Upper Gardiner Street

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Upper Gardiner Street

306 Name results for Upper Gardiner Street

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Aylmer, Charles, 1786-1849, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/470
  • Person
  • 29 August 1786-04 July 1849

Born: 29 August 1786, Painestown, County Kildare
Entered: 21 May 1808, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: Palermo, Sicily
Final vows: 16 January 1820
Died: 04 July 1849, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin

Superior of the Mission : 1819

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Charles. His brother William was an Officer in the Austrian Cuirassiers, and considered one of the best swordsmen in the service.
1814 He studied at Stonyhurst and Palermo, graduating DD there.
1816 Superior Dublin Residence, and again in 1822 and 1841
1817 Rector at Clongowes
1819 Superior of the Mission
1821 Lived at Dublin from 1821 to his death.
1829 At the laying of the foundation stone for Gardiner St
He was a good religious of indefatigable zeal and indomitable spirit.
He published some books, and promotes a society for the printing of Catholic works in Dublin.
There is a sketch of Father Aylmer in Caballero’s “Scriptores SJ” and de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Had studied at Stonyhurst before Ent.
He went to Palermo with Messers St Leger, Esmonde, Ferley, Butler and Cogan, graduating DD. He was present in Rome with the other Fathers at the establishment (Restoration?) of the Society in July 1814 by Pius VII.
1817 He was for a short time Minister at Clongowes, and then in 1817 appointed Rector by Father Grivelle, the Visitor.
1818 Clongowes was closed due to an outbreak of typhus, and immediately he built a Study Hall and Refectory.
1821 He went to Dublin where he remained until his death. He was Superior at the Dublin Residence in 1816, then 1822, and finally 1841. In 1829 the First stone of St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St was laid during his Rectorship. The Chapel at Hardwicke St was then converted into a school, and was the germ of the current Belvedere.
Father Aylmer was an edifying religious man, possessed of moderate but useful talents. He was a zealous, pious and indefatigable Missioner, a man of good sense, sound judgement and fortitude.
He promoted in Dublin a Society for the printing and distribution of cheap Catholic books of piety, when it was much needed.
He was subject to a hereditary disease of the heart which caused his death in a manner similar to that of his father. His end was very sudden.
His brother was an officer of the Austrian Cuirassiers, and considered one of the best swordsmen of that service.
There is a sketch of Father Aylmer in Caballero’s “Scriptores SJ” and de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”

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

Aylmer, Charles (1786–1847), Jesuit priest, was born 29 August 1786 at Painstown, near Kilcock, Co. Kildare, the seat of his father, Charles Aylmer (1720?–1801), one of the county's representatives at the Catholic Convention held in 1792, and said in 1798 to be worth £1,600 p.a. He was the fourth son in a family of six sons, one of whom was William Aylmer (qv), and six daughters. His mother was Charles Aylmer's second wife, Esmay, daughter of William Piers of Castletown, Co. Meath, and his wife, Eleanor (née Dowdall). Charles Aylmer junior studied at the school conducted in Dublin by Thomas Betagh (qv) and at the catholic novitiate at Hodder, near Stonyhurst, Lancashire, moving in July 1809 to Palermo in Sicily to join the Society of Jesus, restored in that kingdom in 1805. While in Palermo he published with Paul Ferley and Bartholomew Esmonde, A short explanation of the principal articles of the catholic faith (1812) and The devout Christian's daily companion, being a selection of pious exercises (1812).

Aylmer's ordination to the priesthood came in Rome in 1814, the place and year of the formal restoration of the entire society, an event at which he was present. He returned to Ireland to become superior (1816) of the Jesuit house in Dublin, and rector (1817–20) of Clongowes Wood College, the Jesuit-run secondary school opened (1814) at a short distance from Painstown. In 1820 he took his final vows. He was again superior of the Jesuit house in Dublin in 1822, 1829, and 1841, as such presiding at the laying of the first stone of the Jesuit church – St Francis Xavier in Gardiner Street. From its origin in 1827 he was an active member of the Catholic Book Society and published further devotional works. On the death of his brother Robert in 1841, he inherited the Aylmer property at Painstown. Charles Aylmer died 4 July 1847 in Dublin.

W. J. Battersby, The Jesuits in Dublin (1854), 118–19; F. J. Aylmer, The Aylmers of Ireland (1931), 212; Timothy Corcoran, The Clongowes Record, 1814 to 1932 (1932); Timothy Corcoran, ‘William Aylmer (1778–1820) and the Aylmers of Painstown’, Seamus Cullen and Hermann Geissel (ed.), Fugitive warfare: 1798 in north Kildare (1998), 34–49

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Charles Aylmer 1786-1849
Charles Aylmer was one of the six novices who set out in 1809 for Sicily to study philosophy and theology on the Restoration of the Society there.

He was born at Painstown County Kildare on August 29th 1896. He was educated at Stonyhurst and entered as a novice at Hodder there in 1808. After his ordination he ministered to the British Army stationed at Palermo.

He witnessed the official Restoration of the Society at the Gesù in Rome :
“At eight o’clock in the morning, His Holiness came in state to the Gesù, where he celebrated Mass at the altar of St Ignatius, attended by almost all his cardinals and prelates, and about 70 or 80 of the Society. After his Mass and Thanksgiving, we ass proceeded to the Sacristy. None were admitted by the Cardinals, Bishops and Jesuits. Here the Bull, which reestablishes the Society all over the world was read. A soon as it was read, the Pope presented it with his own hand to Fr Pannizoni, whom he constitutes Superior in his own States, until the General shall otherwise determine. Drs Milner and Murray Archbishop of Dublin were present. Also the Queen of Etruria, and the King of Torino. Little did I expect to be present at so consoling a ceremony in the Capital of the World. O truly how sweet is victory after such a hard fought battle!”

Fr Aylmer returned to Ireland and held various posts at Clongowes and Hardwicke Street. He was Superior of the Mission 1817-1820. In 1829, while Superior, the foundation stone at Gardiner Street was laid. He, together with Fr Esmonde, did much for Gardiner Street Church, collecting money both at home and abroad for the building of the Church and Presbytery.

He also found time to write and is included in Caballero’s “Scriptores SJ” and de Baecker’s “Bibliotheque”.

He died of a hereditary disease of the heart on July 4th 1849.

Azzopardi, Michael, 1826-1893, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/137
  • Person
  • 05 May 1826-14 December 1893

Born: 05 May 1826, Gudia, Malta
Entered: 11 February 1854, Palermo Sicily Italy - Sicilian Province (SIC)
Final vows: 15 August 1864
Died: 14 December 1893, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin - Sicilian Province (SIC)

Came to HIB in 1861

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
1860 He came to Ireland with Aloysius Sturzo and many other Jesuits and Novices who had been expelled from Sicily. He spent nine years at Milltown as a cook.
1869 He was sent to Gardiner St as Sacristan. He was very diligent and kept everything in excellent order.
1888 He became totally blind, and in spite of that did his best to help, such as drying plates in the scullery, to the edification of all.
1893 He died most peacefully at Gardiner St, 14 December 1893 and is buried in Glasnevin.

Note from Thomas Mahon Entry :
He was sent to Gardiner St and carried out many duties there, including that of Infirmarian very successfully. When the famous Sicilian sacristan Azzopardi was showing signs of failing health, Thomas assisted him and eventually took complete charge.

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.

Barrett, Patrick, 1866-1942, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/897
  • Person
  • 15 January 1866-03 March 1942

Born: 15 January 1866, Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim
Entered: 05 October 1883, Milltown Park, Dublin; Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1897, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1900
Died: 03 March 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

First World War chaplain

by 1899 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1918 Military Chaplain : Bettisfield Park Camp, Shropshire

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Francis X O’Brien Entry
He studied Philosophy at Milltown and then Mungret for with three other Philosophers , Edward Masterson, Franics Keogh and Patrick Barrett.

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

Rev Patrick Barrett SJ

The Rev. Patrick Barrett, SJ., whose death took place in Dublin, was the youngest son of the late Mr. Michael Barrett, of Finner, Carrick- on-Shannon, where he was born in 1866. Educated at the former College Tullabeg, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1883, and after a period of teaching at Clongowes pursued his higher studies at Milltown Park. Dublin, being ordained priest by the late Archbishop Walsh on August 1, 1897, at the Church of St. Francis Xavier. He completed his training at Tronchiennes. Belgium, and after spending a few years as master at Mungret College, joined the mission staff, and was engaged for twenty years in giving missions in various parts of the country. He served for two years as chaplain in the last war. Perhaps his best and most enduring work of his life he inaugurated in 1924. when he became Director of the working men's retreat house at Rathfarnham Castle, a post he held till failing health in 1940 forced him to relinquish this labour of love.
As a missioner he was very energetic and industrious and was most faithful in attending to the Confessional. His instructions were sound and practical but he was not a great preacher. The vast amount of good he must have done for souls will not be known on this earth.
Although the work of the Retreat House in Rathfarnham had begun before Fr. Barrett went there, it may be truly said that he, by his zeal, perseverance and instinct for order and discipline established the work upon the secure basis on which it, rests to-day. On coming to Rathfarnham he recognised at once that for the efficient working of the Retreats a new Chapel and Refectory were necessary. Hence with the sanction of his superior, he set about the work of collecting the necessary funds, and in a comparatively short time the Chapel
and Refectory were built and furnished.
Fr. Barrett had definite talent for organisation, and this he pressed into the service of the Retreats. For many years he was a, familiar figure in the streets of Dublin as, with rather stolid and measured gait he trudged from one business establishment to another, rounding up possible retreatants and selecting men of more than ordinary ability or standing in their employment whom he enrolled as Promoters of Retreats or, as he subsequently called them, Knights of Loyola. The fidelity of these men to Fr. Barrett's appeal and the zeal with which they threw themselves into the work of rounding up retreatants in the city are amply proved by the continuous procession of working men which, since the inception of Fr. Barrett's campaign, has went its way week-end after week-end, to Rathfarnham. and also by the numerous presentations made to Fr Barrett personally and to the Retreat House since 1924. Amongst these should be mentioned in particular the Grotto of Our Lady, erected in 1926 by the employees of the Dublin Transport Company, and the life-size Statue of the Sacred Heart which stands in the grounds by the lake, presented by the Coopers of Guinness Brewery. As a giver of the exercises Fr. Barrett does not seem to have shown outstanding merit. He could. however. on occasion when stirred by special circumstances, speak with great effect. The influence which Fr. Barrett exercised over those whom he met in Rathfarnham and the affection and veneration which he inspired were due rather to the deadly earnestness of the man, the personal interest he took in each of his retreatants and his gifts as an understanding and sympathetic private counselor. To perpetuate his memory and as a. tribute to the work done by Fr. Barrett in Rathfarnham, some of his old retreatants are having his portrait painted in oils with the object of presenting it to the Retreat House. Many moreover, have had Masses celebrated for the repose of his soul. R.LP.

◆ The Clongownian, 1942

Obituary

Father Patrick Barrett SJ

Only a very short portion of Fr. Barrett's life as a Jesuit was spent in Clongowes. His chief work was giving missions throughout Ireland, in which he was very successful, especially as an organiser. He acted as Chaplain during the European War, 1914-18. For over 12 years he was Director of Retreats at Rathfarnham Castle, and during that time he did untold good. He took a deep personal interest in those making the retreats, and his words of practical advice and encouragement helped many a one to bear cheerfully and courageously the day's burden in imitation of “The Worker of Nazareth”. As a practical way of inculcating the principles of Catholic Action he organised the “Knights of Loyola” who live to carry on his work. During the last few years of his life he was a great sufferer, becoming totally blind about a year before his death, but he bore all his sufferings with the greatest patience and resignation.

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/kieran-barry-ryan-sj-a-gifted-marriage-counsellor/

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

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

Bellew, Christopher, 1818-1867, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/63
  • Person
  • 25 July 1818-18 March 1867

Born: 25 July 1818, Mountbellew, County Galway
Entered: 11 February 1850, Issenheim, Alsace, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1856, Montaubon, France
Final vows: 03 December 1866
Died: 18 March 1867, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Older brother of Michael RIP 1868

by 1853 at Vals, France (TOLO)
by 1854 in Cologne, Germany (GER) studying Theology 1
by 1855 at Malta College (ANG) for Regency
by 1857 at Montauban, France (TOLO) studying Theology
by 1860 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying Theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Son of an Irish Baronet (probably the Galway Parliamentarians of the 18th and 19th Centuries). Older brother of Michael RIP 1868. Their home was frequently visited by Jesuits, and this helped develop a great love in Christopher for the Society.
After his early education in Grammar and Humanities, he went to Trinity. As he was an eldest so, his family wanted to prepare him as the future representative of the family in an understanding of Society and Politics. So he also travelled much in Europe for that purpose.
In about 1840 a “fashionable marriage” was announced in the Press between the eldest son of and old Catholic Baronet, and the eldest daughter of an old Protestant Baronet, Sir John Burke of Marble Hall. All preparations were in place and the bridegroom went to Clongowes to make a Retreat before his marriage. His younger brother Michael, already being in the Society, meant that the interest of the Community is Christopher was higher than usual. he impressed all with his piety. Waiting for news of the marriage, it seemed to have been delayed, and after a while, there was a rumour that he was in a Novitiate on the Continent. Apparently an issue had arisen which had proven a stumbling block, namely Christopher’s insistence that any children should be raised Catholic. He communicated this to his bride whilst on retreat. A suggestion came back from her family that perhaps any girls would stay with the mother’s religion. Christopher responded by saying that he could not accept this arrangement. He wrote again indicating that the only solution was to relieve her of her promise, and to declare arrangements at an end. Her family wrote back acceding to his request that the children would all be Catholics, but this letter arrived too late - he had left Clongowes, and nobody knew where he was. For some years he did not return to Ireland, and when he did, he was Rev Christopher Bellew SJ. In the meantime, Miss Burke had herself become a Catholic, and lead a very holy life, remaining single, and devoting her life to charitable works.
Christopher joined the Society at Issenheim in France, and after First Vows, began studies in Philosophy at Vals, France. He was later sent to teach Grammar at a TOLO College. While there he became ill, and so was sent to Malta, where he remained as a Teacher for two years. He then returned to France and was Ordained there 1856 at Montaubon.
He then returned to Ireland and spent three years teaching at Colleges.
1859 He was sent to the Dublin Residence as Operarius, and remained there until his death 18 March 1867. He had been very zealous in the hard work of the Confessional.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Christopher Bellew 1818-1867
The life of Christopher Bellew reads like some edifying romantic tale. He was born in Mount Bellew County Galway, the eldest son of Sir Michael Bellew, Baronet. From his earliest years he had a great knowledge and love of the Society, for during his father’s lifetime “Ours” used frequently visit the family mansion, and stay a few days there.
Having completed his early studies, he was sent by his family to Trinity College Dublin, where he went through a distinguished course. He then travelled extensively on the continent to complete his education.
About the year 1840, his forthcoming marriage to the eldest daughter of Sir John Burke of Marble Hall, was announced in the Press. The bridegroom came to Clongowes to make a retreat prior to his marriage. Needless to say the Community at Clongowes were intensely interested in the matter, especially as Christopher’s younger brother Michael was already a Jesuit. Weeks passed, and still no account in the papers of this fashionable marriage. At length a rumour started which grew into a certainty, that the bridegroom was in a Jesuit noviceship somewhere on the continent.

What had happened was this : All the preliminaries to the marriage had been settled except one, the religion of the children, as the intended bride was a Protestant. According to a custom, which rightly or wrongly existed at the time, the bride’s family insisted that the girls of the marriage should follow the religion of their mother. To this condition the bridegroom would not agree, and he wrote to say that he released the young lade from her promise and that the negotiations were at an end.

The upshot of this was that the young lade became a Catholic and led a holy life in single blessedness, devoting her time to works of charity.

Christopher entered the noviceship at Issenheim in Alsace. He was ordained priest at Montaubon in 1856. Recalled to Ireland, he taught for three years in the Colleges, and then was stationed for the rest of his life at Gardiner Street. There he was an outstanding operarius, zealous and untiring in the confessional.

He died on March 18th 1867. He succeeded his father Sir Michael Bellew in 1855, and is listed in Burke’s Peerage as the Reverend Sir Christopher Bellew.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Christopher Bellew (1818-1867)

Was master at the Crescent from 1860 to 1861 and again from 1862- to 1864. He was the eldest son of Sir Michael Bellew, Bart, of Mountbellew Bridge, Co Galway. After his studies at Clongowes, he entered Trinity College, Dublin and later got a commission in the army. He was heir to the title and family property but resigned his claims in 1850 to enter the Society. The story of his call to the religious life is curious, if not even romantic. From his family's viewpoint, he had made an excellent match in becoming engaged to the daughter of Sir John Burke of Marble Hall, Co Galway. Unfortunately, his bride-to-be was a Protestant, and her family insisted, according to the custom of the time, that any daughters born of the marriage should follow their mother's religious beliefs. Young Bellew, as the time for the marriage-ceremony approached, decided to return to Clongowes to make a retreat under one of his old masters. During his stay at Clongowes, he wrote to Sir John Burke, insisting that all children of the marriage must be Catholics. The Burkes replied that they could not accede to his demands. Bellew now intimated that he felt bound in conscience to terminate the engagement. This time, the Burkes, anxious that the marriage should be gone on with, waived their demands on the religion of their future grand-daughters. But the letter arrived too late to find him. Christopher Bellew had gone abroad. Later it was learned that he had entered the Society in Alsace. On the completion of his noviceship, he entered on his philosophy studies at Vals in the Lyons Province of the Society, and is next heard of as master in a Jesuit College of the Toulouse Province and later in Malta. He returned to France for the study of theology and was ordained at Montauban. Here, it can be recalled, that his former bride-to-be, Miss Burke of Marble Hall, on learning of Christopher's vocation, became a Catholic herself. She never married but spent her life in works of zeal and charity.

Father Bellew's priestly life was short. After his time in the Crescent, he was transferred to Gardiner St Church where he died three years later. Old newspapers of the time refer to him as “The Rev Sir Christopher Bellew, Bart, SJ”. He never used the title himself, although he could not legally renounce it. He was long remembered at Gardiner St Church as a zealous priest, especially in the laborious work of the confessional.

Bellew, Michael, 1825-1868, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/916
  • Person
  • 27 July 1825-29 October 1868

Born: 27 July 1825, Mountbellew, County Galway
Entered: 28 August 1845, St Andrea, Rome, Italy (ROM)
Ordained: 1858
Final vows: 02 February 1865
Died: 29 October 1868, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Younger brother of Christopher RIP 1867

by 1855 in Palermo, Sicily Italy (SIC) studying Philosophy
by 1856 Studying at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG)
by 1859 at Paderborn Germany (GER) studying Theology
by 1868 at Burgundy Residence France (TOLO) health

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Son of an Irish Baronet (probably the Galway Parliamentarians of the 18th and 19th Centuries). Younger brother of Christopher RIP 1867, but Entered four years before him. Their home was frequently visited by Jesuits, and this helped develop a great love in Christopher for the Society.

He was sent to Rome for his Novitiate, but he was not long there when his strength began to fail. General Roothaan, seeing how valuable a man he might be in the future, sent him to Issenheim (FRA) to complete his Noviceship. When he had completed his study of Rhetoric, he came to the Day School in Dublin, where he trained the boys to great piety. Then he was sent to Clongowes as a Prefect.
1855 He was sent to St Beuno’s for Theology, spending his 2nd Year at Montauban, his 3rd at Belvedere, and his 4th at Paderborn.
After Ordination he was sent to Belvedere for a year.
1860 He was Minister at Tullabeg
1861 He was an Operarius and teacher in Galway.
1864-1867 He was appointed Rector at Galway 26 July 1864, taking his Final Vows there 22 February 1865.
1867 His health broke down, and he was sent to the South of France - James Tuite was appointed Vice-rector in his place. When he returned to Ireland, he stayed at Gardiner St, and died there 29 October 1868.

Bianchini, Aloysius, 1812-1874, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/922
  • Person
  • 01 September 1812-04 December 1874

Born: 01 September 1812, Camerino, Macerata, Italy
Entered: 27 November 1833, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1843
Final vows: 02 February 1845
Died: 04 December 1874, Lyon, France - Venetae Province (VEM)

Came to HIB in 1861 working at St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin.

Boyle, Robert, 1833-1878, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/939
  • Person
  • 11 June 1833-20 November 1878

Born: 11 June 1833, County Louth
Entered: 30 April 1856, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Clane, County Kildare
Professed
Died: 20 November 1878, Richmond Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1869 At Home Sick

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a cook in Belvedere and Gardiner St and then went to Clongowes. From 1869 he was “netia domus” and he died at the Richmond Hospital Dublin 20 November 1878.

Brady, John, 1878-1944, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/65
  • Person
  • 09 November 1878-14 April 1944

Born: 09 November 1878, Dublin
Entered: 18 March 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1913, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 14 April 1944, Dublin

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 19th Year No 3 1944

Obituary :

Brother John Brady SJ (1878-1944)

After years of intermittent suffering, death came peacefully to Brother Brady on April 14th. He was born in Dublin on November 9th, 1878, and, after some years spent in the Railway Works at Inchicore, he entered the Society on March 18th, 1902. Already he was known to the Fathers at Gardiner St, where he was a faithful member of his sodality, and more than one of his co-sodalists of those days came to pay their last respects to his remains when they heard of his death.
After his novitiate, Br. Brady spent three years in Dublin at Gardiner St, and Belvedere, and the rest of his life was divided between Clongowes (seventeen years) and Milltown Park (sixteen years). During most of this time he was refectorian or dispenser, and those who had much to do with him in these capacities will long remember gratefully his remarkable efficiency and devotion to duty. With these qualities he combined an unfailing sense of humour which made him a doubly welcome member of any community to which he was attached. For many years he suffered from deafness, but never would he allow the Inconvenience so often caused by this physical defect to make him irritable or impatient - rather, a good joke and a hearty laugh were the familiar accompaniments of his conversation.
In the year 1938-39, Br. Brady had a very serious operation, and, owing to the state of his heart, could not be given the full anaesthetic. His wonderful courage on this occasion made the surgeon describe him later as the bravest man he had ever met. Those who had opportunities of knowing Br. Brady's deep spiritual life, shown especially by his regular observance, will appreciate whence came this courage. It supported him again through the last years of his life when he suffered from angina pectoris, and attacks of agonising pain seized him with increasing frequency. He never complained, and when able he continued to carry on his daily tasks.
A few days before the end, he had one of these attacks which kept him motionless near the hall-door of Clongowes for nearly half an hour while the Community were at dinner. That was on Sunday. On the following Thursday night, he was unable to lie down owing to the pain, and the next day he was anointed and sent by ambulance to hospital. There he had one violent attack but seemed to recover and was settling down to sleep. Then, almost unexpectedly and without pain, he died. But we may be confident that Almighty God has welcomed His good and valiant servant to his eternal reward. R.I.P.

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Brother John Brady SJ

In “The Clongownian” of 1910, under “Choir Notes”, there is the following item, dated May 25th : “At 5.30 our less fortunate companions went to the study to discuss wall building with old Balbus or feast on Algebraical factors. We remained below to enjoy the fine menu provided by Br O'Grady. The table was very artistically decorated by Br Brady, who left nothing undone that could conduce to our comfort”.

There is something especially pathetic in this entry of thirty-three years ago, as both those mentioned have this year gone to their reward after lives spent in just those occupations that are mentioned in the entry.

With the exception of four years, Br O'Grady had been continuously in Clongowes from 1882 until his death last December. In spite, however, of that long connection of over sixty years, he was but little known to the boys of the school, though many, at least of the older generation, will remember him on the ice as a graceful and accomplished skater. His work was confined mostly to the kitchen and its environments where he laboured unostentatiously, but most effciently, during all those years. With the preparation of how many “feeds” he must have been connected! How many enjoyed the good things that he prepared without, perhaps, giving a thought to the hand that had prepared them and the care that had been lavished upon them ! But it was not for the thanks of those who benefited by his work that Br O'Grady laboured. He was a true religious and worked for a Master Who never fails to reward His faithful servants. Clongowes and its interests will be better served by Br O'Grady in heaven even than they were when he lived and worked amongst us.

Br Brady's connection with Clongowes was very much shorter than that of Br O'Grady, but it brought him into closer con tact with the boys, as he was for many years in charge of the refectory. He took a deep interest in them and in everything connected with them, even their games, especially the Line Matches. He possessed a great sense of humour, and a joke was ever ready to his lips.

Many will remember how his answer to the question “What second-course to-day, Brother?” was invariably “Plums”, whether or not these dainties were to appear ! For many years before his death he suffered from deafness, but that did not affect his cheerfulness, nor did even the ill-health of his last few years which he bore with great patience and resignation to the will of God.
May they rest in peace.

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

Browne, Michael, 1853-1933, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/74
  • Person
  • 22 April 1853-20 November 1933

Born: 22 April 1853, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 27 July 1891
Final Vows: 02 February 1897, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 20 November 1933, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1896 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Br Thomas Johnson Entry :
He was assisted in his last moments by his Spiritual Father, Michael Browne, and died 27 May 1900.
Note from James Dempsey Entry :
He finally retired to Tullabeg and he died there 03 October 1904. he was assisted there in his last moments by the saintly Michael Browne, Rector and Master of Novices.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 3rd Year No 1 1927

Jubilee : Fr Michael Browne
The official celebration in Fr Michael Browne's honour took place in Rathfarnham on the 29th September. After a good deal of College work, Rector of the Crescent, Clongowes and Tullabeg he was Master of Novices at three different periods and is now Spiritual Father to the fifty-seven Juniors at Rathfarnham and, whenever he gets a chance, spends, at least, seven days a week giving retreats,

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934
Obituary :
Father Michael Browne
Father S. Brown has kindly sent us the following appreciation :
On the morning of November the 28th died Father Michael Browne in his eighty first year.

He was born in Limerick in 1853 and was educated partly at Crescent College in that city and partly at Clongowes. On leaving the latter college he applied to enter the Society. Superiors thought him too delicate and rejected the application. He accordingly went to Carlow College to study for the priesthood. But the call was insistent. After a visit to Rome and to Lourdes he tried again and this time was successful. He entered the Novitiate at Milltown
Park on the 7th of September 1877. The fifty-six years of his life in the Society were outwardly uneventful. He had relatively little contact with the outer world and shunned all
appearances in public. But within the Province he held nearly every office of trust and responsibility with the exception of that of Provincial. He was Master in the colleges (Tullabeg
1883-85, Clongowes '86 and Mungret 1891-94). During this last period he was Prefect of Studies. He was Spiritual Father in Clongowes ('96- '99) and later in Rathfarnham (1924-51). He was Rector of Tullabeg from 1920 to 1924, again 1918 to 1910. During these two periods of office he was Master of Novices. He was Rector of the Crescent (I905-7). Finally he was for eleven years Socius to the Provincial. That is surely a remarkable record.
But he will perhaps be remembered not so much for his eminent services to the Society as for his personality. For throughout his life he was known to be a man of deep and genuine holiness and there were many who did not hesitate to speak of him as a saint. Despite all his efforts to conceal it his austerity was well known. Especially in his Tullabeg days he was merciless to himself, Without being a very close observer one could know that he was all tied up with hair-shirts and chains. Indeed this was the origin of some of his characteristic gestures. Superiors had to exercise constant vigilance to see that he took sufficient food. He was more lenient in his later years, but even in his last year he sometimes made his meal of dry bread. He never smoked nor drank wine or spirits. He had schooled himself in the most rigid observance of “custody of the eyes.” He seldom, in fact looked at the person to whom he was speaking and he not infrequently made upon outsiders an impression of aloofness and indifference. There was indeed no little aloofness in his way of life. He made few friends and acquaintances. But his manner was by no means cold and repelling. He had a temper but it was under such stern control that few suspected its existence.
He was the most unworldly of men. He never read newspapers and took little or no interest in the little events of the day. He preached a lofty spirituality that soared high above the earth. One felt oneself among naked mountain peaks and breathed a somewhat rarefied atmosphere. Still humor, of a simple and homely kind, was by no means banished from
his Retreats and exhortations. He even courted a hearty laugh from his audience. He himself could laugh heartily in his deep bass voice and often when telling some amusing anecdote
the tears would run down his cheeks and his mirth would so choke his utterance that listeners sometimes failed to catch the climax or the point of the story. His memory held a great
store of such anecdotes centering very largely in Limerick, which always held a warm place in his heart.
He was always an intense student and a lover of books. He wrote, so far as I know, nothing for publication, but he accumulated copious notes, largely written in shorthand. Many
years ago he discarded large quantities of MS. material relating to his work as a master. He loved to pick up for a few pence in second hand bookshops books that appealed to him. His friends knew that books were the only gifts that would be acceptable. He belonged, one might say, to the Victorian epoch. In literature as in other things, modernity had no appeal for him. His taste was for history and biography and he seems never to have read fiction.
He went to God as straight as he knew how, without hesitations or compromises and regardless of the cost. He thought, as he lived, in straight lines, looking neither to right nor left. His character was strong and simple without subtlety and without crookedness of any kind. On subjects about which he cared at all his principles were fixed, his mind was made up. And as with principles of thought so with principles of conduct. Early in life he had laid down such principles for himself and to these he adhered undeviatingly to the end.
His spiritual life was hidden with Christ in God. One could only guess at its characteristics. It included certainly a great love for Our Lady and he never began an exhortation in the
chapel without reciting in full an Act of Consecration to her. Much of his time, especially towards the end, was spent in the chapel. All who really knew him were convinced of his great holiness.
As long as strength remained to him he worked unsparingly. I have known him to give as many as seven Retreats on end. During these Retreats he was the despair of the Sister who
waited on him at meals. In the last year of his life he was still giving domestic exhortations and lectures in various convents. He held the honorable post of confessor to the Archbishop of Dublin.
In his last illness, as long as his mind held good, he was his old self, concerned only about the trouble he was giving, and praying almost without interruption.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Brown 1853-1933
Fr Michael was preeminently the Ascetic of the Province. His austerity was well known, in spite of all his efforts to conceal it. Especially in his Tullabeg days as Master of Novices, he was merciless on himself. He was a great believer in hairshirts and chains, and Superiors had to exercise vigilance to make sure he took sufficient food. Yet he was not a solitary, given over to lone contemplation. In his time, he held every administrative post in the Province, save that of Provincial, though he acted as Vice-Provincial on one occasion. He was untiring in giving retreats, even up to his last years, and was known to have given 7 retreats on end, without interval.

At the same time he was not a repelling character, rather he engendered great respect and affection. He had his sense of humour, and his deep laugh was familiar to all his listeners.

He went straight to God as he knew how, without compromised. His use of creatures was mainly by abstention. When he died on November 22nd 1933, after 56 years in the Society, one eminent fellow Jesuit remarked that Fr Michael Brown’s holiness was reminiscent of the old Irish monks, to which an equally eminent Jesuit replied “Nay more, his eminence was pre-Christian”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1934

Obituary

Father Michael Browne SJ

Father Michael Browne, whose death took place at Rathfarnham Castle, on Monday, November 20th, 1933, in his eighty-first year, was one of the links that bound together Tullabeg and Clongowes. He was an Old Clongownian, had been a master and Prefect of Studies in both Colleges, was Spiritual Father and Rector of Clongowes and had been twice Rector of Tullabeg when it was no longer a secondary school. For over thirty years before his death, he had no direct connection with Clongowes. His name was hardly known to the later generations of boys here, but those who were at Clongowes in the late nineties realise that a great Clongownian has died.

Michael Browne was born in Limerick on April 22nd,. 1853. His early school years were spent in that city at the Sacred Heart College, then known as St Munchin's College. Having already a wish to become a Jesuit, he came to Clongowes in 1872, and, after two years here, he applied to enter the noviceship. Owing to his delicate state of health the application was refused It was a sore trial; but Michael Browne did not lightly abandon anything on which he had set his heart. He wanted to become a priest and succeeded in gaining admission to St Patrick's College, Carlow. His lungs were weak and his health did not improve, while the call to the Jesuit noviceship became more insistent. Heaven was stormed with prayers by himself and by his friends. It used to be told how his sister, who was a nun and who died at an early age, offered her life that Michael might be able to become a Jesuit. After a visit to Rome and to Lourdes, undertaken to obtain his desire, he asked again to be received into the Society of Jesus. This time he was accepted, and he entered the novitiate at Milltown Park, Dublin, on September 7th, 1877, three years after he had left Clongowes.

Before we write of the man, let us recall dates and occupations, for they are instructive. At the end of his noviceship. at Milltown Park, Michael Browne took his yows on September 8th, 1879. Then followed four further years at Milltown, one as a Junior, the remaining three studying philosophy. From 1883 to 1886 he was Prefect of Studies and Master of English and Mathematics at Tullabeg. He came to Clongowes in the Amalgamation Year, as Assistant Prefect of Studies and Mathematical Master of the Royal University students. From 1887 to 1891, he studied theology, for the first two years at Louvain and later at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1890. During his last year at Milltown as a priest he was a constant visitor to the Incurables Hospital, Donny brook, where the memory of his kindness and of his holiness was still fresh among the patients twenty years afterwards. In 1891, he was appointed Prefect of Studies at Mungret, a position which he held for four years, when he also taught the Royal University students at a time when they were bringing fame to Mungret. On leaving Mungret in 1895, he went to Chieri, Italy, for his tertianship. The next year found him Spiritual Father and a master at Clongowes. When Father Devitt left Clongowes in the summer of 1900, Father Michael Browne succeeded him as Rector, but it was only for a few months, as he was nominated Rector and Master of Novices at Tullabeg towards the end of November of the same year. During this period the late Father John Sullivan was a novice under Father Brownie's direction. They were kindred souls, and ever after novice and Novice Master had a lifelong veneration for one another. In the August of 1905, Father Browne was made Rector of the Sacred Heart College and Church at Limerick, This was, perhaps, the most active period of his very busy life, as, while Rector, he taught in the College, worked in the Church, and had charge of the three branches of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin the Children of Mary whom he addressed once a week, the Ignatian Sodality for young men and the boys' Sodality of Our Lady. In August, 1908, we find him again Master of Novices and Rector of Tullabeg. Three years later he was named Socius to the Provincial, a position which he held for eleven years, during which time also, he was an indefatigable worker in the Church at Gardiner Street, In 1922 he went to Tullabeg as Master of Novices for the third time, and in 1924 he was transferred to Rathfarnham where he was Spiritual Father and occupied in giving Retreats to within a few months of his death. It is a summary of over half-a-century which Father Browne spent slaving in the service of God.

Though holding most important positions within the Society of Jesus, where he earned universal respect and reverence, Father Michael Browne's life was to a great extent hidden from the outside world. But within and without the Society, the striking holiness of his life impressed everybody with whom he came in contact. One could not help noticing his complete other-worldliness. “God everywhere and in everything; a constant endeavour to be pleasing in His eyes, and to require nothing of Him except the means so to be” : such was the motive force behind the life of Father Michael Browne. Despite his efforts to escape notice he could not conceal his austerities. Hair shirts, chains and disciplines were part of his everyday life. His only rest during many years was a few hours on a plank bed. When Father Browne was a priest at Clongowes there was a tradition among the boys that their spiritual father slept on “boards and pebbles”, and the schoolboy phrase was not far removed from the truth. Indeed, Superiors, knowing that he worked very hard, had to be constantly vigilant to see that he took enough food. During Retreats, when urging his hearers to practise what they preached, he frequently mentioned the phrase said to have been used by a member of his congregation to a preacher who had taught stern self-denial : “When I heard you in the pulpit I despaired of salvation, but when I saw you at your meals I took courage again”. When one saw him take his food, the courage was all on Father Browne's side, for dry bread was the chief item of his unchanging menu, While this was his daily routine he astonished all by his capability for constant and trying work. He was known to have given as many as seven Retreats on end. More than once, when others engaged in the same work fell ill, he conducted two Retreats simultaneously.

Yet though he taught self-denial, he would not allow others to do anything rash in this respect : “Take your food”, he would say, “we must keep the engine going, if it is to do its work”. His war on self was relentless. It extended to everything in his life. Passing through Switzerland on his way to Italy, it was known that he did not raise his eyes to look upon the beautiful scenery, upon which he did not expect to have the opportunity of gazing again. It was not, indeed, that he did not like pleasing sights, for while at Mungret as a young priest he used to go to the upper storey of the College to admire the charming sunsets, and then would kneel down and recite the Te Deum. When at Lourdes he prayed that he might not witness a miracle, for he did not want to lessen the full merit of his faith. .

But this war on self was only one means which Father Browne employed to bring him nearer to God. In his eyes, prayer was much more important than exterior mortification. His constant union with God was remarkable. He spent a large portion of the day and many hours of the night in formal prayer. To the ordinary spiritual duties of a Jesuit he added many more to which he was ever faithful. He passed hours each day before the Blessed Sacrament, There, in meditation, he prepared the subject matter of his sermons and Retreat lectures, It was in the Chapel he recited the Divine Office, where in a quiet corner he usually knelt without resting on any support. He had a strong and tender devotion to our Blessed Lady, and from his early years he said the full fifteen decades of her Rosary daily. He once told a friend that the biggest thing in his early life had been his being made a Child of Mary. How really he took this was shown by his unbroken habit of reciting the short act of consecration used in the reception into the Sodality before every spiritual address which he gave. Never was anything allowed to interfere with his spirit of prayer and of recollection. Rarely, if ever, did he read newspapers or novels, unless when such reading was part of his work. This practice he recommended to others. To their questioning, about reading a book or a novel, nearly always came the same disconcertingly logical answer, by way of another question: “Does it help you to say your prayers?” Devotion to the Sacred Heart and to the Passion he held very dear. Among the saints he seemed to be especially devoted to St Teresa and St Francis de Sales, to St Aloysius and St John Berchmans. This last saint had a big place in his life. “What would St. John Berchmans do?” was a frequent question to guide those under his direction.

It was as a Spiritual Director that Father Michael Browne was chiefly known. For those who met him for the first time, and who had never come to him with a serious trouble, there was much in the strict custody of his eyes and a certain aloofness in his manner, which made them think that Father Browne was too cold and too much removed from them to be really helpful. Yet it certainly was not so. When he came in contact with a weak or troubled soul, Father Browne was kindness itself. He was fond of repeating the saying of St Francis de Sales : “You will catch more flies with a spoonful of honey than with a barrel of vinegar”. And again he would say: “I have not found any instance in the New Testament where Our Lord dealt harshly with the penitent sinner”. He dealt with those in trouble as did the Master. The poor around Gardiner Street knew that he was not cold, and felt that “Saint Browne”, as they used to call him among themselves, was their friend.

He would encourage those who had to struggle against temptation by telling them that he had a lifelong fight against a violent temper, and then he would urge the recital of Blessed Claude de la Colombière's Act of Confidence in God. Some of his sayings already mentioned show how Father Browne constantly employed the best method of the Spiritual Director, which consists in making the soul help itself. For him, Spiritual Exercises were always to be under stood in the Ignatian and literal meaning, a real striving after higher things. During Retreats and at other times, he expected a strong effort in response to his advice, yet he was ready to pardon failure which comes from weakness and not from lack of good will.

His marvellous memory held a seemingly inexhaustible store of anecdotes from history and biography, sacred and profane, of which he was a deep student. He was Victorian in his reading and conversation, and most of his stories were of people and of events of the last century. Archbishop Healy and Bishop O'Dwyer of Limerick, whose cousin he was, were the subjects of many a reminiscence. He had a great fund of anecdotes about Limerick, which ever had a warm place in his heart. His sense of humour, another help to holiness, often so overcame him when telling a story that the end was lost in the loud and hearty laugh so characteristic of him, while tears of mirth rolled down his cheeks. His wide reading served him well when preaching and giving Retreats. He prepared his matter most diligently, wrote out his sermons carefully, in which one saw the influence of Newman, with whose writings he was very familiar, but he never used a note nor a book in the pulpit or when giving a Retreat lecture. Yet he would recite a dozen verses of the Scriptures, or a large part of a chapter of the Imitation of Christ, or the full text of one of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius with faithful accuracy.

Father Michael Browne is dead. But he has left behind him among his fellow-Jesuits a lasting memory of great kindness, of severe asceticism, of very hard work, of a prayerful life and of remarkable holiness. To have known him is regarded as a privilege by those who were brought into familiar contact with him during life. To have been asked to pen these lines by the Editor of “The Clongownian” has been looked upon as a very great privilege by the present writer, who gladly pays this tribute to his old Master of Novices and to a loved and revered friend through many years.

May God give His richest rewards to Father Michael Browne who spent his life so generously in working for Him.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1934

Obituary

Father Michael Browne SJ

It is our sad duty to have to record the 1 death of one, whose connection with Mungret goes back to the nineties of last century - Father Michael Browne. But, though it is many years since he was working amongst us, still the memory of him and of his saintliness has remained ever fresh and lasting among those who had the good fortune to live with him.

Father Michael was a Limerick man, born in that city in 1853, the son of the late County Court Judge, Daniel Browne. His early years were spent at the Crescent, Limerick, and then at Clongowes Wood College. On leaving the latter college, he applied to be admitted into the Society of Jesus, but, to his great disappointment, was rejected on the score of ill-health. Being determined to be a priest, he entered Carlow College. Here his vocation for the Society persisted. In response to its dictates, he applied again to be admitted into the Society, and, to his great joy, was accepted. He always attributed the success of this second application to the intercession of the Virgin Mother, and here we have the first evidence of that sweet devotion which was the predominating and all-pervading one of his life.

In 1877 he entered the Jesuit noviceship at Milltown Park. His ideals, like those of all novices, were very high, St Stanislaus was to be outdone, but, there was this difference with Father Michael, as his brethren can attest - he arrived where they. aspired and his striving after sublime perfection never lost the fervour of the noviceship days.

His noviceship finished, Father Browne continued on at Milltown Park, studying Philosophy for three years, and then departed for St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, at that time one of the leading lay colleges in the country. Here he acted as Prefect of Studies in 1883. In the year of “the amalgamation with Clongowes”, 1886, he proceeded there, to act as Assistant Prefect of Studies. Theology absorbed his energies for the next four years, partly at Louvain, partly at Milltown Park, culminating in the long-awaited glory of the priesthood in 1891.

Mungret claimed him for the next three to four years, as Prefect of Studies. During these years, he had charge of the Sodality of Our Lady, an office that was especially dear to him on account of his tender devotion to the Virgin Mother. The following extract from the history of the Sodality is not without interest :

“Father D Gallery (the first Director) was succeeded by Father M Browne. By him the Sodality was directed for four years, and it owes to his assiduous care, the deep root it has taken in the College”. -(”Mungret Annual”, 1897).

From Mungret, he next set off for Chieri, Turin, there to go through his tertianship, the final moulding process of the Jesuit. He returned from Chieri to take up the Office of Spiritual Father to the boys and of Assistant in the People's Church. The kindness and saintliness displayed by him in these functions, won for him the “one post of distinction in the Society-Master of Novices”. This he held for ten years, at different intervals.

For three years he acted as Rector of the Crescent, Limerick, then was Novice-Master again, then Assistant to the Provincial. After eleven years in these duties, for the latter few of which he also exercised the ministry at Gardiner Street with great fruit and renown, he set out for Tullabeg once more, to fill the office of Novice-Master. After two years interval, he became Spiritual Father to the Scholastics in Rathfarnham Castle, which post he filled till his death. Though he had never been a man of robust health, owing to his natural delicacy and to his austerities, nevertheless he had successfully come through many a severe bout of sickness and had often been anointed. So his last illness was not looked upon with any great alarm at the beginning. But after a few days' illness, very little hope of his recovery was entertained, and he passed away, after a comparatively short illness, in his 81st year, on November 20th, 1933.

It would be an impertinence on our part to attempt to give an adequate estimation of Father Browne's lofty character within the narrow limits at our disposal. Suffice it to say, that, within the Order, he was held to be a man of great sanctity and of model observance, without, he was eagerly sought after, as a spiritual guide and Retreat giver by religious and clergy, and as a father confessor by the laity. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Michael Browne (1853-1933)

A native of Limerick city and a pupil of this college, entered the Society in 1877. Until the close of the last century, he was master, or prefect of studies or spiritual father to the boys in Tullabeg, Clongowes and Mungret. From 1900 onwards he was given one post of responsibility after another and gave distinguished service to the Society: Rector and Master of Novices at Tullabeg (1900-1905); Rector of Sacred Heart College, Limerick (1905-1908); Rector again at Tullabeg (1908-1911); secretary to the Provincial (1911-1922); Master of Novices (1922-1924). The remaining ten years of his life were spent as spiritual father to the community at Rathfarnham Castle.

For many years, Father Browne's duties brought him into little contact with the outside world. Apart from his rectorship at the Crescent, his work was within the Society. Yet, without realising it, Father Browne, in his lifetime, was known to many outside the Society as a man of singular holiness. It was he who formed the servant of God, Father John Sullivan in his noviceship days. Until death called both these priests away in the same year, 1933, the former novice-master and the former novice regarded one another with humble veneration. A biography of Father Michael Browne from the able pen of Father Thomas Hurley (master at the Crescent (1928-33 and 1940-52]) was published in 1949.

Bury, James, 1866-1927, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/77
  • Person
  • 02 October 1866-04 March 1927

Born: 02 October 1866, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1888, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1903, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1906, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died 04 March 1927, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of St Francis Xavier's Residence, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin.

by 1892 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1905 at St David’s, Mold, Wales (FRA) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After his Novitiate he studied Philosophy in Jersey, and then went for Regency to Clongowes for many years. After that he studied Theology at Milltown, was Ordained there and went on the FRA Tertianship at Mold, Wales.
After Tertianship he spent two years at Clongowes before joining the Mission Staff for a year.
The following four years he spent at Milltown as Minister.
He then was sent to Gardiner St as Minister and held that office for eight years, before his unexpected death at St Vincent’s, Dublin after an operation 04 March 1927.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 2nd Year No 3 1927
Obituary :
Father James Bury
Early in March the province got a painful surprise by the news that Fr Bury was dead. He had been operated on for appendicitis, complications set in, and a second operation became necessary. The heart gave way, and he died on the 4th March. Fr. Bury was carried off in the full vigor of mature manhood. At the time of his death he was Minister of Gardiner Street, Prefect of the Church, had charge of two Sodalities, and of the “Penny Dinners”. He took a full share in the work of the Church, and was head of the missionary staff. He certainly served a full apprenticeship in the Society.
After Philosophy at Jersey, he went to Clongowes, where he spent one year Gallery Prefect, four at 3rd line, and then got charge of the “Big Study”. Theology at Milltown followed and Tertianship at Mold. The next year saw him at Clongowes, where for two years he ruled the Higher Line. In 1907-8 he was Missioner, and for the four following years Minister at Milltown. He then returned to Mission work, and was connected with the Staff until his death.. From 1913 he was stationed in Gardiner Street, and was Minister of the House for eight years.
How much he was appreciated by those with whom he came in contact is, perhaps, best evidenced by the simple address of the Gardiner Street Staff : “Very Rev. Fr, Superior, on behalf of the House Staff, Who sadly miss our lamented Father Minister (RIP), We ask your Reverence to accept this little offering, £2 8s. 6d., for a Novena of Masses to be offered for the Repose of the Soul of dear Father Bury. We believe that this spiritual remembrance would be preferable to any perishable wreath”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Bury SJ 1866-1927
At the comparatively early age of 57 and in the full vigour of his powers, Fr James Bury died in Dublin on March 4th 1927 as a result of an operation.

He was long associated with Gardiner Street, where he was Minister for wight years previous to his death. A great churchman, popular with all, both priests and laity, he had a special gift for dealing with children. He was often called upon to preside at functions for children, and had the knack of producing order out of chaos.

He was born in Dublin in 1866, and he was educated at Belvedere College. He spent some time in Paris and also engaged in business in Dublin before he entered the Society in 1888.

During his time in Gardiner Street and at the time of his death, he was in charge of the Night Workers Sodality, but whom he was deservedly loved.

◆ The Clongownian, 1927

Obituary

Father James Bury SJ

The name of Father Bury will recall many memories to those who were here between the years 1894 and 1907. He came to Clongowes on the completion of his philosophical studies in Jersey, and filled the post of Gallery Prefect for one year. From 1895 to 1899 he guided the destinies of the Third Line, and those who had the happiness of being under him will recall his geniality and ready understanding of, and sympathy with, all that interests and worries boys at that early age. For the following two years he was Prefect of the Big Study; a strict disciplinarian, but withal popular with the boys, who admired him for his zeal for their success at examinations and his helpful interest in the struggling members of the “pass” classes, and the way he joined in their cheers when a surprise Play-day cut short the morning study. Returning from Theology in 1905, he became Higher Line Prefect, relinquishing the post in 1907 to take up the work of giving missions throughout the country, which occupied him more or less continually, until 1921, when he joined the staff of St Francis Xavier's Church in Dublin, becoming Minister the following year, and directing the work of the Missioners until his death.

Father Bury was a specialist in the very difficult work of giving children's missions, and the manner in which he gripped his youthful audiences and wrought them to a pitch of enthusiasm showed a rare power of sympathy and understanding with little folk, combined with great oratorical gifts; Indeed he will be missed by none more than the children of the poor, who idolised him, and on his walks they literally mobbed him for the privilege of holding his hand. He practically never left the Presbytery door but a poor flower-seller waylaid him and presented him with the choicest blooms in her basket.

He was a big-hearted man, very lovable, and the sobs of the poor who crowded the Church at his obsequies and followed his remains to the grave told more eloquently than speech or pen could of his sterling worth as a priest and a Jesuit. RIP

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1927

Obituary

Father James Bury SJ

The death of Father James Bury SJ, on March 4th came as a great shock to all. He had gone to hospital for a very necessary but simple operation, from which no one anticipated the slightest danger. An entirely unexpected complication set in, and, as a result, Father Bury had breathed his last before it was generally known that he was ill. Great was the grief of the Gardiner Street congregation and particularly of the poor when they learned of his unexpected death.

At the time of his death he was Minister of the residence in Gardiner Street, Dublin, and Superior of the Missions given by the Irish Jesuits. Previous to that he had been Minister in Milltown Park, and Higher Line Prefect in Clongowes. In all these offices he was genial to all, ever ready to oblige, devoted to his work, and kind to the poor. A sound, pleasing preacher, whose forte was plain, convincing instruction, he will be greatly missed. In the difficult role of preacher to children he was at his best. In this last work, which was particularly dear to him, he had few equals and perhaps no superior.

Butler, William, 1848-1907, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/814
  • Person
  • 04 September 1848-03 February 1907

Born: 04 September 1848, County Galway
Entered: 07 November 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880
Professed: 02 February 1888
Died: 03 February 1907, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

by 1868 at Amiens, France (CAMP) studying
by 1869 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1871 at Spring Hill College AL, USA (LUGD) Teaching
by 1874 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1879 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Educated at Coláiste Iognáid.

After First Vows he studied Philosophy at Laval and Theology at Louvian.
He was then lent to NOR as a scholastic for three years.
When he returned from New Orleans he was sent to Clongowes for some years. He spent some time as a Priest at Tullabeg, and when the College closed there he went for Tertianship to Drongen. He then joined the Missionary Band and was an excellent and very vigorous speaker.
He spent the remaining years of his life at Gardiner St where he died 03 February 1907

Excerpts (paraphrased in part) from An Appreciation by One Who Knew Him (EM SJ)
He was a native of Galway. That he was endowed with natural talents of no mean order is quite true, talents for a somewhat extended range in Mathematical and Philosophical speculation. It is true that during his lifetime he improved and developed these natural gifts by assiduous toil. Truer still that he possessed a rare sensibility for the fine arts, especially for the art of Music. Those who are capable of forming a just judgement bear witness to the elegance and perfection of execution which he reached on more than one instrument, but especially on his favourite instrument, the violin..........he was far from looking on Music as the serious occupation of his life........He looked on it more as a legitimate means of relaxation after a hard day’s work, or still more, as a legitimate means of ministering to the recreation and enjoyment of others.
........After First Vows he went to St Acheul near Amiens for Rhetoric, and then to Louvain for three years Philosophy. He was then sent for Regency to Clongowes, and Spring Hill College Alabama on the New Orleans Mission. He was then sent to Louvain again for Theology, and was Ordained 1880. His Priestly life was spent at Tullabeg, Crescent and Gardiner St until his death there.
....Father Butler’s nature was highly sensitive and refined will, I suppose, may readily be taken for granted by those who understand what are the qualities which combine to make a talent for music approaches to genius. Whatever Father Butler may have appeared to strangers, this writer can amply testify that he was to those who lived with him, and knew him intimately, the simplest, most genial, and the most kind-hearted of men. To the end of his life he was as light-hearted, I had almost said frolicsome, as a boy. Few men could rival the gusto with which he told or listened to a merry tale. Few equalled the heartiness of his laugh.
....But though taking a measured delight in the innocent joys of this life, it was very evident that his serious purpose was often “to muse on joy that will not cease”. Underneath all his outward gaiety there was the abiding consciousness of weighty responsibility.......laboriously taming and bringing to subjection a somewhat naturally hot and impulsive nature. Certainly he did not wear his religion on his sleeve........but....he possessed in no stinted measure a deep faith, informed by a piety at once simple and tender.......

Note from John Naughton Entry :
1896 He finally returned to Gardiner St again, and was President of the BVM Sodality for girls, being succeeded by William Butler and Martin Maher in this role.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father William Butler (1848-1907)

Born in Galway, educated at St Ignatius College, and received into the Society in 1865, was at the Crescent for two short periods, 1888-1889 and 1901-1902. He was a talented preacher and most of his active religious life was spent as missioner or at work in Gardiner St Church. Father Butler, in his day, was known to many as a musician of outstanding ability. He was a violinist of sensitive technique and his services as leader for orchestral accompaniment to the choir at Sacred Heart Church were frequently availed of.

Byrne, Davy, 1935-2013, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/805
  • Person
  • 15 January 1935-14 August 2013

Born: 15 January 1935, Dublin
Entered: 14 March 1957, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 02 February 1975, St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street
Died: 14 August 2013, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Iona, Portadown, County Armagh community at the time of death.

by 1971 at Bethnal Green, London, England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/256-goodbey-to-davy-byrne

A uniformed band played ahead of the hearse as they brought Davy Byrne’s body down the Garvaghy Road to be buried. Davy came to Portadown 28 years ago, after working on social services in Gardiner Street.

◆ Interfuse

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/256-goodbey-to-davy-byrne

A uniformed band played ahead of the hearse as they brought Davy Byrne’s body down the Garvaghy Road to be buried.
Davy came to Portadown 28 years ago, after working on social services in Gardiner Street.

Interfuse No 153 : Autumn 2013

Obituary

Br Davy Byrne (1935-2013)

15 January 1935: Born in Dublin.
Early education at the National School, Rialto, and the Kildare Place Training College.
He was in employment from 1949 1956 as a mechanic on duplicating machines before joining the Society.
14 March 1957: Entered Society at Emo
29 March 1959: First Vows at Emo
1959 - 1960: Milltown Park - Cook at Gonzaga
1960 - 1967: Milltown Park - Refectorian
1967 - 1969: St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia - in charge of staff
1969 - 1970: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1970 - 1972: London – Courses in Sociology at Polytechnic, Barking College
1972 - 1974: Milltown Park – Working in Social Service Centre, Gardiner Street
1974 - 1985: North Circular Road - Working in Social Service Centre, Gardiner Street
2 February 1975: Final Vows at Gardiner Street
1985 - 2013: Iona, Portadown;
1985 - 1996: Community Development
1996 - 2004: Community Development and Reconciliation; House Consultor
2004 - 2011: Pastoral Visitation, Bereavement Counselling; Reconciliation
2011 - 2013: Pastoral Visitation, Ministry of Presence, House Consultor

Davy Byrne was born in Dublin on 15th January 1935. His mother died seven weeks later and he knew little about her. One of many things he came to appreciate about his adoptive family was that he got to go to a Protestant school for his early education, despite the protestations of his local parish priest.

He was in employment from fourteen years of age until he joined the Jesuits in 1957, and during that time he developed an enthusiasm for long-distance cycling. He took part in many team races and had one serious fall over the handlebars of his bike.

After the noviceship he worked mainly in the Milltown Park refectory for seven years. From 1967-69 he was in charge of staff at the high school in Lusaka, Zambia. There he experienced the alienation of the manual worker in relation to established Jesuits. He was, nevertheless, convinced of the role of the brother's vocation in the church. It really mattered to him that he was a Jesuit brother. He never had any desire to be a priest. He knew that he could do things as a brother that priests cannot. His friends among the Irish Jesuit brothers contributed wonderful music and prayers to his requiem.

After Tertianship he stayed with a religious community in London while taking courses in sociology at Barking Polytechnic.

Following this, he worked from 1972 to 1985 in the Social Service Centre, Gardiner Street, where he developed a lifelong friendship with his colleague Sister Emmanuel. There he looked after people on the streets who needed food, a wash and a shave. He had great stories about the characters he met. He cared for them, and could understand where they came from.

Being a Jesuit was a deeply important part of his life. Every year he would make the Spiritual Exercises. In these he would hear again the call of Christ to serve his Kingdom. He would also reflect on the experience of God that Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, had at the river Cardoner, near Manresa in Spain. Ignatius never spoke much about what went on in this, other than to say that he experienced God in a completely new way. From then on he was able to see God in all people and in all things. Davy would also remember Ignatius' vision at La Storta in which he saw Christ telling his Father that he wanted Ignatius to follow him. Davy heard that call and responded to it, however much he failed, like the rest of us.

He had a great love of God and of prayer. He used to talk of Holy Cross, the Benedictine monastery in Rostrevor, as his second spiritual home, especially in later years when his health failed. For many years he attended meetings of the European Jesuit Workers' Group. These were Jesuits who worked alongside people in difficult situations in factories and tried to find Christ in their situation. It was important to Davy that these Jesuits came from many different European countries: he knew the Society is an international body.

In 1985, as a fifty-year old true Dub, he took the courageous step of joining the new venture at Iona, Portadown, in the middle of The Troubles. Portadown was to become his home, where he wanted always to be, and he was the first ever Jesuit to be buried in Northern Ireland. There was a Jesuit house in Donard, County Down, in the 19th century with some Jesuit graves, but that was before the creation of Northern Ireland.

The Jesuit work in Churchill Park began with community development, and Davy was part of the setting up of the Drumcree Community Centre. People from there attended his funeral. He developed a more personal mission to people in stress, which was expressed in the Gingerbread group. Many people give testimony to Davy's presence and words of healing wisdom. He said that his real work was being present to people. When he was present and listening to them, God was present.

He made close friends among Protestants, especially in the Corcrain area which is across the peace wall from Garvaghy Road. In Corcrain they paint the kerbstones red and blue and burn foreign flags on enormous bonfires, but on the day of the funeral a woman from there commented on how he was mourned by so many there. It was very important to him that some of his closest friends were Protestants. Building relationships in Portadown between Catholics and Protestants was very important to him. He hated bigotry and sectarianism.

In 2012 he discovered that his mother was buried in Templemichael, near Arklow where she had grown up. He managed two trips to the grave, which meant very much to him. The final trip included a visit to Sr Emmanuel in Co, Wexford. Some months later she preceded him in death. Mutual friends arranged that he was buried with her rosary beads. His friend Gabrielle, of Gabrielle's flower shop, began to send him single red roses for his mother's grave. In the end he sent two for Davy's grave,

He would have loved his own funeral - the uniformed band preceding the hearse, the hosts of neighbours and friends, the sense of a life fulfilled. A fellow Jesuit said it was the happiest funeral he ever attended. The bishop of the diocese, Cardinal Sean Brady, presided over the liturgy, and while Davy may not have been impressed by celebrity, he would in this case have smiled. Fr Thierry OSB was there to represent the Benedictine community of Rostrevor. Davy had very little family but was always close to his nieces and their families in Birmingham. They obviously cherished him, visiting him during his illness and turning out in force for his funeral.

People regretted the passing of a gentleman, a friend, one whose presence was like a timely sent angel. He ambled along, trusting in the right moment, saying it as he felt it, and people got the message and loved it.

Byrne, George, 1879-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/708
  • Person
  • 07 February 1879-03 January 1962

Born: 07 February 1879, Blackrock, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1911, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 03 January 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin

Younger brother of William Byrne - RIP 1943

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Came to Australia for Regency 1902
by 1899 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong Mission : 02 December 1926
by 1927 first Hong Kong Missioner with John Neary
by 1931 Hong Kong Mission Superior 02 December 1926

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
1894-1898 After his First Vows at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, he remained there for two further years of Juniorate
1898-1901 He was sent to Valkenburk Netherlands for Philosophy.
1901-1908 He was sent to Australia and St Ignatius College Riverview for Regency, where he taught and was Third Division Prefect. He was also in charge charge of Senior Debating (1905-1908) and in 1904 was elected to the Council of the Teachers Association of New South Wales.
1908-1912 he returned to Ireland and Milltown Park Dublin for Theology
1912-1914 He made Tertianship at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, and the following year appointed Socius to the Novice Master.
1914-1919 He was sent to Australia as Superior and Master of Novices at Loyola College Greenwich. He was also a Consultor of the Sydney Mission and gave Retreats and taught the Juniors. This occurred at a time when it was decided to reopen the Noviceship in Australia. As such he was “lent” to the Australian Mission for three years, but the outbreak of war and some delaying tactics on the part of the Mission Superior William Lockington, he remained longer than expected.
1919-1923 On his return to Ireland he became Novice Master again.
1930 He went to the Irish Mission in Hong Kong and worked there for many years, before returning to Ireland and Milltown Park, where he died.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father George Byrne
R.I.P.

Father George Byrne, S.J., the first Regional Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits and for many years one of the best Known priests in Hong Kong, died in Ireland on Thursday, 4 January 1962, aged 83.

Father Byrne arrived in Hong Kong from Ireland, with one other Jesuit Father, on 2 December 1926, and at once started to look for work, both for himself and for the Jesuits who would soon follow him to Hong Kong. He found abundant work for both. Within a decade, though always very short of men, he had staffed the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, built and opened Ricci hall, a Catholic hostel for students in the University of Hong Kong, taken over Wah Yan College from its founders, restarted as a monthly the Hong Kong Catholic review, The Rock, which had ceased publication shortly before his arrival, and provided for a time Jesuit teachers for Sacred Heart College, Canton.

These were the works he did through others. His own personal work was infinitely varied, as might have been expected from one of his many-sided character - at once scholarly and practical. At the time of his ordination he had been informed that he was destined a specialist’s life as a professor of theology. This plan was later changed and for the rest of his life he was to be, not a specialist, but one ready for anything. Nevertheless he retained some of the marks of the savant.

He was always a voracious reader, able to pour out an astonishing variety of information on almost any subject at a moment’s notice in English, French, or Latin. This gift, joined to a strong personality, a commanding appearance, and a powerful and very flexible voice, made him an admirable public speaker, whether in the pulpit, at retreats and conferences, at meetings of societies and associations, or in the lecturer’s chair in the University of Hong Kong. Where he readily deputised during the furloughs of the professors of education and of history. As a broadcaster, he had the rare gift of being able to project his personality across the ether and so hold the attention of his unseen audience.

As a writer, and he wrote much, he was primarily a discursive essayist, a member of a literary tribe that seems to have disappeared during World War II. His monthly articles in The Rock and the weekly column that he contributed for years to the South China Morning Post under the title ‘The Student’s Window’ might be in turn grimly earnest, genially informative, and gaily trivial, but they were always written in urbane and rhythmic English that carried the reader unprotestingly to the last full stop.

Despite these numerous public activities, he was probably best known as an adviser. During the many years he spent in Ricci Hall, he was always at home to the great numbers of people of all kinds - lay and cleric, Catholic and non-Catholic, men and women, young and old - who came seeking the solution of intellectual, religious, or personal problems from one who they knew would be both wise and kind.

Father Byrne was in Hong Kong in the early days of the war and displayed remarkable courage and physical energy in defending Ricci Hall against a band of marauders. By this time he was no longer superior, and he was already over 60. He went, therefore, to Dalat, Vietnam, where he spent the rest of the war years, Soon after the war, he went to Ireland for medical treatment and, though still capable of a hard day’s work, was advised on medical grounds that he must not return to the Far East.

This was a blow, but he did not repine. He retained his interest in and affection for Hong Kong, but he quickly set about finding an abundance of work in Ireland. Once again he found it. Not long after his arrival the director of retreats in Ireland was heard to say that if he could cut Father George Byrne in four and sent each part to give a retreat, he would still be unable to satisfy all the convents that were clamouring for him.

He still wrote and he still lectured and he still gave advice. Only very gradually did he allow advancing old age to cut down his work. As he had always wished, he worked to the end.

Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in Ricci Hall chapel by the warden Father R. Harris, S.J., on Monday, 8 January. In the congregation that filled the chapel, in addition to his fellow Jesuits, there were many who still remember Father Byrne even in the city of short memories. Those present included Father A. Granelli, P.I.M.E., P.P., representing His Lordship the Bishop; Bishop Donahy, M.M., Father McKiernan M.M, Father B. Tohill, S.D.B., Provincial, Father Vircondalet, M.E.M., Brother Felix, F.S.C., Father P. O’Connor, S.S.C., representative groups of Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres of the Maryknoll Sisters, of the Colomban Sisters, and many others. The Mass was served by Dr. George Choa.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 12 January 1962

RICCI Souvenir Record of the Silver Jubilee of Ricci Hall Hong Kong University 1929-1954

Note from John Neary Entry
He has nevertheless his little niche in our history. He was one of the two Jesuits - Father George Byrne was the other - who came here on 2 December 1926, to start Jesuit work in Hong Kong. Their early decisions have influenced all later Jesuit work here.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He could be called the founder of the Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong, as most of the older institutions in Hong Kong were started under him at Ricci (1929), Aberdeen (1931 and Wah Yan Hong Kong (1933).
After his term as Mission Superior (1926-1935) he lectured, preached and wrote. He had a weekly column in the “South China Morning Post” called “The Philosophers Chair”. During the Japanese occupation he went to a French Convent School to teach Philosophy. After 1946 he returned to Ireland and taught Ascetical and Mystical Theology yo Jesuits in Dublin.
Imaginative and versatile, pastoral and intellectual, he gave 20 of his peak years to Hong Kong (1926-1946) after which he returned to Ireland to give another 20 years service.

Note from John Neary Entry
In 1926 Fr John Fahy appointed him and George Byrne to respond to the request from Bishop Valtora of Hong Kong for Jesuit help.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

Fr Pigot attended the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo as a delegate representing the Australian Commonwealth Government. He was Secretary to the Seismological Section, and read two important papers. On the journey home he spent some time in hospital in Shanghai, and later touched at Hong Kong where he met Frs. Byrne and Neary.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Leeson St :
We were very glad to have several members of the Hong Kong Mission with us for some time: Frs. P. Joy, T. Fitzgerald, and H. O'Brien, while Fr. George Byrne has joined us as one of the community.

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

Obituary :

Fr George Byrne (1879-1962)

Few men in the history of the Irish Province for the last sixty years have seen so many aspects of the life and development of the Province as did Fr. George Byrne, who died in Dublin on 4th January at the ripe age of 83, of which 67 were spent in the Society. Born in Cork in 1879, he received his early education first at Clongowes (where he was in the Third Line with a boy three years younger than him called James Joyce!) and later at Mungret. He entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1894; made his philosophy at Vals, in France, taught for seven years as a scholastic in Riverview College, Australia; then back to Milltown Park, Dublin, for theology where he was ordained in 1911. His tertianship was made in Tullabeg, and he remained on there in the following year as Socius to the Master of Novices, but after a few months Australia claimed him again.
Early in 1914 he was named Master of Novices of the resuscitated Australian novitiate at Loyola, Sydney, combining this with the office of Superior of the House until 1918. A year later, in 1919, he is on the high seas again, this time returning to be Master of Novices at Tullabeg from 1919 to 1922,
In 1922 he became an operarius at St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, and during the next four years, among his other ministeria, was the first chaplain to the first Governor-General of the newly-established Irish Free State, Mr. Timothy Healy, K.C.
With 1926 came the decision that the Irish Province establish a Jesuit mission in Hong Kong at the invitation of the Vicar Apostolic, Bishop Henry Valtorta. Fr. Byrne, with Fr. John Neary, arrived in Hong Kong on 2nd December of the same year. Shortly afterwards Fr. Byrne became the Superior of the young mission. The years that followed, until his retirement to Ireland for health reasons in 1946, will undoubtedly be the period of Fr. Byrne's life that will establish his important standing in the recent history of the Irish Province. It is therefore fitting that we should allow them to be dealt with from Hong Kong sources. We take the following from The South China Morning Post for 5th January, 1962:
“News has just been received from Dublin, Ireland, of the death there of Fr. George Byrne, S.J., who was well known in Hong Kong for many years. He was the first Superior here of the Irish Jesuits. He was 83.
Fr, Byrne, with one other Jesuit priest, came to Hong Kong in Dec ember 1926. It was under his direction that arrangements were made for the various forms of work undertaken by the Jesuits in the Colony. The first of these was the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, which was under the direction of the bishops of South China, and was intended for the education and training of candidates for the priesthood in their dioceses. The staffing of it was entrusted to the Jesuits.
Fr. Byrne also arranged for the building of Ricci Hall, a Catholic hostel of the University of Hong Kong. He lived there for many years and always maintained a close contact with the university. He was a member of the Court and deputised, during periods of leave, for the Professor of Education and the Professor of History,
He was prominent in the years before the war as a lecturer and broadcaster and writer. He re-started the publication of the Catholic monthly magazine, The Rock, to which he was a regular contributor. He also for a long time contributed a weekly article, "The Student's Window", to The South China Morning Post.
He took an active part also in cducational matters. He was a member of the Board of Education, and he arranged for the taking over of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from its original founders. He had many associations with the religious institutions, where he was much in demand for conferences and retreats, He spoke with equal fluency in English, French and Latin.
During the war he was in Dalat, Indo-China, and soon after his return to Hong Kong got into bad health and returned to Europe for medical treatment. His recovery was more complete than was expected, but medical advice was against his return to the East.
During recent years, though old and in failing health, he was still very active as a writer in Catholic periodicals, and he always maintained his interest in Hong Kong. He left here many friends who remember him as a man of great kindness and universal sympathy, who carried lightly his wide scholarship, and who was always unchanged in his urbanity and good humour. Many professional men remember him too for his wise guidance in their student days and they, with a host of others, will always recall him with respect and affection”.
It only remains to say that though medical authorities refused to allow his return to Hong Kong, the years from 1946 until his death were as full of activities as ever. He continued to write and to lecture and to direct souls as of old. He filled the important post of Instructor of Tertians for years at Rathfarnham and from than until his death he was Professor of Ascetical Theology and spiritual director to the theologians at Milltown Park. Only very gradually did he allow advancing years to cut down his work. As he had always wished, he worked to the end.

From the Bishop of Hong Kong

16 Caine Road,
Hong Kong
10th January, 1962.

Dear Fr. O'Conor,
The news of the death of Rev. Fr. George Byrne, S.J., caused deep regret among all the many friends he left in Hong Kong, among whom I am proud to count myself.
His pioneer work here was that of a great missionary and of a far sighted organiser. His memory and the example of his zeal will be cherished in Hong Kong.
While expressing to you, Very Reverend Father, my sympathy for the great loss of your Province and your Society, I wish to take the opportunity of assuring you of tne grateful appreciation by the clergy and laity of Hong Kong for the generous collaboration your Fathers are offering to us in carrying the burden of this diocese.
Asking for the blessing of Our Lord on your apostolic work,
Yours very sincerely in Christ,
+Lawrence Bianchi,
Bishop of Hong Kong.

The Very Rev. Charles O'Conor, S.J.,
Loyola,
87 Eglinton Road,
Ballsbridge,
Dublin,
Ireland.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father George Byrne SJ 1879-1962
Few men in the history of the Province for the last 60 years have seen and contributed to so many aspects of the life and development of our Province than Fr George Byrne, who died in Dublin on January 4th 1962.

He was born in Cork in 1879, educated at Mungret at Clongowes, and he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1894.

In 1914 he was named Master of Novices to the resusicitated Novitiate at Loyola, Sydney, Australia, returning from that post to take up a similar one at Tullabeg from 1919 to 1922.

On the foundation of the Irish Free State he became chaplain to the first Governor-General, Mr Tim Healy.

When we started our Mission in Hong Kong, Fr Byrne went out as founder and first Superior. These were creative days,. He built Ricci Hall, negotiated the taking over of the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen, and he took over Wah Yan College from its original owners. At the same time he was prominent as a lecturer, broadcaster and writer, as well as part-time Professor in the University. He started the Catholic magazine “The Rock”, and for a long time contributed to the “South China Morning Post”

For health reasons he returned to Ireland in 1946. During the remaining years of his life he was Tertian-Instructor at Rathfarnham and Spiritual Father at Milltown. He continued to write, give retreats, thus keeping in harness till the end, as he himself wished.

Truly a rich life in achievement and of untold spiritual good to many souls. As a religious, he enjoyed gifts of higher prayer and was endowed with the gift of tears.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1929

Our Past

Father George Byrne SJ

Fr George Byrne SJ, who was in Mungret for some years in the nineties, is bringing glory to the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus. Under him as Superior the little band of pioneer missionaries of the Irish Jesuits at Hong Kong, Canton, and Shiuhing are doing wonderful work for the Church. In addition to his business of organisation, Fr George frequently contributes to “The Rock” and to a new Chinese monthly, the “Kung Kao Po”. His articles are usually reprinted in many of the local papers, with the result that Fr Byrne has gained a great reputation in Hong Kong. He is constantly giving retreats and missions. Two retreats were given by him in Latin to groups of Chinese priests, Fr Byrne is at present attending to the building of Ricci Hall, the new Hostel for Chinese University students. At the laying of the foundation stone by the Governor General, Fr George made a brilliant speech. Plans are being drawn up for the building of a new Regional Seminary. This building will be completed in 1930, and Fr Byrne will have an additional burden thrust upon him. May God give him strength to continue his wonderful work.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1930

Three Years in China : Impressions and Hopes

Father George Byrne SJ

The Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to China, Very Rev George Byrne SJ, visited us in March, and gave us a very interesting lecture. We expected great things from Father George, and were not disappointed. He gave a very clear account of the present position in China, of the Customs and mentality of its people, and of the working of grace amongst them. The many anecdotes told by Father Byrne and the beautiful illustrations he showed us kept our interest alive. Throughout the lecture We heard the call of China - the call of Christ the Redeemer of the world, appealing for helpers to bring those who are in the valley of the shadow of death to the Life that comes by knowledge and love of the Son of God.

We experienced no little joy when we heard of the work that has already been accomplished by the thirteen missionaries who have gone to China during the past three years. Their first task was, of course, study of the Chinese language, and in this they have already made progress sufficient to enable them to under take some missionary work through the medium of that language. The work of editing a Catholic monthly magazine called”The Rock” was entrusted to them by His Lordship the Bishop of Hong Kong; but their biggest undertaking has been the erection of Ricci Hall, a hostel for students attending the University of Hong Kong. When their numbers and resources increase, they hope to undertake a still more important work, namely, the management of the new Regional Seminary which is at present in course of erection, and in which the native clergy of Southern China will be educated and prepared for the priesthood. God's grace is manifestly assisting them in their labours.

Mungret rejoices in these achievements, especially as three of her old pupils and one old master are amongst the thirteen. Father G Byrne SJ, the Superior, was here in the nineties. Father J McCullough SJ, a boy of 1912-14 and a master here a few years ago, is working in Canton. Rev R Harris SJ, who left us in 1922, is teaching in Shiu Hing. Father R Gallagher SJ, who is remembered by many Old Boys, is the zealous Editor of “The Rock”. Anyone who knew Father Dick will not be surprised to hear that in addition to the burden of editorship, he cheerfully shoulders many other burdens.

The interest of Mungret boys in the Mission can be very practical. Help is needed. Perhaps those who read may help in one or many of the following ways: (1) By prayer ; (2) by sending books to stock the libraries of the Hostel or Seminary (Ricci Hall, Hong Kong, China); (3) by collecting old stamps and tin-foil, and forwarding them to Treasurer, Ricci Mission, Milltown Park, Dublin ; (4) by subscribing to The Rock (Editor, PO Box 28, Hong Kong); (5) by contributing to the Ricci Mission Fund (The Treasurer, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin). Those who cannot be with their friends in the front trench, as it were, where Paganism meets Christianity, can help them greatly. Spiritual and material help are necessary. By helping them, you give them strength and courage, and will have the privilege of consoling your Greatest Friend.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962

Obituary

Father George Byrne SJ

It is with great regret we chronicle the death of Father George Byrne, which took place in Dublin on January 4, at the 1 age of 83.

Father Byrne was born in Cork. After leaving Mungret he entered the Society of Jesus. He taught in Australia for seven years as a scholastic, and then returned to Milltown Park for his theological studies.

After ordination, he was recalled to Austrialia, where he became Master of Novices and Superior of the House. After a few years he was back in Ire land again, this time to Gardiner St, While in Gardiner St he became first Chaplain to the first Governor-General of the Free State, Mr Tim Healy, KC.

In 1926 came the decision to establish a Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong, Father Byrne was appointed Superior of the newly-formed Mission. On him fell the burden of much of the organisation. He arranged for the staffing of the Regional Seminary. He also arranged for the building of Ricci Hall, a University Hostel. He was also instrumental in taking over Wah Yan College from its original founders.

In Hong Kong he was a well-known broadcaster, writer and lecturer. He was always prominently associated with education.

In 1946 he returned to Ireland for health reasons. He continued active work. He was Instructor of Tertians for a number of years and after that, until his death, he was Professor of Ascetical Theology and Spiritual Director of the Theologians at Milltown Park, He worked until the end. RIP

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, Vincent, 1848-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/5
  • Person
  • 5 May 1848-21 October 1943

Born: 05 May 1848, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 16 March 1880, Munich, Germany
Died: 21 October 1943, Dublin, Milltown Park, Dublin

Brother of Henry Byrne LEFT as Novice 1875 due to ill health resulting in death

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
by 1871 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1878 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from James Redmond Entry :
He studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens with Michael Weafer, Thomas Finlay and Peter Finlay, Robert Kane and Vincent Byrne, among others.
Note from Thomas P Brown Entry :
1877 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology with W (sic) Patrick Keating and Vincent Byrne
Note from Br Philip McCormack Entry :
Father Vincent Byrne said his funeral Mass which was attended by many of the Brothers from the city houses.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944

Obituary :

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Fr. Byrne died on 20th October at Milltown Park at the age of 95. He was a brother of the late Mr. George Byrne, of the firm of Messrs. Byrne, Mahony and Co., flour and grain merchants, wbo was for a number of years chairman of the Dublin Port and Docks Board. His nephew, Mr. George Byrne, is a member of the present Port and Docks Board.
Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere College. He entered the Society at Milltown Park in 1866, studied rhetoric at St. Acheul, Amiens, philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany, and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St. Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.
Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama, and through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore, did notable work, as an interpreter of Shakespeare. Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret College, Limerick, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector, from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector, from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forcefui personality.
The present scheme of decoration of the college chapel, with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and its organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil paintings, were all due to his initiative. With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State - like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Most Rev. Dr. Curley - the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Most Rev. Dr. Killian, Mr. Frank Fahy, T.D - he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship. Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Prefect of Studies.
An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.
Father Byrne was the oldest surviving alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher-bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the complete spoilation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.
He was attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over 30 years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with persevering fidelity, and preserved his keen interest in all that touched human life. R.I.P.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 38 : September 1985

Portrait from the Past

FR VINCENT BYRNE : 1848-1943

Seán Hughes

  1. Memories:
    As a young lad: of a quiet gentle confessor in Gardiner Street - though he had a disconcerting habit of dozing in the Box, with the additional alarm caused by the peak of his biretta, on the nodding head, descending like a blackbird. At a later time: or the elderly silk-hatted, frock-coated priest with his umbrella, setting out from Gardiner Street. I never, though, saw him in a tram - like some others of his distinguished-looking, silk-hatted community. As a scholastic: particularly at funerals, when he hatted, gazing down into the open grove of soneome junior to hio. Lastly, in Milltown, pathetically helping or being helped up the two steps to the chapel corridor - Fr. Vincent Byrne, in his nineties, and Fr. Nicholas Tomkins, in his eighties, linking one another from the refectory....

  2. The Official Record:
    Fr. Vincent Byrne was born in Dublin, 5th May 1848. He went to school to Belvedere, and entered the Society in Milltown Park on 7th September 1866. He went to St. Acheul, Belgium, for his juniorate, and was sent to Rome, to the Roman College, for phisolophy. After the fall of Rome, 1870, he moved to Germany to Maria Laach for his second year of philosophy. Then came a five-year regency - a year each in Tullabeg (still a college) and Crescent, and three years in Clongowes where he was Third Line Prefect. To Innsbruck then for theology - and he was ordained on St. Patrick's Day, 1880, in the private Chapel of the Archbishop of Munich: his health having broken down during his second year of theology. A leisurely return home, recuperating his health, became a Grand Tour.

As a young priest, before his tertianship, he spent seven years teaching in different colleges - three years in Tullabeg, two in Galway, one each in Clongowes and Crescent. Apparently a good teacher of languages (he has four to offer) and drama. Fr, Byrne was “in demand”...

In 1889, he was posted to Mungret - first as Minister, for two years; then as rector for nine years. For four of these, 90 - 94, he was in addition Moderator of the Apostolic School. Those years were the apex of his career - the man who Made Mungret - the tangible evidence being the embellishment of the College Chapel. But there was more: those years of Mungret's history were marked by its remarkable successes in the University Examinations of the old Royal University of Ireland. Fr. Byrne claimed that of his pupils in the Apostolic School, nine became Bishops, Archbishop Curley of Baltimore, USA, being the most notable. Ichabod!

After Mungret, Fr.Byrne went to Gardiner Street, where he was to spend all but four years of the rest of his long life. The first four years in Gardiner Street were spent as a member of the retreat and mission staff. There followed, 1904 - 07, three years as rector of Clongowes, then a return to Gardiner Street - as an operarius until 1934; as Conf. Dom., until 1942 - when he retired to Milltown, where it all began seventy-six years previously. He died on 20th October 1943. I don't remember his funeral - but being choir-master, I must have been there.

  1. The Legend:
    Arriving in Mungret, thirty-seven years after Fr. Byrne had left it, I found a green memory of great days and deeds of derring-do. To sift out the facts from the folklore would take a gift of discernment of very high order: so let us be content with the legend w some of the tales may well be apocryphal - but what matter? As Chesterton said about the legends of St. Nicholaus - “He was the kind of man about whom that kind of story was told”. So too “the Pie” - as he was nicknamed, because, it is said, he had a somewhat un-Ignatian “affection” for the dish.

I suppose the legend begins in Rome in 1870 - when he saw “service” with the Papal Army making its token stand at the Port Pia against the invading arny of Victor Emmanuel. The service was, no doubt, as a medical orderly - but, no matter; it was a signal beginning. When we were in Milltown, 1942-43, we understood that Fr Byrne was writing his Memoirs - I wonder where that piece of archives is? The stay in Maria Laach coincided with the beginning of Bismark's Kultur Kampf - and the saving of the library from confiscation by the process of pasting in the book-plate of a friendly Baron in each of the books was another tale.

Although Vincent's health did break down in Innsbruck, he must have been a man of extraordinary stamina and strength. He related, himself, how, when Third Line Prefect in C.W.C., he walked to Dublin (and back) to beg £5.00 from the Provincial to buy a small billiard table for his Line. He rode a bicycle - on what we would seem cart-tracks of roads (and not even a three-speed gear on the machine): he swam - whenever he could, until he was literally rescued from the stormy waters of the Forty-foot in his eighties/nineties and forbidden to swim again. And he died, the oldest member (then) of the Province - but was often heard to say: “That man” (the late E. de Valera) “has taken ten years off my life”. Did he die disappointed?

But the Mungret Legends: Fr Byrne's term as rector of Mungret saw stormy days - on two fronts. The then Bishop of Limerick, Dr. Edward Thomas Dwyer, a man of strong, positive views and irascible temperanent, apparently decided that the Jesuit occupation of Mungret was irregular. His predecessor had invited Ours to run the Diocesan Seminary which he had opened at Mungret. Bishop Dwyer withdrew the seminarians - and left us in occupation. He pursued his case in Rome - and lost it. But Fr Byrne had to face up to the tensions of such a situation. One story may indicate how he coped. He met the Bishop at a funeral. Said the Bishop: “Did you get the letter I sent you?”. Replied the Rector: “Your letter arrived but I did not receive it”. It was related that on another occasion, the Rector was cycling down the Mungret avenue. The Bishop in his coach was driving up to the College. Noticing his visitor, Fr. Byrne continued on his way. The Rector was not at home when the Bishop arrived. The failure of the Bishop's case in Rome did nothing to improve relations.

There was a further assault on his beloved College from quite another quarter. This arose from the complex history of the Mungret establishment. In the 50's the British government decided to do something for the agricultural community. It set up two (I think) agricultural colleges - one of them on land taken from (”ceded by”) the Church of Ireland diocese of Limerick, namely, the Mungret property. The college had a short and unsuccessful life. In or about 1870, the Catholic Bishop of Limerick secured a lease of and premises of the agricultural college, for the purposes of having his diocesan Seminary established there. There was, I believe, some kind of commitment to maintain instruction in agriculture in the new enterprise.

As already related, we remained in occupation of the former agricultural college - now Mungret College and the Mungret Apostolic School. The Protestant Dean of Limerick now challenged our right to be there: the land had been ceded for a specific purpose - which was not being carried out: the agricultural instruction had become a mere token. So, nothing less than a Royal Commission was set up to determine the matter. With the good help of Lord Emly a friend and neighbour, the Commission found a solution - and the Technical School in O'Connell Avenue, Limerick was the British Government's restitution to the people of Limerick.

But more intimate and family adventures: Community relations between Crescent and Mungret were normally very amicable. Whenever one Community was rejoicing, the other was invited to join in the celebration. Indeed it is related that the citizens of Limerick (who always knew, somehow or other, what was going on in either community!) used assemble at Ballinacurra Pike to enjoy the spectacle of the Mungret Long Car bringing one or other community home - rejoicing. Well, on one occasion the Minister of Crescent forgot to invite the Mungret Community to the party. Result: a breach in diplomatic relations - which went unhealed until the said Minister came out to Mungret and read an apology to the Mungret Community - Rector and all present in the Library. (A Community Meeting of a different kind). I mentioned the Long Car which transported the Community of Mungret: all, Rector down, had apparently bicycles: but there was some kind of coach too - for the Rector would be driven to Limerick (or Tervoe, Emly's place). Any respectable coachman would wear a tall-hat: but the Mungret coachman had no such thing. So a tin, black japaned headgear was provided for occasions when the Rector went driving. All was well - until in a bad hail storn descended. The hailstones on the tin hat made such a racket that the horse bolted... History doesn't recount the sequel.

There were tales of cycling expeditions. “Be booted and spurred at such a time” was the Rector's goodnight summons to his men. And off they would go - on their gearless, fixed-wheel bicycles, on the Limerick roads - trying to keep up with the Rector - and trying not to outstrip him when going downhill - a lesson that had to be learnt the hard way! The quality of the lunch depended on the Rector (a) not being overtaken coming down hill and (b) arriving first at their destination. Not all the picnics were cycle runs: there is a tale of an expedition to Killarney (cycling to Limerick Station, of course) with a return in the company of one of the Circuit Court Judges (Adams was his name, I think) who spoke highly of the gaiety of the journey - the bottle had the colour of lemonade (and maybe the label!). One of the party assured me that he found himself in bed the following morning with no recollection of getting there - nor any idea of how he cycled out from Limerick on a bicycle with a buckled front wheel.

There were tales, too, of adventures on villas - the Rector's requirement of his swim before lunch often the nub of the tale - as, for instance, once the party went to the Scelligs (by row boat, of course). Lunch was to be on the rock: but the Rector had to have his swim. The brethren sought to persuade him otherwise - no doubt, it was a hungry and thirsty journey. So they alleged that the waters were shark-infested. Nothing daunted, Fr Byrne had his oarsmen beat the waters - to scare off any intruding shark, while he had his daily plunge...

At home, of course, life was apparently of the “semper aliquid novi” ex Mungret type. Once, the orchard was raided - and the very angry Rector threatened the assembled boys with cancellation of the next free day - unless the culprit owned up. There was silence - and then, Pat Connolly one of the Rector's favourite pupils stood up and confessed. By no means nonplussed, the Rector's anger melted away and in volte face, he cried out: “May God forgive the boy who led this poor child into error. The poor child entered the Society and in the course became the devoted editor of “Studies” for many a long year. It is said that an application from Bruree for a boy with the unusual name of Valera did not meet with the Rector's sympathy - and went to WPB unacknowledged: so the boy went to Rockwell - and, maybe, history was made... With all, the Rector was a forceful personality where the religious, literary and artistic life of the College was concerned. He took his share of teaching and was Proc. Dom. in addition.

His triennium at Clongowes left no such harvest of Folklore. There, he had an outstanding Minister (Fr. Wrafter) and a dymanic Prefect of Studies (Fr. James Daly, in his prime): so Fr Byrne let then run the School while he went to Dublin regularly - coming back every few days to collect his post. It is related that the return was often by the “Opera Train” - the last train from Kingsbridge bringing county theatre goers home - and then by coach from Sallins - the coachman, no doubt, properly attired...

To the end of his active days, he attended both the Spring Show and the Horse Show on each of the four days. Every International Rugby Match and/or Cup Final saw him ensconced on the East Stand at Lansdowne Road, The umbrella element of his tenue on these social occasions, was wielded with vigour on those enthusiasts who stood up at thrilling moves on the pitch and blocked his reverence's view. He was a keen bridge player and commanded his friends to provide “a good four”. However, he developed a habit of pausing during play to recite his favourite poetry - with feeling. The provision of “a good four” became increasingly difficult.

But despite all these eccentricities, Fr, Byrne was one of the devoted and faithful members of the Church staff at Gardiner Street. In a time when the Province rejoiced in having a number of eloquent and sought after preachers - Fr. Robert Kane, Fr. Tom Murphy, Fr. Michael Phelan - Fr Vincent Byrne was 'an eloquent and graceful speaker. A panegyric of St. Aloysius is noted in the Clongownian obituary as outstanding. Some ten years before his death he published a volume of his sermons - and the edition was sold out, which, in 1933 must say something about them.

We shall not see his like again.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1866, studied. rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens, philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany, and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St. Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.

Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama; and through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St Stanislaus College Tullamore, did notable work as an interpreter of Shakespeare. Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret College, Limerick, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector, from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forceful personality.

The present scheme of decoration of the chapel at Mungret with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and its organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil paintings, all were due to his initiative. With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State, like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Most Rev Dr Curley; the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Most Rev Dr Killian ; Mr. Frank Fahy, TD, he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship. Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Prefect of Studies.

An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.

Father Byrne was the oldest surviving' alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher-bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the spoliation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.

He was attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over 30 years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with persevering fidelity, and preserved his keen interest in all that touched human life. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Rector (1904-1907)

Although Fr Vincent Byrne was for over seventy years a member of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, his connection with Clongowes was very short, being practically confined to the three years of his Rectorate. He had indeed been Third Line Prefect and had taught here for a short time, but it was so long ago that it is almost beyond the memory of even the oldest Clongownian. He was, however, known to many of more recent years who remember his eloquent occasional sermons, particularly his panegyric of St Aloysius, which is included in the volume of his published sermons which was published a few years ago and was so well received by the public. His venerable figure was well known to those who live in Dublin where he will be greatly missed by his numerous friends.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Father Vincent Byrne, veteran of the Irish Province and “clarum et venerabile nomen” to Mungret men of his day here, passed away last October, To the last, in spite of his venerable age, he was interested in life and up to a short time before his death, he was one of the best known men in the city of Dublin. Police, newsboys, tram-men, everyone whose business it is to be abroad knew him and recognised him familiarly. His old pupils never forget him and he is a very vivid memory to them indeed. He came to Mungret full of vigour and he was not niggardly of his energy in her service. He built here, decorated, furnished and encouraged every side of college life whether it was sport of music or debates. His own humorous comment in old age when he revisited us “I made Mungret” has its quantum of truth.

Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere College. He entered the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park in 1866, studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens; philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.

Authority on Shakespeare
Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama, and, through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, did notable work as an interpreter of Shakespeare.

Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forceful personality.

The present scheme of decoration of the college chapel, with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil-paintings, were all due to his initiative.

With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State, like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Dr Curley the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Dr Killian; Mr Frank Fahy TD, he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship.

Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Dean of Studies.

An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.

Father Byrne was the oldest surviving alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the complete spoliation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.

He was attached to the Church of St Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over thirty years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with per severing fidelity, and preserved his keer interest in all that touched human life.

Mungret boys of every vintage will not forget to pray for the soul of this great old campaigner. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Vincent Byrne (1848-1943)

A native of Dublin, at the time of his death was one of the oldest priests in Ireland. He was in the Crescent as a scholastic, 1873-1874 and again as priest, 1883-1884. Father Byrne was later Rector of Mungret College (1890-1900) and for a brief period Rector of Clongowes. He was for nearly four decades a member of the Gardiner St. community and was in his day a distinguished preacher. A volume of his occasional sermons was published some twenty years ago.

Byrne, William, 1868-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/83
  • Person
  • 04 October 1868-01 December 1943

Born: 04 October 1868, Cork City
Entered: 12 November 1886, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 02 August 1903
Final Vows: 15 August 1906, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 01 December 1943, Dublin

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

Older brother of George Byrne - RIP 1962

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1898 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1903 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1905 at Linz, Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944

Obituary :

Father William Byrne SJ

Fr. William Byrne. Fr. Byrne was born in Cork in 1868, was educated at Clongowes, and entered the Society in 1886. He pursued his studies at Valkenberg, Holland, Milltown Park, Dublin, Innsbruck, and Linz, Austria. He was ordained at Milltown Park in 1903, and subsequently taught in various colleges from 1906 to 1931. Since 1931 he had been Professor of Science and Astronomy at St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore. He was a brother of Fr. George Byrne, formerly Superior of the Mission in Hong Kong and now at Mission Catholique, Dalat, Indo-China, and of the late Mr. Matthew Byrne, Listowel.
When Fr. Byrne returned to Clongowes in 1894 he began a life long career devoted to teaching. He had a genuine love for Mathematics and Physical Science, and this love he sought to communicate to his pupils. His method of presenting the matter to his pupils was vigorous, patient, attractive, and above all clear. The word “clear” seemed to have a special association with him, it was the keynote of all his demonstrations. Judged by the standard of examination results, Fr. Byrne was not an outstanding success as a teacher, though some of his more talented pupils did brilliantly. His own great knowledge and familiarity with the matter he taught made it not too easy for him to understand the difficulties of beginners. But he was a reilly great educator in the more liberal and higher sense of the word, aid his methods provided a fine mental training with broadness of outlook and accuracy of thought as chief characteristics. He never lost sight of the ultimate aim of all true Catholic Education, the religious formation of youth. His own personal example and tact won high respect.
His public speaking, in preaching and retreat giving, was marked by very evident sincerity and conviction, together with a simple tranquility and sympathy that appealed to his audience. He was a very good preacher and retreat giver.
As a conversationalist he was fascinating and at times very brilliant. He had a fund of interesting knowledge on a great variety of subjects. He had great appreciation of humour and told an amusing story with inimitable grace. He was uniformly genial and good humoured. Though a good speaker himself he was also an excellent listener. His manner and speech were full of great charm.
As Minister in Mungret for five or six years, and again in Galway for two or three years, he was most faithful, though the duties of that office did not have any great natural appeal to him. He was ever most kind to the sick whether boys or members of the Community or poor in the neighbourhood of our Colleges.
For the last fifteen years of his life he was professor of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy in the Philosophate, first at Milltown Park for three years and then at Tullabeg for twelve years. This work was worthy of his attainments and most congenial to him and he accomplished it with great success. By constant study he kept well abreast of modern advances in Science. His experiments were prepared and carried out with utmost care and he had a true scientist's gentleness with his scientific apparatus. He was also a good linguist, speaking German and Irish fluently, and a great lover of Ireland's culture.
Fr. Byrne was truly a man of principle, and his ideals were lofty and truly Jesuit. He was steeped in knowledge of St. Ignatius, and the Early Society and the Institute. His fidelity to the Institute was inflexible. He was hardworking, conscientious, earnest, zealous, generous and most amiably kind. He was certainly a very true Jesuit whose example was a shining light. He was a man of great regularity and punctuality at all Community duties, no superfluity found place in his room. The virtue of Charity was particularly dear to him, his great physical strength, his intellectual gifts and his counsel were at the disposal of any who sought them.
His last illness was short, as he had desired. On Saturday he gave his lecture as usual, on Monday evening he was brought to hospital in Dublin and received the last Sacraments, and died peacefully on Wednesday morning. He was very patient and kindly in his illness. A valiant soldier of Christ be is much missed by all who knew him. R.I.P.

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father William Byrne SJ

In Fr William Byrne Clongowes lost a, son remarkable for holiness, intelligence, and quaint charm, of character, though one who disliked nothing so much as to be remarked. He care of a distinguished family, being a brother of Mr Matt Byrne, the brilliant Cork solicitor, and of Fr George Byrne SJ. Holiness was the first characteristic remarked in him in Clongowes, where he won the admiration of his companions, who readily distinguish between the boy who is merely unaccustomed to wrongdoing and the one who resolutely avoids it on principle. On leaving school he entered the Society and pursued his studies for the most part in German houses. During the nineties he returned to Clongowes for some years as a scholastic, the last period of his connection with his old school. He is remembered at this time for his prowess on the ice. Full of useful work, the rest of his life was yet uneventful. He was Prefect of Studies and afterwards Minister at Galway. He was Minister and teacher at Mungret, and taught also at the Crescent. For some years he prepared the Juniors of the Society for entering the University, teaching them Irish, mathematics, physics, and imperturbability. His last years were spent as Professor of various scientific subjects in the Philosophate at Tullabeg.

It was probably his central independence and love of the hidden life that attracted him to the unspoiled poor of the Gaedhealtacht, and gave him his ardent nationalism. It was rather a cultural than a political nationalism, pacific though uncompromising, and naturally inclined him to a hero-worship of Dr Douglas Hyde and early Gaelic League ideals. He was never more at home than when chatting in his slow, beautiful Irish in some fisherman's cabin. His mind was full of schemes for helping the country folk. One remembers his invention of an instrument for cutting turf and a deeply suggestive but almost un noticed article in Fáinne an Lae on the irrigation of the West. But he was content with knowing that these schemes would work without attempting to push their adoption. One of his greatest cronies around Tullabeg was an elderly lady, an Irish speaker, who lived by hawking debris around in an almost extinct perambulator.

His last illness was over in three days. We should have known that the end was at hand for on his last journey he expressed no curiosity whatever about the machinery and equipment of the motor ambulance that carried him to Dublin. Even then, however, he chafed gently at his illness, for it interrupted his study of a work he had recently acquired on Crystallography. Now his study of crystals is resumed in his contemplation of the jasper and sardonyx of the Apocalyptic City. But one sees him still as he was on his daily walks with his old friend, Fr John Casey, his rosy face lit with its habitual welcoming smile, talking, delightedly and delightfully, stickless, yet looking oddly incomplete without a stick, wearing a hat so small that it seemed to have drifted down autumnally from a restless bough and, all unobserved by him, to have settled furtively on his head. His life at bottom was a quest for beauty or, to be more precise, a quest for the Grail. For there was more knightliness in his character than was superficially apparent.

AL

-oOo-

The following appreciation is from one who lived and worked with Fr William Byrne for many years, Fr John Casey SJ :

We are grateful to Fr. John Casey, S.J., for the following appreciation of Fr. Byrne as a teacher :

“Fr Byrne returned to Clongowes in 1894, and a life-time devoted to teaching then began. He came to his work fresh, eager, young, enthusiastic. He had a genuine love of Mathematics and Physical Science. I once heard him, alluding to the Integral Calculus, call those, strange integ ration signs his “dear, dear friends”. This he said half-jokingly, of course, but very much half in earnest too. This love he longed to communicate to his pupils. His method of presenting the matter to his classes was vigorous, patient, attractive and strikingly clear. His past pupils will remember the oft repeated question : “Is it clear?” and the prolonged emphatic intonation of that word “clear”. It was the keynote of his demonstrations.

In the broad, high, and liberal sense of the word, he was a really great educator. Many of his pupils now look back with pleasure and gratitude to the fine mental training, the accuracy of thought, the broad outlook, given them by his pedagogic methods.

In his years of teaching, he never lost sight of the ulterior aim of all Catholic and Jesuit education, the religious training and formation of youth. His splendid example won respect; and the tactful word in season from one so revered had lasting good results.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father William Byrne SJ

Mungret boys of the years 1910 to 1916 will surely be sorry to hear of the death of their Minister, He seemed to be the fixed star in the comnunity of that period and, though men might come and go, he went on for ever. They will not, we know, forget to pray for the soul of Father Byrne. His death took everyone by surprise, for, though he was not a young man, he did seem to go on for ever. He was teaching the Jesuit students of philosophy for the last twenty years of his life, ever since he left Mungret for the last time in 1922. Mungret he loved and loved in his own way, so much so that he regretted any change in it. He had liked it as it was and he was conservative. Father Byrne was a man of brilliant gifts, an able scientist, whose practical gift was wedded to intellectual grasp. It was a joy to hear him expose scientific theory, but who will forget his naive pride in a nice instrument. He cherished it and woe betide the crude hand that was laid on it. He loved his violin too and charmed dull care away with it every single day. His pupils here will recognise that trait. Simple in all things he was simple with God. No one less like the fictional Jesuit ever perhaps wore the Jesuit gown. Mungret owes him a debt for the years of labour, kindly companionship and good example. She will repay it where remembrance is best. To his brother Father George and to his relatives we offer our sympathy. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father William Byrne (1868-1943)

A native of Cork, entered the Society in 1886. He studied at Valkenburg, Milltown Park and Innsbruck and was ordained in 1903. Father Byrne taught at the Crescent from 1906 to 1908 and again from 1926 to 1929. He was a brilliant mathematician and scientist and gave splendid service for many years in the Jesuit colleges. For the last fifteen years of his life he was professor of science at the Jesuit House of Philosophy, Tullabeg. Father Byrne had considerable gifts as a linguist and was a pioneer Gaelic enthusiast.

Callan, John, 1802-1888, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1003
  • Person
  • 02 February 1802-24 May 1888

Born: 02 February 1802, County Louth
Entered: 01 September 1835, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Professed: 02 February 1850
Died: 24 May 1888, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Was a Priest of the Armagh diocese for some years before Ent.

1841 Teaching at Tullabeg,
1843-1846 Sent to Clongowes as a teacher.
1846-1854 Sent to Belvedere as Teacher and was also Minister for a time there.
1854 Sent to Gardiner St as Operarius, and worked there until his death, including two stints as Superior (1856-1864 and 1871-1877). His death occurred 24 May 1888.

He was a very remarkable man, very straight and thoroughgoing. He was very devoted to the work of the Confessional, but he never Preached. He was sought out by countless penitents, both rich and poor, and to all he was the same, patient and kindly. He also had something of a reputation as a Moral Theologian, and he was consulted in very difficult cases, not only by Priests, but also by judges and doctors, and other professionals.

Campbell, Richard, 1854-1945, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/86
  • Person
  • 24 January 1854-01 April 1945

Born: 24 January 1854, Sackville Street, Dublin
Entered: 16 September 1873, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 25 September 1887
Final Vows: 02 February 1892, Dublin
Died: 01 April 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1876 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1877 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1886 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Baptised 02 February 1854; Conformed 30 May 1865; First Vows 19 September 1875

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Obituary

Fr. Richard Campbell (1754-1873-1945)

On Easter Sunday, 1st April, 1945, at Milltown Park, where he had spent the last few years of his life, Fr. Campbell died very peace. fully in his 92nd year. He had been anointed again on the day of his death, after he had contracted congestion of the lungs.
Born in Dublin, Sackville Street (as it was then called) on 24th January, 1946, son of Mr. John Campbell, who was twice Lord Mayor of the city, he was educated at Belvedere and Downside. He entered the Society at Milltown Park on 16th September, 1873, and had Fr. Aloysius Sturzo as Master of Novices. He spent one year of Humanities at Roehampton, London, and studied philosophy at Laval in France and then taught at Clongowes from 1879 till 1885. He did his theological studies at St. Beuno's, North Wales, and was ordained priest by Bishop Edmund Knight on 25th September, 1887. On his return to Ireland he taught at Belvedere College til 1890, when he made his third year's probation in Tullabeg, being at the same time Socius to Fr. William Sutton, Master of Novices.
During the following two years he was Minister at Milltown Park, and from 1893 to 1897 was on the teaching staff of the Junior House, Belvedere College. In the latter year he went to Tullabeg as Minister and Socius, posts which he held till the summer of 1906. After spending a year at Crescent College, Limerick, as Minister, he again taught at Belvedere (1907-1918) and at Mungret, where he was Spiritual Father as well. After a two years period at Rathfarnham Castle as Minister, under Fr. John Sullivan as Rector, he was transferred to St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, in 1926, and remained there till 1943.
Two of Fr. Campbell's brothers were Benedictine priests, both of whom predeceased him. One of these, Dom Ildephonsus Campbell. O.S.B., was lost on the 'Leinster' in 1918 on his way back to Coventry from Mungret College, where he had been making his retreat.
An old Belvederian, who knew Fr. Campbell well, the Most Rev. Francis Wall, Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, in a letter of sympathy on his death, written the Superior of Gardiner Street on 2nd April, sums up very appositely, we think, the story of the seventy three years he spent in the Society:
“He was a grand soul, always at work for his Master, but moving so unobtrusively at it, in our midst”.
Outwardly those year's were not spectacular. They marked the even succession of ordinary tasks faithfully and even meticulously performed, as is the case in so many Jesuit lives. Fr. Campbell was a religious of remarkable devotion to duty, of a regularity out of the common, faithful and punctilious to a fault, sincere in his friendships, which were deep and lasting. Behind a brusqueness of speech and manner, which to casual acquaintances seemed gruffness, was an eager and almost hypersensitive soul, around which his iron will, bent on self conquest, had erected a rampart of fictitious asperity. All through his life, this sensitiveness, securely screened from casual observation by his manner, was his greatest cross. Far from rendering him self centred or selfish, this characteristic of his bred in him an almost intuitive sympathy with others, especially those who suffered from loneliness and misunderstanding”.
Fr. Campbell had a very special talent for dealing with young schoolboys. He could inspire them with a lofty idealism in all that pertained to truth, duty and loyalty, and employed many ingenious ways of stirring them to class-rivalry. Without any conscious effort he won their abiding affection, while instilling in their young hearts a solidly Catholic outlook which rendered them proof against the storms of later life. On several occasions his pupils of the Junior House, Belvedere College, have left on record the feelings of regard and affection which they had for him. For example - in January, 1889 - in an ‘Address’ of thanks, which bears among other signatures that of E. Byrne, later Most Rev. Edward Byrne, Archbishop of Dublin, or in that quaint little sheet, decorated with shamrocks “Presented to Fr. Campbell on your retiring from teaching this 6th February, 1897, as a small token of gratitude for your entiring efforts to get us on in our studies”. From a few of his pupils of '96.' This was on the occasion of his going to Tullabeg as Socius. Another, undated. 'Address' to him from his boys in Belvedere runs as follows: “Fr. Campbell, the very kind attention shown by you to us during the past two years was so considerate that the boys cannot refrain from offering you this small token of affectionate gratitude. Every boy joins in thanking you for your kindness and can only wish you a very happy vacation and a long one”.
The same zeal and devotion which characterised his dealings in the class-room were maintained in all spheres of Fr. Campbell's labours, most especially during the long period in the priestly ministry which he spent at Gardiner Street. Despite his growing infirmities he was ever at his post of duty, whether in the pulpit or confessional, at the sick bed or in the parlour, at his own prie-dieu in his room or the little table in the Domestic Chapel giving the Community his Exhortation as Spiritual Father.
The Long Vacation the boys spoke of has come for him at last, and his mortal remains lie in the exact spot he had hoped would be free for him, just inside the railing of the Society Burial Plot, only a few feet from the grave in which his father and mother lie. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Richard Campbell SJ 1854-1945
Fr Richard Campbell was one of those men, who by force of character make an indelible impression on his generation. He was the most quoted man of the Province on account of his pithy remarks, whilst at the same time, most revered for his austerity of life and fidelity to duty.

Born in Sackville Street Dublin, as it was then, on January 24th 1854, he received his early education at Belvedere and Downside, entering the Society in 1873.

It was as Socius to the Master of Novices that he left his imprint on generations of future Jesuits. One of these novices at least, testified to the austerity of his own life afterwards, and that was Fr Willie Doyle.

As Minister of one of our houses Fr Campbell coined the immortal expression “The first year I tried to please everybody and failed, the sencod year I tried to please nobody and succeeded”.

His manner outwardly seemed brusque, but this was really a defence mechanism to cover a sensitive nature, which made him keenly sympathetic with those souls who were lonely and misunderstood.

He live to the age of 92 and died at Milltown Park on April 1st 1945.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1945

Obituary

Father Richard Campbell SJ
Belvedere, 1864-67 - died on Easter Sunday, April ist, in his 91st year,

After leaving Belvedere, he went to Downside with two younger brothers, both of whom became Benedictines.. The elder, Fr Ildephonsus Campbell OSB, was drowned when the Mail Boat, Leinster was torpedoed off the Kish Lightship in 1918. The younger, Fr Martin Campbell OSB, who died in 1938, had been for many years Parish Priest of Beccles, Suffolk.

Fr. Richard was for many years connected with Belvedere. Shortly after his ordination in 1887, he began a connection with his old College, which was to last with some intervals for nearly thirty years. Through all those years he won not only the respect but also the genuine affection of the boys he taught. Those who knew him but slightly sometimes wondered at this, for to casual acquain tances Fr Campbell's manner seemed gruff and brusque. Those, however, who knew him best - most of all, the boys for whom he worked - soon realised that this external manner was but a cloak for an extremely sensitive and affectionate heart. Shy by nature, he found it hard to make advances, but once contact had been established there was no limit to his response. How fully his boys understood him - and he them - is wittiessed by the little addresses which they presented to him, not once only, but many times during his years in Belvedere :

“We the Junior pupils of Belvedere College on resuming our Studies beg most earnestly to testify our respectful and at the same time grateful appreciation of your qualities ... as the guide and master in whom we trust as conscientiously endeavouring to shape our futures both spiritual and temporal. We return dear father (sic) after Christmastide to College with the firm resolution of pursuing our Studies with renewed vigour, and, as far as it is possible for us, to your satisfaction”.

The date is January, 1889, and among the signatories is E. Byrne, who was thirty years later to become Archbishop of Dublin, J A Coyle, Lucien Bull and many other names which are familiar to us.

Seven years later, the boys protest at his being removed from Belvedere to be Assistant Master of Novices in Tullabeg, is quaintly worded :

“ Presented to the Rev Father Campbell as a small token of gratitude for your untiring efforts to get us on in our studies, and as a protest for your retiring from teaching on this 6th February 1897.
From a few of his pupils of 96: Érin go Brágh”. Among the names appended are A McDonald, W Fallon, H Redmond, W Doheny, E O'Farreli and P O'Farrell

There are many other testimonials, and, per haps we may cite the words of just one more. It was presented by the Boys of II Grammar and bears no date, but the concluding words are -

“Every boy joins in thanking you for your kindness, and can only wish you a very happy vacation and a Long one:.

The long vacation has come for Fr Campbell, and looking back on the years of faithful work we may surely say that it is an eternally happy one. May he rest in Peace

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Richard Campbell (1854-1945)

Born in Dublin, educated at Belvedere and Downside, and admitted to the Society in 1873, was at the Crescent as a scholastic in 1878-1879 and again as minister of the house, 1906-1907. He was many years on the teaching staff of Belvedere College and in Gardiner St Church.

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.

Carr, Peter, 1812-1845, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1017
  • Person
  • 29 June 1812-08 April 1845

Born: 29 June 1812, County Kildare
Entered: 14 October 1837, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 08 April 1845, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a dispenser at Gardiner St during 1844, and died there 08 April 1845 greatly regretted.
He was of very small stature.

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, Thomas, 1790-1866, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/110
  • Person
  • 20 December 1790-21 June 1866

Born: 20 December 1790, Edenderry, County Offaly
Entered: 09 October 1825, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Final vows: 08 September 1841
Died: 21 June 1866, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He did a very long Postulancy at Tullabeg, while it was being built, being received there in 1817 by Peter Kenney. he had come with an architect by whom he had been taught masonry.
He eventually Ent formally at Clongowes 09 October 1825.
For forty years he was employed as a mason in different houses, and died at the Dublin Residence 21 June 1866
He was a man of great integrity and true simplicity. Always the same, of a most even temper, he was very well suited to the Society. Even in his long Postulancy and Novitiate, he was remarkable for his deep humility and patience.

Cassidy, Derek O, 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

Clancy, Finbarr GJ, 1954-2015, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/842
  • Person
  • 14 November 1954-15 July 2015

Born: 14 November 1954, Dunlavin, County Wicklow
Entered: 26 September 1979, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Ordained: 25 June 1988, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 2011, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Died; 15 July 2015, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1989 at Campion Oxford (BRI) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/born-teacher-never-forgot-students/

A born teacher loved by his students
The first anniversary of the death of renowned Jesuit theologian Fr. Finbarr Clancy SJ was on 15 July. The following is an extract of a personal tribute paid to Fr. Finbarr by Fr. D. Vincent Twomey, Professor Emeritus of Moral Theology at St. Patrick’s College Maynooth, a colleague of Finbarr’s in patristic studies, at the end of Finbarr’s funeral Mass on 18 July 2015. Finbarr died following a short illness and is fondly remembered by his fellow Jesuits as well as his many colleagues and friends. He had lectured at St. Patrick’s College Maynooth and was formerly Professor of Theology at the Milltown Institute.

I got to know Fr Finbarr, when he and his confrère, Fr Ray Moloney, joined the Maynooth Patristic Symposium in 1994, two years after Finbarr had completed his DPhil in Oxford. He was teaching at the time in Milltown. Later I invited him to teach the seminarians in Maynooth. His first paper to the symposium was an introduction to his thesis on St Augustine’s understanding of Church. Over the course of the following twenty-one years, he never missed a meeting and delivered several scholarly papers either at the ordinary meetings of the symposium during each academic year or at our triennial international conferences.

What strikes me is how his earlier life-experiences all coloured his scholarship and enabled him to discover treasures that others had failed to notice. His training as a scientist enriched the way he researched his topics and the care he took in his presentation. His erudition, which he wore lightly, was evident in all he wrote. He was familiar not only with Scripture and with the Greek and Latin thinkers, pagan and Christian, who formed Western civilisation, but also the Syriac and the early Irish Christian writers, who are often neglected. And he could illuminate one or other point with a reference to some literary classic. Typical was a paper he wrote for the last Maynooth International Patristic Conference in 2012 on ‘The pearl of great beauty and the mysteries of the faith’. Patristic studies, to which Fr Finbarr devoted all his free time, when he was not involved in teaching or administration in Milltown, is not concerned with what is passé, but with what is ever new. The excitement of discovering such pearls, such richness, expressed itself in Fr Finbarr’s teaching, when he offered his students the results of his own labour of love. He was a born teacher. His students loved him. One former seminarian wrote to me on hearing of his untimely death: he was a gentleman both in his lectures and outside them – and he never forgot his students.

His life-long concern for the poor and marginalised was reflected in a major paper on the Cappadocian Fathers, who are generally studied primarily for their profound theology of the Holy Trinity. By way of contrast, Fr Finbarr highlighted their care for the poor. His last public lecture, on 5 May in Maynooth under the auspices of the St John Paul II Theological Society, was, fittingly, devoted to the topic: ‘St John Chrysostom on Care for the Poor’.

His love of gardening, which he inherited from his father, and his interest in botany can be seen in the quite extraordinarily rich paper read at the International Conference held in conjunction with Queen’s University, Belfast and devoted to the topic of Salvation. Fr Finbarr spoke on ‘Christ the scented apple and the fragrance of the world’s salvation: a theme in St Ambrose’s Commentary on Ps 118’. In his paper, he showed how, in contrast with the fruit from the tree of life in the garden of Eden, good to eat and pleasing to the eye but bringing death and decay, Ambrose ‘teaches that the story of salvation concerns the gracious invitation to inhale the fragrance of the world’s redemption emanating from the scented apple, Christ, the fruit that hangs on the cross, the tree of life. “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps 33:9)’.

Perhaps his most spiritually inspiring paper was that read to the Oxford Patristic Conference commemorating the outbreak of Diocletian’s so-called Great Persecution in AD 303. It was entitled: ‘The mind of the persecuted: “Imitating the Mysteries you celebrate”’. Here his own priestly spirituality found eloquent expression as he showed how martyrdom – bearing witness to Christ, even to the point of death – was not only made possible by sharing in the Sacrifice of Christ on the altar but that the martyrs themselves were existential realisations of the mystery of the Eucharist. The liturgy was Fr Finbarr’s passion. At the end of April last, he invited me to join in the Clongowes liturgy, involving some 450 pupils and some fifty parents in the new Sports Hall, which. I gathered later, bore the distinct imprint of his own theology and aesthetics. It was quite magnificent. He told me, not without a sense of justified pride and genuine pleasure, that he and his colleague and friend Mr Cyril Murphy, Director of Liturgy in Clongowes, gave weekly talks on the liturgy to as many as 100 students each Thursday from 9.00 to 10.00 and that, what’s more, the students seemed to enjoy them. They too will greatly miss him.

The Eucharist was at the heart of Fr Finbarr’s life and theology, as it was for his first scholarly love, St Augustine, because it is at the heart of the Church. Likewise, as a Companion of Jesus, Scripture was his deepest inspiration, which he read through the eyes of the Church Fathers. He once gave a paper on the apt topic: ‘Tasting the food and the inebriating cup of Scriptures: a heme in St Ambrose’s Psalm Commentaries’.

When Fr Finbarr hosted a special meeting of the Maynooth Patristic Symposium in Clongowes on the 2 May last, he drew our attention to the motto of the school over the entrance: Aeterna non caduca. These sentiments, he informed us, were echoed by St Columbanus, as he himself would demonstrate that morning in his paper to the Symposium, in effect a trial-run for the Oxford Patristic Conference which he had hoped to attend in August. According to him, ‘Columbanus loved to contrast the transience of things temporal and earthly with the permanence of things eternal. The thirsting human soul, like a pilgrim in a desert land, longs to be dissolved and be with Christ. The reward of the soul’s pilgrimage is the vision of things heavenly face to face’. I conclude with what seems a fitting quotation from St Columbanus’s song De mundi transitu, which Fr Finbarr once quoted: ‘Joyful after crossing Death / They shall see their joyful King: / With him reigning they shall reign, / with him rejoicing they shall rejoice ...’ May he rest in peace.

◆ Interfuse No 161 : Autumn 2015 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2015

Obituary

Fr Finbarr Clancy (1954-2015)

14 November 1954 : Born in Dunlavin, Co Wicklow.
Early Education at Dunlavin NS, Clongowes Wood College SJ & Trinity College Dublin
26 September 1979 Entered Society at Manresa House, Dollymount,
25 September 1981: First Vows at Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
1981 - 1983: Milltown Park - Studying Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1983 - 1985: Belvedere - Regency: Teacher; Studying for H Dip in Education at TCD Dublin
1985 - 1988: Leinster Road - Studying Theology at Milltown Institute
25 June 1988: Ordained at St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner St, College Dublin
1988 - 1992: Campion Hall, Oxford, UK - Doctoral Studies in Theology
1992 - 1996: Milltown Park - Lecturer at Milltown Institute; Pastoral Work
1996 - 1997: Belfast, Co Antrim - Tertianship
1997 - 2014: Milltown Park - Lecturer at Milltown Institute; Pastoral Work
1999: Invited Lecturer in Theology at Pontifical University, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, Co Kildare
2000: Co-ordinator of Evening Programmes in Theology at Milltown Institute
2001: Senior Lecturer in Theology at Milltown Institute
2004: Director of Evening Programmes in Theology at Milltown Institute
2006: Associate Professor of Theology, Pontifical Faculty, Milltown Institute; Rector of the Pontifical Athanaeum, Milltown Institute
2011: Acting President of Milltown Institute; Rector Ecclesiastical Faculty
2 Feb 2011: Final Vows at Gonzaga Chapel, Milltown Park, Dublin
2013: Sabbatical
2014 - 2015: Clongowes - Lecturer in Theology at Pontifical University, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, Co Kildare and at Loyola Institute, Trinity College, Dublin; Librarian

Finbarr suffered a serious heart attack on 3 July and was admitted to the Mater Hospital for treatment and recovery. He had a number of operations to stabilise and improve his condition, but unfortunately the damage from the initial episode was too compromising. Having happily received visitors in recent days and been in good form, he was not able to sustain a second attack and died in his sleep in the early hours of 15 July. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

At Finbarr's funeral, Fr Provincial, Tom Layden, preached the homily, of which the following is an edited version.

My memories of Finbarr go back to our days in the noviciate 1979 1981. I especially remember the weeks we spent together in Lent 1980 in the Morning Star hostel, helping the staff to provide meals and shelter for the homeless men who resided there. I recall his great kindness to the men and his great desire to respect their dignity and do all he could to make their lives easier and more enjoyable.
Each evening we would pray Compline, the office of Night Prayer, together. At one point, we would pause to look back over the day and, after some quiet moments, share the day's ups and downs, the joys and sorrows, the successes and failures. It was in those moments of faith sharing that he and I came to know each other at a deep level. He could speak easily about each day's journey from the perspective of faith. In those reflections we encouraged and strengthened each other. Often in his sharing he would mention his family and how important they were to him. He would speak of his late father, who had died two years earlier. I recall him telling me about his father saying to him the last time they spoke before his death, as Finbarr was bringing his Trinity research to its conclusion, Don't worry'. Those words, echoing what Jesus says in the Gospel, 'Let not your hearts be troubled', stayed with Finbarr. He certainly saw his father's words as encouraging him to trust in God. He was concerned about his mother living by herself in Dunlavin. Her letters, phone calls and visits always brought him joy and encouragement. This remained the case until she went home to the Lord in 2000.

We served together some years later in Belvedere College, where we were teaching before going to theology studies. Finbarr went there the year ahead of me, so, when I arrived in 1984, he knew his way around the place and was able to explain to me how things were done in the Jesuit community and the school. He was a model teacher. Always so carefully prepared, he knew each of his students and took a personal interest in them. He was a most efficient and knowledgeable sacristan. Above all, he was a simply a good companion. At the end of my first year, he and I went on holiday in the Burren. It was a rare treat to be introduced to such an interesting landscape by a botanist who could point out the various flowers to me. I saw his great knowledge but also the great joy he found in sharing that knowledge with me.

He had great appreciation of the gift of God's beauty reflected in creation. He noticed that beauty, observed it and attended to it. Later, after doctoral studies in Oxford, specialising in St Augustine's theology of the church, he returned to the Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology, where he taught up until last year. The same meticulous preparation, careful planning and attention to detail that had been evident in the classroom in Belvedere characterised his classes in the lecture rooms in Milltown. And also that same personal interest in the students. He had a clear sense of where each one was at in their learning and wanted to help them to move to the next stage. He found joy in seeing the students making progress.

As well as care for the students, he also showed care for his colleagues on the faculty. This was especially the case in his years as Rector of the Ecclesiastical Faculty and as Acting President. The community of teaching, research and learning in the Milltown Institute mattered greatly to him. He wanted to support colleagues. In recent days one of those colleagues commented on Finbarr's ability to show interest and give personal support, even when he did not himself agree with the line being taken. He would sometimes attend a talk where the position adopted would be different to the one he was known to hold. He would come up at the end, express appreciation and point out elements he had liked in the presentation. There was in him a tremendous loyalty to his colleagues and a capacity to remain friendly with people, even when he did not agree with their views. Echoes here of the Gospel words about “many rooms in my Father's house”.

The liturgy was always the centre of his life. I recall the lovely altar cloths he made in Belvedere in the 1980s, with different colours for the liturgical seasons, the purifiers and lavabo towels well laundered by his own hand, and the artistically created Advent wreaths. He knew that the visual helps us in our openness to the transcendent. His scientist's eye noticed things and gazed upon them. This was also reflected in how he would decorate the sanctuary for the Masses celebrated at the time of Institute conferring ceremonies.

Many of us will miss Finbarr's gifts as a homilist. His homilies consisted of well-crafted reflections, containing little gems from the Fathers. We heard them even on days when there was no designated celebrant and he ended up leading us, a clear indication that he prepared carefully for each day's Eucharist. The Lord had blessed him with a great sense of reverence, reverence for the holy mystery of God and for the things of God. That reverence was not just confined to chapel and sanctuary. Finbarr, while himself a fine scholar with two doctorates, was always at home in the company of people in ordinary situations. He loved helping out in parishes (in Clane in the past year and in many Dublin parishes in his years in Milltown). He found the Lord among the people in everyday life. He had a sense of our triune God nourishing him through them. He had great awareness of them as carriers of God's goodness.

He delighted in being able to make theology available to the people in parishes. He wanted these treasures opened up for them. One of my memories in recent years was his kindness in driving home the staff who had been working serving at dinners in Milltown. He was always ready to hop in the car and bring someone home, no matter how late the hour or how inclement the weather,
In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of himself as the way, the Truth and the Life. He is the way that leads to the Father. He is the Truth who sets us free. He is the Life that has overcome death. It was Finbarr's deepest desire to be a companion of this Jesus, to walk his way, to serve his truth, to share his life and carry on his mission. This he did as priest and Jesuit in library and classroom, in church and chapel, in caring for the garden and in looking after the details of administration.

In the past year, he was teaching in St Patrick's College Maynooth and in the Loyola Institute in Trinity College. I told him earlier that I was very happy that he was involved as a theologian in the training of the priests of tomorrow in the seminary and in teaching theology to lay students in a secular university,

Coming back to Clongowes in the past year was a homecoming. Clongowes had been the cradle of his Jesuit vocation. He loved the grounds. He also got involved as a theologian in the school, especially in preparing the students for the Sunday liturgies and in the liturgies themselves. There was also a homecoming in going back to teach in Trinity College, where he has been a botany student in the 1970s. And then there was the final homecoming of the early morning of 15th July, when he left us to return to the Lord, the Lord who had gone ahead himself and prepared a place reserved for him.

At the end of Mass, Finbarr's friend and colleague, Professor Emeritus D. Vincent Twomey SVD, paid a personal tribute from the viewpoint of a colleague in patristic studies. This is part of his address :

I got to know Fr Finbarr when he and his confrère, Fr Ray Moloney, joined the Maynooth Patristic Symposium in 1994, two years after Finbart had completed his DPhil in Oxford. He was teaching at the time in Milltown. Later I invited him to teach the seminarians in Maynooth. His first paper to the symposium was an introduction to his thesis on St Augustine's understanding of Church. Over the course of the following twenty-one years, he never missed a meeting and delivered several scholarly papers either at the ordinary meetings of the symposium during each academic year or at our triennial international conferences.

What strikes me is how his earlier life-experiences all coloured his scholarship and enabled him to discover treasures that others had failed to notice. His training as a scientist enriched the way he researched his topics and the care he took in his presentation. His erudition, which he wore lightly, was evident in all he wrote. He was familiar not only with Scripture and with the Greek and Latin thinkers, pagan and Christian, who formed Western civilization, but also the Syriac and the early Irish Christian writers, who are often neglected. And he could illuminate one or other point with a reference to some literary classic. Typical was a paper he wrote for the last Maynooth International Patristic Conference in 2012 on The pearl of great beauty and the mysteries of the faith'. Patristic studies, to which Fr Finbarr devoted all his free time, when he was not involved in teaching or administration in Milltown, is not concerned with what is passé, but with what is ever new. The excitement of discovering such pearls, such richness, expressed itself in Fr Finbarr's teaching, when he offered his students the results of his own labour of love. He was a born teacher. His students loved him. One former seminarian wrote to me on hearing of his untimely death: he was a gentleman both in his lectures and outside them - and he never forgot his students.

His life-long concern for the poor and marginalized was reflected in a major paper on the Cappadocian Fathers, who are generally studied primarily for their profound theology of the Holy Trinity. By way of contrast, Fr Finbarr highlighted their care for the poor. His last public lecture, on 5 May in Maynooth under the auspices of the St John Paul II Theological Society, was, fittingly, devoted to the topic: “St John Chrysostom on Care for the Poor”. His love of gardening, which he inherited from his father, and his interest in botany can be seen in the quite extraordinarily rich paper read at the International Conference held in conjunction with Queen's University, Belfast and devoted to the topic of Salvation. Fr Finbarr spoke on “Christ the scented apple and the fragrance of the world's salvation: a theme in St Ambrose's Commentary on Ps 118”. In his paper, he showed how, in contrast with the fruit from the tree of life in the garden of Eden, good to eat and pleasing to the eye but bringing death and decay, Ambrose “teaches that the story of salvation concerns the gracious invitation to inhale the fragrance of the world's redemption emanating from the scented apple, Christ, the fruit that hangs on the cross, the tree of life”. “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps 33:9).

Perhaps his most spiritually inspiring paper was that read to the Oxford Patristic Conference commemorating the outbreak of Diocletian's so-called Great Persecution in AD 303. It was entitled: "The mind of the persecuted: “Imitating the Mysteries you celebrate”. Here his own priestly spirituality found eloquent expression as he showed how martyrdom - bearing witness to Christ, even to the point of death - was not only made possible by sharing in the Sacrifice of Christ on the altar but that the martyrs themselves were existential realizations of the mystery of the Eucharist.

The liturgy was Fr Finbarr's passion. At the end of April last, he invited me to join in the Clongowes liturgy, involving some 450 pupils and some fifty parents in the new Sports Hall, which. I gathered later, bore the distinct imprint of his own theology and aesthetics. It was quite magnificent. He told me, not without a sense of justified pride and genuine pleasure, that he and his colleague and friend Mr Cyril Murphy, Director of Liturgy in Clongowes, gave weekly talks on the liturgy to as many as 100 students each Thursday from 9.00 to 10.00 and that, what's more, the students seemed to enjoy them. They too will greatly miss him.

The Eucharist was at the heart of Fr Finbarr's life and theology, as it was for his first scholarly love, St Augustine, because it is at the heart of the Church. Likewise, as a Companion of Jesus, Scripture was his deepest inspiration, which he read through the eyes of the Church Fathers. He once gave a paper on the apt topic: "Tasting the food and the inebriating cup of Scriptures: a heme in St Ambrose's Psalm Commentaries'.

When Fr Finbarr hosted a special meeting of the Maynooth Patristic Symposium in Clongowes on the 2 May last, he drew our attention to the motto of the school over the entrance: Aeterna non caduca. These sentiments, he informed us, were echoed by St Columbanus, as he himself would demonstrate that morning in his paper to the Symposium, in effect a trial-run for the Oxford Patristic Conference which he had hoped to attend in August. According to him, “Columbanus loved to contrast the transience of things temporal and earthly with the permanence of things eternal. The thirsting human soul, like a pilgrim in a desert land, longs to be dissolved and be with Christ. The reward of the soul's pilgrimage is the vision of things heavenly face to face!” I conclude with what seems a fitting quotation from St Columbanus's song De mundi transitu, which Fr Finbarr once quoted: Joyful after crossing Death:

They shall see their joyful King:
With him reigning they shall reign,
With him rejoicing they shall rejoice ...

May he rest in peace.

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, Bartholomew, 1873-1954, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Editor of An Timire, 1912.

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1955

Obituary

Father Bartholomew Coghlan SJ

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

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

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Bartholomew Coghlan (1873-1954)

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

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,

Colgan, John, 1846-1919, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/578
  • Person
  • 08 November 1846-26 June 1919

Born: 08 November 1846, Kilcock, County Kildare
Entered: 12 November 1867, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1883
Final Vows: 02 February 1886
Died: 26 June 1919, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Brother of James - RIP 1913

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1870 at Amiens, France (CAMP) studying
by 1871 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) Studying
by 1882 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After Noviceship he studied Philosophy in Europe, was Prefect for a long time at Clongowes for Regency, and then did Theology at St Beuno’s.
After Ordination he was appointed Socius to the Novice Master at Dromore, eventually becoming Master himself.
1888 Dromore Novitiate was closed and he took the Novices to Tullabeg.
1890 His health had begun to suffer so he was sent to Clongowes as Spiritual Father, and did this for a number of years.
He was next sent as Minister to Milltown for a couple of years, but again returned to Clongowes in the same capacity as before.
1901 He was sent to Gardiner St. He was always in compromised health and had a very weak voice, but worked away there for a number of years.
In the end he had a very long illness which he bore with great patience and he died at Gardiner St 26 June 1919. His funeral was held there, very simply, as it was difficult to get a choir together at that time.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Made his first Vows at St Acheul, France 13 November 1869

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Colgan 1846-1919
Fr John Colgan was born at Kilcock County Kildare on November 8th 1846.

At the end of his theological studies he was appointed Socius to the Master of Novices at Dromore, eventually becoming Master of Novices himself. In 1888 Dromore was closed and he took the novices to Tullabeg.. His health broke down and in 1890 he went to Clongowes as Spiritual Father. In 1901 he was posted to Gardiner Street.

He was never of robust health and he laboured according to his strength for a number of years. His last illness, which was long, he bore with great patience until his death on June 28th 1919. His funeral took place after Low Mass, as it was impossible to get together a choir of priests. His funeral was very simple, as every Jesuit’s should be.

◆ The Clongownian, 1920

Obituary

Father John Colgan SJ

John Colgan passed quietly away at St Francis Xavier's Presbytery, Gardiner Street, on June 19th last year. He was in Clongowes from 1860-67, where his brothers James and Edward, who both predeceased him, were also students. Fr Colgan spent most of his earlier life as a Prefect in Clongowes, Externally cold and formal, he was in private a most kind-hearted and even indulgent man. His Theological studies over, he was sent as Socius to the Master of Novices at Dromore, county Down. He subsequently became Master of Novices himself, and it was he who took the Novices to Tullabeg after that college had been amalgamated with Clongowes. Not long after, his health breaking down, he came to Clongowes as Spiritual Father, at which post - excepting a short interval as Minister at Milltown Park - he remained until 1901. The remainder of his life was spent in works of the ministry at St Francis Xavier's, Dublin, where he rarely left the precincts of the Presbytery except for an occasional short walk. His interest in and kindly disposition towards visitors helped not a little the success of his sacredotal functions. To his sister we tender the sympathy of many generations who knew Fr Colgan.

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.

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

Conran, Joseph, 1913-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/490
  • Person
  • 24 February 1913-23 August 1990

Born: 24 February 1913, Ballinrobe, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 23 August 1990, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny

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

by 1967 at Holy Family Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1969 at Aston, Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1970 at Monterey CA, USA (CAL) working
by 1971 at Carmel CA, USA (CAL) working

Corcoran, Kieran, 1869-1956, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/104
  • Person
  • 01 September 1869-08 November 1956

Born: 01 September 1869, Ballycumber, County Offaly
Entered: 08 October 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final vows: 15 August 1902
Died: 08 November 1956, Clongowes wood College SJ, County Kildare

◆ Irish Province News 32nd Year No 1 1957 & ◆ The Clongownian, 1957

Obituary :

Br Kieran Corcoran (1869-1956)

With Br, Corcoran there passed away a figure that had become something of a legend in the life of Clongowes. We of a later vintage lived with him and saw his passing; but who, with a solitary exception, can recall his coming over fifty years ago, or indeed can think of a Clongowes without that stalwart figure moving impressively about its lawful occasions? For even till about a couple of years ago, when his heart attacks became more crippling, he bore himself upright as always, and though his work became more and more curtailed, he sought employment about the house, and it is not so long ago since one saw him, as ever, in the midst of buckets and crates of eggs making his weekly tally! After three months as a Postulant he joined the Noviceship at Tullabeg in 1891, whence he was posted to Galway in 1893, taking his first Vows in the October of that year. From 1893 to early in 1904 he was stationed in our Gardiner Street house and the list of positions he filled makes impressive reading. There he pronounced his final Vows in 1902, and from there he left in February of 1904 to begin his unbroken half-century and more in Clongowes Wood till the day of his death. Jubilee succeeded Jubilee, and on his Diamond one in 1951 he was favoured with a letter from the hand of Very Rev. Father General; and in 1954, the Golden Jubilee of his sojourn in Clongowes Wood, was marked by celebrations and many messages of congratulation.
The maintenance of the fabric of the College was his prime care all those years, that and the employing and supervising of the small army of artisans and servants involved in that care. This he did with conspicuous skill and mastery and he could rightly claim (if ever he thought of it) that his activities vitally touched the lives of masters and boys, asleep or awake at many points. How much of that is simply taken for granted in a big institution and how small the meed of recognition! The host of daily, almost hourly, activities involved in "maintenance" of a large and sprawling and, in places, antiquated building who thinks of them? The endless inspections and checking; the planning ahead; the expert knowledge in many fields; the sudden improvisations called for and demanding sound judgment; crises in lighting or heating or drainage systems, all these involve considerable responsibility and systematic care. Suffice it to say that through all the years of his stewardship Br. Corcoran was seldom or never unequal to the heavy task laid on him by day or by night. For he was thorough in all he did, deeply conscientious and rigidly systematic. Only the best workmanship, whether it was sweeping a Gallery or slating a roof could pass muster with his eagle eye. Workmanship of the best, materials of the best and a job that would last “to and through the Doomsday's fire” if necessary was what he demanded, and he had the knack of getting these from his staff. And he never spared himself physically in his endless routine of daily and hourly inspections. In fact so rigid was his sense of routine that one could almost infer the time of day from his passing, whether it was in and about the building or “beating the bounds” on his daily perambulation of the main and Kapolis avenues! As a result the spick and span state of walls and floors and ceilings everywhere in the place from endless scrubbings and paintings and polishings were justly the admiration of his Brethren and of visitors. He took a pride in his office, and had he been capable of boasting he could justly have pointed to the myriad of improvements he effected (the walls of the Lower Line Gallery were in whitewash when he first came!) throughout his fifty years as an enduring monument to his memory.
And sustaining and inspiring in all this was his sterling worth as a Religious. He impressed all with his deep Faith and simple and genuine piety; his unfailing presence and punctuality at every religious duty; bis reverence for the priestly state and his considerateness for others. In pressing forward for the good of the College he never lost sight of the claims of the individual, and in the exercise of the considerable authority that rested with him he strove for fairness. The handicap imposed by frequent heart attacks must have been a galling one to a man of his disposition, and his endurance of this; his uncomplaining acceptance of God's will, especially in the last year or two, when he had often to keep to his bed or his room, was impressive to those who had any dealings with him.. Characteristic of him was his rejoinder at the very end to one who counselled him to say his prayers internally" instead of vocalising them (as was bis wont), “Oh, but one would have to be very sick to do a thing like that!" And to a visitor leaving his room at night he motioned with his hand to the alarm-clock beside his bed and murmured, "The clock, the clock, wind it! For meditation! It was set for half-past six, and this was the day before he died.
Fully conscious to the end, and in his 87th year, he passed away without pain on the 7th of November in the room he occupied so long in the very heart of the School he served for half a century with such fine loyalty, and with young life pulsating all around him. On the 9th he was borne to his grave down the long avenue so familiar to him in his unvarying daily walk, the community and entire school preceding the coffin. May he rest in peace!

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Brother Kieran Corcoran 1862-1956
Br Kieran Corcoran was identified with Clongowes for over fifty years. The maintenance of the fabric of the College was his prime care, together with the running of the whole place, both Castle and College, Methodical, efficient, though kindly with all, he managed the domestic staff and got astonishing results out of them. As a result, the spick and span state of the walls, floors and ceilings everywhere in the place, from endless scrubbings, polishings and paintings, was justly the admiration of his brethren and visitors.

Sustaining this continual effort was his religious spirit. He impressed all with his simple faith and deep piety. He had a natural dignity which commanded respect and reverence for his cloth.

He entered Tullabeg as a novice in 1891, and in 1954 he celebrated the golden jubilee of his stay in Clongowes. He died on November 7th 1956 in the room which he had occupied for over half a century, in the very heart of the school he had served so well ad majoram Dei Gloriam.

Croasdaile, Henry, 1888-1966, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/760
  • Person
  • 09 October 1888-30 November 1966

Born: 09 October 1888, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 07 September 1908, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1921, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1925, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 30 November 1966, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1912 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

Irish Province News 42nd Year No 2 1967

Obituary :

Fr Henry Croasdaile SJ (1888-1966)

Lancelot Henry Croasdaile was born on the 9th of October 1888, at The Drift, Belfast, the native place of his mother, formerly a Miss O'Rourke. His childhood was spent at Rynn, Rosenallis, in the then Queen's County, the estate of his father, Major Croasdaile, D.L., J.P. He had a brother, who died in infancy, and two sisters, younger than himself. His father was a member of the Church of Ireland, but all the children were brought up Catholics. His mother died in 1905. Harry was educated at home until early in 1906 when he was sent to Clongowes. Though over sixteen, he was in the junior grade for his first two school years and ended in the middle grade. This comparatively undistinguished career was doubtless due to the informal nature of his previous education. He was later to show that he had more than average intellectual powers. In his last year at Clongowes he was Secretary of the House, an office then usually bestowed not for athletic prowess, but for the ability to entertain visitors, a task for which he was admirably suited.
In September 1908 he entered the noviceship at Tullabeg. His father, not unnaturally, strongly opposed this step, and Harry must have had considerable strength of character to persevere and to renounce an inheritance which must have been peculiarly attractive to one who had such a love of country life. After a year's juniorate at Tullabeg, he went to St. Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, for philosophy.
From 1914 to 1919 he taught at Clongowes. He was quite an effective teacher, and his musical gifts added to his usefulness on the staff. He figures in many photographs in the Clongownian as a member of the choir and conductor of the orchestra. He was very popular with the boys, and no doubt this popularity was enhanced by his remarkable prowess as a sportsman. Though it belongs to his later time at Clongowes, there may be recorded here an excerpt from a letter still treasured in the family of one of the boys. “We went for a walk today with Fr. Croasdaile and he shot a peasant (sic)”
During this period occurred an incident which he was fond of recounting. In the early days of the Easter Rising of 1916 he be came anxious about his sisters, who were then living in Dublin, and set off on his bicycle to try to locate them. On reaching Dublin, he found the usual roads blocked by the military. He then attempted a circuitous approach, but somewhere in the vicinity of Dundrum was arrested by a patrol of soldiers and brought to Dunlaoire police station. Here he was lucky in finding a sympathetic sergeant of the D.M.P. who was indignant at the arrest of a priest and secured his release.
It may be mentioned in passing that Fr. Croasdaile used to boast that he was the only member of the Province to be imprisoned for his country. This was not correct. During Easter Week a present member of the Milltown Park community was lodged for an hour in Beggars Bush barracks. Some idea of the confusion that reigned in the minds of the military may be formed from the fact that the chief grounds for making the arrest were that the Jesuit had in his pocket a handkerchief with the initials of another member of the community and a list of names (which turned out to be his selection of “Possibles” for the next rugby international).
In 1919 Harry went to Milltown Park for theology and was ordained in 1922. After tertianship at Tullabeg he taught for a year at Belvedere and then returned for his second spell on the staff at Clongowes, 1926-31. It was about this time that he began to write a series of short stories for boys, largely based on his own experiences. At intervals, published by the Irish Messenger Office, appeared Stories of School Life, Parts 1-6, and later When the Storm Blew and a Dog Led. It seems to have been during these years also that his interest in organ-building was developed. He had a remarkable combination of the two gifts required for this craft, being a good musician (he played, besides the organ, the double bass and the euphonium - an unusual combination) and a first-class carpenter. This activity continued all his life until ill health forced him to relinquish it. He was an adept at buying up old organs and combining their parts to make new ones. He thus provided organs for Emo, Rathfarnham, Clongowes and for several country churches.
In 1931 Fr. Croasdaile was transferred to Mungret where he again taught and organised musical activities until 1939. He then acted as Assistant Director of Retreats at Rathfarnham, and in 1944 was appointed teacher of religion in the Commercial College, Rathmines, which post he held until 1955. In some ways this was the most successful period in his life. His Grace the Archbishop of Dublin had in 1941 appointed the first teachers in the Dublin vocational schools and the system was still in an experimental stage. Fr. Croasdaile entered into the work with enthusiasm, and carried out the purpose intended, not merely to teach religion formally, but to act as spiritual guide to the pupils. He interested himself in all their activities, especially, as might be expected, in music, and with a production of The Geisha in Rathmines Town Hall began a tradition of musical entertainments which still con tinues. He also established most friendly relations with the members of the teaching staff. One of them recalled a statement made to him by the late Mr. George Clampett, then Principal of the College : “I am not a co-religionist of Fr. Croasdaile, but I have no hesitation in saying that he has meant more to this school than any other person”. The following tribute to Fr. Croasdaile was recently paid by Mr. Seán O Ceallaigh, the present Principal :
“The teenage boys and girls attending the Technical School in Rathmines accepted him immediately as one of themselves. His fatherliness, his simple loyalty to the simple Christian principles which at their age they could understand, his facility in using the language which they could grasp, his obvious interest in the material progress and spiritual welfare of each one of them and of their families, all these virtues endeared him to them in a perfectly natural way. The obvious happiness which he took in their extra curricular activities brought them nearer him; his active participation in their games, in their drama, in their operas, in their Gaelic cultural activities (to make up, as he used to tell them, for his being a direct descendant of Oliver Cromwell!), and particularly his desire to give them a love for church music, exemplified in his accompanying the school choir in their rehearsals for the annual Votive Mass.
He took the greatest pleasure in meeting ex-students and in his daily conversation with the men and women teachers of different denominations in the school. He was really the first of the permanent priest-teachers in the city's technical schools; he exercised a new and wonderful influence on all of them. To this extent, Fr. Croasdaile was the pioneer, the man who proved to the educational and religious authorities that priest-teachers could play a vital role in vocational education. The remarkable development of this work in recent years is a monument to his character”.
When Fr. Croasdaile retired from his work in the College of Commerce in 1955, his health had been for some time giving cause for anxiety. After a year as Assistant in University Hall, he was transferred to Emo, and from that on was more or less an invalid. One who knew him well wrote: “There was a staunch courage and hardy faith about the way he met the ever-present prospect of death during the later precarious years of his life”.
It was, however, a consolation to him to be back in the county of his boyhood. He had always been devoted to his native Rosenallis, and delighted in reminiscences of his family. He found relief also from the inevitable monotony of a semi-invalid's life in a new interest which he developed, the local history of Laois. In this he was helped by the kindly interest of a good neighbour, Fr. Barry O'Connell, C.C., Mountmellick, with whom he made frequent historical and archaeological trips. His death, so often expected, came at last on 30th November 1966.
In the foregoing sketch many of Fr. Croasdaile's gifts have been touched on, his success in dealing with boys and young people, his musical talents, his skill in field sports, which was often a help to him in establishing good relations with men who would ordin arily have fought shy of a priest. To fill in the picture, a word must be said about him as a good companion. During the long years in which he worked in the colleges, he was heart and soul in his task. Knowing the boys so well, their work and play were a constant source of interest to him, and he had a droll sense of humour which enabled him to see the amusing side even of their misdemeanours. He was, therefore, a great community man, a great enlivener of recreation. He was an outstanding raconteur, and seemed to have an uncanny gift of getting involved in strange experiences, which he related with gusto. It is regrettable that the best of his stories have escaped the writer's memory.
Such are our memories of Fr. Harry Groasdaile, “Cro”, to use the name by which he was affectionately known throughout the Province, a memorable character, and, in his own humorous and original way, a most loyal and devoted son of the Society.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1967

Obituary

Father L H Croasdaile SJ

Rev Lancelot Henry Croasdaile SJ, who has died, aged 78, at St Mary's, Emo Park, Portlaoise, was a well-known teacher.

He taught for a time at Belvedere College, Dublin, and at Clongowes Wood College for a period. He was chaplain to the College of Commerce, Rathmines, Dublin, for a number of years.

Irish Indpendent, 2-12-1966

Crotty, Michael, 1864-1909, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1133
  • Person
  • 04 September 1864-27 February 1909

Born: 04 September 1864, County Carlow
Entered: 07 September 1899, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1909
Died: 27 February 1909, Mater Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Crescent College, Limerick community at the time of death

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Before Entry he had been working at a butcher’s in Thomas St, Dublin, and had been a member of John Bannon’s Sodality in Gardiner St.

He made his Novitiate at Tullabeg, and was then sent as Buyer and Cook to Crescent.
1909 He had a bad heart attack due to overwork and strain. He was sent to the Mater Hospital in Dublin, and died there to the surprise and great regret of his community 27/02/1909.
A good, holy, patient, good-humoured and hardworking Brother.

Cullen, James A, 1841-1921, Jesuit priest and temperance reformer

  • IE IJA J/24
  • Person
  • 23 October 1841-06 December 1921

Born: 23 October 1841, New Ross, County Wexford
Entered: 08 September 1881, Leuven Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained 25 October 1864, Cathedral of the Assumption of BVM, Carlow, County Carlow - pre- entry
Final vows: 02 February 1892
Died: 06 December 1921, Linden Nursing Home, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1883 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Excerpts and paraphrase from a notice which appeared in the newspapers on his death :
Early Education at Clongowes, and then at Carlow College where he was Ordained 1964. He was then appointed by the Bishop of Ferns Dr Thomas Furlong as CC in Wexford for two years. in 1866, at the invitation of the Bishop, he became a member of a community of Missioners comprising four Priests in Enniscorthy. He then joined the Society in 1881.

After his Noviceship his career may be divided under three headings : Literary, Missionary, Temperance work.
He is probably best known as the founder of the “Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart”, which he started in January 1888. For sixteen years he watched over the development of his periodical, and starting offshoots such as “Messenger Popular Penny Library” which was the forerunner of the “Irish Catholic Truth Society”.
1904 He was sent to Gardiner St aged 63, and he worked there until his death in 1921. Here he began another phase of his work, that of Missioner and retreat giver. In this work he became known in almost every Parish in the country. In addition to bringing his work to England, he also spent two year long stints working in South Africa.
However, it is mainly his work in the cause of temperance that he is best known. He is sometimes called a “Second Father Matthew”. He had been a leading figure in the temperance movement of Ferns in the 1870s, and in 1885 founded the “St Patrick’s Total Abstinence Association” among the students at Maynooth.
1901 He inaugurated a branch of the “Pioneer Total Abstinence Association”. Confined at the outset to women only, it started with four ladies under the Presidency of Mrs AM Sullivan. However, after a homily he gave in Cork, so many men came to the Sacristy asking for the “Pioneer Pledge”, that he decided to extend the Association to both men an women. The Association made such rapid progress that at a public meeting in the Mansion House he could say that its numbers had reached a quarter of a million, and his Pioneer Catechism had by 1912 reached a circulation of 300,000.
Many messages of sympathy were received at Gardiner St from Bishops and Clergy in Ireland”. (cf https://www.ucd.ie/archives/t4media/p0145-ptaa-descriptive-catalogue.pdf)

“Extract from a paper Entitled ‘The Holy Eucharist in Modern Ireland’ read by the Right Rev Mgr MacCaffrey, President, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, at the International Eucharistic Congress, Dublin 1932”.
The extract eulogises James Cullen for his spread of devotion to the “Sacred Heart” throughout Ireland, his work on the “Apostleship of Prayer” and the “League of the Sacred Heart”. It also eulogises his founding of the “Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart”, and his particular work in promoting the spiritual welfare of its Promoters, with the assistance of local Bishops and Priests, such that in his own lifetime, there was hardly a Parish in Ireland in which devotion to the Sacred Heart had not been established. This in turn left to a devotion to Our Lord and the Eucharist, replacing a spirit of fear with one of love and confidence. The “First Friday” practice, founded on a promise made to St Margaret Mary Alacocque, became widespread in Ireland, and led people to more frequently receive communion. ‘Holy Communion is not to be regarded so much as as a reward for a holy life, but as a means of becoming holy’, wrote Father Cullen.” (The Book of Congress p 161)

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Cullen, James Aloysius
by Diarmaid Ferriter

Cullen, James Aloysius (1841–1921), Jesuit priest and temperance reformer, was born 23 October 1841 in New Ross, Co. Wexford, the eldest of five sons and three daughters of James Cullen, a businessman, and Mary Cullen (née Bolger). He was educated locally by the Christian Brothers in New Ross before moving to the Jesuit college at Clongowes Wood, Co. Kildare, in April 1856. From 1861 to 1864 he was a student at Carlow college and was ordained a priest at Carlow cathedral on 25 October 1864, only five days after he had reached the canonical age. He was appointed curate in Rome Street Church in Wexford and worked closely with Dr Thomas Furlong (qv), bishop of Ferns. He became heavily involved in fighting intemperance, building churches, founding religious teaching institutions and retreats for nuns and priests, and launching the Missionary Institute in Enniscorthy.

Although he had been wary of the Jesuit order from an early age, disliking their association with the middle classes, his preoccupation with the spiritual exercises of their founder, St Ignatius Loyola, and his apostolic endeavours slowly led him to reverse his opinion: in March 1881 he made a vow to enter the order, enrolling in September 1881 at the novitiate of the Belgian province at Arlow, at the age of 40. The following year he enrolled to study moral theology and canon law at Louvain. In September 1883 he took his vows at the Jesuit House of Studies in Milltown Park in Dublin, where he became well known as a missionary of the Blessed Sacrament, a promoter of devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Virgin, and a temperance reformer. He was appointed spiritual father to the students at Belvedere College, Dublin (1884) and national director of the Apostleship of Prayer (1887), marking a further commitment to the spread of Sacred Heart devotion. In 1888 he began publication of the hugely circulated Catholic weekly, the Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart, which he also used to promote temperance. He produced his Catechism of temperance in 1892, and in the same year travelled to South Africa as a missionary, making a return visit in April 1899.

Extraordinarily demonstrative in his personal piety and organisational ability, Cullen established the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart in the presbytery of the Saint Francis Xavier Church in Gardiner St., Dublin, on 29 December 1898. Over the course of the twentieth century it grew into one of the largest temperance movements in the world and claimed 500,000 members by the 1950s. They were labelled ‘Pioneers’ because of a novel method of pledging: Cullen developed the concept of adults (those over 16) making what was termed a ‘heroic offering’, pledging to abstain from alcohol for life, publicly identifiable by the wearing of a pin which depicted a bleeding Sacred Heart. Cullen's initiative was not only the product of an acute social conscience – his early endeavours in Wexford and his work in inner-city Dublin convinced him that much of the poverty and deprivation he witnessed was the result of excessive drinking – but also a belief that intemperance could only be fought by an absolutist life-long pledge, in contrast to the loose ‘en masse’ administration associated with the famed but short-lived temperance crusade of Fr Theobald Mathew (qv) in the nineteenth century. The Pioneers were organised on a parish basis under the guidance of a spiritual director and controlled by a central directorate of Jesuit priests based in Dublin. Juvenile and later temporary pledge branches were also introduced.

A strong opponent of British imperialism, Cullen closely aligned his argument for temperance with the political and cultural nationalism prevalent in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Ireland. Although never a masterful orator, he aggressively pursued the temperance cause through a column devoted to Pioneers in the Irish Catholic newspaper which he wrote from February 1912 until his death. This portrayed Pioneers as the soldiers of Christ engaged in a battle against intemperance which was destroying Irish health, morals, and welfare, and demeaning Irish claims to be a viable political and economic entity. He continually claimed that ‘the only thing wrong with Ireland is the excessive amount of drinking going on’. At the time of his death there were 280,000 Pioneers in Ireland.

Cullen was also active in Dublin's inner city in promoting sodalities, religious leagues and social alternatives to the public house. He also placed exacting spiritual demands on himself including four hours of obligatory prayer every day. He died 6 December 1921 in Dublin; he was said to be elated on hearing of the signing of the Anglo–Irish Treaty, hours before his death. Over 200 priests and ecclesiastical dignatories attended his funeral in Dublin.

Lambert McKenna, Life and work of Rev. James Aloysius Cullen SJ (1924); P. J. Gannon, Fr James Cullen (1940); Diarmaid Ferriter, A nation of extremes: the Pioneers in twentieth century Ireland (1998)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Cullen 1841-1921
Fr James Cullen was born at New Ross in 1841. He received his education at Clongowes, and he was ordained priest for the diocese of Ferns in 1841. For two years he served as curate in Wexford Town. In 1866 he and three other priests of the diocese founded the “House of Missions” at Enniscorthy.

In 1881 Fr Cullen entered the Society. As a Jesuit Fr Cullen is best remembered as the founder of the Pioneer Movement of Total Abstinence, which started in the Presbytery at Gardiner Street in 1898, with a membership of four women. Today its members number thousands, not only in Ireland, but across the sea in America and Australia, and anywhere an Irish Priest works on the Mission.

But his greater claim to fame may be found in the words of Monsignor McCaffrey, President of Maynooth, in a paper read at the Eucharistic Congress in 1932 :
“But, to the distinguished Jesuit Fr Cullen, the great Apostle of Total Abstinence, more than to any single individual must be given the honour of spreading this devotion to the Sacred Heart throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. A man of the highest spirituality himself, thoroughly convinced of the efficiency of this devotion to effect a spiritual revolution, and gifted with wonderful powers of organisation, he threw himself with ardour into the work, once he had been appointed Director of the Apostleship of Prayer and League of the Sacred Heart. Through the pages of ‘The Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart’ which he founded, he carried through this campaign so successfully, that even in his own lifetime, there was hardly a parish in Ireland, in which the devotion to the Sacred Heart was not firmly established. He was also the founder of the ‘Messenger Popular Penny Library’, the forerunner of the ‘Irish Catholic Truth Society’.”

He died on December 6th 1921. Truly, when we think of the Pioneer Movement as it exists today, Fr Cullen’s epitaph might justly be written :
“Exegi Monumentum aere perennius”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1922

Obituary

Father James Cullen SJ

Father Cullen’s Life in brief:

1841 Born at New Ross, Co. Wexford.
1856-61 Student at Clongowes.
1864 Ordained priest at Carlow and appointed Curate at Wexford.
1866 Becomes one of the founders of the House of Missions, Enniscorthy.
1881 Enters the Society of Jesus..
1885 Founded a Total Abstinence Association among Maynooth Students.
1888-1904 Founder and Editor of the “Irish Messenger”, Editor of the “Messenger Popular Penny Library”--the forerunner of the Catholic Truth Society.
1898 Founded the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association,
1904 Attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin,
1921 December 6th - Death. RIP

If the aim of Clongowes is to turn out great Catholics and great Irishmen - and what other aim has any Irish Catholic School? - then Father Cullen is the greatest of her children. His work falls under three heads - Catholic Literature, Temperance, and Mission Work. In the domain of literature he has a unique record. In 1888 he founded the “Irish Messenger” (the sum of one pound being advanced by the Provincial towards expenses !) He watched over its fortunes until 1904, and to-day the “Irislı Messenger” has a monthly circulation of over 300,000 copies, and is read by Irish Catholics in every quarter of the globe. In addition, he founded the “Messenger Popular Penny Library”, which was the forerunner of the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland. His Temperance Catechism - though it comes more under the head of temperance than of literature, had a circulation of over 300,000 by 1912.

His work for temperance began in the House of Missions, Enniscorthy. In fact, he himself has said that he entered the Society of Jesus because he hoped thus to give his undivided attention to the study of the Temperance problem. In 1885 he founded a Total Abstinence Society among the students of Maynooth College. But it was not until 1898 that he founded the association with which he is most identified in the public mind - the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, which to-day has a membership of over a quarter of 2 million.

In the conduct of missions and retreats, he travelled all over Ireland, and worked also in England and South Africa. In this branch of his life's activities, too, he had won his reputation as a young priest in Enniscorthy, and even to this day the old people of the diocese of Ferns talk of those woriderful missions preached by him then and of the great good they wrought.

Such in the barest outline is his life, Up to the time of his death he was still working, and, what is still more wonderful, he had that same interest in the live problems of the day which was his as a young man. About three years ago he visited us here in Clongowes. He heard of the Social Study Club, and at once was interested. He asked to meet the officials, took them for a walk in the pleasure ground, and talked to them of the importance of this new work. Later, speaking to one of the Community who was then President of the Club, he told him how interested he was in social work. “If I was a little younger I would attack it”, he said, “but I am afraid I am too old. It would hardly be worth my while”.

We had hoped that the writer who is engaged in collecting matter for a life of Father Cullen would be able to write a sketch of his career in this year's “Clongownian”. Unfortunately, however, this he found impossible at the last moment owing to illness, and we are compelled to content ourselves with this brief outline.

The beautiful appreciation of Father Cullen which follows is from the pen of an old Crescent boy, and first appeared in the “Irish Monthly”. To the editor of that periodical our thanks are due for permission to reproduce it here. For those who knew Father Cullen, his saintliness, his kindliness, his quaint, pleasant humour this beautiful sketch will recall one whom all looked upon as a personal friend. For those who did not have the privilege of his acquaintance, it may do something to explain the greatness of his personality and the astounding success of his world for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

-oOo-

Recollections of Father Cullen

It was in the year 1876 that I first I heard father Cullen's name mentioned. A kind friend, now dead, had invited me to spend some days at Raheny Park, Dublin. On the first evening he said to me at dinner :
“What drink will you have?” “Is there no good water in the neighbourhood?” I said.
“Oh! so you are a Cullenite”," said he; on seeing my puzzled look, he added “Don't you know Father Cullen, the Jesuit?” I told him I did not. Then he spoke in glowing terms of Father Cullen, a young Wexford priest, who was devoured with zeal, especially for temperance. He told me, further, that the Bishop of Ferns, having set his heart on diocesan priests giving Missions through the diocese, had put certain selected priests in a House of Missions, and among the first, or at the head (I forget which) was Father Cullen. The zeal and success of these priests was such - I hope nobody will be offended if I tell - that in ecclesiastical circles they were (half in joke and half in admiration) styled the Needleguns. (This was a new weapon put into the hands of the French soldiery in the Franco-German War of 1870, spoken of with most as much awe as the “Big Bertha” that bombarded Paris from 80 miles away, during Holy Week in the late war.)

Many a priest calculated to give name and fame to any institution passed through it; two only need be mentioned, His Grace the present Archbishop of Sydney and the subject these lines.

From the House of Missions Father Cullen passed into the Jesuit Noviciate; but, whatever else he left behind him, the divine zeal for Temperance, “like the scent of the roses, hung round him still”. . At any rate so much was I enraptured by my friend's account of him, that from that day forward I had my eye out for “Father Cullen the Jesuit”.

But it was a dozen years or so before I met him. In the year 1888, while I was one of the priests attached to the Limerick Workhouse, two doctors told me that I was threatened with consumption. Late in the month of May, or early in June, I obtained leave to go to Lisdoonvarna. Having got into the train I found only a few in the compartment; but huddled up in a corner, with a black woollen muffler round his neck, was a priest who seemed to me to be aged, and whose harsh cough at once awoke my sympathy, for I was only too familiar with it myself.

I was wondering where he came from, and where going to, when the train, drawing up at Ennis, I found him, like myself, changing into the little West Clare Railway. Oh, for the good old days of earlier years, when we took “the long car” here and drove over the magnificent country through Corofin, Kilfenora, and by Maurya Rua's Castle into Lisdoonvarna, as the afternoon sun was declining towards its bed in the ocean. Thomond of ancient times, with its windowed castles, its ferny hills, and bushy glens, is to my mind the most romantic land in Ireland. Or run in the mail car, if the old mail car is still running, of a summer's evening, for a remembrance that will last you all your life, from Lisdoonvarna by Quinn Abbey in its ruins, through Ruan in its loveliness, into Ennis.

We reached Ennistymon and I found my companion priest preparing to leave. “He is for Lisdoonvarna, on the same melancholy errand as myself”, I said in my own mind. But, no; a private car, in waiting, took him away. I sat in one of the public vehicles, as, bereft of company and interest, I jogged up and down the uneven road to the Spa.

That evening I was surprised to see the place full of priests, going along in soutane and cap, but all solitary and silent. I couldn't think what it meant. Happening, however, to see an old classmate of Maynooth, I stopped to inquire. He put his finger to his lips and whispered : “On Retreat!”

All the priests of the diocese were on Retreat. “Who is conducting it?” I asked hastily. “Father Cullen, the Jesuit; there he is”.

I looked, and saw my companion in the train. I may here add that, at the end of the Retreat, the same priest told me that he thought he never attended so beautiful or so elevating a one; and the subject matter that Father Cullen took was, “The seven steps of : the Priesthood”.

Of all the priests there Father Cullen and I were the only two not on retreat. I watched a favourable opportunity to approach him, I told him where I had first heard his name, and he spoke as charmingly and as delightedly of our common friend of Raheny Park as he had spoken twelve years before of him to me.

We had a high time of it for that week. Every moment that he was free we were off together. We talked of many things as “the bee through many a garden roves”; but when we came to talk of Temperance “we settled there and strayed no more”. At this winding up, I said to him:

“You have now a grand opportunity. You have started your beautiful magazine, The Messenger of the Sacred Heart, which God bless and prosper. Make it a vehicle of temperance”.

It was the first year of the Messenger; and if there is a mistake in the date I have given above, this will correct it. On its appearance I had written to him welcoming it; I had already been getting and circulating the English Messenger.

His answer was: “We must wait till we are fixed in the saddle”. And his final words at our parting on the last day of that week, when I was still insisting, gave this definite promise : “As soon as the circulation of the Messenger reaches 2,000 I will cry, in the words of Father Mathew signing the Temperance Register at Cork, ‘Here goes in the Name of God’.”

During the year I kept dropping him an occasional line, reminding him of his promise. Towards the end he wrote cheerily: “The circulation has reached 5,000; here goes in the name of God”; and the January number, 1889, had duly the beginning of the Temperance Crusade.

Somewhere about this time I had to go to Dublin. At Gardiner Street I learned that Fr Richard Clarke SJ, (the Oxford convert at the time Editor of the Month), would preach on the following day, the 3rd December, on St Francis Xavier. My heart gave a jump. Not long before that, at a critical moment Father Clarke had, all unasked, done me a seasonable and valuable service at a time I badly needed it. I determined at once to be present to hear him, and try to get a chance of saying one word of thanks to him viva voce, I had already written to him, and some letters: had passed between us, but I had never met him.

Next morning I was in good time at St Francis Xavier's. I begged the good Brother to take me where I could see, and not be seen - that the pulpit was all I wanted to see. He took me through corridors and doors, up flights of stairs the inner economy of St Francis Xavier's always reminds me of the Greek cave, where, when one enters, one never could find the way out. He took me, as I thought, up to the ceiling. I said, “O, thank you, Brother, this is grand; but will you come for me again, when the ceremonies are over?” He was good enough to smile at my evident fears and said he would.

With my weak sight I thought I was alone, and was exulting; but a low cough told me there was some one else there. I turned and saw Father Cullen, bent in his characteristic attitude of humility and thought, his cap pushed far down on his head and his Roman cloak about him. I told him what had brought me, and asked him to introduce me to Father Clarke, to say one word of thanks. “We must hurry, then, after the sermon”, he said, “and it must be only one word, for he has to go away immediately”.

I met him, had that one word, was satisfied and glad.

The next place I met Father Cullen was in Limerick, when the present Canon Cregan was the indefatigable Adm of St Michael's. Father Cregan had invited him to conduct a Retreat for the Women's Temperance Sodality and, knowing that Father Cullen and I were old Temperance friends, asked me to meet him, It was in the forenoon, with a brilliant sunshine pouring into the church, that, being put into the organ loft; I was in time to see Father Cullen in the pulpit. He was leaning out over the edge, and a subdued ripple of laughter was passing through the gathering. He was heaping ridicule on the drink fetish: “The baby is born, and there must be drink at the christening; the grandfather dies, and there must be drink at the wake. The horse has got a colic, or the calf has got wind in the stomach - send for whiskey. The boy gets his head clipped and, to prevent ‘getting cold’, he must shampoo with drink. If the day is hot - I'm thirsty, come, and we'll have a pint; is it freezing, come, and we'll have something to warm us. Are you going on a journey, put up a frost-pail. Have you a cough going to bed, put on a night-cap. Have you a pain in your tooth - oh, nothing like a drop to cure a toothache!”

It is singular how trifles remain in one's memory, when serious things, with the passage of years, fade away. I do not remember one thing more about that meeting ; but an incident happened about that time which I tell with some diffidence. It may serve, however, to put learned men “on their taw” about signatures to great things, when one finds a mistake in the case of a small signature.

He wrote to me one morning, saying: “I enclose you a letter, that asks how to establish a branch of the ‘Apostleship of Prayer’. Father Cullen then went on to say that he had a great deal of work pressing on him; and (with some roundabouts and apologies) asked would I write an article or two. My answer was: It was hard for one man to write what was in another man's mind; but I would do my best, and send them to him.

On considering the matter, I thought it would be well to divide it into three papers, and because of the subject, and for Father Cullen's sake, did my best; signed them with his name, and sent them to him. He forwarded them on to the Record, and in due time the first came back to me to be proofed, bearing my name as signature. I corrected it; and because the articles, written at Father Cullen's suggestion, were approved of by him; because I, not being sent, had not authority to preach on the subject, and because Father Cullen's name would carry infinitely more influence than mine, scored out my name, put Father Cullen's to it, and sent it back to the Record.

In a week or two I had a letter from'him, telling me how puzzled he was, when a friend, meeting him in Gardiner Street, spoke of his paper in the Record. He went on to say that at the first opportunity he hastened to find out what his friend had alluded to, and was “so sorry to see the paper with his name to it, that it was a shame”, etc, etc. I laughed at him, and said nothing.
Of course, when the first went on that line, the other two followed on the same rails - with his signature to them.

The last place I met him was at Sacred Heart College, The Crescent, Limerick. It is not many years ago, and again it is only a trifle. All my memories seem to be trifles, but happy trifles inseparably connected with friends, like “the old familiar faces” of poor Charles Lamb; and in the kindly spirit of the gentle philosopher, I make the avowal, with grey hairs on my head and the sands in the glass running low, that God has been kind in allotting to me all through life the truest and happiest friends that human heart could desire.

I forget what Father Cullen was doing at the Crescent - Temperance, I suppose. It was told in Waterford long ago of two brothers who took a hand in stealing sheep, when sheep-stealing was a hanging matter. One was taken, but through some loophole or influence, instead of being hanged, was transported. He served his time, and on returning, the first thing he saw as he set foot on the wharf, was his brother hanging on the gallows. His only comment, they say, was - “Mutton, of course!”

With Father Cullen it was Temperance, of course. He was at luncheon when I called. With the invariable charm and courtesy of the Society towards “an old Jesuit bay”, I was invited in to meet him. My very first look gave me joy, he seemed so hale and vigorous, I reckoned on years and years to come, bringing with them innumerable holy and fruitful works. We shook hands with delight across the table, and in a roguish vein he bent down and kissed my hand. But if he “reviled, I reviled him again”, for before he could withdraw it, I, too, had bent down and kissed his. We then rose up and laughed in each other's faces with gladness, like two schoolboys. God be with him! That is the last time we met.

I saw the noble Avondhu in its flood roll down from the mountains. There was sun shine about it; and on its heaving breast I read the beautiful words of the Holy Book: “I am black, but beautiful” ; black with the burden of riches it bore from its solitary wandering among the distant heights. God had placed riches there, and had bade the infant rivulets to take them in their charge, bear them up in their hands, and carrying them down, fertilize the waiting lowlands, throng. ing with multitudes of men and beasts. One rivulet, hearing God's call before the rest, springs forward, and leads the way; the others follow, all uniting in forming the glorious Avon-dhu.

So it is with the Temperance movement of each generation. The Sacred Heart is scattering its graces on the height. Men come and meditate. Over against is the expelled demon of Drink, having with him (as confessors only know too well) seven others worse than himself; showing the kingdoms of the earth, and crying in his lying voice, for he was a liar from the beginning : “All these will I give you, if, falling down, thou wilt adore me”. Alas! alas ! some poor fools believe.

But the Sacred Heart cries out: “He that will be My disciple, let him deny himself, and so follow Me”. And Father Mathew, in his time, with his vehement slogan,“Here goes in the name of God," springs forth on the height and leads on”. In the next season Fr Cullen, filled with love of the Sacred Heart, devotes a whole lifetime, with all the elan of the mountain flood, to the holy cause. Today men, whose names have not yet become household words, are as truly and wholeheartedly devoting themselves to the sacred cause of temperance: which, religion alone excepted, surer than any other, makes the rough ways smooth and the crooked ways straight.

With the vehemence of the grand old Irish river, they pour down the mountainside, bring ing from theirconversation with God, indelibly written on tables of stone, the peace and blessing of their Creator.

R Canon O’Kennedy

◆ The Clongownian, 1924

Clongownians in Literature

Father James A Cullen SJ - by Father Lambert McKenna SJ

In the “Clongownian”of 1922 there appeaed a very vivid sketch of that distinguished son of Clongowes, the Rev James Cullen SJ. The editor of that date prefixed to this a tolerably complete summary of the work of this man, whose varied activities affected millions of his countrymen. It is unnecessary, therefore, to recapitulate here the career of Father Cullen, but it would be a pity to pass over this biography which, though not the work of an old Clongownian, is still so intimately connected with Clongowes as to fall naturally under the heading “Clongownians in Literature”.

And first, a few words about the book in general before we consider in detail those parts of it which will particularly interest Clongownians. The first, the absolutely essential quality we demand from the author of a life, the primary interest of which is religious, is absolute straightforwardness. He must not fall into the error of imagin ing that because the subject of his work was a very holy man he must be presented to the world as a faultless paràgon. Still less pardonable is the modern error which would transmute charity into common bonhomie, austerity into mild eccentricity, and mistakes and errors into the most lovable qualities in their watered down hero. Father McKenna is utterly removed from either of these irritating attitudes of mind.

Father Cullen is, in every page of the book, a living human being. There is an abundance of detail to enable us to see him as he really was at each stage of his career. It is a record of growing, not a description of a born saint, for if it is true some. saints are born, all are made. Father McKenna shirks nothing, but puts down with frankness and understanding all the facts of this remarkable life, though they are at times puzzling and even disconcerting. But at the end of the book we find ourselves saying, with something a little like awe: “What a life of zeal, of labour, of prayer. If only there were a few more like him”.

The book is well proportioned, much better so than the average biography, and the writing is vivid and clear, and in parts beautiful. The author possesses that vein of quiet humour without which we dare say Father Cullen could not be wholly under stood. He has collected excellent and very complete materials and used them with great effect.

To Clongownians, naturally, the chapter on Clongowes Wood is the most interesting. Father Cullen came to us almost by chance in 1856, and was here five years. He entered in Elements, and until he reached Poetry skipped a class each year in his upward progress and yet found himself each summer an Imperator. It is scarcely necessary to add that in the Debates, the Literary competitions, and the academic dis plays, he was peculiarly distinguished. One good story is told in this connection.

When the subject of the Academy-day Essay (carrying with it a prize of £10) was announced, he found that it was an historical question, of which he was totally ignorant. At the same time, he knew his only serious competitor to be extremely good at history, though poor in graces of composition. He therefore approached this boy with the following novel proposal : I suggest you get up the historical matter and arguments. I will then use them to write two essays one for myself, the other for you. One or other of us will get the prize, which we shall then go halves in. His friend accepted the terms, studied up the matter, and wrote the two essays as arranged. The Master of Rhetoric, who was official judge of the essays, detected signs of James Cullen's style in both compositions. James, summoned before him, stood on the defensive : You have no proof. But all to no purpose. He was to be punished for deceit, etc. James appealed forthwith to the Rector, who admitted the case was not proved against him, but seemed inclined to temporise. James would have none of this: if he was not proved guilty. he was to be treated as perfectly innocent. He therefore did a most unheard of thing. He wrote a long protest to the Provincial in Dublin. He won his case, too, and loyally shared the prize, which was adjudged to the essay he had presented in his own name.

There is another story of a stolen swim which we would dearly like to quote, an episode in which James' audacity brought him even nearer to a flogging, in this case at least well deserved. He had indeed an over-developed liking for playing at Tribune of the Plebs; but apart from that, he seems to have been a studious and quiet boy. He was in after years a great believer in school games, but as a boy was a poor performer. He was, as one expects to find, very pious, more so than is natural in most boys, and it was while serving the Mass of Father Eugene Browne, then Rector of Clongowes, that he felt, as he tells us hinself, with great distinctness, that God wished him to be a priest. There and then his resolve was made, his promise given, and a decision taken which in God's Providence saved, it would seem beyond all doubt, hundreds and hundreds of the souls of his fellow-men.

◆ The Clongownian, 1999

Pioneer Apostle

Father James Cullen SJ

by Bernard McGuckian SJ

Continuing our occasional series on the occupants of the Serpentine Gallery, we feature an essay on Fr James Cullen ST, one of the great apostles of the Irish Church in the late 19th and early 20th century. His enduring influence is to be seen in the periodical he founded in 1888, the “Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart”, and the Pioneer Association to promote abstinence from alcohol and sobriety in its use in honour of the Sacred Heart, founded ten years later. He has found more improbable fame as the original behind James Joyce's Fr Arnall in chapter three of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Previous denizens of the Gallery covered in this series are Sir Nicholas O'Conor (The Clongownian 1994), John Redmond (1995), Archbishop John Charles McQuaid and Oliver St John Gogarty (1996) and Kevin O'Higgins (1997). The contribution on Fr Cullen is by the present Central Director of the Pioneer Association, Fr Bernard McGuckian SJ. Fr McGuckian served on the Clongowes staff for a year before ordination in 1966-7.

For over a century now strangers have been puzzled by our Irish use of two common words, messenger and pioneer. For most of them a messenger was a person, usually male and under twenty, haring around a town delivering goods on a bicycle. A pioneer was an intrepid individual blazing a trail across North America. But here in Ireland these words had a different connotation. “Messenger” meant a little red booklet about the Sacred Heart and “pioneer” someone who took the soft option where drink was con cerned. Behind both these peculiar uses of language is an Old Clongownian and Jesuit priest, one of the Rogues in the Gallery, James Aloysius Cullen.

Late Vocation
Father Cullen's vocation to the Jesuits was slow in coming. He couldn't get far enough away from them on finishing at Clongowes in 1861 although he wanted to be a priest. He opted for his home diocese of Ferns. After four years of study he was ordained at St Patrick's College, Carlow, on 28 October 1864, just five days after his 23rd birthday, the minimum canonical age.

Seventeen years later, after establishing himself as a priest of extraordinary apostolic zeal in Ferns and further afield, he was admitted to the Jesuit novitiate at Arlon, Belgium, on 7 September 1881. He wrote of his intense joy but, particularly, his relief that the Jesuits had been prepared to have him at what he considered that late stage.

For the next forty years his life was an inces sant round of apostolic initiatives of all sorts; missions, retreats, hospital visitations, pam phlets, booklets, conferences, pilgrimages, “magic lantern” presentations, societies, sodalities, St Vincent de Paul meetings, in short, whatever he thought to be “ad maiorem dei gloriam”, the great ideal of his hero, Ignatius of Loyola. It is not surprising that he was a frequent visitor to “Undercliff”, the family home of Fr John Sullivan, in the period leading up to the Servant of God's reception into the Catholic Church. When he died on 6 December 1921, the day of the momentous Anglo Irish Treaty, he was universally regarded as one of the greatest benefactors of the Irish nation of his era.

At Clongowes
His years in Clongowes made a lasting impression on him and he talked affectionately about them afterwards. He was often first in his class, a keen debater and prominent in “Concertationes”, which involved declamation, translation and musical contributions on Academy Day. In a talk at his Alma Mater in 1904 he recalled the games he had played there. “handball-the two kinds of it, Common and Indian - a good old Irish game - cricket, archery, marbles, stilts, peg-tops, battie-dore and shuttlecock”. He was a particularly committed member of the sodality, which was meant to foster regular religious practice. His initiative in founding a branch of the Arch confraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the Conversion of Sinners gave some inkling of his later bent.

Although enthusiastic about things religious he found nothing to excite him in this regard about his Jesuit teachers. From early childhood, particularly through the influence of his very religious mother, he had developed a gen uine passion for the salvation of the world, something that stayed with him for the rest of his life. But he just couldn't see how what the Clongowes Jesuits did had anything to do with this. What had teaching grammar and sums to do with spreading the Kingdom of God? His view, however, underwent a radical change during his years as a dynamic young priest in Wexford, bent on converting the world. By degrees he came to appreciate the apostolic efforts of his old masters as they tried to imple ment the Ignatian vision in the humdrum of life in a boys' boarding school. When he discov ered the wisdom and shrewd apostolic strategy of the Spiritual Exercises he began to rethink his Clongowes experience. In his voluminous diaries (unfortunately lost, but, we hope, not irretrievably) he often laments his short sightedness during his years there. Lambert McKenna's fine biography, the “Life and Work of Father James Cullen SJ” (1924) documents How zealously he made up for any lost time by giving himself totally to the Ignatian ideal during every waking moment of his subsequent life.

The Sacred Heart
The great passion of his life, as with many of his contemporaries in all the provinces of the Society of Jesus at the time, was the spread of devotion to the Sacred Heart. For him, this devotion, as revealed in 1675 to an enclosed nun, St Margaret Mary at Paray-le-Monial, France, and made public through her Jesuit spiritual director, St Claude la Colombière, was the inspired answer to all problems, personal or otherwise. His appointment as Director of the Irish branch of the Apostleship of Prayer in 1887 gave him full scope for his zeal. This work based on Sacred Heart devotion, the brainchild of two young French Jesuits, François X Gautrelet and Henri Ramière, aimed at mobilizing the prayerful support of all believers for the missions of the Church. Fr Cullen's prayer to Christ at the time appears in his diary: “Make this Apostleship the business of my whole life; make all my works for Thy glory succeed - above all the Apostleship and the Messenger”.

Through the Apostleship he encouraged the devotion throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. In a very short time there was a little red light burning before a picture of the Sacred Heart in every kitchen in the country, people were making a morning offering of all their "prayers, works and sufferings of the day to the Sacred Heart, churches became as crowded at Mass on the First Friday of every month as on Sundays and large numbers were attending a "Holy Hour" in the churches every month.

To promote this work he published the first edition of the Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart on 1st January 1888. When he first mooted the idea of a publication to his Rector in Belvedere he was given an assurance of “warm approbation and sympathy”. But the cunning Cullen said “How much do you sympathise?” “One pound” was the answer. This was all he needed. By the end of the year the circulation had reached 9,000 and six years later 45,000. As we enter the new millennium it is still going strong. Between four and five thousand volunteer promoters are responsible for maintaining a very high circulation and keeping distribution costs to a minimum. While exact circulation figures are not available (the Messenger is unique in that it does not carry advertisements), it is probably read by substantially more people than anything else published in this country. “This little red book according to one writer remains one of the most startling phenomena of Irish life”.

The Pioneer Association
Another significant contribution of Fr Cullen was the foundation of the Pioneers. He wanted to alert the Irish people to the need for great care in the use of alcohol as he came to know of the widespread heartbreak caused through abuse of it. As a man of faith he was convinced that a remedy was to be found in the “Heart of Christ, the Abyss of all Virtues”. Among these virtues the one he focused on was sobriety. Jesus had once said that some “demons could only be driven out by prayer and fasting”. Working on the assumption that irrational addictive behaviour was one of these “demons” Fr Cullen set about organising what he called the Pioneer Association of the Sacred Heart, It was to be a concerted campaign of prayer and fasting”. Members were asked to make three simple promises: to pray each day for excessive drinkers, to abstain from even the most innocent use of alcohol for life and to wear publicly a little emblem of the Sacred Heart.

Beginning with four ladies on 28 December 1898, the movement grew phenomenally. Within 20 years over 200,000 Irish men and women from every social class had joined the Association. Eventually Irish missionaries took it overseas so that today there are upwards of 500,000 members worldwide, especially in Africa. It was appropriate that an African should have been the principal speaker at the Centenary Mass in Croke Park, attended by 35,000 people from all five continents on 30 May 1999. His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, who had seen for himself the great transformation effected in the lives of thousands of his fellow-Nigerians by the Pioneer ideals, spoke of how “the careful apostolic planning of Father Cullen had been blessed by Divine Providence". The Cardinal referred to Fr Cullen's insistence on the importance of prayer and his awareness that without Christ we can achieve nothing. Indeed in his diaries he once wrote, “For every one word I say to a sinner, if I am to do that sinner any good, I must say one hundred words to God”.

Another of the “rogues in the gallery”, Doctor James Corboy SJ, a former Bishop in the Diocese of Monze in Zambia, is also part of the Pioneer story. He received his own pioneer pin as a boy in Clongowes from Fr John Sullivan. He has seen for himself the good fruit produced by the little seed thrown into the ground over a hundred years ago by his great fellow-Clongownian. The most recent Pioneer report from Zambia mentions a membership of “16,000 adults and 10,000 youths” and still growing. The first Pan African Congress of the Pioneers is scheduled for 2001 in Nairobi. The story is just beginning.

◆ The Clongownian, 2009

Roundabout Route To The Jesuits

Father Bernard J McGuckian SJ : Central Spiritual Director of The Pioneer Association.

James Aloysius Cullen (1841-1921), founder of both the Messenger, the well known monthly religious magazine and the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart, first came to Clongowes in 1856.

Gifted all his life with a computer-like capacity for recalling dates, anniversaries and minute details about events, he recalled that it was on April 7th of that year that he set out in the family car from his home in New Ross, Co Wexford to Bagenalstown, where he boarded the Sallins-bound train that would take him to Clongowes. While a boarder there he involved himself enthusiastically in the school-activities, especially the music, debating and academic side of things. Sport was not one of his priorities. There was one thing, however, that did not impress him at the time: the Jesuits who ran the place. Although only in his early teens he was greatly taken by things religious and the notion of evangelisation. Yet he saw little evidence of a similar passion in the teaching staff of his school. As priests they were meant to be “saving souls” and spreading the Kingdom of God and yet all they did was say Mass, teach classes, organise games and supervise dormitories. This impression, formed during his school-days became so much a part of him, that while feeling called to priesthood, the last place that he would have considered living out this vocation was among the men responsible for his secondary education. This attitude would later return to haunt him.

At Clongowes he was academically successful. The Christian Brothers in New Ross had done such a good job on young James that he skipped from Elements to Rudiments after a few weeks and for the rest of his time in the school was usually “Imperator” or first in his class. Strangely enough, in spite of being a model student and punctilious about his religious duties, he was often in trouble with his Prefect whom he considered, according to his biographer, Lambert McKenna, S.J., “unreasonable and arbitrary”. Cullen's own independent streak and tendency to originality were also contributory factors in a series of showdowns.

Father McKenna's account of one extraordinary episode is worth reproducing in toto.

When the subject of the Academy-day Essay (carrying with it a prize of £10) was announced, he (Cullen) found that it was an historical question of which he was totally ignorant. At the same time, he knew his only serious competitor to be extremely good at history, though very poor in the graces of composition. He, therefore, approached this boy with the following novel proposal: 'I suggest that you get up the historical matter and arguments. I will then use them to write two essays, one for myself and the other for you. One or other of us is sure to get the prize, which we shall, then go halves' in. His friend accepted the terms, studied up the matter, and handed the result to James, who wrote the two essays as arranged. The Matcer of Rhetoric, who was official judge of the essays, detected James Cullen's style in both compositions. James, summoned before him, stood on the defensive: “You have no proof”. But all to no purpose. He was to be flogged for deceit, etc. James appealed forthwith to the Rector, who admitted that the case was not proven against him, but seemed to temporise: James would have none of this; if he was not proved guilty he was to be treated as perfectly innocent. He therefore did a most unheard of thing; he wrote a long protest to the Provincial in Dublin. He won his case, too, and loyally shared the prize, which was adjudged to the essay presented in his own name.

McKenna commented that this incident “illustrates James's courage, unconventionality, and initiative qualities which under prudent guidance served him well in after-life in”.

Pioneering zeal
On leaving Clongowes he was accepted for priesthood in Ferns, his native diocese and was sent to St Patrick's College, Carlow for studies. Ordained in 1864 when barely 24 years of age, he actually required a dispensation because he was under the canonical age. Right away, he chrew himself into apostolic work with the enthusiasm and zeal that were to characterise all the activity of his subsequent life. Being in demand for missions and retreats all over Ireland did not prevent him from attending to his parish duties. It was while a curate in Ferns that his advocacy of temperance began. He felt impelled to do something drastic to end the widespread heartbreak caused in so many homes as a result of excessive drinking among boatmen along the Slaney.
While seemingly happy and fulfilled in his work, his copious personal diaries reveal. a deep unease during the 17 years after his ordination, Exteriorly his initiatives were attended by success and were attracting universal admiration but he himself was beginning to see things in a new light. The upshot of it all was his application for admission to the Society of Jesus on May 28th, 1881. As it had the consent and approval of his Bishop his application was approved by the Jesuit authorities. Over those years, as he became more aware of the influence of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola in the life and spirituality of the Church, he began to reconsider his attitude to the rank and file of the Society of Jesus. The motto of St Ignatius and his Order, “Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam” (for the greater glory of God) helped James Cullen to understand that very ordinary activities, if done for a good motive and with a right intention could lead to the salvation of souls and the spread of the Kingdom. He later confessed that, if during his school years he had known of the variety of works undertaken by the Society, he would probably have applied for admission on leaving school. However he was unaware of even the great Jesuit missionary outreach, spearheaded in the Far East by the herculean labours of St Francis Xavier. Only slowly did he come to realize that the whole thrust of the works of the Society was “the salvation of souls” and that this could very well be done by accepting the drudgery of correcting the essays of the burgeoning human being and trying to put manners on him before he had become an incorrigible adult! Indeed, it was only after he had reached this conclusion, the result of a long interior struggle, that he considered himself ready for admission to the Society of Jesus. An entry in his diary for July 29th, 1881 reveals the completion of chat extended gestation process: “I feel today quire a consolation in thinking that I shall have much to do with educating boys”. Fr McKenna's comment on this was; “The prospect, which in Clongowes had turned him from the Society, the prospect of teaching boys, even attracts him”.

After his novitiate in Belgium, as a singularly obedient Jesuit, he would have been ready to spend his life as a teacher in a classroom if his superiors had so wished. This, however, was not what he was asked to do. His superiors realized that his talents lay elsewhere. With their blessing he spent his life, based in Ireland, spreading devotion to the Heart of Christ in an endless variety of good works, publishing, preaching, organising sodalities, clubs, counselling people (among them the Servant of God, John Sullivan SJ), promoting sobriety etc. Many of the good works he started are still thriving.

He died on the day the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed on December 6th, 1921. Fr McKenna described his last hours.

A friend said to him; “Fr Cullen, you have done a good work in your day”. He answered: “Well, I think I can honestly say I have tried to do my best”.

On the morning of 6th December when the newspaper arrived he was told that the Peace Treaty had been signed during the night. “Thank God”, he replied, “I have lived to see Ireland free”.

A few hours afterwards he said to the nun attending him: “I am going into port, and he breathed his last peacefully about 12 o'clock”.

Cullen, Paul, 1936-1997, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

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

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

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

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

AN APPRECIATION OF PAUL CULLEN SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

James Kelly

Curran, Shaun N, 1924-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/622
  • Person
  • 29 December 1924-14 August 1999

Born: 29 December 1924, Dublin
Entered: 02 October 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 06 January 1978, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 14 August 1999, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1949 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1985 at Regis Toronto, Canada (CAN S) Sabbatical

Curtis, John, 1794-1885, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/48
  • Person
  • 19 June 1794-10 November 1885

Born: 19 June 1794, Tramore, County Waterford
Entered: 10 October 1814, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 12 June 1824, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, County Kildare
Final vows: 02 February 1833
Died: 10 November 1885, St Francis Xavier, Upper Gardiner St, Dublin

Vice-Provincial of Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus: 19 March 1850-1856
in Clongowes 1817

Ordained at St Patrick’s College Maynooth, 12 June 1824, having studied Theology at Clongowes

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica”:
His father was a very prosperous master cooper. His sister was an Ursuline of Waterford, and also an authoress.
He has written interesting memoirs of some of his contemporaries of the Irish Province, which are in the HIB Archives. He published a book on the Spiritual Exercises

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Ordained at Maynooth 12/06/1824 by Dr Murray.
1834-1842 Sent as Rector to Tullabeg
1842 Appointed Superior of Gardiner St
1850 Appointed Vice-Provincial
1856 Sent as Operarius to Gardiner St
1864 Appointed Superior of Gardiner St again
1871 He worked as Operarius at Gardiner St Church until his death there 10/11/1885
The last few years of his life saw great suffering. He bore it all with great patience and died with a reputation for great sanctity.
He had published a book on the Spiritual Exercises, and was preparing another before he died.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Curtis, John
by Patrick M. Geoghegan

Curtis, John (1794–1885), Jesuit provincial, was born 19 June 1794 at Tramore, Co. Waterford, second son among eight children of Stephen Curtis and Fanny Curtis (née Evers). Blind until the age of 3, he claimed that he was cured after a priest prayed over him, although he remained partially blind in one eye for the rest of his life. The priest told Curtis that God had restored his sight for His own glory; this was to be an important determinant in his life. Educated in Tramore, in 1810 he went to Stonyhurst College, Lancashire. He received an injury while playing football there, which was to cause him great pain throughout his life. Believing he had a religious mission, in 1814 he joined the Jesuits. The order sent him to Clongowes Wood, Co. Kildare, where he acted as prefect and later master. He had a reputation for being strict but fair. Ordained in 1824, he left Clongowes in 1829 and spent two years in Dublin, before spending a further two years in Rome. He made his solemn profession of final vows 2 February 1833 in Dublin. In May 1834 he was appointed rector of Tullabeg College in King's Co. (Offaly), and was first to assume the office of superior. From there he began a series of church retreats that proved very successful. He became rector of the Jesuit residence in Gardiner St., Dublin, in 1843, and provincial of the Jesuits in Ireland.

Curtis was an enthusiastic supporter of the apostleship of prayer in Ireland, and may even have been its central director for a period. When John Henry Newman (qv) went to Dublin in 1854 to investigate the possibility of a university, the first person he met was Curtis. Pessimistic about the scheme, Curtis informed Newman that the class of youths did not exist in Ireland who would come to the university: the middle class was too poor, and the upper class would send their children to TCD. He argued that the whole idea was hopeless and should be given up. Newman does not appear to have taken this criticism kindly, and later disputed just how good a man Curtis was. A tour of the country, however, convinced Newman that Curtis had a point and that there was no natural class in Ireland from which to draw university students in great number.

Curtis was noted for his strong moral character and his formal, if rather stiff, manner. Archbishop Paul Cullen (qv) of Dublin held him in high regard and is reported to have remarked that Curtis had a free rein to do what he liked in the diocese. In his spare time he enjoyed both cricket and football. He died 10 November 1885 and was buried at Glasnevin cemetery. Two of his sisters, Mary and Ellen, became Ursuline nuns. His niece, Fanny, also became a nun.

Edward Purbrick (ed.), Life of Father John Curtis (1891); Ian Ker, John Henry Newman: a biography (1988); Louis McRedmond, Thrown among strangers: John Henry Newman in Ireland (1990); id., To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Curtis 1794-1885
John Curtis was born in Waterford in 1794, and he entered the Society only shortly restored in 1814.

From 1834-1842 he was rector at Tullabeg, and then Superior at Gardiner Street until 1851. He was nominated Vice-Provincial in 1850. After six years in office, he returned to the ranks and worked as an Operarius in Gardiner Street, till his second periodf of Superiority in 1864.

He laboured earnestly in the Church for the rest of his life, the last few years of which were years of great suffering. He died on November 10th 1885, leaving a reputation for great sanctity.

He published a book on the Spiritual Exercises and wrote interesting memoirs of his contemporaries, which have proven very useful towards the history of the Province.

Dalton, James, 1826-1907, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1156
  • Person
  • 04 May 1826-21 August 1907

Born: 04 May 1826, County Waterford
Entered: 25 April 1845, Amiens, France (FRA)
Ordained: 1860
Final Vows: 15 August 1866
Died: 21 August1907, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

by 1859 in Laval France (FRA) studying Theology
by 1860 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying Theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a younger bother of the celebrated Joseph - RIP 1905

After First Vows he made his studies on the Continent.
He spent much of his life as a Teacher in Clongowes and Belvedere.
He died at Gardiner St 21 August 1907

◆ The Clongownian, 1908

Obituary

Father James Dalton SJ

Father James Dalton was one of the oldest Clongownians. He was at school at Clongowes early in the forties. He will be regretted by all who knew him as master there, for he had a great facility for making friends. We have published several of his poems in “The Clongownian” already, and we publish yet another in this number. We owe this to the kindness of T E Redmond, MP, an old pupil and friend of Fr Dalton.

The following brief account of his career gives the main facts of his life Father Dalton was born at Waterford on May 4, 1826; when 19 years old he entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus, in which his brother Joseph preceded him by nine years, as he had exactly the same start of him in life itself. About the same time two sisters out of this pious family became nuns in the Presentation Convent of Maynooth. For twenty years Father James Dalton was a devoted and beloved master at Clongowės and Belvedere, forming friendships with his pupils which lasted through life. For more than twenty years he laboured zealously at St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin, the house in which he has just died. For some years, indeed, his work had almost been confined to patient suffering. He bore his tedious martyrdom with great courage and cheerfulness, trying to help till the end those who continually appealed to his charity, knowing of old the tenderness of his heart and his eagerness to aid those in trouble. He was a man of very refined taste, and a singularly faithful and devoted friend; and his memory will long be cherished tenderly by all who had the privilege of knowing him intimately.

Daly, Francis H, 1848-1907, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/112
  • Person
  • 15 July 1848-19 October 1907

Born: 15 July 1848, Dalysgrove, County Galway
Entered: 12 November 1870, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1886
Final Vows: 03 February 1890, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 19 October 1907, St Mary’s, Rhyl, Wales

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

Youngest brother of Hubert - RIP 1918; Oliver - RIP 1916; James - RIP 1930 Oliver was the first of the Daly brothers to Enter.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1873 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying
by 1874 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1875 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1877 at Poitiers, France (FRA) Regency
by 1884 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1886 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1902 at Holy Name, Manchester (ANG) Missions

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Third brother of Hubert - RIP 1918; Oliver - RIP 1916; James - RIP 1930 Oliver was the first of the Daly brothers to Enter. They were a very old Catholic family who resided in the Elphin Diocese. Oliver joined earlier than the others in Rome and was allotted to the Irish Province.

After First Vows he studied Philosophy in France and Theology in jersey.
He taught for many years at Belvedere, Clongowes, and Mungret.
He also served on the Mission Staff in Ireland for a short time, and then he went to Manchester as a Missioner.
He received permission to go to Rhyl for a rest, had a stroke there and never recovered consciousness.
Some Fathers from St Beuno’s assisted at the requiem Mass in St Mary’s Rhyl. He was then buried at Pantasaph, North Wales.

Appreciation by Vincent Naish preached at the Church of the Holy Name Manchester :
“...it is my duty, my dear brethren, to ask your prayers on behalf of the soul of my dear old friend and fellow-worker, Francis Daly. It so happens that it is given to me, by chance, to say a few words in support of my plea. I have had the privilege and pleasure of knowing Father Daly well. Forty three years ago we were boys together at school, and during those years of unbroken friendship I never knew a soul more full of zeal for God’s glory, more possessed with simple faith, and more devoted, in his own sweet way, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and His Blessed Mother.
Of the family - a grand old Irish Catholic family - five were boys and three girls; he was the youngest of the boys, who became members of the Society of Jesus, of whom all the three elder survive him. One sister joined a religious Order. That family was known throughout the length and breadth of Ireland for its spotless life and perfect devotion, which seemed to unite all the members in the beauty and piety of the family life. There was a family private chapel in the house, and father, mother, boys and girls all joined together each day at God’s altar.”
He continues saying that the four brothers worked in different parts of the world - in Ireland, England, Scotland and Australia. They in the Holy Name Parish who knew of the devotion and zeal of Father Daly were fortunate, because to very few men was it granted in their time to know a more hard-working Priest, devoted to the spiritual welfare of Catholics in this country of Ireland. Hundreds of hopeless fallen cases of human nature he was ever eager to attend to, and by the very simplicity of his faith, and his transparent earnest manner, he often succeeded where others were afraid or shrank from.
He then asked that as many as possible would attend the requiem Mass the following day, and to offer their Communion for the good, holy, zealous Priest who had gone to his reward. At the end of Mass the organist played the “Dead March” from Saul, and the people stood.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Francis Daly 1848-1907
Fr Francis Daly, who died at Rhyl North Wales on October 19th 1907, was the author of “The Child of Mary before Jesus Abandoned in the Tabernacle”. In 1953, this book had entered on its 38th edition, enjoys to this day a steady sale of 582,000 copies. He was on the staff of Mungret College when he compiled this prayer book. At his request, the profits accruing were expended on the furnishing and establishment of the sacristy of the Boy’s Chapel.

Francis was the youngest of five sons, four of whom became Jesuits, the others being Oliver, James and Hubert. Born in Ahascragh County Galway in 1848, he entered the Society at Milltown Park in 1870.

He taught for many years in Belvedere, Clongowes and Mungret. After some years on the Mission Staff he went to Manchester as a missionary.

While resting at Rhyl in 1907 he had an apoplectic stroke, cause by over exertion in his labours, from which he never recovered. He is buried at Pantasaph, North Wales.

◆ The Clongownian, 1908

Obituary

Father Francis Daly SJ

The Rev Francis H Daly SJ, who was the fourth son of the late Mr Peter Paul Daly, of Dalysgrove, Co. Galway, Ireland, was born on July 15th, 1848. He came of a deeply religious and pious family. There were five boys and three girls. Of the former, four became Jesuits, and of the latter one entered a religious Order. On his mother's side the deceased priest was a cousin of the late Father Peter Gallwey SJ, and also of Fathers Grehan and Sherlock, other well known Jesuits. His brothers, all in the Society of Jesus - Fathers Oliver, James, and Hubert survive him: the first-named is at present in Glasgow, whilst Father James has for over thirty years been Prefect of Studies of Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare, Father Hubert Daly SJ, is in Australia.

The deceased received his early education by private tuition, and subsequently at St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, King's County. Later on he was sent to Mount St Mary's College, near Chesterfield, and afterwards to Namur, in Belgium. His theological and philosophical studies were made on the Continent, and about twenty-five years ago he was ordained priest in the Channel Islands. During his priestly career the late Father Daly SJ, worked with unremitting zeal and energy in many districts, his missionary work in various parts of England, north and south, being well-known and appreciated. With the Irish people in this country he was especially at home, and to them quite naturally was always a welcome visitor. He was most kind and charitable, and many acts, ungrudgingly done, have been related since his death in several quarters. Many a prayer has during the past week ascended to Heaven for the repose of the soul of the dear, good, kind priest.

A Notable Work
The late Father Daly SJ, was the author of the little book known as “The Child of Mary Before Jesus Abandoned in the Tabernacle”. This useful work was intended for the members of the Confraternity of the Children of Mary, and its circulation has run into many thousands, Only this year the tenth edition was published. Its spiritual reading has done incalculable good amongst those for whom it was intended.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1908

Obituary

Father Francis Daly SJ

Two special friends of Mungret have been, during the past year, called to their reward. These were Rev Francis Daly SJ, who died at Rhyl, N Wales, 17th October, 1907; and Rev Jas Murphy SJ, who died at Tuliabeg, Ireland, March, 1908.

Father Francis Daly had been Professor in Mungret College, 1891-1897. It was during those years that he compiled “The Child of Mary” and “The Ignatian Album”, both of which we have reviewed in the “Mungret Annual” on the appearance of new editions. “The Child of Mary” is still used almost universally by the pupils. On Father Daly's initiative the profits on the sale of some of the editions of this little book were allocated to the purpose of furnishing and decorating the sacristy of the college chapel, and this work, carried out under Father Daly's own direction, remains as a monument of his taste and skill. Aster leaving Mungret in '97 he worked for several years on the missionary staff in Ireland and afterwards in England. He never lost interest in Mungret, and remained to the last a steadfast and zealous friend of the college. When he visited Mungret a short year ago he seemed to be as vigorous and cheery as ever, and we were little prepared for the news of his fatal illness which reached us towards the end of September. The apopleclic stroke by which he was prostrated seems to have been hastened, if not caused, by excessive exertion in his missionary labours. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Francis Daly (1848-1870)

A brother of Father James Daly (infra) came to the Crescent teaching staff for one year only, 1887-88. On finishing his tertianship in Belgium, he was engaged in teaching in the Irish Jesuit College, when he joined the mission staff. In 1902 he was loaned to the English Province where he engaged in mission work until his death.

Dargan, Daniel, 1915-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/592
  • Person
  • 24 January 1915-21 September 2007

Born: 24 January 1915, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 21 September 2007, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Middle brother of Bill - RIP 1983; Herbert - RIP 1993

Great grandnephew of Daniel Murray, 1768-1852, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 134 : Christmas 2007

Obituary

Fr Daniel (Dan) Dargan (1915-2007)

24th January 1915: Born in Dublin
Early education at Christian Brothers, Patrick's Hill, Cork, Patrician Brothers, Mallow, and Clongowes Wood College
7th September 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1935: First Vows at Emo
1935 - 1938: Rathfarnham - Studied Classics at UCD
1938 - 1941: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1941 - 1943: Belvedere - Teacher (Regency)
1943 - 1947: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1946: Ordained at Milltown Park
1947 - 1948: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1948 - 1983: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street
2nd February 1951: Final Vows
1948 - 1957: Editor “Pioneer”; Assistant Director Pioneers 1957
1977: Director of Pioneers; Editor “Pioneer”
1977 - 1980: Assistant Director of Pioneers; Editor “Pioneer”; Assisted in Church
1980 - 1983: Superior; Director, SFX Social Service Centre
1983 - 1991: St. Ignatius, Galway -Parish Priest
1991 - 2003: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick -
1991 - 1992: Ministered in Church
1992 - 1994: Minister; Ministered in Church; House Staff; Director of Pioneers' Society
1994 - 2000: Superior, Prefect of the Church; House Staff; Director of “Pioneers” Society
2000 - 2003: Prefect of the Church; House Staff; Director of “Pioneers” Society, Director Sodality BVM & St. Joseph; Promoter of Missions; President of Cecilian Musical Society; House Consultor
2003 - 2007: Cherryfield Lodge - Praying for Church and Society
21st September 2007: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

Homily preached by Barney McGuckian at the Funeral Mass in Gardiner Street, September 24, 2007
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). These are the words of a man who discovered the identity of Jesus with practically his last breath. They are still appropriate today as we take our leave of Fr Dan Dargan, a man who spent the greater part of ninety years trying to plumb the depths of the mystery that is Jesus, nearly seventy-five of them in the Society of Jesus and thirty-five of them in the community here at St Francis Xavier's. These words are among the Last Seven that loomed so large in the devotion of the people here in the Church during Dan's early years here. He himself must have preached on them on a number of occasions and learned from the edifying attitude and example of the Good Thief. Fr Donal O'Sullivan, novice master of some of us here, (neither the very old nor the very young), used to say that we were all most appropriately represented on Calvary: by two thieves, a good one and a bad one, but both thieves all the same! All of us try to rob God of the glory that is His.

The Good Thief has the distinction of being the only person in the New Testament who addresses Jesus simply as Jesus, without further qualification. Others added titles such as the Christ, Son of David, Master, Rabbi, Teacher, Lord. He simply calls him Jesus or, more probably, Joshua which in his native language literally means "God saves". At this stage all that matter is salvation. The other qualifications are superfluous. As a Jesuit, Dan would have known the importance the founder attached to the very name Jesus. Indeed Ignatius was prepared to abandon the whole project to found an order if he was not permitted to use the very name Jesus.

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”. This request came at the conclusion of an altercation between two of the condemned men about the identity of the third. One was so incensed at the obtuseness of the other that he rounded on him: “Have you no fear of God at all?” He is astonished that even at this late stage, with death staring him in the face, the other man has not even the beginnings of wisdom that comes from a healthy fear of God.

He himself is obviously sorry for his own past life and would love, if possible, to undo it, even at this late stage. He decides to go for it. In a great act of faith he takes the chance that the inscription over the head of Jesus really means what it says: “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews”. He simply asks Jesus to remember him when he comes into his Kingdom.

The reply must have astonished him as much as it does us. “Indeed, I promise you. This day you will be with me in Paradise”. He pulled off the biggest job of his life when he was already on death row. All he did was to make a good confession and say his prayers, which is all any of us have to do if we want to join him in Paradise.

Dan did not wait to the end of his long life to do this. Dan was bom into a privileged situation in the best sense of the word. He came from a happy Catholic family with a long tradition of service to the Church and the Irish people. An intensely private person he did not wear his heart on his sleeve but you just knew it was in the right place. He once confided to me that after his father died his mother told him that they had never had a row during the whole course of their married life. I think this must have had a profoundly formative effect on himself. He was a man of peace who tried to spread it wherever he found himself.

An industrious man, I always thought his signature tune should have been “Perpetua mobile”. It used to introduce Joe Linnane's “Question Time” on Radio Éireann on a Sunday night many moons ago. Perhaps that was the Dargan in him. In a John Bowman programme a few years ago I learned that William Dargan, his illustrious ancestor, builder of so many of the railways of the country at one stage employed something of the order of 140,000 workers. The ecumenical dimension of the family's contribution is evidenced by the fact that even within the last two decades large bridges in both Belfast and Dublin have been named after Dargan. Queen Elizabeth II came over to open one of them. Two of that great man's uncles were hanged in Wexford during the '98 rising.

No Jesuit could lay more claim to a funeral here in St. Francis Xavier's than Dan. His great grand uncle, Archbishop Daniel Murray of Dublin, offered the first Mass here in the Church 175 years ago this year. He himself gave the best years of his life to all the apostolic activity of the house, especially the Pioneer Association, the Pioneer Club and the Pioneer magazine. He was first editor of the magazine, which is still thriving in spite of the changes in society. It will celebrate its 60th birthday in January coming.

He was beloved of the staff in the office, more like an elder brother than a boss. It is wonderful to see two of his secretaries here with us today, Geraldine White (then Murtagh) and Maureen Manning.

In an interview with an internal Jesuit periodical (Interfuse #124) a couple of years ago he confided that he still holds the Clongowes record for the largest score ever run up at cricket, that he played schools tennis at Interprovincial level, and made the First Rugby Fifteen. It was while a student at Clongowes that his decision to enter the Jesuits matured and he followed his elder brother Bill, and later was followed by his younger brother, Herbert. At Clongowes he was privileged to know Fr. John Sullivan whose funeral took place in the college during his final year before going to the novitiate. It was appropriate that his mortal remains for the last two nights in the Sacred Heart Chapel besides those of the great Servant of God.

I first met Dan in August, 1955, when he was on holidays in the Glens of Antrim with Fr Kieran Hanley. They came to see around our family farm, where my father and his brothers had gained a reputation for advanced methods in pig breeding. I was deputed to show these two Jesuits around. I recognised Fr Dan from photos in the Pioneer magazine. It was obvious that the farmer was Kieran Hanley, and that Dan was only there to make up the numbers. When Kieran was dying I brought this up: “I don't think Dan had much interest in the pigs that day”. Kieran pulled himself up in the bed and said, “Absolutely none whatsoever”. But it was typical of Dan to fit himself into whatever situation he found himself in.

I was privileged later to work for a number of years as his Assistant before succeeding him as Central Director of the Pioneers. In that role he was totally at the beck and call of everyone. He drove to parishes, schools, colleges and halls all over the country, never sparing himself. He had not a fanatical bone in his body. He understood the Pioneer Association as an expression of devotion to the Sacred Heart. It would never have entered his head that there was anything evil about wine. But he did realize that if not used wisely and well it can lead to endless heartbreak and sorrow. He was convinced that the Pioneer way of prayer and consecrated abstinence could make a significant contribution to the quality of life of the whole community.

He invested a great deal of time and energy into the Pioneer Club on Mountjoy Square, especially the musicals. He survived the occasional storms in that particular tea-cup. I remember one of his wry comments. “It's extraordinary how the closer people get to the stage the more unreasonable they become”.

Dan appeared always to be in good health, although I learned from one of his Jesuit colleagues, the late Pearse O'Higgins, that as a young Jesuit he became seriously ill. His life was in danger. As a last resort his father, who had the reputation of being a brilliant diagnostician, agreed to examine his son, He came to the right conclusion, prescribed accurately, and his son lived to be 92.

During his declining years Dan was a model patient. He was always in good humour, kept himself alert with the Irish Times crossword every moming, and kept up his reading to the end, both serious and light. He confessed that he had read all Jeffrey Archers novels. I am prepared to forgive him this.

The response of Jesus to the Good Thief was unambiguous. “Indeed, I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise”. The first Joshua led the Chosen People into a Promised Land. We pray that today Jesus, the true Joshua take his friend Dan to the definitive Promised Land to be with Him in joy and happiness forever. As one of those who, with his brothers Bill and Herbert, have instructed many in virtue, surely he will be among those whom the Prophet Daniel tells us will shine as bright as stars for all eternity.

◆ The Clongownian, 2007

Obituary

Father Daniel Dargan SJ

Dan was born into a privileged situation in the best sense of the word. He came from a happy Catholic family with a long tradition of service to the Church and the Lish people. An intensely private person he did not wear his heart on his sleeve but you just knew it was in the right place. He once confided to me that after his father died his mother told him that they had never had a row during the whole course of their married life. I think this must have had a profoundly formative effect on Dan. He was a man of peace who tried to spread it wherever he found himself
His early education began with the Chriscian Brothers in Cork and the Presentation Brothers in Mallow. His five years at Clongowes (1928-1933) saw a period of great transformation with the “New Building” changing the physical face of the College in 1929. In an interview with an internal Jesuit periodical a couple of years ago he confided that he still holds the Clongowes record for the largest score ever run up at Cricket, that he played schools tennis at Interprovincial level and made the First Rugby Fifteen. It was while a student at Clongowes that his decision to enter the Jesuits matured and he followed his elder brother Bill and later was followed by his younger brocher, Herbert, At Clongowes he was privileged to know the saintly Fr John Sullivan, whose funeral took place in the college during his final year before Dan left to enter the Society of Jesus, to begin a long and richly filled life continuing his Family's tradition of service to the Church and the Irish people”.

He began his period of formation with a BA In Classics at UCD, followed by Philosophy in Tullabeg (the former St Stanislaus College boarding school which amalgamated with Clongowes in 1886). He spent two years in regency in Belvedere before going on to Milltown Park, Dublin, for Theology. He was ordained there on St Ignatius Day 1946. Then began his long association with St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner Street, for 35 years, most of them spent as Editor and lacer Director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association. He was first Editor of the magazine which is still thriving in spite of the changes in society and which will celebrate its 60th birthday early 2008. He was beloved of the staff in the office, more like an elder brother than a boss.
In that role he was at the beck and cail of everyone. He drove to parishes, schools, colleges and halls all over the country, never sparing himself. He had not a fanatical bone in his body. He understood the Pioneer Association as an expression of devotion to the Sacred Heart. It would never have entered his head that there was anything evil about wine. But he did realize that if not used wisely and well it can lead to endless heartbreak and sorrow. He was convinced that the Pioneer way of prayer and consecrated abstinence could make a significant contribution to the quality of life of the whole community. He also invested a great deal of time and energy in the Pioneer Club on Mountjoy Square, especially the musicals.

After three years as Superior of the Community and Director of the Social Service Centre and at an age (68) when many of his contemporaries in the world were well retired, Dan started out on 20 years of parish ministry, serving first the Jesuit Church in Galway and then the Crescent in Limerick, where, at the age of 88 he was still Prefect of the Church, Director of the Pioneers, Director of the Sodality of Our Lady and St Joseph, Promoter of Missions and President of the Cecilian Musical Society!

An industrious man an understatement!), Dan's signature tune could have been “Perpetua mobile”. Perhaps that was the Dargan in him. In a John Bowman programme a few years ago we learned that William Dargan, his illustrious ancestor, builder of so many of the railways of the country at one stage employed something in the order of 140,000 workers. The ecumenical dimension of the family's contribution is evidenced by the fact chat even within the last two decades large bridges in both Belfast and Dublin have been named after Dargan. Queen Elizabeth II came over to open one of them. Two of that great man's uncles were hanged in Wexford during the ‘98 rising

With his brothers Bill and Herbert, Dan has ensured that that his family's long tradition of service to the Church and Ireland will long be remembered and, with them, he himself will surely occupy a privileged place when that service is recorded in our country's history.

Dan appeared to always be in good health although as a young Jesuic he became seriously ill and his life was in danger. As a last resort his father, who had the reputation of being a brilliant diagnostician, agreed to examine his son. He came to the right conclusion, prescribed accurately and, in 2003, in sight of his 90th birthday, Dan joined the Jesuit Community in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin, where his final mission was “to pray for the Church and the Society” he had loved and served so well, During his declining years he was a model patient. He was always in good humour, kept himself alert with the “Irish Times” crossword every morning and kept up his reading to the end, boch serious and light. He confessed that he had read all Jeffrey Archer's novels.
Dan's great grand uncle, Archbishop Daniel Murray of Dublin had offered the first Mass in the Church of St Francis Xavier in 1832, and so it was doubly fitting that, as the autumnal leaves began co turn, Dan's Jesuit Companions should gather with younger generations of the Dargan Family to bid him adieu at his Requiem Mass and to celebrate a richly filled and fruitful life in sight of his century. May he rest in peace.

BMcG

Delaney, John J, 1883-1956, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/29
  • Person
  • 04 July 1883-08 August 1956

Born: 04 July 1883, North Strand, Dublin City
Entered: 23 September 1904, Drongen Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 31 July 1916, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1921
Died: 08 August 1956, St Francis Xavier, Upper Gardiner St, Dublin - Belgicae South Province (BELG)

WWI Chaplain

by 1920 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship
by 1933 came to St Francis Xavier (HIB) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/from-easter-week-to-flanders-field/

‘From Easter Week to Flanders Field’
From Easter Week to Flanders Field: The diaries of and letters of Fr John Delaney SJ, 1916-1919′ is the latest book by historian Thomas Morrissey SJ. John Delaney SJ walked the streets of Dublin during Easter Week 1916, recording in a diary everything he encountered along the way. This treasure came to light in the Jesuit archives five years ago, and is reproduced in the book and so public for the first time.
The next year, in 1917, John Delaney was sent to the battlefields of Europe, where he served on the front line as an army chaplain. It is his letters, in this instance, that provide a first-hand account of the realities of war. Putting both experiences together, this volume provides an eye-witness account of two major events of the early twentieth century.
Thomas Morrissey SJ brings us through Delaney’s life and times from Dublin to Flanders, later on to service in Ceylon, then his final years back in Dublin. “Ypres, Louvain, Rheims, were before our mind’s eye in a moment and we thought – war had come to us at last. Dublin was in flames. The roar of guns was in our ears, at our very door, and men were falling. Men were dying not on the fields of France or in the trenches of Flanders, but on the streets of Dublin. It was really dreadful; too dreadful to look at, too dreadful to hear, too dreadful to think of… We went down to prayers. I could not help thinking of the poor fellows dying not so far from us amid the shot and shell whilst we repeated in our little chapel, ‘Ora pro nobis’ ”, wrote John Delaney SJ, Thursday 27 April, 1916.
The book was launched on Monday 23 March at St Francis Xavier’s Church, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. Fergus O’Donoghue SJ, Superior of Gardiner St community, warmly welcomed those at the launch. He said that when that when Todd (Thomas Morrissey) first approached him about the book he advised him that he wouldn’t have enough material and Todd agreed. Then totally unexpectedly he was given a link to published correspondence of John Delaney in the ‘Old Boy’s Journal’ of the Jesuit College in what is now Sri Lanka.
Launching the book, Professor of history Fergus D’Arcy began by reciting a chilling list of the numbers of young men from all the countries involved in WWI who died in battle. The room went very quiet. He called the war “the beast of the apocalypse”, a war “so awful that it raises questions about the beautiful gardens around the world that commemorate it”.
Commenting on John Delaney’s diary entries regarding the Easter Rising, Prof. D’Arcy said his first-hand account, warts and all, was fascinating. Delaney was a chaplain to the Gardaí at the time. For this reason a specially invited guest at the launch was Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey (pictured here with Fr Morrissey). He said he was delighted to represent the Gardaí at the launch of such a book and he wanted to honour the memory of John Delaney SJ who served the Gardaí so well.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 31st Year No 4 1956

St. Francs Xavier's, Gardiner Street
By the death of Father Delaney, on 8th August: we suffered the loss of one of the best-loved priests in the Church. Even though illness had for almost the last two years removed him from his many posts of duty, there were constant affectionate enquiries for him, and requests for his spiritual assistance: up to the time of his leaving Gardiner Street last Autumn he was always ready to come down from his room in response to the latter. Messages of sympathy on his death reached Father Provincial and Father Superior from many sources: large numbers of Mass-cards were left on the coffin: and, at his funeral, the Civic Guards whose Sodality he directed So splendidly turned out such a Guard of Honour as he himself, always so pleased with a uniformed and well-drilled parade, would have thoroughly appreciated. May he rest in peace!

Obituary :

Fr John Delaney (1883-1956)

Fr. Delaney was born in Dublin in 1883 and educated in O'Connell Schools and at Mungret Apostolic School, from which he graduated as B.A. in the old Royal University. In 1904 he entered the Society of Jesus at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and he studied philosophy in Louvain before going to teach for four years in St. Aloysius College, Galle, Ceylon.
Returning to Ireland for his course of Theology, he was ordained in Milltown Park in 1916. The following year he was appointed Army Chaplain and he saw service in Flanders and France during the years 1917-1919, succeeding the late Fr. Willie Doyle as chaplain to the “Munsters”. At the end of the war he returned to the Mission in Ceylon, where he remained until 1932, being Director of Studies at $t. Aloysius College, Galle, for six years and later Principal of St. Mary's College, Kegalle.
During the twenty years he spent in Ceylon Fr. Delaney rendered valuable services to the cause of education in that country, where, in St. Aloysius College, Galle, he succeeded another Irishman, the late Fr. Denis Murphy, as Principal. He was responsible for the building and equipment also of St. Mary's College of the Society of Jesus at Kegalle, with a roll of 600 students.
In 1932 he returned again to Ireland to become an outstanding figure as a giver of missions and retreats throughout the country. In 1944 he joined the staff of Gardiner Street Church, where he remained until his death. At Gardiner Street he was Director of the Sodality for members of the Dublin Metropolitan Gardaí, and Director also of the Arch-Association for Work for Poor Churches, the annual Exhibition of Vestments of which he organised so efficiently. For a number of years he was also responsible for the organisation of Irish Jesụit Mission Week in St. Francis Xavier's Hall; and was the imperturbable Traffic Superintendent-in-Chief of the huge Crowds during the Novena of Grace.
For the last year or two of his life he had been in poor health. He died suddenly and peacefully on Wednesday, August 8th. The Civic Guards, whom he had admired so much, did him honour in death. They formed a Guard of Honour in the Church, acted as pall-bearers and lined the path way to the graveside in Glasnevin. The Commissioner, Chief Superintendents and Superintendents were in attendance in the Church and at Glasnevin.
One shall not easily forget the glamour of his rhetoric in the pulpit or the record of his patience and prudence in the confessional. He was particularly successful in the direction of nuns and of scrupulous people. But, indeed, his guidance as a confessor was sought by all classes of people, and he had the very precious gift of being able to inspire people with confidence in their last moments. I think it was just three years ago that Fr. Delaney was flown to the death-bed of a gentleman in London. This gentleman had been away from the sacraments for many years; he had met Fr. Delaney only once, before, and accidentally; but, when he came to die, he asked for Fr. Delaney to help him make his peace with God.
For the past year Fr. Delaney had been almost completely helpless. He required assistance to even change his position in his chair; he could not feed himself. For a man of such abounding energy formerly this was a particularly heavy cross. Yet he bore it with a superb patience. He never murmured. To Fr. Superior and Fr. Minister he would say : “Is there any thing I could do for you?” He was surely touched to receive Fr. General's blessing a few months ago. To Fr. Superior Fr. General had written : “Nuntium de conditione adeo gravi Patris Joannis Delaney maxime dolebam; cui caro Patri qui in ista provincia et in missionibus indicis per tot annos cum zelo laboravit velim Reverentia Vestra paternam benedictionem significet”. Fr. Delaney was especially pleased that he should have been considered a carus pater. He was indeed beloved by all, by none more than by his community. He was a great community man. But, then, he did all things well.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Delaney 1883-1956
Fr John Delaney was born in Dublin in 1883, educated in O’Connell’s Schools and Mungret College, whence he joined the Belgian Province of the Society.

As a scholastic he worked in St Aloysius College, Galle, Ceylon, which he helped attain that position of scholastic achievement, initiated by another Irish Jesuit, Fr Denis Murphy.

Having served as a Chaplain in the First World War, he returned to work in Ceylon until 1932, when he came back to Ireland. Here he became an outstanding figure on the Mission Staff until 1944, when he was appointed as Operarius in Gardiner Street. The glamour of his rhetoric in the pulpit and his patience and prudence in the confessional will not be forgotten. He had a charisma for scrupulous souls. On one occasion he was flown to London to hear the confession of a dying man years away from the Sacraments. This man had only met Fr Delaney once in his life. Such incidents could be multiplied and they speak volumes of the character and spiritual quality of Fr Delaney.

He died on August 8th 1956, a jubilarian of the Society.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1932 : Golden Jubilee

Our Past

Father John J Delaney SJ

Fr J J Delaney SJ was a companion of Father Willie Doyle during the Great War. After years of teaching at St. Aloysius College, Galle, he is now in charge of St. Mary's School, Kegalle, where he has renewed the face of the earth. He is easily the most popular and effective preacher in the island, a wonderful raconteur, and doing no end of good,

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

Our Past

Father John J Delaney SJ

Father J J Delaney SJ, (1899-1924) is home from Kegalle, Ceylon. It was said that he came home for a rest. Father John's definition of rest must be change of climate, for he has never ceased work since he returned. He has made a name in Ireland already as a preacher and director of Retreats. On Whit Sunday he received our Sodalists and delighted all the boys with his sermon for the occasion. We have seldom heard so many tributes from them after a sermon.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957

Obituary

Father John J Delaney SJ

We regret to announce the death of Fr John Delaney which took place on August 8th. Fr Delaney was born in Dublin in 1883. He was educated in O'Connell schools and Mungret Apostolic School where he graduated as a BA in the old Royal University. In 1904 he entered the Society of Jesus at Tronchiennes Belgium. After Philosophy he taught for four years in St Aloysius College, Galle, Ceylon. Returning to Ireland for Theology he was ordained in Milltown Park in 1916. The following year he was appointed military chaplain and saw service in Flanders and France during the years 1917-19. At the end of the war he re turned to Ceylon where he remained until 1932. Here he was responsible for the building of St Mary's College at Kegalle.

In 1932 he returned to Ireland where he became an outstanding giver of Retreats and Missions. In 1944 he joined the staff at Gardiner St, where he remained till his death. In Gardiner St. he was Director of the Sodality of the Dublin Metropolitan Gardai and Director also of the Arch-Association for work for poor Churches. In his life his guidance was sought by all classes of people in the confessional. He was particularly successful in the direction of nuns. At his funeral the Guards formed a guard of honour in the Church, and acted as pall bearers. They whom he admired so much in life honoured him in death. RIP

Dennehy, Vincent, 1899-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/120
  • Person
  • 27 August 1899-30 April 1982

Born: 27 August 1899, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 31 August 1917, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 14 June 1932, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1935, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 30 April 1982, St Joseph's Nursing Home, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

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

by 1924 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1934 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 57th Year No 3 1982

Obituary

Fr Vincent Dennehy (1899-1917-1982)

My first glimpse of Vincent Dennehy was on 1st September 1919; he was a Junior preparing himself for the University; the place was Tullabeg. His singular carriage of his head and his red face singled him out from the others.
Ten years later in the theologate at Milltown Park we really got to know each other. He was a most helpful and thoughtful person. He was keen that all in the house should share in all that went on. When we revived the Gilbert and Sullivan operas at Christmas time he arranged to have a short play or sketch put before the G & S musical. This was done in order that those who were not singers might have a medium in which to entertain their fellow-students and guests.
He was ordained in Congress year, on 14th June 1932. The ordinations were early that year so that we might exercise the ministry to celebrate the bringing of the Gospel to Ireland by St Patrick.
Once the Congress got under way there followed a gruelling beginning to the priestly life in the Dublin churches; midnight often saw us returning from a day spent hearing confessions. It was an immediate and satisfying beginning to our priestly life.
A year later we were together in St Beuno's, North Wales, for our tertianship. This time of renewal was well spent in many acts of sharing and good-fellow- ship. Fr Vincent stood out in this respect and was always in good humour, so that despondent persons found in him a very rational and down-to-earth remedy for their worries.
He was always a man of principle and indeed his favourite argument in favour was always “the principle of the thing”.

A good human Jesuit of those days, untiring in doing good for others, and loyal to the Ignatian way.
At the Crescent, Limerick (1939-949), with Fr Bill Saul (d. 1976), he was involved in the revival of the Cecilian Musical Society in the 1940s. The daughter of the regiment was one of the shows staged by the CMS in those days.

From the time he was assigned to the duty of promoting the cause of Fr John Sullivan, Fr Vincent found a renewal of energy and a stimulating purpose. He really rejoiced in his close association with Fr John and during the many years of his apostolate of promotion he gained the co-operation and affection of a large number of persons. Vincent’s zeal for the work was infectious – so much so that he could and did enlist the help of a number of car owners; from them he formed a panel of drivers, each one pledged to call for him at 6.15 pm on the day of the week agreed upon. From that hour until 10 pm or later he was brought to hospitals and private houses to bless with Fr John's crucifix all who had been listed for that particular day. At a late snack between 10.30 and 11 one could be sure of meeting a very tired but happy Fr Vincent.
North of the Border there is widespread devotion to Fr John, and Vincent travelled there whenever he was wanted. He was in Belfast very shortly after the attempted murder of Bernadette McAliskey (née Devlin) and was delighted to have been called to bless the still unconscious young woman. That she recovered was, no doubt, due to Fr John's intercession, Vincent was so unsparing of himself and so utterly dedicated to his apostolate that he could be quite testy with anyone who seemed to impede or belittle the work. Nor would he allow Fr John to be second fiddle to anyone else however renowned for sanctity. If a patient had on display a picture of someone such as Padre Pio, Fr Vincent passed by! When Vincent's long suffering ended in death I am sure Fr John was at the gate to welcome his confrère and friend.

Devine, Charles, 1896-1964, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/740
  • Person
  • 02 August 1896-12 September 1964

Born: 02 August 1896, Dublin / Drogheda, County Louth
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly - HIB for Siculiae Province (SIC)
Ordained: 31 July 1925, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1932
Died: 12 September 1964, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

Transcribed SIC to HIB 1955 by Provincial Father M O'Grady

by 1927 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 3 1946
FROM OTHER PROVINCES :
Malta. (through Fr. Clarke) :
Fr. Devine had an operation for hernia. He hopes to leave Malta in August.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946
Fr. Charles Devine, a member of the Sicilian Province, who has spent over twenty years in Malta, arrived in Dublin in August.

Irish Province News 40th Year No 1 1965

Obituary :

Fr Charles Devine SJ (1896-1964)

Fr. Devine had just completed fifty years in the Society when he died in the Mater Hospital on 12th September. He had been there since the previous November, almost all the time confined to bed. Fr. Charles was born in Drogheda on 2nd August, 1896. He went to the Apostolic School, Mungret, in 1909, and from there to the noviceship in 1914. His noviceship was in Tullabeg, but he had entered for the Sicilian Province. As a boy he had been quiet, studious, serious, taking little part in games at Mungret. A few times he appeared on the stage, in non-speaking parts. In Tullabeg he was gentle, unobtrusive, contented, and used his free time industriously. He set himself the task of getting through the four or five large volumes of a work called The Catechism of Perseverence by Gaume, and completed it in the two years. Afterwards he enjoyed references to Gaume. Part of his time was claimed also by Fr. C. Mulcahy for choir practices as organist. He also played the piano well and accompanied at concerts. In a verse of a topical song, Fr. W. Long, a Maltese Tertian of the English Province, referring to some musical feat in which Charles had a part, finished by saying: “In fact it was devine”. Then and later, Charles would humorously quote A Kempis : “It is not hard to despise human comfort when we have devine”. During philosophy in Milltown also, Charles played the organ for the choir.
He, with eight or nine other Irish scholastics, began philosophy in Stonyhurst, but in the middle of the years 1917-18 they were called back to Ireland, and with a group from Jersey, continued their philosophy at Milltown.
For many years after philosophy the Irish Province saw little of Charles. His work was chiefly in Malta, teaching at St. Aloysius. College. For a short time he was at Palermo. He worked for some time in parishes in Preston and Worcester. Though his health by this time had become rather poor, he led a very busy life in the parishes, and had happy memories of these two places where he made many friends. From 1956 for five years, he was in the Crescent on the church staff, and directed the Bona Mors Arch confraternity and the Apostleship of Prayer, giving the monthly Holy Hour. He prepared very diligently for all his sermons. He left a great number of fully written sermons and much other writing. He wrote well and gracefully and with serious intent.
After a short stay in Manresa, Fr. Devine joined Gardiner Street community. He was not given long for work at the church. A minor stroke incapacitated his limbs, but left him full use of speech, hearing, and mental faculties, so that he could converse and read and keep in touch with life and with friends, and could also give an example of courage in bearing a very tedious illness.
He was able to be present at Fr. Maurice Dowling's jubilee celebration on 31st August, at Gardiner Street. He was brought into the refectory in a wheelchair and made a short and happy speech. A few days later an operation became necessary, which he did not survive. On 14th September he was buried in Glasnevin. Three of his fellow-novices, Frs. Tyndall, Paye and Quigley, officiated at the Solemn Requiem Mass in Gardiner Street. R.I.P.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1965

Obituary

Father Charles Devine SJ

Father Charles Devine SJ died in the Mater Hospital on September 12th. He had only just completed his fifty years in the Society.

Born in Drogheda in 1896, he came to the Apostolic School in 1908. While in Mungret he was quiet, serious and studious. He took little part in games. He played the piano well, however, and often played the organ.

In 1914 he went to the novitiate. He had elected for the Sicilian Province, so after philosophy he left for Malta. He taught at St Aloysius College. He spent some time also in Palermo. In later life as a priest he worked in parishes in Worcester and Preston.

In 1956 he returned to Ireland and was appointed to the community at the Crescent. He directed the Bona Mors Archconfraternity and the Apostleship of Prayer, and gave the monthly Holy Hour.

After a short stay in Manresa, he was sent to Gardiner Street. However, his time for further labours was short. A minor stroke incapacitated his limbs, A little later an operation was found necessary which he did not survive. Three of his fellow novices officiated at the Requiem Mass, Fathers Tyndall, Paye and Quigley. RIP

Devitt, Matthew, 1854-1932, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

Irish Province News 7th Year No 4 1932

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1933

Obituary

Father Matthew Devitt SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MFE

Dillon, Edward J, 1874-1969, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/801
  • Person
  • 05 September 1874-29 July 1969

Born: 05 September 1874, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
Entered: 20 May 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1910, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1912
Died 29 July 1969, Talbot Lodge, Kinsealy, Dublin

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

by 1900 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1902 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1911 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 3 1957

St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin
The most important event of the past quarter in Gardiner Street was Fr. Dillion's Diamond Jubilee, which was celebrated on 20th May. A large gathering of his near-contemporaries and those who had been stationed with him during his long and distinguished career in the Society agreed heartily with the felicitous tributes paid to the Jubilarian by Father Provincial and Father Superior and others. This is not the place for an advance obituary notice as Fr. Dillon himself would be the first to reckon our praise: but we cannot omit our tribute on behalf of Gardiner Street to all that he contributes both to our edification and our entertainment. His photographic memory ranges as easily from London in the nineties to Old Trafford in the fifties as from Beaumont to Mungret, and brings alive again all the Society stalwarts and “characters” of the past : our recreations would be vastly the poorer without his reminiscences and our link with the traditions of our predecessors very much the weaker. Withal he is still sturdily at the service of the faithful “ from the distinguished gentleman who will tell you - not that he goes to confession to Fr. Dillion - but that he “consults him professionally”, to the old ladies of seventy-five who are “worried about the fast”. Long may he continue with us!

Irish Province News 44th Year No 4 1969

Obituary :

Fr Edward Dillon SJ (1874-1969)

Fr. Edward Dillon died at Talbot Lodge, Blackrock on July 29th. He was within five weeks of his ninety fifth birthday, and was seventy two years in the Society. He was born in Dunlaoire on September 5th, 1874, and was educated at Belvedere, St. Gall's (Stephen's Green), Beaumont and Trinity College.
He entered the noviceship at Tullabeg on May 20th, 1897. Fr. James Murphy was his novice master.
For Philosophy he went to Vals, in the Toulouse province.
As a scholastic he taught for one year at Belvedere, one year at Clongowes, and three years at Mungret.
He did Theology, and in 1910 was ordained, at Milltown. His tertianship was at Tronchiennes, Belgium
In 1911 he went to Mungret as Prefect of Discipline. Two years afterwards he began a five year term as Minister at the Crescent. sometimes referred to as “the Dillon-Doyle regime”.
After a period of twelve years teaching at Belvedere, Fr. Dillon became Rector of Mungret.
Two years at Rathfarnham Retreat House followed. From 1938 till his death he was on the staff of St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, but for some years he was in the care of the Irish Sisters of Charity at Talbot Lodge,
Fr. Dillon's life stretched far into the past, and during his noviceship there were two priests, Frs. C. Lynch and P. Corcoran who were born about 150 years ago; but he was never out of touch with the present. He was never out of date or old-fashioned in his outlook or ways.
Fr. Dillon had a rare gift for dealing with boys. As Prefect in Mungret he made things go with a swing. He was generous in providing splendid equipment for the games. He improved the libraries and organised the “shop” so that the boys got good value. He was quick and energetic, and could join skilfully and cheerfully in any game. He was not severe, but had no difficulty in controlling boys, who had confidence in him and respected him.
It is recalled by a Father who was in the Community with Fr. Dillon during part of his long period of teaching at Belvedere, 1919-31, that he was an excellent teacher. He taught Honours Latin classes, but also during his teaching career he taught Greek and French.
He did not mix much with the boys outside class. He used to attend, in a class-room in the Junior House at Belvedere to enrol boys for membership of the Pioneer Association. There were no big meetings, big Notices, but “what went on behind those closed doors only Fr. Cullen (in heaven) knows”.
During this time at Belvedere he was very attentive to an invalid brother who lived at Clonsilla. He cycled out regularly to visit him.
In 1931 Fr. Dillon returned to Mungret as Rector. In 1932 he had a busy time organising celebrations for the Golden Jubilee of the College. He succeeded in gathering a great number of past pupils, among them some Bishops from America and Australia who had been Apostolic students, and were in Ireland for the Eucharistic Congress. He had a contemporary of his own, Fr. Garahy, to preach.
While in Mungret he got the College connected with the Shannon Scheme, dismantling the old power house, which had done its work. He also had the telephone installed! There was, no motor car in Mungret in those days, and one remembers Fr. Dillon frequently “parking” his bicycle at the Crescent when he visited the city.
From 1936-38 Fr. Dillon gave retreats at Rathfarnham.
From there he moved to Gardiner Street. He entered zealously into the various activities of the Church. He prepared carefully for preaching. His sermons were direct and practical. He had an easy fluency in speaking and a pleasant and clear voice; and he gained the people's attention as he leaned confidentially over the edge of the pulpit.
His preparation was also notable in another work which took much of his time, the instruction and reception of converts. A sister of his in the Convent next door, Sister Bride, also instructed many of the converts who were received at St. Francis Xavier's. Sister Bride was also well known as a “missioner”, visiting the district. Mountjoy prison was in her area of zeal, and she met and counselled many who were under the death sentence.
Fr. Dillon for some years gave the Domestic Exhortations, which he prepared carefully. Preparation, planning, foresight were in deed very characteristic in his life.
As a confessor he was a very busy man. He had a worldly wisdom that stood him in good stead, and many sought him out because of this. But he was a patient, kind and sympathetic priest, and a great favourite.
Community recreation was always the better and livelier for his presence. His easy manner, conversation and sense of fun enlivened the daily meetings.
For many years at Gardiner Street, he was still as active, alert and full of energy as ever. Games still interested him, though I do not think he went to watch them much. He was still keen on golf, and played it fairly often. His slight figure sped quickly around the course, and he came back with a healthy glow on his face from the outing.
His brother and other members of his family were interested and much engaged with horses and racing, and Fr. Eddie always kept a very remarkable interest in the important races. Even when, at last, sight and hearing were almost gone, he would try to pick up the story of the big races from the TV at Talbot Lodge.
In his last years Fr. Dillon won the admiration of all by the gentle, patient way in which he bore a life of great handicaps and discomfort, and quite an amount of pain. His many ailments did not seem to lessen the robustness of his heart and constitution; though he grew progressively more helpless, needing first one stick, then two, and at last almost unable to move from his bed.
His mind was certainly not affected by his ailments. He was quick to catch the subject of a conversation. He kept up his interest in the community and the Province. He had a great memory which enabled him to relate interesting episodes of the past, or to recount any news he had heard from visitors. He had, during life, made many constant friends, and some of them were able to keep contact with him to the end. His two nieces from Bray were most devoted to him. They visited him regularly, and he was deeply grateful to them, and also to the staff at Talbot Lodge who gave him such care and kindness.
Fr. Dillon was never an effusive man, in any sentimental way; but in the last months when, though still having use of his. faculties and clarity of mind, he felt he had not long to live, he let his appreciation of friendship shown him, appear very visibly. The prospect of the end he felt to be very near, seemed to make him glow with happiness.
Eternal life be his.

Dineen, Michael, 1883-1952, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/122
  • Person
  • 29 September 1883-31 July 1952

Born: 29 September 1883, Limerick City
Entered: 29 June 1905, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 08 September 1918, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 31 July 1952, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 27th Year No 4 1952
St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin :
Br. Dineen :
After a very short illness Br. Dineen died in the Mater hospital on St. Ignatius Day. On July 29th he was, as usual with his unfailing punctuality, at his post in the refectory at 10 p.m. On the 30th he was moved to the Mater hospital, where he received the Last Sacraments and died peacefully at 6 p.m. on the 31st. R.I.P.

Obituary :
Brother Michael Dineen

Br. Dineen's death on St. Ignatius' Day came rather unexpectedly. He had been ailing a few days previously at Gardiner Street. Early in July he had made the community retreat at Rathfarnham, and then spent a few days in his native city of Limerick. On his return he appeared to be in his usual good spirits, but on Tuesday, the 29th he had a sudden heart attack and was removed to the Mater Hospital where he received the Last Sacraments. It had not been previously known that he was suffering as well from diabetes in an advanced state, so that the insulin treatment he was given failed in its effect. He fell into a coma and, as the Angelus bell was ringing on the evening of the 31st he breathed his last.
Br. Dineen was born in Nicholas Street, Limerick on September 29th, 1883. Son of Patrick Dineen and Kate McDonnell, he was educated by the Christian Brothers. He served his full time as an apprentice to the bakery trade at Kiely's, Patrick Street and then worked as a baker at Tubridy's baking establishment, Limerick.
He entered the novitiate on June 29th, 1905 and had Fr. James Murphy as novice-master. After his first vows he remained on at Tullabeg as cook and dispenser till 1912 when he was transferred to Milltown Park. This office of cook he was to hold for an unbroken period of thirty three years in the various houses of the Province, from which fact we can judge of his high competence in the culinary art. He was cook and dispenser at Milltown from 1912 to 1913, in Rathfarnham from 1914 to 1918, in Belvedere College from 1919 to 1926, in Clongowes from 1927 to 1929, in Belvedere again from 1930 to 1933, in Tullabeg from 1934 to 1937, and finally at Mungret from 1938 to 1940.
After this record of service, not often surpassed in our Province, Br. Dineen's energy lessened, due to a decline in health of which, however, he never complained. At Milltown, to which he went when he ceased to be cook, he was occupied in the work of book-binding, under Br. Rogers, and helped also as infirmarian to the late Fr. Vincent Byrne. A familiar picture in those days was that of the good Brother wheeling Fr. Vincent in the grounds of the theologate and listening good humouredly to the nonagenarian as he declaimed with animation extracts from Shakespeare or perhaps Dante, in the original, or as he drew from the ready stores of a well-stocked memory.
From 1924 to 1944, when he was transferred to Gardiner Street, Br. Michael acted as assistant infirmarian in Clongowes. At Gardiner Street he appeared to take on a new lease of life and proved himself efficient and devoted to his tasks as dispenser and infirmarian. He also acted as collector at the church door on Sundays and Holidays and became a familiar figure to the crowds that thronged the Masses.
Br. Dineen never seems to have given a thought to his health and fought shy of doctors, with the result that he did not realise, nor did Superiors, how much his health had deteriorated with the lapse of years. When finally he was moved to hospital on his collapse, he gave great edification to all by the calm resignation with which he faced death. Ever interested in the Province and its activities at home and abroad, Br. Dineen served it himself faithfully and well.
May he rest in peace.

Donovan, Humphrey, 1807-1848, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1198
  • Person
  • 28 November 1807-27 September 1848

Born: 28 November 1807, Tralee, County Kerry
Entered: 22 September 1840, Tournoi, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1847
Died: 27 September 1848, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Most likely that he received his early education at Stonyhurst before Ent at age 33.

1843-1846 Prefect and Master at Clongowes
1846-1847 Studying Theology at Clongowes and teaching Irish.
He died comparatively young, being in his 41st year and 8th in the Society.

Donovan, John, 1931-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/764
  • Person
  • 08 February 1931-01 October 2008

Born: 08 February 1931, Woodford, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1978, Mount Street, London, England
Died: 01 October 2008, Newham University Hospital, Glen Road, London, England

St Margaret & All Saints' Church, Barking Road, Canning Town, London, England - Part of the Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1970 at St Ignatius, Tottenham London (ANG) working
by 1981 at Custom House, London (ANG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jack-donovan/

Fr Jack Donovan has died in London, a largely forgotten hero. He had worked in London for forty years, and on one occasion
volunteered for a parish that no other priest could handle. A parish priest had been convicted of child abuse, provoking understandable fury in the parishioners. In the spirit of the Ignatian Third Degree of humility Jack lived with the hatred, anger and resistance of the parish. In the end the people learned to accept this quiet, inarticulate, intensely private Corkman. He seldom appeared in Ireland, and eventually retired to be first a chaplain, then a resident in sheltered accommodation in London. Brian Grogan and other Jesuits will join his funeral next weekend.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/burying-jack-donovan-sj/

AMDG does not normally report funerals, but Jack’s was special. All through his life he had opted for obscurity. He was described at the funeral Mass as a “low maintenance
priest, a humble servant”. He was a voracious reader. He slept in a chair because his bed was buried under books; so was the gas metre in his sheltered accommodation – that nearly got him evicted. But his death brought out the crowds. London traffic was held up as the funeral procession walked for half an hour from St Anne’s church where he had been PP, to St Margaret’s where he died. His beloved Filipinos held an all- night vigil for him before the funeral, and escorted him to St Patrick’s Cemetery, the resting-place of the nuns immortalised by Hopkins in the “Wreck of the Deutschland”. May he rest there in peace.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 138 : Christmas 2008

Obituary

Fr John (Jack) Donovan (1931-2007)

8th February 1931: Born in Woodford, Galway
Early education in Kanturk Secondary School, Cork, and Mungret College, Limerick.
7th September 1949: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1951: First Vows at Emo
1951 - 1954: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1954 - 1957: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1957 - 1960: Belvedere - Teacher
1960 - 1964: Milltown Park - Theology
31st July1963: Ordained at Milltown Park
1964 - 1965: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1965 - 1966: Gardiner Street - Mission Staff
1966 - 1968: Rathfarnham - Assistant Director, Retreat House
2nd February 1978: Final Vows at Mount Street, London
1968 - 2008: London, England - Pastoral Ministry
1968 - 1998: Parish Priest, St. Anne's parish, London
1998 - 2008: Retired, but continued with pastoral work with the poor of London, particularly immigrants
14 October 2008: Died in London aged 77 years.

Paul Andrews writes:
The reason why Jack was born in Galway but grew up in Kanturk was that his father was a Garda, who was moved around. They were a large family, seven boys and two girls. Of these, Jack was closest to Tom, and used stay with him when on holidays. One brother became an Oblate priest, another a Columban, and a sister joined the Mercy nuns, taking the name of Loyola out of affection for Jack, who at that stage had opted for the Jesuits.

He had his early schooling with the Mercy nuns, then in a secondary school run by Mr and Mrs Kelleher. He read about the Jesuits - he was always a voracious reader - and declared his interest to Fr Tommy Byrne, then Provincial. At the Provincial's request, the Rector of Mungret accepted Jack for a year, to complete his Leaving Certificate, and so that Jack could get to know the Society better, and the Society get to know Jack better. The Provincial agreed to pay Jack's fees:”'I think that Seán deserves the chance to fulfil his vocation”. Big and strong, Jack made the senior rugby team as a second row forward, and reached the final of the cup.

When he entered Emo in 1949, he changed from Seán to Jack, and dropped the O' of his surname - a hint there of a residual tension with his father. Donal O'Sullivan welcomed this fellow-Corkman into his care. Fellow novice Tony Geoghegan remembers him as a gentle soul, a kind but shy person. They soldiered together through Rathfarnham, Tullabeg and Milltown. During his regency in Belvedere Jack volunteered for Japan “because of the state of Ireland”. This application was neither accepted nor supported by the Provincial, Luigi O'Grady. Five months later, in a letter to the incoming Provincial, Charlie O'Conor, Jack repeated his desire, and prayed “that my life in Japan be less useless than it has hitherto been”.

There is a hint here of huge frustrated longings. A bright mind, open to experience, disappointed in his scholastic success up to then (he had a breakdown during his UCD studies), was looking for broader horizons than were visible in the Ireland and Irish Province of 1959. He wanted to be on the frontiers. In 1960 he wrote to Father General volunteering again for the Japanese Mission, “having given the matter prayerful consideration for seven years”. Still no joy.

After ordination he went for two unhappy years to Rathfarnham Retreat House, where the Director failed to see his potential and reduced him to leading the Rosary. So he was 36 when, to his delight, Provincial Brendan Barry sent him on the English Mission. He worked for ten years in the Jesuit parish of Stamford Hill with a large West Indian population. He had a great way with them. He loved them and they loved him. His ministry in England gave Jack a new lease of life. Visitors to the parish house looked above all for Father Jack. He had discovered his strength, as a servant of the parishioners, with a huge heart for the most needy. His focus was always on his parishioners. He touched lives all over London.

When the parish of St Anne's, near London City Airport, ran into crisis (the PP had been convicted of child abuse, and the parishioners were understandably furious, at times stoning the presbytery in their anger), and a British Jesuit retreated from it after a few months, Jack volunteered to hold the fort. See Pat Davis's graphic account below of how Jack managed this difficult move. It was his finest hour. He looked after the beleaguered church for twenty years, and his tough kindliness slowly impressed the reluctant parishioners. One unsought ally turned up in the notorious Kray Brothers, who liked Jack, and made it clear that anyone who messed with Jack, messed with them.

Dermot Brangan visited him at St Anne's and remembers: “Jack was a great man for visiting the sick or the hospitalised, especially in the evenings. He told me in a simple but serious way that he was thinking of investing in a bicycle to help him get around more easily - but a bike costs money. He cooked for himself using the frying pan to rustle up meals that were mostly junk food – instant this and that. He probably never had a cook. About 20 years ago when I visited him I noticed that several of his teeth were missing and he did not seem to be in a hurry to do anything about the gaps. This must have played havoc with his already unclear diction. I suspect sermons were a cross for him, but he soldiered on, and the people loved and trusted him. He took phone calls at all hours. The house was in total, glorious chaos, with stuff piled up to the ceilings. And yet you could catch glimpses of the real man, Jack was a good priest. Praise and thanks be to the Lord”.

He built a new church for the parish, and faced the labour of begging funds for it in a circular letter in 1981:
“Berwick Road's new octagonal, unpretentious building was completed for the estimated £134,000 - all Bank Manager's money, Sunday congregations have now risen four-fold, but the weekend plate in these parts does not exactly brim over - £88 p.w.!”

Jack was easy with people, and loved gardening, but he was not good with money: he had no meas on it, except for giving it away. At his death, coins and notes littered the floor of his room. Nor was he good with machines. Computers remained a closed book to him. When his brother Tom tried to teach him to drive his car, Jack burned out the clutch. In London he bought himself a bicycle, but it was stolen and the parishioners bought him a car, but he could not manage it and gave it away. At the end of his life his closest friend said: “He gave everything away - except books. He lived in the spirit of the old Dean in Babette's Feast: ‘The only things we take with us from our life on earth are those which we have given away’.”

Jack remained intellectually ravenous, and bought books and magazines all his life. They so filled the presbytery at St. Anne's that in the end he took to sleeping in the church. He peppered the parish newsletter with quotations from Lonergan and Rahner, to the mystification of his flock. In the flat where he lived at the end of his life, he slept in a chair because his bed was buried under books; so was the gas metre, to the indignation of the gasman, who threatened to have him evicted.

There was a period at the end of his tenure of St. Anne's when Jack became a recluse. He was always open to his parishioners, but kept a distance from other clergy, including Jesuits. Jack feared to return to the Irish Province - he had a misconception that things would not have moved on from the time he had left, over thirty years before. He, who had been terrified of dogs from his childhood, got an Alsatian to guard the house. He neglected himself. His last visit to the dentist was at the age of six, and he began to pay the penalty for that in middle age. So in 1999 the bishop moved him into retirement - he was 68. In some desolation Jack tried a sabbatical, staying with his brother Tom; it only lasted one week.

A friend helped Jack to acquire a Council flat in sheltered accommodation, modest in size, but secure. For the last nine years of his life he continued his pastoral work from there, supported by the Warden, Irene Jackson, who became a close friend and admired him: “He was a great man, very gentie, made no demands on anyone, never said anything negative about anyone, and great love was shown him in return. It was a privilege to be with him”.

Two years ago he was hit by cancer, which resisted treatment. He lost an ear and joked that a dog had bitten it off. He recovered, and resumed work, but then developed colon cancer and began to pack up. He was happy to die and would not have wanted to be a patient. He was moved to Newham General Hospital where he had been the first Catholic Chaplain, and where he was anointed several times. He died there unexpectedly while sedated.

His death brought out the crowds. The British Provincial, Michael Holman, attended the Mass on the eve of the funeral. 24 priests concelebrated the funeral Mass on the following day. Fr Brian Grogan, representing the Irish Provincial, John Dardis, was principal concelebrant, and read a tribute from John at the start of Mass. The current PP of St. Anne's, Mgr John Armitage, preached the homily and spoke of this humble servant, this low maintenance priest. London traffic was held up as the massive funeral procession walked for half an hour from St Anne's church where he had been PP, to St. Margaret's where he died. His beloved Filipinos held an all-night vigil for him before the funeral, and escorted him to St. Patrick's Cemetery, the resting-place of the nuns immortalised by Hopkins in the “Wreck of the Deutschland”.

In his last years Jack saw much of the Filipino community and gained their trust and affection, travelling with them to many places. They looked after him as best he would allow. Leave the last word to them: “We have been privileged to know him, or at least to know about him. He lives in people's hearts. He will hardly be formally named a saint but surely is. He was a shy, quiet man with no great achievements, but there is more love and hope and goodness in the world because of him. We are glad for him, proud of him, miss him and look forward to meeting him again”.

Memories of Jack received from Pat Davis, Peter Faber House, Belfast:
I first met Jack in the autumn of 1974 when I came to join the community at Stamford Hill in North London. Jack was working in the St Ignatius parish and I was in my final year for the BD at Heythrop. There was a large Irish community at that time in Tottenham and Jack ministered to them as one of the staff on the parish. After finishing the Licentiate at the Greg I returned to London to teach at Heythrop and Campion House, Osterley in the autumn of 1979. I had heard from a priest friend of the Brentwood diocese, Fr Joe White, who I knew at Mungret, that Jack had gone to look after the parish at Custom House.

Fr Joe had been asked by his bishop to stand in at St Anne's Custom House for a weekend. In the early hours of the Sunday morning the shattering of glass woke Joe up. There was a mob outside hurling bricks through the windows and baying for the blood of the priest. Joe rang for the police immediately and they appeared promptly on the scene. It was only then that Joe was informed of the situation at Custom House. The mob was looking for the paedophile priest who had molested their children. The priest had already been arrested and was in custody. The crowd had not realised that Joe was not that priest.

The situation in the parish caused by the paedophile priest was grim to say the least. To make things even worse the Church building at Custom House had just been demolished due to shaky foundations as a result of war damage. So Custom House had no Church, the local Primary school Hall being used for the weekend masses. The bishop had difficulty in finding a priest to take over the parish and he approached the Jesuits for help. Jack very generously stepped into the breach and took over the parish.

I rang Jack and asked if I could be of help at the weekends and he was delighted for the help. So from autumn 1979 until I went to terianship in summer 1981 I helped out at Custom House with Jack. One of the things that helped in my relationship with Jack was the fact we had both been at Mungret. My fond memory of Jack was of a very shy man who was dedicated to his mission to those local people. He was a man wedded to a life of poverty both actual and spiritual and went about his work in a quiet determined but unassuming way.

The previous parish priest had abused not only the local catholic children but also the protestant children. Hence there was a great deal of hostility towards the Church there and the locals regularly stoned Jack's presbytery. At one stage Jack ran out of the presbytery and collared one of the children breaking his windows. He was reported to the police for assault but it came to nothing due to the understanding of the local police. Jack told me in that first year that the other local Church got more money for the flowers on their altar than the total amount in his collection each weekend. Jack was quite at home living a life of not only of spiritual poverty but real poverty.

During my two years there Jack visited the local parishioners regularly and built up the congregation slowly from a handful on Sunday to a sizeable number. His quiet unassuming simple manner won over the local community, He also had the job of overseeing the building of the new Church, which we moved into in early 1981. He was a huge support to the local primary school. He also worked hard at landscaping a garden outside the presbytery beside the Church, which became the envy of the neighbourhood.

A measure of his success in winning over the local resident both Catholic and Protestant was the year the East End club West Ham won the FA cup in the summer of 1980. Early on a the Sunday morning after the win the leaders of the local community approached Jack and asked him to adjudicate the children's fancy dress at the street party to celebrate the great victory. I attended with Jack and noticed how they went out of their way to make sure Jack had all he need in the way of food and attention. So within the two years I attended Custom House the people came to love and appreciate this humble Jesuit from Ireland.

He decided he would have a Corpus Christ procession around the local area. I had to admit I was sceptical of the outcome but to my pleasant surprise it was a huge success. Jack had the wisdom to realise that he could appeal to the faith of the parents in the area through their children who were keen to dress up their children for the procession and come to see them.

The first wedding in the new church was an Irish “travellers” wedding. The wedding ceremony was delayed due to the arrival of the police on the scene because of the traffic congestion caused by the travellers' lorries around the Church. I remember Jack pointing out to me as we awaited the bride coming down the aisle, that she was chewing gum. We had difficulty also accommodating her seventeen bridesmaids! The East Enders had experienced nothing like this before!!

Jack went on to be parish priest there for twenty years, building the parish from little or nothing to a very vibrant parish. Record keeping and timekeeping were not his strongest attributes but I can't help feeling that given Jack's personality, he was just the right man for St Anne's parish in Custom House in their hour of need.

Downing, Edmond, 1870-1933, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/128
  • Person
  • 03 December 1870-07 April 1933

Born: 03 December 1870, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 19 December 1887, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 02 August 1903
Final Vows: 15 August 1906, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 07 April 1933, St Bride's Nursing Home, Galway

Part of Jesuit community, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

2nd year Novitiate at Tullabeg;
Came to Australia for Regency 1893
by 1899 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1905 at St David’s, Mold, Wales (FRA) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Edmund Dowling entered the Society in September 1887, and after novitiate and juniorate at Tullabeg, was sent to Australia for regency at Riverview, 1893-98, which included two years as first prefect 1895-96.

Newspaper obituary, 1933.
Spent childhood in Galway and attended St Ignatius College, Galway.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 8th Year No 3 1933
Obituary :
Fr Edmund Downing

The Irish Province sustained another very severe loss by the death of Father Downing, which took place at St. Bride's Home, Galway, on the Feast of the Seven Dolours, 7th April, 1933. He was 63 years of age, and spent 46 of them in the Society.
About four weeks before his death he began to suffer from headaches, and after some days, prudence suggested his removal to hospital. It was not certain what was wrong, but a tumor on the brain was suspected. He was anointed on St. Patrick’s Day. For the last fortnight he was most of the time unconscious. Each day, however, there were intervals of consciousness, and, thanks to the kind and prudent arrangement of our Fathers, he received Holy Viaticum every day, except the actual day of his death.
Father Downing was born in Limerick, 3rd December, 1870, educated at St. Ignatius' College, S.]., Galway, and began his noviceship at Dromore, 19th September, 1887. The second year and a year's juniorate were passed. in Tullabeg, to which place the noviceship had been transferred, and then his health broke down. 1892 found him at Riverview “Cur. Val”, but for the next five years he seems to have done full work at that College. He made his philosophy at Jersey, theology at Milltown, then tertianship at Mold under Pére de Maumigny, and was then sent to the Crescent. After one year he was transferred to Galway in 1906, where he remained until his death. He was eight years Prefect of Studies, thirteen Spiritual Father, Doc. twenty-six, and, during that last residence in Galway a most strenuous worker in the church, and indeed all over the city.
The people gave him a public funeral. Most Rev. Dr. O'Doherty, Lord Bishop of Galway, presided at the Office and High Mass. During the funeral, houses were shuttered and
blinds drawn all over the city. In front of the hearse marched fifty priests, the Confraternities, Sodalities and school children followed it, then came a host of pedestrians, sixty-four cars bringing up the rear.
One of the public papers writes of him as follows : “In the confessional and to those in any trouble he was especially kind with a gentle, tactful, patient kindness. He might have made
his own the words of the Master - I know Mine and Mine know Me. He was a good shepherd, and he gave his life-work for the flock. He loved his own people, his own Order, and his country, and that triple loyalty was what made him the man, the priest, the friend we knew.
The wise counsellor in worldly affairs, the devoted confessor in the church and at the bed-side of the dying, he became a great figure in the religious life of the people. He knew no dividing line between rich and poor. His early experience as a first-class athlete had given his body a grace and dignity that made him a stately personality..... But all his great powers of body as well as mind were subordinated to and sanctified by the ever present realisation of his holy calling”.
A great Churchman, a sincere and devoted friend, his memory will long be revered in the Galway that he loved, and for which he had done good so unobtrusively and so constantly.
A Father who lived for a great many years with Father Downing sends the following. Limited space prevents the insertion of the entire communication :
It is not any exaggeration to say that the Irish Province, the community of which he was a member, the city where he laboured had sustained an almost irreparable loss. To know him was to know a saint , a more Christlike and more unselfish soul, and a more devoted priest it would be hard to find. As a member of the community he was loved, his presence at recreation always enhanced it. His sermons and instructions were highly appreciated, His thorough grasp of Moral Theology, his broad-mindedness, his prudence, his zeal and union with God, his patience and complete self-abnegation, all contributed largely towards the fruitfulness with which his long years in the sacred ministry were blessed. A few lines written by a lady give a sample of his influence on countless souls : “He gave me a rule of life over eighteen years ago which I have followed faithfully ever since. It has made my life very happy, and I hope, holy”.
When his remains were laid out in the house, rich and poor streamed in to have a last look, for they considered him a saint. At the obsequies, on April 9th, the church was thronged, and a few days later His Lordship, Dr. O'Doherty, assured one of the community that he had never witnessed a more devotional or more impressive funeral service.
During a visit to Dublin, in February, 1932, Father Downing slipped on the street and broke his leg. It never mended. When he returned to Galway he was able, with the help of
crutches, to drag himself to his confessional, and continued to hear confessions to within five weeks of his death, but from the day of the accident he was never able to say Mass. RIP

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edmund Downing SJ 1870-1933
Fr Edmund Downing was born in Limerick City on December 3rd 1870. He was educated in St Ignatius Galway, where he spent most of his life as a Jesuit, and where he became part and parcel of the City’s life. When he died on April 7th 1944 he was given a public funeral. The reason for this sign of esteem can be found in the tribute paid to him in the public press :
“He loved his own people, his own Order and his country, and that triple loyalty was what made him the man, the priest, the friend we knew. The wise counsellor in worldly affairs, the devoted confessor in the Church and at the bedside of the dying, he became a great figure in the religious life of the people. A great Churchman, a sincere and devoted friend, his memory will long be revered in Galway that he loved and for which he has done good so unobtrusively and so constantly”.

He was an authority on mystic prayer and contributed articles on that subject to various periodicals.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Edmund Downing (1870-1933)

A native of Limerick, educated at St Ignatius' College, Galway, entered the Society in 1883. After the completion of his studies, he was assigned to teaching and church work at the Crescent in 1905, but remained only a year after which he was appointed to Galway. Up to a few months before his death, he was on the teaching staff of St Ignatius', but is best remembered as an earnest worker in the church and a spiritual guide of eminence.

Doyle, Charles, 1870-1949, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/129
  • Person
  • 26 October 1870-15 June 1949

Born: 26 October 1870, Dalkey, County Dublin
Entered: 14 September 1889, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1905, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1908, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 15 June 1949, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

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

Brother of Fr Willie Doyle - RIP 1917

by 1893 at Exaeten College Limburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1895 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1896 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1907 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Took First Vows at Milltown Park February 1892

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.
We moved in on Saturday morning, 14th August. Fr, Superior (Fr. McCarron), Fr. Minister (Fr. Kearns), and Bro. E. Foley constituted the occupying force, and Fr. T. Martin not only placed his van at our disposal, but gave generously of his time and labour for the heavy work of the first day.
A long procession of vans unloaded until noon, when the men broke off for their half-day, leaving a mountain of assorted hardware and soft goods to be unpacked and stowed. By nightfall we had a chapel installed, the kitchen working, dining-room in passable order, and beds set up, so we said litanies, Fr. Superior blessed the house and consecrated it to the Sacred Heart.
Next morning Fr. Superior said the first Mass ever offered in the building. It was the Feast of the Assumption and a Sunday, so we. placed the house and the work under the Patronage of Our Lady and paused to review the scene. Fr. Provincial came to lunch.
The building is soundly constructed from basement to roof, but needs considerable modification before it can be used as a temporary Retreat House. The permanent Retreat House has yet to be built on the existing stables about 130 yards from the principal structure, but. we hope to take about twenty exercitants as soon as builders, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and decorators have done their work.
Fr. C. Doyle is equipping and furnishing the domestic chapel as a memorial to Fr. Willie, who worked so tirelessly for the establishment of workingmen's retreats in Ireland. A mantelpiece of this room has been removed, and thermostatically controlled electric heating is being installed. Lighting is to be by means of fluorescent tubes of the latest type.
With all due respects to the expert gardeners of the Province, we modestly assert that our garden is superb. Fr. Provincial was so impressed by the work done there that he presented us with a Fordson 8 H.P. van to bring the surplus produce to market. Under the personal supervision of Fr. Superior, our two professional gardeners took nine first prizes and four seconds with fourteen exhibits at the Drimnagh show. Twelve of their potatoes filled a bucket, and were sold for one shilling each. The garden extends over 2 of our 17 acres and will, please God, provide abundant fruit and vegetables.
From the beginning we have been overwhelmed with kindness: by our houses and by individual Fathers. Fr. Provincial has been a fairy-godmother to us all the time. As well as the van, he has given us a radio to keep us in touch with the outside world. We have bene fitted by the wise advice of Frs. Doyle and Kenny in buying equipment and supplies, while both of them, together with Fr. Rector of Belvedere and Fr. Superior of Gardiner Street, have given and lent furniture for our temporary chapel Fr. Scantlebury sacrificed two fine mahogany bookcases, while Frs. Doherty and D. Dargan travelled by rail and bus so that we might have the use of the Pioneer car for three weeks. Milltown sent a roll-top desk for Fr, Superior's use. To all who helped both houses and individuals we offer our warmest thanks, and we include in this acknowledgement the many others whom we have not mentioned by name.
Our man-power problem was acute until the Theologians came to the rescue. Two servants were engaged consecutively, but called off without beginning work. An appeal to Fr. Smyth at Milltown brought us Messrs. Doris and Kelly for a week of gruelling labour in the house. They scrubbed and waxed and carpentered without respite until Saturday when Mr. Kelly had to leave us. Mr. Hornedo of the Toledo Province came to replace him, and Mr. Barry arrived for work in the grounds. Thanks to their zeal and skill, the refectory, library and several bedrooms were made ready and we welcomed our first guest on Monday, 30th August. Under the influence of the sea air, Fr. Quinlan is regaining his strength after his long and severe illness.
If anyone has old furniture, books, bedclothes, pictures, or, in fact anything which he considers superfluous, we should be very glad to hear of it, as we are faced with the task of organizing accommodation for 60 men and are trying to keep the financial load as light as possible in these times of high cost. The maintenance of the house depends on alms and whatever the garden may bring. What may look like junk to an established house may be very useful to us, starting from bare essentials. Most of all, we want the prayers of the brethren for the success of the whole venture, which is judged to be a great act of trust in the Providence of God.
Our postal address is : Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 4 1949

Obituary

Fr. Charles Doyle (1870-1889-1949)

He was born on 26th October, 1870 at ‘Melrose’ Dalkey, Co. Dublin, the son of Mr. Hugh Doyle, an official of the High Court of Justice in Ireland. Educated at Ratcliffe College, Leicester, by the Fathers of Charity, where he spent six years, he entered Tullabeg on 14th September, 1889. After two years' Juniorate at Milltown, he did philosophy at Exaten and Valkenburg, Holland for two years and for one year at Enghien in Belgium, and then was master for six years at Belvedere College. He studied theology at Milltown where he was ordained on 30th July, 1905. His third Probation he made at Tronchiennes. He was professed of the four solemn Vows at Belvedere on 2nd February, 1908. A brief record entered up by him in the Catalogus Primus of the year 1930 contains the following summary of the offices he held prior to his appointment as Procurator of the Province in 1925 : "Proc. dom. an. 9: Min. an. 5 ; Soc. mag. nov. an. 3 ; Rect. an. 10.'' He was Rector of the Crescent from 1912 to 1918, then for a short year Rector at Rathfarnham Castle in 1919, where he was succeeded by Fr. John Sullivan, and Rector of Belvedere College from 1919 to 1922.
During the last year of his life Fr. Doyle was subject to many infirmities and had to go to hospital frequently, but despite this he carried on manfully at his appointed tasks and observed common life with edifying fidelity: He died at St. Vincent's Hospital on 15th June, 1949.

An Appreciation :
From the above rather bald and barren collection of dates and places certain events stand out with arresting interest in the life of Fr. Charles Doyle : that he held most of the offices of trust in the Society, that in addition to having been Minister, and Socius to the Master of Novices, he was three times Rector and for nearly 25 years held the onerous post of Procurator of the Province, that he died in his 79th year within a few months of his Diamond Jubilee, a man who can deservedly be reckoned among the “bene meriti" of his generation in the Society.
It would be impossible in a short appreciation such as this to do justice to the many aspects of such a long and varied career. All we can hope to do is to give a few impressions that may serve to describe in outline :
(1) The brother of Fr. Willie.
(2) The Procurator of the Province.
(3) The Man of God

The Brother of Fr. Willie :
The reason, perhaps, why Fr. Charles Doyle's name will be best remembered by posterity is because he was the brother of a saint, or at least of a candidate for canonization. One might add that it is the only pretext he himself would have advanced as a claim for immortality: His veneration for his brother was a veritable hero-worship, the advancement of his cause a holy obsession from which his mind never deflected. There were only three pictures in his room, all of Fr. Willie, as the youth, the young priest, the missioner and chaplain.
Some may see therein an excessive family glorification, but who that has ever read "Merry in God” could not feel "proud' of having had such a brother. Fr. Doyle moreover had additional reasons for sustaining his devotion, for be alone could measure, by a mail-bag that brought letters from every corner of the globe, the universal veneration in which his saintly brother was held, and as a consequence there was none more confidant than he that God willing, the day would eventually come when Fr. Willie would be elevated to the altars of the Church.
Procurator of the Province :
Only one who has held the office of Procurator for a considerable time can appreciate the monotony of the task, the unavoidably material outlook it engenders in the mind, and the intimate contact into which it brings one with the Mammon of Iniquity. It requires much agility of mind and sublimation of the mental processes to convert every figure entered in a ledger and every letter tapped out on a typewriter into an act of the pure love of God. Fr. Doyle, however, appears to have acquired this gift and perhaps also to have discovered therein a clue to the secret of the countless aspirations made by his saintly brother. For twenty-five years he held the office of Procurator of the Province and may without exaggeration be described as the Procurator “par excellence”. Under his skilful guidance the book-keeping of the Province and in the Province was re-organised and standardised. His own books were a model of neatness, accuracy and meticulous care.
He was approachable at all times and patient with all comers, even when they broke into the middle of a long tot or disrupted the counting of a sheaf of notes. For all his manner betrayed, they might only have disturbed him in a cross-word puzzle or a game of patience. He had a keen sense of humour too and enjoyed the good-humoured banter that from time to time was levelled against the hapless holder of his office. He enjoyed the bon mot of the facetious father who said that book-keeping in the Society should be labelled “leger de main” and every holder of the office provided with a treatise on that particular form of craftmanship. No one chuckled more wholeheartedly than he at the alleged quotation from a certain Domestic Exhortation : “In olden days a subject, starting on a journey, meekly approached his superior on his knees with a request for a paternal embrace and a blessing ; now he brazenly beards the Bursar on his hind-legs with a demand for treasury notes and a voucher!”
As a " distraction” from the work of book-keeping he turned his attention to the task of censorship. For over twenty years the words “Censor Deputatus, Carolus Doyle”, were wont to meet the eye on most of the Province and Messenger Office publications. Not that this implied that he had read through everything that bore his sanctioning name on the title page, for presumably even a Censor Deputatus can appoint a deputy in his place. Such was certainly the case with “Carolus Doyle, Censor Deputatus” of many publications in the Irish language, his knowledge of which he could frankly confess was practically nil!
But book-keeping remained his paramount care. Three times within the last twelve months of his life he was compelled to go to hospital and on each occasion he insisted on bringing all the essential paraphernalia of his office with him. Perhaps, it may be urged, he acted unwisely in so doing and should have accepted the services of an “adjutant”, but error, if error there was, was one of judgement, that only served to emphasize his outstanding devotion to duty and his desire to carry out his “job in life” even to the end.
The Man of God :
But the dull routine of book-keeping did not damp his ardour for spiritual things or lessen his desire to take a share in the work of the Ministry. As a young priest and even well past middle age he was recognised as one of the outstanding preachers of the Province, distinct in delivery, sound of doctrine and above all with a telling way of driving home the truth, however unpalatable to his hearers. His Lenten lectures on “The Home” were said to have reached a financial peak, even for that famous annual feature in Gardiner St., though he himself would have been far from using such a measuring rod as a test of their success.
Every year, until his failing health compelled him to reduce the numbers, he gave from four to five retreats and only twelve months ago, in his seventy-eighth year, with sentence of death hanging over him, he conducted a priests retreat, which many a younger man would have hesitated to undertake. The “tableaux vivants”, which were a marked feature of his retreats did not win universal appreciation, but none could question the zeal and sincerity which inspired them.
Except for the purpose of giving retreats and making the annual audit of the accounts of the Province (”Praecursor Visitationis” was one of his soubriquets) he never wandered much abroad and agreed with Thomas A. Kempis “that they who do so seldom thereby become holy”. Indeed, his room was his castle and his only regular wanderings therefrom were for the purpose of making a lodgement in the bank or having a friendly interview with the Income Tax Commissioners.
For the rest, he was the “beau ideal” of Common Life. An early riser with an early Mass every morning, a man who never missed recreation or Litanies (and how grateful some tired father was when he recited them in his stead on a confession day), a man who always answered the first sound of the bell, leaving not only the letter but the figure unfinished, a man who sang his simple song on Christmas night but who also, despite every pretext, always went to bed in good time.
He was not without his idiosyncrasies, however (as what holy man is not?) and it was said of him, as of others who regulate their lives with clock-like precision, that he looked askance at those who, he suspectedwere ready to throw a spanner in the works of what they regarded as excessive routine rigidity. There were occasions too, when he could be exacting to a degree, as his companions knew to their cost. He was notoriously allergic to noise. His hearing was so acute that ever the winding of a watch or the striking of a match was said to reach his ears from overhead and woe betide the man who dropped his boots above him! No time was lost in admonishing the boot dropper, yet it was done in such a disarming fashion that no feud ensued - but the boots ceased dropping!
But, if he could be exacting at times, he was ever ready to make allowance for the foibles of others and never completely lost the human touch himself. His partiality for sweet things, even in old age, was such as would have given serious cause for alarm in the case of a school boy, and even a youngster might have envied the gusto with which he pursued the daily adventures of “Gussie Goose and Curley Wee”. “Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto”, might have been his motto, but “Merry in God” would be more appropriate and could be applied to him with the same aptitude as it was to his saintly brother. For beneath all his merriment lay an abiding sense of the Presence of God.
In that presence he closed his accounts with a smile on his face. If ever he had an overdraft in the Bank of Heaven, it has long ago been converted to a comfortable credit balance, and if his spiritual petty cash did not always balance, 'twas only a matter of pence which the great Auditor assuredly has long since overlooked. May his saintly life and simple merriment long continue to be an inspiration to all those. who are destined for the unenviable task of having care of the purse.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Charles Doyle 1870-1949
Fr Charles Doyle was born in Dublin on October 24th 1870. He entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1889. He made his Philosophical studies at Valkenburg, his Theology at Milltown Park, and his tertianship at Drongen in Belgium.

His life in the Society was spent in offices of administration, being Minister for five years, Rector for ten, and Procurator of the Province for the last twenty-five years of his life.

He was the elder brother of Fr Willie Doyle, whose life he wrote “Merry in God”, and for whose beatification her worked hard for many years.

He was an exemplary religious, an excellent member in community, and he was noted especially for his unfailing cheerfulness. In his personal life he practiced a constant severity or even austerity. Outside the Society he was well known for his Lenten Lectures delivered in Gardiner Street. As a Retreat giver he was much sought after.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1950

Obituary

Father Charles Doyle SJ

Father Charles Doyle died in St. Vincent's Nursing Home on 15th June, 1949, after a long illness patiently endured. He was born at “Melrose”, Dalkey, in 1870, and was the son of the late Mr. Hugh Doyle, an official of the High Court of Justice in Ireland. His early education was with the Fathers of Charity, Ratcliffe College, Leicestershire, where he spent six years. He had very kindly recollections of his school-days and he kept in touch with the Ratcliffe Father's up to his death last year. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1889, and passed through the various stages that the Order requires of its members - two years' novitiate in Tullabeg, two years' juniorate at Milltown Park, three years, philosophy at Valkenberg, Holland, and Enghien, Belgium, six years, teaching at Belvedere College, four years, theology at Miiltown Park, where he was ordained priest in 1905. He completed his religious training by doing his “Tertianship” or third year at Trouchiennes, Belgium.

He held responsible and important positions in the Order during his life as a priest. Immediately after his Tertiarship he was appointed Assistant Master of Novices at Tullabeg. He was Rector of Crescent College, Limerick, from 1912 to 1918, of Rathfarnham Castle in 1919, where he was succeeded by the late Father John Sullivan. He returned to Belvedere College as Rector for the next three years. From 1925 until his death twenty-four years later he was the Provincial Bursar, having charge of the accounts of the Irish Province.

Fr Charles Doyle was a brother of the late Father Willie Doyle, the well-known and saintly chaplain, who was killed in 1917 during the first world war, while administering to the soldiers on the battlefield. His admiration for his chaplain brother amounted almost to hero-worship. He laboured assiduously in collecting evidence of his brother's sanctity and he kept a list of all the favours obtained through his intercession. He was responsible for the publication of a life of Fr Willie called “Merry in God”, which was read all the world over. There were only three pictures in Father Doyle's bedroom, and they were all of Fr Willie at various stages of his career - as a young boy, as a young priest and as a chaplain.

As has already been stated, he was the Provincial Bursar for twenty-five years. But as well, at other stages of his career he was put in charge of the accounts and finances of a few of the Houses of the Irish Province. He had a great aptitude for this kind of work. Under his direction and advice the account books and all the book-keeping of the Irish Province was improved and reorganised. His own account books were perfect models of nreatness, accuracy and the greatest care. His interest in his work was very great, for instance, he had to go to hospital three times during the last year of his life. On all three occasions he insisted on bringing his account books with him. He certainly remained in harness and at his post up to the very end of his life.

He was above all a fervent religious and a man of the highest spirituality. He was a great model to all by his piety, his self-denial, his observance of rule and his observance of common life. He rose at 5.30 every day, said an early Mass and attended all the Community duties day after day with the greatest regularity. He avoided all exemptions even when his health was in a very precarious state. With all this he had a keen sense of humour, and enjoyed the good-humoured banter which is so often found in Community life. He was approachable at all times and most ready to oblige. Every year until his health gave away he spent his summer vacations in giving several retreats to priests and nuns. The retreats were greatly appreciated and are still well remembered by those who made them. About a year before his death he conducted a Priests Retreat in spite of his 78 years of age. He was also an eloquent preacher. His voice was pleasing and distinct, and as might be expected from such a man, his sermons were always most carefully prepared. On one occasion he gave a series of Lenten Lectures in Gardiner Street on the “Home”, and they drew great crowds from all parts of the city and country. These Lectures of his are regarded as among the best that were preached in Gardiner Street. And that says a great deal because the Lenten Lectures were given by some of the most distinguished preachers of Ireland and England,

He was an excellent teacher, but very strict. Some past Belvederians have still vivid recollections of his strictriess as a master. But his strict methods were tempered by kindness and justice, so that the boys had a great respect and veneration for him. As Rector of Belvedere he did much for the College. The number of students increased during his term of office, and as might be expected from his genius in the administration of temporal affairs the finances of the College greatly improved. The games also flourished under his jurisdiction. During the period he was Rector the Belvedere Team made some bold bids to win the Senior Cup, and they succeeded in winning the Junior Football Cup. Foundations were being laid for the excellent teams that Belvedere has put into the field ever since.

Father Doyle is survived by his brother Mr Robert Doyle, KC, former Recorder of Galway, to whom we extend our deepest sympathy. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Charles Doyle (1870-1949)

Born at Dalkey and educated in England, entered the Society in 1889. He pursued his higher studies in Valkenburg, Enghien and Milltown Park, Dublin where he was ordained in 1905. During his life, Father Doyle occupied many positions of trust. He came as master to the Crescent in 1911 and was appointed Rector of the College the following year. Father Doyle's rectorship at the Crescent was passed in difficult times: the college was badly in debt and, owing to the short supply of Jesuit masters, the task of main taining the school was onerous in the extreme. During his six years here, he was a strenuous worker in the classroom and the church. On leaving the Crescent, he was successively Rector of Rathfarnham Castle and Belvedere College. The last twenty-five years of his life were spent in the exacting work of bursar of the Irish Jesuit Province. During his last years, he published (anonymously) a biography of his celebrated brother, Father Willie Doyle.

Doyle, Martin, 1809-1880, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1215
  • Person
  • 11 November 1809-19 February 1880

Born: 11 November 1809, County Kildare
Entered: 02 February 1843, Clongowes Wood College, Naas, County Kildare
Final Vows: 25 March 1859
Died: 19 February 1880, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He did not join the Society until his 36th year, having spent years before this as a Postulant at Clongowes.
He was one of the most remarkable of the Irish brothers, as he was a most saintly religious. He worked as a carpenter in any place where a Church or House was being erected.
The closing years of his life were spent at Gardiner St, where he gave great edification to all who came to the Church, through his spirit of piety and work. He constantly recommended a devotion to St Joseph. His death at Gardiner St was like his life, truly edifying, and he died 19 February 1880

Duffy, Patrick J, 1814-1901, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/130
  • Person
  • 22 May 1814-27 July 1901

Born: 22 May 1814, Booterstown, Dublin
Entered: 15 August 1834, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 26 March 1848, Rome, Italy
Final vows: 15 August 1867
Died: 27 July 1901, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia

by 1847 in Rome studying
by 1853 at Vals France (TOLO) studying to 1854
by 1856 in Crimea to 1857
Came to Australia 1888

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After First Vows he was sent to Rome and France for studied, being Ordained in Rome 26 March 1848.
1851 He was Minister at Clongowes under Michael A Kavanagh.
1854 He was sent as Chaplain to the Forces in Crimea, a mission he really liked, and where he had full scope for his zeal and charity.
After he returned from Crimea he was sent teaching at Clongowes for some years, and then sent to Gardiner St, where he worked for 29 years.
At Gardiner St, sinners were converted. Many who were caught up in the world saw a different path, and the sick and destitute were visited with great care. Those who hear him Preach, especially at a “Reception” or “Profession” of a nun were hugely impressed by his sincerity. It was said that when he recited the “Hail Holy Queen” after Mass, it was as though he were speaking directly to the Blessed Virgin.
1879 He got a serious illness, and was ordered by doctors to complete change and rest. So, he was sent abroad for six months. he was a great letter writer, and his letters home during this six months contained glowing accounts of his experiences and vivid descriptions of the places he visited. On visiting Lourdes he spoke of his own delight at saying Mass there and was completely captivated by the Basilica : “Nor could you look at it, and walk through it leisurely, as I did on yesterday, without feeling that it was a work of lover - a work, I mean, of persons who had both the will to do it, the money and the skill, and who, prompted by an irresistible feeling of faith and love, and gratitude, were determined to stop at nothing!” During this six months, he visited Paray-le-Monial, Annecy and Switzerland as well, and eventually returned to Gardiner St, with an immense sense of gratitude for having been given the opportunity. He always communicate gratitude easily, and made good friends. Though some timed thought of as somewhat “rough and ready” he was an immensely sympathetic man, and he was clearly a diamond, who cared for anyone in trouble especially.
Following his experience of illness and the sense of gratitude, he was invited to consider going to Australia. He would have declined at an earlier time, so wrapped in his work and relationships. His response at this relatively late stage in life was “Come soldier! here’s a crowning grace for you - up and at it! Away from your country and friends, away off to the far off battlefield of Australia - a land you won’t like naturally, but in which I wish you to finish the fight! Fear not, I’ll give you the necessary strength, and only be a plucky soldier you, and show me what stuff is in you!”
1888 he arrived in Australia and straight away to St Ignatius, Richmond, and gave a series of Missions from there. He was then sent to St Mary’s North Shore. And so it was until his death, Retreats and Missions were his works.
He was a great enemy to self, and when advising on how to be happy he would say “Forget yourself, this is the secret. Think of Christ and His Cause only and leave the rest to Him!” He had great common sense too. He was entirely military in his ideas, and plenty of military references in his ordinary writing and publications, as seen in “The Eleven-Gun Battery, for the Defence of the Castle of the Soul”.
He had just concluded his own retreat and was conducting one for the Sisters of Mercy at Fitzroy, when he turned on his ankle coming downstairs and fractured his hip. He had an operation, but got up too quickly and had a recurrence, and pneumonia having also set in he declined rapidly. He suffered a lot of pain, but bore it with patience, and his end was calm and peaceful on 27 July 1901 aged 88. His funeral took place at St Ignatius, Richmond with a huge crowd in attendance. His desired epitaph was “Here lies one that did a soldier’s part”.

Note from William Ronan Entry :
A Few years after his Novitiate he went with Fr Patrick J Duffy as a Chaplain in the Crimean War, where he worked for more than a year in the hospitals of Scutari Hospital (of Florence Nightingale Fame in the Istanbul Region) and other Military stations.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Duffy 1814-1901
In Australia on July 27th 1901 died Fr Patrick Duffy in the 88th year of his life and the 67th of his life in the Society. He was born in Dublin on May 22nd 1814 and entered the Society in 1834 at Stonyhurst.

After his ordination he was sent as a chaplain to the British Forces in the Crimean War in 1854, an event which was destined to colour his spiritual life and writings for the rest of his life.

After his return from the War, he spent upwards of 29 years of fruitful and zealous work as Operarius at Gardiner Street. As a preacher he was renowned for his earnestness and sincerity, and it is related of him that he recited the “Hail Holy Queen” after Mass, as if he spoke to the Blessed Virgin there present, so earnest was the tone of his voice.

In 1879 after a severe illness, he was sent by Superiors on a tour of the continent for six months. He had a facile pen and left us lengthy and vivid impressions of the various places he visited.

At the advance age of 74, when most men would be thinking of retiring and preparing fore the end, Fr Duffy volunteered for the Australian Mission. What was it that induced him to take this up. He himself reveals the reason in a letter written to a friend some years later :
“Oh, dear me! Had I hesitated when I got the invitation years ago, to break the remaining ties and quit all, what an unhappy man, comparatively speaking, I should be today! I saw then what I see now, the mercy which said ‘Come Soldier, here’s a crowning grace for you, up and at it. Away from your country and your friends. Away to the battlefield of Australia - a land you won’t like naturally, but in which I wish you to finish the fight”.

For about fourteen years he worked unceaselessly on missions and retreats throughout Australia. He always regarded these as “campaigns” and conducted them as “pitched battles”, due to his experiences as a chaplain.

In 1887 he embodied his ideas of the spiritual life in a booklet entitled “The Eleven Gun Battery for the Defence of the Castle of the Soul”, to which is added “A Day-book for Religious of the Art of leading in Religion a holy and happy life, and dying as a certain consequence a holy and happy death”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1902

Obituary

Father Patrick Duffy SJ and Father Charles Walshe SJ

We regret to announce the deaths of two Jesuits long connected with Clongowes both as boys and masters-Father Patrick Duffy and Father Charles Walshe.

Father Duffy died at the ripe old age of 88 in Melbourne, Australia. He entered Clongowes as a boy in 1829 and having passed with distinction through the various classes, he joined the Novitate of the Society of Jesus in 1834. Early in his priestly career he was sent out as chaplain to the forces during the Crimean war, a mission which was peculiarly agreeable to him, and to which in after years he often referred with pleasure. He was beloved by the soldiers an Irish regiment - and on one occasion it is said that they refused to march unless their chaplain were allowed to accompany them. He had a fine, manly, soldierly spirit, a most guileless nature, and he was full of ardour. He was for many years on the staff at Clongowes, and later at St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin. As late in life as his 70th year he volunteered to give his Services to the Australian Mission, where he worked till the end with the zeal and zest of a
youthful beginner.

Dunne, James, 1921-2014, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/845
  • Person
  • 22 May 1921-07 November 2014

Born: 22 May 1921, Kilbeggan, County Westmeath
Entered: 07 November 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final vows: 02 February 1960, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 07 November 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969; ZAM to HIB 1979

by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
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.

Note from Joe McCarthy Entry
In the late 50s, Joe pioneered the Chivuna Mission where he built the community house, church and Trade School with the co-operation of Br Jim Dunne and won the esteem and affection of the people in the locality

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 158 : Winter 2014

Obituary

Br James (Jim) Dunne (1921-2014)

22 May 1921: Born in Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath.
Early education at Rahugh National School and CBS Tullamore.
Worked in the family business
7 November 1949: Entered the Society at Emo
8 November 1951: First Vows in Zambia
1951 - 1959: Chivunia Mission, Zambia – Teacher in technical and building skills
1959 - 1960: Manresa, Roehampton - Tertianship
1960 - 1974: Bishop's House, Monze - Builder
2 February 1960: Final Vows at Chikuni
1974 - 1981: Belvedere College - Minister
1981 - 1983: CIR - Secretary to the College
1983 - 1985: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street - Minister; Supervisor of staff
1985 - 1987: Tullabeg - Minister
1987 - 1988: Tullabeg - Sabbatical; studying Theology at Milltown Institute
1988 - 1995: Milltown Park - Treasurer
1995 - 1999: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street - Assisted in the church
1999 - 2007: Milltown Park - Assisted in the Community
2007 - 2014: Cherryfield Lodge – Prayed for the Church and the Society

Brother Jim Dunne was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 13th July 2007. He was a happy resident and enjoyed fairly good health over the years. His condition deteriorated over time and he died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

On Friday, 7th November 2014, Brother Jim Dunne, a member of the Milltown Park community, died at Cherryfield Lodge, at the age of 93 years and several months - a monumental age for a man of many monuments. Always a man of few words, Jim became more quiet-spoken as the years advanced. But underneath this quiet exterior lay a deeply spiritual man whose longings and desires were always for the Lord and how he could use his talents to make the love and service of Christ our Lord a reality in his own life, as well as in the lives of his fellow-Jesuits and the many individuals whom he encountered during his many years with us.

From the very beginning of his religious life, Jim was a rock-solid man of God. Very early witness to this was the trust that the Irish Provincial, Fr. Tommy Byrne, placed in him by sending him in his second year as a novice to Northern Rhodesia, to what was then a newly developing world for Irish Jesuits. Jim was just over 30 at the time, mature in years but still grappling with the beginnings of the religious life. However, there was no need for any fear about the depth of his commitment. His solid spirituality stood by him through the long sea and rail journey from London (via Cape Town) to Chisekesi and on to Chikuni, where he arrived early in September 1951, and during the months of learning Chitonga in the somewhat spartan conditions that then prevailed. And it never deserted him after he took vows in Chikuni on the feast of St. Stanislaus Kostka later that year. This gave Jim the remarkable distinction of being the only Irish Jesuit ever to take his First Vows in what today is Zambia. He reaffirmed his Jesuit commitment on 2nd February 1960 when he took his Final Vows, again at Chikuni.

Endowed with great practical intelligence, Jim brought into the Society a wide range of skills developed and exercised in the family's workshop not far from Tullamore. Construction, artistic brick-laying, carpentry, joinery, plumbing, electrical work – he took all of these in his stride, almost as if they were second nature to him, and yet he was always prepared to learn more from those who were more qualified than he was. Jim was also a gifted manager, with a flair for organising and getting the right people, with the right tools and equipment, into the right place at the right time. His ability to give directions simply and effectively, and his own manifest skills, helped greatly in building up confident teams of proficient and well-motivated building workers. Working with and through these, Jim became key to building-development in what was to become the Diocese of Monze. But in addition to the buildings that bear his stamp even today, Jim also left a great monument in the skills that he passed on to the local people with whom he worked. He was very particular that anything he turned his hand to should be of the highest quality and he always tried to make sure that his trainees and workers would also be concerned not just with getting a job done but with getting it done to the highest possible standards.

One of Jim's earliest assignments was to develop and run with Father Joe McCarthy the Civuna Trades Training Institute (TTI). In time, the TTI gave way to a secondary school for girls, but not before, under Jim, it had qualified several hundred first-rate carpenters and brick-layers who fanned out to bring building development across much of the southern part of Zambia. Later, when the Diocese of Monze was established, Jim became in effect its building manager, working closely with Fr. Fred Moriarty and others in the development of Kizito Catechetical Centre, churches, parish houses, schools, and houses for teachers and catechists.

In the strangely coincidental ways in which God's providence works, another Jesuit Brother from the Irish Province came to Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) in 1952, one year after Jim's arrival in Chikuni. This was Pat McElduff who in his younger years had done some of his apprenticeship as a tradesman in Rahugh on the borders of Westmeath and Offaly where, in the years before he joined the Jesuits, Jim himself had been trained. The two knew each other from these early years and now they found themselves working together again, this time on a larger canvas. And almost after the manner of the Apostles Peter and Paul, building responsibilities were assigned to them in different ways: Jim became responsible for all projects that belonged to Monze Diocese, while Pat took on those that belonged to the Jesuits (or Chikuni Mission). As a result of this arrangement, for the last period of his life in Zambia, from 1960 to the time of his return to Ireland in 1974, Jim lived in what was to become the Bishop's house in Monze. While he was happy there and got on very well with Bishop Corboy and the rest of the community, at times he felt almost out of his depth and yearned for more interaction with the fellow-Jesuits he had lived with in earlier days. In the way of many quiet people, things sometimes got through to Jim, making him feel that bit down in himself. However, as a solid religious man, he would not let this interfere with his commitment as a hard working Jesuit but would eventually regain his equilibrium through his prayer, work, community involvement and, sometimes, rest and better physical health.

Jim was a very agreeable companion, one who was easy and enjoyable to live with. He was quiet in his manner but this did not stop him enjoying a game of cards, a good movie or the comradeship of a walk in the evening with one of the community. He was greatly loved by the Batonga people among whom he worked and is particularly remembered for the concern he showed that their marriages be happy and stable and that their children attend school. He showed special kindness and understanding towards Jesuit scholastics newly arrived in the country and was particularly attentive to their health needs; many a young Jesuit received gentle but firm admonitions from him about taking their anti-malaria medicines or wearing a hat until acclimatised to the sun.

Ironically, it was malaria that brought Jim's years in Zambia to a close. He contracted fever in days long before Artemesin or other drugs could provide powerful protection. Though frequently quite unwell, he continued with his work as best he could, but in time developed a recurrent form of malaria that was intractable to treatment. In the circumstances, the Holy Rosary Doctor-Sisters (Lucy O'Brien, Maureen O'Keeffe, Eileen Kane) advised that he return permanently to Ireland, because remaining in Zambia would always mean serious health problems for him.

So it was that after 23 years in Zambia, from 1951 to 1974, Jim returned to Ireland and was re-incorporated into the Irish Province. Until his mid-80s he was busy, a wonderful man to have on your side, practical and resourceful, moving where he was needed, always concerned about those around him; ever seeking perfection in anything undertaken by him or any of those for whom he was responsible; and always, simply always, a solid man of God, devoted and faithful to his religious duties, serving the God he loved through what he could still do, building up others through his sympathetic and understanding nature. Jim, sparing of speech, gentle and perceptive, contributed massively to the smooth running of the five Irish houses in which he served. These were not always the havens of peace one would like to imagine. Belvedere, where he was Minister for seven years, was a settled (I nearly wrote entrenched) community, hard-working but not easy to administer. If Jim was quiet, he was also alert, and concerned about everyone around him. From his sick bed in Cherryfield he would admire and appraise the craft of workmen in the building opposite. His regular greeting of How are you? was no formality. He wanted to know. No wonder he is missed. May God be good to this deeply spiritual Jesuit.

Michael J Kelly

Dunne, Patrick, 1844-1913, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1237
  • Person
  • 29 June 1844-07 November 1913

Born: 29 June 1844, Loughtown, County Kildare
Entered: 12 November 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1888, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 07 November 1913, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After First Vows he remained at Milltown for some years and was then sent to Gardiner St. Later on he was sent to Mungret, and shortly before his death to Tullabeg.

During the thirty-six years he spent in the Society, he was engaged chiefly in farm work, except during his stay at Gardiner St. One always felt confident that whatever he had charge of was sure to be discharged faithfully. He was a very humble man, never sparing himself and always ready to oblige. Ever fond of a harmless joke and a quiet laugh - he had many friends, especially amongst our scholastics, who enjoyed his quaint wit.
During the last year of his life he suffered much from rheumatism and was compelled to withdraw himself for active occupation. His piety was in keeping with his character - simple. He loved his Rosary and the hearing of Holy Mass.
He has left a memory of a hard worker, ready to assist everyone, and also a man of great faith and deep piety.

Durnin, Dermot, 1913-1980, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/132
  • Person
  • 11 January 1913-06 December 1980

Born: 11 January 1913, Clontarf, Dublin
Entered: 18 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 06 December 1980, Tenerife, Spain

Part of St Francis Xavier's community, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin.

Younger brother of Des - RIP 1982

Irish Province News 56th Year No 1 1981
Gardiner Street
A week after Dermot Durnin’s death, we are still stunned by the fact. He and his quick wit will be missed very much, not only by his brethren here but also, grievously, by his “ladies” in St Monica’s. He had built up such a cheery relationship with every one of them and used to give them so much of his time that the news was really shattering and has left them still bewildered. At least they must have been comforted by the send-off we gave him: 65 priests concelebrated the Mass in a crowded church. One of the congregation remarked that the ceremony was “heavenly”. (One of the community was overheard wondering aloud if Dermot was digging his friend Pearse O’Higgins in the ribs and begging him to “tell that one again”.) His totally Christian attitude towards death, an attitude of joyful anticipation, prevents us from grudging him his reward, though this doesn't diminish our sense of loss.

On 22nd December, Fr Mark Quigley slipped away from us to make his way to Heaven: requiescat in pace! It was typical of him that his departure was so quiet and peaceful as to be almost unnoticed. When he did not get up that morning, it was found that he was only half-conscious and had the appearance of approaching death. The doctor confirmed that he had only a few hours to live. Many of the community visited him during the morning and prayed with him and for him. Though he could not speak clearly, when asked if he would like the prayers for the dying to be said, by nodding his head he acknowledged his awareness of imminent death. Just about half an hour before he died, he succeeded in pulling his crucifix up to his lips and kissing it. Three of us were with him when he breathed his last gentle breath, without the slightest sound or struggle.
Go ndéanaí Dia trócaire ar a anam mín mánla.

Obituary
Fr Dermot Durnin (1913-1931-1980)
It would of course be presumptuous to attempt to evaluate another Jesuit's quality or achievements. I only wish here to express my appreciation of Dermot Durnin. I knew him well early in his Jesuit life and at the end of it. I did not live with him at all during the central period when he was teaching.
In his young period, Dermot might well have been described as bouncy, buoyant, breezy - or something like that. In his later years these stimulating and attractive characteristics had mellowed into a very deep and helpful optimism, a reassuring hopefulness and good humour that made him many friends and gave him great influence with people. The transition seemed as easy as the transforming of blossom into fruit - but I'm sure much prayer and deliberate effort went into the process.
He was really quite a taut personality. I remember how in the novitiate he used to talk and laugh and sing in his sleep, and how hard it was to wake him gently out of sleep. He was inclined to lash out with shock when he was awakened. In the noviceship he had a few black-outs which gave rise to anxiety about his health and caused his first vows to be postponed for six months. He was always affected by strident noise in his vicinity - and seemed to wilt under excessive heartiness and loudness. But, characteristically, he would calm down the offending trumpeter with a joke rather than a dirty look.
He was always one of the good humoured people in the grim days of too early rising, excessively tense and prolonged periods of silence, along with restricted human contacts and relationships. He rode the adverse currents, and was never submerged by them.
Many sagas, myths and legends of the 30s and 40s will be lost to posterity now that he and Pearse O’Higgins have taken the long car to Glasnevin. He loved to trigger off at will any of Pearse’s stories, and would then enjoy both the story and Pearse’s absorption in the playing of the familiar record. They were both enthusiastic and reasonably skilled performers on the mouth-organ. Dermot had a very good ear for music and languages. He really loved to fire off a sentence in some more unusual language with perfect intonation, so that a speaker of that language would presume that he was fully fluent in it: he did it in Basque, Hungarian and some African language as well as Spanish, French, etc. It made immediate and friendly contact.
He played music constantly in his room. These last few years I never passed his door on the narrow corridor in Gardiner street without hearing the pleasant sounds of Mozart or Bach or someone in Dermot’s room, as he worked on his voluminous correspondence with the supporters of the JSA. Much of the harmony seems to have seeped into his letters. People loved to get them and felt he was a friend of theirs: perhaps he made giving easy. He was devoted to things Irish, but found much of Irish music, strangely, somewhat boring. One of the ways he served the elderly in St Monica's these last years was by getting them to sing at the liturgy. He brought great vitality to them, and nowhere is he more missed than there. I never saw him in action in Lourdes, but have no doubt about the tremendous love he had for the place and all whom he met. He spent some months there every year,
He was always something of a sun worshipper: I remember one villa in Termonfeckin during theology when the weather was very poor and most people spent their time indoors, playing cards or talking the hind-legs off the chairs: Dermot and I used to go down to the beach and absorb whatever rays were percolating through the mists. At the end of the fortnight, when others looked more pallid and dyspeptic than when they started their holiday, we looked as if we had been on the Riviera. So – if he had to go as soon as this – I like to think that he went with the much-loved caress of the sun on his skin; an indication of the warmth and all-embracing nature of the welcome he must have received from the Good Spirit which was his guiding light. I hope he is happy, even laughing, as I write this well-meant rubbish.
Michael Sweetman

Dermot began teaching in the Crescent, Limerick, in 1947. He was an extremely able and dedicated teacher. He could being poor-ability classes to the examination standards required. If boys were anyway weak in subjects they petitioned to be assigned to his classes. While insisting on work being done he was always bright and humorous in class.
He also helped in the production of the school operas - a feature of the school in those days – training the boys in learning and acting their parts. He was also spiritual father to the boys and in charge of some of the school sodalities as well as sub-minister, till his illness necessitated a lessening of activity.

Sr Thérèse Marie of the Poor Clares in Lourdes sent the following tribute:
We think especially of a dear and very good friend, Father Dermot Durnin (SJ, Dublin), who died unexpectedly on 6th December. This year (1980) had been his tenth year coming to Lourdes as Spiritual guide to the Michael Walsh Groups – a job that he took very much to heart, and every one of ‘his pilgrims' left Lourdes full of joy and satisfaction after the 4-5-day pilgrimage that he had helped them to make. He gave hope, joyful hope, to everyone, because he himself had complete trust in the Sacred Heart of Jesus!
Fr Durnin had a deep love for our Lady and for the Rosary, His pilgrims will never forget their nightly Rosary across the river from the Grotto, nor the little story which he loved to repeat to every group, in order to bring them all closer to Her: the story of the small child who got lost in Dublin. She was crying and frightened as onlookers and Guards questioned her: “Where do you live? Where is your home?”, and all the little one could sob out was, “It's where my mammy is!” Then Father would point out to his listeners that our home, our true home, is where Mary, our Mother, is. Surely She welcomed him in there on 8th December! We can picture him now, with that winning, almost laughing smile, saying “Why should you worry? I'm home!”
He will always be remembered here: he was part of our chapel, and we could always count on him, in the absence of our Chaplain, for the Rosary and Benediction. He came many times into the enclosure to bring holy Communion to our sick nuns. None of us looked on him as “a foreigner”. His gentle manner and discretion radiated the peace of Christ whom he carried. His visits to the parlour were a joy. We know that he will not forget us now in the heavenly country where, as he liked to say, all is glorious music and song!

Another former chaplain at Lourdes, who had met Fr Dermot there, namely Fr Hugh Gallagher, PP, Clonmany, Co Donegal, thought highly enough of him to make the long journey from farthest Inishowen to be present at the Gardiner street requiem.

Ennis, Aidan D, 1909-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/597
  • Person
  • 15 March 1909-29 April 2006

Born: 15 March 1909, Ballymitty, County Wexford
Entered: 16 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1944, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 29 April 2006, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ
Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

Fr Aidan Ennis (1909-2005)

15th March 1909; Born in Ballymitty, Co. Wexford
Early education in Dominican College, Wicklow, and Clongowes
16th Sept. 1926: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
17th Sept. 1928: First Vows at Tullabeg
1928 - 1931: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts in UCD
1931 - 1934: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1934 - 1937: Clongowes - Teacher (Regency)
1937 - 1941: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1940: Ordained at Milltown Park
1941 - 1942: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1942 - 1944: Mungret College - Minister
2nd February 1944: Final Vows at Mungret College
1944 - 1945: Milltown Park - Minister
1945 - 1947: St. Francis Xavier, Gardiner St. - Pastoral Ministry
1947 - 1962: Mungret College
1947 - 1955: Farm Manager; Teacher; Lecturer in Philosophy, Confessor
1955 - 1959: Teacher; Lecturer in Philosophy; Spiritual Director
1959 - 1962: Teacher, Lecturer in Philosophy
1962 - 1965: Catholic Workers College - Minister, Lecturer
1965 - 1969: Mungret College - Spiritual Director; Teacher, Lecturer in Philosophy
1969 - 1976: St. Ignatius, Galway
1969 - 1975: Teacher; Ministered in Church;
1975 - 1976: Parish Curate
1976 - 2006: Gardiner Street
1976 - 2002: Ministered in the Church; Gardener
2002 - 2006: Cherryfield Lodge - Prayed for the Church and the Society
29th April 2006: Died peacefully in St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin,

Fr. Aidan Ennis was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in January 2002. He was frail and needed nursing care. He remained in reasonably good health for the next four years. His condition began to deteriorate, especially in the final four months.

Proinsias Fionnagáin writes:
Aidan Ennis was born on 15 March 1909 in the parish of Ballymitty, Co. Wexford. His birthplace was an old residence and park a short mile away from the Catholic parish church. French tourists to that district might certainly describe the Ennis property as a gentilhommiere. There were two sons in the family, Patrick John, the elder, and Aidan, and four daughters. The Ennis family is now extinct.

Aidan and his brother were both educated at Clongowes. Aidan entered the Society in 1926 at Tullabeg. When the present writer entered, one year later, he could not fail to notice that Aidan was one of seven Clongownians of the 1926 vintage. His fellow OCs were John Burden (+1974), John MacAvoy (+1983), Gerard Perrott (+1985), Brendan Lawler (+1993) and Michael O'Meara (+1998). Cecil Hayden, a deeply spiritual man, was deemed over-scrupulous by superiors and told to go back to his family's business, HAYDENS' HOTEL, in Ballinasloe. He never returned to Ballinasloe, but became a hotel manager in Dublin and an apostle of devotion to the Holy Rosary. Aidan survived many of his fellow novices and I was the only fellow-novice to be able to attend his funeral.

My only memory of Aidan in the novitiate is of summer 1928, when he seemed to have given himself a special apostolate of encouraging first-year novices like myself to seek permission to make the Vows of Devotion. It was only the Father Provincial who could sanction this act of devotion. So far as I could learn later, only Brother Thomas O'Sullivan was granted the privilege. Both the Father Provincial and the future Father Thomas had been Old Boys of St. Ignatius College, Galway--another proof that blood is thicker than water!

In June 1931, our Major Villa was housed in Castlebellingham Castle, Co. Louth. A first-year junior, Dan Fitzpatrick, destined for the new Vice-Province in Australia, was looking out for a cycling party to visit his mother and grandmother at Omeath, Co Louth. Omeath was the last and soon to be extinct Gaeltacht on the east coast of Ireland. Dan's grandmother was a native Irish speaker of Omeath. Aidan got interested in the prospect of the trip to Omeath, and, as we may be sure, proved a welcome addition to Dan's other companions as well. By some alchemy of fate, conversation with Dan Fitzpatrick's relatives produced some remarkable associations for Aidan. Dan's dead father had been a member of the crew on the Titanic on her tragic maiden voyage to America in April 1912. An aunt of Aidan was the wife of one of the pursers on the doomed ship. The Ennis home in Ballymitty appears in a published work dealing with Irish victims on the ship and the address of this purser. Aidan was pleased when I brought this book to his notice; he was but an infant when this uncle by marriage perished.

Sometime, during my scholastic career, I met Aidan's parents on holidays and I noticed an uncanny resemblance between Aidan and his father. The elder son, Patrick, did not have a like paternal resemblance.

Allow me to record here another name from the Ennis family tree. I had noticed in a book review on the west of Ireland mention of Bishop Patrick Duggan of Clonfert whose massive memorial Celtic Cross is to be seen close by the lasting resting place of the patriot Archbishop of Dublin, William Walsh, and other dignitaries of the archdiocese in Glasnevin cemetery. I was mentioning the book at table when Aidan broke in. “Proinsias”, he said, “you are talking about a kinsman of mine”. Bishop Duggan of Cionfert was born in Belcare, archdiocese of Tuam, in 1813. His family on the distaff side was descended from an old and distinguished stock, the Canavans, and Aidan's mother was an out-cousin of the Duggans of Belcare. She was a Canavan and had handed on to her son, Aidan, the story of her distinguished relative. In August, 1896, Bishop Duggan arrived in Dublin on business with his solicitor. He got ill unexpectedly, was brought to Jervis St. Hospital, and a few days later died on 15 August. That very same evening his remains were transferred to our church and reposed for three days in the Ignatian Chapel. Archbishop Walsh was celebrant of the solemn Mass in the church, in the presence of Cardinal Logue and some three handred priests, diocesan and regular.

When I returned from France in 1981 I was appointed a member of the Diocesan Commission of historians studying the Causes for Beatification of the Irish Martyrs for the faith in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. I did not foresee that the years 1982 to 1992 would be the busiest of all my experience of life in the Society. My status in the community was simply 'assistant in the church'. Aidan had the same status but had a noticeably large following, whether in the church or the Ignatian Chapel. with the Gaelgóirí. His only light reading seemed to me to be the Gaelic poets Piaras Ferriter, Tadg Gaelach Ó Súilleabhain et al. I associate him with our popular pilgrimage to Carraig an Aifrinn, Co. Wicklow...another instance of his lack of physical stamina. His only recreation seemed to be practising golfing shots in the garden when no one was around. He was well into his eighties and still driving the house car. It was the general disapproval of the community that called for his abandonment of the steering wheel. It was felt that he was endangering the lives of himself, Diarmuid Ó Laoghaire, Seamus Mac Amhlaoibh et al., setting off for the annual holidays in Co. Donegal, after passing through the troubled counties of Tyrone and, especially, Fermanagh.

Aidan was not only a devoted assistant in the sanctuary or confessional in the church; he was a devoted trainer of the altar boys and, yes, the boy-scouts.. A new parish priest started to innovate 'in the alleged and mostly unapproved) spirit of Vatican II. He decreed that the boy servers were to be helped out by girly servers. Anybody could predict the result: the boys fled the sanctuary never to return. The boy scouts, too, disappeared over- night. The last boy-scout was an obese child. The recently recruited girl-scouts quickly tired of their social promotion and left to be with the boys. Fr Aidan must have felt deeply distressed by all the changes in the 'spirit of Vatican II'. Much of Aidan's unknown kindnesses could be guessed at from our casual meeting in the streets with persons, poor as well as well-to-do, who asked for Aidan, who was helping them to cope with the inevitable disappointments in life.

When Aidan was well into his eighties he could still deliver an admirable sermon. I remember the funeral Mass of the last of his sisters. Aidan produced a wise and instructive homily on the subject of death and its appositeness for deepening the faith of the living. Not long after he was invited by Belvedere College to preach at the obsequies of Father Peadar MacSéamus who, just before his last illness, had completed fifty years in the College. On this occasion Aidan excused himself from accepting the invitation to preach - a sure sign of Aidan's declining stamina.

His last two decades amongst us must have been lonely years. One by one, his brother and four sisters quit this valley of tears. One death after another must have been for Aidan an indication that the Ballymitty Eunises were approaching extinction. Eventually, Aidan, sole survivor of the family, was now the heir-at-law of the gentilhommiere in Co. Wexford. And so ended his paternal surname in the old beloved homestead. It is comforting to know that in his closing years in Cherryfield he experienced tender care and affection up to his last and eternal Status.

From the homily by Derek Cassidy at the Funeral Mass in Gardiner Street:
Aidan was born into a Home called "Springwood", and, as the name suggests, it was well supplied with Trees and Bushes and many different coloured shrubs and flowers. Perhaps it is this very early exposure to the seasons of growth, flowering and decaying, that gave Aidan his calm, tranquil and easy going disposition to the happenings of day to day living: whatever, he was a man of considerably even temper

I have selected the readings from Aidan's own copy of the Jerusalem Bible, wherein I discovered some of his notations. I want to finger a moment on that reading from Paul's letter to the Romans, chapter 12, verses 1 & 2. Aidan re-phrased the last sentence slightly, to read “Then you will be able to discern the will of God”. In his praying and reflection on the message of the two verses, Aidan stressed for himself, and from his place now with God, stresses for you and me, God's mercy. When I am fully aware of the quality of mercy that God offers me, when I am ready to live in that awareness, then I can avoid modelling my behaviour on the world around me, and, instead, allow my behaviour to be modelled by my appreciation of God's mercy, and then, and because Aidan underlined for himself this word “then”, I must say, then, and only then, will be able to discern the will of God, and know what is good, what it is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do.

Over the very many years of his dedicated life in the Jesuits, almost 80 years of commitment, Aidan was very well practiced in the exercise of applying God's mercy. He was infinitely patient - like the Gardener must be whilst waiting for the soil to give birth to the flower. He was tender, kind and compassionate in his Healing Ministry in the Confessional, especially here in St Francis Xavier's Church, where Aidan spent a total of 28 years. He would say himself that he learned much more about life from the people here in Gardiner Street than he was ever able to teach about life! He had a deep affection for the devoted congregation here, and in a way the people of Brendan Behan Court were his Pets!

Fr Aidan also spent some time in Mungret College, Limerick, now closed. I first met him there, where he taught Philosophy to young men preparing for Priesthood on the Missions. Fr Willie Reynolds told me yesterday that he had been speaking with some of those who knew Fr Aidan from Mungret, and they offer their Prayers of support to us.

The psalm that I selected from Aidan's notes was Ps. 25, with the response “To you, Yahweh, I lift up my soul”. I mentioned that Aidan is 80 years in the Jesuits this year - in September. In those 80 years he lifted up his soul to God each morning and evening, some minimum of 58,400 times!! That is once more a dedication quite similar to what is required of a Gardener: digging and weeding and watering and waiting for the blossom to show. Love, Forgiveness, Mercy: these three qualities are sung of in Ps 25. All three are qualities attributed to God; all three are the qualities that Aidan modelled his life around.

I chose the Gospel of the Ten Lepers from amongst many that Aidan has noted. I chose it mainly because of the plea made by the ten, “Jesus! Master! Take pity on us”. What a very beautiful prayer of regard. I can only imagine that it is a prayer that Aidan himself used frequently. I humbly suggest that Aidan today commends this prayer to you and me. So as we continue with our Prayer of Thanksgiving for Aidan's life and gift to us, we might allow our hearts to accompany him now through our Faith as he enters into the full blossom of Life with the God of his dreams.

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

DEDICATED TO FR AIDAN ENNIS

Thomas MacMahon

A Theme and Three Variations

Original
Who is Sylvia? What is she,
That all our swains commend her?
Holy, fair, and wise is she;
The heaven such grace did lend her.

That she might admired be.

“Two Gentlemen of Verona”
William Shakespeare
1564-1616.

1
Who is Aidan? What is he,
That all S.J.'s commend him?
Hoary hair, grey eyes has he,
The staff such drapes did lend him
That he might attired be.

“One Clergyman of Cherryfield”
Thomas Mac Mahon 1915-present (etc. DV)

2
Cé hé Aodán? Céard é féin,
Go molann é gac éinne?
Naofa, geal agus eolach é,
An oiread gräs thug Neamh dó,
Le go dtiurfai moladh dó.

“Beirt Duine Uasal ó Bheróna”
Liam Crith-Slea 1564-1616

3
Quis est Aodan ? quidnam est,
Pagani ut inirentur?
Sanctus, clarus, prudens ille,
Talem gratiam dedit caelum
Ut is mirus haberetur.

“Duo Nobiles Veronenses”
Gulielmus Hastam-Verberans MDLXIV -MDCXVI

◆ The Clongownian, 2006

Obituary

Father Aidan Ennis SJ

Aidan Ennis was born on 15 March 1909 in the parish of Ballymitty, Co. Wexford. His birthplace was an old residence and park a short mile away from the Catholic parish church. French tourists to that district might certainly describe the Ennis property as a gentilhommiere, There were two sons in the family, Patrick John, the elder, and Aidan, and four daughters. Aidan and his brother were both educated at Clongowes. Aidan entered the Society in 1926 at Tullabeg and was one of seven Clongownians of the 1926 vintage.

He studied Arts in UCD and Philosophy in Tullabeg before spending three years teaching in Clongowes. He then studied Theology in Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1940. He took his final vows at Mungret College in 1944 where he was serving as Minister. Following short spells in Milltown Park and Gardiner Street Aidan went to Mungret College where he taught and lectured in Philosophy. He worked for three years as Minister in the Catholic Workers College before he returned to Mungret for four years before moving to Coláiste lognáid in Galway in 1969. He spent seven years there before returning to Gardiner Street where he ministered in the church.

When I recurned from France in 1981 my status in the community was simply “assistant in the church”. Aidan had the same status but had a noticeably large following, whether in the church or the Ignatian Chapel, with the Gaelgeóiri. His only light reading seemed to me to be the Gaelic poets Piaras Ferriter, Tadg Gaelach Ó Suilleabhain et al. I associate him with our popular pilgrimage to Carraig an Aifrinn, Co. Wicklow. His only recreation seemed to be practicing golfing shots in the garden when no one was around. He was well into his eighties and still driving the house car. It was the general disapproval of the community that called for his abandonment of the steering wheel. It was felt that he was endangering the lives of himself and others by setting off for annual holidays in Co. Donegal.

Aidan was not only a devoted assistant in the sanctuary or confessional in the church; he was a devoted trainer of the altar boys and the scouts. Much of Aidan's unknown kindnesses could be guessed at from our casual meeting in the streets with persons, poor as well as well-to do, who asked for Aidan, who was helping them to cope with disappointments in life. When Aidan was well into his eighties he could still deliver an admirable sermon. I remember the funeral Mass of the last of his sisters. Aidan produced a wise and instructive homily on the subject of death and its appositeness for deepening the faith of the living. Not long after he was invited by Belvedere College to preach at the obsequies of Father Peadar MacSeamus who, just before his last illness, had completed fifty years in the College. On this occasion Aidan excused himself from accepting the invitation to preach - a sure sign of his declining stamina.

One by one, his brother and four sisters quit this valley of tears and eventually, Aidan, sole survivor of the family, was now the heir-at-law of the gencilhommiere in Co. Wexford. And so ended his paternal surname in the old beloved homestead. It is comforting to know that in his closing years in Cherryfield he experienced tender care and affection up to his last and eternal Status.

Esmonde, Bartholomew, 1789-1862, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/471
  • Person
  • 12 December 1789-15 December 1862

Born: 12 December 1789, Oberstown, Naas, County Kildare
Entered: 07 September 1807, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: by 1817, Palermo, Italy
Final Vows: 29 June 1830
Died: 15 December 1862, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

in Clongowes 1817
by 1839 in Professed House, Rome (ROM)
by 1844 in St Paul’s Malta (MEL)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Dr John and Helen née O’Callan. A brother of Sir Thomas Esmonde, and was descended from Lord Esmonde, a famous officer of the time of Elizabeth I.
After First Vows he studied at Stonyhurst and Palermo, where he graduated DD.
He had many gifts : he was a man of great eloquence, chaste artistic taste, and singular affability and tact. He was the author of a few books.
He was Rector of Clongowes, and for two years a Missioner in Malta.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Born of an ancient and noble family of Co Kildare. Early education was at Stonyhurst before Ent.
Towards the end of his Noviceship at Hodder under Fr Plowden, he was sent with five other companions to Sicily, as the Society had been publicly restored in the Kingdom of Naples. He completed his Noviceship there, as well as studies in Philosophy and Theology, graduating DD.
Returning to Ireland after studies, he was found to be in very delicate health. It took a year or two to regain his strength, and then began work with great energy, and never ceased until age and further ill health stopped him.
He was responsible for having the Church at Gardiner St built, and was in large part his own Architect. He was then compelled to seek a change of air, and travelled in England, Rome and Malta. Once returned his strength began to fail, and became somewhat childish. Nonetheless, he continued to give example of patience and resignation both to Ours and externs. He died peacefully 15 December 1862.
He reconciled many sinners and made many friends for the Society. He was a man of great eloquence, chaste and artistic taste, much affability and tact.
From the crowds that attended his funeral, it was easily seen the esteem and veneration in which he was held.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Bartholomew Esmonde 1789-1862
Fr Batholomew Esmonde was born of an ancient noble family in County Kildare on December 12th 1789. He was a brother of Sir Thomas Esmonde, and the family was said to be descended from a Lord Esmonde, a famous officer of Elizabeth I. Educated at Stonyhurst, he entered the Society in 1807 under Fr Plowden.

On the Restoration of the Society in the Kingdom of Naples, he was one of the first five Irish novices, including Peter Kenney, who were sent to Sicily for their training.

He was for some years Rector of Clongowes and two years a missioner in Malta from 1848-1850. He built the Church at Gardiner Street, and for the most part was his own architect.

His health was always poor and he travelled in England, Italy and Malta for a change of air. He returned to Ireland not much improved, and he died on December 15th 1862.

A fine portrait of him is to be seen in the parlour in Gardiner Street.

Fahy, John, 1874-1958, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/143
  • Person
  • 05 February 1874-25 January 1958

Born: 05 February 1874, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 10 August 1909, Valkenburg, Netherlands
Final Vows: 02 February 1911, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 25 January 1958, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05 April 1931

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus : 22 February 1922-1931.
John Keane was Vice Provincial for [six] months while Fr Fahy was in Rome from Sep. 1923 – [Feb.] 1924.
Vice Provincial - Australian Vice-Province 05 April 1931

by 1904 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1906 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1913 at Linz Austria (ASL) making Tertianship
Provincial 25 February 1922
Vice-Provincial Australia 05 April 1931

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Thomas Maher Jr Entry
He died at the residence of his sister in Thurles 12 February 1924. During his illness the local clergy were most attentive, visiting him daily as his end drew near. He was also frequently visited by the Provincial John Fahy.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Early education was at Coláiste Iognáid Galway before Entering at S Stanislaus College Tullabeg 1891.

He studied in Ireland, Netherlands and Belgium and was Ordained 1909.
1912-1913 He made Tertianship at Linz Austria
1914-1919 He was at Belvedere College, Dublin as Prefect of Studies [then Rector]
1919-1920 He was appointed Rector of Mungret College Limerick
1922-1931 He was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province
1931-1947 He was appointed first Vice-Provincial of Australia, after which he became Master of Novices and then Tertian Instructor (1941-1947)
1947-1958 He was sent to St Ignatius College Norwood as a curate, and he died there.

He was held in such high esteem that he attended four General Congregations of the Society of Jesus, the last of which was in 1957, and this was a record in the Society.

He was one of the most remarkable men to have worked in Australia. During his Provincialate in the Irish Province he built the Rathfarnham Castle Retreat House and Juniorate, and the Irish Mission to Hong Kong was established. In Australia he built Loyola College Watsonia during the depression years, and later Canisius College Pymble.

He was a typical administrator with strength to complete his vision. He did not find decision making difficult. He was also a shy, reserved man, with whom it could be difficult to make light conversation. Some found him forbidding and lacking personal warmth. But, he was a solidly spiritual man and very understanding of one’s problems once rthe ice was broken. He probably found it hard to simply be an ordinary Jesuit in community once he left high office, but he did try to be genial and affable. It was probab;y also difficult for ordinary Jesuits to relate to him in any other way than that of his being a Superior.

Note from Jeremiah Sullivan Entry
The province liked him more than either his predecessor, William Lockington, or his successor, John Fahy

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :

Note from John Neary Entry
In 1926 Fr John Fahy appointed him and George Byrne to respond to the request from Bishop Valtora of Hong Kong for Jesuit help.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 7th Year No 2 1932
Australia :
Fr J. Fahy, late Irish Provincial, and first Provincial of the new Vice-province of Australia, tells us about impressions made on him by the people of his new home
“I have been in this country about a month, and ever since my arrival I have been really amazed at several things. One of them is the amazing progress and power of the Catholic Church in Australia. We had heard in the Old Land, and had frequently read about your doings, about your love for the Faith, your devotion to your pastors,but really the sight of what you are doing far surpasses anything that we read in our newspapers.
Another thing that surprises me is the readiness of many to help the next man, that I am told, is a characteristic of the Australian people.
Not many days ago I was leaving Sydney and I had a letter to post. It was raining fairly heavily, and as I was going to the station by car. I thought I would stop and risk getting wet while rushing into the Post Office. I had just pulled up at the herb when a man rushed out from a near by doorway, and, though he did hot know who I was, and no doubt did not care, said “ Don't come out into the rain, I will post your letter for you.” That, I think, is typical of the prompt readiness with which the average Australian desires to help his fellows.

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Australia :
Fr. John Fahy, Provincial of Ireland 1922-23), was appointed Tertian Instructor of the Vice-Province of Australia, this year, and began work on February 15th. The Long Retreat, made by fourteen Fathers, commenced soon afterwards.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

GENERAL CONGREGATION :

Letters :

Fr. John Fahy, to Fr. Vice-Provincial, 10-9-46 :
“Your three Electors are flourishing, notwithstanding a fierce sirocco which has been burning the Romans ever since our arrival. All the Electors have now arrived, with the exception of four : Lithuania, Romania, Croatia and one German. To-morrow we begin our quattriduum, all - I think - feeling confident of Divine Help and Guidance. Rome is filled with men and women, all come for General Chapters, so we live in an election atmosphere”.

Province News 33rd Year No 2 1958

Obituary :

Fr John Fahy (1874-1958)

Fr. Fahy was born and brought up in Galway. He got his early education at St. Ignatius' College and entered the Society in, 1891.
In 1893 he went to the Juniorate at Milltown Park. In the following year, when I went there, I began to appreciate more and more his unselfish kindness and readiness to help, and his clearness and accuracy of mind. In some ways he was exceedingly simple. For instance, in the autumn of 1895, Fr. Sutton, who had just taken over the command of Milltown Park, summoned a meeting of Theologians and Juniors, proclaimed a severe code of laws, and invited questions. The theologians proceeded to ask a number of very ingenious questions, each tending to confuse the issues more and more, and to make our obligations less and less clear. The one person (apart from Fr. Sutton) to whom it would not appear that this result was intentional was John Fahy. He stood up and said : “Father, in order to be perfectly clear, is it this, or this, or that?” And, of course, it was that; all the clouds were swept away, and John was quite unconscious of the furious glances directed at him!
Towards the end of 1895, the Juniors were transferred to Tullabeg, and Mr. Fahy went with them to teach Mathematics and Physics. He remained with them until 1898, when he was sent to teach the same subjects at Clongowes. In 1901 he returned to Tullabeg as “Min. Schol. Jun”, and Prefect of Studies of the Juniorate.
In 1903 he went to Valkenburg in Holland, then the house of Philosophy of the German Province; Bismarck's ban on the Society was still in force in Germany. In 1905 he went to Louvain for Theology, was ordained in 1908, finished his course the following year, and went to Linz for his Tertianship in 1909-10. He left everywhere a high reputation both for character and scholarship. On his return to Ireland in 1910, the Provincial, Fr. William Delany, wanted to make him Master of Novices. This caused him much alarm, and he persuaded Fr. Delany to look elsewhere. He was sent to Belvedere, first as Prefect of Studies, then as Minister and in 1913 as Rector. His time in Belvedere, ending in 1919, was a period of steady advance in the fortunes of the College.
One day during the rising in Easter week, 1916, some of the front windows of Belvedere were shattered by a volley from a company of soldiers in Great George's Street. Fortunately the community were at lunch, and the refectory was at the back of the house. Fr. Fahy opened the hall door, walked down to the soldiers and explained to them the mistake they were making. He also pointed out some other houses, such as the Loreto Convent, from which they need not fear any sniping. He also, during those days, drove a number of food vans, whose ordinary drivers shrank from coming into the zone of fire.
In 1919 he was appointed Moderator of the Mungret Apostolic School, and in the following year he became Rector of the College. In 1922 Fr. General appointed Visitors to all the Provinces of the Society, and Fr. W. Power, Visitor to Ireland, appointed Fr. Fahy Provincial.
His Provincialate (1922-31) was a period of considerable advance for the Province and of much promise for the future, a promise which, God be thanked, is being realised. In the early days of his generation, foreign missions were for us little more than a fairy tale, true, no doubt, but remote from experience. Fr. Fahy, when the prospect of the Hong Kong mission appeared, succeeded in conveying his own enthusiasm to the Province. In choosing a Superior he looked for and found a man of courage and enterprise who was ready to go ahead and take risks. A few years later the question of taking on a district in China itself arose at a Provincial Congregation. China was being overrun by the Japanese at the time, and there was much confusion. of opinion. When everyone else had spoken, Fr Fahy stood up in his turn. He made no attempt to press his point, but very simply stated the case as he saw it. He got a practically unanimous vote. The same thing happened when the question arose of making the Australian mission independent of the Irish Province. Nobody, Australian or Irish, seemed to know what to think. Once more when, Fr. Fahy had spoken the vote was unanimous. I think it was on that occasion that Fr. Thomas Finlay remarked : “That's the greatest Provincial I have known”.
When the Australian mission became first a Vice-Province and then a Province, Fr. Fahy was its first Superior. Under his guidance it made remarkable progress, which it has continued to make under his successors; in fact, in spite of the very satisfactory increase in the numbers of the Province, it is difficult to find men to fill all the openings that present themselves.
He conducted a Visitation of the Philippines which, I have heard, bore excellent fruit.
In recent years he had been acting as a curate, and it is said that the children in the streets used run to greet him; which shows that his generous and kindly heart had succeeded in conquering his reticence. The feeling of his brethren towards him was shown by their electing him, at the age of eighty-three, to represent them at the General Congregation.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Fahy SJ 1874-1958
The name of Fr John Fahy is revered not only in the Irish and Australian Provinces, but throughout the Society in general.This reputation he acquied from his participation in Genereal Congregations. It was remarkable how in any discussion, Fr Fahy would sum up the matter in dispute in a few clipped, concise words, and give a solution, which always won approval and carried the day.

He was born in Galway in 1874, and educated at St Ignatius, entering the Society in 1891. The greater part of his studies were done abroad.

When Fr William Power was made Visitor to the Province in 1922, he appointed Fr Fahy provincial. His term of office lasted until 1931, and during that time great expansion took place. We acquired our foreign Mission in Hong Kong, the retreat House at Rathfarnham was built, Emo Park was bought and a great increase in the number of novices took place. Fr Tom Finlay said of him “that was the greatest Provincial he had ever known”.

When Australia became a Vice-Province in 1931, Fr Fahy went out there as Superior. The rest of his life he devoted to Australia, as Superior, Master of Novices, Master of Tertians.

In 1937 he was appointed Visitor to the Philippines.

At the age of 83, he was chosen by his brethren in Australia to represent them at the General Congregation.

After such a life of outstanding work for God and the Society, he died on January 25th 1928. He was a man of great judgement, of vision, of courage and constancy in carrying out what he had planned.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1958

Obituary

Father John Fahy SJ

Fr John Fahy who has died in Australia was successively during the years 1910 to 1919, Prefect of Studies, Minister, and from 1913, Rector of Belvedere, His time here. in these various offices was a period of steady advance in the fortunes of the house.

We are told that one day during the rising in Easter Week, 1916, some of the windows of Belvedere facing George's Street were shattered by a yolley from a company of soldiers. The Community were at lunch in the back of the house and so, fortunately, no one was hurt. Fr Fahy opened the hall door, advanced towards the soldiers and explained to them the mistake they were making. He also pointed out some other houses, such as the Loreto Convent, from which they need not fear Sniping. During those troubled times he frequently drove a number of food vans, whose ordinary drivers shrank from entering the firing zones.

In 1922 he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province. He held this office until 1931. During those years he made many important decisions, chief among which were the foundation of the Mission in Hong Kong, the decision to make the Australian Mission independent of the Isish Province. In matters such as these he was clear headed and decisive. It was as a result of such an occasion that Fr Tom Finlay declared about Fr. Fahy: “That's the greatest Provincial I have known”.

When the Australian Mission became first a Vice Province and then a Province, Fr. Fahy was its first Superior. Under his guidance it made the remarkable progress, which it has continued to make over the years; in fact, in spite of the satisfactory increase in numbers of the Province, it is difficult to find men to fill all the openings that present themselves.

In recent years he had been acting as a Curate and it is said that the children in the streets used to run out to greet him when he appeared; which goes to show that his kindness of heart had at last conquered his characteristic reticence. At the age of eighty-three the seal was placed on his life of service to the Society of Jesus, when his brethren showed their confidence in him by electing him to represent them at the General Congregation.

Fallon, John, 1875-1937, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/144
  • Person
  • 18 August 1875-17 September 1937

Born: 18 August 1875, Dublin
Entered: 11 November 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 01 August 1909, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1911, Mungrtet College SJ, Limerick
Died: 17 September 1937, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1898 at Enghien, Belgium (CAMP) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1899
by 1910 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1927 at Leeds, Yorkshire (ANG) working
by 1928 at Holywell, Wales (ANG) working

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
John Fallon entered the Society in November 1893. In the later part of 1899 he was sent to Australia where he taught at St Aloysius' College, 1900-02. In 1903 he was involved in a reorganisation of the Jesuit scholastics in Australia and was moved to Riverview. From there he went to Xavier, 1904-06, where he taught and assisted with the boarders.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 13th Year No 1 1938
Father John Fallon
1875 Born, 18th August, in Dublin, Educated at Belvedere
1893 Tullabeg, Novice, Entd. 11th Nov
1895 Tullabeg, Rhetoric
1897 Enghien, Philosophy
1899 Sydney (Australia), St. Aloysius, Bourke St., Doc., etc
1902 Sydney, House of Exercises. Ad. disp. P, Superioris, with 10 others
1903 Sydney, Riverview, Doc., care of boats
1904 Melbourne, Kew, Doc., etc
I906 Milltown, Theol. , Ordained, 1909
1909 Tronchiennes, Tertian
1910 Mungret, Doe., etc
1914 Crescent, Doc. Open., etc
1919 Rathfarnharn, Miss. Excurr, Conf. N.N
1921 Galway, Doc. Oper. Exam. and. N.N
1922 Mungret, Doc. an, 20 Mag. , Conf. NN. et alum
1925 England-Leeds, Liverpool, Prescot, Oper
I927 N. Wales, Holywell, Oper
1930 Milltown, Trod. exerc. spir
1931 Milltown, Trad. exerc. spir., Adj. dir. dom. exerc
1932 Gardiner St., Oper., Dir. School, S. F. Xavier
1935 Gardiner St., Oper., Dir. School, S. F. Xavier, Penny dinners
1937 Died at St. Vincent's, Dublin, Friday, I7th Sept.-R.I.P

As may be gathered from the above, Father Fallon's 44 years in the Society is an excellent example of the life of a Jesuit “Operarius”. There was nothing outstanding in it, nothing remarkable, Unless indeed the performance of all his duties faithfully and well, over such a long period is remarkable enough and Father Fallon did that.
He was naturally very reserved, and that fact had to be taken into account when dealing with him. He was straightforward and honest. In religious life he was very exact, very careful in dealing with others, never saying anything against charity, was always in the right place and time for every duty. To the Confessional he was most attentive, indeed it is quite certain that his attention was such that it hastened his death.
During his College career he had to deal chiefly with the lower classes. When he went to Gardiner Street he got charge of the choir, but the object of the appointment was to preserve order for Father Fallon was not a musician, the technical part was done by the Organist, He took a more active part in dealing with the Catechism class held in Gardiner Street every Sunday after last Mass. Besides appointing a number of excellent young men and girls to teach the classes, he gave an instruction every Sunday when their work was done.
He was also quite at home in dealing with St. Francis Xavier's National School, and gave the children frequent instructions. Finally, he effected many first-rate and far-reaching changes when managing the Penny Dinners.
In a word, Father Fallon's life was spent in dealing with the less attractive works of the Society. But he did these works well and is now, please God, reaping his reward.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1937

Obituary

Father John Fallon SJ

Less well known to Belvederians was a relative of the doctor’s, who was also Belvedere boy. Father John Fallon SJ, was born in 1875, and was eucated entirely at Belvedere till the year 1893, when he entered the Jesuit novicehip, but though he taught for many years in our southern colleges and laboured for still more on the mission staff, and since 1932 in Gardiner Street, strangely enough, he was never one of the Belvedere community, yet he retained a real affection for the school and a gratitude to its training, as the present writer can testify. His own exact and devoted life was a credit to his school. For some years before his death, as manager of the Gardiner Street Schools, he had an oppotunity to put at God's service his own talent for bringing young souls to God, and I leading children to piety and discipline by interest and affection.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1938

Obituary

Father John Fallon SJ

Father Fallon was born in Dublinin 1875, and was educated at Belvedere College. He entered the Society of Jesus in November, 1893. When he had completed his philosophical studies, he went to Australia and was appointed to the teaching staff of St Aloysius and St Ignatius, Sydney, and later on at Xavier, Melbourne. He returned to Ireland for his theological studies, and was ordained at Milltown Park in 1909. His priestly life was spent in teaching and in giving missions and retreats. During his period of residence in England he was attached to the church of the Society of Jesus in Leeds; and for three years was parish priest of Holywell, North Wales.

Father Failon was a member of the teaching staff in Mungret from 1910 to 1914; and in 1922 he returned to the College to take charge of the Study, a post which he filled for three years. Although Father Fallon was of a retiring disposition, the boys quickly came to know and appreciate his kindliness of heart. He would never tolerate any nonsense, but at the same time knew how to temper justice with mercy.

In 1932 Father Failon was attached to the Church of St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin. Early last year he contracted a serious malady, and after a short illness he died on September 17th, 1937. May he rest in peace.

LD

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father John Fallon (1875-1937)

A native of Dublin and educated at Belvedere College, entered the Society in 1893. His regency was spent in the Jesuit College in Australia. He made his higher studies in Belgium and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1909. Of his eleven years as master in the colleges, five were spent in the Crescent, 1914-1919. The remaining years of his life were spent as missioner, retreat-giver, or church-worker at Gardiner St, Dublin.

Farley, Charles, 1859-1938, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/145
  • Person
  • 01 August 1859-20 August 1938

Born: 01 August 1859, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 23 September 1888, St Beuno’s, Wales
Final Vows: 02 February 1897, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin
Died: 20 August 1938, St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg

by 1888 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying

Irish Province News 13th Year No 4 1938

Gardiner St :
Father Charles Farley, who had been failing visibly for over a year, was called to his reward on August 20th at 6.5 a.m., passing away peacefully after some days of semi-consciousness. He leaves a splendid record of fruitful labor behind him, For years he was the popular men's confessor in the church. He was indefatigable in his faithful and prompt attention to the “BOX”. Succeeding the gigantic and stentorian Father Bannon, to whom he was a marked contrast in many ways, Father Farley did not seem likely to prove suitable as Director of the Commercial Sodality. His heart was in the work, he lived for those men, his genial personality and unceasing solicitude for every individual in the Sodality - he knew every member by name - overcame his heavy handicap of delicate health and diffidence in public speaking. A very large body of Sodalists attended on August 21st at the 8 o'clock Mass
to offer the Holy Communion for the repose of his soul. In the afternoon when the remains were received in the church a larger body assembled to recite the Rosary. At the Office and Requiem and even at the graveside, hundreds of Sodalists, leaving their business, were present to pay their last tribute of respect to the venerable Spiritual Director who had served them loyally for nearly thirty years. R.l.P.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 4 1938

Father Charles Farley died at St. Vincent's, Dublin, on Saturday 20th August, 1938

Irish Province News 14th Year No 1 1939

Obituary

Father Charles Farley

1859 Born 1st August, Dublin
1877 Entered Milltown, 7th September
1878 Milltown, Novice
1879 Milltown, Junior
1880 Milltown, Philosophy
1882-85 Tullabeg, Prefect
1886-88 St. Beuno's, Theology
1889-91 Tullabeg, Min. Proc., etc
1892 Mungret, Min
1893-94 Belvedere, Min., Adj. Dir., Messenger, e tc
1895 Tullabeg, Agit. 3. Prob
1896-1900 Belvedere, Min, Doc., Praef. Sod. for Boys, etc
1901-03 Gardiner St., Min., Proc., Edit. “Memorials”
1904 Crescent, Min., Proc., Doc., Praes. Sod. for. Boys
1905 Belvedere, Min. Proc., Edit “Messenger”, and “Madonna”
1906-08 Clongowes, Proc. Cons. dom, etc,, etc
1909-10 Clongowes, Proc. Cons. do., Praef. Spir
1911-38 Gardiner St., Praes. Sod., Pro vir. mercan, Edit “Memoriales”.
He was Proc. Prov. from 1913 to 1924. Besides doing the ordinary work of the Church he was, at times, Proc. dom. Conf. N. N., Cons. dom.. etc.. etc

Father Farley died at St. Vincent's, Dublin, Saturday, 20th August, 1938

Father Campbell has kindly sent us the following :
It is not easy to give an account of Father Farley's life before his final appointment to Gardiner Street, owing to the fact that he held so many offices in all the Houses of the Province with the exception of Galway.
Father Farley was born in Dublin, August 1st, 1859, and was educated at Tullabeg, where he had as companions Father Thomas Murphy, who predeceased him by about two years, and Father James Brennan, still happily with us.
He entered the Society at Milltown Park, September 7th, 1877 where he remained for the Noviceship, Juniorate, and Philosophy, at the end of which he was Prefect at Tullabeg for four years. In 1886 we find him at St; Beuno's for Theology and was ordained there two years later. If he had lived two months longer he would have celebrated his priestly Golden jubilee.
Returning to Ireland, he was Minister at various times in Tullabeg, Mungret, The Crescent, Belvedere (three times), Gardiner St. , at Clongowes, Spiritual Father for a couple of years, and in Gardiner St. for seven years Proc. Prov., and for some time he assisted in the “Messenger” Office.
But the real work of his life was the direction of the Commercial Sodality. This Sodality was established by Father Bannon, and on his death, in 1914, its direction fell to Father Farley. This was the great work of his life, into which he put all his energy for 27 years. He was never known to be absent from the various meetings of the Sodality, He so arranged his Retreats, vacation, etc as to enable him to meet the Sodality on every occasion when they assembled. He knew every member by name and was indefatigable in looking them up if they happened to be absent any length of time. When any one was unwell he made it his business to call and inquire for him, and all this in spite of his very delicate health.
The Civic Guards seem to have been his special friends. With them as also with the Tram Conductors he always had a cheery word when he met them. The writer of these lines was frequently asked, especially in shops “How is Father Farley? What a kind gentleman he is. Pity his health is so poor”
As long as health allowed him, he was to be found in the church during the hours appointed for confessions, and every morning he was in his confessional for half an hour before breakfast. In spite of many difficulties “he did wonderful things in his life”. A faithful servant of God and man. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1939

Obituary

Father Charles Farley SJ

Last year we congratulated Father Farley on the celebration of his Diamond Jubilee as a member of the Society of Jesus, this year we had hoped to still further felicitate him on his Golden Jubilee as a priest, but the Great High Priest called him to Himself. Father Farley died at St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, on the 20th August, 1938.

Father Farley was born in Dublin, August 1st, 1859, and entered Tullabeg as a small boy of ten years in 1869. He had as companions there the late Father Michael Browne and Father Tom Murphy and two other members of the Society, who are still happily with us, Father N J Tomkin and Father James Brennan.

On September 7th, 1877, Father Farley entered the Society at Milltown Park where he remained for the Noviceship, Juniorate and Philosophy, at the end of which he was Prefect in Tullabeg for four years. In 1886 we find him at St. Beuno's for Theology and there he was ordained two years later,

In the following years we find him holding various posts in Tullabeg, Mungret, Sacred Heart College, Limerick, Belvedere, and Clongowes and another seven years in Gardiner Street, Dublin. He also assisted for some time in the Messenger Office.

But the real work of his life was the direction of the Commercial Sodality. This Sodality was established by Father Bannon, and on his death, in 1914, its direction fell to Father Farley. This was the great work of his life into which he put all his energy for twenty seven years. He was never known to be absent from the various meetings of the Sodality. He so arranged bis Retreats, vacation, etc., as to enable him to meet the Sodality on every occasion when they assembled. He knew every member by name and was indefatigable in looking them up if they happened to be absent any length of time. When any one was unwell he made it his business to call and inquire for him, and all this in spite of his very delicate health.

The Civic Guards seem to have been his special friends. With them, as also with the Tram conductors he, always had a cheery word when he met them.

In fact, we might say that Father Farley had a cheery word for everyone and the very first time you met him you felt that here was a real friend, one who would always think well of you no matter what happened.

As long as health allowed him, he was to be found in the church at Gardiner Street during the houars appointed for confessions, and every morning he was in his confessional for half an hour before breakfast. In spite of many difficulties “he did wonderful things in his life”; a faithful servant of God and man. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Charles Farley (1859-1877)

Born in Dublin and educated at Tullabeg College, entered the Society in 1878. He was ordained in 1888. In the years following his studies, he was assigned to the post of minister in various houses and spent one year at the Crescent, 1904-05. His long connection with Gardiner St began in 1911 when he took charge of the commercial sodality. He was one of the most beloved priests ever associated with Gardiner St church.

Fegan, Henry B, 1855-1933, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/41
  • Person
  • 01 October 1855-27 September 1933

Born: 01 October 1855, Newry, County Down
Entered: 28 October 1875, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1888, Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare
Final Vows: 15 August 1895, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 27 September 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

Obituary :

Father Henry Fegan

We owe the following to the kindness of Father E. Masterson :

Father Fegan was born at Newry, Co. Down, on October Ist, 1855. He received his early education at two Jesuit Colleges, at Clongowes, where he was for several years, and at Feldkirch, where he was for one year. He entered the Novitiate of the Irish Province on October 28th, 1875. After the noviceship and a little more than one year in the Juniorate he was sent as Prefect to Tullabeg in 1878. With the exception of four years, he passed the time from 1878 to 1901 either prefecting in the colleges or making his philosophical and theological studies , studies that were interrupted more than once, partly because of ill-health, partly because of the exigent demand for such an efficient prefect. Sometimes he combined prefecting with teaching , and whenever and whatever he taught he taught well. But it is as a prefect the that he is best remembered and most spoken of, and it is by his unbroken and uniform success as a prefect that his work in the colleges ought to be judged. Of that success let us take just one test case :
In the year 1886 the colleges of Clongowes and Tullabeg were amalgamated. The Tullabeg boys went in great numbers to Clongowes. The amalgamation caused a critical situation. Clonqowes had its oven history and traditions, and Tullabcg its own. It was natural to expect rivalries end jealousies between the two sets of boys. If such difficulties should arise who would compose them? That would be the Higher Line Prefect’s job, and Father Fegan was made Higher Line Prefect. Another daring experiment. For Father Fegan, a Clongownian to his backbone and spinal morrow, was wedded to Clongowes and the Clongowes traditions for a long term of years. Would such an enthusiastic Clongownian show himself duly impartial? Would he be able to hold the balance in equilibrium between Clongowes and Tullabeg, or would he be able to steer an even keel between Scylla and Charybdis? His superiors hoped that he would, and they were not disappointed. Father Fegan was pre eminently just to the Tullabeg boys. He was even generous. By tactful conversations, without at all interfering with their freedom of choice, he brought it about that a Tullabeg boy was elected Captain of the college. The most critical Tullabeg boy would not accuse Father Fegan of the very smallest partiality towards the Clongownians. The year passed without jar or jolt of any sort or kind. The amalgamation became a real union of the two sister colleges , a consummation which Father Fegan did much to achieve. Even in that critical year, his prefecting was a splendid success.
It was during the “Amalgamation Year” that Father Fegan was ordained priest in the old chapel of Clongowes , in which also he celebrated his first Mass on the following day. Always influential with his boys, his ordination added greatly to his influence, for from that time on he took his turn at preaching.
His sermons and bis Retreats were always distinguished by wonderful energy. Dr. O'Neill, late Bishop of Father Fegan's native diocese, speaking of the energy which he put into his
sermons, said : “It is not to be wondered at, for, if Henry Fegan were only playing a game of football, he would put every ounce of his energy into it.” Dr. O'Neill knew Father Fegan from his childhood, and his judgment of him was strictly true. Even if he tried to, Father Fegan could never act remissly - his whole heart and soul were in everything he did. In his sermons and Retreats he said things that no other man would or could dare to say, but no matter what he said, no matter how he said it, his words always stirred the consciences, and took lodgment for ever in the memories of his audience. Clongowes boys of over forty years ago still speak of his college sermons with rapturous admiration. One such boy, now a distinguished member of another Religious Order, said lately that he is still able to say by heart many passages of Father Fegan's Clongowes sermons. And priests and laymen who heard his Retreats in after years speak of them in terms of equal praise. A Parish Priest once said at the end of a Retreat : " I have made nine Retreats given by Father Fegan, and I would gladly begin a tenth Retreat to morrow with Father Fegan to conduct it.” Since his death every priest and layman who knew him is filled with a joyous regret, regret for their own loss, joy that God has called him to wear the crown of justice that the just judge had laid up for him.
In 1901 the long laborious spell of pretecting came to an end. In that year Father Fegan was made Spiritual Father at Clongowes to the community and to the boys. In 1939 he was transferred to Milltown Park. From 1909 to the day of his holy, happy' death on September 27th, 1933, he lived at Milltown Park, as Spiritual Father to the community, and as giver of Retreats to countless secular priests and laymen. God alone can tell the tale complete of his successful efforts to help both priests and laymen in their supernatural lives and one can hardly exaggerate when one speaks of their admiration of and gratitude to the giver.
Father Fegan's relations of more than twenty years with the Milltown Park Community were too intimate and sacred to be written about at any great length. He was dowered with many natural gifts to fit him for the work of his life. For his work in the colleges he was equipped with an extensive knowledge of boys and of schoolboy life. The youthful heart, whirls he kept to the end, always beat in sympathy with theirs. And in all manly games he was more than a match for the best of them. His generosity was superb - it is impossible for anyone who knew Father Began to think of him as refusing or shirking any work which was given him to do. But no accumulation of natural gifts can explain his unity eighty years of incessant
work in the Society. In his noviceship he specialised in devotion to the Sacred Heart, to our Blessed Lady and the saints, especially to the saints of the Society. In his domestic exhortations omitting, more often than not, the prefix “Saint”, he would speak of Ignatius and Xavier , of Aloysius, John Berchmans and Stanislaus. His conversation was in heaven
and so the Jesuit Saints were as real and as present to his thoughts as were the members of the Society amongst whom he lived and moved. To these latter he was a model of a well
ordered religious life. Not for a single day of his fifty-eight years in the Society did he abate, by one jot or tittle, his noviceship fervour. From the beginning he scorned delights and lived laborious days, He bore with unflinching courage and with humble submission the manifold bodily ailments with which God tried him in the closing years of his life. He never
complained. He was ever cheerful and kind. He never entirely rested from work. He celebrated Mass every day until within a week of his death - he said Holy Mass for the last time
on Monday, September I8th. He died on September 27th. May his soul rest in peace.
As Father Fegan's devotion to St Stanislaus Kostka was quite remarkably tender, this slight tribute is offered to his memory on the feast of his favourite saint.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Henry Fegan 1855-1933
Fr Henry Fegan, or “Fr Tim” as he was familiarly known for some unknown reason, will long be remembered for two reasons. First he was the ideal boys Prefect. Due to his tact and kindliness, the boys of Tullabeg and Clongowes were united in peace and harmony in the year of the amalgamation. Secondly, Fr Fegan was an outstanding retreat giver and spiritual director.

His career as Prefect finished, and after a few years here and there, he settled down in Milltown Park, where for more than twenty years he held the office of Spiritual Father to the community and retreat giver on the Retreat Staff. His name was a household word with priests and laymen throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. He was second to none as a retreat giver to nuns. In his sermons and retreats, he said things no other director would dare say, but his words always lodged in the conscience and were remembered years after their utterance.

His interior life was like a flame that glowed brightly until the end, which came peacefully on September 27th 1933, in his 78th year.

He was born in Newry on October 1st 1855.

◆ Irish Jesuit Directory 1934

Father Henry Fegan SJ 1855-1933

Henry Fegan, S.J., was born at Newry, October 1st, as the second son of his parents. His father had built up a large and flourishing business by his industry and the confidence he inspired, which won for him the creditable title in a wealthy merchant of “Honest Tom Fegan”. The considerable fortune he acquired went largely in charity. He built The Widows' Home in Newty, and did much unostentatious almsgiving. When the elder of his two children had been drowned, and Harry had left him for religion, the preoccupation of his later years became almost exclusively the practice of piety and the relief of distress. At his death a bishop preached his panegyric before a large congregation of mourners.
Henry was sent to Clongowes in 1867, and remained there till 1874. It was the Clongowes of pre-Intermediate days, which, if it lacked the stimulus of public examinations yet had a fine classical and literary tradition, and did impart to its pupils something of that older culture now passing from the land, without being replaced as yet by anything conspicuously superior. It had excellent libraries; and Henry Fegan always loved reading. He browsed widely amid their books, and early developed that taste for literature and historical biography which remained with him all his life. He excelled in declamation, and early showed his bent for public speaking. The debates in those days were more important and solemn occasions than they later became, and the boys prepared for them much more seriously. Henry Fegan threw him self into them with his characteristic zest, and the duel between him and John Redmond for the Clongowes Gold Medal for Oratory made the year 1872-3 stand out for a long time in the memory of the school. The medal went to Redmond; but both then and afterwards many thought the honours lay with Henry Fegan. He was also good at games, especially cricket, and ended by being Captain of the House. Yet he was so small that he used humorously tell how at a certain out-match the umpire quite justly declared him “Leg Before Wicket” to a ball that hit him on the head!
After his stay in Clongowes he was sent for a year to Feldkirch in the Vorarlberg, Austria. Shortly after his return he entered the Jesuit Noviceship, then at Milltown Park (October 28th, 1874). On the completion of this he began his studies, but very soon the shadow of that ill-health which was always to be his fell across his path and made the succeeding years of his life very kaleidoscopic in their changes of place and occupation. He began spitting blood. Later the story gained currency among the boys in Clongowes that he had only one lung: and they were proportionately impressed by the loud shouts he could send echoing across football field and cricket ground, encouraging them to play up. With or without the help of a second lung he did manage to put life into the games. He was to them what Fr. Daly was to studies, a sort of human dynamo communicating energy throughout the school. This aspect of his activity had its critics, as every aspect of every man's activity must have apparently. But he defended it energetically. He believed in games, not only as a device for keeping the restless energies of youth occupied and out of mischief, but as a very important element of character formation, He used to say that he felt at ease about the conduct of his charges when he saw them keen on their games, and vaguely uneasy when they grew indifferent. To those who claimed the games interfered with study, he would point triumphantly to the fact that when Clongowes did best in its out-matters it also did best in the Intermediate examinations. And he was insistent in his talks to his boys that games ceased with the sounding of the whistle and much more important duties began.
But his enthusiasm for his side of the school life was such that it could easily be mistaken. The present writer once said to him in later life : “As a boy I thought at first that football and cricket were more to you than the movements of the spheres”. He smiled and answered : “Well. in my own school-days I certainly enjoyed them. But prefect the sight of bat or ball often gave me a sense of pause, I had to labour hard at my priedieu before facing the playground, and my loud shouting was often a last resource to keep me from bursting into tears”. He had to labour hard at his prie-dieu before facing the play ground! How many of his youthful flock suspected that?
But we have not yet reached this part of his life, and we must return to what might well be called his Wander jahre. We find him studying Rhetoric in Clongowes (1877-78); acting as Prefect in Tullabeg (1879-83), and at Belvedere College (1883-84); studying Philosophy in Milltown Park (1884-85); reading Theology in Tullabeg (1885-86).
In 1886 he is once more switched off from books to prefecting, this time in Clongowes, where he soon had the delicate task of fusing the boys of Clongowes and Tullabeg, now arnalgamated, into one harmonious community - a task in which he succeeded admirably (with the help, as he always most gratefully acknowledged, of some splendid boys from both, whom he ever after held in unfading memory and affection). While so occupied he was ordained priest (1887), with much of his sacred studies yet to accomplish. Hence in 1888-89 he is catalogued as studying Theology at Mold. But in the following two years he acts as Minister in Clongowes.
The next year (1891-82) he is once agajn immersed in his Theology at Milltown Park. Between 1892 and 1894 he made his own Tertianship and acted as Socius to the Master of Novices in Tullabeg. In 1894 he returned to Clongowes as Prefect, a position he held till 1900. In 1901 he became Spiritual Father in Clongowes, and remained there till 1905, when he went in the same capacity to 86 Stephen's Green, the focus at that time of such communal existence as was possible to students of the late Royal University in Dublin. After a year there he spent a short time in Gardiner Street; but soon crossed the city to Milltown Park, which was to be home to a somewhat storm-tossed mariner for the rest of his life. Here he gave retreats to priests and layınen, and acted as Spiritual Father to the Scholastics and Community.
Such in outline was his career. But how little all these bewildering details give us of the man! And how hopeless must be every attempt to make his dynamic personality or complex character live again in the dead medium of print! Yet one would fain rescue something. “tam cari catritis”. The pity is it must be so little. Perhaps it will help towards clearness if we consider him first as a prefect of boys, and secondly as preacher, retreat-giver, and spiritual director.
As a prefect his outstanding characteristic was his devotedness. He spent himself in the services of the boys entrusted to him in a manner little short of heroic, calling upon a delicate frame and an enfeebled constitution for physical exertions that would tax the robustest health. Higher Line Prefect in Clongowes is at once a responsible, an anxious, and an arduous task, No one has more to say to the character training and moral formation of the pupils. He is pivotal for all that part of the school life which is not confined to class-room and study-hall. He has to supervise and answer for the conduct of nearly 300 youngsters while they are at recreation and at play, that is to say, when they are most likely to make trouble or get into trouble. He must be a disciplinarian, of course, with a firm wrist. But if he is only that he may be held in awe; he will not win confidence, affection, veneration, he will never exercise any beneficent influence.
Fr. Fegan, or “Tim”, the unexplained name he early acquired, was much more than a disciplinarian, for he somehow managed to acquire an ascendancy over the most wayward. He laid himself out to study the character of each individual with sympathy and tact. He had the art of making every little egoist - and how egocentric the boy in his 'teens can be - as if he were a special object of solicitude and his future career a matter of no small importance to the cosmos. . He did not give him too much piety to swallow, especially at the start. He knew the instinctive recoil of youth from “preaching”.
Even in his sermons - the best and most practical that the boys heard - he knew how to get down to their plane of thought and emotion. He did not pretend to assume hat they were all saints. He did not ask too much of them at a time. He showed that he knew and felt their difficulties and was only anxious to help, to make them find out and develop what was best in themselves. He reasoned with them about things in language that was often very homely, sometimes startlingly unconventional, but generally effective. When the word went round, “Tim is up to-night”, meaning that Fr. Fegan was to preach. there was a lively sense of expectancy in all. Even the few that would like to mock were at least compelled to listen; and with the vast majority “Tim” prevailed. He had periods of partial unpopularity, engineered by some malcontents. But they never lasted, and never survived the close of a term.
On one occasion he had a triumph which recalled in a certain way the story of a sermon of Savonarola's. He had preached on reading, and, among other things, begged them not to waste their time on, trash - Penny Dreadfuls and the like. In the after-supper recreation some youngsters half-jestingly, I fear-took out tattered copies from their pockets, tore them up, and threw them down under the corridor clock. The idea took on, and soon a hamperful of torn paper littered the ground. Fr. Fegan laughed at the scene; but he was not untouched; notwithstanding the fact that the young urchin who started the movement went up to him and said : “I had read mine three times over and was tired of it”.
More than anyone else in a devoted community, Fr. Fegan sought to replace father and mother for youngsters subject to the changing moods of adolescence. If he saw one looking glum or unhappy he would stop him on the corridor and rally him over it till a smile returned. In sorrow or affliction he could be singularly kind, and he was always scrupulously just. He had a peculiar way of dealing with “hard cases”. He would pretend to have been himself no end of a wild fellow in his day, who was capable of anything, had it not been that his Angel Guardian took him by the hair of the head and transported him in time to the noviceship. Or he would give some poor Ishmael who thought himself in everybody's bad books, a “tack” at a football match (to which a “feed” attached), to the amazement of all, particularly of the recipient. But. most of all, Fr. Fegan took pity on and thought for those luckless youths who, being somewhat uncouth, or ungainly, or unable to play games, lived isolated even amid a crowd. and were perhaps the object of others' raillery. These lonely ones found in “Tim” a real friend, and I have known a few such who in after life could hardly speak of him without something like a lump in the throat.
The first impression was that all this was just the natural character of the man. But soon there was borne in upon even the schoolboy's mind the realisation that something higher was operative than natural kindness. Without formulating it in words, even to himself, he became conscious that the boisterous prefect, cracking jokes, saying surprising and unconventional things, rattling keys to hurry things up, or shouting with force of three lungs instead of one to keep the games alive, was really and fundamentally a man of God, and at heart chiefly or only concerned with trying to make all understand that they had immortal souls to save. There was no mistaking the supernatural basis of his restless energy.
This alone would explain the pains he would take to help anyone who confided in him - by conversation while they were still under his care, by correspondence when they had left school and entered the larger arena of life. For he was a believer in the apostolate of letter-writing, He was a great correspondent, and many thousands of long epistles, in his fine calligraphy, must have followed his ex-pupils into every corner of the earth, often just to give such school and home news as might interest, oftener still to insinuate some words of encouragement or consolation in trial. Many a one only came in later years to appreciate how staunch a friend their old prefect really was.
As a result of his devotedness he won from most a life long remembrance, and from many an affection rising to veneration. This was very conclusively demonstrated at the Centenary Celebrations in Clongowes in 1914. At the dinner in the Gymnasium, where some 600 old boys were assembled, a scene took place which no one who it forget. Various toasts had been proposed and responded to, among others by John Redmond, just then at the very apex of his career, who made a most graceful and even eloquent speech. At length Fr. Fegan's turn came. But when he rose to speak pandemonium seemed to break loose. Nearly everyone sprang to his feet some mounted on chairs, all waved napkins or clapped hands, and round after round of cheering rose and fell for eight full minutes before he could begin. It was more than a possibility that such a reception, acting on a highly emotional nature, would have reduced him to tears, preventing him from speaking at all. And his first words were, indeed, tremulous; but he controlled himself, and for ten or twelve minutes treated the assembly to one of the happiest and most moving utterances even he ever made, a mixture of humour and pathos it would be hard to surpass. Then the cheering began again, and ended only with exhaustion. It was a personal triumph such as rarely occurs in the lives of men living far from the noise of crowds.
It was also I think, the amende honorable on the part of many for anxieties caused in less reflecting days, and for whatever lack of cordiality or understanding there might have been in that now vanishing past when the peculiar shyness or gaucherie of boyhood made a display of emotion impossible. It was the appropriate and merited epitaph on “Tim's” dead life. With this ovation the ex-prefect passed finally over to the Spiritual Father and Preacher and Retreat Giver, who would nevertheless not quite lose touch with his former subjects, but meet many again in a changed relationship.
It is far from easy to delineate him in his new capacity; for the most striking feature of Fr. Fegan's discourses was just his power of surprising his audiences. One never knew what to expect when he began, what strategy he would employ. He realised that a speaker's first duty is to arrest attention, and he had innumerable devices for doing so. It cannot be denied that these were some times almost disconcerting. Certainly they were novel, and they succeeded invariably in establishing control with his hearers and giving him an easy command me their attention for the rest of the time. Few ever slept while he spoke.
A priest who had heard it as a student once told me the story of Fr. Fegan's first retreat in Maynooth, the tradition of which still survives in parochial houses all over the land. He was as yet prefecting in Clongowes when he was invited to give it. At the beginning of the first talk he paused dramatically, looked around him stroked his chin - a favourite gesture - and broke out “Boys o' boys! Just think of it! Henry Fegan talking to the very elite of Ireland; the hope of the Church of St. Patrick; its future parish priests, professors, and bishops, already deep in the learning of the Schools! And who is Henry Fegan? Why nothing but an old Higher Line Prefect from Clongowes, with the clauber of the football fields still hanging to his heels!” This last touch so took the students that they nearly forgot the Presence and cheered. At least all sat up to listen, and from that on he held them in the hollow of his hand. When the retreat was ended he was inveigled over to the Aula Maxima, and received an ovation not unlike the one that was to greet him some years later in Clongowes, when the clauber had long been polished from his heels.
But it would be a mistake to imagine that Fr. Fegan's power derived solely from his unconventionality and raciness of manner. He was often most impressive when he read in quiet tones and without gesture of any kind one of those carefully-prepared and finely-written discourses he would sometimes give. Even when speaking impromptu he had a wide range of manner, while his influence as a speaker sprang most of all from his earnestness, from a zeal that was unmistakable, and a holiness that was manifest. Sometimes he exploited that dramatic skill which would have made him a successful actor had he taken to the stage. Some took exception to this and thought him histrionic. For some it was the least pleasing feature of his talks. But for many others, especially those who did not hear him constantly, his gestures, his animation, his amusing asides, his shrewd and sometimes very clever epigrams, were the chief part of his attraction. 'At any rate, whatever was the reason,
few speakers of his time had anything like the same power of addressing again and again the same audiences without palling.
Nor were these uncritical or uncultured audiences. With no class of listener had he more success than with the priests of Ireland, who, either in Milltown Park or in the diocesan retreats, nearly all heard him once, and many several times over. It is not too much to say that he made the reputation of Milltown Park as a House of Retreats, and won a place in the regard of the diocesan clergy second to none. With nuns and the various religious congregations he was not a whit less popular. It can safely be said that for over twenty years no retreat giver in Ireland was more in demand.
Curiously enough, he rarely entered a pulpit after leaving Clongowes For some strange reason he seems to have shrink from the ordeal. Yet he was splendidly equipped for success in the pulpit. Indeed, I have always thought that if only fate had been a little more propitious to him in those early years, and he had, after a due course of preparation, been dedicated to the pulpit, he would have been Ireland's greatest preacher since Fr. Tom Burke. Dis aliter visum. It can still be said that few men of his generation had a more persuasive tongue, or used it better for the glory of God and the good of souls. In spite of handicaps which would have reduced weaker wills to inactivity, ħe kept active to the end. Even when his voice failed he did not cease to preach; for nothing he ever uttered equalled in eloquence the example he gave in those years of gradual decline and crowding infirmities.
Saint is not a word to be lightly used. In its primary significance it means one possessed of sanctifying grace in life and death. And in this sense who can doubt it applied in a high measure to Fr. Fegan? But there is another more specific meaning which the Church for bids us to apply to anyone till her verdict has been sought and obtained. Let us abstain, then, from the word in this technical sense. But let us add that by those who knew him intimately it is as a man of God he will be remembered most; as one, who though always delicate, and later weighed down by four or five major maladies. yet never complained, never surrendered, never lost gaiety, not to speak of courage; who would meet sympathetic inquiries with a shake of his stick and the fantastic reply that he was “lepping”, when he was actually half crippled; whose kindness was in the philological sense catholic, ie., universal, embracing most of all the sick, the lonely, the sorely tried; who, with certain undoubted idiosyncrasies and limitations, was essentially and always. a man to trust, a man to honour, a man to love; the meeting with whom was for not a few the greatest external grace of their lives, as it is a simple duty of gratitude to add it was for him who pens these lines.

PATRICK J GANNON SJ

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 28 : September 1983

FR HENRY FEGAN SJ

Fergal McGrath

One on our two octogenarian contributors to this issue of Interduse, Fr McGrath recalls the life and labours of a dedicated man who worked in the Colleges till 1909 and spent the remaining twenty-four years of his life giving retreats.

Fr. Henry Fegan died just fifty years ago, on the 17th September, 1933. În one sense his life in the Society of Jesus presents no particularly remarkable features. It was all spent on traditional ministries. For the first twenty years he was prefect in Tullabeg and Clongowes, with intervals for the usual studiesa, Then came six years as Spiritual father in clongowes, followed by twenty-four years as a retreat-giver in Milltown Park. But what was remarkable about this career was that Father Fegan carried out these traditional ministries superbly well.

He was born in Newry in 1861. His baptismal name was Henry, but during the greater part of his life he was universally known as “Tim”. I have never been able to ascertain at what stage or why this appellation began. Most probably it was bestowed on him by the boys during his prefecting days. He was sent to Clongowes at a very early age. The official record states that he was six, but other indications seem to show that he was eight. In any case, he was apparently well able to look after himself. In the Clongownian, 1934, Father George R Roche recalls a tradition that a Higher Liner, seeing this diminutive arrival, greeted him with a popular catch cry of the day: “Does your mother know you're out?” and received the reply: “Yes, and she gave me a penny to buy a donkey for sale?” The Higher Liner was to become the small boy's Rector at Clongowes and life-long friend, Father Matthew Devitt.

Harry Fegan, as he was then called, rapidly distinguished himself at Clongowes by his gift of leadership and athletic prowess, and was elected Captain of each of the three Lines in succession and Prefect of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin. His future gift of oratony was fore-shadowed by the fact that he came second to his distinguished schoolfellow, John Redmond, in the competition for the Debate Medal. On leaving Clongowes, he spent a year at the Jesuit College of Feldkirch in Austria, and then in 1875 he entered the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg.

After a very short Juniorate, he was plunged into the work of prefecting, which was to last for twenty years. It is difficult, after the lapse of so many years, to give an idea of the extraordinary loyalty and enthusiasm which he inspired in the long succession of boys who passed under his care. During his lifetime, and indeed for many years after, the mention of his name would evoke affectionate praise from any old Tullabeg or Clongowes man one might happen to meet. Only recently one of my own community remarked in conversation that his father had had “Tim” as his Higher Line Prefect, and “adored” him.

A most remarkable manifestation of the power of father Fegan's personality was displayed at the time of the amalgamation of Clongowes and Tullabeg in 1886. It was, not surprisingly, a time of tension. The Tullabeg boys in particular, felt a sense of grievance. They knew nothing of the financial difficulties that seem to have been the deciding factor in the decision. All they knew was that their school had so much to be proud of. Its candidates had won distinction in the examinations of London University; its football and cricket teams had shown themselves a good match for the teams of local clubs; it had a flourishing dramatic society and orchestra (which on one occasion travelled together to Limerick and performed there for a week); it had its “rowing club” on the Grand Canal. It could be understood that the Tullabeg boys felt a. natural resentment at being apparently subordinated to what what appeared to them to be a far less distinguished establishment, and that there was a real danger of serious friction. In the end, all went well, and credit for the happy ending must largely be attributed to Father Fegan, who, though not yet ordained, was appointed Higher Line prefect. A Tullabeg man, Joe Donaghy, a well-known Belfast. Solicitor, writing on the Amalgaamation in the Clongownian of 1909, that all boys in general and the Higher Line in particular, were under the control of and in close contact with a Higher Line Prefect, for whom individually they would have gone through fire and water, A particularly critical issue was the election of captain of the school, which was then by vote of the Higher Line. Mr Fegan tactfully suggested to the Clongownians that they should do the big thing, with the result that they elected Jack Meldon, the former Tullabeg captain, and the Tullabeg boys responded by electing as second captain a. Clongownian, Richard Skerrett Volding. After his first year as a prefect, Mr. Fegan was ordained in the Boys' Chapel (now the People's Church), an event which even further increased his influence over the boys.

Many years later there was another outstanding manifestation of the esteem in which Father Fegan was held - this time by his past pupils. This was on the occasion of the centenary celebration of Clongowes in 1914. At that time Father Fegan had been some five years absent from Clongowes, but his memory was still fresh among the many generations of Clongowes and Tullabeg men who were present. At. the centenary banquet the most distinguished guest was John Redmond, then at the height of his powers as leader of the Irish party. He spoke, as always, most eloquently, and was applauded loudly. But then there came a spontaneous cry of “Tim! Tim!” and when Father Fegan rose to speak, the applause was tumultuous, dying down more than once only to burst forth again. It was some ten minutes before he could begin to speak, and when he had finished, it seemed again as if the applause would never end.

Father Fegan ceased his connection with the colleges in 1909, and, as has been said, passed the remaining twenty-four ye life giving retreats, mainly in Milltown Park, but also around the country. It was a complete change of work, but he brought to it the same gift of personality which had made him such a success as a prefect. He was in particular demand for priests retreats, and his reputation soon spread far and wide. In an obituary in the Province News Father Edward Masterson records a typical appreciation from a parish priest. “I have made nine retreats given by Father Fegan, and I would gladly begin a tenth retreat to-morrow with Father Fegan to conduct it!” In the Clongownian for 1934 there appeared a tribute by Mgr. James MacCaffrey, President of Maynooth, who had known Father Fegan for thirty years. A few passages may be quoted which give a faithful picture of their subject:

“I can say with truth that in my long experience in Maynooth no man ever succeeded in captivating his audience as did Fr. Fegan, and no man since or before made such a profound and lasting
impression.”

“Father Fegan's style was unique, his language simple. There was no sign of careful preparation. On the contrary at times he spoke as if he had given little thought on the subject and with a certain amount of disorder. But this was only apparent. No man prepared more carefully, not indeed in words but in ideas. His discourses were the fruits of his own earnest meditation. In the silence of his own room or kneeling before the tabernacle, he convinced himself of the truth that he was about to deliver to his audience, with the result that he spoke with the earnestness and enthusiasm that can come only from true conviction .... And what a realisation he had of the love, the mercy, the goodness of our Divine Lord. How he swept aside in his enthusiastic outbursts the cold formalities that are to be found in so many professional treatises on the spiritual life, and in his own homely but burning words would exclaim: “Man alive, boys, isn't He a grand Master to serve!”

I can supplement this testimony by a personal recollection that when Father Fegan, in his old age, felt obliged to refuse to give the Maynooth students' retreat, Mgr. Caffrey offered to supply all. the other lectures if Father Fegan would give one in the day.

Father Fegan was equally successful in the retreats for laymen which he gave regularly at Milltown Park. Mr. Leon O'Broin, in his recently published biography of Frank Duff, recalls the high regard in which Frank held Father Fegan, and how Frank constantly organised groups of government officials and Vincent de Paul workers to make retreats at Milltown. Mr. Ó Broin heard from Frank an anecdote concerning Father regan which still lives in the folklore of the Province. There was a retreat for a group of doctors, amongst whom his friends were rather suprised to see Dr. Johnny McArdle, well known as a brilliant surgeon and also as a bon vivant. As the retreatants were assembling, “Johnny” was heard to remark ruefully: “What the hell brought me here?” The query was reported to Father: Fegan, who delighted his audience by beginning the opening lecture with the words: “What the hell brought me here? Words taken from Johnny MacArdle”. He then proceeded to give an eloquent discourse. on the End of Man.

I may suitably conclude with a few personal reminiscences of Father Fegan. It will be realised that, after the lapse of more than half a century, they must be only fragmentary.

The first time I ever saw and heard him was when I was a small boy, before I went to Clongowes. My parents brought me to a Passion preached by him at St. Mary's, Haddington Road, our parish Church. I can recall nothing of the sermon itself, but I have a clear recollection of seeing a hospital nurse (nurses then wore a distinctive outdoor uniform) weeping openly at the preacher's moving description of our Lord's sufferings.

When I went to Ciongowes in 1908, Father Fegan was Spiritual Father to the community and boys. I was in a group of young boys who were being prepared for confirmation by him. An amusing incident comes back to me. In the course of one of the classes, a boy developed a persistant hiccup. Father Fegan stood it for some time but at last astonished us by addressing the sufferer in a thunderous voice: You impertinent boy. How dare you interrupt me! There was an awed silence, and the hiccup ceased like magic. Then Father Fagan addressed himself in his usual genial voice to a boy in the front row, Ned Coyne (later the brilliant Jesuit economist.)
“Ned, was I really angry with that boy?”
“NO, Father”, Ned was quick to reply.
“Then why did I pretend to be angry?”
“To give him a shock and cure his hiccup”.
A sigh of relief came from the class.

I entered the noviceship in 1913, and on a visit to me at Tullabeg, my father related to me how he had recently met Father Fegan in Dublin, and confessed to him that he was feeling somewhat lonely at the loss - at least temporarily - of his only son. Father Fegan's words of consolation were couched in a typically unexpected way. “Man dear, do you realise that that boy is going to be able to do something that Our Lady herself could not do - to say Mass”.

Another chance memory probably dates from the time when I was a scholastic in Clongowes, 1922-24. Father Fegan then stationed at Milltown Park, paid a visit to the school, and, strolling with some of us around the playing fields, came across a football match which was being played in a listless fashion by 2nd Division of the Third Line. Father Fegan, who had a very penetrating voice, proceeded to address a series of comical exhortations to the players, with the result that in a few minutes they were playing up as if their lives depended on it. No one but “Tim” could have carried off this little tour de force.

My last glimpse of Father Fegan is from the years I spent in theology at Milltown, 1924-28, when he was still at the height of his. powers as a retreat-giver and was also Spiritual Father to the community. I recall with what pleasant anticipation we looked forward to his domestic exhortations. They were usually startling in their originality and most inspiring. But Father Fegan's best exhortation was his own prayerful self. I remember how, being out for a country walk and turning the corner on a quiet road, we came suddenly on him. Characteristically, he was saying his rosary as he walked along.

I treasured for over sixty years the letter Father Fegan wrote me on the death of my father in 1923, but in a recent change of rooms it was lost amidst a confusion of papers. That I kept it so long is testimony of how deeply it moved me.

These scattered gleanings out of the recesses of memory hardly do justice to the great and holy man they recall. To recall them, however, has given me happiness and inspiration. I trust that they may, in some degree, do the same for my readers.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1934

Obituary

Father Henry Fegan SJ

Notice of Fr Henry Fegan SJ, would appear much more natural in the pages of the Clongownian than here, for Clongowes and Fr Fegan to many are almost synonymous. Still, for the sake of those who knew him in Belvedere we must not pass him over without at least a brief mention of the ending of his pilgrimage. Our readers of last year's number may remember an allusion to him by Mr Timothy Justice Sullivan ('84-91) who related that after one year only, Mr Fegan left this College in very bad health, in fact as everybody thought, he went away to die. His call did not come, however, and he lived to do such work that his name is held in grateful veneration by many thousands, especially of his “boys”.

The fiery enthusiasm and eager zeal so strange in so weak a frame were as evident in the “eighties” as in all the years until the end, and the memory of these his most noticeable traits is still vivid in the minds of those who knew him here.

We shall leave to Clongowes, which he loved so well, the task of writing fittingly of so remarkable a man. In one short sentence we shall sum up his tireless life he had great gifts and he used them greatly Surely few will have so many prayers from those whom he befriended!

◆ The Clongownian, 1934

Obituary

Father Henry Fegan SJ

Educated at Clongowes : 1867–1874
Entered the Society of Jesus : 28th Oct., 1875
Prefect at Clongowes : 1879-1883
Ordained Priest at Clongowes : 8th May, 1887
H Line Prefect at Clongowes : 1886–1888
Minister at Clongowes : 1889--1891
H Line Prefect at Clongowes :1894-1900 & 1901-1902
Spiritual Father at Clongowes : 1902-1906 & 1907-1909
Director of Retreats at Milltown Park : 1909-1933
Died at Milliown : 27th Sept., 1933

To write an appreciation for “The Clongownian” of the late Father Fegan would require a pen such as he himself wielded (witness his obituary notice of Father Conmee in “The Clongownian”, I910) and the present writer feels how utterly inadequate his efforts must be to discharge the debt that Clongowes owes to one who for so many years filled such a big part in its life as did Henry Fegan. As boy, Higher Line Prefect and Spiritual Father he spent in all over a quarter of a century in Clongowes, in addition to being for several years on the staff in Tullabeg.
He came to Clongowes as a very small boy in 1861 and the story has it that on the evening of his arrival, which was after the term had opened, a Higher Line boy, seeing for the first time the diminutive new arrival, accosted him saying, “Hullo ! does your mother know you are out?” “Yes”, was the reply, “and she gave me a penny to buy a donkey, are you for sale?” The Higher Line boy was later fated to be the small boy's Rector in Clongowes for many years and his life long friend - Father Matthew Devitt. During the five years that he spent as a boy in Clongowes Harry Fegan's powers at games and his gift of leadership were fully recognised, and he was elected captain of each of the three Lines in succession, an unusual distinction.

Some appreciations and recollections of these years by a few of his co-temporaries will be of interest to those who only knew him in later life. One writes “I first remember him when I was in Rudiments, and he was in Poetry, a slight delicate boy who played the games of the school as they should be played. When later he was elected Captain of the House he was indubitably the idol of the school. That year the Cricket XI was very strong, winning every out-match played”. How it became so strong is told us by one who is possibly its last surviving member, Sir Thomas Stafford. “It was as Captain of the XI that he was best known and idolized by us boys. He made a rather young and inferior XI into a match-winning team by means of enthusiastic leadership, for what ever Henry Fegar undertook, he carried out with his whole strength. We just obeyed him and the XI developed, won its matches, and the foundation was laid of the notable cricketing teams of Clongowes which carried all before them in the ensuing years. Our chief victory of the year was over a powerful Phoenix XI. Henry Fegan never forgot that match, it was his triumph as a leader, and he spoke of it to me only a few months ago with pride - it meant more to him than many of his greater successes in life to know that he had trained us boys and fashioned us into an instrument to obey his leadership. We see in this the boy being ‘Father of the man’. Success in the leadership of men, in what was an unusually successful career in bringing men to follow him, commenced in the playing fields of Clongowes. Henry Fegan was not a brilliant boy; the Holy Ghost gave him the gift of knowledge, but He made him gain it in pain and grief by means of hard work. Of all the successful men of his day at Clongowes I don't remember one who in later years reached his high standard of life or whose influence over men was greater. We have only to look at the crowded halls of Milltown Park when he gave his retreats to men to form an idea of the influence he exercised. One incident in his life at Clongowes, I know, gave him the greatest pleasure, it was his selection by the boys as head of the Sodality. He made quite as great a success of the Sodality as he did of the XI”.

Another schoolfellow presents a picture of him in what would have been his first year in the Higher Line. “He and I were almost invariably Captains of our different sides when the football matches between the Higher and Lower Lines took place, and, needless to say, feeling ran high and invariably disputes, to put it mildly, took place and were apparently ended on the tield of play. But that would not suit Henry by any means. We sat near each other in the Study Hall, I a few benches behind, and my dear Henry at once produced pen, ink and paper and addressed lengthy and vitriolic letters to me on the subject of the dispute on the football field, and tried to convince me that I was wrong and several sorts of fools, etc. I had to reply, of course, for the honour of the Lower Line but I was not in it with him when it came to the written word in which he was an adept”. Many of us who knew him afterwards can well imagine the scene.
The most coveted distinction in the Clongowes of those days was the Debate Medal Speeches were prepared with the greatest care and the merits of the rival orators were discussed by all. For many years afterwards the debates of 1873-4 were recalled as veritable battles of giants, for the issue lay between John Redmond and Henry Fegan. The medal was awarded to the former, but many thought that Fegan was the better speaker. Just forty years afterwards on the occasion of the College Centenary the “Past” had an opportunity of hearing and comparing the two great rivals of other days.

After completing Rhetoric Father Fegan left Clongowes and went to Feldkirch, Austria, where he spent a year. Shortly after his return to Ireland he entered the Jesuit Noviceship at Milltown Park, Dublin, on October 28th, 1875. He spent there two years, and then was sent to Clongowes to study Humanities, but his health did not allow him to continue his studies and in 1878 we find him in Tullabeg as Third Line Prefect, later to become Lower Line Prefect. He threw himself heart and soul into his work and things moved in whatever Line he had. His fellow Jesuits dubbed him “the Little Enthusiast”.

At that time the winters were very severe and there were long spells of frost. As there was no sheet of ice in the neighbourhood of the College large enough to allow of skating, the boys had to content themselves with sliding on the gravel playground, There was much emulation between the different Lines as to which should have the best “slide”, and consequently could travel furthest, but Mr Fegan's Lower Line always came off best, the secret being that during the night the Prefect had been out pouring water on their slide which by morning had become a sheet of polished ice. One other story connected with his time in Tullabeg may be recalled. As the College was dedicated to St Stanislaus, the feast of its Patron was always celebrated with special solemnities, including High Mass and sermon. On one occasion the preacher had failed to turn up on the morning of the feast and it looked as if there would be no sermon. This was more than Mr Fegan, who had a great devotion to St Stanislaus, could stand, so he offered to preach, the sermon. It was not unusual in those days in Tullabeg for a scholastic to preach as the Community contained only a very few priests. On this occasion, though he had had no time for special preparation, Mr Fegan preached a most eloquent panegyricon his favourite saint. How deep and characteristic was his devotion to St Stanislaus may be shown by a story that he once told the present writer. On one occasion during the vacation he was sailing in Carlingford Lough when the boat was caught in a squall and upset. Believing that all was over with him he prayed: “St. Aloysius”, then he corrected himself, “I beg your pardon, I mean St Stanislaus, help me”. He was a boy in Clongowes at the time but his devotion to the patron of his school was exceeded by his love for his favourite - the boy - saint Stanislaus.

When in 1886 the “Amalgamation” of Clongowes and Tullabeg was decided upon, it was recognised that the success of the fusion of the two schools would depend very largely upon the line of conduct adopted by those who would come most in contact with the boys, for there were distinct possibilities of trouble. Neither side liked the idea, We Clongownians were not inclined to look with friendly eyes upor the boys of a rival school invading oui most sacred precincts, possibily trampling upon our customs, introducing a foreign spirit and disturbing the quiet tenor of our lives. Nor were the Tullabeg boys more favourably disposed. They resented what they naturally looked upon as a slight upon their old school that not it, but Clongowes, had been chosen to survive Mindful too of the great fame that Tullabeg had won during and since the days of Father Delany's rectorship, they felt it hard that they should be merged into a school that held no such record. But these fears and forecasts were destined to be proved ill founded. In Father Conmee, then beginning his second year of office, Clongowes possessed a Rector who was ideal in the circumstances But after all, the Rector comes but little in direct contact with the boys, and in such a delicate situation the slightest friction might cause serious trouble the success of the experiment would depend not on the highest authority but on sub ordinates, and in Clongowes chiefly upon the Higher Line Prefect.

Fortunately there was at hand one who was specially and exceptionally suited to meet the occasion. During the previous year 1885-6, Mr Fegan had been in Tullabeg studying Philosophy privately. He had held no post of authority over the boy but had been in very close contact with them, especially with the leading boys o the school, most of whom came on to Clongowes in the following September. To the Clongowes boys he was of course no so well known. I had only seen him once on an occasion when he came on a short visit to Clongowes, but the word had gone round, and we were interested to see on of whom, especially of whose prowess at games, we had all heard. Evidently the “Fegan was the name and Fegan was the man”, the hero-captain of Clongowes of some dozen years before, and the friend and confidant of the Tullabeg boys of the day. Who else united in himself such qualifications? So, though not yet a priest he was entrusted with the important post of Higher Line Prefect of the amalgamated colleges of Clongowes and Tullabeg. On him would chiefly depend the succes or failure of the great venture.

One of the first matters to be decide was: who would be Captain of the school in Tullabeg the choice of captain was absolutely in the hands of the Higher Line Prefect. In Clongowes he was elected by the boys of the Higher Line. It was decided to continue the Clongowes custom of election. The Tullabeg Captain of the previous year had come on to Clongowes. He was Jack Meldon, an outstanding cricketer even at that time. The Tullabeg boys were in a considerable majority in the Higher Line hence they could easily have elected the boy of their choice. Had the voting been on party lines rivalry and jealousy would have ensued which would have caused lasting friction and unpleasantness. However when the election came off it was found that the Tullabeg boys were refraining from voting and the Clongowes boys unanimously elected Jack Meldon. An influence had been at work behind the scenes with the result that the term started in a spirit of harmony and good-fellowship that lasted throughout the whole year. It is needless to say what the influence was that had been at work. With what painstaking effort the Prefect worked to bring the boys of the two schools together! The writer can give his own experience. He was appointed gamekeeper, representing the Clongowes interest. His confrère from Tullabeg was Charlie Moore. Neither at first knew the other, but in a short time, as a result of the same influence, we became the closest of friends. How would things have gone had the Prefect been other than Mr Fegan? It is hard to tell, but if one episode be typical, they would not have gone well. That winter there was heavy frost and the Clongowes boys who had had the advantage of a pond close to the college showed themselves very much better skaters than the Tullabeg boys who had not had the same opportunities. It happened that during the skating time Mr Fegan was taken ill and confined to bed. His place was taken by a member of the community who was considered by the Tullabeg boys as being partial to Clongowes. The word now went round among them that he had made some disparaging remarks about their skating powers. They retaliated by starting a kind of boycott of skating. Things looked serious, but were righted when Mr Fegan left his sick bed and resumed his place at the helm.

In the May of that school year the boys had the pleasure of seeing their Higher Line Prefect ordained in their chapel by the Most Rev Dr Donnelly, Bishop of Canea. An address, which is still to be seen in the parlour of the Infirmary, was presented to him on this occasion. On the next day he said his first Mass at the High Altar and the writer was one of those who were privileged to serve it.

The next year, 1887-8, Fr Fegan rernained as Higher Line Prefect and Father James Daly came to take over the charge of the studies, and the combination of these two, so exceptionally gifted, yet so different in their ways, continued almost unbroken for fourteen years.

In 1902 Father Fegan exchanged the life of Prefect for the more congenial one to him of Spiritual Father. Though during all the years of his Prefectship he had been apparently immersed in games and kindred matters, he had been leading a most spiritual and even mortified life. He had ever worked for the glory of God. He had spent whatever spare time he had in reading, which would help him in preaching and giving retreats. He read very carefully, taking copious notes of what he read. In after years many of the striking and apparently impromptu passages in his sermons and lectures were suggested by what he had read and noted at his table in the Higher Line Prefect's room.

As Spiritual Father he mixed a good deal with the boys in order that they might get to know him and have confidence in him. He took a special interest in their games, and “Father Fegan and his umbrella” were familiar sights on the touch-line, and his voice, produced by the mythical “one lung” was to be heard all over the grounds (some said as far off as Clane itself,) especially when he encouraged the Lower Line in their efforts to win their cup matches against the Higher Line. On winter evenings parties of Third Liners loved to assemble around his fire, while he told them stories in his own inimitable way.

He was now able to preach much oftener than previously, and his sermons and sodality talks to the boys were eagerly looked forward to, when the word went round that “Tim is up to-night”. He had a most original and gripping way of putting things, and “Boys O' Boys” or “Boys dearest isn't it grand” was sure to rivet their attention on some truth which he wanted them to take away with them. The “People's Church” too, used to be crowded those Sunday mornings, and many a homely truth, such as the necessity of keeping windows open so as to ventilate the houses, or of the women folk having the supper ready for "himself" when he came home after the day's work, was conveyed to them together with wonderfully told lessons from Our Lord's life. These sermons are still talked of around Clongowes.

The year 1909 saw the severance of Father Fegan's long connection with Clongowes, as in that year he was transferred to Milltown Park, Dublin, there to act as Spiritual Father to the Community and to conduct the retreats that are given to priests and laymen. In this latter work he was singularly successful and the influence that he exerted, especially by means of the week-end retreats was widespread. None, however, were more welcome than those who had been in Clongowes, and on tlone was he more anxious to spend himself. This work for the “Past” by word or with pen was almost the only connection that he had with the old school during the last twenty-four years of his life. Though Clongowes was so much in his thoughts, very seldom did he visit it. One visit, however, stands out pre-eminently. It was when the College celebrated its Centenary and he was asked to reply to the toast of the College to be proposed at the Centenary Dinner by John Redmond, MP. The dinner was held in the gymnasium and there were seated at the tables, besides Cardinal Logue and several Bishops more than 600 old boys. When John Redmond rose to propose the toast of the College he was greeted with tumultuous applause. He was just then at the summit of his fame. His life's ambition had been realised, for Home Rule had just been put upon the Statute Book. His speech was worthy of the great orator that he was. Worthy of his high position, and worthy of the occasion, the honour of his Alma Mater which he loved with an almost passionate devotion. But eloquent though he was and enthusiastic as was the reception that he met with, the scene while Father Fegan was on his feet was even more wonderful. Never had he spoken with so much pathos and with such power and eloquence, and the enthusiasm both before and after his speech was indescribable. For almost ten minutes on each occasion it lasted, dying down more than once only to burst forth again. This his last public appearance in Clongowes had been of the nature of a personal triumph showing how attached to him were the Clongownians of so many generations.

In striking contrast was his last visit to Clongowes which took place about two years ago. He came down one afternoon for a few hours and was present at Benediction in the College Chapel. Few of the boys noticed, and none recognised the old priest who was kneeling at the back of the chapel, nor did he know them individually, but they were to him the dearest thing in life, Clongowes boys. He remained kneeling until the last Third Liner had passed out, and when he arose tears were in his eyes. He told the Rector how he had prayed for them during the Benediction, prayed for their fathers and uncles whom he had known, and for all “their dear ones”. He who prayed thus fervently before The Presence in the school chapel for Clongowes and its boys will surely pray with still greater earnestness and far greater efficacy in the fuller Presence, which he now enjoys. It is but natural to link his name with that of one better known to recent generations of Clongownians, his successor in the office of Spiritual Director, Father John Sullivan, who died last year. In the persons of these two holy souls, Clongownians have powerful friends and inter cessors to present their petitions before their Father in Heaven.

Father Fegan's funeral in the Church of St Francis Xavier, Dublin, was attended by a very large number of Clongownians for whom special places had been reserved. After the Mass the coffin was borne down the church to the hearse by the officials of the Clongowes Union, and in Glasnevin from the mortuary chapel to the grave in the Jesuit plot by the boy Prefects of Clongowes. How fitting these last tributes to one who had borne in his heart Clongowes and her boys, Past and Present, for so long,
May he rest in peace.

Geo R Roche SJ

-oOo-

Fater Henry Fegan : The Retreat Giver

It is now close on thirty years ago since I first heard the late Father Henry Fegan. Dr Mannix, who was then President of Maynooth, had invited him to give the Retreat at the opening of the academic year.

His fame as a preacher had already preceded him, and it was with the greatest interest I looked forward to his opening discourse. Nor was I disappointed. But unfortunately after the first day his voice, never strong and slightly overtaxed by the dimensions of the college chapel, failed and it was necessary for him to seek for assistance among his colleagues of the Society.
The following September, however, he returned, this time in perfect form, and conducted the Annual Retreat without the slightest sign of fatigue.

On many occasions since then, until the state of his health forced him to refuse the most.pressing invitations, he conducted the spiritual exercises at Maynooth. Indeed, if the wishes of the community had been followed and if his own engagements had permitted it, no other person should have been invited

I can say with truth that in my long experience in Maynooth no man ever succeeded in captivating his audience as did Father Fegan and no man since or before produced such a profound and lasting impression.

Father Fegan's style was unique, his language simple. There was no sign of careful preparation. On the contrary at times he spoke as if he had given but little thought to his subject and with a certain amount of disorder. But this was only apparent. No man prepared more carefully, not indeed the words, but the ideas. His discourses were the fruits of his own earnest meditation. In the silence of his own room or kneeling before the Tabernacle he convinced himself of the truth of the message he was about to deliver to his audience with the result that he spoke with the earnestness and enthusiasın that can come only from conviction.

Father Fegan was not and never attempted to be an orator in the technical sense of the word. Probably he was all the better for that, for the effect he produced was much more lasting than that of mere oratory. He spoke not for the ear of the moment, but for the mind and afterthought, He held his audience spell-bound, but it was not the over-ruling, dominating spell binding of the orator, but it was the spell binding of a wonderful personality, whose whole being was quivering with intense realisation of the message he was conveying, and who was stamping the impress of his own mind on the minds and hearts of his hearers. And what a realisation he had of the love, the mercy, the goodness of our Divine Lord. How he swept aside in his enthusia

Ferguson, Charles, 1808-1845, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1281
  • Person
  • 23 June 1808-24 December 1845

Born: 23 June 1808, Rathkeale, County Limerick
Entered: 26 August 1832, St Andrea, Rome, Italy (ROM)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final Vows: 02 February 1845
Died: 24 December 1845, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a student at the Irish College in Rome when he entered the Society.

He made his Novitiate and Higher Studies in Rome.
1835 He was sent to Dublin and worked there until his death 24 December 1845
He was eloquent, laborious and full of energy, until his health failed. He was sent to travel to try recover, but in fact he needed rest.
He had been appointed Rector of Belvedere, and lived in Rathmines for the better air, in the house of a friend. One day he found that his sight failed him when in conversation with others. Suspecting death was approaching, a friend went in search of a priest, but he did not arrive in time.
He was a pious and holy priest.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Charles Ferguson 1808-1843
Fr Charles Ferguson was born in Limerick on June 23rd 1808. He was a student in the Irish College Rome, from which he entered the Society.

After his return to Ireland he taught Humanities at Tullabeg. From 1835 he was stationed at Dublin. He was eloquent, laborious and full of energy until his health failed. He was then sent to travel for the good of his health, but seemed to require rest more than travel.

In 1843 he was appointed Rector of Belvedere. He was staying at a friend’s house in Rathmines for the benefit of the air, when one day, when conversing with some friends, he suddenly found his sight failing him. Suspecting the approach of death, he asked for a priest.

He was a pious and zealous priest, dying at the age of 35.

Ferley, Paul, 1785-1850, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1282
  • Person
  • 22 July 1785-03 January 1850

Born: 22 July 1785, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1807, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1819, Palermo, Sicily
Final vows: 01 January 1832
Died: 03 January 1850, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare

In Clongowes 1817

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Graduated DD at Palermo.
Taught Rhetoric, Metaphysics and Theology at Clongowes.
He had a great love for the Society and great sympathy and charity for his neighbour.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Baptised in the old Parish Church of St Paul’s.
Early education was very successful in Humanities at Stonyhurst before Entry.
After First Vows he was sent with Messers Aylmer, St Leger, Butler and others to Sicily, graduating DD, and was very nearly made a Bishop.
1814 He came back to England and remained six months in Preston as Operarius.
He was then sent to Clongowes, and was one of the first to teach Philosophy and later Theology there.
He was the sent to the Dublin Residence, and was many years an Operarius there.
He was for some time teaching Rhetoric and Prefect of Studies, both at Clongowes and Belvedere.
1842 he finally went to Clongowes, where he remained until his death.
He was very fond of the Society, and remarkable for his great charity, such that the dying, or those in trouble always found him ready to comfort them.
For a few years before his death he suffered partial paralysis of his brain and other parts of his body. When no longer able to say Mass, he wished to hear it as often as possible, though unable to leave his room unaccompanied. Worn out, and fortified by the Sacraments, he died 03 January 1850.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Paul Ferley 1785-1850
Fr Paul Ferley was born in Dublin in 1785, and baptised in the old parish Church of St Paul’s. At the age of 22 he entered the Society at Stonyhurst.

He went with Messers Aylmer, St Leger, Butler and others to Sicily after his noviceship, where on completing his studies, he took the degree DD, and was very nearly made a Bishop.

On his return he worked at Preston for six months. Recalled to Ireland he was first to teach Philosophy, and after a few years Theology, at Clongowes. He laboured for many years as ab Operarius at the Dublin Residence in Gardiner Street. Finally he returned to Clongowes in 1842.

For some years he suffered from partial paralysis. Unable to say Mass, he wished to hear as many Masses as possible. At length, worn out in body and mind, he expired peacefully on January 3rd 1850.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ferrari, Dominicus, 1793-1880, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1283
  • Person
  • 04 October 1793-27 May1880

Born: 04 October 1793, Alessandria, Piedmont, Italy
Entered: 30 November 1818, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1831
Final Vows: 02 February 1834
Died: 27 May 1880, Monaco, France - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Came to HIB in 1861 working at SFX, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Finegan, Francis J, 1909-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/717
  • Person
  • 18 February 1909-07 March 2011

Born: 18 February 1909, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland / Castleblaney, County Monaghan
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1945, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 07 March 2011, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Early education at St Macartan's College, Monaghan
Tertianship at Rathfarnham

by 1927 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1956 at St Albert’s Seminary, Ranchi, India (RAN) teaching
by 1976 at Nantua, Ain, France (GAL) working
by 1979 at Belley, France (GAL) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fin-again/

The country, the Society of Jesus, the Irish Province and the Gardiner Street community combined beautifully and joyously to celebrate the first Irish Jesuit to reach the venerable
age of one hundred years. Forty Jesuits gathered on 18 February to toast Proinsias O Fionnagain, our “great gift of grace”, as Derek Cassidy, Superior of the Gardiner Street community, said in his warm, welcoming words. What were the messages and gifts? Read more: President Mary McAleese sent a moving letter and a cheque which topped €2500. From Derek Cassidy a card for one hundred Masses. Fr Provincial read a letter from Fr General who mentioned, among many compliments and accomplishments, the fact that Frank’s piano playing has not led to arthritic fingers. John Dardis also read from a poem composed by Fr Tom McMahon before he died, for this special milestone in Frank’s life and the life of the Province. Then the man himself spoke: in Engliish, Irish, French and Latin we heard lovely lines from St Paul and Cardinal Newman. The emotions must have been bubbling away inside, but the voice, apart from a faltering pause, was clear and strong. Then a lovely surprise: Mrs Bridie Ashe and her staff (who pulled out all the stops with the balloons, banners and photos all over the house of Frank wearing the Lord Mayor’s chain of office) presented a beautiful sculpture of St Ignatius, brought from Spain.
The beginning was memorable. All forty diners were upstanding when Frank made his entrance, led by Tom Phelan playing the bagpipes. Tears were wiped from eyes as the musical melody harmonised the room, and Frank took his place between Derek Cassidy and John Dardis, and opposite his nephew who had flown in from Berlin for the party. Next month there will be another celebration for family. Finegan, fin, the end, is again and again and fin-again!

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/our-first-centenarian-an-t-athair-o-fionnagain/

Our first centenarian, An t-Athair Ó Fionnagáin
Wednesday 18 February sees a unique birthday. For the first time an Irish Jesuit has turned a hundred. In the face of Fr Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin you see a man prone to gratitude, with a wardrobe full of memories: of a Spartan early life in Monaghan during World War I; of noviciate in Tullabeg – Frank is the last survivor of that house. He was a teacher of classics in Crescent, Galway and Clongowes; and of philosophy in Ranchi, India. He is a writer, pianist, historian, archivist and librarian, and by his researches contributed heavily to the beatification of Dominic Collins. In 1975, as he qualified for the old age pension, he volunteered for the French mission, and dressed in beret and clergyman served two under- priested areas, Nantua and Belley, for seven years before returning to research and the Irish Mass in Gardiner Street. We thank God, as Frank himself does, for the blessings of his first hundred years.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuit-who-taught-saint-101/

Jesuit who taught saint turns 101
The Jesuit priest who taught Saint Alberto Hurtado English, Fr Frank Finnigan SJ, celebrated his 101st birthday on Thursday 18 February. He is the first Irish Jesuit to live to
such an age. As well as receiving the birthday wishes of his fellow Jesuits in the Gardiner St Community, he also got a congratulatory telegram and cheque from President McAleese. Fr Finnegan’s student Alberto Hurtado was a Chilean Jesuit who died in 1952 and was canonised on 23 October 2005. After joining the Jesuits he came to Ireland and stayed with the Jesuits in Rathfarnham where Fr Finnigan taught him. Fr Finnegan is a fluent Irish speaker. Also, he was a teacher of classics in Crescent, Galway and Clongowes, and a teacher of philosophy in Ranchi, India. He is a writer, pianist, historian, archivist and librarian. His researches contributed heavily to the beatification of Dominic Collins.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/oldest-ever-irish-jesuit-goes-to-god/

Oldest-ever Irish Jesuit goes to God
Yesterday, 7 March, Fr Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin died peacefully in his room in Gardiner Street. Last month he had been touched and delighted to receive a message from President
McAleese, congratulating him on his 102nd birthday. He was the first and only Irish Jesuit to reach 100, and up to recently he thought nothing of walking across the city from Drumcondra to Milltown. In the last few days he had been rising later in the morning. On Sunday he celebrated a public Mass in Irish in Gardiner Street church. Then his strength faded rapidly, and yesterday he went to the Lord peacefully in his own bedroom. While he is remembered by many Irishmen as a teacher of Greek and Latin, he had also given years of his life as a missionary in India and a Curé in France. May he rest in peace.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011

Obituary

Fr Prionsias Ó Fionnagáin (1909-2011)

18th February1909: Born in Glasgow (Nationality: Irish)
Early education at Castleblaney Boys' School and St. Macartan's Seminary
1st September 1927: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
2nd September 1929: First Vows at Tullabeg
1929 - 1932: Rathfarnham - Studied Classics at UCD
1932 - 1935: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1935 - 1937: Mungret College - Teacher
1937 - 1938: Clongowes Wood College - Teacher
1938 - 1942: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1941: Ordained at Milltown Park
1942 - 1943: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1943 - 1952: Crescent College, Limerick – Teacher (Latin and Greek)
2nd February 1945: Final Vows
1952 - 1954: Clongowes – Teacher (Latin and Greek)
1954 - 1957: St. Albert's College, Ranchi, India - Teaching Philosophy
1957 - 1961: Crescent College – Teacher (Latin and Greek)
1961 - 1973: Leeson Street
1961 - 1973: Writer; Librarian
1962 - 1966: Assistant Eitor of Studies
1973 - 1974: Province Archivist
1974 - 1981: France - Curate in Parishes Nantua and Belley
1981 - 2011: SFX Gardiner Street - Work included assisting in the church; Writer; Librarian; House Historian and, in recent years, Aifreann an Phobail
7th March 2011: Died at Gardiner St

Fr Ó Fionnagáin was delighted to receive a message of congratulation from Her Excellency, President Mary McAleese, on the occasion of his 102nd birthday on February 18th last. In subsequent days he became noticeably weaker and tended to celebrate his Mass later in the day than usual. However this did not prevent him from preparing his sermon and celebrating the Sunday Mass as Gaeilge on the day before he died peacefully in his room.

Obituary by Barney McGuckian
Father Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin died peacefully, aged 102, in his room at St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, on the morning of March 7th, 2011. No other Irish Jesuit had ever reached such a venerable age. In command of all his faculties right up to the end, he had celebrated Aifreann an Phobail the previous morning and preached as Gaeilge as he had been doing for several years. In the last month of his life he was still capable of a full genuflection before the Blessed Sacrament each time he entered and left the omestic Chapel.

Of Monaghan Finegan (the one “n” was significant) farming stock, of which he was intensely proud, he was born in Glasgow on 18th February, 1909 but was taken to Ireland in early infancy. As an alert five-and-a-half year old, he remembered the start of the First World War. He was aware that the "big men were going out to fight”. His First Communion, a couple of years later, took the form of Holy Viaticum, as he was not expected to survive the night! He recalled distinctly his father telling him that the War was over, After early education in Castleblayney he became a boarder at St Macartan's Diocesan College. A thorough grounding in Greek, Latin and Irish would later stand him in good stead when he joined the Society at Tullabeg in 1927. A recurrent theme in his later conversation was the reasoning behind his appointment to teach in the Crescent, Limerick. The late Jimmy McPolin, a Crescent student and nephew of the Socius, John Coyne, could benefit from a good course in Classics! He used his knowledge of Irish to good effect through the years, celebrating Mass frequently through Irish after Vatican II authorised the use of the vernacular in Liturgy. He also published in Irish a number of monographs and biographies based on his assiduous research into Jesuit and Irish Church History. Although there is no evidence of his ever having concelebrated Mass himself, he assisted at community Concelebrated Masses. Even after his 100th birthday, with the help of Brother Gerry Marks, he often made his way on Sundays to the Latin Mass in St Kevin's, Harrington Street, where he was held in high regard by members of the Latin Mass Society. He never expressed any preference about the form his funeral should take but, as a mark of respect, Latin, Irish and English were all used in his Concelebrated Requiem Mass at St Francis Xavier's.

At UCD, he studied Classics, although his preference would have been for History. He subsequently taught Latin and Greek in Mungret, Crescent and Clongowes where his pupils still recall the invitation to join in the struggle to turn back the tide of barbarism'. Besides three years teaching philosophy in India and seven as a curate in France, at Nantua and Belley, most of his life was spent in historical research. He was in his element among documents, foraging around archives. Perhaps his most notable contribution in this area was his work on the Causes of the Irish Martyrs. Without his efforts, the Cause of Blessed Dominic Collins could well have been rejected by the relevant Roman Congregation. He argued strenuously and convincingly that although the Blessed had been a professional soldier at one stage in his life and was not an ordained priest, consequently not qualified to be a full Chaplain, his contribution during the Battle of Kinsale was purely religious. His only objective in coming to Ireland was to help consolidate the Catholic faith. Frank deduced from the documents, in particular those of his English captors, that Blessed Dominic could have been set free on condition of denying his faith and abandoning his Jesuit vocation. This Dominic resolutely refused to do.

A highpoint in his life was to have taught English to the future patron saint of Chile, Saint Alberto Hurtado, in 1931. He enjoyed recalling a day in the Dublin Mountains when the Saint volunteered to have a go when the proprietor of the land where they were having a picnic asked “Is there a shot among you?” Confidently, Alberto grabbed the proffered shot-gun and blew the billy-can tossed into the air to smithereens. He had done his military service in Chile and had his eye in.

Anything Frank did he seems to have done to the best of his ability. He was an accomplished pianist but in later years only played for personal pleasure. His attention to the garden was much appreciated in the houses where he lived. In later years he concentrated on flowers and plants, enhancing a number of window-sills around the house. He was tending his beloved gloxinias right up to the end of his life. He attributed his lack of interest in sport to the fact of ill-health in childhood that precluded much involvement in games.

Frank was devoted to his family and friends and carried on a correspondence with them, frequently inviting them to meals in the house. As his hearing was adequate right to the end (although occasionally selective), he could add to the table-talk with his inexhaustible store of anecdotes and corroborative details about events in Irish, British and Jesuit Province history. He never made the transition to the computer but remained faithful to his typewriter. One touching Mass card was from the family who serviced his typewriter over the years. Unfortunately he destroyed his diaries of many years, written in Irish and in his beautiful “copper-plate” hand-writing.

Frank was a man of strong and definite opinions to which he clung tenaciously. At times he could be feisty, a word he would never have used himself. He would have considered it in the same category as “ok” which he eschewed as an instance of encroaching “American vulgarity”. As the decades rolled on he seemed to mellow somewhat and learned to live with things as they were. However, even when well into his second century, there could be the occasional flare-up about personalities, attitudes, situations and decisions from an age long gone. Towards the end, although he would never accept help in preparing his breakfast porridge or doing his own laundry, symptomatic of a deep-seated independent streak, he admitted to some limitations and willingly conceded that it “can be lonely to be so old”.

He was delighted to receive what he described as a “splendid silver medallion” from Mary McAleese, Uachtaran na hEireann, on the occasion of his 102nd birthday. Members of the community who wished were formally invited to a private viewing in his room before 12 30 p.m. each day. The President's warm message of congratulations contained words, most à propos, from a speech she had given before Christmas 2010 at a Reception for Senior Citizens: bua na gaoise toradh na haoise (the gift of wisdom is the fruit of age). In the three weeks left to him after this event he began to become visibly feebler but this did not prevent him walking around the house and carrying on as usual. On Friday, February 25th he actually walked to the Polling Booth to cast his vote in the General Election. Ten days later, he died peacefully on his own in his room.

The “Nunc dimittis” of Simeon, that upright and good man, from Luke, the Gospel read on the occasion of his Final Vows over sixty-five years earlier in the Sacred Heart Chapel, the Crescent, Limerick, on February 2nd, 1945, featured again at his Final Requiem. On that day so long ago, the much desired peace of the nations following World War II was almost in sight. We can rest assured that an tAthair Proinsias is now enjoying a much more comprehensive and lasting peace. Ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann.

Finlay, Peter, 1851-1929, Jesuit priest and theologian

  • IE IJA J/8
  • Person
  • 15 February 1851-21 October 1929

Born: 15 February 1851, Bessbrook, County Cavan
Entered 02 March 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1881, Tortosa, Spain
Final Vows: 02 February 1886, St Beuno’s, Wales
Died: 21 October 1929, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park community at time of death.

Younger brother of Tom Finlay - RIP 1940

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1872 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1879 at Poyanne France (CAST) Studying
by 1880 at Dertusanum College, Tortosa, Spain (ARA) studying
by 1886 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1888 at Woodstock MD, USA (MAR) Lecturing Theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at St Patrick’s Cavan. Admitted aged 15 by Edmund J O’Reilly, Provincial and his brother Thomas A Finlay was a fellow novice.

1868 He was sent to St Acheul (Amiens) for a year of Rhetoric, and then to Stonyhurst for two years Philosophy, and then to Maria Laach for one more year.
1872 He was sent for Regency teaching Latin and French at Crescent for two years, and the four at Clongowes teaching Greek, Latin, French, German, Mathematics and Physics.
1878 He was sent to Poyanne in France with the the CAST Jesuits, expelled from Spain, and then three years at Tortosa, Spain where he was Ordained 1881. He also completed a Grand Act at the end of his time in Tortosa which attracted significant attention about his potential future as a Theologian.
1882 He returned to Ireland and Milltown where he lectured in Logic and Metaphysics for three years.
1885 He was sent to St Beuno’s as professor of Theology and made his Final Vows there 02 February 1886.
1887 He was sent to Woodstock (MARNEB) to help develop this Theologate with others from Europe - including Aloisi Masella, later Cardinal.
1889 Milltown opened a Theologate, and he was recalled as Professor of Scholastic Theology, and held that post for 40 years. During that time he hardly ever missed a lecture, and his reputation as an educator was unparalleled, shown in the quality of his lecturing, where the most complex was made clear. During this time he also took up a Chair of Catholic Theology at UCD from 1912-1923. In addition, he was a regular Preacher and Director of retreats, and spent many hours hearing Confessions of the poor.

He was highly thought of in HIB, attending two General Congregations and a number of times as Procurator to consult with the General.
His two major publications were : The Church of Christ, its Foundation and Constitution” (1915) and “Divine Faith” (1917).
He died at St Vincent’s Hospital 21 October 1929. His funeral took place at Gardiner St where the Archbishop Edward Byrne presided.

“The Catholic Bulletin” November 1929
“The death of Father Peter Finlay......closed a teaching career in the great science of Theology which was of most exceptional duration and of superb quality, sustained to the very close of a long and fruitful life. ..news of his death came as a shock and great surprise to many who knew him all over Ireland and beyond. ...in the course of his Theological studies at Barcelona he drew from the great tradition of Suarez and De Lugo. ....Behind that easy utterance was a mind brilliant yet accurate, penetrating, alert, subtle, acute in its power of analysis and discrimination, caustic at times, yet markedly observant of all the punctilious courtesies of academic disputation. ...The exquisite keenness of his mind was best appreciated by a trained professional audience .... and with his pen even more effective in English than Latin. Those who recall “Lyceum’ with its customary anonymity failed to conceal the distinctive notes of Peter Finlay’s style, different from, yet having many affinities with the more leisurely and versatile writing of his brother Thomas. The same qualities...
were evident in the ‘New Ireland Review”, from 1894-1910. Nor were the subjects ... narrowly limited ... he examined the foundations and limitations of the right of property in land, as viewed by English Law and Landlords in Ireland. On the secure basis of the great Spanish masters of Moral Philosophy, he did much to make secure the practical policies and enforce the views of Archbishops Thomas Croke and William Walsh.
He had a close relationship with the heads of the publishing house of ‘The Catholic Bulletin’. That said, this relationship was far outspanned by his marvellous service in the giving of Retreats to Priests and Religious and Men, added to by his work in the ministry of Reconciliation among the rich and poor alike, the afflicted and those often forgotten.”

Note from James Redmond Entry
He studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens with Michael Weafer, Thomas Finlay and Peter Finlay, Robert Kane and Vincent Byrne, among others.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online
Finlay, Thomas Aloysius
by Thomas J. Morrissey

Finlay, Thomas Aloysius (1848–1940) and Peter (1851–1929), Jesuit priests, scholars, and teachers, were born at Lanesborough, Co. Roscommon, sons of William Finlay, engineer, and Maria Finlay (née Magan), who had four other children: three daughters, all of whom became religious sisters, and a son William, who became secretary of Cavan county council. Tom and Peter were educated at St Augustine's diocesan college, Cavan (predecessor to St Patrick's College), and in 1866 both entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park, Dublin. Subsequently, they were sent for studies to St Acheul, near Amiens, after which they moved in somewhat different directions.

From St Acheul Peter Finlay went to Stonyhurst College, England, for two years philosophy, and spent a further year in philosophic studies at the Jesuit college of Maria Laach in Germany. Returning to Ireland (1872), he taught for two years at Crescent College, Limerick, and for four years at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. His theological studies were conducted with distinction at Poyanne in France and Tortosa in Spain. Recalled home, he lectured in philosophy at the Jesuit seminary college, Milltown Park, and at UCD for three years; and then in theology at St Beuno's, Wales, for three years. The next six years were spent at Woodstock College, USA, where he professed theology. When in 1889 a theologate was established at Milltown Park, Peter was summoned home. He professed theology there from then till his death. His lectures, said to have been models of clarity, were presented in fluent and exact Latin, the medium of the time for such lectures. He also lectured (1912–22) in catholic theology at UCD. In constant demand for retreats and lectures, and with a heavy weight of correspondence, he was also rector (1905–10) of Milltown Park, and was three times elected to represent the Irish province at general congregations in Rome. Peter Finlay did not have his brother's range of interests nor his literary productivity, but his published writing on theological and apologetic themes were widely read. These included The church of Christ: its foundation and constitution (1915), Divine faith (1917), and smaller works reflecting the issues of the day, such as The decree ‘Ne temere’; Catholics in civil life, The catholic religion, The catholic church and the civil state, The authority of bishops, Was Christ God?, The one true church: which is it?, and Is one religion as good as another?. He was an unassuming man, dedicated to a life of poverty, obedience, and obligation – never, it was said, missing a lecture for thirty-nine of his forty-four years as lecturer. He died of cancer of the kidneys on 21 October 1929, having lectured till 2 October, the day before going to hospital for the final time.

The brothers were among the most influential academics in Ireland in the last quarter of the nineteenth and the first quarter of the twentieth centuries. Thomas was described by W. E. H. Lecky (qv) as probably the most universally respected man in Ireland. Peter, who professed theology in Britain, America, and Ireland for 44 years, was widely consulted on most aspects of theology and highly regarded for his gifts of exposition.

Provincial consultors' minute book, 20 Feb. 1890 (Irish Jesuit archives, Dublin); Irish Jesuit Province News, Dec. 1929 (private circulation); ‘Sir Horace Plunkett on Professor Finlay's career as social reformer’, Fathers of the Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: story of University College, Dublin, 1883–1909 (1930), 246–57; W. Magennis, ‘A disciple's sketch of Fr T. Finlay’, Belvederian, ix (summer 1931), 19; obit., Anglo-Celt, 13 Jan. 1940; George O'Brien, ‘Father Thomas A. Finlay, S.J., 1848–1940’, Studies, xxix (1940), 27–40; Aubrey Gwynn, obit., Irish Province News, Oct. 1940 (private circulation); R. J. Hayes (ed.), Sources for the history of Irish civilization: articles in Irish periodicals (1970), ii, 310–12; Thomas Morrissey, Towards a national university: William Delany, S.J. (1835–1924) (1983); Trevor West, Horace Plunkett: co-operation and politics (1986)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926

On March 2nd, Fr Peter Finlay celebrated his Diamond Jubilee. After a brilliant Grand Act at Tortosa, Fr. Peter was working at Hebrew and Arabic, with a view to further study at Beyrouth, when a telegram summoned him back to Ireland to be Prefect of Studies at Tullabeg. From Tullabeg he passed to Milltown to Professor of Philosophy, thence to St. Beuno's where he professed theology, but Fr General sent him to Woodstock instead. From Woodstock he was transferred to Milltown in 1889; he took possession of the Chair of Theology and held it ever since. Fr, Finlay has spent 42 years professing theology, and during all that time never once missed a lecture till he fell ill in March, 1924.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 1 1929

Obituary :

Fr Peter Finlay

Fr. Peter Finlay died at St. Vincent's hospital, Dublin on October 21st of cancer of the kidneys. Some twelve months previously, he felt the first symptoms of the attack. But so far was he from giving in, that he continued his lectures during the entire scholastic year that followed. This year he gave his last lecture on October 2nd, went to hospital on October 3rd, and died on October the 21st. His loss will be keenly felt far beyond the limits of the Society, for his opinion on all questions of theology was eagerly sought for and highly valued here at home in Ireland, and in many another country outside it, into which his wide learning and wonderful power of exposition had penetrated.

Fr. Peter was born in Co. Cavan, on the 15th February 1851, and educated at St. Patrick's College, Cavan. He had just turned his 15th year when on March 2nd 1866, he began his novitiate at Milltown Park. He made his juniorate at St. Acheul, France, two years philosophy at Stonyhurst, a third at Maria Laach in Germany, and returned to Ireland in 1872, Two years were passed at the Crescent and four in Clongowes as master. Theology was commenced at Poyanne in France, where the Castilian Jesuits, driven from Spain, had opened a theologate. The remaining three years of theology saw him at Tortosa in Spain, and the course was concluded by a very brilliant Grand Act.
Fr. Peter was working away at Hebrew and Arabic, with a view to further study when a telegram recalled him to Ireland. Milltown Park had him for three years as Professor of philosophy, and St. Beuno's for two as Profcssor of theology. It was said that at the end of these two years he was under orders to start for Australia, but Fr. General sent him to America instead to profess theology at Woodstock.
In 1889,the theologate was established at Milltown Park, and of course Fr. Peter was summoned home to take the “Morning” Chair. That chair he held with the very highest distinction, and without interruption, until less than a month before his death. In all, Fr Finlay was 44 years professing theology, and it is said that he never missed a lecture until he fell ill in the year 1924. And often, these lectures were given at a time when suffering from a bad throat.
Milltown Park had him for Rector from 1905 to 1910, and he was Lecturer of Catholic Theology in the National University Dublin, from 1912 to1922.
Fr. Peter was three times elected to represent the Irish Province at General Congregations, and on three other occasions at Procuratorial Gongregations at Rome.
His published works are : “The Church of Christ, its Foundation and Constitution”, 1915; “Divine Faith” 1917. In addition, he has left us several smaller publications, such as : “The Decree Ne Ternere”; “Catholics in Civil Life”; “The Catholic Religion”; The Catholic Church and the Civil State”; “ The Authority of Bishops”; “Was Christ God”; “The One Church, which is it”.
Fr. John McErlean, who had the privilege of having him as Professor for four years, writes as follows : “Merely to listen to his lectures was an education, for he was gifted with a wonderful power of exposition before which difficulties dissolved, and his hearers became almost unconscious of the subtlety of the argument. A past master of the Latin tongue, he poured forth without an instant's hesitation, a stream of limpid language in which the most critical classicist failed to detect the slightest grammatical inaccuracy in the most involved sentences”.
In addition to his duties as professor, he was frequently employed as Preacher, Director of the Spiritual Exercises etc. His correspondence alone must have been a heavy tax on his time, for his advice was much sought after by all classes of society. All these manifold duties did not prevent him from spending many hours every week hearing the confessions of the poor in Milltown village.
Fr. Finlay's piety was not of the demonstrative order, but was very genuine. He was a model of regularity. Day after day he said one of the very earliest Masses in the Community. He was most careful to ask permission for the smallest exemption. In the matter of poverty, he was exact to a degree that would astonish a fervent novice. He never parted with a trifle nor accepted one without leave. Devotion to duty, to the work in hand, accompanied him through life. His brother, Fr. Tom, gave his usual lecture in the University on the very morning that Peter died, and another lecture on the day of the Office and funeral. When some one mildly expostulated with him, his answer was : “I have done what I knew would please Peter, and what I am sure he would have done himself under like circumstances”.
Peter is now, please God, reaping the rich fruits of his 63 years loyal and devoted services to the Society.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 2 1930

Obituary : Fr Peter Finlay
We owe the following appreciation to the kindness of Fr, P. Gannon
“No man is indispensable, but some create by their departure a void that is very sensible and peculiarly hard to fill. To say that Fr. Peter Finlay was one of these is certainly not an exaggeration. Milltown Park without him causes a difficulty for the imagination. He was so large a part of its life since its foundation as a scholasticate, its most brilliant professor and most characteristic figure. Others came and went, but he remained, an abiding landmark in a changing scene. Justice demands that some effort be made to perpetuate the memory of a really great career, which, for many reasons, might escape due recognition. In this notice little more can be attempted than an outline sketch of his long and fruitful activities.
Fr. Finlay was born near the town of Cavan on Feb, 15, 1851, of a Scotch father, and an Irish mother. He was one of seven children of whom three girls became Sacred Heart Nuns, and two boys Jesuits.
The boys of the family attended St. Patrick's College, the seminary to Kilmore. Diocese, - then situated in the town. In 1866 Peter, now barely fifteen years of age, entered the Noviceship, Miiltown. Park, where his elder brother Torn soon joined him, and thus began a brotherly association in religion that was to be beautifully intimate and uninterrupted for over sixty years - par nobile fractum.
In 1868 he went to S. Acheul for his Juniorate. In 1869-70 he did his first two years Philosophy at Stonyhurst, and his third at Maria Laach (Germany) in company with his brother (1871-2). On his return he commenced his teaching in the Crescent (1872-74), passing to Clongowes in 1874, where he remained till 1878. The versatility of the young scholastic may be gauged from the fact that he is catalogued as teaching Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Latin, Greek, French and German.
In 1878 he was sent to Poyanne, France, where the exiled Castilan Province had opened up a house of studies. Here he commenced his study of Theology (1879-9). This was continued in Tortosa, Spain, (1879-82), and crowned by a Grand Act which became historic even in that land of theology, and marked him out at once for the professor's chair.From 1882 till 1885 we find him in Milltown Park teaching Philosophy and acting as Prefect of Studies. From 1885-1887 in St. Beuno's, Wales, teaching Theology (Short Course), In 1887 he was invited to Woodstock USA. where he lectured on Theology for two years with Padre Mazella, the future cardinal, as a colleague. In 1889 he finally cast anchor in Milltown Park, as professor of “Morning” Dogma. and this position he held till within a few weeks of his death in 1929 - over forty years. He was also Prefect of Studies from 1892 till 1903, and Rector from 1905 (Aug.) till 1910. In 1912 he was requested by the Bishops of Ireland to undertake the Lectureship in Dogmatic Theology which they were founding in the National University of Ireland. This he retained till 1922 when he insisted on resigning. The weekly lectures he delivered during Term time were published in full in “The Irish Catholic” and made his teaching accessible to wide circles. They formed the basis of his two published works “The Church of Christ” and “Divine Faith”. Earlier in his career he had written some articles for The Lyceum, under his brother's editorship, which caused no small stir and led to certain difficulties. It would almost appear as if this disagreeable experience had frozen a promising fountain at its source. For a long time it ceased to play. The invitations of The Catholic Truth Society and the pressure of friends to reprint his University lectures were needed to win him back to authorship, For the C.T. S. he wrote several very valuable pamphlets such as “Was Christ God”, The “Ne Temere Decree” etc. Occasionally also he penned public utterances of great weight and influence as, for example, his letter to the Press vindicating the Bishop's action in regard to Conscription (1918 and his article in Studies on Divorce when that topic occupied the attention of the Dáil (1924-25).
To finish with his literary activities a word of criticism may not be out of place, And the first thing that occurs to the mind is a sense of regret that he did not write more, he, who was from every point of view so well equipped for the task. What he has left us is very precious. All he wrote was solid, practical and beautifully clear. He had in a high degree the gift of exposition and could render the abstrusest questions of theology intelligible to any educated reader. He passed from the technicalities of the Schools to the language of the forum with instant success. Only those who have attempted something similar will be in a position to appreciate the skill with which he could combine thoroughness, accuracy and lucidity. His style was very correct. Indeed he was a good deal of a purist. He abhorred slovenliness, slang, journalese and Americanese. His prose is consequently classical clear, flexible, fitting his thought like a well-made garment, but perhaps a trifle cold, lacking colour and emotional appeal.
The occupations hitherto outlined might seem enough to fill his days and hours, But Fr. Finlay managed to add many other zealous endeavours. He was one of the founders of the Catholic Truth Society and remained to the end an energetic member of its committee. He played a large part in the creation of The Catholic Reserve Society, which has done such good work in the fight against Protestant proselytism in its meanest form.
During his Rectorship and under his auspices Week-End retreats for Laymen Were inaugurated in Milltown Park. And it would be difficult to estimate all the good these have done in the intervening years, He was a lover of books, and all through a busy life found time to keep an eye on booksellers' catalogues for rare and useful volumes, especially in Theology,
Philosophy, Church History and Patristics. More than anyone else he is responsible for the excellent library which Milltown possesses.
It was he who built what is sometimes known as “the Theologians' wing” and sometimes as “Fr. Peter's building” with its fine refectory characterised by beauty of design without luxury or extravagance. Finally he did much for the grounds and garden, planting ornamental and fruit-bearing trees. And unlike Cicero's husbandman he lived long enough to enjoy the fruit and beauty of the trees he planted.
In his relations to the outer world Fr. Peter never became as prominent a public or national figure as Fr.Tom. But he was well known in ecclesiastical circles, where his advice on theological questions was often sought. Through diocesan retreats and in many other ways he came into contact with most of the Irish bishops of his time, and he was on very intimate
terms with Cardinal Logue. He was regularly invited to examinations for the doctorate in Maynooth, when his mastery of theology and dialectical skill were conspicuous.
He counted many of the leading Catholic laymen of Ireland among his friends, such as Lord O'Hagan and Chief Baron Palles, to name only the dead. His inner, personal knowledge of Catholic life in Rome, Spain and England was also considerable , and in private conversation he could give interesting sidelights on much of the written and unwritten history of the Church in his generation.
As a confessor and director of souls he enjoyed a wide popularity. His prudence, wisdom and solid virtue fitted him peculiarly for the ministry, and his labours in it were fruitful Since his death the present writer heard quite spontaneous testimony from two nuns in widely different places as to the debt they owed him. They went the length of saying that they attributed their vocation and even their hopes of salvation Under God to his wise and firm guidance in their youth. He possessed a rare knowledge of human nature and he spared no pains in helping all who came to him. His fidelity to the Saturday-night confessions in Milltown parish chapel to the very end, in spite of obviously failing health, was truly edifying. And spiritual direction involved him in a wide correspondence that must have made big inroads on his time. In general Fr.Finlay was prodigal of time and trouble in helping others, whether by way of advice, theological enlightenment, or criticism of literary work. This seemed to spring from that strain of asceticism in him which was noticeable in his whole life - in his regularity, punctuality and devotion to duty. There was some thing of the northern iron in his composition or, as some might style it, Scotch dourness. He could be steely at times in manner, but most of all he was steely with himself. This was seen very clearly in the closing years of life when he really kept going by a volitional energy and a self-conquest which, though entirely unostentatious, was yet unmistakable to close observers, and revealed to them as never before the fundamental piety of his character - a piety made manifest in his death .
It was, however, as a professor that he won his high reputation and gave the true measure of his greatness.Only those who had the privilege of knowing him in this capacity were in a position to appreciate his real eminence. He seemed the incarnation of what Kant calls a the “pure intelligence”. He united qualities rarely combined, subtlety, profundity, clarity. He had something of the nimbleness of a Scotus without his obscurity. And that perhaps explained his marked leaning to Scotistic views on disputed questions, and his liking for Ripalda. His mind seemed attuned to theirs, though he was too independent to be addictus iurare in verba magistri. When we add to these characteristics a conscientious care in preparation, an admirable method, and a power of expressing himself in a Latin which Cicero could hardly have disowned (allowance being made for the necessary technicalities of the schools), it will be seen that his. equipment for his life's task was very complete. At his best he was a model of scientific exposition. Theology is a vast and difficult science. How would it be otherwise in view of what it treats? And to expound it adequately demands a combination and gifts granted to few. Fr. Finlay's pupils were nearly unanimous in the belief that hardly anyone of his generation possessed this combination in a higher measure or more balanced proportions than he. The only exception that could be taken to his lecturing was perhaps that it was more analytical and critical, or even destructive, than constructive. But these very features of it gave one the assurance that a conclusion which had stood the test of his scrutiny was sound indeed. Moreover he was genuinely tolerant of dissent from his views. Though a professor of dogma he was the least dogmatic of men and even strove rather to elicit your own thinking than to impose his on you. He revelled in the thrust and parry of debate and respected a good fighter. This could be seen best during the repetitions at the end of the year, and in the examinations, where he sought to test the pupil's understanding and grasp of principles rather than mere memory of councils or scripture texts. His objections were clear, crisp, to the point and faultless in form. There was no side-stepping them, no escape into irrelevancies, no chance of eluding him by learned adverbs or ambiguous phrases. Patiently, with perfect urbanity, but with deadly insistence he brought the candidate back to the point and held him there till be solved the difficulty or confessed that he could not do sol which was often enough a saving admission. Yet on the other hand no examiner was really fairer. For he seemed to see one's thoughts before they were uttered, and could penetrate through the worst Latin periphrases to what one was really trying to say. Hence no one was ever confused by misunderstanding him or lost by being misunderstood.
Neither did he keep urging a difficulty when it was solved. The answer once given he passed, easily and lightly, to something else.
Again, in Provincial congregations, of which he was the inevitable secretary, his conduct of business was a sheer delight. His writing of minutes, his resumés of previous discussions were masterly. Many a speaker was surprised, and perhaps a little abashed, to hear all he had laboured, in broken Latin and through many minutes, to express, reproduced integrally, in a few short sentences, which gave the substance of his remarks without an unnecessary word. As this was done almost entirely from memory, with the help of a few brief jottings, it compelled a wondering admiration. His election to represent the Province in Rome was nearly automatic. He attended every Congregation, general or procuratorial, which was summoned since the election of Fr. Martin, After the last general congregation he was specially thanked by our present Paternity for his signal services as head of the Commission in the Reform of Studies. These services taxed his strength severely and on his return the first clear signs of serious infirmity made them selves manifest. If even then he had taken due precautions, his essentially robust constitution might have enabled him to live for many years. But he would not take precautions and no one dared suggest any remission of work. He obviously wished to die in harness. And he did. His last lecture, as brilliant as those of his prime, was delivered within three weeks of his death, which took place on Monday Oct. 21, 1929.
No life escapes criticism, and it would be idle to pretend that Fr. Peter did not come in for his share of it. It would be even flattery to deny that he afforded some ground for it. But, take him all in all, only blind and incurable prejudice can deny that he was a very remarkable man, intellectually and morally, an ornament to the whole Society and a just source of pride of the Irish Province, which is the poorer for his loss and will feel it for many a day. May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Peter Finlay 1851-1929
In the death of Fr Peter Finlay at Milltown Park on October 21st 1929, the Province lost its greatest Theologian. His death ended a teaching career in Theology, which was of exceptional duration and superb quality, which made him renowned not only in Ireland, but far beyond.

He was born in County Cavan on February 15th 1851 and was educated at St Patrick’s College Cavan. He was accepted for the Society by Fr Edmund O’Reilly at the early age of 15.

His teaching career began in 1872 at the Crescent, followed by four years at Clongowes, during which his curriculum included Greek, Latin, French, German, Physics and Mathematics. At the end of his theological course at Tortosa Spain, he was chosen for the Grand Act, the public defence of all Philosophy and Theology. His brilliant defence placed him in the front rank of the rising generation of Theologians. He lectured in Philosophy at Milltown, Theology at St Beuno’s and at Woodstock USA.

On the opening of the theologate at Milltown Park he was recalled to fill the chair of Dogmatic Theology, a chair which he held for a full 40 years, even during his Rectorate of Milltown Park from 1905-1910.

When a chair of Catholic Theology was established at the National University, Fr Finlay was appointed and continued to held it from 1912-1923.

He was an able administrator and builder. The old Refectory at Milltown, which later burnt, was built by him. He often represented the Province in Rome. He was an able controversialist and an incisive writer, as may be seen by the numerous articles of his in the Lyceum and the New Ireland review. His writings, popular and appreciated even today, include “The Church of Christ”, “Divine Faith”, “Catholics in Civic Life”, “The Authority of Bishops”, “Was Christ God?” and “The one Church, which is it?”.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Peter Finlay (1851-1929)

A native of Co. Cavan and educated at St Patrick's College, Cavan, entered the Society in 1866. He did all his studies abroad, in France, Germany and Spain. His future work in the Irish Province was in the chair of dogmatic theology at Milltown Park, where he was engaged for the next forty years. Father Finlay was one of the most brilliant theologians of his time. He spent two years of his regency at Crescent College along with his brother, Thomas Finlay (q.v. infra).

Finlay, Thomas A, 1848-1940, Jesuit priest and economist

  • IE IJA J/9
  • Person
  • 06 July 1848-08 January 1940

Born: 06 July 1848, Lanesborough, County Roscommon
Entered: 01 November 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880
Final Vows: 25 March 1885
Died: 08 January 1940, Linden Nuring Home, Dublin

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

Older brother of Peter Finlay - RIP 1929

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
by 1871 at Lacens College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1878 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Peter Finlay Entry
Early education was at St Patrick’s Cavan. Admitted aged 15 by Edmund J O’Reilly, Provincial and his brother Thomas A Finlay was a fellow novice.
Note from James Redmond Entry
He studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens with Michael Weafer, Thomas Finlay and Peter Finlay, Robert Kane and Vincent Byrne, among others.

See: Morrissey, T. J. (2004). Thomas A. Finlay: Educationalist, editor, social reformer, 1848-1940.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online
Finlay, Thomas Aloysius
by Thomas J. Morrissey

Finlay, Thomas Aloysius (1848–1940) and Peter (1851–1929), Jesuit priests, scholars, and teachers, were born at Lanesborough, Co. Roscommon, sons of William Finlay, engineer, and Maria Finlay (née Magan), who had four other children: three daughters, all of whom became religious sisters, and a son William, who became secretary of Cavan county council. Tom and Peter were educated at St Augustine's diocesan college, Cavan (predecessor to St Patrick's College), and in 1866 both entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park, Dublin. Subsequently, they were sent for studies to St Acheul, near Amiens, after which they moved in somewhat different directions.

Thomas Finlay went (1869) to the Gregorian University, Rome, and thence, after Garibaldi's invasion, to Maria Laach where he was trained (1871–3) in modern scientific methods and was impressed by the new agricultural policy of the Prussian government, an experience he drew on in his later work. On his return to Ireland (1873) Tom joined his brother at the Crescent, Limerick, where he stayed till 1876, acting as headmaster as well as teaching German and French. He also found time to publish, under the pseudonym ‘Thomas Whitelock’, a best-selling novel, The chances of war, based on the life of Owen Roe O'Neill, which went through several editions. In addition he wrote pamphlets and was co-founder of the periodical Catholic Ireland, which became the influential Irish Monthly. In 1877 he went to St Beuno's for theology, and was ordained in 1880. His self-reliance, great energy, equable temper, and gifts for making and keeping friends were already in evidence, as also his prowess as a conversationalist and a fisherman. In 1881 he was placed in charge for a short time of St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, near Tullamore, before being entrusted with the joint task of rector of Belvedere College, Dublin (1882–7), and fellow of the RUI in classics. In 1883 he and Peter were appointed joint professors of philosophy at UCD. He occupied the chairs of philosophy (1883–1900) and political economy (1900–30). Hence his unusual distinction of professing in three different disciplines – classics, philosophy, and political economy. Like Peter, he was a highly successful lecturer, noted for his clarity of exposition, and popular also with the students for his human qualities and his policy of promoting responsibility and independence. At Belvedere he built a new wing and purchased additional playing fields, while at the same time reconstructing the philosophy programme of the Royal University and responding to demands for retreats and spiritual lectures from the clergy of different dioceses. In 1887 he took up residence at UCD and turned again to writing as well as teaching. He translated articles from German on philosophy, and Stockle's History of philosophy. The extent and range of his articles during a busy life may be judged from the incomplete list of titles in R. J. Hayes's Sources . . . articles in Irish periodicals. He founded and edited the Lyceum magazine (1889–94) and the New Ireland Review (1894–1911), which was succeeded by Studies in 1912. In addition, as part of his deep involvement in the Irish cooperative movement, he founded and was an incisive editor of the Irish Homestead. In support of the movement, he traversed the country preaching the merits of being industrious and self-supporting, and won support among northern unionists as well as southern farmers. Sir Horace Plunkett (qv), founder of the movement, termed him ‘a remarkable living Irishman’ who had ‘largely moulded my own life work’, and who, ‘for a full half-century, laboured disinterestedly for the moral, social, and economic uplifting of the Irish poor’ (A page of Irish history, 246–7). Finlay's strong advocacy of high moral standards in public life made him enemies in the Irish parliamentary party; and his critical review of Cardinal James Gibbons, Our Christian heritage (1889), led to complaints to Rome from American Jesuits and his suspension from writing (1890–92).

Despite these varied activities, he was primarily an educationalist. Apart from his teaching in Jesuit schools and at UCD, he was a commissioner for intermediate education for many years, was active in establishing and administering a system of technical education at the start of the century, was editor-in-chief of the ‘School and College’ series of books for pupils and students, and inspired and guided those who created the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. Moreover, he was for many years a prominent member of the senate of the NUI and of the governing body of UCD, and was chairman (1909–38) of the trustees of the NLI. Little wonder that his successor to the chair of economics, George O'Brien (qv), remarked in Studies (1940) that ‘to write about him is like writing about a number of persons rather than a single man’. He alleged that in forty-seven years Finlay ‘never broke an engagement, never missed a lecture, never was late for a meeting’. Finlay's retirement (1930) was marked by a collection to provide a presentation portrait (now in UCD) by Leo Whelan (qv). It was so generously subscribed that funds were available to endow an annual Finlay lecture on an economic theme; the first was given by John Maynard Keynes. Tom Finlay died 8 January 1940 in his ninety-first year. He had been an invalid from 1936.

The brothers were among the most influential academics in Ireland in the last quarter of the nineteenth and the first quarter of the twentieth centuries. Thomas was described by W. E. H. Lecky (qv) as probably the most universally respected man in Ireland. Peter, who professed theology in Britain, America, and Ireland for 44 years, was widely consulted on most aspects of theology and highly regarded for his gifts of exposition.

Provincial consultors' minute book, 20 Feb. 1890 (Irish Jesuit archives, Dublin); Irish Jesuit Province News, Dec. 1929 (private circulation); ‘Sir Horace Plunkett on Professor Finlay's career as social reformer’, Fathers of the Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: story of University College, Dublin, 1883–1909 (1930), 246–57; W. Magennis, ‘A disciple's sketch of Fr T. Finlay’, Belvederian, ix (summer 1931), 19; obit., Anglo-Celt, 13 Jan. 1940; George O'Brien, ‘Father Thomas A. Finlay, S.J., 1848–1940’, Studies, xxix (1940), 27–40; Aubrey Gwynn, obit., Irish Province News, Oct. 1940 (private circulation); R. J. Hayes (ed.), Sources for the history of Irish civilization: articles in Irish periodicals (1970), ii, 310–12; Thomas Morrissey, Towards a national university: William Delany, S.J. (1835–1924) (1983); Trevor West, Horace Plunkett: co-operation and politics (1986)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

University Hall :
On November 16th the Community at Lesson St. celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Fr T Finlay. As a scholastic, Fr Finlay helped Fr. Matt Russell to found the Irish Monthly and the Messenger. The latter periodical ceased to appear after a short time; it was to be revived later, again under Fr Finlay's inspiration. He took a leading part in conducting the brilliant but short-lived “Lyceum”, and its successor the New Ireland Review. For Belvedere College his rectorship represented, until quite lately, the high-water mark of its success. Since 1883 he has been a Professor at University College, first under the Royal and then under the National University. During that time he has been prominent in many movements for the betterment of his Country. He was a member of the Boards of National and of Intermediate Education, is still Chairman of the National Library, Committee, has organised food depots for the poor, while his work for industrial and agricultural co-operation has won him fame in many lands. As a preacher and a lecturer his success has been extraordinary. And though he no longer appears in the pulpit, his power and his popularity as a lecturer are as great as ever. From 1912 to 1922 he was Superior in Leeson St, and President of University Hall.

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 15th Year No 2 1940
Obituary :
Father Thomas Finlay
When the Editor of “Province News” did me the honour of inviting me to write a notice of Father Finlay's life, he added a comment on the usual summary of dates which he
enclosed from the annual Catalogues : “Never did Catalogues conceal so completely the life of a Jesuit as Father Finlay's Catalogues conceal his splendid and most active life.” There is a great deal of truth in this comment, though the fault does not lie with the compiler of the annual Catalogues. From his early years as a Scholastic in Rome, Maria Laach, Limerick and St. Beuno's, Father Tom was never lacking in that remarkable power of initiative which enabled him to attempt and accomplish so much during his long life of ninety-one years. His initiative was largely personal, and many of the works for which he was known throughout the country are not even mentioned in the official records of the Catalogues. Apart from his activities, Father Tom's fame was largely due to his great gifts of personal charm, sympathetic kindness and quiet humour. No man was better. fitted to make friends everywhere, and Father Tom made and kept a host of friends during his long and most useful life. Even his birthplace is matter for dispute among the learned. He was always claimed as a Cavan man; but a record is extant from his novitiate, in which he himself has entered his birth-place as Lanesborough, Co. Roscommon. The mystery is solved by a reminiscence, of which he was proud. His father was an engineer on the Shannon River works, and young Tom Finlay was born on an island just north of Lough Ree, which his father was later to submerge beneath the waters of the Shannon. One of his favourite reminiscences was of a Hedge-schooI which he attended somewhere near the Shannon in the early fifties. The master used to test the ability of his pupils by making them spell “Antitrinitarian.” But discipline was too severe for the engineer's young son, and he ran away home from class on the second or. third day. He was then sent to school at St Patrick's, Cavan, where he remained until he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Milltown Park, on November 12, 1866. He took his first vows at Milltown on the Feast of St. Stanislaus, 1868. Just seventy years later it was any privilege to say Mass for Father Tom at Linden Convalescent Home on the Feast of St Stanislaus, 1938. He had then been an invalid for two years and was almost ninety years old. He had been wheeled into the Convent Chapel in a chair, and heard his Jubilee Mass in the midst of the patients and children of Linden. “Consummatus in brevi explevit tempera multa.” The young novice of 1868 can have little dreamed how many long years lay before him. But there was a great deal of simple novice's piety about Father Tom in his last years. Day by day he was wheeled into the Chapel for his morning Mass; and it was seldom indeed that he would allow his nurse to keep him away from the Chapel for the daily Rosary, which he loved to recite with the other patients every evening. From Milltown he was sent to the French Juniorate at Saint-Acheul. where he spent part of the year 1869. Then, with Father Vincent Byrne as his companion, he was sent to the Gregorian at Rome, where they witnessed the stirring scenes of the Vatican Council and Garibaldi entry into Rome. In 1936, Father Vincent McCormick, then Rector of the Gregorian visited Dublin, and stayed in Lesson Street, where Father Finlay was still resident. He was introduced as a past student of the Gregorian. “And when were you in Rome?” asked the Rector, not realizing how old his new acquaintance was “At the Vatican Council” was the smiling answer, and Father Tom’s eyes were twinkling, for he felt that he had scored a point. Garibaldi's entrance into Reine threw the Gregorian into confusion, and Father Tom was sent to Maria Laach, where he spent the next two years (1871-73). It was here that he was impressed by the new agricultural policy of the Prussian government - a lesson in practical economics that he was later to turn to most practical uses. And it was from the German Fathers at Maria Laach that Father Tom received his training in modern scientific methods, which (for a time, at least) made him anxious to specialise in Biology. His intellectual activity during these years must have been remarkable. When he became Professor of Metaphysics in Father Delany's University College ten years later, one of his chief enterprises was to bring Irish Catholic students into contact with modern German thought by the translation of German works on Scholastic Philosophy.
From 1873-76 Mr. Thomas Finlay was teaching his class at the Crescent College, Limerick, with extra work as French and German master and (for the last two years) as Prefect of Studies. A full programme for most men. and the work was not lessened by the fact that the Irish schools were adapting themselves to the new Intermediate System in these years. Mr Finlay's results were brilliant in the new system of competitive examinations, but that did not prevent him from writing his historical novel, “Chances of War,” during these same years. As an old priest, with a long record of useful work behind him, he was fond of telling a story that happened in these Limerick years. Some of the older Fathers found this young scholastic too enterprising, and complaints reached the Irish Provincial, who was a firm believer in the established order of things. Father Tuite summoned the budding author to his presence, and gently suggested to him that “he should remain in his legitimate obscurity.” But the Society has its own ways of checking too great enterprise for a time, and Mr. Finlay was sent to St. Beuno's for his four years of Theology in 1877.
Father Tom was ordained in 1880, he lived to say the Jubilee Mass of his ordination in 1930. There is no trace of his Tertianship in the official Catalogues, and the reason is not far to seek. When Father Tom emerged from Theology in 1881 the Irish Province was faced with an unusual responsibility. The Catholic University which had been founded, with Newman as Rector, in 1851, had failed, so far as practical results were concerned. But the long struggle for equality of rights in University education had at long last met with a partial response from the English Government of the day. The Royal University of Ireland was founded as an examining body, with a limited number of endowed fellowships, in 1881, and the Irish Hierarchy invited Father William Delany, whose energy and ability had made Tullabeg a centre of intellectual life, to take over control of University College under the new conditions. Father Finlay was sent to Tullabeg without further delay, to assist Father Delany as Assistant Prefect of Studies. From Tullabeg a small group of Jesuit Fathers came to Temple Street in Dublin, whilst the Bishops were negotiating the final transfer of University College. As soon as the teaching staff of the new College was formed, with Father Delany as first Rector, Father Finlay was nominated to one of the fellowships in the Royal University, and was appointed Professor of Metaphysics. He held this chair until 1900, when he resigned it in favour of his most brilliant student in these early years, the present Professor William Magennis. Meanwhile, another of his brilliant students, William Coyne, had been appointed Professor of Political Economy. University College suffered a sore loss by William Coyne's death in 1904 and Father Tom Finlay, who had meanwhile taken a leading part in the Co-operative Movement throughout the country, took over the vacant Chair of Political Economy in the same year, He held this chair until the end of the Royal University in 1909; and was immediately appointed to the same chair in the new National University of Ireland. It was this chair that he resigned in 1930, having taught his classes without interruption for forty-seven years (1883-1930). It was his boast that, during all those years he had never omitted a lecture for ill-health or any other reason. God had certainly blessed him with a wonderfully strong and harmonious constitution.
During the first five years of his new career, Father Finlay was not resident in St. Stephen's Green, but was Rector of Belvedere College (1883-87) with his duties as fellow and professor of the Royal University as an extra charge. It is indeed hard to understand how any man can have thrown himself with such energy into his various activities as Father Finlay did during these early years. In Belvedere the new school-buildings were rising as proof of his keen organising ability; and they were only the symbol of an active intellectual life that was attracting general attention to the College. Father Finlay planned a whole series of school text-books and copy books that were to help him pay off the debts incurred in the erection of the new buildings. But this policy was checked for a time, and Father Finlay left Belvedere for University College in 1887. Memories still survive among some old inhabitants of North Dublin : Father Tom Finlay, as a young, vigorous and good-looking priest, riding a fine, black horse down the streets of Dublin to the Phoenix Park. For the Rector of Belvedere College was a conspicuous figure in the social life of Dublin City at that time. The friendships which Father Tom made in the 'eighties and nineties opened up a new sphere of activity, which led to his becoming one Of the best-known and influential priests in the country. His influence in Government circles was very great. He was appointed a Commissioner of National Education, a Trustee of the National Library, and a member of various Royal Commissions. His word was often decisive in the appointment of some Catholic to a post that had hitherto been jealously reserved by the Protestant ascendency, and Father Tom had the knack of making himself liked as well as respected for his solid judgment and courageous support of what he held to be good and true. During these same years he founded and edited two notable monthly magazines : “The Lyceum” (1889-94), and the “New Ireland Review” (1894-1911). There is no space here to tell in any detail the story of Father Tom Finlay's work for the Irish Co-operative Movement, by which he will probably be chiefly remembered in Irish history. It was work that could only be done by a man who had attained the special position which he held in Irish public life. But it is worth recording that gratitude to Father Tom was felt by the poor as well as the rich, for he would spare no time and trouble if he thought the Irish people could be helped by his labourers. His memory is perhaps most cherished .in Foxford Co. Mayo, where he took a leading part in the establishment of the Providence Mills, that have been founded and managed from the first by the Irish Sisters of Charity. During his last illness two of the workers in the Mills were married in Foxford. They were old friends of Father Tom, and they were not satisfied until they had travelled to Dublin in one of the lorries owned by the Mills, to get the old priest's blessing on their married life. When news of his death reached Foxford this year, telegrams of condolence were sent by the staff as a whole, and by some of his personal friends in the Foxford Mills. A notice of Father Finlay's life would be incomplete without some reference to the out-door sports which he had always clung to, in the midst of his busiest years. He was a firm believer in the policy of one good holiday a week, for which good Jesuit tradition can be quoted. His own tastes favoured fishing and shooting, and his friendships. through the country gave him opportunities that were sometimes perhaps the subject of envious comment. Father Tom and his brother Father Peter were keen sportsmen, but it is not certain that their skill was equal to their interest in the sport. Both men were individualists; and their individualism was sometimes erratic in quality, One leading Irish statesmen still has memories of a day's shooting on the lands of O'Conor Don. The party went to to the bog after breakfast; and a council of war was held during the lunch interval. The more cautious members gave it as their opinion that there was only one completely safe position in the field. You could get it by drawing a straight line between the two brothers Finlay! Even his brethren in Leeson Street were sometimes inclined to be sceptical. To the very end, when Father Tom was already long past eighty he made it a practice of. going off for a few days fishing in the Easter holidays, and Good Friday was not complete unless Father Tom brought home a salmon for the community. It was always welcome; but some at least of the Fathers used to murmur that perhaps a faithful Gilly in Co. Wexford was as much responsible for the salmon as Father Tom. But that was a joke that no one would venture to make in Father Tom’s presence. The end came, after four long years of illness, on January 8th. 1940. Father Tom had been stricken down in Leeson Street in the early autumn of 1936, and ever since he had been confined to his bed-room and an invalid chair. It was a long trial, which he bore with wonderful patience, and it was good to think that so many of his friends showed their loyalty and gratitude to him by their frequent visits and messages of sympathy. He died peacefully, having spent the last two days in almost continuous prayer. The funeral Mass at Gardiner Street gave a last opportunity for a tribute of respect and affection, which, once more, revealed the wide connections that Father Tom Finlay had made in his long and laborious
life. May he rest in peace. “A. Gwynn”

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1931

A Disciples Sketch of Father Tom Finlay SJ - William Magennis

When I first saw Father Finlay he was the youthful Rector of Belvedere College. Of middle height, squarely built - so the ordinary man of his physique would be described. But in Father Finlay's case, the face at once captured and held one's notice. It was a strong, somewhat Milesian face, marked with firm decision; not stern, however, for the shrewd bright eyes were always ready to light up with a genial smile. Even then they had that surround of wrinkles which are supposed to indicate advancing age but are more likely to be born of frequent laughter. His hair was coal-black and it lay on his shapely head just as Mr Leo Whelan's masterpiece of portraiture shows it in the painting with which he has immortalized himself.

Like, “Father O'Flynn”, Father Finlay had and still has - the wonderful way with him. Tho' he was Rector and I was an Intermediate boy, he treated me - or so it seemed to me as an equal. Never in his career, not even when in later years he was an intimate of Mr Gerald Balfour, Chief Secretary for Ireland, and Lady Gerald Balfour (a very exceptional and gifted woman of influence) and was high in the councils of the great, did he ever “put on side”. He was invariably simple, and unpretentious, apparently unconscious of his own per-eminence.

At the time I first came under his spell, he had built Belvedere College, for he was full of enterprise and courage. In spite of his humility he had faith in his own designs and projects. To me he is the living embodiment of Russell Lowell's dictum. The confidence of the world is guided to a man by a well grounded confidence in himself.

The building was erected on the grounds of Belvedere House, one of those glorious mansions which serve to make us realize to what a level of superb culture the eighteenth century Anglo-Irish - or were they Irish English? - had attained. The Rector's reception-room was at the back of the grand salon, a former music-room probably, and its windows looked out on the facade of the new building. It was there I saw him first, and the memory of him, in his fine environment, remains to me a living vivid memory unduled by all the years between.

Not the least, by the way, of his minor contributions to Dublin's improvement, was the pious care with which he had the exquisitely beautiful stucco enrichment by Italian artists that decorate the hall and staircase of the mansion, restored and delicately picked out in refined colouring.

In those years Belvedere had no playing fields; but later on, he bought grounds between Palmerston Road and Cowper Road, and constructed a bridge across the railway line to give access to them.

He was then a Nationalist in politics, and had considerable weight with not a few of the Irish Parliamentary Party. He secured entrance into the Party for Sir Thomas Grattan Esmonde, but Parnell rather suspected the neophyte as a possible instrument of a Jesuit intrigue. That superstition about Jesuitry dies hard, or rather, it lives hard; Even John Dillon, a devoted Catholic, shared it: he said to me one day - in a moment of expansion during our campaign for a new University - “That friend of yours, Father Finlay, is one of the d---est intriguers in Ireland!” When I expostulated that others might engage in intrigue, but Father Finlay never, Mr, Dillon retorted, “That only shows how he has hoodwinked you!!!”

In course of time I became a teacher of English Literature in Belvedere, and as I was simultaneously a student of Father Finlay in Philosophy, I enjoyed the inestimable advantage of walking with him from his house to the old University College in St Stephen's Green, where he lectured as a Fellow of the Royal University in Mental and Moral Science - as Philosophy was then nicknamed for prudential reasons.

T D Sullivan, poet and patriot, had fallen on evil days financially and was losing heavily on the weekly which he had acquired from his more eminent brother, “A M” Sullivan. This, “The Nation” (founded by Thomas Davis, the elder Dillon and Gavan Duffy) lived largely on recollections of its past, and had a slender circulation. Father Finlay came to T D's rescue by suggesting that three of us, of University College, should be permitted to contribute articles. The present Professor Robert Donovan, who was a tutor in English and several years our senior, Joe Farrell (long years dead) and I were thus introduced to Journalism under Father Finlay's auspices.

The mention of this serves to introduce another of his projects - provision of a Club which would serve as a social centre for Catholic professional men and others in Dublin who had passed through “Tullabeg” (then a College for laymen), Clongowes, Mungret or St. Ignatius. The late Sir Joseph McGrath (who died Registrar of the National University) and his partner “Dan” Croly, MA, who was lecturer in many Catholic institutions, were the only people connected with it whom I ever knew. It was called the “Lyceum Club” and it had the ambition, I heard, at one time to rival the Trinity College Club in St Stephen's Green. It was, however, a vaulting ambition, and it “fell on the other” financially. It was still alive, tho' moribund, when Father Finlay had us made members of it, that we might have the facilities it provided for reading magazines and reviews.

Writing and publishing had always a powerful attraction for Father Finlay. While a “scholastic” he wrote an Irish historical novel treating of the times of Owen Roe, “The Chances of War”, by Rev Thomas Whitelock - I had the pleasure in later years of making it a school reader with my photograph of the author as a frontispiece. He helped the Land Movement, I remember, by pamphleteering - one pamphlet, I remember “Ricardo on Rent”. The Lyceum was a more ambitious - undertaking, a monthly magazine cultivating philosophic politics, sociology, and the Arts, especially Literature. In the first years, Father Finlay was The Lyceum. But I need not recite its history in detail here, for my old friend and college companion-Professor John W Howley of University College, Galway has performed that service with consummate ability and considerable accuracy, in view of the fact that he was not a Lyceum-ite, his history of it forms a chapter in “A Page of Irish History” (Talbot Press). His tireless anxiety to develop his students led him to initiate all sorts of College Societies, not to speak of the Sodality. One of these was a Shakespeare reading society, and Father Finlay was fond of explaining to us different interpretations of favourite passages. I fear, however, few of our number had any histrionic capacity. He promoted, notwithstanding, college theatricals and one of his younger “stars” Tom Molloy, grew stage-struck and joined the company of Beerbohm Tree. I saw him on the boards of the “Gaiety” as Roseneranz or was it Guildenstern? - in Hamlet. He worked up also a Debating Society; and under its favouring conditions “Alex” Sullivan, now Sergeant Sullivan, KC, of the London Bar, first displayed his hereditary powers of oratory.

As regards public speaking, Father Finlay taught by example. He was never what I would call an orator. He was always a finished speaker. He himself, I fancy, rather scorned those elements, rhetorical turns of expression, semi-poetical diction, ornament and emotional appeal, which mark out oratory from the less ornate utterance of ideas. There are sincere souls to whom these “flights” savour of insincerity, or affectation. Where Father Finlay excelled was in the orderly marshalling of his facts, in lucid exposition, and ice-cold, clear-cut, hard, close reasoning that never turned aside until it had remorse lessly demolished the opponent's case. I have always thought what a magnificent equity lawyer and Lord Chancellor were lost to fame when T A Finlay entered the Jesuit Order.

There is, indeed, in the present generation a young T A Finlay who has already made his forensic mark, is an KC and TD, and will assuredly one day ornament the bench of the Supreme Court.

At the expiration of his rectorship, Father Finlay took up residence in University College, where Father Delany reigned as President, The building, famous from long before, as the city dwelling-house of Buck Whalley (a Hell Fire Club-inan with Curran) had been the scene of Newman's ill-starred attempt to found a Catholic University. Father Delany and Father Finlay, aided by colleagues like the historian of Cromwellian Ireland, Rev Denis Murphy; the Irish Mezzo-fanti, Rev J O'Carroll; Rev Gerard Hopkins, the poet; Rev Joseph Darlington (friend of Everyman), were able in some miraculous fashion, to galvanize the corpse that Newman's failure had left unburied, into healthy, vigorous life. And its activities made the National University of Ireland possible.

In St. Stephen's Green, Father Finlay found more leisure - if “leisure”can be used, without a “Bull”, to name a host of varied occupations. He gave scholarly courses of Lenten Lectures, making dry-as-dust Theology a popular “draw”; he organised Needlework Depots, creating industries, and enlarging employment for women and girls; helped to establish woollen mills; founded a publishing firm; was controlling editor of “The New Ireland Review”, and editor-in-chief of “The School and College Series” of books for pupils and students; assisted the Creamery movement; lectured all over Ireland in praise of co-operative industry; inspired and guided the men who created the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction.

During the Parnell leadership controversy, Father Finlay, who, in virtue, perhaps, of his semi-Scottish ancestry, had always been rigidly austere in moral matters even to Puritanism, assailed Parnell vigorously, and joined with the late Mr Tirnothy Healy in calling for his deposition. To me, an ardent Parnellite, it seemed an unhappy alliance. The friendship of the two men, thus begun, remained firm and unbroken till death, some months ago, severed it rudely.

Father Finlay magnanimously forgave my political break-away from his leadership; and it speaks eloquently for his tolerance, that the strong divergence of opinion which grew up between us as the years went by never threw its shadow on our relations as co-workers in the production of school-books, and as colleagues in the University Department of Philosophy.

The hero-worship with which from the first years I could not but reverence him, survived in spite of his union with the Horace Plunkett group in a movement into which Nationalist prejudice did not permit of his being followed. Father Finlay, thanks to his reaction against Parnellism, and his deepened sense of the vital importance of economic matters in the life of the Nation, had come to consider direct, constructive effort among the farmers a more potent instrument of building up a prosperous, Catholic Ireland than political action in way of agitation could ever provide. His satirical humour, of which he has a fund, loved to play its blistering tongue on the moving and passing of resolutions, and “voicing the aspirations of a down-trodden and oppressed nationality”. Clap-trap, raimeis, make-believe, falsities and lies, he abominates by instinct. And, I fear, he relegates our political propaganda to that infamous dust-bin of things despicable.

They who have only an external acquaintance with Father Finlay cannot even guess what depths of genial humanity lie hidden from them in the man. It would, I know, displease him were I to make public here even a fraction of what I know of his innumerable benefactions. St Francis of Assisi was happily styled the “friend of every friendless beast” : Father Finlay I would style the
friend of all the friendless poor. He has a strong sense of duty; but his large heart gives as strong an urge.

Father Finlay has a keen zest for shooting and fishing, he has fished trout from every lake in the Comeragh hills, in Galway and Mayo, Sligo and the North-West. He has no less zest for humorous narrative; and can rival, at times, even Dickens in giving a comic colouring to the most unpromising materials.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1940

Obituary

Father Thomas Finlay SJ

Though he was not educated at Belvedere it would be the blackest of ingratitude if Belvedere did not recognise in Fr Tom Finlay one who had paramount claims upon the School. Others have spoken and written of the wider activities with which this great man's later life was crowded, but we cannot o help rejoicing that the educationalist, who was for many years a pillar of the
National University and an outstanding force in the intellectual life of his country, served his apprenticeship to education and public affairs in Belvedere.

He was a young man, a very young man as Jesuits go, when in 1883 he s became Rector of Belvedere. Yet, he had already about him the elements which were to build up his great prestige. He was already associated with those views and projects which made him not only an ideal Commissioner of Education, and Dean of the Philosophic Faculty in his University, but Founder of the Irish Co-operative Movement and of University Hall. In a true sense, he was the second founder of Belvedere. Materially; certainly. For with the widest vision, backed by the financial resources of his own active brain and pen, he set to work to provide adequate accommodation for a great School for over fifty years.

Incredible as it seems, Belvedere had then carried on with no larger accommodation than the stately drawing-rooms and parlours of Lord Belvedere, where ugly partitions hid the beauty of the decoration and familiarity exposed it to damage. It is hard to-day to realise what those improvised class-rooms and mutilated halls must have been like; what handicaps it had of air and light and heat and cold, and noise and crowding. Fr Finlay swept all that away. First, built the new school buildings in solid red brick which now, as then, though almost doubled by recent additions, housed the Senior school. There was a fine, if small, chapel, excellent laboratories, a “manual work” room, and plenty of class-room space, well lit and warmed. It was work done, not for a day or a year, but for a century or two at the least. Not content with this achievement, he built our theatre and gymnasium, built it so well that it serves admirably the needs of what has become one of Belvedere's most remarkable activities, our popular opera week. In its construction vision, vision once again united with common sense, the spacious and solid with the practicable and the useful. Lastly, he acquired that fine mansion, fit neighbour to Belvedere House, which had been the residence of the Earls of Fingal. Part of this was designed as club house, it has since served to house the Irish Messenger Office, whose connection with Belvedere has been so happy a thing for the School. But for many years before Fr Finlay's policy could be carried further by the acquisitions Nos 7 and 8 Great Denmark Street, it served as a Preparatory school, too, and generations of Belvederians began their school life in the “Little” House. Such a record needs no emphasising. Fr Finlay's was a unique opportunity. He rose nobly to it, and all future generations have only to follow his lead..

Spiritually, perhaps, he meant even more to the School. For Fr Finlay was anything but a mere efficient machine, a juggler with bricks and mortar pounds and pence. To those who knew him that idea is so absurd as to be laughable. For those who did not, one glance at the fine countenance in Leo Whelan's portrait should reveal that wonderful combination of head and heart which made him the great man he was. One misses indeed the little smile the eyes began and the fine, sensitive lips finished, but there is in that broad clear brow and firm glance, and in the enviable repose of the features, a summary of Fr Finlay's qualities. He was one who loved knowledge greatly for herself but more for her kindness to mankind. He was one who loved boys, but again loved manhood more. This made him a teacher, a director of studies and a inspirer of studies at once zealous and not fanatical, wide and not wasteful, noble and not visionary. Of his government of boys. it can be said with certainty that it was much ahead, both in theory and practice, of the normal expectation of his time. Father Finlay was as incapable of harshness, even of what could fairly be called severity, as he was unyielding in his demand for the essentials and just in his sense of proportion. Character in him was fused with kindness. Only a few months before his death a distinguished Belvederian priest, whose picture adorns our pages, found himself in Ireland for a brief spell and learn of his old rector's accessibility even in retirement. He was on the eve of his departure to what is perhaps the world's most arduous and dangerous mission On the day he sailed he went out to Linden. There the two had long talk. Who shall say what they remembered or what they anticipated. But as his visitor rose to go Fr Finlay, with real feeling, asked for a last blessing and with tears in his eyes, his admiring son did for the last time what he was bidden The episode is characteristic. To hear Fr Finlay talk of his old boys was to hear him tell stories of the happy intercourse that can exist between master and boy almost in proportion to the humility, nay, the reverence of both.

He was too short a time (1883-1888) in Belvedere, for it was impossible to expect he should be allowed to give to one limited sphere and group the talents which have enriched the nation. But he never altered his allegiance to his old School. At the Centenary Celebrations in 1931, when he was well over eighty he preached the sermon at the commemorative High Mass, and linked with glowing words, a worthy past to the hopes of a proud future. God spared him to his ninety-second year, with all his wonderful powers of mind and affection intact, and in the final years he would enquire from his visitors after the health and happiness of the School which he had led out of the stages of childhood to the full growth of manhood and maturity. Always it was with a mind eager to hear of new effort and fresh achievement, so that his hearers surely cannot doubt that it will be part of his reward to assist from the Kingdom of Glory those who still struggle with the problems, the works and the opportunities in which he merited so splendidly of boyhood, of his country and of God.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Thomas Finlay (1848-1940)

Entered the Society some eight months after his younger brother. He also did all his higher studies abroad, as, in those days, the Irish Province of the Society had not enough men to maintain their own houses of studies. Thomas Finlay was a student of philosophy in Rome when Garibaldi took the city. He finished his philosophy in Germany and it was during this time he first acquired his interests in scientific methods of agriculture. He spent his regency at Crescent College, 1872-1877. In 1875, although he was still only a scholastic, he was appointed prefect of studies. His versatility was remarkable during his years in Limerick: he was master, prefect of studies, master of the choir and novelist! it was at this time he published his novel, “The Chances of War”. Shortly after his ordination in 1880 a new and brilliant career lay ahead for him. He became a Fellow of the newly established Royal University of Ireland and until 1900 was professor of metaphysics. It is a significant tribute to his physical, no less than his mental energy, that for the first five years of his professor ship at University College, Dublin, he was also Rector of Belvedere College.

In 1900, Father Finlay, who for years had taken a leading part in the co-operative movement, was appointed to the chair of Political Economy, and held this post with distinction for the next thirty years.

FitzGerald, James B, 1914-2007, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

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

◆ Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2007

Obituary

Fr James (Jim) FitzGerald (1914-2007)

26th September 1914: Born in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
Early education at High School, Clonmel, and Clongowes
11th September 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
12th September 1935: First Vows at Emo
1935 - 1937: Rathfarnham – Studied Arts at UCD
1937 - 1940: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1940 - 1943: Belvedere College - Teacher
1943 - 1947: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1946: Ordained at Milltown Park
1947 - 1948: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1948 - 1959: Mungret College, Minister, Prefect, Teacher
2nd February 1949: Final Vows at Mungret College
1959 - 1973: Rathfarnham Castle - Minister; Bursar
1973 - 1981: Milltown Park - Minister; Prefect of Health
1981 - 1982: Overseeing building of Cherryfield Lodge
1982 - 1985: Director, Cherryfield Lodge
1985 - 2007: Gardiner Street -
1985 - 1989: Minişter; Health Prefect; Guestmaster
1989 - 1991: Assistant Vice-Postulator cause of John Sullivan SJ; Health Prefect; Guestmaster
1991 - 1997: Assistant Vice-Postulator; Health Prefect
1997 - 2007: Assistant Vice-Postulator
13th August 2007: Died in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Adapted from an interview with Jim in Interfuse #129:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A poetic remembrance from Tom MacMahon, 14 August 2007:

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

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

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

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

Fitzgerald, Maurice, 1907-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/660
  • Person
  • 28 March 1907-16 October 1996

Born: 28 March 1907, County Waterford
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942
Died: 16 October 1996, Marycrest, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Manresa, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1929 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying

◆ 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 the Christian Brothers Waterford before Entry at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1925-1928 He studied at University College Dublin gaining a BA in Latin, Greek and English.
1928-1931 He was sent to Chieri, Italy for Philosophy
1931-1935 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview for Regency
1935-1939 He was back in Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology
1939-1940 He made tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle Dublin
1940 He was sent to work at Gardiner St Parish in Dublin
He then returned to Australia at the Toowong Parish
1950-1961 He was then sent back to Riverview as Minister. He was remembered for his kindness, patience and equanimity, as well as for his efficiency and his Irish stories. The boarders well remember his supervision of the refectory and ringing the bell.
1962-1972 He was sent back to Toowong as Parish Priest at St Ignatius, Toowong
1972-1975 He was sent to Lavender Bay parish in Sydney
1975 He came back and spent the rest of his life in Brisbane. He was chaplain at the hospital and nursing home at Nundah. He eventually settled into the Marycrest Retirement Centre at Kangaroo Point.

He was respected by many for his pastoral work, his preaching, administration of the sacraments, his wise counsel especially to many religious sisters throughout Brisbane. he was also a practical administrator, erecting a purpose built school at Toowong to replace the hall below the Church.
He was also responsible for erecting a second Church in the Toowong Parish - Holy Spirit Church, Auchenflower, a modern construction intended for the post Vatican II liturgy. He is remembered there for his dedication and friendliness, his willingness to help anyone in trouble and for his interest in the youth.
He found the new theology after Vatican II quite hard to accommodate, especially in preaching, and he was grateful to the Archbishop of Brisbane, Dr Rush, for asking him to become chaplain to the Sisters of St Joseph at Nundah. The sisters there were very good to him, and he gradually regained some confidence in his ability to be a pastor and preach again. He loved the pastoral care of the sick and the rose garden there.

He died a happy and contented priest. he enjoyed the Jesuit weekly gatherings at Toowong in his latter years.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 92 : August 1996

Obituary

Fr Maurice Fitzgerald (1922-1997)

1907: Born in Waterford
1923: Entered the Society at
1925 - 1928: Tullabeg Juniorate (National University of Ireland)
1928 - 1931: Philosophy at Chieri, Italy
1931 - 1935: Regency at Riverview
1935 - 1939: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1938: Ordained a Priest
1939 - 1940: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1941: Parish work at Gardiner Street
1942 - 1949: Parish work at Toowong, Brisbane
1950 - 61: Minister at Riverview
1962 - 1971: Parish work at Toowong. Superior/Parish Priest
1972 - 1975: Parish work at Lavender Bay, Sydney
1976 - 1993: Chaplain at hospital and nursing home, Nundah, Brisbane
1994 - 1996: Chaplain at Marycrest Retirement Centre

Fr. Maurice Fitzgerald was born in Ireland in 1907 and entered the Society there in 1923. Like a number of others from the Irish Province, he was transferred in 1931 to what was then the Australian Vice-Province, where, apart from Theology and Tertianship, he spent the rest of his life. Apart from over ten years in St. Ignatius' College, Riverview, his ministry was in parish or chaplaincy work, chiefly in Brisbane. For over 17 years he was on the staff of the Toowong parish, chiefly as parish priest, where he endeared himself to the people by his dedication, friendliness and willingness to help anyone in trouble. He was responsible for the building of a new Church in the parish. Due to ill health he had to retire from the strenuous activity of parish work and the last twenty years of his life were spent as Chaplain to a hospital and nursing home, conducted by Sisters. Here, too, he was much beloved. He delighted to keep in touch with his Jesuit brethren. At the time of his death, he was 89 years of age and had been a member of the Society for 73 years. The Australian Province owes a great debt of gratitude to Irishmen like him who left home and country to minister in a distant land.

Australian Provincial's Office

Flatley, Thomas, 1841-1903, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1310
  • Person
  • 01 January 1841-21 June 1903

Born: 01 January 1841, County Mayo
Entered: 20 June 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1876
Died: 21 June 1903, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Aloysius Sturzo was Novice Master to Thomas at Milltown.
After his First Vows he remained at Milltown as Cook.
He was then sent to Gardiner St as Refectorian. He was known there as a man who always had a god word for you, especially for externs he came in contact with,
1886-1888 He spent a year each in Clongowes and Milltown.
1888 He returned to Gardiner St.
Eighteen months before his death he had a serious operation for cancer, which prolonged his life a little. He was a most edifying patient during his final illness, and died on the Feast of St Aloysius at Gardiner St 21 June 1903

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Thomas Flatley 1842-1903
Br Thomas Flatley, who was born on January 7th 1842, entered the Society 24 years later. He did his noviceship at Milltown Park under Fr Sturzo.

The greater part of his life he worked at Gardiner Street. While there, he ever lost the opportunity of saying a good word in due season, to the many externs with whom he came in contact.

Eighteen months before his death he underwent a sever operation, which only prolonged his life for a short while. His conduct during his last illness was most patient and edifying, and he died calmly on the Feast of St Aloysius, June 21st 1903.

Flinn, Daniel Joseph, 1877-1943, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/151
  • Person
  • 11 January 1877-24 May 1943

Born: 11 January 1877, Arklow, County Wicklow
Entered: 01 February 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 01 August 1909, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1911, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 24 May 1943, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

First World War chaplain

by 1898 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1910 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1918 Military Chaplain: VI Corps Rest Station North, BEF France
by 1919 Military Chaplain: 88th Brigade, BEF France

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 18th Year No 3 1943

Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart :

Father Flinn’s Death :
“So the grand old man has gone to his reward may he rest in peace. He surely did a man’s work in the great cause”. “I never had the pleasure of meeting Fr. Flinn, but from the many letters he wrote me I have a very vivid picture of his great sincerity and unselfish zeal in the noble cause for which he gave his life”. “What a worker, and what a record to leave behind him”. These are but three of the very many tributes paid to Fr. Flinn, by Bishops, priests, religious and laymen from every part of Ireland. Few of Ours can have been as well known, few so much respected as Fr. Flinn. His work of organising and running the Pioneer Association made for him contacts, many personal, others by letter only, but in them all his wholehearted love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was the inspiration of his Pioneer work, was manifest and recognised. He was a truly holy man, in whom the love of Our Lord was a very real and very personal thing. It was thus a personal matter for him that sin should be prevented, and when committed that it should be atoned for. In the curse of intemperance he saw what he believed to be the greatest source of sin in Ireland. and hence he set himself to work. heart and soul to fight intemperance, which so greatly injured the cause of Christ whom he loved. That was his Pioneer creed. That made for him the Pioneer cause a sacred one, for he believed it was the cause of the Most Sacred Heart, and in that belief he was so sincere that his sincerity impressed even those who criticised his methods. It was this sincerity and the zeal which sprung from it, allied with the courage which is
born of true humility, that won for him a deep respect, and often an enthusiastic admiration from all those who came in contact with him.
In 1922 when Fr. Flinn became Central Director, there was a membership of about 250,000 in 410 Centres. At his death the membership had grown to 350,000 and there were more than 950 centres. This great expansion did not bring with it any slackening in the very strict rules of Fr. Cullen. At the Annual Meeting last November, Fr. Flinn could boast that in his 21 years as Director there had been no change in the rules in spite of very great pressure being brought on him to make changes. That is a very remarkable thing, for in the growth
and expansion of an organisation there is almost always modification and adaptation. Not so the Pioneer Association under Fr. Flinn. It grew to be a movement of national importance, but Fr. Cullen's dying wish that there should be no change of rule was for Fr. Flinn a duty. The Pioneer Association today is the Pioneer Association that was founded by Fr. Cullen, with rules no less strict, observance no less rigidly enforced. Here again it was not just sentiment nor a mere hero worship of Fr. Cullen that made Fr. Flinn adopt so uncompromising an attitude. The Pioneer Association was the fruit of fifty years of tremendous experience in temperance work on the part of Fr. Cullen. Movement after movement to fight against intemperance had been started only to fail. The Pioneer Association with its very strict and very rigid rule was begun and was successful where the other movements failed. This success both Fr. Cullen and Fr. Flinn attributed to the strict rules and the strict way in which these rules were enforced. Hence Fr. Flinn was not prepared to depart in any way from a method which was proved by experience and by its results to attain the end for which it had been started. Rule after rule was planned to check what experience had shown to be causes of lapses in the past, and to bar excuses which made pledge-breaking easy. Fr. Cullen was fifty years at the work. His experience was tremendous. “I shall be a long time
in charge before I dare to set my judgment against his." Thus spoke Fr. Flinn at the Annual Meeting last year, and there is little doubt that it was this great loyalty to Fr. Cullen and to the spirit of the Association as founded by Fr. Cullen which made Fr. Flinn's long period as Central Director so successful a one for the Association and so fruitful of great work to the glory of God.

Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin (Juniorate, Tertianship. and Retreat House) :

General :
Fr. Joseph Flinn, who had been resting at Rathfarnham, died on Monday morning, 24th May, deeply regretted by all. He had daily edified the Community by his cheerfulness and courage liable as he was at any moment to serious heart attacks. We offer his Community at Gardiner Street our sincere sympathy on their great loss. R.I.P.

Obituary :

Father Joseph Flinn SJ (1877-1943)

Fr. Flinn died in the early hours of Monday, 24th May, at Rathfarnham Castle, where he had been convalescing after a serious heart attack.
Born at Arklow on 11th January, 1877, he was at school in Liverpool and at Mungret before going to Clongowes in 1891, where he remained until December, 1893. During his stay at Clongowes he seems to have been very popular with the other boys, had a place on the school teams, both rugby a»nd cricket, and during the last term held the position of Vice-Captain of the House. On the day before he left, the boys showed their appreciation of his robust character by according him a wonderful ovation in the refectory.
He entered the novitiate at Tullabeg on 1st February, 1894, and after taking his Vows studied rhetoric for two years. He did his philosophy at Jersey from 1898 to 1901, and in the latter year became Prefect at Clongowes, first of the Gallery (1901-2), then Third Line (1902-3), Lower Line (1903-4), Higher Line (1904-5). He spent 3 years at Mungret before beginning his theology at Milltown, where he was ordained, priest in 1909.
On his return from Tronchiennes where he made his third year's probation in 1910, he started his successful career as missionarius excurrens, being attached first to St. Ignatius, Galway (1911-13) then to Rathfarnharn Castle (1913-17, and 1919-22). While at Galway he had charge of the local Pioneer centre, thus gaining experience of temperance work, towards which he was to make such a vital contribution in later years. In 1917 came the call to act as military chaplain in France during the great war. In spite of the marked distaste he had for the work it was all along more an agony than a service for him - he set about his new duties with characteristic conscientiousness. When hostilities ceased he resumed his work as missioner at Rathfarnham. till his transfer to Gardiner Street Church in 1922, when he was appointed to succeed Fr.James Cullen as Central Director of the Pioneer Total
Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart.
Fr. Flinn was thoroughly equipped for the great task which now confronted him. As a Missioner he had won renown both here and in England by reason of his tireless zeal, and his exceptional talents as an organiser and trenchant speaker. These talents were now pressed into the service of the Pioneer movement, which for the next twenty years and more, under his fostering care, gradually attained that commanding position which it holds to-day. Details of the remarkable growth of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association under Fr. Flinn's able administration are given on another page. Suffice it here to say that his name. which had become a household word in the land, will be ever inseparably linked with those of Fr. Matthew and Fr. Cullen in the history of Temperance. His talents as an organiser probably outdistanced those of Fr. Cullen himself. He was a great stickler for tradition, and much of the success he achieved was doubtless due to his allowing the faultless machinery created by the founder of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association to function undisturbed. Still the fresh impetus given the movement since 1922 must be attributed in large part to Fr, Flinn's strong personality, his gifts as a forceful speaker, the meticulous care with which he organised the annual rallies and most of all to the supernatural outlook which characterised his work.
Fr. Flinn was also a member of the Fr. Matthew Union and of the Committee of the Catholic Social Service Conference.
Just and conscientious to a fault, strong and purposeful by disposition, Fr. Flinn possessed a character of sterling quality. Completely devoted to the cause of God, hard and austere towards himself, unworldly, he showed himself kind and sympathetic towards others with a soft spot in his heart for the poor, the underdog. To an infinite capacity for taking pains he joined an ardour and enthusiasm for work which was infectious. Though for the ten years preceding his death he laboured under a physical disability of a very distressing kind, chronic heart trouble, which more than once brought him to death’s door, he continued his labours undismayed, and retained his courage and serenity to the very end. His devotion to the memory of Fr James Cullen was touching in its humility and self-effacement - when Fr. Cullen’s mantle fell upon his shoulders, he inherited as well that great man's spirit of his selfless devotion to a great cause. R.I.P.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 3 1946

FROM OTHER PROVINCES :

England :
Fr. Quigley, who is Senior Chaplain to the British Forces in Egypt, finds the names of other Jesuit chaplains in the Register at Alexandria, and among them Fr. David Gallery (1901), Fr. V. Lentaigne (1904-5) and Fr. Joseph Flynn (1907-14).

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Joseph Flinn SJ 1877-1943
The name of Fr Joseph Flinn will always be linked with those of Fr Matthew and Fr Cullen in the Ministry of the Temperance Movement.

Born in Arklow on January 11th 1877, he was educated at Mungret and Clongowes. After his ordination as a Jesuit, he was atached to the Mission Staff. He then served as a Chaplain in the First World War, and on his return was assigned to Fr Cullen as his assistant. He succeeded Fr Cullen in 1922 and for twenty years and more guided the Pioneer Association on its ever-expanding path. With his great organising ability and meticulous adherence to the Founder’s ideas, he gave the Movement an impetus which has spread its branches beyond the shores of Ireland.

Completely devoted to God and His Glory, austere towards himself, unworldly, he showed himself kind to others, especially the poor and the underdog. For the last ten years of his life, though afflicted with a heart complaint, he worked as hard and as cheerfully for the Cross as ever.

Fr Joe was possessed of a vigour and drive that was truly phenomenal. This was evident iin all his activities, as Prefect, as Missioner, as Pioneer leader, and was conveyed succinctly by his well known nick-name “The Pusher”.

He had tremendous fire. On the platform he would remind one of the Prophets of the Old Testament, breathing indignation, with fire flashing from hius eyes and his hand uplifted calling on the people of Ireland to follow him to the Holy Land of Temperance and sobriety.

He died at Rathfarnham Castle on May 24th 1943.

◆ The Clongownian, 1943

Obituary

Father Joseph Flinn SJ

News of Fr Flinn’s death has reached us as we are going to press, hence only a very brief notice of his life and work is possible.

In his last year here at school he was second captain of the school. He entered the Jesuit noviceship in- 1894. In 1901, he returned to Clongowes as a Scholastic and was Prefect successively of all three Lines. He took a very deep interest in everything connected with Clongowes, and regularly sent news of “The Past” to the Editor of “The Clongownian”.

He was ordained in 1909. He was immediately appointed to the mission staff and devoted his time to the giving of public retreats and missions until 1922, with an interval when he served as a military chaplain during the war of 1914-1918. In 1922, he was appointed Director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence organization, and gave all his energies to this work up to within a few months of his death.

As missioner and military chaplain he was noted for his unflagging zeal and his gift for winning over “hard cases”. He was a forceful and convincing preacher and public speaker. But his outstanding gift was that of organizing. For over twenty years the Annual Meeting of the Pioneers in the largest Dublin theatre was a triumph of organization. Perfect stewarding ensured smooth handling; of the immense audience. The panel of speakers was well chosen, and there was never any; flagging in interest. Even the smaller details, the musical programme that followed, the singing of the various hymns, all were carefully prepared. The result was always a most inspiring and enjoyable afternoon. Several members of the Irish hierarchy. who addressed these meetings were heard to describe them as amongst the most impressive Catholic gatherings they had ever seen.

This gift of organization was shown on some even greater occasions, as, for instance, the Jubilee of the Association, in 1923, when thousands of Pioneers brought by special trains from all over Ireland, marched through the city to the Royal Dublin Society's Buildings at Ballsbridge, where a monster meeting was held. It was shown again on the occasion of the Eucharistic Congress, in 1932, when again, Pioneers in their thousands, rallied to the shrine of their Eucharistic King.

But it was not merely Fr Flinn's organizing ability that gave to these gatherings their success. An even greater source of inspiration was his devotion to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, and his constant insistence on that devotion as the mainspring of the Pioneer movement. In this, Fr Flinn carried on the tradition of Fr James Cullen, for whose memory he had the deepest veneration. On every occasion, Fr Flinn spoke of Fr Cullen. At all his big meetings Fr Cullen's portrait was prominent, and in recent years one of the nost striking feature was the throwing on a screen of portraits ( Fr Cullen, Fr Willie Doyle, Fr John Sullivan and Matt Talbot, with a reminder to the audience that these four men of God were all Pioneers.

Fr Flinn literally gave his life for the work for the Sacred Heart, as it was undoubtedly his exertions on those great occasions and many others that undermined his health. His reward will surely be great.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father D Joseph Flinn SJ

The generations to come may well rate Father J. Flinn as the greatest of Mungret's sons and it is certain that he will rank as one of the most powerful forces in the new Ireland. His work was the work whose influence will be felt and recognised fully only in the time it will have borne its fruit. It is probable that. Father Flinn's name will be coupled with those of Father Mathew whom he so admired and of Father Cullen whom he succeeded and whose work he put on the lasting basis of an excellent organisation. To this work he came in 1922, prepared with an experience of human nature gained by prefecting boys in Clongowes and in Mungret from 1901 to 1905, by nine years as a missioner throughout the country, and by two years of service in the British army as a chaplain. He came to it with natural gifts of energy, ability in organising and direct forceful oratory. From within he drew zeal that was uncompromis ing and supernatural tenacity of purpose. His twenty years of office saw the Pioneer movement throw off its swaddling clothes and emerge as a national body of sure purpose, unwavering loyalty to its stated ideals and deadly earnestness in the pursuit of them. The Pioneers have counted in Ireland since Father Flinn took charge. In these labours for God and Ireland he wore himself out without counting the cost. The movement is his best epitaph. The apostle has been called from the vineyard. With such glorious work done, his must have been a triumphal entry to heaven. To his brother we offer our sympathy and assure him of our prayers. RIP

Foley, Edward, 1900-1967, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1320
  • Person
  • 07 September 1900-20 October 1967

Born: 07 September 1900, Dublin
Entered: 30 April 1925, Tullabeg
Final Vows: 02 February 1936, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 20 October 1967, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.
We moved in on Saturday morning, 14th August. Fr, Superior (Fr. McCarron), Fr. Minister (Fr. Kearns), and Bro. E. Foley constituted the occupying force, and Fr. T. Martin not only placed his van at our disposal, but gave generously of his time and labour for the heavy work of the first day.
A long procession of vans unloaded until noon, when the men broke off for their half-day, leaving a mountain of assorted hardware and soft goods to be unpacked and stowed. By nightfall we had a chapel installed, the kitchen working, dining-room in passable order, and beds set up, so we said litanies, Fr. Superior blessed the house and consecrated it to the Sacred Heart. Next morning Fr. Superior said the first Mass ever offered in the building. It was the Feast of the Assumption and a Sunday, so we. placed the house and the work under the Patronage of Our Lady and paused to review the scene. Fr. Provincial came to lunch.
The building is soundly constructed from basement to roof, but needs considerable modification before it can be used as a temporary Retreat House. The permanent Retreat House has yet to be built on the existing stables about 130 yards from the principal structure, but. we hope to take about twenty exercitants as soon as builders, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and decorators have done their work.
Fr. C. Doyle is equipping and furnishing the domestic chapel as a memorial to Fr. Willie, who worked so tirelessly for the establishment of workingmen's retreats in Ireland. A mantelpiece of this room has been removed, and thermostatically controlled electric heating is being installed. Lighting is to be by means of fluorescent tubes of the latest type.
With all due respects to the expert gardeners of the Province, we modestly assert that our garden is superb. Fr. Provincial was so impressed by the work done there that he presented us with a Fordson 8 H.P. van to bring the surplus produce to market. Under the personal supervision of Fr. Superior, our two professional gardeners took nine first prizes and four seconds with fourteen exhibits at the Drimnagh show. Twelve of their potatoes filled a bucket, and were sold for one shilling each. The garden extends over 2 of our 17 acres and will, please God, provide abundant fruit and vegetables.
From the beginning we have been overwhelmed with kindness: by our houses and by individual Fathers. Fr. Provincial has been a fairy-godmother to us all the time. As well as the van, he has given us a radio to keep us in touch with the outside world. We have bene fitted by the wise advice of Frs. Doyle and Kenny in buying equipment and supplies, while both of them, together with Fr. Rector of Belvedere and Fr. Superior of Gardiner Street, have given and lent furniture for our temporary chapel Fr. Scantlebury sacrificed two fine mahogany bookcases, while Frs. Doherty and D. Dargan travelled by rail and bus so that we might have the use of the Pioneer car for three weeks. Milltown sent a roll-top desk for Fr, Superior's use. To all who helped both houses and individuals we offer our warmest thanks, and we include in this acknowledgement the many others whom we have not mentioned by name.
Our man-power problem was acute until the Theologians came to the rescue. Two servants were engaged consecutively, but called off without beginning work. An appeal to Fr. Smyth at Milltown brought us Messrs. Doris and Kelly for a week of grueling labour in the house. They scrubbed and waxed and carpentered without respite until Saturday when Mr. Kelly had to leave us. Mr. Hornedo of the Toledo Province came to replace him, and Mr. Barry arrived for work in the grounds. Thanks to their zeal and skill, the refectory, library and several bedrooms were made ready and we welcomed our first guest on Monday, 30th August. Under the influence of the sea air, Fr. Quinlan is regaining his strength after his long and severe illness.
If anyone has old furniture, books, bedclothes, pictures, or, in fact anything which he considers superfluous, we should be very glad to hear of it, as we are faced with the task of organizing accommodation for 60 men and are trying to keep the financial load as light as possible in these times of high cost. The maintenance of the house depends on alms and whatever the garden may bring. What may look like junk to an established house may be very useful to us, starting from bare essentials. Most of all, we want the prayers of the brethren for the success of the whole venture, which is judged to be a great act of trust in the Providence of God.
Our postal address is : Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.

Irish Province News 43rd Year No 1 1968

Obituary :

Brother Edward Foley's death came as a shock to most of us. He looked so fresh and youthful that few realised that he was just three years short of the seventy mark. When we heard the details of his last illness the comment was “just as he would have it, no full”. For the record we give the details. On October 19th he said that he was very tired, too tired to remain on his feet. The doctor wisely suggested anointing. He received the last sacraments and slept his last sleep.
Brother Ned, as he was known, was a favourite everywhere, and he shared his light-hearted laughter wherever he went. The community to which he belonged was always the better of him being of it, whether it was the three-man community of Manresa in its earlier days or the almost one hundred strong of Tullabeg.
He had the ability to settle in wherever he was; he could adapt himself to circumstances or rather he was independent of them. In his exile in Tullabeg his laughter filled the recreation room in an enthusiastic game of cards or his voice filled the back kitchen as he sang while he peeled the potatoes. In Manresa where he was lonely he made friends with the local cat and it was amusing to see pussy at his heels the whole length of the avenue.
His light-heartedness was not an unfeeling indifference to people and things, on the contrary it was a deep thoughtfulness that had measured accurately the value of life, “Why worry?” he used to say “make the most of what you have”.
This thoughtfulness made Br. Foley's opinion on things most valuable. His criticism of a film, a play, a football game, or on more sedate things like music, a building or a sermon was always well worth hearing. The late Father Meaney, who preached well, when in the Crescent frequently read his sermons to Brother Ned and added or expanded where Brother Ned suggested that idea was not clearly explained.
His judgement of men was still more valuable. He could measure a boy on the staff, a scholastic, a Superior or a minister quicker than most, and his measure would be an accurate one, and a generous one.
His witty retorts were good, always made in a roguish way that could not offend. When the new drinking glasses he put on the table in the Crescent were criticised by Father Dillon-Kelly of happy memory : “I suppose they are Woolworth's best, Brother”. “I beg your pardon, Father, these are from Barbara Hutton's” - and he got by.
Brother Foley always got by, whether it was a Long Table dinner with the preparations left to the last minute or getting into Croke Park on an All-Ireland Final as when he put out his chest and swung his arms and joined the Artane Boys' Band as Brother in Charge.
Brother Foley had been working as a watch-maker before he joined the Society in 1925 at the age of twenty-five. A short while after his noviceship in Tullabeg he went as a founder member to Emo where with Fr. Corbett and Brother Tom Kelly (no longer in the Society) he did real hard work preparing Emo, which had been unoccupied for many years for the coming of the novices in
1930.
The Crescent was his home for fourteen years from 1932-46. Here he was cook, infirmarian, in charge of the staff and general factotum in the house and, for good measure, in the summer he took on the sacristy and Church collections. It was no trouble to him. He had that rare gift of being able to delegate, moreover, he could select a reliable delegate, and still more, he instilled a loyalty that made one feel privileged to have been chosen. This was so because he himself was most obliging and generous; a meal at an unusual time - “I'll have something for you”; a boy on the staff anxious to get to some special engagement - “You run off, I'll stand in”. He did these good turns so spontaneously and so cheerfully that one was more than happy to be able to do something for him by way of return.
From the Crescent he went to Clongowes for one year and in 1948 he went to the newly opened Retreat House at Manresa where he worked again as a general factorum for six years. In 1954 he spent one year in Tullabeg and then moved to Gardiner Street. This assignment was not an easy one. Though it brought him to his own locality in Dublin and to the Church where as a boy and a young man he had served on the altar, yet he was second in command to Brother Furlong. Brother Furlong, ageing at this time, had been over fifty years in office when Brother Foley arrived to take over, Here more than anywhere else the true Brother Foley showed itself. With a wisdom that was natural to him, and with a patience that was truly supernatural he smilingly played second fiddle and played in tune. While in Gardiner Street the first signs of illness showed themselves. He lost considerable weight and be came emaciated diabetes was diagnosed, but this he took in his calm philosophical way.
The last years of his life - 1962-67 - he spent at Manresa and there he died on October 20th, and died as he would have wished, giving trouble to no one.

Foley, Henry, 1862-1930, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/762
  • Person
  • 14 February 1862-01 March 1930

Born: 14 February 1862, Newtown, Kinnity, County Offaly
Entered: 11 September 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1893
Final Vows: 02 February 1899, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 01 March 1930, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1898 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/jesuits-and-the-influenza-1918-19/

Jesuits and the influenza, 1918-19
Damien Burke
The influenza pandemic that raged worldwide in 1918-19 (misnamed the Spanish flu, as during the First World War, neutral Spain reported on the influenza) killed approximately 100 million people.

In St Ignatius College, Galway, Fr Henry Foley SJ wrote on 25 February 1919: “We have been hit hard again by the Flu”. Three Jesuits were laid up and “43 of our pupils [out of 100 pupils] are in bed... There have been many deaths lately, and the infection shows no sign of abating. Otherwise things are fairly well.”

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 5th Year No 3 1930

Obituary :

Fr Henry Foley

Fr Foley was born on the 14th Feb. 1662, educated at Tullabeg, and on the 11th Sept. 1880 entered at Milltown, where he spent six years, two as novice, one as Junior, three as philosopher. In 1886 he was sent to Clongowes, but left after a short time for the Crescent. The regency was passed at the Crescent, Mungret, Belvedere, then back to Milltown in 1890 for theology. When it was over he returned to the Crescent, and put in three years there before going to the tertianship at Tronchiennes. Tertianship finished, he had the short course at Milltown for one year, Moral and Canon Law for another, and then went to Galway, There he remained for 22 years, For four of them he was Rector, for twelve, Minister, and or the entire period had charge of the Men's Sodality, as well as doing a large amount of teaching. 1922 saw him in Gardiner St. as “Praef Spir and Oper”. Early in 1929, his health broke down very badly, heart failure, and the August of that year found him in Tullabeg. It was not to rest, for the Sodality attached to the Church, was entrusted to him, and he