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Boyton, William, 1610-1647, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/941
  • Person
  • 15 August 1610-13 September 1647

Born: 15 August 1610, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 27 September 1630, Mechelen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 1637, Antwerp, Belgium
Died: 13 September 1647, Cashel, County Tipperary - described as Martyr

Son of Edward Boyton and Helen Suetonia (Sutton?)
“I studied in Ireland under Fr John Shee, then Philosophy at Lille with the Jesuits from 1627-30. Admitted to Society in Flanders Belgian Province at Brussels 20 September 1630 and then at Mechelen 28 September 1630”
1633 at Louvain
1636 at Antwerp
1638 at Castrensi Mission - (Chaplain to the army?)
1639 at Brussels College
Killed 13/09/1647 at Cashel - hacked with swords by lunatic soldiers in Church of Cashel, or shot near B Virgin’s altar while hearing confessions

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Edward and Helen Sueton (Sutton?) - Mechelen Album
Early education in Ireland with John Shee SJ then went to St Omer from 1627-1630. He was then admitted to the Society by James Stratius, BELG Provincial, at Brussels 20 September 1630, from where he went to the Mechelen Novitiate. (Mechelen Album, Brussels and Arch. de l’État, Brussels, vol ii, p 518).
He was a Martyr for the Catholic faith - cut down,,or, as others say, shot near the Blessed Virgin’s altar in the Rock of Cashel, while hearing confessions. The soldiers who killed him especially marked out Priests for death. (cf Drew’s “Fasti”).
Had been a military Chaplain in Holland.
1649 Came to Ireland (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Edward and Helen née Sweetman
Received his early education from John Shee. Then in 1627 went to the Jesuit College at Lille to study Rhetoric before Ent 27 September 1630 Mechelen.
1632 After First Vows he was sent for studies in Philosophy at Louvain and Theology at Antwerp, where he was Ordained 1637.
1638 His Tertianship at Lierre was interrupted by war and he served as a military chaplain until Summer 1639.
1639 Sent to Ireland and the Cashel Residence. He taught in the School and worked in the Church there.
1647 He died in the Cashel massacre of 13 September 1647 while hearing confessions for the beleaguered at the Cathedral Church. He was stabbed to death near the altar of the Blessed Virgin.
His name is on the list of Irish Confessors and Martyrs submitted for beatification to the Holy See.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William Boyton 1609-1647
Fr William Boyton was born in 1609 and entered the Society at Mechelen in 1630.

His short life as a Missionary in Ireland was crowned by a martyr’s death at Cashel during the Confederate War. When the town was captured by the Parliamentarians under Lord Inchiquin, “Murrough of the Burnings”, the garrison, together with priests and religious and citizens withdrew to the Cathedral, which occupied a strong position on the famous Rock of Cashel. Here they held out until overcome by numbers.

“As the enemy forced their way in, Fr Boyton exhorted all with great fervour to endure death with the constancy for the Catholic faith, and was wholly occupied in administering to them the sacrament of penance. The enemy, finding him at this work, slew the father with his children. But God avenged the unworthy death of His servants, and by a magnificent sign, showed the cruelty of the massacre.

A Garrison of heretical troops was stationed on the Rock. On a certain night, an old man of venerable aspect appeared to its commander, and taking him by the hand, led him forcibly to the top of the Church tower, and asked him how he dared so impiously to profane that holy place. And as he trembled and did not answer, he flung him down into the cemetery below, where he lay half-dead and with many bones broken, until the following day, when having fully declared the divine vengeance which had overtaken him, he expired”.

(“Sufferers for the Catholic Faith in Ireland”, Myles O’Reilly, p 214)

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BOYTON, WILLIAM. We know little more of this Father than that he was barbarously murdered by the Parliamentary troops, at the taking of Cashell, on the 13th of September, 1647.

Bracken, Kevin, 1904-1931, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/699
  • Person
  • 12 February 1904-29 April 1931

Born: 12 February 1904, Limerick
Entered: 23 November 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Professed: 02 February 1913
Died: 29 April 1931, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Belvedere College SJ. He then studied Pharmacy and worked as a qualified Chemist in Dundalk.

1926-1930 After First Vows at St Stanislaus Tullabeg, he went to Rathfarnham as Infirmarian and in charge of the servants
1930 He became ill and was sent to Australia, stationed first at Riverview, then at Sevenhill and finally at Norwood, Adelaide, where he died.

Brother of Brendan Bracken (1901–58), politician.

◆ Irish Province News :

Irish Province News 6th Year No 3 1931

Obituary :

Br Kevin Bracken

Br. Bracken died at Norwood, Australia, on Wednesday 29 April 1931. His unexpected death, at the early age of 27, was a shock to all his friends in Ireland. Since the sad news arrived one of our Scholastics received a letter written by Br. Bracken 29 March. It is showed him to be in excellent health and as energetic as ever. Unfortunately, no details of the sad event have yet come to hand.

Br. Kevin Bracken was born 12 Feb. 1904. educated at Belvedere, and on leaving school, spent some time in the world as a chemist. For good reasons he preferred to join the Society as a Lay Brother, and began his noviceship 23 Nov. 1923 at Tullabeg. The noviceship over he get a hospital training in England that made him - when he returned to Ireland - a very efficient infirmarian at Rathfarnham. In addition to his work as infirmarian he had charge of the general up-keep of the house, and it was often remarked that under his care Rathfarnham was second to no house in the Province in neatness, and general material order. It came as a surprise to many that Br. Bracken sailed for Australia with the party that left Ireland in 1930.
Having spent a short time at Riverview he was sent to Sevenhill to nurse Fr. Fleury, and, when the patient died, was changed to Norwood to look after the material up-keep of the house. Here he died 29 April.
Br. Bracken was indeed a conscientious religious and attended as carefully to the interests of his own soul as he did to the various household duties that he discharged so thoroughly and so well. RIP

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Kevin Bracken SJ 1904-1931
Br Kevin Bracken was born in 1904. His family resided first at Kilmallock and then at Templemore. He was a brother of the famous Brendan Bracken, who was Minister of Information in Churchill’s Cabinet in World War II.

Kevin was educated at Belvedere College and spent some years after school training to be a chemist. He entered the Society in 1923 as a temporal coadjutor, declining the priesthood., He was of large stature, powerfully built with a luxuriant shock of red hair, cheerful nay even gay in manner, following that dictum of WB Yeats “For the good are always the merry save by eciul chance…”

He was very popular with generations of Juniors in Rathfarnham, where he acted as Infirmarian. In September 1930 Br Kevin went to Australia where, to the surprise of al, he died the following year on April 29th 1931, young in years, but rich in merit.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1931

Obituary

Brother Kevin Bracken SJ

It was only last August that Brother Bracken, full of buoyancy and health, left us for Australia. He was then in his twenty-seventh year. Bidding him farewell his many friends wished him every blessing during the long years of service that seemed in store for him under the southern skics. How great then was the shock with: which, at the end of April last, we received the sad announcement of his death. Few could have dreamt that God had destined to call him so soon from our midst. As we write, details of his death are not yet to hand. Having left Belvedere, in 1919, Kevin Bracken, the son of the late J K, and Mrs Bracken of Ardvullen, Kilmallock, and of Templemore, for some time studied pharmacy and worked as a qualified chemist in Dundalk. In 1923, however, he abandoned his position and at his own special request was admitted as a lay-brother postulant into the Society of Jesus. He did his noviceship in Tullabeg College, Offaly, and went afterwards as infirmarian to Rathfarnham Castle where he remained until his departure for Australia last August. In Australia he spent some time at St. Ignatius' College, Riverview, at St Aloysius', Sevenhills, and went finally, to Norwood in Adelaide, where he was stationed at the time of his death. He was the first Jesuit lay-brother ever attached to the house of the Society there and, as he said himself in a letter, tragically received some days after the announcement of his death, was the . cause of “a lot of curiosity”, at the time of his arrival. In his care of the sick none could be more devoted, while his previous training and experience as a chemist made him most efficient in every way. Deeply do we regret his early death; and to the sorrowing members of his family most truly offer our sincere sympathy. RIP

Bracken, Patrick, 1795-1867, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/65
  • Person
  • 14 March 1795-30 January 1867

Born: 14 March 1795, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1811, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: c 1826, Fribourg, Switzerland
Final vows: 15 August 1831, Rome, Italy
Died 30 January 1867, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare

Vice-Provincial of the Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus: 1836-1841

in Clongowes 1817
Vice Provincial 1836
not in 1840 Cat

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Much prized by Father Betagh, was distinguished in Classics at Stonyhurst, and Theology in Switzerland.
Father Plowden predicted that he would be the “limen et ornamentum” of the Society in Ireland.
Taught Humanities, Philosophy and Theology at Clongowes and was Rector of Tullabeg.
1636-1641 Vice Provincial
He was held in great esteem by the clergy on account of his “extensive and almost universal erudition”.
He left a great number of MSS on various subjects, among them, “Memoirs of the Irish Jesuits during the Suppression”.
Loose leaf note in CatChrn : Entitled “Left Stonyhurst for Castle Brown” : 03 Sep 1815

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at a Dominican Primary School - which had produced many remarkable Priests. He showed himself to be very able there. He was in contact with Thomas Betagh, who was stationed at SS Michael and John, and since he had the old Jesuit Fund available to him, he sent Patrick to Stonyhurst to continue his education. At Stonyhurst he showed himself very able, and was ahead of most in his class. Aged 16 he declared that he wished to become a Jesuit, and so Ent at Hodder 07/09/1811.
The Novice Master at Hodder Father Charles Plowden predicted that he would be the “limen et ornamentum” of the Society in Ireland. After First Vows, he studied Philosophy at Stonyhurst.
1816 He was sent to Clongowes, then a very new school, and there he taught a very large Grammar class. He was not very successful, for though he paid attention to the level of each pupil, he was too strict and punished very severely, so none of the boys liked him. At that time the Professor of Theology was an exiled Pole (Casimir Hlasko), and some Irish and English Scholastics were his students. Patrick joined them, and apparently displayed great ability. He was very subtle in argument, and spoke Latin beautifully.
1823 he was sent to Fribug, Switzerland for his final year of Theology.
He then returned to Clongowes teaching general classes, and Philosophy for a year. Later he was sent to Rome for Tertianship, and he pronounced Final Vows in front of General Roothaan in Rome, at the altar of St Ignatius.
He then taught Theology to Ours (where? - possibly in Rome?)
1836 He was appointed Vice-Provincial, an office he held for five years.
1843 He was appointed Rector of Tullabeg and was very successful. there was a lot of sickness and poverty in the country at that time, and though the number of pupils diminished, he managed the finances very well.
1850 He was sent again to Clongowes, devoting his remaining years to study and prayer. Towards the end he suffered greatly from dropsy, but was ever patient and resigned. He died peacefully in 30 January 1867 at Clongowes, and had been in the Society 56 years. He left a name that will be spoken of with great praise.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Bracken SJ 1795-1867
Born in Dublin in March 1795, Patrick Bracken received his early education in a school run by the Dominican Fathers, where he imbibed the elements of Latin so well, that he was afterwards in the Society remarkable for mastery of that language, not merely in writing it, but also speaking. He was a protegé of Fr Betagh who sent him on to Stonyhurst. He entered the Novitiate in 1811.

When Clongowes was in its infancy, he was sent there to teach the classics to a very large grammar class, with little success however, as he was too strict with the boys. He next joined the Theology class, which at that time was taught at Clongowes by Fr Hlasko. His course in Theology was completed at Friburg, Switzerland.

On his return he taught classics and philosophy at Clongowes. He became Vice-Provincial of the Province 1836-1841. During a very trying period, 1843-1850, he was Rector of Tullabeg. It was the time of the famine. The number of boys diminished, but Fr Bracken managed to steer the College safely through these shoals.

He spent the remaining years of his life at Clongowes, where he died on January 30th 1867. During his period at Clongowes he was Master of Novices to the Brothers, and he turned out a great line of spiritual hardworking Brothers. The Province owes a debt of gratitude towards his work of compiling a history of the Society in Ireland.

He left a great amount of MSS behind him, including “Memoirs of the Irish Jesuits during the Suppression”.

Bradley, Joseph, 1826-1896, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/942
  • Person
  • 31 December 1826-24 March 1896

Born: 31 December 1826, Kilrea, County Derry
Entered: 26 August 1851, St John’s, Fordham, NY, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)
Professed: 15 August 1863
Died: 24 March 1896, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Bradshaw, John, 1861-1881, Jesuit novice

  • IE IJA J/943
  • Person
  • 21 January 1861-15 December 1881

Born: 21 January 1861, County Cork
Entered: 17 August 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 15 December 1881, County Cork

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

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Was at Clonliffe before Ent.

Nephew of George Buckeridge - RIP 1904

Very talented.
Died at home in Cork of decline “Vovit Moriens” 15 December 1881.

Brady, John M, 1935-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/849
  • Person
  • 03 September 1935-15 April 2014

Born: 03 September 1935, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1953, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1973, College of Industrial Relations, Dublin
Died: 15 April 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1970 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuit-economist-honoured/

John Brady SJ was conferred with an Honorary Fellowship by the National College of Ireland on Friday 20 Nov,’09. Many former colleagues, Jesuits and friends were there to celebrate his achievement. John Brady SJ spent thirty years of his life at the NCI which was formerly known as the National College of Industrial Relations, based in Ranelagh. According to Dr Tony White of the Milltown Institute, who gave the citation, John Brady was a moderniser. He said it was mainly during his time that the college moved from being a college of adult education to a mainline third-level institution. He also oversaw the employment of lay staff along with Jesuits.”That expansion of course increased the cost base but John’s skills extended to ensuring that the College increased its financial resources to pay for this expansion. He may have had a vow of poverty, but he understood money. After all he is an economist!” Click here to read the full text of Tony White’s speech.
Citation for Reverend John Brady SJ on the occasion of the conferring of an Honorary Fellowship by the National College of Ireland , 20 November 2009
It is very appropriate that we should today be conferring an honorary fellowship on Father John Brady. John Brady is somebody who has made an immense contribution to developing this college and bringing the National College of Ireland to its present position, and it is right that we should acknowledge this contribution in a tangible way.
John Brady is a northside Dubliner. He was educated at Kostka College in Clontarf. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1953. Following two years of novitiate at Emo he continued his studies of economics and history at University College Dublin where he graduated in 1958. Three years of the study of philosophy followed at Tullabeg, after which he spent four years teaching at Crescent College in Limerick and Belvedere College. He then went to Milltown Park to study theology and was ordained there in 1968.
He came to this college in 1970; at that time it was known as the National College of industrial Relations and was located in Ranelagh. He would remain a member of the college staff for thirty years. During his first two years he completed a master’s in economics at University College Dublin. In 1972 he was appointed Director of the College and he held that position for ten years.
John Brady was a moderniser. During his time as Director NCIR made the transition from being primarily a college of adult education to becoming a mainline third-level college. The College had opened as the Catholic Workers College in 1951, and it developed from the skills and contacts of a small and remarkable group of Jesuits in the 1950s and 1960s.
Most of them were still at the College when John joined the staff. He built on the tradition they had established. He consolidated relations with the social partners, and the National College of Industrial Relations became a meeting point for unions and management. John Brady helped to make it very much a crossroads and a good place for what we now call networking.
The College built up a unique niche for itself in industrial relations nationally. John had the diplomatic skills to enable the College to maintain good relations and respect with both sides of industry, no mean achievement in the Ireland of that time. The traditional links with the trade union movement which had been there from the beginning were built on further , and in addition the College became a nationally recognised centre of excellence for teaching what was then referred to as personnel management, and what is today called human resource management.
That was the point at which the College made the transition to becoming a third level institution. John Brady saw the need for external accreditation and recognition of the College’s awards and under him NCIR had its first experience of state recognition with the National Council for Educational Awards, the forerunner of what is now HETAC The National Diploma in Industrial Relations Studies achieved recognition in 1976. This was a major breakthrough because there were at that time many, including a number of influential public servants, who were reluctant to see private colleges like this college achieving state recognition. Under John planning also began on the next phase, which was the move upwards to degree work which took place in the 1980s. These steps constituted the largest and most important transformation in the College’s history and they happened under John’s leadership.
While John was the driver in transforming the College into a third level institution and meeting all the quality inputs, demands and targets that this required, it was also a priority for him that the College would not neglect its roots and that its newly acquired status would not choke the important role which it had always given to access, to looking after those who were often overlooked by the rest of the higher education system. For him the commitment to access, to ensuring that people could have a second chance at achieving their potential, was something of a mission. He ensured that this would remain a college where so far as possible every individual, regardless of what their previous educational history had been, would be afforded an opportunity to develop their full potential. More than anyone else he helped maintain that balance which saw this college achieve genuine third level status, while at the same time maintaining that commitment to offering a very wide level of access to higher education that has put NCI into the unique position nationally which was recognised by the OECD report in 2004.
By the same token John was good at spotting talent, and good also at letting people have their head. In his time as Director the staff grew significantly and he was the one who introduced the first cohort of lay staff. Previously the staff had been almost exclusively Jesuit. That expansion of course increased the cost base but John’s skills extended to ensuring that the College increased its financial resources to pay for this expansion. He may have had a vow of poverty, but he understood money. After all he is an economist.
John Brady has also during his career been a regular contributor to newspapers and journals on economic and social matters. His primary interest was economics, but he was one of those economists whose scope was wide and who wrote on political economy and the social impact of economic decisions and trends. He was also one of those people who reflected and wrote about how the problems of Northern Ireland might eventually be brought to resolution. He was not just a highly practical and effective administrator but by his writing and his activity in the public arena he helped to create the acceptance of this college as one where serious scholarship and intellectual reflection took place.
Asked what characterised John Brady, one of those who worked with him in the early years of the College suggested that he was somebody who offered calm leadership to very strong individuals. He is indeed a calm, gentle and courteous man, a widely – read man and someone with a great interest in music. You are liable to bump into him regularly at the National Concert Hall. Nevertheless behind that gentle exterior there was the passion, the determination, the steel and the vision that tend to be marks of successful leaders of complex institutions like this College.
It is fitting then that this serious scholar and far-seeing manager should be numbered among the honorary fellows of this College, and it is my privilege and pleasure to commend Father John Brady SJ for this distinction.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 156 : Summer 2014

Obituary

Fr John Brady (1925-2014)

3 September 1935 : Born in Dublin
Early education at Holy Faith Convent and Kostka College
7 September 1953: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1955: First Vows at Emo
1955 - 1957: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1957 - 1961: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1961 - 1963: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
1963 - 1965: Belvedere College - Teacher
1965 - 1969: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
10 July 1968: Ordained at Milltown Park
1969 - 1970: Tertianship at St. Beuno's
1970 - 1984: College of Industrial Relations
1970 - 1972: Lecturer; Post-grad. Studies in Economics (MA from UCD)
1973 - 1982: Director of CIR; Lecturer
15 August 1973: Final Vows
1982 - 1983: Sabbatical year
1983 - 1984: Lecturer in Economics at C.I.R.
1984 - 2014: Gonzaga College - Lecturer in Economics at NCIR; Writer
1987 - 1994: Lecturer in Economics at NCR; Writer; Research Lecturer
1994 - 2000: Chaplain and Lecturer in Economics at NCIR; Writer; Research
2000 - 2001: Writer; Research Lecturer
2001 - 2004: Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Sacred Space contributor
2004 - 2010: Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Prefect of Health; Writer
2010: Prefect of Health. Assistant Chaplain Cherryfield Lodge; Writer, Emeritus
2010 - 2011: Assistant Chaplain at Cherryfield Lodge; Writer, Emeritus Lecturer at NCI
2011 - 2012: Emeritus Lecturer at National College of Ireland.
2012 - 2014: Resident, Cherryfield Lodge. Prayed for the Church and the Society

Fr. Brady was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 26th October 2012 when he needed nursing care. His condition deteriorated over time, more so over the last couple of months. He died peacefully before 6:00 am on l5th April 2014. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Fr John Brady died in Cherryfield Lodge on 15 April, at the age of 78. The big crowds at his Removal and Funeral Mass were a reminder of his range of interests, and of the affection with which so many regarded him. He was educated at an interesting school with Jesuit roots, Kostka College in Clontarf, founded and managed by Louis Roden who had been a Jesuit novice. John entered the Jesuits at 18. Son of a civil servant, with roots in Cavan and Meath, his Jesuit life was mainly centred round the College of Industrial Relations, where he was first a lecturer in Economics, then director of the college from 1973-1982, then, for a further 17 years, lecturer and chaplain. His publications, in clear and dispassionate prose, centred mainly on questions of economic and social policy, in the Republic and in Northern Ireland.

He had joys and interests outside his work, notably in art, tennis, music and sailing (he was active in the Glénans organisation, first as an apprentice sailor, later as an instructor). John was open-minded, supportive of younger colleagues, and with a keen curiosity about the world he lived in. As a scholastic in Crescent College in 1962, he had shown a capacity for strategic thinking and action. Brendan Staunton, then a Fifth Year pupil, remembers how John was introduced to the tennis team as their new coach. “He looked the part, with his dazzling head of blond hair. His speaking style however was new to us, and his knowledge of tennis sounded esoteric, most un-Limerick-like. The team progressed to the final, in which they beat Glenstal. At a school assembly John Brady was acclaimed for his shrewd knowledge of the game and his team. What we didn't realise until well after our win was something John Brady did behind the scenes. Glenstal had played their previous rounds on hard courts. John quietly managed to have the final played on grass, in the Club where four of the team were members. And that made all the difference!”

In his homily at John's Requiem Mass, Bill Toner noted the same capacity for strategic thinking:

I was only head-hunted once in my life, and that was by John, who had just been appointed Director of the College of Industrial Relations. He was very strategic in his approach to the job. One aspect of that was that he kept an eye out for young Jesuits who might be persuaded to work in the College. I had studied accountancy in my younger days, and John had just finished designing a National Diploma course in industrial relations which included a subject called 'Financial Control Systems'. So I was quickly in his sights. Anyway the result was that I spent 17 happy years in the CIR, and for the first seven John was my boss.

John was great to work with. When I look back at it now I imagine he must have found me insufferable at times, but he never showed it. He was very humble, and that is why the Beatitudes came to me when I was suggesting a Gospel for the Mass. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. I was full of new ideas when I arrived and I must have frequently strayed onto his patch, but he never pulled rank or said I am the boss here. He seemed to enjoy the contribution made by the various young Turks, Jesuit and lay, who came to work in the College. He was not himself a revolutionary by temperament, but he was greatly fascinated by people who wanted to shake things up and rock the boat and was always ready to give them their head. The result was that there was a great atmosphere of freedom and bold ideas in the College. Lecturers were, to my knowledge, never reined in. If a lecturer was reported to have said something outrageous, rallying people to the cause of the class war or something like that, John would find it amusing rather than shocking. He presided every week at extraordinary faculty meetings - I mean extraordinary in the sense of bizarre rather than unscheduled - which Fr. Bill McKenna used to call the weekly blood letting. These were an occasion for outrageous statements and the taking of indefensible positions. I don't think John could always have found these amusing, but he presided over them with great calm and dignity. I think he regarded them as part of the cut and thrust of academic life. It is said that Henry Kissinger was once given a choice between being president of an American university or working to solve Vietnam conflict and he chose Vietnam as the less stressful of the two. In the end indeed the pressures of being Director of the College for nine years began to tell on John and he gave up the job in 1981, confining himself after that to lecturing in economics.

As Director, John had a great relationship with the students. He took very seriously the characteristics of Jesuit education which have been developed over centuries. In the current Jesuit document on education we can read: The human person, understood in the context of his or her eternal destiny, is the central focus of the Jesuit college. Jesuit education insists on individual care and concern for each person. It invites each student onto their unique journey of personal, moral and spiritual development. Our Mission is to help the students grow holistically. John really believed in that. He encouraged us on the staff to get to know all the students personally, never regarding meetings with individual students as a waste of time. In the early days many of the trade union students had left school at 14 but John was always quick to spot potential and he would talk to them and encourage them to go as far as they could and as far as they wanted to. Many people owe the flowering of their personal academic development to the College and to John. John brought the same concern for the personal care of students to his work as a member of the board of Greendale Community School in Kilbarrack.

John was every inch a Jesuit. He loved the Society. I could say that he was very faithful in going to functions in various Houses, but it was much more than that – he really enjoyed meeting the brethren. In fact he was exceptionally good at meeting people from all walks of life and maintaining firm friendships. He had great friends in the trade union movement, and also in management. John was not naïve. He knew that there were many people in the trade union movement who didn't trust the College and what it was doing, seeing it as an effort to de-radicalise the trade union movement. On the other hand he knew that there were employers and managers who didn't like us because we were giving their workers strange ideas and teaching them to speak up for themselves. The college brought many of these people, managers and union officials, together under the one roof. I can remember one occasion when the lights were on all night in the college. It marked a pause for breath during an E.S.B. strike. The College was chosen as a neutral venue where the E.S.B. unions and management could hammer out an agreement, which they did at 7 a.m. A number of commentators, some critical and some not, have suggested that the College played an important role in developing the concept of partnership in the conduct of industrial relations in Ireland. Although national wage agreements may now be a thing of the past, they probably played a crucial role in the steadying of the ship after some of the disastrous and destructive labour and management disputes of the 60s.
It is interesting to note that seven national wage agreements were negotiated during the period that John Brady was Director of the College. Although John was not directly involved in these, he and the College were definitely making a contribution, big or small, to the creation of a climate where people in industry could talk to one another. John had so many interests outside the College that it would be impossible to list them all. He was a man of deep culture. He had Norah McGuiness paintings hanging in the College tea room before most people had even heard of Norah McGuiness. He loved the theatre and good books. He was passionately interested in politics. He came to the College just as the conflict in Northern Ireland broke out, and he was a leading member of the Jesuit network, Jesuits in Northern Ireland, where he made very thoughtful contributions, with interesting angles on difficult questions. Blessed are the peacemakers - John tried his best to be a peacemaker whether in the field of industrial relations or in the Northern Ireland conflict.

John's basic discipline was economics, and he did his master's degree in the economics of transport in Ireland, a subject which fascinated him. He was an academic in the best sense of the world, not because he liked arguing about arcane concepts, but because he could see the power of ideas-and-solid-arguments to bring about change. He was a very popular lecturer in the college. Remarkably, considering his success as a Director, he suffered from a very bad stammer, and nothing showed the determination in his character more than his refusal to let that prevent him from doing anything he wanted to do, whether it was saying a public Mass, or giving a public lecture, or addressing the students at conferring. It was in itself a lesson to all of us not to let some real or imagined problem pull us down. Again, only a very humble person could deal with something like that – he was not too proud to let his fragility show.

John was a very generous person, and could rarely resist helping a poor person who asked him for help. Some would say that he was generous to a fault, but perhaps that accusation would also be laid at the feet of Jesus Christ. St Paul said of Jesus: "Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us”. I don't think John's generosity was a fault that he needed to worry about when he went to meet his maker.

It was sad that John's last years were blighted so much by illness and by memory failure. A time like this is a good time to remember him at his very best, as a good and talented and prayerful Jesuit, to thank God for the contribution he made to the economic and cultural life of his country. We pray for the consolation of his relatives and friends, especially Luke, his brother, his sister in law Catherine, his niece Lisanne, and his nephew Colin. And we pray for John himself that he is now at eternal peace with God.

Bill Toner

Brady, John, 1878-1944, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/65
  • Person
  • 09 November 1878-14 April 1944

Born: 09 November 1878, Dublin
Entered: 18 March 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1913, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 14 April 1944, Dublin

Part of the Clongowes Wood College SJ community, County Kildare, at time of death.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 19th Year No 3 1944

Obituary :

Brother John Brady SJ (1878-1944)

After years of intermittent suffering, death came peacefully to Brother Brady on April 14th. He was born in Dublin on November 9th, 1878, and, after some years spent in the Railway Works at Inchicore, he entered the Society on March 18th, 1902. Already he was known to the Fathers at Gardiner St, where he was a faithful member of his sodality, and more than one of his co-sodalists of those days came to pay their last respects to his remains when they heard of his death.
After his novitiate, Br. Brady spent three years in Dublin at Gardiner St, and Belvedere, and the rest of his life was divided between Clongowes (seventeen years) and Milltown Park (sixteen years). During most of this time he was refectorian or dispenser, and those who had much to do with him in these capacities will long remember gratefully his remarkable efficiency and devotion to duty. With these qualities he combined an unfailing sense of humour which made him a doubly welcome member of any community to which he was attached. For many years he suffered from deafness, but never would he allow the Inconvenience so often caused by this physical defect to make him irritable or impatient - rather, a good joke and a hearty laugh were the familiar accompaniments of his conversation.
In the year 1938-39, Br. Brady had a very serious operation, and, owing to the state of his heart, could not be given the full anaesthetic. His wonderful courage on this occasion made the surgeon describe him later as the bravest man he had ever met. Those who had opportunities of knowing Br. Brady's deep spiritual life, shown especially by his regular observance, will appreciate whence came this courage. It supported him again through the last years of his life when he suffered from angina pectoris, and attacks of agonising pain seized him with increasing frequency. He never complained, and when able he continued to carry on his daily tasks.
A few days before the end, he had one of these attacks which kept him motionless near the hall-door of Clongowes for nearly half an hour while the Community were at dinner. That was on Sunday. On the following Thursday night, he was unable to lie down owing to the pain, and the next day he was anointed and sent by ambulance to hospital. There he had one violent attack but seemed to recover and was settling down to sleep. Then, almost unexpectedly and without pain, he died. But we may be confident that Almighty God has welcomed His good and valiant servant to his eternal reward. R.I.P.

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Brother John Brady SJ

In “The Clongownian” of 1910, under “Choir Notes”, there is the following item, dated May 25th : “At 5.30 our less fortunate companions went to the study to discuss wall building with old Balbus or feast on Algebraical factors. We remained below to enjoy the fine menu provided by Br O'Grady. The table was very artistically decorated by Br Brady, who left nothing undone that could conduce to our comfort”.

There is something especially pathetic in this entry of thirty-three years ago, as both those mentioned have this year gone to their reward after lives spent in just those occupations that are mentioned in the entry.

With the exception of four years, Br O'Grady had been continuously in Clongowes from 1882 until his death last December. In spite, however, of that long connection of over sixty years, he was but little known to the boys of the school, though many, at least of the older generation, will remember him on the ice as a graceful and accomplished skater. His work was confined mostly to the kitchen and its environments where he laboured unostentatiously, but most effciently, during all those years. With the preparation of how many “feeds” he must have been connected! How many enjoyed the good things that he prepared without, perhaps, giving a thought to the hand that had prepared them and the care that had been lavished upon them ! But it was not for the thanks of those who benefited by his work that Br O'Grady laboured. He was a true religious and worked for a Master Who never fails to reward His faithful servants. Clongowes and its interests will be better served by Br O'Grady in heaven even than they were when he lived and worked amongst us.

Br Brady's connection with Clongowes was very much shorter than that of Br O'Grady, but it brought him into closer con tact with the boys, as he was for many years in charge of the refectory. He took a deep interest in them and in everything connected with them, even their games, especially the Line Matches. He possessed a great sense of humour, and a joke was ever ready to his lips.

Many will remember how his answer to the question “What second-course to-day, Brother?” was invariably “Plums”, whether or not these dainties were to appear ! For many years before his death he suffered from deafness, but that did not affect his cheerfulness, nor did even the ill-health of his last few years which he bore with great patience and resignation to the will of God.
May they rest in peace.

Brady, Joseph, 1802-1875, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/944
  • Person
  • 14 April 1802-16 March 1875

Born: 14 April 1802, Castlebar, County Mayo
Entered: 27 December 1826, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Final Vows: 15 August 1839
Died 16 March 1875: Nagapattinam Tamil Nadu, India - Franciae Province (FRA)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1843 Sailed with others for the new College and Mission at Calcutta 24/08/1843. When it closed, he got permission to join the French Fathers at Madurai, where, by his own exertions he had acquired a knowledge of Mathematics, he for some years taught at the College of Nagapattinamm. He died there 16/03/1875 aged 73

Brady, Laurence, 1818-1895, Jesuit novice

  • IE IJA J/138
  • Person
  • 1818-23 August 1895

Born: 1818, County Meath
Entered: 24 July 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 23 August 1895, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare

Took vows on his death-bed?

He was at one time said to be in business, and also said to have means.
He was a Brother Novice for a very short period. He had lived at Clongowes as a “Parlour Boarder” for some years. He was a companion on the farm to Eugene Duffy.

Brady, Patrick, 1922-1994, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/482
  • Person
  • 17 March 1922-23 August 1994

Born: 17 March 1922, Dublin
Entered: 02 July 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1953, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 23 August 1994, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 79 : Christmas 1994 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Patrick (Paddy) Brady (1922-1994)

17th Mar, 1922: Born in Dublin
Education: Model School, Marlborough St.
2nd July 1943: Entered Society at Emo, Co. Laois
8th Sept. 1945: First Vows at Emo
1945 - 1950: Rathfarnham, Refectorian
1950 - 1958: Mungret College, Limerick, Supervisor of Domestic Staff
15th Aug. 1953: Final Vows at Mungret College
1958 - 1959: Tullabeg, Supervisor of Domestic Staff
1959 - 1968: Mungret College, Supervisor of Domestic Staff
1968 - 1971: Milltown Park, Supervisor of Domestic Staff
1971 - 1994: Sacred Heart Church, Sacristan, St. John Berchman's Sodality, Assistant Promoter of Missions
1994: Treated for heart failure in St. Vincents and the Royal Hospital, Donnybrook. Discharged to Cherryfield
23rd Aug. 1994: Died at Cherryfield Lodge

Coming away from a funeral, a woman was heard to say to a friend: “Sure, he had a great way with him”. It would be difficult to come up with a better description of Paddy Brady in so few words.

Born in Dublin on St. Patrick's Day, 1922, Paddy Brady attended the Model Schools in Marlborough Street. He worked in Woolworth's for two years and went to Emo at the age of twenty one. For five years, 1945-50, he was stationed in Rathfarnham as refectorian, and from there he went to Mungret for eight years. The year 1968-71, when he joined the community of the Crescent Church. Thus of his fifty one years in the Society he spent forty in Limerick. Despite his long years there and his great love for the city, he remained very much a “Dub” all his life.

One of Paddy's characteristics was his remarkable capacity for making friends and keeping them. He had so many - who included Mungret boys who kept in touch with him for many years, Mungret staff members - several of whom he helped by finding positions for them, people who came to this church, and altar servers here, past and present. Indeed we all felt that none of us had the good rapport with so many people around that Paddy had. An unusually large number attended his funeral Mass, and for days afterwards tributes of appreciation poured in. One man, an old Mungret boy, told us that he had planned to fly to England on the day after Paddy's death, but put off his flight in order to be present at the funeral. Some time afterwards a man who had worked in Rathfarnham Castle in the 1940's called us to offer sympathies and gave us a copy (only a copy, for he still treasured the original) of a letter Paddy had written to him in 1946!

His cheery greeting and friendly manner were often commented on. He brought much encouragement to people and many came to him with their worries, sensing he was their friend and certain he would give them a listening ear. He liked a laugh and was not above playing practical jokes. During his Mungret years he took much pleasure in trying to best Paddy Coffey, a man who did not always appreciate having his leg (even his good one!) pulled,

In community he was very pleasant and congenial, and most obliging, gladly lending a hand here, there and everywhere. He was most reliable, and if he told you he would do something for you, you just knew that it would be done and you did not have to think about it twice. As sacristan he used to open the church door every morning at 7.00am and in his twenty three years here he was known to have missed out on that chore only once. He was an efficient sacristan and never failed to have everything ready for whatever the occasion.

He was a good entertainer, and on the night of his Golden Jubilee he and his brother Chris gave an amusing performance which had us all rocking with laughter. He was very close to the members of his family and liked to remind us that it was his father who had printed the 1916 Proclamation. This fact had given Paddy an entrée into political circles.

He was very much into sports, being an avid soccer fan with a strong allegiance to Liverpool. He was fond too of the horses, and indeed liked to follow on the TV screen football matches of every code.

For years he suffered from heart trouble and diabetes, but he soldiered on actively. Last April, feeling very depressed - which was so unlike his usual form - he went up to Dublin to see his family. Hardly had he arrived than he collapsed. His family brought him to Cherryfield, from where Ned Keelaghan had him transferred to St. Vincent's. His life was in the balance for some days and then he rallied somewhat. But if he did, he had another relapse a few days later, and this remained the pattern of his condition for the next four and a half months. He grew restless in hospital and was transferred to the Therapy Unit in the Royal Hospital. After a short stay, he went to Cherryfield but despite the wonderful care he received, he never really made headway. The awful depression continued and he did not have the will to win through. He died peacefully on the 23rd August.

Daniel Dargan

Brady, Peter, 1926-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/719
  • Person
  • 01 July 1926-22 October 2007

Born: 01 July 1926, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1962, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 22 October 2007, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 01 January 1968; HK to CHN : 1992

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1954 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Scholar and missionary to Hong Kong dies in homeland
Father Peter Brady
R.I.P.

Father Peter Brady of the Society of Jesus, died peacefully in Ireland on 23 October 2007 at the age of 81. A published writer and a teacher of ethics, he first set foot in Hong Kong in 1952, finally returning to Ireland in 2001.

Born on 1 July 1926, Father Brady joined the Jesuits in 1944, and earned a bachelors’ degree in philosophy at University College Dublin. He then came on mission to Hong Kong in 1952, where he spent two years studying Chinese and another year teaching at Wah Yan College, Wanchai.

Returning to Milltown Park, Ireland, he studied theology and was ordained on 31 July 1958. Two years later he arrived back in Hong Kong and took up the post of assistant to the editor of China News Analysis while continuing his Chinese studies. From 1961 to 1962 he lectured on the history of philosophy and sociology at the Holy Spirit Seminary College in Aberdeen before heading for Melbourne, Australia, for a year to work on his masters degree in modern philosophy.

Upon his return to Hong Kong, Father Brady taught philosophy at the seminary as well as ethics at Wah Yan College in Kowloon.

Ethics would become his life’s work and he taught the subject at Wah Yan, until 1973, then subsequently at the seminary from 1973 to 1996.

He wrote and published several books which were also translated into Chinese: Practical Ethics (1970), Love and Life (1979), Introduction to Natural Family Planning (1980), Medical Ethics (1983) and Ethics (2001), as well as textbooks on ethics for secondary schools.

In later years Father Brady worked on weekends at St. Joseph’s Church in Central, where he made many friends. He had a great sense of humour and was loved by everybody.

In 2001, poor health saw him returning to Ireland where he stayed at a nursing home for Jesuits. He enjoyed receiving visitors from Hong Kong and kept up-to-date on the territory through the weekly editions of the Sunday Examiner.

A memorial Mass was celebrated for him at Ricci Hall Chapel on 10 November 2007.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 November 2007

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He joined the Society of Jesus in 1944. After the usual Jesuit studies graduating BA at UCD and then studying Philosophy, he was then sent to Hong Kong in 1952.

1952-1955 he began studding Chinese for two years before spending a year teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.
1955-1958 He was back in Ireland and Milltown Park, studying Theology and he was Ordained in 1958.
1960-1962 He returned to Hong Kong and took up a post as Assistant to the Editor of the China News Analysis, as well as continuing to study Chinese. He was then appointed to the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen as a Lecturer in the History of Philosophy and Sociology.
1962-1963 He went to Australia where he graduated MA in Modern Philosophy (at Campion College, Kew, Australia)
1963 Returning to Hong Kong, he lectured at the Seminary in Aberdeen, and at the same time he was teaching Ethics at Wah Yan Kowloon (1965-1973).

According to Freddie Deignan : “During that time Peadar wrote and published several books which were translated into Chinese : “Practical Ethics” (1970); textbooks on Ethics for Secondary Schools : “Love and Life (1979), “Natural Family Planning” (1980), “Medical Ethics” (1983), and “Ethics” (2001). He also wrote many articles on sexual ethics and natural family planning for CMAC. In his latter years he loved his weekend apostolae at St Joseph’s Church, where he made many friends. he had a great sense of humour and was loved by everybody.

Due to ill health he left Hong Kong and went to Ireland in 2001, where he lived at the Jesuit nursing him in Cherryfield Lodge.

Brady, Philip, 1846-1917, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/945
  • Person
  • 08 July 1846-05 January 1917

Born: 08 July 1846, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1868, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880, St Beuno's, Wales
Final Vows: 02 February 1889, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 05 January 1917, St Vincent's Hospital, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

Part of the Tullabeg, Co Offaly community at the time of death

Older Brother of Thomas - LEFT 1872

Ent Milltown; Ord 1880;
by 1871 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1873 At Vals France (TOLO) studying
by 1874 at Brussels College Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1875 at Mount St Mary’s (ANG) Regency
by 1877 at St Francis Xavier Liverpool (ANG) Regency
by 1879 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1886 at Roehampton London (ANG) Making tertianship
by 1904 at St Mary’s Rhyl (ANG) working
by 1905 at St Wilfred’s Preston (ANG) working
by 1907 at Lowe House, St Helen’s (ANG) working

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had a younger brother Thomas who also Entered, but left for the Dublin Diocese and was Ordained, but unfortunately at his parish in Dundrum he was thrown from his horse and killed instantly. He also had a half-brother John Brady CM, a Vincentian based at Phibsborough.

Early Education was at Castleknock College.

After his Noviceship he studied Rhetoric at Roehampton, and Philosophy at Vals, France.
He did his Regency at Mount St Mary’s (ANG)
1879 He was sent to St Beuno’s for Theology and was Ordained there.
After Ordination he was sent to Belvedere and Clongowes teaching for some years. He also taught for many years at Mungret and Galway.
He then joined the Mission Staff, and then went to work in the ANG Parish at Preston.
His last year was spent at Tullabeg. he had a serious deafness problem and an operation was advised. he died at the Leeson Street Hospital 05 January 1917, and buried from Gardiner St. A large number of Vincentians attended his funeral out of respect for his half-brother John Brady CM of Phibsborough.

Brady, Thomas, 1837-1912, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/946
  • Person
  • 08 September 1837-14 September 1912

Born: 08 September 1837, Killeshandra, County Cavan
Entered: 09 February 1859, Florissant MO, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)
Professed: 15 August 1869
Died: 14 September 1912, St Mary’s, KS, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)

Bramhall, Bernard, 1698-1772, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/947
  • Person
  • 15 August 1698-27 July 1772

Born: 15 August 1698, County Meath
Entered: 07 September 1721, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: c1734
Final Vows: 02 February 1739
Died 27 July 1772, London, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Alias Baker

Studied at Ghent and St Omer
1727 Teaching Humanities and Philosophy at St Omer
1730 Teaching Syntax at St Omer
1763 was rector of London Mission referred also as Procurator
In ANG Catalogue 1723-1760

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
(1) Bernard Bramhall
Of distinguished talents, extreme industry and grave judgement. Taught Humanities and Philosophy at St Omer. Rector of St Ignatius College London. (cf Foley’s Collectanea)
(2) Bernard Baker
After teaching Humanities and Philosophy in Belgium, he was sent to England, and was Rector of St Ignatius College (London) for some time until 1766.
1722 He was Procurator in London and died there according to a mortuary bill 27 July 1772, but according to a list in the handwriting of William Strickland, of London, a good authority, in February 1773. The ANG Catalogue 1773 also names him as in London.
Richard Plowden, Rector at St Omer 1726, in a letter in the archives, calls him “an excellent scholar, extremely industrious and a grave, judicious man”.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BAKER, BERNARD, (vere Bramhall, Ball) was born in Ireland on the 16th of August, 1698, was admitted into the Society at the age of 23, and was raised to the rank of a Professed Father, on the 2nd of February, 1739. After teaching Humanities and Philosophy, he was sent to London, and was appointed Rector of his Brethren in the College of St. Ignatius, an office which he filled till December, 1762. He died in London on the 27th of July 1772 : but another account says February, 1773.

Brand, John, 1712-1767, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/948
  • Person
  • 15 September 1712-21 January 1767

Born: 15 September 1712, Dublin
Entered: 23 April 1735, Lima, Peru - Peruvianae Province (PER)
Ordained: 08 September 1742
Final Vows 08 October 1751
Died: 21 January 1767, Peru - Peruvianae Province (PER)

◆ Fr John MacErlean SJ :
Following his ordination, the rest of his life was devoted to work among the pagan Indians. He died about 1762.

Brangan, Gerald, 1912-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/67
  • Person
  • 24 April 1912-29 September 1978

Born: 24 April 1912, Kells, County Meath
Entered: 26 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1946, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 29 September 1978, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Gerald Brangan was the last of a family of four boys and three girls who grew up in the town of Kells, Co Meath in Ireland. The boys took their secondary school education at Clongowes Wood College and it was there that Gerald's vocation developed. He liked cricket and tennis and played them well. But it was on the golf links of his home town, in the company of his favorite brother Paddy, that his proficiency in the game was most admired.

Gerald had difficulties with the study of humanities even though he was intelligent and endowed with excellent judgment and much common sense. So it was with some relief that he moved on to Tullabeg for philosophy. His years at Tullabeg were happy ones. He was encouraged and guided in his study of philosophy by his former school friend Henry Fay, himself a very talented and kind scholastic. In fact, Gerry (as he was called) read widely in English, French and Spanish.

His regency years were spent at Belvedere College where he taught and had charge of the Junior Rugby and Cricket teams. These duties laid the foundation for many years of outstanding and distinctly priestly work among senior boys and other adults when, after tertianship, he returned to Belvedere as games master. He spent the greater part of his life in that post. During that time he was always approachable and helped many people by his advice and above all by his example.

Two of the three bishops who attended his obsequies had profited by it. Gerry was a priest and the work he did among footballs and cricket bats and referees' whistles was eminently priestly work. By his Christ-like gentleness and quiet winning manner he affected all with whom he dealt. After his time as games master, he returned to the teaching of religious knowledge to junior boys. This work must have been particularly difficult for one whose experience had been gained and talents exercised with much success among the older boys.

At this point in his life, he offered himself for a period of two years on the Zambian mission. Here again his kindness and gentleness won him many friends and endeared him to his parishioners. His work was pastoral, mainly in Roma parish, and a six month stint at the Sacred Heart parish in Kabwe. The warmth with which he was welcomed was a comfort to him. He felt very glad to be where he was wanted.

On his return to Ireland in 1974, he took up work in the diocese of Dublin. He was sent to a parish where the people understood him and he understood them. He also had the appreciation and sympathy of the parish priest. Steadfastly refusing to use a car, he walked every day through his district, visiting schools, making friends with children and teachers, chatting and sympathising with everyone he met. He revived devotions in the parish where they had lapsed, in spite of discouraging beginnings.

But the work took its toll. A heart attack laid him low. Hospital treatment and a rest gave him another year's respite and he struggled on. The end came quickly. At his funeral, a parishioner spoke the thoughts of many, saying "he radiated the gentleness of Christ and we all looked on him as a saintly soul".

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 54th Year No 1 1979

Obituary :

Fr Gerald Brangan (1912-1978)

Gerald Brangan was the last of a family of Clongownian brothers and it was in the Clongowes chapel and during retreats preached there by Fr Frank Browne and Fr Ernest Mackey that his vocation developed. At school he was known as a retiring boy, quiet but determined, and with much independence of character. In class he held a middle place and had to work hard to keep it; at games he showed only average promise, but he liked cricket and tennis and played them well. It was at home in Kells where he lived, the youngest child of a most Christian and affectionate family, that he was seen at his best and it was on the golf-course there that his proficiency in games was most admired.
As the end of school-days approached for him he felt a certain trepidation: he was weak in Irish and knew that a failure in that subject would deprive him of matriculation and so of entrance ot the Society, But Fr Andy O’Reilly, who was then a scholastic teaching in Clongowes, gave him special lessons and as a result Gerald passed without difficulty. This kindness of Fr O’Reilly’s he never forgot.
Difficulties began again at the university. Gerry was an intelligent man endowed with excellent judgement and much common sense, yet he found the humanities difficult. It was probably an extreme diffidence that handicapped him and he proceeded to Tullabeg without taking his degree.
The years of philosophy were happy ones and under the guidance of a great school-friend, Harry Fay (a very brilliant scholastic who died shortly afterwards in Milltown) he read widely in English, French and Spanish. For his colleges he went to Belvedere where he taught and had charge of the Junior Rugby and cricket teams.
After tertianship he returned to Belvedere as games master. He was to spend the greater part of his life in that post. It is easy to dismiss a man's life work in a sentence, and in Gerry's case it could be done, but only in externals. His influence can never be chronicled and the good he did is known to God alone and to those he helped in so many ways by his advice and above all by his example. Two of the three bishops who attended his obsequies had profited by it: the Archbishop and Dr. Dermot O’Mahony. He was a priest and the work he did among footballs and cricket-bats and referees whistles was eminently priestly work. They were the carpenter's tools of his Nazareth; and in plying them, by his Christlike gentleness and quiet winning manner, he affected all with whom he dealt. His powers of organisation were sometimes seen to be weak, but here the loyalty of colleagues helped him. With the boys he was apparently easy-going and tranquil, but when a question of good behaviour or honour or principle arose, all the steel in his character showed. Without this hidden strength he could not have won the respect and affection of so many generations of schoolboys and retained it when they had left school. In representing the school outside, in committees or games organisations, his quiet integrity and kindliness were much appreciated. In these circles he was known as a Jesuit of whom the Society could well be proud.
The circumstances of his change from this office which he had held for so long and in which he wielded so profound an influence were not unattended by humiliation for him, a suffering he had done nothing to deserve. This he accepted in his saintly way in the spirit of the eleventh rule of the Summary, showing that meditation on the third degree of humility is still necessary in these days of renewal.
Paradoxically however, a little consolation came from outside. Only his very closest friends were privileged to see the letters written by games-masters of schools all over Dublin. The warmest of these indeed were from Protestant schools and they showed much appreciation of all he had done to foster a spirit of gentlemanliness, fair play and sportsmanship in both cricket and Rugby. One such letter stated that he had changed the whole atmosphere of the world of schools cricket during his years in Belvedere. And of course, shortly before this change of office, he had been chosen to be one of the principal speakers at the inner to celebrate the centenary of Masonic School - surely a unique tribute to be a priest. The Old Belvedere Rugby and Cricket Clubs also showed their great appreciation of all he had done for them.
He was next entrusted with the teaching of seven classes in religious knowledge in the Junior school. This of course would have been a trial to anyone in the autumn of life; for him, whose experience had been gained and talents exercised with much success among maturer boys, it was particularly difficult. While engaged in this task he may have reflected that in the old Society the teaching of small boys was considered an appropriate preparation for work among the savages of North America. Be that as it may, the missions came to his mind and he offered himself for a period of two years in Zambia. The warmth with which he was welcomed was a comfort to him. He felt very glad to go where he was wanted. Reports that reached home indicated that his gentleness and spirit of hard work endeared him to his parishioners there.
On his return to Ireland he was advised by his friends that work in the Dublin diocese would be most suitable for him and with the approval of superiors he appeared before a diocesan board. When he was asked where he would like to work, his answer was characteristic: “I wish to be sent somewhere I am wanted”. The diocesan authorities chose wisely. He was sent to a parish which he suited in every way. The people were of a kind that understood him and whom he understood and he had the appreciation and sympathy of the parish priest. Yet the work was hard: the pastor was burdened with much diocesan duty and Gerry’s fellow curate was on the point of abandoning his vocation, so a very great deal fell to his lot. “Fr Brangan will be killed by all the work he is doing”, a parishioner remarked, But there were many consolations. He was loved by young and old. Steadily refusing to use a car, he walked every day through his district, visiting schools, making friends with children and teachers, chatting and sympathising with everyone he met. He revived devotions which had lapsed and despite discouraging beginnings persevered doggedly until they again became popular. A new curate, who understood and admired him, arrived and was a great support to him.
But the work took its toll. A heart attack, the first signs of which he had ignored, laid him low. Hospital treatment and a rest gave him another year’s respite and he struggled on. Then the end came very quickly.
His funeral was a most moving ceremony; the words of the parish priest, the evident sense of loss felt by all, especially the young, showed how he had been revered and loved, “I should not like to be the priest who has to take Fr Brangan's place”, one of the clergy remarked to the bishop. A parishioner spoke the thoughts of many, saying: “He radiated the gentleness of Christ and we all looked on him as a saintly soul”. May his noble, gentle soul rest in peace with his loved Master.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1979

Obituary

Father Gerald Brangan SJ

Two absolutely delightful and totally unsolicited letters came to Belvedere in the weeks following the death of Fr Gerry Brangan. The first was from Salisbury in (then) Rhodesia, from Barney Flynn, who spent some time in Belvedere as a Jesuit Scholastic. The letter was the more moving in that it had crossed such a wide abyss of distance and time and culture. In a whimsical sense the other letter also crossed deep divides. Not only was it from a rival order, the Holy Ghost Fathers, but (darker and darker grows the deep), a Holy Ghost Father from 'Rock!! The latter writer wishes to remain anonymous apart from giving this address. They each agreed to allow their letters to be used as a tribute to this kind and gentle man, who would very often interrupt himself in mid sentence to apologise to you, if he thought he had slighted you in the first half of what he was going to say.

Happily we have a letter from Barney Flynn. It is not the one referred to above but a sequel to it. (The best planned filing schemes go all astray when someone else tidies one's room...). The letter from the Holy Ghost Father went the same way as the first letter from Salisbury, but it is worth recording that it was sent.

The rest of this notice is quotation from Salisbury:

Salisbury,
Rhodesia,
12th November, 1978

Thanks for your recent letter in which you say you would like to use my letter of condolence on the death of Gerry Brangan as the obituary in the 1979 Belvederian. I am overwhelmed: there must be other more gifted pens...... I add the following paragraphs, which, if you wish, you could add in ...

Fr Brangan was a dedicated Prefect of Games.. Under him, Belvedere became the leading school in Leinster Cricket ...

Fr Brangan did not think it beneath his dignity to teach the rudiments of the game to the tiny tots of Elements, nor to run the Tuck Shop to make a bit of money to buy bats and balls. I close my eyes and see him in the Gym at break, amid a bedlam of noise, doling out buns and soft drinks ...

Classroom teaching was not his forte. How often I saw him, already late for class, frantically searching for his pile of exercise copies, lost somewhere under the rubble that was his table. But a teacher teaches himself and his pupils were bles sed to have as mentor a master of all the qualities that make up a christian gentle-man. These qualities of sympathetic understanding, deep kindness and love for others, later won him the hearts of the people of St John Baptist parish where he spent his last years as a curate.

Fr Brangan's spiritual life was hid with Christ in God. He did not parade his piety but it was there to see in his actions. Once he said to me, years after he had left Belvedere: “Remember how I used to dash off most evenings after dinner? The brethren probably thought I was off on a skite. Actually, used visit an old lady who was very lonely”.

... It was fitting that Gerry Brangan and Tom O'Callaghan should go to heaven more or less together, as they formed such a fantastic team for so long. They were Belvedere rugby and cricket for many years, their influence on generations of boys incalculable. I think it would be fitting if their obituaries appear as one..

Do you happen to know the date of TOC's death? I keep a record of the death dates of all I have known to remember them on their anniversaries. ... The fact that I am no longer in the Society need cause no embarrassement. If you wish you may make my contribution anonymous, representing all the 's who worked in harness with Fr Gerry Brangan.

Barney Flynn.

◆ The Clongownian, 1979

Obituary

Father Gerard Brangan SJ

Gerard was the youngest of three brothers who came to School at Clongowes from Kells, and spent five years here. At the end of his schooldays he went to study for a degree at UCD, but before completing his degree, he entered the Jesuit Noviceship at Tullabeg. At the end of his Noviceship he studied Philisophy at Milltown Park, and when this course was completed he went to teach in Belvedere College. Then after a couple of years he returned to Milltown Park for his Theological Studies, and was ordained priest there on the 29th July 1943. At the end of his course he returned to Belvedere as games master, a post he held for the greater part of his life.

He made a great name for himself among all the schools in Dublin with which he had dealings, and when he retired he received many letters of commendation from the games-masters of other schools - the warmest from the Protestant Schools of the city. Shortly before he retired he had been chosen as one of the principal speakers at the dinner to celebrate the centenary of the Masonic School. The Old Belvedere Rugby and Cricket Clubs also voiced their appreciation of all he had done for them. On retirement, he stayed on in Belvedere teaching in the Junior School.

Priests were badly needed in Zambia at this time, and so he volunteered to go out there for two years. On his return he learned that priests were urgently needed for parochial work in the Dublin Archdiocese; and so he offered his services once again, and was gladly accepted. He was assigned to the Clontarf Parish, and worked there for the last four years of his life. He was highly appreciated by the parishioners, and devoted himself especially to the care of the schools in the parish.

He worked hard and the exertion took its toll. A heart attack laid him low, but after some months in hospital he returned to the parish and struggled on for another year. The end came quickly and suddenly, and he died on the 29th September 1978. The large congregation at his funeral witnessed to how greatly he was appreciated in the parish. The Archbishop of Dublin and Dr O'Mahony presided at the obsequies. In earlier days they had both been under his care in Belvedere.

Brangan, P Dermot, 1932-2021, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/351
  • Person
  • 20 July 1932-04 January 2021

Born: 20 July 1932, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 18 March 1965, Tokyo, Japan
Final Vows: 15 January 1978, Japan
Died: 04 January 2021, Loyola House, Tokyo - Japoniae Province (JPN)

Transcribed HIB to JPN, 15 August 1967

Born : 20th July 1932, Dublin
Raised : Drumcondra, Dublin
Early Education at Coláiste Mhuire, Dublin
7th September 1950 Entered Society at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
8th September 1952 First Vows at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1952-1955 Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin – 3rd level studies at University College Dublin
1955-1958 Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany - Studying Philosophy
1958-1960 Eiko Gauken, Yokosuka-shi, Japan – Regency Studying Japanese language
1960-1962 Hiroshima Gaukin, Hiroshima-shi, Japan - Regency : Teaching
1962-1966 Iesus Kai Dhudoin, Nerima-ku, Tokyo, Japan - Studying Theology
18th March 1965 Ordained at Tokyo
1966-1967 Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin – Tertianship
1967 Transcribed to Japanese Province [JPN] (15/08/1967)
15th January 1978 Final Vows in Japan

◆ Obituary and Tribute
FR PATRICK DERMOT BRANGAN, SJ
July 20, 1932 ~ January 4, 2021

Perhaps because there are too many “Patricks” in Ireland (and because his father’s name was Patrick), he was always known by his middle name “Dermot,” frequently shortened to “Derm.” His mail address, however, was “branganpatrick,” and it might have been the influence of St Patrick, the great British missionary to Ireland, that prompted the Irishman Fr Dermot Brangan to bring Christ to another island country, Japan.
He was born in Dublin on July 20, 1932, the last of five siblings, and was baptised four days later. As a teenager, Dermot attended an Irish-language high school, where he acquired a great love and appreciation for Irish culture and traditions. Surely these enhanced that enjoyable Irish wit that he carried with him throughout his life.
On graduating from high school at the age of 18, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Emo on September 7, 1950. He was fortunate to have as his novice master Fr Donal O’Sullivan, a man known to be very wise and even “ahead of his times.” Three years of humanities (1952-55) at University College Dublin followed on his novitiate, and then he was sent to Pullach in Germany to study philosophy (1955-58). While there, he became proficient in the German language, which was to prove useful in his future community life among German Jesuits in Japan. In fact, someone mentioned that it might have been as a preparation for missionary work in Japan that he was sent to Germany for philosophy.
Having been accepted for missionary life in Japan, Dermot set out with a group of Irish Jesuits going to Hong Kong and fellow scholastic, Donal Doyle, who was also destined for Japan and would be a close companion for the duration of Dermot’s life and a valuable family contact on his demise. (Not even Donal Doyle could fill in the blanks about what drew Dermot to the Jesuits in the first place or why he took an interest in Japan.)
The missionary group traveled by train to Lourdes and then to Rome, where they met with Fr General Janssens at Villa Cavaletti and received Pope Pius XII’s blessing at Castel Gandolfo. They set sail from Naples, auspiciously enough on the feast of St Ignatius, July 31, 1958 and on a ship named “Asia.” Transferring to a smaller ship at Hong Kong, Dermot and Donal sailed on to Japan, stopping off overnight at Kōbe, unaware of the many years Dermot would eventually be spending in that port city. Their final port of call was Yokohama, where they were met by a Father from the language school in Yokosuka and were taken there for the usual two-year Jesuit language program.
After successfully adding Japanese to his familiarity with Irish and German, he was sent to Hiroshima in the summer of 1960 for the first stage of a long career teaching English to Japanese students. Hiroshima Gakuin had opened only four years earlier and was still struggling to set firm roots in the city that had rebuilt itself with surprising vigor from that fateful August day of 1945. While Dermot was teaching there, he was involved in an incident which threatened to leave a deep scar on the name of the school.
As a young scholastic not unfamiliar with mountain climbing, Dermot was asked to go along with the teacher in charge of a group of students on a trek into the mountains just after Christmas of 1961. Along the way the group got caught in an unexpectedly heavy snowstorm. Totally exhausted from plodding through the deep snow and with their destination stopover a mere 100 meters ahead of them, one of the students collapsed and died on the spot. The incident got newspaper coverage, and the young school was both saddened at the loss of a precious life and panicked over what might ensue. Public attention soon passed, but this tragic incident remained in Dermot’s heart as one traumatic downside of his two years of regency in Hiroshima.
The next step in his formation was four years of theology studies at the Jesuit Kamishakujii scholasticate in Tokyo (1962- 66), with ordination to the priesthood on March 18, 1965 at the hands of Cardinal Peter Doi in the newly erected Tokyo cathedral. Those were the days when the professors of theology were rapidly attempting to catch up with the spirit of Vatican II, some more successfully than others. It was also the time when Japan’s phenomenal post-war recovery startled the world with its flawless staging of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
Immediately after theology, Fr Brangan returned to his native Ireland for tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin under Fr Michael Connolly (September 1966 to July 1967). Returning to Japan after that, he began a 27-year career that took him in and out of three Jesuit high schools, mainly teaching English and always being available for consultation with students and teachers. He was a good listener, always trying to understand and help.
The first assignment was to Kōbe to teach English and introduction to Christianity for nine years at Rokkō High School (1967-76). Then there was a twelve-year presence in Hiroshima (1976-88), where he served for six years as Superior of the Jesuit community at Hiroshima Gakuin and Chair of the school’s Board of Trustees (1977-83). During that time, the school celebrated its 25th year with the building of a new classroom wing, not without all the troubles and tensions that normally accompany such a project.
On finishing his term as Superior and Trustee Chairperson, he was awarded a year’s sabbatical, which he spent in a rather unusual way. To quote a letter which he wrote to Fr Provincial Awamoto on February 7, 1983:
“I would like to live for three months at Fr Oshida’s place in Nagano ken. ... Life there is extremely simple, primitive in fact. So whether I can stand it for three months remains to be seen. I would like to live with the greatest simplicity possible in terms of material things and spend a lot of time in prayer and silence for three months.”
The same letter asking for permission to live with Dominican Fr Shigeto Oshida’s group in a simple house in the Nagano countryside also contains a very revealing note about how he would like to spend the rest of his life:
“I would like to say that I do not wish to spend the rest of my life in a school. Put simply, I would like to get out of schools around 55 and certainly before 60.” (He was 50 years old at the time.)
After the three months with Fr Oshida, Fr Brangan’s sabbatical took him to Ireland and a renewal course at St Beuno’s in Wales. Despite that plea in the letter already quoted, he was told to go back to Hiroshima Gakuin. His four remaining years in Hiroshima (1984-88) were spent commuting uphill to the school from the Kōgo Catholic Center. Another letter to Fr Awamoto, dated September 6, 1984 shows clearly what he felt at the time:
“After being out of schools for a year, the prospect of returning to the high school situation in Japan was painful and crushing. Being asked to return to Hiroshima Gakuin, where I had been Board Chairman just one year before, and start working again with the staff, some of whom I had had painful dealings with as Chairman, was a hard blow which exacerbated my negative feelings. ... I found my teaching assignment very taxing in terms of physical and psychic energy.”
What, then, must have been his shock when in 1988 he was assigned to move to Taisei High School in Fukuoka, where teaching would be even more taxing than at the previous schools! However, great consolation was soon to come his way a year later. Beginning in April 1989, his teaching load at the school was lightened, and he was asked to serve as pastor of the local parish Jōsui-dōri, which had been entrusted to the Society. Even during his busy days in Hiroshima, his pastoral zeal had urged him to go to the Hiroshima Cathedral every weekend to help, mainly with hearing confessions. Now he was able to dedicate himself more fully to the work he mainly desired.
And he was good at it. Over the years serving in various posts of responsibility, he had learned how to get people to work together. The parishioners greatly appreciated his style of leadership. He remained at the Fukuoka parish until April 1992 (with a brief sabbatical interlude March to August 1991), then returned to the Taisei residence until 1994. By then he was 62 years old, well beyond the desire he had expressed to leave schoolwork “around 55 and certainly before 60.”
In 1994, Provincial Nicolás wrote to him, with profuse apologies, asking him to serve as secretary in the province offices, saying he had looked over the list of Jesuits “from top to bottom and up again to the top,” only to find that Fr Brangan was the only man for the job—but that he need work only in the morning and could have the rest of the day for pastoral work at St Ignatius Church!
But the moving around did not stop there. After two years in Tokyo (1994-96), he was sent back to Kōbe, this time as Superior of the Kōbe Community, which was comprised of both the high school and the parish Jesuits. He was to live in the parish during his six-year term as Superior (1996-2002) doing pastoral work in the parish and being named officially as associate pastor in 1998. Fr O’Malley was pastor, followed by Fr Sakurai. Being familiar with the Spiritual Exercises, Fr Brangan was often asked for retreats. His contacts with parishioners and former students also occasioned preparing couples for marriage and presiding at their wedding.
When his term in Kōbe was over, in 2002, Fr Renzo De Luca, Superior in Nagasaki, wanted someone to replace Fr Clarkson for pastoral work in the residence and retreat house, concomitantly serving as Minister of the small Jesuit community. After three years there, when he was now 73 years old, he was asked to return to Tokyo to live in SJ House and take over from Fr Barry as translator for the Japanese Bishops’ Conference. This he continued to do until 2009, when failing eyesight prevented him from continuing that work. He made a three-month visit to relatives in Ireland and Germany that year and another to Ireland and Vancouver, Canada in 2012.
He continued with regular pastoral work in St Ignatius and retreat work as occasions offered until, by the beginning of 2020, he showed signs of mental confusion, not being able to find his keys, or wandering into other people’s rooms looking for his things. He moved to Loyola House on January 24, 2020.
A year later, in the evening of New Year’s Day 2021, he collapsed in the chapel and was taken to a hospital, where he was found to have suffered from a left subcortical hemorrhage. There being no room for him there, he was transferred to another hospital the next morning, where he passed over to the Lord two days later, just before 10 a.m. on January 4, 2021. He was 88 years old and had been a Jesuit for 70 years. Due to the raging COVID-19 corona virus, a modest funeral was held in St Ignatius Church and live-streamed for simultaneous participation in Ireland, with Fr Doyle speaking.
In conclusion, though written 20 years ago for Fr Brangan’s golden jubilee in the Society, Fr General Kolvenbach’s encomium is still so fitting as to warrant its repetition here. Each of us can make these our own parting words to Fr Dermot Brangan:
“As I look back on your life, dear Father, I esteem the fine spirit of availability that you have shown so gently and so constantly. Your obvious love for the spiritual things in life has had and continues to have an uplifting effect on those in your care and on all those whom God places in your path. I thank God for your wisdom, your gentle graciousness, and your spirit of availability.”

By Robert Chiesa, SJ

Bray, Francis, 1584-1624, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/949
  • Person
  • 04 October 1584-16 October 1624

Born: 04 October 1584, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 18 July 1614, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 10 April 1611 Salamanca, Spain - pre Entry
Died: 16 October 1624, At Sea off the Belgian Coast - Flanders Province (FLAN)

Had studied 5 years Humanities; 2 years Philosophy and 2 years Theology on entry (Ord 10 April 1611); then studied 2 years Theology in the Society
1617 at Rome
1622 at Bourges College for preaching and Mission
1624 Killed in naval battle

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1617 Appears to have been in Rome (Irish Ecclesiastical Record, August 1874)
Had been stationed at Cork and Rome.
He was a Navy Chaplain; A man of great piety and courage;
Killed by a canon ball in a naval battle between the Spaniards and the Dutch; He was “the soul of the fight”, and there Spaniards, when he was shot, blew up the ship.
(cf An Account of his heroic death in “Imago Primi Saeculi” and “Historica Societatis”)
Catalogue BELG (FLAN) reports his death in “Missione Navali”
Cordara calls him “Strenuus in paucis et praelii quasi fax atque anima”.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son John and Ann, née Whyte
Had already studied at the Irish College Salamanca where he was Ordained 1611 before Ent 18 July 1614 Rome.
1616-1618 After First Vows he completed studies at Naples, Italy
1618-1621 Sent to Ireland and to Clonmel to work with Nicholas Leynach (or Cork with Edward Cleere?), but only spent three years there due to ill health
1621-1623 Stationed at Antwerp, he served as a military Chaplain
1623 Richard Conway (Rector of Seville) asked for him to be sent to Seville. The General agreed but asked that he be detained at Flanders until he should have a travelling companion as information had been received that Bray had discussed affairs of state with the Duke of Buckingham in England on his way from Ireland to Flanders. Bray was also advised by the General to decline respectfully any request from O'Neill to conduct political business. By Summer 1624 Bray had not yet set out for Spain and in the event never returned there. He was killed in a naval engagement between the Dutch and Spanish off the Belgian coast in October, 1624.
According to the eulogy of his career, circulated in the Flanders Province after his death, Francis Bray was reckoned as eminently fitted for his work as a chaplain as he had a ready mastery of Irish, English, French, Flemish, Spanish and Italian, all of which languages were spoken by the different nationalities in the Spanish army. To his gift of tongues he joined a remarkable zeal for souls and was able to bring the consolations of religion even to the most dissolute of the soldiers. During his three years at Antwerp he received some 600 Protestants into the church.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Francis Bray 1584-1624
Fr Francis Bray was born in Clonmel on October 4th 1584, the son of John Bray and Anne White. Already a priest, he entered the Society at Rome in 1614.

He was sent to Antwerp, where he became Chaplain to the soldiers who were pouring into the Low Countries on the expiration of the truce between Spain and Holland, April 19th 1621. He received a special message of congratulations for the General Fr Mutius Vitelleschi on the marvellous success of his ministry with the troops. Here he came in contact with the Irish Brigade under Owen Roe O’Neill, and became a fast friend of the future Irish Leader. He received an offer for the foundation of a Jesuit College in Ireland.

In 1624 he became Naval Chaplain to the Spanish Fleet. As a result of a naval engagement the Spanish Fleet got tied up in the “Roads of the Downs” between Dover and Ramsgate. Fr Bray made valiant attempts to get help, going twice to London and once to Brussels. Finally on October 15th, the Dutch attacked. Fr Bray was on the flagship. He held aloft the crucifix, crying “It is for King and the Faith”. He rushed to the assistance of the Captain who had been wounded, and both fell dead, killed by the same cannon-ball.

Breen, Michael, 1804-1861, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/950
  • Person
  • 29 September 1804-11 April 1861

Born: 29 September 1804, Ballynamona, County Tipperary
Entered: 30 September 1838, Drongen, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BEL)
Ordained: 1848
Professed: 02 February 1850
Died: 11 April 1861, Chandannagar, Kolkata, India - Belgicae Province (BEL)

Brenan, Richard Henry, 1918-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/495
  • Person
  • 07 April 1918-31 December 1995

Born: 07 April 1918, Ballyragget, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, John Austin House, Dublin
Died: 31 December 1995, Gonzaga College, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1951 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) making Tertianship
by 1975 at Franklin Paris (GAL) teaching

◆ The Clongownian, 1996

Obituary

Father Richard Brenan SJ

Fr Richard Brenan SJ was born at Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny and came to Clongowes from CBC, Kilkenny. His course of Jesuit studies followed what was then the standard pattern: novitiate at St Mary's, Emo; an Arts degree at UCD, while residing in Rathfarnham Castle; philosophy at Tullabeg and theology at Milltown Park, after three years' teaching, in his case at Crescent College, Limerick, Dick was ordained on 31 July 1949. When he finished his theological studies the year after, he went to Paray-le-Monial in France to do his tertianship, the year of spiritual renewal which is the last stage of formal Jesuit training.

On his return from France he went to Mungret as prefect, teacher and gamesmaster for four years (1951-55) and then spent a further two years in Gonzaga fulfilling similar functions. After that he moved to the work of giving missions and retreats which occupied much of the rest of his life. He spent a decade in Tullabeg on the staff there and then two years at Milltown Park as assistant director of the retreat house. From 1969-74 he was assis tant to the Novice Master at Manresa (for two years), vocations promotor and assistant director of the retreat house.

He spent 1974-75 on sabbatical in Paris and then resumed his work as a retreat-giver, first at John Austin House on North Circular Road in Dublin and finally at Rathfarnham Castle, where he was superior and director of the retreat house in the last three years of its existence as a Jesuit house (1982-85). When Rathfarnham closed he went to Leeson St as minister and assistant to the editor of The Messenger. Finally, in 1991, he went back to Gonzaga, where he continued to do some work for The Messenger and gave some pastoral assistance in the school.

Since the move to Gonzaga, there were periodic spells in the nearby Jesuit infirmary, Cherryfield Lodge, although he always managed to return to Gonzaga. It was there that he died on the last day of 1995, having managed to say Mass daily to the very end.

As the career outlined above suggests, Dick Brenan was a good and loyal servant of the Jesuit province, using his gifts in a variety of functions. He was a friendly, approachable man, with a gift for working with young people, despite a capacity to take himself some what seriously (”Brenan with one ‘n’” was a refrain familiar to his fellow-Jesuits!) While actively involved in the ministry, he found time to write a book on the Jesuit scholastic St John Berchmans, which sought with some success to make the image of the young Belgian more vivid and accessible. He also pursued his interest in photography.

He bore his infirmity at the end of his life with good humour and little fuss and died peacefully, although unexpectedly. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1996

Obituary

Richard Brenan SJ

by Alex Brennan (5a)

I regret that I only came to know Fr Dick Brenan in the later years of his life at Gonzaga. At the time he was suffering from Friedrich's Ataxia, which caused a slow deterioration of his muscles. It was very distressing to see a man with such clarity of vision and dexterity of mind, crippled by such a de bilitating physical ailment. For the final two years of his life, Fr Brenan had become almost completely immobile. I know that he was greatly distressed when he became unable to enjoy fully the grounds of his beloved Gonzaga.

Richard Brenan was born in 1918 in Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny. Educated at Clongowes Wood College, he joined the Jesu its at the age of 18 and was ordained in Milltown Park in 1949. His first encounter with Gonzaga College was as a teacher in 1955. He remained for two years, before postings to Tullabeg, Milltown and Manresa. In 1974 he spent a year in Paris at L'Ecole St. Louis de Gonzaga.

In 1985 he was made Assistant Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger, and was based at the Jesuit House in Leeson Street, before returning to Gonzaga in 1991, where he re mained until his death.

In the company of his other great Jesuit colleague Fr. Frank Browne, Fr. Brenan had an abiding passion for photography, which re mained with him well into his later years.
As a person, Richard Brenan was blunt and to the point. In contrast, his spirit and compassion commanded the respect of all who met him. I first encountered him as my reli gion teacher in Prep. 4. I was somewhat awe struck at the time by his control in class; while he had some difficulty in walking, his strength of personality shone through.

A class in First year cemented our friend ship of six years, disproving his modest sugges tion that classes would "outgrow his company. Our friendship proved something of an enigma to many staff members who heard him joke that we were somehow related. It was not the case.

As our friendship developed I found in Fr. Brenan a confidant, someone to ask for advice, or simply an interesting companion with whom to pass an hour or two. He was always interested in anything I was involved in and his extensive learning made talking with him an enjoyable and educational experience.

I will always remember Fr. Brenan in a very special way. I know he will be remembered for his generosity of spirit and kindness to all. He had always promised to help me with my French as I approached the Leaving Cert.; I hope I can do justice to his faith in me.

Alex Brennan (5A)

Brennan, Brendan, 1910-1968, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/68
  • Person
  • 01 September 1910-12 December 1968

Born: 01 September 1910, Eyrecourt, County Galway
Entered: 22 October 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Died: 12 December 1968, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois

Cornelius changed to Brendan in HIB 1956

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 44th Year No 2 1969
Obituary :
Fr Brendan Brennan SJ (1910-1968)
On the night of Thursday, December 12th, at about 11.00 o'clock, Fr, Brendan Brennan passed to his eternal reward at St. Mary's, Emo. He was aged 58. He had returned to Emo only about a fortnight before his death, so, in a sense, he had come home to die, for he had spent most of his priestly life at Emo, 16 years in all, as Socius to the Master of Novices, and Minister. Brendan was born on May 22nd, 1910 at Eyrecourt, Co. Galway. He was the only son of Dr. John and Mrs. Brennan. He grew up with his two sisters in a deeply religious family in the quiet and peaceful setting of Eyrecourt. All these factors had an influence on the moulding and shaping of his character. He was deeply religious himself, though his religion was of the unobtrusive kind. He was quiet and unassuming and loved peace and quiet. This was why he loved Emo; life there was prayerful, regular, quiet and peaceful. He received his early education at the local school in Eyrecourt and in September, 1923 he entered Mungret College, with his cousin, Dominick Kearns of Portumna. He was quite clever and talented but, because of his shyness, he was inclined to hide his talents. He was an accomplished pianist as a boy, but very few realised this in after life. He took part in the school plays at Mungret, but who afterwards would have thought he had a talent for acting? At Mungret he made very satisfactory progress at studies and matriculated in June 1927. On September 1st of that year at the age of 17 he entered the Novitiate at Tullabeg with four of his Mungret classmates. Being an only son his parents found his decision to enter Religion a heavy cross, but they cheerfully made the sacrifice. During the Novitiate, his father died making Brendan's decision to proceed to his vows a difficult one. On September 2nd 1929 he took his first vows and went to Rathfarnham Castle. At first he was assigned to the University, but, shortly afterwards, he was permitted to join the home Juniorate Class, as he felt very diffident about taking a University Course. Thus he spent only two years in Rathfarnham. Many of his contemporaries, knowing his abilities, considered it was a mistake to have permitted him to give up the University, as this only increased his lack of confidence in himself in after years, especially as regards studies. From this time on his diffidence seemed to increase, though he was always quite competent in his studies and in any task assigned to him.
In 1931 he moved to Tullabeg, which in the meantime had become the Philosophate of the Irish Province, to begin his study of Philosophy and, when this was completed, he was sent to Belvedere to do his regency, Here he took his full share in teaching, in running games and clubs and other school activities. His great personal charm and winning smile proved irresistible to the Rector, Fr. Patrick Morris, with the result, he set an all-time high record in the number of Coffee days and Wine days he got for the Community, during the year he was Beadle. On the completion of his Regency, Brendan began his study of Theology at Milltown in 1937. He was ordained there in 1940 and did his Tertianship at Rathfarnham, 1941-1942. After his Tertianship he began his long association with Emo for in 1942 he was appointed Socius to the Master of Novices, Fr. John Neary. Two years later he became Minister as well as Socius. These offices he held uninterruptedly until the Summer of 1951, when he was assigned to Mungret as Minister and teacher. He remained in Mungret for three years until the Summer of 1954, That summer he was changed to Clongowes as teacher and Prefect of the Study Hall. His stay in Clongowes was short, for in the following Summer he returned to Emo to resume his former duties of Socius and Minister. His second period in Emo was to last for seven years. Thus he had some part in the formation of close on one third of the Irish Province.
As most of his priestly life was spent in Emo, perhaps it would be well to pause here and try to discover what type of man he was. This is not an easy task; because of shyness and reserve he did not manifest himself to others easily. Yet one did not live with him for very long before one sensed the strength of his character and the many admirable traits of that character. As Socius his commonsense and shrewd judgment of men must have been of considerable assistance to successive Novice Masters in assessing the worth of their charges. His sense of basic priorities was evident in his insistence that readers in the Refectory should be heard and heard clearly. He was unsparing in his efforts to train the novices in public speaking and to be punctilious about pronunciation. But all correction was done in the preparation of the reading and in fact he was quite sparing in “Repeat, Brother” during the actual reading in the refectory. It was no small tribute to his efforts that so many of his graduates were audible from the old Rathfarnham rostrum before the days of amplification. The pleasure grounds were kept in excellent trim, thanks to his care for the essential tasks and his impatience with the privileges of beemen, flowermen, rockerymen and suchlike eccentrics! All the novices were expected to work hard and he set the example by his own hard work, until an attack of diphtheria affected his heart. Idiosyncrasy, bumptiousness, fastidiousness and hypochondria could not long survive his no-non sense approach. His mock incomprehension of modern art en gendered a sense of proportion in matters aesthetic. If he was, as now appears in retrospect, over insistent on uniformity and dogged conformity to routine that was what was expected in those days of a good Socius. There was little scope there for initiative in the system of training. While he was somewhat sparing with compliments he rarely missed an opening for admonition. The very frequency and impartiality, however, together with the air of feigned shock or the whimsical look in his eye, took the sting out of it and feelings were rarely hurt. During out door works the laggard was galvanised into activity by a touch of light-hearted scorn and Old Belvederians had always to be kept apart! There were many other things one could recall about him, the firm, determined stride that seemed to express the firmness and determination of his character, the deep laugh, the closely cropped hair, the personal poverty, the spartan regimen of his life,
As Minister, he was extremely reliable and efficient, yet he was efficient in a kindly way and was approachable at all times. Missioners and Retreat givers returning to base after their work could feel assured that the car would be at the station to meet them and that they would be warmly welcomed when they got home. Because of his diffidence and shyness he found it difficult to undertake Retreats or Lectures himself, but he liked the quiet Apostolate and frequently helped out in Emo Parish Church with Confessions and Masses. He kept the house in excellent condition and succeeded in maintaining a precarious water supply in spite of drought and other difficulties such as an inadequate source of water and a primitive pumping system. During the rebuilding operations and the re-wiring of the house for E.S.B. current, he was most competent in overseeing the work being done. He could be quite impatient with and sharply critical of inefficiency in Consultants or workmen. His care of and attention to the sick, infirm or aged members of the Community was noteworthy, whilst he did not waste much sympathy on any Novice who seemed to be over-solicitous about himself or his health.
Early in his time in Emo he learned to drive the car and soon became a most proficient driver, though he could put the heart across the more nervous passengers by his finger tip control of the wheel. When going on journeys he was always prepared and pleased to take members of the Senior Community along with him for the outing, and, if time permitted, did not hesitate to make detours so as to bring them along some scenic route, so that they could enjoy the views. Whilst he lived a spartan life himself and was very abstemious, he never wished to impose that form of life on others. In fact he liked to see others enjoy themselves and relax and would contribute whatever he could to help them to do so. Nevertheless, having said all this, there still remains the fact that he found it hard to form close, personal relationships and friendships with people. But there were the few, who were received into, what one might call, the inner circle. He seemed to prefer to live his life aloof and alone, but there were the few Fathers on whom he would call to have a smoke and a chat when he needed relaxation. The same was true of Externs. There were just a very select few, who were admitted to close friendship and it was noted that they were all persons who put him at his ease, who were at ease with him and who dealt with him without formality and fuss. With all others he was courteous and kind, but brief and to the point. The only people he had no time for were the sightseers or people who just wanted to waste time.
His long association with Emo came to an end, when Fr. Visitor appointed him Minister in Tullabeg in 1952. He spent two years there and in the more relaxed atmosphere of that house, he seemed to have come out of himself more. Towards the end of his period there he became Oeconomus as well as Minister. As in all other jobs he had, he proved himself very competent and did a very thorough job on his accounts.
In 1964 he interchanged places with Fr. Seán Ó Duibhir. Fr. Ó Duibhir went to Tullabeg to take over as Minister and Organiser of Retreats and Fr. Brendan moved to Galway to become Operarius in the Church, Director of the Women's Sodality and of the Girls' Club and Director of the College Development Fund. Perhaps fate was hard on him, when it cast him in the role of Spiritual Director of Women and Girls. His temperament and character made it difficult for him to understand them. Their illogical approach to a subject, their petty rivalries and jealousies were just things he could not understand or fathom. Yet his own aloofness and shy reserve was his best weapon in dealing with them. It saved him from becoming involved on the side of any party or section and, when he decided and spoke his mind, his decisions and words were all the more effective. The way he could appear to be helpless and distressed ensured their compliance. So in this strange way he was quite an effective Director. He held these offices until 1967. That year on the Feast of Corpus Christi he suffered his first heart attack, a coronary thrombosis, a light one. He was removed to the Regional Hospital immediately and there he made a speedy and, what then appeared, successful recovery. On recovering he went to his beloved Emo for convalescence. Because of his attack he was relieved of the Directorship of the Sodality on the 1967 Status. But on his return from convalescence he was appointed assistant Oeconomus and took charge of the collection of School Fees. Throughout the next twelve months he remained in good health and the danger of further heart attacks seemed to recede. When Fr. Joseph O'Connor took seriously ill in March 1968, Fr, Brendan took on the full job of Oeconomus. His previous experience in Tullabeg helped him, but new features of the Accounts, Incremental Salaries, Lay Masters Insurance and P.A.Y.E. did put a strain on him, until he mastered their intricacies; then he seemed to take the job and its responsibilities in his stride. Perhaps it put more strain on him than people realised; anyway, on July 30 he suffered another thrombosis and once more had to be rushed to the Regional. It was proof of his thoroughness, that, though struck down suddenly, his accounts were found to be up to the minute. Expenditure and Receipts for July were analysed and a balance struck and moneys prepared for lodgement.
This time prospects of recovery were not so bright and in fact during the first week or ten days in hospital he suffered two more attacks. This was not a good omen. Besides, probably be cause of his heart condition, he was restless, tense and unsettled in the Regional, so it was decided to transfer him by ambulance to the Pembroke Hospital in Dublin, towards the end of August. There he was more relaxed and he seemed to do much better and made steady progress towards recovery. In the second half of September he was sufficiently recovered to stay for a period of convalescence with his sister, Dr. Kearns, in Portumna. During his stay there, however, he suffered still another thrombosis and had to be rushed to the Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe. Once more he rallied and recovered sufficiently to spend the greater part of November convalescing in Portumna. By now it was clear that he needed a long period of quiet and rest, so it was decided to send him to Emo Park for the rest of the year. He moved to Emo at the end of November. All hoped that, in the quiet and peace of the Novitiate, many years of life remained to him, but it was not to be so. On the 12th of December, he retired to his room before 10 o'clock and shortly afterwards Fr. Gerry O'Beirne, when passing, heard moaning from his room. Fr. Gerry entered to find him in the throes of another attack. Fr. Rector was summoned and anointed him. The doctor was called and was in attendance in a very short time, but in spite of his best attention Fr. Brendan passed peacefully away, surrounded by the prayers and attention of Fr. Rector and of members of the Emo Community. Thus ended a life of quiet unobtrusive and faithful service in Christ's harvest field. For the most part it was a hidden life, yet, when one looks at the record of it, it was a very full life. During the last four months of life he lived in the shadow of death, but he faced death with perfect equanimity and peace of soul. This was the best proof of the sterling quality of his character and of the depth of his spiritual life.
After Office and Requiem Mass in the Novitiate Chapel, which was attended by a very representative gathering from all the houses in the Province, he was laid to rest in the Community cemetery at Tullabeg. There, in the very place, where he began his life of dedicated service of God he rests awaiting the resurrection.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1969

Obituary

Father Brendan Brennan SJ

Fr Brennan's connection with Belvedere was confined to the three years 1935 to 1938 which he spent as a scholastic teacher in Belvedere. He was in charge of the Bike Club and enjoyed communicating to its members his own love of the country-side. After his tertianship, he was Assistant Novicemaster for many years. On retiring from this important position, he went to work in St Ignatius Church, Galway, but returned to the Novitiate when his health begun to fail: He died suddenly on December 13th, 1968.

Brennan, James F, 1900-1973, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/746
  • Person
  • 18 September 1900-04 February 1973

Born: 18 September 1900, Bandon, County Cork
Entered: 02 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 14 June 1932, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1935, Campion House, Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia
Died: 04 February 1973, Nazareth House, Salisbury, Rhodesia

by 1923 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1934 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1935 at St Aidan’s, Grahamstown, South Africa (ANG) teaching
by 1936 at St Paul’s Mission, Salisbury, Rhodesia (ANG) working
by 1940 in Monte Cassino Mission, Macheke, Rhodesia (ANG) working
by 1954 at Campion Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (ANG) working
by 1962 at St Francis Xavier, Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (ANG) working
by 1966 at St John’s, Salisbury, Rhodesia (ANG) working

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 12th Year No 2 1937

Father James F. Brennan of the Irish Province is doing work in S. Rhodesia at St. Paul’s Mission. “He had the nasty experience of being bitten by a. snake while half asleep in a Kraal school. He was for a time unconscious, but the bite yielded to treatment by the Dominican Sisters. On this occasion Father Brennan could not take his watch-dog. We must thank God that the snake, by chance, was not of the very poisonous variety”. “English Jesuit Missionary Magazine”

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Fr. J. F. Brennan returned to the Salisbury Mission in November after some months rest in Ireland. He accompanied the new Superior of the Mission, Fr. E. Enright, to Capetown on the “Durban Castle”.

Irish Province News 48th Year No 2 1973

Obituary :

Fr James Brennan (1900-1973)

Fr James Brennan was born at Bandon, Co. Cork, Sept. 18th, 1900. After elementary schooling in his home town as a boy of fifteen he went to Clongowes whence he entered the noviciate at Tullabeg in 1919. On taking his vows in 1921 he remained at Tullabeg until the following year when he accompanied the late Fr Joseph O'Connor to Stonyhurst for Philosophy. He possessed a wonderful facility for making friends and it was apparently during the years at Stonyhurst he made acquaintance first with Fr Philip Beisly, then a scholastic somewhat senior to himself but with whom he contracted so close a friendship that later, in 1934 after the tertianship he volunteered for the Zambesi Mission where Fr Beisly was recently appointed Superior.
During the intervening years Fr Jim followed the routine course of formation. On completing Philosophy in 1925 he returned as teacher and prefect to his Alma Mater, where he showed himself a popular member of the Community, paratus ad omnia - his musical talents being particularly availed of.
In 1929 he went to Milltown Park for theology, ordination 1932, St. Buneo's 1933, for tertianship and the following year Rhodesia where he laboured with success for practically 40 years. His first appointment in his new field was to St Peter’s Harare after which he went as Superior to St Paul’s Mission, Musami. In 1939 he became Superior of Monte Cassino Mission where he remained until 1950. The next three years he spent at Que Que, (Kwekwe) then six years in the Cathedral Parish in Salisbury. Again 1960-3 he was in charge at Braeside. By this time his health, never robust, was deteriorating but he still contrived to be useful fulfilling the duties as Chaplain at St John’s School, Avondale and for portion of the time he acted as Chaplain to St Anne’s Hospital in the same neighbourhood.
On the few occasions of which he availed himself to return to the “home countries” he presented himself in the same urbane somewhat diffident personality which endeared him to everyone, reminiscent of that man of whom Dr Johnson once remarked that if he, the Doctor, had had a quarrel he would be most embarrassed in finding matter with which he could abuse him. There was a warmth and cheerfulness of character about him that no one ever hesitated to ask a favour or impose on him an obligation knowing that he would not suffer a refusal. On his return to Rhodesia after his last visit home he was compelled to retire to Nazareth House, Salisbury permanently, again winning the spontaneous affection of all. The nuns saw to it that his birthday on two occasions was celebrated in festive way and finally when on Sunday February 4th he died as a result of a stroke that overtook him a few days previously his obsequies were concelebrated by seventeen priests among whom Archbishop Markall was the chief concelebrant and the spacious chapel of Nazareth House was thronged by those in various walks of life who claimed his friendship. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1973

Obituary

Father James Brennan SJ

Fr James entered the Irish Province but after some years volunteered for work in Rhodesia where he spent the rest of his life until February of this year. He was born in Cork in, 1900 and was ordained in Milltown Park in 1932. He went to Rhodesia in 1934. He worked as priest in charge on various Mission Stations. He then joined the Cathedral Staff in Salisbury. In the last years of his life he acted as Chaplain in St John's School, Avondale.

Brennan, James, 1854-1941, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/69
  • Person
  • 02 November 1854-16 June 1941

Born: 02 November 1854, Dublin
Entered: 19 October 1875, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 15 June 1889
Final Vows: 02 February 1894, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 16 June 1941, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Early education at St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg

by 1880 at Laval France (FRA) studying
by 1881 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

Obituary :
Father James Brennan
Few men of the Irish Province have given it a more loyal and devoted service than did Fr. James Brennan during the 86 years of his membership of it. He filled many important positions in most of its houses, in four of which, Clongowes, Galway, Belvedere and Rathfarnham he was Superior. During the last years of his life when he had ceased to hold office, he continued his interest in the Province, its welfare and its activities, showing this by the earnestness and enthusiasm with which he devoted himself to his work as Editor of the Province News. All who had dealings with him in this capacity will recall how glad he was to receive any news of Ours and of their doings, and how glad he was to publish anything that would edify and encourage us in our work.
Fr Brennan was at school in Tullabeg for 6 years (1869-75), and if these be added to his 68 years in the Society, the grand total of 71 years of connection with the Irish Province is reached. It is thus no wonder that he was so loyal and devoted a member of the Society and the Province. His noviceship was passed in Milltown Park under Fr. Charles McKenna, and at its conclusion he was sent to Clongowes with three others, Messrs. Fegan, Manning and Elliott, for his juniorate under the guidance of Fr. Zimmerman. The four juniors lived in the old Infirmary, since burnt down, and only mixed with the rest of the Community on special occasions. His second year of Juniorate was spent in Milltown Park. He then went to Laval for Philosophy, but he had to leave there the following year when the members of the Society were driven out of France. The French Jesuits had acquired the Imperial Hotel in St Helier, Jersey, and opened it as a Scholasticate, and there Mr Brennan spent the year 1880-81. Life, However, in foreign houses had not agreed with him, so he finished his Philosophy in Milltown Park.
His regency was spent in Clongowes (1802-07) where he was at first Third Line Prefect, then four years Master, acting as assistant to the Prefect of Studies during portion of the time. During this time, the amalgamation of Clongowes with his old school, Tullabeg, took place, and Mr Brennan had much to do with the success of the venture. He proved himself an excellent and very successful master, and was very popular both inside and outside the classroom.
In 1887 he went to Milltown for Theology, but again his health failed, and he had to continue his studies privately in Tullabeg, which had just been opened as a Noviceship and Juniorate. He was then ordained in 1889, and went to Belvedere, where he spent three years, 1889-92, as Master and the third as Minister. In 1892 he went to Tullabeg for his Tertianship, being at the same time Socius to the Master of Novices.
The year 1893 saw the beginning of his long connection with Clongowes where he was Higher Line Prefect for a year, then Minister for six years, becoming Vice Rector in 1900. The period of his Rectorship saw many important improvements effected in the College. The chief of these was the acquiring of the temporary church at Letterkenny and erecting it in Clongowes where it still does duty as gymnasium, theatre, examination hall, and luncheon room on the Union Day.
We next find him on the Mission staff (1904-06) with his headquarters at the Crescent, Limerick, but it was not long before he was in office again. being appointed Rector in Galway in 1906, and two years later Rector in Belvedere (1908-13). It was during this time that Belvedere purchased the grounds at Jones Road which have proved such a, valuable acquisition to the College.
In 1913 Rathfarnham Castle was purchased and opened as a House of Studies for our scholastics attending lectures in University College, Dublin. The important position of Superior of the new house was entrusted to Fr Brennan, and everyone agreed that no better choice could have been made. The characteristics which had made him so successful in his previous positions were to be still more conspicuously displayed in this new sphere of duty. His paternal rule mingling kindliness and generosity with insistence upon observance of discipline, made him an ideal Superior of young men fresh from the noviceship.
After six years in office he ceased to be Superior, but remained in Rathfarnham, with the exception of one year (1920-21), when he was Spiritual Father in Clongowes, until the end. During the earlier portion of this period he suffered much from vertigo and had to give up saying Mass. His cure which he believed to have been obtained by the prayers of a Nun to Fr. Willie Doyle, is one of the most remarkable of the many favours attributed to Father Willie.
In 1925 the Province News was started and Fr.Brennan was appointed. Editor, holding that position until his death which took place on June 17th. He had been for almost 30 years in Rathfarnham, and it will be hard to imagine The Castle without his cheery presence. He was so interested in everybody and everything connected with the place, so edifying, so helpful as an advisor and as a confessor that he will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father James Brennan 1854-1941
The kindly face of Fr James Brennan will long be remembered by those young scholastics to whom he ministered for 30 years of his Jesuit life in Rathfarnham. Sixty years in all he spent in the Society, years of fruitful and lasting work.
He was closely associated with Clongowes in his early days in various capacities, finally as rector. It was he who acquired the temporary church at Letterkenny, and had it erected in Clongowes to serve for many years as a gymnasium, theatre and examination hall. He was the first Editor of the “Province News”.
He passed peacefully to his reward on June 17th 1941.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1942

Obituary

Father James Brennan SJ

Fr James Brennan, Rector of Belvedere from 1908 to 1913, died at Rathfarnham Castle on June I7th, 1941. He had given 66 years of loyal and , devoted service to the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, and of these years not a few were spent in Belvedere. His early education was received at Tullabeg, and after he had entered the Society in 1875 he studied at Clongowes, Laval in France, Jersey and Milltown Park. He said his first Mass in Belvedere in 1889 and then came here for three years, being at first a Master and afterwards Minister for one year. In 1908 he came back as Rector, after two years as Superior of Galway. His Rectorship was a very important one for the College in many ways. One of his first actions was to start the Debating Society which since then has been such a useful training ground for budding orators. Then, too, he was responsible for the separation of the Senior House from the Preparatory School, and for giving to each a separate staff. When Fr Brennan came to Belvedere the playing fields were situated at Croydon Park, in Fairview, but in 1910 he purchased the grounds at Jones's Road which we still use. The benefits of having grounds so near the College were soon evident, for the JCT won its first Rugby Cup two years later.

All those who came in contact with Fr Brennan during this period of his life retain for him a most affectionate memory, and it is of interest to record here that his kindliness was shown even to those differing in religion, as was witnessed by Dr William Anderson, formerly Headmaster of Mountjoy, who, as he said in a kind letter of sympathy, “came to know and appreciate Fr Brenrian” during the years of his Rectorship.

Fr Brennan spent six years as Rector of Rathfarnham Castle after he left Belvedere and he remained there, with the exception of one year, until his death. He will long be rernembered by those who met him there as a most kindly and sympathetic confessor, as a holy and edifying priest, and as one whose cheery presence was the greatest blessing to the House. May he rest in peace!

◆ The Clongownian, 1942

Obituary

Father James Brennan SJ

Among Clongownians of the last twenty years of the nineteenth century and the first few years of the present century, the name of Fr James Brennan is a household one, while his connection with Tullabeg goes back much further, as he was a very prominent boy in the school in the early seventies. Having entered the Society of Jesus, he came to Clongowes in 1882, where he spent five years as a Scholastic. He was a very successful Junior Grade teacher and was able to inspire his boys with interest, and even enthusiasm, over their Latin and Greek lessons. He was in Clongowes during the Amalgamation year, and, as an old Tullabeg boy and a present Clongowes master, he helped very considerably to bring about the successful union of the two schools.

In one incident during this period Mr Brennan played a prominent part. The fire which destroyed the study hall and refectory wing took place on April 9th, 1886. No one worked harder than he to save as much as possible, but, in spite of all efforts, nearly all the desks in the study hall were burnt, together with the contents - mostly school books. It was concluded by many, to whom the wish was father to the thought, that, as there were no school books, there could be no work done for a long time. On the next day, however, which was a play day, Mr Brennan went to Dublin, returning with. sufficient books to enable classes to be re sumed the next day. Some boys were not as grateful to him as they might have been.

After his ordination to the priesthood he returned to Clongowes as Higher Line Prefect in 1891-2. Those who were here during that year will remember his interest in, and enthusiasm for, gymnastics and musical drill, in which during the night play hour for a considerable portion of the year the greater number of the boys were engaged. The following year he became Minister, and held that post for five years, until he was appointed Rector during the Christmas term of 1900. Few of those who were in Clongowes at the time will have forgotten the scenes of enthusiasm which showed how popular was his appointment. During his term of office (1900-04) he effected many improvements. He laid down a completely new system of sewerage, he tiled the Higher and Third Line galleries, he put in the large window over the hall door of the Castle, and, most useful of all, he purchased the building that had been used as a church in Letterkenny while the Cathedral was being built, and erected it here, where, during the last forty years, it has served as gymnasium, theatre, examination hall, skating rink, and, at times, as infirmary.

Having completed his term of office as Rector here, he was appointed Rector of St Ignatius College, Galway (1906-8), of Belvedere College, Dublin (1908-13), and of Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin (1913-19). He spent one more year in Clongowes (1920-21) as Spiritual Father. The last twenty years of his life were passed in Rathfarnham Castle doing such work as his poor health would allow. He passed away very peacefully on June 17th last year. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father James Brennan (1854-1941)

A native of Dublin, spent two years (1904-1906) at the Crescent as a member of the small mission band resident here before World War I. During his long life, Father Brennan occupied many positions of trust in the Province: Vice-Rector of Clongowes (1900-1904); Rector of St Ignatius', Galway (1906-1908); Rector of Belvedere College (1908-1913). He was the first superior appointed over the Jesuit scholasticate at Rath farnham Castle, Dublin (1913-1920).

Brennan, John F, 1920-2002, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/587
  • Person
  • 23 September 1920-03 July 2002

Born: 23 September 1920, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Kaiserdom Sankt Bartholomäus (Frankfurter Dom), Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Final Vows: 15 August 1964, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 03 July 2002, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1949 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1955 at Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt (GER I) studying
by 1978 at Toroto ONT, Canada (CAN S) sabbatical

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2002

Obituary

Father Jack Brennan SJ (OB 1937)

My brother, Jack, was born on 23rd September, 1920, at 7 North Frederick Street, Dublin, our mother's home town. He was christened John Francis Joseph Brennan - sometimes, particularly with and to me, he was Seán Ó Braonáin. At that time, the family, of which he was the fourth child, was living in Caherciveen, Co. Kerry, our father's home town. He was about six months old in May 1921 when our father's house and others in Caherciveen were blown up by the English Army towards the end of the War of Independence in what were called “official reprisals”. The family then moved to Dublin, which is how Jack came to be educated at Belvedere College. He also spent a brief period at St Vincent's College, Castleknock.

Following school, Jack worked for a time with the Hibernian Insurance Company. After the outbreak of the Second World War, during the Emergency as it was called here, Jack joined the Irish Army, rising to the rank of Captain. The family lore tells, somewhat humorously, that initially when he was a Private, the Hibernian paid him the difference between his army pay and what he had been paid by the company. This did not happen in the case of our eldest brother, Charlie, our first Belvederian, who also joined the army, having been working in our father's insurance brokerage! Jack joined the latter in 1945 after leaving the army.

On 7th September 1946, about a fortnight before his 26th birthday, Jack entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Emo where he took his first vows two years later. He then spent a year in the Jesuit Juniorate, College St Michel, in Laval, France, after which he went to St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, Co Offaly, to study philosophy. He was a scholastic in Belvedere College from 1952-'54, following which he went to the Jesuit college, Sankt Georgen, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to study theology and was ordained there on 31st July 1957. He returned in 1958 to Dublin, for his year's Tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle, then went to Mungret College, Limerick (1959-'64) where he took his final vows on 2nd February 1964. I believe, and heard from some of his fellow Jesuits, that, in his period as Minister there and subsequently as Principal in University Hall, Hatch Street, Dublin (1964-68 and 1978-'95); as Rector in Milltown Park (1968-'71); and as Rector in Clongowes Wood College (1972-'77), his talents for organisation, administration, and dealing with others were helped by his experience in the Irish Army. With regard to the latter, he celebrated the annual Mass for many years in commemoration of the tragic accident in the Glen of Imaal which happened at the time he was in the army.

Jack had a very fruitful and varied life. It was a life of true spirituality, generous helpfulness and unfailing good humour, a life which touched the lives of so many others. He was involved in the Samaritans, of which he was Director in Ireland (1970-'72). He had a particular interest in the second Vatican Council and was noted for his sympathy and understanding on the one hand and his encouragement on the other, in relation to those considering or dealing with its varied aspects. He was also noted for his commitment to ecumenism. He spent a sabbatical studying at Regis College, Toronto (1977-'78) where he obtained an MA in Theology. He enjoyed his spells of summer parish work in the state of New York, where he brought the word of God to many in his quiet, humorous and spiritually effective way. Messages of sympathy and great affection came to us from the friends he made there.

Jack is remembered with affection by our family and by his Jesuit family, to whom we are so closely tied; by those who looked after him so well and so lovingly during his year of reasonably good health at first and eventual last illness in the Jesuits' nursing home, Cherryfield Lodge; and by all who knew him at home and abroad. I was privileged to be among those of the family and of the Jesuit community who were with him when he died peacefully on 3rd July 2002. My other Jesuit brother, Joe, now of Gonzaga College, asked me to compose the prayers of the faithful to be recited by three of Jack's nieces and by one of his nephews (my son Cormac) at the funeral Mass. Cormac, who had frequently visited Jack with me, added his own composition which I include here as it reminded us of that good humour which Jack showed so often:

“Some of you may know that in his room, Jack had a plaque which said, ‘Working for the Lord doesn't pay much, but the retirement benefits are out of this world’! Let us pray that he is now enjoying those benefits”.

l and many fellow-Belvederians and others join in that prayer with certain hope and in gratitude to God for bringing Jack among us. Guim Solas na bhFlaitheas ar a anam uasal, dilis.

Anraí Ó Braonáin (O.B. 1949)

Brennan, John, 1872-1949, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/951
  • Person
  • 19 December 1872-24 February 1949

Born: 19 December 1872, Drumcolliher, County Limerick
Entered: 30 March 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Professed: 15 August 1905
Died: 24 February 1949, Meath Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Clongowes Wood College, Naas County Kildare community at the time of death.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 24th Year No 2 1949
Clongowes :
We regret to announce the death of Br. John Brennan in his fifty-third year in Clongowes. He had been failing during the past year but continued to do duty as infirmarian to the College until he was attacked by violent pains on the night of 12th February. He was taken to hospital in Dublin next morning and was operated upon two days later but he never really rallied and he died in the early morning of the 24th February, having received the Sacrament of Extreme Unction some days previously,
Br. Brennan's remains were brought to Clongowes on the evening of the 24th and were received by the Rector and Community in the presence of the boys. Fr. Rector celebrated the Requiem Mass next morning, and after the Absolutions bad been performed by Fr. Provincial, the funeral procession, headed by a guard of honour from the College F.C.A., proceeded down the front avenue to the College cemetery. Here Br. Brennan was finally laid to rest in the presence of all the boys of the College, many of the Past and a big gathering of Jesuits from Tullabeg, Emo and all the Dublin houses. May he rest in peace.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949
Obituary
Br. John Brennan (1872-1894-1949)
Br. Brennan was born in County Limerick in 1872. In early life he was in business in Limerick City, and was at this time a keen oarsman. Entering the Society in 1894 he did his noviceship in Tullabeg, and in 1896 was sent to Clongowes as Infirmarian and Sacristan. In the early years he used to go each summer vacation to St. Vincent's Hospital for training and experience in the work to which he devoted his life, and which he was carrying on, despite declining strength, up to a fortnight before his death.

An Appreciation :
“Br. Brennan's services to Clongowes were so great and so constant that it is difficult for any individual to summarise them. When I first went to the school he was already a legend to me, for he had won the life-long affection and gratitude of my brother, while nursing him through a rheumatic fever which should have killed him. To me in those still pre-First-World-War years he seemed already a veteran, one of the ‘Big Three’ into which he fitted so smoothly that there seemed a natural link between Dr. O'Connor, Miss Elison and ‘The Brother’. We are often reminded of the feeling of security that buttressed our dated childhood, but, looking back in nothing does it seem more remarkable than in the confidence these three good people inspired. School life might be disturbing or anxious, exams, places on teams, ‘Reports’, all loomed up with the exaggerated importance youth can give trifles, but illness, and particularly serious illness gave one no worry, you just surrendered, responsibility ceased, they did the Test, and you knew they would do it perfectly. I really think they did.
Of course there was another side of Br. Brennan's activities. In healthy life you knew him not only as a member of the Big Three, but as an outstanding figure of the big Five or Six of which Br. O'Grady was the mystery man, and Br. Brady the most familiar, and of which most happily for Clongowes Brs. Corcoran and Fennell survive. With them you saw him in the distance sharing walks and duties, or just occasionally on the touch-line at an outmatch. He carved, he was sacristan of both chapels - clean linen and lace became him and floors as shinning as a good hospital, and a freshness and flowers and light, and a most unobtrusive figure with deft, swift movements of Monstrance, vase or cruets. He had that very rare gift in an Irishman, wonderful taste in the arrangement of flowers.
And of course in the surgery he presided twice daily over the oddest kind of club. While he worked away with pill, mixture and tonic, while the bandage unrolled and the scissors snipped and the sticking plaster was sparingly used and denied to urgent beggars, ‘The Brother’ was surrounded by a score of boys, all talking, squabbling, idle, but by some miracle, well-behaved and fairly happy. He never raised his voice, he never threatened, no never punished or invoked authority, he used no sanctions, either of privilege or affection, he was kind to all and the universal friend, but no boy could boast of intimacy or favours, yet he was everyone's favourite. He did not strike one as remote or aloof, but rather as armed with the invulnerable dignity of a soul completely self-possessed, dedicated and in harmony with his own way of life. It was a lesson and example invaluable to boys tacking and veering and jockeying for position, restless as yachts or race-horses before the face of life. So marked was this unruffled calm in Br. Brennan that it could be on odd occasions intensely irritating to an impatient nan at what be believed a crisis calling for action. But, looking back, it must be granted that ‘hasten slowly’ got Br. Brennan there every time.
The passing years of course affected this picture. He lost Miss Elison and The Doctor, but he found new and happy partnerships with Dr. Fay, whom he had treated in the Lower Line, and with every one of the succession of young and active Matrons with whom in recent times Clongowes has been so singularly blessed. A succession of Ministers valued him at his worth, and that meant highly. For the rest, years added to his status. He never laid down his arms, like Mr. Chips, but he became a tradition. It was not just the hospitality which in an unrationed age he dispensed on Union Days that made a little chat with him one of the first requests of all returning O.C.s. It is no disparagement of any man or his work to say that among the Old Boys of the dispersion there were more inquiries for Br. Brennan than for any of the masters or prefects whose role might once have seemed more conspicuous. More than one wrote annually or bi-annually for a score or more of years during which the friends had scarcely ever met.
So the years went by, more than fifty of them, in Clongowes, with perhaps diminishing external activity but quietly increasing affection, esteem, and even pride. And always that constancy of service to boy and man and God. Was Br. Brennan ever late of a morning ? Did he ever miss spiritual reading or Litanies? Well, certainly not to the observation of anyone. That we could all see. God alone, I think, saw the inner life of one, who was in such intimate touch with Fr. Fegan and Fr. Sullivan and a score of ‘saints’, who helped each one, and went his own sure way to God. Now he has, with characteristic lack of fuss and delay, gone home at last. He leaves us, poor and mourning his absence but rich in memory and proud to have known and admired him”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1949

Obituary

Brother John Brennan SJ

Brother Brennan was born in Drumcollogher in December, 1872, so that according to the Calendar he was an old man when death visited him last February in the Meath Hospital. But he was not really old; his slim, figure, his youthful alertness of mind and speech and manner and movement, his readiness to do a good turn for anyone at a moment's notice, his spontaneous enjoyment of any bit of fun, all forbade the suggestion of age.

He had been destined for a business. career, and one cannot doubt that he would have made a success of it, had he not abandoned it after a few years, to offer himself to the Society. He came to Tullabeg in the autumn of 1893, and began his formal novitiate in the following March. I was a novice there then, and among my fellow-novices were Brothers Corcoran and Fennell; so that I can claim. to have been, from those early days, the associate and friend of the Triumvirate which was, one may say, to rule Clongowes for half a century.

It was, I think, in 1896, at the end of his noviceship, that Br Brennan came to Clongowes to be infirmarian, and infirmarian at Clongowes he remained to the end. He was very keen on his work, and during the vacations attended courses at Vincent's Hospital. A venerable Father, who was a young Scholastic at Clongowes in 1896, has told me of the delight of Br Brennan at getting a shin battered on the football field, to be disinfected and bandaged.

During those fifty-three years, 1896-1949, innumerable Clongownians have known and loved him. Indeed, to know him was to love him. I have never heard him spoken of but in terms of affection and praise, and I have never heard him utter an unkind or even depreciatory word of anyone else. A conversation with him seemed to promote in one a certain kindly hopefulness; not on account precisely of anything he said, but of the kind of atmosphere that was about him.

During the last few years he had much to suffer physically and he endured it. with unfailing cheerfulness and courage, and welcomed a joke or a funny story as if there was nothing in the world to trouble him. Just before the last operation, when he knew that he might probably be facing death (as in effect it turned out that he was), I had an intimate conversation with him, and I treasure the memory of it. Here, I felt, is a soul very clear to God.

The operation was quite successful, but unfortunately, pneumonia set in and exhausted his last resources of strength. The chaplain, who was called in, in haste, to administer the Last Sacraments, told me of the intense joy with which he received them, and told me also how much he was loved by everyone who had to do with him in the hospital. God be with his soul!

MFE

-oOo-

May one whose good fortune it was to have known and worked with Brother Brennan for half a century pay a sincere tribute to a man who by his kindness, skill and loyalty has endeared himself to countless generations of Clongownians. No one who has ever come under his care will forget his genuine sympathy for suffering, or his humourous method of treating “foxes”, and he had an uncanny knack of distinguishing the “real” from the “Malade Imaginaire”' as the writer has cause to know. Still one forgets the “Black Jack” and remembers only the subsequent doses dispensed so graciously in the Castle at close of Union Day. His interest in, and knowledge of, Clongowes Past and Present was amazing, and he remembered only their successes. His death has left a gap that it will be difficult to fill. His name and fame will endure as long as there is a Clongowes. May he rest in peace.

T B

Brennan, Joseph A, 1867-1945, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/952
  • Person
  • 01 September 1867-15 May 1945

Born: 01 September 1867, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 02 February 1884, Richmond, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 1897
Professed; 15 August 1903
Died: 15 May 1945, St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

by 1892 at Exaeten College Limburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1893 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1899 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Patrick Muldoon Entry :
Entered at the new Irish Novitiate in Richmond, and it was then moved to Xavier College Kew. He went there with Joseph Brennan and John Newman, Scholastic Novices, and Brother Novices Bernard Doyle and Patrick Kelly.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at St Patrick’s College, Melbourne, before entering the Society, first at Sevenhill and then at Richmond and Xavier College Kew, under Aloysius Sturzo.

1886-1888 and 1890-1891 He was a teacher and Prefect of Discipline at Xavier College
1888-1890 He was a Teacher of Greek, Latin and English as well as Prefect of Discipline at St Ignatius College, Riverview.
1891-1894 he was sent abroad for studies, first to Exaeten College, Netherlands for one year of Philosophy, and then two more years Philosophy at Leuven, Belgium.
1894-1898 He was sent to Milltown Park, Dublin for Theology
1898-1899 He made Tertianship at Drongen, Belgium.
1899-1901 He returned to Australia and teaching senior Physics at St Aloysius College, Burke Street
1901-1908 He was sent to St Ignatius College, Riverview to teach and was also a Division Prefect. He was a very strict disciplinarian.
1908-1914 He was sent to the Richmond Parish
1914-1916 He was sent teaching and prefecting at Xavier College. Here he was also Rowing master in 1915.
1916-1922 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at St Ignatius Parish, Richmond, and at the same time served as a Consultor of the Mission. From 1921-1922 he was also very involved in the second Church in the parish, St James’, North Richmond.
1923-1936 he returned teaching at Xavier College. At the same time he was an examiner in quinquennials, Spiritual Father, and Admonitor at various times.

Apart from a period of Parish work at Hawthorn in 1937 and Richmond 1942-1944, he spent the rest of his life at Xavier College. He took a special interest in games, particularly Australian Rules, on which he was an authority.
He was a very tall and powerful man who had been a stern disciplinarian in his early days. He was noted as being a very good theologian and very definite in his answers to moral problems. As a preacher, he was solid but dull. He was regularly left in charge of the Vice-Province when the Provincial was away. He had a high reputation among secular clergy as well.

At the request of the General, in 1921-1922 he was asked to solve a serious problem concerning a plantation in Gayaba, New Guinea. He was also chosen to superintend the foundation of Corpus Christi College, Werribee, whilst awaiting the arrival of the Rector, Albert Power. Finally he was responsible for making arrangements with the Archbishop of Perth, Dr Prendiville, for the establishment of St Louis School in 1938

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

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 20th Year No 3 1945
Obituary :
Fr. Joseph Brennan (1867-1884-1945)
Fr. Joseph Brennan, a member of the Australian Vice-Province, died at St. Ignatius' Residence, Richmond, Melbourne, on May 16th.

Born in Victoria, Australia, 6th September, 1867, be entered the Society at St. Ignatius, Richmond, 23rd January, 1884. He came to Europe for his higher studies. At Exaten in Holland he pursued his philosophy and at Milltown Park, Dublin, his theology, and was ordained in Dublin in 1897. He made his third year's probation at Tronchiennes.
On his return to Australia he was attached to Riverview College, Sydney, as Prefect of discipline, a post he held for ten successive years, 1900-1910. In the latter year he was changed to St. Ignatius Residence, Richmond, and remained operarius till 1915 when he re turned to the class-room, teaching at St. Aloysius College, North Sydney, 1915-1924. From 1924 to 1942 (with a break of one year at Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne) be taught uninterruptedly and was at the same time Spiritual Father to the community. The last three years of his life he was stationed at St. Ignatius', Richmond. May he rest in peace.

Brennan, Joseph A, 1929-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/809
  • Person
  • 13 November 1929-08 January 2018

Born: 13 November 1929, Dalkey, County Dublin
Entered: 15 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1981, Gozaga College SJ, Dublin
Died: 08 January 2018, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1966 at Brussels Belgium (BEL M) studying

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/he-was-a-good-man/

‘He was a good man’
Jesuits, family, friends and colleagues of Joe Brennan SJ, packed the Church of the Holy Name in Beechwood Avenue to bid him a fond farewell at his funeral Mass, on Friday 12 January, 11am. They were joined by the staff and students of Gonzaga College. John O’Keeffe SJ presided at the Mass, and Myles O’Reilly SJ, a former superior of the Gonzaga Community that Joe was a member of for 43 years, gave the homily. Joe had taken ill in late December and was moved to St Vincent’s Hospital where he was diagnosed with a respiratory illness. He died peacefully on the morning of January 8th 2018, aged 88.
Fr Joe was born and raised in Dublin, and he joined the Jesuits in 1948 at the age of 18. He was a keen sportsman, playing inter-provincial rugby for Leinster. He was also an accomplished musician, particularly on the piano, so he would have appreciated the singing of the Gonzaga student choir at his funeral Mass.
Most of his Jesuit life was spent as a teacher of religion and philosophy. He taught in Mungret, Clongowes, Belvedere, and finally Gonzaga. Brian Flannery, Education Delegate, said Joe had been fully engaged with Gonzaga in one way or another right up to the time of his illness in late December. “He was known for always encouraging students to think for themselves,” said Brian; “Also for instilling values. ‘If you don’t stand for something,’ he loved to say, ‘you will fall for anything.'”
Fr Joe had a few such sayings that he was famous for repeating, and the school had them printed on the back of his funeral Mass booklet. “Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved”, he would say. Or, “Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.” And he would remind the students, “Faith is not against reason, it’s beyond it.”
In his homily, Fr Myles O’Reilly referred to the first reading from Isaiah and the banquet the Lord prepares for His trusted servants. He spoke of the many years of faithful service Joe had given as a follower of Jesus. He had served his fellow Jesuits, his students and his family, all with great generosity and wisdom. It was his turn now to be served and take part in the banquet prepared for him, as promised by the prophet Isaiah, said Myles.
Joe’s many nieces and nephews also attended the Mass. One of them, Ross Brennan, paid a warm tribute to their uncle at the end of the service. He spoke of how loved Joe was by his extended family, of the kindness he always showed, and of the help he always gave to them.
The funeral Mass preceded that of his fellow-Jesuit Kennedy O’Brien, also a teacher in Gonzaga, who had died suddenly, earlier that week. The principal of Gonzaga, Damon McCaul said that it had been a very difficult week for the staff and students in the school. He said that Fr Joe had made such an impact on his students that older past pupils still remembered him with deep regard and gratitude. “And it’s the same with Kennedy for a new generation of pupils and past pupils. Both men were outstanding teachers and educators.”
The final word on Fr Joe was a simple line in the funeral Mass booklet, underneath a photo of him saying Mass in Gonzaga: ‘He was a good man’.

Early Education at Sacred Heart, Leeson St, Dublin, Ring College, Waterford & Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
1950-1953 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1953-1956 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1956-1959 Mungret College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1959-1963 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1963-1964 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1964-1965 Trier, Germany - Liturgy Studies at Benediktiner Abtei St Mathias
1965-1966 Brussels, Belgium - Catechetics Studies at Lumen Vitae
1966-1968 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Teacher; Prefect; Lecturer in Catechetics at Milltown Park
1968-1969 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher; Musical Director; Lecturer in Catechetics at Milltown Park
1969-1974 Mungret College SJ - Teacher; Gamesmaster
1974-2018 Gonzaga College SJ - Teacher; Lecturer in Catechetics at Milltown Park
1983 Rector; Director of Pastoral Care
2010 Chaplain at Marlay Nursing Home, Dublin; Assistant Treasurer; Teacher of Religion
2014 Ceased Teaching

Brennan, Joseph, 1843-1923, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/70
  • Person
  • 24 January 1843-10 September 1923

Born: 24 January 1843, Piersfield, County Westmeath
Entered: 16 March 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final Vows: 02 February 1891, Australia
Died: 10 September 1923, Mater Hospital, Sydney Australia

part of the St Mary’s, Miller St, Sydney, Australia community at the time of death

Came to Australia 1889 for Regency

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had already been Ordained for the Meath Diocese and was working there before Entry.
He made his Novitiate at Milltown under Charles McKenna.
1882 He and Thomas) Keating arrived in Australia
On arrival in Australia he was sent to work at North Shore, Sydney, and with the exception of a couple of years teaching at Riverview and Kew, he spent the rest of his life there.
He was Minister at St Mary’s Miller St more than once and Superior from 1893-1902.
He was about medium height and of ascetic appearance, wore a beard and was sufficiently active as a Missioner. Occasionally he wrote a little for pious publications such as the “Messenger of the Sacred Heart”. - James Rabbitte.
Note from Thomas Keating Entry :
1881 He returned to Milltown. he had offered for the Australian Mission, and sailed there with Joseph Brennan, who was a Novice Priest at the time.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He studied Philosophy and Theology at Maynooth before he entered as a Priest Novice in Milltown 16 March 1880.

1882-1887 After First Vows he was sent to teach in Australia at Xavier College, Kew and St Ignatius Riverview 1882-1883 and 1895-1897, then at the beginning of a relationship with St Mary’s, North Sydney 1883-1885.
1887-1923 He returned to St Mary’s, North Sydney, where he travelled around the vast parish, chiefly on horseback. He died there after an illness of a few weeks from a serious kidney complaint.

While in Sydney he held most offices including Minister, and Superior 1893-1902. he was also confessor to Jesuits in the Sydney Parishes when he was not Superior, and also served as a Spiritual Director. he was Moderator of the “Holy Childhood” from 1913, and the “Association for the Propagation of the Faith” and the “Eucharistic League” from 1917. He was a small man but a great worker. During his time as Parish Priest he built a school for girls and also additions to the church. In his latter years, when age hampered him, he spent more time in the confessional and baptising.
He was widely read in Theology and History - especially the history of Ireland. Cardinal Moran, Archbishop of Sydney, claimed that enjoyed reading anything that Brennan wrote. He wrote an article on the history of the parish of the North Shore in “Our Australian Missions”, and one entitles “France and the Frenchmen” in the “Austral Light”, June 1898.

He had a kindly and lovable disposition, meek but not weak. he had a ready wit and was often the source of great joy in company. There were two subjects upon which one could never joke, the Church and Ireland.

Brennan, Martin, 1912-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/475
  • Person
  • 04 December 1912-21 July 1999

Born: 04 December 1912, Dundrum, Dublin
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, St Ignatius, Leeson Street, Dublin
Died: 21 July 1999, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Uncle of Fergal Brennan - Ent 1959

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000
Obituary
Fr Máirtín Ó Braonáin (1912-1999) : translation by Brian Grogan SJ
Martin's health began to decline in 1996 and he spent periods of time in Cherryfield, returning to Leeson Street as often as he could. Later, for health reasons, he remained permanently in Cherryfield. In the last couple of weeks his strength was fading and he died peacefully on Wednesday July 21st, 1999 in Cherryfield.

4th Dec. 1912: Born in Dublin.
Early education in Dundrum National School and CBS Synge Street
3rd Sept. 1930: Entered the Society at Emo.
4th Sept. 1932: First vows at Emo.
1932 - 1936: Rathfarnham- Arts Degree at UCD
1936 - 1939: Tullabeg- Philosophy studies.
1939 - 1942: Milltown- Science Degree at UCD
1942 - 1946: Milltown- Theology studies.
31st July 1945: Ordained priest at Milltown Park.
1947 - 1951: Leeson Street- Doctorate studies in Botany at UCD.
2nd Feb. 1948: Final Vows at Leeson Street.
1951 - 1981: Lecturer in Botany in UCD.
1981 - 1993: Lecturer Emeritus in Biology, writing and assisting in Sallynoggin parish.
1993 - 1996: Lecturer Emeritus in Biology, working in the Irish language apostolate and writing.
1997 - 1999: Moved to Cherryfield Lodge, praying for the Church and the Society.

Fr Proinnsias Ó Fionnagáin writes...

I remember the first time, in September 1932, when I met Máirtín as he arrived in Rathfarnham from Emo, Co Laois. The new scholastics were being welcomed and Máirtín responded to me in Irish. I am sure his companions knew the language but Máirtín was the only one willing to speak it spontaneously.
In the weeks that followed we had little opportunity to chat because I was weighed down with study for my BA exams. I did not see Máirtín again for six years, when we encountered one another in August 1938 in Milltown Park. I had completed regency in the colleges and about to begin theology, but there was a different agenda for Máirtín.

Máirtín did well in Rathfarnham but you would get little news of him in the Province News. However in Tullabeg, our House of Philosophy, we find that Máirtín had completed his studies with exceptional merit. At that time, Fr H. Schmitz, a German Jesuit, had come to Tullabeg to replace Fr Eddie Coyne, and tradition tells that Máirtín did so well in his classes that Fr Schmitz recommended that he be sent on for special studies in Botany. Whether this is true or false Mairtin spent four years, 1938-1942, in UCD studying for a degree in Botany and Zoology. Unsurprisingly this diligent student emerged with first honours and highest merit. Eventually Mairtin began theology (1942-46) and was overjoyed to be ordained a priest on St Ignatius’ Day, 31 July 1945; but his spiritual formation was not completed until summer 1947.

He then took up residence in St Ignatius House, Leeson St—his address till the end of his life. Again, more study followed for his doctorate, but in between we find him teaching Botany as assistant to the professor in UCD, and lecturing in science and religion to students in Earlsfort Terrace. In July 1952 he was awarded his doctorate.

What shall we relate of Dr Mairtin’s life-style in UCD from 1952? Certainly he was a conscientious lecturer who was never satisfied with his current level of knowledge. He was always studying, strengthening and deepening his knowledge in order to achieve excellence in what he taught. Almost every year in vacation time, he participated in learned conferences whether at home or internationally, especially in France, Germany and the US.

He gave many public lectures between 1952-70, on topics such as ‘Adam and Anthropology’, ‘The Catholic Student and the Problems of Evolution’ etc. From 1961 he gave lectures on the philosophy of the French Jesuit, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, in UCD, Maynooth, Galway and Cork. Some of these were published both in Irish and English. It is clear that over these years Mairtin was ceaselessly at work, not only in fulfilling his obligations as professor in the University, and in writing and lecturing. But there is more to the story! He never forgot his first love, the Irish language. No sooner had he completed his formation than he became a member of Cumann na Sagart and was later unanimously elected as its president. It gave him great joy to attend when the annual prize of the Cumann was bestowed on young people who had fostered "Glór na nGael" (The Irish Language). Frequently he travelled as Irish-speaking chaplain to Lourdes. I lived with him in Leeson St from 1961-74 and I often noticed Máirtín’s pleasure when someone spoke in Irish to him. As for myself I would break in on a conversation to ask if he could recall a verse from Tadhg Gaelach or Raifteri. Immediately he would respond with three or four of the required verses!

Maírtín retired from lecturing in October 1980 but he wasn’t seeking ‘ease with dignity’ although he had well earned the right to take life more easily. Soon he was made assistant priest in Sallynoggin, and was elected to membership of the Boards of Management for Irish-speaking schools in Rathcoole and Clondalkin. And he continued to work for our native language until his health no longer allowed him to continue his duties.

When I returned home from France in October 1981 I was delighted to see Máirtín again. He visited me in Gardiner St to discuss the history of the Jesuits in Ireland. I gathered that Mairtin had joined the Jesuits with a deep knowledge of the history of Ireland, learned from the Christian Brothers: now he was deepening his knowledge of the history of the Jesuits in Ireland. He was an independent thinker in regard to the history of Ireland. In his view, the Wild Geese should have stayed in Ireland after the Treaty of Limerick instead of going abroad to fight the battles of the kings of Europe: they could have engaged in guerrilla warfare with the English and their friends at home in Ireland!

God gave Máirtin a long span of life, and surely he was ready when the final notice to surrender came. Let us pray that he may soon experience the vision of the Holy Trinity, under the mantle of Mary our Glorious Mother. He died on July 21, 1999.

Good Jesus our Lord, give him eternal rest.

Proinsias O Fionnagáin, SJ
Translation Brian Grogan SJ

Brennan, Thomas, 1709-1773, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/953
  • Person
  • 02 January 1709-09 November 1773

Born: 02 January 1709, Dublin
Entered: 02 January 1726, San Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1740
Final Vows: 02 February 1743
Died: 09 November 1773, College of Immaculate Conception, Derbyshire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Son of Dr Peter Brennan, founder of the Meath Hospital;
1740 came home to Ireland with a case of relics!
1743 Professor of Theology a the Grand College Poitiers
1743 to 1753 distinguished preacher in Dublin
1754 Rector Irish College, Rome to 1754 and again 25 February 1758 succeeding Fr Michael Fitzgerald (or was Rector from 01 May 1757 to 1759)
1758-1762 Operarius at Seminary in Poitiers, then 1762 Minister and Procurator at Irish College in Poitiers
1763 Prof of Theology at the Grand College Poitiers
1768 On the mission at Barborrough, near Chesterfield, England (poss Barlborough?)
1769 Rector of College of Immaculate Conception Derbyshire, England

◆ Fr John MacErlean SJ :
1740 Sent to Ireland (in pen)
1744-1754 Distinguished Preacher in Dublin
1754 Rector of Irish College Rome
1763 At Poitiers and Professed Theology at Grand Collège Poitiers
1769 Rector of College of Immaculate Conception, Derbyshire
(cf Arrêt de la Cour du Parliament de Paris)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
DOB 02 January 1709 Dublin; Ent 01 January 1726 Rome; Ord 1740 Rome; RIP c 1773 Derbyshire

Son of Daniel and Mary Anne née O'Sullivan
1729-1732 After First Vows he was sent for one year of Rhetoric and then he studied Philosophy at the Roman College.
Regency was spent at Montepulciano, Orvieto and Loreto
1737 Returned to Rome for Theology and was ordained in 1740
1740-1744 At Montepulciano again for one year teaching and then three years at Teramo
1744 Sent to Ireland and spent 10 years as assistant Priest at St Mary’s Lane Chapel Dublin
1754-1759 Appointed Rector of Irish College Rome
1759 Appointed Procurator for the Society in France until the dissolution of the Society in France
Then joined ANG and was on the Mission in Derbyshire when died a few months after the Suppression in November 1773

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BRENNAN, THOMAS, of Dublin, was born on the 20th of December, and entered the Roman Province of the Society on the 1st of January, 1725. Returning to Ireland after completing his studies, and being admitted to the Profession of the Four Vows, he was employed in one of the Parishes of Dublin, for nearly ten years, and gained distinction as a Preacher. He was called to Rome in 1754, to govern the Irish Seminary in that City. At the expiration of his Superiority, he became aggregated to the English Province, was appointed to a Mission in Derbyshire, and was declared Rector of his Brethren, in the College of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, on the 6th of June, 1769. He died in Derbyshire, shortly after the Suppression of his Order ; but the exact date I cannot procure.

Brereton, Joseph P, 1920-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/767
  • Person
  • 05 December 1920-07 May 2012

Born: 05 December 1920, Liverpool, Lancashire, England / Lifford Avenue, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 07 May 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Clongowes Wood College SJ community, Naas, County Kildare at the time of death.

◆ Interfuse No 148 : Summer 2012 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2012

Obituary

Fr Joseph (Joe) Brereton (1920-2012)

5 December 1920: Born in Liverpool;
Early education in St. Mary's Primary, Liverpool, and Crescent College, Limerick
7 September 1938: Entered Society at Emo
8 September 1940: First Vows at Emo
1940 - 1943: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1943 - 1946: Studied philosophy in Tullabeg
1946 - 1948: Crescent College - Teacher
1948 - 1949: Belvedere College – Teacher
1949 - 1953: Studied theology in Milltown Park
31 July 1952: Ordained at Milltown Park
1953 - 1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1954 - 1960: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
2 February 1955: Final Vows
1960 - 1963: Gonzaga
1960 - 1962: Teacher
1962 - 1963: Minister, teacher
1963 - 1968: Manresa - Minister, Assisted Director of the Retreat House
1968 - 2012: Clongowes
1968 - 1990: Teacher of Religion, French and English
1990 - 1997: Teacher of English; Assistant to Higher Line Prefect; Chaplain to Hazel Hall (1992)
1997 - 2012: Teacher; Assistant to Higher Line Prefect; Tutor to foreign exchange students; Chaplain to Hazel Hall
7 May 2012: Died Cherryfield

Fr Brereton was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 7th January 2012 suffering from recurrent respiratory problems. His treatment necessitated occasional visits to hospital. He remained in good spirits and mentally alert. His condition deteriorated since mid-April. Fr Brereton passed away peacefully in the company of his sister, Josephine, and Fr Michael Sheil in the early morning of May the 7th 2012. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Obituary : Michael Sheil
The Fiant solita suffragia for the average Jesuit extends to a full page - and sometimes beyond, Fr Joe's CV does not fill even one. But then, Joe was not an “average" Jesuit – he was not an “average" person. The fact that he spent all of 44 years in the same job in Clongowes suggests proof of this !

Joseph Brereton was born in Liverpool and was always loyal to his origins - as the many red soccer jerseys given to him by successive Rhetoric Years in Clongowes will atest. When his father died young, Joe's mother moved her family of three boys and two girls back to her native Limerick, where the sons attended Crescent College. From there Joe entered the Jesuits in 1938 – and the subsequent story of his life is simply told.

He followed the traditional Jesuit training course - BA in UCD [40-43] - Philosophy in Tullabeg [43-46] - Regency in Crescent and Belvedere [46-49]. After three years of theology in Milltown Park, he was ordained there in 1952. Tertianship followed in Rathfarnham (53-54] and Joe returned to his Alma Mater in Limerick as a Teacher for 6 years before moving to Gonzaga College (60-63] and was Minister in Manresa Retreat House from 1963 to 1968. In August 1968 he came to CWC. Fr Tom Layden - our present Provincial - who gave the final Absolution - had not even arrived to start school there at that time!

That made up a grand total of 44 years - give or take a few weeks - for there he stayed ever since. He would probably have occupied the same room for all that time, if a new Rhetoric Wing had not been built in 1999 - but he simply moved about 20 metres west and two floors down to his new quarters.

Joe was a very private sort of person himself – but was deeply interested in other people. In his long life of teaching - all of 56 years in total - and looking after his young charges – he fully justified God's faith in his ability to make his five talents bear fruit. It is calculated that he influenced the lives of over 3,000 students in Clongowes alone -- and the many tributes and messages of sympathy to the Community bore rich testimony to their gratitude to him:

The present writer had the joy and privilege of working with him for 18 years as Higher Line Prefect. Joe always referred to the members of his area as Officers – and dismissed all others as Baggage-Handlers until - when I arrived – I insisted on calling my charges Gentlemen ! He was always there in support - to praise - to encourage – to lower the rising temperature (when needed!] - to offer advice - and, on occasion, to chide ! To be called Villain by him was not a compliment. --- and no one, high or low, Officer or Gentleman - Student or Teacher - was spared! On his encouraging side, his trademark phrase was: That's OK ! That's OK ! A few days after he died this email arrived from Hanoi, Vietnam, from a former pupil: Officers and Gentlemen alike (and also some Villains) will be united in sadness at the news of Fr Joe's death -- and equally warmed by the myriad of happy memories of a great Teacher and a remarkable man.

Very often I used to meet past pupils who would enquire after some of their former Jesuit Teachers – and, after giving them the sad news of the death of A + B +C, I might be asked: And when did Fr Brereton die ? I used to reply, to their surprise: Well I saw him this morning and he was OK !

Sadly for them and for us - as we heard in the second reading at his funeral Mass - this will be no longer so. Joe's tent has been folded up - as he moved – for the last time – to an everlasting home in the heavens. In our first reading – the Prophet Isaiah presents the image of God's Kingdom as a banquet of rich food prepared for all peoples. Joe would surely approve of my choice – for, while Joe was a very private person - in his own quiet way, he was quite a party-man ! While he eschewed the grand manner – he loved the occasional (and increasingly frequent] occasions of sharing some sweets - fruit - biscuits - and a variety of other edibles - from the depths of a seemingly bottomless pocket - with unsuspecting beneficiaries who happened on his path.

In the context of the greater world out there Joe's life was unheralded and unsung - but not so in the daily living of a grace-filled and remarkable life - remarkable in its simplicity and commitment. For his was a life full of love – care - kindness – concern -- thoughtfulness for others – phone-calls - cards – notes – all came to surprise and delight the recipients. His was a life animated by prayer - especially by his devotion to Our Lady, which was well-known - the Breviary and his daily Mass [with his own unique liturgy complete with interjections and dialogue questions!] Joe's proverbial kindness - his five talents (it was the Gospel chosen for his farewell Mass] - was an investment which bore rich dividends for the recipients. Many are the memories – personal and precious - which everyone had of his kindness - each person with his/her own story to tell. He had a particular soft spot for the House Staff - and undertook an unashamed defence of the Eves among them – often reminding the Adams of anniversaries/birthdays, which might otherwise have been forgotten! Exchange students were also among his favourites. At the end of one year – during the Leaving Certificate exams in June - Rhetoric Year gave Joe a present of an electric blanket - for he always seemed to feel the cold very keenly – and was often wrapped in layers of pullovers and his famous coat - beneath which (at least it was rumoured] were several hot-water bottles! He put up a notice to thank the Students for their “very thoughtful gift – which will be so useful now that winter is drawing on” .............. and this was in the first week in June !

At an age when most of his contemporaries were long retired or invalid - Joe continued to patrol the corridors of the Higher Line's “R Block” in Clongowes – encouraging the lame ducks – searching for the lost souls – sharing his wisdom with all and sundry. He had such a canny knack of foretelling what might "come up" in the Leaving that there many of his charges could not be persuaded that he did not have “insider information” in the Department !

In the evening of his life Joe became more frail in body - but with his spirit's sparkle never dimmed. The Nurses in Clongowes looked after him with a tender devotion far beyond the call of duty (as did the Staff in the village pharmacies). During his last few months, it was the turn of the Nurses and Staff of Cherryfield to fall under his charm and to care for him with their renowned love and attention. This task carried its own challenge - and many of them found themselves on the receiving end as they enquired after his health -- only to find themselves responding to Joe's interrogation as to how they were getting on ! Joe had never wanted to go there - and it is their great triumph that they succeeded in making it a real home-from home for him. Once a Prefect - always a Prefect - or so it is said! In Cherryfield Joe remained always “on duty”. On one occasion he entered someone else's room late at night and told him to Turn off that TV - and do it now! I have people studying for the Leaving Cert. along this corridor – and you are distracting them! His startled companion duly complied!

Late on the evening of Sunday 6th May the Night Nurse in Cherryfield alerted the Rector and Joe's Sister that he had taken a turn for the worse. I have a very moving cameo-memory of seeing Josephine sitting by Joe's bed, reciting prayers from an old Child of Mary prayerbook - occasionally glancing round at her Brother as he listened to her prayers for and with him - as we shared his last moments on earth. Night Staff in a hospital or nursing home live a sort of owl-like existence - rarely heard or seen ............ Joe introduced us to three wonderful people on that Sunday evening - aş, at the moment of his final departure, they cared for both of us trying to cope with the finality of it all. Three minutes into a new day -- on Monday 7th May - Joe celebrated what the ancient Roman martyrology called our dies natalis - his Heavenly Birthday. He had reached God's holy mountain -- to share in the New Life promised by Jesus to those who eat the Bread of Life and drink from the wells of Salvation.

At the Community Mass in Cherryfield on the day Joe died, Fr Paul Andrews quoted a celebrated phrase of Prof. Winnicott, a distinguished psychiatrist who once said: I pray that I will be alive when I die ........ I pray that I will be alive when I die! This was so true of Fr Brereton - and his spirit will live on - both in CWC and throughout the world – where so many of his former pupils mourned his passing – fully alive, aged ninety-one-and-a-half years old.

◆ The Clongownian, 2012

The passing of Fr Joe Brereton SJ saw Clongowes lose one of its most faithful servants. The many tributes and messages of sympathy referred to by Fr Michael Sheil SJ included the following, one from a present pupil, Tom Goodman, and one from an Old Clongownian...

The Captains Last Voyage

by Tom Goodman (Poetry)

The sky was a ceiling of deep blues and greys when we arrived at the dock. Clouds hid the moon, but from some lighted windows we were able to make out the shape of some of the structures along the seafront. Nature's silence lay our with us, which, combined with the wind and water in their whirling, created a sublime calm. So much so, that we were afraid to speak above a whisper, content to be keepers of serenity. At last we reached the ship, a looming yer majestic vessel bobbing slowly on the chop, and stepping up to the gangplank, we boarded. The ship itself creaked gently as we almost tiptoed across the rain-slick deck. Then, coming to a pair of large wooden doors, banded with riveted iron strips, we stepped in to meet The Captain.

Leaving the rain on the other side of the door, we took off our coats and, in our surroundings, not for the first or last time. The room was quite compact and plain. On one side there stood elegantly a shrine to Our Lady, and on the opposite side to this the room was walled with wooden-slatted shutters that were pulled right down to the ground. Faintly from behind these, the murmur of hymns floated, changing the silence into a soft praising song. Heels clacking on the planks beneath our feet, we approached the shutters and knocked firmly; after a few moments they opened.

The Captain stood there, measuring us intently He was an elderly man, with a kindly face and silky snow-white hair. With a slight hunch he stood shorter than he should and he held his gnarled hands down in front of him. Smiling, he invited us to sit; and we did, the reverent music resounding out behind us from the horn of the gramophone, and waited as The Captain sat silently at his desk, working his way through his rosary beads with quavering lips. Looking past The Captain out the porthole, we caught a glimpse in the newly emergent moonlight of the glorious bone-white castle standing vigilant to the night with its golden doors. The gramophone dinked as the clay disc finished its circuit and The Captain's beads pattered as he laid them on the table and sat back in his padded pinewood chair. Behind us the heavy wooden door groaned to admit a woman with a small frame, long straight brown hair and specracles. Neither we, nor The Captain said a word as she sat herself down on one of the benches at the wall. But after a few moments we realised that she was praying for The Captain, and by this time she had already risen, blessed herself and was making for the door, while The Captain quirked a little smile in thanks. After glancing to each other and then to The Captain, we resumed our quietude.

Sitting for so long in that room with the silent Captain, we began to notice all its little details, as one could not help but do in such a situation. Twelve candles stood in gilded sticks, ten of which were alight, casting a mellow and soft radiance across The Captain's quarters. Out another of the porcholes, which was fitted with red glass, a shining shaft of light shooting from the lighthouse could be seen. It added to the strange atmosphere in the room that persuaded silence. The Captain's kindly smile still lingered from the woman's visit, and rekindled as two more figures stepped through the large wooden doors.

The two men were quite different yer similar in appearance. Both held some weight on their paunches, both looked a considerable age (one more so than the other.) and both looked strangely as if they had just recently emerged into joy from grief. They were speaking quietly to one another as they stepped across the threshold and brushed off their coats, their firm shoes tapping on the floor. After they had said their prayers in a similar fashion to the woman previously, the two men paused to look at The Captain, who was sitting back, straight in the eye. Resuming their conversation (which seemed to revolve around The Captain himself) they quietly departed, leaving The Captain smiling,

The time to speak
Now the time came when we finally began to speak to The Captain and one another; quietly at first but gradually as we breached the swallowing silence of the cabin, the level of our voices began to rise. The Captain sat like a stone through it all, smiling in a calm thoughtful bliss.

It was past midnight when we finally left The Captain. We were admittedly reluctant to leave; but we needed our sleep for the following morning, for The Captain's final journey on the sea. Walking in the crisp, cold night, we left the harbour already dreaming of bed beneath the moonshine in the ever-creeping weariness.

The morning rose bright and blue, but soon the sea-breeze swept clouds in over our heads, and with the clouds came rain, light at first. As we walked down to the docks feeling the first spots of rain on our faces, gulls reeled and screeched along the wind, and from afar we could see the crowd that had formed around The Captain's vessel. Even from that distance we could pick out some officers, though the general rabble of other crewmembers melded into one uniformed crowd. At the fringes could be seen both men and women, dressed in many different fashions. Here some ex-officers in formal. raiment, and there women, both old and young, in their own finery.

Coming closer along the water a wave plashed against the harbour wall, spraying us lightly with an early blessing. The cobbles beneath our feet mimicked tiles in their various colours and shapes and wall murals stuck up at regular intervals. Fourteen we counted by the time we joined the crowd that stood warching the captain on the deck.

The great splayed mix of voices quietened as priests in their white robes stepped up to bless The Captain and his voyage. Silence, as well governed as on the previous night, blanketed the crowd as The Captain was blessed, for it was well known that The Captain himself was a man of God, and as the ceremony progressed, The Captain visibly stepped out of his hunch, standing tall to the wind and vast ocean ahead of him. At The Captain's side stood his sister, regal in her equanimity; for it was no easy thing to do, leaving a brother to the voyage alone. At the will of the priests, we began to sing. Deep sonorous bass notes were complemented by the higher ones, swirling together into a great farewell, filled with the respect and praise The Captain was due. While we slid from song to prayer and back again those men on-deck lined the way to the helm; a guard of honour for The Captain, despite the raindrops, which fell down with abandon. When the songs were over and The Captain stood nobly gripping at the pinewood wheel with his hands, the rest of us that could fit climbed up upon the ship, ready to sail The Captain to the places where map and sight failed to guide. Without order we hitched the booms, hoisted the sails and cast off, the bow cutting into the water, cleaving our way forward with the aid of the sails. With the bowsprit pointing our way we departed, The Caprain leading with an open grin on his face, which had youthened, his hair now turning a tawny colour, and his eyes holding the light of excitement.

After quite some time in the pouring rain, whipping wind and amidst the tang of salt in one's nostril, a small elbow of land sitting green on the horizon came into view, it was on no sea-chart, no map or in no book that the men could find, The Captain had taken us, and he had led with the surety of somebody heading home along an old road from their childhood, but we all knew that he had never visited this place; none of us had. When we made closer to the islands, mists rose out of the sea to shroud them. The Captain bade us stop, so we weighed anchor. The Captain now holding the youthful look of a man of thirty, with all the wisdom of an eighty year old behind the eyes, leapt down onto the deck past us, utterly astonished, to the rowing boats which were cied off at the side of the ships hull and hopped into the sleek, varnished pine boat. We all stood around agape at first as he began to lower himself down, but at the signal of one of the priests who ventured along with us, we began a final lamenting praise for The Captain. Weak and sad to begin, the melody took us to a time when The Captain began to prepare for this voyage, to the care he showed to us, each of his crew-members, his love and concern, his imagination and his ability to see that it was okay when chaos and ruin seemed to loom; to now, as the sky opened up to the warm embrace of the sun we realised that this journey is made by all good men and women, those who are in their nature - for others. The Captain was leaving now, his boat had silently dipped into the water and had begun gliding along, tending towards the shore, but we would see him again. Smiles broke out among the crew as we watched him shrink. When he was still clearly visible he turned his young face that was filled with life ship-ward and smiled one last time for us, as the golden mists enveloped him, hiding him from our view. And so we sat and thought of the time when we ourselves would have to make a similar journey, through this life into another. Still smiling.

And into the misty isles of time,
We all shall sail ourselves.
Whether in morning, day or dusk,
We drink now from the well
That quenches all; the fair of heart
Villains, liars, fiends
And leaves behind no thirst for men
Or thought of mortal dreams.
Failing body, prevailing soul
Through all that ever is.
Someday hope you'll take your boat
On through the golden mists.

-oOo-

Officers, Gentlemen and Villains

by Rossa McDermott (OC ‘78)

It was a far from soft day when the casket of Fr Joe Brereton SJ was lowered into the grave by a new generation of Clongownians in the community graveyard, just off the main avenue. Alongside the recently departed Fr Paddy Lavery SJ, the man more affectionately known ‘Bertie” Brereton was laid to his final place of rest in front of many Clongownians, past and present. It was somehow unfair that this most gentle of men did not get more deserving weather - some bright Spring sunshine - in order to record the sad moment when he left the Clongowes Community for good. But then again, Bertie was never one for the limelight.

In recalling the long shadow he cast over the Clongowes Community, Fr Michael 'Mocky' Sheil fondly remembered that the Bertie era started even before the current Jesuit Provincial, Tom Layden, had arrived in Clongowes many years ago. Mocky estimated that his influence had been cast over 3,000 pupils during his tenure, and a testament to that influence was the cross-section of ages in the Boys Chapel for his funeral service, all reflecting a man who, in a very quiet, yet determined way, had managed to impact on many, many generations during his teaching years.

For those who wondered in the early days why soccer played such a role in the teaching of English, it was due to his roots in Liverpool, where he lived until the premature death of his father, after which the family moved back to Limerick. In looking back over old copy books in clear outs and house moves, it is now clearer to me why so many essays, projects and drawings of the 1974 World Cup were acceptable English copy for Fr Brereton. Unbeknownst to many of us he loved football, but he also took an interest in all sporting achievements of his charges, especially his “Officers”. In a moving, honest and potent homily Fr Sheil recalled a particular rivalry between prefects in the old Rhetoric Building, Since forever, it seemed, Bertie called his fellow dwellers on the top floor of the old 1966 building “Officers”, all seemingly a reflection of a higher quality of Rhetorician in the scheme of things - in his mind. This was carried further in the cup teams and other sports, as no winning team went without a competitive count from Joe Brereton as to his Officer numbers in the wining side.

But it was perhaps the term “Villain” that evoked the most recognition from the packed church during Mocky's fond recollections on Thursday morning. It was the fiercest term that Bertie ever mustered when talking about the most mean of people. In an era when the hard edge of The Raz - aka Fr Gerry O'Beirne - was not slow about calling things as they were (and often in the most non-Jesuitical language) Fr Joe Brereton never moved beyond the term “villains”. This, perhaps, most accurately reflected the soft and caring nature of the man, characterising everything he stood for during his four plus decades in Clongowes. Whatever about being an Officer or a Gentleman, one thing you never wanted to be was a Villain. There was possibly nothing more troublesome.

In the closing prayers at the graveside on Thursday Fr Sheil and Fr Moloney ended concelebrating the life of a great man in the company of Fr John Looby, Fr Phil Fogarty, and Fr Colin Warrack. They did so with a befitting sense of ceremony perhaps so typical of the Jesuit Community over the generations. Sadly though the Clongowes Jesuit community graveyard is filled with too many stalwarts now long since at peace, yet evoking memories for each and everyone of us: Fr Cyril Power, Fr James “Pop” Casey, Fr Charlie O'Connor, Fr Ray Lawler, Fr Percy Winder, Fr Gerry O'Beirne, Fr Frank Frewen, Brother Willie Fitzgerald, Brother William Glanville and the one and only Jim Treacy - to mention just a few. On May 10th 2012 Fr Joe Brereton, SJ sadly joined them. May he rest in peace.

Bridge, James, 1871-1940, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/954
  • Person
  • 03 April 1871-11 January 1940

Born: 03 April 1871, Wigan, Lancashire, England
Entered: 07 September 1888, Roehampton London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1906
Professed: 02 February 1909
Died: 11 January 1940, St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Wales - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1925 came to Tullabeg (HIB) Tertian Instructor 1924-1928

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 15th Year No 2 1940
Obituary :
Father James Bridge

Fr James Bridge, Instructor of Tertians at Tullabeg, 1924-1927, and at St. Beuno's, 1927-1930, was found dead on the morning of Thursday, January 11th. He had retired to St Beuno's in October, suffering from heart attacks, and for some time had been unable to say Mass. He was buried at Pantasaph, on Monday, January 15th. R.I.P

Bridge, John Brice, 1793-1860, Jesuit priest

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

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

Brigham, Henry, 1796-1881, Jesuit priest

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

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

in Clongowes 1818/9 - Theol 2

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

Briones, Thomas, 1582-1645, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/955
  • Person
  • 1582-12 February 1645

Born: 1582, Jenkinstown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 21 January 1605, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Final vows: 22 May 1622
Died: 12 February 1645, Irish College, Seville, Spain - Baeticae Province (BAE)

Alias Bryan

“Thomas O’Brien - see Briones”
Studied 2 years Philosophy and 2 years Theology
1609 was at Ingolstadt (Bavaria) further studies after 4th year Theology; subsequently Superior of Seminary for 4 years (dates unclear)
1609-1610 sent to Ireland with Daton and R Comeford
1617 was in CAST Province
1619 Master of Irish students at College of Salamanca
1625 College of Montforte (CAST)
1628 Rector of Irish College at Compostella
1633 Rector of Irish College at Seville
1639 at Malaga College
Was Master of Novices at some stage

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1613-1645 Rector of Salamanca and Seville; Writer
1609 Appears in Ireland
Because of the confusion over his aliases (above) he appears as two persons in Foley’s Collectanea : Thomas Brian (O’Bryan) and Thomas Brion (Briones)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Thomas and Joanna née Hoyne
He began his studies at Salamanca in 1600 before Ent 21 January 1605 Rome
After First Vows he resumed studies at the Roman College, and then a final year at Ingolstadt.
1609-1613 Sent to Ireland and worked in the Kilkenny region
1614-1622 Recalled to Spain as Rector of Salamanca
1622-1626 Rector at Santiago
1626-1627 Rector of Salamanca again
1627 Went to Madrid as Procurator of the Irish Mission and Irish Colleges on the Iberian Peninsula
1631-1637 He changed Province from CAST to BAE and immediately appointed Rector at the Irish College Seville
1637-1641 Operarius at the Marchena Residence
1641 Reappointed as Rector of Seville in response to the reiterated demands of the students who resented the government of the College of Spaniards.
1644 Forced by illness and blindness to retire from Rectorship, but remained there as Spiritual Father to Seminarians until his death 12 February 1645.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Note from Richard Lynch (1611-1647) Entry
Lynch was appointed Rector of the Irish College Seville on 1 February 1644, replacing Father Thomas Briones

Broderick, Anthony, 1877-1949, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/956
  • Person
  • 12 May 1877-22 January 1949

Born: 12 May 1877, Eskeragh, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1900, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final vows: 02 February 1911
Died: 22 January 1949, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA, USA - Oregonensis Province (ORE)

Transcribed HIB to TAUR : 1902; TAUR to CAL : 1909; CAL to ORE

Broderick, James, 1891-1973, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/71
  • Person
  • 26 July 1891-26 August 1973

Born: 26 July 1891, Kingsland, County Galway
Entered: 01 February 1910 - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 23 September 1923
Final vows: 02 February 1929
Died: 26 August 1973, Wokingham, Surrey, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Broët, Paschase, c1500-1562, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2288
  • Person
  • c.1500 - 14 September 1562

Born: Bertrancourt, Amiens, France
Entered: 15 August 1535, Rome Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 12 March 1524, Paris
Final Vows: 22 April 1541, Rome, Italy
Died: 14 Septembver 1562, Paris, France - Galliae Province (GALL)

Ignatius of Loyola sent two Jesuits - Paschase Broët and Alfonso Salmerón - to Ireland in 1541. The legates arrived in Ulster, Ireland, on 23 February 1542, and after thirty-four grim days encountering innumerable and insurmountable difficulties, they left Ireland without accomplishing the purpose of their visit.

◆ The English Jesuits 1550-1650 Thomas M McCoog SJ : Catholic Record Society 1994
One of the first followers of St Ignatius Loyola in Paris
He, Alfonso Salmerón and the future Jesuit brother Francisco Zapata, were obliged to seek shelter in unspecified English ports on their way from the continent to Ireland via Scotland, in December 1541
Born Berteancourt France (Colpo, Broët, 239)

Brooke, Charles, 1777-1852, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2289
  • Person
  • Born: 08 August 1777-06 October 1852

Born: 08 August 1777, Exeter, Devon, England
Entered: 26 September 1803, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 12 June 1802, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, County Kildare
Died: 06 October 1852, Exeter, Devon, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Son of James and Sarah (Hoare)

PROVINCIAL English Province (ANG) 1826-1832

Brosnan, Matthew, 1923-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/643
  • Person
  • 13 December 1923-02 May 1997

Born: 13 December 1923, London, England / St Stephen’s Green, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 02 May 1997, St Paul’s Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

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

by 1951 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Farewell to Father Matthew Brosnan, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Matthew Brosnan, 73, passed away in hospital shortly after midnight on Friday, 2 May 1997.

During a medical check-up it was discovered that he had a serious heart condition that needed immediate treatment. He underwent an operation on Thursday but died a few hours later. Father Brosnan was born of Irish parents in London on 13 December 1923. He received his early education in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland before attending secondary school at the Jesuit-run Belvedere College in Dublin.

On 7 September 1942, Matthew Brosnan entered the Society of Jesus and was sent to the National University of Ireland where he eventually graduated with a first class honours Bachelor of Arts degree. This was followed by three years of Philosophical studies.

In 1950 he was assigned to the Hong Kong mission where he spent his first two years learning Cantonese. Soon afterwards he began teaching in Wah Yan College, Kowloon.

He returned to Ireland to complete his studies and was ordained to the priesthood on 31 July 1956.

Father Brosnan was permanently assigned to Hong Kong in 1958. Except for 6 years as director of the Jesuit Retreat House on Cheung Chau Island, he spent many years teaching, mainly at Wah Yan College on Hong Kong Island. As a gifted retreat master and good linguist it was no wonder that Father Brosnan was sought out as a preacher, confessor, retreat master and spiritual director.

In his almost 40 years of priestly work in Hong Kong he helped countless people come to know, love and follow Jesus Christ in their daily lives.

A funeral Mass for Father Brosnan was held on Monday, 5 May, at St. Paul’s Convent Chapel and was attended by his fellow Jesuits and Cardinal J.B. Wu and Bishops Joseph Zen and John Tong as well as many other Religious, priest and friends.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 May 1997

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was in Wicklow and then at Belvedere College SJ Dublin. He got 1st place in French in Ireland in his Leaving Certificate.

He followed the usual course of Jesuit studies graduating with a First Class Honours BA from UCD. He then spent three years studying Philosophy and was elected President of the Sodality Academy.
1950 He was sent to Hong Kong and studied Cantonese
1953-1958 He was back in Ireland studying Theology and making Tertianship at Rathfarnhamn Castle
1959-1962 He was back in Hong Kong and teaching at Wah Yan College Kowloon
1962-1968 He was at the Retreat House at Cheung Chau
1968-1997 he was sen teaching at Wah Yan Hong Kong

He was an experienced teacher of English and Biblical Knowledge at both Wah Yan Colleges. At one time he was Principal at Wahy Yan Hong Kong. he was also an advisor of the “Catholic Society” and a Warden at Ricci Hall

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
He came to Hong Kong as a young priest with Peter Dunne and 5 Scholastics - Liam Egan, Paddy Cunningham, Matt Brosnan, Tom O’Neill and Tony Farren. He spent two years at the Battery Path Language School learning Cantonese.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1997

Obituary

Father Matthew Brosnan SJ (OB 1942)

Matt was bom in England on 13th December, 1923 and died in Hong Kong on 2nd May, 1997.

Matt is survived by Ethel (85) in New Zealand, Finola (78) and Shena (68) both in the UK. His father was a chiropodist who lived on St Stephen's Green and so Matt went to Belvedere College, 1933-1942. From his earliest days he wanted to be a priest. Being in the Bicycle Club brought him into close contact with Jesuits and he joined the Society of Jesus in 1942.

He was always very serious-minded and got a Gold Medal in French in the Leaving Certifi cate Exams. At UCD he got a First Class Honours Degree and then studied Philosophy seriously.

Assigned to Hong Kong in 1950 he put all he had into the study of Cantonese and so was always fluent in the language. People always wondered at the accuracy of his tones and grammar, He always concentrated on Chinese life for missionary aims.

After ordination to the priesthood in Dublin in 1956, he returned to teach in Wah Yan Col lege, Hong Kong until his retirement in 1993. The boys liked him for his gentleness and seriousness in teaching English and Religious Knowledge. He was zealous in preparing boys for baptism and always urged them in their Catholic activities. Besides thirty years teach ing, six years in Kowloon and the rest in Hong Kong, he was director of the Retreat House in Cheung Chau for six years between 1960-66. He promoted weekend retreats for men in business companies and for students during the week. His devotion and dedication to Christ were appreciated.

His death was unexpected. He had entered St Paul's Hospital for a prostate operation, but the doctors deemed a heart bypass essential first. He never recovered, dying within days...
He had been Spiritual Director of the enclosed Carmelite Sisters at Stanley since 1975 and the Director of the Third Order Carmelites since 1983. These people not only saw to his funeral expenses, but were present in force (fifty in habit) at his wake and funeral.

This was followed by Six Friday night Requiem Masses at 7pm in the Catholic Centre.

The hospital waived its fees, as did the doctors.

Complete dedication to missionary work among the Chinese is Matt’s epitaph. A conservative Jesuit, gentle but retiring, he had an integrity and dedication which ranks him with the martyrs and heroes.

HN SJ

Brosnan, Timothy, 1808-1873, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/957
  • Person
  • 23 December 1808-23 December 1873

Born: 23 December 1808, Listowel, County Kerry
Entered: 24 September 1839, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Final vows: 02 February 1851
Died: 23 December 1873, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)

Brown, Edward, 1703-1767, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/958
  • Person
  • 30 August 1703-08 January 1767

Born: 30 August 1703, Vilvado, Spain
Entered: 07 December 1723 Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 07/12/1731, Salamanca Spain
Died: 08 January 1767, Oñáte, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Edward and Anastatia née Hore. After First Vows, he was sent to study at Medina del Campo and later at Royal College Salamanca. He was then sent to teach Humanities at the College of Oñate. There he began to suffer mental health issues, and they recurred right up to the time of his death. In the letters of the Mission Superiors Ignatius Kelly and Thomas Hennessy, in spite of his Spanish birth he was always regarded as a potential member of the Irish Mission.

Brown, Ignatius, 1630-1679, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/959
  • Person
  • 01 November 1630-30 December 1679

Born: 01 November 1630, County Waterford
Entered: 27 June 1651, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 1657/8, Valladolid, Spain
Final Vows: 15 August 1668
Died: 30 December 1679, Valladolid, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Ignatius Brown 1st
Uncle of Ignatius Browne - RIP 1707

1655 1st or 2nd year Theology at Valladolid- College of St Ambrose.
1660 Reading Philosophy at Valladolid
1663-1673 In Ireland - Preacher and Catechist
1675 On business of Irish Mission in France
1678 Back to Ireland
Founded the College at Poitiers

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1663-1673 Sent from Compostella to Ireland. Reputed to be a learned, eloquent, zealous and edifying Preacher in Cork, Drogheda and other towns (Primate Plunket)
1666 At Waterford Preaching, Catechising and administering the Sacraments, and had been a Missioner for three years. (HIB Catalogue BREV - ARSI)
1673 Forced to leave Ireland in the Summer for health reasons and went to England. In November he went to Paris, and by his industry and the influence and generosity of great friends - including Queen Catherine of England - he procured letters patent for the erection of the Irish house of studies at Poitiers, and was declared its first Rector.
1679 He was appointed Confessor to the Queen of Spain, but died later that year at Valladolid on his way to Madrid. (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
Founded the Irish College Poitiers; Writer
In his condemnation of Serjeant’s book he signs himself “Professor of Theology" (cf Foley’s Collectanea)
For his writings cf de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”. A controversial manuscript of his exists at Stonyhurst
Note from No Ch Name (actually George) Murphy :
Named in an Italian letter, dated Dubin 22 November 1672, and written by the Martyr, the Archbishop Oliver Plunket, Primate of Ireland, to Father General Oliva, in which, after expressing his affectionate regard for the Society, and informing him of the meritorious labours of Fathers Rice and Ignatius Brown at Drogheda, he speaks of Father Murphy as a good Theologian, and excellent religious man, a man of great talent, and a distinguished preacher in the Irish language. (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had studied Philosophy before Ent 27 June 1651 Villagarcía
1653 After First Vows he was sent to Valladolid for Theology where he was Ordained 1657/1658
1658 Appointed to Chair of Philosophy at Valladolid
1663-1671 Sent to Ireland and was appointed to Waterford for the next eight years, frequently preaching in various parts of Munster.
1668-1671 Arrested in Autumn 1668 and sentenced to imprisonment, but through the influence of a nobleman was released.
1671-1673 Sent to Drogheda
1673 Appointed Superior of Dublin Residence but did not assume office. He was now in poor health and received permission from the General to retire to one of the European Provinces. He was then able to take an active part in the negotiations for the foundation of the Irish College of Poitiers of which he became the first Rector.
During his Rectorship he published a refutation of the attacks of Andrew Fitzjohn Sall against the Catholic Church.
He resigned or was relieved of the Rectorship at Poitiers in 1679, apparently for the publication against the apostate Sall. So, he retired to his province of origin (CAST) and died at Valladolid on 30 December of the same year.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Brown, Ignatius
by Terry Clavin

Brown, Ignatius (1630–79), Jesuit, was born on either 1 or 9 November 1630 in Co. Waterford, and by the late 1640s he was studying philosophy at Compostella in Spain. On 27 June 1651 he entered the Society of Jesus as a novice at Villagarcia before resuming his studies, this time in theology, at Valladolid. Following his ordination c.1658, he remained in Valladolid, where he taught philosophy for a period.

In spring 1663 he travelled to Ireland in the company of another Jesuit, Andrew Sall (qv), to join the Jesuit mission in his native land. From his base in Waterford, he toured south Munster, ministering to the faithful. Although he was arrested in 1668, an Irish noble quickly arranged his release. On 15 August of the same year he pronounced his final vows. In 1671 he was transferred to Drogheda, and was appointed superior of the Jesuit house in Dublin two years later. However, he never took up this position, due to poor health, and withdrew to the Continent via England.

By autumn 1673 he was in Paris, where he played a role in efforts to establish a foundation for the Irish Jesuits in France. Royal permission to establish such a house in the Jesuit province of Aquitaine was duly granted in April 1674, after which Brown purchased a building in Poitiers. He and his Irish colleagues hoped that the foundation would function as a seminary, but the Jesuit general refused to permit this. Instead it was to provide an education for young lay Irish Catholics and to act as a refuge or place of retirement for Jesuits on the Irish mission. He did not obtain actual possession of the house till winter 1675–6, and was formally appointed rector of the Irish college at Poitiers in April 1676. In 1677 the college was described as having many boarders. The college was expected to be funded by donations from Irish Catholics, but the actual sources of its endowments are uncertain and aroused the suspicion of Brown's superiors. It appears that the college was mainly funded by largesse from the Portuguese queen of England, Catherine of Braganza.

Meanwhile, his former colleague and travelling companion Sall had created a sensation in Ireland by converting to protestantism in 1674, a decision that he sought to justify in a sermon preached at Christ Church cathedral, in which he outlined a number of what he saw as false doctrines upheld by the catholic church, placing particular emphasis on its claim of infallibility. In 1675 Brown published his The unerring and unerrable church, in which he vigorously upheld this claim, arguing that scripture required an infallible authority to interpret it. Sall's apostasy had attracted a plethora of catholic denunciations, but it is a testament to Brown's skill as a controversialist that Sall devoted the bulk of his True catholic and apostolic faith (1676) to refuting his criticisms. Brown wrote under a pseudonym, leaving Sall unaware of the identity of his bitterest critic. Brown unleashed a final salvo against Sall with his An unerrable church or none (1678).

In early 1679 he resigned as rector of the Irish college and went to Castile to serve as confessor to the niece of King Louis XIV of France, Marie Louise, who had just married King Charles II of Spain. He died 30 December 1679 at Valladolid. He appears to have been the author of a pamphlet entitled Pax vobis. Purporting to be a dialogue between two English protestants, this was a theological satire directed against the protestant religion. Published in 1679, it went through six editions in the ensuing decade and was popular among English catholics.

F. Finegan, ‘The Irish college of Poitiers: 1674–1767’, IER, 5th ser., civ (July–Dec. 1965), 18–35; L. McRedmond, To the greater glory (1991); T. H. Clancy, ‘Pax vobis, 1679: its history and author’, Recusant History, xxiii (1996–7), 27–33; ODNB

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BROWN, IGNATIUS. There were two Fathers of this name.
The senior was born at Waterford in 1630, and after studying a course of Philosophy at Compostella, there enrolled himself at the age of 21, amongst the children of St. Ignatius. In a letter of F. St. Leger, dated Compostella, the 16th of January, 1663, 1 read, “Towards the beginning of Spring, F. Andrew Sall* and F. Ignatius Brown are to leave this Province for the Irish Mission. Both are learned, zealous, and duly qualified”. The Annual Letters shew that he, with FF. Maurice Connell and Robert Mead formed a glorious Triumvirate - that he excelled as a powerful and indefatigable preacher a son of Thunder at Cork, at Drogheda, and other towns in Ireland. His zeal made him several enemies : he was threatened with imprisonment and exile; but he was superior to fear, and he steadily persevered in the exercise of his Apostolic functions, until the summer of 1673, when the state of his health obliged him to go to England for the benefit of the Hot Baths. In the early part of November, the same year, he proceeded to Paris, where by his active industry, and the influence of Pere Ferrier, Confessor to Louis XIV, and by the generosity of friends, especially Catharine, Queen of Charles II, he procured in the year following Letters patent for the erection of an Irish House of Studies at Poitiers : and he was appointed its first Rector. His death happened late in the year 1679, at Valladolid, on his way to Madrid, where he had been appointed Confessor to her Majesty the Queen of Spain. We have from the sprightly pen of this Father :
1 “The Unerring and Unerrablc Church”, ( in reply to a sermon of Andrew Sall, preached at Christ’s Church, Dublin, on the 5th of July, 1674), Svo. 1675, pp. 310.
2 “An Unerrable Church or None”, 9 Svo. 1678, pp. 3-i2.
3 “Pax Vobis”. It seems that the MS. had been left with the English Fathers. The General of the Society, Charles de Noyelle, had heard of it, and on the 13th of March, 1683, gave directions to the English Provincial. F John Keynes, to report to him an opinion of its merits. His answer is dated Ghent, the 23rd of September following. In sending the judgment of those who had examined “the posthumous work of F. Ignatius Brown, written in English, entitled Pax Vobis”, he says “All united in admiring the vein of humour that pervades the work; but thought the publication inexpedient, taking all circumstances into consideration”. F. Keynes, after reading the work, coincided in their opinion. It has since been frequently printed.
Another work called Pax Vobis by E. G. was edited in 1679. Query. Who was the author?
Pax Vobis, an epistle to the Three Churches, a small octavo of 14-1 pp. printed in London in 1721, is said by the Rev. John Kirk, p. 80, Vol. V. Catholicon, to have had Dodd, the Historian, for its Author.

Brown, James, 1630-1686, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/960
  • Person
  • 26 September 1630-28 August 1686

Born: 26 September 1630, Newtown, Dublin
Entered: 20 September 1652, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 1658/9, Salamanca, Spain
Final Vows: 15 August 1668
Died: 28 August 1686, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Alias James Bruno

1655 at Compostella studying Philosophy for 3 years
1658 at Salamanca studying 3rd year Theology
1660 Magister Seminarii at Villagarcía
1665 at León College (teaching Philosophy?)
1669 at Villagarcía Teaching Philosophy and Moral Theology
1678 Teaching Theology at Compostella
1681 Teaching Grammar & Humanities Theology & Philosophy at Compostella

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows he was sent to complete his studies at Compostella and Royal College Salamanca and Ordained there 1658/1659.
Immediately following Ordination he taught Humanities at Valladolid, León, the Juniorate in Villagarcía and Copostella.
1674-1686 Teaching Philosophy and Theology at Villagarcía
In contemporary documents he is described as one capable of teaching with distinction the Sacred Sciences as well as Humanities

Brown, Joseph, 1801-1879, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/73
  • Person
  • 01 June 1801-31 December 1879

Born: 01 June 1801, Leningrad, Russia
Entered: 06 August 1817, Poland - Russiae Province (RUS)
Final vows: 15 August 1834
Died: 31 December 1879, Krakow, Poland - Galicanae Province (GALI)

Brown, Stephen J, 1881-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/54
  • Person
  • 24 September 1881-08 May 1962

Born: 24 September 1881, Holywood, County Down
Entered: 14 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1914, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1917, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Died: 08 May 1962, St Joseph's, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

Part of Milltown Park community at time of his death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

not in 1900 Cat index
by 1903 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1920 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying

◆ not in 1900 Cat index - it would appear that he originally entered 14 September 1897 was dismissed by and reentered 16 March 1900, involving the Provincial P Keating and Father General.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online : Brown, Stephen James Meredith
by Catherine Moran

Brown, Stephen James Meredith (1881–1962), Jesuit priest, bibliographer, and librarian, was born 24 September 1881 in Holywood, Co. Down, eldest of four children of Stephen James Brown (1853–1931), solicitor and JP, and Catharine Brown (née Ross; d. c.1888/9). He was raised in Co. Kildare. After his mother's death, his father married (1897) Mary Spring (née Ball); they had a child.

Educated at Clongowes Wood College (1892–7), Co. Kildare, and the Royal University of Ireland, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg (September 1897) and was ordained a priest (1914). Interested in producing firstly Irish and later catholic bibliographies, he earned an international reputation as a bibliographer. Among his more important works are A reader's guide to Irish fiction (1910), A guide to books on Ireland (1912), Ireland in fiction, vol. i (1915; 2nd ed. (1919) reprinted 1969), The realm of poetry (1921), Catalogue of novels and tales by catholic writers (many eds, 1927–49), International index of catholic biographies (1930; 2nd ed., revised and greatly enlarged, 1935), Libraries and literature from a catholic standpoint (1937), and A survey of catholic literature (1943). He was a prolific contributor to several periodicals including Studies (and its assistant editor 1925–6); edited the missionary magazine St Joseph's Sheaf; also edited (1918, 1919) The Clongownian while still at Clongowes; and published many spiritual books, including From God to God: an outline of life (1940) and Studies in life: by and large (1942).

In 1922 he founded the Central Catholic Library (Westmoreland St., Dublin; later in Hawkins St. and latterly in Merrion Square), which was firmly rooted in the then popular ‘Catholic Action’ movement; he was hon. librarian (1922–32, 1935–59), joint hon. librarian (1959–60), and on several of its more important committees till his accident in 1960; he tendered his resignation in May 1961. A member of the Bibliographical Society of Ireland (c. 1919–1938), he was vice-president in 1924 and 1925, and president in 1926 and 1927. He served (1926–31) as a coopted member on Co. Dublin Libraries Committee. Elected to the executive board (1928–c. 1943/4) and council (1928–49) of the Library Association of Ireland (LAI), he became chairman (1933–c. 1943) of its advisory committee on book selection, chairman of the Irish literature committee (1940–41), and an honorary fellow (1953). In recognition of his services to catholic librarianship he was granted honorary membership of the American-based Catholic Library Association (1932). In 1934 he sat on the advisory council of the Spiritual Book Associates (USA).

He lectured (1928–c. 1950) on bibliography, book selection, and reference books at UCD's school of library training, of which he was a founding member. Appointed hon. librarian of the Academy of Christian Art, where he gave lectures and was involved in setting up and running children's art classes and at least one children's art exhibition, he contributed to the Academy's short-lived Journal, and was a member of its council and later (1942) its vice-president. His abiding interest in establishing a hospital library service in Ireland led to the founding (1937) of the Hospital Library Council, which he chaired (1937–43). He was also chairman of the council of the newly established Book Association of Ireland (1943– ) and an organiser of Catholic Book Week (1948). He belonged to numerous other bodies, including Cumann Sugraidh an Airm; he was general adviser and one of the founders of the Catholic Writers’ Guild (1926–9) and the League of Nations Society of Ireland. From c. 1947/8 he represented the Central Catholic Library on the committee for history and archaeology of the Irish Association for Documentation. He was founder and first president of the Catholic Association for International Relations (1937–49) and was apparently a founder member (1948) of the Catholic Writers Association; he was listed (1935) as a member of the advisory council of the Irish Messenger Press, and sat on the board of governors of the Gallery of Living Catholic Authors.

His enormous workload only began to ease in the 1950s. After ordination he lived at Milltown Park, Dublin (1914–15); St Stanislaus College, Tullamore (1916); Clongowes Wood College (1917–19); Ore Place, Hastings, Sussex (1920–21), and in Dublin again at Milltown Park (1922–5, 1941–62), University Hall, Hatch St. (1925–6), and Rathfarnham castle (1927–40). Seriously injured in a traffic accident outside the British Museum (1960), he died 8 May 1962 at the nursing home of the Brothers Hospitallers at Kilcroney, Bray, Co. Wicklow, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin. A portrait by David Hone is in the Central Catholic Library. His personal papers are spread among the CCL, Irish Jesuit archives, Fingal county archives, and the NLI.

Catalogus Provinciae Hiberniae Societatis Jesu, 1897–1962; ‘Fr Stephen Brown, S. J. (1881–1962)’, Irish Province News, x (1962), 414–18; Catherine Moran, ‘Fr Stephen J. Brown, S. J.: a library life 1881–1962’ (MLIS thesis, NUI (UCD), 1998) (includes list of photos and portrait); idem, ‘Fr Stephen J. Brown, S. J.: a methodological case study for library history’, PaGes: Arts Postgraduate Research in Progress, v (1998), 111–23

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 3 1927

The Irish Rosary, May number, writes : Fr Stephen Brown is our most accomplished Catholic bibliographer in this country. He is also, as everybody knows the founder and guiding spirit of that admirable institution, the Central Catholic Library, which deserves more praise and publicity than it receives. It also merits more financial support than well-to-do Catholics in Dublin and the provinces realise. The Library is conducted on voluntary lines, no salaries being paid. " Supervisors " succeed one another from 11am to 10pm every day, Sundays included. It is owned by an association of priests and laymen under the patronage of the Archbishop. Fr S. Brown is the Hon. Librarian. There is no regular income other than voluntary subscriptions. The Library was intended as a source of information on all subjects touching Catholicism, and as a source of inspiration for all Catholic activities.

Irish Province News 18th Year No 2 1943

The Central Catholic Library, 74 Merrion Square, Dublin, reached its 2lst year on 24th June. At the annual general meeting Fr. Stephen Brown, who is the Librarian, said he had received letters recently from several Irish Bishops requesting membership of the Library Association. The Archbishop of Dublin, Most Rev. Dr. McQuaid, has become a foundation member. The Archbishop of Tuam, Most Rev. Dr. Walsh, and several other Bishops have become life members. There have been further additions in nearly all sections of the Library and the total number of book accessions during the year was 1,063. The attendances of readers at the Library have also increased during the past year, there being a total of 41,071 with a daily average of 112. About 2,400 books are borrowed each month from the lending department which has made marked progress during the year. Fr. Brown paid a tribute to the President, Rt. Rev. Mgr. Boylan, P.P., V.G., to the members of the staff and to all who helped in the work of the Association. The success of the Library is due chiefly to Fr. Brown's untiring labours as Librarian.

Irish Province News 37th Year No 3 1962

Obituary :

Fr Stephen Brown (1881-1962)

Stephen Brown was born in Co. Down on September 24th, 1881, but as a boy he lived with his parents at Naas, where his father was a solicitor. He was at school at Clongowes and entered the Society at Tullabeg on September 14th, 1897, but in his second year owing to an attack of pneumonia and consequent lung trouble he had to leave the Novitiate. Though his name does not appear in the Catalogue for 1900, he returned to Tullabeg in that year and finished his novitiate. He remained as a Junior for 1901 and 1902.
He did his Philosophy course at Jersey during 1903, 1904 and 1905. From 1906 to 1911 he was a scholastic at Clongowes teaching mainly English and French. He studied Theology at Milltown Park from 1912 to 1915, having been ordained on July 26th, 1914.
After his Tertianship at Tullabeg he returned to Clongowes where for three years he taught English, French and Irish and was editor of the Clongownian for his last two years.
In 1920 and 1921 we find him at Ore Place, Hastings, as a Biennist in Sacred Scripture. During 1922, 1923 and 1924 he lectured on sacred Scripture at Milltown Park. In 1925 and 1926 he was Adj. Praef. at University Hall, Hatch St., while in the latter year he was Adj. Ed. Studies. Then from 1927 to 1940 he was stationed at Rathfarnham Castle, where for the first two years he was given as Doc. et Script, but in 1930 he was appointed Laet. Scient. Bibliogr. in Univ. Nat., a position he held until 1954, many years after he had left Rathfarnham. In 1941 he was transferred to Milltown Park, where he remained until his death in 1962. In 1950 we find him Cur, agit., Central Catholic Library, a post he held until 1960.
On the evening of May 8th Fr. Stephen Brown died peacefully in the Nursing Home of the Brothers Hospitallers at Kilcroney, Bray, Co. Wicklow. He would have completed his eighty-one years of life next September. It was quite evident for several months that a decline had set in and he was fully cognisant of the fact. Many times he made remarks to that effect.
Fr. Brown must have had a very remarkable constitution. Looking back over the years...and the writer first met him in 1906- one cannot recall any illness. True, in more recent years he had to have a cataract removed from one eye to relieve total blindness coming over him, but apart from that, he had always remarkably good health and was very nimble even in his old age. The crisis came in September 1960. Fr. Brown insisted during the Summer in going to France on supply work. He was then seventy-nine and had sight in one eye only. On his returning in September he met with a serious accident as he stepped off the pavement to cross the the road in London's traffic. Fortunately he had only just left Southwell House - our retreat house in Hampstead, N.W.3 - in company with one of the community. He was anointed and taken to the nearest hospital. There it was discovered that he had a fracture in his skull and several broken ribs. Little hope was held out for his recovery. For months he lay helpless, but gradually his powers of recognition and movement returned and he was flown back to Ireland in mid-February 1961.
Now began the great fight-back which won the admiration of all in Milltown Park, and of those who came to see him. If any man had indomitable courage it was Fr. Brown, Slowly he was able to get on his feet and be helped to walk. His one ambition was to be able to offer Holy Mass, to recite again the Divine Office, and to return to the arena of his literary work. That he was able to stand again at the altar, and recite the Breviary, was due to the unselfish and untiring efforts of Fr. Paul O'Flanagan. It is literally true that the Mass had to be learned all over again, and likewise the Divine Office. Slowly but surely, with his mentor always at hand. Fr. Brown achieved his ambition. The one great handicap was his inability to walk without support. Though there were no leg injuries, he never succeeded in walking without sticks or without assistance. All the Summer and Autumn of 1961 there were hopes of complete recovery, but as 1962 dawned there were ominous signs of relapse. The mind which had become clear began to get blurred, and the walk practically ceased. He knew himself it was the beginning of the end. An accident of such a kind for a man of his age was just too much. Yet he worked all day at his books, articles, reviews and papers. He laboured through his daily Mass and Office and prayers until he could labour no more.
It is quite obvious that Fr. Stephen Brown's outstanding quality was his courageous tenacity. Once he had set his mind on any task, once he had determined on any course of action, he was almost ruthless in seeing it through. He expected the whole world to rally round him and lend support. Naturally, at times, such an attitude, while it attracts some people, it repels others; but it was the secret of Fr. Brown's magnificent achievements.
What were these great achievements? Space does not allow a full and detailed account of all this Irish Jesuit accomplished in his sixty-five years of religious life above all in his almost fifty years of priesthood. It is doubtful if any member of the Irish Province did such an enduring work. Let us see from the following enumeration:

  1. He founded the Catholic Central Library.
  2. He founded the first Lectureship in Librarianship in the National University.
  3. He had published more books, pamphlets, articles and reviews than anyone else.
  4. He founded the Society for Catholic International Relations,
  5. He helped on very many activities in Church and in State, not merely by his pen, but by his presence, for he was intensely holy and intensely patriotic.
    The rock foundation of these and many other works was a solid religious life. Fr. Brown was a man of simple, childlike faith. One proof of this was his great love for children. He had a charming manner, and could attract the young by his winning ways. He had a wonderfully clear and well-modulated voice. It was a pleasure to listen to him whether he read or preached. He was in no sense a vigorous speaker, because he possessed a great evenness of temper, and never seemed to get excited. The most extreme preparation was made for everything he had to do. This is seen in his writings, hence his spiritual books and articles appealed to many. There was accuracy and restraint in all things. As a director of retreats in convents, as a speaker at meetings, Fr. Brown had always something fresh and thought-provoking to contribute. He was one of the great workers and scholars of his generation in the Society, and there were quite a few. He took up a line, and he kept on it. The reading of good books, the writing of good books, the collection and distribution of good books was Fr. Brown's life. His name will never die, for it is in print in libraries all over the world. The Irish Province has had a distinguished gathering of Fr. Browns. Looking back half a century one recalls Fr. Tom Brown (Provincial), Fr. Eugene Browne, who lived to a ripe old age after holding many important positions in the Province; Fr, Henry Browne (Professor of Greek, N.U.I.); Fr. Michael Browne, Rector, Master of Novices for three periods, Socius to Provincial; Fr. Frank Browne, who died two years ago and whose bravery on the battlefield, eloquence in the pulpit, unbounded energy are still on our lips. To this group of illustrious priests Fr. Stephen Brown has added further lustre. R.I.P.

Publications by Rev. Stephen J. Brown, S.J.
A Reader's Guide to Irish Fiction, pp. 224. Dublin: Browne and Nolani. 1910. An early edition of Ireland in Fiction (out of print),
Ireland in Fiction, 3rd ed., pp. XX+362. Dublin: The Talbot Press. 10/6. 1919. A guide to Irish Novels, Tales, Romances and Folklore.
A Guide to Books on Ireland, pp. xviii+372. Dublin: Hodges Figgis. 6/-. 1918. A bibliography of Irish Prose Literature, Poetry, Music and Plays.
Poetry of Irish History, pp. xviii +-382. Dublin: The Talbot Press. 61-. 1927. A revised and enlarged edition of Historical Ballad Poetry of Ireland. edited by M. J. Brown. Irish history told in poems selected from Anglo Irish and Gaelic (translated) literature, with notes.
The Realm of Poetry, pp. 216. London: Harrap, 2/6. 1921An Introduction to Poetry, studying the nature of poetry, what it can do for us, and the approach to the appreciation and love of it.
The World of Imagery, pp. 354. London: Kegan Paul, 12/6. 1927. A study of Metaphor and kindred imagery.
Libraries and Literature from a Catholic Standpoint, pp. 323. Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1937. Discusses Catholic libraries, their influence and some of their problems, librarianship, the scope and extent of Catholic literature, Catholic fiction and poetry, children's books, the Catholic writer, censorship, etc.
Poison and Balm, pp. 143. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 1938. Lectures on Communism with allusions to other anti-religious movements. Con trasts Communism as it actually works with Christianity in respect of the human person, the home, attitude towards the workers and the poor, religion.
The Preacher's Library. Re-issue with Supplement, 1928-1938. Dublin : Browne and Nolan. 1939.
From God to God. An Outline of Life, pp. 316. Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 7/6. 1940. 2nd edition 1942. Studies in Life By and Large, pp. 243. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 8/6. 1941.
Towards the Realisation of God, pp. 180. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 7/6. 1944.
A Survey of Catholic Literature, pp. 250. Milwaukee: Bruce. $2.50. 1945. (With Thomas McDermott.)
From the Realm of Poetry, pp. xx+360. London: Macmillan. 4/6. 1947. An anthology for the Leaving Certificate and Matriculation examinations.
The Teaching of Christ, An Introduction and a Digest. Oneself and Books.
The Church and Art. Translated from the French of Louis Dimiar.
The Divine Song-Book, pp. 84. London: Sands. 2/6. 1926. A brief. introduction to the Psalms not for scholars, but for ordinary readers.
The Preacher's Library, pp. 130. London: Sheed and Ward. 3/6. 1928. A survey of pulpit literature from a practical standpoint.
The Well-Springs, pp. xxviii +164. London; Burns Oates and Washbourne. 5/-. 1931. Counsels for the guidance of the mind and for the conduct of life, translated from the French of Père Gratry, with Intro duction and Bibliography.
International Relations from a Catholic Standpoint, pp. xvi+200. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 8/6, 1932. Translated from the French. Edited, with Foreword and Bibliography, for the Catholic Union of International Studies (Irish Branch).

The Catholic Bibliographical Series
An Introduction to Catholic Booklore. Demy 8vo, pp. 105. Cloth, 5/-.
An International Index of Catholic Biographies. New Edition. Demy 8vo, pp. 285. 10/6.
Catalogue of Novels and Tales by Catholic Writers. Eighth Edition Revised. Demy 8vo, pp. 140. 2/6. 1946.
Catholic Juvenile Literature. Demy Svo, pp. 70. 3/6.
Catholic Mission Literature. A Handlist. Price 2/- in manila covers; 3/6 bound in cloth.
The Press in Ireland. A Survey and a Guide, pp. 304. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 1937. (Not available.)

Pamphlets
The Question of Irish Nationality. Imp. 8vo, pp. 44. Dublin: Sealy, Bryers and Walker. (Out of print.)
Irish Story-Books for Boys and Girls. Dublin: Offices of the Irish Messenger, Price 2d.
Catholics and the League of Nations, Dublin: League of Nations Society of Ireland. London: Catholic Council of International Relations. Price 3d.
Some Notes on Europe Today (with Anthony Count O'Brien of Thomond). 4to, pp. 11. Dublin: Catholic Association for International Relations. 1947.
Librarianship as a Career and a Vocation. In Prospectus of School of Library Training, University College, Dublin.
The First Ten Years of an Irish Enterprise, pp. 80. Dublin: The Central Catholic Library. Price 3d,
The Catholic Library Comes of Age (1922-1943), pp. 48. Dublin: Central Catholic Library. 1943.

The following are published at the Offices of the "Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart", Great Denmark Street, Dublin & France

God and Ourselves; What Christ Means to Us; What the Church Means to Us; Our Little Life; Little Notes on Life; Home to God.

◆ The Clongownian, 1946

Jubilee

Father Stephen Brown SJ

Father Stephen Brown, who celebrates his Golden Jubilee in the Society of Jesus this year, has had a long and close association with Clongowes. He was at school in Clongowe from 1892-1897, taught here as a Scholastic from 1905-1911, and as a Priest from 1916-1919.

On June 25th, 1922, Father Brown founded the Central Catholic Library, which now in its jubilee year, has ten branches in Dublin and 50,000 volumes on its shelyes. That institution alone would entitle him to the esteem and gratitude of those who seek further information about the Catholic Faith and about the part it is playing, and has played, in lifting the human heart to higher things, and in informing the human mind with trut which holds within'it an eternal and a temporal value.

In addition, Father Brown has founded in collaboration with Fred Ryan, anothe Old Clongownian, the Catholic Association for International Relations. Another prominent member is Fred King.

He has written many books on a wide variety of subjects on Poetry, on International Affairs, on the Psalms of David, and on the meaning and influence of religion in personal life.

Obviously Father Brown has, not wasted his time nor allowed his talents to rust unused. Clongowes fostered his bent towards reading; and, while a master here, he formed the purpose of publishing the extensive knowledge he had acquired about books and about literature. From that, in time, the rest has flowed.

The School and the Union congratulate Father Brown on his Jubilee, and assure him that they are proud of the work he has done and are thankful for it. He is still vigorous with many more years yet before him. - so we hope. We are quite certain that as long he can read and write the world will hear of him. And Clongowes, more particularly, will take a grateful interest in his indefatigable work for Faith and Country.

J E C

Brown, Thomas P, 1845-1915, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/75
  • Person
  • 09 October 1845-28 September 1915

Born: 09 October 1845, Newfoundland, Canada
Entered: 01 August 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1881
Final vows: 15 April 1883
Died: 28 September 1915, Loyola College, Greenwich, Sydney, Australia

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 7 May 1883-2 February 1888
Mission Superior Australia 14 June 1908

by 1867 at Vannes, France (FRA) studying
by 1873 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying
by 1874 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1878 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1879 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying
by 1883 at at Hadzor House, (FRA) making Tertianship

Father Provincial 07 May 1883
Came to Australia 1888
Mission Superior 14 June 1908

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Owing to some delicacy he spent some time in France.
He was then sent as Prefect of Third Division at Tullabeg for Regency, and soon became First Prefect.
He then went to Stonyhurst for Philosophy, and then back to Tullabeg for more Regency.
1877 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology with W (sic) Patrick Keating and Vincent Byrne.
He was Ordained at St Beuno’s.
During Tertianship in France (1883) he was summoned to Fiesole (the Jesuits had been exiled from Rome so the General was there) and appointed HIB Provincial
1883-1888 Provincial Irish Province, During his Provincialate Tullabeg was closed and Father Robert Fulton (MARNEB) was sent as Visitor 1886-1888.
1889 He sailed for Australia and was appointed Rector of Kew College, and later Superior of the Mission.
1908-1913 He did Parish work at Hawthorn.
1913 His health began to decline and he went to Loyola, Sydney, and he lingered there until his death 28/09/1915.
Note from Morgan O’Brien Entry :
1889 In the Autumn of 1889 he accompanied Timothy Kenny and Thomas Browne and some others to Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Carlow College before entering the Society at Milltown Park, Dublin, under Aloysius Sturzo.

1869-1874 After First Vows he was sent to St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, where he was Prefect of Discipline and taught Writing and Arithmetic.
1874-1876 He was sent to Stonyhurst College, England for Philosophy
1876-1879 He was sent to Innsbruck, Austria for Theology
1879-1881 He returned to Stonyhurst to complete his Theology. he was not considered a good Theology student.
1881-1882 He was sent to Clongowes Wood College SJ as Minister
1882-1883 He was sent to Hadzor House, Droitwich, England to make Tertianship. During his Tertianship he was summoned to Fiesole, Italy, where the General was residing, and appointed PROVINCIAL of the Irish Province.
1883-1888 PROVINCIAL of the Irish Province. He was reputed to be a sound administrator, and he was only 37 years of age when appointed.
1888-1889 He returned to Clongowes as Minister
1889-1897 He went to Australia, and appointed Rector of Xavier College, Kew 1890-1897. he was also a Consultor of the Mission, and served as Prefect of Studies at Xavier College during 1890-1893. While at Xavier, he had the foresight to build the Great Hall and the quadrangle, which even by today’s standards is a grand building. He also planted many trees. However, at the time, money was scarce during the Great Depression, and many in the Province considered him to be extravagant. So, from then on, Superiors were always watchful over him on financial matters. Grand visions were rarely appreciate by Jesuits of the Province at this time.
1897-1898 Generally he did not seem to be a gifted teacher, and so he didn't spend much time in the classroom, However, in 1897-1898 he was appointed to St Patrick’s College, Melbourne, where he taught and ran the “Sodality of Our Lady”.
1899-1901 He was sent to St Ignatius Parish, Richmond
1901-1902 He was sent to the parish at Norwood
1902-1906 He returned to the Richmond parish
1906--1908 He was sent to the Parish at Hawthorn.
1908-1913 Given his supposed administrative gifts, it must have been hard for him to do work that did ot particularly satisfy him. However, he was appointed Superior of the Mission. After a sudden breakdown in health he returned to Loyola College, Greenwich, and died there three years later.

He was experienced by some as a man of iron will and great courage, broad-minded with good judgement, a man whom you could rely on in difficulties, and with all his reserve, an extremely kind-hearted man.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Thomas Brown 1845-1915
Fr Thomas Brown was born in Newfoundland on October 9th 1845. He received his early education in Carlow College, entering the Society in 1866.

He was ordained at St Beuno’s, North Wales, and during his tertianship he was summoned to Fiesole and appointed Provincial of the Irish Province 1883-1888. He then sailed for Australia where he later became Superior of the Mission.

During his Provincialate in Ireland Tullabeg was closed as a College, and Fr Fulton was sent from Rome as a Visitor.

Fr Brown died in Sydney on September 28th 1915.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1915

Obituary

Father Thomas P (T P) Brown SJ

On September 28th of this year, Fr Brown, another of the old Rectors of Xavier, passed away. He was well known in the Eastern States, and much esteemed for his great qualities. He was a man of iron will and great courage, broad-minded, and of good judgment, a man upon whom one could rely in difficulties, and with all his reserve an extremely kind-hearted man.

Born in Newfoundland in 1845. he entered the Society of Jesus in 1866, and studied in Ireland, England and Germany, On the completion of his studies, after a short period of office at Clongowes, he was made Provincial of the Irish Province in 1883. He came to Australia in 1889, and soon after his arrival was appointed Rector of Xavier. Here he remnained till 1897, his chief work in Australia being done during this period. To him the school is indebted for the fine hall and the quadrangle, He was much interested in the plantations, and many of the trees now thriving so well were planted and tended with much labour by himself and Fr O'Connor. The troubled times following upon the bursting of the “boom” occurred during his rectorate, and made management of the school difficult, the number of boys falling very low. But he was far-seeing and not easily discouraged, and the spirit which he introduced lived; and those who have seen the school through many of its vicissitudes know what a debt it owes to Fr Brown.

His long reign at Xavier ended in 1897, after which he was occupied with parish work in Adelaide and Melbourne till 1908, when he was made Superior of the Jesuits in Australia. In 1913 his health completely broke down, and for the next two years he lived as an invalid - at the Novitiate and House of Retreats in Sydney. To the end of his life the very name of Xavier College seemed to be written in his heart. He followed the fortunes of the school with the most intense sympathy. He died on September 28th, and is buried beside Fr Keating, at the Gore Hill Cemetery, North Sydney. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1916

Obituary

Father Thomas P Brown SJ

Though Father Thomas Brown was not at school at either Clongowes or Tullabeg, he was long connected with both these colleges as a master and prefect. During his time of work in Clongowes and afterwards as Provincial, Father Brown was responsible for many improvements in the College. We take the following notice of his death from . an Australian paper :

On Tuesday morning last, Sept. 28th, 1915, Rev. Father T P Brown SJ, of “Loyola”, Greenwich, died, after an illness extending over nearly three years. Towards the end of 1912 he got a paralytic stroke. Though he rallied a little. now and again, from the first it was quite clear that in his case complete restoration to health was out of the question. At the time of his death he was within a few days of his 70th year, and had his life been prolonged for another twelve months he would have celebrated the golden jubilee of his career as a Jesuit.

The late Father Brown was born in Newfoundland, but went to Ireland when quite young, and was educated at Carlow College. On the completion of his secondary education he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Milltown Park, Dublin, when not yet 21. Two years later he went to Paris for his juniorate, or further classical studies. This was followed by philosophy. He then returned to Ireland, and was head prefect of discipline for some years in St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore. He studied theology at Innsbruck, and St Beuno's College, Wales. After ordination he returned to college work in Ireland for a short while. In 1882 he went to England for his Tertianship, the further year spent by Jesuits in training after priesthood. Early in 1883 he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province.

We have given the bare outlines of his career so far - but, that one so youthful as he then was should be elevated to a position of such dignity and responsibility, clearly indicates that he had all along shown eminent qualities. His period of office as Provincial was one of unchecked progress for the Order in Ireland, With a foresight which did not commend itself to all at the time, but which every year has confirmed as wise, he closed a flourishing college, St Stanislaus; threw concentrated energy into Clongowes Wood College, a movement which has ever since leít Clongowes amongst the foremost, if not actually the first, institution of the kind in the United Kingdom. When he ceased to be Provincial, Father Brown went to Australia. He was immediately appointed to the Rectorship of Xavier College, Melbourne - a position he held for many years. His hand is visible there yet. Its noble assembly ball, its tasteful quadrangle, and the many features that make “Xavier” the best appointed college in Australia, are owing almost exclusively to Father Brown. When relieved of the burdens of office there followed some years of other scholastic work and missionary labours. In 1908 he had to take up government once more; for the General of the Jesuits called him to the office of Superior of the Order in Australia - an office which he filled till the illness began which brought about his death.

“To have known him”, wrote one of his former pupils, “is to have known what is best in man” - and these words express the thought of his many admirers. He was a bigmnan in every sense - big in stature, big in heart and sympathy, big in ideas and of unflinching fortitude. He was eminently a man of character, a man whose life was regulated by principles of the noblest type. His judgment was faultless, and up to a few days before his death one went to him with confidence in that his opinion on any matter would be invaluable. He was widely read in many branches, and few had amassed more information on useful topics. His taste was cultured and refined. At the same time he abhorred show. The world outside his own Order heard little of him. But the impression made by him on those who came into close contact with him will last as long as life itself. Judged by the severest test of human worth the opinion of those who know us best - Father Brown was a great man. This is the verdict of those who lived with him on terms of intimacy, of his pupils, of his religious brethren, and of his wide circle of admirers amongst the clergy up and down through Australia.

His Grace the Archbishop of Sydney presided at a Solemn Requiem High Mass for the late Father Brown, SJ, at St Mary's Church, North Sydney, on Wednesday morning.

“Catholic Press” (Sydney, N.S.W.), September 30th, 1915.

Browne, Eugene, 1823-1916, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/568
  • Person
  • 31 July 1823-17 December 1916

Born: 31 July 1823, Ballivor, County Meath
Entered: 15 October 1840, Turnoi, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 21 May 1853, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1860
Died: 17 December 1916, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1851 at Laval France (FRA) studying theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Born to an old Catholic family.

After his Noviceship at St Acheul, he studied Philosophy and Theology at Laval.
He was Ordained 21 May 1853 by Dr Paul Cullen Archbishop of Dublin
1860-1870 He was appointed for a long reign as Rector of Clongowes. (August 1860 to 21 July 1870), having already spent years there as a Teacher and Minister.
1872 He became Minister at Tullabeg.
He was then sent to teach at Belvedere and he suffered from some health issues.
1880 From 1880 he lived at Milltown until his death there.
1883 He was appointed Procurator of the Province, a post he held until within a few years of his death, and he was succeeded by Thomas Wheeler.
1884-1889 He was Rector of Milltown.
He was also Socius to the Provincial for some years, and acted as Vice-Provincial when the then Provincial John Conmee went as Visitor to Australia.
The last years of his life were spent as a Hospital Chaplain at the Hospital for the Incurables.
He died at Milltown 17 December 1916, aged 93.
He was often referred to as the “Patriarch of the Province”. he was a remarkably pious man, and daily Mass was everything for him.
Father Browne is “Father Kincaird” of “Schoolboys Three” (by William Patrick Kelly, published 1895 and set in Clongowes).

Note from Joseph O’Malley Entry :
He made his Noviceship in France with William Kelly, and then remained there for studies with Eugene Browne and Edmund Hogan

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Eugene Browne 1823-1916
Fr Eugene Browne had the distinction of being Rector of Clongowes for 10 years, from 1860-1870. Born in Ballivor County Meath, he entered the Society in 1840, and he made his noviceship and sacred studies at Laval in France.

He became Procurator of the Province and Rector of Milltown from 1884-1889. He afterwards acted as Socius to the Provincial, as as Vice Provincial during the absence of Fr Conmee in Australia. He had a useful life of administration which had the hallmark of success in his popularity with all members of the Province.

During the last years of his life, he was very faithful in his attendance on the sick in the Incurables.

He died on December 17th 1916.

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

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

Born: 03 January 1880, Sunday's Well, Cork City
Entered: 07 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1921, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 07 July 1960, St John of God’s Hospital, Stillorgan, Dublin

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

Francis Mary Hegarty Browne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

China :

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960

Obituary :

Fr Francis M Browne (1880-1960)

The song has it that “old soldiers never die, they only fade away”. Fr. Frank Browne was an old soldier who never said die. He just faded away for a few months until the King whom he served so long and so faithfully called him to the eternal colours on 7th July, 1960, in the 81st year of his life.
Francis Mary Hegarty Browne was born in Cork on 3rd January, 1880. He claimed two Alma Maters - Belvedere and Castleknock - and never lost his affection for both. There must have been militarism in his blood, and the instinct for noble deeds and daring exploits. He went the Ignatian way, entering the noviceship at Tullabeg in 1897. At the completion of his noviceship he was one of a group of brilliant scholastics studying for the Royal - Edmund Power, Patrick Gannon, Austin Hartigan and others. In after years he sometimes mentioned his ability to equal and even surpass in classical lore some of these literary geniuses. After three years philosophy in Chieri, Northern Italy, he spent seven years teaching in Belvedere and Clongowes - mostly in Belvedere. During this period Mr. Browne was the life and soul of Belvedere. The college was small in those days, numbering about 250 boys. There he endeared himself to many who in later years reached the top of their professions. It was there, too, that he became wedded to his camera. While doing full teaching he had cycling club, camera club and every kind of outdoor activity except games.
At the conclusion of this long period of colleges came theology at Milltown Park and Ordination in July 1915 at the hands of his uncle, Most Rev. Robert Browne, Bishop of Cloyne. During his theologate he rarely missed opportunities of long treks over the mountains. It was all a preparation for his duties as military chaplain. World War I broke out in 1914 and in 1916 Fr. Browne became chaplain to the Irish Guards in France and Flanders. He was wounded several times, returning home to hospital with severe shrapnel injuries to his jaw, On his return again to the front he served in the same Irish Division as Fr. Willie Doyle, and was close to Fr. Doyle until the latter was killed in August 1917. From then onwards until the war ended in 1918 Fr. Browne was with the Irish Guards and received several distinctions. As well as frequently being mentioned in despatches he was awarded the Military Cross and the Belgian Croix de Guerre.
Tertianship was in Tullabeg, 1919-1920, and then Belvedere College for two years. A visitation of the Irish Province took place just then and two appointments made by the Fr. Visitor - Fr. W. Power, U.S.A. were Fr. John Fahy as Provincial and Fr. Browne as Superior of St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street. Both were, in a sense, as a bolt from the blue. The advent of a young priest as Superior of Gardiner Street - especially one so dynamic as Fr. Browne-was quite unusual. He was the youngest member of the community. The quiet hum of church work became a loud buzz during his six years as Superior. He was a great churchman. As well as a very eloquent preacher, he was devoted to the confessional, Moreover he was a man of great taste and made many improvements in administration. But he worked himself to a standstill and had to go on a long rest. The long rest was a trip to Australia. It provided Fr. Frank with plenty of shots for his camera and matter for many illustrated lectures in which he was a specialist.
From 1928 until a few years before his death Fr, Browne was on the Mission Staff of the Irish Province. He was stationed in St. Mary's, Emo from the time it opened in 1931. This life gave him ample scope for his unbounded energy. He loved his rest periods in Emo and his camera provided a helpful and lucrative relaxation. His photographs of places of historic interest in every part of Ireland were eagerly sought after by papers like the Irish Tatler and Sketch. In his scholastic days he had made a reputation for himself as Editor of The Belvederian. Anyone who scans the volumes of that magazine will find some wonderful photographs. It was while there he accepted the invitation to go on the first leg of the maiden voyage of the famous Titanic, later sunk by an iceberg in the Atlantic. Fr. Frank's photos of the inside of this luxury liner were about the only ones extant.
It is hardly to be expected that younger members of any religious order could have a correct view of older members, seen and known only in their decline. It is for that reason possibly that these obituary notices appear. It is only fair that a man's life should be seen in its entirety, God does not look at the last decade of a man's life, or indeed at any one decade. God views the whole span, and so should we. Else we miss much that we ought to know for our encouragement. The Society has its menologies, and wants the lives of Jesuits to be known by succeeding generations. For this purpose the menology is read every day. In this rapid and complex world our dead are too soon forgotten. The Irish Province has had many devoted sons to whose favours we of today owe much.
What were the outstanding qualities of Fr. Frank Browne? They are here outlined in order of priority as the writer sees them after forty, if not more nearly fifty, years of acquaintance.
He was a most priestly man. To see Fr. Frank at the altar was most impressive. There was no sign of slovenliness, speed, distraction. From his ordination till his death he put the Mass first. This had one rather amusing aspect. The pair of shoes in which he was ordained he preserved to the end, and only wore them at the altar. They were known to his colleagues as “The Melchisedeck Shoes”. This, in itself, shows his anxiety to preserve the fervour of his early priesthood. There was always a dignity about Fr. Browne whenever he functioned in the church, A man of fine physique and carriage, he looked magnificent in priestly vestments. But there was no shadow of affectation, no over-exaggeration. It was simple, honest and devout.
This priestliness he carried into the pulpit. He was never cheap, witty, frivolous. His preaching was always impressive, his words well chosen, his examples apt. He had a very friendly and sympathetic approach to his congregation. His confessional was always crowded and never hurried. There was the kindly word for everyone. With the secular clergy he was extremely popular, yet always reserved and dignified. It is the truth that he never forgot he was a priest and a Jesuit. He might at times be demanding, but always in a pleasant way,
He was a brave man-brave in every sense of the word. As chaplain he was rewarded for his courage under fire. The soldiers admired him and the officers revered him because of his calmness under fire. An Irish Guardsman, still alive, wrote of Fr, Browne :
“We were in a church somewhere in Belgium and Fr. Browne was in the pulpit. Shells began to fall all around. We began to look around and up at the roof already with many holes in it. Fr. Browne thundered out : ‘What's wrong? Why don't you listen? Which are you more afraid of - God or the Germans?”
In the home front, when he was in Belvedere College, 1920-1922, many a time when the crash of a bomb, thrown at British lorries passing down North Frederick Street, was heard, Fr. Browne was down to the scene at once to minister to any injured. People scattered in all directions, but he remained firm. In October 1920, because he considered it his duty, he made a personal appeal to the military authorities on behalf of Kevin Barry.
He feared no man and feared no man's views. He never gave in an inch on a matter of principle even to the point of being irascible. One can imagine the influence he excited on non-Catholics in the British Army, A high-ranking officer, later a Field Marshal and a Viscount, had the greatest veneration for Fr. Browne and always wore a medal of Our Lady that Fr. Frank gave him.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Francis (Frank) Browne 1880-1960
Fr Francis Browne was a colourful character, full of life and go. He was famous as a Chaplain in the First World War, being decorated many times for gallantry under fire. A soldier wrote of him “We were in Church somewhere in Belgium, and Fr Browne was in the pulpit. Shells began to fall all around. We began to look around and up at the roof which already had many holes in it. R Browne thundered out “What’s wrong? Why don't you listen to me? Which are you more afraid of, God or the Germans?”
Through the good offices of his uncle the Bishop of Cloyne, Fr Frank travelled in the Titanic, on her voyage from Belfast to Cork, where luckily he disembarked. Being an excellent photographer, he had taken snaps of the interior of that famous ship, which are the onl;y ones extant to this day.
As a chaplain he was equally popular with Catholic and Protestant, and counted among his friends the then Prince of Wales, later Edward VII and later again Duke of Windsor. A high ranking Officer, a Field-Marshall and later a Viscount had the greatest veneration for him, and always carried a medal of Our Lady round his neck, which he had received from Fr Frank.
His outstanding devotion was to the Holy Mass. The pair of boots in which he was ordained he kept apart to the end, and in no others did he ever celebrate Mass.
During his period as Superior of Gardiner Street he was responsible for many improvements in the Church, mainly the fine porch and new system of lighting.
The latter part of his life he spent as a most zealous and successful missioner
He died on July 7th 1960.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2002

Farewell Companions : Dermot S Harte

Fr Francis Patrick Mary Browne SJ

If Fr J M O'Connor SJ had a rival for the “Mr. Belvedere” title, it might probably be Fr Frank Browne SJ - another distinguished Alumnus.

Frank was a good friend of mine. I cannot honestly remember where I first met him for he was the sort of person who seemed to have been around forever. He was so unique that everyone who met him felt that they had always known him. From his adventures aboard the “Titanic” and from his days in the hell of the trenches of World War I, when he was a Chaplain in the Irish Guards, he probably became Ireland's most prolific photographer. He was likely to turn up absolutely anytime, anywhere and very often in the strangest of places! I once encountered him on the footplate of a newly acquired locomotive (”The Maeve”) on the Dublin-Cork run covered from head to toe in coal-dust and sundry grime, having made the total journey in company with the driver and fireman and, no doubt, the inevitable camera!

The story of Frank Browne and the 'Titanic' is legendary. He travelled Southampton-Cherbourg-Queenstown (now Cobh) on the vessel during which time he and his camera did noble work! Not too surprisingly, he was prevailed upon to remain on board for the trip to New York. After all the unsinkable! Titanic was the newest and finest ship ever to sail the seven seas! Who wouldn't give their eye teeth for such a once-in-a-lifetime trip? He radioed his Provincial for permission and hoped for the best! The Provincial's return telegram contained five words: “Get off that ship! Provincial”. So an unhappy Frank remained on land whereas the “Titanic” never reached its destination but instead sank off Newfoundland taking with it some 1500 souls.

But there is another side to the saga of Fr Browne and the Titanic! My grandparents' home was in Sandymount directly across the road from the Star of the Sea Church. Early in the twentieth century the then PP prevailed upon my grandmother to accommodate the “Missioners” who arrived twice each year to conduct the Women's and the Men's Retreats. This was to be on a “one-off” basis but like so many “one-offs” the arrangement became permanent and scores of missioners were accommodated over the next 50 or so years. My grandparents died in the 1920's and early 30's and a number of my unmarried aunts and uncles remained. In particular, I refer to my Aunt Moya!

Eventually there arrived on the scene none other than Fr Frank Browne SJ. The main bathroom was immediately commandeered by Frank where all sorts of apparatus were set up by him to ensure that his photographic pursuits remained unhindered. 1 stayed in the old homestead in order to serve his Mass each morning.

One fine morning he and I set off for his Mass as two of my uncles were having breakfast in the nether regions to which they had been banished when a strange spreading “something” was observed oozing under the breakfast room door. The basement was flooding! Loud crashes were heard as ceilings fell down and chaos ensued! The dreaded Frank had put the plug in the bath on the third floor, connected the water to his Developing Tank - and taken off for the Church! So the unhindered water flowed down with fearsome results. How the priests were not banished for ever more - together with my Aunt Moya - must be the greatest miracle since Moses struck the rock! It did nothing to pacify my uncles and their wrath fell on the shoulders of my unfortunate aunt.

But it didn't all end there, for Moya composed a little ditty that started “Father Browne, he didn't go down”. After the retreats, and overcome by remorse for her disrespect to a man of God, she decided that she must be in a state of mortal sin and took herself off to confession. She told me that in confessing this dreadful sin she said to the priest, “Father, I had bad thoughts about a Missioner!” I'll bet that made her confessor sit up and take notice as he was a particularly close family friend! The poor man was convulsed with laughter when he discovered the nature of her “sin” and she was sadly disappointed at receiving a penance of only one “Glory Be”! But she immediately gave up smoking to atone for her temporary lapse from grace - as she saw it!

The last time I saw Fr Browne was on the platform at Limerick Junction station as he returned from one of his many adventures having immortalised on film whatever caught his attention at the time. Whenever I pass through this station, in my mind's eye his Great Spirit still stands there as it did a lifetime ago. I never forget to remember, and to offer a prayer of gratitude for his friendship. Fr Browne was called to his Heavenly Home on 7 July 1960 where no doubt he is still taking photographs, this time, I would imagine, in glorious Technicolour!

After his death over forty-two thousand of his negatives were discovered in Loyola House by Fr Eddie O'Donnell SJ. So the Great Frank who didn't go down, didn't go away either! With the aid of sponsorship from Allied Irish Bank all were restored and three of AlB/Ark Life calendars, including this year's, featured his photographs. I was amazed to see a photograph of myself in one of the earlier calendars taken, I believe, sometime during the '40's.

Seventeen volumes of his photographs have been published and exhibitions in the Guinness Hop-Store, throughout the country, and in the Pompidou Centre in Paris have featured his Dublin Photographs. His 'Titanic' photographs have been exhibited in places as far apart as Hiroshima, Seattle, Chicago, Lisbon, Bruges and Budapest.

I have a feeling that, somehow, he will still be around on the Last Day. What marvellous opportunities for really spectacular photography will then present themselves! I'll bet he is ready and waiting for the off - and is already champing at the bit!

◆ The Clongownian, 1918

Clongowes Chaplains

We should have liked to be able to give a series of letters from Army. Chaplains, Past Clongownians, and former members of the Clon gowes Community, describing their professional experiences. We made considerable efforts and received promises not a few. But in the end, all found that their life was too busy and too irregular to make formal composition of that kind possible, and they one and all shrank from the task. Very often, too, no doubt, there was the fear of the Censor in the background. But notwithstanding this we thought it would be of interest to many readers of the “Clongownian” if we pieced together from these letters the scattered fragments of news coll tained in them. And this is what we have done. We begin with Father Corr, who for several years most worthily filled the position of Editor to this Magazine, and to whom is due the magnificent Centenary Number, 1914

Father F M Browne SJ

Father Browne, who was a master here some years ago, but not a Past Clongownian is with the anc Battalion Irish Guards. He has certainly had considerable variety during his time at the front. He was within the salient of Bourloi Wood when it had its neck cut and barely managed to escape On this occasion he got the bar to the MC. Of this experienc he writes : never went
through any thing like it and I wish there had bee another Lady Butler to pair another Roll Call of th 2nd I G after Bourlon Wood It was one of the saddest sights have ever see Imagine a fair dark night, deep sunken road lined with tiny excavations, some of them covered with oil sheets, etc, and in the middle the wreck of our Battalion. I cannot tell you how many we were when we started nor how many when we ended, for it would be a crime against interfering DORA”. Of his bar to the MC he writes:-“The only thing by which I can account for it was my very narrow escape from walking into the German lines during or rather just before Bourlon”.

During his wanderings Father Browne has not been unmindful of the wanderings of St Brendan, the story of which he has told in his illustiated guide to Lough Corrib. He tells us that he came by accident on an early French poem on this subject, with a commentary, in a Flemish farmer's cottage. This, no doubt, will be an interesting and, we hope, valuable addition to his booklet on this subject.

One little tit-bit of information which he gives us shows how great a change the presence of Irish soldiers must make to a French parish from the religious point of view. “We had a great ceremony on Sunday last - 2,500 Irish, soldiers gathered for Mass in the Cathe dral of --- to honour the new Bishop who presided at the Mass. I said Mass, Father W Doyle preached. Several Generals and big people - all impressed with very great solemnity. We had a guard of honour for the Elevation and trumpeters to play the General's Salute from the organ gallery. Father Doyle preached a very eloquent sermon though he was strictly limited to 15 minutes”. What a sight for the poor French Catholics - the old ones amongst them, no doubt, were brought back in memory to the ages of Faith in the fair land of France!

Browne, Henry Martyn, 1853-1941, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/72
  • Person
  • 07 August 1853-14 March 1941

Born: 07 August 1853, Birkenhead, Liverpool, Cheshire, England
Entered: 31 October 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 22 September 1889, St Beuno's, Wales
Final Vows: 02 February 1897, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 14 March 1941, St Beuno's, Wales

Part of the Heythrop, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England community at the time of death

by 1888 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1895 at Roehampton London (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1923 at Campion House, Osterley, London (ANG) teaching
by 1927 at Mount St London (ANG) writing
by 1938 at Roehampton, London (ANG) writing
by 1941 at Heythrop, Oxfordshire, England (ANG) writing

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Browne, Henry Martyn
by Christina Souyoudzoglou-Haywood

Browne, Henry Martyn (1853–1941), classicist and Jesuit priest, was born 7 August 1853 in Claughton, Woodchurch, Cheshire, England, the second of four sons and one daughter of John Wilson Browne, hardware merchant, born in Portugal (1824), and Jane Susan Browne (née McKnight), one of eight children of Robert McKnight, farmer, and Jane McKnight (née McLean) from Kelton, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire. Henry grew up in Birmingham, where his father set up in business. He lost his mother (d. 14 May 1859) when he was almost six; in 1862 his father married Agnes Bowstead and had another two children.

Brown was educated at King Edward's school, Birmingham, and in 1872 entered New College, Oxford, as a commoner. He took moderations in 1873, obtaining second-class honours in Greek and Latin literature, but left the university the following year, without taking his second public examination – he was granted a BA in 1891 (MA 1895) upon embarking on his academic career – having converted to the catholic faith and joined the Society of Jesus. He later gave an account of his conversion in The city of peace (1903). In 1877 he joined the Irish province and entered the novitiate at Milltown Park. He took his vows in 1879, remained for a year at Milltown Park as a junior, and taught at Tullabeg, Tullamore, Co. Offaly (1880–84). He was ordained in 1889 at St Beuno's, north Wales. Five years earlier he had begun a degree in theology at Milltown Park, which he completed in 1890. He was then appointed to teach classics at UCD, then run by the Jesuits, filling the post formerly held by Gerard Manley Hopkins (qv). During this period he published the Handbook of Greek composition (1885; 8th ed. 1921) and Handbook of Latin composition (1901; 2nd ed. 1907). At the founding of the NUI in 1908 he was appointed professor of Greek at UCD, a position he held until his retirement in 1922.

What characterised Browne's approach to classical scholarship was his interest in the ‘reality’ of the ancient world, which he tried to convey to students through visual and tactile materials (maps, lantern slides, photographs, artefacts, and replicas). He became an enthusiastic advocate of archaeology, and particularly of prehistoric archaeology. He gave public lectures on Minoan and Mycenaean archaeology and – a first for Ireland – he introduced these subjects into the university's syllabus. In his popular Handbook of Homeric study (1905; 2nd ed., 1908) he debated extensively the implications for Homeric studies of the recent archaeological discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean. His greatest legacy to UCD was the Museum of Ancient History (afterwards renamed the Classical Museum), inaugurated at Earlsfort Terrace in 1910. Browne built up his teaching collection of more than 5,000 Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiquities, replicas, and coins through his personal contacts with archaeologists and museums in England, through purchases on the antiquities market – an important purchase being that of Greek vases at the Christie's sale of the Thomas Hope collection in 1917 – and through loans from the National Museum of Ireland. He became a member of the committee of the British Association for Museums, and chairman of the archaeological aids committee of the Association for the Reform of Latin Teaching. In this capacity he visited the USA in 1916 to inquire into the educational role of American museums, and included his observations in Our renaissance: essays on the reform and revival of classical studies (1917). His practical approach to the classics led him to experiment with Greek choral rhythms; he gave demonstrations at American universities, and regularly chanted Greek choral odes to his students. He had many extra-curricular interests. For several years he was in charge of the University Sodality. He played a major role in the foundation of the Classical Association of Ireland (he was its chairman in 1913) and served on the Council of Hellenic Studies. He was involved with the St Joseph's Young Priests Society and supported the work of the Mungret Apostolic School.

After his retirement from UCD Browne left Ireland, where he had resided at the Jesuit residence, 35 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin, and was transferred to London, first to Osterley, then Farm Street in Mayfair, and in 1939 to Manresa House, Roehampton. During this period of his life he channelled his energy to the study of the English martyrs, and to catechism and conversion. He wrote The catholic evidence movement (1924) and Darkness or light? An essay in the theory of divine contemplation (1925), and tried to improve the fate of the under-privileged youth of Hoxton by organising and running a boys’ club there. He returned to Dublin a few times, and he wrote with Father Lambert McKenna (qv) a history of UCD, A page of Irish history (1930). His last publication was A tragedy of Queen Elizabeth (1937).

Browne died 14 March 1941 at Heythrop College, near Oxford, where he was evacuated because of the air raids on London. His brothers, all heirless, continued the merchant tradition of the family. His sister, Lucy Jane, died in a Birmingham asylum in 1917. His half-brother Arthur Edward Wilson died in South Africa in 1941 where he lived with his wife and five children. Browne's correspondence relating to the UCD museum is in the British Museum, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Winchester College, and the NMI. Some papers are in the archives of the British Province, Mount Street, London. The whereabouts of a known portrait are uncertain; it was reproduced in his obituary in the magazine of the British Province with the caption ‘from a Dublin portrait’.

Browne family wills, inc. John Wilson Browne (1886) and Charles Knightly Browne (1926); census returns, United Kingdom, 1851 (Woodchurch, Birkkenhead), 1881 and 1891 (Solihull, Birmingham); ‘Browne, Henry Martyn’, New College, Oxford, Register for 1872; Oxford University Calendar, 1873, 1892, 1893; ‘The Cretan discoveries’, Freeman's Journal, 11 Feb., 17 Feb. 1905; National Museum of Ireland: letter books, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1921; University College Dublin: Calendar for . . . 1911–1912, 457–8; H. Browne, Museum of Ancient History: report, 1913 (1913); H. Browne, Museum of Ancient History: Report, 1914 (1915); H. Browne, Introduction to numismatics (1915); University College Dublin: Report of the President, 1922–1923, 3–4; Fathers of the Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: story of University College Dublin, 1883–1909 (1930); ‘Obituary’, University College Dublin: Report of the President, 1940–1941, 16–17; ‘Obituary’, Irish Province News, iv (1941), 566–9; WWW; M. Tierney, Struggle with fortune: a miscellany for the centenary of the Catholic University of Ireland, 1854–1954 (1954), 37–8, 90; W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the classical tradition (1976), 65–6, 68–9, 168–9, 240; C. Haywood, The making of the classical museum: antiquarians, collectors and archaeologists. An exhibition of the Classical museum, 2003 [exhibition catalogue]

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 3rd Year No 1 1927
Jubilee : Fr Henry Browne
Fr Henry Browne was fêted at Leeson Street on November 1st. He had his share of College work in Tullabeg. But as far back as 1891 he was sent to University College, Dublin, where he played a full man's part in making that Jesuit establishment the first College in Ireland of the old “Royal”. Even “Queen’s” Belfast notwithstanding its enormous advantages, had eventually to acknowledge the superiority of the Dublin College, and the men who worked it.
Fr. Browne's Oxford training was a valuable asset in bringing University College so well to the front. He remained Professor in the Royal, and then in the National University to the year 1922, and is now engaged, amongst other things, in doing a work dear to the heart of men like Francis Regis, looking after the poor, especially children, in the worst slums of London.

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

Leeson St :
Monday, November 20th, was a red-letter day in the history of Leeson street, for it witnessed the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the House's foundation. In November, 1833. the Community came into being at 86 St Stephen's Green, where it remained until 1909, when the building was handed over to the newly constituted National University. The Community, however, survived intact and migrated to a nearby house in Lesson Street, where it renewed its youth in intimate relationship with the Dublin College of the University.
Its history falls this into two almost equal periods, different, indeed, in many ways, yet essentially one, since the energies of the Community during each period have been devoted to the same purpose, the furtherance of Catholic University Education in Ireland.
A precious link between the two eras is Father Tom Finlay, who was a member of the Community in 1883, and ever since has maintained his connection with it. His presence on Monday evening, restored to his old health after a severe illness was a source of particular pleasure to the whole gathering. It was also gratifying to see among the visitors Father Henry Browne, who had crossed from England at much personal inconvenience to take part in the celebration. Not only was Father Browne a valued member of the Community for over thirty years, but he acquired additional merit by putting on record, in collaboration with Father McKenna, in that bulky volume with the modest title " A Page of Irish History," the work achieved by the House during the first heroic age of its existence. It was a pleasure, too, to see hale and well among those present Father Joseph Darlington, guide, philosopher and friend to so many students during the two periods. Father George O'Neill, who for many years was a distinguished member of the Community, could not, alas. be expected to make the long journey from his newer field of fruitful labor in Werribee, Australia.
Father Superior, in an exceptionally happy speech, described the part played by the Community, especially in its earlier days of struggle, in the intellectual life of the country. The venerable Fathers who toiled so unselfishly in the old house in St. Stephens Green had exalted the prestige of the Society throughout Ireland. Father Finlay, in reply, recalled the names of the giants of those early days, Father Delany, Father Gerald Hopkins, Mr. Curtis and others. Father Darlington stressed the abiding influence of Newman, felt not merely in the schools of art and science, but in the famous Cecilia Street Medial School. Father Henry Browne spoke movingly of the faith, courage and vision displayed by the leaders of the Province in 1883, when they took on their shoulders such a heavy burden. It was a far cry from that day in 1883, when the Province had next to no resources, to our own day, when some sixty of our juniors are to be found, as a matter of course preparing for degrees in a National University. The progress of the Province during these fifty years excited feelings of
admiration and of profound gratitude , and much of that progress was perhaps due to the decision, valiantly taken in 1883 1883, which had raised the work of the Province to a higher plane.

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

Obituary :
Father Henry Browne
Father Henry Browne died at Heythrop College on March 14 1941. He had been in failing health for the past two or three years, and had recently been evacuated from Roehampton to Heythrop owing to the air-raids over London. To quote the words of an English Father who knew him well in these last years “here he occupied himself mostly in prayer, and on March 14th brought to a serene close eighty-eight years of arduous, enthusiastic, joyful, supernatural work for the Master”.

Father Henry Browne was born at Birkenhead on August 7, 1853 but his father, Mr. J. Wilson Browne, was a Birmingham man, his mother was Joan McKnight. Who's Who contains a notice of his grandfather, Captain J. Murray Browne, who “fought at Albuera and throughout the Peninsular War, and joined the Portuguese army where he became Assistant Quartennaster-General under Marshal Beresford.” Father Browne was educated at King Edward's High School, Birmingham, and went to New College, Oxford. He was received into the Church in 1874, when his undergraduate course was not yet completed, and was advised by Cardinal Manning to interrupt his studies. Je joined the Irish Province in 1877, and entered the novitiate at Milltown Park on October 31st. After his first vows he spent a year as a Junior at Milltown Park. In 1880 he went to Tullabeg, where he spent four years as master under two Rectors, Fr Sturzo and Fr. George Kelly. The Intermediate System was then in its early stages, and Mr. Browne taught Rhetoric and Mathematics (1880-81),
Humanities (1881-2) , 1 Grammar (1882-3), Syntax, Classics and English (1883-4).
From 1884-6 Father Browne studied Philosophy at Milltown Park, where he had Fathers Peter Finlay and William Hayden as his Professors. In 1886 he went to St. Beuno's, where he was ordained in the summer of 1889. He returned to Milltown for his fourth year of theology. and was then sent to University College to teach Latin and Greek, replacing Father Richard Clarke of the English Province.
From 1890 to 1909 (with the exception of one year, 1894-95, which he spent as a Tertian Father at Roehampton), Father Browne was kept busy in Dublin as Professor of Classics and Fellow of the Royal University of Ireland. His energy was simply amazing. Two early Handbooks of Latin and Greek Composition went through various editions, though they have since lost their vogue. His Handbook of Homeric Study was for many years counted the best popular introduction in English to the famous controversy, on which Father Browne
was never weary of lecturing his own students at U.C.D. He took a leading part in the foundation of the Classical Association of Ireland and was elected President of this body in 1913. He was also a member of the Council of the Society for Hellenic Studies, Chairman (for a time) of the Archaeologica Aids Committee of the Association for the Reform of Latin Teaching, and member of the Committee of the British Association for Museums. In this connection he visited the U.S.A. in 1916 as a member of a special Committee to report on the American museum system, and his volume of essays (Our Renaissance : Essays on the Reform and Revival of Classical Studies), published in 1917 reflects his interests in these strenuous years. Father Browne's old students will not need to be reminded of his immense zest for all forms of archaeological research. He counted several of the leading English
archaeologists as among his personal friends. There had been an earlier stage when Greek music had attracted his attention - though it must be confessed that Father Browne's aptitude for musical theory was disputed by some of his colleagues. But who could resist so great a vital force? Father Browne would strum a piano for hours on end, convincing himself (and some others) that Greek music was most closely connected (through Gregorian music) with ancient Irish music as represented in Moore's Melodies. Who's Who contains the following condensed statement of this phase of Father Browne's activities “He has experimented in the melodic rendering of Greek choral rhythms giving demonstrations before the British Association at the Dublin meeting (1908) and at Columbia and Chicago Universities.
It seems a far cry from these external activities to the inner motive which explains the dual character of Father Henry Browne's life. But those who lived with him knew that he had other interests. For many years he was' exceptionally successful as Director of the Students Sodality in the old University College, giving monthly talks to large numbers. As early as 1896 he had been drawn into the work of Saint Joseph's Young Priests' Society by his lifelong friend and fellow-convert, Father Joseph Darlington. Father Darlington had to leave Ireland for a year to make his tertianship, and he succeeded (with some difficulty) in persuading Father Browne to take his place for one year. Those first hesitations were soon forgotten, and Father Browne continued to edit Saint Joseph’s Sheaf, and to be the life and soul of the Society for the next twenty-five years. He was particularly keen on the work of the Mungret Apostolic School, and deserves to be reckoned as one of the chief benefactors of that important work for the missionary priesthood. He was also a pioneer propagandist for the Chinese Mission here in Ireland. In 1915 he helped to re-organise Saint Joseph's Young Priests' Society as a national work, approved and commended by the Irish Hierarchy.
The last twenty years of Father Browne's life were spent outside of Ireland. Although he came back to Dublin more than once, and was always eager to keep in touch with the Leeson Street community.
A brief record of his activities during these years will help to complete the picture of this strenuous worker for Christ’s Kingdom. For the first two years Father Browne was stationed at Osterley, where he helped Father Lester up his work for late vocations (Our Lady's Young Priests), and taught Latin to some of the students. In a recent issue of Stella Maris Father Clement Tigar, who has succeeded Father Lester at Osterley, pays warm tribute to Father Browne's work for this good cause. He also wrote a pamphlet on the K.B.S. movement, and a very pleasant book on the recent work of the Catholic Evidence Guild (1924). This latter work made a special appeal to Father Browne - zeal for the conversion of Protestant England - and he soon threw himself heart and soul into the work of open-air lecturing and catechising. His older friends in Dublin, who knew him for the most part as the very type of an academic Professor of Greek were first startled, then amused to hear that Father Browne was exceptionally successful in this new role. He had a knack of answering casual hecklers in their own style - his answer was often so completely unexpected (and occasionally so irrelevant) that the heckler was left speechless with surprise, and unable to cause any further trouble. From Osterley, Father Browne was soon transferred to Farm Street, where he added a new field to his labours. This was a Newsboys' Club which he himself organised and directed at Horton one of the most difficult of London's slum areas. It was open to boys of every religious denomination. The mere labour of going down to Horton from Farm Street on several nights a week would have been sufficient to flaunt a younger and more vigorous man. But Father Browne now well on in his seventies, was indomitable.
In 1927 Father Browne came back for a visit to Dublin, to celebrate his Golden Jubilee with the Fathers of the Lesson Street community. In 1930 and 1931 he was here again, and was busily engaged on compiling a short history of the old University College, with the collaboration of Father Lambert McKenna. The book appeared in 1930 under the title “A Page of Irish History”. In the next year Father Browne took part in the Congress of the Irish Province which was held in University Hall, Hatch Street. for the purpose of studying the Exercises. He chose for his share in the discussion the subject of Ignatian Prayer - always a favourite topic with him in private conversation - and his comments will be found in “Our Colloquium”, pp. 129-131. He had already published a book on the theory of mystical contemplation under the title “Darkness or Light? : An Essay in the Theory of Divine Contemplation” (Herder, 1925). Many years earlier (1903) he had edited a volume entitled “The City of Peace”, in which he gathered together various autobiographical accounts of recent conversions to the Catholic Church. His own account of his conversion to the true Faith at Oxford is well worth reading for the light it throws on his own strong direct and outspoken character.
Hoxton Club and these many other activities filled Father Browne's life until 1984, when he was in his eighty-second year. He had already made plans for the transference of the Club to other hands, and it was finally passed over to the management of a joint committee of past students of Stonyhurst and the Sacred Heart Convent Roehampton. He himself felt that the end was near, but his energy was not yet spent. For the next few years he threw himself with all his old fire and enthusiasm into one last campaign for the conversion of England
through the intercession of Teresa. Higginson, in whom he had implicit faith. An adverse decision came from Rome some three years ago and Father Browne found this set-bask one of the severest trials in his long life. But he never hesitated in his obedience and submission to authority, and his faith in the ultimate conversion of his fellow countrymen never wavered for an instant. The present writer visited him frequently in the last years of his life, and it was impossible to resist the impression of a life that was more and more absorbed in the work of prayer for his fellow-Christians. Old memories of Dublin days would come back to him, but the conversion of England was his main preoccupation. He had asked to be moved from Farm Street to Roehampton, so that he might prepare himself for death in the company of the novices. But it was not to be. The air-raids on Roehampton made evacuation a duty, and Father Browne was transferred some months before his death to Heythrop near Oxford. Old memories of Oxford days. and of his own conversion, must have come back to him with double force. Those who knew him say that his last months were spent mainly in prayer. He was in his eighty-eighth year, but still unwearied in his zeal, when the end came at last, and he has been laid to rest at Heythrop College, which is now one of the most active centres of that campaign for the conversion of England which lay nearer to his heart than any other human cause. May he rest in peace. (A.G.)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Henry Browne SJ 1853-1941
Fr Henry Browne was born of Anglican parents at Birkenhead, England, on August 7th 1853. He was educated at King Edward’s High School, Birmingham and New College Oxford, and entered the Catholic Church in 1874. Three years later he joined the Irish Province of the Society at Milltown Park. He pursued his higher studies at Milltown Park and at St Beuno’s, North Wales, and was ordained priest in 1889.

In the following year he began his long association with University College Dublin as Professor of Ancient Classics and Fellow of the Royal University of Ireland. During these fruitful years, 1890-1922, Fr Browne’s talent as lecturer, writer, organiser found its full scope. In addition to a very useful volume dealing with Greek and Latin composition, he was the author of “A Handbook of Homeric Studies”, which held its own as the best secular introduction to a famous controversy. He took a leading part in the foundation of the Classical Association of Ireland, and was a member of the Council of the Society for Hellenic Studies and of the Committee of the Irish Association of Museums.

Another side of Fr Browne’s activities in Dublin during these years was the zeal he displayed in promoting vocations to the missionary priesthood. As early as 1896 he had been drawn into the work of St Joseph’s Young Priests Society, which he served for a quarter of a century.

The last twenty years of Fr Browne's life were spent outside Ireland, and marked what we might call its Second Spring. He helped Fr Lester in his work for late vocations at Osterley, London, and in open-air lecturing and catechising. In these years date his very pleasant book on the work of the Catholic Evidence Guild. On his transfer to Farm Street, he added a new field to his labours, a newsboys club in Hoxton in the East End of London.

He remained in touch with the Irish province during this period of his life, and wrote an account of the old University College in “A Page of Irish History”. The story about his own conversion to the faith is told in “The City of Peace” (1903), and also in a chapter of a book “Roads to Rome” by Rev John O’Brien. Deserving also of special mention is Fr Browne’s work on the theory of mystical contemplation entitled “Darkness or Light” (1925).

Fr Browne closed his strenuous apostolic life on March 14th 1941 at St Beuno’s, North Wales, where he had been evacuated during the air-raids of World War II, interested to the end in the work for the conversion of Protestant England.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1941

Obituary

Father Henry Browne SJ

The death of Father Browne on the 14th March, 1941– St. Joseph's month - at the Jesuit House of Studies, Heythrop, Oxford, brought to a close a long and fruitful life.

Born in Birkenhead in 1853 and educated at New College, Oxford, he was received into the Church in 1874. Three years later he entered the Novitiate of the Irish Province and from that date till his retirement in 1922 he was engaged in educational work in Ireland. As a scholastic he taught in Belvedere and Tullabeg. He was ordained in 1890 at St Beuno's, Wales, and when his studies were completed we find him back once more in Ireland.

There is no need to chronicle here the scholastic attainments of Father Browne or his part in the great work for university education in Ireland. These are matters of history. But it is well to recall his close association with the early days of the Apostolic School. Brought into contact with Mrs Taaffe and her great work, Father Browne, at first very doubtful about the success of the venture, became one of the pillars of St Joseph's Young Priests Society. Realising the need of missionary priests and the possibilities of the work, he threw himself into the enterprise with all his characteristic thoroughness. His lantern lectures were utilised to make the work known and by these he was instrumental in having the Moloney Burse completed and handed over to the Apostolic School.

Shortly after his retirement in 1922 from the University, he returned to England and worked mainly in London.

The later years of his life were spent in the peace and quiet of Manreso and Heythrop College.

Browne, Ignatius, 1661-1707, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/961
  • Person
  • 01 February 1661-13 September 1707

Born: 01 February 1661, County Waterford
Entered: 13 December 1676, Lisbon, Portugal - Lusitaniae Province (LUS)
Ordained: 01 May 1690, Coimbra, Portugal
Final Vows: 02 May 1697
Died: 13 September 1707, Irish College, Salamanca, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Alias Bruno

Nephew of Ignatius Browne - RIP 1679

1681 At St Anthony’s College, Lisbon studying - also studied at Irish College
1685 in 3rd Year Philosophy at Coimbra, Portugal
1690 4th Year Theology at Coimbra

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Father Knoles, Mission Superior gives Ent date as 1677
Most likely a nephew of Ignatius Brown 1st.
1698 Deported with Bernard Kiernan and went to Poitiers, and then on to Spain. (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS, citing a letter from Anthony Knoles New Ross 06/04/1714)

May be identical with Ignatius Brown who is said to have Ent at Milan in 1679, and studied in Genoa 1682-1683 (cf Foley’s Collectanea) - this man was said to have LEFT or been DISMISSED 26/09/1684

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows he was sent to complete all his studies at Coimbra and was Ordained there in 1690
1690/1691 Sent to Ireland and worked as a schoolmaster at Kilkenny. In a letter of John Higgins 1694 to Thomas Eustace, he is described as an able and zealous preacher.
1697 Exiled to Spain where he was appointed to teach Humanities at Villagarcía CAST.
1699 Appointed to teach Theology at Salamanca
1705 Appointed Rector of Salamanca. He died in office at the Irish College, 13 September, 1707

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BROWN, IGNATIUS, There were two Fathers of this name.
The junior entered the Society in 1677, and left Poitiers for the Castile Province on the 10th of September, 1698. I read in a letter of F. Ant. Knowles, dated Ross, 6th of April, 1714, “Tempore bellorum et persecutionis missi in exilium in eoque mortui, sunt P. P. Bernardus Kiernan et Ignatius Brown, duo pii et inculpabiles viri”.

Browne, Liam, 1929-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/825
  • Person
  • 18 August 1929-26 October 2017

Born: 18 August 1929, Kilmainham, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1960, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1964, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died 26 October 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB : 31 July 1982

by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency
by 1963 at Campion Hall, Oxford (ANG) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/liam-browne-sj-much-loved-missionary/

Liam Browne SJ – a dedicated missionary
Irish Jesuit Fr Liam Browne SJ died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Dublin on 26 October 2017 aged 88 years. His funeral took place on 31 October at Milltown Park, Ranelagh followed by burial in Glasnevin Cemetery. The Dubliner spent much of his early priestly life on various missions in Zambia, before returning home to work at various places in Ireland in 1974. Below find the homily at his funeral mass given by Fr John K. Guiney SJ.
A dedicated missionary
We remember and celebrate a long and eventful life of Liam Browne.
He was born in the Rotunda on 18th August 1929 and brought up in Kilmainham Dublin, went to CBS James’s St... and entered the Jesuits at Emo Park on 7th September 1946, was ordained in Milltown Park on 28th July 1960, and took his final vows at Chikuni in Zambia on 2nd February 1964.
Four of the 12 companions who took first vows with him in Emo are with us still: John Guiney, John Dooley, and Jim Smyth... MJ Kelly who is living in Lusaka, Zambia.
To say Liam had a rich,varied and eventful life is an understatement. He worked in Zambia, Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard, was Chaplain in St Vincent’s Hospital and Marlay Nursing Home and all through was constant in his research on the Chitonga language and culture. He went to God peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge last Thursday at 4pm.
A common theme of Liam’s life was his desire and wish to be close to ordinary people and to understand their cultures and ways of life. In an interview with the Irish Jesuit Mission Office he expressed his desire to become a Jesuit and priest in this way: “to help people and to enable them to experience Christ’s forgiveness and he noted the great influence on his vocation of his grandmother Susan Waldron.
When Liam arrived in Zambia in 1954 he plunged himself into learning the local language Chitonga in the diocese of Monze. He was not only interested in learning a language but set about researching the culture of the people, looking at what makes them tick – trying to understand seeing how culture/religion/faith are interrelated.
His work in the study and preservation of Tonga culture was similar to the work of another renowned student of Tonga culture – Frank Wafer who founded the Mukanzubo Kalinda Cultural Centre in Chikuni. They did so much to record, store and document traditional proverbs, dance, songs, customs and rites of the community. Liam did what every effective missionary does; he fell in love with the people he was called to serve – the Tonga people and culture.
Liam was the go to person for scholastics/young volunteers, learning the language and entering a new culture. He was the person to induct them into Tongaland. Colm Brophy as a scholastic in Zambia in 1969 recounts: “I was anxious to acquire a knowledge of Chitonga. So I asked the Provincial, John Counihan, to send me to a place and to a person who could help me do that.
“In 1969 I was posted to Chilala-Ntaambo (‘the sleeping place of the lion’), a metropolis of remoteness... because I knew it was remote and that I would be living with a man who was very fluent in the language – Liam Browne.”
Liam, he remembers, would spend a lot of his time researching the Chitonga language and culture. He would go around various villages with his tape-recorder interviewing mainly elderly people.
Chilala-Ntaambo was frontier missionary land in the 1960s.
It wasn’t an easy life for Liam there as parish priest. There was no solid Catholic community. The place was new. For Sunday Mass only eight or ten people would turn up mainly from two families. He was ploughing a lone furrow.
Liam continued to work in missionary frontiers in the Fumbo and Chivuna parishes and in 1973 took a break to study cultural anthropology in Campion Hall, Oxford under the guidance of the renowned Professor Evans Pritchard.
Liam then published some of his research on the initiation rites of the Tonga people but fell foul of at least one influential Tonga political leader who felt that secrets of their culture was not for public reading. He was not allowed to renter the country.
Two years ago while visiting Monze I met his mentor and friend in Zambia – the great cultural anthropologist of the Tonga people Barbara Colson who worked with Liam.
She was full of admiration for the work and research of Liam and admitted that Liam’s kind of research is now prescribed reading for students of the Tonga culture in every African library. A real joy for Liam in latter years was The Tonga-English Dictionary that Liam had started in the 60s and was finally completed and published by Frank Wafer just 3 years ago.
Liam returned to Ireland in 1974 and from then to 1989 he went to work in Ballyfermot and began to build firstly a temporary and then a permanent Church with the people and with the able assistance of the Daughters of Charity and especially Sr Cabrini.
His friends in Cherry Orchard still remember him as a man of great kindness and compassion. They remember his outreach to the most needy, his wisdom in counselling people and also his ability to plan, budget and look ahead even when the share budget of the diocese was small. Amongst Liam’s talents was wood work and he loved making things; much of the design and wooden fixtures and paintings were done by Liam in the Churches he built.
Those who knew Liam in Zambia and Ireland remember him as good-humoured, generous and who loved music especially jazz.
His friends also remember Liam as a man who shot from the hip, spoke his mind with a bluntness that could put people off. He had a certain distrust of superiors and people in authority, sometimes with well founded reasons. However, once he had got it out of his system, he got on with things and remained on good terms with all whom he encountered.
Perhaps the phrase ‘he got on with things’ sums up the greatest characteristic of Liam’s life. Liam was a man always available for mission and when the mission he really loved, Zambia was suddenly interrupted – it must have been a heartbreak for him, but he moved on without complaining to the new missions on the home front.
At the end of his life Liam shared with his friends. I am glad I did what I did when I could. He had few regrets. Once he decided that Cherryfield Lodge nursing home was the best, he moved and had the highest regard to all who cared for him there.
He was indeed always ready for a change and recognised in the wisdom of the ancestors that there is a time and a season for all things under the sun. On Thursday last a final time had come; he surrendered in peace to his maker in the presence of his sister Monica.
Finally, a word of thanks to two great missionary families: the Browne’s and the Cassidy’s. Liam’s niece Susan shared with me that as a child she saved up her pocket money for the missions. Monica helped out Tommy Martin for years with cake sales and raffles for the missions and coincidentally two weeks ago we got a letter from a Zambian PP, from that very parish that Liam founded 50 years ago with the help of his family and friends saying hello to Liam.
It reads:
My name is Fr. Kenan Chibawe, parish priest of St. Francis Xavier parish in Chilalantambo, Monze in Zambia. Our parish was officially opened in 1967 by Fr Liam Browne. This year on 28th October, we are celebrating 50 years or Golden Jubilee of the growth of the Catholic faith that was planted by the Jesuit missionaries in particular Fr Brown and the Late Fr Norman McDonald SJ. We would have loved to see Liam here but maybe his age may not allow him to travel. People still remember these priests in our parish.
We too remember and celebrate Liam’s life with the people of Zambia, Cherry Orchard, his former colleagues alive and dead in the Vincent’s and Marlay chaplaincies. We pray for and with Liam in his adopted language Chitonga:
Mwami leza kotambula muzimo wakwe kubuzumi butamani, which means in our own language, Ar dheis dei go raibh an anam dilis.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions :
As in “Jesuits in Ireland” : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/571-liam-browne-sj-a-dedicated-missionary and https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/238-interview-with-fr-liam-browne

Fr. Liam Browne, born in 1929 in Rotunda, Dublin, can easily sum up why he wanted to be a priest: ‘to help other people’, particularly by allowing them to ‘experience Christ’s forgiveness’. Fr Browne had been encouraged in his calling by his grandmother, Susan Waldron, who raised his brother, his sister, and himself after the death of his mother. He had first become interested in the Jesuits after attending a retreat with his school, James’ Street Christian Brothers, and was attracted to missionary work because of the possibilities it offered for helping others abroad.
Fr. Browne left Dublin as a young scholastic bound for Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) to work with the Tonga. Although direct flights now link London and Lusaka, in the 1950s it took three days to reach the Zambian capital by air. Despite the distance and the difficulty, Fr. Browne recalls his first year in Africa as the happiest of his life: ‘it was the happiest time because I was doing exactly what I wanted.’ He spent this first year acclimatising, learning the language, and immersing himself in Tongan culture. His greatest consolation, or most rewarding experience, was learning the language and speaking to the Tongan people about religion. He spent his time with the Tonga working in the mission station and at Canisius College, the Jesuit-run boys’ school, and served in Zambia for a total of thirteen years (three years as a student, and ten as an ordained priest). It is clear that Fr. Browne immensely enjoyed his time in Africa: his only desolation in mission was the frustration of waiting for the rains to come, with October standing out as ‘the most dreadful time of the year’!
Fr. Browne became fascinated with Tongan culture, and with the broader field of social anthropology. He had been able to study Zambezi culture thanks to work by Elizabeth Colson, an American anthropologist who had begun studying the Tonga through the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute. In between postings, he had the benefit of spending a year at Campion Hall, Oxford, studying under Professor Evans-Pritchard at the Institute of Social Anthropology. He states that this training was ‘invaluable’ to his work in Zambia, and recalls Evans-Pritchard (a legend in anthropological circles) as an ‘outstanding’ scholar. Fr. Browne went on to write a detailed study of the Tongan way of life; studies such as these were useful not only in providing a record of Tongan custom, but also for instructing new missionaries about their host culture.
Although life in Zambia was very different to life in Ireland, Fr. Browne never experienced a ‘culture shock’. His entire philosophy was based around being open and receptive to Tongan culture, and he didn’t ‘allow himself the luxury of being shocked’ by unfamiliar practices. ‘I felt you should be open. I was convinced you needed to know the people’s language and customs- if you didn’t know that then you were really clueless! The prevailing view was that you had everything to give and nothing to receive, but I didn’t believe a word of it.’ He argues that this openness is the secret to success in both missionary work and in anthropology: ‘there is a Jesuit saying that one must go in another’s door in order for that other to come out of your door...You need to be receptive.’
Because missionaries had been working in Zambia since 1896, the Tonga were not tabula rasa when it came to the Christian message. However, Christianity still needed to be culturally located: ‘What I believe is that you have to make an effort to understand the people; that will determine your approach to preaching Christianity. To preach in a way which people will understand, you must preach in terms with which they are familiar.’ When asked if African Christianity differs from European Christianity, Fr Browne replies that it does so ‘as much as Africa differs from Europe’. Some interpretations of Christianity were more Pentecostalist than Catholic, but the Tonga were generally a receptive people who took the Christian message to heart. Indeed, Fr. Browne argues that the Zambian mission housed some of the holiest people one could ever hope to meet. In his own words, it takes ‘a hell of a long time to build a Christian culture’: given this, the fact that Christianity has become rooted in African culture in only a few generations is astounding.
However, there were areas in which the acceptance of Catholic doctrine was somewhat superficial. Although the Irish tendency is to assume that we can separate the ‘religious’ from the social or the economic, life among the Tonga shows that this is not the case. For example, polygamy was common amongst Tongan men, even those who were Christian. Converts knew that this went against Biblical teachings on marriage, but because polygamy was seen as an economic rather than a moral practice, they did not view it in the same way that their Irish missionaries did. There were also some issues of cultural ‘translation’: because the Tonga are a matrilineal people, it was somewhat difficult to promote a patrilineal religion such as Christianity, with its emphasis on Father and Son. Fr. Browne argues that new converts always tried to live the Christian life; like all Catholics, however, this was a work in progress.
Political agendas have always been a part of the mission process, and this was equally true for Jesuit missionaries in Zambia. Although race relations in Zambia were significantly less strained than those in South Africa or Zimbabwe, there were still tensions between white and black populations. However, Fr. Browne believes that a distinction was made between white government officials and white missionaries. Missionaries, unlike government officials, made an effort to assimilate into the local culture: they had to, after all, if they were to have any success. Because they were not familiar with Zambezi culture, white government officials misunderstood local power relations. For example, they would treat one man as local headman despite the fact that he was not seen as such by his would-be subjects. This was a mistake which was avoided by missionaries, who had learnt (through living with them) that the Tonga valued democracy and the ability to compromise or broker peace far more than an abstract colonial understanding of power; as the Tongan saying goes, ‘anyone can call himself a chief, but it doesn’t mean we have to obey him’! Headmen tended to be European appointees. Further, Christian missionaries were respected because they had opened schools. Although the British government had claimed that education was important, they had only introduced primary schools, and it was left to religious organisations to open schools for secondary education.
The mission station also benefited the community by distributing basic medical supplies. The Sisters of Charity ran a small bush hospital, and the mission distributed pills, tonics, supplies for cuts, etc. With the nearest hospital 35 miles away, and high rates of infant mortality, this proved a very useful service. The parents of sick children would go to great lengths to prevent their premature deaths. Fr. Browne recalls a woman who decided to begin the 35 mile walk to the hospital in the middle of the night so that her sick baby could get access to medical treatment; although she was eventually persuaded to wait until morning, when she could be driven there, this incident demonstrates the very real danger of having a sick child in the bush.
The mission station is now run by local recruits rather than Europeans. Fr. Browne is ‘delighted’ to see local people running the mission, and has high hopes for Zambia’s future. He believes that the Catholic Church can act as a unifying force in Africa today, because this is the message of the liturgy. Although the mission station is now largely run by African priests and nuns, there is still a role for Irish Catholics to play. Fr. Browne speaks highly of volunteers who give up their time to work in Zambia. He gives a particularly glowing report of a couple from Derry, who taught at the Catholic girls’ school for six years. The children grew up with their parents’ students, and Fr. Browne laughs as he recalls their daughter being taught to dance by the African girls.
If there is an overarching theme around which to organise Fr. Browne’s narrative, then surely it is that of being open and receptive: ‘Be ready to learn. If you go in with a full head, thinking you know everything, you’ll learn nothing.’

1948-1951 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1951-1954 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1954-1957 Chikuni, Zambia - Regency at Canisius College, learning Chitonga
1957-1961 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1961-1962 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1962-1963 Oxford, UK - Diploma in Social Anthropology at Campion Hall
1963-1964 Monze, Zambia - Parish Priest at Sacred Heart
1964-1965 Chikuni, Zambia - Teacher at Canisius College
1965-1972 Chivuna, Zambia - Parish Work at Chivuna Mission
1968 Parish Priest at Chilala-Ntambo, Pemba
1969 Transcribed to Zambian Province [ZAM] (03/12/1969)
1971 Working in Parish at Fumbo
1972-1973 Chisekesi, Zambia - Studying Language and Social Anthropology at Charles Lwanga Teacher Training
1973 -1974 St Ignatius, London, UK - Studying Social Anthropology at London University
1974-1989 Gardiner St - Parish work in Dublin Diocese at Ballyfermot
1982 Transcribed to Irish Province [HIB] (26/03/1982)
1986 Parish Ministry at Blessed Sacrament, Cherry Orchard, Dublin
1989-2017 Milltown Park - Historical Research and Writing
1993 Chaplain at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Dublin
2000 Chaplain at Marlay Nursing Home, Rathfarnham, Dublin
2009 Research in African Studies
2014 Praying for the Church and Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Browne, Michael, 1853-1933, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 22 April 1853, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 27 July 1891
Final Vows: 02 February 1897, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 20 November 1933, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 3rd Year No 1 1927

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

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934
Obituary :
Father Michael Browne
Father S. Brown has kindly sent us the following appreciation :
On the morning of November the 28th died Father Michael Browne in his eighty first year.

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Brown 1853-1933
Fr Michael was preeminently the Ascetic of the Province. His austerity was well known, in spite of all his efforts to conceal it. Especially in his Tullabeg days as Master of Novices, he was merciless on himself. He was a great believer in hairshirts and chains, and Superiors had to exercise vigilance to make sure he took sufficient food. Yet he was not a solitary, given over to lone contemplation. In his time, he held every administrative post in the Province, save that of Provincial, though he acted as Vice-Provincial on one occasion. He was untiring in giving retreats, even up to his last years, and was known to have given 7 retreats on end, without interval.

At the same time he was not a repelling character, rather he engendered great respect and affection. He had his sense of humour, and his deep laugh was familiar to all his listeners.

He went straight to God as he knew how, without compromised. His use of creatures was mainly by abstention. When he died on November 22nd 1933, after 56 years in the Society, one eminent fellow Jesuit remarked that Fr Michael Brown’s holiness was reminiscent of the old Irish monks, to which an equally eminent Jesuit replied “Nay more, his eminence was pre-Christian”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1934

Obituary

Father Michael Browne SJ

Father Michael Browne, whose death took place at Rathfarnham Castle, on Monday, November 20th, 1933, in his eighty-first year, was one of the links that bound together Tullabeg and Clongowes. He was an Old Clongownian, had been a master and Prefect of Studies in both Colleges, was Spiritual Father and Rector of Clongowes and had been twice Rector of Tullabeg when it was no longer a secondary school. For over thirty years before his death, he had no direct connection with Clongowes. His name was hardly known to the later generations of boys here, but those who were at Clongowes in the late nineties realise that a great Clongownian has died.

Michael Browne was born in Limerick on April 22nd,. 1853. His early school years were spent in that city at the Sacred Heart College, then known as St Munchin's College. Having already a wish to become a Jesuit, he came to Clongowes in 1872, and, after two years here, he applied to enter the noviceship. Owing to his delicate state of health the application was refused It was a sore trial; but Michael Browne did not lightly abandon anything on which he had set his heart. He wanted to become a priest and succeeded in gaining admission to St Patrick's College, Carlow. His lungs were weak and his health did not improve, while the call to the Jesuit noviceship became more insistent. Heaven was stormed with prayers by himself and by his friends. It used to be told how his sister, who was a nun and who died at an early age, offered her life that Michael might be able to become a Jesuit. After a visit to Rome and to Lourdes, undertaken to obtain his desire, he asked again to be received into the Society of Jesus. This time he was accepted, and he entered the novitiate at Milltown Park, Dublin, on September 7th, 1877, three years after he had left Clongowes.

Before we write of the man, let us recall dates and occupations, for they are instructive. At the end of his noviceship. at Milltown Park, Michael Browne took his yows on September 8th, 1879. Then followed four further years at Milltown, one as a Junior, the remaining three studying philosophy. From 1883 to 1886 he was Prefect of Studies and Master of English and Mathematics at Tullabeg. He came to Clongowes in the Amalgamation Year, as Assistant Prefect of Studies and Mathematical Master of the Royal University students. From 1887 to 1891, he studied theology, for the first two years at Louvain and later at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1890. During his last year at Milltown as a priest he was a constant visitor to the Incurables Hospital, Donny brook, where the memory of his kindness and of his holiness was still fresh among the patients twenty years afterwards. In 1891, he was appointed Prefect of Studies at Mungret, a position which he held for four years, when he also taught the Royal University students at a time when they were bringing fame to Mungret. On leaving Mungret in 1895, he went to Chieri, Italy, for his tertianship. The next year found him Spiritual Father and a master at Clongowes. When Father Devitt left Clongowes in the summer of 1900, Father Michael Browne succeeded him as Rector, but it was only for a few months, as he was nominated Rector and Master of Novices at Tullabeg towards the end of November of the same year. During this period the late Father John Sullivan was a novice under Father Brownie's direction. They were kindred souls, and ever after novice and Novice Master had a lifelong veneration for one another. In the August of 1905, Father Browne was made Rector of the Sacred Heart College and Church at Limerick, This was, perhaps, the most active period of his very busy life, as, while Rector, he taught in the College, worked in the Church, and had charge of the three branches of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin the Children of Mary whom he addressed once a week, the Ignatian Sodality for young men and the boys' Sodality of Our Lady. In August, 1908, we find him again Master of Novices and Rector of Tullabeg. Three years later he was named Socius to the Provincial, a position which he held for eleven years, during which time also, he was an indefatigable worker in the Church at Gardiner Street, In 1922 he went to Tullabeg as Master of Novices for the third time, and in 1924 he was transferred to Rathfarnham where he was Spiritual Father and occupied in giving Retreats to within a few months of his death. It is a summary of over half-a-century which Father Browne spent slaving in the service of God.

Though holding most important positions within the Society of Jesus, where he earned universal respect and reverence, Father Michael Browne's life was to a great extent hidden from the outside world. But within and without the Society, the striking holiness of his life impressed everybody with whom he came in contact. One could not help noticing his complete other-worldliness. “God everywhere and in everything; a constant endeavour to be pleasing in His eyes, and to require nothing of Him except the means so to be” : such was the motive force behind the life of Father Michael Browne. Despite his efforts to escape notice he could not conceal his austerities. Hair shirts, chains and disciplines were part of his everyday life. His only rest during many years was a few hours on a plank bed. When Father Browne was a priest at Clongowes there was a tradition among the boys that their spiritual father slept on “boards and pebbles”, and the schoolboy phrase was not far removed from the truth. Indeed, Superiors, knowing that he worked very hard, had to be constantly vigilant to see that he took enough food. During Retreats, when urging his hearers to practise what they preached, he frequently mentioned the phrase said to have been used by a member of his congregation to a preacher who had taught stern self-denial : “When I heard you in the pulpit I despaired of salvation, but when I saw you at your meals I took courage again”. When one saw him take his food, the courage was all on Father Browne's side, for dry bread was the chief item of his unchanging menu, While this was his daily routine he astonished all by his capability for constant and trying work. He was known to have given as many as seven Retreats on end. More than once, when others engaged in the same work fell ill, he conducted two Retreats simultaneously.

Yet though he taught self-denial, he would not allow others to do anything rash in this respect : “Take your food”, he would say, “we must keep the engine going, if it is to do its work”. His war on self was relentless. It extended to everything in his life. Passing through Switzerland on his way to Italy, it was known that he did not raise his eyes to look upon the beautiful scenery, upon which he did not expect to have the opportunity of gazing again. It was not, indeed, that he did not like pleasing sights, for while at Mungret as a young priest he used to go to the upper storey of the College to admire the charming sunsets, and then would kneel down and recite the Te Deum. When at Lourdes he prayed that he might not witness a miracle, for he did not want to lessen the full merit of his faith. .

But this war on self was only one means which Father Browne employed to bring him nearer to God. In his eyes, prayer was much more important than exterior mortification. His constant union with God was remarkable. He spent a large portion of the day and many hours of the night in formal prayer. To the ordinary spiritual duties of a Jesuit he added many more to which he was ever faithful. He passed hours each day before the Blessed Sacrament, There, in meditation, he prepared the subject matter of his sermons and Retreat lectures, It was in the Chapel he recited the Divine Office, where in a quiet corner he usually knelt without resting on any support. He had a strong and tender devotion to our Blessed Lady, and from his early years he said the full fifteen decades of her Rosary daily. He once told a friend that the biggest thing in his early life had been his being made a Child of Mary. How really he took this was shown by his unbroken habit of reciting the short act of consecration used in the reception into the Sodality before every spiritual address which he gave. Never was anything allowed to interfere with his spirit of prayer and of recollection. Rarely, if ever, did he read newspapers or novels, unless when such reading was part of his work. This practice he recommended to others. To their questioning, about reading a book or a novel, nearly always came the same disconcertingly logical answer, by way of another question: “Does it help you to say your prayers?” Devotion to the Sacred Heart and to the Passion he held very dear. Among the saints he seemed to be especially devoted to St Teresa and St Francis de Sales, to St Aloysius and St John Berchmans. This last saint had a big place in his life. “What would St. John Berchmans do?” was a frequent question to guide those under his direction.

It was as a Spiritual Director that Father Michael Browne was chiefly known. For those who met him for the first time, and who had never come to him with a serious trouble, there was much in the strict custody of his eyes and a certain aloofness in his manner, which made them think that Father Browne was too cold and too much removed from them to be really helpful. Yet it certainly was not so. When he came in contact with a weak or troubled soul, Father Browne was kindness itself. He was fond of repeating the saying of St Francis de Sales : “You will catch more flies with a spoonful of honey than with a barrel of vinegar”. And again he would say: “I have not found any instance in the New Testament where Our Lord dealt harshly with the penitent sinner”. He dealt with those in trouble as did the Master. The poor around Gardiner Street knew that he was not cold, and felt that “Saint Browne”, as they used to call him among themselves, was their friend.

He would encourage those who had to struggle against temptation by telling them that he had a lifelong fight against a violent temper, and then he would urge the recital of Blessed Claude de la Colombière's Act of Confidence in God. Some of his sayings already mentioned show how Father Browne constantly employed the best method of the Spiritual Director, which consists in making the soul help itself. For him, Spiritual Exercises were always to be under stood in the Ignatian and literal meaning, a real striving after higher things. During Retreats and at other times, he expected a strong effort in response to his advice, yet he was ready to pardon failure which comes from weakness and not from lack of good will.

His marvellous memory held a seemingly inexhaustible store of anecdotes from history and biography, sacred and profane, of which he was a deep student. He was Victorian in his reading and conversation, and most of his stories were of people and of events of the last century. Archbishop Healy and Bishop O'Dwyer of Limerick, whose cousin he was, were the subjects of many a reminiscence. He had a great fund of anecdotes about Limerick, which ever had a warm place in his heart. His sense of humour, another help to holiness, often so overcame him when telling a story that the end was lost in the loud and hearty laugh so characteristic of him, while tears of mirth rolled down his cheeks. His wide reading served him well when preaching and giving Retreats. He prepared his matter most diligently, wrote out his sermons carefully, in which one saw the influence of Newman, with whose writings he was very familiar, but he never used a note nor a book in the pulpit or when giving a Retreat lecture. Yet he would recite a dozen verses of the Scriptures, or a large part of a chapter of the Imitation of Christ, or the full text of one of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius with faithful accuracy.

Father Michael Browne is dead. But he has left behind him among his fellow-Jesuits a lasting memory of great kindness, of severe asceticism, of very hard work, of a prayerful life and of remarkable holiness. To have known him is regarded as a privilege by those who were brought into familiar contact with him during life. To have been asked to pen these lines by the Editor of “The Clongownian” has been looked upon as a very great privilege by the present writer, who gladly pays this tribute to his old Master of Novices and to a loved and revered friend through many years.

May God give His richest rewards to Father Michael Browne who spent his life so generously in working for Him.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1934

Obituary

Father Michael Browne SJ

It is our sad duty to have to record the 1 death of one, whose connection with Mungret goes back to the nineties of last century - Father Michael Browne. But, though it is many years since he was working amongst us, still the memory of him and of his saintliness has remained ever fresh and lasting among those who had the good fortune to live with him.

Father Michael was a Limerick man, born in that city in 1853, the son of the late County Court Judge, Daniel Browne. His early years were spent at the Crescent, Limerick, and then at Clongowes Wood College. On leaving the latter college, he applied to be admitted into the Society of Jesus, but, to his great disappointment, was rejected on the score of ill-health. Being determined to be a priest, he entered Carlow College. Here his vocation for the Society persisted. In response to its dictates, he applied again to be admitted into the Society, and, to his great joy, was accepted. He always attributed the success of this second application to the intercession of the Virgin Mother, and here we have the first evidence of that sweet devotion which was the predominating and all-pervading one of his life.

In 1877 he entered the Jesuit noviceship at Milltown Park. His ideals, like those of all novices, were very high, St Stanislaus was to be outdone, but, there was this difference with Father Michael, as his brethren can attest - he arrived where they. aspired and his striving after sublime perfection never lost the fervour of the noviceship days.

His noviceship finished, Father Browne continued on at Milltown Park, studying Philosophy for three years, and then departed for St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, at that time one of the leading lay colleges in the country. Here he acted as Prefect of Studies in 1883. In the year of “the amalgamation with Clongowes”, 1886, he proceeded there, to act as Assistant Prefect of Studies. Theology absorbed his energies for the next four years, partly at Louvain, partly at Milltown Park, culminating in the long-awaited glory of the priesthood in 1891.

Mungret claimed him for the next three to four years, as Prefect of Studies. During these years, he had charge of the Sodality of Our Lady, an office that was especially dear to him on account of his tender devotion to the Virgin Mother. The following extract from the history of the Sodality is not without interest :

“Father D Gallery (the first Director) was succeeded by Father M Browne. By him the Sodality was directed for four years, and it owes to his assiduous care, the deep root it has taken in the College”. -(”Mungret Annual”, 1897).

From Mungret, he next set off for Chieri, Turin, there to go through his tertianship, the final moulding process of the Jesuit. He returned from Chieri to take up the Office of Spiritual Father to the boys and of Assistant in the People's Church. The kindness and saintliness displayed by him in these functions, won for him the “one post of distinction in the Society-Master of Novices”. This he held for ten years, at different intervals.

For three years he acted as Rector of the Crescent, Limerick, then was Novice-Master again, then Assistant to the Provincial. After eleven years in these duties, for the latter few of which he also exercised the ministry at Gardiner Street with great fruit and renown, he set out for Tullabeg once more, to fill the office of Novice-Master. After two years interval, he became Spiritual Father to the Scholastics in Rathfarnham Castle, which post he filled till his death. Though he had never been a man of robust health, owing to his natural delicacy and to his austerities, nevertheless he had successfully come through many a severe bout of sickness and had often been anointed. So his last illness was not looked upon with any great alarm at the beginning. But after a few days' illness, very little hope of his recovery was entertained, and he passed away, after a comparatively short illness, in his 81st year, on November 20th, 1933.

It would be an impertinence on our part to attempt to give an adequate estimation of Father Browne's lofty character within the narrow limits at our disposal. Suffice it to say, that, within the Order, he was held to be a man of great sanctity and of model observance, without, he was eagerly sought after, as a spiritual guide and Retreat giver by religious and clergy, and as a father confessor by the laity. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Michael Browne (1853-1933)

A native of Limerick city and a pupil of this college, entered the Society in 1877. Until the close of the last century, he was master, or prefect of studies or spiritual father to the boys in Tullabeg, Clongowes and Mungret. From 1900 onwards he was given one post of responsibility after another and gave distinguished service to the Society: Rector and Master of Novices at Tullabeg (1900-1905); Rector of Sacred Heart College, Limerick (1905-1908); Rector again at Tullabeg (1908-1911); secretary to the Provincial (1911-1922); Master of Novices (1922-1924). The remaining ten years of his life were spent as spiritual father to the community at Rathfarnham Castle.

For many years, Father Browne's duties brought him into little contact with the outside world. Apart from his rectorship at the Crescent, his work was within the Society. Yet, without realising it, Father Browne, in his lifetime, was known to many outside the Society as a man of singular holiness. It was he who formed the servant of God, Father John Sullivan in his noviceship days. Until death called both these priests away in the same year, 1933, the former novice-master and the former novice regarded one another with humble veneration. A biography of Father Michael Browne from the able pen of Father Thomas Hurley (master at the Crescent (1928-33 and 1940-52]) was published in 1949.

Browne, Richard, d 1672, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/962
  • Person
  • d 10 March 1672

Entered Aquitaniae Province and died 10 March 1672, at the Irish College, Poitiers, France.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BROWN, RICHARD. In a letter of F. James Mambrecht, (Superior of his brethren in Scotland) to the General Vincent Caraffa, and dated 29th October, 1646, Father Brown is recommended as a fit successor in the place recently occupied by F. Robert Gall, who had been transferred from the mission to Douay. He says that he would be a most useful work man in those difficult times; that he was well known to many in Scotland, and that he would be well received by them. Fr. Brown remained in Scotland for some years; but about the year 1663 he was obliged by the violence of the persecution raging there, to quit it. The time and place of his death are not known. He had a talent for preaching, and before he went to Scotland, had taught philosophy in the French provinces

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