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Addis, Bernard, 1791-1879, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2281
  • Person
  • 28 September 1791-06 October 1879

Born: 28 September 1791, London, England
Entered: 07 October 1814, Hodder, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 01 July 1822, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth
Died: 06 October 1879, Manresa, Roehampton, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Ordained at St Patrick’s College Maynooth, on a Saturday within the octave of Pentecost 1822, having studied Theology at Clongowes

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

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

Born: 09 May 1925, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956
Final vows: 02 February 1960
Died: 30 December 2003, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bridge, John Brice, 1793-1860, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2287
  • Person
  • 02 November 1793-20 February 1860

Born: 02 November 1793, Liverpool, England
Entered: 07 September 1814, Hodder, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: July 1819, Dublin
Died: 20 February 1860, Allerton Park, Mauleverer, Yorkshire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Brigham, Henry, 1796-1881, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1538
  • Person
  • 23 June 1796-26 May 1881

Born: 23 June 1796, Manchester, England
Entered: 07 September 1813, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 01 June 1822, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, County Kildare
Final Vows: 15 August 1837
Died: 26 May 1881, St Stanislaus College, Beaumont, Berkshire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

in Clongowes 1818/9 - Theol 2

Felix Henry Brigham
Ordained at St Patrick’s College Maynooth, on a Saturday within the octave of Pentecost 1822, having studied Theology at Clongowes

Burden, John, 1907-1974, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/76
  • Person
  • 16 July 1907-01 June 1974

Born: 16 July 1907, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939
Final vows: 02 February 1942
Died: 01 June 1974, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare

Chaplain in the Second World War.

◆ 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 49th Year No 3 1974

On June 1st Father John Burden quietly slipped away, dying peacefully in his sleep. One hardly needs to add to the account which has already appeared in “Rosc”, an account which captured accurately the spirit of the day of his funeral Enough to say that while we miss him we are glad that his sufferings, borne so patiently and for so long, are over and that we were made very happy by seeing so many fellow Jesuits come to join us in honour ng his memory. May he rest in peace - and pray for us until the day when we can enjoy his companionship again.

Obituary :

Fr John Burden (1907-1974)

Fr John Burden died at Clongowes on April 24th. He had been a member of the Community since 1953 (mid-Summer) and a survey of the province catalogues during the intervening years, listing the offices entrusted to him - from Line prefect to Consultor of House and Confessor to community and boys, gives a measure of the work performed faithfully and unassumingly fulfilling the daily round. He was born in the neighbourhood of Kilkenny, July 16th, 1907 and entered the Society on September 1st, 1926; Vows, 1928; Juniorate at Rathfarnham and Philosophy at Tullabeg; Clongowes for Colleges and Milltown Park for Theology; Ordination, 1939; Tertianship at Rathfarnham, 1941-2; Military Chaplain with Allied forces until his return home in 1946. Shortly after his return he was called on to take over University Hall from Fr John M O'Connor whose failing health made an immediate change necessary. At the time electricity, fuel and such foods as butter and sugar continued to be rationed and John found it extremely difficult to satisfy the students. It was an unfortunate initiation and during his period in the Hall - and it continued six years, the easy relations which were characteristic of him almost invariably elsewhere were, in his own opinion, not established it provided his Purgatory!

And now we allow contemporaries to take over:

“John Burden and I went to Clongowes the same year, 1919 and after seven years we had passed through the hands of A B Fell in Elements to Fr Meaney in Rhetoric. John commanded respect from the beginning; he had two older brothers, one in the Lower Line and the other in the Higher Line. Mr Hal King was our Third Line prefect, Mr Tom Kelly, the Gallery prefect - two figures with whom we were in constant contact. The Prefect of Studies was Fr Larry Kieran who also assumed the role of Spiritual Adviser when administering rebukes or punishment or friendly spiffs. Finally there was Fr Joey Canavan and Mr Mickey Kelly whose prowess on the cricket field was some thing to be remembered by us all.
The years at school brought John and me close together in class, on the playing fields where he won top honours at cricket and tennis, and in the Refectory when we sat opposite each other in our last year. By this time I had come to regard him as one to rely on, to respect and to follow, and I was really pleased when he told me he had decided to join the Jays. So after seven happy years at Clongowes we went to Tullabeg the following September, in company with five other Clongownians. Of the seven who began the Noviceship, one left at the end of the second year and the other six, by the grace of God, remained in the Society.
I remained very close to John all through the years of formation. When we had finished Philosophy, Summer 1933, we were posted back to Clongowes where he became Gallery Prefect for one year and Lower Line Prefect for two years. From there we went to Milltown and Ordination (1939). During the Tertianship he told me he had been asked to join the army as a Chaplain and, in his droll way, said war couldn't be any worse than the Tertianship! That was in 1942 and, as in so many other instances in the Society, I didn't come across him again more than half-a-dozen times. He was Prefect of University Hall from 1947-53. In 1953 he returned to Clongowes to which he remained attached until his lamented death.
Two remarks about John: Fr Jack Brennan, the Rector of Clongowes, said in his funeral homily that John had died as he lived, peacefully and with the least amount of trouble to anyone and that his work as Confessor to the boys was gentle and tireless; Secondly, Rosc published an obituary which conveys - multum in parvo,
John Burden died peacefully in his sleep on Whit Saturday. At the funeral we saw, in addition to the Chapel full of boys and many of his relatives, over sixty priests concelebrating and an other 15 or so in attendance. It was a slow easy funeral cortege of a sort many of us had never before experienced. There was time for a chat and look backwards and forwards as we walked the length of the avenue ahead of the hearse and between lines of boys who joined the procession behind the hearse.
Many of John's contemporaries will bear witness to the value of his easy companionship. He was always entertaining and amusing even when he was grumbling. His contemporaries will always remember him in friendship”.
Another of the Clongownian contemporaries who entered with him endorsed the judgment of John's companionability, adding a comment on the shrewdness of his judgment - his practically uncanny insight in his dealings with boys and young men, citing instances which we regret omitting.
Possibly the experiences of University Hall, alluded to above, was the one occasion where morale seemed to flag through his career. His military life was spent in the Middle East mostly and his complaint was that it became largely routine. During his latter years in Clongowes he aged alarmingly; arthritis, in a severely pervasive form, crippled him, but withal, his gentle, kindly, quaintly humorous ways possessed you. RIP

Butler, John, 1727-1786, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/978
  • Person
  • 08 August 1727-23 June 1786

Born: 08 August 1727, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1745, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 16 June 1753, Liège, Belgium
Final Vows: 1763
Died: 23 June 1786, Hereford, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Alias Thompson

Younger Brother of Thomas RIP 1778 (ANG)

Taught at St Omer for 2 years

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1778 Three Archbishops and twelve Bishops, the first President of the Parlement de Paris, and the French Foreign Minister, urged his promotion to the See of Limerick. The Propaganda objected to an ex-Jesuit, but the Pope named him. He wrote to his kinsman, the Archbishop of Cashel “I am determined to oppose such a design by every respectable means in my power” To the bishop of his “native diocese” he writes : “Cruel dilemma! All left me to do is to submit to the will of others. But please take particular notice that my submission and resignation are on this condition, that whenever the Society of Jesus be restored, I shall be at full and perfect liberty to enter the same, and retire again to my College, the seat of virtue and real happiness”.
When the Bull came he was at Cahir Castle, and was so distressed that he wrote to Archbishop Butler (of Cashel) : “I decline the preferred honour, because I really think myself incapable of fulfilling the duties of such a station in the Church”. (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Thomas, 8th Lord Cahir and Frances, daughter of Sir Theobald Butler
After First Vows he followed the usual formation and was Ordained at Liège 16 June 1753
1775 Went on Missionary work as a member of the ANG Province in England at Hereford
1778 Nominated to the vacant chair as Bishop of Limerick but declined, and he died at Hereford 20 June 1786

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Butler 1727-1786
John Butler, ninth Lord Cahir was born in 1727. Having completed his studies at St Omers, he renounced his title and possessions, and entered the English Province of the Society in 1745. He took charge of the little chapel at Hereford.

In 1778, his relative, Dr James Butler, Archbishop of Cashel, informed him that as the Society had been suppressed, three Archbishops and twelve Bishops of Ireland had sent a postulation to Rome, asking that he be promoted to the vacant See of Limerick. In total confusion, he refused the offer as being unworthy. However, the appointment was made, and at the instance of Dr Egan, Bishop of Waterford, Fr John consented, on the condition that if the Society was restored, he should be free to become a Jesuit once more. He travelled to Ireland and got as far as Cahir, and there, overcome once more by reluctance to take office, he resigned the bishopric, and retired to Hereford, where he died in 1786.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BUTLER, JOHN, son of Thomas,8th Lord Cahir,* by Frances, daughter of Sir Theobald Butler, was born on the 8th of August, 1727 : embraced the pious Institute of St. Ignatius in 1745 ; and was ordained Priest at Liege in 1753. This Rev Father lived to inherit the title of Lord Cahir, and died at Hereford on 20th of June, 1786. It is little known that this humble Jesuit was postulated for Episcopacy. The facts are as follow :
His kinsman, Dr. James Butler, Archbishop of Cashel, by letter dated Thurles, 7th of March, 1778, signified to him, that all the Prelates of Minister, except one, and many other Prelates of the kingdom had cast their eyes upon him, as the most worthy person to fill the See of Limerick, vacant by the death of Dr. (Daniel) Kearney - that he hoped his humility would not be alarmed : and that reading in their joint postulation the will of Almighty God, he would submit to the order of Providence, and resign himself to a burthen which the divine grace would render light to him and advantageous to the Diocese he was invited to govern. To this communication F. Butler returned the annexed answer :

Hereford, March 23, 1778.
Honoured Sir,
I received by the last Post your very friendly letter of the 7th inst. You will not easily conceive my confusion and uneasiness on reading its contents. How flattering soever the prospect of such an honourable Elevation may be, I should act a very bad part indeed, if I did not decline the proffer of such an important station, thoroughly conscious of my incapability, and want of every requisite quality to execute the duties of such an office. I therefore most earnestly beg, and by every sacred motive entreat you, and the other respectable Prelates, will entirely drop all application to his Holiness in behalf of my succeeding to the See of Limerick, as I am determined, by most cogent reasons, to oppose such a design by every respectful means in my power. I request the favor of you to convey in the most grateful and respectful manner, my sincerest thanks to all who have been pleased to entertain so favourable an opinion of me, and hope you will believe me to be, Hond. Sir,
Your most ---
John Butler.

The good Archbishop, in his reply, bearing the Cashell Post mark of April 4th, 1778, informs him that the Postulation had been sent to Rome that it was “backed by the signatures of three Archbishops and twelve Bishops of Ireland, by the Roman Catholic Peerage of Ireland, by the united letters of the Nuncios of Paris and Brussels, of the Archbishop of Paris, of the First President of the Parliament of Paris, and of Monsieur de Vergennes, Ministre des affaires etrangères, to Mousieur de Bernis; and to crown all, by the letters of your most worthy Prelate, Dr. Walraesley, in your favor”. His Grace conjures him “not to hesitate to make a sacrifice of his own private ease and tranquillity to promote more advantageously in a more exalted state, the glory of God, and the welfare of this poor and afflicted Church, and expresses a belief that, when the necessity of acquiesence is so manifest, the Rev. Father would never forgive himself for the fatal consequences that would ensue to Religion from his refusal. The whole of his Grace’s letter, is most earnest and moving; and to conquer the Father’s repugnance, he engaged Dr. Wm Egan, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, to expostulate with him. He did so in the following beautiful letter :

Honoured Sir,
I have shared with my much esteemed friend, and respected Metropolitan, his Grace of Cashel, in the uneasiness which your letter gave him; and I must beg leave, both from my own inclination, and at his earnest request, to expostulate with you upon the subject of it. By letters which I have just received from Rome, there is no doubt left me of your being appointed to succeed in the See of Limerick, and that in a manner very honourable to you, and to us, notwithstanding a violent opposition as well in behalf of other Candidates, as on account of your particular circumstances. The Propaganda rejected you as an Ex-Jesuit, but his Holiness in attention to the earnest application, which the Prelates of this Province in particular, as well as others, thought it for the interest of Religion, to make in your favor, over-ruled the determination of the Propaganda, and named you. - All this seems to bespeak, that what we so anxiously engaged in, was conformable to the Will of God; He has been graciously pleased to bless with success our endeavours; we were influenced to employ them, from no other motive, than our persuasion, that your being of our Prelacy, would promote his holy service amongst us; the measure had the ardent wishes of all the respectable Catholicks of this kingdom for its success; I know from my Lord Cahir, that this was particularly wished for by him, and that it was equally wished for by the rest of your family. I hope therefore, that you will not attempt to give the least opposition, to what appears, from all these concurrent circumstances, to have been the disposition of heaven; no timidity from your supposed personal disability, no private attachment to a less publick station, no friendly connexions formed elsewhere, but should give way to the call of the Almighty, so manifestly made known to you on this occasion. To judge otherwise would be only the illusion of self-love, and I am so convinced of this, that I pronounce without hesitation to you, that you cannot with a safe conscience decline, however reluctant you may feel yourself, to submit to the charge which you are called upon to undertake. Had the Society to which you once belonged still subsisted, though you could not have sought for an Ecclesiastical Dignity, yet you must have considered yourself conscientiously oblidged to accept of one even at the extremities of the earth, if you had been duly commanded; you would in that case have justly considered the command, as the voice of God, which you ought not to resist : - The voice of God seems to be equally forcible upon you now; you have not sought after the dignity which you are invited to, and if you had sought after it, it might be reasonably suspected that your vocation to it was not from God, but can you, Sir, doubt a moment, but that your vocation to the Episcopacy, which you never thought of aspiring to, is from God, when you are appointed to it by the Vicar of Christ; when you have been postulated for it, by the united unbiassed voices of so many Prelates? I think you cannot reasonably, and I think you would judge with regard to another, as I do with regard to you, were you consulted in similar circumstances. I will own to you, that whilst I rejoice, and you I think ought to acquiesce in our success, from the advantage, which at this most critical moment for religion amongst us, your nomination will be of to it, from your family, and your connexions, to say nothing of your personal qualifications, which I with pleasure hear well spoken of, by those who know you; at the same time 1 say, that I rejoice in our success, from these motives, there is another motive, which ought to make it particularly acceptable to you : it is, that in you, the difficulty which it might be feared, would have continued to prevail against those who had been members of the Society, hath been happily, and for the first time, I believe, in an occasion of this sort, gotten over. Do not then, my dear Sir, disappoint my hopes : lend yourself resignedly and cheerfully to the designs of the Almighty upon you! With the same earnestness with which we have struggled for your promotion, we will give you all the assistance in our power, all the assistance that you can expect from our knowledge and experience of things here, to render your new dignity easy and comfortable to you. You may depend upon every friendship from our good Archbishop, from Dr. Butler, of Cork, from me, from us all. In a word ! The Diocese to which you are appointed, is one of the most respectable in the kingdom, particularly from the consequence, opulence, and number of edifying Catholicks in the City of Limerick, which may be reckoned among the foremost in the British Dominions, for its elegance, riches, trade, and situation; it is but a short, and most charming ride of five and twenty miles from Cahir : but these last are but secondary and human motives; I lay my main stress with you on the glory of God, on the salvation of souls, on the ends of your Ministry, on the good of Religion; and to these motives, surely, every advantage of birth, influence, and talents, with which it hath pleased God to bless you, should be made subservient! You will excuse my writing thus freely to you; besides that my station entitles me to interfere in a matter, wherein the cause of religion appears to me to be so essentially concerned in a matter wherein I took so active a part, I claim a sort of a right with regard to you, to do it, as Bishop of your native Diocese, and from the sincere respect I have for my Lord Cahir, and all his noble family. His Lordship is shortly expected here, at farthest, some time in the next month, and as he will make England, where I suppose him to be actually on his way home, I hope that you will accompany him hither. I flatter myself, that I shall have the pleasure of welcoming you amongst us, at the same time that I will pay my respects to his lordship, I pray in the mean time to be remembered to him, and to the Honorable Mr. Butler with the most respectful attention, I shall say no more to you, I need say no more to you : the Grace and inspiratien of that good God, who gave you to our wishes will, I trust, do the rest with you.
I am with all affection and respect,
Honoured Sir,
Your most obedt. and most hmble. Servt.
My address, if you will honor me with a letter, is
To Dr. Egan, Clonmel, Ireland.

To these appeals the Rev. Father begged leave to express his surprise that such a transaction had been carried on without the least previous intimation to him, adding, “As matters stand, I must sacrifice my tranquillity and happiness in a private station, or subject myself by an opposition to perhaps the severest reflections. Cruel dilemma! Let those then take the blame, who have any ways concurred in such a choice. All left me to do, is to submit to the will of others. I resign myself therefore into your friendly hands, on whom I depend for every assistance. But please to take particular notice, that my submission and resignation are on this condition, that whenever the Society of Jesus be restored, I shall be at full and perfect liberty to re- enter the same, and retire again to my College, the seat of virtue and real happiness”.
On the 25th of April, the Archbishop informed him, that the Sac. Cong, had confirmed on the 29th ult. the choice of the Prelates “and all that is wanting to complete our happiness, is to see you safely arrived in this kingdom to take possession of the See you are named to. I hope you will not delay on the receipt of this. Let nothing alarm you ‘A Domino factum est istud’. Your submission to the Orders of Providence will assure to you every assistance from heaven”.
In May the Rev. Father left England for Ireland in company with his brother Lord Cahir. The Archbishop on the 31st of May, addressed him a note at Cahir Castle of congratulation, promised to wait upon him as soon as possible, and announced the receipt of a letter from Mr. Conwey, Vicar Capitular of Limerick, assuring him that he would meet with the most pleasing reception there both from the Clergy and Laity and that all ranks of People were most impatient for his arrival amongst them. On the 10th July, 1778, the Archbishop, announced that the Bulls so long expected were arrived, and had been forwarded to him from Paris the preceding week; but that an indispensible journey on his part, had prevented him from attending to them before. “I need not tell you the pleasure it gave me to receive them, and how earnestly I wish and hope, that the use which is to be made of them may tend to advance the glory of God and the good of the Diocess of Limerick”. But the arrival of the Bulls served only to distress the humble Priest, and to decide him on declining the proffered dignity, in a mild, most courteous and respectful letter, he cordially thanked the Archbishop for the distinguished zeal and interest he had taken for his promotion; but that he could not make up his mind to accept the heavy responsibility. “I decline the proffered honor, because I really think myself incapable of fulfilling the duties of such a station in the Church”. In the following month, F. Butler returned to Hereford, to the great exultation of his numerous and very attached acquaintance.

  • On the 22nd of January, 1816, Richard Baron Cahir was promoted to the dignity and title of Viscount Cahir and Earl Glengal in the County of Tipperary.

Clarke, Thomas Tracy, 1802-1862, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1051
  • Person
  • 04 July 1802-11 January 1862

Born: 04 July 1802, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1823, Montrouge, Paris, France - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 24 September 1836, Stonyhurst College, England
Final Vows: 02 February 1844
Died: 11 January 1862, St Ignatius College, London, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Older brother of Malachy Ent 18/09/1825; Cousin of Thomas RIP 1870 (ANG)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied Humanities at Stonyhurst and Maynooth College before Ent

1825-1829 Master at Hodder School until 08 December 1829
1837-1839 Missioner at Norwich, Preston and Pontefract
1840 Tertianship
1845-1860 Master of Novices at Hodder 28 August 1845-September 1860 Succeeded by Alfred Weld
1860 A Preacher at Immaculate Conception London and died at St Ignatius College, London in the presence of the Provincial Father Seed, and the community. His death was edifying, and his last act at the moment of death was to beg a Father standing by to assist him in raising his arm to make the sign of the Cross, being unable to move it himself (Province Register)

Note on Novitiate at Hodder :
By his exertions, the Novitiate was moved from Hodder Place, Stonyhurst to Beaumont Lodge, a noble mansion in the Parish of Old Windsor, purchased in August 1854, and given to the Province by Father Joseph Maxwell. The house was taken possession of by Fathers Clarke and Maxwell, and the compiler of the Collectanea on 04 September 1854.
The Novitiate at Hodder had begun in 1803 at the time of the Restoration of the Society, was closed for a time in 1821 and reopened again in September 1827, moving in 1854 to Beaumont. It moved again in 1861 from Old Windsor to Roehampton, with Fr Weld as Novice Master, and Beaumont becoming St Stanislaus College.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Edmund Donovan Entry :
Father Donovan entered the Society of Jesus on 07 September 1858 and made his Noviceship at Roehampton, under that distinguished Spiritual Director Father Tracey Clarke SJ.

Corby, Blessed Ralph, 1598-1644, Jesuit priest and Martyr

  • IE IJA J/1103
  • Person
  • 25 March 1598-17 September 1644

Born: 25 March 1598, Dublin
Entered: 1625 - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: pre 1625, Valladolid, Spain
Final Vows: 01 May 1640, Durham
Died: 17 September 1644, Tyburn, London, England - Angliae Province (ANG)


Middle brother of Robert RIP - 1637; Ambrose RIP - 1649
Son of Gerard RIP - 1627

There are 4 “Corby” entries
Ambrose Ent 1627
Gerard Ent 1627 (Father of Robert, Ralph and Ambrose)
Robert Ent 1628
Another Son/Brother Richard, died at St Omer College
Two daughters/sisters, Mary and Catherine, became Benedictine nuns, as did Isabella in 1533 (she died 25 December 1652 a centenarian)
Gerard married to Isabella Richardson, and they moved to Dublin, where his sons were born, and eventually to Belgium. He became a Jesuit Brother when he and his wife decided to separate and consecrate themselves to God. All three sons were born in Dublin
1628 at Liège studying Theology - in CAT 1628-1636

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Father Gerard and brothers Robert and Ralph became Jesuits. His mother Isabella and sisters Mary and Catherine became Benedictine nuns.
Sent by his father to St Omer for Humanities aged 15
Went to English College Rome then Seville and Valladolid where he was Ordained. He then Ent 1627.
1631 Sent to English Mission. He worked in Durham mostly.
1644 Seized by the Parliamentarian rebels at Hampsterley, while vesting for Mass 18 July 1644, and then committed to Newgate Prison at London 22 July 1644 in the company of his friend John Duckett. They were tried and condemned at the Old Bailey 14 September 1644 (Feast of Exaltation), and sent to the gallows at Tyburn 17 September 1644
His Brother Ambrose wrote and interesting biography about his father Gerard.
He taught the “belles lettres” for some years at St Omer, was highly accomplished in Greek and Latin literature, and was distinguished for great modesty, humility, patience and charity towards others, and piety towards God.
Nothing to do with HIB or Irish Mission
(cf “Records SJ” Vol iii pp 68 seq)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CORBIE, RALPH. This blessed martyr was actually born in Ireland, whither his father was suddenly compelled to fly to escape prosecution at home. Ralph in 1626, united himself to the Society : five years later began his missionary career at Durham and its neighbourhood, and laboured with all the spirit and zeal of the Apostles, until he fell into the snares of his enemies at Horpserley, 8th July, 1644. Put on board a Sunderland vessel for London, he was thrown into Newgate, 22d July, whence he was dragged to Tyburn, 7th September following, O. S., to receive that abundant reward in Heaven, which Christ has insured to those who suffer persecution for the sake of righteousness.

Cronin, Patrick, 1888-1945, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1131
  • Person
  • 16 April 1888-18 September 1945

Born: 16 April 1888, Bandon, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1905, Roehampton, London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1922
Professed: 02 February 1927
Died: 18 September 1945, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1926 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

Dean, Michael, 1696-1760, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1171
  • Person
  • 29 September 1696-08 July 1760

Born: 29 September 1696, St Germain-en-Laye, Paris, France
Entered: 07 September 1714, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1724
Final Vows: 15 August 1727
Died: 08 July 1760, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)

1723 Catalogue and 1737 Catalogue “M Dane Hibernus”
1743 Catalogue Michael Dean
Hogan note : I trace him in the years 1737-49, an Irishman born at Paris, son of John Deane and Francis Plowden. Father was Comptroller of the Household of James II who followed James II to Paris

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
For many years a Missioner of the Holy Apostles, Suffolk, and the Residence of St Thomas of Canterbury, Hampshire.
Among the adherents of James II were Stephen Deane, Mayor of Galway in 1690, and Lieutenant Dean of Lord Bophin’s infantry (”King James Army List” by D’Alton). Dominic Dean of Cong, County Mayo was attained in 1691 (cf Foley’s Collectanea)
(I think the above refers to Thomas Deane RIP 1719, though perhaps they were brothers with Thomas the elder?)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DEAN, MICHAEL, born on Michaelmas day, 1696 , joined the Society at the age of 18, was long employed in the Hampshire mission : died at Watten, 8th July, 1760.

Dennett, Charles, 1915-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1179
  • Person
  • 04 July 1915-19 October 1993

Born: 04 July 1915, Shipley, Yorkshire, England
Entered: 12 February 1931, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 06 January 1945
Professed: 15 August 1948
Died: 19 October 1993, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Athelstone, Adelaide, 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 :
Brother of Frank - RIP 1992

At age four his family of two brothers and two sisters emigrated from England to Australia. His early education was at Footscray and Ascot Vale, and then at St Patrick’s College Melbourne, where his father was a music teacher. He was considered a very good scholar and was aged 15 and a half when he Entered the Society at Loyola Greenwich in 1931.

After First Vows he went to the University of Melbourne where he graduated BA in Applied Mathematics, with Latin, Greek and British History as part of his BA.
1939-1941 He was sent for a Regency to St Patrick’s College Melbourne, Prefecting, Editing the “Patrician” and caring for the tuck shop.
1945-1949 After Theology and Ordination he was sent to St Louis School in Perth as Prefect of Studies.
1949-1951 He was appointed Rector at St Patrick’s College. His term was cut short after he suffered a car accident which permanently affected him.
1951-1953 He was back teaching at St Louis School
1954 He was sent to the new school St Ignatius College Norwood, and went to Athelstone when that school was opened. During his early years at Norwood he worked hard. He taught Mathematics and Religion, and often had eight classes a day. He was also involve in co-curriculars as well as saying public Masses in the Parish, especially on Sundays. Only very occasionally could he enjoy trips to the beach or walks in the hills.

Those who knew him were amazed by his fascination with preserving tradition. He was meticulous in keeping records for the College. Each year the College magazine recorded marriages, birth of children and deaths of former students, as well as the deaths of their parents. he kept a record of every student who entered the school, and at the time of his death there were 4861 entries. Each student had a card on which essential details about his life were recorded. He had performed the same task at St Louis School. Each year he undertook the task of studying the telephone directory to not any change of address or telephone number of students and ex students. In addition, each day he collected the newspaper and systematically checked all notices for any information about students. He retired from teaching at the end of 1988 after a heart attack, and in 1900 he began his memoirs.

He was a most precise teacher and scrupulous in his presentation of material. Only the best was acceptable. He was also quite conservative theologically, and somewhat fearful of modern ideas in theology and education. So he found change difficult. However, e generally kept these ideas to himself unless provoked. At the same time, this contrasted with his ready acceptance of other changes, and he was one of the first to adopt less formal garb and his wearing of shorts often provided amusement.

He loved the Society and loved to hear anecdotes and stories about fellow Jesuits.

He was a shy man and somewhat reclusive. He loved music. He had once been an excellent pianist and in the early days had been the accompanist for the school choir and the operettas. In the evenings he like to list to his favourite classical pieces and play patience.

He was essentially an intellectual and yet he found work in the grounds very beneficial to his health. He attacked cape weed, Salvation Jane and Scotch thistle with his normal precise approach to anything he did.

His life was one of order and self-discipline, dedication, commitment and fidelity. He took great care of his health, especially when travelling and would not wear a seat belt in a car or plane because of his fears from his car accident. He always said a private Mass at the same time each morning. In his latter years he had withdrawn from pastoral involvement. He was happy in his devotion to duty, precision in everything and a desire for excellence in service/

Dennett, Francis, 1912-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1180
  • Person
  • 17 February 1912-15 September 1992

Born: 17 February 1912, Shipley, Yorkshire, England
Entered: 25 February 1928, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 26 July 1942
Final vows: 02 February 1945
Died: 15 September 1992, St Joseph. 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 :
Brother of Charles - RIP 1993

At age seven his family of two brothers and two sisters emigrated from England to Australia. His early education was at Footscray and Ascot Vale, and then at St Patrick’s College, Melbounre, where his father was a music teacher

He joined the Society in 1928 and after First Vows his studies took him to Ireland where he gained a BA at University College Dublin, then Philosophy at Chieri Italy and then England where he was Ordianed. General Ledochowski described Chieri as the most austere house in the Society, and Frank agreed but said it did not upset him as much as some other Australians.

1946-1953 He was sent to teach English, History, Economics and religion at St Ignatius College Riverview, and he was also in charge of debating and the Choir. His keen interest in History resulted in his publishing a textbook “Europe a History” which revealed his conviction that the Church had nothing to fear from a dispassionate examination of the facts of its history.
1954-1965 He taught English at St Patrick’s College Melbourne, and was also Prefect of Studies (1962-1965). He edited the “Patrician”, and his editorials were always full of wisdom, wit and grace.
1966-1967 He was sent teaching at St Ignatius Riverview
1968-1970 He was sent teaching St Ignatius College Athelstone, but his primary mission here was to look after his health.
1971-1973 He was sent to Canisius College Pymble, again paying attention to his health and caring for the grounds.
1974 He was appointed province Archivist and moved to the Provincial Residence in Melbourne

All during his long life he was a very faithful man and at peace with himself and the world round him doing the most humble of tasks. At the same time he was a scholar and well versed in Jesuit Spirituality, and this was demonstrated when he gave the Spiritual Exercises and in his writings, which were always clear, precise and informative. His memory for detail added richness to the narrative. For example, when writing on devotion to the Sacred Heart at a tie when it was becoming neglected he was able to capture it with a modern freshness of style and expression enkindling a greater devotion among younger Jesuits and understanding of this traditional Jesuit devotion. He also wrote “The Spiritual Exercises in Australia”, poems and historical articles. His eye for historical detail was meticulous and his knowledge and memory were prodigious.

He enjoyed the work as a Province Archivist, as it gave scope to his historical scholarship and precision. He was helpful to research scholars. His knowledge of the contents of the archives was also prodigious, as was his memory of the people and events of his own lifetime. With the assistance of Austin Ryan he compiled a short biography of every Jesuit who had lived and worked in Australia. His comments on each man were precise and accurate, frequently dispelling oral myths. His last major task was to catalogue the Archives so that others would be easily able to find material in the future.

It would be difficult to find anyone more regular in his life than Frank Dennett. He worked in the basement of the Provincial Residence seven days a week during three sessions, morning, afternoon and evening, broken only by an irregular outside visit to a bookshop,. He died at his desk.

He was a man with a strong sense of the frailty of the human condition and compassion for people. He bore his long illness with enormous courage and patience. He was a quiet retiring man, whose interests varied from the most serious intellectual subjects to sport. He was close to his family and corresponded fairly regularly with his siblings, especially his Jesuit brother Charles. His tasks as a Jesuit Teacher, Historian and Archivist, Cook and Administrator were accomplished with a great sense of obligation and responsibility, and each was performed as perfectly as possible. In his younger years the scholastics admired the way in which he sung the Easter ceremonies at Newman College Chapel, a task he performed most exactly and with obvious enjoyment. He had a fine singing voice.

He was a man who thought very little of himself and served the Society with great thoroughness.

Devane, Richard, 1876-1951, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/44
  • Person
  • 06 July 1876-23 May 1951

Born: 06 July 1876, Limerick
Entered: 30 July 1918, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1901, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, County Kildare, pre Entry
Final vows: 02 February 1929
Died: 23 May 1951, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Ord pre entry; Early Education at Crescent College SJ, Mungret College and St Patrick’s College Maynooth

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Devane, Richard
by Maurice Cronin

Devane, Richard (1876–1951), Jesuit priest, was born 6 July 1876 at 29 William Street, Limerick, the eldest of three sons and two daughters of Cornelius Devane, merchant, and his wife, Joanna McCormack. His two brothers, John Devane (qv) and James Devane (qv) were medical doctors. Richard was educated at the Christian Brothers’ Sacred Heart College, Limerick, until 1889, and attended Crescent College until he was 17. After this he went to study in Mungret, and then attended St Munchin's seminary until he was 19, finishing his studies in Maynooth, where he was ordained in 1901. He was attached to St Patrick's church, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, until 1904 when he returned to Limerick to a curacy at St Michael's and was also garrison chaplain for ten years. His parochial work included the direction of a conference of the Society of St Vincent de Paul and temperance sodalities for men and women, as well as running a large club for girls. He kept in close touch with labour circles in Limerick on whose behalf he inaugurated a series of lectures on industrial subjects. He was active in rescue and vigilance work, launching a crusade against evil literature, in which connection he published articles in the Dublin Leader. He was responsible for the introduction of a licence to regulate cinema shows, adopted by Limerick Borough Council, and a member of the Limerick technical committee.

He entered the Society of Jesus at St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, on 30 July 1918, being professed two years later. His first appointment with the Society was to the newly founded retreat house for working men at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, where he became the first director in 1922. There he remained organising retreats until 1932 and again from 1945 until his death. From 1933 to 1944 he was director of the retreat house at Milltown Park, Dublin. He was known for his great interest in social legislation and for twenty-five years specialised in an apostolate in favour of the young and their moral protection by legislative means. He did much to further acts dealing with film censorship (1923), censorship of publications (1929), legal redress for mother and offspring in irregular unions (1930), and public dance halls (1935) as well as the criminal law amendment act of the same year. The children's act (1942) set the seal on his practical interest in the fate of children. He published in 1942 Challenge from youth, a fully documented study of modern youth movements in other countries in which he pleaded for a catholic youth movement in Ireland based on a sound Christian philosophy. In another important work, The failure of individualism (1948), he traced the progress of individualism in the religious, political, and economic life of Europe and pleaded for the restoration of the organic structure of society. For many years he was a contributor to the daily press and to various periodicals. His correspondence covered a wide range of subjects touching the welfare of his countrymen: cinema control, dance hall problems, censorship, the imported press, parish councils, adult education, civics, summertime, the retreat movement, national athletics, and national film institutes.

Devane died 23 May 1951 at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin.
Irish Jesuit Archives; Ir. Times, 24 May 1951

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/richard-devane-sj-keeping-the-faith/

Richard Devane SJ: Keeping the faith
If a screen writer were looking for one historic figure to stand in for all the Catholic clergymen who strove to ensure the social purity of the nascent Irish state in the early 20th century, Richard Devane SJ, subject of a new book from Messenger Publications, might be their man. Both as a diocesan priest and after he joined the Jesuits in 1938 at the age of 42, Devane worked tirelessly against what he saw as a rising tide of immorality assaulting the new Ireland. In the words of the book blurb for Richard Devane SJ: social commentator and advocate, 1876-1951 » by Martin Walsh, he was “a sometimes over-zealous gatekeeper of Irish culture and morals”.

Devane’s crusading began early in his priestly life. It appears to have been inspired by his first assignment after ordination in 1903, to Middlesborough, England, which had a burgeoning Irish immigrant population. Many of the Irish migrants worked in the growing number of iron foundries in the area, and they lived in considerable poverty. Devane’s experience there seems both to have instilled a strong nationalist sense in him and to have alerted him to the dangers of, in the words of Martin Walsh, “an altogether different set of English values, values that he would later see as running contrary to everything that he saw as pure about the Irish nation”. Cinemas, music halls, football games on Sunday, salacious newspapers, even more salacious books and ‘penny-dreadfuls’ – all of these and many other features of popular British culture horrified Devane. He made it his life’s task to keep this rot from his native land.

Back in Ireland Devane led many efforts to address what he saw as the single greatest threat to the state of morals in Ireland, namely the intemperance of both men and women. He had witnessed it in his native Limerick, where hard drinking in public was perhaps the natural effect of having 315 public houses in the city.

As well as his work with temperance societies, Devane fought to curb the proliferation of ‘evil literature’, to establish women’s sodalities, to get young women trained for lives of domestic service, to seek the regulation of cinemas so as to prevent the display of immoral films, and the like.

Devane also took a keen interest in the social conditions of the working classes, especially prompted by Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum. It appears to have been, for him, part of the bigger programme of preparing for a new Ireland after Home Rule.

In 1918, Fr Devane joined the Jesuits. For the remaining decades of his life he continued to spend his energies on addressing Catholic values and social problems in Ireland. He worked energetically to shut down prostitution in Dublin, and he tried to get the girls who worked in it to go to Magdalene Laundries. He was greatly exercised by the problem of unmarried motherhood in Ireland. To give him his due, he held that it was wrong that men were not held accountable for their actions in the same way as women were.

One surprising feature of Devane’s life is his role in the establishment of the Irish Film Institute. As he conceived it at the time, the IFI (or National Film Institute as it was known then) was designed to combat the ‘school of corruption’ in the motion picture industry, particularly through Hollywood’s depiction of extra- marital affairs, divorce and other American cultural phenomena from which the Irish people needed to be protected. The patron of the institute was Archbishop of Dublin John Charles McQuaid.

Devane was a man of his time. He provides us with a thick-lined portrait of a highly significant strain of Catholicism that was overt and powerful in Ireland in the decades after independence. It is a phenomenon that still needs to be studied closely, particularly given its traumatic impact on the Ireland of later generations. It is important, of course, to acknowledge the role of this Catholicism in creating shameful institutions and attitudes in Ireland, but one must see too that it was itself formed not just by attitudes within the Church but also by social, psychological, and cultural factors specific to Irish society at large. Martin Walsh’s book on Fr Devane SJ is helpful in this respect.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 3 1951

Obituary :

The Press notices on the death of Fr. Devane were generous in their tributes to his zealous endeavours throughout a long and varied priestly career. Indeed they synopsised the whole story of it so well that it will be sufficient to reproduce here the version found in the Irish Independent, May 24th, 1951 :

Rev. Richard S. Devane, S.J., whose death has occurred at Rathfarnham Castle, was one of the best-known members of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, and played a notable part for many years in the sphere of social legislation,
Born in Limerick 75 years ago, he was son of the late Cornelius Devane, a well known merchant of that city. Educated at the Sacred Heart College, Limerick, and at Mungret, he passed to St. Munchin's Seminary and to St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, where he was ordained in 1901.
For the next three years Father Devane worked on the English mission, being attached to St. Patrick's Church, Middlesborough. Returning to Limerick in 1904, he spent 14 years as curate at St. Michael's, in charge of a large working-class district. During the first ten years of this period, he was also garrison chaplain.

Father Devane kept in close touch with labour circles in the city, on whose behalf he inaugurated a series of lectures on industrial subjects. He was actively identified also with rescue and vigilance work : he launched a crusade against evil literature, and was responsible for the licence regulating cinema shows which was adopted by Limerick Borough Council. Along with these activities, he was a member of the Limerick Technical Committee.
In the summer of 1918 Father Devane entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, and made his religious profession two years later. He was now to find more leisure and larger scope for his special talents. His first appointment was to the newly founded Retreat House for working men at Rathfarnham Castle, of which he became the first Director in 1922. Here he remained for ten years, and again from 1945 until his death, organising and conducting retreats and imparting to his hearers some of his own enthusiasm for the active apostolate and for social Catholicism. From 1933 to 1944 he was attached to the Retreat House at Milltown Park, Dublin in the same capacity.

Father Devane will, however, be chiefly remembered for his work in the sphere of social legislation. For over a quarter of a century he devoted his talents to a specialised apostolate in favour of the young, the promotion of legislation for their moral protection. He did much to place on the Statute Book of the Irish Free State Acts dealing with Censorship of Films (1923), Censorship of Publications (1929), Legal Redress for mother and offspring in irregular unions (1930), Public Dance Halls (1935), and the Criminal Law Amendment of the same year, an Act which dealt with many grave moral problems affecting the young.
The passing of the Children Bill of 1942, by which some provision was made for the education of the children of nomads set the seal on the practical interest which Father Devane had shown in the lot of gypsies and vagrants from the beginning of his priestly life.
The same year saw the publication of his book, “Challenge From Youth”, a fully documented study of modern youth movements in other countries, in which he pleaded for a Catholic Youth Movement in Ireland, based on a sound Christian philosophy. In another important work, “The Failure of Individualism”, published in 1948, he traced the progress of Individualism in the religious, political and economic life of Europe and pleaded for the restoration of the organic structure of society. ... For many years Father Devane was a constant contributor to the daily Press and to various periodicals. His active and facile pen covered a wide range of subjects touching the welfare of his countrymen - cinema control, dance hall problems, censorship, the imported Press, parish councils, adult education, civics, summer time, the retreat movement, national athletics, and national film institutes.

Fr. Richard's death was sudden indeed - he died in his sleep - but not unexpected either by himself or those about him. It was long knon that he suffered from high blood pressure and was liable to a fatal seizure at any moment. The least perturbed by this prospect was himself. His doctor brothers were both much more anxious. But they confessed inability to help in the matter, because the patient was immune from all those vices, major and minor, to which modern medicine men attribute hardening of the arteries and premature old age, There was no good in telling one who never drank anything to curtail his measure of wine, or in warning him to cut down his intake of nicotine when it was already a zero quantity. And so of the rest. The austerity cure was not applicable.
When they complained of this, a fellow Jesuit, who knew “Dick” well, hinted there was one “vice” they were overlooking, namely, his passion for the reforming of a world out of joint. If they could abate this a little, perhaps the fever in the blood might subside to what President Harding styled “normalcy” They answered that this was too much to hope for.
In truth if ever there was a born “Weltverbesserer” it was Fr. Richard. Not that he was a gloomy friar or a red-hot, hell and brimstone revivalist. He was really the happy warrior, for whom a crusade of some sort was a necessity of life. Some cynics hinted that he got quite a.”kick” from restricting the pleasures of others. But this was very unjust. He really only waged war on those basenesses in men and women which increased the misery of the community by multiplying social plagues of one kind or another. Perhaps his only error was that he thought legislation could do more for social amelioration than it can.
But he was right in resisting the false idea that because laws could not cleanse the heart within they were not be invoked at all to protect youth and innocence, oid age and poverty, the neglected and under privileged from the ravages of that satansim which we feel subtly at work under the decorous facade of modern civilised existence. And his knowledge of the problems he dealt with was acquired in the hard way of a personal apostolate. He came in contact with life under nearly all its aspects. And it is to his credit that this knowledge neither soured nor hardened him. Neither did it reduce him to listless despondency. His own morale was never shaken by consciousness of the odds against him in the fight for morality. He seemed to thrive on opposition. It merely stiffened his resolution.
His interests also were Catholic in the sense of universal. He was an integralist in the best meaning of the word. His faith was clear and simple. The Catholic way of life was the path of salvation, temporal and eternal, for individuals and nations alike. If that be bigotry, well he was a bigot - and being called one did not hurt at all. In fact his most salient characteristic was the meeting of criticism with natural and supernatural good humour. He made no bitter reply and bore no enmity. Hence that half serious and half humorous denigration which is such a feature of Irish life did not inhibit him in the least. Yet he was modest with all and began with an attempt to get others better qualified than himself to enter the breach. Only when they did not respond would he start out on his own. His “Failure of Individualism” Owed its origin to the failure of much more learned individuals to do a task he thought a need of the hour. Seeing the dons too disdainful of the red and pink intellectualism of which the most salient feature was its almost moronistic absence of intelligence (accompanied only too often by plain bad faith) he went about the job himself of tracing the process of the revolt against the faith in the sixteenth century through various stages of mental deliquescence, till it ended in the abandonment of reason by the very heirs of eighteenth century Rationalism and finally in the sheer Pyrrhonism of H. G. Wells, Bertrand Russell and the rest of the “forward-looking”, “progressive”, “creative”, “scientific” thinkers, whose logic lies in the use of question-begging epithets for themselves and their adversaries.
And he succeeded. Of course the dons were critical, and found fault. It was simply inevitable that in a book attempting to cover so much ground there would be scope for this. But by and large Fr. Richard's thesis was sound. The questions of detail which afforded matter for debate were neither numerous enough nor important enough to affect the solid value of the complete work,
Similarly his “Challenge from Youth”, though it did not come from a specialist in Pedagogy, as might seem suggested by the title, presented the reader with a whole mass of facts about Youth Movements, gleaned from official documents and out of the way sources, which showed the author as a very industrious maker up of briefs. He would have made a good chamber-lawyer.
But it was in working up a case for legal reform that he showed at his best (or worst, according to your point of view). It was here that his gadfly qualities came into play. Most men love the “quieta non movere” attitude to things that do not impinge upon their own consciousness. The Catholic spirit is supposed by non-Catholics to be eternally obsessed with a bitter zeal to impose itself upon the rest of mankind by guile, force, fraud and physical or moral intimidation. Whereas, in reality. three hundred million of the world's population let themselves be beaten, bullied, bruised and coerced into acceptation of a diminutio capitis, as it was called in Old Rome. The over-all picture of “Christian Civilisation” (the things we are invited to save from the Marxist Inferno) is of an agglomeration of nations, great and small, which no longer take the faith they profess seriously, and which resolutely resent the efforts of the Church of Christ to insist upon the creed as true or upon the Decalogue as binding. To do the former is “intolerance” (final word of anathema), to do the latter is impertinence by suggesting that the “Christian ethic” is the only “ethic”, or any longer binding on those who choose to abrogate it for themselves and their fellow traveller's. Fr. Devane had the audacity to think it is time we rose a little in wrath and called the bluuff of this organised lie.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Richard Devane 1876-1951
Fr Richard Devane played a notable part for many years in the sphere of social legislation in Ireland.

Born in Limerick in 1876, he was ordained for the Diocese of Limerick in 1901. Having laboured zealously for 17 years as a secular priest, 14 of them in Limerick city, where he was regarded by his fellow clergy as eminently “episcopabilis”, he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1918.

As a Jesuit he was identified for years with the Retreat Movement in Rathfarnham Castle, where he displayed special gifts for the direction of youth, and was responsible for many vocations. His social legislation efforts resulted in the Censorship Act, Public Dance Halls and Criminal Amendment Acts. His published works, apart from numerous articles include “Challenge from Youth” and “The Failure of Individualism”.

The following extract from his obit sums up very well and pithily Fr Devane’s character :
“In truth if ever there was born a Weltvertbesserer it was father Richard. Not that he was a gloomy friar or a red-hot hell and brimstone revivalist. He was really a happy warrior, for whom a crusade of some sort was a necessity of life. Perhaps his only error was that he thought legislation could do more for social amelioration than it can”.

He died in his sleep on May 23rd 1951 at Rathfarnham Castle.

Doyle, William, 1716-1785, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1217
  • Person
  • 14 April 1716-15 January 1785

Born: 14 April 1716, Dunsoghly, County Dublin
Entered: 15 March 1735, Nancy, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 22 September 1747, Rheims, France
Final Vows: 15 August 1752
Died: 15 January 1785, Cowley Hill, St Helens, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Transcribed to ANG 1771

Cousin of John Austin - RIP 1784
Ordained with John Austin (his cousin) at Rheims 22/09/1747 by Bishop Joppensi

1740 Teaching Humanities at Lyon College
1743-1746 Teaching Humanities at Rheims College and Studying Theology
1749 Is a Priest at Poitiers
1754 Is in Ireland
1758 At Autun College (AQUIT) as Missioner and Minister
1761 At Rheims, a Master of Arts, Missioner and Preacher; Also at College of Colmar
1762 At College of Strasbourg
1763 At Pont-à-Mousson
1764 At Residence of Saint-Michiel (CAMP)
1766 At Probation House Nancy

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
The CAMP Catalogue of 1766 gives the dates DOB 14 April 1717, and Ent 15 March 1735, and places him in Tertianship in Nancy in 1766 (perhaps there were two? - cf Foley’s Collectanea)
Taught Humanities; Prefect at Poitiers for one year
1750-1755 On the Dublin Mission as assistant PP
Subsequently transcribed to ANG
1771 At St Aloysius College in the Lancashire District

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows he was sent for Philosophy and graduated MA at Pont-á-Mousson
He then spent time on regency in CAMP Colleges until 1744
1744 Studied Theology at Rheims and was Ordained there 22/09/1747
1747-1749 Two years as Prefect at Irish College Poitiers, and completing his studies at Grand Collège
1749-1750 Sent to Marennes for Tertianship
1750-1755 Sent to Ireland and was worked as an Assistant Priest in Dublin
1755-1757 Sent as Prefect at the Irish College Poitiers
1757-1768 Recalled to CAMP and worked as a Missioner for eleven years at Autun, Rheims, Strasbourg and Saint-Michel
1768 Most likely Transcribed to ANG working in the Lancashire Mission certainly by 1771 and remained there working around the Cowley Hill district, near St Helen’s until he died 15/01/1785

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
DOYLE, WILLIAM, of Dublin was born on the 30th of May, 1717, and entered the Society in Champagne 12th of July, 1734. After teaching Humanities for five years, and filling the office of Prefect in the Seminary at Poitiers for one year, he came to the Mission at the age of 33, and for several years was assistant to a Parish Priest in Dublin. I find him labouring in the Lancashire Mission in 1771. This Rev. Father died at Cowley hill, near St. Helen s, on the 15th of January, 1785, and was buried at Windleshaw,

Duffy, John, 1804-1871, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1227
  • Person
  • 24 May 1804-20 December 1871

Born: 24 May 1804, Dublin
Entered: 28 February 1848, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1855
Died: 20 December 1871, Westminster, London

Part of the St Michael’s College, Wakefield, Yorkshire, England community at the time of death

by 1853 at Vals France (TOLO)
by 1854 in Rome Italy (ROM) studying Theology
by 1865 in St Jospeh’s Glasgow, Scotland (ANG)

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After his Noviceship he studied Philosophy at Toulouse, and then Theology and Tertianship in Rome.
At first he was a Master in Tullabeg and Galway, and then went on the ANG Mission to St Michael’s College, Wakefield. he spent a little time on the Scottish Mission as well.
He died 20 December 1871 at Westminster

Duffy, John, 1879-1960, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1228
  • Person
  • 07 July 1879-25 August 1960

Born: 07 July 1879, Fearavolla, County Kildare
Entered: 07 September 1901, Roehampton, London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 26 July 1914
Professed: 02 February 1921
Die:d 25 August 1960, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1920 came to Milltown (HIB) studying

First World War chaplain

Durnin, Desmond P, 1907-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1239
  • Person
  • 13 March 1907-06 January 1982

Born: 13 March 1907, Clontarf, Dublin
Entered: 18 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939
Professed: 02 February 1942
Died: 06 January 1982, Methodist Hospital, Epworth, Richmond, Victoria, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Burke Hall, Kew, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Older brother of Dermot - RIP 1980

◆ 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 CBS Synge Street, Dublin before he Entered at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, 1925.

1927-1929 After First Vows he went to Rathfarnham Castle for his Juniorate
1929-1932 He studied Philosophy at Milltown Park Dublin and Tullabeg
1932-1936 He was sent to Australia and Burke Hall at Xavier College Kew for Regency.
1936-1940 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology
1940-1941 He made Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1941-1942 While awaiting a passage to Australia he worked at the Sacred Heart Church, Wimbledon, England
1942 He arrived in Australia on the Columbia Star and his next 40 years was spent Teaching and Prefecting junior boys.
1943-1950 He was back at Burke Hall and was Headmaster for six years
1950-1956 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview
1963-1966 He was twice at St Louis School Perth, having been there in 1949, and he was given responsibility for supervising the school that never was at Attadale. He furnished and set up Campion College Kew in its earliest days as a house for the university scholastics, mostly living at Burke Hall and teaching junior Religion.
In his later years he became a frequent visitor of the sick at Caritas Christi.

He was a great storyteller : The saga of the trip from England to Australia in 1942 avoiding German submarines; The calling of a gynaecologist Dr Quinlan when he had a heart attack; Many stories of how he uncovered crimes in the Boarding School. He loved an audience and there seemed always to be a time for a story. Being Minister at the house for Scholastics in studies was not quite his scene, but he was at times a source of entertainment for the younger men, and at other time a little frustrating. He was a humble, charitable and generous man. It was ironic that he, who had served the sick so well in a Catholic hospital was taken to the Methodist Epworth hospital in his final sickness, and it was there he died.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 57th Year No 2 1982


Fr Desmond Durnin (1907-1925-1982)

Fr Desmond Durnin, an elder brother of Fr Dermot – who predeceased him by a year and a month – was born in Clontarf, Dublin, on 13th March 1907. He began his early education with the Sisters of Mercy before his family moved to England. He went to St Michael’s College, Leeds, and on his family’s return to Dublin, to O'Connell Schools, Des Durnin entered the Jesuit noviceship in Tullabeg (September 1925). He was a quiet, gentle person, always cheerful and unassuming. Noviceship completed, he did not attend university, but with a number of others did a “home juniorate” in Rathfarnham under Fr Hugh Kelly (1927-'9). Next stop was Milltown, for philosophy, but only for a year. In 1930 Tullabeg was opened for philosophy, as the novices by then had been shifted to Emo, so with the rest of his year Des returned to Tullabeg.
One memory of Des in Tullabeg dates 1930-31, perhaps October or November. The philosophers were playing soccer one day in the wet, so the football became wet and heavy. Des took a header at the flying ball, hurt himself badly and was in great pain. His cries could be heard all round the kitchen courtyard. The philosophers found this somewhat unnerving as it reminded them of someone else. Michael Hegarty, a "late vocation” and a wonderfully holy man after a rushed philosophy course in Heythrop had returned to Rathfarnham to take charge of an “Irish month” and had gone out of his mind. The Juniors took turns to watch his bedside in his delirium. Seán McCarron was one of the stalwarts who carried out this trying task. Michael died without recovering from his madness: Des Durnin recovered from his head injury.
His four-year regency Des spent in Australia, to which Vice Province he was henceforth to belong. While there he was Burke Hall Preparatory School at Kew, Melbourne. In 1936 he returned to Ireland for theology and ordination, completed tertianship in 1941 during the world war, and awaited his return passage to Australia. During the war years shipping was scarce and submarines were active in all waters. Eventually however he found transport and was back in Burke Hall in 1942.
The 1940s were difficult and trying years for schools. Teaching staff and domestic help were hard to find, and after a couple of years his health gave way under the strain. There followed two years in Perth and four in Riverview, where he was an assistant prefect of discipline. He was recalled to Melbourne (1957) to supervise the opening of Campion College, which had been purchased for the Juniors attending Melbourne University. Four years later he was back in Burke Hall, where he was on the teaching staff till three years before his death, when Providence stepped in.
He described his change of life-style in a letter to a friend (1979): “Last year I had two heart attacks, the second one rather serious, and I was in intensive care for ten days. I got as far as the pearly gates, but St Peter said that they were too busy at the time arranging for Popes to get into heaven and that I would have to wait. However, the doctor told me that he did not want me to go into the classroom any more.
'The Lord is good, and I spend a good deal of my time in a hospital just across the road from us - a terminal hospital [Caritas Christi Home] for the very sick and dying. So far this month a patient has died each day, so it gives me an opportunity of praying and consoling the dying. Last year I received eight people into the Church, and all but one have already been called 'home'. Fr Austin Kelly died there last year: I had visited him there for 4.5 years”.
It would be impossible to recall all the good things Fr Durnin did in his life assigned to time. As a teacher and headmaster in Burke Hall he was most devoted to his work, and few men would have equalled or excelled him in efficiency, kindness and charity. The boys of Burke Hall were fortunate to have such a self sacrificing priest to look after them. A week before he died he had a serious heart attack and was taken to Epworth hospital in Richmond. There he struggled on bravely for a week, but eventually he answered the Master’s call and died very peacefully on 6th January 1982, The Carmelites of Kew, who are neighbours of the Jesuits, wrote:
“...just before 3 pm ... the Magi came quietly along, and took him in their train to the true and eternal vision of the Lord of life.
“Dear Fr Durnin was so closely associated with our monastery while at Burke Hall and later at Campion College, which are both our immediate neighbours at the back of our property here. He was a most faithful and kind chaplain and friend. In his regard we feel how truly St Teresa spoke when she said that the loss of a good priest was certainly a loss for the Church on earth”. [Further light on Fr Desmond Durnin is expected when Jesuit life (Australia) arrives.]

Elliott, John J, 1857-1942, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/815
  • Person
  • 08 October 1857--05 November 1942

Born: 08 October 1857, Streamstown, County Westmeath
Entered: 05 January 1876, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1888, St David's, Mold, Wales
Professed: 25 March 1896
Died: 05 November 1942, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Chaplain in the First World War.

by 1886 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1888 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1895 at Roehampton London (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1918 Military Chaplain : Catterick Bridge Camp, Yorkshire
by 1923 at Catholic Church Bournemouth, Dorset, England (ANG) working
by 1924 at Catholic Church Clitheroe, Lancashire, England (ANG) working

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

The last parting: Jesuits and Armistice
At the end of the First World War, Irish Jesuits serving as chaplains had to deal with two main issues: their demobilisation and influenza. Some chaplains asked immediately to be demobbed back to Ireland; others wanted to continue as chaplains. Of the thirty-two Jesuits chaplains in the war, five had died, while sixteen were still serving.
Fr John Elliott SJ was recuperating from pneumonia: “On next Tuesday I shall be a month here. I am only 8st 7lbs with my clothes on.”

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 18th Year No 1 1943

Obituary :
Father John Elliott SJ
Fr. Elliott was born at Streamstown, Co. Westmeath, on 8th October, 1857, and died at Clongowes after a brief illness on 5th November, 1942. He entered the Novitiate at Milltown Park, in 1878, studied philosophy at Roehampton and theology at St. Beuno’s. He was ordained priest by Bishop Knight at Mold in 1888. He was at school in Tullabeg for a year before going to Clongowes in 1870, where he remained until 1875. He was conspicuous there as an athlete, winning the mile race in his last year. He was also very fond of music and used to spend the greater part of his recreations playing the piano violin.
After entering the Society he returned to Clongowes for his Juniorate. l877-8. He was on the staff of the College as Prefect or Master, 1878-85. After his ordination in 1888 he returned to Clongowes, teaching Mathematics and Physics for several years. He was very popular as a Confessor and exercised a very considerable influence over a great number of boys - quite a number of vocations may be attributed to that influence.
In the class room his witty remarks and humorous way of putting things enlivened for many the monotony of school life. One of the Past writing to Fr. Rector after his death, said “I do not think that there was any generation of boys that did not love him”. All remember him as a very keen fisherman, and many recall very pleasant days on the banks, or in the water, of the Liffey, which river he more than once stocked with trout from a hatchery of his own construction.
He was an Army Chaplain in the last war, and subsequently worked for some years in the English Province (at Bournemouth in 1923. and at Clitheroe from 1924 to 1931).
He returned to Clongowes in 1931, and worked for a couple of years in the People's Church until his health broke down. He had very great devotion to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Elliott 1857-1942
Fr John Elliott was a man very dear to many generations of young scholastics at Clongowes. He was born in Streamstown in 1857, entering the Society in 1876 after being educated at Clongowes.

He taught Mathematics and Physics in his Alma Mater for several years, was very popular as a confessor, and wielded remarkable influence over the boys, many of whom owed a vocation to him. This was doe to his genial wit and his gifts as a fisherman and musician. He presented such a picture of a happy contented Jesuit that his example led many to follow him.

He was a Chaplain during the First World War, and he proved quite effective and popular with the troops, though a man of slight stature and frail frame. Having served on the English Mission, mainly at Clitheroe, until 1931, he returned to Clongowes to take charge of the People’s Church. He had a great devotion to the Mass – his constant spiritual readfing was Gihr on the Mass. His second devotion was to Fr John Sullivan, to whose grave in his latter years he used walk dailyt to recite his beads. Being tired on one such occasion, he sat down on the grave to rest, contracted a chill and died on November 5th 1842.

A gentle and lovable soul, full of genial wisdom, his rendering of “Billy Boy” in his thin piping voice as he accompanied himmself on the piano, will long be remembered by the younger generation.

Fallon, John, 1875-1937, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/144
  • Person
  • 18 August 1875-17 September 1937

Born: 18 August 1875, Dublin
Entered: 11 November 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 01 August 1909
Final vows: 02 February 1911
Died: 17 September 1937, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1898 at Enghien, Belgium (CAMP) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1899
by 1910 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1927 at Leeds, Yorkshire (ANG) working
by 1928 at Holywell, Wales (ANG) working

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
John Fallon entered the Society in November 1893. In the later part of 1899 he was sent to Australia where he taught at St Aloysius' College, 1900-02. In 1903 he was involved in a reorganisation of the Jesuit scholastics in Australia and was moved to Riverview. From there he went to Xavier, 1904-06, where he taught and assisted with the boarders.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 13th Year No 1 1938
Father John Fallon
1875 Born, 18th August, in Dublin, Educated at Belvedere
1893 Tullabeg, Novice, Entd. 11th Nov
1895 Tullabeg, Rhetoric
1897 Enghien, Philosophy
1899 Sydney (Australia), St. Aloysius, Bourke St., Doc., etc
1902 Sydney, House of Exercises. Ad. disp. P, Superioris, with 10 others
1903 Sydney, Riverview, Doc., care of boats
1904 Melbourne, Kew, Doc., etc
I906 Milltown, Theol. , Ordained, 1909
1909 Tronchiennes, Tertian
1910 Mungret, Doe., etc
1914 Crescent, Doc. Open., etc
1919 Rathfarnharn, Miss. Excurr, Conf. N.N
1921 Galway, Doc. Oper. Exam. and. N.N
1922 Mungret, Doc. an, 20 Mag. , Conf. NN. et alum
1925 England-Leeds, Liverpool, Prescot, Oper
I927 N. Wales, Holywell, Oper
1930 Milltown, Trod. exerc. spir
1931 Milltown, Trad. exerc. spir., Adj. dir. dom. exerc
1932 Gardiner St., Oper., Dir. School, S. F. Xavier
1935 Gardiner St., Oper., Dir. School, S. F. Xavier, Penny dinners
1937 Died at St. Vincent's, Dublin, Friday, I7th Sept.-R.I.P

As may be gathered from the above, Father Fallon's 44 years in the Society is an excellent example of the life of a Jesuit “Operarius”. There was nothing outstanding in it, nothing remarkable, Unless indeed the performance of all his duties faithfully and well, over such a long period is remarkable enough and Father Fallon did that.
He was naturally very reserved, and that fact had to be taken into account when dealing with him. He was straightforward and honest. In religious life he was very exact, very careful in dealing with others, never saying anything against charity, was always in the right place and time for every duty. To the Confessional he was most attentive, indeed it is quite certain that his attention was such that it hastened his death.
During his College career he had to deal chiefly with the lower classes. When he went to Gardiner Street he got charge of the choir, but the object of the appointment was to preserve order for Father Fallon was not a musician, the technical part was done by the Organist, He took a more active part in dealing with the Catechism class held in Gardiner Street every Sunday after last Mass. Besides appointing a number of excellent young men and girls to teach the classes, he gave an instruction every Sunday when their work was done.
He was also quite at home in dealing with St. Francis Xavier's National School, and gave the children frequent instructions. Finally, he effected many first-rate and far-reaching changes when managing the Penny Dinners.
In a word, Father Fallon's life was spent in dealing with the less attractive works of the Society. But he did these works well and is now, please God, reaping his reward.

Fanning, Dominic Francis, 1742-1812, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1271
  • Person
  • 06 November 1742-23 May 1812

Born: 06 November 1742, County Waterford / London England
Entered: 07 September 1762, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1773
Died: 23 May 1812, London, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Alias Clifton

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was for many years Confessor to the English Nuns of the Holy Sepulchre at Liège, and after their emigration to England in 1794, at Dean’s House Salisbury, and afterwards at Newhall, Chelmsford. From the Diary of Newhall Convent : “On August 10, 1794, the nuns of the Holy Sepulchre landed in England. Father Clifton, with a Father Gervase Genain, a French ex-Jesuit, conducted them. Father Clifton waited on the Pope’s Nuncio, then in London, and obtained the approbation and confirmation of several regulations with regard to the Divine Office. The community arrived at Holme Hally, Yorkshire, before Christmas 1794. They found there the Rev Story, OSB, very infirm. He had long been a Priest of the Catholic Congregation there, which, though small, he was quite unequal to attend to, and he left after their arrival, and Father Clifton consented to act until another Missioner was sent. During the summer of 1795, Father Clifton had a very violent attack of fever, brought on by excessive fatigue and anxiety in the emigration from Liège. His life was despaired of, but he eventually recovered, though with his constitution broken and his faculties so impaired, that he became unfit for his charge. In 1796, after Father Clifton had inspected several places, the community settled at Dean Hall, Wilts. Father Clifton’s malady was softening of the brain. He left Newhall about 1810 or 1811”.
He was buried at old St Pancras. He does not appear to have renewed his Vows in the Restored Society.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
CLIFTON, FRANCIS. We meet with two Fathers of this name.
The second was born in London 6th of November, 1742, of Irish Parents. 1 am informed that the family name was Fanning, (of Watertord) : At the age of 20 he entered the Novitiate. For many years was confessor to the English Nuns at Liege, and after their emigration, at Dean s house near Salisbury, and at Newhall near Chelmsford. This respected Father died in London 23rd of May, 1812, and was buried at St.Pancras.

Hayes, John, 1909-1945, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1423
  • Person
  • 15 February 1909-21 January 1945

Born: 15 February 1909, Limerick City
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 07 February 1942, Mount St Mary’s College, Spinkhill, Derbyshire, England
Died: 21 January 1945, Katha (Yangon), Burma (Military Chaplain)

Second World War chaplain

Brother of Francis Hayes - LEFT 1932; Nephew of Francis Lyons - RIP 1933; Early education at Crescent College

Died as WWII Chaplain

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/education/fr-john-hayes-a-jesuit-at-war/

Fr John Hayes: a Jesuit at war
Limerickman Patrick McNamara has just published Their Name Liveth for Evermore, a book about the involvement of Limerick in the Second World War. Included is the story of Fr John Hayes SJ, a chaplain in the armed forces who died of typhus in Burma. John Hayes, the son of Michael and Agnes Hayes (nee Lyons), 21 Ascot Terrace, O’Connell Avenue, Limerick was born on 15th February 1909. His early education by the Jesuits at The Crescent College in the city was to be an introduction to the priestly life. He joined the Jesuits at St. Stanislaus College, Tullabeg where he started his novitiate in 1925. From 1934 until 1936 he taught as a scholastic at Belvedere College, Dublin. In 1936 he went on to study theology at Milltown Park, Dublin where he was ordained priest in July 1939. He was engaged in further studies until June 1941.
In July 1941, he was appointed as a chaplain to the British Army and writing back from Redcar, Yorkshire he expressed his feelings about his new appointment ‘completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness’. In 1943 he was selected for overseas service and in May of that year, set sail for India. On arrival there, he was assigned to the 36th Division at Poona. In early 1944, the Division moved to the Arakan front, where it was committed to help stop the Japanese advance; the fighting was hard; this was John Hayes’ introduction to active service. He was to prove an outstanding chaplain who was both loved and respected by all with whom he came in contact with; he was a man of tireless energy and indomitable courage.
On the 31st August 1944, John, in a letter home, wrote:
The 36th Division is now fighting the Japs about 30 miles south of the ‘city’ of Mogaung, about 22 odd miles from Mandalay, to the north. Having left cool Assam (where I was able to help administer to many American troops who greatly edified by large numbers frequenting the Sacraments) we flew over the hills to Myitkyina and went by jeep-pulled train to the ruins of Mogaung, captured just before by our allies, chiefly Chinese. The fight started about 12 miles south of Mogaung (Hill 60) which was cleared by one of our brigades and continued (though not toughly) over 20 miles to the south, our men clearing the road and rail which run mostly together in the direction of Mandalay. We were ‘on the road to Mandalay’ for our sins!
I missed the first phase but fortunately was in for the second phase of the battle. I attached myself to a Scotch Regiment and gave them Mass, Confession and Communion standing by a stream. We were in a long narrow plain between hills. Our Chinese allies hold the hills: we advance along the road and rail southwards in the valley. Occasionally the heat is oppressive, but heavy rains and scanty overhead shelter are the great difficulties. Sickness: malaria, dysentery, bad feet, jungle sores are common. (I’m completely fit D.G.). Last Monday, the 28th of August, I buried a Catholic, Corporal Kelly; he lay dead 30 paces from the railway; 10 yards away a Jap sat, his back to Kelly, dead, with his hand resting on his knees. While the grave was being prepared the moaning of a dying Jap was heard 40 paces away. I baptised him conditionally; he died 15 minutes later. I was so thoroughly affected by his sufferings that I could hardly carry out the burial of Corporal Kelly for tears.
A Chinese interpreter is showing interest in the Catholic Faith. Our casualties were reasonably light. The Jap has displayed great heroism in spite of our dive-bombers, strafing and heavy guns (to which he has no reply in kind). He has stood his ground with sublime courage. I feel somehow that God will reward his enormous spirit of self-dedication. I find it an inspiration myself. The effect of actual work during action is terrific. One feels ready to sacrifice everything to save a single soul. So far God has given me the grace never to have felt fear on any occasion. No thanks to myself, for I know much better men who have felt fear. Largely, I think, a matter of natural complexion and texture of nerves. This monsoon-swept valley between low hills is beautifully and softly green with running streams, but it is a valley of death; many bodies lie decomposing; the villages are all smashed, the people homeless, and God is looking down, I think, with pity on it all …….
It was during the hard fighting to capture Myitkyina, that Fr. Hayes was to earn the soubriquet of ‘Battling Hayes’. After Myitkyina, the Division pushed on to the Irrawaddy. It was on the banks of the great river that Fr. Hayes was to die, not from battle wounds but from disease.
On 28th December 1944 he was evacuated to the casualty clearing station at Katha where he was diagnosed as suffering from typhus. His condition got progressively worse, pneumonia set in. Fr. Hayes must have sensed that the end was near; he requested the last rites on 6th January 1945. John died on 21st January 1945 on the banks of the Irrawaddy just two months before the 14th Army decisively defeated the Japanese at Meiktila, on the road to Mandalay and Rangoon.
John’s work as a chaplain is best described by an old Belvederian, Captain William Ward of the 36th Division, in a letter to the Rector of Belvedere after the death of John.
Dear Fr. Rector,
As an old Belvederian, I feel it my duty to give you the sad news of the death of an old member of the staff of Belvedere. I refer to the late Fr. John Hayes S.J. who died of typhus at Katha on the Irrawaddy in Central Burma on January 21st 1945. He was our chaplain here in the 16th Division and a more likeable man one would find it hard to meet. He was loved by one and all from our G.O.C., General Festing, who was a Catholic, to the most humble Indian.
He joined us at Poona in 1943 and came with the Division to the Arakan early last year and later flew in with us on our present operation. To one and all he was known as ‘Battling Hayes’, utterly devoid of any fear. It was only on the express order of General Festing that he took his batman to act as escort when on his rounds. No matter where one went, more especially in the height of battle, there one would find Fr. Hayes in his peculiar dress: Ghurkha hat, battledress blouse and blue rugger shorts. It was common to see him walking along a road known to be infested with the enemy, without any protection of any kind, happy in the thought that he was doing his job.
The highest praise I can pay Fr. Hayes, and this our present chaplain, Fr. Clancy from Clare, agrees with me, is that he reminded me very much of the late Fr. Willie Doyle. Nothing mattered; monsoon, rain, heat, disease, the enemy, his one thought was to be among his flock, doing all he could to help them. Nothing was too much trouble and the further forward a Unit was, the greater his delight in going forward to celebrate Mass. By his death all the Catholics of his Division and many of the Protestants, have lost a great friend and the finest chaplain one could wish to have ….
In a letter to John’s mother, General (later Field Marshal) Festing, wrote:
I would like on behalf of this Division and myself to express our very deepest sympathy to you in the loss of your son. We all were fond of Fr. Hayes who was an exemplification of all that a Catholic Priest and an Army Chaplain should be. He was a tireless worker, and if any man worked himself to death, it was he. Your son was an undoubted saint and he died fortified by the rites of Holy Church. May he rest in peace.
Fr. John Hayes was 36 years old when he died. He is buried in grave 7A. F. 24, Taukkyan War Cemetery, outside Yangon (formerly Rangoon) in Myanmar (Burma). He was the only Irish Jesuit chaplain to have died during the Second World War.
Their Name Liveth For Evermore by Patrick McNamara, is available from most book shops in Limerick city. The main centre is: Hamsoft Communication, Tait Buiness Centre, Limerick. Phone (061) 416688. Price €30.00 (hardback only) + P/P. ISBN 0-9554386-0-8.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Went to Juniorate without First Vows. Died in January 1945 from typhus while a Chaplain in the British Army in India

◆ 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 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 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 20th Year No 2 1945

Fr. John Hayes, Chaplain to the British Forces in Burma, died of typhus on January 21st, 1945.

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945


Fr. John Hayes (1909-1925-1945)

Fr. John Hayes died on the Feast of St. Agnes, Sunday morning, January 21st, 1945, as Senior Catholic Chaplain to the British Forces on the Burma Front.
Born at Limerick on February 15th, 1909, he was educated at the Crescent, and entered the Novitiate at Tullabeg on September 1st, 1925. Two years later he commenced his four years' Juniorate at Rathfarnham whence, in 1930, he returned to Tullabeg as one of the first group to do philosophy there. During these years of study he gave good promise as a writer, and had published a number of articles dealing with life and activity in the Mission Fields of the Church.
From Tullabeg he went to Belvedere for his three years teaching, 1933-36. In his final year there his love of the Missions found outlet through the Mission Society of which he was a zealous and capable Director.
At the end of three years' Theology at Milltown he was ordained by the Most Rev. Dr. Wall on July 31st, 1939. In September, 1940, Fr. Hayes was again at Rathfarnham for his Tertianship, which ended with his appointment in July, 1941, as a Chaplain to the British Army. He reported duty on September 1st, and by the following month wrote of himself as being “completely at home” in his new life . During the next year and a half he was stationed in various parts of England. On February 7th, 1942, he took his final vows at St. Mary's, Spinkhill. Early in the year 1943 he was selected for overseas service. At the end of a long sea voyage he found himself in India, where, as Chaplain to the 36th Division he did valiant work for many months prior to departure for the Burma front.
During practically the whole of 1944 Fr, Hayes was with his men in the jungle-fighting in Burma. It was a tough assignment, but the asceticism which for so long had moulded his character stood every test and strain. In their Chaplain the men saw a strong, fearless man of God fired by an intense passion to win all he could for Christ. Affectionately, they dubbed him “Battling Hayes”. Hardship and privation found him always cheerful. Weariness and fatigue seemed strangers to him. If he felt any fear of wounds or death he never gave sign of it. His courageous conduct through the long months of fierce jungle fighting was an inspiration to every officer and man who witnessed it. General Festing, under whom Fr. Hayes served, resisted every effort to have him transferred from his divisional command. The General being a Catholic, appreciated the sources of his Padre's tireless energy and indomitable courage. Writing of him after his death General Festing stated that “Fr. Hayes was an exemplification of all that a Catholic Priest and an army chaplain should be. He was a tireless worker, and if any man worked himself to death, it was he. He was an undoubted saint”.
On December 28th, 1944. Fr. Hayes was evacuated to the Casualty Clearing Station at Katha in Central Burma. His complaint was diagnosed as typhus. About the 6th of January, though the disease was taking its normal course, Fr. Hayes requested and received the last Sacraments. From that time until he was unable to swallow, he received Viaticum, every day. Pneumonia set in, and Fr. Hayes' condition became progressively worse. For about a week he was unable to speak to anyone, but he retained the use of his mental faculties up to the end. During his last night Fr. Hickson, a fellow chaplain who ministered to him during his prolonged battle with death, sat at his bedside until Mass time the following, Sunday, morning. Fr. Hickson's Mass was offered for his dying friend who passed away peacefully just as the Mass was finished.
A coffin was hard to come by, but thanks to the Providence of God one was secured, and vested in chaplain's Mass vestments the remains of “Battling Hayes” were laid to rest the same day, after an evening Requiem Mass, in the Catholic section of the public cemetery at Katha on the Irrawaddy river about 120 miles north from Mandalay. May he rest in peace.


In the last letter Fr. Hayes wrote to his people, received before the news of his death, he mentions that he had baptised a dying Japanese and made his first Hindoo convert.
The last message Fr. Provincial received from him, greetings for Christmas, was dated November 28th,

A letter from THE SISTER IN CHARGE OF THE HOSPITAL, written on January 12th, says he is still seriously ill, but expresses the hope that there will be more cheerful news soon. She adds : “I shall write every week until he is able to do so himself”.

Mrs. Hayes, Fr. John's mother, received the following letter from the COMMANDING OFFICER of the 30th Division : January 24th.
“Dear Mrs. Hayes, I would like on behalf of this Division and myself to express our very deepest sympathy to you in the loss of your son. We all were very fond of Fr. Hayes who was an exemplification of all that a Catholic Priest and an Army Chaplain should be. He was a tireless worker, and if any man worked himself to death, it was he. Your son was an undoubted saint and he died fortified by the rites of Holy Church. May he rest in peace. Yours sincerely, FRANCIS FESTING, MAJ. GEN.”

MGR. J. COGHLAN, Principal Catholic Chaplain, writing from London on January 29th to Fr. Provincial, says :
“I very much regret to have to inform you that your father J. Hayes died of typhus in India, on January 21st. R.I.P. Father Hayes was a grand priest and a splendid chaplain. He did magnificent work in every post he was given, and was held in the highest esteem by all ranks with whom he came in contact. I can ill afford to lose the services of such a good priest, and we can only say: 'God's Will be done.' I send you and the Society my deepest sympathy. You have lost a great priest, and I have lost a great chaplain. I should be glad to think that you would convey to his relatives my deep sympathy in their loss”.

In a later communication Mgr. Coghlan sent the following details furnished by the REV. JOSEPH GARDNER, Senior Chaplain, South East Asia, on January 28th. :
“Fr. Hayes was anointed at his own request in the early days of the illness, and received Viaticum daily as long as he was able to swallow. After pneumonia set in, he was again anointed and finally died quietly and peacefully on Sunday morning, January 21st, just at the moment of the conclusion of the Mass that Fr. Hickson was offering for him. He was buried, coffined and in his vestments, in the Catholic section of the cemetery at Katha, R.I.P.”

FR. A. CLANCY, O.F., H.Q. 36 Division, to Fr. Provincial, 29-1-45 :
“Fr. John Hayes became ill with typhus a few days before the beginning of the New Year, and was removed to the Casualty Clearing Station to which I was at the time attached. He went steadily down hill, but we hoped that his strong constitution would carry him through. As time went by it became evident there was no hope for him, and he died on Sunday morning, January 21st. Fr. Hickson, my successor at the hospital, was with him constantly till the end, and gave him the last Sacraments. He received Holy Communion until a few mornings before he died as long as he was able to swallow.
His death was a great shock to the Division where he was universally popular and especially to the three priests who were associated with him here. I myself feel a deep sense of personal loss, as we joined the Army from Ireland almost at the same time. We were both in Northern Command, travelled out to India together, and had been near one another since I joined the 36th Division six months ago.
He was an ideal chaplain and a worthy son of St. Ignatius. He was completely forgetful of personal risks when the spiritual welfare of the men was concerned. In this respect he always reminded me of Fr. Willie Doyle. When he heard of Fr. Hayes death General Festing said to me that he had killed himself for his men, and this remark is literally true.
May I offer you on my own behalf and for the other chaplains of, this Division our deepest sympathy on the loss the Irish Jesuit Province has sustained?”

FR. C. NAUGHTON, 29-1 -45 :
“I got quite a shock this morning on reading of the death of the Rev. John Hayes from typhus. R.I.P. I heard earlier in the week that we had a chaplain casualty, as a padre was suddenly posted off to the forward area to replace him. I never dreamed that it was the Rev. John. By all accounts Fr. Hayes was a second Willie Doyle. He seemed not to know what fear was, and was always in the thick of things. He will be greatly missed by his Division, as he was tremendously popular. About three months ago a young soldier after returning from Burma wished to be received into the Church. On being asked why he desired to change his religion, he replied : ‘Sir, we have a R.C. padre who has greatly impressed me. A man who exposes himself to so much danger to save souls must have the true religion?’ Fr. Hayes was his divisional chaplain, I am writing to our S.C.F. to find out as much accurate news as possible about him. May be rest in peace.

FR. C. PERROTT, 5-2-45 :
“You have heard no doubt by this time of the death of Fr. John Hayes, R.I.P. I am very sorry that up to the present I have no news to give you beyond the bare fact. His death came as a great shock to me, I can assure you, and upset me very much. I had heard from Fr. Nevin that Fr. Hayes had gone down sick with typhus at the beginning of January or the end of December, and then got no news till I received a note from the same source last Friday announcing his death. I wrote at once to Fr. Nevin asking him to give me all the details and particulars he could about it. I have heard many people out here speak very highly of Fr. Hayes and of the tremendous work he was doing. His death will be a great loss to us, - but he will get a great reward for his zeal and enthusiasm”.

FR. C. PERROTT, 5-3-45: The cemetery in which he is buried is only a temporary one, and later on the remains will be moved into a central one, and due notice of its location will be sent you. All his personal effects will come through, after some very considerable delay, through the usual official channels”.

FR, GEORGE HICKSON, C.F., to Fr. Provincial, 15-2-45 :
“Fr. Hayes took ill with typhus on December 28th, 1944, and was evacuated to the 22 C.C.S. Typhus is a pretty terrible disease. It is heartbreaking to watch a patient suffering with it grow progressively worse. This is what happened to John. I gave him at his own request all the Sacraments and the Papal Blessing. That was about January 8th. He received Holy Viaticum daily as long as he could swallow. We had hopes of his recovery till the 18th, then pneumonia set in, and I gave him Extreme Unction again. He was conscious, in our opinion, right up to the end, although for the last week or so he was unable to speak. He was quite reconciled to death, which he did not dread in the least. I think he offered himself in reparation for the sins of the world, and almost gave the impression that he desired death for this end. was greatly influenced by the life of Fr. W. Doyle. He passed away very peacefully at 8.55 on the morning of Sunday, January 21st, 1945, just as I was concluding a Mass which I offered for him. He was with me in the 36th Division for the whole year in which we have been in action. He was loyal and devoted to his work, and, I think, worried himself over perfecting every detail. Everyone who knew him said that he was not of this world, and non-Catholic officers were unanimous in their good opinion of him. I buried him in his vestments, and I am glad to say that I was able to secure a coffin. He lies in the public cemetery at Katha, which is on the River Irrawaddy about 120 miles north of Mandalay. We erected a nice cross and railings around his grave. In his life and in his death he was an example and an ornament to the priesthood”.

FR. E. J. WARNER, S.J., of the Chaplains' Department of the War Office sent to Fr. Provincial, 22-3-45, a short letter addressed to Mgr. Coghlan by the REY. M. J. O'CARROLL, S.C.F., now in England. The latter was Senior Chaplain in India when Fr. Hayes went out there :
“Fr. Hayes was an exceptionally fine Chaplain. Would you, please, convey to his next-of-kin and to his Religious Superior an expression of my deep sympathy ? At the next Chaplains' Conference Mass will be offered up for the repose of his soul. R.I.P.”

From an OLD BELVEDERIAN, attached to the 36th Division, to the Rector of Belvedere :
Dear Fr. Rector, As an old Belvederian I feel it my duty to give you the sad news of the death of an old member of the staff of Belvedere. I refer to the late Fr. John Hayes, S.J. Fr. Hayes died of typhus at Katha on the Irrawaddy in Central Burma on January 21st, 1945. He was our chaplain here in the 36th Division, and a more likeable man one would find it hard to meet. He was loved by all, from our G.O.C. General Festing, who is a Catholic, to the most humble Indian. He joined us in Poona in 1943, and came with the Division to the Arakan early last year, and later flew in with us on our present operation. To one and all he was known as Battling Hayes, utterly devoid of any fear. It was only on the express order of General Festing that he took his batman to act as escort when on his rounds. No matter where one went, more especially in the height of battle, there one would find Fr. Hayes, in his peculiar dress : Ghurka bat, battle-dress blouse and blue rugger shorts. It was common to see him walking along a road known to be infested with the enemy, without any protection of any kind, happy in the thought that he was doing his job. The highest praise I can pay Fr. Hayes, and in this our present chaplain, Fr. Clancy from Clare, agrees with me, is that he reminded me very much of the late Fr. Willie Doyle. Nothing mattered : monsoon, rain, heat, disease, the enemy. His one thought was to be among his flock, doing all he could to help them. Nothing was too much trouble, and the further forward a Unit was, the greater his delight in going forward to celebrate Mass. By his death all the Catholics of this Division, and many of the Protestants, have lost a great friend and the finest chaplain one could wish to have. I hope you will be good enough to pass this sad news to Fr. Provincial. I believe his address is Gardiner Street, but, as I am not sure, I thought it better to inform you. No doubt either Fr. Hayes' mother, who was next-of-kin, or Fr. Provincial will be informed in due course by the War Office. Another Belvederian whom I may meet again one day is Fr. Tom Ryan, whose voice I often hear on the Chunking radio, giving talks on English literature. My very best respects to any who knew me in Belvedere, and your good self. I am, dear Fr. Rector, your's very sincerely, W. A. WARD, CAPT. (1923-1931).

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Hayes SJ 1909-1945
Father John Hayes was born in Limerick in 1909 and was regarded by his contemporaries as a saint and mystic.

As a philosopher he kept the minimum of furniture in his room, a bed which he seldom slept in, and an orange box which served as a wash stand and general work-table. The rest was put out in the corridor. Superiors had to check his austerity. While these signs of singularity disappeared in later life, he maintained and extraordinary communion with God, and a single-mindedness of dedication, which as a priest was turned into a burning thirst for souls.

He got his chance in the Second World War. He became a Chaplain and was stationed in Burma in the thick of the jungle-warfare. To the troops he was known as “Battling Hayes”. He was tireless in whi work and seemed consumed with a burning passion to save souls for Christ. General Festing was his close friend and admirer.

On December 28th he retured to hospital, not too ill, but his complaint turned out to be typhus, and he died on January 21st, 1945, young in years but ripe in merit. A coffin was hard to come by, but the difficulty was overcome, and vested in his chaplain’s robes, he was laid to rest at Katha, in the Irawaddy rover, 120 miles from Mandalay.

Kelly, Thomas P, 1890-1977, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/210
  • Person
  • 07 April 1890-29 July 1977

Born: 07 April 1890, Blackrock, CountyDublin
Entered: 01 October 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923
Professed: 02 February 1927
Died: 29 July 1977, Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross Dublin

Part of the College of Industrial Relations, Dublin community at the time of death

Older brother of Austin Kelly - RIP 1978

I year of Theology at Holy Cross College, Clonliffe, Dublin before entry
Studied for BA at UCD

by 1916 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1945 at Cardigan Road, Leeds (ANG) working
by 1948 at SFX Liverpool (ANG) working
by 1950 at Bourton Hall, Rugby, Derbyshire (ANG) working
by 1954 at St Ignatius London (ANG) working

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 4 1977

College of Industrial Relations
On Friday morning, July 29, Fr Tom Kelly died in Our Lady's Hospice at the fine old age of 87 years. He had been steadily deteriorating and passed away quietly and peacefully just as he would have wished. Fr Tom was essentially a simple man prone to scrupulosity. He had endeared himself to the Sisters and Nurses who showed him much kindness at all times. He is sorely missed by his nephews and nieces, particularly Rose Maguire who was very devoted to Fr Tom.

Irish Province News 56th Year No 3 1981


Fr Thomas P Kelly (1890-1912-1977)

As a scholastic he had the unpleasant job of Gallery Prefect in Clongowes (at least I think so) and had to help out in the big study when the priest in charge was sick. He made his tertianship in Tullabeg under Fr Bridge, 1925-26, and together with his brother Augustine, who afterwards became Provincial in Australia, he gave the Lenten Mission in the “People's Church”. It was said that the men preferred Fr Tom and the ladies, Fr Austin. He was a chaplain during World War II.

Lynch, Henry M, 1855-1913, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/569
  • Person
  • 09 June 1855-18 August 1913

Born: 09 June 1855, Roebuck, Mount Nugent, County Cavan
Entered: 14 September 1872, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1888
Professed: 02 February 1892
Died: 18 August 1913, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Younger brother of James Lynch - RIP 1897

by 1886 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) Studying
by 1891 at Drongen (BELG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1896

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Younger brother of James Lynch - RIP 1897

Thomas Wheeler’s account of Henry Lynch written the day he died and published in the Freeman’s Journal :
“We have to record the death of another well-known and distinguished Jesuit Father at Gardiner St. Henry Lynch passed away after a tedious and painful illness. Up to then he had enjoyed vigorous health which enabled him to perform with rare efficiency the duties of his holy ministry in the confessional and the pulpit. many, especially among the poor, will miss his kindly smile and genial word, for he was greatly beloved and esteemed by everyone with who he came in contact. His fine presence and distinguished bearing made him for many years a conspicuous figure in our midst, and it is a matter of general regret that he has been called from his labours while still in all the vigour of his powers, when he had just completed his 58th year. Next month, his many friends had looked forward to celebrating his jubilee in the Priesthood, but Providence has willed that they should be deprived of this satisfaction.
He was the youngest son of the late Mr Lynch of Roebuck, the head of a well-known Catholic family of Meath, whose sole survivor is Mr P Lynch, Land Commissioner. Having finished his studies in Carlow College, he joined the Society of Jesus at an early age, following in the footsteps of his brother James, who predeceased him. He continued his Philosophy studies in Louvain, and in due course returned to Ireland, where he was occupied for some years teaching at Tullabeg and Clongowes. Being Ordained Priest, his gifts as a Preacher were soon made manifest, and for some years he was engaged in missionary work in various parts of Ireland. Later on he was called upon to transfer his labours to a wider field. For some five or six years he laboured with distinguished success in various dioceses of Australia and New Zealand, and eventually he was recalled to Ireland. Since his return he has been attached to the Church at Gardiner St, where his zeal and genial kindliness gathered round him many friends whose life will be less bright now that he has been called to his reward. His retiring disposition and reserve prevented him from showing to the full his gifts and power as a Preacher, but they in no way marred the sweetness and dignity of his character, which were manifested to those who knew him in the intercourse and intimacy of private life.”
Henry Lynch accompanied Thomas Wheeler when the latter was going for a severe operation to Leeds. When he returned before Thomas, he became unwell himself.

Note from James Lynch Entry :
His last letter, written on Christmas Day 1896 was to his brother Henry M Lynch. He wished him a “Happy New Year” and then added “Before this letter reaches you I shall have left this world”. It was all too true.

Note from John Gateley Entry :
1896 He was sent to Australia with James Colgan and Henry Lynch.

Note from Nicholas Walsh Entry :
Note Henry Lynch's obituary of Nicholas Walsh in that Entry

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Henry Lynch entered the Society, 14 September 1872, but did not come to the Australia Mission until 1897, coming via Xavier College to spend four years at Riverview, most of it preaching and giving missions in various dioceses in Australia and New Zealand. He apparently did little teaching, but a good deal of prefecting and was a house consultor. Four years was enough, and he returned to Ireland and was posted to Gardiner Street.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Henry Lynch 1855-1913
Fr Henry Lynch was born in 1855 the son of a well known Catholic family on Roebuck County Meath. His early studies were carried out at Carlow College, and he entered the Society at an early age, following in the footsteps of his elder brother James, who predeceased him in the Society.

After his ordination he was appointed to the Mission Staff, and gave many successful Missions throughout Ireland. He also laboured on the missions in Australia and New Zealand for 5 or 6 years.

On his return to Ireland he was attached to Gardiner Street for the rest of his life. He died there on August 21st 1913.

Notwithstanding his experience as a Missioner, he was of a rather shy and retiring disposition, with a reserve which prevented him from showing to the full, his gifts as a preacher. This lack was balanced by a rare dignity and sweetness of manner.

MacDonnell, Matthew, 1823-1871, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/467
  • Person
  • 25 December 1823-20 March 1871

Born: 25 December 1823, County Mayo
Entered: 04 December 1861, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: - pre Entry
Died: 20 March 1871, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare

by 1865 at Montauban France (TOLO) studying Theology 4

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Had been a Priest working in the Harrogate Mission in England before Entry. His Entry annoyed the local Bishop.

He was sub-Minister at Milltown, and spent a year at Montaubon studying Theology.
He was then procurator at Clongowes until his death there 20 March 1871.

Matthews, Peter, 1692-1752, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 02 February 1692-02 February 1728

Born: 02 February 1692, London, England or Ireland
Entered: 07 September 1711 Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1722, Liège, Belgium
Final Vows: 02 February 1728
Died: 13 January 1752 Grafton Manor, Worcester, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

◆ CATSJ I-Y has Taught Philosophy, S Scripture and Controversies (CAT ANG)

◆ In Old/15 (1) and Chronological Catalogue Sheet

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
MATTHEWS, PETER, born on the 2nd oF September, 1692 : at the age of 19 consecrated himself to God in Religion; and at the usual period took his station amongst the Professed Fathers. For a time he was Professor Holy Scripture at Liege; on the Mission he often passed by the name of Nevill. At Christmas, 1748, he succeeded F. Carpenter at Brin, in Lancashire, and died at Garswood on the 13th of January, 1752.

McAvoy, John A, 1908-1983, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/286
  • Person
  • 17 August 1908-26 July 1983

Born: 17 August 1908, South Bank, Middlesborough, Yorkshire, England / Rathfriland, County Down
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939
Final Vows: 02 February 1942
Died: 26 July 1983, Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 58th Year No 4 1983

Gardiner Street
The summer months saw the passing of two members of our community. Fr Johnny McAvoy († 26th July), who had given us an outstanding example of cheerful endurance during his long struggle with ill health, was the first to go. As noted in our last report, he had had to return to Cherryfield Lodge some months ago, to receive special care. At the very end, however, he moved to Our Lady's Hospice, where he died after a brain haemorrhage which mercifully saved him from prolonged suffering.
Fr Paddy Coffey, who died almost a month later († 19th August), was also attached to our community, though he had been living at St Joseph's, Kilcroney, or many years. It is no exaggeration to say that he was a legend in the Province for his amazing will-power and persistence. It would have been fascinating to listen in to his last battle of with the Lord! His ever-widening circle of friends will miss his gentle but determined winning ways.
May he and Johnny rest in the the serenity of eternal peace.


Fr John McAvoy (1908-1926-1983)
The 1st September 1926 saw some half-dozen Clongownians arrive at the noviciate in Tullabeg. (Their number was increased by one a couple of weeks later.) One of the six was introduced to me as John McAvoy from Rathfriland, Co Down. To me he looked like a sturdy member of the CWC rugby XV that earlier in the year had for the first time won the Leinster senior cup, snatching it from Belvedere.
Transferred from the rugby field to the noviceship soccer pitch, John's sturdiness became very evident.In those days we were dressed in full regalia for the game!) Again it was seen to full advantage when, with another novice in tandem, he was yoked under the shafts of the big farm cart used for collecting the bountiful shedding of foliage from the beautiful trees lining the avenue. I recall one day before the Long retreat hearing John and some others of the, CWC group talking about some saint or other. I asked what saint was being discussed, and was told “John Sullivan”. When I confessed that I had never heard of him, I was obviously I “just a Dublin jackeen who doesn't know our saint”.
John did the home juniorate in Rathfarnham and philosophy in Tullabeg, where we were part of the first batch of philosophers, returning there after a mere two years absence.I have no recollections of John during those years, as my presence in the Castle and in Rahan was somewhat intermittent. In 1936 however we came together again for theology in Milltown, and were ordained just before the outbreak of World War Two. At the completion of the fourth year of theology we were back again in the familiar surroundings of the Castle for tertianship under the direction of Fr Henry Keane.
At the end of this long period of gestation Fr John and I found ourselves in Belvedere, where his talents became very apparent and likewise his determination that each talent must bear worthwhile fruit. Most noticeable at this time was his conscientious application to his work class-room and his training of the Senior XV. The boys found his drive and enthusiasm highly infectious; no less so the sense of discipline he inspired. These characteristics of John's training became very evident when shortly after the war the Old Belvedere club went on tour in France. The bulk of that team had been trained by Fr John.
Despite his heavy work-load Fr John never, I feel sure, lost sight of the purpose of so much activity. I doubt if he ever 'missed out on the things of the spirit that are the hallmark of a good Jesuit priest. He was an example of sustained regularity in the performance of his spiritual duties.
John moved to Mungret in 1946 and returned to Dublin in '51, having been Vice-superior of the Apostolic school for his final two years in the college. Gardiner street became his final home in the Province, and it was here that he showed himself to be a most versatile man. For 24 years he aught in Bolton street College of Technology; studied privately and took a BA degree in UCD; learned a good deal about printing; was involved in the work of the Church, especially during Holy week and other big occasions.
In Bolton street the teachers held Fr John in high esteem for his priestly influence on both students and staff. This influence was such that many of his students in later life knew him as a trusted friend and adviser. On finishing his teaching career, John began to feel his way to becoming a first-class printer. He was listed in the Province catalogue as. Typogr Prov and during his final years produced much excellent work for both the parish and the Province. At this time also he became chaplain to St Joseph's Home, Portland row. Nothing that the sisters asked of him was ever too much for Fr John, who was so dedicated to the work that he continued to make his way to the convent on foot, until so far advanced in his illness he could no longer walk there because he was unable to eat. During these latter years he was Director of the Bona Mors Confraternity. His association with Bona Mors went back a considerable number of years. Its influence on him was such that from the time he knew his illness was terminal he became so merry and full of laughter that every member of the community was edified beyond measure. John's chief recreational outlet was fishing in season with rod and line. Lake and river were his haunts on vacations and odd free days. One year however he decided on the sea, and signed on with the skipper of a Howth or Skerries trawler for a part if not all of his villa time. He described the long hours of back bending work as really exhausting, but debilitation was more than offset by luscious steaks and other good foods - so good that the moment his head hit the pillow he fell asleep. His work on board the trawler was delightful - gutting the fish!
A man of many parts, John McAvoy was a priest well and deeply formed by the Spiritual Exercises. No matter how much he gave himself to others and their concerns, he was giving himself to God. The talents he received must already have been doubled for him by the One he served so wholeheartedly.

Milner, Henry, 1908-1951, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/248
  • Person
  • 09 January 1908-30 May 1951

Born: 09 January 1908, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England
Entered: 07 September 1927 - Angliae Province (ANG)
Final Vows: 05 May 1944
Died: 30 May 1951, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland - Angliae Province (ANG)

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 3 1951

Obituary :

Died May 30th, 1951 of heart trouble in the Leeson Hospital in Dublin.
Fr. Henry Milner, or Fr. John as the Russians called him, was the youngest son of a big Yorkshire Catholic family. One of his brothers entered the Vincentians and went to China, where he was accidentally drowned near Peking just before the war. Henry and his brother Edward studied at Osterley and entered the Society, but Edward had to leave during Philosophy for reasons of health. Fr. Henry entered the novitiate at Roehampton on September 7th, 1927. Previous to going to Osterley he had earned his living as a carpenter and packer, and both these acquisitions proved most useful to him in later life. His third year of Philosophy was spent at Jersey, and it was during this time that he was accepted for the Russian Mission. In 1934 he went to Rome for Theology with a group of others from various Provinces studying for that Mission. Of those who were with him four are now dead, but Fr, Milner is the only one who died in more or less normal circumstances. His great friend Fr. Walter Ciszek of the Maryland Province died heroically on his way back from Siberia with a group of his parishioners at the end of the war. Another was gassed in Buchenwald. A third was killed on the Soviet frontier. The fourth is presumed dead in Russia. Another companion is probably still alive in a Soviet prison camp.
After his Theology in 1938 he spent a year doing special studies at the Russian College in Rome, and then was sent to a Russian parish at Esna in Estonia. He had not been there long when the Soviet troops entered the country and the British consul ordered all Britishers to leave the country. The only possible route was through Russia, so he joined a group which went to Moscow and down to the Black Sea and eventually to Palestine. Here he stopped to find out the wishes of superiors, suggesting that he might enlist as an army chaplain. Orders came from Rome that he should make his way to Shanghai and join Fr. Wilcock and make his Tertianship. After many adventures he managed to get to Bombay and board a Japanese ship which took him to Shanghai.
Although it was already January, 1941, and the Tertians had long ago finished the Long Retreat, superiors decided he should join them at Wubu and make his Long Retreat alone. When he returned to Shanghai in July, the building of St. Michael's College was well under way, and his experience as a carpenter and general constructor proved most valuable. He kept a vigilant eye on the contractor and his work men, who were amazed (and dismayed) to find that the Padre knew more about their jobs than they did. He would not allow any slipshod work. He himself made the altar and other things for the oriental rite chapel. There seemed to be nothing that he could not make or repair. His room was always like a workshop. Things awaiting repair were piled up everywhere which made it look rather untidy. Once when Admiral Boyd visited him he burst out laughing at the sight of the room and said he would like to get Fr. Milner for a time on board a navy ship to train him how to keep things stored tidily in a minimum of space.
When the College opened in January, 1942, there were only three Fathers, so Fr. Milner was Prefect of Studies, Minister, Procurator, full time teacher, Infirmarian, Chaplain of the nuns and doing a hundred other jobs. I have never met a man who could do so much work and seem to enjoy every moment of it. He was always cheerful and cheering up others. He had an inexhaustible fund of jokes and anecdotes, and certainly knew how to tell a good story. Often visitors would come to the College in a hurry on business, intending to stay just a few minutes, but once they got talking to him they simply could not tear themselves away. Up to five minutes before his death he was amusing the nurses with some of his wonderful stories about China.
In 1943 the Japanese put all our community into concentration camps, so Fr. Milner was sent first to Yanchow and then later to Ash camp in Shanghai. Those who were with him tell how he was the most popular man in the camps. They tried to get him to become the official representative of the camps to the Japanese, but he wisely refused. It was the strain of these two and a half years in camps which presumably caused the heart trouble which resulted in his death.
At the end of the war he took up again his old work at the College. He noticed that he had frequent light pains in his chest, but the doctors thought it was caused by stomach trouble. He took some stomach pills and carried on hiş heavy programme of work, always cheerful and never complaining. It was only in 1948, when he went to hospital on account of his pains, that the heart trouble was recognised. He was still there under treatment when the communist troops approached Shanghai. In May, 1949 superiors decided that he had better be evacuated, so he was sent with Fr. Brannigan on one of the last planes to Hong Kong. He was in hospital there for three weeks and then went by ship to England and eventually to Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin. The Columban Sisters in Ireland were training some of their Sisters for Russian work, and they had asked to have Fr. Milner near to advise them. Apart from that he was supposed to rest and recuperate, ready to join the other Fathers in the new work in America. Typical of him was that he could not just sit in his room and rest. He decided to print some badly needed music of the Russian rite, so he copied out about 600 pages by hand and had them lithographed. As a relaxation from writing music he translated from the Italian the latest book on the oriental rites, over 800 pages, helped some Russian D.P.s and did many other things for the Russian work. In his last letter to me he wrote that the music and the book were nearly finished and he could not bear the thought of having nothing to do. He had hopes that he would soon be well enough to travel to New York and help in the new Russian Centre. His health seemed to be improving, but suddenly on May 30th he had a sudden severe attack and died within five minutes.
The character of Fr. Milner is best summed up by the following incident. When plans were made for our Russian Centre in New York, Fr. General decided to put off Fr. Milner's appointment to it, for reasons of health. I consulted the other Fathers of the community and they all agreed that we should propose to Fr. General that we wanted to have Fr. Milner with us even though he were to spend the rest of his life in bed. His mere presence in the house would greatly help the morale of the community. It had become natural to us to take our problems to Fr. Milner and his solid Yorkshire common sense and good judgment usually solved them. His cheerfulness, piety, humility, devotion to the Russian work and simple obedience made his presence invaluable. He was one of the first to enter the Russian rite, at a time when it was all new and there were many serious questions as to how far we Jesuits. could adapt themselves to such a big change. We were required to drop all the customary devotional practices of the Society and take on new ones without changing our spirit. It required great adaptability and sound judgment concerning what are accidentals and what essentials, and a genuine indifference even in the intimate expressions of one's spiritual life. It was here that Fr. Milner excelled. He took no half measures and really adapted himself to the Russian customs. It is not surprising that all the Russians loved him and considered him one of themselves. One of his Shanghai companions writes: “His death is a grave loss. Fr. John was one of the most universally liked men I have ever known a wonderful personality.an endless store of energy and a tireless worker”. The Sisters of St. Columban write : “He was a model of cheerfulness. The two and a half years of invalid life must have been very trying, but he never complained. He was entirely given to souls, and his generosity combined with humility and true priestliness will always be an enduring inspiration to us”.
F Wilcock SJ, 12th June 1950

O'Brien, William, 1795-1851, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1863
  • Person
  • 15 August 1795-01 October 1851

Born: 15 August 1795, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1814, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1822, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, County Kildare
Final Vows: 31 July 1841
Died: 01 October 1851, St Ignatius College, Pylewell, Hampshire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Ordained at St Patrick’s College Maynooth, on a Saturday within the octave of Pentecost 1822, having studied Theology at Clongowes

in Clongowes 1818/9
by 1839 doing Tertianship in Amiens France (FRA)
by 1844 at St Hugo working in Boston (ANG)
by 1847 at St Thomas Canterbury (ANG)

Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” : :
1816-1843 At Clongowes
1843-1851 In England until his death

He had a remarkably good memory and was an edifying religious, and rather inclined to severity. (in pen Curtis) He had an uncle in the Order of St Francis.

Hi Menologies :
Early education from 1811 at Stonyhurst in Grammar, Humanities and Rhetoric before Ent.

He made his novitiate under Father Plowden at Hodder.
1816-1843 Came to Clongowes with Father Haley, and made a year of Philosophy there, and then studied Theology.
1843 He was sent on the ANG Mission and worked with great zeal at Pylewell, Hants, until his death 01 October 1851.

He was an edifying religious, though somewhat peculiar and rather severe.

O'Mahony, Michael, 1905-1981, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1924
  • Person
  • 22 November 1905-28 July 1981

Born: 22 November 1905, Mullinahone, County Tipperary
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940
Final vows: 25 March 1943
Died: 28 July 1981, Xavier College, Kew, 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
Michael O’Mahoney must have come from a pious family, as his brother, John, became a priest and a sister became a nun. Michael attended the local National School until he was thirteen years old. Then he was educated by the Christian Brothers in Kilkenny, and by the Jesuits at Mungret College, Limerick, where he gained his matriculation. During the next three years he served his apprenticeship in a mixed business.
O’Mahoney entered the Society at Tullabeg, 1 September 1927. He completed a home juniorate at Rathfarnham Caste, Dublin, in English, Irish, Latin, French, mathematics, history and geography. His philosophy studies were also completed at Tullabeg. Immediately afterwards he was sent to Australia for regency, one year at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, and three and a half years at Xavier College, Kew. During those years he taught mathematics, history, and religion. He was also appointed rowing master and coach, and given charge of the junior debating society. He was master of ceremonies, division prefect and football coach.
These years were followed by theology studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, and he was ordained 31 July 1940. His tertianship followed immediately at Rathfarnham Castle. Instead of returning to Australia, O’Mahoney volunteered for service as a chaplain in the Royal Air Force during World War II. For the following three years he served on various RAF stations in England tending to the spiritual needs of the pilots.
From 1946-59 O’Mahoney once again took up teaching religion and mathematics at Xavier College, Kew. He was rowing coach from 1954-58, and in addition was a part time chaplain with the RAAF.
In 1959 he moved to St Ignatius' College, Norwood, where he taught religion and mathematics.
In 1971 he assumed a new role by joining the parish of Hawthorn. The following year he went to Sevenhill. and from 1973-80. was on the parish staff at Glenelg, SA. Over the last few years of his life, O’Mahoney did not enjoy good health. He joined the Xavier College community for his last years.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 56th Year No 4 1981


Fr Michael O’Mahony (1905-1927-1981) (Australia)

Michael O'Mahony, a late vocation by 1927 standards, was naturally senior novice of the young men who entered that year at Tullabeg. It was only later that one could realise the sacrifice involved in his vocation, whether one considered his parents or Michael himself. If he had lived forty years later, he would certainly have become Ireland's agricultural representative-in-chief at Brussels, But from the earliest days of his noviceship we remarked his more than ordinary solid piety and charity. His sense of humour was rather limited, but he won the affection of all his fellows in spite of that. Early on in his noviceship he was appointed master of outdoor manual works: at these he himself worked like the strong man he was and directed efficiently the efforts of others.
It was a relief for him to be appointed to the “home course” in Rathfarnham, whence at the end of 1930 he began philosophy in Tullabeg. He must have found his studies there heavy going but he plodded on with a will. Michael’s attitude to ecclesiastical studies in general might be summed up thus: The Ten Commandments, The Creed and no nonsense.
If in the lecture-rooms his voice was muted, on the soccer field his physical presence was formidable. All who knew him in Tullabeg as “The Admiral” will recall his boating prowess on the Grand Canal. Even the stalwart Joe Kelly, with Australian experience, could rise to no higher rank than first mate. For his crew The Admiral chose only the heavy- weights. One day Brendan Brennan, his younger contemporary in Mungret and the noviceship, had the audacity to commandeer the Admiral’s boat and man it with less-talented oarsmen including the present writer. We had not got as far as the first lock when the wrathful Admiral and his hefty men in the second-best boat overtook us and passed us out ignominiously. Happily it was a sunny day, and our shirts and trousers were dry again when we reached Pollagh. We did not meet Michael there - he was well on his way to Shannon Harbour.
His final philosophy exam. provided a minor redletter day for his admirers. As the strong sternman arrived from his examination, a strip of shoddy carpet led to his room, while some discarded remnants of the previous Christmas bunting formed a crazy triumphal arch. We were not destined to meet Michael again until his return from Australia.
In theology, Michael was at last more at home in his books. He could compose a worthy sermon, but in spite of his fine manly physique he never succeeded in developing a strong preaching voice. This was no fault of his. I can recall vividly the doggedness with which he prepared a Missa cantata in his fourth year. I was his chosen teacher and could observe the humility of the man and his gratitude. It was the Missa cum jubilo that we were preparing for a feast of our Lady, and Michael must have felt it a point of honour to give of his best for the occasion. This perhaps was not surprising. In his uncomplicated way of piety, he was devoted to the Rosary and the Mother of God.
I never met him again until his last visit to Ireland, some ten or eleven years ago. He looked then a score of years younger than his actual age - so Australia must have been kind to him. In his earlier years, this kinsman of Charles Kickham would of himself have chosen to labour and die in Ireland. The boating experiences at Tullabeg apart, he was really the stuff of which a “soggarth aroon” is made. We can be sure that on his return to heaven he had full hands to show at the tribunal of Christ.

From The Xaverian, the magazine of Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, comes the following tribute:
Fr O'Mahony came from county Tipperary and was educated at Mungret College near Limerick. He entered the Society in 1927, did his early studies at Rathfarnham and Miltown, and came to Australia and to Xavier in 1934. He taught Mathematics in the Intermediate and Sub-Intermediate classes, and was a very good teacher - painstaking and efficient. He took care of the Junior Sodality and was Master of Ceremonies and Rowing Master. In 1937 he returned to Dublin, studied theology at Milltown and was ordained in 1940. After his tertianship year at Rathfarnham he went to England and worked in a parish near Leeds, later becoming a chaplain in the Royal Air Force.
Back in Xavier in 1947, he resumed his classes in Mathematics and the coaching of boat-crews. In 1959 he was transferred to Adelaide and taught at St Ignatius' College, Norwood. After a couple of years he took up parish work, first at Norwood and then at Glenelg. This work was very congenial to him. All through his years at Xavier he was out in some parish for Sunday Masses. He was very devoted to the sick and to those in troubled homes, and he was left many friends in Glenelg where he worked for seven years.
About two years ago he had a serious breakdown in health, and after a period in the Calvary hospital in Adelaide, came to Melbourne for a rest and a change. He returned to Adelaide for a short time, but eventually came back to Xavier. The memories of his former days at the School and the visits from his many friends helped him to regain his confidence and improve his health. Two days before he died he fell on the stairs. He was considerably shaken and never really recovered. After receiving Holy Communion on Tuesday morning, 28th July 1981, he died very peacefully. Requiem Masses were concelebrated on the next two days, and he was laid to rest among his fellow Jesuits in Kew cemetery. May he rest in peace.

O'Neill, William, 1711-1770, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1943
  • Person
  • 20 April 1711-11 July 1770

Born: 20 April 1714, Ireland or St Germain-en-Laye, Paris
Entered: 07 September1732, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Final Vows: 02 February 1743
Died: 11 July 1770, Waterperry, Oxfordshire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Alias Nelson

Son of John and Elizabeth (Gradell or Gradwell)
Younger brother of John O'Neill (Gradell) RIP 1760

1740 ANG Catalogue in 3rd years Theology
1768 Prefect of the Church at Ghent Novitiate
In Foley p539, Hogan writes “William O’Neill”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Brother of John O’Neil (Gradell) - RIP 1760
One Catalogue says he was Irish, another that he was born at the Court of St Germain (the exiled Stuarts)
1743 Confessor to the nuns of Hoogsteete - there is a tradition in the Throchmorton that there was an O’Neil Library at Buckland House, Oxford
(cf https://archive.org/stream/historyofpostref00stap/historyofpostref00stap_djvu.txt)
1757 Serving in the Yorkshire District
1768 Prefect of the Church at the Novitiate Ghent (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
NELSON, WILLIAM, born in Ireland, on the 20th of April, 1714. His Family name was O’Neil. This worthy Father died at Waterperry, in Oxfordshire, on the 11th of July, 1770. Soc. 38.

Perry, Bernard, 1911-1948, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1977
  • Person
  • 24 April 1911-13 October 1948

Born: 24 April 1911, Bradford, Yorkshire, England
Entered: 02 March 1928, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 1944
Final vows: 15 August 1947
Died: 13 October 1948, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, Australia- Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Bernard Perry was educated at St Bede's Grammar School, Bradford, and St Patrick's College, East Melbourne. He entered fully into the life of the school, being among the first in his class each year, and he took part in football and athletics. He was also a member of the Sodality of Our Lady. He entered the Society at Loyola College, Greenwich, 2 March 1928, and then went abroad for his juniorate at Rathfarnham, 1930-33, gaining a science degree. Philosophy was at Jersey, 1933-36.
He was back in Australia for regency at St Aloysius' College, 1936-40, and was also prefect of discipline. Theology studies were taken at Canisius College, Pymble, 1941=44. Tertianship was at Loyola College, Watsonia, 1946, and then he returned to St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point, for the last two years of his life.
From the time that he studied at Jersey he suffered from an ulcer that caused him much pain and distress. lt seems that doctors did not diagnose the trouble, and superiors believed that his problems were more nervous than physical. He was by nature a big, athletic, active man, and found it hardly possible to restrain his activity as the doctors prescribed. His superiors were no wiser. His life became a series of recoveries and relapses until at last the ulceration killed him. He was a generous man, unselfish and loving. He shunned any sign of sentimentality, or any trace of affected piety He was a great example of much patience amid prolonged suffering.

Pole, Michael, 1687-1748, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1993
  • Person
  • 20 August 1687-23 April 1748

Born: 20 August 1687, Yorkshire, England
Entered: 07 September 1707, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1716
Died: 23 April 1748, Odstock Wiltshire, or Canford Magna, Dorset, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

◆ The English Jesuits 1650-1829 Geoffrey Holt SJ : Catholic Record Society 1984
1720-1723 In Ireland

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
POLE, MICHAEL. I meet with two members so called.
The 2nd was the Incumbent at Wardour for some time. He died in England, 23rd of April 1748, aet. 61. Soc, 41. He was also called Foxe.

Saurin, Matthew, 1828-1901, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/394
  • Person
  • 12 February 1825-10 May 1901

Born: 12 February 1825, Duleek, County Meath
Entered: 24 September 1849, Amiens, France (FRA)
Ordained: Maynooth - pre Entry
Final vows: 15 August 1862
Died: 10 May 1901, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

by 1855 at Moulins College (LUGD) for Regency
by 1865 at Bordeaux Residence France (TOLO) health
by 1870 at Mongré Collège, Villefranche-sur-Mer (LUGD) working
by 1886 at Charleroi Belgium (BELG) Teaching

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He entered Maynooth for his own Diocese, and was a classmate of the future Bishop, Dr Nulty. After Ordination he felt a different call and applied to the Society.

After First Vows he was sent to Tullabeg where he taught Grammar for two years.
He then returned to France for further Regency.
1857-1865 He returned to Ireland, and he taught at Belvedere, Limerick and Clongowes.
1865 He was at the Bordeaux Residence.
1866-1869 He was back in Ireland in Milltown and Gardiner St.
1867 The famous “Convent Case : Saurin v Star” was tried was tried in the English Courts, in which Matthew’s sister, A Mercy Sister, took an action against her Superioress and Community of the Mercy Convent Hull for the harsh treatment of expulsion. (cf https://archive.org/details/greatconventcase00joseuoft/page/n3/mode/2up) It was decided that Matthew should live outside the jurisdiction of the Courts, lest he be called as a witness, and so he lived in the Continent.
On his return home he was stationed at Dublin.
1872-1884 He was sent to Tullabeg as a Missioner for twelve years.
1884-1889 He was at Clongowes and Mungret, except for a year that he spent at Charleroi in Belgium.
1899 Early in this year he had an accident at Clongowes, when he fell down the steps near the Dispenser’s Office and broke his hip. It was apparently impossible to set it properly, with the result that he could no longer walk. After a very active life - he was a very keen sportsman which he called “Hunting” - it was a very difficult transition for him. However, he never complained, though on one occasions, being told that the Novices had gone out for a walk, he said “Oh, how I wish I could go out too”, and then added with a flash of his old humour “Horses and dogs!”
He died at Tullabeg 10 May 1901 deeply regretted by all who knew him, as his bright humorous ways made him a welcome addition to every community.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Matthew Saurin SJ 1825-1901
At Tullabeg on May 10th 1901 died Fr Matthew Saurin, deeply regretted by all, for he was a man of bright and humorous disposition, which made him a welcome addition to the various communities he lived in..

He was born at Duleek on February 12th 1825 and was ordained priest at Maynooth for his native Diocese of Meath. Shortly after his ordination, he felt the call to religious life and accordingly entered the Society in 1849.

Fr Saurin’s main work in the Society was as a missioner on the Mission Staff, in the couse of which he was stationed at Tullabeg for twelve years. On retiring from the strenuous work of a missioner from 1884-1899, he was stationed at Mungret and Clongowes. It was in the latter house that he met with an accident to his hip bone. At age 74 it was impossible to set it properly, and from then on he was deprived of the use of his legs.

After a very active life that he had led, for he took a very keen interest in al kinds of field sports which he called “hunting”, this life of inactivity must have been very irksome to him. However, he never complained. Once only was he ever heard to make a remark which showed he felt the tedium of his illness. One day he was told that the novices had gone out for a walk. “Oh” he said “how I wish I could go out for a walk too”. But immediately, he added with a flash of his old humour, “However, if Almighty God has need of my legs He is welcome to them”.

Sheil, Leonard, 1897-1968, Jesuit priest and missionary

  • IE IJA J/16
  • Person
  • 21 November 1897-09 February 1968

Born: 21 November 1897, Clonsilla, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1920, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1931
Final vows: 02 February 1938
Died: 09 February 1968, College of Industrial Relations, Ranelagh, Dublin

by 1927 in Australia - Regency at Xavier College, Kew
by 1933 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1967 at Mount Street London (ANG) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Leonard Sheil was educated a Beaumont, UK, but joined the Society in Ireland at the age of 23. Following novitiate and philosophy, he left for Australia in 1925, and worked at Burke Hall until 1928. Shell spent most of his life as a missioner in rural parishes in Ireland, and was for a time in charge of a mission team in England. Later he was loaned to Farm Street where he worked amongst the domestic staff of the big hotels, and his knowledge of foreign languages was invaluable.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Leonard Sheil is working near Doncaster for the spiritual needs of workers in the mines, chiefly Irish immigrants. He reached Askern on 14th August and is residing with a Catholic doctor at Station Road near the miners Camp. “We are installing the Blessed Sacrament on 17th August in the little church”, he writes, “The Camp is not a simple proposition. I'm told there are 700 men, and the great majority seem to be Catholics but most of them know very little of any language but Slav. The Irishmen seem very decent fellows, but I just missed a big batch who left the day I arrived”.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949


Fr. Sheil, who is working for the miners near Doncaster, Yorks, writes on 10th October :
“I am still too much up to my neck in miners to be able to give a report of work here. Yesterday a huge Hungarian introduced himself to me during a miners' dance. Said he, ‘my ancestor was Irish. In the 14th century be went to Jerusalem on a Crusade, and returning by Hungary stayed there. My name is Patrick Thomas O'Swath’. He spoke in German, the international language here. The Irish are passing through Askern at present at an average of about 15 per week. They stay for three weeks, and each week brings two or three fine fellows. They are mostly very good compared to the average miners. We have English, Poles, Croats, Slovenes, Hungarians, Lithuanians, innumerable Ukrainians, half Catholic, half Orthodox, but all Greek rite. The P.P, lent me his motor-bike, so I go to the miners hostels around, and in bad German get them out of bed for Mass, eat at their tables, tackle them singly and in groups... At Askern the Irish have done some good work, up on the Church roof, cleaning gutters (me with them !) and with pick and shovel getting Church grounds in order. My chief need at present is a musical instrument, say a concertina. Several men can play but we have no instrument. I wish some of your good sodalists would send us one or the price of one”.

And on the 24th November :
I am in the Yorkshire coalfields now three months. The first month I spent making contacts, the second in regular daily visitation of twelve mining camps within a twenty mile radius of Askern. Now I am beginning a series of one-week missions in the camps, followed by the formation in them of the B.V.M. Sodality. I am in touch with about 4,000 men or more - three quarters at least of them are Catholics. They come from every nation in Europe, and German is the international language, though, as time goes on, English tends to replace it. Of the Catholics I should say that more than three-quarters have not been to the Sacraments for many years.
The English management of the camps does everything possible to help. But the men are in the main tough lads. As a Yorkshire priest said to me, if they weren't tough they'd be dead. The hostels in which they live seem to me almost perfect, and far better than one could expect; but the work is underground, and in heavy air accidents are continual. Lack of home life and glum future prospects make the men downhearted and reckless. I beg prayers of everyone. You would pity these continentals, most of whom were torn from their homes by German or Russian at the age of twelve or fourteen, and have wandered the world since”.

Irish Province News 43rd Year No 2 1968

Obituary :

Fr Leonard Shiel SJ (1897-1968)

An appreciation by Very Reverend Joseph Flynn, M.S.S., Superior, Enniscorthy House of Missions and Chairman of the Committee for Missions to Emigrants in Britain.

So Fr. Leonard Sheil has passed to his eternal reward. Even now I hesitate to use the expression eternal “rest” as that very word would seem incongruous were it applied to the Fr. Leonard that I knew. I knew him only in one sphere of his activities and then only for the last sixteen or seventeen years of his life. Perhaps it was his most notable activity and perhaps they were his greatest years - the years spent working for our fellow countrymen in England. Leonard Sheil was - and is a name to “conjure with” - I personally have no doubt that he was the original pioneer, the real founder of this work; and I would say that it was his extremely personal and delightfully unorthodox approach to this critical spiritual problem that laid the foundation of the whole complex of missions, chaplaincies, social services that blossom so vigorously to-day: they were first rooted in the stubborn soil originally worked by Fr. Leonard.
He drew a few of us, his confreres and others, into the work with him. We had been doing the best we could in the conventional types of mission from the last years of the war; we had seen the problem of enormous numbers of parochially unattached Irish; we hoped they would come to us in the few churches where we were preaching by invitation. It took Fr. Leonard to tell us, with conviction - and abruptness - to go in without invitation and demand an invitation, to go after the Irish instead of waiting for them to come to us, to give them an informal mission wherever we could find them : it was all very much fire first and ask questions after.
It did seem absurd and risky at first, but the point was it worked. So, as he led, we followed into industrial sheds, Nissen huts, Canadian Terrapins, public bars, dining halls, dart clubs, and, at least once to my knowledge, into a disused poultry-house. Perhaps he cast the first stone at the orthodox, conventional mission, but if he did he led the assault. Yes, he led and we followed but few were capable of keeping pace with him. Even physically it was difficult as he whisked about on his motorbike, a debonair, piratical, almost Elizabethan figure. But psychologically his enthusiasm, energy and rare determination gave him a head start over his more leisurely disciples.
I never really understood Leonard Sheil. His background, Mount St. Benedict's and Beaumont, and a few years as a teacher, hardly disposed him, one would think, to attract the “boys” - as he always referred to the Irishmen. Yet somehow he did and did it more successfully than some of us, who, apart from a few years in local colleges, had an identical background with the “boys”. But then Leonard Sheil had something else. When one exhausts all the other possibilities one is left with the conviction that it only could have been a seething zeal to get every soul for God that one man could get in one lifetime. Apparently he never questioned his convictions, he never had any fears about whether he would be well received or not, possibly he never wondered whether the thing was possible or not; he just saw work to be done for God and charged straight ahead to get it done - in top gear and at full throttle. That was Leonard, he swooped on the “lapsed” like a bird of prey.
Year after year at our annual meetings to consider what, if any, progress had been made, he was the life and soul of the party; with his frequent sallies and droll reminiscences he was the real catalyst in establishing dialogue between the many Orders and Congregations who participated. His mind was fertile and inven tive; only a few months before his death, in answer to a request, he sent me from his sick bed a plan for a modernised mission that would bear comparison with that elaborated at a seminar of many experts over a period of several days. And he sent it by return of post. By contrast, he could take up the unusual, the odd; the un orthodox and make it serve his purpose with effortless ease. Those who heard him address the Easter Congress, so frequently and so informally, on every aspect of missions, and generally to bring us back from the realm of fancy to the realm of fact, must have seen that he had enormous intellectual resources so long as the subject was one in which he was really interested - getting the “boys” reconciled with God. Those who saw some of his “Recollection” pieces on television must have noticed how he always got home the missioner's point - conversion to God. His talk on the Bible and particularly his talk on the man in orbit, then very topical, accomplished the same thing by very different means; he made his point like a man wielding a very long, very thin, very sharp dagger, he always penetrated to the inner heart of the matter.
It would seem that he excelled in the use of novelties : the two pulpit sermon, the house-Mass mission, the straight-from-the shoulder talk to the “boys” on a scaffolding five hundred feet above the ground. (I once thought I detected an envious look as I told him of hearing a confession two thousand two hundred feet beneath the surface of Staffordshire, in a coalmine, of course). Yet I am convinced that he was not interested in novelties per se. If any novelty or stunt suited his purpose he was brave enough to use it and had the savoir faire to bring it off with conviction. But all the time the man I knew had only one purpose, to get his “boys” back to God; anything and everything that suited that purpose was grist to his mill. He just wanted souls for God, it was as simple as that.
To those who knew Leonard Sheil well, it is quite useless to speculate about what made him “tick over”; for to them he was simply Leonard Sheil : he was such a character that his name was synonymous with his personality. As I have said, I did not know him well, I only knew one facet of a many-sided personality; but this I do know, where God's work was concerned he was quite without human respect, he was completely fearless, he was utterly brave. In this respect I think he was the bravest man I ever knew.

Walshe, Charles, 1824-1901, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/447
  • Person
  • 31 October 1824-20 October 1901

Born: 31 October 1824, Naas, County Kildare
Entered: 26 October 1847, Toulouse, France - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Ordained: 1859
Final Vows: 02 February 1868
Died: 20 October 1901, Mungret College, County Limerick

by 1857 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) Studying Theology
by 1859 at Vals, France (TOLO) Studying Theology
by 1864 at Tournai, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1865 in East Hardwick, Yorkshire, England - St Michael’s Leeds (ANG)
by 1866 at Church of the Assumption, Chesterfield, England - Mount St Mary’s (ANG)
by 1872 at St Ignatius, Bournemouth (ANG) working
by 1873 at Skipton, Yorkshire - St Michaels (ANG) studying
by 1875 at St Beuno’s Wales, Rhyl Parish (ANG) working
by 1882 at Beaumont (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After First Vows he was sent to Clongowes for Regency as Prefect of Discipline. He seems to have been a great success. He was a strong man, and was both liked and feared.
1856 He was sent to the South of France.
1857 He did First year Theology at St Beuno’s, 2nd at Nth Frederick St Dublin, and his 3rd at Vals. He told many funny stories about his living experiences in Dublin and Vals.
After Ordination he was sent to teach at Clongowes.
1862-1864 He was sent to teach at Belvedere, and then made his Tertianship the following year.
1865-1867 He was sent on the Scottish Mission, and also on the Preston Mission.
1867-1872 He was sent as Minister to Tullabeg.
1872 He was sent back on the English Mission, first to Skipton, Yorks, and then to Rhyl in Wales, where he took charge of a Jesuit Church and Parish for 10 years (1873-1883). He did a good job in Rhyl, and was engaged with Catholics and Protestants alike there, with a genial and cheerful disposition.
1883 The latter years of his life were spent at Tullabeg, Dromore, Gardiner St and finally Mungret until his death there 20 October 1901. Though only a short time confined to bed, he seemed convinced of his impending death. he suffered a lot in his final hours, bot bore it with great patience. The night before he died he said “Do you know, I am not a bit afraid of death”. In his last hours, though in pain, he prayed continuously. After he received the Last Rites on the morning of 20/10, he immediately became unconscious, and the he died peacefully.
Those who knew “Charlie” never forgot the sudden “flashes of merriment” that would have any gathering in fits of laughter. “He possessed the keenest good humour and greatest good nature”. Even at his last, his humour did not fail him, even as he lay suffering. I translating the old French Ballad “Griselidis et Sire Gaultier”, critics considered the far-famed Father Prout. He was an accomplished French Scholar, with an almost perfect accent, drawing praise from no less a French Jesuit Preacher Père Gustave Delacroix de Ravignan. he was also considered to have an old world charm which complemented his sense of humour.

Underneath the sophistication, he was a simple man of deep piety, who suffered at times from little depressive bouts.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Charles Walshe 1826-1901
On October 20th 1901 died Fr Charles Walshe, aged 75 and having lived 54 years in the Society. Born in 1826 he was educated at Clongowes, and entered the Society in 1847.

His early years as a Jesuit were spent in Clongowes, both as a Prefect and Master. He was one of those who studied Theology at the short-lived House of Studies in North Frederick Street Dublin.

He spent many years on the missions in Scotland and England, in Preston, Skipton and Rhyl. He spent the closing years of his life in Mungret.

“He possessed” writes one who knew him well “the keenest humour and the greatest good nature”. His taste in literary matters was most refined. His translation of the old French ballad “Griselidis at Sire Gaultier” not merely rivalled, but surpassed in beauty and elegance of diction, that of the far-famed “Father Prout”. He was an accomplished French scholar and was congratulated on his perfect pronunciation in that language by the famous preacher Père de Ravignan.

The hours immediately preceding his death were hours of intense pain, which he bore with patient fortitude and resignation. The night before he died, speaking to one of the Fathers, he remarked “Do you know, I do not feel a bit afraid of death”. Having received the Extreme Unction, he became unconscious, and shortly afterwards passed peacefully to his eternal rest, having spent his last hours in close and fervent union with God.

Weston, John, 1793-1837, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2239
  • Person
  • 01 August, 1793-03 January 1837

Born: 01 August, 1793, Chudleigh, Devon, England
Entered: 07 September 1812, Hodder, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 23 September 1820
Died: 03 January 1837, St Helens, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

in Clongowes 1818/9 - Theol 2 - gone by 1821

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
WESTON, JOHN, born at Chudleigh,4th August 1793 : educated at Stonyhurst and Clongowes : ordained in the Church of the latter College by Archbishop Murray, Sub-dean on the 21st of September, 1820 : Deacon on the 22nd of September, 1820, and Priest on the day following : said his first Mass on the 1st of October that year. A twelvemonth later, his Superiors appointed him to the Mission of South Hill, near Chorley, where for seven years he laboured with indefatigable zeal. He was then transferred to Stockheld Park; but on the 9th of Nov. 1833, was entrusted with the Charge of the Congregation at Lowe House, near St. Helens. Here he consummated his course, (as he had long and fervently prayed to do, by dying a victim of charity in attending the sick) the 3rd of January, 1837, and was buried at Windleshaw. The accompanying letter to his Rev. Brother Thomas, will edify and comfort the pious reader :
Lowe House, Jan. 3d.
Rev. Fr. in Xt.
Your excellent Brother expired this afternoon at 2.45. He retained his senses to the last, dying the death of the just. May my end be like unto his. People of every religious denomination sincerely regret his loss. No man was ever more respected in this town, and no one deserves to be more regretted. I never left his bedside, except when unavoidable duties called me away, and I can say, that never a syllable escaped his lips which betrayed the least sign of impatience; indeed he never asked for any drink to cool his parched mouth, but always took whatever was offered him. Almost his last words were, “I am going to enjoy God for ever, for ever, for ever”. During the last hour of his life, though his power of speech was gone, I could see that his lips were moving in prayer may my soul die the death of the Just.
Your s &c. CHS. IRVINE.

Wheeler, Thomas, 1848-1913, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/440
  • Person
  • 17 January 1848-28 October 1913

Born: 17 January 1848, Mullingar, County Westmeath
Entered: 07 September 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1883
Final Vows: 02 February 1888
Died: 28 October 1913, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Early education at St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1872 at Toulouse College (TOLO) health
by 1877 at Laval France (FRA) studying
by 1880 at Aix-en-Provence, France (LUGD) studying
by 1881 at Dertusanum College Spain (ARA) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Account from Freeman’s Journal of 29 October 1913 "
“The hand of death has been severely felt of late within the ranks of the Society of Jesus in Dublin. During a period of slightly over twelve months a number of the best known and most distinguished members of that body have passed to their reward after long service in the sacred cause of religion and Christian charity. The list includes such revered names as Matt Russell, Nicholas Walsh, James Walshe, and more recently John Bannon and Henry Lynch. It is now our duty to record the death of another well-known member of the Order in the person of Rev Thomas Wheeler SJ, who died after a long and tedious illness at Gardiner St.
He was born in Mullingar 17 January 1848. His elder brother, Rev James Wheeler, was PP of Stamullen. His younger brother was the lamented Dominican Joseph Wheeler, who predeceased him some years. His uncle was the Most Rev Dr James Carbery OP, at one time Bishop of Hamilton, Canada. His cousin Most Rev Dr James Murray OSA, is the present Bishop of Cookstown, Australia.
Educated at Mullingar and Tullabeg, he entered the Society at a young age. his higher studies were carried on in France - Philosophy at Louvain, and Theology at Tortosa in Spain. he completed his studies in Belgium. On returning to Ireland he was put to the field of education, and taught the higher classes at Clongowes, Tullabeg, Belvedere and Crescent. During these years he was rector of Belvedere, and Vice-President of UCD. In addition to his marked qualities as an educator, he had a facile pen, and gave many valuable contributions to the literature of his day. When Matt Russell died, he was chosen to succeed him as Editor of the “Irish Monthly” - a publication dear to the heart of its founder and to a circle of close personal friends and literary admirers. Under Thomas’ guidance it continued to fulfill worthily the aims and ideas for the propagation of which it was started, and continued to be in the fullest sense a high-class, well-written periodical full of information on subjects of deep interest to Irish Catholic readers.
Latterly, however, Father Wheeler’s health had begun to give way, and during the last few months he had been suffering from a rather severe breakdown.”

Note from Charles O’Connell Sr Entry
William E Kelly, Superior at Hawthorn, says in a letter 09 April 1912 to Thomas Wheeler “Poor Father Charlie was on his way from his room to say the 8 o’clock Mass, when a few yards from his room he felt faint and had a chair brought to him. Thomas Claffey, who had just returned from saying Mass at the Convent gave him Extreme Unction. Thomas Gartlan and I arrived, and within twenty minutes he had died without a struggle. The evening before he had been seeing some sick people, and we have since learned complained of some heart pain. Up to the last he did his usual work, taking everything in his turn, two Masses on Sundays, sermons etc, as the rest of us. We shall miss him very much as he was a charming community man.

Note from Henry M Lynch Entry
Note his obituary of Henry M Lynch in that Entry. Henry Lynch accompanied Thomas Wheeler when the latter was going for a severe operation to Leeds. When he returned before Thomas, he became unwell himself.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Thomas Wheeler SJ 1848-1913
Fr Thomas Wheeler was born near Mullingar on 17th January 1848.

He came of a very distinguished ecclesiastical family. His older brother was a Parish priest in Stamullen, a younger brother was a Dominican, an uncle was Dr Carbery, Bishop of Hamilton, Canada, while his cousin was Dr Murphy, Bishop of Cookstown Australia.

Fr Thomas entered the Society at an early age and taught the higher classes in Clongowes, Tullabeg, Belvedere and Limerick. He was rector of Belvedere and Vice-President of University College, St Stephen’s Green.

Having done some of his early studies in Spain, he was a good Spanish scholar, and was appointed Spanish examiner in the Royal University. He succeeded Fr Matt Russell as editor of “The Irish Monthly”. Under his guidance it continued to fulfil the aims and ideas for which it was founded.

He died after a long and tedious illness, cheerfully borne, on October 29th 1913.

White, Alfred, 1829-1887, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2240
  • Person
  • 01 June 1829-22 December 1887

Born: 01 June 1829, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1848, Hodder, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Final vows: 02 February 1863
Died: 22 December 1887, St Michael’s College, Wakefield, Yorkshire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Yeomans, William, 1925-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2274
  • Person
  • 10 May 1925-08 January 1989

Born: 10 May 1925, Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Entered: 07 September 1942, Roehampton London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 31 July 1956
Final Vows: 02 February 1960
Died: 08 January 1989, London, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1948 came to Tulllabeg (HIB) studying 1947-1950
by 1973 came to work at Veritas Communications Centre in Booterstown (HIB)