Dangos 4553 canlyniad

Cofnod awdurdod

Sheil, Leonard, 1897-1968, Jesuit priest and missionary

  • IE IJA J/16
  • Person
  • 21 November 1897-09 February 1968

Born: 21 November 1897, Clonsilla, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1920, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1931, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1938, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Died: 09 February 1968, College of Industrial Relations, Ranelagh, Dublin

by 1927 in Australia - Regency at Xavier College, Kew
by 1933 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1967 at Mount Street London (ANG) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Leonard Sheil was educated a Beaumont, UK, but joined the Society in Ireland at the age of 23. Following novitiate and philosophy, he left for Australia in 1925, and worked at Burke Hall until 1928. Shell spent most of his life as a missioner in rural parishes in Ireland, and was for a time in charge of a mission team in England. Later he was loaned to Farm Street where he worked amongst the domestic staff of the big hotels, and his knowledge of foreign languages was invaluable.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Leonard Sheil is working near Doncaster for the spiritual needs of workers in the mines, chiefly Irish immigrants. He reached Askern on 14th August and is residing with a Catholic doctor at Station Road near the miners Camp. “We are installing the Blessed Sacrament on 17th August in the little church”, he writes, “The Camp is not a simple proposition. I'm told there are 700 men, and the great majority seem to be Catholics but most of them know very little of any language but Slav. The Irishmen seem very decent fellows, but I just missed a big batch who left the day I arrived”.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949


Fr. Sheil, who is working for the miners near Doncaster, Yorks, writes on 10th October :
“I am still too much up to my neck in miners to be able to give a report of work here. Yesterday a huge Hungarian introduced himself to me during a miners' dance. Said he, ‘my ancestor was Irish. In the 14th century be went to Jerusalem on a Crusade, and returning by Hungary stayed there. My name is Patrick Thomas O'Swath’. He spoke in German, the international language here. The Irish are passing through Askern at present at an average of about 15 per week. They stay for three weeks, and each week brings two or three fine fellows. They are mostly very good compared to the average miners. We have English, Poles, Croats, Slovenes, Hungarians, Lithuanians, innumerable Ukrainians, half Catholic, half Orthodox, but all Greek rite. The P.P, lent me his motor-bike, so I go to the miners hostels around, and in bad German get them out of bed for Mass, eat at their tables, tackle them singly and in groups... At Askern the Irish have done some good work, up on the Church roof, cleaning gutters (me with them !) and with pick and shovel getting Church grounds in order. My chief need at present is a musical instrument, say a concertina. Several men can play but we have no instrument. I wish some of your good sodalists would send us one or the price of one”.

And on the 24th November :
I am in the Yorkshire coalfields now three months. The first month I spent making contacts, the second in regular daily visitation of twelve mining camps within a twenty mile radius of Askern. Now I am beginning a series of one-week missions in the camps, followed by the formation in them of the B.V.M. Sodality. I am in touch with about 4,000 men or more - three quarters at least of them are Catholics. They come from every nation in Europe, and German is the international language, though, as time goes on, English tends to replace it. Of the Catholics I should say that more than three-quarters have not been to the Sacraments for many years.
The English management of the camps does everything possible to help. But the men are in the main tough lads. As a Yorkshire priest said to me, if they weren't tough they'd be dead. The hostels in which they live seem to me almost perfect, and far better than one could expect; but the work is underground, and in heavy air accidents are continual. Lack of home life and glum future prospects make the men downhearted and reckless. I beg prayers of everyone. You would pity these continentals, most of whom were torn from their homes by German or Russian at the age of twelve or fourteen, and have wandered the world since”.

Irish Province News 43rd Year No 2 1968

Obituary :

Fr Leonard Shiel SJ (1897-1968)

An appreciation by Very Reverend Joseph Flynn, M.S.S., Superior, Enniscorthy House of Missions and Chairman of the Committee for Missions to Emigrants in Britain.

So Fr. Leonard Sheil has passed to his eternal reward. Even now I hesitate to use the expression eternal “rest” as that very word would seem incongruous were it applied to the Fr. Leonard that I knew. I knew him only in one sphere of his activities and then only for the last sixteen or seventeen years of his life. Perhaps it was his most notable activity and perhaps they were his greatest years - the years spent working for our fellow countrymen in England. Leonard Sheil was - and is a name to “conjure with” - I personally have no doubt that he was the original pioneer, the real founder of this work; and I would say that it was his extremely personal and delightfully unorthodox approach to this critical spiritual problem that laid the foundation of the whole complex of missions, chaplaincies, social services that blossom so vigorously to-day: they were first rooted in the stubborn soil originally worked by Fr. Leonard.
He drew a few of us, his confreres and others, into the work with him. We had been doing the best we could in the conventional types of mission from the last years of the war; we had seen the problem of enormous numbers of parochially unattached Irish; we hoped they would come to us in the few churches where we were preaching by invitation. It took Fr. Leonard to tell us, with conviction - and abruptness - to go in without invitation and demand an invitation, to go after the Irish instead of waiting for them to come to us, to give them an informal mission wherever we could find them : it was all very much fire first and ask questions after.
It did seem absurd and risky at first, but the point was it worked. So, as he led, we followed into industrial sheds, Nissen huts, Canadian Terrapins, public bars, dining halls, dart clubs, and, at least once to my knowledge, into a disused poultry-house. Perhaps he cast the first stone at the orthodox, conventional mission, but if he did he led the assault. Yes, he led and we followed but few were capable of keeping pace with him. Even physically it was difficult as he whisked about on his motorbike, a debonair, piratical, almost Elizabethan figure. But psychologically his enthusiasm, energy and rare determination gave him a head start over his more leisurely disciples.
I never really understood Leonard Sheil. His background, Mount St. Benedict's and Beaumont, and a few years as a teacher, hardly disposed him, one would think, to attract the “boys” - as he always referred to the Irishmen. Yet somehow he did and did it more successfully than some of us, who, apart from a few years in local colleges, had an identical background with the “boys”. But then Leonard Sheil had something else. When one exhausts all the other possibilities one is left with the conviction that it only could have been a seething zeal to get every soul for God that one man could get in one lifetime. Apparently he never questioned his convictions, he never had any fears about whether he would be well received or not, possibly he never wondered whether the thing was possible or not; he just saw work to be done for God and charged straight ahead to get it done - in top gear and at full throttle. That was Leonard, he swooped on the “lapsed” like a bird of prey.
Year after year at our annual meetings to consider what, if any, progress had been made, he was the life and soul of the party; with his frequent sallies and droll reminiscences he was the real catalyst in establishing dialogue between the many Orders and Congregations who participated. His mind was fertile and inven tive; only a few months before his death, in answer to a request, he sent me from his sick bed a plan for a modernised mission that would bear comparison with that elaborated at a seminar of many experts over a period of several days. And he sent it by return of post. By contrast, he could take up the unusual, the odd; the un orthodox and make it serve his purpose with effortless ease. Those who heard him address the Easter Congress, so frequently and so informally, on every aspect of missions, and generally to bring us back from the realm of fancy to the realm of fact, must have seen that he had enormous intellectual resources so long as the subject was one in which he was really interested - getting the “boys” reconciled with God. Those who saw some of his “Recollection” pieces on television must have noticed how he always got home the missioner's point - conversion to God. His talk on the Bible and particularly his talk on the man in orbit, then very topical, accomplished the same thing by very different means; he made his point like a man wielding a very long, very thin, very sharp dagger, he always penetrated to the inner heart of the matter.
It would seem that he excelled in the use of novelties : the two pulpit sermon, the house-Mass mission, the straight-from-the shoulder talk to the “boys” on a scaffolding five hundred feet above the ground. (I once thought I detected an envious look as I told him of hearing a confession two thousand two hundred feet beneath the surface of Staffordshire, in a coalmine, of course). Yet I am convinced that he was not interested in novelties per se. If any novelty or stunt suited his purpose he was brave enough to use it and had the savoir faire to bring it off with conviction. But all the time the man I knew had only one purpose, to get his “boys” back to God; anything and everything that suited that purpose was grist to his mill. He just wanted souls for God, it was as simple as that.
To those who knew Leonard Sheil well, it is quite useless to speculate about what made him “tick over”; for to them he was simply Leonard Sheil : he was such a character that his name was synonymous with his personality. As I have said, I did not know him well, I only knew one facet of a many-sided personality; but this I do know, where God's work was concerned he was quite without human respect, he was completely fearless, he was utterly brave. In this respect I think he was the bravest man I ever knew.

St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin, 1832-

  • Corff corfforaethol
  • 1832-

The Church of St Francis Xavier in Upper Gardiner Street was one of the first churches to be built in Dublin after Catholic Emancipation (Catholic Relief Act) in 1829. The Jesuits had a small church in Hardwicke St (1816), and with the building of the St Francis Xavier's, turned the Hardwicke St property into a school, later to be named Belvedere College SJ.

In 1 July 1829, the first stone was laid at Upper Gardiner Street by Fr Charles Aylmer SJ (1786-1847), and the first Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Murray on 2 May 1832. The church cost £18,000 to build and was designed by Fr Bartholomew Esmonde SJ (1789-1862) and John B Keane (died 1859).

Those associated with the church include Matt Talbot and John Henry Cardinal Newman. Gardiner Street Church is also the resting place of Blessed John Sullivan SJ.

In 1974, Gardiner Street Parish was established by Archbishop Dermot Ryan.

Other Jesuit associations in the parish include: Belvedere College SJ, Young Adult Ministry, Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, The Peter McVerry Trust, St Joseph's Penny Dinners, Polish Ministry, Jesuit Refugee Service, and the Irish Jesuit Mission Office.

Edward Kelly
William Ronan
John Conmee, Vice-Superior
John Conmee, Superior
James Fottrell
Michael Weafer
Andrew Macardle
Francis M Browne
Fergal McGrath
Robert J Tyndall
Timothy Mulcahy
Matthew Meade
John McCarron
John Murphy

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

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

Born: 23 December 1896, Sallins, County Kildare
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 August 1929, Valkenburg, Netherlands
Final vows: 15 August 1933
Died: 27 August 1965, Lusaka, Zambia

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

1942-1946 Military Chaplain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941
General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorks that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

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

Irish Province News 18th Year No 1 1943

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

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

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

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

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

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949


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

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

Irish Province News 41st Year No 1 1966

Obituary :

Fr Maurice Dowling SJ (1896-1965)

Fr. Dowling's death was a great shock even for us on the mission. His operation had been successful, he was making a good recovery, and then the end came suddenly and unexpectedly in a heart attack. Rev. Fr. Superior, who was in Lusaka at the time, was called by telephone and was able to give him Extreme Unction and recite the prayers for the dying. He died during the prayers without regaining consciousness.
The funeral, preceded by Requiem Mass, took place on Sunday afternoon. He was buried in Chikuni, as he certainly would have wished, beside Fr. A. Cox and Fr. D. Byrne, and close to the founders of the mission - Frs. Moreau and Torrend. Fr. Dowling had known Fr. Moreau, he had been with him for a few months before his death in January 1949, and had anointed him before he died.
There was a very big attendance at the Mass and funeral, for he had made many friends during his seventeen years in the country. They came not only from the neighbourhood but even from Livingstone, Lusaka and Brokenhill. They included boys whom he had taught many years ago and who were now young men of importance in Government positions, Sisters and Brothers of several congregations to whom he had given retreats, and many priests both African and European. His Grace the Archbishop of Lusaka and His Lordship Bishop Corboy were also able to be present as they had not yet left for Rome.
In his panegyric during the Mass, Rev. Fr. Superior paid tribute to Fr. Dowling's great qualities, his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army and in the mission, and his reward must therefore be very great.
When Fr. Dowling came to Chikuni in 1948, there was only one secondary school for Africans in Northern Rhodesia, a Government school at Munali which had been founded ten years before. He played a big part in founding the second school, Canisius College. Speaking of his work in the college during the first few years, Fr. Prokoph, who had been instrumental in getting Fr. Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him: “I have never met a more loyal man”. He described how in the initial difficult days Fr. Dowling had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal. Loyalty then would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater and to his many friends as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. He was a man of whom it can be truly said that it was a privilege to have known him and to have lived with him.

Death of a Jesuit Friend
The first intimation our family received on Easter Monday, 1916, that the Volunteers had risen, taken over the General Post Office and other key buildings, was when a neighbour, Mr. P. A. Dowling, Registrar of the College of Science, knocked at the door and excitedly told us the news.
This morning (2nd September 1965) I attended a Requiem Mass in the Jesuit Church, Gardiner Street, offered for the soul of Fr. Maurice Dowling, S.J, second son of the neighbour who rushed to us with the news of the Rising. Fr. Maurice, though he had undergone a serious operation some time ago, had, I under stood, made a good recovery and it came as a great shock to his relatives and friends at home to hear that he died suddenly last month in Zambia, on Friday, 27th August, and was buried the following Sunday.
As I take a look at the ordination card, printed in Irish, he sent me from Germany in 1929, I notice he died - 36 years later on the anniversary of his ordination.
Maurice and his brother Desmond (his senior by a year or so) were educated at Clongowes. After the death of their mother early in her married life, Mr. Dowling eventually married again and it was when he and his second wife came to live on Anglesea Road, a few doors from where we then lived, that the two families became friends. We, as children, came to know the second family very well, only meeting Desmond and Maurice at holiday time and, in any case, they were older than I was by six or seven years. That age gap makes a great difference in early youth, later on it does not.
I recall one incident in the boyhood of the future Jesuit perhaps never known to his step-brothers and step-sisters - to whom he was always devoted as they were young children at the time. I myself was about 10 or 11 years of age, I suppose, and it was Mrs. Dowling who related the incident to me :
Both families used to spend a month or two in Skerries in the summer. Maurice Dowling was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning he saved the life of a girl from drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr. Dowling was enjoying a read of the evening paper that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled “Bravo!” about the paragraph and silently handed the paper across to his son.
But the future Jesuit, teacher, Army chaplain, African missioner, was no quiet, retiring youth in other respects. Of a natural bright, cheerful, optimistic disposition, he was immensely popular with both girls and boys of his own age.
As a young Jesuit he learned to speak Irish fluently, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht. But most important of all, he genuinely loved the language and when home on what was to be his last “leave” he was delighted to hear from me that there were in existence Irish-speaking praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn who had died working for the Legion in Africa and, if I recollect rightly, I gave him a copy of the prayer for her canonisation printed in Irish.
We only met him for a few hours on the rare occasions he came on holidays from Rhodesia. He was always very attached to his family, relations and friends. I could never keep track of all his cousins and friends he mentioned in conversation but I do remember the names of two friends, perhaps because I know both by sight, Fr. Leonard Shiel, S.J, and Very Rev. Fr. Crean, now P.P. of Donnybrook, but Head Chaplain in the last war in which Fr. Maurice also served as chaplain.
He loved to visit the home near Naas of his step-sister, Shiela and her husband, Paddy Malone, taking a great interest in their son and three daughters. The young man is now helping to manage the farm; one of the girls is in the Ulster Bank in Baggot Street, another is training as a nurse in St. Vincent's Hospital and the third is still at school.
Thus, another Irish priest dies in voluntary exile for love of the African people. Go ndeinidh Dia trocaire ar a anam.
Nuala Ní Mhóráin
From the Leader Magazine

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 126 : Christmas 2005


Taken from some 50 “portraits” submitted by Tom McGivern, who works in the Archives of the Province of Zambia Malawi.

The family of Fr. Maurice used to spend a month or two of the summer in Skerries, a seaside resort in Co. Dublin. He was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning, as a teenager, he saved the life of a girl from drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr. Dowling was reading the evening paper that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled “Bravo!” beside the passage and silently handed the paper to his son. This incident in some way sums up a characteristic of Maurice which developed at that age - modest in his achievements and helpful to others.

He was born in 1896. His father was the Registrar of the College of Science in Dublin. His mother died early in her married life leaving Maurice and his brother, Desmond, behind. Both boys went to Clongowes for their secondary education. At the age of 18, on August 18th 1914, Maurice entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg, and followed the normal course of studies followed by Irish Jesuits of the time. He was ordained on August 27th 1929. In the thirties, he spent some time in the colleges (e.g. the Crescent, Limerick) as teacher and prefect. As a young Jesuit, he learned to speak Irish, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht. He genuinely loved the language, and, when home on what was to be his last leave, he was delighted to hear that there were in existence Irish-speaking
praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn, who died working for the Legion in Africa.

Come the Second World War, Maurice volunteered as a chaplain. Just before departing, he was involved in an accident where he was thrown through the window of the bus in which he was travelling. As he lay on the ground in his own blood, he heard one of the rescuers say to another, as he nodded towards Maurice: “He's had it!” (but in much more colourful language). After the war, when the Jesuits in Northern Rhodesia were looking for men, two volunteered in 1946, to be followed by two more in 1947 - Maurice and Joe Gill. They came to Chikuni.

The Bishops had been endeavouring then to set up a Catholic Secondary school for Africans. There was only one secondary school for Africans in the whole country, a government school at Munali, which had been founded a few years before. In 1949 Canisius Secondary School opened its gates to the first class. Speaking of Maurice's work in the college during the first few years, Fr M Prokoph, who had been instrumental in getting Fr. Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him, “I have never met a more loyal man”. Fr. Prokoph described how in the initial difficult days, Maurice had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal.

While at Chikuni he would travel south to Choma at the weekend to say Mass, long before the station was opened there in 1957; also to Kalomo still further south. Then back to the school for another week of teaching. In 1962 he went to the newly built mission in Namwala as the first resident priest, bringing with him some Sisters of Charity. Later, in 1964, he moved to Civuna.

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

Murphy, James, 1839-1869, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/47
  • Person
  • 10 April 1839-26 August 1869

Born: 10 April 1839, Cashel, Co Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1859, Beaumont, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Died: 26 August 1869, Poulaphouca, Co Wicklow

Part of Clongowes Wood College SJ community at time of his death.

2nd year Novitiate at Tullabeg ;
by 1868 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) Studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After First Vows he was sent immdeiately as Prefect to Tullabeg.
1868-9 Sent to Louvain for Philosophy
1869 There was some difficulty in Prefecting at Clongowes, so he was sent there to help. During the summer holidays, Nicholas Walsh organised a trip to Wicklow. Whilst crossing a river, James fell in and was drowned 26 August 1869.
His death was met with universal regret on all sides for this splendid Jesuit.

Chikuni Mission

  • Corff corfforaethol
  • 1905

Founded by a French Jesuit, Joseph Moreau, in 1905. From its beginning, it has a some form of school at its core.

See: Carmody, Brendan. "Secular and Sacred at Chikuni: 1905-1940." Journal of Religion in Africa 21, no. 2 (1991): 130-48.

Byrne, Daniel, 1920-1964, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/731
  • Person
  • 20 June 1920-05 May 1964

Born: 20 June 1920, Knockaney, Hospital, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambua
Died: 05 May 1964, St Mary’s Hospital, Choma, Zambia

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

by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
It was about 11.30 that morning of 5 May 1964 that the hospital in Choma was asked by the police to send an ambulance immediately to a spot about 15 miles out on the Livingstone road where an accident had occurred. When the ambulance arrived back at the hospital bearing the two survivors who had been found still breathing, the Sister of Charity who met it realized that one of them was wearing a roman collar. On looking closer, she recognised Fr. Dan (who had a sister in Ireland who was a Sister of Charity). In spite of the terrible shock, she immediately phoned the church and Fr Luke Mwanza was on the scene within minutes and gave him Extreme Unction. The bishop had just arrived back in Monze from Chikuni when the news reached him.

No one knows exactly how the accident occurred. Between Livingstone and Choma it is mostly tarred road but at that time there was a stretch of about 25 miles remaining untarred. It was on this "dirt" road that Dan was in head-on collision with another car coming from Livingstone. The coroner at the inquest remarked on the deplorable condition of the road at the part where the collision took place. In the car with Fr Dan were Mr Mungala, his manager of schools, a loyal and devoted supporter of Ours, as well as the manager's nephew. In the other car were Mr Nash, a teacher, and his wife, their two year old daughter and a Mr Hassan. The only survivor of the accident was the child who escaped with relatively light injuries. No witness has been found although the man who first found the crashed cars said at the inquest that, when he returned with the police, the bodies in the Nash's car had been removed from the car to the side of the road.

The burial of the three who died took place at Chikuni on Tuesday 6th May. At the end of the Mass, the Bishop spoke of the universal anguish at the great loss sustained by the Church and the teaching profession.

Fr Dan, who was 44, was born at Knockaney, near Hospital, Co. Limerick. He completed his secondary school at Mount Melleray (Cistercians). He admitted later in life that it was a retreat given at Mount Melleray by a Jesuit that set him on his way to Emo which he entered in 1938. During his formation years, his gifts were more practical than speculative: he liked working with wood and there is hardly a house in the Irish Province which has not got some evidence of his handiwork. He noticed things that needed to be done. There was a quality and finish about everything he set his hands to; he did indeed 'do all things well'.

It was inevitable that Dan's practical abilities should have been recognised and used on the missions. He had not been many months in Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) when he was hard at it, building schools and teachers' houses. From then until his death it is true to say that he had more than a 'finger' in all the major (and minor) building activities of the Mission. Some of the churches he designed and built, for example Fumbo and Kasiya. Later, as education secretary, he really found himself and had much more scope for his talents. His mind was very orderly and he never allowed himself to be snowed under by the mass of architects’ drawings, bills and letters that streamed into his office. When death removed him so tragically from the scene, he had left everything as if he were about to hand over to his successor.

Dan remained always a shy man although he concealed it with a brusqueness that became more pronounced as he got older. This disconcerted people who did not know him; at times they thought him off-hand, casual and blasé. He had little time for non- essentials, came to the point quickly and liked others to do the same. He was completely detached from personal comfort and convenience; at times he expected the same detachment and integrity from others, not doubting that others were as self-sacrificing as himself.

The same attention to essentials was apparent in his spiritual life. There were no 'spiritual frills' in Dan's life. Even in the novitiate there was a quality of robustness about his spirituality. That his devotion went deep is evident by the life he led. He was very much a "faithful and prudent servant" intent on service, indifferent to what people thought of him. He conquered all human respect early in life. One who lived with him in Monze for several years said that he never knew him to miss a spiritual duty, a remarkable thing in a man so busy.

Bishop Corboy said of him: "He was a truly saintly man – in the chapel every morning at five o’clock with his Mass at six. He was unassuming and never displayed his holiness and the love of God that inspired his whole life. Back in the office at 7.30 a.m. a day began that could have fully occupied two men, and that was true of six days in the week. On Sunday he regularly said two Masses at out-stations, and returned here to Monze for lunch. On Sunday afternoon when he was free, he would visit some schools to inspect a building he was erecting. He never took a day off and never had a holiday. He is a great loss, but may God's will be done’.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 39th Year No 3 1964

Obituary :

Fr Daniel Byrne SJ (1920-1964)

The Rhodesian Mission has had its calamities over the years but none as sudden and unexpected as the tragic death of Fr. Dan Byrne on May 5th last. Little did His Lordship Bishop Corboy think, as he bade farewell to Father Dan that very morning at Chikuni, that on the following day he would be officiating at Fr. Dan's burial in the cemetery at Chikuni.
A week before the accident Fr. Byrne had been in hospital at Mazabuka. He was treated for malaria and after a few days rest was back at work. On Saturday, May 2nd he attended a Conference on educational matters. The Monday following he took part in a meeting between a Delegation of Teachers and the Bishop, together with a group of the priests. This meeting, for which he had done a good deal of the preparatory work, lasted until afternoon. He was due in Livingstone on the Wednesday for yet another educational meeting. As his own car was in Monze garage for repairs, the Bishop offered him the use of his. On Tuesday 5th there was to be a Priests' Meeting at Chikuni, called by the Bishop; but Dan had been exempted from attending this. However, he did take His Lordship to Chikuni. On arriving at Chikuni, Dan said to the Bishop “Are you sure you wouldn't like me to stay for this meeting?” The Bishop assured him that it wasn't necessary and Dan left with his African passengers for Livingstone (180 miles).
It was at about 11.30 that morning that the Hospital in Choma was asked by the Police to send an ambulance immediately to a spot about 15 miles out on the Livingstone road where an accident had occurred. When the ambulance arrived back at the hospital bearing the two survivors who had been found still breathing, the Sister of Charity who met it realised that one of them was wearing a Roman collar. On looking closer she recognised Fr. Dan. In spite of the terrible shock, she immediately phoned the Church, and Fr. Luke Mwansa was on the scene within minutes and gave Extreme Unction. The Bishop had just arrived back at Monze from Chikuni when the news reached him.
No one knows exactly how the accident occurred. Between Livingstone there is mostly tarred road, but one untarred stretch of about 25 miles remains. It was on this dirt road that Dan was in head-on collision with another car coming from Livingstone. The Coroner at the Inquest, remarked on the deplorable condition of the road at the part where the collision took place. In the car with Fr. Dan were Mr. Mungala, his Manager of Schools, a loyal and devoted supporter of ours, also the Manager's nephew. In the other car were Mr. Nash, a teacher, and his wife, their two year old daughter and a Mr. Hassan. The only survivor of the accident was the child who escaped with relatively light injuries. No witness has been found although the man who first found the crashed cars said at the Inquest that when he returned to the scene with the police, the bodies in the Nash's car had been removed from the car to the side of the road.
The burial of the three who died in the Bishop's car took place at Chikuni on Tuesday, 6th May. The Requiem was sung by Very Rev. Fr. O'Loghlen. Crowds came for the Mass; there were as many outside the Church as inside and for them Fr. Conway conducted a separate service. Many cars came from as far as Broken Hill and Livingstone, bringing representatives of Government and Education bodies. The Churches were also represented -even to Dan's opposite number in the Salvation Army! At the end of Mass the Bishop spoke of the universal anguish at the great loss sustained by the Church and the teaching profession.
Dan, who was 44, was born at Knockaney, near Hospital, Co. Limerick. He was at school with the de la Salle Brothers at first; then he went to Mount Melleray, where he completed his Secondary schooling. He admitted later in life that it was a Retreat given at Mount Melleray by one of Ours that set him on his way to Emo, which he entered in 1938. In the noviceship he was reserved, and shy. In Rathfarnham he had a broken head for some time, which perhaps forced him to turn his attention to mundane and practical things in the house and grounds. His gifts were more practical than speculative; he liked working with wood and there is hardly a House in the Province which hasn't got some evidence of his handiwork. Even when Dan was on a rest, it was more than likely that he would notice something that needed repairing. He noticed things that needed to be done. one remembers him looking in a calculating way one day at the old pavilion of the tennis courts at Milltown Park. Within a few days thie pavilion had been 'stripped down and in a matter of weeks it had been replaced by a bigger and (of course) better structure. There was a quality and a finish about everything he set his hands to; “he did, indeed, do all things well”. He was the perfect Sub-beadle, an office which he was burdened with from noviceship to tertianship. When Dan took office, there was a big reorganisation, unwonted order was introduced, everything was given its place and it was a delight to use the Sub-beadle's Press.
Dan taught at the Crescent and Belvedere. He was a good teacher, exacting, who was respected by his pupils. It was always hard to know what he thought about things; but one who knew him and worked with him said that he couldn't imagine Dan volunteering to teach for the rest of his life. In Theology, he was always abreast of the work and was better than average at Moral. He had begun in Milltown, to suffer from the anaemia which dogged his days to the end but of which he spoke little.
It was inevitable that Dan's practical abilities should have been recognised and used on the Mission. He hadn't been many months in Rhodesia when he was hard at it building schools and teachers' houses. From then till his death it is true to say that he had more than a “finger” in all the major (and minor) building activities of the Mission. Some of the Churches he designed and built for example those at Fumbo and Kasiya. Later as Education Secretary he really “found” himself and had much scope for his talents. His mind was a very orderly one and he never allowed himself to be snowed under by the mass of architects drawings, bills and letters that streamed into his office. It was the Bishop who said of him that he never knew a man who kept better files, for he could find any document in a matter of seconds. When death removed him so tragically from the scene, he had left every thing as if he were about to hand-over to his successor.
Dan remained always a shy man although he concealed it with a brusqueness that became more pronounced as he got older. This disconcerted people who did not know him : at times they thought him off-hand, casual, blasé. He had little time for unessentials; came to the point quickly and liked others to do the same. Often he had little small talk and could be preoccupied by his work. He was completely detached from personal comfort and convenience; at times he expected the same detachment and integrity from others, not doubting that others were as self-sacrificing as himself.
The same attention to essentials was apparent in his spiritual life. There were no “spiritual frills” in Dan's life; even in the noviceship there was a quality of robustness about his spirituality. That his devotion went deep is evident by the life he led. He was very much “servus prudens ac fidelis”, intent on service, in different to what men thought of him. He conquered all human respect early in life. One who lived for several years with him in Monze said that he never knew him to miss a Spiritual duty - a remarkable thing in a man so busy. And so he had lived since 1938. In the attache case which was retrieved from the wreckage of the car was found, as well as his few toilet things, a book for Spiritual Reading . . . Can we doubt but that he has already received that “unfading crown of glory” of which he read in the last Mass he said, a few hours before he died?
In a letter Fr. O'Loghlen said of Fr. Byrne : “From every point of view it is a terrible blow. He was a first class religious, and there is the consolation of knowing that if anybody was prepared to meet his death he was. The first thing I found in his bag was a book on the Mass which he used. In his work he was equable and capable. He will be very hard to replace”.
Bishop Corboy said of him : “He was a truly saintly man-in the chapel every morning at five o'clock with his Mass at six. He was unassuming and never displayed the holiness and love of God that inspired his whole life. Back in his office at 7.30 a.m, a day that could have fully occupied two men began, and that was true of six days a week. On Sunday he regularly said two Masses at out-stations, and returned here to Monze for lunch, On Sunday afternoon, when he was free, he would visit some school to inspect a building he was erecting. He never took a day off and never had a holiday. He is a great loss but May God's will be done”.

Very Rev. Fr. Provincial received the following letter :
Parochial House,
Co. Tipperary,
May 13th 1964.
Very Rev. and dear Fr. Provincial,
I would like to offer my sympathy to you and to the Fathers of the Irish Province on the sad death of Fr. Daniel Byrne S.J. in Northern Rhodesia.
It is a matter of regret for me that I cannot attend the Mass for him in Gardiner Street tomorrow. I have already offered Mass for him.
He was the first boy in whose vocation I had a hand as a young curate and he was one of the best. One could not fail to be impressed by his sincere piety, kindly disposition and twinkling humour.
I wish too to sympathise on the loss to the Mission of so competent a priest in educational matters. May he rest in peace.
With kind personal regards,
Sincerely yours in Christ, Christopher Lee P.P.

Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

  • Corff corfforaethol
  • 1911-1986

In 1913, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) purchased the 16th century-built Rathfarnham Castle from a Dublin building company, Bailey and Gibson. Initially, the plan was for a noviciate for Jesuit novices and in time, for working men’s retreats to be established at the Castle. However, by September 1913, this had changed to a house of studies for those Jesuits attending university. This decision was made following the change of regulations to the National University requiring students to attend lectures whereas previously they could be prepared for examinations elsewhere. The Jesuit Juniors as they were known would live at the Castle and cycle to lectures at University College Dublin, then located at Earlsfort Terrace in the centre of Dublin.

The Jesuits engaged the architect, Charles B. Powell to modify the Castle in the summer of 1913. Blessed John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933) was Rector of Rathfarnham Castle for the years 1919-1924. Sullivan was a convert and the son of Sir Edward Sullivan, Lord Chancellor of Ireland (1883-1885). Sullivan’s rectorship was significant for the building of the retreat house in 1922, (working men’s retreats at the weekends and boy’s during the week). Some Jesuits on mission staff lived there. It became a home for tertian fathers (those Jesuits taking a renewal course following ordination) in 1940. The Castle continued to function as a Juniorate until 1975 and for retreats until 1986 when the Jesuits sold Rathfarnham Castle. The following year, it was purchased for the nation by the Office of Public Works.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lusaka

  • Corff corfforaethol
  • 1927-

Established in 1927, as Apostolic Prefecture of Broken Hill (from Apostolic Prefecture of Zambese). Lost territories in 1936 to establish Apostolic Prefecture of Victoria Falls (now its suffragan diocese Livingstone) and in 1938 to establish Apostolic Prefecture of Ndola (now its suffragan diocese). Renamed in 1946 after its see as Apostolic Prefecture of Lusaka. Promoted in 1950 Apostolic Vicariate of Lusaka. Promoted in 1959 as Metropolitan Archdiocese of Lusaka. Lost territories in 1962 to establish Diocese of Monze and in 2011 to establish Diocese of Kabwe, both as its suffragans.

Barry, Brendan, 1920-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/60
  • Person
  • 09 May 1920-30 January 1972

Born: 09 May 1920, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 30 January 1972, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 5 August 1965-24 July 1968.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 34th Year No 4 1959

On 17th June Very Reverend Fr. General appointed Fr. Brendan Barry as Socius to Fr. Provincial in succession to Father John Coyne. Thus came to an end a term of office which had lasted for nearly a quarter of a century. This surely must be an easy record. Many members of the Province had known no other Socius and some of the younger generation might not have been able to name any of Fr. Coyne's predecessors. Provincials might come and go but Fr. Coyne remained, an abiding element in a changing world. In all, he worked under four Provincials; Fr. Kieran, during whose period of office he became Socius (22nd February, 1935), Fr. J. R. MacMahon, Fr. T. Byrne and Fr. M. O’Grady. On more than one occasion he deputised as Vice-Provincial. He had come to be regarded as an almost indispensable appendage of government, and then in June the appointment of a new Fr. Socius came as a reminder that even Socii are, after all, subject to the law of mutability.
At the celebration of his golden jubilee in 1956, Fr. Coyne said that his career in the Society had been a series of false starts and changes of direction. But these seemingly false starts, his interrupted classical studies, his years as Substitute to the English Assistant, as Rector of Belvedere and as Master of Novices were preparing him for what was to be the great work of his life. These experiences gave him an understanding of the day-to-day business of the government of the Society and of individual houses, and, of course, his impeccable Latin prose and mastery of curial style. At the same jubilee celebrations the Provincial for the time being and two former Provincials paid tribute to his skill in the dispatch of business, his loyalty, generosity and other personal qualities. To these the Province may add: his courtesy, tact, sympathy and good sense. The timid or diffident who considered a personal interview with Fr. Provincial too formidable found in Fr. Coyne the perfect intermediary. To all who had permissions to ask or MSS. for censorship or other small business to transact he was always approachable and gracious. The province takes this opportunity of thanking him and of expressing its admiration, not to say amazement, at the cheerfulness with which year after year he went about the infinity of his important but monotonous tasks. It also extends a warm welcome to Fr. Barry in his new work.

Irish Province News 47th Year No 2 1972
Obituary :
Fr Brendan Barry SJ (1920-1972)
Father Brendan Barry was born in St John's Parish, Limerick, on May 9th, 1920. He was an only child. His early schooling was at the Christian Brothers in Roxboro Road. At the age of twelve, he was sent to the Augustinian College, Dungarvan, as a boarder. However, after two years absence, he continued his secondary education with the Christian Brothers, Limerick. While there, he made a Retreat under the direction of Fr Ernest Mackey and one result of this was that he entered the novitiate at St. Mary's, Emo, on 7th September. There were in all nineteen novices in his year, of whom fourteen were subsequently ordained priests. He took his first vows on September 8th, 1939, a few days after World War II had erupted. For the next six years he lived in communities of scholastics who varied in number between forty-four and fifty-one. The years 1939-42 were spent at Rathfarnham where after three years study he took his BA degree with honours in English and and Latin. The next three years were spent at Tullabeg where he studied Philosophy.
Those who knew him in these early years remember him as a quiet, reserved, cheerful and occasionally gay young man who, like everyone else, accepted philosophically the small privations and restrictions which World War II made inevitable. During these years, his intellectual gifts were slowly revealed and his zeal was manifested in his work for the Men's Sodality, then attached to the People's Church. Two years of Regency, 1945-47, followed. These two years at Belvedere were years that lived in his memory. In later times, he often spoke of them with real affection. The value of Regency in bringing a scholastic to full maturity was manifest in his case. From now on it became increasingly difficult for him to hide his gifts. What was hitherto known to a few, now became common knowledge; he was a religious of regular observance, of unostentatious piety, of dedicated attention to the work he was given to do: teaching, prefecting or refereeing rugby football. He did all these things well, and, while he particularly enjoyed the company of his fellow scholastics, he became and always remained a good “community man”.
Such was the reputation he brought with him to Milltown Park in the Autumn of 1947; and meeting him there for the first time, I came to appreciate his quiet strength of character, his invariably cheerful disposition and his dedication to the work in hand. One of his Professors at that time described him as “a gifted student” and he passed his Ad Gradum examination in 1961 after 4 years of consistent application to his studies. As he had little interest in organised games, he found his relaxation in walking and swimming; and from this period dates his long association with the “Forty Foot” Swimming Club. His administrative gifts became apparent at this time and his appointment as Beadle of the Theologians caused no surprise. On July 31st, 1950, he was ordained priest by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. John Charles McQuaid, of whose policies and plans Fr Brendan was, in future years, to be such a stout defender and champion. His relationship with the Archbishop, which was at first necessarily indefinite, became in time confidential and and intimate. It was founded on the same virtue of Faith which in later years made him, what he sometimes jokingly called, “a Pope's man”.
Now this aspect of Fr Brendan's outlook was derived from his understanding of the mind of St Ignatius in founding the Society and in placing it at the service of the Church and of the Pope. In a letter to the Province in 1967, he wrote: “It is obvious our ministries will not be renewed without internal renewal, without a deep knowledge of the Ignatian idea of our vocation ... To develop (this) in ourselves we need to study the person and writings of St. Ignatius - in his autobiography and his letters, in the Constitutions and in the Spiritual Exercises ... This will ensure great co-operation among ourselves, with the diocesan clergy and the hierarchy, with other religious and with the laity ...” This letter, so full of high ideals and sane ideas, mirrors, as do few other things he wrote, the spirit of faith in the Church and in the Society which was so characteristic of him. He never saw the Society, which he loved dearly, as an end in itself, only as a means; never as master, but always as a servant at the disposal of the Pope and the Bishops and of the People of God. His faith in the Pope and the Bishops as successors of Peter and his fellow Apostles and as divinely ordained teachers and rulers of the Church, never wavered. And he saw the role of the Society in the Church to-day as being loyally and fully supportive of papal teaching and policy, in every field and in every detail, in every place and at all times. Much prayer and study, much discernment and self-discipline led him to lay aside all private judgment and “to obey in all things the true spouse of Christ our Lord, the Hierarchical Church”.
During 1952-53, he made his Tertianship under his former Master of Novices, Fr John Neary. He welcomed this opportunity to deepen his understanding of the Institute of the Society and of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. This understanding was to serve him well when he was elected as a delegate to the General Congregation in 1965. He attended both sessions of this Congregation, during the first of which, he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province, an appointment which was announced on August 5th, 1965. To this office he brought the fruits of thirteen years of varied administrative experience, a year as Minister in Galway, followed by four years as Minister in Milltown Park. In 1952, he was appointed Superior and Bursar of the Apostolic School at Mungret College. In the early summer of 1959, his appointment as Socius to : Fr Michael O'Grady was announced. He continued on as Socius to Fr Charles O'Conor on his becoming Provincial in July, 1959. Fr O'Conor recalls those days: “Although Fr Barry had already been a member of the Province for over twenty years, it was not until 1959 that our paths first crossed, One afternoon towards the end of May of that year, we found ourselves leaving Eglinton Road together armed with the knowledge that we were to be Provincial and Socius in the near future. We were both wondering, no doubt, how this hitherto unforeseen alliance would work out. In the sequel it fared very well. Once the initial stages had been passed, we found ourselves firm friends and remained so ever since”.
In ordinary circumstances, it could have been expected that he would remain as Socius for a longer term. Apart from this being a tradition in the Province, Fr Brendan brought to this Office a knowledge and love of the Institute and an administrative capacity and experience of a high order. But it was not to be. Indeed, as subsequent events will show, the fragmentary nature of his apostolate was to continue throughout his entire career. In the summer of 1962, he was appointed Rector of Milltown Park in succession to Fr James Corboy. Thus, after an absence of four years, he returned to a house where almost a third of his religious life in fact was spent, In August 1965, his “apprenticeship” being completed, he crossed over the Milltown Road to take up residence in 85 Eglinton Road as Provincial. During his three years in this office he was responsible for many initiatives. In his anxiety to get the best advice on many, difficult problems, he set up the following : the Commission for Studies and Training of Ours; the Commission on Ministries, the Social Survey; the Man-Power Planning Commission; the Commission on our Brothers; the Advisory Committee on Comprehensive Schools. He saw clearly that, in regard to our apostolic works and the manner in which we conducted them, it was vital that we recognise that we were living in a world of rapid and profound changes and that we be ready to adapt our ministries and methods to meet these changes. In this connection, too, he stressed the value of community discussions on all our problems, local and provincial, for he saw that it was necessary not only to arrive at the correct solutions, but also to enlighten one another about the reasons for consequent changes. He knew that such discussions involved “self-denial in working together at a common task” but he also knew that they were, today, recommended to us all both by the Church and by the Society. His, too, was the final decision to build a new Retreat House with a Circular Chapel at Manresa, Dollymount. During his years as Provincial, he visited our Mission in Zambia and concluded a friendly pact with the newly independent Vice-Province of Hong Kong. Among the many assessments of his work in the Province up to this point, the following by his former Provincial and life-long friend, Fr John R MacMahon, summarizes what many members of the Province should like to say: “In a way I knew him well. As my Minister in Milltown, as my Rector there and as Provincial, he impressed me as being a loyal and efficient assistant, a prudent and kindly Superior and as a courageous and faithful ruler. I refrain from using superlatives, though they are richly deserved. If I wanted an ‘Imago optimi Superioris’, I would find it in him”.
Now, looking back over his life, I am of the opinion that if he was drawn to one Jesuit ministry more than another, it was to the giving of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to priests, religious and to the People of God. As Minister and Rector of Milltown, he gave many a week-end Retreat. As Provincial he encouraged the holding of Seminars and other meetings for those engaged in this ministry. In his letter of September 1967, he urged Retreat-Directors not to spare themselves in trying to think themselves into the minds of retreatants, giving what is most suitable to young and old alike. It was fitting, then, when he was relieved of the responsibility for the whole Province, that he should, after a brief period as Minister and Bursar in the College of Industrial Relations, spend what were in fact to be his last years as a director of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. In this miniştry, he excelled, and he ran by faith to this work of bringing Christian life and hope to dead and despairing men and women, Between July 1969, and January 1972, a period of two and a half years, he directed three Retreats of 30 days-two to students at Clonliffe and one to the Religious of Jesus and Mary, Gortnor Abbey..seventeen eight-day retreats, seven six-day retreats, twenty tridua, several days of recollection, and one Novena of Grace. Right up to the end his one anxiety was that he would not have enough to do. His programme for 1972 already included six retreats in succession, between June and July, followed by a 30 day retreat in August and another in September October. He was booked, also, to give a third 30 day retreat to Loreto Nuns in Johannesburg, South Africa in December next. In all this, he felt confidently prepared; and how well prepared he was, is attested by tributes from religious in all parts of the country and of England.
The following will suffice as being typical of all: “I know that many of our sisters valued his personal direction and advice. I have been very much struck by the fact that he is so much regretted by
people of such different age-groups and of widely different views. He, undoubtedly, understood the young and was greatly trusted by them. They valued his honesty and appreciated especially his wide knowledge of Council documents. But, I think that he will be best remembered in our Irish Province for his retreats. In particular, I have heard many sisters mention a Superior's retreat which he directed, based on the Gospel of St. John, and, as he changed his retreat so often, this may not be the one you know. Every Sister I met who made that retreat has spoken of it as an exceptional spiritual experience”.
Before concluding this notice, it will be of interest to have a record of some of the judgments passed on his life and work by ours and by others for whom he worked. The following are typical examples : “Brendan was by disposition undemonstrative and retiring but he was incisive in his assessments of people and situations. He was most conscientious in regard to his work and very loyal to his friends. He could be sensitive in some matters and wonderfully resilient in others”. “He was somewhat reserved and he did not wear his heart upon his sleeve. But, there was no doubt about the depth of his sincerity and I looked on him as a true friend on whose sympathy and solid help I could rely. This may seem too formal, even frigid. It may give a false impression. Perhaps, I, too, don't wear my heart on my sleeve”. “I was always impressed by his great sincerity, by his balanced judgment, by his generous and completely detached spirit of service, by his simplicity, his kindly tolerance and his sense of humour”. “His was a sane and balanced approach, in his own homely style, he flavoured his talks with his own dry humour, e.g. ‘the modem superior can't be remote. If he is remote, they write him off! If he is not remote, his personal faults stand out - the boys know!’” “We have lost in Fr Barry a dedicated friend, an enlightened spiritual guide, whose humility and limpid sincerity were notable characteristics of his personality”.
For myself, in the quarter of a century that I have known him, I had come to see his fine physical stature as a living symbol of the greatness of his mind and heart. He had a mind that could go to the heart of any question and his judgments of men and affairs were rarely wrong. While he did not suffer fools gladly, he did feel and sympathised with the failures and follies of his fellow men. He was less interested in condemning a man than in seeking a practical solution to his problems. He was loyal to commitments and to persons. He was not a respecter of persons and friendship for him never degenerated into favouritism. He was, in truth, detached even from his friends. Though like most men, he had need of friends, in whose company he could relax and come out of himself and relieve the inner loneliness that dwells in the heart of every man. This loneliness is said to be more keenly felt by those whose ministry separates them from community life. In the last few years, Fr Brendan was always happy to return from his frequent ‘missionary expeditions to the Community at “35”, where he found a homely welcome and congenial company. The knowledge of this was not the least of this Community's consolations at the time of his sudden death at the comparatively early age of 52. The Irish Province has lost one of its really great men; his spiritual children have lost a sympathetic guide and his friends everywhere a man whose judgment and companionship were a source of encouragement and strength. May he rest in peace.

An appreciation by Most Reverend Dr. Joseph A. Carroll, President of Holy Cross College, Clonliffe
It is no easy tasks nowadays to give the Thirty Days Retreat. The classic material has to be adapted to the new mentality and up dated in accordance with the new insights in Sacred Scripture and Theology. It is as true as ever that the success of the Retreat de pends to a large extent, under God, on the qualities of the Director. Young people to-day are not particularly impressed with a man's erudition nor even with his eloquence. What they look for and are quick to recognise is his sincerity. Father Brendan was both erudite and eloquent but his outstanding quality, as we saw him, was hs sincerity. It was patent to all. When one adds to this an immense patience and capacity for listening, a complete dedication to the task, a large fund of common sense and a keen sense of humour, one begins to understand how the Thirty Days Retreat that could so easily be a burden was not simply tolerable but decidedly acceptable to our Second Year students. I have a distinct recollection of meeting one of them during the Retreat last year and asking him how things were going. “Father Barry”, he said “is terrific”. The fact that they asked him to return on more than one occasion to give a Day of Recollection is a measure of their appreciation. He will be greatly missed in the College. With his unassuming manner and the twinkling bashful smile he had won the affection of the Staff. We always welcomed him as an amiable companion during the Thirty Days he spent with us each year. May he rest in peace.

NB - Members of the Province may not have known that Father Brendan was on the staff of the Mater Dei Institute of Education, He gave occasional lectures to the students there on the spiritual life. Right up to his death, he frequently offered Mass in the Oratory of the Institute and preached a homily. The Director of the Institute, Father Patrick Wallace in the course of a recent letter writes: “To the students of the Mater Dei Institute Father Brendan Barry, SJ, was a man of God. He spoke so convincingly of the need for prayer, he treated every problem so calmly, he showed such respect for everyone who met him that one had to conclude that here was a man who had a deep experience of God in his own prayer life, who had received God's guidance in tackling the problems life had posed for him, who had reached the heights of appreciating the dignity of every man as a brother in Christ. In the homily delivered at the Requiem Mass in the Institute the celebrant spoke for us all when he said 'while we mourn the loss of Father Barry we rejoice that through him the Spirit of Christ was visibly active among us for so long'. The above sentiments are genuinely the sentiments of the students and the staff”.

Butler, James, 1790-1820, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/78
  • Person
  • 13 November 1790-22 August 1820

Born: 13 November 1790, Dubln
Entered: 07 September 1808, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1814, Palermo, Sicily
Died: 22 August 1820, Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1814 Studied Humanities at Stonyhurst and Theology at Palermo, graduating DD and where he was Ordained.
He went with a band of choice youths who were destined to replant the standard of St Ignatius in Ireland, to Palermo, where he made his studies, graduated DD, and returning to Ireland, had a prominent part in the foundation of Clongowes (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
Dr Olvier gives an extract from a letter to himself from Father Esmonde with edifying details of the death of this learned and holy father. He says that he was in his twenty-ninth year “beloved by God and men”, and that he was a rare association of piety, learning and simplicity. He had said his last Mass at Clongowes on the Feast of the Assumption and went to Dublin the same day for a change of air. “I shall never forget his last night, which I spent at his bedside, it was a practical lesson in how to die. Having asked for and received the last Sacraments with tranquil, unaffected piety, answering to all the prayers, he fell into a slumber. At length awakening he said ‘Farewell, I am dying’, and then giving me some commissions, he added ‘I shall see Clongowes no more. Salute the community in my name. Assure them of my sincerest affection’. He then spoke very calmly of his impending death”
According to Father Bracken, a competent judge, he was by far the most gifted and learned of the Irish Jesuits of his time, and was a Professor of Theology at age 25. He was a most hardworking student and Professor, and of childlike simplicity.
He was carried off by a premature death from consumption.
He had the good and wholesome habit of renewing his Vows every day. (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS for a long sketch)

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After studying Humanities at Carlow and Stonyhurst, he proceeded with a band of choice youths (who were destined to replant the standard of St Ignatius in Ireland) to Palermo, where he went through a course of Philosophy and Divinity. In 1814, this highly gifted young man returned to his native country with a DD, to take a prominent part in the organisation of Clongowes. Here, his classical attainments, his varied learning, but above all, the example of his religious virtues, insured universal esteem and admiration. But a pulmonary complaint was undermining his constitution, and to the grief of every genius and friend, the lamp of life was extinguished on the 22nd August 1821. Two days after a train of sorrowing friends and admirers followed his remains to Mainham Church, adjoining the demesne of Clongowes”
Note from Br John O’Brien Entry :
It may not be out of place to mention that Edmund Hogan stated that the Italian Fathers told James Butler, of Clongowes fame, in 1805, that an Irish Jesuit Synnott was the last to leave off the Jesuit habit worn at the time of the Suppression in 1773 - “Go and tell His Holiness that it was an Irishman was the last member to put aside the habit”. So, Brother O’Brien was the last Brother to put aside the tall-hat in 1892 in obedience to the order of the Provincial Timothy Kenny.

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

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

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

A letter from the Acting General Father Thaddeus Brezozowski, dated St Petersburg 14/06/1806 was addressed to the only two survivors, Betagh and O’Callaghan. He thanked them for their work and their union with those in Russia, and suggested that the restoration was close at hand.

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Butler 1792-1820
On August 22nd 1820 in Clongowes died Fr James Butler, who according to Fr Bracken, was the most gifted and learned Jesuit of his time.

He was born in Dublin in 1792 and entered the noviceship at Hodder in 1808. His philosophical and theological studies were carried out at Palermo with such success that he was Professor of Theology at the early age of 25.

Returning to Ireland in 1814, he took a prominent part in the organisation of Clongowes. But, he was suffering from a pulmonary complaint which carried him off at the age of 29. Fr Bartholomew Esmonde has left us an account of his death :

“I shall never forget his last night, which I spent at his bedside. Awaking from sleep he took my hand, saying ‘Farewell, I am dying. I shall see Clongowes no more. Salute the community in my name, ensure them of my sincerest affection’. Of his impending death he then spoke very calmly, asking me to repeat from time to time a favourite Italian hymn ‘O bella mis Speranza’. ‘Tell me Fr Butler’ said I, ‘you are younger than I am, and if restored to health might do much good. If the choice of life and death were left to you, which would you choose’. He paused for a moment, and then turning to me with a smile said ‘If the choice were left to me, I would make none, but leave it to God, for he knows best’. In a few moments his strength was gone, and lisping the names of Jesus and Mary, he died”.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BUTLER, JAMES, after studying Humanities at Carlow and Stonyhurst,he proceeded with a band of choice youths (who were destined to replant the standard of St. Ignatius in Ireland) to Palermo, where he went through a course of Philosophy and Divinity. In 1814, this highly gifted young man returned to his native country, with the diploma of Doctor of Divinity, to take a prominent part in the organisation of Clongowes College. Here his classical attainments, his varied learning, but, above all, the example of his religious virtues, insured universal esteem and admiration. But a pulmonary complaint was undermining his constitution : and to the grief of every friend of genius and religion, the lamp of life was extinguished on the 22nd of August, 1821. Two days later, a train of sorrowing friends and admirers followed his remains to the grave in Mainham Church, adjoining the demesne of Clongowes College. The following extract ot a letter which I received from his Colleague, F. Bartholomew Esmonde, will interest and edify the reader:
“The lamented F. Butler died, I may say, in my arms, in his twenty-ninth year, dilectus Deo et hominibus. What a rare association of learning, piety, and simplicity! the Octave of the Assumption of B. Virgin Mary was his last day upon earth. He had said Mass at Clongowes for the last time on the feast of the Assumption, and came up to Dublin the same day for change of air. In a day or two it was evident that his dissolution was near at hand; and as his strength declined, his piety seemed to increase. I shall never forget his last night, which I spent at his bed-side : it was a practical lesson how to die. Having demanded and received the last sacraments with tranquil unaffected piety, answering to all the Prayers, he fell into a slumber. At length awakening he gave me his hand, saying, ‘Farewell, I am dying’, and then giving me some commissions, he added ‘I shall see Clongowes no more. Salute the community in my name : assure them of my sincerest affection’. Of his impending death he then spoke very calmly, asking me from time time to repeat a favorite Italian hymn by Bd. Ligouri in honour of the Virgin Mary - :
O bella mia Speranza, &c.
This seemed to give him exquisite pleasure. To my inquiry if he was quite happy, if any thing gave him pain, he answered, ‘thanks to God and to the Madonna, I am perfectly happy and resigned’. ‘But tell me’, I resumed, ‘Dr. Father Butler, you are younger than I am, and if restored to health, might do much good. Tell me then if the choice of life and death were left to you, which would you choose?’ He paused a moment, as if I had proposed a difficult question : then turning to me with a smile he said, ‘If the choice were left to me I would make none; but would leave it to God : for he knows what is best’. In a few moments his strength was gone, and lisping the names of Jesus and Mary he expired”.
Who is there that does not envy such a death ?

Byrne, John Baptist, 1898-1978, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/80
  • Person
  • 22 August 1898-15 December 1978

Born: 22 August 1898, Coolbeg, Rathnew, County Wicklow
Entered: 09 October 1917, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1930, Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, England
Died: 15 December 1978, St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Denbigh, Wales

by 1927 at Heythrop, Oxfordshire (ANG) working
by 1938 at Roehampton, London (ANG) working
by 1939 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) working
by 1943 at St John’s Beaumont, Berkshire (ANG) working
by 1946 at Heythrop, Oxfordshire (ANG) working
by 1972 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) working

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Became a Brother because of difficulties in studies. Lent to ANG Province

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 54th Year No 2 1979

Obituary :

Br John Baptist Byrne (1898-1978)

Brother John Baptist Byrne, SJ, who died at St Beuno’s on December 15th 1978, was born in Wicklow, Ireland, on August 22nd 1898.
He entered the Irish Noviceship in Tullabeg, as a scholastic novice on October 9th, 1917. He did not go to the University but went through the “Home” Juniorate in Tullabeg: 1919-1921. He completed the three year Philosophy Course at Milltown Park, in the years 1921-24. He spent two years in Mungret College (1924-1926), but his work was that of a Prefect, - he did not teach. By now it had become clear that whether from lack of ability or lack of interest in concentrated study, he was unsuited for further scholastic studies. In 1926 the Provincial gave him the option of leaving the Society or of remaining on as a Brother. He decided to become a Brother, but asked to be ascribed to the English Province. Although there is no certain reason why he made this request, perhaps the most probable one is that it relieved himself and his relatives) of some embarrassment at changing his status to that of a Brother after about nine years as a scholastic on the way to the Priesthood. The English Province agreed to accept Brother John Byrne, SJ.

I give here a contribution of Father John Duggan, SJ, of St Beuno’s: his letter includes that of Father P McIlhenry, SJ, of St Beuno’s, a letter of great interest, and supporting strongly the opening sentence: “Br Byrne was something of an enigma ..”
John Baptist Byrne was brought up in the town of Wicklow, and attended the day school in that town going along with his sister Sr Colette, Irish Sister of Charity, (who tells us of his early life). She writes: “John was a good student, very fond of reading in his spare time. He was very gentle and quiet in his behaviour. He entered the noviceship of the Society (at 19) then at Tullabeg. Seemingly, all went well until he had to face exams (pre-Ordination)”. Meanwhile he had followed the usual course, being a Junior at Tullabeg 1919-21, and doing the course in Philosophy at Milltown Park 1921-24, There followed two years teaching at Mungret College, near Limerick, then a most flourishing Jesuit apostolic school for boys mostly aspiring to the priesthood in foreign parts (an American cardinalis an alumnus).” (This school has been given up and regrettably closed in the 1970's).
His sister's reference to facing exams for Ordination would seem to refer to the prospect of such an ordeal (very likely Ad Auds, etc.), rather than to the imminence of the real thing. His sister continues: “It was after this time it was decided he would not be for Ordination, and got the option of remaining in the Society as a Brother, or being placed in a bank. My father naturally was disappointed, but the rest of the family felt relieved he did not choose the bank! John wrote a letter home which was indicative of his spirituality: one sentence in it I remember even now, 50 years later: “I have only to know God’s Will - and then love it!” I do not know if he chose the English Province - I understood it was settled for him”. We have begun with his sister’s account, so we will finish that forthwith. “He kept up with the family by regular letters, came over for the funerals of my two brothers, and when holidays at home were permitted he came as lately as two years ago. But by this time his deafness was an obstacle to his safety, as well as a general restlessness and failing sight. He became a bit of a recluse, but always interested in current affairs. He could make some shrewd remarks such as one to me: ‘I always admire you because you keep your religious habit’. Evidently some of the Sisters attending St Beuno’s had become ultra-mod! ... He led a holy life as a religious, very unworldly in dress and manners, and kept his sufferings to himself”.
When John Byrne came across the sea to England, we are assured in the deadpan tone of officialdom that, after nine years in the Society, he was excused a further novitiate. On this change in Br Byrne’s status and habitat, and his life for the next fifty years or so, Fr McIlhenny (well versed in the workings of top management in the Society) has these penetrating, if somewhat caustic, comments: “Br. Byrne was something of an enigma. It was always something of a puzzle to understand why he was accepted for transfer from the status of scholastic to that of coadjutor - and then sent out of his own Province. Also, why were Superiors so reluctant about insisting on the use of proper instruments to remedy what seemed to be defects in both hearing and eyesight from a very early period of his religious life. Was it the ‘English love of odd people - of characters?’ This seems to reflect badly on both general care of members of the Society and particular consideration for personal relationships, Br Byrne, both in the early days at Heythrop and in his final years at St Beuno’s left a feeling of frustration in most of his contacts. The devout Brother praying in the chapel was somewhat difficult to reconcile with the evasive Brother in the matter of a definite job; the apparent inability to give attention to any topic seemed to contradict assiduous reading of such periodicals as The Times and The Tablet; the normal attitude of not hearing a remark from one of the regular community made surprising an easy readiness to greet an occasional visitor. How can a proper judgment be made?

Fr J McSweeney, Editor of the Irish Province Newsletter offers this useful comment: “Although there is no certain reason why John made the request (to change his Province), perhaps the most probable one is that it relieved him and his relatives, of some embarrassment at changing his status to that of a Brother after about 9 years as a scholastic on the way to the Priesthood”.

Fr McIlhenny's puzzlement remained, as it did with many of us, in particular at Heythrop in the early years. Could it be, pace Fr Ledochowski, that the Collegium Maximum formula was a grievous mistake, so that the officials concerned knew far too little of the life of their community and were prepared to let them sink or swim? Br John had ten years of this and the die was cast.
Speaking on the strength of two years with him at Heythrop (1931 33) and then four years at Beaumont in the war (1941-45), one can record a few reflections. Admittedly, Br John did not butter many parsnips, and maybe his work-rate was not high. But just as it would be a poor sort of monastery that did not welcome an obviously spiritual monk though he could not be of great economic benefit, so the Society would be the poorer if it had not welcomed such an ‘anima naturaliter christiana’. There was the curiously intriguing smile, as though there were a leprechaun inside trying to get out. Then the placid out-of-this-world outlook on life, ever unruffled and patiently putting up with others who were busy with many things. Of course there is a danger in this that ‘tout comprendre, c'est tout condamner’. But his fellow Brothers do bear witness that John was interested in everybody and made a point of knowing all about them. Perhaps this ties in with his enjoyment of his job as postman to the community: at Heythrop this could mean up to 200 people's mail, which he delivered daily andante, but conamore, to everyone in God’s good time.
He was withal something of an ascetic: he was observed regularly kneeling bolt upright in the most draughty spot in Heythrop chapel (the choir-loft) indifferent to the cold. Either he was an extremely early riser, or sometimes in later life) never went to bed at all, but he was often about by 4 o'clock in the morning, I am told. On sleepless nights he would wander through the marble halls of Heythrop and sometimes drop into an empty mansion room to wander therein for a change. Once the empty room happened to be occupied by the Provincial, who is said to have been ‘not amused’. If Heythrop Hall (new style) proves to be haunted in time to come, John Byrne will be the most likely revenant. It was only when we left Heythrop in 1970 that John moved to St Beuno's where he was to spend the last eight years of his untroubled existence ‘amid the alien corn’ on the wrong side of the Irish Sea.
Though not having first-hand acquaintance with Br Byrne in the latter half of his life in the Society, the editor can willingly claim responsibility for most of the above (and endorses Fr McIlhenny's strictures on management), but he hopes it has not been too explosive and that no one will be blown up for it, or by it.
John Duggan SJ

The following postcrript in the author's inimitable idiom helps us to realise how his fellow Brothers appreciated Br John :
“I attended Brother John Byrne's Requiem at St Beuno’s; Father Gerard Hughes, the Tertian master and Rector, said a few words to those assembled. The Irish Jesuit Provincial was there, for Brother Byrne belonged to the Irish Province. Who decided that he should change Provinces I don’t know, maybe it was by mutual consent. It seems he must have had a breakdown and further study was out of the question. As time went by he became a little eccentric, and more so as the years rolled on; but we must remember at the outset, Brother was accepted as a Jesuit Religious and fulfilled all the religious duties expected of a Brother to the very end. I think Father made this clear to us in the Chapel at St Beuno’s, but it would not surprise his Sister a nun, who was there, who knew John. I knew his other Sister also a nun who on visiting John at Heythrop, whispered to me, you know our John is a bit odd. They had learnt to come to terms with John and let him get away with his little oddities.
I lived with Brother for nine years at Heythrop College. He was the Postman. In the early days there was a very big community at Heythrop so that the job of Postman kept Brother busy, also going round with notes from one Professor to another. He hardly ever left the house save to make his annual Retreat. On returning, more often than not he took a bus from Banbury, to what we old Heythropians know as the Banbury lodge at the Banbury gate, the lodge built by the Brassey family, which meant a two mile walk down the old Shrewsbury drive. So the Brother would walk down the drive, enter unnoticed and so commence his job as the College Postman. He must have re-addressed many thousands of letters and when Jesuits moved on, they would be amused to see a little aside on their letters. Please notify your change of address?
One very amusing episode which I think has gone all round the Province is this. Each year at Christmas, each member of the Community was allowed so many Christmas cards each, a ration so to speak. Now one well known Professor, who had a huge correspondence, had sent off well over the allocated ration, I dare say to the tune of 200 (as had many others though not quite so many), so after the allocated ration had been duly despatched by Brother, he put the rest under his bed. His strict understanding of the Law made no allowances for the individual. By chance some one had to go into Brother’s room and was amazed to see all these letters under his bed. A gentle reproof from the then Rector, sent the Brother in all obedience licking four or five hundred stamps and sending them on their way. The Professor was fuming. I think the Rector must have been inwardly amused, while the good Brother was unperturbed. He certainly kept the Rule to the letter. He was a very well read man, when every one was asleep in the early hours of the morning he read all the periodicals in the Father's library. He knew all that was going on, but I think he turned himself off outwardly, but inwardly he was very sharp. He had come to terms with himself, perhaps his early breakdown had left its mark, he had to live with it for the rest of his life. But as a good, kind, simple in the right sense of the word) Jesuit Brother.
Richard Hackett SJ

Writing of Br Byrne's final years in St Beuno’s (1970-1978) Father Gerard W Hughes SJ, says: “Johnny, as we called him, was always full of charm and courtesy, but he became increasingly withdrawn and lived the life of a recluse and appeared to become increasingly deaf. I say ‘appeared to become’ because a few months before his death, I took him out in the car and he carried on a conversation without very much sign of deafness! Among other topics he was eloquent in his disapproval of some changes in the Liturgy, and of nuns who did not wear the veil; but when he spoke of individuals it was always with kindness. I chatted with him almost every day until his death, but his mind was usually very confused. In all the confusion there was a source of great peace and gentleness in Johnnie and his eyes were very kindly. In the hospital the nurses nicknamed him “The Cherub”. He spent hours in the Chapel, by day and night, and he had an uncanny ability for knowing where Mass was being said. Small groups would arrange a Mass among themselves, and Johnnie would appear ... I saw him a few hours before he died. He was only half awake, but he smiled and gripped my hand firmly. He is buried in the St. Beuno's Cemetery’.

Campbell, Joseph, 1867-1942, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/85
  • Person
  • 01 November 1867-06 August 1942

Born: 01 November 1867, Wicklow Town, County Wicklow
Entered: 09 October 1889, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final vows: 15 August 1901
Died: 06 August 1942, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 17th Year No 4 1942
Obituary :
Brother Joseph Campbell SJ

Brother Campbell was born on All Saints' Day, 1867, at Wicklow, and entered the noviceship, after the usual term as postulant, on 9th October, 1889, at Tullabeg, where Fr. John Colgan was his Rector and Novice-Master. In 1891 he began his long career as cook and dispenser a post he filled with exemplary fidelity for nearly forty years. A man of powerful physique and rude health, he consecrated to this life-work every ounce of energy he possessed, and the self-sacrificing devotion with which he addressed himself to the work in kitchen and pantry will have earned for him a high place in heaven.
Of charming gaiety, gentle and kind in manner and speech, his good humour and patience were never seen to better advantage than when a spur or admonition had to be administered to novice or helper on the kitchen experiment. Most of the houses of the Province benefitted by the example of his edifying life and skill in the culinary art most especially Belvedere, Galway and Tullabeg. In 1934 when at Galway, he began to show the first signs of a serious break-down in health, and, though he continued working to the best of his powers after a term spent in St. Bride's Nursing Home, he had to be relieved of the responsibilities of cook. In 1936 he was transferred to Tullabeg, and during the last years of his life he continued to help in the scullery whenever his failing powers permitted, being by temper and constitution as well as habit impatient of inaction. His last infirmity he bore with exemplary patience and sweetness. The end came suddenly in the forenoon of 6th August, shortly before Fr. Rector was due to leave for a retreat at Loughrea.
Fr. Socius celebrated the Requiem Mass in the People's Church which was attended by a very large crowd of externs, chiefly retainers of the College, who had come to know and venerate him during his long association with Tullabeg. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Joseph Campbell 1867-1942
Br Joseph Campbell was born in Wicklow on November 1st 1867, and entered the Society in 1889. He did his noviceship in Tullabeg where he had Fr John Colgan as hios Rector and Novice Master.

A man of powerful physique and robust health, he gave 40 years of his life as cook and dispenser in various houses of the Province. He was a man of unfailing gaiety, gentle and kind in manner and speech.

His end came suddenly on August 6th 1942 in Tullabeg, where for some years he had been a semi-invalid. His 40 years of humble service, carried out with patience and gladness will surely merit him a high place in heaven with St Alphonsus Rodriguez, his model and exemplar.

Conway, Vincent, 1909-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/101
  • Person
  • 24 May 1909-11 May 1985

Born: 24 May 1909, County Meath
Entered: 10 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Sydney, Australia
Final vows: 15 August 1948
Died: 11 May 1985, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, 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 :
One of eight children, his early education was at the Salesian Agricultural College (Warrenstown), Drumree, County Meath, as it was thought that he would follow his father into farming. However, he changed to the De La Salle School, Navan, County Meath for the last two years of his education, and from there entered the Diocesan Seminary (St Finian’s) in Westmeath, and two years later Entered the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1931-1934 He went to Rathfarnham Castle and studied for three years at University College Dublin, but without taking a degree.
1934-1936 He returned to St Stanislaus College for Philosophy
1936-1937 He spent six months at Mungret College Limerick for Regency
1937-1940 He was sent to Australia and St Aloysius College, Milsons Point
1940-1943 He went to Canisius College Pymbe for Theology
1943-1944 He went to Ireland and Rathfarnham Castle to make Tertianship
1944-1968 and 1973-1985 He spent 36 years at St Aloysius College
1968-1973 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview teaching.

In the thirty six years he spent at St Aloysius, generations of Old Aloysians, especially those involved with sport, appreciated the interest he showed in them, the Sports Master of the 1950s, who constantly encouraged the boys to fair-play and sportsmanship, despite regular lack of success. His own patience and persevering optimism were an inspiration. He also taught Latin to young boys.
He was a fair man and boys knew where they stood with him. He was admired for his hard work preparing all the sporting fixtures and equipment, driving to and from Willoughby for cricket and football practices, and calling out the names for a decade of the rosary in the Chapel, setting up table-tennis tables at lunchtime, attending sportsmasters’ meetings, controlling tuckshop queues, rolling the College Oval cricket with the aid of the College horse when the groundsman was unwell, and as an editor of the “Aloysian” for many years.
In 1962 he became a reluctant Rector of St Aloysius, and performed his duties with the utmost dedication. He was praised for his occasional addressed, and for the way he successfully supervised the redevelopment of the College. He also taught Senior Religion. In later years he administered the Sacraments, looked after the maintenance of the buildings, coached boys, worked on the archives, managed the boys transport passes, collected the daily school mail, visited the sick and tended the garden.

He was a quiet, private, even shy man, but eminently reliable and thorough. His death marked the passing of an era for the College, as he was so well known and knew so many people. His compilation of lists of all students from 1879 to 1979 was a most valued record.

He was an indefatigable worker and especially good at carpentry. His colleagues remember his selflessness, his balanced self-control, his Irish humour, his faith and confidence i God, his complete loyalty to the Society and his prayerfulness.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Fr. Peyton left for Australia on the “Mauretania” on 31st October in company with Fr. Conway, a member of the Viceprovince. Fr. Kevin Carroll, also a member of the Viceprovince, left Shannon Airport on 3rd November for New York, bound for San Francisco and Sydney. Mr. Monahan left Southampton on the “Queen Mary” on 20th November for New York; he took boat at San Francisco on 12th December for Sydney which he reached on 4th January. He will be doing his first year's philosophy at Loyola, Watsonia in the coming year.

Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985


Fr Vincent Conway (1909-1929-1985) (Australia)

Born on 24th May 1909. 10th September 1929: entered SJ. 1929-31 Tullabeg, Emo, noviciate. 1931-34 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1934-37 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1937-46
Australia. 1946-47 Rathfarnham, tertianship. 1947-85 Australia. Died on 11th May 1985.

Fr Vincent Murphy, Mission Procurator, and Fr Senan Timoney, Executive Socius, organised a requiem for Vin Conway in the domestic chapel in Gardiner street. Vin’s last surviving sister
was present, also nieces and nephews with their families: 35 relatives in all. Nine Jesuits concelebrated the Mass: Frs Seán Hughes (of Vin’s year), Séamus Mac Amhlaoibh, Frank Hennelly, Matty Meade, Martin Brennan, Jim Moloney; Senan Timoney, Vincent that Murphy and John O'Keeffe (Superior, SFX). Brs Keogh and Colgan were present. Afterwards we met the relatives and friends over a cup of coffee.
Vin was that little bit older than most of us when he entered Tullabeg in 1929. He had spent some years in an agricultural college before he opted for the Society. He was quiet, retiring and shy, but not bashful. He would never push himself to the front, would stay with the foot-sloggers, and was happy to be one of the crowd. Only with company, where he felt fully at home, would Vin relax and reveal his sound judgments on all sorts of subjects and his lovely contagious sense of humour, He had a wonderful laugh full of sniggers, snorts and incipient convulsions, so that it was well worth one's while to keep a good story for him.
Vin had a good head, but not the kind that would make a professor of literature or philosophy. His was more the head of a practical man and an administrator. His shyness was an asset, because when circumstances forced him to take responsibility he won respect and affection. He won respect because he was not a self-seeker, and affection because of his genuine loyalty and social graces. Australia brought him to the fore. Why Australia?..
Vin was one of ten Irish Juniors who discovered by accident that they were not members of the Irish province: I remember well the day a group of us came from the ball-alley, to be met by Michael McGrath. Michael always had the gift of finding news in the small print. He had browsed through the catalogue, and under the heading Ex aliis provinciis in hac degentes he found listed ten of our community of Juniors. Jokingly he congratulated the visiting Irish members of the Australian vice- province. It was considered a good joke and an obvious slip made by the editor of the catalogue. But no, it was not a slip. It would seem that for years Australia had been financing these and other) Juniors, but by an oversight - and what an oversight! – they had never been told that they were to belong to Australia.
Be that as it may, Vin was one of those transferred, and his was certainly a case of digitus Dei. Had Vin remained in Ireland, I doubt if his talents would have been uncovered. Anyway, he had a lovely way with people, and got on well with the Australians.
The boatman of Glendaloch used to tell of the daring of young Australian Juniors who dived into the upper lake from St Kevin's Bed. What they did not know, apparently, was that three other Juniors, not to be outdone, dived from a ledge some fifteen feet above St Kevin's Bed. Vin Conway was one of those three.
Vin's early years of study in the Society were hard. While in Rathfarnham he had a bout of sleeplessness, one which came to a climax in November 1933 when Fr Michael Browne was dying. At the time, Fr Browne was occupying the room later given to the Tertian Instructor. Vin was quartered in the little room (nearly all window) next door. His dying neighbour moaned and groaned for several nights and unnerved the sleepless Vin.
He carried his tensed nerves to Tullabeg, where he studied philosophy. There he was fortunate to have as Minister (1935-'7) Fr Jim Scally, who had a kind and understanding heart. He told Vin to forget classes, repetitions and circles, and sent him to the carpenter's shop to make shelves for the philosophers' library – big high shelves, standing ceiling-high. They are still to the good.
Outside the big window of Tullabeg community refectory there is a big long seat. It is in a sheltered nook outside what used to be called the philosophers' door. The angle-space is a sun-trap in the morning and was a gathering-place for philosophers at all times. It was in 1937 that Vin got the idea of putting that seat there. It was like Vin himself, sturdy and strong, without pretensions, and genuinely serviceable and useful.
Vin however really served his time in the building trade when he was given charge of the boats. There was a boat house on the canal and six clinker-type boats, the novices' bequest to the philosophers. Thursday after Thursday (villa-day) from October 10 April, Vin spent his day not just repairing but rebuilding boats. He went to Norton, the boatbuilder in Athlone, who generously shared all his professional skills with him. Some boats he stripped almost to the gunwale and rebuilt.
Vin studied theology in Australia, where he was ordained to the priesthood, After the war, however, it was in Rathfarnham that he did his tertianship. He had a special interest in preaching, and was keen to hear Fr Patrick O Mara, whose fame as a conductor of the First Friday Holy hour had travelled as far as Australia. After a very few minutes in the church he left. “Oh, I couldn't stick that! When he started with “Up there amongst the candles and the flowers” I felt I'd had enough.” He was honestly unimpressed with Fr O’Mara's style.
Fr Garahy's toast to the priests of Killaloe could very aptly be applied to Vin:
They have no time for honeyed words or sentimental gush;
they do not lightly make a foe, or into friendships rush,
Would you be numbered 'mongst their friends? Be straight, as steel be true.
They ask no more, they take no less, the priests of Killaloe.
On the day following the news of his death, Vin's sister received a letter from him, saying that he was in the best of form. He died peacefully in his sleep. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal agus go méadaí Dia a ghlóir.

The Australian province's Fortnightly Report had this to say (no. 377, 1st June 1985):
“The sudden and most unexpected death of Fr Vin Conway was a great shock to us all and a profound loss to the College St Aloysius', Milson's Point, Sydney]. Virtually all his priestly life was spent here, where he laboured with prodigious industry and constantly, in humble obscurity, never seeking recognition. With Fr John Casey, he was co-founder of the redeveloped college. Against seemingly insuperable odds he forged ahead in most difficult times, sustained and fortified by his deep faith. I cannot begin to describe how deeply the College is indebted to him. The large congregation at his funeral was ample witness to his wide esteem among the Old Boys whom he helped so much.”


Fr Vincent Conway (1909-1929-1985) (Australia) : continued
(† 11th May 1985)

Giovanni Papini, in one of his several books of appreciation of the lives of great men, included an essay on 'Nobody' who, quite rightly, proved to be the most outstanding subject of all. He was the great unknown who invented the wheel, built the pyramids, designed and built the great mediaeval cathedrals of Europe: great achievers, like the “Unknown Solider”, “known only to God”. Every society has had them and the Least Society no less than any other,
Vincent Conway's achievements are not entirely unknown, and he was certainly one of those Jesuits of whom we may say his life was more subdued and hidden and its splendid achievement less advertised on earth, but certainly known to God as that of a “good and faithful servant”.
It has been said that Vin was born a simple farmer's son: he lived a simple farmer's son, and he died a simple farmer's son. That may be true enough so long as we recognise that the “simple Irish farmer” is mostly a man endowed with a very high degree of shrewdness. He was born one of eight children in County Meath between Navan and Kells, and he died just two weeks short of his 76th birthday.
As he began his secondary studies in the Salesian Agricultural College in his native county it may be assumed that it was first thought that he would follow in his father's footsteps as a farmer. The change for his last two years to the De La Salle School in Meath might suggest that a priestly vocation was looming on his horizon. This is confirmed by the fact that from there he entered the Diocesan Seminary in Westmeath.
After two years in the seminary he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1929. He studied for three years at the National University of Ireland, but without taking out a degree. He returned to Tullabeg for four years philosophy and after six months regency at Mungret he was assigned to the Australian Vice-Province. He taught for four years at St Aloysius College, Milson's Point. Except for his four years theology at Pymble and Tertianship in Ireland, and five years teaching at Riverview, St Aloysius College was to be his home for nearly forty years.
It was there that he died on the night of May 11th. He was found in the morning slumped on the floor as if having fallen from his chair. The large attendance of Old Boys at his requiem was a tribute to their respect, admiration and affection for one who had served them so faithfully while they were students, and no less as members of the Old Aloysians. In Ireland, too, he was remembered at a requiem Mass at Gardiner street, at which a good number of his contemporaries concelebrated with other priests and at which there were thirty-five of his relatives.
Vin was a great man and indefatigable worker. His years at the Salesian Agricultural College had given him some training in carpentry, which he put to good use during his theology at Canisius College as “College Carpenter”. When, after the first “boom” year of ordinations, there were twenty-six priests in the house, and before the days of concelebration, many altars were required for daily masses, all more or less at the same time in the morning. Vin made the missal stands and all sorts of altar furnishings in wood. The designs were County Meath but everything was like himself, plain, strong and serviceable. He was never a man for frills, any more than he was a man to cut corners on the essentials.
When the College had been built, a short time before, the builders had provided mirrors above the wash basins in each room, but no shaving cabinets. It was Vin who undertook to make a cabinet to fit each mirror and he trained a few other scholastics to help in this work. There were over forty to be made and some modest celebration marked the completion of this very welcome service.
These were only some of his tasks. He was always ready to lend a hand at any job with perseverance and a ready smile, whether it was hard digging in the garden or field, or to learn an instrument to play in the orchestra. He would give a groan, more of modesty that he should be asked than of complaint, and take up the task with a will, Like all the men who came to us from Ireland, he was a dedicated apostle.
As Fr Cecil Smith points out, much of the the burden of carrying out John Casey's plan for the completion of St Aloysius College fell on Vin's shoulders. Cecil was closely associated with him in these years of his rectorship of the College, 1961-67. It is his tribute that follows:

Vin Conway's name was seldom seen in the Fortnightly Report. He was the original "quiet achiever". Because he avoided the limelight and his voice never rose above a conversational level and was more often below it, few knew him outside his much loved St Aloysius College.
Apart from a brief spell as Headmaster Riverview Junior School, most of his working life was spent at SAC. As Sportsmaster he delighted in coaching Rugby, especially the skills and schemes of the forward pack. Later, when he was appointed Rector to succeed Jack Casey, surprised and bewildered that Provincials could be so lacking in judgment. Coming into dinner that night he gave a very good impression of a stunned mullet. He knew what had been dumped in his lap: a programme to rebuild St Aloysius, initiated by Jack Casey, but far from activated.
An expensive excavation had been cut by Civil & Civic and there was no money available to pay for it. Jack, despite application to numerous financial institutions, had been unable to raise a loan. Provincial consultors were asking basic questions like, 'How do you expect to build a school costing millions when you have no money?', and such like.
Because he was convinced it was 'God's work', Vin bounded over all the fences using his almost ruthless determination and his skill at making people see his way, as his springs.
He had a remarkable memory for the names and faces of people he had met . Old Boys - hundreds of them - he greeted by name and could reel off the dates they were at school, and all gory details, No wonder they all loved him! He had a reputation for being tight-fisted with tight-fisted with money and with good reason - he was! He had to be in those early days at SAC where the pound had to be stretched; and stretch it he did. He just could not comprehend the affluence of today as anything but sinful.
Vin was a remarkable man, much underestimated by many. His selfless ness, his balanced self-control, his Irish humour, his faith and confidence in God, his complete loyalty to the Society,
his prayerfulness – so many qualities to make the man Peter Steele described as a good servant and a good Jesuit'.
May he enjoy his new job of oiling and painting the gates of heaven of
Cecil Smith, SJ

According to Irish province catalogues, Fr Conway's philosophy course lasted he was the usual three years, not four, Thanks to Jesuit life for mentioning his six month regency in Mungret, which because of its shortness escaped notice our 1938 catalogue. in More importantly, though: his assignment to Australia took place, not after that regency (c. Christmas 1937), but during (or before) the first year of his juniorate (c. 1931). The story of the accidental discovery by ten Irish juniors, including Vincent, of their assignment to Australia was recounted in IPN, July 1985, p. 181.

Carroll, Thomas, 1790-1866, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/110
  • Person
  • 20 December 1790-21 June 1866

Born: 20 December 1790, Edenderry, County Offaly
Entered: 09 October 1825, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Final vows: 08 September 1841
Died: 21 June 1866, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He did a very long Postulancy at Tullabeg, while it was being built, being received there in 1817 by Peter Kenney. he had come with an architect by whom he had been taught masonry.
He eventually Ent formally at Clongowes 09 October 1825.
For forty years he was employed as a mason in different houses, and died at the Dublin Residence 21 June 1866
He was a man of great integrity and true simplicity. Always the same, of a most even temper, he was very well suited to the Society. Even in his long Postulancy and Novitiate, he was remarkable for his deep humility and patience.

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

Durnin, Dermot, 1913-1980, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/132
  • Person
  • 11 January 1913-06 December 1980

Born: 11 January 1913, Clontarf, Dublin
Entered: 18 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 06 December 1980, Tenerife, Spain

Part of St Francis Xavier's community, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin.

Younger brother of Des - RIP 1982

Irish Province News 56th Year No 1 1981
Gardiner Street
A week after Dermot Durnin’s death, we are still stunned by the fact. He and his quick wit will be missed very much, not only by his brethren here but also, grievously, by his “ladies” in St Monica’s. He had built up such a cheery relationship with every one of them and used to give them so much of his time that the news was really shattering and has left them still bewildered. At least they must have been comforted by the send-off we gave him: 65 priests concelebrated the Mass in a crowded church. One of the congregation remarked that the ceremony was “heavenly”. (One of the community was overheard wondering aloud if Dermot was digging his friend Pearse O’Higgins in the ribs and begging him to “tell that one again”.) His totally Christian attitude towards death, an attitude of joyful anticipation, prevents us from grudging him his reward, though this doesn't diminish our sense of loss.

On 22nd December, Fr Mark Quigley slipped away from us to make his way to Heaven: requiescat in pace! It was typical of him that his departure was so quiet and peaceful as to be almost unnoticed. When he did not get up that morning, it was found that he was only half-conscious and had the appearance of approaching death. The doctor confirmed that he had only a few hours to live. Many of the community visited him during the morning and prayed with him and for him. Though he could not speak clearly, when asked if he would like the prayers for the dying to be said, by nodding his head he acknowledged his awareness of imminent death. Just about half an hour before he died, he succeeded in pulling his crucifix up to his lips and kissing it. Three of us were with him when he breathed his last gentle breath, without the slightest sound or struggle.
Go ndéanaí Dia trócaire ar a anam mín mánla.

Fr Dermot Durnin (1913-1931-1980)
It would of course be presumptuous to attempt to evaluate another Jesuit's quality or achievements. I only wish here to express my appreciation of Dermot Durnin. I knew him well early in his Jesuit life and at the end of it. I did not live with him at all during the central period when he was teaching.
In his young period, Dermot might well have been described as bouncy, buoyant, breezy - or something like that. In his later years these stimulating and attractive characteristics had mellowed into a very deep and helpful optimism, a reassuring hopefulness and good humour that made him many friends and gave him great influence with people. The transition seemed as easy as the transforming of blossom into fruit - but I'm sure much prayer and deliberate effort went into the process.
He was really quite a taut personality. I remember how in the novitiate he used to talk and laugh and sing in his sleep, and how hard it was to wake him gently out of sleep. He was inclined to lash out with shock when he was awakened. In the noviceship he had a few black-outs which gave rise to anxiety about his health and caused his first vows to be postponed for six months. He was always affected by strident noise in his vicinity - and seemed to wilt under excessive heartiness and loudness. But, characteristically, he would calm down the offending trumpeter with a joke rather than a dirty look.
He was always one of the good humoured people in the grim days of too early rising, excessively tense and prolonged periods of silence, along with restricted human contacts and relationships. He rode the adverse currents, and was never submerged by them.
Many sagas, myths and legends of the 30s and 40s will be lost to posterity now that he and Pearse O’Higgins have taken the long car to Glasnevin. He loved to trigger off at will any of Pearse’s stories, and would then enjoy both the story and Pearse’s absorption in the playing of the familiar record. They were both enthusiastic and reasonably skilled performers on the mouth-organ. Dermot had a very good ear for music and languages. He really loved to fire off a sentence in some more unusual language with perfect intonation, so that a speaker of that language would presume that he was fully fluent in it: he did it in Basque, Hungarian and some African language as well as Spanish, French, etc. It made immediate and friendly contact.
He played music constantly in his room. These last few years I never passed his door on the narrow corridor in Gardiner street without hearing the pleasant sounds of Mozart or Bach or someone in Dermot’s room, as he worked on his voluminous correspondence with the supporters of the JSA. Much of the harmony seems to have seeped into his letters. People loved to get them and felt he was a friend of theirs: perhaps he made giving easy. He was devoted to things Irish, but found much of Irish music, strangely, somewhat boring. One of the ways he served the elderly in St Monica's these last years was by getting them to sing at the liturgy. He brought great vitality to them, and nowhere is he more missed than there. I never saw him in action in Lourdes, but have no doubt about the tremendous love he had for the place and all whom he met. He spent some months there every year,
He was always something of a sun worshipper: I remember one villa in Termonfeckin during theology when the weather was very poor and most people spent their time indoors, playing cards or talking the hind-legs off the chairs: Dermot and I used to go down to the beach and absorb whatever rays were percolating through the mists. At the end of the fortnight, when others looked more pallid and dyspeptic than when they started their holiday, we looked as if we had been on the Riviera. So – if he had to go as soon as this – I like to think that he went with the much-loved caress of the sun on his skin; an indication of the warmth and all-embracing nature of the welcome he must have received from the Good Spirit which was his guiding light. I hope he is happy, even laughing, as I write this well-meant rubbish.
Michael Sweetman

Dermot began teaching in the Crescent, Limerick, in 1947. He was an extremely able and dedicated teacher. He could being poor-ability classes to the examination standards required. If boys were anyway weak in subjects they petitioned to be assigned to his classes. While insisting on work being done he was always bright and humorous in class.
He also helped in the production of the school operas - a feature of the school in those days – training the boys in learning and acting their parts. He was also spiritual father to the boys and in charge of some of the school sodalities as well as sub-minister, till his illness necessitated a lessening of activity.

Sr Thérèse Marie of the Poor Clares in Lourdes sent the following tribute:
We think especially of a dear and very good friend, Father Dermot Durnin (SJ, Dublin), who died unexpectedly on 6th December. This year (1980) had been his tenth year coming to Lourdes as Spiritual guide to the Michael Walsh Groups – a job that he took very much to heart, and every one of ‘his pilgrims' left Lourdes full of joy and satisfaction after the 4-5-day pilgrimage that he had helped them to make. He gave hope, joyful hope, to everyone, because he himself had complete trust in the Sacred Heart of Jesus!
Fr Durnin had a deep love for our Lady and for the Rosary, His pilgrims will never forget their nightly Rosary across the river from the Grotto, nor the little story which he loved to repeat to every group, in order to bring them all closer to Her: the story of the small child who got lost in Dublin. She was crying and frightened as onlookers and Guards questioned her: “Where do you live? Where is your home?”, and all the little one could sob out was, “It's where my mammy is!” Then Father would point out to his listeners that our home, our true home, is where Mary, our Mother, is. Surely She welcomed him in there on 8th December! We can picture him now, with that winning, almost laughing smile, saying “Why should you worry? I'm home!”
He will always be remembered here: he was part of our chapel, and we could always count on him, in the absence of our Chaplain, for the Rosary and Benediction. He came many times into the enclosure to bring holy Communion to our sick nuns. None of us looked on him as “a foreigner”. His gentle manner and discretion radiated the peace of Christ whom he carried. His visits to the parlour were a joy. We know that he will not forget us now in the heavenly country where, as he liked to say, all is glorious music and song!

Another former chaplain at Lourdes, who had met Fr Dermot there, namely Fr Hugh Gallagher, PP, Clonmany, Co Donegal, thought highly enough of him to make the long journey from farthest Inishowen to be present at the Gardiner street requiem.

St Ignatius’ College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1880-

  • Corff corfforaethol
  • 1880-

Since its foundation in 1880, Saint Ignatius’ College, Riverview has been under the care of the Society of Jesus. After Archbishop Vaughan asked the Jesuits to open a day school in Sydney (St Kilda House, later to become St Aloysius’ College) and a boarding college on the North Shore, Father Joseph Dalton purchased the Riverview Estate on behalf of the Society of Jesus on 28 June 1878. Eighteen months later Father Dalton was appointed foundation Rector of Saint Ignatius’ College.

An advertisement was placed in the Catholic newspaper, The Express, stating that boys aged between eight and 12 would be received at Riverview ‘as soon as possible after the Christmas holidays’. Classes commenced in the cottage in February 1880. The cottage soon became very cramped as more boys arrived and in order to provide better accommodation, St Michael’s House was built. The building was designed by William Wardell and opened on the feast of Saint Michael, 29 September 1880. Further building took place at the College in 1882 with the construction of a wooden boatshed, and in 1883 the infirmary was built.

In its early years, the College offered ‘Classical and Modern Languages, History, Mathematics, the Natural Sciences and all other branches required for the Civil Service, the Junior, Senior and Matriculation Examinations.’ It was advertised that the curriculum included a modern side: mercantile subjects. By December 1882, with an enrolment of only 70 students, the College extended the curriculum to include English Composition, Writing, Music, Singing, Drawing, Painting, Irish History and Oral Latin. The main building of the College was constructed in three stages between 1885–1930 and the foundation stone was laid by Cardinal Moran Archbishop of Sydney on 15 December 1885. As originally designed by the architectural firm of Gilbert, Dennihey and Tappin, of Ballarat, the building was to be a huge square, representing four identical fronts, but only the South front was completed according to plan.

St Aloysius' College, Sydney, Australia, 1879-

  • Corff corfforaethol
  • 1879-

In 1878 the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Roger Bede Vaughan, a Benedictine, met with Fr Joseph Dalton SJ and asked the Jesuits to found a College for boys to meet the needs of the growing Catholic community in Sydney. A property known as St Kilda House on the corner of Cathedral Street and Palmer Street was rented for this purpose. Forty-five students were admitted on 3 February 1879. The number gradually increased during the year to one hundred and fifteen.

In September, 1883 the College moved to a property known as Auburn Villa in Darlinghurst. This building was later demolished to make way for St Margaret's Maternity Hospital. The name "Auburn Villa" was changed on purchase to ‘St Aloysius’, the patron Saint of Youth.

Numbers fluctuated considerably towards the end of the century. On 2 February 1903, the College relocated to its present site on Upper Pitt Street at Milsons Point.

As the College community increased, a new wing was constructed and in 1916 an attractive property known as Wyalla, opposite the College, was purchased. In 1939 some market gardens in Tyneside Avenue, East Willoughby, were acquired to build the College Sports Ground.

The number of students after World War II increased rapidly and after considering various options, the Jesuits re-developed the College, beginning in 1961. Existing buildings were demolished and rebuilt in four stages.

To celebrate its one hundredth birthday, the College embarked on a fifth stage which was opened in 1981. Then, in 1991, the College purchased Milsons Point Primary School and created a Junior School Campus in Burton Street, Milsons Point.

In 1995 the Jesuit community, who had always lived within the College, left the main building for a community house at 38 Jeffrey Street. This allowed the top two floors of the College to be renovated.

Most recently, in 2011, the College opened a new basketball court, swimming pool and gymnasium at Dalton Hall, next to Wyalla. Going forward, Plan Magis plans for further redevelopment of both Upper Pitt St and Wyalla, to meet the growing needs of the College.

Dempsey, James, 1832-1904, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/134
  • Person
  • 18 May 1832-03 October 1904

Born: 18 May 1832, Clane, County Kildare
Entered: 09 September 1860, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Final vows: 15 August 1873
Died: 03 October 1904, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He spent many years of his life as a shoemaker at Clongowes, Milltown and Mungret.
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.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - PATRICK. Began in Clongowes. Came to Noviceship 09 September 1860.

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

  • Person
  • 1795-1887

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

Hardwicke Street Chapel, 1821-1829

  • Corff corfforaethol
  • 1821-1841

The church in Hardwicke Street (where the Jesuits had been since the 1730s) had opened in 1821, but by 1829 had become too small for the congregation. Previously had be a nunnery for the order of St Clare, who moved to Harold' Cross. The Jesuits opened a school in the church in Hardwicke Street in 1832 and in 1841, they purchased Belvedere House (Belvedere College).

Noonan, Seán, 1919-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/513
  • Person
  • 20 January 1919-04 January 1995

Born: 20 January 1919, Mitchelstown, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Died: 04 January 1995, Mater Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's community, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin at the time of death.

by 1979 at Boston MA, USA (NEN) sabbatical

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996


Fr Seán Noonan (1919-1995)

20th Jan, 1919; Born in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork
Education: CBS Mitchelstown
7th Sept. 1938: Entered Society at Emo, Co. Laois
8th Sept. 1940: First Vows at Emo
1940 - 1943: Rathfarnham, Arts at UCD
1943 - 1946: Philosophy at Tullabeg, Co. Offaly
1946 - 1948: Mungret College, Teacher
1948 - 1949: Belvedere College, Teacher
1949 - 1953: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1952: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park by Archbishop J.C. McQuaid
1953 - 1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnam
1954 - 1957: Manresa Retreat House, Retreats
1957 - 1958: Clongowes Wood College, Spiritual Father
1958 - 1960: Loyola House, Mission Staff
1960 - 1963; Belvedere College, Mission Staff
1963 - 1965: Emo, Mission Staff
1965 - 1969: Tullabeg, Mission Staff
1969 - 1977: Rathfarnham, Retreat Work
1977 - 1979: Mitchelstown Parish, Supply
1979 - 1980: Boston, Sabbatical
1980 - 1985: Rathfarnham, Assistant Director, Retreats, Spiritual Father
1985 - 1995: Gardiner Street, Assistant in Church, Chaplain
4th Jan. 1995: Died at the Mater Hospital, Dublin

Homily at Funeral Mass, Feast of the Epiphany 1995

The Gospel story speaks about the Magi, the wise men who come from the east, and who make their way to Bethlehem. They are guided by the light of a star, and drawn to Jesus who is the light of the world. There is no other way to come to Jesus. We must be drawn to him. No one, Jesus said, can come to me, unless he is drawn by the Father. Somewhere, somewhere in our experience of the world, there is a star, a light drawing us to God, Somewhere in our experience of life, there is a sign, a sign of God's presence drawing us to Jesus.

The journey of the wise men leads them towards the light. But it leads them also through darkness and danger. Because theirs is the journey of life, a journey of risks and rewards. When they reach Jerusalem, the star disappears. They encounter the person of Herod and the reality of hatred. In the darkness, they are forced to search around to find the way forward. Jesus has a special affection for those who experience the anxiety of searching He sets a high value on those who are prepared to search for Him. To them he makes the promise: Seek and you will find.

The searching of the wise men is rewarded. The star reappears and leads them to Bethlehem, where they find the child Jesus and his mother Mary. They kneel in worship and offer themselves to him, through their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The sure sign that a person has found Jesus, and come to recognise him as the Son of God, is when love responds to love, when a grateful heart moves us to worship, when our worship of God moves us to give ourselves to others.

When the wise men find Jesus in Bethlehem, their search is ended, but their journey continues. They leave Bethlehem and return home by another way, to share what they have received, to bring the light of Christ to the lands of the East. To be a light shining in the darkness. This is the meaning of Jesus' life, This is the mission of the Church. This is the vocation of every Christian. Christ can only be the light of the world, if the Church is faithful to its calling, to bring the light of Christ to those who live in darkness, to bring the love of God to those who live in fear.

Rays of Light
This morning we have joined together in the Eucharist, to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, and to commend to God his servant, Fr. Sean Noonan. There is something very fitting about this, because in many ways the light of Christ, shone through the life and ministry of Fr. Seán. Those who knew him could recognise the RAYS of this light. All through his life, be bore a great love and affection for his family and friends. For the greater part of his priestly life, he dedicated himself to his ministry in countless missions and retreats and novenas.

He was always a friendly man, who brought warmth and colour into the lives of others, He was a generous man, who gave freely of what he had received. He was a man of God, who was drawn easily to prayer, and who drew others to prayer.

Companion of Jesus
And, very important for Seán, he was a Jesuit, a companion of Jesus, a son of Ignatius. In his preaching he often told people, that after St. Ignatius was ordained a priest, he spent the following year preparing for his first Mass by praying to Our Lady that she might be pleased to place him with her Son. Let us pray now that Mary will continue to intercede for Fr. Seán that God the Father will place him in the eternal and loving presence of his Son.

Brendan Murray SJ

Meade, Matthew, 1912-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/529
  • Person
  • 19 February 1912-26 August 1992

Born: 19 February 1912, Ballymaclode Castle, County Waterford
Entered: 29 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1947, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 26 August 1992, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin

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

Early Education at Waterpark College, Warerford

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995


Fr Matthew (Mattie) Meade (1912-1992)

19th Feb. 1912: Born, Ballymaclode Castle, Co. Waterford
Educated: Waterpark College, Waterford
29th Sept.1930; Entered the Society at Emo Park
1932 - 1935: Arts at UCD. Lived at Rathfarnham
1935 - 1938: Philosophy at Tullabeg
1938 - 1941: Teaching (H.Dip.in 1940) in Galway
1941 - 1945: Theology at Milltown
31st July 1944: Ordained
1945 - 1946: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1946 - 1948: Teaching in Galway
1948 - 1951: Assistant Director Sod. B.V.M.; Director of Missions and Retreats: Emo
1951 - 1953: Assistant Director Sod. B.V.M.: Director of Missions and Retreats: Rathfarnham
1953 - 1957: Church work at Gardiner Street
1957 - 1963: Superior at Gardiner Street
1963 - 1968: Director of Missions and Retreats, Oecon. Irish Messenger at 35 Lower Leeson Street
1968 - 1974: Director of Retreat House/ Director of Missions and Retreats at Rathfarnham
1974 - 1982: Superior of Rathfarnham
1982 - 1992: Manresa, Oeconimus
26th Aug. 1992: Died at Beaumont Hospital

His birth place, Waterford City, had a strong Jesuit history and tradition as the members of the Irish Province discovered when we travelled for the celebrations on June 16th 1991 connected with St. Patrick's Church still in use as the out church in the Cathedral Parish, It was in St. Patrick's that the Irish Jesuits worked from 1691 practically to the suppression of the Society, many of them of outstanding ability and revered and respected by the priests of the Diocese. Mattie was very proud of their unique influence and tradition. Louis McRedmond's history of Irish Jesuits makes fascinating reading for all Waterford men with names and details so vivid and accurate.

Mattie's early years in the Society were the routine ones at that period, starting with Emo in September 1930 at the age of eighteen, followed by Arts at UCD, Tullabeg, two years experience in teaching at Galway, and then theology at Milltown Park, Ordained on 31st July, 1944, he was then a young man with a lovely balanced sense of humour, a most popular community man. This gift he kept thankfully through his life and already one could detect the signs of a true seanchaí, one who had a shrewd mind with plenty of common sense.

His first apostolic work was two years back teaching in Galway which he loved and often spoke warmly of the community and especially Fr. Bart Coughlan's quaint words of wisdom. Then suddenly he found himself as Director of Missions and Retreats for twenty years, living in Emo, Leeson Street and Rathfarnham Castle. This was a job that suited him admirably as he was naturally methodical, placid and gradually developed a great relationship with the secular clergy.

The next ten years stationed in Gardiner Street, six as Superior, were to his liking: he showed fine qualities, offering sound advice, using his wrist when necessary and not afraid to deal strongly with serious problems, though not a man to seek confrontation. It was the time when the Provincial and his curia still lived at St. Francis Xavier's.

The years at Rathfarnham Castle 1968-82, eight as Superior, he remarked were the fourteen happiest years in the Society. This in a way was strange as the “young men” had vanished and Rathfarnham Castle seemed to outsiders at least a rather lonely house. He developed and guided the promoters attached to the Retreat House Association who did trojan apostolic work with an appreciative backing from Mattie. They were men whom he admired, respected and with whom he built up a magnificent bond. I remember his Golden Jubilee celebrations when he invited the priests of the parish, the De La Salle Brothers, the Loreto Abbey Sisters and others. But his chief guests at that dinner were Pat Boland, his maintenance man, who, with his wife, occupied the place of honour. Very typical of Mattie. It was a gesture that one would not forget too easily.

The last ten years of his life were spent at Manresa Retreat House where he filled with a delicate touch the job of Oeconimus. It was a pleasant task for him because by nature he was tidy, entered items every day, and was always up to date in his books. He grew in wisdom and grace at this stage and the Community could sit back and listen with a chuckle to his own, less than pious verses about the “Nun of Loftus Hall”, “The Thimbleful of Vinum in a Cup”, and many other gems reminding us of days long past. They were recited from memory without the slightest change of even a comma. When a certain new man joined the Community he was ruefully heard to remark that he now enjoyed precious little air space! Then for the last two years the health became a problem. He suffered patiently but luckily he had some good periods. His last week at Beaumont Hospital was blessed for him as he really liked all the men in his ward. He was happy and thoroughly enjoyed every day of that week. He could ask for no more. He had good company and a good audience. Then he suffered a stroke and lasted two days, dying quietly and without fuss

Some people go through life in the Society and sometimes Jesuits tend to forget them and may not even mention them that often. But Mattie was not easy to forget because he was a rare and loveable character, but above all because he was the ideal Community man who did so much for the Irish Province. Fr. Paddy Greene paid a nice tribute to him in Irish at his Requiem Mass in St. Francis Xavier's - a fitting farewell .

Kieran Hanley

Kelly, William, 1931-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/559
  • Person
  • 01 October 1931-21 August 2000

Born: 01 October 1931, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1967, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome, Italy
Died: 21 August 2000, Staten Island, New York NY, USA

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

by 1966 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000


Fr William (Billy) Kelly (1931-2000)

1931, Oct1st: Born in Limerick
Early education at St. Ignatius College, Galway.
1949, 7th Sept: Entered the Society at Emo
1951, 8th Sept: First vows at Emo
1951 - 1954: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1954 - 1957: Tullabeg - Philosophy
1957 - 1960: Coláiste lognáid, Galway - Teacher
1960 - 1964: Milltown Park - Theology
1963, July 31st: Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1964 - 1965: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1965 - 1968: Rome - Studied Canon Law
1968 - 2000: Professor of Canon Law at the Milltown Institute; working at the Dublin Diocesan Marriage Tribunal
2000, Aug 21st: Died Staten Island, New York

Billy suffered from angina and had heart surgery a number of years ago. He spent part of his summer each year on supply in a parish in the U.S.A. It was while he was there that he suffered a heart attack and died at Staten Island on 21st August 2000.

Michael Hurley SJ gave the homily at the funeral mass for Fr. Billy Kelly, at Milltown Park on Monday September 4 2000...

Euge, euge!

My reason for making the unusual choice of the parable of the talents (Mt 25:14-17, 19-23) as our gospel reading this morning is precisely because the text I wanted to have for my homily occurs in it and not just once but twice. Some of you will have noticed that I shortened the passage and omitted all reference to the servant who received one talent and buried it, hid it in the ground. I did so of course because I didn't want us distracted with questions about the meaning of the parable as a whole, much less with questions about the treatment of the servant who had received the one talent. I wanted us to concentrate and focus all our attention and interest on those great, glorious evangelical words which I am taking as my text: Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord, come and share the joy, the happiness of your Lord.

I can think of no more appropriate words for this occasion. These were surely the words which the choirs of angels and the whole court of heaven were singing on Monday afternoon last - and it was probably in the afternoon about 3 o'clock rather than in the evening about 8 o'clock - when Billy made his surprised entry. As we'll be reminded once again at the end of this Mass, the funeral liturgy explicitly invites us to imagine the angels and saints leading and escorting and welcoming Billy into paradise, into the holy city, to the bosom of Abraham, to the supper of the Lamb, to meet our Lord and his Mother, to sit down at table with them at the banquet feast which is heaven. Figuring prominently of course among the welcoming party will have been Billy's father and his mother to whom he was particularly devoted especially as he was an only child; and Billy's favourite saints but he was so private a person that we don't know their names and also his favourite Jesuit friends who have gone before him to prepare a place for him. Some of these however we do know. Denis Flannery will certainly have been in the front row, Denis, Billy's contemporary and missionary in Zambia on whom he lavished such tender loving care the year before last in Cherryfield when Denis was dying; and Dicky Butler, his headmaster when he was a young Jesuit scholastic in Galway( 1957-60). Dicky was so kind that Billy broke the strange resolution he made after his mother's death; never to visit Galway again . When Dicky died he did go back to attend the funeral. Dicky, it is not perhaps inappropriate to recall, was a fellow conservative. He did read The Tablet but only, as Dicky himself would tell you good humouredly, to find out what they were up to in the enemy camp!

But what were the angels singing on Monday afternoon- and what are they still singing? Well what I hear them singing and what I invite you to hear are the words of my text from Matthew's gospel: 'Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord, come and share the joy of thy Lord'. All the words of this refrain are of course important but the first are of some particular interest, especially if we consult the Latin and Greek versions which the angels will surely know and with which many of you will be quite familiar. The “Well Done” of the English version is of course “euge” in the Latin and “eu” in the Greek. So in the Greek and the Latin the first word of the Scripture text for my homily this morning is none other than the first syllable of that dreaded word 'eulogy': dreaded at least in the context of a funeral liturgy not only by canonists and bishops and by Billy himself both personally and professionally because he was so completely self effacing, he had so sadly convinced himself he didn't deserve any praise or recognition.. But that of course was in his previous earth-bound existence when the thought of a eulogy especially by the likes of me would have appalled him. In heaven however life is changed; he no longer sees as in a glass darkly. An evangelical, heavenly eulogy is different. And all we on earth are trying to do this morning is what we do every day at mass : joining our voices with those of the angels, joining in their hymn of praise, in their eulogy of God and his blessings and his gifts which of course is what all our merits and talents and all Billy's merits and talents really are.

Billy was greatly loved and widely loved. He was a charmer and everyone was very fond of him. Mgr Gerry Sheehy rang me on Tuesday afternoon to express his sympathy. “Billy”, he said, “Billy was loved here in our place. We were devastated at the news of his sudden death”. Mgr Sheehy was speaking about the offices of the Marriage Tribunal in Archbishop's House here in Dublin. Billy worked there most Fridays of the year. In between the perfectionist in him agonised over judgements he had to prepare: he was so careful and painstaking and he laboured under the handicap of not being able to type and finding it difficult to put pen to paper - writing was never his forte.

Billy was certainly a good and faithful servant of his Lord' in the work of the Marriage Tribunal. But what Mgr Sheehy said about the Marriage Tribunal was of course reechoed here in the Milltown Institute. The death notice in the staff room spoke tenderly of Billy as “a dear friend as well as colleague and in the first reading from the Book of Wisdom the Registrar, feeling like all of us the grievous loss which Billy's death is and finding it difficult not to identify with the 'unwise, was clearly making her own both personally and officially their sentiments about Billy's death “looking like a disaster”.

Billy had taught canon law here since 1968. It was not the subject he would personally have chosen for specialisation had he been given the choice. But he wasn't, and being an obedient as well as a faithful servant of his Lord he accepted and made himself an expert in this forbidding, despised field. After doing doctoral work in Rome he became a competent and devoted teacher here. He was always well prepared for class and at a critical period in the Church's history when canon law was in disrepute he succeeded in engaging the interest and indeed the affection of his students many of whom are here present today. He was a popular teacher especially with his non-Irish, his foreign students.

In the Milltown Institute Billy was also the founder and first director of the Spiritual Studies Programme and outside the Institute he was much in demand for consultancy work. So very many of Billy's professional colleagues and students past and present are sadly but also happily joining in the angels' refrain: Well Done Good and Faithful Servant.

Voices from the USA and elsewhere join the chorus too, Every Summer for the past 17 years Billy has done a supply in the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Staten Island, New York. The Pastor reports that the appearance in the parish in mid June this year of another visiting priest raised fears that Billy was not coming this time and a deluge of callers to the Presbytery were greatly relieved to hear their fears were in vain. On Saturday the former pastor, Bishop Ahern, was to have presided at a funeral mass in the parish but was prevented at the last minute. The present pastor Mgr Francis Boyle presided instead and, preaching the homily, spoke in glowing terms of the esteem in which Billy was held. I had the opportunity of speaking on the phone with the Pastor and with the parish secretary, Rosemary: they both spoke very highly of Billy. Rosemary was probably the last person to see him alive - on Monday about 1 p.m. in a local store buying, I'm afraid, the inevitable : cigarettes! She had offered him a lift back to the presbytery but he declined, preferring to walk. Rosemary and all in the Blessed. Sacrament parish of Staten Island happily join the angelic chorus as they sing to Billy: Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.

What about the Milltown Park Jesuit Community? Billy lived here from 1960 to 1964 while he studied theology and incidentally had to suffer me as one of his teachers. Then after his tertianship as it's called in the Jesuit curriculum vitae jargon and after doctoral work in Rome Billy came back to live here again while he carried on his teaching and consultancy work in the field of canon law. No man is a hero to his valet; no Jesuit is a hero in his own community. But like the Marriage Tribunal and the Milltown Institute and the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Staten Island we too can truly say: Billy was well loved here. We too join with the angels in saying: 'Euge, eu , well done good and faithful servant enter into the joy of our common Lord'. Billy will be sorely missed here in the Milltown Park community for his kindness, his readiness to listen, for his shrewd advice, for his outspoken honesty, for the spirited exchanges he loved to stimulate. His death leaves a void, a void which can never be filled.

What became very clear to us here in the community, what today's congregation confirms is Billy's huge capacity for friendship, his wide circle of friends lay and clerical, men and women.. He was of course a man of broad interests (particularly well informed on world affairs) and of exquisite taste---not least in music. More significantly however he was utterly generous in giving his time, his gifts, his expertise, in giving himself to others, face to face or on the phone. He was generous - some of us thought to a fault. He spent hours and hours, days and days helping people in trouble, extricating them from the difficult situations in which their own imprudence or the entanglements of canon law had got them involved. His personal compassion and his professional epieikeia combined to make him a great benefactor. He spent himself and was spent for others.

But Billy's most remarkable and most endearing gift was what I would call his magnanimity: his capacity to put people themselves first, to put their isms very much in second place if any place at all. This magnanimity, as I saw and experienced it, is a spiritual gift analogous to that of forgiveness. In principle forgiveness enables us to love the sinner, the offender without ever condoning the sin, while indeed hating the sin, the offence. This is of course much easier said than done and as a result much more often said than done. Billy's magnanimity was somewhat similar to forgiveness: it meant he could have close friends whose views he did not share, whose views indeed he rejected. He didn't suffer fools gladly but he could and did suffer gladly some of us who differed from him. It is said of St John (St Polycarp tells the story) that he fled the baths in alarm one day on finding the heretic Cerinthus there. “Let us flee”, John is said to have cried out. “let us flee lest the baths collapse since the enemy of truth is here”. Unlike St John - in this at least - Billy had no fear that the community quarters here in Milltown would collapse because I was there and others like me who differed from him. Billy and I coexisted amicably and indeed affectionately, if at times furiously. He was no great ecumenist and he had no great love for Northern Ireland. He would never visit there though he did once allow himself to be driven through to get the boat at Larne. But despite my ecumenism and despite my concern for reconciliation in Northern Ireland, despite what he was prone to see or affected to see as my ecumania or my Protestantism and unionism, Billy and I remained good friends! It is with great sadness but also with great happiness that I join the angelic chorus as they sing their evangelical, heavenly eulogy: Euge, serve bone et fidelis-well done good and faithful servant, well done, Billy, come and share the joy of our Lord.

Those who make the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius hear Christ in the meditation on the Kingdom addressing them in these words: 'It is my will to conquer the whole world and all my enemies. Therefore whoever wishes to join me in this enterprise must be willing to labour with me, that by following me in suffering, he may follow me in glory”. Billy made these Spiritual Exercises and that meditation which comes at the beginning of the Second Week. He heard that call and answered with great generosity wishing indeed with God's help to 'distinguish himself in the service of Christ his Lord and King. But he heard the call not just once away back in 1949 when he made his first Long Retreat with Donal O'Sullivan as a Jesuit novice in Emo . He heard it daily ever since and answered it - less emotionally perhaps but no less generously. So the angelic chorus which sang him into heaven on Monday were simply indicating the fulfilment of the promise made by Christ the King: Billy having followed him in labours and in suffering as a Jesuit for fifty one years would now follow him in glory; would now share his joy, his peace : “Well done, good and faithful servant... Come, take possession of the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (cf Mt 25:34).

Michael Hurley, SJ

Grehan, John, 1820-1865, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/567
  • Person
  • 20 February 1820-30 May 1865

Born: 20 February 1820, Dublin
Entered: 25 November 1844, Avignon, France - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Ordained: 1853
Professed: 15 August 1861
Died: 30 May 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1847 at Vals (LUGD) studying
by 1851 at Laval (FRA) studying Theology
by 1853 Theology at St Beuno’s

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Came from a very religious family in Dublin, his father Stephen and his mother née Ryan. They were very wealthy, and used it for many charitable purposes.

As a young man John felt a strong calling to Priesthood, and studied hard for two years before Entry in order to be better prepared. In spite of his talent and study, he felt unworthy of such a calling, and thought of becoming a Christian Brother. His confessor encouraged him to apply to the Society.

After First Vows he studied Philosophy, and was then called to Clongowes, where he spent three or four years as a Prefect. He then spent further years in France studying Theology, ending these studies in England, and was Ordained 1853.
After Ordination he worked as a priest, but with failing health, was sent to Milltown Park as Procurator, an office he held until his death. He also was Minister for two of those years.
With poor health and conscious of impending death, he spent a good deal of his last year examining his conscience, slowly finding his fears allayed, and often spoke of God’s mercy and goodness towards him. Though in the last stages of illness his mind wandered, he was able to ask for the Last Rites and Absolution before he died.
A great number of Priests, secular and religious attended his funeral. Dr Whelan, Vicar Apostolic of Bombay presided, assisted by the Vicar General of the Dublin Diocese.

Meagher, Patrick, 1799-1855, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/575
  • Person
  • 21 July 1799-17 April 1855

Born: 21 July 1799, Newfoundland, Canada (Co Waterford)
Entered: 24 February 1828, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 September 1834, Marlborough Street, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1846
Died: 17 April 1855, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

Uncle of Thomas Francis Meagher.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Came to Stonyhurst for early education and studied Humanities. He was keen to be a barrister, and studied law for some years afterwards before Entry.

He joined HIB Vice-Province 24 February 1828
After First Vows he was sent as Prefect either to Clongowes or Tullabeg
He was ordained by Dr Murray, Archbishop of Dublin - who had also ordained him Deacon - in Marlborough St 29 September 1834.
1847 he had been nine years Minister in Belvedere, and 14 March 1847 he was appointed Rector. He died in office 1855. As well as his work in Belvedere, he was also a Spiritual Director to a community of Carmelite Nuns. At one stage he was ill for a while, and the esteem in which he was held is witnessed by the number of visitors that called daily to enquire after him. He was remarkable for his union with God and great prudence in business. He was a truly spiritual man, and he viewed everything with the eyes of faith. he was perfectly straightforward and a model of charity towards others. He was a model religious, and never did his virtues appear to better advantage than during the last months of his life: as he lay dying, suffering most intensely, he was most patient and never murmured. Father Frank Murphy assisted him in his last moments, and he died on 17 April 1855.

Cusack, Patrick, 1918-2003, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 29 August 1918, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, Della Strada, Dooradoyle, Limerick
Died: 06 March 2003, Cherryfield Lodge Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005


Fr Patrick (Paddy) Cusack (1918-2003)

29th Aug. 1918: Born in Dublin
Early education in Dominican Convent, Eccles Street, and CBS, Richmond Street
7th Sept. 1936: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1938: First Vows at Emo
1938 - 1941: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1944 - 1946: Crescent College, Limerick - Regency
1946 - 1950: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1949: Ordained at Milltown Park
1950 - 1951: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1951 - 1953: Mungret College - Teaching
1953 - 1954: Clongowes -Teaching
1954 - 1959: Mungret - Teaching, Spiritual Director (Boys)
1959 - 1968: Emo:
1959 - 1961: Master of Novices
1961 - 1968: Rector; Master of Novices
1968 - 1974: Mungret:
1968 - 1971: Spiritual Director (Boys); Teacher
1971 - 1974: Rector; Teacher
(Mungret closed Summer '74)
1974 - 1978: Sullivan House - Director Spiritual Exercises; Member of Spirituality Centre
1978 - 1983: Dooradoyle - Chaplain; Teacher; Spiritual Director (pupils)
1983 - 1984: Tullabeg - Co-ordinator of Apostolate.
1984 - 1989: Leeson Street - Spiritual Exercises & Retreats
1989 - 2003: Belvedere:
1989 - 1990: Spiritual Exercises
1990 - 1992: College Confessor
1992 - 1993: Asst.Pastoral Care Co-ordinator
1993 - 1994: Adult Education on Prayer
1994 - 2003: Director Spiritual Exercises; Adult Prayer Education; College Confessor
6th March 2003 Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

After a long illness, borne peacefully and patiently, Paddy died at Cherryfield Lodge in the presence of family members and Father Eddie FitzGerald from the Milltown community.

Kevin Laheen writes:
Paddy Cusack had just left for Rathfarnham when I arrived in Emo in 1938. The novices who were still in Emo remembered him very well and gave us, newcomers, a fair picture of him. Some said he was fervent, others described him as edifying, while Sean O'Connor, (my 'Angelus' and now a missioner in Nairobi) said he was meticulous. When I got to know him in Rathfarnham he certainly lived up to the reputation he had earned for himself in Emo. But I learned a lot more about him as the months in the Castle passed. He was a placid man whom nothing could ruffle, but in our eyes there was a downside to him. He had no athletic ability and no taste for games. He never played tennis, nor handball, but because he felt it was the will of God he turned out to play that is the wrong word) football, for he was essentially a passenger on the field. He once brought a book to the pitch to have a little read just in case nobody passed the ball to him. They never did.

When I joined him in Tullabeg he had become a great reader. He never again ventured on to the football pitch but in his many long walks, aided by his musical ear, he had become an expert in identifying the birds by listening to their songs - in Tullabeg their name was legion. Apart from our days in Milltown Park prior to ordination, I never lived with him again until we both were stationed in Mungret. There he was a good teacher but his appointment to the post of Spiritual Father to the boys gave a pointer to what would occupy him for the rest of his life. Apart from his days as the last Rector of the college, all his work for the rest of his life was associated with spiritual formation. As Master of Novices I am sure that many of his novices would enrich this picture of him by adding their own memories.

He was a great friend of the nuns all over the country. There was many a convent that had an open door and a bed for the night whenever he found himself stranded between retreats. The number of Long Retreats he directed exceeded thirty, and he had a particular weakness for the convent that had a piano. Paddy was a lover of the piano but he hesitated to play before an audience. As he pursued his nomadic life he always tucked away in his case a few sheets of piano music, with a preference for Mendelssohn. Towards the end of his life when the burden of travel became too heavy he spent longs periods at Knock Shrine assisting many people with guided prayer. He became known as the “be still and know that I am God” priest for that was how he always began his prayer sessions. His name is still remembered there with affection and appreciation.

During my own sojourn in Cherryfield, Paddy paid a few short visits. He had become more quiet, took little part in recreation, spent more time in the chapel or pacing up and down the corridor. When able, his great achievement was to take a trip into the city and have a cup of coffee in Bewleys, and later he would talk of it as a real triumph. The end came rather suddenly and I am sure he had the support of the prayers of the thousands whom he had helped during his life as a priest. May he rest in peace.

Foley, Joseph, 1921-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/600
  • Person
  • 24 April 1921-04 September 2006

Born: 24 April 1921, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1956, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 04 September 2006, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Coláiste Iognáid, Galway community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966; HK to HIB: 21 May 1993

by 1948 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1958 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Hong Kong says farewell to a friend and a scholar
Father Neary

Around 500 people gathered at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on 14 September for a memorial Mass, celebrated by the local ordinary, Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, to mourn the passing of a much-loved teacher and creative administrator, who began the process of systemising Catholic education in the diocese.

A revered teacher at both Wah Yan College in Kowloon and in Hong Kong, Jesuit Father Joseph Foley died in his native Ireland at 11pm on 4 September 2006 at a nursing home in Dublin. Born in Limerick on 24 April 1921, Father Foley entered the Society of Jesus at Emo, Ireland, in September 1939, and eight years later was appointed to the China mission, arriving in Canton for language studies in 1947.

Forced to leave the mainland in 1949, he taught as a scholastic in the Hong Kong Wah Yan campus for one year before returning to Ireland to finish his theological studies and final formation for priesthood. He was ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin, on the feast of St. Ignatius, 31 July 1953.

The year 1955 again saw him teaching in Wah Yan, once again at the Hong Kong school. Then after another year studying Cantonese at Xavier House in Cheung Chau, he was back teaching, an activity he continued for the next 13 years, alternating between the Kowloon and Wan Chai schools. He did a stint as principal in Kowloon from 1962-1968, then in 1970 completed a masters’ degree in education at Loyola College in Chicago, the United States of America.

The photograph published with this tribute to the man who is remembered as much for his joviality, good humour and ceaseless care for students as for his excellence in education, is one of fond memory for many alumni of both colleges. “It is how we remember him,” reads a short obituary on the alumni Website.

The tribute comments that the value of a teacher can be measured by the number of past pupils who take the trouble to revisit. “You may be comforted to learn that of late, many old boys have written to the late Father Foley and a few even made the trip (to Ireland) especially to visit him,” the Website tribute reads.

Father Foley spent 1973 and 1974 setting up a junior college of education in Singapore, returning to Hong Kong in 1978 to take up what was maybe his greatest professional challenge, an appointment as the first Episcopal vicar for education in the diocese. His successor, Alice Woo Lo-ming, said that it was a difficult time of “breaking the ice.” She explained that up until then, each school had operated quite independently, but Father Foley persistently wrote to the Education Department on various issues and “worked hard to promote “collaboration” between the different institutions.

“It was difficult work,” she said. “Many were not so willing to move.” However, she said that his legendary sense of humour assisted him to break through deadlocks and “he tried to make central management work and drew up guidelines for the Catholic Board of Education and the diocesan and religious councils.”

Woo said that “he achieved much, even though he was a one man office with only one secretary to assist him.”

Father Foley stepped down in 1991 and returned to Ireland to work in parishes until ill health forced his retirement earlier this year.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 September 2006

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He first came to Hong Kong as a Regent in 1947 and went to Guangzhou to learn Cantonese.
1949-1950 He was sent to Wa Yan College Hong Kong teaching
1950-1955 He went back to ireland for Theology and was Ordained in 1953.
1955-1968 He returned to Hong Kong and Wah Yan College Hong Kong. By 1962 he was Proncipal there (1962-1968)
1968-1971 He was sent to Wah Yan Kowloon
1971-1972 He went to the USA to gain a Masters in Education
1972-1973 He was sent to Singapore (Principal of Catholic Junior College)
1973-1977 He was back in Hong Kong at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
1977 He was appointed Episcopal Vicar for Education. His task was to coordinate the work of all Catholic schools in the territory. An educationalist of many years standing, he said in an interview that there were many problems i Hong Kong’s educational system. A particular issue was about education in the vernacular. He believed that each school should form its own policy, but all parties locally must discuss the vernacular issue thoroughly before coming to any decision.

Sermon at the Requiem Mass for Fr Joseph Foley SJ, by Freddie Deignan SJ on 14 September 2006 (excerpts) :
“We gather here this evening to celebrate the Eucharist and to thank God for the gift of the life of Fr Joseph Foley who has passed away and to pray for the repose of his soul. We remember him as he touched the lives of many of us here. Today happens to be the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross.....His death on the Cross has made it possible for us to join him in the eternal happiness of Heaven. Father Foley is now enjoying that happiness......and we should celebrate that he has finally reached his home safely and joyfully after a life of service.......
He was born in Limerick on April 24th 1921. He entered the Society of Jesus when he was 18 years old and went through the usual course of studies. He got an Arts Degree at University College Dublin and this was followed by three years of Philosophy. He first came to Hong Kong in 1947 when he was 26 years old, studied Chinese in Canton for two years and then spent a year teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.
He returned to Ireland to study Theology and was Ordained on 31st July 1953. So, he died having been 53 years a priest. In 1955 he came back to Hong Kog, which was to be his home for 34 years. He first spent a year at Cheung Chau trying to improve his Chinese, and in 1962 he was appointed Rector and Principal of Wah Yan College Kowloon. he held this post until 1968. He was fondly known as “James Bond”, as people thought he looked like Seán Connery, and his office was 007!
I knew him at this period of his life as I worked with him as Prefect of Studies. As a newcomer in education I learned so much from him about education in Hong Kong, about teaching and administration. I was only a raw recruit then.
So, I am very grateful to him. His example of personal care and thoughtfulness for teachers and students and of those he met or worked with was an example and inspiration to me.
So, I am very grateful to him and I owe him a lot.
He loved teaching, was lively and active in class, so no student would fall asleep in his class! He participated in all the school activities, and he particularly loved playing football, and he usually played in goal.
He was always concerned about the character formation of the students and made great efforts to instil in them Christian values. In his concern for the formation of the students, he organised groups of students to do social work for the poor, sick and the elderly during the summer months. He wished them to be willing to serve others. Of course he led them by example.
Students in the school obviously admired him for his care for each one of them, and his generosity, as he often visited them in their homes. In administration he had wonderful analytical abilities and he could sum up the main points of a book, document or article very easily. This was very useful when it came to dealing with documents from the Education Department.
He also had a very good memory. he was very good at cantonese, and in his good humour used love to make fun and joke in the language. His ability to lead was obvious and he earned the trust of teachers, staff and all with whom he worked. he won their cooperation and respect by his dedication, hard work, fairness and his friendship and care for each one. There was a break in his life in Hong Kong when he was sent to study for a Masters Degree in Education at Loyola University Chicago.. This was a preparation for him to take up a post as Principal at a Catholic Junior College in Singapore.. When this project failed to materialise, he returned to Hong Kong in 1973. he again taught in Wah Yan when Father Barrett was principal until 1977, when he was appointed by Bishop John Baptist Wu as the first Bishop’s Delegate for Education, and Chairman of the newly formed Catholic Education Board which replaced the Catholic Schools Council. There were then 309 Catholic schools in Hong Kong. This was a very challenging job. he helped coordinate, unify and improve the system of administration in the Catholic Schools of the Diocese, and helped set up the Central Management Committee of Diocesan schools. He wrote many responses to changes proposed by the Education Department on behalf of the Catholic schools after discussion with the Diocesan Schools Council and Religious Schools Council.
After 14 years of service he resigned his post as Delegate and was succeeded by Sister Marie Remedios, now Mother General of the Canossian Congregation.
Besides Father Foley was a member of the Inter-religious Committee on Religious Broadcasting and later became Chairman. He was a commentator for the broadcast Mass for Radio Hong Kong and often did the job of announcer and commentator in English for the Feast of Christ the King in the Government Stadium. He was Secretary in Hong Kong for the Jesuit Mass Media Apostolate, and was one time Chair if the Grant Schools Council.
He returned to Ireland in 1992 to rest and change his apostolate from education to pastoral work. He served as an Assistant to the Parish priest in S Francis Xavier’s Church in Dublin until 2000, when he took similar work in St Ignatius Galway. Early in 2006 he began to show the effects of terminal cancer and he was moved to Dublin and the Jesuit nursing home. When I was back in Ireland this summer I went to visit him on July 18th, and again before I left on August 7th. I noticed his condition had deteriorated from the time of my first visit. He had little energy but he was very resigned, peaceful and still very humourous. He knew his life on earty was coming to a close. He wanted to know all the news about Hong Kong, about the Church, education and Wah Yan Past Students. He expressed his gratitude to all who wrote to him and sent “get well” cards, and to those especially who came all the way from Hong Kong or Canada to visit him. He knew that I was going to attend the Wah Yan Alumni conference in Vancouver and said “Tell them how I am and thank them for their kind invitation”.
A former teacher in Wah Yan, Helen Lee went to visit him from Toronto and she wrote a letter to the Past Students : “Some of you may cherish fond recollections of Father Foley. Others may remember him by his nickname 007! He taught us the best thigs to choose. Yes I mean us, including myself. As a former colleague in Wah Yan and a friend ever since, I have benefitted much from Father Foley’s teachings, not just his words, but in deeds as well.
When I paid him a brief visit at the end of April this year, I was impressed by his calm disposition in his illness. He was quite frail and lacked energy. Most of the time he stayed in bed. Yet he made quite an effort to entertain visitors. He showed much concern and consideration for others around him. He was very courteous to the staff caregivers. he lived Christ’s teaching of being meek and humble of heart.
The Alumni of ‘62 compiled a book entitled “To Father with Love” for him. It is a collection of photos and writings from them. he showed me this invaluable souvenir. As I read through it, I learned more about the good he had done for his students. It was little wonder that they held him with love and affection”.
What inspired Father Foley was his deep love of Christ who loved him.......
We thank God for him, and I know he would like me to thank all those people who shared their love and care with him, especially during his illness........."

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007


Fr Joseph (Joe) Foley (1921-2006)

24th April 1921: Born in Limerick
Early education at Model School, CBS Sexton St. Limerick
7th September 1939: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1941: First Vows at Emo
1941 - 1944: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD.
1944 - 1947: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1947 - 1950: Hong Kong
1947 - 1949: Language studies
1949 - 1950: Wah Yan, HK -Teaching.
1950 - 1954: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1953: Ordained at Milltown Park
1954 - 1955: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
2nd February 1956: Final Vows at Hong Kong
1955 - 1992: Hong Kong
1955 - 1962: Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Teaching
1956 - 1957: Cheung Chau Language School
31st July 1966: Transcribed to Hong Kong
1962 - 1968: Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Rector
1968 - 1970: Wah Yan, Kowloon - Teaching
1970 - 1973: Loyola, Chicago - M.A. in Education
1973 - 1974: Singapore - Junior College of Education
1974 - 1977: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Teaching
1977 - 1992: Vicar for Religious
1992 - 2000: Gardiner Street -
1992 - 1995: Parish Curate
31st July 1993: Transcribed to Irish Province
1995 - 2000: Assisted in the Church
1998 - 2000: House Consultor
2000 - 2006: Galway Assisted in Church, Spiritual Director (SJ)
4th September 2006: Died in Cherryfield Lodge

Frank Doyle writes:
Two days after his birth, Joe Foley, son of Denis Foley and Alice Gould, was baptised in St Michael's Church in Limerick and at the age of 12 received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop D. Keane in St Joseph's Church, also in Limerick, on the feast of Sts Peter and Paul, 1933. He received his secondary education at the Irish Christian Brothers' School in Sexton Street and completed it by doing' his Leaving Certificate in 1939.

On September 3, 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany. It was the formal beginning of the Second World War. Four days later, on September 7, Joe entered the Society at Emo Park in Co. Laois. His novice master was Fr John Neary.

There then followed the usual six years of Juniorate in Rathfarnham from 1941-1944 and Philosophy at St Stanislaus' College, Tullabeg, 1944-1947. For his regency he was assigned to the Irish Province's Mission in Hong Kong and spent three years there from 1947 to 1950. As was the custom, he spent the first two years studying the Cantonese dialect, used in Hong Kong, and then taught for one further year in Wah Yan College, Robinson Road, in the Mid-Levels district of Hong Kong Island.

It was during this period that Joe became part of an “incident” which could have had unpleasant consequences. He was with two other scholastics - Donal Taylor and Martin Cryan - in Macau, the Portuguese enclave about 40 miles down the coast from Hong Kong. They passed through an archway on the edge of the territory with the intention of taking photographs on the other side. However, they had unwittingly crossed the border dividing Macau from China. They were arrested by Chinese police and taken into custody. Fortunately, through the good offices of a wealthy Portuguese in Macau, their early release was arranged.

In 1950 Joe returned to Ireland for his theological studies and finished with a Licentiate in Theology. At the end of his third year he was ordained to the priesthood on 31 July 1953. Theology was followed by Tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle in 1954-55 where the directors were Fathers John Neary and Hugo Kelly.

With the completion of his Jesuit formation, Joe returned to the Hong Kong Mission and took up teaching again at Wah Yan College. Just at this time, in 1955, Wah Yan moved from its original location in Robinson Road to a brand new building on Mount Parrish in the Wanchai district of Hong Kong Island. A year after his return, Joe made his Final Vows on 2 February 1956.

In 1957 Joe was made Minister at Xavier House on the offshore island of Cheung Chau and held the post for one year. Xavier House had become the language school for Jesuits arriving for the first time in Hong Kong. It replaced some previous venues - Loyola in the New Territories, which was used up the time of the Second World War, Canton (before the Communists moved in), the Missions Etrangeres de Paris (MEP) house in Battery Path in downtown Hongkong.

In 1957, however, there were plans to open a novitiate at Xavier House and this involved putting up a new building for the novices. The absentee superior of the house was Fr Eddie Bourke, who had been sent down to Singapore to relieve Paddy Joy. The acting superior was Canice Egan, who was to be the new novice master, with Joe Foley as his minister and Socius. There were also three scholastics in the house that year – John Jones, Joseph Shields, and Frank Doyle. It was here that the author first came to know Joe. It turned out to be one of my most enjoyable years in the Society, not least because of Joe's and Canice's constant teasing of each other. We did have a lot of fun together that year.

The original plans, however, were changed. Canice was replaced as novice master by John O'Meara and took up teaching in what were known as post-secondary colleges. Joe Foley, for his part, moved back to Wah Yan College in Wanchai and returned to teaching. In 1958 he was also made Minister at Wah Yan and four years later took over from Cyril Barrett as Rector, a post he held until 1968. It was during this period, in 1966, that the Hong Kong Mission became the Vice-Province of Hong Kong and Joe, with all the other members of the former Mission, was now transcribed to the new Vice-Province.

It was about this time that the Singapore government began implementing a plan to open special “Junior Colleges” for pre university (Form 6) students. The government opened one of its own but also invited other groups including the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, and the Buddhists, to open colleges of their own. In 1972, Joe went to Loyola College in Chicago and spent one year there doing a Master's in Education. The idea behind this move was a proposal that he become the first Director of the new Catholic Junior College in Singapore. However, he never did take up the post. For some reasons – perhaps because he was a European and from Singapore's rival territory of Hong Kong - he was not given the appointment. Instead a local De la Salle Brother was assigned to the post.

In the year 1978, Joe was appointed by the Bishop of Hong Kong as Vicar for Education for the diocese. He held this post for 14 years until he returned to Ireland in 1992. He now had his own office in the Catholic Diocesan Centre, beside the Catholic Cathedral. In this post he was basically responsible for co ordinating all the Catholic diocesan schools in the territory - of which there were many.

After 14 years in the post, Joe was expressing a desire to retire and hand over to someone else. The Bishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Wu, was, however, reluctant to let him go. Joe then decided that his best recourse was to take a year off and return to Ireland. He was assigned as a curate in St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street. He found this new apostolate so much to his liking that he decided to stay on in Ireland and, and in the following year, was transcribed back to the Irish Province. His assignment as curate was modified to 'assists in the church in 1995. In 1998 he became a consultor in the community.

In the year 2000, he was transferred to St Ignatius Church, Galway, 'assisting in the church and spiritual director of the Jesuit community. He became the house historian in 2004. It was during these years that he began to have problems with cancer and, when it became more serious and without any prospect of a cure, he was moved to Cherryfield Lodge where he spent the last months of his life there. He died there peacefully on 4 September 2006.

In his younger days, Joe would be remembered as a vigorous footballer. Most of his life in Hongkong was devoted to some aspect of education - either as a teacher, a headmaster or the bishop's representative for education. He made no claims to being an intellectual but was competent in the posts he held. He had a good sense of humour and enjoyed teasing and being teased. He is missed by those who knew him.

Eulogy given in late September, 2006, by Helen Chia Chih Lee, former teacher at Wah Yan, Hong Kong, at a memorial Mass in Toronto for a gathering of Wah Yan alumni:
We gather here today to remember Rev. Fr. Joseph Foley, a fine Jesuit, and to celebrate his fruitful life. The last letter Fr. Foley sent me was dated April 12 of this year. Unlike his usual handwritten ones, it was typed, responding to a question I had asked him on prayer. In early June, I was shocked to learn that he was quite sick in the nursing home. It touched me deeply to realize that he still cared so much about me in his illness.

When I visited him some weeks later, I was impressed by his good spirits and quick wit despite suffering from terminal cancer. The concern he showed to those around him was edifying. His command of Cantonese, particularly the slang, was as amazing as ever. When he said 'wuun buun' in Cantonese, looking at the lotus paste bun in Fr. Doyle's hands, I couldn't understand the reason for the remark. It was when he said in English that Fr. Doyle was eating one bun that I got the pun.

I was privileged to have worked with Fr. Foley at Wah Yan HK in the mid 1970's. As a colleague, he was very friendly and helpful. He inspired me to instil moral values through teaching English. Up to this day, I adhere to his idea. As an adult ESL instructor, I often choose topics related to values, particularly Canadian ones, for my immigrant learners. After Father Foley left Wah Yan, he gradually became our family friend. His advice, moral support and prayers were invaluable, especially during the early years of our immigration to Canada,

Most alumni of the two Wah Yans knew Fr. Foley in different capacities, but everybody referred to him by his heroic nickname, “James Bond” or “007”. Students of the 1950's and 60's on the Hong Kong side had Fr. Foley as either their teacher or principal. Later, he served on the teaching staff of either school at different times. In 1978, the late Cardinal Wu appointed Fr. Foley to be the first Episcopal Vicar for Education, a position he held until 1992. Then he returned to Ireland and served the Irish Jesuit Province. In May this year, he was admitted to the Jesuit nursing home in Dublin. On September 4, with close relatives by his side, Fr. Foley passed away peacefully, aged 85.

Fr. Foley dedicated his whole life to the service of God. In his own words, “to be able to help people” was the most rewarding aspect in his priesthood. Indeed, he enriched innumerable people. Wah Yan students and staff benefited greatly from his words, his deeds and his remarkable personality. He was highly intelligent, full of humour, very caring and most generous. In the 14 long years of his tenure as the Cardinal's delegate for education, Fr. Foley's contribution was more widely felt, influencing the direction of Catholic education in Hong Kong.

Fr. Foley was much respected and loved by his students. Some alumni made special trips to Ireland to visit him. The class of 62 compiled a sentimental souvenir book entitled "To Father with Love" for him. In his illness, he received lots of cards from former students. All these show what a great teacher he was.

Before closing, I'd like to share with you a thought from a homily I heard Fr. Foley deliver when I visited him in Galway, Ireland, back in 2002. It has special relevance to those of us brought up in the traditional Chinese way. We were taught to be humble by declining praise. Fr. Foley said that true humility does not lie in denying or diminishing one's talents or achievements. Instead, when being praised, a humble person realizes his/her strong points and accomplishments are gifts from God and is, therefore, thankful for His blessings.

All of us whose lives have been touched by Fr. Foley are truly blessed. As we mourn the loss of such a fine Jesuit, let us be comforted at the thought that he is enjoying his well-deserved heavenly rewards. Let our fond memories of him prompt us to follow his good example. Let us ask Fr. Foley to intercede for us, especially for Wah Yan which he so loved.

Ó Peicín, Diarmuid T, 1916-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/611
  • Person
  • 16 October 1916-04 March 2008

Born: 16 October 1916, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1953, Sacred Heart College SJ (Crescent), Limerick
Died: 04 March 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Dermot Peakin - by 1985 Diarmuid Ó Peicín;

by 1967 at Handsworth, Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1968 at Erdington, Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1970 at Walthamstow, London (ANG) working
by 1971 at London, England (ANG) working
by 1975 at Dockhead, London (ANG) working
by 1976 at Redcross, London (ANG) working
by 1977 at London W2 (ANG) working
by 1978 at Rotherhithe London (ANG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/requiescat-in-pace/

Tributes for Diarmuid Ó Peicín SJ
Tributes have been paid to Fr Diarmuid Ó Peicín whose funeral took place on Friday 7 March 2008 and was featured on TG4 Nuacht. (www.tg4.tv > Cúrsaí Reatha – Cartlann >
Nuacht TG4 – 7/3/08) His work to save Tory island was the subject of the 2007 documentary Fear na n- Óilean and the film-maker Anne Marie Nic Ruaidhri told the Donegal Democrat that he was a leader who “inspired people, especially the Tory people, and he was passionate about island communities and helping them.” That passion led him to Europe where he found an unlikely ally in Dr. Ian Paisley. Minister for State, Pat “the Cope” Gallagher also paid tribute to Fr Ó Peicín saying it was ironic that he passed away on the same day that his friend Ian Paisley announced his retirement. March 2008

Please pray for the repose of Father Diarmuid Ó Peicín S.J. who died on 4 March 2008 at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin, at 91 years of age. Born in Dublin on 16 October 1916, Diarmuid received his early education at the Christian Brothers (O’Connell Schools) and at Mungret College . He took his first vows in the Society of Jesus at Emo on 8 September 1936. During his Jesuit formation he studied Arts at UCD and philosophy at Saint Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, Offaly. He taught in Clongowes Wood College and Mungret College, Limerick before studying theology at Milltown Park, Dublin.
Ordained priest at Milltown Park at 31 July 1949, Diarmuid went on to teach at
Crescent College, Limerick and took final vows as a Jesuit on 15 August 1953 after which he taught in Mungret College, Limerick and at Rathmines Technical College. He spent some time engaged in pastoral work with Irish immigrants in Birmingham and London and, after a year in South Africa, returned to Ireland in 1980. Having spent three years as curate on Tory Island, he continued to work for the Comhdháil Oileáin na hÉireann – the Irish Islands’ Federation.

His experience on Tory was documented in his books, Tory Island: the island that wouldn’t go to sleep (Trafford, 1412028965) and Islanders: The True Story of One Man’s Fight to Save a Way of Life, (with Liam Nolan, Harper Collins 1997 978-0006279983) and in Lugh Films’ 52-minute documentary, Fear na nOileàn.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 48th Year No 1 1973

Father Dermot Peakin continues to do energetic work in London. He has organised a weekly instruction class which has six members ready for reception into the Church and he has introduced the Legion of Mary to the parish.
Recently he published a 24-page brochure for the Geraldine G.A.A. Hurling and Football Club, of which he has been Chairman since 1970. The club is flourishing and has won trophies for both hurling and football. Father Dermot has been successful, both in Birmingham and London, in bringing the sons of Irish exiles into the G.A.A., a far-sighted policy in view of the recent sharp decline in emigration from Ireland. In the brochure there is some interesting and hitherto unpublished material about Michael Collins' association wth the Geraldines. He was club secretary from 1910 till his return to Ireland in 1916.
Fr Bob Stevenson and Fr Noel Holden had a day out with Fr Dermot after their successful Mission in Kentish Town last November and enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 136 : Summer 2008


Fr Diarmuid Ó Péicín (1916-2008)

16th October 1916: Born in Dublin
Early education at Christian Brothers (O'Connell Schools), Dublin, and Mungret College
7th September 1934: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1936: First Vows at Emo
1936 - 1939: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1939 - 1942: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1942 - 1943: Clongowes Wood College - Teacher
1943 - 1946: Mungret College, Limerick - Teacher
1946 - 1950: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31 July 1949: Ordained at Milltown Park
1950 - 1951: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1951 - 1957: Crescent College, Limerick
15th August 1953: Final Vows
1957 - 1960: Mungret College, Limerick - Teacher
1960 - 1962: Rathfarnham - Teacher / Chaplain at Rathmines Technical College
1962 - 1966: Tullabeg - Giving the Spiritual Exercises
1966 - 1969: Birmingham - Pastoral work
1969 - 1978: London - Pastoral work (Irish immigrants)
1978 - 1979: Rathfarnham - Retreat work
1979 - 1980: Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Pastoral work
1980 - 1981: Rathfarnham - work on Tory Island
1981 - 2008: Milltown Park -
1981 - 1984: Curate, Tory Island
1984 - 1992: Research on Islands of Ireland
1992 - 1997: Assisted “Islands Trust” of Ireland
1997 - 2007: Research and Writing
2007 - 2008: Cherryfield Lodge - Praying for Church and Society
4th March 2008: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

James Kelly writes:
After I volunteered to write this, it occurred to me that I knew very little about Diarmuid. So the most I can do is give a portrait, gained from living some years with him in Milltown and from hearsay.

On my first acquaintance with him, we both were new to Milltown Park. I found him pleasant at table. But soon I noticed that some would not sit with him at all. One said that he found his sympathy with the IRA annoying - something I never noticed at all. A very prominent Irish Jesuit living abroad, who was often here in the summer, failed to notice this either. He, with some others, frequently sat with Diarmuid, and found him cheery and grateful, with humble good humour. Later it was said that he caused this isolation himself.

He could be quite hilarious at table, if provoked the right way. The late Fr Joe Conran, who was in Milltown for some months before he died, brought the best out of him. They recalled old days in Birmingham and London. They were both in the former city when the infamous bomb went off. They had numerous tales about London, the GAA there and the move to new grounds in Ruislip.

A Columban priest, who attended Diarmuid's funeral, knew him very well there. Diarmuid stayed for a time in St Patrick's, Central London, with a Fr. Pat Davis. It seems to have been a very active time in his life, when his deep fighting spirit at times came to the fore. He was a good confessor and must have helped many people. The Columban priest showed appreciation for his work there. I'm sure Diarmuid had rich experiences in that big city, but he only talked about them when some one was able to draw him out - and most of us were unable to do so.

Island Apostolate
He had a vision of helping those on Tory Island to remain there, even when heavy political forces, with less understanding, were working against him and his supporters. He had an office in Milltown, from where he corresponded widely, and, for a time, was aided by two Fás workers - one a very pleasant Italian girl. He was full of enthusiasm for his work, frequently vaguely saying, 'There's a lot going on'. He had a number of influential outsiders helping him. While he clashed with some people, he was always able to win good people to his cause, like Liam Nolan with whom he produced a book. Two books on Tory Island saw the light of day, and he was greatly involved in them. The film about him and his work crowned a long and struggling endeavour, and won great praise from some, at least, of the Tory people. The progress made on the island is remarkable, and his contribution to this seems to have been large. Of course, he flourished on the challenge it offered him. Defeat never conquered his spirit.

Clear communication was not his strong point. There was, perhaps, a deep element of mistrust in him which left him closed. It was said that this was due to an incident, while he was “in the colleges” in Mungret. He and another scholastic (Johnny Keogh is the name given to me) cycled to Thurles to a Munster final. Unfortunately one bike broke down, and they arrived home very late - a fact that was discovered. They were severely reprimanded for this and Diarmuid's stay in Mungret was extended. It was a case of initiative and openness running into solid inflexibility. Looking back now, it is remarkable how inhuman regulations became so encrusted, and that it took a vast movement in the Church to restore common sense. The longing for a fundamental change and a more reasonable approach existed long before the reality came.

Towards the End
Diarmuid did not get away lightly and had to endure a lengthy illness. Hospital diseases like MSE added to his woes. He must have been lonely too. He said towards the end that he greatly missed people like Joe Conran.

The depths of his aspirations and dreams were known only by God. But he remained loyal to the end, and the God of all might surely guided him safely home.

From the Irish Times, Saturday 8 March 2008 (reprinted with permission)
Turbulent priest who saved Tory Island

One of the many lasting images of Fr. Diarmuid Ó Péicín is when last year, old and frail, he attended the Dublin premiere of the film about his island exploits, called Fear na nOileán. The award-winning film, subsequently broadcast on TG4, was made by Frenchman Loic Jourdain and his partner Anne Marie Nic Ruaidhri, a native of Tory Island, Co Donegal, where the priest served controversially, but ultimately successfully, in the early 1980s. When Anne Marie visited him in Dublin five years ago to moot the idea for the film his response was, “You took your time”. Fr, Ó Péicín knew his standing in the world.

As the film, depicting how he spearheaded the campaign to save the island, rolled, the couple's then three-year-old daughter Kilda was happily running up and down the aisle. This was a double satisfaction and validation for the priest because not only was he being honoured in his lifetime but through Kilda he could see that he had preserved Tory for another generation, at a time when it could so easily have been stripped of its people. It was fitting therefore that at his funeral yesterday Anne Marie was invited to do one of the requiem Mass readings in the Jesuit church in Milltown while Kilda, now 4, carried the gifts.

Fr Ó Peicín was a Dubliner who, close to retirement and after years teaching and working with Irish immigrants in England, travelled to Tory Island in 1980 to learn Irish. While there he was angered by the lack of facilities, the official indifference to the place, and the fact that such were the conditions that 10 families felt they had no option but to accept houses in Falcarragh on the mainland. He suspected this was part of an insidious plan to gradually destroy Tory as a living island, to transform it into another Blaskets,

This suspicion was reinforced when journalist Gerry Moriarty unearthed an official paper suggesting that the 150 people on Tory should be relocated and the island used as variously a holiday home for American tourists, a high-security prison, a quarantine centre or a firing range for the Army. This astonishing official mindset triggered a ruthless, single-minded Old Testament fury and zeal in Fr Ó Peicín, who had a simple biblical take on his mission: if you weren't for Tory you were against Tory.

Those who were so negatively inclined - and there were many - were regularly subjected to the venom of his tongue. He campaigned throughout Ireland, Britain, Europe and the US. He also campaigned for all of Ireland's coastal islands. He died on Tuesday, March 4, aged 91, the day that Ian Paisley announced he was resigning as First Minister and DUP leader.
What was curious here, perhaps even unique, is that Dr Paisley - no lover of the Jesuits - was a firm supporter of the priest, and lobbied on his behalf in Brussels. "He has lit a fire that has never gone out in Europe, and Europe must look after its island people," said Dr Paisley on Fear na nOileán.

Charles Haughey, in opposition and as Taoiseach, was supportive, although at the time in the recession-hit Ireland of the 1980s the money was not available to meet all of the priest's ambitions. Still, when in 1984 the then Bishop of Raphoe, Dr Seamus Hegarty, instructed that Fr Ó Peicín leave the island because, the bishop argued, his presence was proving so divisive, Mr Haughey spoke in favour of the priest.

“While I don't want to interfere in diocesan affairs”, Mr Haughey opined to the interviewing journalist, before doing just that by contending that removing the valiant priest from Tory was bad for the island and its people. At the end of the interview Haughey looked up from under his hooded eyes and, off the record, growled, “You know, he's mad”.

And so he was, but in the positive John Healy sense, where, in his book “Death of an Irish Town”, he urged people to “get mad” in order to halt the depopulation of rural Ireland. In Fr Ó Péicín's case it was to save Tory. Which, against the odds, and with the support of the islanders, he did.

Roe, Francis, 1917-2003, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/613
  • Person
  • 09 December 1917-13 March 2003

Born: 09 December 1917, Dublin
Entered: 07 March 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 15 August 1949, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 13 March 2003, St Vincent’s Hospital

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

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
After his novitiate, Br Frankie Roe was posted to Belvedere College to take charge of the Boys Tuck Shop. A fellow Jesuit, who was a boy at the school, remembers: ‘It was there that I first met him when I was a small boy of 8. He was in charge of the Tuck Shop and was to us a person of significance. But my main memory is of his kindness to the youngest boys and how he protected us from what seemed to us to be the giant marauding 11 year olds. Never would he allow the older ones to push us youngsters out of the queue. He consoled us when we were in trouble and encouraged us at all times’.

Br Roe, born in Dublin on 9 December in 1917, was the seventh of eight children, all of whom predeceased him. Among his brothers were two All-Ireland Handball champions and he himself was no mean performer in the sport. He was educated by the Christian Brothers and after schooling worked with Independent Newspapers.

He entered the Society at Emo in 1939. For 64 years he served the Lord in the Society in many places, in Ireland and Africa and in a variety of roles. He was refectorian in a number of houses, – Clongowes, Milltown Park, Loyola House, Tullabeg – twenty eight years in all. Added to that, he was also sacristan in the houses as well.

He decided to offer himself to the missions in Zambia. He came out for two years, 1977 to 1979, at the age of sixty. He worked at Choma Minor Seminary School as minister and library assistant and then moved on to Kizito Pastoral Centre, Monze, as general factotum.

In everything he did he was a perfectionist – highly competent, diligent, and meticulous in the attention that he gave to his tasks, precise in word, deed and in every detail of his manner. All of these tasks he carried out effectively and industriously but almost always with a touch of the frustration that is the lot of the perfectionist. He had great difficulty reconciling himself to be among the ‘imperfectionists’ who populate our world.

He returned to Ireland and found the ideal position and with it something approaching happiness. In 1981 he became bookbinder of the Milltown Library. It demanded the skills that he had in abundance and afforded him an environment that suited his temperament perfectly. He applied his skill assiduously and took immense pride in his work that he carried out flawlessly and generously. He did all the work himself and no longer was he at the mercy of the shortcomings of others. He was truly master of all he surveyed in the bindery. In these years, his relationships with others blossomed. He greatly appreciated the librarians and they, in their turn, positively treasured him. Within the library staff the feminine balance seemed to have pleased him significantly. His departure from the library left a gap that will not be filled.

For two and a half years he battled with cancer uncomplainingly. In Cherryfield Lodge, the Jesuit Nursing Home, he found something approaching perfection, particularly in the staff, who were devoted to him, whom he so deeply appreciated and of whom he was so extraordinarily undemanding. He died on 13 March 2003 in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Worked at Independent Newspapers before entry

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003


Br Francis (Frankie) Roe (1917-2003)

9th December 1917: Born in Dublin city
Early education at St. Columba's CBS School, Dublin
Worked for several years in the Irish Independent office
7th March 1939: Entered the Society at Emo
8th March 1941: First Vows at Emo
1941 - 1945: Belvedere College - Sacristan; Tuck shop
1945 - 1950: Clongowes College - Refectorian (boys)
18th August 1949: Final Vows at Clongowes
1950 - 1958: MilltownPark - Refectorian
1958 - 1962: Belvedere - Assistant Librarian, Sacristan
1962 - 1963: Loyola House - Sacristan / Refectorian
1963 - 1966: Tullabeg - Sacristan / Refectorian
1966 - 1977: Milltown Park - Refectorian
1977 - 1979: Zambia - Choma Minor Seminary: Minister; Library Assistant; worked at Kizito Pastoral Centre, Monze
1979 - 1980: Milltown Park - Sacristan; Ministered in the Community
1980 - 1981: Clongowes - Assistant to the Headmaster; Librarian
1981 - 1984: Milltown Park - Book binding
1984 - 1985: Cherryfield Lodge - Worked at Milltown Park Library; book binding
1985 - 2000: Milltown Park - Book binding
2000 - 2003: Cherryfield Lodge
13th March 2003: Died in St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin.

Brother Roe was admitted to Cherryfield in November 2000, suffering from prostate cancer. His condition began to deteriorate in September 2002. He was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital on 21" February, and he died peacefully three weeks later.

Noel Barber writes:
Brother Roe was the seventh of eight children all of whom predeceased him. Among his brothers were two All Ireland Handball champions and he, himself, was no mean performer in this sport. He was educated by the Christian Brothers and after his schooling worked with Independent Newspapers. Just over 64 years ago, he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Emo on March 7th 1939. Over his 64 years in the Jesuits, he served in many places in Ireland and Africa and in a variety of roles. In everything he did, he was a perfectionist - highly competent, diligent, and meticulous in the attention that he gave to his tasks, precise in word, deed and in every detail of his manner. However, he was not only a perfectionist; he was also kindly and generous. After his novitiate he went to Belvedere. It was there that I first met him when I was a small boy of 8. He was in charge of the Tuck Shop and was to us a person of immense significance. But my main memory is of his kindness to the youngest boys and how he protected us from what seemed to us to be giant marauding 11 year olds. Never would he allow the older ones to push us youngsters out of the queue. He consoled when we were in trouble and encouraged us at all times. He was a most benign presence and we were sorry to see him leave at the end of our second year. He went on to many tasks, all of which he carried out effectively and industriously but almost always with a touch of the frustration that is the lot of the perfectionist. He had great difficulty reconciling himself to the imperfectionists, who populate our world.

However, he did find the ideal position and with it something approaching bliss. In 1981 he became bookbinder of the Milltown Library. It proved to be perfect for him. It demanded the skills that he had in abundance and afforded an environment that suited his temperament perfectly. He applied his skill assiduously and took immense pride in his work that he carried out flawlessly and generously. He did all the work himself and no longer was he at the mercy of the shortcomings of others. He was truly the master of all he surveyed in the bindery. In these years his relationships with others blossomed. He greatly appreciated the librarians and they, in their turn, positively treasured him. Within the library staff the feminine balance seemed to have pleased him significantly. His departure from the library left a void that will not be filled.

For two and a half years he battled with cancer uncomplainingly. He gradually spent more and more time in Cherryfield Lodge, until he became a permanent resident. There, as in the Library, he found something approaching perfection, particularly in the staff, who were so devoted to him, whom he so deeply appreciated and of whom he was so extraordinarily undemanding

In the Gospel from St. Luke that was read at his funeral Mass, Our Lord points out to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus that Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead; or as he puts it earlier in the same chapter, “Was it not necessary that Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory? No doubt the joy of discovering that Christ had risen blocked some obvious questions, such as “Why? Why should the innocent suffer? Why must Christ suffer? Why should the Passion have to precede the Resurrection?” The message of the Gospel is a stark statement of the Law of the cross. The cross is the way to glory; that cross that is a folly and a scandal, unintelligible in itself and acceptable only in the light of Faith, However, the message of Christ and the demands that it makes on us would be hollow if Christ himself did not take on the depths of human suffering. After all, the first readers of St. Luke's Gospel were facing persecution and some were prepared to die for their Faith. To those and many others who follow them to this very day Christ did not point out the narrow, difficult path while taking a different route himself.

All lives are configured to that of Christ. It is in accepting this that we mysteriously find full life. This was something of which Br, Roe was convinced and that he accepted in faith. It was this convinced faith that provided him with that serenity and calm with which he accepted his illness, the humiliating dependency on others, the enfeebled body, the weakening mind and ultimately his death that finally conformed him to his Master whom he served so loyally, unobtrusively and dutifully.

Ryan, Patrick, 1918-1998, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/615
  • Person
  • 26 February 1918-31 May 1998

Born: 26 February 1918, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final vows: 15 August 1948, Belvedere College SJ
Died: 31 May 1998, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1979 at Lahore, Pakistan (MIS PAK) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999


Br Patrick Ryan (1918-1988)

26th Feb. 1918: Born in Dublin.
Pre-entry experience: He did a commerce course in the Technical School, Parnell Square.
He was employed as a clerk for 4 years.
7th Sep. 1937: Entered the Society at Emo.
8th Sep 1939: First vows at Emo.
1940 - 1941: Galway, Cook
1941 - 1945: Clongowes Wood College, Cook.
1945 - 1958: Belvedere, Sacristan
1948: Tertianship at Tullabeg,
He took Final Vows on 15th Aug. 1948, at Belvedere.
1958 - 1977: Gardiner Street Church, Sacristan (Assistant sacristan/Parish work since 1975)
1977 - 1978: Milltown Park, Sacristan
1978 - 1980: Pakistan, Administration, Loyola Hall.
1980 - 1993: Milltown Park, sacristan.
After that, he helped with administration: post, papers, etc.

In latter years, Pat went across to Cherryfield Lodge for an occasional rest and nursing care. He loved the place, and the nurses were very fond of him. His last stay lasted six weeks during which he showed signs that old age was catching up on him. Even when his voice went, he could converse in a whisper till the end. He died perfectly resigned and at peace on Sunday morning 31st May 1998.

Homily at the funeral Mass of Br. Pat Ryan, SJ
Pat Ryan died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge early on the morning of May 31st, 1998 - the Feast of Pentecost. Today we gather to give thanks to God for Pat Ryan's life, and to pray that he will now enjoy God's presence for ever. Pat dedicated his life to the Lord in the Society and worked in a number of Jesuit apostolates with great dedication and fidelity - the longest of these were in Gardiner Street, where he was Sacristan for eighteen years.

Our readings today speak to us about the Christian vision that inspired Pat's life over eighty years. Brother Patrick Joseph Ryan was born on the 26th February 1918. He attended the Local National School in Phibsboro, and followed this with a commerce course at a technical school. Pat then worked for four years as a clerk before entering the Society of Jesus in 1937. His work in the Society began with some assignments that he did not like very much. He served as an assistant cook in two of our Colleges and then from 1945-1958 he was in Belvedere College as a sacristan and general houseman. From 1958 to 1977 he was a sacristan in our large public Church here, St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street. From 1975 to 1977 he trained in a new sacristan and worked as a member of the newly established parish team. In 1978 he was appointed to replace the Sacristan at Milltown Park and also to work in the Library. Providence had its own special plans for Pat at that time and I will return to that a little later!

As Pat came in recent weeks to recognize that he was nearing the end of his life, he expressed in a very peaceful and serene way his gratitude to God, to his family and relatives, to his many friends in the Society of Jesus and outside for the many blessings he had received during the course of his life. For many of us here in the Jesuit Community at Milltown Park, Pat's great appreciation for his vocation to the Jesuit way of life will be linked with a memorable celebration we had at Milftown last September as we celebrated Pat's sixtieth anniversary as a Jesuit.

Pat's faith was nourished in his family, where he received a strong sense of Christian values. This led him to join the Society of Jesus in 1937. His first assignment was as a cook in Galway - a job he didn't like too much! Pat spent long periods after this in three communities: Belvedere, Gardiner Street and Milltown. Since 1980 he has been a member of the community at Milltown, spending short times at Cherryfield Lodge when he needed some quiet and some nursing.

Pat spent two years in Lahore, Pakistan from 1978 to 1980. He enjoyed the completely different perspective on life that this stay in Lahore gave him. He wrote in a letter; “There is no other way to describe it all only that it is a completely different world out here. In six weeks here I have heard and seen things I never really knew existed. I went into a Mosque the other day and saw the Muslims at Prayer. Very devout. Indeed, I had to take off my shoes and I was provided with a very small hat to wear. If some of my fellow Irish Jesuits had seen me they would have wondered what had happened to ultra conservative Pat Ryan ... The one thing I must admit I do find hard here is the loss of the companionship of my fellow Irish Jesuits. Unfortunately I was spoiled by the friendship of the young men at Milltown during my very happy stay there. However it is a small price to pay for the opportunity to giving testimony to my belief in God and I am happy to do so”.

In his eighteen years as sacristan here in Gardiner Street, Pat worked very hard in the Parish and in the Church. In his own quiet and efficient way Pat lived out his Jesuit vocation in a life of service inspired by his love for Jesus Christ, his Lord and Master. In Milltown Pat was able to continue that life of generous service. In recent years, he knew the limits that his health put on his activities. But he paced himself well - like any good Everton player!

In the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius, we are invited in the Contemplation to Achieve the Love of God, to grow in our awareness of the way God is present in all life and is giving Himself to us. Pat's life showed that sense of God's presence and he learned to find God in all things. One of the places that Pat found God was in his great love of soccer. He was a great Everton fan, with Everton colors proudly displayed on his door! That simple enjoyment of soccer, that sense of fun about life, that ability to joke with his community and friends were great gifts he brought to us all.

Pat died early on the morning of the Feast of Pentecost, at 12:20 am. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit comes as a gift to the Christian community. In Pat's life we have glimpsed what the fruits of the Spirit are: love, joy, peace, gentleness, patience, self-control. Pat's faithfulness, his gift of “keeping going” (to use a phrase which Séamus Heaney uses to describe his brother going through the ordinary activities of the day) have been an inspiration to us - a breath of the Spirit. We now give Pat back to God who has given him to us. We return him to God with a profound sense of gratitude.

Frank Sammon

Harris, Richard, 1903-1998, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/666
  • Person
  • 14 December 1903-24 February 1998

Born: 14 December 1903, Ardmore, County Waterford
Entered: 30 December 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 24 February 1998, Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney, Australia - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

Mission Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong: 03 October 1950-1957

Early education Mungret College SJ

by 1928 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying
by 1930 third wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency
by 1937 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1938 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
Hong Kong Mission Superior 03/10/1950

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Richard Harris, S.J.

Father Richard Harris, SJ, died in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday 24 February 1998. He was 94 years old and a Jesuit priest for 62 years.

Father Harris was born on 14 December 1903 and entered the Society of Jesus on 30 December 1922. He first came to Hong Kong in 1937.

His first assignment was to the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen where he remained from 1937 until the final months of the Pacific War. From 1947 to 1951 he was rector of the seminary as well as professor of sacred scripture.

In 1950, Father Harris was appointed superior of the Society of Jesus in Hong Kong. He remained superior until 1957 after which he moved to Ricci Hall where he was warden until 1962. In 1962, Father Harris was assigned to the Church of the Assumption in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

In 1964 he was transferred to Australia where he worked in various places and in various capacities until shortly before his 93 birthday.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 8 March 1998

Note from George Byrne Entry
Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in Ricci Hall chapel by the warden Father R. Harris, S.J., on Monday, 8 January.

Note from Thomas F Ryan Entry
A man of striking initiative, he showed himself ready as superior to welcome initiative in others. “It has never been done before” always made him eager to reply “Let us do it now”. The plan for new buildings for Wah Yan Colleges in Hong Kong and Kowloon came from him, though the execution of the plan fell to his successor, Father R. Harris.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He arrived in Hong Kong in 1937. His first assignment was to the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, where he remained until the final months of the Pacific War. From 1947-1951 he was Rector of the Seminary and Professor of Scripture.
In 1950 he was appointed Mission Superior in Hong Kong and when he finished in 1957 he moved to Ricci Hall where he was Warden until1962.
In 1962 he was appointed to the Church of the Assumption, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
In 1964 he transferred to Australia.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Richard Harris was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, as a boarder, his family working a store in the small seaside village of Ardmore, Co Waterford. He entered the Society at Tullabeg, 30 December 1922, being drawn to the Jesuits because of their missionary work in the Far East After the noviciate he studied at the National University, Dublin, gaining BA in Mathematics Latin and English.
Philosophy followed at St Antonio, Chieri, Italy, 1927-28, a place that tested his vocation because it was difficult to enter into the life of the community He, and others, found the place cold and austere, regimented and hard. He was challenged to develop and inner strength and a strong life of prayer at this time.
From Italy, Harris went to Hong Kong and Canton for regency, 1929-32. He spent the first year studying Cantonese in the Portuguese Mission at Shuihing, and it was another lonely time as he could communicate with so few people, and only ate rice. In Canton he also taught English in the Catholic secondary school. At this time two of his fellow Jesuit priests died of cholera.
In 1932 he returned to Milltown Park, Dublin, for theology, and was ordained in 1935. Tertianship followed immediately after theology at St Beuno's, Wales, 1936-37. The following
year he returned to Hong Kong as professor of moral theology at the regional seminary, Aberdeen, teaching there until 1947. He was also rector of the same place, 1947-51.
In 1941 Hong Kong experienced many bomb raids with the advent of the war, and Harris heard confessions in the Grosvenor Hotel where he had many clients. During these days he
acted as chaplain and staff assistant, tending the injured and dying at the Queen Mary Hospital at Pokfulan just prior to the surrender of Hong Kong to the Japanese Imperial Army.
During the Japanese occupation Harris was a great source of strength to his fellow Jesuits. The community survived because of a bargain struck with some influential and rich Chinese who loaned bars of gold to buy rice and vegetables. The condition of the bargain was that the Jesuits had to repay two gold bars for every one at the end of the war.
During these years Harris nearly died from fever. As medicines were scarce, the doctor prescribed a dose of opium. Harris said that he enjoyed that experience. He was even given a
second dose!
Shortly after the Japanese surrender, Admiral Harcourt arrived in Hong Kong aboard the British flagship with an Irish Jesuit chaplain who sought out Harris and his companions. News of their safety was telegraphed to Ireland. After. six months rest and recuperation in Ireland, Harris returned to Hong Kong as rector of the seminary where he trained 60 seminarians who later worked as priests in South China.
He was appointed superior of the Hong Kong Mission, 1950-57, and became highly respected amongst the academic and medical community of Hong Kong, including the governor of the day, Sir William Gratharn, who granted the Jesuits two generous amounts of land on which to build two secondary colleges. They are the present day Wah Yan colleges in Hong Kong and Kowloon. In 1957 he was appointed superior of Ricci Hall, the Catholic residential hall of Hong Kong University. Five years later he was sent as parish priest of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, until 1964. He was there for only two years until the Malaysian government, which was Muslim and anti-Christian, demanded that the parish he closed.
Rather than return to Hong Kong, Harris chose to go to Australia as he wished to perform parish work and believed that opportunities existed there. In September 1965 Harris arrived in Sydney, and was greeted by Fr Paul Coleman. After a short time at St Mary's, North Sydney, he was sent to the parish of St Ignatius', Richmond, where he spent a pleasant and happy six years. He was also minister, and hospital chaplain.
He returned to St Mary's in 1971 performing similar duties until 1987. He became a very popular priest with all kinds of people and was a committed visitor to patients of the Mater Hospital, both public and private. He was in demand for his sound and experienced advice. He enjoyed keeping informed about world events and sporting results. He had three significant joys his worn Irish worn rosary beads, a small battered transistor radio, and a sip of Irish Bailey's. Harris said that he never had any regrets in his life, and thanked God daily for being a priest, and for being able to work with good health for so long.
For two years he became chaplain at the Retirement Hostel, McAuley Gardens, Crows Nest, and then moved in 1990 to Justinian House, Crows Nest, where his daily Mass was much
appreciated by residents and local followers. For the last year of his life he lived at Canisius College, Pymble, praying for the Church and Society He died suddenly after a severe stroke. and he was buried from St Mary's Church, North Sydney, his eulogy being given by his long time friend and supporter, Fr Paul Coleman.
He was a man of warm humanity kindly acceptance and intuitive insight into the needs of the human heart. He was a totally human person tinged with the stubbornness of the Irish, but had a sparkling wit. He encouraged and sustained all those who came to know and love him. He became an anchor and a symbol of constancy for those privileged to cross his path.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

On 22nd October were announced the appointments of Frs. Albert Cooney and Harris as Rectors of Wah Yan College and the Regional Seminary, Hong Kong respectively. The former who is still in Ireland will be returning soon to the Mission via the United States.

McElduff, Patrick, 1923-2000, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/682
  • Person
  • 17 April 1923-06 April 2000

Born: 17 April 1923, Killeigh, Tullamore, County Offaly
Entered: 20 November 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 06 April 2000, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1953 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fifth wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Early in his stay at Chikuni, one evening a worker came to Br Pat to report that a snake had fallen into the well, the source of the people's drinking water. ‘If it dies, no one will ever drink from the well again’ he was told. What to do? Br Pat was nothing if not inventive. Into the 30 foot well he lowered a bag of hay knowing that snakes liked to rest or hide under sacking or straw. Next morning at 04.00 hours, Br Pat was awakened by the worker who said, ‘We have killed the snake after hauling up the hay with the snake inside’. Br Pat writing about this incident years later wrote, ‘I suppose it's in overcoming challenges that we grow in joy, in closeness to our Creator, and in a knowledge of who we are and how closely we work with Him’. Br Pat was a deeply spiritual man and all his working life was a challenge to him.

He was born on 17 April 1923 in Killeigh, Co Offaly, Ireland, into a farming family. After school he went to the Tullamore Vocational School for Trades Training (carpentry and building) and further academic subjects. He looked upon his early life as ‘a good Catholic religious upbringing’. He came to the Society in 1944 to Emo where he stayed even after his vows working on the farm, eight years in all.

He came to Northern Rhodesia in 1952 and took charge of the Chikuni farm for six years. For the construction of the Teachers Training College Charles Lwanga across the river from Chikuni, Br Pat was the obvious man for the building together with Fr McCarron just out from Ireland. During the following eight years, 1964 to 1972, he was on the move around the diocese building churches, schools, teachers' houses and catechists' houses. He spent three years promoting agriculture around Chikuni, went to Kasisi outside Lusaka as farm manager for three years and returned again to Chikuni as farm manager for eleven years. He did a few years' stint at Namwala doing maintenance and pastoral work and then back to Chikuni, also on maintenance and assisting in the parish. His health began to trouble him which took him to Ireland. In 1999 he was back in Zambia and was operated on but this did not cure the trouble. In great pain he asked to be brought to Ireland where he died on 6 April 2000.

In all this tremendous work that he did, he never forgot that he was working for God, as he once told a contractor with whom he was working when they had a difference of opinion. He prayed for the people he worked with, took a great interest in his workers and their families. He fed the hungry in famine times, visited the sick, presided at communion services, attended Charismatic prayer groups and generally encouraged people everywhere he went. He was never short of a word of advice or a prayer of encouragement.

On a short curriculum vitae sheet which the Jesuits fill in for the archives, one of the items on the sheet reads ‘Other activities, apostolic interests, hobbies, publications etc.’ Br Pat had, with an arrow pointing to 'hobbies' written, ‘get on with the job’. That, in some ways sums up Br Pat's life. He was practical, spiritual, helpful and kind. Ever busy himself, he was always ready to help others. He was well known around the Chikuni area as one to whom people would go when in trouble, knowing that they would get a listening ear. This, the local farmers knew. He was a farmer like themselves and his advice was readily sought.

The people were sad that Br Pat had died abroad. They would have liked to have his body brought back for full traditional burial rites, such was the esteem and love which they had for him. But as the Tonga proverb has it. ‘They say goodbye, they say goodbye but they leave their names behind’.

Note from Arthur J Clarke Entry
During his six years as rector, he was blessed with such outstanding heads of Canisius as Dick Cremins and Michael J Kelly. Arthur's vision for Canisius as a leading secondary school was influenced by his experience of Clongowes Wood College in Ireland. First, he wanted a proper house for the community. Though the actual building was the responsibility of Fr McCarron and Br Pat McElduff, the siting and design of the spacious community house are largely Arthur’s.

Note from Seán McCarron Entry
He was posted to Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) for the express purpose of building and setting up Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College. His right hand man was Br Pat McElduff.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Carpenter before entry

Wood, John B, 1913-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/695
  • Person
  • 26 September 1913-26 March 2000

Born: 26 September 1913, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 11 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 19 May 1945, Zi-Ka-Wei, Shanghai, China
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 26 March 2000, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore - Indonesian Province - Malaysia (MAS)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to IDO (MAS) : 1991

by 1940 in Hong Kong - Regency
by 1943 at Bellarmine, Zi-ka-Wei, near Shanghai, China (FRA) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father John Wood, S.J.

Father John Wood died in Singapore on 26 March 2000 at the age of 86.

He was born in Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland on 26 September 1913. He did his secondary school studies in the Apostolic School of Mungret College, Limerick joined the Society of Jesus in 1931 and was assigned to Hong Kong in 1939. Father Wood was the last surviving Jesuit to have been assigned to Hong Kong before World War II.

Father Wood began his theological studies in 1942 in Zikawei, Shanghai. He was ordained on 19 May 1945 with Fathers Timothy Doody, Matthew Corbally and Joseph McAsey, all of when spent most of their working lives in Hong Kong.

After a short stay in Ireland Father Wood returned to Hong Kong 1947 to teach Philosophy in the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, becoming Rector in 1957. When the Regional Seminary closed in 1964 he went to Malaysia and did parish work in Petaling Jaya.

In 1978 Father Wood was transferred to St. Ignatius’ Parish, Singapore and remained engaged in pastoral work there until the end of his life.

He was a gentle, unassuming man with a keen sense of humour, a good superior, zealous pastor, always ready to be of service to others. Wherever he went he made many friends and was much esteemed and loved by those who know him.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 April 2000

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

Note from Tim Doody Entry
1941-1946 Due to WWII he was sent to Zikawai, Shanghai for Theology with Mattie Corbally, Joe McAsey and John Wood until 1946, and in 1945 they were Ordained by Bishop Cote SJ, a Canadian born Bishop of Suchow.

Note from Mattie Corbally Entry
Because of the war he was sent to Shanghai for Theology along with Tim Doody, Joe McAsey and John Wood.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Milltown Park :
Fr. P. Joy, Superior of the Hong Kong Mission, gave us a very inspiring lecture entitled: "The Building of a Mission,” in which he treated of the growth, progress and future prospects of our efforts in South China.
In connection with the Mission we were very glad to welcome home Frs. McAsey, Wood and Corbally, who stayed here for some time before going to tertianship.

The Irish Examiner, newspaper

  • Corff corfforaethol

The Irish Examiner, formerly The Cork Examiner and then The Examiner.

Ferry, Mike

  • Person

Auctioneer with Lisney

Lisney, estate agents, 1934-

  • Corff corfforaethol
  • 1934-

Established as Harry Lisney & Son in 1934, having traded as Franks & Franks for the previous ten year

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

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.

Indekeu, Jean B, 1905-1984, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/733
  • Person
  • 21 March 1905-21 December 1984

Born: 21 March 1905, Neeroeteren, Limburg, Belgium
Entered: 23 September 1923, St Francis Xavier, Arlon, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 21 November 1936, Kurseong, Darjeeling, India
Final Vows: 02 February 1941
Died: 21 December 1984, Pastorij Dormall, Halle-Booienhoven, Belgium - Flanders Province (BEL S)

by 1956 came to Chikuni N Rhodesia (HIB) working 1956-1970

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Jean (or John as we called him) Indekeu was born in the northern part of Belgium on 21 March 1905 of Jacques and Francine (nee Janssen). He went to the Jesuit College in Turnhout and, at the age of 18, he entered the Society in the novitiate at Arlon for the North Belgian Province. His first year of juniorate was at Drongen (1925/26) and the second year was his military service (1926/27). Early on his was destined for the missions and so at 23 years of age he began his philosophy in the south of India (1928-30) at Shembaganur (Madurai).

Afterwards he did his regency in Ranchi (1931-33) and his theology at Kurseong in Darjeeling Province (1934-38) where he was ordained in 1936. His tertianship was in Ranchi (1938). He taught for a while in the college there. After a number of years in ministry it seems that he clashed with the authorities in some development work he was involved in and was obliged to leave the country. Although an extrovert and an affable person, his natural reserve did not lead him to talk about it.

In 1955 he came to Northern Rhodesia with Fr. Tom O’Brien and scholastics Michael Kelly and Michael Tyrrell. They were among the first batch of missionaries to come by air and the journey from London took almost five days via Marseilles – Malta – Wadi Halfa (now under the Aswan Dam) – Mersa Matruh (north Egypt) – Nairobi – Ndola – and finally to Lusaka.

John went immediately with the others to learn Tonga under Fr Paddy Cummins in Chivuna. Although he found the language difficult, he used to take great care with his homilies and often sought local assistance. After a brief stay in Chikuni he headed to Kasiya where he opened up new Mass centres almost as far away as Namwala. He also made welcome additions to the facilities of the house. In 1958 he was sent to Choma where initially he used a camp bed in the sacristy until he got the house up. He furnished the Church and also went to build the neat little Church in Kalomo. He always excelled at putting up well designed Churches and took care with the décor and vestments which you could see even in his own personal appearance with his well trimmed beard and immaculate but not expensive clothes.

He was pulled back to Charles Lwanga TTC as minister and bursar where he looked after the brethren well. Later the first provincial, Fr John Counihan used to tell the story of how, as he was being transferred to Monze, went into to John and asked him where the week-end refreshments appeared in the books, which he had carefully scrutinized but failed to locate. Fr Indekeu replied laconically ‘Look under jam’. He took good care of the community and was an amiable support to some of the younger men who found the missionary life difficult at times. During this time his real solace, as he says himself, was the weekend supplies in Mazabuka where he was duly missioned together with Frs Tom O’Meara and Vinnie Murphy. He was largely responsible for the well designed town Church, as well as for the Churches at Nega Nega and Magoye. He was involved also in helping in the construction of the community houses of both the Sisters’ and Brothers’ schools.

While next on leave he became anxious about his aging mother who was then 97 years old. On his return he lived in St Ignatius in Lusaka and worked in the small township that sprang up with the building of the Kafue Gorge Dam. He was able to get suitable plots for Church and parish house as a result of his good relations with the international construction team, especially with the French engineers. He also worked with Fr Prokoph on the Luwisha House project and when he returned back to Belgium in 1972, at 67 years of age, he sourced substantial funds to cover the cost of its chapel.

He was in pastoral ministry for a number of years in Dormaal but he never forgot his time in Zambia. A couple of years before his death on 21 December 1984 a donation of a thousand pounds came for the Province library.

Kelly, Michael, 1892-1964, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/742
  • Person
  • 14 November 1892-19 January 1964

Born: 14 November 1892, Talbotstown, Kiltegan, County Wicklow
Entered: 05 October 1911, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 2 February 1929. Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 19 January 1964, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Studied for BA at UCD

by 1918 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1928 at St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 39th Year No 2 1964

Obituary :

Fr Michael Kelly SJ

Father Michael Kelly came as a small boy to Clongowes and left it in 1911 an undisputed leader and the most popular boy in the school. A good worker of average ability he had athletic gifts which transcended limitations of physique and made him an excellent Rugby centre three quarter and a fine attacking batsman. A new boy in his last year worshipped him from afar and has for fifty years esteemed a characteristic memory of him. He is returning to the pavilion with “134 not out” to his credit. Beside him marches Bill Dundon, head erect and rightly proud of his 60. Father Michael's bat trails, he is only up to his companion's shoulder and his head is a little bent and his eyes on the ground. This score still stands as the record for a Clongowes boy in an out-match, Three years later there was another glimpse: this time of a Jesuit Scholastic in procession to the High Mass which celebrated the centenary of Clongowes.
There followed a degree in history and after three years philosophy, he returned to Clongowes, surprisingly enough, not as a prefect but as a teacher of history when history was being made in Ireland. Again it was to Clongowes he came after his priestly studies. This time as Higher Line Prefect and then as priest-prefect of the Third Line-something of an innovation and certainly a successful one. Already the ill health which was to cause him so much suffering-patiently even heroically borne through all the years to come—was a serious menace. After a second period as Higher Line Prefect the doctors intervened and he took up that dull and obscure office of Prefect of the Big Study. He must have felt the change but he never showed it. There is a special bond between a Prefect of Studies and a Study Prefect and the man who had the blessing of Father Kelly's advice and help and sympathy for the next three years is not likely to forget the generosity and self-effacement Father Kelly showed. In 1936 he was made Minister - a position he occupied for the then unprecedented period of ten years. They included the war years, with exceptional problems of fuel and transport and food, with which Father Minister coped so effectively that there were no serious hardships. Special crises, indeed, there were a foot and mouth epidemic that called for a difficult isolation policy; the worst series of epidemics the school had in recent years. With such affairs Father Kelly dealt with an energy and resource that often deceived people as to their magnitude.
Peace had come and after an unequalled and unbroken record of service to a school that he loved with fervour but without fanaticism, he was called on to start an entirely new life. For almost twenty years he gave to Gardiner Street Church and its people an equally unstinting service-a service which included the direction of one of the great Sodalities, charge of the Boys' Club as well as countless hours of unrecorded but invaluable advice in the confessional and the parlour.
A Jesuit who knew him well described as his outstanding quality loyalty in the very best sense of the word. As a boy Father Michael had Father T. V. Nolan as his Rector, Father John Sullivan as Spiritual Father, and Father George Roche as Higher Line Prefect. For them all and especially for the last named he had a deep and lasting respect and gratitude. For Father Kelly was one of the many boys who owed their vocation under God, in part at least, to the bed time visits which the Higher Line Prefect regularly made to the senior boys. At Father Roche's jubilee celebrations he told of the deep and lasting impression made on him by a few words on the true order of priorities spoken on a night many years before to a boy flushed with joy in a big athletic success in which his share had been notable. His was the sort of loyalty which strove to repay in kind what he himself had received. His school friends Jimmy Gaynor, Tom Finlay and Tom Duggan had meant and continued to mean, alive or dead, very much to him. To generations of boys at school and of men and women in the parish, he gave his help with a warm confidence that not even his extreme modesty could curtail and which his utter lack of ambition made the more acceptable. He might well have become vain in the days of his prowess on the playing field, but he was to the end almost distressingly modest. Immensely popular, he certainly never courted popularity and scarcely seemed to know the esteem in which he was held. Yet few Jesuits have won so many grateful and enduring friends and he made no enemies. This was partly the result of his unfailing courtesy and gentleness. “A fine gentleman” as one of his subalterns described him in his last days. Perhaps still more it was a refusal on the part of a really sensible man to allow opposition or misunderstanding to embitter him. The success of others meant far more to him than any achievement of his own. But with all his tolerance and sympathy he was a man of unbending principle and, when it was necessary, of firm action, An unequalled judge of character, he did not conceive of rule or influence by fear or bluff or deceit, and in practice almost invariably got the best out of those for whom he worked.
That such a man should have borne the very severe pain of a long final illness heroically is not surprising; that to the end he could reward the affection and gratitude of those he had befriended with unfailing humility and tenderness, must be their consolation, Father Kelly was indeed a Christ-like man and in the extreme of suffering like Christ his thought was for others. To his much loved family we offer our sincere condolences.

McCann, James, 1875-1951, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/754
  • Person
  • 22 February 1875-26 January 1951

Born: 22 February 1875, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1899, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1911, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1913, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died 26 January 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin

Chaplain in the First World War.

by 1903 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1918 Military Chaplain : Sialkot CFA, 4th Cavalry Division, BEF France

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 2 1951

Obituary :

Father James McCann

Fr. James McCann was born in 1875, educated at Beaumont College and apprenticed to stockbroking in his father's office, on his return from school. In 1896 he became qualified and was taken into partnership by his father, who had a high opinion of his business acumen and knowledge of finance. But in 1899 he renounced brilliant worldly prospects to enter the Jesuit noviceship of the Irish Province in Tullabeg. A headline had been set him two years earlier by his lifelong friend Edward Dillon, and the example of both was followed later by Fr. McCann's sister, who startled Dublin society by quitting it and joining the Colletines in Manchester, from which she was transferred to Carlow and later to Simmons Court Road, Ballsbridge.
From Tullabeg he went to Gemert in Holland to study philosophy. On his return he was assigned to Belvedere College and taught there for four years. Then he crossed the city to Milltown Park for his theological training, and was ordained in 1911. A year later he was appointed as Minister and Bursar in Milltown itself. In 1917 he vacated this office to serve as military Chaplain in France. From 1920 to 1924 he filled the post of Minister in Clongowes. Then he switched back to Milltown Park as Director of Retreats. In 1932 he joined the staff of St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner St. as Operarius and Bursar. In this post he gave proof of his business ability, and foreseeing the outbreak of World War II in good time, he quietly laid in large stocks of all household commodities which would endure storage without perishing. He thus insured his community from the shortages and hardships that pressed so heavily on all civilians during what was euphemistically known as “the emergency”.
In the status of 1946 he was relieved of his burden and sent back to Milltown Park to husband his strength - visibily waning - and prepare for death.
This he did to the edification of his brethren through over four years of increasing debility (marked by recurring collapses, calling for Extreme Unction). In these his courage and trust in God never wavered. Death held no terror for him. He often confided to friends that he longed for it, and found his severest cross in the tedium of waiting for release. It was long acoming, and he had much to suffer, but it came at last, quietly, painlessly, not like a thief in the night, but by day and rather like a nurse administering an injection of morphia - the euthanasia of the angel of death.
The change of life involved for him in entering the Tullabeg noviceship must have been trying to every natural instinct. Five or six years older than most of the ex-schoolboys about him and long accustomed to the sports and recreations of the wealthiest circles in Irish life, he yet took to the new life as if to the manner born. An enthusiastic rider and polo-player he faced the novel course before him (with hurdles as stiff in the moral order as Valentine's or Becher's Brook) eagerly, and he never lost a stirrup or “clouted timber”. He surmounted all obstacles in a curiously effortless manner, and was a shining example to younger riders in the race.
All through the years he ran true to earlier form. He carried the handicap of precarious health without letting it interfere with his varied activities. He had one great natural advantage, namely the innate high-mindedness of a gentleman. And that, elevated by grace, always gives a fine religious character. He had courage and enterprise. These qualities he displayed conspicuously in the crisis of Easter Week, when, regardless of danger, he exerted himself to find the necessities of life for communities in distress, especially his own charge, Milltown Park, and his sister's isolated nuns in Simmons Court Road. Still more when he rode round to various hospitals to attend the wounded, and berated the “loyalist” staff of one of them into equal treatment for Rebels and Tommies alike.
He showed them yet again when in 1917 he volunteered for service as a Chaplain in World War I. Several doctors declared his health unequal to the task. But he took no notice of the warning and forced his way through. He began in March of that year with a cavalry regiment, serving as infantry. He was invalided to London before the end of the year. Returning when fit for duty he was in the line by March, 1918 (this time in an infantry brigade) when the last great German push began. He remained till the end of the war and went into Germany with the occupying troops. During these years he won the esteem and affection of officers and men - also the official recognition of the M.C.
Though he had put from him all personal attachment to riches, he retained to the end a keen interest in questions of finance. But only to detect and point out the weaknesses and dangers of the whole capitalistic system of the nineteenth century. He shared his father's views that it was utterly top-heavy and destined to collapse under the impact of the first great war that might occur. It was surely ironic that, already in the nineties of the last century, the McCanns, father and son, who were probably the most successful stockbrokers of their day in Ireland, should warn their countrymen against the triumphant credit system then in vogue, and universally deemed “as safe as the bank of England” - the most popular comparison on the lips of men till 1914.
Fr. McCann in later years wrote an article in Studies explaining his father's heroic campaign, about the turn of the century, to alert Ireland to the true state of affairs and solicit all Irishmen to concentrate on the task of calling our invested millions home and devoting them to the task of developing agriculture, native industries, efficient transport, irrigation, reafforestation - just all those things we are busy about now, half-a-century later, when the native capital necessary for accomplishing them has largely vanished or turned to mere paper in the vaults of banks. But the McCann voice was a Cassandra voice. The British parliament turned a deaf ear to it as obvious economic heresy.
Even at home it was little heeded. And now we know the fulness of our gain. Fr. James did certainly love to talk of all these dreams of long ago. And took a certain unmalicious pleasure in saying: “I told you so”. Some listened and were interested, but more were just irritated and bored. It is the fate of prophets, natural or supernatural, in all spheres of existence. Fr. McCann, however, had become too detached in his own heart from the Kingdom of the World to be put out by such things. His eyes were fixed upon the Urbs Caelestis into which, we may well trust, he has entered, not exactly by violence, but by knocking at the gates with brisk aplomb, saluting St. Peter and saying Adsum!

Lynch, James, 1920-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/781
  • Person
  • 02 July 1920-29 September 2012

Born: 02 July 1920, Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 29 September 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Coláiste Iognáid, Galway community at the time of death.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 150 : Winter 2012


Fr James (Jim) Lynch (1920-2012)

2 July 1920: Bom in Kilkenny.
Early education at The Lake National School, CBS Kilkenny and Belvedere College
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
1946-1949: Clongowes - 3rd Line Prefect; Teacher, Certificate in Education
1949-1953: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31 July 1952: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1953-1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1954-1963: Clongowes
1954-1959: Clongowes – LowerLine Prefect; Teacher
2 February 1955: Final Vows
1959-1962: Clongowes - Higher Line Prefect; Teacher
1962-1963: Clongowes - Minister; Prefect
1963-1985: Belvedere – Teacher; Assistant Gamesmaster; Chaplain to Youth Club (63-64)
1985-2012: Galway - Assisted in the church
2008-2012: Cherryfield Lodge - Prayed for the sick and the Society

Fr Jim Lynch SJ was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge from St. Ignatius, Galway in November 2008. He was very happy in the Jesuit Nursing home and he recently celebrated his 60th years in the Priesthood. He died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge on 29th September 2012
May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Jim never hid the fact that he was born in Kilkenny on July 2nd, 1920. His first nine years were spent in Kilkenny. However, he was also very proud to be a Belvederian having received most of his education there when his family moved to Dublin in 1929 and to their new house near Landsdowne Road, or the Aviva Stadium as it is now. In fact this was the beginning of a long association of the Lynch family with Belvedere and Old Belvedere Rugby Club, especially for his brother Frank who became President of the Rugby Club. Jim was quite an athlete when young. He played rugby for Belvedere and gained a Leinster schools' Cup medal in 1938. He was also a member of the Belvedere team that lost a cup match due to a controversial decision by the referee. Having awarded a try to Belvedere, the referee cancelled the try when he noticed that the touch judge had kept his flag up to signal an earlier 'foot in touch'. It was the story of the try that wasn't a try and Jim kept the paper cuttings of the incident. Jim also represented Belvedere in rowing and swimming.

Two words come to mind when mention is made of Jim's name, namely, faithfulness and reliability. Jim was totally faithful to the Jesuit way of life. He retired to bed early and rose early to attend to his religious duties. His faithfulness to Ted Booth both in Clongowes and Belvedere was remarkable. He showed similar care for the elderly during his years in Galway, acting as “infirmarian”, checking on his brother Jesuits that they were alive and well and that they had taken their tablets,

Jim was totally reliable in whatever he was asked to do as a Jesuit. He taught in Clongowes for a total of twelve years, both as a scholastic and as a priest. He was also 3rd Line Prefect for three years and Lower Line Prefect for eight years. He was Minister for one year, the hardest year in his life, he always said. He left Clongowes for Belvedere in 1963 and taught there for the next twenty-two years until his retirement, aged sixty-five. The next twenty-three years of his life were spent in Galway ministering in the Church. For many years he travelled to Wales to spend the summer supplying in a parish.

I don't think Jim found any of the ministries he was asked to undertake easy. Teaching did not come easy to him nor did preaching, Yet, Jim did what he was asked to do and no complaining. His attachment to Belvedere was deep having been there as a boy and man. It wasn't easy for him to cross the Shannon and leave Belvedere for Galway where he served for twenty-three years. But he did it and came to like Galway and its people. And the people hold fond memories of him.

Jim spent the last four years of his life in Cherryfield, praying for the Church and the Society. That must not have been easy either, yet perhaps Jim had now become an even more pliable instrument in the Lord's hands. The Staff in Cherryfield bore this out in his last years. When Rachel, the nurse Manager, asked Jim about having to do this or that he would reply, “Whatever you say: you are in charge”. He was a delight to visit in Cherryfield. When you asked how he was he would always reply, “Not too bad for an old fellow”. There was no self-pity or drawing attention to himself, just to the nurses and their kindness to him.

Jim's life was like that of most of us, it was ordinary and he sought to serve God in the ordinary. He did the ordinary course of studies' as in was in those days, three years in Rathfarnham at UCD, three years philosophy in Tullabeg, three years regency in Clongowes, four years theology in Milltown Park and a return to Rathfarnham for a year of Tertianship. Then it was on to the Colleges and finally, in retirement from teaching, to serve in one of our Churches. However, what is not ordinary is the faithfulness with which Jim did the ordinary and that for seventy-four years as a Jesuit. In death it will be Jim's tum to experience the utter reliability and faithfulness of the God on whom he modelled his life.

When I think of Jim now, some lines of the 17th century poet George Herbert come to mind:

Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lacked anything

“A guest”, I answered, “worthy to be here”.
Love said, “You shall be he”.
“I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on thee”.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
“Who made the eyes but I?”

“Truth, Lord, but I have marred them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve”.
“And know you not”, says Love, “who bore the blame?”
“My dear, then I will serve”,
“You must sit down”, says Love and taste my meat”.
So I did sit and eat.

John Humphreys

McAuley, John, 1923-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/787
  • Person
  • 17 June 1923-02 January 2012

Born: 17 June 1923, Bargeddie, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Entered: 07 September 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 25 May 1986, Rome, Italy
Final Vows: 10 May 1995
Died: 02 January 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1952 at Rome Italy (ROM) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 147 : Spring 2012


Fr John McAuley (1923-2011) : Zambia Malawi Province

17 June 1923: Born in Glasgow, Scotland
7 September 1946: Entered Society in Emo Park, Ireland
25 May1986: Ordained in Rome by Pope John Paul II
2 February 1957: Final Vows at the Gesu, Rome
2 January 2012: Died in Dublin

Apostolic Life
1948 - 1951: Ireland. Rector's secretary
1951 - 1969: Rome, General Curia , receptionist
1969 - 1970: Chikuni. Learning Tonga
1972 - 1973: Chikuni, Canisius, teaching
1974 - 1981: Namwala, teaching at Namwala Sec. Sch
1981 - 2002: Kabwe, Bwacha
1981 - 1992: Lecturer, chaplain, Nkrumah Teacher Training College
1992 - 1996: Chaplain, Nkrumah, lecturing at Mpima Seminary
1985 - 1986: Rome, Bellarmino, Studies for priesthood
1996 - 2002: Chaplaincy work, formation of young Religious
2002 - 2004: Dublin, Milltown Park, recovering health
2004 - 2006: Kabwe, Bwacha, assisting in parish
2006 - 2007: Dublin, Milltown Park, recovering health Dublin,
2007 - 2011: Cherryfield Lodge, praying for Church and Society

Obituary : Michael J Kelly
John McAuley spent 66 of his 89 years in the Society: as a novice and brother from 1946 to 1986 and as a priest from 1986 to his death on 2nd January 2012. He was a true Jesuit in whom there was no guile. Integrity, determination to pursue a spiritual life as he understood it, and zeal for the apostolate characterized him all through life. No obstacle or difficulty could deter him from making these qualities manifest in his life. At times his strength of purpose seemed daunting, but to John this was his way of finding God and showing how much God loves us. A small incident in the novitiate brings this out. When standing for grace after dinner one day, John shook his leg as if something was itching him but continued with the grace. Afterwards he told his companions that when he was sitting at the table a mouse had run up the leg of his trousers, but he thought it was his duty as a novice not to make any fuss but to wait until he could dispose of his visitor in the least perceptible way. No one but John could have been so calm, collected and yet very funny about such an experience.

John took his first vows on 8th September 1948. Ever afterwards he remained very loyal to those who had taken vows with him, making sure that each of them had the “vow photo” of the thirteen men who took vows on that day, taken by the internationally acclaimed photographer, Father Frank Browne, S.J. Like his fellow vow-men, John did his novitiate under two novice-masters, Father Tommy Byrne and Donal O'Sullivan, and like his colleagues he benefitted from the richness that came from two different approaches to the spiritual life and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. But John was a man of few words who did not speak easily about things personal to himself. Before entering the novitiate he had completed two years of a science degree at Glasgow University. But he never revealed this to his fellow-novices, most of whom were several years his junior and far behind him in academic attainments. Even less did he speak about his own spiritual life. He was a private man, one who enjoyed companionship but did not depend on it.

After a few years as refectorian in Tullabeg and secretary to the Rector in Clongowes, John moved to Rome where he spent several years as receptionist for the Curia. Because of his reticence in speaking about himself we do not know much about John's life during this period. But the few things we do know are very striking. He was outstanding for the generosity of his hospitality to Irish Jesuits who happened to be passing through Rome, going out of his way to ensure that they were able to visit church and historical sites. The fact that he took Final Vows in 1957, just eleven years after he had entered the Society, speaks volumes for the dedicated religious life he lived when in Rome. And during this period, John succeeded in doing what Hitler had been unable to do- he stopped General Montgomery in his tracks.

What happened was this. One day, when John was receptionist at the Curia, a tall man came in and said he wanted to see the General. John asked to see his ID, but the visitor said he was not carrying one. John retorted that in that case he could not admit him, to which the visitor replied that he had an appointment with the General. John looked at the day's documents detailing appointments and said he had no information on that, but the man insisted. So John asked him his name and then rang the General to tell him that a man called Montgomery was at the desk, saying he had an appointment - “send him in at once" was the reply, “I am waiting for him, he is also a General”.

But stopping high-ranking generals and the humdrum duties of receptionist at the Curia did not give John sufficient outlet for his apostolic zeal. Like every good Jesuit, he sought the Magis, he wanted to do more. And so it was that he undertook part-time studies at the Gregorian University, a move that would accelerate his transition to the priesthood in later life. The same zeal led to his being assigned in 1969 to the newly established Zambian Province where, after some time spent in learning a local language, he served as a secondary school teacher, first at Canisius, the Jesuit school, and then for several years at the government school in Namwala. In addition to his teaching duties, John also served as chaplain at Namwala School, a ministry that gave him much scope for his apostolic zeal.

From Namwala, John transferred for a short period to the Jesuit Teacher Training College, Charles Lwanga, and from there to the Government training college for secondary teachers, Nkrumah College in Kabwe, where he lectured in religious studies and served as chaplain. It was while he was in Kabwe that John's desire to be ordained as a priest came very strongly to the fore, leading to studies at the Bellarmino in Rome in 1985 and 1986 and ordination in June 1986 by Blessed John Paul II. On his return to Zambia John was again posted to Kabwe, where he served in the parish and lectured and was chaplain at Nkrumah College. As if these responsibilities were not enough, he also took on a heavy load of formation work for young religious. For a time he lectured at the national seminary in Mpima, but is probably better remembered for his catechetical work with postulants and novices for the Sisters of Charity and for the Little Servants of Mary.

Although physically very wiry, John always suffered from bad sight, attributable in great measure to his being an albino. This prevented him from ever driving a car on any of his apostolic journeys. Instead he undertook these on a Honda 110 motor-cycle. The image of John endures, sitting very straight-backed on his Honda, looking straight ahead and “put-putting” along miles of tarred and dirt roads. But the Honda eventually became John's undoing, leading to serious accidents as he hit unseen potholes or had brushes with passing cars. One of these accidents necessitated his return to Ireland in 2002 to recover from his injuries. When he retumed to Zambia two years later, the Provincial felt obliged to refuse his request that he could ride his Honda again and advised him that he would have to rely on the mistresses of novices in the various congregations to get him to and from his work with postulants and novices.

Nothing daunted, John set about this but the injuries he had previously sustained had weakened him so badly that it was again necessary for him to return to Ireland, this time in 2006. At first he was assigned to Milltown Park, but a year later it became necessary for him to transfer to the Jesuit Nursing Home, Cherryfield Lodge. He settled in well and was content. He greatly enjoyed visits from members of his family who came from Scotland a few times each year to spend some time with him. But his condition steadily deteriorated; he was confined to a wheelchair; his eyesight failed almost completely; and his hearing became quite poor. But he always remained patient and now seemed more than ever concentrated on his new apostolate, to pray for the Church and the Society. Every morning, on being wheeled in for Mass, he would say “Put me near the altar”. In many ways this sums up his life, to be near the altar - “nearer my God to thee, even though it be a cross that raiseth me”. In this spirit, John died peacefully on 2nd January 2012.

The prayers of commendation, before John's body was taken from Cherryfield to Milltown Park for his funeral Mass, included the reflection: “Rather than his body, we are left with the name of John which we speak now with reverence and affection, and pray: Lord God, remember this namewhich he was given by his parents, and by which he is known even though he is dead; the namethat you have written on the palm of your hand”. In the Society, in Ireland and in Zambia, he was known as John. But his family always called him “Jackie”. In keeping with his much-loved privacy, John preferred that this name be reserved for family use only and could be offended if it was used by any non-family member. But whether “Jackie” or “John”, we speak his name with reverence and affection because he was a sign of God's living presence with us, because he strained himself always to do more for the coming of God's kingdom among us, and because we are certain that his name - be it Jackie or John - is written on the palm of God's hand.

O'Keeffe, Philip, 1946-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/792
  • Person
  • 12 June 1946-17 December 2007

Born: 12 June 1946, Ennis, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1963, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 June 1975, Ennis, Co Clare
Final Vows: 08 September 1980, Mukasa Seminary, Choma, Zambia
Died: 17 December 2007, St Vincent’s, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the Xavier House Lusaka - Mazabuka community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 08 September 1980
◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Philip was my friend. Our life's correspondence could easily fit in your smallest pocket. Many here might have lost contact with him because of his pocket size communications. Many here too can say he was their friend. Certainly I know many a person in Zambia who would say emphatically: Philip was my friend.

T'is many a night in the early nineties that I sat in the sitting room of St Kizito's Pastoral Centre Monze with the two Clare men with whom I was privileged to live, for Philip was born in Ennis, Co Clare on 12 June 1946. Two genuinely saintly men. The elder statesman, John Counihan, would stand up promptly at eight pm and announce ‘All right boys, I'll leave you to it. It's time for me to retire’. And he'd toddle off to his room to the Greek New Testament and Tonga New Testament laid out side by side on his desk – no English – and he'd prepare his homily for the following day. Meanwhile myself and Philip would switch off the serious stuff and put on a videotape, in those days it was the special Late Late Show tribute to Sharon Shannon - another famous Clare woman.

The long drawn out notes of the accordion are the years of love and struggle, the years of pastoral planning, the years of walking with, that Phillip did from the time he first boarded the plane in Dublin for Zambia 'in August 1970 with Joe Hayes and Stan Farrell. He walked with care and love in his own humble, shy, unintrusive manner. First in Mumbwa in the late 70's where he had to learn ciNyanja and some Shona. Then in Monze, Maamba, St Mary's Monze and finally Nakambala Sugar Estate, Mazabuka. While he walked unobtrusively yet he could lay down the law with people in a most fruitful and containing way. And his shyness could disappear like a cloud in a sunburst when he would sit and read for you with enthusiasm some favorite poetry or throw out one of his humorous and acute observations of the human situation. Or offer his funny, sometimes painfully frank, comments on a person's foibles.

Philip was very honest with himself and had no ambitions to power. He had a really hard time with his inner self. I know some of 'the intense personal agonies he went through. He was low and depressed a lot of the time. And still he could ride the waves of the unconscious and throw humour and good sense to his fellow travellers. Even here in hospital, the last time I spoke with him from Sheffield on the phone, he displayed his wry humour. I asked him how he was managing with all the visitors while feeling so weak – knowing also that in his very introverted nature he likes to put a limit on seeing people. ‘Well’, he says, ‘I'll tell you, it's like in the old days in Ennis when Duffy's circus used to come to town. They used to have this little tent where we'd have to pay sixpence to get in. People would come, half out of guilt and half out of curiosity to see the cow with six legs’. Then he paused. ‘Since they put me in this wheel chair – I'm still counting my legs’. He found it enormously difficult to retain the energy to keep going in his parish work. But he was utterly faithful to it.

And now the darkness of the open door into some small African house is reflected on the blue water across the river where he has now gone. Maureen and Bill, his parents are there to meet him. Rufina Mwiinga and Jennifer Ndima and Norman MacDonald and many many others are there too. There is a blaze of light from the warmth and love flowing out and around and inside that distant house on the other side. Of which we know nothing, just nothing. Philip has climbed the mountain and seen nothing on the slopes. And now he's reached the top and... well, we can see nothing.

A family phoned me recently asking me to pray for her husband dying of cancer. Of course I said I would. But I was aware of my own very uncertain faith. ‘Oh,’ she said ‘I'm glad we have you on board, I'm really glad we have you on board’. I thought to myself, ‘I may be on board, I may be in the ship, but the question is, “Is the ship in the water?” And if it is, what sea exactly are we setting out to cross?' I felt a bit like Jonah. Throw me overboard. Death brings up all these unresolved questions in us.

Philip was a man of faith. I look at you now Philip in wonder and admiration. Thank you for your friendship. May you rest in peace.

Ryan, Michael J, 1917-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/797
  • Person
  • 06 September 1917-03 April 2008

Born: 06 September 1917, Dublin
Entered: 17 October 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1955, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 03 April 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Entered St Mary's, Emo, County Laois: 07 September 1936; Left: 02 March 1939; Re-entered: 17 October 1941.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/michael-ryan-sj-rip/

Michael Ryan SJ, RIP
The funeral of Fr Michael Ryan SJ took place in Milltown Park, Dublin on April 7, 2008. Michael died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin on Thursday, April 3, 2008, aged 90 years.
Born in Dublin, his early education was with the Christian Brothers on North Richmond Street. He entered the Jesuits in Emo in 1936, then studied Arts at UCD, followed by Philosophy at Tullabeg. His Regency was at Mungret and Clongowes, and he studied theology at Milltown, where he was subsequently ordained in 1951. As a priest, he worked first as a teacher in Clongowes and then in Gonzaga College. From 1957 he ministered in the Sacred Heart Church, Limerick, for three years and then assisted in the Milltown library until 2006, when he was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge. His condition had deteriorated in his last six months and he had to be transferred to hospital for treatment, eventually returning to Cherryfield in March before his death on April 3. May he rest in the peace of Christ.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Went to Juniorate without Vows. Sent away because of bad speech impediment. Reentered

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 136 : Summer 2008


Fr Michael Ryan (1917-2008)

6 September 1917: Born in Dublin
Early education at CBS, North Richmond Street, Dublin
7th September 1936: Entered the Society at Emo
1938 - 1939: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
31st July 1939: Left the Society for health reasons
1939 - 1941: Studied Arts at UCD
17th October 1941: Re-entered the Society at Emo
2nd February 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1947: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1947 - 1948: Mungret College - Regency
1948 - 1949: Clongowes Wood College - Regency
1949 - 1952: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1951: Ordained at Milltown Park
1952 - 1953: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1953 - 1956: Clongowes Wood College - Teacher
2nd February 1955: Final Vows at Clongowes
1956 - 1957: Gonzaga College - Teacher
1957 - 1960: Sacred Heart, Limerick - Ministered in Church
1960 - 2007: Milltown Park - Assisting in Library....
21st August 2006: Admitted to Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin
3rd April 2008: Died at Cherryfield

Fergal Brennan writes:
Michael Ryan was a most unusual character. He possessed a unique combination of charm, humour and suspicion. The Milltown Community Staff found him very pleasant and likeable. He was always smiling, told them jokes, and plied them with stories about fishing. His family were fond of him, and his funeral was delayed so that some relatives could return from Australia to attend.

Born in Dublin in 1917, Michael attended O'Connell Schools, where he was impressed by several of the Brothers. Entering the Noviceship in 1936, he was already an accomplished fisherman, catching pike in the Emo lake. Paddy Kelly reports, however, that several people objected to Michael using live, fluffy, little coot chicks as bait. At the end of his time in Emo, Michael did not take First Vows, but he did go on to Rathfarnham and started studies in UCD. He left the Society the following summer, but continued to associate with the Juniors, going for walks up the hills with them, and attending the Irish Villa. On such Villas in Ballinskelligs, Michael taught fly-fishing to Des O'Loughlen and anyone who was interested. When he finished his degree in 1941, it is said that Michael “talked his way back into the Noviceship”. This time he did take Vows, and his progress through ‘Formation' was quite standard after that, including Ordination in Milltown.

After Tertianship, Michael started on a life of teaching - first in Clongowes, then Gonzaga, where the students in his Irish Class did extremely well in the Leaving Certificate. However, Michael was not suited to the work, and transferred in 1957 to the Sacred Heart Church in the Crescent, Limerick. A physically active man, he loved travel and sport. He not merely fly-fished at Castleconnell, and played golf in Ballybough, but, whenever he could, he would take the bus to Kilkee to go swimming in the Pollock Holes. In the Church, he was regarded as a kind and sympathetic confessor, of great assistance to people with scruples. Michael was considered to be hard-working, religious and committed, very useful in the Church, a man of prayer, but somehow different, perhaps even odd, though this wasn't really his own fault. However, tensions arose between Michael and the Minister. Gradually, the tensions grew, eventually culminating in Michael preaching a public sermon criticising the Minister, while the latter was saying the Sunday Mass. This brought matters to a head, and Michael was moved to Milltown Park.

During his time in Milltown, Michael helped out in the Library, particularly in the Irish Section. He was happy there and enjoyed doing research, mostly on Irish history and ancient languages. He was convinced that all languages are derived from the language of Adam. The older languages include Old Irish, and so it could provide clues to the meaning of Old Testament names. St Patrick was a major subject of Michael's research. It was remarkable that he concluded that our Patron Saint was born in Boulogne-Sur-Mer, in France, without being aware that the citizens of Boulogne were already convinced of that; a school, a parish, and some streets there are called after him. But the Boulognnais based their conclusion directly on tradition, without taking the route touristique through Britannia Secunda and Bun na hAbhann, Normandy and Neustria, which could last the whole of a St Patrick's Day Long Table. Micheal had the imaginative talent of a novelist, piling on the embellishments. It is reported that a whole Supper was spent explaining how the story of the Knock apparitions was fabricated by the Nun of Kenmare.

Fishing remained an important hobby for Michael, and he would spend two weeks every year in Pontoon with Jack McDonald and Dermot Fleury, fishing from a boat on Lough Conn. He practised golf in the Milltown grounds, swam in the pool, and spent a lot of time at "outdoor works", slashing vigorously at tussocks along the Black Walk. He remained an acute observer of nature, especially of birds and plants.

Basically a kind man, Michael helped foreigners with their English, explaining to them the anomalies of the language. Still, he was not above a bit of “divilment”. Before a meal, he would go to the Library and read up a topic in an Encyclopaedia article. In the Refectory he would sit with Eddie FitzGerald, and bring up the topic during a lull in the conversation. Eddie took the bait every time, and a long argument would ensue. After one such exchange, when Michael had left, Eddie said to me: “Actually, I don't know much about it, but I do know Michael Ryan can't be right!” In fact, much of the time Michael was right. He took considerable delight in being able to hold his own in a discussion with a learned professor. In so doing, he proved something to himself and he felt the better for it.

Michael enjoyed teasing people and challenging them, particularly if they were authorities of some sort. But sometimes his words were awkward or aggressive, and his attitude was misread. At a Province Meeting in Rathfarnham, he famously threw down the gauntlet by asking the Provincial would he not agree with the “Danish proverb” that says, “A fish rots from the head down”. There was no real malice in Michael. He was never actually uncharitable about others, though he remained quite convinced that some of them were out to get him. He was particularly worried about John Hyde, watching him and following him around. Michael was convinced, too, that his neighbour was interfering with his hand basin and had bugged his room. There were two reasons for this. Not only did this man live in the room next door, he was also a leading ecumenist, and Michael was ever a loyal defender of the “Catholic truth”.

Old age mellowed him considerably, dampening much of his prickliness and suspicion. He grew tolerant of Superiors, and was liked increasingly by many people. It was sad, though, to watch his powers deteriorate and his confusion grow.

He gave up gardening. Golf became too much for him. He started losing things in his room, though he no longer blamed this on anyone else. As his confusion grew, he seemed to grow in calmness and self awareness. He enjoyed the company of Magda, his Polish care-giver. Beaming, he would come down the stairs to go for a walk, with Magda on his arm. “Don't marry a Polish wife!” he would chuckle, obliquely expressing his appreciation of her solicitude. In fact, he was grateful to the Staff for all the help he received, and very grateful to Mary Mooney, who brought him his breakfast and took care of his room. Finally, Michael's confusion grew too great. He was moved to Cherryfield in August 2006. Suffering from senile dementia, he was well cared for by the Staff there. He died peacefully on April 2008.

Michael lived much of his life in a world of his own imagining. He was a fundamentally decent human being, though haunted by recurrent suspicions which were largely beyond his control. I hope that he has found peace, now, and freedom from all his fears.

Ratcliffe College, Leicestershire, 1847-

  • Corff corfforaethol
  • 1847-

Ratcliffe College is a coeducational Catholic independent boarding and day school in the village of Ratcliffe on the Wreake, Leicestershire, approximately 7 miles (11 km) from Leicester, England.

Gennarelli, Raphaello, 1896-1923, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/164
  • Person
  • 05 August 1896-21 September 1923

Born: 05 August 1896, Riccia, Campobasso, Molise, Italy
Entered: 19 June 1911, Naples, Italy - Neapolitanae Province (NAP)
Died: 21 September 1923, St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia - Neapolitanae Province (NAP)

by 1922 came to Loyola, Greenwich, Australia (HIB) studying / health

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

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Raffaello Gennerelli entered the Society for the Province of Naples on 19 June 1911, but soon contracted tuberculosis. He came to Australia and did juniorate studies at Loyola Greenwich in 1922, but soon became too ill and joined Michele Checchia at Sevenhill, where he died in September the following year.

Note from Michele Checchia Entry
Michele Checchia was a member of the Naples province who came to Australia with Raffaele Gennerelli in 1922, both suffering from tuberculosis, in the hope that the dryer climate would help in their treatment

Coláiste Iognáid SJ, 1862-

  • Corff corfforaethol
  • 1862-

Since 1620 the Jesuits have, with some involuntary intermissions, been working in Galway. In 1645 our first school was founded through the generosity of Edmund Kirwan. The school, incorporated it seems into a Jesuit residence in the present Abbeygate St, survived and flourished although it had been established at a time of political upheaval and military activity. After the surrender of Galway to the Cromwellian forces in 1652, the Jesuits tried to maintain contact with the people of the area, and there is reference in 1658 to three members of the Society living secretly in County Galway. Jesuits returned openly to Galway after the Restoration of Charles II, but were banished again by Williamite forces in 1691. Once more they made a comeback in 1728 and for forty years they worked among the people of Galway. Sadly, a decrease in manpower forced the withdrawal of the “Mission” in 1768.

In 1859, at the request of the Bishop, members of the Order once more took up residence in the city, this time in Prospect Hill and served in St Patrick’s Church. Within a year they had opened a college near the site of the present Bank of Ireland at 19 Eyre Square. The college’s present location on Sea Road dates from 1863. The modern phase of Coláiste Iognáid began in 1929. The local enthusiasm for the language revival efforts of the emerging State was to be served by a re-invigorated Coláiste Iognáid, which became an Irish-medium School in 1931.

The college now is a co-educational, bilingual, non-fee-paying secondary school.

Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin, 1950-

  • Corff corfforaethol
  • 1950-

In 1947, the decision to open a Jesuit school on the south side of Dublin was taken. The purchase in 1949 of Sandford Lodge and Sandford Hill belonging to the Bewley Estate consisted of 15 acres in Ranelagh, two miles south of Dublin city centre. The college opened on 8 September 1950, with 52 boys registering. The founding Jesuit Superior (and later first Rector) was Fr Charles O' Conor SJ (The O' Conor Don) (1906-1981) and the first Prefect of Studies was Fr Bill White SJ (1912-1988).

Cahill, Thomas, 1827-1908, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/999
  • Person
  • 31 December 1827-19 April 1908

Born: 31 December 1827, County Carlow
Entered: 08 March 1855, Amiens France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1857, Laval, France
Final vows: 01 November 1866
Died: 19 April 1908, St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia

by 1864 in St Joseph’s Macau (CAST) teaching Superior of Seminary by 1868
Early Australian Missioner 1871

Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia Mission : 1872-1879

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His early studies were under a private tutor at home and he spent one year at Carlow College. he then went to Maynooth, and was one of the students examined in the Commission of Enquiry of 1853 (cf Report, Maynooth Commission, Part II pp 297-299). On the occasion of his Ordination to the Diaconate he Entered the Society.

He made his Noviceship and further Studies at Laval, and was Ordained there 1857.
1858-1863 He was sent to teach at Clongowes.
1863-1865 He was sent as Operarius to Galway.
1865-1872 He was sent as Superior to St Joseph’s Seminary Macau, in China.
1872 He was appointed Superior of the Australian Mission, and also Rector of St Patrick’s Melbourne. He was founder and first Rector of Xavier College, Kew, and later Superior of the Parishes of Hawthorn and Kew.
The last years of his life were at St Ignatius, Richmond, and he died there 19 April 1908 His funeral was attended by a large number of clergy and local people and Archbishop Thomas Carr presided and preached. During his career he preached many Missions and retreats for Priests and Nuns. He was a profound Theologian, and Archbishop Thomas Carr appointed him one of his examiners of young priests arriving from the College. It was said that the Archbishop frequently consulted him on ecclesiastical matters.
On the Feast of St Ignatius 1908 a touching tribute was paid to him in the form of a new pulpit at St Ignatius, Richmond.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 "
He had been studying at Maynooth in Ireland almost up to Ordination when he entered the Society in 1855.

As there was no Noviciate in Ireland, he entered in France, and was later Ordained at Laval in 1857.

1857-1859 He came to Clongowes and taught Classics and Mathematics to the junior classes.
1859-1863 He was sent to Galway and divided these four years between the Parish and the School
1863-1872 He had always wanted to go on the Missions, and when the Portuguese Jesuits in Macau needed a man to teach English in the Seminary there he volunteered, arriving in 1863. There he found himself in a somewhat bizarre situation. The Seminary, with 100 boarders and 116 day boys had as it’s head a Portuguese prelate, Mgr Gouvea, who apparently had little capacity for his position. He and the three other Jesuits on the staff were supposed to be responsible for teaching and discipline, but in fact Gouvea confined them to teaching. The other Jesuits were Italian.
The community’s Superior was a Father Rondina, an enthusiast, his mind full of ambitious projects, but as Gouvea mentioned to his Mission Superior, he was so scatty that he would forget by midday what he had done in the morning and undo it. Rondina wanted to take over the administration of the Seminary, in spite of the fact that the two new men, Cahill and Virgili were sent in response to complaints of his chronic overwork. The other Jesuit - Mattos - was causing trouble by denouncing with some violence, what was practically the slave status of Chinese labourers in Macau - the colonial government was furious.
The two additions were most welcome and the Superior of the Mission wrote that he was delighted to get Cahill. The Feast of St Francis Xavier in 1864 brought letters from Father General Beckx to the priests in Macau. To Cahill, he wrote warmly that he had heard only good of him and hoped this would always be so - he should go on living by the Institute and doing God’s work.
He was not altogether won by the Mission. he wrote at the end of 1864 to the Irish Provincial, who had asked for news of the situation in Japan, and he recommended that the Irish Province should get in there quickly. Other Orders were taking over the cities in Japan, so why should the Irish Province not have a Mission there.
In the meantime, the situation in Macau became more troublesome. Gouvea refused to expel some boys for immorality - the Governor of the colony had interceded for them. Rondina, reporting this, added that Cahill was having stomach trouble, and that his gentleness, admired in an earlier letter, prevented him from maintaining discipline and made some of the boys avoid his subjects. This was a pity. Cahill was so devoted and good, and Gouvea and the assistant masters were rough and harsh with the boys. He was their Spiritual Director, but his work prevented him from being always accessible to them.
By the middle of 1866 Rome had decided that the Macau community needed a new Superior. It would have to be someone already there as no one else could be sent to Macau. The Superior of the Mission and his Consultors proposed Cahill - he was prudent and kind, perhaps not forceful enough - and the community, given to mutual complaints, needed someone strong. If the General, in appointing him, wrote him an encouraging letter, this might help him overcome his timidity. Beckx at first jobbed at appointing Cahill because of his experience, but later agreed that there was no one else, and he was a good man and peaceable. So, in August 1866 he appointed Cahill as Superior of the Seminary community.
Cahill met new problems and was not finding the mission satisfactory to his own missionary zeal - it was a settlement of hardly devout European Catholics. He raised again the question of the Jesuits returning to Japan when he heard of the canonisation of the Japanese martyrs, and asked General Beckx to remember him if the Society decided to found a Mission there.
Meanwhile, Cahill was finding the new Rector of the Seminary Antonio Carvalho - who had been friendly to the Society - becoming more difficult, and again confined the Jesuits to teaching only. Discipline was so bad that the Jesuits withdrew from their rooms in the Seminary and went to live in a house put at their disposal nearby.
Sometime later Cahill was reporting maniacal behaviour on Catvalho’s part - he forbade the Jesuits to hear the boys confessions and complained that to warn the boys against the Freemasons was to engage in politics. The Spanish and Portuguese in Macau were making outrageous accusations against Rondina because he encouraged girls to refuse their advances. The community wanted to withdraw altogether from working in the Seminary. Further dissensions developed with the Society on the outside watching and waiting. But the situation did not improve and Cahill wanted to leave the Mission. The situation became so impossible that the Jesuit presence there became impossible.
At one time during his stay Cahill was awarded a knighthood by the Emperor of Annam, for work he did for some Annamese fishermen unjustly imprisoned in Macau. He became so proficient in Chinese that he wrote a Chinese catechism for his people.
Cahill left for Manila, hoping to be sent from there to China, and indeed the Provincial in Portugal suggested using him in one of the off coast islands from which some missionaries had just been expelled. But the Irish Provincial wanted him to go to the new Irish Mission in Australia. Father General wrote to him in January 1872, praising his missionary zeal and thanking him for all he had done in Macau. he wrote that Melbourne’s needs were imperative and Cahill should get down there as soon as possible.
1872 In April of that year General Beckx asked the Irish provincial for three names of men suitable for appointment as Superior of the Australian Mission, Cahill’s name led all the rest, and in July he became Superior of the Mission. Two years later he was also Rector of St Patrick’s College Melbourne, and exchanged this post for the Rectorship of the newly formed Xavier College, remaining Superior of the Mission. At this time his students remembered him as a very earnest and able man, constantly called upon by the diocese to give occasional addresses. He was a methodical teacher of Classics and Mathematics.
He may have found Melbourne dull after Macau, or suffered a reaction after all the excitements there. In September 1875 Father general wrote complaining that he had not heard from him in two years, and six months later complained tat it was not two years and six months since he’d had a letter. Perhaps Macau had nothing to do with it, for the General also complained of one of the Mission Consultors - he had written only once in the past three years, and that was to say that there was nothing to write about.
Cahill remained Superior of the Mission until 1879, and Rector of Xavier until December of that year. During his time as Superior, in February 1875 he had preached at the opening of St Aloysius Church , Sevenhill, and in 1877 gave a two hour funeral oration on the first Australian Bishop, Dr Polding at a “Month’s Mind”.
1880-883 he did Parish work at Richmond
1883-1887 he taught for the university exams at St Patrick’s College Melbourne.
1887-1890 He worked at the Hawthorn Parish
1890-1894 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at Richmond.
18694-1896 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at Hawthorn
1896-1908 he was back at Richmond as Spiritual Father and a house Consultor.

Thomas Cahill was one of the “founding fathers” of the Australian Province, He was a fine preacher, a classicist, a linguist and a zealous pastor. He was also a respected theologian, called on to preach at Synods both in Sydney and Melbourne. He was one of the Diocesan examiners of the clergy and a Consultor of the Archbishop.

He was a man with a fine constitution, and did the work of a young man until within a few months of his death. However, suffering from heart trouble, there were long periods in his life when he was unable to leave his room. His life was given to his work, devoted to the confessional and the sick and those in trouble. he had a good memory for his former students and parishioners and was a good friend to many.

Note from Walmsley Smith Entry
Smith was baptised, 10 April 1904, by Thomas Cahill, the first rector of Xavier College.

Hanly, John, 1832-1897, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/190
  • Person
  • 24 June 1832-25 January 1897

Born: 24 June 1832, Scariff, County Clare
Entered: 23 May 1858, Clongowes Wood College, Naas, County Kildare
Final vows: 15 August 1868
Died: 25 January 1897, Clongowes Wood College, Naas, County Kildare

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Novices had traditionally made their Novitiate at Clongowes under Father Bracken until 1860, when with a few exceptions, the Brother Novices were moved to Milltown. John was one of the exceptions, and did all his Novitiate at Clongowes. He remained there until 1867 as Infirmarian and Sacristan.
1867-1872 he was sent to Gardiner St as Sacristan, and then in 1871 he was made Buyer and Dispenser.
1872-1877 He was sent back to his old job at Clongowes for a short time, and then sent to Galway as Sacristan.
1877-1881 he was sent to UCD as Buyer and Dispenser.
1881-1882 He was sent to Limerick for a year.
1882 He was sent back to his former job at Clongowes, and remained there until his death 25/01/1897.

Old Clongowonians recall fondly the kindly smile and gentle word they always received from him as Infirmarian. Others also testify to his patient and loving care for them when they were sick. Although aged 65 and suffering from heart disease, he continued to work to within a few months of his death. Though he had cared for others most of his life, especially sick people, now confined to his room it troubled him that he was something of a burden to others as they cared for him.
The last thing he did was to sit up, take hold of a crucifix and kiss, He then lay down and died.

Note from Francis Hegarty Entry :
He did return after some months, and there he found in Father Bracken, a Postulant Master and Novice Master, and this was a man he cherished all his life with reverence and affection. His second Postulancy was very long and hard - four years. he took the strain and was admitted as a Novice with seven others who had not had so trying a time as himself. He liked to say that all seven along with him remained true to their vocation until death, and he was the last survivor. They were John Coffey, Christopher Freeman, David McEvoy, James Maguire, John Hanly, James Rorke and Patrick Temple.

Mannix, Daniel, 1864-1963, Archbishop of Melbourne

  • Person
  • 1864-1963

4 March 1864 Born, Charleville, Cork, Ireland
1890 Ordained as a priest
1903-1912 President of Maynooth College, Kildare, Ireland
1912 Coadjutor to Archbishop Carr of Melbourne, Australia
1917 Archbishop of Melbourne
6 November 1963 Died, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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.

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

Butler, Michael, d 1772, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/979
  • Person
  • d 12 April 1772

Entered Lithuniae Province of the Society of Jesus (LIT). Died at Vilnius, Lithuania. 12 April 1772

Dobbyns, Henry, d 1828, Jesuit novice

  • IE IJA J/1191
  • Person
  • d 04 April 1828

Born: County Wexford
Entered: United States of America Province (USA)
Died: 04 April 1828, St Inigo’s, Maryland, USA

Canlyniadau 1 i 100 o 4553