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Bannon, John P, 1829-1913, Jesuit priest and confederate chaplain

  • IE IJA J/40
  • Person
  • 29 December 1829-14 July 1913

Born: 29 December 1829, Roosky, County Roscommon
Entered: 09 January 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 16 June 1853 - pre Entry
Professed: 02 February 1876
Died: 14 July 1913, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

2nd year Novitiate at Leuven, Belgium (BELG)
Chaplain in American Civil War

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Born in Roosky, but his mother was only visiting from Dublin at the time.

On the evening of his death the Telegraphy published an article on him headed “A Famous Irish Jesuit - Chaplain in American War” :
“The Community of the Jesuit Fathers in Gardiner St have lost within a comparatively short time some of their best known and most distinguished members. They had to deplore the deaths of Nicholas Walsh, John Naughton, John Hughes and Matthew Russell, four men of great eminence and distinction, each in his own sphere, who added luster to their Order, and whose services to the Church and their country in their varied lines of apostolic activity cannot son be forgotten. And now another name as illustrious is added to the list. The Rev John Bannon, after two years of inactivity, of sufferings patiently borne, passed away in the early hours of this morning. His death had not been unexpected, but his calm endurance and powerful vitality sustained him to the end, retaining his consciousness and interest in life up till a few hours before he passes away.
Father Bannon was a man of no ordinary gifts. He was a personality of massive character, with a keen intellect, and a mind well stored from his world-wide experience and extensive reading in Theology and literature of the day. Add to this a commanding presence, which compelled reverence and admiration, especially over those over whom his influence was more immediately felt, and the possession of a voice of peculiar sweetness and power, and he stood out as a man fully equipped as a pulpit orator of the very first rank, with a force and charm rarely equalled. He had a vast experience of life, garnered in many lands. Connected by family ties with Westmeath (he was a cousin of Bishop Higgins of Ballarat), his early years were passed in Dublin, where in due time he passed on to Maynooth, where after a distinguished course, He was ordained Priest by Cardinal Cullen in 1853, and he used to recount with pride that he was the first Priest ordained by that eminent churchman. After his Ordination, he came under the influence of Bishop Kenrick of St Louis (from Dublin), to whom he volunteered for work in America.
During the twelve years before the Civil War he led the active and full life of a parochial missionary in St Louis, wit a zeal and energy that are not yet forgotten. The stress of events caused him to cast his lot with the Southern Army, to whose memory he was ever loyal and true, and as Chaplain to the Confederates he went through all the hardships and sacrifices of the campaign, saw all its phases, faced all its dangers, until its final stages ended in peace.
The vicissitudes of life led him back to Europe, where in 1864, on his return from a visit to Rome, he joined the Jesuit Order as a novice in Milltown 09 January 1865, being 35 years of age, and in the full flush of his power and usefulness. After his Noviceship he was sent to Louvain for further studies, and returning to Ireland he was appointed to the Missionary Staff. Few Priests were better known than he was during the years when, as companion of Robert Haly and William Fortescue, his apostolic labours had for their field, almost every diocese in Ireland. After years of arduous toil in the missionary field, many positions of trust in the Order were committed by his Superiors to him in Belvedere, Tullabeg, UCD and at length he was appointed Superior of Gardiner St in 1884. Here for upwards of thirty years he laboured with an ardour and energy characteristic of his powerful will and kindly heart. During all these years his work of predilection was the formation and direction of his great Sodality for Commercial Young Men. To this work he devoted a zeal and energy which were only equalled by the devotedness and affection of those for whom he so unselfishly laboured. Many will have cause to regret in his loss a true friend, a generous benefactor, a wise and comforting adviser. But to his brothers in religion, to those who knew him in the intimacy of his daily life, his memory will remain as that of a man of deeply religious feeling, of profound humility and simplicity of character, and, added to great strength of will, a heart as tender as a mother’s.”

Note from Edward Kelly Entry :
He was ill for a very short time, and died peacefully and happily at Gardiner St. The Minister Father Bannon and Father Joe McDonnell were present at his death.

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

Bannon, John (1829–1913), catholic priest and Confederate chaplain, was born 29 December 1829 at Rooskey, Co. Roscommon, son of James Bannon, a Dublin grain dealer, and his wife, Fanny (née O'Farrell). Bannon had a brother and at least one sister. He was educated locally in Dublin, at Castleknock College (1845–6), and at St Patrick's College, Maynooth (minor seminary, 1846–50; theology course, 1850–53). He was ordained to the priesthood on 16 June 1853; some months later he received permission to transfer to the archdiocese of St Louis, Missouri.

Bannon arrived at St Louis early in 1855; after serving as assistant pastor at the cathedral for some months he became assistant pastor of the church of the Immaculate Conception, and in January 1857 pastor. He appears to have been recognised as a man of ability, for in September 1858 Archbishop Francis Patrick Kenrick (qv) made him secretary to the Second Provincial Council of St Louis (a meeting of the bishops of the American midwest), and the following November appointed him pastor of St John's parish in the west end of St Louis, with a commission to build a large new church and auxiliary bishop's residence. Bannon proved an effective pastor and fund-raiser; the church was largely complete by March 1861. He also became chaplain to a Missouri state militia company.

Missouri was a slave-holding state, and as the southern states threatened to secede from late 1860 tension developed between supporters and opponents of secession. In May 1860 the St Louis militia units (which had been mustered in camp by the pro-southern governor) were surrounded and forced to surrender to Federal troops supported by union volunteers. Father Bannon may have been among the prisoners (who were subsequently released on parole). During the fighting between Confederate and Federal forces in autumn 1861, many of the disbanded militia made their way south to join the Confederate army. On 15 December 1861 Bannon joined them (without the permission of Archbishop Kenrick, who maintained strict neutrality); Bannon had earlier expressed Confederate views from the pulpit, which placed him in danger of arrest. Bannon's admirers tend to emphasise his pastoral concern for his militiamen and his abandonment of bright chances of promotion in St Louis. In his writings and sermons he presented the Confederacy as defenders of Christian–agrarian civilisation against an aggressive, materialistic North.

Bannon reached the Confederate army near Springfield, Missouri, on 23 January 1862. He was attached to the Missouri light artillery but served as a chaplain-at-large to catholic soldiers; since he was not a regimental chaplain he did not receive official recognition (or a salary) until 12 February 1863, when his appointment by the Confederate war department was backdated to 30 January 1862. He kept a diary of his experiences as a chaplain, which he gave to an American historian in 1907; it is now in the University of South Carolina archives and formed the basis of Philip Tucker's The Confederacy's fighting chaplain (1992). He also wrote ‘Experiences of a Confederate chaplain’ (published in Letters and Notices of the English Jesuit Province, Oct. 1867, 202–6).

Bannon was present at the battle of Elkhorn Tavern, Missouri (7–8 March 1862), and accompanied his unit through the fighting around the strategic rail depot of Corinth in northern Mississippi in 1862–3 and on its posting to Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi river, in March 1863. Broad-shouldered and standing over six feet tall, Bannon was a conspicuous figure on the battlefield and many sources testify to his zeal and physical courage in performing his religious duties during the fighting. (He also served as an artilleryman at moments of crisis.) He remained at Vicksburg throughout the siege until the fortress surrendered on 4 July 1863 and its occupants were taken prisoner. After his release on 4 August Bannon went to Richmond, where on 30 August he was asked by Jefferson Davis and the Confederate secretary of state, Judah Benjamin, to undertake a mission to Ireland to discourage recruitment for the Federal forces.

Bannon arrived in Ireland in November 1864. He wrote to the Nation under the pen name ‘Sacerdos’, supplied John Martin (qv) with material for a series of pro-southern letters, and circulated to parish priests and intending emigrants documents defending the southern cause and quoting pro-Confederate statements by prominent nationalists. In February and March 1864 he toured Ireland giving political lectures. His reports to Benjamin (preserved in the Pickett papers, Library of Congress) claim considerable success in discouraging emigration. The Confederate congress voted him its thanks.

In June 1864 Bannon accompanied Bishop Patrick Lynch (qv) of Charleston on a visit to Rome seeking papal diplomatic recognition. By the time his mission was completed it was clear that the Confederacy faced defeat, and neither the civil nor ecclesiastical authorities in St Louis were likely to look favourably on Bannon. He therefore undertook the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius Loyola (in a thirty-day retreat) and at their conclusion successfully petitioned for admission into the Irish province of the Jesuit order. He spent a year in the Jesuit novitiate at Miltown Park, Dublin (1865–6), and studied dogmatic and pastoral theology at Louvain (1866–7). In 1867–70 he travelled Ireland as part of the Jesuit team of missionary preachers. Thereafter he founded several sodalities in Dublin. The best-known of these was the Young Businessmen's Sodality, to which he remained attached until 1911; he may have been the model for the preacher Father Purdom in the story ‘Grace’ by James Joyce (qv). Bannon was regarded as a particularly eloquent preacher and continued to travel widely within Ireland, holding retreats and giving sermons on special occasions. He served as minister at Tullabeg College in 1880–81 and at the UCD residence in 1882–3, but he proved to lack administrative ability. He may have been the John Bannon who wrote a short life of John Mitchel (qv) published in 1882.

Bannon was superior of the Jesuit community in Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin (1883–9), where he spent the remainder of his life. He never returned to St Louis but continued to correspond with, and receive visits from, old military acquaintances and southern historians. In November 1910 he suffered a slight stroke, which left him partially paralysed. He died 14 July 1913 at the Jesuit residence in Upper Gardiner Street and was buried in the Jesuit plot at Glasnevin cemetery.

‘Experiences of a Confederate chaplain’, Letters and Notices of the English Jesuit Province (Oct. 1867), 202–6; Philip Tucker, The Confederacy's fighting chaplain (1992); William Barnaby Faherty, Exile in Erin: a confederate chaplain's story: the life of Father John Bannon (St Louis, 2002); James M. Gallen, ‘John B. Bannon: chaplain, soldier and diplomat’, www.civilwarstlouis.com/History/fatherbannon; http://washtimes.com/civilwar (websites accessed 10 May 2006)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-confederate-priest/

As he lay in prison after the defeat of his troops in the American Civil War, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, received a small token of comfort from Pope Pius IX. It was a crown of thorns, together with a portrait of the pontiff, as a sign of sympathy and support. The man most likely responsible for bringing Davis so firmly to the Pope’s attention was an Irish Jesuit, Fr John Bannon. Fr Bannon became a prominent leader of the Irish community in St Louis and an indefatigable chaplain during the war. He was sent by Davis to Ireland to urge emigrants not to sign up with the Union, and he used his time in Europe to visit the Pope. He had several long audiences with Pio Nono, during which he pressed – successfully, apparently – the Confederate cause.

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

  • Person
  • 15 January 1866-03 March 1942

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

First World War chaplain

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 17th Year No 3 1942

Obituary :

Rev Patrick Barrett SJ

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

Bergin, Michael, 1879-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA/CHP/1
  • Person
  • 18 August 1879-11 October 1917

Born: 18 August 1879, Fancroft, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1911
Professed: 17 November 1916
Died 11 October 1917, Passchendaele, Belgium (Australian 51st Battalion) - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Buried at the Reningelst Churchyard Cemetery, Belgium
First World War Chaplain.

Transcribed HIB to LUGD : 01 January 1901

Fancroft is on border of Offaly/Tipperary. The border dissected Fancroft Mill, the family home on one side (Tipperary).
by 1901 in Saint Stanislaus, Ghazir, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) Teacher and studying Arabic
by 1904 in Saint Joseph’s, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) teaching

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University onlne :
Bergin, Michael (1879–1917)
by J. Eddy
J. Eddy, 'Bergin, Michael (1879–1917)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/bergin-michael-5217/text8783, published first in hardcopy 1979

Died : 11 October 1917 Passchendaele, Belgium

army chaplain; defence forces personnel (o/s officers attached to Australian forces)

Michael Bergin (1879-1917), Jesuit priest and military chaplain, was born in August 1879 at Fancroft, Tipperary, Ireland, son of Michael Bergin, mill-owner, and his wife Mary, née Hill. Educated at the local convent school and the Jesuit College at Mungret, Limerick, he entered the Jesuit noviceship at Tullabeg in September 1897. Two years later he was sent to the Syrian mission where English-speakers were needed; he felt the break from home and country very keenly but became absorbed in his missionary work and the exotic customs of the local peoples. After learning Arabic and French he studied philosophy at Ghazir, and in October 1904 began teaching at the Jesuit College in Beirut.

In 1907 Bergin was sent to Hastings, England, to complete his theology studies and was ordained priest on 24 August 1910. After a short time at home he returned to Hastings for further study and then gave missions and retreats in the south of England. He returned to the Middle East in January 1914 and was in charge of Catholic schools near Damascus until the outbreak of World War I; along with other foreigners in Syria, he was then imprisoned and later expelled by the Turkish government. By the time he reached the French Jesuit College in Cairo in January 1915 the first Australian troops had arrived in Egypt, and Bergin offered to assist the Catholic military chaplains. Though still a civilian, he was dressed by the men in the uniform of a private in the Australian Imperial Force and when the 5th Light Horse Brigade left for Gallipoli he went with it. Sharing the hardships of the troops, he acted as priest and stretcher-bearer until his official appointment as chaplain came through on 13 May 1915. He remained at Anzac until September when he was evacuated to the United Kingdom with enteric fever.

Bergin's arrival home in khaki, complete with emu feather in his slouch-hat, caused a sensation among his family and friends. Though tired and weak after his illness, he was anxious to get back to his troops for Christmas. He returned to Lemnos but was pronounced unfit and confined to serving in hospitals and hospital-ships. Evacuated to Alexandria in January 1916, he worked in camps and hospitals in Egypt and in April joined the 51st Battalion, A.I.F., at Tel-el-Kebir. He accompanied it to France and served as a chaplain in all its actions in 1916-17; these included the battles of Pozières and Mouquet Farm, the advance on the Hindenburg Line and the battle of Messines. He was killed at Passchendaele on 11 October 1917 when a heavy shell burst near the aid-post where he was working. He was buried in the village churchyard at Renninghelst, Belgium.

Bergin was awarded the Military Cross posthumously. The citation praised his unostentatious but magnificent zeal and courage. Though he had never seen Australia he was deeply admired by thousands of Australian soldiers, one of whom referred to him as 'a man made great through the complete subordination of self'.

Select Bibliography
L. C. Wilson and H. Wetherell, History of the Fifth Light Horse Regiment (Syd, 1926)
Sister S., A Son of St. Patrick (Dublin, 1932)
51st Battalion Newsletter, July 1962
F. Gorman, ‘Father Michael Bergin, S. J.’, Jesuit Life, July 1976..

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-irish-jesuit-at-the-front-2/

JESUITICA: Irish Jesuit at the front
When they remember their war dead on Anzac Day, Australians include in that number Fr Michael Bergin SJ, an Irish Jesuit who signed up with the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF)
in order to accompany them as chaplain to Gallipoli. Two facts give Fr Bergin particular distinction. Firstly, though he served with the AIF he never set foot on Australian soil. And secondly, he was the only Catholic chaplain serving with the AIF to die as a result of enemy action – not, however, in Gallipoli, which he survived, but in Passchendaele, Belgium, in 1917. According to the citation for the Military Cross, which he received posthumously, Fr Bergin was “always to be found among his men, helping them when in trouble, and inspiring them with his noble example and never-failing cheerfulness.”

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-mungret-man-at-the-front/
Tomorrow, Remembrance Day, we might think of Michael Bergin, born in Roscrea, schooled in Mungret, a remarkable Irish Jesuit chaplain with the Anzac force, which he joined as a trooper in order to accompany the Australians to Gallipoli. He was the only Australian chaplain to have joined in the ranks, and the only one never to set foot in Australia. He always aimed to be where his men were in greatest danger, and having survived the Turkish campaign he was killed by a German shell on the Ypres salient in Flanders. The citation for the Military Cross, awarded posthumously, read: “Padre Bergin is always to be found among his men, helping them when in trouble, and inspiring them with his noble example and never-failing cheerfulness.”

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/featured-news/roscrea-remembers-heroic-jesuit/

Roscrea remembers a heroic Jesuit
An exhibition of the life of Jesuit war chaplain Fr Michael Bergin, who died on 12 October 1917 at Passchendaele on the Western Front, was launched on 4 October in Roscrea Library, Tipperary. Fr Bergin grew up in the millhouse of Fancroft, just a couple of miles north of Roscrea.
Though an Irishman, Fr Bergin joined the Australian forces during the war. He befriended some Australian soldiers during a stint in Egypt and then joined them, first as stretcher-bearer in Gallipoli and later as chaplain in Belgium. It was there he died from German shell-fire, one of the half-million casualties of the Third Battle of Ypres, at Passchendaele.
The exhibition was launched by Simon Mamouney, First Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy. The curator of the exhibition, Damien Burke, assistant archivist of the Irish Jesuit province (pictured here), also spoke at the event. In attendance too were Fr. Frank Sammon, a distant relative of the Bergins of Fancroft, and Marcus and Irene Sweeney, current owners of Fancroft Mill. Irene Sweeney, in fact, is a cousin of another Irish Jesuit, Fr Philip Fogarty. The exhibition remains open until 31 October.
Damien Burke also marked the anniversary of Fr Bergin’s death on Tuesday, 10 October, with a talk in Mungret Chapel, Mungret, Limerick – appropriately, as Fr Bergin attended the Jesuit school Mungret College. About thirty people attended the talk. It was 100 years to the day since Fr Bergin made his way to the Advanced Dressing Station of the 3rd Australian field ambulance near Zonnebeke Railway Station, Belgium. The following day he was badly wounded by German artillery fire, and a day later, 12 October, he died from his wounds. He was posthumously awarded the Australian Military Cross of Honour. Damien mentioned that Michael Bergin was President of the Sodality of Our Lady while a boarder at Mungret College and “would have prayed and formed his vocation to the Jesuits here in this space”.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/newsletter/jesuits-at-the-front/

Jesuits at the front
This year of commemorating Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War will continue with an exhibition by Irish Jesuit Archives at Roscrea Library, Tipperary, from 2nd to 31st October. It will focus mainly on Fr Michael Bergin SJ (pictured here), a Roscrea-born Jesuit who was killed at the front in 1917, and five other Jesuits who served as chaplains with the Australian army in the First World War.
Fr Michael Bergin SJ holds the distinction of been the only member of the Australian forces in the First World War never to have set foot in Australia, and he was the only Catholic chaplain serving to have died as a result of enemy action.
Born in 1879 at Fancroft, Roscrea, Fr Bergin was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, and joined the Society of Jesus in 1897. From 1899 until the outbreak of war in 1914, he worked on the Syrian mission, which entailed his transfer to the French Lyons Province. When war broke out he was interned and then expelled by the Turks from Syria. While in Egypt in 1915, he become friendly with the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF), then training in Cairo.
In May of that year he went to Gallipoli with the Australian Forces, having enlisted as a Trooper. He carried out his pastoral duties as a priest, and worked as a stretcher-bearer and medical attendant. After his formal appointment as a chaplain in July 1915, Fr Bergin suffered influenza, chronic diarrhoea and enteric fever at Gallipoli, and was evacuated back to London to recover. Even though it was obvious that he was medically unfit to return to the front, he insisted on doing so and was back at Gallipoli in December 1915. Due to his ill health, however, he was transferred to hospital work.
In June 1916 Fr Bergin went to France with the 51st Battalion of the 13th Brigade. He lived in the front trenches, hearing confessions and celebrating Mass. He accompanied his men through such battles as Poziéres and Mouquet Farm, and was promoted from Captain to Major.
On 10 October 1917, his battalion moved up to the Front line Jesuitat Broodseinde Ridge. The next day he was with the Australian Field Ambulance when German shell-fire severely wounded him. He died the next day. There are a number of different accounts of his death but he died the following day. He is buried in Reninghelst Churchyard Extension, Belgium.
One colonel who knew the padre remarked, “Fr Bergin was loved by every man and officer in the Brigade... He was the only Saint I have met in my life.” The citation for the Military Cross awarded posthumously but based on a recommendation made prior to his death read: “Padre Bergin is always to be found among his men, helping them when in trouble, and inspiring them with his noble example and never-failing cheerfulness.”

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/anzac-archives-and-the-bullshit-detector/

On Saturday 25 April, the annual dawn Anzac commemoration will take place. It is the centenary of the failed Anzac engagement at Gallipoli. Six Jesuits, five of them Irish-born, served with the Australian Imperial Forces in the First World War. Frs Joseph Hearn and Michael Bergin both served at Gallipoli.
Fr Bergin describes Gallipoli in 1915: “There are times here when you would think this was the most peaceful corner of the earth – peaceful sea, peaceful men, peaceful place; then, any minute the scene may change – bullets whistling, shells bursting. One never knows. It is not always when fighting that the men are killed – some are caught in their dug-outs, some carrying water. We know not the day or the hour. One gets callous to the sight of death. You pass a dead man as you’d pass a piece of wood. And when a high explosive catches a man, you do see wounds”

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/commemorating-the-sesquicentenary-of-the-arrival-of-irish-jesuits-in-australia/

Commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia
This year the Australian Province of the Jesuits are commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia. Australia became the first overseas mission of the Irish Jesuit Province. To mark the occasion the Archdiocese of Melbourne are organising a special thanksgiving Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne 27 September. On 20 June Damien Burke, Assistant Archivist, Irish Jesuit Archives gave a talk at the 21st Australasian Irish Studies conference, Maynooth University, titled “The archives of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931”. In his address Damien described the work of this mission with reference to a number of documents and photographs concerning it that are held at the Irish Jesuit Archives.
Irish Jesuits worked mainly as missionaries, and educators in the urban communities of eastern Australia. The mission began when two Irish Jesuits Frs. William Lentaigne and William Kelly, arrived in Melbourne in 1865 at the invitation of Bishop James Alipius Goold, the first Catholic bishop of Melbourne. They were invited by the Bishop to re-open St. Patrick’s College, Melbourne, a secondary school, and to undertake the Richmond mission. From 1865 onwards, the Irish Jesuits formed parishes and established schools while working as missionaries, writers, chaplains, theologians, scientists and directors of retreats, mainly in the urban communities of eastern Australia. By 1890, 30% of the Irish Province resided in Australia.
By 1931, this resulted in five schools, eight residences, a regional seminary in Melbourne and a novitiate in Sydney. Dr Daniel Mannix, archbishop of Melbourne, showed a special predication for the Jesuits and requested that they be involved with Newman College, University of Melbourne in 1918. Six Jesuits (five were Irish-born) served as chaplains with the Australian Forces in the First World War and two died, Frs Michael Bergin and Edwards Sydes. Both Michael Bergin and 62 year-old Joe Hearn, earned the Military Cross. Bergin was the only Catholic chaplain serving with the Australian Imperial Force to have died as a result of enemy action in the First World War.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
After his education at Mungret, Michael Bergin entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1897, and two years later volunteered for the Syrian Mission and was sent to Lebanon to study Arabic and French before moving on to philosophy at Ghazir, and in 1904 to teach in the Jesuit College in Beirut.
Bergin did his theology in England at Hastings, and following ordination did retreat work in southern England until returning to Syria in January 1914. With the outbreak of World War I, he was interned by the Turks and then expelled from the region to arrive in Egypt in January 1915. Bergin offered to assist the Catholic chaplains of the newly arrived AIP, and, though still a civilian, was dressed in a privates uniform by the men of the 5th Light Horse, and left for Gallipoli with them.
He acted as priest arid stretcher-bearer until his formal appointment came through in May, and he remained on Gallipoli until invalided home in September with enteric fever. A photo taken of him in slouch hat and emu feathers created something of sensation at home, but he was not there long, returning to work on hospital ships until January 1916, when he went to Egypt with the 51st Battalion. He followed the battalion to France, serving as chaplain during some key battles leading up to the attack on the Hindenburg line. In 1917 a long-range shell burst near the aid station where he was working and killed him.
Bergin never came to Australia, but was awarded a posthumous Military Cross and in the late 1990s was awarded the Australian Gallipoli Medal. There is a memorial to him at the back of the Cairns Cathedral, as the soldiers he mainly worked with were from North Queensland. His life is included here because of his unique connection with Australia.
John Eddy has an entry on him in the Australian Dictionary qf Biograpy, p. 274.

Note from Edward Sydes Entry
He and the Irish Jesuit Michael Bergin, who served with the AIP but never visited Australia, are the only two Australian Army chaplains who died as a result of casualties in action.

Birmingham, Alan, 1911-1991, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/642
  • Person
  • 02 January 1911-03 October 1991

Born: 02 January 1911, Ballinrobe, County Mayo
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 08 December 1976
Died: 03 October 1991, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1937 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

Second World War Chaplain

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Alan Birmingham, S.J.
Former editor of “Sunday Examiner” dies in Hong Kong
R.I.P.

Father Alan Birmingham, a long-time editor of the “Sunday Examiner” died here after a brief illness on 3 October 1991.

Father Birmingham, a Jesuit, had lived in Hong Kong for almost 50 years, having first arrived here in November 1936.

Born in Co. Mayo, Ireland, in 1911, he joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1928 after secondary school and went on to take an honours degree in mathematics in the National University of Ireland.

After his arrival in Hong Kong in 1936 he studied Cantonese and then taught for a year in Wah Yan College, then in Robinson Road, before returning to Ireland a few months before the outbreak of the Second World War to complete his Jesuit training.

Ordained a priest in Dublin on 13 May 1942, he became a Catholic chaplain, with the rank of Captain, in the wartime British Army, thus delaying his return to Hong Kong.

Having served in England and Northern Ireland, he was assigned to land with the Allied forces sea and air assault on the north coast of France on “D-Day”, 6 June 1944.

He afterwards said that his main task on those fateful first days ashore was burying the dead on the beaches where they had landed.

He stayed with his soldiers in France, Belgium and finally Germany until mid-August 1945.

He was then re-assigned to India from where he was “demobbed” (returned to civilian life) in October 1946.

After returning to Hong Kong in February 1948, he was sent for some months to Canton (Guangzhou) where a Jesuit colleague, Father John Turner, was lecturing at Chung Shan University.

That summer he moved back to Hong Kong, becoming a professor of Dogmatic Theology and later of Sacred Scripture at the then Regional Seminary in Aberdeen where Chinese priests from many dioceses in South China received their professional training. He held these posts for nine years.

During those years he also lectured briefly on philosophy and English literature at the University of Hong Kong.

In 1957, he was appointed editor of the “Sunday Examiner.” He was by far the longest-serving editor of the paper, remaining in the position for 33 years until his 80th birthday on 2 January this year.

On the death of Father Fergus Cronin SJ, Father Alan took over as rector of the busy Catholic Centre Chapel.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 November 1990

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Having graduated from UCD with an Honours degree in Mathematics he was sent to Hong Kong in 1936.
He studied Cantonese in Hong Kong and then did some years of teaching in Wah Yan Hong Kong.

After Ordination in 1942 he was appointed Catholic Chaplain with the rank of Captain in the wartime British Army. He was assigned to land with the Allied force on “D-Day”, June 6th 1944. He remained with his soldiers in France, Belgium and finally Germany until mid August 1945. He was then reassigned to India until October 1946, when he returned to civilian life.

He returned to Hong Kong in February 1948and took up a post as Professor of Dogmatic Theology, and later Scripture at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He also lectured in Philosophy and English Literature at the University of Hong Kong.

He was the Editor of the “Sunday Examiner” for almost 33 years (1957-1991). For more than twenty years he edited the English writings of László Ladányi in the “China News Analysis”. He also celebrated Mass regularly at St Joseph’s Church on Garden Road for over thirty years.

Bodkin, Matthias, 1896-1973, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/6
  • Person
  • 26 June 1896-2 November 1973

Born: 26 June 1896, Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1931
Professed: 02 February 1934
Died: 02 November 1973, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1933 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Bodkin, Matthias McDonnell
by Felix M. Larkin
found in Bodkin, Matthias McDonnell (1849–1933), journalist and lawyer, was born in October 1849 at Tuam, Co. Galway

Bodkin married (1885) Arabella Norman (c.1854–1931), daughter of Francis Norman, solicitor, of Dublin, and Margaret Norman (née Adrian; c.1820–1883). They had two sons and four daughters, of whom the eldest, Thomas Patrick Bodkin (qv), was director of the NGI 1927–35. Their youngest daughter, Emma Bodkin (1892–1973), was one of the first women chartered accountants in Ireland. Two other daughters became Carmelite nuns. The youngest of the family, also Matthias McDonnell Bodkin (1896–1973), was a Jesuit priest and author. Born 26 June 1896 in Dublin and educated at Belvedere College and Clongowes Wood College, he entered the Jesuit noviciate in 1914 and was ordained 1932. For many years a teacher in Clongowes, Mungret College, and Belvedere, he served as a Royal Navy chaplain during the second world war in Derry and for a brief period in the Pacific on board HMS Anson. Afterwards, his eyesight failing, he undertook mainly retreat work and counselling. He died 2 November 1973 at Milltown Park, Dublin. Like his father, he was a prolific writer – largely on religious themes, but also of adventure stories for boys. His most substantial book, a life of fellow-Jesuit Fr John Sullivan (qv) (The port of tears (1954)), did much to spread Fr Sullivan's reputation for sanctity. So as to differentiate his own from his father's work, Fr Bodkin never used his second Christian name.

NAI, private accession no. 1155; NLI, MS 10702 (F. S. Bourke collection: letters to M. McD. Bodkin and his wife, mainly 1880–1910), MSS 14252–64 (manuscript literary remains of M. McD. Bodkin); Freeman's Journal, 24, 25, 28–30 Jan. 1908; A considered judgment: report of Judge Bodkin forwarded to Sir Hamar Greenwood and read in open court at Ennis, Co. Clare, on Sat., 5 Feb. 1921 (1921); Another considered judgment: second report of Judge Bodkin (1921); Ir. Independent, Ir. Press, Ir. Times, 8 June 1933; Ir. Independent, 3 Nov. 1973; Lawrence W. McBride, The greening of Dublin Castle: the transformation of bureaucratic and judicial personnel in Ireland, 1892–1922 (1991); Frank Callanan, The Parnell split, 1890–91 (1992); Eamonn G. Hall, ‘Introduction’, M. McDonnell Bodkin, Famous Irish trials (1997 ed.); Anne Kelly, ‘Perfect ambition: Thomas Bodkin, a life (with particular reference to his influence on the early development of Irish cultural policy’ (Ph.D. thesis, TCD, 2001); Felix M. Larkin, ‘Judge Bodkin and the 1916 rising: a letter to his son’, N. M. Dawson (ed.), Reflections on law and history (2006)

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Note from Daniel Fitzpatrick Entry
He was sent to Mungret in Limerick for his education. He had very fond memories of Mungret, especially his Jesuit teachers, like Mattie Bodkin, who had a significant influence on him.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935

Works by Father Mattie Bodkin SJ :

  1. “Flood-tide” - A school story
  2. “Lost in the Arctic” - A translation from the German of Svenson's " Nonni and Manni”.
  3. “Studies in Sanctity” - Biographical essays
    Pamphlets
  4. “The Stop Gap” - School story
  5. “The Captain” - School story
  6. “Saint Robert Southwell” - Hagiography
  7. “Saint Bernadette” - Hagiography
  8. “Blessed Peter Faber” - Hagiography
  9. “Father Stanton” - Biography
  10. “Forest and Jungle” - Biography
  11. “Father De Smet” - Biography
  12. “The Black Robe” - Biography
  13. “Guy De Fontgalland” - Biography
  14. “The Soul of a Child” - Biography

Irish Province News 16th Year No 1 1941

Clongowes :
Fr. Bodkin is to be congratulated on the production of his latest book, “Halt, Invader.” Its publication caused great interest here. We hope that his present work of contemplation and stimulation of youth at study will keep the springs of inspiration bubbling.

Belvedere :
An enthusiastic welcome has been accorded Father Bodkin's novel. “Halt Invader” whose hero is a Belvederian. One member of the Community believes that the Government should
subsidise the book and give a copy of it to every Irish citizen seeing that the book is, in his opinion, an exposition of the ideology of Irish mentality in the present war.

Browne, Francis M, 1880-1960, Jesuit priest, photographer and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/7
  • Person
  • 1880-1960

Born: 03 January 1880, Sunday's Well, Cork City
Entered: 07 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1921
Died: 07 July 1960, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1902 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 1st Battalion Irish Guards, BEF France

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Browne, Francis Patrick Mary
by James Quinn

Browne, Francis Patrick Mary (1880–1960), photographer and Jesuit priest, was born 3 January 1880 in Sunday's Well, Cork, youngest of eight children of James Browne, flour merchant and JP, and Brigid Browne (née Hegarty; 1840–80), who died of puerperal fever eight days after Francis's birth. The family was well-off and owned a large house at Buxton Hill; Brigid's father, James Hegarty, was a wealthy tanner and a JP, and served as lord mayor of Cork. Francis attended the Bower convent, Athlone (1885–92), the Christian Brothers' college, St Patrick's Place, Cork (1892), the Jesuit college at Belvedere, Dublin (1893), and the Vicentian college at Castleknock (1893–7). He excelled in the classics and modern languages, enjoyed sports, and played on the Castleknock first rugby XV. On leaving Castleknock he made a tour of Europe with his brother William (1876–1938) (also a priest and photographer), and took many photographs, which even at this stage showed considerable talent. On his return in September 1897 he joined the Jesuits, and served his noviceship at Tullabeg, King's Co. (Offaly). After his father drowned while swimming at Crosshaven (2 September 1898), his education was overseen by his uncle, Robert Browne (qv), president of Maynooth College and bishop of Cloyne (1894–1935). Francis took his first vows 8 September 1899, and studied classics at the Royal University at St Stephen's Green, Dublin, graduating with an honours BA (1902). At university he was a contemporary of James Joyce (qv), and ‘Mr Browne, the Jesuit’ makes an appearance in Finnegans wake. He studied philosophy (1902–5) at Chieri, near Turin, travelling throughout Italy during the summer holidays and studying Italian painting. Returning to Ireland in 1905, he taught at Belvedere (1905–11), where he founded a cycling club, a camera club, and the college annual, The Belvederean, which featured many of his photographs.

In April 1912 he sailed on the first leg of the Titantic's maiden voyage (10–11 April) from Southampton to Queenstown (Cobh) via Cherbourg. Friends offered to pay for him to complete the trip to New York, but the Jesuit provincial in Dublin refused him permission. He took about eighty photographs on the voyage, including the last one of the Titanic's captain, Edward Smith, and the only one ever taken in the ship's Marconi room. The Titantic's sinking catapulted his work to international attention, his photographs appearing on the front pages of newspapers around the world. His name forever became associated with the Titanic and he assiduously collected material relating to the disaster, which he used to give public lectures.

He studied theology (1911–15) at Milltown Park, Dublin, and was ordained 31 July 1915. Early in 1916 he became a military chaplain in the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, with the rank of captain. Present at the Somme and Ypres (including Passchendaele), he showed great courage under fire, tending the wounded in no man's land and guiding stretcher parties to wounded men. He himself was wounded five times and gassed once, and won the MC and bar and the Croix de Guerre. His commanding officer, the future Earl Alexander, who became a lifelong friend, described him as ‘the bravest man I ever met’ (O'Donnell, Life, 46). During the war he took many photographs, now held in the Irish Guards headquarters in London. He returned to Ireland late in 1919, completed his tertianship (July 1920), and was again assigned to Belvedere. On 31 October 1920 he cycled to the viceregal lodge to make a personal appeal for the life of Kevin Barry (qv), an Old Belvederean.

He took his final vows (2 February 1921) and was appointed supervisor of St Francis Xavier's church, Gardiner St. (1921–8). Because of the damage done to his lungs by gassing during the war, he spent the years 1924–5 in Australia, making a 3,000-mile trip through the outback, where he took many memorable photographs. By now he and his camera were inseparable and he used it widely on his return trip through Ceylon, Yemen, Egypt, and Italy. Returning to Dublin in late 1925 he resumed his position at Gardiner St. and began regularly to photograph inner-city Dublin life, taking about 5,000 photographs of Dublin over thirty years. In 1926 he took flying lessons and took many aerial photographs of Dublin. He became an important member of the Photographic Society of Ireland and the Dublin Camera Club and was vice-president and a key organiser of a highly successful international exhibition of photography (the First Irish Salon of Photography) during Dublin's ‘civic week’ in 1927; further exhibitions were held biennially until 1939. Appointed to the Jesuits' mission and retreat staff, he was based at Clongowes Wood, Co. Kildare (1928–30), and Emo Court, Co. Laois (1930–57).

Many of these were of the great cathedrals of England, which had a particular fascination for him. With war looming, in 1937–8 he was commissioned by the Church of England to photograph the churches of East Anglia to enable their accurate restoration should they suffer bomb damage. In 1939 his offer to serve as chaplain to the Irish Guards was accepted, but he was refused permission from the Irish Jesuit provincial.

Travelling throughout Britain and Ireland, he continued to photograph and assiduously to practise the technical aspects of photography and build up an impressive array of photographic equipment, including his own developing laboratory at Emo. Most experts believe that his talent matured fully in the 1930s. Given a Kodak 16mm cine-camera by his uncle Robert, he shot a film of the eucharistic congress in Dublin in 1932, and made several subsequent films for state and educational bodies. In 1933 he visited the Kodak works at Harrow, north-west of London, and afterwards received a supply of free film for life and regularly contributed articles and photographs to the Kodak Magazine.

In the 1940s and ‘50s he photographed almost every aspect of Irish life – pilgrimages, ruined monasteries, great houses, and leading religious, political, and literary figures – and his photographs featured regularly in Irish publications. Much of his work dealt with new industries and technology, especially his fascination with transport: aircraft, shipping, and trains. A booklet issued by the Department of Health on the ‘mother and child’ scheme in 1951 was illustrated with his photographs. All his earnings from photography (c.£1,000, 1937–54) were forwarded to the Jesuit provincial treasurer and used for the education of Jesuit students.

As his health faded, he resided at Milltown Park from 1957, and many of his photographs from the late 1950s recorded the themes of old age and death. He died in Dublin 7 July 1960, and was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.

He took an estimated 42,000 photographs throughout his life, but his fame as a photographer was largely posthumous: most of his work lay unnoticed in a trunk in the Jesuit archives until 1986. His photographs were neatly captioned and dated but were mostly on deteriorating nitrate film, and a major restoration effort was required to transfer them to safe film. Photographic experts were astounded at the quality of the work, generally considering it the outstanding photographic collection of twentieth-century Ireland. Fr Browne had all the attributes of a great photographer: a natural eye for line and balance in composition (a talent developed by his study of Italian art) and an ability to anticipate the decisive moment. In photographing people his lens was never intrusive or exploitative, and his sympathy with his subject is always evident. Scenes involving children, in particular, are captured with a natural ease and dignity. He has been described as ‘one of the great photographic talents’ (O'Donnell, Life, 123) of the twentieth century, and compared favourably with the great French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. Since 1986 his work has been regularly exhibited, published in various collections compiled by E. E. O'Donnell, SJ, and featured in television documentaries.

Rudyard Kipling, The Irish Guards in the great war (2 vols, 1923), i, 136, 141, 145–6, 170, 182; ii, 173; Ir. Times, 18 Nov. 1989; E. E. O'Donnell, SJ, ‘Photographer extraordinary: the life and work of Father Browne’, Studies, lxxix (1990), 298–306; id., Father Browne's Dublin (1993); id., Father Browne: a life in pictures (1994); id., Father Browne's Titanic album (1997)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/who-are-the-jesuits/inspirational-jesuits/francis-browne/

Francis Browne
Few can claim to have seen as much in their life as Francis Browne, sailing on the Titanic, serving in World War I, travelling the world. Not only did he live it but, as an amateur photographer, he also recorded his life and experiences, allowing us today immeasurable insight into that period in our history.
Born in Cork in 1880, Francis Browne was the youngest of eight children. His mother died of puerperal fever not long after his birth and his father died in a swimming accident when he was nine, so Browne was taken care of by his uncle, Robert Browne. After finishing school in Dublin in 1897, Browne went on a grand tour of Europe, seeing France and Italy. For his travels, his uncle bought him his first camera as a present, and this began Browne’s lifelong interest in photography.
Upon returning to Ireland, Browne entered the Jesuit noviciate in Tullabeg. He studied at the Royal University of Ireland in Dublin, where he was classmates with James Joyce. In 1911 he began studying theology in Milltown. The following year, his uncle gave him a ticket aboard the newly built ship Titanic, to sail from Southampton to Queenstown, now Cobh. Browne brought his camera, as was his hobby, and took many pictures. When he arrived in Queenstown he would have continued on the crossing to America, but was told in no uncertain terms by his superior to return to Dublin. When word arrived days later of the sinking of the Titanic, Browne realised how valuable his photographs were and sold them to various newspapers leading to the publication all over the world.
Browne was ordained in 1915, and the following year was sent to Europe where he served as chaplain to the Irish Guards. During his time in the service, Browne was at the Battle of the Somme, at Flanders, Ypres, and many other places at the frontline of the war. He was wounded on five occasions, and was awarded a military cross and bar for valour in combat. During this time too he took photographs, recording life at the frontline.
Returning to Dublin in 1920, Browne experienced recurring ill health from his time in the war, and was sent to Australia in 1924. Never parting from his camera, he took countless photos of the places he saw on his way over, as well as in Australia. After returning, he was appointed to the Retreats and Mission staff, and travelled all across Ireland. By the time of his death in 1960, Browne had taken photographs in nearly every parish in Ireland. When his negatives were discovered, twenty five years later, there were in the order of 42,000 of them. Twenty three volumes of his work have now been published and the importance of his work has been recognised internationally.

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

The last parting: Jesuits and Armistice
At the end of the First World War, Irish Jesuits serving as chaplains had to deal with two main issues: their demobilisation and influenza. Some chaplains asked immediately to be demobbed back to Ireland; others wanted to continue as chaplains. Of the thirty-two Jesuits chaplains in the war, five had died, while sixteen were still serving.
Writing on 13 November 1918, Fr Frank Browne SJ describes the day of the Armistice:
Isn’t it grand to think that the end has come & come so well for our side: please God it will come for us at home soon, & equally well. Here all is excitement and rejoicing. I happened to be in Dieppe at the fateful 11 o’clock Monday last. I was at the Ordnance store outside which is a great railway siding... Eleven o’ clock was signaled by every engine furiously blowing its whistle. Then nearly all of them proceeded to career up & down the hacks – still whistling. On several of them men sat astride the boilers waving flats & ringing bells. This lasted for 20 mins. On the other side of the quarry Co. of Engineers burst a charge displacing several tons of rock, & then fired Verey lights & flares. But all this was nothing compared with the French outburst in the town. As I drove into the town our car was pelted with confetti by girls, all of whom were gay with tricolor ribbons. The Belgian emigres organised a march through the town with their military band and all the soldiers & Officers present. The bugles were blowing as they entered the main street, which was crowded with rejoicing people. Suddenly, the bugles stopped, & the Band struck up the Marseillaise. For a moment there was a kind of silence, then with a roar, the whole crowd of people took it up. Woman appeared at every window waving flags, & singing: assistants rushed to the doors of shops & joined in the great chorus: children shouted & sang & wriggled through the crowd. It was one of the most inspiring spontaneous demonstrations it has ever been my fortune to witness.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 7th Year No 4 1932

China :

The Seminary Aberdeen :
The Seminary is now in full working order. We have all the ordinary exercises of our houses of studies circles, tones, etc.The students take kindly to the tones and are frank in their criticisms. A variant of the ordinary tones is a sermonette on the Life of Our Lord, We are using the Epidioscope and the beautiful slides which Father Frank Browne so kindly sent us. Thus a more vivid picture of the Gospel scenes is impressed on their minds. They have also given lectures to the village-folk with a Synoscope which Father Bourke brought out.

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
Professed: 07 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 Yorksthat 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.

Burke, Arthur, 1905-1988, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • Person
  • 14 May 1905-13 August 1988

Born: 14 May 1905, Armidale, NSW, Australia
Entered: 18 February 1922, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 24 June 1937
Professed: 02 February 1940
Died; 13 August 1988, Clare, South Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia community at the time of death

by 1928 at Eegenhoven, Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

Second World War chaplain

◆ 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 by the Christian Brothers at St Mary’s, Toowoomba and then at the University of Queensland, before entereing at Loyola College Greenwich.

1924-1927 After First Vows he was sent to Dublin (Rathfarnham Castle) where he studied Latin, English, Mathematics and Physics at University College Dublin, graduating with a BA in 1927
1927-1930 He was sent to Leuven, Belgium for Philosophy
1930-1934 He returned to Australia and Regency at St Ignatius Riverview. Here he taught History and Science. He feel foul of the Rector William Lockington when he took photos of the Chapel roof falling down on emorning during Mass - it was thought the original design was the result of an impetuous decision by the Rector.
1934-1938 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology
1938-1939 He made Tertianship at St Beuno’s Wales
1939-1941 He returned to Australia and teaching at St Aloysius Sydney
1942-1945 He became a Military Chaplain with the 2nd AIF, serving in the Middle East and Borneo, and when he retired he was a Major. He was well remembered by those who served with him for his kindness in writing home for hospital patients, and he was one of the few people who could get mail out at that stage. In subsequent years he attended reunions of his regiment, and ANZAC Day dawn services was a feature of his life.
1945-1947 He went back teaching at St Aloysius College Sydney
1947-1949 He was sent to Sevenhill
1950-1953 he was sent to do parish work at Toowong Brisbane
1953 He returned to Sevenhill where his contact with the people and as chaplain at the Clare Hospital gained him a reputation of a man of compassion, not only with his own parishioners, but with those from other denominations. He was a people’s priest, especially for children, the sick and elderly.
He spent most of his priestly life working among the people of Clare and Sevenhill. he was much loved, and portraits of him hang at Sevenhill and the Clare District Hospital. In total he spent 33 years there, and was much in demand for weddings, baptisms and funerals. A park and Old person’s home were named after him and he was named Citizen of the Year for Clare in 1986. At the 100th anniversary of the opening of the old sandstone-and-slate St Aloysius Church at Sevenhill, he wrote a booklet on the conception and building of the Church and College. Confidently fearless of electricity he made repairs and renovations to fittings and circuitry around the house. he also looked after the seismograph.
There were many legends of his driving ability. His pursuit of rabbits and vermin off the edge of the road cause fright to more than his passengers! His final act of driving involved hitting a tree in Clare now known as “Fr Frank’s Tree” which still bears the marks! Eventually some collusion between police and Jesuits resulted in his losing his licence, and he then relied on friends.
1972-1973 He was Parish Priest of Joseph Pignatelli parish in Attadale, Adelaide.

He was a man of charm and wit, humble and self effacing. Tall and lanky, with prominent teeth, he loved a laugh and always amused to see the mickey taken out of pompousness or self righteousness. He encouraged conversation and expansiveness. he was a man who was a natural repository of confidences, and his common sense and wisdom reflected an incarnational spirituality.
He was legendary in the parish as a fried to everybody, especially the needy or troubled. Eschewing denomination, he brought Christ to everyone he met, causing consternation among the more canonical when he celebrated sacraments with all denominations.
In his later years his forgetfulness was legendary too. He was often corrected at Mass by parishioners, late for funerals, using wrong names at baptisms and weddings.

He enjoyed being a pastoral priest and a Jesuit, was faithful to prayer and had a great devotion to Our Lady.He could preach at length and his liturgies were not the most celebratory, but they were prayerful and devotional. he communicated his own simple spirituality easily to others.

He always enjoyed the company of other Jesuits. He was a much loved and appreciated man

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 17th Year No 3 1942

Australia :

Writing on 21st February last, Rev. Fr. Meagher Provincial, reports Fr. Basil Loughnan has gone off to be a Chaplain. We have three men Chaplains now. Fr. Turner was in Rabaul when we last heard of him and it would seem we shall not hear from him again for some time to come. Fr. F. Burke was in Greece and I don’t quite know where at the moment.

Carey, Timothy, 1878-1919, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • Person
  • 20 February 1878-27 February 1919

Born: 20 February 1878, Kilbeheny, County Cork
Entered: 09 September 1896, Roehampton London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1912
Professed: 02 February 1914
Died: 27 February 1919, Calais, France - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1910 came to Milltown (HIB) studying 1909-1912
First World War chaplain

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/jesuits-and-the-influenza-1918-19/

Jesuits and the influenza, 1918-19
Damien Burke
The influenza pandemic that raged worldwide in 1918-19 (misnamed the Spanish flu, as during the First World War, neutral Spain reported on the influenza) killed approximately 100 million people.

The influenza was widely referenced by Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War. The Spanish flu was a contributor factor in the death of Fr Timothy Carey SJ (1877-1919) on 27 February 1919, at Calais, France. Hailing from Kilbehenny, on the Cork-Limerick border, Carey joined the English Jesuit Province and served as chaplain from 1916, until his death.

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 Timothy Carey SJ, of the British Province, would die from the effects of influenza in February 1919, at Calais, France

Coghlan, John, 1888-1963, Roman Catholic Monsignor and chaplain

  • Person
  • 1888-1963

Diocese of Meath.

First World War: Served as Chaplain.

Following the outbreak of World War II on September 3, 1939, Monsignor Coghlan was appointed Assistant Deputy Chaplain-General of the British Army and the principal Roman Catholic Chaplain to the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), that sailed to France to serve alongside the French Army.

On returning to Britain from Dunkirk, Monsignor Coghlan was appointed to the rank of Vicar General of the British Army, becoming, in effect, the commanding officer of 700 Roman Catholic Chaplains who were serving in the British Army.

Colman, Michael P, 1858-1920, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/98
  • Person
  • 25 September 1858-04 October 1920

Born: 25 September 1858, Foxford, County Mayo
Entered: 06 September 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: Paris, France - pre Entry
Professed: 15 August 1905
Died: 04 October 1920, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia

Part of the St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Australia community at the time of death

by 1903 in Rhodesia (ANG) - Military Chaplain
by 1904 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1906 at Chinese Mission (FRA)
Came to Australia 1908

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was in his native locality and then he went to the Irish College, Paris, where he was Ordained for the Achonry Diocese before Ent.
He had a varied career. he taught at Belvedere, Clongowes and Galway. He was on the Mission Staff. He went as Chaplain to the British Troops in South Africa. He then spent some time in Shanghai as a Missioner, where he did great work, but found it difficult to work with the French.
He was then sent to Australia, where he did various jobs, including being a Chaplain to Australian troops.
He was a man of great talent but unusual temperament and difficult to manage. He died at Norwood 04 October 1920.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He enetered at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg as a secular Priest.

1892-1894 After First Vows he studied Theology for two years at Milltown Park.
1894-1895 He was sent teaching at Belvedere College.
1895-1896 He was sent teaching at Clongowes Wood College
1896-1898 He was involved in the “Mission” staff
1898-1900 He was sent teaching at Coláiste Iognáid Galway.
1900-1902 He was sent to work in the Church at Tullabeg
1902-1903 He was assigned as a Military Chaplain to British Troops in South Africa
1903-1904 He made Tertianship at Drongen.
1905-1907 He went on the French Chinese Mission at Shanghai
1907-1908 He returned to Parish work at Coláiste Iognáid.
1908-1911 He was sent to Australia and first to St Ignatius Norwood
1911-1913 He was sent to the Immaculate Conception Parish at Hawthorn
1913-1914 He was at Loyola Greenwich
1914-1919 He returned to St Ignatius Norwood. During this time he was appointed as a Military Chaplain to Australian troopsand went to Egypt in 1915. However by Secember of that year his service was terminated due to ill health. He only completed the voyage and did not see any action. When he returned to Australia he gave missions and retureats in various parts of the country.
1919 He was sent to Sevenhill.

He was a man with intemperate zeal, but dogged with ill health. He had considerable talent which could be hard to harness, which may help understand why he moved around so frequently.

Corr, Gerald, 1875-1941, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • Person
  • 02 December 1875-26 July 1941

Born: 02 December 1875, County Cork
Entered: 13 August 1892, St Stanisalus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907
Professed: 02 February 1909
Died: 26 July 1941, St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1897 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1899 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1899
by 1908 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1918 Military Chaplain : APO to BEF France

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
1894-1896 After First Vows he did a Juniorate at at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg and Milltown Park Dublin
1896-1899 He was sent for Philosophy to St Aloysius College, Jersey and Enghien, France
1899-1900 and 1904 He was sent for Regency to Australia and firstly to Xavier College, Kew - and he returned here to finish seven years of Regency
1900-1901 He continued his Regency at St Aloysius College Sydney
1902-1903 He then did two further years regency at St Patrick’s College, Melbourne
1904-1907 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology
1907-1908 He made Tertianship at Drongen
1908-1917 He was sent to Clongowes Wood College to teach Latin, French and English. He also edited the “Clongownian” and was Junior Debating Master.
1917-1919 He was a Military Chaplain at Dunkirk
1919-1923 He was sent back to Australia and firstly to the Richmond Parish
1923-1925 & 1927-1933 He was sent to Norwood Parish
1925-1926 & 1934-1941 He was sent to St Aloysius Church Sevenhill

He was a sensitive and gentle person who spoke with a very refined accent. He was artistic, painted and gave lectures on religious Art.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/jesuits-and-the-influenza-1918-19/

Jesuits and the influenza, 1918-19
Damien Burke
The influenza pandemic that raged worldwide in 1918-19 (misnamed the Spanish flu, as during the First World War, neutral Spain reported on the influenza) killed approximately 100 million people.

The influenza was widely referenced by Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War. In October 1918, Fr Gerard Corr SJ comments that: “[I have] a heavy cold...of the Spanish variety, which has been so prevalent everywhere and in many places so fatal”.

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 Gerard Corr SJ wrote from France in late 1918 that he has: “a heavy cold...of the Spanish variety, which has been so prevalent everywhere and in many places so fatal”,

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 6th Year No 3 1931

Australia :
Fr Gerald Corr, exhibited a number of landscape; painted by himself at an exhibition of South Australian art. They were much admired, and were sold for considerable sums.

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Obituary :

Father Gerald Corr

In the evening of Saturday, July 26, God called to Himself the Rev. Father Gerald Corr, SJ., who came to labour in Norwood with Father Corish in 1923, and since then has been alternately at Sevenhill and Norwood. For the last seven years he has been Father Minister at Sevenhill.
Early in the year the late Fr. Corr’s health, which was never robust, gave him more trouble than usual, and he spent some time in Calvary Hospital under observation. He was given an extended holiday as far as Brisbane. When he came back to South Australia, it was thought he might manage to keep out of hospital and even say Mass regularly, but he was compelled to re-enter hospital almost at once, where dropsical condition rapidly set, in and he gently answered the final call.
Fr. Corr was born in Cork, though he went with his family when quite young, to reside at St. John's Wood, London. That explained his keen interest in the visits of the English team to Australia and why some kind friends saw to it that he was a member of the S.A.C.A. He had been in Australia as a scholastic teaching in Sydney and Melbourne, Ordained Priest 34 years ago he taught in his old Alma, Mater. Clongowes Wood College, Kildare, till he became a Royal Air Force Chaplain stationed at Dunkirk as a base. Since the R.A.F. then was an arm of the Royal Navy, he met many distinguished naval officers and travelled in destroyers to and from England. At the conclusion of that war he came to Australia, where he was to spend the last 22 years of his life, eighteen of which were spent in S.A.
He was an enthusiastic painter in water colors, and his works received commendation from the critics and many homes in Adelaide have copies of his work. For the last seven years he had been stationed at Sevenhill as Father Minister, and, although he was a martyr to headaches, he never shirked his two Masses every Sunday. Fr. Corr was stationed at St. Ignatius', Norwood, for some years, and administered the districts of Ellangowan and Dunwich. He was the Priest in charge of Dulwich when it was made a distinct parish in 1934.
Fr. Corr was always the “little gentleman”, meticulous of the covenances of life. He was always ready to help on works of that nature. Recently he read a paper at the Loreto Reading Circle. Hewas essentially a cultured type. This led him to take a keen interest in good literature and classical music. Yet, withal, like a true Priest of God, he used all this to influence unto good the friends he made through these interests.
He received the verdict of the doctors on the serious nature of his illness with complete resignation to God's will and quietly prepared himself to meet the Master he served so well. Everything humanly possible was done for him by the devoted Sisters in Calvary Hospital and by his doctors, and, when the call came at 9.15 p.m. on July 26 he gently answered it. Prayers were all he asked for and his many friends will surely heed this his last request. May his gentle soul rest in peace.

Cronin, Fergus, 1909-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/651
  • Person
  • 29 March 1909-08 December 1990

Born: 29 March 1909, County Roscommon
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 08 December 1944
Died: 08 December 1990, Canossa Hospital, Old Peak Road, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

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

WW2 Chaplain

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966
Mission Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong: 10 August 1965-03 December 1966
1st Vice-Provincial of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong: 03 December 1966-1972

by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency
by 1936 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Regency
Hong Kong Mission Superior 10/08/1965
VICE PROVINCIAL 03/12/1966

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Fergus Cronin, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Fergus Cronin, SJ., of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, priest in charge of the Catholic Centre Chapel, died at Canossa Hospital on Saturday, 8 December 1990, aged 81.

In the course of his long life here he won distinction both as a priest and as a voluntary servant of the public. Yet he will be remembered most vividly for his almost unrivalled power of making personal friends and giving wise and sympathetic personal advice.

Father Cronin was born in Co. Roscommon, Ireland, in 1909, the youngest of three children of an early-widowed mother. His only sister became a Dominican nun. His elder brother became a Vincentian priest. He himself joined the Jesuits in 1926.

He first came to Hong Kong as a Jesuit scholastic in 1934, and spent three years studying Cantonese and teaching in Wah Yan College, then housed in Robinson Road. He returned to Ireland in 1937 to complete his Jesuit training and was ordained priest in 1940.

In 1942 he became a chaplain in the British army, serving in the U.K., the Faeroes and Iran and Iraq. In 1944, he had the rather gruesome task of organising replacements for Catholic chaplains who were wounded or killed in the allied assault on Europe.

He was demobilised in 1946 and, apart from one year in India, spent the rest of his years serving the Church and the people of Hong Kong.

The posts he held testified to his gifts as an administrator and a leader - Warden of Ricci Hall, University of Hong Kong; Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in Macao, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia; Rector, first of the Jesuit community of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, and later of the Ricci Hall Community; Director of the Hong Kong Catholic Centre; Bishop’s Delegate for Charismatic - the list is incomplete. In 1964 the Jesuit Superior General sent him to India for a year to make a survey of the intellectual resources of the numerous Indian Jesuit Provinces. The gifts that drew these offices to him were apparently family characteristics his elder brother revived the C.B.E. for his work as head of the Teacher’s Training College in Strawberry Hill, London, his sister became Prioress in one of the chief girls' schools in Dublin.

For many years he was lecturer on Logic in the University of Hong Kong. For decades he acted as a Justice of the Peace and was a member of the Hong Kong Housing Society. He took these tasks very seriously and was awarded the O.B.E. in recognition of his services.

All this may seem to add up to a very full life. Yet to those who valued him most, lists of posts held and of work done seem almost irrelevant. The Father Cronin they mourn was the adviser who guided them and the friend who sustained.

He spent his life forming and keeping friendships - men whom he taught as boys in the 1930s, men and women to whom he lectured in the 1950s, former students of Ricci Hall, hosts of those with whom his busy life brought him into contact, have cherished his affection through decades and are permanently grateful for his wise counsel.

His advice was always personal and was often unexpected. It could be bracing, astringent or gentle as the occasion offered. Always it was based on a sympathetic and intelligent assessment of the person he was advising.

Since the vast majority of the people of Hong Kong are Chinese, the vast majority of his friends were Chinese, but there were no national limits to his friendship. Recent years had brought many Filipinas within its scope. Other Asians, Europeans, Americans and Australians in great numbers will be saddened by the news of his passing. Only lack of opportunity robbed him of African friends.

These friendships were independent of social and economic status. He will be mourned equally by Sir Philip and Lady Haddon Cave, the Frequenters of the Catholic Centre Chapel, the members of the Catholic Women’s League, the members of the Little Flower Club, and Pak Ching and A Chau, two former number on servants of Ricci Hall. He valued people, not for what they possessed or what they had achieved, but for what they were - as he might have said, “because of the love that I bore them.”

We shall not see his like again.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 14 December 1990

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

Note from Alan Birmingham Entry
On the death of Father Fergus Cronin SJ, Father Alan took over as rector of the busy Catholic Centre Chapel.

Note from Thomas Fitzgerald Entry
A Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in the chapel of Wah Yan College Hong Kong, on Monday, 17 July, by Father F. Cronin, S.J., Regional Superior.

Note from Jimmy Hurley Entry
Martin Lee Chu-ming, former legal advisor to The Justice and Peace Commission :
Lee said that he could find many similarities between Father Hurley’s life and his own. They were both inspired by Father Fergus Cronin in the fight for people’s rights. Lee recalled how Father Hurley sought clearance before attending a press conference to speak for the students and Father Cronin, the then-Jesuit superior in Hong Kong, told him: “Go James, attend! This is where you must be.” Father Hurley said he could not forget such a clear instruction and was grateful for the support. Lee recalled that when he started in politics, he also visited Father Cronin, who was then seriously ill, and asked what he could do for the Church. Father Cronin told him to follow his conscience and do what he thought he should do.

Note from Terry Sheridan Entry
The chief celebrant, Father Fergus Cronin, Provincial Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits and one of Father Sheridan’s oldest friends in Hong Kong, paid the following tribute. I suppose all of us here are people who knew Father Terence Sheridan so it is not necessary for me to say who he was nor to mention many of the things he did....

Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
1st Vice-Provincial of Hong Kong (1967-1972)

His older brother was a Vincentian Priset and was awarded a CBE for his work at the Teachers Training ollege at Strawberry Hill London. His sister was a Dominican sister who became Prioress at one of the chief Dublin Girls School.

1928-1931 He studied Histroy at UCD graduating BA (Hons)
1931-1934 He was sent for Philsophy to Tullabeg
1934-1935 He was sent teaching to Hong Kong and the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen for Regency
1935-1937 He moved to Wah Yan Hong Kong
1937-1940 He was back in Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park
1941-1942 He was at Rathfarnham making Tertianship
During 1962-1964 he toured the Asian Provinces to assess what kind of Provincial cooperation might be posible in the intellectual level.
1963-1965 He was Superior at St Joseph’s, Wise Mansion
1972-1974 After finishing as Vice-Provincial he was in charge of St Joseph’s Church and the Catholic Centre for the Diocese of Hong Kong
1980-1986 He was Superior of Ricci Hall
1986-1990 He was Director of the Catholic Centre.

He was in Hong Kong for over 40 years. He was a gifted administrator and leader as Vice provincial in Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore.He pursued the expansion of the Province and was very keen for inter Provincial cooperation in east Asia. He was once the Bishop’s Delegate for Charismatics and also a lecturer in Logic at HKU (1946-1962). He was appointed by the Hong Kong Governor as a member of the Board of Education, a member of the Education Appeals Board, the Council for Social Services and the University of Hong Kong Council.
He was also active in the Catholic Women’s League, Catholic Marriage Council and American Sailors Catholic Service. He served as Rector at the Catholic Centre, the English Catholic “public relations” and a member of the HK Housing Society.
He was awarded a “Justice of the Peace” in Hong Kong as well as an OBE in recognition of his services.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Donnelly, Leo, 1903-1999, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/595
  • Person
  • 09 August 1903-31 January 1999

Born: 09 August 1903, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1920, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1934
Professed: 02 February 1938
Died: 31 January 1999, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Second World War Chaplain.

Part of the Sacred Heart, Limerick community at the time of death.
Brother of Fr Don Donnelly SJ.

by 1923 at Lyon, France (LUGD) studying
by 1936 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1952 in Australia
by 1956 at St Albert’s Seminary, Ranchi India (RAN) teaching

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926

Mr Leo Donnelly has already commenced his career as an author by the publication of a small but very readable and interesting book entitled “The Wonderful; Story of the Atom”. It is meant to cater for the popular taste, and does so admirably. Possibly, in a few places, it may be a little too technical and learned for those not initiated into the mysteries of modern science.

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 21st Year No 4 1946

India.
Fr. Leo Donnelly, St. Mary's College, Kurscong, D. H. Ry, India, 24-8-46 :
“Fr. Rector here and the Community received me very kindly and are doing their best to make me feel at home. I left Southampton on July 25th and reached Bombay on August 10th after an uneventful voyage. There were two other Jesuits on board : Fr. Humbert of the Aragon Province for the Bombay Mission, and Fr. Shields, a Scotsman. for the Madura Mission. Fr. Shields was an Army officer in the first war and an R.A.F. chaplain in the second. In addition there were seven Redemptorists : the Provincial and another priest and five students en route for Bangalore. Don met me at Bombay and brought me to Bandra, where I spent a week. He introduced me to his ten Chinese candidates. They are certainly splendid boys, industrious, serious-minded, but withal very cheery. At Calcutta I met the eleventh candidate, a medical student who is returning to Hong Kong where he will either complete his course or apply for admission to the Society, immediately, as the Superior decides. He has been held up since May, but hopes to leave on August 31st. The riots in Calcutta delayed me for two days, as Sealdha Station (from which the Darjeeling Mail leaves) was a centre of disturbance and was unapproachable. In the end I got a military lorry to take me. It will take some time adequately to prepare myself for my job here, but I suppose allowances will be made for my lack of ‘Wissenschaft’.”

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Leo Donnelly who has been offered to the Vice province of Australia, completed his course at Kurseong recently (he was professor of Church History) and sailed on the SANGOLA for Hong Kong on 10th September. “As it proves impossible”, he writes, “to secure a passage direct to Australia within reasonable time, Fr. Austin Kelly has given me permission to travel via Hong Kong. It was quite easy to book a passage to that port, and Fr. Howatson has booked a berth for me from there to Melbourne. Needless to say, I am delighted at the chance of seeing the Mission, even if I am not to stay there. The ship for Australia will not sail till near the end of October, so that I shall not be at Fr. Kelly's disposal till sometime in November. This, however, is quicker than waiting for a direct passage”.

Fr. Donnelly's name was published in the London Gazette on 8th November, 1945, as mentioned in a Despatch for distinguished service as Army Chaplain. The document from the Secretary of State for War recording His Majesty's high appreciation was not received till early in September, 1948.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

On 6th November Fr. Daniel O'Connell, of the Vice province, who during his stay in Ireland gave evidence in Fr. Sullivan's cause, left Southampton for U.S.A. on 6th November. Fr. Leo Donnelly reached Sydney by air from Hong Kong (on his way from India to Australia) on 16th November ; after a week's stay he resumed his journey to Melbourne where he was welcomed by Fr. Provincial; he is doing temporary work at St. Ignatius Richmond until the status when he will be assigned to one of the Colleges.

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

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

Born: 23 December 1896, Sallins, County Kildare
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 27 August 1929
Professed: 15 August 1933
Died: 27 August 1965, Lusaka, Zambia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

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

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

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

Irish Province News 18th Year No 1 1943

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

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

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

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

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

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949

LETTERS :

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

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

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/2
  • Person
  • 3 March 1873-16 August 1917

Born: 03 March 1873, Dalkey, County Dublin
Entered: 31 March 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park
Professed: 02 February 1909
Died :16 August 1917, Ypres, Belgium

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Educated by the Rosminians at Ratcliffe, Leicstershire, England.
After First Vows he studied Philosophy at Enghien and Stonyhurst.
He was then sent for Regency teaching at Belvedere College SJ, and later also as a Prefect at Clongowes Wood College SJ.
1904 He was sent for Theology to Milltown Park, Dublin and was ordained there after three years.
1905 He was sent to Drongen, Belgium for Tertianship.
He then became Minister at Belvedere, and was put on the Mission Staff, where he displayed outstanding qualities, especially as an orator in the pulpit.

He was something of a literary person as well. He founded the “Clongownian”, wrote regularly in the “Messenger” and wrote some booklets and a life of the French Jesuit Paul Ginhac.

In the early years of the Great War he volunteered for service as a Military Chaplain. 15 November 1915 he wrote “Received my appointment from the War Office as Chaplain to the 16th Division”. 01 January 1916 He moved with his regiment (8th Royal Irish Fusiliers) from Whitely to Bordon. he remained with this group until he was killed 16 or 17 August 1917 near Ypres.

Notice in the “Irish Independent” 25 August 1917 :
“When Irish troops advanced at Ginchy, Father Doyle was in the thick of the fighting ministering to the wounded, and for conspicuous bravery then, was awarded the Military Cross. The story of his Priestly devotion in the advance at the Zonnebeke River, when he met his death while administering the Last Sacraments to his stricken countrymen, has been borne testimony to alike by Northern Orangemen and Catholic Nationalists, and it is admitted by all who witnessed his courage and indifference to danger that his heroism will rank among the great unselfish, self-sacrificing deeds of the war.”
Mr Percival Phillips writing on his death in the “Morning Post” :
“The Orange will not forget a certain Catholic Chaplain who lies in a soldier’s grave in that sinister plain beyond Ypres. he went forward and back on the battlefield, with bullets whining about him, seeking out the dying and kneeling in the mud beside them to give the Absolution, walking with death with a smile on his face, watched by his men with reverence and a kind of awe, until a shell burst near him and he was killed. His familiar figure was seen and welcomed by hundreds of Irishmen who lay in that bloody place. Each time he came back across the field he was begged to remain in comparative safety. Smilingly he shook his head and went again into the storm. He had been with his boys at Ginchy and through other times of stress, and he would not desert them in their agony. They remember him as a Saint - they speak his name with tears.”
Sir Philip Gibbs KBE wrote :
“All through the worst hours and Irish Padre went about among the dead and dying giving Absolution to his boys. Once he came back to HQ, but would not take a bite of food or stay, though his friends urged him. he went back to the field to minister to those who were glad to see him bending over them in their last agony. Four men were killed by shell fire as he knelt beside them, and he was not touched - until his own turn came. A shell burst close and the Padre fell dead.”
A Soldier writing :
“Father Willie was more than a priest to them, and if any man was loved by the men it was he, who certainly risked every danger to try and do good for their bodies as well as their souls.
A Fellow Chaplain wrote 15 August 1917 :
“Father Doyle is a marvel. They may talk of heroes and Saints, they are hardly in it. he sticks it to the end - shells, gas, attack. The first greeting to me of a man from another battalion, who had only known Father Doyle by sight was ‘Father Doyle deserves the VG more than any man who ever wore it. We cannot get him away from where the men are. If he is not with his own, he is in with us. The men would not stick half of it were it not for him. If we give him an orderly, he sends the man back. He doesn't wear a tin hat, he is always so cheery’.”
An Officer writing :
“Father Doyle never rests, night and day. he finds a dead or dying man, does all he can, comes back smiling, makes a little cross, goes out and buries him. It would be the proudest moment of my life if I could only call him VC.”
(cf Father William Doyle SJ, by Professor Alfred O’Rahilly ISBN 9782917813041)

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Doyle, William Joseph Gabriel
by David Murphy

Doyle, William Joseph Gabriel (1873–1917), Jesuit priest and military chaplain, was born 3 March 1873 at Melrose, Dalkey, Co. Dublin, youngest child of Hugh Doyle, registrar of the insolvency court, and Christine Doyle (née Byrne). He was educated by the Rosminian Fathers at Ratcliffe College, Leics., and entered the Society of Jesus in Ireland (March 1891). On completing his novitiate he taught at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare (1894–8), founding the college magazine The Clongownian (1895). He then studied philosophy at Enghien, Belgium, and Stonyhurst College, England, before returning to Ireland to teach once more at Clongowes and later Belvedere College, Dublin. His final theological studies were taken at Milltown College, Dublin (1904–7), and he was ordained in July 1907. After completing his tertianship at Trenchiennes, Belgium, he began to work as an urban missionary and retreat-giver in Dublin. Due to his positive attitude he was a great success at this work and also travelled around England, Scotland, and Wales. Recognising that urban labourers were in great need of spiritual direction, he proposed that a special retreat house be opened in Dublin to cater for the needs of the working classes. He also wrote several best-selling pamphlets including Retreats for working men: why not in Ireland? (1909), Vocations (1913), and Shall I be a priest? (1915).

At the outbreak of the first world war he volunteered to work as a military chaplain and was posted (November 1915) to 8th Bn, Royal Irish Fusiliers, 16th (Irish) Division. Arriving in France early in 1916, he soon gained a reputation for bravery and was recommended for the MC (April) for helping to dig wounded men out of a collapsed shelter under fire. Present at the battle of the Somme from its beginning in July 1916, he was awarded the MC (January 1917) for his work with casualties during the battle. He was transferred to 8th Bn, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, in December 1916 and greatly impressed the men of his new unit. The CO of the battalion, Lt-col. H. R. Stirke, later said that Fr Doyle was ‘one of the finest fellows that I ever met, utterly fearless, always with a cheery word on his lips, and ever ready to go out and attend the wounded and dying under the heaviest fire’. He was killed in Belgium, along with two other officers, while going to the aid of a wounded man on 16 August 1917 during the third battle of Ypres. His body, supposedly buried on the spot by men of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, was never recovered. He was recommended posthumously for both the VC and DSO, but neither was granted.

Personal papers, opened after his death, were the basis of Alfred O'Rahilly's biography of Doyle (1920), and he became a focus of popular devotion in Dublin. The papers also revealed that Doyle had inflicted extreme physical punishments on himself since his novitiate, perhaps since childhood. In August 1938 the cause for his canonisation was proposed and relevant documentation sent to Rome. The cause subsequently fell silent. There is a substantial collection of Doyle papers in the Jesuit archives, Leeson St., Dublin.

Fr W. Doyle papers, Jesuit archives; Alfred O'Rahilly, Fr William Doyle, S.J.: a spiritual study (1920); Henry L. Stuart, ‘Fr William Doyle S.J.’, The Commonweal, no. 8 (11 Nov. 1925), 11–14; Sir John Smyth, In this sign conquer (1968); Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991); Tom Johnstone and James Hagerty, The cross on the sword: catholic chaplains in the forces (1996)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/commemorating-willie-doyle-sj/

Fr Willie Doyle SJ – a lesson for Europe

In a lengthy article for the UK Independent, renowned British writer and journalist Robert Fisk has used the exemplary life and death of Irish war chaplain Fr Willie Doyle SJ as an anti-Brexit morality tale. “The image of an Irish Catholic going to the aid of a (Protestant?) German in little Catholic Belgium, wearing the battledress of a British soldier,” Fisk writes, “is surely the finest image of what the EU was supposed to embrace and redress: that there should never again be a European war.” He concludes with a stern reproof of the British Prime Minister: “Theresa May, hang your head in shame.”

Fisk was prompted to write the article by a talk on the life of Fr Doyle, given in Dalkey Library on Tuesday, 15 August, by Damien Burke of the Irish Jesuit Archives. The talk, which was attended by more than 60 people, was one of a number of events to mark the centenary of Fr Doyle’s death at the Battle of Passchendaele in Flanders in August 1917.
The fact that Fr Doyle was himself a Dalkey native added poignancy to Damien’s account of his life and his death in the trenches. The slides which Damien presented of Fr Doyle’s letters, writings, and personal belongings, which had been preserved for many years in Rathfarnham Castle, were also touching.

At the same event in Dalkey Library, Dr Patrick Kenny discussed his book on Fr Doyle, entitled To Raise the Fallen. Amazingly one of the parishioners present was a 105-year-old woman who remembered the news of Fr Doyle’s death!

RTE’s Morning Ireland covered the Dalkey event. Damien Burke and Fergus O’Donoghue SJ of the Irish Jesuit Archives were interviewed for a package about Fr Willie Doyle, which you can listen to here. A commemorative Mass for Fr Doyle was celebrated on 16 August in Dalkey Church. Since his remains were never found some people considered this to be his real requiem, albeit one hundred years after his untimely death. At the Mass, Fr McGuinness referenced the self-sacrificing love that Fr Doyle had for the men who engaged in the horrific war.

Centenary events to mark Fr Doyle and the other Jesuit chaplains of the First World War continue in the coming months. This Friday, 1 September, a documentary by Irish Times journalist Ronan McGreevy entitled, ‘The Irish at Passchendaele’, featuring the story of Jesuit chaplain Willie Doyle, will be screened at Veritas House, 7-8 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1, at 1pm.

And in October, there will be a Dalkey-themed RTE Nationwide programme in which Fr Doyle will feature. Material from the Fr Willie Doyle exhibition currently on display in Dalkey Library will be incorporated in an exhibition on ‘Jesuit chaplains and Rathfarnham Castle 1917’ at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, 2 November- 3 December 2017.
There will also be an exhibition on ‘Fr Michael Bergin SJ and Australian Jesuit chaplains’ at Roscrea Library, Tipperary, from 2 to 27 October 2017.

Also worth noting is the attention garnered by the remarkable graphic short entitled ‘A Perfect Trust’ by Alan Dunne, which is displayed in the Dalkey Library exhibition. It has been nominated for an Irish Design Award

https://www.jesuit.ie/who-are-the-jesuits/inspirational-jesuits/willie-doyle/

A champion at the front
The third of March marks the birthday anniversary of Willie Doyle, who was killed in the Battle of Passchendaele, Flanders in 1917. He was one of thirty-two Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War. His life and the lives of his fellow-chaplains were commemorated, around the centenary date of his death on 16 or 17 August (exact date of death unknown), at a number of events in Dublin in 2017. The exhibition ‘Jesuit chaplains in the First World War’ continued its tour in April 2018 at Stillorgan Library, Dublin where material relating to Jesuit chaplains in 1918 and Fr Doyle was on show.

To us today the First World War can only be seen as an indescribable waste of life, a cause which served no purpose other than the decimation of an entire generation. Willie Doyle served and died in the Great War; he willingly put himself forward again and again to help those with him, and in the end it cost him his life.

Willie Doyle was born in Dalkey, just outside of Dublin, in 1873, the youngest of seven children. His education took place both in Ireland and at Ratcliffe College, in Leicester. At eighteen he joined the noviciate for the Society of Jesus, a decision he reached after reading Instructions and Consideration on the Religious State by St Alphonsus. In 1907 he was ordained as a priest, and spent several years following as a missionary, travelling from parish to parish all across the British Isles.

With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Doyle volunteered, knowing that many would be in need of guidance and assistance in the time to come. He landed in France in 1915 with the Royal Irish Fusiliers, serving as chaplain. He went to the front, serving in many major battles, including the Battle of the Somme. Out on the battlefield Doyle risked his life countless times, seeking out men where they fell dying in the mud to be with them in their last moment and to offer absolution; those who served with him described him as fearless. His selflessness was not just given to those who shared his faith; Doyle was a champion too among the Protestant Ulstermen in his battalion.

In August 1917 he was killed by a German shell while out helping fallen soldiers in no man’s land. Three other Irish Jesuits were killed in the war along with two who died from illness. Doyle was awarded the Military Cross, and he was put forward for the Victoria Cross posthumously but did not receive it. According to the National Museum of Ireland, this was arguably due to the “triple disqualification of being an Irishman, a Catholic and a Jesuit”.

The commemoration in 2017 by the Irish Province took the form of an exhibition on Fr Doyle, which was launched at Dalkey library, and the National Museum of Ireland exhibited some of his chaplain effects from the front. Bernard McGuckian SJ told his story as part of a collection of essays in the book Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War.
Watch the trailer below for Bravery Under Fire, a docudrama on his life.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/film-forgotten-hero/

Film on ‘forgotten hero’
Details of a docudrama about the life of wartime hero Fr. Willie Doyle SJ have just been released by the Catholic network EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network).

The docudrama already dubbed Ireland’s Hacksaw Ridge, has the working title Bravery under Fire. It will explore the life of Fr. Doyle, showing his bravery as an army chaplain in World War I when, disregarding the advice of his superiors and his own personal safety, the Irish Jesuit saved many lives, repeatedly going into no man’s land to drag soldiers back to safety.

EWTN say the story is an ‘inspiriational’ one and they have appointed Newcastle Co. Down man Campbell Miller to direct it. He is filming on location in Passchendaele, Ireland and England.

In April 2018, for the very first time, the historic events will be brought to the big screen and will include readings from Fr Willie’s personal diaries, historical footage and re-enactments of his many brave actions.

Producer Campbell Miller said, “I accepted this project as I believe Fr Willie Doyle is a forgotten hero. While other soldiers have got the Victoria Cross for showing one act of bravery, Fr. Doyle performed miraculous acts of bravery each day he was on the front line. In this secular age there is a lot to be learned from his actions, his teachings and his respect for all others regardless of their creed.”

The high budget docudrama is the first of its kind for EWTN Ireland, and it will bring significant job opportunities for local cast and crew, when it goes into production here in Ireland next month.

Speaking about the movie and its producer, the CEO of EWTN Ireland, Aidan Gallagher said, “We are absolutely delighted to be producing this movie. It will bring the story of Fr Doyle and his selfless heroism to a wider audience. It is a new opportunity for EWTN and I wish Campbell every success..”

Campbell, who studied film at Ball State University in Indiana, brings to the project over 10 years of experience directing documentaries and short films and a proven track record in producing award winning films — receiving accolades in film festivals around the world, including Orlando, New York, New Jersey, and London, to name but a few.
Campbell’s award winning films, Respite at Christmas and Family, were pivotal in EWTN selecting him as the Director of the film.

The film will be shot in London and Belgium, with the majority of its World War I re-enactments taking place in Ireland.

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/a-sparrow-to-fall/

A sparrow to fall
Damien Burke
A BBC Northern Ireland documentary, Voices 16 – Somme (BBC 1 NI on Wednesday 29th June,
9pm) explores the events of 1916 through the testimony of the people who witnessed it and their families. Documentary makers and relatives of Jesuit chaplain Willie Doyle were shown his letters, postcards and personal possessions kept here at the Irish Jesuit Archives. In the 1920s, Alfred O’Rahilly used some of these letters in his biography of Fr Willie Doyle SJ. Afterwards they were given to Willie’s brother, Charles, and were stored for safekeeping in the basement of St Francis Xavier’s church, Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin in 1949. In 2011, they were accessioned into the archives.
Fr Willie Doyle SJ was one of ten Irish Jesuits who served as chaplains at the battle of the Somme (1 July- 18 November 1916): seven with the British forces; three with the Australian. Their letters, diaries and photographs witness their presence to the horror of war.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 4 1926

The third edition of the life of Fr Wm Doyle SJ has received high praise on both sides of the Atlantic. Reviewers foretell for it a place among the classics of ascetical literature. It is a treatise on the spiritual life, in which the truths of spirituality are not treated in an abstract manner, but brought home to us by the life of one who shared the common experiences of us all. The sale of the book has been rapid. Already half of the English edition has been sold, the American edition is nearly exhausted. German, Italian, and Dutch translations have appeared, A French translation is in the press, and a Spanish is nearly complete. An abridged Polish translation is also in hand.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.
.......... Fr. C. Doyle is equipping and furnishing the domestic chapel as a memorial to Fr. Willie, who worked so tirelessly for the establishment of workingmen's retreats in Ireland.

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

  • 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

Duffy, Patrick J, 1814-1901, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Chruch Bournemouth, Dorset, England (ANG) working
by 1924 at Catholic Chruch 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 Biship 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.

FitzGibbon, John, 1882-1918, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • Person
  • 15 July 1882-18 September 1918

Born: 15 July 1882, Castlerea, County Roscommon
Entered: 07 September 1901, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915
Die:d 18 September 1918, 16th Field Ambulance, BEF, France

by 1905 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1906 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 16th Field Ambulance, BEF France

First World War chaplain.
See article by Steve Bellis, pp48-56, in Burke, Damien. Irish Jesuit Chaplains in the First World War. Dublin: Messenger Publications, 2014.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Clongowes, and he was then an apprentice at Henry Street Warehouse.

After his Noviceship he studied Philosophy at Stonyhurst, and later did Theology at Milltown. He was Ordained in 1915 , and in 1916 became a Chaplain to the 16th Field Ambulance, BEF, France, where he was killed 18 September 1918.

The following notice appeared in the “Tablet” after his death
“Father John Fitzgibbon SJ (Irish Province), MC, was killed by a shell at an advanced dressing station in France September 18. The youngest son of Mr John Fitzgibbon MP for south Mayo, he was born thirty-six years ago. He was Ordained in 1915, and volunteered early in 1916, so that the whole of his Priestly life was devoted to ministry on the field. He was wounded in September 1917, and in March 1918 was gazetted to the Military Cross. His brother, Captain Michael Fitzgibbon fell at Gallipoli in August 1915. A brother-chaplain Father McGuinness CF, writes that Father Fitzgibbon expired almost immediately, after breathing a few prayers, and was buried by him in the military cemetery. ‘Catholics and those of other denominations alike speak of him i terms of admiration. His zeal for souls was untiring’. Writing to Father Nolan, Irish provincial SJ, the Principal Chaplain, Father Rawlinson CMG, says that the loss to the Catholic Religion and the Chaplain’s Department, is a considerable one, and that for two and a half years Father Fitzgibbon had done excellent work as a Priest in France, and was mourned by officers and men.

Some dramatic details concerning Father Fitzgibbon’s death are given in a letter from Father Keary CF, a brother Jesuit, who writes :
‘Father Fitzgibbon had blessed a grave and read the Burial Service over one of our boys about 2pm on Wednesday last, and was talking to a German Catholic prisoner of war in the cemetery, when a shell landed in our midst and the Father fell forward. One of our boys rushed to his help, but had only raised him to his knees when another shell burst in on them, fording him to drop his burden and fall on his face to avoid being killed himself. A few minutes later Father Fitzgibbon’s dead body was removed, and was buried the next day’.
He is the fourth Irish Jesuit Chaplain who has died during the war.

Fitzgerald, Thomas, 1905-1967, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/149
  • Person
  • 08 February 1905-12 July 1967

Born: 08 February 1905, Glin, County Limerick
Entered: 20 September 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1939
Died: 12 July 1967, St Francis Xavier, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore

by 1938 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Thomas FitzGerald, S.J., who worked in Hong Kong from 1938 to 1955 and in Malaysia or Singapore for the past twelve years, died in Singapore on Wednesday, 12 July 1967, aged 62.

Father FitzGerald was born in Ireland on 8 February 1905. He entered the Jesuit novitiate there in 1922 and was ordained priest in 1936.

He came to Hong Kong in 1938. After two years spent studying Cantonese, he went to the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, where he taught philosophy and later theology. Towards the end of the war he went to Macao to teach in the College of St. Luis Gonzaga. After the war he taught English Literature in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong till 1955. For many years he combined this teaching with a vigorous chaplaincy to the R.A.F.

In 1955 he went to Singapore to lecture in the Teachers’ Training College. In 1958 he moved to Penang as chaplain to a very large complex of educational works run by the Sisters there. In 1964, with seriously impaired health of which he took singularly little notice, he returned to Singapore, still ready for hard work. In the last year of his life he took over the editorship of the Malaysian Catholic News and the wardenship of Kingsmead Hall.

The extraordinary variety of posts filled by Father FitzGerald - lectureship in philosophy and theology, secondary school teaching R.A.F. chaplaincy, convent chaplaincy, administration, editorship - and the success he achieved in them testify to his extraordinary power of concentration on the matter in hand, whatever it might be. In ordinary conversation this concentration amounted to and endearing eccentricity - he would concentrate fully on the subject under discussion if he was distracted from that subject; he was totally distracted and showed no memory of the original subject. In his work this was no eccentricity, but and astonishing power of focusing all his remarkable powers on whatever task lay before him.

Even the onset of very bad health could not rob him of this invaluable gift, He was a sick men, already in his sixties, when he started his highly successful editorship of the Malaysian Catholic News, but he greeted the work with all the enthusiasm with which he had greeted the first work that had fallen to him as a young priest.

A Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in the chapel of Wah Yan College Hong Kong, on Monday, 17 July, by Father F. Cronin, S.J., Regional Superior.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 21 July 1967

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013.
His early education was at Laurel Hill Convent in Limerick and then he spent 8 years at Crescent College, before he Entered the Society in 1922.

He got a 1st Class Degree from University College Dublin and then a H Dip in Education.. He then studied Philosophy at Milltown Park.
He was sent for three years Regency, 2 at Mungret College SJ in Limerick and 1 at Belvedere College SJ Dublin. He then returned to Milltown Park for Theology and was Ordained there in 1936, followed immediately by Tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales.

1938-1940 Immediately after Tertianship he came to Hong Kong and spent the first two years at Tai Lam Chung Language School
1940-1943 He was sent to teach Philosophy at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen.
After WWII he taught briefly at St Luis Gonzaga College in Macau
1946-1955 He was sent to Wah Yan College Hong Kong
1955-1958 He was sent to Singapore as a Lecturer at the Teachers Training College
1958 He was sent to Penang as Chaplain to the HIJ sisters.
1964-1966 He was engaged in Retreat work in Singapore and Malaysia. His final post there was as Editor of the Malaysian Catholic News and as Warden at Kingsmead GHall.

He had a flair for languages - he knew Cantonese, Latin, Greek, Irish, French and Spanish.

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

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

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

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

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

Flinn, Daniel Joseph, 1877-1943, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/151
  • Person
  • 11 January 1877-24 May 1943

Born: 11 January 1877, Arklow, County Wicklow
Entered: 01 February 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 01 August 1909
Professed: 02 February 1911
Died: 24 May 1943, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

First World War chaplain

by 1898 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1910 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1918 Military Chaplain: VI Corps Rest Station North, BEF France
by 1919 Military Chaplain: 88th Brigade, BEF France

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 18th Year No 3 1943

Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart :

Father Flinn’s Death :
“So the grand old man has gone to his reward may he rest in peace. He surely did a man’s work in the great cause”. “I never had the pleasure of meeting Fr. Flinn, but from the many letters he wrote me I have a very vivid picture of his great sincerity and unselfish zeal in the noble cause for which he gave his life”. “What a worker, and what a record to leave behind him”. These are but three of the very many tributes paid to Fr. Flinn, by Bishops, priests, religious and laymen from every part of Ireland. Few of Ours can have been as well known, few so much respected as Fr. Flinn. His work of organising and running the Pioneer Association made for him contacts, many personal, others by letter only, but in them all his wholehearted love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was the inspiration of his Pioneer work, was manifest and recognised. He was a truly holy man, in whom the love of Our Lord was a very real and very personal thing. It was thus a personal matter for him that sin should be prevented, and when committed that it should be atoned for. In the curse of intemperance he saw what he believed to be the greatest source of sin in Ireland. and hence he set himself to work. heart and soul to fight intemperance, which so greatly injured the cause of Christ whom he loved. That was his Pioneer creed. That made for him the Pioneer cause a sacred one, for he believed it was the cause of the Most Sacred Heart, and in that belief he was so sincere that his sincerity impressed even those who criticised his methods. It was this sincerity and the zeal which sprung from it, allied with the courage which is
born of true humility, that won for him a deep respect, and often an enthusiastic admiration from all those who came in contact with him.
In 1922 when Fr. Flinn became Central Director, there was a membership of about 250,000 in 410 Centres. At his death the membership had grown to 350,000 and there were more than 950 centres. This great expansion did not bring with it any slackening in the very strict rules of Fr. Cullen. At the Annual Meeting last November, Fr. Flinn could boast that in his 21 years as Director there had been no change in the rules in spite of very great pressure being brought on him to make changes. That is a very remarkable thing, for in the growth
and expansion of an organisation there is almost always modification and adaptation. Not so the Pioneer Association under Fr. Flinn. It grew to be a movement of national importance, but Fr. Cullen's dying wish that there should be no change of rule was for Fr. Flinn a duty. The Pioneer Association today is the Pioneer Association that was founded by Fr. Cullen, with rules no less strict, observance no less rigidly enforced. Here again it was not just sentiment nor a mere hero worship of Fr. Cullen that made Fr. Flinn adopt so uncompromising an attitude. The Pioneer Association was the fruit of fifty years of tremendous experience in temperance work on the part of Fr. Cullen. Movement after movement to fight against intemperance had been started only to fail. The Pioneer Association with its very strict and very rigid rule was begun and was successful where the other movements failed. This success both Fr. Cullen and Fr. Flinn attributed to the strict rules and the strict way in which these rules were enforced. Hence Fr. Flinn was not prepared to depart in any way from a method which was proved by experience and by its results to attain the end for which it had been started. Rule after rule was planned to check what experience had shown to be causes of lapses in the past, and to bar excuses which made pledge-breaking easy. Fr. Cullen was fifty years at the work. His experience was tremendous. “I shall be a long time
in charge before I dare to set my judgment against his." Thus spoke Fr. Flinn at the Annual Meeting last year, and there is little doubt that it was this great loyalty to Fr. Cullen and to the spirit of the Association as founded by Fr. Cullen which made Fr. Flinn's long period as Central Director so successful a one for the Association and so fruitful of great work to the glory of God.

Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin (Juniorate, Tertianship. and Retreat House) :

General :
Fr. Joseph Flinn, who had been resting at Rathfarnham, died on Monday morning, 24th May, deeply regretted by all. He had daily edified the Community by his cheerfulness and courage liable as he was at any moment to serious heart attacks. We offer his Community at Gardiner Street our sincere sympathy on their great loss. R.I.P.

Obituary :

Father Joseph Flinn SJ (1877-1943)

Fr. Flinn died in the early hours of Monday, 24th May, at Rathfarnham Castle, where he had been convalescing after a serious heart attack.
Born at Arklow on 11th January, 1877, he was at school in Liverpool and at Mungret before going to Clongowes in 1891, where he remained until December, 1893. During his stay at Clongowes he seems to have been very popular with the other boys, had a place on the school teams, both rugby a»nd cricket, and during the last term held the position of Vice-Captain of the House. On the day before he left, the boys showed their appreciation of his robust character by according him a wonderful ovation in the refectory.
He entered the novitiate at Tullabeg on 1st February, 1894, and after taking his Vows studied rhetoric for two years. He did his philosophy at Jersey from 1898 to 1901, and in the latter year became Prefect at Clongowes, first of the Gallery (1901-2), then Third Line (1902-3), Lower Line (1903-4), Higher Line (1904-5). He spent 3 years at Mungret before beginning his theology at Milltown, where he was ordained, priest in 1909.
On his return from Tronchiennes where he made his third year's probation in 1910, he started his successful career as missionarius excurrens, being attached first to St. Ignatius, Galway (1911-13) then to Rathfarnharn Castle (1913-17, and 1919-22). While at Galway he had charge of the local Pioneer centre, thus gaining experience of temperance work, towards which he was to make such a vital contribution in later years. In 1917 came the call to act as military chaplain in France during the great war. In spite of the marked distaste he had for the work it was all along more an agony than a service for him - he set about his new duties with characteristic conscientiousness. When hostilities ceased he resumed his work as niissioner at Rathfarnhain. till his transfer to Gardiner Street Church in 1922, when he was appointed to succeed Fr.James Cullen as Central Director of the Pioneer Total
Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart.
Fr. Flinn was thoroughly equipped for the great task which now confronted him. As a Missioner he had won renown both here and in England by reason of his tireless zeal, and his exceptional talents as an organiser and trenchant speaker. These talents were now pressed into the service of the Pioneer movement, which for the next twenty years and more, under his fostering care, gradually attained that commanding position which it holds to-day. Details of the remarkable growth of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association under Fr. Flinn's able administration are given on another page. Suffice it here to say that his name. which had become a household word in the land, will be ever inseparably linked with those of Fr. Matthew and Fr. Cullen in the history of Temperance. His talents as an organiser probably outdistanced those of Fr. Cullen himself. He was a great stickler for tradition, and much of the success he achieved was doubtless due to his allowing the faultless machinery created by the founder of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association to function undisturbed. Still the fresh impetus given the movement since 1922 must be attributed in large part to Fr, Flinn's strong personality, his gifts as a forceful speaker, the meticulous care with which he organised the annual rallies and most of all to the supernatural outlook which characterised his work.
Fr. Flinn was also a member of the Fr. Matthew Union and of the Committee of the Catholic Social Service Conference.
Just and conscientious to a fault, strong and purposeful by disposition, Fr. Flinn possessed a character of sterling quality. Completely devoted to the cause of God, hard and austere towards himself, unworldly, he showed himself kind and sympathetic towards others with a soft spot in his heart for the poor, the underdog. To an infinite capacity for taking pains he joined an ardour and enthusiasm for work which was infectious. Though for the ten years preceding his death he laboured under a physical disability of a very distressing kind, chronic heart trouble, which more than once brought him to death’s door, he continued his labours undismayed, and retained his courage and serenity to the very end. His devotion to the memory of Fr James Cullen was touching in its humility and self-effacement - when Fr. Cullen’s mantle fell upon his shoulders, he inherited as well that great man's spirit of his selfless devotion to a great cause. R.I.P.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 3 1946

FROM OTHER PROVINCES :

England :
Fr. Quigley, who is Senior Chaplain to the British Forces in Egypt, finds the names of other Jesuit chaplains in the Register at Alexandria, and among them Fr. David Gallery (1901), Fr. V. Lentaigne (1904-5) and Fr. Joseph Flynn (1907-14).

Fynn, Anthony, 1899-1965, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 22 September 1899-02 February 1965

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

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

WWII Chaplain

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

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at McCristal’s, Mentone, and twoi separate periods at Xavier College Kew, where he won prizes in Physics, Trigonometry and Devating. He Entrered the Society at Loyola Greenwich.

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

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

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

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

Gallagher, George, 1879-1945, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • Person
  • 24 September1879-24 June 1945

Born: 24 September1879, County Donegal
Entered: 07 September 1898, Roehampton, London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1916
Professed: 02 February 1917
Died: 24 June 1945, Preston, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1904 came to Tullabeg (HIB) teaching
by 1916 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

Gallagher, James, 1887-1960, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • Person
  • 21 October 1887-21 December 1960

Born 21 October 1887, Kilcar, County Donegal
Entered 01 February 1907, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained 25 April 1918
Professed 02 February 1926
Died 21 December 1960, Roehampton, London, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Transcribed HIB to ANG : 1908
First World War chaplain

by 1920 came to Milltown (HIB) studying
by 1925 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - St Eunan’s, Letterkenny, County Donegal student

Gill, Henry V, 1872-1945, Jesuit priest, scientist and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/17
  • Person
  • 08 July 1872-27 November 1945

Born: 08 July 1872, Cabra, Dublin City
Entered: 17 April 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1906
Professed: 02 February 1911
Died: 27 November 1945, St Vincent's Nursing Home, Dublin

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

Younger brother of Frederick Gill - LEFT 1928

by 1896 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1908 at Oxford England (ANG) studying Science
by 1910 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 2nd Royal Irish Rifles BEF France

◆ Jesuits in Ireland https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/a-sparrow-to-fall/

A sparrow to fall
Damien Burke
A BBC Northern Ireland documentary, Voices 16 – Somme (BBC 1 NI on Wednesday 29th June,
9pm) explores the events of 1916 through the testimony of the people who witnessed it and their families. Documentary makers and relatives of Jesuit chaplain Willie Doyle were shown his letters, postcards and personal possessions kept here at the Irish Jesuit Archives. In the 1920s, Alfred O’Rahilly used some of these letters in his biography of Fr Willie Doyle SJ. Afterwards they were given to Willie’s brother, Charles, and were stored for safekeeping in the basement of St Francis Xavier’s church, Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin in 1949. In 2011, they were accessioned into the archives.
Fr Willie Doyle SJ was one of ten Irish Jesuits who served as chaplains at the battle of the Somme (1 July- 18 November 1916): seven with the British forces; three with the Australian. Their letters, diaries and photographs witness their presence to the horror of war.

Fr Henry Gill SJ, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles (11 July 1916):
Just a line to say I am still alive. We are of course, as always, “in it”...I have been in, and I feel I know more than I want about shells of all sizes and conditions. It is a horrible and squalid business. Trenches full of mud with bodies of dead Germans and British lying unburied all along. Please God it will end soon, and that we may be able to forgot it all as quickly as possible.
Gill was tasked with writing to relatives of soldiers who had been killed. These letters followed a pattern, where the following were mentioned, even if false: a quick death, little suffering and recent reception to the sacraments.
He only lived a few minutes after he was shot and can have suffered but little pain, He always went to Confession and Holy Communion before an attack, now you may therefore be at ease about him.
The letter was written by Gill to Maggie Duffy of Belfast in September 1916. Her husband, John Duffy was killed at the battle of the Somme in July 1916.
Your Husband lived a good life and died a Hero’s death, that will not make your sorrow less, but it will help you to bear it in resignation to God’s will, Who, does not even a allow a sparrow to fall without his Providence

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 Henry Gill SJ, on leave on 10 November 1918 wrote:
In the mean time I had made arrangement for a trip of the greatest possible interest to myself. I was to be motored to Chaumout to get the train to Paris...and on the way I was to pay a visit to Domremy the birthplace of Joan of Arc. I looked forward to this visit with great pleasure. I had set out from Rouen, where the Saint was put to death, to begin my work at the front, and now after almost four years I was to visit her birthplace, and her Basilica, and to have the opportunity of making a pilgrimage to thank her for her protection during these years. For I had set out under her patronage. Fr Gill physically survived the war, but mentally, would suffer from what we call today post-traumatic stress, but in his time, was called nerves.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926

Fr Henry Gill has received a communication from the President of the French Republic thanking him for distinguished service during the late war.

Irish Province News 6th Year No 3 1931

Rathfarnham :
Our Minister, Fr. Henry Gill, has had the honour of being elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Obituary :

Fr. Henry Gill (1872-1890-1945)

Fr. Henry Gill died very peacefully in St. Vincent's Nursing Home at 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 27th, whilst Mass was being offered for his intentions by two or three of the Community, at Leeson Street, He had been ailing for the past six months with an internal trouble which was diagnosed as cancer of the liver, but he was mercifully spared any acute pain, and it was only in the last few days of his life that his heart began to show serious signs of weakness. Indeed he took an active interest in the routine of daily life throughout his illness, and three days before his death was still able to correct final page proofs of a small “Life of Saint Joseph” which he had written during the past year. At the foot of the last page of these proofs he wrote in a hand that was shaky, but still legible : “Saint Joseph, Patron of a Happy Death, pray for us”.
Fr. Gill was born at Roebuck House near Dublin on July 8th, 1872. He lived to be the eldest surviving son of the late H. J. Gill, formerly a member of the Irish Party and head of the well-known publishing firma of Messrs. M. H. Gill and Son, Ltd. His grandfather had been Lord Mayor of Dublin, and Fr. Gill was a staunchly loyal son of the city of Dublin throughout his long life. He was educated at first in a small day-school at No. 6 Harcourt Street, where Newman had formerly opened one of his Houses for resident students of the Catholic University. From this preparatory school Henry went to Clongowes, where he remained until the summer of 1889. He then spent some months as a student at old University College on St. Stephen's Green, and did not enter the novitiate until April of the following year. In later life he used to tell a humorous tale of the downcast young citizen of Dublin who journeyed by train and car to the Tullabeg of those far off days. His vocation, so he would argue, was a clear instance of the triumph of God's grace over every natural inclination! After two years in the Bog, Henry came back to the city and spent the next three years and a half at Milltown Park, where he was beadle of the Juniors and attended lectures at the old College in Mathematics and Science. Thence he went to Louvain for his Philosophy, 1895-8, where he was brought into contact with professors who were eager to explain traditional principles of philosophy in terms of modern science. On his return from Louvain Mr. Gill spent the next five years in the Colleges (Limerick, Galway and Clongowes), but gave little promise at this time of the distinctions that were to come to him in later life. He was indeed curiously unable to teach a straightforward class, even in his own favourite subjects, though he was later to display an exceptional gift for the exposition and quiet criticism of scientific principles. From 1903-7 he studied Theology in Milltown Park, and was ordained there by Archbishop Walsh on July 18th, 1906.
Fr. Gill was then granted permission by Fr. Conmee to study the Physical Sciences at Cambridge for the next two years. Professor J. J. Thompson was then organising the Cavendish Laboratories as a centre of world-famous scientific research, and Fr. Gill had the good fortune to be associated for a time with some of the men who were later to make history in the development of modern Physics. He never lost the memory of those happy days; and when his old Professor published his autobiography in 1936, Fr. Gill reviewed it in Studies under the well-chosen title : “Brave Days at Cambridge”. He was a student of Downing College, but resided in St. Edmund's House where he had the late Most Rev. Dr. McNulty, Bishop of Nottingham, as his friend and fellow-student. Fr. Gill's own interests were centred at this time on the problems of seismography, and he read a paper to the British Association in 1913 in which he put forward an ingenious theory to explain the distribution of earthquakes in time and space. He was also keenly interested in the development of Wireless Telegraphy - then in its initial stages - and was accustomed to give popular lectures in Dublin on this and kindred subjects. He attended many of the later annual meetings of the British Association, and was frequently invited to preach at some Catholic church during its sessions.
After his period at Cambridge Fr. Gill was sent to Tronchiennes in Belgium for his Tertianship. He was then stationed for three years in Belvedere, until he came to Rathfarnham Castle as its first Spiritual Father in 1913. A year later came the First Great War, and Fr. Gill. was one of the first to send in his name to Fr. Provincial as volunteering for wark as Army Chaptain. His offer was accepted, and he spent the next four years in the trenches of Flanders, with no more interruption. than the customary short leaves from active service. Those who remember his visits to Rathfarnham during these intervals will recall the impression of a man who seemed strangely ill-assorted with military life. Yet the plain truth is that both officers and men of the regiment to which he was attached (Second Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles) were devoted to him, and the gallantry with which he responded to every claim on his services during those four grim years of trench warfare is attested by the double award of Military Cross and Distinguished Service Order. One officer who was with him throughout those four years and who was present at his funeral spoke with real emotion of his memories. “He seemed like a lost soul wherever you met him”, was his comment, “but he was always there when wanted, and was afraid of no man”. His unfailing sense of humour and his great gifts of companionship made him a special favourite with the officers mess. But, to the end of his days, he was in touch with some of the men who bad served under him, and their letters revealed the same genuine affection for their old ‘Padre’.
After the war Fr. Gill came to University Hall for five years, where he assisted Fr. George Roche and Fr. Wrafter in their work for the students of University College, and was also able to continue for a. time his former research-work. But his vitality had been much lessened by the long experience of the war-years, and he soon abandoned active research-work. . He went as Minister to Belvedere College in 1923. Here he spent the next seven years, and became a very loyal Belvederian. He was then transferred as Minister for one year to Rathfarnham Castle. The last change came in 1931, when he joined the Leeson Street Community as their Fr. Minister and later as Spiritual Father. For the last fourteen years of his life it is no exaggeration to say that Fr. Gill's kindly personality and the stimulus of his conversation made community life a joy to many of his brethren. He was also, for many years past, a regular contributor to Studies, The Irish Monthly and the Irish Ecclesiastical Record. His contributions to the latter were published in book form in two small volumes entitled “Jesuit Spirituality” (1935) and “Christianity in Daily Life” (1942), both of them full of his characteristic common sense. A selection of the many essays on scientific topics which he had contributed to Studies, Thought and the Irish Ecclesiastical Record was issued by Messers. Gill and Son in 1943 under the excellent title “Fact and Fiction in Modern Science”. It was at once most favourably received both in England and Ireland. In the United States the impression made was so remarkable that Fordham University. undertook to produce a special American edition of this work, which was issued some months before Fr. Gill's death. He also published in 1941 a short biography of the celebrated Jesuit physicist, Fr. Roger Boscovich, which was no more than a brief sketch of a more ambitious work which he had planned for some years past, but was unable to complete owing to his failing, health. May he rest in peace.

Guinane, Gerard, 1900-1971, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/169
  • Person
  • 21 September 1900-26 June 1971

Born: 21 September 1900, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 31 August 1917, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained:31 July 1933
Professed: 02 February 1936
Died: 26 June 1971, Crescent College, Limerick City

Second World War chaplain

by 1928 in Australia - Regency
by 1935 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Gerard Guinane was only sixteen when he entered the Society at Tullabeg, and following early studies he was sent to Riverview in 1926. He taught in the school, was prefect of the study hall and, for a while, was assistant rowing master. He was very successful as a teacher and highly regarded by William Lockington. After ordination and tertianship, Guinane spent most of his life teaching, principally at Mungret and Limerick.

◆ 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 Yorksthat 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 21st Year No 1 1946

Frs. Guinane, Pelly and Perrott C. have been released from the Army. Fr. Guinane is now Minister at Mungret, Fr. Perrott is posted to Galway, and Fr. Pelly is awaiting travelling facilities to go to our Hong Kong Mission. Fr. Martin, a member also of the Mission, was to have been released from the Army on December 12th, but on the 11th be met with a serious accident in Belfast (see letter below). Fr. Provincial went to Belfast on Wednesday, January 9th, to visit him at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Fr. C. Murphy hopes to start on his homeward journey from Austria on January 14th and to be released from the Army by the end of January.

Gwynn, John, 1866-1915, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • Person
  • 12 June 1866-12 October 1915

WW1 Chaplain

Born 12 June 1866, Youghal, Co Cork
Entered 18 October 1884, Dromore
Ordained 1899
Professed 15 August 1903
Died 12 October 1915, Béthune, France - Military Chaplain

Member of the Mungret College, Limerick community at the time of death

by 1892 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1902 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education at Coláiste Iognáid.

He studied Philosophy at Louvain and Theology at Milltown. He also did Regency in the Colleges, and at one stage was a Teacher for the Juniors. He was a man of brilliant achievements academically.
He was for some years at Crescent as a Teacher and Operarius. He gave Lenten Lectures at Crescent and Gardiner St, reputedly brilliantly.
For some years before he became a Chaplain to the troops he acted as Dean of Residence at University Hall.
1914 He became Chaplain to the Irish Guards and continued with them until his death in France 12/10/1915

The following Tribute was paid to him in a letter from Desmond Fitzgerald, Captain Commanding 1st Battalion Irish Guards 16/10/1915 :
“Dear Father Delaney, You will of course by now hard of Father Gwynn’s death, and I know full well that the universal sorrow felt by all ranks of this Battalion will be shared by you and all the members of your University, who knew him so well.
No words of mind could express, or even give a faint idea of the amount of good he has done us all out here, or how bravely he has faced all dangers, and how cheerful and comforting he has always been. It is no exaggeration to say that hewas loved by every offier, NCO and man in the battalion.
The Irish Guards owe him a deep and lasting debt of gratitude, and as long as any of us are left who saw him out here we shall never forget his wonderful life, and shall strive to lead a better life by following his example.
The unfortunate shell landed in the door of the Headquarter dugout just as we had finished luncheon, on October 11th. Father Gwynn received one or two wounds in the leg, as well as a piece of shell through his back in his lung. He was immdeiately bound up and sent to hospital, but died from shock and inhuries at 8am the nect morning, October 12th. he was buried in the cemetery at Bethune at 10am October 13th. May his sould rest in peace. But, although he has been taken from us, he will still be helping us, and rather tha grieve at our loss, we must rejoice at his happiness. Yours sincerely, Desmond Fitzgerald..”

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/201511/john-gwynn-sj-no-greater-love/

John Gwynn SJ – “No greater love”
A memorial mass took place on Sunday 11 October 2015 at the Sacred Heart parish in Caterham, Surrey, to commemorate the centenary of the death of Irish Jesuit Fr. John Gwynn, who was Chaplain to the Irish Guards and who served in France during the First World War. Many knew him as a powerful and eloquent preacher at the Sacred Heart Church and at St. Francis Xavier’s Church in Dublin, where questions of sociology had a strong attraction for him.
Fergus O’Donoghue SJ who represented the Irish province at the event said, “I was very glad that myself and Brother Michael O’Connor (former Royal Marine and British Jesuit) had gone because the local parish people had made such an effort, and there was a display on John Gwynn’s life, and generally it was just great.” A memorial plaque was erected in the Church by the Irish Guards who were based at Caterham barracks nearby. Bishop Richard Moth, the bishop of the diocese and former bishop to the Armed Forces, noted the enthusiasm of the Sacred Heart parish and presided over the special mass on Sunday evening.
“It was by chance that an article of Fr. Gwynn was seen online by his grandniece from Massachusetts,” says Fr. Fergus. “She got in touch and sent a message. It was lovely because the whole parish got involved.” The mass itself featured the song We Remember You by children from St. Francis’ School as well as the recessional hymn Be Thou My Vision, based on St. Patrick’s Breastplate.
Lord Desmond Fitzgerald, the Captain of the 1st Irish Guards has written: “It is certainly no exaggeration to say that Fr Gwynn was loved by every officer, N.C.O. and man in the battalion.” Furthermore, an Irish Guard who was also an Old Belvederian spoke of the Jesuit’s presence at the Medical Officer’s dugout so that he could be near his injured men, and that he organised sports and concerts to keep up morale. He even returned to the battlefield despite being crippled after a shell wounded him.
John Gwynn SJ experienced internal suffering during his lifetime. “It’s quite clear that he had a condition like bipolar disorder (a mental illness characterised by extreme high and low moods), then known as suffering from nerves,” says Fr. O’Donoghue. Through all of this, he was extremely brave and he was an enormously successful chaplain.
Fr. Gwynn was fatally wounded in action near Vermelles, Northern France on 11 October 1915 and he died the next day at 50 years old. It was said that he would have been happy to die as a ‘soldier of God’.

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

Note from William Gwynn Entry :
William Gwynn’s father was a military man and had been transferred to Galway by the time that William and his younger brother John (who also entered the Society) were ready for their schooling. Both boys were educated at St Ignatius' College Galway.
.........After tertianship at Linz, Austria, 1901-02 with his brother John

Gwynn, William, 1865-1950, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • Person
  • 17 March 1865-22 October 1950

Born: 17 March 1865, Youghal, County Cork
Entered: 20 October 1883, Milltown Park Dublin; Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1900
Professed: 15 August 1903
Died: 22 October 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin

First World War Chaplain

Older brother of John - RIP 1915

by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1890 at Exaeten College Limburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
Came to Australia 1902
by 1902 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship
by 1919 Military Chaplain : 8th Australian Infantry Brigade, AIF France

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
William Gwynn’s father was a military man and had been transferred to Galway by the time that William and his younger brother John (who also entered the Society) were ready for their schooling. Both boys were educated at St Ignatius' College Galway. Gwynn entered the Society at Milltown Park, 20 October 1883, and studied rhetoric as a junior up to II Arts at the Royal University while living at Milltown Park, 1885-87. Philosophy was at Louvain and Exaeten. 1887-90, and regency at Belvedere Clongowes, and Mungret, 1890-97. Theology followed at Milltown Park. 1897-1901
After tertianship at Linz, Austria, 1901-02 with his brother John, Gwynn, he was sent to Australia where he taught at Riverview, St Aloysius' College and St Patrick's College, 1902-11, before engaging in parish ministry at Sevenhill, 1911-13, and Norwood 1913-17. He taught for a further few years at St Patrick’s College 1917-18, before becoming a military chaplain of the 8th Infantry Brigade AIF, 1918-20, travelling to Egypt, France and Germany.
Gwynn returned to Ireland after the war and taught philosophy and mathematics at Mungret. He was later in charge of the People's Church at Clongowes until 1930, and then performed rural missionary work retreats with great vigor and success throughout the country, a ministry he enjoyed while in Australia.
In 1930 he was transferred to parish work at Gardiner Street until 1944. In earlier he was in charge of the Night Workers' Sodality.
For the last six years of his life he was attached to Milltown Park, living in great cheer and contentment, praying for the Society.
The Irish Province News, January 1951, described Gwynn as an original character. In whatever company he found himself he became the centre of interest by his wit and personality. He was extraordinarily outspoken and frank in his remarks about others and himself. He never made any secret about his own plans and projects. At first sight, he might have been seen as egotistical or cynical or a man who had shed many of the kindly illusions about human nature. But much of that frankness was part of his sense of humor and a pose, it helped to make him interesting and to amuse.
He was not a man to give his best in ordinary, every day work. He wanted change and variety. He liked to plough a lonely furrow a man of original mind, who had his very personal way of looking at people and things. He had all the gifts of a preacher - appearance, voice, personality, an original approach to any subject, and a gift for a striking, arresting phrase. His retreats were memorable for their freshness and originality. As a confessor some respected him for being broad, sympathetic and understanding.

Hartigan, Jeremiah Austin, 1882-1916, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/177
  • Person
  • 18 August 1882-16 July 1916

Born: 18 August 1882, Foynes, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1898, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1914
Died: 16 July 1916, Kut-al-Amara, Mesopotamia, Iraq (Military Chaplain)

Chaplain in the First World War

by 1901 in Saint Joseph’s, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) studying oriental language
by 1910 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1912 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Clongowes.
After Noviceship he made studies at Tullabeg, and then Eastern languages at Beirut with Edmund Power.
He made Regency at Clongowes teaching Greekj and Latin.
He was then sent for Philosophy to Stonyhurst, and later Theology at Hastings.
During his Tertianship in 1915 he was sent to the War as Chaplain, and he died at war 16 July 1916, at Amara, Mesopotamia.
He was a young Priest of great promise.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Jeremiah Augustine Hartigan Mungret student

Hayes, John, 1909-1945, Jesuit priest

  • 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

◆ 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 Yorksthat 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

Obituary

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 yested 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.

LETTERS ABOUT FR. JOHN HAYES :

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 Claplain 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 Cathohc 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 Asiat, 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 peneumonia 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 typbus. 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 waiking 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).

Hearn, Joseph, 1854-1941, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 05 August 1854-22 November 1941

Born: 05 August 1854, Ballinrobe, Co Mayo
Entered: 31 October 1878, Milltown Park
Ordained: 1890
Professed: 02 February 1896
Died: 22 November 1941, Loyola College, Watsonia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

First World War chaplain

by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
Came to Australia 1892
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 7th Infantry Battalion

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :

Note from John Gately Entry :
Father Gately worked up to the end. He heard Confessions up to 10pm and was dead by 2am. Four hours, and perhaps most of that sleeping! Father Charles Morrough heard groaning and went down, and Father Joseph Hearn, Superior, gave him the Last Sacraments.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/anzac-archives-and-the-bullshit-detector/

On Saturday 25 April, the annual dawn Anzac commemoration will take place. It is the centenary of the failed Anzac engagement at Gallipoli. Six Jesuits, five of them Irish-born, served with the Australian Imperial Forces in the First World War. Frs Joseph Hearn and Michael Bergin both served at Gallipoli.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/commemorating-the-sesquicentenary-of-the-arrival-of-irish-jesuits-in-australia/

Commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia
This year the Australian Province of the Jesuits are commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia. Australia became the first overseas mission of the Irish Jesuit Province. To mark the occasion the Archdiocese of Melbourne are organising a special thanksgiving Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne 27 September. On 20 June Damien Burke, Assistant Archivist, Irish Jesuit Archives gave a talk at the 21st Australasian Irish Studies conference, Maynooth University, titled “The archives of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931”. In his address Damien described the work of this mission with reference to a number of documents and photographs concerning it that are held at the Irish Jesuit Archives.
Irish Jesuits worked mainly as missionaries, and educators in the urban communities of eastern Australia. The mission began when two Irish Jesuits Frs. William Lentaigne and William Kelly, arrived in Melbourne in 1865 at the invitation of Bishop James Alipius Goold, the first Catholic bishop of Melbourne. They were invited by the Bishop to re-open St. Patrick’s College, Melbourne, a secondary school, and to undertake the Richmond mission. From 1865 onwards, the Irish Jesuits formed parishes and established schools while working as missionaries, writers, chaplains, theologians, scientists and directors of retreats, mainly in the urban communities of eastern Australia. By 1890, 30% of the Irish Province resided in Australia.
By 1931, this resulted in five schools, eight residences, a regional seminary in Melbourne and a novitiate in Sydney. Dr Daniel Mannix, archbishop of Melbourne, showed a special predication for the Jesuits and requested that they be involved with Newman College, University of Melbourne in 1918. Six Jesuits (five were Irish-born) served as chaplains with the Australian Forces in the First World War and two died, Frs Michael Bergin and Edwards Sydes. Both Michael Bergin and 62 year-old Joe Hearn, earned the Military Cross. Bergin was the only Catholic chaplain serving with the Australian Imperial Force to have died as a result of enemy action in the First World War.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Joseph Hearn was an Old Boy of St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, before its amalgamation with Clongowes. He entered the Society at Mlilltown Park, 31 October 1878, at the age of 24. He taught at Tullabeg College after juniorate studies, 1881-84, studied philosophy at Milltown Park, 1884-89, and theology at Louvain and Milltown Park, 1887-91. He
was then appointed socius to the master of novices while he completed his tertianship at Tullabeg College.
Hearn came to Australia and taught at St Patrick's College, 1892-96, and Riverview for a short time in 1896. He was appointed superior and parish priest of Richmond, 1896-1914, and was a mission consulter at the same time. Then he became a military chaplain and served with the Australian Expeditionary Force in its campaign in the Dardanelles. He served with the 7th in Belgium and then with the 2nd infantry Battalion. He was with the Australian Imperial Force (AIP), headquarters in the UK, returning to Australia early in 1917. He
was awarded the Military Cross for his service.
Upon his return, he resumed parish work at Lavender Bay, 1917-18; North Sydney, 1918-22, where he was parish priest, superior and Sydney Mission consulter, and Hawthorn, 1922-31, at one time minister then superior and parish priest. Despite old age, he was appointed rector of Loyola College, Greenwich, 1931-33, and when the house of formation moved to Watsonia, Vic., became its first rector, 1934-40. His final appointment was parish work at Richmond, Vic.
Hearn was called 'blood and iron Joe', and lived up to this by the severity of his manner, both with himself and others. He did not relate well to women, but men liked him. He had a vein of sardonic humor that suited well with the temper of the First AIF He joined the army at the age of 60. Though his service in the army tended to overshadow his other work, the real high point of his career was his long period as parish priest of Richmond; the parish schools especially are a monument to him.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Entered as Brother Novice. After 6 months postulancy was admitted as a Scholastic Novice

Howatson, P Joseph, 1910-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/721
  • Person
  • 18 March 1910-23 August 1972

Born: 18 March 1910, Waterville, County Kerry
Entered: 17 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941
Professed: 02 February 1944
Died: 23 August 1972, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong - Hong Kong Vice Province (HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1936 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

WWII Chaplain

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Patrick Joseph Howatson, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Patrick Joseph Howatson, SJ, chairman of the Hong Kong boys and Girls Clubs Association, died at Grantham Hospital on 23 August 1972, aged 62.

He was born at Waterville, Co. Kerry, Ireland, in 1910, educated at Clongowes Wood College, Ireland, and joined the Jesuit Order in 1927. Before long he had proved himself the most effective and clear-sighted organizer among the Irish Jesuits of his generation.

He spent the years 1935-38 in Hong Kong, teaching in the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, and in Wah Yan College.

He was ordained priest in Ireland in 1941. His main work until his return to Hong Kong in 1946 was the preaching of popular missions - courses of very direct and forceful sermons - but he gave all the time he could spare to the Bevedere Newsboys Club, working for it with an enthusiasm that was to bear fruit here.

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS
On his return to Hong Kong in 1946 he became a teacher at Wah Yan College and procurator for the Hong Kong Jesuits. He was horrified by the sight of post-war destitution. The shoeshine boys in particular captured his attention. Many of them were homeless orphans; none of them had much to look forward to when their day’s work was done. For them he founded his first club, at Wah Yan College, then on Robinson Road.

This club, with its carefully considered mixture of education and recreation, flourished under Father Howatson’s combination of firm discipline with unforced and understanding affection. It soon served as a model for some of the many boys clubs that were springing up to meet a need that was especially urgent in the early post-war years. When the Boys and Girls Clubs (BGCA) was reorganized to cope with this growth, Father Howatson was elected chairman, Bishop Hall being President.

Father Howatson gave up teaching and devoted his abundant energy to his new task, He took a deep interest in all the clubs in the association. His personal preference would have been to work directly for the boys, but as chairman he regarded it as his first duty to train club leaders and to advise and encourage them once they had taken up work. He also devoted endless care to the planning, building and use of the Holiday Home at Silvermine Bay.

In 1959, the BGCA moved to its own headquarters in Lockhart Road. At the opening, Sir Robert Black, then Governor of Hong Kong, paid the following tribute:

Any collective effort requires a high degree of planning and organization; a good committee needs a first-class chairman; the Boys and Girls Clubs Association are most fortunate in their chairman, Father Howatson.

This building stands above us today completed because of his drive and his resource, because of the sheer hard work which he has put into it all behind the scenes, and, of course, anyone who is a potential benefactor must be keenly aware of Father Howatson's notable work.

In addition to his work for the BGCA Father Howatson took an active part in the work of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service. As chairman of the Standing Committee of Youth Organizations he led an important East Asian Seminar on Social Group Work among youth. It would be difficult to think of any form of social work in which he did not take a vigorous part - playgrounds, housing, personal problems, crisis relief and so on.

Towards the end of this period he was reaching out to the development of clubs for young men and women. Unhappily, the failure of his health prevented him from carrying out this plan - a notable loss to the community.

CARITAS HONG KONG
Father Howatson was the first chairman of the Hong Kong Catholic Social Welfare Conference, and was closely associated with Mgr. C.H. Vath in the earlier stages of the development of Caritas Hong Kong. He agreed to take over the direction of the proposed Caritas Social Centre in Kennedy Town. In consequence, he resigned the chairmanship of the BGCA.

When he was still supervising the building of the new Centre, he suffered a moderately severe stroke. Though paralysed on one side, he recovered sufficiently to continue work, though at a slower pace, and was able to open the Kennedy Town Caritas Social Centre and to direct its operation for over a year.

A more severe stroke in 1965 put an end to his active work. He spent his last years in the Kennedy Town Caritas Social Centre, bedridden but not quite forgotten. Many of those for whom or with whom he had worked retained a warm interest in all that concerned him; nor did those who had seen his work from above forget him. A former Governor, a former Chief Justice and a former Director of Social Welfare were numbered those solaced his inactivity through their sympathy.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 1 September 1972

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His father was a Scottish engineer employed to maintain the trans-Atlantic cable. He converted to Catholicism in order to marry and his son became a strong Catholic and Irishman. He received his early education at Clongowes Wood College before he entered the Society in 1927. He had been known as a very good rugby player who had won an inter-provincial schools cap.

He came to Hong Kong as Regent with Seán Turner who was a different peronality and whose whole world was words and ideas. Travelling with them was Fr Cooney who was bringing the Markee telescope and setting it up. he was able to deal with every situation he met in Hong Kong in dealing with schoolboys. He was a Mathematics teacher and Sports Master.From his earliest days in the Society he had positions of responsibility. According to Harry Naylor he was outstanding in practical matters, not least as a carpenter running the Ricci Mission Unit.

He returned to Ireland to study Theology. Once he had finished Tertianship he became an Army Chaplain.
1945 He returned to Hong Kong as Mission Procurator. According to Harry Naylor, Thomas Ryan had great influence over him. His humanity and concern for others was soon channelled into the Shoeshine Boys Club in Wah Yan College Hong Kong, and this became a model for many other boys clubs which sprung up to meet the needs of the day. When the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association was set up, Joseph was elected Chairman, with Anglican Bishop Hall the President. He threw himself into youth and social work in Hong Kong and was soon on the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, which Thomas Ryan had set up. He was also on the Government Social Welfare Advisory Committee. He helped many volunteer bodies as well as women’s religious with their balance sheets. When the Diocese set up its Catholic Social Welfare Conference he was made Executive Secretary. This later became “Caritas”. At this time Jesuits in Asia were involved in many social activities. At a Jesuit meeting on Tokyo in 1960 with Frs Hogan, Dijkstra and Ballon, he came up with the SELA acronym (Socio Economic Life in Asia) and it became one of the kost successful inter-provincial works in the Society.

Returning from a SELA meeting in Indonesia in 1962 he had his first stroke. He gave up being Procurator in 1964 - Fr J Kelly succeeding him. He then went to live at Caritas Mok Cheung Sui Kun Community Centre, Pokfield Road, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong and was attached to Ricci Hall.

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
He encouraged the “Shoe Shiners Club”, which later blossomed into the “Boys and Girls Clubs association” under Joseph Howatson.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Leo Donnelly who has been offered to the Viceprovince of Australia, completed his course at Kurseong recently (he was professor of Church History) and sailed on the SANGOLA for Hong Kong on 10th September. “As it proves impossible”, he writes, “to secure a passage direct to Australia within reasonable time, Fr. Austin Kelly has given me permission to travel via Hong Kong. It was quite easy to book a passage to that port, and Fr. Howatson has booked a berth for me from there to Melbourne. Needless to say, I am delighted at the chance of seeing the Mission, even if I am not to stay there. The ship for Australia will not sail till near the end of October, so that I shall not be at Fr. Kelly's disposal till sometime in November. This, however, is quicker than waiting for a direct passage”.

Kearns, Laurence, 1912-1986, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/199
  • Person
  • 27 June 1912-28 October 1986

Born: 27 June 1912, Cobh, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942
Professed: 02 February 1949
Died: 28 October 1986, Jervist St Hospital Dublin

Part of St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin, and living at Our Lady of Consolation, Donnycarney, Dublin at time of his death.

Chaplain in the Second World War
by 1970 at Kitwe, Zambia - working in Educational TV

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Lol was born in Cobh, Co Cork on 27 June 1912. After school at Mungret College, he entered the Society at Tullabeg and did the second year noviceship at Emo. The normal studies of the Society brought him to his ordination on 13 May 1942.

Immediately after theology, Lol (as Fr Laurence was known in the Society) became chaplain in the British Army from 1943 to 1947 and served on the European continent. Towards the end of the war his unit was sent to free Belsen concentration camp, “That's how I saw hell on earth” he wrote. He also tells us about his bad car accident: “While driving in convoy on the first stage of our journey to Brussels, my driver ran the car into a tree north of Magdeburg and my head was banged into the glove compartment in the dashboard. I saw Fr Morrison again at CelIe as he bent over my stretcher and formed the opinion that I should never look the same again. Even my mother did not recognize me at once. But a few months in Gloucester under the great “guinea-pig” surgeon, Emlyn Lewis, who grafted a hunk from my arm into my mouth, set me up again.’ After demobilization, he made his tertianship 1947/48.

Minister, retreat giver, bursar was his lot at Manresa 1948-'54, '62-'65, '68-'69. He taught religion at Bolton Street Technical College, Dublin 1962-'65.

He attended courses at New York University and at the University of California on TV and film production. On returning to Ireland, he was given the job of minister again but felt rather disappointed at having no outlet for the newly acquired skills he was so eager to practice. The Ministry of Education in Zambia at that time was about to launch an Educational TV Unit in Kitwe, so Lol was sent to Zambia and served two tours in the Kitwe TV Unit, six years in all, 1969 to 1976.

These were happy days for Lol in spite of the hardships of living at a long distance from Jesuit companions, the uphill grind of accustoming himself to a new environment, and the conflict arising from his insistence on precision as contrasted with the easy-going ways of the Zambians he was to work with and train. Lol was a perfectionist who demanded exact standards from his students and apprentices. A stray bit of fluff or a human hair would draw from him a devastating diatribe on sloppy standards. The wear and tear of the consequent tension took its toll on Lol's good humor, so that fault-finding could become obsessive with him.

Naturally, as a priest, Lol was not content to confine himself to civil-service hours. He sought out apostolic openings, celebrating Mass at weekends for neglected congregations, acting as Spiritual Father to a novitiate of Sisters, giving lectures on medical ethics to nurses-in-training, all of which he could do through the medium of English. In addition he became sufficiently adept at ciBemba to celebrate Mass in the local vernacular.

In his last year in Zambia, Lol was responsible for the purchase of the first Jesuit residence in Kitwe on Nationalist Way. He had hoped to be employed by the Zambia Episcopal Conference in communications, but this was not to be. Shortly after returning to Ireland he was invited to inaugurate the communications department of the Catholic Secretariat in Lesotho. So for more than two years in Lesotho, in the face of lack of interest, if not actual apathy, he wore out his energies and enthusiasm. The same problems that he had faced in Zambia he found to be deeper, more ingrained and infinitely less tractable in Lesotho.

He returned to Ireland in 1978 where, at the age of 66, he took up more genial work – curate in Donnycarney. He died in Jervis Street Hospital in Dublin on 28 October 1986.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

During the summer Frs. Jas. FitzGerald, Kearns and Scallan helped in the campaign organised by Dr. Heenan, Superior of the Mission House, Hampstead, to contact neglected or lapsed Catholics in Oxfordshire. Writing Fr. Provincial in August, the Superior pays a warm tribute to the zeal and devotion of our three missionaries :
“I hope”, he adds, “that the Fathers will have gained some useful experience in return for the great benefit which their apostolic labours conferred on the isolated Catholics of Oxfordshire. It made a great impression on the non-Catholic public that priests came from Ireland and even from America, looking for lost sheep. That fact was more eloquent than any sermon. The Catholic Church is the only hope for this country. Protestantism is dead...?”

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

Keary, William M, 1881-1958, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • Person
  • 30 April 1881-03 February 1958

Born: 30 April 1881, Woodford, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1899, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1914
Professed: 08 December 1954
Died: 03 February 1958, Georgetown, British Guyana - Angliae Province (ANG)

Transcribed HIB to ANG : 1901
First World War chaplain

by 1916 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from John Fitzgibbon Entry :
Some dramatic details concerning Father Fitzgibbon’s death are given in a letter from Father Keary CF, a brother Jesuit, who writes : ‘Father Fitzgibbon had blessed a grave and read the Burial Service over one of our boys about 2pm on Wednesday last, and was talking to a German Catholic prisoner of war in the cemetery, whe a shell landed in our midst and the Father fell forward. One of our boys rushed to his help, but had only raised him to his knees when another shell burst in on them, fording him to drop his burden and fall on his fac to avoid being killed himself. A few minutes later Father Fitzgibbon’s dead body was removed, and was buried the next day’.

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

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

Born: 08 November 1906, Carrickmines, County Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939
Professed: 31 May 1947
Died: 22 August 1986, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong

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

Older Brother of Denis (DP) Kennedy - RIP 1988

Second World War Chaplain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 2 1941

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

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

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

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Gardiner Street

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

Fr. E. Sullivan stayed with us on two occasions since his arrival from Hong Kong.

Lennon, Sydney, 1906-1979, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/231
  • Person
  • 31 January 1906-10 October 1979

Born: 31 January 1906, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939
Professed: 07 February 1942
Died: 10 October 1979, St Joseph’s, Geelong, Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

by 1952 in Australia

Second World War Chaplain

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Sydney Lennon received his secondary education with the Christian Brothers, Dublin, and entered the Society at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, 1 September 1924. During his juniorate at Rathfarnharn, 1926-31, he studied at University College, Dublin, and also gained a diploma in Gregorian chant from Solesmes Abbey. Philosophy studies were at Tullamore, 1931-34, and theology at Milltown Park, 1936-39. Tertianship was completed in 1940.
Lennon's Erst priestly ministry was as a chaplain with the British army, 1941-46, followed by a few years in the parish of Gardiner Street, Dublin. He was then sent to Australia, and after a few years teaching, went to Corpus Christi College, Werribee, 1949, to profess liturgy, elocution, voice training and chant. He was at various times minister, dean of students and bursar. He remained there until 1969, when he did parish work at Norwood, SA. His final appointment was as a chaplain to St Joseph's Mercy Hospital, Aphrasia Street, Newton, Geelong, Vic., 1978-79.

◆ 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 Yorksthat 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 21st Year No 4 1946

Australia :
Frs. Fleming and Mansfield (who is a member of the Australian Vice-Province) were able to leave for Australia via America in July.
Frs. Lennon and Morrison are still awaiting travel facilities.

Lentaigne, Victor, 1848-1922, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 27 October 1848-18 August 1922

Born: 27 October 1848, Dublin
Entered: 26 September 1865, Loyola College, Loyola, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 1877, Leuven, Belgium
Professed: 02 February 1884
Died: 18 August 1922, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

by 1869 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1871 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1876 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) Studying
by 1883 at at Hadzor Hall, (FRA) making Tertianship
by 1903 in Collège Saint-François Xavier, Alexandria, Egypt (LUGD) Military Chaplain and Teacher

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Son of Sir John Lentaigne (Lawyer and Privy Counsellor and one of the first Clongowes students) and Nephew of Joseph Lentaigne, First Provincial of HIB - RIP 1884

He did his early studies in Spain, and the Philosophy and Theology in Belgium, where he was Ordained 1877.
1900 He was sent to Alexandria, Egypt as a Military Chaplain, and when he returned he was appointed spiritual Father at Belvedere.
After this he was sent as Spiritual Father and Missioner to Clongowes which he loved dearly and did a lot of good work.
Much to his own disappointment, he was move from Clongowes to Rathfarnham, and died unexpectedly a short time afterwards 18/08/1922.

He was a very indistinct Preacher, so did not make much impact from the pulpit. He as of a very sensitive nature, and a thorough gentleman to all classes of people.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 3 1946

FROM OTHER PROVINCES :

England :
Fr. Quigley, who is Senior Chaplain to the British Forces in Egypt, finds the names of other Jesuit chaplains in the Register at Alexandria, and among them Fr. David Gallery (1901), Fr. V. Lentaigne (1904-5) and Fr. Joseph Flynn (1907-14).

Loughnan, Basil, 1887-1967, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 09 May 1887-22 January 1967

Born: 09 May 1887, Christchurch, New Zealand
Entered: 07 November 1903, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1919
Professed: 02 February 1924
Died: 22 January 1967, St John of God Hospital Richmond, NSW - Australiae Province (ASL)

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

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Older brother of Louis Loughnan - RIP 1951

WWII Chaplain

by 1908 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1911 in Australia - Regency

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Basil Loughnan was educated at Christ's College and Riverview, and then entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 November 1903. Further Jesuit studies were in Dublin and Stonyhurst, England. His regency was at Riverview, 1910-16.
He was ordained in Dublin, 8 April 1919, and returned to Australia in 1921, teaching Latin and English, and in charge of rowing at Xavier College, 1921-26. He worked then in the Norwood parish, 1926-30.
His most significant appointment was to Newman College, Melbourne University, 1930-1937, where he distinguished himself as a philosopher. At this time the general awarded him a PhD, because his Jesuit studies were recognised by the Gregorian University.
Afterwards, he spent four years at Werribee and then he taught Hebrew, Greek and the history of philosophy to Jesuit scholastics at Pyrnble from 1939-41, and from 1942-46 was a military chaplain, going to Japan at the end of the war.
When he enlisted, he put his age back so that he might get more into the action. He did his parachute jumps, when quite elderly, and slept under canvas. As a chaplain, he had no human respect, and if ever at the officers' mess the conversation became nasty, he went for the offending officers and then left the table. He was tireless in his work for the troops, and was congratulated by the chaplain general for having made more converts than any other chaplain. He got on very well with many important military people. But he also did several quixotic things. He went through the hardest jungle training and long marches as though he were a young man, all of which contributed to his declining health. It appeared that he had no concern for his own life at all.
When the war was over, he was a cripple. Gradually he became worse, until he could not walk without two sticks, and then later, not at all. Being externally rough in conversation on occasions, he covered up the depth of his spirituality, patience, courage and kindness.
He returned to North Sydney parish as chaplain to the Mater Hospital from 1948-54, until ill health forced him to retire to Pymble in 1955. He remained in poor health, and had a sad time for the remaining twelve years of his life. He spent a long time in the military hospital at Concord. Then, as age and sickness increased, he lost his bearings. Eventually he went to St John of God Hospital Richmond, NSW) and stayed there until he died.
Loughnan was one of the best original thinkers of the Australian province, and a brilliant philosopher, but highly strung, somewhat touchy and quarrelsome. His best work seemed to have been accomplished at Newman College, despite being under a very difficult and susceptible superior He worked in the university departments of history and philosophy.
In his later years his peculiarities became rather more pronounced and for the last years of his life he was quite senile. He was reputed to be an excellent carpenter, and, if one wished to keep on good terms with him, it was necessary to visit him occasionally in his workshop and admire his handicraft.
Loughnan's magnum opus entitled “Metaphysics and Ethics”, was passed by the Jesuit censors and recommended for publication by the reader of the Oxford University Press, but never published. It was a major work on the thoughts of Bradley, Bosanquet and Alexander. Loughnan had original ideas, and few could match him intellectually or meet him in the cut and thrust of debate.
His final vows were delayed because superiors believed that he should have a more lowly opinion of his own judgment and have greater reverence for the traditional views of the Jesuit ascetical writers, and the observance of common life. Superiors could not easily cope with original thinkers. However, Loughnan did lack discretion and prudence, and did not like to be contradicted. He was a very active and athletic man, a good oarsman and an enthusiastic cyclist, but he often overtaxed himself and took little care of his health. Despite later physical infirmity, his great strength and endurance ensured a long life.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 17th Year No 3 1942

Australia :

Writing on 21st February last, Rev. Fr. Meagher Provincial, reports Fr. Basil Loughnan has gone off to be a Chaplain. We have three men Chaplains now. Fr. Turner was in Rabaul when we last heard of him and it would seem we shall not hear from him again for some time to come. Fr. F. Burke was in Greece and I don’t quite know where at the moment.

MacElroy, John, 1782-1877, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 14 May 1782-12 September 1877

Born 14 May 1782, Brookeborough, Co Fermanagh
Entered 10 October 1806 - Marylandiae Mission (MAR)
Ordained 1817
Professed 02 February 1821
Died 12 September 1877, Frederick, Maryland, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)

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

McElroy, John (1782–1877), priest and educator in the USA, was born 14 May 1782 at Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, son of Roman catholic farmers, whose names are not known. Educated locally, he became involved in the United Irishmen and decided to leave the country in 1803 after the abortive insurrection of that year. Emigrating to the USA, he settled at Baltimore, Maryland, and became a clerk at Georgetown in nearby Washington, DC. In 1806 he decided to join the recently restored Society of Jesus as a lay brother and soon impressed with his oratorical skills and shrewd intellect. For almost ten years he worked as a book keeper and buyer at Georgetown College, until Father Grassi recommended that he should be allowed to become a candidate for the priesthood. Ordained in 1817, he served as an assistant pastor at Holy Trinity church in Georgetown (1818–22) until his appointment as pastor of St John's church in Frederick, Maryland. Despite his lack of a formal education he quickly established himself as a brilliant preacher, and he extended his pastoral duties by travelling regularly throughout western Maryland and north-western Virginia administering the sacraments. At Frederick he established St John's Female Benevolent and Frederick Free School (1824) under the Sisters of Charity, and later the St John's Literary Institute (1829) under the Jesuits. In one notable success, he managed to secure state funding for both schools even though they were Roman Catholic, and for a time St John's College (as the literary institute became known) rivalled Georgetown College in academic excellence.

A gigantic man despite his wiry frame, McElroy had a towering personality to match. He was an enthusiastic supporter of religious retreats and soon came to regard the week-long missions he began at Frederick in 1827 as an essential part of his ministry, and believed that they provided the catholic church in America with a means of evangelical revitalisation and revival. In 1846 the United States went to war with Mexico, a catholic country, and the government was anxious to demonstrate the non-sectarian nature of the conflict. As a result, McElroy was one of two catholic priests appointed as non-commissioned chaplains to the American army. Based at Matamoros in Mexico, he spent a year ministering to the large numbers of catholic soldiers under Gen. Zachary Taylor. With the conclusion of the war he was at the height of his reputation and was appointed pastor of St Mary's church in Boston. Immediately he set to work raising funds for the building of schools for children, and despite some troublesome litigation he secured land for the building of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in 1859. He encountered similar difficulties when trying to set up a college. Despite the great obstacles – a shortage of funds, priests, and land – he succeeded in building Boston College in 1860. The civil war disrupted his plans, and it was only opened officially in 1864. By now blind and enfeebled, McElroy retired from active ministry and returned to the town of Frederick. He died 12 September 1877 after breaking some of his ribs in an accident.

Possessing an almost legendary reputation, McElroy was hugely respected in the USA for his preaching abilities and tireless service as an educator and pastor. The rumour that he had refused three bishoprics only contributed to his prestige, and he was held in great affection for his lifetime of service as a Jesuit.

Esmeralda Boyle, Father John McElroy: the Irish priest (1878); Justin H. Smith, ‘American rule in Mexico’, American Historical Review, xxiii, no. 2 (1918), 287; David R. Dunigan, A history of Boston College (1947); Nicholas Varga, ‘Father John Early: American Jesuit educator’, Breifne, vi (1986), 376, 389; Pierre D. Lambert, ‘Jesuit education and educators: some biographical notes’, Vitae Scholasticae, vii, no. 2 (1988), 275–302; Peter Way, ‘Evil humours and ardent spirits: the rough culture of canal construction’, Journal of American History, lxxix, no. 4 (1993), 1415–16; ANB

MacLoughlin, Stanislaus, 1863-1956, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • Person
  • 09 May 1863-28 May 1956

Born: 09 May 1863, Derry, County Derry
Entered: 07 September 1886, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 31 July 1898
Professed: 15 August 1901
Died: 28 May 1956, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

First World War chaplain

by 1896 at Enghien, Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1899 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1918 Military Chaplain : Kinmel Training Centre, 53rd SWB, Rhyl
by 1919 Military Chaplain : Stanislaus Heaton Camp, Manchester

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - JOHN MC LOUGHLIN - post Novitiate assumed the name Stanislaus

MacSeumais, Anthony, 1910-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/524
  • Person
  • 23 September 1910-13 January 1989

Born: 23 September 1910, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942
Professed: 02 February 1945
Died: 13 January 1989, St Joseph’s, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

Part of the Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1973 at Riegelwood NC, USA (MAR) working
by 1975 at Woodland Hills, Santa Monica CA, USA (CAL) working

Chaplain in the Second World War.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Letter from Fr. J. A. MacSeumais, R. A. F. Staging Post, Mauripur.
“I am still awaiting a plane for Singapore. However, there is a possibility that I may be away tomorrow. This Station is served by Dutch Franciscans from St. Patrick's Church, Karachi. I was in there on Sunday and met the Superior Ecclesiasticus of this Area, Mgr. Alcuin Van Miltenburg, O.F.M. He it was who made all the arrangements for the burial of Fr. John Sloan, S.J. Fr. Sloan was travelling from Karachi Airport to Ceylon, in a TATA Dakota when the plane crashed at Karonji creek about 15 miles from Karachi Airport. The Mother Superior of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary and one of her nuns, Mother Anthony, an Irishwoman, were called to St. Teresa's Nursing Home, Karachi to prepare Fr. Sloan's body for burial. He is buried in the Catholic Plot at Karachi Cemetery where several other Jesuits are buried. I visited Fr. Sloan's grave on Sunday and I hope to obtain a photograph of it.
The German Jesuits had the Mission of Sind and Baluchistan, and after the First World War, it was taken over by the other Provinces. In 1935, it was taken over by the Franciscans. There is a magnificent Memorial in front of St. Patrick's, built in honour of the Kingship of Christ and commemorating the work done by the Society in this Mission. Under the Memorial is a crypt and in a passage behind the altar is the ‘The Creation of Hell’ by Ignacio Vas, a number of figures of the damned being tortured in Hell. Indefinite depth is added by an arrangement of mirrors”.

MacSheahan, John, 1885-1956, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/753
  • Person
  • 08 December 1885-30 October 1956

Born: 08 December 1885, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1917
Professed: 02 February 1922
Died: 30 October 1956, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Chaplain in the First World War.

by 1912 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1918 Military Chaplain : 6th RI Regiment, BEF France

Magan, James, 1881-1959, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • Person
  • 25 November 1881-13 September 1959

Born: 25 November 1881, Killashee, County Longford (Hobart, Tasmania)
Entered: 07 September 1899, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915
Professed: 02 February 1918
Died: 13 September 1959, Loyola College, Watsonia, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

First World War chaplain.

Part of the Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1904 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1918 Military Chaplain : 6th Yorks and Lancs Regiment, BEF France

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
James Magan was a real character with a boisterous sense of humor and was a wonderful companion if one was not feeling depressed. His loud, melodious voice could annoy the more
sensitive by his vociferous jokes on trams and buses, and he was good at “setting up” superiors by playing on their weaknesses, especially the provincial, Austin Kelly. His wit was captivating. When introducing himself he would say: “Magan's the name - James William Magan. James after St James, William after the Kaiser, and Magan after my Father.
Magan was a most devoted and respected pastor, especially good with young people. He was also very humble. and would even ask for advice about his sermons and retreat notes, even though he was highly skilled in preaching. He spoke the language of the people in simple terms, putting everyone at ease He even became an expert in the Australian accent.
He was educated at Castleknock College by the Vincentians, and Clongowes College, before he entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 September 1899. After his juniorate there in mathematics and classics, he studied philosophy at Gemert, Toulouse province, 1903-06, and then taught at Mungret and Clongowes, 1906-12. Theology studies at Milltown Park followed, 1912-16, and tertianship at Tullabeg, 1916-17.
For a few years afterwards, Magan became a military chaplain with the 6th York and Lancasters, British Expeditionary Forces, 1917-19. Afterwards, he set sail for Australia, teaching first at Xavier College, 1920-22, then at St Aloysius' College, 1923-24, and finally spent a year at Riverview.
In Australia he had a most successful pastoral ministry, first at Lavender Bay, 1925-31, then as superior and parish priest of Richmond, 1932-36. He also worked at various times at Hawthorn, 1942-59.
Magan was a very colorful personality. He was an outstanding retreat-giver, and for twenty years gave the ordination retreat to the seminarians at Werribee. He also gave a retreat to the Cistercian monks at Tarrawarra. His short Sunday discourses were always full of bright, homely illustrations. His merry ways made him most approachable. He spoke to everyone that he met along his path, conferring on all and sundry unauthorised medical degrees. Many a junior sister he addressed as “Mother General”.
He regularly preached the devotions to the Sacred Heart during the month of June. Magan was above all a kindly, hospitable man, and definitely 'a man's man'. He died suddenly whilst giving a retreat to the priests of the Sale diocese at Loyola College, Watsonia.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 2 1926

Residence. S F XAVIER (Lavender Bay) :
Lavendar Bay became an independent parish in 1921. Its First Pastor was Fr R O'Dempsey. He was succeeded by Fr R Murphy, who built the new school, enlarged the hall, and established four tennis courts. The present Pastor so Fr J Magan. All three are old Clongowes boys. The parish contains St, Aloysius' College, two primary schools and two large convents. Numbered amongst the parishoners is His Excellency the Apostolic Delegate.

Irish Province News 7th Year No 3 1932

Lavender Bay Parish
Father James Magan, S.J., took leave of Lavender Bay Parish at a meeting organized by his late parishioners to do him honor and to say farewell. During the proceedings several very complimentary speeches were addressed to him, and a number of substantial presents made.
The Catholic Press, commenting on the meeting, wrote “In the Archdiocese of Sydney there is no more genial priest than Rev. Father .J. Magan, SJ., who has just completed seven years as Superior of the Lavender Bay Parish, and has been transferred to the Jesuit house at Richmond, Victoria. His remarkable jovial disposition, a trait that puts his numerous callers in a friendly attitude, is the reflection of a generous heart which, allied with his high ideals of the priesthood, has made his pastorate on the harbor side a triumphant mission for Christ.
Needless to say, during his stay at Lavender Bay, Father Magan won the esteem and respect of all who came in contact with him, especially the school children, in whom he took a great interest, His going is a great loss to the parish, especially to the poor, whom he was always ready to help, not only by giving food and clothing, but also money.

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