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Novice Master

Browne, Michael, 1853-1933, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/74
  • Person
  • 22 April 1853-20 November 1933

Born: 22 April 1853, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 27 July 1891
Professed: 02 February 1893
Died: 20 November 1933, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1896 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Br Thomas Johnson Entry :
He was assisted in his last moments by his Spiritual Father, Michael Browne, and died 27 May 1900.
Note from James Dempsey Entry :
He finally retired to Tullabeg and he died there 03 October 1904. he was assisted there in his last moments by the saintly Michael Browne, Rector and Master of Novices.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 3rd Year No 1 1927

Jubilee : Fr Michael Browne
The official celebration in Fr Michael Browne's honor took place in Rathfarnham on the 29th September. After a good deal of College work, Rector of the Crescent, Clongowes and Tullabeg he was Master of Novices at three different periods and is now Spiritual Father to the fifty-seven Juniors at Rathfarnharn and, whenever he gets a chance, spends, at least, seven days a week giving retreats,

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

Obituary :

Father Michael Browne

Father S. Brown has kindly sent us the following appreciation :
On the morning of November the 28th died Father Michael Browne in his eighty first year.

He was born in Limerick in 1853 and was educated partly at Crescent College in that city and partly at Clongowes. On leaving the latter college he applied to enter the Society. Superiors thought him too delicate and rejected the application. He accordingly went to Carlow College to study for the priesthood. But the call was insistent. After a visit to Rome and to Lourdes he tried again and this time was successful. He entered the Novitiate at Milltown
Park on the 7th of September 1877. The fifty-six years ofhis life in the Society were outwardly uneventful. He had relatively little contact with the outer world and shunned all
appearances in public. But within the Province he held nearly every office of trust and responsibility with the exception of that of Provincial. He was Master in the colleges (Tullabeg
1883-85, Clongowes '86 and Mungret 1891-94). During this last period he was Prefect of Studies. He was Spiritual Father in Clongomes ('96- '99) and later in Rathfarnham (1924-51). He was Rector of Tullabeg from 1920 to 1924, again 1918 to 1910. During these two periods of office he was Master of Novices. He was Rector of the Crescent (I905-7). Finally he was for eleven years Socius to the Provincial. That is surely a remarkable record.
But he will perhaps be remembered not so much for his eminent services to the Society as for his personality. For throughout his life he was known to be a man of deep and genuine holiness and there were many who did not hesitate to speak of him as a saint. Despite all his efforts to conceal it his austerity was well known. Especially in his Tullabeg days he was merciless to himself, Without being a very close observer one could know that he was all tied up with hair-shirts and chains. Indeed this was the origin of some of his characteristic gestures. Superiors had to exercise constant vigilance to see that he took sufficient food. He was more lenient in his later years, but even in his last year he sometimes made his meal of dry bread. He never smoked nor drank wine or spirits. He had schooled himself in the most rigid observance of “custody of the eyes.” He seldom, in fact looked at the person to whom he was speaking and he not infrequently made upon outsiders an impression of aloofness and indifference. There was indeed no little aloofness in his way of life. He made few friends and acquaintances. But his manner was by no means cold and repelling. He had a temper but it was under such stern control that few suspected its existence.
He was the most unworldly of men. He never read newspapers and took little or no interest in the little events of the day. He preached a lofty spirituality that soared high above the earth. One felt oneself among naked mountain peaks and breathed a somewhat rarefied atmosphere. Still humor, of a simple and homely kind, was by no means banished from
his Retreats and exhortations. He even courted a hearty laugh from his audience. He himself could laugh heartily in his deep bass voice and often when telling some amusing anecdote
the tears would run down his cheeks and his mirth would so choke his utterance that listeners sometimes failed to catch the climax or the point of the story. His memory held a great
store of such anecdotes centering very largely in Limerick, which always held a warm place in his heart.
He was always an intense student and a lover of books. He wrote, so far as I know, nothing for publication, but he accumulated copious notes, largely written in shorthand. Many
years ago he discarded large quantities of MS. material relating to his work as a master. He loved to pick up for a few pence in second hand bookshops books that appealed to him. His friends knew that books were the only gifts that would be acceptable. He belonged, one might say, to the Victorian epoch. In literature as in other things, modernity had no appeal for him. His taste was for history and biography and he seems never to have read fiction.
He went to God as straight as he knew how, without hesitations or compromises and regardless of the cost. He thought, as he lived, in straight lines, looking neither to right nor left. His character was strong and simple without subtlety and without crookedness of any kind. On subjects about which he cared at all his principles were fixed, his mind was made up. And as with principles of thought so with principles of conduct. Early in life he had laid down such principles for himself and to these he adhered undeviatingly to the end.
His spiritual life was hidden with Lhrist in God. One could only guess at its characteristics. It included certainly a great love for Our Lady and he never began an exhortation in the
chapel without reciting in full an Act of Consecration to her. Much of his time, especially towards the end, was spent in the chapel. All who really knew him were convinced of his great holiness.
As long as strength remained to him he worked unsparingly. I have known him to give as rnanv as seven Retreats on end. During these Retreats he was the despair of the Sister who
waited on him at meals. In the last year of his life he was still giving domestic exhortations and lectures in various convents. He held the honorable post of confessor to the Archbishop of Dublin.
In his last illness, as long as his mind held good, he was his old self, concerned only about the trouble he was giving, and praying almost without interruption.

Byrne, George, 1879-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/708
  • Person
  • 07 February 1879-03 January 1962

Born: 07 February 1879, Blackrock, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1911
Professed: 02 February 1914
Died: 03 January 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin

Younger brother of William Byrne - RIP 1943

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

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

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

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

Clarke, John, 1661-1723, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 17 March 1661-01 May 1723

Born: 17 March 1661, Kilkenny
Entered: 01 September 1681, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Professed: 02 February 1699
Died: 01 May 1723, Ghent, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)

Of same family as Duke de Feltre
Talented and remarkably good memory
Was Master of Novices
Was on Mission at Liège - Missionary to the soldiers at Ghent??; Was in Spain as a Camp Missionet; Prefect of Church at Watten
1693 Preaching and engaged in Church work
1705 Spiritual Father at Ghent
Mentioned in ANG Catalogue 1690, 1693, 1700-5; 1711-14

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Relative of John Philip Mulcaile

“The Apostle of Belgium”
Studied Humanities at St Omer’s
1690 A Tertian at Ghent
1693 A Missioner and Preacher
1696 Camp Missioner in Ghent
1699 For several years a Missioner at Watten
His apostolic career is very similar to that of John Francis Regis, both in labour and fruit. The Colleges of Liège, Watten and Ghent, with their respective neighbourhoods. were the principal scenes of his missionary work, and he was frequently engaged as a camp missioner to the English, Irish and Scotch forces in the Low Countries. he was almost always engaged with his countrymen and in missions in Belgium. We do not trace him in England.
The Annual Letters abound in reports of his labours, and the marvellous results, in which constant and striking miracles are not wanting extending over a period of nearly twenty-nine years. (cf “Records SJ” Vol v, and Annual Letters for Liège, Ghent and Watten)

Clarke, Thomas Tracy, 1802-1862, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 04 July 1802-11 January 1862

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

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

1825-1829 Master at Hodder School until 08/12/1829
1837-1839 Missioner at Norwich, Preston and Pontefract
1840 Tertianship
1845-1860 Master of Novices at Hodder 28/08/1845-September 1860 Succeeded by Alfred Weld
1860 A Preacher at Immaculate Conception London and died at St Ignatius College, London in the presence of the Provincial Father Seed, and the community. His death was edifying, and his last act at the moment of death was to beg a Father standing by to assist him in raising his arm to make the sign of the Cross, being unable to move it himself (Province Register)

Note on Novitiate at Hodder :
By his exertions, the Novitiate was moved from Hodder Place, Stonyhurst to Beaumont Lodge, a noble mansion in the Parish of Old Windsor, purchased in August 1854, and given to the Province by Father Joseph Maxwell. The house was taken possession of by Fathers Clarke and Maxwell, and the compiler of the Collectanea on 04/09/1854.
The Novitiate at Hodder had begun in 1803 at the time of the Restoration of the Society, was closed for a time in 1821 and reopened again in September 1827, moving in 1854 to Beaumont. It moved again in 1861 from Old Windsor to Roehampton, with Fr Weld as Novice Master, and Beaumont becoming St Stanislaus College.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Edmund Donovan Entry :
Father Donovan entered the Society of Jesus on 07/09/1858 and made his Noviceship at Roehampton, under that distinguished Spiritual Director Father Tracey Clarke SJ.

Colgan, John, 1846-1919, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/578
  • Person
  • 08 November 1846-26 June 1919

Born: 08 November 1846, Kilcock, County Kildare
Entered: 12 November 1867, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1883
Professed: 02 February 1886
Died: 26 June 1919, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Brother of James - RIP 1913

by 1870 at Amiens, France (CAMP) studying
by 1871 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) Studying
by 1882 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After Noviceship he studied Philosophy in Europe, was Prefect for a long time at Clongowes for Regency, and then did Theology at St Beuno’s.
After Ordination he was appointed Socius to the Novice Master at Dromore, eventually becoming Master himself.
1888 Dromore Novitiate was closed and he took the Novices to Tullabeg.
1890 His health had begun to suffer so he was sent to Clongowes as Spiritual Father, and did this for a number of years.
He was next sent as Minister to Milltown for a couple of years, but again returned to Clongowes in the same capacity as before.
1901 He was sent to Gardiner St. He was always in compromised health and had a very weak voice, but worked away there for a number of years.
In the end he had a very long illness which he bore with great patience and he died at Gardiner St 26 June 1919. His funeral was held there, very simply, as it was difficult to get a choir together at that time.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Made his first Vows at St Acheul, France 13 November 1869

Connell, George, 1800-1853, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 11 June 1800-29 March 1853

Born: 11 June 1800, Cabinteely, County Dublin
Entered: 10 May 1818, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained:
Professed: 15 August 1838
Died: 29 March 1853, Stonyhurst, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

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

1820 Sent to Italy for health reasons, and studied Rhetoric in Rome.
1822 Philosophy, Regency and Theology at Stonyhurst, where he was Ordained by Bishop Penwick
1836 Sent to Preston asn Missioner and Superior of St Aloysius College
1842 Appointed Master of Novices at Hodder 01 March 1842
1845 Appointed Rector of English College Malta 11 September 1845
1850 Sent to England with physical and mental health utterly broken, and died at Stonyhurst 29 March 1853 aged 52

Corcoran, John, 1874-1940, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 24 April 1874-14 May 1940

Born: 24 April 1874, Roscrea, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 October 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1904, Petworth, Sussex, England
Professed: 02 February 1915
Died: 14 May 1940, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Younger Brother of Timothy Corcoran - RIP 1943

by 1895 at St Aloysius, Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1903 at Petworth, Sussex (ANG) health
by 1904 in San Luigi, Napoli-Posilipo, Italy (NAP) studying
by 1905 at Petworth, Sussex (ANG) health
Came to Australia 1905

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His parents were Irish, and whilst they left Australia to return to Ireland, he later joined the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

His studies were in Dublin and Jersey, Channel Islands, and then he was sent to teach mathematics at Mungret College Limerick and Belvedere College Dublin. He then became ill and was sent to Petworth, Sussex, England where he made Theology studies. He was Ordained there in 1904 and then sent to Australia.
1904-1906 He arrived in Australia and was sent to the Norwood Parish
1906-1913 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview
1913-1914 He returned to Ireland and St Stanislaus College Tullabeg to make his Tertianship.
1915-1919 He came back to Australia and Riverview
1919-1940 He was appointed Novice Master and remained in that position at Xavier College Kew until his death in 1940. He was highly regarded by the Jesuits whom he trained.

When he was at Riverview he was given the task of Minister and so had responsibility for the wellbeing of the boarders. He was considered very adept in catching any boy who returned later after leave in the city, or in posting or receiving letters in an unorthodox way. He was known as the “Hawk”, but this name was given with the utmost respect for him, as the boys experienced him as a most charming man who went about his duties very quietly and thoroughly. They also liked his sermons.

His Novices appreciated his thirty days Retreat. He addressed them four times a day, sometimes speaking for an hour without the Novices losing interest. He spoke with considerable eloquence and feeling, slowly, pausing between sentences, and from time to time emphasising something dramatically. While Novice Master he hardly ever left the house. He lived for the Novices. His life was quietly and regularly ascetic. He went to bed around midnight at rose at 5.25am. He loved the garden, especially his dahlias.

His companionableness was memorable. The Novices enjoyed his company on their walks. He was unobtrusive and yet part of it, a most welcome presence. He was an unforgettable person, a wise and gentle director of souls. He taught a personal love of Jesus and was deeply loyal to the Society. he considered the rules for modesty to be among the great treasures of the Society, and gave the Novices true freedom of heart to make wise decisions.

He was a cheerful man, optimistic in outlook and easy to approach. People at once felt at home with him. He was experienced as a striking personality, a kind man with a sense of fun who spoke little about himself.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 15th Year No 3 1940

Obituary :

Father John Corcoran

1874 Born 24th, near Roscrea, Co. Tipperary Educated Clongowes
1891 Entered. Tullabeg 7th October
1892 Tullabeg, Novice
1893 Milltown, Junior
1894-1896 Jersey, Philosophy
1897-1900 Mungret, Doc
1901 Belvedere. Doc
1902 Petworth. Cur. Val
1903 Naples, Thel.
1904 Petworth, Cur. Val. Ordained 1904
1905 Norwood (Australia) Cur. Val
1906-1907 Riverview, Adj, proc, Doc. Stud. theol. mor.
1908-1912 Riverview, Minister, Adj. proc., etc.
1913 Tullabeg, Tertian
1914 Richmond (Australia), Oper
1915-1918 Riverview, Minister &c.; Doc. 17 an. mag
1919-1940 Mag. Nov. First at Loyola, Sydney; then at Victoria. For a time he was. in addition. Lect phil. in Univ., and for a great many years Cons. Miss. Sydney, as well as lending a hand in many other ways.

Fr. Bernard O'Brien, one of Fr. Corcoran's novices, kindly sent us the following :

Half the members of the Australian Vice-Province have done their noviceship under Fr. Corcoran, and it seems strange to think that the noviceship is no longer under his kindly care.
His health was always weak, and his heart gave him trouble, he used to chuckle as he recalled how his ordination had been hastened for fear that he might die at any moment.
He could be extremely stern. He had no patience with deliberate wrong-doing, with irreverence or contempt of holy things. The novices sometimes' received electric shocks, as when after retreat points on sin that grew more and more heated he turned back from the door and burst out “There is no omnibus marked Jesuit for heaven”.
He kept himself, however, remarkably under control. Though at times the blood would rush to his face, he would say nothing at the moment, but sleep on the matter before acting, a practice he frequently recommended to his novices. Often nothing came of it at all, but the dead silence and the suspense of anticipation was a punishment severe enough to sober any
culprit.
He became more and more kindly and sympathetic as time went on. “Gently Brother!” was a favorite remark of his.
He came to rely less and less on external regulations and reproofs, and to form his novices by personal contact and encouragernent. In his first years he used to check all trace of slang, but later it became common to hear a novic who had received an order leave him with a cheery “Good-O Father!”
He gave and aroused great personal affection. The timid first probationer, whatever his age, was at once called by his Christian name and adopted among his “babies”. As the noviceship was usually small, he could give each novice individual attention. Even the candidates who left remained strongly attached to the Society.
Fr. Corcoran was a man of strong emotion and imagination. He disliked giving the more abstract exercises of the long retreat, and was happiest when he came to the early life of
Our Lord. He had made a thorough study of historical Palestine and one heard much about the Vale of Esdraelon and Little Hermon. Some of the other Fathers in the house were shocked to see coloured pictures of camels crossing the sandy desert appear at this time on the novices' notice board.
United with this imagination and emotion went a deep spiritual life. He may not have supplied very clear notions of Church and Society legislation, but he gave his novices strong
draughts of the true Jesuit spirit : devotion to Our Lord, constant striving to give God greater glory and better service, love of the Passion and zeal for souls.
One Christmas he gave a remarkable series of points for meditation. He took as subjects the crib, the straw, the cave, the star and so on. The points began with homely remarks and simple reflections, but almost imperceptibly the objects described became symbols and we were on a high level of contemplation.
In his deep and gentle affection, his preference for the concrete and his high spirituality there was much to remind one of St. John, whose name he bore.

Coyne, John, 1889-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/42
  • Person
  • 28 April 1889-17 March 1978

Born: 28 April 1889, Dunmore, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922
Professed: 02 February 1926
Died: 17 March 1978, Milltown Park, Dublin - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

by 1914 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1919 at Nowy Sącz Collège, Poland (GALI) studying
by 1925 at Baexem, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) making Tertianship
by 1927 at Rome Italy (ROM) Socius English Assistant
by 1966 at Loyola Lusaka (POL Mi) Diocesan Archivist

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr John Coyne was born in Dromore, Co Galway, Ireland on 28th April 1889, where both his father and mother were teachers. Within a couple of years, his father became an inspector of schools and as a young inspector he was kept on the move: after a period in Dublin he was posted to Tralee, then to Cavan and then on to Cork in 1902. After three years with the Christian Brothers in Cork, John came to Clongowes in 1905.

He entered the Society in Tullabeg on the 7th September 1906. After vows, he attended the university taking a classics degree, also taking an M.A. in 1912. He won a traveling scholarship and was posted to Innsbruck in Austria. Later he moved to Vienna as the First World War had broken out. Then he went on to Poland for a year to Nowy Sacz to prepare for his final philosophical examination. Returning to Ireland, he completed his studies and was ordained priest on 15 August 1922.

Assigned to Rome after tertianship, he became substitute secretary to the English Assistant from 1925 to 1929. Fr Wladimir Ledochowski, the General of the Jesuits, told him that he had learned as much in the Curia as he was likely to learn and that he was sending him back to Ireland to become rector of Belvedere College in Dublin.

He was master of novices from 1931 to 1934. One of his novices said of him later, "I think it would not be unfair to describe Fr John as a Christian stoic rather than as a Christian humanist".

Then came a long period of 24 years (1935 to 1959) as socius to the provincial, not just to one Provincial but to four of them – Frs L Kieran, J R Mac Mahon, T Byrne and L O’Grady (who for reasons of health and temperament 'left Province decisions rest far too much on his socius, Fr John'). He worked for a few years in Gardiner Street Church after being socius.

In 1964 at the age of 75, he accepted an invitation of the Polish Archbishop Kozlowiecki of Lusaka to come and set the diocesan archives in order. Though his provincial suggested a stay of six months, Fr John spent about 8 years in Zambia.

Returning to Ireland, he spent a lot of time translating works of German into English. He was prevailed upon to write his memoirs. 'Memoirs of a Jesuit priest 1906 to 1977: Grafted on the Olive Tree’. He died a year after this on 17 March 1978 in Dublin.

Of Fr Coyne’s time in Zambia, Fr Max Prokoph writes:
‘In spite of his age, he tried to make himself useful in every way possible. For a man who had a finger in every pie in his home province for so many years, it was quite remarkable that he never tried to interfere in the province of his adoption, but spent his time in all sorts of projects for which a younger person would neither have the time nor the inclination. Having put the archives of the Lusaka Archdiocese in order and separated what belonged to the newly erected diocese of Monze (1962). He got down to gathering material for a history of the mission in the days of the Zambesi Mission. Since there was only one full-time priest available for the parish of St Ignatius (Fr Des 0’Loghlen) he gave a hand wherever he could, in the confessional, extra Masses, keeping the parish registers and not least by regular systematic parish visiting, house by house, as far as he could get on foot, perhaps the most systematic visiting the neighbourhood ever had. Quite a few were brought back to the church’.

Fr Michael Moloney writes:
‘Fr Coyne took a very keen interest in what Jesuits had done in Zambia since the coming of Frs Moreau and Torrend for whom he had a deep admiration. Admiration for people who did "great things for Christ" was a permanent attitude of his. His standard for a Jesuit was that he should be "a saint, a scholar and a gentleman" and he clearly tried to exemplify that in his own life. He was a kindly man yet at the same time a puzzle to many. Many wondered what "the real John Coyne was like" because externally he seemed to be set in a conventional spiritual mould and to be rather formal in much of his behaviour, so much so that one cannot escape the conclusion that he was a man with a conflict between his personality traits and what he considered Jesuit spirituality demanded of him. In Zambia he was faithful to his afternoon stroll during which he would meet people and through which he made some friends whose hospitality he was pleased to accept".

◆ Irish Province News

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

Cusack, Patrick, 1918-2003, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/591
  • Person
  • 29 August 1918-06 March 2003

Born: 29 August 1918, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949
Professed: 02 February 1981
Died: 06 March 2003, Cherryfield Lodge Dublin

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

Dargan, Joseph, 1933-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/847
  • Person
  • 21 January 1933-01 June 2014

Born: 21 January 1933, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 24 May 1964, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Professed: 02 February 1968, Catholic Workers College, Dublin
Died: 01 June 2014, Blackrock Clinic, Dublin

Part of the Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin community at the time of death.

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus : 01 September 1980-1986

by 2003 at Mwangaza Nairobi, Kenya (AOR) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/joe-dargan-vision-and-task/

Joe Dargan: vision and task

It is rare for us to mourn such a servant of the Irish Jesuits as Joe Dargan. His looks were unremarkable: small, bespectacled, usually smiling. He was sturdy, a wing forward on Clongowes cup teams. His friends would describe Joe’s style of rugby as robust. It showed the steely determination hidden under a mild façade.

Wherever he went, he was landed with responsibility: starting with Third Line Prefect in Clongowes (he commented ”In 1958 when I volunteered to go to Zambia, I was told that my Zambia was to be Third Line prefect in Clongowes.”). He went on to be Director of the Province Social Survey, Rector of Emo, of Manresa (twice), of Clongowes, of Gonzaga, and of Belvedere. He was Master of Novices, Instructor of Tertians, Pastoral planning Consultant to the Irish Bishops, and also to the Major Religious Superiors (CMRS), director of the Manresa Centre of Spirituality, Socius to the Provincial, and Provincial. They never made him General, though it’s said that they thought of thrusting a bishopric on him.

You’d imagine that a man with such a gift for administration might be a nerdy type, with rows of secretaries ticking boxes for him. Joe was indeed a methodical man, who consulted wisely, prayed before making decisions, and stayed on the job till it was complete. For instance, he not merely designed the tertianship house in Manresa, but visited the site every day, made friends with the workmen, and so created a beautiful, functional building.

When, as rector of Belvedere, he had to raise funds for a school building, he showed his ability to balance the short-term and the long-term issues. As he put it to groups which he addressed: “A vision without a task is but a dream. A task without a vision is drudgery. A vision with a task is the hope for the future.” Parents were constantly reminded that education was the greatest gift they could leave to their children. With this vision before them, Joe and his collaborators worked on a 30-year plan. Part of the process entailed winning over all the constituents of the college: the Jesuit community, boys, teachers past and present, and past pupils. The target was four million pounds, and Belvedere passed it. If it has received generously, it also gives generously. Between their various projects Belvedere boys raise about a quarter of a million euro annually for charity. It is that vision of men for others, rather than lists of figures, that made these years a stimulating time for Joe Dargan rather than a begging bowl nightmare.

What people remember of Joe, however, is not so much his administrative ability as his kindness, and his readiness to give his time lavishly. He was every inch a priest, with a special gift for being with those in their last illness. It was probably this ease in his priestly role, coupled with his passion for sport, that underlay his friendship with Alex Ferguson of Manchester United.

When he was told some very few months ago that his illness was terminal, Joe was immediately filled with consolation and gratitude for the key people in his life – those he had met and loved, in his family, in the Society, in those extraordinarily rich friendships that he so enjoyed with such beloved friends, male andfemale. As the doctor actually spoke to him, those people’s names and images passed before his inner eye and he was filled with joy and gratitude. Most of us would have sunk at such a moment: not Joe, because the gratitude was to God and to those who were God’s hands and eyes and ears for him in this life.

A friend remarked that Joe was the most extraordinary of ordinary men, unthreatening, affable, and open to the Lord, who achieved great things through him.

Early education at Dominican Convent, Eccles Street, Dublin, Belvedere, Rockwell College and Clongowes Wood College

1952-1955 Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1955-1958 Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1958-1961 Clongowes – Third Line Prefect: Teacher
1961-1965 Milltown Park – Studied Theology
1965-1966 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1966-1968 C.I.R. – Director of Province Social Survey
1968-1969 Emo - Rector & Master of Novices
1969-1974 Manresa House – Rector and Master of Novices
1974-1977 Manresa - Rector; Director Centre of Spirituality
1977-1979 Clongowes – Rector; Asst. Provincial (visitor)
1979-1980 Socius to Provincial
1980-1986 Loyola House – Provincial
1986-1987 Loyola House – Sabbatical, assisted CMRS
1987-1993 Gonzaga – Rector & CMRS General Secretary
1993-2002 Belvedere – Rector; Consultant to Bishops on Pastoral Planning (until 1997); Chair of Boards of Management of Manresa and Belvedere College
2002-2005 Mwangaza Retreat House, Kenya – Directed Spiritual Exercises
2005-2014 Manresa – Vice-Rector; Tertian Director
2006 Rector; Tertian Director
2013 Vice-Rector and Tertian Director

Darwen, Robert, 1931-2015, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 21 February 1931-19 January 2015

Born: 21 February 1931, Preston, Lancashire, England
Entered: 07 September 1949, Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 23 August 1964
Professed: 02 February 1967
Died: 19 January 2015, Preston, Lancashire, England

by 1993 came to Belfast (HIB) Tertian Instructor 1993-1998

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/rip-ron-darwen-sj/

Remembering Ron Darwen SJ
On Thursday, January 29th, Jim Culliton SJ and Brendan Comerford SJ, attended the funeral Mass of the late Ron Darwen SJ in Preston, Lancashire, England. Both Jim and Brendan had been former tertians (Jesuits in final year of formation) of Ron’s, as had many other Irish Jesuits, including Irish Jesuit Provincial, Tom Layden SJ, in the last decade.
During his Jesuit life, Ron held many diverse posts within the Society of Jesus – school teacher, parish priest, local superior, worker in ecumenism, missionary in South Africa, novice director, Socius to the British Provincial, and tertian director (not necessarily in that order!).
Ron became tertian director along with the late Fr. Paddy Doyle SJ in the late 1990s. Together, they devised a tertianship based in Northern Ireland where the tertians lived in small inserted communities in Belfast, Coleraine and Derry. The three groups met for conferences three days a week in the pastoral centre in Maghera. After Paddy Doyle became ill, the late Senan Timoney, SJ became co-tertian director with Ron.
According to Brendan Comerford SJ, “They complemented each other beautifully”. He added, “Ron was a fine Jesuit. His common sense, obvious love for the Society, broad experience of Jesuit life over the years, and his sense of humour, made Ron an ideal tertian director. We, his former tertians, owe him a great deal. May the Lord reward him for his generous service to the Society and to so many other people unknown to us!”

Fitzsimon, Christopher, 1815-1881, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 03 July 1815-24 June 1881

Born 03 July 1815, Broughall Castle, Frankford, Co Offaly
Entered 13 April 1834, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained 10 September 1843
Professed 02 February 1852
Died 24 June 1881, Stonyhurst, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Early education was at Downside OSB and then at Stonyhurst.

After First Vows he did studies and Regency at Stonyhurst, and began Theology.
1840 Sent to Louvain for Theology, and Ordained at Liège 10/09/1843.
1844 Sent to Stonyhurst for some studies and teaching. The oin 23/09 he was appointed Professor of French, Greek and Roman History as well as Prefect of Juniors.
1846 He continued at Stonyhurst, teaching French and History and as Confessor to the Juniors, and by 1847 was also president of the Sodality.
1849 He became a Missioner at Stonyhurst.
1850 Sent for Tertianship at Liesse, France.
1851 He returned to his work at Stonyhurst, and was then appointed Socius to the Provincial 06/01/1651, serving Farhers Etheridge, Johnson and Thomas Seed until 08/08/1860.
1860-1863 Returned to hsi former work in Stonyhurst, and by 1862 was also Minister and Prefect of Juniors.
1863 He was appointed Vice-Rector of St Beuno’s and Prefect of Studies.
1864 He was appointed Rector and Master of Novices at Roehampton and a Consultor of the Province.
1869 He was sent to Beaumont as Spiritual Father and President of the Sodality.
1871 He returned to Stonyhurst again as Minister, Spiritual Father and President of the Sodality.
1875-1878 Sent as Spiritual Father to the London Residence.
1878 He was sent to Holy Name Manchester as Missioner and Spiritual Father. here he was attacked by cancer of the face and head, the roots of which had been present for more than thirty years. After a long and agonising illness of many months, borne with superhuman patience, he died a holy death at Srtonyhurst 24/06/1881, aged 66, and on the feast of John the Baptist and the Sacred Heart , to whom he was so devoted.

Grene, Martin, 1616-1667, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 1616-02 October 1667

Novice Master Angliae Province (ANG)

Born 1616, County Kilkenny
Entered 1638, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (BELG)
Ordained c 1646, Pont á Mousson, France
Professed 03 December 1654
Died 02 October 1667, Watten, Belgiumm - Angliae Province (BELG)

1645-1646 In 4th year Theology at Pont á Mousson, not yet a priest
1646-1647 A Priest. Prefect of Philosophers at Rheims
1648-1649 Not in CAMP Catalogue
Is Called “Hibernus” in ANG Catalogue 1639

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of George and Jane née Tempest - who had retired to Kilkenny from their native land (England?) due to persecution. Older brother of Christopher.
1655 Serving on the English Mission at St Mary’s, Oxford district
Appointed Novice Master and Rector at Watten and he died there 02/10/1667
He rendered good service in collecting materials to assist Fr Bartoli in history of the English Province
(cf his biography and literary works in “Records SJ” Vol iii pp 493 seq, where two letters from him to his brother are printed.; de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ” for his literary works)
(cf note by Fr Morris inserted in Foley’s Collectanea and Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS regarding a relic of the “Crown of Thorns” and it’s connection with Martin Grene)

Hurley, James, 1926-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/861
  • Person
  • 01 October 1926-13 April 2020

Born: 01 October 1926, Ardmore, County Waterford
Entered: 11 November 1944, Emo
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1962, St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon
Died: 13 April 2020, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Milltown Park community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1952 at Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1954 at Way Yan, Kowloon, Hong Kong - Regency
by 1960 at Cheung Chau Hong Kong - studying and teaching
by 1972 at Manila, Philippines (PHI) Studying
by 1973 at Wah Yan, Kowloon (HK) Novice Master
by 2014 at Milltown, Dublin (HIB) Pastoral work

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Today, Sri Lankan-born Basil Fernando plies his legal trade in exile from the offices of the Hong Kong-based human rights watchdog, the Asian Human Rights Commission, in bustling Mong Kok. Chatting with the Sunday Examiner he reminisced about what he terms his “conversion,’’ which is manifest in his long dedication to the difficult and frustrating grind of fighting for human rights among some of the most abused people in the world.

In a time when few giants walk upon the earth, Fernando points to Jesuit Father James Hurley as one who towered head and shoulders above others who influenced his determination to spend his life working for the dignity of people. “I first met Father Hurley in 1969,’’ he said matter-of-factly, “when I was a university student and came as a delegate from my homeland (Sri Lanka) to a conference organised by Pax Romana in Hong Kong.”

Fernando explains it was a time when the excitement of Vatican II still electrified the air and Church reform was an integral part of the discussion. “I suppose we had some radical views,” he noted, “and we were often heavily critcised at home.”

But Fernando says that something solidified inside him when he came into contact with Father Hurley at that conference. “I found that whenever I opened my mouth in front of Father Hurley and the representatives from Hong Kong, I received an immediate, sympathetic and encouraging response,” he recounted.

“This left a lasting impression on me,” he reminisced, “for me this was the first time in my life I had experienced a climate that encouraged freedom of expression and respect for the opinions of individuals, and especially young people.”

Fernando recounted that the meeting selected me as one of the two young people to represent Asia at the first ever Asia-wide bishops’ conference, which was attended by Pope Paul VI and held in Manila the following year. Father Hurley accompanied me and Peter Wong to the meeting, which came at a volatile time in the life of The Philippines.

He noted, “There were fears martial law was going to be declared and we met students in the streets who were highly critical of the Church.”

Fernando related how he saw a demonstration of students holding placards and chanting, “Viva il papa (Long live the pope) and down with Santos” (the archbishop of Manila). He said there were discussions on “how we were going to respond and a short resolution entitled, The Bishops of Asia, was drafted as we thought the bishops had spoken well on the meeting floor, but feared their words may be drowned if not translated into action to identify with the poor.”

Fernando told of how the statement was read out in the inaugural broadcast of Radio Veritas, on the day it was opened and blessed by the pope. “We distributed pamphlets while it was being broadcast,” he explained, “and had the privilege of giving one to the pope. We were picked up by Reuters and made the worldwide news as well.” He remembers with a chuckle that “we were the centre of attention and full of the enthusiasm of youth.”

Fernando said what he really learned to appreciate in Father Hurley was that “he did not obstruct, push orthodoxy or try to warn us. He knew we were speaking our convictions and, as chaplain, encouraged us. I think he himself was touched by the reform of the times.”

Fernando said he kept contact with the Irish priest and he came to Sri Lanka during the middle of what was a difficult and repressive time. “There were insurrections in which 10,000 young people were killed,” he said. “As a young lawyer I had to leave my country in 1989 and I came to Hong Kong. I did not write to Father Hurley, I just came, and we have been close friends since, even during the time I was away in Cambodia.”

The barrister said, “Father Hurley kept encouraging me in my human rights work, encouraging and participating.”

Fernando said that when a Jesuit priest was in trouble in India they all went to bat for him, as we did during the time when the Sri Lankan Father Tissa Balasuriya was excommunicated, until his reinstatement. “Father Hurley never condemned,” he said, “he simply encouraged us to follow our convictions.”

Fernando said that the Church still has a long way to go in the implementation of Vatican II, but his youth was a time that inspired real conversion and brought people to a faith that is described by the theologian, Father Hans Küng, as something that many people did not come to understand, but did create a new generation, which will not easily give up in the face of pressure.

Fernando said that “we learned to go beyond the formal into the substance. We learned from the Anglican Bishop (John A.T.) Robinson, who said ‘to live our relationships as if there is no God,’ in other words, ‘play responsibility in a serious way’.”

He said that the Second Vatican Council brought about a tremendous internal conversion. “I was converted, even at my age and in spite of my limitations. I respect Father Hurley,” he went on, “as someone who understands. One of my mentors was a Dutch priest, Father Henk Schram, he came to Sri Lanka as a worker-priest. He was known to Father Hurley (who was a worker-priest in Hong Kong). He introduced us to the theology long before Vatican II happened.”

Fernando said that many people have stood with him as he has learned to live a life of defiance, defiance of what is corrupt, and he has always been supported by Father Hurley, in his eyes, a giant walking on the earth.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 14 October 2007

Priest of the young and the worker calls it a day

Father James Hurley sj has decided to call it a day in Hong Kong. Just 62 years after he took his first steps on the island soil he took a plane back to his native Ireland at the end of October on a one-way ticket.

However, he did not leave with his presence unacknowledged, as his memory lives on in the hearts of those who were young when he was part of the Pax Romana Chapter in the late 1960s, as well as in his fellow workers at a clothing factory where he stood at the table cutting cloth each day, and the members of the Apostleship of Prayer, of which he was chaplain for many years.

Father Hurley has decided to call it a day in Hong Kong and return to his native Ireland, where he believes that he can still contribute to people’s lives, but at a slower pace and in a more sedate manner, befitting his age.

He left Hong Kong for Mill Town, the Jesuit house of study and prayer, where he hopes he can serve out his days as a spiritual director to working people.

As a man who cut the cloth in Hong Kong factories he is well equipped to guide those who work for their living, as Basil Fernando, the former director of the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong, says, “He introduced that theology long before even Vatican II happened.”

Fernando recalls that he first met Father Hurley when he came to Hong Kong as a young representative of the Sri Lankan Church in 1969 as part of Pax Romana.

He describes him as a breath of fresh air. Coming from a strictly authoritarian Church in Colombo, Fernando says that Father Hurley surprised him.

“He did not obstruct, push orthodoxy or try to warn us. He knew we were speaking our convictions and, as chaplain, encouraged us,” he recalls.

Speaking to the Sunday Examiner in 2007, Fernando said, “I suppose we had some radical views and we were often heavily criticised at home, but I found that whenever I opened my mouth in front of Father Hurley, I received an immediate, sympathetic and encouraging response.”

Fernando reminisced, “This left a lasting impression on me. For me, this was the first time in my life I had experienced a climate that encouraged freedom of expression and respect for the opinions of individuals, and especially young people.”

Fernando regards Father Hurley as a giant among men, but today the once strident figure moves more slowly and is seeking a life style more in keeping with his ageing body.

As a man dedicated to justice, Father Hurley was also a long time member and past president of the Asian Centre for the Progress of Peoples. He spent his life fighting for what he regarded as the basic rights that should be attributed to each and every individual.

Father Hurley says that he leaves Hong Kong with no regrets and hopes he will find a fulfilling role to play in his native Ireland.

As the prayers of many hearts go with him and the best wishes of many people to whom he brought hope and courage in their lives are with him as well, the Sunday Examiner wishes Father Hurley ad multos annos.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 23 November 2014

Final farewell to Father James Hurley SJ

Jesuit Missionary Father James Hurley, who served the Church in Hong Kong for over five decades, died on 13 April 2020, at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin, Ireland. He was 93-years- old.

Father Hurley was born in Ireland on 1 October 1926. He was ordained to the priesthood on 31 July 1958 in Dublin and professed final vows on 2 February 1962 at St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Father Hurley first came to Hong Kong as a scholastic in 1950 and lived in Cheung Chau doing his language studies.

After his ordination in Ireland, he returned to Hong Kong and worked in Chu Hai post-secondary college in Kowloon till 1969. He also became chaplain to the Hong Kong Federation of Post Secondary Students and became closely associated with the student move­ment in Hong Kong.

He was appointed the Master of the Novices for three years and later lived as a “Worker Priest” during which time he worked as an ordinary labourer in a garment factory for four to five months.

In 1978 he began his parish ministry in Christ the Worker Parish, Ngau Tau Kok, and served the parish till 1989. For the next four years he initiated an experimental parish for Basic Christian Communities in St. Vincent’s Parish in Wong Tai Sin. Later he also served in Star of the Sea Parish, Chai Wan from 1995 to 1998 before moving to the Jesuit Parish of St. Ignatius Church at Wah Yan College.

As his health deteriorated, he left Hong Kong for Ireland in 2014 (Sunday Examiner, 23 November 2014).
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 19 April 2020

Father James Hurley - A gem of a man

Jesuit Father James Hurley, a great man and a humanist, passed away on April 13. I had the privilege of associating with Father Hurley since 1970. He impressed me as a man who was very deeply concerned with individuals as well as on the great social issues of his time.

As a human being, he had the enormous capacity to listen to others, including people who were much younger than him.

I first met him when he was the students’ chaplain for university students at an organisation known as Pax Romana. I attended this meeting as a representative of the Catholic Students’ Federation of Sri Lanka. This meeting left an indelible mark in my memory.

What attracted me most was the tolerance with which students were received and the space that was made available to them to discuss and debate all kinds of very controversial issues.

At the time, the more burning issues amongst the Catholic students were related to the developments of the Second Vatican Council.

Father Hurley had a very ardent interest in the developments within the Church during this time. He had been associated with progressive theologians from Asia over a long period. He was aware of the controversies that were taking place all around Asia on the issues relating to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.

At this pan-Asian conference in 1970, one of the main debates was related to a theme that was very familiar at the time: institutionless Christianity. Several theologians had written about this issue and the critique of institutional limitations to the spread of the message of the gospel was quite a common theme everywhere.

The conference encouraged the students to share their views and Father Hurley, in particular, followed these discussions after the meetings at the dinners.

Once Father Hurley knew somebody, he knew how to sustain a friendship over the years. A short time after this meeting, he was going for a vacation in Ireland and he stopped in Sri Lanka to meet me. He spent a few days there and talked to many people. Going out of his way to keep that sort of close connection was, I think, the way he thought of his duties as a priest.

At the time, he had the idea of being a worker-priest, which meant working at a factory just like any other worker. He wanted to know the life of the workers and the circumstances under which they lived, their difficulties as well as the richer side of them as human beings.

Sometime later he carried out this wish and spent a year or more working in a factory. Later, he would narrate some of his experiences in a very moving manner.

In 1989, 1 had to leave Sri Lanka and I chose to come to Hong Kong, mainly because I knew I had two friends there, Father Hurley and John Clancey, who I also got to know at the students’ meeting mentioned above.

By the time I arrived in Hong Kong, Father Hurley had already left for Ireland for his sabbatical year. However, as soon as he arrived back, he contacted me and, ever since, we had a long friendship.

I used to address him as Father Hurley and then he told me, “Just call me James.” That was his way. There was no trace of clericalism in him. You could discuss anything with him, including things that were happening in countries he had never been to.

For example, he had a keen interest in what happened to Cambodia under the Pol Pot regime, which followed the massive bombing of the country by the United States. He listened to the story of millions of deaths, inquiring a great deal about the details of the results of these times and how far things had improved (or not).

Naturally, one of the conversations we returned to many times was the situation in Sri Lanka itself. He already knew a lot about Sri Lanka because he had friends like, for example, Father Tissa Balasuriya OMI, who was the Asian chaplain for Catholic students. He also knew some bishops, particularly a priest, Father Michael Rodrigo, who was assassinated by the military while he was trying to protect young people in a remote rural area.

I have heard a lot from him about the Irish struggles for freedom. When he came to speak about the killings of some of the fighters whom he knew personally, there were occasions on which he became very emotional, and at least on one occasion, he cried. That was when I one day recorded an interview with him on the issue of the Irish people’s struggles against colonialism.

As he was narrating this story, he began to mention many names of people who he had known, admired and loved very deeply. At this point, he became emotionally very involved, and started to cry. That was the deep love with which he remembered his country, and also the real depth of his feelings about freedom. He was a person who was very committed to struggles for freedom wherever it happened.

One time, after he returned from Ireland after a holiday, he mentioned the use of rubber bullets by the Irish police. He was given one of those bullets by someone. He kept it to remember the kind of problems people are faced with. During his trips to Ireland, he visited people who were involved in these struggles, some of whom had gone to jail for a long time over these matters.

He had a deep love for Hong Kong and the struggle of the students happening at that time. He knew most of these students and told stories about them with affection and admiration.

He was a deeply spiritual man. He associated with the people and often said the rosary; with them when they came to discuss some of their problems with him. I particularly remember one instance when the mother of a convicted prisoner used to visit him on Sundays after the Mass. Father Hurley used to visit this man in the prison often and went out of his way to help the children to have their education despite of the fact that their father was in prison. He always spoke with a deep sense of affection for the prisoner, with that spirit of forgiveness that also made it possible for people to appreciate the good side of people even if they were convicted of crimes.

We used to meet often for lunch or dinner. During these times, he had the capacity to tell many stories, sometimes very humorous ones. He once talked about a Protestant in Ireland who used to be very virulent in his attacks against the Catholics. When this man was dying, he called a Catholic priest to come and admit “him to the Catholic faith. The priest arrived and, just out of curiosity, asked the man why, after being io strongly against them, why he wanted to become a Catholic at the moment of his death. The man replied, “Well, when I die, it will be one of them that died and not one of us.”

When recalling Father Hurley, one remembers that one was meeting at the same time a deeply human person with an enormously deep spirituality and a commitment to his religious beliefs, who was able to bring these into a relationship in the context of the modem world.

Most of the time, he was dressed in trousers and a shirt, and behaved like other people. This way, he befriended people without making them feel that the relationship was one that involved any kind of hierarchy.

He was a democrat to the core and a person who was committed to human rights absolutely.

He reminded me of a definition that a Dutch priest gave of priesthood: a priest is a person who gives gratuitously. Father Hurley certainly was such a priest.

Legacies such as that of Father Hurley will not be erased.
Basil Fernando
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 26 April 2020

Memorial Mass for celebrated for Father James Hurley

The Justice and Peace Commission organised a memorial Mass on April 20 for Jesuit Father James Hurley, its former ecclesiastical advisor, who passed away on April 13 in Ireland, at the age of 93 (Sunday Examiner, April 19). He was confirmed to have contracted the Covid-19 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

The Mass, which was streamed live online, was concelebrated by Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun and Father Carlos Cheung Sam-yui.

The service began with a sharing from Martin Lee Chu-ming, former legal advisor of the commission. The lawyer and former democratic legislator spoke about incidents mentioned in Father Hurley’s book, Option for the Deprived, written in 2008.

Lee recounted the Irish missionary’s 50 years in Hong Kong since he first arrived in 1952 by boat-a journey which took 30 days. He said he was impressed by Father Hurley’s commitment to social justice, evidenced by the time he spent working in a factory to experience the life of the poor, as well as setting up Amnesty International in Hong Kong.

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.

In 1969, Father Hurley come to prominence for defending five students who were expelled by Chu Hai College for openly criticising the post-secondary school, where he had been a lecturer for eight years.

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.

A recorded message from humans right lawyer, John Clancey, a close friend of Father Hurley, was then played. Clancey recalled meeting the Jesuit priest in 1969 and since then they met every month for yum cha at different restaurants to talk about their work. He recalled that for several months in 1975, they met in hawker stalls near factories and had a good time with the labourers with whom Father Hurley worked.

He compared Father Hurley to; a saint and a prophet, as he had reflected the love of God to people and helped them to understand the principles of justice and peace. Clancey said Father Hurley often asked about people in Hong Kong after he had returned to Ireland.

He said that if Father Hurley were alive, he would tell him about the arrest of Lee, Albert Ho Chun- yan as well as a number of former pan-democrat legislators for their roles in alleged unlawful protests last year.

In his homily, Cardinal Zen said the memorial Mass should not be a sad occasion as Father Hurley had returned to heaven at Easter and this reminds us of our hope in eternal life.

The cardinal said that as the homily of a memorial Mass should focus on God instead of the life of the departed, he wanted to remind people of Father Hurley’s motto. “I imagine that Father Hurley would smilingly say a simple line... follow Jesus Christ, be a person with kindness and humility so that you can have a peaceful heart,” he said.

Cardinal Zen also expressed his sadness that the Covid-19 corona-virus had not stopped political suppression in Hong Kong.

He thanked God for sending the people of the city an example in the person of Father Hurley who showed how to seek justice and stand with the poor.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 3 May 2020

Jesuit Community offers Mass in memory of Father Hurley

A requiem Mass for Father James Hurley was organised by the Jesuit Community at St. Ignatius Chapel on June 8 and attended by around two hundred people.

Father Hurley passed away on April 13 in Ireland at the age of 93. He was confirmed to have contracted the Covid-19 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

Father Stephen Chow Sau-yan, Jesuit provincial of the China province, celebrated the memorial Mass. Father Chow said that while Father Hurley pursued social justice, he showed love for everyone and did not bear any hatred, which is one of the reasons why he touched the hearts of many people.

A woman, named Liu, said that she had known the priest since the 1980s when he served at Christ the Worker parish, Ngau Tau Kok. She remembered him as kind, leading a simple life to save money for the church and dedicated to fighting for the rights of parishioners.

Another former parishioner of Christ the Worker parish, Cheng, said Father Hurley treated parishioners with love as he would remember their names and pray for them.

Earlier, on April 20, the Justice and Peace Commission webcast a memorial Mass for Father Hurley, celebrated by Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun to mourn its former spiritual advisor (Sunday Examiner, May 3). The Jesuit community waited for the resumption of public Masses to ensure the participation of the friends and associates, whom Father Hurley loved.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 21 June 2020

◆ Option for the Deprived, by James Hurley SJ, Centre for Catholic Studies CUHK 2008.
https://archives.catholic.org.hk/In%20Memoriam/Clergy-Brother/J-Hurley.pdf

Note from Derek Reid Entry
During the Requiem Mass on 5 December, Father James Hurley SJ, assistant pastor at St Vincent’s Parish, Wongtaisin, and a contemporary of Father Reid, gave the homily in Chinese. Father Hurley pointed out that Father Reid was a man of all-round and exceptional ability. This was recognised soon after he joined the Jesuits and, even before his ordination as a priest, he had been given many responsibilities. After his return to Hong Kong his great qualities were even more clearly seen. Father Hurley gave examples of the help that had been given to himself and others.He was not only a great headmaster, he was also a great priest, said Father Hurley.“We shall never forget him,” said Father Hurley in conclusion.

Early Education at Mount Mellary Abbey, Cappoquin, Co Waterford

1946-1949 Rathfarnham - Studying at UCD
1949-1952 Tullabeg - Studying Theology Philosophy
1952-1954 Faber Community, Hong Kong - Studying Cantonese
1954-1955 Wah Yan Kowloon - Regency : Teaching Religion, English and History; Assistant Prefect; Editor of “The Shield”
1959-1960 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1960-1961 Xavier House, Hong Kong - Studying Cantonese; Teacher; Novitiate Spiritual Father
1961-1962 Wah Yan Kowloon - Spiritual Father; Teaching English and Spiritual Father in “Chu Hai College”, Hong Kong
1964 Chaplain at Chinese University Hong Kong; Chaplain to Hong Kong Federation of Catholic Students; Chaplain to Catholic students at Hong Kong Technical College
1965 Chaplain at Black and Grantham Training Colleges
1966 Chaplain at Baptist College, Kowloon; Director of College Club at McPherson Playground
1966 Transcribed to Chinese Province [CHN] (03/12/1966)
1972 Working in Adam Schall Residence, Chinese University Hong Kong
1972-1973 Manila, Philippines - Studying Pastoral Theology at East Asian Pastoral Institute
1973-2014 Wah Yan, Kowloon - Novice Master
1977 Working in Social Apostolate
1978 Consultor; Parish work & Chaplain to YCW at Christ the Worker Chapel, Kowloon
1983 Parish Priest
1992 Parish Team St Vincent’s; Council of Priests; Ecclesiastical Councelor of Justice and Peace Commission; Consultor at Ricci Hall
1996 Assistant Pastor of St Ignatius Church
2000 Chaplain of St Camillus Society
2002 Consultant to the Delegate for Hong Kong
2005 Apostleship of Prayer Director for Hong Kong; School Chaplain
2009 Assistant Rector St Ignatius Church
2013 Retreat Apostolate
2015-2020 Milltown Park - Pastoral Ministry

◆ Jesuits in Ireland https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-james-hurley-an-exceptional-jesuit/

Fr James Hurley – ‘an exceptional Jesuit’
Fr James (Jimmy) Hurley SJ died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Ranelagh, Dublin, on Easter Monday, April 13, 2020. He was 93 years old.
Due to government guidelines regarding public gatherings, a private funeral service took place on 15 April followed by burial in Ardmore Round Tower Cemetery, County Waterford. You can watch a video of the ceremony here.
It was attended by a small number of his family and Tom Casey SJ of the Milltown Park community who represented all Jesuits. Messages of condolence were sent from Hong Kong where Fr James spent over 50 years as a missionary involved with education and pastoral work. Watch a photo-story tribute to him here made by his friends in Hong Kong. Also read a tribute by the Asian Human Rights Commission ».
Born in Ardmore, County Waterford in 1926, James was educated by the Cistercians at Mount Mellary Abbey and entered the Jesuits at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois, in 1944. He was influenced by his brother Michael (sometimes called the ‘father of Irish ecumenism’) who entered the Jesuits before him. After studying at UCD and Tullabeg, James went to Hong Kong in 1952 to study Cantonese and to do his regency as a secondary school teacher. He studied theology and philosophy at Milltown Park in Dublin, and after ordination and tertianship he returned to Hong Kong in 1960.
James took on many different roles during his years as a Jesuit missionary. He was a secondary school teacher, a spiritual father, a university chaplain, a novice master, a parish priest and spiritual director. He came back to Ireland in 2015 where he engaged in pastoral ministry at Milltown Park, Dublin.
Fr James was much loved wherever he went, and after his return to Dublin he had a steady flow of visitors both from Ardmore and from Hong Kong.
Messages of condolence were sent by the Chinese Jesuit Provincial and Cardinal of Hong Kong, expressing their deep appreciation for the missionary work of Fr James and acknowledging the impact of his legacy on the people of Hong Kong. The messages were read out at the graveside by Irish Jesuit Fr Tom Casey on Wednesday 15 April.
In his letter, Fr Stephen Chow SJ, Chinese Provincial, said: “Jimmy was an exceptional Jesuit who had given so many years of his life to Hong Kong. He was always energetic, curious, daring, caring, and active. Many of us have been awakened by his passion for social justice. And he is dearly remembered for that”.
He continued: “Many have left words and prayers on my Facebook page after I posted the announcement this afternoon. Cardinal Tong of Hong Kong also sent me a condolence message this evening. This has never happened before with Jesuits who had gone before him, and some of them were famous and well- loved priests.”
Cardinal Tong wrote the following: “On behalf of the Diocese, I would like to offer my condolences and sympathy on the death of our dear Fr Jimmy Hurley. Jimmy had served the Diocese in different ministries for many years with much love and dedication to every ministry he was assigned to.
He served as Spiritual Director of the Justice and Peace Commission, Chaplain to students of some universities in Hong Kong, Pastor of St Vincent Church in Wong Tai Sin, Christ the Worker Mass Centre in Ngau Tau Kok, Star of the Sea in Chaiwan, and St Ignatius Chapel in Waterloo Road.
He was a very capable man. He spoke very good Cantonese and was able to reach out to the different sectors of people in Hong Kong. He was well-loved and appreciated by everyone. He was a good example for the priests in our Diocese”.
Both Fr Chow and Cardinal Tong prayed: “May Fr Jimmy now rest in the eternal embrace of our Risen Lord whom he has vowed to follow”.
The Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission of Hong Kong has also created a cartoon image depicting Fr James going to his eternal reward.

Fr Todd Morrissey SJ, historian and author of the book Jesuits in Hong Kong, paid the following tribute to Fr James, his fellow community member in Milltown Park.
“When I visited Hong Kong in 2006 to research the history of the Irish Jesuits there, Jimmy was still full of zeal as a parish priest working directly with the Chinese people. He was very popular, always willing to help people out and was noted for his good sermons and his fluency in Cantonese.
When he came to live in Milltown Park, there were constant visitors from the Chinese. These included young Chinese people who have great respect for the elderly and their wisdom. There were many dinners with our Chinese visitors, several days a week over three years.”
According to Fr Morrissey, even during his last two years at Cherryfield Lodge, Jimmy was always a man who listened to people, interested individually in what they were doing, and very friendly and encouraging. “He was always in good humour and cheerful no matter what complaint. He was a very pleasant man to live with and to know.”
Fr James is deeply missed by his family, his wide circle of friends and his Jesuit communities in Hong Kong and Dublin. He is buried alongside his parents. A memorial Mass in celebration of Fr James’ life will take place at a later date.
Ar dheis De go raibh a hanam dilis.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/358-irish-men-behind-the-missions-fr-james-hurley-s

IRISH MEN BEHIND THE MISSIONS: FR. JAMES HURLEY SJ
Fifty years in Hong Kong: an Irish Jesuit’s tale.
Fr. James Hurley SJ reached the grand old age of 90 this month! Jimmy, as he is affectionately called, has a lifetime of 72 years of service as a missionary with the Society of Jesus. Across the decades, he has met and befriended remarkable men, been inspired by their dynamism and sense of mission and entered wholeheartedly and courageously into the lives of people living in poverty in Hong Kong. He went into the Jesuit organisation on the Feast of St Stanisclaus, November 13th 1944, his ordination taking place on the Feast of St Ignatius July 31st 1958.
Here he shares some of the stories of his mission with humour, grace and insight with the Irish Jesuit Missions.
James was the youngest child born into a family of two boys and two girls at Ardmore, County Waterford in 1926. As a child he spent a lot of time in Church activities and enjoyed assisting at Mass. He was influenced by his brother Fr. Michael Hurley SJ who was a theologian, widely known as the 'father of Irish ecumenism' for his promotion of Christian unity. James studied in Mount Melleray from 1939 – 1944 and at the time, Mellary had a thriving farm producing an abundance of food. But when Foot and Mouth disease struck in 1941, the students were not allowed home for the Easter vacation. They organised a protest demanding “We want a vac!”
And so James, from his youth, prepared for a life of student protest, mobilisation and critical engagement that was to continue for most of his lifetime.

It was 1952. Four years had been spent in Milltown for study and pastoral work in preparation for the Far Eastern missionary life to come. At last, it was time to set sail by boat for Hong Kong! The long voyage took about 30 days and James was grateful for the companionship of a priest and three fellow seminarians on board.
Ten years passed in Hong Kong before James began working with students as the acting Head of Foreign Languages Department at a post-secondary College. He also became Chaplain to the Hong Kong Federation of Post Secondary Students from 1965 to 1972. Students at that time were against colonialism and many forms of injustice and were concerned with, for example, the colonial status of Hong Kong and the fact that Chinese wasn’t a recognised official language. Two of them wrote an article 'From Hope to Despair', an all-round and penetrating analysis of the College that was not well received by the authorities. Twelve students were subsequently expelled — one of whom was a Buddhist monk — and thus began the student movement in Hong Kong with which James was closely associated.
It was an era of student mobilisation and protest: similar movements were gathering momentum on the US campuses regarding the attainment of civil rights and the ending of the Vietnam War.
James, Jack and the Bishop
Jack Clancy, a close friend and Maryknoll missionary, was very involved with the anti-Vietnam War movement and was not in favour with Bishop Francis Hsu who had been born in Shanghai and was then Bishop of Hong Kong. When James’ name was mentioned in the public press in relation to the student movement, the Bishop was quite angry and requested a meeting with him. James recalls his trepidation at that very formal meeting with Bishop Hsu and others while he explained himself and his actions. He was exhonerated and the two men became very good friends despite the dramatic beginning to their relationship.
But there remained misunderstanding between Jack and the Bishop. James helped to build a relationship between them by asking the students if they would like Jack Clancy as their Chaplin. The vote was a resounding YES! Armed with that mandate, James went to the Bishop and brought both men together. Jack was appointed Chaplin.
It was the early 1970s and James felt that the time was ripe for a European priest to pass the reins on to a Chinese priest. Three seminarians were encouraged to become involved with the student movement and one, Stephen Tam, was selected. Then the Bishop put Jack Clancy and another in place to assist Stephen – who meanwhile had become a priest – in covering James’ former workload.
James’ and Jack’s relationship continues and to this day, they are very close friends. Jack is now married and a very prominent lawyer practising in Hong Kong. Unfortunately and much to his great sorrow, James sheds a quiet tear as he recalls Bishop Hsu’s untimely death as a result of a heart attack suffered in his 50’s.
On Sabbatical in the Philippines
“Speak out, speak strongly, criticise while remaining loyal!”, was a message that resounded for James while on Sabbatical at the East Asia Pastoral Institute in Manila in 1972. Bishop Cisco Claver gave a course there in September of that year: it was the beginning of Martial Law in the Philippines.
James remembers Cisco as being very casual, he played basketball with the students to win. He was an utterly fearless, exceptionally dynamic man with a sharp, penetrating intellect with whom James became well acquainted. While spending Christmas at Cisco’s residence and office, he would often drive with the Bishop in his jeep through the mountains. He laughs when he recalls the occasion they visited a convent while the Bishop stayed at the wheel: “Bring your driver in for a cuppa tea”, said the Reverend Mother!
Ed Delatorre (Edicio de Latore) an SVD priest, was politically active in Manila and on the run at the time while James was there. He took the opportunity to hear Ed speak at a meeting held in secrecy (Ed still lives in Manila although contact with him has been lost).
When Martial Law was declared by Marcos, it was discussed by the Filipino Bishops who used to meet bi-annually. Should they issue a statement? The laity was waiting for guidance...the clergy were for and against. Some Jesuits were close to Marcos while others like John Doherty — a sociologist and a Jesuit at the time — were highly critical of Martial Law and it was he who wrote its first analysis. It was 1975 before it was issued as a statement.
But in 1972, the Bishops decided to say nothing. “We bishops have no conscience“, Cisco subsequently declared.
The inspiration of remarkable men
Bishop Perez left a deep impression on James when he announced: ‘You students are the prophets of the 20th Century!”. He compared them to Amos in the Old Testament. Amos was called by God to preach social justice and was rusticated i.e. sent to live in the remote countryside. It was an enlightening moment for James! He was inspired to write a paper on the concept of 'prophecy' and intends to expand on his ideas in his retirement. 'Prophecy' in today’s Church carries great meaning for him.
James recalls Fr Dan Berrigan SJ, a social activist and now in his 90s, who suffered the same fate i.e. rustication, in the US. But eventually Dan was fully accepted and loved by all.
Pope Francis is tending towards the same social activism, James adds, although in the past was not obviously political when based in Bueno Aires, Argentina. Michael Campbell Johnson, an elderly Jesuit in the UK, was in charge of the Social Apostolate based in Rome at the time. Seemingly, he was sent to Francis (then Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio SJ) to hold discussions with him. Long conversations ensued but Michael deemed them 'inconclusive'. Bergoglio then travelled to Europe to research his doctorate and spent a short time in Milltown Park, Dublin. On his return to Argentina, he was 'rusticated' to Cordoba. He led a simple life there, supporting the priests working in the slums and when he came back to Bueno Aires in 1998 as Archbishop, he was a different man.
An unanswered question often comes into James’ thoughts. One day he was in conversation with a priest based in Japan who had been a staff member in the Vatican financial department. A just, living wage was being strongly recommended at the time by the Church and when James enquired as to how the Vatican was implementing it amongst lay staff, there was silence. The priest replied that concessions, such as petrol allowances, were given to staff. James hesitatingly concludes that the Vatican was not practising what it preached on the issue. However, he is of the opinion that the Vatican would benefit from opening up and prays for Pope Francis' efforts in trying to bring change about.
Blessed Franz jägerstätter the Austrian has also been a lifelong inspirational figure. He was a conscientious objector who refused to take up arms during World War 2 and was subsequently executed as a result. He was later declared a martyr and beatified by the Church.
James recalls another inspirational man, the Very Rev. Pedro Arrupe SJ, and the story Pedro would tell about assisting at Mass when he was Father General of the Society of Jesus. Pedro liked to pray in the small simple rooms of St Ignatius and one day, a visiting American Jesuit prepared to say Mass there for his group of American visitors. The sacristan was absent so Pedro performed the duties required. One of the group remarked afterwards to Pedro: “That Mass was a bit strange, but valid.” When he realised to whom he was speaking, he shot off!
On the factory floor
After the Sabbatical and not wishing to take up a full time position, the Hong Kong students wanted James to become Asian Chaplin to the Secretariat of Pax Romano, which he did. In addition, he was invited to become Master of Novices in Hong Kong. Although it was quite a change, he accepted but eventually when the student number dropped, it was time once again to take another direction.
James quotes Canon John Hayes (founder of Muntir na Tíre in 1937), who was told by his ordaining Bishop on the occasion of his ordination, that he would: “Prefer to see you drunk with your people rather than sober without them”. James has tried to be with his people experiencing their realities throughout his ministry. And so it was that he became a factory worker in Hong Kong.
It was a clothes factory where James cut cloth endlessly for four mind-numbing months. It wasn’t easy getting a job there, as a foreigner. Although offered a supervisory role, he refused wanting to experience life as an ordinary worker. He prayed daily for social justice and read Karl Marx’ Communist Manifesto, sitting on the factory floor. Although read previously, the difference of his understanding from the factory floor was immense. He carries a great respect for Marx and treasures pictures taken at his graveside.
James laughs when he recalls the first time he meet the owner of the factory where he was employed. They recognised each other immediately. He was a graduate of a Hong Kong Jesuit college! They were both fixed to the floor. Here was the priest talking to the student who was the boss talking to the worker! Who was to make the first move... suddenly, a voice called out to the boss: “You’re wanted on the phone”. Thank God! James breathed a sigh of relief.
He spent four months in two different factories and although he got used to it, standing continuously was hard. Having said that, conditions were better then; hours were nine to five and there was no overtime. James got to know his co-workers well and often had discussions with them. Two young workers would remind him; “You’re a priest; you are free to come and go”.
Life with the Sisters and Brothers of Charity
While working at the factory, James lived with the Missionary Sisters and Brothers of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa. They were a cheerful group of young men, one of whom was an Australian, Brother Andrew, and a former Jesuit. Andrew, who later became General of the Brothers, also worked there and shared a room with him, sleeping on the floor, living in poverty and depending on charity. James recalls the evening when there was nothing to eat for dinner but tea and bread. Then there was a knock on the door. Two big chickens were handed in! The community dined in style the following evening.
James went on a 'Discernment' retreat in a Silesian retreat house. It afforded him a period of reflective time based on St. Ignatius’ observations of one’s feelings: to understand God’s will for us in our lives. He recalled the advice of the famous Fr. Tommy Ryan SJ given to him as a seminarian, “Stay in touch with poor people”. Three parishes in almost 30 years
James went on to serve in his new parish of Christ the Worker for 11 years, being Parish Priest for eight of them. It was a very happy, active period in James’ life. He began a Faith and Justice group and a Labour group amongst the communities in the parish. He was a founding member of the Hong Kong Amnesty International group there, informal at first and then having sought government approval, on a formal basis. The founder of Amnesty, Peter Benenson, became a friend and colleague. Amnesty is thriving in Hong Kong, as it is all around the world, to this day.
It is usual for a Jesuit to spend five to 10 years in one place before relocating. A Sabbatical taken in Dublin was followed by over a decade at St. Vincent’s Parish in a poor area of Hong Kong. It was the happiest period in Jame's life. There a basic Christian community and Legion of Mary movement was flourishing. He worked towards collaboration with the Lutheran and Anglican communities, with the pastors sometimes giving homilies at each other’s churches. Nearby was the famous temple of Wong Tai Sin where thousands would gather regularly, especially for the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Interfaith relationships were built up and a new one with the neighbouring Buddhist monks was in the making, when James was requested to move to the Star of the Sea Parish. He was very regretful to leave at this point as so much progress was being made.
There were two other Jesuits along with James at the new parish. It was before the Hong Kong changeover of 1997 and no one knew what to expect. The transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China — referred to as "the Handover" internationally or "the Return" in China — took place on 1st July 1997 and marked the end of British rule in Hong Kong. Having spent over five years there, he returned to the Jesuit Parish of St. Ignatius Church at Wah Yan College.
Leaps of faith: Johnny’s and A Wong’s stories
It was common knowledge that James was in touch with families that were in financial need. Friends and colleagues often donated money to be used where required.
One day a woman called to ask for help for her son Johnny. He was the eldest of a family of five and on remand in prison for shooting another man; his brother awaited trial in another courtroom for rape and robbery. Johnny was found guilty of Triad membership and manslaughter. He received a sentence of 15 years and was freed after 12, during which time James visited him regularly and was very impressed by his intelligence. Thus began a long friendship that is still enjoyed by both.
Later on Fr. James married Johnny to Jovita and the couple went on to parent a son and daughter, now both young adults. Johnny's children’s educational expenses being very large, James contacted a wealthy friend who then supported the son’s second and third level education. He has done very well in his exams and has a choice between Oxford and Cambridge Universities for the 2015 academic year. Johnny’s daughter got top marks in her University Finals and her intention is to work with prisoners. Another of James’ friends, who is a graduate of the Jesuit school in Hong Kong and a well- known lawyer practising there, is also highly supportive of the family.
Johnny himself works as a lorry driver and takes care of his widowed father. His prison record goes against him unfortunately when he applies for a job, and he has been unable to progress in a career.
And then there was A Wong. He worked as a cook in the school where James lived. He was a gambler and although he borrowed from the teaching staff, no one reported him. He owed a great deal of money to the Triad and was constantly under pressure from them. His wife had divorced him, for legal reasons. He lost his job and was at rock bottom when he attempted suicide.
But James had faith in A Wong and knew him well. He helped the man to pay his debts and stop gambling. A Wong rebuilt his life and although they remain legally divorced, is still with his wife.
Homeward bound
In 2012, James travelled to Ireland thinking it would be his last time to visit his homeland. However, upon returning to Hong Kong, his health began to fail and when he was offered the chance to live permanently in Ireland, he decided to return. That was in October 2014 and he is now, he says, adjusting himself to a new life situation. Living a quiet life in Dublin is very different from the bustling, thronged streets of Hong Kong with its seven and a half million people!
James is looking for an appropriate apostolate to continue his life of Jesuit service in the country of his birth. He would like to direct “retreats in daily life” as he has done over the last two years. This is a month long program of daily prayer, reflection and spiritual direction that is conducted in the course of a person’s ordinary responsibilities. It has become the most common way of making a retreat based on the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius.
He would like to become involved with Amnesty International Ireland and continue the human rights activities that have characterised James’s lived experience and lifelong ministry in the service of people living in poverty.
Compiled by Irish Jesuit Missions Communications from a series of interviews with Fr James, 3rd March 2015. Updated 17th October 2016

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He first came to Hong Kong in 1952 and learned Cantonese and then taught for a year at Wah Yan College Kowloon.

After Ordination he returned to Hong Kong in 1960 and from 1961-1967 taight at Chu Hoi College.

He had great sympathy for the Cantonese people and their nationalistic feelings. He was a chaplain with the Catholic Tertiary students from 1965-1975, including Chung Chi College of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and he was also the Spiritual Director of the Hong Kong Federation of Catholic students.
From about 1977 he served in the parishes of Ngau Tau Tok, Wong Tai Sin and Chai Wan until 1997 when he retired to Wah Yan College Kowloon.

He was involved in SELA - the Jesuit inter-provincial grou focused on socio-economic life in Asia. In 1977 he went to a SELA meeting in Bangkok and was especially happy with the living arrangements there which involved living with the poor and marginalised. There he met with some Thai students and SELA made a commitment to setting up some Basic Christian Communities in Thailand, where members would live together and carry on with their normal lives. He became the Hong Kong SELA representative in 1979, succeeding Patrick McGovern. he was then involved in compiling a report on Faith and Ideaology, and this 9.000 word report also covered the issue of nationalism in Hong Kong, Marxism and the Church’s response.

In Hong Kong he was also invlved in some intensive group Retreats at Cheung Chau. The emphasis of these retreats was on spiritual development and social awareness.
1980 He was officially appointed by the Bishop as Chaplain to the Young Christian Workers movement.

He was loved by his students as he was so approachable.

Jones, Daniel, 1816-1869, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/454
  • Person
  • 01 February 1816-02 June 1869

Born: 01 February 1816, Banada Abbey, County Sligo
Entered: 15 May 1844, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1852, St Beuno's, Wales
Professed: 02 February 1860
Died: 02 June 1869, Milltown Park, Dublin

First Irish Province Novice Master 1860-1864

by 1847 in Clongowes
by 1851 at Laval (FRA) studying Theology
by 1854 Teaching at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG)
by1859 at St Eusebio, Rome Italy (ROM) making Tertianship
by 1860 Mag Nov at Milltown

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Daniel and Maria née MacDonnell (daughter of Miles of Carnacon, Co Mayo). Brother of James RIP 1893 Loyola, Guipúzkoa, Spain

Early education and Prior Park, Bath, then Louvain and Trinity College Dublin. On his father’s death he succeeded to the family estate, became a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant for Sligo, and was once put in nomination to represent the County in Parliament. Growing weary of the world, he determined to consecrate himself to God in the Society of Jesus, joining the Irish Vice-Province, and his Noviceship was at Hodder, 15 May 1844, aged 28.

1846-1847 After First Vows he taught Grammar at Clongowes.
1847-1851 He then studied Philosophy and some Theology at Laval, and the finished his Theology at St Beuno’s, being Ordained there.
1852 Appointed Socius to the Novice Master at Hodder, while completing his Tertianship at the same time.
1854-1857 Professor of Moral Theology at St Beuno’s, and then taught the short course in Hebrew, whilst acting as Spiritual Father.
1857-1858 Sent to Gardiner St as a Missioner, but soon left for Rome, having got permission to make a second Tertianship, since the first was too much interrupted at Hodder.
1859 Sent to Milltown as Minister
1860-1864 Having taken Final Vows, he was appointed Rector of Milltown and the first HIB Master of Novices, the Vice-Province having been raised to a full Province in 1860.
1864 He was succeeded by Joseph Lentaigne, so he became Spiritual Father at Milltown, and Director of the Spiritual Exerecises to externs, whilst at the same time being Socius to the Provincial.
1869 He died a holy death at Milltown 02 June 1869 Milltown aged 53. A full account of his sickness and death appeared in “Letters & Notices” Vol vi, pp 172 seq :
“Father Jones was a profound Theologian, and deeply versed in Canon Law, and was consulted with very great confidence by many persons far and near. is varied talents were enhanced by a singular humility, a most amiable disposition and a childlike simplicity, and he could never be brought to look upon himself as fit for any post of honour or responsibility. Death alone had anticipated his knowledge of the fact that he had been appointed Provincial”.

He was thrice elected Procurator to represent the Irish Province in Rome : 1860, 1863 and 1868.

Lentaigne, Joseph, 1805-1884, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/232
  • Person
  • 27 July 1805-23 December 1884

Born: 27 July 1805, Dublin
Entered: 25 November 1843, Avignon, France - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Ordained: 17 June 1849, Vals, France
Professed: 02 February 1858
Died: 23 December 1884, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

First Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 8 December 1860 - [ ] 1863;
Vice Provincial: 11 February 1858-1860
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia Mission: 1865-1866;

by 1847 at Vals (LUGD) studying
1st Missioner to Australia with William Kelly 1865

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Brother of Sir John Lentaigne (Lawyer and Privy Counsellor and one of the first Clongowes students); Uncle of Joseph Lentaigne - RIP 1922

1849 Ordained at Vals France, by Dr Morlhaer (?) 17 June 1849
1850-1858 Arrived at Clongowes, and was Prefect of Studies and Teacher until his appointment as Rector in November 1855.
1858-1863 He was appointed Vice-Provincial, and then on 08 September 1860 the First HIB Provincial, in which office he served until 1863.
1863-1865 Appointed Rector and Master of Novices at Milltown.
1865-1866 He sailed with William Kelly to Australia to found the Irish Australian Mission.
1866-1871 He returned to Ireland and Gardiner St.
1871-1872 he was sent to Clongowes as Spiritual Father.
1872-1873 Appointed Rector of Belvedere.
1873 He went back to Gardiner St, and remained there until his death 23 December 1884.
During the last years of his life he suffered a lot from bronchial trouble, and it ended up rendering him a complete invalid. The July before his death he was sent by the Provincial Thomas Browne to Milltown, but this never came to pass. Interestingly, that same summer, John Gaffney was sent to Limerick, William Fortescue to Galway, John Norton to Milltown and John Keogh to Tullabeg. (not sure why this is recorded, perhaps because none of them moved??)

Note from Peter Freeman Entry
By a strange coincidence, Fr Joseph Lentaigne, who had received him as Provincial, died in the same community the day before. Both coffins were laid on the High Altar on 26 December 1884.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : 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 Lentaigne, after studying law at Trinity College and serving at the Irish bar, entered the Society at Lyons in his 38th year on 25 November 1843. He studied at Vals, and was ordained priest, 17 June 1849. He arrived at Clongowes about the year 1850, where he acted as prefect of studies and taught until his appointment as rector in November 1855. In 1858 he became the first Vice-Provincial, an office he held until 1863. From 1863-65 he was rector and master of novices at Milltown Park, and during 1865 sailed to Australia with Father William Kelly to found the Irish Australian Mission.
On 21 September 1865, after 58 days at sea, Lentaigne and Kelly disembarked at Melbourne. They had been fortunate to secure a passage on the “Great Britain”, Brunel's steamship which four years earlier had carried the first all England cricket eleven to tour Australia. Compared with the sailing vessels that sometimes took up to or over 100 days to reach Australia, it had been luxury travel. There were 100 Catholics on board, and the two priests administered to their spiritual and sacramental needs.
On the evening of their arrival Kelly preached at St Francis' Church in the city centre where Bishop Gould was conducting a mission. The climate, Lentaigne reported, was like that of the south of France, but food, clothing and housing were expensive, perhaps twice as much as in Ireland.
The arrival of the Jesuits appears to have caused little comment from the people of Melbourne. “We have never met any incivility, our being Jesuits has not excited any attacks”, wrote Lentaigne.
He was not slow to comment on Australian society. He believed that Melbourne was particularly corrupt, with heretics, Jews and idolatrous Chinese. In addition, he was concerned that the Protestant colleges flourished in Melbourne, and Catholics needed to retain the faith, so great need existed for a boarding school. He found it difficult to raise funds, as the Catholics were generally poor, small business people.
Lentaigne praised the Catholic boys as “affectionate, manly but wild creatures. Great liberty has been allowed them by their parents. The mixture with Protestants, Jews and infidels is most dangerous to them”. Furthermore, he believed that Melbourne Catholics suffered from mixing with these people and they were not good at approaching the Sacraments, or hearing Mass. He was concerned about much drunkenness and irnrnorality in Melbourne society.
In March 1868 Lentaigne was recalled to Ireland, as he suffered from bronchial trouble.
During his time in Melbourne he had been responsible for making the original agreement with Bishop Goold, and in fact laid the juridical foundation of the Irish Mission for both missionary and educational work.
He spent the rest of his life, except for two years as rector of Belvedere College, 1872-73, at Gardiner Street, where he died. He was a member of a famous, old Anglo-Norman family, a real gendernan, and a prominent Jesuit.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 1 1925

St Patrick’s College, Melbourne has just celebrated its Diamond Jubilee as a Jesuit College. It is the mother house of the Australian Mission.
On September 21st 1865, Fathers Joseph Lentaigne and William Kelly, the pioneer Missioners of the Society in Victoria, landed in Melbourne and took over the College.
On September 17th, 1866 , the second contingent of Irish priests arrived - Fr. Joseph Dalton, Fr. Edmund Nolan, Fr. David McKiniry and two lay brothers - Br. Michael Scully and Br. Michael Goodwin.

Lockington, William, 1871-1948, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 26 February 1871-10 October 1948

Born: 26 February 1871, Ross, South Island, New Zealand
Entered: 02 June 1897, Loyola, Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 26 July 1910
Professed: 02 February 1912
Died: 10 October 1948, Manresa, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

by 1901 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1902 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1911 at St Andrew on Hudson NY, USA (NEB) making Tertianship
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia Mission: 24 January 1917

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Raphaël Gennarelli Entry :
Father William Lockington invited him to Australia from Naples for his health. He died at Sevenhill a few years after his arrival.

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

Note from Arthur (Frank) Burke Entry
He feel foul of the Rector William Lockington when he took photos of the Chapel roof falling down on morning during Mass - it was thought the original design was the result of an impetuous decision by the Rector.

Note from George Byrne Entry
He was sent to Australia as Superior and Master of Novices at Loyola College Greenwich. He was also a Consultor of the Sydney Mission and gave Retreats and taught the Juniors.. This occurred at a time when it was decided to reopen the Noviceship in Australia. As such he was “lent” to the Australian Mission for three years, but the outbreak of war and some delaying tactics on the part of the Mission Superior Willliam Lockington, he remained longer than expected.

Note from Edward Carlile Entry
He was a convert from Anglicanism at the age of 25, as a result of the preaching of William Lockington, and was 28 years of age when he entered at Loyola Greenwich

Note from John Carpenter Entry
When the Superior of the Mission - William Lockington - visited Lester House, Osterley, London, he impressed three seminarians, John Carpenter, Laurence Hessian and Hugo Quigley. All three joined the Austraian Province.

Note from James Farrell Entry
He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview. The Rector there at the time was William Lockington and he tried to take him in hand endeavouring to effect a cure, and not entirely in vain.

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University onlne :
Lockington, William Joseph (1871–1948)
by G. J. O'Kelly
G. J. O'Kelly, 'Lockington, William Joseph (1871–1948)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/lockington-william-joseph-7216/text12489, published first in hardcopy 1986

anti-conscriptionist; Catholic priest; school principal

Died : 10 October 1948, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

William Joseph Lockington (1871-1948), Jesuit priest, was born on 23 February 1871 at Ross, New Zealand, eldest of eight children of Elisha Lockington, carpenter and later sawmiller from Derbyshire, England, and his wife Mary, née Canfield. Elisha had migrated to the Beechworth, Victoria, goldfields in the 1850s, moving to Ross in 1862; Mary, a milliner, had arrived in New Zealand from England in 1868.

After primary education at the Convent of Mercy, Hokitika, William at 14 became a pupil-teacher at Ross and at 18 head-teacher of the public school at Capleston; his wide reading and retentive memory, talent for music and passion for physical exercise made him a highly esteemed schoolmaster. He was also a well-known racing cyclist. On 2 June 1896 he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Greenwich, Sydney, where Aloysius Sturzo, the former superior of the Australian Jesuit communities and then master of novices, disseminated a feeling for internationalism and concern for the poor. Lockington subsequently studied at Tullamore, King's County, Ireland, in Jersey, Channel Islands, and at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, England. He taught at The Crescent College, Limerick, Ireland, in 1902-07 and undertook his tertianship at Milltown Park, Dublin, and Poughkeepsie, New York. Ordained in July 1910, he returned to Ireland to assist at Milltown Park in the training of novices and tertians in 1911-13. A course of his lectures, published in 1913 as Bodily Health and Spiritual Vigour and reprinted and translated several times, illustrates his continued emphasis on physical fitness. His admiration for Ireland resulted in his book, The Soul of Ireland (1919).

Recalled to Australia in 1913, Lockington worked as parish priest at Richmond, Melbourne, until his appointment in 1916 as rector of St Patrick's College, East Melbourne. In 1917-23 he was superior of the eleven Australian Jesuit communities; in addition to overseeing four secondary colleges, one seminary and six parishes, he helped to establish Newman College at the University of Melbourne and a seminary at Werribee, Corpus Christi College, for the training of priests from three States.

During this period in Victoria, Lockington gained a reputation as controversialist in the tradition of William Kelly. This partly sprang from his association with Archbishop Mannix whom he drilled in oratory, requiring him to practise declaiming from one end of the cathedral grounds to the other. Lockington was described by a colleague as 'the best platform orator in Australia'. His topics covered religion, temperance, education and the plight of working people; many of his addresses were published. He worked hard to further the growth of the Australian Catholic Federation and was regarded by the Protestant press as a principal in the 1917 anti-conscriptionist 'Jesuit scare'. In 1916 he founded the Catholic Women's Social Guild (later, Catholic Women's League). With Mannix presiding, he was a key speaker in the federation's mid-1917 lecture series which drew a Melbourne audience of thousands; his accusations of sweated labour in confectioners' establishments occasioned debate in the Legislative Assembly. In 1921 the town of Lockington was named after 'the noted author, preacher and lecturer'. His most famous panegyric was yet to come—that for Marshal Foch at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, in April 1929.

Lockington was headmaster of St Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney, in 1923-32. Despite the Depression, he resumed a massive building programme, halted since 1901, to complete the main features of the college. He promoted religious music, drama and physical vigour; open-air dormitories bear his stamp. After 1932 he undertook parish duties at Toowong, Brisbane, until 1936 and at Richmond and Hawthorn, Melbourne, until 1947. He was a committee-member of the Catholic Broadcasting Co. and, particularly on Archbishop Duhig's urgings, gave numerous retreats and lectures.

On his way to one such retreat, Lockington died in Brisbane on 10 October 1948. One of the best-known Catholic priests in Australia, and to Mannix 'the friend of half a lifetime', he was buried in Nudgee cemetery.

Select Bibliography
U. M. L. Bygott, With Pen and Tongue (Melb, 1980)
Jesuit Life, no 7, Dec 1981
Lockington papers (Society of Jesus Provincial Archives, Hawthorn, Melbourne).

◆ Jesuits in Ireland

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-a-town-called-lockington/
Some 200 km north of Melbourne, Australia, is a town called Lockington, one of the few towns called after a Jesuit, Will Lockington (1871-1948). He was a tough West Coast New Zealander whose wide reading and retentive memory, talent for music and passion for physical exercise (he was a well-known racing cyclist) made him a highly esteemed schoolmaster – he was Principal of a local school at 18, and later, as a Jesuit, Headmaster of St Ignatius College, Riverview for nine years. He was a lifelong friend of Archbishop Mannix whom he drilled in oratory, requiring him to practise declaiming from one end of the cathedral grounds to the other. During his ten years in Ireland, he taught in Crescent College, studied in Tullabeg, and published “Bodily health and spiritual vigour”, a book well ahead of its time.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
William Lockington, the eldest of eight, received his early education in New Zealand with the Sisters of Mercy at Hokitika. He had no formal secondary education, but the pupil-teacher system appealed to him from the first.
He became a teacher in 1891 and was appointed headmaster of the school at Capleston, a school with about 80 children. He joined in the activities of the local community, played the violin at entertainments and acted in dramatic productions. By 1896 he had decided to join the Jesuits as a brother.
He joined the noviciate at Greenwich, Sydney, 2 June 1896, aged 25. During his noviciate the novice master, Aloysius Sturzo, convinced him to become a priest and so he took his vows as a scholastic in June 1898.
After a year of Latin and Greek in Sydney, he was sent to the Irish juniorate at Tullabeg. He found these studies too difficult, and never matriculated. He was sent to Jersey for
philosophy, and also studied French. However, he only stayed a year, and was sent to Stonyhurst, England, to complete his studies. He became a powerful force in community life, gave lectures on New Zealand, played in the orchestra, helped with plays, and was a promoter of garnes and sport.
Next he taught at the Crescent College, Limerick, 1902-07. He conducted a choir, and helped produce musicals. He was reported to be a good teacher, and was prefect of studies, 1905-07. He fell in love with Ireland, and later expressed that affection in his book, “The Soul of lreland”.
In 1907 he went to Miiltown Park for theology, and was ordained, 26 July 1910. He did tertianship at Poughkeepsie, New York. In 1911 he returned to Ireland as socius to the master of novices at Tullabeg, and it was during this time that he wrote his more celebrated book, “Bodily Health and Spiritual Vigor”. The work, developed out of a course of lectures he gave to the tertians, reflected Lockington's spirituality - religious life implies a total dedication of oneself to the love and service of God and one's fellow human beings, and that body was included as well as soul.
He was sent back to Australia in 1913, was briefly at Xavier College, and in 1914 was made superior at St Ignatius' Church, Richmond. He was to remain a superior until 1947. He was rector of St Patrick's College in 1916, and at once made plans for its renovation and extension.
However, the next year he was appointed superior of the Mission until 1923. Newman College and Corpus Christi, Werribee were negotiated at this time. It was during these years that he became a national Church figure, lecturing, preaching and giving retreats from Brownsville to Perth, and in New Zealand. He was a powerful preacher, long and loud. His topics included religion, temperance, education and the plight of working people. He even had a town in Victoria named after him in 1921.
He did well to make the name of the Society of Jesus acceptable to the parish clergy in the country, and became a good friend of Dr Mannix, the archbishop. They were both fighters and thought alike on most issues One of their joint ventures in 1917 was the “National Foundation Stones”, a series of seventeen lectures, three of which were given by Lockington. Twenty thousand attended the last lecture given by Mannix at the Melbourne Town Hall.
Lockington had two important qualities, his passion for social justice and his deep sympathy for women. in 1916 he founded the Catholic Women's Social Guild. He valued the contribution women could make to the Church and society.
When his term as Mission Superior ended, he was appointed Rector of Riverview in October 1923 for eight years. Some believe that he built the College from a small school into a “Great Public' school”. The main south front was then not much more than half finished. He completed the main front and the first bays of the east wing. Open air dormitories bear his stamp. He also pulled down the old wooden hall and the original stone cottage.
Internally, he reformed the choir and the performance of the liturgy. He revived the tradition of drama. He was not a popular rector, but respected, trusted and even revered. He never stood on his dignity, as he did not need to. He played handball with the senior boys, and worked with axe or crowbar, pick or hammer. He had no time for mere ceremonial. He was simple and straightforward. All during this time he continued preaching, lecturing and giving retreats.
In 1932, aged 61, he went to Brisbane, to the parish of Toowong. Here he continued his usual round of retreats, lectures and sermons. One lecture lasted one hour and 25 minutes. It was in Brisbane that he developed angina and expected to live a quieter life. He recovered sufficiently to become parish priest in 1933, and in 1936 was appointed parish priest of Richmond, Melbourne. Here he remained until 1947, and at 76, returned to Toowong. However, his heart gave out and he died in the midst of a visitation of religious houses for the archbishop. He was buried in Nudgee cemetery.
He was not a man of great intellect or learning, but he made the best use of his talents. He cared little for reputation, for his own dignity for pomp or circumstance of any kind. He could be overbearing. He was not a good organiser. He had too much contempt for public relations. Yet for all this he was a man totally developed, body and soul, and totally dedicated to Christ, a man, wholly man, Catholic and Jesuit, all for God's greater glory

Note from Arthur (Frank) Burke Entry
He fell 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.

Note from George Byrne Entry
He was sent to Australia as Superior and Master of Novices at Loyola College Greenwich. He was also a Consultor of the Sydney Mission and gave Retreats and taught the Juniors.. This occurred at a time when it was decided to reopen the Noviceship in Australia. As such he was “lent” to the Australian Mission for three years, but the outbreak of war and some delaying tactics on the part of the Mission Superior Willliam Lockington, he remained longer than expected.

Note from Edward Carlile Entry
He was a convert from Anglicanism at the age of 25, as a result of the preaching of William Lockington, and was 28 years of age when he entered at Loyola Greenwich

Note from John Carpenter Entry
When the Superior of the Mission - William Lockington - visited Lester House, Osterley, London, he impressed three seminarians, John Carpenter, Laurence Hessian and Hugo Quigley. All three joined the Austraian Province.

Note from James Farrell Entry
He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview. The Rector there at the time was William Lockington and he tried to take him in hand endeavouring to effect a cure, and not entirely in vain.

Note from Thomas Forster Entry
When William Lockington embarked on his building programe in 1928, he used Thomas as clerk of works with excellent results. His sudden death from a stroke was a severe blow to Lockington.

Note from Michael O’Brien (ASL) Entry
He did not take kindly to Charles Fraser shooting his cows in the rose garden, nor in William Lockington showing him how to do his work. One recreation he enjoyed was to attend meetings of the Irish in Sydney, details of which he kept close to himself.

Note from Hugo Quigley Entry
He was enrolled at Osterly, the house for “late vocations” conducted by the English Jesuits to prepare students for entry into various seminaries. There, with John Carpenter and Laurence Hession, he answered the appeal of the then superior of the Australian Mission, William Lockington, for men willing to volunteer for the Society in Australia.

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

Note from Vincente Guimera Entry
Vincente Guimera entered the 'Society in 1890, and after studies and some teaching, he was sent to New Guinea in the 1920s to help find a solution to the problems in a mission that had been acquired from die German Franciscans. The superior general asked the Australian superior, William Lockington, to settle the matter, and he sent Joseph A. Brennan to New Guinea. They closed the mission and gave it to the SVDs. Three Spanish Jesuits then came to Sydney briefly and stayed at Loyola. Guimera subsequendy lived and taught at St Aloysius' College, 1924-25

Note from Gerard Guinane Entry
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.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 6th Year No 1 1931

From 23 to 27 August, Riverview celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its foundation... The College was founded in 1880 by Fr. Joseph Dalton, He was “wisely daring enough” to purchase a fine property on Lane Cove from Judge Josephson, The property consisted of a cottage containing eight or nine rooms with substantial out offices, and 44 acres of land, at a cost of £4 500. 54 acres were soon added for £1 ,080, and an additional 20 acres later on completed the transaction. This little cottage was the Riverview College of 1880. The modesty of the start may be measured by the facts, that the founder of Riverview, and its first Rector, shared his own bed-room with three of his little pupils , and when the College played its first cricket out match, it could muster only ten boys to meet the opposing team. By the end of the year the number had increased to 15.
In addition to Fr. Dalton's, two other names are inseparably connected with the foundation of Riverview. The first is that of His Grace, Archbishop Vaughan, who invited the Jesuits to Sydney, formally opened the College and gave the Fathers every encouragement.
The second is the name of the great Australian pioneer, the Archpriest Therry. “One hundred years ago”, says one account : “Fr Therry was dreaming of a Jesuit College in Sydney... and when he went to his reward in 1865 he gave it a special place in his final testament”. Fr Lockington called Frs. Dalton and Therry the “co-founders” of Riverview, and added
that it was the wish of the latter to see Irish Jesuits established at Sydney.
An extract from the Catalogue of 1881 will interest many. It is the first time that Riverview is mentioned as a College in the Catalogue :
Collegium et Convictus S. Ignatius
R. P, Josephus Dalton, Sup a die 1 Dec 1879, Proc_ Oper
P. Thomas Gartlan, Min, etc
P. Joannes Ryan, Doc. 2 class. etc
Henricus O'Neill Praef. mor. etc
Domini Auxiliairii duo
Fr. Tom Gartlan is still amongst us, and, thank God, going strong. Soon a brick building (comprising study hall, class rooms and dormitories) wooden chapel, a wooden refectory, were added to the cottage, and in three years the numbers had swelled to 100, most of them day-boys.
The first stage in the history of Riverview was reached in 1889, when the fine block, that up to a recent date served as the College, was opened and blessed by Cardinal Moran.
The second stage was closed last August, when, amidst the enthusiastic cheering of a great gathering of Old Boys, the splendid building put up by Fr. Lockington was officially declared ready to receive the ever increasing crowd of boys that are flocking into Riverview. The College can now accommodate three times as many students as did the old block finished in 1889. Not the least striking part of the new building is the Great Assembly Hall erected by the Old Boys as a memorial to their school-fellows who died during the Great War.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

Obituary

Fr. William Lockington (1871-1897-1948) – Vice Province of Australia

Tho' born in New Zealand in 1871 Fr. Lockington came of English stock, his father being a former scholar of St. Paul's, London who after his conversion emigrated to New Zealand as a young man. Fr. Lockington was a primary teacher before entering the Society at the age of 26. He made his novitiate at Greenwich under Fr. Sturzo and studied rhetoric at Tullabeg. He made his philosophy at Jersey and Stonyhurst and taught at the Crescent from 1902 to 1907. He studied theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1910. He made his tertianship in St. Andrew-on-Hudson in the U.S.A and on his return to Ireland was Socius to the Master of Novices and Minister at Tullabeg. In the autumn of 1913 he returned to Australia and was Superior of St. Ignatius, Richmond and St. Patrick's, Melbourne from 1914-1917 and in the latter year was appointed Superior of the Mission of Australia, a post he held till 1923 when he became Rector of Riverview, Sydney. From 1932 to 1936 he was Superior of the Brisbane Residence and from 1937 to 1937 of St. Ignatius, Richmond. He was the author of “The Soul of Ireland” and “Bodily Health and Spiritual Vigour”, and a popular retreat director and as a preacher was in the first rank of pulpit orators in Australia. R.I.P.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 2 1949

A further notice of Fr. W. Lockington reached us in February, drawing attention to the remarkable fact that two Archbishops preached panegyrics at his obsequies. Archbishop J. Dhuhig of Brisbane preaching in the Church of St. Ignatius, Toowong, Brisbane on October 12th, called him a militant priest in the best sense of the term," and compared his spirit with that of SS. Paul and Ignatius.'' Archbishop Mannix of Melbourne preaching in St. Ignatius Church, Richmond on 21st October paid tribute to him as the “friend of half a lifetime- as preacher and director. A manly, zealous, broadminded, big- hearted Jesuit has gone to his reward”, said His Grace, “may God deal gently with his noble soul”.

Maher, Martin, 1861-1942, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/237
  • Person
  • 11 November 1861-12 March 1942

Born: 11 November 1861, Paulstown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 13 September 1879, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1894, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1900
Died 12 March 1942, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Younger brother of Thomas Maher - RIP 1917

by 1898 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1899

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Came from a very respected family and two sons were in the Jesuits. An older brother Thomas was in the Society - RIP 1917.

Note from John Naughton Entry :
1896 He finally returned to Gardiner St again, and was President of the BVM Sodality for girls, being succeeded by William Butler and Martin Maher in this role.

Note from Martin Maher Sr Entry :
He went from there to Willesden in London, and he died there 27 March 1917. His brother, Martin said the requiem Mass.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Martin Maher was educated at St Stanislaus' College, Tullabeg, and entered the Society from there in 1879. He came to Australia as a priest, working at Riverview from 1899 as prefect of studies. He held the same office at St Aloysius' College in 1901, and left in early 1902 to return to Ireland to become rector of The Crescent. He was one of the most respected administrators of the Irish province. After The Crescent, he was rector of Milltown Park, and served two terms as master of novices, as well as being socius to the provincial and a lecturer in theology.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 5th Year No 1 1929

Tullabeg :
Fr Martin Maher, Master of Novices, celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his entrance into the Society, 16th September. Fr Martin was ordained in 1894. He spent three years in Australia, returning to Ireland in 1902 as Rector of the Crescent. From that date he put in 16 years as Rector (Crescent, Tullabeg, Milltovlm). In 1905 he was appointed Socius to Fr Provincial, and held that office for 6 years. He has commenced his 13th year as Master of Novices. No wonder Fr. Martin received such a huge spiritual bouquet on the occasion of the Jubilee. Fr. Provincial, accompanied by his Socius, carried it down to Tullabeg and presented it in the course of the day. During the evening festivities, Fr. Provincial, and Fr, S. Bartley (Rector of Tullabeg) paid some very well earned compliments to the Jubilarian who made a most kindly reply.

Irish Province News 17th Year No 3 1942

Obituary :

Rev Martin Maher SJ

The death of Father Martin Maher took place at the Residence, Upper Gardiner Street, on 12th March. He was, born at Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny, in 1861, and on the completion of his secondary education at Knockbeg, Carlow, and at St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, entered the Society of Jesus in 1879 at Milltown Park. There also, in company
with his brother, the late Fr. Thomas Maher, SJ., he completed his philosophical studies, after which he attended University College, Dublin, whose professorial staff included many well-known Jesuit teachers like Fr. John O'Carroll, the famous linguist, Fr. Gerard Manly Hopkins, poet and literary critic, who was Greek professor, Fr. Denis Murphy and others.
In 1885 he began at Belvedere College with the late Fr. Thomas A. Finlay as Rector, his career as an educationalist to which he was to devote many fruitful years of his life both in Ireland and Australia. He was ordained priest in St. Francis Xavier's Church Gardiner Street, by Dr. William Walsh, Archbishop of Dublin on 29th July, 1894, and, on the completion of his theological studies which he pursued with remarkable distinction, was appointed professor of dogmatic theology, a subject he taught for 10 years. For long periods of his life he held posts of importance and responsibility, being Rector of the Sacred Heart College, Limerick, of the Novitiate, St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, and of the House of Higher Studies, Milltown Park, for some 20 years. He was Socius to the Provincial for 6 years and Master of novices for fourteen. He was attached to St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, from 1933 to his death, being in charge of the large sodality for young women, whom he addressed with unfailing regularity each week.
A man of great intellectual gifts and personal charm, he was of a quiet and self-effacing disposition. As a. priest of the Catholic Church he served her with rare oneness of purpose and with a profound love of her liturgy and ceremonies, and did much during his life to advance the study and appreciation of sacred music. A talented preacher and giver of retreats he was in much demand during his long life especially among religious communities.
As he would have wished, Fr. Maher died in harness. Up to Christmas he continued to direct his sodality, Then increasing weakness forced him to confine himself to the confessional, where he worked up to the week-end before his death.
He became aware some months before his death that the best medical skill could do nothing for him, and often spoke of his aproaching end. On March 10th, two days before his death, he was able to celebrate Mass, but, at his own urgent request, was anointed that day. The following clay he remained in bed, but was so bright and cheerful that it was hard to realise the end was so near. That night it was arranged that he should be visited at short intervals. The Father who visited him at 4 a,m. found him sleeping peacefully, but two hours later he was found to have passed away. R.I.P.

McKenna, Charles, 1836-1910, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/712
  • Person
  • 10 April 1836-13 April 1910

Born: 10 April 1836, County Monaghan
Entered: 29 July 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained - pre Entry
Professed: 15 August 1875
Died: 13 April 1910, Mungret College SJ, Mungret, County Limerick

Master of Novices 1874-1882

by 1872 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1873 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) teaching
by 1874 at Drongen France (FRA) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Brother of Msgr John McKenna, Dromore, County Tyrone

He made his priestly studies at Maynooth, and became a distinguished member of the Dunboyne Establishment (the original postgrad house of Maynooth). Some of his fellow students there were Dr William Walshe, Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Edward T O’Dwyer, Bishop of Limerick, and many other remarkable men.

After First Vows he was sent as a Teacher to Galway and then as a Teacher and Operarius at Limerick, as a form of Regency.
1872 He made further studies in Thelogy at St Beuno’s and became “Professor of the Shorts”.
1873-1874 He was sent to Drongen fr Tertianship.
1874-1882 He was appointed Master of Novices at Milltown.
1883 He was sent to Galway again as a Teacher.
1885 He spent time at Tullabeg caring for his health.
1891 At the opening of the Theologate at Milltown, he was appointed Professor of Logic and Moral Theology.
1908 He retired to Mungret in failing health. He attended the 1910 Provincial Congregation, and when he got back to Mungret he had a bad cold. This brought about his death with great speed, and he died there 13 April 1910.

Murphy, Geoffrey C, 1922-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/264
  • Person
  • 30 September 1922-12 October 1985

Born: 30 September 1922, Bray, County Wicklow
Entered: 07 September 1940, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954
Professed: 22 April 1977
Died: 12 October 1985, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of Loyola community, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia at time of his death.

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1949 at Hong Kong - Regency

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

Father Geoffrey Murphy, the first Jesuit novice master in Malaysia, died of cancer of the liver in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, on 13 October 1985, aged 63. He had gone to Ireland for further diagnosis, but he died within a month of his return.

Father Murphy was born in Ireland in 1922. He worked in Hong Kong as a scholastic form 1949 to 1951 and as a priest from 1956 to 1958 he asked for work in Malaysia and remained there till his last days.

For a long time the Jesuits had very few locally born members in Malaysia. However, when visa restrictions had reduced the expatriate Jesuits to a very small handful the number of local applications began to rise.

Father Murphy, after many years of pastoral and counselling work in Penang, became master of novices for the Jesuit region of Malaysia and Singapore, and moved to Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, where the Jesuits have a thriving parish and a hostel for university students.

A steady stream of candidates passed through Father Murphy’s hands: there are now more Malaysian Jesuits in formation than ordained Jesuits - a decidedly unusual situation in these days of scarce vocations.

Father Murphy had given himself whole-heartedly to the work of formation. His last thoughts and his last words were all about the novices.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 8 November 1985

◆ 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 Byrne Entry
During his term as Provincial (1947-1963) he sent many Jesuits to Hong Kong, and then in 1951 he started the Irish Jesuit Mission to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). He also saw the needs in Singapore and Malaysia and sent Jesuits to work there - like Kevin O’Dwyer, who built St Ignatius Church in Singapore; Patrick McGovern who built St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, and also Liam Egan, Gerard (Geoffrey?) Murphy and Tom Fitzgerald.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

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

Neary, John J, 1889-1983, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/303
  • Person
  • 20 August 1889-24 October 1983

Born: 20 August 1889, Dublin
Entered: 05 October 1908, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922
Professed: 02 February 1927
Died: 24 October 1983, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

by 1917 at St Aloysius, Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1927 first Hong Kong Missioner with George Byrne
by 1950 at St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Wales (ANG) Tertian Instructor

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
R.I.P.
Father Neary

Only a few septuagenarians and octogenarians in the Hong Kong public can have even faint memories of Father John Neary, who died in Ireland last week, aged 94. He has nevertheless his little niche in our history. He was one of the two Jesuits - Father George Byrne was the other - who came here on 2 December 1926, to start Jesuit work in Hong Kong. Their early decisions have influenced all later Jesuit work here.

He stayed here only five years. In 1931 his health broke down and he had to return to Ireland, where, as Master of Novices or as Instructor of Tertians, he played a large part in the formation of most of the Jesuits now in Hong Kong.

Memory of him lasted long even in this city of short memories. In my earlier years here, I was amazed to find a variety of people still asking for news about him many years after his departure. The late Father Andrew Granelli, P.I.M.E., spoke more and more of Father Neary as his own life neared its end. Their friendship had outlasted forty years of separation.

Father Neary never forgot Hong Kong. When I visited him two years ago he was already 92, but he was full of eager and probing questions about developments here. Streets and buildings and people were still fresh in his memory. He had shortly before been greatly cheered by a visit from Archbishop Tang, whom he remembered as a young Jesuit Student. His thoughts were with us to the end. He deserves a few inches of space in a Hong Kong Catholic Paper.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 4 November 1983

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Born in Dublin in 1889, his early education was at Mount Saint Mary’s in England.

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

He visited the Jesuits in Macau and Shiuhing as well as Shanghai. Their first project was Ricci Hall at Hong Kong University together with work at Canton Cathedral. he held Wah Yan in great esteem.

By 1931 he had health issues. He was sent back to Ireland where he had an outstanding period at Belvedere College SJ, and became Novice Master

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
With the encouragement of Michael Murphy he then entered the Novitiate at St Mary’s, Emo under the newly appointed Novice Master John Neary.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

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

O’Meara, John, 1898-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/582
  • Person
  • 23 February 1898-14 November 1991

Born: 23 February 1898, Mallow, County Cork
Entered: 31 August 1915, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 August 1930
Professed: 08 December 1976
Died: 14 November 1991, St Joseph’s Home, Kowloon, Hong Kong

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

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966

by 1928 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1932 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1934 at Catholic Mission, Ngau-Pei-Lan, Shiuhing (Zhaoqing), Guandong, China (LUS) - language
by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
by 1943 at Campion Hall, Oxford, England (ANG) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father John O’Meara S.J.
R.I.P.

Father John O’Meara SJ, Hong Kong’s oldest priest, who did missionary work in Hong Kong and southern China for almost 60 years, died on 14 November 1991 after a brief illness.

Father O'Meara was born in Mallow, Ireland, on 23 February 1898, into a large family. He was educated by the Irish Christian Brothers and later by the Jesuits.

He join the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1915 and followed the usual course of studies of the time, which, in his case, included an honours degree in history at the National University of Ireland.

He did his philosophical studies in Dublin and went to Louvain in Belgium for theology. He was ordained priest in 1930.

Father O’Meara arrived in Hong Kong for the first time in September 1933 with four companions. Within three days of landing here he was told to proceed to Zhaoqing (Shiu Hing), the Portuguese Jesuit mission on the West River, to study Chinese.

In the following year he moved to the river island mission station of Tianshuisha (Tin Shui Sha), where he gained an intimate knowledge of working in a rural mission.

Later in 1934 he was recalled to Hong Kong and began an important period of his life at the then South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He was first named Vice-Rector, a post he held until 1937 when he was appointed Rector.

In 1935 the seminarians from Fujian Province left Aberdeen when a new regional seminary was opened by the bishops of that region. Their loss was more than compensated for by a large influx of students from Guangdong and Guangxi, as the minor seminaries of those two provinces began to show the results of 10 years patient labour.

With the Japanese invasion of South China, travel to and from Hong Kong became difficult and from 1940 no new students came to Aberdeen.

With the Japanese attack on Hong Kong in December 1941, a very difficult period began for the seminary and for its Rector, Father O’Meara.

The building was shelled and bombed for three days during the siege of Hong Kong and so severe was the firing that the students and some refugees who had gathered there for shelter were forced to leave on Christmas morning. (Hong Kong surrendered on Christmas day).

During the succeeding three and a half years the seminary teaching staff, under Father O’Meara’s leadership, continued to train priests in spite of persistent visits from suspicious gendarmes.

The feeding of such a large community was a problem solved only by repeated interventions of Divine Providence.

For months there was no wheeled traffic other than military on the only road leading to the city. Food supplies had to be brought by hand, on battered bicycles.

In May 1945, Father O’Meara decided that the seminarians who had not finished their studies should go with their professors to neighbouring Macau, which, being Portuguese, was considered neutral.

The main reason was that it had become impossible to find food. Father O’Meara himself remained with an ex-seminarian and a servant to guard the seminary building from looters.

The war came to an end on 15 August 1945, and in November of that year Father O’Meara welcomed the first new students to arrive since 1940 and those in Macau were recalled.

In October 1947, Father O’Meara was relieved of the heavy burden he had carried for 12 years. He was sent to the newly-founded Jesuit mission in Guangzhou (Canton). There he taught at the Sacred Heart School and did missionary work in Dongshan (Tung Shan) as well as being director of the Legion of Mary in the diocese.

In 1953, four years after the establishment of the People’s Republic, he and the other Jesuits were forced to leave the country.

Back in Hong Kong, he taught at Wah Yan College, Kowloon, for five years until his appointment as Master of Novices in 1958 at the newly opened Jesuit novitiate at Xavier House in Cheung Chau.

He was extremely pleased to have been given such a responsible post in forming new Jesuits at the age of 60. He held the position for 10 years when, in 1968, he began a period of parish ministry.

He was first assigned to the Holy Rosary Parish in Kennedy Town and, four years later, transferred to Christ the Worker parish in Ngautaukok.

He was still vigorous in his 80s when he became chaplain to the St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged in Ngauchiwan. In the final years of his life, when he could no longer continue this ministry, he became himself one of the old folk in the home.

Father O’Meara had one final ambition, which he did not get to see - to live until the year 2000 and say he had touched three centuries.

The funeral Mass, presided over by Cardinal John Baptist Wu, Bishop of Hong Kong, and assisted by Archbishop Dominic Tang of Canton (Where Father O’Meara spent some of the happiest years of his life), was held at St. Ignatius Chapel, Kowloon, on 18 November at 11am.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 22 November 1991

◆ 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 22nd Year No 1 1947

Frs. Bourke and John O'Meara returned from Hong Kong on 25th November for a rest. Fr. Joseph O'Mara, who had returned to the Mission some time ago after a stay in Ireland, was forced by ill-health to come back to the Province. He reached Dublin on 13th January, and is now teaching philosophy at Tullabeg.

O’Sullivan, Donal, 1904-1977, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/347
  • Person
  • 26 July 1904-19 November 1977

Born: 26 July 1904, Bantry, County Cork
Entered 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Innsbruck, Austria
Professed: 02 February 1940
Died: 19 November 1977, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

by 1929 at Eegenhoven, Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1935 at Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria (ASR) studying
by 1939 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
O'Sullivan, Donal
by Lawrence William White and Aideen Foley

O'Sullivan, Donal (1904–77), priest and arts administrator, was born Daniel Joseph Sullivan on 27 July 1904 in Donemark, Bantry, Co. Cork, the only son among two children of John Sullivan, a national school teacher, and Mary Anne Sullivan (née Keohane). After receiving primary and secondary education locally, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg (Rahan), near Tullamore, Co. Offaly (1923). He pursued undergraduate studies at UCD till 1928, then studied philosophy in Eegenhoven, Belgium. He taught at Clongowes Wood college, Co. Kildare (1931–4), before studying theology for three years in Innsbruck, Austria, where he was ordained a catholic priest (24 June 1937). He completed his theology studies at Milltown Park, Dublin (1937–8). After a brief period spent giving missions and retreats, he became rector of the philosophate at Tullabeg (1940–47); during these years he ministered to republican prisoners in Portlaoise prison, with whom he enjoyed some credibility owing to his family having supported the anti-treaty side during the civil war. He was rector and novice master at Emo Court, Portarlington, Co. Laois (1947–59). Thereafter he belonged to the Jesuit community at St Ignatius Residence (House of Writers), 35 Lower Leeson St., Dublin.

Anticipating the reforms of the second Vatican council, O'Sullivan promoted among fellow clergy a more sensitive and artistic presentation of the liturgy, especially the mass. Through encouragement and facilitation of patronage, he contributed to the mid-twentieth-century revival in standards of catholic ecclesiastical art in Ireland. Enjoying a long friendship with stained-glass artist Evie Hone (qv), he arranged the placement of her work in churches and religious houses throughout the country, and commissioned one of her most notable achievements, the five windows for the new community chapel at Tullabeg (1946). After Hone's death, he helped organise the major memorial exhibition at UCD, Earlsfort Tce (1958). Appointed to the Arts Council in 1956, he served for thirteen years as the body's director (1960–73). Overseeing a redefinition of the council's responsibilities based on an appraisal of needs and resources, he directed activities and expenditure away from support for music, drama, and dance, to a concentration on the fine visual arts, his own area of primary interest and expertise. At the suggestion of council member C. S. ‘Todd’ Andrews (qv), he initiated a scheme whereby the Arts Council purchased paintings and sculptures by Irish artists for resale at half-price to public institutions and state-sponsored bodies, including schools, CIÉ hotels, and local authorities. Securing the appointment of an Arts Council exhibitions officer, he attracted important travelling exhibitions to Ireland, including the influential ‘Art: USA: Now’ exhibition (1964). His encouragement of the preparation of carefully researched catalogues to accompany such exhibitions helped stimulate the emergence of art history as a discipline in Irish universities. He brought to Dublin an exhibition of works by the controversial Irish-born artist Francis Bacon (qv) (1965), and encouraged the highly successful Rosc exhibitions of 1967 and 1971 at the RDS, which introduced Irish audiences to a large selection of contemporary international art. His foremost achievement was the formation (1961) and development of the Arts Council collection of contemporary Irish painting and sculpture, comprising some 800 purchases by 1969; the initiative stimulated the establishment of similar collections by private interests, and thus proved an important catalyst of patronage.

Through such initiatives, O'Sullivan dynamically promoted an understanding and acceptance of modern art in Ireland, thereby helping effect a revolution in public taste. However, in exercising his personal preference for abstract works in the prevalent international hard-edge style, he controversially neglected not only artists practising more conservative styles, but also the emerging school of expressionist figurative artists, leading to accusations of confusing artistic merit with private taste, and failing to represent and support the full range of contemporary painting styles in Ireland. Accused of practising an autocratic style of leadership, early in his tenure he led the council into two highly contentious decisions on planning issues, by advising the relevant local authorities to approve demolition of a row of Georgian buildings in Lower Fitzwilliam St., Dublin, to allow construction of a modern office block for the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), and to approve location of a nitrogen factory on an historic and scenic site near Arklow, Co. Wicklow; both decisions embroiled the Arts Council in febrile public rows. He excluded various popular and traditional forms from the range of art eligible for Arts Council support, favouring the fine and applied arts over genres that he regarded as primarily participatory. Ignoring the important 1960s revival of folk and traditional Irish music, he was also accused of inadequate support for artistic activity outside of Dublin, and for work in the Irish language. His approach implied an elitist concept of art as an activity of professionals producing work of a high standard (as determined by presumed experts) for the aesthetic appreciation of a consuming audience that was largely middle-class and urban, and ran against the demotic spirit of the 1960s and prevailing international trends in arts policy.

O'Sullivan was a founding director of the Kilkenny Design Workshops (1965–77) and of the stamp design committee. He served on the editorial board of the Jesuit periodical Studies, to which he frequently contributed. Intimidating to some associates, inspiring to others, he concealed a fundamentally withdrawn, contemplative nature beneath an opinionated, supercilious persona. Recent biographers of the English writer Graham Greene have alleged that over many years from the late 1940s O'Sullivan was involved in a sexual relationship with Catherine Walston (1916–78), the beautiful, impetuous American-born wife of a millionaire British financier, whose overlapping relationship with Greene inspired the latter's novel The end of the affair (1951). After retiring from the Arts Council, O'Sullivan was superior to the Jesuit residence on Leeson St., where he died on 19 November 1977

Jesuit Year Book (1974), 145–6 (photo.); Ir. Times, 21 Nov. 1977 (obit. and photo.); Irish Province News [Jesuit], xvii, no. 1 (1978), 28–32; Brian P. Kennedy, Dreams and responsibilities: the state and the arts in independent Ireland (c.1990) (photo., 131); Michael Sheldon, Graham Greene: the man within (1994); William Cash, The third woman: the secret passion that inspired The end of the affair (2000), 209–13

Riordan, Edward, 1904-1987, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/384
  • Person
  • 31 August 1904-02 February 1987

Born: 31 August 1904, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939
Professed: 02 February 1942
Died: 02 February 1987, Nazareth House, 16 Cornell St, Camberwell, Melbourne, Australia

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

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Edward Riordan came from a remarkable Irish family. Of five boys, three became priests and two doctors. All four sisters received a tertiary education. The Christian Brothers in Cork educated him before he entered the Society at Tullabeg, 1 September 1924.
Riordan's Jesuit studies were all in Ireland, and his secular studies in the classics were undertaken at the National University at the colleges in Cork and Dublin. He was sent to Australia for his regency at St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point, 1932-35. He was ordained, 31 July 1939, and arrived back in Australia in 1944. After two years as socius to the master of novices he was appointed master for sixteen years, and more than 100 Jesuits were formed by him. In 1961 he was assigned to profess theology, First in the diocesan seminary at Glen Waverley, then at Canisius College, Pymble. These were not the happiest years for him, as he was well aware of his limitations as a teacher of theology.
At the age of 67 Riordan volunteered to teach English in Lahore, Pakistan, for four years, then returned to Australia to work with the poor at Salisbury North, Adelaide. Living in a housing commission dwelling was not easy, privacy was hard to find, but he loved the people and was loved by them. They called him 'Ned'. After six years in this work he went to live with the homeless men at Corpus Christi Community, Greenville, Victoria, where the men praised him for being a hopeful sign of God's wisdom and true human dignity After four years his memory began to fade and he was forced to retire to the Hawthorn parish community The sisters at Nazareth House eventually cared for him. His memory had practically almost gone.
He was perceived by his novices to combine the rationality of John Fahy with the genuine affective devotion of John Corcoran. He taught his novices the deepest truths of the following of Christ, he lived by those truths as he taught them, and he carried them superbly into the life he led when his term as master of novices was over. His whole life was one of humble service The way he showed was an austere way, one of prayer, self-denial and fidelity He lived a life of great personal poverty and self-sacrifice. Rarely did his novices see the man who in his younger days had been a merry companion and the life of the party. He loved the stage and was a good actor and enjoyed proclaiming poetry and prose. Shakespeare was a particular love.
There was fire in Riordan, there were flashes of merriment but so much was suppressed. It was his understanding of his role. However, he mellowed in his latter years and entered into the spirit of the Second Vatican Council. In himself he was not an aloof person but very companionable. He was not a hard man, but rather had the gift of strong gentleness. He was at peace with himself, and content with his own company, deeply prayerful, and at home with the Blessed Trinity, a priest after the mind of St Ignatius Loyola.

Shields, Bernard Joseph, 1931-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/722
  • Person
  • 25 March 1931-03 April 2005

Born: 25 March 1931, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1966
Died: 03 April 2005, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CHN : 1992

by 1957 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1965 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Bernard Joseph Shields S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Joseph Shields of the Society of Jesus, died in his sleep on 3 April 2005, he was 74.

Father Shields was born on 25 March 1931 in Dublin, Ireland and was a much-loved volunteer staff member of the Sunday Examiner. He will be sorely missed. He was ordained a priest on 31 July 1962 in Dublin.

There will be a Requiem Mass to be celebrated by Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun at Christ the King Chapel, Causeway Bay, on 16 April at 10am with vigil prayers on the previous evening at the Hong Kong Funeral parlor, North Point. The Jesuit community will welcome visitors from 5:30pm. He will be buried at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery, Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 10 April 2005

Mourning a quiet Jesuit

“I first met ‘Father Joe’, as we fondly called him, in the early 1980s at Holy Spirit College,” reminisced Chan Sui-jeung. “I was looking for research materials on Judaism and he directed me to Matteo Ricci’s dairy, a copy of which was in the college library.” Chan said that their common interest in classics and Chinese history led them into the first of many long conversations.

Chan related that he next came into contact with the Irish-born Jesuit, Father Bernard J. Shields, about 10 years later at the office of the Sunday Examiner. Father Joe did the proofreading and I came as a volunteer,” said Chan. “Office space was at a premium. At times we even shared the same desk!” He said that the always thorough and meticulous “gentle priest with the unusual turn of phrase” was a great asset to the editorial staff, especially when the chase was on for the “right turn of phrase.”

Chan said their quiet moments together produced stories about Father Joe’s student days under the late Father Edward Collins SJ, how he had assisted in sorting Father Turner’s manuscript on Tang Dynasty poetry and his three or so years in Taiwan at the Fu Jen University, where he had met distinguished Jesuit scholars like Father Fang Chi Yung and Father Simon Chin. Chan also noted that he learned to complement his Cantonese language skills with a “quite acceptable Putonghua.”

His long-time friend pointed out a little known fact about Father Joe. “He was a considerable authority on history and the works of Giuseppe Castiglione. When one of the animal heads of the Yang Ming Garden in Beijing went on sale in Hong Kong, it was Father Shields who informed the auctioneer that their historical write up was inaccurate.”

Born on 25 March 1931, he attended Christian Brothers and Jesuit schools in Ireland and joined the society in 1948, taking first vows in 1950. Three years at University College Dublin gave him a first class honours degree in Latin, Greek and ancient history. He came to Hong Kong in 1956 and returned home for theology studies and later ordination in Milltown, Dublin, on the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, 31 July 1962. He then studied Sacred Scripture in Rome and returned to Hong Kong in 1973. He taught at the diocesan seminary in Aberdeen, the Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Anglican Theological Seminary.

He was also a mentor in Hebrew at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and took students to visit the synagogue in the Mid-Levels on more than one occasion. Chan said,

“I had plans to introduce him to the well-stocked library at the Jewish Community Centre.”

He recalls him as humble, soft-spoken with a gentle smile, popular and loved. Shy and retiring by nature, Father Shields nevertheless stood up and spoke boldly when interviewed on television while participating in a street rally in Hong Kong, on 11 April last year, in defense of his much loved brother and sister Catholics on the mainland.

Chan has fond memories of wine, beers and cheese in the newspaper office at the end of a hard day, when the then editor, Maryknoll Father John Casey, would jokingly accuse Father Shields of being “un-Irish” for taking “water only” during the sacred office ritual.

Father Bernard Joseph Shields died in his sleep on Sunday, 3 April. His three sisters came from Ireland to attend his funeral, celebrated by Bishops Joseph Zen Ze-kiun and John Tong Hon with some 35 priests, at Christ the King Chapel, Causeway Bay, on 16 April. Approximately 400 people came to celebrate his life and mourn his passing. Fellow Jesuits, Fathers Robert Ng and John Russell paid tribute to him at the Mass. He was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 April 2005

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was born in Dublin in 1931 and educated at Belvedere College SJ. His father was Professor of Economics at University ollege Dublin, bequeathing to his son a love of scholarship and books.

He joined the Society in 1948 and followed the usual course of studies, including a Degree in Classical Latin and Greek, and he was sent to Hong Kong for Regency in 1956.

He wanted to master Cantonese spending two years at Cheung Chau and was then sent to Wah Yan College Hong Kong, teaching for a year before returning to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park, and he was Ordained by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid in 1962. He then made Tertianship, and after that was sent to Rome for a Doctorate in Sribture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute.

The intention was that he would remain in Rome to teach, but then he was invited by the Chinese Provincial Frank Borkhardt to teach instead at the Theology Faculty of Fujen Catholic University in Taiwan. To prepare for this he undertook Mandarin studies at the Jesuit language school of Hsinchu for 18 months.

1973 He returned to Hong Kong teaching Scripture at the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen, and he also became its librarian for many years. On return he was also briefly Master of Novices in Cheung Chau.
1977 He was invited to teach Theology at Chung Chi College where he taught New Testament Greek and Studies.

Over his time in Hong Kong he also taught at Lutheran Theological Seminary, Shatin, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, SKH Ming Hua Anglican Theological College.

He also served as Socius to the Regional Secretary for Macau-Hong Kong, William Lo (1991-1996).

Light-hearted and willing to help in any way he could, he also proof-read the Sunday Examiner, as well as normal priestly ministries, such as the Adam Shcall residence once a month.

He was scholarly and keen on accurate information. He was also modest and well mannered, eschewing argument or controversey, preferring to be a conciliator, seeking understanding and peace.

He was especially dedicated to the Church’s Mission in China and its people.

Sturzo, Aloysius,1826-1908, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/465
  • Person
  • 24 April 1826-1908

Born: 24 April 1826, Mineo, Catania Sicily, Italy
Entered: 03 November 1840, Palermo Sicily Italy - Siculae Province (SIC)
Ordained: 1857
Professed: 15 August 1859
Died: 17 September 1908, Loyola College, Greenwich, Sydney, Australia - Siculae Province (SIC)

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 18 March 1877-30 July 1880;
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia: 2 September 1883-5 April 1890;

Irish Provincial 18 March 1877
Australian Irish Mission Superior 02 September 1883; then Mag Nov

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a member of SIC and he, along with many Jesuits, was expelled from Sicily in 1860. He and his companions were received with open arms at Milltown. Here he worked as a Master of Novices (he had brought many novices with him from SIC). His brother was also a Jesuit who ended up in Portugal, another was a Priest in Italy, and a cousin was a Bishop of Ancona.
1865 He was loved by all in Milltown and was appointed Rector there in 1865, and built the new Retreat House in 1874.
1877 He was appointed Provincial of HIB, and when he finished that job he was appointed Rector of Tullabeg in 1881.
1883 At the express command of Father General Jan Roothaan, he was sent to Australia as Superior of the Mission. He had been 23 years in Ireland at that stage. When he finished that office, he still took charge of the Novices both in Melbourne and Sydney, until blindness prevented him from continuing.
1908 He died a holy death at Loyola Sydney, 17 September 1908, and he died with the reputation of a Saint.

On his death the following notice appeared in a Sydney newspaper (paraphrased in parts) :
“Australia has lost one of the oldest and notable members of the Society of Jesus, in the person of Luigi Sturzo. For 68 years of his life, which closed at Loyola, Greenwich on Thursday afternoon, he followed in the footsteps of St Ignatius. In the evening of his life, the old Jesuit, who was 82 years of age, and a Sicilian, lived in practical retirement at Loyola. The almost total loss of sight prevented him from doing work for which he was otherwise physically capable, but the giving of instructions to the communities and the private Retreats at the North Sydney Novitiate of the Order brought him some little comfort. Up to the last, his intellect was as vigorous as ever. His funeral was at St Mary’s, Sydney, presided over by Msgr Carroll, with George Kelly at the graveside in Gore Hill, attended by many.
Father Sturzo was a real Jesuit in spirit and deed, and that is saying a good deal. His amiability and genuine kindliness won for him hosts of friends...... although unable to read at Mass, his community read for him. The Church, Rome and the Holy Father and the doings of his Society, these were the subjects that thrilled him.

He was born in Mineo, Sicily. he then went to Caltgirone, where the Society had two houses. Sicilian boys were encouraged to give ‘ferverinos’ to their families, and on one occasion his father remarked ‘Why, Luigi, you are a real Jesuit’. When he finished school, he told his father he wanted to be a Jesuit. Along with a letter of introduction from his Jesuit uncle, his father got him to Palermo, and he was accepted at 14 years and 6 months. This meant he had to wait an extra 6 months to take Vows until he was 17. He subsequently made studies and taught at the Palermo College. He was there when the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception was promulgated in 1854. Garribaldi was in power and came to Palermo, and eventually Luigi found himself in Ireland with the Novices of Sicily and Naples where they had been offered sanctuary. They were nervous going to a country not wholly Catholic, but the warmth of reception and the respect of the people made them feel at once at home. After that he became if anything, more Irish that the Irish! At first they were housed in Tullabeg, and then with the Irish Novices at Milltown. (cf note below of those celebrated Irishmen who were his Novices)

1877 He was made Provincial of HIB, a further proof of the trust reposed in him. In 1881 he was then made Rector at Tullabeg, with William Delaney Rector as Prefect of Studies.

1883 He was sent by the General to Australia as Superior of the Mission, and remained Master of Novices until 1901. So here too the young Australian Jesuits had the privilege of being trained by him.

In Ireland he had spent much time giving retreats, and he had a deep understanding of what lay behind the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius.

His Celebrated Novices : Timothy Kenny and Patrick Keating HIB Provincials and ASL Mission Superiors; James Murphy HIB Provincial and Novice Master; Thomas P Brown HIB Provincial and ASL Mission Superior; John S Conmee ASL Mission Superior; Thomas Gartlan Rector of Riverview; Thomas Fay Rector of St Aloysius; Luke Murphy Rector of Riverview and St Patrick’s; George Kelly Superior North Sydney; James Colgan Superior Hawthorne. In fact all Superiors and prominent Irish Jesuits of the time were either his Novices, or Novices of his Novices, which means he could be called the Father of the Province!

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Aloysius Sturzo was one of four brothers to enter the Society of Jesus, and was the nephew of a well-respected Jesuit, Antonio Ayala. His parents, Don Francesco and Donna Antonia Taranto were traditional pious Catholics, and Luigi followed in the ways of faith of his parents. He entered the Society, 3 November 1840 in Palermo, at the noviciate, which is now the Casa Professa, under the care of the novice master Antonio Vinci. Rhetoric studies followed in the same house for a further two years before two years of philosophy at the Collegio Massimo in Palermo. In his second year he was the beadle of the group.
Regency followed for the next six years at the Collegio Massimo, teaching grammar, history and geography, Italian, Latin and Greek at various times. In his second year he was appointed beadle of the regents.
From 1854-57 Sturzo studied theology at the College Massimo, during which time he was the prefect of the Sodality of Our Lady After ordination he was appointed confessor of the parlour and to prisoners. In 1858 he made his tertianship in the Roman province, and the following year for two years, he returned to Palermo to the House of Probation to be socius to the master of novices, Giuseppe Spedalieri. He was also spiritual father to the young scholastics, and continued his work as confessor of the parlor, and also at the hospital and in the prison. He was solemnly professed of the four vows on 15 August 1859.
In 1860, with the dispersion of many Sicilian Jesuits, together with others, he was invited to Ireland, especially to care for the Italian novices. He became the first novice master of the
Irish province, then rector of Milltown Park, Dublin, 1866-77, followed by provincial of Ireland,1877-80.
He went as rector to St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, 1880-83, and was sent to Australia and was superior of the mission and novice master until 1890, living at Richmond and Xavier College. After that he became rector of Loyola, Greenwich, and was master of novices at the same time, as well as procurator of the mission. He remained rector until his death.
Sturzo had entered the Society six months before the canonical age for the reception of novices, but could not he persuaded to leave. He was highly respected, as he was master of novices at the age of 33. One of his Irish novices and later Irish provincial, John Conmee, praised him for his gentleness, meekness, admirable patience, faith, and ardent love of the Lord. He was greatly respect by all who encountered him, and in his last days, he talked much about Sicily, his family and friends. He never learned to speak English well, but his spiritual sense and inward fervor came through the imperfect utterance. His Australian novices spoke highly of him. As a superior he was mild, but not weak, and was well endowed with prudence and sagacity. He had a sense of humor, and never minded being laughed at for his solecisms in English. He was a truly international Jesuit, highly respected in three countries.

Sutton, William A, 1847-1922, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/18
  • Person
  • 26 July 1847-14 April 1922

Born: 26 July 1847, Cork City
Entered: 18 January 1868, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1881
Professed: 02 February 1888
Died 14 April 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

by 1870 at Aix-les-Bains France (LUGD) studying
by 1871 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1872 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1879 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His brother Abraham (later Sir Abraham Sutton) was in the Noviceship for a short time. (Entered 05 July 869; left 27 December 1871; RIP 1886) (Mayor of Cork. The Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork was built as his home).

Early Education at Clongowes. Had studied Medicine at Trinity before entered.

He was sent to Stonyhurst for Philosophy and did his Regency as a teacher first in Galway and then Tullabeg.
He was then sent to St Beuno’s for Theology.
After Ordination he made Tertianship at Dromore.
Later he taught Juniors and was a Teacher at Belvedere and Mungret.
1890 He was appointed Rector and Master of Novices at Tullabeg.
After that he was sent as Vice-Rector to Milltown, and then Rector or Vice-Rector at Mungret.
1912 He returned to Tullabeg and did some teaching of Scholastics there. He was in bad health for a number of years and he died there 14 April 1922.

Tighe, Patrick, 1866-1920, Jesuit, priest, chaplain and missionary

  • Person
  • 02 August 1866-05 April 1920

Born: 02 August 1866, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1891, St Stanisalus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1903
Professed: 02 February 1908
Died: 05 April 1920, St Mary’s, Miller St, Sydney, Australia

First World War chaplain

by 1895 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1901 in San Luigi, Napoli-Posilipo, Italy (NAP) studying
by 1905 at St David’s, Mold, Wales (FRA) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1913
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 15th Battalion, France

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After Ordination he was appointed Master of Novices for a short period, then he was transferred to Gardiner St.
Later he was appointed Rector of Mungret, but only stayed in this job for a short while due to health reasons.
He was then sent to Australia where he worked in one of the North Sydney Parishes.
He volunteered to be a Chaplain and came to Europe with Australian troops.
When he returned to Australia his health broke down and he had an operation for a malignant tumour. He died shortly after the operation 05 April 1920. He was much loved.
(there is also a long homily preached by Father Tighe at St Mary’s, Sydney, on the topic of Revolution and War)

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick Tighe was educated at Belvedere College, and graduated with a BA from the Royal University, Dublin. He entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 September 1891, was a junior
preparing for public examinations at Milltown Park, 1893-94, and studied philosophy at Enghien, Champagne. He taught for a few years, 1896-1900, at Mungret, studied theology at Posillipo, Naples, 1900-04, and did tertianship at Mold, Wales, the following year.
He was a rural missioner, and involved in parish work in Limerick, 1905-10, except for a time as socius to the master of novices at Tullabeg, 1906-07. He gave retreats, stationed at Gardiner Street, Dublin, 1910-12, and for a short time was rector of Mungret, 1912-13. Because of ill health was sent to Australia.
He worked first at Lavender Bay, 1913-15, and then, 1915-17, was military chaplain at the No. 1 General Hospital, Heliopolis, and latter served with the 15th Battalion AIP in France and Belgium. He returned to Australia and to the parish of North Sydney after the war.
Tighe was a remarkable speaker, preacher and retreat-giver, but had a weak chest. The latter raised speculation as to how he was accepted into the military He had been suggested as master of novices in Australia, and probably performed the duties for the first few months in 1914, but because of ill health another Jesuit was chosen.

White, Francis, 1611-1697, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 16 March 1611-17 November 1697

Superior of Mission 1666
Novice Master Lusitania Province 1665

Born 16 March 1611, Co Waterford
Entered 14 September 1634, Lisbon, Portugal - Lusitaniae Province (LUS)
Ordained 1645, Coimbra, Portugal
Professed 28 March 1655
Died 17 November 1697, Waterford Residence - Romanae Province (ROM)

1639 At Coimbra studying Philosophy
1642 Teaching Greek and Hebrew (at Lisbon?)
1645 At Elvas Teaching Greek and Hebrew (a Hogan slip has Elvas crossed out and Coimbra). Age 31 Soc 11
1649 At Irish College Lisbon teaching Moral Theology
1650 At Alentejo LUS
1658 At Irish College Lisbon Minister and Procurator. Is an M Phil
1661 At Professed House Lisbon, Socius to Provincial
1665 At Novitiate House Lisbon Age 50 Soc 34 (Superior is Francis Uhel?)
1670 Superior of Ireland (Arch Ir Coll Rom I 85,87)
Several of his books in Waterford have “Resid Waterford SJ, Martinus Franciscus Vittus”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1665-1669 Was for Master of Novices in Portugal, and Rector of the Novitiate - one of his Novices was John de Britto (Franco’s “Annales”)
Was Socius to the LUS Provincial
Superior of the Irish Mission
A good linguist
By his zeal, charity and prudence he gave great satisfaction while he was with the Spanish (should be Portuguese) Ambassador in England; Pleased the Irish gentry; had great influence with the Queen and her household.
A letter of William St Leger, Irish Mission Superior, 16/01/1663, speaks highly of him and earnestly asks that he be sent to the Mission,
A letter of Francis, Kilkenny 19/12/1668, shows that he was then Superior of the Mission
(cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had previously begun studies at the Irish College Lisbon before Ent 14/09/1634 Lisbon
1636-1647 After First Vows he was sent for studies to Coimbra, where he graduated MA, ad he also taught Greek and Hebrew there. He was also Ordained there 1645
1647-1660 Sent as Minister at Irish College Lisbon and also traught Moral Theology
1660-1662 Appointed Socius to Provincial in Lisbon
1662-1666 Rector and Master of Novices at Lisbon - one of his Novices was John de Britto
1666 He was sent to Ireland as Superior of the Mission. He was the first to detect the frauds of James Taaffe OSF who posed as a Nuncio with extensive powers from the Pope.
When he finished as Mission Superior he went to Waterford, and spent the rest of his life there until his death 17/11/1697

Young, John, 1589-1664, Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 15 August 1589-13 July 1664

Born 15 August 1589, Cashel, Co Tipperary
Entered 13 May 1610, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained 1621, Louvain, Belgium
Professed 14 July 1633
Died 13 July 1664, Irish College, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)

Had studied Rhetoric before Entry then at Douai and Louvain
1655 In Irish College Rome (Fr Ferri being Rector)
1656-1660 Rector Irish College Rome (Bellarmino and Philip Roche are Consultors)
1662 John Young and William St Leger ask and obtain a papal indulgence for 100 Irish Jesuits (Arch Ir Col Rom XXVI 6)
Taught Humanities, Greek was Preacher, Superior, Master of Novices and Tertian Instructor
He wrote “Relationem de Civitate Corcagie et de Civicate Kilkennie” and “Libros Tres Militia Evangelicae” and “Vitam St Patrick Apostoli” and many other books.
His portrait was published in 1793 by William Richardson, Castle St, Leinster Sq, London

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Robert Yong and Beatrice née Sall or Sallan (Sallanus)
Studied Humanities in Flanders before Ent, and then in the Society two years Philosophy and four years Theology.
1624 Sent to Ireland. He knew Latin, Greek, Irish, English, French and some Italian.
He taught Humanities and Greek for eight years; Preacher and Confessor for thirty years; Director of BVM Sodality twenty years; Superior of various Residences eighteen years; Master of Novices at Kilkenny and Galway five years; Consultor of Mission five years; Vice-Superior of Mission one year. (HIB CAT 1650 - ARSI) also Master of Tertians
He devoted himself to the Irish Mission for thirty years, chiefly in Cork, Waterford and Galway. During the persecution, he frequently went to people’s houses disguised as a miller.
He laid the foundation for the Novitiate at Waterford (should be Kilkenny?). He had to move this Novitiate to Galway, on account of the advance of the rebel Parliamentary forces, and was soon compelled to go with his novices to Europe.
He was then made Rector of the Irish College in Rome, and he was in office for eight years, and died in Rome 13/07/1664 aged 75 (Tanners “Confessors SJ”)
Several of his letters are extant and interesting. Several to Fr General dated Kilkenny, 30/01/1647, 30/06/1648, 31/12/1648, 08/02/1649, 22/06/1649 describe the situation relating to the history of this period. Later there are two letters from Galway to Fr General, 20/04/1650 and 14/08/1650 (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS).
A Writer; A very holy Priest; He took a Vow to observe the Rules.
Mercure Verdier (Irish Mission Visitor reporting in 1649) described him as “a distinguished Preacher, and remarkable for every species of religious virtue”
Father General ordered his portrait to be taken after death and his panegyric to be preached in the Roman College

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Robert and Beatrice née Sall
Had made his classical education in Flanders before Ent 13/05/1610 Rome
1612-1617 After First Vows, because of ill health, he was sent to Belgium and Courtray (Kortrijk) for Regency where he taught Greek.
1617-1621 He was then sent for Philosophy at Antwerp and Theology at Louvain where he was Ordained 1621.
1621 Sent to Ireland and Cashel, Clonmel and Kilkenny - to the great regret of Lessius who had wanted him appointed as a Chair in Philosophy - where he devoted himself to teaching young people and giving missions.
For many years he was Superior at the Cork Residence
When the Novitiate opened in Kilkenny he was appointed Novice Master
1646-1647 During the inter-regnum that followed the resignation of Robert Nugent as Mission Superior he acted as Vice-Superior of the Irish Mission
1651-1656 When the invasion of Cromwell resulted in the closure of the Novitiate he went back to Rome, initially as Procurator of the Irish Mission (1651) and then sent as Spiritual Father of the Irish College (1652-1656) as well as Tertian Instructor in Romanae Province (ROM)
1656 Rector of Irish College Rome 24/02/1656 where he remained until he died in Office 13/07/1664
He died with the reputation of a Saint. Wonderful stories were told of the favours he received from God in prayer, and information as to his virtues was gathered in Ireland and forwarded to Rome as if it was intended to prepare his cause for beatification.