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

60 Name results for Valkenburg aan de Geul

58 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, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia
Died: 24 December 1955, Died: 24 December 1955, Mater Hospital, 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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1915, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
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.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father John Barragry SJ (1879-1959)

Born at Oola, studied at this school from 1893 to 1895 when he entered the Society at Tullabeg. On the completion of his classical studies, he was sent for his course in philosophy to Valkenburg, Holland (1899-1902). His period of regency was spent at Clongowes, after which he entered on his theological studies at Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1912. For the next ten years after his tertianship, he was engaged in teaching at Galway (1914-1918); Mungret (1918-20); Tullabeg (1920-22), where he was prefect of studies for the scholastics; Belvedere (1922-24). He spent the next seven years at Sacred Heart College where, as prefect of studies, he did much to modernise teaching methods. After a year back in Clongowes (1931-1932) he spent the next six years as procurator in Belvedere College. His last and longest assignment was again at Sacred Heart College where, as procurator, he laboured until his death (1938-1959).
Father Barragry was a man of many gifts; he had a fluent command of German and French; he was an able classical scholar and a brilliant teacher of mathematics. His organising ability was proven in his work as prefect of studies and in the considerable help he gave to the formation of the Belvedere Old Boys' Union. Here, at the Crescent, he reorganised the Ignatian Sodality in the 1920's. He was a talented preacher and sodality director. For many years he was much sought after as a confessor. After an illness of only two days, he died on 27 January, 1959 and was laid to rest in the Jesuit plot at Mungret Abbey. RIP

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, Valkenburg, Netherlands
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, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 03 January 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin

Younger brother of William Byrne - RIP 1943

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

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

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

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

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

Obituary :

Fr George Byrne (1879-1962)

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

From the Bishop of Hong Kong

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1929

Our Past

Father George Byrne SJ

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1930

Three Years in China : Impressions and Hopes

Father George Byrne SJ

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962

Obituary

Father George Byrne SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

Byrne, 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, Clongowes Wood College SJ
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.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 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' 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 maty 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 to popularise some of the best plays of well-known French dramatišts, 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 ail. 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 that 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 during the night. On Sunday morning, November 7th, about 10.30, he was called to his reward. 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, and a number came to pray there during the day, RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father John G Byrne SJ

Father John G Byrne was a most efficient and popular teacher in Clongowes for seven years (1898-1905) when he was a Scholastic. He was later Minister for two years, 1908–1910. From that date until his death last November, he was on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, but he always took a deep interest in the welfare of those Clongowes boys whom he had known during his nine years here. Those who benefited by his labours and his kindness may now repay him by a prayer for his eternal welfare and niay be sure that they in their turn will not be forgotten. May he rest in peace.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father John Gabriel Byrne SJ

Rev John Gabriel Byrne who died at Belvedere College, Dublin, came of a well-known Mullingar family. Born in 1873, he received his education at Mungret College, Limerick, where his name was one of the first to be entered on the roll of the lay school and his name appears second in the list of the Sodality of Our Lady after the name of Mons Joyce of Portumna.

He entered the Society of Jesus at St Stanislaus's College, Tullamore, in 1891, and studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he began at Clongowes Wood College his long career as a teacher, to which he was to devote forty 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 con tributed 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. RIP

Byrne, Patrick J, 1908-1968, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Younger brother of Tommy Byrne - RIP 1978

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

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

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

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Byrne SJ (1908-1968)

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

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

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

Byrne, William, 1868-1943, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Older brother of George Byrne - RIP 1962

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

Obituary :

Father William Byrne SJ

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father William Byrne SJ

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

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

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

AL

-oOo-

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father William Byrne SJ

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

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father William Byrne (1868-1943)

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

Cardiff, Lewis, 1911-1988, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

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

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

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

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
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
Final Vows: 15 August 1906, St Mary’s, Miller Street, Sydney, Australia
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, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 10 October 1954, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

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

Editor of An Timire, 1912.

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1955

Obituary

Father Bartholomew Coghlan SJ

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

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

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Bartholomew Coghlan (1873-1954)

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

Corbett, Martin Burke, 1876-1957, Jesuit priest

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1957

Obituary

Father Martin Corbett SJ

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

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957

Obituary

Father Martin Corbett SJ

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

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

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

-oOo-

In Memory of Father Corbett SJ - RIP

By O Kemp

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

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

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

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

Dennehy, Vincent, 1899-1982, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 57th Year No 3 1982

Obituary

Fr Vincent Dennehy (1899-1917-1982)

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

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

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

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1936, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
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

IN ALIIS PROVINCIIS DEGENTES :

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).

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1945

Letter from Father Donal Donnelly SJ

By all accounts the Missions in China, so far from being set back, are actually progressing during war-time, most of the missionaries having turned their hand to hospital and relief work thereby increasing the prestige of the Church and bringing more souls to Christ. All of the Irish Jesuit Mission in China are safe and sound.

Fr Don Donnelly, has travelled by rail, road; water and air, accompanied by a little troop of seminarians, from end to end of Asia. After the capture of Hong Kong, he first went to French Indo-China to reconnoitre for the mission, then to Wuchow in Kwangsi, where he taught science and philosophy in the Junior Seminary of the Maryknoll Fathers. There he was joined by a remnant of the boys whom he had been training for the priesthood in Hong Kong, and another older boy who wished to become a Jesuit. As the invading Japanese armies approached, the Seminary was transferred to Paaksha in the same province. In a letter dated last September, Fr Donnelly describes the rest of his odyssey :

“An urgent warning came from the American Consul to us in Paaksha in June, urging us to clear out without delay. The Maryknoll Fathers promptly closed down the Seminary, and Fr Grogan and I, with our ten little protégés, set off for Kweiyang, the capital of Kweichow province. We had a very mnixed trip. The first bit, by sampan floating down the West River to Kweiping, was very pleasant; it took about nine hours. Then we had a day or two waiting in Kweiping, before we were picked up by an American Army barge, towed by a launch. (The lad in charge was an Irishman, from Fr Grogan's part of the country.) This dragged us past the most glorious scenery, and through the most wonderful rapids, I have ever seen, to a place called Taai Waan, south of Lauchau. There should have been a train to Lauchau, but there was none; so we contacted the big shot at Taai Waan, a Catholic, and he squeezed us on to a boat leaving that evening for Lauchau. We got there after a very leisured trip. and hung about Lauchau for a couple of days, waiting for a train. Finally we got one, and then started the most appaling train journey ever made. The train was packed to the doors, corridors and steps; we had no seats, most of us; the journey was about 250 miles, and was supposed to take 23 hours; it actually took almost four days. The nights were terrible - nodding about all over the place, without room to rest or move; However, we reached the railhead at Tushan at last, and then our troubles were over. We had a great welcome from the Chinese Father at the Catholic Mission, and in a few days, the British military authorities (who have been extraordinarily kind to us) gave us a free ride in a truck to Kweiyang, about 150 miles.

I left the boys with Fr Grogan at Kweiyang and came on myself (by American truck this time, also free) to Kunming, to see about getting the boys and ourselves out to India. That was a very pleasant trip, though a bit long, about 400 miles. I saw for the first time the real old Chinese walled cities; and the scenery was marvellous. I arrived here three months ago; since then I have brought Fr Grogan and the boys along here. We hope to leave now any day for India (by RAF plane, I hope, as I say, the British authorities, and indeed, the Americans also, have been most kind and helpful) but there are still documents to be obtained and arrangements to be made”.

And in a letter dated April 19th, he writes, this time from St Stanislaus High School, Bandra, Bombay :

“I am out here in India now with these grand Spanish Fathers for the past four months, and the years in China seem like a bad dream. Still, I must say that I am very grateful to Almighty God, not only for His marvellous Providence over us all during these past three years, but also for the trifle of war experience which He sent my way. I cannot truthfully say that I should like to go through the war and its aftermath again; but just for once it was a most salutary and sanctifying experience. I certainly shall never listen again without a slightly contemptuous smile to the saying that ‘war is heil’. War is certainly very terrible, but it is equally certainly not hell; on the contrary, many men get nearer to heaven in wartime than in times of peace.

The Chinese boys and I are quite settled down here now and thoroughly happy. There are eleven of them; ten are junior seminarians who hope to join the Society of Jesus, while the last boy is a university student. He is an old Wah Yan boy named Philip Chau Pak Harig; he has wanted for years to join the Society. I brought him along with me on the understanding that I should teach him Latin, and that he would teach my boys Chinese. He (as indeed, all the boys without exception) has made an excellent impression on all here. So,I am trying at present to get him into the Bombay university, so that he can finish his degree (medicine). The rest of the boys are not so far advanced; they will be taking their Matric. in 1947 and 1948, and will then, I hope, go to the novitiate, Vinayalaya, a delightful spot about half-an-hour from here by surburban train and bus. It is really most creditable for these lads, because, despite the handicap of learning through a foreign language (English) and of broken, unsatisfactory studies for the past three years since the war, they are actually a year ahead of time; had they been in Hong Kong, they would not be due for Matric. before 1948 or 1949.

These Indian boys are very different from the Chinese. The Chinese is quiet, shy, reserved, very industrious, patient, gentle, and altogether charming; your Indian boy is lively, very friendly, distinctly less industrious, cheery, clever and not less charming, I shall certainly leave a bit of my heart here in Bandra when the time comes to return to. China. The Indian boys here are far more fickle than the Chinese, but they are solidly Catholic, and to them the priest is the priest, as he is to any Irish boy. In China it is not so; the priest is just another schoolmaster, usually somewhat ‘more decent’ and kindly and painstaking than the lay teacher, but as far as priestly dignity is concerned, you might just as well be Mr Ezechiah X of the China Inland Mission.

I am teaching here myself, and helping out in the church, the finest parish church I have ever seen, and as busy a place as Gardiner St nearly 250,000 Communions a year. I have given several Retreats since I came, to Matric, boys, to our Scholastics at the Theologate in Poona, to teachers, etc. I start another retreat this evening to nuns. The last little job I had was, of all weird. things, to write a new libretto for an operetta ! You would be amazed at the amount of verse I have perpetrated since coming here. It started with the demand for translation of Spanish Christmas carols into English, then came requests for Papal anthems, Mission anthems, Rector's Day songs, and so on, and now this is the last straw!

Well, best wishes to all old friends in Belvedere”.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1986

The Travelling Donnellys

Don Donnelly SJ (1915) died in 1975 after a varied life in a different world. His brother Leo (1920), now in Sacred Heart Church Limerick, sends this report which he calls “The Travelling Donnellys”:

The older, Donal or Don (later Latinised into Daniel or Dan), Belvedere 1903-1915, was always first in his class. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1919 after taking his MSc in UCD After two years in Tullabeg, Rahan, he went for Philosphy to Valkenburg, Holland, with the German Jesuits expelled from Germany by Bismarck. After three years teaching in Clongowes, he studied Theology in Innsbruck, Austria. Ordained in Dublin in 1929, he spent a year in Rome attached to the Jesuit Mission Secretariat. Then, after Tertianship in North Wales, he sailed for Hong Kong in July 1932.

Having learnt the Cantonese version of Chinese mainly with the Portuguese Jesuits in Shiu Hing, he worked as Headmaster of Wah Yan College in Hong Kong until the second World War broke out. No more Scholastics would come from Ireland, so the house intended for their Language School was vacant, and was utilised as a Minor Seminary for boys intending to become Jesuits. Don was put in charge. Then, on 8th December 1941 the Japanese invaded and occupied Hong Kong. The Irish Jesuits, as neutrals, were not interned. So, after things had quietned down, Don made his way into Free China with a dozen of the “Little Lads”. He settled down with the American Maryknoll Fathers at Tanchuk. Alas, a year orso later, the Americans began to construct an airfield nearby. Whereupon the Japanese Army made a drive to occupy that part of China as well, so the Maryknoll Minor Seminary had to be abandoned.

With his charges Don made an adventurous journey westwards by antiquated train, up turbulent rivers in over-crowded boats, and finally up steep mountain roads in delapidated trucks, ending in Kunming, the Capital of Yunnan Province, the nearest to India. To Kunming the Allies were bringing supplies by air over the “Hump” for the Chinese Army of Chiang Kai Chek. The planes were returning empty to India, so Don succeded in getting passage for himself and the twelve boys. Eventually they settled in St Stanislaus School, Bandra, Bombay. When the war was over and the older boys had completed their matriculation, the party returned to Hong Kong by sea.

Don went on to Canton, now liberated, to act as Headmaster in the Archbishop's school. But all too soon the Communists took over the whole of China, and Don was on his travels again. He asked to return to India and worked in Bombay for twenty five years as Headmaster in various schools until his death of a stroke in 1975.

The younger brother, Diarmuid Leo (the second name was always used) Belvedere 1908 - 1920 was never first in his class. He entered the Jesuits straight from school. After two years in Tullabeg, he was sent for a year to study Humanities in France. Then after three years Science in UCD, he began Philosophy in Milltown Park. However, owing to illness, a colleague returned to Ireland and, to replace him, Leo was transferred to Pullach-bei-München in Germany.

There followed three years teaching and coach ing Rugby in Belvedere. Then, after Theology and Tertianship he returned to Belvedere to teach Mathematics as a side-line to coaching Rugby.
In September 1941 he was appointed Chaplain in the British Army. He spent nearly three years in various posts in Great Britain, then transferred to Normandy on D-day. Always remaining safely behind the lines, he ended the war in Ostend, Belgium. Shortly after he was appointed to the Irish Guards in Germany, and was demobbed early in 1946.

On suggestion ot his brother he was appointed Professor of Church History in Kurseong, the Theologate of the Jesuits in India, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, After a little over two years, he was transferred to Australia, visiting Hong Kong on the way. There followed one year in Newman College, Melbourne, and then five years in the Holy Name Minor Seminary, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Belgian Jesuits in India were having difficulty in securing Visas for new blood from Belgium, so a “swop” was arranged. Leo went to Ranchi, Bihar, India, while a Belgian went to the Irish Jesuit Mission in Zambia. Leo remained as Professor of Philosophy in the Regional Seminary, Ranchi for twenty six years, and finally returned to Ireland in 1981.

(Editor: Fr. Leo forgets to mention something about his 1938 SCT...)

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, Valkenburg, Netherlands
Final vows: 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

LETTERS :

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 126 : Christmas 2005

MISSIONED TO ZAMBIA : MAURICE DOWLING

Taken from some 50 “portraits” submitted by Tom McGivern, who works in the Archives of the Province of Zambia Malawi.

The family of Fr. Maurice used to spend a month or two of the summer in Skerries, a seaside resort in Co. Dublin. He was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning, as a teenager, 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 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 passage and silently handed the paper to his son. This incident in some way sums up a characteristic of Maurice which developed at that age - modest in his achievements and helpful to others.

He was born in 1896. 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 for their secondary education. At the age of 18, on August 18th 1914, Maurice entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg, and followed the normal course of studies followed by Irish Jesuits of the time. He was ordained on August 27th 1929. In the thirties, he spent some time in the colleges (e.g. the Crescent, Limerick) as teacher and prefect. As a young Jesuit, he learned to speak Irish, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht. 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.

Come the Second World War, Maurice 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 travelling. As he lay on the ground in his own blood, he heard one of the rescuers say to another, as he nodded 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 volunteered in 1946, to be followed by two more in 1947 - Maurice and 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, 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 M 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 weekend to say Mass, long before the station was opened there in 1957; also to Kalomo still further south. Then back to the school for another week of teaching. In 1962 he went to the newly built mission in Namwala as the first resident priest, bringing with him some Sisters of Charity. Later, in 1964, he moved to Civuna.

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 had 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.

Doyle, Charles, 1870-1949, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Brother of Fr Willie Doyle - RIP 1917

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

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

Irish Province News 24th Year No 4 1949

Obituary

Fr. Charles Doyle (1870-1889-1949)

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1950

Obituary

Father Charles Doyle SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Charles Doyle (1870-1949)

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

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, 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 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.

◆ The Clongownian, 1916

Obituary

Thomas Egan SJ

Early in last November Rev Thomas Egan SJ, died in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, after a protracted illness. He was in Clongowes from 1903 to 1907, after which he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Tullabeg. From 1910-12 he studied with success for his degree at the NUI, after obtaining which with honours he was sent by his superiors to Valkenburg in Holland, the Philosophate of the German Jesuits, to study philosophy and learn German. Towards the end of his second year there he fell ill, and had to be removed to hospital at Aix la Chapelle, where he underwent several very serious operations. Though he got over them successfully for the time, he never recoveered his old health again, and when after a stay in Stonyhurst he returned to Ireland, it so became evident that the fatal disease was returning. He lingered on, however, several months in hospital, enduring sufferings with great resignation, and ready for death's call. His death, like his life and character, was a peaceful one. After receiving the last sacraments he became unconscious, and thus calmly passed away.

Fahy, John, 1874-1958, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05 April 1931

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note from Jeremiah Sullivan Entry
The province liked him more than either his predecessor, William Lockington, or his successor, John Fahy

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :

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

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 7th Year No 2 1932
Australia :
Fr J. Fahy, late Irish Provincial, and first Provincial of the new Vice-province of Australia, tells us about impressions made on him by the people of his new home
“I have been in this country about a month, and ever since my arrival I have been really amazed at several things. One of them is the amazing progress and power of the Catholic Church in Australia. We had heard in the Old Land, and had frequently read about your doings, about your love for the Faith, your devotion to your pastors,but really the sight of what you are doing far surpasses anything that we read in our newspapers.
Another thing that surprises me is the readiness of many to help the next man, that I am told, is a characteristic of the Australian people.
Not many days ago I was leaving Sydney and I had a letter to post. It was raining fairly heavily, and as I was going to the station by car. I thought I would stop and risk getting wet while rushing into the Post Office. I had just pulled up at the herb when a man rushed out from a near by doorway, and, though he did hot know who I was, and no doubt did not care, said “ Don't come out into the rain, I will post your letter for you.” That, I think, is typical of the prompt readiness with which the average Australian desires to help his fellows.

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Australia :
Fr. John Fahy, Provincial of Ireland 1922-23), was appointed Tertian Instructor of the Vice-Province of Australia, this year, and began work on February 15th. The Long Retreat, made by fourteen Fathers, commenced soon afterwards.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

GENERAL CONGREGATION :

Letters :

Fr. John Fahy, to Fr. Vice-Provincial, 10-9-46 :
“Your three Electors are flourishing, notwithstanding a fierce sirocco which has been burning the Romans ever since our arrival. All the Electors have now arrived, with the exception of four : Lithuania, Romania, Croatia and one German. To-morrow we begin our quattriduum, all - I think - feeling confident of Divine Help and Guidance. Rome is filled with men and women, all come for General Chapters, so we live in an election atmosphere”.

Province News 33rd Year No 2 1958

Obituary :

Fr John Fahy (1874-1958)

Fr. Fahy was born and brought up in Galway. He got his early education at St. Ignatius' College and entered the Society in, 1891.
In 1893 he went to the Juniorate at Milltown Park. In the following year, when I went there, I began to appreciate more and more his unselfish kindness and readiness to help, and his clearness and accuracy of mind. In some ways he was exceedingly simple. For instance, in the autumn of 1895, Fr. Sutton, who had just taken over the command of Milltown Park, summoned a meeting of Theologians and Juniors, proclaimed a severe code of laws, and invited questions. The theologians proceeded to ask a number of very ingenious questions, each tending to confuse the issues more and more, and to make our obligations less and less clear. The one person (apart from Fr. Sutton) to whom it would not appear that this result was intentional was John Fahy. He stood up and said : “Father, in order to be perfectly clear, is it this, or this, or that?” And, of course, it was that; all the clouds were swept away, and John was quite unconscious of the furious glances directed at him!
Towards the end of 1895, the Juniors were transferred to Tullabeg, and Mr. Fahy went with them to teach Mathematics and Physics. He remained with them until 1898, when he was sent to teach the same subjects at Clongowes. In 1901 he returned to Tullabeg as “Min. Schol. Jun”, and Prefect of Studies of the Juniorate.
In 1903 he went to Valkenburg in Holland, then the house of Philosophy of the German Province; Bismarck's ban on the Society was still in force in Germany. In 1905 he went to Louvain for Theology, was ordained in 1908, finished his course the following year, and went to Linz for his Tertianship in 1909-10. He left everywhere a high reputation both for character and scholarship. On his return to Ireland in 1910, the Provincial, Fr. William Delany, wanted to make him Master of Novices. This caused him much alarm, and he persuaded Fr. Delany to look elsewhere. He was sent to Belvedere, first as Prefect of Studies, then as Minister and in 1913 as Rector. His time in Belvedere, ending in 1919, was a period of steady advance in the fortunes of the College.
One day during the rising in Easter week, 1916, some of the front windows of Belvedere were shattered by a volley from a company of soldiers in Great George's Street. Fortunately the community were at lunch, and the refectory was at the back of the house. Fr. Fahy opened the hall door, walked down to the soldiers and explained to them the mistake they were making. He also pointed out some other houses, such as the Loreto Convent, from which they need not fear any sniping. He also, during those days, drove a number of food vans, whose ordinary drivers shrank from coming into the zone of fire.
In 1919 he was appointed Moderator of the Mungret Apostolic School, and in the following year he became Rector of the College. In 1922 Fr. General appointed Visitors to all the Provinces of the Society, and Fr. W. Power, Visitor to Ireland, appointed Fr. Fahy Provincial.
His Provincialate (1922-31) was a period of considerable advance for the Province and of much promise for the future, a promise which, God be thanked, is being realised. In the early days of his generation, foreign missions were for us little more than a fairy tale, true, no doubt, but remote from experience. Fr. Fahy, when the prospect of the Hong Kong mission appeared, succeeded in conveying his own enthusiasm to the Province. In choosing a Superior he looked for and found a man of courage and enterprise who was ready to go ahead and take risks. A few years later the question of taking on a district in China itself arose at a Provincial Congregation. China was being overrun by the Japanese at the time, and there was much confusion. of opinion. When everyone else had spoken, Fr Fahy stood up in his turn. He made no attempt to press his point, but very simply stated the case as he saw it. He got a practically unanimous vote. The same thing happened when the question arose of making the Australian mission independent of the Irish Province. Nobody, Australian or Irish, seemed to know what to think. Once more when, Fr. Fahy had spoken the vote was unanimous. I think it was on that occasion that Fr. Thomas Finlay remarked : “That's the greatest Provincial I have known”.
When the Australian mission became first a Vice-Province and then a Province, Fr. Fahy was its first Superior. Under his guidance it made remarkable progress, which it has continued to make under his successors; in fact, in spite of the very satisfactory increase in the numbers of the Province, it is difficult to find men to fill all the openings that present themselves.
He conducted a Visitation of the Philippines which, I have heard, bore excellent fruit.
In recent years he had been acting as a curate, and it is said that the children in the streets used run to greet him; which shows that his generous and kindly heart had succeeded in conquering his reticence. The feeling of his brethren towards him was shown by their electing him, at the age of eighty-three, to represent them at the General Congregation.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Fahy SJ 1874-1958
The name of Fr John Fahy is revered not only in the Irish and Australian Provinces, but throughout the Society in general.This reputation he acquied from his participation in Genereal Congregations. It was remarkable how in any discussion, Fr Fahy would sum up the matter in dispute in a few clipped, concise words, and give a solution, which always won approval and carried the day.

He was born in Galway in 1874, and educated at St Ignatius, entering the Society in 1891. The greater part of his studies were done abroad.

When Fr William Power was made Visitor to the Province in 1922, he appointed Fr Fahy provincial. His term of office lasted until 1931, and during that time great expansion took place. We acquired our foreign Mission in Hong Kong, the retreat House at Rathfarnham was built, Emo Park was bought and a great increase in the number of novices took place. Fr Tom Finlay said of him “that was the greatest Provincial he had ever known”.

When Australia became a Vice-Province in 1931, Fr Fahy went out there as Superior. The rest of his life he devoted to Australia, as Superior, Master of Novices, Master of Tertians.

In 1937 he was appointed Visitor to the Philippines.

At the age of 83, he was chosen by his brethren in Australia to represent them at the General Congregation.

After such a life of outstanding work for God and the Society, he died on January 25th 1928. He was a man of great judgement, of vision, of courage and constancy in carrying out what he had planned.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1958

Obituary

Father John Fahy SJ

Fr John Fahy who has died in Australia was successively during the years 1910 to 1919, Prefect of Studies, Minister, and from 1913, Rector of Belvedere, His time here. in these various offices was a period of steady advance in the fortunes of the house.

We are told that one day during the rising in Easter Week, 1916, some of the windows of Belvedere facing George's Street were shattered by a yolley from a company of soldiers. The Community were at lunch in the back of the house and so, fortunately, no one was hurt. Fr Fahy opened the hall door, advanced towards the soldiers and explained to them the mistake they were making. He also pointed out some other houses, such as the Loreto Convent, from which they need not fear Sniping. During those troubled times he frequently drove a number of food vans, whose ordinary drivers shrank from entering the firing zones.

In 1922 he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province. He held this office until 1931. During those years he made many important decisions, chief among which were the foundation of the Mission in Hong Kong, the decision to make the Australian Mission independent of the Isish Province. In matters such as these he was clear headed and decisive. It was as a result of such an occasion that Fr Tom Finlay declared about Fr. Fahy: “That's the greatest Provincial I have known”.

When the Australian Mission became first a Vice Province and then a Province, Fr. Fahy was its first Superior. Under his guidance it made the remarkable progress, which it has continued to make over the years; in fact, in spite of the satisfactory increase in numbers of the Province, it is difficult to find men to fill all the openings that present themselves.

In recent years he had been acting as a Curate and it is said that the children in the streets used to run out to greet him when he appeared; which goes to show that his kindness of heart had at last conquered his characteristic reticence. At the age of eighty-three the seal was placed on his life of service to the Society of Jesus, when his brethren showed their confidence in him by electing him to represent them at the General Congregation.

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
Final Vows: 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 no 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, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
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, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1916, St Mary’s, Ore Place, Hastings, Sussex, England
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.

AN APPRECIATION OF FR. GANNON
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.

◆ The Clongownian, 1954

Obituary

Father Patrick Gannon SJ

Father Patrick Gannon died suddenly at Milltown Park during the night of the 11th-12th December. He was born in Cavan on January 7th, 1879. Before coming to Clongowes, the future Jesuit had spent some years at St Patrick's College, Cavan. During his secondary school course, he won several prizes and exhibitions. He entered the Society in 1897 at Tullabeg and studied for his degree in Ancient Classics in the old Royal University. As in his school days, so now and henceforth in his studies as a Jesuit, he showed himself a man of brilliant gifts. He was sent to Valkenburg, Holland, for his philosophical studies and on the completion of these returned to Ireland to take up for some years the work of teaching in the schools of the Society. After some years teaching at Mungret, he came to Clongowes in 1907 and taught here for the next three years. He left Clongowes in 1910 for Milltown Park and was ordained priest in 1913, After his tertianship, he was sent for advanced studies in Theology to Hastings where the Jesuits of the Paris province of the Society then in exile had their principal house of studies. On the completion of his post-graduate studies in Theology, Father Gannon was appointed to a professorship in Milltown Park, where he remained until his death. Throughout his life, Father Gannon had many interests besides that of his professorship. He was one of Ireland's best known preachers, a lecturer and writer, a much sought-after spiritual director. He was in constant demand as a preacher especially for solemn and dis tinguished occasions. He proved a brilliant lecturer in the pulpit of St Francis Xavier's Gardiner Street, where he gave the Lenten Lectures many times during the twentes and thirties. Two of his published works which proved to be best sellers were simply amplifications of his lectures on “Holy Matrimony” and “The Old Law and the New Morality”. He was also the author of many pamphlets on religious and social questions as well as a frequent contributor to the learned contemporary reviews. He was a formidable adversary in the controversies which occasionally find a forum in the daily newspapers. But he was first and last a great priest who prayed and battled for the honour of Holy Church in whatever he spoke or wrote.

His affection for his old school never waned with the passing of the years. He seldom missed our Christmas play, was frequently present on the occasion of a gala debate in the House, and for many years spent Christmas with the community at Clongowes. His passing was sudden but not unexpected even by himself. We can feel confident that he has entered on the incorruptible inheritance promised those who “instruct others unto justice”.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1954

Obituary

Father Patrick Gannon SJ

The death took place at Milltown 1 Park on December 12th of Father Patrick Gannon SJ. Father Gannon taught at Mungret in the years 1906-07.

A native of Cavan he was educated at Clongowes Wood College and at St Patrick's Seminary, Cavan. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1897 and studied Ancient Classics in the old Royal University before going to Valkenburg, Holland, to study Philosophy. Afterwards he taught Classics and English at Mungret and Clongowes Wood Colleges. He studied Theology at Milltown Park and was ordained there in 1913. Before taking up His life work as Professor of Theology and Apologetics Father Gannon did some special studies at Hastings with French Jesuits.

In the fire which destroyed part of Milltown Park in 1949, Father Gannon was trapped in his room and sustained severe burns to his face and hands before being rescued. He never completely recovered from the shock he sustained though he continued some of his teaching and writing to the end. Father Gannon was an eloquent preacher and was much in demand for sermons, retreats and missions. He also acted as Catholic champion in many press controversies. He preached several series of Lenten lectures at Gardiner Street. He was also a contributor to the “Irish Ecclesiastical Record”, “Studies” and other periodicals in Ireland and America. RIP

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
Final Vows: 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.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1923

Our Past

Father Michael Garahy SJ

Fr Michael Garahy SJ (M L S, '89-'93), writes to tell us of an exciting journey to Bantry last summer, whither he went to conduct a retreat in the Convent. The railway from Cork to Bantry being torn up and several bridges blown down, he luckily happened on an inhabitant of that town, a man from New Zealaud settled in Bantry. This gentleman he met in a hotel in Cork, and learned from him that he purposed running down in his motor to Bantry that day. He agreed to give Fr Garahy a lift, the only other occupant being an old nun. A mile outside Cork the fun began. From this point for nearly twenty miles the road. lay through boreens, through fields, and, getting near to Bantry, they were forced to take to the railway line, and bump along over the sleepers. The old lady took it with marvellous sangfroid, and appeared to be quite fresh at the end of the seventy miles ride. Bantry presented the appearance of a Mexican town during the late civil war, Every house of any size was sandbagged and bullet spattered. Day and night sniping went on during the retreat, the Republicans usually firing from a wood near the convent down into the town. The firing was so intense one evening that the usual lecture had to be abandoned, and Fr Garahy, on his way home to the PP's house, had to convoy a party of ladies from the convent to their homes into the town amidst a perfect inferno of machine-gun fire..

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

Sermon for the Golden Jubilee of Mungret College SJ

Father Michael Garahy SJ

“In the midst of her own people she shall be exalted, and in the multitude of the elect she shall have praise, and among the blessed she shall be blessed”. (Ecclesiasticus xxiv 3-4).

Your Grace, My Lords, Very Rev Fathers, and Dear Brethren -

The presence within the halls of Mungret of this distinguished gathering of her sons at to-day's celebration is not only a graceful tribute of their respect and a'ection for their old college; it is, I venture to say, a singularly felicitous testimony to the part played by Mungret in laying well and truly the foundations of the success which so many of her students have achieved. To anyone curious to learn what your. Alma Mater has accomplished within the half-century since her foundation the Rev Rector of Mungret might reply without fear of appearing unduly boastful : “Si monumentum quæris circumspice hodie”.

A Happy Coincidence
It is certainly a happy circumstance, that the golden jubilee of Mungret as an ecclesiastical and lay college has synchronised with the most splendid event in the history of the Irish Church, the celebration of the great Eucharistic Congress in the capital of Ireland. That it should also coincide with the fifteen hundredth anniversary of the coming to Ireland of her great Apostle, Saint Patrick, is a matter of more than passing interest to the students whom Mungret has sent forth to preach and uphold the Faith of St. Patrick in lands beyond the seas. Yes, Providence has dealt kindly by Mungret in this year of her golden jubilee by bringing together from near and far, some of them from the far distant outposts of Christ's Empire, the illustrious audience of her sons which I am privileged to address to-day. Mungret welcomes them with the joy of a mother proud to see gathered around her again the men whom she strove to form in the spirit of Christ, whom she sent forth from her halls to play the part of Christian gentlemen, whether as priests or laymen, and her welcome could not be otherwise than heartfelt and proud when she remembers how magnificently her hopes have been realised.

Fifty years is not a long span by which to measure the work done by your college, and yet so much history has been made within that half-century that one is tempted to apply to her the well-known quotation from the Book of Wisdom : “Being perfected in a short space; she has accomplished the work of a long period of years”. Of the nature of that work, of its importance both to Church and State, it is sufficient for the moment to say that from its foundation in 1882 the College of Mungret has served as a training ground for young aspirants to the priesthood and for Catholic boys destined for the lay professions or a business career. I shall speak later of the immense importance of a thoroughly Catholic education to the latter class.

The work of the Apostolic School, concerned with the formation of those whom Christ has called to assume the tremendous responsibilities of the priesthood, naturally claims pride of place in any survey of Mungret's activities.

The Founder Father Ronan SJ
How the idea of founding such a school took root in the mind of the man whose name is imperishably linked with the story of Mungret, is easily explained. Father Ronan, who planned it, and
worked for it, and lived to see the tiny mustard seed he had planted grown to a goodly tree, was first and fore most and all his life through a man of God. He was also a member of an Order whose founder, St Ignatius, had been quick to see the enormous importance of providing the Church, battling for her life against the Lutheran heresy, with learned and holy priests, and had worked with such success towards that end that from the colleges he had established there poured forth the shock troops who held up the sweeping advance of the Protestant heresy in the sixteenth century. For twenty years previous to the founding of the Apostolic School, Father Ronan had been employed in giving missions up and down through Ireland. His missionary work had made him intimately acquainted with the lives and character of the people. He had always taken a deep interest in the young folk of the various parishes in which he had work ed, for the reason that his special line as a missioner had brought him much into contact with them. Father Ronan usually asked for and was allowed to take over the catechising of the young people in the missions in which he took part. He was not slow to see that amongst the boys who attended his instructions, both in town and country, there was an abundance of excellent material to draw upon for the supply of priests so sorely needed on the foreign missions. It was, however, to the poorly staffed dioceses in the English-speaking countries beyond the seas that his thoughts chiefly turned. He had learned how grave was the need of truly apostolic priests in these remote territories where the Catholic population, comparatively small in numbers, and living in an atmosphere either fanatically Protestant or religiously indifferent, were in serious danger of drifting from the faith. The homes of Ireland bred young men admirably fitted to take on this arduous work, but the establishment of a school to prepare them for the priest hood was not to be lightly undertaken, without the necessary financial backing, and the problem that troubled his mind for many years was how to procure the wherewithal to found. such a school. He was already well advanced in years, and at his time of life to set about collecting the money necessary to the success of his project appeared to him to be a task beyond his ability. At the same time he felt that some small beginning ought to be made.

Fr Ronan’s Opportunity
The opportunity offered when Father Ronan was appointed Rector of the Sacred Heart College, Limerick. Here was a school with a staff of professors already in being. He needed only to
rent a house adjoining the Crescent College. His young students would thus be enabled to follow the course of studies in the College, and for their upkeep and educational expenses he trusted to find the necessary funds from the pensions of the students, supplemented where necessary by donations from generous benefactors. His hopes in this direction were more than realised, Beginning with eight students in 1880 the number soon grew to thirty. The Bishop of Limerick Dr Butler, Dr Croke Archbishop of Cashel, and a number of distinguished lay gentlemen - amongst them Lord Emly, Sir Aubrey and Sir Stephen De Vere - gave their wholehearted support to the undertaking, while many of the Irish clergy contributed generously for several years to the funds of the Apostolic School.

Fr Ronan’s Deeptest Concern
But the formation of his students on the right lines was naturally a matter of deeper concern to the founder of the Apostolic School than the money question. The nature Concern of the work he had in view for them called for strong men - strong in character, strong in faith, strong in the love of God, with a clear conviction of the responsibilities of their vocation, and trained to bear the hardships and withstand the temptations that beset the priest in lands where the faith has a hard struggle, and survive in an atmosphere reeking with materialism and unbelief. Father Ronan rightly felt that the young men destined for missions such as these needed a special character formation, needed to be deeply grounded in piety, to be solidly educated. Above all, he saw the necessity of placing them under the watchful care of : a holy and prudent director, so that undesirables might be weeded out, and only those who gave fair promise of doing the work of God conscientiously should be entrusted with the care of souls in these dangerous surroundings. He had heard of and was deeply impressed by the system of training followed in the Apostolic Schools conducted on the Continent by the Fathers of the Society of Jesus. He visited several of these schools, and saw for himself how the young men were prepared for the foreign missions at Tournhout in Flanders, at Poitiers, Monaco, and Anjou.

Fr René’s Services
Father Ronan was fortunate enough to meet at Paray-le-Monial a young French Jesuit who had in the preceding year filled the office Services. of director of the Apostolic School at Poitiers. From their first meeting Father Ronan seemed to see in him the right man to undertake the work of piloting the new school through its first difficult years.

Father René, with the approval of his superiors, gladly consented to accept the direction of the school in Limerick, and was duly installed at the Crescent College in 1887. A couple of years after the school had been transferred to Mungret he was appointed Rector of the College, and it was under his direction that the system of training peculiar to Mungret gradually took shape. Father Réné was a man of unusual ability, a born organiser with a great store of common-sense, a little hard, perhaps, in his methods of government, and with rigid views as to discipline that did not always commend themselves to the freedom-loving young Irishmen committed to his care. But of one thing there can be no doubt : he possessed in a high degree the qualities especially considerate in the young men with whose formation he was entrusted zeal for the glory of God, and a spirit of self-denial that led him, when his work in Mungret came to an end, to volunteer for the terrible mission of Alaska, where he laboured for several years until his health broke down. To Father Réné and the devoted French Fathers who worked with him from 1882 till their return to France in 1888, most honourable mention is due for their distinguished services to the school whose Golden Jubilee we celebrate to-day. Another French gentleman prominently identified with the history of Mungret, a great benefactor of the College and beloved of all the students who knew him, Monsieur l'Abbé l'Heritier, also deserves very kindly mention for his services as professor of science during the many years he filled that office in Murgret.

Founder’s Expectations Realised
Time does not allow me to trace the history of the Apostolic School in the years that followed. It is enough to say that the system adopted in Mungret fully justified the most sanguine
expectations of its founder, Within a few years Mungret began to be favourably known as a school where the boys received an excellent education. In the University examinations, in competition with the highly endowed Queen's Colleges, Mungret students were well to the front, and carried off a goodly proportion of the most coveted distinctions in Classics in English Literature, and in Philosophy. But what gladdened the heart of Father Ronan and the superiors of the College more than anything else were the highly complimentary reports that began to pour in from the heads of colleges where the Mungret students had been sent to complete their studies. It became a sort of tradition in the Propaganda and the American Colleges in Rome, as well as in All Hallows and Carlow, to expect big things of the Mungret men. Their spirit of piety, of hard work, self-reliance, and observance of discipline, could not fail to attract notice, and it was quite a usual thing for the students of Mungret to be promoted to positions of trust in their colleges during their Divinity course. It could hardly be otherwise when one remembers that character formation and the habit of prayer had been carefully cultivated during their years in Mungret.

The System of Training
The system in vogue in the College is roughly modelled on that adopted by the Society for the formation of its own novices and scholastics. It undoubtedly exacts much of the young men to whom it is applied, but if it does, it certainly helps to make men of those who take the training. Perhaps the most eloquent testimony to the efficiency of the system is the fact that the Apostolic School in the comparatively short period of its existence, and with a student roll that has rarely exceeded sixty, has already given to the Church an archbishop and six bishops. Several of her students occupy the responsible positions of heads of colleges - one of them at least as large as Maynooth - in America and Australia, while amongst the prominent Churchmen in the United States and in the British Colonies, Mungret is well represented. Finally, it is worthy of note that a number of her students have won distinction as writers - in philosophy, apologetics, ecclesiastical history, and social science. The chief merit, however, of the Mungret training is that it has given to the ranks of the secular clergy and to the religious Orders so many priests esteemed for their blameless lives, their solid piety, and their devotion to duty, When one considers under what unfavourable conditions these priestly virtues have been exercised, one sees how wisely Father Ronan and his successors builded, how every stone in the edifice was tested, and how the completed work stands as a splendid monument to the zeal and courage of those who made Mungret what it is. In late middle life Father Ronan did not shrink from the hardships of a journey to America to raise funds for the extension of the college buildings. He brought back with him not only the money necessary for that purpose, but a considerable sum to found a number of burses. His work as a missioner often kept him away from Mungret for long intervals, but his heart was always there. He loved every stone in its walls, and when the Winter of his life drew on, and the old man came to rest from his labours, his last years were spent in the midst of his beloved apostles. Too old for active service, he could still pray. Indeed, his days were spent in prayer till the end came and Christ called him to receive the Crown of Justice for which he had worked so faithfully through all the years of his long and faithful life.

Removal of the Apostolic School
When the Apostolic School was removed from the Crescent College to Mungret, Dr Butler, the Bishop of Limerick, who was a great admirer of Father Ronan, and had taken a deep interest in the new foundation, decided to entrust the education of his own diocesan students to the care of the Jesuit Fathers in Mungret. This arrangement, as well as the opening of the new college to lay boys, evidenced the working of the school on efficient lines, for it was obvious that the expense entailed in providing a competent staff of teachers could not be met if the Apostolic School, which only numbered thirty students at that time, were to be run as an independent unit. The Seminarians as the diocesan students were called, followed the course of studies in Mungret for six years, until Dr O'Dwyer, desirous of providing his diocese with a seminary under his own management, withdrew his students to the present St Munchin's College. Their connection with Mungret, brief as it was, won for the College a number of devoted friends amongst the Limerick priests. Mungret is proud to know that they are amongst the most respected priests of the diocese, and she welcomes them here to-day no less warmly than the past students of the Apostolic and Lay Schools.

Jesuits as Educators of the Laity
The foundation of a Lay School in con junction with the Apostolic College had entered into Father Ronan's plans from the beginning. If he looked for great things from the latter as a feeder of the missions, he was also keenly alive to the importance of providing educational facilities after the Jesuit plan to boys intended for a career in the world. In this he was true to type, to which Father Ronan belonged, had from its earliest days devoted itself enthusiastically to the education of the laity. This is not to be wondered at when one considers the motives that led Ignatius to found the Society of Jesus. The dream of his life is embodied in the great meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, “The Kingdom of Christ”. His sure grasp of the realities convinced him that the simplest as well as one of the most effective means of realising that dream was the establishment of schools for the education of Catholic youth. These schools would put into the hands of his Society a powerful instrument for forming the rising generations on the principles of Christ, for training them in habits of virtue, for instilling into their souls at the most impressionable period of their lives a love for God and a respect for His holy law. As a matter of fact, so successful were the Jesuit schools in furthering these ends, and at the same time so high was the standard of excellence reached even in the teaching of secular subjects, that in every country when the Society was permitted to open schools, higher training of the Catholic youth to a large extent passed into their hands. For this success the Jesuits have had to pay a heavy price. It will hardly be disputed that one of the chief reasons why the Society has incurred the mortal hatred of the enemies of Christ, why her schools have been suppressed and her members driven into exile on so many occasions in the various countries of Europe, is that, taking them all in all, the young Catholics trained in their colleges have been the most influential as well as the most determined opponents of the anti-Christian organisations.

Fortress of Christianity
In this connection it is not out of place to call attention to the tremendous pressure that is employed to-day in many countries to close down the schools in which religion is taught to the laity. The enemies of God have learned by experience that the most potent weapon in their armoury to destroy all faith in the supernatural, to uproot Christianity, and establish the reign of materialism, is the Godless school. They are equally persuaded that the religious, schools are the fortresses of Christianity, that wherever religion is inter 'woven with education the materialist advance is held up. One need not be an alarmist to see how the storm clouds are gathering that threaten to engulf our Christian civilisation, and there can be little doubt that the issue between Christ and anti-Christ will be decided in the schools. If the Church in these critical times has need of holy and zealous priests to teach the people the truth, to strengthen them in their faith, to encourage them by their example, she has even more urgent need of brave and resolute men, men of faith and men of action, in the ranks of the laity.

Ideals of the Lay School
I have been at pains to show what the training given in Mungret has been able to effect in the case of the Ideals Apostolic School. I may now be permitted to set. forth the ideals aimed at in
the training of the lay scholars. Stated briefly, these ideals are to make them not only educated men in the common acceptation of the term, but, before all else, to fashion them into good Christians and good citizens. And here is the place to state that education, as we Catholics conceive it, is a much wider thing than the training and perfecting of man's natural faculties. We do not seek to minimise the importance of this training; on the contrary, we demand that the greatest care be taken to bring out all that is naturally good in man. Catholic education looks to the development of the body. It looks more closely to the improvement of the mind. It would bring to bear on the pupil all those civilising influences that help to form the character and refine the mind. It considers a thorough grounding in the classics, in literature, in history, in the arts and sciences, indispensable to a finished education, and it recognises the great importance of cultivating in the pupil a respect for the natural virtues - for truth and justice and honour and temperance. But it does not stop there. This, after all, is only a part, and the least important part, of a man's education, and the reason is obvious, once it is remembered that man is something more than a being composed of a natural body and a spiritual soul, that he has been by the act of God raised above his natural to a supernatural state, that his final end is something immeasurably more splendid than the winning of worldly success, that it is to win the favour and love of God in this world and the kingdom of God in the world to come. Now, since a religion supernaturally revealed and attested by the authority of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has been given to men to enable them to realise this end, to know and love and serve God, it follows that a knowledge of this religion, a respect and love for this religion, is the most necessary element in this education. In a word, true education will aim at making man before all else a good Christian, and in doing that it will also contribute powerfully to mould him into a good citizen.

Definition of a Good Citizen
And first let us be clear as to what we mean by a good citizen. I think it will be generally agreed that these are the broad outlines of his character. He is above all things an upright, honourable man, a man who respects the rights and feelings of others, a man whose conduct is ruled by principle, not by self-interest, a man who is clear in his conscience, and master of his passions. Now, men of this type are not born into the world. These qualities are no natural inheritance. They are the fruit of many a hard and bitter struggle against human passion. Some tremendous power other than mere strength of will or fire of character is required to produce men of this stamp. Catholics know that this power is the grace of God, and that religion is the avenue to the storehouse of God's grace. Leave out religion and you rob man of the most helpful means to fashion himself into a good citizen. Experience goes to show that this reasoning is sound, for the really religious man is invariably a witty member of society, and, contrariwise, a huge percentage of the wastrels of society, the criminal class, the crooks and swindlers and anarchists, are, as a rule, destitute of religious beliefs, and for the most part products of the Godless schools.

It was to offer another training ground for the attainment of these ideals that the Lay College in Mungret was founded. It was felt that association with the brilliant, hard-working students of the Apostolic School could not but have a stimulating effect upon the lay students religiously and scholastically, and looking back at the history of the Lay School, it may be fairly said that the experiment has worked success fully. The lay students of Mungret have reflected credit on their teaching. They are honourably represented in the professions. Many of them have won successes in business, and a very fair proportion are working to-day as zealous priests both on the secular mission and in the religious Orders.

Words of Gratitude
In conclusion I believe I am voicing the feelings of the Society when I offer grateful thanks to this distinguished gathering of students who have honoured us with their presence here to-day; to the many students of Mungret who, though far away, are with us to-day in spirit; to all the benefactors of Mungret, both living and dead; and chief amongst these to the St Joseph's Young Priests' Society; to the Rectors and professors of Mungret, who worked so strenuously to make the College worthy of the object for which it was founded. To each and to all the Society tenders devoted thanks, to those who planted, and to those who watered. Finally, to Him Who blessed their labours, Who gave the increase, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for Whom greater glory the College of Mungret was founded, the Society of Jesus and the students of Mungret unite in offering glory and honour and benediction. Amen

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962

Obituary

Father Michael Garahy SJ

We regret to announce the death of Fr Michael Garahy, which took place on February 14th.

Fr Garahy was born in Cloghan, Offaly. After leaving Mungret he spent some time in Mount Melleray. He did some of his studies in the Society in Germany, and was ordained in Milltown Park in 1908.

He was attached to the Mission Staff from 1914 to 1941, and a well known and distinguished preacher both in Irish and English. His retreats were also much appreciated by the clergy.

Earlier in his career he spent about six years teaching in Australia, and was Professor of Theology in Milltown Park for three years prior to 1914. In 1937 he was invited to make a special preaching tour in the Union of South Africa, which he did with distinction. For the last twenty years he was a member of the St Francis Xavier Community. RIP

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
Final Vows: 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.
R.I.P.

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

Obituary

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows 15 August 1916, St Ignatius College Riverview, Sydney, Australia
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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1928, Clongowes Wood College SJ
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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
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.

◆ The Clongownian, 1977

Appreciation

Father Thomas Hurley SJ

Tom came to Clongowes from Drimoleague in 1903 and spent four years here. On leaving, he entered the Jesuit Noviceship in Tullabeg, and took his first vows there in September 1909. He then studied mathematics and science in UCD, and Philosophy in Belgium. As a Scholastic, he taught in Belvedere College, and in Xavier College, Melbourne. He returned in 1920 to begin his Theological studies in Milltown Park, Dublin, and was ordained there in July 1922. He then returned to his teaching career, being stationed in Mungret (1925-28), Crescent (1928-33), Clongowes (1933-39), and Crescent again (1939-50), His teaching career ended in 1950 when he began church work in the Crescent Church, Limerick. In 1953 he took up Missionary work, conducting missions and retreats all over the country. He continued in this work until 1962 when he returned to parochial work in the Crescent Church. A few years ago he had to retire owing to ill health.

Fr Hurley was a man of great energy, and was totally devoted to the work he had in hand. He was a painstaking teacher, and his students were very successful in the public examinations. As a churchman, he was a forceful and very practical preacher, and was devoted to his work in the confessional. As a result of his work as a missioner, he was very well known among the clergy and religious throughout the country, and was well liked by them. Apart from his work as a teacher and preacher, he took a very keen interest in the Irish College at Ballingeary. He wrote a number of CTS pamphlets, and also wrote a life of the late. Fr Michael Browne SJ. For a number of years he took a very keen and pracitcal interest in the activities of the Irish Red Cross Society. He died in Limerick on the 13th of October 1976 at the age of 86.

Kelly, Dominic, 1873-1952, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 04 August 1873, Co Wexford
Entered: 06 September 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1910, Clongowes Wood College SJ
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.

◆ The Clongownian, 1953

Obituary

Father Dominic Kelly SJ

Father Dominic Kelly SJ died at Canisius' College, Pymble, Australia, on Sunday, 7th September, 1952.

He died as he had lived the far greater part of his long life, in the bosom of his beloved Order. Every Jesuit old boy - indeed everyone who took the slighest interest in the work of the Jesuit Father's in Australia - knew, or at least had heard of Father “Dom” Kelly. This is not the least remarkable fact about the life of this remarkable man, because he persistently strove to hide his light under the proverbial bushel. But the scope of his in tellectual powers, his charm and humility, and his saintly life as a Priest were such that he failed to keep himself from notice. This was probably the only thing he ever set out to do which he failed to accomplish. Hundreds who never had the pleasure of meeting Father Kelly will mourn his passing. To those who had the pleasure of his friendship, his death will leave a gap not easily filled.

Father Kelly was born at Waterford, in the year 1873. At the age of 13 he went to Clongowes ,Wood College. At the age of 17 he left Clongowes to join the Society of Jesus. As a Scholastic he studied classics at the Royal University, where he took his Master's degree. He did his Philosophy at Valkenberg, Holland, at a house belonging to the then exiled German Jesuits. He taught at Tullabeg before he returned to Milltown Park to do his Theology before his ordination in 1910. In 1911 he did his Tertianship in Belgium, after which he returned to Clongowes to teach classics and German. But his brilliant mind was far too active to find complete satisfaction in the Classics which he had completely mastered he could quote Horace without any reference to the books - so he set about seeking new fields to conquer. To his classics he added French. He translated the Exercises of St Ignatius into his native Irish tongue. He interested himself in Astronomy and discovered a new star. He took aerial photographs of Clongowes by means of a camera attached to a box kite. He was only happy when he was laying aside one intellectual conquest to start in search of another. All the while he was teaching with obvious success many brilliant students such as Dr McQuaid, the present Archbishop of Dublin; Father Dan O'Connell SJ, lately appointed in charge of the Vatican Observatory; Father Fergal McGrath SJ, later well-known and successful author; and Father Hugo Kerr, who subsequently entered the Redemptorist Order and became the Provincial.

Nor was he solely a book worm. As a young man he had played football and cricket and always remained a keen and capable tennis player, as many a young Newman blood found out when he went out to the court to '”polish off Father Dom” in a couple of sets.

His activities were such that one feels that there surely must have been more than 24 hours in his day. But his intellectual activities did not come first by any means. He was first and foremost a Priest of God, and these duties he dis charged with such humility and success that he was always both in Ireland and Australia, much sought after by Religious as their Director of Retreats.

In 1916 Ireland gave up yet another of her brilliant sons to the Faith in Australia, for it was in that year Father Kelly went to Xavier, where, believe it or not, he taught, not classics or languages, but mathematics and physics. Such a varied and accomplished teacher must have been a Prefect of Studies dream.

In 1919 Father Kelly went to Newman, where he remained a Tutor for 28 years. He became and remained for the whole period of his residence, the quietest and most popular man in Newman. It would be a gross understatement to merely say that every student respected him. It is not an overstatement to say that every student loved “Old Dom” as they, not disrespectfully, referred to him in their conversations. He had the captivating charm of the genuinely humble, He was thoroughly happy at Newman, and he Tegretted very much when the time came to retire" to Pymble. He slipped off to Pymble as quietly as if he were going for one of his bicycle rides.

In his quiet way he joined the students in all their activities. He attended all the matches on the oval, and he was always to be seen, bicycle and all, on the river bank at boat races. When he found that some men in college were wont to relax at a friendly game of poker, he wrote an article on “Poker Probabilities” in the college magazine of 1935. Amongst other practical advice he demonstrated the probability of a royal flush as 1 in 649,739! Is it any wonder that Newman men loved the man who while being the spiritual Father to so many could still take a keen, intelligent and sympathetic interest in their daily lives.

Towards the close of his career at Newman, Father Kelly decided to become a botanist. He classified sea-weeds, gum trees and flowers with his usual success. It was typical that all this was practically accomplished before anyone knew that he had started.

It is impossible to do justice to Father Kelly in these short notes. The writer has tried to recall his attainments which we had long since taken for granted. But above all Father Kelly was a humble priest, whose constant aim io this life was to serve God and give back to Elim the fruits of the great intellect with, which he was endowed. He was in all his labours a “humble giant”. RIP

The Xaverian, Melbourne

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 31 May 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
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.
R.I.P.

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

Obituary

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.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1987

Obituary

Father Richard Kennedy SJ (1921)

Dick Kennedy was born in Dublin in 1906. He was at Belvedere 1917-21. He went from Junior Grade to Clongowes and entered the Society of Jesus in 1924. He had the usual Jesuit formation: novitiate in Tullabeg; BA in English at UCD, from Rathfarnham Castle; philosophy in Tullabeg and, for two years, at Valkenburg, Holland; regency in Hong Kong, spent in the Regional Seminary, where he studied the language and taught mathematics, and in Wah Yan College as a teacher; theology in Milltown Park, where he was ordained on July 31st 1939. He made his tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle.

Immediately afterwards he joined the British Army as a chaplain in Singapore. He became a prisoner of war when Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942 and remained in captivity until the war ended. For six months he was at Changi in Singapore, then in a mining camp in Formosa until 1944, then in Fukoka (Japan) for a few months, and finally for six months in Manchuria, before release and return home to recuperate from his experiences. He rejoined the British Army on the Rhine 1946-47 until demobilisation,

After a year teaching at Wah Yan, Hong Kong, he was sent to teach in Canton in 1948. The Communist government took, over the city a year later but Dick continued working until he was arrested in August 1953 and expelled in late September back to Hong Kong, where he had to undergo an operation.

Restored by a year's recuperation at home, he returned in 1955 to Kowloon, where he spent the rest of his long life at Wah Yan. He taught in the College until 1971 and at Newman College until 1985. His last year was spent as spiritual counsellor at Newman.

During his final illness, he had many visitors in hospital: priests, sisters, past students whom he had taught or baptised, poor people he had befriended and helped. His rector, Fr Fred Deignan, writes:

“Fr. Dick in his humility never spoke very much about the many people he knew and helped, instructed and baptised. He must have suffered a lot during his internment under the Japanese but I'm sure that he gave very much help, hope and courage to his many fellow-prisoners. He was always very good to the poor and those in trouble. He loved young people and was happiest when they were around him”.

He died on August 22nd 1986. The funeral Mass was concelebrated by a large number of his brother-Jesuits, led by his friend from their difficult days together in Canton, Archbishop Dominic Tang SJ, who preached the homily. Among the many present was a group of Catholics from Canton, some of whom had been imprisoned for years because they were members of the Legion of Mary. “This was just a sign”, as Fr. Deignan writes, “that a great number of people loved and revered in”.

His younger brother Dermot died a few months before him. To all his family, especially Fr Denis P (Paddy), a former rector of Belvedere, our most sincere sympathy on their loss.

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, Innsbruck, Austria
Final Vows: 02 February 1944, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
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.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 77 : Summer 1994 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Brendan Lawler (1909-1993)

29th Oct. 1909; Born, Bunclody, Co. Wexford
Early education: Clongowes Wood College
Ist Sept. 1926: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
1928 - 1932: Rathfarnham - studying Science (biology) at UCD
1932 - 1935: Valkenburg, Holland, studying Philosophy
1935 - 1938: Innsbruck, studying Theology
17th July 1938: Ordained at Innsbruck
1939 - 1940: Tertianship, Rathfarnham
1940 - 1941: Tullabeg, Professor of Cosmology and Biology
1941 - 1943: 35 Lower Leeson Street, Private Study
1943 - 1962: Tullabeg - Professor of Cosmology and Biology. (From 1953 - '59 he was Rector)
1962 - 1968: Loyola House - Socius to Provincial
1968 - 1992; Milltown Park: Secretary, Institute of Theology/Philosophy, and Lecturer (Philosophy), (1982 Assistant Registrar)
1993: Cherryfield Lodge. Hospitalised in The Royal, Donnybrook and then in Our Lady's Hospice.
16th June 1993. Died Our Lady's Hospice.

For many members of the Irish Province the name of Brendan Lawlor is synonymous with memories of the philosophate in Tullabeg, Once can see him still on a dark day in the tiered lecture-room, reading from the yellowing pages of his cosmology notes or play-acting as to whether the continuum could be found in the drawer or under the table. These memories can be crowned with those of drowsy afternoon sessions with diverting slides portraying the innards of the amoeba. In retrospect one can only admire the patience and endurance of those who, after years of no mean scholastic attainment, accepted from the Society the “world without event” of life in Tullabeg.

Brendan had a distinguished scholastic career behind him when he came to Tullabeg as Professor of Cosmology and Biology in the autumn of 1943. He was one of those “stars” who had been picked out for a four-year Juniorate (1928-1932), ending up with a MSc in biology. In the autumn of 1932 he made his way with Con Lonergan to do his philosophy with the exiled Germans in Valkenburg, and then in 1935 both of them went on to join Donal O'Sullivan for theology in Innsbruck. It was typical of the man that he could spend those years so close to the drama of the rise of Hitler and the Anschluss of Austria and so rarely speak of these momentous events afterwards. Even the theology of the times was rarely mentioned by him, though Innsbruck in those years was the centre of “kerygmatic theology” and of the liturgical and catechetical renewal spearheaded by JA Jungmann. Within a short time of Brendan's leaving Innsbruck the house in Sillgasse was turned into the headquarters of the Gestapo, but Brendan by that time was safely back in Ireland doing further studies in Leeson Street.

It will come as a surprise to most people to realize that by far the longest period Brendan spent in one place was not Tullabeg but Milltown Park. He spent nineteen years in Tullabeg at a stretch, being Rector there from 1953 to 1959. He left the midlands in 1962 to become Socius to the Provincial (1962-68), and after those six years in Eglinton Road was assigned to Milltown Park, where he was to spend the next quarter of a century. For many years during this period he did some teaching in the area of logic, but his principal task was to look after the administrative staff of the Institute and to keep the scholastic records of the students. He was also responsible for organizing what came to be called “Saturday Theology”, a very successful programme of lectures for extra-mural students which, over a period of twenty years, introduced innumerable religious and laity to the mysteries of Vatican II.

For a person who in many respects was the quintessence of predictability, Brendan could be a source of hidden talents. The last instance of this came about only a few weeks before his death, when his community was presented with an amazingly competent landscape which Brendan had painted during occupational therapy in the hospice. Who would have thought that we had another Paul Henry in our midst? Then there was his early interest in the scriptures, which eventually bore fruit in his book, Epistles in Focus, widely read in Ireland at the time, and for many years the only scholarly book on scripture by a member of the Province. During his years as Professor in Tullabeg, he rarely, if ever, published anything in philosophy, but in his final years in Milltown he had some published work in Milltown Studies, includ ing one article of which he was particularly proud, “The Star of Implication” (Milltown Studies, no.5).

Those who knew Brendan in the two main periods of his life, that in Tullabeg and that in Milltown, will have been struck by the contrast between the two, especially if one was a scholastic in the earlier period. In Tullabeg he seemed constrained by the stricter regime of the times. In Milltown his natural humour and spirit of companionship blossomed, so that he became one of the most appreciated members of the community. He maintained amazingly good health, even after retirement, and took a great interest in all that was happening in the world, not least in the world of sport, Brendan before the television-set, with cigarette in hand, was one of the fixtures of Milltown life during those years. This continued up to the time that the onset of Parkinson's necessitated his hospitalization. The decline that set in developed with a speed that surprised us all. The disease took him from us within a matter of months, and so he died at the impressive age of 83. May he rest
in peace.

Ray Moloney

Little, Arthur, 1897-1949, Jesuit priest and writer

  • IE IJA J/32
  • Person
  • 31 March 1897-05 December 1949

Born: 31 March 1897, Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1929, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1934, t Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 05 December 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Studied for BA Classics, 1st Class Honours at UCD

by 1924 in Australia - Regency at Riverview, Sydney
by 1932 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
As a regent, Arthur Little taught at Riverview, 1923-26, where the bright and brash Riverview boys turned his classes into chaos. After tertianship at St Beuno's, Little spent the major part of his life as a philosophy professor at Tullabeg. He was a very skilled thinker as well as being an excellent musician and wrote on aesthetics and poetry.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 25th Year No 1 1950

Obituary

Fr. Arthur Little (1897-1914-1949)

Fr. Arthur Little was born in Dublin on 31st March, 1897. He was educated at Belvedere and Clongowes. His early life in the Society followed the usual course : Noviceship (Tullabeg) 1914-16; then Juniorate (Tullabeg 1 year, Rathfarnham 3 years) where he obtained a first class Honours M.A. in Classics ; Philosophy (Milltown) 1920-23 ; Colleges (Riverview) 23-26; Theology (Milltown) 26-30, where he was ordained Most Rev. Dr. Goodier, S.J; Tertianship (St. Beuno's), his Instructor being Fr. Joseph Bolland, the present English Assistant.
Prior to Tertianship he taught for one year in Clongowes; after it he professed Philosophy - Psychology and Theodicy - for 14 years in Tullabeg (1932-46). From 1946 to his death he was in Leeson St, as “Scriptor”. The mortal disease which brought about his premature death at the height of his powers, prevented him from taking up a professorship of Theology at Milltown Park, to which the 1949 Status bad assigned him. He died on 5th December.

Works :
An Epic Poem on the Passion : “Christ Unconquered”.
Broadcast talks on Catholic Philosophy : “Philosophy without Tears”
“The Nature of Art or The Shield of Pallas”.

Shortly before his death he had completed a detailed study of Plato's influence on the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas : “The Platonic Heritage of Thomism”. This book will be published shortly. An advanced copy of it reached Fr. Little a few days before his death. He was a regular contributor to “Studies”, “Irish Monthly” and other periodicals.

An Appreciation :
In the premature death of Fr. Arthur Little, after months of severe suffering, the Province has lost its most brilliant member. He possessed a remarkably wide range of gifts and some of them in a high degree. He was a classical scholar, a philosopher, a poet, a musician, a critic of art, a writer, a wit. So remarkable an endowment yould easily have made him a rather formidable person one to be admired from a distance, were these gifts not completed and balanced by an irrespressible sense of humour and an oddity and whimsicality of manner and demeanour which made him. emphatically a “character”, and a most loveable one at that. For twelve years he was professor of philosophy at Tullabeg, and he did more than any other one man to build up in that infant scholasticate a tradition of sound, solid doctrine. His first subject was psychology, but he soon came to theodicy which was his favourite treatise. He had arrived in Tullabeg without any very definite system but with a certain leaning to Scotism. But, after a short contact with the senior member of the staff he was suddenly converted to Thomism. The conversion was complete and final. He entered into the thought of St. Thomas not merely without any difficulty but with enthusiasm. He was an “anima naturaliter Thomistica”. But he was singularly free from the acrimony of a convert to his abandoned oracle.
He gave himself entirely and untiringly to his work as a professor, and he was perfectly happy as a lecturer. It might be thought that a man of such imagination, a man with the sensibility of a poet, might have given play to these gifts in his treatment of philosophy. But the truth was that when he lectured on psychology or theodicy he was always the metaphysician. He gave his class pure undiluted Thomistic thought. He spared them nothing of the most rigid, the stiffest scholastic method. His lectures were close reasoned, exacting, with no appeal to the imagination. His codex was as forbidding to the unintiated as the Metaphysics of Aristotle, and it needed the comment of the master to draw out its riches. He paid his pupils the formidable compliment of considering them to be on the level of his own austere height of thought and method. And his pupils appreciated the compliment and had for him an admiration that was often an enthusiasm.
In his lectures on the history of philosophy his literary powers could find scope, and what an entertaining subject he could make of it can be judged from his broadcast talks, published as “Philosophy Without Tears”, and from his articles in Studies. He did not read widely and that was a weakness in his position, but he thought out every point in his system and had made a coherent synthesis. He was an indefatigable worker and always sat at his desk. One wondered where he got the energy for this unremitting thought on so difficult a subject. It did not seem to come from the usual sources, because he ate about as much as a robust sparrow and for weeks at a time did not stir out of the house. That devotion to his work was not the lest debt which Tullabeg owes to Fr. Arthur.
But this metaphysician was also a poet. His “Christ Unconquered” is an ambitious epic poem on the Passion. He deliberately followed the tradition of the epic, especially as handled by Virgil and Milton, with its speeches, councils, episodes. He professed to have made Virgil his model, but actually the resemblance to Milton in diction, metre and general style was evident in every page and caused the professional critics to see in it an amazingly clever imitation and thus succeeded in closing their eyes to the great merits and the true individuality of this remarkable poem. The main defect is that he has put too much theology into it and theology is a recalcitrant medium for the poet, and certainly parts of it are heavy going. But on the whole it has a great distinction of style ; and there are many passages of great beauty which will not easily die. In fact such passages suggest that his truest vein was the lyric.
But some will think that be was still greater as a prose writer. Certainly his prose, so much of which appeared in Studies and the Irish Monthly, was of a high order, strong, distinctive, brilliant, witty.
If he had been put at writing as his professional work, he would undoubtedly have become a man of wide reputation, of the eminence of Fr. D'Arcy or Mgr. Knox. But even as things fell out it looked as if his day as a writer had come when he was taken away from philosophy. He seemed to be about to reap the harvest of the long years thought and study in that little room on the top storey in Tullabeg. Books and articles began to come from his pen in the short time he spent at Leeson St. He was a regular contributor to Studies. He finished a profound philosophical study on aesthetics, “The Shield of Pallas”, and up to the last he was engaged on a study of the Platonic element in St. Thomas, an advanced copy of which was put into his hands on his death bed. The book is a genuine contribution to the subject and is the fruit of a long study of his two favourite masters. All things then pointed to a rich yield of the labours of years, when God called him.
And what can one say of those personal gifts which made him so pleasant a companion - the originality of mind, the power to see sudden and often absurd resemblances, the brilliance and wit of his conversation? His wit bubbled up spontaneously and played about all subjects and his sense of humour was irrepressible. How inadequate are a few remembered examples to convey these things to those who did not know him! He is lecturing on the nature of a spirit and has shown that they have not even the principle of extension a punctum, and then he says solemnly “We must admit reluctantly that the Angels are most unpunctual beings”. He meets a Tullabeg colleague away from home and says “Dr. Livingstone I presume”. He used to say that in a detective story and he was a regular reader of them - he hated to be fobbed off at the last page with an accident or a suicide but wanted a decent clean murder. And to the end his good humour and wit did not neglect him,
“A fellow of infinite jest, Horatio”.
We may safely conjecture that in Heaven he will spend much of his time - he would correct me and say his aevum - in the company of two St. Thomases - the Angelical Doctor and St. Thomas More.
His joyous temperament lifted him above all bitterness and there was not a grain of malice in his make-up. He was an exemplary religious. He was highly esteemed as a giver of retreats. He was a man of the highest spiritual principles, and the sufferings of the last months of his life, borne with a patience and a joyous resignation which produced a deep effect on all who came near him were a manifestation of what his religion and vocation meant to him.
“Anima eius in refrigerio”. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Arthur Little 1897-1949
In the premature death of Fr Arthur Little on November 5th 1949, the Irish Province lost its most brilliant member. He was Professor for fourteen years in Tullabeg, where he built up by his zeal and talents, a tradition of solid doctrine after the mind of St Thomas.

Born in Dublin on March 31st 1897, he entered the Society in 1914, having received his education at Belvedere and Clongowes. He taught as a scholastic at St Ignatius College Sydney from 1923-1926. Having returned to Ireland for Theology, he was ordained to the priesthood at Milltown Park in 31st July 1929. He did his tertianship at St Beuno’s and was professed of four vows in 1934.

Besides lecturing in Philosophy, he wrote many works, three ofn which are well known :
“The Nature of Art” or “The Shield of Pallas”, “Philosophy without Tears” and “The Platonic Heritage in Thomism. He also published an ep[ic poem on the Passion entitled “Christ Unconquered”.

Besides being a man of remarkable literary gifts, he had a keen sense of humour and a ready wit. A man of simple piety, a model of religious life. He was lively and joyous even in his suffering, which ended in his death died on December 5th 1949.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1950

Obituary

Father Arthur Little SJ

My first impression of Arthur dates back to more than forty years ago, and the scene was the Belvedere Theatre during a still-remer bered production of “David Garrick”. In those spacious days the audience were entertained to tea during the interval “on the floor of the house”. Arthur, in more than usually unbecoming Etons, was a “tea-boy”. I, armed with milk and sugar, was boatswaints mate. Tea-boy is, however, not the correct word. Out of the silver pot flowed a clear stream of boiling water. It may, of course, have been an accident but if so, why was Arthur so persistent in offering it to so many guests? And it may be a fraud of memory that gives me a picture of his delighted smile at the variety of their reactions. It is surely such a trick that depicts him with free finger fluttering at the lip in a gesture of mingled consternation, delight and apology. At all events, it was the first experience of a practical joker of child-like seriousness, inexhaustible zeal and fresh imagination. He retained that sense of humour to the end. A week or two before the final sickness declared itself he had been appointed to the Professorship of Theology vacated by Fr Canavan who was similarly stricken. In hospital he commented : “I suppose this goes with the job”, and to another friend : “A chair of theology did you say? A sofa or a bed of theology is what you mean”.

One recalls these trivial jokes which like all jokes on paper lose their lustre as surely as a drying pebble, simply because at the very beginning of one's memories of this deep thinking, learned and truly ascetic character there come thoughts of his simplicity, his gaiety his child-like zest. Neither time nor studies nor pain nor illness dimmed this gleam, Arthur was most certainly gifted with a double measure of individuality. All men are unique but he was unique in a special degree and oddly enough this marked difference between him and the rest of men was changeless and perfectly true to form from beginning to end. He was not a baffling or uncertain character. When you knew Arthur, you knew not only that his reaction to any given stimulus would be original, unpredictable and exciting, but that it would also be so characteristic that when it disclosed itself you would comment - “How like Arthur!”

This, I think, came from an eccentricity which was totally without pride or pretence, and though it gloried in a very definite sort of affectation and vanity, it was at the heart's core absolutely sincere and founded on a passionate love of truth and an . instinct to "beauty.

He was at Belvedere when I came and survived me. We had later, a couple of years in Clongowes and he went thence to TCD. No one could have been less affected by the last experience of which he never spoke and personally I think of him as a product of BCD and UCD. I believe he thought so himself. At UCD he was an exceptionally brilliant student. He had only taken up Classics after his noviceship, yet his Greek mark in his BA was a record one. He had an extraordinary gift for the acquisition of the elements of any language : French, German, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, English and Irish. His reading was deep as it was wide. His bedside book would be a Greek drama. In his last illness I cited an epigram written by St Peter Canisius about Bl Peter Faber: It is given in English in Fr Broderick's work and I did not know if it was originally in German or Latin. “Neither”, said Arthur off-hand - “The Greek Anthology”, and he quoted the couplet from memory as a matter of course though Canisius’ use of it was new to him. Naturally, then at College, he began to write a florid but rich prose and a great quantity of jewelled, rather exotic verse. A little life of St Isaac Jogues written at this time remains, perhaps, unsurpassed.

He went next to the study of a lifetime, his almost passionate preoccupation till the end : Philosophy. Despite his literary imagination he proved a fine metaphysician and was, of course, constantly delighted in the search for the ultimate reasons of things. Most of his working life was spent as an inspiring and industrious professor, communicating an art in which he was absorbed, and communicating it with exceptional inspiration method and success. That most important, aspect of his work and of the books that bequeath it to us I cannot hope to treat adequately here. His poetry remained a true part of him if now a sub ordinate part. With the publication of “Christ Unconquered”, an epic of the Passion of Our Lord, he challenged recognition on the very top level, to succeed in this being to succeed with the greatest and most important theme. The poem's appearance was unfortunately delayed and it was first read by an audience sated with war-suffering and definitely tired. It was much praised, but not enough. Arthur himself laughed at critics who scolded him for writing like Milton. (One of our greatest Irish Scholars reading it in MSS. exclaimed “the thought of Dante in the language of Milton”). But the poem will survive and be quite possibly more widely read a hundred years from now.

Arthur's memory too, will survive as long as any live who knew him well. For all, truly all who knew him well, loved him well and he was so sharply drawn a personality as to be quite unforgettable. Nor yet among all the wide circie who knew him and loved him could one be found who would deny that in Arthur they recognised a spirit made for another world, a being totally unworldly, lighting and warming this alien atmos phere in which God placed him for a while but to which he scarcely belonged, so that he beckons to us from that home-land where he was always at home, the country of which the Lamb is the light and His love the food and drink of one who hun gered and thirsted for justice and truth,
May he rest in peace.

◆ The Clongownian, 1950

Obituary

Father Arthur Little SJ

It is, I presume, a pathetic fallacy for Old Clongownians to believe that the generation in which they passed their days in Clongowes was far and away the best in the history of the College. Anyone who lived during the years 1911-1914 in Clongowes has more than ordinarily good reasons for thinking that there never was such as period in the history of the College. The happy death of Fr Arthur Little brings this whole period of leisured and spacious times back to memory.

He came to Clongowes in September, 1911 having already spent six years in Belvedere and arriving in Clongowes trailing all the clouds of glory which a Preparatory Grade Exhibitioner enjoyed in those days. He was placed in First Junior which included that year names which have since achieved some small celebrity. Mr Justice Sheil of Northern Ireland is rubbing shoulders in the school list with Alban O'Kelly of Turf Board fame, and Mattie Bodkin, the Jesuit missioner, who join hands with Herbert Mooney from the Forestry Service in India and Con Maguire from the Head office of the United Nations in Geneva, while Tom Fleming is in Australia as a Jesuit and Maurice Dowling in Northern Rhodesia. Among the upper community who helped to form Arthur in these years were Fr “Jimmy” Daly, Fr George Roche, Fr John Sullivan, whose Cause for Canonisation has now been introduced, the late Fr J E Canavan, Fr John Joy and the present Irish Ambassador to the Vatican.

Arthur won an Exhibition in the Modern Literary Group in the Junior Grade that year, 1912, and in the following year went up with his former companions to Poetry. In the Intermediate Examinations that year he won a Modern Literary Scholarship in Middle Grade but did not return in September, 1913 to Clongowes for Senior Grade as would have been the normal course. Instead, he entered Trinity College Law School with the idea of becoming a barrister.

While at Clongowes his genius, perhaps to us boys somewhat of an eccentric type, was recognised. Even then he was intensely interested in music and poetry and I have a distinct recollection of one of my earliest conversations with him in which he casually quoted a junk of Froissart's Chronicles as being something with which I should be (at the age of 14) completely familiar - which I was not. He had an unusual flair for drawing and the number of narrow escapes which he had while practising this skill with his class master at the blackboard as unwitting model, were numerous. I believe that he had learned the violin at the age of six and I know that he never abandoned the playing of that instrument and amongst his papers after his death, a very substantial pile of violin and piano compositions, written by himself, were discovered.

There was a legend in his family that he had learned to read without being taught and one of the most vivid memories of him is of a long, lanky boy curled up in a large armchair wrapped in some book. He was tall and thin all his life and rather on the delicate side and consequently he did not take much part in the games at Clongowes. But all his life long, even during his early days, he loved long solitary walks and his brother remembers “his great ingenuity in getting into difficulties in these walks which he subsequently dubbed extraordinary adventures”. History was to repeat itself in this matter for when he was a Professor in Philosophy at Tullabeg College one of his favourite recreations was to go striding along the bleak bog roads clothed in an old raincoat with, if I remember rightly, a kind of deerstalker cap on bis head and a huge leather cylindrical case slung across his back which might easily have contained a small tommy gun but actually contained only a thermos flask. He was, however, a very good tennis player with an extraordinarily graceful style and a very effective technique. In his youth, strange as it may seem to those who knew the gentle Arthur later on, he was more than a bit of a boxer. His literary ability, like the sanctity of the Saints, showed early : for while at Belvedere he founded and published a magazine entitled “The Comet” duplicating it on a primitive jelly machine which left more ink on himself than on the paper.

While at Trinity in the year 1913-14 both the labour and the political world were in an exciting state, Arthur's politics had always been extremely nationalistic and the moment the National Volunteers had been founded he joined them in Larkfield, early in 1914. He became a fluent speaker of Irish, a loyal holder of the Fáinne, and spoke and wrote Irish at every suitable opportunity. If things had turned out somewhat differently he might easily have been yet another poet who would have died in 1916, as, indeed, more than one Belvederian and Clongownian poet in these days did die. In September, 1914, Arthur turned his back on the world, the Bar, and Trinity College, and entered the Jesuit Noviceship at Tullabeg, meeting there once again many of his former companions of Junior and Middle Grade in Clongowes. He remained in Tullabeg for the two years of his noviceship and went through the Juniorate, which was marked for him by his introduction to Greek. He only commenced to learn Greek in 1916 but : four years later, in 1920, he took first place with First Class Honours in the BA Classical Group at UCD. He spent his three University years in Rathfarnham Castle where he had the saintly Fr John Sullivan as Rector, and then, in September, 1920, went to Milltown Park where he was introduced to the subject in which he was afterwards to display such brilliancy and profundity - Scholastic Philosophy. After his three years Philosophical Course he was sent to Riverview in Sydney, Australia, where he taught in that “Clongowes of Australia” with notable success. He returned to Ireland in 1926 and began his Theological studies at Miltown Park where he had as Professors, Fathers Peter Finlay, M Devitt, P J Gannon, John Hannon, J E Canavan and as spiritual Father, Fr “Tim” Fegan. He always considered himself blessed in having been fortunate enough to come to Milltown Park when this galaxy of brilliant Professors were at their prime. He was ordained in July, 1929 and finished his course in Theology the following year, 1930, doing a brilliant examination which led to the conferring on him of the DD from the Gregorian University.

That summer he went to Valkenburg, the famous Jesuit House of Studies in Holland, to improve his German and to further studies in Philosophy. In 1931 he spent an ecstatically happy year at Clongowes as Master and left it the following June almost hidden by the explosion and smoke of a final pyrotechnique display which, as Editor of the “Clongownian”, he provided for a delighted public in the only issue he ever produced. In September, 1932 he went to St Beuno's in North Wales for his Tertianship and it is of some interest to know that he had as one of his companions yet another Clongownian who has made, a name for himself in the Jesuit Mission field, Father Jack O'Meara (12-15) at present in Canton in Red China, while with him also was a Belvederian former companion, Fr Don Donnelly, whose meteoric adventures in China and India during the last war deserve a passing mention. In 1933 he was sent to the Jesuit Philosophate at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg. Here he was Professor of Natural Theology for fourteen years and of Psychology for eight years as well as teaching the History of Ancient and Modern Philosophy for seven years.

At Tullabeg he came in contact once more with Fr J E Canavan, hiniself a brilliant Metaphysician of the Thomistic school. Up to this, Arthur had been a Theologian and Philosopher of considerable ability but his contact with Fr Canavan produced something like a “revelation” in him and he became suddenly very much more than a mere able Philosopher. Maritain tells somewhere of an experience which he had in which he seemed suddenly to get an intuition of “being”. Something like this happened to Arthur in that year and from then on he both spoke and wrote on Philosophical questions with an extraordinary sureness of touch, depth of insiglit and clarity of view. He was a most inspiring lecturer and although some of the students must have found him at times difficult to follow, yet they all appreciated the fact that they were being taught by someone who was something more than talented - there was always a flash of genius in his treatment of Philosophical questions. He led a typical “woodland philosopher's” life absorbed in his leading of St Thomas and in his philosophical meditations but emerging now and again to go striding across the bogs or to take his fiddle up to some remote part of the house and play Beethoven.

He was an extraordinarily holy man and a religious of exemplary regularity. Any one who heard his Retreats would know that the man was preaching the very highest and most sincerely held principles and doctrine, but preaching nothing which he himself did not practise or, at least, never abandoned the effort to practise. As he himself used to put it in a Retreat, “If the just man falls seven times a day, he can only fall on the seventh time if he has got up six times before, and it is the six getting ups that make him just, not the seven fallings”.

Meanwhile he was writing articles constantly for various periodicals, chiefly “Studies” and the “Irish Monthly” on History, Music and English Literature. He published a number of lyric poems and his little life of Isaac Jogues is a masterpiece of biography

In 1946 he published the long epic poem on the Passion of Our Lord, “Christ Unconquered” which was held by “The Tablet” as “the best book on the Passion published in England in recent years”, while the Times Literary Supplement paid tribute to the beauty, sincerity and force fulness of his writing. The poem is almost as long as “Paradise Lost” and is actually very much influenced by Milton. It contains passages of brilliant theological and philosophical argument and some wonder ful analysis of the chief characters of the Passion, while certain of its descriptive passages are of quite unusual artistic beauty. The following year, 1946, he published a small book called “Philosophy without Tears” which contained a series of broadcasts from Radio Eireann. This book received two Book Society awards in America and was welcomed by a wide circle of critics with high praise. It contains some of the most typical “Arthurian” methods of philosophical analysis and exposition his irresistible impulse to see incongruities in the solemnities of life and pomposities of persons led him nearly always into what some people would call frivolity of exposition. Like Shakespeare, he rarely resisted the temptation to make a pun, though his puns were often “thought” puns rather than “word” puns, due I imagine, to his ever-present awareness of the analogical nature of being itself.

In 1946 he also published a brilliant book “On Aesthetics” treating of the nature of Art and its relation to Morality. It was received by “The Month” with a laudatory review declaring that “the book is a substantial piece of scholarship written in a delightfully flowing style” while an Irish critic spole of it as “A Philosophical book of European quality”. Fr. Little received numerous letters from the most varied classes of persons thanking him for this book. It was about the title of the book that one of his favourite puns was made. His name being Art Little and the book being the “Nature of Art” someone said that it should have been called “Erie or Little by Little”.

But what was destined to be his master piece was not actually published until his death although he had the satisfaction of having a specially printed and bound copy in his hands just before he died. This was “The Platonic Heritage of Thomism”. It is a study of the relation of St Thomas's philosophy to Platonism and includes an investigation into the doctrine of Participation and its function in Thomism. Actually the book is an examination of the very foundations of Metaphysics and its relation to Epistemology. It is a marvellously brilliant piece of work being a penetrating appreciation of the very quintessence of Thomism from the viewpoint of the Platonic doctrine of Participation. Fr. Little had all almost uncanny knowledge of three great Philosophers - Plato, Aristotle, and St Thomas. He began by being fascinated by Plato and his MA thesis, for which he was awarded first place and First Class Honour's in the National University, was on “The Subconscious in the Philosophy of Plato”. He kept his love for Plato all through his years of study and it was only when he became a Professor in Tullabeg that the hard gemlike quality of Aristotle's works pushed his Platonism into the background. This was helped by Arthur's profound study of St Thomas. He seems to have followed the form of St Thomas's mind and opinions by follow ing his commentaries on. Aristotle's philosophy.

He had an extraordinary familiarity with these seldom read works and I remember him, in the course of an argument referring me by memory to passages in those commentaries as an explanation of many passages in the Summa which are really unintelligible without a knowledge of those commentaries. In the 20's and 30's two great problems in Philosophy were being debated in Catholic circles on. the Continent of Europe : the problem of the natural desire of man for God and the problem of Participation. Fr Arthur was deeply interested in both of these problems. But actually without knowing about the literature which was gathering round the second of these problems in Italy, Germany and France, he himself made a very thorough research into the origin of the doctrine of Participation in St Thomas. There is, of course, a classical problem surrounding this question of the Participation of Being as developed by St Thomas. There is some evidence that St Thomas actually misinterpreted Aristotle on this question. But this is not certain. The real problem is, seeing that St Thomas criticised the text of Aristotle with complete intellectual integrity, how was it that with all the evidence in front of him for a correct interpretation, he yet overlooked the main errors of his author. Fr Little's belief was that the historical situation, which was indeed extremely critical for St Thomas and Aristotelianism, exercised a considerable influence on St Thomas's final explanation of Aristotle's text. But it was only after the war had ended that he discovered that three other Jesuits and a Dominican had all been working on the same problem.

He found that his own book was quite worthy to stand beside any of those published already on this subject.

At the time of his death he was writing a very characteristic series of articles on the History of Greek Philosophy. He had already published articles on Descartes and Leibniz and on existentialism as well as on the philosophical problems arising from the differential calculus. One of the minor pieces of writing of which he was inordinately, but very excusably, proud was his “Metaphysical Argument Against the Possibility of Immediate Action from a Distance” published in the Gregorianum.

Shortly after the close of the last war Fr Arthur was invited to occupy the Chair of Philosophy in the University at Malta. He looked forward with keen zeal to this new opportunity for his Philosophical Apostolate. A number of circumstances, however, delayed his taking up the position and in the summer of 1949 he fell seriously ill. He had been appointed only a month before to the Professorship of Theology at Milltown Park. His last illness was woefully protracted and he suffered considerable pain with his typical Arthurian self-discipline and courage. He spent the last months of his life in the same manner in which he lived, dividing his time between prayer, the preparation of his final work “The Platonic Heritage in Thomism”, and reading an occasional detective novel, a practice which, like all his other practices, was rigidly disciplined and confined to very definite hours of the day.

He died on the 5th December, 1949, the eve of Santa Claus, at a time when the right arm of his fellow-Jesuit, St Francis Xavier, was being venerated in Ireland. In a room close beside him lay dying also his brilliant fellow - Professor, Fr J E Canavan SJ, to whom Arthur in all probability owed the occasion for the “philosophical revelation” which came to him in 1934 in Tullabeg. They were both brilliant Metaphysicians, both poets, both wits and both men of whom the Society of Jesus might well be proud, both as saintly religious and as scholars. Within two months Fr Canavan had joined Fr Little to abandon philosophical specualtion for the Beatific Vision.

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
Final Vows: 02 February 1945, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1964

Obituary

Rev Cornelius Lonergan SJ (OB 1927)

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 Septernber, 1927. In the opinion of his masters in Belvedere he was a boy of character and talent. Every morning the 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 Father 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 Father Con and Father Brendan Lawler were recalled to Ireland, to finish theology in Milltown Park, One of his Milltown professors later commented on Father 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 Father 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.

On the retirement of Father John Casey in 1954, Father 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.

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 ap peared daily on the golf course, never lightly surrendering a hole to his opponent. The communities to whom he gave retreats were enthusiastic about them. One can guess the qualities that made his retreats so memor able: 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 Father Lonergan was repeatedly appointed to give our Novices in Emo their annual short retreat; he was also extraordinary confessor to the novices.

Father 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 deathibed 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. 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”.

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
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
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.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 124 : Summer 2005

MISSIONED TO ZAMBIA

Brian MacMahon

Taken from some 50 “portraits” submitted by Tom McGivern, who works in the Archives of the Province of Zambia Malawi. Brian MacMahon was one of the first group assigned to Zambia in 1950. He died in 1960, the first Irish Jesuit in Zambia to die.

At an early stage of his life 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 Mac Mahon”, almost immediately reduced to its homely form of "The Bish". Brian was born in London, England, in 1907, and educated at Clongowes Wood College. After vows, he studied for his B.Sc. and then his M.Sc, at UCD, also obtaining a Travelling 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, or summa cum laude. 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 at Tullabeg and Professor of Cosmology and Biology 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 he departed for Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) with the first batch of Irish Jesuits that were assigned there in 1950. For several years he was Rector and Principal of Canisius Secondary School. In 1959, he moved to Lusaka as Education Secretary to the Bishops' Conference. Serious illness brought him back to Ireland where he died of cancer on August 15, 1960, at 53 years of age, and 20 years as a priest.

What of the man himself? He was a big man. Fr. Dominic Nchete preached at the Funeral 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”. “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 airmail 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!”

As schoolboy, as novice and as 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 Maths and Political Economy (under Fr. Tom Finlay) but obedience took him down a different path of studies. 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 interest 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. And in simple faith and acceptance, he answered the call to eternity.

◆ The Clongownian, 1961

Obituary

Father Brian MacMahon SJ

One remembers Brian MacMahon as a boy who was tall, intellectually gifted, well behaved, friendly, and keenly interested in all sides of life: in short a promising boy, wherever his future might lie. He was from London; but he would not have himself regarded as anything but thoroughly Irish. His accent was not noticeably English, except for one small feature characteristic of southern England which he always preserved: his “what ... why ... when ... etc.” sounded like “wot... wy ... wen ...” to the Irish ear - but then our usual style of speech sounds like “hwat ... hwy ... etc.” to the English ear; so perhaps Brian was simply correct after all.

He was tall, sometimes sombre-looking, but never really forbidding. Of course those who were smaller and younger could be momentarily cowed by his presence. But he lacked the ability to domineer. In other words, he possessed a very endearing quality, a willingness to be joked at and teased by those who with discernment and good humour could take him down a peg or two, for he liked to relax in a spirit of camaraderie. Surely all his friends still remember him in this way. He made loyal friends, who were deeply grieved by his comparatively early death.

He never took it easy just because he had plenty of brains. He worked hard in the study-hall and in class. In fact he applied himself with interest and attention to what ever he had to do. He was always in the honours classes, and regularly got cards for places in the weekly exams. Mathematics was his best subject. It so happened that during his final years in Clongowes the mathematics course underwent certain experimental innovations: some live-wire in the Department of Education managed to raise the standard of requirements while at the same time afflicting both teachers and boys with the awful nuisance of Long Tots. Brian was well able for it. Extra hard work enabled him to cover the enlarged course, and he could boast in his good-humoured way that he was willing to challenge all comers in a contest for speed and accuracy at the Long Tots.

Cricket was the game he preferred. All the summer term he enjoyed being on the cricket-pitch - though he could also make a sacrifice and get in a fair share of voluntary study as the exams approached. He was a good fast bowler; to very small boys he might have seemed a demon. Many a timid batsman quailed as he stood facing Brian's attack, as he saw the lofty figure, dark and perspiring and intent, running up to the wicket and swinging a long arm to deliver a flying ball, like some mighty Zulu warrior hurling an assagai with full force and determination.

Let it not be said that he was a “dab” at everything. As a debater he could not compare with his best friend, Ned Tracey; yet he was interested in the debates and duly did his bit. As an actor he would never be given a leading role; but in “The Private Secretary” he played his part well: a peppery old colonel retired from the Indian Army. He was always interested in what others could do better than himself, and only too willing to proclaim his own limitations. To the end of his life he was catholic in his curiosity, a great absorber of informative newspapers and journals, a storehouse of factual information on all kinds of topics, events and personalities at home and abroad. Not high-falutin', but sensible, matter-of-fact, down-to-earth, no nonsense.

Brian MacMahon was always a good boy, the sort of good boy that really makes a good man. He was serious about his religious life; he made a good job of his prayers and religious duties; but he gave no sign of adding trimmings to the solid essentials. He was just thoroughly reliable and faithful in this as in everything else. God gave him a vocation to the priesthood, and he simply responded. There was nothing surprising about that: it fitted in perfectly with people's proper appreciation of what a vocation is.

To anyone who asks about Brian's later career as a Jesuit the answer has to be that he had two careers, both of them extremely successful. His academic studies at UCD and at the Universities of Munich and Louvain, culminated in his winning a Doctorate in Science with the highest possible distinction and acclamation. Later, after his ordination to the priesthood, he was entrusted with administrative posts: Prefect of Studies in Clongowes and Rector of Mungret College during the 1940s; then Rector and Prefect of Studies at Chikuni, Superior at Lusaka and Education Secretary-General for the Catholic Schools of Northern Rhodesia during the 1950s. To his religious superiors he presented a sort of insoluble problem. They would have liked to multiply him by two, or rather to divide him into two persons: one with his academic ability, the other with his powers of organisation and administration. When ever his fellow-Jesuits heard how Mr MacMahon and then Father MacMahon had succeeded in this way or that they would say in a tone of friendly appreciation “Good old Brian” and “we all knew he could do it”.

Mr MacMahon taught in Clongowes for one year, 1936-37, before going on to theology at Milltown Park. At that time he was a somewhat eminent and senior scholastic. The Prefect of Studies valued him as a most reliable teacher and an excellent judge of a boy's ability. His pupils must have found that he was also a great '”spotter” of questions likely to appear on the exam papers. Father MacMahon was himself Prefect of Studies in Clongowes for three years, 1944-47, before he received his appointment as Rector of Mungret. A few years later he was chosen for the Irish Jesuit Mission in Northern Rhodesia to help in guiding the educational policy there a very important task to which he devoted the remaining ten years of his life. His final appointment made him the representative of the Catholic bishops in Northern Rhodesia; his duty it was to collaborate with the Government officials in all educational matters that concerned the Church as well as the State, Nowadays everyone knows that educational facilities are of vital importance in all foreign missions.

Respected and liked: these are the words that people use in recalling Father MacMahon. He was indeed highly respected and well liked everywhere he lived and worked, from the Biology Department in the College of Science to the Educational Department at Lusaka. The Africans who had known him at St Peter Canisius College, Chikuni, said the same in their own way. They said “he was a big man”, not because of his great stature but because they had immense respect for him; they said “he was a big man in every way” because they liked him, because he was so extremely fair to them and so concerned for them in every way; they said “he is a big loss”.

The ways of Divine Providence are inscrutable to men. Human wisdom would have kept Father Brian MacMahon another ten years in Lusaka in that special post that he was so qualified to fill in this critical period of African unrest. But God decided otherwise; that he should endure some months of puzzling lingering, wasting sickness and so move on to his final reward on 14th August, 1960. God decided that he may now rest in peace.

B L

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926, Sacred Heart College, Limerick
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 prepare 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 Stonyhurst 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.

◆ The Clongownian, 1956

Obituary

Father Jerome Mahony SJ

The sudden, quite unexpected, death of Fr Jerome Mahony at Emo last March, following a cerebral haemorrhage, came as a shock to his very many friends both within and without the Society. He was not considered an old man, as years go, he had always enjoyed good health, and had always been active and deeply interested in his work. There seemed every prospect that he would be spared to continue his useful career for many years to come. But God's summons came suddenly, though it did not find him unprepared,

He was at Clongowes from 1900 to 1906, where his father and brothers also were educated and where he came into contact with two saintly men, Fr Michael Browne and Fr John Sullivan. On leaving Clongowes he was sent by his father to Lille with a view to preparing him for a business career, but he found that God had other plans for him and in 1907 he joined the Jesuit noviceship at Tullabeg. The present writer was his “angelus”, ie, the older novice told off to initiate him into the ways of the place for a few weeks, and he remembers vividly after nearly fifty years the very thin, boyish figure who had such a flow of wit and good spirits, who soon became the life of the noviceship or at least one of its lives. He went through the usual stages of the Jesuit formation with fervour and edification. After a few years in the Juniorate in Tullabeg, where he studied Classics and English, he was sent to teach at. Mungret College, because a tired head prevented him from entering his philosophical training. From the beginning he showed a good will and adaptability which made him a very useful member of the college staff. A few years afterwards he was sent to do his philosophy, first at Valkenburg, a house of German Jesuits in Holland and than at Stonyhurst. For a few years after philosophy he did college work again at Clongowes and Mungret and in 1920 he was sent to Milltown Park for his theology, where he was ordained priest in 1924. He did his final stage of formation, his tertianship, at Tullabeg from 1924 to 1925.

The greater part of his life as priest was spent at Mungret, where he taught English and History. He was a careful and conscientious teacher rather than an inspiring one. It was something of an anomaly that one whom his fellow Jesuits knew to be so witty and joyous in temperament should have appeared to the boys and outsiders as a man of rather unrelieved gravity. He had a very elevated view of his profession as a teacher and he gave himself to his work generously and conscientiously.

Outside his teaching the abiding interest of his life was history and especially Church history. The scanty margins of his day during term time and a great part of his holidays were devoted to this subject. Novels, newspapers, games and the other numerous diversions which even very busy men allow themselves were quietly set aside. He used to say when asked if he had read the paper, that he read only the papers which were at least a hundred years old, because then they were history. Thanks to this discipline and rigid adherence to his plan of studies, he succeeded in making himself an authority on Church history.

As a recognition of his competence in this subject he was asked to write a history of the Church for the programme of Religious Instruction prescribed by the bishops for the schools. He accepted the commission and for several years it was an absorbing task. He did the job with characteristic thoroughness and deliberation. He read and noted and planned and replanned; he wrote and rewrote with indefatigable energy. He consulted specialists on various portions of his wide subject, and accepted their guidance without question. Publishers and prefects of studies who were waiting impatiently for the completion of the work complained that he was too slow; but at least he did the work well, and his book in two small volumes has been very widely adopted in the schools and has met a real need.

He had always an interest in serious subjects, in such as belonged to his profession as priest. He had made a careful study of the gospels, especially that of St John. During his theology at Milltown Park he set himself to read through the “Civitas Dei” of St Augustine, and visitors to his room would see a great unkempt quarto propped up against the wall, and would inquire about his present position in the great tome. He compiled a history of the Passion in the words of the Evangelists which was published by the Messenger Office and had a very wide sale.

As has been said most of his teaching life was spent in Mungret, where he came to share something of the institutional character of his friend of many years, Fr William Kane SJ. On leaving Mungret he was appointed Rector of St Mary's, Emo, the Noviceship, and during his time as Rector he installed central heating in that house. For several years before his death he was engaged in teaching Latin to the Novices at Emo. He was active and industrious to the last.

The conscientious discharge of his duty as teacher nust have had a big influence on the great number of boys with whom he came in contact. In his community, he was an exemplary religious, observant of rule, faithful to all his religious duties, charitable and obliging to every one. His abiding interest in serious study, his industry and thoroughness in all the jobs he was appointed to do, such as the editing of the Mungret Annual or the giving of domestic exhortations to his community, were an incentive to all. But perhaps what those who knew him will best remember was the wit and gaiety of spirits with which he brightened every community in which he lived.

To his brothers and sisters, and especially to Mother Mary Angela of the Ursuline Convent, Waterford, we offer our deepest sympathy in their great loss. RIP

H K SJ

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Jerome Mahony (1889-1956)

Born in Dublin of a family originally from the city of Limerick, was educated at the Marist School, Leeson St and Clongowes. On leaving school, he entered on a business career and spent a year in Paris. Feeling a call to the religious life, he entered the Society in 1907 and made his higher studies at Valkenburg, Stonyhurst and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1922. Father Mahony was master here from 1925 to 1928 when he left for Mungret College with which he was henceforth associated for many years. He was appointed rector of Emo Park in 1945 and on relinquishing office remained as a member of the same community. It was during these later years that Father Mahony compiled his History of the Catholic Church for Schools, which is now in use throughout Ireland. At the time of his death he was engaged upon a dictionary of biography of Irish Jesuits from the time of the restoration of the Society. In his lifetime, Father Mahony was widely respected as a deeply spiritual man and a wise director of souls.

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1912, St Mary’s, Miller Street, Sydney, Australia
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
Final Vows: 02 February 1931, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
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 Staff. 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.
MICHAEL SWEETMAN

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1931, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
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)
    Pamphlets
  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

Obituary

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
Fiction:
“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).
Education:
“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.
Pamphlets:
“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).

◆ The Clongownian, 1988

Obituary

Father Fergal McGrath SJ

A life-span of ninety-two years, almost all of it in active life, would fill a long chronicle. Fergal McGrath’s was particularly full, not just because of his health and longevity, but more because of his talents and fidelity to his Jesuit priesthood.. His associations with Clongowes are especially strong, and the most important of them are almost impossible to chronicle, because they consist of friendships with hundreds of Clongownians, scattered across Ireland, Europe and beyond, who will remember this large, kindly, courteous and always interested friend as an important part of their lives.

A photograph of Fergal's father used to hang in the Rogues Gallery in Clongowes, a respectable Victorian figure: Sir Joseph McGrath. He had been a teacher in the old Tullabeg College, later became co-secretary with Sir James Creed Merridith of the Royal University of Ireland and subsequently of the National University of Ireland, and in this latter capacity he was knighted by what in retrospect can be seen as a dying British administration. Fergal did not often talk about his father, but his own identity was different. He was a strongly patriotic Irishman, committed to his country and its language, and without the animosities that could have marred another son of a knighted father. He took pains to learn Irish well, and used it when he could; so he was at his ease as Rector of an Irish-speaking school, Galway's Coláiste Iognáid, in the early 1950s.

He was educated at Belvedere and, from the age of 14, at Clongowes; after First Arts in University College, Dublin, he entered the Jesuit noviceship, and later studied modern languages, then philosophy, then theology. As soon as he finished his Jesuit training, with a tertianship in Germany, he was loaded with responsibility: the charge of Jesuit scholastics in Rathfarnham, then Rector of Clongowes, Superior of Gardiner Street Church and community, Rector of Coláiste Iognáid in Galway, and later of Rathfarnham Castle.

Fergal carried these burdens with a genial ease, but paid a price for them. He worried about his charges and spent endless energy preparing, planning and providing. It was as a prudent and promising young man that he was appointed to succeed Fr George Roche. The Clongowes he took over in 1933, and ruled for eight years, carried what then seemed a crippling debt. In the climate of the Economic War, money was short to a degree we can hardly imagine. Pupils, the main source of revenue, were scarce, and with World War II became scarcer. The contractor of the New Building had gone bankrupt. The college was not insured against this contingency, and had to take over the management of construction, and all through the thirties and early forties, suffered from a pressing and sometimes mounting debt to the banks which coloured all administrative decisions.

His last two years in Clongowes were overshadowed by the war in Europe, with all the fears and uncertainties it brought. Fergal organised (through the scholastics) a fire brigade for contingencies. He saw a tide of refugees from England rise and ebb, leaving him with many empty beds and financial worries.

He once remarked that he went to Clongowes full of enthusiasm as an educator, loving the scope that the job seemed to offer; but soon found that all his energies were used in surviving. He was a slim man of 37 when he went to Clongowes, but the burdens of responsibility and a sedentary job turned him into the portly figure we later knew. He tried in vain to reduce it. He was a modest eater, and well into his eighties he walked, and swam, and on holidays played consistent golf. His two splendid schoolboy stories, “The Last Lap” and “Adventure Island” show what an active, dreaming boy there was inside the adult frame. He wrote them in odd moments of enforced leisure, one in a convalescence from a long flu in the twenties, the other in spare moments when in charge of the Jesuit juniors. He relished the memory of a happy and carefree youth with its limited anxieties. Adult life as a Jesuit had for him few carefree moments.

Despite his worries, he was much appreciated in Clongowes, especially by the ten scholastics who constituted the most active and talented part of the teaching staff, and whom he supported and fathered in the kindest way. To the parents he was always accessible and understanding, generous in remitting fees in cases of bereavement or hardship, energetic in helping past pupils on their first steps in life. He never forgot Clongowes, though his last residence there ended nearly fifty years before his death. He would never miss a Clongownian funeral, and maintained an enormous correspondence with past pupils and parents who became his warm
friends.

Fergal's friendships were in many ways his greatest achievement - and he was a man of considerable achievements. He kept his friendships in good repair by visits and correspondence. They were planned, as every thing in his life was planned. He would delicately invite a fellow Jesuit to chaperone him on visits to widows or spinsters. He would bring his clarinet to play duets with an aging bachelor, a former colleague. When, in Galway, Bishop Michael Browne's mother died, Fergal agonised over whether it would be appropriate for him to approach the formidable old prelate with his sympathies. He made the move, and found that he was almost the only one to have ventured near the isolated and sorrowing bishop, who was deeply moved by Fergal's humanity. Here as elsewhere, Fergal's moves were for other people's sake, not for his own.

The others whom he befriended were from every part and condition in the country. Fergal knew the taste of poverty from his experiences of the thirties, and he responded positively, not just in individual acts of kindness, but interested himself too in the structures of society. He initiated the Social Study weekends which brought all sections of industrial and agricultural society to Clongowes for seminars of a high quality in the mid-thirties. He gave much energy to the Clongowes Housing Project, providing flats for the needy in Blackhall Place; and also to the Clongowes Boys' Club.

Apart from these concerns, Fergal gave innumerable retreats and lectures, many of the latter focussed on Fr John Sullivan, of whom he wrote the biography as well as a popular pamphlet. On coming to Clongowes he inherited the aura of John Sullivan, and he did more than perhaps any other man to convey to the public the impact of John's saintliness.

The public obituaries of Fergal spoke of him in that most ambiguous phrase, as “a distinguished educator”. He was indeed a sound scholar, well equipped for the task with languages, patience, a broad educational background in his youth, and an extraordinarily methodical approach to work. His study of Newman's University was a major work of lasting value, the fruit of four happy years of research in Champion Hall, Oxford, then in its palmiest days.

When Fr Tim Corcoran vacated the Chair of Education in UCD, Fergal's wide educational experience and high reputation made him a likely candidate for the position, It is said that Chancellor Eamonn De Valera, at the meeting to appoint the new professor, asked: “Is Father McGrath not interested?” But Fergal had withdrawn his interest rather than contest the chair with Tim Corcoran's assistant, W Williams, who he felt had prior claim on it, and whose late application was unexpected. Instead he spent a year as visiting professor in Fordham University, his only transatlantic excursion, but one that he remembered with warmth and happiness.

Fergal was a conservative and cautious man to the end. In 1987 he wrote to a friend marvelling at her word-processor, but preferring still to tap away at a typewriter he had bought secondhand in 1933. He did not enjoy the major changes in the Church and in Irish Jesuits in the last two decades. The disruption of traditions and the loss of vocations disturbed him - he was quite upset when the present writer grew a beard in the early seventies, and correspondingly relieved when the growth was shaved off. But he never became angry, bitter or vociferous. He reflected beautifully his master Newman's definition of a gentleman; one who never willingly inflicts pain. He was trusted to the end by all his brethren, whom he served to his ninety-third year as keeper of the Province archives. May one conjecture that what he must particularly enjoy in the Beatific Vision is “Deus Immutabilis”, in whom there is no shadow of change, who wipes all tears from our eyes, and has lifted all burdens and anxieties off Fergal's broad back.

PA

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, Dublin
Final vows: 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 elegant 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 Canterbury 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 Crescent, 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 returned 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, shall shine as stars for all eternity”. Fr Mulcahy had certainly done that right up to his death on May 12th 1954.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 27 : May 1983

PORTRAIT FROM THE PAST : CHARLES MULCAHY
Dr Leon Ó Broin
The noted Irish scholar and former. Secretary of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs has graciously contributed this vignette of Fr Mulcahy. The author's laconic title for the piece is “An Old Fraud”: you'll see why.

When you went up to the first floor of the Retreat House in Milltown Park you saw in an alcove before you the room. 15A.where Charlie Mulcahy received visitors. It was a large, high-ceilinged, rather cheerless room, with little in it beyond a table with a raft of books, a typewriter, an armchair, a plain chair, an iron bedstead and a priedieu.. It was there in August 1943 - forty: years ago - I spoke to him first, I had seen him a week or two earlier as he. entered the chapel downstairs to give the opening lecture of a week end retreat. He was 69, but did not look it... He was an “old fraud” he would tell you, for his features were those of a man in his middle years, and his light brown hair was strong and plentiful. His walk gave him away, however; though quick and purposeful he shuffled noticeably. His speech was rather like that, too, it was quick and abbreviated. He repeated himself, but that may have been the teacher's practice of stressing the salient points of a lesson.

I have good reason to remember the first lecture of his I heard, because in it he laid the basis for everything he taught me in the next ten years or so, namely the supreme importance of understanding where all of us stand before God, our essential creaturehood and its obligations, the absurdity of Independent Creature. scribbler I wrote down an outline of his lectures and sent it to him from home, with a note asking him to develop a point that seemed to affect me particularly. His speedy reply was not quite what I expected, but it was thoroughly ad rem. “What you want to help yourself”, he wrote, “is much less thinking, and as much praying as you can manage. You seem to enjoy writing your thoughts. That makes for clarity, but hardly for reality”. Reality for him, as I was - to observe, was to live perpetually in the presence of God. Who could not but notice this when he walked in the garden or along the corridor in the direction of the community chapel? He was a picture of quiet, adoring concentration.

He invited me to come to Milltown “to talk myself out” on this question of reality, and when we met I remember how insistent he was that, in the matter of assent to the truths of religions, I should understand the difference between what was merely notional and what was real. He added that I would benefit from reading Newman on the subject. That visit was the forerunner of many. We became good friends, and his interest extended to my work, my literary interests, my ageing parents, my wife and family. He told me a little about himself, very indirectly though. He had run the whole gamut of Jesuit responsibilities, teaching in various schools, being master of novices, rector in Clongowes and Provincial Consultor; now he was “retired”, his function being “to pray for the Society” (Orat pro Societate), which did not mean, I suspect, that he could not direct an occasional retreat, look after the spiritual interests of a religious community, and conduct a personal apostolate among. young men he had encountered on those enclosed week-ends. These he endearingly referred to as his “toughs” They came to see him for. advice and to hear their confessions, sometimes two or three of them in a row and my own chats had to end abruptly when he would explain ever so courteously, that he had another “tough” waiting for him outside. Among his “toughs” in earlier days, if you can call them such, had been the remarkable Father Willie Doyle; and he always spoke warmly of Father John Sullivan with whom he had lived in community.

A native of Arafinnan, Co. Tipperary, Charlie had gone to Rockwell college where he was fortunate to have a teacher who developed his bent for modern languages, including Irish, a subject hardly known to the schools in those days. In time, I gather, he became one of the best language teachers in Jesuit Colleges. He continued his study of Irish in the Balingeary Gaeltacht of which he had pleasant memories - “It had become in a way a sort of home to me”, where he was able to indulge his love of traditional music. He was a good, good pianist and had considerable success with choirs.

As a Jesuit novice he had spent three years studying philosophy in Valkenburg and Enghien, and did his Tertianship in Canterbury under Father de Maumigry whose spirituality influenced him profoundly. He worried over what was happening in Germany during the war, and has my wife praying for that country ever since. He read German, of course, as well as French and English, but more in depth than in breadth. I imagine his practice being to return the books he liked, in order to savour their quality anew. He had a real feeling for the French language; when I introduced a young friend, whom he found full of “thoughts and tastes”, he felt sure that a bookman like me would approve of trying to break him into a little French.

“France was the country of expression”, he believed, and “a country that possessed a Rene Bazin must have a sane outlook for a young Catholic”. One of the things at which he grieved was that, having read a lot of Bazin, his immediate interests meant that he would have to defer beginning on him again for some time.

He hinted on the important things that were pressing on his time. “I have a young Deacon here for a six-day retreat. He is to be ordained on Sunday next. Say a word of prayer to the Lord for him”. In another letter he said “I have one young man here in Retreat. The one is as occupying as a complete bunch of them. He is gloriously in earnest, God bless him. He has a lovely Cork accent”. So his reading of profane literature dwindled to practically nothing. When now he talked of it at all, it seemed it was some thing he had to make an effort to recall. His stock of books became smaller and smaller. Those he retained had, all of them, an ascetical character; they were what he needed for his own spiritual purposes, and those he proposed to lend to his “toughs” in the hope of promoting theirs. I notice in one of his letters - all of which I kept - that the volumes he lent me included: Meschler, Father Arthur Little, and Saint Francis de Sales, At other times it was books by the Jesuits, Coleridge and Goodier, and Saint Augustine. I would feel the uplift of certain chapters in Coleridge, he assured me, and then went on to ask if I did not think it queer how calmly we talk of an uplift? Why, it means entrance into a new world and not merely a World like what Columbus discovered?

Mentioning Augustine, he would say that there was no need to commend the great African Doctor. “You know my weakness for him. He always touches the soul in that human way of his”. From Francis de Sales he culled reams from his writings on the religious life and on pursuit of perfections and gave me a copy of his transcript. Saint Ignatius was never far away from his thought, of course; retreats and his direction of souls were strictly fashioned by the Spiritual Exercises, That, for instance, was where the obligations of the creature came from; and this, on the discernment of spirits. “Keep joy in prayer and all will be well. If you are spiritually: unhappy, then you may know the enemy is near..in The doubt increases; the soul begins to be restless; it loses its sweetness and spiritual joy. Ignatius says at once, without any reservations, that this alone is a sign that 'the light is untrue”.

He gave me once a Ballade of Distractions that a colleague of his in the Society had strung together. It had done him good, and he felt sure I, too, would find it useful. It's real prayer, is it not?. You remember St. Augustine: Lord, you were with me, but I was not with You. That was the theme of the Ballade it began : Here am I in the chapel in retreat, / Lord, at your hidden glory humbly staring, /my soul, that ought to find its joy complete, / the splending of Your Godhead to be sharing / Has found the effort just a little wearing. And off it's gone, the countryside to view./ Taking, alas, a most terrestrial airing / my thoughts are rambling though I'm here with you.

Going through his letters I find some fine things: In one he says “It was not in dialectics God saved his people”. In another “God will be generous as is His wont. I have not had such a good time of late”, (His health was beginning to break) “but that, too is a gift of God as St. Ignatius tells us”. In another still “I will make special mementoes in the Mass for the musicians (my children: Eimear and Noirin) till their troubles are over. Our Lady, the Great Mother, will guide their hands and their brains”, and, when their examinations were successfully passed, he told Eimear not to forget to thank his heavenly helpers. “How human”, he said, “is the Gospel scene with its pertinent question: ‘Where are the other nine?’” And, reminding me and my wife of an approaching feast, he assumed we had a picture of the Holy Family in the house, that the children would gather a few autumn leaves to adorn it, have a lamp burning before it, and pay some visits to it till the feast was over. That would leave an impression on their minds that would do them good.

The autumn leaves typified his passion for flowers. He planted them in profusion in a garden rockery round the beguiling figure of a petite Virgin and used reproductions of them as bookmarkers.

When my father's days were clearly numbered, his concern for him, my mother, and me was most touching. “You may be sure there were many Masses and many prayers offered for him. I offered Mass myself of course and remembered him in my prayers all the day. May God bless him when the hour comes for bringing him to a better home. It will be, I am sure, a relief rather than anything else. What a grand solemnity there is in the scene with Martha: I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me although he be dead shall live, and everyone that liveth and believeth in me shall not die for ever. There is no other consolation. May God bless and console yourself”. In his next letter he wrote that “the Lord has been good to the one He has called by shortening his waiting. May he rest in peace. I offered Mass for him this morning You may be sure of much spiritual help from Milltown, I did not get your message till close on 9 last evening. I hope you got my wire. I will offer Mass on Monday for the dead, yourself, and for the old lady who has been left to grieve, not too long in the Mercy of God one would hope, but God understands better than we. Is not our misunderstanding of what He does and why He does it pathetic and childlike? But you will be understanding it all better every day. May God bless you and console you”. He was very anxious about the dear old Granny, fearing that she might be unsettled; and, feeble though he was now, he went with the Rector one day to see her in her little flat. He continued to remember her in his Masses, putting her especially in God's care and guard.

The first sign that his own mortal end was not too far off appeared in his letters. They were suddenly shorter, disjointed, with words misspelt or omitted altogether. He tried to behave normally, insisting to the visitors that they should take the armchair, and, when that courtesy was refused, sitting bolt upright himself on the edge of it. He was an ascetic, of course, his only concession being a very occasional cigarette which he smoked from a holder, and which he laid aside when someone came to see him. But he could read no more, or read only without fully comprehending. It was utterly pathetic and yet somehow significant that, when the end came, all that this erstwhile lover of books had was his rosary beads and a crucifix. When speaking of the enduring patience of Christ he had said that a secret cross was a very precious thing, and that we shouldn't allow the strength of it to evaporate. It was a weakness to be always searching for a confidant, to be always blabbing out our grievances. In this matter he practised what he preached. He never spoke of his infirmities; even when he could hardly speak at all. When I last saw him he was lying awake but silent, his whole body covered in a white powder whose purpose was to mollify the burning irritation of his poor flesh.
God help us all at the end.

◆ The Clongownian, 1954

Obituary

Father Charles Mulcahy SJ

The death occurred on May 12th of Rev. Charles Mulcahy, S.J., Milltown Park, Dublin, a former Rector of Clongowes Wood College. He was aged 80, and from 1942 until failing health in recent year's compelled him to retire, he was on the staff of the Retreat House at Milltown Park, where he gave many retreats to priests and laymen.

He was a son of John Mulcahy, woollen manufacturer, of Ardindan, Co Tip perary, and was educated at Rockwell and Clongowes Wood Colleges. After a distinguished course in the Intermediate, in which he excelled in modern languages, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1893.

He studied philosophy at the German and French houses of the Order at Valkenburg, in Holland, and Enghien, in Belgium, and taught for eight years at Clongowes Wood before beginning his theological studies. A master of considerable ability, he excelled in the teaching of Irish, French, German and Italian, as well as Latin and English. He was ordained at Milltown Park in 1909, and completed his religious training under the well-known spiritual guide, Père René de Maulmigny, at St Mary's College, Canterbury, then conducted by the Fathers of the Paris Province of the Society.

Father Mulcahy was appointed Rector of Clongowes Wood College in 1919, having previously been Assistant Master of Novices, and later Master of Novices at Tullamore. He was Rector of Clongowes for three years, and afterwards Dean of Studies at Mungret College, Limerick. From 1927 to 1931, and again from 1933 to 1941, he taught at Clongowes, and for most of this time he was also Spiritual Director to the Community and boys.

Father Mulcahy was much in demand as. a director and counsellor of souls giving spiritual guidance to very many people in all walks of life, both by letter and in personal interviews in this work he was distinguished for his quiet kindly manner, and for the way in which he could bring his own wide spiritual reading to bear on the problems brought to him.

Father Mulcahy will be remembered gratefully by the many clients whom he helped in this way, as well as by those who at Clongowes and Mungret Colleges, benefited from the unusual teaching gifts which he developed by meticulous devotion to duty as well as by careful reading during the years he spent as a teacher of languages.

He is survived by his brother, Mr. William Mulcahy, Director of Ardinnan Woollen Mills.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Charles Mulcahy (1874-1957)

Born at Ardfinnan, Co Tipperary and educated at Rockwell College and Clongowes, entered the Society in 1893. He pursued his higher studies, at Valkenburg, Enghien and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1908. He was master here from 1912 to 1914. Unfortunately for the Crescent, he was transferred to Tullabeg as assistant, and later to the important post itself of master of novices. From Tullabeg he was transferred as rector to Clongowes where he relinquished office in 1922. Father Mulcahy felt more at home in a classroom and until 1940 Mungret and then Clongowes benefitted by his matchless pedagogic gifts. He retired from teaching in 1940 and until his death was a member of the Milltown Park community. Here he gave splendid service as retreat director, while many religious communities in Dublin revered him for his ability as a spiritual director.

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1917, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
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
Final Vows: 02 February 1909, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
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 23rd Year No 3 1948 & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1948

Obituary

Fr. Patrick Nolan (1874-1891-1948)

Fr. Patrick Nolan, whose tragic death occurred 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 cheerfulness 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.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Patrick Nolan (1874-1948)

Born in Dublin and educated at Belvedere College, entered the Society in 1891. He made his higher studies in Valkenburg and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1907. With the exception of his last year, 1923-24, at the Crescent, as master in the colleges, Father Nolan's teaching career since his ordination was passed in Galway. Failing eyesight forced him to relinquish this work to which he brought enthusiasm and zeal. On leaving the Crescent, Father Nolan joined the mission staff for some five years when he was appointed to the church staff at Gardiner St, where he worked zealously for the next sixteen years (1930-46). He retired to Rathfarnham where he continued as a spiritual director to the end. He was killed in a street accident on 8 March, 1948.

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
Final vows: 15 August 1932
Died: 14 October 1982, Borgo Santo Spirito, Rome, Italy

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05 April 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, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/oconnell-daniel-joseph-kelly-15389/text26596, 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
Obituary
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).

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary
Fr Daniel O’Connell (1896-1982)
Like William Keane, Daniel O'Connell was a brilliant student who devoted his life to the Lord's work in the Society. He was born at Rugby, England, on 25th July to an Irish father and English mother, At the age of 12 when his parents died, he went to Ireland and completed his secondary education at Clongowes College; in view of his examination results, I presume that he was Dux of his class, as William Keane had been. One of his masters was Henry Johnston, and one of his fellow students was John Charles McQuaid, later a famous Archbishop of Dublin. At the age of 17, he entered the novitiate of the Irish Province at Tullabeg on August 8th, 1913. A fellow novice described him as 'quiet but a very pleasant companion', qualities noted in him throughout his later life which were to win him many friends.

It may be remarked, incidentally, that although he was related to the Liberator' he was called Daniel after another member of the family.
University Studies
University studies were at the National University of Ireland where he did a brilliant scientific course with first class honours in experimental physics and mathematics, ending with a Master of Science. With other scholastics he would have commuted to the University from Rathfarnham Castle, Juniorate residence and later retreat house. In its grounds was a seismograph, erected by Fr. William O'Leary, who was later to take over from Fr. Pigot as Director of the Riverview Observatory. Daniel took a keen interest in this, a fact which was not lost on Fr. O'Leary who was later to choose him as their designate'. For Philosophy, Daniel was sent to Valkenburg in Holland where the German Provinces had their house of studies, having been driven out of Germany by Bismarck's Kulturkampf. Here he pursued part-time studies in astronomy under important German Jesuit scientists. Arrangements had been made for him to enter Cambridge University to study relativity under Sir Arthur Eddington but he experienced a breakdown in health, had lung trouble, and was sent to Australia to recuperate and do Regency. He taught at the observatory in 1923 under Fr. Pigot. The latter was also a fine pianist and taught Daniel the piano.

In 1926 Daniel returned to Ireland for theology, studied at Milltown Park and was ordained on July 31st, 1928 by the then Archbishop of Dublin. Tertianship was at St. Beuno's, Wales(1930-1931).

Further Studies
Destined now to become a professional astronomer, Daniel returned to Australia and the Observatory but the following year went to Harvard for further studies and research at its Observatory, then a great centre of research under Howard Sharpley and others. His principal occupation there was the study of variable stars which he continued throughout life and through which he made his name as an astronomer. In 1948 he was awarded a doctorate in science from the National University of Ireland for outstanding services to astronomy, but he also became interested in seismology and the measurement of time with various types of clocks. (These and other scientific details are taken from a brief memorial bulletin published by the Vatican Observatory after Daniel's death in 1982.)

Riverview Observatory (1933-1952)
After visiting other observatories, he returned to Riverview as Assistant Director of the Observatory, taking over from Fr. O'Leary in 1938 when the latter died on the Riverview golf course. (Fr. O'Leary is remembered at Riverview as the inventor of a Free Pendulum clock of superb accuracy which used to stand in the corridor outside the Rector's room in the old building.)

The Observatory received a small grant (£450 in 1939) from the Australian government. When Daniel took over and for a number of years afterwards it had the only fully equipped seismological station in Australia and its reports appeared in the local papers whenever a major earthquake occurred. Its astronomical work consisted mainly in the photographing of variable stars, a work which Daniel carried out himself in the hours of darkness when others were asleep. The increasing illumination of the skies above Sydney rendered this more and more difficult but he managed to make 20,000 plates over the years.

During his years at the Observatory Daniel became a highly respected figure in astronomical circles in Australia and elsewhere, becoming, for instance, a Fellow of the Royal astronomical Society among other memberships. But he was no remote scholar. He had a gift for popularizing science when this was needed and he was called on occasionally by the ABC for broadcasts. When Fred Hoyle (of Steady State fame) delivered a number of lectures on the BBC on “The Nature of the Universe” Daniel was asked to give three lectures on the ABC on the same topic. He called his lectures “According to Hoyle” and made it very clear that his distinguished counterpart was wrong in dismissing the Creator from the origin of things. Hoyle, who must be a very old man now, is said to be now more in favour of creation, impressed by the 'fine tuning' of the universe.

Riverview
While Daniel did not teach, he was an object lesson to the boys that science and religion could be reconciled. He was also a familiar and friendly priest, whose sermons they listened to in the chapel with more than usual attention. He could get down to their level. There were occasional guided tours of the Observatory - I had some myself when I was at Riverview as a scholastic 1947-1949. He was also a 'good community man'. The only thing that annoyed him was noise, and most particularly the lowing of Brother O'Brien's cows which disturbed his sleep by day after a night of observation. But he did not have recourse to the 'ultimate deterrent' of shooting one or two. He bore it cheerfully enough as he did the loneliness of much of his work. I think of him as a very dedicated, kindly person.

Vatican Observatory
In 1952 news came that Daniel had been appointed Director of the Vatican Observatory located at the papal summer residence at Castelgandolfo in the hills 16 miles from Rome. His appointment was a 'most strict secret', which he observed most faithfully, but it was leaked out over in Rome so he was embarrassed by people asking him if it were true. Due to illness and the necessity of taking up the appointment quickly, he had little time to say goodbye to his many friends in Australia. He left by ship on July 26th, 1952, bringing to an end almost a quarter of a century at Riverview and its Observatory, both of which remained very dear to him.

From 1952 until his retirement in 1970 he was Director at the Vatican Observatory. He was President of the Pontifical Academy of Science from 1968 to 1972. He served three Popes and had close personal relations with them. Over the years he published a number of books (e.g. The Green Flash, Stellar Populations, Nuclear Galaxies) and many papers. The Vatican Observatory gave him much greater scope than he would have had at Riverview. He could do better work and was in contact with a wider group of scientists. There were times when he lamented that he had never given a retreat, but his was a full-time ministry.

Retirement (1970 - 1982)
His health, never very robust, gave him increasing problems so he had ultimately to retire from the Observatory and come to live in Rome at our Curia. The Pope wanted him to stay in Rome and keep in touch with the Pontifical Academy. In August 1973 he was allowed to make a trip to Australia to attend a conference and make contact. Of course, he had always kept in touch and delighted to meet Australian Jesuits studying in Rome. I have very happy memories of meeting with him during the 32nd General Congregation. He had a great memory for the Australian brethren and even for the boys he had known at Riverview.

His health became worse and worse so that for the last two years he was practically bed-ridden. He died in the infirmary at the Curia on October 13th, 1982. The notice in the Osservatore Romano mentioned that he had bore his long illness with marvellous serenity and was comforted by the special blessing of the Holy Father, John Paul II. One can only say that the papal blessing was richly deserved - Daniel O'Connell had been a very faithful servant of the Church in the difficult field of science.
With similar talents and in different ways, William Keane and Daniel O'Connell made very significant contributions to the work of the Province and the Society. As they were men who shared their wisdom with others we may trust that they will shine like stars for all eternity (Book of Daniel, 12:3)
John Begley
Australian Province Taken from “Jesuit Life” Newsletter

◆ The Clongownian, 1953
Astronomer and Seismologist
Father Daniel O’Connell SJ
THE appointment of Father Daniel O'Connell SJ, director of Riverview Observatory, New South Wales, Australia, since 1938, as Director of the Vatican Observatory in Rome, climaxes a long and eminent career as astronomer and seismologist.
Father O'Connell enjoys world repute as a scientist and he has contributed much to the high reputation enjoyed by the famous Jesuit observatory at Riverview.
He holds the Doctorate of Science of the National University of Ireland and the Docotrate of Philosophy of the Gregorian University of Rome, and is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.
He was born near Rugby, England, in 1896, of an Irish father, a civil servant and a native of County Limerick, and an English mother. He had two brothers and one sister, all of whom are still living. He went to Ireland as a boy of 12, following the death of his parents, completed his schooling at Clongowes Wood College, and entered the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg at the age of 17.
His family has a 600-years-old affinity with that of “The Liberator”. He was not, however, called after “The Liberator”. The Christian name, Daniel, was traditional in his family.

His first introduction to astronomy was a year's private study with the late Father W O'Leary SJ, a famous Irish Jesuit astronomer and seismologist, who at that stage was Director of the Rathfarnham Observatory from 1929 to 1938. He began by setting up some telescopes at Rathfarnham, largely as a hobby.

Father O'Connell completed his MSc degree at University College, Dublin, in 1920, after a brilliant course of study, specialising in Mathematics and Experimental Plıysics. He topped all his examinations, graduated with first-class honoura, and was awarded a travelling student ship in Mathematics. Whilst he was still an undergraduate he was in charge of the Rathfarnham station for several years after the departure of Father O'Leary.

He completed his philosophical studies at the Jesuit House at Valkenburg, in Holland, where he also pursued spare time astronomical studies under world famous Jesuit scientists like Father Michael Esch SJ, expert on variable stars; Father Franz Xavier Kugler SJ, world authority on Assyriology and Babylonian astronomy, and Father Theodor Wulfe SJ, world-ranking physicist.

Arrangements had been made for him to enter Cambridge University on a travelling scholarship where he would have studied relativity under Eddington, when he experienced a breakdown in health and was sent to Australia by his superiors to recuperate. Prior to this, he had never dreamt of going to Australia, had thought little about that country, and had few friends there.

An interesting and significant incident occurred whilst he was studying at Valkenburg. Seemingly for no apparent reason, Father Edward Pigot SJ, Founder of Riverview Observatory, appeared at the college one day during a visit to Europe. The young Jesuit student met the veteran and conversed with him. He was later invited to accompany him to the railway station to see him off. Just before he boarded his train, Father Pigot mentioned that his real reason for coming was to see the future Director of Riverview and to “look him over”. It was no surprise when he later sought him as his assistant.

Father O'Connell was appointed to St Ignatius College, Riverview as teacher of physics and assistant to the Director of the Observatory, Father Pigot. Father O'Connell is still happy to recall that another assignment in the early days was that of sports master at St Ignatius. In 1923 he was appointed assistant director of the observatory, and one of the first tasks he undertook in his new post was to advance the local study of solar radiation.

Father O'Connell returned to Dublin in 1926 to complete his theological studies and was ordained at Milltown Park by Archbishop Byrne in 1928. After two more years of theological studies he com pleted his tertianship in St Beuno's College, Wales.

During 1931 to 1933, Father O'Connell was a member of the staff of the Harvard University Observatory, renowned for its work on variable stars, where he completed post-graduate studies and research on variable stars and other aspects of astronomy. He published numerous papers in Harvard publications, and has since acknowledged that his work at Harvard was the foundation of his later contribution to astronomy.

During his stay in the United States Father O'Connell visited Mount Wilson and Lick Observatories in California before returning to Australia via Japan, China, Java and the Philippines, where he visited leading observatories and advanced his practical studies. The Lembang Observatory in Java was one that held special interest for him.

Father O'Connell resumed his work at Riverview Observatory at the end of 1933. In 1935 he initiated the “Riverview Observatory Publications”, which now enjoy an international reputation. Later he also founded the observatory's “Geophysical Papers” and “Reprint Series”, which are also known and used internationally. In 1948 Father O'Connell spent 10 months in Europe. He was the Australian delegate at the conference of the International Astronomical Union at Zurich and that of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics at Oslo. He spent six weeks at the Vatican Observatory and visited other leading observatories of Europe.

During World War II, Father O'Conneil, working at the Riverview Observatory collaborated with the United States Government in the location of earthquakes in the Pacific zone in relation to war strategy. This work was carried on in the post-war period and is still taking place. Each week a cabled report in code is sent to the United States from Riverview. He was also consulted by the Imperial War Graves Commission concerning possible earthquake damage to war cemetery sites in the Pacific area.

In 1948 Father O'Connell received his Doctorate of Science from the National University of Ireland in recognition of his outstanding contributions to science.

Father O'Connell is a member of leading Australian and overseas societies and other organisations, and has contributed numerous research papers and other writings to their publications and proceedings.

He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and the international Astronomical Union, Fellow of the Royal Astromomical Society, Vice-President of the Royal Society of New South Wales, member of the National Research Council of Australia and the National Committee on Astronomy, Geophysics and Calendar reform; Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the Commonwealth Observatory, Mount Stromio; Australian representative on the Committee for Seismology of the Pacific Science Commission and member of many other scientific councils and committees in Australia. Father O'Connell resigned from 19.Boards and Committees..

Under Father O'Connell's direction, the Riverview Observatory has conducted a programme of continuous research that has been responsible for important discoveries. In the field of astronomy, eclipsing stars and cepheid variables have received special study. The photographic photometry of these stars has been one of the main aspects of the observatory's programme. Hundreds of new variable stars have been discovered, and much original research has been completed on known stars. About 15,000 plates are on file in the observatory.

Variable stars are those which are con stantly changing in brightness. Another star may move in front of them, they may expand or contract becoming hotter and brighter.

Knowledge of variable stars is highly important and basic to progress in modern astronomy. But for a knowledge of cepheid stars, for example, scientists would not have the faintest notion of the size of the universe,

One of Father O'Connell's latest activities was the use of photo-electric equipment in relation to variable stars.

Father O'Connell is reassured by the knowledge that this and other phases of the work at Riverview will continue and, naturally, it is his hope that necessary staff and equipment will be forthcoming. The fact that the direction will be in the hands of Father Burke-Gaffney gives Father O'Connell confidence in the future work and role of the observatory. Father O'Connell has taken some material on southern stars with him to Rome for completion.

In the field of seismology, the observatory's programme has included the regional study of earthquakes and the relation ship between earthquake waves and the interior of the earth.

The publications of Riverview Observatory are an important aspect of the work. They include four series - the “Seismological Bulletins”, which have appeared since 1909, the “Riverview Observatory Publications”, which began in 1935, the “Reprint” series, which date back to 1936, and the “Geophysical Papers”, which were founded in 1946. All of them are circulated and read all over the world.

The Riverview Observatory, which progressed under Father O'Connell, has never been anything but first-rate. It inherited this tradition from its founder and it was maintained by later directors. Complete accuracy has always been its aim, and all of its work has proved to be as careful and painstaking as human processes can ensure. Its equipment has always been the best available and its overhead has growii in dimension as well.

Father O'Connell left Sydney by slip for Rome on July 26 to take up his net post.

It distressed him that he was unable to make a personal farewell to many of his friends before he left Australia, due to the fact that he was confined to bed until the day before his ship sailed.
The Catholic Weekly (Sydney)

◆ The Clongownian, 1983
Obituary
Father Daniel Joseph Kelly O’Connell SJ
On October 14, 1982, the Jesuit order lost one of the best known of its modern scientists, the internationally acclaimed astronomer: Father Daniel J K O'Connell SJ. After several years of serious and confining sickness, Father O'Connell died peacefully among his Jesuit brothers at the order's headquarters in Rome, where he had settled after his retirement in 1970. In addition to directing the Vatican Observatory from 1952 to 1970, he was President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences from 1968 to 1972 and President of the Commission on Double Stars of the International Astronomical Union from 1955 to 1961. He served three popes and had close personal relationships with all of them.

Born in Rugby, England, in 1896, he entered the Jesuit order in Ireland in 1913. He received his diploma in experimental physics and a Master of Science degree in mathematics at University College Dublin, and later a Doctorate in Science from the National University of Ireland. He studied from 1931 to 1933 at the Harvard College Observatory, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was subsequently to have studied with the famous Sir Arthur Eddington. However, because of a lung condition, Jesuit superiors, in order to provide him with a more favourable climate, assigned him to the Riverview College Observatory, Sydney, Australia, where he became director in 1938.

During the years that Father O'Connell was at Harvard, the observatory was at the centre of the major developments in astronomical research and especially those which 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, a pursuit which he continued for the rest of his life, was the study of variable stars; but he also became known as a keen card player, especially at bridge. In fact, a story is told of how two young graduate students were duped into an evening of bridge against Father O'Connell and the famous cosmologist Abbé Georges Lemaitre on the occasion of a visit which the latter paid to the Harvard College Observatory. The students, not knowing the true identity of their challengers except that they gave a distinct impression of being neophytes at bridge, since they were overheard explaining to one another in broken English and French the names of the cards, were a bit embarrassed to accept the challenge for fear of crushing opponents to whom they were expected to show at least respectful deference. After a long evening of play the students, soundly defeated and thoroughly deflated, approached the famous Harlow Shapley for an explanation. His only remark to them was that the game must have been both an honest and an intelligent one, at least on the part of the two older gentlemen, since both of them were on the one hand Catholic priests and on the other eminent scientists.

While at the Riverview College Observatory, in addition to his study of variable stars, Father O'Connell, under the tutelage of the famous Father Wm O'Leary SJ, developed a keen interest in seismology and in the measurement of time with various types of clocks. This latter pursuit led him into a life long interest in the calendar and calendar reform, a study which served him well in later decades, since he was asked to advise popes on calendar reform and the cycle of ecclesiastical feasts.

Called to be director of the Vatican Observatory in 1952, Father O'Connell began a career of unique service to the Church which 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, In fact, during his directorship, once near the beginning and once at the end, Father O'Connell organized Study Weeks of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at which some of the world's most capable astronomers discussed the topics respectively of Stellar Populations (1957) and Nuclei of Galaxies (1970). As a result of these Study Weeks two books were published, both edited by Father O'Connell, which have become classics of astronomical literature.

Of his many contacts with the popes he served, his relationship with Pope Pius XII was an especially close one. He frequently advised the pope, himself a very keen and diligent student of the natural sciences, on topics of current scientific research. The International Astronomical Society held its triennial meeting in Rome in 1952, the same year that Father O'Connell came as director to the Vatican Observatory. At an audience and reception given by the Pope, the first opportunity was given to the pontiff to appreciate what a qualified representative the Church had in Father O'Connell as an interpreter of the Church's aspirations to the culture of science. It was under Pius XII that the major modern research tool of the Vatican Observatory, the Schmidt telescope, planned under his predecessors but completed under Father O'Connell, was inaugurated and blessed. Pope Pius XII often visited the observatory and, in fact, as a gesture of his interest, came to view through the Schmidt telescope with Father O'Connell on the night when the Space Age was born with the launching of the Russian Sputnik.

Pope John XXIII showed a special affection for Father O'Connell and the observatory staff and not infrequently paid visits to Father O'Connell's office, which was located directly above the Pope's private study. At the time of the landing of the first man on the moon, Father O'Connell had the privilege of viewing the event with Pope Paul VI over a specially installed television and he advised the Pope on the technical details of the mission.

In the pursuit of his scientific research, Father O'Connell was a close friend and collaborator of an international community of astronomers. As director of the Riverview College Observatory, he came to Europe in 1948 to attend the first postwar meeting of the International Astronomical Union held at Zurich, and on that occasion he visited many European observatories. His visit to Utrecht was noteworthy, for there he established a life long friendship with Professor Minnaert who later encouraged him to issue the now famous book on the Green Flash, which, published in collaboration with Brother Karl Treusch SJ, provides excellent documentation on optical effects which occur in the earth's atmosphere when the sun is rising or setting. However, Father O'Connell was best known in the inter national 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 axis of the double star's elliptical orbit). The discovery of this effect was typical of the scientific work of Father O'Connell. It required a long period of pains taking observations and careful analyses over many years.

In addition to his membership in the academies and institutes mentioned above, Father O'Connell was a member of the National Research Council of Australia, and an honorary member of both the Royal Society of New South Wales and of the Royal Irish Academy

While he was an indefatigable worker and consequently very jealous of his time, he still treasured immensely his friends and was, as a matter of fact, always nurturing new friend ships. Even during his last years, when he was largely bedridden, he developed new friend ships among old and young alike. There was never an international scientific conference attended by Vatican astronomers in the Rome area where the participants failed to request to pay a visit to Father O'Connell. Many were the nights that, under the then clear skies over Castle Gandolfo, Father O'Connell climbed the stairs to the telescope atop the papal palace passing the plaque inscribed thus: Deum Creatorem Venite Adoremus. In serving many, of high and low station alike, he was serving but One, the Creator of all that he observed. For that Daniel Joseph Kelly O'Connell, sj. has been called to his Father and we are happy for him.

George V Coyne SJ (Maryland) and Martin F McCarthy SJ (New England), Vatican Observatory.

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1911, Clongowes Wood College SJ
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.

◆ The Clongownian, 1943

Obituary

Father Thomas O’Dwyer SJ

Fr Tom O’Dwyer was one of six brothers. who were all in either Tullabeg or Clongowes. Of these, the most closely connected with Clongowes, was Fr James, who was on the teaching staff here for several years after the amalgamation, holding a position in the esteem and affection of his boys that can. have been held by few indeed.

Fr Tom's connection with Clongowes after he became a Jesuit was confined to one year, 1910-11, when he was Minister. Most of his work, and great it was, was done in the colleges of the Society in Australia, where : he spent forty years. He was Rector of St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, for several years, and was twice Rector of St Patrick's College, Melbourne, holding that position when death came suddenly to him last November. He had just finished celebrating Mass in the Mercy Convent when he had a heart seizure. Fortunately. Archbishop Simonds was at hand to give him the last rites of the Church.

Archbishop Mannix presided at the Requiem in the Cathedral of Melbourne and delivered an eloquent and touching panegyric. “I am not surprised” he said, “to find such a huge gathering of priests and people in the Cathedral this morning. We all feel we have lost in him a personal friend, who with absolute sincerity could be depended upon whenever we needed help, sincerity or friendship. He was always natural and always simple. Everyone could approach him, and no one came near him without being the better for it. He gave great service to Australia as a teacher. He was one of those splendid outstanding Irish Jesuits who have made their mark very deeply in the Catholic history of Australia. We cannot spare one of them, and not least him who has gone from our midst. It will be no exaggeration to say that St Patrick's College will not be the same without him. The deep interest he took in the boys, the sympathy with which he watched their careers, and the gentle understanding with which he made allow ance for faults, especially characterised Fr O'Dwyer. I am sure that the boys of St Patrick's College will miss him very much.

They, and we have lost a great friend here, but we have gained one in a better place”.

May he rest in peace.

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1934, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
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 O'Flanagan 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, wishing 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?....to 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, Leuven, Belgium
Final Vows: 15 August 1941, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
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 allocation 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 morning 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 philosophy. 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 nonsense (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 health. 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 crossword 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 man. 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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1977

Obituary

Father Joseph O’Mara SJ (1922)

From a contemporary of schooldays:

Joe entered Belvedere College in 1918 at the age of 12. In a very short time he won fame as an outstanding rugby player. In the season 1920/21 he was selected Captain of the JCT. He played centre three-quarter and was reckoned a fearless player. In that season he scored 100 tries, playing in 24 matches, winning 22, losing 1 and drawing 1. This was surely a great achievement. “Omega”, who that season was the team's trainer, described Joe as fast, fearless and every inch a footballer. Great things were expected of him in the future as a three quarter. He was also Captain of the junior cricket team that same season.

Joe was a most popular boy and liked by everybody. He had no time for boys who would not train and put their heart and soul into a game. On one occasion in a rugby game when his team was down at half time one of his players came up to and said “Joe, we're bet”. On the spot Joe said to him “Leave the field at once”! This was typical of Joe. Both on and off the field the boys had great admiration and respect for Joe for they knew that they had a dedicated Captain and one who was considerate of others and an example of a thorough sportsman.

He also had a delightful voice and the college choir benefited greatly by having him a member of it. In this same year he was admitted a member of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin. That day was a holiday for those received and a very happy day too. After the ceremonies were over, which included a special breakfast, Joe and a few of his close companions decided to go to the top of Nelson Pillar to get a birds view of the city.

In class Joe was above average in ability. He was always full of fun and good humour and because of that was on occasions called to order by his master for talking to fellow colleagues when in the eyes of the master, he should have been studying. From a student at Tullabeg:

All students, at any level, first second or third, will invariably build up caricatures of their teachers. Teachers, to a greater or lesser extent, will adapt themselves to fit this groove...possibly for some kind of self protection in predicability. Fr Joe was “Pater Formalis”. Everything had to be correct and formal, crystal articulation, the dramatic, even staged, pause. However he did not always have to hide behind these traits. We would sometimes see the flash of brilliance in a chance remark or the simplicity with which he would sing the Prologue to I Pagliacci, or Danny Boy (bilingually), or remove his gown to act the matador to someone else's bull ... very well too; he amazingly acquired in an instant a spanish face without benefit of costume or make up. These were the less formal times, when it was accepted that you could let your hair down to amuse your students, which was the real Fr Joe O'Mara? Both probably. For he was a very shy man, and complicated. He did not easily reveal what he felt, least, perhaps, he should be indulging in self pity, and he had none of that.

His breakdown in health in Hong Kong must have altered his life very greatly, not only because he ceased to be a missionary but also because he could not give himself to study with the same verve as before. We students of Philosophy felt that he had gone stale; if he saw fresh mountains to conquer he turned the other way and preferred to think of the good old days in Louvain when he was at the height of his powers. However he did not complain. He had a job and he held it down.

A bigger crisis came in the sixties, a few years after he was made Rector at Tullabeg. St Stanislaus College was a large, rambling, stone flagged, high-windowed, underheated and decaying building, where we studied Philosophy. The almost universal experience of Irish Jesuits who studied there was that it was the happiest house along the trail to ordination. We complained of course, for we were young and knew everything and the earth was our periwinkle, but in contrast to the scramble of university days it was a wonderful time of peace and companionship. As soon as Fr Joe became Rector he set about relieving the harshness of the domestic scene. Why was there not better heat in the Philosophers wing? Because, he was told, you couldn't get more heat out of that bunker. A new one was needed. The man in charge of the bunker was taken aback the next morning to find Fr Rector down in the coal dust stoking the furnace! He painted the walls, he bought tintawn carpeting for the stones, he encouraged music by making the music room more comfortable, he bought pictures to break up the bare expanses of wall. Tullabeg “never had it so good”. Then came the Visitor from the USA. He thought Tullabeg was primitive and should be closed. Some would say that the mistake in this step is still in evidence, but at the time it was not possible to get much comment out of Fr Joe. He had been caught holding the can, in fact he thought he had been doing a good job of cleaning up the can, and he had, but rough justice dictated that Fr O'Mara's philosophate was not fit for the training of Jesuits

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.

J C Kelly SJ

-oOo-

Extracts from a tribute by a Milltown '77 Jesuit:

One Wednesday morning 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 grevious 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 longdays in intensive care whose loneliness not even the traditionally splendid Vincent's nursing could eliminate. 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.

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....”

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.

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
Final Vows: 08 December 1967, St Francis Xavier, Gardioner Street, Dublin
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 & ◆ The Clongownian, 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
Final Vows: 02 February 1923, Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, England
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 : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-answering-back-2/

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

Obituary

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.

Pigot, Edward Francis, 1858-1929, Jesuit priest, teacher, astronomer and seismologist

  • IE IJA J/1985
  • Person
  • 18 September 1858-22 May 1929

Born: 18 September 1858, Dundrum, Dublin
Entered: 10 June 1885, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1899
Professed: 01 March 1901
Died: 22 May 1929, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia

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 1900 at St Joseph, Yang Jin Bang, Shanghai, China (FRA) teaching
by 1904 in St Ignatius, Riverview, Sydney (HIB)
by 1905 at ZI-KA-WEI Seminary, Shanghai, China (FRA) teaching
by 1910 in Australia

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online
Pigot, Edward Francis (1858–1929)
by L. A. Drake
L. A. Drake, 'Pigot, Edward Francis (1858–1929)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/pigot-edward-francis-8048/text14037, published first in hardcopy 1988

astronomer; Catholic priest; meteorologist; schoolteacher; seismologist

Died : 22 May 1929, North Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Edward Francis Pigot (1858-1929), Jesuit priest, astronomer and seismologist, was born on 18 September 1858 at Dundrum, near Dublin, son of David Richard Pigot, master of the Court of Exchequer, and his wife Christina, daughter of Sir James Murray, a well-known Dublin physician. Descended from eminent lawyers, Edward was educated at home by tutors and by a governess. The family was very musical and Edward became a fine pianist; he was later complimented by Liszt. He studied arts and medicine at Trinity College, Dublin (B.A., 1879; M.B., B.Ch., 1882) and also attended lectures by the astronomer (Sir) Robert Ball. After experience at the London Hospital, Whitechapel, he set up practice in Dublin.

In June 1885 Pigot entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Dromore, County Down. He began to teach at University College, Dublin, but in 1888, on account of ill health, came to Australia. He taught at St Francis Xavier's College, Melbourne, and from August 1889 at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney. Returning to Europe in 1892 he studied philosophy with French Jesuits exiled in Jersey, and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. He was ordained priest on 31 July 1898. In 1899 he volunteered for the China Mission and was stationed at the world-famous Zi-Ka-Wei Observatory, Shanghai. In 1903, again in poor health, he spent some months working in Melbourne and at Sydney Observatory, and taught for a year at Riverview before returning to Zi-Ka-Wei for three years. Tall and lanky, he came finally to Sydney in 1907, a frail, sick man. He had yet to begin the main work of his life.

On his way back to Australia Pigot visited the Jesuit observatory in Manila: he was beginning to plan an observatory of international standard at Riverview. He began meteorological observations there on 1 January 1908. As terrestrial magnetism could not be studied because of nearby electric trams, he decided to set up a seismological station as the start of the observatory. The Göttingen Academy of Sciences operated the only fully equipped seismological station in the southern hemisphere at Apia, Samoa: a station in eastern Australia would also be favourably situated to observe the frequent earthquakes that occur in the south-west Pacific Ocean. Assisted by the generosity of L. F. Heydon, Pigot ordered a complete set of Wiechert seismographs from Göttingen, and visited the Apia observatory. Riverview College Observatory opened as a seismological station in March 1909. Seismological observations continue to be made there.

A great traveller despite his teaching duties, Pigot visited Bruny Island, Tasmania (1910), the Tonga Islands (1911) and Goondiwindi, Queensland (1922), to observe total solar eclipses; and observatories in Europe in 1911, 1912, 1914 and 1922 and North America in 1919 and 1922. He made observations of earth tides in a mine at Cobar (1913-19), collaborated with Professor L. A. Cotton in measurements of the deflection of the earth's crust as Burrinjuck Dam filled (1914-15) and performed Foucault pendulum experiments in the Queen Victoria Market building, Sydney (1916-17). On 1 September 1923 F. Omori, a leading Japanese seismologist, observed with Pigot a violent earthquake being recorded in the Riverview vault; it turned out to have destroyed Tokyo, with the loss of 140,000 lives.

Fr Pigot was a member of the Australian National Research Council from 1921, president of the State branch of the British Astronomical Association in 1923-24 and a council-member of the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1921-29. On his way back from the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo (1926), he visited the observatory at Lembang, Java, where he planned a programme of study at Riverview Observatory of variable stars. Between 1925 and 1929 Pigot measured solar radiation at Riverview and Orange, particularly in relation to long-range weather forecasting. He was seeking a site of high elevation above sea-level for this work, when he contracted pneumonia at Mount Canobolas. He died at North Sydney on 22 May 1929 and was buried in Gore Hill cemetery.

Sir Edgeworth David paid tribute to Pigot:
It was not only for his profound learning that scientists revered him. They could not fail to be attracted by his magnetic personality, for though frail and often in weak health, he ever preserved the same charming and cheerful manner, and was full of eagerness and enthusiasm in discussing plans for the better pursuit of scientific truth. Surely there never was any scientific man so well-beloved as he.

Select Bibliography
Royal Society of New South Wales, Journal, 49 (1915), p 448
Riverview College Observatory Publications, 2 (1940), p 17
S.J. Studies, June 1952, p 189, Sept-Dec 1952, p 323.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Paraphrase/Excerpts from an article published in the “Catholic Press” 30/05/1929
“The late Father Pigott, whose death was announced last week in the ‘Press’, was born at Dundrum Co Dublin 18/09/1858, of a family which gave three generations of judges to the Irish Bench. He himself adopted the medical profession, and having taken his degree at Trinity, he practiced for a few years in Dublin and at Croom, Co Limerick. While studying at Trinity he made his first acquaintance with astronomy, when he heard a course of lectures by the famous Sir Robert Ball, then head of the Observatory at Dunsink, and Astronomer Royal of Ireland.
In 1885 the young Doctor, already noted for his charming gentleness and self-sacrificing charity entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Dromore. he made his first visit to Australia as a Scholastic in 1888, and he taught for four years at Xavier College Kew, and Riverview Sydney. Naturally his department was Science.
In 1892 he was sent to St Helier in Jersey to study Philosophy with the French Jesuits who had been expelled from France. It was here that he began his long battle with frailty and illness, during which he achieved so much for scientific research over his 70 years. He did his Theology at Milltown and was Ordained 1899. Two years later he volunteered to join the French Jesuits in China, and this required of him not only his scientific zeal, but also his spiritual and missionary ones. he did manage to master the Chinese language for his work, and he used to tell amusing stories of his first sermons against himself and his intonations. His health was always threatening to intervene, and so he went to work at the Zi-Kai-Wei Observatory near Shanghai. The work he did here on the Chinese Mission was to reach his fulness in the work he later did over many years in Australia, and where he went to find the climate which suited his health better. He received much training at Zi-Kai-Wei and in photography and study of sunspots at Ze-se, which had a twin 16 inch telescope.
1907 saw him back in Australia and he set about founding the Observatory at Riverview, while teaching Science. By his death, this Observatory had a range and capacity, in terms of sophisticated instruments, which rivalled the best Government-endowed observatories throughout the world. Whilst he had the best of equipment, he lacked the administrative personnel necessary to record all the data he was amassing. His great pride towards the end was in his spectroscope for the work on Solar Radiation where he believed that ‘Long-distance weather forecasts will soon be possible, though not in my time’ (Country Life, 29/04/1929). Current farmers and graziers will owe him a lot in the future.
The scientific work at Riverview has received recognition in Australia. Edward’s interests in the Sydney Harbour Bridge, his experiments in earth tremors at the construction of the Burrenjuck Dam, geophysics at the Cobar mines, pendulum experiments in the Queen Victoria Markets of Sydney. In 1910 he took part in a solar eclipse expedition to Tasmania, and in 1911 on the ship Encounter a similar trip to the Tongan Islands, and the Goondiwindi Expedition of 1922.
In 1914 he was appointed by the Government to represent Australia at the International Seismological Congress at St Petersburg, though war cancelled that. In 1921 he was a member of the Australian National Research Council and sent to represent them to Rome at the 1922 first general assembly of the International Astronomical Union and the International Union of Geoditics and Geophysics. He was president of the NSW branch of the British Astronomical Association, and a member of the Royal Society of NSW. In 1923 the Pan-Pacific Science Congress was held in Australia, and during this Professor Omori of Japan was at Riverview watching the seismometers as they were recording the earthquake of Tokyo, Dr Omori’s home city. In 1926 he went to the same event at Tokyo, and later that year was elected a member of the newly formed International Commission of Research of the Central International Bureau of Seismology.
From an early age he was a passionate lover of music, and this came from his family. he gave long hours to practising the piano when young, and in later life he could play some of the great pieces from memory. He was said to be one of the finest amateur pianists in Australia. It often served as a perfect antidote to a stressful day at the Observatory."

Many warm-hearted and generous tributes to the kindness and charm for Father Pigott’s personal character have been expressed by public and scientific men since his death. Clearly his association with men in all walks of life begot high esteem and sincere friendship. Those who knew him in his private life will always preserve the memory of a kindly, gentle associate, and of a saintly religious.”

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Edward Pigot's family was of Norman origin and settled in Co Cork. Ireland. The family was a famous legal family in Dublin. He was the grandson of Chief Baron Pigot, son of judge David Pigot, brother of Judge John Pigot. He was the fourth of eight children, and was educated at home by a governess and tutors. The family was very musical, Edward playing the piano.
Pigot went to Trinity College, Dublin, and graduated BA in science in 1879. His mentor at the university in astronomy was Sir Robert Ball, then Royal Astronomer for Ireland and Professor of Astronomy. Pigot then studied medicine and graduated with high distinction in 1882, and after postgraduate studies practiced in Baggot Street, Dublin.
However, Pigot gave up this practice to join the Society of Jesus, 10 June 1885, at the age of 27.
After a short teaching period at University College, Dublin, Pigot was sent to Australia in 1888 because of constant headaches, and he taught physics and physiology principally at St Ignatius College, Riverview, 1890-92. He returned to Europe for further studies, philosophy in Jersey with the French Jesuits, 1892-95, and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1898. Tertianship followed immediately at Tullabeg.
At the age of 41 and in ill health, Pigot volunteered for the Chinese Mission in 1899, and was stationed at Zi-ka-Wei, near Shanghai, working on a world famous observatory, where
meteorology, astronomy and terrestrial magnetism were fostered. Pigot specialised in astronomy and also studied Chinese. Like other missionaries of those days, he grew a beard and a pigtail. However, his health deteriorated and he was sent to Australia in 1903 for a few years. He then returned to Shanghai, 1905-07, before returning to Riverview in 1908.
After visiting the Manila Observatory, he formulated plans for starting an observatory at Riverview, an activity that he believed would bring recognition for the excellence in research that he expected at the Riverview observatory He believed that seismology was best suited to the location. Pigot obtained the best equipment available for his work, with the gracious benefaction of the Hon Louis F Heydon, MLC. He personally visited other observatories around the world to gain ideas and experience, as well as attending many international conferences over the years. One result of his visit to Samoa was the building and fittings for the instruments in the half-underground, vaulted, brick building at Riverview. Brs Forster and Girschik performed the work. Some instruments, called the Wiechert Seismographs, came from Germany.
He became a member of the Australian National Research Council at its inception in 1921, and foundation member of the Australian Committee on Astronomy, as well as that on Geodosy and Geophysics. He served on the Council of the Royal Society of NSW, and was President of the British Astronomical Association (NSW Branch), 1923-24.
The upkeep of the Riverview observatory was borne by the Australian Jesuits and Riverview. Family and friends also gave funds for this work. When he died from pneumonia, he left at the Riverview observatory five double-component seismometers, two telescopes fully equipped for visual and photographic work, a wireless installation, clocks specially designed for extreme accuracy, an extensive scientific library, a complete set of meteorological instruments, and a solar radiation station, possessing rare and costly instruments.
Pigot's work at Riverview included working on scientific problems of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, experiments at the construction of the Burrenjuck Dam, geophysics at the Cobar mines, and pendulum experiments in the Queen Victoria Market Buildings in Sydney In 1910 he took part in a solar eclipse expedition to Tasmania. In April 1911 he went with the warship Encounter on a similar expedition to the Tongan Islands in the Pacific, and was prominent in the Goondiwindi Solar Eclipse Expedition in 1922.
Pigot was appointed by the Commonwealth Government to represent Australia at the International Seismological Congress at St Petersburg in 1914. He was secretary of the seismo-
logical section of the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Sydney, 1923, and in 1926, once more represented the Commonwealth Government as a member of the Australian Delegation at the Pan-Pacific Congress, Tokyo. In 1928 he was elected a member of an International Commission of Research, which was part of the International Bureau of Seismology, centered at Strasbourg.
He was highly esteemed by his colleagues for his friendship, high scholarship, modest and unassuming demeanour, and nobility of character. Upon his death the rector of Riverview received a letter from the acting-premier of New South Wales, describing Pigot as one of the state's “most distinguished citizens”, and Sir Edgeworth David praised his magnetic personality and eagerness and enthusiasm in discussing plans for the better pursuit of scientific truth.
Edward Pigot, tall and lanky, frail and often in weak health, was also a fine priest, always helper of the poor, and exemplary in the practice of poverty. He did pastoral work in a quiet way. On his scientific expeditions, he was always willing to help the local clergy and their scattered flocks. He was genuinely modest, humble, and courteous to all. Yet he was naturally a very sensitive and even passionate man, with a temperament that he did not find easy to control. He disagreed strongly with Dr Mannix on the issue of conscription - the Pigots were decidedly Anglo-Irish - and positively refused to entertain the idea of setting up an observatory at Newman under the archbishop's aegis.
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 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 3rd Year No 1 1927

Lavender Bay, Sydney :
Fr. Pigot's great reputation as a seismologist was much increased during the present year by his locating of the Kansu earthquake within a few hours of the first earth tremors. “Where he deserted medicine,” the Herald writes, “that profession lost a brilliant member, but science in general was the gainer. Dr Pigot is one of the world's leading authorities on seismology, and can juggle azimuths and seismometers with uncanny confidence”.

Irish Province News 4th Year No 4 1929

Obituary :
Fr Edward Pigot
Fr Pigot died at Sydney on May 21st. He caught a slight cold which in a few days developed into T. B. pneumonia. He was very frail, and had no reserve of strength left to meet the attack. The Archbishop presided at the Requiem. The Government sent a representative. The papers were all very appreciative.

Fr Pigot was born at Dundrum, Co. Dublin on the 18th September 1858, educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he studied medicine, and took out his degrees - MB, BCh, in 1882. For the three following years he was on the staff of Baggot St Hospital, Dublin, and was Chemist with his uncle, Sir James Murray, at Murray's Magnesia works. He entered the Society at Loyola House, Dromore, Co. Down on the 10th June 1885. He spent one year at Milltown Park as junior, and then sailed for Australia. One year at Kew as prefect, and three years at Riverview teaching chemistry and physics brought his regency to an end. Fr. Pigot spent three years at Jersey doing philosophy, as many at Milltown at theology, and then went to Tullabeg for his tertianship in 1898. At the and of the year a very big event in his life took place. He applied for and obtained leave to join the Chinese Mission of the Paris province. For a year he worked in the Church of St. Joseph at Yang-King-Pang, and for two more at the Seminary at Zi-Kai-Wei, but the state of his health compelled a rest, and in 1913 we find him once more at Riverview teaching and trying to repair his shattered strength. He seems to have, in some measure, succeeded, for, at the end of the year he returned to his work at Zi-kai-wei. The success however was short lived. He struggled on bravely for three years when broken health and climatic conditions forced him to yield, and he asked to be received back into the Irish Province. We have it on the highest authority that his reasons for seeking the Chinese Mission were so a virtuous and self-denying, that he was heartily welcomed back to his own province. In 1907 he was stationed once more at Riverview, and to that house he belonged up to the time of his happy death in 1929.
It was during these 22 years that Fr. Pigot's greatest work was done - the founding and perfecting of the Riverview Observatory. The story is told by Fr. Dan. O'Connell in the Australian Jesuit Directory of 1927.
Fr. Pigot's first astronomical training was at Dunsink Observatory under the well known astronomer “Sir Robert Ball”. Then, as mentioned above, many years were passed at the Jesuit Observatory at Zi-kai-wei.
For some years previous to his return to Riverview, earthquakes had been receiving more and more attention from scientists, Excellent stations had been established in Europe and Japan, but the lack of news from the Southern Hemisphere greatly hampered the work of experts. It was the very excellent way in which Fr. Pigot supplied this want that has won him a high place amongst the worlds scientists.
Thanks to the kindness of relatives and friends, and to government help, Fr. Pigot was able to set up at Riverview quite a number of the very best and most up-to-date seismometers, some of which were constructed at government workshops under his own personal supervision. At once, as soon as things were ready, Fr Pigot entered into communication with seismological stations all the world over. When his very first bulletins were received in Europe, Riverview was gazetted as a “first-order station”, and the work done there was declared by seismologists everywhere as of first-rate importance. At the time of his death Fr Pigot had established telegraphic communication with the International Seismological Bureau at Strasbourg.
The study of earthquakes was only one of Fr. Pilot's activities, He was able, again through the generosity of his friends, to put up at Riverview, a first class astronomical observatory. It has four distinct lines of research :

  1. The photography of the heavens.
  2. Photographs of sunspots
  3. Study of variable stars.
  4. Micrometre measurements of double stars.
    Fr Pigot also took part ill a number of solar eclipse expeditions to Tasmania in May 1910, in April 1911 to Tonga, and to Goondiwindi in 1922.
    Finally, and perhaps most difficult of all, he established at Riverview a solar radiation station. The object of such a station is to determine the quantity of heat radiated out by the sun. This quantity of heat is not constant, as was thought but variable. The work is expensive, and of a highly specialised nature. It was hoped that in course of time it would have very
    practical results, amongst them being the power of being able to forecast changes in climate and weather over much longer periods than is at present possible. The necessary funds were collected by a Solar Radiation Committee formed at Sydney, Supplemented by a legacy from a relative of Fr Pigot's.
    Fr Pigot's ability as a scientist is shown by the number of important positions he held, and by the number of missions entrusted to him. He was elected President of the N. S. W. branch of the British Astronomical Association in 1923 and 1924.
    He was a member of the Council of the Royal Society of NSW for several years. On the occasion of the International Seismological Congress to be held at. St. Petersburg in l914 he was appointed by the Commonwealth Government as delegate to represent Australia. Owing to the war the Congress was not held. It was on this occasion that Fr Pigot was sternly refused permission as a Jesuit to enter Russia. Even the request of the British ambassador at St Petersbourg for a passport was of no avail. It was only through the intercession of Prince Galitzin the leading Seismologist in Russia and a personal friend of the Russian Foreign Minister that the permit was granted.
    He went to Rome in 1922 as delegate from the Australian National Research Council to the first General Assembly of the Astronomical Union.
    He was Secretary of the Seismological Section at the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Australia 1923.
    He was appointed by the Commonwealth Government as one of an official delegation of four which represented Australia at the Pan-Pacific Congress in Tokyo 1926.
    Fr Pigot was a great scientist he was also a fine musician an exquisite pianist and a powerful one. He was said Lo be amongst the finest amateur pianists in Australia. Once during a villa he was playing a piece by one of the old masters. In the same room was a card party intent on their game. Fr Pigot whispered to a friend sitting near the piano “mind the discord
    that's coming”. It came, and with it came howl and a yell from the card players. In the frenzy of the moment no one could tell what was going to come next. But, as Fr Pigot continued to play a soothing bit that followed, a normal state of nerves was restored, and the players settles down to their game.
    He was a great scientist, and a fine musician, but, above all and before all, he was an excellent religious. In the noviceship too much concentration injured his head, and he felt the effects ever afterwards. It affected him during his missionary work and during his own studies. His piety was not of the demonstrative order, but he had got a firm grip of the supernatural, and held it to the cud. He knew the meaning of life, the meaning of eternity and squared his life accordingly.
    His request for a change of province was in no way due to fickleness or inconstancy. He had asked a great grace from Almighty God, a favour on which the dearest wish of his heart was set, and he made a supreme, a heroic sacrifice to obtain it. That gives us the key note to his life, and it shows us the religious man far better than the most eloquent panegyric or the longest list of virtues that adorn religious life could do. Judged by that sacrifice he holds a higher and a nobler place in the world of our Society that that which his genius and unremitting hard work won for him in the world of science.
    A few extracts to show the esteem if which Fr. Pigot was held by externs :
    Father Pigot's death “removes a great figure not only from the Catholic world but also from the world of science. His fame was world-wide. He was one of the worlds' most famous seismologists”.
    “By his death Australian science and the science of seismology have sustained a loss that is almost irreparable. He initiated what now ranks among the very best seismological observatories in the world”.
    “He was able to secure the best instruments for recording the variations in heat transmitted from the sun to the earth for his Solar observatory at Riverview, and to make observations, which science in time will rely upon to put mankind in the possession of long range forecasts as to future rainfall and weather in general”.
    “Dr. Pigot told me that after some years it would be possible to forecast the weather' two seasons ahead”.
    “ Dr. Pigot was one of the brightest examples of simple faith in a Divine purpose pervading all the universe”.
    “It was not only for his profound learning that scientists reverenced him. They could not fail to be attracted by his magnetic personality, for though frail and often in weak health he ever preserved the same charming and cheerful manner, and was full of eagerness and enthusiasm in discussing plans for the pursuit of scientific truth. Surely there never was any scientific man so well beloved as he”
    “Those who knew him in his private 1ife will always reserve the memory of a kindly, gentle associate, and of a saintly religious”.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 1 1929

Obituary : Fr Edward Pigot
The following items about Fr. Pigot's youth have been kindly supplied by his brother.
“He was born the 18th Sept. 1858 at Meadowbrook, Dundrum, Co. Dublin His first tuition was at the hands of governesses and private tutors, after which he attended for some years a day school kept by H. Tilney-Bassett at 67 Lower Mount St.
Concurrently, under the influence of his music Master, George Sproule, his taste for music began to develop rapidly. Sproule had a great personal liking for him, and took him on a visit to Switzerland. Many years afterwards Fr. Pigot heard that Sproule (who had taken orders in the Church of England) was in Sydney. He rang him up on the telephone, without disclosing identity, and whistled some musical passages well known to both of them. Almost at once Sproule knew and spoke his name.
Even as a schoolboy, I can recall how he impressed me by his superiority, by his even temper, command of himself under provocation, his generosity, his studiousness and his steadiness generally.
He entered Trinity about 1879. In the Medical School, he had the repute of a really serious student. He was especially interested in chemistry and experimental physics. Astronomy was outside his regular course, but I remember visits to Dunsink observatory, His studies seemed to he regulated by clockwork.
Before setting up as a doctor in Upper Baggot Street, he was resident medical attendant at Cork Street Fever Hospital, and the Rotunda Hospital, and at the City of Dublin Hospital. When in private practice at Baggot Street, he was not financially successful. I have the impression that his serious demeanour and grave appearance were against him, But I have better grounds for believing that his work amongst the poor, his unwillingness to charge fees to the needy, operated still more in the same direction. We often heard, but not from him, of his goodness to the poor. This was the time that he announced to us his desire to join the Jesuit Order. May I add that if there was one event in Ned’s life for which I have long felt joy and thankfulness, it was his desire to enter your Order.
Years after he had left Dublin, one of his prescriptions had become locally famous, and was ordered from the chemist as “a bottle of Kate Gallagher, please”, Kate having been one of his poor friends”.

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Australia :

Riverview :

In 1923 Fr. Pigot built a Solar Radiation Station at Riverview, and started a programme of research on the heat we receive from the sun. This work has now been finally wound up. The valuable instruments, which are the property of the Solar Radiation Committee, were offered on loan to Commonwealth Solar Observatory, Mt. Strombo, Canberra. The offer was accepted and the instruments were sent by lorry to Mt. Strombo on February 7th. The results of the work have been prepared for publication and are now being printed. This will be the first astronomical publication to be issued by the Observatory since December 1939. Shortage of staff and pressure of other work during the war were responsible for interrupting that branch of our activities. Another number of our astronomical publications is now ready and about to be sent to the printer. We have started a new series of publications: Riverview College Observatory Geophysical Papers." The first three numbers are now being printed and will be sent to all seismological Observatories and to those scientists who may be interested.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Edward Pigott 1859-1929
Fr Edward Pigott was born in Dundrum Dublin on September 18th 1858, of a family which gave three generations to the Irish Bench. Edward himself became a Doctor of Medicine, taking a degree at Trinity College, and practising first in Dublin, then in Croom County Limerick. In 1885, the young doctor entered the Society at Dromore, and made his first visit to Australia in 1888, where he spent four years teaching at Xavier College.

Ordained in 1899, two years later he volunteered for the Chinese Mission. He learned the Chinese language in preparation for his work, and for a while tested the hardships of active service with the French Fathers of the Society. He used recall afterwards with a wry smile his efforts to preach in Chinese, and how he hardly avoided the pitfalls on Chinese intimation. I;; health, which dogged him all his life, sent him to the less arduous work of Assistant at Zi-Kai-Wei Observatory, near Shanghai. This was the beginning of his brilliant career as an astronomer.

After six years in Shanghai, during which he mastered his science, he returned to Australia in 1907 and started the Observatory at Riverview. He started with a small telescope and a few elementary instruments for recording weather changes, and finally made of Riverview, one of the leading Observatories of the world. Honours and distinctions were showered on him. He was appointed by the Government to represent Australia at St Petersburg in 1914, in Rome in 1922, at the International Astronomical Union, and the Pan Pacific Science Congress in 1923, held in Australia.

In spite of his prominence in the scientific world, Fr Pigott remained always to his brethren a kindly and gentle associate and a saintly religious.

He died on May 22nd 1929, aged 70 years, battling with ill health all his life. A strong spirit housed in a frail body.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1912

Father Pigot’s Return

On April 11th, the Community and boys went down to the College Wharf to welconie Father Pigot SJ, back to Riverview, after his extended tour through Europe. He had been absent about seven months, and during that time visited most of the leading seismological observatories on the Continent and in the British Isles. He had purposed visiting also some other observatories in the United States, Canada and Japan, on his return journey to Sydney; but a severe attack of pleurisy in Italy, during the trying mid-winter season, obliged him to hasten back to the warm Australian climate, without even being able to accept the kind invitation of Prince Galitzin to spend a few days as his guest at St Petersburg. All have heard of Father Pigot's application to the Foreign Office, London (on hearing accidentally, a day or two before, of the existence of a Russian law prohibiting members of the Jesuit Order. from entering Russia) to obtain from the Russian Government the necessary permission, in view of a short visit to Prince Galitzin's Seismological Observatory at Pulkovo. The request of the Foreign Office was refused, as everyone knows, but apparently the sequel of the story is not so generally known.

It was during liis stay at Potsdam (Berlin) that Father Pigot received the unfavourable reply from Westminster. He at once acquainted Prince Galitzin with the refusal, whereupon the distinguished seismologist made a strong representation, resulting in his Government inimediately withdrawing the prohibition. His kind letter to Father Pigot acquainting him with the Russian Government's concession, and a formal communication to the same effect from the British Foreign Office, arrived during Father Pigot's convalescence, but a delay in Europe of three months would have been necessary to allow the severe winter in St. Petersburg to pass before he could, without risk of relapse, have availed himself of the concession and kind invitation.

Father Pigot has asked us to record his deep feeling of appreciation of the cordial greetings of the Community and boys, when they most kindly came down to welcome him at the wharf,

We give a photograph of Father Pigot, and another of a group of distinguished seismologists assembled together from various parts of the world, at Manchester, for the International Seismological Congress (1911).

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1922

Fr Pigot’s Visit to Europe : The InternationalAstronomical Union - First General Assembly, Rome, May 1922

The First General Assembly of the Inter national Astronomical Union commenced its deliberations in May this year, in the Academy of Science (the old Corsini Palace), at Rome. That Australia in union with the other nations, might be represented at the two main conferences (Astronomy, and Geodesy and Geophysics), the Commonwealth Government having paid the necessary subscriptions, three delegates - Dr T M Baldwin (Government Astronomer for Victoria), Mr G F Dodwell (Government Astronomer for South Australia), and Father Pigot represented the Australian National Research Council at the General Assembly.

The purpose of the Union, as set forth in this report, is - (I) “To facilitate the relations between astronomers of different countries where international co-operation is neces sary or useful; and, (2) To promote the study of astronomy in all its departments”. Each country adhering to the Union has its own National Research Council, which forms the National Committee for the promotion and co-ordination of astronomical work iul the respective countries, especially regard ing their international requirements. The countries at present adhering to the Union are Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czecho-Slovakia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, · Itály, Japan, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, Spain, and the United States.
When Father Pigot left us suddenly in March, we felt that indeed there must be “something on” in the scientific world to draw him away at short notice from his beloved observatory. But the meetings of the Astronoinical Union, despite their international importance, were not his only objective. His itinerary, as we shall see, was a long one, and one of his chief aims while in Europe and America, was to inspect the principal Astronomical, Seismological and Solar Radiation observatories, and to get in personal touch with the foremost scientists. of the northern hemisphere.

Upon arrival in Europe he spent some time, successively, in the observatories of Marseilles, Nice, Geneva, and Zurich, In April he attended the Seismological Congress at Strasbourg, and then went on to Rome, taking in on his way, the Arcetri Observatory at Florence (situated, by the way, a stone's-throw from Galileo's house). While in Rome at the Conferences of the Astronomical and Geophysical Unions, he was, of course, in constant touch with Father Hagen S J, the Director of the Vatican Observatory, and though he does not say so, we may well imagine that his feelings were not untinged with sadness as he ascended the great staircase of the Government Observatory-the great Roman College of the Jesuit Order, before a Ministry more sectarian than honest usurped it.

Before the Conferences of the General Assembly were over, the delegates were in vited by His Holiness the Pope to a special audience in the Throne Room of the Vatican. It was accepted by all. Before congratu lating themselves on the splendid success of their meetings, His Holiness spent some time in chatting freely with most of those present, shook hands with them all, and be fore their departure, had a photo taken by the Papal photographer in the Court of St. Damasus.

The Roman Conferences over, Father Pigot lost no time in getting on his way. His first call was at the Geophysical Institute of Göttingen. Then on to Munich, and to Davos Platz for a private meeting on Sky and Solar Radiation with Dr Dorno (Head of Davos Observatory), Professor Maurer (Head of the Swiss Weather Bureau), and Professor Kimball (of the Solar Radiation Station of the Washington Weather Bureau).

The Paris Observatory - one of the largest in Europe - came next, and after spending some time here, he went on to the Royal Observatory at Brussels. Before leaving Beigium, he had time to run down to the Jesuit Observatory at Valkenberg, near the Dutch frontier, after which he returned to Greenwich. At a dinner of the Royal Astronomical Society, at which nine of the delegates were entertained, Father Pigot's health was proposed by Father Cortie SJ, of the Stonyhurst Observatory.

After a brief visit to Ireland, Father Pigot started out on his return journey, via America. One of his first visits on the other side was to the Jesuit Seismological Observatory at Georgetown University, Washington. While in the Capital, he spent some time at the Carnegie Observatory (Terrestrial Magnetisın), the Weather Bureau Solar Radiation Station, the Astro-physical Observatory of the Smithsonian Institute (where he renewed acquaintance with a valued friend, Dr Abbot, the President), the Bureau of Standards, and the Office of the Geodetic Survey. He was much impressed, as in 1919, with the up-to-date appliances of the Americans, and with the thoroughness of their scientific work.

Leaving Washington, he called at The Observatory of Harvard University (Boston, Mass.), and at the University of Detroit, where he found Professor Hussey, who knows Riverview well and has been in Australia more than once on scientific work. Yerkes Observatory, near Chicago, where is installed the largest Refractor in the world, claimed him next, after which he proceeded to the famous Mt Wilson Observatory at Pasadena (near Los Angeles, Col.). Here Father Pigot was in his element, for it is with Dr. Abbott, more especially than any one else, that he has discussed the details of the projected Solar Radiation Observatory at Riverview, and from him received the most valuable assistance.

Passing on to the Lick Observatory (Mt Hamilton, N Cal), he just missed Professor Campbell, who had left for Australia four days before as a member of the Wallal (WA) Eclipse Expedition. Professor Tucker, however, the locuin tenens, showed hiin every kindness.

Father Pigot's final visit before embarking for Australia was to the Canadian Government Observatory (Victoria, BC), which possesses the most powerful telescope in the British Empire (73in. Reflector). In the realm of instrumental astronomy Canada has outstripped all the other Dominions, and even the Mother Country herself.

It is superfluous to emphasise the im tiense value Father Pigot derived from his visits to the leading scientific men of the world, picking up hints, seeing new methods, and the most modern appliances for the subject nearest and dearest to his heart.

That the Riverview Observatory will gain by his experiences, and that the new Solat Radiation Observatory will receive a new fillip, goes without saying:

◆ Our Alma Mater Riverview 1929

Obituary

Edward F Pigot

Father Pigot was born at Dundrum, County Dublin, on September 18, 1858. He adopted the medical profession, and practised for a few years in Dublin. In 1885 he entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Dromore, County Down. He made his first visit to Australia as a Jesuit scholastic in 1888, and taught for four years at Xavier College, Melbourne, and St Ignatius' College, Sydney. Naturally, his department was science. He completed his theological studies in Milltown Park, Dublin, and was ordained in the summer of 1899. Two years later he volunteered for the arduous China Mission, where the French Fathers of the Society of Jesus were endeavouring to Christianise the vast pagan kingdom - an act revealing fires of missionary zeal and personal devotion probably unsuspected by those who knew only the retiring scientist and scholar of later years. His sacrifice was accepted, and recompensed in a striking manner. He did, indeed, master the Chinese language in preparation for missionary labours, and for a while tasted the hardships of active service.

He returned to Australia in 1907, and immediately set about founding an observatory at Riverview, while teaching science on the college staff. When death called him he had gathered at Riverview five double-component seismometers, two telescopes fully equipped for visual and photographic work, a wireless installation, clocks specially designed for extreme accuracy, an extensive scientific library, a complete set of meteorological instruments, and what he most valued in his later years, a solar radiation, station, possessing rare and costly instruments, such as are possessed by only a few other, and these Government-endowed, stations throughout the world.

Fr. Pigot's in terest in the scientific problems of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, his experiments at the construction of the Burrenjuck Dam, in geophysics at the Cobar mines and elsewhere, his pendulum experiments in the Queen Victoria Market Buildings in Sydney, are well known. In 1910 he took part in a solar eclipse expedition to Tasmania; in April, 1911, he went with the warship Encounter on a similar expedition to the Tongan Islands in the Pacific, and was prominent in the Goondi windi Solar Eclipse Expedition in 1922.

Father Pigot was appointed by the Commonwealth Government to represent Australia at the International Seismological Congress at St. Petersburg in 1914. The outbreak of war prevented the Congress being held. In 1921 he was chosen as a member of the Australian National Research Council, and in 1922 went to Rome as its representative at the first general assembly of the International Astronomical Union, and of the International Union of Geodetics and Geophysics. He was elected President of the NSW branch of the British Astronomical Association in 1923 and 1924. For many years he was a member of the Council of the Royal Society of NSW.

At the Pan-Pacific Science Congress, held in Australia in 1923, Father Pigot was secretary of the seismological section. In 1926 Father Pigot was once more chosen by the Commonwealth Government as a member of the Australian Delegation at the Pan-Pacific Congress, held in Tokyo, in October, 1926. In December of last year he received word from the secretary of the Central International Bureau of Seismology, Strasburg, that he had been elected member of an International Commission of Research, formed a short time previously at a congress held in Prague, Czecho-Slovakia.

Many warm-hearted and generous tri butes to the kindliness and charm of Father Pigot's personal character have been expressed by public and scientific men since his death. Clearly his associa tion with men in all walks of life begot high esteem and sincere friendship. Those who knew him in his private life will always preserve the memory of a kindly, geritle associate, and of a saintly religious. RIP

-oOo-

The Solemn Office and Requiem Mass were celebrated at St Mary's North Sydney in the presence of a large congregation. His Grace the Archbishop presided, and preached the panegyric, and a very large number of the priests of the Diocese were present. Representatives of all classes were amongst the congregation, as may be seen from the list, which we cull from the “Catholic Press”.

The Government was represented by Mr J Ryan, MLC, and the Premier's Department by Messrs. F C G Tremlett and C H Hay. Other mourners included Professor Sir Edgeworth David, Professor C E Fawcitt (Dean of the Fa ulty of Science in Sydney University), Professor H G Chapman, Professor L A Cotton (president of the Royal Society of NSW), Professor T G . Osborn (chairman of the executive committee of the Australian National Research Council), Dr and Mrs Conrick, Dr P Murray, Dr Noble, Dr Murray Curtis, Dr H Daly, Dr Armit, Dr G H McElhone, Dr Wardlaw (president of the Linnean Society), Dr Robert Noble, Dr James Hughes, Messrs Cecil O'Dea, M J Mc Grath, H W and J N Lenehan, Austin Callachor (St Aloysius' Old Boys' Union), J Boylan (St Ignatius' Old Boys' Union), K Ryan, J Hayes, I Bryant, G E Bryant, K Young, R W Challinor (Sydney Technical College), James Nangle (Government Astronomer), O J Lawler, V J Evans, K E Finn, F W Brennan, J and I McDonnell, J Burfitt, and W S Gale, E Wunderlich, Dr Bradfield, Messrs L Campbell, L Bridge jun, Harold Healy, J Edmunds, E P Hollingdale, T Thyne, H Tricker (German Consul, representing the German Scientific Societies), W H Paradice, J. J. Richardson, W Poole (representing the Council of the Royal Society), K M Burgraaff (German Geographical Survey), E W Esdaile, A P Mackerras, E Gardiner, F S Manse (Under-Setretary for Mines), E C Andrews (Mines Department), W S Dun (Geological Survey), E H Matthews, F K Du Boise, Herbert Brown, R H Bulkeley, FRAS, M B Young, O S Cleary.

Letters of condolence were received from the following :The Old Boys' Union, NSW Chamber of Agriculture, The Shires Association of NSW, Dr C J Prescott (Headmaster, Newington Coll ege), Lane Cove Municipal Council, British Astronomical Association (NSW Branch), Commonwealth Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Chemical Society of the Sydney Technical College, the Royal Society of New South Wales, The Hon Sir Norman Kater, Kt, MLC, and many others.

The following letter was received from: the New South Wales Cabinet:

Premier's Office, Sydney, N.S.W.
22nd May, 1929.
Dear Sir,
At a meeting of the Cabinet this morning mention was made of the sad loss this State has sustained in the death of Reverend Father Pigot, one of its most distinguished citizens. I was invited by my colleagues to convey to you, as Principal of the eminent educational establishment, with which Father Pigot had the honour to be associated, an. expression of the deepest sympathy from the Members of the New South Wales Ministry.

The memory of Father Pigot, who was a per sonal friend of many of us, will be kept ever green by reason of his high scholastic and scien tific attainments, modest and unassuming demean our, and ni sy of character.
Yours faithfully,

E. A. BUTTENSHAW,
Acting Premier,


The Rev Father Lockington SJ, StIgnatius' College, Professor

H, H. Turner, of the British Association and the International Seismological Summary, speaks of “the splendid work done by Father Pigot in seismology; Riverview has been for many years our standby in the discussion of earthquakes near Australia”.


Professor Sir Edgeworth David, quoted in the “Catholic Press”, writes:

“By his death Australian science and the science of seismology have sustained a loss that is almost irreparable. He initiated what now ranks among the very best seismological observatories in the world. He was able to secure the best in struments for recording the variations in heat transmitted from the sun to the earth for his solar observatory at Riverview, and to make observa- . tions. This science in time we will rely upon to put mankind in possession of long range forecasts as to future rainfall and weather in general.

He was well known to all leading physicists and astronomers, and entirely because of his great reputation the University of Sydney was able to borrow for a period of six years some extremely valuable pendulums from Germany for measuring small displacements of the earth's crust at the great reservoir at Burrenjuck.

It was not only for his profound learning that scientists reverenced him. They could not fail to be attracted by his magnetic personality, for though frail and often in weak health, he ever preserved the same charming and cheerful man ner, and was full of eagerness and enthusiasm in discussing plans for the better pursuit of seien tific truth. Surely there. never was any scientific man so well beloved as he”.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, Golden Jubilee 1880-1930

The New Seismographs at Riverview

That Seismology, and especially Seismographs, are in the air at pres ent, there can be no doubt. We have recently experienced in Sydney such a series of earthquake tremors, some of which have been usually large, and all coming on top of one another, as it were, that the subject was a common topic of conversation for several weeks. But the greatest interest centred not so much on the earthquakes as on the Riverview Seismograph that recorded them. When, a few weeks ago, the papers announced that a big and destructive earthquake had occurred so many thousands of miles away, "A big earthquake somewhere," one Melbourne Daily headed the re port-the safe announcement following that it was possibly in the sea somewhere, did much, we are sure, to nullify any exciting effect the tid ings might have had on even unsceptical readers. The news two days later, however, that a severe earthquake had taken place in Sumatra, and that 250 people had been killed, made the Riverview Seismograph not only known, but famous. With Father Pigot's permission (or, shall I say, with out Father Pigot's permission?) I purpose giving a short account of the Seismographs to accompany our illustrations,

The idea, as a mere remote possibility, of starting a Seismographical Observatory at Riverview, occurred to Father Pigot a few years ago at Zi ka-wei (Shanghai), just when leaving for Australia, where he was oblijed by ill-health to return, and received a fresh impetus when he was passing through Manilla on the voyage south. The splendid seismographical work done by the Fathers for many years at these two great Jesuit Observator ies of the Far East (not to speak of all that they have achieved in their other departments, viz., Meteorology, Terrestrial Magnetism, and Astro nomy, above all, of the tens of thousands of lives saved by their typhoon warnings during the last thirty years), was a sufficient incentive to Fr Pigot, who had been on the staff of the former Observatory for some time, to attempt a small beginning of at least one branch of similar high class work in Australia. No doubt excellent records had been obtained for several years in Australia and New Zealand by the well-known instrument of the veteran Seismologist, Professor Milne; but it was interesting to see what results would be obtained by a more modern type of Seismograph of one or other of the recent German models. Those of Professor Wiechert, of Gottingen University, were decided upon, if funds would per mit. The decision was most unexpectedly confirmed by the arrival in Syd ney shortly after, on his way home to Germany, at the expiration of his term of office as Director of the Samoa Observatory, of Dr Linke, who showed his Wiechert earthquake records to Father Pigot, at Riverview. Dr Linke, who now, by the way, is Director of the Geophysical Institute in Frankfort (Germany), has since taken the kindliest interest in our embryo Observatory.

But where was all the necessary money to come from? Needless to say, a lot of expense was involved. As two of the principal instruments are now installed, we may say that nearly the whole of the expense of the larger (horizontal) Seismograph was defrayed by our kind and generous friend and neighbour, the Hon Louis F Heydon, MLC - a man whose charity is equalled only by his love of learning and scientific progress ad majorem Dei gloriam. To the Hon Mr Heydon, therefore, for the great pioneer part he played in giving Seismology a foothold in Riverview, not Father Pigot's alone, but Riverview's warmest thanks are due. But though Seismology has certainly got a foothold in Riverview, it must be remembered that at present our Observatory is only in an embryonic con dition. Space has been provided in the building for other Geophysical re search work, to be carried out later on, when, like the Hon. Mr. Heydon, other lovers of scientific research shall have recognised in the Riverview Observatory, a work deserving of their patronage and generosity.

In July, 1908, Father Pigot paid a visit of three weeks to Samoa, where, through the kindness and courtesy of the Director of the Observa tory, Dr. Angenheister, and his assistants, he was able to study the con struction and working of the various instruments, the methods for the reduction of the records, etc. On his return, he set about erecting the building and fittings for the instruments the half-underground, vaulted, brick building (not as yet covered with its protecting mantle for tem perature), and woodwork fittings. These were admirably constructed respectively by Brother Forster SJ, and Brother Girschik SJ, with their usual indefatigable care. In the early autumn the instruments arrived from Germany, and soon afterwards they were recording tremors and earthquakes. The instruments are amongst the most modern in use at the present day, and are known as the Wiechert Seismographs or Seis mometers, named from their designer, Professor Wiechert. Until quite recently they were not numerous, being confined, with the exception of the Samoa instrument, to European Observatories. Now, however, they are being installed in various regions of the globe. The extreme delicacy of the instruments is almost incredible; an unusual weight on the floor of the Observatory (a party of visitors, for example), even at some dis tance from the instruments, would be sufficient to cause serious derange ment of the recording pens; the ocean waves dashing on the coast six miles away on a rough day are frequently recorded. It is in this extreme delicacy that the value (and, incidentally, the trouble) of the instruments consists. As a consequence they demand the most careful handling, and almost constant attention.

There are two instruments: a Horizontal Seismograph and a Vertical Seismograph, to receive, as the names suggest, the horizontal part (or component, as the scientists call it), and the vertical part respectively of the earth-waves set up by any seismic disturbance. The Horizontal Seismo graph, however, consists practically of two Seismographs in as much as it separates the waves it receives into two directions; NS and EW, giving a separate record for each, as may be seen from the two recording rolls hang ing down in front.

The horizontal is an inverted pendulum whose bob is a large iron cylindrical (or drum-shaped) mass of 1000 kilograms, or a little over a ton weight. This mass is supported on a pedestal which is poised on four springs set on a large concrete pillar built on the solid rock, and separated from the surrounding floor by an air-gap one inch wide. When an earth quake occurs in any place, that place becomes the centre from which earth waves travel in all directions, through the earth and round the earth (surface waves). These waves on reaching Riverview disturb our concrete pillar, and set the pendulum in motion. The iron mass is reduced to a "stable equilibrium” by a system of springs, so that when the base is disturbed, the large mass will not fall over, but will oscillate or swing backwards and for wards till it comes to rest again. Now, a very ingenious air-damping arrangement (the two drum-like structures over the mass) destroys the oscillation or swing set up in the mass by the first wave, so that the second and third and succeeding earth-waves will not be affected by the oscillation of the mass itself, but each wave, no matter how quickly it comes after the others, will have its own effect on the mass. Consider, for illustration sake, one of those now-antiquated punching-ball apparatus that consist of a heavy leaden circular base, into the middle of which is inserted a stout four or five-foot cane, on the top of which is fixed the punching ball. When you punch this ball it and the cane oscillate, or swing backwards and forwards (the heavy base remaining stationary). If you determine to hit out at this ball at a fixed rate, say thirty punches a minute, you cannot be certain that every blow will have its full effect on the ball-in many cases you may not hit the ball at all. But if you contrive to make the ball stationary, so that it keeps still, or moves very little, when you punch it, every punch, no mat ter at what rate you punch it, will catch the ball and have its full effect upon it. In somewhat the same way our large iron mass is kept as station ary as possible, by the damping cylinders, while each earth-wave has its full effect upon it. This effect is received by the arrangement of levers above the mass, and magnified enormously, which magnified effect is traced by the recording stylus or pen--a tiny platinum pin-on the smoked re cording roll of paper, Waves coming in a N or S direction are recorded on one of the rolls; those in an E or W direction are recorded on the other, while waves coming in any other direction are recorded on both.

The Vertical Wiechert Seismograph is a Lever-Pendulum, consisting of an iron mass of 160lbs. weight at the end of an arm (under the wooden temperature-insulation box), and a spiral spring (enclosed in the box) be tween the weight and the fulcrum, the weight and the spring keeping the arm of the lever in equilibrium. Hence this pendulum can move only up and down, only by the vertical part of the earth-waves. The effect, as before, is highly magnified and recorded by the stylus. The damping (drum-like) arrangement in this instrument is seen at the left-hand back corner of the table. The temperature-insulation box is simply a double-walled wooden jacket packed with carbon, to protect the spiral, as well as a zinc-steel grid iron compensation, from change of temperature. One of the greatest diffi culties with these instruments is keeping the instrument room at the same temperature always. For this reason the brick building is not yet nearly completed, as it will have to be covered by a thick layer of protecting material, which will finally have to be covered by a proper roofing. Again, scientifically inclined and generously disposed friends, please note!

To lessen any disturbance from the room itself (visitors, etc.) the floor of the building is covered with sand to the depth of a few inches, and in the case of the Horizontal, an air gap to the depth of a few feet sepa rates the instrument from the surrounding floor.

The records, which are changed every twenty-four hours, are traced on specially-prepared smoked paper, and can be fixed at once with a suitable varnish. On the instruments, the records are stretched by drums which, by a very nice clock-work device (c.f, weight and escapement) are rotated once every hour, and moved to the right at the same time. Fur thermore, by an ingenious electro-magnetic contrivance connected with a Wiechert contact-clock (seen with the Vertical Seismograph), the hours and minutes are accurately recorded on the earthquake tracing itself, and not at the side. Consequently, the exact second almost at which a distur bance begins is known. The rate of tracing is about fourteen millimetres per minute for the Horizontal, and ten millimetres per minute for the Vertical Seismograph.

To the uninitiated, at least, the results in the matter of records are really marvellous. They are worth the trouble they entail, and they do en tail lots of trouble. So far, there have been records of at least four con siderable earthquakes (one of which has been already identified), as well as eight or nine smaller ones. Some of these have probably been subma rine, and can be localised when reports come in from other distant Obser vatories. There is one more point to be treated in this rather crude explanation, and it will explain the last sentence. How is the distance of the earthquake ascertained? Well, in a large seismic disturbance, if situ ated at a considerable distance, preliminary earth tremors or short waves precede the long earthquake-waves. The distance of the centre of the dis turbance (which usually lasts for an hour or two) can be calculated from the time elapsing between the first preliminary tremors, and the beginn ing of the long waves. Consequently when three Observatories sufficiently distant and suitably situated calculate the distance of a particular shock, say, in mid-ocean, the actual centre can be found by simple geometry.

I have tried to give a simple, straightforward, unscientific explanation of the instruments, without going into more detail than was absolutely necessary. In fact, it would be unwise to go into much detail, for, if I did, I should probably become helpless very soon, and should require a kind and helping hand from Father Pigot to extricate me. But the calculations in volved are terrific—a fact that will appear plausible when we say (I have it on Father Pigot's word) that the pressure of the stylus on the record, equivalent to a weight of one milligram, must be allowed for in the reductions of the observations.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1902

Letters from Our Past

Father Edward Pigot SJ

China

Father Pigot SJ, whom our past students of late years will remember, writes from the Shanghai district: to somewhat the same purport :

“Oh, if we only had a few thorough-going Irish priests here, how many more poor Chinese could be received into the Church! In some parts, as in the North, and in Father Perrin's section, one priest more would nean the certain conversion of hundreds and hundreds of Pagans. But Father Superior is at the end of his tether and can not send any more men just now; for the Christian villages around here cannot be left without their missionaries”.

In another letter, dated October of present year, Father Pigott writes :

“Here in our mission, as indeed throughout nearly the whale of China, things are quiet enough : how long it will last I do not know, The Boxers have lately broken out again in the south-west. We had many deaths this past year among our missionaries, and are badly in want of men, especially in the newly opened up districts in the north and in parts of the west of our mission. I send you the lately published yearly “Resumé” of the Kiang Nan. It is, above all, in the Sin-tchcou-fou (Western) Section that the greatest movement of conversion has taken place recently among the people whole villages sometimes asking to be received for instruction for baptism. But how receive them? The means are wanting - above all men. If Fathe

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1910, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 30 November 1934, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Younger brother of Henry Potter - RIP 1932

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.

◆ The Clongownian, 1935
Obituary
Father Laurence Potter SJ

I first met the late Father Potter when I went to Clongowes as a very small boy, over twenty years ago. It was my first time away from home, and my father had accompanied me to see me safely installed. We were shown into the Reception Room, while the butler departed to announce our arrival. For me the moment was one of trepidation. I was embarking on a new life - under the care no longer of my father and mother, but of strangers. What would those strangers be like? You can judge with what tremulous interest I awaited my first encounter with one of them. A small, grey-haired man, turning slightly bald, came into the room. He introduced him self as “that much harried man - the Minister”. It was Father Potter. I confess he did not seem to show any signs of the “harrying” of which he complained. Never have I met a merrier, more amusing companion. In a short time my father and he were laughing and yarning like old friends, while I felt all my shyness dis appearing completely.

When evening came and with it the dread moment when I parted from my father, I had one consoling thought - “If they are all like Father Potter, things won't be too bad”. What greater tribute could one of “those old Jesuits of Clongowes” receive from the heart of a very lonely, small, new boy?

Those first impressions that I formed of Father Potter I never had occasion to revise in all the years that have passed since. For two years and a half I remained under his care as Minister. For a Minister it was an eventful period. Into it was crowded the last two years of the Great War. The submarine campaign was at its height, and food, even at Clongowes, with its magnificent resources, was difficult to obtain. We boys thought little of it at the time, but looking back now I can see what an anxious time it must have been for the man who had. charge of the food and the health of the House.

Into that period also came another epoch-making event-epoch-making for the boys at any rate. We came down from the Study Hall one night - I think it was in the Spring of 1918 - to find that the Refectory servants had declared a lightning strike. It was a situation full of unpleasant potentialities. How it might have developed with a less popular Minister it is hard, at this stage, to say. But Father Potter was the friend of the boys to an extent that neither he nor the strikers realised. The Captains of the House went to him and spontaneously offered him the services of the boys in any way he saw fit to make use of them. From that moment out squads of boys washed up, cleared tables, re-set them again and generally aided the Community to “carry on”. The difficulties were tided over and eventually disappeared.

Finally, into those years came the most tremendous event of all as well for the peril of the visitation as for the burden it placed on Father Potter. This was the terrible influenza epidemic of 1918. In Clongowes 170 of the boys - not to mention the Community, the staff, and the nurses - who went down as quickly as they arrived - developed it. The grand total, I believe, was over two hundred. The Infirmary, the Gymnasium, the two Third Line Dormitories, and the Lower Line Dormitory were all full of patients. 170 sick boys had to be nursed, and more troublesome still - to be minded during convalescence. One hundred and seventy “sets” of parents notified of the progress of the only patient that mattered to them and this in a House with a depleted staff, with nurses almost impossible to obtain, and doctors worked off their legs.

One man did not develop influenza because, as he said laughingly, “he had not time”. That was Father Potter. The main brunt of that battle with sickness and death fell on him. Even to our eyes, and the eyes of boys are not very observant of these matters, Father Potter visibly aged during those days. Indeed he seemed to get smaller and much more grey, not merely as to his hair, but even his face. Physically he wilted, but his good spirits never faltered. His cheery presence in the dormitories was the most longed-for sight throughout the day. It is, perhaps, not the least tribute to him that out of all the cases at Clongowes - Over three hundred all told - only one proved fatal. To those who remember the severity of that epidemic this may seem nothing short of a miracle.

At the close of the War many changes took place, and amongst them was the transfer of Father Potter to the Crescent. I can still recall the utter consternation with which we boys heard the news. We were losing an old and valued friend, and what does not always happen with schoolboys, we knew and appreciated the fact. The night before he left, the Captain of the House made a speech in the Refectory. Three cheers were called for him and three more - such cheers! Father Potter ran out very much overcome with emotion and as the Refectory door closed behind him, there ended for ever Father Potter's official connection with Clongowes.

From time to time we saw him again; but only on flying visits. From the Crescent he went to Gardiner Street, where, after leaving Clongowes, I often saw him and talked over old times. He preserved for all the boys he knew at Clongowes the kindliest feelings. He was always delighted to hear of them or receive a visit from them. And, when he was laid to rest in November last, many generations of Clongownians mourned the death of a sincere friend.

Genial, merry, a good raconteur, a keen fisherman, Father Potter's dominant characteristic was his serenity. No matter how grave the situation, he always faced it with a smile. He was a man like Tennyson's Ulysses, of whom it could truly be said that he “ever with a frolic welcome took the thunder and the sunshine”. But his serenity was not the outcome of any pagan philosophy, but of a deep-seated faith and profound trust in that God to Whose service he had dedicated his life. RIP

D Murtagh

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Laurence Potter (1872-1934)

A brother of Father Henry (supra) was educated in Clongowes and entered the Society in 1890. He pursued his higher studies at Exaeten, Valkenburg and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1907. Until his arrival at the Crescent in 1919 (January), Father Potter had served some nine years as minister between Belvedere and Clongowes. Appointed rector, Father Potter set himself to work on carrying out long needed improvements to the church and school: the erection of the Sacred Heart shrine, the lengthening of the nave of the church; the installation of the new organ to mention but a few of his schemes brought to a successful conclusion. Father Potter left Limerick, universally regretted, in 1926. His tenure of office marked the inception of the “modern” Crescent. With the exception of one year at Rathfarnham, 1926-27, the last years of his life were passed at Gardiner St.

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, Milltown, Park, Dublin
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
Obituary
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”.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1949

Obituary

Father Albert Power SJ (1870-1948)

Fr Power was born in Dublin on November 12th, 1870 and died in Melbourne on October 12th, 1948. He had thus nearly eighty years on earth. Of these, forty-two were spent in Ireland, thirty-six in Australia, and in both he had accomplished so much that it was a constant source of wonder to those who lived near him not only that one small head could carry all he knew, but that one small frail body could perform all it was called upon to do. He worked smoothly, tirelessly, unobtrusively, but efficiently. It is, indeed, difficult to write about him without seeming to exaggerate, and no one would depreciate this more than himself, for he was naturally shy and retiring, as well as genuinely humble. Born in an intensely pious home he went early to Belvedere. Without the physique, aptitude or inclination for games he must have lived a little apart from the hurly-burly of a great school and concentrated all his energies on acquiring knowledge and holiness.

At the age of seventeen he entered the Noviceship and glided into the current of the new life so smoothly that it will have held less trials for him than for most. Certainly he took the Ignatian mould to perfection. Throughout his whole life he exemplified the “Book of the Exercises” as well as he was later to preach it to others. After the Noviceship he studied for the old Royal University and taking the Classical Course, he won all possible distinctions until he ended with first place in MA. Of the Classics he always remained a lover and a master. They were to serve him well in his sacred studies. He became in time something of a polymath. In his lectures he would often turn aside into very out-of-the-way paths of learning. This was not to the taste of all listeners, but for others it was a source of delight. He was never the dry-as-dust specialist.

In Philosophy and Theology he had the same success as at the University. So that it was only natural he should gravitate to Milltown Park at the end of his course, where he remained as Professor (a part of the time as Rector) until in 1918, he was invited to return to Australia, where he had spent six years as a scholastic teaching Classics. This time he went in the higher capacity of Professor of Theology and first Rector of Werribee College, near Melbourne, which Dr. Mannix had founded as a higher Seminary for the Archdiocese of Melbourne and its suffragan Sees. It was here his greatest work was done and here his last thirty- years were spent.

Dr Mannix had practically commandeered. him from Milltown Park. The Irish Province felt the sacrifice but made it whole-heartedly for such an important end. The personal victim felt it keenly; for he had thrown deep roots into the subsoil of ecclesiastical life in his native land and had made innumerable friends. He was human enough for all his exalted virtue, to feel the wrench acutely. But there was no hesitation. The call was too clear to leave a doubt about God's will. And that was for him always the thing that really mattered.

As a reward for his sacrifice Fr Power found a wider field for his talents, his zeal, his restless pursuit of the greater glory of God than he would have found at home. He was able to contribute to the growth and development of the young Australian Church, already so glorious and destined perhaps to far greater glory, in the days to come, by helping in the formation of its young clergy, and incidentally, by the spiritual direction of many of its nuns, No one was more in demand for their retreats or as extraordinary confessor.

But if Dr Mannix commandeered him in life he seems to have done so even more imperiously in death. He robbed the Jesuits of the handful of clay to give it what one might call an ecclesi- . astical state funeral. The Archbishop himself presided at the solemn requiem in St Patrick's Cathedral, three hundred and fifty clerics from all over the continent chanted in the stalls and Rev James Murtagh paid tribute to the dead Jesuit's services in a panegyric at once generous and palpably sincere. He résumés all in the words : “Fr. Albert Power was surely one of the mnost saintly, scholarly and influential priests Australia has ever known”.

Before quitting Ireland he had gone far towards establishing for himself a hardly less honourable reputation in the Irish Church, where he had already won the titles of “Albertus Magnus”, and “The Mighty Atom”. There was a spiritual dynamism about him which really did suggest what we now know as atomic energy. But it was harnessed not to the chariot of Mars but to the Ark of Salvation - which makes a difference!

It is to be hoped that both in Australia and Ireland the memory of him will long remain to be an inspiration in the spiritual warfare we are all committed to, the principles of which he taught and practised so long and so well.

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 25 February 1915, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome Italy
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

AN APPRECIATION

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 satisfaction. 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 learning 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, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
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 4th Year No 1 1928 & ◆ The Clongownian, 1929

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.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1925

Obituary

Father Francis Xavier Ryan

On Pentecost, Sunday, May 30th, Fr. Ryan celebrated Holy Mass at the College, and afterwards went out into the garden, and while there, suddenly collapsed. Fr Pigot passing by soon after was attracted by a moaning sound, and hurrying to the spot, found Fr Ryan lying in the long grass, alive, but evidently dying. Having given him absolution, Fr Pigot ran for assistance, and immediately all was done, spiritually and otherwise. But Fr Ryan was beyond human aid.

The passing of dear Fr Ryan was just what he would have wished. He hated giving trouble to others, nor did he ever allow one to do for him anything he could possibly do for himself. Yet he was most unselfish and obliging, and always cheerful. Few were: admitted to the inner shrine of his intimacy, but those who were so privileged, knew him to be a partcularly affectionate friend, a sincere, honest, candid man, a very holy priest, grateful for the smallest civility or favour, learned in many modern languages as well as in ancient classics, a historian, a litterateur, a botanist, a wit - in short, a man possessed of a vast fund of information which was always at the disposal of those fortunate enough to come under his . benign and beneficial influence. The public press gave the details of his funeral obsequies, Here let us note that he left a gap at Riverview, which, for those of us who knew him as he was, will never be filled. His death having taken place in vacation time, the "Month's Mind" gave us the first opportunity of commemorating our beloved friend in force, which we were able to do when Rev. Fr. Rector celebrated Requiem Mass for him. RIP

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1929
Obituary

Father Frank Ryan SJ

It is not a simple matter to do justice to Fr Frank Ryan in the short notice which is required in this part of the Magazine. What struck one most about Fr Frank was his great clearness of mind. He saw men and things, and truths with an amazing lucidity. This quality explains, I think, his wonderful popularity with a staff of some twenty professors, his success in the material organisation of the school, and the brilliance of his brief addresses to the classes as Prefect of Studies. It also accounts for the methods he employed in the administration of the school.

While he took a keen interest in the upper and honour classes, he suffered the “little children” - the junior school- to come unto him with great gladness and rare kindness.

“Fr Ryan could get you to work with out your realising it”, said one of the senior boys to the writer one day.

“He was great at explaining maps, and he gave the best boys sweets”, said a junior member the day after his lamented death.

It is a good thing for the boys to know that he was always the centre of any fun and pleasant banter at recreation. He could and did compose many a topical song or: Limerick, which hit off the situation or the man to perfection. But, the humour was always sweet, though telling, During the last years of his life he had to drink from the holy chalice of suffering in many ways. And, he was very brave, beautifully brave through it all. He was not a Belvederian. However, he concluded his life with an act which, I trust all Belvederians will remember with gratitude. In his last illness he offered his life for the soul of an old Belvedere boy who had been a very great friend of his. He bore up against the terrible inroads or disease with uncommon fortitude. He rose from bed, dressed himself, and sat in a chair until physical weakness over came his strength. To the end, when his frame was all that remained, his wonderful spirit, was strong and serene. He passed to the Better Land very quietly and peacefully.

The Requiem Mass is over; the funeral with all the five hundred boys marching in front of the hearse is at an end; the Benedictus has been beautifully rendered by many who had been novices under him; the last prayers have been recited; but a little spontaneous tribute to the dear departed you was yet to be given. A brother Jesuit began the Holy Rosary of Our Blessed Mother, the boys made the responses. Another Jesuit followed with the second decade, and so on to the fifth decade.. One had taught him; another was many year's senior to him; one was a contemporary; and two were junior to him. They were all united in a common feeling: they loved him. He was the beloved disciple amongst his own brethren. May his noble spirit rest in peace!

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1968, St Ignatius, Leeson Street, Dublin
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
Studies.

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
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 1st 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. It 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”.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

Obituary

Father Michael Saul SJ

Mungret has had the honour and the grief to give, to the Irish Jesuit Mission in China, its first martyrs of charity. Within a week, two of our past, in the prime of life and at the height of their powers, were taken from earth by the dreadful scourge of the East, cholera. The harvest of souls in the Chinese field was not to be theirs, rather was their part to water the ground with their life's blood, that the harvest might be white for others. There was a peculiar fitness in the Divine dispensation that the great sacrifice was demanded from the generous, zealous heart of Father Saul.

Michael Saul was born at Drumconrath, Co Meath, on the1st January, 1884, and came to the Apostolic School when lie was almost twenty years of age. He remained at Mungret from 1904 until 1908 and studied here for his BA degree at the Royal University. While here he played a large part in every domestic activity. He was an ardent Irish Irelander and studied the history, lariguage and archeology of his country with enthusiasm. His zeal found expression in concerts, papers read to his fellow-students, and expeditions to places of interest. “The Annual” of those days bears tribute to his industry in numerous articles and photographs, with his name, subscribed.

In 1908 he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Tullabeg, where he made his vows in October, 1910. He then spent two years teaching at the College S Luigi in Malta, returning thence to philosophy, first at Valkenburg and later at Stonyhurst. The year 1915-16 he spent teaching at his Alma Mater. In 1918 he was ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin, and from thence he was engaged in a variety of works, teacher, Editor of the Messenger, and, finally, Missioner.

In all the anxieties of different occupations Father Saul never lost his early love and zeal for Irish. He worked unceasingly by teaching and by example to spread enthusiasm for it and to revive it as a National language. He was a member of “an Fáinne”, and a member of the “Coiste Gnóta” of the Gaelic League, in which circles he was loved by all. Few men have done more and laboured more for our language without notoriety or self-advertisement.

Dearly though he loved his country, the spirit of Christ urged him to sacrifice its service for the greater service of souls, living in the darkness. He had always hoped for the Foreign Missions and volunteered immediately on the foundation by the Irish Province SJ, of a mission in Canton. In 1932 there came the appointment, so long prayed for, and with a small band of fellow religious he sailed for China,

Only a short two years of the apostolate were granted to him, but in the short time he achieved much. He laboured heroically at the language, doubly difficult in middle life and in spite of this handicap he did great work for souls. Among the Chinese boys, as among Irish boys, he was a great favourite; they came to him easily, and he influenced them greatly. Had God spared him, there would have been consolation for all in his work among the young. But the wise Providence took him after three days illness from cholera, still courageous and still very generous - “I am offering my life for the mission. Isn't it grand to think that to-morrow morning I may be in heaven”.. His gallant soul went home to heaven on the Feast of St Aloysius, 1932.

Solus na bhlathas go raibh a anam.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Michael Saul (1884-1932)

Was born at Drumconrath, Co Meath, educated at Mungret College and received into the Society in 1908. He pursued his higher studies at Valkenburg, Stonyhurst and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1919. Father Saul spent one year, 1920-21 at Crescent College and was later Assistant Director of the “Irish Messenger”. He was sent to the newly founded Irish Jesuit mission at Hong Kong in 1930 and had within the next two years given splendid promise of a fruitful apostolate when he died in the cholera epidemic of 1932.

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 : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-jesuits-name-bugs/

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, St Ignatius, Leeson Street, Dublin
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, www.johnbruton.com/2012/03/irish-century-studies-1912-2012.html (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 present 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 argument 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.
FJF

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, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
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 Humphreys, and Brs Crowe and Doyle. After Mass the Archbishop recited all the prayers over the coffin and led us in the “In Paridisum”...as we walked down the aisle of the Cathedral. In his last sermon Bob had said, “I will never see you again ...” 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 Tuam 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, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1910, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
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”.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1957

Obituary

Father Esmonde White SJ

Fr White was born on 15th March, 1875, in Madras, India. Educated in Clongowes, he gained his place as a three-quarter on the Senior Cup team, played a useful game of Soccer, and bowled on the cricket eleven. And anyone who knew him or was taught by him will know that to the very end of his life he was to be seen as he walked along, occasionally bowling, left-arm, an invisible ball at an invisible wicket.

He entered the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg in 1892, studied Philosophy at Valkenburg, and spent the seven following years in Australia. He was ordained at Milltown Park in 1908, He taught at the Crescent, Limerick, from 1910 to 1914, being Prefect of Studies for the two latter years. He was. at Belvedere 1915-1919, and again from 1923 to 1937, having been in the meantime Minister and Assistant to the Master of Novices at Tullabeg and Prefect of Studies at St Ignatius College, Galway, Then, after a year at Emo and two years at Rathfarnham as Spiritual Father, he went back to Belvedere from 1941–1947. From then until his death he was at Rathfarnham.

He loved Belvedere and when after a stay at Rathfarnham, he once again was changed to Belvedere we are told that he literally danced for joy, and that at the very sober age of sixty-five! He was Prefect of Studies in the Preparatory School for a period and for all his perpetually good humour knew well how to wield his sceptre of office. His most outstanding characteristic was his fantastic power of silence; he wasted no words. But it was a good-humoured silence, which missed little enough of what was going on and certain it is that his thoughts were always kindly since he never said an unkind word. 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.

◆ The Clongownian, 1957

Obituary

Father Esmonde White SJ

Father Esmonde White was born in Madras, India, eighty-two years ago. Having left Clongowes, he joined the Novitiate at Tullabeg in 1892. He studied philosophy at Valkenburg in Holland and was then sent to the Australian Mission where he was Prefect and Master for six years, first in Kew College, Melbourne, and then at Riverview, Sydney.

He returned to Ireland in 1905 and completed his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained in 1908. He also studied at Tronchiennes, Belgium. He was Master and Prefect of Studies at the Sacred Heart College, Limerick, from 1910 to 1914, and at Belvedere College, Dublin, from 1915 until 1919, when he was appointed Minister and Assistant Master of Novices at Tullabeg.

He was later in charge of studies at St Ignatius' College, Galway. In 1923 he returned to Belvedere, and remained there until 1937, when he was transferred to Rathfarnham Castle. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Esmonde White (1875-1957)

Born at Madras, India and educated at Clongowes, entered the Society in 1892. He pursued his higher studies in Valkenburg, Milltown Park and Belgium. He was ordained in 1908. Father White was a member of the Crescent community from 1909 to 1914 during which time he was prefect of studies. Most of his teaching career was spent at Belvedere College.

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, Marienhospital, Aachen, Germany - Germaniae Inferioris Province (GER I)

part of the Valkenburg, Netherlands community at the time of death

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1920

The Laying Down of the Higher Line Cricket Ground

An Account by Father Karl Wisthoff SJ

Father H Fegan Higher Line Prefect at Clongowes after the Amalgamation, found it desirable to enlarge the cricket field. As there were no men amongst the labourers at Clongowes who could carry out this work, he summoned from Tullabeg the famous Brian Spollen,

Before the Amalgamation there were only a few plots laid out for matches, the rest of the lawn having a rough surface. That part of the lawn where the old elm stands* was higher than the rest, its elevation being indicated by the grass bank that surrounds the elm. The higher ground extended about eight or ten yards towards the middle of the lawn sloping down to it along the entire length of the field.

Work was commenced near the tree. From there towards the middle and down to the end of the present cricket ground, the sods were cut in sizes of one to two feet. They were then raised and carted to the grass-land outside the cricket ground. This done, the soil was taken out and heaped before the pile of sods. When the bed of gravel was thus laid bare it was picked loose and wheeled to the lower ground. When at last the two portions had been made level, fresh earth was spread evenly over the newly made gravel bed. The sods were next laid down; well-sifted earth was spread over them and harrowed backwards and forwards to get the earth well into the divisions between the sods, facilitating thereby their knitting into one unbroken surface.
As soon as the grounds were dry, Fr. Fegan saw to the rolling and cutting of the grass. To his ceaseless care it is due that the grounds improved every day, and were in tip-top order when the first eleven of the amalgamated Colleges came to play their first outmatch.

C Wisthoff SJ

*The elm referred to stood near the track between the Third Line Cricket pitch (as it is now) and the Third Line Rugby posts. The green box in which the gamekeepers keep their gear is practically on the site of the old tree. There was a mound about three leet high around the elm; but · this mound was removed when the tree was blown down in the great storm of 1903.

-oOo-

“The Boss”

by Jack Meldon

It is a long span since I said good-bye in the wooden gallery to Fr Wisthoff when starting for the Summer holidays from Tullabeg in 1886. The last conversation I had with him was about the new Cricket ground which he expected, and I agreed, would produce the best wicket in the British Isles.

He had helped me to organise a holiday cricket team styled “Tullabeg and Clongowes United” (note precedence of Tullabeg). I was to obtain fixtures with Co Westmeath CC at Mullingar en route, Phoeix CC, Leinster CC, and Dublin University Long Vacation CC; and we played all these Clubs in Dublin during the following week.

It was the first time the two Colleges had combined in anything, and I mention it as a curious coincidence that Fr Wisthoff and I who engineered this first amalgamation were, perhaps, the two people in the world to whom the real amalgamation, a few weeks later, came as the greatest trial and disappointment.

I am looking at the photograph of the team hanging on my study wall as I write. One or two are missing from the group, but the names of the full team were - Hugh Kennedy, Jack Maunsell, Alfred Kelly, Peter Carthy, Joe Gaffney, Bob Cruise, Dan Molony, and myself (Tullabeg); Finn Meldon, Peter Touhy, D Fitzpatrick, Julius Ferguson (Clongowes).

To say that the new cricket ground at Tullabeg was the Boss's hobby does not describe the situation - he was wrapped-up in it. He spent every moment of his leisure time at it, and one could tell at once by his mien if Brian Spollen, the one-eyed donkey man, had been “playing the ass” and mixing up the levels, as he was apt to do after a pay day carouse in the Rahan village “pub”.

But the earnestness and determination of “The Boss” was such that no failure or opposition could prevent him making a thorough success of what he had set out to do, and certainly no other sobriquet could have so aptly described the famous Tullabeg Prefect.

A German! yes, I believe he was, but a snow white one - I can answer for that, and I am confident that those who knew himn and had intimate dealings with him, and those who were, so to speak, on his staff in the Higher Line at Tullabeg, will endorse this to a man.

My reading of him came to be - that in dealing with you as a boy he took nothing for granted. He possessed himself (by hook or crook, I admit) of your inmost character; but having once satisfied himself that you were on the square and loyal to him and to the school, he trusted you blindly from that moment, and nothing and nobody thereafter could shake his faith in your honesty of purpose.

He was his own intelligence officer - he required no other; and while you were on trial, or, worse still, under suspicion, he was an awkward customer.

My first acquaintance with him was on the evening of my first day at Tullabeg. I was fourteen years old, and had just been transferred from Beaumont without being personally consulted, by an arrangement between Fr Delany and my father, after four years at Beaumont, during the last term of which I had won the presentation bat for the Lower Line batting average at cricket.

Judge of my chagrin when I found myseli placed in the Third Line at Tullabeg, I was somewhat crest-fallen (very good for me, doubtless), felt like shooting Fr Delany, whom I had never seen, and being very black inside, I probably looked the part as I stood at the door of the Third Line playroom. Then I became conscious of being focussed by a pair of enormous round spectacles blazing out of the dust in the gallery twenty yards I away. The owner of the specs was tall elderly, spare, and very distinguished looking. Many of my readers will remember those wonderful specs through which the Boss could transfix one victim out of a group at the end of a cricket pitch. It was useless to pretend you did not notice: of no avail to stoop and tie your shoelace, use your handkerchief, or suddenly remember you mislaid something and walk round a corner out of sight. No! When eventually you looked up again you would find yourself “set” by the same orbs at about the same distance - your inmost soul being read like a book and the message a definite as if formulated in the words, “Young man! you are thinking treason. Beware you have me to deal with”.

I was in reckless humour that evening and stuck it out for what seemed an age, when at last the inquisitor turned his back and appeared to be interested in something at the other end of the gallery. I turned for information to a boy standing near. He was very small, and yet seemed to know everyone and to be liked by all. He was not a new boy, on the contrary, he gave one the idea of having been always there - part of the establishment in fact. It is hard to be certain at this length of time, but I am nearly sure the boy was Paddy Rath. “Who is that gent?” I asked. “Hsh ! that's the Boss, he'll see you”, said he. “Well, he's no gent to stare at a new boy like that. But how can he see me anyway - his back is turned?” I inquired. “Ah! God help you”, muttered my informant through the side of his mouth, without turning his face towards me, as he retired into the playroom. At that moment the wonderful specs man spun round suddenly, and in a loud, foreign accent, for everyone in the gallery to hear, said, “When a boy comes here from another school he will be expected to observe the customs of the place, and to behave in a proper and respectful manner, and no other attitude will be accepted. Let this be understood”. I shrivelled up and the episode ended. Many a time in future years have I seen absolute proof that those marvellous specs were equally efficient as mirrors, periscopes, or X-Ray machines. I may mention that next day my bat with the silver shield engraved, “Beaumont College, Lower Line batting average”, was carelessly (?) left lying about by me, and being spotted by Paddy Rath or someone in charge of the games, I was promptly “shunted” out of the Third Line into the Lower Line.
If Fr. Wisthoff was a King among Prefects, Fr Henry Lynch was a Prince. He was Second Line Prefect, and I could write plenty, if I had the space, about happenings during that year, during which I never regretted for a moment having migrated from Beaumont.

I did not come much into contact with Fr Wisthoff until the following year, though he seemed interested in me; and more than once, if he noticed me with a trailing boot lace or a crooked tie he said, half jestingly, “Is that how they dress at Beaumont College?”

It was next year when I was in the Higher Line as a “Lower Line Up” that the real war between me and the “Boss” commenced. My greatest friend at Tullabeg (he is to this day) was a six foot dunce named Edward Magawly Banon, who lived about eight miles from Tullabeg at Broughall Castle, an ancient edifice with walls eight feet thick, built in the far back ages, with slits for windows, and ghosts and ivy and legends to match. He was dark and mysterious, not a flier at games, hopeless at lessons, but hard to beat over a country, a conjurer with a fishing rod, knowledgeable with a gun, and better versed in the language of nature than most game keepers. These things fascinated me, and we became fast friends.

He went by the name of Abb Banon, and was generally alluded to as “The Abb”, having obtained the nickname on one occasion when in communicative mood he had informed the assembled multitude that he and his forefathers, in unbroken line, had lived in Broughall Castle since the time of Noah or some such period, whereupon the wit of the party christened him “The Aboriginal”, which had been conveniently shortened to “The Abb”. The masters never seemed to expect any work from him, and not fancying himself at games, he was generally to be seen on the playground surrounded by an admiring crowd drawing “some poor" gom” or propounding some original theory and producing tears of laughter in which “The Abb” himself never joined. Owing to his love of secrecy and mystery he would stop in the middle of a sentence if the “Boss” happened to pass by, and would not continue until he was out of earshot.

Nothing was so calculated to raise suspicion and exasperate Fr Wisthoff as this, and soon he plainly showed Edward Banon that he had no use for him, and was fully persuaded that both he and I (for we were inseparable) were plotting against his authority. We, on the other hand, considered ourselves within our rights, ill-used, and unfairly blamed, and altogether we had a thin time of it, as any “Lower Line Up” boy would be likely to have who claimed any rights or tried to ignore Fr Wisthoff.

Curiously enough this dark, self-contained trait in “The Abb's” character, which got him into such trouble at school was, he has told me, one of the things which helped him to success afterwards as a mining expert and consulting engineer. He is now a millionaire with offices in New York and Chicago, and goes by the name of “Silent Mike” in the financial world. But “The Abb” would require an article to himself and I am supposed to be writing about “The Boss”. He gave neither of us any peace - stormed at us in public and private, refused to sell us sweets, etc., in the shop, and boycotted us generally.

I can't quite remember how it came about or who proposed it, but during next Summer holidays "The Abb" and I got it well into our heads that we were not playing the garne and that it was our duty to capitulate. It is was a hard thing, but being two of us made it casier. We wrote a joint letter to Fr Wisthoff and also called and left cards on him at Gardiner Street.

We did not much relish going back after the holidays. I suppose we did not quite know how our request for an armistice would be received and we funked “reparations”.

The day came. I had just deposited my small things in my partition in the dormitory and returned to the gallery when the “Boss” called me into the shop. Now for it, thought I. I stood before him while he tapped his enormous snuff-box, opened it, balanced a half inch pyramid of snuff - the colour and consistency of damp peat and as strong as gelignite - on his thumb, whence it was received into his right nostril without wasting a grain (he was the cleanest and most fascinating snuff taker I have ever seen). At last, he put out his hand, took mine in his and said,

“Jack Meldon, is it peace or war?”
“Peace, Father”.
“You will be loyal?”
“Yes, Father”.
“You are this year to be Captain of the Higher Line ....”

I suppose he saw my eyes glisten. The reaction was nearly being too much for me. “Go”, said he, “and tell Edward Banon to come to me”. I staggered out of the shop with my heart in my mouth, and a box of Callard & Bowser's Nougat in the hand which had held his.

“The Abb” had his interview, and when he came out his pimply old face was shiny with perspiration, and his mouth was so dry I had to give him a cube of nougat before he could tell me that he and I had been appointed gamekeepers. This was a topping post under the “Boss's” régime, as we had not to clear out of the playroom into the gallery at the end of play hours as the others had, nor had we to go to the library unless we liked. We had the giving out of all the games and the arranging of who was to play billiards and handball. The boxing gloves, foils and single sticks could not be used unless we were actually present and in charge. The patronage belonging to the Attorney-Generalship was nothing to what was attached to a Tullabeg “gamekeeper”.

Gerald Kelly and Tom Considine were appointed “shopkeepers”, while Denis Kane, Tom Considine and I were “net makers”, another much sought after post reflecting the economic genius of the “Boss”. The “net makers” were privileged to sit in the shop breathing the mixed aroma of Callard and Bowser, Cadbury, Jacob, oranges, apples, tar-twine and machine oil, and spent their play hours on wet days making cricket nets for the school. It may seem rather a mixed blessing, but we loved it. And when Brian Spollen had been behaving himself, and the sods on the new ground were knitting satisfactorily, we often had a little feast to help us along. We were a happy family and the time passed merrily. “The Boss” shed his reserve to a great extent behind the closed doors of the shop, and nothing was too good for us once we had passed into his confidence.

"The Abb” was changed to the partition next mine in the dormitory, and we were allowed to keep our pipes and tobacco in our boxes there. Smoking was only allowed to the XI, including umpires, markers, etc., on evenings of “out match” days, but I had many a cigar given me by the “Boss” and smoked it in his room while we discussed important affairs of state.

Clongownians of that date will be surprised to note that “The Boss”, who never took any chances, always appointed the Captain of the House himself, instead of the appointment by ballot as at Clongowes.

Considering he was a foreigner to our games Fr Wisthoff was wonderful at mastering them and at knowing how they should be played. He started us playing Association Football or “Grass” as it was called in contradistinction to “Gravel”, the ordinary school game. How he got it into his head, I dont know, but he thought it would improve the dribbling game if played with a thin leather ball of nearly two feet diameter and as light as a feather, instead of the standard ball. He did not often do a really foolish thing, but when he produced this balloon which cost fabulous moneys we felt inclined to explode. We knew better, however, and really it was a good game, though of course it was not quite “Soccer”.

Some of the “gravel” devotees whose metier was bombarding high goalposts with shots from a distance saw no merit in “grass”. Harry O'Brien and “Coddie” Lyne (what extraordinary names boys do get) were two of these, and when the ball came to Harry and he was tackled for possession by the charging “Codfish”, Harry would take a flying kick in the hopes of “outing” him with the impact, and the delicate leather would go off sailing on the wind and bouncing over the sharp gravel, every bounce adding to the “Boss's” agony as he called out, “Ach, Hahrie! Hahrie! You should dreeble, dreeble - do not kick! You break the ball ! It is not made for kicking!”

Of course, being Captain, I saw a great deal of Fr Wisthoff, as he consulted me about many things. He sometimes gave his Captain rather difficult positions to cope with, but as he always backed him up loyally and held the tiller himself in stormy weather, everything | seemed plain sailing, and we were a very happy Higher Line during that last year at dear old Tullabeg.

The more we saw of the “Boss” the greater our admiration for him grew, and it seems to me, looking back now, that the tone which he moulded and fostered was the right tone, and if there were any of the Higher Line of 1885-1886, who did not “make good” in after life it was not the fault of “The Boss”.

-oOo-

Father Wisthoff is at present stationed at St. Ignatius College, Valkenburg, Holland, where he is Procurator of the House. He is as active and as keen as ever, is always ready to talk of Tullabeg and Clongowes, has not forgotten the slang he picked up in Ireland, and asserts frequently that the happiest days of his life were spent at Tullabeg and Clongowes. To the Irish Jesuits studying in Valkenburg, he invariably extends a hearty welcome; and they all have kindly recollections of the many services he has done them. He remembers, individually, the boys over whom he ruled, and even their nicknames are fresh in his memory.

In the sporting papers of 1886, the matches played by the united Tullabeg and Clongowes team, alluded to at the opening of Mr Meldon's article, are described with relish. “Blindly but aptly”,' writes the sporting journalist (why “blindly”?), the rival houses were “united” in their first match-that against Phoenix, and what was the result? The boys thought they had a holiday, but it was the “Premiers” who enjoyed it. ..... Phoenix put on two slow bowlers, the very ablest move that could be made against a school team who probably never saw a slow bowler before; and the best of the joke was that they had a man at deep long-on, where all the hits should have been made, who could not hold a catch if it was thrown from a yard's distance. He, however, was there, and served his purpose by in timidating the batsman from lashing out..... Touhy and J A Meldon made a long stand, and no wonder ! Balls were pitched up full to leg, and hit away, the most amusing feature being that Meldon was missed twice by his father, uncle or brother of that ilk, who played for Phoenix. This match was lost by an innings and 53 runs.

When describing the match against Trinity, the sporting journalist becomes epic in his indignation. “When a man comes up to you and enquires in a menacing manner whether your opinion of his ability to give you a black eye coincides with his or not, you naturally assume that the wish to do so, on his part, was father to the thought, and then the paternity of the wish exercises your ingenuity. It is almost impossible nowadays to omit a man's name from the list of scorers when he has made “duck”, or fail to praise his bowling when he has been hit all over the field, without being subject to bodily ill usage. Every Pressman in Dublin complains of the same thing, and surely, while it would please us extremely that every batsman should make a hundred runs, and every bowler take ten wickets at a minimum cost, we feel just as free to mention their failures when they are un fortunate.

After this vigorous prelude, the writer goes on: It is unnecessary to say much of the University match, as the Trinitarians had a wretched team, and altogether the affair was a regular farce. Play ceased before six o'clock on each day, because the natives wanted to attend “commons”' an apology which we certainly never heard of before. That the United team would have won the match but for this inexcusable procedure, we have not the slightest doubt; still, they have only themselves to blame for acquiescing in such an arrangement. The match against Leinster
was drawn.

◆ The Clongownian, 1938

Obituary

Father Karl Wisthoff SJ

On the evening of the feast of Christ the King, Father Wisthoff died in the Marien Hospital in Aachen, at the age of nearly 93 years. Some souvenirs of his life will surely interest the many friends he won in Ireland during his years as Prefect at Tuliabeg and Clongowes. He was born near Essen on the 28th of January, 1845 - before the Famine. His father was the founder of the famous Sheeler glass-foundry, He liked to tell of how his father brought him, when thirteen, to Feldkirch College, in Austria; it was still the days of posting. Turn-pikes barred the entrances into the then umerous small German States, and for the journey to Feldkirch one needed a ministerial passport in large Folio!

Father Wisthoff entered the Society of Jesus in 1862, and spent the usual years of study in Mūnster, Maria Laach, Feldkirch, Ditton Hall, and Portico. The first thirty years of his work as priest was mostly devoted to education, and always “abroad”. They began with ten years as Prefect in Tullabeg, one in Clongowes, then came three years in North America and then fifteen in South America.

The last thirty years of his life were spent at Valkenburg, in Holland, where he was busied with the financial administration of the great philosophical and theological Seminary of the German Jesuits, until his 80th year. The last decade he was in charge of the Library and Archives. It is a remarkable proof of the strength and activity of mind and body in this old priest of between 80 and 90, that in the last ten years of his life, he wrote out up to 80,000 index-cards for the catalogue in a clear, legible hand an enormous service to all users of the Archives.

A tiny personal memory perhaps : One autumn evening I found him gazing at the wild vine on the side of the house, richly coloured in the gold of the sunset. “There's God with His paint brush”, said Father Wisthoff to me suddenly, his eyes lighting up with mischief. That was the real Father Wisthoff, the charm that won him so many friends,

To the happiest days of his later life belonged the celebration of the both anniversary of his ordination as priest, in 1936, and, a month before his death, the 75th anniversary of his entrance into the Society of Jesus. Among the many congratulations were letters from former pupils in Ireland and America; one of these, from Chile, only arrived after his death. For it was shortly after his last feast-day that he was called to his High Priest, Jesus Christ, Who for sixty years had come to him at the altar.

A last word from a memorial card : “Remarked for his kindness and delicacy in dealings with others, for breadth of mind in plan and execution, to which were joined strength of will and a tireless eagerness for work, with the best of good sense and good humour, Father Wisthoff was constantly winning new friends all his long life long”.

Paul Bolkovac SJ

-oOo-

Father Wisthoff : “The Boss”

by J Meldon

I was grieved to hear from Father Bolkovac SJ, Valkenburg, that Father Wisthoff's long life on earth had come to an end.

Edward Magawly Banon had written from Florida, and I from England, timing our letters to arrive in Valkenburg on the day he was to celebrate his Jubilee last year and informing him that we intended travelling to Valkenburg this summer specially to visit him. We had both corresponded with him at intervals since the closing of Tullabeg, as a school, 52 years ago (1886). He reigned there as Higher Line Prefect, and we had served him as Higher Line “Games Keepers” - an envied post under the Boss's régime. I mention this as I think it is a tribute to his gifts that two of his boys held himn in such affectionate veneration though so far apart for over half a century.

I never actually knew the origin of Father Wisthoff's soubriquet, “The Boss”. It certainly was apt. He was a Dictator in his own area - sometimes, I believe, a little out side it!

My reading of him came to be that in dealing with you as a boy, he took nothing for granted. He was his own Intelligence Officer, requiring no other, and when you were on trial or, worse still, under suspicion, he was an awkward customer: He possessed himself of your utmost character, but having once satisfied himself that you were on the square and loyal to him and to the School, he trusted you blindly from that moment, and nothing and nobody thereafter could shake his faith in your honesty of purpose.

Besides the post of Games Keeper, I held the much sought after appointment of “Net Maker”, an industry reflecting the economic genius of Father Wisthoff. The other favoured ones were Gerald Hart-Kelly, Denis Kane and Tom Considine. On wet days the Net Makers were '”privileged” to sit in the shop, breathing the mixed aroma of Nougat chocolate, oranges, apples, tar twine, and machine oil. We manufactured all the Cricket and Tennis nets for the School under the technical instruction of “The Boss”.

This may appear a somewhat mixed blessing!, but we loved it - a proof of the magnetism of the famous Prefect - and often we had a little feast to help us along. “The Boss” shed his reserve almost completely behind the closed doors of the Shop, and nothing being too good for us, once we had passed into his confidence, we were a happy family, and time passed merrily.

The more we saw of Father Wisthoff the greater our veneration for him grew, and I love to think back on those happy days, though of course there is always a tinge of loneliness when one hears of another dear friend passing on. 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

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Athanasius Zimmerman (1839-1911)

A refugee from one of the German Provinces of the Society during the Kuturkampf, was a member of the Crescent community from 1879 to 1882. He was a remarkable linguist and able to speak English without any trace of a foreign accent. During his years at the Crescent, he was in charge of the highest class presenting French and German for the London University examinations.