Valkenburg aan de Geul



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Valkenburg aan de Geul

BT Limburg

Valkenburg aan de Geul

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Valkenburg aan de Geul

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Valkenburg aan de Geul

58 Name results for Valkenburg aan de Geul

56 results directly related Exclude narrower terms

Baker, Peter, 1871-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1302
  • Person
  • 20 April 1871-24 December 1955

Born: 20 April 1871, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 01 February 1889, Xavier Melbourne, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1905
Final vows: 02 February 1908
Died: 24 December 1955, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney, Australia community at the time of death

2nd year Novitate at Loyola Greenwich, Australia
by 1899 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1907 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1908 returned to Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Older brother of William - RIP 1943.

Educated at Marist Brothers, Darlinghurst, Sydney, St Joseph’s, Hunters Hill and St Aloysius College, Bourke Street.

1891-1892 After First Vows he remained at Loyola Greenwich for his Juniorate.
1892-1898 He taught at Prefected the Boarders at St Ignatius College Riverview and St Patrick’s College Melbourne.
1898-1901 He went to Valkenburg, Netherlands for Philosophy
1901-1906 He studied Theology at Milltown Park, Dublin.
1906-1907 He made his Tertianship at Drongen, Belgium.
1907-1931 He returned to Australia and a lengthy stay at Xavier College, Kew. There he mainly taught Chemistry and Physics and was a house Consultor.
He did great work in the teaching of Science, planned new laboratories, personally supervising the work and taught in them for over twenty years. There he also installed a wireless station. He had a very clear mind and gave a very lucid explanation of his subject to his students, a number of whom later became prominent scientists or medical professionals.
Even when young, his somewhat ponderous manner and deliberate way of speaking gave the impression of age, but never dimmed the affection his students had for him.
1931-1933 He was sent as assistant Director of the Riverview Observatory
1933-1934 He lectured in Mathematics and Science at Loyola College Watsonia
1934-1951 He was sent to work at the the Richmond parish
1951-1955 He went to Canisius College, Pymble.

He was a good friend to many, kind and thoughtful of others, and concerned for the spiritual and temporal welfare of those entrusted to his care

Barragry, John, 1879-1959, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/58
  • Person
  • 11 April 1879-27 January 1959

Born: 11 April 1879, Oola, County Limerick
Entered: 14 August 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912
Final vows: 02 February 1915
Died: 27 January 1959, Crescent College, Limerick

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 34th Year No 2 1959
Sacred Heart Church and College, Limerick
With dramatic swiftness, Fr. Barragry passed away on Tuesday, 27th January. On the previous Saturday, he complained of a chill but continued throughout the day at his confessional. On Sunday, he was up and about but complained of loss of appetite. In getting into bed on Sunday night, he felt restless and depressed. Early on Monday morning, he was discovered lying on the floor of his room, by Fr. Rector. The doctor advised his removal to hospital, suspecting a recurrence of the diabetes. From the moment of his arrival in hospital in the late afternoon, his temperature began to rise steadily. He had another very restless night and on Tuesday morning, the community learned that there was no chance of his recovery. He remained perfectly lucid until about forty minutes before his death which occurred about 2.15 in the afternoon. On Wednesday, his remains arrived at the residence about noon and were laid out in the back parlour. Throughout the evening, crowds of his penitents and his friends came to say farewell to this very lovable priest. We all knew that Fr. Barragry was widely respected, but for many of us it was a revelation to discover the extent of his friendships. At the solemn obsequies on Thursday, His Lordship the Bishop attended with a large gathering of the secular and regular clergy. The boys of Sacred Heart College marched with the cortège to the city boundary and many of them finished the journey to Mungret by car or bicycle.

Obituary :
Fr John Barragry (1879-1958)
By the death of Fr. John Barragry on the 27th January the Province has lost, not only a colourful and interesting character, and one who provided a great deal of innocent pleasure for those who knew him or lived with him, but also an observant religious: remarkable for his devotion to poverty and for his exact obedience; a man of deep faith and simple piety, and a great lover of the Society. Many, both inside and outside the Society, feel they have lost a loyal and devoted friend.
Fr. Barragry was born at Oola, Co. Limerick in 1879, educated at the Crescent, and entered the Society at Tullabeg at the age of sixteen. Having completed his novitiate and juniorate, he was sent to Valkenburg in 1899 for his three years philosophy and, to the end of his life he retained an interest in the Niederdeutsche Provinz, and in the careers of those with whom he studied. On finishing seven years' teaching at Clongowes and three years theology at Milltown Park, he was ordained in 1912. Between 1914 and 1920 he was Prefect of Studies at Galway and at Mungret, and those who studied under him recall the firmness, enthusiasm and kindness, which characterised his work on their behalf.
For a short period he was Minister of Juniors and Professor of Mathematics at Tullabeg and then, from 1925 to 1931, he was again Prefect of Studies, but this time at the Crescent. Here, with the exception of seven years, when he taught at Clongowes and at Belvedere - where he was Procurator from 1934 to 1938, he was to spend the rest of his life. In the course of these years at Limerick he contributed in no small way to the success of the college as we know it today, and to the building up of the Ignatian Sodality. From 1944 till his death he was Procurator, and fulfilled this office with that exactitude and care which marked all his work.
Fr. Barragry was an efficient and understanding teacher, and he was remembered with affection by many of his past pupils years after they had left. Gratitude and warm appreciation are still expressed by those who knew him, even as far back as forty years ago. Last September, Monsignor Power of Saltley, Birmingham, recalling the old days in Limerick, asked :
“Is Fr. Barragry still alive? Good! How is he? The same as ever, I hope?”
All his life Fr. Barragly showed a great interest both in men and in affairs, and both his memory for the past and his knowledge of their careers were prodigious. Not a few of his pupils owe their start in life to the solicitous interest he took in placing them after school. Indeed many others also found in him a friend and a willing helper. His apostolate of "job-finding" and assisting the less fortunate, the poor and the unemployed, took up a great deal of any leisure he had.
As time went on he lost nothing of his interest in current affairs, specially in relation to Ireland. He had a deep love of his country, and watched daily, with a growing sense of pride, the material, economic and cultural achievements that had come about since the days of his boyhood. Though he felt that the study of the Irish language was beyond him, he championed its cause on more than one occasion, both , in private and in public.
His savoir vivre was tremendous, and up to the end he remained. keen in mind and active in body. A friend who spoke to him shortly before his death could not but admire the unimpaired, alert mind of a man in his eightieth year. He uttered no complaint on the score of health and was apparently the same as ever."
In 1955, four years before his death, he celebrated his Diamond Jubilee in the Society. His old friends - the Ignatians - gave him great joy by presenting a golden chalice to mark the occasion, and by arranging that an award—the Fr, Barragry medal— should be presented annually to the most outstanding pupil at the College.
During his years as operarius at the Crescent, Fr. Barragry was a kind and conscientious confessor, and as long as health allowed him to preach, his sermons were carefully prepared. Though in his eightieth year, he had no thought of going “on the shelf”, and was active and at his post practically to the end.
After confessions on Friday night, 23rd January, he complained of a bad shivering fit and was advised by the Rector to keep to his room. He said Mass on Sunday and seemed improved, but towards evening he took to his bed. At 4.30 on Monday morning the Rector thought he heard the sound of knocking and went in to see if anything was wrong. He found Fr. Barragry on the floor, where he had fallen during the night, and being unable to rise or attract attention, he had pulled a few blankets from the bed to keep himself warm. Later that day the doctor ordered him to hospital, and on Tuesday, when it was evident that he was dying, he was anointed and received Holy Viaticum about noon. Shortly before two o'clock, Fr. Rector and Fr. Naughton began the prayers for the dying, and at 2.10 he passed peacefully away.
It can be truthfully said that Fr. Barragry went through life joyously, maintaining always a bright and infectious cheerfulness. He dearly loved his little joke.
On one occasion, slipping quietly away for a villa in Donegal, he left strict injunctions that his life-long friend and colleague, Fr. Martin Corbett of Mungtet, was not to be told. As Fr. Martin and he were always keenly interested in the “latest”, he felt he had scored quite a victory in getting off “unbeknownst”, and was determined that when the time was opportune, he would make known his triumph.
Sitting by the side of the road, surrounded by the wild beauty of the Barnesmore Gap and the sunshine, and pulling a picture post card from his pocket, he scribbled with glee - taking pains to avoid any indication of his exact location : “Lovely views! Any news? J.B.”
Fr. Barragry traded his talents industriously, by patient, faithful service and by prayer. We may well hope that he now enjoys the reward of a well-spent life-a far more beautiful sight than he ever saw in Donegal.
Solus na Soillse agus radharc na Tríonóide d'á anam.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father John Barragry SJ 1879-1959
One could hardly live in a community with Fr John Barragry – or Barrags as he was affectionatle called – without feeling the impact of his energetic and vivid personality.
A Limerick man, born in Oola County Limerick in 1879, after a brilliant career as a boy in the Crescent, he became a Jesuit at Tullabeg at the age of 16.

His life in the Society was spent in the Colleges as Prefect of Studies in Mungret, Galway and the Crescent – 30 years in the classroom, as he himself used describe it. The latter part of his life was spent as procurator, first in Belvedere and then in the Crescent. This was his favourite house, and Limerick his natural habitat. “I know my Limerick” he was heard to retort to one he thought had pretensions to a greater knowledge.

He was intensely interested in people and affairs, especially in matters of the Society government and appointments. His curiosity was boundless and harmless, though to some it was irksome and annoying. To many it was a great source of recreation. His storied of how he dealt with difficult situations were famous. While stationed in Tullabeg teaching the Juniors, it was reported that Our Lady had appeared to a little girl on the avenue. There was great excitement, and the local IRA were on duty, armed, to regulate the people who came to see. “Down I went to see” would recount Fr Barragry. “A young fellow on guard stopped me”. “Halt” said he. “Shoot” said I, and that finished him”. To a Rector to whom he had suggested a way of saving money and who took the suggestion as a slur on his vow of poverty, he said “My Dear Father Rector, you mist never confound poverty with economy”.

He was a hard worker for souls, and energetic Director of the Ignatian Sodality, and tireless in his efforts to place old students in good situations in life.

He died on January 27th 1959 after a brief illness.

Boylen, J Rolland, 1906-1971, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/940
  • Person
  • 21 June 1906-28 July 1971

Born: 21 June 1906, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Entered: 08 March 1922, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 24 August 1937
Professed: 15 August 1940
Died: 28 July 1971, St Louis School, Claremont, Perth, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1928 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
The Christian Brothers educated Rolland Boylen before he entered the Society at Loyola Greenwich.

1924-1927 He was sent to Rathfarnham Castle Dublin for his Juniorate, graduating with a BA second class honours degree in English and Latin from University College Dublin.
1927-1937 He was sent to Valkenburg, Netherlands for Philosophy and then Leuven for Theology, and was Ordained 24 August 1937
1938-1939 He was sent for Tertianshup at St Beuno’s, Wales.
1939-1959 he was back in Australia and Xavier College Kew, and there he held the offices of Rector and Prefect of Studies at various times
1959-1961 He was rector of St Thomas More University in Perth
1962-1968 He was appointed Provincial
1968-1971 He returned to Perth and St Louis School, where he taught French, English and Religion, until he died suddenly from heart failure.

He was only fifteen years old when he entered the Society. He was present at the General Congregation which elected Pedro Arrupe.

He found decision making difficult, yet that did not stop him in the development of Xavier College during his time, which included a sports pavilion and changing rooms. While Rector there he did not neglect his pastoral duties and said Sunday Mass at Thornbury every week. He was not a great preacher or public speaker, finding “landing” difficult, though he was always well prepared.

He was a very versatile man. At Xavier College, he taught Latin, French, German, Mathematics and English. He was a capable administrator and was orderly and efficient as Prefect of Studies. He coached sport and enjoyed a game of golf and tennis.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Extracts from a letter from Fr. P. J. Stephenson, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne :
“... We had brilliant results last year. Xavier boys won 28 1st Class Honours and 68 2nd Class Honours in the December Examinations, 1947. Besides that, they won Exhibitions in Greek, French and Physics ; and four General Exhibitions and 2 Free Places in the University. That was a fine record for a class of about 40 boys. Five Xavierians joined the Noviceship this year : four were boys just left school. An Old Xavierian took his LL.B. Degree and became a Dominican.
Fr. Mansfield has been kept going since his arrival. He will be a great addition to our staff as he can take over the Business Class and the Economic Class. Fr. Lawler came over from W.A. about three weeks ago and has taken up the duties of Socius to Fr. Provincial. Fr. Boylan and his assistant Editor of the Messenger leave for Ireland and Rome soon”.

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
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

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.,
87 Eglinton Road,

◆ 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.

Byrne, John Gabriel, 1873-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/81
  • Person
  • 26 March 1873-07 November 1943

Born: 26 March 1873, Mullingar, County Westmeath
Entered: 07 September 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1909
Died: 07 November 1943, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

by 1895 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1908 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 : Left on account of sight. Studied for priesthood in Rome and went on South African Mission!

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944
Obituary :
Father John G Byrne SJ

Fr. John Gabriel Byrne, who died at Belvedere on November 7th, came of a well-known Mullingar family. Born in 1873, he received his education at Mungret College, where his name was one of the first to be entered on the roll of the lay school, He entered the Society at St. Stanislaus's College, Tullamore, and studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he began at Clongowes his long career as a teacher, to which he was to devote 40 years of a strenuous life. He pursued his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1907. He completed his religious training at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and was then Minister for two years at Clongowes.
The remainder of his life he spent on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, which he joined in 1910. During the last three decades of the growth and expansion of Belvedere, Father Byrne was the faithful repository of its traditions and helped to mould the lives of many generations of Belvederians. A talented musician, he contributed in large measure to the raising of music and the drama to the high level which is still maintained at the College, and helped popularise some of the best plays of well-known French dramatists, such as Labiche which he himself translated and produced.
He was an efficient and enthusiastic teacher, and knew how to stimulate thought and win the pupils' interest and affection. His death will be mourned as a personal loss by generations of Belvedere boys who treasured his friendship among the longest and as one of the happiest memories of their school days.
He was the Father of the House. He had been in Belvedere since 1910. Last spring Fr, Byrne began to fail. In July it became quite clear that he had not long to live. He suspected this and asked to be told the verdict of the doctors. He said Mass each day up to 29th August. From the beginning of September he was unable to swallow food. He received the last Sacraments on 29th September and again on 5th November. On both occasions he answered the prayers and carefully followed every detail of the ceremony. For the last 14 days of his life he suffered a great deal from thirst. Throughout his sickness he was an exemplary patient. He did complain of the excessive thirst, but more often asked “Why get me these things, they must cost a lot at the present time.” On one occasion he asked Fr. Minister about a few pears which he had brought to him - the price, etc., - and was told they were a present. He then said: “Why deprive the Community of them for me!”
He was most considerate about causing extra trouble. To suggestions his invariable answer was; “but Father, he has his own work to do.” It was only on November 6th that he would allow Br. Colgan to remain with him for the night. On Sunday morning, November 7th, about 10.30, he was called to his reward. Fr. Rector, Fr. Socius, Fr. Minister, and other members of the Community witnessed his happy death. He passed away very quietly during the third decade of the Rosary.
On Monday morning Fr. Rector said a Requiem Mass in the presence of the boys. The remains were placed in the Drawing Room, a number came to pray there during the day.
The President and Officials of the Past Pupils Union, Officials of various Committees, the Lay-Masters and a large number of Priests attended the funeral. The Lay-Masters, the boys of II Syntax I, and some past pupils sent Mass cards. R.I.P.

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
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, 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
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.

Cardiff, Lewis, 1911-1988, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 13 January 1911, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 10 February 1928, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 13 May 1942
Professed: 02 February 1945
Died: 03 June 1988, St Joseph’s, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at St Ignatius Richmond and the St Patrick’s College Melbourne. He then worked for a year as a clerk in the Victorian Railways and then entered at Loyola Greenwich in 1928.

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

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

Coakley, Gerard, 1895-1967, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1060
  • Person
  • 05 February 1895-16 February 1967

Born: 05 February 1895, Waiau, North Canterbury, New Zealand
Entered: 15 August 1914, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1927
Final vows: 02 February 1931
Died: 16 February 1967, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1920 in Australia - Regency
by 1924 in Le Puy, Haute-Loire, France (TOLO) studying
by 1928 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1930 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Having Entered at Loyola Greenwich, he remained there for two years Juniorate after First Vows.
1919-1920 He was sent for a year teaching at St Aloysius College, Milsons Point
1920-1922 He was sent to Milltown Park Dublin for Philosophy
1922-1925 He went to Vals, France for further Philosophy
1925-1929 He was sent to Valkenburg Netherlands for Theology
1929-1930 He made Tertianship at St Beuno’s Wales
1931-1945 He returned to Australia and St Patrick’s College Melbourne where he taught Science and during that time was also Editor of the “Patrician” (1936-1939). He was an avid reader and had a good memory for many facts, especially in matters scientific. This, combined with a gift for seeing the unusual and less obvious angle made him a most interesting controversialist.
1945-1947 He went to work at the Norwood Parish
1947-1958 He was sent to the Holy Name Seminary at Christchurch, New Zealand, where he was Minister responsible for the house and farm. He also taught History of Philosophy and Chemistry at various times there.
1958 His last appointment was to St Aloysius College, Milsons Point, where he taught junior Religion, and did much work with the financial planning for the College re-development in 1962. He worked at this task with much enthusiasm and spent many hours filling in documents, checking records, and making out receipts, whilst also taking a keen interest in every stage of the redevelopment.. He took great pride in the establishment of every stage.

He became quite depressed during the last dew years of his life, and towards the end, when he developed heart and lung problems, he decided not to keep fighting to stay alive. He was buried from the College with the boys forming a guard of honour.

Cock, Henry E, 1859-1931, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1061
  • Person
  • 18 January 1859-12 September 1931

Born: 18 January 1859, Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia
Entered: 12 November 1886, Xavier Melbourne, Australia
Ordained: 1898
Professed: 15 August 1906
Died: 12 September 1931, St Francis Xavier, Lavender Bay, North Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1893 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1894 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1895 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1896 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1900 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at St Patrick’s College Melbourne, and he then spent thirteen years as an accountant in a bank, before he entered at Xavier College Kew.

1888-1890 After his First Vows and Juniorate he was sent to Xavier College Kew for two years Regency.
1890-1892 He spent a further two years Regency at St Ignatius College Riverview.
1892-1895 He was sent to Hersey, Channel Islands for Philosophy
1895-1899 He was then sent for Theology to Milltown Park Dublin and Valkenburg Netherlands
1899-1900 He made Tertianship at Drongen.
1900-1901 He was made Minister at Milltown Park Theologate Dublin.
1901-1902 He returned to Australia and was sent teaching at St Aloysius College Milsons Point
1903-1905 He was sent teaching at St Ignatius College Riverview
1905-1908 he was back teaching at St Aloysius College. While in Sydney he frequently lectured in the “Domain”.
1908-1916 he was sent to the Norwood Parish, with the last two years as Superior and Parish Priest.
1916-1919 His health had broken down so he went to St Ignatius Richmond
1919-1931 He was sent to the Lavender Bay Parish.

He was a fairly portly man who had great devotion to the liturgy. He read widely, especially in Philosophy and Theology. He was also a controversialist, able to defend truth vigorously. He was known to be a man devoted to the ordinary duties placed on him.

Note from Dominic Connell Entry :
He was sent mid year to Manresa Norwood to replace Henry Cock. This resulted in a major drama when the Rector of St Aloysius, Patrick McCurtin, resigned in protest, claiming that Dominic was his only good Jesuit teacher

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 7th Year No 1 1932
Obituary :
Fr Henry Cock

Born in Melbourne 18 January 1859, educated at St. Patrick's, and Melbourne University, Fr. Henry Cock entered the Society 12 Nov. 1886 at Xavier College, Kew. (In that year the Australian Novitiate had been transferred from Richmond to Xavier, Fr. Sturzo still remaining Superior of the Mission and Master of Novices). He was 28 years of age when he entered having been engaged in accountancy for 13 years. Noviceship over, he remained for a year's Rhetoric, at Xavier, and also for a second year, but this time his private studies were varied by a certain amount of prefecting. Then he was changed to Riverview. Here he spent two years as Master and Prefect before starting for Jersey where he made his philosophy. Theology immediately followed, the first year at Valkenburg, and the last three at Milltown Park. After Tertianship at Tronchiennes he was Minister for a year at Milltown, and started for Australia in 1901.
In Australia he saw service, in varied forms, at Bourke St., Loyola, Milson's Point, Norwood, and Richmond. During that period, extending over 18 years, he was Minister for 7 years, and for one year Superior at Norwood. In 1919 he went to Lavender Bay as Operarius, where he remained until his death. Amongst his many duties he was “Exan. neo-sacerd, Adj
Jesuit Direct., Cens. Lib., Consul. Miss. Syd”.
He died at Lavender Bay, 12 Sept. 1931. RIP

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
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.

Corbett, Martin Burke, 1876-1957, Jesuit priest

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dennehy, Vincent, 1899-1982, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 27 August 1899, Cork City, Co Cork
Entered: 31 August 1917, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 14 June 1932
Final vows: 02 February 1935
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


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.

Donnelly, Daniel, 1898-1975, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/126
  • Person
  • 18 October 1898-12 June 1975

Born: 18 October 1898, Dublin
Entered: 30 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1929
Final vows: 02 February 1936
Died: 12 June 1975, Vinayalaya Novitiate, Mumbai, India

Part of the Campion School, Mumbai, Marharashtra, India community at the time of death

Older brother of D Leo Donnelly - RIP 1999

by 1922 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1927 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1932 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1933 at Hong Kong
by 1934 at Catholic Mission, Ngau-Pei-Lan, Shiuhing (Zhaoqing), Guandong, China (LUS) - Language
by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
by 1946 at St Mary’s, Kurseong, Darjeeling & Himalaya Railway (DH Ry), Darjeeling, West Bengal, India - teaching
by 1944 at Xavier, Park St, Kolkata, West Bengal, India (BEL M)
by 1951 at St Stanislaus, Bandra, Mumbai, India (TARR) teaching
by 1957 at St Xavier’s Mumbai, India (BOM) teaching
by 1963 at St Mary’s High School, Mumbai, India (BOM) teaching
by 1964 at De Nobili Pune (PUN) teaching
by 1968 at St Xavier’s, Mumbai, India (BOM) teaching
by 1973 at Campion School Mumbai, India (BOM)

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :

Note from Joseph TaiYu-kuk Entry
He was a teenager in Hong Kong when the Japanese invaded in December 1941. He had joined a group of a dozen Catholics who, it was hoped, might one day become priests, under the charge of Father Dan Donnelly SJ.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
In his early years he had a brilliant academic career in the Sciences, and he produced a theory in ballistics which engineer’s used refer to as “Donnelly’s Theory”. he later lost interest in Science, but he did retain a fantastic memory for the pedigree of horses, and in India he became a national expert in field hockey.

Always unpredictable, he was remembered with affection by many in the Province for his engaging - if at time exasperating - eccentricities. He originally came to Hong Kong in 1932 as one of the early pioneers of the Irish Province’s new Mission, having already spent a year in Rome as sub-Secretary for Missions. After two years in Shiuhing studying Chinese and doing some teaching there, he was sent to Wah Yan College Hong Kong in 1935, and he was Prefect of Studies there until 1939. In 1940 he began a small Jesuit Apostolic School at Tai Lam Chung which was intended to encourage vocations to the Society.

He spent 12 years in Hong Kong before heading to India on a mission of mercy with 12 Chinese boys towards the end of WWII in late 1944. He enjoyed India and they liked him there, so after a short return to Canton and Hong Kong after the war, he went to Mumbai in 1949 and spent the rest of his life there.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935
Works by Father Donal Donnelly SJ :

  1. “A Prisoner of Japan” - (Sheed & Ward).
  2. “Life of B. Charles Spinola, S.J.”
  3. “A Nobleman of Italy” - Sands & Co.
  4. “Life of St. AIoysius”
  5. “A Gallant Conquistador” - Browne & Nolan
  6. “Life ofB. Rudolf Acquaviva and Companions” - MS

Irish Province News 21st Year No 2 1946


India :
Fr. D. Donnelly gave a series of Lenten Conferences to the men's sodality there on The Authority of the State, Obedience to Law. The Catholic in the Municipality, The Catholic in the State.

Fr. Donnelly to Province News, 20-3-46 :
“A batch of Chinese Navy men passed through Bombay on the way to England for training in December-January last. The Naval Chaplain brought me along to hunt up the Catholics among them. There proved to be very few Catholics, but two of the pagans were old Wah Yan boys, and they gave me a tremendous welcome. I got a big batch to Midnight Mass at Christmas. I also had one of the Wah Yan boys and three others under instruction, but they left for England before I could finish. However, I gave them a letter to the nearest Parish Priest in England.

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

Fr. Daniel Donnelly, St. Mary's High School, Bombay 10, writes :
I am at present in practically sole charge (one Brother to collect fees, one Father to teach Hindi) of a grand school of 1,100 boys, more than half of them Catholics. We get quite a few vocations every year; this year I am praying for half-a-dozen. The boys are mostly Goans, grand people. The non-Catholic boys are Parsees, Moslems and Hindus; and while very, very few are ever converted, they are wonderfully responsive to moral instruction, easily the most consoling classes which I teach. These young Indians are like no other boys whom I have taught in this : that once they take to you they give you their heart and are astonishingly loyal and friendly.
Retiring age over here is 65, so I have only another year to run as Principal. Then I hope to get away to “real” mission work in the districts. I'd have to learn Marathi, of course, but I learn languages easily, T.G.
We shall see.

Irish Province News 50th Year No 3 and 4 1975

Obituary :

Fr Don Donnelly (1896-1975)

In his letters to various Jesuits in Ireland and Bombay, Don's brother, Fr Leo SJ, St Albert's College, Ranchi, wrote as follows:
“You will have been informed by cable of my brother’s death. He suffered a severe stroke in March and was paralysed on his left side. He became progressively weaker as he was unable to retain solid food. I was with him during the summer holidays, but started back on 10th June. After my return here I received a telegram announcing his death on 12th June, It was, in fact, a merciful release, as it was painful to see so active a man reduced to helplessness. Still, it makes me feel rather lonely.
Donal (latinised in the Society to Daniel) had a very full and happy life. For his early life I can supply a few details. He had an exceptionally brilliant academic record. Under the old ‘Intermediate’ system he won a 1st Class Exhibition in each Grade, and at least one Gold Medal (first place in all Ireland in a given subject) each year (details in the Belvederian). At UCD his record is still, I think, unsurpassed. He took seven subjects in his first year, doing First Arts and First Science simultaneously, and got 1st Honours in all seven and 1st place in five, plus the Delaney Scholarship (this could be checked by reference to the files in UCD). He scored very high marks in the BSc, and MSc (equivalent to a PhD today as it involved research) He produced a theory of ballistics which engineers used to refer to as ‘Donnelly's Theory’. He was also enrolled as a student in Trinity College (his father's university) and won some prizes there - in particular a Foundation Scholarship. He entered the Society still under 21.
He inherited his love of and knowledge of horses from his father, who was an excellent judge. Don had a fantastic memory for the pedigree of horses. I think he carried the whole Stud Book in his head, and knew the breeding of every horse running at that time. When he entered the Society he put all that completely aside, never 'talking horses'. It was only in 1963, when age compelled his retirement from headmastership and he was sent as Minister to our scholasticate in Pune (Poona), that he took it up again. There he discovered a number of stud farms in the neighbourhood, and seemed to take it as a hint from the Lord that it was permissible to use his talent in this field of apostolate. If you really know horses, you are accepted in the horsey confraternity, and so he moved with ease in that circle. At least he saw apostolic opportunities in meeting managers, owners and jockeys on their own ground. He liked to meet Irish jockeys who came to Bombay to ride, and he did them good. Ask Johnny Roe about that.
Don spent so little time in Ireland that he is not well known in the Province - now probably only by those whom he taught in Clongowes from 1923 to 26. But I know that he remained somewhat in touch with the Brutons of Kildare.
It would be difficult to discover the number of priestly vocations he fostered wherever he happened to be. During all his extremely successful career as Prefect of Studies he was above all interested in boys, rather than studies as such. The way he took up hockey in Bombay is an indication of that. It gave him a beneficial influence over a very large number of young people.
Naturally I am a bit prejudiced. All my life he has been an immense inspiration to me, and I still can't quite realise that he is gone. One would like to think that his influence will continue to do good, at least through his publications.
In spite of the amazing amount of work he managed to fit into the day, he always said two rosaries in addition to his Divine Office. Here is a quotation from a letter from a Hindu friend of his: ‘I was very grieved to learn that your dear brother, my good friend, passed away on 12th June. For the past many years we used to meet in Bombay during the annual bloodstock sales, and I used to look forward to the pleasure of seating him by my side and inviting comments on my lots for sale. In the process I learnt a great deal and valued his advice which was always unbiassed. I shall miss him sadly’.
From a letter of one of the boys Don brought from China to India, who entered the novitiate but was advised to leave on account of scruples (apparently Don and he corresponded for 25 years): ‘He was, I think, my ideal man. As a small boy, I was afraid of him, and then I grew to have an extraordinary respect for him both as a priest and for his intelligence; and all the time I had a sincere affection for him. My wife often says I have two fathers, my own and Father Donnelly. Now I certainly know that is true’. (The writer is now an artist and schoolmaster in England).
In case you have not got it otherwise, a short account of Don’s coming to India. In 1939, with no more scholastics coming from Ireland, the Language School in Hong Kong was turned into an Apostolic School. Don and Ned Sullivan were in charge of about 30 boys. When the Japanese invaded Hong Kong, the School had to be abandoned. Don and some other Fathers made their way into Free China. Don went to an Apostolic School run by the Maryknoll Fathers, where twelve of his boys joined him. In 1943 the Japs made a drive to eliminate some air-fields used by the Americans, so Don, his boys and some Fathers had to move west. They ended up in Kunming in the south-west corner of China, nearest India. Eventually they were air-lifted to India ‘over the hump’ by RAF planes returning to India after having brought military supplies to China. In Calcutta he met Fr Conget, Superior of Bombay, who advised him to bring the boys to Bandra, the only boys' school which has an almost entirely Catholic pupil intake. Don remained there even after the end of the war to let the senior boys finish their matric exam. Then in 1947 he returned by sea to Hong Kong. The authorities there were not so keen on a large number of Chinese candidates, so most of the boys were ‘brushed off’. Only three were accepted, One left in the novitiate (scruples), one left in philosophy (lack of grey matter), one has been ordained - Fr Joseph Tai SJ.
Don went up to Canton, where he took charge of the Sacred Heart School (formerly run by the de la Salle Brothers for the Archbishop). When the Commies came in he was pushed out, and asked to return to India rather than remain in Hong Kong.
While learning Chinese in 1932, after some months with a teacher in Shiuhing, Don went to a village on the West river to to get practice by acting as assistant priest. Returning to the presbytery one day, he found a man chained to the railing of the church. The man was a leper, caught stealing and condemned to death. He was to be shot the following morning. Entering into conversation, Don discovered that the unfortunate man's mother had been a Catholic, though of course unable to practise her - religion once she had been engulfed in her husband's 'extended family'. Helped by the PP, Don instructed the man, gave him some food, and went back to supper, On an impulse the PP decided to baptise the man that evening - very fortunately, as the man was shot so early in the morning that they had no opportunity to speak to him again. The man was christened ‘Dismas?’

In Bombay, 1944-1975 (from the Bombay Province newsletter Samachar, July 1975):
Father Daniel Donnelly, after having laboured in Hong Kong and China for 12 years, came to Bombay on a mission of mercy with 15 Chinese boys. He liked us and we liked him, and after safely depositing his boys in their native land, he returned to Bombay for good and worked like a Trojan here for the next 25 years and more until he was struck by partial paralysis.
During these years he had time to work in most of our Bombay City houses, generally in the capacity of Rector and/or Principal and/or Minister and/or Parish Priest. He was never at the Institute of Education, Sodality House or Diocesan Seminary. At Vinayalaya he was only for some weeks as a sick man. De Nobili College, Poona, too had him for a couple of years as Minister and treasurer, and his last community was the one of the Christian Brothers in Bassein.
Barring the last three months, which he spent at the Holy Spirit Hospital or in the novitiate infirmary, he had always been in excellent health. He believed in brisk walking, light meals, early rising and hard quick work. Since childhood he loved horses, and from the day he landed in India he loved hockey.
His hobbies were solving a daily cross-word puzzle (for a time he composed one daily), an occasional game of patience, reading novels and also other more serious stuff (including science magazines - he was an MSc); and writing articles (by the dozen, and keeping two or three series abreast) for the Messenger and other papers. Many an author did not know (?) who had censored his book; Fr Donnelly knew at least one of the censors. Organizing school hockey leagues and tournaments and watching the games he considered not a hobby but part and parcel of his work in the all-round education of the boys.
As Rector and School Principal he could not be accused of curtailing the freedom of his subordinates or unduly interfering in their spheres of action. He expected every Jesuit, teacher or boy to do his duty. Even in the days of greater regimentation in schools, he could not pass as a disciplinarian.
He trusted boys, even when he knew some would take advantage of his kindness and liberality. Few did more than he did, chiefly in Bandra days, to foster vocations to the Society (for Bombay, Hazaribagh, Jamshedpur). Yet it was well known that in his optimism he was inclined to count his candidates before they were hatched. Yet, in later years, he could count quite a few Jesuits whom he had encouraged to break the egg-shell. Some will remember the vocational booklets he wrote and the Bombay Vocation Exhibition (for the Seminary and for religious orders of men and women) he organized in Bandra.
He loved the Society and found it hard to reconcile his loyalty to the Jesuit spirit with some of the changes introduced in the last decade. In his lovable frankness and literary wit he showed what he thought of some modern trends in his devastating piece of satire - which he called parable or vision - whereby he regaled(?) the ears of scores of fellow Jesuits assembled on the terrace of St Xavier's High School one evening in 1969 to celebrate his 50 years in the Society.
Although his speech in ordinary conversation was at times difficult to follow there were some stories too about the legibility of his handwriting even when in block capitals), hardly anyone could miss a word when he spoke in public, which he did often. For a couple of years he was entrusted with the monthly domestic exhortation (you may recall that ancient custom) at St Xavier’s High School. He was always original, even if not to everybody's taste. Many a Catholic in Bandra, St Mary's and St Xavier's made it a point to attend Fr Donnelly's Sunday Mass to hear his sermons. You could never predict the subject of the homily, but most people found it interesting and profitable. On a certain Sunday he spoke on some changes in the Liturgy. The following Sunday he read out from the ambo two letters on the subject he had received from the pews during the week.
His last months in a sick bed must have been a severe trial. Fortunately he had most of the time his younger brother Leo from Ranchi with him. Many others of the Vinayalaya community helped him in his hour of need. He mellowed during those last 100 days. Illness bridged for him the generation gap that had opened before him.
Unshorn novices in mufti watched over him day and night. He was grateful to them. For him they were a concrete token of the motherly love of the Society he had joined in far-away Ireland when the century (though no longer he) was in its teens.
After a Eucharistic concelebration at St Peter’s, Bandra, he was buried on June 13, in the porch of the church and beside the school that had been his first centre of apostolate in India.
Fr Don Donnelly’s curriculum vitae shows the man's adaptability to varying circumstances: 1898 - born in Dublin; 1919 - Jesuit novitiate in Tullabeg; 1925 - philosophy in Valkenburg; 1927 - theology in Innsbruck; 1929 - ordained in Dublin; 1930 - Subsecr, of Missions, Rome; 1931 - tertianship; 1932 - arrival in China, teaching in Shiuhing; 1933 - studying Chinese language; 1934 - Wah Yan, Hong Kong, teaching in Regional Seminary; 1935 - Prefect of Studies, Wah Yan; 1936 - final vows; 1940 - director of Minor Seminary, Hong Kong; 1944 - arrival in Bandra (India) with Chinese boys, teaching; 1947 · back to Canton (China), teaching; 1949 - back in India, studying Hindi in Ranchi; 1950 - Rector of St Stanislaus High School, Bandra; 1956 - Minister, St Xavier's College; 1957 - Principal and Minister, St Mary's High School; 1963 · de Nobili College, Minister and Treasurer; 1965 - Minister and Treasurer, St Xavier's College; 1972 - Principal and Superior, Campion School, Bhopal; 1974 - chaplain to Christian Brothers, Bassein road; 1975 - death at Vinayalaya, 12th June; burial in Bandra, 13th.

Obituary :

Fr Don Donnelly (1896-1975)

More about Fr Don Donnelly († 12th June 1975)

When the last number of the Province News had gone to press, the editor discovered fifteen pages of notepaper which Fr Fergus Cronin, Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, had filled with this account of Fr Don:
For one who was so well known in the countries in which he worked, Fr Daniel Donnelly, who died last June in Bombay, was relatively little known in Ireland. This was largely due to the fact that apart from his noviceship and his period in the Colleges, all his life in the Society was spent abroad,
He came from a Dublin family. His father was a doctor practising in Parnell square, and he went to school at Belvedere.
He entered the Society in 1919, having already obtained a Master of Science degree. My recollection may be at fault, but I think I remember him telling me that he had got a scholarship to Trinity College, Dublin, and that he attended lectures there, in order to fulfil the conditions of the cash grant, and also studied for a degree at University College, Dublin.
Having finished his novitiate, he studied philosophy in Valkenburg, came back for his Colleges to Clongowes and then did his theology in Innsbruck.
After tertianship he spent a year in the Curia in Rome as assistant to the Secretary of the Missions, and from there he went to work in the Missions - in Hong Kong.
He studied Chinese (Cantonese) in the Portuguese Mission at Shiuhing and then came to teach in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, which had just been given to the Society by its founders. Again my memory may be at fault, but I believe I heard that while the negotiations regarding our taking over the College were in progress, Fr Donnelly dropped several Miraculous Medals into the grounds!
After a few years he was made Prefect of Studies in Wah Yan College and was in this position until just before the beginning of World War II. He was extremely well known in Hong Kong because of his position in the world of education. He had very positive ideas on most subjects, and in education he believed in being very firm, but he was also very approachable. A recently published book by Fr P O'Connor of the Columban Fathers, under the title Buddhists find Christ, gives a number of accounts, written by the persons themselves, of their conversion to Christianity. One of these was Dr Lert Srichandra, a Thai doctor educated in Wah Yan College and later in UCD. The book recounts many very amusing conversations, often held late at night in Wah Yan, between Dr Lert and Fr Donnelly. In his account, Dr Lert gives a great deal of credit for his finding the answers to his problems to the very direct, frank and friendly handling by Fr Donnelly of a young student's fumbling approaches to the mysteries of our faith. Dr Lert has many pages of such interchange, all very revealing of the mentality of both of these men.
Just before World War II struck Hong Kong, Fr Donnelly had collected a group of teenagers, who had shown some signs of a possible vocation to the priesthood or to the Society. These were known to all of Ours in Hong Kong by Don's name for them, “the little lads”. They were in his care in the Language School in Tai Lam Chung, and when the war came, Don succeeded, first in getting these lads out of Hong Kong to the port of Kwang Chow Wan, and then to the part of South China not occupied by the Japanese. Finally he got them flown over “The Hump” from Kunming in Yunnan province to Calcutta in India. From Calcutta he brought them by train across India to Bombay and finally was able to house them in St Stanislaus College in Bandra, just outside Bombay. Many years later, Don was to be Rector of this college.
After World War II, Don brought the group of young men back safely to Hong Kong. Of them Fr Joseph Tai is the only one in the Society, but many of the others grew into pillars of the Church and of the community in other walks of life.
Returning after this tremendous odyssey to Hong Kong, Don was able to arrange the future of these young men, and then was himself assigned to Canton. There he was a teacher in the Sacred Heart School, but was also concerned with the planning of a Jesuit secondary school which was to be built there. Fr Thomas Ryan was the Superior of the Hong Kong Mission, and his idea of a Jesuit college was one which would in every way make its own impression on all, not only for its standards of excellence in teaching, but also as being a building such as to do us credit. Don was always a man whose idealism was to be realised in a very practical form, and at one time he brought a brick down from Canton to show Fr Ryan what a suitable material it could be from which to build the proposed college. Fr Ryan’s reaction, it is believed, was to throw it back to him in disgust!
Don was in Canton until the communists came to take over South China. He was fairly sure that they would also take over Hong Kong, and in any case, since for the foreseeable future we had no work in Canton, he in his practical way wanted to go elsewhere. To Fr Ryan, leaving China at such a time was not to be thought of - it betrayed a lack of faith in the future of our work in China, a thing he refused even to think of. To Don, it was just being practical to find some other field in which to labour. Fr Ryan rather hurt Don by the manner in which he viewed Don’s desire to go to India, where he was assured he would be very welcome and much needed. But Don was never a man to be discouraged or even much affected by what others thought of him or his actions, so, about 1950, off he went to start a new life in India.
In India he later became Rector (as mentioned above) and Principal of St Stanislaus, Bandra. He was also Principal in several other Jesuit colleges, ending his teaching career as Superior and Principal of Campion High School in Bombay.
During these long years he developed many new interests. Most of those who knew him remember him, apart from his great ability in the scholastic field, as the man who produced the standard book on hockey (for which, I have been told, he was decorated by the Indian government). He is remembered also as an incessant writer of verse. Every school annual of the colleges where he was Principal (or Superior, or both) contains many poems, some as short as sonnets, some quite long narrative poems on current or on spiritual themes.
When finally he retired as a teacher he went to St Augustine’s High School, Bassein, a school run by the Christian Brothers (to quote his own words from one of his last letters) ‘where I act as chaplain, teach a little, and make myself generally useful’.
He enjoyed really good health until April 1975, when he suffered a severe stroke which left him paralysed on the left side. He was moved to the Jesuit novitiate of Vinayalaya, Andheri, Bombay, where he was cared for until a second stroke caused his death.
His death leaves the Society the poorer by the loss of one of its most loyal sons. In his later years, by all accounts, he had become rather critical of many of the changes taking place in the Society, particularly in the life-style of its members, but this was largely due to the high standards he had set himself, and which he believed he should see everywhere.
His love of the Society is seen in all of his writings. He was a man who studied the theory of anything in which he was concerned. This is seen in his writing his book on hockey. He saw everything as the carrying into reality of the theory which he had formulated about that particular subject. This too is seen in his writings about Society subjects, eg, his pamphlet on the Spiritual Exercises and his short Life of Blessed Charles Spinola. This latter was an adaptation of an Italian life which had attracted his attention. This tendency to take over the work of others is seen when later he produced a catechism in Chinese and English which was largely based on My Catholic faith by Bishop Morrow. Don was always practical, and if someone else had written something that he thought well expressed what he wanted to say, he felt free to use this material in a way that some of his fellow Jesuits felt was a little too close to the original without sufficient acknowledgement.
He was a man of tremendous energy, who faced without any self-consciousness any situation which arose. He was a man of great and strong convictions. Above all, he was a really observant religious whose love for the Society came through in everything he did or wrote. He had thousands of friends and admirers, and I think it is true that of this great number of men of all kinds who admired him for one or other of his many gifts, all saw him first and foremost as a man of God

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 2 1977

Calcutta Province

Extract from a letter from a Jesuit of Calcutta Province, Darjeeling Region (Fr. Edward Hayden, St. Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling, Western Bengal)

I was one of the old “Intermediate” boys of the Christian Brothers, Carlow. I left off in 1910, 67 years ago, at the end of June. Yes, we learnt the Gaeilge. The Brothers - or some I met, one in particular, a Brother Doyle, was very keen on it. The others didn't teach it as it was only in the “Academy” that they began with languages: French, Gaeilge, Algebra, Euclid and of course English. (5th Book - Senior Elementary Class - was followed by the “Academy”). The Brothers had dropped Latin just before I joined the “Academy”. We were living at a distance of 5 Irish miles from Carlow, and I was delicate, so I often fell a victim of 'flu, which didn't help me to make progress in studies - made it very hard: but at that time the rule was “do or die”. There was only one excuse for not having home work done – you were dead! That was the training we had: it stood me in good stead through life; it is the one thing I am grateful for.
We had a number of Irishmen here, a handful: Fr Jos Shiel, Mayo, died in Patna. Fr James Comerford, Queen's County, died in Bihar. I met the Donnelly brothers, they were Dubliners. The one who died (Don) was Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Many of his stories were about horse-racing - he must have read plenty of Nat Gould when he was a boy! (Nat wrote a number of horse-racing stories supposed to have been in Australia). There are three Irishmen in Ranchi: Frs Donnelly, Phelan and Lawlor. Fr Phelan has spent nearly his whole life in India. As a boy he was in North Point, and after his Senior Cambridge he joined the Society. At that time there was only the Missio Maior Bengalensis of the Belgian Province. The Mission took in half or more of north-east India - Patna, Ranchi and south of it, Assam, Bhutan and Sikkim - an area four or five times that of Ireland! Needless to say, there were parts of it which had no SJ within a hundred miles ...Down here in the Terai where I am “hibernating” out of the cold of Darjeeling, some forty-five years ago there was no priest. One or two of the professors of theology from Kurseong, some 40 miles away, used to visit this district at Christmas and Easter. It was very malarious. Catholics from Ranchi came here to work on the tea plantations. Then a Jesuit was sent to reside in it. Now the district has schools and Jesuits galore, also non-Jesuits. Great progress has been made. The Salesians took up Assam, the American SJs took over Patna. The Northern Belgians took over Ranchi and the Southern Belgians took Calcutta. (The Belgian Province grew till its numbers reached 1400. Then, about 1935, Belgian separated into Flemings - North - and Walloons - South). Ranchi was given to the North and Calcutta to the South. On the 15th August last year (1976) Calcutta was raised from being a Vice Province to be a full-blown Province. 100% of those joining the SJ now are sons of India. Madura in the south has been a Province for years. Nearly all the Europeans are dead: no more are allowed to come permanently unless for a very, very special reason, India has begun to send her sons to East Africa in recent years.
Fr Lawlor is Irish-born but somehow joined the Australian Province about the time it started a half-century or so ago.
Brother Carl Kruil is at present in charge of an ashram: a place for destitutes, in Siliguri. Silguri is a city which grew up in the last forty years around the terminus of the broad gauge railway and the narrow (two-foot) toy railway joining the plains with Darjeeling - one of the most wonderful lines in the world, rising from 300 feet above sea-level, 7,200 feet in about 50 miles and then dropping down to about 5,500 feet in another ten. Three times it loops the loop and three times climbs up by zig-zags. I seem to remember having met Fr Conor Naughton during the war. Quite a number of wartime chaplains came to Darjeeling. The mention of Siliguri set me off rambling. Br Krull remembers his visit to Limerick. (He stayed at the Crescent, 11th 13th June, 1969). He is a born mechanic. Anything in the line of machinery captivates him. He has to repair all the motors and oil engines – some places like this have small diesel generators which have to be seen to from time to time and all other kinds of machinery: cameras, typewriters etc. At present he comes here to do spot welding (electric welding of iron instead of bolts and nuts.
The PP, here is replacing an old simple shed with a corrugated iron roof by a very fine one with brick walls and asbestos-cement roof. Two years ago or so, the roof was lifted by a sudden whirlwind clean off the wooden pillars on which it rested. Since then he has been saying the Sunday Masses on the veranda of a primary school. In this school 235 children receive daily lessons and a small mid-day meal. The Sisters are those of St. Joseph of Cluny – all from South India. They are really heroines: no work is too difficult for them. They do all their own work and cook for us. Their Vice-Provincial is from somewhere in the centre of the “Emerald Gem”. They are growing in numbers and do great work, running a dispensary amongst other things. The church is very broad, approximately 90 by 60 feet. As no benches are used - people sit on the floor - it will hold nearly 450 people at a time. The altar is in one corner. :
Fr Robert Phelan (Ranchi Province) had a visit one night from dacoits (armed robbers), but with help managed to beat them off.
Ranchi had several of these raids last year. In nearly every case the dacoits managed to get some cash.
One night about two weeks ago a rogue elephant (one that is wild and roaming away from the herd) came to a small group of houses close by. A man heard the noise and came out. The elephant caught him by the leg and threw him on to a corn stack - fortunately. The corn stack of rice waiting to be thrashed was quite broad and flat on top! He was very little the worse for the experience. And that is the end of the news.
One more item: please ask the new Editor of the Irish Province News to let me have copies as (?) and send them by overland (surface mail). Even if they are three months coming, they will be news. God bless you and reward you handsomely.
Yours in our Lord,
Edward Hayden, SJ (born 15th October 1893, entered S.J. Ist February 1925, ordained 21st November 1933, took final vows on 2nd February 1936. Now conf. dom. et alumn. and script. hist. dom. at the above address).

Dowling, Maurice, 1896-1965, Jesuit priest, chaplain and missioner

  • IE IJA J/729
  • Person
  • 23 December 1896-27 August 1965

Born: 23 December 1896, Sallins, County Kildare
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 August 1929
Professed: 15 August 1933
Died: 27 August 1965, Lusaka, Zambia

Part of the Chivuna, Monze, Zambia community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

1942-1946 Military Chaplain

by 1921 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1927 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1932 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1949 at Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - joined Patrick Walsh and Patrick JT O’Brien in Second group of Zambian Missioners
by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Maurice’s family used to spend a month in Skerries, an Irish seaside resort, in the summer. Maurice Dowling was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning, as a teenager, he saved the life of a girl who was drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr Dowling was reading the evening paper, that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled "Bravo"! beside the passages and silently handed the paper to his son. This incident in some way, sums up a characteristic of Maurice that he had already developed at that age, – he was modest in his achievements and helpful to others.

He was born in 1896 in Dublin. His father was the Registrar of the College of Science in Dublin. His mother died early in her married life leaving Maurice and his brother Desmond behind. Both boys went to Clongowes Wood College for their secondary education.

At the age of 18, Maurice entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg and followed the normal course of studies which were followed by Irish Jesuits of the time. He was ordained in 1929 on 29th August. He spent some time in the colleges as teacher and prefect e.g. the Crescent, Limerick in the thirties.

As a young Jesuit, he learned to speak Irish, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking area). He genuinely loved the language and when home on what was to be his last leave, he was delighted to hear that there were in existence Irish-speaking praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn who died working for the Legion in Africa.

During the Second World War he volunteered as a chaplain. Just before departing, he was involved in an accident where he was thrown through the window of the bus in which he was traveling. As he lay on the ground in his own blood, he heard one of the rescuers say to another nodding towards Maurice "He's had it"! (but in much more colourful language).
After the war, when the Jesuits in Northern Rhodesia were looking for men, two Irish Jesuits volunteered in 1946 (Fr Paddy Walsh and Fr Paddy O'Brien) to be followed by two more in 1947, Maurice and Fr Joe Gill. They came to Chikuni.

The Bishops had been endeavouring then to set up a Catholic Secondary school for Africans. There was only one secondary school for Africans in the whole country, a Government school at Munali, Lusaka which had been founded a few years before. In 1949 Canisius Secondary School opened its gates to the first class. Speaking of Maurice's work in the college during the first few years, Fr Max Prokoph who had been instrumental in getting Fr Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him, "I have never met a more loyal man". Fr Prokoph described how in the initial difficult days, Maurice had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal.
While at Chikuni, he would travel south to Choma at the week-end to say Mass long before a mission was opened in 1957; also to Kalomo still further south. Then back to the school for another week of teaching. In 1962 he went to Namwala to the newly built mission as the first resident priest bringing with him some Sisters of Charity. He later moved to Chivuna in 1964 and died in Lusaka on 26 August, 1965.

Fr Maurice had great qualities: his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. He had a zest for life, his cheerfulness was catching. He was loyal as Fr Prokoph remarked. Loyalty would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater and to his many friends as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army and on the mission.

◆ Irish Province News

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

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

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

Irish Province News 18th Year No 1 1943

Fr. Maurice Dowling was awarded substantial damages with costs in the action against Great Southern Railways Co. which came before Mr. Justice Hanna and a jury in the High Court on 4th November. It will be remembered Fr. Dowling met with his serious accident 18th August, 1941, when the bus in which he was travelling from Limerick to Dublin in order to report for active service was involved in a collision near the Red Cow, Clondalkin.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Dowling and Gill will be leaving soon for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

Frs. Dowling and Gill who left Dublin for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia, on 7th October reached their destination on 4th November; for the present they are stationed at Chikuni and Lusaka respectively.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949


Fr. M. Dowling in a letter from Chikuni Mission, N. Rhodesia :
He says there are now 282 boys in the Central Boarding School ; and 60 girls under the care of the Irish Sisters of Charity. All are native Africans, 95% baptised and but a few catechumens. The staff consists of Fr. M. Prokoph, Principal of the School, Fr. Dowling himself, Fr. Lewisha, an African, two Sisters of Oharity, an English laymaster, and four African teachers.

“I am teaching Religious Knowledge, Chemistry, General Science, History and Maths. My classes vary in number between 45 and 50. We are rather understaffed and so are kept busy. The top classes at present reach a standard equivalent to our Inter-Cert. There is also a course for Teachers, and a Trades School for carpenters and brick layers.
The mission depends on us for its Catholic teachers and the number of Catechumens depends on them too. The mission is very short of men and many are old and ill. Many of the Polish Fathers have been out here 20 and 25 years without a break.
Normally the rainy season begins here in October and lasts till March. This year it has been a failure. We have had 18 inches of rain instead of our usual 35-40 and there is grave danger of famine in all Central Africa. Famine has already begun in Nyassaland.
There are six different African languages spoken by different sections of the boys. All teaching above standard IV is in English. Many are quite good at English.
The weather is pretty hot, which I like but some don't. It has averaged 95 degrees in the shade for a long time recently. I have lost two stone since I came here and gone down from 16 stone to 14. You wouldn't know my slender form!”

Irish Province News 41st Year No 1 1966

Obituary :

Fr Maurice Dowling SJ (1896-1965)

Fr. Dowling's death was a great shock even for us on the mission. His operation had been successful, he was making a good recovery, and then the end came suddenly and unexpectedly in a heart attack. Rev. Fr. Superior, who was in Lusaka at the time, was called by telephone and was able to give him Extreme Unction and recite the prayers for the dying. He died during the prayers without regaining consciousness.
The funeral, preceded by Requiem Mass, took place on Sunday afternoon. He was buried in Chikuni, as he certainly would have wished, beside Fr. A. Cox and Fr. D. Byrne, and close to the founders of the mission - Frs. Moreau and Torrend. Fr. Dowling had known Fr. Moreau, he had been with him for a few months before his death in January 1949, and had anointed him before he died.
There was a very big attendance at the Mass and funeral, for he had made many friends during his seventeen years in the country. They came not only from the neighbourhood but even from Livingstone, Lusaka and Brokenhill. They included boys whom he had taught many years ago and who were now young men of importance in Government positions, Sisters and Brothers of several congregations to whom he had given retreats, and many priests both African and European. His Grace the Archbishop of Lusaka and His Lordship Bishop Corboy were also able to be present as they had not yet left for Rome.
In his panegyric during the Mass, Rev. Fr. Superior paid tribute to Fr. Dowling's great qualities, his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army and in the mission, and his reward must therefore be very great.
When Fr. Dowling came to Chikuni in 1948, there was only one secondary school for Africans in Northern Rhodesia, a Government school at Munali which had been founded ten years before. He played a big part in founding the second school, Canisius College. Speaking of his work in the college during the first few years, Fr. Prokoph, who had been instrumental in getting Fr. Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him: “I have never met a more loyal man”. He described how in the initial difficult days Fr. Dowling had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal. Loyalty then would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater and to his many friends as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. He was a man of whom it can be truly said that it was a privilege to have known him and to have lived with him.

Death of a Jesuit Friend
The first intimation our family received on Easter Monday, 1916, that the Volunteers had risen, taken over the General Post Office and other key buildings, was when a neighbour, Mr. P. A. Dowling, Registrar of the College of Science, knocked at the door and excitedly told us the news.
This morning (2nd September 1965) I attended a Requiem Mass in the Jesuit Church, Gardiner Street, offered for the soul of Fr. Maurice Dowling, S.J, second son of the neighbour who rushed to us with the news of the Rising. Fr. Maurice, though he had undergone a serious operation some time ago, had, I under stood, made a good recovery and it came as a great shock to his relatives and friends at home to hear that he died suddenly last month in Zambia, on Friday, 27th August, and was buried the following Sunday.
As I take a look at the ordination card, printed in Irish, he sent me from Germany in 1929, I notice he died - 36 years later on the anniversary of his ordination.
Maurice and his brother Desmond (his senior by a year or so) were educated at Clongowes. After the death of their mother early in her married life, Mr. Dowling eventually married again and it was when he and his second wife came to live on Anglesea Road, a few doors from where we then lived, that the two families became friends. We, as children, came to know the second family very well, only meeting Desmond and Maurice at holiday time and, in any case, they were older than I was by six or seven years. That age gap makes a great difference in early youth, later on it does not.
I recall one incident in the boyhood of the future Jesuit perhaps never known to his step-brothers and step-sisters - to whom he was always devoted as they were young children at the time. I myself was about 10 or 11 years of age, I suppose, and it was Mrs. Dowling who related the incident to me :
Both families used to spend a month or two in Skerries in the summer. Maurice Dowling was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning he saved the life of a girl from drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr. Dowling was enjoying a read of the evening paper that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled “Bravo!” about the paragraph and silently handed the paper across to his son.
But the future Jesuit, teacher, Army chaplain, African missioner, was no quiet, retiring youth in other respects. Of a natural bright, cheerful, optimistic disposition, he was immensely popular with both girls and boys of his own age.
As a young Jesuit he learned to speak Irish fluently, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht. But most important of all, he genuinely loved the language and when home on what was to be his last “leave” he was delighted to hear from me that there were in existence Irish-speaking praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn who had died working for the Legion in Africa and, if I recollect rightly, I gave him a copy of the prayer for her canonisation printed in Irish.
We only met him for a few hours on the rare occasions he came on holidays from Rhodesia. He was always very attached to his family, relations and friends. I could never keep track of all his cousins and friends he mentioned in conversation but I do remember the names of two friends, perhaps because I know both by sight, Fr. Leonard Shiel, S.J, and Very Rev. Fr. Crean, now P.P. of Donnybrook, but Head Chaplain in the last war in which Fr. Maurice also served as chaplain.
He loved to visit the home near Naas of his step-sister, Shiela and her husband, Paddy Malone, taking a great interest in their son and three daughters. The young man is now helping to manage the farm; one of the girls is in the Ulster Bank in Baggot Street, another is training as a nurse in St. Vincent's Hospital and the third is still at school.
Thus, another Irish priest dies in voluntary exile for love of the African people. Go ndeinidh Dia trocaire ar a anam.
Nuala Ní Mhóráin
From the Leader Magazine

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
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


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.

Egan, Thomas, 1889-1915, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/761
  • Person
  • 06 May 1889-28 November 1915

Born: 06 May 1889, Glountanefinane, Ballydesmond, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1907, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 28 November 1915, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1914 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1915 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education at Clongowes. He was a great student and won exhibitions in all grades of the Intermediate, and showed promise that he might be a first class Mathematician.

After First Vows he was sent aside for Mathematical and Scientific studies. He was one of the Juniors chosen to attend lectures at the newly founded UCD. He graduated BSc 1912.
He studied at Tullabeg (1909-1910) and Milltown (1910-1912).
1912-1914 He studied Philosophy at Valkenberg, excelling at Philosophy and German.
1914-1915 He finished his Philosophy at Stonyhurst.
Towards the end of 1915 his health, which was never robust, began to fail and he underwent several operations for intestinal tuberculosis. When the Great War broke out in 1914, he had barely the strength to journey to Stonyhurst to continue his Philosophy. Gradually he grew weaker, and in the following summer he returned to start work in the Colleges. He bore his illness with resignation, and a quiet edifying life was ended by a peaceful and holy death. He died in Dublin 28 November 1915.

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
Final vows: 02 February 1911
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


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.

Fitzpatrick, Daniel, 1910-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/661
  • Person
  • 27 October 1910-07 July 2001

Born: 27 October 1910, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 August 1939, Leuven, Belgium
Professed: 15 August 1973
Died: 07 July 2001, Nazareth House, Camberwell, Melbourne - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Campion College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He is remembered as a very cheerful man with irrepressible zeal. he was born in Belfast and his father was an engineer who died on the famous Titanic when Daniel was very young. He was sent to Mungret in Limerick for his education. He had very fond memories of Mungret, especially his Jesuit teachers, like Mattie Bodkin, who had a significant influence on him. He entered the Society at Tullabeg and enjoyed the quiet country life there.

1930-1933 he was sent to Rathfarnham Castle for Juniorate at UCD, graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Physics and Chemistry. During that time (1931) he had already been assigned to the new Vice Province of Australia, and he was happy about that.
1933-1936 He was sent to Valkenburg Netherlands for Philosophy
1936-1940 He was sent to Leuven Belgium and Milltown Park Dublin for Theology, being Ordained at Leuven just seven days before the start of WWII.
1940-1941 He made Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle Dublin.
1943-1948 He was eventually able to get passage to Australia. He went with three other Jesuits, and that journey came the stuff of folklore due to the hazardous nature of their journey. Because of the constant threat of German U Boats, they only travelled at night and very close to the African coast. The journey took five months. He arrived in Melbourne and was sent to St Patrick’s College to teach Chemistry and Religion. He also agreed to teach Science at Xavier College Kew in the afternoons after a morning at St Patrick’s., and for two years was Prefect of Studies at St Patrick's (1944-1946). he also managed to teach Science at the Presbyterian Ladies College in Victoria Parade. he liked teaching the girls and also the fact that this was an ecumenical venture.

1949-1972 He was sent permanently to Xavier College Kew and taught six classes of Chemistry every day with jo laboratory assistant. His commitment to his students was very high, and he would greet them cheerfully each day in a crisp white coat. He was highly regarded as a teacher, thorough, organised and convinced of discipline in learning. He demanded very high standards, did not like indiscipline and not much escaped him. Many recall him saying his rosary on the top verandah overlooking the chapel. While doing this he observed everything below and this formed the basis for many conversations with students. he may have been exacting, but he prepared many of his students for scientific studies at the University.

As well as a full class schedule he also had a weekend supply at Ferntree Gully, and during summer holidays he gave eight day Retreats.

1972-1986 At the age of 62 he embarked on a very different stage in his life. He had hoped to do Retreat work in Asia, ideally i Malaysia with Irish Jesuits, but this plan failed when he was unable to gain a permanent work visa. So he went to Hong Kong for work. The Catholic Port Chaplain had suddenly resigned and he was asked to fill in temporarily. This ministry lasted thirteen years when he was 75 years old.

With his natural cheerful and helpful style he won many friends among seafarers from many nations, Philipinos especially, but also Goans, Poles and Russians. He gave time to all and enjoyed their company. He loved people. He would set out daily into Hong Kong Harbour, scaling ladders to board ships, which he admitted was sometimes dangerous in rough seas. Talking to the men, making them feel at home, he would regularly promise to write to their family giving them news. This custom he continued for the rest of his life, especially at Christmas. He even made trips to the Philippines to meet the families of those men, enjoying the free service of Cathay Pacific Airlines or ships belonging to Swires. When off ship he was to be found in the Mariners’ Club where he socialised with everyone and presented the Faith in a very concrete and persuasive way, talking through people’s doubts and troubles with very convincing ease. He was apostolic and ebullient, often breaking into song and poetry. He formed good relations with the Anglican Port Chaplain and his wife, and they shared common experiences. he revelled in this life.

He was a very family oriented man, and when his mother died, he brought his step-brothers and sister to Australia, settling them into accommodation and schools and keeping an eye on them. After his return from Hong Kong, he would visit his sister on a Saturday night, and then go to the community. This was very important for both he and his family cherished.

1986 When it became difficult for him to board ships, it was time for him to make a third change in his life. He decided to return to Australia, and there he began a ministry to the sick and dying at Caritas Christi Hospice in Kew, and this he continued until the end of his life. From 1986-1989 he lived a Burke Hall, and from then on at Campion House.

He retired early each night and rose at 3am. After some prayers he went for a morning walk around Yarra Boulevard. He made this walk again in the afternoons, always with a rough walking stick. He went to the Hospice each morning and visited some before Mass and then others after Mass. he would then come back in the afternoons. He was very regular. his appearance was unique. He was small i stature and wore a big flannel check shirt with a baseball cap and sneakers, and baggy shorts in the summer. In winter the baseball cap was replaces with a Russian fur fez with earmuffs. his attitude was one of having time for all because everyone was special.

As he grew older his eyesight deteriorated, and just after his 90th birthday he fell and broke his hip in the hospice. They looked after him well at caritas and he learned to walk again, now visiting patients in his pyjamas. Eventually he accepted the move to Nazareth House, Cornell Street, Camberwell, Melbourne saying that there would be some work for him there.

He lived life to the full and had no fear of dying. He had a very strong faith and used joke that when he got to Heaven he would spend his first days running about looking for his father. He loved company but was never dependent on it. He loved sharing his theological and spiritual insights, or how the laws of Science helped him have a deeper understanding of the works of God in the universe. He would often reflect on the Goodness of God towards him, especially the gifts of nature and its wonders. He could see unity in diversity as he gazed at the night sky.

He was a great companion, one with whom it was easy to form friendship. It was claimed that one Irish Jesuit was a visitor to him at the Mariner’s Club. The two men were complete opposites, his visitor being rigid and fearfully conservative. However, they became good friends. He was also a great letter writer, keeping in contact with the may people he had met in his long life.

He was also obsessively ordered in his own personal life. His room was spotless, everything in its place, and pride of pace being given to a model of the Titanic. He had an infectious chuckle, especially as he held a glass of his favourite tipple in his hand. “What did the policeman say to the kleptomaniac - You better take things quietly”. Laughing at his own joke, he was oblivious to the fact he had told it on numerous occasions.

He had a joyful and adventurous spirit, and peace with himself, man and God. His zeal for finding new ways to minister to people in need with such commitment, his love of family and friends, was a powerful legacy to all who knew him.

◆ 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 Séamus Doris Entry
He was good friends with Harry Naylor, Joe Mallin and Dan Fitzpatrick.

Fynn, Anthony, 1899-1965, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1335
  • Person
  • 22 September 1899-02 February 1965

Born: 22 September 1899, Yea, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 01 February 1918, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1936
Died 02 February 1965, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL: 05 April 1931

WWII Chaplain

by 1924 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1928 in Australia - Regency

◆ 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 McCristal’s, Mentone, and two separate periods at Xavier College Kew, where he won prizes in Physics, Trigonometry and Devating. He Entered the Society at Loyola Greenwich.

1920-1923 After First Vows he was sent to Ireland and Rathfarnham Castle to study at UCD, graduating BSc.
1923-1926 He was sent to Valkenburg Netherlands for Philosophy
1927-1930 He returned to Australia for Regency at Xavier College, where he was teaching, was a Prefect of Discipline and editor of the Xavierian.
1930-1934 He came back to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park
1934-1935 He was sent to make Tertianship at Innsbruck Austria
1935-1938 He returned to Australia and was sent to Loyola Watsonia to teach Philosophy. There he taught Natural Theology, Cosmology, Psychology, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. He was also Prefect of tones, Choir master and Minister for short periods. He also directed “Question Box” on the radio’s Catholic Hour.

He was fluent in French and German and widely read. He was always refreshing to discuss issues with. He had no hesitation, making up his mind, and in no time he would sweep away doubts or illusions one might have about the subject being discussed. He had a very accurate mind and was somewhat intolerant of mis-statements.

It was said among Jesuits that because he was so gifted at Mathematics and Physics, he was really meant to work at the Riverview Observatory, however others filled in that space. his work as a teacher of Philosophy was not very appealing to him. Then in 1958 he was very pleased to succeed Noel Burke-Gaffney at the Riverview Observatory, and he remained there very happy until his death. In 1962, he supervised the installation of the American seismological network - at that time the most modern equipment available. His presence and scholarship were very much appreciated among the scientific community.

During WWII, when he was an Air Force Chaplain that he discovered the diabetes which was to cause his death. However, he worked so continuously and cheerfully that most were unaware of his sickness. He had a lively wit and some of his comments were memorable. During a meeting of a Provincial Congregation he observed the Professed Fathers approaching the refectory : “If that is the cream of the Society, I am glad to be in the skim milk!”

Gallagher, Richard, 1887-1960, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/161
  • Person
  • 19 January 1887-07 September 1960

Born: 19 January 1887, Cork City
Entered: 07 September 1905, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1920, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1923
Died: 07 September 1960, Saint Teresa's Hospital, Mong Kok, Hong Kong

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

Older Brother of Leonard Gallagher - RIP 1942

by 1910 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1928 second batch Hong Kong Missioners

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Richard W. Gallagher, the senior member of the Society of Jesus in Hong Kong, died in St. Teresa’s Hospital, in the early morning of Wednesday, 7 September 1960, aged 73.

His health had been deteriorating for some years, but his zeal remained unabated and within the limits imposed by infirmity he continued his varied priestly work till within three weeks of his death.

Father Gallagher was born in Cork, Ireland, on 19 January 1887, the eldest son of a very large family. He joined the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1905.

He did his studies in Ireland and Germany and was ordained priest in 1920. After ordination he worked for some years in Ireland, preaching parish missions, teaching, and carrying out the duties of Prefect of Studies. All through his priestly life his preaching was characterised by simplicity, profundity, and lucidity, the outcome of assiduous application of great talents in a spirit of utter simplicity. He had proved himself also a first-class teacher and a brilliant organiser both of studies and of the manifold extra-curricular activities of his school.

The Irish Jesuits came to Hong Kong for the first time in December 1926. Father Gallagher’s varied gifts and complete readiness to do everything that was proposed to him made him exactly what was needed here. He was sent to Hong Kong in 1927 and, apart from one short rest in Ireland after the War, spent the rest of his life here.

He landed on 27 October. On the three following days he preached the tritium in preparation for the Feast of Christ the King in the Cathedral. This plunge into work was symbolic of what he was to do throughout his 33 years here.

In his first years, he taught Philosophy in the Seminary, edited The Rock, gave lectures and retreats, preached, studied Cantonese, and put himself at the disposal to all who needed his help.

In 1932 he was appointed first Rector and first Jesuit headmaster of Wah Yan College, which had been taken over almost at a moment’s notice by the Jesuit Fathers. The school was already well established and the change of administration might have been expected to cause friction. That it did not do so was due chiefly to Father Gallagher’s unvarying tact, courtesy, and understanding of other people’s point of view. Long before he ceased to be Rector in 1940 all had forgotten that friction had once been thought possible.

In December 1941, he was Prefect of Studies in a new college in Austin Road, Kowloon. The siege of Hong Kong and the Japanese occupation put an end to this work. Father Gallagher himself was arrested on 12 December and was not released till 23 January 1942. Soon after his release he went to St. Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, where he remained till the end of the war, acting as chaplain to the hospital and as intermediary between the sisters and the occupying powers.

In helping the sick and the wretched during those years of distress and recurrent disaster Father Gallagher found full scope for something that was more characteristic than even his talents or his energy - his unfailing charity. (Throughout his life, unkindness of any sort aroused in him an almost physical repugnance.)

After the war he showed similar devotion and charity as chaplain to Queen Mary Hospital, combining with this work ready acceptance of the innumerable calls made upon him as a preacher, conference-giver, adviser, and supporter of Catholic organizations. His association with the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres remained unbroken and the Little Flower Club in particular owed much to his encouragement.

In 1947 he took up the task of conducting the weekly Catholic Prayers from Radio Hong Kong. For the remaining twelve and a half years of his life, almost without a break, he gave these prayers always fresh, always simple, always prayerful, always newly composed for each week. Few broadcasters of any kind can rival his 659 broadcasts. Few, perhaps none, can rival the amount of good he did by broadcasting.

He worked almost to the end. His last broadcast was made less than three weeks before his death. He admitted at last that he was suffering. Medical examination revealed that he had not long to live. An operation became urgently necessary on Tuesday, 6 September, though there was little hope that it could do more than relieve pain.

He died without recovering consciousness at 12:20pm. On 7 September, 55 years to the day after his entry into the Society of Jesus.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 September 1960

Funeral of Fr. Gallagher, S.J.

The late Father R.W. Gallagher, S.J., was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley, on Thursday, 8 September.

Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was sung in the chapel of Wah Yan college, Kowloon, at 9am: Celebrant, Father H. Dargan, S.J., Regional Superior; Deacon, Father C. Egan, S.J.; Subdeacon, Father R. Kennedy, S.J. The school choir, directed by Father T. O’Neil, S.J., sang the whole Mass, partly in Gregorian, partly in harmony. The large chapel was filled by the large congregation of priests, Brothers, Sisters, past and present students of both Wah Yan Colleges, and other friends of Father Gallagher. Miss Aileen Woods represented Radio Hong Kong from which Father Gallagher had so often broadcasted.

His Lordship the Bishop officiated at the funeral in the evening. Among those present were the Hon. D. J. S. Crozier, C.M.G., Director of Education, the parish priests of the diocese, almost without exception, numerous representatives of the Religious of Hong Kong, priests, Brothers, and Sisters, representatives of the various Catholic organisations with which Father Gallagher was associated, most of the teachers who had received Father Gallagher when he went to Wah Yan College as the first Jesuit Rector, and many of the past students of those days.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong 16 September 1960

Requiem for Fr. R.W. Gallagher, SJ

A Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of the late Father R.W. Gallagher, S.J., first Jesuit Rector of Wah Yan College, will be celebrated in the school chapel, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, at 9a.m. on Wednesday, October 5.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 30 September 1960

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He studied History in University College Dublin with special distinction. He had a remarkable memory and a passion for accurate statistics. In the course of his Jesuit studies, he spent some years in Germany and there he attained exceptional fluency in German, which he liked to exercise to the end of his life.

He came to Hong Kong in 1927, after spending some years in priestly work in Ireland.. He spent his early years here learning the language and editing the Catholic magazine “The Rock”. He became well known as a lecturer and preacher at Wah Yan College.

1932-1940 He was the first Rector/Principal of Wah Yan College Hong Kong. He was always closely associated with the Past Students Association. he overcame opposition by his open sincerity, genuine friendliness and tact. He served for a long period on the Board of Education and he was President of the Hong Kong Teachers Association, as well as being a member of numerous education committees.

He was a tireless visitor to the sick at all times. He served their needs by prayers, which he said from Radio Hong Kong once a week for over 12 years.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Arrivals :

Our three repatriated missioners from Hong Kong: Frs. T. Fitzgerald, Gallagher and G. Kennedy, arrived in Dublin in November and are rapidly regaining weight and old form. Fr. Gallagher has been assigned to the mission staff and will be residing at St. Mary's, Emo.

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

Irish Province News 36th Year No 1 1961

Obituary :

Fr Richard Gallagher (1887-1960)

Fr. Gallagher died in Hong Kong on 7th September. He was ill for less than two weeks, but he was discovered to be suffering from a serious internal complaint, from which he had no hope of recovery. On the day the news of it was given to him an emergency operation was found necessary, and after it he never recovered consciousness. He was seventy three when he died and had completed to the day his fifty-fifth year in the Society.
By his death the Hong Kong Mission loses its best-known priest, its greatest personality and its best-loved member. He was born in Cork, where his father was a leading business-man, and was educated at the Presentation College there. As a scholastic he was conspicuous for his untiring energy. In Valkenburg, where he studied philosophy, he left a reputation for vigour and enterprise that was remembered for many years, and as a scholastic in Mungret he gained a reputation that soon made him celebrated throughout the province. He had many gifts, chief of which was a prodigious memory, so as a history teacher he rattled off dates in a way that bewildered his pupils. He had also the faculty of making up a subject with great rapidity, and he gave lectures on all conceivable topics and was a ready and entertaining speaker. He had a splendid voice, so he sang in public concerts in Limerick and he was an efficient director of the Mungret choir. He sketched and painted with skill, and the stages at Mungret, the Crescent and Milltown had curtains and back-drops painted by him that were up to professional standard. He was at everyone's beck and call, and it would be hard to recall a task that he was asked to do which he was not able to perform efficiently.
Four years theology brought a restraint that he found irksome at first, but he soon found outlets for his surplus energy. He wrote out in a copper plate hand and multiplied the code which Fr. Gannon compiled in his first year as professor of Fundamental Theology, and re-wrote it unhesitatingly when the professor preferred his second thoughts to his first, He gave lectures, illustrated by his own diagrams, on the medical side of moral studies, and if any found first steps in theology difficult, they could go to his room, where lying on his bed with his hands clasped under his head he expounded any thesis that was presented to him.
After Tertianship he went to Galway, where he was Prefect of Studies, taught several classes and preached constantly. It was also related apocryphally of him that in recounting his activities he declared that he also “said all the Masses”. When the College was closed for a period of years he was on the Mission Staff in Ireland and found full scope for his energies in preaching missions and giving retreats - but not for long, for when the Hong Kong Mission was opened, he was assigned to it in the first batch that followed the founders, Frs. G. Byrne and Neary. He arrived in Hong Kong at the end of October 1927, and two hours after landing he preached in the Cathedral for the Triduum of Christ the King, What the circumstances were that made that necessary we are not told, but he loved doing unusual things and making records, and that was one that he liked to recall.
From Hong Kong he went to Shiu Hing, in the Kwangtung Province of China, to study Chinese. While there he also taught English and singing and formed an orchestra in a College run by the Portuguese Mission, and had his studies partially interrupted by a civil war that was then raging in the province, and he went to Shanghai to give missions and retreats and spent a period doing parochial work in Canton. The whole period only lasted nine months but he learned to speak Chinese fluently, if not perfectly, and to the end of his life gave instructions and retreats regularly in that language.
On returning to Hong Kong in July 1928, he took over the work of editor and manager of the monthly magazine The Rock, which had begun publication in January. A few months later he took part with some of the other Fathers in a series of public lectures to refute rationalists who had been offensive and abusive in their attacks on religion in the local press. The lectures caused a sensation, they silenced the attackers and they attracted public attention to The Rock, which then, in the four years that it was under Fr. Gallagher's direction, built up a high reputation in Hong Kong that lasted until the Japanese invasion brought it to an end.
For some of these years Fr. Gallagher was also on the professorial staff of the Regional Seminary, but in 1932 there began what was the greatest work of his life when he was made Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong.
This was a Middle School which had been begun by two Chinese Catholic teachers, and had grown so successful that they found it too big to handle. They offered it to the Society as a going concern, but stipulated that it should remain wholly Chinese. It was accepted, but with hesitation at first, because it was realised that neither teachers nor parents nor pupils would be pleased to see the leading Chinese school in the Colony handed over to foreigners. There was opposition and it was unpleasant for a time, but it was overcome, and the one thing that can be said is that Fr. Gallagher made Wah Yan.
If there was ever a triumph of personality in winning over a body of young and old who were complete strangers and not initially well-disposed, it was this. It was not a triumph of organisation, for Fr. Gallagher was not a great organiser. It was recalled that some years later when a new scholastic joined the staff, he asked the Rector, who was also Prefect of Studies, into what class he should go.
“Oh, just range around”, were his illuminating instructions.
It was complete friendliness, joined to firmness when necessary, and absolute support for his staff that won the day. The foreigners that those connected with the school had known hitherto were for the most part stand-offish, coldly official, and breathing an air of presumed authority. The teachers had never known of a headmaster who would go into the common room and sit down to drink tea with the rest, or the boys one who went down among them during the recreation period and talked and joked with them, and if there were black looks ignored them.
There was a hostel attached to the school, a nightmare institution, with rooms all mixed up with the community apartments, and housing in a room five or six who studied in the midst of noise in a way that Chinese can do. Almost anyone else would have wanted to reform it altogether from the start. Not so Fr. Gallagher. He realised that it was the ideal means through which the boys would get to know the priests and scholastics and would spread the news about their friendliness to the rest of the school.
Within a few months everything ran smoothly and it had become what it has since remained, a school in which the happiest relations imaginable exist between staff and pupils, and in which an ideal spirit of unity prevails in the community.
Fr. Gallagher remained Rector of Wah Yan till 1940. During those years, in addition to his work in the school, he was a member of the official Board of Education, he was for several years President of the Hong Kong Teachers' Association, and he was appointed by the Government to every important educational committee that was established, but in this age of conferences and round tables he was not a committee man, though his influence was considerable on several of the bodies on which he served. He dealt with individuals; he let talking go on without participating in it, but when all had their say it was often found that he had been writing, and he had a resolution ready to which the wearied members would be glad to agree.
His methods with his community too were unusual. Some thought that he was inclined to let things slide, but he set himself to make everyone happy; he gave each one the fullest scope and showed the most complete confidence in him. The result was a full response in the most excellent spirit. To visitors his hospitality was unbounded.
War clouds were gathering when he ended his term of office, but soon new duties awaited him. A branch of Wah Yan College existed across the harbour in Kowloon, with the same origin as that in Hong Kong, It was offered in turn to the Society, and in preparation for taking it over some classes were opened in a new house in Kowloon. Fr. Gallagher became headmaster.
This lasted for only a few months, for then the Japanese came and he and Fr. McAsey were made prisoners on the ground that they were English enemies. To Fr. Gallagher's protests, captors answered : “English, Irish, all the same”. That certainly did not silence him, and his protests were so continuous that they agreed to put the matter to Tokyo, but promised dire retribution if his claims were false. Geography won, and the prisoners were released.
He spent the years of occupation in the hospital of the French Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres, where he tended the sick and wounded and dying kept up the morale of nervous Sisters and an anxious staff, and constantly acted as intermediary between the hospital and the Japanese authorities. During these years he endeared himself to all who were in the hospital and the convent, and was their weekly confessor for the rest of his life.
He was seriously weakened by the privations of the war and was sent back to Ireland for a year to regain strength. He came back greatly improved, but he was never quite the same again. For the years that remained he lived in Ricci Hall, the Hostel of the Hong Kong University, and Wah Yan College, Kowloon. The first task assigned him was chaplain to the Catholics in the government hospitals. He did it with his usual thoroughness and devotion. A telephone call in the middle of the night, or as he sat down to a meal, was answered at once, and the more frequent the calls the better he was pleased. Rheumatism in the hip however began to affect him severely. He found it hard to get in and out of cars, and eventually he had to relinquish the main part of his duty as hospital chaplain. But he never relinquished it altogether. He never failed to visit any sick person who wanted to see him - and there were many.
Then he was given as one of his regular tasks the recital of mid-day prayers for a quarter of an hour on the radio on one day a week. He continued this for over ten years, giving regular prayers and a short instruction. A great many people, in particular the sick and the old and the lonely, listened to them regularly. They were always fresh and always most carefully prepared. He prided himself on never missing them, and when he went to hospital for the last time, he was able to say that two were prepared in advance and that he had said them 659 times - he could never afford to be wrong about figures.
It was in reality a mercy that death came to him so swiftly, for he would have suffered greatly. He probably suffered more than he admitted, but to all enquiries about himself at any time, even when rheumatism seemed to make movement very painful, his answer was “Not too bad at all”, and nothing more would he say, To be inactive would have been to him the greatest trial, and we all feel that he died as he would have wished.
We shall long miss his genial presence, his charity - for none ever heard him say an uncharitable word; it was not merely after his death that this was noted of him - his stories, which we had heard so many times, his statistics of rainfall and of winds in typhoons, and his detailed remembrance of everything that had taken place during his thirty-three years in Hong Kong. He was a “character” at all times, but the youthful tornado had given place to kindly old age. He was loved and respected outside the Society as well as within it. At his funeral there were hundreds of people of every kind, priests in great number, Sisters and lay people of every class, Catholics and Protestants and pagans, old pupils, teachers, servants in our houses, convent amahs - and one felt that not a single one of them was there just as a formality, but that all felt that in him they had lost a friend. Messeges of regret and sympathy came from all sides, from the Protestant Bishop of Hong Kong and the Director of Education to simple souls who had never met him but had listened to his radio prayers or remembered a kind act of his. In the Mission of Hong Kong he will be always remembered, for he was one of the stalwarts who built it up and left it forever indebted to him. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Richard Gallagher 1887-1960
Fr Richard Gallagher, like his brother Fr Leonard, was remarkable for his gifts of versatility, energy and bonhomie. Born in Cork in 1887, he was educated the the Presentation College there.

Having completed his philosophical studies in Valkenburg, he was a scholastic in Mungret, where he laid the foundations of his reputation as a gifted and versatile man. His memory was prodigious, he could make up any subject with great rapidity, he gave lectures on all conceivable topics, he had a splendid voice of public concert standard, he painted and sketched at will. With all these gifts went unbounded energy, and a willingness to employ them at anyone’s request.

Transferred to Hong Kong in October 1927, one can easily imagine what a field he found for all these talents. It was typical of him that two hours after landing in Hong Kong, he preached in the Cathedral for the Feast of Christ the King. He was editor of The Rock, was on the professorial staff of the regional Seminary, he was the first Recotr of Wah Yan College. As Fr Vincent Byrne said of himself “I made Mungret so that Fr Dick could say I made Wah Yan!”

In 1940 he became headmaster of the new Wah Yan at Kowloon. Then came the Japanese occupation. His health suffered so much during this period, that the war over, he returned to Europe to recuperate. On his return he resumed his activities at a slower tempo. For ten whole years he gave a quarter of an hour’s prayer at midday on the Hong Kong Radio.

He died after a brief illness on September 7th 1960.

His name will live forever in Hong Kong, for he was one of the stalwarts who built it up, and left it forever indebted to him.

Gannon, Patrick J, 1879-1953, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/460
  • Person
  • 07 January 1879-12 December 1953

Born: 07 January 1879, Cavan Town, County Cavan
Entered: 20 May 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 July 1913, Milltown Park
Professed: 02 February 1916
Died: 12 December 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1904 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1916 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 24th Year No 2 1949

The Fire at Milltown Park :
Early in the morning of Friday, February 11th, fire broke out in the tailor's shop over the Refectory. The alarm was given and the Fire Brigade summoned. At first the progress of the fire was slow, but after a short time it became terribly rapid, and some of the Community were rescued barely in time. Fr. Johnston, Fourth Year Theologian, lost his life. He had remained to dress himself completely, as he was due to say Mass at the Sisters of Charity, Mount St. Anne's, and was asphyxiated by the fumes before he could escape - one may say, a martyr of Duty. Fr. Gannon got severely burned, and Mr. Reidy suffered injury to his spine as the result of a fall ; both are doing well and will, it is hoped, be none the worse in the end. The Fire Brigade was able to prevent the fire from spreading beyond the building where it had broken out.

Milltown Park, Dublin :
The morning of Friday, February 11th was a tragic morning here in Milltown Park. The two top stories of the Theologians House (built in 1908 by Fr. Finlay) were burnt out. Fr. James Johnston, a 4th Year Theologian lost his life, Fr. Gannon was severely burnt on his hands and face, and Mr. Reidy dislocated some of the vertebrae of his spine, jumping from a ledge underneath his window.
At 5.30 Br. Kavanagh discovered a fire in the Tailor's Room. He summoned Fr. Smyth, acting Minister, who telephoned for a fire brigade, while a few scholastics endeavoured, unsuccessfully, to extinguish the fire with Minimaxes and water. Br. Kavanagh carried. Fr. W. Gwynn (aged 84) to safety, and Fr. Smyth warned the occupants. of the Theologians House to make for the fire escape.
By this time the stairs end of the Theologians' House was burning fiercely; the fumes and heat in the corridors were unbearable, and it is due to the Mercy of God that so many were able to get to the fire escape before they were overcome with suffocation. In the meantime, the first of the fire brigades had arrived and Frs. Power, Hannigan, Gannon and a couple of scholastics were rescued. The firemen then concentrated on saving the New House which was by this time filling with smoke.
A roll-call shortly after 6 o'clock confirmed that Fr. Johnston was missing, but by this time the whole of the doomed wing was ablaze. Coincidentally with the celebration of the Community Mass at 7.15 the six fire brigades got the conflagration under control.
Offers of assistance and accommodation began to pour in from all sides and within a couple of days ran into thousands.
The Scholastics were transferred to the Retreat House, Rathfarnham, where they stayed for four days. They will always remember the kindness and hospitality shown by the Rector, the Community and the Retreat House staff of Rathfarnham.
On Tuesday 15th the Scholastics returned to Milltown, where a field kitchen, presented by the Army, had been installed. They occupied the Retreat House and many of the rooms had to accommodate two occupants, as the Minister's House also had to be vacated owing to damage and water.
On Friday 18th, the ‘octave' of the fire’, lectures were resumed, and routine was gradually established.
Fr. Gannon recovered rapidly and hopes to be back in Milltown soon. Mr. Reidy is also on his feet again, and he too hopes to be out of hospital in the near future, though he will be partially encased in plaster of paris for a considerable time.
The majority of the occupants of the Theologians' House lost all their personal effects, notes, etc. Fr. Gannon, however, being at the end of the corridor, and having his door closed, will salvage all his books and notes.

Irish Province News 29th Year No 2 1954

Obituary :

Father Patrick Gannon

Father Patrick Gannon was called to his reward very suddenly at Milltown Park during the night of the 11th-12th December. He was in his 75th year, having been born in Cavan on the 7th January, 1879. He was the eldest son of Mr. John Gannon, who was for many years Chairman of Cavan Town Commissioners and, in that capacity, was respon sible for many beneficial improvements in the town. A brother of Father Gannon's, the late Mr. T. A. Gannon, was widely known in the United States as a worker for charitable and Church organisations. Before going to America, he was one of the founders of the Young Ireland Branch of the United Irish League, along with T. M. Kettle, Judge Eugene Sheehy and others.
Father Gannon was educated first at St. Patrick's College, Cavan, in the Intermediate Examinations, and then at Clongowes where he won several prizes and exhibitions. After leaving Clongowes he entered the Novitiate at Tullabeg on May 20, 1897. After his noviceship, he continued his studies there and distinguished himself in the examinations (it was an examining body only) of the old Royal University, winning a 1st Class Scholarship, leading the Classical Group in Arts and B.A., and securing 1st Place in both Latin and Greek in all three examinations. He went to Valkenberg for his philosophy. On returning to Ireland he taught classics and English, first for a year or two at Mungret and then from 1907 to 1910 at Clongowes, completing eight years as a Master before going to Theology.
He began his theology at Milltown Park in 1910 and was in due course ordained there in 1913. After his tertianship in Tullabeg he was sent to Ore Place Hastings to do a biennium in theology, after which he returned in 1918 to Milltown Park where the rest of his life was to be spent. During his first year there he was on the mission staff but in the Catalogue of 1919 his status is given as Lect. theol. dogm. vesp. and so it remained for a number of years. Later he taught the Short Course and later still Fundamental Theology. In the last year of his life he was lecturing on Oriental Church questions.
Father Gannon was a ready and eloquent preacher and was frequently called upon to preach on important occasions. He also delivered lectures in Dublin and other places in Ireland. He preached several series of Lenten Lectures at Gardiner St. Some of these series were published in book form as Holy Matrimony and The Old Law and the New Morality. He wrote the following pamphlets : Prayer (1923); The Queen of May (1928); St. Patrick and the Irish Church (1932); A Happy Warrior, Fr. M. Bergin, S.J. (1934); Under which Flag (1938); Fr. James Cullen, S.J. (1940); Art, Morality and Censorship (1943); The Church Supreme and Independent (1945).
He also wrote many articles in reviews both in Ireland and in the United States. He always kept up great interest in current affairs both in Ireland and in the world at large. He had a considerable grasp of these matters and held strong opinions. Occasionally he took part in current controversies by means of letters to the Press. Besides these he had many minor interests and occupations for his leisure hours and his vacations.
In the fire which destroyed a considerable part of Milltown Park in 1949, Fr, Gannon was trapped in his room and suffered severe injuries to his face and hands before being rescued by the Dublin Fire Brigade. From this be seems not to have ever fully recovered but up to about five months before his death he did not seem to be failing much. But then the doctor warned him that his heart was not in good condition and, among other things, that it would be dangerous to ride the bicycle. He said Mass as usual on the eve of his death and later visited some friends. The following morning he was found dead in his room.

Fr. P. Gannon was a professor of theology at Milltown Park for thirty-five years, a longer period than that of any other professor except Fr. Peter Finlay. It is a measure of the esteem which his super iors had for his talents that he held such an important position in the province for so long. It was said that at the retirement of Fr. Finlay from the position of professor of Theology in the National University Fr. Gannon was very nearly appointed to succeed him. It was a position for which his special gifts fitted him in a high degree, and which he would have occupied with distinction.
Perhaps he had too many interests to be a first-class theologian. He was many things besides a professor; he was distinguished as a preacher, a lecturer, a writer, as a publicist. He had quite remarkable natural gifts as a speaker, an unfailing fluency, a good command of language, imagination and a large stock of examples and illustrations, which he had amassed in his wide reading. His style of speaking was vivid, coloured, rhetorical. It was in the traditional of classical eloquence and was often florid. He gave the Lenten lectures at Gardiner St. five or six times, and always drew large congregations. Two of his sets of lectures were published as books, which had a considerable sale, Holy Matrimony and The Old Law and the New Morality. He was in constant demand as a preacher especially for solemn and distinguished occasions. His ease in speaking, his flow of thought, his rhetorical bent, made this kind of work a pleasure to him. These sermons cost him very little trouble but in his later years his confidence in himself became a disability, as he thought it absolved him from any immediate preparation.
He was also a fairly copious writer and contributed frequently to Studies, The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, The Irish Monthly and to other Catholic magazines in America. He was quick also to join in public discussions and controversies on religious questions. An article he wrote for Studies on hunger striking was probably the first defence by a professional theologian of that weapon newly introduced into political warfare; and it was said the moralists at Rome, who had been considering the question, read, marked and inwardly digested his article.
He had a keen interest in social questions and in international politics; he followed intelligently the great politico-social movements of his time. The rise and growth of Communism and Nazism interested him and disturbed him; he saw clearly the dangers to Faith, to the Church and to Society which they involved and he pointed them out on every possible occasion, opportunc importune. Communism in particular in his later years became a kind of obsession and every subject led on to it. His convictions even in matters of scholarship were very strong ly held and dominated him to such an extent that he could not see any aspect but his own. He was perhaps at his best as a lecturer, where his talents had their fullest scope, and he was constantly asked to speak on Catholic platforms. As a retreat-giver he was also well known; he must have given priests' retreats in nearly every diocese of Ireland. R.I.P.

Garahy, Michael, 1873-1962, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/556
  • Person
  • 20 October 1873-14 February 1962

Born: 20 October 1873, Cloghan, Birr, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1912
Died: 14 February 1962, County Waterford

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

by 1896 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1897 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1898
by 1911 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Michael Garahy spent part of his schooling at Mungret, and joined the novitiate in 1893. He did philosophy at Valkenburg, 1895-98, and then sailed to Australia and to Riverview, 1899-1904. He taught, looked after boarders and the Sodality of the Angels, all apparently well. When he was moved suddenly from the one class to another, the students of the class protested to the prefect of studies that they wanted him to stay and said, “My word sir, he does get you on”.
Returning to Ireland, his main work as a priest was preaching and parish work.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 12th Year No 4 1937

Rev. Michael Garahy, S.J., and Rev. Ernest Mackey, S.J. have been invited by the Most Rev. Bishop Francis Hennemann, P.S.M DD., to preach at the approaching Centenary Eucharistic Congress - which has already met with a good deal of opposition - to be held at Capetown, South Africa. Dr. Hennemann is Vicar Apostolic of the Western Vicariate of Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope.
Word has come to say that His Lordship is to send full Faculties to the Fathers by air-mail-including power to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation-for the Catholics on Ascension Island and the Island of St, Helena, both of which fall under bis jurisdiction.
They will preach during Congress Week at the Pontifical High Mass and at the Mass Meeting for Men. There will be an official broadcast of these functions, which are to be held in the open air at a short distance from St. Mary's Cathedral.
During the course of their stay in South Africa they are due to deliver special lectures on Catholic Action and kindred subjects to Catholic Men's Societies and to Catholic Women's Leagues. Their programme includes also a series of missions and parochial Retreats throughout the Vicariate beginning at the Cathedral Capetown, as a preparation for the Congress, which is fixed to take place from January 9th-16th, 1938. A special Congress Stamp has been issued to commemorate the event.
At the close of the January celebrations they intend to continue their apostolic labours in the Eastern Vicariate at the request of the Most Rev. Bishop McSherry, D,D,, Senior Prelate of South Africa.
Father Garahy is well-known throughout the country since he relinquished his Chair of Theology at Milltown Park in 1914 to devote his energies to the active ministry.
Father Mackey has been Superior of the Jesuit Mission staff in Ireland since 1927. During his absence in South Africa, Father J Delaney, S.J., Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, will take over his duties. Fathers Mackey and Garahy leave for Capetown on Tuesday, 24th August, 1937, and are expected back in Ireland about Easter, 1938.
Father Mackey has just received a cablegram from Bishop Hennemann asking him to give the Priests' Retreat at Cape Town

Irish Province News 13th Year No 1 1938

Our two Missioners to South Africa, Fathers Mackey and Garahy reached Cape Town on 23rd September.
The voyage was uneventful. They landed at Las Palmas and visited the centre of the Island.
Writing about the road, overhanging a steep precipice, over which they travelled, Father Garahy tells us : “I realised there was nothing between us and eternity except a few feet of road. It seemed to be a matter of inches when we crawled past other cars coming down.” They paid one more visit before reaching Cape Town, and Father Garahy's description is : “A spot of earth more arid than Ascension it would be hard to find outside the Sahara, and yet it grazes about 400 sheep and some cattle on one spot called the Green Mountain.”
Work began the very day after their arrival at Cape Town - a Retreat by Father Mackey to Legion of Mary, with five lectures a day. On the next Sunday, Father Garahy preached at all three Masses in the Cathedral, and again in the evening, The Mission began on Sunday, 3rd October, and from that date to Christmas the missioners had only one free week.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 2 1938

Our two Missioners, Fathers Mackey and Garahy, continue to do strenuous and widely extended work in South Africa. A source of genuine pleasure to them, and one that they fully appreciate, is the very great kindness shown to them by all the priests, not least among them by the Capuchins from Ireland. In the short intervals between the Missions the two Missioners were taken in the priests cars to every spot in the Cape worth seeing. They are only too glad to acknowledge that they will never forget the amount of kindness lavished on them.
In spite of fears the Eucharistic Congress in South Africa was an undoubted success, A pleasant and peculiar incident of the celebration was an “At Home” given by the Mayor of Capetown Mr. Foster, a Co, Down Presbyterian, to the Bishops, priests and prominent laymen. About 600 were present.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 3 1938
South Africa :

A very decided and novel proof of the success of the South African Mission is given by the letter of a certain Mr. Schoernan, a Dutch Protestant, who owns an extensive estate near Johannesburg. This gentleman wrote directly to the Apostolic Delegate for the Union of South Africa requesting that Fathers Mackey and Garahy should be invited to give a series of sermons and lectures to the non Catholics throughout the Transvaal. He had heard the sermons of these two Jesuit Fathers at the Catholic Congress at Cape Town, and concluded at once that the method and style of treatment of their sermons would make an immense appeal. He himself would be prepared to assist in the financing of such a scheme. “Surely”, he concluded, “Ireland could easily afford to forgo their services for a few months longer.”
The Delegate sent on the letter to Dr. O'Leary, Vicar Apostolic of the Transvaal. to answer. Dr, O'Leary explained that the two Fathers had to cancel many other invitations owing to pressure of work at home.
Mr. Schuman answered the Archbishop through Dr. O'Leary still pressing his own proposal.
The Press, including the Protestant Press, has been equally emphatic as to the success of the Mission. A contributor to “The Daily Dispatch”, a Protestant paper writes :
“A mission for Catholics in East London is now in progress at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. It is being conducted by two Jesuits, Father Mackey and Father Garahy, members of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus..... Hitherto, missions in this diocese have been preached, almost exclusively, by members of the Redemptorist Order.... , A Jesuit mission, therefore, is a change, because the methods and style of the Jesuits are different from those of the other Orders in the Church. There is not so much thunder about the Jesuits. They preach more the mercy of God than His anger and His justice. They appeal more to one's intellect and sense of reason than to the emotions.
It has been essentially a mission to Catholics. Controversial subjects have been avoided, but in the sermons there has been a wealth of information and teaching invaluable even to those firmly established in the Catholic faith. To those not of the faith who have attended the mission, the discourses of the two eloquent Jesuits must have been a revelation. I, a practising Catholic all my life, have heard many missions, both in this country and throughout Great Britain, but I cannot recall one in which the teaching of the Church has been so simply and so convincingly substantiated, or one in which the sinner has been so sympathetically, yet effectively, shown the error of his ways. The sermons were all magnificent orations in which facts, arguments, and reasoning were blended into a convincing whole.”
In another place the same contributor writes :
“Masterly sermons were preached by Father Mackey and Father Garahy explaining, as they have never been explained to the people of East London before, the object of man's life in this world, the difficulties he has to contend with......they have shown how the evils of the present day have all arisen from the misuse of men's reason, how the abandonment of God, and the development of a materialistic creed have set class against class and nation against nation, how man's well-being on earth has been subordinated to the pagan ideas of pleasure and financial prosperity........There has been nothing sensational or emotional in any discourse, but the malice of sin has been shown in all its viciousness.
It has been an education listening to these two Jesuits. The lessons of history, biblical and worldly, have been explained in language that carried conviction, and the teaching of the Church on the problems discussed has been put forward with unassailable lucidity.”

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street

The passing of Fr. Michael Garahy from amongst us has left quite a big gap in the lives of many amongst the community and staff of Gardiner Street. For some five months the care of him. day and night, had become a constant occupation for many and despite the attention he required and the trouble he could make at times, he won and held to the end the love and affection of all who were so devoted to him by his simplicity and personal charm which stayed with him until his death. He died on Wednesday, 14th February. He was with us all through his declining years except for the last five days when, where he was, meant little to him and the best that could be done became inadequate. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anant. We take this opportunity to thank Fr. Mark Quigley for his appreciation of Fr. Garahy's life's work which is given elsewhere in this issue of the Province News, Very Rev. Fr. Visitor was present at the solemn Requiem Office and Mass at Gardiner Street on 16th February, having travelled up from Tullabeg where he was then on visitation; Fr. Provincial presided; Fr. Superior was celebrant of the Mass; Fr. Tyndall deacon; Fr. Mac Amhlaoibh sub-deacon; Fr. Raymond Moloney, Milltown, M.C. To Milltown Park we are indebted also for supplying the choir. We wish to record our thanks to them for their generous help on all occasions.

Obituary :

Fr Michael Garahy (1873-1962)

Fr. Garahy passed away peacefully on the morning of 14th February. On the 16th a very fitting tribute was given him by the presence of Fr. Visitor, the Very Rev. John McMahon, S.J., by a large attendance from the Dublin houses of the Society and by a great concourse of people. The Solemn Requiem was sung by Very Rev. Fr. M. Meade, Superior, with Fr, Tyndall as Deacon and Fr. McAuliffe as Sub-Deacon. Mr. Oliver O'Brien performed at the organ and rendered the Dead March as the coffin was carried out of the church.
Fr. Garahy was born on 20th October, 1873. He was a native of Cloghan, Offaly, and lived for a time with his grandmother in Birr while attending the Presentation Brothers school. He was also at Mungret during Fr. Vincent Byrne's rectorship, and at Mount Melleray. He entered the Noviceship in 1893, did Philosophy at Valkenburg from 1895 to 1898, was six years teaching at Riverview and one year at the Crescent, Limerick. He went to Milltown for Theology in 1905, and taught the Short Course there for a year before going to the Tertianship at Tronchiennes in 1911. He taught at Milltown again for two years till 1914 when he became Miss. Excurr, and was stationed at Tullabeg. In 1918 he went to Rathfarnham and was there till 1941 when he went as Operarius to Gardiner Street.
It was in 1914 the present writer knew him first. Of his previous life those of our time only knew of him by hearsay. For example we remember Fr. Martin Maher tell that when Fr. Garahy as a scholastic in Riverview was changed from a certain class, the class came to Fr. Maher, who was Prefect of Studies, to ask to have him left with them. “My word, sir”, they said, “he does get you on”. During the past fifty years and more, I think that as a great personality and because of his very distinguished work, Fr. Garahy has filled a very special place in the Province. As a preacher he was quite outstanding. His voice was powerful and melodious, a perfect instrument for the earnestness and conviction with which he spoke, His message was given in a straight-forward style with plenty of clear and solid doctrine. I think the subjects touching on the Incarnation and the Passion showed him at his best and most typical. Once when some of us went to University Church to hear his Seven Words, we heard a priest who had come in only for the last sermon or two say to another, what a pity they had not been there for them all. Eloquent and thundering in some mission sermons, he had a very intimate, conversational and pleasant way in instructions, and also in enclosed retreats, if one can judge by one retreat he gave to the community at Milltown. He was widely known and appreciated for his retreats to the clergy. Fr. C. Mulcahy once told us of the delight of the parish priest of Rahan, who said that Fr. Garahy had given them in Meath “a retreat full of new thoughts”.
His friendly way made him a great favourite with the parish clergy and with many of the bishops of his time. He found it easy to join in conversation with them, and to be interested in the lives and doings of ordinary people. He had no side and would discuss or argue a question with the simplest of people. He once brought me to Cloghan to visit his mother, a very old lady then. They were discussing the war and she was lamenting some act of the Germans in France. “Wasn't that vandalism now”, she said, “It was not, mother”, said Fr. Michael, and proceeded to explain and to defend the Germans' action. He had always a love for the Germans and would recall with pleasure his days in Valkenburg, and sing or quote songs he had learned there.
In our own communities Fr. Garahy was always a centre of interest, and often of liveliness and fun. He was full of interesting anecdotes of his life on the missions. As well as giving missions in Ireland and England, he had gone on a mission tour with Fr. Mackey to South Africa. He allowed himself to be easily drawn into argument, and would defend his point strongly or indignantly, but sincerely and without bitterness. He lent himself willingly to any simple fun that was going. When Fr. Eustace Boylan came from Melbourne, via Rome, full of life at eighty, and spent a memorable month or so at Gardiner Street, he found Fr. Garahy a perfectly sympathetic sharer in his ever-bubbling hilarity and good humour. On hearing that a fire took place in Newry during the evening devotions when Fr. Garahy was preaching, Fr. Boylan gave rein to his imagination in a few verses to the enjoyment of all :

    Fr. Garahy stood in the pulpit
And spoke to the crowd below,
And his eloquence rose to a terrible height,
As the next day's papers show.

But just as his soaring eloquence
Was going to soar still higher,
A puff of wind caught the last few words,
And the neighbouring house took fire,

And so in Newry nowadays
They brighten the streets at night
With prints of Garahy's fiery words
Instead of electric light

And watchmen heat their tea-cans
At funnels of gramophones
Fitted to discs that thundered forth
The missioner's fiery tones.

And later when 'twas learnt that 'twas
The Bishop's strong desire
That Fr. Garahy should come back
To set the town on fire.

The enterprising shopmen
Advertised the coming sales
Of fireproof frocks for the maidens
Asbestos for the males.

The more one thinks of Fr. Garahy, the more one feels the loss of him as a source of inspiration and happiness in the Province. His strong features could at times express sternness or indignation, but it was some thing evil or mean or unjust that would rouse him in this way. And his denunciation of wrong was effective. A well-known member of the con fraternity in Gardiner Street used to call Fr. Garahy “the hammer of the Society”. His normal expression, however, was one of kindness and the most natural, smiling friendliness.
Apart from the preaching activities already referred to, Fr. Garahy achieved the highest standards in preaching on special occasions. One recalls his Lenten Lectures, published in pamphlets under the title of Idols of Modern Society and a fine sermon on St. Peter Canisius. He gave a weekend retreat in Irish in Milltown many years ago, with Fr. Michael Saul, and gave at least one mission in Irish in Co. Kerry with Fr. Michael McGrath,
All his achievements left him the simplest of men, a man without guile. For the last two years Fr. Garahy's life has been one of inactivity because of his great age. He has needed special help. But in his decline he was gentle, serene and happy.
This grand man, Fr. Michael Garahy, goes from amongst us full of merits, to be greeted by a smile more winning than his own, of the Master he served so happily and so well.

Grogan, Patrick, 1902-1980, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/665
  • Person
  • 03 March 1902-27 February 1980

Born: 03 March 1902, Cloghan, County Offaly
Entered: 12 November 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 05 November 1977
Died: 27 February 1980, Saint Paul's Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Studied for B Ag Science at UCD before entry

by 1928 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1931 fourth wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency
by 1938 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1944 at Xavier, Park St, Calcutta, West Bengal, India (BEL M)

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Patrick Grogan, S.J.

Father Patrick Grogan, SJ, of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, died in St. Paul’s Hospital on 27 February 1980, aged 77.

Father Grogan was born in Cloghan, Offaly, Ireland, on 3 March 1903. He joined the Jesuit novitiate in Ireland at the end of his university studies in 1925, did his philosophical studies in a German Jesuit College in Holland, and came to Hong Kong as a Jesuit scholastic in 1930.

In 1932 he was a member of the first group of Jesuits to teach in Wah Yan College, and Wah Yan was to be the scene of his activity for 31 of his remaining 48 years. After theological studies and ordination - 31 July 1936 - in Ireland, he returned to Wah Yan in 1938. He spent the war years partly in mainland China, partly in India, and returned again to Wah Yah in 1948. He moved to Malaysia in 1962 and served very happily in Assumption Parish, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, till 1970. Then for the last time, he returned to Wah Yan.

He was already aged 69; but he returned, not to enjoy honoured retirement, but to play a vital part in the life of the school. From the beginning of his teaching career he had taken a deep interest in all the boys of every class and in all their concerns. This interest, which he never lost, sharpened a remarkable memory. Even in his last years, he seldom failed to recall the face and the characteristics and the family and the later career of anyone whom he had known as a student in the 1950s or the 1940s or the 1930s. It sometimes happened that an old student, on returning to Hong Kong after years overseas, would find that his family had dispersed and his friends had forgotten him, but Father Grogan would lift his heart by remembering all about him and his family with interest undimmed by the passing of years.

In his last years Father Grogan had to cut down his teaching, but he never gave up. To within a few weeks of his death he still taught a class a day, and took complete charge of training in verse speaking for the whole school, and he still knew the boys and their ways as he had always known them. His apostolate was not merely an educational apostolate: it was also an apostolate of friendship and affection.

His fellow Jesuits will miss him as a good companion, a practiced raconteur, an exceptionally shrewd adviser and a devoted priest. He will remain in the memories of many hundreds of Wah Yan students, past and present, as someone who really cared.

The Bishop was chief concelebrant at the Requiem Mass in St. Margaret’s Church on 28 February. Father Gabriel Lam, V.G., in his homily paid eloquent tribute to Father Grogan, whom he had come to know and revere as his teacher years ago in Wah Yan.

Bishop F.A. Donaghy, M.M., officiated at the graveside in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 7 March 1980

Note from Timothy Doody Entry
Another passage in this book also describes Mr. Doody busy amid shelling and bombing. During a lull in his billeting work he found a new apostolate. Two priests were sheltered in the M.E.P. Procure on Battery Path. Mr. Doody took up his position outside the Procure and boldly enquired of all who passed if they were Catholics, and, if they were, did they wish to go to confession. The results were almost startling. The most unexpected persons turned out to be Catholics, from bright young things to old China hands, and after the first start of surprise at the question in the open street in staid, pleasure-loving Hong Kong, they generally took the turn indicated by Mr. Doody and found Father Grogan of Father Fitzgerald of Father O’Brien ready to meet them inside.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He entered at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg having graduated BAg at the Agricultural College in Dublin (Albert College, Glasnevin).

1927-1930 After First Vows he was sent to Valkenburg Netherlands for Philosophy.
1930-1933 He was sent for Regency to the new mission in Hong Kong and was one of the first scholastics to be sent there. He was first sent to Sacred Heart School in Canton, and then he was sent to St Joseph’s Seminary in Macau (1931-1932). By Autumn 1932 he was one of the first Jesuits to teach at Wah Yan College Robinson Road.
1933-1938 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology and was Ordained there in 1936, after which he made Tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales.
1938 He returned to Hong Kong as Minister at Wah Yan College Hong Kong
After WWII he returned to teach and to Prefecting at Wah Yan Hong Kong until 1962 when he was sent to Singapore. A a teacher and Prefect at Wah Yan he was known to be very kindly and got to know many generations of Wah Yan boys extremely well. He had a phenomenal memory for names and faces of the boys, and he was proud of having taught some grandsons of his former pupils.
1970 He returned to Hong Kong and Wah Yan. Although officially retired, he continued to take English conversation classes with Junior boys until shortly before his death. He also continued to coach boys for the Hong Kong Speech Festival. He was the advisor and overseer for the College magazine “The Star” all through the 1970s. In the Jesuit world he was also responsible for the distribution of the internal “Vice-Province Letter”.

Note from Paddy Joy Entry
According to Father Patrick Grogan “....... in Moral Theology and Canon Law, and especially in making the right approach to the right authorities, there was no one to equal him. I think he was at his best as our Mission Superior during the siege of Hong Kong”

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Casey G., Grogan and Sullivan leave England for Hong Kong on 2nd July on the ‘Canton’. On the following day Fr. Kevin O'Dwyer hopes to sail with Fr. Albert Cooney from San Francisco on the ‘General Gordon’ for the same destination.
The following will be going to Hong Kong in August : Frs. Joseph Mallin and Merritt, Messrs. James Kelly, McGaley, Michael McLoughlin and Geoffrey Murphy.

Irish Province News 55th Year No 2 1980


Fr Patrick Grogan (1902-1925-1980)

The Hong Kong Mission lost a devoted apostle with the death of Fr Pat Grogan (27th February 1980). This news reached his relatives and friends at home in Ireland early in March. Although Fr Pat had reached the ripe age of 78, his demise was an unwelcome surprise to the countless friends he had made both at home and abroad.
Most of his life was spent in Hong Kong, but he was also well known in Macao as well as in Tan Chuk, where he had made many friends with the Maryknoll Fathers during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong.
His death took place in the French hospital, Causeway bay, Hong Kong, among the French Sisters of Charity, with St Aquinas of the Columban Sisters attending.
The requiem Mass was celebrated by the Bishop of Hong Kong, Bishop Wu, assisted by Maryknoll Bishop Donaghy, with more than 30 priests concelebrating. He was buried in the cemetery at Happy Valley beside his old friends of the Pontifical Foreign Mission Institute of Milan (PIME), Frs Granelli and Poletti, well-known characters in Hong Kong parochial life. He is with the unforgettables. RIP

Fr Grogan’s soul went to meet his Lord on 27th February 1980, after a heart attack, He was 78 years old and had spent about 45 years in the Far East. Parishioners of the Assumption church, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, where he spent six years as PP, sent messages of sympathy, and offered prayers and Masses for the repose of his soul and in thanksgiving for all the help he gave as a devoted priest.
Few know that he graduated from a Dublin university with a B Ag (Agriculture) degree. Having done so he joined the Jesuit order, to imitate the Sower whom our Lord speaks about in his beautiful parable. He spent those years already mentioned as a sower of God's truth in the Far East, working in China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore (one year) and Petaling Jaya. But most of his life was spent in the classrooms of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, as a teacher and counsellor.
We are told that grace builds on nature, Father Pat had a great gift of imitation, and this gift with God's grace became a spiritual charism. The result was seen in his imitation of our Lord, so that he became Christlike in many respects. In Fr Pat there was a great commitment to God's glory, a deep concern for others, fortitude in long suffering, great zeal, gentleness and meekness and, where necessary, strength.
His natural gift of imitation was remarkable. It helped him to master perfectly the very complicated Cantonese tones. To hear him speak you would not think be was a foreigner. He would cause you to shout with laughter when he imitated the Cantonese hawkers, shouting their wares in the streets of Hong Kong or Malaysia. A hawker would pass and Fr Pat’s imitation of him was a perfect echo. If he had gone to Hollywood instead of being a sower of God's truth, he would have become famous. He could have impersonated all the great filmstars to perfection.
In 1932 Mr Peter Tsui and Mr Lim Hoy Lan (RIP), the founders of the well-known Chinese college of Wah Yan, handed over the college and hostel to the Jesuit Fathers. The teachers, college and hostel students were rather concerned. They had not had much contact with Europeans and were rather worried and fearful. Fr Pat was in charge of the hostel. He had a special charism for dealing with hostel students. He ruled by kindness and gentle instruction and made the hostel a “home from home”, a policy which Frs Brian Kelly and Albert Cooney used in other hostels. The result was that when the teachers and students saw how happy the hostel students were, their concern diminished, and then began a great work of conversions and lifelong friendships.
After the surrender of Hong Kong to the Japanese, Fr Pat was sent to Free China to work in a seminary. When the communists were advancing, he and Fr Ned Sullivan were ordered to fly the seminarians over the “Hump” to India. When peace came, he returned to the classroom in Hong Kong. In 1961 he went to Malaysia to be PP of the Assumption church, Petaling Jaya, till some local priests were available to take over after seven years: then back again to the classroom.
His return to Hong Kong was hailed with great joy by the generations of his past students and converts. He had a memory like a computer, only that it was accompanied by a sympathetic heart. He could remember his old friends and their families, their cousins and in-laws - and even their out-laws!
His histrionic gifts bore great fruit. For many years his students took the leading prizes for public speaking, elocution, debating and production of plays. He was remarkable, as also was Fr Albert Cooney, for getting jobs and positions for his students,
Many students used to come to him for consolation. At school they had been treated in a fraternal and Christlike manner, and they expected all foreigners would treat them likewise. They were surprised when they were scolded and made lose face by angry managers. They came to Fr Pat depressed, wishing to resign and at times in despair. As counsellor, he used to give advice which enabled them to face with fortitude the trials of life.
I am sure that he received a great reception from the Holy Family. My imagination pictures him regaling friends in heaven, if they had 1.5 hours of heavenly time to spare, by telling them one of his short stories. I picture also St Peter keeping Fr Pat busy when his generations of past students apply for admittance. Fr Pat would point his spiritual finger at some of them and say “I told you so”, and then add “Au revoir, we shall meet again, choy kin”.
Fr Pat was a great sower of our Lord's truth, and I am sure he prays for an abundant ripening harvest.

Healy, Joseph, 1876-1954, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1428
  • Person
  • 21 September 1876-21 June 1954

Born: 21 September 1876, Dublin
Entered: 05 April 1893, Loyola Greenwuch, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 26 July 1910
Professed: 15 August 1916
Died: 21 June 1954, Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1903 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1904 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1910 in Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Though born in Dublin, Joe Healy came to Australia with his parents as a child and was educated at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, 1892-93. He entered the Society at Greenwich, 5 April 1893 and after the noviciate was assistant prefect of studies and discipline, organised the junior debating and was choirmaster at Riverview until 1896.
He then returned to Loyola College, Greenwich, for his juniorate studies, 1896-97, before returning to teach at Riverview, 1897-1902. He was also in charge of the chapel, drama and junior debating. He continued his interest in the choir, and assisted Thomas Gartlan with the rowing.
In July 1902 Healy set sail for Europe and philosophy at Valkenburg and Stonyhurst, 1902-05. He taught at the Crescent, Limerick, 1905-07, studied theology at Milltown Park, 1907-11, and returned to Australia and Riverview, 1911-14. Tertianship followed in Ranchi, India, 1915, with another term at Riverview, 1915-22. He spent two years at St Patrick's College, 1922-24, and 1924-30 at Xavier College, as well as 1930-34 at the parish of Hawthorn.
He returned to Riverview, 1934-52, as spiritual father to the boys. In 1950 he retired from teaching after 41 years, and from 1952, when his memory began to fade, he prayed for the Society living at Canisius College, Pymble.
During his early time at Riverview, he was both teacher and sportsmaster. He developed cricket, football and rowing to a very high level, organised a fine orchestra and produced more than one Gilbert and Sullivan opera. His swimming carnival in the college baths was one of the highlights of each year He inspired the students with his own great enthusiasm. His own greatest pleasure was to be with the students. He would say that they kept him young despite advancing years. He gave himself totally to the task of serving them, with all the energy he could muster.
Healy was a very accomplished classical scholar and pianist, and a keen sportsman. He was a real gentleman who had to fight a slightly melancholic temperament. Riverview was his great love and it was a great cross to finally leave it.

Higgins, Jeremiah, 1892-1965, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1448
  • Person
  • 30 September 1892-23 January 1965

Born: 30 September 1892, Cork City
Entered: 07 September 1910, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924
Final vows: 02 February 1928
Died: 23 January 1965, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1916 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
1918-1921 Rathfarnham - Studied for BA at UCD
by 1927 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 40th Year No 2 1965
Fr Jerry Higgins SJ (1892-1965)
Fr. John Casey was for many years Spiritual Father to the philosophers in Tullabeg. He was level-headed and solidly sound, and in clear-cut statements gave carefully measured advice. To a philosopher about to begin his colleges he remarked : “I see you are assigned to the Crescent. I see you are the only scholastic there. I see too that Fr. Higgins is going there from Galway. Make a friend of Fr. Higgins. He is a man who will say little at recreation. But visit him in his room. You will find him kind and helpful. He is a friend worth having”.
Fr, Bat Coughlan was a rock of wisdom and learning, a confessor sought after by laymen and priests. “If ever I meet a case”, he once said, “that requires patience and kindness and understanding I know no one better to whom to send it than to Fr. Higgins, I am reluctant, however, to impose on him because I know how much such cases cost him in physical energy”.
These are unsolicited testimonies from two very different men, These were men who had lived with Fr. Higgins and had come to know his worth. Those who had not lived with him or who never broke through his quiet reserve found it difficult to keep in conversation with him. When one knew Fr. Higgins, conversation either flowed naturally or the silences were restful. One did not feel the need to talk, a friend was near. Fr. Higgins will be remembered with affection by all those who lived with him especially in Gardiner Street and more especially during the seven years when he was Minister. It was as Minister that he was forced to show to all, gifts that were well known to his intimate friends. His room as Minister was a “half-way house” for every member of the community, and he was everyone's friend. He was never fussed, one got the impression that the complicated and ever changing weekly lists of preachers, supplies and Masses worked automatically, Fr. Higgins had a charm that attracted every one to him, he was cultured and refined. He knew and loved a good book, he delighted in good pictures and appreciated good music. He read German, French, Italian and Irish classics in their original language, and he wrote perfect Latin with ease and his sermons in English were considered to be gems of literature - many have expressed the hope that they have been preserved and may perhaps be published. Fr. Higgins spent most of his life in the classroom. With his rich background of wide reading and his naturally well ordered mind and a manner, though quiet, demanded respect, he was a teacher well above average. Teaching, however, must have been a trial to him, because he was not the type that would force an unwilling horse to drink ! He was at his best when his listeners were sympathetic. Intellectual converts appreciated him. On every page of the Baptismal Register in Gardiner Street his name appears and often more than once, during his years there. He has an uncanny gift of finding the exact book that answered all the needs of the varied converts whom he instructed during his years in Gardiner Street. One would think that it was just by chance that he picked the right book-but far from it. His knowledge of the good books was wide and his judgment on a piece of writing was accurate and fair. He loved a good joke, and could tell one. He could sum up a person or a situation in a few words that said everything.
Fr. Higgins detested the sham and the artificial in every department, education, spiritual life, national life. His keen and balanced judgment saw through every facade. It was no light cross for him to bear with those who were satisfied with the second-best. Fr. Jerry was a delightful companion on a journey and he 'made' a villa. To the last years of his life he had the gift of joining in the general fun of men twenty or thirty years his junior. A game of cards where Jerry took a hand was sure to be an enjoyable game, if for no other reason than that he gave himself wholeheartedly to it. Order and neatness and regularity and painstaking care to detail marked everything he did. One would venture to say that nowhere in the Province are there Ministers' books written up-to date with a minimum of words and a maximum of information as one will find in Gardiner Street covering the years that Fr. Jerry was Minister there. As a confessor he had a big following of hard cases. “Go to Fr. Jeremiah” was a cant-phrase in the underworld of human weakness. The cardinals in the church missed him much when unable to be their Spiritual Director. The nurses in the Mater wept when he died. He is missed in Gardiner Street community, too. Ar dheis Dé go raibh sé.

Hurley, Thomas, 1890-1976, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/188
  • Person
  • 20 January 1890-13 October 1976

Born: 20 January 1890, Drimoleague, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1907, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained:15 August 1922
Final vows: 02 February 1926
Died: 13 October 1976, St Camillus Hospital, Limerick

Part of the Sacred Heart, The Crescent, Limerick community at the time of death

“Vita Functi” in HIB Catalogue 1978 says RIP date is 15/10, but this is a typo and should be 13/10.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
After some Jesuit studies in Ireland, Thomas Hurley sailed for Australia in 1916 and joined the Xavier College staff, teaching public exam students and taking senior debating. He was rowing master, 1918-20. After final vows in 1927 he spent most of his life teaching in various schools.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 2 1977

Obituary :
Fr Thomas Hurley (1890-1976)
On October 13th 1976, at St. Camillus Hospital, Limerick, died Fr Thomas Hurley, SJ
Born on January 20th 1890 at Drimoleague, Co. Cork, he completed his primary education in the local National School, and then went to Clongowes. From there, on September 7th, 1907 he entered the Noviceship at Tullabeg. On completing his Noviceship, he began his Juniorate Studies in the same place - passing to the other side of the Refectory from that of the novices to take his place among his fellow Juniors. From Tullabeg he went to Milltown Park, from where he went for two years to UCD., studying Science. He was then sent to North Brabant for his Philosophy, (1912-1214), after which he began teaching in Belvedere College, Dublin. From 1915 to 1920 he was teaching in St. Xavier's, Melbourne from which he returned to Milltown Park for Theology, and was ordained on August 15th 1922. After Theology, he went to Ghent, Belgium, for his Tertianship: 1924-1925,
He began to lecture in Philosophy and to teach Mathematics in Mungret College in 1925, from where he went to the Crescent in 1928 to teach Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. His teaching career continued when he went to Clongowes in 1933, and when he returned to the Crescent in 1939. This teaching career came to a halt in 1950 when he began a three year period as “Operarius” in the Crescent Church, Limerick.
Concerning Father Hurley’s teaching life, the following words from the Limerick Papers on the occasion of his death reveal something of his dedication as a teacher:
“Father Hurley was a man of great energy and was totally engaged in a variety of activities during his long life. Apart from his very lengthy and successful career as a teacher and missioner, he took a very keen interest in the Irish Language, and for many years brought groups of boys on Summer Courses to Irish Colleges. He wrote some CTS Pamphlets, and also the life of Father Michael Browne, SJ - a Limerick man. For a number of years he took a very keen and practical interest in the activities of the Irish Red Cross Society. He was always available for occasional sermons and Church supply work at short notice”.
During some of his teaching years in the Crescent, Fr. Hurley had, as his Prefect of Studies, Father Edward Andrews, now in Galway. Fr Andrews says: “He was a very painstaking teacher, and I could always rely on good results from his exam classes ... He joined our Community again when I was Rector. He was then only on Church work, and preached very good sermons. Of course, like all of us, he had his critics."
In 1953 Fr Tom Hurley was appointed to the Jesuit Mission and Retreat Staff in Tullabeg, where he remained until 1962. In that year he returned to pastoral work in the Crescent Church, Limerick, and remained at this work until 1976, although failing health interrupted this work very much during about five years before his death.
One who knew Fr Tom Hurley well as a missioner - Fr Willie Hogan, now in the Crescent - writes:
“Father Hurley came on the Mission Staff in 1953 when in his 64th year. While this was a very late beginning in a missioner's work and hence more onerous than for a younger person, Fr Hurley put his heart and soul into it. While not spectacular he was a solidly good missioner, hard-working and devoted to the Confessional. He got on well with the Parochial Clergy, which is a very important thing in the running of a Parish Mission. He was considerate for those working with him, and was ready to entertain and consider suggestions made for the general good of the mission in hand. I lived with him from 1971 onwards in the Crescent. By that time he had failed greatly and lived very much to himself. If I could do so, it is not the period of his life about which I should care to write much: senility is seldom flattering”.
Father Coyne, although somewhat senior in the Society to Father Tom Hurley, remembers that, at least among his contemporaries he was known as “Timothy Tom” - a name given him in the noviceship “as if in an inspired moment by a second-year novice who died recently in Australia. Fr Coyne says also that Fr. Hurley “showed little inclination for games throughout life; a pointer, perhaps, in this direction was the post he held as a Clongowes student in the boys' reading room, where he functioned as assistant librarian, and spent leisure hours in reading”.
In Obituary Notices critics rarely raise a voice, because, I suppose, of an excessive fidelity to the old rule: “de mortuis nil nisi bonum”. Yet if charitable care is made in making them, criticisms may well reveal nothing more than unfortunate consequences of virtues exercised without stint. It is not, for example, really so terrible a fault if an ever helpful and over-working teacher or Church-man surrenders wearily to a chair on returning to his room rather than to the energetic arranging neatly and in order of textbooks, “home-work”, sermon notes, reference books, letters, etc. God understands us, and will take heed and reward the good work that was done, and pay little attention - we can feel sure - to harmless human failings that were revealed in the doing of it.

Kelly, Dominic, 1873-1952, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1510
  • Person
  • 04 August 1873-07 September 1952

Born: 04 August 1873, County Wexford
Entered: 06 September 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1910
Died: 07 September 1952, Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1909 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Dominic Kelly was educated at Clongowes, 1886-90, and entered the Society at Tullabeg, 6 September 1890. After studying the classics at the National University Dublin, 1892-95,
where he gained an MA, he taught rhetoric and prepared students for the public examinations at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, 1895-99. Then he studied philosophy at Valkenburg, 1899-01, returning to Clongowes to teach Latin, Greek and German, 1901-03. A further few years were spent teaching at the Crescent, Limerick, before theology at Milltown Park, 1904-08. Tertianship was at Tronchiennes 1911.
After a few years teaching Greek and Latin at Clongowes, he was sent to Australia, teaching mathematics and physics at Xavier College, Kew, 1916-18.
He then went to Newman College, 1919-47, tutoring university students in Latin, Greek, French and German. He had a college choir for a few years, and was spiritual father to the
community. He enjoyed his time there, and the students enjoyed his company In his own quiet way, he joined the students in their activities. He attended all the sporting matches on the oval, and was seen on a bicycle watching the boat races. He entered into their poker games by working out the probability of a royal flush to be one in 649,739!
His final years, 1948-52, were spent teaching petrology and modern languages to the scholastics at Canisius College, Pymble. He also taught liturgy and biblical Greek.
Kelly was a very quiet little man, very erudite and modest with a wide variety of interests. He gave a good, but emotional retreat, and translated the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola into Gaelic. He interested himself in astronomy and discovered a new star. As 1. hobby, he studied botany, especially seaweed. He could quote Horace without reference to the books. He was fascinated with cameras and took aerial photographs of Clongowes by means of a camera attached to a box kite. As a young man he played football and cricket and always remained a keen and capable tennis player. All in all, he was an accomplished person who was highly respected as a man who combined great learning with unaffected modesty.

Note from Wilfred Ryan Entry
He, with Jeremiah Murphy and Dominic Kelly, set the tone for Newman College of the future.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 27th Year No 4 1952
Obituary :
Father Dominick Kelly (Australian Province)

Fr. Dom Kelly's death in Australia was announced on September 7th. Born in Waterford on August 4th, 1873, he appeared to have been the last surviving old boy of Tullabeg, where he spent six months before the amalgamation of that College with Clongowes in 1880. He was four years at Clongowes where he had a distinguished Intermediate course. His subjects included ancient classics, modern languages, mathematics, music, physics and drawing, in the latter subject he won medals in the Junior and Senior Grades. He entered the Society on September 6th, 1890 at Tullabeg, where he made his Juniorate studies, after which he remained on to teach the Juniors for some years, preparing at the same time for his own University examinations. He secured a high M.A. degree in classics at the old Royal University. He studied philosophy for three years at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he was classical master at Clongowes. He was ordained priest in 1907 at Milltown Park where he read a distinguished course in Theology. His third year probation he made at Tronchiennes. After this he resumed work in the classroom at Clongowes where he taught Greek, Latin and Irish until his transfer to Australia in 1917. He was master in Xavier College, Kew, until the opening of Newman College, Melbourne in 1919 when he began his long and fruitful association with University students as tutor in Greek, Latin, French and German.
This association was to last till the year 1948. In that year he became professor of patrology and modern languages at our Scholasticate in Pymble, N.S.W.
Fr. Dom was a man of brilliant intellectual parts and a delightful community man. Those of our Province who were privileged to have him as master can attest his talent for imparting knowledge and securing the pupil's delighted interest. No mean musician himself, he was charged, in addition to his other duties, with the office of choir master for nearly all his life. An amateur photographer of skill, he made local history in Clongowes once by securing aerial photos of the Castle and Grounds from a camera with a time-fuse which he floated by means of a kite. Fr. Kelly remained the doyen of the class room till his death at Pymble. In this year's Catalogue of the Australian Province he appears as “Lect. ling. mod. an. 51”, a record rarely, if ever beaten. May he rest in peace.

Kennedy, Richard J, 1906-1986, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/216
  • Person
  • 08 November 1906-22 August 1986

Born: 08 November 1906, Carrickmines, County Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939
Final Vows: 31 May 1947
Died: 22 August 1986, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong - Hong Kongensis Province (HK)

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

Older Brother of Denis (DP) Kennedy - RIP 1988

Early education at Belvedere College SJ and Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1932 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1934 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

Second World War Chaplain

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father R. Kennedy, S.J.

Father Richard Kennedy, S.J., of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, died of cancer in St. Teresa’s Hospital on Friday, 22 August 1986, aged 79.

Father Kennedy was born in Ireland on 8 November 1906. He joined the Jesuit noviciate in 1924 and spent the years 1933-36 in Hong Kong as a scholastic. He returned to Ireland for theology and ordination. World War II delayed his return to Hong Kong, so he took up work as a British Army chaplain in 1941.

Within a few months he was a prisoner of war - in Singapore first, and later in Japan and Manchuria. In later life he spoke little of this period, but that little showed clearly that he retained throughout all difficulties a high spirit, veering at times towards reckless courage.

After the war he went to Canton for language study and pastoral work. After the Communist take-over his high spirit got him into trouble with the authorities. He spent a short-time in prison and was expelled form China. Thus he returned to Hong Kong.

He taught in Wah Yan College, Kowloon, until he reached the official age for retirement. After that he taught in Newman College until the last remnants of his strength had gone. When he could no longer face a classroom he stayed on as spiritual guide to the students.

About two years ago, doctors in Ireland diagnosed cancer and advised him to remain in his native country, but Hong Kong had become his home and he insisted on coming back to do his last work here and to die here.

Archbishop Dominic Tang, S.J., led the concelebrated Mass of the resurrection in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, and officiated at the graveside at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley, on Tuesday, 26 August.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 29 August 1986

◆ 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 Tommy Martin Entry
He first arrived as a Scholastic for regency in Hong Kong in 1933. He was accompanied by Frs Jack O’Meara and Thomas Ryan, and by two other Scholastics, John Foley and Dick Kennedy.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 2 1941

General News :
The Irish Province has to date sent 4 chaplains to England for home or foreign service for the duration of the war. They are Frs. Richard Kennedy, Michael Morrison, Conor Naughton and Cyril Perrott. The first three were doing their 3rd year's probation under Fr. Henry Keane at the Castle, Rathfarnham, while Fr. Perrott was Minister at Mungret College. They left Dublin on the afternoon of 26th May for Belfast en route for London. Fr. Richard Clarke reported a few days later seeing them off safely from Victoria. Both he and Fr. Guilly, Senior Chaplain to British Forces in N. Ireland, had been most helpful and kind in getting them under way.

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

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

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Gardiner Street

Fr. R. Kennedy supplied in the Church for some weeks before leaving for China on October 8th. Fr. Brian Kelly has been at work with us since September. He preached on Mission Sunday.

Irish Province News 61st Year No 4 1986


Fr Richard Kennedy (1906-1924-1986) (Macau-Hong Kong

The 8th November 1906: born in Co Dublin. 1917--21 Belvedere, 1921-24 Clongowes.
1st September 1924: entered SJ. 1924-26 Tullabeg, noviceship. 1926-30 Rathfarnham, juniorate (1926-27 home studies, 1927-30 at UCD: BA in English language and literature). 1930-33 philosophy: 1930-31 at Tullabeg, 1931-33 at Valkenburg, Netherlands.
1933-36 Hong Kong, regency: Regional seminary, studying Chinese and teaching mathematics; Wah Yan, Robinson road, teaching.
1936-40 Milltown Park, theology (31st July 1939: ordained a priest). 1940-41 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1941-47 chaplain to British army and prisoner of war: 1941-42 Singapore, which in Feb. 1942 was captured by the Japanese. Taken as prisoner to Changi, for six months; 1942-44 a mining camp in Taiwan (Formosa); Fukuoka, Japan, for two months; spring to mid-September, 1945, in Manchuria; then released. End of 1945: to Ireland for recuperation. Feb. 1946-Mar, 1947: chaplain to British army of the Rhine; then demobilised. Six months furlough.
1947-48 Wah Yan, Hong Kong, teaching. 1948-53 Canton (under Communist government from 1949), teaching in university/Shing Sam/ Sacred Heart college. 11th August-25th September 1953: imprisoned, then expelled to Hong Kong, where he under went an operation. A year's rest and recuperation in Ireland.
1955-86 Wah Yan, Kowloon: teach ing: 1955-71 in WYKL (1955-64 directing boys' club), 1971-85 in Newman College (1985-86 spiritual counsellor there). 22nd August 1986: died.

Lawler, Brendan, 1909-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/515
  • Person
  • 29 October 1909-16 June 1993

Born: 29 October 1909, Bunclody, County Wexford
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 17 July 1938
Professed: 02 February 1945
Died: 16 June 1993, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

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

Eldest Brother of Donald - RIP 1984 and Ray - RIP 2001

Early education at Clongowes Wood College Sj

by 1933 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1936 at Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria (ASR) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 8th Year No 4 1933

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

Lonergan, Cornelius, 1909-1963, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/743
  • Person
  • 06 December 1909-18 May 1963

Born: 06 December 1909, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 17 July 1938, Innsbruck, Austria
Professed: 02 February 1945
Died: 18 May 1963, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Belvedere College SJ

by 1933 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1936 at Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria (ASR) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 8th Year No 4 1933

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

Irish Province News 38th Year No 3 1963

Obituary :

Fr Cornelius Lonergan SJ

On Saturday, 11th May, Father Con Lonergan was informed that he was incurably ill. He received the sober tidings with a light-heartedness and equanimity which astonished even those who had long known his solid spirituality. A year previously an operation had revealed a fatal cancer, but it had been thought right to withhold this diagnosis from him until his second visit to hospital. He died at St. Vincent's Nursing Home on 18th May. At his Requiem in Gardiner Street, and funeral in Glasnevin, an unusually large concourse of Jesuits from all the houses and colleges paid tribute to one of the Province's best-loved members.
Cornelius Lonergan was born in Dublin in December 1909, and after schooldays in O'Connell's and Belvedere, entered the Novitiate in Tullabeg on 1st September, 1927, In the opinion of his masters in Belvedere he was a boy of character and talent. Every morning he served the Mass of Father Joe McDonnell, the then Editor of The Irish Messenger, and Con's good friend. At the end of his three years in Rathfarnham, he went for philosophy to Valkenburg. There one of his professors was' Fr. Joseph de Vries, whose textbook of Critica Con himself was to expound so ably for many years in the Irish Philosophate of Tullabeg. Somewhat to Con's disappointment, he was given no period of teaching in the colleges, but went immediately to Innsbruck for theology; there he was ordained in 1938. By then Hitler's anschluss had taken place and the political outlook of central Europe was ominous. So Fr. Con and Fr. Brendan Lawler were recalled to Ireland, to finish theology in Milltown Park. One of his Milltown professors later commented on Fr. Lonergan's remarkable clarity of mind. Having successfully surmounted the Ad gradum, he went on to Rathfarnham Castle, where he was a member of the restored Irish Tertianship during its first year, 1939-40.
The Status of 1940 appointed Fr, Lonergan to Tullabeg, his home for the remaining twenty-three years of his life. His career as a professor began by a year lecturing on psychology. There followed two years of private study of psychology, diversified first by a period as Minister, and later by a spell in hospital with tuberculosis. Then two further years teaching psychology; after which he switched to “Critica”, the subject he was destined to teach with distinction until the suspension of the Tullabeg Philosophate in 1962.
Never was there a more conscientious professor than Fr. Con Lonergan, He read copiously and continuously. He was for ever revising and improv ing his course, subjecting his doctrine to relentless scrutiny, modifying it in the light of maturer thought, changing his presentation of it as a result of his teaching experiences. His lectures never became stereotyped. There were always new insights to be communicated, new difficulties to be examined and resolved, new efforts to achieve maximum precision and clarity. His class sometimes found it difficult to grasp the new point of view, and it was always necessary to be on the alert. But when the professor was approached in private for elucidation, he was affable and enlightening. As a examiner he was kindness itself.
On the retirement of Fr. John Casey in 1954, Fr. Lonergan became Spiritual Father of Tullabeg, and held that office until the end. His domestic exhortations were something to look forward to. It cost him more than an ordinary effort to overcome his natural reticence and modest estimate of himself, but the discourses which resulted were truly remarkable for their interest, originality and spiritual wisdom. Nobody had ever the slightest trepidation about approaching him for counsel or consolation, though it was not always easy to obtain access to him. Quite frequently the warning “flag” on his doorknob reminded callers of that indifferent health and weakness of constitution which required a daily period of rest and sometimes laid Con low for days on end. He succumbed easily to colds and flu, and having had one bout of T.B., wisely took pains to avoid a repetition of it.
This lack of robust health did not, however, materially interfere with his work as professor, spiritual Father, and holder of many minor offices as well. Every summer he gave one or two retreats to nuns and went to England for some weeks to enable a parish priest friend to have a holiday. Then he thoroughly enjoyed his own well-earned villa in Galway, where he appeared daily on the golf course, never lightly surrendering a hole to his opponent. The communities to whom he gave retreats were enthusiastic about them; the letter of Mother M. White, printed below, is typical of many testimonies, oral and written, made even during his lifetime. One can guess the qualities that made his retreats so memorable: the kindliness and sincerity of the Director in Confession and consultation, the sound and thoroughly spiritual judgments, the carefully-prepared, inspiring lectures. It is understandable that Fr. Lonergan was repeatedly appointed to give our Novices in Emo their annual short retreat; he was also extra ordinary confessor to the novices.
As a personality, Fr. Con was gentle and kindly almost to a fault, as the saying is. The fault in this case may have been a certain lack of drive and assertiveness which, in a man of his unusual ability, might have achieved quite exceptional results, say in writing, lecturing and research. But who knows? More “dynamism” (to use a word which often made Con smile) might have negatived the great good he undoubtedly achieved by gentler methods. He was a man of wide and truly humane culture interested and well-informed in literature, music, history, films and sport. One rejoiced to be near him at recreation or at dinner on talk-days. His conversation was sometimes fascinating, often witty; for he had a keen perception of the humorous in sayings, situations and characters. And he had a surprising store of excellent stories, though never one with a barb. But these gifts, as a rule, only appeared when he conversed with one or two. In a large group, he was pleasant, an interested listener, but somewhat self-effacing. Though he never obtruded himself, he was liked by all who got to know him. He was sensitive, but far too reasonable to allow his sensitivity to get the better of him. He was not the athletic type, but, as already mentioned, he played a resolute, well-studied game of golf. During the summer before he entered the Noviceship. Con and toured Ireland on a motor-bike. This mode of travel always attracted him; when about 1950 the professorial staff of Tullabeg acquired a rather powerful motor-cycle-and-sidecar, Con was one of the few people who could really master this formidable machine.
Fr. Lonergan's last year of life was not an unhappy one, though he must have suspected for months that the fatal disease was gaining. On his deathbed he expressed deep gratitude for the kindness he had received during that year, especially for the tactful, undemonstrative consideration of the Tullabeg community.
To the Father who anointed him, he smilingly remarked that the “count down” had now commenced. To one of his former colleagues he spoke jokingly about calling on the resources of Theodicy to enable him to face the end. His principal concern seemed to be the distress that his relatives felt about his approaching death. He himself was cheerful and unperturbed. All this was typical of him his wish to avoid anything that savoured of the “phoney” (his own word), but plenty of quiet courage, “joined with a lively faith and hope and love of the eternal blessings”. Whether he consciously adverted to it or not, Fr. Con Lonergan, it would seem, did in fact observe the Rule of the Summary which reads: “As in the whole of life so also and much more in death, let each of the Society make it his effort and care that God, Our Lord, be glorified in him and those around be edified....”

20 Upper Gardiner Street,
Dublin 1.
Letter of Mother M. White, Sacred Heart Convent, Mount Anville, to Fr. Provincial :
Dear Father,
Allow me to offer you the very sincere sympathy of the community on the loss of Fr. Lonergan, R.I.P. - and please count on much earnest prayer from us for the repose of his soul. The news of his death came as a shock to us as we did not know of his illness, and we realise that he must be a great loss to you.
Father gave us an outstanding retreat here in 1958 under very trying conditions (during the re-roofing of the house). Many graces were given to souls through him and since then we always considered him as one of our “special” Jesuit friends.
You have had great losses in the Province this year, but I expect the price must be paid for the wonderful apostolic work being down by the Fathers and Brothers.
With sincere sympathy and begging your blessing,
I am, dear Father, yours respectfully in Christ,
M. White, R.S.C. 22nd May, 1963.

Letter to Fr. Provincial from Fr. Geoffrey Crawfurd, parish priest of Holy Family Church, 226, Trelawney Avenue, Langley, Bucks :

Dear Father O'Connor,
I needn't tell you how shocked and sad we all were here in Langley to hear of poor Fr. Lonergan's death last Saturday. (I saw it in the Irish Press.) As you know he had come here every summer for the past four years and we were all looking forward to welcoming him here again this year. He really endeared himself to my parishioners by his kindness and obvious priestly goodness. Although we only heard the news yesterday evening I have already had a number of requests for Masses for his soul.
We shall all miss Fr. Con more than I can say. May I offer my deep sympathy to you and the Province. Please pray for me.
Yours in caritate J.C.,
Geoffrey Crawfurd

MacMahon, Brian, 1907-1960, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/293
  • Person
  • 24 October 1907-15 August 1960

Born: 24 October 1907, Streatham, London, England
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1943
Died: 15 August 1960, Dublin

Part of St Ignatius community, Lusaka, Zambia at the time of his death.

by 1932 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1934 at Kaulbachstrasse, Munich, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1935 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - third wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
At an early stage in the Society, someone had the courage to tell Brian that he was speaking and acting like a bishop. General agreement consecrated him with the nickname of ‘Bishop MacMahon’, almost immediately reduced to its homely form of ‘The Bish’.

Fr Brian was born in London, England in 1907 and educated at Clongowes Wood College. After vows, he studied for his BSc and then his MSc at University College Dublin also obtaining a traveling scholarship. He went to Valkenburg, Holland, for philosophy. This was followed by a further three years of Biology, one of them at Munich, Germany and the other two at Louvain (changing from German to French!) where he obtained a Doctorate in Science with First Class Honours. He taught for a year at his Alma Mater and then went to Milltown Park for theology and ordination to the priesthood in 1940.

He was minister, Professor of Cosmology and Biology at Tullabeg 1942-1943, minister at Milltown Park 1943-1944, prefect of studies at Clongowes 1944-1947. He became rector at Mungret College, Limerick, in 1947 until 1950 when he departed for Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) with the first batch of Irish Jesuits. For several years he was rector and principal of Canisius Secondary School. In 1959, he moved to Lusaka as Education Secretary of the Bishops' Conference. Serious illness brought him back to Ireland where he died of cancer on 15 August 1960, at 53 years of age and 20 years a priest.

What of the man himself? He was a big man. Fr Dominic Nchete preached at the Mass for Brian at St Ignatius Church, saying, ‘Fr MacMahon was a big man. He had a big body, a big heart, big brains. He thought big, he spoke big, he acted big. Amid his many and varied occupations, he remained calm, kind, charitable, considerate and, above all, extremely patient; he was kind to all whether they were white or black’.

As a school boy, as novice and as a man, he was always ready to put work before play. His normal life was a steady application to duty whether it appealed to his taste or not. He would like to have studied Mathematics and Political Economy (under Fr Tom Finlay S.J.) but obedience took him down a different path of studies.

“He was dominant in height”’ one wrote about him, “but not domineering in manner. He could achieve a certain loftiness of style that well matched his bulk, but his dignity had a fatherly flavour about it; his natural superiority was almost lost in that kindly, friendly, good-humoured way he had”. He loved to keep up with world news and his brother had sent him a subscription to the air edition of the Times which Brian loved to read, sitting in his office. As one scholastic once remarked, ‘The Bish's biography should be entitled “20 years behind the Times'”

Under his direction, Canisius Secondary School was improved and enlarged. He was headmaster (then called principal) from 1951 to 1959. Senior courses leading up to the School Certificate were introduced by him. Among the large number of African schoolboys who passed through his hands, he enjoyed a unanimous reputation for patience and kindness combined with an unwavering sense of justice. To his fellow Jesuits, devotion to his work and to the interests of the school was well known. Government officials whom he dealt with held him in the highest esteem.

He did not easily resign himself to the close of his life. He fought the blood poisoning and cancerous growth to the end. He remained buoyant and optimistic as long as there was any shred of hope of recovery. Eventually, in simple faith and acceptance, he answered the call to eternity.

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
For the next 30 years he served the young Church in Zambia selflessly and with unbounded generosity. In Chikuni he served as a kind of ‘minister of supplies’. Fr MacMahon would lean heavily on him but Sher had his little hideouts which constituted his survival kit!

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960

Obituary :

Fr Brian MacMahon (1907-1960)

Fr. Brian MacMahon died in a Dublin Nursing Home on 14th August, 1960. He was born in London on 24th October, 1907, was educated at Clongowes Wood College and entered the Society at Tullabeg on 1st September, 1925. Having taken his Vows in 1927, he went to Rathfarnham Castle, where he studied for his M.Sc. degree at University College, Dublin. He was sent in 1931 to Valkenburg for Philosophy. He did special studies in Biology, for one year at Munich and two years at Louvain, where in 1936 he obtained his degree of Docteur en Sciences Naturelles at Louvain University. Having returned to Ireland, after one year's teaching at Clongowes, he went to Milltown Park for the study of Theology and was ordained in 1940. He did his Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle. He was Minister, Professor of Cosmology and Biology at Tullabeg 1942-43, Minister of Milltown Park 1943-44, and Prefect of Studies at Clongowes 1944-47. On 25th July, 1947, Fr. MacMahon was appointed Rector of Mungret College, Limerick, an office which he held until 1950, when he was sent among the first missionaries to the new Irish Jesuit Mission in Northern Rhodesia. For several years he was Rector and Prefect of Studies of St. P. Canisius College, Chikuni. In July 1959, he became Catholic Education Secretary for the Southern Province of Northern Rhodesia and also Superior of St. Ignatius Church, Lusaka.
On 14th April, owing to serious illness, he returned to Ireland and after four months of suffering he went to his eternal reward.
Fr. MacMahon's death was not sudden, for he had been in hospitals in Rhodesia and in Ireland for several months. Yet it was surprising that it came so soon; it seemed to cut him off while he was still in full vigour and on active service. “A short life in the saddle, Lord, and not a long life by the fireside” is a prayer that might come to mind when meditating on the possibility of an inordinate affection for length of days. Fr, MacMahon's twenty years from the time of his ordination was a short life of priestly activity. He did not easily resign himself to its close. His habit of hard work and constant devotion to duty made him eager to recover from the blood-poisoning and cancerous growth which proved fatal in the end. Those who visited him in hospital did not have to cheer him up; he remained buoyant and optimistic as long as there was any shred of hope of recovery. And then in simple faith and acceptance he answered the call to eternity.
Many will remember Br. MacMahon as a novice, who was primus inter pares, in stature head and shoulders above the rest of us, an out standing Br. Porter, the very symbol of stability and regularity. He enjoyed looking up old Porters' Journals in order to find precedents for “Coffees” - indeed he claimed a record in this respect for his term of office. He enjoyed recreation and he liked to see others enjoy it. But, as schoolboy, as novice and as man, he was always ready to put work before play. His normal life was of steady application to duty, whether it appealed to his taste or not. He was an excellent example both as novice and schol astic, who was not exaggerated in any way, neither excessively recollected nor excessively austere, always a man of duty of the “no nonsense” variety. He was kind and helpful to the weak; he helped them to help themselves. He was both good humoured and strict in a remarkably well blended way.
Brian MacMahon had been a talented student in Clongowes, his strongest subject being mathematics. But his course of studies in the Society was not in accordance with his tastes, though well within his ability. He would have liked to include Political Economy - then taught by Fr. Tom Finlay, S.J.- among the subjects for his Arts degree; if that were not allowed, then mathematics would have been the obvious choice. But he was transferred to the Science faculty and the B.Sc. course in Biology. Holy obedience, sheer plod, mental acumen and a good memory brought him through triumphantly to the B.Sc., the M.Sc. and a Travelling Studentship. Two years of relentless application to Philosophy followed at Valkenburg, Holland, the North German Province's Collegium Maximum. Then three further years of Biology, one at Munich, till Professor Wettstein died, and two at Louvain under the direction of Professor Gregoire. This enforced move from one University to another meant for Brian a new start. He had to commence a line of research approved by his new Professor-an investigation into the chromosomal peculiarities found at meiosis of the pollen mother-cells of Listera ovata. It meant also a change of vernacular from German to French-no small cross for one who had very little gift for acquiring languages. Yet there may have been compensations; he may have found the circumstances and companionship at Louvain more congenial. He obtained the Doctorate in Science in the form of “Aggregé”, which is equivalent to First Class Honours or summa cum laude. He had done what he was told to do, had done it with éclat.
People looked up to him, and he spoke down to them. Everyone accepted the fact that it simply had to be so. Dominant in height, but not domineering in manner, he could achieve a certain loftiness of style that well matched his bulk; but his dignity had a fatherly flavour about it; his natural superiority was almost lost in that kindly, friendly, good humoured way he had. In the College of Science Mr. MacMahon was long remembered with respect and affection. He had been a very popular Auditor of the Natural History Club. He would have been welcomed as a Lecturer in the Botany Department. Officials and former fellow students took a friendly interest in his later career,
Among his contemporaries in the Society, Brian also won a considerable degree of respect and affection. He was respected as a model religious, conscientious, exact, living up to the greater and lesser obligations of his vocation. He was an example: what standards he maintained one felt one ought to aim at; what little liberties he allowed himself, one knew one could take with impunity. As regards affection, one might search for another way of expressing it: he was well liked, he was popular, for all his dignity he was a thoroughly decent fellow. He was a good community man; he fitted easily into any community and became one of its better ingredients. At an early stage in the Society someone had the courage to tell him that he was speaking and acting like a bishop. General agreement consecrated him with the nickname of “Bishop MacMahon”. But lest perhaps this might seem to declare him more pontifical than he really was, it was almost immediately reduced to its homely form “The Bish”. Those who knew him well will find far more meaning and pleasant memories in the mention of his nickname than in the bald statement that he was popular.
During the 1940's Fr. MacMahon experienced several changes of status: the fourth year at Milltown, Tertianship at Rathfarnham, Minister and Professor of Biology in Tullabeg, Minister in Milltown, Prefect of Studies in Clongowes, Rector of Mungret. His general capability made him an obvious choice for so many various appointments. As soon as he could be spared in one place he was sent to fill a need in another, especially a need for organisation and administration. He was eminently reliable; he could grasp and control a new situation at short notice. No doubt there are records of his successes at Clongowes and Mungret, for he was chosen to guide the educational policy of our Mission in Northern Rhodesia, a very important task to which as a matter of fact he devoted the remaining decade of his life. Round about 1930 he would have been glad to be chosen for the Hong Kong Mission, but his Travelling Studentship intervened; twenty years later he was suddenly asked to go to Rhodesia. As always he responded immediately to the wishes of superiors, to the will of God: “Here I am, Lord, send me”.
As Rector of the community at Chikuni, Fr. MacMahon was head master and Prefect of Studies of St. Canisius College, the secondary school for boys.
On completing his term as Rector he remained on as Principal. It was in this capacity that he is best remembered by students and staff. Under his direction the school was improved and enlarged and Senior Secondary Courses introduced. Among the large number of African schoolboys who passed through his hands he enjoyed a unanimous reputation for patience and kindness combined with an unwavering sense of justice. To his fellow-missionaries devotion to his work and to the interests of the school was well known. And the government officials with whom he collaborated held him in the highest regard.
In 1959 Fr. MacMahon was appointed Education Secretary-General to the Catholic Schools of Northern Rhodesia and Superior of St. Ignatius Residence, Lusaka, where he lived for six months before illness forced him to return to Ireland, The last months he spent in hospital, suffering a good deal, until death, for which he was well prepared, came to release him. His loss is very deeply regretted by his colleagues on the mission and by all those who benefited by contact with him" (Extract from Your St. Ignatius Newsletter, Lusaka, 21st August, 1960).
Under News from the Missions, Northern Rhodesia, in this issue will be found the panegyric preached by Fr. Dominic at the outdoor Requiem Mass at Chikuni on 19th August.

Mahony, Jerome, 1889-1956, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/239
  • Person
  • 30 September 1889-05 March 1956

Born: 30 September 1889, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1907, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922
Professed: 02 February 1926
Died: 05 March 1956, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1914 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1915 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Clongowes student then a year in France before entry. He was studying French in Lille for a year to prepre for his father’s business, then he entered.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 31st Year No 2 1956

Obituary :

Fr Jerome Mahony 1890-1956

Fr. Jerome Mahony, S.J., died almost suddenly, after an attack of cerebral haemorrhage, in St. Mary's, Emo, on March 5th. He was born in Dublin 66 years ago and educated at the Marist College, Leeson Street, and at Clongowes Wood. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1907 at St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, and later studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, and at Stony hurst College, Lancashire.
On his return to Ireland, Fr. Mahony taught in Clongowes Wood and Mungret College, Limerick, for six years preceding his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1922. He joined the teaching staff of the College of the Sacred Heart, Limerick, before beginning his long association with Mungret College in 1928.
Fr. Mahony was appointed Rector of the Jesuit Novitiate, Emo, in 1945. On relinquishing this post, he remained at St. Mary's as Latin professor to the novices and spiritual director of the community.
Fr. Mahony served the Society loyally and well in his many years of teaching, both in the colleges and the novitiate; and his four volumes of A History of the Catholic Church for Schools are a well-thumbed testimony to his thoroughness and zeal. His will be a household name in the school-world for years to come. (One of his own favourite stories was that of hearing one small boy in Clongowes say to another as he passed : “There's Hart."). In more ambitious vein is his unpublished study of some points in St. John's Gospel; and he also wrote a number of scriptural and liturgical pamphlets for the Messenger Office.
But his most useful service to the Society of Jesus was that which he constantly and edifyingly gave within our own communities. Without parade or pretension he was an excellent religious. His charity and kindliness was never-failing. He was at the disposal, not merely of his superiors, but of everyone. A dull supply, a manuscript to be typed, a boring visitor to be shown round, an untimely confession to be heard - these and a hundred such jobs seemed to fall as by right to the lot of Fr. Jerome. He was indeed, ad omnia. And then he turned up at recreation hour to liven his brethren with quip and comment and an amazingly varied repertoire of stories. In this alone he is a sore loss to the little community where the last happy decade of his life was spent.
For those who knew Jerome Mahony at all intimately his unaffected humility impressed even more than his charity. And that says much. The third degree of humility was no mere theory for him, a thing that he had marked read on some far-away October day of the Long Retreat. It seemed to be something. always unobtrusively - almost humorously - present. On occasions where a lesser man of greater natural talents might have sulked and, so doing, ruined himself and them, Fr. Jerome, accepting that he should be esteemed and accounted as one less wise, grew in the disconcerting wisdom of the saints.
Up to the day of his death he was at work on a new Menology for the Irish province. Whoever finishes this task might well find a place for him as an example of the man, so valuable in any group, who shirking no task however unpleasant or obscure, desires only to be of help.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Jerome Mahony SJ 1890-1956
“Up to the day of his death, Fr Jerome Mahony was working on a new Menology for the Irish Province. Whoever finished this task might well find a place for him as an example of a man, so valuable in any group, who, shirking no task, however unpleasant, desired only to be of help”. So wrote the obituarist of Fr Mahony. The prompting was unnecessary. Fr Jerome, by his cheerful, edifying and saintly life, easily merits a high place in these records.

He was born in Dublin in 1890, educated at Clongowes, entering the Society in1907.

He was a thorough Jesuit, giving of his best in the classroom for years on end, ever ready to shoulder unpleasant tasks that others might excuse themselves from, and yet not making himself out as a martyr for the community. In fact he was an ideal community man, every ready with a humorous story and witty retort, with a wit that had to barb to it.

He was an author of the History of the Catholic Church for use in schools, and left behind an unpublished study of St John’s Gospel together with numerous pamphlets of the “Messenger Office”.

In 1945 he was appointed Rector of Emo Park, where he died quite suddenly on March 5th 1956.

McCarthy, Patrick, 1875-1946, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1691
  • Person
  • 28 May 1875-25 April 1946

Born: 28 May 1875, Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia
Entered: 16 February 1894, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 26 July 1910
Final vows: 02 February 1912
Died: 25 April 1946, Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1905 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1911 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick McCarthy was born in Collingwood and educated at St Ignatius', Richmond, and later at St Patrick's College, 1890-93, where he had been a member of the Sodality of Our Lady and an altar server. He was always regarded as a person of high principle, and was a good influence among his contemporaries.
He entered the Society at Loyola College, Greenwich, 16 February 1894. After his juniorate there, he taught at Riverview and St Aloysius' College, 1898-04. Philosophy studies followed at Valkenburg, 1904-07, and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin, 1907-10. He made tertianship at Linz, Austria, the following year, and then returned to Australia.
He taught at St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point, 1911-15, and was then appointed socius to the master of novices at Loyola College, Greenwich, 1915-18, and again, 1928-31. During
the war he became chaplain to the German internees at Holdsworthy camp. He returned to St Aloysius' College in 1919, and was prefect of studies for a year before his posting to Sevenhill as superior and parish priest.
Here he did his best work, and was highly regarded as an outstanding preacher in the archdiocese. However, he was thrown from a motorcycle in January 1927, was unconscious for
almost a fortnight, and on sick leave for some months. It was believed this affected his health and temper . His whole character and disposition changed entirely. Formerly the mildest and most imperturbable of men, he became at times irritable and impatient, and made himself clear in no uncertain manner when things were not done as he thought they should be. Most people knew that the real man was kind and gentle. He helped so many people during his pastoral ministry.
After a short stay at Richmond and Greenwich, McCarthy returned to Sevenhill as superior, 1931-33, and then taught at St Patrick's College and Xavier College until 1938 when he went to the parish of Hawthorn until his death. This occurred suddenly when he was visiting a home to distribute Communion to the sick. He had had heart disease for some years, but this had not interfered with his pastoral work or the regularity of his life.
He was a tiny little man, full of vigor and fire. With the novices he was quick and nervous in manner, but also lively and humorous, brightening up the noviciate perceptibly. Children in schools catechised by the novices greatly enjoyed his occasional visits. He was a practical man full of common sense and a very sound, though not spectacular, preacher and retreat-giver. He managed his rather peculiar community at Sevenhill very well before his accident.

McGlade, Patrick, 1891-1966, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/287
  • Person
  • 03 April 1891-13 August 1966

Born: 03 April 1891, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 07 September 1909, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1931
Died: 13 August 1966, Warrenpoint, County Down

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Had studied for a BA in Arts at UCD before entry.

by 1914 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1915 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
1925-1926 Tertianshiup at Exaeten

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Loose leaf note in CatChrn : Entitled “Left Stonyhurst for Castle Brown”
23 Oct 1815

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 42nd Year No 1 1967

Obituary :

Fr Patrick McGlade SJ (1891-1965)

Father Patrick McGlade was born in Belfast on April 3rd, 1891. He spent some years at St. Malachy's College, Belfast, before going to Clongowes where he spent five years as a boy. He entered the Society on September 7th, 1909. He studied as a Junior in Milltown Park. His philosophy was divided between Valkenburg (1913-14) and Stoneyhurst (1914-16). He returned to Clongowes for his regency from 1916-1921-filling the posts of Gallery Prefect and Lower Line Prefect the latter from 1917-21. He then went to Milltown Park for his theology and was ordained on July 31st, 1923. Tertianship was in Holland. The remainder of his life is divided as follows :
Clongowes : Prefect of Studies 1926-27, Prefect of Lower Line 1927-31. Crescent : Teaching 1931-33. Emo Park : Retreat Stafi. 1933-34. Clongowes : Teaching 1934-62.

I am glad to pay tribute to Father McGlade as a Line Prefect. As a young priest he was an extremely effective Lower Line Prefect in Clongowes, able to maintain the confident control which they need and like over boys of fifteen or sixteen, This was done without excessive severity, because his aim was not to produce a cowed, regimented, submissiveness, which might have made life easy for him. Discipline was never an end in itself he had some thing to give. Notably he engendered enthusiasm for photography, good literature and music. Silence in the library was insisted upon because he rightly judged that many boys relished that quiet refuge from the harassments of mob life. He took pains to develop taste in music, not merely to pander to immature standards; his dramatic scratching of the key across a low-grade gramophone record left an indelible impression on my mind as well as on the particular song. At this period he taught English - as he did for many years afterwards and managed to convey to a rather restless group some appreciation of the beauty, and power, of words. His own sermons and “declamations” were delivered in an immensely impressive, softly booming tone, and with an exquisite choice of words. They were invariably enjoyed.
What about games? He created, or directed, keenness for high standards in rugby, cricket, tennis, hurling and hockey, etc.; this without ever, to my knowledge, kicking a ball or handling a racket or bat. One felt, in spite of this, that he was thoroughly, un questionably competent. His performance as a rugby referee was accurate and stylish. But he commanded from an eminence; no one expected him to come down into the melee, indeed they would have been embarrassed if he had; he was riot to be jostled, Here again one learnt by experience that games vigorously and skilfully played were the most enjoyable.
There was a certain fascination about him, partly because at times he seemed aloof and formidable, indeed occasionally unpredictable. He was colourful, with a touch of the unorthodox about him; something of a character. I think he commanded almost universal respect. This he may not have realised, for he had a nick-name which he abhorred; it clearly embarrassed and irritated him; in fact it had no hostile or contemptuous under currents at all; it sprang simply from his very dark and determined jowl. For a while he was more commonly known only as “Paul” ; this is fixed in my mind by the memory of the death of the crease horse, “Paulina”, who was named after him, and collapsed so dramatically from excitement on the day that Col. Russell landed his plane on the cricket crease, about 1929.
But of course what gave him his exceptional influence was his ability to feel, and show, genuine personal interest in the boys and their groups. He had on those occasions a quizzical and humorous approach, which, coming from such a majestic figure, gave him the advantage of tactical surprise. But he never presumed or demanded intimacy or confidences, nor did he ever betray them. I am inclined to think, now, that he never knew how much people liked him. He was probably far more diffident about his personal relations than any boy ever suspected. He was an artist working in a rather difficult temperamental and emotional medium, always a hair's breadth away from disaster. He lived interiorly under strain; externally he presented an impregnable front. One sensed that he really delighted to see someone developing their own personality; he did not want to impose uniformity, nor did he want to know what everyone was doing all the time, above all he did not presume to think that if you were not enjoying yourself in the way he had organised for you, you could not be enjoying yourself at all; he did not intrude. He welcomed the signs of coming maturity, neither resenting the departure of childish charm nor expecting adult solemnity. God be thanked for his vital influence.

McGrath, Fergal P, 1895-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/453
  • Person
  • 18 November 1895-02 January 1988

Born: 18 November 1895, Dublin
Entered: 06 October St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1927
Professed: 02 February 1931
Died: 02 January 1988, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Studied for a BA in French and German as a Junior

by 1918 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1929 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) making Tertianship
by 1945 at Campion Hall, Oxford (ANG) studying
by 1949 Fordham, NY USA (NEB) making Tertianship

Irish Province News 1st Year No 1 1925
We may mention here a school story recently published – “The Last Lap.” Its author is Mr. Fergal McGrath, SJ. The book, which was mostly written while the author was a scholastic in Clongowes, has had an enthusiastic reception. The Reviewer in the " Ecclesiastical Review " writes of it : “It is a splendid boys' story. Probably neither Fr. Finn, or Fr. Spalding nor Fr. Boylan has told any better”.

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926
Mr Fergal McGrath's “Last Lap” has been translated into Spanish. Much difficulty was experienced in finding Spanish equivalent for such phrases as : “getting his eye in”, “the calculating pig”, etc,

Irish Province News 10th Year No 2 1935
Works by Father Fergal McGrath SJ :

  1. “The Last Lap” - Pub. Benziger Bros., N. York and the Talbot
  2. “L'Ultima Tappa” - Italian translation of the above by Father Celestine Testore, S.]., , pub. Marietta, Rome, 1929
  3. “Adventure Island” - Pub. Benziger Bros., N. York and the Talbot Press, Dublin, 1952. School edition pub by Talbot Press, 1954, sanctioned by Board of Education for Higher Standards of Primary Schools.
  4. “Un Drama en Irelande” - French translation of above by M du Bourg. Pub. Editions du Closer, Tours, 1934
  5. “Christ in the World of To-day” - Pub. Gill & Son, 1933 (Lenten Lectures on the Sacred Heart)
  6. “Mother Catherine McAuley” - (Biographical sketch contributed to The Irish Way) Pub. Sheed & Ward, 1932
  7. “The Beefy Saint” - Pub. Irish Catholic Truth Society (a story for boys)
  8. “Canon Hannigan’s Martyrdom: - Pub. Irish Messenger Series, (A story of Irish clerical life)
  9. “The Catholic Church in Sweden” - (Edited) English C.T.S
  10. “Stories of the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart” - (In collaboration) Irish Messenger Series, “Tenement Angel”.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948
Fr. Fergal McGrath sailed from Cobh on 24th September for New York ; he will be lecturing in Fordham University in the coming year.

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 2 1988


Fr Fergal McGrath (1895-1913-1988)

Born in Dublin [on 18th November 1895) and educated in Clongowes (1908 12], Fergal McGrath was so dedicated to the Society, which he joined in 1913 on 6th October, after taking First Arts in UCD), that it is impossible to imagine him in any other way of life. He was very proud of his family, particularly of the involvement of his father, Sir Joseph McGrath, in the development of Irish university education, and as he became in his turn the patriarch, his love for the younger generations was evident in the quiet, almost shy, allusions which he made to his nephews and nieces.
Having taken a BA at University College, Dublin [1917], and studied philosophy in both Stonyhurst (1917-'8] and Milltown Park (1920-'2], he taught in Belvedere (1918-'20] and Clongowes [1922-24] before beginning theology at Milltown in 1924. [He was ordained a priest on 31st July 1927.] Fr Fergal's tertianship was made at 's Heerenberg in the Netherlands, which was then a house of the Lower German Jesuit province. He found that tertianship dragged a bit towards the end and he was happy to return to Ireland and to Rathfarnham as Minister of Juniors in 1929. Fr Fergal became Rector of Clongowes in 1933, at a very important phase in the growth of the school, and remained in office until 1941, when he went to Gardiner street as Superior. Four years of study in Oxford, where he took a D. Phil., Occupied his years until 1948 and he spent a further year studying education at Fordham university in New York, Returning to Ireland, Fr Fergal was made Rector of St Ignatius, Galway, where he remained until 1953. Leaving the West, he moved to Leeson street as a writer and spiritual father, until he began his last superiorship as Rector of Rathfarnham in 1961. From 1967 to 1972, he lived at Loyola House. Leeson street was his final Jesuit home. Fr Fergal was Province Archivist from 1975 until 1986, but remained Custodian of the strongroom, dealing with researchers and with many written queries until he went to hospital early in December 1987. He died on 2nd January 1988.
Fergal McGrath was a writer, a Jesuit superior, a good friend to many people all over Ireland, with a vast correspondence and with an interest in everything. He could write scholarly books, short stories, novels of school life and many pamphlets and newspaper articles. He wrote with the same care and precision which he brought to everything he did.
There was no haste, but much prudence. He once said, rather unnecessarily, to somebody who knew him very well '”s you know, I'm a cautious man'” He gave himself heart and soul to any task assigned to him.
Blessed with a very strong constitution and with what seemed to be an inherent ability to avoid stress, Fr Fergal was remarkable in his adherence to a personal daily routine. He had great respect for his fellow Jesuits and found it hard to say anything even remotely harsh about anybody. Most of his experiences as a superior seemed to have been happy, but he never discussed any of the difficulties which must have cropped up in those years, such as the hardships incur red while building at Clongowes and the unease at being a superior in formation during what are known as the 'turbulent' 1960s. In a life which lasted for 92 years, there were obviously disappointments and 'might-have-beens', but Fr Fergal never referred to them. He was quite free from resentment and never wasted time by cultivating hurts. He recognised that the past had not been perfect and, with complete trust in the Lord, got on with the task in hand. This attitude made him a surprisingly free person, because first impressions could be of a man bound by many self-imposed rules.
It was this inner freedom, combined with his respect for others, which drew so many people to him. The person to whom he probably felt closest all his life was a man who died almost fifty-five years before he himself did - Fr John Sullivan. A biography was one sign of his devotion to Fr John's cause; another was his slide-show, of which there were both long and short versions. I remember a conversation in which he made an unconscious slip by referring to “St John Sullivan” and went on talking, unaware of how much he had revealed in that brief anticipation of the Church's judgement. He also did tremendous work for the Cause of Mother Mary Aikenhead.
Despite the long and very slow decline in his energies, Fr Fergal's last years in Leeson street were undoubtedly some of his happiest. As his long daily walk along the Stillorgan road was gradually reduced to a stroll in the back garden, as he became more and more grateful for the lift in the house, he gave the impression of great happiness, because he felt himself among a group of brothers in the Lord, who both cared for him and esteemed him. He lived to become the longest-serving member of the Province.
There were many changes in the Society which Fr Fergal accepted, but which he hardly understood and of which he did not fully approve, but here, once again, his obedience and his deep sense of commitment as a religious took him across hurdles at which he might have fallen. Fr Fergal was intelligent and was a liberal in the Edwardian sense of the word. Patience was one of his strongest suits and stood him in good stead on many an occasion when he might have been driven wild with exasperation, as when unpunctual scholars kept him waiting for hours after they were due to examine documents in the archives.
His radio was a prized and well-used object. Even at 92, Fr Fergal found that a session with his clarinet was a good way to relax and he never felt called to make major adjustments for the television era. His devotions took up an increasingly large part of his day and it was obvious that he was very close to the Lord. In somebody so accomplished, so well known that he received an honorary doctorate from UCD as recently as 1982, there was a profound vein of humility, as I discovered one morning when he amazed me by asking for my advice about some point in the Divine Office.
We worked together in the archives for several years. Having known many of the men whose papers are preserved in the Leeson Street strong-room, he was an invaluable source of advice. No question from me was made to seem silly, no letter from any enquirer was too demanding to merit his full attention.
I treasure casual remarks Fr Fergal made, such as “I don't remember Fr X, but I do recall the old men talking about him” or his stories about mishaps during a juniorate villa at Monkstown, Co Dublin, during the first world war. He spoke little about his own accomplishments, such as his classical learning and his good command of Irish, but he did pass on jocular pieces of advice, such as a piece of consolation he had been given in 1933, when somebody told him that “being a rector isn't too bad - there are even whole days when you'll forget that you're a rector at all”.
A quick glance around his room told the story of Fr Fergal's life better than any biography. His chimneypiece was lined with photographs of his family, of fellow Jesuits and of the present Pope. There was one small bookshelf and, piled beside it, boxes of papers relating to Fr John Sullivan. His wardrobe contained a few, well-worn clothes and his Jesuit gown hung on the back of his door. The attention of any visitor would be drawn to the most prominent object in the room: a desk, laden with letters from all over Ireland and abroad, with books which he was reading as possible material for the refectory and with a Latin Office-book placed close to his armchair.
Fr Fergal's last illness was mercifully brief. His sense of humour showed itself to the end, as he responded to a plea not to die in 1987 and thereby destroy the Province's death-free record for that year. When I last saw him, the day before his death, he was sleeping peace fully, his face serene. A well-lived life was drawing to its earthly close. It was a life in which many people were blessed with his friendship and I am very grateful for having been one of them.
Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ

Fr Fergal McGrath: Incomplete bibliography of his works
“Adventure Island “(Dublin and New York, 1932). “Tenement Angel and Other Stories “(Dublin, 1934). “The Last Lap “(Dublin, 1925; Italian translation “L'ultima Tappa”, Turin "and Rome, 1929; French translation “Au Dernier Tour”, Paris, (no date).
“The Consecration of Learning”: lectures on Newman's Idea of a university (Dublin and New York, 1962). “Education in Ancient and Mediaeval Ireland” (Dublin, 1979). “Newman's University: Idea and Reality” (Dublin, 1951). “The university question” in “A History of Irish Catholicism”, vol. V, pp. 84-142 (Dublin, 1971).
Christian doctrine: Christ in the world of today (Dublin, 1933). Life in Christ (Dublin, 1957).
Biography: Father John Sullivan, S.J. (Dublin, 1941).
Biographical articles:
“Catherine McAuley” in “The Irish Way”, edited by F.J. Sheed, pp. 244-'62 (London, 1932). “The conversion” in “A Tribute to Newman”, edited by Michael Tierney, pp. 57 83 (Dublin, 1945). “The Background to Newman's Idea of a University” in “The Month”, July-August 1945, vol. 181, no. 946, pp. 247-'58.
“Father John Sullivan SJ” (Dublin, 1942). “Newman in Dublin” (Dublin, 1969). “Youth Guidance” (Dublin, 1944). “James A Cullen SJ : A modern Apostle of the Sacred Heart” (Dublin, 1980).

Mulcahy, Charles, 1874-1954, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/258
  • Person
  • 31 August 1874-12 May 1954

Born: 31 August 1874, Ardfinnan, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 01 August 1909, Milltown Park
Professed: 02 February 1912
Died: 12 May 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1896 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1898 at Enghien, Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1911 at St Mary’s College, Kent, England (FRA) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 29th Year No 3 1954

Obituary :

Father Charles Mulcahy

By the death of Father Mulcahy, the Province has lost an excellent Retreat-giver, a much sought guide for young men and one of the best language teachers known to our Colleges.
Born in 1874 at Ardfinnan, Co. Tipperary, he received his early education at Rockwell College, where he fortunately found a master suitable to his bent for modern Languages, including Irish, a subject hardly known to the schools in those days. In 1890 he went to Clongowes. There he was a diligent and successful student. A contemporary describes his first impression as “of an elegent young man, strolling round the cycle-track with Mr. Wrafter and a couple of Higher liners”. A small detail, but not without its significance. Apart from tennis, he had no sportive interests.
He entered the noviceship in 1893, encouraged in his Jesuit vocation by a friend of his family, Father Healy, C.S.Sp., a former Head of Blackrock College. We may, perhaps, say that he was fortunate to have finished his noviceship at a time when the pedagogical outlook did not force every Junior into a University procrustean couch, for he was immediately sent to Philosophy; two years at Valkenburg and one year at Enghien, where the foreign diet gives a flavour to speech, not to be found at home. He returned for the long period of scholastic service common in those days; seven or eight years of unbroken teaching work. All past pupils pay tribute to the excellence of his teaching, and his power to create interest in literature.
After four years at Milltown, and Tertianship at Cantebury under Father de Maumigny, whose spirituality influenced him profoundly, he returned to Milltown, for a brief year as Sub-minister, and Master of Juniors. He taught at the Cescent, 1913 and 1914 when he was appointed Minister and Socius to the Master of Novices and Master of Novices 1918-1919 at Tullabeg. During this period he developed his great talent as choir master. Though not a singer himself, he was a good pianist, and more than one Province choir owed its efficiency to him.
In 1919 he went to Clongowes as Rector and Consultor of the Province. St. Paul is very emphatic on the diversity of gifts. Government, as both profane and religious history shows, is among the rarer talents. It does not appear to have been his particular gift. After three years he was back at the teaching work, first at Mungret, where he was in charge of the Studies, then at Clongowes, part of the time as Spiritual Father. Finally in 1940 he settled down in Milltown, at the work which gave the fullest scope to his talents : Retreat work and spiritual direction of an increasing number of men, who got to know his worth in the Retreats, and would constantly return to consult him.
A prominent Government official pays this tribute to him : “I remember well his first appearance in the chapel at Milltown Park and every time I saw him for a matter of 10 years emphasised the impression that he was essentially a man of God, a man who appeared to walk perpetually in the presence of God. He succeeded in communicating that to his hearers. He was for me the embodiment of Ignatian spirituality. There could be no doubt whatever that he had lived a long life endeavouring to carry out the precepts of the Society as perfectly as possible for him. He carried on, until his health broke down, a personal apostolate with scores of men, particularly I think young men, whom he met for the most part in connection with retreats at Milltown Park. He had a charming sense of humour which kept breaking through the seriousness of his character”.
Similar testimony comes from Mount Anville, for whose Community he worked for many years. They say that he gave the exercises a way that could be understood by the children. And the kindness and sympathy shown them enabled them to open their problems to him readily.
It has been said with truth that the measure of a man's achievement and greatness in any walk of life is the devotion and application to duty which it involves : judged by that criterion Father Mulcahy has left an example which all can envy but few emulate. “I have”, says one in a position to judge, “known him over many years and have treated with him in many different capacities : I have never yet known him to deviate by a hair's breadth from the path of duty or allow the claims of any personal interest to obtrude on those of his office. If indeed there is one of whom it can be said that he gave himself to his work without stint, that man was Father Mulcahy”.
From the noviceship days, he was a keen reader of ascetical books. He could tell one, straight off, the best books in French, German, Italian, English on any point in the spiritual life. Though highly appreciative of general literature, the book shelf in his room became, as the years went on, more and more narrowed down to spiritual books, showing that St. Paul's invitation was a living one for him : “I will shew unto you yet a more excellent way”. And the more excellent way was the “conversation in Heaven”, whose gates advancing years reminded him were ready to open wide : “they that instruct many to justice shall shine as stars for all eternity”. Father Mulcahy had certainly done that for many years of self-sacrificing patience.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Charles Mulcahy 1874-1954
Fr Charles Mulcahy was born in Ardfinnan in 1874, and received his early education at Rockwell College and Clongowes.

Entering the Society in 1893, he did his studies abroad at Valkenburg and Enghien. His formation completed, he was appointed Socius to the novices in 1914, and in 1918 was made Master of Novices. The following year he went to Clongowes as Rector. Administration, however, does not seem to have been his strong point, so after three years of office he returned to the classroom, in Mungret and Clongowes.

He was a first class teacher of languages and music. From his noviceship days he was a keen reader of ascetical books, and could recommend straight off the best books in French, German, Italian or English on any point in the spiritual life.

In 1940 he retured to Milltown Park, where he gave himself to retreat work and spiritual direction, his real métier. His excellence in this line is eloquently attested by the constant stream of people of all classes who consulted him in the parlour. He had a special gift for directing young men. “They that instruct many unto justice, shal shine as stars for all eternity”. Fr Mulcahy had certainly done that right up to his death on May 12th 1954.

Nerney, John, 1879-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1821
  • Person
  • 8 March 1879-27 August 1962

Born: 8 March 1879, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1901, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1914
Final vows: 02 February 1917
Died: 27 August 1962, Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Older Brother of Denis - RIP 1958

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1905 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
John Nerney entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 September 1901, and after his juniorate there, studied philosophy at Valkenburg, 1904-07. He taught at the Crescent, Limerick, 1907-09, and at Clongowes, 1909-11, before studying theology at Milltown Park, 1911-15. Tertianship followed at Tullabeg, 1915-16. He taught at Mungret for a few years before going to Australia in 1919.
He taught for a few years at Xavier College, before going to St Patrick's College, 1921-23, where he was editor of the Messenger and Madonna. He did parish work at Norwood, 1923-33, and went back to St Patrick's College, 1934-38, continuing his work with the Messenger, and doing spiritual work with the students. At the same time he directed sodalities, including the very popular men's Sodality in Melbourne. Later, he was stationed at Richmond, doing similar work, and at Loyola College, Watsonia, 1940-43 and 1946-59. He also gave retreats at this time. His last years were at the parish of Hawthorn.
For most of his life in the Society Nerney suffered from a form of anaemia which made work difficult, but he contrived to get through a great deal of work all the same, and lived to a good age. His chief interest was in spreading devotion to Our Lady, and one of his chief instruments in doing so was the professional men's Sodality which was centred on St Patrick's College. Nerney directed this Sodality for 25 years as a benevolent despot. He had a great capacity for making friends. He took a great interest in people and their problems. Those who lived with him saw another side of him, a man with very definite views. He had a keen mind and could discuss theological questions in a subtle way.
He was also a regular visitor to the prisons, visiting 'Old Boys', as he used to say He was spiritual father at Loyola College, Watsonia, for many years, and his domestic exhortations were awaited with some expectation. They were learned, well prepared, devotional, and yet idiosyncratic. Scholastics were able to mimic his style, much to the mirth of their colleagues. Novices were regularly so amused that they had to be removed from the chapel! He rarely attended meals in the early days, preferring to eat alone at second table. He always had a simple, special diet. He was also a collector of sheets! When he left his room for any reason, the minister was able to collect many sheets that had been stored. Yet, for all that, he was much loved and respected in the community.
At Hawthorn he took an interest in the midday Mass, regarding it as his own, and keen to build up numbers. He died unexpectedly of a coronary occlusion.

Nolan, Patrick, 1874-1948, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/305
  • Person
  • 25 March 1874-08 March 1948

Born: 25 March 1874, Dublin
Entered: 23 September 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1909
Died: 08 March 1948, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

by 1895 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1903 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1908 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948


Fr. Patrick Nolan (1874-1891-1948)

Fr. Patrick Nolan, whose tragic death occured on the 8th March as the result of an accident on Rathgar Road, was born in Dublin in 1874. Educated at Belvedere College, he entered the Society at Tullamore in 1891. He studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland and at St. Mary's College, Stonyhurst, and before proceeding to theology, taught at Belvedere and Clongowes for six years. He was ordained a priest at Milltown Park in 1907 and had among his Ordination companions, the late Fathers Willie Doyle and John Sullivan.
Fr. Nolan's life as a priest may be comprised under three main headings : teacher, preacher, confessor and Director of souls.
As a teacher for fifteen years (1910-1925) in St. Ignatius' College, Galway, his principal subject was History and Geography. Many of his old pupils can bear testimony to the skill with which he reconstructed ancient battlefields, mapped out the exact position of the opposing forces and made the dead pages of history live again. His interest in historical research, especially concerning Old Dublin, remained with him during his whole life and there were very few of the ancient streets and landmarks of his native city with which he was not familiar.
During his five years (1925-1930) on the Mission Staff, he was particularly conspicuous for his forceful and telling sermons and, but for a serious breakdown in health, would certainly have continued much longer at the arduous work of conducting Missions and Retreats.
But it is as a Confessor and Director of Souls, especially during his sixteen years (1930-1946) at Gardiner Street, that he will be best remembered. The many regrets expressed on his departure from Gardiner Street some eighteen months ago, and the many messages of sympathy that followed on his untimely death bear witness to the large and devoted clientele which he had established at St. Francis Xavier's. As a confessor, his ‘patient angling for souls’ was reflected in his patient angling for fish on the rare occasions when he found an opportunity to indulge in his favourite hobby. There were very few fish, great or small, in the box or in the lake, that he missed, for he always knew exactly when. to strike. As a Director of souls, too, he was singularly successful and knew the pitfalls to avoid, as well as he knew the rocks and shoals that might wreck an outrigger on Lough Corrib, of which, in his Galway days, he was reckoned one of the best navigators.
Above and beyond all his external work, however, Fr. Nolan was a man of deep religious fervour, known only to his intimate friends, He was never appointed Superior, but the fact that he was asked for by his brethren and appointed to undertake the office of ‘Master of the Villa’ for several consecutive years is sufficient indication of the esteem in which his affability was held by all. Charity and cheerful ness were the outward expression of his inward life, a great forbearance with others and toleration of their opinions and a very deep love of the Society. With such genuine traits of Christian and Religious Perfection, this contemporary of Fr. Willie Doyle and Fr. John Sullivan was well prepared to meet his death and hear from the lips of his Master : ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, as often as you did it to the least of these my brethren, you did it unto Me’. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Nolan SJ 1874-1948
Father Patrick Nolan was an expert fisher of souls. From 1930 to 1946 as Confessor in Gardiner Street he plied his skill, and thanks to his zeal and patience he made many a kill of of inconsiderable size.

He was born in Dublin in 1874 and educated at Belvedere and entered the Society in 1891.

He taught for fifteen years in Galway, then spent 5 years on the Mission Staff, and then the rest of his life practically as an Operarius in Gardiner Street.

He met his death tragically, being killed in an accident on March 8th 1948. A truly zealous man with a kindly heart and amusing tongue which won him many friends.

O'Connell, Daniel Joseph, 1896-1982, Jesuit priest, astronomer and seismologist

  • IE IJA J/319
  • Person
  • 25 July 1896-14 October 1982

Born: 25 July 1896, Rugby, Warwickshire, England
Entered: 08 September 1913, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1932
Died: 14 October 1982, Borgo Santo Spirito, Rome, Italy

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1921 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1924 in Australia - Regency

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online :
O'Connell, Daniel Joseph Kelly (1896–1982)
by Nick Lomb
Nick Lomb, 'O'Connell, Daniel Joseph Kelly (1896–1982)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 2012

astronomer; Catholic priest; seismologist

Died : 14 October 1982, Rome, Italy

Daniel Joseph Kelly O’Connell (1896-1982), Jesuit priest, astronomer and seismologist, was born on 25 July 1896 at Rugby, England, one of four children of Irish-born Daniel O’Connell (d.1905), Inland Revenue officer, and his English wife Rosa Susannah Helena, née Kelly (d.1907). Soon after the death of his mother, Daniel was sent to Clongowes Wood College, Dublin. At 17 he joined the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg and in 1915 entered his juniorate at Rathfarnham Castle. He majored in experimental physics and mathematics at University College, Dublin (B.Sc., 1919; M.Sc., 1920; D.Sc., 1949, National University of Ireland). Subsequently he studied philosophy at St Ignatius’ College, Valkenburg, the Netherlands, where he began watching variable stars, especially eclipsing binaries that were to become the main focus of his astronomical research.

O’Connell planned to attend the University of Cambridge but, due to a lung condition, he was advised to leave Britain. In 1922 he arrived at St Ignatius’ College, Riverview, Sydney; he did his regency, taught physics and the next year became assistant-director at the college’s observatory. He returned to Ireland in 1926 to complete his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin. Ordained on 31 July 1928, he undertook his tertianship at St Bueno’s College, Wales. In 1931 he travelled to Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America, to study at the Harvard College Observatory with Harlow Shapley.

Back at Riverview Observatory in 1933, O’Connell became director in 1938. At the observatory his research included seismology and the measurement of time with various kinds of clocks, as well as astronomy in the field of variable stars using the newly developed technique of photographic photometry. In 1935 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a member of the Royal Society of New South Wales; he served on the RSNSW council (1946-49) and as vice-president (1950-52), and became an honorary member in 1953. He was chairman from 1946 of the board of visitors of Sydney Observatory. One of the friendships he established while in Australia was with (Sir) Richard Woolley, director of Mount Stromlo Observatory. O’Connell presented radio talks, including a series of three titled ‘According to Hoyle’ on the Australian Broadcasting Commission station 2BL-2NC in March and April 1952.

That year O’Connell was called to Rome as director of the Vatican Observatory. On 26 July he left Australia, arriving in time for the Rome meeting of the International Astronomical Union. He continued his work on eclipsing binary stars, again using photoelectric photometry. A leading expert in the field, he was president (1955-61) of the commission on photometric double stars of the IAU. He published The Green Flash and Other Low Sun Phenomena (1958), which included colour photographs proving that the phenomenon, sometimes seen at sunrise or sunset, was real and not subjective.

At the Vatican Observatory O’Connell built up the staff and installed a 60/90-cm Schmidt telescope that became the observatory’s largest instrument. As objective prisms were available, the telescope was used for spectroscopy. With leading scientists he organised two study weeks—one on stellar populations in 1957 and another on nuclei of galaxies in 1970—and published the proceedings. He had personal friendships with three popes, especially Pope Pius XII. In 1970 he retired from his observatory post but continued as president (1968-72) of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

O’Connell died on 14 October 1982 at the headquarters of the Society of Jesus in Rome. He is remembered mainly for his work on eclipsing binary stars and the ‘O’Connell effect’ that relates to the rotation of the major axis of the elliptical orbit of a double star.

Select Bibliography
D. Strong, The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-1998 (1999)
Irish Astronomical Journal, vol 15, no 4, 1982, p 347
D. O’Connell personal file (Society of Jesus, Australian Province Archives, Melbourne)

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Daniel O'Connell's secondary education was at Clongowes College, Dublin. He entered the Society at Tullabeg, Ireland, 8 September 1913, and juniorate followed at Rathfarnham, 1915-20. He received his diploma in experimental physics and a Master of Science in mathematics at the University of Dublin, and later a doctorate in science from the Irish National University At this time he came under the influence of William O'Leary, the Irish Jesuit astronomer and seismologist, who at that time was director of Rathfarnham Castle Observatory in Dublin.
O’Connell then studied philosophy at Valkenburg, 1920-22, and did further tertiary studies in science, gaining first class honours in most subjects. It was while in Holland that he also pursued spare time astronomical studies under world famous Jesuit scientists like Michael Esch, expert on variable stars, Xavier Kugler, world authority on Assyriology and Babylonian astronomy; and Theodor Wulf world ranking physicist.
Regency followed as assistant director of the Riverview observatory, 1922-26, as well as physics master and second division prefect. At this time he undertook to advance the local study of solar radiation.
He went to theology at Milltown Park, Dublin 1926-29, and to tertianship at St Beuno's, Wales.
O'Connell studied from 1931-33 at Harvard College Observatory, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was subsequently to have studied with the famous Sir Arthur Eddington. However, because of a lung condition, he returned to Australia, and then worked first as assistant director and later as director of the Riverview observatory 1933-52. Then he was appointed moderator of the Vatican Observatory at Castel Gandolfo, Rome, 1953-70. He lived in the Jesuit Curia, Rome, and from 1974 was due president emeritus of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
During the years that O'Connell was at Harvard, the observatory was at the centre of major developments in astronomical research and especially those that were to lead within
the next few decades to the notion of the expanding universe of galaxies. He was thus associated with such eminent astronomers as Harlow Shapley, Cecilia Payne Gaposhkin, and others. His principal occupation at Harvard, and a pursuit which continued for the rest of his life, was the study of variable stars; but he also became known as a keen card player, especially bridge.
On his way back to Australia he visited Mount Wilson and Lick observatories in California, and then went to Japan, China, Java and the Philippines, where he visited leading observatories and advanced his practical studies.
While at the Riverview Observatory, working under William O'Leary, and in addition to his study of variable stars, he developed a keen interest in seismology and in the measurement of time with various types of clocks. This latter focus led him into a lifelong interest in the calendar and calendar reform, a study that served him well in later decades since he was asked to advise popes on both calendar reform and the cycle of ecclesiastical feasts.
In 1935 he initiated the “Riverview Observatory Publications” which enjoyed international reputation. Later, he founded the “Reprint Series” and the “Geophysical Papers” that became also well known. In the field of astronomy, O'Connell worked on eclipsing stars and Cepheid variables For the latter he used photo-electric equipment. About 15 ,000 plates on variable stars were on file at the observatory.
In the field of seismology the observatory's programme included the regional study of earthquake waves and the relationship between earthquake waves and the interior of the earth
During World War II, O'Connell collaborated with the United States government in the location of earthquakes in the Pacific zone in relation to war strategy. This work continued after the war. Each week a cabled report was sent to the United States from Riverview. The Imperial War Graves Commission also consulted him concerning possible earthquake damage to war cemetery sites in the Pacific area.
In his role as director of the Vatican Observatory, he began a career of unique service to the Church that spanned the reign of three popes, and saw immense developments in astronomical research from the initial concept of various stellar populations to an expanding universe containing active galactic nuclei and quasars. On a few occasions he organised study weeks of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, at which these subjects were discussed, e.g. Stellar Populations in 1957, and Nuclei of Galaxies in 1970. As a result of these study weeks, two books were published, both edited by O'Connell, and they became classics of astronomical literature. From 1955-61 he was president of the Commission on Double Stars of the International Astronomical Union.
Of his many contacts with popes he served, his relationship with Pius XII was especially close. He frequently advised the Pope, himself a very keen and diligent student of the natural sciences, on topics of current scientific research. In was under Pius XII that the major modern research tool of the Vatican Observatory, the Schmidt telescope, planned under his predecessors but completed under O'Connell, was inaugurated and blessed. Pius XII often visited the observatory, and on one occasion viewed the launching of the Russian Sputnik.
Paul VI viewed the landing of the first man on the Moon with O'Connell over a specially installed television, and he advised the Pope on the technical details of the mission.
In the pursuit of his scientific research, O'Connell became a close friend and collaborator of an international community of astronomers. As director of the Riverview Observatory he went to Europe in 1948 to attend the first post-war meeting of the International Astronomical Union held at Zurich, and on that occasion visited many European observatories. His visit to Utrecht was noteworthy, for there he established a lifelong friendship with Professor Marcel Minnaert who later encouraged him to issue the now famous book on the Green Flash, which, published in collaboration with Brother Karl Trench SJ, provides excellent documentation on optical effects that occur in the Earth's atmosphere when the sun is rising or setting.
However, O'Connell was best known in the international community of astronomers for his research on double stars. He discovered an effect, since known as the “O'Connell Effect”,
concerning the rotation of the line of the apsides (the major aids of the double star's ellipticalorbit). The discovery of this effect was typical of the scientific work of O'Connell. lt required a long period of painstaking observations and careful analyses over many years.
In addition to his membership in the academies and institutes already mentioned, O’Connell was a member of the National Research Council of Australia, and an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy He was also a member of the Royal Society of New South Wales, publishing three papers on earthquakes and the Galitzin seismograph. He served on council, 1946-49, and was vice-president, 1950-52. He became an honorary member of the Society in 1953.
O'Connell retired as director of the Vatican Observatory in 1970. He was president of the Pontifical Academy of Science, 1968-72. While he was an indefatigable worker and consequently very jealous of his time, he still treasured his friends immensely, and was always nurturing new friendships. Even during his last years, when he was largely bedridden, he developed new friendships among old and young alike. The students at Riverview remembered him for showing groups of boys the Moon, planets and the stars on clear nights and for his unfailing gracious word and cheery smile for staff and students.
Many were the nights that, under the then clear skies over Castel Gandolfo. O'Connell climbed the stairs to the telescope atop the papal palace passing die plaque inscribed “Deum Creatorurn Venite Adoremus. He was very intelligent, hardworking and always a gentleman genuine international Jesuit.

Note from Noel Burke-Gaffney entry
1950 He was appointed Director of the Observatory at Riverview after Daniel O’Connell was appointed to the Vatican Observatory

Note from William O’Leary Entry
He remained at Riverview until his death in 1939, directing the observatory until 1937 when Daniel O'Connell became director

Note from Edward Pigot Entry
His extremely high standards of scientific accuracy and integrity made it difficult for him to find an assistant he could work with, or who could work with him. George Downey, Robert McCarthy, and Wilfred Ryan, all failed to satisfy. However, when he met the young scholastic Daniel O'Connell he found a man after his own heart. When he found death approaching he was afraid, not of death, but because O’Connell was still only a theologian and not ready to take over the observatory. Happily, the Irish province was willing to release his other great friend, William O'Leary to fill the gap.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948
Fr. Daniel O'Connell of the Vice-province visited Ireland after an absence of many years, early in September: He has had a very busy time since he left Australia : he did some astronomical work at Leyden before going to the Vatican Observatory where he spent 6 weeks ; he attended a Meeting at Zurich of the International Astronomical Union and then went on to Oslo for the Congress of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. He has been invited to lecture to the Irish Astronomical Society at Armagh and to be the guest of Dr. Lindsay, Director of the Armagh Observatory, who is a good friend of his since the Harvard days when they spent two years together at that Observatory. Fr. O'Connell is due to sail for the United States from Southampton on 6th November and will spend some months at Harvard Observatory before returning to Australia.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

On 6th November Fr. Daniel O'Connell, of the Vice-province, who during his stay in Ireland gave evidence in Fr. Sullivan's cause, left Southampton for U.S.A. on 6th November.

Irish Province News 58th Year No 1 1983


Fr Daniel O’Connell (1896-1913-1982) (Australia)

I met Dan O'Connell for the first time when I went to the noviciate, then in Tullabeg. I found him a quiet novice but a very pleasant companion. We both went to Rathfarnham and were together in our First Arts year (1916-17). He was a brilliant and highly intelligent man. He took a keen interest in Fr William O’Leary's seismograph, which stood in Rathfarnham grounds, and frequently inspected it with him.
We parted company in 1920, when he went to Valkenburg for philosophy while I followed the subject in Milltown. Two years later we were both posted to Australia. We did not travel there together but met in Riverview College, Sydney, where we spent our regency. In Riverview was the Irish Jesuit, Fr Edward Pigot, who had an astronomical observatory, in which Dan became keenly interested, Fr Pigot himself had erected this observatory and fitted it out with a strong telescope for watching the various stars at night. He was also an accomplished pianist and taught Dan the piano.
In 1926 Dan followed me to Milltown for theology. Together we were ordained there by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Edward J. Byrne. Later, whenever Fr Dan came back to Dublin, he stayed with Dr Byrne's successor, Dr John Charles McQuaid, who was a great friend of his, as they had been classmates in Clongowes. Twenty or so years after Fr Dan's return to Riverview, he was called to Rome to take charge of the Vatican observatory, and ended his days in Rome.

The summary notice, taken from L'Osservatore Romano (16th October 1982) and transmitted by Frs Joseph Costelloe and John P. Leonard of the General Curia, fills in some of the external details of Fr O’Connell’s life:
"Yesterday evening, Thursday, 14th October, Fr Daniel O’Connell, former Director of the Vatican Observatory and ex-President Emeritus of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, died after a long illness in the infirmary of the Jesuit General Curia in Rome.
Born in Rugby, Great Britain, in 1896, he had entered the Society of Jesus in Ireland in 1913. After completing his studies in physics and mathematics at the University College, Dublin, he spent two years of special studies at the Harvard College Observatory in Cam bridge, Massachusetts, between 1931 and 1933.
He then became Director of the Riverview College Observatory in Australia, where he remained until 1952, when he was appointed Director of the Vatican Observatory, which he directed until 1970. From 1968 until 1972, he was, by the appointment of Paul VI, President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
Known for his scientific labours, especially for his researches on double stars - an area in which he discovered a particular effect named after him - Fr O'Connell was a member of many international societies, including The National Research Council of Australia, The Royal Academy of Ireland, and The Royal Society of New South Wales”

Frs George V Coyne and Martin F McCarthy SJ, of the Vatican Observatory brought out a glossy four-page printed leaflet (of A4-size page) as a memorial to their fellow-astronomer and fellow-Jesuit. Five of the photographs therein show Fr O’Connell greeting in turn four recent Popes, including the present one. An interesting account is also given of his astronomical work. The editor of IPN has at his disposal at least one photocopy of this leaflet, which he will gladly send to any contemporary of Fr Dan’s or to any other interested person who might like to have it.
Fr Dan O’Connell contributed two articles to the New Catholic Encyclopedia: “Calendar reform” and “Vatican Observatory”. He featured in past numbers of The Clongownian: 1953, pp. 9-12, “Astronomer and seismologist”; 1968, pp. 42-3; 1974, p. 33 (copy of an autographed letter to him from Paul VI).

O'Dwyer, Thomas, 1873-1942, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1898
  • Person
  • 08 September 1873-27 November 1942

Born: 08 September 1873, Barronstown, County Tipperary
Entered: 09 September 1892, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908
Final vows: 02 February 1911
Died: 27 November 1942, St Vincent's Hospital Fitzroy - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Patrick’s College Melbourne, Australia at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Younger brother of James O'Dwyer - RIP 1925
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1896 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
Came to Australia for Regency1898
by 1910 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Thomas O'Dwyer, brother of James, was educated at Clongowes, Ireland, 1887-92, and entered the Society, 7 September 1892, at Tullabeg. He was a junior at Milltown Park, 1894-95, studied philosophy at Valkenburg, 1895-98, did regency at Xavier College, 1898-1903, and at St Patrick's College, East Melbourne, 1903-05, studied theology at Milltown Park, and did tertianship at Linz, Austria. 1910-11.
O'Dwyer returned to Australia in 1911 and was sent to St Patrick's College, where he was prefect of studies from 1913, and rector for a year 1918-19, Then he was appointed rector of St Ignatius' College, Riverview, until 1923. He also taught and organised the senior debating. After a rest in 1924, he went to St Patrick's College, where he was prefect of studies from 1924-31, and rector from 1931-42. He was a consultor of the vice-province, 1935-42. He died suddenly in office very shortly after saying Mass one day.
“Toddy” as he was affectionately called, was a very well liked man, gentlemanly, straight and kind, a fine scholar, and a good teacher of history He was a founder and secretary of the Catholic Teachers' Association in Victoria, 1925-42. His gentle nature was much more suited to St Patrick's College than to Riverview. People liked and respected him as a priest of great simplicity and sincerity, kindness and charity. Above all he was most unobtrusive, yet a hard worker.
He was a deeply spiritual man, and spent hours visiting patients at St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, and hearing confessions on Saturdays. Like his brother James, he was unable to
pay people compliments, but he was courteous in his praise of others. Unlike James who was compulsive and full of energy Tom was hesitant in beginning any new undertaking, but always gave a sympathetic hearing to plans for developments .
Being a sensitive man, he was deeply affected by the early death of his Jesuit brother James. Even more tragic was the assassination of his other brother, Sir Michael, by a fanatical Indian student, Udharn Singh, 13 March 1940, in Caxton Hall, London, for the massacre at Amritsar, 13 April 1919, while he was Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab. Over 379 protesters were killed and 1,200 wounded. The “Massacre” was officially condemned, and many Indians considered Michael a tyrant.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 18th Year No 1 1943
Obituary :
Father Thomas O’Dwyer SJ
Fr. O'Dwyer died as Rector of St. Patrick's College, Melbourne on 27th November. As appears from a cable sent his brother in Barronstown, Co. Tipperary, by William O'Dwyer, Flemington, he had celebrated Mass that morning (Friday), got a stroke after breakfast, received the Last Sacraments while perfectly conscious, and then died.
Born at Barronstown as the youngest of a large family of sons on the Feast of Our Lady's Nativity, 1873, he was educated at Clongowes, where his elder brother James was already a Jesuit master. He entered the Society at Tullabeg' on 7th September, 1892, and on the completion of his philosophy at Valkenburg began his career as teacher in Australia to which he was to devote some forty years of his life.
Returning for theology to Ireland, he was ordained priest in 1908, and after his tertianship at Linz in Austria he was for a year Minister in Clongowes. He resumed work as master in Australia the following year. With the exception of four years as Rector of Riverview College, Sydney, the remainder of his life was spent at St. Patrick's, Melbourne, 1919-'23, as teacher, prefect of studies, and since I931 Rector. He was brother of the late Sir Michael O'Dwyer, Governor of the Punjab, who met his death in London under tragic circumstances some years ago.
Fr. James, the famous educationist and Rector for many years of the Xavier College, Melbourne, pre-deceased him in 1925.

Irish Province News 18th Year No 2 1943
Australian Vice-Province

From a letter of Fr. George O'Neill, Werribee, Melbourne. dated 29th November, 1942 :
This Vice-Province never before got such a painful shock as it has received in the absolutely sudden death of Fr. Thomas O'Dwyer (Rector of St Patrick's College Melbourne) On last Thursday I was chatting with him and he seemed all right. This morning (Saturday) he was laid in earth amid deep and widespread mourning, the grief of his Community at St. Patrick's being specially notable. He had been doing all his work up to the last. It would appear, however, that two or three months ago. he had consulted a. doctor and had been warned that he was not quite safe in the matter of blood pressure. On Wednesday night he was phoned to by the Mercy Nuns at Nicholson St where he acted as daily chaplain, asking him to say Mass early for them as the Coadjutor Archbishop was to say Mass there at 7.l5 or 7.30. He agreed. and made the early start next morning. The time came for his breakfast in the Convent parlour while the Archbishop was finishing Mass, but when the lay-sister came in after a time she found Fr. O'Dwyer lying on the ground and vomiting. He tried to reassure her, but she ran to the Rev. Mother and they phoned for a doctor who came at once. He saw that the situation was serious and that the last Sacraments should be given. Then the Cathedral (not far off) was called up and presently the Adm. came along with the Holy Oils. The Archbishop, who had meantime finished his Mass, came on the scene and anointed Fr. O'Dwyer, having previously given him absolution for which he was still conscious. The Provincial (from Hawthorn) also arrived. Then an ambulance was got and took the dying man to St. Vincent's Hospital where he died at 9.30 am. We are accustomed here to funerals rapidly carried out, so it was not strange that all was over in the following forenoon. Some 100 priests were present , an immense crowd of boys and girls, and of the ordinary faithful, and the two archbishops. Dr. Mannix spoke some happy words with much feeling.

O'Flanagan, Paul, 1898-1974, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/331
  • Person
  • 10 April 1898-23 September 1974

Born: 10 April 1898, Lahinch, County Clare
Entered: 31 August 1915, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1930
Professed: 02 February 1934
Died: 23 September 1974, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Brother of Bishop Dermot R O'Flanagan who Entered the Irish Province in 1917 and LEFT as a priest in 1932. He then went to Alaska in 1933 and was appointed first Bishop of Juneau, Alsaka 9th July 1951

by 1922 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1924 in Australia - Regency
by 1933 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Already with a BSc, Paul O'Flannagan arrived in Australia as a regent at Riverview, 1923, teaching, organising cadets and directing debating. In 1926-27 he was first division prefect, and looked after rowing before returning to Ireland for theology He later returned to Australia, working with Victor Turner, 1949-50, in the Australian Mission team.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Kennedy G., O'Flanagan and Saul leave for Australia on 9th July.

Irish Province News 49th Year No 4 1974

Obituary :

Fr Paul O’Flanagan (1898-1974)

The recollection evoked by the sad, sudden demise of Fr Paul O’Flanagan on September 23rd, of the severe heart seizure and consequent sickliness he had been visited by eight or nine years since, and before his advent to Gardiner Street, reconciled some what for his loss - his death might have been anticipated by years and yet during the years in Gardiner Street he undertook and fulfilled the chores thrust upon him with admirable regularity and efficiency. A comment, attributed to Fr P O’Mara in his latter days when age compelled him to seek Fr O’Flanagan's aid in running his Ladies' Sodality : “Don’t deprive me of my friends” was not totally whimsical ... Fr Paul did make a notable success of the succession
He was approachable, punctual, unassuming; popular with the house staff (competent critics), and among the Community and with externs a counsellor confidently consulted.
The obsequies took place on Wednesday, September 25th. Fr David Murtagh, CC, a nephew of Fr Paul’s was principal celebrant assisted by Fr Provincial and upwards of twenty others, Ours and externs, familiar friends. Fr Murtagh again later officiated at the graveside.
We offer sympathy to Mr Frank OFlanagan and Mrs Murtagh, the surviving members of Fr Paul’s family....and their families.

We offer an appreciation by one long associate with the deceased :
I first met Fr Paul O’Flanagan a few months after his ordination; and I spoke to him for the last time about a day and a half before he died. We chatted for over an hour.
In the intervening years, time had lined his face and flecked his hair with grey. In my view, however, though greatly matured by the experiences of a very active life and a good deal of suffering in his latter years, I found him the very same Paul I had known in the far-off days. His conversation was refreshingly youthful, and he was as mentally alert as ever-optimistic, full of humour and boyish mischief. The idea that he was so soon to die never crossed my mind; I wonder, if it did his?
Paul was born in Lahinch in 1898, went to school in Belvedere College and entered the novitiate at Tullabeg in 1915. Having gained his BSc degree in University College, Dublin, and studied philosophy with the German Jesuits in Valkenburg, Holland, he was sent to Riverview College, Sydney, to teach. Returning to Milltown Park for theology, he was ordained in 1930.
Most of his life as a priest was spent on the mission-staff, and it was there I came to know him, both as a colleague and as a friend. In the work we did together, he appeared to me to have preserved his boyhood ideal of what a Jesuit should be, and I never detected any trace of - as it is now the fashion to call it! - “crisis of identity”! He was possessed of all the natural qualities that go to the making of a good Jesuit, holding the Society in high esteem and regarding it with affection. He was interested in its welfare and in that of our Province; as also in the success of his Jesuit friends. As a community man, he was unrivalled. He brought joy to all his work, and shared it with the members of the house to which he happened to be attached. His pleasures were simple a game of bridge, which he took seriously; a day's golf or a session of story-swopping. When in the mood, he was a delicious raconteur, notably about his adventures under the Southern Cross, about Archbishop Mannix of Melbourne or Archbishop Kelly of Sydney. His warmth of character won him many friends, both inside and outside the Society. Amongst the laity, he was the special friend of the men. On missions they would call him on the telephone, wish ing to enjoy again his warm, human companionship. Some were past pupils, some school friends, and others, men to whom he had lent a helping, priestly hand.
Paul was an outstandingly good, even exemplary priest, and he distinguished himself over many years as an excellent missioner and retreat-master. All through his life he preserved his youthful, high ideal of the priesthood, and in his last years he edified us all by his incredible bravery, as he fought for health and life. I cannot speak for others, but I never heard a word of complaint or self pity escape his lips. Practising what he had preached so often, he took his suffering tanquam de manu Dei, as indeed he took every thing in life.
From glimpses I had of him on missions, I guess he must have helped thousands yearly, both by his advice and by example: But he never spoke of this work, his cases or of those who had come to him. In this he showed no sign of self-glorification or self seeking; certainly no trace of worldly ambition. He was always ready with prompt obedience, whatever the task or office assigned him. And, as already mentioned, in the allotted work he made himself happy, and by so doing, contributed greatly to the happiness of all concerned.
It would be an incomplete and phoney picture of Paul, if I did not refer - I hope, gently and with kindly intent? his likeable foible! He was pre-possessed about his BSc degree, and sometimes referred to himself as a “scientist”! However, he was open to a bit of leg-pulling on the subject, provided it came from the right quarter! He was proud of Bishop Dermot, his brother, and one might sometimes lead him on, to discourse on Dermot's successes. He was most vulnerable, however, on the subject of Australia. This was a favourite theme of his conversation, for, besides his years teaching in Riverview, he had done a two-year stint as a missioner there. Right to the end, he never lost his interest in the Aussies, more especially in their cricket. When a Test Match was in progress, he would listen assiduously to the ball-by-ball account on the radio, and was ever ready to explain the intricacies of the game and the prospects of an Australian victory to any interested party. Some of the boys who had been introduced to cricket by him, later won places on Test teams, and he could often be drawn on this subject. If I remember rightly, one of their number was the well-known and very successful player, Fingleton. It has been suggested to me that Sir Don Bradman was another; but there, I am open to correction!
Paul was ever one of Belvedere's most loyal past pupils. Even to the last days of his life, he was proud of the college and took keen interest in its successes in studies or at games; in Old Belvederians, the Newsboys' Club, as it formerly was, but more especially in the Old Belvedere Rugby Football Club. . If an acquaintance were to judge merely by Paul’s manner, he might conclude, that he never faced a crisis in his life. I am sure such a conclusion would be incorrect, since most of us do. But he never lost his cool in any circumstance that I saw, and appeared calm and unperturbed at all times - the completely unflappable man!
He showed little of his real self, either to the outside world or to his fellow Jesuits. I have, however, reason to believe, that underneath, he was possessed of a very strong, deep faith, and a great reverence for the things of God, Reserved and silent regarding his interior life with God, I strongly suspect him to have been as truly a pious man as he was a sincere and staunch friend.
As one who worked side by side with him on many occasions, I am happy to be able to bear witness, and pay tribute to his gracious charity, his kindness and thoughtfulness. He was generous in praising and encouraging others, and his memories of any mission concerned either its success, or the amusing incidents which cropped up from time to time. As we sat together thirty-six hours before his death, a smile often played about his lips, as he recounted the pleasant happenings of a mission in Mullingar Cathedral, in which he and I were engaged, just over thirty years back. That is my last memory and picture of him,
It is sometimes said, that every human life is like an Unfinished Symphony; to this statement, I am afraid, I cannot subscribe. Colleagues of mine who worked for God all the days of their lives, and aspired to union with Christ through his grace, seemed in their latter years, to be anything but the Unfinished Symphony. If I may say so, each life-work appeared perfectly rounded off, ending in a rising crescendo of faith, trust, joy, hope and expectation of life eternal. For these men we have prayed, that that crescendo would end in a paean of glory with the Risen Christ. In their number we, Paul’s friends and colleagues, would wish to include him by heartfelt and earnest prayer. I should like to think, that no one who ever met him would wish otherwise, and that without exception they would gladly join us as we pray: Solus na Soillse agus radharc na Tríonóide dá anam!

O'Mara, Joseph, 1906-1977, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/340
  • Person
  • 04 March 1906-11 February 1977

Born: 04 March 1906, Maida Vale, London, England
Entered: 14 August 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 August 1935
Professed: 15 August 1941
Died: 11 February 1977, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

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

Cousin of Patrick (Pom) O’Mara - RIP 1969

Entered Tullabeg 31 August 1922; LEFT 1923 and Re-entered 1924 at Tullabeg;

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - LEFT twice on account of health having entered 31 August 1922. Finally Reentered 14 August 1924

by 1933 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1937 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) making Tertianship
by 1938 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

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

Irish Province News 8th Year No 4 1933

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

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

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 2 1977

Milltown Park
Since the last issue of the Province News, the community has been saddened by the loss of Father Joe O’Mara. He entered St Vincent's Hospital on Thursday 27th January, and passed away just after midnight on the morning of Friday 11th February. His unfailing cheerfulness and buoyancy to the end were a great example to us all. Ar dheis lámh Dé go raibh a anam!

Obituary :

Fr Joseph O’Mara (1906-1977)

One Wednesday norning in late January this year, Joe O’Mara gave a lecture in Milltown Park on Immanuel Kant. He was to have followed up with lectures on Maurice Blondel and J P Sartre. On the same Wednesday evening he went to St Vincent's, Elm Park, for what had become his habitual check-up and clean-up: a recurrent necessity because of his grievous emphysema and painful difficulty with breathing. That same evening he suffered what seems to have been a severe brain haemorrhage and his heart stopped beating.
There were many of us who wished he had been struck down before going to hospital. Joe would most likely have died quickly and been spared the long days in intensive care whose loneliness not even the traditionally splendid Vincent’s nursing could eliminate. We suffered with him. We did not want Joe to suffer any more. He was a man we cared for deeply: a man whose death makes a great gap in life. He was, in short, well loved.
We were happy for him then when he died on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. It was a Friday. Joe said, in his last days, that his parents had died on a Friday and he thought he just might do likewise. Is it necessary to say that, in Vincent’s, he was beloved by nurses and patients, that he entrusted himself completely to his doctors and that he never complained? He died at ten past midnight: causing the minimum of inconvenience to those who were with him. The Lord allowed him to be a gentleman to the last. He was nearly seventy-one years of age.
A potted biography of Joe O'Mara tells us only very little about the man. However, it tells us something :
He went to school at Hodder, Stonyhurst and Belvedere. I remember someone pointing out to me once how remarkable Joe was in that, coming from a background of considerable wealth, his personal religious poverty was so simple and natural. For example he never possessed anything better than a battered set of unmatched golf clubs. I do not remember seeing him with even one precious keepsake from his family. Yet he was a devoted family man.
Give or take a month or so, Joe made two noviceships because of ill-health. I was not aware that, between the two periods in Tullabeg, he took First Science in UCD. Joe would usually be taken as a professional philosopher with a literary and artistic turn. This he was. The early injection of science however explains certain qualities and dimensions in his later pbilosophy. After the double noviceship there was latin, french and history in UCD. Then came the usual three year Milltown - Tullabeg philosophy. There was of course no LPH. or Bacc Phil in those days; only ens ut sic. However, putting aside the latin nonsence (Joe O’Mara spoke latin very well) and remembering the precious third year, it was perhaps as good an introduction to philosophy as has ever been devised. Then Joe went to Louvain.
There have been many great periods in the splendid history of Louvain. Joe was there in a great one (1932-37). He was in time to fall under the influence of Joseph Maréchal. Even those who only met Maréchal through his books and (like Bernard Longergan) through hearsay can never escape from the experience. Joe O’Mara sat under Maréchal and always spoke of that period as an awakening to a new understanding of reality. From Maréchal came Joe’s lifelong interest in and dedication to the philosophies of Kant and Blondel. Thence too came the natural facility with which he seized on the key-ideas of Bernard Lonergan and found himself at home. Because of the Maréchallien liberation from prejudice and conventional stagnation, Joe could give hearty approval to the reform of thought and practice in Vatican II and as well (though he sometimes pulled a wry face as we all do) to the many attempts in recent years to rethink Jesuit spirituality for our day. Louvain taught minds to be clear and open.
After tertianship in St. Beuno's came Hong Kong. It was Hong Kong at war and eventually occupied by the Japanese (1938-46). I wish I knew about this period because I am sure there are stories to be told. Joe however (at least to me) spoke hardly at all about war time Hong Kong. I must leave it then and the story of philosophy taught at the Regional Seminary to someone better qualified.
Joe came back from the East in bad helath. Some thought he was finished. However, it was then began his sixteen years in Tullabeg as professor of philosophy and as rector for the last three years. Joe always spoke of these years as very happy ones. But the cross was on the way and I use the word 'cross deliberately having examined my conscience to see if the word here is free from the pious naivety that uses “cross” for every insignificant pain or ache. Indeed it was the cross that came and Joe was to be asked to suffer deeply because his faith in obedience was absolute.
In 1962, Fr Jack McMahon, the Visitor from the USA, closed the philosophate in Tullabeg. It had been thirty years in existence and was a pontifical faculty. Personally my own relations with Fr McMahon were good: I liked the man. Nevertheless it is as well to recall that he was known far and wide as “Jack-the-Knife” even by people who had never heard of Brecht. I have no reason to believe that the severing of philosophy from Tullabeg was performed very gently. Surgery was relatively rough in those days. Joe O'Mara, the rector, was the one who had to resist, suffer and obey. There was no better man. I was in Tullabeg shortly after the mortal decision had been taken and Joe was, to all appearances, his usual gentlemanly, warmhearted, smiling self. Real suffering is too sacred a thing to flaunt.
There followed for Joe a short period of oscillation. He started the retreat house in Tullabeg. He came to the CIR. He was in the Milltown retreat house. But soon (’68) he came to Milltown and found his place in the faculty of philosophy. Here, I think in great happiness, he spent the rest of his life. He was in on the early days of the Milltown Institute, on the successful end of the long labours to have pontifical faculties extended, on the aborted affair with the NCEA, which died at the stroke of a ministerial pen. He was dean of philosophy from 1970-72 and became senior professor. His subjects were mostly the history of philosophy and his favourite moderns: Kant, Hegel, Blondel, Bergson, Sartre.
Something must be said of Joe as a writer. He wrote I think too little. This is a fault common to Irish Jesuits which is not entirely due to laziness or inability. We seem, for example, (and Joe was no exception) to be more concerned about pedagogy then about print.
Among his papers was a slim folder containing three articles from Studies: “Kierkegaard revealed” (Dec. 1949), “Death and the existententialist” Dec. 1950) and “The meaning and value of existentialism” (March 1951), In Ireland these articles were more than a little ahead of their time. The article on death begins with the sentence “There is an irrational quality about death which is frightening”. Also in the folder there are a public lecture “Existentialism and the christian vision” (undated) and an inaugural lecture for the Milltown Institute called “Maurice Blondel: christian philosopher?” (1973). Were these his favourites? Perhaps. I rather think however that they were kept because they were useful in seminars and in class. Joe was not one to cling to splendid relics of his past without good additional reasons. These few pieces are enough to show that Joe knew about English prose. They are elegant, polished, witty, interesting and strong. The style is the man.
Joe could handle language; as his ordinary conversation showed. His precise enunciation was part of his personality: the result of long training and practice; born of a desire (as politeness ever is) to make no unnecessary difficulties for his audience. After his first stroke he was concerned, “I hope” he said “my speech is sufficiently distinct”. Every final p and t was still clear as a whip-crack.
It could be forgotten that Joe O’Mara was a musician and the son of a distinguished musician, Joe told me once that his father had thought highly of his voice but would never entertain for a moment the idea of allowing his son to expose himself to the jungle of professional singing. What the O’Mara Opera Company lost anyone who heard Joe sing in his heyday at a Milltown ordination will know. His pure, true, powerful and trained tenor voice was professional: a sound to be heard. Joe’s musical knowledge and culture was wider than singing and opera. He knew a great deal about classical and modern concert music. When, once or twice a season, he used the community tickets for an RTESO concert (usually in the company of Jim FitzGerald or Billy Kelly) it was clear from his subsequent remarks that he not merely appreciated the music and the performance but that he knew the music intimately. He had a deadly ear for false notes!
It was in these last eight years, working in the Milltown Institute, that I came to know Joe O'Mara well. I consider it a privilege and a grace to have been able to do so.
It is good then to read some of the many tributes that have been paid to him. We read of his eloquence in the pulpit, his zeal as a missionary, his kindness and understanding. That good friend of the Jesuits, Mary Purcell, sent a card:
“He was a real Jesuit - first things first always - and it was a pleasure to hear him preach on special occasions in Gardiner Street, he came across as utterly sincere and dedicated”.
The spontaneous quiet grief of some lay-friends at his funeral was very moving.
Joe could relax. He had the great selfless sense of humour: a wit, a tough reasonableness, that was always kind. As long as he could play he was a great believer in golf at which he was “useful” or a little better. He loved TV. He loved the cinema too and rejoiced that his old-age card let him in at reduced price. He was a bridge player when Jesuits used to play bridge. But perhaps above all he was a wizard at crosswords. While Joe was alive the Times daily crossward was always removed from the paper with collaboration from Brendan Lawler. That was understood. Joe worked a puzzle at lightning speed and even understood and solved Ximenes. He was no highbrow, someone said. That is true. Neither however was he that other sad thing (using Virginia Woolf's terminology) a middlebrow. He was an authentic man who knew what he liked to do and did it when possible: whether it was Beethoven's string quartet in C sharp minor or the currently popular TV comic. Above all I think he liked the Sunday evening 'crack in Milltown with the community. Fortified by a glass and a half but no more) of whiskey he was very content to listen and radiate friendship.
But there was a depth in this pleasant, indeed delightful, man. It was a depth I have found in those Jesuits I have most admired: Eddie Coyle, Arthur Little, Paddy Joy, Morty Glynn - to mention a few and omit many. “A real Jesuit” Mary Purcell wrote. Joe was a rounded man, a balanced man; not following the new because it was novel nor clinging to the old because it was there; not exaggerating piety to a ludicrous degree like one of Moliére's faux dévots, not thinking for a moment that his direct apostolate of retreat-giving brought him nearer to God than teaching or administration. Joe was a free inan. He understood that Ignatian indifference is the capacity to love everything. As Chesterton said of Francis of Assisi, he had left everything and returned to love everything. Like Teilhard de Chardin, he could have dedicated a book “To those who love the world”. Joe is my idea of a holy man.
I am convinced he was a man of deep, silent, personal prayer. This was evident in the quality of his stillness at concelebrated Mass. deep prayer is the only final explanation of his continued success with priests at Pia Unio meetings, of the continuous demands made on him by sisters and brothers. He had no difficulty in dealing with contemplatives: he gave retreats to Cistercians and often to Carmelite sisters. I am sure he was contemplative in action. The great Lord God had given him the kind of contemplative apostolic prayer Ignatius wished for Jesuits: the kind of constant prayer that genuine work does not interrupt. One could talk to Joe about this but it was best done tête-at-tête or with one or two people. He was more reticent in public. So were all the great ones. While dying, his prayers were vocal and very simple. His devotion to Gerard Manley Hopkins's “O God, I love thee, I love thee” - is known. Shortly before his last illness, he drew my attention to a poem in volume 2 of the new breviary (p. 625) which he said he always used at night prayer or compline: it was John Donne's “Hymn to God the Father” which begins “Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun ...”
His complete forgetfulness of self was perhaps his great virtue: the source of his charm, affability, peace, generosity. If he could, he would have been present at all the exhausting meetings we have – out of respect for whoever called the meeting. Ambition for him was confined to becoming a better christian. He never seemed to feel slighted or ignored. He would heartily support shared prayer meetings or penance services to help the brethren even though these techniques were of small importance to him personally. He might not attend but he would defend vigorously the right to pray like this.
Some modern questions “are you lonely?”, “are you fulfilled?” “are you satisfied with community conditions and life?”) had little or no meaning for Joe. For him the only question was “am I doing with all my heart the main job I have been given on the status?” Because for Joe, as for us all, that is the nearest approximation we shall ever arrive at to knowing what is the will of God.
I must finish with a word about his loyalty to the Society of Jesus. It was absolute. The only times I have seen him angry was when rather reactionary Jesuits criticized in public a brother Jesuit (or Jesuit institution) who was taking the dangerous but necessary risk of trying to push Catholic thought and practice forward. The fact that some of the critics were rather ill-informed was of no importance to Joe. This was just something not to be done ever. “I love the Society” he said dying “and I love the brethren”. At that moment the Society for him meant, in the first place, Milltown Park. After Milltown, it meant the whole Province and Jesuits everywhere. This was the theme of his last homily on the feast of the Epiphany this year. We are grateful
Joe's last semiconscious words were 'I shall not surrender'. It is impossible to guess what he was referring to but, as an expression of a general sentiment, it is – one may say - satisfactory.
The Lord has given him rest beside the quiet waters of life. May we be like him when our time comes.
J C Kelly SJ

O'Mara, Patrick, 1875-1969, Jesuit priest, chaplain and missioner

  • IE IJA J/552
  • Person
  • 13 March 1875-23 March 1969

Born: 13 March 1875, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 14 August 1892, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1911
Died: 23 March 1969, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

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

Cousin of Joey O’Mara - RIP 1977

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Chaplain in the First World War.

by 1896 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
Came to Australia for Regency, 1898
by 1910 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1918 Military Chaplain : 58th CCS, BEF France
by 1919 Military Chaplain : 33rd CCS, BEF France

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick O'Mara began his long life in the Society in 1892 at the age of sixteen, entering the novitiate at Tullabeg. At the end of 1898 he arrived at Xavier College to teach mathematics to senior boys and was first division prefect, 1901-02. He wrote a book on arithmetic, but apparently no copies survive.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 1 1925
Of the various pamphlets issued, half a million copies were distributed during the past twelve months. Devotional booklets are in especial demand, particularly the “Holy Hour” books, by Fr. P. O’Mara, of which 63,ooo copies were sent out during the past year, and an equal number during the preceding year

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 4 1927
Messenger Office :
Of reprinted pamphlets by Ours, 370,000 copies have already been bought up. Fr P O’Mara’s “Holy Hour” book, “An Hour with Jesus” easily holds the record. It is in its 45th edition, and the companion book “Another Hour with Jesus” is in its 21st.

Irish Province News 44th Year No 3 1969
Obituary :
Fr Patrick O’Mara SJ (1875-1969)
Father Patrick O'Mara was, by a large margin, the senior member of the Irish Province. Though six months younger than Father Eddie Dillon (still happily with us). he entered almost five years earlier. He had completed the long span of 77 years in the Society and was in full activity up to within a year of his death.
He was born in Limerick on March 18th, 1875. His father, Stephen O'Mara, M.P., was the founder of the well-known family business and was several times Mayor of Limerick and later a member of Seanad Eireann. Patrick was the eldest of a family of nine. One of his brothers, Stephen, was, like his father, several times Mayor of Limerick. Another, James, played a prominent part in the national movement, which has been chronicled in his biography by his daughter, Mrs. Lavelle. The third brother, Fonsie, was prominent in business life in Limerick and Dublin. He too played an active part in the national movement and in 1918 was elected as the first Sinn Fein mayor of Limerick, The distinguished singer, Joseph O'Mara, director of the O'Mara Opera Company and father of Father Joseph O'Mara, was an uncle of Fr. Patrick's, being the youngest brother of Stephen O'Mara, M.P.
Patrick O'Mara was educated for four years at the Christian Brothers College. Limerick, and for another four at Clongowes. He entered the noviceship at Tullabeg in 1892. Amongst his fellow-novices we find some names once familiar in the Province, Patrick O'Brien, Esmond White, Michael Egan and Thomas O'Dwyer. After a year's juniorate at Milltown Park, he went to Valkenburg for philosophy, and at the end of his three years course was appointed to Xavier College, Melbourne, in what was then the Australian mission.
He spent seven years at Xavier. from 1898 to 1905, both prefecting and teaching. Father O'Mara so long outlived his contemporaries that no detailed information is available about these early years. He was, however, evidently a keen and able teacher of mathematics, and published in 1903 a textbook entitled Reasoned Methods in Arithmetic and Algebra for Matriculation Candidates, which went into at least four editions.
In 1905 he returned to Ireland for theology at Milltown Park, and was ordained on 26th July 1908. After tertianship at Tronchiennes, he taught mathematics and physics at Mungret for three years, and was then appointed to the mission staff. Rathfarnham Castle had just been opened as a Juniorate (1913). and he was a member of the founding community, together with three fellow-missioners, Fathers William Doyle, Joseph Flinn and William Gleeson. The catalogues assign him to Tullabeg from 1914 to 1916, but those who were at Rathfarnham during those years think that he remained there during all his time as a missioner, This was the period of the First World War, and in 1917 Father O'Mara was appointed a military chaplain (there were twenty two Irish Jesuit chaplains that year) and saw service at the 58th and 33rd casualty clearing stations in France. He rendered particular service to Portuguese troops and was awarded a decoration, : Officer of the Military Order of Christ, by the Portuguese Government.
In 1919 Father O'Mara returned to Rathfarnham and there followed a long period of work as a missioner. Here again we are faced by the difficulty that he so long outlived his contemporaries that information about this period of his life is scanty. It is certain, however, that he was a most devoted and successful Missioner. He was an orator of the old style, somewhat theatrical in his delivery, but most appealing to the congregations of those days. He took immense pains in preparing his sermons, and it is recalled that on his first appointment to the mission band, he went to England for a course in voice production. He was indefatigable in the laborious work of visitation and hearing confessions, and he was blessed with a strong constitution which made him a most reliable confrère, always ready for the most difficult assignment.
When Father O'Mara returned from the war to Rathfarnham, Father John Sullivan had just been appointed Rector. Father O'Mara contributed to the biography of Father Sullivan an incident which occurred in the November of that year. On his way back from a mission, Father O'Mara's bag was stolen from the platform of the tram on which he was travelling. The loss was a grievous one, as the bag contained the manuscripts of his mission sermons and retreat notes. On arrival at Rathfarnham, he confided his trouble to Father Sullivan, who assured him that he would immediately go to the chapel and pray for the restoration of the notes. Father O'Mara, though it was late at night, started jotting down all that he could remember of his notes, which were the result of years of work. At 11.30 p.m. Father Sullivan came to his room to tell him that a telephone message had been received from the Augustinian Church in Thomas St. to say that the bag, unopened, had been left at the door of the monastery. Father O'Mara's account concluded : “I was convinced at the time that it was a direct answer to Father Sullivan's prayers. I have not changed this opinion”.
In 1928 Father O'Mara was appointed to the staff of Gardiner Street, and entered on the activity which is most closely associated with his name, being appointed Director of the Sodality of the Sacred Heart, which involved the giving of the Holy Hour. This activity was interrupted in 1931, when he was appointed Rector of the Crescent College, Limerick. Here he undertook several extensions and improvements in the church, and was responsible for the installing of a new organ. On his return to Gardiner Street in 1934, he was at first assistant director of the Pioneer Association, but in 1937 reassumed the directorship of the Sacred Heart Sodality and the Apostleship of Prayer, which he retained for the next thirty years, as well as that of the Ladies' Sodality of the Blessed Virgin. During all this time his most notable activity was the giving of the Holy Hour, which became almost legendary in Dublin and its outskirts. He took the utmost pains in its preparation, and carefully wrote out fresh matter for each occasion. Many of the prayers and devotions which he used were embodied in four booklets entitled Hours With Jesus, the first of which had a circulation of over a million copies, whilst the others ran into the hundred thousands. His style of preaching was inighly dramatic, perhaps excessively so for some tastes, but it certainly appealed to his crowded congregations. It was remarkable that even in quite recent times, when preaching has to some extent lost its former attraction, "Father O'Mara's Holy Hour" was always certain to fill the church to overflowing.
If the old age of everyone were like that of Father O'Mara, the science of geriatrics would be superfluous. Until he was into his nineties, his appearance never changed. His abundant black hair was only slightly touched with grey, and he could have been taken for a well-preserved man in the late sixties. He continued in active work almost to the end of his life, hearing confessions, directing his two sodalities at Gardiner Street. He also directed the past pupils' sodality attached to the Dominican convent, Sion Hill, Blackrock from 1938 to 1966, when his health forced him to relinquish it. This sodality is one of the oldest in Ireland having been founded in 1852.
When one attempts to give some idea of what kind of man Father O'Mara was, two characteristics stand out. Firstly, he was utterly devoted to his priestly work. His sermons and his famous Holy Hour were prepared with laborious care. He was a devoted and sympathetic confessor He was always ready to share in work which lay outside his own particular sphere. Thus, he took a keen interest in the annual Foreign Mission week in Gardiner Street, to which the members of his Ladies' Sodality gave valuable assistance. Secondly, he was deeply devoted to the Society and the Province. He took the keenest interest in all that was going on, and was generous in his encouragement of others, especially of younger men. Those who were asked to help him were the recipients of praise so lavish that it might have seemed mere flattery but that his genuine gratitude and goodwill were so apparent. He employed on some occasions an amusing little technique, praising some work done for him, a sermon or talk, but adding : “Still, I think it was only your second best”. This was not meant to discourage, but rather to emphasise the fact that his praise was not undiscriminating.
It was only in the last year of his life that his health began to fail, and only in his last months that increasing weakness made it necessary for him to leave Gardiner Street for Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross. He retained to the last the whimsical good humour that had characterised him all his life. Very shortly before his death, his confessor mentioned that a taxi was provided for him to visit Father O'Mara each week, and protested that he could very well come by bus. “But”, said Father O'Mara, “think of the prestige I get among the other patients by the fact that my confessor comes in a taxi”. His death occurred on March 23rd, and, as was to be expected, immense crowds gathered in Gardiner Street to express the reverence and gratitude they felt towards one who, for so many years, had spoken to them so movingly of the love of the Sacred Heart of their divine Lord. Requiescat in pace.

Page, Bernard F, 1877-1948, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/796
  • Person
  • 16 July 1877-30 November 1948

Born: 16 July 1877, Khishagur, Bengal, India
Entered: 01 March 1895, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 26 July 1910, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1923
Died: 30 November 1948, Petworth, Sussex, England - Australiae Province (ASL)

Chaplain in the First World War.

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1902 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1908 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1911 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1912 at St Wilfred's, Preston (ANG)
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 3rd Cavalry Field Ambulance and Brigade, BEF France
by 1918 Military Chaplain : No 2 Cavalry Field Ambulance, BEF France
by 1921 at St Luigi, Birkirkara, Malta (SIC) teaching
by 1922 at St Aloysius College, Oxford, England (ANG) working
by 1923 at St Wilfred’s Preston England (ANG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

JESUITICA: Answering back
Do Jesuits ever answer back? Our archives hold an exchange between Fr Bernard Page SJ, an army chaplain, and his Provincial, T.V.Nolan, who had passed on a complaint from an Irish officer that Fr Page was neglecting the care of his troops. Bernard replied: “Frankly, your note has greatly pained me. It appears to me hasty, unjust and unkind: hasty because you did not obtain full knowledge of the facts; unjust because you apparently condemn me unheard; unkind because you do not give me credit for doing my best.” After an emollient reply from the Provincial, Bernard softens: “You don’t know what long horseback rides, days and nights in rain and snow, little or no sleep and continual ‘iron rations’ can do to make one tired and not too good-tempered.”

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Bernard Page was born in India where his father was a judge, but from the age of seven lived in Glenorchy in Tasmania, from where he was sent to Xavier College as a boarder. In 1895 he entered the novitiate at Loyola Greenwich under Aloysius Sturzo. In mid-1898 he went to Xavier College as hall prefect and teacher, and appears to have been the founding editor of the Xaverian. By 1900 he ran the debating and drama, Page was a careful and competent photographer, and the photographic record of his time at Xavier is amongst the most valuable photos of the whole Irish Mission. He travelled to Europe, did philosophy at Valkenburg and was sent back to teaching at Clongowes and Belvedere, 1904-07. After tertianship Page served at Preston in England until 1914, and during that time requested a transfer to the English province, which was apparently refused. War chaplaincy followed, including a trip to the forces in Murmansk. He worked in a parish in Oxford, 1921-22, and from then until 1947 he served at St Walburge's parish in Preston. Page never considered himself Australian but maintained an interest in the work of the Society in Australia, and kept up contacts from his Xavier days.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949


Fr. Bernard Fullerton Page (1877-1895-1948) – Vice Province of Australia

Many members of our Province will remember well Fr. Page, who died recently in England, who belonged to the Vice-Province of Australia, was born at Khishagur, Bengal, India on 16th July, 1877 and began his noviceship at Sydney on 1st March, 1895. There also he did his juniorate but for pbilosophy went to Valkenburg. He began his theology at Louvain but completed the course at Milltown Park where he was ordained priest on 26th July, 1910. After finishing his tertianship, he joined the staff at St. Ignatius, Preston and was an army chaplain during the 1914-1918 war. After demobilisation, he was at St. Aloysius, Oxford in 1921 and in 1922 went to St. Walburge's, Preston where he remained until ill health compelled him to retire to Petworth in March, 1948. He was the editor of the Walburgian and was able to boast that even under war-time conditions, publication was never delayed. He was also the author of a Life of St. Walburge, “Our Story : The History of St. Walburge's Parish”, “The Sacristan's Handbook”, and “Priest's Pocket Ritual”. R.I.P.

Potter, Laurence, 1872-1934, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/362
  • Person
  • 24 December 1872-30 November 1934

Born: 24 December 1872, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny
Entered: 12 November 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907
Final Vows: 02 February 1910
Died: 30 November 1934, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1894 at Exaeten College Limburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1895 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1909 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 4 1926

College of the Sacred Heart Limerick : On May 16th, Fr McCurtin's appointment as Rector was announced. On the same day, his predecessor, Fr L. Potter, took up his new duties as Superior of the Apostolic School. During his seven years' rectorship the Church was considerably extended, a new organ gallery erected, and a new organ installed. A beautiful new Shrine in honour of the Sacred Heart was added, and a marble flooring to the Sanctuary laid down.

Irish Province News 10th Year No 2 1935

Obituary :

Father Laurence Potter

From Father C. Byrne
Father Laurence Potter was born in Kilkenny, 24th December, 1872. He was educated at Clongowes. In 1890 he entered the Noviceship at Tullabeg, and on taking his first Vows went to Milltown for one year as a Junior. He studied Philosophy at Exaeten for one year and at Valkenburg for two. Returning to Ireland he spent three years at Clongowes, three as Master and two as Lower Line Prefect. He was then changed to Mungret, but at the end of the year was brought back to Clongowes for two more years as Higher Line Prefect. He thus spent eight years in the Colleges, an experience not uncommon in those days. In 1904 he began his four years Theology at Milltown, and then went to Tertianship at Tronchiennes.
Soon after his return from Belgium he underwent two serious operations that made the rest of his life one round of suffering. So well did he conceal it that few knew through what an agony he was passing.
'We next find him at Belvedere for two years, the second one as Minister, then Clongowes as Minister for eight years. During that period the Centenary of the College was celebrated, and his good humour, energy, attention to details during the countless difficulties of that big celebration were simply amazing.
In 1919 he became Rector of the Crescent, and for seven and a half years there was a repetition of his Centenary energy. His first act was to have the playground concreted. The next, to build the beautiful shrine of the Sacred Heart, with its marble walls and brass gates. The faithful were so impressed that they subscribed the entire cost, and it amounted to £2,000. And in addition, they made a number of nary beautiful and costly presents , enough to mention a crucifix, candlesticks, charts,all of solid silver, for the altar.
His next effort was the removal of those dark passages at the end of the church, familiarly known as the “Catacombs” The magnitude of this undertaking may be gathered from the fact that the walls that had to be removed were the main walls that supported the organ gallery and part of the house. The result was that the Nave of the church was as lengthened by about one third. A handsome wooden partition with glass panels now forms the porch.
He also widened the side passages by recessing the confessionals into the walls, had the sanctuary floor laid down at a cost of £800, and made a number of other improvements that space prevents our detailing. The Electric lighting of the house should not be passed over.
All this involved immense expense which Father Potter faced with great courage. He set in action ever so many ways of collecting money, in which he got invaluable help from Father W. P. O'Reilly. The people, on their side, behaved splendidly, so that the big work was done without serious financial trouble. This was all the more remarkable because at the sane time Father R. Dillon-Kelly and his choir were making strenuous efforts collecting funds to put up a new organ. Complete success crowned their efforts, but at a cost of nearly £3,500.
Father Potter went through all this work although he was a decidedly sick man. Yet he never complained. His friends wondered at his fortitude, but could do nothing, for every suggestion of rest would be smilingly brushed aside. That smile was constant. He was always bright and gay, and most easy of approach. One who lived with him in Clongowes for five years and in Limerick for six, and who had much to do with him, testifies that never, even once, did he experience anything from him but the greatest courtesy. Father Potter was certainly built of sterner stuff than most ordinary mortals, otherwise he could not have gone through all these years, doing the work he did so cheerfully, without giving quarter to his ailing body.
His departure from Limerick, in 1926, was universally regretted. He spent one year in Rathfarnham as Minister, and was then sent to Gardiner Street, still as Minister. Here he worked till his death, seven years later. As in Clongowes they had their Centenary Celebrations while he was Minister, so in Gardiner Street they had similar celebrations, and not long after came the Eucharistic Congress. Both these events called forth yet again all his old time energy and attention to details.
His health was gradually getting worse, still he took on, in addition to his ordinary work, the management of the Penny Dinners for the Poor. He built a new hall fitted with all modern improvements for cooking.
At last he grew so ill that he was relieved of his duties as Minister. He did not survive long. He suffered greatly towards the end, and passing away on the 30th November, was buried on the Feast of St. Francis Xavier, Patron of the Church.
Father Potter had great gifts of body and mind. His power of endurance was wonderful, his mind was always active. His practical judgment was sound and shrewd. As already stated, he was always bright and cheerful, and he never seemed to lose his peace of mind. This was very much in evidence in the Black and Tan days, when Limerick was in a ferment. In spite of night patrols, masked raiders, etc., he never lost his equanimity. His cheerful outlook and helpful encouragement gave great support to his community. The example of his constant work was an inspiration. Hard on himself, he was never hard onI others, and towards the sick he was always most attentive, sparing no expense or trouble in their behalf. His tender charity towards the poor was on a par with his energy towards every work to which he put his hand.
The crowds of all classes that attended his funeral gave ample proof, fi such were needed, of the degree to which he had endeared himself to those with whom he had come in contact in the course of his varied and active life.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Laurence Potter 1872-1945
Fr Laurence Potter was born in Kilkenny in 1872, was educated at Clongowes, and entered the Society at 18 years of age. He is a brother of Fr Henry, also a Jesuit.

Fr Larry was the Rector responsible for the beautifying and enlargement of our Church at the Crescent Limerick. He built the beautiful shrine to the Sacred Heart, he removed the catacombs at the end of the Church, thereby lengthening the nave by a third. All these improvements entailed endless worried, both financial and otherwise. Yet he invariably retained his equanimity, in spite of a life of suffering following two serious operations in his early life.

His period of office in Limerick coincided with “the troubled times”, a time which called for great tact and courage in a Rector. Transferred to Gardiner Street, he had charge of the “Penny Dinners” and built a new hall for this purpose in Cumberland Street.

In spite of ill health, he was outstanding in physical and moral courage, which was rooted in a deep and manly spirituality. He died a happy death on November 30th 1935.

Power, Albert, 1870-1948, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2000
  • Person
  • 12 November 1870-12 October 1948

Born: 12 November 1870, Dublin
Entered: 13 August 1887, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 29 July 1906, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1909
Died: 12 October 1948, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

2nd year Novitiate at Tullabeg;
by 1894 at Cannes France (LUGD) health
Came to Australia for Regency 1896
by 1902 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Albert Power came from a pious Catholic family, uninterested in politics. Their life centred the Jesuit church in Gardiner Street, and the Jesuits educated Power at Belvedere College. Albert's vocation was believed to be a great blessing by the whole family.
He entered the Society, 13 August 1887, First at Dromore, and then moved to Tullabeg under John Colman. He studied for his humanities degree as a junior at Tullabeg and Milltown Park, Dublin. His health was not good, and he was sent to Australia, 1895-1901, to teach the classics at Riverview. He was prefect of studies from 1899-1901. He returned to Europe and Valkenburg, for philosophy, and to Milltown Park for theology, 1903-07. He lectured in dogma and scripture, and held the office of prefect of studies and rector at Milltown Park, 1907-18. He was a consultor of the province from 1914-18.
Power returned to Australia to become the first rector of Newman College, Melbourne University, where he tutored in history and English. He was appointed the first rector of the diocesan seminary, Corpus Christi College, Werribee, as well as being consultor of the mission in 1923. He taught Latin, Greek, history, elocution, and Hebrew, as well as scripture at various times, and was much sought after by nuns for spiritual direction, which was “wise, firm and sure”. He had a special liking for Our Lady's Nurses at Coogee, founded by Eileen O'Connor, a good and holy lady.
Power had much Irish piety, but was not good in the apologetics of dealing with non-Catholics. He was a clear teacher, but not an original thinker. He had great devotion to God, the Church, the Society and to all in trouble. His published works included: “Six World Problems” (NY: Postet, 1927); “Our Lady’s Titles” (NY: Postet, 1928); “Plain Reasons for Being a Catholic: (NY: Postet, 1929), and many ACTS pamphlets, including “The Sanity of Catholicism” and “Do Catholics Think for Themselves?”. He retired to Xavier College in 1945 and remained there until his death.
Power was a very small man, and called 'the mighty atom' because of his abundant energy and ceaseless activity. He was first and foremost a devout Irish Catholic and all his later learning did nothing but reinforce the faith he had learned from his mother. But the intensity of his faith and devotion appealed enormously to the devout and to struggling souls, and he had a very wide spiritual clientele, especially among women.
He was also a genuine classical scholar and a first class teacher, much appreciated at Riverview by staff and students. He deepened his knowledge of scripture and was able to expound it better than most people. He was not particularly contemporary with theology, but in Latin, Greek or Hebrew, he was an expert. While his sympathies were somewhat narrow, and he found it hard to understand different personalities, he was a highly respected priest.
From external appearances, Power was a very successful Jesuit, projecting confidence and friendliness. His diaries, however, revealed an inner struggle to become the kind of person he believed that God and the Society of Jesus expected him to be. He typified most Jesuits who seemed to experience a continual tension between their individual personality and the expectations of formal authority.
But being a Jesuit for Power was not all romance and adventure to the ends of the earth. It also meant some internal changes in the person. Through socialisation processes in the Society, he believed that to be a good Jesuit he should avoid the things of the “world”. For him this meant obedience to the rules of the Society avoiding material and secular distractions, such as visiting “externs”, or interest in the political or social questions of his time. In the diaries he expressed the struggle within him to be such a person. In particular he recognised a tension in his life between fear and love, believing that love, confidence and hope were better motives for the Christian life than fear.
While respecting and admiring men who preached an austere life with much mortification and self-denial, he was never comfortable with that more traditional spirituality which had frequently caused him tension and “nerves”. Power suffered from scruples, and he needed to be encouraged in his convictions about a more joyful spirituality. However, he was sufficiency clear-minded to observe that too much self-introspection inflamed the scrupulous conscience and led to depression. He would prefer to convince himself that somehow his personal problems would be resolved once he became close to God.
He enjoyed meditating on the life of Christ, entering well into St Ignatius' use of the senses as the retreatant contemplated Christ in his humanity Power was more comfortable relating to a loving and caring Christ. In his diaries, sermons and lectures, he expressed a spirituality that accepted the whole human person, intellectual and affective.
Power's spirituality reflected much of the emotion of the French spiritual writers whom he claimed to value and whom he read at various stages through his life. St Francis de Sales was a good counter balance to Michael Browne's severe spirituality He read de Maumigny, de Ravignan, Lallemant, and St Therese. All these authors wrote about the importance of human emotions in the spiritual life. Human and consoling thoughts of joy and hope were needed in a soul that was torn by self-doubt and anxiety,
Power regularly expressed recognition of the movement of strong spirits within him, especially guilt, but as he grew in understanding of himself and learnt how to discern these spirits, he could offer himself sound advice, but he was not always able to put it into practice. He also worried about not possessing many human qualities. He wanted to be more patient, amiable, large-minded, more generous and self-sacrificing, courteous, and tolerant.
Despite his weaknesses, through direction and resection, Power seemed to grow in his spiritual life, becoming less introspective, more controlled and happy with his life. Learning to live with tensions, and working hard through teaching, writing, spiritual direction, and retreats, towards the end of his active life, he found the confidence to record :
“ I find it hard to resist a cry for help from someone i distress (of body or soul). And I think I can say - honestly- that during the past twenty years I have rarely (if ever) refused help when I could give it......”
Living in an age that generally promoted a severe spirituality Power exemplified those Jesuits who experienced tension when presented with an exclusively austere spirituality and he came to prefer a more fully human integration - a balance paradoxically more natural and instinctive to the older Irish traditions in which he had his roots.

Note from the Joseph A Brennan Entry
He was also chosen to superintend the foundation of Corpus Christi College, Werribee, whilst awaiting the arrival of the Rector, Albert Power.

Note from William McEntegart Entry
He arrived in 1926 and went to Corpus Christi College, Werribee, to teach philosophy. But it was not long before he clashed with the rector, Albert Power. McEntegart was a genial, easy-going man. Albert Power a small, intense, hard-drivlng and rather narrow man. The latter persuaded himself the former was having a bad influence on the students, and had him moved to Riverview in 1927. He had McEntegart's final vows postponed, despite clearance from the English province. After this treatment, McEntegart naturally desired to return to his own province, and left Australia in February 1929.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949
Fr. Albert Power (1870-1887-1948) – Vice Province of Australia
A native of Dublin Fr. Power was educated at Belvedere College, and entered the Society at Dromore in 1887 at the age of 17. After a brilliant course at the old Royal University of Ireland, he taught at Riverview College, Sydney, and later studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, and theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1906. He joined the professorial staff at Milltown Park, first as Professor of Dogmatic Theology and later of Sacred Scripture, and was Dean of Studies and Rector from 1910-18.
In the latter year Archbishop Mannix founded Newman College at the University of Melbourne and entrusted it to the Fathers of the Society. Father Power led a band of pioneer teachers to Newman and was its first Rector. From 1923-30 he was Rector of the new Regional Seminary, Corpus Christi College, Werribee, and continued until 1945 on its teaching staff. He was also for most of this period Spiritual Director of the seminarians, so that for nearly a quarter of a century he played a distinguished part in the training of the secular priesthood of the Archdiocese. In 1947 when celebrating at Xavier College, Kew, the 60th anniversary of his entrance into the Society he was honoured by the largest gathering of his former priest-students ever to assemble in Melbourne.
Father Power was a popular lecturer in the Catholic Hour broad cast from Melbourne. His books include “Plain Reasons for Being a Catholic”, “The Catholic Church and Her Critics”, and “Six World Problems”.

Power, Edmund, 1878-1953, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/363
  • Person
  • 02 March 1878-03 August 1953

Born: 02 March 1878, Kilcullane, Herbertstown, County Limerick
Entered: 01 October 1896, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912
Professed: 25 February 1915
Died: 03 August 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1901 in Saint Joseph’s, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) studying oriental language
by 1908 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1910 at Oran, Algeria (LUGD) studying
by 1910 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1915 at Pontifical Biblical Institute Rome, Italy (ROM) teaching

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from J Austin Hartigan Entry :
After Noviceship he made studies at Tullabeg, and then Eastern languages at Beirut with Edmund Power.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Studied at St Patrick’s Seminary Thurles and St Patrick’s College Maynooth to 1st Divinity before entry

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 28th Year No 4 1953

Obituary :

Father Edmond Power 1878-1953

When Father Power went to his reward, on August 3rd, the Irish Province lost one of its most venerable and distinguished sons. Studying, teaching and writing with unflagging energy till the end, he had done much, in a long lifetime, for that scholarly defence of the Faith which, as the Holy Father said at our fourth centenary, is what the Church chiefly asks of the Society. The funeral of “this eminent Jesuit scholar”, to quote the papers, was marked by sympathetic tributes from the highest dignitaries of Church and State in Ireland. All felt that there had gone from us a learned and holy man who could hardly, if ever, be replaced. Fr. Power had, in fact, in a laborious life devoted to some of the most difficult branches of scholarship, brought his great gifts to a readiness and ripeness which made him indeed a master in Israel." Happily, in the most important contribution which be made to the recent “Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture” be was able to leave to the Church a fitting memorial of his great achievements.
Father Power was born at Kilcullane, Herbertstown, Co. Limerick, in 1878. From his sturdy farming ancestors he derived a wiry vigour which stood him in good stead during the rigours of a student's life passed for the most part under the trying conditions of Eastern and Roman climates. His deep piety too owed much to his remarkable family - seven of his sisters became nuns, two of his brothers priests, one of whom was till his retirement Parish Priest in California, the other Archdeacon of the Cashel diocese. One sister and one brother “stayed in the world”, and Fr. Power had the happiness of seeing a nephew ordained last year. He treasured the memory of his father, who instilled into his children a great devotion to the daily rosary, and who was a weekly communicant at a time when few felt prepared. His saintly mother may well be remembered by her words in time of trial : “What is this life worth, except to serve God”. Fr. Edmond was not the slowest to learn and live that lesson.
He was a talented child, who learnt the alphabet in one lesson at the age of three - a foreshadowing of what he would do later when faced with the four hundred cuneiform characters of the Assyrian ‘alphabet’. When he left the National School to attend the Christian Brothers, Limerick, he was intended for law. But his vocation to the priesthood brought him to Thurles Seminary where in one year he won a place at Maynooth. There he studied Philosophy for two years, 1894-6, and three weeks Theology, before entering the noviceship. Well-meaning and revered counsellors had urged him to wait till after ordination. But he was determined “to get the real Jesuit spirit” by doing the full course, thereby showing the high esteem he had of the Society, and which he expressed on his death-bed. “A year or two”, he said, “what does it matter? You all know what I think of the Society”. He was remembered at Maynooth as the student who was always in the chapel.
He stayed in Tullabeg for his juniorate, 1898-1902, gaining one of the most brilliant degrees on record at the Royal University in Ancient Classics. During three of these years, he taught his fellow juniors. In 1906 he went to the University of the French Jesuits at Beirut. His chief study was Arabic, ancient and modern, which he admitted he found much more difficult than the Hebrew which he also studied, along with Syriac, Aramaic, Assyrian, Coptic and the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. His doctorate thesis was on a medieval poet of Arabia. During these years he gained that living familiarity with the East which graced his widely-read articles on Palestinian Customs as illustrating the Bible. A year's teaching at Clongowes was followed by two years philosophy at Valkenburg, and theology with the exiled French Jesuits at Hastings. His way of passing the summer, even most of the one after ordination, was to study in the British Museum, His preparation for his work could hardly have been more apt or thorough.
In Tertianship at Tullabeg, he was highly appreciated as the author of skits and humorous poems performed at the concerts given to the Novices on festive occasions. His wit was indeed always quick, though his charity restricted its play. He was called to Rome in 1914 to begin the twenty-four years of Professorship at the Biblical Institute which made him a well-loved figure to hundreds of students from all parts of the world. His chief subjects were Arabic, Syriac, Biblical Archaeology, the physical and historical Geography of Palestine, all demanding highly specialised skill. He was for a time editor of the scientific organ of the Institute “Biblica”, and contributed regularly the Bibliography which covered all fields of Scripture studies. He also edited the more ‘popular’ “Verbum Domini”, where articles in his elegant Latin often appeared. His learned research articles gained him the name of high erudition even with those who could not accept some of his conclusions. Perhaps the finest publication of his Roman period was the study of the religion of Islam in Huby's Christus. Some of his work, especially his identification of the site of the House of Caiphas, brought him into controversy with the great Dominican scholars of Jerusalem. When the dust had settled, the new Dictionnaire de la Bible entrusted the subject in question to Fr. Power.
Returning finally to Milltown Park in 1938, at the age of sixty, Fr. Power began an Indian summer which was to be perhaps the most fruitful period of his life. In 1941 he added exegesis of the New Testament to his classes on the old, and took on the duties of prefect of studies. His lectures were clear and solid, and he shirked no amount of repetition to drive home what had to be known - a trait very welcome to students heavily burdened with examinations. The project of a complete English commentary on the Bible found in him an enthusiastic supporter, and his scholarship and industry made him a valued contributor. Nor only did he fulfil his own engagements punctually, but he took up tasks where others defaulted. It is hardly too much to say that without him the Commentary would not have been published for many years more, nor would it have reached the standard it did in the time. To the remuneration of the 200,000 words he wrote, the publishers added a substantial sum in recognition of the special part he played in its production. The relentless energy he put into this work was astonishing in so frail and stooped a frame, racked as it was by the paroxysms of a cough which had been chronic since his early days in Rome. He wore out at his work, but it was well done.
He was fully conscious during his last illness, which lasted only a day, and he died in sentiments of tranquil hope. Priests wept unashamedly at his graveside. None could recall a harsh or an uncharitable remark from his lips, but all remembered his patient and humble obedience, the fervour of his Mass, office and beads, his courageous devotion to duty. Many regretted the loss of a prudent kind and understanding confessor and his friends inside and outside the Society, in many parts of the country, mourned a sympathetic and self-effacing companion. It was well to have known this model of work and prayer. He had joined the Society with the clear purpose of serving God there perfectly. His merciful Judge knows how loyally he kept his word.

Irish Province News 29th Year No 1 1954


of the late Father Edmund Power
It was only a few days ago that I heard from Fr. Sutcliffe, S.J. of the death of Fr. Edmund Power, S.J., our colleague for the past ten years in the production of A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, and I should like to express on behalf of the other contributors and myself our deep sorrow at your loss and ours. I said Mass for him the day after I heard the news and am making a 30-day memento, which is the same as we always do for the brethren of our own Community.
Fr. Power's part in the production of our Commentary was in valuable and can hardly be overestimated. From our first approach to him early in 1944, be was an enthusiastic supporter of the project, and so far as I can gather, he devoted the greater part of the next seven years to writing a series of articles and commentaries, the learning, balance and breadth of which are amongst the greatest adornments of our work. Indeed, without bis amazing industry and energy it is difficult to see how we could ever have completed our task. His helpfulness and willingness to undertake assignments unfulfilled by others showed the breadth of his character, and none of the many great calls we made on him but was cheerfully taken up and completed to our great satis faction. Both from his and our point of view, it was providential that in his last years we were able fully to utilise those great stores of learn ing and experience that he had built up in the course of a most distinguished career.
My own personal contact with him was unfortunately limited to one personal flying visit to Milltown Park in 1945, where I was most hospitably received and entertained. I always received the greatest personal consideration from him at every time and I was always struck by his humility in consulting and sometimes deferring to a much younger and less knowledgeable person. I should appreciate very much receiving a copy of his obit card and of his obituary notice.
Bernard Orchard

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edmund Power 1878-1953
Fr Edmund Power was born of farming stock near Herbertstown County Limerick. His early years of farm life gave him a strong body, which stood him in good stead during his arduous years of study.

He was educated by the Christian Brothers in Limerick. He went first to Maynooth, and when he had finished the Philosophy courses, he entered the novitiate at Tullabeg. He did his studies abroad and was ordained in 1912.

He was then sent to the Biblical Institute, where he spent the next 24 years. He contributed to many learned magazines, including “Studies” and “Christus”. He took a major part in th compilation of the Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture.

He returned to Dublin in 1938 to teach Old and New testament Studies at Milltown Park. His many virtues made him much beloved. He died there on August 3rd 1953.

Ryan, Edward F, 1886-1928, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2077
  • Person
  • 07 February 1886-14 September 1928

Born: 07 February 1886, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1903, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1920
Final Vows: 02 February 1923
Died: 14 September 1928, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1912 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Clongowes.

After his Novitiate he had six years of Juniorate, two of which included teaching other Juniors and he graduated MA in Classics, maintaining first place in his group throughout. These years were spent in Tullabeg for 5 years and then Milltown.
He was then sent to Valkenburg for Philosophy.
He made his Regency teaching at Clongowes for three years.
He then went to Milltown for Theology.
He finished his formation at Tullabeg making tertianship there and also serving as Socius to the Novice Master, and then continued in the latter position for two more years, and also being Minister for one of those.
He was then sent to Rathfarnham as Minister of Juniors for a year.
He was then sent to Mungret as Prefect of Studies.
1926 He was appointed Prefect of Studies at Belvedere. For the greater part of a year he did this job with great success, and then he was diagnosed with malignant cancer. In spite of every effort by doctors and great care, they were unable to halt the progress of the cancer and he died at St Vincent’s Hospital 14 September 1928.

He was a brilliant Classical scholar, but more importantly, Frank was a model of unostentatious holiness. He was as faithful to his religious duties as a novice. Kindness and charity were the characteristic virtues of his life. His gentleness did not interfere with his capacity to govern. Where Frank ruled, law and order reigned. Honest reasonable work was the order of the day. Everything was done gently and quietly. He left no pain, nor bitterness behind.

His death was met with great sorrow on the part of all who knew him.

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

Fr Edward (Frank) Ryan

On Friday Sept. 14th, feast of The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, death robbed the Irish Province of one of its most promising members. On that day Fr Frank Ryan died in Dublin, at the early age of 42.

Fr. Frank was born on the 7th Feb. 1886, educated at Clongowes, and entered the Society on Sept. 7th 1903. He got no less than six years Juniorate, five of them in Tullabeg and one in Milltown. However for two of these years he discharged with success the difficult task of teaching other Juniors. He won his MA in 1911, retaining the place he had held all through his University course - first in the Classical Group. Three years Philosophy at Valkenburg followed, and then three years teaching in Clongowes. A brilliant course of Theology at Milltown over, he went to Tullabeg for the Tertianship, acting during the year as Socius to the Master of Novices. This latter position he held for the next two years, discharging at the same time the duties of Minister. Then a year in charge of the Juniors at Rathfarnham, and another as Prefect of Studies at Mungret. In 1926 he was appointed Prefect of Studies at Belvedere. For the greater part of the year he did his work with pronounced success, and then the call came. He was attacked by malignant cancer. In spite of all that modern science could do, in spite of loving and intelligent care, the dread disease claimed another victim, and Frank passed to his reward from St. Vincent's hospital on the 14th Sept. 1928.
That he was a brilliant Classical scholar his University success abundantly proves, but, far better than this, Fr Frank was a model of unostentatious holiness. To the daily round of duties in the Society he retained to the end the regularity of a novice. Kindliness, charity of the right kind. was the characteristic virtue of his life. Yet this gentleness in no way impaired his efficiency. Where Fr Frank ruled law and order reigned, honest, reasonable work was the order of the day. And everything was done quietly. There were no earthquake shocks. He left no soreness, no bitterness behind in any of the departments over which he presided. He “kept the justice of the King; So vigorously yet mildly, that all hearts Applauded”. Very sincere sorrow, on the part of all who knew him, followed Fr Frank to his early grave. But he has not “altogether died”. He will long be remembered as a man who has shown us that brilliant success and thoroughgoing efficiency are very consistent with the greatest gentleness and kindliness of character. May he rest in peace.

A contemporary of his writes :
Fr Frank was only just finding his work and opportunity when God called him away. The years he spent as Socius at Tullabeg, even the years he spent at Rathfarnham, did not show him at his best. As Prefect of Studies at Mungret he first revealed his power of organisation and his capacity for dealing with men.
In Belvedere he found a perfect field for the exercise of his rare talents and his one year of work there, shortened enough and interrupted by his fatal disease, gave grounds for the highest anticipations, There was more than a great Prefect of Studies lost in him. Those who knew him best had come to recognise that his judgment, his intelligence, his kindness, his firmness and his enterprise, his complete interest in the work he was given, fitted him for higher things. But his contemporaries will keep longest the joyous memory of his social gifts. He was a perfect community man. His interests were always these of his house. He was full of gaiety, saw the humorous side of situations, and told a story or an adventure excellently.
Those who lived with him in Tullabeg or Milltown Park, who rowed with him in the boats on the Canal and the Brosna, or walked to Lough Bray or Glendhu, or cycled to Lough Dan or Luggala, these will not soon forget what a companion he was. He planned all these excursions. He saw to all the details. He forgot nothing, overlooked nothing. He was most ingenious and thoughtful in his charity. He knew every inch of the Dublin hills and knew the times necessary for all stages of the journey. No one could pack a bag as he could. He loved to surprise you by all the wonderful things he would draw out of it beside the fire on the Scalp or Glendhu.
Such talents, that judgment, intelligence capacity, frankness, such a temperament, so kind, joyous, humorous, can ill be spared in our Province. But perhaps, the greatest thing in his life was its ending.
For sixteen months he lived under sentence of death, He was too intelligent, too clear sighted, not lo know what his disease meant. He could mark its advance, he could note his own growing weakness No one who visited him during that time can forget his courage and cheeriness. He was always calm, always his old self. He kept up his interest in things, would speak dispassionately, if asked, about his sickness. He could tell a good story. He was never absorbed by his own ills.
Perhaps that is the lesson - courage, cheerfulness, conformity - that God wished him to preach by his life and death. Requiescat in pace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edward Francis (Frank) Ryan 1886-1928
“Whom the Gods love, die young” was certainly verified in the case of Fr Frank Ryan. Having displayed remarkable qualities of mind and heart, he died of a malignant cancer at the age of 42.

He was born on February 7th 1886, educated at Clongowes and entering the Society in 1903.

He was brilliant in his studies, taking his MA in Classics in 1907, retaining the place he had held all through, 1st in the Classical group. After an outstanding course in Theology in Milltown Park, he acted as Socius to the Master of Novices in Tullabeg. In rapid succession, he was Master of Juniors, Prefect of Studies in Mungret and Belvedere, in which house he first became aware of his dread disease.

He died on September 14th 1928.

The truly remarkable gifts of character he enjoyed may be gauged from the fact that even now, many years after his death, he is spoken of by those who knew him for his gaiety and kindness, and his rare quality of intuitive sympathy.

Ryan, Francis X, 1860-1925, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/389
  • Person
  • 04 October 1860-31 May 1925

Born: 04 October 1860, Toomevara, County Tipperary
Entered: 10 September 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1895
Final vows: 02 February 1889
Died: 31 May 1925, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1898 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1898

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Clongowes.

He studied Philosophy at Milltown and then Mungret for with three other Philosophers , Edward Masterson, Francis Keogh and Patrick Barrett.
He was sent to Tullabeg teaching, and later similarly at Clongowes and Belvedere for Regency.
He then studied Theology at Milltown.
1898 He was sent for Tertianship to Holland.
Some time after that he sailed to Australia, where he taught in various Colleges in Melbourne and Sydney.
He died rather suddenly 31 May 1925.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Francis Ryan entered the Society at Milltown Park, Dublin, 10 September 1880, and completed his juniorate studies at the same place, 1882-83. He was sent to teach French and arithmetic, and was prefect of discipline at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, 1883-86. His philosophy studies followed at Milltown Park and Mungret, 1886-89.
This was followed by teaching German and French at Clongowes, 1889-91. Seven years of regency was common in those days. Theology was at Milltown Park, 1891-94, followed by four years teaching French and Italian at Belvedere College, Dublin. Tertianship was at Wijnandsrade, Limburg, Holland, 1897-98, before he left Ireland for Australia in 1898.
He taught at Riverview for some of his time in Australia, 1898-99, and again, 1917-25, but also at St Patrick's College, East Melbourne, 1899-1917. In both places he was spiritual father, and was minister at St Patrick's, 1909-13.
Ryan was a linguist of considerable attainments, and was said to have been a good teacher, and a noted amateur gardener. He was also much prized as a giver of retreats. The boys at St Patrick's College were said to have “idolised” him. He collapsed and died at Riverview while running to drive some cattle out of the garden on an Old Boys day.

Ryan, John, 1894-1973, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/452
  • Person
  • 19 February 1894-17 December 1973

Born: 19 February 1894, Castleconnell, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1911, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1926
Final vows: 02 February 1968
Died: 17 December 1973, St Ignatius, Leeson Street, Dublin

Editor of An Timire, 1929-30.

Studied for MA at UCD

by 1920 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1921 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1922 at Sacred Heart Bonn, Germany (GER I) studying
by 1924 at Oña, Burgos, Castile y León, Spain (CAST) studying
by 1930 at Münster, Germany (GER I) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 1 1941

Leeson St :
Fr. John Ryan has been nominated by the Government a Trustee of the National Library and a member of the Governing Board of Celtic Studies in the new Institute for Advanced

Irish Province News 40th Year No 2 1965

Rev. Professor John Ryan, S.J., M.A., D.Litt.

Rev Professor John Ryan, S.J., had his secondary education at the Crescent College, Limerick, and thence entered the Jesuit Order. His Arts course in University College led to the B.A. degree with the highest Honours in Celtic Studies, 1917, the Travelling Studentship, 1918, and the M.A. degree, 1919. There after he spent a good many years abroad, acquiring incidentally, a remarkable equipment in modern languages; his philosophical studies were made at Louvain and Valkenburg, his theological partly at Oña, Burgos. The postponed Travelling Studentship years were spent at Bonn, 1921-23, where the illustrious Thurneysen found in him a pupil to whom, he declared, he had little new to offer. In 1931 Fr. Ryan presented his magnus opus, the volume on Irish Monasticism, for the D.Litt. degree, and became Lecturer in Early Irish History in the college. In 1942 he succeeded Professor Eoin MacNeill in the Chair of Early (including Medieval) Irish History, from which he retired in July 1964.
Among Fr. Ryan's many books and articles may be mentioned The Cain Adomnain (in Studies in Early Irish Law, 1936), The Battle of Clontarf (J.R.S.A.I., 1938), The Abbatial Succession at Clonmacnoise (in Feil-Sgribhinn Eoin Mhic Neill, which was edited by Fr. Ryan, 1940). Many other articles will be collected in a volume to mark the occasion of Fr. Ryan's retirement.
Fr. Ryan's knowledge of early Ireland can only be described as prodigious, his rich and exact information on one aspect being always available to illustrate another. As one of his colleagues puts it, "In answer to a question about an event in a particular century, the whole Ireland of the time would come to life-the political boundaries, the movement of peoples, the interplay of dynasties, the relation of Church and State, the tapestry of genealogies, and as well, for full measure, the impact of the outside world." A wonderful teacher, his rich and humane learning has been available to any enquirer just as readily as to his own students. To travel with him in any part of Ireland is, I am told and can readily believe, a fascinating experience. His familiarity with the genealogies in the Book of Ballymote is not greater than his acquaintance with the names over the shops in the modern towns and villages, and he would delight his travelling companion in tracing the links between the two.
Though Fr. Ryan's classes were never large, and though he was not much involved in the busy concerns of the college, we think of him as a great college man. Perhaps it is because his devotion to the Ireland of the past, which for him survives in the Ireland of the present, gives him a special attachment to the college and sense of its true function. His colleagues hope for a long continuation of his health and his studies, his friendly society and quiet enthusiasm.

Irish Province News 49th Year No 1 1974

35 Lower Leeson Street
The death of Fr John Ryan on Monday, December 17th, was a source of much grief to all at Leeson St. He was an exemplary religious and a great community man. We shall miss him. This issue carried an obituary. The Papal Nuncio presided at the Concelebrated Requiem Mass at Gardiner St. and messages of sympathy were received from the Archbishop of Dublin, the Archbishop of Cashel, Mgr Hamell of Birr, the President of UCD on behalf of the University and from many others too numerous to be mentioned here.

Obituary :

Fr John Ryan (1894-1973)

By the death of Fr John Ryan, the Province has lost one of its most distinguished and well-loved members. Fr Ryan had such a full life that it is difficult in a short space to do justice to it. However, for a start, the mere outline of his career will give some idea of the extent and high standard of his many activities.
He was born at Derreen, Castleconnell, Co. Limerick in 1894, was educated at the Crescent College, and entered the novitiate in 1911. He was one of the first band of Juniors in Rathfarnham in 1913, and was directed to take up Celtic studies in University College, Dublin. It is generally acknowledged that the selection of young men for special studies is not an easy matter, since so many extraneous factors may later frustrate the original plan. However, in the case of Fr Ryan, everything concurred to confirm the far seeing decision of his superiors. He proved himself to be a student of outstanding ability and unflagging industry, took his BA with high honours in 1917, the travelling studentship in 1918 and MA in 1919. He was fortunate in having as his professor such an eminent scholar as Eoin MacNeill, and this early association laid the foundations of a lifelong friendship. Fr Ryan had the happiness, a quarter of a century later, of being invited to edit the volume Féilsgríbhinn Eoin Mhic Néill, presented to his old professor on his retirement.
He then completed his philosophy at Louvain and Valkenburg, and took up his postponed studentship in 1921-23, when he resumed his Celtic studies at the university of Bonn, under the renowned Swiss scholar Rudolf Thurneysen. Here again a close friendship sprang up between professor and student. On the death of Thurneysen in 1940, Fr Ryan paid a worthy tribute to him in the pages of Studies, and recalled the happy hours he had spent in the Professor’s house, and how “when the coffee-cups had been cleared away, the talk would begin in earnest”. In 1923 Fr Ryan went to Oña, Burgos, for theology, and was ordained in 1926 at Milltown Park, After some more studies in Germany and Dublin, he was, in 1930, appointed lecturer in Early Irish History at University College, Dublin. He joined the Leeson St community, living at first in University Hall, where he was a popular figure among the students. A year later, he published his most important book, Irish Monasticism: Origins and Development, and was awarded the D Litt In 1942 he succeeded Eoin MacNeill in the chair of Early (including Medieval) Irish History, which he held until his retirement in 1964, when he was appointed Professor Emeritus.
For some years after his retirement, he led a comparatively active life, producing articles of a high standard from time to time. Later, his sight became impaired and his general health declined. He was, however, mentally alert and in his usual good spirits up to the day of his death, On December 17th he had a severe stroke. He rallied for a while and was anointed, but shortly afterwards became unconscious and died peacefully that evening.
As has been said, this bare outline alone reveals the quality of Fr Ryan's professional career. But to fully appreciate its greatness, it must be recorded that every stage of it was packed with activity. To begin with, from the start and to the end, he devoted himself most conscientiously to his main work, the teaching of his classes. His lectures were prepared with the utmost care, in fact, if they had a defect, it was that of being too meticulous. He was deeply interested in his students and most self-sacrificing in the help he gave them. In addition, he fulfilled with energy that other function of a professor, the promotion of his subject by research and writing. One sometimes heard the regret voiced that Fr Ryan had not written more. There was a grain of truth in this complaint, but only a grain. Fr Ryan began his career as a writer with his Irish Monasticism a large book which is still today a standard work. It has recently been twice republished, by the Irish University Press and by Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. He never again produced a full sized book. One can only guess at the reason for this. It may have been that his conscientious desire for complete accuracy of scholarship caused him to restrict himself to work in more limited areas, where he could be satisfied that he had mastered his subject completely. But in these lesser fields he was a prolific writer. I have before me a list-probably not exhaustive - of some sixty of his published articles, most of which are lengthy and scholarly monographs on every phase of Irish history. These appeared not only in Irish learned journals, Studies, The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, The Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, The North Munster Antiquarian Journal, Repertorium Novum, The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, but also in publications outside of Ireland, Religionswissen schaftliches Wörterbuch, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, Encyclopedia Britannica, New Catholic Encyclopedia, Acta Congressus Historiae Slavicae Salisburgensis, Annen Viking Kongree, Bergen; Die Religionen der Erde (ed. Cardinal König), Le Miracle Irelandais (ed. Daniel Rops), Actes du Congrés Internationale de Luxeuil. It was a source of satisfaction to Fr John that he had recently, in spite of failing health, been able to complete a valuable work, a history of the monastery of Clonmacnois, its bishops and abbots. This has been gladly accepted for publication by Bórd Fáilte, the Irish Tourist Board, and should appear shortly.
Apart from his routine lecturing, Fr Ryan was constantly invited to address learned societies on historical topics. Special mention must be made of the series of lectures on Irish Ecclesiastical History which, thanks to the generosity of the late Most Rev Dr John Charles McQuaid, he delivered yearly at the Gregorian University, Rome, between 1951 and 1961. Fr Ryan was at various times president of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, president of the North Munster Archaeological Society, a member of the Royal Irish Academy, of the Board of Celtic Studies in the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and of the Council of Trustees of the National Library. On several occasions he was invited by Radio Eireann to participate in the annual Thomas Davis memorial lectures on Irish history.
There was one department of his academic work that was particularly dear to Fr Ryan, which, indeed, could be described as being a personal hobby as well as a professional discipline. This was the history of Irish families. Allusion to this special interest was aptly made by Dr Michael Tierney in the presidential report of University College, 1963-64, in a tribute to Fr Ryan who had just retired : “To travel with him in any part of Ireland is, I am told, and can readily believe, a fascinating experience. His familiarity with the genealogies in the Book of Ballymote is not greater than his acquaintance with the names over the shops in the modern towns and villages, and he would delight his travelling companion in tracing the links between the two”. The report goes on to say: “We think of him as a great College man. Perhaps it is because his devotion to the Ireland of the past, which for him survives in the Ireland of the present, gives him a special attachment to the College and sense of its true function!”
Fr Ryan's interests were not confined to the academic world. His family had for generations been connected with the land, and he was keenly alive to the many problems which confront the farming community today. It was fitting that one of his great friendships - and he had many - was with another great Limerick man, Fr John Hayes founder of Muintir na Tíre. On the death of Fr Hayes in 1957, Fr Ryan paid to him in the pages of Studies a most moving tribute beginning aptly with a line from Goldsmith : “A man he was to all the country dear”.
What has been said so far concerns Fr John Ryan mainly as a scholar and teacher. But the picture would be incomplete were nothing to be said about him as a priest. He was a man of deep and solid piety, and strong loyalty to the Church, the Holy See and the Society. Though his natural bent of mind was conservative, he kept himself fully informed on modern problems, both religious and secular. His advice was constantly sought by clergy, religious and laity from all over the country. He would go to endless trouble to obtain the information sought by his correspondents, or to help them by his personal advice or the use of his influence on their behalf. In his younger days, he found time amidst all his other occupations to give a great many retreats both to priests and nuns, and even when he had to desist from this work, numerous religious communities continued to call on him as spiritual counsellor.
His religious brothers will remember him as a splendid community man, whose naturally unassuming character had not been in the least altered by his academic successes. He had the great gift of being genuinely interested in the work of others, and it was noticeable that when one discussed any topic with him, not only were his own views highly stimulating, but he seemed to make one's own views take on an added value.
Fr Ryan always gave the impression of being a happy man. Like all of us, he had his trials, disappointments, bereavements, ill-health at times, but to the end of his life he preserved a certain good humoured serenity, He had quite strong, sometimes almost impassioned views on various subjects, but he was devoid of all bitterness, and one felt that he preferred to agree with others rather than to differ from them. This happiness of mind sprang, no doubt, largely from his qualities of humility and selflessness, but also from the consciousness of the very full and satisfying life granted to him, spent according to the motto of the ancient writers with whom he was so familiar, dochum glóire Dé agus onóra na h-Éireann.

Saul, Michael, 1884-1932, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/392
  • Person
  • 01 January 1884-21 June 1932

Born: 01 January 1884, Drumconrath, County Meath
Entered 09 October 1909, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1919
Final vows: 02 February 1926
Died: 21 June 1932, Sacred Heart College, Canton, China

Editor of An Timire, 1922-28.

by 1912 at St Luigi, Birkirkara, Malta (SIC) Regency
by 1914 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1915 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1931 fourth wave Hong Kong Missioners

◆ 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 7th Year No 4 1932

Obituary :

Our mission in China has suffered grave loss by the deaths of two of its most zealous missioners, Our hope is that the willing sacrifice of their lives will bring down the blessing of God on the mission, and help in the gathering of a rich harvest of souls for Christ.

Fr Michael Saul

Father Saul was born at Drumconrath. Co Meath, on the Ist January, 1884, educated at Mungret College and began his novitiate at Tullabeg, 9th October, 1908. Immediately after the novitiate he was sent to Malta and spent two years teaching in the College S. Luigi. Philosophy followed, the first year at Valkenburg, the second and third at Stonyhurst then one year teaching at Mungret, and in 1916 be commenced theology at Milltown. At the end of the four years he went to the Crescent for another year, and then to Tertianship at Tullabeg.
In 1922 he was appointed Assistant Director of the Irish Messenger, and held the position for five years when he went to Gardiner St, as Miss. excurr. In 1930 the ardent wish of Father Saul’s heart was gratified, and he sailed for China. In less than two years' hard work the end came, and the Almighty called him to his reward.
The following appreciation comes from Father T. Counihan :
“It is a great tribute to any man that hardly has the news of his death been broadcast than requests arise in many quarters for a memorial to him. Only a few days after his death I met
a member of the Gaelic League who informed me that a move rent was on foot in that organisation to collect subscriptions for a suitable memorial. Father Saul had thrown himself heart and soul into the work of that organisation for the Irish language.
But there was a movement dearer to his heart, a language he hankered after even as ardently. That movement was the Foreign Missions, and that language was Chinese. That was the dream of Michael Saul all through his novitiate. Death for souls in China was his wish, and God gave it to him. But he must have found it hard to have been snatched away just
when his work was beginning.
I remember him well in the old days in Tullabeg under what we like to call-and quite cheerfully and thankfully “the stern times”. Brother Saul was heavy and patriarchal and more ancient than the rest of us. With extraordinary persistence he sought out the hard things, and never spared himself in the performance of public or private penances. His zeal for all these things, and his acceptance of knocks and humiliations with a quaint chuckle are still fresh in my mind. He put himself in the forefront whenever a nasty job had to be done. I suppose he considered that, as he was ancient in years, he should lead the way.
He once took two of us younger ones on a long walk, so long that we had to come home at a pace not modest, and all the way home he kept us at the Rosary.
I never saw him despondent - serious, yes, but never sad, never ill-humoured, He was ready to face any situation, grapple with any difficulty, and always encouraged and cheered up
others in their difficulties.
This spirit Michael Saul carried with him through life in the Society. lt caused some to criticise him a little too much I have heard it said that he was too zealous, too insistent, but he was loved by those for whom he worked, and was sincerity itself”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Saul 1884-1932
Fr Michael was one of the pioneers of our Mission in Hong Kong.

He was born at Drumconrath County Meath on January 1 1884 and received his early education in Mungret. He did not enter the Society until he was 22 years of age.

He was an ardent lover of the Irish language, and a keen worker in the Gaelic League in his early days and as a young priest. But, he had a greater love, to convert souls in China.

His zeal for souls was intense, and when he died of cholera in Canton June 21st 1932 is twas said of him “They will get no peace in Heaven, until they do what Fr Saul wants for China”.

Schmitz, Hermann, 1878-1960, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2096
  • Person
  • 12 August 1878-01 September 1960

Born: 12 August 1878, Elberfeld, Rheinland, Germany
Entered: 03 April 1894, Limburg, Netherlands - Germaniae Inferiors Province (GER I)
Ordained: 20 August 1909
Final vows: 02 February 1912
Died: 01 September 1960, Bad Godesberg, Rheinland, Germany - Germaniae Inferiors Province (GER I)

by 1939 came to Milltown (HIB) studying and also taught in Tullabeg

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

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

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 36th Year No 2 1961
Obituary :
Fr Hermann Schmitz (1878-1960)
Fr. Schmitz was born on 12th August, 1878, and before his seventeenth birthday he entered the Society on 3rd April, 1894, at Blijenbeek in Holland. After thorough studies in the classical languages and in philosophy at Dutch and German houses of study, he taught for four years, 1901-05, at St. Aloysius College, Sittard, Holland. Then under superiors' orders he devoted himself to the natural sciences under the direction of the famous biologist, Fr. E. Wasmann, S.J. Having completed his theological training at Maastricht, he studied biology at Louvain and Bonn. He received his doctorate in 1926 at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. Meanwhile he had been working as a teacher in St, Aloysius College, and as an assistant to Fr. Wasmann. He then went on to spend fifteen years as Professor of Cosmology in the philosophates at Valkenburg and in Ireland. During these years he carried on his researches in the family of Diptera or Flies, which is known to science as Phoridae. He came to Tullabeg in 1937, and at once he began to discover Phoridae not hitherto recorded in Ireland. In 1938 he published a paper “On the Irish Species of the Dipterous Family Phoridae” (Proc. R.I. Academy, Vol. 44. B. No. 9). This has been regarded as the most scientific treatment of the subject. It was the first work undertaken on Irish Phoridae since Haliday an Irishman and an outstanding entomologist of his day, had compiled his list more than a hundred years previously. Fr. Schmitz, ably assisted by Fr. P. O'Kelly, increased the known list of Irish Phoridae by more than one hundred species. He immortalised the Provincial of that time by calling a genus after him - Kierania grata. He also named a species O'Kellyi after Fr. P. O'Kelly. More recently he honoured Fr. Morahan by calling a genus Morahanian pellinta. In 1939 Fr. Schmitz appears in the Irish Catalogue as: Prof. cosmol, organ, et biol, at Tullabeg. It was probably during this year that he did the kindly and invaluable service to Irish entomologists by scientifically rearranging and bringing up to date the specimens of Phoridae in the National Museum, Dublin.
From 1942 on he worked for four years in Austria, then was called to St. Aloisius College at Bad Godesberg, where he carried on with some intensity his researches into the Phoridae, which he published in scientific journals. He personally discovered six hundred sub-species of Phoridae.
This busy and fruitful life in the service of science and the education of youth was maintained by a happy temperament, great intellectual gifts and a warm and vigorous religious vocation based on faith. His acquaintances knew him as a stimulating, emotional and often uproariously humorous human being, who treasured his religious calling with a deep interior earnestness. So he was quite composed when on 1st September, 1960, after a successful operation for cataract, a sudden heart attack brought his life into extreme danger; he immediately asked for the last sacraments, and a few hours later died piously and peacefully in Our Lord. R.I.P.

Shaw, Francis J, 1907-1970, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/451
  • Person
  • 26 March 1907-23 December 1970

Born: 26 March 1907, Mullingar, County Westmeath
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park. Dublin
Final Vows: 24 December 1945
Died: 23 December 1970, St Vincent's Nursing Home, Leeson Street, Dublin

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

by 1932 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - LEFT for a period and returned. Took First Vows 21 November 1926

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

Shaw, Francis (1907–70), Jesuit priest, Celtic scholar and historical polemicist, was born 26 March 1907 in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, the fourth child among four sons and two daughters of Patrick Walter Shaw (1872–1940), merchant, and his wife Mary 'Minnie' (née Galligan). The Shaws were a leading Mullingar business dynasty; Patrick Walter Shaw owned several premises in the town (and a number of racehorses) and sat on a number of public bodies, including Mullingar town commissioners and Westmeath county council; he chaired Westmeath county board of health. In local politics, the Shaw family formed a distinctive faction independent of both the local Redmondite organisation and the radical dissident group led by Laurence Ginnell (qv). P. W. Shaw, however, endorsed the support expressed by John Redmond (qv) for the allies in the first world war and addressed several recruiting meetings. He was a Cumann na nGaedheal TD for Longford–Westmeath (1923–33).

From an early age Francis Shaw took a strong interest in the Irish language, and was awarded fifteen prizes and medals at local and national feiseanna. He was educated at Mullingar Christian Brothers' School and Terenure College, Dublin. The latter school was chosen because its Carmelite proprietors were willing to make allowances for his frail health by letting him sleep in a single room rather than a dormitory. Shaw's health problems were chronic; late in life he stated he had hardly ever had a pain-free day.

On 1 September 1924 Shaw entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg, Rahan, Co. Offaly, and after his first profession (21 November 1926) undertook his juniorate studies at the Jesuit residence in Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, where Fr Lambert McKenna (qv) encouraged him to pursue a career in Celtic studies. In 1929 Shaw graduated from UCD with first-class honours in Celtic studies, winning a postgraduate scholarship and a Mansion House Fund scholarship in Irish language and literature; at UCD he wrote for the college magazine, the National Student. In 1930 he won a travelling scholarship in Celtic studies, and in 1931 graduated MA with first-class honours (his principal areas of study being Irish history and the Welsh language). He studied philosophy at the Ignatius Kolleg (the German Jesuit house of studies) at Valkenburg (near Limburg) in the Netherlands (1930–32). His scholarly mentors included Osborn Bergin (qv); Eoin MacNeill (qv), whose lectures Shaw recalled as 'unorthodox and unpredictable … they taught in action the way of research' (Martin and Byrne (1973), 303); Rudolf Thurneysen (qv), under whom he also studied at the University of Bonn (1932–3; he returned to Ireland prematurely because of ill health); and T. F. O'Rahilly (qv).

Shaw's presence in Germany during the Nazi seizure of power contributed to his abiding distaste for that movement. In 1935 he sparked public controversy by suggesting at a meeting in UCD that advocates of Irish-medium education for English-speaking children displayed a narrow nationalism comparable to Nazism; in April 1936 he published an article in the National Student denouncing Nazi persecution of catholicism, the regime's general lawlessness, and the writings of Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg (1893–1946): 'this farrago of impiety, stupidity and ludicrous ignorance of history … a religion of race and racial hatreds, founded on pseudo-scientific theories which are discredited by all serious historians and ethnologists'.

Shaw undertook further study at UCD (1933–6); in 1934 he produced a highly praised edition of the Old Irish text Aisling Oengusso. During his studies at UCD he regularly presented papers to the Irish-language student society Cumann Liteardha na Gaeilge and taught at the Irish-language summer college in Ballingeary, Co. Cork. He studied theology at the Jesuit faculty in Milltown Park, Dublin (1936–40), where he was ordained priest on 31 July 1939. He was allowed to substitute a long retreat for tertianship studies because of his ill health, and became a professed Jesuit on 24 December 1945. From autumn 1940 until his death Shaw lived in the Jesuit community at 35 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin, of which he was superior (1945–51); he annually constructed the Christmas crib in its chapel. He was also a consultor of the Irish Jesuit province (1947–53).

Shaw initially expected to spend some years on research after ordination. In March 1941, however, he was appointed professor of early and mediaeval Irish at UCD in succession to Bergin through the influence of D. A. Binchy (qv), and held this post for the remainder of his life. Later in 1941 he was appointed to the board of the Institute for Advanced Studies, and in 1942 was elected MRIA. Shaw was a painstaking teacher, and assisted foreign students with evening tuition, often in their own languages. His sense of humour and combative argumentation brightened his lectures and survives in such published remarks as his dismissal of the wilder theories of the archaeologist R. A. S. Macalister (qv) regarding cross-cultural parallels: 'The swastika in Dublin is associated with laundrying [a reference to the well-known Swastika Laundry]. Therefore the Nazi movement is the cult of hygiene and Hitler is a soap-and-water god!' (Studies (June 1935), 320).

Shaw's devotion to teaching, combined with his poor health, meant that his research interests (mediaeval Irish medical tracts, whose significance in pioneering a simplified Irish free from the inflated rhetoric of the bardic schools he held to be greatly undervalued; ancient Irish clothing, houses and social life generally; the history of Celtic scholarship) found expression only in occasional publications, including articles and book reviews, in the Jesuit journal Studies and similar outlets. Shaw remarked that whenever he set about reducing his collection of typewritten transcripts of medieval medical texts to coherence he had to go to hospital.

Shaw was an outspoken opponent of T. F. O'Rahilly's thesis on the existence of two St Patricks, both on scholarly and devotional grounds: he held that mediaeval miracle tales and scholarly positivism alike hindered recognition of the deep interior spirituality found in the 'Confession' and 'Letter to Coroticus'. He was scathing about scholars who (unlike his hero MacNeill) relied on printed editions (often outdated) rather than reading manuscripts. A recurring theme is that vague and ignorant romanticisation hinders the Irish nation from recognising authentic heroes such as George Petrie (qv), Eugene O'Curry (qv) and Johann Kaspar Zeuss (qv).

Shaw held the view, common among social historians, that history paid too much attention to the powerful and articulate and should explore the experience of the common people. He was encouraged in this by love of country sports and the fields and rivers of his native lake country; he praised his fellow Westmeath man Fr Paul Walsh (qv) for supporting his topographical studies by walking the land, and claimed that MacNeill, as an Antrim 'countryman', understood Ireland better than did the urban Patrick Pearse (qv) and James Connolly (qv). As he grew older, he felt his own lifetime had witnessed the end of an immemorial rural Irish way of life, whose traces, he hoped, would at least be preserved in the records of the Folklore Commission. He thought that popular commercial culture, particularly from America, was debasing public taste, and lamented that the authentic romance and heroism found in lives of saints and missionaries were being eclipsed by the synthetic Hollywood varieties. In 1942 he published a pamphlet criticising the novel and film Gone with the wind for excessive 'realism' in their depictions of sexuality and childbirth and for superficiality in their depictions of catholicism. This rousing defence of literary censorship against 'long-haired intellectuals' appealed to readers to keep the faith even if the European war subjected Ireland to the same devastation as that suffered by the defeated states of the American south.

Shaw attributed the totalitarian movements of the twentieth century to the efforts of ideologues to force common humanity into utopian projects. His scepticism of state power was influenced by contemporary catholic social thought, and he saw Irish identity as essentially catholic; but, though this forms a subtext in his 1963 article on the essentially Roman nature of early Irish spirituality and his analysis of the 'Celtic twilight' of W. B. Yeats (qv) as owing more to Macpherson's Ossian (mediated through Arnold and Renan), the rhetorical inflation of Standish James O'Grady (qv), and 'the charlatan Blavatsky and Brahman philosophers' than to the authentic past as revealed by Celtic scholarship, Shaw was not a bigot. Throughout his career he lauded protestant scholars such as Edmund Curtis (qv), Edward John Gwynn (qv), and Douglas Hyde (qv); he admired Pope John XXIII and welcomed his attempt to open the catholic church to the world.

Shaw took a strong interest in radio for religious purposes and popular education; he gave several 'retreats for the sick' on Radio Éireann, encouraging listeners to mentally re-enact, in Ignatian style, the life of Jesus, and he contributed to the Thomas Davis lecture series on early Ireland. He also wrote on spiritual and other matters for the Jesuit devotional magazine, the Sacred Heart Messenger, and was active in An Rioghacht (the League of the Kingship of Christ) and the Sodality of the Sacred Heart. His illness gave him a particular interest in ministry to the sick; he was a frequent hospital visitor, and directed the sodality of the nursing staff at St Vincent's Hospital (1944–59). He was popular as a confessor and spiritual adviser, and frequently mediated family disputes in local households.

Dean of the faculty of Celtic studies in UCD (1964–70), he served in the NUI senate (1963–70), and was spoken of as a possible successor to Michael Tierney (qv) as president of UCD; he served as interim president after Tierney's resignation in 1964, but did not seek the post. During the 'gentle revolution' protests of the late 1960s, Shaw supported the 'establishment' group around President J. J. Hogan (qv), and his defeat in UCD governing body elections in December 1969 strengthened advocates of greater student participation in university governance. After a year's illness, Shaw died in a Dublin nursing home on 23 December 1970, and was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery.

Shaw's posthumous fame rests on an article published two years after his death. He had been invited to contribute an essay to the spring 1966 issue of Studies (commemorating the 1916 rising), but his 10,000-word article, 'Cast a cold eye … prelude to a commemoration of 1916', was turned down by the journal's editor (Fr Burke Savage) and the Jesuit provincial as over-long and inopportune. Shaw acquiesced, but prepared a 20,000-word version which circulated in typescript. In 1971 a copy was acquired by the New Ulster Movement (precursor of the Alliance Party), which saw the piece as directly relevant to the developing Northern Ireland troubles, and gave it further informal circulation. Under these circumstances, Fr Troddyn (editor of Studies) and the provincial decided that official publication would reassert their copyright and assist understanding of Irish current affairs; the article appeared in the summer 1972 issue of Studies (vol. lxi, no. 242, pp 113–53) under the title (chosen by Troddyn) 'The canon of Irish history: a challenge'.

In 'The canon of Irish history', Shaw attacks the four last pamphlets produced by Patrick Pearse in 1915–16 to justify the forthcoming Easter rising. The pamphlets, Shaw contends, equate the Gaelic tradition with physical-force separatism as the 'gospel of Irish nationality', with Wolfe Tone (qv), Thomas Davis (qv), James Fintan Lalor (qv), and John Mitchel (qv) as its 'four evangelists'; claim that John Redmond and his political allies committed national apostasy in accepting home rule rather than full independence as a final settlement; and equate the rebels, precipitating war and their own deaths to redeem a corrupted Ireland, with Jesus crucified to redeem sinful humanity. Shaw argues that Pearse projected Standish James O'Grady's essentially pagan concept of heroism and a modern republican ideology essentially alien to Irish society onto the Gaelic past; that Pearse and his allies denied and betrayed the concrete achievements and genuine patriotism of others, particularly Redmond and MacNeill; that Pearse, and by extension the whole physical-force republican tradition, engaged in blasphemous self-deification to justify imposing their will on the majority in a manner reminiscent of twentieth-century fascism and communism; and that the independent Irish state owes more to an older and broader popular sense of Irish nationality, which Redmond and MacNeill represented, than the irreligious and destructive mindset of Tone and Pearse.

'The canon' sums up the concerns of Shaw's lifetime. Its critique of Pearse resembles his 1930s critique of Yeats; its invocation of the horrors of twentieth-century European history reflects his longstanding sensitivity to those horrors; its vaguely defined but essentially catholic and rural-populist version of Irish identity reflects Shaw's lifelong self-presentation as spokesman and servant of the plain people of Ireland; and Redmond and MacNeill are cast, like Zeuss and Petrie, as heroes unjustly forgotten by those enjoying the fruits of their labours.

In 1966 Shaw had concluded his essay by hoping that recent moves towards north-south reconciliation indicated that both parts of Ireland, north and south, as well as Ireland and Britain, might recognise their commonalities and join in preserving the best in their cultures from American commercial cosmopolitanism. The essay's publication six years later, at the height of the Northern Ireland troubles, coincided with intensive debate (associated with such figures as Conor Cruise O'Brien (1917–2008)) about whether traditional Irish nationalist self-images had contributed to the conflict in Northern Ireland and threatened to unleash similar conflict in the Republic; this context gave the essay an explosive impact. An Irish Times editorial (11 September 1972) noted that Shaw's view of Pearse as a destructive ideologue comparable to Rosenberg raised awkward questions about numerous eulogies of Pearse as a model Christian patriot: 'Has every other cleric been wrong and only Father Shaw been right?' The Jesuits were accused by Cruise O'Brien of opportunism in suppressing Shaw's piece until it became convenient to distance the catholic church from militant nationalism (New York Review of Books, 25 January 1973), and by an Irish Press editorialist (1 September 1972) of re-enacting previous clericalist betrayals of Irish nationalism: 'The name of Pearse will easily survive this modern Shavian broadside.'

Shaw's essay has been subjected to extensive critique (Lyons, Lee, Ó Snodaigh) over its failures to place Pearse in context and to address the place of Irish protestants and unionists in Irish nationality; its dismissive attitude to republicanism and socialism; and its over-simplistic view that pre-1916 Ireland was a democracy. (Shaw also unduly minimises the political differences between Redmond and MacNeill.) It is still, however, regularly cited in debates about the relationship between nationalism and Irish historiography; when Studies marked its centenary by publishing a selection of essays from past issues, Shaw's essay was singled out by former Taoiseach John Bruton as 'the most startling essay in the volume'. Some who praised Shaw's critique of Pearse's sacrificial politics were advocates of a secularist liberalism which would have horrified Shaw, and the essay survived, when the man behind it was virtually forgotten, into an Ireland whose social and political attitudes he would have found unrecognisable.

Shaw's papers are held at the Irish Jesuit Archives, 35 Lower Leeson Street (reference J451), which also has files concerning the 1972 publication of 'The canon of Irish history' (CM/LEES/359, 383). A miniature plaster side-portrait by the sculptor Gary Trimble is held in the same building.

Westmeath Examiner, 24 Oct., 8 Nov. 1931; 28 July 1934; 16 Mar., 21 Sept. 1940; 15 Mar. 1941; Ir. Times, 10 Sept., 2 Oct. 1964; 11 Dec. 1969; 11 Sept. 1972 (includes F. S. L. Lyons, 'The shadow of the past', p. 12, on Shaw's 'The canon'); Marian Keaney, Westmeath authors: a bibliographical and biographical study (1969), 174–6; Ir. Independent, 25–8 Dec. 1970; obituary, by Fr Francis Finnegan, Irish Province News (1971), 76–8; M. Proinséas Ní Catháin, 'The academic and other writings of Rev. Professor Francis Shaw, SJ', Studies, lx, no. 238 (summer 1971), 203–07 [list is incomplete]; Studia Celtica, vii (1972), 177; Francis Shaw, 'MacNeill the person' in F. X. Martin and F. J. Byrne (ed.), The scholar revolutionary: Eoin MacNeill, 1867–1945, and the making of the new Ireland (1973), 299–311 (includes note on contributor, p. 300); Lochlann, vi (1974) [supplement to Norsk Tidsskrift for Sprogvidenskap, xi], 180–81; Pádraig Ó Snodaigh, Two godfathers of revisionism: 1916 in the revisionist canon (1991); Diarmuid Breathnach and Máire Ní Mhurchú, 1882–1982: Beathaisnéis, iii (1992), 152–3; J. J. Lee, '“The canon of Irish history: a challenge” reconsidered' in Toner Quinn (ed.) Desmond Fennell: his life and work (2001), 57–82; Philip O'Leary, Gaelic prose in the Irish Free State 1922–1939 (2004), 52; Michael Wheatley, Nationalism and the Irish party: provincial Ireland 1910–1916 (2005); Bryan Fanning (ed.), An Irish century: Studies 1912–2012 (2012); John Bruton, remarks at launch of Bryan Fanning (ed.), An Irish century, 21 Mar. 2012, (accessed 27 June 2012)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 46th Year No 2 1971

Obituary :

Fr Frank Shaw SJ

The death of Father Shaw which took place at “96” on 23rd December, 1970 was not altogether unexpected. The news of his condition throughout the spring and summer was none too reassuring. He left us for the James Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, in March and during his stay there met with some minor accidents because of physical weakness. Later, while convalescing, he broke a leg and had to be transferred to the hospital at Navan. It seemed little less than a miracle that he should have returned to UCD. to lecture in the autumn. He paid us what proved to be a farewell visit in October. After some weeks of class-work at Belfield he had once more to go into hospital, at St. Vincent's, Elm Park, whence he was transferred to “96”, Father Frank had made many a recovery from serious illnesses over the years but this time it seemed presumptuous to expect a further prolongation of his life. The end came peacefully and painlessly just on the eve of Christmas Eve. His last thoughts may well have been that the coming Christmas Eve should be the first in so many years that he did not spend the day just outside our domestic chapel putting together the Christmas Crib.
Frank Shaw was born in Mullingar on 26th March, 1907 and was educated at the Christian Brothers' school in that town and afterwards at the Carmelite College, Terenure. He entered the novitiate at Tullabeg on 1st September 1924. After his first religious profession two years later he began his juniorate studies at Ratharnham. He had the good fortunate to meet at Rathfarnham Father Lambert McKenna who discerned in the young scholastic the desire and ability to engage in Irish studies. In after-life, Father Frank never failed to acknowledge the wholesome advice of Father Lambert whom he affectionately referred to as “The Bard'.
His success in the First Arts examination was such that he was advised to study for his degree in Celtic Studies. He graduated B.A. with First Class Honours in 1929 and at the end of the following year won the much coveted Travelling Studentship. But immediately after this success he set off for Valkenburg for his philosophy course. He completed this latter branch of studies in two years, 1930-32, and half-way through graduated M.A.
In the autumn of 1932 he set out for Bonn to enter on his higher studies. Here he had the good fortune to have Professor Rudolf Thurneysen to guide him. Professor Thurneysen, who had reached the age-limit, no longer held the chair but continued to lecture at the University. Frank, however, was not fated to complete his Travelling Studentship course under the celebrated professor. The following year he had to return to Dublin as the regime of life in Germany did not suit his delicate health. For the next two years, 1933-35, he was a member of the Leeson Street community and then spent a further year in private study at Rathfarnham before he went for theology to Milltown Park in the summer of 1936. Three years later he was ordained priest on the Feast of St. Ignatius. On the completion of his theology he once more joined the Leeson Street community where he was to spend the rest of his life. Because of his very frail health, he was excused from making the usual tertianship but did the Long Retreat at Rathfarnham.
When Father Frank returned to Leeson Street in 1940 it would seem that for the next ten or fifteen years he would be a research worker while gradually moving up the ranks of teaching responsibility. But early in 1941 the chair of Early and Medieval Irish was vacated by his former professor, Dr Osborn Bergin. So far as Father Frank or the rest of the community was concerned his elevation to the vacant post was not seriously considered. It was only when Professor Daniel Binchy suggested that he should pre sent himself for the chair that Frank put his name forward. Thanks to so eminent a supporter as Professor Binchy, together with other admirers of the young Jesuit's ability, he was nominated Professor at a meeting of the Senate of the National University held in March, Thereafter he had to abandon any further extensive researches as his little energy had to be carefully husbanded to enable him to do justice to his students in the Celtic faculty.
His major published works were his critical edition of the early Irish text, Aislig Oenguso', which appeared in 1934 and his Medieval Medico-Philosophical Treatises in the Irish Language, an essay contribute to the Féil-Sgribhinn Eoin Mhic Néill (1940). Yet, making due allowance for the ill-health which never ceased to try him and the scrupulous care with which he imparted know ledge to his students, it is remarkable how much writing of lasting value he was able to achieve during all his professional career. His writing is to be found in many essays and reviews he contributed, chiefly to Studies. Some of his most searching reviews were written in his early student days but already he was giving advance notice of the interests in Celtic Studies that particularly attracted him. In 1930 appeared his pamphlet The Real St. Patrick, a best-seller ever since. Later critical essays were The Linguistic Argument for Two Patricks (1943), The Myth of the Second Patrick (1961), Post mortem on the Second Patrick (1962) and Early Irish Spirituality (1963). These are but a selection of the ably-presented essays from the pen of a scholar who at the end of his life could scarcely ever remember a day free from some pain or ache.
On 17th April, 1945 he was appointed Superior at Leeson Street and held office for the next six years. It was as Superior he made his final profession in the Society on Christmas Eve 1945. For the last ten years of his life he was spiritual father to the community who will long remember the devotion and high intelligence he brought to bear in presenting the word of God.
From his earliest years in the Society his superiors were aware that his health would always be cause for concern. Even in his days at Terenure College he had to be excused the usual dormitory regime of the other boarders and have a room to himself like the members of the community. It was the provision of this facility that determined Frank's parents to send him to school with the Carmelite Fathers rather than to Castleknock, where other members of his family had been educated. Yet, it should be said at once that Frank himself was never selfishly concerned about his health. Indeed, he had to be reminded frequently by superiors to spare himself. The preparation of lectures and the holding of classes cannot but have made heavy demands upon his fragile resources of strength but this sickly scholar was made of heroic stuff.
The boredom of being obliged to pass weeks on end at convalescent homes made him early in life aware of the misery of his fellow-patients. So it is not matter for surprise that throughout his priestly life of thirty years he became something of a legend in the Dublin hospitals for his devotion to the sick. Not a few Jesuits he helped in his time to face up to an unfavourable medical diagnosis and meet the supreme hour with gentle resignation to God's will. Scarce a day ever passed that inquiries did not reach Leeson Street, asking whether Frank could call at one or other of the city hospitals to solace the sick and their afflicted dependents. It was known also that he was frequently called upon to settle family disputes and restore harmony.
Inevitably the newspapers carried reports of his attendance at this funeral or that wedding or the baptism of the children of friends he had made in the academic world and the professional classes generally. What did not appear in the papers, however, was his attendance at the wedding of some poor artisan's daughter or the christening of his child, or his visits to the poor in their bereavements. He knew for instance that the newsboy's little son was about to make his First Holy Communion and not once or twice from his sick bed he would commission a member of the community when down town to buy some little memento appreciated on these occasions. His entering a sick-room gave one the feeling of something sacramental. The 'Retreats for the Sick which he broadcast in Holy Week are still spoken of by those whom they helped. Even when he himself was in hospital he was more concerned with the spiritual and physical health of his fellow-patients than he was with his own troubles.
His piety was simple. Like his own patron saint, Francis of Assisi, Father Frank had a great devotion to the mysteries of Christmas. Patients in St. Vincent's Hospital in the Green and in Blanchardstown Hospital will remember the loving care that he spent on building the magnificent cribs there. They were the out ward sign of his desire that others should share in that devotion, If they have a Christmas Crib in heaven, then Frank was busy his first Christmas there.
His devotion to the dead was remarkable. In all weathers when ho could manage to be out of bed he was off to a funeral to bring solace to the desolate. Like the Divine Master, he went about doing good.
There was a very human side to Frank. He was an intelligent man and could not fail to realise the fact. He was also a born dialectician and enthusiastically defended the weaker case in an argument. When he was up and about his presence at community recreation radiated sheer delight. In debate he was unyielding. One instance made history at Leeson Street. He was defending a patently weak case with his customary bravura when his contestant vigorously rejoined “Can't you keep to facts”. To this Frank replied “Can't we leave facts aside and keep to the argument?” He was also generous to a fault. If he felt that someone took hurt in an argusment he spared no pains to explain matters and see to it that charity did not suffer.
For many years he was spiritual director to the Nurses' Sodality at St. Vincent's Hospital. One might well wonder whence came the energy to sustain him in keeping up to a routine of sermons or lectures ... a wearing experience even for those blessed with good health. But Frank was of that unselfish stuff that did not reckon the cost. The miracle of his life is that he accomplished so much in spite of so much ill-health.
A little-known side of his apostolate was his instruction of those intending to enter the Church. Only the recording angel will ever . be able to say how many wearying hours he spent in the parlour
in this very rewarding but exacting form of the ministry. His advice was frequently sought by those intending to enter the religious life. He was a much sought-after confessor and spiritual adviser. To the last he was extrovert, helping others to bear the daily cross in the following of a crucified Master. It is almost needless to be labour the point that in leaving us he has gone up with full hands to the judgement seat of that Master whom he so generously served.

Stevenson, Robert L, 1906-1977, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 3 1977

Obituary :

Fr Robert L Stevenson (1906-1977)

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

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

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

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

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

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

White, Esmonde, 1875-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/442
  • Person
  • 15 March 1875-28 April 1957

Born: 15 March 1875, Madras, India
Entered: 07 September 1892, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908, Milltown Park
Final Vows: 02 February 1910
Died: 28 April 1957, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1896 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
Came to Australia for Regency, 1898
by 1909 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Though born in India, Esmonde White was educated in Ireland. For regency he went to Riverview .There he stayed a relatively brief time, teaching and being assistant prefect of discipline, before departing in the autumn of 1901 for the same position at Xavier until 1905, when he returned to Ireland. From 1909 he was involved in the school ministry in Ireland.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 32nd Year No 3 1957
Obituary :
Fr Esmonde White (1875-1957)
Within a period of twelve months, Rathfarnham has lost four of its older men. Perhaps none of them has left so big a gap as “the quiet man”, Fr. White. Yet so it is; for, shrouded though he was in an almost fantastic silence, Fr. White was always there. Religious duties, meals, recreation, from none of these did he ever absent himself. He could be called bi-lingual inasmuch as his chief contribution to recreation was the statement, in Irish or English, “No doubt at all about it?” Perhaps he was on more familiar terms with the birds, whose calls, especially that of the cuckoo, he could faithfully reproduce. Certain it is that he never said an unkind word. No one who knew Fr. White would infer that this was merely the negative virtue of a very silent man. In the first place, it is certain that he had not always been so silent. In his student days at Valkenburg he had acquired so good a mastery of the language as to merit, in later years, the emphatic comment of a German Jesuit : “That man speaks German well”. Moreover his genial charity showed itself very positively in action, for he loved to see people happy. One who was with him in the colleges remarked: “He was always doing odd jobs for others and made so little compliment about them that, in Belvedere for example, if anyone wanted something in Woolworths, he had only to ask Fr. White, and off he went!”
Fr. White was born on 15th March, 1875 in Madras, India. Educated in Clongowes, he gained his place in the three-quarters on the Senior Cup team, played a useful game of Soccer, and bowled on the Cricket eleven. To the end of his life he bowled, left-arm, silently, at invisible wickets - one of his most characteristic gestures. He entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1892, studied philosophy at Valkenburg, and spent the seven following years in Australia, teaching at Xavier and at Riverview. He was ordained at Milltown Park in 1908, did his Tertianship at Tronchienues and spent the remainder of his long life in the class room. All told, he taught for thirty-eight years. He taught at the Crescent from 1910 to 1914, being Prefect of Studies for the two latter years, He was at Belvedere 1915-19, and again from 1923 to 1937, having been in the meantime Minister and Socius at Tullabeg and Prefect of Studies at Galway. Then after a year at Emo and two years at Rathfarnham, as Spiritual Father, he went back to Belvedere, 1941-47, as Sub-Minister. After one year at Milltown Park he came in 1948 to Rathfarnham, where he remained until his death.
With the drawbridge of his interior castle perpetually up, he seemed very happy within, as he tunefully hummed and whistled, to the edification of the brethren without. He loved Belvedere College and when, after a stay of two years in Rathfarnham, he saw his name again on the Belvedere status, he literally danced with joy, at the sober age of sixty-five! While Prefect of Studies in Belvedere Junior House, he combined gentleness with severity in such perfect measure that a past pupil recalls: “He hit very hard with the pandy bat but obviously felt every bit as miserable about it as the unfortunate victim!” The same pupil added, and none of us could deny the tribute: “He was one of Nature's gentlemen!” Those of us who lived with him would suggest that Grace played a bigger part than Nature in making Fr. White one of the kindest of men.
His last illness was short. Some six weeks after leaving Rathfarnham for the Nursing Home, his condition suddenly worsened and he died in the Hospice on 28th April, Before leaving Rathfarnham, he made an interrogation of unusual length: “Two questions are puzzling me”, he said to the indefatigable infirmarian. “First of all, who are you?” When Brother Keogh had identified himself, Fr. White went on: “Secondly, who am I?” With sincerity and truth we can all answer the second question : “One white man!” May he rest in peace!

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Esmonde White SJ 1875-1957
To those who lived in community with him, Fr Esmonde White seemed to be almost shrouded in an fantastic silence. He certainly was a perfect man, according to St James, for he never offended with the tongue, his remarks being confined to “No doubt at all about it”, said either in English or Irish.

Born in Madras, India, in 1975, he was educated at Clongowes, where he acquired a reputation as a left-hand bowler, whence, no doubt, he developed a gesture common with him to the end of his life, bowling left-handed at invisible wickets.

His life as a Jesuit was spent mainly in the Colleges and the classroom, a ministry of 40 years at least. He was mathematical in his observance, never absent from a duty, ever easy to oblige others, the quintessence of kindness, A model of motivated observance, close to God always, he yielded up his spotless soul to God on April 27th 1957. In the words of his obituary “He was a white man”.

Wisthoff, Karl, 1845-1937, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2266
  • Person
  • 28 January 1845-31 October 1937

Born: 28 January 1845, Königssteele (Steele), Westfalen, Germany
Entered: 28 September 1862, Friedrichsburg Germany - Germaniae Inferioris Province (GER I)
Ordained: 1877
Final Vows: 02 February 1879
Died: 31 October 1937, Burtscheid, Aachen, Germany - Germaniae Inferioris Province (GER I)

Came to HIB to teach at Tullabeg 1877-1889

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 13th Year No 1 1938
Father Charles Wisthoff :
A few members of the Irish Province are still alive who remember Father Wisthoff and the excellent work he did in Ireland from 1877 to 1888. They will be glad to hear that on the 28th of last September he celebrated the 75th anniversary of his entrance into the Society.
Unfortunately the celebration had to take place in the hospital at Aachen, where he could get the care necessary for his age. Still his joy and gratitude were so great that he forgot the age. It was his greatest pleasure to go to the Altar as an act of thanksgiving. On the previous day he frequently held up his hands and sang a Gloria in Excelsis.
The Ordinary of Aachen had given leave for Mass to be celebrated in his room, so the Sisters had decorated a large room, and there our Fathers assembled in the early morning. During the Mass the Sisters sang beautifully. After the Holy Sacrifice, all, both Ours and the Nuns, gathered round the bed of the jubilarian. Rev Father Superior congratulated him in the name of the Society, and a theologian in the name of Valkenburg, to which House Father Wisthoff belonged. Very Rev. Father Assistant had written his congratulations, and Very Rev Father General had sent to the Jubilarian 75 Masses. The old man of 93 expressed his gratitude and then gave his blessing to all present.
Meantime the Nuns had prepared a table in the background, the bed was moved over to it, and Father Wisthoff and his guests celebrated the jubilee. He was very lively and cheerful, relating many anecdotes full of joke and humour.
In the course of the morning, a Father came from St, Ignatius College with special congratulations, and about midday a messenger brought a telegram from His Eminence, the Cardinal Secretary of State, announcing the special blessing of the Holy Father.

Since the above was written, the sad news has come of Father Wisthoff's death at Valkenburg. He was born on 28th January, 1845, entered the Society 28th September, 1862 , died 3Ist October 1937. RIP

Zimmerman, Athanasius, 1839-1911, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2280
  • Person
  • 05 November 1839-12 March 1911

Born: 05 November 1839, Betra, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Entered: 22 October 1857, Baden-Würtemberg, Germany - Germaniae Province (GER)
Ordained: 1872
Final vows: 15 August 1876
Died: 12 March 1911, Valkenburg, Netherlands - Germaniae Province (GER)

Came to HIB to teach at Clongowes 1877 - 1885