Irish Jesuits were connected to the Middle East in the early years of the twentieth century. In Alexandria, Beirut and Damascus, they studied Arabic, taught in schools and universities and worked as missioners. One such Jesuit was Limerick man, Jeremiah Augustine (Austin) Hartigan. Born in Foynes in 1882, his father Jeremiah T Hartigan, was the dispensary doctor in Croom. The Hartigan’s of Tarbrook, Croom were known for their involvement in horse breeding and racing. After attending the two Jesuit schools in Limerick (the Crescent and Mungret College), Austin entered the Jesuit novitiate aged sixteen. Four years later, he was sent to Beirut to study oriental languages in the Jesuit-run St Joseph University. After two years of study, he was awarded a Doctorate in Oriental Letters and he spent a further year studying at St Francis Xavier College in Alexandria, Egypt. In The Mungret Annual, 1905, Frs Michael Bergin and Austin Hartigan wrote about their experiences in ‘Scenes and Manners in […]
On 8 June 2016, I attended a seminar at the Loyola Institute, TCD, Dublin entitled ‘Caring for our Common Home; Towards an Integrated Perspective on Society and the Environment’. Marking the anniversary of the publication of Laudato si’, the social and environmental encyclical letter from Pope Francis, speakers opined that it has empowered their work; it is a game-changer. I confess that before last week, I hadn’t read a word of it. Encyclical letters don’t tend to be top of my reading list. On flicking through Laudato si’, the section on Cultural Ecology caught my eye. Ecology, then, also involves protecting the cultural treasures of humanity in the broadest sense. More specifically, it calls for greater attention to local cultures when studying environmental problems, favouring a dialogue between scientific-technical language and the language of the people. Culture is more than what we have inherited from the past; it is also, and above all, a living, dynamic and participatory present reality, […]
Embedded in the Irish Jesuit Archives are vignettes of Jesuit involvement and immediate reaction to the Easter Rising. In 1916, Irish Jesuits ran schools and churches in Dublin, Galway, Kildare and Limerick, and taught at University College Dublin. They involved themselves in missions, retreats, the Pioneers and had a number of publications. Over a quarter of their number laboured in schools and parishes in Australia. Belvedere College, on the north side of Dublin, had over twenty past pupils involved in the Easter Rising. Joseph Mary Plunkett and Reginald Cleary died on opposing sides.