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Name

Bates, Stephen, 1906-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/485
  • Person
  • 26 December 1906-27 June 1990

Born: 26 December 1906, Rahan, County Offaly
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1939, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 27 June 1990, Dublin

Part of the Sacred Heart, Limerick community at the time of death.

Full Name James Stephen Bates

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

Bathe, Barnaby, 1659-1710, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/908
  • Person
  • 10 June 1659-20 June 1710

Born: 10 June 1659, Athcarne, County Meath
Entered: 15 November 1679, Salamanca, Spain - Castellanae Provine (CAST)
Final Vows: 15 August 1694
Died: 20 June 1710, Irish College, Santiago de Compostella, Spain - Castellanae Provine (CAST)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1693-1696 Rector of Irish College Salamanca
1696 Rector of Irish College Santiago governing this College with prudence and untiring zeal until his death in 1710 aged 53, He died a victim of charity in assiduous attendance upon Bernard Kiernan, and a student who were sick with the plague (cf Irish Ecclesiastical Record March 1874, which prints a beautiful letter announcing his death and virtues).
His letters written between 1697-1710 are at Salamanca.
A great benefactor of his native land; Beloved by all for open and candid disposition; Most energetic and amiable.
“Un verdadero y sustancial Jesuita”.
He said the Office always on bended knees; Most devout to the Blessed Sacrament (Dr McDonald).

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Andrew Bathe and Mary née Sweetman.
Had studied at Irish College Santiago before Ent 15 November 1679 Salamanca.
After First Vows and his studies and Ordination he was asked for by the Irish Mission but his Spanish Superiors did not accede to the request. He was instead assigned to teaching at Coruña where he remained until 1694.
1694 Appointed Rector of Irish College Salamanca
1695-1710 Appointed Rector of Irish College at Santiago 20 November 1695 and died in office 20 June 1710 during an epidemic in which he is reputed to have proven himself a martyr of charity. His obit-eulogy, which is extant, attributed the flourishing condition of Santiago College to his devotion and self-sacrifice. His students ' tribute to his memory is also extant

Bathe, Christopher, 1624-1653, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/909
  • Person
  • 1624-01 December 1653

Born: 1624, Ireland
Entered: 1643, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Died: 01 December 1653, Guadaloupe, East Indies - Angliae Province (ANG)

1645-1651 Studied Logic at English College, Liège
1652 was Ordained and he was sent to St Kitts, East Indies
1653 he died at Guadaloupe, East Indies

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1652 He was at Liège and had completed his studies, “Ingenium valde bonum”.
1653 Initially he was sent to St Christopher’s Lille, but then to the island of St Kitts.

Bathe, John, 1612-1649, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/910
  • Person
  • 23 June 1612-11 September 1649

Born: 23 June 1612, Drogheda, County Louth
Entered: 17 May 1639, Mechelen, Belgium (BELG)
Ordained: 1637, Seville, Spain - pre Entry
Died: 11 September 1649, Drogheda, County Louth - described as Martyr

Son of Christopher Bathe and Catherine Warine
Had studied Humanities at Drogheda under Fr William Macahia for 2.5 years, and then by the Jesuits for half a year
1630 Studied 3 years Philosophy at St Hermenegildo's in Seville under Fr di Gillandi SJ, and then 4 years Theology with the Jesuits.
Ordained in Seville
1638 has been received by the Provincial Fr Robert Nugent and Entered at Mechelen.
Confessor for 1 year at Drogheda
Martyred with his brother Thomas and others, a secular priest, in Drogheda on 16 September 1649 - more likely 11 September 1649 as he was martyred the day after the “storm of Drogheda” which took place on 10 September 1649. However, that massacre lasted 5 days.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Christopher (Merchant and Mayor of Drogheda) and Catherine née Warine
He was shot odiio fidei in Drogheda with his brother, a secular Priest
Early education in Humanities was under William Macahire at Drogheda, then for a year and a half with the Jesuits, and on to St Hermenigildo’s English College Seville under Francis Gillando SJ, and was Ordained there. He then came to Drogheda as a Confessor, and was admitted to the Society by the Mission Superior, Robert Nugent, in Dublin 1638, beginning his Noviceship at Mechelen 17 May 1639.
He was a Missioner in Drogheda, where the Jesuits had long and zealously laboured, when the city was sacked by Cromwell’s rebel forces, and with his brother, a priest, was shot by the soldiers in the Market Place 16/08/1649 (cf Tanner’s “Lives of the Jesuit Martyrs”, p 138 seq; Mercure Verdier’s “Report of the Irish Mission 1641-1650, in the Archives of the English College in Rome, a copy of which is at the “Roman Transcripts” Library, Public record Office, London)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Christopher Bathe, Alderman of Drogheda and Catherine née Warren
Received his early education from William Meagher, a secular priest and later at the Jesuits' school in Drogheda.
1630 After First Vows he was sent for studies to Irish College Seville, and then studied Philosophy and Theology at San Hermenegildo's Seville for seven years, being Ordained in 1637, following which he returned to Ireland and was stationed at Drogheda.
In 1638 he applied to Fr Robert Nugent to enter the Society and then Ent at Mechelen on 17 May 1639
1641-1649 Returned to Ireland and Drogheda where he worked for eight years
1649 On the fall of Drogheda to Cromwell, he and his brother Thomas were captured, examined and then tied to stakes in the market-place and blown-up with gun-powder. They died on 11/09/1649 and their names are on the list of martyrs whose cause has been submitted to the Holy See

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Bathe (Bath), John
by Robert Armstrong

Bathe (Bath), John (1612–49), Jesuit priest, was born in Drogheda on 23 June 1612, the son of Alderman Christopher Bathe, merchant, and perhaps at some time mayor, of Drogheda, and his wife, Catherine Warine; his uncle, Robert Bathe, was a Jesuit priest in the town. He had at least one brother, Thomas, later a secular priest. He studied humanities with the Jesuits in Drogheda and, probably in 1630, was admitted to the Irish College in Seville, run by the Society of Jesus, whence he studied at the Jesuit College of St Hermenegild in the city. He was ordained a priest in Spain, perhaps in 1635, and then returned to Drogheda for a year before being admitted to the Society of Jesus in 1638 in Dublin by Father Robert Nugent. He was sent for his novitiate to Mechlin in the Spanish Netherlands, arriving there on 17 May 1639. By 1641 he had returned to Drogheda, where he and his brother may have remained throughout the 1640s, until the town's capture by Oliver Cromwell (qv) on 11 September 1649. The following day (and not, as often claimed, 16 August) he and his brother Thomas were shot by Cromwellian soldiers.

Henry Foley, Records of the English province of the Society of Jesus (1882), vii, 41; G. Rice, ‘The five martyrs of Drogheda’, Ríocht na Midhe, ix (1997), 102–27

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Bathe 1610-1649
John Bathe was the son of Christopher Bathe, Mayor of Drogheda, in the ealy seventeenth century. He was educated at Seville in Spain, where he was ordained priest in 1630.

Returning to Ireland in 1638, he spent a year working as a priest in Drogheda, and then applied to Fr Robert Nugent for admission to the Society.

His noviceship in Mechelen completed, he then spent the rest of his life as a Jesuit in Drogheda. He lost his life during the sack of Drogheda by the Cromwellians. The following is a contemporary account of his martyrdom :

“The following day (August 16th) when the soldiers were searching among the ruins of the city, they discovered one of our Fathers, named John Bathe, with his brother, a secular priest. Suspecting they were religious, they examined them, and finding that they were priests, and moreover one of them a Jesuit, they led them off in triumph, and accompanied by a tumultuous crowd, conducted them to the market place, and there, as if they were at length extinguishing the Catholic faith and our Society, they tied them both to stakes fixed in trhe ground, and pierced their bodies with shot, until they died”.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BATH, JOHN. This Father was living in Drogheda, when the Town was stormed by the Cromwellian Forces. His house was given up to plunder, and the good Jesuit, with his Brother, a worthy Secular Clergyman, was conducted into the Market place, and both were deliberately shot by the Soldiers on the 10th of August, 1649. See Mat. Tanner’s Lives, pp. 138-9.

Bathe, Robert, 1582-1649, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/911
  • Person
  • 1582-15 June 1649

Born: 1582, Drogheda, County Louth
Entered: 23 October 1604, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: c1610, Rome, Italy
Final Vows: 05 September 1622
Died: 15 June 1649, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny

Of the “Villa de Drochedat” Meath
Educated at Irish College Douay
1610-1611 Sent from Rome as Professor of Spirituality and Scholastic to Irish College Lisbon
1617 in Ireland
1622 in Meath or Dublin
1626 in Ireland
1637 described as fit to be a Superior, but has choleric temperament
1649 in Kilkenny aged 70

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was a learned and most edifying priest and had rendered great service “by sea and by land”.
He was Rector of the Drogheda Residence.
He went thrice to Rome on behalf of the Irish Mission
Socius to the Mission Superior.
He was forty-five years on the Mission, and from Drogheda worked throughout Ulster in the midst of many perils. (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had started his studies at Douai before Ent at 26 October 1604 Rome
After First Vows he was sent to complete his studies at Roman College and was Ordained c 1610
1610 Sent to Lisbon to be Prefect of Studies and Spiritual Father at the Irish College
1612 Returned to Ireland and assigned to Dublin Residence - possibly stationed at Drogheda
1621 Working in Drogheda, during which time he became entangled in the dispute between the Vicar General and the Franciscans.
He retired from Drogheda in the early 1640's and spent his last years at Kilkenny where he died, 15 June, 1649. He was named amongst the six Jesuits who resisted the censures of Rinuccini.
Regularly asked to conduct Irish Mission business in Rome
For many years Robert was Socius to the Superior of the Mission.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert Bath 1581-1649
Robert Bath was one of the most distinguished Jesuits who worked in Ireland during the period 1610-1649.

Born in Drogheda in 1581 of a family which gave a martyr to the Society, he entered the Jesuits in 1604. His work was mainly centred around Ulster, and for a long period he was Superior of the Drogheda Residence.

Three times he went to Rome to report on the state of the Mission.

Worn out after a ministry of 45 years, he died in Kilkenny on June 15th 1649.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BATH, ROBERT. In 1624, he had been settled for about two years at Drogheda, where he instituted the Sodality of the B. Virgin Mary. He was thrice sent to Rome for the good of the Irish Mission. Worn out with age and infirmity, he died at Kilkenny, on the 15th of June, 1649.

Bathe, Thomas, 1594-1611, Jesuit novice

  • IE IJA J/912
  • Person
  • 1594-02 October 1611

Born: 1594, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 01 November 1610, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Died: 02 October 1611, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Nephew of William Bathe - RIP 1614

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of John and Gineta née Dillon and nephew of William Bath
He entered the Irish College, Salamanca, where he took the student oath, 8 November, 1609. A short time after he applied to the Provincial of Castile to be admitted to the Society but was rejected because of his youth.
The General on 22 June, 1610 ordered that Thomas should be received into the Novitiate at Villagarcía. His early death occurred there, October, 1611 as a Novice.

Bathe, William, 1564-1614, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/913
  • Person
  • 12 April 1564-17 June 1614

Born: 12 April 1564, Drumcondra Castle, Dublin
Entered: 14 October 1595, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: c 1602, Padua, Italy
Final Vows: 02 December 1612
Died: 17 June 1614, Madrid, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Uncle of Thomas Bathe - RIP 1611

Mother was Eleanor Preston
Studied Humanities in Ireland, Philosophy at Oxford and Theology at Louvain
Was heir to Drumcondra Castle. Writer, Musician and Spiritual Director
Died as he was about to give a retreat to the court of Philip II of Spain
“Janua Linguarum” edited 20 times and in 8 languages

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Son of John, a Judge and Eleanora née Preston
Heir to Drumcondra Castle
Writer; Musician; Spiritual Director; Very holy man
Studied Humanities in Ireland and Philosophy partly at Oxford and partly with his Theology at Louvain.
Admitted to the Society at Courtray (Kortrijk) by BELG Provincial Robert Duras, and Entered at Tournai
(Interesting mention is made of him in Irish Ecclesiastical Record March 1873 and August 1874.)
After completing his studies he was made Rector at Irish College Salamanca
He died at Madrid aged 50 just as he was about to give a retreat at Court of Philip II
His “Janua Linguarum” was edited about twenty times and once in eight languages.
(cf de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ” who enumerates his writings)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Elder son of John, of Drumcondra and Eleanor, née Preston, daughter of the third Viscount Gormanston.
He entered on his higher studies at Oxford but was prevented from graduating by the Oath of Supremacy. During his time at Oxford when he was still only twenty, he published ‘A Brief Introduction to the true Art of Musicke’. A Brief Introduction to the skill of Song' appeared a few years later. To these publications as well as his family's intimacy with Perrott, Lord Deputy of Ireland, William owed his reception at the court of Elizabeth 1. Eventually he renounced his inheritance in favour of his brother and determined to become a priest.
Studied for three years at Louvain before Ent 1595 Tournai
After First Vows he was sent to complete his studies at St. Omer and Padua and was Ordained priest c. Summer 1602.
1602 He was now named secretary to Mansoni, Papal Envoy to Ireland but the Irish defeats at Kinsale and Dunboy rendered Mansoni's Embassy superfluous. By early Spring 1603 he was in Spain. There were many requests for him to return to Irish Mission, but he remained in Spain until his death in at Madrid 17 June 1614.
He was the valued spiritual director of the Irish College, Salamanca and it was there he wrote in collaboration with Stephen White and others his “Janua Linguarum” which appeared in 1611. This book went into many editions in various European languages including English. The English version, which in turn went into many editions, was shamelessly pirated without reference to Bathe's authorship.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Bathe, William
by Seán P. Ó Mathúna

Bathe, William (1564–1614), diplomat, author, and Jesuit, was born in Drumcondra castle on Easter Sunday 1564, son of John Bathe (d. 1586), Irish solicitor general, chancellor of the exchequer, and grandson of James Bathe (qv), chief baron, and Eleanor Bathe (daughter of Jenico Preston, 3rd Viscount Gormanston, and Catherine Fitzgerald, sister of Thomas Fitzgerald (qv), ‘Silken Thomas’). He was educated privately in Dublin and at St John's College, Oxford; he left before graduation, probably on grounds of conscience. In 1589 he registered in Gray's Inn, one of the four inns of court in which candidates for the Irish bar were required to study. He attended the courts of Elizabeth and Philip II before commencing the study of theology in Louvain (1592), and entered the Jesuit order in Courtrai (1595). He acted as intermediary for O'Neill (qv) during the early stages of the nine years war. After ordination he was appointed adviser to Ludovico Mansoni, legate, later to Ireland. They reached Valladolid in December 1601 but did not proceed further after the fall of Kinsale.

Bathe never returned to Ireland. Two long letters written in June 1602, in Irish Jesuit archives, indicated keen support for fresh forces massing in northern Spain to free Ireland a jugo haereticorum (‘from the yoke of the heretics’). He maintained periodic contact with the court of Philip III. A brother, Sir John Bathe (qv), deeply respected in Old English circles, assumed the role of religious spokesman for his class for more than a quarter of a century; he too visited the Spanish court. A younger brother, Fr Luke Bathe, headed the Capuchin mission in Ireland in the 1620s and was a renowned preacher. William Bathe was spiritual director to expatriate students in the Irish College, Salamanca. He founded a sodality, ‘Congregación de pobres’, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the poor of that city, and gained a wide reputation for conducting retreats and days of recollection in monasteries and seminaries. He died suddenly in June 1614 while holding a mission for government personnel in Madrid.

His Brief introduction to the true art of music, published in 1584 while he was a student in Oxford (reproduced by Colorado College of Music Press, 1979), and A brief introduction to the skill of song (1596; new ed. by Boethius Press, 1982), were among the earliest printed texts in English on the theory of music and song, and highlighted the ambiguities in mutation from one hexachord to another in a melody with a range of more than six notes. Aparejos para administrar el sacramento de penitencia (1614) reflected his pastoral work. His main claim to fame, however, was Ianua linguarum (1611) with its long preface on linguistic theory. At least thirty editions of this work were published. The most elaborate, A messe of tongues (London, 1617), Ianua linguarum silinguis (Strasbourg, 1629), and Mercurius quadrilinguis (Basel and Padua, 1637), included English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, Italian, and German versions. He used short pithy sentences in parallel columns to enable mature students to learn several languages simultaneously. He allowed no repetition of the 5,300 different items of lexis. His multilingual presentation was adopted by Ian Amos Komensky for his Janua linguarum reserata series. Bathe's first cousin, Christopher Nugent (qv), 14th Baron Delvin, used a small number of colloquial phrases in parallel Latin, Irish, and English columns in his Primer of the Irish language for presentation to Queen Elizabeth (1562). The primer followed a system used by English-born wives in the Kildare household to learn Irish from the early fifteenth century. As such the method predated the Aldine Press and the Adagia of Erasmus.

E. Hogan, Distinguished Irishmen of the sixteenth century (1894); S. P. Ó Mathúna, An tAthair William Bathe, C.I, 1564–1614: Ceannródaí sa Teangeolaíocht (1980); id., ‘The preface to William Bathe's Ianua Linguarum (1611)’, Historiographia Linguistica, viii, no. 1 (1981); id., William Bathe, S.J., 1564–1614: a pioneer in linguistics (1986); id., ‘William Bathe, S.J., recusant scholar: “weary of the heresy” ’, Recusant History, xix, no. 1 (1988), 47–61

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-5/

JESUITICA: First musical textbook
The first musical textbook in the English language, A brief introduction to the true art of musicke (1584), was the work of William Bathe, born in County Dublin, who became a Jesuit
in 1596. A genuine polymath, he had by that stage already taught mnemonics to Queen Elizabeth I, presented her with a harp designed by himself, and studied at Oxford, Gray’s Inn and Louvain. He invented a simple form of musical notation (presently being researched in Trinity by Sean Doherty), and as a Jesuit wrote a seminal book on linguistics, and was an important pioneer in popularising the Spiritual Exercises.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William Bathe 1564-1614
William Bathe was born on April 2nd 1564 in Drumcondra Castle, the grounds of which is the present day asylum for the male blind, now in the charge of the Brothers of Charity.

He was a fairly close relation of Elizabeth I of England. As a young man he was sent as a personal messenger to the Queen by the Viceroy of Ireland. He became a great favourite of hers and used amuse her greatly by his skill in playing all kinds of musical instruments. He also entertained her by teaching her mnemonics.

His skill in music was both practical and theoretic. He invented a “harp of new device”, which he presented to the Queen. He also wroteb a treatise called “A Brief Introduction to the True Art of Music”. His name was also renowned for his famous book “Janus Linguarum”, a method of learning Latin or any foreign language, which ran into hundreds of editions iun most European languages, and held its place as a teaching method for centuries.

But his greatest claim to fame, and his merit in the sight of God was, that having spent some years at Oxford with no little distinction, being such a favoutite of Elizabeth, with a glorious career in front of him in the world, he returned to Ireland, surrendered his rights to his father’s extensive estates and entered religion. He became a Jesuit at Tournai in 1596.

He spent 19 years of most usefiul work in the Society, working in the Irish Colleges on the continent. Inspite of repeated requests, and his own desire, he was not released to work on the Mission in Ireland.

He died with a great reputation for sanctity in Madrid on June 17th 1614, at the early age of 50 years.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BATH, WILLIAM, a native of Dublin. After studying at Oxford he grew weary of heresy, and retiring to the Continent entered the Novitiate at Tournay, in 1596. When he had finished his studies at Padua, he was ordered to Spain, and appointed Rector of the College of his Countrymen at Salamanca. To the regret of all who knew his merits, he was prematurely taken off by illness at Madrid, on the 17th of June, 1614, aet. 48. He has left :

  1. “An introduction to the Arte of Music”. 4to. London, 1584.
  2. “Janua Linguarum”, 4to. Salaman ca, 1611.
  3. “A Spanish Treatise on the Sacrament of Penance”. N.B. This was edited at Milan by F. Jos. Cresswell, in 1614. 4. “Instructions on the Mysteries of Faith, in English and Spanish”. F. More in p. 112 of his Hist. Prov. Angl. has inserted a letter of F. W. Bath, in praise of F. Person’s “Christian Directory”.

Baxter, Richard, 1821-1904, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2371
  • Person
  • 23 March 1821-08 May 1904

Born: 23 March 1821, Carlisle, Cumberland, England / County Tyrone
Entered: 17 September 1845, St Mary’s, Montreal, Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 15 August 1854, New York, NY, USA
Final Vows: 15 August 1861
Died: 08 May 1904, Hôpital Saint-Jean-de-Dieu, Longue-Pointe, Montréal, Québec, Canada - Canadensis Province Province (CAN)

part of the Collège Sainte-Marie, Montréal, Canada co0mmunity at the time of death

Born in Carlisle, England of Irish parents and brought up in County Tyrone. Emigrated to with family to Canada in the 1830’s.

◆ Woodstock Letters SJ : Vol 34, Number 1

Obituary

“Father Richard Baxter SJ” p167

Father Baxter, born at Carlisle in England on March 28th 1821, was of Irish parentage and received his early training at Tyrone. His father had there enlisted in the 15th Foot Infantry - Cromwell's Own - and afterwards became a convert to the Faith. The future missionary caught, and through life retained, some traits from the medium in which he was
brought up. An erect, soldierly bearing, joined to frankness of manner and directness of speech; the laconic answer ever ready, set off with a rich vein of humor, opened for him the way to hearts and disarmed prejudice. His mother, from the city of Limerick, was a woman of remarkable piety and her influence and example left an indelible impression on his character. It showed itself to his latest years in an almost exaggerated reverence for womanhood, always giving the place of honor, and when remarked on he would say: “How can I forget the Blessed Virgin and my own mother”.

He was gifted with a strong and healthy constitution which he loved in college to exhibit by athletic feats and sometimes by pugilistic encounters, in which he was seldom worsted, but particularly in his long and indefatigable missionary journeys. "God gave me good legs" he would say “and I can do nothing better than use them for his glory”.

In the third decade of the last century young Baxter came to Canada with his father and the other members of the family and settled near Barrie, Ont., where a sister still survives. He began his studies in Toronto and completed his classical course in the Montreal College in 1845. In September of that year he entered the Jesuit Novitiate, then but recently established in Montreal. It was opened at the Rodier residence on St Antoine St, now replaced by a more imposing and academic structure.

Our missionary as well as the other members of the Order who enjoyed the hospitality of that distinguished family, never tired relating on the proofs of kindness they had received from its members.

In 1847 the young religious made the ordinary Jesuit vows at Fordham, NY. His first ministry was a professorship in a grammar class in the college, which was opened that year in Elizabeth Street, New York. When this institution was transferred to more commodious quarters in Fifteenth Street, in 1849, the young professor moved with it. He began his career under the direction of that distinguished priest and famous educator, Father Larkin, who had been professor at the Montreal College, but entering the Society of Jesus, founded in New York the present St Francis Xavier's College, and became a noted preacher and orator. The young teacher was appointed by him to a class of French, and such was the enthusiasm he excited for that particular branch that mothers complained that their boys since they came under Mr Baxter, would only talk to them at home in French. He completed his theological studies at Fordham, in 1854, and on the feast of the Assumption, in the same year he was raised to priesthood by Bishop Loughlin of Brooklyn.

The fresh apostle then started out on an active career of fifty years, over forty of which were to be spent along the Great Lakes within the limits of what is now known as New Ontario. After some time in Troy, NY, where the Jesuits where then engaged in parish work and preaching, in August 1863 he was sent to Sault Saint Marie. During eighteen months he travelled continually along the shores of Georgian Bay and in the present diocese of Marquette, saying Mass in the houses of the settlers, baptizing children, blessing marriages, and giving missions in the white centres of population. In these apostolic works he spent five or six years in the neighborhood of Garden River and the Sault. Here with Brother Reardon he dug the foundations of the church of the Sacred Heart, which Bishop Jamot had just begun to erect, and is now the titular church of the Diocese of Sault Saint Marie. In 1871, we find him in the ministry in Guelph and a few months later in Troy.

During the summer of 1872, he went to Prince Arthur's Landing at the head of Lake Superior. In a letter to the writer of these pages, Father Baxter mentions a few interesting details. “I had everything to begin on my mission at Port Arthur, when I landed there on the fourth of June, 1872. I said Mass in several buildings and sheds, and in Mr Dawson's house, alongside Flaherty's hotel. I finally secured a house, now at the point opposite the depot of the new railway - Port Arthur, Duluth and Western Railway. I had hard work in erecting St Andrew's church. Mr Dawson's Glengarry men gave me a hundred dollars. That start procured the Scotch titular for the church, which was burnt down and rebuilt immediately”.

The modest pioneer says nothing of the popularity he soon acquired among all classes of that place. He was looked upon as one of the town's valuable assets, and his figure with long beard and straw hat, held the foreground in all the photo's of the booming town. Wives would not follow their husbands to the north shore till assured there was a priest and church for themselves and a Catholic school for their children. Business stifled bigotry in those days.

The dedication of the Church, which was a great event in the young town, was shared in by all, the ladies mostly Protestants, improvised a choir - the motu proprio had not yet appeared - and a decorating committee, while the more prominent officials held places of honor. The occasion was splendid for one of Father Baxter's characteristic traits and uncompromising disposition. After the execution of the Gloria he turned around at the altar to preach the sermon from the text: Out of the church no Salvation. Needless to say the sermon was a forcible one, and from another might have given offence; but from Fr Baxter it was good form and is yet spoken of. “A nice trick” said a prominent citizen on meeting him next day “to invite us all to your church and assistance and then turn on us and send us to ---- in that fashion”.' “'But”' said the priest '”could I show you my gratitude in any better way than, when you were on the wrong road, by warning you”.

Those were the days of the silver excitement, when the precious metal was taken out in such quantities from the solitary islet under the shadow of Thunder Cape, the Sleeping Giant of the Otchipways. Father Baxter was the miners' missionary. “I had often and long to visit and stay at Silver Islet”,' he writes. “I added something to the church built by Captain Frew, and the addition served for cooking, etc. I visited all around Isle Royale and McCargoe's cove, nearly opposite Silver Islet. At other times, I went to the mines over the mountains.....” Father Baxter ministered to the miners' spiritual wants until the flooding of the Silver Islet mine compelled the owners to cease operations indefinitely.

He was, at the same time, the missionary of the workmen employed in the construction of the Dawson route, the highway that was to link the prairies to Lake Superior. When that enterprise was discontinued and the building of the railway from Fort William to Winnipeg was undertaken by the Government, in 1875, Father Baxter started out on his career as a railway missionary. He travelled from camp to camp with his chapel on his back, and said Mass for the natives on Sundays and holidays. Many instances of his charity are still fresh in the memory of the people of Fort William. Let us give one example. When the grading of the new railway had extended fifty or sixty miles west of Thunder Bay, scurvy, familiarly known as “black leg”, spread among the workmen. It was not a rare sight to see the old missionary trudging that long distance over the swampy country with a bag of potatoes on his back, solely to provide vegetable food for stricken men.

Several times he had to swim across streams to carry the consolations of religion to the injured and dying during those strenuous years. He built the church at West Fort William and called it the Nativity, because, as he tells us, the first Mass was celebrated in it on Christmas night. He made his headquarters in the little house in the rear, and there he retired after his long tiring journeys for a few days of well-earned rest. But the holy missionary found his rest in prayer. A light burning in the church one morning at two o'clock betrayed his presence at the foot of the altar.

That God was pleased to show the efficacy of his prayers we have several proofs. A couple of instances will suffice. An abscess was eating away the life of one of his flock, a young woman of West Fort William. The physicians had abandoned her case as hopeless, upon which the confiding sufferer recommended herself with earnestness to the prayers of Father Baxter. The good missionary betook himself immediately to the church and did not leave it for hours. Next day the patient was out of danger. These details were given to the writer ten years after by the woman herself, who attributed the saving of her life solely to the prayers of the holy priest.

On another occasion the missionary was called to the bedside of a dying woman in the township of Murillo, a few miles west of Fort William. Finding the patient better, and on the way to recovery apparently, he decided not to administer the Last Sacraments. After having reached nearly home, on his return journey, he was impelled by some influence to return immediately to the sick home. He started over the dreary road a second time. When he reached the house it was far into the night. He found the woman on the point of death. After he had given her Extreme Unction, she breathed her last. A consoling fact in connection with this holy man's career is that, notwithstanding the distances, very often hundreds of miles, he had to cover, and the difficulties he had to overcome, no one in his immense district ever died without the Sacraments; this district extended over a territory six hundred miles in length. It is tangible proof that the old priest's guardian angel kept a diligent watch over his ministry.

In 1881, the last stage of his remarkable career began. The newly formed Canadian Pacific Railway Company undertook the construction of the road along the north shore of Lake Superior, and a period of activity unparalleled in modern enterprise opened up. Thousands of men were sent to tunnel out mountains of granite and to bridge those rivers and streams that rush into the lake. Father Baxter was the missionary sent to live with the workmen. He shared their food and their hardships during the years of construction. He followed their camps from point to point, and in his journeys twice narrowly escaped drowning. While crossing a stream near Nepignon, the ice gave way, precipitating the old missionary into the water. His strong lungs did him good service on the occasion; but he was submerged nearly a couple of hours before he was rescued. When asked how he got out of the water, he simply replied : “Head first”. He was chilled through on that occasion, but apparently none the worse for his wintry bath.

Father Baxter stayed in the construction camps until the road was completed. When the workmen employed in the building of the road disappeared, a fresh element came in. Regular trains started to run across the continent and his ministry began among the employees of the railway from Chapleau to Bonheur, the western limit of the diocese of Peterboro. He built churches for their use at the divisional points of Schreiber and White River, and later, a third one at East Fort William.

The completion of the railway did not lighten the burdens of his ministry. He travelled continually up and down the lake shore, living more than half his time on the trains. It mattered little what kind of conveyance led to his destination. Freight cars, locomotives, hand cars, as well as colonist and first-class coaches were patronized by him. He had a particular distaste for Pullmans, giving as his reason that he liked fresh air too well to be cooped up in pillows and cushions. During the last five years of his stay on the Canadian Pacific his mileage record ran into the hundreds of thousands. Those were the years of the development of the road, when slow trains, wearing delays and hardships innumerable were the lot of travellers. He went from station to station and said Mass for the Catholics, rarely spending more than two days at one place. The incommodities of this kind of life were many and bitter. “When there is a family at a siding”, he wrote to the author of this “there is generally a means of having a bed there”. Not always however; for he wrote again recalling his own experiences : “If your Reverence uses more judgment than I did, the want of sleep and cold waiting rooms will not give you as much annoyance as they gave me”.

Father Baxter's affability and his readiness to render a service, no matter how painful, made him beloved by the railway employees and their families. The old man, laden with chapel and sacks which, as we learned from one of his flock, would prevent him from entering anything smaller than a flat car, was always a welcome figure, in his threadbare cassock and well-worn hat. The little children looked for him, for they knew his pockets were filled with candies and toys.

Three times he narrowly escaped being killed in accidents on the railway. One of these episodes he kept vividly ever after in his mind. He was on the baggage car when the train left the track at McKenzie station. The missionary was found under a pile of trunks, and escaped with a few bruises. Later, when he was asked how he succeeded in getting out of the wreck so easily. “Through the door”, was the prompt reply.

The weight of years, and the fatigues of this nomadic life, kept up for so many years, began at last to tell on the vigorous frame of the old priest, and it was felt that the time had come to relieve him of. some of his burdens. In 1893, his superiors sent him to Sault Ste Marie, Mich., where he remained three years, and then back to Port Arthur - both scenes of his former activity. He was now eighty-two years of age, and the state of his health was becoming precarious. He returned to Montreal, where his religious life was begun, to prepare himself in retirement for the moment when he was to go to meet the Master he had served so well. That moment came three years later, May 8, 1904, and the old man carrying with him the merits of fifty-nine years in the Society of Jesus, and fifty years of priesthood, entered into his reward.

The solemn moment of his death had been before him for years; when it came, it did not find him unprepared. In his writings, found after his death, it is remarkable how frequent the value of time, and the right use we should make of it, comes under his pen. Here are a few of the maxims which were the watchwords of his life: “Time flies”; “Time is like a dream”; “Nothing is more precious than time”; “Time is given us to serve and glorify God;” We meet these truths, eloquent in their simplicity, in almost every page of his private papers. In a letter sympathising with a family, bereaved through a railway accident at Gravel River, he writes: “So many accidents on land and water! We should often say the Litanies. From a sudden and unprovided death, Good Lord deliver us”. In another letter, written after his retirement, he writes: “Let us often think of our Father and our eternal home, which, I hope, will be a happy one for all of us, and where we can sing our Father's praises for all eternity. It is really a pleasure to hear the notes of our organ and the singing of our choir. It makes me think of heaven. Earthly pleasures soon cease. The many and sudden deaths along the line ought to make us seriously think of eternity. This should not make us sad or miserable; but ·it should make us act reasonably, as becomes God's children. We have time in order to prepare for eternity”. These extracts give us the clue to the inner circle of the soul of one of the heroes of the Ontario missions, who, in his long career, had in view only the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

(From E J Devine in “The Canadian Messenger”)

http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/baxter_richard_13F.html

Dictionary of Canadian Biography

BAXTER, RICHARD (in later life he sometimes signed Richard Xavier Baxter), Roman Catholic priest and Jesuit; b. 28 March 1821 in Carlisle, England, second son of Samuel Baxter and Mary Anne Bennis, both natives of Ireland; d. 8 May 1904 in Montreal.

Richard Baxter’s father worked as a military tailor in England and Ireland, and after the family immigrated to Barrie, Upper Canada, around 1830, he likely continued his trade as a civilian. In Barrie he and the four children converted to Catholicism, the religion of his wife. Love of reading and piety characterized the Baxter home. Young Richard, who had begun his education in Ireland, attended school in Toronto before enrolling in classical studies at the Séminaire de Saint-Sulpice in Montreal, where his extracurricular activities included contact sports such as boxing. Upon graduation in 1845 he entered the newly established Jesuit noviciate in Montreal on 17 September as the order’s first English-speaking novice in Canada.

In 1847 he was sent to New York City. After taking his first vows there, he taught grammar and French for four years at a boys’ school opened by Father John Larkin*. He then studied theology at St Francis Xavier College until his ordination to the priesthood on 15 Aug. 1854. Two years of teaching at St John’s College, now Fordham University, ended his academic career (except for further study in Montreal in 1859–60). He would take his final vows in the order on 15 Aug. 1861.

Father Baxter’s pastoral career began in 1856 at Troy, N.Y. Seven years later he was posted to the Jesuit mission at Garden River, Upper Canada [see Frederic Baraga*]. His large size, physical stamina, driving energy, and ready wit made him well suited for the frontier, as did his fluency in English and French and his familiarity with Ojibwa. Except for visits to Troy and to Guelph, Ont., in 1871–72 and in 1878–79, he would spend the rest of his working life in the Georgian Bay and Lake Superior region. At his first missionary posting he celebrated mass, taught catechism, and performed baptisms, marriages, and funerals for settlers there and at Bruce Mines, Serpent River, and Sault Ste Marie, Mich. Travelling usually by boat or on foot, he always wore the voluminous black cassock of his order and carried packsacks containing a portable altar, vestments, altar cloths, candles, and other necessities.

In June 1872 Baxter was transferred to his second posting, Thunder Bay, where he would remain until 1893. Before his arrival in the district, the small group of Catholics at Prince Arthur’s Landing (later Port Arthur and now Thunder Bay, Ont.) had been served by occasional visits from Father Dominique Du Ranquet, a Jesuit posted to the Indian mission of the Immaculate Conception on the Kaministiquia River [see Nicolas-Marie-Joseph Frémiot*]. Baxter himself spent a good deal of his time until 1876 at Silver Islet, which was becoming an important mining centre, and from there visited neighbouring mining communities such as Isle Royale (Mich.), Silver Harbour, and Vert Island. He ministered regularly at Prince Arthur’s Landing, saying mass at the house of engineer Simon James Dawson until a church was erected. Named St Andrew’s in honour of a group of Scottish Catholic workers on the Dawson Road who had contributed $100 toward its construction, the church was dedicated in 1875 and rebuilt in 1881 after a fire. Baxter helped found a convent for the Sisters of St Joseph, who came to Prince Arthur’s Landing in 1881 to teach school and three years later opened St Joseph’s Hospital.

With the onset of railway construction in 1875, Baxter had begun the ministry that would earn him the sobriquet Apostle of the Railway Builders. He shared their hardships, following them from camp to camp, and brought them potatoes to prevent scurvy. After the completion of the railway he travelled by train to serve communities between English River and White River, covering a distance of about 420 miles. Several churches were built in the area during his incumbency, including St Rose of Lima at Silver Islet in 1873, St Patrick’s at Fort William (Thunder Bay) in 1882, and the Church of the Nativity and St Agnes at Fort William West in 1884. His accounts of life along the line frequently appeared between 1876 and 1878 in the Thunder Bay Sentinel, edited by the Catholic layman Michael Hagan*.

Although he was expected to retire in 1893, at the age of 72, he transferred instead to serve as pastor at Sault Ste Marie, Mich., until 1897, and then back in Port Arthur until 1900. His last years were spent at the Hôtel-Dieu du Sacré-Cœur de Jésus in Montreal. He suffered from a progressive mental disorder and in 1903 was moved to Hôpital Saint-Jean-de-Dieu, where he died the following year.

Father Baxter not only acted as a catalyst in the development of northwestern Ontario’s Catholic institutions, but he demonstrated the practical workings of Christianity to everyone he met. Essentially a man of the people, he was renowned for his great generosity and his sense of humour. Official recognition came in 1978 when a provincial plaque was erected in his memory at St Andrew’s Catholic Church, Thunder Bay.

Elinor Barr

An undated letter addressed by Richard Baxter to the mission procurator has been published under the title “Requirements for a mission” in Martyrs’ Shrine Message (Midland, Ont.), 31 (1967), no.1: 22–23.

An obituary article by Edward James Devine*, Baxter’s successor as railway missionary in the Thunder Bay area, appeared in the Canadian Messenger of the Sacred Heart (Montreal), 15 (1905): 259–67, and was reprinted, with the exception of a brief introductory note, in Woodstock Letters (Woodstock, Md), 34 (1905): 167–72.

ASJCF, BO-5-2; BO-19-16; BO-19-19. Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Garden River, Ont.), Diary, 1868–92; RBMB, 1856–87. NA, RG 31, C1, 1861, Barrie: 22. Private arch., Elinor Barr (Thunder Bay, Ont.), Fort William Mission, diary, 1874–82 (photocopies). St Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church (Thunder Bay), RBMB, vol.1 B. Sisters of St Joseph of Sault Ste Marie Arch., St Joseph’s College (North Bay, Ont.), “Father Richard Baxter, s.j.,” in Sister Mary Evarista Walsh, “The annals of the Sisters of St Joseph, 1881–1939” (typescript). Soc. of Jesus, Upper Canada Prov. Arch., Regis College (Toronto), B-B-9 (Richard Baxter file). Daily Times-Journal (Fort William [Thunder Bay]), 13 May 1904, 14 Dec. 1929. Weekly Herald and Algoma Miner (Port Arthur [Thunder Bay]), 26 May 1893. R. J. Baxter, The Baxter family history (Pembroke, Ont., 1981). Dictionary of Jesuit biography: ministry to English Canada, 1842–1987 (Toronto, 1991). Michael Nash, “Reminiscences of Father Michael Nash,” Woodstock Letters, 26 (1897): 268–82. F. J. Nelligan, “Catholic beginnings at Port Arthur,” Canadian Messenger of the Sacred Heart, 67 (1957): 384–93, 437–46, 516–21, 594–600. St. Andrew’s Catholic Church centennial, 1875–1975 (Thunder Bay, [1975]). S. [C.] Young, “The life and work of Father Richard Baxter, missionary,” Thunder Bay Hist. Museum Soc., Papers and Records, 11 (1983): 49–52.

BBC, 1922-

  • Corporate body
  • 1922-

Beattie, Hugh P, b 1911, former Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA ADMN/7/13
  • Person
  • 31 January 1911-

Born: 31 January 1911, Clones, County Monaghan
Entered: 21 October 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1950, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

Left Society of Jesus: 16 June 1955

Beckx, Peter, 1795-1887, Jesuit priest and Father General

  • Person
  • 1795-1887

Peter Jan Beckx (also Pieter Jan Beckx, in French Pierre Jean Beckx) (8 February 1795 – 4 March 1887) was a Belgian Jesuit priest, and the twenty-second Superior General (Father General) of the Society of Jesus, 1853-1887.

Begley, Henry, 1835-1893, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/914
  • Person
  • 21 June 1835-25 January 1893

Born: 21 June 1835, Coleraine, County Derry
Entered: 17 April 1852, Grand Coteau & Baton-Rouge LA, USA - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Ordained: 1866, Natchitoches LA, USA
Professed: 15 August 1872
Died: 25 January 1893, St Mary's University, Galveston TX, USA - Neo-Aurelianensis Province (NOR)

In HIB by 1871 making Tertianship at Milltown Park

Begley, Thaddeus, 1814-1883, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/915
  • Person
  • 24 September 1814-11 March 1883

Born: 24 September 1814, Dingle, County Kerry
Entered: 30 March 1850, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Final vows:15 August 1860
Died: 11 March 1883, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Bellew, Christopher, 1818-1867, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/63
  • Person
  • 25 July 1818-18 March 1867

Born: 25 July 1818, Mountbellew, County Galway
Entered: 11 February 1850, Issenheim, Alsace, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1856, Montauban, France
Final Vows: 03 December 1866
Died: 18 March 1867, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner St, Dublin

Older brother of Michael RIP 1868

by 1853 at Vals, France (TOLO)
by 1854 in Cologne, Germany (GER) studying Theology 1
by 1855 at Malta College (ANG) for Regency
by 1857 at Montauban, France (TOLO) studying Theology
by 1860 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying Theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Son of an Irish Baronet (probably the Galway Parliamentarians of the 18th and 19th Centuries). Older brother of Michael RIP 1868. Their home was frequently visited by Jesuits, and this helped develop a great love in Christopher for the Society.
After his early education in Grammar and Humanities, he went to Trinity. As he was an eldest so, his family wanted to prepare him as the future representative of the family in an understanding of Society and Politics. So he also travelled much in Europe for that purpose.
In about 1840 a “fashionable marriage” was announced in the Press between the eldest son of and old Catholic Baronet, and the eldest daughter of an old Protestant Baronet, Sir John Burke of Marble Hall. All preparations were in place and the bridegroom went to Clongowes to make a Retreat before his marriage. His younger brother Michael, already being in the Society, meant that the interest of the Community is Christopher was higher than usual. he impressed all with his piety. Waiting for news of the marriage, it seemed to have been delayed, and after a while, there was a rumour that he was in a Novitiate on the Continent. Apparently an issue had arisen which had proven a stumbling block, namely Christopher’s insistence that any children should be raised Catholic. He communicated this to his bride whilst on retreat. A suggestion came back from her family that perhaps any girls would stay with the mother’s religion. Christopher responded by saying that he could not accept this arrangement. He wrote again indicating that the only solution was to relieve her of her promise, and to declare arrangements at an end. Her family wrote back acceding to his request that the children would all be Catholics, but this letter arrived too late - he had left Clongowes, and nobody knew where he was. For some years he did not return to Ireland, and when he did, he was Rev Christopher Bellew SJ. In the meantime, Miss Burke had herself become a Catholic, and lead a very holy life, remaining single, and devoting her life to charitable works.
Christopher joined the Society at Issenheim in France, and after First Vows, began studies in Philosophy at Vals, France. He was later sent to teach Grammar at a TOLO College. While there he became ill, and so was sent to Malta, where he remained as a Teacher for two years. He then returned to France and was Ordained there 1856 at Montaubon.
He then returned to Ireland and spent three years teaching at Colleges.
1859 He was sent to the Dublin Residence as Operarius, and remained there until his death 18 March 1867. He had been very zealous in the hard work of the Confessional.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Christopher Bellew 1818-1867
The life of Christopher Bellew reads like some edifying romantic tale. He was born in Mount Bellew County Galway, the eldest son of Sir Michael Bellew, Baronet. From his earliest years he had a great knowledge and love of the Society, for during his father’s lifetime “Ours” used frequently visit the family mansion, and stay a few days there.
Having completed his early studies, he was sent by his family to Trinity College Dublin, where he went through a distinguished course. He then travelled extensively on the continent to complete his education.
About the year 1840, his forthcoming marriage to the eldest daughter of Sir John Burke of Marble Hall, was announced in the Press. The bridegroom came to Clongowes to make a retreat prior to his marriage. Needless to say the Community at Clongowes were intensely interested in the matter, especially as Christopher’s younger brother Michael was already a Jesuit. Weeks passed, and still no account in the papers of this fashionable marriage. At length a rumour started which grew into a certainty, that the bridegroom was in a Jesuit noviceship somewhere on the continent.

What had happened was this : All the preliminaries to the marriage had been settled except one, the religion of the children, as the intended bride was a Protestant. According to a custom, which rightly or wrongly existed at the time, the bride’s family insisted that the girls of the marriage should follow the religion of their mother. To this condition the bridegroom would not agree, and he wrote to say that he released the young lade from her promise and that the negotiations were at an end.

The upshot of this was that the young lade became a Catholic and led a holy life in single blessedness, devoting her time to works of charity.

Christopher entered the noviceship at Issenheim in Alsace. He was ordained priest at Montaubon in 1856. Recalled to Ireland, he taught for three years in the Colleges, and then was stationed for the rest of his life at Gardiner Street. There he was an outstanding operarius, zealous and untiring in the confessional.

He died on March 18th 1867. He succeeded his father Sir Michael Bellew in 1855, and is listed in Burke’s Peerage as the Reverend Sir Christopher Bellew.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Christopher Bellew (1818-1867)

Was master at the Crescent from 1860 to 1861 and again from 1862- to 1864. He was the eldest son of Sir Michael Bellew, Bart, of Mountbellew Bridge, Co Galway. After his studies at Clongowes, he entered Trinity College, Dublin and later got a commission in the army. He was heir to the title and family property but resigned his claims in 1850 to enter the Society. The story of his call to the religious life is curious, if not even romantic. From his family's viewpoint, he had made an excellent match in becoming engaged to the daughter of Sir John Burke of Marble Hall, Co Galway. Unfortunately, his bride-to-be was a Protestant, and her family insisted, according to the custom of the time, that any daughters born of the marriage should follow their mother's religious beliefs. Young Bellew, as the time for the marriage-ceremony approached, decided to return to Clongowes to make a retreat under one of his old masters. During his stay at Clongowes, he wrote to Sir John Burke, insisting that all children of the marriage must be Catholics. The Burkes replied that they could not accede to his demands. Bellew now intimated that he felt bound in conscience to terminate the engagement. This time, the Burkes, anxious that the marriage should be gone on with, waived their demands on the religion of their future grand-daughters. But the letter arrived too late to find him. Christopher Bellew had gone abroad. Later it was learned that he had entered the Society in Alsace. On the completion of his noviceship, he entered on his philosophy studies at Vals in the Lyons Province of the Society, and is next heard of as master in a Jesuit College of the Toulouse Province and later in Malta. He returned to France for the study of theology and was ordained at Montauban. Here, it can be recalled, that his former bride-to-be, Miss Burke of Marble Hall, on learning of Christopher's vocation, became a Catholic herself. She never married but spent her life in works of zeal and charity.

Father Bellew's priestly life was short. After his time in the Crescent, he was transferred to Gardiner St Church where he died three years later. Old newspapers of the time refer to him as “The Rev Sir Christopher Bellew, Bart, SJ”. He never used the title himself, although he could not legally renounce it. He was long remembered at Gardiner St Church as a zealous priest, especially in the laborious work of the confessional.

Bellew, Michael, 1825-1868, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/916
  • Person
  • 27 July 1825-29 October 1868

Born: 27 July 1825, Mountbellew, County Galway
Entered: 28 August 1845, St Andrea, Rome / Issenheim, Alsace, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1858
Final Vows: 02 February 1865
Died: 29 October 1868, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Younger brother of Christopher RIP 1867

by 1855 in Palermo, Sicily Italy (SIC) studying Philosophy
by 1856 Studying at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG)
by 1859 at Paderborn Germany (GER) studying Theology
by 1868 at Burgundy Residence France (TOLO) health

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Son of an Irish Baronet (probably the Galway Parliamentarians of the 18th and 19th Centuries). Younger brother of Christopher RIP 1867, but Entered four years before him. Their home was frequently visited by Jesuits, and this helped develop a great love in Christopher for the Society.

He was sent to Rome for his Novitiate, but he was not long there when his strength began to fail. General Roothaan, seeing how valuable a man he might be in the future, sent him to Issenheim (FRA) to complete his Noviceship. When he had completed his study of Rhetoric, he came to the Day School in Dublin, where he trained the boys to great piety. Then he was sent to Clongowes as a Prefect.
1855 He was sent to St Beuno’s for Theology, spending his 2nd Year at Montauban, his 3rd at Belvedere, and his 4th at Paderborn.
After Ordination he was sent to Belvedere for a year.
1860 He was Minister at Tullabeg
1861 He was an Operarius and teacher in Galway.
1864-1867 He was appointed Rector at Galway 26 July 1864, taking his Final Vows there 22 February 1865.
1867 His health broke down, and he was sent to the South of France - James Tuite was appointed Vice-rector in his place. When he returned to Ireland, he stayed at Gardiner St, and died there 29 October 1868.

Belvedere College SJ, Dublin, 1832-

  • IE IJA SC/BELV
  • Corporate body
  • 1832-

After the restoration of the Society of Jesus in 1814, a Jesuit community took over the vacant Poor Clare convent in Hardwicke Street, Dublin. The establishment of St. Francis Xavier’s Church, Upper Gardiner Street in 1832 provided the Jesuits with the premises necessary to establish a school. St. Francis College was established at Hardwicke Street in 1832 however it proved to be too small for this emerging school. New premises were needed and Belvedere House, Great Denmark Street was bought in 1841. The Jesuits at Belvedere remained part of the Gardiner Street community until 1842, with total independence in 1847.

John Curtis, Superior (at Gardiner Street, 1841;
Charles Ferguson, Rector, 1845;
Patrick Meagher, Vice-Rector, 1 January 1846;
Patrick Meagher, Rector, 14 March 1847;
John Ffrench, Rector, 30 November 1855;
Francis Murphy, Rector, 24 June 1856;
Michael O'Ferrall, Rector, 31 July 1858;
Matthew Seaver, Rector, 10 October 1861;
Edward Kelly, Rector, 2 August 1864;
Joseph Lentaigne, Rector, 18 August 1872;
John Matthews, Rector, 7 August 1873;
James Dalton, Minister
Thomas Kelly, Minister, 28 February 1879;
Edmund Donovan, Vice-Rector, 5 October 1882;
Thomas Finlay, Rector, 23 June 1883
James Cullen, Vice-Rector, 14 July 1888;
Matthew Devitt, Vice-Rector, 31 July 1889;
Matthew Devitt, Rector, 8 September 1890;
Thomas Wheeler, Rector, 31 July 1891;
Henry William, Vice-Rector, 15 August 1894;
Henry William, Rector, 28 August 1895;
Nicholas Tomkin, Rector, 29 June 1900;
James Brennan, Rector, 21 August 1908;
John Fahy, Rector, 30 July 1913;
Charles Doyle, Rector, 27 July 1919;
Michael Quinlan, Rector, 30 July 1922;
John Coyne, Rector, 29 October 1928;
Patrick Morris, Rector, 14 February 1931;
John O'Connor, Rector, 16 June 1936;
James Gubbins, Rector, 29 July 1942;
Denis P Kennedy, Vice-Rector, 30 July 1945;
Denis P Kennedy, Rector, 2 June 1947;
Redmond Roche, Rector, 30 July 1953;
Francis McDonagh, Rector, 24 June 1959;
Henry Nolan, Rector, 2 August 1965;
John Kerr, Rector, 31 July 1968;

Benn, William J, 1882-1952, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/917
  • Person
  • 06 May 1882-21 February 1951

Born: 06 May 1882, Castleconnell, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1901, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 June 1915, Woodstock College MD, USA
Final vows: 02 February 1919
Died: 21 February 1951, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA, USA - Oregonensis Province (ORE)

Transcribed HIB to TAUR : 1903; TAUR to CAL : 1909; CAL to ORE

Bennett, Michael, 1785-1829, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/918
  • Person
  • 1785-06 October 1829

Born: 1785, Phillipstown, County Offaly
Entered: 01 February 1817, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 06 October 1829, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Clane, County Kildare

in Clongowes 1817

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
For many years he discharged the unpleasant and difficult task of attending to the boys and visitors, and though often detained until a late hour at night, and obliged to be at his post again in the early morning, he exercised a wonderful command over his naturally hasty temper, and was always faithful in the performance of all his spiritual duties.
Suffering delicate health, he was sent home to relatives by the Superior, hoping the change might effect a cure. He approached death with such tranquility, that on the day before his death he was able to go outside and mark a suitable site for his own grave.
Note from John Cleary Entry :
He took his First Vows at Clongowes 02 February 1819, and Charles Aylmer said the Mass. There were six others with him : Brothers Egan, Nelson, Plunkett, Mulligan, Bennett and Sherlock, all who persevered happily in the Society to the end.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Michael Bennett 1785-1829
Br Michael Bennett was born in 1785, and entered the Society in 1817 as a temporal coadjutor.

He spent the greater part of his life as a Jesuit in Clongowes, where he discharged the difficult task of attending the boys and visitors, and though often detained by his duties until a late hour, he was always at his post again in the early morning. He exercised wonderful command over his naturally hasty temper, and was uniformly faithful in his spiritual duties.

Having fallen into ill health, he was sent home to his relations by his Superior, in the hope that a change of air might affect a cure. With such tranquility did he await death, that on the eve of his death, finding himself able to, walk outdoors, he availed himself of the opportunity to mark out a suitable site for his own grave.

He died happily on October 6th 1918.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BENNETT, MICHAEL, a Temporal Coadjutor who died on the 6th of October, 1829.

Benson, Patrick J, 1923-1970, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/735
  • Person
  • 19 December 1923-15 May 1970

Born: 19 December 1923, Kilkishen, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 15 May 1970, Fordham University, The Bronx, New York, USA - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Part of the Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia community at the time of death

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
The suddenness of Fr Paddy's death came as a great shock. He had left Chikuni for a well deserved leave in January 1970 and during the course of that leave went to the USA to do some career guidance. He had been doing this at Canisius Secondary School with great success and went overseas to acquire the latest techniques. He was staying at Fordham University when he died, and an extract from a letter from the Rector there, Fr James Hennessey S. J., gave the details of Fr Paddy's death:

"He had been here a month and we were delighted to have him. Rarely has anyone fitted into the community so well. He was always pleasant and his humour was delightful, he went about his business seriously and impressed all who came into contact with him. He was cheerful to the last; several who were with him at dinner last evening remembered that he had been in fine fettle. He must have retired early. This morning a relative, Br Bernard F.M.S., came to call for him. They had planned to spend the day together. It was about 10 a.m. and when Paddy did not answer, he went to his room and found him dead. It looked to me as if he had tried to get up, then had fallen back and died quickly and peacefully. There was no evidence of struggle or pain. Fr Minister anointed him and our house doctor pronounced him dead of a coronary".

Paddy was born in Co. Clare, Ireland, on 19th December 1923, an only child. He went to St Flannan's College in Co. Clare and after his final year in school, entered the Society on 7 September 1942 much to the regret of the diocesan clergy who would have liked him for the diocese. He went through the usual training in the Society doing his regency at Belvedere and Mungret. While at these places he was known for his selflessness and the memory everyone had of Fr. Paddy was of his willingness to help others in any way he could. He was ordained at Milltown Park on the 31st July 1956, a happy event which was tempered by the fact that neither of his parents lived to see him ordained. After his tertianship he came to Zambia.

After spending some time learning the language, he became Manager of Schools for a year, then did two years at Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College and finally came to Canisius in 1962, as Senior Prefect, a position he held until 1969 when he was acting principal for almost a year.

If one were to pick out two virtues in Fr Paddy, all would agree that his ever-cheerfulness and readiness to help others are the two outstanding ones. He was a man who rarely thought of himself or his own comfort and this combined with a simplicity of soul, endeared him to all who had dealings with him. In all the houses in which he had been, he left his mark, for he was gifted with his hands and electricity had always been his chief hobby. In Milltown Park, Dublin he did the wiring for the telephone system while he was studying there. In many houses in Zambia, both in the Society and elsewhere, there are "many things electrical" which are working due to Fr Paddy's dexterity.

He was never too busy to help others and was ready to drop everything in order to be of assistance to the many who called on him to do "little jobs", to fill in for a supply if someone was sick or unavailable, or just to be cheerful in conversation. This willingness to help others and his fondness for the steering wheel, gave him a certain mobility and it was not uncommon to see him disappearing in clouds of dust down the avenue.

He led a tiring life but even so, at the end of a hard week put in at the school work, he would go off on Mass supply to preach and baptise or help in the parish at Chikuni. To one who lived and worked with Fr Paddy for many years, the oft quoted Latin tag "consummatus in brevi, expleveit tempora multa" (he accomplished much in a short time) takes on a new meaning.

Though he died in New York his body was returned to Ireland to be buried at Mungret where he had taught and which was not too far from his old home.
Many letters of sympathy came to Fr O'Riordan, Education Secretary General, not least from the Minister of Education and his Permanent Secretary. Here are some extracts: "Fr Benson will always be remembered for his warm humanity, keen sense of humour and willingness to assist others." (Minister of Education); "Fr Benson's calm and reasoned approach to education problems, his sense of humour and the cooperative and helpful spirit with which he went about his affairs, remain in the memory." (Permanent Secretary, Min. Ed.).

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 45th Year No 3 1970

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Benson SJ (1923-1970)

The news of Fr. Benson's death in New York on May 15th had a stunning effect on those, and they were many, who but a short time previously had welcomed him back for the holiday break from Zambia; he had spent some intervals in his native Clare and had visited a number of friends in the various houses and professed himself sufficiently fit to do an educational course at Fordham before returning to the missions proper.
After the first announcement of his death Fr. James Hennessy, Rector of Fordham, set himself immediately to give a more detailed account : “Several of those who were at dinner with him last evening remarked that he had been in fine fettle. He must have retired early. This morning a relative, Br. Bernard, F.H.S., came to call for him. They had planned a day together. It was about 10 am, and when Paddy did not answer Br. Bernard went to his room and found him dead. It looked to me as if he had tried to get up, then had fallen back and died quickly and peacefully. There was no evidence of struggle or pain. Fr. Minister anointed him and our house doctor pronounced him dead of a coronary”.
Fr. Provincial here was contacted and it was decided to have the burial at Mungret sixteen miles from Fr. Paddy's native place Kilkishen, across the Shannon.
In Fordham the obsequies were not neglected; over twenty Jesuits were present at the exequial Mass on May 18th; the lessons were read by Frs. Joseph Kelly, Brian Grogan and Hugh Duffy. Fr. Paddy Heelan gave an appreciation of his contemporary and friend at an evening Mass previously and Fr. George Driscoll, Superior of the Gonzaga Retreat House for boys, with whom Fr. Benson had already formed a firm friendship, gave the homily or funeral oration. The suffrages on Fr. Benson's behalf from the Fordham community amount to 150 Masses.
Fr. Paddy was a student at St. Flannan's College, Ennis, and had come to our novitiate in 1942 in company with his fellow collegian Michael O'Kelly whose lamentable early death occurred when later they were theologians together in Milltown. Paddy followed the conventional courses - juniorate and degrees from UCD at Rathfarnham; colleges at Belvedere and Mungret, and theology at Milltown, priesthood 1946.
He went to Zambia (North Rhodesia then) in 1948. An energetic teacher and missionary with considerable versatility and skill in practical matters - his flair with electric fittings saved the mission considerable incidental expenses, obliging and resultantly much in demand. He possessed a pleasant sober manner, not dominating but willing to take his share quietly in the conversation, a sense of humour and a droll remark where apposite. About five years since he was home for the normal break and on this present occasion no one from his appearance would have surmised that the end was approaching; since his death we have been informed that in Africa, he had recently experienced a bout of languor which made it advisable that he take a change which he did in Southern Rhodesia and he appeared to have been re-established on his return to Ireland; the sad and unexpected event of May 15th proved other wise. May he rest in peace.

Fr. C. O'Riordan has forwarded the following letters of sympathy from the Minister of Education and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education in Lusaka :

Dear Fr. O'Riordan,
I have learned, with a deep sense of shock, of the untimely death of Fr. Benson whilst in New York. To those of us who were privileged to have known and worked with Fr, Benson, this comes with a heartfelt sense of regret.
Fr. Benson, apart from his long and dedicated service both at Charles Lwanga Training College and Canisius Secondary School at which, towards the end of last year, he acted as principal, will always be remembered for his warm humanity, keen sense of humour and willingness to assist others.
I am writing to you because of Fr. Benson's involvement in education, but would be most grateful if you could convey my sincere condolences, coupled with those of the Minister of State, to Fr. Counihan and to His Lordship, Bishop Corboy, to each of whom Fr. Benson's death must be a grievous loss.
Yours sincerely,
W. P NYIRENDA (Minister of Education).

Dear Fr. O'Riordan,
I was deeply shocked to hear, from our telephone conversation this morning, of Fr. Benson's death.
One is conscious of the significant contribution he made, both at Canisius Secondary School and Charles Lwanga during the years he served in Zambia. His calm and reasoned approach to education problems, his sense of humour and the co-operative and helpful spirit with which he went about his affairs, remain in the memory.
Please accept not only my own heartfelt condolences, but those on behalf of all my officers within the Ministry, who I know will feel Fr. Benson's death keenly.
Yours sincerely,
D. BOWA (Permanent Secretary).

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1970

Obituary

Father Patrick Benson SJ

Fr Benson taught in Belvedere as a scholastic during the years 1951 to 1953. He went to Zambia in 1959 and was engaged in teaching. This spring, he passed through Dublin on his way to the States for further study and paid two visits to Belvedere of which he cherished such happy memories. It was a great shock to all when he died suddenly in Fordham University early in May.

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

  • IE IJA J/140
  • Person
  • 18 August 1879-11 October 1917

Born: 18 August 1879, Fancroft, Roscrea, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 August 1911, Hastings, England
Final vows: 17 November 1916
Died 11 October 1917, Passchendaele, Belgium (Australian 51st Battalion) - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Buried at the Reningelst Churchyard Cemetery, Belgium
First World War Chaplain.

Transcribed HIB to LUGD : 01 January 1901

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

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

Died : 11 October 1917 Passchendaele, Belgium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Bergin 1879-1917
Fr Michael Bergin was born at Fancroft, about two miles from Roscrea, on August 16th 1879. His early education he got at the Sacred Heart Convent Roscrea, and then at Mungret. In 1897 he entered the noviceship at Tullabeg.

Together with two other scholastics, Mr Hartigan and Mr Fitzgibbon, he was sent to Syria and the University of Beirut. Here under the French Fathers, he did his Philosophy and Regency. While in Beirut he volunteered for the Syrian Mission, and there he returned after his ordination in 1913.

On the outbreak of the First World Ward he, with all the other priests and religious, was expelled by the Turks, and he went to Cairo. There Fr Bergin became Chaplain to the Australian Expeditionary Force. He came to France with them, and he was killed by a shell at Zonnebeke, North East of Ypres on October 11th 1917. He was buried near Reningelst.

His life story was written by his sister, a nun, under the title “A Son of St Patrick”, and it gives an idea of the steadfast, simple yet heroic life of Michael Bergin.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1904

Letters from Our Past

Michael Bergin SJ

Ghazir, Syria

“Mr. Power and Mr. Hartigan arrived safe and sound at Beyrouth. They paid a visit to Ghazir shortly after their arrival. They were looking very well. They had no difficulty in recognising me in spite of my venerable beard. They stay at Beyrouth, where they study. Oriental languages.

We are only ten Philosophers, but there are also four teen Scholastics destined for the Mission, who are making a biennium of Arabic. There are also three Juniors, and fortunately for them, we are all in the same Community. It is not a bit like Christmas here, except for the rain, We are too near the sea at Ghazir to have frost, but the mountains quite close to us are covered with snow. We have a pretty little Crib in the chapel, but there are no other decorations. The Maronites have Midnight Mass in a great many churches, they have also a Novena with Benediction and Recitation or Office in preparation for Christmas. Their faith is, perhaps, more demonstra tive, but scarcely as solid, as that of the Irish. Sometimes they fall out with their bishop or priest, and threaten to be come Protestants or Schisinatics, if they don't get what they want, and sometimes too, unfortunately, they execute their threat. The English and American Protestants, as well as the Russian Schisinatics, do a great deal of harm. They have schools, and, as they are rich; they can hold out great inducements to the poor. Our Fathers, with very little money, have to fight against them. The Maronite clergy, although rich enough, do very little, and give nothing, and thus it is for us to do all. After all it is hard to find people as good as in the old country”.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1905

Scenes and Manners in Syria - from the Letters of

Michael Bergin SJ and Austin Hartigan SJ

St Joseph’s University Beyrouth

I will tell you all about our vacation, perhaps it will interest you. We went to Tanail, where our fathers have a farm and an orphanage. Tanail is situated in the Bekka or plain that lies between the Lebanon and Anti Lebanon Mountains. This plain is eighty or ninety miles long and about fifteen broad. Tanail is just in the middle of this plain and half way between Beyrouth and Damascus. We went from Beyrouth by train. The journey is very interesting. On leaving Beyrouth you pass through a very fertile plain planted with olive trees. After about half an hour begins the ascent of the mountain. It is very steep in some places, so, to make it possible for the train to mount, there is a third rail with notches and the engine has a wheel with cogs which fit into these notches and thus prevent the train from slipping back. There are some very pretty little villages in the mountaiti. Most of the Beyrouth people pass the summer in one or other of these villages. Near the top of the mountain there are some villages inhabited by Druses. These are a people whose religion is a secret. They have some very curious customs one of them is that a Druse can never dispose of his property. He can spend his income as he wishes, but the real property always belongs to the family. The train goes very slow on ascending, so one has plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. The whole journey, which includes the descent as well as the ascent, is about forty miles, and we were over four hours in the train. When you are on the top of the mountain the plain opens out before you like a great lake shut in between the two mountains. Here and there are scattered little villages and spots of verdure these latter always marking the existence of water. The descent is quickly over, but the rocking of the train is so great that two or three were on the point of getting sea-sick, Our house is about half an hour's walk from the station. There are a good many trees, nearly all poplars, on the property, and so we enjoyed the luxury, so rare in this country, of walking in the shade. The sun is very warm here. You have no idea how hot it is from nine or ten in the morning to four or five in the evening; in the night and morning it is a little cooler, At Tanail the air is much drier than at Ghazir. At Ghazir one cannot walk for a quarter of an hour without being covered with perspiration; but in the plain, though one is scorched with the sun, one scarcely perspires at all. There are some interesting walks about. Amongst others is what is called:

The Tomb of Noah
Tradition says that he died and was buried near Zahleh, a village not far from Tanail. We went to-pay a visit then to this tomb of our common ancestor. We found the place a long, low, flat roofed, rectangular building, about forty yards long and three wide, which the Musulmans use as their mosque. The whole length of this house, and just in the middle, runs a piece of masonry about two feet high, and underneath this are said to rest the mortal remains of poor Noah. He must have been inconveniently tall.

The Excusrsion which lasted Four Days
One fine day, at half-past nine in the morning, seventeen of us started. The sun seemed to be specially hot that day, still we marched on bravely, after an hour and a half we came to a river - the biggest in Syria - which had to be crossed, and as there was no bridge we had to take off our boots and stockings, tighten up our soutanes and walk through. For the next two hours and a half we did not meet a single spring, and a two hours' tramp without water, where it is so warm, is no joke. However, four hours after our departure, we came to a long-wished-for well. We drank and washed, and started again for the village where we were to pass the night. After three hours we arrived there, and went to the priest's house. The only Catholics there are of the Syrian rite, and they are not very numerous. The rest of the inbabitants are either Druses or Greek Schismatics. The priest's house was a poor little cabin, consisting of two or three rooms. He received us very well - of course we had all our provisions with us, we had two mules to carry them on their backs, not in cars, because there are no roads only paths. We cooked our dinner and ate it in the Arabic fashion, ie, without plates, knives, spoons or forks. Soon after dinner, as everyone was a bit tired; we went to rest, We had brought a sack of blankets, one for each one. Five or six slept in the parlour which was at the same time bedroom, the rest slept on mats made of rushes, some in a little room beside the house, the rest outside the door. We used our shoes as pillows. The “beds” were rather hard and the night was very hot, so we did not sleep much. Next morning we had Mass in the little chapel close by, and after breakfast we started for Mount Hermon, which is the highest peak in the Anti-Lebanon Range. I forgot to describe the parlour of the priest. The chief “ornament” was his bed. The room was carpeted, but there were no chairs. You take off your boots on entering and leave them at the door, and you sit cross-legged on the floor or on a cushion. This room was about four yards square.

There is not a single spring between the village and the top of the mountain-and in the village itself the only water they have is what they collect in cisterns during the winter. So we had to bring some with us. The climb took about five or six hours, and had it not been that we had three or four horses, which each one mount ed from time to time, I doubt if many would have arrived to the top. After about five hours it became so very steep that the horses could go no farther so we halted and dined. Thus fortified we did the last hour's climb. In the shaded hollows there was still snow. We put snow into the water we brought, and it was not too bad. The Arabs call this mountain the Mountain of the Old Man, because the snow is supposed to represent the grey hair, From the top the view is magnificent. We saw the Holy Land, the Sea of Tiberias, the Jordan, Mount Thabor, Mount Carmel; also we could see Damascus, a white speck, hidden in its gardens of verdure, and the Hauran. On the very highest point of the summit are the ruins of an old temple. After enjoying the scenery and reposing ourselves we began the descent on the other side of the mountain towards Damascus. The path was very narrow and in places very steep, however, in the evening, after about four hours march, we arrived at another little village, Kalath-el gendel, one of the dirtiest and most miserable villages I have ever seen, even in the East. Here the majority of the inhabitants are Druses.

An Arab Meal
On our way we passed through another village and we went to a house to buy a drink of milk. The only thing they had was thick milk, the people are very fond of it like that, and we, for want of butter, took it The lady of the house would not be content if we did not sit down, so she spread a mat on the floor, and on this we had to squat like tailors. In the middle was a little table about a foot high, and on this she put a bowl of milk. Then came the Arabic bread, the “hubs”. This is made of flour and water, and is almost as thin as an altar bread and quite flexible. Each cake is round and has a diameter of about two feet. But the real difficulty was to take the milk with the bread. The people never use knives or spoons, the bread does all this. They tear off a little bit of bread and make a scoop of it, with this they take their milk or whatever it may be, and each time they eat their spoon as well as what is in it. It is convenient, for after dinner they have not much to wash up. Tumblers are as rare as knives. They have water in little earthenware jars like a teapot, with a little spout. This they do not put into their mouth, they keep it a distance of about a font away, and simply pour it down their throat. In the beginning this is not so easy. The first time I tried I got more down my neck and up my nose than I got into my mouth.

The Earthly Paradise
Leaving this early next morning we continued our journey to Damascus. The day was very hot and the country an arid waste. Still we toiled on and we were at last rewarded with a view of what Mahomed rightly called the earthly Paradise! To the way-worn traveller, dust stained and thirsty, whose eyes have been for hours blinded by the glare from the rocky soil, the city of Damascus, surrounded by its fresh green gardens, filed with every variety of fruit-trees, watered by the brimming stream, at whose source we stopped and washed, offers a vision of refreshing beauty that none can appreciate but those who, like us, have toiled through the heat of the day. Passing through the shady gardens, our ears filled with the murmuring of the clear, cool streams, refreshed by the delicious fruit that abounded on every side, we can easily understand why St Ignatius laid the scene of our First Parents' happiness in this, the East's most lovely city.

As it is the most beautiful so is it also the most characteristically Eastern. For here are gathered together all that is most un-European Here are centered all those streams of caravans that bring from far in the interior of Asia the rich products of those world-famed looms. Here is no sign of modern civilization to remind one of the distant West. To give an adequate idea of this other world, I can do no better than describe the Bazaar and some street scenes in this city of Fair Delight.

The Bazaar
It is in the bazaar that locomotion is most difficult. This gives one time to look about and admire the variety of nationalities that the traffic of the quarter has collected. Bedouins with huge high boots, a long stiff cloak of brown and white, often richly embroidered at shoulders (these cloaks “mashlah” are absolutely devoid of cut, except for short sleeves beginning at elbows and reaching to wrists), loose white drawers reaching to top of boots, embroidered vest. On the head, the “kofieyeh” or veil of brilliant colours. often of silk, ornamented with tassels. It is most graceful. This veil is secured on head by two circles of camel's hair, while the ends hang down on the back and breast or are brought up under chin, and attached to the coils above. They are finely built, these Bedouins, tall and spare, square-shouldered, active and strong, with dark piercing eyes, that seem to be everywhere at once. Druses, with snow-white turban and heavy scimitar; Turkish “effendis”, in badly made, and worse put on, European dress; Persians, in light brown hats, once and a-half as high as our tall hats, slightly conical in shape, tight-fitting dresses and flowing beards; Kurdish shepherds, dressed in skin and stiff black felt cape, reaching to knees; villainous looking Albanians, with voluminous kilts and belts bristling with weapons; add thievish-looking Circassians, effeminate Damascenes, gliding figures enveloped from head to foot in a light sheet like garment of white, or green and red shot silk, with veiled face, and called women, and you have a faint idea of the 'souqs' of Damascus. Yet I have said nothing about the seller of pasties, who balances on his head a small shopful of dainties; the sherbet-seller, with a huge bottle strung round his neck, and brass cups jingling in his hand. On more than one occasion I have seen a seller of drinks and a seller of creams stand as near each other as
their implements permit, the one slaking his thirst, the other gratifying his palate, by a mutual exchange.

The Houses of Damasucs
But the glory of Damascus consists above all in its private houses. The Arabic proverb has it: “The houses of Damascus from without, sooty; from within, marble”. Nothing could be more true. Outside one would take them for the stables of the mansion, with their plain, windowless walls, and massive, ungainly doors., Enteringly a narrow passage of varying length, a remnant of darker days, we find ourselves in a court with marble pavement, shaded by olive, orange, or lemon trees, and refreshed by a fountain or several of them, whose waters are contained in a deep basin of variegated marble. At one side is the “bewan”, or deep recess, strewn with rich carpets and soft cushions, and arched over in true Arabic style. Opposite is the salon, the masterpiece of the house, and where even struggling families manage to make a show at the cost of the rest of the house. Here, again, we meet the marble fountain on either side of what are the halves of the chamber, one half being raised about two feet. The walls are covered with the richest marbles, in endless variety of colour and form. Here and there are recesses backed by mirrors, while above are texts of the Koran in golden letters, entwined in the most puzzling combinations. Above these are scenes and landscapes painted in bright colours. The ceilings (which are always formed of round rafters laid so as to touch the flat cemented ceiling, leaving a space of some inches between each rafter) are painted in the most fantastic designs and often really beautiful. The effect of the whole is most striking. Now, I think, you have my impressions of what Damascus is like.

In the evening we left Damascus by rail and came back here, our minds stored with the many wonders we had seen. And now I think you know something of our life out here. I hope I have not been too tedious. If you wish I shall tell you more another time.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1918

Obituary

Father Michael Bergin SJ

It is with the greatest regret we have to report the death of Fater M Bergin SJ, which occurred in France late in October last. After working in Syria for some years he was in Egypt at the outbreak of the war and volunteered as a chaplain. He saw service in Gallipoli and on the French front. The officer commanding the battalion to which he was attached writes :

I am sure no man was, nor could be, more popular and loved, not only by members of his own flock; but by all others.

In a report made in July, 1916, by the then commanding officer of the battalion giving the names of those who had shown qualities of conspicuous merit, the following entry is made opposite the name of our late Padre :

“For ready attention to wounded, indomitable energy, and pervading all ranks with cheerfulness.”

The subsequent months proved that those words only modestly express what we all owe to him, and those of us who had the privilege of knowing him longest find it difficult to believe that he really has left us for good and will not some day appear again with his usual smile and cheery words. He was killed instantly, by a fragment of a large shell which fell close to a party of officers belonging to the Brigade headquarters.

Our deepest sympathy to his brother, Mr John Bergin of Fancroft, Roscrea, and to his other relatives. RIP

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1932 : Golden Jubilee

Michael Bergin : A Mungret Jesuit at the Front

Father Michael Bergin SJ

Foreword to a memoir of Fr Bergin, shortly to be published under the title of “A Son of St. Patrick”.

To all who had the privilege of knowing Fr Bergin in life the following memoir will make instant appeal. How far it. will arrest the attention of others is more difficult to determine. It will hardly enter into rivalry with Prof O'Rahilly's “Life of Father Doyle” either as literary achievement or as a spiritual manifestation. It raises no problems, psychological or hagiographical. It is not likely to inaugurate any “cultus” of one, who, though undoubtedly holy and even heroic in his spirit of zeal and self sacrifice, was rather a finished specimen of what the institute he embraced aims at producing than an abnormal phenomenon. He is seen as an imitator, at a distance perhaps, of St John Berchmans rather than of St Aloysius Gonzaga. His sanctity though very real was not spectacular. He was just a zealous religious who practised in a very unobtrusive way the difficult art of self conquest, and thus prepared himself for facing the ordeal of the Great War with the certainty of playing a man's part in it, and, if needs be, of dying a brave man's death.

This he did, always without ostentation, always with that pleasant mask of a sunny smile, which veiled from the casual observer the depth and intensity of the spiritual fire burning in the soul of him all the time. His letters, utterly unstudied and unaffected, let us into the secret of his gaiety and make very beautiful the lifelong struggle against weak health which was his.

The present writer had the good fortune of knowing him in Tullabeg during two years and of meeting him once again just as he returned to the Front for the last time. And the impression left by that acquaintance tallies exactly with the picture those letters trace. Br Bergin was just one of some thirty young men being moulded in the Ignatian crucible, and taking shape gradually like the rest. He was fervent, no doubt, but in outward seeming indistinguishable from all others, except perhaps for a gaiety that, without being boisterous or even noisy, was infectious. I might sum him up by saying that you felt he was a good companion in recreation or on a walk, and a still better comrade in a tight corner. I have particularly in memory the sight of him holding on to an oar, on our rare boating excursions, until he was ordered by the person dressed in a little brief authority to relinquish it, and cheerful when other's nerves were getting a bit frayed and causing some outbursts of the old Adam in many, who, after all, were only ex-schoolboys labouring hard, but not always too successfully, to expel nature with a pitchfork. Though physically frail he not only never shirked his share of the common burden, he even clamoured for more, simulating immunity from fatigue. And it was curiously the same individual, only riper now and obviously more master of nature, whom I met for a few days at Ore Place, Hastings, in the winter 1915-16 - the precise date escapes my memory. He had been invalided home from the Front after a most trying time with the Anzacs in Gallipoli. He was obviously worn out and really unfit for further service. The thin form looked thinner than ever, the old stoop, indicative of the weak lungs that made Irish Superiors willing to part with this devoted worker in the hopes that the eastern sunshine might prolong a useful career, was more pronounced. He reluctantly admitted fatigue but insisted on reporting again for duty, when he need not have done so; and on going out once more to the Australian lads in danger, who had won his love and repaid it with a solid affection which does them honour. My counsel of prudence was wasted on one who never steered by that commonplace light when there was good work to be done. Yet, and here too he ran true to form, he tried to persuade me that it was just the fun of the thing that made him go forth again. In this, to tell the truth, he was not too successful, for I knew him of old. But of course I said nothing, and the last I saw of him was when he laid aside his vestments after his last Mass in his old scholasticate and hastened away, with a brave smile lighting up the tired face, to confront danger with the fearlessness he had already shown in action.

Apropos of danger I asked him once whether he had felt afraid under the rain of shells and bullets. His answer was characteristic: “At first the sensation is a bit curious. But you soon get used to it, and then do not mind it much”. Perhaps he had the gift of physical courage. But somehow the delicate frame and sensitive nature, responsive to all that was bright and joyous in life, did not indicate any natural indifference to death and its wartime horrors. Rather, I think, he found his strength in higher sources, even though his fine reserve recoiled from any parade of the deeper, supernatural impulses, which, for all that, very clearly guided his life.

War books are now a bit out of fashion - unless it be unsavoury, psychoanalytic pictures of men's bestiality in war. This may possibly militate against the success of this little volume where nothing is to be seen, but the white soul of one who walked this earth very innocently and quitted it very gallantly, displaying at all times a great unselfishness and an attractive piety. We may note that the piety is twofold. It is first of all and above all the Christian virtue of that name. But it answers also to the pietas of Virgil or the best pagans. His love of God and devotion to the greatest of all causes is found in perfect harmony with the human sentiments of family affection, love of country, sympathy with sorrow and affliction. Over all plays a sense of humour, genuine, natural, unfailing. If he had never died in action or left any line of self revelation, those who knew him would remember him as one who laughed easily (though not loudly), and made others laugh (without any pretentions to the reputation of a wit); who never seemed happier than when he could do a service to someone and would never admit that he was too tired or too busy to lend a helping hand; who was never censorious or critical of others; who fitted into various surroundings without friction of any kind; who glided serenely down the stream of life, making no noise and causing no commotion, well content to be unknown and accounted as nought - a beautifully placid nature to all appearance, yet not dull or apathetic, and always busy at some quiet task, tackling studies, for which he had no predilection, with conscientious ardour, aspiring unobtrusively to loftier heights of spiritual perfection than might have been suspected.

His biography may prove practically helpful to the general, fun of readers, whether in religion or in the lay pursuits, who feel no vocation to don the seven-league boots of the saints and stride from crest to crest of the Alpine heights, too far above the snow line for ordinary aspirations, but who never the less do desire to acquit themselves as men in the Great War always raging which is called Life. From him they can learn to hold their few yards of trench steadfastly and to the end, without flinching whether all be quiet on the front or the lines wake up to feverish and deadly activity, without “grousing” whether the petty hazards of the game or its major calamities try the temper. Here was one who to the outward eye gave no promise of special heroism, but when the call came said “Adsum” not only courageously but buoyantly, even boyishly, and above all without fuss or affectation, internally unconscious, I should think, that Gallipoli or Flanders were to be taken a whit more tragically than a long walk through the Bog of Allen or a long day at a creaking thole-pin. If any one had told Fr Bergin that a life of him would be written when he was gone it would have seemed to him the joke of the season. This will explain and excuse, if excuse be necessary, the homely style of his correspondence. He certainly never expected that any lines of his would have to face the scrutiny of critics on a printed page. If he had had the slightest suspicion of such a possibility, they could never have been written at all. He could not have penned a line with the spectre of publicity before his eyes, and he would laughingly have seized upon it as an excuse for saving precious time. He wrote as he lived, frankly and sincerely, without arrière pensée and he would only have shuddered at the very idea of posthumous fame. We have him thus in these pages as he was, without trappings of any kind, and I shall be surprised if the reader does not feel that his acquaintance was well. worth making

P J Gannon SJ

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

“A Son of St Patrick” by Sister S

Father Michael Bergin SJ

It is safe to say that most of our boys I will not even know the subject of this biography. Many will have seen his name in that list of our Sodality that hangs by the chapel door and may have wondered, half-idly, in the manner of the post-war generation, at the legend, “Killed in action, October, 1917”. To them and to many older boys we recommend this little book, unaffected in style, unadorned with wealth of words, but effective in its directness and simple truth. For we ought to know about this Mungret boy, who was President of Our Lady's Sodality, who went unselfishly to the East to work for Christ, and who, in the strange ways of God's providence, fell in Flanders at his post, for Christ. That he was one of ourselves should interest us. in his life. He answered the morning bell, he ran like us to morning chapel, he turned out to games with gusto, and he turned into study with the same cheerful grumble. He was a Mungret boy and he tried to be a saint. He tried in a way, that should encourage us all, not the way of frightening asceticism and mystic prayer, but the way, we all can try, of honest fervent piety and perfect obedience to God's Holy Will. How he succeeded in his effort, this life tells.

Simple, as we have said, and unaffected, this story of Father Bergin's life is attractive for its very simplicity. We have here no revelations of a soul's struggle, no attempt to read import into every slight action, no psychologizing of the saints. The story is told directly and with sympathy and by this is made human and appealing. The man himself speaks to us in his letters; frank, honest, brotherly letters, full of news and love and piety. He tells of himself as we feel we could do ourselves; but the plain tale he tells, we easily understand, to hide a life of daily heroism and striving after sanctity.

Michael Bergin was born at Fancroft, a few miles from Roscrea, in August, 1879, and spent his early days there, in the ideal Surroundings of a truly Irish Catholic family. He came to Mungret when he was fourteen and impressed his masters and his fellows as a pious, unselfish, jolly boy. Here God called him to the religious life and he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg in 1897. He finished his novitiate there, and to his surprise found himself next dispatched to Syria, to study Eastern languages at the University of Beyrouth. For two years he worked at the college and then went to Ghazir to study philosophy. Again he returned to college work at Beyrouth until Theology took him to Hastings in England, where he was ordained in 1910. He was back again in his beloved mission in 1914 at Damascus, and while working there the war broke out. First a “private soldier” chaplain and then a full recognized army Padre, he served in Gallipoli from 1915 to 1916. Then after a short leave, France claimed him and in a front line trench in Flanders he fell on October Iith, 1917.

We have told his career briefly lest we should ornit to give its outline in our anxiety to stress the importance of his life. There, is the life of a Mungret boy, told in short, and indeed a short life it was, and, taken in its period, no more eventful than many another. But this Mungret boy lived his life heroically and prayerfully throughout, and he taught himself to make great sacrifices with a careless smile and a convincing laugh. As a boy we find him jolly and natural; but he was the boy who walked to let others cycle; he was the boy who made himself nurse to a poor cripple; and he was the boy who fought for the right to say long prayers. We are very sure that he did these things with easy grace and without notice then, it is the retrospective eye that sees that here was a boy trying to be holy.

We feel, however, that it required genuine bravery of soul, to leave gaily a loved family circle and native land, to go alone, a boy, into the East. The novice is only a boy, for all his real spirituality, and the boy must have felt that wrench, felt it all the more when the novelty of a strange land passed and life became routine. But these honest letters of his show no trace of this; he loves all at home too well to share his sorrow.

He tells them all his adventures; he tells them, with a natural eye for beauty, of the sights of the East and of the flowers of its fields. Yet, now and then, we see that he has made a sacrifice, for he longs for Ireland's green fields and simple flowers. He grows a little jaded with brilliance and longs for plain things much loved and he often looks over the Mediterranean, westward, towards home.

In 1916 he knew the question was being discussed, as to whether he should remain permanently on the mission in Syria or return to his own Province. The heart could answer that question in but one way. To be permanently there meant that he belonged not to his own Irish Province, but to the French Province; it meant, one might say, naturalizing himself as a foreigner. It meant exile for ever. “Storm heaven that I may be kept”, he writes to his sister ; “yet non sicut ego volo sed sicut Tu”. This is the noble spirit that offers what it holds dearest and makes sacrifice almost easy, by forestalling it. Here is that touchstone of sanctity, the agere contra of St Ignatius; but here the man conceals it all, under a laugh, and makes his suffering appear a favour. This, we think, is the attractive thing in Father Bergin's attempt on the battlements of holiness. He carried them with honest gaiety, concealing high purpose and great determination.

When the Great War came, Michael Bergin was a priest and a Christian missionary in Damascus. He was a foreigner in the territory of Turkey. It was with difficulty he escaped spending the period of the war chafing in some internment camp; but he did manage to reach Egypt, and immediately looked for work. He found work among the soldiers of the Australian Expeditionary Force. He had no official standing among them, but zeal was ingenious in overcoming army regulation. He enlisted as a stretcher-bearer in order to be with his newly found flock. With them he went through the horrors of Gallipoli and endeared himself by gallantry and unselfish devotion to those careless, cheery souls. For sixteen months he lived in France with his Australians and fell among them, working to the last.

In that strange army life we notice the same characteristics we have seen in the religious. There is no capacity shown for finding the limelight; he did not “star” in the trenches. All day he worked unobtrusively and tirelessly, caring for the souls of the living and burying the bodies of the dead. Then he sat down in his dug-out and wrote cheerful letters to dear ones, laughing at his own exhausted body, relating the minor adventures of the day and asking for prayers for himself and for his men. Those who knew him in those days, tell the kind of story we would expect. They saw that the Padre was always at his post and did not seem to mind innumerable calls on him. They noticed that he walked six miles in the desert to say Mass and made no fuss about it. They felt, as we feel, that this quiet constancy and cheerfulness in duty called for admiration.

And all through, we find him asking for prayers for himself that he may be holy. He did not forget the goal of life in the adventures of war. Simple, open comments on his own unworthiness fill his letters. He calls himself a slacker, his soul is like his torn clothes, he is a spiritual bankrupt, Thus he spoke of himself, humbly, because to the really holy soul, humility is natural and without suspicion of the hook. We easily come to have a fellow-feeling for him. He finds, like us, that it is hard to live up to high ideals, that our spiritual lives suffer badly in the preoccupations of daily work.

We feel, like him, that we want a Retreat to tone up our systems and to invigorate the life of our souls. But this fellow-feeling must not make us think that he was as we are. He kept his love for prayer and his desire to be alone with God, in all the weary disgusts of war. A young scholastic, a boy, he had learned to turn towards the higher things. A delicate man, he lived the roughest of lives, upheld by an indomitable spirit and the zeal of an apostle. He wore himself out working, but never. ceased from prayer, that he might be holy. . He had learned to make sacrifice early, and his death was almost chosen, for he gave up his leave, when he heard the whisper that his lads were to go over soon. No one would blame a tired soldier-priest for taking his furlough, even on the eve of a "big push"; but such is not the way of the saints. The boy who prayed to be kept in Syria, far from home, the theologian who left his dying father, because he had not leave to stay, the chaplain who gave up his leave to help others to meet death, in these we see the same man rising to the heights on the wings of simple love.

This is the story of Father Michael Bergin SJ, a true son of St Patrick, told with evident affection and attractive simplicity by Sister S. We hope that what we have written may stimulate Mungret boys and others to read this life of a schoolfellow. They will find there a personality easy to love and the romance of one like themselves, Encouraged by so natural an example they may themselves strive forward, in simple piety and frank devotion, to the heights, which are the goal of all of us, but which so few reach.

Armand

Bermingham , Nicholas, 1721-1758, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/919
  • Person
  • 26 November 1721-30 June 1758

Born: 26 November 1721, Galway City, County Galway
Entered: 28 September 1740, Bordeaux, France - Aquitaniae Province (AQUIT)
Ordained: 1750/1
Final Vows: 02 February 1756
Died: 30 June 1758, Galway Residence, Galway City, County Galway

Alias D’Arcy

First Vows 22 November 1742
1741-1750 At Fontenoy College (AQUIT) - taught Grammar, Humanities and Rhetoric. Studied Theology
1749 at Bordeaux teaching Grammar and Rhetoric
1755-1758 in Ireland where he died

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Taught Humanities and Rhetoric for six years
1752-1755 In Galway
Battersby says he died 30 June 1758 by 1758 is added with a cross before it in HIB Catalogue

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had completed two years Philosophy before Entry 28 September 1740 Bordeaux
1742 After noviceship he completed Philosophy and spent four years Regency at Fontenoy before Theology. Ordained 1750/1
1752 Returned to Ireland and assigned to Galway Residence. He remained there on missionary work until his death 30 June, 1758

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BIRMINGHAM, NICHOLAS. He sometimes passed by the name of Darcy. He was born on the 26th of November, 1721, and entered the Order at Bordeaux, at the age of 19. After finishing his studies and teaching Humanities for six years, he was sent to the Mission, and in that capacity was employed in Galway. But his course was short: for eight years later viz, on the 30th of June, 1758, he was called to receive the reward of his labours.

Bermingham, John, 1570-1651, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/920
  • Person
  • 27 July 1570-15 October 1651

Born: 27 July 1570, Galway City, County Galway
Entered: 19 January 1607, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: November 1607, Antwerp, Belgium - pre Entry
Final Vows: 1620
Died: 15 October 1651, Galway Residence, Galway City, County Galway

1611 4 years in Soc and 2nd year Theology - good religious, not academic. A businessman suitable as Minister or Procurator in an Irish Seminary
1620 Superior of Galway Residence; FV
1621 has studied Moral Theology
1622 in Connaught
1649 in Galway
1650 knows languages has been a Catechist and Confessor of many years

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Thomas and Helena, née Kirwan
Studied at Douai and was Ordained at Antwerp before Ent 19 January 1608 Tournai
1613 Returned to Ireland on completing his studies at Berghe-Saint-Winoc, France. On his way home he was arrested at Dunkirk but was released and made his way safely to Galway. The rest of his missionary life was spent in Galway city where he died 15 October 1651
A notable relic of the Old Society in Ireland is the chalice which John presented to the Galway Residence in 1620 and is still preserved at Coláiste Iognáid, Galway.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Bermingham 1570-1651
John Bermingham was born in Galway on 27th July 1570 and entered the Society at Tournai in 1607.

He worked all the time he was in Ireland in Connaught and was Superior of the Galway Residence. In 1649 he is mentioned as being almost an octogenarian.

He had a high reputation for sanctity. Living to a very old age he became incapable of active work, and spent the last years living with his own family in County Galway.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BIRMINGHAM, JOHN In 1649, this Rev. Father was an Octogenarian, and in high repute for sanctity, “vir plane Sanctus”. Incapable of active service, he was then living with his family in the Co. Galway.

Bernal, Patrick, d 1743, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2286
  • Person
  • d 03 October 1743

Died: 03 October 1743, Lima, Peru - Peruvanae Province (PER)

In Chronological Catalogue Sheet and CATSJ A-H

Berrill, Peter, 1712-1784, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/921
  • Person
  • 29 October 1712-03 April 1784

Born: 29 October 1712, County Meath
Entered: 13 December 1732, Palermo, Sicily, Italy - Siculae Province (SIC)
Ordained: c 1742, Palermo, Sicily
Final Vows; 02 February 1754
Died: 03 April 1784, Leixlip, County Kildare

1760 was in Ireland

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Taught Philosophy as well as Moral and Scholastic Theology in Spain
1748 & 1755 Stationed in Kildare
1776 he signed an agreement with Fullam, N Barron, O’Halloran, FitzGerald, St Leger, Power, Morony, Austin C Kelly, Lisward, O’Callaghan, betagh, Mulcaile and Nolan, all ex-Jesuits (Bracken’s “History of Suppression”)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
1734 After First Vows and studies at Palermo, Sicily, he was Ordained c 1742.
For a time he held a chair of Philosophy at Malta but gave up the post for church work over the next five years until his recall to Ireland, 1750
1750 Returned to Ireland where he ministered at Leixlip, where he eventually became Parish Priest.
At the suppression of the Society he was incardinated in Dublin diocese. He died at Leixlip in 1784

◆ Fr Joseph McDonnell SJ Past and Present Notes :
16th February 1811 At the advance ages of 73, Father Betagh, PP of the St Michael Rosemary Lane Parish Dublin, Vicar General of the Dublin Archdiocese died. His death was looked upon as almost a national calamity. Shops and businesses were closed on the day of his funeral. His name and qualities were on the lips of everyone. He was an ex-Jesuit, the link between the Old and New Society in Ireland.

Among his many works was the foundation of two schools for boys : one a Classical school in Sall’s Court, the other a Night School in Skinner’s Row. One pupil received particular care - Peter Kenney - as he believed there might be great things to come from him in the future. “I have not long to be with you, but never fear, I’m rearing up a cock that will crow louder and sweeter for you than I ever did” he told his parishioners. Peter Kenney was to be “founder” of the restored Society in Ireland.

There were seventeen Jesuits in Ireland at the Suppression : John Ward, Clement Kelly, Edward Keating, John St Leger, Nicholas Barron, John Austin, Peter Berrill, James Moroney, Michael Cawood, Michael Fitzgerald, John Fullam, Paul Power, John Barron, Joseph O'Halloran, James Mulcaile, Richard O’Callaghan and Thomas Betagh. These men believed in the future restoration, and they husbanded their resources and succeeded in handing down to their successors a considerable sum of money, which had been saved by them.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Peter Berill 1713-1784
Fr Peter Berill was born in Leinster on October 12th 1712, and he entered the Society at Palermo in 1732.

He returned to Ireland sixteen years later, and was Professed on February 2nd, 1754.

He acted as assistant Parish Priest in Kildare and died there in 1784. He was one of the Trustees of the Mission Funds after the Suppression.

◆ MacErlean Cat Miss HIB SJ 1670-1770

Loose Note : Peter Berrill
Those marked with
were working in Dublin when on 07/02/1774 they subscribed their submission to the Brief of Suppression
John Ward was unavoidably absent and subscribed later
Michael Fitzgerald, John St Leger and Paul Power were stationed at Waterford
Nicholas Barron and Joseph Morony were stationed at Cork
Edward Keating was then PP in Wexford

◆ Clongowes Wood College SJ HIB Archive Collection - SC/CLON/142

Peter Berill 1712-1784
Peter Berill, born in Meath, 29 October, 1712, entered the Society in the Sicilian Province, 13 December, 1732. He made his noviceship and ecclesiastical studies at Palermo where he was ordained priest by 1742. After his tertianship he was appointed to a chair of philosophy at Malta but gave up this post after a year and for the next five years engaged in
church work and directed the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin and the Confraternity of the Bona Mors.
He returned to Ireland in 1750 and was assigned to the Dublin Residence but exercised his ministry at Leixlip where he eventually became parish priest. With his ex-Jesuit colleagues he accepted the brief of the Suppression of the Society on 7 February 1774 at Dublin and was incardinated in the diocese. He died at Leixlip in 1784.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BERILL PETER, was born in Leinster, on the 29th of October, 1712, and entered the Society at Palermo, on the 23rd of December, 1732. Sixteen years later he returned to his native Country as a Missionary, and was admitted to the solemn profession of the Four Vows on the 2nd of February, 1754. The year after I find him an assistant to a Parish Priest in Kildare.

Bérubé, Arthur, 1908-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/993
  • Person
  • 20 December 1908-09 January 1991

Born: 20 December 1908, Le Bic, Rimouski, Québec, Canada
Entered: 14 September 1932, Florennes, Belgium - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 07 June 1944
Final vows: 02 February 1948
Died: 09 January 1991, Sudbury ONT, Canada - Canada Superiors Province (CAN S)

by 1954 came to Singapore (HIB) working - 1st group in Singapore with Patrick Joy

Betagh, Thomas, 1738-1811, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/469
  • Person
  • 08 May 1738-16 February 1811

Born: 08 May 1738, Kells, County Meath
Entered: 03 November 1754, Nancy, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 24 May 1766, Pont-à-Mousson, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1772
Died: 16 February 1811, SS Michael and John, Dublin

1761 Master of Arts from Metz College and taught Humanities and Rhetoric for 3 years.
1765 Teaching Humanities at Pont-à-Mousson - not yet ordained.
1767 in Ireland

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was of the Betagh family of Moynalty, but “the hospitable mansion, the ample patrimony, had become the portion of plunderers” (Dr Blake’s funeral oration)
A sketch of his life with an engraved portrait is given in “Watty Cox’s Magazine”, March 1811, and in a funeral oration by Doctor Blake, Bishop of Dromore.
His monument, with an inscription, is in the Church of SS Michael and John.
He was Vicar General in Dublin; a celebrated and indefatigable Preacher. A Priest glowing with charity for the poor.
His name in Dublin was still synonymous with learning, piety, zeal and philanthropy (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Received a classical education at John Austin’s school in Dublin.
After First Vows he was sent for studies to Pont-à-Mousson, graduating MA, and then taught for 4 years Regency before being sent for Theology at Pont-à-Mousson where he was Ordained 24 may 1766.
1767 Sent to Ireland and became an assistant Priest at SS Michael and John, Dublin. While there he worked with Frs Austin, Mulcaile and Fullam at Saul’s Court Seminary
1773 At the Suppression he was appointed a curate at SS Michael and John, Dublin
1781 Founded a free parish school for boys at SS Michael and John, Dublin
1799 Appointed PP at SS Michael and John, Dublin and Vicar General of the Diocese until his death 16 February 1811
His memorably large funeral took place (temporarily) at the vaults of St. Michan's. Later his remains were brought back for reburial in the vaults of the newly-finished parish church of SS Michael and John

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
The name “Betagh” is Biadhtach” in Irish, which signified a hospitable man. In the early days of Christianity in Ireland, it was customary that the “proprietor of the soil” who lived close to the high roads, to keep an open house for the entertainment of passing travellers, who would otherwise find it inconvenient, and in many instances fatal, to travel through the country. These people were called Biadhtach. It was very common practice, and suggests that communication between different parts of the kingdom must have been frequent.
The Betagh family held possession of a large tract of land in Moynalty, near Kells, undisturbed until 1641. When Cromwell had killed the King, Thomas’ father fought against him, as one of many Catholics who fought against the regicide, and on behalf of the Stuarts. He was requited for his bravery and loyalty. He had also sent his son to Paris at the start of the Cromwellian war for education. The land was taken by Cromwell and given to one of his followers. When Charles II was restored, the dispossessed were invited to reclaim their lands, and an application was received from a young Thomas Betagh, though the English possessor claimed he did not have the right, as he was a rebel, and the possessor prevailed in Court. His father then lived as a tanner in Kells.
In Paris, Thomas received his early education and then entered the seminary at Pont-à-Mousson, and progressed very rapidly through his studies. He became remarkable for his extraordinary literary attainments. he was highly esteemed in the seminary, never contradicting anyone unless it was a mater of dogma or morality. He had great self possession, and was heard to say “from the age of fourteen, Providence seemed to encompass him with an impervious shield, or barrier, which secured him against the attacks of the enemy of mankind”.
He remained in France until the Suppression by Clement XIV, and had been appointed a Professor of languages. He had intended to remain in France but for the Suppression. He returned to Ireland in 1773, and opened a Latin school with John Austin in Sall’s Court, Fishamble St. He was later appointed as curate at St Michael’s, called Rosemary Lane, where he earned a great reputation for sanctity and apostolic zeal. His main focus was the poor, and he seemed to have a great capacity to communicate with them, and at the same time, he retained his scholarship. He subsequently became PP at St Michael’s and also a Vicar General of the Diocese. All of this while he suffered from a severe infirmity, and protests from his physicians. He also established an “Evening School” in Skinner’s Row, primarily for the poor, and in an effort to support them from the punitive laws of the time. From that school he chose a certain number, whom he thought might at some future time be appropriate for the priesthood. In many ways he is the link between the Suppressed and Restored Society. The same year that he died, his protégée Peter Kenney, founder of the restored Society, finished his Theological studies.
An obit in “The Dublin Magazine” March 1811
His death was looked on as a public calamity. On the days of his funeral, many shops were closed, and a huge number followed his remains to their resting place.
Nicholas Sewell SJ to Thomas Betagh SJ 07 July 1809 :
“About three weeks ago I informed you that we proposed, towards the end of this month, sending some of the Irish Eleven to Palermo, in order to finish their studies there, and to obtain ordinations. For this end, we wrote to our friend Mr George Gifford, at Liverpool, to inquire whether there would be any ship sailing from thence for Palermo, about this time. Mr Gifford, finding a good ship, with proper accommodations, ready to sail, engaged with the captain to take six of our young men , binding himself to forfeit the whole passage money if he did not get on board by the 5th of this month. Thus we were obliged by the contract to send the young men immediately to Liverpool, and by a letter from one of them, they were going on board the ship on the 4th, and I suppose the have sailed before this. The names of the young men are : Bartholomew Esmonde from Kildare; Paul Ferley Dublin; Charles Aylmer from Kildare; Robert St Leger, Waterford; Edmund Cogan, Cork; James Butler, Dublin. The first two are not on the Irish Establishment. It was the free voluntary choice of them all to go. They are all young men of abilities, have done very well in their studies here, and are likely to do credit to their country, and Mr Plowden speaks much praise of them all. A time was pressing, we could not wait for your answer to my last letter, which I hope you received. The Rev mr Stone will return home tomorrow. We are all very well, and our new building rises fast and well..........

◆ Fr Joseph McDonnell SJ Past and Present Notes :
16th February 1811 At the advance ages of 73, Father Betagh, PP of the St Michael Rosemary Lane Parish Dublin, Vicar General of the Dublin Archdiocese died. His death was looked upon as almost a national calamity. Shops and businesses were closed on the day of his funeral. His name and qualities were on the lips of everyone. He was an ex-Jesuit, the link between the Old and New Society in Ireland.

Among his many works was the foundation of two schools for boys : one a Classical school in Sall’s Court, the other a Night School in Skinner’s Row. One pupil received particular care - Peter Kenney - as he believed there might be great things to come from him in the future. “I have not long to be with you, but never fear, I’m rearing up a cock that will crow louder and sweeter for you than I ever did” he told his parishioners. Peter Kenney was to be “founder” of the restored Society in Ireland.

There were seventeen Jesuits in Ireland at the Suppression : John Ward, Clement Kelly, Edward Keating, John St Leger, Nicholas Barron, John Austin, Peter Berrill, James Moroney, Michael Cawood, Michael Fitzgerald, John Fullam, Paul Power, John Barron, Joseph O’Halloran, James Mulcaile, Richard O’Callaghan and Thomas Betagh. These men believed in the future restoration, and they husbanded their resources and succeeded in handing down to their successors a considerable sum of money, which had been saved by them.

A letter from the Acting General Father Thaddeus Brezozowski, dated St Petersburg 14 June 1806 was addressed to the only two survivors, Betagh and O’Callaghan. He thanked them for their work and their union with those in Russia, and suggested that the restoration was close at hand.

A letter from Nicholas Sewell, dated Stonyhurst 07 July 1809 to Betagh gives details of Irishmen being sent to Sicily for studies : Bartholomew Esmonde, Paul Ferley, Charles Aylmer, Robert St Leger, Edmund Cogan and James Butler. Peter Kenney and Matthew Gahan had preceded them. These were the foundation stones of the Restored Society.

Returning to Ireland, Kenney, Gahan and John Ryan took residence at No3 George’s Hill. Two years later, with the monies saved for them, Kenney bought Clongowes as a College for boys and a House of Studies for Jesuits. From a diary fragment of Aylmer, we learn that Kenney was Superior of the Irish Mission and Prefect of Studies, Aylmer was Minister, Claude Jautard, a survivor of the old Society in France was Spiritual Father, Butler was Professor of Moral and Dogmatic Theology, Ferley was professor of Logic and Metaphysics, Esmonde was Superior of Scholastics and they were joined by St Leger and William Dinan. Gahan was described as a Missioner at Francis St Dublin and Confessor to the Poor Clares and Irish Sisters of Charity at Harold’s Cross and Summerhill. Ryan was a Missioner in St Paul’s, Arran Quay, Dublin. Among the Scholastics, Brothers and Masters were : Brothers Fraser, Levins, Connor, Bracken, Sherlock, Moran, Mullen and McGlade.

Trouble was not long coming. Protestants were upset that the Jesuits were in Ireland and sent a petition was sent to Parliament, suggesting that the Vow of Obedience to the Pope meant they could not have an Oath of Allegiance to the King. In addition, the expulsion of Jesuits from all of Europe had been a good thing. Kenney’s influence and diplomatic skills resulted in gaining support from Protestants in the locality of Clongowes, and a counter petition was presented by the Duke of Leinster on behalf of the Jesuits. This moment passed, but anti Jesuit feelings were mounting, such as in the Orange faction, and they managed to get an enquiry into the Jesuits and Peter Kenney and they appeared before the Irish Chief Secretary and Provy Council. Peter Kenney’s persuasive and oratorical skills won the day and the enquiry group said they were satisfied and impressed.

Over the years the Mission grew into a Province with Joseph Lentaigne as first Provincial in 1860. In 1885 the first outward undertaking was the setting up of an Irish Mission to Australia by Lentaigne and William Kelly, and this Mission grew exponentially from very humble beginnings.

Later the performance of the Jesuits in managing UCD with little or no money, and then outperforming what were known as the “Queen’s Colleges” forced the issue of injustice against Catholics in Ireland in the matter of University education. It is William Delaney who headed up the effort and create the National University of Ireland under endowment from the Government.from the Government.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Betagh, Thomas
by Dáire Keogh

Betagh, Thomas (1738–1811), Jesuit priest and educator, was born in May 1738 in Kells, Co. Meath, into a family of tanners whose ancestors had lost their estates in the Cromwellian confiscation. He received his early education at Kells, but was enrolled in the Jesuit academy in Saul's Court newly established by Fr John Austin (qv) when his family moved to Dublin. In 1755 he entered the Jesuit seminary at Pont-à-Mousson in Lorraine, France, where he taught theology and languages following his ordination in 1762.

Betagh returned to Ireland in 1769 and began his ministry as a teacher at Saul's Court. His arrival in Dublin coincided with the revival which characterised late eighteenth-century Irish catholicism; Fr Betagh was in the vanguard of this movement. Throughout, his priority remained education. In 1784 he succeeded Austin as rector of Saul's Court, and his graduates included Daniel Murray (qv), later archbishop of Dublin, and the Jesuit Peter Kenney (qv), founder of Clongowes Wood College. In addition to this academy for the ‘better sorts’, Betagh founded evening, day, and Sunday schools, first in Schoolhouse Lane and finally in Smock Alley. In this ‘Free School’ he was, in the words of his funeral oration, ‘father, physician and director’ to three hundred boys.

Following the suppression of the Jesuits by Clement XIV in 1773, Betagh served as a priest of the diocese, first as a curate in SS Michael and John in Rosemary Lane. In time he became a vital collaborator of successive archbishops, as vicar-general to the reforming Archbishop John Troy (qv) and advisor to Archbishop Daniel Murray, his former pupil. In Jesuit history he forms a bridge between the Old Society, of which he was the last survivor and guardian of their funds, and the restored Society, whose revival, in 1814, he facilitated by sending a number of his students, including Peter Kenney, Bartholomew Esmonde, and Charles Aylmer (qv), to Stonyhurst and Palermo. A renowned preacher, he was also influential in nourishing the vocation of the young Catherine McAuley (qv), who founded the Sisters of Mercy.

Betagh lived through troubled political times. In the radical politics of the revolutionary age he was ranked, in 1796, among the ‘moderates’ by Dublin Castle informer William Corbet (qv) (d. 1838?). Recommended to the English traveller William Reed as ‘the most learned and best informed man in Ireland’, he was prominent in the anti-veto faction of the post-union era.

Betagh died 16 February 1811 at his home in Cook Street. In an age of increasing sectarianism, an obituary in Walker's Hibernian Magazine celebrated ‘this truly great man . . . as much esteemed by the Protestants as he was beloved by his own flock’. His funeral, attended by upwards of 20,000 people, was among the largest seen in the city. His remains were placed in the Jesuit vault in old St Michan's church. In 1822 they were transferred to the crypt of the new SS Michael and John chapel, Essex Street, the foundation of which he laid in 1810. His resting place was marked by an elaborate monument executed by Peter Turnerelli (qv). In 1990, when that church was deconsecrated, his remains were removed to the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery.

A stipple and line engraving likeness by John Martyn (d. 1828) (after William Brocas (qv)), published in 1811, is in the NGI, as is a pencil drawing by William Brocas; while the monument by Turnerelli in SS Michael and John, Dublin, has been dismantled, the medallion remains.

NAI, 620/25/170; Archives of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, Dublin, Betagh MSS; ‘Prosopography of Irish Jesuits’, Archives of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, Dublin; Monologies, 1800–99, Archives of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, Dublin; Walker's Hibernian Magazine (Feb. 1811); Cox's Irish Magazine (Mar. 1811); W. Reed, Rambles in Ireland (1815); M. Blake, Sermon preached on the lamented death of V. Rev. Thomas Betagh (1821); W. J. Battersby, The Jesuits in Dublin (1854); G. A. Little, Father Thomas Betagh (1960); ODNB

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962 & ◆ Irish Jesuit Directory 1934

FR THOMAS BETAGH, SJ
(And the Popular Schools of the Irish Jesuits in Dublin during the late Penal Times)

The eighteenth century was the epoch of triumph for the English State Church of the Protestant Colony in Ireland. That triumph was seen most strikingly in their joint action against Catholic Education. Evidence of this, as conclusive as it is laconic, may be adduced in the following excerpts from the Roman Records of the Irish Jesuit Mission during twenty-five years, the years when the Penal Code was wrought with care to its iniquitous perfection, 1692 to 1717.

On November 25th, 1694, Father Antony Knoles, SJ, Superior in Ireland (May 15th, 1694, to his death at Waterford, August 14th, 1727), writes to his personal friend, Thyrsus Gonzalez, General of the Order, at Rome : “ Very great is the diligence of our adversaries, and it is nou most intense, to prevent members of the Order from giving education to boys. But their zeal is enough to urge then to face the work and its danger with courage; they toil in secret”.

Father Knoles writes again to Rome, February 17th, 1695, telling how “at Kilkenny the State officials have committed to prison the colleagues that I had, because they carried on the education of a few boys”.

On February 12th, 1717, the Triennial Account sent to Rome states that “Father Michael Murphy is taking the risks of giving education to young people at this time in the capital of the country. He has taught Greek and Latin throughout the last five years, and is doing so at present”.

There is no need to set out here the ingenious thoroughness of the Penal Laws under which this educational work was being done through the eighteenth century. But it may be serviceable to insist upon the proved fact that the laws on education were being enforced by both the Cromwellian State and its State Church. There are fragmentary portions of the Grand Jury Records available for three or four counties of Munster, 1712 to 1724. They show continuous action by Grand Juries and Magistrates. In County Limerick alone, from 1711 to 1723, nineteen Popish schoolmasters were “presented” by the Grand Jury. With an absolutely Protestant common jury, and a Protestant judge of the new type this indictment meant conviction and transportation for life to serve as a bondsman on the cotton and tobacco plantations in America. Rewards were voted to informers. Scores of Catholic parents were also indicted at Assizes, as we know from the surviving patches of the “Record Books” for Galway and Clare and Kerry. We have the testimony, in “Reports to the Dublin House of Lords, November, 1731”, as to the activities of the prelates of the State Church, testimony given under their own hands and seals, Henry Naule, Bishop of Derry, declares that in his diocese, even in its mountainous areas, no Popish schoolmaster is allowed to teach. If they try to do so, they are constantly threatened with indictment at Assizes: and “they generally think proper to withdraw”. Edward Synge, State Archbishop of Tuam, Administrator of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh, in three separate reports confirms the evidence from Derry in precise detail. Then one Popish schoolmaster was recently convicted, he says, the effect was very salutary; the rest “absconded”.

A new policy of Constructive Aggression dated from 1733. In addition to these persecuting activities, the Parliament and Government at Dublin, with the enthusiastic support of Prelates and Press, Deans and Grand Juries, set on foot the Charter School system in 1733, and gave it liberal public grants from 1714. The Irish Jesuits had in very deed additional reasons for being active in education. Their reports to Rome at this period show fully that they realised this need. Rarely as many as twenty in number, they were at work in many or the former Anglo-Norman cities and towns, places no longer as Catholic as they had been, for they were very thoroughly cleared of Popish inhabitants both under William and under Anne. The need of schools, however, was greatest in Dublin. Aggressive proselytism, both under State auspices and by independent societies, has always been conspicuous in the capital of Ireland. Its preferred region for action has always been the poorest part of Dublin, from the Coombe northwards across the River Liffey to Henrietta Street and Bolton Street. From 1714, Dean Swift was thus active around the deanery house beside the Coombe; he had the constant support of Archbishop Willian King, 1702-1729, from his palace hard by. From 1727-30 the same work was powerfully pressed forward from his town residence by Primate Hugh Boulter of Armagh, the real governor of Ireland, from 1730 to 1750, the originator of the Charter Schools in the years 1730 to 1733.

This work of evil was combated on the spot by the Irish Jesuits, who, in the lanes and alleys of oldest Dublin, conducted schools all through the later Penal period, 1750 to 1810. They combined elementary with classical education, as did the country schools of that epoch, all over Ireland. There was then no talk of the educational ladder for the gifted children of the Catholic poor of Ireland. They had a broad highway, and the enemy knew it well. Samuel Madden wrote of it in 1738 in his “Reflections from the Gentlemen of Ireland, as landlords and as Members of Parliament”. In close collaboration with Bishop Berkeley and with Thomas Prior, he founded in 1731 what became the Royal Dublin Society. The determination of the Irish people to have full opportunities for a liberal education disgusted him. “Crowds of the Irish”, wrote the founder of the Madden Prize in Trinity College, Dublin, “waste their time and their substance as poor scholars. If only their spiritual governors were effectively removed, and their Church government by that means subverted, this would finish the work for us”. This “work” was repeatedly defined, in the Protestant school documents of the epoch, as to make the whole nation Protestant and English.

But even in that sorely-beset region of Dublin, commanded by the Castle, the King's Inns of Court, the two Protestant cathedrals, in addition to their two deaneries and the residences of the State Archbishops of Dublin and Armagh, Catholic schools managed to operate throughout that terrible century. The older Religious Orders, as the Carmelites from 1758, did great work in the cause of popular Catholic education. So did many hundreds of humble Catholic teachers, laymen and women, who conducted illegal schools among the very poor, north as well as south of the river. There was a sequence of efforts to conduct schools in the cities and larger towns from 1690 to 1720 and the ensuing decades. In 1750, John Austin, SJ whose name was long held in reverence, opened in Saul's Court, off Fishamble Street, a classical school. By 1770, with the aid of his brethren, such as James Philip Mulcaile and Thomas Betagh, a boarding house for pupils from the country was set beside Father Austin's school. It became, formally or virtually, the Diocesan School for Dublin, Meath, and adjoining counties. It produced such men as Daniel Murphy and Michael Blake, both determined opponents of the Veto proposals, 1799 to 1825.

The work for Catholic education, thus developed on what may well be termed the front line of action, was maintained all through their long lives by such men as Fathers Mulcaile, Austin, and Betagh. The alteration of ecclesiastical status which supervened for them, when, in the autumn of 1773, the Order to which they belonged was suppressed by the Holy See, made no difference in their daily service of popular education. When thus advanced to the rank of the pastoral or diocesan clergy, they acted as assistant priests in the same populous areas as before. Their school system expanded from Saul's Court into Skinner's Row, Hoey's Court, Smock Alley, Archbold's Court, and Schoolhouse Lane, while Father Mulcaile's energies were spent chiefly north of the River Liffey, in the lanes around George's Hill, Phrapper's, Ball's, Fisher's, and others besides.

Father Austin was the first of these school-men to be called to his reward. His death evoked a wonderful manifestation of regard from Catholic Dublin, Twelve years afterwards, 1789, a Protestant English traveller, Charles Topham Bowden, visited Dublin during an extended Tour in Ireland (London, 1791). Having come upon Father Austin's epitaph in the parish Cemetery of St. James, he recorded its text in full, and added :
“I was led to make inquiries relative to Austin, and was told he was a very remarkable character in this metropolis about twelve or fourteen years ago, of: extraordinary learning and extraordinary: piety; that he constantly dedicated all his acquisitions, which were very considerable, to the poor, visiting them in cellars and in garrets, never a day happy that he did not give food to numbers”.

Even more remarkable is the record and the popular recollection :of the great educational no less than the great ecclesiastical work done on to the very last week of his long life by the surviving Irish Jesuit of the Old Society, Tatler Thomas Betagh (1738-1811). When the Order was ejected from its 108 colleges in French, in 1762, by the arbitrary decrees of Louis XIV, at the instigation of Choiseul and Pompadour, Betagh was a student in Theology, just ordained at Pont-á-Mousson in Lorraine. The Irish Jesuits were well known at that ducal University as far back as 1592. Then one of their number, Richard Fleming, was Chancellor there, having among his students Pierre Tourier, the staunch Lorraine patriot, who became a notable organiser of schools for the children of the countryside, and who was canonised in our own times. Having given up his whole energies to work among the Catholic poor or St Michan's* parish, Father Betagh became its parish priest late in life, and was also Vicar-General of the diocese of Dublin some years before his death in February, 1811. Two aspects of his career have impressed themselves very distinctly on local tradition. He was a determined opponent of the “Veto” movements that would have subjected the entire religious administration of Catholic Ireland to the intervention of a Protestant, civil power, bitterly hostile in all its official instruments, and in all its political and social connections in Ireland, even more than in England, to everything Catholic and Irish. His courageous and outspoken views on this vital issue were a main determinant of the definitive rejection of the “Veto” by the Bishops of Ireland in 1808; and he was naturally a centre, of strength and influence for the whole country on that and on cognate questions. He exercised this influence, no less than he practised the noble work of popular education, up to the end. Unsuspected external evidence has recently been acquired:which sets his position forth very clearly; it may be here drain on in an abbreviated form. Among the numerous English travellers in Ireland who printed some account of their experiences on their return was a Baptist minister, William Reed, of Thornbury, in Gloucestershire. Reed landed at Cork in September, 1810, reached Dublin in November, and the very rare volume of his travels appeared in London, 1815. Of Father Betagh he writes thus:
“I desired to be better acquainted with the real character of the Roman Catholic religion in Ireland. On arriving in Dublin, I was desired to consult Dr Betagh, who was said to be the most learned and the best informed man in Ireland, and who added to these accomplishments an amenity of manners that was almost enchanting. Accordingly, one morning I knocked at the door of this venerable monk, but could not have access to him then, as he was giving audience to two Bishops. The next morning I found him alone. Requesting to know my business, he desired me to draw my chair nearer to the fire, and we soon entered into the depths of the most serious conversation. I questioned him on the subjects of Purgatory, Indulgences, the use of Holy Water, Praying for the Dead, Transubstantiation, Praying to the Saints, and particularly of the Virgin Mary, whom they call the Mother of God. I found him very eloquent. He defended every part of his system with an acuteness and force, ingenuity and masterly address, that astonished me. He had received me with the greatest politeness”.

His Baptist visitor did not have occasion to see Father Betagh at work in those schools of his, schools of the parish where he laboured and that still bear his name. But we may draw on Mr Reed's text to show how popular education then fared in the South of Ireland, along the roadside. It will serve to illustrate, by immediate comparison, the arduous service which the parish priest and Vicar-General of Dublin rendered during that autumn of 1810, which was to be the last in his earthly life. He taught his scholars in the cellars of Cook Street. The work was thus severer than that seen by Mr Reed on his way to Dublin in 1810, through Munster.

“A desire for education manifests itself, and very generally, among the lower orders of the people. In any wanderings through the country I found several very humble seminaries, called Hedge Schools. Not having any other convenience, the scholars are taught reading, writing, etc., in the open air, under the shade of some embowering hedge, or branching tree; and very often the green bank and the smooth shelves of the rock answer purpose of the bench and the desk”. - (Ramples Through Ireland, London, 1815, p.52).

The urban counterpart of the Munster Hedge Schools was described in the sermon on Father Betagh's life and work. It was delivered on Palm Sunday, 1811, by his own scholar, his colleague in the pastoral work of Dublin City, that Father Michael Blake, who was afterwards Bishop of the northern diocese of Dromore, down to 1860, He recorded with emphasis his experience of the poor among whom he, and his master, had worked for many years. “Our poor”, said Dr. Blake, “are the most interesting people on the earth, the most noble-minded, the most grateful, and most hospitable, the most considerate, and the fondest of learning”. To that decisive finding may be subjoined two sentences spoken by Dr. Blake on Father Thomas Betagh, the Dublin parish priest whose name and work have survived to this day on the lips of the poor and plain Catholics of the oldest city regions:
“Look to that Free School, where three hundred boys, poor in everything but genius and spirit, receive their education every evening, and where more than three thousand have been already educated. Can you estimate sufficiently the value of the man who established that institution; who cherished the objects of it; who supervised their instruction; who rewarded the most promising of them with a classical education; who, at the age of seventy three, would sit down in a cellar to hear their lessons?”

The Irish Jesuit, the last of the Old Society of 1540-1773, who provided and who taught in that Free Popular School for elementary and for classical education, died in February, 1871, at 92 Cook Street, Dublin. Just a year later, in 1812, Father Peter Kenney SJ, pupil of Father Betagh, the first Superior of the Restored Irish Mission of the Society of Jesus, reached Dublin after completing his ecclesiastical studies at Palermo in Sicily, and took up work at Mary's Lane Chapel, north of the River Liffey. His seven fellow-students, all of whom had been Father Betagh's scholars, followed him home, from 1811 to 1814.

Timothy Corcoran SJ
*Addendum for St Michan's read “St Michael’s”
◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Thomas Betagh SJ 1738-1811
Fr Thomas Betagh was the last survivor of the Irish Jesuits of the old Society. Like many another Irish family, his forefathers had been deprived of their estate, Moynalty, near Kells, for their loyalty to the Stuarts and their Faith. They were reduced to the state of peasantry. Thomas’ father was a tanner at Kells. He was born on May 8th 1738, and having received a grammar school education in Father John Austin’s school in Saul’s Court, Dublin, he was sent at the age of fourteen to the Jesuit Seminary at Pont-á-Mousson, in Lorraine, in 1752. He had a brilliant course here and ended up as professor of Classical Languages at the Ecclesiastical University. On the Suppression of the Society, he returned to Ireland and resumed his teaching activities with his old master, Fr Austin in Saul’s Court.He was appointed a curate at St Michael’s parish in Rosemary Lane, and succeeded as Parish Priest and Vicar General in 1799.

His work as a pastor and educationalist was unflagging, in spite of continual ill-health, for which he suffered all his life with a hernia. In addition to the ordinary school at Saul’s Court, which served as the sole source of education for Catholics in Dublin, and as the Seminary for the Diocese, he instituted his famous night-schools for the poor, in Schoolhouse Lane, in Hoey’s Court, Smock Alley, Derby Acre and Skinners Row. With good reason he did become a legend to the people. A friend once voiced the sentiments of the public “Oh Betagh, what will become of us when you go to heaven?” With his brilliant student Peter Kenney in mind, he replied “No matter; I am old and stupid; there is a cock coming from Sicily that will crow ten times as loudly as I could”.

He died at twelve o’clock on the 16th of February 1811, at his residence in 80 Cook Street, Dublin, aged 73. His remains were finally deposited in the old chapel at Rosemary Lane. A monument was erected to him there and subsequently removed to a new Church of SS Michael and John. It is estimated that no fewer that 20,000 people walked at his funeral.

◆ Clongowes Wood College SJ HIB Archive Collection - SC/CLON/142

Thomas Betagh 1738-1811
Thomas Betagh, born 8 May 1738 of an old Meath family, once Lords of Moynalty, received his classical education at Father Austin’s school in Dublin before he entered the Society at Nancy 3 November 1754. After his noviceship he studied at the University of Pont-à-Mousson where he graduated M.A. He entered on his regency in the same city and having professed rhetoric there for four years he studied theology, He was ordained priest at Spire on 24 May 1766. He was recalled to Ireland the following year and appointed assistant priest in the parish of St Michael and John He also collaborated with Fathers Austin, Mulcaile and Fullam in Saul's Court seminary.
On the Suppression of the Society he was incardinated in the diocese and appointed curate at St Michael and John's. As curate of the parish he founded in 1781 his free school for boys. In 1799 he was appointed parish priest and Vicar General of the diocese. Shortly before he resigned his parish in 1810 he laid the foundation stone of the parish church. He died on 16 February 1811 and was buried temporarily in the vaults of St.Michan's church. His remains were later reburied in the vaults of the new church and remained there until the deconsecration of the venerable church building. He now sleeps in the great Jesuit plot at Glasnevin. He was the last to die of the ex-Jesuits of the Third Irish Mission but he lived long enough to know that the first Jesuit of the Irish Mission soon to be restored, Peter Kenney,one of his own former pupils, was already ordained priest and ready to return from Sicily to Dublin.

◆ MacErlean Cat Miss HIB SJ 1670-1770
Loose Note : Thomas Betagh
Those marked with
were working in Dublin when on 07/02/1774 they subscribed their submission to the Brief of Suppression
John Ward was unavoidably absent and subscribed later
Michael Fitzgerald, John St Leger and Paul Power were stationed at Waterford
Nicholas Barron and Joseph Morony were stationed at Cork
Edward Keating was then PP in Wexford

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BETAGII, THOMAS. This very Rev. Father and Vicar General of the Archdiocess of Dublin, entered into his rest in the Irish Metropolis on the 16th of February, 1811, aet. 74. The vast attendance of Citizens and Clergy at his Funeral Obsequies was a public testimony to his worth and charity. His monument was to be seen in the Old Chapel, Rosemary Lane, and now in the New Chapel of SS. Michael and John, Lower Exchange street, Dublin, on the Epistle side of the Altar. The inscription is as follows :

" Glory to God, most good, most great."
" THIS MARBLE,
CHRISTIAN BROTHER, PRESENTS TO YOUR VIEW, THE LIKENESS OF
THE VERY REV. THOMAS BETAGH, S. J.
(VICAR-GENERAL OF THE ARCHDIOCESS OP DUBLIN,)
AND DURING MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS
THE EXCELLENT AND MOST VIGILANT PASTOR OF THIS PARISH,
WHO GLOWING WITH CHARITY TOWARDS GOD AND HIS NEIGHBOUR,
WAS EVER INDEFATIGABLE IX HIS MINISTRY,
TEACHING, PREACHING, AND EXERTING ALL HIS POWERS
TO CONFIRM THE TRUE CHRISTIAN IN THE FAITH ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS, AND TO BRING BACK THE STRAYING INTO THE WAYS OF SALVATION.
HIS CHIEF DELIGHT AND HAPPINESS IT WAS
TO INSTRUCT THE YOUNG, ESPECIALLY THE NEEDY AND THE ORPHAN,
IN RELIGION, PIETY, AND LEARNING,
AND TO FORWARD AND CHERISH THEM WITH AFFECTION TRULY PATERNAL.
HIS ZEAL FOR THE SALVATION OF SOULS CONTINUED TO BURN WITH UNDIMINISHED ARDOUR,
UNTIL THE LAST MOMENT OF HIS LIFE,
WHEN WORN DOWN BY LINGERING ILLNESS, AND INCESSANT LABOURS,
THIS GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT DELIVERED UP HIS SOUL TO GOD
IN THE YEAR OF HIS AGE, 73, AND OF OUR REDEMPTION 1811.
MAY HE REST IN PEACE.
TO THIS MOST DESERVING MAN, THE OllNAMBNT OF HIS PRIESTHOOD AND HIS COUNTRY,
THE CLERGY AND PEOPLE OF DUBLIN WHO ATTENDED HIS FUNERAL,
WITH MOST MOURNFUL SOLEMNITY AND UNEXAMPLED CONCOURSE,
HAVE ERECTED THIS MONUMENT AS A LASTING MEMORIAL OF THEIR LOVE AND GRATITUDE."

N.B. Brocas has engraved the Portrait of this Apostolical Father, whose name is still synonymous in Dublin, with Learning, Piety, Zeal, and Philanthropy. In the Freeman s Journal of the 17th of October 1815, is the following description of the Monument:
"DR. BETAGH’s MONUMENT,
“The Monument erected to the memory of the late Rev. Dr Befagh, in the Chapel of St. Michael and St. John, was Sunday opened for public inspection. It was executed by Turnerelli, of London, who is, we understand, a Native of Ireland. The composition of this elegant piece of Sculpture, consists of two figures in beautiful statuary marble ; the one a female, representing religion in a pensive attitude, with the usual symbol of redemption, the cross ; the other, an orphan whom religion seems to protect, and who is resting on an urn that stands between them. The Boy s countenance is expressive of that sorrow, natural to the impression on the mind, when a benevolent protector no longer exists. So far the group is connected : but the Medallion of the deceased, attached to the Pyramid of black marble, appears at the top and this rests on a plinth, supported by fluted pilasters, with the inscription title in the centre. Much simplicity of character pervades the whole of this specimen of art, at the same time the recollection of departed worth, and its grateful tribute, are well sustained by the chaste power of the chisel. And every person of taste will rejoice, that the calm delights of science are not totally extinguished in this country”.

Bianchini, Aloysius, 1812-1874, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/922
  • Person
  • 01 September 1812-04 December 1874

Born: 01 September 1812, Camerino, Macerata, Italy
Entered: 27 November 1833, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1843
Final vows: 02 February 1845
Died: 04 December 1874, Lyon, France - Venetae Province (VEM)

Came to HIB in 1861 working at St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin.

Bingham, Michael, 1941-2022, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/261
  • Person
  • 06 March 1941-12 January 2022

Born: 06 March 1941, Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire/Northampton, Northants, UK
Entered: 07 September 1959, Manresa, Roehampton England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 24 August 1974, Northampton Cathedral of St Mary & St Thomas, England
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, Bogotá, Colombia
Died: 12 January 2022, Craigavon Area Hospital, Portadown, County Armagh

part of the Iona, Portadown community at the time of death

Born : 6th March 1941 Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, England
Raised : Northampton, Northants, England
Early Education at Beaumont College SJ, Windsor, England
7th September 1959 Entered Society at Manresa House, Roehampton, London
8th September 1961 First Vows at Manresa House, Roehampton, London
1961-1964 Studying Philosophy at Studying Philosophy at Heythrop College
1964 living at Harlaxton & St Mary’s, Woodhall House, Woodhall Road, Colinton, Juniper Green, City of Edinburgh
1964-1965 Wimbledon College London, England - Regency : Teaching Latin & English at Wimbledon College, Edge Hill
1965-1968 Campion Hall, Oxford, England - Studying English Language & Literature at Campion Hall, Brewer St
1968-1971 Stoneyhurst College, Clitheroe, Lancs, England - Regency : Teaching English at Stonyhurst College
1971-1972 Southwell House, London, England - Studying Theology at Heythrop College, London, England
1972-1975 Toronto, ON, Canada - Studying Theology at Regis College, Ontario, Canada
24th August 1974 Ordained at Northampton Cathedral of St Mary & St Thomas, England
1975-1976 Tertianship at Medellin, Colombia
1976-1980 Medellín, Colombia - Pastoral Work in Parroquiua María Auxiliadora, barrio Zamora, & Fe y Alegría
1980-1982 Cali, Colombia - Pastoral Work in Parroquia San Ignacio
2nd February 1981 Final Vows at Bogotá, Colombia
1982-1984 Santander, Colombia - Parish Work at Parroquia de la Santissima Trinidad, Sabana de Torres
1984-1998 Liverpool, England - Parish Priest at The Friary, Bute Street; Director of Inner-City Project; Studying for MSc in Drugs & Addictions at John Moore's University
1998-2022 Iona, Portadown - Community Development and Reconciliation Ministry; Spiritual Director; Treasurer
1999 Trainer with Meditation Northern Ireland
2001 Studying for M Phil at Irish School of Ecumenics/TCD; Board “Northern Ireland Support Group”
2005 Prison Ministry
2007 Youth Conferencing with Northern Ireland Youth Justice Agency
2011 Prison Ministry (ex-prisoner support); Community Development
2013 Studying for Doctorate in Professional Studies in Practical Theology at University of Chester

William George Michael Bingham SJ
Michael had a good Christmas day with the Belfast community. On St Stephen’s day he had the symptoms of a heavy cold and tested positive on the Antigen test two days later. His temperature went up on 5th January and he was taken to hospital by the emergency services the following day. He moved on full oxygen through the last stages and died peacefully on the 12th January.

Michael was a member of the British Province who published the following notice to the Province on Wednesday January 12th 2022:

Dear Brothers in Christ,

I am sorry to let you know that Fr Michael Bingham SJ died at around 9.10am this morning, Wednesday 12th January, in the Craigavon Area Hospital in Portadown. He had been admitted there last Thursday with COVID, exacerbated by underlying health conditions. He was 80 years old, in the 63rd year of religious life.

Michael was born on 6th March 1941 in Chalfont St Peters, Buckinghamshire. He was educated at St John’s preparatory school, and then at Beaumont College. On finishing school he entered the novitiate at Manresa, Roehampton in 1959. After taking his First Vows there, he was sent to Heythrop in Oxfordshire for philosophy. An intervention by the Province’s Visitor, Gordon George, interrupted these studies, but in 1964 he began a year teaching at Wimbledon College. He next took an MA in English literature and language at Campion Hall, and then taught for three years as a regent in Stonyhurst. A year of theology at Heythrop (by then in London) followed, and then between 1972 and 1975 he studied for an MDiv at Regis College in Canada, returning for ordination in Northampton in 1974. The following year he made his tertianship in Colombia, remaining there afterwards, working for eight years with Fe y Alegria and in parish ministry. In 1984 he returned to Britain, and worked in the SFX and Friary parish in Liverpool for the next fourteen years. Finally, in 1998, at the invitation of the Irish Province he moved to Northern Ireland, where he would spend the rest of his life, in a variety of ministries of reconciliation in Portadown.

Funeral arrangements will be sent out in due course. May he rest in peace

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/michael-bingham-sj-a-heart-of-gold/

Michael Bingham SJ – ‘a heart of gold’

Many tributes in the local press of Ireland and England have been paid to Fr Michael Bingham SJ, the British Jesuit who worked for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland for over two decades. He died peacefully at 81 years old at Craigavon Hospital, Portadown, County Armagh, on 12 January 2022. Frank Brady SJ, the homilist at the Funeral Mass on 17 January, spoke of Michael’s long and varied life as a Jesuit and his capacity to always see the good in others.

Fr Damian Howard, Provincial of the British Jesuits, responded to Michael’s death on Twitter. He commented:

“So sad to announce the death this morning of Fr Mike Bingham SJ. Over two decades working for reconciliation in Portadown, Northern Ireland and a lifetime dedicated to justice and human dignity. Truly an unsung hero. May he rest in peace.”

SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly paid tribute in the online publication Armagh I. She said:

“Originally from Liverpool, he was soon adopted as a local after moving to Portadown. When tensions arose in this area Fr Bingham was known to be a calming voice. He also worked hard to foster good cross-community relations and he himself enjoyed a strong relationship with the other church denominations in the area.

He was widely recognised for his work with the Drumcree Community Trust, where he served for over 20 years, including as chairperson, where he worked to make a real difference to the lives of ordinary people in this area.”

The Funeral Mass took place in the Church of St John The Baptist, Drumcree, on 17 January, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery. Homilist Frank Brady SJ, who lived and worked with Michael in Portadown, referred to his broad experience and ministry around the world.

He noted Michael’s five masters degrees, competence as a cellist and appreciation of nature. He spoke of his ministry with Native American people in Canada, his work in Colombia, other Latin American countries, inner city Liverpool and 23 years in the local community of Portadown.

He also mentioned Michael’s dedication to hearing the stories of prisoners and ex-prisoners in Northern Ireland, Britain and Toronto and his work with young offenders in Northern Ireland.

Speaking to the congregation at the Funeral Mass, Fr Frank said:

“Michael had a great sense of direction. He walked the walk and he talked the talk with us, with young people, on your behalf, to create a hope-filled future for us all. And he was achieving that because we and particularly young people let him in, let him in to our lives.

You helped him to discover God. You helped him to discover the Father of Jesus and our Father. As he said himself, God, the one who always believes in us long before we ever believe in him or even name him, and long before we believe in ourselves.”

Fr Frank continued:

“So many have said that Michael could always see the good in others. He was all give, had a heart of gold. And he could get quite angry at what he saw as injustice, but he learned to use that anger to move him peaceably, to do something about it.

His hope is that we too will discover God, our discovering God to one another as we walk this way together. That we too will discover the meaning of St Paul’s prayer as Jesus’ love grows in our hearts. God rest you Michael.”

Fr Michael Bingham SJ is deeply regretted by his sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, the Jesuit community in Portadown, Armagh and other Jesuit communities in Britain and Ireland.

Requiescat in Pace

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

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

Born: 02 January 1911, Ballinrobe, County Mayo
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1976, Hong Kong
Died: 03 October 1991, St Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1937 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

Second World War Chaplain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1992

Obituary

Father Alan Birmingham SJ

Learned Priest Who Served Faithfully for “Fifty” Years in Hongkong.

Fr Biriningham did not say Mass in the Catholic Centre Chapel, in busy Hongkong Central District on Wednesday, October 4th. He had done so the day : before, and for many months since Fr F Cronin had died. Instead, Fr S Coghlan and Fr M McLoughlin took him to St Paul's Hospital Causeway Bay. He was feeling groggy and could not lift one of his arms. That afternoon, in the Intensive Care Unit, he died. A little more than a year previously, he had had heart surgery (aneurysm) but recovered. But he had a long beard which made him look like a retired sea captain. All his life he had had good health. He fought a cold on his feet, and though he did not feel so well in the mornings, regained his strength by the afternoon. For thirty years, he was never a patient in a hospital.Priests throughout East Asia and beyond will have known him as the editor of the Sunday Examiner, which was appreciated for his wide cover age of church news in the world, as well as for its well written editorials. In the diocese, he was not so much widely known, as well known. Some priests remember his kindness from the days he taught them Theology in the Seminary (1949-1956). Those who went to the nine o'clock Sunday Mass at St. Joseph's remember him since the days of Fr Franelli, which go back more than thirty years previously. His deep voice was often remembered as a mutter, inspiring devotion and trust. He often heard confessions in St Joseph's and the Catholic Centre Chapel.

He first went to Hongkong in 1936, where he spent time learning Cantonese, and then teaching in Wah Yan College, Robinson Road. He was born in Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, where the family had a wholesale business. His father qualified as a medical doctor, but never practised, taking on the family business, but retiring to Dublin when he was 45 years old. Alan first went to the Carmelite Fathers in Terenure, and retained an affection for the Carmelites. He then went to the Jesuit College, Belvedere, and after five years entered the Society of Jesus in 1928. His university studies at UCD were in Mathematics, and sometimes it was said that, in later life, the prime numbers gave him sleepless nights. After three years in Hongkong he returned to Ireland to study Theology and was ordained in 1942. While he was a priest in the Jesuit Church of Gardiner Street, the Provincial requested him to be a Chaplain in the British Army. He gave family reasons for not doing so, and he was told that these were valid but not sufficient to refuse the pastoral needs of those in the War. He joined as an Army Chaplain as part of christian charity and out of human solidarity. He was with the first wave to land on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day June 1944. He remembered a day when he saw 700 wounded and 250 burials. He was demobolised in 1947, and did Tertianship in Dublin under Fr J Neary, who also had been in Hongkong.

When he returned to Hongkong as a priest in 1948, he went to join Fr Tumer at Chung Shan University, Gaungzhou, but after a few months was asked to teach in the South China Regional Seminary, Aberdeen. He taught Dogma and Scripture until he was asked to assist Mgr C Vath at the Catholic Centre, with the editing of the Sunday Examiner. And he did it for 33 years! Quietly working as a priest, he slowly did his writing. He always used a pen, and never a typewriter. He was a very slow worker, and always worked deliberately and accurately. He was never in a hurry and always had time for people. His clear English style was highly esteemed. His funeral was at St Joseph's Church, where he was known as the priest at the Sunday Masses for thirty years. The main celebrants were Cardinal Wu, whom he taught, Archbishop Tang, Fr W Lo, and 39 of his fellow Jesuits, thirty other priests; more than a dozen diocesan, a dozen Maryknollers, and those of other congregations, not least being the PIME Fathers. The Mass was at 12.30 to enable the people from government and business offices to be present, and about
150 of them were there.

His brother had been a medical doctor teaching at University College Dublin. His father was anti-clerical, but a devout Catholic. “Alan” was more pastoral than clerical, and though his theological thinking was conservative, it was always kind, and at the service of people. Learned and kind, writer and at the service of all, such was the man all remembered.

Bithrey, John, 1878-1974, former Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA N/7
  • Person
  • 01 November 1878-1974

Born: 01 November 1878, Kinsale, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 1974

Left Society of Jesus: 1908

Educated at Mungret College SJ

by 1902 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
Came to Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia for Regency 1903

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1974

Obituary

John Bithrey

John Bithrey, when he died at the age of ninety-six, must have been easily the senior member of the past pupils of Mungret. His family history is interesting. His grandfather, a merchant of Kinsale, ruined by the famine, emigrated to Australia, and built up a pros perous business. His daughter, deciding to return to Ireland, met on the ship the first officer, an Englishman of French descent, who later became her husband and settled in Kinsale. John, the only son of the family, came to Mungret in 1889. All his life he had the happiest memories of his schooldays. A few years ago, a letter appeared in The Irish Times criticising the religious teachers. John replied with a very moving tribute to his former masters in Mungret.

In 1893 he entered the Society of Jesus and did a brilliant course of studies, taking his MA in Classics in the Royal University. He studied philosophy with the German Jesuits in Holland, and in 1903 went to Australia, where he taught for five years at Xavier College, Melbourne. On his return to Ireland in 1908, he was found to be in delicate health, and was advised not to continue in the religious life. Almost immediately he obtained a teaching position at Mount St Benedict's, Gorey, and, after a few years, was appointed inspector of secondary schools, one of the commissioners who interviewed him being the redoubtable Dr Mahaffy.

John Bithrey was never a conventional inspector, and the originality of his views and methods not infrequently caused a . flutter in the staid dovecotes of the Department of Education. But in the schools all over Ireland his attractive personality made him a welcome visitor, and his love of learn ing for its own sake was a constant source of inspiration.

He was a man of rare culture, a classical scholar of the first rank, well read in English and French literature, an excellent pianist and a good mathematician, Every year he used procure the Honours Leaving Certificate examination papers in mathematics, and work through them for his own satisfaction. In his retirement, his favourite occupation was the reading of the Latin and Greek authors with which he was so familiar. Many instances could be given of his intellectual powers, but one must suffice. When he was over ninety, the writer had a discussion with him as to the value of the writing of Latin and Greek verse, which was formerly part of the curriculum. A few days later, John produced a really beautiful version of “She is far from the Land” in Latin elegiacs. It is well that we have the memory of men like John Bithrey to reinind us of a culture which is fast becoming rare in our hurrying world.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1902

A Modern Pilgrimage

John Bithery SJ

Happening to be in the neighbourhood of Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) during Gat the month of July, 1902, and hearing much of the pilgrimage then being made to that city, I determined to enrol myself among the pilgrims. What I saw and heard I shall describe as briefly as I can, hoping it may be of interest to readers of the “Annual”.

Leaving the pretty little Dutch village where I had been staying, I caught the 5 am, train, and, after an hour's journey, arrived in Aachen, The city was a veritable flutter of flags and banners as for a royal pageant, but I had no wish to pause and admire the decorations, as I was anxious to bear Mass. The Masses in the Dom (also called the Cathedral or Münster) were all over, so I had to make my way to the hurch of St. Tames, which was a good distance ts but where I was able to satisfy my devotion.

This duty being performed, I had still a few hours on hands before the ceremony of showing the relics would begin, and I determined to employ them by a visit to the Rathhaus. This splendid pile, erected in 1376 on the site of Charlemagne's palace, is, after the Dom, perhaps the most interesting feature in a city where interesting features abound. Making my way with difficulty through the streets and squares, they were already crowded with pilgrims, I ascended the steps to this fine building. I had a delay of some minutes in a spacious hall of waiting, and from the many texts with which the walls were blazoned, all teaching the secret of imperial mastery, I picked out the following as one of the best :

“Die drei den meister machen sollen, os Können Wissen und Wollen”.
as a translation of which I, with fear and trembling, submit :
“Would'st thou the rod of empire wield? To Strength, to Force of Will, and Knowledge all things yield”.

Then, my tribute of 25 pfennige (2jd:) to the genius loci being magnanimously accepted, I was permitted to ascend the grand staircase. I at length emerged on to a gorgeous landing with the glories of the Coronation Hall opening out in front, and above me, on either side, two paintings, of one of which I shall speak again. The hall is so called because it was the scene of the coronation festivities of thirty-seven kings or emperors, the last to be crowned there being Kaiser Ferdinand I, in 1531. It is a massive room, yet the proportions are so perfect that one has quite a false idea of its size, till one walks across, first to the pillars in the centre, and then to the windows on the far side. In performing this journey one traverses quite an ocean of: pavement. The room is hung with eight paintings, about some of which permit me, gentle reader, to say a few words." The first represents the opening, in 1000 A.D, by Otto III of Charlemagne's tomb in Aachen. According to the legend the great kaiser was found sitting on a marble throne, sceptre in hand, gospel-book on knee, and clad in his robes of state, and in the painting he is so represented. Very striking is the contrast between the gloom of the grave, the pale light of the torches and the bright band of sunlight streaming down through the opening above. The third picture represents the victory . of Charlemagne over the Saracens at Cordova. Being a battle scene, it is full of movement, yet it is monotonous in its grey colouring, and there is a curious rigidity in its lines. The central figure is that of Charles seated on his charger and swinging his sword in a splendid up-cut at the barbarian chief. The latter is throned on a lofty chariot drawn by teams of oxen, and would be inaccessible but for the giant stature and reach of his opponent. The seventh picture treats a subject which is full of interest for the pilgrim, namely the building, in Charlemagne's lifetime (he died in 814) of the Octagon, or Chapel Royal, which still stands and forms the central portion of the great Münster.

The first four fresco-paintings were done by the Aachener, Alfred Rethel; the second four by Joseph Kehren. That all eight are not the work of one liand, is clear even to the uninitiated : the colouring of the last four is rich and luscious, that of the others a ghostly grey, the last four are marked by gracious and harmonious curving, the others are stiff and rigid, and leave an impression of perpendicular lines; there is, indeed, impetuous movement in the battle scene, yet it is due-to the subject treated and not to the artist. One word about the painting on the right as one stands on the landing looking towards the hall. The back-ground is a thick tangled wood, along the front rushes a white foaming torrent, bounding fiercely over the boulders in its path; emerging from the wood are Ronan soldiers, stalwart warriors in full panoply. On the far bank of the stream stands a young Roman officer in gorgeous uniforin, with the proud bearing of his class. On the near bank kneels a page, holding a silver goblet to the water, while away to the left, behind a rock, crouches the most frightful-looking bag with, by the most captivating of contrasts, the dearest fair-haired little girl imaginable by her side. The contrasts in the painting are of extraordinary power. The dark hag, the fair-haired girl; the black wood, the bright opening where the sky peers in; the gloomy boulders, the white stream with its wrath of silver foam, and finally, the big almost brutal soldiers worn with war, and the well-knit form of their general, full of athletic grace and beauty.
(Neither from guide nor guide-book could I get a satisfactory explanation of this painting, nor even the remotest hint of an explanation. I am myself convinced that the young officer is Drusus, step-son of Augustus, who met his death in 9 B.C., in his fourth canipaign against the Germans. He had penetrated as far as the Elbe, and being about to cross it with his troops was confronted by a woman of superbuman size, who bade him return Disregarding the warning, the attempt to cross the river, according to the legend, failed utterly; a panic seized the superstitious soldiers, and in the reckless retreat which followed, a retreat which resembled a rout rather than a rear-movenient, the young general was thrown from his horse, and received injuries which shortly after resulted in death.
That the painting is not a literal representation of this legend, is clear; the stream is too small for the Elbe, the hag is not of superhuman size, and how does the little girl come into the scene? Yet I believe we have the key to the picture in the legend.)

It was on the stroke of 10am, and however unwilling, there was nothing for it but to leave this scene of beauty. The crowds in the streets were now of immense proportions, and it was only by shoving here and shouldering there, and taking good-humouredly in turn a fair share of the same treatment, that I could make progress. Not merely the squares and streets, but every roof-top was thronged with men and women, canvas awnings having been erected to keep off the rays of a burning sun. It was a sight calculated to warm the heart of the Catholic, especially the Irishman, rich with memories of his own island home beyond the sea. At this time there was a great movement in the assembled masses; hither and thither swayed the crowd, restless with expectancy, and tortured by the sun's heat, yet there was no disorder, only the surge to and fro, and the low, deep, murmurous sound, like the roar of waves on a distant strand. I had now met some friends who bad an invitation to the roof of the city library, but we were not to be satisfied with the first available position, and were determined to reconoitre, and see if something better was not to be had on the squares and streets. But no ! there was hardly standing room, and the sun's blaze was maddening on these open spaces ; pushing, therefore, eagerly a-head, we made our way up through the library out on to the roof... Here most of the roof-tops were beneath us, and gaily they shone in their array of canvas awnings, coloured parasols, and bright dresses; only above us and beyond us, in the glory of its architecture, there standing out in the clear sunlight of the forenoon, the Dom with its flutter of banners, Behind it lay the Rathhaus with its stately towers, and behind that again, the blue sky. Just as we reached the roof, the procession filed into the verandah of the belfry tower, from which the exposition was to take place; first a cross-bearer accompanied by two acolytes in white surplices, bright red caps, and purple soutanes; then four halberdiers in ancient costume, their halberds sloping on their shoulders; and lastly four clerics bearing on their shoulders the sacred casket which contained the relics. Around the verandah they passed, with measured step and reverent mien, and then were lost to our view. I would ask the reader to follow carefully the following remarks about the position of the verandah, as it will make the account less confused. The verandah was in shape a square, two sides of which, and two only, the south and west, were Visible to us; the relics were to be exposed three times on each side, three places being prepared for the purpose. Thus of each relic there were to be twelve expositions, six of which were visible to us. When the procession had disappeared, a choir of forty or fifty members with some reed instruments, took up their position on the west side. Then a priest, of giant stature, appeared at the south side, and in a voice that sent every syllable rolling distinctly towards us, announced the first relic, the robe our Lady wore at the time of our Lord's birth. The announcement made, two halberdiers advanced and flung a red cloth across the place already prepared, and over this again a priest laid the sacred object. It was held in position-just then the wind came in ugly gusts.-—by the wands of two other priests. The robe, a broad, well-preserved, yellowish garment, was thus held for several minutes in each of the prepared places, the choir meanwhile singing several simple touching hymns. When the relic had been thus three times exhibited on the south side, the choir moved on out of sight, and the priest, with the voice like thunder, made the same announcement from the centre of the west side. Here the same ceremony was gone through, and so on for the north and east side. In this morning exposition the most interesting relic was Our Lady's robe. The other three, viz., the swaddling clothes in which Christ was wrapped at his birth, the cloth on which the head of St. John the Baptist was laid after his decapitation, and the cloth which covered our Divine Lord on the cross; were not really exposed; we saw merely the cloth casing in which they were enclosed. For each relic the ceremony was the same, except that for the fourth and most important: one, the announcement was longer, prayers were recited for various intentions and answered by the thousands beneath, and the blessing was given with the relic each time it was exhibited. The time during which all this took place seemed short, yet when everything was over, and the roar of the multitude; till then hushed in prayerful silence, arose once more, the belfry clock was ringing out the liour of noon-two hours had flown.

Leaving the roof quietly and silently—a kind of spell had fallen on us all-we climbed down through the many storied library out into the street. The most interesting part of the day was still before us, as we were now to be allowed into the Dom, to see close at hand the sacred relics, and the costiy shrines and caskets in which they were kept, Forming ourselves into close order, it was hopeless for an individual to try and stem the stream of people in the street, we made our way to the Cathedral. The dark, massive, iron-bound, almost repulsive-looking door opened as by magic on our arrival, and passing in we entered on a dark, stony corridor, which led to the Octagon. Here we paused to gaze on this work of the ninth century, its many-cornered beauty, its arched and pillared stateliness ; then glancing at the gorgeous chandelier which dates from the twelfth century, we turned into a chamber on the right, where caskets, almost without number, of relics the inost sacred were exposed to view. The collection was a very shimmer of gold, silver, and precious stones, gleaming darkly in the sombre light of the Cathedral chamber. Turning away from the treasure, all was dark, cold, clammy; turning towards them the eye was dazzled by a dance of light, which flashed from pearl and gem, in goid and silver setting. Here was the triumph of the goldsmith's craft. Here were objects whose historical interest was only surpassed by their artistic value, which was again outshone by the worth of the spiritual treasure they enshrined. Here was the hunting horn of Charlemagne-he is.venerated, with Papal sanction, as a saint in the archdiocese of Köln-here the solid crucifix he always wore at his breast, whether in the fever of the chase or the fiery heat of the battle; here, too, the sceptre of imperial rule, wielded by him and by the thirty-nine kings or kaisers crowned in the city of his love. Here, above all, were relics beyond number of our Lord, of His holy Mother, and of Saints from every time, all enclosed in the most costly caskets. It would be impossible to describe them all, impossible to describe any one adequately, as it was impossible for us, in that hurried half hour, to appreciate adequately any single reliquary of the many before us. Suffice it to quote the testimony of of experts who pronounce all to be of great artistic value, work in most cases of the sixteenth, in some of the eleventh century, and to say that the two largest and most admired are the Marienschrein and the Karlschrein; the former of which holds the four chief relics (exposed in the morning), and the latter the remains of Charlemagne. Of the most important reliquaries I secured a few photographs, but they are not worth reproducing, as they give a miserably inadequate notion of the reality.

Leaving the chamber of treasures we passed once more under the Octagon up to the sanctuary, a passing from the land of vision to that of faith. Here we saw close at hand the swaddling clothes of the Child Jesus; the cloth of John Baptist, with its large, vivid, almost horrible blood-stains; the cloth that covered our Lord on the cross, also blood-stained; and finally the plain, unadorned robe of our dear Lady. There was a priest sitting close by and each of us had a beads or a crucifix touched to the sacred relic. There were other points of interest also. It was here that, in 1146, the saintly abbot of Clairvaux preached the crusade against the Saracens, these very walls rang with his voice; there, under the Octagon, was the sepulchral stone of Charlemagne, with its simple inscription <Carolo Magno;" there, in the chancel, is the resting-place of Kaiser Otto III, who died in Italy, but whose dying wish it was that he should be buried here in the cathedral of the city that crowned him; the pulpit yonder with its exquisite carving was the gift of Kaiser Henry II. It was a strange bridging over of the centuries, the scene in which we stood; a spanning of the first, the ninth, the eleventh, the sixteenth, and the twentieth ; a theme to dream on. I, for one, could not resist the spirit of reverie, and passing out I hardly heeded the stream of pilgrims, the long cold corridor; I only thought of all we saw, the relics of Jesus and Mary, the chapel of Charlemagne, and the shrines of wondrous beauty. I had travelled a good distance before I woke, and it was the feverish rush of an electric car with its clangourous bell that first roused me. :. ! But how did all these relics come to Aachen? When Charlemagne had built his Chapel Royal he was anxious to adorn it with a collection of relics; to objects connected with Christ and His Saints he had the same devotion as the Knights of the Round Table or the Crusaders. If he preceded both of these in time, he was yet animated with all their spirit. His fame was world-wide, and his power as far-reaching. He collected from Jerusalem, Rome and Constan tinople a collection of relics not to be rivalled even in the Eternal City itself. That he should have got sacred objects from Terusalem or Rome does not surprise, us, but how were such things to be found in Constantinople? The answer is easy. This was the city of Constantine and of his saintly mother Helena. It is well known that the latter frequently visited the Holy Land and built there churcbes without number; she found innumerable relics, the most important being the Cross on which our Saviour was crucified, and brought the great majority to the city of her son, whence Charlemagne sécured them for Aachen.

But the pilgrimage? how did it spring up? Its history need not keep us long. The first took place in the lifetime of Charlemagne, on the 13th June, 8og. Invitations to come and see his chapel and his treasures were sent out to all parts of his great empire, and eagerly accepted. Streams of devout pilgrims flowed to Aachen, from the lands of the Danube to those of the Ebro, from the peoples of Italy to those of the Northern Seas. The chronicles of the time fairly ring with praise of the hospitality of Aachen, and of the personal solicitude, which Charlemagne showed to each of the travellers. The first experience being such a pleasant one, people were naturally anxious to repeat it, and so year by year, on to the beginning of the eleventh century, the pilgrimage was renewed. It was then however resolved, from motives which are not very clear, to limit the occurrence to every seventh year, with the stipulation that the solemnity was in future to last fourteen days, instead of the shorter period till then in-vogue. With this change the pilgrimages were continued through the middle ages, and we have many an interesting contemporary account as to how things went on those occasions. An eye-witness, for example, of the pilgrmage of 1510, by name Philip von Vigneulles, describes his entry into the city by night, after a long march; there were 20 5 a.m. trains at that time; the blaze of lights around the Dom was visible, he says, for miles round, and looked like a huge fire. As to the crowds in the city, his experience was the same as mine, namely, that individuals were at a discount, and only organised parties could make headway. Putting their strongest at the front the remainder clung on behind, and woe to the individual that lost hold, it meant, says the eye-witness with delightful nužveté, losing for at least a week not merely one's party but also oneself. Again he tells us that the man who dropped a gold piece had to he content to let it lie, it being a physical impossibility in the throng to stoop and pick it up. We read that in the year 1496 the number of pilgrims was one hundred and forty-two thousand, the largest contingent being the Viennese, under which title were included not only Austrians but also Hungarians : and we learn that the favourite bill of fare of the gallant Hungarian was bread, beer, beans, and bacon-quite a monotony of b's. It very soon became known what the strangers liked in the way of food, as the hospitality of the citizens was unbounded; and what does the traveller appreciate more in a strange land than the food he is accustomed to at home? Nopp, the historian of Aachan, tells us it was a point of honour in the city that each burgher should have a guest to entertain and house at his own expense. “The man who had no guest," continues the historian, "went about
like a suspect, or a dog without a tajl!" Things .. were not, no doubt, always so prosperous; there came the dark days of war, of persecution, and of famine; there came above all the sad days that beheld the fall of whole nations from the Faith, yet though the number of strangers diminished, never was the solemnity omitted, and if the lands of the Ebro and the Danube no longer paid their tribute of devout pilgrims, the Catholics of the Rhine, the Moselle, and the Maas valleys made up for much by their intense piety. Yet even this numerical diminution was but temporary; in the middle of the century we buried not long ago, the pilgrimage received a new impetus; and the septennial gathering now bids fair to equal, if not surpass, anything of the past; in the year 1860, for example, on one day alone were numbered sixty-five thousand pilgrims. Wonders, too, are worked. Even so recently as this year a miraculous cure was effected by the touch of one of the holy relics. But even when the sick and the diseased return to their homes unhealed, their confidence is no whit diminished; no! their tedious pain is rather sweetened, and their sorrow brightened, by the memory of our dear Lady's robe, the hem of which they touched in Charlemagne's Pfalzkapelle, in Aachen's storied city.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1966

Memories of Mungret

John Bithery

Mr John Bithrey, MA, was an Inspector of Secondary Schools 1913-43. A distinguished Classical Scholar, he has been interested chiefly in Latin, Greck, French and English literature; and his editions of texts are still in use in Secondary schools. He is author of “Our Secondary Schools and Other Essays”.

Mr Bithrey, who was a boy at Mungret 1889-93, is now one of our oldest Past Students. He is still active and does a considerable amount of writing, We are greatly indebted to him for the most interesting memoirs below which he so kindly consented to write for the “Mungret Annual”.

“Remembrance wakes with all her busy frain Swells at my breast and turns the past to pain”.

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-'74) If any names are found printed on my heart when I die, the name of Philip Brady, priest of the Society of Jesus, will take a leading place.

He taught me Greek - (Parry's Greek Grammar), Latin (Allen's Latin Grammar); he saw to it that I kept up my piano practice and that I wrote regularly to my mother in Kinsale; I had four sisters, but I was her only son and she missed me. No one ever had a truer or better friend than I had in Philip Brady. Nothing can describe the interest he took in me (I was not quite ten when I entered Mungret) or the affection he lavished on me. It is impossible for me to exaggerate his goodness to me, nor have I ever been able to repay it.

One First Prefect in my time was Father Matt Maguire, once a gentlemnan farmer in the North of Ireland and (I fancy), a late vocation. He had a pony and trap, which he drove with great elegance, and his special friends were Joe Tyrrell, (whose brother was a prominent furrier in Dublin)

Joe was a boy of great charm; Billy Sampsen, whose father was a doctor in Scarriff, Co Clare (a big lovable, generous fellow was Billy) and my tiny self, Jack Bithrey from Kinsale whom Father McCormack (a Cork man and a fine cricketer) used to mimic repeating the words in my Cork accent, then very marked, with its ups and downs of musical pitch, but lost long ago. These drives with Father Maguire were most enjoyable.

There were two Rectors in my time, the first was Father Head, a small, squat, grim-looking man, who walked along the corridors with eyes fixed sideways on the skirting of the passage. The second was Vincent Byrne (wbose sermon on Aloysius Gonzaga was regarded as a masterpiece of oratory and a thing of great literary beauty and who took an active part in the kind of “gravel football” played by the Seniors in those days.

The Choir master was a Jesuit Scholastic, Thomas Taaffe, a delightful singer, a brilliant teacher, a most charming man, tall, well-spoken, well groomed. His singing of the Kerry Dances was something never to be forgotten. His choir music was delightful. He had been trained in Belgium and he had the most lovely Ave Verums, Tantum Ergos and other pieces of Church music. I was in his choir. I was supposed to have a sweet voice. Also in the choir was Johnny Martin of Wigan, Lancashire, who had a splendid voice and who used to sing with such fervour and energy that I could see the veins stand out on his neck. He was a splendid fellow and he became a splendid Jesuit of the Irish Province in later years. Much of the music was too high in pitch for me, but Mr Taaffe had a wonderful harmonium on which he was able to lower or raise the key of any piece, so as to fit the voice. I have never anywhere else met such a wonderful device for raising or lowering the pitch of a song. My eldest sister, Mary, was a good musician - so was my mother - and had won a scholarship in the Cork School of Music. She went to it twice a week and never came home without a sultana scone for me, her brother, God rest her soul! She was a famous organist and accompanist in Kinsale and she had the wonderful gift of being able to transpose any accompaniment at sight. No wonder she was so sought after as an accompanist.

Once a year Mr Taaffe got a free day for his choir, and took us for a picnic. In the evening we had a special supper and a sing-song. These sing-songs I shall never forget for three reasons :
“The Kerry Dances” sung by Mr Taaffe, “The White Squall” sung by Michael Garahy and “O Native Music” - that most lovely song in which ex quisite words are married to most exquisite music - music and words by Samuel Lover- sung by Brother Carter. Brother Carter had charge of the Priests' Refectory. He had an exquisite tenor voice, and his singing of this lovely song was something quite unforgettable. My Own contribution was Wallace's “In Happy Moments”, from that gifted Waterford man's opera Maritana. Yes, the Mungret choir in my time made the most lovely music, Mr Taaffe also taught me French and Roman History, and it was a privilege to be taught by him. His lessons were most carefully prepared and were delightful to listen to.

There were two saints in Mungret in my time. Father Michael Browne, Prefect of Studies, Head of Our Lady's Sodality, fine preacher, fine scholar, a man delightful to meet, tho' extremely austere in life and Brother McEvoy who had charge of the kitchen and who was reputed to spend his summer evenings praying amongst the tombs in the cemetery near the front gates of the College Grounds.

Mr Taaffe was a scholastic, not a priest. An other Scholastic was Harry Potter, a splendid athlete and a brilliant acrobat whose performance on the parallel bars and the horizontal bar were the admiration of all. Like Mr Taaffe he was handsome, very well groomed, of sanguine temperament and very pleasant to meet. Another scholastic I remember was named J F K O'Brien, son of a famous member of Parliament, I think; a cricketer, but somewhat delicate in health.

Amongst the lay boys of my time were Michael Garahy, George Byrne, Pat Connolly and John Martin (already mentioned) all of whom became distinguished SJs, Michael Garrahy (of Offaly) a preacher, Geo Byrne, a Chinese Missionary, Pat Connolly, founder and first editor of Studies, and John Martin, late Rector of Xavier College, now a very famous school teacher in Melbourne, Australia. Bat Coghlan also became a Jesuit and was well known in Galway as a Confessor and a speaker of Gaelic. I remember also Jack Devine, gifted pianist and pencil artist. Oliver St John Gogarty of Dublin and William Sullivan of Bantry were both with me at school. Willie, no doubt, was one of the famous Bantry family. The O'Mahony's of Bantry, Florence and his two brot hers, were also there; two Egans from Tullamore, Pat and Harry; two Stephensons from Waterford, Raymond and his brother. I remember too, Jim Carbery of Dublin, a splendid looking fellow, lithe, tall and supple, a trained boxer. He quarrelled with a big country fellow and they fought it out beyond the ambulacrum, with referee, seconds and scouts to give warning of danger. It was a famous fight, a contest between skill and training (Carbery) and brute strength and courage, and the verdict was a draw. The big country man had a black eye. Jim Carbery, who sat next to me in the study hall (tho' years older), confessed that his ribs were black and blue and sore from the hefty body blows received. Jim was a pretty fearless and rebellious spirit.

What Apostolic students do I remember? First comes Joe Wright of Templemore, a fine cricketer. Joe had money and often went to Limerick City. He never came back without a bag of good sweets for me, bought at Kidds, then a famous confectionery in the city. Joe, like all the apostolics, got his BA (Mental and Moral Science) at the Royal University of Ireland, an examining body like London University, was ordained in Rome and served in the USA. He is, I suppose, dead long ago, God rest his soul! Jim Coyle, already mentioned, became a strict pastor somewhere in the USA. In later years he rescued a woman from an unscrupulous man and was assassinated by the man for his pains. I remember Andy Killian, later a Bishop in Australia; I remember apostolics named Galvin and Stenson; splendid men all the apostolics were, giving a wonderful example of industry and of religious devotion.

One other memory I have, of the skating on Lough Mor during a winter - I forget the year of hard and continued frost. I also rernember Mr Taaffe bring picked members of the choir to visit the Limerick Chapels of Repose on Holy Thursdays. We walked in and back, and I remember his brushing the dust off his shoes using a handkerchief - before entering the city. He liked to be well dressed and well groomed. Indeed there was something quite aristocratic about him and about the others members of the Jesuit community, and it often struck me that in manners, speech and bearing, they resembled what I imagined to be the officers of a crack English Cavalry regiment.

I would like to add that the only examinations the lay boys did were the London Art and Science Examinations. I remember we had two hours each day for Latin, We did Allen's Grammar and Bradley's famous book thoroughly. But the chief thing about the Mungret College training of those days was that when a boy left, he had formed a habit of study, a habit of working to a time-table; he had learned to say his prayers regularly and very especially to have a devotion to Our Lady, the Mother of God -no mean equipinent with which to face the world.

Who were the distinguished Past Pupils of Mungret? Leaving out of account the ecclesias tics, I would say Joe Walsh of Killenaule, Foun der of the Irish Foreign Affairs Department, its First Secretary, and later Ambassador to the Vatican. He was a man of great ability. He was much after my time, but I had the privilege of knowing him and I knew him to be a most loyal and fervent supporter of the Past Pupils' Mungret Union.

Next I would select Frank Fahy, a famous Ceana Comhairle in his time and not unworthy of his great predecessor, Michael Hayes.

Hugo Flinn was Trade Minister in one of President de Valera's governments and was a dis tinguished Minister. Hugo was in Mungret with me. I knew his family in Kinsale. They came every summer for the fishing season. The father, a wealthy mer charyt in Liverpool, bought all the fish he could get in Kinsale, brought it to Liverpool in his own ships and sold it there, making a very great pro fit. Hugo's two brothers went to Clongowes. Joe became a famous Jesuit and organised the Pioneer Movement. Tom became a Chartered Accountant and practised in Dublin.

Jim Veale, an Apostolic, was Prefect of Juniors, a splendid type of man of fine physique. I rernember him for two reasons. Once on the free day, we walked to Patrick's Well to get the train to the Earl of Dunraven's place. We were late starting, and we had to run the last half mile. I was then tired, and seemed likely to be left behind; so Jim Veale took me under his arm, like a rugby football, and brought me to the train in time. The other reason was this, the calves in the fields were creatures full of curiosity. Jim, who had a great spirit of fun, used to crawl towards them on all fours, and it was most amusing to see the calves gather round him. Then he would suddenly rise, and they turned and galloped, panic stricken away.

There was, in my time, a student: named Jim Roberts, and when the annual sports fell due, I remember the severity of his training for the mile. He always won the race. He took the opening laps at a slendy race, but he did the final lap with what might be called a sprinter's speed and outdistanced 21] (nponents. What his later career was I nevet heard.

The gentlemen of Limerick - O'Donnells, Spillanes and others - played a cricket match with us once a year. They were much too good for us. having learned their cricket at Stonyhurst or Downside. But Father Whitaker SJ, who was then on the staff of the Crescent College, always pime and plaved for us. He was a good bowler. He was a superb batsman and he was always sure to make 60 or 70 runs for us. He had learned his cricket at Tullabeg: a very famous Jesuit school, outside Tullamore.

I remember a Michael Danaher of Limerick, a lay boy in my age - he died quite recently, I believe, at the fine age of 92 or 93.

I remember the Cuffes of Dublin, Charlie, a charming boy, who later became a Jesuit, Tom, a big fellow, and Willie. The father was a famous cattle dealer, I think.

I remember often looking over at the Cratloe Hills and wondering what lay beyond them, I remember the Apostolics of the 1st Arts writing on a blackboard “Nil sine magno vita labore dedit Primis Certibus”. They were reading Horace. I remember their speaking of the “Magnetic Dip”, something they had learned from Science lectures of the Abbe l'Heritier, who came from Lord Emly's home (whose chaplain he was) to teach Science to the University students. I did not know what the phrase meant, but it was jocosely applied to the slope of the head of one of the leading apostolics, a stately giant of a man who carried himself like an archbishop or a cardinal, and whose name, alas. I do not remember.

About the Choir I wish to add something. It consisted of tenors, baritones, trebles and altos, There was little unison singing. Mr Taaffe was a strict choirmaster. He insisted on accurate timing, “Do not drag”, he used to say at the rehearsals; “do not drag”; yet he could achieve excellent ac celerandos and effective rallentandos.

I have mentioned his lovely Ave Verums but his most enchanting hymn was “Jesu dulcis memoria” in which the lovely words were matched by even lovelier music. Another was the Advent hymn “Alma Redemptoris Mater” a lovely tune which he himself used to sing as a solo, the choir coming in for the refrains.

He had certain soloists, of which I was one. I had a very limited range, but within the range, I was considered to have a very moving voice and to sing with great expression and feeling. With his harmonium, of course, he was able to lower the pitch to suit me.

I have already referred to the two hours a day we had for Latin. I myself, and the class to which I belonged, was taught by Father Brady at first, and his translation of Virgil's “Aeneid” into English was well worth remembering. About line 50, where Juno, extremely angry, enters the land of the stern winds, to make trouble for the hated Aeneas who is at sea, we have the words “Nim horum in patria, loca feta furentibus castris”. I have never forgotten Father Brady's rendering of the last four words : “a country big with blustering blasts”. It was a fine, sonorous phrase and it gave us all, I think, a good sense of what was meant by felicity and eloquence of expression.

Once, I remember, we, each of us, had to sign a form, giving inter alia the position of the male parent. I was then sitting near George Byrne, later famous as a Chinese Missionary. He wrote, I well remember, “Gentleman”. All the other boys near me wrote “Farmer”. I remember writing “Captain in the Mercantile Marine” since my father commanded one of the passenger sailing ships which is these days plied between Plymouth and Sydney, New South Wales. It was a three months voyage each way, so he was away six months at a time and we saw very little of him.

I remember George Byrne for another reason. He was clever with Indian clubs, which he was able to swing with great skill. He was, we thought, a little vain of his skill, so we played a nasty trick on him. In the room there was a bracket overhead containing two oil lamps made of glass. We got him to stand under the lamps and asked him to give us an exhibition. Each club struck a lamp, smashed it to smithereens and the oil came pouring over him, I am sorry to say we screamed with laughter; but I must add, he took it very good humouredly and did not retaliate in any way, either by word or by action.

One final memory of Jim Carbery, he was a man of splendid physique. There was something sinewy and yet sometiring snake-like, colubrine, sinuous about hin, he was a very picture of sup pleness and elasticity, an immense imposing figure he had, This ease and swiftness of movement gave him 2 great advantage in his fight against the burly giant of Offaly. He was able to slip aside and evade the blows; able to weave in and out of the combat area and to avoid the six inch punches which can be so deadly in the in-fighting. What happened to him in later life, I never heard.

Let one end with one more memory. Near me in the study hall during my first year was Larry Devereux of Wexford. He was always well supplied with tiny chocolates which, I fancy, his mother used to send to him, One evening I noticed him turning over and over the leaves of his English-Latin dictionary. His search seemed to be fruitless, so I whispered “What are you looking for, Larry?” "The Latin word for the definite article “The” he replied and I was able to tell him there was no such Latin word. It did not exist in the Latin language, Larry fought in the South African War, 1900-1901 and that is all I knew of him.

At a later stage my Latin class was taught by Father Guinee, who was, I think, a Cork man. He used to write the solution of the compositions (Bradley's Aids) on the blackboard, Sometimes there was a slip in gender, or in case, or in mood, and we were not slow to point it out to him. But he had always a very clever reply. It was: “I, just wanted, boys, to see if you would notice it, I - am glad you did notice it”.

Father Guinee was sent to Australia and many years later was buried in Melbourne, I think.

The following tribute by Mr. Bithrey is from the Preface to his Edition of Vergil Aeneid Book I. (Dublin: Browne and Nolan Ltd., 1948):

“I wish, in conclusion, to mention the name of Father Philip Brady, of the Society of Jesus, at whose feet I first read Aeneid I nearly fifty-five years ago in Mungret College, Limerick, and who, from the time of our first meeting until his death, honoured me with a friendship that never faltered, a most unselfish and wonderful friendship. May his place in Heaven be high amongst those qui sui memores aliquos fecere merendo”.

Blakeney, George, 1819-1854, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/924
  • Person
  • 23 August 1819-07 December 1854

Born: 23 August 1819, Ballyellen, County Carlow
Entered: 06 November 1839, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM for HIB)
Ordained: 1851
Died: 07 December 1854, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)

by 1844 in Rome studying
by 1847 at Vals (LUGD) studying
by 1851 at New Orleans College LA, USA (LUGD)

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
1847 Studied at Vals with Joseph Dalton, Joseph Lentaigne and John Grehan.
c 1851 He was loaned to the New Orleans Mission, and had as a companion the famous Theobald Butler.
He died suddenly while preaching at Louisiana 07 December 1854.

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