of Irish Jesuits going to Hong Kong and fellow scholastic, Donal Doyle, who was also destined for Japan and would be a close companion for the duration of Dermot’s life and a valuable family contact on his demise. (Not even Donal Doyle could fill in the blanks about what drew Dermot to the Jesuits in the first place or why he took an interest in Japan.)
The missionary group traveled by train to Lourdes and then to Rome, where they met with Fr General Janssens at Villa Cavaletti and received Pope Pius XII’s blessing at Castel Gandolfo. They set sail from Naples, auspiciously enough on the feast of St Ignatius, July 31, 1958 and on a ship named “Asia.” Transferring to a smaller ship at Hong Kong, Dermot and Donal sailed on to Japan, stopping off overnight at Kōbe, unaware of the many years Dermot would eventually be spending in that port city. Their final port of call was Yokohama, where they were met by a Father from the language school in Yokosuka and were taken there for the usual two-year Jesuit language program.
After successfully adding Japanese to his familiarity with Irish and German, he was sent to Hiroshima in the summer of 1960 for the first stage of a long career teaching English to Japanese students. Hiroshima Gakuin had opened only four years earlier and was still struggling to set firm roots in the city that had rebuilt itself with surprising vigor from that fateful August day of 1945. While Dermot was teaching there, he was involved in an incident which threatened to leave a deep scar on the name of the school.
As a young scholastic not unfamiliar with mountain climbing, Dermot was asked to go along with the teacher in charge of a group of students on a trek into the mountains just after Christmas of 1961. Along the way the group got caught in an unexpectedly heavy snowstorm. Totally exhausted from plodding through the deep snow and with their destination stopover a mere 100 meters ahead of them, one of the students collapsed and died on the spot. The incident got newspaper coverage, and the young school was both saddened at the loss of a precious life and panicked over what might ensue. Public attention soon passed, but this tragic incident remained in Dermot’s heart as one traumatic downside of his two years of regency in Hiroshima.
The next step in his formation was four years of theology studies at the Jesuit Kamishakujii scholasticate in Tokyo (1962- 66), with ordination to the priesthood on March 18, 1965 at the hands of Cardinal Peter Doi in the newly erected Tokyo cathedral. Those were the days when the professors of theology were rapidly attempting to catch up with the spirit of Vatican II, some more successfully than others. It was also the time when Japan’s phenomenal post-war recovery startled the world with its flawless staging of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
Immediately after theology, Fr Brangan returned to his native Ireland for tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin under Fr Michael Connolly (September 1966 to July 1967). Returning to Japan after that, he began a 27-year career that took him in and out of three Jesuit high schools, mainly teaching English and always being available for consultation with students and teachers. He was a good listener, always trying to understand and help.
The first assignment was to Kōbe to teach English and introduction to Christianity for nine years at Rokkō High School (1967-76). Then there was a twelve-year presence in Hiroshima (1976-88), where he served for six years as Superior of the Jesuit community at Hiroshima Gakuin and Chair of the school’s Board of Trustees (1977-83). During that time, the school celebrated its 25th year with the building of a new classroom wing, not without all the troubles and tensions that normally accompany such a project.
On finishing his term as Superior and Trustee Chairperson, he was awarded a year’s sabbatical, which he spent in a rather unusual way. To quote a letter which he wrote to Fr Provincial Awamoto on February 7, 1983:
“I would like to live for three months at Fr Oshida’s place in Nagano ken. ... Life there is extremely simple, primitive in fact. So whether I can stand it for three months remains to be seen. I would like to live with the greatest simplicity possible in terms of material things and spend a lot of time in prayer and silence for three months.”
The same letter asking for permission to live with Dominican Fr Shigeto Oshida’s group in a simple house in the Nagano countryside also contains a very revealing note about how he would like to spend the rest of his life:
“I would like to say that I do not wish to spend the rest of my life in a school. Put simply, I would like to get out of schools around 55 and certainly before 60.” (He was 50 years old at the time.)
After the three months with Fr Oshida, Fr Brangan’s sabbatical took him to Ireland and a renewal course at St Beuno’s in Wales. Despite that plea in the letter already quoted, he was told to go back to Hiroshima Gakuin. His four remaining years in Hiroshima (1984-88) were spent commuting uphill to the school from the Kōgo Catholic Center. Another letter to Fr Awamoto, dated September 6, 1984 shows clearly what he felt at the time:
“After being out of schools for a year, the prospect of returning to the high school situation in Japan was painful and crushing. Being asked to return to Hiroshima Gakuin, where I had been Board Chairman just one year before, and start working again with the staff, some of whom I had had painful dealings with as Chairman, was a hard blow which exacerbated my negative feelings. ... I found my teaching assignment very taxing in terms of physical and psychic energy.”
What, then, must have been his shock when in 1988 he was assigned to move to Taisei High School in Fukuoka, where teaching would be even more taxing than at the previous schools! However, great consolation was soon to come his way a year later. Beginning in April 1989, his teaching load at the school was lightened, and he was asked to serve as pastor of the local parish Jōsui-dōri, which had been entrusted to the Society. Even during his busy days in Hiroshima, his pastoral zeal had urged him to go to the Hiroshima Cathedral every weekend to help, mainly with hearing confessions. Now he was able to dedicate himself more fully to the work he mainly desired.
And he was good at it. Over the years serving in various posts of responsibility, he had learned how to get people to work together. The parishioners greatly appreciated his style of leadership. He remained at the Fukuoka parish until April 1992 (with a brief sabbatical interlude March to August 1991), then returned to the Taisei residence until 1994. By then he was 62 years old, well beyond the desire he had expressed to leave schoolwork “around 55 and certainly before 60.”
In 1994, Provincial Nicolás wrote to him, with profuse apologies, asking him to serve as secretary in the province offices, saying he had looked over the list of Jesuits “from top to bottom and up again to the top,” only to find that Fr Brangan was the only man for the job—but that he need work only in the morning and could have the rest of the day for pastoral work at St Ignatius Church!
But the moving around did not stop there. After two years in Tokyo (1994-96), he was sent back to Kōbe, this time as Superior of the Kōbe Community, which was comprised of both the high school and the parish Jesuits. He was to live in the parish during his six-year term as Superior (1996-2002) doing pastoral work in the parish and being named officially as associate pastor in 1998. Fr O’Malley was pastor, followed by Fr Sakurai. Being familiar with the Spiritual Exercises, Fr Brangan was often asked for retreats. His contacts with parishioners and former students also occasioned preparing couples for marriage and presiding at their wedding.
When his term in Kōbe was over, in 2002, Fr Renzo De Luca, Superior in Nagasaki, wanted someone to replace Fr Clarkson for pastoral work in the residence and retreat house, concomitantly serving as Minister of the small Jesuit community. After three years there, when he was now 73 years old, he was asked to return to Tokyo to live in SJ House and take over from Fr Barry as translator for the Japanese Bishops’ Conference. This he continued to do until 2009, when failing eyesight prevented him from continuing that work. He made a three-month visit to relatives in Ireland and Germany that year and another to Ireland and Vancouver, Canada in 2012.
He continued with regular pastoral work in St Ignatius and retreat work as occasions offered until, by the beginning of 2020, he showed signs of mental confusion, not being able to find his keys, or wandering into other people’s rooms looking for his things. He moved to Loyola House on January 24, 2020.
A year later, in the evening of New Year’s Day 2021, he collapsed in the chapel and was taken to a hospital, where he was found to have suffered from a left subcortical hemorrhage. There being no room for him there, he was transferred to another hospital the next morning, where he passed over to the Lord two days later, just before 10 a.m. on January 4, 2021. He was 88 years old and had been a Jesuit for 70 years. Due to the raging COVID-19 corona virus, a modest funeral was held in St Ignatius Church and live-streamed for simultaneous participation in Ireland, with Fr Doyle speaking.
In conclusion, though written 20 years ago for Fr Brangan’s golden jubilee in the Society, Fr General Kolvenbach’s encomium is still so fitting as to warrant its repetition here. Each of us can make these our own parting words to Fr Dermot Brangan:
“As I look back on your life, dear Father, I esteem the fine spirit of availability that you have shown so gently and so constantly. Your obvious love for the spiritual things in life has had and continues to have an uplifting effect on those in your care and on all those whom God places in your path. I thank God for your wisdom, your gentle graciousness, and your spirit of availability.”

By Robert Chiesa, SJ

Brenan, Richard Henry, 1918-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/495
  • Person
  • 07 April 1918-31 December 1995

Born: 07 April 1918, Ballyragget, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, John Austin House, Dublin
Died: 31 December 1995, Gonzaga College, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1951 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) making Tertianship
by 1975 at Franklin Paris (GAL) teaching

◆ The Clongownian, 1996

Obituary

Father Richard Brenan SJ

Fr Richard Brenan SJ was born at Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny and came to Clongowes from CBC, Kilkenny. His course of Jesuit studies followed what was then the standard pattern: novitiate at St Mary's, Emo; an Arts degree at UCD, while residing in Rathfarnham Castle; philosophy at Tullabeg and theology at Milltown Park, after three years' teaching, in his case at Crescent College, Limerick, Dick was ordained on 31 July 1949. When he finished his theological studies the year after, he went to Paray-le-Monial in France to do his tertianship, the year of spiritual renewal which is the last stage of formal Jesuit training.

On his return from France he went to Mungret as prefect, teacher and gamesmaster for four years (1951-55) and then spent a further two years in Gonzaga fulfilling similar functions. After that he moved to the work of giving missions and retreats which occupied much of the rest of his life. He spent a decade in Tullabeg on the staff there and then two years at Milltown Park as assistant director of the retreat house. From 1969-74 he was assis tant to the Novice Master at Manresa (for two years), vocations promotor and assistant director of the retreat house.

He spent 1974-75 on sabbatical in Paris and then resumed his work as a retreat-giver, first at John Austin House on North Circular Road in Dublin and finally at Rathfarnham Castle, where he was superior and director of the retreat house in the last three years of its existence as a Jesuit house (1982-85). When Rathfarnham closed he went to Leeson St as minister and assistant to the editor of The Messenger. Finally, in 1991, he went back to Gonzaga, where he continued to do some work for The Messenger and gave some pastoral assistance in the school.

Since the move to Gonzaga, there were periodic spells in the nearby Jesuit infirmary, Cherryfield Lodge, although he always managed to return to Gonzaga. It was there that he died on the last day of 1995, having managed to say Mass daily to the very end.

As the career outlined above suggests, Dick Brenan was a good and loyal servant of the Jesuit province, using his gifts in a variety of functions. He was a friendly, approachable man, with a gift for working with young people, despite a capacity to take himself some what seriously (”Brenan with one ‘n’” was a refrain familiar to his fellow-Jesuits!) While actively involved in the ministry, he found time to write a book on the Jesuit scholastic St John Berchmans, which sought with some success to make the image of the young Belgian more vivid and accessible. He also pursued his interest in photography.

He bore his infirmity at the end of his life with good humour and little fuss and died peacefully, although unexpectedly. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1996

Obituary

Richard Brenan SJ

by Alex Brennan (5a)

I regret that I only came to know Fr Dick Brenan in the later years of his life at Gonzaga. At the time he was suffering from Friedrich's Ataxia, which caused a slow deterioration of his muscles. It was very distressing to see a man with such clarity of vision and dexterity of mind, crippled by such a de bilitating physical ailment. For the final two years of his life, Fr Brenan had become almost completely immobile. I know that he was greatly distressed when he became unable to enjoy fully the grounds of his beloved Gonzaga.

Richard Brenan was born in 1918 in Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny. Educated at Clongowes Wood College, he joined the Jesu its at the age of 18 and was ordained in Milltown Park in 1949. His first encounter with Gonzaga College was as a teacher in 1955. He remained for two years, before postings to Tullabeg, Milltown and Manresa. In 1974 he spent a year in Paris at L'Ecole St. Louis de Gonzaga.

In 1985 he was made Assistant Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger, and was based at the Jesuit House in Leeson Street, before returning to Gonzaga in 1991, where he re mained until his death.

In the company of his other great Jesuit colleague Fr. Frank Browne, Fr. Brenan had an abiding passion for photography, which re mained with him well into his later years.
As a person, Richard Brenan was blunt and to the point. In contrast, his spirit and compassion commanded the respect of all who met him. I first encountered him as my reli gion teacher in Prep. 4. I was somewhat awe struck at the time by his control in class; while he had some difficulty in walking, his strength of personality shone through.

A class in First year cemented our friend ship of six years, disproving his modest sugges tion that classes would "outgrow his company. Our friendship proved something of an enigma to many staff members who heard him joke that we were somehow related. It was not the case.

As our friendship developed I found in Fr. Brenan a confidant, someone to ask for advice, or simply an interesting companion with whom to pass an hour or two. He was always interested in anything I was involved in and his extensive learning made talking with him an enjoyable and educational experience.

I will always remember Fr. Brenan in a very special way. I know he will be remembered for his generosity of spirit and kindness to all. He had always promised to help me with my French as I approached the Leaving Cert.; I hope I can do justice to his faith in me.

Alex Brennan (5A)

Brennan, Martin, 1912-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/475
  • Person
  • 04 December 1912-21 July 1999

Born: 04 December 1912, Dundrum, Dublin
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, St Ignatius, Leeson Street, Dublin
Died: 21 July 1999, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Uncle of Fergal Brennan - Ent 1959

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000

Obituary

Fr Máirtín Ó Braonáin (1912-1999) : translation by Brian Grogan SJ

Martin's health began to decline in 1996 and he spent periods of time in Cherryfield, returning to Leeson Street as often as he could. Later, for health reasons, he remained permanently in Cherryfield. In the last couple of weeks his strength was fading and he died peacefully on Wednesday July 21st, 1999 in Cherryfield.

4th Dec. 1912: Born in Dublin.
Early education in Dundrum National School and CBS Synge Street
3rd Sept. 1930: Entered the Society at Emo.
4th Sept. 1932: First vows at Emo.
1932 - 1936: Rathfarnham- Arts Degree at UCD
1936 - 1939: Tullabeg- Philosophy studies.
1939 - 1942: Milltown- Science Degree at UCD
1942 - 1946: Milltown- Theology studies.
31st July 1945: Ordained priest at Milltown Park.
1947 - 1951: Leeson Street- Doctorate studies in Botany at UCD.
2nd Feb. 1948: Final Vows at Leeson Street.
1951 - 1981: Lecturer in Botany in UCD.
1981 - 1993: Lecturer Emeritus in Biology, writing and assisting in Sallynoggin parish.
1993 - 1996: Lecturer Emeritus in Biology, working in the Irish language apostolate and writing.
1997 - 1999: Moved to Cherryfield Lodge, praying for the Church and the Society.

Fr Proinnsias Ó Fionnagáin writes...

I remember the first time, in September 1932, when I met Máirtín as he arrived in Rathfarnham from Emo, Co Laois. The new scholastics were being welcomed and Máirtín responded to me in Irish. I am sure his companions knew the language but Máirtín was the only one willing to speak it spontaneously.
In the weeks that followed we had little opportunity to chat because I was weighed down with study for my BA exams. I did not see Máirtín again for six years, when we encountered one another in August 1938 in Milltown Park. I had completed regency in the colleges and about to begin theology, but there was a different agenda for Máirtín.

Máirtín did well in Rathfarnham but you would get little news of him in the Province News. However in Tullabeg, our House of Philosophy, we find that Máirtín had completed his studies with exceptional merit. At that time, Fr H. Schmitz, a German Jesuit, had come to Tullabeg to replace Fr Eddie Coyne, and tradition tells that Máirtín did so well in his classes that Fr Schmitz recommended that he be sent on for special studies in Botany. Whether this is true or false Mairtin spent four years, 1938-1942, in UCD studying for a degree in Botany and Zoology. Unsurprisingly this diligent student emerged with first honours and highest merit. Eventually Mairtin began theology (1942-46) and was overjoyed to be ordained a priest on St Ignatius’ Day, 31 July 1945; but his spiritual formation was not completed until summer 1947.

He then took up residence in St Ignatius House, Leeson St—his address till the end of his life. Again, more study followed for his doctorate, but in between we find him teaching Botany as assistant to the professor in UCD, and lecturing in science and religion to students in Earlsfort Terrace. In July 1952 he was awarded his doctorate.

What shall we relate of Dr Mairtin’s life-style in UCD from 1952? Certainly he was a conscientious lecturer who was never satisfied with his current level of knowledge. He was always studying, strengthening and deepening his knowledge in order to achieve excellence in what he taught. Almost every year in vacation time, he participated in learned conferences whether at home or internationally, especially in France, Germany and the US.

He gave many public lectures between 1952-70, on topics such as ‘Adam and Anthropology’, ‘The Catholic Student and the Problems of Evolution’ etc. From 1961 he gave lectures on the philosophy of the French Jesuit, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, in UCD, Maynooth, Galway and Cork. Some of these were published both in Irish and English. It is clear that over these years Mairtin was ceaselessly at work, not only in fulfilling his obligations as professor in the University, and in writing and lecturing. But there is more to the story! He never forgot his first love, the Irish language. No sooner had he completed his formation than he became a member of Cumann na Sagart and was later unanimously elected as its president. It gave him great joy to attend when the annual prize of the Cumann was bestowed on young people who had fostered "Glór na nGael" (The Irish Language). Frequently he travelled as Irish-speaking chaplain to Lourdes. I lived with him in Leeson St from 1961-74 and I often noticed Máirtín’s pleasure when someone spoke in Irish to him. As for myself I would break in on a conversation to ask if he could recall a verse from Tadhg Gaelach or Raifteri. Immediately he would respond with three or four of the required verses!

Maírtín retired from lecturing in October 1980 but he wasn’t seeking ‘ease with dignity’ although he had well earned the right to take life more easily. Soon he was made assistant priest in Sallynoggin, and was elected to membership of the Boards of Management for Irish-speaking schools in Rathcoole and Clondalkin. And he continued to work for our native language until his health no longer allowed him to continue his duties.

When I returned home from France in October 1981 I was delighted to see Máirtín again. He visited me in Gardiner St to discuss the history of the Jesuits in Ireland. I gathered that Mairtin had joined the Jesuits with a deep knowledge of the history of Ireland, learned from the Christian Brothers: now he was deepening his knowledge of the history of the Jesuits in Ireland. He was an independent thinker in regard to the history of Ireland. In his view, the Wild Geese should have stayed in Ireland after the Treaty of Limerick instead of going abroad to fight the battles of the kings of Europe: they could have engaged in guerrilla warfare with the English and their friends at home in Ireland!

God gave Máirtin a long span of life, and surely he was ready when the final notice to surrender came. Let us pray that he may soon experience the vision of the Holy Trinity, under the mantle of Mary our Glorious Mother. He died on July 21, 1999.

Good Jesus our Lord, give him eternal rest.

Proinsias O Fionnagáin, SJ

Translation Brian Grogan SJ

Brereton, Joseph, 1920-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/767
  • Person
  • 05 December 1920-07 May 2012

Born: 05 December 1920, Liverpool, Lancashire, England / Lifford Avenue, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 07 May 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse No 148 : Summer 2012 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2012

Obituary

Fr Joseph (Joe) Brereton (1920-2012)

5 December 1920: Born in Liverpool;
Early education in St. Mary's Primary, Liverpool, and Crescent College, Limerick
7 September 1938: Entered Society at Emo
8 September 1940: First Vows at Emo
1940 - 1943: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1943 - 1946: Studied philosophy in Tullabeg
1946 - 1948: Crescent College - Teacher
1948 - 1949: Belvedere College – Teacher
1949 - 1953: Studied theology in Milltown Park
31 July 1952: Ordained at Milltown Park
1953 - 1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1954 - 1960: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
2 February 1955: Final Vows
1960 - 1963: Gonzaga
1960 - 1962: Teacher
1962 - 1963: Minister, teacher
1963 - 1968: Manresa - Minister, Assisted Director of the Retreat House
1968 - 2012: Clongowes
1968 - 1990: Teacher of Religion, French and English
1990 - 1997: Teacher of English; Assistant to Higher Line Prefect; Chaplain to Hazel Hall (1992)
1997 - 2012: Teacher; Assistant to Higher Line Prefect; Tutor to foreign exchange students; Chaplain to Hazel Hall
7 May 2012: Died Cherryfield

Fr Brereton was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 7th January 2012 suffering from recurrent respiratory problems. His treatment necessitated occasional visits to hospital. He remained in good spirits and mentally alert. His condition deteriorated since mid-April. Fr Brereton passed away peacefully in the company of his sister, Josephine, and Fr Michael Sheil in the early morning of May the 7th 2012. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Obituary : Michael Sheil
The Fiant solita suffragia for the average Jesuit extends to a full page - and sometimes beyond, Fr Joe's CV does not fill even one. But then, Joe was not an “average" Jesuit – he was not an “average" person. The fact that he spent all of 44 years in the same job in Clongowes suggests proof of this !

Joseph Brereton was born in Liverpool and was always loyal to his origins - as the many red soccer jerseys given to him by successive Rhetoric Years in Clongowes will atest. When his father died young, Joe's mother moved her family of three boys and two girls back to her native Limerick, where the sons attended Crescent College. From there Joe entered the Jesuits in 1938 – and the subsequent story of his life is simply told.

He followed the traditional Jesuit training course - BA in UCD [40-43] - Philosophy in Tullabeg [43-46] - Regency in Crescent and Belvedere [46-49]. After three years of theology in Milltown Park, he was ordained there in 1952. Tertianship followed in Rathfarnham (53-54] and Joe returned to his Alma Mater in Limerick as a Teacher for 6 years before moving to Gonzaga College (60-63] and was Minister in Manresa Retreat House from 1963 to 1968. In August 1968 he came to CWC. Fr Tom Layden - our present Provincial - who gave the final Absolution - had not even arrived to start school there at that time!

That made up a grand total of 44 years - give or take a few weeks - for there he stayed ever since. He would probably have occupied the same room for all that time, if a new Rhetoric Wing had not been built in 1999 - but he simply moved about 20 metres west and two floors down to his new quarters.

Joe was a very private sort of person himself – but was deeply interested in other people. In his long life of teaching - all of 56 years in total - and looking after his young charges – he fully justified God's faith in his ability to make his five talents bear fruit. It is calculated that he influenced the lives of over 3,000 students in Clongowes alone -- and the many tributes and messages of sympathy to the Community bore rich testimony to their gratitude to him:

The present writer had the joy and privilege of working with him for 18 years as Higher Line Prefect. Joe always referred to the members of his area as Officers – and dismissed all others as Baggage-Handlers until - when I arrived – I insisted on calling my charges Gentlemen ! He was always there in support - to praise - to encourage – to lower the rising temperature (when needed!] - to offer advice - and, on occasion, to chide ! To be called Villain by him was not a compliment. --- and no one, high or low, Officer or Gentleman - Student or Teacher - was spared! On his encouraging side, his trademark phrase was: That's OK ! That's OK ! A few days after he died this email arrived from Hanoi, Vietnam, from a former pupil: Officers and Gentlemen alike (and also some Villains) will be united in sadness at the news of Fr Joe's death -- and equally warmed by the myriad of happy memories of a great Teacher and a remarkable man.

Very often I used to meet past pupils who would enquire after some of their former Jesuit Teachers – and, after giving them the sad news of the death of A + B +C, I might be asked: And when did Fr Brereton die ? I used to reply, to their surprise: Well I saw him this morning and he was OK !

Sadly for them and for us - as we heard in the second reading at his funeral Mass - this will be no longer so. Joe's tent has been folded up - as he moved – for the last time – to an everlasting home in the heavens. In our first reading – the Prophet Isaiah presents the image of God's Kingdom as a banquet of rich food prepared for all peoples. Joe would surely approve of my choice – for, while Joe was a very private person - in his own quiet way, he was quite a party-man ! While he eschewed the grand manner – he loved the occasional (and increasingly frequent] occasions of sharing some sweets - fruit - biscuits - and a variety of other edibles - from the depths of a seemingly bottomless pocket - with unsuspecting beneficiaries who happened on his path.

In the context of the greater world out there Joe's life was unheralded and unsung - but not so in the daily living of a grace-filled and remarkable life - remarkable in its simplicity and commitment. For his was a life full of love – care - kindness – concern -- thoughtfulness for others – phone-calls - cards – notes – all came to surprise and delight the recipients. His was a life animated by prayer - especially by his devotion to Our Lady, which was well-known - the Breviary and his daily Mass [with his own unique liturgy complete with interjections and dialogue questions!] Joe's proverbial kindness - his five talents (it was the Gospel chosen for his farewell Mass] - was an investment which bore rich dividends for the recipients. Many are the memories – personal and precious - which everyone had of his kindness - each person with his/her own story to tell. He had a particular soft spot for the House Staff - and undertook an unashamed defence of the Eves among them – often reminding the Adams of anniversaries/birthdays, which might otherwise have been forgotten! Exchange students were also among his favourites. At the end of one year – during the Leaving Certificate exams in June - Rhetoric Year gave Joe a present of an electric blanket - for he always seemed to feel the cold very keenly – and was often wrapped in layers of pullovers and his famous coat - beneath which (at least it was rumoured] were several hot-water bottles! He put up a notice to thank the Students for their “very thoughtful gift – which will be so useful now that winter is drawing on” .............. and this was in the first week in June !

At an age when most of his contemporaries were long retired or invalid - Joe continued to patrol the corridors of the Higher Line's “R Block” in Clongowes – encouraging the lame ducks – searching for the lost souls – sharing his wisdom with all and sundry. He had such a canny knack of foretelling what might "come up" in the Leaving that there many of his charges could not be persuaded that he did not have “insider information” in the Department !

In the evening of his life Joe became more frail in body - but with his spirit's sparkle never dimmed. The Nurses in Clongowes looked after him with a tender devotion far beyond the call of duty (as did the Staff in the village pharmacies). During his last few months, it was the turn of the Nurses and Staff of Cherryfield to fall under his charm and to care for him with their renowned love and attention. This task carried its own challenge - and many of them found themselves on the receiving end as they enquired after his health -- only to find themselves responding to Joe's interrogation as to how they were getting on ! Joe had never wanted to go there - and it is their great triumph that they succeeded in making it a real home-from home for him. Once a Prefect - always a Prefect - or so it is said! In Cherryfield Joe remained always “on duty”. On one occasion he entered someone else's room late at night and told him to Turn off that TV - and do it now! I have people studying for the Leaving Cert. along this corridor – and you are distracting them! His startled companion duly complied!

Late on the evening of Sunday 6th May the Night Nurse in Cherryfield alerted the Rector and Joe's Sister that he had taken a turn for the worse. I have a very moving cameo-memory of seeing Josephine sitting by Joe's bed, reciting prayers from an old Child of Mary prayerbook - occasionally glancing round at her Brother as he listened to her prayers for and with him - as we shared his last moments on earth. Night Staff in a hospital or nursing home live a sort of owl-like existence - rarely heard or seen ............ Joe introduced us to three wonderful people on that Sunday evening - aş, at the moment of his final departure, they cared for both of us trying to cope with the finality of it all. Three minutes into a new day -- on Monday 7th May - Joe celebrated what the ancient Roman martyrology called our dies natalis - his Heavenly Birthday. He had reached God's holy mountain -- to share in the New Life promised by Jesus to those who eat the Bread of Life and drink from the wells of Salvation.

At the Community Mass in Cherryfield on the day Joe died, Fr Paul Andrews quoted a celebrated phrase of Prof. Winnicott, a distinguished psychiatrist who once said: I pray that I will be alive when I die ........ I pray that I will be alive when I die! This was so true of Fr Brereton - and his spirit will live on - both in CWC and throughout the world – where so many of his former pupils mourned his passing – fully alive, aged ninety-one-and-a-half years old.

◆ The Clongownian, 2012

The passing of Fr Joe Brereton SJ saw Clongowes lose one of its most faithful servants. The many tributes and messages of sympathy referred to by Fr Michael Sheil SJ included the following, one from a present pupil, Tom Goodman, and one from an Old Clongownian...

The Captains Last Voyage

by Tom Goodman (Poetry)

The sky was a ceiling of deep blues and greys when we arrived at the dock. Clouds hid the moon, but from some lighted windows we were able to make out the shape of some of the structures along the seafront. Nature's silence lay our with us, which, combined with the wind and water in their whirling, created a sublime calm. So much so, that we were afraid to speak above a whisper, content to be keepers of serenity. At last we reached the ship, a looming yer majestic vessel bobbing slowly on the chop, and stepping up to the gangplank, we boarded. The ship itself creaked gently as we almost tiptoed across the rain-slick deck. Then, coming to a pair of large wooden doors, banded with riveted iron strips, we stepped in to meet The Captain.

Leaving the rain on the other side of the door, we took off our coats and, in our surroundings, not for the first or last time. The room was quite compact and plain. On one side there stood elegantly a shrine to Our Lady, and on the opposite side to this the room was walled with wooden-slatted shutters that were pulled right down to the ground. Faintly from behind these, the murmur of hymns floated, changing the silence into a soft praising song. Heels clacking on the planks beneath our feet, we approached the shutters and knocked firmly; after a few moments they opened.

The Captain stood there, measuring us intently He was an elderly man, with a kindly face and silky snow-white hair. With a slight hunch he stood shorter than he should and he held his gnarled hands down in front of him. Smiling, he invited us to sit; and we did, the reverent music resounding out behind us from the horn of the gramophone, and waited as The Captain sat silently at his desk, working his way through his rosary beads with quavering lips. Looking past The Captain out the porthole, we caught a glimpse in the newly emergent moonlight of the glorious bone-white castle standing vigilant to the night with its golden doors. The gramophone dinked as the clay disc finished its circuit and The Captain's beads pattered as he laid them on the table and sat back in his padded pinewood chair. Behind us the heavy wooden door groaned to admit a woman with a small frame, long straight brown hair and specracles. Neither we, nor The Captain said a word as she sat herself down on one of the benches at the wall. But after a few moments we realised that she was praying for The Captain, and by this time she had already risen, blessed herself and was making for the door, while The Captain quirked a little smile in thanks. After glancing to each other and then to The Captain, we resumed our quietude.

Sitting for so long in that room with the silent Captain, we began to notice all its little details, as one could not help but do in such a situation. Twelve candles stood in gilded sticks, ten of which were alight, casting a mellow and soft radiance across The Captain's quarters. Out another of the porcholes, which was fitted with red glass, a shining shaft of light shooting from the lighthouse could be seen. It added to the strange atmosphere in the room that persuaded silence. The Captain's kindly smile still lingered from the woman's visit, and rekindled as two more figures stepped through the large wooden doors.

The two men were quite different yer similar in appearance. Both held some weight on their paunches, both looked a considerable age (one more so than the other.) and both looked strangely as if they had just recently emerged into joy from grief. They were speaking quietly to one another as they stepped across the threshold and brushed off their coats, their firm shoes tapping on the floor. After they had said their prayers in a similar fashion to the woman previously, the two men paused to look at The Captain, who was sitting back, straight in the eye. Resuming their conversation (which seemed to revolve around The Captain himself) they quietly departed, leaving The Captain smiling,

The time to speak
Now the time came when we finally began to speak to The Captain and one another; quietly at first but gradually as we breached the swallowing silence of the cabin, the level of our voices began to rise. The Captain sat like a stone through it all, smiling in a calm thoughtful bliss.

It was past midnight when we finally left The Captain. We were admittedly reluctant to leave; but we needed our sleep for the following morning, for The Captain's final journey on the sea. Walking in the crisp, cold night, we left the harbour already dreaming of bed beneath the moonshine in the ever-creeping weariness.

The morning rose bright and blue, but soon the sea-breeze swept clouds in over our heads, and with the clouds came rain, light at first. As we walked down to the docks feeling the first spots of rain on our faces, gulls reeled and screeched along the wind, and from afar we could see the crowd that had formed around The Captain's vessel. Even from that distance we could pick out some officers, though the general rabble of other crewmembers melded into one uniformed crowd. At the fringes could be seen both men and women, dressed in many different fashions. Here some ex-officers in formal. raiment, and there women, both old and young, in their own finery.

Coming closer along the water a wave plashed against the harbour wall, spraying us lightly with an early blessing. The cobbles beneath our feet mimicked tiles in their various colours and shapes and wall murals stuck up at regular intervals. Fourteen we counted by the time we joined the crowd that stood warching the captain on the deck.

The great splayed mix of voices quietened as priests in their white robes stepped up to bless The Captain and his voyage. Silence, as well governed as on the previous night, blanketed the crowd as The Captain was blessed, for it was well known that The Captain himself was a man of God, and as the ceremony progressed, The Captain visibly stepped out of his hunch, standing tall to the wind and vast ocean ahead of him. At The Captain's side stood his sister, regal in her equanimity; for it was no easy thing to do, leaving a brother to the voyage alone. At the will of the priests, we began to sing. Deep sonorous bass notes were complemented by the higher ones, swirling together into a great farewell, filled with the respect and praise The Captain was due. While we slid from song to prayer and back again those men on-deck lined the way to the helm; a guard of honour for The Captain, despite the raindrops, which fell down with abandon. When the songs were over and The Captain stood nobly gripping at the pinewood wheel with his hands, the rest of us that could fit climbed up upon the ship, ready to sail The Captain to the places where map and sight failed to guide. Without order we hitched the booms, hoisted the sails and cast off, the bow cutting into the water, cleaving our way forward with the aid of the sails. With the bowsprit pointing our way we departed, The Caprain leading with an open grin on his face, which had youthened, his hair now turning a tawny colour, and his eyes holding the light of excitement.

After quite some time in the pouring rain, whipping wind and amidst the tang of salt in one's nostril, a small elbow of land sitting green on the horizon came into view, it was on no sea-chart, no map or in no book that the men could find, The Captain had taken us, and he had led with the surety of somebody heading home along an old road from their childhood, but we all knew that he had never visited this place; none of us had. When we made closer to the islands, mists rose out of the sea to shroud them. The Captain bade us stop, so we weighed anchor. The Captain now holding the youthful look of a man of thirty, with all the wisdom of an eighty year old behind the eyes, leapt down onto the deck past us, utterly astonished, to the rowing boats which were cied off at the side of the ships hull and hopped into the sleek, varnished pine boat. We all stood around agape at first as he began to lower himself down, but at the signal of one of the priests who ventured along with us, we began a final lamenting praise for The Captain. Weak and sad to begin, the melody took us to a time when The Captain began to prepare for this voyage, to the care he showed to us, each of his crew-members, his love and concern, his imagination and his ability to see that it was okay when chaos and ruin seemed to loom; to now, as the sky opened up to the warm embrace of the sun we realised that this journey is made by all good men and women, those who are in their nature - for others. The Captain was leaving now, his boat had silently dipped into the water and had begun gliding along, tending towards the shore, but we would see him again. Smiles broke out among the crew as we watched him shrink. When he was still clearly visible he turned his young face that was filled with life ship-ward and smiled one last time for us, as the golden mists enveloped him, hiding him from our view. And so we sat and thought of the time when we ourselves would have to make a similar journey, through this life into another. Still smiling.

And into the misty isles of time,
We all shall sail ourselves.
Whether in morning, day or dusk,
We drink now from the well
That quenches all; the fair of heart
Villains, liars, fiends
And leaves behind no thirst for men
Or thought of mortal dreams.
Failing body, prevailing soul
Through all that ever is.
Someday hope you'll take your boat
On through the golden mists.

-oOo-

Officers, Gentlemen and Villains

by Rossa McDermott (OC ‘78)

It was a far from soft day when the casket of Fr Joe Brereton SJ was lowered into the grave by a new generation of Clongownians in the community graveyard, just off the main avenue. Alongside the recently departed Fr Paddy Lavery SJ, the man more affectionately known ‘Bertie” Brereton was laid to his final place of rest in front of many Clongownians, past and present. It was somehow unfair that this most gentle of men did not get more deserving weather - some bright Spring sunshine - in order to record the sad moment when he left the Clongowes Community for good. But then again, Bertie was never one for the limelight.

In recalling the long shadow he cast over the Clongowes Community, Fr Michael 'Mocky' Sheil fondly remembered that the Bertie era started even before the current Jesuit Provincial, Tom Layden, had arrived in Clongowes many years ago. Mocky estimated that his influence had been cast over 3,000 pupils during his tenure, and a testament to that influence was the cross-section of ages in the Boys Chapel for his funeral service, all reflecting a man who, in a very quiet, yet determined way, had managed to impact on many, many generations during his teaching years.

For those who wondered in the early days why soccer played such a role in the teaching of English, it was due to his roots in Liverpool, where he lived until the premature death of his father, after which the family moved back to Limerick. In looking back over old copy books in clear outs and house moves, it is now clearer to me why so many essays, projects and drawings of the 1974 World Cup were acceptable English copy for Fr Brereton. Unbeknownst to many of us he loved football, but he also took an interest in all sporting achievements of his charges, especially his “Officers”. In a moving, honest and potent homily Fr Sheil recalled a particular rivalry between prefects in the old Rhetoric Building, Since forever, it seemed, Bertie called his fellow dwellers on the top floor of the old 1966 building “Officers”, all seemingly a reflection of a higher quality of Rhetorician in the scheme of things - in his mind. This was carried further in the cup teams and other sports, as no winning team went without a competitive count from Joe Brereton as to his Officer numbers in the wining side.

But it was perhaps the term “Villain” that evoked the most recognition from the packed church during Mocky's fond recollections on Thursday morning. It was the fiercest term that Bertie ever mustered when talking about the most mean of people. In an era when the hard edge of The Raz - aka Fr Gerry O'Beirne - was not slow about calling things as they were (and often in the most non-Jesuitical language) Fr Joe Brereton never moved beyond the term “villains”. This, perhaps, most accurately reflected the soft and caring nature of the man, characterising everything he stood for during his four plus decades in Clongowes. Whatever about being an Officer or a Gentleman, one thing you never wanted to be was a Villain. There was possibly nothing more troublesome.

In the closing prayers at the graveside on Thursday Fr Sheil and Fr Moloney ended concelebrating the life of a great man in the company of Fr John Looby, Fr Phil Fogarty, and Fr Colin Warrack. They did so with a befitting sense of ceremony perhaps so typical of the Jesuit Community over the generations. Sadly though the Clongowes Jesuit community graveyard is filled with too many stalwarts now long since at peace, yet evoking memories for each and everyone of us: Fr Cyril Power, Fr James “Pop” Casey, Fr Charlie O'Connor, Fr Ray Lawler, Fr Percy Winder, Fr Gerry O'Beirne, Fr Frank Frewen, Brother Willie Fitzgerald, Brother William Glanville and the one and only Jim Treacy - to mention just a few. On May 10th 2012 Fr Joe Brereton, SJ sadly joined them. May he rest in peace.

Brosnan, Matthew, 1923-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/643
  • Person
  • 13 December 1923-02 May 1997

Born: 13 December 1923, London, England / St Stephen’s Green, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 02 May 1997, St Paul’s Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CHN : 1992

by 1951 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Farewell to Father Matthew Brosnan, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Matthew Brosnan, 73, passed away in hospital shortly after midnight on Friday, 2 May 1997.

During a medical check-up it was discovered that he had a serious heart condition that needed immediate treatment. He underwent an operation on Thursday but died a few hours later. Father Brosnan was born of Irish parents in London on 13 December 1923. He received his early education in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland before attending secondary school at the Jesuit-run Belvedere College in Dublin.

On 7 September 1942, Matthew Brosnan entered the Society of Jesus and was sent to the National University of Ireland where he eventually graduated with a first class honours Bachelor of Arts degree. This was followed by three years of Philosophical studies.

In 1950 he was assigned to the Hong Kong mission where he spent his first two years learning Cantonese. Soon afterwards he began teaching in Wah Yan College, Kowloon.

He returned to Ireland to complete his studies and was ordained to the priesthood on 31 July 1956.

Father Brosnan was permanently assigned to Hong Kong in 1958. Except for 6 years as director of the Jesuit Retreat House on Cheung Chau Island, he spent many years teaching, mainly at Wah Yan College on Hong Kong Island. As a gifted retreat master and good linguist it was no wonder that Father Brosnan was sought out as a preacher, confessor, retreat master and spiritual director.

In his almost 40 years of priestly work in Hong Kong he helped countless people come to know, love and follow Jesus Christ in their daily lives.

A funeral Mass for Father Brosnan was held on Monday, 5 May, at St. Paul’s Convent Chapel and was attended by his fellow Jesuits and Cardinal J.B. Wu and Bishops Joseph Zen and John Tong as well as many other Religious, priest and friends.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 May 1997

◆ 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 in Wicklow and then at Belvedere College SJ Dublin. He got 1st place in French in Ireland in his Leaving Certificate.

He followed the usual course of Jesuit studies graduating with a First Class Honours BA from UCD. He then spent three years studying Philosophy and was elected President of the Sodality Academy.
1950 He was sent to Hong Kong and studied Cantonese
1953-1958 He was back in Ireland studying Theology and making Tertianship at Rathfarnhamn Castle
1959-1962 He was back in Hong Kong and teaching at Wah Yan College Kowloon
1962-1968 He was at the Retreat House at Cheung Chau
1968-1997 he was sen teaching at Wah Yan Hong Kong

He was an experienced teacher of English and Biblical Knowledge at both Wah Yan Colleges. At one time he was Principal at Wahy Yan Hong Kong. he was also an advisor of the “Catholic Society” and a Warden at Ricci Hall

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
He came to Hong Kong as a young priest with Peter Dunne and 5 Scholastics - Liam Egan, Paddy Cunningham, Matt Brosnan, Tom O’Neill and Tony Farren. He spent two years at the Battery Path Language School learning Cantonese.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1997

Obituary

Father Matthew Brosnan SJ (OB 1942)

Matt was bom in England on 13th December, 1923 and died in Hong Kong on 2nd May, 1997.

Matt is survived by Ethel (85) in New Zealand, Finola (78) and Shena (68) both in the UK. His father was a chiropodist who lived on St Stephen's Green and so Matt went to Belvedere College, 1933-1942. From his earliest days he wanted to be a priest. Being in the Bicycle Club brought him into close contact with Jesuits and he joined the Society of Jesus in 1942.

He was always very serious-minded and got a Gold Medal in French in the Leaving Certifi cate Exams. At UCD he got a First Class Honours Degree and then studied Philosophy seriously.

Assigned to Hong Kong in 1950 he put all he had into the study of Cantonese and so was always fluent in the language. People always wondered at the accuracy of his tones and grammar, He always concentrated on Chinese life for missionary aims.

After ordination to the priesthood in Dublin in 1956, he returned to teach in Wah Yan Col lege, Hong Kong until his retirement in 1993. The boys liked him for his gentleness and seriousness in teaching English and Religious Knowledge. He was zealous in preparing boys for baptism and always urged them in their Catholic activities. Besides thirty years teach ing, six years in Kowloon and the rest in Hong Kong, he was director of the Retreat House in Cheung Chau for six years between 1960-66. He promoted weekend retreats for men in business companies and for students during the week. His devotion and dedication to Christ were appreciated.

His death was unexpected. He had entered St Paul's Hospital for a prostate operation, but the doctors deemed a heart bypass essential first. He never recovered, dying within days...
He had been Spiritual Director of the enclosed Carmelite Sisters at Stanley since 1975 and the Director of the Third Order Carmelites since 1983. These people not only saw to his funeral expenses, but were present in force (fifty in habit) at his wake and funeral.

This was followed by Six Friday night Requiem Masses at 7pm in the Catholic Centre.

The hospital waived its fees, as did the doctors.

Complete dedication to missionary work among the Chinese is Matt’s epitaph. A conservative Jesuit, gentle but retiring, he had an integrity and dedication which ranks him with the martyrs and heroes.

HN SJ

Brown, Stephen J, 1881-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/54
  • Person
  • 24 September 1881-08 May 1962

Born: 24 September 1881, Holywood, County Down
Entered: 14 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1914, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1917, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Died: 08 May 1962, St Joseph's, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

Part of Milltown Park community at time of his death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

not in 1900 Cat index
by 1903 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1920 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying

◆ not in 1900 Cat index - it would appear that he originally entered 14 September 1897 was dismissed by and reentered 16 March 1900, involving the Provincial P Keating and Father General.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online : Brown, Stephen James Meredith
by Catherine Moran

Brown, Stephen James Meredith (1881–1962), Jesuit priest, bibliographer, and librarian, was born 24 September 1881 in Holywood, Co. Down, eldest of four children of Stephen James Brown (1853–1931), solicitor and JP, and Catharine Brown (née Ross; d. c.1888/9). He was raised in Co. Kildare. After his mother's death, his father married (1897) Mary Spring (née Ball); they had a child.

Educated at Clongowes Wood College (1892–7), Co. Kildare, and the Royal University of Ireland, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg (September 1897) and was ordained a priest (1914). Interested in producing firstly Irish and later catholic bibliographies, he earned an international reputation as a bibliographer. Among his more important works are A reader's guide to Irish fiction (1910), A guide to books on Ireland (1912), Ireland in fiction, vol. i (1915; 2nd ed. (1919) reprinted 1969), The realm of poetry (1921), Catalogue of novels and tales by catholic writers (many eds, 1927–49), International index of catholic biographies (1930; 2nd ed., revised and greatly enlarged, 1935), Libraries and literature from a catholic standpoint (1937), and A survey of catholic literature (1943). He was a prolific contributor to several periodicals including Studies (and its assistant editor 1925–6); edited the missionary magazine St Joseph's Sheaf; also edited (1918, 1919) The Clongownian while still at Clongowes; and published many spiritual books, including From God to God: an outline of life (1940) and Studies in life: by and large (1942).

In 1922 he founded the Central Catholic Library (Westmoreland St., Dublin; later in Hawkins St. and latterly in Merrion Square), which was firmly rooted in the then popular ‘Catholic Action’ movement; he was hon. librarian (1922–32, 1935–59), joint hon. librarian (1959–60), and on several of its more important committees till his accident in 1960; he tendered his resignation in May 1961. A member of the Bibliographical Society of Ireland (c. 1919–1938), he was vice-president in 1924 and 1925, and president in 1926 and 1927. He served (1926–31) as a coopted member on Co. Dublin Libraries Committee. Elected to the executive board (1928–c. 1943/4) and council (1928–49) of the Library Association of Ireland (LAI), he became chairman (1933–c. 1943) of its advisory committee on book selection, chairman of the Irish literature committee (1940–41), and an honorary fellow (1953). In recognition of his services to catholic librarianship he was granted honorary membership of the American-based Catholic Library Association (1932). In 1934 he sat on the advisory council of the Spiritual Book Associates (USA).

He lectured (1928–c. 1950) on bibliography, book selection, and reference books at UCD's school of library training, of which he was a founding member. Appointed hon. librarian of the Academy of Christian Art, where he gave lectures and was involved in setting up and running children's art classes and at least one children's art exhibition, he contributed to the Academy's short-lived Journal, and was a member of its council and later (1942) its vice-president. His abiding interest in establishing a hospital library service in Ireland led to the founding (1937) of the Hospital Library Council, which he chaired (1937–43). He was also chairman of the council of the newly established Book Association of Ireland (1943– ) and an organiser of Catholic Book Week (1948). He belonged to numerous other bodies, including Cumann Sugraidh an Airm; he was general adviser and one of the founders of the Catholic Writers’ Guild (1926–9) and the League of Nations Society of Ireland. From c. 1947/8 he represented the Central Catholic Library on the committee for history and archaeology of the Irish Association for Documentation. He was founder and first president of the Catholic Association for International Relations (1937–49) and was apparently a founder member (1948) of the Catholic Writers Association; he was listed (1935) as a member of the advisory council of the Irish Messenger Press, and sat on the board of governors of the Gallery of Living Catholic Authors.

His enormous workload only began to ease in the 1950s. After ordination he lived at Milltown Park, Dublin (1914–15); St Stanislaus College, Tullamore (1916); Clongowes Wood College (1917–19); Ore Place, Hastings, Sussex (1920–21), and in Dublin again at Milltown Park (1922–5, 1941–62), University Hall, Hatch St. (1925–6), and Rathfarnham castle (1927–40). Seriously injured in a traffic accident outside the British Museum (1960), he died 8 May 1962 at the nursing home of the Brothers Hospitallers at Kilcroney, Bray, Co. Wicklow, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin. A portrait by David Hone is in the Central Catholic Library. His personal papers are spread among the CCL, Irish Jesuit archives, Fingal county archives, and the NLI.

Catalogus Provinciae Hiberniae Societatis Jesu, 1897–1962; ‘Fr Stephen Brown, S. J. (1881–1962)’, Irish Province News, x (1962), 414–18; Catherine Moran, ‘Fr Stephen J. Brown, S. J.: a library life 1881–1962’ (MLIS thesis, NUI (UCD), 1998) (includes list of photos and portrait); idem, ‘Fr Stephen J. Brown, S. J.: a methodological case study for library history’, PaGes: Arts Postgraduate Research in Progress, v (1998), 111–23

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 3 1927

The Irish Rosary, May number, writes : Fr Stephen Brown is our most accomplished Catholic bibliographer in this country. He is also, as everybody knows the founder and guiding spirit of that admirable institution, the Central Catholic Library, which deserves more praise and publicity than it receives. It also merits more financial support than well-to-do Catholics in Dublin and the provinces realise. The Library is conducted on voluntary lines, no salaries being paid. " Supervisors " succeed one another from 11am to 10pm every day, Sundays included. It is owned by an association of priests and laymen under the patronage of the Archbishop. Fr S. Brown is the Hon. Librarian. There is no regular income other than voluntary subscriptions. The Library was intended as a source of information on all subjects touching Catholicism, and as a source of inspiration for all Catholic activities.

Irish Province News 18th Year No 2 1943

The Central Catholic Library, 74 Merrion Square, Dublin, reached its 2lst year on 24th June. At the annual general meeting Fr. Stephen Brown, who is the Librarian, said he had received letters recently from several Irish Bishops requesting membership of the Library Association. The Archbishop of Dublin, Most Rev. Dr. McQuaid, has become a foundation member. The Archbishop of Tuam, Most Rev. Dr. Walsh, and several other Bishops have become life members. There have been further additions in nearly all sections of the Library and the total number of book accessions during the year was 1,063. The attendances of readers at the Library have also increased during the past year, there being a total of 41,071 with a daily average of 112. About 2,400 books are borrowed each month from the lending department which has made marked progress during the year. Fr. Brown paid a tribute to the President, Rt. Rev. Mgr. Boylan, P.P., V.G., to the members of the staff and to all who helped in the work of the Association. The success of the Library is due chiefly to Fr. Brown's untiring labours as Librarian.

Irish Province News 37th Year No 3 1962

Obituary :

Fr Stephen Brown (1881-1962)

Stephen Brown was born in Co. Down on September 24th, 1881, but as a boy he lived with his parents at Naas, where his father was a solicitor. He was at school at Clongowes and entered the Society at Tullabeg on September 14th, 1897, but in his second year owing to an attack of pneumonia and consequent lung trouble he had to leave the Novitiate. Though his name does not appear in the Catalogue for 1900, he returned to Tullabeg in that year and finished his novitiate. He remained as a Junior for 1901 and 1902.
He did his Philosophy course at Jersey during 1903, 1904 and 1905. From 1906 to 1911 he was a scholastic at Clongowes teaching mainly English and French. He studied Theology at Milltown Park from 1912 to 1915, having been ordained on July 26th, 1914.
After his Tertianship at Tullabeg he returned to Clongowes where for three years he taught English, French and Irish and was editor of the Clongownian for his last two years.
In 1920 and 1921 we find him at Ore Place, Hastings, as a Biennist in Sacred Scripture. During 1922, 1923 and 1924 he lectured on sacred Scripture at Milltown Park. In 1925 and 1926 he was Adj. Praef. at University Hall, Hatch St., while in the latter year he was Adj. Ed. Studies. Then from 1927 to 1940 he was stationed at Rathfarnham Castle, where for the first two years he was given as Doc. et Script, but in 1930 he was appointed Laet. Scient. Bibliogr. in Univ. Nat., a position he held until 1954, many years after he had left Rathfarnham. In 1941 he was transferred to Milltown Park, where he remained until his death in 1962. In 1950 we find him Cur, agit., Central Catholic Library, a post he held until 1960.
On the evening of May 8th Fr. Stephen Brown died peacefully in the Nursing Home of the Brothers Hospitallers at Kilcroney, Bray, Co. Wicklow. He would have completed his eighty-one years of life next September. It was quite evident for several months that a decline had set in and he was fully cognisant of the fact. Many times he made remarks to that effect.
Fr. Brown must have had a very remarkable constitution. Looking back over the years...and the writer first met him in 1906- one cannot recall any illness. True, in more recent years he had to have a cataract removed from one eye to relieve total blindness coming over him, but apart from that, he had always remarkably good health and was very nimble even in his old age. The crisis came in September 1960. Fr. Brown insisted during the Summer in going to France on supply work. He was then seventy-nine and had sight in one eye only. On his returning in September he met with a serious accident as he stepped off the pavement to cross the the road in London's traffic. Fortunately he had only just left Southwell House - our retreat house in Hampstead, N.W.3 - in company with one of the community. He was anointed and taken to the nearest hospital. There it was discovered that he had a fracture in his skull and several broken ribs. Little hope was held out for his recovery. For months he lay helpless, but gradually his powers of recognition and movement returned and he was flown back to Ireland in mid-February 1961.
Now began the great fight-back which won the admiration of all in Milltown Park, and of those who came to see him. If any man had indomitable courage it was Fr. Brown, Slowly he was able to get on his feet and be helped to walk. His one ambition was to be able to offer Holy Mass, to recite again the Divine Office, and to return to the arena of his literary work. That he was able to stand again at the altar, and recite the Breviary, was due to the unselfish and untiring efforts of Fr. Paul O'Flanagan. It is literally true that the Mass had to be learned all over again, and likewise the Divine Office. Slowly but surely, with his mentor always at hand. Fr. Brown achieved his ambition. The one great handicap was his inability to walk without support. Though there were no leg injuries, he never succeeded in walking without sticks or without assistance. All the Summer and Autumn of 1961 there were hopes of complete recovery, but as 1962 dawned there were ominous signs of relapse. The mind which had become clear began to get blurred, and the walk practically ceased. He knew himself it was the beginning of the end. An accident of such a kind for a man of his age was just too much. Yet he worked all day at his books, articles, reviews and papers. He laboured through his daily Mass and Office and prayers until he could labour no more.
It is quite obvious that Fr. Stephen Brown's outstanding quality was his courageous tenacity. Once he had set his mind on any task, once he had determined on any course of action, he was almost ruthless in seeing it through. He expected the whole world to rally round him and lend support. Naturally, at times, such an attitude, while it attracts some people, it repels others; but it was the secret of Fr. Brown's magnificent achievements.
What were these great achievements? Space does not allow a full and detailed account of all this Irish Jesuit accomplished in his sixty-five years of religious life above all in his almost fifty years of priesthood. It is doubtful if any member of the Irish Province did such an enduring work. Let us see from the following enumeration:

  1. He founded the Catholic Central Library.
  2. He founded the first Lectureship in Librarianship in the National University.
  3. He had published more books, pamphlets, articles and reviews than anyone else.
  4. He founded the Society for Catholic International Relations,
  5. He helped on very many activities in Church and in State, not merely by his pen, but by his presence, for he was intensely holy and intensely patriotic.
    The rock foundation of these and many other works was a solid religious life. Fr. Brown was a man of simple, childlike faith. One proof of this was his great love for children. He had a charming manner, and could attract the young by his winning ways. He had a wonderfully clear and well-modulated voice. It was a pleasure to listen to him whether he read or preached. He was in no sense a vigorous speaker, because he possessed a great evenness of temper, and never seemed to get excited. The most extreme preparation was made for everything he had to do. This is seen in his writings, hence his spiritual books and articles appealed to many. There was accuracy and restraint in all things. As a director of retreats in convents, as a speaker at meetings, Fr. Brown had always something fresh and thought-provoking to contribute. He was one of the great workers and scholars of his generation in the Society, and there were quite a few. He took up a line, and he kept on it. The reading of good books, the writing of good books, the collection and distribution of good books was Fr. Brown's life. His name will never die, for it is in print in libraries all over the world. The Irish Province has had a distinguished gathering of Fr. Browns. Looking back half a century one recalls Fr. Tom Brown (Provincial), Fr. Eugene Browne, who lived to a ripe old age after holding many important positions in the Province; Fr, Henry Browne (Professor of Greek, N.U.I.); Fr. Michael Browne, Rector, Master of Novices for three periods, Socius to Provincial; Fr. Frank Browne, who died two years ago and whose bravery on the battlefield, eloquence in the pulpit, unbounded energy are still on our lips. To this group of illustrious priests Fr. Stephen Brown has added further lustre. R.I.P.

Publications by Rev. Stephen J. Brown, S.J.
A Reader's Guide to Irish Fiction, pp. 224. Dublin: Browne and Nolani. 1910. An early edition of Ireland in Fiction (out of print),
Ireland in Fiction, 3rd ed., pp. XX+362. Dublin: The Talbot Press. 10/6. 1919. A guide to Irish Novels, Tales, Romances and Folklore.
A Guide to Books on Ireland, pp. xviii+372. Dublin: Hodges Figgis. 6/-. 1918. A bibliography of Irish Prose Literature, Poetry, Music and Plays.
Poetry of Irish History, pp. xviii +-382. Dublin: The Talbot Press. 61-. 1927. A revised and enlarged edition of Historical Ballad Poetry of Ireland. edited by M. J. Brown. Irish history told in poems selected from Anglo Irish and Gaelic (translated) literature, with notes.
The Realm of Poetry, pp. 216. London: Harrap, 2/6. 1921An Introduction to Poetry, studying the nature of poetry, what it can do for us, and the approach to the appreciation and love of it.
The World of Imagery, pp. 354. London: Kegan Paul, 12/6. 1927. A study of Metaphor and kindred imagery.
Libraries and Literature from a Catholic Standpoint, pp. 323. Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1937. Discusses Catholic libraries, their influence and some of their problems, librarianship, the scope and extent of Catholic literature, Catholic fiction and poetry, children's books, the Catholic writer, censorship, etc.
Poison and Balm, pp. 143. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 1938. Lectures on Communism with allusions to other anti-religious movements. Con trasts Communism as it actually works with Christianity in respect of the human person, the home, attitude towards the workers and the poor, religion.
The Preacher's Library. Re-issue with Supplement, 1928-1938. Dublin : Browne and Nolan. 1939.
From God to God. An Outline of Life, pp. 316. Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 7/6. 1940. 2nd edition 1942. Studies in Life By and Large, pp. 243. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 8/6. 1941.
Towards the Realisation of God, pp. 180. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 7/6. 1944.
A Survey of Catholic Literature, pp. 250. Milwaukee: Bruce. $2.50. 1945. (With Thomas McDermott.)
From the Realm of Poetry, pp. xx+360. London: Macmillan. 4/6. 1947. An anthology for the Leaving Certificate and Matriculation examinations.
The Teaching of Christ, An Introduction and a Digest. Oneself and Books.
The Church and Art. Translated from the French of Louis Dimiar.
The Divine Song-Book, pp. 84. London: Sands. 2/6. 1926. A brief. introduction to the Psalms not for scholars, but for ordinary readers.
The Preacher's Library, pp. 130. London: Sheed and Ward. 3/6. 1928. A survey of pulpit literature from a practical standpoint.
The Well-Springs, pp. xxviii +164. London; Burns Oates and Washbourne. 5/-. 1931. Counsels for the guidance of the mind and for the conduct of life, translated from the French of Père Gratry, with Intro duction and Bibliography.
International Relations from a Catholic Standpoint, pp. xvi+200. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 8/6, 1932. Translated from the French. Edited, with Foreword and Bibliography, for the Catholic Union of International Studies (Irish Branch).

The Catholic Bibliographical Series
An Introduction to Catholic Booklore. Demy 8vo, pp. 105. Cloth, 5/-.
An International Index of Catholic Biographies. New Edition. Demy 8vo, pp. 285. 10/6.
Catalogue of Novels and Tales by Catholic Writers. Eighth Edition Revised. Demy 8vo, pp. 140. 2/6. 1946.
Catholic Juvenile Literature. Demy Svo, pp. 70. 3/6.
Catholic Mission Literature. A Handlist. Price 2/- in manila covers; 3/6 bound in cloth.
The Press in Ireland. A Survey and a Guide, pp. 304. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 1937. (Not available.)

Pamphlets
The Question of Irish Nationality. Imp. 8vo, pp. 44. Dublin: Sealy, Bryers and Walker. (Out of print.)
Irish Story-Books for Boys and Girls. Dublin: Offices of the Irish Messenger, Price 2d.
Catholics and the League of Nations, Dublin: League of Nations Society of Ireland. London: Catholic Council of International Relations. Price 3d.
Some Notes on Europe Today (with Anthony Count O'Brien of Thomond). 4to, pp. 11. Dublin: Catholic Association for International Relations. 1947.
Librarianship as a Career and a Vocation. In Prospectus of School of Library Training, University College, Dublin.
The First Ten Years of an Irish Enterprise, pp. 80. Dublin: The Central Catholic Library. Price 3d,
The Catholic Library Comes of Age (1922-1943), pp. 48. Dublin: Central Catholic Library. 1943.

The following are published at the Offices of the "Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart", Great Denmark Street, Dublin & France

God and Ourselves; What Christ Means to Us; What the Church Means to Us; Our Little Life; Little Notes on Life; Home to God.

◆ The Clongownian, 1946

Jubilee

Father Stephen Brown SJ

Father Stephen Brown, who celebrates his Golden Jubilee in the Society of Jesus this year, has had a long and close association with Clongowes. He was at school in Clongowe from 1892-1897, taught here as a Scholastic from 1905-1911, and as a Priest from 1916-1919.

On June 25th, 1922, Father Brown founded the Central Catholic Library, which now in its jubilee year, has ten branches in Dublin and 50,000 volumes on its shelyes. That institution alone would entitle him to the esteem and gratitude of those who seek further information about the Catholic Faith and about the part it is playing, and has played, in lifting the human heart to higher things, and in informing the human mind with trut which holds within'it an eternal and a temporal value.

In addition, Father Brown has founded in collaboration with Fred Ryan, anothe Old Clongownian, the Catholic Association for International Relations. Another prominent member is Fred King.

He has written many books on a wide variety of subjects on Poetry, on International Affairs, on the Psalms of David, and on the meaning and influence of religion in personal life.

Obviously Father Brown has, not wasted his time nor allowed his talents to rust unused. Clongowes fostered his bent towards reading; and, while a master here, he formed the purpose of publishing the extensive knowledge he had acquired about books and about literature. From that, in time, the rest has flowed.

The School and the Union congratulate Father Brown on his Jubilee, and assure him that they are proud of the work he has done and are thankful for it. He is still vigorous with many more years yet before him. - so we hope. We are quite certain that as long he can read and write the world will hear of him. And Clongowes, more particularly, will take a grateful interest in his indefatigable work for Faith and Country.

J E C

Browne, Francis M, 1880-1960, Jesuit priest, photographer and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/7
  • Person
  • 1880-1960

Born: 03 January 1880, Sunday's Well, Cork City
Entered: 07 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1921, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 07 July 1960, St John of God’s Hospital, Stillorgan, Dublin

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

Francis Mary Hegarty Browne

by 1902 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 1st Battalion Irish Guards, BEF France

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Browne, Francis Patrick Mary
by James Quinn

Browne, Francis Patrick Mary (1880–1960), photographer and Jesuit priest, was born 3 January 1880 in Sunday's Well, Cork, youngest of eight children of James Browne, flour merchant and JP, and Brigid Browne (née Hegarty; 1840–80), who died of puerperal fever eight days after Francis's birth. The family was well-off and owned a large house at Buxton Hill; Brigid's father, James Hegarty, was a wealthy tanner and a JP, and served as lord mayor of Cork. Francis attended the Bower convent, Athlone (1885–92), the Christian Brothers' college, St Patrick's Place, Cork (1892), the Jesuit college at Belvedere, Dublin (1893), and the Vicentian college at Castleknock (1893–7). He excelled in the classics and modern languages, enjoyed sports, and played on the Castleknock first rugby XV. On leaving Castleknock he made a tour of Europe with his brother William (1876–1938) (also a priest and photographer), and took many photographs, which even at this stage showed considerable talent. On his return in September 1897 he joined the Jesuits, and served his noviceship at Tullabeg, King's Co. (Offaly). After his father drowned while swimming at Crosshaven (2 September 1898), his education was overseen by his uncle, Robert Browne (qv), president of Maynooth College and bishop of Cloyne (1894–1935). Francis took his first vows 8 September 1899, and studied classics at the Royal University at St Stephen's Green, Dublin, graduating with an honours BA (1902). At university he was a contemporary of James Joyce (qv), and ‘Mr Browne, the Jesuit’ makes an appearance in Finnegans wake. He studied philosophy (1902–5) at Chieri, near Turin, travelling throughout Italy during the summer holidays and studying Italian painting. Returning to Ireland in 1905, he taught at Belvedere (1905–11), where he founded a cycling club, a camera club, and the college annual, The Belvederian, which featured many of his photographs.

In April 1912 he sailed on the first leg of the Titantic's maiden voyage (10–11 April) from Southampton to Queenstown (Cobh) via Cherbourg. Friends offered to pay for him to complete the trip to New York, but the Jesuit provincial in Dublin refused him permission. He took about eighty photographs on the voyage, including the last one of the Titanic's captain, Edward Smith, and the only one ever taken in the ship's Marconi room. The Titantic's sinking catapulted his work to international attention, his photographs appearing on the front pages of newspapers around the world. His name forever became associated with the Titanic and he assiduously collected material relating to the disaster, which he used to give public lectures.

He studied theology (1911–15) at Milltown Park, Dublin, and was ordained 31 July 1915. Early in 1916 he became a military chaplain in the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, with the rank of captain. Present at the Somme and Ypres (including Passchendaele), he showed great courage under fire, tending the wounded in no man's land and guiding stretcher parties to wounded men. He himself was wounded five times and gassed once, and won the MC and bar and the Croix de Guerre. His commanding officer, the future Earl Alexander, who became a lifelong friend, described him as ‘the bravest man I ever met’ (O'Donnell, Life, 46). During the war he took many photographs, now held in the Irish Guards headquarters in London. He returned to Ireland late in 1919, completed his tertianship (July 1920), and was again assigned to Belvedere. On 31 October 1920 he cycled to the viceregal lodge to make a personal appeal for the life of Kevin Barry (qv), an Old Belvederean.

He took his final vows (2 February 1921) and was appointed supervisor of St Francis Xavier's church, Gardiner St. (1921–8). Because of the damage done to his lungs by gassing during the war, he spent the years 1924–5 in Australia, making a 3,000-mile trip through the outback, where he took many memorable photographs. By now he and his camera were inseparable and he used it widely on his return trip through Ceylon, Yemen, Egypt, and Italy. Returning to Dublin in late 1925 he resumed his position at Gardiner St. and began regularly to photograph inner-city Dublin life, taking about 5,000 photographs of Dublin over thirty years. In 1926 he took flying lessons and took many aerial photographs of Dublin. He became an important member of the Photographic Society of Ireland and the Dublin Camera Club and was vice-president and a key organiser of a highly successful international exhibition of photography (the First Irish Salon of Photography) during Dublin's ‘civic week’ in 1927; further exhibitions were held biennially until 1939. Appointed to the Jesuits' mission and retreat staff, he was based at Clongowes Wood, Co. Kildare (1928–30), and Emo Court, Co. Laois (1930–57).

Many of these were of the great cathedrals of England, which had a particular fascination for him. With war looming, in 1937–8 he was commissioned by the Church of England to photograph the churches of East Anglia to enable their accurate restoration should they suffer bomb damage. In 1939 his offer to serve as chaplain to the Irish Guards was accepted, but he was refused permission from the Irish Jesuit provincial.

Travelling throughout Britain and Ireland, he continued to photograph and assiduously to practise the technical aspects of photography and build up an impressive array of photographic equipment, including his own developing laboratory at Emo. Most experts believe that his talent matured fully in the 1930s. Given a Kodak 16mm cine-camera by his uncle Robert, he shot a film of the eucharistic congress in Dublin in 1932, and made several subsequent films for state and educational bodies. In 1933 he visited the Kodak works at Harrow, north-west of London, and afterwards received a supply of free film for life and regularly contributed articles and photographs to the Kodak Magazine.

In the 1940s and ‘50s he photographed almost every aspect of Irish life – pilgrimages, ruined monasteries, great houses, and leading religious, political, and literary figures – and his photographs featured regularly in Irish publications. Much of his work dealt with new industries and technology, especially his fascination with transport: aircraft, shipping, and trains. A booklet issued by the Department of Health on the ‘mother and child’ scheme in 1951 was illustrated with his photographs. All his earnings from photography (c.£1,000, 1937–54) were forwarded to the Jesuit provincial treasurer and used for the education of Jesuit students.

As his health faded, he resided at Milltown Park from 1957, and many of his photographs from the late 1950s recorded the themes of old age and death. He died in Dublin 7 July 1960, and was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.

He took an estimated 42,000 photographs throughout his life, but his fame as a photographer was largely posthumous: most of his work lay unnoticed in a trunk in the Jesuit archives until 1986. His photographs were neatly captioned and dated but were mostly on deteriorating nitrate film, and a major restoration effort was required to transfer them to safe film. Photographic experts were astounded at the quality of the work, generally considering it the outstanding photographic collection of twentieth-century Ireland. Fr Browne had all the attributes of a great photographer: a natural eye for line and balance in composition (a talent developed by his study of Italian art) and an ability to anticipate the decisive moment. In photographing people his lens was never intrusive or exploitative, and his sympathy with his subject is always evident. Scenes involving children, in particular, are captured with a natural ease and dignity. He has been described as ‘one of the great photographic talents’ (O'Donnell, Life, 123) of the twentieth century, and compared favourably with the great French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. Since 1986 his work has been regularly exhibited, published in various collections compiled by E. E. O'Donnell, SJ, and featured in television documentaries.

Rudyard Kipling, The Irish Guards in the great war (2 vols, 1923), i, 136, 141, 145–6, 170, 182; ii, 173; Ir. Times, 18 Nov. 1989; E. E. O'Donnell, SJ, ‘Photographer extraordinary: the life and work of Father Browne’, Studies, lxxix (1990), 298–306; id., Father Browne's Dublin (1993); id., Father Browne: a life in pictures (1994); id., Father Browne's Titanic album (1997)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/who-are-the-jesuits/inspirational-jesuits/francis-browne/

Francis Browne
Few can claim to have seen as much in their life as Francis Browne, sailing on the Titanic, serving in World War I, travelling the world. Not only did he live it but, as an amateur photographer, he also recorded his life and experiences, allowing us today immeasurable insight into that period in our history.
Born in Cork in 1880, Francis Browne was the youngest of eight children. His mother died of puerperal fever not long after his birth and his father died in a swimming accident when he was nine, so Browne was taken care of by his uncle, Robert Browne. After finishing school in Dublin in 1897, Browne went on a grand tour of Europe, seeing France and Italy. For his travels, his uncle bought him his first camera as a present, and this began Browne’s lifelong interest in photography.
Upon returning to Ireland, Browne entered the Jesuit noviciate in Tullabeg. He studied at the Royal University of Ireland in Dublin, where he was classmates with James Joyce. In 1911 he began studying theology in Milltown. The following year, his uncle gave him a ticket aboard the newly built ship Titanic, to sail from Southampton to Queenstown, now Cobh. Browne brought his camera, as was his hobby, and took many pictures. When he arrived in Queenstown he would have continued on the crossing to America, but was told in no uncertain terms by his superior to return to Dublin. When word arrived days later of the sinking of the Titanic, Browne realised how valuable his photographs were and sold them to various newspapers leading to the publication all over the world.
Browne was ordained in 1915, and the following year was sent to Europe where he served as chaplain to the Irish Guards. During his time in the service, Browne was at the Battle of the Somme, at Flanders, Ypres, and many other places at the frontline of the war. He was wounded on five occasions, and was awarded a military cross and bar for valour in combat. During this time too he took photographs, recording life at the frontline.
Returning to Dublin in 1920, Browne experienced recurring ill health from his time in the war, and was sent to Australia in 1924. Never parting from his camera, he took countless photos of the places he saw on his way over, as well as in Australia. After returning, he was appointed to the Retreats and Mission staff, and travelled all across Ireland. By the time of his death in 1960, Browne had taken photographs in nearly every parish in Ireland. When his negatives were discovered, twenty five years later, there were in the order of 42,000 of them. Twenty three volumes of his work have now been published and the importance of his work has been recognised internationally.

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/the-last-parting-jesuits-and-armistice/

The last parting: Jesuits and Armistice
At the end of the First World War, Irish Jesuits serving as chaplains had to deal with two main issues: their demobilisation and influenza. Some chaplains asked immediately to be demobbed back to Ireland; others wanted to continue as chaplains. Of the thirty-two Jesuits chaplains in the war, five had died, while sixteen were still serving.
Writing on 13 November 1918, Fr Frank Browne SJ describes the day of the Armistice:
Isn’t it grand to think that the end has come & come so well for our side: please God it will come for us at home soon, & equally well. Here all is excitement and rejoicing. I happened to be in Dieppe at the fateful 11 o’clock Monday last. I was at the Ordnance store outside which is a great railway siding... Eleven o’ clock was signaled by every engine furiously blowing its whistle. Then nearly all of them proceeded to career up & down the hacks – still whistling. On several of them men sat astride the boilers waving flats & ringing bells. This lasted for 20 mins. On the other side of the quarry Co. of Engineers burst a charge displacing several tons of rock, & then fired Verey lights & flares. But all this was nothing compared with the French outburst in the town. As I drove into the town our car was pelted with confetti by girls, all of whom were gay with tricolor ribbons. The Belgian emigres organised a march through the town with their military band and all the soldiers & Officers present. The bugles were blowing as they entered the main street, which was crowded with rejoicing people. Suddenly, the bugles stopped, & the Band struck up the Marseillaise. For a moment there was a kind of silence, then with a roar, the whole crowd of people took it up. Woman appeared at every window waving flags, & singing: assistants rushed to the doors of shops & joined in the great chorus: children shouted & sang & wriggled through the crowd. It was one of the most inspiring spontaneous demonstrations it has ever been my fortune to witness.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 7th Year No 4 1932

China :

The Seminary Aberdeen :
The Seminary is now in full working order. We have all the ordinary exercises of our houses of studies circles, tones, etc. The students take kindly to the tones and are frank in their criticisms. A variant of the ordinary tones is a sermonette on the Life of Our Lord, We are using the Epidioscope and the beautiful slides which Father Frank Browne so kindly sent us. Thus a more vivid picture of the Gospel scenes is impressed on their minds. They have also given lectures to the village-folk with a Synoscope which Father Bourke brought out.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960

Obituary :

Fr Francis M Browne (1880-1960)

The song has it that “old soldiers never die, they only fade away”. Fr. Frank Browne was an old soldier who never said die. He just faded away for a few months until the King whom he served so long and so faithfully called him to the eternal colours on 7th July, 1960, in the 81st year of his life.
Francis Mary Hegarty Browne was born in Cork on 3rd January, 1880. He claimed two Alma Maters - Belvedere and Castleknock - and never lost his affection for both. There must have been militarism in his blood, and the instinct for noble deeds and daring exploits. He went the Ignatian way, entering the noviceship at Tullabeg in 1897. At the completion of his noviceship he was one of a group of brilliant scholastics studying for the Royal - Edmund Power, Patrick Gannon, Austin Hartigan and others. In after years he sometimes mentioned his ability to equal and even surpass in classical lore some of these literary geniuses. After three years philosophy in Chieri, Northern Italy, he spent seven years teaching in Belvedere and Clongowes - mostly in Belvedere. During this period Mr. Browne was the life and soul of Belvedere. The college was small in those days, numbering about 250 boys. There he endeared himself to many who in later years reached the top of their professions. It was there, too, that he became wedded to his camera. While doing full teaching he had cycling club, camera club and every kind of outdoor activity except games.
At the conclusion of this long period of colleges came theology at Milltown Park and Ordination in July 1915 at the hands of his uncle, Most Rev. Robert Browne, Bishop of Cloyne. During his theologate he rarely missed opportunities of long treks over the mountains. It was all a preparation for his duties as military chaplain. World War I broke out in 1914 and in 1916 Fr. Browne became chaplain to the Irish Guards in France and Flanders. He was wounded several times, returning home to hospital with severe shrapnel injuries to his jaw, On his return again to the front he served in the same Irish Division as Fr. Willie Doyle, and was close to Fr. Doyle until the latter was killed in August 1917. From then onwards until the war ended in 1918 Fr. Browne was with the Irish Guards and received several distinctions. As well as frequently being mentioned in despatches he was awarded the Military Cross and the Belgian Croix de Guerre.
Tertianship was in Tullabeg, 1919-1920, and then Belvedere College for two years. A visitation of the Irish Province took place just then and two appointments made by the Fr. Visitor - Fr. W. Power, U.S.A. were Fr. John Fahy as Provincial and Fr. Browne as Superior of St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street. Both were, in a sense, as a bolt from the blue. The advent of a young priest as Superior of Gardiner Street - especially one so dynamic as Fr. Browne-was quite unusual. He was the youngest member of the community. The quiet hum of church work became a loud buzz during his six years as Superior. He was a great churchman. As well as a very eloquent preacher, he was devoted to the confessional, Moreover he was a man of great taste and made many improvements in administration. But he worked himself to a standstill and had to go on a long rest. The long rest was a trip to Australia. It provided Fr. Frank with plenty of shots for his camera and matter for many illustrated lectures in which he was a specialist.
From 1928 until a few years before his death Fr, Browne was on the Mission Staff of the Irish Province. He was stationed in St. Mary's, Emo from the time it opened in 1931. This life gave him ample scope for his unbounded energy. He loved his rest periods in Emo and his camera provided a helpful and lucrative relaxation. His photographs of places of historic interest in every part of Ireland were eagerly sought after by papers like the Irish Tatler and Sketch. In his scholastic days he had made a reputation for himself as Editor of The Belvederian. Anyone who scans the volumes of that magazine will find some wonderful photographs. It was while there he accepted the invitation to go on the first leg of the maiden voyage of the famous Titanic, later sunk by an iceberg in the Atlantic. Fr. Frank's photos of the inside of this luxury liner were about the only ones extant.
It is hardly to be expected that younger members of any religious order could have a correct view of older members, seen and known only in their decline. It is for that reason possibly that these obituary notices appear. It is only fair that a man's life should be seen in its entirety, God does not look at the last decade of a man's life, or indeed at any one decade. God views the whole span, and so should we. Else we miss much that we ought to know for our encouragement. The Society has its menologies, and wants the lives of Jesuits to be known by succeeding generations. For this purpose the menology is read every day. In this rapid and complex world our dead are too soon forgotten. The Irish Province has had many devoted sons to whose favours we of today owe much.
What were the outstanding qualities of Fr. Frank Browne? They are here outlined in order of priority as the writer sees them after forty, if not more nearly fifty, years of acquaintance.
He was a most priestly man. To see Fr. Frank at the altar was most impressive. There was no sign of slovenliness, speed, distraction. From his ordination till his death he put the Mass first. This had one rather amusing aspect. The pair of shoes in which he was ordained he preserved to the end, and only wore them at the altar. They were known to his colleagues as “The Melchisedeck Shoes”. This, in itself, shows his anxiety to preserve the fervour of his early priesthood. There was always a dignity about Fr. Browne whenever he functioned in the church, A man of fine physique and carriage, he looked magnificent in priestly vestments. But there was no shadow of affectation, no over-exaggeration. It was simple, honest and devout.
This priestliness he carried into the pulpit. He was never cheap, witty, frivolous. His preaching was always impressive, his words well chosen, his examples apt. He had a very friendly and sympathetic approach to his congregation. His confessional was always crowded and never hurried. There was the kindly word for everyone. With the secular clergy he was extremely popular, yet always reserved and dignified. It is the truth that he never forgot he was a priest and a Jesuit. He might at times be demanding, but always in a pleasant way,
He was a brave man-brave in every sense of the word. As chaplain he was rewarded for his courage under fire. The soldiers admired him and the officers revered him because of his calmness under fire. An Irish Guardsman, still alive, wrote of Fr, Browne :
“We were in a church somewhere in Belgium and Fr. Browne was in the pulpit. Shells began to fall all around. We began to look around and up at the roof already with many holes in it. Fr. Browne thundered out : ‘What's wrong? Why don't you listen? Which are you more afraid of - God or the Germans?”
In the home front, when he was in Belvedere College, 1920-1922, many a time when the crash of a bomb, thrown at British lorries passing down North Frederick Street, was heard, Fr. Browne was down to the scene at once to minister to any injured. People scattered in all directions, but he remained firm. In October 1920, because he considered it his duty, he made a personal appeal to the military authorities on behalf of Kevin Barry.
He feared no man and feared no man's views. He never gave in an inch on a matter of principle even to the point of being irascible. One can imagine the influence he excited on non-Catholics in the British Army, A high-ranking officer, later a Field Marshal and a Viscount, had the greatest veneration for Fr. Browne and always wore a medal of Our Lady that Fr. Frank gave him.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Francis (Frank) Browne 1880-1960
Fr Francis Browne was a colourful character, full of life and go. He was famous as a Chaplain in the First World War, being decorated many times for gallantry under fire. A soldier wrote of him “We were in Church somewhere in Belgium, and Fr Browne was in the pulpit. Shells began to fall all around. We began to look around and up at the roof which already had many holes in it. R Browne thundered out “What’s wrong? Why don't you listen to me? Which are you more afraid of, God or the Germans?”
Through the good offices of his uncle the Bishop of Cloyne, Fr Frank travelled in the Titanic, on her voyage from Belfast to Cork, where luckily he disembarked. Being an excellent photographer, he had taken snaps of the interior of that famous ship, which are the onl;y ones extant to this day.
As a chaplain he was equally popular with Catholic and Protestant, and counted among his friends the then Prince of Wales, later Edward VII and later again Duke of Windsor. A high ranking Officer, a Field-Marshall and later a Viscount had the greatest veneration for him, and always carried a medal of Our Lady round his neck, which he had received from Fr Frank.
His outstanding devotion was to the Holy Mass. The pair of boots in which he was ordained he kept apart to the end, and in no others did he ever celebrate Mass.
During his period as Superior of Gardiner Street he was responsible for many improvements in the Church, mainly the fine porch and new system of lighting.
The latter part of his life he spent as a most zealous and successful missioner
He died on July 7th 1960.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2002

Farewell Companions : Dermot S Harte

Fr Francis Patrick Mary Browne SJ

If Fr J M O'Connor SJ had a rival for the “Mr. Belvedere” title, it might probably be Fr Frank Browne SJ - another distinguished Alumnus.

Frank was a good friend of mine. I cannot honestly remember where I first met him for he was the sort of person who seemed to have been around forever. He was so unique that everyone who met him felt that they had always known him. From his adventures aboard the “Titanic” and from his days in the hell of the trenches of World War I, when he was a Chaplain in the Irish Guards, he probably became Ireland's most prolific photographer. He was likely to turn up absolutely anytime, anywhere and very often in the strangest of places! I once encountered him on the footplate of a newly acquired locomotive (”The Maeve”) on the Dublin-Cork run covered from head to toe in coal-dust and sundry grime, having made the total journey in company with the driver and fireman and, no doubt, the inevitable camera!

The story of Frank Browne and the 'Titanic' is legendary. He travelled Southampton-Cherbourg-Queenstown (now Cobh) on the vessel during which time he and his camera did noble work! Not too surprisingly, he was prevailed upon to remain on board for the trip to New York. After all the unsinkable! Titanic was the newest and finest ship ever to sail the seven seas! Who wouldn't give their eye teeth for such a once-in-a-lifetime trip? He radioed his Provincial for permission and hoped for the best! The Provincial's return telegram contained five words: “Get off that ship! Provincial”. So an unhappy Frank remained on land whereas the “Titanic” never reached its destination but instead sank off Newfoundland taking with it some 1500 souls.

But there is another side to the saga of Fr Browne and the Titanic! My grandparents' home was in Sandymount directly across the road from the Star of the Sea Church. Early in the twentieth century the then PP prevailed upon my grandmother to accommodate the “Missioners” who arrived twice each year to conduct the Women's and the Men's Retreats. This was to be on a “one-off” basis but like so many “one-offs” the arrangement became permanent and scores of missioners were accommodated over the next 50 or so years. My grandparents died in the 1920's and early 30's and a number of my unmarried aunts and uncles remained. In particular, I refer to my Aunt Moya!

Eventually there arrived on the scene none other than Fr Frank Browne SJ. The main bathroom was immediately commandeered by Frank where all sorts of apparatus were set up by him to ensure that his photographic pursuits remained unhindered. 1 stayed in the old homestead in order to serve his Mass each morning.

One fine morning he and I set off for his Mass as two of my uncles were having breakfast in the nether regions to which they had been banished when a strange spreading “something” was observed oozing under the breakfast room door. The basement was flooding! Loud crashes were heard as ceilings fell down and chaos ensued! The dreaded Frank had put the plug in the bath on the third floor, connected the water to his Developing Tank - and taken off for the Church! So the unhindered water flowed down with fearsome results. How the priests were not banished for ever more - together with my Aunt Moya - must be the greatest miracle since Moses struck the rock! It did nothing to pacify my uncles and their wrath fell on the shoulders of my unfortunate aunt.

But it didn't all end there, for Moya composed a little ditty that started “Father Browne, he didn't go down”. After the retreats, and overcome by remorse for her disrespect to a man of God, she decided that she must be in a state of mortal sin and took herself off to confession. She told me that in confessing this dreadful sin she said to the priest, “Father, I had bad thoughts about a Missioner!” I'll bet that made her confessor sit up and take notice as he was a particularly close family friend! The poor man was convulsed with laughter when he discovered the nature of her “sin” and she was sadly disappointed at receiving a penance of only one “Glory Be”! But she immediately gave up smoking to atone for her temporary lapse from grace - as she saw it!

The last time I saw Fr Browne was on the platform at Limerick Junction station as he returned from one of his many adventures having immortalised on film whatever caught his attention at the time. Whenever I pass through this station, in my mind's eye his Great Spirit still stands there as it did a lifetime ago. I never forget to remember, and to offer a prayer of gratitude for his friendship. Fr Browne was called to his Heavenly Home on 7 July 1960 where no doubt he is still taking photographs, this time, I would imagine, in glorious Technicolour!

After his death over forty-two thousand of his negatives were discovered in Loyola House by Fr Eddie O'Donnell SJ. So the Great Frank who didn't go down, didn't go away either! With the aid of sponsorship from Allied Irish Bank all were restored and three of AlB/Ark Life calendars, including this year's, featured his photographs. I was amazed to see a photograph of myself in one of the earlier calendars taken, I believe, sometime during the '40's.

Seventeen volumes of his photographs have been published and exhibitions in the Guinness Hop-Store, throughout the country, and in the Pompidou Centre in Paris have featured his Dublin Photographs. His 'Titanic' photographs have been exhibited in places as far apart as Hiroshima, Seattle, Chicago, Lisbon, Bruges and Budapest.

I have a feeling that, somehow, he will still be around on the Last Day. What marvellous opportunities for really spectacular photography will then present themselves! I'll bet he is ready and waiting for the off - and is already champing at the bit!

◆ The Clongownian, 1918

Clongowes Chaplains

We should have liked to be able to give a series of letters from Army. Chaplains, Past Clongownians, and former members of the Clon gowes Community, describing their professional experiences. We made considerable efforts and received promises not a few. But in the end, all found that their life was too busy and too irregular to make formal composition of that kind possible, and they one and all shrank from the task. Very often, too, no doubt, there was the fear of the Censor in the background. But notwithstanding this we thought it would be of interest to many readers of the “Clongownian” if we pieced together from these letters the scattered fragments of news coll tained in them. And this is what we have done. We begin with Father Corr, who for several years most worthily filled the position of Editor to this Magazine, and to whom is due the magnificent Centenary Number, 1914

Father F M Browne SJ

Father Browne, who was a master here some years ago, but not a Past Clongownian is with the anc Battalion Irish Guards. He has certainly had considerable variety during his time at the front. He was within the salient of Bourloi Wood when it had its neck cut and barely managed to escape On this occasion he got the bar to the MC. Of this experienc he writes : never went
through any thing like it and I wish there had bee another Lady Butler to pair another Roll Call of th 2nd I G after Bourlon Wood It was one of the saddest sights have ever see Imagine a fair dark night, deep sunken road lined with tiny excavations, some of them covered with oil sheets, etc, and in the middle the wreck of our Battalion. I cannot tell you how many we were when we started nor how many when we ended, for it would be a crime against interfering DORA”. Of his bar to the MC he writes:-“The only thing by which I can account for it was my very narrow escape from walking into the German lines during or rather just before Bourlon”.

During his wanderings Father Browne has not been unmindful of the wanderings of St Brendan, the story of which he has told in his illustiated guide to Lough Corrib. He tells us that he came by accident on an early French poem on this subject, with a commentary, in a Flemish farmer's cottage. This, no doubt, will be an interesting and, we hope, valuable addition to his booklet on this subject.

One little tit-bit of information which he gives us shows how great a change the presence of Irish soldiers must make to a French parish from the religious point of view. “We had a great ceremony on Sunday last - 2,500 Irish, soldiers gathered for Mass in the Cathe dral of --- to honour the new Bishop who presided at the Mass. I said Mass, Father W Doyle preached. Several Generals and big people - all impressed with very great solemnity. We had a guard of honour for the Elevation and trumpeters to play the General's Salute from the organ gallery. Father Doyle preached a very eloquent sermon though he was strictly limited to 15 minutes”. What a sight for the poor French Catholics - the old ones amongst them, no doubt, were brought back in memory to the ages of Faith in the fair land of France!

Browne, Henry Martyn, 1853-1941, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/72
  • Person
  • 07 August 1853-14 March 1941

Born: 07 August 1853, Birkenhead, Liverpool, Cheshire, England
Entered: 31 October 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 22 September 1889, St Beuno's, Wales
Final Vows: 02 February 1897, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 14 March 1941, St Beuno's, Wales

Part of the Heythrop, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England community at the time of death

by 1888 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1895 at Roehampton London (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1923 at Campion House, Osterley, London (ANG) teaching
by 1927 at Mount St London (ANG) writing
by 1938 at Roehampton, London (ANG) writing
by 1941 at Heythrop, Oxfordshire, England (ANG) writing

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Browne, Henry Martyn
by Christina Souyoudzoglou-Haywood

Browne, Henry Martyn (1853–1941), classicist and Jesuit priest, was born 7 August 1853 in Claughton, Woodchurch, Cheshire, England, the second of four sons and one daughter of John Wilson Browne, hardware merchant, born in Portugal (1824), and Jane Susan Browne (née McKnight), one of eight children of Robert McKnight, farmer, and Jane McKnight (née McLean) from Kelton, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire. Henry grew up in Birmingham, where his father set up in business. He lost his mother (d. 14 May 1859) when he was almost six; in 1862 his father married Agnes Bowstead and had another two children.

Brown was educated at King Edward's school, Birmingham, and in 1872 entered New College, Oxford, as a commoner. He took moderations in 1873, obtaining second-class honours in Greek and Latin literature, but left the university the following year, without taking his second public examination – he was granted a BA in 1891 (MA 1895) upon embarking on his academic career – having converted to the catholic faith and joined the Society of Jesus. He later gave an account of his conversion in The city of peace (1903). In 1877 he joined the Irish province and entered the novitiate at Milltown Park. He took his vows in 1879, remained for a year at Milltown Park as a junior, and taught at Tullabeg, Tullamore, Co. Offaly (1880–84). He was ordained in 1889 at St Beuno's, north Wales. Five years earlier he had begun a degree in theology at Milltown Park, which he completed in 1890. He was then appointed to teach classics at UCD, then run by the Jesuits, filling the post formerly held by Gerard Manley Hopkins (qv). During this period he published the Handbook of Greek composition (1885; 8th ed. 1921) and Handbook of Latin composition (1901; 2nd ed. 1907). At the founding of the NUI in 1908 he was appointed professor of Greek at UCD, a position he held until his retirement in 1922.

What characterised Browne's approach to classical scholarship was his interest in the ‘reality’ of the ancient world, which he tried to convey to students through visual and tactile materials (maps, lantern slides, photographs, artefacts, and replicas). He became an enthusiastic advocate of archaeology, and particularly of prehistoric archaeology. He gave public lectures on Minoan and Mycenaean archaeology and – a first for Ireland – he introduced these subjects into the university's syllabus. In his popular Handbook of Homeric study (1905; 2nd ed., 1908) he debated extensively the implications for Homeric studies of the recent archaeological discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean. His greatest legacy to UCD was the Museum of Ancient History (afterwards renamed the Classical Museum), inaugurated at Earlsfort Terrace in 1910. Browne built up his teaching collection of more than 5,000 Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiquities, replicas, and coins through his personal contacts with archaeologists and museums in England, through purchases on the antiquities market – an important purchase being that of Greek vases at the Christie's sale of the Thomas Hope collection in 1917 – and through loans from the National Museum of Ireland. He became a member of the committee of the British Association for Museums, and chairman of the archaeological aids committee of the Association for the Reform of Latin Teaching. In this capacity he visited the USA in 1916 to inquire into the educational role of American museums, and included his observations in Our renaissance: essays on the reform and revival of classical studies (1917). His practical approach to the classics led him to experiment with Greek choral rhythms; he gave demonstrations at American universities, and regularly chanted Greek choral odes to his students. He had many extra-curricular interests. For several years he was in charge of the University Sodality. He played a major role in the foundation of the Classical Association of Ireland (he was its chairman in 1913) and served on the Council of Hellenic Studies. He was involved with the St Joseph's Young Priests Society and supported the work of the Mungret Apostolic School.

After his retirement from UCD Browne left Ireland, where he had resided at the Jesuit residence, 35 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin, and was transferred to London, first to Osterley, then Farm Street in Mayfair, and in 1939 to Manresa House, Roehampton. During this period of his life he channelled his energy to the study of the English martyrs, and to catechism and conversion. He wrote The catholic evidence movement (1924) and Darkness or light? An essay in the theory of divine contemplation (1925), and tried to improve the fate of the under-privileged youth of Hoxton by organising and running a boys’ club there. He returned to Dublin a few times, and he wrote with Father Lambert McKenna (qv) a history of UCD, A page of Irish history (1930). His last publication was A tragedy of Queen Elizabeth (1937).

Browne died 14 March 1941 at Heythrop College, near Oxford, where he was evacuated because of the air raids on London. His brothers, all heirless, continued the merchant tradition of the family. His sister, Lucy Jane, died in a Birmingham asylum in 1917. His half-brother Arthur Edward Wilson died in South Africa in 1941 where he lived with his wife and five children. Browne's correspondence relating to the UCD museum is in the British Museum, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Winchester College, and the NMI. Some papers are in the archives of the British Province, Mount Street, London. The whereabouts of a known portrait are uncertain; it was reproduced in his obituary in the magazine of the British Province with the caption ‘from a Dublin portrait’.

Browne family wills, inc. John Wilson Browne (1886) and Charles Knightly Browne (1926); census returns, United Kingdom, 1851 (Woodchurch, Birkkenhead), 1881 and 1891 (Solihull, Birmingham); ‘Browne, Henry Martyn’, New College, Oxford, Register for 1872; Oxford University Calendar, 1873, 1892, 1893; ‘The Cretan discoveries’, Freeman's Journal, 11 Feb., 17 Feb. 1905; National Museum of Ireland: letter books, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1921; University College Dublin: Calendar for . . . 1911–1912, 457–8; H. Browne, Museum of Ancient History: report, 1913 (1913); H. Browne, Museum of Ancient History: Report, 1914 (1915); H. Browne, Introduction to numismatics (1915); University College Dublin: Report of the President, 1922–1923, 3–4; Fathers of the Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: story of University College Dublin, 1883–1909 (1930); ‘Obituary’, University College Dublin: Report of the President, 1940–1941, 16–17; ‘Obituary’, Irish Province News, iv (1941), 566–9; WWW; M. Tierney, Struggle with fortune: a miscellany for the centenary of the Catholic University of Ireland, 1854–1954 (1954), 37–8, 90; W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the classical tradition (1976), 65–6, 68–9, 168–9, 240; C. Haywood, The making of the classical museum: antiquarians, collectors and archaeologists. An exhibition of the Classical museum, 2003 [exhibition catalogue]

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 3rd Year No 1 1927
Jubilee : Fr Henry Browne
Fr Henry Browne was fêted at Leeson Street on November 1st. He had his share of College work in Tullabeg. But as far back as 1891 he was sent to University College, Dublin, where he played a full man's part in making that Jesuit establishment the first College in Ireland of the old “Royal”. Even “Queen’s” Belfast notwithstanding its enormous advantages, had eventually to acknowledge the superiority of the Dublin College, and the men who worked it.
Fr. Browne's Oxford training was a valuable asset in bringing University College so well to the front. He remained Professor in the Royal, and then in the National University to the year 1922, and is now engaged, amongst other things, in doing a work dear to the heart of men like Francis Regis, looking after the poor, especially children, in the worst slums of London.

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

Leeson St :
Monday, November 20th, was a red-letter day in the history of Leeson street, for it witnessed the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the House's foundation. In November, 1833. the Community came into being at 86 St Stephen's Green, where it remained until 1909, when the building was handed over to the newly constituted National University. The Community, however, survived intact and migrated to a nearby house in Lesson Street, where it renewed its youth in intimate relationship with the Dublin College of the University.
Its history falls this into two almost equal periods, different, indeed, in many ways, yet essentially one, since the energies of the Community during each period have been devoted to the same purpose, the furtherance of Catholic University Education in Ireland.
A precious link between the two eras is Father Tom Finlay, who was a member of the Community in 1883, and ever since has maintained his connection with it. His presence on Monday evening, restored to his old health after a severe illness was a source of particular pleasure to the whole gathering. It was also gratifying to see among the visitors Father Henry Browne, who had crossed from England at much personal inconvenience to take part in the celebration. Not only was Father Browne a valued member of the Community for over thirty years, but he acquired additional merit by putting on record, in collaboration with Father McKenna, in that bulky volume with the modest title " A Page of Irish History," the work achieved by the House during the first heroic age of its existence. It was a pleasure, too, to see hale and well among those present Father Joseph Darlington, guide, philosopher and friend to so many students during the two periods. Father George O'Neill, who for many years was a distinguished member of the Community, could not, alas. be expected to make the long journey from his newer field of fruitful labor in Werribee, Australia.
Father Superior, in an exceptionally happy speech, described the part played by the Community, especially in its earlier days of struggle, in the intellectual life of the country. The venerable Fathers who toiled so unselfishly in the old house in St. Stephens Green had exalted the prestige of the Society throughout Ireland. Father Finlay, in reply, recalled the names of the giants of those early days, Father Delany, Father Gerald Hopkins, Mr. Curtis and others. Father Darlington stressed the abiding influence of Newman, felt not merely in the schools of art and science, but in the famous Cecilia Street Medial School. Father Henry Browne spoke movingly of the faith, courage and vision displayed by the leaders of the Province in 1883, when they took on their shoulders such a heavy burden. It was a far cry from that day in 1883, when the Province had next to no resources, to our own day, when some sixty of our juniors are to be found, as a matter of course preparing for degrees in a National University. The progress of the Province during these fifty years excited feelings of
admiration and of profound gratitude , and much of that progress was perhaps due to the decision, valiantly taken in 1883 1883, which had raised the work of the Province to a higher plane.

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

Obituary :
Father Henry Browne
Father Henry Browne died at Heythrop College on March 14 1941. He had been in failing health for the past two or three years, and had recently been evacuated from Roehampton to Heythrop owing to the air-raids over London. To quote the words of an English Father who knew him well in these last years “here he occupied himself mostly in prayer, and on March 14th brought to a serene close eighty-eight years of arduous, enthusiastic, joyful, supernatural work for the Master”.

Father Henry Browne was born at Birkenhead on August 7, 1853 but his father, Mr. J. Wilson Browne, was a Birmingham man, his mother was Joan McKnight. Who's Who contains a notice of his grandfather, Captain J. Murray Browne, who “fought at Albuera and throughout the Peninsular War, and joined the Portuguese army where he became Assistant Quartennaster-General under Marshal Beresford.” Father Browne was educated at King Edward's High School, Birmingham, and went to New College, Oxford. He was received into the Church in 1874, when his undergraduate course was not yet completed, and was advised by Cardinal Manning to interrupt his studies. Je joined the Irish Province in 1877, and entered the novitiate at Milltown Park on October 31st. After his first vows he spent a year as a Junior at Milltown Park. In 1880 he went to Tullabeg, where he spent four years as master under two Rectors, Fr Sturzo and Fr. George Kelly. The Intermediate System was then in its early stages, and Mr. Browne taught Rhetoric and Mathematics (1880-81),
Humanities (1881-2) , 1 Grammar (1882-3), Syntax, Classics and English (1883-4).
From 1884-6 Father Browne studied Philosophy at Milltown Park, where he had Fathers Peter Finlay and William Hayden as his Professors. In 1886 he went to St. Beuno's, where he was ordained in the summer of 1889. He returned to Milltown for his fourth year of theology. and was then sent to University College to teach Latin and Greek, replacing Father Richard Clarke of the English Province.
From 1890 to 1909 (with the exception of one year, 1894-95, which he spent as a Tertian Father at Roehampton), Father Browne was kept busy in Dublin as Professor of Classics and Fellow of the Royal University of Ireland. His energy was simply amazing. Two early Handbooks of Latin and Greek Composition went through various editions, though they have since lost their vogue. His Handbook of Homeric Study was for many years counted the best popular introduction in English to the famous controversy, on which Father Browne
was never weary of lecturing his own students at U.C.D. He took a leading part in the foundation of the Classical Association of Ireland and was elected President of this body in 1913. He was also a member of the Council of the Society for Hellenic Studies, Chairman (for a time) of the Archaeologica Aids Committee of the Association for the Reform of Latin Teaching, and member of the Committee of the British Association for Museums. In this connection he visited the U.S.A. in 1916 as a member of a special Committee to report on the American museum system, and his volume of essays (Our Renaissance : Essays on the Reform and Revival of Classical Studies), published in 1917 reflects his interests in these strenuous years. Father Browne's old students will not need to be reminded of his immense zest for all forms of archaeological research. He counted several of the leading English
archaeologists as among his personal friends. There had been an earlier stage when Greek music had attracted his attention - though it must be confessed that Father Browne's aptitude for musical theory was disputed by some of his colleagues. But who could resist so great a vital force? Father Browne would strum a piano for hours on end, convincing himself (and some others) that Greek music was most closely connected (through Gregorian music) with ancient Irish music as represented in Moore's Melodies. Who's Who contains the following condensed statement of this phase of Father Browne's activities “He has experimented in the melodic rendering of Greek choral rhythms giving demonstrations before the British Association at the Dublin meeting (1908) and at Columbia and Chicago Universities.
It seems a far cry from these external activities to the inner motive which explains the dual character of Father Henry Browne's life. But those who lived with him knew that he had other interests. For many years he was' exceptionally successful as Director of the Students Sodality in the old University College, giving monthly talks to large numbers. As early as 1896 he had been drawn into the work of Saint Joseph's Young Priests' Society by his lifelong friend and fellow-convert, Father Joseph Darlington. Father Darlington had to leave Ireland for a year to make his tertianship, and he succeeded (with some difficulty) in persuading Father Browne to take his place for one year. Those first hesitations were soon forgotten, and Father Browne continued to edit Saint Joseph’s Sheaf, and to be the life and soul of the Society for the next twenty-five years. He was particularly keen on the work of the Mungret Apostolic School, and deserves to be reckoned as one of the chief benefactors of that important work for the missionary priesthood. He was also a pioneer propagandist for the Chinese Mission here in Ireland. In 1915 he helped to re-organise Saint Joseph's Young Priests' Society as a national work, approved and commended by the Irish Hierarchy.
The last twenty years of Father Browne's life were spent outside of Ireland. Although he came back to Dublin more than once, and was always eager to keep in touch with the Leeson Street community.
A brief record of his activities during these years will help to complete the picture of this strenuous worker for Christ’s Kingdom. For the first two years Father Browne was stationed at Osterley, where he helped Father Lester up his work for late vocations (Our Lady's Young Priests), and taught Latin to some of the students. In a recent issue of Stella Maris Father Clement Tigar, who has succeeded Father Lester at Osterley, pays warm tribute to Father Browne's work for this good cause. He also wrote a pamphlet on the K.B.S. movement, and a very pleasant book on the recent work of the Catholic Evidence Guild (1924). This latter work made a special appeal to Father Browne - zeal for the conversion of Protestant England - and he soon threw himself heart and soul into the work of open-air lecturing and catechising. His older friends in Dublin, who knew him for the most part as the very type of an academic Professor of Greek were first startled, then amused to hear that Father Browne was exceptionally successful in this new role. He had a knack of answering casual hecklers in their own style - his answer was often so completely unexpected (and occasionally so irrelevant) that the heckler was left speechless with surprise, and unable to cause any further trouble. From Osterley, Father Browne was soon transferred to Farm Street, where he added a new field to his labours. This was a Newsboys' Club which he himself organised and directed at Horton one of the most difficult of London's slum areas. It was open to boys of every religious denomination. The mere labour of going down to Horton from Farm Street on several nights a week would have been sufficient to flaunt a younger and more vigorous man. But Father Browne now well on in his seventies, was indomitable.
In 1927 Father Browne came back for a visit to Dublin, to celebrate his Golden Jubilee with the Fathers of the Lesson Street community. In 1930 and 1931 he was here again, and was busily engaged on compiling a short history of the old University College, with the collaboration of Father Lambert McKenna. The book appeared in 1930 under the title “A Page of Irish History”. In the next year Father Browne took part in the Congress of the Irish Province which was held in University Hall, Hatch Street. for the purpose of studying the Exercises. He chose for his share in the discussion the subject of Ignatian Prayer - always a favourite topic with him in private conversation - and his comments will be found in “Our Colloquium”, pp. 129-131. He had already published a book on the theory of mystical contemplation under the title “Darkness or Light? : An Essay in the Theory of Divine Contemplation” (Herder, 1925). Many years earlier (1903) he had edited a volume entitled “The City of Peace”, in which he gathered together various autobiographical accounts of recent conversions to the Catholic Church. His own account of his conversion to the true Faith at Oxford is well worth reading for the light it throws on his own strong direct and outspoken character.
Hoxton Club and these many other activities filled Father Browne's life until 1984, when he was in his eighty-second year. He had already made plans for the transference of the Club to other hands, and it was finally passed over to the management of a joint committee of past students of Stonyhurst and the Sacred Heart Convent Roehampton. He himself felt that the end was near, but his energy was not yet spent. For the next few years he threw himself with all his old fire and enthusiasm into one last campaign for the conversion of England
through the intercession of Teresa. Higginson, in whom he had implicit faith. An adverse decision came from Rome some three years ago and Father Browne found this set-bask one of the severest trials in his long life. But he never hesitated in his obedience and submission to authority, and his faith in the ultimate conversion of his fellow countrymen never wavered for an instant. The present writer visited him frequently in the last years of his life, and it was impossible to resist the impression of a life that was more and more absorbed in the work of prayer for his fellow-Christians. Old memories of Dublin days would come back to him, but the conversion of England was his main preoccupation. He had asked to be moved from Farm Street to Roehampton, so that he might prepare himself for death in the company of the novices. But it was not to be. The air-raids on Roehampton made evacuation a duty, and Father Browne was transferred some months before his death to Heythrop near Oxford. Old memories of Oxford days. and of his own conversion, must have come back to him with double force. Those who knew him say that his last months were spent mainly in prayer. He was in his eighty-eighth year, but still unwearied in his zeal, when the end came at last, and he has been laid to rest at Heythrop College, which is now one of the most active centres of that campaign for the conversion of England which lay nearer to his heart than any other human cause. May he rest in peace. (A.G.)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Henry Browne SJ 1853-1941
Fr Henry Browne was born of Anglican parents at Birkenhead, England, on August 7th 1853. He was educated at King Edward’s High School, Birmingham and New College Oxford, and entered the Catholic Church in 1874. Three years later he joined the Irish Province of the Society at Milltown Park. He pursued his higher studies at Milltown Park and at St Beuno’s, North Wales, and was ordained priest in 1889.

In the following year he began his long association with University College Dublin as Professor of Ancient Classics and Fellow of the Royal University of Ireland. During these fruitful years, 1890-1922, Fr Browne’s talent as lecturer, writer, organiser found its full scope. In addition to a very useful volume dealing with Greek and Latin composition, he was the author of “A Handbook of Homeric Studies”, which held its own as the best secular introduction to a famous controversy. He took a leading part in the foundation of the Classical Association of Ireland, and was a member of the Council of the Society for Hellenic Studies and of the Committee of the Irish Association of Museums.

Another side of Fr Browne’s activities in Dublin during these years was the zeal he displayed in promoting vocations to the missionary priesthood. As early as 1896 he had been drawn into the work of St Joseph’s Young Priests Society, which he served for a quarter of a century.

The last twenty years of Fr Browne's life were spent outside Ireland, and marked what we might call its Second Spring. He helped Fr Lester in his work for late vocations at Osterley, London, and in open-air lecturing and catechising. In these years date his very pleasant book on the work of the Catholic Evidence Guild. On his transfer to Farm Street, he added a new field to his labours, a newsboys club in Hoxton in the East End of London.

He remained in touch with the Irish province during this period of his life, and wrote an account of the old University College in “A Page of Irish History”. The story about his own conversion to the faith is told in “The City of Peace” (1903), and also in a chapter of a book “Roads to Rome” by Rev John O’Brien. Deserving also of special mention is Fr Browne’s work on the theory of mystical contemplation entitled “Darkness or Light” (1925).

Fr Browne closed his strenuous apostolic life on March 14th 1941 at St Beuno’s, North Wales, where he had been evacuated during the air-raids of World War II, interested to the end in the work for the conversion of Protestant England.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1941

Obituary

Father Henry Browne SJ

The death of Father Browne on the 14th March, 1941– St. Joseph's month - at the Jesuit House of Studies, Heythrop, Oxford, brought to a close a long and fruitful life.

Born in Birkenhead in 1853 and educated at New College, Oxford, he was received into the Church in 1874. Three years later he entered the Novitiate of the Irish Province and from that date till his retirement in 1922 he was engaged in educational work in Ireland. As a scholastic he taught in Belvedere and Tullabeg. He was ordained in 1890 at St Beuno's, Wales, and when his studies were completed we find him back once more in Ireland.

There is no need to chronicle here the scholastic attainments of Father Browne or his part in the great work for university education in Ireland. These are matters of history. But it is well to recall his close association with the early days of the Apostolic School. Brought into contact with Mrs Taaffe and her great work, Father Browne, at first very doubtful about the success of the venture, became one of the pillars of St Joseph's Young Priests Society. Realising the need of missionary priests and the possibilities of the work, he threw himself into the enterprise with all his characteristic thoroughness. His lantern lectures were utilised to make the work known and by these he was instrumental in having the Moloney Burse completed and handed over to the Apostolic School.

Shortly after his retirement in 1922 from the University, he returned to England and worked mainly in London.

The later years of his life were spent in the peace and quiet of Manreso and Heythrop College.

Browne, Liam, 1929-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/825
  • Person
  • 18 August 1929-26 October 2017

Born: 18 August 1929, Kilmainham, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1960, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1964, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died 26 October 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

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

by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency
by 1963 at Campion Hall, Oxford (ANG) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/liam-browne-sj-much-loved-missionary/

Liam Browne SJ – a dedicated missionary
Irish Jesuit Fr Liam Browne SJ died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Dublin on 26 October 2017 aged 88 years. His funeral took place on 31 October at Milltown Park, Ranelagh followed by burial in Glasnevin Cemetery. The Dubliner spent much of his early priestly life on various missions in Zambia, before returning home to work at various places in Ireland in 1974. Below find the homily at his funeral mass given by Fr John K. Guiney SJ.
A dedicated missionary
We remember and celebrate a long and eventful life of Liam Browne.
He was born in the Rotunda on 18th August 1929 and brought up in Kilmainham Dublin, went to CBS James’s St... and entered the Jesuits at Emo Park on 7th September 1946, was ordained in Milltown Park on 28th July 1960, and took his final vows at Chikuni in Zambia on 2nd February 1964.
Four of the 12 companions who took first vows with him in Emo are with us still: John Guiney, John Dooley, and Jim Smyth... MJ Kelly who is living in Lusaka, Zambia.
To say Liam had a rich,varied and eventful life is an understatement. He worked in Zambia, Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard, was Chaplain in St Vincent’s Hospital and Marlay Nursing Home and all through was constant in his research on the Chitonga language and culture. He went to God peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge last Thursday at 4pm.
A common theme of Liam’s life was his desire and wish to be close to ordinary people and to understand their cultures and ways of life. In an interview with the Irish Jesuit Mission Office he expressed his desire to become a Jesuit and priest in this way: “to help people and to enable them to experience Christ’s forgiveness and he noted the great influence on his vocation of his grandmother Susan Waldron.
When Liam arrived in Zambia in 1954 he plunged himself into learning the local language Chitonga in the diocese of Monze. He was not only interested in learning a language but set about researching the culture of the people, looking at what makes them tick – trying to understand seeing how culture/religion/faith are interrelated.
His work in the study and preservation of Tonga culture was similar to the work of another renowned student of Tonga culture – Frank Wafer who founded the Mukanzubo Kalinda Cultural Centre in Chikuni. They did so much to record, store and document traditional proverbs, dance, songs, customs and rites of the community. Liam did what every effective missionary does; he fell in love with the people he was called to serve – the Tonga people and culture.
Liam was the go to person for scholastics/young volunteers, learning the language and entering a new culture. He was the person to induct them into Tongaland. Colm Brophy as a scholastic in Zambia in 1969 recounts: “I was anxious to acquire a knowledge of Chitonga. So I asked the Provincial, John Counihan, to send me to a place and to a person who could help me do that.
“In 1969 I was posted to Chilala-Ntaambo (‘the sleeping place of the lion’), a metropolis of remoteness... because I knew it was remote and that I would be living with a man who was very fluent in the language – Liam Browne.”
Liam, he remembers, would spend a lot of his time researching the Chitonga language and culture. He would go around various villages with his tape-recorder interviewing mainly elderly people.
Chilala-Ntaambo was frontier missionary land in the 1960s.
It wasn’t an easy life for Liam there as parish priest. There was no solid Catholic community. The place was new. For Sunday Mass only eight or ten people would turn up mainly from two families. He was ploughing a lone furrow.
Liam continued to work in missionary frontiers in the Fumbo and Chivuna parishes and in 1973 took a break to study cultural anthropology in Campion Hall, Oxford under the guidance of the renowned Professor Evans Pritchard.
Liam then published some of his research on the initiation rites of the Tonga people but fell foul of at least one influential Tonga political leader who felt that secrets of their culture was not for public reading. He was not allowed to renter the country.
Two years ago while visiting Monze I met his mentor and friend in Zambia – the great cultural anthropologist of the Tonga people Barbara Colson who worked with Liam.
She was full of admiration for the work and research of Liam and admitted that Liam’s kind of research is now prescribed reading for students of the Tonga culture in every African library. A real joy for Liam in latter years was The Tonga-English Dictionary that Liam had started in the 60s and was finally completed and published by Frank Wafer just 3 years ago.
Liam returned to Ireland in 1974 and from then to 1989 he went to work in Ballyfermot and began to build firstly a temporary and then a permanent Church with the people and with the able assistance of the Daughters of Charity and especially Sr Cabrini.
His friends in Cherry Orchard still remember him as a man of great kindness and compassion. They remember his outreach to the most needy, his wisdom in counselling people and also his ability to plan, budget and look ahead even when the share budget of the diocese was small. Amongst Liam’s talents was wood work and he loved making things; much of the design and wooden fixtures and paintings were done by Liam in the Churches he built.
Those who knew Liam in Zambia and Ireland remember him as good-humoured, generous and who loved music especially jazz.
His friends also remember Liam as a man who shot from the hip, spoke his mind with a bluntness that could put people off. He had a certain distrust of superiors and people in authority, sometimes with well founded reasons. However, once he had got it out of his system, he got on with things and remained on good terms with all whom he encountered.
Perhaps the phrase ‘he got on with things’ sums up the greatest characteristic of Liam’s life. Liam was a man always available for mission and when the mission he really loved, Zambia was suddenly interrupted – it must have been a heartbreak for him, but he moved on without complaining to the new missions on the home front.
At the end of his life Liam shared with his friends. I am glad I did what I did when I could. He had few regrets. Once he decided that Cherryfield Lodge nursing home was the best, he moved and had the highest regard to all who cared for him there.
He was indeed always ready for a change and recognised in the wisdom of the ancestors that there is a time and a season for all things under the sun. On Thursday last a final time had come; he surrendered in peace to his maker in the presence of his sister Monica.
Finally, a word of thanks to two great missionary families: the Browne’s and the Cassidy’s. Liam’s niece Susan shared with me that as a child she saved up her pocket money for the missions. Monica helped out Tommy Martin for years with cake sales and raffles for the missions and coincidentally two weeks ago we got a letter from a Zambian PP, from that very parish that Liam founded 50 years ago with the help of his family and friends saying hello to Liam.
It reads:
My name is Fr. Kenan Chibawe, parish priest of St. Francis Xavier parish in Chilalantambo, Monze in Zambia. Our parish was officially opened in 1967 by Fr Liam Browne. This year on 28th October, we are celebrating 50 years or Golden Jubilee of the growth of the Catholic faith that was planted by the Jesuit missionaries in particular Fr Brown and the Late Fr Norman McDonald SJ. We would have loved to see Liam here but maybe his age may not allow him to travel. People still remember these priests in our parish.
We too remember and celebrate Liam’s life with the people of Zambia, Cherry Orchard, his former colleagues alive and dead in the Vincent’s and Marlay chaplaincies. We pray for and with Liam in his adopted language Chitonga:
Mwami leza kotambula muzimo wakwe kubuzumi butamani, which means in our own language, Ar dheis dei go raibh an anam dilis.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions :
As in “Jesuits in Ireland” : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/571-liam-browne-sj-a-dedicated-missionary and https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/238-interview-with-fr-liam-browne

Fr. Liam Browne, born in 1929 in Rotunda, Dublin, can easily sum up why he wanted to be a priest: ‘to help other people’, particularly by allowing them to ‘experience Christ’s forgiveness’. Fr Browne had been encouraged in his calling by his grandmother, Susan Waldron, who raised his brother, his sister, and himself after the death of his mother. He had first become interested in the Jesuits after attending a retreat with his school, James’ Street Christian Brothers, and was attracted to missionary work because of the possibilities it offered for helping others abroad.
Fr. Browne left Dublin as a young scholastic bound for Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) to work with the Tonga. Although direct flights now link London and Lusaka, in the 1950s it took three days to reach the Zambian capital by air. Despite the distance and the difficulty, Fr. Browne recalls his first year in Africa as the happiest of his life: ‘it was the happiest time because I was doing exactly what I wanted.’ He spent this first year acclimatising, learning the language, and immersing himself in Tongan culture. His greatest consolation, or most rewarding experience, was learning the language and speaking to the Tongan people about religion. He spent his time with the Tonga working in the mission station and at Canisius College, the Jesuit-run boys’ school, and served in Zambia for a total of thirteen years (three years as a student, and ten as an ordained priest). It is clear that Fr. Browne immensely enjoyed his time in Africa: his only desolation in mission was the frustration of waiting for the rains to come, with October standing out as ‘the most dreadful time of the year’!
Fr. Browne became fascinated with Tongan culture, and with the broader field of social anthropology. He had been able to study Zambezi culture thanks to work by Elizabeth Colson, an American anthropologist who had begun studying the Tonga through the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute. In between postings, he had the benefit of spending a year at Campion Hall, Oxford, studying under Professor Evans-Pritchard at the Institute of Social Anthropology. He states that this training was ‘invaluable’ to his work in Zambia, and recalls Evans-Pritchard (a legend in anthropological circles) as an ‘outstanding’ scholar. Fr. Browne went on to write a detailed study of the Tongan way of life; studies such as these were useful not only in providing a record of Tongan custom, but also for instructing new missionaries about their host culture.
Although life in Zambia was very different to life in Ireland, Fr. Browne never experienced a ‘culture shock’. His entire philosophy was based around being open and receptive to Tongan culture, and he didn’t ‘allow himself the luxury of being shocked’ by unfamiliar practices. ‘I felt you should be open. I was convinced you needed to know the people’s language and customs- if you didn’t know that then you were really clueless! The prevailing view was that you had everything to give and nothing to receive, but I didn’t believe a word of it.’ He argues that this openness is the secret to success in both missionary work and in anthropology: ‘there is a Jesuit saying that one must go in another’s door in order for that other to come out of your door...You need to be receptive.’
Because missionaries had been working in Zambia since 1896, the Tonga were not tabula rasa when it came to the Christian message. However, Christianity still needed to be culturally located: ‘What I believe is that you have to make an effort to understand the people; that will determine your approach to preaching Christianity. To preach in a way which people will understand, you must preach in terms with which they are familiar.’ When asked if African Christianity differs from European Christianity, Fr Browne replies that it does so ‘as much as Africa differs from Europe’. Some interpretations of Christianity were more Pentecostalist than Catholic, but the Tonga were generally a receptive people who took the Christian message to heart. Indeed, Fr. Browne argues that the Zambian mission housed some of the holiest people one could ever hope to meet. In his own words, it takes ‘a hell of a long time to build a Christian culture’: given this, the fact that Christianity has become rooted in African culture in only a few generations is astounding.
However, there were areas in which the acceptance of Catholic doctrine was somewhat superficial. Although the Irish tendency is to assume that we can separate the ‘religious’ from the social or the economic, life among the Tonga shows that this is not the case. For example, polygamy was common amongst Tongan men, even those who were Christian. Converts knew that this went against Biblical teachings on marriage, but because polygamy was seen as an economic rather than a moral practice, they did not view it in the same way that their Irish missionaries did. There were also some issues of cultural ‘translation’: because the Tonga are a matrilineal people, it was somewhat difficult to promote a patrilineal religion such as Christianity, with its emphasis on Father and Son. Fr. Browne argues that new converts always tried to live the Christian life; like all Catholics, however, this was a work in progress.
Political agendas have always been a part of the mission process, and this was equally true for Jesuit missionaries in Zambia. Although race relations in Zambia were significantly less strained than those in South Africa or Zimbabwe, there were still tensions between white and black populations. However, Fr. Browne believes that a distinction was made between white government officials and white missionaries. Missionaries, unlike government officials, made an effort to assimilate into the local culture: they had to, after all, if they were to have any success. Because they were not familiar with Zambezi culture, white government officials misunderstood local power relations. For example, they would treat one man as local headman despite the fact that he was not seen as such by his would-be subjects. This was a mistake which was avoided by missionaries, who had learnt (through living with them) that the Tonga valued democracy and the ability to compromise or broker peace far more than an abstract colonial understanding of power; as the Tongan saying goes, ‘anyone can call himself a chief, but it doesn’t mean we have to obey him’! Headmen tended to be European appointees. Further, Christian missionaries were respected because they had opened schools. Although the British government had claimed that education was important, they had only introduced primary schools, and it was left to religious organisations to open schools for secondary education.
The mission station also benefited the community by distributing basic medical supplies. The Sisters of Charity ran a small bush hospital, and the mission distributed pills, tonics, supplies for cuts, etc. With the nearest hospital 35 miles away, and high rates of infant mortality, this proved a very useful service. The parents of sick children would go to great lengths to prevent their premature deaths. Fr. Browne recalls a woman who decided to begin the 35 mile walk to the hospital in the middle of the night so that her sick baby could get access to medical treatment; although she was eventually persuaded to wait until morning, when she could be driven there, this incident demonstrates the very real danger of having a sick child in the bush.
The mission station is now run by local recruits rather than Europeans. Fr. Browne is ‘delighted’ to see local people running the mission, and has high hopes for Zambia’s future. He believes that the Catholic Church can act as a unifying force in Africa today, because this is the message of the liturgy. Although the mission station is now largely run by African priests and nuns, there is still a role for Irish Catholics to play. Fr. Browne speaks highly of volunteers who give up their time to work in Zambia. He gives a particularly glowing report of a couple from Derry, who taught at the Catholic girls’ school for six years. The children grew up with their parents’ students, and Fr. Browne laughs as he recalls their daughter being taught to dance by the African girls.
If there is an overarching theme around which to organise Fr. Browne’s narrative, then surely it is that of being open and receptive: ‘Be ready to learn. If you go in with a full head, thinking you know everything, you’ll learn nothing.’

1948-1951 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1951-1954 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1954-1957 Chikuni, Zambia - Regency at Canisius College, learning Chitonga
1957-1961 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1961-1962 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1962-1963 Oxford, UK - Diploma in Social Anthropology at Campion Hall
1963-1964 Monze, Zambia - Parish Priest at Sacred Heart
1964-1965 Chikuni, Zambia - Teacher at Canisius College
1965-1972 Chivuna, Zambia - Parish Work at Chivuna Mission
1968 Parish Priest at Chilala-Ntambo, Pemba
1969 Transcribed to Zambian Province [ZAM] (03/12/1969)
1971 Working in Parish at Fumbo
1972-1973 Chisekesi, Zambia - Studying Language and Social Anthropology at Charles Lwanga Teacher Training
1973 -1974 St Ignatius, London, UK - Studying Social Anthropology at London University
1974-1989 Gardiner St - Parish work in Dublin Diocese at Ballyfermot
1982 Transcribed to Irish Province [HIB] (26/03/1982)
1986 Parish Ministry at Blessed Sacrament, Cherry Orchard, Dublin
1989-2017 Milltown Park - Historical Research and Writing
1993 Chaplain at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Dublin
2000 Chaplain at Marlay Nursing Home, Rathfarnham, Dublin
2009 Research in African Studies
2014 Praying for the Church and Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Burke Savage, Roland, 1912-1998, Jesuit priest and editor

  • IE IJA J/35
  • Person
  • 11 August 1912-15 September 1998

Born: 11 August 1912, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, St Ignatius Leeson Street, Dublin
Died: 15 September 1998, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1946 at St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Savage, Roland (‘Ronnie’) Marcus Anthony Burke-
by David Murphy

Savage, Roland (‘Ronnie’) Marcus Anthony Burke- (1912–98), Jesuit priest and editor, was born in north Dublin on 11 August 1912, son of Matthew Burke-Savage, medical doctor, and his wife Alice (née O'Connor). Educated at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare, he entered the Society of Jesus at Emo Court, Co. Laois, on 7 September 1931. He lived with the Jesuit community in Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin, while he studied arts at UCD (1933–6), where he was Hutchinson Stewart scholar in English literature (1934) and graduated BA (1936) and MA (1941) with first-class honours.

Professed of his first vows in March 1934, he moved to Milltown Park in Dublin, where he studied theology (1941–5). Ordained on 31 July 1944, he spent his tertianship at Milltown, before moving to the Leeson St. community in 1946 as a writer and assistant editor of Studies. He published his biography of Catherine McAuley (qv) in 1946 (reprinted, 2nd ed., 1955), a work of which he was justifiably proud. In 1947 he took over the editorship of the Irish Monthly (1947–50), while still continuing to work on Studies, of which he became editor in 1950. During his tenure as editor of Studies he reorganized the journal's administration and encouraged a new generation of contributors, including Garret FitzGerald. Towards the end of his term as editor it was thought by some that Studies had become less critical of the catholic hierarchy than it had been previously. In 1968 he handed over the editorship.

Having served as superior of the Leeson St. community (1951–9), he was appointed in the latter year director of the Central Catholic Library from which he resigned in 1968. Moving to Clongowes, he worked as house historian, writer, and editor of the Clongownian. He served later as college archivist and curator of the college museum. In failing health he moved to the Jesuit nursing home at Cherryfield Lodge, Sandford Rd, Dublin, in 1997 and underwent an operation. He never really recovered and died there 15 September 1998. He was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery. Throughout his life, Ronnie Burke-Savage suffered from depression and found life more difficult as he grew older. His affliction often manifested itself in reclusiveness and difficult relations with his colleagues.

ITWW; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory (1991); Ir. Times, 16 Sept. 1998; Studies, lxxxvii, no. 348 (1998); Interfuse (Jesuit in-house publication), no. 101 (1999); information from Fr Fergus O 'Donoghue SJ and Dr Thomas Morrissey SJ

◆ Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999 & ◆ The Clongownian, 1999

Obituary

Fr Roland (Ronnie) Burke-Savage (1912-1988)

11th Aug. 1912: Born in Dublin
Early Education at Clongowes
7th Sept. 1931: Entered the Society at Emo.
13th Mar. 1934: First Vows at Emo.
1933 - 1936: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD, MA
1941 - 1945: Milltown Park - Theology
31st July 1944: Ordained at Milltown Park.
1945 - 1946: Tertianship
1946 - 1968; Leeson Street
1947 - 1950: Assist Editor Studies; Editor Irish Monthly, Writer.
1950 - 1951: Minister, Editor Studies.
1951 - 1959: Superior; Editor Studies.
1959 - 1968: Director Central Catholic Library,
1968 - 1997: Clongowes - Editor Clongownian; Writer; House Historian.
1973 - 1976: Writer; Curator College Museum.
1976 -1997: Writer; College Archivist; Curator College Museum.
1997: Cherryfield Lodge - Prays for the Church and the Society

Father Burke-Savage had been in Cherryfield Lodge for the last year. He underwent a serious operation last May and never fully recovered. Although in good form he deteriorated over the week-end and died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge at 6.10 a.m., Tuesday, 15 September 1998.

Homily at the Funeral Mass of Fr. Burke-Savage
The popular writer, Fr. John O'Donohue has a wonderful image of birth and death.

“Imagine if you could talk to a baby in the womb and explain its unity with the mother. How this cord of belonging gives it life. If you could then tell the baby that this was about to end. It was going to be expelled from the womb, pushed through a very narrow passage finally to be dropped out into vacant, open light. The cord which held it to its mother's womb was going to be cut and then it was going to be on its own for ever more. If the baby could talk back, it would fear that it was going to die. For the baby within the womb being born would seem like death."

Death is a kind of re-birth. We cling to the cord of life but eventually we must let go and then we enter a new world where time and space are utterly different, a world without shadow, darkness, loneliness, isolation or pain. We are at home with the God from whom we came and to whom we go. We are in God's world of goodness, unity, beauty , truth and, above all, absolute love. The Trinity, Absolute Love, Absolute Giving and Receiving, Absolute Intimacy and Creativity is where all the longings of the human heart at last find fulfillment.

It is to that world that Ronnie, as he was affectionately known in the Society, has now gone. Roland Marcus Anthony, to give him his full name, was born in Dublin in 1912. Somehow that name fits for, in many ways, he was a renaissance man. Educated here in Clongowes, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1931. He took a first class honours BA in UCD and later a first class honours MA also in UCD. While in UCD, he was president of the Literary and Historical Society and thought nothing of bringing the likes of the poet T.S. Eliot to speak to the students. In 1946 he became the assistant editor of the Jesuit review “Studies” and at the same time he published a life of Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, a book of which he was very proud.

In 1950 he became the editor of Studies. During his years as editor he was embroiled in many controversies. At the same time he got to know many of the students in UCD and had a deep and lasting influence on many of them. Some later rose to prominence in Irish public life.

In 1959 he became the Director of the Central Catholic Library and in 1968 he retired to Clongowes where he was the college archivist and curator of the college museum.

All his life, Ronnie suffered from one major cross. He was prone to deep depression but he bore this cross with great constancy and faith. It was his faith that sustained him and gave him the courage and will power to continue.

In many ways his life, particularly in his later years, can be illustrated by two stories. The first is a Taoist tale.
The carpenter said to his apprentice: “Do you know why this tree is so big and so old?” The apprentice said: “No. Why?” Then the carpenter answered: “Because it is useless. If it were useful it would have been cut down, sawn up and used for beds and tables and chairs. But because it is useless, it has been allowed to grow. That is why it is now so great that you can rest in its shadow”.

Ronnie, in his periods of depression, often felt that he was useless. But as he grew to accept himself for what he was - when he ceased to link his own value and worth to past achievements or to work he could or could not do in the present, as so many people tend to do - then, like the tree, he achieved a serene and gentle maturity as, in these latter years especially, he quietly prayed for the Church and his brother Jesuits. Another story sums up his life:

The Master was in an expansive mood so his disciples sought to learn from him the stages he had passed through in his quest for the divine. “God first led me by the hand”, he said, “into the Land of Sorrows; there I lived until my heart was purged of every inordinate attachment. Then I found myself in the Land of Love whose burning flames consumed whatever was left in me of self. This brought me to the Land of Silence where the mysteries of life and death were bared before my wondering eyes”. “Was that the final stage of your quest?” they asked. “No”, the Master said. “One day God said, ‘Today I shall take you to the innermost sanctuary of the temple, to the heart of God himself. And I was led to the Land of Laughter’.”

May Ronnie's joy now be complete, all the longings of his heart fulfilled as he joins the Lord he served for so long in that Land of Laughter.

Philip Fogarty

Burke, Arthur, 1905-1988, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/968
  • Person
  • 14 May 1905-13 August 1988

Born: 14 May 1905, Armidale, NSW, Australia
Entered: 18 February 1922, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1940
Died; 13 August 1988, Clare, South Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia community at the time of death

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

by 1928 at Eegenhoven, Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

Second World War chaplain

◆ 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 by the Christian Brothers at St Mary’s, Toowoomba and then at the University of Queensland, before entereing at Loyola College Greenwich.

1924-1927 After First Vows he was sent to Dublin (Rathfarnham Castle) where he studied Latin, English, Mathematics and Physics at University College Dublin, graduating with a BA in 1927
1927-1930 He was sent to Leuven, Belgium for Philosophy
1930-1934 He returned to Australia and Regency at St Ignatius Riverview. Here he taught History and Science. He feel foul of the Rector William Lockington when he took photos of the Chapel roof falling down on morning during Mass - it was thought the original design was the result of an impetuous decision by the Rector.
1934-1938 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology
1938-1939 He made Tertianship at St Beuno’s Wales
1939-1941 He returned to Australia and teaching at St Aloysius Sydney
1942-1945 He became a Military Chaplain with the 2nd AIF, serving in the Middle East and Borneo, and when he retired he was a Major. He was well remembered by those who served with him for his kindness in writing home for hospital patients, and he was one of the few people who could get mail out at that stage. In subsequent years he attended reunions of his regiment, and ANZAC Day dawn services was a feature of his life.
1945-1947 He went back teaching at St Aloysius College Sydney
1947-1949 He was sent to Sevenhill
1950-1953 he was sent to do parish work at Toowong Brisbane
1953 He returned to Sevenhill where his contact with the people and as chaplain at the Clare Hospital gained him a reputation of a man of compassion, not only with his own parishioners, but with those from other denominations. He was a people’s priest, especially for children, the sick and elderly.
He spent most of his priestly life working among the people of Clare and Sevenhill. he was much loved, and portraits of him hang at Sevenhill and the Clare District Hospital. In total he spent 33 years there, and was much in demand for weddings, baptisms and funerals. A park and Old person’s home were named after him and he was named Citizen of the Year for Clare in 1986. At the 100th anniversary of the opening of the old sandstone-and-slate St Aloysius Church at Sevenhill, he wrote a booklet on the conception and building of the Church and College. Confidently fearless of electricity he made repairs and renovations to fittings and circuitry around the house. he also looked after the seismograph.
There were many legends of his driving ability. His pursuit of rabbits and vermin off the edge of the road cause fright to more than his passengers! His final act of driving involved hitting a tree in Clare now known as “Fr Frank’s Tree” which still bears the marks! Eventually some collusion between police and Jesuits resulted in his losing his licence, and he then relied on friends.
1972-1973 He was Parish Priest of Joseph Pignatelli parish in Attadale, Adelaide.

He was a man of charm and wit, humble and self effacing. Tall and lanky, with prominent teeth, he loved a laugh and always amused to see the mickey taken out of pompousness or self righteousness. He encouraged conversation and expansiveness. he was a man who was a natural repository of confidences, and his common sense and wisdom reflected an incarnational spirituality.
He was legendary in the parish as a fried to everybody, especially the needy or troubled. Eschewing denomination, he brought Christ to everyone he met, causing consternation among the more canonical when he celebrated sacraments with all denominations.
In his later years his forgetfulness was legendary too. He was often corrected at Mass by parishioners, late for funerals, using wrong names at baptisms and weddings.

He enjoyed being a pastoral priest and a Jesuit, was faithful to prayer and had a great devotion to Our Lady.He could preach at length and his liturgies were not the most celebratory, but they were prayerful and devotional. he communicated his own simple spirituality easily to others.

He always enjoyed the company of other Jesuits. He was a much loved and appreciated man

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 17th Year No 3 1942
Australia :

Writing on 21st February last, Rev. Fr. Meagher Provincial, reports Fr. Basil Loughnan has gone off to be a Chaplain. We have three men Chaplains now. Fr. Turner was in Rabaul when we last heard of him and it would seem we shall not hear from him again for some time to come. Fr. F. Burke was in Greece and I don’t quite know where at the moment.

Burke-Gaffney, Thomas Noel, 1893–1958, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/973
  • Person
  • 26 December 1893–14 September 1958

Born: 26 December 1893, 9 Rathdown Terrace, Dublin
Entered: 17 February 1913, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1926, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1929, St Ignatius College Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 14 September 1958, Lewisham Hospital, Lewisham, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1917 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1921 in Australia - Regency
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 :
His early education was at Belvedere College SJ before he entered the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1915-1916 After First Vows he was at University College Dublin for his Juniorate
1916-1919 He was sent for Philosophy to St Aloysius, Jersey and Milltown Park, Dublin
1919 he was sent to Australia for Regency. He spent one year at Xavier College Kew (1919-1920) and then to St Ignatius Riverview as an Assistant Prefect of Discipline and a Teacher (1920-1922)
1922-1927 He returned to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park.
1727-1728 He made tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales.
1929-1946 He returned to Australia and St Ignatius Riverview, where he was assistant Minister, Senior Science Teacher and took care of the Rowing.
1945-1950 He was appointed Assistant Director of the Observatory at Riverview
1950 He was appointed Director of the Observatory at Riverview after Daniel O’Connell was appointed to the Vatican Observatory. He was particularly good at interpreting seismic patterns, and he picked up the Bikini atomic explosion, which was considered a security risk at the time he informed the US authorities. he was also the author of a number of scientific papers, the best known of which was probably “The Seismological and Related Aspects of the 1954 Hyrdogen Bomb Explosion”, which he wrote in conjunction with Professor KE Bullen, and was published in the “Australian Journal of Physics” in 1957.
He was a keen scientist. Teaching Physics he improvised brilliantly. he created the “Gaffoscope”, a device to illustrate the action of magnetic lines. His chief interest probably lay in Biology. he was very interested in wild life, especially snakes, which he dealt with fearlessly. But the most valuable part of his teaching probably was his devotion to truth that he instilled in his students and the appreciation he gave them by his own example of meticulous and untiring work.

As a Spiritual Father to the community, he was remembered for his monthly talks. They were simple, practical and solid, and expressed in an English of rare dignity and beauty, but more importantly their impact came from the fact that they were so clearly the principles that ruled his own austere life, the life of a man clearly dedicated to God and the truth.

He was a reserved man, very faithful to his duties and was an exemplary religious.. His observance of obedience was very strict, and he worked until just before his death. He was also a gentle man, considered too sensitive for the boys of Riverview who did not treat him kindly.

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online :
Burke-Gaffney, Thomas Noel (1893–1958)
by G. P. Walsh
G. P. Walsh, 'Burke-Gaffney, Thomas Noel (1893–1958)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/burke-gaffney-thomas-noel-9632/text16989, published first in hardcopy 1993, accessed online 1 July 2020.

Died 14 September 1958 : Lewisham, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

astronomer; Catholic priest; schoolteacher; seismologist

Thomas Noel Burke-Gaffney (1893-1958), Jesuit priest, seismologist and astronomer, was born on 26 December 1893 at 9 Rathdown Terrace, Dublin, fourth son of Thomas Burke Gaffney, valuer, and his wife Jenny, née O'Donnell. Educated in 1901-12 at Belvedere College, Dublin, Noel entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg on 17 February 1913. He attended science lectures at the National University of Ireland in 1915-16 and in 1917-19 studied philosophy at Jersey, Channel Islands, and at Milltown Park, Dublin. After teaching at St Francis Xavier's College, Melbourne, in 1921, and at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney, in 1922-23, he returned to Ireland to complete his theology studies at Milltown Park where he was ordained priest on 31 July 1926.

In September 1928 he returned to Riverview where he taught science until becoming assistant-director of Riverview College Observatory in 1946 (director from 1952). Although Burke-Gaffney was a dedicated and unorthodox teacher of physics who used ingenious devices like his 'gaffoscope' to illustrate degaussing, he was a poor disciplinarian in the classroom, 'too gentle for the boys of Riverview'. Nevertheless, he was loved by his pupils and famed for his little zoo of native animals—his 'gafferoos' as he called them—which delighted a loyal and devoted following of country boys. He possessed 'an uncanny ability to tame wild creatures', and instilled into his boys the importance and nobility of the natural sciences.

A keen and devoted scientist, Burke-Gaffney published papers on the seismicity of Australia, on the detection of S waves in the earth's inner core and on special phases from New Zealand earthquakes. His most notable contribution was four papers written with Professor K. E. Bullen on the seismic aspects of nuclear explosions, studies which attracted worldwide attention. Burke-Gaffney was the first to discover that nuclear explosions detonated at or near ground level showed up on seismographs. A council-member (1954-58) and vice-president (1957-58) of the Royal Society of New South Wales, he unstintingly helped many young seismologists and did valuable work as secretary-convenor of the sub-committee on seismology of the Australian national committee for the International Geophysical Year (1957-58).

Father Burke-Gaffney also carried out extensive work on variable stars. A man of great faith, he found it hard to understand how an astronomer could ever be an atheist: 'Astronomy', he said, 'constantly impresses you with the majesty of the Almighty, and the regularity of its laws presupposes the Lawgiver'.

Slightly built and somewhat self-effacing, Burke-Gaffney lived quietly and austerely. Few outside his college friends and scientific colleagues got to know him well, but those who did found him 'a charming and liberal-minded man, graced with a gentle dignity and a delightful humour'. Revered as an outstanding community member, he was truly—vir Deo deditus et veritati (a man dedicated to God and to the truth). He died of Hodgkin's disease on 14 September 1958 in Lewisham hospital and was buried in Gore Hill cemetery.

Select Bibliography
E. Lea-Scarlett, Riverview (Syd, 1989)
St Ignatius College, Riverview (Sydney), Our Alma Mater, 1952, 1957, 1958
Nature (London), 15 Nov 1958, p 1343
Australian Journal of Science, 21, 1958, p 133
Royal Astronomical Society, Monthly Notice, 119, 1959, p 344
Royal Society of New South Wales, Journal, 93, 1959, p 86
Belvederian (Dublin), 1959
Sydney Morning Herald, 16 Oct 1948, 9 Sept, 4 Oct 1952, 25 Apr 1953, 4 Mar 1954, 8 June, 3 July, 19 Sept 1957, 15 Sept 1958

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 34th Year No 1 1959
Obituary :
Fr Thomas Noel Burke-Gaffney (1893-1958)
With the death of Fr. Burke-Gaffney Australian geophysics and Jesuit science suffered a great loss. He was the director of the Riverview College Observatory since 1952, when the former director, Fr. D. O'Connell, was appointed to the Vatican Observatory, Castelgandolfo. He maintained and increased the reputation of Riverview as a first class observatory and the most important in the southern hemisphere. He carried on the work of his predecessors, the routine observations and measurements of stars and earthquakes, as begun by Fr. Pigot and continued by Fr. O'Leary and Fr. O'Connell.
Educated at Belvedere College, Fr. Burke-Gaffney entered Tullabeg, on 17th February, 1913, studied at the National University, did philosophy in Jersey and theology in Ireland and returned as a priest to Australia. At Riverview he was appointed senior science master. Always a scientist, his earlier interest was in biology and his “200” is remembered by former generations of Riverview boys. He taught physics for many years and in 1946 was appointed assistant to Fr. O'Connell in the observatory, Here he quickly mastered the routine work and became expert in the reading and interpretation of the records. As director he continued this work which is summed up in, the bulletins issued by the observatory. This should be reckoned his most important contribution to science on account of the excellence of the records and the accuracy of his measurements.
Fr. Burke-Gaffney played a valuable part in the Australian I.G.Y. programme on the national committee for seismology and was for several years a member of the council of the Royal Society of N.S.W. His published work includes seven papers on seismology mainly written in collaboration with Professor Bullen of the University of Sydney. The papers were concerned with the seismicity of Australia, the problem of discovering S waves in the earth's inner core, special phases from New Zealand earthquakes, and seismic aspects of nuclear explosions, The last work attracted world-wide attention, he was the first to publish the recordings of atomic explosions. Professor Bullen, in his presidential address to the International Association of Seismology in Toronto, 1957, on Seismology in Our Atomic Age paid full tribute to this work of Fr. Burke-Gaffney and in Nature (15th November, 1958) described him as one who “lived austerely and was one of Australia's most unassuming scientists and a man of quiet gentle dignity”. He was, moreover, spiritual father of his community, his exhortations are described as simple, practical, solid and expressed in English of rare dignity and beauty. He died on 14th September and was buried in Gore Hill cemetery. R.I.P.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1959

Obituary

Father Noel Burke-Gaffney SJ

With the death of Fr Burke-Gaffney, Australian geophysics and Jesuit science suffered a great loss. He was director of the Riverview College Observatory since 1952, when the former director Fr D O'Connell, was appointed to the Vatican Observatory, Castelgandolfo. He maintained and increased the reputation of Riverview as a first-class observatory and the most important in the southern hemisphere. He carried on the work of his predecessors, the routine measurements and observations of stars and earthquakes begun by Fr Pigot and continued by Fr O'Leary and Fr O'Connell.

He was born in Dublin and educated. at Belvedere. Having completed his initial training in the Society of Jesus, which he entered in February, 1913, he attended lectures at the National University and did his course of Philosophy, partly in Ireland and partly at Jersey, Channel Islands.

He went to Australia in 1921 and after some years teaching returned to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park. He was ordained priest there on July 31st, 1926. He then returned to Australia and was Senior Science Master at Riverview until 1946 when he became Assistant Director of the College Observatory and Director in 1952.

Fr Burke-Gaffney was a keen scientist, yet his chief interest lay probably with biology and he was famous among the boys of Riverview principally for his “zoo”. Teaching Physics, he improvised brilliantly and was a master in the devising of equipment. But the most valuable part of his teaching was surely the devotion to truth he instilled into his pupils and the appreciation he gave them, by his own example of meticulous and untiring work, of the importance and nobility of the natural sciences - “The heavens proclaim the glory of God”.

He played a valuable part in the Australian IGY programme on the national committee for seismology and was for several years a member of the council of the Royal Society of New South
Wales. He wrote many scientific papers the chief of which were concerned with the seismicity of Australia, the problem of discovering S waves in the earth's inner core, special phases from New Zealand earthquakes, and seismic aspects of nuclear explosions. The last work attracted world-wide attention, he was the first to publish the recordings of atomic explosions. Professor K E Bullen, in his presidential address to the International Association of Seismology in Toronto, 1957, paid fuil tribute to this work of Fr Burke-Gaffney.

His fellow religious have paid tribute to his qualities as a religious and as a man. He was always a wonderful community man. It was one of his greatest consolations during his last illness that he was allowed to return for a few weeks to be with them at Riverview. He had been Spiritual Father to the Community there and had been much valued for his practical, solid talks, valuable chiefly in that they were so clearly the outcome of the principles that ruled his own austere life, the life of a man completely dedicated to God and the truth. - Vir Deo deditus et veritati.

Burke-Gaffney, Walter M, 1896-1979, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/974
  • Person
  • 17 December 1896-14 January 1979

Born: 17 December 1896, Dublin
Entered: 13 October 1920, Guelph, Ontario, Canada - Canada Superioris Province(CAN S)
Ordained: 31 July 1930, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1967
Died: 14 January 1979, St Vincent’s Nursing Home, Windsor Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada - Canada Superioris Province(CAN S)

by 1929 came to Milltown (HIB) studying 1928-1931

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1979

Obituary

Father Walter Burke Gaffney SJ

Colonel J J Burke-Gaffney has released some cuttings about the life of his brother Walter S.J. We reprint one from the Halifax Star, and follow this with the panegyric preached by the Most Rev Dr Joseph Hayes, Archbishop of Halifax Nova Scotia. The Halifax Star concentrates on Fr Walter's formidable academic achievements; the strong light which the bishop directs from the side, shows up some new depths in the image.

We will perhaps be pardoned for proudly drawing attention to the few simple words: “the Canadian Martyrs Church” ... Those martyrs are Jesuit martyrs, and some of the most glorious martyrs in the history of the Church! Not a cape, not a headland, not a river estuary in Eastern Canada exists, that was not rounded, tramped, waded, splashed, cut-through and beaten down by French Jesuits. They were among the first Europeans on the “location”. A total world away from their native land, among natives of matchless cruelty and savagery, their intense spirituality and total dedication might almost make St Lawrence envy them. In fact their actual slow-fire martyrdom, their actual lack of cooperation with their torturers in not responding with screams, is strongly reminiscent of the accounts of the death of St Lawrence Martyr: “This side is cooked, turn me over ...”, “... now eat me!” In the case of St Lawrence Martyr there may be some exaggeration, but in the case of saints Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brebeuf, and Companions, Jesuit Martyrs, there is none. (One wonders who named the St Lawrence River? Was it so named by these first European explorers because of what they foresaw of their likely end?)

We repeat our apology, but protest that we are proud to belong to a company that produced such men as these, the “Canadian Martyrs”. Fr Walter, in life, was proud to be numbered in such a group, and surely, his spiritual life during forty years in Canada must have been influenced by such glorious roots.

From The Halifax Star 16.1.1979

Rev Michael Walter Burke Gaffney, well known teacher, engineer and astronomer at St Mary's University, died Sunday in St Vincent's Guest House, Halifax, He was 82.

A native of Dublin, Ireland, Father Burke Gaffney was one of the original group of Jesuit priests who arrived in Halifax in 1940 to begin teaching and administration at Saint Mary's.

He studied at Belvedere College and University College in Dublin and graduated from the National University of Ireland with the degree of Bachelor of Engineering in 1917.

Attached to the British war office and air ministry in London from 1917 to 1920, he constructed aerodromes in Britain during the First World War.

He later designed bridges in Manitoba before making the decision to enter the Society of Jesus in 1920...

...Ordained a priest in 1930 he took a Master of Science degree in 1933 and two years later his doctorate in astronomy, both at Georgetown University, Washington.

Following four years as a lecturer at the Jesuit Seminary in Toronto and a year at St Paul's College, Winnipeg, he came to Saint Mary's in 1940. He was dean of engineering for eight years and dean of science for four years. He was professor of astronomy from 1955 to 1965 when he became professor emeritus.

He was a past member of the board of governors and the senate of the Nova Scotia Technical College. He was the first Canadian to hold membership in the International Academy of the History of Science and in 1951 he was elected honorary president of the Nova Scotia Astronomical Society, an organisation he helped to found.

A member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, the American Astronomical Society and the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia, he has written books and articles about astronomy and engineering for scholarly journals.

An astronomical observatory unit atop Saint Mary's academic residence was named in his honour.

He is survived by a brother, Lieutenant-Colonel John Joseph Burke-Gaffney, Dublin, and 14 nieces and nephews. Besides his parents he was predeceased by six brothers and three sisters.

The body will be at the Canadian Martyrs Church from 2 p.m. today, Office of the Dead will be recited this.evening at 8 o'clock.

Funeral liturgy will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Canadian Martyrs Church, Most Rev James M. Hayes, Archbishop of Halifax presiding.

The address of Archbishop Hayes

In the second reading from I Corinthians, St. Paul is speaking like a scientist of his day. He goes to the scientific facts commonly known and held to help his readers understand the mystery of God's great gift of new life and of a future resurrection. Biology or botany (the seed and the plant) astronomy: (the make-up of human beings) he uses all to teach what was for Him a deeper and more basic truth. The dead will rise again.

It seems to me most appropriate that we should hear Paul speaking in this way when we come to the funeral liturgy for our departed brother Michael Walter Burke-Gaffney. The sciences have advanced a lot since Paul's day but the eternal truths revealed to us by God in His Son Jesus, have not changed at all. The good man whom we come to remember and honour today used the scientific knowledge which he possessed to pass on the same eternal truths about God and His saving work.

In the passing of Father Burke-Gaffney, we have lost a friend or an associate or a brother in the priesthood and we all feel his passing in a different way. But no matter what our association was, we all mourn a good man, an accomplished scientist and author, who was first and always a priest and a devoted religious member of the Society of Jesus.

A store of scientific knowledge he possessed; and he was always ready to share it with others. But all his talents and knowledge were, in his mind, to be used only for one purpose, to teach the kingdom of God and bring it to his students, his Listeners, his readers.

Just yesterday, his latest publication came from the press. It is an account of the devotion of our Lady among the missionaries and early settlers in New France from 1634 to 1641. This essay was awarded first place in a Canadian history contest held during the Marian year in 1954.

We learn in the scriptures that the tiny seed must die to produce a rich harvest. Otherwise it remains alone in the earth and barren. Jesus used this exam ple to point to His own self-giving, His own death and resurrection. We christians believe that those who die believing in Jesus will rise with Him to a new life. We celebrate these funeral rites today, precisely because we believe these truths. As we look back over the life of our departed friend and brother, it is not hard to make the comparison. Here is a man, who for the almost 40 years we in Halifax have known him, gave himself generously to be of service to others as a teacher, a counsellor, a community builder, a priest. It can be said without equivocation that Father Burke-Gaffney literally gave his life for others. His service was complete, his dedication total, so that he served others as long as his physical and psychic strength permitted him to do so. Even after it was difficult for him to read, his fertile mind continued to Speculate on so many things, things he liked to share with his visitors. Doing his life's work as he did joyfully for the sake of Jesus, we confidently believe that the servant and the master are united. That the glory of the resurrection is now to be the fruit of a life generously and gladly given.

It was as an astronomer that Father Burke Gaffney received public acclaim in Halifax. The advent of space travel gave him ample scope to deepen and share his knowledge of the heavens and the stars. I remember my first contact with him 38 years ago, to hear him lecture on “New stars”. I am told that he showed delight recently when he heard that his 1937 article on the “Star Of Bethlehem From An Astronomer's Point Of View”, is still quoted as a reference for scripture scholars.

This interest in astronomy like all the others, was used by this good man to bring other people to know God better. For him every star, like the Star of Bethlehem was a means of bringing wise men nearer to Jesus, “The heavens declare the Glory of God and the firmament proclaims His handiwork”. (Ps. 19)

I don't think we would be far wrong in saying that now, when the limitations of the mortal body have been thrown oft, Father Gaffney will realise, make real, the word of the Lord spoken through Daniel: “The learned will shine as brightly as the vault of heaven, and those who have instructed many in virtue, as bright as stars, for all eternity”, (Daniel 12:3). Surely a part of his heavenly reward will be to marvel at the wonders of the universe that fascinated him so much while he was with us.

Now that he has gone from us, many people will miss him. I think particularly of his brothers in the Jesuit Community; of Monsignor Granville, the Chaplain at St Vincent's Guesthouse, for whom he was a friend and a brother; of Sister Susan Duggan and the other sisters, nurses and members of the Guesthouse staff who were so kind and dedicated to him. In the name of all the priests, I want to thank you for all you have done.

It remains now for us to remember; and to pray that the peace and glory of the Resurrection will be his and that we hope someday follow him to that reward. Let that be our intention as we continue the celebration of the Eucharist.

Butler, Richard, 1915-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/588
  • Person
  • 27 November 1915-21 April 1999

Born: 27 November 1915, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1950, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 21 April 1999, Galway University Hospital, Galway City, County Galway

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999

Obituary

Fr Richard (Dickie) Butler (1915-1999)

27th Nov. 1915: Born in Waterford
Educated at Waterpark College, Waterford
7th Sept. 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1935: First vows at Emo
1935 - 1938: Rathfarnham, study Arts at UCD
1938 - 1941; Tullabeg, study Philosophy
1941 - 1942: Mungret College, teaching
1942 - 1944: St. Ignatius College, Galway, teaching
1944 - 1948: Milltown Park, study theology
30th July 1947; Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1948 - 1949; Rathfarnham, tertianship
1949 - 1951: Hong Kong, at language school
1951 - 1952: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, teaching
1952 - 1954: Wah Yan College, Kowloon, teaching
1954 - 1999 St. Ignatius College, Galway:
1954 - 1956: Teaching
1956 - 1961: Prefect of Studies
1961 - 1990: Teaching

When he retired from teaching in 1990, Richard continued in College administration, and as health prefect. He was admitted to University Hospital, Galway, almost two weeks before Easter. He was operated on for a perforated ulcer. Though initially he appeared to make good progress, he subsequently suffered a stroke, rallied somewhat again, but then suffered kidney failure. He died very peacefully at 6.45 a.m. on Wednesday 21st April 1999.

I first met Father Dickie Butler, as we affectionately knew him, on the doorsteps of Coláiste lognáid in Galway, 31 years ago, when I arrived there to begin my regency. I had spent the whole summer in the Gaeltacht building up my Irish but I knew about the place I was going to teach, and was somewhat fearful. I was greeted at the front door of the residence by a tall, mandarin-like figure with small round glasses and winged gown. On learning that I had just arrived to embark upon my teaching life, he informed me that he was the acting-minister and that before I went any further I was to put down my case and follow him. He ushered me into the kitchen and within five minutes produced a full glass of red wine, and giving it to me said “Drink that boy, you'll need it”.

Dickie Butler was a man who always made people feel welcome. He had a great eye for the details of life. I could say that Christianity is all about caring, - caring for one another, “whatever you do to one of these”, - because Christ first cares about us. Dickie was a man who always cared and made room for others. I'm sure that he has now found the room in his Father's house prepared for him from the beginning. (Though I should say “the mansion” in his Father's house, for Dickie did not update biblical translations lightly).

Richard Butler was born in Waterford in 1915 and entered the society at Emo. He studied at UCD, Tullabeg and Milltown Park and spent his regency teaching at Mungret and Coláiste lognáid in Galway. He was ordained priest at Milltown Park and after his Tertianship at Rathfarnham, went to teach at Wah Yan College in Hong Kong, with a view to moving further inland on the mission. He used to say that Celtic Scholars were particularly marked out by the Provincials for work on the missions, especially in China, presumably because somebody thought that if you could make headway in the Irish language you could certainly master Chinese. Whether it is true or not, what is definitely true is that Dickie Butler was a brilliant Irish scholar, a wonderful speaker of Irish and an excellent teacher of the language to generations of schoolboys (and latterly, girls).

He became the great Irish teacher he was because his health broke down in China in 1954 and he was sent to the school down in Galway where he taught for 45 years. Dickie was a man of great discipline, a man with an incisive mind. He served as a headmaster in the school before he returned to the classroom to teach for 37 years, at a time of rapid change in Ireland and in education. I lived in his community for 12 of those years and met with him regularly afterwards. Dickie was an engaging and imaginative conversationalist; he had a marvelous command of both the English and Irish language, and he used both daily in his daily all his adult life. Sitting at a table with him in the refectory was informative and entertaining as well as refreshing. Much of his colourful imagery will remain with those of us fortunate enough to have been in his community. Whether he was sharing his insights into information in the Province or on some aspect of contemporary Irish culture, he was always well worth listening to.

Dickie was a theologian and theology was never far from his thoughts. He was an avid reader, especially of the latest publications in theology. Often in the refectory we would watch with interest as visiting theologians, in Galway for a few days rest, sat down at table with Dickie and how he would ask them some seemingly innocent question about theology which would lead to a whole conversation that would keep them on their toes, so to speak, defending whatever their side of the argument was through the whole meal, answering the questions he put so casually. His favourite phrase throughout these encounters was “de vera religione”. I think Dickie would have made many a theological board proud with his questioning. I always felt he would have made a fine professor of theology but he only wanted to do what was asked of him, whether it was going on mission to China at the beginning of his priestly life, or working in College administration towards the end. He had what we used to call in the Province 'a fine mind' but he was a humble man too and one who never put himself forward. He was both modest and devout.

Dickie Butler was a very personal man, who always gave you the impression that he was speaking directly to you. He was interested in everybody in the community and the work they were at. Some might have seen him as old-fashioned but that might be because he had very definite ideas on things and would let you have the benefit of them whether you wanted them or not. Everyone I knew who met with him acknowledged that he was a wise man, and that brings me again to this mandarin-like figure. In his later years Dickie rode a motorbike and dressed in his special biker's gear, with the wire glasses and the all-seeing eyes, he cut a dashing figure as he rode up Sea Road, off into the dust.

Dickie was a man of routine who did not move much out of Galway. But in the early 1980's he decided, and we helped him, to go to America for a summer supply. He had not been out of the country for nearly 30 years when he boarded the plane for California. Despite his initial trepidation, he loved California once he became accustomed to it. But even in this he was different because Dickie took a supply in an island parish at the edge of a hot desert. And he continued this supply until he retired from teaching, and then he moved into school administration in Coláiste lognáid where his genius at Irish was much appreciated and must have caused many an envious eye in the Department of Education when school reports were processed. When Dickie was taken to hospital just before Easter this year he was very concerned to let the school authorities know that his work for the school right to the end of the summer term was all prepared and sitting on his desk.

He was a man of great discipline. The last time I spoke with him, he was sitting in his room with the door open, seemingly doing nothing. We had a few words and I asked him if he was waiting for something. He replied in his lovely Irish, “When you get to my age, you'll know what I'm waiting for”.

We say good-bye to an excellent teacher held in high esteem by his colleagues, a marvelous companion in community, a scholar and a storyteller, but most of all, a good Jesuit and a holy man. An tAthair Risteard de Buitléar will be missed by many.

In lothlainn Dé go gcastar sinn.

Liam Greene

-oOo-

Funeral Mass of Fr. Richard Butler, SJ
A Jesuits room reveals a great deal about its occupant. The most striking feature about Fr. Dickie's room was how spartan it was. All that was superfluous had been removed by Dickie in the last few years. It was as if he had folded up his tent some time ago and had already moved most of his belongings to a more everlasting home. But not everything was superfluous - some things had to be kept - just in case!

What remained tells you a great deal about this kind and gentle man. Only seven books are to be found on his bookshelf. These books are the New Testament; The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma; The Code of Canon Law; The Catechism of the Catholic Church; The Concise Oxford Dictionary; Dineen's Irish-English Dictionary and The Oxford Book of Irish Verse. Fr. Dickie was a man who thirsted for God, for Truth, for Certitude, for Precision and if the mysteries of faith were sometimes shrouded in darkness, Dickie would struggle for light. If the intricacies of Irish grammar left other mere mortals somewhat disillusioned, Dickie would delight in shedding much needed light.

St. Ignatius warns anyone who might want to be a Jesuit, “Let any such person take care, as long as he lives, first of all to keep before his eyes God and then the nature of this Institute which is, so to speak, a pathway to God; and then let him strive with all his effort to achieve this end set before him by God.” Dickie always strove to remain faithful to his vocation as a Jesuit priest. His personal, unobtrusive fidelity to prayer and the daily celebration of the Eucharist in what became affectionately known in the house as “Dickie's Chapel”, spoke more loudly than long lectures in theology.

Not that Dickie was adverse to theological discussion and argument. He was never too certain about all this new-fangled theology since Vatican II. Sometimes he would put the younger Jesuits through their paces just to check out their theological orthodoxy. I remember one Easter Sunday evening being the victim of one of Dickie's theological inquisitions. In his estimation I probably came out with today's equivalent of a “D3” on the Foundation level paper!

The Ardmháistir of Scoil Iognáid, Niall Ó Murchadha, said to me only last Tuesday, “Bhí an t-Athair de Buitléar go hiontach ag múineadh Teagasc Chríostaí". One of Dickie's past students, now a Jesuit priest himself, remarked how Dickie would insist with the boys (for there were only boys in Coláiste Iognáid then) that they must always remain faithful to the basic truths of Christianity and to the teaching of the Church. However, Dickie confessed to the same class of boys, “Boys, when I was in Honk Kong in the early Fifties, if those Communists had invaded from China brandishing red hot pokers, I'd have said anything they wanted me to - I'd even have sworn that there were twelve persons in the Blessed Trinity!” Here indeed was a good man who though he struggled for Truth, acknowledge his own limitations and kept a gentle sense of humour.

Obviously I chose today's readings with this good man in mind. The first reading spoke of the necessity always to pursue and to respect Wisdom. It said, “Is le hintinn ghlan a d'fhoghlaim me agus tugaim uaim gan doicheall; ni choinnim a saibhreas i bhfolach”, or translated, “What I learned without self interest, I pass on without reserve, I do not intend to hide her riches”. Over the past few days, many of Dickie's past students have spoken to me of their fondness for him as a teacher. They spoke of how organised he was, how every class was planned, how clear he was in explaining the subject matter. But more than that, they spoke of how gentle he was, as the Beatitudes would have us be. A card arrived for Dickie a few days ago, it reads:

“I heard that you were poorly. I am sorry to hear this and so I just wanted to say hello. I'm not sure if you remember me; I finished the Jez in 1981 and you taught me Gaeilge for about five years. If you recall, I was a bit of a chatterbox and, to dissuade me from talking, you used to place me right in front of you. I didn't mind it and it did me no harm. Thank you. I have very fond memories of you teaching us.”

Fr. Dan Dargan, a former parish priest of St. Ignatius' here and a contemporary of Fr. Dickie's in the order said to me the other morning that there was always a “a certain giddy quality” about Dickie, a sense of fun, that twinkle in the eye. Past students of Dickies from the fifties and sixties speak of how he used to delight the young first years by shouting at them (gently, of course) in Cantonese. He objected strongly to the use of bad language in English and so taught his classes how to curse really and truly “as Gaeilge” much to their delight and to the advancement of the Irish language. Even in the last year when Dickie was much more confined to the house, he would often watch the students “ag pleidhcíocht” in the yard and would give a guffaw of laughter. Little did the students know that they were being watched in more ways than one for it was Dickie who right up to the end almost wrote out the term reports for each student in Coláiste Iognáid. He loved to help Joan with this seemingly tedious work, but this was important for Dickie because it meant that this former headmaster was still part of the school administration and Jesuits, as you know, never retire!

My lasting memory of Dickie will be that he was forever whistling Lara's Theme from Dr. Zhivago. I sometimes wondered did he know any other song. Even in the last months, Dickie would walk along the corridor whistling, and so I found it particularly poignant one day when he stopped me and said in Irish for he always spoke to me in Irish, “Ta a fhios agat, a Bhreandáin, go mbímse i gcónaí ag feadail - níl ansin ach cur i gcêill - taimse ag fulaingt go mór”. Before he went into hospital, this essentially discrete and private man, spoke very movingly of his own physical weakness and sense of anxiety, I thought at that time of the first Beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” in other words, blessed are those who know their own fragility and their need of God. The same beatitude continues with consoling words “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.

Dickie, guímid uile ar maidin nach bhfuil tuileadh de dhíth ort, go bhfuil tú i gcomhlúadar Dé agus naomh uile - bain sult as an bhfírinne go síoraí, a chara shéimh, uasail.

Brendan Comerford

Byrne, Patrick J, 1908-1968, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/738
  • Person
  • 26 January 1908-13 March 1968

Born: 26 January 1908, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 02 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 August 1938, Ignatiuskolleg, Valkenburg aan de Geul, Holland
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 13 March 1968, Jervis Street Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death

Younger brother of Tommy Byrne - RIP 1978

by 1936 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 43rd Year No 3 1968

Gardiner Street
The even tenor of our ways was rudely disrupted by the 'tragic death of Fr. Paddy Byrne in a road accident on the night of 12th March. A note on the circumstances of the occurrence, based on the horarium made out by Fr. B. O'Neill, a witness and almost a fellow-victim, is appended to the obituary account.
The remains were removed from Jervis Street Hospital on Thursday evening at 5.15. It was a moving and unique tribute to him from his old friends the Civic Guards of whose sodality he had been director. All the traffic lights in O'Connell Street were turned off (at the peak hour), the Guards on duty stood to attention as the cortege passed and saluted, all along the route to Gardiner Street. As someone remarked, it was a pity Fr. Paddy was not alive to see it.
The funeral took place on Friday morning after Office and Mass at eleven o'clock, to Glasnevin Cemetery. His brother Fr. Tom sang the Mass, with Fr. Superior as deacon and Fr. O'Neill as sub-deacon. Very Rev. Fr. Provincial presided. The Bishop of Nara, an old friend of the family, attended. The church was packed to overflowing. There was a very good representation of his old friends from Clongowes, from the Army, the Guards and, of course, all his clientele from his well-known box in the corridor. His death leaves a big gap in our midst in Gardiner Street for he was a great community man. A more detailed appreciation on him will be found in the Obituary notices.

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Byrne SJ (1908-1968)

Fr. Patrick Byrne was born in Dun Laoghaire (then Kingstown) on 26th January 1908. He was educated at O'Connell School, North Richmond Street, Dublin, and always maintained an affectionate loyalty to the Irish Christian Brothers. Paddy, along with his elder brother, Tommy, was an altar-server at Gardiner Street : thus his acquaintance with old vintage of Jesuit preachers eloquent orators who captivated the Dubliners of earlier generations went back very far and he could list their names for the edification of his own contemporaries. When Tommy had just completed his noviceship, Paddy entered the Society at Tullabeg.
After three years of juniorate in Rathfarnham and two years of philosophy at Tullabeg, he went to Mungret as a teacher for three years. He taught mathematics mainly, but also took some classes for Geography, Latin and other subjects. In 1935 he began Theology at the German house of studies, Ignatiuskolleg, Valkenburg, Holland, where he was ordained. He was one of the first group of tertians at Rathfarnham, the outbreak of war had occasioned the policy of having tertianship in Ireland instead of at St. Beuno's, Wales.
In 1940 Fr. Byrne returned to the colleges and served as an unremitting teacher of Mathematics at Mungret for two years and at Clongowes for twenty. In 1962 he was transferred to Gardiner Street, where he remained until he was accidentally killed at the end of the Novena of Grace this year.

• The following paragraphs give a memoir-sketch from the pen of a colleague.
Was it Chesterton who remarked that we, rational animals, make a fetish of consistency, whereas of all the animals we are inconsis tently the most inconsistent? That was true of Fr. Paddy Byrne known affectionately as “Patch” among his closer friends in the Society. He was a strong personality, a character, but a personality revealing on closer examination traits running counter to each other in a very human inconsistency.
Outwardly he was a rugged individualist, cynical, tough, hard boiled. Inwardly, deep down, he was of softer fibre, one might even say, over emotional. He had an intense love of the Society, especially Gardiner Street, and all that appertained to it, where in his early days he was an altar server. He had his heroes from those days, Fr. Bury, Fr. Tom Murphy, Fr. Kirwan. No one could now come up to their standards nor equal their achievements. Clongowes also had a niche in his heart; Clongowes where he spent upwards of twenty years teaching and looking after the grounds. Yet he could be fiercely critical of individual Jesuits, if in his opinion, they had let down the Society. Careerists and exhibitionists were anathema to him. His criterion of a good Jesuit was one who did a good day's work and work for him meant primarily work in the classroom. At the same time, he, himself, in the opinion of many was no great advertisement for the same Society, mainly owing to his manner of speech and carelessness about his personal appearance. This latter external fault sprang from his excessive love of poverty which often degenerated into love of economy. He could not stand anything that smacked of waste or extravagance among Ours : “Pouring the people's money down the drain” was his way of describing this. He took pride in the fact that the ordinary coat he wore in the house was over twenty year's old, a cast-off of Br. Corcoran's rescued at Clongowes. At the same time no priest could look more impressive than himself with his height and commanding presence when dressed and smartened up for an occasion, and his speech was always impeccable in his public utterances.
Though outwardly rugged in manner and facetiously cynical in his conversation - that exterior was his defence mechanism. It concealed a heart, tender (I do not exaggerate) to the point of pain. For his mother, whose photograph always held a place of honour in his room, he had a love and reverence that amounted almost to adoration. Her opinions and sayings he often quoted as oracular. For Mary, the Mother of God, he had such a tender devotion that he found it difficult to recite her litany in public without being moved and his voice breaking. This same emotional susceptibility appeared in his confessional work and in the parlour when on “domi”. The sad cases, the tragic stories all took their toll of him. He identified himself with his client, was never niggard of his time or sympathy. He had a special grá for defenceless widows and lonely spinsters, living on meagre pensions and apt victims of red tape and tricksters. During the few years he spent in Gardiner Street he endeared himself to the old women of the neighbourhood. Some saw in him a great resemblance to Spencer Tracy, the actor, others were reminded of the good Pope John. An old bicycle was his means of propulsion up to hospitals and off to remote side streets on errands of mercy and friendly interest. “I was rebuilding my house, Father”, one of his friends reminisced, “he'd often drop by and examine progress and make sure the contractors weren't cheating me”. Talking of his bicycle, an institution in Gardiner Street, his favourite pastime, apart from golf, was to go down to the docks on his warhorse and sit on the wharfs reading his office and chatting to the dockers. He had the human touch in excelsis : nil humanum illi alienum.
He used to say that his long years of teaching in Clongowes had unfitted him for church work. The fact of the matter is, the comparatively few years he spent in Gardiner Street brought out the basic pastoral traits in him. He was diffident of himself in his public appearances, yet his sermons and addresses to the various sodalities he directed in his time, were always meaty and genuinely appreciated by his audiences. His big appearance and naturally slow delivery lent weight and authority to his utterances. This was only to be expected, for he was of very high intellectual ability.
His years in the juniorate and University College, Dublin, were devoted to science and mathematics, during which period he had charge of the now-defunct seismograph. His regency was spent in Mungret. He was more at home in theology than in philosophy, both moral and dogma, in which disciplines he was at once clear, accurate and reliable. At the same time he took pride in his knowledge of farming. I suspect his secret ambition as a Jesuit was to be put in charge of a farm. His criticism of procurators of our farms was scathing, with perhaps one exception. He was adept with his hands with mechanical devices and electrical gadgets : his elaborate electrical invention for lighting cigarettes was a great source of amusement to his friends. His room was full of clocks he was mending for his clientele in the church. He was a fund of esoteric information on all subjects ranging from good recipes for the kitchen to cures for varicose veins.
His intellectual powers, however, were marred by two faults. Firstly he was never able to convey his ideas clearly to an audience. This was sometimes manifest in his teaching, in his relations with superiors, in social intercourse. He was inarticulate, spoke in unfinished sentences and gestures, with resultant impatience when the listener failed to understand. So he gave the impression of being supremely intolerant of fools. Paradoxically enough, he was master of the telling phrase, the quip, some of which will go down in history. Secondly, his intellect was impeded by deep prejudices. His years in Valkenburg imbued him with a horror of Nazism which coloured a great deal of his political thought. He blamed all the world's troubles on clumsy American diplomacy. It was futile to argue with him on matters Irish. As for innovations in the liturgy, he had no time for them. He had witnessed the beginning of this movement in Germany long before Vatican II and was not impressed. Indeed he never tired of hearing the story repeated of the old woman who asked her confessor, “Father, is it a mortal sin not to join in the shoutin' at Mass?” To many generations of Clongownians he was known as “The Genius”. Perhaps with the schoolboys unerring instinct to pinpoint a basic trait, they were right. He was a genius but cursed by an inability to express himself clearly, because from his early days he never disciplined that genius by writing. Whenever he did so (and it was torture) as in his sermons and addresses, he was precise and telling. He was a man of strong opinions with a weltanschauung, as he used to call it, which often enough gave rise to weltschmerz.
Yes, he was a character and his tragic passing creates a gap in Gardiner Street not easily filled. He will be missed too, by many young Jesuit priests of the Province to whom he was guide, friend and counsellor during their college days, Ours don't usually cry over the death of Ours but there were many who were not ashamed to drop a tear over “Patch”. Of the contradictory traits which went to make him what he was, his qualities of heart, sympathy and understanding, were basic and permeating. A man who succeeded in his time in winning the affection of his fellow Jesuits, in worming himself into the hearts of the people of Gardiner Street, was certainly of solid worth in that which is, after all is said and done, the essential, love of one's fellow men and he went before his master full of good works and fortified with the rites of the Church he loved and served so well. He loved a joke and I'm sure he'll give a wry smile as I suggest this epitaph-a parody of a phrase famous in rugby circles : “He went over the line, festooned with souls”. May he rest in peace.

12th March 1968 : Fr. Patrick Byrne, being on “domi” duty, was constantly called to the parlour during the afternoon and evening, He helped Fr. O'Neill in sorting out the Mass stipends and Br. Davis in counting the Novena of Grace offerings. He assisted in giving Holy Communion at the evening Mass. He presided over his St. Vincent de Paul Confreence meeting. Coming from a final parlour interview and confession at 11 p.m., he had a late supper in the refectory and went out with Fr. O'Neill for a breath of fresh air at the end of a tiring day. As they were crossing an apparently deserted street at the corner of Mountjoy Square, a van suddenly swept towards them at high speed. Fr. O'Neill saw the van, uttered a warning and jumped forward to the kerb, thinking that they were evading the danger together, but - “I heard a tremendous thud or impact and saw Fr. Paddy tossed into the air, turning over and landing on the pavement with a horrifying bump. I ran to him, called him by name, got some reaction and immediately absolved”. He had been struck on the head and must be on the verge of death. Fr. MacAmhlaoibh brought the oils from nearby Gardiner Street and gave the last anointing on the way by ambulance to Jervis Street Hospital. The medical and nursing staff made a supreme effort to save Fr, Byrne's life, until soon after midnight he was pronounced dead.

Byrne, Thomas, 1904-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/82
  • Person
  • 30 November 1904-03 August 1978

Born: 30 November 1904, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1941, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Died: 03 August 1978, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

Older brother of Patrick Byrne - RIP 1968

by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 15 August 1947-30 July 1953.
Mission Superior, Hong Kong, 09 May 1957
Father General's English Assistant (Substitute), at Rome Italy (ROM) 1962

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Thomas Byrne, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Thomas Byrne, Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits from 1957 to 1960, died in Ireland on 3 August 1978, aged 73.
Father Byrne was born in Ireland in 1904. He joined the Jesuits in 1922 and was ordained priest in 1933. In 1934, the Irish Jesuit Province lent him to Hong Kong, where he taught Philosophy (1934-1936) and Dogmatic Theology (1936-1939) at the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen. He returned to Ireland in 1939 to complete his Jesuit training.

After a period as Master of Novices, he was appointed provincial Superior of the Irish Jesuit Province.
He returned to Hong Kong as Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits in 1957. In 1960, he was summoned to Rome to be Assistant to the Jesuit Superior General (1960-1963). In his last years he was assistant priest at St. Ignatius Church, Galway, Ireland.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 August 1978

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Educated at O’Connell’s School Dublin, he Entered the Society in 1922 at Tullabeg. He obtained a BSc and MSc and then did Philosophy at Milltown Park. He then went straight from Philosophy to Theology
In 1936 he was sent to the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen as Professor of Dogmatic Theology.
In 1939 he returned to Ireland to make Tertianship and was then sent to Tullabeg to teach Philosophy.
In 1945 he was appointed Master of Novices
In 1947 he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province
In 1957 he was appointed Superior of the Hong Kong Mission

During his term as Provincial (1947-1953) he sent many Jesuits to Hong Kong, and then in 1951 he started the Irish Jesuit Mission to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). He also saw the needs in Singapore and Malaysia and sent Jesuits to work there - like Kevin O’Dwyer, who built St Ignatius Church in Singapore; Patrick McGovern who built St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, and also Liam Egan, Gerard (Geoffrey?) Murphy and Tom Fitzgerald. He opened the Novitiate in Cheung Chau in 1958, starting with 10 Novices.

In 1960 he was brought the Roman Curia as the English Assistancy Assistant to Father General, and held this role until 1965.
In 1965 he returned to Ireland and teaching Theology at Milltown Park.

He was an intellectual. His social contribution in public committees included the housing Authorities and Discharged Prisoners Society.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 4 1978

Galway
The death of Fr Thomas Byrne on August 3 came as a great shock. He became unwell after dinner on August 2. When the doctor saw him, he ordered him into hospital immediately. His heart condition worsened that evening, and he died on the morning of August 3, R.I.P. The funeral Mass was on August 5. Dr Eamonn Casey, Bishop of Galway, presided. The Provincial, Fr Patrick Doyle, the Rector and Parish Priest, Fr Robert McGoran, and Fr Bernard Murray, were the chief concelebrants. Very many members of the Province travelled to Galway to pay their last respects to Fr Byrne.
Herewith is a tribute by Fr McGoran to Fr Byrne in the September issue of the Parish Newsletter
“Hardly had we recovered from the sense of loss at the death of Fr Jack Kerr, when God took to himself a second member of our Parish team, Fr Tommy Byrne. Although Fr Byrne had had a rather severe operation last February, he appeared to be holding his own in recent months - although everyone noticed that he had slowed down a great deal. However, for a week or two before his death he was visibly failing; yet he remained faithful to his parish duties right up to the eve of his death.
During his eight years here in Galway, Fr Tommy endeared himself to all the parishioners, and many felt his death as the loss of a close friend, and one who felt for them in their cares and difficulties. He was untiring in his visitation of families and utterly devoted in ministering to the sick and the aged. He took a keen personal interest in the families entrusted to this care and had a very special way with children. He was a kindly and encouraging man and seemed able to forget his own ailments in his solicitude for other people”.

Another tribute is paid by Fr Desmond O'Loghlen in the July/August issue of the Jesuits in Zambia News. Sincere thanks to him for it.
“Fr Thomas Byrne did not spend long in Africa, only three months. Nevertheless the occasion of his death calls for grateful remembrance of his lasting contribution of the Jesuit Mission effort in Zambia, To this end we may make use of a report on the Chikuni Mission written in 1967 for the Sociological Survey of the Society. (It should be borne in mind that at that time the Lusaka Mission and the Chikuni Mission had not yet amalgamated to form the Vice Province, but were still separate, attached to the Polish and Irish Provinces respectively).
Fr Thomas Byrne Irish Provincial at the time) arrived to visit Northern Rhodesia (as it then was) in April 1952. He spent about three weeks in Africa, met the Apostolic Administrator (Very Rev Adam Kozlowiecki SJ) and the Regional Superior (Very Rev Marian Folta SJ) and saw all the Irish Jesuits in the country. Fr Byrne was the Provincial, who, in 1950, had taken the generous step of Officially pledging the Irish Province to help the Mission. On his initiative nine new members, (eight priests and one brother) joined the Mission in 1950, and eight more in 1951 (five priests, two scholastics, and one brother) and others followed yearly. From this visit of Fr. Provincial, in consultation with the Apostolic Administrator and the Regional Superior, emerged the main lines of development followed by the Irish Jesuits for the next ten years, through the establishment of the Chikuni Mission in 1956 up to the establishment of the Diocese of Monze in 1962.
Plans were made to continue the pastoral and educational work already built up around Chikuni by Frs Moreau, Zabdyr, Prokoph, and others. Three new stations had been already started at Chivuna, Kasiya, and Fumbo. Plans were also made for pastoral coverage of Mazabuka, Monze, Choma, Kalomo, with an eventual westward thrust to Namwala. Provision was made for Irish Jesuits to work in Lusaka.
Fr Byrne again visited the Mission in 1963, now as Assistant of the English Assistancy, and took deep interest and evident satisfaction in the progress of the work, which owed so much to his earlier initiative. At this time he explored views about the possible union in one Province of the Jesuit Missions in Zambia and Rhodesia. However, this project was halted by the declaration of UDI to the south of us, and subsequent developments.
In December 1969, when the Zambia Vice-Province was established, Fr Thomas Byrne was an honored guest at an informal gathering in Dublin to mark the occasion. We can trust, now that he is in Heaven, his interest and his benign influence will continue to benefit the work in Zambia. May he rest in peace”.

Obituary :

Fr Thomas Byrne (1904-1978)

On August 3rd Father Tom Byrne died at Galway, where for nearly eight years he had been engaged on Parish work. This period in Galway was the peaceful, retired conclusion to an exceptionally active, varied and front-line work as a Jesuit.
Father Tom Byrne was born at Dun Laoire on November 30th 1904. He entered Tullabeg as a novice on August 31st 1922. Having pronounced his First Vows on September 1st 1924 at Tullabeg, he passed through the rest of the scholasticate training in Ireland: from Rathfarnham he studied Science at UCD (1924-1927); 1927 to 1934 were spent studying Philosophy and Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on July 31st 1933. He completed his Tertianship at Rathfarnham: 1939-1940.
From the end of his Tertianship in 1940 to his commencement of parish work in Galway in 1970, Father Tom Byrne was a “specialist” in one form or another. He was Lecturer in Sacred Scripture and Dogma in the Regional Seminary, Hong Kong: 1934-1939. He lectured in Philosophy in Tullabeg 1941-1945; 1953-1957. He was Master of Novices in Emo for two years (1945-1947). He was Provincial in Gardiner Street from 1947 to 1953: and it was by his enterprise and decision that the “mission” in what is now part of the Vice-Province of Zambia was begun by the opening of the Irish Mission at Chikuni: eight priests and one brother reached Chikuni from Ireland in August 1950. They began at once to work in the Mission Church at Chikuni, to open “mission stations” further afield, and to staff Canisius College which rapidly developed to become a splendid Secondary School. For many years after our arrival at Chikuni there was only one other Secondary school in “Northern Rhodesia” (now Zambia): the Government Secondary school Munali in Lusaka.
Father Byrne visited us within a few years of 1950 and continued generously to send brothers, scholastics and priests, so that Ireland's commitment in what is now the Vice-Province of Zambia developed rapidly.
After his second period as Lecturer in Tullabeg - after being Provincial - (1953-1957), Father Tom Byrne went to be Superior in the Hong Kong Mission. He remained in this Office until 1960 when he went to Rome for five years as English Assistant, substituting for Father J Swain who was Vicar General (1960-1965).
Father Tom Byrne was Prefect of Studies and Spiritual Father in Milltown Park from 1965 to 1968. There followed two years in Tullabeg as Spiritual Director of the Sisters there (1968 to 1970). In 1970 he moved to take up the parish work in Galway which occupied the last eight years of his work-filled life.

One of his many admirers - Father Harold Naylor, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, writes:
“As a philosopher in Tullabeg I remember being impressed by the vigour of the religious observance of ‘Tommy’ who was then professing Psychology. He was the first at Morning Oblation at 6 am. I met him again in 1977 in Galway and found the same man I had always known, with alert mind and zealous heart. Assistant to the Parish Priest in St Ignatius, he was always ready to hear confessions and take calls at the door to help people. I noticed something else which is not common in Jesuits of over forty - he had great hope in the future of the Church and of the Society. He had well assimilated the thrust of the Second Vatican Council, and made his own the content of the last two General Congregations. He was at home in the new Church, and the modern Society and had no nostalgia for the past. He could appropriate to himself our new life style and see every advantage in it. I sometimes wondered if this was not partly due to what he taught on obedience of the intellect, and to a real self abnegation, seeing the Will of God in everything and having the real spirit of Ignatian indifference ...”
See also the special tributes included in the contributions from Galway, tributes from Galway and Zambia.

Irish Province News 54th Year No 1 1979

Galway

Fr Thomas Byrne RIP
We are greatly indebted to an unnamed contributor to the Hong kong Vice-Province Letter/August, 1978, for the following account of Fr Thomas Byrne's life. Sincere thanks to him. The account arrived too late for inclusion in the October issue of the Province News,
Fr Thomas Byrne, Superior of the Hong Kong Mission from 1957 to 1960, died on 3rd August, after a few hours of illness, aged 73. The following account of his life has been contributed by one who knew him well.
Though he is a major figure in the history of the Hong Kong Jesuits, Fr Thomas Byrne spent in all only eight years here. For information about his pre-Jesuit years, his forty-five Jesuit years in Ireland, and his three years in Rome, I have had to rely on vague memories and hearsay. Much must be left vague, and some details may be inaccurate. .
He was born on 30th November 1904, and was educated at O’Connell’s School, Dublin. In 1922, he entered the novitiate at Tullabeg, where he had as contempararies R Harris, C Daly, and G Casey. As a junior, he did a brilliant BSc. He later - during his philosophy at Milltown Park, I think tried for a travelling studentship (in Philosophy?), but was beaten, to the surprise of many, by the Clonliffe student who, as Fr. Boyland, was to leave the Dublin Archdiocese to become a Carthusian.
Mr. Tommy Byrne, already destined for a professorial chair, did no “colleges”, and went straight from philosophy to theology. He came, I think, to regret this gap in his formation, especially when appointment as a major superior made him responsible for the well being of many schools.
He was ordained priest on St Ignatius Day, 1933. In 1934, the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, found itself critically short of staff. The Irish Provincial, Fr L Kieran, lent Fr Byrne to Hong Kong, on the understanding that, when the Seminary could spare him, he should return to Ireland to do his tertianship and then settle down there as a professor, probably of philosophy. He came to Hong Kong, by ship of course, with Fr H Craig and two scholastics, F Cronin and T Sheridan, and for his first two years taught philosophy in the Seminary.
Since he had not come as a permanent member of the Mission, it was taken for granted that he should not even attempt to learn Cantonese - another gap in his formation that he was to regret in later years.
In 1936, he became professor of dogmatic theology in the Seminary. It was in that year that I first met him. I still feel gratitude for the warmth of the welcome he gave me on my arrival in Hong Kong. By then he had developed to the full his aptitude for giving lengthy analysis of any subject that might turn up - the state of the world, the calling of a bridge-hand, St Jerome’s outlook on bishops, or his own outlook on his duties as minister. This may suggest that he had turned into a bore. The suggestion is false. He was interested in your views as well as in his own, and he was unaffectedly delighted when you knocked him off his perch. This made all the difference.
He went to Ireland for tertianship in 1939, making no secret of his wish to return to Hong Kong if possible. However, when his tertianship ended, the course of World War II had made immediate return impossible. After tertianship, Fr Byrne went to Tullabeg to teach philosophy. In 1945 he was appointed Master of Novices.
He was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province in 1947. By then the world was beginning to settle down after the confusion and frustration of war and its aftermath. The time called for initiative, and Fr Byrne was ready to initiate. In the course of his provincialate the Manresa Retreat house and the Workers' College (now the College of Industrial Relations) were opened, and the Irish Province accepted a new mission in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Not since the legendary days of Fr Sturzo had any Irish Provincial added so much to the work of the province.
I myself left Ireland soon after Fr Byrne's appointment. I therefore know little about his administration or his dealings with individuals. I do remember an aged fountain of ideas. Fr R Devane,
saying rather sadly: “At last there is a Provincial who will listen to me; but I am too old now". There are rumours that scholastics were put off by Fr Byrne's highly characteristic habit of gazing into the middle distance and musing on the nature of things or giving gnomic advice. Presumably they felt inhibited from knocking him off his perch - unfortunate but inevitable.!
At the end of his term as Provincial, Fr Byrne returned to Tullabeg, and seemed likely to spend the rest of his days there. Then in 1957, to the surprise of the most highly skilled forecasters, he was appointed Superior of the Hong Kong Mission. He returned with delight; an eighteen-year-old dream had come true.
Neither Hong Kong nor Singapore was in great need of initiative. In Hong Kong, the two new Wah Yans had been built shortly before, and it would have been difficult to find staff for new works. In Singapore, the plans laid in the earlier 50s were moving towards fulfilment. In Malaysia, however, things were still tentative. The cancellation of a government invitation to undertake a major work faced the Superior with the decision: to go forward or to retreat. Fr Byrne decided to go forward. Perhaps nothing in his superiorship interested him more deeply than the problems of Petaling Jaya. A grasp of the geography of Kuala Lumpur and its environs became necessary for anyone who wanted to understand his conversation.
In Hong King, Fr Byrne’s main task was to encourage the work that was being done by individuals and institutions. For himself, he took up the work of public committees - the Housing Societry, the Discharged Prisoners Aid Society and so on. In Ricci Hall, where he lived, he quickly made many friends among the students. Equally quickly he made himself a welcome guest in all Jesuit houses. When he had to act as Superior he was unmistakably the Superior. At other times, like a famour duke, “he never remembered his rank unless you forgot it”. In spite of recurring bad health - stomach trouble and phlebitis - he enjoyed life, and he wished others to enjoy life. The brilliant frivolity of Fr J B Wood’s speech of farewell at the end of Fr Byrne’s Superiorship was a tribute to the friendliness and personal equality that he had made characteristic of his period of authority here.
He was Superior for only three years. In 1960 he was summoned to Rome as Substitute Assistant for the English Assistancy. Of what happened at that high level I know nothing except that Fr Byrne seemed to enjoy it.
He returned to Ireland after the 31st General Congregation, but his interest in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia never waned, as returning visitors from these parts will testify.
He spent his last years as curate in St. Ignatius' Church, Galway, and it was there that I last met him. He was unchanged - full of interest in the Vice-Province and better informed about it than I was - ready to speculate about the state of the world and of all things in it, and full of philosophical interest in the future of the Jesuit parish in Galway,
No hint had been received here that his health was failing. The news of his death came as a shock, and to many it meant, not “a former Superior has died”, but “a cherished friend is dead”.

Cantillon, Eric, 1924-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/769
  • Person
  • 24 September 1924-02 April 2011

Born: 24 September 1924, Cork City
Entered: 28 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 02 April 2011, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/eric-cantillon-r-i-p/

Eric Cantillon R.I.P.
Eric Cantillon SJ was 86 when he died on 2 April. He was a quiet Corkonian with the air of a countryman, loved by his parishioners in Staplestown where he has been a
curate for 32 years, happiest when he had a dog to walk with him, remembered warmly by Mungret alumni, especially the swimmers and athletes – he had trained them in Mungret and Belvedere with startling and untrumpeted success. The memory that unfailingly brought the light to his eyes was of a morning on Lough Currane when he fished the Comeragh river, swollen with fresh rain, where it enters the lake. He was held skillfully in position by boatman Jack O’Sullivan. They packed it in at lunch time with sixteen salmon in the boat – all taken on the one fly, tied by Eric. He landed every fish that rose to the fly, then gave them all away.

◆ Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2011

Obituary

Fr Eric Cantillon (1924-2011)

24th September 1924: Born in Cork
Early education in Lauragh Christian Brothers College, Cork
28th September 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
29th September 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1947: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1947 - 1951: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1951 - 1953: Clongowes – Teacher
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1957 - 1958: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1958 - 1964: Mungret College - Teacher and Prefect
2nd February 1959: Final Vows
1964 - 1965: Gardiner Street - Bursar
1965 - 1973: Mungret College - Teacher
1973 - 1979: Belvedere College - Teacher; Swimming Coach; Pool Supervisor
1979 - 2011: Clongowes: Parish Curate, Staplestown
1979 - 1993: Rector's Admonitor
1998 - 2011: House Consultor
2000 - 2011: Rector's Admonitor
2nd April 2011: Died at Clongowes

Eric had been showing signs of failing health for some months before being admitted to St Vincent's Private Hospital for tests on 8th March. These revealed that he was suffering from cancer of the pancreas, with secondaries. His own wish, as he put it, was for 'comfort, not intervention, and he was very anxious to come home to Clongowes, where the people among whom he had ministered for more than 30 years have some opportunity of coming to see him. Relatives, local clergy, Bishop Jim Moriarty (who had also visited him in Dublin), and his friends from the parish of Staplestown and Cooleragh came to visit him here, after his return on 19" March. Over the following fortnight his condition gradually deteriorated and he died at 9.25 on Saturday morning, 2nd April. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

Obituary by Bruce Bradley
Eric went to hospital in Dublin for tests exactly four weeks before his funeral. I met him on the stairs in Clongowes as he was preparing to travel. “I'm off on my vacation”, he said, with the hint of a twinkle in his eye, though he knew he was unwell and must have been anxious about what lay ahead. After he had returned to Clongowes on 19th March, feast of St Joseph, patron of a happy death, knowing that he had, at the very most, only months to live, he spoke of going on another journey'. On the 2nd of April, much sooner than any of us foresaw, that journey was accomplished.

His reference to another journey puts us in mind of his first journey, the journey that began 86% years ago and took him from his childhood and schooldays in Cork to the Jesuit novitiate in Emo, Co. Laois, then to studies in UCD and Tullabeg and Milltown Park, with an interval of some years spent as a teacher and prefect in Clongowes, culminating in his ordination to the priesthood on 31st July 1956, a few months short of his 32nd birthday. For some twenty years after that he worked in schools – in Mungret until shortly before its closure, then for six years in Belvedere in the middle of Dublin. It was only in 1979 that, in a certain sense, he found his true vocation by coming to the parish of Staplestown and Cooleragh. There he was able to give himself to the pastoral ministry for which he was so supremely fitted and which, as his parishioners and his fellow-priests know so well, was to prove such a wonderful success.

Eric was raised and formed in the pre-Vatican II Church. His faith was planted and nurtured in those more tranquil but also more narrow times. As a young Jesuit, he experienced a formation process in ways out of touch with real life and divorced from people's needs, something for which he had little tolerance and wasn't slow to remark on in later years. Its authoritarianism, in particular, irked him, and authority in any form never got an easy ride from Eric.

Priests formed at that time, including not a few of his fellow Jesuits, were apt to find themselves a little like beached whales when the changes of the 2nd Vatican Council burst upon a largely unsuspecting Irish Church in the 1960s, their theology and spirituality largely irrelevant, leaving them struggling to adapt or function effectively in the new and evolving environment. But not Eric. One of his most obvious characteristics was his independence and his strength of mind. He thought for himself, he was full of common sense, and he kept himself in tune and up-to-date by whatever means it took. He knew who he was and what he wanted and he was unwilling to make himself the slave of any system.

This had some inconveniences at times, if you happened to be his religious superior, but it had huge benefits – for him and for the people to whose care he gave himself so completely. The professionalism with which he equipped himself to be a pastoral priest in a country parish was a quality he had already shown in previous assignments, some of them much less congenial from his point of view. He had a natural interest in and aptitude for sport of all kinds. In Mungret, Fr Jack Kerr had built a swimming pool during Eric's time there, which Eric had helped to run. When Jack Kerr was transferred as rector to Belvedere, a swimming pool, and then Eric, soon followed.

Eric was a countryman to the core, who never lost touch with his roots. He read the Irish Field every week, keen follower of horses that he was, and the Irish Examiner, as we now call it, every day. I cannot imagine that he found living in the cramped conditions of the inner city was remotely to his taste. But he set himself to become a hugely professional and meticulous supervisor of the pool in Belvedere, which not only served a large school but also public clients to whom it was hired out. He gave the long hours and immense care this charge involved, while also engaging with and befriending the boys and their families and coaching many a successful swimming team. Subsequently, through his work with St Kevin's Athletic Club in Cooleragh, he emerged as a hugely committed and highly skilled athletics coach.

Whatever he did, he made himself master of, always quietly and without any fanfare. And he met and mastered the requirements of his pastoral care in the parish in the same way. He absorbed and applied the person-centred theology of Vatican Two in his ministry and preaching and, at an age in life when many of his contemporaries preferred to have nothing to do with such modern gadgets as a mobile phone, Eric - never off duty, even at meal-times - was inseparable from his. The only difficulty that posed was that, in his last years, his deafness meant that we all heard his phone ringing in his pocket long before he did. Then he'd be up with his big diary, entering a new appointment, always available, even in the final months of his life.

Another hallmark of Eric's approach and personality was his love of, even insistence on, privacy. He was a very private man. We in the community heard little enough about his family or his pastoral duties, although we could see his relentless devotion. We almost never heard him preach, unless he happened to be celebrating the funeral of someone connected with the college. Of his success as an athletics coach we heard nothing, and only the chance of Fr Leonard Moloney, headmaster of Belvedere in the 1990s, bumping into him at the All-Ireland Schools Athletics Championships in Tullamore alerted us to the fact that Eric was bringing his young trainees from the parish to the highest levels of competitive achievement.

One of his favourite recreations was fishing - usually indulged just once a year in the west of Ireland, in the company of his Layden cousins and other friends. As a fisherman, he was as professional as he was at everything else to which he tumed his finely tuned practical intelligence. Once again, this was something about which we rarely heard much, not even about his record-breaking catch in the mouth of the Comeragh more than 30 years ago - the astonishing grand total of 16 salmon and a sea trout on a size 7 fly, with the assistance of Jack O'Sullivan. I know even this much because Anita Layden kindly drew my attention to an entry on the internet she happened to stumble on. Exceptionally, in this instance, Eric had actually shared the story with us about a year ago. Someone had written a ballad about the exploit of the Jesuit priest', as he was called, and it was broadcast on the radio. All those years later, quite untypically, Eric actually let us hear the tape. Otherwise - and I think this applied even within his own family – he kept the different compartments of his life almost completely separate.

Eric was a wonderful priest and his great friend, who was his second parish priest in Staplestown, Fr Pat Ramsbotham, spoke eloquently about that on the occasion of his funeral. He was a priest through and through, but he never, mercifully, acquired a clerical personality. In the same way, although he was nearly 87 when he died, he never really became old. It wasn't just the colour of his hair, which doggedly refused to turn properly grey, putting some of the rest of us to shame. It was his whole attitude and demeanour. He remained interested in what was going on and interested, above all, in the lives of people. His great humanity, his shrewd wisdom, and his unselfishness drew people to him. As Frank Sammon accurately remarked, he had a tremendous feel for the life and faith of local people and local priests. His days were shaped by the day-to-day lives of the people. He shared their lives and served them in so many ways. His conversation was not about himself and he was intolerant of pomposity or self-importance in others. He was extremely disciplined.

Following his car accident a number of years ago, he was utterly faithful to the daily walk which was part of his rehabilitation. One of my favourite memories of him now is of seeing him from my window in Clongowes heading off round the track behind the castle one morning, puffing his pipe as he still did at the time, with his little black cat trotting along at a respectful distance behind him.

I should say a word about the cat. He loved wild-life and was immensely knowledgeable about it, although, needless to say, he never flaunted his knowledge. Here, and earlier in Mungret, I think, he had kept a dog. The cat in question was dumped at our door, half domesticated, about six or seven years ago. As soon as he became aware of the cat, he began to feed her. From that time forward, he almost never missed a day and, if he did, Brother Charlie Connor filled in. With his usual professionalism, he provided a judicious mixture of milk, community left-overs and carefully selected cat-food. Inevitably, the cat became Eric's cat. For a long time, she had no name but eventually Eric decided she should be called Reilly because, as he said, she had the life of Reilly. One of our colleagues on the staff, Geraldine Dillon, told me of how she had been rushing from the staff-room one day and was stopped in her tracks by seeing, through the window, Eric sitting on the bench by the castle door, quite still and looking down the avenue. “His cat”, as she said, “was on the bench too, sitting up straight and facing the same direction”. “Apart and close”, as she said.

“Apart and close”. Perhaps that gets something profoundly true about Eric. He was a man apart in ways, partly reflecting the instinct for privacy I mentioned, partly reflecting how unusual and un-stereotyped he was, partly reflecting his priesthood itself. But he was also close to people, as the grief and bewilderment his death, even in his ninth decade, has caused among so many clearly shows. His humanity flowed out in his relationship with people. He had a particular gift for relating to the young, because of his interest in them, the range of his own interests, and the absence of all pomp and ceremony. He didn't waste words. As the old dictum says, he didn't speak if he couldn't improve the silence.

In his room after his death was a small pile of Mother's Day cards, bought for him at his request by Charlie Connor, which he was still hoping to send in the final days of his life. Perhaps the mothers for whom they were intended know who they are and will take them as sent.

They have better than Mother's Day wishes from Eric now.

I think everyone knew he wanted to die in his community in Clongowes and not in “that Cherryfield”, as he was once heard to say, fearing that he would have been too far away from his own people. Just a month before he died, showing clear signs of illness and finally acknowledging them himself, he went to St Vincent's Hospital for tests, which quickly showed that he had advanced cancer. He returned home ten days later and it became increasingly obvious that he had weeks rather than months to live. He said quite clearly on more than one occasion that he had had a good life and believed in the life to come. And so he prepared to embark on that 'other journey' to which I referred at the start.

In his last days, he was unfailingly gentle and grateful to the nurses and members of the Clongowes house-staff who cared for him with so much love and tenderness. He was especially grateful to his great friend in the community, Charlie Connor, who lived in the room beside him and took increasing care of him as the end grew near. The end came quickly. Only hours earlier, he had been looking forward to the Munster Leinster match, for which we had installed a television set in his room. He didn't get to watch television but, as Fr Dermot Murray suggested, he had by then acquired a better seat, May he rest in peace.

Carbery, Robert, 1829-1903, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1010
  • Person
  • 27 September 1829-03 September 1903

Born: 27 September 1829, Cobh, County Cork / Green Park, Youghal, County Cork
Entered: 20 October 1854, Amiens France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1855, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1866
Died: 03 September 1903, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1875 at St Beuno’s Wales Rhyl Parish (ANG) health

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Came from a well known and highly respected family in the Youghal district, and was a general favourite among all classes there.
Early education was local, and then he went to Trinity, and also studied at Clongowes where he did some Theology. He then went to Maynooth for Theology, and was Ordained there. Soon after he Entered the Society.

After First Vows he was sent teaching at Tullabeg, and he was there for twelve years.
He was then appointed Rector of Clongowes. His charm and character won him great admiration and affection from his students there.
He was then sent as Rector to UCD. Here he found his métier. Under his tenure he raised the stature of the College for teaching in Ireland.
When he retired from UCD he was sent to Milltown, and was involved in giving Retreats to Lay people and Religious.
He enjoyed good health up to a few days before his death. He contracted a bad cold which quickly became more serious, and even the ministrations of Sir Francis Cruise were able to impede its progress.
(Taken from “The Freeman’s Journal’ 04/09/1903)

Note from Edward Kelly Entry :
He was to have gone to the Congregation which elected Father Luis Martin of Spain, but bad health kept him away, and Robert Carbery replaced him as 1st Substitute.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert Carbery 1829-1903
Fr Robert Carbery was born in Youghal County Cork on September 27th 1829. Strange to relate, according to his biographer, he went first to Trinity College and then to Clongowes. He was ordained a priest in Maynooth and became a Jesuit soon after in 1854.

He taught for about twelve years in Tullabeg and then became Rector of Clongowes. He is best remembered, however, as Rector of University College. His tenure of office was one of the most successful in the history of the College, and may be said to have constituted it to the centre of higher Catholic education in this country.

The last years of his life he spent in Milltown Park engaged in the work of giving retreats. He died in this house on September 3rd 1903.

He wrote a book on devotion to the Sacred Heart, and his pamphlet on the Novena of Grace did much to spread that devotion.

◆ The Clongownian, 1904

Obituary

Father Robert Carbery SJ

by Father Matthew Russell

Father Robert Carbery has more than one claim to be specially commemorated in these pages : he was a Clongowes boy, a Clongowes professor, and a Clongowes Rector. He was born in the year of Catholic Emancipation, and sufficiently late in the year 1829 to be from his birth one of the emancipated. His birthday was the 27th of September, a domestic feast in the Society of which he was destined to be a member - not on account of any special devotion to the saints of the day, Cosmas and Damian, but because that day is the anniversary of the confirmation of the Society by Pope Paul III, through the Bull “Regimini Militantis Ecclesia”, dated September 27, 1540.

Robert, son of William Carbery (of Green Park, Youghal), and Elizabeth Olden, was born at the Cove of Cork, which twenty years later changed its undignified name of Cove into Queenstown, in honour of Queen Victoria's first visit to Ireland, with perhaps a better reason than Dunleary had for becoming Kingstown in honour of the last of the Georges. His home, however, was not Cove but Youghal, that interesting old town “at the mouth of the exquisite Blackwater, which is the Anniduff of Spenser and the Avondhu of many an Irish tale and legend”. Here it was that Sir Walter Raleigh.smoked the first tobacco seen in Europe (and much more important), planted the first potato. The house in which he lived is well preserved, with its “outhanging oriel window in which Spenser read the beginning ‘Faery Queen’ to Raleigh”. (Some of these phrases are taken from a delightful paper, At Youghal, by Lady Gilbert, in The Irish Monthly, vol. xix,, pp. 617-627.)

Robert Carbery's father, and his uncle Andrew Carbery, of Shamrock Lodge, Dungarvan, were among the first Catholics appointed to the office of Justice of the Peace after Catholic Emancipation. They were the chief instruments in introducing the Christian Brothers into Youghal and Dungarvan.

I have sought in vain for some particulars concerning Robert Carbery's childhood. The Right Rev Monsignor Keller, the beloved pastor of Youghal, conjectures that young Carbery attended a school established there about that time by a zealous curate, the Rev John Russell, afterwards Dr Keller's predecessor as Dean of Cloyne. († Mr. Joseph Carbery, of Beila Vista, Queenstown, tells me that his brother's first schoolmaster was a : Dr. Edwards.) The little boy from Green Park was not old enough to be a pupil of the classical school conducted at Youghal by the father of the late Father Alfred Murphy SJ, who told Dr Keller'that he was born at Youghal but that his family removed to Cork so soon after that he did not remember the event. The home of Robert Carbery's childhood is now the Green Park Hotel, which transformation implies that it must have been a spacious family mansion. No doubt the boy felt very homesick for it when he was sent to Clongowes in 1844. He went through all the classes there till the summer of 1848. During all his time the Rector of the College was the holy and genial Father Robert Haly, well known as a missioner in almost every parish of Ireland twenty or thirty years ago his work, indeed, was over then, but well remembered; and, as Young of the “Night Thoughts” said of himself, “he has been so long remembered that he is now almost forgotten”. How many are there who can still recall the pleasant old man with the snow-white head stooped down, so venerable looking that in the country parishes the people would say of him, when he and Father Fortescue and Father Ronan were giving a mission, “I want to get to confession to the ould bishop”.

The only record of Robert Carbery's achievements during his Clongowes course that has come into my hands regards the school year 1846-1847. In the academical exercises which wound up the term in July, 1847, he took the part of Bassanio in a scene from “The Merchant of Venice”, and the part of Malcolm in a scene from “Macbeth”; and in the printed list of prizes the name Robert Carbery is very conspicuous. It appears first and alone in Christian Doctrine, and fourth in Natural Philosophy. In the Rhetoric class he was second as regards the examination in the authors studied, while, as regards original composition, he came first in the Greek oration, English oration, Latin Alcaic ode and English ode, second in Latin and French, and third in the Greek ode. In the first class of mathematics he got the second prize, and in the Debate he and his friend Nicholas Gannon of Laragh are marked as equal in their competition for the medal for excellence, A still more intimate friend, whose friendship lasted till the close of his life, won from him the first prize in mathematics. This was Christopher Palles, who has since gained an illustrious place in the history of the legal profession in Ireland as the greatest and the last of the three Catholic Chief Barons of the Exchequer, who have between them filled almost the whole of the long period that has elapsed since the Emancipation Act made Catholics eligible. This high office is now abolished, the Court of Exchequer being amalgamated with the rest of the High Court of Justice in Ireland, though the last, and certainly not the least distinguished holder of the extinct office continues to enjoy the title. Long inay he continue to do so, and to discharge with characteristic thoroughness the duties of President of the Clongowes Union. (Chief Baron Palles's immediate predecessor was David Pigot, who succeeded Stephen Woulfe. The former was grandfather to the Rev Edward Pigot SJ, who has recently been obliged to exchange China for Australia as the scene of his labours. Chief Baron Woulfe, in one of his parliamentary speeches, used a phrase which “The Nation” newspaper adopted as its motto - “To create and foster public opinion in Ireland and to make it racy of the soil”. This half sentence i now all that is remembered of him,)

Robert Carbery spent another year under the care of his Alma Mater, in the class of philosophy, although the register of Trinity College, Dublin, shows that he matriculated there on the 8th of November, 1847, and was assigned as a pupil to Dr Sadlier. He stayed on, however, as we have said, in Clongowes, till the summer of 1848. His acknowledged prowess in the Debating Society had helped to turn his thoughts towards the Bar. We do not know how his vocation was finally settled. We are not allowed to overhear “what the heart of the young man said to the Psalmist”, or rather what the Holy Spirit said to the heart of the young man. Long afterwards he told one of his brothers in religion that the following incident had been the turning point in his career, or at least had some share in fixing his determination to quit the world. He was over in London, enjoying keenly his first sight of the wonders of that already overgrown metropolis. It was the beginning of the year 1849, for he had during his visit an opportunity of seeing Queen Victoria open Parliament in person on the ist of February. The kindness of Richard Lalor Sheil, who was Youghal's brilliant representative in the House of Commons, had secured for his youthful constituent an excellent place for viewing the outside portion of the pageant. Even if it were worthwhile, the details of the scene cannot be verified on the spot at present. The old Houses of Parliament were destroyed by fire in October, 1834. Sir Charles Barry began to rebuild them in 1840. The Lords entered their new premises in 1847, but the Commons did not assenible in theirs till November, 1862. In the building as it stood at the time of which we are writing there was, it seems, a balcony over the entrance, from which one particularly observant pair of Irish eyes looked down upon the expectant throng. Among other things they watched the efforts of a gentleman to provide a somewhat similar coign of vantage for a lady whom he was escorting. There was a corner fenced off by a low iron railing, and it occurred to the gentleman that, if the lady were snugly ensconced behind this railing she would be guarded from the crush and could see in security nearly all that was to be seen. Accordingly a chair was procured and placed against the railing to enable the lady to cross the barrier, but in the hurry of her excitement, or through some sudden swaying of the crowd, she slipped and struck ber forehead violently against one of the spikes. She was hurried off to the nearest hospital, but died before reaching it. Meanwhile plenty of sawdust was scattered over “.. the pathway to hide the blood that had gushed forth profusely, and the ringing cheers of the multitude went up, as the royal carriages with their brilliant escort at last swept in, while no one thought of the poor soul that had just been hurried before the Judgement-Seat. The dreadful contrast of life and death affected Robert Carbery powerfully; and, whatever may have been his hankering after the Bar, he sacrificed it for ever.

He did not, however, enroll himself at once under the banner of St Ignatius. Most of the Twelve Apostles were called twice, the first time not involving so complete and permanent a renunciation as the final “Follow Me”. This dual vocation has its counterpart in many lives. “Show, O Lord, thy ways to me, and teach me Thy paths”. (Psalm xxiv., 4). First, via the road that turns the traveller's footsteps in the proper direction, and then senita, the path that leads him straight to his special destination.

To prepare for the ecclesiastical state, Robert Carbery entered Maynooth College as a student of the diocese of Cloyne, on the 19th of September, 1849, and satisfied the Board of Examiners so well in logic that he was placed at once in the Physics Class, then taught by the holy and gifted Dr. Nicholas Callan. Throughout his course he won the first or second place in nearly all departments of study, his chief competitor and also his closest friend. being a saintly youth from Derry, Patrick Kearney, though I suspect that the third of the triumvirate who were “called to the first premium” was the most solid theologian of the three; this was John Ryan of Cashel - the holy and learned priest of that - southern archdiocese considered by his fellow-priests “most worthy” to succeed the Most Rev Dr. Patrick Leahy. Dr Croke, who was appointed Archbishop by the Holy See, had the most profound confidence in Dr Ryan as his Vicar-General.

It is needless to say that for piety and virtue, Robert Carbery stood very high in the esteem of his superiors and his fellow-students. One proof of the character that he had gained for himself is the fact that in September, 1852, at the beginning of his third year of theology, he was one of the two prefects placed in charge of the Junior House, which comprised the Classes of Humanity, Rhetoric, and Logic. As that was my second year in Maynooth, I was one of his subjects, but not a single word ever passed between us. My most vivid memory of him regards the speech that he made at our festive dinner in the Junior Refectory on St Patrick's Day, 1853. To set his eloquence off to greater advantage his colleague happened to be Peter Foley of Killaloe, afterwards a Jesuit also - he died at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, Feb 1st, 1893; aged 67 - a holy man, and one of the subtlest of thinkers, but one of the worst of speakers, and - till the end of his life the most inaudible of the race of articulately-speaking men, On the other hand “Carbery of Cloyne” proved that not in vain had he won the prize of excellence ii the Clongowes Debate. He electrified his youthful audience, one of whom guarantees after fifty years the almost verbal accuracy of one passage: “The greatest military genius of modern times, addressing his army before the Battle of the Pyramids, exclaimed : ‘Soldiers of France! from the summit of yonder Pyramids four thousand years look down upon you!’ And to you, students of Maynooth, I will say fourteen bundred years look down upon you, From their place in Heaven our forefathers in the Faith” - but if I went further, my guarantee for literal exactness would fail.

Soon after this God's will became clear to hin. He obtained leave to join the Society of Jesus, beginning his noviceship on the 20th of October, 1854. His friend, Patrick Kearney, continued another year or two in College, on the Dunboyne Establishment before joining the Vincentian Fathers. After he had come to an understanding with his confessor, Dr Thomas Furlong (after wards Bishop of Ferns) on this important point, he told me at the time that he sometimes wavered in his choice of a religious order, casting a wistful glance towards the Society of Jesus on account chiefly of his love for St Aloysius and Robert Carbery - this was precisely the way be put it - but whenever he ventured to moot the matter in confession, Dr Furlong would say: “Beware of the pillar of salt! Beware of the pillar of salt!” - an admonition that would have been more pertinent if the young priest had borne a closer resemblance to Lot's wife by “looking back” in a very different direction.

After two years in the novitiate of St Acheul, near Amiens, in France, Father Carbery was called home to Ireland in the summer of 1856. and was ordained priest in St Francis Xavier's, Dublin, in the presence of his father and mother. He was then placed on the teaching staff of his old “nutrix pientissima”, Clongowes Wood, where be taught for many years with great success. I have heard a very competent judge speak with warm admiration of the care and skill with which he trained his pupils to turn the various authors into good English. (Those who knew Father William Molony SJ, as a nonagenarian may be surprised to learn that Canon James Daniel, himself a clever writer of the journalistic type, praised the elegance of Father Molony's versions of Virgil, etc., when he was his professor at Belvedere College.)

I will not attempt to trace his course year by year. For some years towards the close of the sixties he filled very efficiently the office of Socius to the Master of Novices at Milltown Park, Father Aloysius Sturzo; who is still working in Australia, and who is still remembered with affection and respect in Ireland. A novice thus partly trained by Father Carbery, tells us that the novices recognised a sharp line of distinction between the Father Socius and Father Carbery. The former was a rigid and implacable stickler for rule and regularity, on whose lips the admonition was frequent: “Brother, no innovations!” But if a novice fell ill, or in any other way needed a mother's tenderness, then Pater Socius disappeared and his place was taken by Father Carbery, who was unceasing in his kindness and patient care.

In 1870 he returned to Clongowes as Rector. During his reign the new dormitories and class rooms and the present infirmary were built, the foundation stone of the new wing being laid and blessed by the oldest Clongownian then living, Dr James Lynch, who was also the bishop of the diocese. Since the good old bishop's death, who is the oldest alumnus of Clongowes Wood?

He was succeeded at Clongowes by Father Thomas Keating in 1876, taking his place (but after an interval) as Superior in St Patrick's House, 87 St. Stephen's Green, a house of residence for students of the Catholic University. I had the happiness of being his only companion there, as I had been for his two predecessors, Father Keating and Father James Tuite; and in so small a community I had the opportunity of being more intimately acquainted with him than a much longer term of years might allow in a large community. Father Carbery bore this test admirably. The arrangement with the Bishops of Ireland in reference to St Patrick's House came to an end in the summer of 1880; but Father Carbery was destined to return to St Stephen's Green under different circumstances, succeeding Father William Delaney as Rector of University College April 1oth, 1888, till he was succeeded by him in turn in 1897.

During the years that we have traced thus hurriedly, and especially in the intervals between his terms of office, Father Carbery discharged with great fruit the various functions of a preacher whether in churches or in convent chapels. He had very exceptional qualifications for the pulpit. His voice was excellent for public speaking - clear, penetrating, musical, sympathetic. One who was at Clongowes during his rectorship mentions that, during one year in particular, the Rector preached to the boys almost every Sunday; and - to this day he remembers the impression made by the voice and tone with which he said the prayer, “Come, Holy Ghost, etc”, before the sermon - as in Notre Dame Père Ravignan made the sign of the cross before his sermon so impressively that one of the listeners whispered to his neighbour, “Il a déjà prêché”. One of the boys themselves remembers a beautiful series of sermons addressed to them at this time on devotion to the Sacred Heart, preserved no doubt substantially in the beautiful little treatise which Father Carbery afterwards published on this divine theme. His tall, spare figure, his piercing eye, his refined and ascetic face, added much to the impressiveness of his discourses, which were always delivered with great feeling and earnestness.

Perhaps, however, the intermittent exercise of these faculties, which was all that his other duties permitted; was the best for his efficiency as a preacher. To use a homely phrase, his sermons took a good deal out of him. There are some to whom it costs nothing to speak in public, but generally it costs a good deal to listen to them. I have known Father Carbery to be quite exhausted after a touching charity sermon in St Francis Xavier's, Dublin, and obliged to lie down for a time. He was not a preacher of a robust and massive type, like the Father Peter Kenny of recent tradition, or the present Archbishop of Tuam, but rather of that nervous, electric temperament, of which the best example that occurs to me is the very eloquent English convert, Father Thomas Harper SJ, whom some one described as “a bag of nerves”, and who certainly was a nervous, incisive. preacher.

Immediately after a retreat which Father Carbery had conducted at Maynooth for the priests of the Archdiocese of Dublin, I met Canon William Dillon who died. quite lately. He praised the retreat very warmly. One item of his eulogy was this: “It was intensely gentlemanly”. This criticism, which his friends will recognise as characteristic of the critic, referred to a certain refinement of tone peculiarly acceptable to the Canon's fastidious taste; but this refinement did not hinder the preacher from being at the same time intensely priestly and apostolical.

His retreats were greatly valued in many convents, One of these was given in July, 1870, at Mount Anville, Dundrum, Co Dublin, not to the Religious of the Sacred Heart but to ladies who retired there for a few days from the world. Among these was the Countess of Portarlington, whose notes of the meditations have been shown to me by a lady who enjoyed the same spiritual luxury, and who says that the Father's instructions were most touching and holy. Lady Portarlington was a daughter of the third Marquis of Londonderry, and a fervent convert like her sister-in-law the Marchioness. of Londonderry. Soon after the Mount Anville retreat she fell dangerously ill and sought the assistance of Father Carbery, who had just then been appointed Rector of Clongowes. She recovered however, and did not die till the 15th of January, 1874, in the 51st year of her age. During her last illness Father Carbery's visits to Emo Park were a great consolation to her, and he was asked to speak at her obsequies, Her devoted husband, a kind and liberal man, had gratified the pious desires of the holy Countess (as he calls her in some memorial lines), by building a very beautiful parish church at Emo, and there the funeral words were spoken which are still praised enthusiastically by some who heard them. They won at the time the admiration of a young inan then at the beginning of his brilliant and too short career, Lord Randolph Churchill, who attended as a kinsman, with his father the Duke of Marlborough, the Marquis of Londonderry, the Marquis of Drogheda, and others of that titled class from which the deceased had turned to mingle with “the simple poor she loved so well”, as the bereaved husband wrote afterwards in the lines to which we have alluded, and which begin thus:
“ She rests within that hallowed spot,
Which in those early days she chose,
When first these sacred walls were built,
And first those pious altars rose”.

This was one of the very many death-beds that Father Carbery helped to make bright and happy. He was peculiarly kind and thoughtful about the sick; but when the dying one needed special help, God seemed to bless his zealous efforts in an extra ordinary degree. I remember two famous Irishmen to whom he longed to render this last and best service; but alas he was not summoned, as he had. hoped he might be, to their deathbeds - William Carleton and Isaac Butt. Butt, another great orator; succeeded Sheil as MP for Youghal. Carleton, in his last years, lived in Sandford Road, close to the entrance of Milltown Park, and so was Father Carbery's neighbour and made his acquaintance.

About his own death nothing need be said but that it was the fitting close of such a life. It took place at Milltown Park, Dublin, on the 3rd of September, 1903. Thus September was the month of his entrance into the world and of his two exits from the world He had spent seventy-three years on earth, and forty-eight in the Society of Jesus.

His grave is in Glasnevin. He rests from his labours, and his works follow him.

Cardiff, Lewis, 1911-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1011
  • Person
  • 13 January 1911-03 June 1988

Born: 13 January 1911, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 10 February 1928, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1945
Died: 03 June 1988, St Joseph’s, Hawthorn, Melbourne, 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 St Ignatius Richmond and the St Patrick’s College Melbourne. He then worked for a year as a clerk in the Victorian Railways and then entered at Loyola Greenwich in 1928.

After First Vows he was sent to Rathfarnham Castle Dublin, Ireland, where he graduated with a BSc in Mathematics and Physics and University College Dublin
He then wen to to Valkenburg, Netherlands for Philosophy
He returned to Australia for his Regency at St Aloysius College, Milsons Point teaching Science
He was sent to Dublin again and Milltown Park for Theology being Ordained there 13 May 1952
1945-1946 When he returned to Australia he was sent teaching at Xavier College Kew
1946-1948 He was sent to St Patrick’s College Melbourne. he did not think much of his own teaching qualities, but his students remembered him for his kind and gentle manner. He was possibly too much of a gentleman to be a successful teacher. he was thought to explain mathematics well.
1949-1957 He was Director of the Retreat House and Minister at Loyola Watsonia. It was a large community and so he was much in demand.
1958-1965 He was sent as Parish Priest at Toowong, Brisbane. There he cared for his people well and also acquired the land for the new Church at Achenflower. Here he also began to be associated with work supporting the Jesuit Mission in India.
1966-1975 He was Parish priest at Sevenhill and Clare where he showed great devotion to his people, especially the sick and aged.
1976 He returned to Melbourne and took on the work of promoting the Jesuit Missions in India. He saw his role as that of supporting his co-missionaries - though he would say that they did all the work, He was always writing letters of thanks to the generous benefactors.

People appreciated his spontaneity, his ready wit and humour and his down-to-earth advice, both spiritual and human. he showed great warmth and humanity, despite a certain jerkiness and shyness in manner. He was a most faithful priest. His life and energy flowed from a loving and affectionate heart, and a deep spirituality.

Carlin, Joseph M, 1915-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/480
  • Person
  • 11 December 1915-13 July 1988

Born: 11 December 1915, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1950, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 13 July 1988, St Francis, Cape Girardeau MO, USA - St John’s Parish, Leopold MO, USA

by 1962 at St Francis Xavier Phoenix AZ, USA (CAL) working
by 1965 at Brophy Prep, Phoenix AZ, USA (CAL) working
by 1968 at Our Lady of Guadaloupe, San Antonio TX, USA (NOR) working
by 1971 at Catholic Charities, Fort Worth TX, USA (NOR) working
by 1974 at New Orleans LA, USA (NEB) working
by 1975 at Tulsa OK (MIS) hospital chaplain
by 1977 at Aguilar CO, USA (MIS) working
by 1982 at Mountain Grove MO (MIS) working
by 1985 at Verona MS, USA (MIS) working
by 1987 at Leopold MO, USA (MIS) working

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 4 1988 (Final Edition)

Obituary

Fr Joseph Mario Carlin (1915-1933-1988)

11th December 1915: born in Dún Laoghaire (then called Kingstown). 7th September 1933: entered SJ. 1933-35 Emo, noviciate. 1935-38 Rathfarnham, juniorate (1938: BA). 1938-41 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1941-44 regency (teaching, direction of choir): 1941-42 Belvedere, 1942-43 Mungret. 1943-44 Clongowes. 1944-48 Milltown, theology (30th June 1947: ordained a priest). 1948-49 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1949-59 Belvedere: 1949-52 teaching, direction of the choir (1957-59; also teach ing). 1952-59 editing and writing: 1952-53 assistant editor of Madonna and Messenger (then published from Belvedere). 1953-59 editor of Jesuit Year Book, which name he substituted for the older one used till 1954, Irish Jesuit Directory. 1956-59 he also edited The Sheaf, the organ of St. Joseph's Young Priests Society. (In a later summary of his career during the period 1953-59 he characterised himself as “editor, writer, newspaper columnist”.)
On 24th November 1959 Fr Carlin left Ireland to take up parish work in the Californian Province (IPN, January 1960), So began a career which was to span three American Jesuit provinces.
1959-67 California: St Francis Xavier parish, Phoenix, Arizona, assistant pastor. 1959-62 also athletic director and counsellor at the parochial grammar school. 1962-66 director of Youth office of Catholic Charities of Arizona and chaplain to the Maricopa county juvenile detention home, Phoenix.
1967-74 New Orleans: 1966-67 Our Lady of Guadalupe church, San Antonio, Texas, assistant pastor. 1967-69 Graduate studies, School of Social Work, University of Texas, Austin, Texas (1970: MSc in social work) and chaplain to Brown school for emotionally-disturbed children. 1969-73 Fort Worth: 1969 (half-year) social worker in Family Services; 1969-71 director of youth department at Catholic Charities; 1971-73 director of Catholic Social Service. 1973-74 (on a semi-sabbatical) assistant to Catholic Charities, Austin.
1974-88 Missouri: 1974-6 St Francis hospital, Tulsa, Oklahoma, chaplain. 1976-81 St Anthony Church, Aguilar, Colorado, pastor. 1981-82 Sacred Heart church, Mountain Grove, Missouri, pastor. (His few remaining assignments were also in Missouri state.) 1982-83 Mercy Villa, East Montclair, Springfield, chaplain, 1983-84 St John Vianney parish, Mountain View, associate pastor. 1984-86 Sacred Heart, Verona, administrator. 1986-88 St John's, Leopold, pastor.
13th July 1988; died in St Francis Medical Centre, Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Fr Luke J. Byrne SJ, pastoral assistant to the Missouri Provincial, in summer 1980 received from Joe a résumé of his curriculum vitae. To this Joe had appended a short self-assessment, the only one available to the present writer:
Present (1980) skills, capacity, and preferences :
1) Hospital chaplaincy in busy live-in hospital. Social Work degree and experience might be acceptable in lieu of chaplaincy certification.
2) Pastoral work, preferably in a one priest parish. Location is not important but distance from Aguilar, Colorado, might be, to avoid any kind of continuing “entanglement”.
In the next year Fr Byrne forwarded the résumé to the bishop of Springfield - Cape Girardeau, M R Bernard Law (who since became archbishop of Boston and a cardinal), with the qualification that Joe “presently” (1981) wanted the one-priest parish and not the hospital. “His doctor thinks the lower altitude of the Middle West will be favourable toward his high blood pressure problem which he treats with medication”.

At the hospital where Fr Carlin died, the chaplain and Director of Pastoral Care was Mr Arthur Kelley, a Catholic layman. In a long letter addressed to one of Joe's three sisters last August, he wrote:
It was as chaplain here at the hospital that I first met my dear friend Fr Joseph Carlin, SJ, Needless to say, with a name like Kelley we got along famously. He was always a refreshing interlude in my day. I treasured the sweetness of his wit and his genuine sense of spirituality.
Whenever he was hospitalised I saw to it that he received the Sacrament of the sick and daily Eucharist. Though his hospitalisations were usually minor problems they seemed to be spaced at steady, predictable intervals, and may have been indicators that his general health was declining. However, he was not one to complain. Since we are the only Catholic hospital in the area, we were assured of a steady customer in Joseph, who except for his last admission always felt satisfied.
Forgive me if I seem frivolous, but I can almost sense him peering over my shoulder, chiding me about being too somber and urging me to treat his obituary with levity. Joseph loved to laugh - and we had many together,
Fr Carlin's death may have seemed sudden, but I can't say it was totally unexpected either by him or by me. As I said, I felt his health had been declining for some time. Still he clung tenaciously to his parish ministry. Truly, he was a priest forever ......'
After describing the progressive deterioration of Fr Carlin's condition, Chaplain Kelley wrote that in all probability his death resulted from a clot, with other conditions as complicating factors. His death was pain-free: for his last two or three days he was not conscious or responsive, therefore could communicate nothing. From the time that his condition began to deteriorate, the bishop kept in touch by phone, as did Joe's Jesuit confrères in St Louis. Since I (Chaplain Kelley) was the only one who was here consistently, I kept them informed of everything.
Fr Carlin's funeral Mass was absolutely beautiful. The bishop's homily was superb and the church was packed. The choir was truly heavenly. He would have loved it. They laid him to rest under the trees in a quiet country cemetery near the church with some thirty priests in attendance. It was a fine send-off.

Dorothy Holzum Arnzen, PhD, composed a poem in Fr Carlin's memory and offered it to the Missouri Provincial. In her accompanying letter she wrote: ‘I was privileged to know him as our pastor at Leopold, Missouri. A few days before he left for the hospital, Fr Carlin spoke to me of the deep affection that he had for the Jesuit community. If you wish to publish the poem in your Jesuit bulletin, I would consider it an honor: but whether you wish to publish it or not, I wanted to share with you in a small way the respect and regard that we had for Fr Carlin :

In memory of Father Carlin, SJ
by Dorothy Holzum Arnzen
Some said we needed a younger man
Not such an aging one:
A priest that wouldn't move so slow
And be able to get things done.

But in the midst of all of us
He moved with tranquil grace,
With kindly ways and manners
And a smiling Irish face.

He touched the sick and dying
In a very special way,
And to the soul that longed for peace
He knew just what to say.

He could speak an innate gentleness
That was for him a part
He reached out with loving kindness
And touched our parish heart.

He came to be our Pastor
When his race was almost won,
But before he reached eternity
The important things were done.

For the above poem and most of the above information, thanks are due to Mrs Nancy Merz, Associate Archivist at the Jesuit Missouri Province Archives, St Louis, USA

Carroll, James, 1934-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/645
  • Person
  • 12 February 1934-02 May 2006

Born: 12 February 1934, Caherconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 06 September 1952, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1966, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1971, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 02 May 2006, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 15 August 1971

by 1961 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Big Jim, as he was often referred to, grew up in Limerick Ireland and was of farming stock. He attended the Jesuit Crescent College in Limerick and entered the Society at the end of his secondary school. At school, he was a fine rugby player and would have gone far in that field if he had not entered the Society. After novitiate, he attended the university for his B.A. and went to Tullabeg outside Tullamore for philosophy.

Then he headed for the then Northern Rhodesia to Chikuni where he remained from 1960 to 1963. Here he learned ciTonga, the local language, taught in Canisius Secondary School along with performing the other duties which a scholastic in regency normally does. He returned to Ireland to Milltown Park for theology where he was ordained on 28th July

  1. On completion of tertianship, he returned to Zambia.

Jim was both able and adaptable. When he returned to Chikuni, he became Minister of the house and assistant parish priest. In 1969, he became rector and taught in Canisius again for six years. He then moved to the parish for five years as parish priest. He went to Monze as secretary to the Bishop, Rt Rev James Corboy S.J. in 1981. This he did for seven years and then became director of building for the diocese. This entailed buying supplies, supervising building, carpentry, electrical work and plumbing. He added wings to Monze hospital and built a chapel there. Outstations benefited from his ability with the building of schools and churches. A special building dear to his heart was the school for the handicapped, St Mulumba, in Choma. His interest in these handicapped children never waned and varied from helping to send a few of them to the USA for the Special Olympics (where some medals were won) to sending money on the 21st birthday of the school so that the children could have a treat.

Heart trouble brought him back to Ireland for two years from 1991 to 1993, where he did some pastoral work in his beloved Limerick. With improved health, he returned to Zambia, this time to a rural area, Chilalantambo, a one-man station on the road from Choma to Namwala.

Jim loved the place and the people. He extended an awning from the veranda of the house and here he met, talked to, chatted with, debated local affairs with the people from all walks of life, including Chief Mapanza himself who lived quite near. Coming from a farming family, he gardened and planted trees in all the places he lived. He helped the farmers around Chilalantambo, buying their maize and selling it in Choma to the Indian traders, bringing back seed and fertiliser for them. He organised schemes for the women for food production. His advice, usually good, was sought for and listened to.

On weekends, Jim would head out to an outstation to celebrate Mass for the people. Confessions, baptisms, church council meetings were all part of the Sunday supply work.

Being of a practical turn of mind, he had a no-nonsense approach to life and its problems and could be quite critical of the institutional Church for its failure to allow and encourage lay participation in the running of the Church. This, combined with his placid and unruffled disposition, did not endear him to everyone. In fact, some found him difficult to understand. He was a good cook and when you went to visit him at Chilalantambo, you were sure of a tasty meal.

After five years in Chilalantambo, he went to Ireland on leave but his health prevented him from returning. That was a sad day for him, for his heart was in Zambia. That was in 1998. He was posted to Gardiner Street, Dublin, where he joined the church team. He never complained about his ill health but would say with a grin, "Looking after your health is a full time job"!

His end was a no-fuss one. He was in bed in hospital and was talking to his sister, a nun, about the possibility of moving out of the hospital when he turned over in the bed and died. He loved Scripture and spent some time in Jerusalem during a mini-sabbatical which consolidated that love.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll.

Note from Bill Lane Entry
On Friday, 9 January 1998, Bill was on his way to Chilalantambo with Fr Jim Carroll to give some Scripture talks to the parishioners. As they drove on that bumpy road, Bill suddenly stopped talking. Fr Jim was shocked to find that Bill was dead beside him. There seems to have been no intervening period of sickness or pain. His departure was, as he had wished, ‘quickly and without fuss’.

Note from Joe McCarthy Entry
Jim Carroll was with him for his last four hours of life. When taking his leave of Jim in his final moments, Joe revealed so much of himself in his final words: ‘I think you should leave me here, old chap; there are certain formalities to be undergone from here on’! Within minutes Joe had died

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
Br Sherry's passing was sudden. On Friday ‘Sher’ (as he was known to his friends) stayed in bed for the greater part of the day. He came to meals and evening prayer. The following morning saw him as usual at the early Mass. At about 1300 hours on Saturday he phoned the Sisters in the hospital. The Sisters and doctor came over. The crisis came at about 22.50 when Sher struggled to the door of Fr Jim Carroll’s room to say that he could not breathe. Sr Grainne arrived and started cardiac massage. But the Lord had called Sher to himself.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

Fr James (Jim) Carroll (1909-2005) : Zambia-Malawi Province

12th February, 1934: Born in Limerick, Ireland
6th September, 1952: Entered in Emo Park, Co. Leix, Ireland
1960 - 1963: Chikuni, Canisius, teaching, regency
28th July, 1966: Ordained in Milltown Park, Dublin
1968 - 1969: Chikuni, Canisius, minister, asst. parish priest
1969 - 1975: Chikuni, Canisius, rector
15th August, 1971: Final Vows in Chikuni
1976 - 1981: Chikuni, Chikuni parish, parish priest
1981 - 1988: Monze, secretary to the Bishop of Monze
1988 - 1991: Monze director of building for the diocese
1991 - 1993: Limerick, pastoral work
1993 - 1998: Chilalantambo, parish priest
1998 - 2000: Ireland, recovering health
2000 - 2006: Dublin, Gardiner Street, assisting in Church
2nd May, 2006: Died in Dublin

Paul Brassil writes:
The death of Fr. James Carroll has come as a shock to all who knew him. The major part of his life was lived out in Zambia where he served from 1960 until 1998. During that time he held inany posts of responsibility in various fields, as well as being a Consultor for both the Province and for the Diocese, a tribute to his ability and adaptability.

There is no doubt that his farming background played a big part in shaping his outlook and apostolate. He was always observant of the natural order, and had a sympathy for those who worked the land. In his pastoral ministry he set an example by planting trees and orchards and getting vegetable gardens under way as soon as he moved into a new parish. For the local farmers he helped organise the provision of ploughs, seeds and fertifiser and assisted them in the marketing of their crops. In this he was very much a faithful follower of Fr. Joseph Moreau the founder of Chikuni Mission back in 1905. Inevitably Fr. Carroll was involved in fighting drought and famine which recurred with dreadful frequency.

Towards the end of his studies in Milltown, consideration was given to sending him on for further studies in Moral/Canon Law. But the need for men back on the mission in Zambia prevailed. With hindsight this was a pity because his practical and down to earth approach to life could have tempered the academic approach more usual in those areas of specialisation.

His talents as organiser were called on to guide the building programme of the Diocese of Monze. In the course of his time in charge of that programme he was responsible for building hospital wards, churches, schools, houses and third level institutions. This meant having three separate teams of builders, carpenters, electricians and drivers. It meant buying, transporting, storing and distributing all necessary supplies. At certain times there were severe shortages due to political instability caused by the war in neighbouring Zimbabwe and the cutting of economic ties with South Africa. In overcoming these difficulties Jim showed great ingenuity.

Among his special interests was St. Mulumba's School for the Handicapped, where he collaborated with Sr. Phillippe in building and supporting various initiatives. It was in connection with St.Mulumba's that he was involved in the Special Olympics. This work was dear to his heart. He was also concerned with the Aids epidemic.

In his pastoral work, especially during his time at Chilala Ntambo, he had warm relations with the local Anglican community, both clergy and laity. At his house the Chief, Chief Mapanza, and other Government officials, could be found enjoying his hospitality and discussing local matters. His voice on these matters was listened to because of his obvious concern for the people. Despite his own poor health, endured for many years, he travelled extensively and regularly on bad roads to bring Mass and services to the far flung out stations of the parish. Jim mixed easily with the people; his fluency in the language greatly helped, as well as his empathy for their rural way of life.

In the course of his missionary life Jim was very interested in the promotion and formation of both diocesan clergy and religious life candidates. Many young seminarians spent extended time with him, getting to know pastoral methods, and learning at first hand parish work. He was very encouraging to the religious Sisters with whom he worked, sympathetic to their efforts and supporting them as best he could

As a young man, Jim was an outstanding rugby player and was considered a loss to Irish Rugby on his entry to the Society of Jesus. He was very athletic, and had a great interest in all kinds of sport. He certainly was a skilled hurler and rode the few horses that came our way bareback. He played many a round of golf and enjoyed the game. He walked the Dublin and Wicklow Hills with verve and energy throughout his time as a student in Rathfarnham and Milltown. He always retained an interest in the horses, and had the occasional flutter. On more than one occasion he mentioned that as a boy he had exercised the greyhounds for his father, In truth he was a real Limerick man in his interests and his skills.

Jim loved a good meal and was no mean cook himself. But for the most part he lived a life of frugality and simplicity especially during the years he spent alone in Chilala Ntambo. This was certainly true during times of famine, when all his available resources were employed for the alleviation of hunger in the area. It speaks volumes for Jim that he found willing allies among the Indian traders in his relief efforts, just another example of his ability to relate well with so many different people.

One special interest that grew with the years was his interest in Scripture. He had the opportunity during his brief stay in Ireland to give a number of retreats to laity and found this work very much to his taste. The role of the laity, as proposed by the Second Vatican Council, was vital for the future of the Church in his opinion. In fact, he was very critical of the institutional Church for its failure to allow and encourage lay participation in the running of the Church.

During a mini-sabbatical he spent some three months in Jerusalem at the Biblicum. This was very special for him; it gave him an abiding interest in the Scriptures and in the Holy Land, which he used with good effect in the various retreats he directed.

It has been a privilege and a blessing for me to have known Jim and experienced his support and kindness. I can only guess at the loss that his family are enduring. For Jim, his family meant so much. He followed their careers with intense interest, especially those of the next generation, and was proud of their achievements. He found in them a source of pride, support and love. May he rest in peace.

Carroll, John, 1911-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/87
  • Person
  • 02 April 1911-20 January 1957

Born: 02 April 1911, Geashill, Walsh Island, County Offaly
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 06 January 1945, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 20 January 1957, Mater Hospital, Vulture Street, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Part of the Manresa, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia and Wah Yan, Hong Kong communities at the time of death

Older brother of Denis Carroll - RIP 1992

by 1939 at Loyola Hong Kong - studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was one of twelve children, eight of whom entered Religion, and a brother of his Denis also became a Jesuit and worked in Zambia (RIP 1992).
His early education was at Mungret College, and he was one of 32 Novices who entered St Mary’s, Emo in 1930.
1932-1935 After First Vows he went to Rathfarnham Castle Dublin, and studied at University College Dublin, where he graduated BA in English and History.
1935-1938 He was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg for Philosophy
1938-1941 He was went for Regency to Hong Kong, including language school at Cheung Chau and teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong. he found the Cantonese dialect very difficult, and yet while there he also edited the Wah Yan College Annual “The Star”.
1941-1945 As it was impossible to return to Europe for Theology, he and three other Scholastics were sent to Australia for these studies. he enjoyed his time there and the Australian Jesuits found him pleasant company. While waiting for Theology to began he taught for a bit at St Ignatius College Riverview.
1946-1947 He went to Ireland and Rathfarnham Castle to make Tertianship
1947-1956 He returned to Hong Kong and Wah Yan, where he was assistant Prefect of Studies, and went back to editing “The Star”. he was appointed Vice-Rector in 1951, and Rector a year later in 1952, and was also prefect of Studies. He managed all these tasks very efficiently, even though he was never of robust health. One of his achievements also was the planning of the new Wah Yan College, on Queen’s Road East. By 1955 he was no longer capable of heavy work, and in 1956 underwent a serious operation for intestinal cancer, he suffered many months of pain after this, and he bore it with great fortitude.
1956 By June of this year he had recovered sufficiently to fly to Brisbane for a period of convalescence. By November his condition had worsened, and he required another operation, but died in January 1957

His death at the Mater Hospital Brisbane at an early age, deprived the Hong Kong Mission of a most esteemed and valuable member. He had a deep interest in educational matters, and his thorough understanding of the Hong Kong educational system had established him as a very well informed representative and spokesman of Catholic Schools in Hong Long and their dealings with the government there.

He was a tall man, with a stately and almost stiff bearing and a habitual serious expression. He was a spiritual man and an observant religious, good at English literature and the craft of elaborate lettering of manuscripts, and the poignant epigram. He was meticulous, some would say excessive in the preparation of his classes. he was a hard worker and efficient administrator, strict on himself and a stern judge of those who did not measure up to his own high standards. At time he could appear to be stiff and unbending, but he had a good sense of humour and was able to laugh at himself. Towards his students he was uniformly kind though reserved, and this, combined with his unceasing devotion to duty, made them esteem him highly.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Fr. John Carroll, S.J.
Former Rector of Wah Yan College

News has been received of the death of Rev. John Carroll, S.J., who was Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from 1951-1956. It took place in Brisbane, Australia, where he had gone for convalescence after a serious operation at the beginning of last year.

Fr. Carroll, who was forty-six years of age, was born in Leix, in Ireland. He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, and entered the Society of Jesus in 1930. he continued his studies in the National University of Ireland, where he took the B.A. degree and Higher Diploma of Education.

He came to Hong Kong in 1938, and after two years of Chinese studies was assigned to Wah Yan College, where he taught literature and history and was editor of the college magazine “The Star.” He then went to Australia to study theology, and was ordained by Archbishop (now Cardinal) Gilroy in 1945. At the close of the war he went to Europe and then returned to Hong Kong in 1947.

All the succeeding years were spent in Wah Yan College. After a period of teaching he was appointed Prefect of Studies in 1949, and then Rector. He supervised the building of the new college in Queen’s Road, East, and presided at its inauguration in September, 1955. A few months later his health broke down and he bore a long illness with great fortitude.

Fr. Carroll’s death is a considerable loss to education in Hong Kong. He had conspicuous literary and artistic ability, but the interests of his later years were wholly directed to education. He kept himself well informed on educational developments in many countries and his only regret at his loss of health was that he was unable to put into practice the many plans that he had in mind for the development of the school. He was a member of the Grant Schools Council and of the Board of Control of the Hong Kong School Certificate Examination Syndicate. He was also a member of the Court of the Hong Kong University.
Sunday Examiner, Hong Kong - 25 January 1957

Requiem Mass for Former Wah Yan College Rector

Large Numbers of priests, religious and lay people including some eight hundred pupils and Old Boys of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, attended the Solemn Requiem Mass last Wednesday at St. Margaret’s Church, Happy Valley, for the repose of the soul of Father John Carroll, S.J., former Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong.

His Lordship Bishop Lawrence Bianchi presided at the Mass and gave the Absolution. The present rector of Wah Yan College, Father Cyril Barrett, S.J., was the celebrant. He was assisted by Father Charles Daly, S.J., and Father Kevin O’Dwyer, S.J.

Father Carroll who died on January 20 in Brisbane, Australia, was Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from 1951 to 1956 when he went to Brisbane for convalescence after a serious operation earlier that year. He was 46 years of age and was born in Leix, Ireland, Educated at Mungret College, Limerick, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1930.
Sunday Examiner, Hong Kong - 1 February 1957

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He came from a large family in Geashill, Walsh Island, County Offaly, 8 of whom entered religious life.
His early education was at Mungret Cllege SJ before he joined the Society of Jesus in 1930.

1938 He was sent to Hong Kong
1941 he was sent to Canisius College Pymble Australia during the war for Theology, and was Ordained there in 1945.
1946 He returned to Ireland to make Tertianship

By September 1955 his dream of the construction of the new Wah Yan College was completed. His health was poor and so he died in 1957.
He was the “architect” on the Wah Yan College, Queen’s Road East campus, Prefect of Studies and then Rector of Wah Yan Hong Kong. Schoolwork was his life, and he gave his classes not mere instruction, but affection and respect. he prepared his classes with as much care as if he had to face a group of post-graduate university students. Although ruthless on himself, it pained him to be hard on students.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Frs. John Carroll, Kevin O'Dwyer and Cyril Peyton, of the Hong Kong Mission, who completed their theology at Pymble recently, left, Sydney on December 9th on the Aquitania for England via the Cape. They hope to be home by the end of January. They are accompanied by Fr. Vincent Conway, an old Mungret boy, member of the Vice Province. All four will make their tertianship in Rathfarnham next autumn.

Fr. John Carroll, on the Aquitania, 13-12-45 :
“We left Sydney on time, at 8 am, on Monday 10th, and expect to be in England by the middle of January. Rumour says Southampton about January 12th. We are travelling as a military transport with some 200 civilian passengers. The total number of persons is said to be 4,700. It is therefore far from being a pleasure cruise, but the food is good and the ship so far is riding beautifully. There is a nice altar specially reserved for Catholics in a curtained recess in the library, and we have the place to ourselves from 6.45 to 7.45. The official chaplain, Church of England, claims the half hour from 8 to 8.30. There are two other priests on board, one of them Fr. Frank Bouchier who was at Mungret with me”.

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 2 1957
Obituary :
Fr John Carroll (1911-1957)
The death of Fr, John Carroll in the Mater Hospital, Brisbane, Australia on the 20th. January last, at the early age of 46, deprived the Hong Kong Mission of one of its most esteemed and valuable members. For Fr. Carroll by his deep interest in educational matters, and his thorough understanding of the Hong Kong educational system, had established himself as the best informed representative and spokesman of the Catholic schools in Hong Kong in all their dealings with the Government. The numerous messages of sympathy which the Superior of Missions (Fr. Harris) received after his death from the principals of the Catholic schools bore eloquent testimony to how deeply they appreciated his advice and assistance, and regretted his untimely death.
Fr. John Carroll was born on the 2nd April, 1911 in Walsh Island, Geashill, Offaly. He was one of twelve children, eight of whom entered religion. He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, from which he entered the Society on the 3rd September, 1930, being one of the thirty-two first-year novices who began their life in the Society in Emo Park the year that house was established as the Novitiate. In September, 1932, Fr. Carroll went to Rathfarnham Castle for his Juniorate studies, and in 1935 obtained his B.A. degree in English and History. During the following three years, he studied Philosophy in Tullabeg, and in 1938 was assigned to the Hong Kong Mission, where he arrived in the autumn of that year, and proceeded to the Language school, Loyola, Taai Lam Chung, For two years he applied himself most diligently and conscientiously to the study of the language, but in his case, it was very much like watering the dry stick. He had no special gift for languages, especially for Cantonese, and it was with no little relief that in 1940 he passed on to Wah Yan College, then situated in Robinson Road. It was soon clear that teaching and college work generally, were his true vocation in the Society, and though he spent only one year as a scholastic at this work, he proved an excellent teacher from the very beginning. Another task with which he was entrusted that year, and which he found most congenial as it gave scope for his artistic gifts was the production of the College annual, The Star. As it was impossible in July, 1941 to return to Ireland for Theology owing to the war, Fr. Carroll went with three other scholastics to the theologate of the Australian Vice-Province (as it was then) at Pymble, Sydney. His four years there were very happy ones. In later years, he often spoke of them with lively pleasure. His stay in Australia left him with pleasant memories not only of the great kindness which he received from his Australian brethren of the Society, but also of the reunion with many of his brothers and sisters who were already living there. As the scholastic year in Australia does not begin until February, Fr. Carroll spent several months before he began Theology teaching in St. Ignatius College, Riverview. He was ordained priest on 6th January, 1945, an appropriate date for a member of such a large missionary family.
In 1946 he went to Ireland for Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle, and the following year, 1947, he returned by plane to Hong Kong and by September, he was back at his teaching post in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. In rapid succession, he was appointed Assistant Prefect of Studies, Prefect of Studies, Vice-Rector, and finally Rector of the school in 1952. All these tasks he carried out capably and efficiently, in spite of health which was never very robust. His great achievement during his term as Rector, was the planning and building of the new Wah Yan College on Queen's Road East. When that great task was completed, in September, 1955, and Fr. Carroll had the happiness of seeing his dream become a reality, his term of life was drawing to a close, though it was not fully realised then, In the final months of 1955, he was not capable of any heavy work, and in January, 1956 underwent a grave operation for cancer of the intestines. Many months of pain, discomfort, and suffering followed, which he bore with great serenity and fortitude. By June, 1956, he had recovered sufficiently to be able to travel by plane to Brisbane, Australia for convalescence. He was most hospitably welcomed there by the Jesuit community, and it was hoped that during his stay with them, he could help in the parish work. However he grew worse in November, and had to enter the Mater Hospital, where his sister is a nun. Another operation in December brought no relief and after several weeks of intense suffering, he died on 20th January, 1957, a fortnight after the twelfth anniversary of his ordination.
Fr. Carroll was a deeply spiritual man, and a most observant religious, His onerous duties as Prefect of Studies, or Rector of Wah Yan College were never permitted to make any inroads on the time assigned to spiritual duties which he performed most faithfully. He had a very deep love of the Society, and consequently was visibly hurt whenever a word or action on the part of another fell short of the ideals which he felt every Jesuit should live up to. As a Rector he insisted on a high standard of observance, and this taken together with his natural shyness, made him appear stiff and unbending. He had, however, a highly developed sense of humour, and was always ready to laugh at himself. Towards the boys he was uniformly kind though reserved, and it was these qualities, coupled with his unceasing devotion to duty which made them esteem him so highly. It was when he became seriously ill, that the extent of that esteem appeared most, and his death was mourned by both past and present students as that of a true friend. In St. Margaret's Church, within sight of the beautiful school for which he laboured so much and in the presence of the Bishop and a large number of the clergy of the city, and nearly a thousand of our boys, Catholic and pagan, a Solemn Requiem Mass was offered for his soul.
To his brother, Fr. Denis Carroll, Rector of Chikuni College, we offer deepest sympathy. May Fr. John rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Carroll SJ 1911-1957
Fr John Carroll was one of twelve children, eight of whom entered religion. Born at Geashill in 1911, he was educated at Mungret whence he entered the Society in 1930.

To his great delight, he was assigned to our Chinese Mission in 1938. Owing to the outbreak of the World War, he did his Theology in Australia, and often referred to these years as the happiest of his life. After his tertianship he was appointed Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, in 1852. During his term of office the new Wah Yan on Queen’s Road was built.

In January 1956 he was operated on for cancer, and he went back to Australia to recuperate. However, his health further deteriorated and he died on January 20th 1957.

Fr John was a deeply religious man, one of those Jesuits of whom you could say that he never lost the fervour of the noviceship. He never allowed pressure of business or occupation to interfere with his observance of his religious duties. To the casual observer he would have appeared somewhat rigid and austere, but that was because being of a very high ideal himself, he expected th same of others. Nevertheless, like a true religious man, he could, when necessary, make allowances, and his sense of humour and his contribution to community recreation betrayed and understanding as well as an exacting spirit.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957

Obituary

Father John Carroll SJ

THE death took place in Brisbane Australia on January 20th last of Fr John Carroll. He was born on April 2nd 1911 at Walsh Island Geashill, Offaly, and came to Mungret in 1927. From here he entered the Society of Jesus in 1930. He did his studies at Rathfarnham and Tullabeg, and in 1938 was assigned to the Hong Kong mission where he arrived the folowing Autumn. He studied the language for two years and then went on to Wah Yan College where he found the work more congenial. Here he was editor of the College Annual “The Star”. In 1941 as it was impossible to return to Ireland he went to Australia for Theology where he was ordained in 1945. In 1946 he came to Ireland for Tertianship, and the following year returned to Wah Yan College.

Here in rapid succession he became Prefect of Studies, Vice-Rector, and finally Rector in 1952. His great achievement during his rectorship was the planning and building of the new Wah Yan College at Queens Rd East. Fr John was, however, now a very sick man, and in 1956 underwent an operation for cancer of the intestines. By June 1956 he had recovered sufficiently to go to Australia to recuperate, Here however, he grew progressively worse. Another operation brought no relief, and after weeks of intense suffering died on January 20th.

Fr Carroll was a deeply spiritual man and a most observant religious. He had however, a highly developed sense of humour. Towards boys he was uniformly kind though reserved, and it was these qualities together with a great devotion to duty which made them esteem him so much. His death was mourned by both present and past students as that of a true friend. To his family and to his brother Fr. Denis we offer our deep sympathy. RIP

Carroll, Kevin, 1911-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1022
  • Person
  • 02 February 1911-01 February 1972

Born: 02 February 1911, Rathmines, Dublin
Entered: 02 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 15 August 1950
Died: 01 February 1972, Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, 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 :
Early education was with the Christian Brothers before entering at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1931-1934 After First Vows he went to Rathfarnham Castle and studied at University College Dublin, graduating BA Hons.
1934-1937 He was sent to Leuven for Philosophy
1937-1940 He went to Australia for Regency, teaching at Xavier College and Kostka Hall, Kew
1940-1944 He remained in Australia during the WWII years for Theology at Canisius College Pymble
1944-1945 After Ordination he spent a year at St Ignatius Riverview as Minister and Prefect of Discipline
1946-1947 He returned to Ireland and Rathfarnham Castle to make Tertianship.
1947-1950 He headed back to Australia and was sent as Minister to St Aloysius College, Milsons Point, and during the last of those years was Chaplain to the Medical Guild of St Luke
19511975-1956 He went home to Dublin in order to study the Pioneers Total Abstinence Association, and he then returned to Australia and the Provincial’s residence to promote this organisation.
1956- He lived at St Francis Xavier Lavender Bay for a year.
1957-1963 He was sent to St Ignatius Riverview, teaching Mathematics and being First Division Prefect.
1964-1966 He was sent to the Minor Seminary at Christchurch, New Zealand, as Minister, Prefect of Discipline and tones Master, and he taught Latin and Biology. During these years he continued his work for the “Pioneers”.
1966-1967 He came back to Australia and was sent to Toowong Parish
1967-1972 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at the Hawthorn Parish. he continued his work with the “Pioneers”, was Bursar, organised a Parish magazine, and he was Chaplain at Kilmaire Convent School. In 1970 he became Rector of the Alcoholism Foundation of Victoria, and in 1971 was president of the inter-church committee for alcoholism. For a time he was also a member of the Archdiocesan Senate, and secretary of the religious senate zone. He died suddenly after a heart attack.

He was a very able and intelligent man. He was bright, merry and kind and he had a great interest in people. He was also a good companion.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946
Fr. Kevin Carroll of the Australian Vice-Province reached Dublin early in the same month for tertianship in Rathfarnham.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948
Fr. Peyton left for Australia on the “Mauretania” on 31st October in company with Fr. Conway, a member of the Viceprovince. Fr. Kevin Carroll, also a member of the Viceprovince, left Shannon Airport on 3rd November for New York, bound for San Francisco and Sydney. Mr. Monahan left Southampton on the “Queen Mary” on 20th November for New York; he took boat at San Francisco on 12th December for Sydney which he reached on 4th January. He will be doing his first year's philosophy at Loyola, Watsonia in the coming year.

Irish Province News 47th Year No 2 1972
We regret the news from Australia of the death of Fr Kevin Carroll at Melbourne. Fr Carroll was originally of the Irish Province but was among those transferred from the Noviciates or Juniorate to the New Australian Province in 1931. He was ordained in 1944; he returned to Ireland, 1951-52, to perfect himself in the methods of propagating the Pioneer Association and for some years after returning to Australia was engaged in that work. He served in New Zealand and 1966-7 was engaged in missionary work in Toowong; he was attached to Hawthorne Parish for the four years preceding his death, at the early age of 61, R.I.P.

Casey, Dermot M, 1911-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/22
  • Person
  • 02 June 1911-16 February 1997

Born: 02 June 1911, Phibsborough, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died 16 February 1997, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin community at time of death.

Early education at O’Connell’s Schools

by 1935 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
1936-1939 at Paris France (FRA) studying psychology

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 25th Year No 2 1950
GENERAL :
Father Dermot Casey is staying at Wimbledon College, and working each day, from Monday to Friday, at the Manor Hospital, Epsom. His work in practical psychology is so much appreciated by the Principal that when one of the staff left before Christmas to take up another appointment. Father Casey was invited to take his place for as long as he could manage. He is now paid for his work and is gaining most valuable experience. He is also attending a very good course on juvenile delinquency. He is attending the Psychological Congress to be held at Stíllorgan in celebration of the 4th centenary of the death of St. John of God during the week following Easter week.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 92 : August 1996

Obituary

Fr Dermot Casey (1911-1997)

2nd June 1911: Born in Dublin
Early education, CBS Schools, Nth Richmond St
1st Sept. 1928: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
2nd Sept. 1930: First vows at Emo
1930 - 1933: Rathfarnham: Studied Science at UCD
1933 - 1934: Tullabeg: Studied Philosophy
1934 - 1936: Jersey: Studied Philosophy
1936 - 1939: Sorbonne: Doctoral studies in Psychology
1939 - 1940: Mungret College: Teaching
1940 - 1945: Milltown Park : Studies in Theology
29th July 1943: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park
1945 - 1946; Rathfarnham: Tertianship
1946 - 1949: Tullabeg: Prof. of Rational & Experi. Psychology
1949 - 1952: London: Psychologist at Epsom hospital
1952 - 1958: Tullabeg: Professor of Psychology
1954: University of Detroit (Jan-June) Prof. of Psych
1958 - 1970: Leeson St: Founder, Director St. Declan's Child Guidance Centre
1970 - 1975: Rathfarnham: Director St. Declan's School
1975 - 1979: Leeson Street: Director St. Declan's School until 1977
1979 - 1981: Limerick/Clongowes: Counsellor
1981 - 1982: Rathfarnham: Counsellor
1982 - 1997: Leeson Street: Messsenger Office work, Writer

Dermot Casey arrived in Tullabeg on 1st September 1928 to begin his noviceship. I met him at recreation only a few times before his long retreat which was then made throughout October. In the second week of November, Father Martin Maher, the Master of Novices, sent for me to tell me there was another musician in the house - Brother Casey - a 'cellist. Over the next few days I was assigned to preparing with him in free time the pieces he was to play at the novices' concert on the night of the feast of St. Stanislaus. I saw at once that he was no amateur but a musician of impeccable technique. Later I was to learn that Dermot's parents were both professional musicians - his father being leading cellist in the then Dublin Philharmonic Society, forerunner of the Radio Symphony Orchestra.

During our juniorate years, together with Fr. William Saul, we played the Beethoven and Schubert trios. In Tullabeg for our one year of philosophy together, Dermot and I played the same lovely trios with Fr. Arthur Little, probably the greatest violinist the Irish Province could boast of whether before, then or since.

Dermot finished his philosophy in Jersey and then transferred to Paris where he graduated Doctor of Philosophy at Sorbonne. He was able to finish his studies in Paris just before the outbreak of World War II. Strange to say he never returned to Paris. He often remarked to me that he saw during his years there the construction of the great seven storey building in the rue de Grenelle which was not yet occupied before his return to Ireland.

Back in Ireland, 1939, he spent a year in Mungret, teaching and in charge of the choir. We met again in Milltown in the years 1940-42, but twenty more years were to pass before we found ourselves once more in the same community.

He was ordained in 1943 and after the completion of his studies and tertianship was appointed professor of psychology at Tullabeg. He could hardly have foreseen then that Tullabeg would close down as a philosophate in 1962 on the recommendation of the Visitator, Fr. John Mc Mahon (USA). But already he was preparing a new field of activity. Ever since the early 1950's he was engaged in Youth Guidance and took up residence in Leeson Street. The last decade of his connection with Tullabeg must have been demanding on his health as he had now to commute regularly between Dublin and the Bog in the days of bad roads or uncomfortable trains. Already by 1960 he had established St. Declan's. In 1961, I myself was assigned to Leeson St. Over the previous twenty years, it was only on a few occasions, at funerals, that I met Dermot. On my arrival in Leeson Street Fr. Tom Shuley, the minister (and incurable leg-puller), called me aside to warn me against causing any annoyance to Father Casey by asking “how is your backward school doing?” As I suspected, no one ever dared to put such a question to Dermot. He was now an acknowledged power in the land in his clinical work in St. Declan's.

Over the next thirteen years I could appreciate his way of life in his mature years: he was an excellent community man, a self-sacrificing worker - and utterly selfless. He had long given up the 'cello but he would ask me about the piano. There was none in Leeson St. - there was a very bad one in University Hall but I could depend on two houses of friends to keep in practice.

In 1970 he left us for Rathfarnham, after which I saw little of him except at funerals. Four years later I also left Leeson St for work in France. It was about this time he resigned from St. Declan's, but continued work at Child Guidance centres in Limerick and Clane - in these latter years he was a member of the Crescent community and then at Clongowes. He returned to Leeson Street in 1982 and for the next three years was assistant at the Messenger Office. The year before that I returned from France and soon was back visiting the archives in Leeson Street. For the first few years Dermot and I met only occasionally. We were both busy - Dermot at the Messenger Office and myself at work on the Irish Martyrs (chiefly Dominic Collins). We were both in our seventies. There were still a few old Fathers in Leeson St and at a moment's notice Dermot might be called on to drive one of them to see the doctor or the dentist. But towards the end of the 1980's he was suffering from hip-trouble. In spite of a successful operation he was now a changed man.

For the last ten years of his life he became more and more immobile - his walks from “35” were now no further than to the Grand Canal. He was a lonely man, for most of his contemporaries of 1928 were dead and gone. In our Saturday morning chats he would recall dead contemporaries: Pádraig O Brolcháin, Walter O'Connor, Alphonsus O'Connell, Lol Kearns, etc etc. Fortunately his pensive mood would be discontinued by a sally of his delightful, pawky humour: “I say, Frank, this place is a house of communications - you have young women here shouting all day from one landing to the next”. One of these observations became known to the subject thereof and to her hearty amusement: “This is the office of the President of Ireland - Mrs Mary Rickard”. Another day it was the visit of a young theologian at dinner that drew the following observation: “I don't know whether that young man works much at his theology but he is trying to look like Gerry Adams”.

He had a deep love for the Society and regretted much the closing down of Mungret, Rathfarnham and Tullabeg. I did my best to persuade him that all this was in God's Providence and in any case we were recommended by Christ Himself to pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send labourers into his harvest - to send us again many young men as in the past to continue the mission of the Society. That Dermot was nostalgic for the past was understandable. He belonged to the great period inaugurated seventy-five years ago by Fr. John Fahy when the Irish Province was en plein essor, what with its populous scholasticates, good religious observance and generous idealism.

He looked forward to my Saturday visits. When the mood was on both of us we would have some music and now and then he might tactfully ask me would I like to hear my favourite morceau of Brahms. Occasionally too he might mention a passage from a spiritual book which he found spiritually regarding. His favourite authors were always the well-tried classics of the past. In spite of his increasing lameness, he would insist on seeing me off at the hall door. To the last he was courtesy itself. After a meeting with him I felt the real beneficiary. For me, acquaintance with Dermot Casey was one of the great blessings of life. RIP

Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin SJ

Casey, Gerard H, 1905-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/488
  • Person
  • 22 August 1905-03 February 1989

Born: 22 August 1905, Dungiven, County Derry
Entered: 31 August 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong
Died: 03 February 1989, St Mary’s Home, Aberdeen. Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1928 at Eegenhoven, Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1931 fourth wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency
by 1938 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Following a Noviceship at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg he was sent to UCD where he graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Latin and Greek.
1927-1930 He was then sent to Leuven, Belgium for Philosophy, whilst at the same time writing an MA thesis in Classics for UCD.
1930 he was sent to Hong Kong for Regency, and he was outstanding in his mastery of Cantonese, and he also learned Mandarin.
He then returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology, and after Ordination in 1936, he made Tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales

Having come originally come as a scholastic to Hong Kong. he returned after Ordination and became a teacher at Wah Yan College Hong Kong, a Lecturer in Geography at the University of Hong Kong. He had also taught at Belvedere College in Dublin. He was a teacher at Sacred Heart School, Canton. He taught English at United College in The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and also taught Church History at the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen.

He published a Cantonese-English Dictionary and a 100,000 Character Dictionary with basic meanings of characters and their sounds in Mandarin and Cantonese.

He also spent time as a Chaplain at Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong.

Note from Paddy Joy Entry
In late May 1943, along with Fr Gerry Casey he was arrested by the Japanese and interned at Stanley until August 7. According to Fr Casey “The dominate feature in Paddy Joy’s character was his solicitude, primarily for the conversion of pagans Though he couldn’t speak Chinese well, he pointed out one prisoner to me that he thought could be instructed and baptised, and I found he was right...... he had an observant eye and a keen mind. In public debate about moral matters such as birth control, he was quick and effective,”

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Frs. G. Casey and C. O'Conor represented the Province at the Solem Requiem Mass celebrated at Kikeel Church, Co. Down on 22nd January for the late Fr. John Sloan, S.J., of Patna Mission (Chicago Province) who perished in the Dakota crash outside Karachi on the night of 27th December. Fr. O'Conor was the Celebrant. A brief account of his career appears below.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Casey G., Grogan and Sullivan leave England for Hong Kong on 2nd July on the ‘Canton’. On the following day Fr. Kevin O'Dwyer hopes to sail with Fr. Albert Cooney from San Francisco on the ‘General Gordon’ for the same destination.
The following will be going to Hong Kong in August : Frs. Joseph Mallin and Merritt, Messrs. James Kelly, McGaley, Michael McLoughlin and Geoffrey Murphy.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1989

Obituary

Father Gerard Casey SJ

Fr Gerry Casey SJ, another who gave his whole life to Hong Kong as a school-teacher, spent the year 1947-48 on the staff of Belvedere, marking time after ordination before going out to the mission. He died there on 3rd February 1989, at the age of 83.

Casey, Seán, 1921-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/492
  • Person
  • 01 August 1921-21 February 1995

Born: 01 August 1921, Glin, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1959, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 21 February 1995, St Joseph’s, Shankhill, County Dublin

Part of the Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1963 at St Ignatius Chicago IL, USA (CHG) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr Seán Casey (1921-1995)

1st Aug. 1921: Born in Glin, Co. Limerick
Education: Clongowes Wood College
7th Sept. 1939; Entered Society at Emo, Co. Laois
8th Sept. 1941: First Vows at Emo
1941 - 1942: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1942 - 1943: Supplying at Clongowes, Belvedere, Mungret
1943 - 1946: Philosophy at Tullabeg, Co. Offaly
1946 - 1948: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1948 - 1950: Regency at Crescent College, Limerick
1950 - 1954: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1953: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park by Archbishop J.C. McQuaid
1954 - 1958: Teacher - Crescent College, Limerick
1958 - 1959: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1959 - 1962: Teacher, Spiritual Father - Crescent College, Limerick
1962 - 1963; Studied Counselling in Chicago, USA
1963 - 1965: Teacher of Philosophy - Apostolic School, Mungret, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1965 - 1966: Teacher of Philosophy - Rome, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1966 - 1967: Teacher of Philosophy - Apostolic School, Mungret, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1967 - 1969: Spiritual Father and Adult Education - Crescent College, Limerick
1969 - 1972: Ministered in Sacred Heart Church, Limerick and Adult Education
1972 - 1973: Lecturer in Philosophy - Milltown Institute
1973 - 1975: Director of Adult Education - Limerick
1977 - 1980: CLC.
1980 - 1985: Chaplain - "Eye & Ear" Hospital, Dublin
1985 - 1990: Cherryfield Lodge
1990 - 1995: Kilcroney Nursing Home and St. Joseph's Centre, Crinken Lane, Shankill, Co. Dublin
21st Feb. 1995: Died

The words of our Gospel just read really startle us. They contradict our worldly experience and scale of judgements. “Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted”. This does not make sense to us when we feel a great loss and are confronted by the awe and mystery of death. Yet, I think, that it is only in the experience of bereavement that we can come to understand the meaning and truth of these words. For there is a blessedness in mourning that can bring us comfort.

We mourn because we have loved and lose and are loved. And St. John has told us that those who love, live in the light.

When we mourn, we support each other, often in silent, unobtrusive ways. That love between us is a truly blessed thing, for it tells us that God is really present among us and walks with us in our grief.

When we mourn, we often think and talk about the one who is no longer with us. Incidents in his life are recalled, words he spoke, humourous sayings, mannerisms or incidents. This fills out the picture of a person's character and life. But such memories are private recollections, intimate and personal, not shared in public - because they are sacred. But they nourish love. They are a comfort.

When we mourn, we learn what the really important things in life are and accept that suffering and the cross touches every life. We come to understand that a person's worth is not measured by success in life or achievements. It rests on their relationship with God and others, by their sincerity, goodness and generosity.

These were qualities Sean possessed in a remarkable degree. He was blessed with a keen, subtle mind. He loved study and was considered to be a person who would achieve great things in the academic world of philosophy. But ill health constantly interfered with his studies. He had to turn to less burdensome, apostolic work which he pursued with all his kindness and skill.

Then he had the terrible accident that rendered him incapacitated for the remainder of his life.

But I never heard him complain. When I visited him in hospital, I saw many of the beatitudes reflected in his demeanour, gentleness, a poverty of spirit that prevented him from criticizing anybody, Jesuit or non-Jesuit. But frequently I heard him expressing gratitude, especially for the care and kindness he received from the Staff and Community in Kilcroney and St. Joseph's. The patients, too, felt at ease with him, "I like Fr. Casey," a patient said to me the last time I was with him, only two days before he died. "I'd like to meet him and talk with him." This was Sean's apostolate over the last few years as he offered himself daily to be one with the Lord. It is in qualities such as these that true greatness is achieved.

The last great comfort that mourning brings us is that it widens our horizons. Our Lord seems to take us away from the narrow confines of a hospital bed and takes us, as it were, to a cliff-top and directs us to look out at a vast expanse of ocean where death and life intermingle, where love in time flows into love in eternity. Those we love never die. “He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood shall live for ever” Christ said. This, surely, is the greatest comfort for all who mourn.

Paul Leonard SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1995

Obituary

Father Seán Casey SJ

Seán Casey was born on the first day of August in 1921 in Glin, Co. Limerick. After school he joined the Jesuits in Emo and took his First Vows there two years later on 8 Sep tember 1941. He broke off his Arts studies, pursued at UCD while living at Rathfarnham Castle; to help out in his old school and, also spent spells in Belvedere and Mungret. From there, he proceeded to Philosophy at Tullabeg and only when he had completed this part of his course in 1946 did he return to Rathfarnham and UCD and complete his Arts degree.

With one year's “regency”, as a Jesuit's years as a teaching scholastic are known, already behind him, Seán spent only two more at the “chalk-face”, this time back in his native Limerick, at the Crescent. He then went on to Milltown Park for the regulation four years of Theology and was ordained after three, on 31 July 1953, by the late Archbishop John Charles McQuaid.

He went back to the Crescent to teach in 1954 and remained at this work and that of Spiritual Father until 1962, with just one intermission, in 1958, when he made his Tertianship at Rathfarnham.

As the Second Vatican Council was ushe ing in a new era for the Church in the autumn of 1962, Seán headed west to study counselling in Chicago. Immediately afterwards, he went to Mungret to teach Philosophy in the Apostolic School and begin his own doctoral studies in Philosophy, which he later pursued in Rome. After a final year in Mungret, he moved once more to the Crescent, when the work of the Apostolic School ended.

For the next five years, he engaged in Adult Education, acted as Spiritual Father in the school (1967-69) and ministered in the Sacred Heart Church (1969-72). A further five years were devoted to teaching Philosophy in the Milltown Institute (1972-3 and 1975-77) and filling the role of Director of Adult Educaiton in Limerick (1973-75). After that Seán worked for the Christian Life Communities movement (formerly the Sodality of Our Lady) for three years and then, in 1980, took up chaplaincy at the Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin.

Seán's own health, never robust, failed in the last period of his life. He spent five years at the Jesuit infirmary, Cherryfield Lodge, and then, in 1990, when the need for more intensive care arose, he went to Kilcroney Nursing Home. He died peacefully at St Joseph's Centre, Crinken Lane, Shankill, Co, Dublin, where Kilcroney had been transferred, on 21 February 1995.

Seán Casey was a humble, even diffident man, whose considerable intellectual gifts were often concealed by his diffidence. His various postings in Dublin and Limerick gave him opportunities to deploy his gifts for study and teaching and the gentle listening which was one of his marked characteristics. May he rest in peace.

Cassidy, Derek, 1943-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/811
  • Person
  • 10 April 1943-30 March 2017

Born: 10 April 1943, Howth, Ballyfermot, Donnycarney, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1965, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final vows: 04 March 1985, Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway
Died: 30 March 2017, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin

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

Grew up in Howth, Ballyfermot, Donnycarney, Dublin.
by 1977 at Regis Toronto ONT, Canada (CAN S) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2013 https://www.jesuit.ie/news/derek-cassidy-sj-man-soulful-presence/

Derek Cassidy SJ – a soulful presence
Fr Derek Cassidy SJ died peacefully on Thursday morning, 30 March, in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. He had been a dialysis patient for many years. In recent months, his health began to deteriorate very rapidly. The staff of Beaumont Hospital knew him well and gave him great care. He lay in rest at Belvedere College SJ on 2 April and his funeral mass took place on 3 April in Gardiner Street Church, followed by burial at Glasnevin Cemetery. Leonard Moloney SJ, the Irish Provincial who worked with Fr Derek in Belvedere College, was the principal celebrant and homilist at the mass.
Fr Derek served as Rector of Belvedere College since 2002 and was a much-loved member of the College community. He was also a member of the Jesuit community in Gardiner St, Dublin and will be sadly missed by them. He is deeply regretted by his brother Damien and wife Anne, sisters Thelma, Sandra and Denise, nephew Joe, nieces Frances, Susan and Jennifer, grandnieces Chloe, Lucy, Katie and Baby Anne, Jesuit brothers, extended family and his many friends.
Tributes were paid to Fr Derek through the Irish Jesuits page on Facebook. Bláth McDonnell commented, “Rest in Peace Fr. Derek. He had always been such a calm, kind and gentle presence around the College and will be sadly missed”. Thomas Giblin said, “What I remember of Derek was his complete presence in a conversation. It is in his eyes in the photo above. When you needed him, he was with you. There was no doubt. That made him a great chaplain and a wonderful friend”. And Clar Mag Uidhrin said, “So sorry to hear this. I’m blessed I had the opportunity to work alongside him. Rest in peace Fr Derek”. And Niall Markey noted, “Rest in peace, Derek. Thank you for the kindness you showed to me throughout my Jesuit journey. God bless”.
Fr Derek worked in school chaplaincy for a large part of his Jesuit life. He also taught as a Religious Education/Religious Studies teacher at Belvedere for several years. His ratings were above the average at 4.35/5 stars as recorded on ratemyteachers.com. Students comments included: “Biggest baller going, inspiration and a half, aspire to be like this man”; “legend of the school”; “great guy”; and “a class act, very quiet but when he preaches it all makes sense, especially with the Simpsons references”. The school’s pastoral blog noted his Golden Jubilee in 2015 and remarked, “Fr Derek is a wonderful example of what Jesuit life represents”.
Fr Derek made deep impressions on the Belvedere community during the last 16 years of his life. Headmaster Gerry Foley was particularly close to him, as evident from this personal tribute:

Remembering Derek
When we gathered in St. Francis Xavier Church, in Gardner Street, we gathered in sadness, but we wanted to celebrate and give thanks for Fr. Derek’s life with his family and with the Jesuit province. Each of us knew Derek in a different way and we all have memories of a man who could laugh at himself, the world and laugh and talk with people of very different ages and backgrounds. In mourning him we remember fondly stories that highlight his wit, his willingness to confront what he perceived was wrong, even if that led to a difficult experience for both himself and whoever thought he was going to hold back, simply because of his vocation. You did not have to guess Derek’s opinions and views. He could be subtle or when required, bold and forthright when subtlety failed.
Derek’s response to illness made you realise that we should never take being alive and having health, for granted. The theology of salvation was not theoretical for him, it was a lived example.
Images of him laughing, chatting driving in the car or the cheerleaders in the minibus, mix with images of him being silent and attentive. I was lucky enough to bring him the Leinster Senior Cup on the Sunday morning after St. Patrick’s Day. He was delighted and it was uplifting to see the chief cheerleader who loved rugby so much. He received that cup three times previously on the Front door of Belvedere House, so it represented commitment and dedication for him.
There are many things in his office, which point to who Derek is and what he brought to the college. There is a small-framed reproduction of the painting, Light of the world, Holman Hunt, Jesus carrying a lantern knocking on the door. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice, open the door, I will come to him, and I will sup with him and he with me”. On the left side is the human soul, locked away behind an overgrown doorway. Derek invited people to listen more carefully for that knock and when it came, wrench open the door, which could be difficult, and invite Jesus in.
On the table in Derek’s office is “The Simpsons and Philosophy, The D’oh of Homer.” It’s noteworthy that Richard Dawkins, Brief Candle in the Dark” is on the shelf, so Derek was catholic in his sources of inspiration. The connection may not seem obvious, but one of Derek’s favourite episodes of the Simpsons, which he used in his homilies, is the one where Bart, declaring he does not believe in having a soul, sells it, only to regret it when he discovers that life with soul is a life deprived.
If you re- watch the episode of the Simpsons he oft quoted, where Bart sells his soul, you will get a better understanding of Derek’s ability to pick something simple and use it to point to what is profound. He used it in his homily to remind all of us that soul is important, the essence of who we are and not to sell out for something else. For what doth it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what should a man give in exchange for his soul?
By using the Simpsons, Derek highlighted the challenge of Jesuit Education, to place the person of Jesus at the heart of what we do.
So, amid all Derek’s jocularity, there lay a sincerity, a belief that life was so much better lived if the gentleness of humility and care of Jesus was our inspiration.
Looking around his office, the photograph of one of the first Kairos, a card depicting Fr. John Sullivan, the photo of Fr. Reidy, photos of his family, the mass booklet from one of the Past Pupil Reunions, the framed newspaper article on the Jes winning the cup, The Belvo black and white, the Poster of the Holy Land, the model of the BMW 3 series reveal that Derek treasured many people and held them close to his heart, and indicated why he was held in their heart.
One of Derek’s many achievements in Belvedere was to develop the role of Rector, which was a challenge given we are not residents in the school but we are a community almost without boundaries. His presence as a man who was reflective and invited reflection has had an impact on so many people and on so many different levels.
His dry wit often brightened the moment and his genuine question asking “How are you?...” was never followed by a hurried moment, he gave generously of his time and gave people space so they could take time out of their hurried day, to stop, think and enter that space where prayer leads us. That appreciation of the moment lay at the heart of so many memories of him either sharing a glass, or at a meal or on a journey in somewhere like Greece, Rome, with students, or for me, very fond memories of when we were setting up the Chinese Exchange or the Boston exchanges. In Hong Kong, climbing a steep hill, the hand drawn rickshaw pullers approached Derek and avoided both the late Barry O’ Leary and I. We joked that it was the result of old age being respected in China, he quipped that their reluctance to approach us was a justified concern for their back, given our weight!
These exchanges expanded the Jesuit network and helped develop the sense of being a community sharing our faith journey. As with his untiring work in Fundraising and on the Buildings Committee, and Jesuit Identity Committee, he was passionate in providing the right environment to nurture community, friendship and learning.
Derek’s publican background gave him the skills to be fully present to people, to hear their story and enter into it with them. That is why so many students hold his memory dearly and fondly. He was there, fully present, not just physically, but in his un-divided attention to them.
If you asked Derek how he was, he never complained, instead he would reply with something like, “looking down on the daisies, which is better than looking up at them!” Even when he lost his toe he made a joke of it, saying the coffin was getting lighter by the day, and that was another aspect of Derek that made him attractive, particularly to students, he was a bit of a rebel, could be anti-establishment, feared not death because he believed and yet remained true to all that was good.
When we went to Hong Kong, Derek met Fr Joseph Mallin SJ (102), the last surviving child of Michael Mallin, executed leader of the Easter Rising in 1916. Derek and he shared a Republican background and he was immensely proud to be Irish. The Coleman’s mustard, sitting on the shelf in his office, is probably the only British thing he would admit tasted good.
On the little table is the statue of the Holy Family, Joseph and Mary looking at Jesus as he learns the trade of carpentry. Joseph’s hand is raised, obviously in instruction, while Mary looks on with great pride in her son. Derek had that care and pride for the students as they grew in their apprenticeship of what would be their adult personality. He loved young people and loved the privilege of being involved in their life. Lastly there was the prayer on the wall, and I think it captures a lot of his humour and honesty.
“Dear God, so far today I’ve done alright, I haven’t gossiped, I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or over indulgent. I’m very thankful for that. But in a few minutes God, I’m going to get out of bed, and from then on I’m probably going to need a lot more help...”
Derek was that help for a lot of us and while extending our sympathy and condolences to his community and his family, I want to extend, on behalf of the Belvedere family, a sincere Thank You. For 16 years, we enjoyed Derek as chaplain, teacher, Form Tutor, Rector and Board member. You shared him with us and we are forever grateful for that. His soul will continue his work with the students and families and we gain strength from his example as a Jesuit, a priest, a friend and a companion.
May he rest in the peace of Christ. Gerry Foley

Early Education at St Mary’s Convent Arklow; SS Michael & John, Smock Alley, Dublin; De La Salle, Ballyfermot, Dublin; Mungret College SJ; Apprentice Solicitor & Barman

1967-1970 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1970-1971 Mungret College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying for H Dip in Education at UCD
1971-1976 Milltown Park - Studying Philosophy & Theology (integrated)
1974 Milltown Park - Administration at Irish School of Ecumenics
1976-1977 Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Studying Theology at Regis College
1977-1978 Tabor House - Vice-Superior; Minister; Assistant Director of Retreat House
1978-1980 Leave of Absence
1980-1982 Coláiste Iognáid SJ - Chaplain; Teacher
1982-1983 Tullabeg - Tertianship
1983-1989 Coláiste Iognáid SJ - Director of Pastoral Care; Teacher
1989-1990 Tabor - Vice-Superior; Young Adults Delegate; Assistant in Retreat House
1990-1999 Campion House - Vice-Superior; Young Adults Delegate; Assists Tabor House & JVC; Young Adult Ministry
1993 Superior at Campion
1995 Principal & Treasurer at University Hall
1996 Formation Delegate
1999-2001 Leeson St - Principal & Treasurer at University Hall; Young Adults & Formation Delegate
2000 Sabbatical
2001-2004 Belvedere College SJ - College Chaplain; Teacher
2002 Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2003 Superior of Gardiner St Community; Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2004-2017 Gardiner St - Superior of Gardiner St Community; Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2011 College Chaplain & Teacher at Belvedere College SJ
2012 Rector of Belvedere College SJ

Cassidy, Dermot, 1933-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/828
  • Person
  • 01 June 1933-24 April 2017

Born: 01 June 1933, Ballyfoyle, County Laois
Entered: 17 September 1951, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1966, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 17 June 1981, Sacred Heart Church Crescent, Limerick
Died: 24 April 2017, Mater Hospital, Dublin (Highfield Healthcare, Whitehall, Dublin)

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

by 1970 at Mount St London (ANG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-dermot-cassidy-sj-reflective-voice/

Fr Dermot Cassidy SJ – a reflective voice
Fr Dermot Cassidy SJ passed away peacefully on the night of 24 April at the Mater Hospital in Dublin. Fr Cassidy was 83 years old. Born and raised in County Laois, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1951. During his regency training, he worked as a teacher in Crescent College SJ in Limerick. Upon ordination in 1966, he returned to Limerick where he assisted in the Church of the Sacred Heart and promoted the missions for over thirty years (1975-2006). He spent his last few years between Cherryfield Lodge and Highfield Healthcare in Dublin where he prayed continuously for the Church and the Society.

An interview with Fr Dermot
In an interview with Pat Coyle from Irish Jesuit Communications, Fr Dermot spoke about his Jesuit life. He had a very active pastoral ministry for many years where he loved to talk to ordinary people on the streets, in shops and in pubs. Speaking about meeting people in Limerick, he said, “I was always gentle on them. It wouldn’t mean that you could never have an argument. An argument is often a way of contact too and the next time you would meet then you might discuss things at a more human level.”
Since a child, he had a gift of reflection and could perceive things differently, “That’s my nature you know, and what comes by nature can’t be defeated by artifice and artificiality”.
Fr Dermot saw the spiritual hunger of people as a very positive force. As he saw it, this hunger was a mainstay of Irish life. It showed in the determination of people to learn from the past, to build Irish society with a sense of purpose, and to find new and better ways to do things.
The Jesuit had a special connection with Northern Ireland. “I always had a love for the North and still have. They have changed the world perspective on things. People used to say, ‘You’d never think that Christians could fight’ and the same people have now said, ‘You’d never think that Christians could unite and find a way forward’”. He was a committed nationalist and admired Sinn Féin and the way the party worked to try and bring about a united Ireland by engaging in the peace process. And former Sinn Féin Director of publicity and author Danny Morisson expressed his appreciation to Fr Dermot after the ceasefire with a signed and dedicated book. He always kept that book in his room.
Fr Dermot remembered a spontaneous meeting at a pub in Limerick with a Muslim television journalist who was preparing a production on ‘What is Ireland?’. The Jesuit spoke to him about conflict and peace in Ireland and abroad. He also spoke about the spiritual needs of the world. At the end of the talk, the journalist said: ‘I came in here rather upset, and after our conversation I am at peace’.
Asked if he had any regrets, he said: “Only that I haven’t had more opportunity to say what I want to say and that other people who have nothing to say have every opportunity”. His words were certainly not wasted on the queues of people who often came to see him.

A special friendship
Nissanka (Nicky) Gooneratne was a long-time friend of the late Jesuit. Here, the Sri Lankan pays tribute to and regularly kept in touch through visits to Ireland and via telephone calls across continents. Nicky sought spiritual accompaniment from the late Jesuit right up until the time of his death.
Nicky was a young agnostic engineer when he first met Fr Dermot in London. The Jesuit told him, “London is not a Christian country unlike the USA, Canada and Australia”. After a while, they went for walks in Hyde Park where Dermot spoke about the history of the British empire. Eventually, Dermot returned to Ireland and Nicky visited him on holidays and called him regularly. The Sri Lankan was especially grateful to the Jesuit for helping him to discern his career. For example, his resignation from an engineering job in Scotland brought him great peace.
Nicky returned to Sri Lanka where he got married in the Catholic Church and had five children. From across continents, he often heard of his friend’s love for the sick and poor of Limerick. When Dermot moved to Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, they promised to look out for each other to the end. “I used to call almost daily without exaggeration,” says Nicky, “recently, he used to be asleep quite a bit but he was always sharp. He was always gentle and kind. He used to end our conversations with a long Irish blessing. And I was filled with shock and sorrow when I heard he died.”
The Sri Lankan remembers one of his friend’s favourite sayings: “An answer will be given beyond our thinking”. And he recorded one of Fr Dermot’s poems from 1975, written after a young relation died. :

Door a-jar
Come, guide the stars Little one
God has held for you heaven’s door a-jar. Ah, boy that died Young man profitable Young man, young You started the origins of life to flow.
The high corn
is green grown now The child is borne
The blessing of summer is heaven in the sky
Ah, heaven high
on earth does grow.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at CBS Athy, Co Kildare

1953-1956 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1956-1959 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1959-1960 Crescent College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1960-1962 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1962-1963 Crescent College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1963-1969 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1967 Assistant Editor of “Messenger”
1969-1974 Mount St, London, UK - Assists in Mount St Church
1974-1975 Tullabeg - Assists in Community work
1975-2006 Crescent Sacred Heart, Limerick- Assisting in Church; Promoting Missions
2006-2017 Coláiste Iognáid SJ - Assisting in Church
2009 Praying for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge
2013 Praying for the Church and the Society at Highfield Healthcare, Whitehall, Dublin

Clarke, Richard, 1839-1900, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1049
  • Person
  • 25 January 1839-10 September 1900

Born: 25 January 1839, London, England
Entered: 15 July 1871, Roehampton London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1878
Professed: 02 February 1887
Died: 10 September 1900, London, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Rector of Campion Hall, Oxford at the time of death

by 1890 came to UCD to lecture in Classics

Clear, John B, 1922-2009, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/768
  • Person
  • 13 September 1922-21 September 2009

Born: 13 September 1922, Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1958, Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 21 September 2009, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1974 at Oxford, England (ANG) working
by 1986 at Reading, England (BRI) working
by 1989 at North Hinksey, Oxfordshire (BRI) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 142 : Winter 2009

Obituary

Fr John Clear (1922-2009)

13th September 1922: Born in Dublin
Early education Stanhope St. Convent and CBS Richmond St.
6th September 1941: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1943: First Vows at Emo
1943 - 1946: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1946 - 1949: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1949 - 1951: Crescent College - Teacher
1951 - 1952: Clongowes - Prefect
1952 - 1956: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
28th July 1955: Ordained at Milltown Park
1956 - 1957: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1957 - 1958: Loyola House - Minister
3rd February 1958: Final Vows at Loyola House
1958 - 1961: Gardiner Street - Church work; Sodality
1961 - 1968: Emo - Mission staff
1968 - 1969: Rathfarnham - Mission staff
1969 - 1971: Tullabeg - Mission staff
1971 - 1973: Rathfarnham - Mission and Retreat staff
1973 - 1978: Holyrood Church, Oxford, England - Parish work
1978 - 1985: Rathfarnham -
1978 - 1981: Mission and Retreat staff
1981 - 1983: Mission and Retreat staff; Asst. Director Pioneers
1983 - 1985: Asst. Director Retreat House; Asst. Director Pion.
1985 - 1986: Reading - Parish Ministry; Asst. Editor Messenger
1986 - 1990: Oxford -
1986 - 1988: Parish Ministry
1988 - 1990: Parish Priest
1990 - 1991: St. Ignatius, Galway - Parish Curate; Spiritual Director, Our Lady's Boys' Club
1991 - 1998: Dooradoyle -
1991 - 1996: Subminister; Asst. Treasurer; Asst. for John Paul II Oratory; Asst. in Sacred Heart Church
1996 - 1997: Minister; Care of John Paul II Oratory; Assistant in Sacred Heart Church; Health Prefect; Librarian
1997 - 1998: Treasurer; Care of John Paul II Oratory; Assistant in Sacred Heart Church; Health Prefect; Librarian; Asst. Minister
1998 - 2002: John Austin House - Pastoral work; Vice Superior; Assistant Hospital Chaplain
2002 - 2009: Gardiner Street - Assisted in the Church
4th August 2009: Fr. Clear was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home on from the Mater Hospital following a short illness. His condition deteriorated very quickly.
21st September 2009: Died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge

Brian Lennon writes:
John died early on Monday 21st September 2009 at the age of 87. His health had gradually declined over the past few years. He was beginning to lose his memory, Over the summer he had a few bouts of confusion and pain. He spent some time in hospital in the Mater and Vincent's in Dublin. Eventually inoperable cancer was diagnosed and he arrived in Cherryfield on 4 August, where, like so many, he got great care.

He was born in Dublin on 13th September 1922 and educated by the Christian Brothers at O'Connell's School, North Richmond Street, Dublin. He went to Emo in 1941, so was a Jesuit for 68 years. He went through the normal course of studies and then spent 21 years working in parishes and 19 on the Mission staff. Hearing confessions was very important to him, especially in the years he spent in Gardiner St. since 2002 right up to the year of his death. It was a natural apostolate for him because he had great kindness. He told me once that in his parish work he always involved lay people, and - extraordinarily - he never had a row with any of them.

At different times he was based in Emo, Rathfarnham, Tullabeg, Oxford, Reading, Galway, Limerick, Loyola and John Austin House, as well as Gardiner St, from 1958 to 1961 and then again since 2002.

He wrote a lot: pamphlets on “Mary My Mother”, “Elizabeth of Hungary: Princess, Mother and Saint”, the “Japanese martyrs”, and “Lily of the Mohawks - Kateri Tekawitha”, the first North American saint. He also wrote many articles for the Pioneer and other journals.

My memory of him is of someone with a great sense of humour. I sometimes teased him about not attending events like Province Days and also polluting his room and the whole corridor with his infernal pipe smoke, to all of which he would respond with a deeply satisfied belly laugh. He had no airs or graces and he had a natural way of relating to people. He had a very simple view of life with a great devotion to Our Lady. He was deeply grateful for even the smallest things one did for him.

When his remains were brought to Gardiner Street there were several Sisters of Charity present. Two of them knew at least seven other sisters who traced their vocation to meeting John. One of them said: 'He showed me my way to God', a pretty good obituary for anyone. There must have been a lot of others in those 21 years in parishes and 19 years on the Missions who would say the same thing, but these are the stories that we other Jesuits may be the last to hear about.

He took an interest in what was happening around him. He was a great reader. One of the topics that fascinated him in recent years was research on DNA pools, showing where we have all come from, and that all of us all over the world are much more closely related to each other than many might like. He would always check out new publications by Jesuits.

He had a great friendship with some families, and loved to go back to Oxford to visit them. One of them told the story of John giving out to a young three year old, Daniel, by telling him that he was “too bold”, to which the young man responded that he was not “two bold”, but “three bold”.

He was a great swimmer in his young days. His brothers say that they coped with his leaving home for Emo with a certain amount of delight because they had more room in the house, and they suggested also that John, the eldest, was a bit correct and rule bound at that stage. They danced on his bed when he left, something they would not have had the nerve to do while he was still there. By the time he had grown old gracefully he had certainly lost any stiffness.

He died on the feast of St Matthew. The tax collectors were bad apples: not only did they rob people with little money, they also collaborated with the foreign occupiers who polluted the holy places. The fact that Jesus had fellowship with them by eating and drinking with them was deeply scandalous to the Jews, and understandably so. The meal in Matthew's house may have taken place after Matthew's conversion, but others there were surely not converted. But that did not stop Jesus eating with them. Calling Matthew to follow him was worse.

It's a feast that is appropriate for John's own day of entry into eternal life. He too reached out to people in trouble, and the cause of the trouble was never a block for him. He has now gone to join Matthew and the other tax collectors, and many of those with whom he walked during his ministry. He will also join the Pharisees, whom he knew are in each one of us. May he rest in peace.

Coffey, Patrick, 1909-1983, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/94
  • Person
  • 10 June 1909-19 August 1983

Born: 10 June 1909, Cork City
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park
Final Vows: 02 February 1944, Mungret College Sj, Limerick
Died: 19 August 1983, Kilcroney, County Wickow

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

Early Education at Presentation Brothers College, Cork City

1933-1934 Caring for Health
by 1967 at West Heath Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1970 at Southwark Diocese (ANG) working
by 1971 at St Ignatius, Tottenham London (ANG) working
by 1972 at Deptford London (ANG) working

Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 58th Year No 4 1983

Gardiner Street
The summer months saw the passing of two members of our community. Fr Johnny McAvoy († 26th July), who had given us an outstanding example of cheerful endurance during his long struggle with ill health, was the first to go. As noted in our last report, he had had to return to Cherryfield Lodge some months ago, to receive special care. At the very end, however, he moved to Our Lady's Hospice, where he died after a brain haemorrhage which mercifully saved him from prolonged suffering.
Fr Paddy Coffey, who died almost a month later († 19th August), was also attached to our community, though he had been living at St Joseph's, Kilcroney, or many years. It is no exaggeration to say that he was a legend in the Province for his amazing will-power and persistence. It would have been fascinating to listen in to his last battle of with the Lord! His ever-widening circle of friends will miss his gentle but determined winning ways.
May he and Johnny rest in the the serenity of eternal peace.

Obituary

Obituary

Fr Patrick Coffey (1909-1926-1983)

Paddy Coffey arrived in Tullabeg on 1st September 1926: a sporty little Corkonian ready for anything, a bony little flier at football who would go through you with delight, kicking the shins off you in his passage. He seemed to lose a lot of this zest in the he had a period of pious “broken head” - a term which older Jesuits may have to explain to younger, less pious ones.
As far as I recall he was well while in Rathfarnham, where he got an Honours BA, but after that he was seldom free from illness and disability. In philosophy at Tullabeg he had a long and serious illness, during which he was reduced almost to the state of a vegetable. It is said that the authorities thought he should leave the Society, but Paddy dug his heels in. That dogged and even obstinate determination became a well-known characteristic of his. He began philosophy in 1931, but his was so interrupted that it did not end until 1936.
After Tullabeg he spent two years in Mungret, where he was prefect of Third Club and teacher. After theology in Milltown, where he was ordained in 1941, in 1943 he returned
to Mungret, where by far the greater part of his life was to be spent: indeed, he became identified with Mungret. For two years he was prefect of First Club. The boys used to mimic a saying from a pep-talk of his: Rugby is a game of blood and mud! When there was a difference of opinion about policy or a fixture, he would fight quite fiercely to the last and when he yielded, it was from his religious spirit.
Besides teaching, he also edited the Mungret Annual. This was his greatest work in and for Mungret. He had a great feeling for the boys - I never heard him running them down - and an exceptional involvement with the Past: probably the reason he was made editor of the Annual. Indeed, he founded and produced the Mungret Eagle for the Past. This was a brochure of about 8 to 12 pages,containing photographs and all the bits of news that could be gathered about their whereabouts and activities, with a section about the Present. It was sent out free several times a year, and was eagerly read.
I don't think any function of the Mungret Union took place without him. Later on, in Gardiner street, he asked Fr Kieran Hanley if he might go to the Mungret Union dinner. When that benign and not easily outwitted superior, said, “Certainly,Paddy, in fact you ought to go”'. Paddy added, with his little grin, “It's in London, you know”.
Paddy's life-story is less than half told without mention of his serious accident. He was on a supply in the Dartford area of Kent in August 1953: the date was the 16th. His motor-bike stalled as he was crossing the highway, and a speeding car crashed into him. He was unconscious for at least a week and a leg had to be amputated. The hospital staff said that in his situation any ordinary person would have died, and they were astonished at his exceptional determination, which gradually carried him through. He never learned to use the artificial leg as it could be used, but when he returned to Mungret, he had obviously resolved to carry on as if nothing had happened. He got a bicycle made with one loose pedal crank, and on it he propelled himself shakily with one leg into town almost every day. He also insisted on keeping his room at the very top of the house, until the community could no longer bear the nerve-racking sound of him stumping up the stairs at midnight or later. It was during these years that his notable work with the Union and the Annual was done. He also taught (at least until 1964), but was quite likely to fall asleep in class.
He was well-known to be quite shameless and even peremptory in 'exploiting' his friends of the Past with regard to motor transport by day or by night. When he had left Mungret (which he did in 1966), I happened to be with a group who were jokingly recalling the occasions when they were commandeered, and it made me wonder when they ended up saying unanimously “All the same, he was a saint”. I have always suspected that he gave a good deal of his presence to less well-off people in Limerick, but Paddy played his cards so close to his chest that one never
knew the half of his activities,
Mention of cards reminds me that he loved card games, “hooleys”, sing songs, hotels, and visiting his friends. Yet I always felt that though he was ready for any escapade that didn't involve excommunication, with himself he was a very strict religious, unswervingly faithful to the way he was brought up.
I don't think anyone expected that he would ever leave Mungret as well again, but in 1966 he launched out, “wooden leg” and all, to Birmingham, where he did parish work for three years, then for six more years did the same in Deptford (Southwark diocese). In 1975 he joined the Gardiner street community, but lived in some kind of accommodation in North Summer street and worked in Seán McDermott street parish.
He was about a year in Dublin when he suffered a stroke which left: one arm useless and affected his leg. With his unconquerable determination he soldiered on in St Joseph's, Kilcroney, for seven long and trying years, keeping in touch with his friends by continual letters, getting taken out at every opportunity, even when he was reduced to using a wheelchair. He was always glad to see members of the Society. The last, almost inaudible, words I heard from him, a few hours before he died (19th August 1983), were “Coffee, piles of it, but don't tell the nurse!”
May he rest in peace at last, and may his long sufferings and indomitable spirit merit for him 'above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory.

Coghlan, Seán, 1933-2021, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2354
  • Person
  • 29 October 1933-02 September 2021

Born: 29 October 1933, Farranshone, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1951, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1965, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1970, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 02 September 2021, St Paul’s Hospital, Hong Kong - China Province (CHN)

Part of the Ricci Hall, Hong Kong community at the time of death

1951-1953 St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1953-1956 Rathfarnham Castle - Studying
1956-1959 St Stanislaus College Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1959-1961 Xavier, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency, studying language
1961-1962 Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Regency, teaching
1962-1966 Milltown Park - studying Theology
1966-1967 Rathfarnham Castle - Tertianship
1967-1978 Wah Yan Kowloon, Hong Kong - teaching; Rector (1972)
1978-1981 Provincial’s Residence, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong
1981-1983 Casa Ricci, Largo de Sto Agostinho, Macau, Hong Kong
1983-1988 Wah Yan Kowloon, Hong Kong
1988-1996 Wah Yan Hong Kong
1996-2021 Provincial’s Residence, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/sean-coughlan-rip/

Remembering Sean Coghlan, SJ (1933-2021)

Sean was born in Limerick in 1833 and was educated at Sacred Heart College, the Crescent. A good student, with a quiet sense of humour and easy manner, he had a keen interest in sport, especially rugby and hurling, though his own slight frame militated against prowess in such games.

Beneath an unassuming exterior, he had a strong will and a deep spiritual sense. He joined the Jesuits on leaving school and followed the usual programme of formation until 1959 when he was appointed to Hong Kong. Returning to Ireland for theology, he was ordained priest in 1965. He returned to Hong Kong two years later and in 1972 was appointed rector of the Wah Yan College, Kowloon. Aged 40 years, he was the youngest of the 46 Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong.

Many years on, marking his golden jubilee in 2001, the General of the Society wrote praising him for his leadership as rector of Wah Yan, Kowloon, 1972-’79, and as principal of Wah Yan, Hong Kong, 1986-1997. There was also a mention of his efforts in support of the rights of seamen (a life-long interest), and his initiatives in the work of street sleepers. The General might have added his service of refugees, and his abiding interest in and care of students, past and present.

In this last area, he and Fr Deignan, as principals of the two Wah Yans, went to Canada in August 1990 as guests of the Past Students Association in Toronto and Vancouver. They received a most warm welcome. Seven years later, during a furlough, Sean had a memorable visit to past students in the United States and Canada. He recalled: ‘Ex-HK people were in tears when they saw me’. He was ‘bewildered and humbled by the gratitude and respect expressed by the alumni’.

One past student put into writing a tribute to Jesuit education which Sean cherished – “Jesuit education … probes the meaning of human life… Its objective is to assist in the fullest possible development of the God-given talents of each individual person as a member of the human community … Jesuit education insists on individual care and concern for each person.” It reflected Sean’s own care and concern.

Despite the responsibilities of position and office, Sean, though he could be quite assertive when the occasion required it, remained affable, approachable, and kept his sense of fun and humour. This characteristic could lead to unusual situations at times. Notably in 1989 when Father General, Pedro Arrupe, visited Hong Kong.

Sean, as rector, and Paddy McGovern, as his minister, waited at the lift one night for the return of the General from a late dinner. From time to time they used to put in time clowning at bull fighting. On this occasion, after a long wait, they indulged in the pursuit. To the extent, indeed, that they did not hear the lift starting up. Consequently, when the General emerged from the lift he found the Father Minister crouched down with his fingers to his head representing horns and fiercely charging the Rector in trousers and singlet, waving his shirt as a cape and executing a dangerous pass. Fortunately, Fr Arrupe, a Basque gentleman, found the spectacle amusing.

Ten years later, in 1999, there was much concern over an operation for cancer on Fr Freddie Deignan. After the operation, Sean sent a relieved fax message to the Provincial that Fr Deignan had come through the operation very well – ‘Shortly after the operation he asked me if Manchester United had won their match last night’.

In 2005, on the occasion of a visit from the Irish taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, Fr Deignan, in his address, mentioned that the Irish province had sent a total of 105 Jesuits to Hong Kong and that now there were just ten left. The decline in numbers led to a decision to produce a history of the Hong Kong Mission. This was commissioned in 2005 and was published in 2008 as Jesuits in Hong Kong, South China and Beyond (1926-2006), a volume of more than 800 pages and 236 photographs.

In the subsequent years the work of the mission proceeded at a somewhat lesser pace, with Fr Deignan receiving honorary doctorates in recognition of his work for education in Hong Kong, while his friend Sean Coghlan remained a welcoming presence at Ricci Hall and went on with his quiet work for students as warden.

For recreation, he continued his practice of long walks, often accompanied by his friend, a Protestant minister. As the years passed, his health deteriorated gradually, but he still kept an active interest in the fortunes in rugby of his home province and rejoiced at the all-Ireland success of his home county in hurling. He died loved and respected at the age of eighty-eight years. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Thomas Morrissey,

Colgan, James E, 1849-1915, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/96
  • Person
  • 14 January 1849-06 August 1915

Born: 14 January 1849, Kilcock, County Kildare
Entered: 18 March 1868, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1881, North Great George's Street, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1888
Died: 06 August 1915, Mount Saint Evin’s Hospital, Melbourne Australia

Part of St Mary’s community, Miller St, Sydney, Australia at time of death.

Brother of John - RIP 1919
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1871 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1877 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1881 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
Came to Australia 1896

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education at Clongowes.
Owing to ill health he made some studies privately.
He was sent for Regency as a Prefect at Tullabeg.
He was Ordained at the Convent Chapel in Nth Great George’s St Dublin, by Dr Patrick Moran, Bishop of Dunedin.
He was Procurator for some years at Clongowes and Dromore, and was Procurator also at Clongowes, and then Minister at UCD. He also spent time on the Missionary Band in Ireland.
1896 He sailed for Australia to join a Missionary Band there. He was Superior for a time at Hawthorn.
1914 He returned to Ireland but set sail again for Australia in 1915.
1915 He returned to Melbourne, but died rather quickly there 06 August 1915.

Note from John Gateley Entry
1896 He was sent to Australia with James Colgan and Henry Lynch.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Brother of John - RIP 1919

His early education was at Clongowes Woof College before he Entered at Milltown Park.
1869-1870 He was sent to St Acheul, France for his Juniorate.
Owing to ill health he did the rest of his studies privately, and he was Ordained by Dr Moran of Dunedin, New Zealand in Ireland in 1881
1874-1880 He was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg as a Teacher and Prefect of Discipline
1880-1888 He was sent to Clongowes where he carried out much the same work as at Tullabeg
1888-1891 He was sent to St Francis Xavier Gardiner St for pastoral work, and then spent some time on the “Mission” staff giving retreats.
1891-1892 He was sent to University College Dublin as Minister
1892-1896 He went back to working on the Mission staff.
1897-1902 He was sent to Australia and began working as a rural Missionary
1902-1910 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at Hawthorn
1910-1915 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at St Mary’s Sydney

In 1914 he went back to Ireland, but returned to Australia the following year and died suddenly. He was a man of great austerity of life, and was valued as a Spiritual Director.

◆ The Clongownian, 1916

Obituary

Father James Colgan SJ

We deeply regret to learn of the death of the Rev James E Colgan SJ, which occurred at St Evin's Hospital, Melbourne, on Friday afternoon, August 6th, after an operation.

Fr Colgan was born on January 14th, 1849, at Kilcock, Co Kildare, Ireland. He entered the Society of Jesus on 18th March, 1868. His people were large property holders in that county. After entering the Society he studied at Milltown Park, Dublin, and subsequently continued his studies in France, England, and Ireland. He was for some time engaged in teaching in St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, and at Clongowes. After his ordination he filled important positions in both these colleges. Later he was engaged in missionary work. He occupied the position of Vice-President and Dean of Residence in the University College, Dublin. Subsequently he laboured in South Africa.

About 18 years ago he came to Australia, and was engaged in missionary work in Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand. For eight years he was Parish Priest of Hawthorn, after which he was appointed to the parish of St Mary's, North Sydney, which position he held for five years. Two years ago he had the misfortune to break his thigh at North Sydney, and this confined him to hospital for some eight months. After his recovery be proceeded to Ireland, where he spent a year recuperating. He returned to Victoria about three months ago, and whilst giving a retreat at Bendigo recently he was seized with illness, and had to come to Melbourne and undergo an operation, from which he never rallied, passing away peacefully, as stated, on the afternoon of Friday, 6th August, fortified by all the consolations of Religion. On Saturday morning, the 7th August, the solemn dirge for the repose of his soul was celebrated in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Hawthorn, at 10.30 2m. The church was crowded - a proof that the people were not unmindful of the self-sacrificiog labours of the deceased priest, His Grace the Archbishop of Melbourne (the Most Rev Dr Carr) presided, and His Grace the Coadjutor-Archbishop of Melbourne (the Most Rev Dr Mannix) was also present.

“Advocate” (Melbourne), August 14th, 1915,

Collins, Bernard P, 1910-1987, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/97
  • Person
  • 24 November 1910-12 August 1987

Born: 24 November 1910, Laragh, Swatragh, County Derry
Entered: 02 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 03 February 1953
Died: 12 August 1987, St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambia Province (ZAM)

Part of the Namwala Catholic Church, Narwal, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969

Early education at St Columb’s College Derry

by 1948 at Rome Italy (ROM) - editing “Memorabilia”
by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners

Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Bernard Collins (known to his friends as Barney) was born in the north of Ireland at Laragh, Co Derry. He entered the Society in September 1929. His course of studies was the usual one followed by members of the Irish Province. After the novitiate, a degree at the university in Dublin in humanities and a Higher Diploma in Education, philosophy in Tullabeg, and theology in Milltown Park where he was ordained on 31 July 1943.

At the university he took a classics degree, Latin and Greek, and when he did the Higher Diploma, he got a certificate to enable him to teach through Irish. He went to Rome for a number of years after his tertianship as an assistant secretary to the English Assistant. He added an extra language to his store, namely, Italian.

In 1951 he accompanied the first two scholastics, Bob Kelly and Joe Conway, and Br. Jim Dunne, on their way to the then Northern Rhodesia. The ship's doctor diagnosed heart trouble in Barney so that he spent most of the voyage immobile in the prone position including when going through customs. At the Blue Sisters hospital in Cape Town, he was pronounced healthy and free from any heart ailment. It must have been the sea air that cured him as they were at sea for two weeks!

From 1951 to 1960 he was parish priest in Chikuni. It was here his renowned proficiency in Tonga showed itself. His earlier linguistic studies stood him in good stead as he composed several booklets. In Tonga, he produced 'Lusinizyo', his pamphlet against the Adventists; ‘Zyakucumayila’, 61 Sunday sermons for harried missionaries; a Tonga grammar (now used in schools); a short English/Tonga dictionary; a translation of a pamphlet on the Ugandan Martyrs; and ‘A Kempis' which was written but never published. His knowledge of the villages and people of his time is legendary and he was always willing to give of his time to any willing ear that might wish to know the Chikuni people and their relationships. Towards the end of this period in Chikuni, he founded the first Pioneer Total Abstinence Centre.

From 1960 to 1966, he worked in Chivuna as parish priest and Superior and also taught the language to the scholastics, who delighted in relating stories of far off days when they struggled to master the prehodiernal past.

Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll. He went back to Namwala as superior and parish priest with Fr Piekut as his assistant. The scene changed in 1984 when Fr Frank 0'Neill became superior and Barney was the assistant in the parish. This was his status at the time of his death
It was during lunch at St Ignatius, Lusaka, on Wednesday 12th August that Barney began to show signs of not being well. By five that evening he had gone to his reward. The funeral took place at Chikuni with 29 priests concelebrating. Fr Dominic Nchete, the principal celebrant, paid tribute to the long years that Fr Collins had mingled closely with the Tonga people. Bishop Mpezele in both English and Tonga re-echoed the sentiments of Fr Nchete.

Fr Collins, a very unassuming man, had a deep knowledge of the Tonga people and was truly an incarnation of becoming all things to all people. With his fluency in Tonga, it was a delight to listen to him preach which he did in the grand manner. He had a sympathy and understanding of the mentality and customs of the Tonga that few from overseas have achieved. Here are the concluding remarks of the funeral oration: "We pray that Fr Barney may have eternal rest where we are sure he will be able to sit and speak with so many from Tongaland that he had sent on before him"

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 62nd Year No 4 1987

Obituary

Fr Bernard Patrick Collins (1910-1929-1987) (Zambia)

The following obituary notice has been adapted from the one printed in the newsletter of the Zambian province, Jesuits in Zambia.

Fr Bernard Collins, born on 24th November 1910 in northern Ireland, entered the Society on 2nd September 1929. His course of studies was the usual one followed by members of the Irish province: noviciate (at Tullabeg and Emo, 1929-31), juniorate (at Rathfarnham, 1931-34) with university degree in classics, philosophy in Tullabeg (1934-37), regency in Belvedere (and Higher Diploma in Education: 1937-40), theology in Milltown Park (1940-44, with priestly ordination on 29th July 1943), and tertianship in Rathfarnham (1944-45). After two more years' teaching in Belvedere (1945-47) he was sent to the General Curia in Rome, where he worked as substitute secretary for the English assistancy (1947-51). There he also edited the Latin news-periodical, “Memorabilia Societatis Iesu”, which was a forerunner of the present-day “SJ news and features”.
In 1951 he accompanied the first two scholastics, Bob Kelly and Joe Conway, and Br Jim Dunne on their way to Northern Rhodesia (as Zambia was then called). En route the ship's doctor checked Barney's medical condition and diagnosed heart trouble, so that for most of the voyage and the passage through customs he lay flat and immobile. At the Blue Sisters hospital in Cape Town he was pronounced healthy and free from any heart ailment.
From 1951 to 1960 Barney was parish priest of Chikuni, and it was here that he developed his renowned proficiency in Tonga and wrote his Grammar, also “Lusinizyo”, his pamphlet against the Adventists. His knowledge of the villages and people of the Chikuni area were legendary, and he was always ready to give of his time to any hearer wishing to learn about the Chikuni people and their interrelationships. It was in April 1958, towards the end of his first time in Chikuni, that he founded the first Pioneer Total Abstinence centre.
From 1960 to 1966 he worked in Chivuna parish and was vice-superior of the community. He also taught the language to newly-arrived scholastics, who still entertain us with stories of those happy far-off days when they struggled to master the intricacies of the pre hodiernal past. During this time he was also a mission consultor.
From 1969 to 1974 Barney worked in Namwala parish with Frs Arthur Clarke and Edward O'Connor as his companions in the community. In 1975 for a short time Barney was parish priest at Chilalantambo. In 1976 he returned to Chikuni to be parish assistant to Fr Jim Carroll. During this his second spell in Chikuni, he had for some time Frs Joe McDonald and T O'Meara as collaborators. In 1983 he went to Namwala as superior and parish priest with Fr Antoni Piekut as his assistant. In 1984 the scene changed, with Fr Frank O'Neill becoming superior and Barney becoming parish assistant: this was his status at the time of his death.
It was during lunch at St Ignatius (Lusaka) on Wednesday, 12th August, that Barney began to show signs of illness. By five o'clock that evening he had gone to his reward. His funeral took place on the Friday (14th), with 29 priests concelebrating Mass. Fr Nchete as principal celebrant paid tribute to Fr Collins for mingling so closely with the Tonga people for long years. Bishop Mpezele in both English and Tonga re-echoed Fr Nchete's sentiments.
Fr Collins, a very unassuming man, had a deep knowledge of the Tonga people, and was truly an incarnation of the Pauline ideal of being all things to all people. He had a sympathy and understanding of Tonga mentality and customs that few from overseas have achieved. We pray that Fr Barney may have eternal rest where, we are sure, he will be able to sit and speak with the many from Tongaland that he had sent on before him.

Collins, Desmond, 1920-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/493
  • Person
  • 04 July 1920-02 February 1996

Born: 04 July 1920, Clonskeagh, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1956, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 02 February 1996, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

Youngest brother of John (RIP 1997) and Ted RIP (2003)

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr Desmond (Des) Collins (1920-1996)

4th July 1920: Born in Dublin
7th Sept. 1939: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1941: First Vows
1941 - 1944: Rathfarnham Castle, BA at UCD
1944 - 1947: Tullabeg, Philosophy Limerick,
1947 - 1949: Crescent College, Regency
1949 - 1950: Belvedere College, Regency
1950 - 1954; Milltown Park, Theology
31st July 1953: Ordination at Milltown Park
1954 - 1955: Rathfarnham Castle, Tertianship
1955 - 1959; Clongowes Wood College, Teacher and Study Prefect
2nd Feb. 1956: Final Vows
1959 - 1973: Belvedere College, Teacher
1973 - 1976: Rathfarnham Castle, Minister
1976 - 1996; St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street
1976 - 1980: Assistant Prefect of the Church
1980 - 1981: Minister, Church Ministry
1981 - 1990: Chaplain to St Monica's, Director Jesuit Seminary Association (TSA), Church Ministry
1990 - 1994: Assistant Chaplain to St. Vincent's Private Hospital, Director JSA, Church Ministry
1994 - 96: Director JSA, Church Ministry, Assistant to Cherryfield Lodge.
Fr. Collins continued his Chaplaincy work at St. Vincent's Private Hospital until very recently, although in failing health. At the end of January, he got a severe pain and was operated on the same day for a ruptured aneurism. He suffered a heart attack during the operation, followed by renal failure. He never came off the life-support.
2nd Feb. 1996: Died at the Mater Hospital.

“I believe in the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting”.

This belief in the communion of saints is the reason for us all being here today for the funeral Mass of Fr. Des Collins who died last Friday. We are here either because we are his relatives or his companions as Jesuits or parishoners and friends who experienced his love and affection. The communion of saints is a bond which is not broken even by death.

In this funeral Mass we come together to ask God to have mercy on Des and to forgive him any sins which he may have committed in this life and to beg God to admit Des into the company of His saints in heaven.

Our Mass is also our Eucharist. We come together to thank the Lord for all the gifts he has given to this companion of Jesus and for all the good done by the Lord through Des during his life on this earth.

Des gave himself to the Society of Jesus when he was 19. After 14 years in formation, he was ordained a priest of the Society in 1953 and lived the priestly life to the full for 43 years - until he died last Friday, on the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple. Des could say as Simeon said so long ago: “At last, all powerful Master, you give leave to your servant to go in peace, according to your promise”.

I have lived as a priest in Hong Kong for the past 46 years and so many of you had more contact with Des over the years here in Ireland. For the first 18 years of his priestly life he was teaching, first in Clongowes and then for about 14 years in Belvedere. For this period of his life I had little contact with him, as we did not come home so often from the missions. What I remember about him at that time was that he was a dedicated tennis coach in Belvedere, as well as being a dedicated teacher. But for the rest of his priestly life he was involved in more direct pastoral work and for over twenty years lived in this community of St. Francis Xavier's Gardiner Street, assisting in the Church but involved in many other pastoral activities as well.

To find out what people thought of Des, I asked several persons here with whom he lived or who knew him well. Many said he was a quiet, unassuming person. A person of great faith, he had a great love of persons. He had a good whimsical sense of humour. He was a very dedicated person both to his work and to his friends, many of whom were poor or sick. One colleague said to me at breakfast this morning “I wonder what will he say to Martin Luther when he sees him in heaven”, I myself thought afterwards, “And what will Paul the 6th say to him when Des meets him in heaven?” I met Des on the stairs one night at about 12.30, just after he had let a man out of the house. When I asked Des how come, he told me that this person had AIDS and that he was trying to find a place for him to live. Des had his limitations, as all of us have. But he was a kind, dedicated person who stood up for two fundamental values which he considered paramount: in the wider society he was pro-life and in his life in the Society he was pro-Pope. He concentrated so much on these two issues that I myself for a long time thought he over-emphasised them: the dignity of the human person, big or small and loyalty to the Pope as the mark of a Jesuit. But now he knows the truth and I wonder if he will feel vindicated. These two human and Christian values have many ramifications which we are now only beginning to realize.

Christ was a man for others and Des was a follower of his in this respect. When I was asked to say something about Des, a saying from Vatican II came to mind: “God has willed to make persons holy and save them, not as individuals but as members of a people” or of a family. I said that Des was involved in many other pastoral activities besides St. Francis Xavier's Church. For over twenty years he lived here and served in different capacities and was well loved by people in the parish. He was interested in the history of Gardiner Street Church and on the occasion of its 150th anniversary wrote a pamphlet on its history. What, then, were these other pastoral activities? I will mention only two here because I feel those were ones in which he had a special involvement. The first was being assistant chaplain to St. Vincent's Private Hospital. He was chaplain there for only five years but was sad and a bit indignant when his religious Superiors withdrew him for reasons of health. “I consulted several doctors”, he said to me, “and they told me my heart was alright”. But events showed that his superiors were right. The people in St. Vincents, whether patients or staff, had a deep affection for him.

The second pastoral activity was his summer holiday in California. Every year for more than twenty years he took a month or six weeks holiday in Susanville, north California, taking the place of the Irish pastor there who took his holidays in Ireland. Des would protest when we asked him: When are you going on holidays this year? I'm not going on holidays, he would say, I'm going to work in a parish. The parishioners there loved him and I found many letters to him in his room. Des could never take a holiday just for the sake of a holiday. When in Susanville he liked to golf on his free day. But this was an occasion for a group of Irish pastors in the diocese of Sacramento to meet him on the golf course, some travelling quite a distance. I believe he was to many of them an “anam chara” to whom they could bring their troubles, even on the golf course. They will miss him. So too his relatives, many of whom are here today.

One last remark. Since coming back, I have been living in Des's room and only here have I realized how much he himself has suffered from ill-health. I think it was a secret he kept to himself for he never complained until the pain was acute and he had to go to hospital. I chose the reading from St. Matthew's gospel today because I thought it appropriate to Des. Des had a love for persons, especially the sick and the marginalized. It was an Ignatian type of love, shown more by deeds than by words, for Des was not a demonstrative type of person. I can hear Christ saying to him: “Come you blessed of my Father and enter the kingdom, prepared for you since the coming of the world. As often as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me!” May we too hear these words from Christ's lips when we too come to the end of our journey in this life!

Ted Collins SJ, Tuesday, 6th Feb 1996 Feast of SS Paul Miki and Companions.

◆ The Clongownian, 1996

Obituary

Father Desmond Collins SJ

Those who were in Clongowes in the late 1950's may remember Fr Des Collins, who was teacher and study prefect here from 1955-59. A Dubliner, he spent the bulk of his working life as a Jesuit in the centre of the city - seventeen years in Belvedere College and the last twenty years of his life in Gardiner St. He died on the 40th anniversary of his Final Vows, 2 February 1996, aged 75. May he rest in peace.

Collins, Edward, 1915-2003, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/647
  • Person
  • 09 August 1915-27 February 2003

Born: 09 August 1915, Clonskeagh, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 27 February 2003, Canossa Hospital Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

part of the Ricci Hall, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CHN : 1992

Middle brother of John (RIP 1997) and Des RIP (1996)

by 1939 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
After a short illness, Father Edward Collins, SJ, went peacefully to the Lord in Canossa Hospital (Caritas) on Thursday evening, 27 February 2003.

He was born into a very devout Catholic family in Dublin, Ireland, on 9 August 1915. At the age of 18 he followed his elder brother, John, into the Society of Jesus; another brother, Desmond later followed their example.

After first vows, he studied for a B.Sc. in maths and physics and complete his philosophical studies, then taught for three years before beginning a four-year course in theology. He was ordained a priest on 30 July 1947.

In 1949, he was sent to Hong Kong where he joined his elder brother John. After two years studying Cantonese, he was assigned to teach moral theology in the Regional Seminary, where he remained until 1964. Father Collins took two years during that time to obtain a doctorate in Rome.

In 1964, the Regional Seminary closed its doors and the building was handed over to the diocese of Hong Kong. Father Collins then devoted much of his time to setting up the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council (CMAC), which was finally gazetted in 1967. At the same time he acted as defender of the marriage bond in the Diocesan Tribunal and became embroiled in the controversy about the legalisation of abortion in Hong Kong.

By 1971, he was back in the chair of moral theology, first in Dalat, Vietnam (1971-1973) and then in the Holy Spirit Seminary in Aberdeen, Hong Kong (1973-1981). He did not confine himself to forming the consciences of seminarians in the classroom. He also made himself available to give retreats and spiritual direction. His friendly manner ensured that he was much sought after as a confessor.

For years he was the spiritual guide of the Catholic doctors’ guild and the Catholic nurses guild. He spent the years from 1986 to 1992 as the master of novices and then as a full-time director of retreats in Xavier Retreat House, Cheung Chau.

Apart from teaching and spirituality, Father Collins took a keen interest in helping the marginalised in Hong Kong. He followed the example of his brother John, who had set up credit unions and fought for the rights of the disabled. The two brothers made a great contribution to giving Hong Kong a human face. Father Collins requested that a photo of his brother be put in his coffin with him.

◆ 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 born into an ardent Catholic family in Dublin. He followed his older brother John into the Society, and a younger brother Des joined later.

After his Novitiate he studies at UCD, graduating with a BSc in Mathematics and Physics. He then studied Philosophy, and Theology.

He came to Hong Kong where he studied Cantonese and later taught Moral Theology at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen until 1964. He then went to Rome to study for a Doctorate.
When he returned to Hong Kong he was devoted to setting up the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council (HKCMAC) and helping the marginalised in Hong Kong. In this he was following in the footsteps of his older brother John who had set up credit unions, and fought for the rights of the disabled.

According to Freddie Deignan, Ted founded CMAC and was a Member of the Hong Kong Social Service.
In 1969 he took care of the lepers in Hong Kong and wrote many articles on moral questions.

He was a great defender of the marriage bond, and he also served as Spiritual Advisor to the Catholic Doctor’s and Nurses Guilds.

Note from Herbert Dargan Entry
He freed Fr John Collins for full-time social work, set up “Concilium” with Frs Ted Collins, John Foley and Walter Hogan. he also set up CMAC in 1963. He sent Fr John F Jones for special training in Marriage Life. He also sent Fr John Russell to Rome for training in Canon Law. he was involved with rehabilitation of discharged prisoners and he visited prisons.

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
Ted Collins was with him in Limerick

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary

Fr Edward (Ted) Collins (1915-2003) : China Province

Born, Dublin 9 Aug 1915.
Entered Emo, 7th September 1933.
Ordained in Milltown, 20th July 1947.
Joined the Hong Kong Mission, 1950,
Died in Hong Kong, 27th Feb 2003

Harry Naylor writes:

A month previously, Ted had been at a meeting of Spiritual Directors, dressed neatly and colourfully as usual, but with the obvious forgetfulness for which he was well known. A week earlier, he had been hearing confessions at the Catholic Centre as he had done for many years. The Monday before he died, he was at the priests' Day of Recollection.

The day before his operation, Fr Bemard Tohill SDB went to ask his advice and heard him say that he was second oldest Jesuit in Hongkong, after Joe Mallin.

Ted was taken to the Canossa Hospital on Wednesday 26th February for an operation because of a blockage in his intestines but, because of his heart condition, he declined to undergo it. He died at 9 pm in the hospital with Freddie Deignan (Delegate for Hongkong), Robert Ng, Seán Coghlan and Eaodain Hui (a longtime CLC member who had kept vigil by his bedside).

It was a mild dry evening on Monday 3rd March, when the Vigil Liturgy began at 8pm in a small room which could only seat fifty at the North Point Funeral Parlour. Fr Paul Chan conducted the service and spoke of Fr Ted as a real friend to many and a soulfriend to many more. The large crowd present was a clear indication of this. There were up to two hundred people in the corridor, bathed in the Buddhist sutra chants and sounds of cymbals and drums coming from an adjacent room. It was only with the singing of a hymn and later, when Paul Chan led the Glorious Mysteries, that all could participate in a loud voice.

The chief mourners were Freddie Deignan, Sean Coghlan and Sean Ó Cearbhalláin, with about a dozen other Jesuits, including Jimmy Hurley, Ciaran Kane, William Lo, Tom McIntyre, Joe Mallin, Harold Naylor, John Russell, Joe Shields, Simon Wong, There were also six other priests and a Protestant pastor friend, Hans Lutz. Among the Sisters were 6 Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception (MIC), 5 Little Sisters of the Poor, 3 Little Sisters of Jesus, 4 Columban Sisters. There were also lay people from the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council, Caritas HK, from the chapels of our two Jesuit schools and our retreat house. Fr Ted had worked with all these congregations and had spent his final years with the Little Sisters of the Poor, first as chaplain and later as a resident of their home.

On the day of the funeral there was a light drizzle and strong gusts of wind. The funeral Mass was held at the spacious Christ the King Chapel at St Paul's Hospital (Sisters of St Paul de Chartres) in Causeway Bay. The chapel was packed. It was a diocesan and not just a Jesuit funeral. The chief celebrant was Bishop Joseph Zen of Hongkong. Concelebrating in the sanctuary were Auxiliary Bishop John Tong with Msgr Eugene Nuget, Freddie Deignan, Ciaran Kane, Thomas Leung, Anthony Tam and Robert Ng and, in the body of the church, a large number of priests including Jesuits, diocesan priests from the cathedral, the seminary and parishes (17), Dominicans (3), Maryknoll (5), PIME (7) and Salesians (6) - about 60 altogether.

Also in the body of the church were some 300 mourners including representatives from the religious congregations (Little Sisters of the Poor, Canossians, Good Shepherd Sisters, St. Paul de Chartres, Irish Columbans and others). The laity were represented by the Catholic Women's League, the Focolare Movement, prayer groups as well as many elderly people whom Fr Ted had served. The liturgy was entirely in Cantonese.

Fr.Robert Ng spoke in Cantonese of Ted's seventy years as a Jesuit, 50 of which had been spent in were in Hong Kong and 30 teaching moral theology in seminaries. Robert spoke of Ted as being all things to all: poor and rich, Chinese and foreign, sick and healthy. He was a counsellor and an apostolic priest. Often on pilgrimages, he was recently in Shanghai and asked where he would like to make his next pilgrimage, to which he replied, “Eternal Life”.

Freddie Deignan spoke of him as one who loved his own family members, two of whom are still alive in Ireland, along with many nephews and nieces. With a group of dedicated Catholic doctors and nurses, Ted had set up the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council much to the delight of Bishop Bianchi of Hongkong. He made a significant contribution to the Church in Hong Kong and its society for more than fifty years. His life was one of hope in Eternal Life. There was a time to mourn as we do now, but also a time to die.

Ted was laid to rest in the Catholic cemetery in Happy Valley together with those Jesuits who had gone before him.

Arriving in Hongkong in 1950, Ted taught at the South China Regional Seminary and then went to Rome in 1959 for a doctorate in moral theology. On his return Bishop Bianchi asked him to help Catholics after the controversial encyclical Humane Vitae of 1968. Ted remained a loyal member of the CMAC till his death. He was most esteemed as a spiritual counsellor and had dedicated his life to spiritual direction.

After the Regional Seminary became the Hong Kong diocesan seminary, Ted continued to teach there while also being involved in other ministries, such as giving retreats. He also spent two years teaching moral theology at the major seminary in Dalat, South Vietnam. On his return to Hong Kong he became very interested in the plight of the Vietnamese “boat people”, thousands of whom had fled to Hongkong in the 1970s and after.

In later years, he spent a number of years at Xavier Retreat House on Cheung Chau Island but had to leave it in 1992 as a heart condition made the steep climb to the house difficult for him. He then became chaplain to St. Mary's Home for the Aged in Aberdeen, on the south side of Hong Kong Island, until 2000, when he himself became a resident, while still attached to the Ricci Hall community.

Ted was always deeply interested in the evangelisation of China and made spiritual direction his priority. He was also, for many years, a member of the Jesuit Faith and Justice Group and, like his older brother John, very committed to social justice.

Comerford, Richard, 1911-1970, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1077
  • Person
  • 07 January 1911-14 September 1970

Born: 07 January 1911, Chiltern, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 02 March 1927, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 15 August 1946
Died: 14 September 1970, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, 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 St Patrick’s College Melbourne before Entering at Loyola Greenwich.

1929-1932 After First Vows he was sent to Rathfarnham Castle Dublin for his Juniorate at University College Dublin. During his time there he had an accident, which though it did no lasting damage gave him quite a shock, and so he returned to Australia.
1932-1936 On return he was sent teaching to St Aloysius College Milsons Point where he also assisted the Prefect of Discipline.
1937-1939 He was sent for Philosophy to Canisius College Pymble and Loyola Watsonia
1939-1940 He returned to St Aloysius College for a year
1941-1944 He was sent for Theology to Canisius College. His Ordination group in 1944 was the first to be ordained in Sydney.
1944-1945 He made Tertianship at Loyola Watsonia
1946-1961 He returned to teaching in the Junior school at St Aloysius, also teaching Science in the Middle school. His greatest work was the annual production of a Gilbert and Sullivan opera in cooperation with Mr William Caspers. These operas were one of the great highlights of the College each year, and were most professionally produced. They were his crowning glory.
1961-1967 he was one of the casualties of the Visitor’s changes within the Province in 1961 and he was sent to St Ignatius College Norwood, where he taught Religion, English, Physics, Chemistry and elementary Science for some years, but ill health finally reduced him to working in the tuck shop.
1967 The Rector of St Aloysius, Vincent Conlon finally succeeded in gaining his return to the College, and when he did he taught Religion, Geography and elementary Science. It had been hoped that he might resume involvement in the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, but his health di not allow that. In 1968 he looked after the bookshop.

He was one of natures real gentlemen, a man of great courtesy who respected the dignity of each individual. He was also a most genuinely humble and self-effacing person. He was easily upset by student immaturity, but was much appreciated by those whom he taught and those who worked with him in opera productions. He had great creative talent, was a good teacher of English, spoke polished English and had a fine singing voice.

His practice of personal poverty was obvious to all, and he was most faithful to his ministerial duties as priest. He finally died of a stroke and heart complications. His funeral from the College Chapel was most moving. Four former Rectors were present as well as Archbishop O’Brien, his mother and three sisters, and many former parents. The Mass was sung by the students of the College, who also formed a guard of honour outside at the end of the ceremony.

All those who knew him held him in high esteem.

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

Obituary

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,

1910

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.

Eoghan

-oOo-

Obituary

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, Vincent, 1909-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/101
  • Person
  • 24 May 1909-11 May 1985

Born: 24 May 1909, County Meath
Entered: 10 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Sydney, Australia
Final vows: 15 August 1948
Died: 11 May 1985, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, 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 :
One of eight children, his early education was at the Salesian Agricultural College (Warrenstown), Drumree, County Meath, as it was thought that he would follow his father into farming. However, he changed to the De La Salle School, Navan, County Meath for the last two years of his education, and from there entered the Diocesan Seminary (St Finian’s) in Westmeath, and two years later Entered the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1931-1934 He went to Rathfarnham Castle and studied for three years at University College Dublin, but without taking a degree.
1934-1936 He returned to St Stanislaus College for Philosophy
1936-1937 He spent six months at Mungret College Limerick for Regency
1937-1940 He was sent to Australia and St Aloysius College, Milsons Point
1940-1943 He went to Canisius College Pymbe for Theology
1943-1944 He went to Ireland and Rathfarnham Castle to make Tertianship
1944-1968 and 1973-1985 He spent 36 years at St Aloysius College
1968-1973 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview teaching.

In the thirty six years he spent at St Aloysius, generations of Old Aloysians, especially those involved with sport, appreciated the interest he showed in them, the Sports Master of the 1950s, who constantly encouraged the boys to fair-play and sportsmanship, despite regular lack of success. His own patience and persevering optimism were an inspiration. He also taught Latin to young boys.
He was a fair man and boys knew where they stood with him. He was admired for his hard work preparing all the sporting fixtures and equipment, driving to and from Willoughby for cricket and football practices, and calling out the names for a decade of the rosary in the Chapel, setting up table-tennis tables at lunchtime, attending sportsmasters’ meetings, controlling tuckshop queues, rolling the College Oval cricket with the aid of the College horse when the groundsman was unwell, and as an editor of the “Aloysian” for many years.
In 1962 he became a reluctant Rector of St Aloysius, and performed his duties with the utmost dedication. He was praised for his occasional addressed, and for the way he successfully supervised the redevelopment of the College. He also taught Senior Religion. In later years he administered the Sacraments, looked after the maintenance of the buildings, coached boys, worked on the archives, managed the boys transport passes, collected the daily school mail, visited the sick and tended the garden.

He was a quiet, private, even shy man, but eminently reliable and thorough. His death marked the passing of an era for the College, as he was so well known and knew so many people. His compilation of lists of all students from 1879 to 1979 was a most valued record.

He was an indefatigable worker and especially good at carpentry. His colleagues remember his selflessness, his balanced self-control, his Irish humour, his faith and confidence i God, his complete loyalty to the Society and his prayerfulness.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Fr. Peyton left for Australia on the “Mauretania” on 31st October in company with Fr. Conway, a member of the Viceprovince. Fr. Kevin Carroll, also a member of the Viceprovince, left Shannon Airport on 3rd November for New York, bound for San Francisco and Sydney. Mr. Monahan left Southampton on the “Queen Mary” on 20th November for New York; he took boat at San Francisco on 12th December for Sydney which he reached on 4th January. He will be doing his first year's philosophy at Loyola, Watsonia in the coming year.

Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985

Obituary

Fr Vincent Conway (1909-1929-1985) (Australia)

Born on 24th May 1909. 10th September 1929: entered SJ. 1929-31 Tullabeg, Emo, noviciate. 1931-34 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1934-37 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1937-46
Australia. 1946-47 Rathfarnham, tertianship. 1947-85 Australia. Died on 11th May 1985.

Fr Vincent Murphy, Mission Procurator, and Fr Senan Timoney, Executive Socius, organised a requiem for Vin Conway in the domestic chapel in Gardiner street. Vin’s last surviving sister
was present, also nieces and nephews with their families: 35 relatives in all. Nine Jesuits concelebrated the Mass: Frs Seán Hughes (of Vin’s year), Séamus Mac Amhlaoibh, Frank Hennelly, Matty Meade, Martin Brennan, Jim Moloney; Senan Timoney, Vincent that Murphy and John O'Keeffe (Superior, SFX). Brs Keogh and Colgan were present. Afterwards we met the relatives and friends over a cup of coffee.
Vin was that little bit older than most of us when he entered Tullabeg in 1929. He had spent some years in an agricultural college before he opted for the Society. He was quiet, retiring and shy, but not bashful. He would never push himself to the front, would stay with the foot-sloggers, and was happy to be one of the crowd. Only with company, where he felt fully at home, would Vin relax and reveal his sound judgments on all sorts of subjects and his lovely contagious sense of humour, He had a wonderful laugh full of sniggers, snorts and incipient convulsions, so that it was well worth one's while to keep a good story for him.
Vin had a good head, but not the kind that would make a professor of literature or philosophy. His was more the head of a practical man and an administrator. His shyness was an asset, because when circumstances forced him to take responsibility he won respect and affection. He won respect because he was not a self-seeker, and affection because of his genuine loyalty and social graces. Australia brought him to the fore. Why Australia?..
Vin was one of ten Irish Juniors who discovered by accident that they were not members of the Irish province: I remember well the day a group of us came from the ball-alley, to be met by Michael McGrath. Michael always had the gift of finding news in the small print. He had browsed through the catalogue, and under the heading Ex aliis provinciis in hac degentes he found listed ten of our community of Juniors. Jokingly he congratulated the visiting Irish members of the Australian vice- province. It was considered a good joke and an obvious slip made by the editor of the catalogue. But no, it was not a slip. It would seem that for years Australia had been financing these and other) Juniors, but by an oversight - and what an oversight! – they had never been told that they were to belong to Australia.
Be that as it may, Vin was one of those transferred, and his was certainly a case of digitus Dei. Had Vin remained in Ireland, I doubt if his talents would have been uncovered. Anyway, he had a lovely way with people, and got on well with the Australians.
The boatman of Glendaloch used to tell of the daring of young Australian Juniors who dived into the upper lake from St Kevin's Bed. What they did not know, apparently, was that three other Juniors, not to be outdone, dived from a ledge some fifteen feet above St Kevin's Bed. Vin Conway was one of those three.
Vin's early years of study in the Society were hard. While in Rathfarnham he had a bout of sleeplessness, one which came to a climax in November 1933 when Fr Michael Browne was dying. At the time, Fr Browne was occupying the room later given to the Tertian Instructor. Vin was quartered in the little room (nearly all window) next door. His dying neighbour moaned and groaned for several nights and unnerved the sleepless Vin.
He carried his tensed nerves to Tullabeg, where he studied philosophy. There he was fortunate to have as Minister (1935-'7) Fr Jim Scally, who had a kind and understanding heart. He told Vin to forget classes, repetitions and circles, and sent him to the carpenter's shop to make shelves for the philosophers' library – big high shelves, standing ceiling-high. They are still to the good.
Outside the big window of Tullabeg community refectory there is a big long seat. It is in a sheltered nook outside what used to be called the philosophers' door. The angle-space is a sun-trap in the morning and was a gathering-place for philosophers at all times. It was in 1937 that Vin got the idea of putting that seat there. It was like Vin himself, sturdy and strong, without pretensions, and genuinely serviceable and useful.
Vin however really served his time in the building trade when he was given charge of the boats. There was a boat house on the canal and six clinker-type boats, the novices' bequest to the philosophers. Thursday after Thursday (villa-day) from October 10 April, Vin spent his day not just repairing but rebuilding boats. He went to Norton, the boatbuilder in Athlone, who generously shared all his professional skills with him. Some boats he stripped almost to the gunwale and rebuilt.
Vin studied theology in Australia, where he was ordained to the priesthood, After the war, however, it was in Rathfarnham that he did his tertianship. He had a special interest in preaching, and was keen to hear Fr Patrick O Mara, whose fame as a conductor of the First Friday Holy hour had travelled as far as Australia. After a very few minutes in the church he left. “Oh, I couldn't stick that! When he started with “Up there amongst the candles and the flowers” I felt I'd had enough.” He was honestly unimpressed with Fr O’Mara's style.
Fr Garahy's toast to the priests of Killaloe could very aptly be applied to Vin:
They have no time for honeyed words or sentimental gush;
they do not lightly make a foe, or into friendships rush,
Would you be numbered 'mongst their friends? Be straight, as steel be true.
They ask no more, they take no less, the priests of Killaloe.
On the day following the news of his death, Vin's sister received a letter from him, saying that he was in the best of form. He died peacefully in his sleep. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal agus go méadaí Dia a ghlóir.

The Australian province's Fortnightly Report had this to say (no. 377, 1st June 1985):
“The sudden and most unexpected death of Fr Vin Conway was a great shock to us all and a profound loss to the College St Aloysius', Milson's Point, Sydney]. Virtually all his priestly life was spent here, where he laboured with prodigious industry and constantly, in humble obscurity, never seeking recognition. With Fr John Casey, he was co-founder of the redeveloped college. Against seemingly insuperable odds he forged ahead in most difficult times, sustained and fortified by his deep faith. I cannot begin to describe how deeply the College is indebted to him. The large congregation at his funeral was ample witness to his wide esteem among the Old Boys whom he helped so much.”

Obituary

Fr Vincent Conway (1909-1929-1985) (Australia) : continued
(† 11th May 1985)

Giovanni Papini, in one of his several books of appreciation of the lives of great men, included an essay on 'Nobody' who, quite rightly, proved to be the most outstanding subject of all. He was the great unknown who invented the wheel, built the pyramids, designed and built the great mediaeval cathedrals of Europe: great achievers, like the “Unknown Solider”, “known only to God”. Every society has had them and the Least Society no less than any other,
Vincent Conway's achievements are not entirely unknown, and he was certainly one of those Jesuits of whom we may say his life was more subdued and hidden and its splendid achievement less advertised on earth, but certainly known to God as that of a “good and faithful servant”.
It has been said that Vin was born a simple farmer's son: he lived a simple farmer's son, and he died a simple farmer's son. That may be true enough so long as we recognise that the “simple Irish farmer” is mostly a man endowed with a very high degree of shrewdness. He was born one of eight children in County Meath between Navan and Kells, and he died just two weeks short of his 76th birthday.
As he began his secondary studies in the Salesian Agricultural College in his native county it may be assumed that it was first thought that he would follow in his father's footsteps as a farmer. The change for his last two years to the De La Salle School in Meath might suggest that a priestly vocation was looming on his horizon. This is confirmed by the fact that from there he entered the Diocesan Seminary in Westmeath.
After two years in the seminary he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1929. He studied for three years at the National University of Ireland, but without taking out a degree. He returned to Tullabeg for four years philosophy and after six months regency at Mungret he was assigned to the Australian Vice-Province. He taught for four years at St Aloysius College, Milson's Point. Except for his four years theology at Pymble and Tertianship in Ireland, and five years teaching at Riverview, St Aloysius College was to be his home for nearly forty years.
It was there that he died on the night of May 11th. He was found in the morning slumped on the floor as if having fallen from his chair. The large attendance of Old Boys at his requiem was a tribute to their respect, admiration and affection for one who had served them so faithfully while they were students, and no less as members of the Old Aloysians. In Ireland, too, he was remembered at a requiem Mass at Gardiner street, at which a good number of his contemporaries concelebrated with other priests and at which there were thirty-five of his relatives.
Vin was a great man and indefatigable worker. His years at the Salesian Agricultural College had given him some training in carpentry, which he put to good use during his theology at Canisius College as “College Carpenter”. When, after the first “boom” year of ordinations, there were twenty-six priests in the house, and before the days of concelebration, many altars were required for daily masses, all more or less at the same time in the morning. Vin made the missal stands and all sorts of altar furnishings in wood. The designs were County Meath but everything was like himself, plain, strong and serviceable. He was never a man for frills, any more than he was a man to cut corners on the essentials.
When the College had been built, a short time before, the builders had provided mirrors above the wash basins in each room, but no shaving cabinets. It was Vin who undertook to make a cabinet to fit each mirror and he trained a few other scholastics to help in this work. There were over forty to be made and some modest celebration marked the completion of this very welcome service.
These were only some of his tasks. He was always ready to lend a hand at any job with perseverance and a ready smile, whether it was hard digging in the garden or field, or to learn an instrument to play in the orchestra. He would give a groan, more of modesty that he should be asked than of complaint, and take up the task with a will, Like all the men who came to us from Ireland, he was a dedicated apostle.
As Fr Cecil Smith points out, much of the the burden of carrying out John Casey's plan for the completion of St Aloysius College fell on Vin's shoulders. Cecil was closely associated with him in these years of his rectorship of the College, 1961-67. It is his tribute that follows:

Vin Conway's name was seldom seen in the Fortnightly Report. He was the original "quiet achiever". Because he avoided the limelight and his voice never rose above a conversational level and was more often below it, few knew him outside his much loved St Aloysius College.
Apart from a brief spell as Headmaster Riverview Junior School, most of his working life was spent at SAC. As Sportsmaster he delighted in coaching Rugby, especially the skills and schemes of the forward pack. Later, when he was appointed Rector to succeed Jack Casey, surprised and bewildered that Provincials could be so lacking in judgment. Coming into dinner that night he gave a very good impression of a stunned mullet. He knew what had been dumped in his lap: a programme to rebuild St Aloysius, initiated by Jack Casey, but far from activated.
An expensive excavation had been cut by Civil & Civic and there was no money available to pay for it. Jack, despite application to numerous financial institutions, had been unable to raise a loan. Provincial consultors were asking basic questions like, 'How do you expect to build a school costing millions when you have no money?', and such like.
Because he was convinced it was 'God's work', Vin bounded over all the fences using his almost ruthless determination and his skill at making people see his way, as his springs.
He had a remarkable memory for the names and faces of people he had met . Old Boys - hundreds of them - he greeted by name and could reel off the dates they were at school, and all gory details, No wonder they all loved him! He had a reputation for being tight-fisted with tight-fisted with money and with good reason - he was! He had to be in those early days at SAC where the pound had to be stretched; and stretch it he did. He just could not comprehend the affluence of today as anything but sinful.
Vin was a remarkable man, much underestimated by many. His selfless ness, his balanced self-control, his Irish humour, his faith and confidence in God, his complete loyalty to the Society,
his prayerfulness – so many qualities to make the man Peter Steele described as a good servant and a good Jesuit'.
May he enjoy his new job of oiling and painting the gates of heaven of
Cecil Smith, SJ

According to Irish province catalogues, Fr Conway's philosophy course lasted he was the usual three years, not four, Thanks to Jesuit life for mentioning his six month regency in Mungret, which because of its shortness escaped notice our 1938 catalogue. in More importantly, though: his assignment to Australia took place, not after that regency (c. Christmas 1937), but during (or before) the first year of his juniorate (c. 1931). The story of the accidental discovery by ten Irish juniors, including Vincent, of their assignment to Australia was recounted in IPN, July 1985, p. 181.

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

Obituary

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.

Corbally, Matthew C, 1911-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/486
  • Person
  • 08 November 1911-25 January 1989

Born: 08 November 1911, London, England
Entered: 14 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 19 May 1945, Zi-Ka-Wei, Shanghai, China
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 25 January 1989, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December by 1940 in Hong Kong - Regency

by 1943 at Bellarmine, Zi-ka-Wei, near Shanghai, China (FRA) studying1966

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Corbally S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Matthew Corbally, SJ, of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, died suddenly on Wednesday, 25 January 1989, aged 77. He was in full vigour until late in the proceeding week. Then for a few days he complained of loss of all energy. In the morning of 25 January, he collapsed suddenly and never recovered full consciousness.

The news of his death came as a severe shock to the many people who had met him recently, full of life and energy. Some who had known him less well asked it he was the very tall man who smiled so readily. The answer was Yes. Father Corbally was a very tall man - six feet four - but his friendly smile was even more characteristic than his great height.

Though an Irishman, he was born in London, on 8 November 1911. After schooling in Clongowes, Ireland, and Stonyhurst, England, he joined the Society of Jesus in 1931. From the beginning of his Jesuit life he was outstanding as a man of deep charity: he enjoyed being kind. This characteristic he retrained to the end.

He came to Hong Kong as a scholastic in 1939 and, after two years spent studying Cantonese, he joined the staff of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. Very soon, war interrupted education. Like his fellow Jesuits he took a vigorous part in the work of civil aid during the siege of Hong Kong, working tirelessly and fearlessly. At least one Hong Kong it owed his survival to prompt help from Father (then Mr.) Corbally.

He did his theological studies in Shanghai and was ordained priest there in 1945. In 1946 he went to Ireland for the completion of his Jesuit training and for a last meeting with his dearly loved mother.

He returned to Hong Kong in 1947 and spent the rest of his life in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong (1947-63 and 1966-89) and Wah Yan College, Kowloon (1963-66), as teacher and usually also sports master. From 1969 to 1974 he was Rector of the Jesuit community of Wah Yan, Hong Kong. For most of the other years he held the post of Minister (housekeeper), a post giving full scope to his unfailing charity. In particular it fell to his lot to welcome visitors. They were made very welcome indeed. He threw himself into the work of the school with enthusiasm, retaining his interest in the students and their sports to the end of his life.

Cardinal John B. Wu led the concelebration of the Mass of the Resurrection in St. Margaret’s Church on Monday, 30 January. Father Corbally was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 3 February 1989

Note from Timothy Doody Entry
In the noviceship he had as a contemporary Father Matthew Corbally, who was to die, also as member of the Wah Yan community, on 25 January this year. Father Doody and Corbally lived in the same houses through most of their 57 years as Jesuits, and only five weeks separated their deaths.

Note from John B Wood Entry
Father Wood began his theological studies in 1942 in Zikawei, Shanghai. He was ordained on 19 May 1945 with Fathers Timothy Doody, Matthew Corbally and Joseph McAsey, all of when spent most of their working lives in Hong Kong.

◆ 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 eldest son of an Irish Catholic family and received his education at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire England, and Clongowes Wood College in Ireland.

He joined the Society of Jesus in 1931 and then went to UCD where he studied French, Latin and Greek. After this he went to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg for three years of Philosophy.
By 1939 he was sent to Hong Kong for Regency and studied Cantonese under Fr Charles Daly (who authored a Dictionary of Cantonese Chinese).
Because of the war he was sent to Shanghai for Theology along with Tim Doody, Joe McAsey and John Wood.
Then he returned to work at Wah Yan College Hong Kong and Kowloon.
His keen interest was in sports and he was Sports Master at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.

Note from Tim Doody Entry
1941-1946 Due to WWII he was sent to Zikawai, Shanghai for Theology with Mattie Corbally, Joe McAsey and John Wood until 1946, and in 1945 they were Ordained by Bishop Cote SJ, a Canadian born Bishop of Suchow.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Milltown Park :
Fr. P. Joy, Superior of the Hong Kong Mission, gave us a very inspiring lecture entitled: "The Building of a Mission,” in which he treated of the growth, progress and future prospects of our efforts in South China.
In connection with the Mission we were very glad to welcome home Frs. McAsey, Wood and Corbally, who stayed here for some time before going to tertianship.

◆ The Clongownian, 1989

Obituary

Father Matthew Charles Corbally SJ

Matthew Charles Corbally was born in London, England, of Irish parents on 8th November, 1911. He was baptised at the Brompton Oratory, London, on November 13 of the same year. He did one year of primary schooling in Cabra, Dublin, and three years in Wicklow,

For his secondary education he spent two years in Clongowes Wood College, Co Kil dare, and five years at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire, England.

On 14th September, 1931, he entered the Society and studied at University College Dublin (NUI) from 1933 to 1936, securing a BA in Latin, Greek and French. He then went to St Stanislaus College in Tullamore, Offaly, for his philosophy,

He arrived in Hong Kong on 2nd October, 1939, and for the first years studied Cantonese at Tai Lam Chung in the New Terri tories. From September to December 1941 he was Sub-prefect of Studies and Discipline at Wah Yah College, Hong Kong.

When the Pacific war broke out on 7th December, 1941, he took part with his fellow Jesuits in relief and refugee work, often under very dangerous conditions. In August 1942, he went to Shanghai (together with Tim Doody, Joe McAsey and John Wood) to study theology. It was there he was ordained priest on Pentecost Sunday 1945.

After tertianship in Ireland from 1946 to 1947, he returned to Hong Kong as minister and teacher at Wah Yah College in Robinson Road. In 1948, he became chaplain to the British Navy. He was minister in Wah Yah College, Hong Kong from 1947 to 1950 and in Wah Yan College Kowloon from 1963 to 1966.

He was Rector of Wah Yan Hong Kong from 1968 to 1974. At the time of his death, he had been a capable and popular minister in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong for several years.

May he rest in peace.

Corboy, James, 1916-2004, Jesuit priest and Roman Catholic Bishop of Monze

  • IE IJA J/590
  • Person
  • 20 October 1916-24 November 2004

Born: 20 October 1916, Caherconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 24 November 2004, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin community at Cherryfield Lodge at the time of death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1951 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969
Bishop of Monze, 24 June 1962. Retired 1992

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
The diocese of Monze was set up on 10 March 1962, an offshoot of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. Fr James Corboy S.J., at that time a professor of theology in Milltown Park, Dublin, Ireland, was appointed to be the first bishop of the new diocese. This new diocese was three-quarters the size of his own country of Ireland. It had a population of a million people, 16% of whom were Catholic. At that time there were 8 mission stations in the whole area centred at Chikuni. It was a daunting task ahead for the new bishop.

Bishop James was born in Caharconlish, Co Limerick, Ireland in 1916. He was the son of a country doctor who lived on a small farm. There he grew up appreciating nature and farming. He attended Jesuit schools and entered the Jesuits in 1935, followed the Jesuit course of studies, arts, philosophy, regency and theology, being ordained priest at Milltown Park on 28th July 1948. After tertianship, he went to the Gregorian University for a doctorate in Ecclesiology. Later as bishop he attended the Vatican Council and became really interested in theology, something that he continued to study passionately throughout his life.

He returned to Milltown Park to lecture and also take charge of the large garden. He always loved pottering around in the garden of any house he lived in. He became rector there in 1962.

At the age of 43 he found himself appointed to be the Bishop of a newly set-up diocese of Monze in Zambia, where the Jesuits had been working since 1905. So on 24th June he was consecrated bishop in Zambia. For 30 years he was the bishop of Monze. The task before him as he saw it was fourfold: development, pastoral work, health and education. He invited a number of congregations to help him in this task. Monze hospital was set up and run by the Holy Rosary Sisters. The Sisters of Charity and the Handmaids were already in the diocese. Presentation Sisters, Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Sisters of Charity of Milan and others entered into pastoral work, and the teaching and healing ministry. The Spiritans, Christian Brothers and John of God Brothers are the chief male religious groups who came to help in various fields.

As early as four years after becoming bishop, he put into effect a project after his own heart – promoting vocations from the people themselves. So in 1966, he built Mukasa, a minor seminary in Choma to foster and encourage young boys who showed an interest in the priesthood. Boys came here not only from the dioceses of Monze but also from, Livingstone, Lusaka and Solwezi. Over 50 Mukasa boys have been ordained priests and several are studying in the major seminaries.

Another project very close to his heart was the establishment of a local congregation of sisters – Sisters of the Holy Spirit – in 1971. The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary helped out in this venture. These local Sisters are involved in teaching, pastoral work, nursing and formation work among their own people. The last eight years of his life Bishop James spent in Milltown Park, Ireland on the advice of doctors both here and in Ireland. Whenever anyone visited him from here, his first question invariably was: "How are the Holy Spirit Sisters”?

He regularised the eight mission stations as parishes and set up 13 more parishes. Development was another project close to his heart. With the help of Fr Fred Moriarty SJ Monze became the leading diocese in the country in promoting development

People found Bishop Corboy approachable, kind, caring and simple. He spoke simply (deceptively so, some said). He could explain himself in quite simple language, understood by all. He had to learn ciTonga in which he had a passable skill and even that was spoken simply but correctly. He was unassuming. Often in a crowd, one would often ask 'which is the Bishop?'. He loved to pray the Rosary. He was a very shy man and avoided large social gatherings when he could. Inevitably after doing a confirmation he would say, ‘Gosh, I’d love to stay for the celebrations, but I have some important business to get back to in Monze’.

On 24 October 1991 he was called to State House to receive the decoration of Grand Commander of the Order of Distinguished Service for his work in the Monze Diocese.

He retired as Bishop in 1992, worked for four years at St. Ignatius in Lusaka before returning to Ireland because of his blood pressure. A short time before he died in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, his nephew, Dr John Sheehan, was with him and thought the Bishop looked distressed and asked if he was in pain. Bishop James replied. "No. God bless you, and good bye"! He died on 23 November 2004, aged 88 years.

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
”Sher is a great loss. Apart from his work, he was a great community man”, said the Bishop of Monze. “He was part and parcel of everything that went on in the community. He was interested in parish affairs. He never stinted himself in anything he did. In community discussions he often brought them back to some basic spiritual principle’.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/celebrating-bishop-corboy-sj/

Celebrating Bishop Corboy SJ
The life and work of James Corboy SJ, Bishop of Monze, Zambia, was celebrated with the launch of his biography by Sr Catherine Dunne, in the Arrupe Room, Milltown Park on Thursday 24 January. It was a great occasion described by some there as a “reunion of the diocese of Monze”. Over fifty people attended the launch, including members of Bishop Corboy’s family, who had an opportunity to meet many of those who had known him in Zambia.

The Irish Jesuit Provincial, Tom Layden SJ, warmly welcomed the publication of Catherine Dunne’s book, ‘The Man Called James Corboy’, published by The Messenger Office and sponsored by the Irish Jesuit Missions. He recalled meeting Bishop Corboy, whilst studying for his Leaving Certificate at Clongowes, and he remembered how he spoke about the plight of farmers in Zambia with real concern.

The Provincial said reading the book he was struck by the impact Vatican II made on James Corboy and how its vision of the Church as the people of God was always to the fore in everything he did in the Monze diocese. It permeated his leadership style and his sense of purpose, he said.

He also referred to the fact that James was given the Tonga name of “Cibinda”, meaning a wholesome person who knows where he is going and where he is leading others. Listen here to his talk. (http://www.jesuit.ie/content/onsite/irish-jesuit-podcasts/two-funerals-for-jesuit- bishop)

Two of James Corboy’s nieces, Joanne Sheehan and Ann Ryan, painted an intimate picture of their uncle, especially in his later years at Cherryfield, far removed from his beloved Zambia.

Ann recalled how she and he shared a great love of gardening, flowers and muck! She said he also took great interest in the progress of his great nephews and nieces. Indeed, his great-nephews, Josh and Alan, and his great-nieces, Anna and Alice, were all present and received copies of the book from Catherine Dunne.
Joanne Sheehan told of how there had been Jesuits in the Corboy family for nearly 200 years. She said her uncle “gave his whole life to other people and in that way he was a real Jesuit – a true man for others.” But he only ever claimed a tiny role for his work in Zambia acknowledging the tremendous group of Irish people who had made an enormous contribution to the country besides himself.

Damien Burke from Jesuit Archives provided a recording of Bishop Corboy’s own words from 1962 on the occasion of his consecration as Bishop, along with slides from his early life and time in Zambia. In the recording Bishop Corboy said that “Africa owes a tremendous debt to the Irish people” and thanked everyone for their continued prayers and financial support.
Sr Pius, an 89 year old missionary nun who worked with him in Monze, recalled his attempts to teach them about Vatican II on his return from Rome. “He said that the Council changed his life forever, and he talked about ‘communio’ so often. Something about him touched our hearts as he tried to teach us about the Second Vatican Council – even us ‘noodley’ heads were moved.” She said he valued people and valued particularly the wisdom of women. “We owe him a great debt.”
Sr Catherine Dunne also spoke and read an appreciation of the book from Sr Rosalio of the Holy Spirit Sisters, the order founded by the Bishop with the assistance of Catherine herself.
She said she was encouraged to know the book meant so much to people because, “many’s a time whilst writing it I heard his voice from behind me saying ‘have you nothing better to do with you time?’ I’m glad I didn’t heed that voice now”.
After the launch and a celebratory lunch, Sr Catherine spoke in depth to Pat Coyle of the Jesuit Communication Centre about ‘This Man Called James Corboy”: Listen here : (http://www.jesuit.ie/content/onsite/irish-jesuit-podcasts/the-man-from-monze).

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 37th Year No 3 1962

GENERAL
On April 18th the midday news from Vatican Radio contained the announcement that Fr. James Corboy, Rector of Milltown Park, had been appointed bishop-elect of the newly-created diocese of Monze, Northern Rhodesia.
The bishop of Monze entered the Society at St. Mary's, Emo, in 1935.. and from 1937 to 1941 studied at U.C.D., where he obtained his M.A. Degree in Irish History. He studied Philosophy at Tullabeg and taught at Belvedere 1944-45. His Theology was done at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in July 1948. After his Tertianship at Rathfarnham, he attended the Gregorian University, where he obtained the D.D. in Dogmatic Theology. Since 1952 he has been Professor of Fundamental Theology and Rector since 1959.
The diocese of Monze comprises the mission area assigned to our Province in 1957 and, before its constitution as a separate entity, formed part of the archdiocese of Lusaka.
Bishop Corboy left Ireland on May 31st for Rome and thence to Rhodesia. The consecration has been fixed for June 24th at Chikuni and the consecrating prelates are Most Rev. Adam Kozlowiecki, S.J., Arch bishop of Lusaka, Most Rev. Francis Markall, S.J., Archbishop of Salisbury, and Right Rev. Timothy O'Shea, O.F.M.Cap., Bishop of Livingstone.
The Province and the Mission received with great joy the news of the erection of the diocese of Monze and of the election of its first bishop, who can be assured of the good wishes and prayers of all for a long, happy and fruitful pastorate.

Milltown Park
It was during the same week that news came of the appointment of our Rector, Fr. Corboy, to the newly-created diocese of Monze. Our pleasure at this compliment to Fr. Corboy and at the progress it signifies in the development of Rhodesia was marred only by our regret to be losing so kind and capable a Superior. A special lecture was organised on May 9th, the proceeds of which were presented to the bishop-elect. We are grateful to Fr. Moloney of the Workers' College for speaking on the title “Education for Marriage, 1962”. At a reception afterwards in the Retreat House Refectory, the Ladies Committee and the Men's Committee both made presentations to Dr. Corboy. A dinner was given in his honour on May 23rd and after it several speeches were made. Fr. Patrick Joy, Acting Rector, took the opportunity to assure Dr. Corboy of the continuing support of all those associated with Milltown, including the Ladies Committee. Fr. Brendan Barry, having prefaced his remarks with the words “Egredere de domo tua”, congratulated the mission on the erection of the new diocese and the election of its bishop. Fr. Tom Cooney then rose to voice on behalf of the missionaries their pleasure at welcoming one so young and capable to the government of Monze diocese. In fact he had to apologise for mistaking the bishop-elect a few days previously for a scholastic. In more serious vein, he went on to trace for us the history of the whole question of the Province's responsibility for a mission territory, since the appointment of a bishop has always been the corollary to that issue. He told us that it all went back to before the war, when it still seemed that we could expand in China. When that proved impossible there was question either of a territory in Rhodesia or of educational work in Malaya. Eventually it was Fr. General who decided on our taking responsibility in Rhodesia. Fr. Cooney viewed Dr. Corboy's appointment in the light of all that development and he wished to pay tribute to the constant generosity of the home Province, towards Australia, the Far East and Rhodesia. Fr. Kevin Smyth spoke on behalf of the Faculty, remarking that he was glad to note the departure from usual practice in selecting the bishop not from the canonists but, as he said, from the theologians. To the speeches of the upper community Mr. Guerrini, our Beadle, added his “small voice” on behalf of the scholastics. He proposed his tribute in the form of a thesis. This thesis, he said, was theologically certain, since it met with the constant and universal consent of the Theologians - not to mention the Fathers. There were no adversaries, and he went on to prove his point from the experience of the last few years. Dr. Corboy then spoke. He expressed his attachment to Milltown and of the debt of gratitude he felt towards all who had worked with him in Milltown. He commended the diocese of Monze to our prayers.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

Bishop James Corboy (1916-2004) : Zambia Malawi Province

Oct. 20th 1916: Born in Caherconlish, Limerick
Early education at The Crescent, Limerick and Clongowes Wood College
Sept. 7th 1935: Entered the Society at Emo
Sept. 8th 1937: First Vows at Emo
1937 - 1941: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944 Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1944 - 1945: Belvedere College - Teaching (Regency)
1945 – 1949: Milltown Park -Studied Theology
July 28th 1948: Ordained at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1950 - 1952: Gregorian, Rome - Studied Fundamental Theology
1952 - 1962: Milltown Park:
1952 - 1959: Lecturing in Theology and in charge of farm
Feb. 2nd 1953: Final Vows
1959 - 1962 Rector; Lecturing in Theology; Prov. Consultor
June 24th 1962: Consecrated Bishop of Monze, Zambia
1962 - 1996: Pastor of Monze Diocese.
1996 - 2003: Retired as bishop; returned to Milltown Park; writer, House Librarian.
2003 - 2004” Cherryfield Lodge.
Nov. 24th, 2004: Died in St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

Bishop James Corboy Pioneer of Catholic Church in Zambia

From: Times of Zambia, 18 Dec. 2004 Written by: James P. McGloin, S.J. (Socius, ZAM Province)

Bishop James Corboy, S.J., the retired bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Monze, died in Dublin, Ireland on 24th November 2004. On 10th December a well-attended memorial Eucharist was held at the Monze Cathedral with Bishop Emilio Patriarca of Monze presiding. Bishop Raymond Mpezele of Livingstone and many clergy from the diocese and elsewhere concelebrated at the Eucharist. Fr. Colm Brophy, S.J., the provincial of the Jesuits, preached.

In 1962 the Diocese of Monze was established from the southern part of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. In March of that year Fr. James Corboy was appointed its first bishop. At the time he was a professor of theology and rector of the Jesuit School of Theology in Dublin. He had never been to Africa before. Looking from our perspective, it seems like a very strange appointment. However, the area of the new diocese was a mission area under the auspices of the Irish Jesuits based in Chikuni. These Jesuits ran the mission, Canisius College and Charles Lwanga Teachers' College in Chikuni along with seven other mission stations in the new diocese. Perhaps the Jesuit missionaries who were already there were thought too independent minded to accept one of their own as bishop. Perhaps it was thought that someone from the outside might bring a new perspective to the work. Whatever the reason, James Corboy, without any experience of Africa, was appointed the first bishop.

Bishop Corboy was born in the small village of Caharconlish in County Limerick, Ireland in 1916. Being from a rural area, he grew up appreciating nature and farming, an appreciation he kept all his life. He did his primary school in the village and got a good basic education. For early secondary school he had to travel to the nearest town. This meant using a bicycle to the train station, then by train to the town, then a walk to school, and back again each day. Since, his travel took so much time each day, his parents later sent him to a Jesuit boarding school to finish his education.

After his secondary school in 1935, he entered the Jesuits and was ordained a priest thirteen years later in Dublin. He went to Rome, then, and studied at the Gregorian University, receiving a doctorate in theology. Returning from Rome, he began his career as a professor in the school of theology, where he eventually was made rector.

At the time of his appointment as bishop, the great reforming council of the Catholic Church, Vatican Council II, began in Rome. Bishop Corboy attend all four sessions of the Council from 1962 to 1965. The Council had an immense influence on him. He was wont to say that, despite his doctoral studies, he never really studied theology until the Council. During the Council he studied and read theology, something that he continued to do passionately throughout his life.

When he was ordained bishop in Monze in June 1962, there were about twenty Jesuit missionaries working in the area, some Religious Sisters of Charity, and one eminent Zambian priest, the late Fr. Dominic Nchete. Bishop Corboy began inviting other missionary groups into the diocese to improve the education and health services of the area. The Holy Rosary Sisters opened Monze Mission Hospital (now District Hospital) and Mazabuka Girls' Secondary School; the Christian Brothers began St. Edmund's Secondary School in Mazabuka and Mawaggali Trades Training Institute in Choma; the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary managed St. Joseph's Secondary School in Chivuna while the Presentation Sisters managed Kasiya Secretarial College; the Sisters of Charity of Milan opened a mission hospital in Chirundu and the John of God Brothers began a rehabilitation centre for the handicapped in Monze. Many lay volunteers came from overseas in these early days to help staff these new institutions.

In the area of development a well-run diocesan office was opened in Monze which, among many projects, offered agricultural advisory services and courses throughout the diocese. The Monze Youth Projects, managed by the Sisters of Mercy, was opened, offering catering, tailoring and carpentry training. In almost every parish in the diocese a homecraft or tailoring centre was begun.

Much of this development took place during the initial, exciting years of Zambian Independence. Bishop Corboy's vision of a better Zambia for all its people went hand in hand with the vision of the newly independent government. His contribution was recognized by President Kenneth Kaunda, who awarded him the honour of Grand Commander of the Order of Distinguished Service in 1991.

The bishop was also concerned with the pastoral development of his diocese. Besides inviting the Spiritans and Fidei Donum priests from other dioceses to open new parishes, he realised the importance of developing a local Zambian clergy. In 1966 he opened Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma as a secondary school for boys considering a vocation to the priesthood. At present there are nearly 50 ordained priests from the boys who began their schooling in Mukasa. These priests work in the Monze Diocese and in other dioceses that send boys to the seminary. He also saw the need for Zambian Sisters and in 1971 began a diocesan congregation of sisters, called the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. Today the sisters have convents in Chikuni, Choma, Chivuna, Mazabuka and Monze and offer a variety of services in the schools, hospitals and parishes.

From the Vatican Council, Bishop Corboy learned deeply that the Church was not just bishops, priests and sisters. Rather the Church, to use the Council's great image, is the People of God. Bishop Corboy wanted a well informed Catholic laity in his diocese, good Christians who could run parish councils effectively, preach and offer Sunday services when a priest was not available, teach young people the essential truths of their faith and prepare them to receive the sacraments. During his time as bishop, St. Kizito Pastoral Centre outside of Monze was open to offer courses in Christian and pastoral formation for the people of the diocese. Oftentimes, the bishop himself would present much appreciated talks on scripture and on different theological topics.

When Bishop Corboy came to Zambia, he studied Citonga and had a passable knowledge of the language. Whenever he preached in the language he spoke simply but clearly and correctly. Even in English, he always preached simply and sincerely also. Every year when he came to Charles Lwanga Teachers' College, his homily was essentially the same. He remembered still his own primary school teachers, men and women, who were dedicated to their work and concerned about the children. Then, he told the Lwanga students that they had chosen a noble profession and how they could be a force for good in the lives of so many young people.

True to his rural roots, Bishop Corboy loved nature and farming. For a day off he might spend a few hours bird watching at nearby Lochinvar National Park. He always had a small garden behind his house in Monze and would often be found there watering or weeding. It is said that sometimes. visitors who did not know him would be told that he was outside. They would meet the old man working in the garden saying, "Brother, we would like to meet the bishop." He would tell them to go back to the office and the bishop would be there in a few minutes. Shortly, the bishop, out of his garden clothes, would introduce himself to the surprised visitors.

A very shy man, the bishop avoided large social gatherings when he could. Inevitably, after doing a confirmation at one of the colleges or parishes, he would say, “Gosh, I'd love to stay for the celebrations, but I have some important business to get back to in Monze." Although shy, the shyness did not deter him from working well with different organisations and groups of people. He was able to listen, to offer advice and to give his lay and religious colleagues plenty of leeway to do their work without interfering.

Bishop Corboy tried always to defer to the opinions of the Zambian bishops in the Episcopal Conference. Archbishop Mazombwe, in a condolence letter, recalled an event in 1973 when he had just taken over from Bishop Corboy as president of the Zambia Episcopal Conference. Bishop Corboy wrote to him, "I am not coming to the Executive Board Meeting of ZEC and I am not going for the AMECEA (the Bishops of all of Eastern Africa) Plenary Meeting in Nairobi. I am tired, I have been teaching mathematics at Mukasa Seminary and I will be in retreat." The Archbishop, who was then Bishop of Chipata, relates how he interrupted his own retreat and said, "My Lord, I have never chaired a ZEC meeting, this will be my first time. I need you. I have never attended an AMECEA Plenary Meeting, I need you.” Bishop Corboy's response was immediate and to the point. "I will come to the ZEC Executive Board Meeting, but I will not go for the AMECEA Plenary because there are enough African bishops with experience."

Looking forward to the day when a Zambian would replace him, Bishop Corboy had his dream come true in 1992, after thirty years as bishop of Monze. In that year Bishop Paul Lungu, S.J. succeeded him as bishop. From the 8 mission stations at the origin of the diocese, there were 21 parishes when Bishop Lungu took over, Bishop Corboy was able to hand over a well-established diocese with an active and effective body of Zambian clergy, religious and laity.

Bishop Corboy did not leave Zambia immediately on retiring. He moved to St. Ignatius Jesuit Community in Lusaka where he frequently helped in the church and served as librarian at the Jesuit Theological Library in Chelston. In 1996 when his health began to deteriorate, he returned to his native country where he continued his reading and writing until his death.
His nephew, Dr. John Sheehan, who worked for sometime in Monze Hospital, was with him when he was dying. Dr. Sheehan saw his breathing was very bad and asked him if he could give him something for the pain. Bishop Corboy, in his typical way, held out his hand and shook hands with his nephew, saying, “No, thanks very much, I'm all right...and then continued, “Good-by now, God bless you”. Then he died. "Good-by. God bless you”-his final words to his nephew-but also to the people of the Diocese of Monze whom he loved so much and served so well.

Tom McGivern wrote in ZAM Province News, Dec. 2004:

The diocese of Monze was set up on 10" March 1962, an offshoot of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. Fr. James Corboy, S.J., at that time a professor of theology in Milltown Park, Dublin, was appointed to be the first bishop of the new diocese. This new diocese was three-quarters the size of the whole country of Ireland from which the new bishop came. It has a population of a million people, 16% of whom were Catholic. At that time there were 8 mission stations in the whole area centred at Chikuni. A daunting task ahead for the new bishop!

At the age of 43 he found himself appointed to be the bishop of the newly established diocese of Monze where the Jesuits had been working since 1905. On the 24h of June 1962 he was ordained bishop in Monze.

For 30 years he was the bishop. The daunting task before him was fourfold as he saw it: development, pastoral work, health care, and education. He invited a number of congregations to help him in this task. The Sisters of Charity and the Handmaid Sisters were already in the diocese. The Holy Rosary Sisters, Presentation Sisters, Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary, the Sisters of Charity of Milan and others entered into pastoral work, health care and education. Spiritans, Christian Brothers and John of God Brothers were some of the men religious groups who came to help in various fields.

As early as four years after becoming bishop, he put into effect a project after his own heart-vocations from the local people themselves. In 1966 he built Mukasa minor seminary in Choma “to foster and encourage young boys who show interest in the priesthood”. Boys came from the dioceses of Monze, Livingstone, Lusaka and Solwezi. At present there are about 50 of these boys who have been ordained priests and there are numbers in the major seminaries.

Another project very close to his heart was the establishment of a local congregation of sisters, the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. In 1971 the congregation began and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary helped out in this venture. As the bishop wished, the sisters are now involved in teaching, nursing, pastoral and formation work among the people of the Monze Diocese. The last eight years of his life Bishop James spent in Ireland on the advice of doctors. Whenever anyone visited him from Zambia, the first question invariably was, “How are the Holy Spirit Sisters?”

As bishop, he regularised the 8 mission stations as parishes and set up 13 more. He also set up a development office in Monze, headed for many years by the late Fred Moriarity, S.J. Because of it, Monze became one of the leading dioceses in development in the country.

In Matthew's gospel when Christ sent out the Twelve, he advised them to be as clever as snakes and as simple as doves. Bishop James was extremely clever and yet very simple. To set up hospitals, schools, parishes, churches et al., money and personnel had to be found mostly from overseas. A frequent question on his lips to his secretary, the late Joe Conway, S.J. was, :Joe, has that cheque come through yet?”

When the war in Zimbabwe was raging, the Zambezi Valley was strewn with land mines, yet Bishop James drove down alone to Chirundu to make sure the people there were safe and to encourage them. After the war some government official wanted to close down the hospital there, but unsuccessfully, as he had to deal with Bishop James.

The bishop was a good theologian, and, for any important conference he had to give, he would retire to Chikuni to pray, read and prepare. Once sisters involved in health care had a day's seminar on the Theology of Healing. His phrase, "Healing begins at the door of the hospital” lasted with them for a long time.

People found him approachable, kind, caring and simple. Simple? He spoke simply (deceptively so, some said). He could explain himself in quite simple language, understood by all. He had to learn ciTonga in which he had a passable skill and even that was spoken simply but correctly. And he was unassuming. Often in a crowd, one would ask, “Which is the bishop?”

From Colm Brophy's homily at a Memorial Mass in Monze:

His nephew, Dr. John Sheehan—who worked here in Monze hospital—was with him when he was dying. John saw his breathing was very bad and asked him if he was in pain and could he give him something for the pain. Bishop James, in his typical way, said: “No, thanks very much, I'm all right”. - and then held out his hand and shook hands with his nephew John and said: “Good-by now, God bless you”. And then he died, That handshake, that “Good-by now, God bless you” was his “Good-by, God bless you” for all of us.

◆ The Clongownian, 2005

Obituary

Bishop James Corboy SJ

James Corboy, who has died at the age of 88, was the first Bishop of Monze in what was then Northern Rhodesia. As a bishop he was to play an important role in the development of church and state in the emerging: Republic of Zambia.

He was born, the third of six children, to Dr John and Josephine (nee Coman) Corboy in Caherconlish, Co Limerick, in 1916. He was educated in Clongowes Wood College and entered the Society of Jesus in 1935. He studied History at UCD where he obtained his MA. After his ecclesiastical studies and ordination, he was sent to Rome to take a doctorate in theology. He returned to Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was a professor of theology becoming rector in 1959. He was made Bishop of Monze in 1962

The second Vatican Council had already begun and so he was plunged into the heart of what was happening in the church. He found himself transferred from a leisurely, well-ordered, sheltered life of an academic into a daunting range of new experiences and demands.

Nothing prepared him for setting up a new diocese, the size of Ireland, in a country and a church of which he knew little or nothing, while grasping and implementing the radically new attitudes of the second Vatican Council. He believed that the mission of the church was the evangelisation of the whole person, not just “saving souls”. He used to talk of his regret at how he had been sheltered from the hardships of the ordinary people of Ireland during the 1940s and '50s and was determined that he would not make the same mistake in the face of the poverty and needs of the poor in his diocese.

At the conclusion of the council, he began to implement its teaching, especially on the church in the modern world. This meant answering the pressing needs of the Tonga people, keen farmers, rearing cattle and growing maize. He began to develop the skills already there in the local people. He gathered around him like-minded people as the Monze Diocese Development Department parish priests, sisters, lay people, some of whom were trained agricultural instructors and social development workers. He was instrumental in starting the first credit union in what had now become Zambia. Monze diocese established excellent relationships with the aid agencies, including Ireland's APSO, which not only provided generous funding for the many projects that he initiated, but also sent out and supported a series of dedicated social workers, teachers and medical personnel.

He was keenly interested in education and recruited religious congregations to staff the schools and training institutes which sprang up under his efforts: the Christian Brothers opened a secondary school and a trades training school; the Presentation Sisters assumed responsibility for a commercial college; the Sacred Heart of Mary sisters and the Holy Rosary sisters both opened secondary schools for girls. The Irish Sisters of Charity, as they were called at that time, added a secondary school to the apostolates they had already begun in the area before James Corboy arrived. Monze hospital under the care of the Holy Rosary Sisters became a centre for the surrounding countryside for childcare clinics and a nursing school.

He used to say that the church in Zambia had to become a church of the laity if it was ever to shake itself free from being an adjunct of the church in Europe, depending on expatriate mission personnel and funding. So he set up Kizito Pastoral Centre, which catered for every sort of training for laity. The bishops of east and central Africa decided that their main pastoral thrust would be based on the formation of small Christian communities. The pastoral centre was timely and provided a centre for the training of the community members.

While he was a shrewd administrator and fund-raiser, he was the most unpretentious of men, with a simplicity that was most effective in winning people's minds and hearts. He was fully accepted by the people of Zambia, from the president down to the simplest subsistence farmer. He seemed to be happiest when working in the vegetable patch that he cultivated in his backyard.

He returned to Ireland where he lived simply and quiety in retirement until his death in November after a short illness. His brother Dr Patrick and sisters Maureen and Dr. Bernie survive him; his brother Shane and sister Alice predeceased him.

The Irish Times

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

Obituary

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,
Glasgow.

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

Counihan, John, 1916-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/650
  • Person
  • 29 December 1916-07 March 2001

Born: 29 December 1916, Ennis, County Clare
Entered: 09 February 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1959, Charles Lwanga College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died; 07 March 2001, John Chula House, Lusaka, Zambia

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

1st Zambia Province (ZAM) Vice-Provincial: 03 December 1969
Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969-1976

by 1957 at Chivuna, N Rhodesia - Regency

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr John was a man for whom decisions came before sentiment and who rarely changed his mind once he had made it up. This was the basis of the affectionately critical nickname given to him by some scholastics and others, namely "Dr No" because of his "no" to many requests. After finishing as provincial, he returned to Charles Lwanga TTC to lecture in education. One evening at table, a member of the community said to him, "John, you are right. You seem to know everything”. John replied, 'They do not call me" "Dr. Know" for nothing'!

He was born in Ennis, in Co Clare, Ireland, into a large family. He went to Clongowes Wood College for his secondary education and left laden with academic prizes. He attended University College in Dublin to study classics and after an M.A. won a traveling scholarship in ancient classics which brought him to Leipzig University in Germany. His academic habits served him well in studying the scriptures which would be his favourite spare time occupation for the rest of his life. Later a Greek New Testament and a Tonga dictionary helped him prepare Sunday homilies.

At the age of 26, he entered the Society at Emo in 1942. After the customary study of philosophy and theology, he was ordained priest in Milltown Park in 1951. He went to teach Latin and Greek at Belvedere College in 1953 but three years later found him in Zambia. He learnt ciTonga after arrival and then moved to Canisius Secondary School until the newly built Teacher Training College across the river was opened. Then he went there to be its first principal, 1959 to 1964.

He then went to Monze as education secretary for the diocese and Bishop's secretary. However the unification of the two Missions of Chikuni and Lusaka brought about the creation of the vice-province of Zambia with John as first provincial from 1969 to 1976. This was no easy task, to get the different nationalities of Jesuits to think of themselves as one province. He organised an international novitiate for Eastern Africa, built Luwisha House near the university for future scholastic undergraduates and encouraged the recruitment of young Zambians into the Society. Such recruitment had been inhibited for a long time by the necessary policy of building up the local clergy. In 1975, the province began working in the Copperbelt. He was duly gratified at the end of his term of office when Fr Mertens, the Assistant for Africa said to him, “You have done a good job, you have set up a Jesuit province”.

After being provincial, he returned south again to the Monze diocese to the staff of Charles Lwanga TTC from 1978 to 1984, and then to Kizito Pastoral Centre, 1985 to 1998, to help in the formation of local religious.

A colleague paid the following tribute to him: "I recall some of John's characteristics. Such an intelligent man can hardly have been blind to the difficult spots in the characters of some of his confrères. Yet, I never heard him speak negatively of another. His tendency was to idealise them. Even if he was firm to the point of inflexibility in his decisions, he was unfailingly courteous, considerate and kind to others. You could always count on him being in a good humour. He did not wear his prayer life on his sleeve, yet he was everything that is implied in the term, ‘a good religious’. Without being overly pious he clearly gave priority to his spiritual life, took an Ignatian view of life's details and sought God in everything".

In 1999, John retired to Chula House in Lusaka, the infirmary for Jesuits, where he died peacefully on 7th March 2001.

Note from Jean Indeku Entry
He was pulled back to Charles Lwanga TTC as minister and bursar where he looked after the brethren well. Later the first provincial, Fr John Counihan used to tell the story of how, as he was being transferred to Monze, went into to John and asked him where the week-end refreshments appeared in the books, which he had carefully scrutinised but failed to locate. Fr Indekeu replied laconically ‘Look under jam’.

Note from Philip O’Keeffe Entry
I was privileged to live, for Philip was born in Ennis, Co Clare on 12 June 1946. Two genuinely saintly men. The elder statesman, John Counihan, would stand up promptly at eight pm and announce ‘All right boys, I'll leave you to it. It's time for me to retire’. And he'd toddle off to his room to the Greek New Testament and Tonga New Testament laid out side by side on his desk – no English – and he'd prepare his homily for the following day

Counihan, Tom, 1891-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/461
  • Person
  • 11 October 1891-12 January 1982

Born: 11 October 1891, Kilrush, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1909, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1928, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 12 January 1982, Richmond Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park community at the time of death
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ
Awarded a BSc 1st Class at UCD 1914, and offered a Postgraduate Scholarship, which he did not accept.
by 1915 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News

◆ Irish Province News 57th Year No 2 1982 & The Belvederian, Dublin, 1982
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 57th Year No 2 1982

Obituary

Fr Thomas Counihan (1891-1909-1982)

I well remember Fr Tom Counihan coming to Belvedere in September 1916, when I was a boy in “prep”. We boys thought it strange that he should be so bald, knowing that he was only in his middle twenties. Our first impression of him was that we had a pleasant-looking fellow as our master, one who seemed happily disposed towards us and might not be too strict. Furthermore, on talking to us he gave us the impression of being kindly, and before long we discovered that he had a good sense of humour and could laugh just like any of ourselves.
As we got to know him better, we found that we had a master who would stand no nonsense and would expect us to listen to him and learn from what he had to say. He was strict, firm and determined, all with a view to teaching us and getting the best out of us. Behind all this we found him a most understanding teacher, scrupulously fair and prepared to listen to us. His subjects were mathematics and chemistry and he was a most competent teacher of both subjects.
Two very close and lifelong colleagues of his were in Belvedere to meet him on the first day he arrived: Fr Tom Ryan [d. 1971] and Fr Charlie Molony [d. 1978]. The former was dedicated to Dublin newsboys and particularly to the Belvedere Newsboys' Club, where he was much beloved by the boys. In later years he spent all his time working with the people of Hong Kong. The latter on leaving Belvedere spent most of his time in St Francis Xavier's church, Gardiner street, and during his free time gave much support to the Old Belvedere Rugby Club, of which he was a founder member.
In his second year at Belvedere Fr Tom was assigned to the task of training the JCT. In the previous year, Mr Vincent Conlon, an Australian scholastic (d. 1959), had trained the team with such success that they won the Cup, beating our old rivals Blackrock in the final. Fr Tom had come to Belvedere from Clongowes, where he had played soccer. He knew nothing about the finer points of the game rugby, yet by sheer determination and dedication, he learned rugby skills to great perfection. Twice a week time we trained and on Wednesdays and Saturdays we had games against other schools. By the end of the season our team had greatly improved, especially in the art of passing the ball, and due to Fr Tom's efforts and enthusiasm we went through the Cup series winning all our games, thereby retaining the Cup, having played Castleknock three times in the final. The following year, Fr Tom trained us again with the same eagerness and keenness as in the previous year, and his dedication was so earnest that there was nothing we boys would not do for him. The result was that for the third year in succession we won the Cup, having beaten Blackrock once again in the final. It must be said of Fr Tom that for one who knew so little about rugby when he came to Belvedere, great credit was due to him for being the trainer of two consecutive Cup-winning sides. We schoolboys were conscious of his great devotion to our Lady of Lourdes. He knew by heart the days when she had appeared to St Bernadette, and rolled them off for us. He would expect a postcard from any boys going to Lourdes, and it would be seen later on his mantelpiece. If you went to Lourdes and failed to send a card, he would tell you so when next he saw you. He helped in the formation of the Belvedere Society of our Lady of Lourdes. Fr Tom was chaplain to the Belvedere Newsboys’ Club for many year later and endeared himself to the boys by his love and concern for them, They too regarded him as a friend whose advice they sought and respected. The young newsboys sold the Dublin Evening Mail and the Evening Herald barefoot on the streets of Dublin. The price of a paper then was one old penny, and a boy’s earnings for the evening were about a shilling, provided he had sold four dozen papers. Fr Tom gave many retreats to these newsboys, during which they came to know him really well, making friendships that lasted many years.
We Old Belvederians greatly enjoyed the retreats Fr Tom gave us in Milltown Park. He kept strictly to the Gospels and would talk to us for three-quarters of an hour without a note in front of him. We benefitted greatly from all he told us. To the Christian Brothers also he gave many retreats in their various houses: he was proud of his connection with them. One year he gave a retreat in the Clarendon street Carmelite church, a fairly big church. For five or six days he spoke to the people, having pushed the micro phone to one side.
He had a loud voice and used it to great effect in churches and oratories, the classroom and the playing-fields, I might add that he also used it in his own room, and when people knocked at his door he answered “Come in” with a voice that could be heard at the end of the corridor. Many visitors came to his room daily, some for a chat, some for advice, and some for confession. He would not leave his room in case he might miss one of these friends who needed him.
He had a great admiration for Frank Duff, who was a particular friend of his throughout life. He read Abbot Marmion's books and thought them excellent for spiritual reading. Fr Tom did not smoke, but to the end enjoyed his pinch of snuff, which he said kept him from dozing.
To me who knew him when he came to Belvedere and later visited him in his last days in Milltown Park and Richmond hospital, Fr Tom had changed very little. He came to Belvedere as one who was always happy, with a pleasant smile on his face, jovial and friendly, with a good sense of humour. Later on, he uttered criticism at times but laughed it off as a bit of fun. He would not spare those in high office: yet he had nothing but the highest praise for his own superior, who showed the utmost concern for his needs at all times.
We Belvederians well remember him as a true friend, one with a deep affection for us, whose wisdom and advice we sought and respected, who was deeply spiritual and put all his trust in the Mother of God. He told us: Devotus Mariae nunquam peribit, nunquam.
E.D.

Here is a viewpoint from the Far East:
As a student in the College of Surgeons, I first met Fr Counihan while on a week-end retreat in Rathfarnham in 1950. I was enthralled by his patriarchal manner, so understandingly human and yet so authoritarian and inspiring. He prided himself on voting Labour, and certainly was the working-man’s guru. Later on in the Society, I always had a warm spot in my heart for him. For three years in Rathfarnham I helped in the refectory by reading at meals for boys and men on retreat. Fr Tom and I got to know each other well.
He prided himself on Abbot Marmion, whom he had known. Everything said by Vatican II is in Marmion, he used to say! Perhaps the Belvedere connection was important here. He always had a predilection for Belvederians! This however did not restrain him from making caustic criticism. His witty tongue spared no one, and his prophetic denunciation covered all - Provincial and Taoiseach, superior and bishop - usually to the delight and enjoyment of listeners. With a whiff of snuff, the word of God was on his tongue. He claimed to be a priest to whom boys - and most ordinary men - listened. He had the wavelength of, and a charism for, people of the 1950s and 1960s. I remember his week-end retreats were based on the Sunday liturgy. The Mass prayers and Scripture texts were written out in his hand and placed on the board. His spirit was indomitable, forthright and courageous - to the edification and admiration of most people. A man of God for men, he told me he never visited anyone, as a visit was a waste of time, He was always available for anyone who called on him: many did call.
Surely he was a disciple of John the Baptist. May he pray for vocation to preach the word of God, to bring consolation to the desolate, forgiveness to the erring and vision to the down hearted.

Irish Province News 57th Year No 3 1982

Obituary
Fr Thomas Counihan (1891-1909-1982) : Continued
†12th January 1982
Fr Thomas Counihan passed into eternal life in the 91st year of his age, having outlived his eight brothers and five sisters. The President of Ireland, Dr Hillery, and the Archbishop of Dublin,Dr Dermot Ryan, who had been a schoolboy under him at Belvedere, sent letters of condolence. The former spoke of the encouragement he had been given Fr Tom when he was minister for Education, while the latter noted the sustained interest which Fr Tom had taken in the welfare of many of the priests and people of the diocese. Many other hearts were moved to pay tribute, and several of these appear in these pages. The brethren rallied in strength to his requiem; Fr Tom had remarked some years ago, on the death of one of his years.Jesuit peers, that now there were no more colourful characters left in the Province. It was an ingenuous judgment: he himself was one of the great characters among us; an institution, larger than life, he sailed like a liner among tugs, bumping some and swamping others, and it was impossible not to notice him with awe, so certain was his course and so majestic. He was very human, full of contradictions, an extravagant personality, never dull, gleefully imitated.
He was born in Kilrush, Co.Clare, and went to the local Christian Brothers School; there began that interest in and respect for the Brothers which endured throughout his long life. “I saw Christianity in the Brothers in Kilrush. Their ascetic spirituality appealed to him, and in his latter years he used lament the softness and slackness into which he saw the Society slipping, and contrast us unfavourably with the Brothers. For thirty years he was their spiritual director and through direct contact and a large : correspondence had enormous influence among them. He loved them and trusted them, “When I die, the Brothers are to be told first, and a Brother will come and clear out my room: I want no Jesuits to touch it”. Given the state of his room, a small battalion would have been required for this labour of love, but Tom had no doubt but that the Brothers would have responded to the call.
He finished his secondary education in at Tullabeg. He moved on to UCD for three years, taking a science degree - he had obtained first place in Ireland in Chemistry while at Clongowes, winning a gold medal in the process. Because of the outbreak of World War One his further studies in science were interrupted, nor were they ever resumed. He went to Stonyhurst for two years philosophy, and returned in 1916 to teach in Belvedere. Among the pupils of that five-year period was Kevin Barry, whose confidence he won, and who sent for him the night before his execution.
In 1921 he began theology at Milltown Park, and was ordained after two years, a privilege granted to those who had spent many years in regency. After two further years of theology, Fr John Fahy, the Provincial of the day, seeking to remedy some urgent problems at Mungret College, sent Tom there as Minister instead of forwarding him to tertianship. Tom remembered the challenge well: there were three tasks assigned him; the ending of the food strikes by the boys; the cleaning of the house, and the reconciling of the opposing views of the Rector and the Superior of the Apostolic School. His principle for reform, repeated to me 55 years later in reference to Milltown Park was: bona culina, bona disciplina. “When. I got to the front door, I asked for water and a mop. I washed my way to my room! I found an excellent layman to take over the kitchen, and the whole atmosphere changed within a week. Everyone was thrilled: I examined every plate of food and every cup, and the Provincial said at Visitation that I was the best Minister he ever appointed”.
The following year saw Tom in tertianship in Tullabeg. He was remembered as “always jolly and gay, . and a good choirmaster”. In 1927 sent back to Belvedere, where he was Headmaster for six years. Highly respected and successful, he taught Maths and Science, coached successful rugby and cricket teams, and had great control over the boys. He had a lifelong interest in sport, and was good at games. To the end he recalled a Visitors versus Community match about 1930, when, partnered by Fr Matty Bodkin, he scored 97 runs. And during a school retreat in . 1954 at Rathfarnham, to illustrate the importance of determination, he told us how once, when playing Gaelic in Kilrush, he got the ball near the goal, lay down and yelled to his team-mates: |Kick me into the net!” He told me that he was excellent at tennis: “Cyril (Power) and I at were unbeatable: I stayed at the back and Cyril went to the net: I returned all the shots he missed”. Reminiscences of such feats, delicately tinted with passing of the years, consoled him in the time of his infirmity.

In the public eye
In 1933 his talents as preacher and as a 'man's man' were given full scope, when he was appointed to the Mission and Retreat Staff. He was stationed at Emo first (1933-41) and then at Rathfarnham (1941-'43), Although he once described himself as “patched-up second tenor” he knew he had a splendid voice and could pitch it at will: he made of it a most effective apostolic instrument. His clear faith, unclouded as it seems by even a moment's doubt, made his message clear and convincing. He liked especially his work with Fr Garahy: between them they attracted huge crowds. Tom developed hymn-singing and revelled in leading his congregation at Missions and Benedictions, although once, to general dismay, he failed to get the right note, and overheard a remark afterwards that he sounded like a bellowing calf. He claimed he could drown out the Rathfarnham organ; to which challenge Fr H. Croasdaile rose by putting on an 8 foot Diapason.
He was at the height of his energies in this period; he remarked once that he had had indifferent health till his mid-forties, and suffered from a distressing, though harmless heart complaint throughout his life, but now he was travelling the length and breadth of Ireland, moving from parish to parish, always available. “I came home once after giving a Long Retreat, and got a message to start another one that night, and off I went. I gave more and better retreats than anyone else. To give a long retreat you have to make it yourself and give good example. I never took a villa – too many retreats to give ...”
For many years Dr John C. McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin, was his friend. “The Arch' as Fr Tom called him, engaged him to give spiritual nourishment to the seminarians in Clonliffe and so began a series of long retreats and lasting friendships with men of the diocese. His Grace asked for him to sit on the Government Commission on Youth and Unemployment (1943-50). His work as civil servant was obviously appreciated, for he was next appointed to the Commission on Emigration. The reports of both Commissions are published. Fr Tom had little to say in later years about their impact, “but at least I got all the members coming to confession and reading Marmion!” He was a fine public speaker and often addressed several meetings a week. His addresses were always full of Christian principle and conviction: the Labour men respected him, and Jim Larkin on his death-bed would have no one else but Fr Tom. We who came to know him only in his declining years would not have thought of him as a mediator; yet the daily arrival of a personal copy of the Irish Independent was a constant reminder that he had intervened to avert a newspaper strike. He was Chaplain to the Lord Mayor in the 1950s. He and "The Arch' fell out at a public meeting about the same time, because of a disagreement over policy. Happily good relations were restored at the time of Rathfarnham Retreat House's golden jubilee (1963).
His naive candour about his achievements ("Guess how many confessions I heard tonight!) added to his ex cathedra statements (I'm telling you ...) frustrated and annoyed many: those who disagreed with him found him difficult; patience was needed, but there seem to have been no shortage of patient men around, for the number of those who valued his friendship was legion. They valued his prayers during his lifetime too, and now have even greater trust in ' his power of intercession with God on their behalf. He had the ability to relate ' easily with young and old; doctors, : lawyers, bricklayers, priests – all could come and use him as consultant, moral theologian, as confessor and as friend. He was a great supporter of the Larkins and of James Connolly, and was sensitive to the rights of workers. He knew the social teaching of the Popes, and warned that anyone taking the encyclicals seriously would get into trouble. Men of vision and nonconformists often found in him an ally; institutions and officials which were failing in their duties found in him an outspoken and fearless critic. The lapsed called him 'the hound of heaven'; his zeal for souls sent him out on the streets to search for a relapsed alcoholic. He was sensitive, and visibly saddened if a penitent failed to keep the contract made in confession. He acknowledged that he good at helping the determined, but poor with the indecisive: he was grateful to be able to turn those with vocation crisis over to men like Fr Joe Erraught.

Retreat work
In 1950 he moved from Leeson street to Rathfarnham as Assistant Director of the Retreat House, and was equally effective both with men and boys. His years at Belvedere had taught him all the tricks of the schoolboy mind: in early 1954 we Sixth-years from St Vincent’s came trooping up the avenue towards the Castle, plotting all sorts of mischief. But the “The Coon” as we called him, dominated everything. He was impressive with his bald head and its odd bump at the back covered by a black skull-cap; but more by his voice and his kindly face. We knew he cared about us. He spaced us out, four to a bench, each with his own place, so that there would be no fooling in the chapel; he had a book which all must sign and this entailed going to his room, which ended in a chat and confession. His simple emphasis on the person of Christ was compelling. The tough grew silent, and that autumn, ten of the group went on for the priesthood.
For him the weekend retreats were times as of maximum effort. He was to be found after midnight of the opening night, patrolling Rathfarnham avenue with Br s John Adams, to catch the 'trailers - the nervous and the drunk. “The best wine comes last”, he'd say. He would see a man in the distance, go to him and lead him gently in. He became oblivious of time when dealing with the men in his room: Bishops took their turn in the queue, “I'm no respecter of persons”. Retreats didn't end on Monday morning: he encouraged men to return for direction. Marmion was most recommended; also Fulton Sheen. For spiritual ills, his remedies were crisp: frequent confession, penance and spiritual reading.
His penances were widely known was among the retreatants. “It's good for them to hear me (using the discipline)” he would say. The whole of religion is pain; you have to pay that price for the conversion of others. We are priests and victims. No man has ever refused to see me, because I suffered for them all. I used the discipline and the chain for the conversion of sinners. I got the idea from Michael Browne, my novice-master – he's a saint. A Bishop once asked me: “Is it true you use the scourge?” I said: “Yes. Do you?” I asked about his arthritis which had become so crippling towards end. “That's from the chains I wore.After a while the metal dug into the flesh and then affected the bone. Of course the pain is terrible, but I won't take anything to ease it. I must offer it to God, to make up what is wanting to the sufferings of Christ”. One felt that God must be impressed by his motivation. Not many could follow his ascetical path: “I didn't go to him for confession or counselling said one of the brethren, because I was afraid of his grá for the discipline”.
He came to Milltown in 1957, after some turbulence over the management of Rathfarnham, Again he was appointed Assistant Director of the Retreat House.
It may be noted that except for some work in England, he never travelled abroad: one may speculate on the scope of his life-work had he been assigned to Australia or to Hong Kong after tertianship. Priests' and professional men's retreat work, retained his connections during Fr Tom's time as Assistant Director. He continued to do outside retreat work retained his connections with the Christian Brothers, had time for innumerable visitors and penitents, and followed the fortunes of the English cricket team. His certitude about the rightness of his own convictions gave great security to many friends and penitents: “If you'll just do as I say, you'll be all right!' He loved company and friendship, and even in his declining years had a marvellous memory of persons met long ago. His correspondence was huge: requests for Masses and prayers were unending.
He loved the poor and was very kindly. As rector, I got into the habit of asking him for cash for the needy who came to the front door, and he never failed: sometimes he would give his pocket-money, while on other occasions he would tell a well-to-do penitent that money was needed, and it would be generously given. When he finally went into hospital the poor at the door mourned his departure. A side of him that was suitably hidden from most was his great generosity, thoughtfulness and sympathy for the really poor and those who have no one to champion their cause. He was never embarrassed to use his influence for them: he kept to the end a great interest in them and their families. He interceded with State bodies for the poor, and could be relied on to get jobs for the needy, with his vast network of friends, but more by his gift of persuasion. His remarkable memory for names and faces helped here. A correspondent who lived many years with him gives the following summary:
“One reason for his great apostolic success was that he kept his nose to the grindstone: his was the asceticism of being in his room, always welcoming and available. He took little exercise, and no holidays - nor did he take dessert, nor drink nor smoke cigarettes. All he allowed himself was a little snuff. He never, to my knowledge, read a novel, nor watched a film; he restricted his use of the radio to sport, and refused TV altogether. He went to bed at all hours, as the apostolate demanded, but was up often at 4.15 am. He had great devotion to the Stations of the Cross, which he said in the Chapel until his legs would support him no longer, and in his final years made them in his room, where he had a large set on the wall. He admired Fr Willie Doyle, Matt Talbot, and most of all his novice master, Fr Michael Browne – all of them great ascetics. He lived for the spread of the Gospel, and if he took a day off, he spent it with the Christian Brothers in Bray, hearing in dealing with them. confessions. A simple pleasure which he indulged to the end was the crossword. When stuck, he used ring up one of his friends for help, and the business of the city would be halted while the clue was worked out!”
In regard to Fr Michael Browne, another correspondent adds: “He told me he owed everything to Fr Browne, and that he had tried to build his life on his teaching. He said that whatever way Michael Browne spoke, of us you would be moved by what he said; for example, by the statement: God needs you, or We must be not only priests but victims. I think Fr Michael would have been proud of him: everything he undertook for God, he did well”.

The later years
From about 1970 onward, his arthritis gave increasing trouble, and we watched with awe his declining years, the slowly diminishing sphere of his activity. First a room on the first floor, so that getting to the door would not be too awkward. Then a handrail so that he could manage the stairs. Then a room on the Chapel Corridor when stairs became impossible. Slow walks up and down the drive with faithful and patient companion, Fr Brendan Lawler. Then confined to the room, a den of wild chaos: plants, dust, tattered booklets, snuff. We spent weeks wondering would he refuse the wheelchair. Then one day: “There are our stages in getting old, you know. First it's the room, then the chair, then even the bed, and then the box”. He wondered once if Fr Willie Doyle, whose photo he had in his room, would have coped well with the pains of old age, a harder asceticism than the freely-chosen austerities of youth. Lively and athletic as he had been, he never complained about the ever-increasing restrictions the Lord placed on him. He was blessed in his infirmarian, Br Joe Cleary, even if he seldom acknowledged it openly. Joe built him a padded chair, and it became his throne: there he sat and slept and prayed, and held court and heard confessions, read the Tablet and said innumerable rosaries - the 15 mysteries daily.
He loved Our Lady, and read a five-volume Life of her, written by the Ven. Mary Agreda, and used quote at length passages detailing “facts” known neither to scripture nor tradition. He kept all Mary's feastdays with great solemnity, and was deeply devoted to Our Lady of Lourdes and Bernadette. Little wonder that Frank Duff was a long-standing friend, and that Legion of Mary affairs were important to him. I like to think of of him being wheeled down the Milltown Corridor by Br Joe Cleary or Bill Reddy – the latter used to stand in for the infirmarian, and put up patiently with lots of abuse when Tom was in poor mood, and that Bill did so is a measure of the devotion and respect Tom inspired in so many. Anyway, down the corridor he'd come and swing into the refectory: anyone daring to obstruct his progress t got poked with a stick. Tom dominated the refectory from his chosen table, singing a hymn at the top of his voice, and delighted if he created attention or gathered a chorus. “They're all too dull in his here: look at them all with their solemn faces. They need to smile”. It was hard, even on a wet morning, not to smile at him, with his black knitted hat firmly on the back of his head, and his gown and coat covered in snuff. Perhaps he recognised that he was not a community man, and that in fact distances and chasms yawned between him and some of the brethren, and in his own inimitable way was trying to make up, by allowing himself to become a figure of fun. It was a source of lifelong hurt to him never to have been invited to give a retreat to Jesuits; he felt a lack of trust in the “management”. He ignored the fact that many other good men had also failed to receive such an invitation.
He was a convinced anti-feminist, though he gave many retreats to sisters in his heyday. He had an Aloysius-like respect for the Ne tangas, rejected female nurses, and would have no women in for confession: he was there for the men, and others could look after the weaker sex. Sisters crowding around the Milltown Institute notice-boards learned to scatter at his approach. In the chapel, if one happened to be obscuring his line of vision of the tabernacle, a stage whisper would float through the air and the guilty soul, breathless with adoration though she might be, had to slink further along her bench. He opposed the introduction women visitors into the refectory: in this he was not unique. But when the battle was long lost, he still continued a guerrilla warfare by protesting against any women who happened to be facing him: they should all face up the Refectory and away from him. In his last year, however, spent in the Richmond, had to submit to the ministrations of the female staff, and by and large bore it well. He used to boast at Milltown that he took a bath twice a year, whether he needed it or not: when the nurses took charge of him, they apparently decided that this boast had been true, and proceeded to give him an ether bath, “They removed four or five pounds from me. They're very wicked nurses; now I'll be a prey to all sorts of diseases which the dirt saved me from”. The nurses grew very fond of him and tended him with love: it is not clear just how much that love was reciprocated!
The obverse of that simple certitude which was a blessing to so many was a quality of intolerance with those who disagreed with him. He was an easy man to work with only while one was on his side. The tale is told of a retreat for priests at Milltown. Tom had not been assigned to give it, but he thought little of the man who had, So at the end of each talk he would lurk about at the door of the chapel and waylay one of the group and ask: “Well, what did he say this time?” One being told, he would snort: “Rubbish”, and proceed to give his, the correct, version. These remedial instructions were so comprehensive that one retreatant was left with the scruple that perhaps he should pay for two retreats instead of one, while another felt that he was excused from the obligation of the following year's retreat.
He had a clear eye for the faults of the brethren, and could articulate them in devastating fashion. As Headmaster he acknowledged that he would have got rid of a number of scholastics then teaching in Belvedere, while fifty years later he offered unsolicited advice of the same nature to me at the breakfast-table. In his early years with the Christian Brothers. he was idolised by many because he seemed so far ahead in his outlook: it was sad that growth stopped at some point such that the forward movement of the Society and of the Province since 1965 left him angry and embittered. He could see nothing but compromise and weakness in many developments, and felt that the original spirit of the Society had been betrayed. Perhaps not surprisingly, he seemed untroubled by any regrets for his sometimes scathing criticisms. Superiors bore the brunt of his wrath, and so I entered on the job of Rector of Milltown in 1974 with trepidation, but a reliance on the fact that he had a soft spot for me, having sent me to the novitiate. Thus began a breakfast-table friendship, something forbidden all others. Through good moods or ill we chatted about the issues of the day; as the years passed and his deafness (selective, some thought) increased, I was cast as passive listener: while he played the part of self-appointed admonitor of all who needed correction, from Father General down to the kitchen staff. The remarkable thing was that if one stood up to him and contradicted him, there would be a brief storm, after which he would ease up and laugh. It was said of him that he lived by indignation. Certainly he loved the ring of battle: Quem timebo? he would say. But while he took joy into the smash that put his opponent away, he could acknowledge a good return and passing shot too. I look back on my years with him as a great privilege: sometimes I wonder if his crusty exterior was a façade for an inner gentleness. When he left Milltown for the last time, en route first to Our Lady's Hospice and then, at his nephew's insistence, to the Richmond (where Harry, his nephew, was Consultant), I went to tidy his room, and found there the letter I had sent him in 1954, three days after my entering Emo. Why should that have meant so much to him? Another gentle touch came at the end of a visit to him in hospital, when he said: “I. hope I wasn't boring?” On another occasion I was sitting on his bed, chatting, and moved position after a while. There was silence for a bit, then he said: “Now you're sitting on my other leg”. When I took leave of him in September 1981, and said I'd see him in six months, he was silent, but I'd almost swear his eyes glistened.
Thus, like most of us, he was a man of contradictions. 'Quem timebo?' yet he could not bear to sleep alone in the house at night. A totally spiritual man, yet he feared death and could be thrown into panic by a heart condition which though distressing, he knew to be harmless. Likewise, he had his gentle side and his rough edges. The trick was to learn to roll with the punches. 'Whatever job they give you next, he said to the Province Delegate for Formation, 'I hope it won't be in formation: you're useless at it! Fourth-year Fathers had to learn not to take too seriously the admonition; "You're not fit for hearing Confessions, Leave that work to me: it's me they want."

The end
He cherished for long a desire to be buried with the Christian Brothers: opinions differed on the real reason: Was it his lifelong friendship with them, or the fact that Brothers are buried in individual graves, whereas Jesuits have a single mass grave? The latter would appear to be the true reason; he let slip one day that he was concerned that in 50 years' time 'people won't be able to find me in Glasnevin!' The presumption was that there'd be those around who would wish to know: some of his brethren would consider this an irritating conceit. But he operated with a different frame work from that currently in vogue: Fr Michael Browne had taught him the importance of sanctity: it was a goal to be achieved, not simply admired in the saints of old. The means were clear: constancy in prayer, asceticism, zeal for the Kingdom of God, and total faith in God's grace. Tom saw miracles of grace worked in his friends and penitents; it did not seem too strange to him to think that God would do likewise in himself, and that he might be chosen by God as a channel of grace for others after his death, just as he had been during his lifetime.
In 1979 Fr Tom celebrated his 70th year in the Society, and the occasion was marked by a lunch in his honour, at the close of which he made a speech. "Love and joy' he said, “have been the chief characteristics of my life.' His hearers were a trifle incredulous then, but not so now. He has entered into the company of Love and Joy, and laughter and the love of friends innumerable are his again. And I have little doubt but that as he looks down on our topsy-turvy world he indulges in the occasional comment, meant for Them, as to what remedial steps should be taken.

◆ The Clongownian, 1982

Obituary

Father Thomas Counihan SJ

Fr Counihan died on the 12th of January 1981 in the 91st year of his age, having out lived his eight brothers and five sisters. He was born in Kilrush, Co Clare, and went to the local Christian Brothers' school; there began that interest in and respect for the Brothers which endured throughout his long life.

He finished his secondary education in Clongowes and joined the Order in 1909, spending two years in the novitiate at Tullabeg. He moved on to UCD for three years, taking a science degree - he had obtained first place in Ireland in chemistry while at Clongowes, winning a gold medal in the process. Because of the outbreak of World War One his further studies in science were interrupted, nor were they ever resumed. He went to Stonyhurst for two years philosophy, and returned in 1916 to teach in Belvedere. Among the pupils of that five-year period was Kevin Barry, whose confidence he won, and who sent for him the night before his execution.

In 1921 he began theology at Milltown Park, and was ordained after two years, a privilege granted to those who had spent many years teaching as scholastics. After two further years of theology he was sent as Minister to Mungret College.

In 1927 he was sent back to Belvedere, where he was Headmaster for six years. Highly respected and successful, he taught Maths and Science, coached successful rugby and cricket teams, and had great control over the boys.

In 1933 his talents as preacher and as a “man's man” were given full scope, when he was appointed to the Mission and Retreat staff. He was stationed in Emo first (1933-41) and then at Rathfarnham (1941-43).

For many years Dr John C McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin, was his friend. “The Arch”, as Fr Tom called him, engaged him to give spiritual nourishment to the seminarians in Clonliffe and so began a series of long retreats and lasting friendships with men of the diocese. His Grace asked him to sit on the Government Commission on Youth and Unemployment (1943-50). His work as civil servant was obviously appreciated, for he was next appointed to the Commission on Emigration. The reports of both Cominissions are published. Fr Tom had little to say in later years about their impact, “but at least I got all the members coming to confession and reading Marmion!”

He was a fine public speaker and often addressed several meetings a week. His addresses were always full of Christian prin ciple and conviction: the Labour men respec ted him, and Jim Larkin on his death-bed would have no one else but Fr Tom. He was Chaplain to the Lord Mayor in the 1950's.

In 1950 he moved from Leeson Street to Rathfarnham as Assistant Director of the Retreat House.

In 1957 he moved to Milltown Park and again was appointed Assistant Director of the Retreat House.

In 1957 he moved to Milltown Park and again was appointed Assistant Director of the Retreat House. He loved company and friend ship, and even in his declining years had a marvellous memory for persons met long ago. His correspondence was huge; requests for Masses and prayers were unending.

From about 1970 onwards, his arthritis gave increasing trouble and slowly but surely his sphere of activity declined. In 1979 he celebrated his 70th year in the Society of Jesus. He has entered into the company of Love and Joy, and laughter and the love of friends innumerable are his again.

Coyle Desmond A J, 1912-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/739
  • Person
  • 10 April 1912-11 October 1962

Born: 10 April 1912, Clontarf, Dublin
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Woodstock College MD, USA
Died: 11 October 1962, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

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

Younger brother of Rupert - RIP 1978; Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1947 at Woodstock MD, USA (MAR) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

America :
Fr. Desmond Coyle, Woodstock College, Woodstock, Maryland :
“There were three other priests on board, two Irish-American parish. priests and a Capetown parish priest, so we had four Masses each morning in the ship's library, the first said by myself at 5.30. The times of the Masses were announced over the public address system in English and French, A French sub-deacon from Marseilles did the French announcing. We had Confessions on Thursday for the First Friday and 47 went to Holy Communion. After the Masses on Friday the Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart was recited. One of the priests, who bad made the voyage several times, said he had never seen so many attending Mass. The three priests were a godsend to the passengers, as they were very lively and organised sing-songs every evening for young folk. It was amusing to see some very black Protestants from Belfast succumb to the charm of Fr. Thomas Masterson of Longford, now of Springfield diocese, Illinois. He ran the ship. They could not understand how a Catholic priest could be so affable. He is a great friend of our Fathers in St. Louis, and for the last seventeen years has had them three times a year for missions and retreats.
I am staying at St. Ignatius' Rectory, Park Avenue, for the moment. Fr. Vincent McCormick very kindly showed me some of the parish after dinner, as well as Mrs. Julia Grant's house (we had suffrages for her a few years ago ; she built and endowed the only endowed Jesuit school in U.S.A.). A few of the Fathers bound for Rome are here at present Among them is Fr. Dragon of Canada. The church here has two patrons : St. Ignatius and St. Lawrence O'Toole”.
Fr. Coyle is doing the second year of his doctorate in theology at Woodstock. He reached New York on August 4th after a pleasant sea trip on the S.S. Brasil

◆ Irish Province News 38th Year No 1 1963 & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1963

Obituary :

Fr Desmond Coyle SJ

Desmond A. J. Coyle as he usually liked to sign himself-was born in Dublin in 1912, the youngest of a large family of boys. He went to school in Belvedere in 1921 and from there to Clongowes, in 1923, after the death of his mother. His brother, Father Rupert, was Lower Line Prefect at the time. A friend who remembers him at that time writes: “What stands out most in my memory is his complete friendliness. He was one of those happy boys who have nothing to conceal and who win friendship by taking it for granted that others are their friends”. In his final year in school - a year incidentally in which Fr. E. Mackey gave the retreat - six boys entered the novitiate; three of these were from a group of five friends: Val Moran, Harry Fay and Des Coyle. It would be hard, I think, to exaggerate the influence that Harry Fay had on Des's life. All of that large vintage of novices for a time there were fifty in the newly-opened Emo - will have vivid memories of Harry's break-down in health from heart disease and his long struggle from that first year in Rathfarnham until his death in Milltown Park in 1939 before he was ordained. Desmond did not have his own first serious skirmish with death till 1937, but even during Juniorate he was seldom really well. He had an unbounded admiration for Harry Fay's extraordinary unselfishness and courage. For Harry kept to the end a great zest for life, especially intellectual life, and he had a flattering way of making everyone else of his numerous friends feel that they had the same kind of capacity as he.
After getting a B.A. in Classics, Desmond went to Tullabeg for Philosophy. In November 1937 the very serious nature of his illness showed itself; he had a haemorrhage from duodenal ulcer early in the morning. Mr. Donal Mulcahy was soon on the scene and then Fr. Billy Byrne. He was anointed and Fr. Billy pronounced him “finished” of course thinking he was unconscious. Des heard this at the time and recalled it with relish as soon as he started to recover. In this crisis he showed himself an extremely courageous and even humorous patient. His remark, when he could barely whisper, “I am as tired as So-and-so”, went into folklore. From this on for a few years his studies were disorganised. He did a brief period in the colleges - Mungret - and then returned to Tullabeg.
When he came to Milltown Park he settled into a routine of life which in essentials he maintained to the end: extremely hard, conscientious work at theology, coupled with a surprising capacity for other interests. He thoroughly enjoyed concerts, matches, etc., perhaps more as social occasions and a meeting place for friends than for themselves. One thing he allowed no place for and that was self-pity on the score of health, which remained more than precarious. He could on occasion be vigorous in protest about some lesser snag but never about this. During his fourth year he became so engrossed in work that he husbanded every minute; though the story that he blessed the Palms in Roundwood from the bus to save time and be able to get back home in the morning is probably apochryphal!
After the Tertianship in Rathfarnham under Fr. L. Kieran, he was assigned to further study in theology; but as this was now the middle forties there was no question of going to Rome or any European centre. After a year in Maynooth he went to Woodstock College, Maryland. Here I should say, from the way he always spoke of it, he was extremely happy. Desmond really loved meeting new people; he was keen to hear all they had to tell him about their work and interests, and was tireless, in turn, in arranging things for them, whether a journey through the realms of dogma or through a city.
He taught the “Short Course” for a while and then Major Dogma; this was probably for him the term of his “ambition”. He was an enthusiast for theology and while in formal lectures his method was somewhat dry for most tastes and too cumulative of authorities, his industry and confidence in its supreme importance were inspiring. He was at his best in his room, speaking privately; visitors always seemed most welcome to him. While he shrank from committing himself to print he was tireless in helping others to amass authorities and sources for an article or book. With his encouragement and assistance, papers, originally read in class, were subsequently published in first-class theological journals. Fr. L. O'Grady, then Provincial, gratefully remembers the work he did in checking references and sources for his two papers read at the Maynooth Summer School and afterwards published in the book Mother of the Redeemer,
A notable and very pleasing trait in his character was his readiness to congratulate anyone who had written, lectured in public, etc. He was most genuinely appreciative on these occasions. In offering condolence and saying Mass for those in trouble he was particularly thoughtful and kindhearted.
He was very interested in Mariology and was an active member of the Irish Mariological Society. A run wrote of “a wonderful course of theological lectures which he gave to the community in the Marian Year on the Maternity of Our Lady. So we were much impressed by the fact that Our Lady should call him on that identical feast”. Another spoke of “his ardent zeal for theology which was contagious. ...”
Fr. A. Gwynn in a recent Province News commented on Fr. Coyle's most useful work as librarian in Milltown for nine years, in the increase “in number and quality of the periodicals purchased”, which attract students also from outside the Society.
Fr. Desmond had a number of very devoted lay friends whom he helped in all family events - baptisms, deaths, marriages, etc. He became a great apostle of the timely and frequent administration of Extreme Unction, as also of Confirmation of dying children and Communion for the sick. It gave him real pleasure to make full use of the relaxation of the fasting laws in such cases. In fact, for Desmond, not to use a privilege to the full was almost equivalent to heresy!
It was a hard bout of work on recent rubrical changes which showed that his strength was ebbing. At first it appeared that he was only some what overwrought and needed rest. While he was in hospital receiving suitable treatment the old, or similar, trouble recurred and he underwent surgical treatment for it. He had a long and trying illness during much of which he struggled with all his old resilience to get back to work. At what stage he realised that this was very unlikely is hard to know. However much he suffered he probably refused to think other than optimistically of his prospects and may have managed, as it were from habit, to exclude other considerations from his consciousness; certainly he never made melancholy play with them. He was a fine example of how to lead a hard life happily. May he rest in peace.

Coyle, Rupert F H, 1896-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/105
  • Person
  • 23 April 1896-20 January 1978

Born: 23 April 1896, Rathmines, Dublin
Entered: 30 August 1913, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1927, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1933, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 20 January 1978, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

Older brother of Desmond - RIP 1962; Studied Arts at UCD

by 1932 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 2 1978

Obituary :

Fr Rupert Coyle (1896-1978)

On January 20th, 1978 Belvedere lost someone who was morally part of itself when Father Rupert Coyle died.
Born in Dublin, on April 23rd 1896, Father Rupert Coyle completed his education in Belvedere and his First Arts Course at UCD, before entering the Noviceship on August 30th, 1913. He completed his Maths-Science Course in UCD from 1915 to 1918. After a year's teaching in Belvedere (1918-1919) he began his Philosophy in Milltown Park. His Philosophy Course was not completed until 1924 because it was interrupted by three years teaching in Clongowes, 1920 to 1923. Father Coyle was ordained priest at Milltown Park on July 31st, 1927. After three years teaching in Mungret (1928-1931) he went to St Beuno's for his Tertianship (1931-1932).
After his Tertianship began his uninterrupted work in Belvedere until his death in 1978.
In Belvedere he was : 1932-1933: Prefect of Games; 1933-1955: Prefect of Studies; 1955-1968: Teaching; 1968-1972: Adj. Oecon.; Editor “Belvederian”; Editor of the “Ordo”; From 1972 he was Adj. Oecon, until his death on January 20th, 1978.
A colleague of Father Rupert Coyle has sent us a tribute from Belvedere which, no doubt, expresses concisely what so many who have lived and worked for so long with Father Rupert Coyle would wish to say.

A Tribute to Father Rupert from a Colleague
Father Coyle was a man completely dedicated to his task as teacher and Prefect of Studies. He set a very high standard. Day after day in all weathers he patrolled the school yard. He was a frequent visitor to the classrooms and even though these inspections were unwelcomed by the boys they learned in later years that he was genuinely interested in their welfare.
A fine mathematician he introduced classes in Maths, Physics, and under his aegis the course in Philosophy for post Leaving Certificate students was started. He had high ideals of academic attainment for both staff and boys. But he was a man of sound common sense and realised that very many were not designed to be academics, and he encouraged his pupils to take part in the many extra-curricular activities of the school, and develop their talents that otherwise they might have been quite happy to hide.
Time after time he recalled at recreation how his past pupils had done so well. He was a “diehard” supporter of the Old Belvedere Rugby and Cricket Clubs, and even in his old age he was most conscientious in attending funerals of his former students. He was no “socialite”, and indeed in many ways he was a shy man, but with the passing of the years, and after a spell for Colostomy in St Vincent’s Hospital he showed qualities of human kindness dormant till then.
He was a model in his devotion to the religious life. He was a man of “de more” regularly and punctuality. He had a keen sense of humour and his repartee and wit brightened many recreations. Up to his last illness he worked steadily, A man of iron will, he left hospital to try to continue his work as Bursar.
In his last year of life his health declined steadily. It was a trying cross for a man of great ability and enthusiasm, and on occasions he confided that he was “bored to tears”. Brother Jim Dunne cared for him and tended him with a devotion far beyond the call of duty, and Fathers Finbar Lynch and Peter Troddyn did much to alleviate his loneliness. The Grand Old Man of Belvedere is now with God and the loss to Belvedere is irreparable.

◆ The The Belvederian, Dublin, 1978

Obituary

Father Rupert Coyle SJ (1912)

In the Belvederian 1963 the following tribute was paid to Fr, Coyle:

Father Rupert Coyle SJ (1903–12), so well known to many generations of Belvederians, is this year celebrating his Golden Jubilee as a Jesuit. His connection with Belvedere goes back to the beginning of the century and since then his name and those of many of his family appear repeatedly in the pages of The Belvederian. In the current roll some of the younger members figure still; perhaps no family has made a greater impact on College life than the Coyles.

In 1910 he captained the Junior Cup Team. In the same year Father Charles Moloney SJ, who recently celebrated his Golden Jubilee, was secretary of the team. In The Belvederian of that year both are mentioned as outstanding players. The Captain's untiring energy and enthusiasm are emphasised. In all his work during the year he has shown the same energy and enthusiasm for Belvedere and its ideals. In 1912 Father Coyle was Vice-Captain of the Senior Cup Team, while Father Moloney was Captain. In the same year Father Moloney was Prefect of the BVM Sodality and Father Coyle second assistant.

When Father Coyle came back in 1932 he had charge of the games until he became Prefect of Studies. His tenure of office as Games Master saw the transfer of the grounds at Cabra to future generations.

He held his post as Prefect of Studies a record number of years-about twenty-one-So that it would be impossible to touch on all who passed through his hands, but many a one who reads these lines will recall with gratitude the help and en couragement he got from the Prefect of Studies. He had a surprising interest in every boy-surprising that is, when one thinks of the numbers of his charges.

He watched carefully for signs of slackness but also for evidence of over-anxiety, and one of his former teaching staff relates that he was frequently asked whether a certain boy was working too hard or showing evidence of strain. If the answer was in the affirmative, that boy's hours of work and sleep were fixed by Father Coyle.

So he has the good wishes and gratitude of hundreds of his boys and will have the prayers of all for his welfare and his happiness that his dedicated work may continue.

AMDG

-oOo-

Fr Coyle never officially retired from active service. After a colostomy operation in 1956 his one desire was to come back and continue teaching, which he did for twelve years until 1968. After he collapsed in O'Connell Street at Christmas 1976 and the pacemaker was installed his only anxiety was to return to Belvedere and continue his work as assistant Bursar, Self pity never entered his reckoning. He never suggested that Belvedere owed him anything. He merely wanted to get back there and continue working. There was one later incident, amusing but poignant. Earlier this year an urgent phone call came from the dedicated Sisters at Our Lady's Hospice for the Dying. Fr Coyle wished to see a priest ...A priest was whisked out complete with stole and oils. To him Fr Coyle had only this to say: “I want to you to take me back to Belvedere now”. What sad scheming.

It must not be thought that he had been abandoned. He had visitors from Belvedere almost every day. Sometimes he could not remember who had been Sometimes he could. Before going to the Hospice he had had nurses day and night in his room in Belvedere. There he used to say Mass seated at a table with another priest concelebrating. But eventually the nurses could not manage: he might decide in the middle of the night that it was time to totter down the rickety stairs, and no woman was going to stop him.

The world, school world and outside world, was very different in 1933–1955. (This seems obvious to anyone who was alive then but in 20 year's time we will be fewer in number). In 1942 Fr. Coyle used to visit each class every day. he would walk in, probably say nothing, go over to the window, ook out, holding the cord. He look out, holding the cord. He would listen to the lesson for a while and then depart. In those days bus conductors wore uniforms, uniforms with numbers on. There were dictators all over Europe. People accepted and expected a well-defined system of control.

Fr Coyle would station himself on the corner of the stairway near his office at the beginning and end of every break. It was the one spot in the building that every boy had to pass. This made the boys more aware, if necessary, who was running the show. A name called out and a dreaded finger pointing to the space outside his office door meant that one had to wait there until everyone else was gone and then, perhaps, have one's latin verbs examined.

A Prefect of Studies had to be physically fit in those days. Perhaps now, in our enlightenment, we find it strange or shocking, but at that time there was in more frequent use in the home as well. In the nineteen forties hardware shops and family grocers would often have a bunch of canes on display for domestic chastisement. Fr Coyle used to tell of an occasion when Queen Victoria felt obliged to smack the little bottom of the future King Edward during some royal reception. A group of elder statesmen formed a screen. Something like a huddle in the middle of a rugby pitch, one supposes. Times change! In this matter not all the children of the school were cherished equally. It was more in the nature of "to each according to his need; from each according to his ability”. Fr Coyle took a particular interest in boys of the first two years, especially if he thought a boy was slacking or could be in a stronger class. Some were regularly called into his office to have lessons examined and given a straight talking-to. Those lectures ... Possibly no recipient can remember a single word of what he said - but they must have had a deterrent value.

Fr Coyle did not retire from Prefectship of Studies to become an eminence grise. He stepped back into the ranks to become a teacher of mathematics. Despite his sometimes dogged attachment to his own ways as Prefect of Studies he did not try to dictate to others how they should do the job. His own religious formation was in the old manner. Yet he made unostentatious efforts to adapt with the Church. He took part in Community discussions and listened with commendable patience to the ideas of people who were fifty years his junior. He was an optimist. He was a fighter. He was not an inspiring leader, but he was given a job to do and did it with no complaint. Possibly he is a man for our time, catching the pendulum on the counter swing. He never asked to be “fulfilled as a human person”, as we tend to do. Perhaps, in some modern senses of the expression, he never “found himself”. Of course he never went looking; he was too busy working for the Lord.

Coyne, Edward J, 1896-1958, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 20 June 1896, 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, Dublin

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 interests.is 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

Obituary

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.

RBS

-oOo-

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.

EK

Coyne, John J, 1889-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/42
  • Person
  • 28 April 1889-17 March 1978

Born: 28 April 1889, Dunmore, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome, Italy
Died: 17 March 1978, Milltown Park, Dublin - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969

Unlce of Jimmy McPolin - RIP 2005 and John Russell

Early education at Christian Brothers College Cork and Clongowes Wood College SJ
Studied for an MA in Classics at UCD and awarded a Studentship in 1912-1913

by 1914 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1919 at Nowy Sącz Collège, Poland (GALI) studying
by 1925 at Baexem, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) making Tertianship
by 1927 at Rome Italy (ROM) Socius English Assistant (Substitute English Assistant)
by 1966 at Loyola Lusaka (POL Mi) Diocesan Archivist

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr John Coyne was born in Dromore, Co Galway, Ireland on 28th April 1889, where both his father and mother were teachers. Within a couple of years, his father became an inspector of schools and as a young inspector he was kept on the move: after a period in Dublin he was posted to Tralee, then to Cavan and then on to Cork in 1902. After three years with the Christian Brothers in Cork, John came to Clongowes in 1905.

He entered the Society in Tullabeg on the 7th September 1906. After vows, he attended the university taking a classics degree, also taking an M.A. in 1912. He won a traveling scholarship and was posted to Innsbruck in Austria. Later he moved to Vienna as the First World War had broken out. Then he went on to Poland for a year to Nowy Sacz to prepare for his final philosophical examination. Returning to Ireland, he completed his studies and was ordained priest on 15 August 1922.

Assigned to Rome after tertianship, he became substitute secretary to the English Assistant from 1925 to 1929. Fr Wladimir Ledochowski, the General of the Jesuits, told him that he had learned as much in the Curia as he was likely to learn and that he was sending him back to Ireland to become rector of Belvedere College in Dublin.

He was master of novices from 1931 to 1934. One of his novices said of him later, "I think it would not be unfair to describe Fr John as a Christian stoic rather than as a Christian humanist".

Then came a long period of 24 years (1935 to 1959) as socius to the provincial, not just to one Provincial but to four of them – Frs L Kieran, J R Mac Mahon, T Byrne and L O’Grady (who for reasons of health and temperament 'left Province decisions rest far too much on his socius, Fr John'). He worked for a few years in Gardiner Street Church after being socius.

In 1964 at the age of 75, he accepted an invitation of the Polish Archbishop Kozlowiecki of Lusaka to come and set the diocesan archives in order. Though his provincial suggested a stay of six months, Fr John spent about 8 years in Zambia.

Returning to Ireland, he spent a lot of time translating works of German into English. He was prevailed upon to write his memoirs. 'Memoirs of a Jesuit priest 1906 to 1977: Grafted on the Olive Tree’. He died a year after this on 17 March 1978 in Dublin.

Of Fr Coyne’s time in Zambia, Fr Max Prokoph writes:
‘In spite of his age, he tried to make himself useful in every way possible. For a man who had a finger in every pie in his home province for so many years, it was quite remarkable that he never tried to interfere in the province of his adoption, but spent his time in all sorts of projects for which a younger person would neither have the time nor the inclination. Having put the archives of the Lusaka Archdiocese in order and separated what belonged to the newly erected diocese of Monze (1962). He got down to gathering material for a history of the mission in the days of the Zambesi Mission. Since there was only one full-time priest available for the parish of St Ignatius (Fr Des 0’Loghlen) he gave a hand wherever he could, in the confessional, extra Masses, keeping the parish registers and not least by regular systematic parish visiting, house by house, as far as he could get on foot, perhaps the most systematic visiting the neighbourhood ever had. Quite a few were brought back to the church’.

Fr Michael Moloney writes:
‘Fr Coyne took a very keen interest in what Jesuits had done in Zambia since the coming of Frs Moreau and Torrend for whom he had a deep admiration. Admiration for people who did "great things for Christ" was a permanent attitude of his. His standard for a Jesuit was that he should be "a saint, a scholar and a gentleman" and he clearly tried to exemplify that in his own life. He was a kindly man yet at the same time a puzzle to many. Many wondered what "the real John Coyne was like" because externally he seemed to be set in a conventional spiritual mould and to be rather formal in much of his behaviour, so much so that one cannot escape the conclusion that he was a man with a conflict between his personality traits and what he considered Jesuit spirituality demanded of him. In Zambia he was faithful to his afternoon stroll during which he would meet people and through which he made some friends whose hospitality he was pleased to accept".

◆ Irish Province News
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 Gongress 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 34th Year No 4 1959

GENERAL
On 17th June Very Reverend Fr. General appointed Fr. Brendan Barry as Socius to Fr. Provincial in succession to Father John Coyne. Thus came to an end a term of office which had lasted for nearly a quarter of a century. This surely must be an easy record. Many members of the Province had known no other Socius and some of the younger generation might not have been able to name any of Fr. Coyne's predecessors. Provincials might come and go but Fr. Coyne remained, an abiding element in a changing world. In all, he worked under four Provincials; Fr. Kieran, during whose period of office he became Socius (22nd February, 1935), Fr. J. R. MacMahon, Fr. T. Byrne and Fr. M. O’Grady. On more than one occasion he deputised as Vice-Provincial. He had come to be regarded as an almost indispensable appendage of government, and then in June the appointment of a new Fr. Socius came as a reminder that even Socii are, after all, subject to the law of mutability.
At the celebration of his golden jubilee in 1956, Fr. Coyne said that his career in the Society had been a series of false starts and changes of direction. But these seemingly false starts, his interrupted classical studies, his years as Substitute to the English Assistant, as Rector of Belvedere and as Master of Novices were preparing him for what was to be the great work of his life. These experiences gave him an understanding of the day-to-day business of the government of the Society and of individual houses, and, of course, his impeccable Latin prose and mastery of curial style. At the same jubilee celebrations the Provincial for the time being and two former Provincials paid tribute to his skill in the dispatch of business, his loyalty, generosity and other personal qualities. To these the Province may add: his courtesy, tact, sympathy and good sense. The timid or diffident who considered a personal interview with Fr. Provincial too formidable found in Fr. Coyne the perfect intermediary. To all who had permissions to ask or MSS. for censorship or other small business to transact he was always approachable and gracious. The province takes this opportunity of thanking him and of expressing its admiration, Not to say amazement, at the cheerfulness with which year after year he went about the infinity of his important but monotonous tasks. It also extends a warm welcome to Fr. Barry in his new work.

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 3 1978

Obituary :

Fr John Coyne (1889-1978)

Father John Coyne was born in Dunmore, Co. Galway on 28 April 1889 where both his father and mother were teaching. Within a couple of years his father became an inspector of schools, and as a young inspector he was kept on the move: after a brief spell in Dublin he was posted to Tralee, then Cavan and then in 1902 to Cork. After three years with the Christian Brothers on Patrick’s Hill, John came to Clongowes in 1905. He used to say that he felt the first feeble stirrings of vocation while in St Patrick’s College, Cavan, but that the call was peremptory one night in his cubicle in Clongowes when he felt “visited” by an overpowering grace of God: “a wave of deep peace and brightest light flooded my soul to its deepest”.
Two aspects of his youth will surprise those of us who came to know him only after his curial training in Rome: his mother whose parents were English found her favourite reading in John Mitchell's “Jail Journal”; secondly one of the greatest disappointments of his youth was in losing the Junior Munster Final, in which he played as a forward, to Presentation College when at the last moment a sturdy Presentation full-back dropped a goal from half-way which soared between the posts. That he took exhibitions, medals and prizes in his stride is what one expects; his father used to con a chapter of St Luke’s Greek with him every Sunday.
Though only one year in Clongowes he was much in luck to find among his masters four scholastics: Tim Corcoran, Charlie Mulcahy, Patrick Connolly and William O’Keeffe. Among his classmates in that year’s Rhetoric were Paddy McGilligan, Tom Arkins, Tom O'Malley and J B O'Connell, later to become an authority on matters liturgical. Paddy McGilliagan beat him by 25 marks for a medal in Latin.
When he decided to offer himself to the Society the then Provincial, Father John S Conmee, began his chat in this way: “Well John, what makes you want to join the ‘crafties’: that is how Dublin priest speak of us?” Later Father Conmee visited I Rhetoric during Latin class, and John was asked to construe “O fons Bandusiae”.
In the following September eight novices turned up in Tullabeg: among them Hugh Kelly from Westport, John Deevy from Waterford, Henry Johnson from Belfast, Michael Meeney from Limerick, Denis Nerney and John from Cork. In Tullabeg for a year and a half Father James Murphy was his novice master: John liked to tell how Father Murphy, like an Old Testament Prophet, summoned all his novices round his bed, recalling for the last time the great principles of Ignatian spirituality by which his novices were to live. Father Murphy died on 28th March 1908, and his Socius, Fr Tighe took over until Father Michael Browne was appointed in August,
After his first vows on 8 September 1908, he and his fellows moved to another table and wore their birettas. For his first two years he was coached by Fr John Keane and Mr Dan Finn in Tullabeg, going to Dublin only to sit for the Royal University exams. In his third year 86 St Stephen's Green had become the Dublin College of the new National University, so the Juniors moved up to Milltown. His Greek Professor was Father Henry Browne and for Latin Paddy Semple.
He took his MA In 1912: his thesis dealt with Hellenism as a force in Eastern life and thought; he spent most of this year in Trinity Library as facilities in 86 were understandably limited. He spent the Christmas term teaching English and Latin in Belvedere, but early in the new year Father T V Nolan, recently appointed Provincial, sent him back to Milltown to prepare himself for the travelling studentship in Classics coming up in the following September.
John won the studentship and was posted to Innsbruck. By a stroke of luck he met on the Holyhead boat the extern examiner for his thesis and his oral, Professor J S Reid, a notable Ciceronian scholar; generously the Professor gave him a letter of introduction to Professor Rudolf von Scala in Innsbruck, chief expert on Polybius, the Greek historian of Rome. Scala gave him a warm welcome, the run of his library and welcome to his lectures. With disappointment on John’s part he suggested as the subject of his Bodenpreise (Ground Rents). As sources for his thesis in Innsbruck were thin, John moved to Munich after Christmas where there was a flourishing centre for the study of papyri under the direction of an Austrian named Wenger. Occasionally Wenger invited small groups to his home for a beer evening where his wife proved a charming hostess. Here he used to meet from time to time Hermann Grisar, then the authority on Luther, and Peter Lippart.
Summer vacation drew him back to Innsbruck; fortunately he had a fortnight's villa before the war broke out. The Jesuits undertook care of the wounded, beginning to trickle back from the Serbian front. With a crash course from a Viennese doctor, they took over a large building to serve as a hospital. In May 1915 British subjects had to get out of Innsbruck as Italy had entered the war and was planning to force the Brenner Pass. Three Irish Jesuits Fr Tim Halpin, recently ordained, John and Dan Finn made their way to Vienna.
John was drafted to Kalksburg, where he spent three years as a spare tyre: “parratus ad omnia” as he loved to quote to us, novices. One year on returning from Christmas holidays Prince Liechtenstein brought the mumps with him; spreading through the school rapidly some 150 boys were affected. As the Brothers had all been called to the colours, John spent from January to May as a nurse: more serious were one case of scarlatina, one of typhoid, and the most critically ill of all was the Archduke Godfrey of Salsburg down with serious pneumonia. Trying enough as the nursing with its broken nights was, John preferred it to being gallery prefect, sitting in a glass box, regulating traffic, ringing bells or covering a sick or weary prefect’s beat. Sanctions were difficult: no corporal punishment to deter slackers or offenders-only detention or, for the younger boys, putting them in the booby corner. One Pole, called the Black Prince because of his dark features, had been recalled from an English public school and found Kalksburg considerably more to his liking,
His next move was to Poland to finish his philosophy at Nowy Sacz (now Sardac), a town two hours journey south of Cracow. His main task was to prepare for his “de universa”, and in keeping with Jesuit custom, to learn the language of the house of studies in which he lived: this time a Slav language.
On returning from Poland he taught in Clongowes for the year 1919-20, and liked to tell that one of his boys later broke his gavel in a vain attempt to stem Kruschev’s eloquence at UNO in New York - and subsequently became the first Catholic Chancellor of Trinity.
In the Autumn of 1920 he went to Milltown for theology: by a war-time privilege he was ordained at the end of his second year on 15 August 1922. After two more years in theology he went to Exaten in eastern Holland to do his tertianship in a German community (1924-5).
On the status of 1925 he was assigned to study Scripture in Rome but at the last moment he was asked to fill a gap by becoming substitute secretary to the English Assistant, Fr Joseph Welsby, previously Tertian instructor in Tullabeg. For his first year and a half he lived in the German College while the new curia on the Borgo Santo Spirito was being built. He quickly learned the “stylus Curiae” and after three years Fr Wladimir Ledochowski, the General, told him that he had learned as much in the Curia as he was likely to learn and that he was sending him back to Ireland to become Rector of Belvedere.
Fr Martin Maher, a long-time novice master, was beginning to fail and John was appointed to replace him in the Spring of 1931. The present writer entered the novicehsip the following September; we were the only group to have him alone for our master. He was a dedicated Ledochowski man, as indeed was his then Provincial, Fr Larry Kieran, whose contact with Fr General was 99% epistolatry. Fr John had an outstanding devotion to Our Lord, at times over emotional in its expression; eager to tell us that we had not real Ignatian indifference unless we kept one foot in the air; insistent on the 'magis' of the Exercises which meant his novices must be grounded in “agere contra”, and, at least, have a desire to live in the third degree. I think it would not be unfair to describe him as a Christian stoic rather than as a Christian humanist. His war-time experiences had taken a great deal out of him and one sensed the strain. Many of us found it difficult to feel relaxed in our regular visits to him: we waited for an opening as he gazed out the window at Dairy hill and played rather nervously with a paper knife. He found “priming the pump” difficult.
Not that he was inhuman but he didn't believe in showing that side to his novices. He did to his Provincial when he wrote to say that, for days on end, apart form the Community, all he ever saw was the postman and, occasionally, a stray dog. A few months break from Emo towards the end of 1933 didn't help to reduce the tension under which he was living; he was simple and humble enough to ask his Provincial to accept his resignation.
If his first three appointments were each three years long, his next one was to last almost twenty-five years: February 1935 until mid June 1959. Over that span he served as Socius to four Provincials. I think he would like to be described as “idus Achates”; but a Socius in the Society is much more than a secretary; ex officio he is one of the four Province consultors. In Fr Kieran’s reign both he and his Socius were too like-minded. Though Fr Kieran met Fr Ledochowski only once in the General Congregation of 1938, from his appointment as Provincial in 1931 he was an all-out Ledochowski man: “actio in distans non repugnat”. His successor in the difficult war years, Fr John R MacMahon, knew his own mind as did his successor Fr Tommy Byrne who founded three houses and took on commitments in Northern Rhodesia - the Zambia of today. Father Louis O’Grady, for reasons of health and temperament, left Province decisions rest far too much on his Socius, Father John.
On retiring from his unselfish devotion to a typewriter for twenty five years, from letters and forms to Rome, from Collecting informations for fitness for Hong kong or Zambia, for suitability for ordinations, and for government, and, perhaps, most tedious of all, bringing out the annual “Catalogus”, he was posted to Gardiner Street as operarius. Even as Socius pastoral work appealed to him: for years he guided two praesidia of the Legion of Mary, his first experience of it being in Rome when an ecumenical praesidium was formed in the mid-twenties: it didn't last long as the non-Catholics couldn't stomach the rigidity of the Handbook. He struck up a real friendship with Paddy Reynolds, Lord Wicklow's astute partner in Clonmore and Reynolds. Though Paddy had a heart of gold, in language he’d outdo any trooper. As a result John translated a number of German books which, to his delight, Reynolds managed to sell- despite the fact that John had a taste fot the “turgid” German.
Five years later (1964) carrying out what he had taught us in Emo, the “magis” of the Exercises, he accepted the invitation of the Polish Archbishop of Lusaka to set the Mission Archives in order. Though his Provincial, Fr Charlie O'Connor, suggested a stay of six months, John, apart from one furlough, spent almost ten years in Zambia where he wished to leave his bones.
By 1966 a new presbytery had been built adjoining the modern Church of St Ignatius. With his work on the archives completed he joined the Irish parish community, taking on the duties of a curate at the age of 77: baptisms, marriages, pre-marriage courses, keeping the parish registers. As most of the community was working outside the house, he acted as porter, answered the phone, dealt with callers. One of the Community - no great admirer of John in his Socius days - prevailed on him to take a glass of grog every night, and so he learned to relax.
Returning to Zambia in 1969 after a break in Ireland, he was able to spend four days in Greece - from the human point of view the highlight of his life. Less than three years later he had to return to Ireland on stringent medical advice, but he refused to hang up his boots. Between bouts in hospital he continued translation work, was no “laudator temporis acti” but had a warm welcome, a keen interest in the theologians whose régime was so different to what he had experienced when Fr Peter Finlay and Matt Devitt were the stars in his student days (1920-1924).
May the Lord reward him for his enthusiasm and generosity; may he win for his two Jesuit nephews of whom he was so proud, for his three sisters and all the family, abundant grace.
RBS.
PS. For most of the facts in this notice I have drawn from a sixty-one page typescript which Father John was prevailed upon to write in his last year in Milltown (1977): It is, in the main, Province history with little personal comment and remarkably restrained in passing judgments “discreta caritas”. (RBS).

◆ The Clongownian, 1978

Obituary

Father John Coyne SJ

John Coyne had moved round Ireland more than most of hie generation when he joined Rhetoric in September 1905; His father was an Inspector of Schools, so John Moved from Dunmore to Dublin, then to Tralee, next to Cavan and finally to Cork. His contemporaries in class included Paddy McGilligan, Tom Arkins, Canon J B O'Connell and Tom O'Malley who moved furthest afield to Malaya, as it then was. A formidable team of Scholastics stretched them to good effect: Messrs Tim Corcoran, Charlie Mulcahy, Patrick Connolly and William O'Keeffe. Paddy McGilligan beat John for the Latin medal by 25 marks.

One readily associates exhibitions, medals, prizes, even a travelling studentship with Fr John, but it will come as a surprise to those who knew him in later life that one of the greatest disappointments of his youth was when as a dashing forward the Munster Schools Junior Cup was snatched from his team when at the last moment the Pres full back dropped a goal from half way.

As a young Jesuit he had rather a unique travelling studentship: he spent his first term in Innsbruck, after Christmas moved to Munich, and was lucky enough to have a fortnight's holiday in the Austrian Alps before war broke out. Until Italy entered the war in May 1915 he worked in a make-shift hospital the Jesuits set up in Innsbruck, but with the Italians forcing the Brenner Pass he had to move to Vienna, and then to Poland for three years in Nowy Sacz, south of Cracow. On returning from Poland he taught for a year in Clongowes (1919-20). After four years Theology in Milltown he did his Tertianship in Exaten in eastern Holland.

Destined for Scripture study in Rome, at the last minute he was switched to a secretarial post in the Jesuit Curia. Three years later he was sent back to Ireland as Rector of Belvedere; then he was named Novice-master at Emo. So many switches were to be followed by an unprecedented stint of almost 25 years as Socius to four Provincials.

At the age of 75 he went out to Lusaka and spent almost ten years in Zambia. He came home on stringent medical advice but, though two or three times at death's door, he continued to keep alert and, more than occupied, in his favourite hobby, translating from German. He died within a few months of his eighty-ninth birthday, quite at home in the world of post-Vatican II.

We offer our sympathy especially to his three sorrowing sisters and all his family, not forgetting his nephew Fr John Russell SJ (OC 1941-43) who has recently completed his term as Vice-Provincial of Hong Kong.

Cremins, Richard, 1922-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/751
  • Person
  • 24 August 1922-21 February 2012

Born: 24 August 1922, Dublin
Entered: 05 October 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1961
Died: 21 February 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Arthur J Clarke Entry
During his six years as rector, he was blessed with such outstanding heads of Canisius as Dick Cremins and Michael J Kelly. Arthur's vision for Canisius as a leading secondary school was influenced by his experience of Clongowes Wood College in Ireland. First, he wanted a proper house for the community. Though the actual building was the responsibility of Fr McCarron and Br Pat