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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Bannon 1829-1913
At Roosky County Roscommon on December 29th 1829 was born Fr John Bannon. He was the first priest ordained by Cardinal Cullen in Maynooth in 1853. He came under the influence of Archbishop Kendrick of St Louis USA, and thus came to volunteer for work in America.

For twelve years he led the active and full life of a parochial missionary in St Louis, with a zeal and energy not yet forgotten. The came the American Civil War and Fr Bannon became a chaplain to the Confederate Forces with whom he sympathised.

Having done valiant service in this war until its close, he returned to Europe, where he joined the Society becoming a novice at Milltown Park in 1866, being then 35 years of age.

His first appointment was to the Mission Staff where his companions were Frs Robert Haly and William Fortescue. After years of arduous toil in the missionary field, he held various posts of trust, in Belvedere, Tullabeg, University College, until finally he was made Superior at Gardiner Street in 1884. Here for upwards of thirty years he laboured with his characteristic energy and zeal. He founded and directed for years the Sodality for Commercial Young Men,

The last two years of his life were years of inactivity and suffering patiently borne, and he died peacefully on July 14th 1913.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 113 : Autumn 2002

LEST HE BE FORGOTTEN : JOHN B BANNON

Kevin A Laheen

On 29 December 1829, Mrs. John Bannon was travelling to Dublin to visit her sister who was ill. On reaching the village of Rooskey she went into labour and gave birth to her son, John.

He was educated at Castleknock College, and later on entered Maynooth College to prepare for the priesthood. Just short of his twenty fourth birthday, he was ordained by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Paul Cullen. After a few months of pastoral work in the diocese of Dublin, he received permission from the same Archbishop to transfer to the diocese of St. Louis, USA, where Archbishop Peter R Kenrick was experiencing a shortage of priests in his diocese.

It was not long before the people and priests of St. Louis realised that John was a very gifted preacher. He was said to have “possessed a commanding pulpit presence”, standing as he did, well over six feet in height, and possessing a voice that needed no amplification. While still in his mid-twenties he was appointed pastor and built the magnificent parish church of St. John in downtown St. Louis. This church serves the people of that parish to this day. Very soon there was a feeling among the clergy that the next diocese that fell vacant would be filled by him. However, John had other ideas. He resigned from his parish and joined the confederate army as chaplain.

Stories of his courage, which at times bordered on the imprudent, are legion in the accounts of the various campaigns in which he was engaged. Frequently he crossed into enemy territory to absolve and anoint some of the enemy soldiers who had fallen in battle. When warned about this rashness he merely replied that when God wanted him he was ready to go. There were times when he had escapes which others described as miraculous, such as the time when a federal shell crashed through the church where he was offering mass for the troops.

At the end of hostilities Father Bannon was technically a prisoner of war and confined in his movements. However at the invitation of the southern president, Jefferson Davis, he ran the blockade and crossed the Atlantic in the Robert E. Lee. This was the ship's last escape. The British captured it on its return journey. In 1863 Bishop Patrick Lynch, Bishop of Charleston, and Father John formed a delegation to Pope Pius IX to explain the cause of the Confederacy, which was more friendly to the Catholic Church than the northern states.

When he returned to Dublin he spent much of his time dissuading young prospective emigrant Irishmen from joining the northern cause as he had first-hand knowledge of how young emigrant men were used as cannon fodder by the Federal army. Some New York papers had stated “we can afford to lose a few thousand of the scum of the Irish”. He also exhorted parish priests to influence young men in a similar manner. While in Rome he had made a retreat and also met the Jesuit General. He felt drawn to the Society and on 9th January 1865 he entered the recently opened Jesuit novitiate at Milltown Park.

Most of his life as a Jesuit was spent in Gardiner Street where he was Superior from 1884-90. His reputation as a preacher was well known and he was in constant demand nationwide for his services when sermons on special occasions were needed. Canon McDermot of the diocese of Elphin was a great church-builder and when he died many of these churches were still very much in debt. In November, 1871, Father Bannon preached a charity sermon in Strokestown to help reduce the debt on the new parish church. The Sligo Champion reported that the sermon was such a success that the church debt was almost wiped out. Being, as he was, a native of the diocese, the people regarded him as one of their own, and this may have moved them to be more than normally generous.

After many years of service in Gardiner Street, he died there in July 1913. The Irish Catholic reported that seventy nine priests attended his funeral Mass, and that over a thousand members of his famous Sodality walked behind his coffin on its way to Glasnevin cemetery. As they laid him to rest, he left behind him a life that was as fruitful as it had been varied.

Note: The definitive biography of this great priest is at present being written, and will be launched in St. Louis this autumn.

Brady, Philip, 1846-1917, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Older Brother of Thomas - LEFT 1872

Early education at Castleknock College, St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg, Belvedere College SJ and Clonliffe

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

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

Early Education was at Castleknock College.

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

Brennan, John F, 1920-2002, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2002

Obituary

Father Jack Brennan SJ (OB 1937)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anraí Ó Braonáin (O.B. 1949)

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

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

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

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

Father RIP 1898 - a Miller. Mother died eight days after his birth in 1880. Youngest of three brothers (1 deceased) and 3 sisters.

Education was at a Convent School in Athlone and then at Belvedere College SJ,then CBC Cork., and Castleknock College

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

China :

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960

Obituary :

Fr Francis M Browne (1880-1960)

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2002

Farewell Companions : Dermot S Harte

Fr Francis Patrick Mary Browne SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1918

Clongowes Chaplains

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

Father F M Browne SJ

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

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

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

Colgan, Ernest John, 1888-1911, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1066
  • Person
  • 26 December 1888-29 November 1911

Born: 26 December 1888, Bagenalstown, County Carlow
Entered: 07 September 1908, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 29 November 1911, Petworth, Sussex, England

Father was a doctor and mother died on 7th January 1889 (12 days after his birth).

Youngest of one boy and one girl.

Early education was five years at Dominican Convent Wicklow, then five years at Castleknock College, and then four years at Clongowes Wood College SJ. He then spend sixteen months studying medicine at the Royal University.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was the youngest son of Dr Francis Colgan of Carlow, and before Entry he had been studying Medicine, having been called to Honours in the Royal University in all of his subjects.

He was a Scholastic of good promise, but he died of decline 29 November 1911 at Petworth, where he had been receiving care for his health.

◆ The Clongownian, 1912

Obituary

Father Ernest Colgan SJ

It is with sincere regret that we have to announce the death, at the early age of twenty-two years, of Mr Ernest Colgan, which occurred at Petworth, Sussex, on November 29th last. Ernest was the youngest son of Dr Francis P Colgan JP, Carlow, to whom in this great bereavement manifestations of sympathy and sorrow have gone forth from a wide circle of friends. Mr Colgan, having completed his collegiate studies at Clongowes, where he had been from 1902 to 1906, elected to follow in the footsteps of his father and eldest brother by adopting the medical profession, and during his studies showed so much ability as to be called to Honours in the Royal University in every subject in which he presented himself. Realising that he had a higher calling, he abandoned the career of his choice, and entered the Novitiate of the Jesuit Order. Showing signs of delicacy last year, he was transferred to the Jesuit Sanatorium at Petworth, where, despite every care, he passed away very peacefully. He was buried in the Jesuit cemetery at Petworth.

Conmee, John S, 1847-1910, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/13
  • Person
  • 25 December 1847-13 May 1910

Born: 25 December 1847, Glanduff, County Roscommon
Entered: 08 October 1867, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 18 April 1880, Thurles, County Tipperary
Final Vows: 02 February 1886
Died: 13 May 1910, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 2 August 1905-1909

by 1870 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1871 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1879 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Born at Glanduff near Athlone, but was raised at Kingsland near Frenchpark, County Roscommon.
Early education was at Castleknock and Clongowes.
After First Vows he was sent for studies to Roehampton and Stonyhurst.
1873 He was sent to Tullabeg for Regency, when William Delaney was rector there at the time. He had a great ability to inspire, excite and sustain the interest of his students, and he remained there until 1878
1878 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology.
1881 he was Ordained at Thurles by Dr Thomas W Croke, Archbishop of Cashel, and then he returned to teaching this time at Clongowes.
1885 He was appointed Rector of Clongowes.
1891 He was sent to Belvedere, and later to UCD.
1895 He was sent to Gardiner St, and appointed Superior in 1898.
1905 He was appointed Provincial, and stood down in 1909 due to failing health. After some months of rest he was appointed Rector of Milltown, but his health gave away completely there and he died 13 May 1910 aged 62.
He was held in great esteem in the Province, and hence the various kinds of high Office, and all of which he was very successful at. He was a very gifted man, a delightful companion, and loved by all who had the privilege of his friendship.

Paraphrase of “Press Report” - Mr RJ Kelly wrote
The late Father Conmee SJ, whose lamented demise we all deplore, was a singularly gifted man. Almost every Catholic in Dublin has heard, at some time or other, his striking eloquence in the pulpit. The obituary notice does him a lot of justice to his many-sided activity, save one which is probably less known. he was a great antiquarian and student of Irish history, deeply read in the history of our country, and, perhaps most particularly in that of his native county of Roscommon, his connection with he was always so proud of. One of the most singularly attractive booklets describing the traditions and customs for a district, once came from his pen, and, was published under the title “Old Times in the Barony” by the CTS. With characteristic modesty, Father Conmee wished his name not to appear on the title page, and at his earnest request, it was published anonymously. I hope it is no violation of the secrecy to now disclose his name. A more graphic and beautiful piece of descriptive writing was probably never penned, and in reading it, one has only one regret - that it runs into so few pages. A further regret is that one who could write so well could also give so little time to doing this. I often asked him to write more on things not well known and of which he might write so well, but the responsibilities of his many high offices left him little time to take up such a task.
This particular work of his was one of the first of our Catholic Truth Publications, and it is no disparagement of many others to say that it was one of the best. It was a valued publication of ours, but not his only service to us. He was one of the most active and prominent of our supporters from the beginning, and to his end he continued his deep and practical interest in our work, regretting that his having to be away so much meant he could not attend our meetings and give us the benefit of his great learning, wise judgement and ripe experience.”

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Conmee, John Stephen
by David Murphy

Conmee, John Stephen (1847–1910), Jesuit priest, writer, and educator, was born 25 December 1847 in Glanduff, near Athlone, Co. Westmeath, the son of John N. Conmee, a prosperous farmer. His family later moved to Kingsland, Co. Roscommon, and it was here that he spent his early childhood. He was educated at Castleknock college, Co. Dublin (1861–4) and at Clongowes Wood college, Co. Kildare (1864–7). On 8 October 1867 he entered the Irish province of the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park, Dublin. He continued his studies at Roehampton, London and Stonyhurst college, Lancashire. Returning to Ireland in 1873 he began his teaching career as a master at St Stanislaus college, Tullabeg, King's Co. (Offaly). His superiors soon realised that he was a born schoolmaster, with a talent for inspiring students. Known for his kindness, he was popular with both staff and students, and became involved in all aspects of college life. In 1878 he went to Innsbruck to begin theological studies and took the opportunity to travel around Europe. He was ordained in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, by Archbishop T. W. Croke (qv) in 1881, taking final vows in 1886.

He returned to Clongowes Wood college and served as prefect of studies (1881–5) and rector (1885–91). During his time as rector he oversaw the amalgamation of Tullabeg and Clongowes Wood colleges. He was appointed to the teaching staff of University College, St Stephen's Green, Dublin, first as prefect of studies and then as dean (1898–1904). In 1898 he was also appointed as superior of St Francis Xavier's Church in Gardiner St., Dublin. His teaching career finished with his promotion to provincial of the Irish province in 1905, after which he visited the Australian mission and toured the Holy Land. He retired as provincial because of ill-health in 1909 and was made rector of Milltown college. After a long illness, he died 13 May 1910 in Dublin.

While remembered as an educator, he also wrote poetry and prose. He published Ephesus (1873), Lines for the opening of the debate (1882) and Old times in the barony (1895). The Jesuit archive in Leeson St., Dublin, has a collection of his unpublished writings, including ‘Essays on spiritual subjects’. He is mainly remembered for his connection with James Joyce (qv), who spent three unhappy years at Clongowes while Conmee was in control. He clearly made a strong impression on the young Joyce, appearing as the kindly rector in A portrait of the artist as a young man (1916) and being mentioned more than sixty times in Ulysses (1922).

IBL, ii (1910), 8; ‘A relic of Father Conmee SJ’, Ir. Monthly , xxxviii (1910), 389–92; ‘Clongowes and Father Conmee: two filial tributes’, ibid., 421–7; Ir. Times, 14 May 1910; The Clongownian, June 1910; Patrick Murray, ‘A portrait of the rector’, IER, ser. 5, cix (1968), 110–15; Bruce Bradley, James Joyce's schooldays (1982); Thomas J. Morrissey, Towards a national university (1983), 190–91, 333, 360; James H. Murphy, Nos autem. Castleknock college and its contribution (1996), 18–19

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

Note from Thomas Gartlan Entry
In 1908, the visiting Irish provincial said of Thomas that despite his fondness for athletics, he was a very suitable person as Rector. He enforced discipline and was very popular with the people of Sydney, and this led to the success of the College. This report was made by Father John Conmee, when no other College in Australia had escaped criticism.

Note from Luigi Sturzo Entry
One of his Irish novices and later Irish provincial, John Conmee, praised him for his gentleness, meekness, admirable patience, faith, and ardent love of the Lord

Note from James O’Dwyer Entry
When the Irish provincial, John Conmee, came to Australia in 1908, he was not happy with conditions at Xavier College. “It is from almost all aspects, a failure - enormous debt (£30,000), fails miserably and increasingly at exams, fails in all athletic contests ...”. He believed that the college needed an educational rector who would improve the college intellectually and spiritually and remove the debt. James O’Dwyer was appointed rector in May 1908.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Conmee 1847-1910
At Glanduff near Athlone, on Christmas Day 1747 was born Fr John Conmee. Kingsland, near Frenchpark County Roscommons became his home afterwards. He was educated at St Vincent’s College Castleknock and at Clongowes.

He became a Jesuit in 1867 and spent many years teaching in Tullabeg under Fr Delaney. After his Theology in Innsbruck, he was ordained priest in 1881, in Thurles by Archbishop Croke. He resumed his teaching at Clongowes where he became Rector in 1885. Belvedere was the next scene of his labours, where he had a pupil afterwards world famous, James Joyce. He was named Superior of Gardiner Street in 1898, becoming Provincial in 1905. However, his health was not robust, and he retired from this onerous post in 1909, to become Rector of Milltown Park. Here, however, his health broke down completely, and he died on May 13th 1910.

He was a man who inspired great affection in those who knew him, and these were many, as he was for many years in the foremost rank of preachers.

He had great literary gifts. His name will always be remembered for that masterpiece of writing “Old Times in the Barony”. It was founded on his recollection of early years in the country, unsurpassed in its mingled pathos and humour, its nostalgic capturing of a way of life that has passed. He was a great antiquarian and student of Irish history, especially his native Roscommon. In a word, he was a man of the highest gifts, both of mind and heart, all directed to the service of God and the good or religion, by the powerful weapons of good example and persuasion.

He had a peculiar delicate skin which lacked healing power, and for this reason could never use a razor – the necessary shaving being done with a scissors. This defect was what caused his collapse, after an operation which resulted in his death.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1910

Obituary

Father John Conmee SJ

Though Belvedere could never claim the honour of having had among its alumni the Rev J S Conmee SJ, still so close was the link that bound him to our Alma Mater that we cannot omit to include his name in the list of those whom the Master has called to receive the reward of their toil. For some time past, since his return from Australia two years ago, Father Conmee's health had been failing, so much so that last Summer he had to be relieved of the office of Provincial, which he had held for nearly four years. In January of this preserit year, when his health seemed to be improving, he was appointed Rector of Milltown Park, but scarcely had he entered on his new duties when once more his strength gave way, and after fighting the disease for three months he was finally compelled to enter St. Vincent's Hospital shortly after Easter. Report contradicted report, but yet on the whole he seemed to be gaining strength, so that the final announcement of his death, which followed close on an operation, came as a terribly unexpected blow to all who had the happiness of knowing him. For it was indeed a happiness to know Father Conmee. Rarely adorned with gifts of mind and heart, he possessed a manner so charming that it captivated you at once. Those who were, in Belvedere in the years 1891-2 will remember his kind and gentle sway when Prefect of Studies. The writer, who had. the good fortune to know him then, will never forget the kind interest that Father Conmee took in all his boyhood's little aims and dreams.

So it was with all. So great was this personal charm that it seemed to pervade his very sermons and his writings. Who that heard him preach before the great Medical Congress in the Pro-Cathedral, 1898, will forget the vivid eloquence of his discourse? or who that has read that little gem of literature, Old Times in the Barony, will not feel drawn to him who penned its lines?

Ever a friend to Belvedere and Belvederians, Father Conmee has a great claim on all our Past. Will they not discharge their debt in prayers for him who in his lifetime prayed for them?

◆ The Clongownian, 1898

IN MEMORIAM. The Thirteenth of May,

1910

On which departed from earth my dear old Master and Friend,

Father John S Conmee SJ

Once more the Springtime weaves around
Her witcheries of scent and hue;
Life pulses; in delightful sound
Earth laughs back to the mother-blue :

Sunlit, the grave old college towers
Crest the green pastures of Kildare;
Bees murmur in the meadow-flowers;
Keen boyish voices pierce the air.

Alas! How such a scene as this, .
Its harmonies of earth and sky,
Spoke to the soul of him we miss,
The sympathetic heart and eye!

Attuned to all things fair and good,
His spirit from each loveliness
Of Art's or Nature's changing mood
Had caught a charm to soothe and bless.

The child's new grief, the silent tears
Of helpless women, cares that bend
The weary man, youth's perils, fears, -
Knocked at his heart, and found a friend -

How gentle, genial, quick to share
Or joy or grief, to flash or veil
His own bright wit, alert to bear
Toils that o'ertasked a strength too frail,

A thousand mourners tell. The loss,
The pain, is ours; for him the prize:
Lifted at last the life-long cross,
Secure the opening Paradise.

He goes; there fadeth from these walls
Another link with dear days dead;-
But why sad dreams? 'Tis Love that calls
Each old friend homeward. Up, to tread

Their mounting path above these tears!
They wait thee where the shades decline,
Safe in the endless vernal years,
The radiance of the Heart Divine.

Eoghan

-oOo-

Obituary

Father John Conmee SJ

It is with sincere sorrow we chronicle the death of Father John Conmee SJ, formerly Rector of Clongowes. He died in Dublin on Friday morning, May 13th, 1910. Though it is close upon twenty years since he was Rector here, yet we have always counted him as belonging to the College. There was no place in the world so, dear to him; and, perhaps, of his life's work, he would like first to be judged by that done in Clongowes. He loved the old school well - few have loved it so well - and he loved the boys, past and present, with a fondness that had in it some thing of the depth and tenderness of a home affection.

During most of his priestly life he filled posts of superiority. He had a very kindly heart. Indeed it may be said with truth that he hardly.ever served in the ranks as a simple private. He began his career as a young master under Father William Delany in Tullabeg when that college was at the height of its fame. It was curiously said of the Rector of Tullabeg that he got more out of a man than was natively in him-and got it without asking.

But there was a great deal in Mr John Conmee, and all he had he gave unstintingly, He had much to do with the formation of the gifted boys who went out from Tullabeg in those days, and who have made their mark so well in life. Mr Conmee was a born school master. In fact, so striking was his personal influence over the boys that the balance of power was apt to be disturbed, and other masters complained that the boys gave too much time to Mr Conmee's work. He made the class really pleasant, and when he had explained an ode of Horace or a play of Shakspeare, the Mathematical Master got no fair play. The very playground of the boys became seasoned with Attic salt. Mr Conmee helped largely to create that atmosphere of willing work that marked the School. He poured out prologues to plays, racy things like the famous “Talk versus Chalk”, or “Classics v. Mathematics”. He started the debate on Parliamentary lines, and soon had the house ringing with questions that made the boys think and feel; and consequently read carefully and talk really well. He encouraged the musicians by taking an instrument himself in their band. All the while work in the lasses was going on with deadly earnestness.

Such was the state of things when the Rector thought the time had come for letting people know that the work done in Irish schools was as good as the best elsewhere, he steered his little ship of Tullabeg boldly ato the almost unknown waters of English competitive examinations. The result justified he experiment. The chief men of the Irish Parliamentary Party poured in delighted con gratulations. In this brilliant success Mr. Conmee had a good deal to say.

Years passed by, and not long after ordination Fr Conmee was made Prefect of Studies and afterwards Rector of Clongowes. During lis term of office as Rector occurred the most important event in the history of our School - the amalgamation with Tullabeg.

If ever the School needed a good man, then was the time. The step taken in amalgamating the two establishments was a grave one. The difficulties in the way of a successful fusion of the two sets of boys were many. The pace at the time in the steeplechase of Irish Intermediate Examinations was great. There was head-shaking and much croaking about the wisdom of putting all the eggs in one basket. But the young Rector was fearless. No point of the responsibilities that pressed upon him was missed. He radiated confidence and good humour. Studies, discipline, games - he saw the need of many changes in view of the changes going on all around. But he knew his boy world and its citizens - knew them better than they knew themselves. They grumbled at not having this and that. The Rector knew boys had a sort of eternal right to grumble; but he knew that if, in giving them what they grumbled for, you touched, with lightest finger only, any old School tradition, the boy grumbled again - that's why they're lovable.

It was well for Clongowes that the leaders amongst the Clongowes and Tullabeg boys were an exceptionally manly and decent lot of fellows. All went smoothly. The numbers were great, and the vigilant Rector was constantly on his guard against that evil in big schools, which contains every other evil monotony. Inside the house and outside he strove for variety. Indeed this human note was heard in all his work. With him dulness was a deadly sin. In preaching he would have you first make sure of your doctrine ther be interesting. He had an amusing horror of a bore. Outside he started new games, inside he made things bright and pleasant with play-room, music, frequent concerts, theatricals, debates on the Tullabeg lines (and only a little less brilliant), academies of one kind or another. School life went pleasantly.

Though he took an interest in the games such as few Rectors have taken, and helped more than any, I doubt if he ever grasped the power of the games to mould character. But he helped them as they helped against dark dangers - he helped them as relaxation from hard work; he helped them because the boys loved them and he loved the boys; and yet, he hardly knew the difference between an all-cane-bat and a three quarter at Rugby.

The regulation of the studies was not taken up till the following year. Then the Provincial, Father Thomas Browne, sent to Clongowes as Prefect of Studies, Father Daly, whose organising and sustaining power we all appreciate so highly. With the advent of Father Daly the Rector breathed. At once the School, now well knit, leaped to the front, and it has held its place ever since - never once failing. In after years, in whatsoever part of the world he might be, when the Examination results. came out, a hearty message of congratulation was wired to the Prefect of Studies and masters and boys by Fr Conmee.

He loved the place and all in it, and, though far away, it was in his heart. He loved the place and all in it-all the old folk, now past heavy labour, who worked about the grounds, the labourers on the farm, the cottage neigh bours around. They were all part of Clon gowes, and he would go to them, and chat with them about old times and old friends. A little bit of plantation known as Father Mac's wood, gave him the nom-de-plume he signed to “Old Times in the Barony: Max Wood.

Naturally he had a great love for things softened and beautified by the hand of time. He loved mediæval story and mediæval times. The Assisi of St Francis and its rich store of sacred legend had thrown a spell over him to which he rendered himself a willing captive. The old Bohemian town on the Moldau Prague, he loved best of all the towns in Europe.

Along with this we are not surprised to find a highly cultivated classic taste. Indeed, if he had lived in the days when John Philpot Curran and his “monks” flourished Father Conmee would have been admitted to that refined community without even a ballot, for in wit, in taste, and in scholarship he would have been a match for the brightest spirits amongst thetn. “If Gilbert (of operatic fame) were to die”, said a gentleman many years ago, “I know of only one man who could take his place - Father John Conmee”. It is a pity burthens were laid upon him that made writing well nigh impossible.

And yet the man who was all this was a man compact of nervous energy, who keenly watched the times and the trend of things, and strove with all his might to keep his School abreast of the best progress of the day. The old traditions of the School were dear to him, as we have said, but if they were hurtful he spared thern not. Nothing was so dear to him as the.weil-being and the welfare of the boys. That explains much.

Though he could be firm to severity if there : were need, yet he found it hard to refuse when a deputation from the boys came to ask some thing. Once he told the Prefect, on a glorious spring morning, not to permit the boys to come up for a holiday - there was no use in their coming, so let them not come, he would give nothing. The Prefect had his misgivings. He feared the Rector's - great big humanness, and he knew that those blessed boys would go up, despite their slender chances. That poor Jonas carried the message, and preached woe to them that went up. The crowd of Ninevites heard, took counsel, decided to go up, went up, and got the holiday, The Rector looked a delightfully guilty man when later he met that Prefect. Ah! these human weaknesses-these chords of Adam draw us!

He loved coming in contact with the boys, great and small, and loved them to talk freely before liim. It was a little child of eight. He had come to us from South America, Eugene Kenny. His Christmas vacation was to be spent in the College. Everyone, of course, was kind to him, but the friend of friends was the Rector. Go to his room when you might, there was the little chap sitting on the hearth rug before the fire with his toys about him, and occasionally from the toy basket of a child's mind he would draw out such funny questions: “Rector Conmee, could you jump far?” “Rector Conmee, do you own all that letter-paper ?” And, “Do you own all Clongowes, and the cricket-ground and the big roller?” And he crept over to the great man that owned all that note-paper and the big roller. Coming up to Christmas Day the child was terribly excited about Santa Claus. The Rector had evidently been throwing out words of mysterious import. Now, Eugene slept out in the Infirmary. In the middle of the night he was aroused; he heard something he listened, then he felt with his little hands all about. Yes, there they were not his own little stocking, but two big ones - football ones - and full to bursting of everything. He tore out of the bed and, plucky little chap, groped along the dark passage where he heard the creaking sound. He wanted to catch Santa Claus and thank him. But the Rector had got clear away and listened. Both listened - the child above, and the Rector-child below. Then the little feet went back to bed. Oh! the tales on Christmas Day of that adventure, and the tears in the little eyes for missing good Santa Claus; and the wonder, and something else besides, in the gifted man's eyes as he looked upon the little boy the Child Jesus asked him to make home for, as his own home was far away.

Eugene, Eugene! wherever you are, do you hear me? Father Conmee is dead !

One could go on telling many things that would be sweet to those that loved him. Indeed, so many-sided was he that some will doubt if we have not forgotten the best things. I am only asked about the Clongowes days. I have left out so much - those Sunday even ing sermons, perhaps the best ever delivered to boys in the old Chapel. The practical instruction conveyed with beauty of diction and charm of living interest, that made those giddy boys go eagerly to the sermon when the Rector preached. Then the love that lent such persuasiveness to his beautifully modulated voice. How he held them! I recall, too, the College Mass on Sunday morning. The gracious and distinguished look of the Rector in the sacred vestments; the reverence in his movements revealing the deep faith in the awful mysteries; the father-love in his face as he bent to give the Blessed Sacrament to the little ones-all of it comes back now so clearly.

The active brain and the kind heart, they are still in death. We have seen his career as boy, as young man, as Rector; it is hard to think the light of life is extinguished for ever.

When the end was near, the Father who attended him told him of his state. For an instant there was the old fashi Who said so? Have the doctors said so? Yes, Father.

Then, like a little child before a loved father, he said simply, but grandly "”ery well, as God wills”. And so he died.

He hoped for yet ten years of life to put in some good work for God. But the gentle way in which he received the word that all hope was over may count more with God than the years he hoped for. God rest him well, and all our dear dead ones.

◆ The Clongownian, 1931

“The Snows of Yesteryear”

IV The Kings

The memories of Fr Conmee retained by my brother, Con, are so much more vivid than my own that I quote them verbatim here from his manuscript. Afterwards I shall endeavour to depict the other great rector of the eighties, Fr Edward Kelly, from my own recollection. Follows my brother's manuscript:

With Fr Conmee there was without doubt that certain austerity which engendered a feeling of discipline because it seemed to emanate from a personal discipline of his own. But it was an austerity tempered by a generous outlook, a gentle and humorous affability, a wholehearted and complete under standing and an indulgent appreciation of the stuff and nature of youth. Joyously apparent were all these qualities especially when he was in the midst of a throng of clamorous Third-liners. For them he had as many jokes and stories and elusive ways of drawing out funds of spirited repartee, as with the elders. Old and young knew perfectly well that there was no better appreciator of their capabilities howsoever displayed—be it in a joke, a song, a concert or a play or in an achievement of scholarship or debate, than was their Rector.

In the long list of college directors it would be difficult to imagine one better endowed for such a position than Fr Conmee. In appearance refined and debonair, in manner always genial, in stature more than mediuin, his features rounded Father than aquiline, | his presence invariably produced the impression of an active mind and a personality not i only at ease with its environment, but ever alert and responsive to whatever “time and the hour” was capable of. His versatility was as wide as his scholarship was ripe. His indeed was a nature at home with all that was best in Arts or Letters; and together with that, he had the gift of imparting his enlightened enthusiasm to those with whom he had intercourse. His speech, always fluent, was, when occasion offered, often eloquent. His accent was charged with a Connaught “burr” which added homeliness to his utterance. Indeed that same outward sign. of homeliness, had its counterpart in his very spirit of which he has left us an imperishable impression in an essay bequeathed by his pen to current literature entitled “Old Days in the Barony”. Even in this he exhibited another feature of his character, humility, by publishing it under a pseudonym, Only lately have I heard that, the work was so prized for its human and literary excellence I that Walter Pater was in the habit of presenting its merits to his class of Oxford ? undergraduates for their admiration.

Literature was not, however, his sole métier. He had a fine musical taste which ranged from Sullivan to Beethoven, but dwelt with greatest complacency on the grace and tempo of Haydn and Mozart, especially in their minuets, which he had accomplishment sufficient to enable him to render for his own enjoyment, on piano or violin. But while his musical taste was proper it was not esoteric nor did it prohibit him the hearty enjoyment of a song, especially an old one, of any merit. Indeed in the ranges of song he made many a personal sally, not, so to speak, vocally so much as inventively in the sense of verse-interpolation of his own making. I still recall the words he put to two songs that he introduced into the Tavern Scene of Henry IV. The first as a glee that we sang to the setting of that graceful old quartet “See our oars with feathered spray”. But his words were more apropos to an occasion of indoor merriment, and ran thus:

Masters make a merry glee,
Pass the night in jollity,
Send around the ruby wine,
See it in the goblet shine

And deep we'll drown all grief of soul
Within the flowing, flowing bowi,
And here till morning's light we'll stay
And thus we'll chase all cares away.

His other song for the same play was an apostrophe on old Jack Falstaff, viz. :

Jolly old Jack he never doth lack
A quip or a repartee,
And loud he laughs and deep he quaffs
Of the rosy Malvoisie.
And he loveth his sack, doth brave old Jack
As well as well. can be,
And the top of his nose like a beacon glows
That's seen far out at sea.

These excerpts will please be taken not as the measure of his literary ability, but as . an example of his facility in making use of music as a medium for his own addition to the merriment that was going for ward. His sense of humour could always be counted on to better an occasion of merriment. Who that took part, during those days of near fifty years ago, in the staging of Henry IV can ever forget the zest with which Fr Conmee selected and drilled the tatterdemalion ranks of Falstaff's recruits accoutred with tin whistles on which he taught us (for I was one of the tattered band), to march past the footlights to the tune of “The cure, the cure, the perfect cure; the only perfect cure”, on the eve of our departure for the Battle of Shrewsbury. And if Fr Conmee delighted in contributing he equally delighted in receiving.

We had, I remember, one time a Christie Minstrel performance got up by the boys, and no one in the whole audience was more overwhelmed by paroxysms of laughter than our Rector. The bones and banjo were very far indeed from being below the dignity of his appreciation. At the same time his voice was ever ready to applaud our ventures into the spacious realm of Shakespeare, in the rehearsals of which he took an active part.

All that I have written serves to throw a play of light on the joyousness, sympathy and versatility, of Fr Conmee's nature, as well as on his disposition to be a party himself with the boys in their intellectual activities. Up to this, I have dwelt almost solely on the expansiveness of the less serious side of his nature. Now perhaps it is seemly to contrast this with the serious.

When need was for it, nothing could be more solemn than his thorough concentration in chapel functions. No boy, youngster or elder, ever left his confessional without a pause of thought and an after time reflection on his parting “Go in peace and pray for me”. During great Church ceremonies his presence on the altar was in just keeping with the ceremonial and his intonation of the “Preface” or the “Pater Noster” of the Feast day's High Mass, was as much a manifest of his love for the old Liturgical Chant as it was of the authentic voice of the Priest.

Up to this I have said nothing of Fr Conmee's great administrative ability. Let these my final paragraphs suffice to illustrate it.

The direction and administration of a College is no small matter even in its humdrum course of ordinary routine. What then must it be in a time of crisis, but a test of super-ability? Such a crisis did indeed occur in the year 1886, and it was one of a sort to test the hardihood of the best. The demon of fire in one night devoured the old study-hall and with truly demoniacal perspicacity and thoroughness included the refectory in its blaze. We boys only knew of it on rising in the morning at the usual hour. Then the building was a smouldering heap of ashes, and the nearest resembance to a form or remnant of panic lay in a wild-fire humour, that we should all be sent to warm our hearts at our respective homestead hearths.

Within a few days, with dashed hopes, we became increasingly, and I may say, irreconcilably conscious of an over-ruling power undismayed by conflagration and undaunted by adversity. In Fr Conmee the demon of fire had found an intrepid adversary, an antagonist already armed, one who in the encounter revealed all the qualities that belong to courage, force, resource and vision, vision that saw in the embers of the ruined pile but the ashes of a Phoenix preparing to rise in new life to a loftier flight. Fr Conme's vision was as compelling as it was prophetic, and was nothing less than the direct outcome of a strong, forceful, and resourceful vitality and an administrative genius. It would have been impossible for any boy listening to his farewell address to us at the end of that term, on the eve of our joyful departure for summer vacation, to ignore its portent, or to be cold to its perfervid, fire-heated fervour. It was a pæan of enthusiasm for a Clongowes re-endowed and revitalised, and with a future of unprecedented expansiveness.

In what way that was to come about, he did not then disclose, nor did we learn until half the ensuing summer holidays had spent themselves. Then suddenly the public press announcements spelt out solution by proclaiming the amalgamation of Clongowes and Tullabeg. Thus began the Clongowes Wood College we know to-day; its second growth, so to speak, and if the initiation of such a scheme did not originate in Fr Conmee's resourceful brain, to him, and to his courage must be attributed the initial and progressive success that attended the first stages of the new régime. · My own notion is that both the scheme and its success were entirely the work of Fr. Conmee-one of the most notable S examples of that product for which the Jesuiti
order is known in each nation and generation to be the producer, namely--the right man for the right place.

Edward J Little

Daly, Kevin, 1895-1929, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1160
  • Person
  • 25 October 1895-19 July 1929

Born: 25 October 1895, Terenure, Dublin
Entered: 07 December 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1927, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 19 July 1929, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Father was a Colonel in the Royal Army Medical Corps and Assistant Director of Medical Service for the Belfast District. father and Mother now live at The Gables, Cliftonville, Belfast.

Second eldest son (older one died when Kevin was 15) and he has one sister.

At the age of 1.5 he was sent to the Domican Convent Wicklow, as his mother went out to his Father in Egypt. When his arents came home they lived in Rathgar, Dubln. He was sent to Our Lady’s Bower in Athlone. During this time his parents were abroad again and when they returned they lived at Belmont House, Carrignafoy, Cobh.

In 1915 he was sent to Castleknock College, and then to Pulteney School, Pulteney Road, Bath. He then went to Mount St Mary’s, Chesterfield, Derbyshire. In 1910 he went to Clongowes Wood College SJ

1921-1923 - Regency at Xavier College, Kew, Australia
1923-1924 - Regency at St Aloysius College Sydney

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at the Bower in Athlone and Clongowes.

After his Novitiate he remained at Tullabeg for his Juniorate.
1918 He was sent to Milltown for Philosophy.
1921 He was sent to Australia for Regency and he spent three years there at Xavier College Kew, and St Aloysius Sydney.
1924 He returned to Milltown for Theology. he worked hard there and was ordained there, but had begun to suffer from pains in his head and eyes.
After his ordination, and before he had finished his Theology, he was sent to Mungret, in the hope that the change of work would ease his difficulties. He was very popular at Mungret, and a very able Teacher and Prefect.
1928 He returned to Milltown to complete his Theology, and early on he was diagnosed with Sarcoma. He grew weaker and had to go to St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, where he lingered for eight months until he died there 19 July 1929.

The day before he died, a Jesuit who went to see him met a Nun who was caring for him, and said how edified she was by his obedient patience, and how trustful he was of them and of Our Lady’s protection, and how grateful he was for prayers.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Kevin Daly entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 December 1914, and after the juniorate he moved to Milltown Park for philosophy. He was sent to the Australian Mission in the later part of 1921, initially at Xavier. After approximately three years teaching at St Aloysius' College, 1922-24, Daly returned a sick man to Milltown Park for theology.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 4th Year No 4 1929
Obituary :
Fr Kevin Daly
On Friday, 19th July a welcome release came to Fr. Kevin Daly after 8 months on his death bed. His disease was diagnosed as incurable last autumn, and he entered St Vincent's private hospital in November to die. He new the truth and faced it with bright and easy courage.

About Christmas a novena to B. Robert Beilarmine was begun at Milltown, and for some time he grasped again at hope. By degrees that last hope faded, and he came to see that his death was but a matter of a few months. He was dying by inches. He was unable to move or do anything for himself, and his voice had sunk to a whisper. He never lost courage or
patience. The day before he died one of Ours, who had been in to bid him good-bye, met the nun who had charge of him, and heard, from her how edifying he had been, how patient and obedient, how be let them do with him what they thought best, how trustful in Our Lady's protection, how grateful for prayers. His greatest grief was not for himself but for his mother. She had been in to see him every day, and clung to the hope of his recovery long after he had given it up. On the night of Wednesday, 17th July he get a bad turn. On Thursday he was dying, and asked for Extreme Unction. He died that night. Father Kevin was born in 1895. As as mall boy he was sent to the Bower Convent, Athlone. It cheered him on his death bed when told that his former teachers were praying for him. After several years at Clongowes he entered Tullabeg on 7th December 1914, where he did his noviceship and juniorate. In 1918 he went to Milltown for philosophy, and in 1921 to Australia. His three years there were spent at Xavier, and St. Aloysius. He returned to Milltown for theology in 1924. Fr Kevin was not clever and found theology and philosophy difficult. He worked very hard at them, and began to suffer from pains in the head and eyes. After his ordination, but before his theology was finished, he was sent to Mungret in the hope that he would get stronger by this change of work. In Mungret he was very popular, and proved himself a most capable and efficient prefect. Towards the end of the year he had to undergo a serious operation and was a long time convalescing. In August 1928 he returned to Milltown to complete his theology, but it was soon clearly diagnosed. that he was suffering from Sarcoma. He bravely kept the knowledge from his father and mother, and when meeting them was so bright and cheerful that they had no suspicions. But he gradually grew weaker, and in November had to go to St. Vincent's. The rest of his story has been already told.
Fr. Kevin's career was not so much cut short as never begun. He had given his life to God in the Society of His Son, and God had taken the will of a full apostolic career for the deed. Indeed we may well say that Fr Kevin gave the deed also. We may well believe, and we trust that his generous response to his vocation, his earnestness, his charity, his struggles at his studies, above all the heroic courage, the splendid resignation which he showed when face to lace with a lingering death, gave God all the glory He looked for from Fr Kevin's stay on earth. And certainly his career, brief in years but rich in virtue, has not been without its influence all all who knew him. To his father, and very specially to his mother, who watched him dying for so many months, we offer our most sincere sympathy. RIP.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Kevin Daly 1895-1929
The death of Fr Kevin Daly at the early age of 34 was regarded as a tragedy by his contemporaries.

Born in 1895, he received his early education at the Bower Athlone and Clongowes.

During his theologate at Milltown he began to feel pains in his head and eyes. Immediately after ordination he went to Mungret asFirst Prefect, in the hope that the change would benefit his health. Here he proved immensely popular with both Community and boys, while being at the same time efficient as a Prefect, a rare combination.

Returning in 1928 to complete his Theology, his pains continued until finally his condition was diagnosed as Sarcoma. He lingered on in St Vincent’s Hospital for eight months till his happy release on July 19th 1929.

There is always something of a tragedy in the death of the young, but in the case of Fr Kevin this note was heightened by his lovable winning disposition and the promise of great work for God to come.

“Consummatus est in brevi, explevit tempora multis” words used of St Aloysius and St John Berchmans have an application to Fr Kevin Daly.

Kearney, Brendan M, 1935-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/850
  • Person
  • 05 September 1935-24 February 2014

Born: 05 September 1935, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1953, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, Boston College High School, MA, USA
Died: 24 February 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1981 at Boston College High, MA, USA (NEN) Sabbatical
by 1994 at Granada Hills, Los Angeles CA, USA (CAL) working
by 2003 at Redondo Beach CA. USA (CAL) working

Kelly, Joseph, 1905-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/207
  • Person
  • 28 May 1905-12 February 1978

Born: 28 May 1905, Hollybrook Road, Clontarf, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 19 September 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1939, Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway
Died: 12 February 1978, St Peter’s Parish, Bray , County Wicklow

Part of Loyola community, Eglinton Road, Dublin at time of his death.

Father owned a drapery at North Earl Street Dublin

Third eldest of eight, with three brothers and four sisters. Family resides at Ailesbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin

Educated at a local Convent school and then at Castleknock College. In 1920 he went to Belvedere College SJ

by 1928 in Australia - Regency at Riverview, Sydney
by 1938 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 2 1978
Obituary :
Fr Joesph Kelly (1905-1978)

On Sunday, February 12th, 1978, Father Joseph Kelly SJ, died after celebrating Holy Mass. He had been, from 1975-1978 Assistant Parish Priest in the Parish of Little Bray, and had lived at St Peter’s Presbytery, Little Bray, Co. Wicklow.
Father Joseph Kelly was born in Dublin on May 28th 1905, and after concluding his schooling at Belvedere College he entered the Noviceship in Tullabeg on September 19th 1922. Ill health prevented him from completing the Arts Course which he began at UCD in 1924; and he spent the years 1926-1930 Prefecting in Riverview College, Sydney. After completing Philosophy in Tullabeg he went for Theology to Milltown park where he was ordained priest on July 31st 1936 by Archbishop Alan Goodier SJ. His Tertianship was spent at St Beuno’s and he pronounced his Final Vows in St Ignatius College, Galway, on February 2nd 1939.
Father Joseph Kelly then began a life of hidden and continuous work that allowed of little relaxation.
He was Minister of the Community and Prefect of the Church in St Ignatius, Galway, from 1938-1942. There followed twelve years as Higher Line Prefect in Clongowes. In 1954 he went to Dublin - to Manresa - where he remained until 1960. His work in Manresa was giving enclosed Retreats to men, and travelling to various places to give the Spiritual Exercises. The years 1960-1973 were spent at Tullabeg at the various hidden but exacting work which included that of Confessor in the Church and Promoter of the Apostleship of Prayer.
He spent two quiet years at Loyola, Eglinton Road (1973-1975) before going to the Parish Church of Little Bray where, - very much still “at work” he died suddenly after celebrating Holy Mass.

◆ The Clongownian, 1979

Obituary

Father Joseph Kelly SJ

In the month of August 1930 Tullabeg was opened as the Jesuit House of Philosophy. I had finished one year of Philosophical Studies at Milltown Park and went with the other students to Tullabeg.

Joe Kelly arrived late in September from Sydney in Australia to begin a three year course of Philosophy, and it was here that I spoke to Joe for the first time.

I had, of course, heard a good deal about Joe - I had been with him for two years in Belvedere - but, to my knowledge, I never spoke to him - he was a big boy on the SCT and three years my senior, I knew that severe migraine type headaches had made it impossible for Joe to continue his studies in UCD and Fr John Fahy, the Provincial at the time, decided to send him to Riverview College in Sydney.

During the journey to Australia, Joe formed a strong bond of friendship with Father Cyril Power who had been appointed Professor of Moral Theology in Werribee College in Melbourne. These two were alike in some respects definite in their views and forthright and outspoken in expressing them. I have always had the greatest admiration for both of them. . The severe headaches which ended Joe's studies in UCD continued to be his cross for many years and once again brought an end to his work - this time in the ministry in the Sacred Heart Church in Limerick and in St Ignatius' Church in Galway.

When in 1941, I was asked by my friend and Provincial, Fr J R McMahon to go to Clongowes as Lower Line Prefect, I was pleased that I would once again be associated with Joe who had been appointed Higher Line Prefect. Thus began a partnership that lasted for twelve years. This must be close to a record for Clongowes.

Boys are quite accurate in their judgements and the Clongowes Higher Line from '41 to '54 recognised that they had in their HLP a man of outstanding qualities and they were quite correct in this. Intellectually, Joe would have been capable of taking his place among the literary men of the Province - he had a sharp penetrating mind and a talent in literary style that would stand comparison with the best of his time. But, of course, his health prevented him from putting these talents to use.

As a therapeutic measure Joe took to carpentry and, of course, he soon became an accomplished carpenter. Later under the tuition of John Cribben he became also a useful metal worker.
During the war, as there was no petrol available for the mowing machines, Joe converted these machines so that they could be horse drawn, In order that the creases and athletic tracks could be kept mown, he frequently worked with these machines from morning until evening.

His insistance that everything in his Line should be as near perfection as was possible, was evident in the care which Joe devoted to the boys' games. He spared no effort in labouring to this end especially in the training of the College Athletics Team and the Senior Rugby Team. He initiated the Triangular Contest with Newbridge College and the Cadet College in Athletics, Rugby and Basketball.

In Athletics, Joe reaped some rewards for his painstaking care in the training of the boys for the different events by winning both the Leinster and the Al Ireland Shield more than once. But the Senior Rugby Cup eluded him. Year after year, Joe turned out Rugby Teams well tutored and drilled and capable of winning the Senior Cup. But year after year they were dogged by ill luck of one kind or another. His best team was beaten by the misfortune of fog! I remember sympathising with some members of his team and one of them replied “We had all hoped that we would be the team to give Father Kelly the reward he so well deserves”.

Joe's vocation was, in God's Providence, to a life of suffering. He suffered physically from continuous, un-interrupted headaches and, knowing his intellectual capabilities and fully aware of the fact that he was unable to use them must surely have caused him mental anguish. Towards the end of his life the Lord asked him to endure also the Spiritual anguish of what St John of the Cross called the “Dark Night of the Soul”.

He endured all these sufferings manfully and when Almighty God called him to Himself, Joe was working in the Sacred Ministry in the Parish of Little Bray, serene and happy like one who has fought the good fight and was now ready to meet his Lord.

KO'D

Kenny, Timothy J, 1843-1917, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/218
  • Person
  • 01 February 1843-04 August 1917

Born: 01 February 1843, Tullamore, County Offaly
Entered: 08 January 1872, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final vows: 15 August 1883
Died: 04 August 1917, St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia

Older Brother of Peter - RIP 1912; Uncle of Paddy Kenny - RIP 1973

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 3 February 1888-2 December 1894
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia Mission: 1 February 1895-11 February 1901

by 1875 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was of a very old Catholic family in Tullamore. His older brother of Peter - RIP 1912

He spent some years studying at Louvain where he passed ad gradum.
When he came back to Ireland he was sent to Galway, and he worked hard in both the School and Church for many years.
1882 He was appointed Rector at Galway, a position he held until he was appointed Provincial by the then Visitor, Robert Fulton (MARNEB) in 1888.
1888 Provincial. He held this post for six years, and during that time he was sent as Visitor to Australia. He was a most successful administrator.
1894 He was sent to Australia. By 07 February 1895 he had been appointed Mission Superior there. He did this for six years as well.
1901 He was appointed Minister at the Sydney College.
1903 He was appointed Rector at St Patrick’s Melbourne, and he remained in this place until 1916.
His last two years were spent at Richmond, and he died there 04 August 1917. He had helped posts of one kind of Superior or another for almost 32 years.

Note from Morgan O’Brien Entry :
1889 In the Autumn of 1889 he accompanied Timothy Kenny and Thomas Browne and some others to Australia

Note from John Murphy Entry :
During his final illness he was well cared for in the community. His needs were attended to by Timothy J Kenny the Superior and George Kelly.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Timothy Kenny was educated by the Vincentian Fathers at Castleknock, Dublin, and studied for the priesthood at Clonliffe and at Maynooth. After ordination, he worked in the town of Maynooth, and then entered the Jesuit noviciate in Ireland, 8 January 1872, at the age of 29. He revised his theology at Louvain, 1874-75, and taught at Galway, 1875-88, becoming its rector in 1882; he was also prefect of studies. It was here that he became a friend with the bishop of Galway, Dr Carr, who was later archbishop of Melbourne.
His energy and administrative skills were recognised, and he was appointed Provincial of the Irish province until 1894. He visited both the Austrian and Irish missions in Australia in 1889, with a view to negotiate a union. Far from deserving credit for the amalgamation, he dithered over it until the Austrians were out of patience.
Sent to Australia in 1894, Kenny was mission superior until 1901. He resided at North Sydney. After a few years as minister at Riverview, he was appointed rector of St Patrick's College, 1903-16. During that time his letters expressed much concern about the future of the college. He was a tired man, and the many problems of the college added to his depression. During his term of office, compulsory military training was introduced. Former students believed that the discipline learnt during cadet training raised their morale and improved their attitude towards one another.
He spent his last few years doing parish work at St Ignatius', Richmond.
Kenny was a man of many gifts, pious, full of zeal, and prudent, even too prudent, but kind and generous to the individual. He seemed to be a man of nervous temperament and lacking in self-confidence - the kind of Superior who is kept in office because he can be relied on not to give trouble. He spent half his Jesuit life in Australia. He brought to the problems of his age a mind attuned to the previous century, fighting against the perceived evils of his day, especially the abuse of the virtue of purity.

Note from Patrick Keating Entry
The Irish provincial, Timothy Kenny, while visiting Australia in 1890 believed Keating to be “the most admirable man I ever met”. That being the opinion that counted, Keating became the next Irish provincial

MacCormack, William, 1863-1931, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/280
  • Person
  • 20 February 1863-26 September 1931

Born: 20 February 1863, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1881, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 30 July 1899, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 August 1901
Died: 26 September 1931, Dublin

Part of Mungret College community, Limerick at time of his death.

Early education at Castleknock College, Ratcliffe College and St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg

by 1900 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1895

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 7th Year No 1 1932

Obituary :

Fr William McCormack

Fr. McCormack died in Dublin, Saturday 26 September 1931. For some years previously he had been in very feeble health. It could scarcely be said that he suffered from any disease to which a descriptive name could easily be given, but there was a gradual sinking, a steady wasting away until the end came last September.

He first saw the light in Cork 20 Feb. 1863, was educated in Tullabeg, and began his novitiate at Milltown Park 7 Sept. 1881. In the same place he did Rhetoric for one year and Philosophy for three. Six years at Clongowes and two at Mungret as Master and Prefect brought him to 1895. Even at this early date the nerves were giving considerable trouble, and he was sent on a trip to Australia in the hope that a long sea voyage would bring about a recovery.
On his return the following year he began Theology at Milltown, worked at it for three years, and then went to Tronchiennes. From 1900 to his death in 1931 he was stationed either at Galway, Clongowes, or Mungret. In all, dating from his Philosophy, he spent 17 years in Mungret, 14 in Clongowes, 8 in Galway.
He was Minister in Galway for 3 years, and, in spite of his bad health had change of the “big study” in Clongowes for five. In the Catalogue he has the honourable record - an 35. Mag.
Nearly the whole of Fr. McCormack's life in the Society was one long struggle against feeble health, and,as can be gathered from the above record, a victorious struggle. With the exception of the last few years, when he was utterly prostrate, he ever and always put in an honest day's work. He was efficient, very punctual, and quite ready to meet any emergency that might arise in the discharge of his duty.
Despite the nerve trouble he was generally in good humour, hearty, enjoyed a joke, and was not a little amused by the small foibles and peculiarities inseparable from every day life, even in the Society.
The source of all his strength was a fund of genuine holiness from which he constantly drew to support his suffering life, and which enabled him to persevere along the path of duty even to the very end.
The following appreciation has been kindly sent us by Fr. J. Casey and J. Mahoney :
“The last eight years of Fr. McCormack's life were spent at Mungret. Owing to his chronic ill-health he was unable to undertake much school-work. But as a confessor his services were much in demand , and the large numbers who thronged to his confessional testified to the great influence which he exercised in the spiritual life of the boys. As a preacher too he was very successful - the boys often expressed their appreciation of his sermons and instructions. He frequently gave retreats in convents and convent-schools, and he acted as extraordinary confessor to the nuns of the Mercy Convent, Nenagh. He was devoted to the sick and poor in the neighbourhood of Mungret, all of whom will feel that in the death of Fr. McCormack they have lost a very true and devoted friend.
Fr. McCormack’s influence for good must to a very great extent be ascribed to the innate kindness and gentleness of disposition. He suffered frequently from nervous prostration and the mental depression which companies such forms of disease, but neither physical nor mental suffering could deprive him of that inbred courtesy which was one of his characteristic traits, and which gained for him the respect and love of all with whom he came in contact”.
When stationed in Galway Fr. McCormack did full Church work. In addition he was Prefect of Discipline in the College, and taught some classes.
It will interest some people to know that he often spoke with appreciation of the fact that he studied Homer when a boy in Tullabeg under Fr Henry Browne S. J.

◆ The Clongownian, 1932

Obituary

Father William MacCormack SJ

Father William MacCormack SJ, was born in Cork, February, 1863, and was educated at Tullabeg. He entered the Society in 1881, and after the usual years of noviceship and study, he went to Clongowes as Prefect. Here he remained for six years, when he was transferred to Mungret. After two years there he was, owing to ill health, sent to Australia, where he remained a year, returning in 1896 to Milltown Park for Theology. He was ordained in 1899, and after a further year on the Continent, he was sent back to Clongowes to take charge of the Big Study. From 1908 to 1914 he was on the teaching staff in Mungret. From 1914-17 he was Minister in Galway, returning to Clongowes, this time to take charge of the Small Study until 1920. From 1926-23 he was stationed in Galway, whence he was transferred to Mungret, where he remained till his death.

Father McCormack was nearly all his life in, very indifferent health; yet, notwithstanding, he ever did a day's work. In the Study Hall he was most efficient, in the Class Room most effective; as a Minister he was most successful. He was endowed with a charming personality. He captivated the boys who had the privilege of being in his class and many of them afterwards spoke of him with sincere affection. As a companion he was most lovable, ever ready to enjoy a joke, but never saying an unkind word about others. He was an excellent cricketer and tennis player, and could play a good game of golf. Games often test a man, but Father McCormack would never lose his good humour and patience on the links, even when his companion was simply outrageous. As a Confessor his advice and direction were keenly sought and appreciated; as a preacher he was quiet but apostolic; as a retreat giver he was a great favourite. He had a keen sense of justice and would never stand for any harshness to the poor. It was hard for him to do, and to be, all that, for he was never for any length of time in good health. He suffered greatly, but, nothwithstanding it all, he was ever the gentleman, smiling, kind and unselfish. Some of us have lost a dear personal friend. May. God have mercy on his soul. RIP

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1932 : Golden Jubilee

Obituary

Father William MacCormack SJ

On Saturday 26th, the news of Father McCormack's death reached us. It was the inevitable end of a life-long struggle against ill-health carried on with a stern determination on his part never to yield any ground to an enemy that, even in his early manhood attempted to lessen the usefulness of his life in God's service. Except during the last few years of his life, when the weight of years had crushed his vitality and completely prostrated him, he worked constantly and strenuously. He was a kindly master, but efficient and never wanting in correct judgment of the boys with whom his class work brought him into contact; ready, too, to meet any emergency that might arise in the discharge of his duty.

He first came to Mungret in 1907, and continued there until 1914, when he left to take up duties as minister in St Ignatius College, Galway His name will awaken in the minds of boys of that period memories of his prowess on the cricket pitch, where on some memorable occasions he carried his bat.

Returning to Mungret in 1923, he spent the last eight years of his life there. Owing to his chronic ill-health, he was unable to under take much school work. But as a confessor his services were much in demand, and the large numbers that thronged to his confessional testified to the great influence he exercised in the spiritual life of the boys.

As a preacher, too, he was very successful - the boys often expressed their appreciation of his sermons and instructions. He frequently gave Retreats in convents and convent-schools. He was devoted to the sick and poor in the neighbourhood of Mungret, all of whom will feel that in the death of Father McCormack they have lost a true and. devoted friend.

His influence for good must, to a very great extent, be ascribed to his innate kindness and gentleness of disposition. Neither physical nor mental suffering could deprive him of that inbred courtesy which was one of his most characteristic traits, and which gained for him the respect and love of all with whom he came into contact. Lux perpetua luceat ei.

Mackey, Ernest, 1884-1968, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/737
  • Person
  • 09 January 1884-18 January 1968

Born: 09 January 1884, Castle Street, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1901, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1916, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1922, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 18 January 1968, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Father was a shopkeeper and property owner and died in 1896.Mother died in 1899.

Youngest of four sons, one deseased, and one sister.

Educated at Nenagh Convent School and then Christian Brothers Nenagh. Afte that he went to Castleknock Colle

by 1905 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1907

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Eddie O’Connor Entry
Fr Ernest Mackey S.J. was a well known school retreat giver. The vocations of Fr Eddie O'Connor and a few years later of Walter, his brother, were influenced by him. The father of the two brothers was Peter 0'Connor a local lawyer and former Olympic champion. The story has it that Peter, encountering Fr Mackey after Fr. Eddie had entered the Society, said
‘That man has taken one of my sons’. Fr Mackey's undaunted reply was, ‘And now, he is coming to take another (Walter)’.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Ernest Mackey entered the Society in 1901, and, as a regent, taught at St Aloysius' College in 1908, and was prefect of discipline. He did the same work at Riverview, 1909-10, and Xavier, 1911-12, and was finally at St Patrick's College.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 12th Year No 4 1937
Rev. Michael Garahy, S.J., and Rev. Ernest Mackey, S.J. have been invited by the Most Rev. Bishop Francis Hennemann, P.S.M DD., to preach at the approaching Centenary Eucharistic Congress - which has already met with a good deal of opposition - to be held at Capetown, South Africa. Dr. Hennemann is Vicar Apostolic of the Western Vicariate of Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope.
Word has come to say that His Lordship is to send full Faculties to the Fathers by air-mail-including power to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation-for the Catholics on Ascension Island and the Island of St, Helena, both of which fall under his jurisdiction.
They will preach during Congress Week at the Pontifical High Mass and at the Mass Meeting for Men. There will be an official broadcast of these functions, which are to be held in the open air at a short distance from St. Mary's Cathedral.
During the course of their stay in South Africa they are due to deliver special lectures on Catholic Action and kindred subjects to Catholic Men's Societies and to Catholic Women's Leagues. Their programme includes also a series of missions and parochial Retreats throughout the Vicariate beginning at the Cathedral Capetown, as a preparation for the Congress, which is fixed to take place from January 9th-16th, 1938. A special Congress Stamp has been issued to commemorate the event.
At the close of the January celebrations they intend to continue their apostolic labours in the Eastern Vicariate at the request of the Most Rev. Bishop McSherry, D,D,, Senior Prelate of South Africa.
Father Garahy is well-known throughout the country since he relinquished his Chair of Theology at Milltown Park in 1914 to devote his energies to the active ministry.
Father Mackey has been Superior of the Jesuit Mission staff in Ireland since 1927. During his absence in South Africa, Father J Delaney, S.J., Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, will take over his duties. Fathers Mackey and Garahy leave for Capetown on Tuesday, 24th August, 1937, and are expected back in Ireland about Easter, 1938.
Father Mackey has just received a cablegram from Bishop Hennemann asking him to give the Priests' Retreat at Cape Town.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 1 1938
Our two Missioners to South Africa, Fathers Mackey and Garahy reached Cape Town on 23rd September.
The voyage was uneventful. They landed at Las Palmas and visited the centre of the Island.
Writing about the road, overhanging a steep precipice, over which they travelled, Father Garahy tells us : “I realised there was nothing between us and eternity except a few feet of road. It seemed to be a matter of inches when we crawled past other cars coming down.” They paid one more visit before reaching Cape Town, and Father Garahy's description is : “A spot of earth more arid than Ascension it would be hard to find outside the Sahara, and yet it grazes about 400 sheep and some cattle on one spot called the Green Mountain.”
Work began the very day after their arrival at Cape Town - a Retreat by Father Mackey to Legion of Mary, with five lectures a day. On the next Sunday, Father Garahy preached at all three Masses in the Cathedral, and again in the evening, The Mission began on Sunday, 3rd October, and from that date to Christmas the missioners had only one free week.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 2 1938
Our two Missioners, Fathers Mackey and Garahy, continue to do strenuous and widely extended work in South Africa. A source of genuine pleasure to them, and one that they fully appreciate, is the very great kindness shown to them by all the priests, not least among them by the Capuchins from Ireland. In the short intervals between the Missions the two Missioners were taken in the priests cars to every spot in the Cape worth seeing. They are only too glad to acknowledge that they will never forget the amount of kindness lavished on them.
In spite of fears the Eucharistic Congress in South Africa was an undoubted success, A pleasant and peculiar incident of the celebration was an “At Home” given by the Mayor of Capetown Mr. Foster, a Co, Down Presbyterian, to the Bishops, priests and prominent laymen. About 600 were present.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 3 1938
South Africa :

A very decided and novel proof of the success of the South African Mission is given by the letter of a certain Mr. Schoernan, a Dutch Protestant, who owns an extensive estate near Johannesburg. This gentleman wrote directly to the Apostolic Delegate for the Union of South Africa requesting that Fathers Mackey and Garahy should be invited to give a series of sermons and lectures to the non Catholics throughout the Transvaal. He had heard the sermons of these two Jesuit Fathers at the Catholic Congress at Cape Town, and concluded at once that the method and style of treatment of their sermons would make an immense appeal. He himself would be prepared to assist in the financing of such a scheme. “Surely”, he concluded, “Ireland could easily afford to forgo their services for a few months longer.”
The Delegate sent on the letter to Dr. O'Leary, Vicar Apostolic of the Transvaal. to answer. Dr, O'Leary explained that the two Fathers had to cancel many other invitations owing to pressure of work at home.
Mr. Schuman answered the Archbishop through Dr. O'Leary still pressing his own proposal.
The Press, including the Protestant Press, has been equally emphatic as to the success of the Mission. A contributor to “The Daily Dispatch”, a Protestant paper writes :
“A mission for Catholics in East London is now in progress at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. It is being conducted by two ]esuits, Father Mackey and Father Garahy, members of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus..... Hitherto, missions in this diocese have been preached, almost exclusively, by members of the Redemptorist Order.... , A Jesuit mission, therefore, is a change, because the methods and style of the Jesuits are different from those of the other Orders in the Church. There is not so much thunder about the Jesuits. They preach more the mercy of God than His anger and His justice. They appeal more to one's intellect and sense of reason than to the emotions.
It has been essentially a mission to Catholics. Controversial subjects have been avoided, but in the sermons there has been a wealth of information and teaching invaluable even to those firmly established in the Catholic faith. To those not of the faith who have attended the mission, the discourses of the two eloquent Jesuits must have been a revelation. I, a practising Catholic all my life, have heard many missions, both in this country and throughout Great Britain, but I cannot recall one in which the teaching of the Church has been so simply and so convincingly substantiated, or one in which the sinner has been so sympathetically, yet effectively, shown the error of his ways. The sermons were all magnificent orations in which facts, arguments, and reasoning were blended into a convincing whole.”
In another place the same contributor writes :
“Masterly sermons were preached by Father Mackey and Father Garahy explaining, as they have never been explained to the people of East London before, the object of man's life in this world, the difficulties he has to contend with......they have shown how the evils of the present day have all arisen from the misuse of men's reason, how the abandonment of God, and the development of a materialistic creed have set class against class and nation against nation, how man's well-being on earth has been subordinated to the pagan ideas of pleasure and financial prosperity........There has been nothing sensational or emotional in any discourse, but the malice of sin has been shown in all its viciousness.
It has been an education listening to these two Jesuits. The lessons of history, biblical and worldly, have been explained in language that carried conviction, and the teaching of the Church on the problems discussed has been put forward with unassailable lucidity.”

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949
Fr. Mackey was installed as acting Master of Novices to the Alexian Brothers, Cobh on 8th September last. Details of his work appear below.
Fr. Mackey, writes from St. Joseph's Court, Cobh on 13th November :
“You ask me for some information concerning my whereabouts and my work. I was installed here as Master of Novices on 8th September last. With me is an Assistant - a Brother from Manchester. He corresponds to our Socius.
St. Joseph's Court was the property of a Mr. Jackson-bennett. The house is quite suitable for a Religious Congregation. It is just two miles from Cobh - rather ungettatable either by cycling or walking, owing to some enormous hills.
The Alexian Brothers follow the Rule of St. Augustine, and are under a Cardinal Protector at Rome. They have the usual six months postulancy, followed by two full years of noviceship. At the end of the Novitiate they take the customary simple vows. These are renewed for two single years, then for three full years, after that for life. At present they have numerous houses in Germany and the States; five in England, two in Ireland, one in Belgium and one in Switzerland.
They take charge of hospitals, asylums and convalescent homes. On leaving the Novitiate many of them do a three years course of professional nursing at the York City Hospital.
Their religious habit is somewhat similar to that of the Redemptorist Fathers. It is of black cloth, a girdle of black leather, a scapular from shoulders to ankles, white colar, a capifolium and full black mantle with a cowl not unlike that of the Cistercians. Their Superior General is a German-American. He is very keen on all things Ignatian. He has ordered that every novice in the States, is to be presented with Fr. Rickaby's three volumes of Rodriguez on his Vow Day. They are all in favour of the Long Retreat but cannot have it for the present, owing to structural changes to be completed.
They lead a very monastic life here. The Benedicamus Domino is at 5 a.m., all lights out at a quarter to ten. They have three quarters of an hour meditation before Mass, which is at 6 a.m. Their day, which consists of the usual noviceship routine - five exhortations a week - is four times broken for Community prayer. The Office of the Passion is recited every day in common. I have just 20 Postulants and Novices at the moment, with some others due to come after the New Year.
Their Provincial bas just sent every novice a copy of the new edition of Fouard's Life of Christ, two volumes in one. It is a splendid edition (12/6) but without notes. I hope to get them to memorize the most practical passages from a concordance of the Four Gospels, at the rate of a few verses a day - to make them familiar with the sacred text”.

Irish Province News 43rd Year No 2 1968

Obituary :

Fr Ernest Mackey SJ (1884-1968)

Fr. Ernest Mackey died in St. Vincent's private hospital on January 18th. He was 84 years of age on January 9th. Despite the fact being known to his friends that he had had a stroke several weeks previously, the news came as a bit of a shock. Anyone who visited him in hospital considered the stroke was a light one. Some of his closest friends postponed their visit. They did not consider there was any urgency.
Amongst these was Frank Duff, founder and president of the Legion of Mary. For over 40 years they were close friends. When the message of Fr. Mackey's death reached Frank by phone, he exclaimed, “He was a Trojan character”. There are very many priests and religious to-day who would re-echo that sentiment.
Ernest Mackey was a man of sterling character. He had inherited much from his uncle, the late Fr. Michael Brosnan, C.M. He often spoke of this man who for nearly half a century was Spiritual Director in St. Patrick's College, Maynooth. In fact he was the only relative that he ever mentioned. Frequently when in the mood he quoted some of Fr. Brosnan's sayings. For example “Be a gentleman from the soles of your feet to the tips of your fingers, and have those clean”. He spoke of his uncle's death in these words : “He wanted no visitors in his last days, left all letters unopened, and looked at God”.
There was a majesty and a dignity about Ernest Mackey. He always carried himself erect and walked with measured step. One of his disciples remarked that he had a touch of the “Omnipotens Sempiterne Deus”. He had a presence at all times, and in all places. He walked up the Church, or emerged from the sacristy on his way to the pulpit, with arms slightly extended as a large bird about to make an impressive flight. Everything about his ministry was majestic and even overpowering. The sharp features, the very deep collar, the long flowing soutane - all contributed to this presence.
This dignity and grandeur emanated from his realisation of his priesthood. He felt himself as a man specially designated by God - to a great apostolate. Never did he seem to lose sight of this. He spoke with authority. He had that virtue of forthrightness. It never left him all his life. He detested sham and humbug. He hated hypocrisy, and make-believe, and with characteristic gesture swept them away. His conversation was always a tonic. It was wonderful at times to listen to a conversation between himself and Fr. John M. O'Connor, who pre-deceased him by ten years. Both were remarkable men, each in his own sphere. They left an abiding impression on youth. Men and priests of this calibre are the great need of to-day.
From what has been written it is clear that Ernest Mackey lived his name. He was determined and dedicated to his allotted work. He paid not the slightest attention to critics. He never courted popularity. He was earnestness personified. He rarely, if ever, commented on the preaching of his colleagues. As the Superior of the Mission staff for fifteen years he relied on his men to do the work assigned above all to preach the Spiritual Exercises. On one occasion as he came into the sacristy after the Rosary he said to a young colleague: “You are going out to preach on sin. Don't touch the Angels”. Fr. Mackey's pulpit preaching was not his strongest point. It was unique in its way. He had an amazing intonation of voice that ranged over a whole octave. People listened more because of his dominating presence than of his logic, He could stop for over a minute, and shoot out in a commanding voice a text of the Gospel that seemingly had no bearing on his subject.
What was Ernest Mackey's strongest point? What was it in his priestly life that was a creation of his own, and that will persist down the years? Undoubtedly his Boys Retreats, and through these his amazing success in vocations to the priesthood. In this matter he was out on his own, and the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus owes a lot to him.
This work came into being under the provincialate of the late and great Fr. John Fahy. During his decade in Belvedere as Prefect of Studies, Fr. Fahy was responsible for a number of vocations to the Maynooth Mission to China among the boys of the College. He was Rector for six of these ten years and had great influence over boys. He must have asked himself many a time why some very outstanding vocations were lost to the Society. These boys wanted China. It came as no surprise therefore, that during his provincialate, Fr. Fahy opened our mission in Hong Kong. This demanded a big campaign for vocations. Ernest Mackey, already showing talent along this line, was the man for the job. He was put in charge of the Mission Staff. This left him free to take on all the boys' retreats possible. He gave most of these himself, and entrusted many into the capable hands of Fr. Tim Halpin and Fr. Richard Devane.
It was then that Fr. Mackey perfected his vocation technique. Boarding school retreats were lifted up to a high level. The full vigour of the Ignatian Exercises was applied. He stressed real prayer, conquest of self, a sense of the malice of sin, the call of the King, and all the salient thoughts of Ignatius. He got results.
But there was the vast field of day schools, especially the secondary schools of the Irish Christian Brothers. Those in Dublin could be catered for in the Retreat House at Rathfarnham. There Frs. P. Barrett and Richard Devane were already doing wonderful work with week-ends for working men and with mid-week retreats for senior boys of the Dublin day-schools.
Something must be done for the schools outside Dublin, It must be to the lasting credit of Ernest Mackey that he rose nobly and energetically to the occasion. He introduced a truly magnificent semi-enclosed retreat in the school itself. The system can be studied in the printed volume “Our Colloquium”. This is not the place to discuss that great compilation so splendidly edited by the late Fr. Michael F. Egan. Sufficient to say that the greatest contribution was that of Fr. Mackey. He supplied every detail on these retreats. He followed Ignatius rigidly. His great success was due to his placing of the highest ideals of holiness before boys, his whole hearted dedication to the work, his attention to details.
He often in later years spoke of these retreats in schools. He even considered them as of greater value than a fully enclosed retreat in a retreat house. But that was because Fr. Mackey directed them. Arriving at a secondary School he took complete command. He left nothing to chance. He always received the most enthusiastic co-operation from the Brothers. Vocations were needed. “Come after Me and I will make you fishers of men”. Ernest Mackey must have had these words of the Master ever in his mind. He was a fisher for vocations. He was not a lone fisher. He nearly always had fishermen among the Brothers. Their business it was to indicate where he was to cast his net. He had the magnetism - almost the hypnotic power - to attract the good fish. He was human and could make mistakes. But the man who makes no mistakes makes nothing. He landed a great haul for the Society and for the priesthood. He toiled hard. He toiled long.
The secret of his success is obvious from what has been written. He employed the means that Ignatius himself applied to himself and to all others - the Spiritual Exercises. One cannot imagine Ernest Mackey asking the Brothers in a school, the nuns in a convent, the priests in a diocese, what he should say to them, or to those under them, in a retreat. He was eloquent in his closing years on what he called the utter nonsense of such enquiries.
He remained the same Ernest Mackey to the end. He spoke of all those in the Province who were “over 70” as the Old Society. He loved to recall men like Michael Browne, Henry Fegan, and Michael Garahy. He lived in that age and never modernised. As a result his last years were spent in retirement in Manresa House. There he loved to meet the Old Society.
Now he has gone to the real Old Society in Heaven; but his work goes on in the army of Christ on earth, the ranks of which he helped to fill while on earth. May he rest in peace.
T.C.

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

  • IE IJA J/1647
  • Person
  • 25 November 1881-13 September 1959

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

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

Father died 1883. Five sisters and two brothers.

Early education at Castleknock College and Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 2 1926
Residence. S F XAVIER (Lavender Bay) :
Lavender Bay became an independent parish in 1921. Its First Pastor was Fr R O'Dempsey. He was succeeded by Fr R Murphy, who built the new school, enlarged the hall, and established four tennis courts. The present Pastor so Fr J Magan. All three are old Clongowes boys. The parish contains St, Aloysius' College, two primary schools and two large convents. Numbered amongst the parishioners is His Excellency the Apostolic Delegate.

Irish Province News 7th Year No 3 1932
Lavender Bay Parish
Father James Magan, S.J., took leave of Lavender Bay Parish at a meeting organized by his late parishioners to do him honour and to say farewell. During the proceedings several very complimentary speeches were addressed to him, and a number of substantial presents made.
The Catholic Press, commenting on the meeting, wrote “In the Archdiocese of Sydney there is no more genial priest than Rev. Father .J. Magan, SJ., who has just completed seven years as Superior of the Lavender Bay Parish, and has been transferred to the Jesuit house at Richmond, Victoria. His remarkable jovial disposition, a trait that puts his numerous callers in a friendly attitude, is the reflection of a generous heart which, allied with his high ideals of the priesthood, has made his pastorate on the harbour side a triumphant mission for Christ.Needless to say, during his stay at Lavender Bay, Father Magan won the esteem and respect of all who came in contact with him, especially the school children, in whom he took a great interest, His going is a great loss to the parish, especially to the poor, whom he was always ready to help, not only by giving food and clothing, but also money.

Irish Province News 35th Year No 1 1960
Obituary :
Fr James W Magan (1881-1959)

(From the Monthly Calenday, Hawthorn, October 1959)
The death of Fr. Magan came with startling suddenness, although we should have been prepared for it; for during the last year or so, he had been looking very frail, and aged even beyond his years. Had he lived till the 25th November, he would have been 78 years old. He was, however, so ready to undertake any apostolic work that no one dreamt, when he walked out of Manresa six days before, on the day of his Diamond Jubilee, to begin the first of two retreats to the Bishop and clergy of the diocese of Sale, at Loyola, that he would in a week's time be brought back to Hawthorn in his coffin for his Requiem.
The day he went to Loyola for that retreat was a memorable one for Fr. Magan, because it marked the sixtieth anniversary of his entrance into the Society of Jesus. Normally it would have been a festal day for him, celebrated amongst his fellow Jesuits and friends; but he elected to postpone the celebration of his Jubilee till the two retreats were over. He seemed, however, to have had some inkling that the end was at hand, for in saying goodbye to a member of the community at Hawthorn, he thanked him earnestly for kindness shown to him during the last few years.
Towards the end of the first retreat, Fr. Magan became ill and his place was taken by another priest during the final day. A doctor saw him and urged him to rest for a few days. He did as he was told and the sickness seemed to pass away, and although he did not say Mass on the morning of his death, he was present at Mass and received Holy Communion. He rested quietly during the day and appeared to be well on the mend and in particularly good form, but a visitor to his room at about 3 p.m. found him with his breviary fallen from his helpless hands. He had slipped off as if going to sleep, and I feel sure, just as he would have wished, quietly and peacefully, with no one by his side but his Angel Guardian, presenting him to the Lord, and it is hard to believe that when he met the Master in a matter of moments, he would not have indulged in his wonted pleasantry : “Magan's the name - James William Magan. James after St. James, William after the Kaiser, and Magan after my father”.
Fr. Magan was born in Kilashee, Co. Longford, Ireland. His school. years were spent partly at the Vincentians' College of Castleknock. and partly at the Jesuit College of Clongowes Wood in Kildare. His novitiate was made in Tullabeg, followed by his further classical and mathematical studies in the same place. There he had as one of his masters, Fr. John Fahy, afterwards the first Provincial of Australia. His philosophical studies were made at Gemert, Holland, after which he taught at Mungret and Clongowes Wood Colleges, before proceeding to Theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. There, in due course, he was ordained to the priesthood on the feast of St. Ignatius, 1915. His Tertianship in Ireland was interrupted at the outbreak of the First World War, when he was appointed Chaplain to the British forces in France and Belgium; and at the conclusion of the war he completed his Tertianship in the French Jesuit College, Canterbury, England.
His next important appointment was to Australia and his travelling companion was Fr. Jeremiah Murphy, for many years Rector of Newman College. He taught at Xavier College, Kew and St. Aloysius College, Milson's Point, Sydney; and he was Prefect of Studies at Aloysius and later at Riverview. But his obvious gifts for dealing intimately with souls induced Superiors to put him aside for parish work. He was parish priest at Lavender Bay and also at St. Ignatius, Richmond. For many years he was stationed at the Immaculate Conception Church, Hawthorn, where a splendid tribute to his memory paid by a church packed with priests, parishioners and friends from far and near, hundreds of whom received Holy Communion for the repose of his soul; and at the conclusion of the Requiem Mass a beautiful and perfectly true-to-life panegyric was preached by His Grace, Arch bishop Simmonds, who presided. There were present also in the Sanctuary, Bishop Lyons of Sale, who with his priests had just made with Fr. Magan the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius; Bishop Fox, the Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Mannix, and Fr. Swain, S.J., the English Assistant to Fr. General.
Fr. Magan was a colourful personality, whose coming to Australia was a great boon to our country. He was an outstanding retreat-giver to clergy and laity and for quite twenty years he gave the Ordination Retreat to generations of young Corpus Christi priests; many times also to various Jesuit communities in Australia, and to religious, nuns and Brothers throughout the length and breadth of our land. He was, I think, the first to give the annual retreat to the Cistercian monks at Tarrawarra, and wherever he went he left behind him happy memories and most practical lessons for the future.
“Ridentem dicere verum quid vetat?” - “What is to prevent one driving home an important truth. in a merry way?” - seems to have been almost a cardinal principle with Fr. Magan. His short Sunday discourses were always full of bright homely illustrations, but there was no mistake possible as to the lesson he set out to teach.
His merry ways made him most approachable. He spoke to everyone that he met on the way, conferring on all and sundry unauthorised medical degrees, and many a junior nun, perhaps even a novice, was swept off her feet and constrained blushingly to disclaim the title, when addressed by His Reverence as “Mother General”.
He loved to tell the following incident where he met his own “Waterloo’. It was long ago in an almost empty tram in North. Sydney, Fr. Magan boarded it at the same time as a lady who was carrying a pet monkey. When the conductor came to take his fare, Fr. Magan said (possibly not in a whisper) : “Are monkeys allowed on this tram?” The conductor replied : |Get over there in the corner and no one will notice you”.
He was always very ready when asked to preach or to give a course of sermons on special occasions. I wonder how many times be gave the “Novena of Grace”, or how often he gave the Devotions of the Sacred Heart during the month of June? The writer remembers well how on one Saturday evening in June he was in the pulpit and he was speaking on the text : “Those who propagate this devotion will have their names written on My Heart, never to be effaced”. He told how he had been asked to give this course on Devotion to the Sacred Heart and how he would never, while he lived, decline such a request. “And why should I”, he said. “Did you not hear my text : ‘They shall have their names written on My Heart, never to be effaced’? Won't that be the day for the Magans!” he cried. And assuredly, if that honour is due to anyone, it would be due to him, for devotion to the Sacred Heart was, one might say, almost a ruling passion with him.
Some years passed by and Fr. Magan was very seriously ill. A critical operation was impending. The writer went to see him in hospital. “How are you, James?” I asked. “Weak, terribly weak”, he replied. “Still I think you are going to make good”, I said, “I don't know that I want to”, was his answer. “Well, James”, I said, “at any rate your name is written deep on His Heart, never to be effaced. I have no doubt of that”. His eyes filled with tears and they coursed down his cheeks, and be blurted out : “Please God. Please God”.
Yes, Fr. Magan was a devoted priest of God. Deep down in his soul, under the veneer of what Archbishop Simmonds called his rollicking humour, was a faith in God and a love of God, for Whom with might and main he strove in the Society of Jesus for sixty years. Multitudes of people are indebted to him. He had a heart of gold, as those who knew him best can testify, and he was a devoted, faithful friend. The writer', at any rate, believes that his name is written deeply in the Heart of Christ, never to be effaced.
J. S. Bourke, S.J.

◆ The Clongownian, 1918

Clongowes Chaplains

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

Father James Magan SJ

Father Magan is in France with the 6th Yorkshire and Lancashire. He has, perhaps, come in contact with more Clongownians than any other of our Chaplains. He it was who had charge of the funeral of Lieut. C Shiel, RFC, whose death is announced else where, and among CWC men present at the graveside was R L Rice. He has also come: across J J Keating and poor David, who has recently been killed, and George Maher and Dr Carroll and others. He paid us a short visit during the year, and some of his adventures would make very interesting reading were it not that space, and possibly DORA, will not allow us to record them. Some of his escapes were as amusing on after thought as they must have been nerve-racking at the time.

◆ The Clongownian, 1919

Clongowes Chaplains

Our last number gave an account of the work and experiences of those Army Chaplains who were connected with Clongowes either as boys or masters. Since then a number of those mentioned have found their way back to civil life.

The Armistice.
We are glad to have the opportunity of publishing an account of the Armistice “celebrations” and the events that followed, as viewed by one of our Chaplains, Father Magan, who found himself near Mons when the order (which, apparently, they did not get) to cease fire was given. Father Magan was attached to the 6th Yorks and Lancs. Regiment, and this letter was written home by him on the 20th of November last.

6th York and Lanc, Regiment,
B.E.F., 20/11/18

Dear Father Finlay, PC,

For the past few days I have been doing rather unusual work. I am in a little village one side of which is Belgian, the opposite side is French. It was peculiarly placed during the war, as no one was allowed to go from one country to the other, no one might cross the street or even bid good day to those on the other side. There was a church for each side and a Curé for each side. It is called Goegnes-Chaussée, about 13 kilometers from Mons. Well, this village is on the high road to Germany, so there are hundreds of our prisoners who got free somehow or other from the Germans. Some were let go, some broke away. The costumes are most varied. Some come as smart young Belgians in hard hats, collars and ties; others in khaki ; others half and half, khaki and civilian; others come in prisoner usiform; others in clothes supplied from home. To each and all I supply cigarettes, having got a good supply from the Weekly Dispatch Smokes Fund, and I bear those who want to go to confession.

I met Irish of many regiments - Dublins, Connaughts, RI Rifles, RI Regt, SI, Horse, Leinsters, Munsters. Also Eoglish, Scotch, Australians, Newzealanders, French and Italians.

The Belgians on the way back treated them right royally. At Charleroi the nuns bustled aside the now subdued Germans and got the Catholics to their first Mass for eight months, The Curé there in his sermon exhorted his congregation to see that none of the returning prisoners were short of anything, and tbey followed bis advice to the letter. All they had to spare in the way of clotbes, food and smokes was open to them, I never saw such gratitude as they felt to the Belgians.

When taken they suffered extraordinary privations. To get a drink on the way back last November or March they drank the water off the streets and got no other drink. In the prison cage watches and chains were freely given for a drink of water. They worked at forward dumps of rations or shells or as grooms to German bosses, some even as mess waiters. Food varied according to the chances of scrounging. Not even the mess waiters fared well, as tbe German officers' mess was exceedingly bad. Some always cooked and ate rats when they were lucky enough to kill one. Potato skins were washed and cooked - nettles were freely eaten Tobacco was a most peculiar mixture of leaves of all kinds. Many bring back samples of the blacker brand which is vile. A loaf cost 8 marks, and it was 8 men to a loaf. They were offered 200 marks for boots coming from England; clothes went 500 marks a suit, ie, £25. I saw an overall coat made from nettles and it looked fine. Ropes and sandbags and even towels were made of paper.

Mons
I paid a visit to the famous Mons. It is a fine town and not much damaged. There are shops with fair supplies, but everything is fearfully dear-a bar of chocolate, 2/6; an egg, 1/-,

Peace was a rather tame affair out here. It started as a rumour which no one believed. Then at 11 am. the bands played, The Curé of Aubrois, where I was, made a speech to congratulate the British for having saved Belgium. I translated it; there were three cheers for the King, for Belgium, and for France, and all went their way. For days we heard, as it were, far-off guns which were hard to explain, but it was caused by German dumps being fired.

The most wonderful part of the German retreat was the way they blew up the roads behind then. Every cross road was completely blown to pieces, leaving a huge hole which caused endless inconvenience. Miles of traffic was held up by it. Side roads and main roads suffered alike. The difficulty is that there is little or no road metal to be found to fill in these lioles. For a day or two no rations could come, even aeroplanes had to drop buliy and biscuits to the troops. The papers spoke of a dramatic order to cease fire, unfix bayonets. I heard nothing of it. The war fizzled out like a dying candle. and no one knew it. The prisoners all say it is wonderful how the Germans held out. They were playing the game of bluff; their transport was hopeless - even cows being used for limbers, their harness all ropes, and those paper ropes. Their men had lost their morale; at Aubrois they broke their rifles rather than go into the line. Their treatment of civilians would demand a whole letter, and I must say good-night.

I remain, etc.,

J W Magan SJ, CF

Behind the German Lines
We are indebted to another letter of Father Magan's for the following account of life in a Belgian occupied village :

The people told ine of the invasion. Everything was commandeered Brass of all kinds, knobs of doors, windows, beds, all bedding and loodstuffs. The great complaint was against the “Komandatur” (i.e., the town major and the police). If people were found boiling potatoes the police threw out the potatoes and a fine of 50 marks was imposed. Some had a procès verbal six times a week, and so marks each time. One woman had three in one day. She got up at 6 am - procès No I. She was caught talking with others in the street procès No 2. She lit a light in her house and went straight to shut the window, but was caught (all lights should be covered) - procès No 3. All cattle and hens had been taken, so the country was exceedingly poor. Still there remained some American Red-Cross supplies, cocoa and coffee, to which they treated us.

◆ The Clongownian, 1960

Obituary

Father James William Magan SJ

On a summer's evening exactly fifty years ago a lost new boy stood amid the pile of trunks on the Higher Line Gallery, searching his pockets for the nth time for a lost key. A voice behind him said: “Cheer up, young man, if I can't find a key to fit it, I can lend you a couple of sticks of dynamite”. That was a characteristic introduction to Father, then Mr James William Magan, or as he liked to say: “James for my patron saint, James the apostle, William for the Kaiser, Magan for my father”. There cannot be many who remember the boy who came to Clongowes from Castleknock nor even very many who can remember him as Gallery Prefect, but the recollections of those who do must be vivid and vital, for Mr James Magan was a vivid and vital person. The first and not the least important thing about him in those far-off days was his high spirits. Banging his great bunch of keys with a smile that was close to a grin, he would sweep down the gallery driving the laggards out to walk the track or play “gravel” with a jovial roar, “Omnes Ex!” (“All out”).

We boys were probably quite unaware of the tonic his good spirits and energy were when the monotony of school routine threatened. The office of Gallery Prefect is not the easiest position to fill on the Clongowes staff, though it may well be reckoned one of the most influential. Father James Magan filled it perfectly. He was a strict disciplinarian who was always just, and never harsh. If you deserved it he taught you your lesson, and that done he resumed at once the friendiy relations that were his habitual attitude to all men. The writer still remembers the astonishment with which he heard the ex-gallery prefect recommend him to a successor it was hard to believe he had ever been in trouble. But James Magan was no mere disciplinarian, he could hold a group around his desk under the clock talking first sport and then books and then almost imperceptibly the things that mattered. High spirits can be trying, and they can be a matter of mood or temperament. Father James' were never irritating for he was spontaneous, unselfconscious and always kind. And they were constant. Now constant good spirits through the days and months of a Gallery Prefect's commission and for fifty years to come are not an affair of mood or temperament, they are quite simply a virtue.

He carried the same bubbling energy into his class work. He had one group of the rejected by the experts from Father James Daly's carefully picked “Honours Boys”. These mathematical morons he pushed, one and all, through their exam, a few, to his undisguised delight, took higher honours than some of the chosen race.

After these first school years I met Father James only three times. Once when a tertian father, he brought all his old power to cheer to bear on a novice in some need of it. Again, when in a Captain's uniform and talking, as he liked to do, a special soldiers' jargon inter larded with French tags, he came back from the Somme and Paschendale with unbroken cheerfulness and a completely unheroic manner. It was an unexpected visit to Australia that gave me my last glimpse of him ten years or so before his death. He had been very ill, and his chances of life were put very low. I believe he knew it, but he certainly did not show it, and he was on his way from one retreat to another. He had no intention. of “resting”. Had we ever seen him rest? In the event he served a full sixty years and fell ill and died while actually engaged in giving a clergy retreat.

And here, perhaps an apology is due for a memory of Father James that omits any real account of his life work, his years as a teacher in Australia - he was prefect of Studies in Sydney's great school, Riverview; of the long labours, half a life time, as a parish priest, a preacher. The greatest authority in Australia said to the present writer: “Father Magan is undoubtedly one of the best preachers in Australia”, and added with a touch of Father James's own humour; “And he knows it”!!!

For twenty years he had given the ordination retreat at Corpus Christi, the seminary of the Melbourne archdiocese. And it was not surprising that Dr Symonds, the Coadjutor Archbishop, should comment on the tribute the great gathering of priests at Father James's funeral was to the man he eulogised with such affection and understanding. But all that and a great deal more is told elsewhere, here it is simply the wish of one old Clongowesman to express for all his contemporaries the gratitude and affection he feels for his “prefect” and the pride he feels in his school fellow.

To his sisters and to his nephews, Michael and John, we offer our sincere sympathy.

MB

Maher, Thomas P, 1885-1924, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1658
  • Person
  • 10 May 1885-12 February 1924

Born: 10 May 1885, Main Street, Borrisoleigh, County Tipperary
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 16 May 1918, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1922, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 12 February 1924, Thurles, Co Tipperary

Part of the Crescent College, Limerick community at the time of death

Father was a building contractor.

Youngest of three sons and five sisters (one is a nun). Two brothers (one youngewr than him) died.

Educated at a local NS and then went to Rockwell College for two years.. His final year was at Mungret College SJ

by 1907 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1909
by 1910 returned to Australia

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After his Novitiate he was sent to Stonyhurst for Philosophy and then to Australia for Regency.
He came back to Milltown for Theology, was Ordained there and after Tertianship he was sent back to Australia. However, a pernicious attack of anaemia meant that his passage on the ship to Australia was cancelled, and he slowly wasted away.
He died at the residence of his sister in Thurles 12 February 1924. During his illness the local clergy were most attentive, visiting him daily as his end drew near. He was also frequently visited by the Provincial John Fahy. His remains were brought to Thurles Cathedral. John Harty, Archbishop of Cashel presided. He was later buried at Mungret.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Thomas Maher entered the Society at Tullabeg in September 1902, and after novitiate and juniorate he studied philosophy at Stonyhurst in 1907. In mid-1910 he sailed for Australia and taught at So Patrick's College in 1911 in the middle school years. He was very successful teacher, and as a result was moved to Xavier College, 1912-15, as the second division prefect to fill an urgent vacancy. After returning to Ireland he developed pernicious anaemia, and died from this condition.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1924

Obituary

Father Thomas P Maher SJ

Fr Thomas P Maher SJ, was born at Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary, and died at Thurles, Co. Tipperary, on 12th February, 1924, in the thirty-ninth year of his age. He received his early education at Borris, and entered the Apostolic School at Mungret College, Limerick, in 1901, He left Mungret in 1902, and entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus, Tullabeg, in the September of the same year. In 1906 Mr Maher was sent to St Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, Lancashire, to study philosophy.

In 1909, he came to Australia and was stationed for three years at St Patrick's, East Melbourne. He came to Xavier as Second Division Prefect in 1912 and reinained here till 1915. In this capacity he had the training of many future members of the championship football team of 1917. Although no footballer himself, he knew how to make footballers of others, so that Fr O'Keefe's work as coach in 1917 was considerably lightened by the excellent grounding which the best members of the team had received at Fr Maher's hands.

In 1915 he was sent back to Ireland to Milltown Park, Dublin, where he finished his theological studies. He was ordained on 16th May, 1918, and remained at Milltown until the August of 1919. During the year following his ordination, Fr Maher acted as chaplain to the George V Military Hospital, Dublin, and God Himself only knows how many souls were saved there by Fr Maher's agency. In 1917 he was teaching at Mungret College and was Director of the Holy Angels Sodality. In 1921 he went back after twenty years to make his tertianship at Tullabeg.

In 1922 Fr. Maher returned to Mungret as First Prefect, and in the August of the same year was transferred to the Crescent College, Limerick, where he acted as a teacher, Director of Our Lady's Sodality, and Sports Master. He volunteered for Australia, and was among those appointed to come here in August, 1923. His preparations were finished and his luggage sent on to London when he decided to have his teeth attended to. All of his teeth were taken out, but he seemed to make no improvement. Pernicious anæmia had set in and all hope of his travelling had to be put out of the question. He grew worse and worse, although there were a few spells of seening improvement. He spent much of his time with his sister in Thurles, so that he might have the benefit of his native air. He had a bad attack on 2nd February, and then grew steadily worse.

A Novena was being offered to Our Lady of Lourdes for his recovery, but it pleased God that Fr Maher should go to Himself and to Our Lady. He was conscious right up to the end, and died quietly and without a struggle on the morning of 12th February while the bell for Mass to be offered for him was ringing. A solemn Requiem Mass was offered for his soul in Thurles Cathedral in the presence of the Archbishop of Cashel and over fifty priests. After the Mass, the funeral of over seventeen vehicles set out for Mungret, forty-seven miles away. He was buried at Mungret
in the College cemetery.

Fr Maher's life was hidden and un eventful, but it was the life of a hero, just as his happy and holy death was the death of a saint. May his soul rest in peace.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1924

Obituary

Father Thomas P Maher SJ

Yet another of Mungret's Sons has gone home. He has “fought the good fight” and now He is in peace.

His was in a sense an uneventful career - at least in the world's eyes. He performed no great achievements, and yet he lived the life of a hero. and died the death of a saint. He was made of the stuff of which heroes are made. He was not extraordinarily gifted, but his dogged perseverance and determination overcame all obstacles. He fought and conquered. Whatever he got to do he did with his whole heart. He was made great in little things done well.

Born May 10th, 1885, he was the son of Mr Michael Maher of Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary. He entered the Apostolic School, Mungret, September, 1901, where he remained until June, 1902. September 6th of the same year he entered the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg at the age of 17. He remained there until September, 1906, when he went to St Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, to study Philosophy. Three years later he was sent by his Superiors to Australia, in the Autumn of 1909, where, until 1912, we find him teaching at St Patrick's College, Melbourne. In that year, he went as Second Prefect to St Francis Xavier's College, Kew, Melbourne, and remained thers until 1915.

He was then. sent to do his theological sturlies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he continued till August 1919. He was ordained to the Priesthood in 1918, and during the following year was Chaplain to George V Military Hospital. In this, his first public ministry, he acquitted himself of a difficult task very creditably. He was liked by all and it will only be known on the Judgment Day the numbers that he brought back to their duty. In 1920 he was on the teaching staff of his Alma Mater, and in 1921 he went to his Tertianship at Tullabeg.

In 1922 he came back to Mungret as First Prefect over the lay-boys. In August 1922, he went to the Sacred Heart College, the Crescent, Limerick, where, besides teaching, he had charge of the Sodality of BVM, and of the games. In the Winter of that year while giving retreats, he caught a cold, and this may have proved the beginning of his subsequent delicacy. By the Status of July 31st, 1923, he was destined for Australia. He had made preparations for leaving, had left the Crescent College, and had even sent forward his luggage to London - when it was found that his health would not permit of his travelling. His sickness proved to be pernicious anaemia, and for months he wasted away, not however without some spells of seeming improvement. Much of this time he spent in the house of his married sister in Thurles. In the midst of all his suffering he never lost his habitual cheerfulness. A novena was being made for his recovery in connection with the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. But Our Lady answered the prayers by taking him to herself. He passed away at Thurles on the 12th of February, 1924 - the day after Our Lady's feast, just as the bell for a Mass being offered for him, was ringing. Though greatly emaciated, he was conscious up to half an hour before the end. He died, aged 39.

A little more than a year ago we heard him preach St Francis Xavier's panegyric in the College chapel. It was a beautiful sermon, and began with the death-bed scene. We remember how he emphasised the loneliness of it, especially dying away from his brothers in religion because obedience so ordained. We little thought that obedience was to ordain the preacher's death away from his religious brethren. But we are glad it was in that sanctuary of Religion - an Irish home - and Mungret will not forget the first of her priest-sons to be buried in her sacred ground. RIP

Mulvany, Joseph, 1853-1931, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1792
  • Person
  • 14 March 1853-14 December 1931

Born: 14 March 1853, Castleknock, County Dublin
Entered: 18 March 1882, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1894, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 14 December 1931, Milltown Park, Dublin

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Glazier and Painter before entry

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 7th Year No 2 1932
Obituary :
Br Joseph Mulvany
Br. Joseph Mulvany was born near Castleknock on 14 March 1853. While he was a boy, his family moved into Dublin, and he went to school at Richmond St. During his school-days, he was an altar boy in Gardiner St. He began his noviceship at Milltown Park in 1882 and finished it two years later at the newly established house in Dromore, Co. Down. During his life of 49 years in the Society, he discharged, at one time or another, nearly every duty that falls to the lot of a lay-brother. For some years, when stationed at Belvedere, he is entered in the Catalogue “Adj Dir. assoc. S. S. Cor,”. Sacristan seems to have been his speciality, for he held that important position for no less than 38 years. For 26 years he was stationed at Milltown, 8 at Belvedere, 5 at University College, Stephen's Green, 4 at the Crescent, 3 at Clongowes, 2 at Gardiner St,, and 1 at Dromore.
Most people will remember Br. Mulvany as sacristan in Milltown. He did his work in the Chapel with a regularity and fidelity to routine that were characteristic of him. Towards the end of his time, when scholastics who were helping him decorated the altar in some novel way, he would murmur disapprovingly, “more in sorrow than in anger”. It was never
done before Gradually he was relieved entirely of any work, he was becoming so weak. He used to hobble about in the garden, sit in the little kiosk saying his beads. He must have said millions of heads, His fidelity to the spiritual duties used to impress those that lived with him.
For a few weeks before his death, he complained of being very weak, but with a will to live, about which he did not mind being joked, he kept up as much as possible. He was at dinner in the refectory three days before he died. Had he lived for a few months more he would have celebrated his Golden Jubilee in the Society. He died at Milltown on Monday 14 Dec. 1931.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Joseph Mulvany 1853-1931
Br Joseph Mulvany was born at Castleknock on March 14th 1853. His family moved into the city, and so young Joseph was enabled to go to O’Connell’s Schools, and to become an altar boy in Gardiner Street. He entered the Society at Milltown in 1882, and completed his noviceship at Dromore County Down.

His work in the Society was mainly as Sacristan, at which he excelled, holding that post for upward of 38 years, the majority of them at Milltown Park. When he grew too feeble to work, he used hobble around the garden and sit in the kiosk telling his beads. He was never without them, and his litany of rosaries must have run into millions.

He died at Milltown on December 14th 1931 within a few months of his golden jubilee as a Jesuit.

Naughton, John, 1835-1911, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/301
  • Person
  • 15 January 1835-09 June 1911

Born: 15 January 1835, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 16 April 1864, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: - 15 August 1860, pre Entry
Final Vows: 15 August 1876
Died: 09 June 1911, Miss Quinn’s Hospital, Mountjoy Square, Dublin

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

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He entered as a Priest, having been in the Limerick Diocese, and having been lent to All Hallows as professor of the Aspirants to various Foreign Missions.
He was a Novice under Luigi Sturzo at Milltown.

1866-1867 After First Vows he was sent to Louvain for further studies - Ad Grad.
1867-1871 He was sent to Galway as a Teacher of Rudiments and Mathematics, and also prefect of the Church. He was also Director of the Sacred Heart Confraternity and Operarius. For his last two years here he also was involved in the Missionary Band.
1871-1888 He was sent to Gardiner St as Operarius
1888-1890 He was sent to Milltown to direct Retreats and Missions.
1890-1894 He was sent back to Gardiner St as Operarius and Missions.
1894-1896 He was again sent to Milltown as part of the Missions group.
1896 He finally returned to Gardiner St again, and was President of the BVM Sodality for girls, being succeeded by William Butler and Martin Maher in this role. He remained in Gardiner St until his death 09/06/1911.
He was for many years one of the best Preachers at Gardiner St, and also a favourite Catechist on the Missions. Professional men especially liked his sermons, they were so well thought out, persuasive and elegant in expression, and full of quiet humour and funny stories. He was shy and retiring in style, very quiet, gentle and kind, fond of children, fishing and the sea.
For the last year of his life he was in failing health, and about 10 days before death he was moved to Miss Quinn’s Hospital, Mountjoy Square, where he died peacefully. Fathers Matthew Russell and Timothy O’Keeffe were with him at the time.

Note from John Bannon Entry :
On the evening of his death the Telegraph published an article on him headed “A Famous Irish Jesuit - Chaplain in American War” :
“The Community of the Jesuit Fathers in Gardiner St have lost within a comparatively short time some of their best known and most distinguished members. They had to deplore the deaths of Nicholas Walsh, John Naughton, John Hughes and Matthew Russell, four men of great eminence and distinction, each in his own sphere, who added lustre to their Order, and whose services to the Church and their country in their varied lines of apostolic activity cannot son be forgotten. And now another name as illustrious is added to the list. The Rev John Bannon....

O'Donnell, Thomas J, 1906-1983, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/325
  • Person
  • 04 February 1906-30 March 1983

Born: 04 February 1906, De Courcey Square, Glasnevin, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1941, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 30 March 1983, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Father was Overseer in the GPO and then Senior Inspector at the Department of Agriculture. Parents originally from County Derry.

Second eldest of a family of thirteen (2 deceased in infancy) and the eldest of seven boys, with six girls.

Early education at Holy Faith Convent, Glasnevin for five years he then went to Belvedere College SJ at the age of 12. He was then moved to Castleknock College.

by 1929 at San Ignacio, Sarrià, Barcelona, Spain (ARA) studying
by 1946 at St Xavier’s, Bombay (ARA) teaching
by 1954 at Rome, Italy (ROM) - writing
by 1963 at Rome, Italy (ROM) Vatican Radio

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Fr. Thomas O'Donnell left Liverpool on the Mauretania for Bombay on Saturday, October 20th, He arrived in Bombay on November 3rd. He writes :
“In the science faculty here (St. Xavier's College) one of the many departments is devoted to cinematography and sound. It has its own private cinema-theatre. I am lecturing on Roman History to a B.A. honours group, two lectures a week. I am taking charge of the College sodality, and am already booked for two sermons, one on St. Francis Xavier in the College, and the other on St. John Berchmans in our church here”.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 2 1946

IN ALIIS PROVINCIIS DEGENTES :

India :
Fr. T. O'Donnell gave the Lenten Sermons in St. Peter's Church. Bandra, Bombay, on “Christ Crucified in the World To-day."

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1984
Obituary
Father Tom O’Donnell SJ
Fr Tom O'Donnell SJ, whose voice we heard for many years from Radio Vatican, died on 30th March 1983. For two years on and off Tom had been unwell and had spent quite a while in hospital on two or three occasions. But, when on the last visit it was at length discovered he had a tumour on the liver and cancer in a lung, we knew that Tom's. time was limited, and thank God, we were right. For we feared he might have to suffer great pain before his death for a fairly long period. But, his time was indeed limited and he faded away to a quiet and painless death.

De mortuis nihil nisi bonum means that we should pass over in silence the faults and emphasise only the virtues of the dead; well for me, who knew Tom pretty intimately for 58 years, I am glad to be able to say with sincerity that his death was the moment of truth, the moment when Tom's great virtues caused his failings to disappear or rather appear as the petty faults what enhanced rather than diminished his really exceptional virtues.

The first of his virtues was his charity in word and deed. He spoke no uncharitable word. There was no bitterness in his make-up. He felt kindly to all his brethern, and was always ready to oblige. I would like to emphasise this last quality. He had it to a quite exceptional degree, ready to put himself to great trouble at any time to relieve someone of a burdensome task or procure something in town for : someone, the procuring of which involved strenuous leg work.

As a priest he taught for some years in Rathmines Technical School as well as sharing in the teaching of the Juniors in Rathfarnham. From there he was sent to teach at our High School in Bombay from where he had to return after two years with severe stomach ulcers, and enter St Vincent's hospital immediately to undergo a major operation, involving the loss of half his stomach. Following the sudden death of one of the Clongowes community, he was called upon to fill the vacancy for half a year. After this he went to Emo as minister for a year and thence to Milltown to profess Church History for eight years. If one were cynical, one could say that superiors were using his humility and sincere spirit of obedience to plug holes they found difficult to fill.

His next appointment was a novel one - for the majority of us, ancients - and indeed an exciting, if exacting task. ie, news editor and broadcaster in English at Vatican Radio, and finally beggar-in-chief in the USA and Australia to raise funds for a more powerful Vatican Radio. After fifteen years on this last task, his health again began to give trouble and he had to return home. After a year giving retreats in Manresa, he came to Ciongowes where he spent fifteen years doing once again a variety of tasks, none of great note till his death.

I said earlier on that Tom's faults - for he had a few - rather enhanced that detracted from the solid virtues of the man, He was somewhat vain - a fault innocent indeed but one that laid him open to much leg pulling by brethern, but he never resented or showed anger to the jokers and was all the more liked by them. Of pride, that really nasty vice, Tom bad not a particle. He had, I might say, a child-like reverence for those in authority in the Church and in the Society, a virtue so unIrish that it too gave many a good natured laugh to us, his friends, who were very Irish in this matter. Before finishing I must remind his friends and inform the rest that Tom was above all a man of deep faith and trust in God, and a fruit and proof of this was the great patience he showed in his many illnesses and operations, and never so much as in his last illness; and in each hospital he was respected and loved by his nurses for his patience, of course, but especially for his gratitude to them all for their services to him. Rest in peace.

◆ The Clongownian, 1983 & ◆ Irish Province News 58th Year No 3 1983
Obituary

Father Tom O’Donnell SJ

Fr Tom O'Donnell died on the 30th of March. For two years, on and off, he had been unwell and had spent quite an amount of time in hospital on two or three occasions, But, when on the last visit it was discovered that he had a tumour on the liver and cancer in a lung, we knew that Fr Tom's time was limited, mercifully-so as over a fairly long period we feared he might have to suffer great pain before his death. But his time was indeed limited and he faded away to a quiet and painless death.

“De mortibus nihil nisi bonum”, meaning that we should pass over in silence the faults and stress only the virtues of the dead. For me, as someone who knew Fr Tom pretty intimately over fifty-eight years, I am glad to be able to say with sincerity that his death was the moment of truth; the moment when his great virtues and qualities appeared.

The first of his virtues was his charity in word and deed. He spoke no uncharitable word. There was no bitterness in his make-up. He felt kindly to all his brethren and was always ready to oblige. He was obliging to a quite exceptional degree, ready to put himself to great trouble at any time to relieve some one of a burdensome task or procure 'some thing in Dublin for someone, the procuring of which involved a lot of leg work. Fr Tom was also an obedient man. If one scans briefly his career in the Jesuit Order, those of us who know what a trial it can be to have to change course even once, can realize what a humble and truly obedient soul Fr Tom was for he had to change direction often. As a priest he taught for some years in Rathmines technical school as well as sharing in the teaching of Jesuit students in Rathfarnham. From there he was sent to teach at our High School in Bombay from where he had to return after two years with severe stomach ulcers and enter Vincent's Hospital immediately to undergo a major operation, involving the loss of half his stomach. He came to Clongowes then where he spent the first half of the year as study prefect and the second half as prefect of studies in place of Fr Charles Barrett who had died suddenly at a cup match. From Clongowes he went to Emo as minister for a year and thence to Milltown to profess Church History for eight years. His next appointment was a novel and indeed an exciting, if exacting task. He was appointed news editor and broadcaster in English on Vatican radio and finally beggar-in-chief in the USA and Australia to raise funds for a more powerful Vatican radio transmitter. After 15 years at this last task, his health again began to give trouble and he had to return home. After a year giving retreats in Manresa House, in Dollymount, he came to Clongowes where he spent the next 15 years doing a variety of tasks, including editing the Clongownian.

Of Fr Tom's faults - for he had a few - it can be said that these rather enhanced than detracted from the solid virtues of the man. He was somewhat vain - a fault innocent indeed but one that laid him open to much leg pulling by his brethren. But he never resented or showed anger at the teasing and was consequently all the more liked. Of pride, that really nasty vice, Fr Tom had not a particle.

He had, I might say, a child-like reverence for those in authority in the Church and in the Society of Jesus - a virtue so unIrish that it too gave many a good natured laugh to his friends, who were very Irish in this matter.

Above all, Fr Tom was a man of deep faith and trust in God and a proof of this was the great patience he showed in his many illnesses and operations, and never so much as in his last illness where he displayed great patience and especially gratitude to all those who served him.

May he rest in peace.

Gerard O'Beirne SJ

O'Donovan, Edward Patrick, 1843-1875, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1892
  • Person
  • 17 March 1843-12 February 1875

Born: 17 March 1843, Shanagolden, County Limerick
Entered: 01 February 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 12 February 1875, Milltown Park, Dublin

Educated at St Vincent’s, Castleknock, St Munchin’s College, Limerick

by 1869 At Home Sick
by 1870 at Aix-les-Bains France (LUGD) studying
by 1871 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1872 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He studied Rhetoric at Roehampton, Philosophy at Stonyhurst and in the South of France, but was sent home ultimately for health reasons, and died 12 February 1875 at Milltown Park.

O'Keeffe, Timothy, 1840-1923, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1916
  • Person
  • 25 January 1840-18 December 1923

Born: 25 January 1840, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 03 September 1863, Milltown Park Dublin
Ordained: 1866
Final Vows: 02 February 1876
Died: 18 December 1923, Ms Quinn’s Hospital, Mounty Square, Dublin

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

Educated in the Vincentian Seminary at Castleknock and at St Patrick’s Maynooth

by 1866 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a member of a prominent Limerick family. One of his brothers Francis was Mayor of Limerick (and MP for Limerick) during the troubled Land League days, and another was Rev Canon Joseph O’Keeffe PP of Rathfarnham.

His early studies were at Maynooth, where Cardinal Michael Logue was one of his classmates.
He completed his Theology at Louvain, and there had shown a natural attitude for Moral Theology, and this later made him a very good Spiritual Director.
After Ordination he was sent to Clongowes teaching, and then to Galway as an Operarius in the Church for seven years.
1879-1900 He was at Limerick, and was appointed Rector, and Minister, and was a strenuous worker in the Church.
1900 He was sent to Gardiner St where he worked until his health began to fail and confined him to his room. He died there 18 December 1923

Note from John Naughton Entry :
For the last year of his life he was in failing health, and about 10 days before death he was moved to Miss Quinn’s Hospital, Mountjoy Square, where he died peacefully. Fathers Matthew Russell and Timothy O’Keeffe were with him at the time.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Timothy O’Keeffe (1840-1923)

A member of an old Limerick family well known in the public life of the city, entered the Society in 1863. He had been a student at Maynooth when he felt that he was called to the religious life. He spent some twenty-one years at the Crescent from 1879 and was rector of the college from 1885 to 1891. After his term of office, he remained on the teaching staff and was in charge for many years of the women's Sodality of the Blessed Virgin. On leaving Limerick at the opening of the century, Father O'Keeffe was appointed to the Church of St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, where he laboured until his death.

Pigot, Edward Francis, 1858-1929, Jesuit priest, teacher, astronomer and seismologist

  • IE IJA J/539
  • Person
  • 18 September 1858-22 May 1929

Born: 18 September 1858, Dundrum, Dublin
Entered: 10 June 1885, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1899
Professed: 01 March 1901
Died: 22 May 1929, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia

by 1893 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1894 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1895 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1900 at St Joseph, Yang Jin Bang, Shanghai, China (FRA) teaching
by 1904 in St Ignatius, Riverview, Sydney (HIB)
by 1905 at ZI-KA-WEI Seminary, Shanghai, China (FRA) teaching
by 1910 in Australia

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online
Pigot, Edward Francis (1858–1929)
by L. A. Drake
L. A. Drake, 'Pigot, Edward Francis (1858–1929)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/pigot-edward-francis-8048/text14037, published first in hardcopy 1988

astronomer; Catholic priest; meteorologist; schoolteacher; seismologist

Died : 22 May 1929, North Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Edward Francis Pigot (1858-1929), Jesuit priest, astronomer and seismologist, was born on 18 September 1858 at Dundrum, near Dublin, son of David Richard Pigot, master of the Court of Exchequer, and his wife Christina, daughter of Sir James Murray, a well-known Dublin physician. Descended from eminent lawyers, Edward was educated at home by tutors and by a governess. The family was very musical and Edward became a fine pianist; he was later complimented by Liszt. He studied arts and medicine at Trinity College, Dublin (B.A., 1879; M.B., B.Ch., 1882) and also attended lectures by the astronomer (Sir) Robert Ball. After experience at the London Hospital, Whitechapel, he set up practice in Dublin.

In June 1885 Pigot entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Dromore, County Down. He began to teach at University College, Dublin, but in 1888, on account of ill health, came to Australia. He taught at St Francis Xavier's College, Melbourne, and from August 1889 at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney. Returning to Europe in 1892 he studied philosophy with French Jesuits exiled in Jersey, and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. He was ordained priest on 31 July 1898. In 1899 he volunteered for the China Mission and was stationed at the world-famous Zi-Ka-Wei Observatory, Shanghai. In 1903, again in poor health, he spent some months working in Melbourne and at Sydney Observatory, and taught for a year at Riverview before returning to Zi-Ka-Wei for three years. Tall and lanky, he came finally to Sydney in 1907, a frail, sick man. He had yet to begin the main work of his life.

On his way back to Australia Pigot visited the Jesuit observatory in Manila: he was beginning to plan an observatory of international standard at Riverview. He began meteorological observations there on 1 January 1908. As terrestrial magnetism could not be studied because of nearby electric trams, he decided to set up a seismological station as the start of the observatory. The Göttingen Academy of Sciences operated the only fully equipped seismological station in the southern hemisphere at Apia, Samoa: a station in eastern Australia would also be favourably situated to observe the frequent earthquakes that occur in the south-west Pacific Ocean. Assisted by the generosity of L. F. Heydon, Pigot ordered a complete set of Wiechert seismographs from Göttingen, and visited the Apia observatory. Riverview College Observatory opened as a seismological station in March 1909. Seismological observations continue to be made there.

A great traveller despite his teaching duties, Pigot visited Bruny Island, Tasmania (1910), the Tonga Islands (1911) and Goondiwindi, Queensland (1922), to observe total solar eclipses; and observatories in Europe in 1911, 1912, 1914 and 1922 and North America in 1919 and 1922. He made observations of earth tides in a mine at Cobar (1913-19), collaborated with Professor L. A. Cotton in measurements of the deflection of the earth's crust as Burrinjuck Dam filled (1914-15) and performed Foucault pendulum experiments in the Queen Victoria Market building, Sydney (1916-17). On 1 September 1923 F. Omori, a leading Japanese seismologist, observed with Pigot a violent earthquake being recorded in the Riverview vault; it turned out to have destroyed Tokyo, with the loss of 140,000 lives.

Fr Pigot was a member of the Australian National Research Council from 1921, president of the State branch of the British Astronomical Association in 1923-24 and a council-member of the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1921-29. On his way back from the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo (1926), he visited the observatory at Lembang, Java, where he planned a programme of study at Riverview Observatory of variable stars. Between 1925 and 1929 Pigot measured solar radiation at Riverview and Orange, particularly in relation to long-range weather forecasting. He was seeking a site of high elevation above sea-level for this work, when he contracted pneumonia at Mount Canobolas. He died at North Sydney on 22 May 1929 and was buried in Gore Hill cemetery.

Sir Edgeworth David paid tribute to Pigot:
It was not only for his profound learning that scientists revered him. They could not fail to be attracted by his magnetic personality, for though frail and often in weak health, he ever preserved the same charming and cheerful manner, and was full of eagerness and enthusiasm in discussing plans for the better pursuit of scientific truth. Surely there never was any scientific man so well-beloved as he.

Select Bibliography
Royal Society of New South Wales, Journal, 49 (1915), p 448
Riverview College Observatory Publications, 2 (1940), p 17
S.J. Studies, June 1952, p 189, Sept-Dec 1952, p 323.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Paraphrase/Excerpts from an article published in the “Catholic Press” 30/05/1929
“The late Father Pigott, whose death was announced last week in the ‘Press’, was born at Dundrum Co Dublin 18/09/1858, of a family which gave three generations of judges to the Irish Bench. He himself adopted the medical profession, and having taken his degree at Trinity, he practiced for a few years in Dublin and at Croom, Co Limerick. While studying at Trinity he made his first acquaintance with astronomy, when he heard a course of lectures by the famous Sir Robert Ball, then head of the Observatory at Dunsink, and Astronomer Royal of Ireland.
In 1885 the young Doctor, already noted for his charming gentleness and self-sacrificing charity entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Dromore. he made his first visit to Australia as a Scholastic in 1888, and he taught for four years at Xavier College Kew, and Riverview Sydney. Naturally his department was Science.
In 1892 he was sent to St Helier in Jersey to study Philosophy with the French Jesuits who had been expelled from France. It was here that he began his long battle with frailty and illness, during which he achieved so much for scientific research over his 70 years. He did his Theology at Milltown and was Ordained 1899. Two years later he volunteered to join the French Jesuits in China, and this required of him not only his scientific zeal, but also his spiritual and missionary ones. he did manage to master the Chinese language for his work, and he used to tell amusing stories of his first sermons against himself and his intonations. His health was always threatening to intervene, and so he went to work at the Zi-Kai-Wei Observatory near Shanghai. The work he did here on the Chinese Mission was to reach his fulness in the work he later did over many years in Australia, and where he went to find the climate which suited his health better. He received much training at Zi-Kai-Wei and in photography and study of sunspots at Ze-se, which had a twin 16 inch telescope.
1907 saw him back in Australia and he set about founding the Observatory at Riverview, while teaching Science. By his death, this Observatory had a range and capacity, in terms of sophisticated instruments, which rivalled the best Government-endowed observatories throughout the world. Whilst he had the best of equipment, he lacked the administrative personnel necessary to record all the data he was amassing. His great pride towards the end was in his spectroscope for the work on Solar Radiation where he believed that ‘Long-distance weather forecasts will soon be possible, though not in my time’ (Country Life, 29/04/1929). Current farmers and graziers will owe him a lot in the future.
The scientific work at Riverview has received recognition in Australia. Edward’s interests in the Sydney Harbour Bridge, his experiments in earth tremors at the construction of the Burrenjuck Dam, geophysics at the Cobar mines, pendulum experiments in the Queen Victoria Markets of Sydney. In 1910 he took part in a solar eclipse expedition to Tasmania, and in 1911 on the ship Encounter a similar trip to the Tongan Islands, and the Goondiwindi Expedition of 1922.
In 1914 he was appointed by the Government to represent Australia at the International Seismological Congress at St Petersburg, though war cancelled that. In 1921 he was a member of the Australian National Research Council and sent to represent them to Rome at the 1922 first general assembly of the International Astronomical Union and the International Union of Geoditics and Geophysics. He was president of the NSW branch of the British Astronomical Association, and a member of the Royal Society of NSW. In 1923 the Pan-Pacific Science Congress was held in Australia, and during this Professor Omori of Japan was at Riverview watching the seismometers as they were recording the earthquake of Tokyo, Dr Omori’s home city. In 1926 he went to the same event at Tokyo, and later that year was elected a member of the newly formed International Commission of Research of the Central International Bureau of Seismology.
From an early age he was a passionate lover of music, and this came from his family. he gave long hours to practising the piano when young, and in later life he could play some of the great pieces from memory. He was said to be one of the finest amateur pianists in Australia. It often served as a perfect antidote to a stressful day at the Observatory."

Many warm-hearted and generous tributes to the kindness and charm for Father Pigott’s personal character have been expressed by public and scientific men since his death. Clearly his association with men in all walks of life begot high esteem and sincere friendship. Those who knew him in his private life will always preserve the memory of a kindly, gentle associate, and of a saintly religious.”

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Edward Pigot's family was of Norman origin and settled in Co Cork. Ireland. The family was a famous legal family in Dublin. He was the grandson of Chief Baron Pigot, son of judge David Pigot, brother of Judge John Pigot. He was the fourth of eight children, and was educated at home by a governess and tutors. The family was very musical, Edward playing the piano.
Pigot went to Trinity College, Dublin, and graduated BA in science in 1879. His mentor at the university in astronomy was Sir Robert Ball, then Royal Astronomer for Ireland and Professor of Astronomy. Pigot then studied medicine and graduated with high distinction in 1882, and after postgraduate studies practiced in Baggot Street, Dublin.
However, Pigot gave up this practice to join the Society of Jesus, 10 June 1885, at the age of 27.
After a short teaching period at University College, Dublin, Pigot was sent to Australia in 1888 because of constant headaches, and he taught physics and physiology principally at St Ignatius College, Riverview, 1890-92. He returned to Europe for further studies, philosophy in Jersey with the French Jesuits, 1892-95, and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1898. Tertianship followed immediately at Tullabeg.
At the age of 41 and in ill health, Pigot volunteered for the Chinese Mission in 1899, and was stationed at Zi-ka-Wei, near Shanghai, working on a world famous observatory, where
meteorology, astronomy and terrestrial magnetism were fostered. Pigot specialised in astronomy and also studied Chinese. Like other missionaries of those days, he grew a beard and a pigtail. However, his health deteriorated and he was sent to Australia in 1903 for a few years. He then returned to Shanghai, 1905-07, before returning to Riverview in 1908.
After visiting the Manila Observatory, he formulated plans for starting an observatory at Riverview, an activity that he believed would bring recognition for the excellence in research that he expected at the Riverview observatory He believed that seismology was best suited to the location. Pigot obtained the best equipment available for his work, with the gracious benefaction of the Hon Louis F Heydon, MLC. He personally visited other observatories around the world to gain ideas and experience, as well as attending many international conferences over the years. One result of his visit to Samoa was the building and fittings for the instruments in the half-underground, vaulted, brick building at Riverview. Brs Forster and Girschik performed the work. Some instruments, called the Wiechert Seismographs, came from Germany.
He became a member of the Australian National Research Council at its inception in 1921, and foundation member of the Australian Committee on Astronomy, as well as that on Geodosy and Geophysics. He served on the Council of the Royal Society of NSW, and was President of the British Astronomical Association (NSW Branch), 1923-24.
The upkeep of the Riverview observatory was borne by the Australian Jesuits and Riverview. Family and friends also gave funds for this work. When he died from pneumonia, he left at the Riverview observatory five double-component seismometers, two telescopes fully equipped for visual and photographic work, a wireless installation, clocks specially designed for extreme accuracy, an extensive scientific library, a complete set of meteorological instruments, and a solar radiation station, possessing rare and costly instruments.
Pigot's work at Riverview included working on scientific problems of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, experiments at the construction of the Burrenjuck Dam, geophysics at the Cobar mines, and pendulum experiments in the Queen Victoria Market Buildings in Sydney In 1910 he took part in a solar eclipse expedition to Tasmania. In April 1911 he went with the warship Encounter on a similar expedition to the Tongan Islands in the Pacific, and was prominent in the Goondiwindi Solar Eclipse Expedition in 1922.
Pigot was appointed by the Commonwealth Government to represent Australia at the International Seismological Congress at St Petersburg in 1914. He was secretary of the seismo-
logical section of the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Sydney, 1923, and in 1926, once more represented the Commonwealth Government as a member of the Australian Delegation at the Pan-Pacific Congress, Tokyo. In 1928 he was elected a member of an International Commission of Research, which was part of the International Bureau of Seismology, centered at Strasbourg.
He was highly esteemed by his colleagues for his friendship, high scholarship, modest and unassuming demeanour, and nobility of character. Upon his death the rector of Riverview received a letter from the acting-premier of New South Wales, describing Pigot as one of the state's “most distinguished citizens”, and Sir Edgeworth David praised his magnetic personality and eagerness and enthusiasm in discussing plans for the better pursuit of scientific truth.
Edward Pigot, tall and lanky, frail and often in weak health, was also a fine priest, always helper of the poor, and exemplary in the practice of poverty. He did pastoral work in a quiet way. On his scientific expeditions, he was always willing to help the local clergy and their scattered flocks. He was genuinely modest, humble, and courteous to all. Yet he was naturally a very sensitive and even passionate man, with a temperament that he did not find easy to control. He disagreed strongly with Dr Mannix on the issue of conscription - the Pigots were decidedly Anglo-Irish - and positively refused to entertain the idea of setting up an observatory at Newman under the archbishop's aegis.
His extremely high standards of scientific accuracy and integrity made it difficult for him to find an assistant he could work with, or who could work with him. George Downey, Robert McCarthy, and Wilfred Ryan, all failed to satisfy. However, when he met the young scholastic Daniel O'Connell he found a man after his own heart. When he found death approaching he was afraid, not of death, but because O’Connell was still only a theologian and not ready to take over the observatory. Happily, the Irish province was willing to release his other great friend, William O'Leary to fill the gap.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927
Fr Pigot attended the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo as a delegate representing the Australian Commonwealth Government. He was Secretary to the Seismological Section, and read two important papers. On the journey home he spent some time in hospital in Shanghai, and later touched at Hong Kong where he met Frs. Byrne and Neary.

Irish Province News 3rd Year No 1 1927

Lavender Bay, Sydney :
Fr. Pigot's great reputation as a seismologist was much increased during the present year by his locating of the Kansu earthquake within a few hours of the first earth tremors. “Where he deserted medicine,” the Herald writes, “that profession lost a brilliant member, but science in general was the gainer. Dr Pigot is one of the world's leading authorities on seismology, and can juggle azimuths and seismometers with uncanny confidence”.

Irish Province News 4th Year No 4 1929

Obituary :
Fr Edward Pigot
Fr Pigot died at Sydney on May 21st. He caught a slight cold which in a few days developed into T. B. pneumonia. He was very frail, and had no reserve of strength left to meet the attack. The Archbishop presided at the Requiem. The Government sent a representative. The papers were all very appreciative.

Fr Pigot was born at Dundrum, Co. Dublin on the 18th September 1858, educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he studied medicine, and took out his degrees - MB, BCh, in 1882. For the three following years he was on the staff of Baggot St Hospital, Dublin, and was Chemist with his uncle, Sir James Murray, at Murray's Magnesia works. He entered the Society at Loyola House, Dromore, Co. Down on the 10th June 1885. He spent one year at Milltown Park as junior, and then sailed for Australia. One year at Kew as prefect, and three years at Riverview teaching chemistry and physics brought his regency to an end. Fr. Pigot spent three years at Jersey doing philosophy, as many at Milltown at theology, and then went to Tullabeg for his tertianship in 1898. At the and of the year a very big event in his life took place. He applied for and obtained leave to join the Chinese Mission of the Paris province. For a year he worked in the Church of St. Joseph at Yang-King-Pang, and for two more at the Seminary at Zi-Kai-Wei, but the state of his health compelled a rest, and in 1913 we find him once more at Riverview teaching and trying to repair his shattered strength. He seems to have, in some measure, succeeded, for, at the end of the year he returned to his work at Zi-kai-wei. The success however was short lived. He struggled on bravely for three years when broken health and climatic conditions forced him to yield, and he asked to be received back into the Irish Province. We have it on the highest authority that his reasons for seeking the Chinese Mission were so a virtuous and self-denying, that he was heartily welcomed back to his own province. In 1907 he was stationed once more at Riverview, and to that house he belonged up to the time of his happy death in 1929.
It was during these 22 years that Fr. Pigot's greatest work was done - the founding and perfecting of the Riverview Observatory. The story is told by Fr. Dan. O'Connell in the Australian Jesuit Directory of 1927.
Fr. Pigot's first astronomical training was at Dunsink Observatory under the well known astronomer “Sir Robert Ball”. Then, as mentioned above, many years were passed at the Jesuit Observatory at Zi-kai-wei.
For some years previous to his return to Riverview, earthquakes had been receiving more and more attention from scientists, Excellent stations had been established in Europe and Japan, but the lack of news from the Southern Hemisphere greatly hampered the work of experts. It was the very excellent way in which Fr. Pigot supplied this want that has won him a high place amongst the worlds scientists.
Thanks to the kindness of relatives and friends, and to government help, Fr. Pigot was able to set up at Riverview quite a number of the very best and most up-to-date seismometers, some of which were constructed at government workshops under his own personal supervision. At once, as soon as things were ready, Fr Pigot entered into communication with seismological stations all the world over. When his very first bulletins were received in Europe, Riverview was gazetted as a “first-order station”, and the work done there was declared by seismologists everywhere as of first-rate importance. At the time of his death Fr Pigot had established telegraphic communication with the International Seismological Bureau at Strasbourg.
The study of earthquakes was only one of Fr. Pilot's activities, He was able, again through the generosity of his friends, to put up at Riverview, a first class astronomical observatory. It has four distinct lines of research :

  1. The photography of the heavens.
  2. Photographs of sunspots
  3. Study of variable stars.
  4. Micrometre measurements of double stars.
    Fr Pigot also took part ill a number of solar eclipse expeditions to Tasmania in May 1910, in April 1911 to Tonga, and to Goondiwindi in 1922.
    Finally, and perhaps most difficult of all, he established at Riverview a solar radiation station. The object of such a station is to determine the quantity of heat radiated out by the sun. This quantity of heat is not constant, as was thought but variable. The work is expensive, and of a highly specialised nature. It was hoped that in course of time it would have very
    practical results, amongst them being the power of being able to forecast changes in climate and weather over much longer periods than is at present possible. The necessary funds were collected by a Solar Radiation Committee formed at Sydney, Supplemented by a legacy from a relative of Fr Pigot's.
    Fr Pigot's ability as a scientist is shown by the number of important positions he held, and by the number of missions entrusted to him. He was elected President of the N. S. W. branch of the British Astronomical Association in 1923 and 1924.
    He was a member of the Council of the Royal Society of NSW for several years. On the occasion of the International Seismological Congress to be held at. St. Petersburg in l914 he was appointed by the Commonwealth Government as delegate to represent Australia. Owing to the war the Congress was not held. It was on this occasion that Fr Pigot was sternly refused permission as a Jesuit to enter Russia. Even the request of the British ambassador at St Petersbourg for a passport was of no avail. It was only through the intercession of Prince Galitzin the leading Seismologist in Russia and a personal friend of the Russian Foreign Minister that the permit was granted.
    He went to Rome in 1922 as delegate from the Australian National Research Council to the first General Assembly of the Astronomical Union.
    He was Secretary of the Seismological Section at the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Australia 1923.
    He was appointed by the Commonwealth Government as one of an official delegation of four which represented Australia at the Pan-Pacific Congress in Tokyo 1926.
    Fr Pigot was a great scientist he was also a fine musician an exquisite pianist and a powerful one. He was said Lo be amongst the finest amateur pianists in Australia. Once during a villa he was playing a piece by one of the old masters. In the same room was a card party intent on their game. Fr Pigot whispered to a friend sitting near the piano “mind the discord
    that's coming”. It came, and with it came howl and a yell from the card players. In the frenzy of the moment no one could tell what was going to come next. But, as Fr Pigot continued to play a soothing bit that followed, a normal state of nerves was restored, and the players settles down to their game.
    He was a great scientist, and a fine musician, but, above all and before all, he was an excellent religious. In the noviceship too much concentration injured his head, and he felt the effects ever afterwards. It affected him during his missionary work and during his own studies. His piety was not of the demonstrative order, but he had got a firm grip of the supernatural, and held it to the cud. He knew the meaning of life, the meaning of eternity and squared his life accordingly.
    His request for a change of province was in no way due to fickleness or inconstancy. He had asked a great grace from Almighty God, a favour on which the dearest wish of his heart was set, and he made a supreme, a heroic sacrifice to obtain it. That gives us the key note to his life, and it shows us the religious man far better than the most eloquent panegyric or the longest list of virtues that adorn religious life could do. Judged by that sacrifice he holds a higher and a nobler place in the world of our Society that that which his genius and unremitting hard work won for him in the world of science.
    A few extracts to show the esteem if which Fr. Pigot was held by externs :
    Father Pigot's death “removes a great figure not only from the Catholic world but also from the world of science. His fame was world-wide. He was one of the worlds' most famous seismologists”.
    “By his death Australian science and the science of seismology have sustained a loss that is almost irreparable. He initiated what now ranks among the very best seismological observatories in the world”.
    “He was able to secure the best instruments for recording the variations in heat transmitted from the sun to the earth for his Solar observatory at Riverview, and to make observations, which science in time will rely upon to put mankind in the possession of long range forecasts as to future rainfall and weather in general”.
    “Dr. Pigot told me that after some years it would be possible to forecast the weather' two seasons ahead”.
    “ Dr. Pigot was one of the brightest examples of simple faith in a Divine purpose pervading all the universe”.
    “It was not only for his profound learning that scientists reverenced him. They could not fail to be attracted by his magnetic personality, for though frail and often in weak health he ever preserved the same charming and cheerful manner, and was full of eagerness and enthusiasm in discussing plans for the pursuit of scientific truth. Surely there never was any scientific man so well beloved as he”
    “Those who knew him in his private 1ife will always reserve the memory of a kindly, gentle associate, and of a saintly religious”.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 1 1929

Obituary : Fr Edward Pigot
The following items about Fr. Pigot's youth have been kindly supplied by his brother.
“He was born the 18th Sept. 1858 at Meadowbrook, Dundrum, Co. Dublin His first tuition was at the hands of governesses and private tutors, after which he attended for some years a day school kept by H. Tilney-Bassett at 67 Lower Mount St.
Concurrently, under the influence of his music Master, George Sproule, his taste for music began to develop rapidly. Sproule had a great personal liking for him, and took him on a visit to Switzerland. Many years afterwards Fr. Pigot heard that Sproule (who had taken orders in the Church of England) was in Sydney. He rang him up on the telephone, without disclosing identity, and whistled some musical passages well known to both of them. Almost at once Sproule knew and spoke his name.
Even as a schoolboy, I can recall how he impressed me by his superiority, by his even temper, command of himself under provocation, his generosity, his studiousness and his steadiness generally.
He entered Trinity about 1879. In the Medical School, he had the repute of a really serious student. He was especially interested in chemistry and experimental physics. Astronomy was outside his regular course, but I remember visits to Dunsink observatory, His studies seemed to he regulated by clockwork.
Before setting up as a doctor in Upper Baggot Street, he was resident medical attendant at Cork Street Fever Hospital, and the Rotunda Hospital, and at the City of Dublin Hospital. When in private practice at Baggot Street, he was not financially successful. I have the impression that his serious demeanour and grave appearance were against him, But I have better grounds for believing that his work amongst the poor, his unwillingness to charge fees to the needy, operated still more in the same direction. We often heard, but not from him, of his goodness to the poor. This was the time that he announced to us his desire to join the Jesuit Order. May I add that if there was one event in Ned’s life for which I have long felt joy and thankfulness, it was his desire to enter your Order.
Years after he had left Dublin, one of his prescriptions had become locally famous, and was ordered from the chemist as “a bottle of Kate Gallagher, please”, Kate having been one of his poor friends”.

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Australia :

Riverview :

In 1923 Fr. Pigot built a Solar Radiation Station at Riverview, and started a programme of research on the heat we receive from the sun. This work has now been finally wound up. The valuable instruments, which are the property of the Solar Radiation Committee, were offered on loan to Commonwealth Solar Observatory, Mt. Strombo, Canberra. The offer was accepted and the instruments were sent by lorry to Mt. Strombo on February 7th. The results of the work have been prepared for publication and are now being printed. This will be the first astronomical publication to be issued by the Observatory since December 1939. Shortage of staff and pressure of other work during the war were responsible for interrupting that branch of our activities. Another number of our astronomical publications is now ready and about to be sent to the printer. We have started a new series of publications: Riverview College Observatory Geophysical Papers." The first three numbers are now being printed and will be sent to all seismological Observatories and to those scientists who may be interested.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Edward Pigott 1859-1929
Fr Edward Pigott was born in Dundrum Dublin on September 18th 1858, of a family which gave three generations to the Irish Bench. Edward himself became a Doctor of Medicine, taking a degree at Trinity College, and practising first in Dublin, then in Croom County Limerick. In 1885, the young doctor entered the Society at Dromore, and made his first visit to Australia in 1888, where he spent four years teaching at Xavier College.

Ordained in 1899, two years later he volunteered for the Chinese Mission. He learned the Chinese language in preparation for his work, and for a while tested the hardships of active service with the French Fathers of the Society. He used recall afterwards with a wry smile his efforts to preach in Chinese, and how he hardly avoided the pitfalls on Chinese intimation. I;; health, which dogged him all his life, sent him to the less arduous work of Assistant at Zi-Kai-Wei Observatory, near Shanghai. This was the beginning of his brilliant career as an astronomer.

After six years in Shanghai, during which he mastered his science, he returned to Australia in 1907 and started the Observatory at Riverview. He started with a small telescope and a few elementary instruments for recording weather changes, and finally made of Riverview, one of the leading Observatories of the world. Honours and distinctions were showered on him. He was appointed by the Government to represent Australia at St Petersburg in 1914, in Rome in 1922, at the International Astronomical Union, and the Pan Pacific Science Congress in 1923, held in Australia.

In spite of his prominence in the scientific world, Fr Pigott remained always to his brethren a kindly and gentle associate and a saintly religious.

He died on May 22nd 1929, aged 70 years, battling with ill health all his life. A strong spirit housed in a frail body.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1912

Father Pigot’s Return

On April 11th, the Community and boys went down to the College Wharf to welconie Father Pigot SJ, back to Riverview, after his extended tour through Europe. He had been absent about seven months, and during that time visited most of the leading seismological observatories on the Continent and in the British Isles. He had purposed visiting also some other observatories in the United States, Canada and Japan, on his return journey to Sydney; but a severe attack of pleurisy in Italy, during the trying mid-winter season, obliged him to hasten back to the warm Australian climate, without even being able to accept the kind invitation of Prince Galitzin to spend a few days as his guest at St Petersburg. All have heard of Father Pigot's application to the Foreign Office, London (on hearing accidentally, a day or two before, of the existence of a Russian law prohibiting members of the Jesuit Order. from entering Russia) to obtain from the Russian Government the necessary permission, in view of a short visit to Prince Galitzin's Seismological Observatory at Pulkovo. The request of the Foreign Office was refused, as everyone knows, but apparently the sequel of the story is not so generally known.

It was during liis stay at Potsdam (Berlin) that Father Pigot received the unfavourable reply from Westminster. He at once acquainted Prince Galitzin with the refusal, whereupon the distinguished seismologist made a strong representation, resulting in his Government inimediately withdrawing the prohibition. His kind letter to Father Pigot acquainting him with the Russian Government's concession, and a formal communication to the same effect from the British Foreign Office, arrived during Father Pigot's convalescence, but a delay in Europe of three months would have been necessary to allow the severe winter in St. Petersburg to pass before he could, without risk of relapse, have availed himself of the concession and kind invitation.

Father Pigot has asked us to record his deep feeling of appreciation of the cordial greetings of the Community and boys, when they most kindly came down to welcome him at the wharf,

We give a photograph of Father Pigot, and another of a group of distinguished seismologists assembled together from various parts of the world, at Manchester, for the International Seismological Congress (1911).

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1922

Fr Pigot’s Visit to Europe : The InternationalAstronomical Union - First General Assembly, Rome, May 1922

The First General Assembly of the Inter national Astronomical Union commenced its deliberations in May this year, in the Academy of Science (the old Corsini Palace), at Rome. That Australia in union with the other nations, might be represented at the two main conferences (Astronomy, and Geodesy and Geophysics), the Commonwealth Government having paid the necessary subscriptions, three delegates - Dr T M Baldwin (Government Astronomer for Victoria), Mr G F Dodwell (Government Astronomer for South Australia), and Father Pigot represented the Australian National Research Council at the General Assembly.

The purpose of the Union, as set forth in this report, is - (I) “To facilitate the relations between astronomers of different countries where international co-operation is neces sary or useful; and, (2) To promote the study of astronomy in all its departments”. Each country adhering to the Union has its own National Research Council, which forms the National Committee for the promotion and co-ordination of astronomical work iul the respective countries, especially regard ing their international requirements. The countries at present adhering to the Union are Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czecho-Slovakia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, · Itály, Japan, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, Spain, and the United States.
When Father Pigot left us suddenly in March, we felt that indeed there must be “something on” in the scientific world to draw him away at short notice from his beloved observatory. But the meetings of the Astronoinical Union, despite their international importance, were not his only objective. His itinerary, as we shall see, was a long one, and one of his chief aims while in Europe and America, was to inspect the principal Astronomical, Seismological and Solar Radiation observatories, and to get in personal touch with the foremost scientists. of the northern hemisphere.

Upon arrival in Europe he spent some time, successively, in the observatories of Marseilles, Nice, Geneva, and Zurich, In April he attended the Seismological Congress at Strasbourg, and then went on to Rome, taking in on his way, the Arcetri Observatory at Florence (situated, by the way, a stone's-throw from Galileo's house). While in Rome at the Conferences of the Astronomical and Geophysical Unions, he was, of course, in constant touch with Father Hagen S J, the Director of the Vatican Observatory, and though he does not say so, we may well imagine that his feelings were not untinged with sadness as he ascended the great staircase of the Government Observatory-the great Roman College of the Jesuit Order, before a Ministry more sectarian than honest usurped it.

Before the Conferences of the General Assembly were over, the delegates were in vited by His Holiness the Pope to a special audience in the Throne Room of the Vatican. It was accepted by all. Before congratu lating themselves on the splendid success of their meetings, His Holiness spent some time in chatting freely with most of those present, shook hands with them all, and be fore their departure, had a photo taken by the Papal photographer in the Court of St. Damasus.

The Roman Conferences over, Father Pigot lost no time in getting on his way. His first call was at the Geophysical Institute of Göttingen. Then on to Munich, and to Davos Platz for a private meeting on Sky and Solar Radiation with Dr Dorno (Head of Davos Observatory), Professor Maurer (Head of the Swiss Weather Bureau), and Professor Kimball (of the Solar Radiation Station of the Washington Weather Bureau).

The Paris Observatory - one of the largest in Europe - came next, and after spending some time here, he went on to the Royal Observatory at Brussels. Before leaving Beigium, he had time to run down to the Jesuit Observatory at Valkenberg, near the Dutch frontier, after which he returned to Greenwich. At a dinner of the Royal Astronomical Society, at which nine of the delegates were entertained, Father Pigot's health was proposed by Father Cortie SJ, of the Stonyhurst Observatory.

After a brief visit to Ireland, Father Pigot started out on his return journey, via America. One of his first visits on the other side was to the Jesuit Seismological Observatory at Georgetown University, Washington. While in the Capital, he spent some time at the Carnegie Observatory (Terrestrial Magnetisın), the Weather Bureau Solar Radiation Station, the Astro-physical Observatory of the Smithsonian Institute (where he renewed acquaintance with a valued friend, Dr Abbot, the President), the Bureau of Standards, and the Office of the Geodetic Survey. He was much impressed, as in 1919, with the up-to-date appliances of the Americans, and with the thoroughness of their scientific work.

Leaving Washington, he called at The Observatory of Harvard University (Boston, Mass.), and at the University of Detroit, where he found Professor Hussey, who knows Riverview well and has been in Australia more than once on scientific work. Yerkes Observatory, near Chicago, where is installed the largest Refractor in the world, claimed him next, after which he proceeded to the famous Mt Wilson Observatory at Pasadena (near Los Angeles, Col.). Here Father Pigot was in his element, for it is with Dr. Abbott, more especially than any one else, that he has discussed the details of the projected Solar Radiation Observatory at Riverview, and from him received the most valuable assistance.

Passing on to the Lick Observatory (Mt Hamilton, N Cal), he just missed Professor Campbell, who had left for Australia four days before as a member of the Wallal (WA) Eclipse Expedition. Professor Tucker, however, the locuin tenens, showed hiin every kindness.

Father Pigot's final visit before embarking for Australia was to the Canadian Government Observatory (Victoria, BC), which possesses the most powerful telescope in the British Empire (73in. Reflector). In the realm of instrumental astronomy Canada has outstripped all the other Dominions, and even the Mother Country herself.

It is superfluous to emphasise the im tiense value Father Pigot derived from his visits to the leading scientific men of the world, picking up hints, seeing new methods, and the most modern appliances for the subject nearest and dearest to his heart.

That the Riverview Observatory will gain by his experiences, and that the new Solat Radiation Observatory will receive a new fillip, goes without saying:

◆ Our Alma Mater Riverview 1929

Obituary

Edward F Pigot

Father Pigot was born at Dundrum, County Dublin, on September 18, 1858. He adopted the medical profession, and practised for a few years in Dublin. In 1885 he entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Dromore, County Down. He made his first visit to Australia as a Jesuit scholastic in 1888, and taught for four years at Xavier College, Melbourne, and St Ignatius' College, Sydney. Naturally, his department was science. He completed his theological studies in Milltown Park, Dublin, and was ordained in the summer of 1899. Two years later he volunteered for the arduous China Mission, where the French Fathers of the Society of Jesus were endeavouring to Christianise the vast pagan kingdom - an act revealing fires of missionary zeal and personal devotion probably unsuspected by those who knew only the retiring scientist and scholar of later years. His sacrifice was accepted, and recompensed in a striking manner. He did, indeed, master the Chinese language in preparation for missionary labours, and for a while tasted the hardships of active service.

He returned to Australia in 1907, and immediately set about founding an observatory at Riverview, while teaching science on the college staff. When death called him he had gathered at Riverview five double-component seismometers, two telescopes fully equipped for visual and photographic work, a wireless installation, clocks specially designed for extreme accuracy, an extensive scientific library, a complete set of meteorological instruments, and what he most valued in his later years, a solar radiation, station, possessing rare and costly instruments, such as are possessed by only a few other, and these Government-endowed, stations throughout the world.

Fr. Pigot's in terest in the scientific problems of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, his experiments at the construction of the Burrenjuck Dam, in geophysics at the Cobar mines and elsewhere, his pendulum experiments in the Queen Victoria Market Buildings in Sydney, are well known. In 1910 he took part in a solar eclipse expedition to Tasmania; in April, 1911, he went with the warship Encounter on a similar expedition to the Tongan Islands in the Pacific, and was prominent in the Goondi windi Solar Eclipse Expedition in 1922.

Father Pigot was appointed by the Commonwealth Government to represent Australia at the International Seismological Congress at St. Petersburg in 1914. The outbreak of war prevented the Congress being held. In 1921 he was chosen as a member of the Australian National Research Council, and in 1922 went to Rome as its representative at the first general assembly of the International Astronomical Union, and of the International Union of Geodetics and Geophysics. He was elected President of the NSW branch of the British Astronomical Association in 1923 and 1924. For many years he was a member of the Council of the Royal Society of NSW.

At the Pan-Pacific Science Congress, held in Australia in 1923, Father Pigot was secretary of the seismological section. In 1926 Father Pigot was once more chosen by the Commonwealth Government as a member of the Australian Delegation at the Pan-Pacific Congress, held in Tokyo, in October, 1926. In December of last year he received word from the secretary of the Central International Bureau of Seismology, Strasburg, that he had been elected member of an International Commission of Research, formed a short time previously at a congress held in Prague, Czecho-Slovakia.

Many warm-hearted and generous tri butes to the kindliness and charm of Father Pigot's personal character have been expressed by public and scientific men since his death. Clearly his associa tion with men in all walks of life begot high esteem and sincere friendship. Those who knew him in his private life will always preserve the memory of a kindly, geritle associate, and of a saintly religious. RIP

-oOo-

The Solemn Office and Requiem Mass were celebrated at St Mary's North Sydney in the presence of a large congregation. His Grace the Archbishop presided, and preached the panegyric, and a very large number of the priests of the Diocese were present. Representatives of all classes were amongst the congregation, as may be seen from the list, which we cull from the “Catholic Press”.

The Government was represented by Mr J Ryan, MLC, and the Premier's Department by Messrs. F C G Tremlett and C H Hay. Other mourners included Professor Sir Edgeworth David, Professor C E Fawcitt (Dean of the Fa ulty of Science in Sydney University), Professor H G Chapman, Professor L A Cotton (president of the Royal Society of NSW), Professor T G . Osborn (chairman of the executive committee of the Australian National Research Council), Dr and Mrs Conrick, Dr P Murray, Dr Noble, Dr Murray Curtis, Dr H Daly, Dr Armit, Dr G H McElhone, Dr Wardlaw (president of the Linnean Society), Dr Robert Noble, Dr James Hughes, Messrs Cecil O'Dea, M J Mc Grath, H W and J N Lenehan, Austin Callachor (St Aloysius' Old Boys' Union), J Boylan (St Ignatius' Old Boys' Union), K Ryan, J Hayes, I Bryant, G E Bryant, K Young, R W Challinor (Sydney Technical College), James Nangle (Government Astronomer), O J Lawler, V J Evans, K E Finn, F W Brennan, J and I McDonnell, J Burfitt, and W S Gale, E Wunderlich, Dr Bradfield, Messrs L Campbell, L Bridge jun, Harold Healy, J Edmunds, E P Hollingdale, T Thyne, H Tricker (German Consul, representing the German Scientific Societies), W H Paradice, J. J. Richardson, W Poole (representing the Council of the Royal Society), K M Burgraaff (German Geographical Survey), E W Esdaile, A P Mackerras, E Gardiner, F S Manse (Under-Setretary for Mines), E C Andrews (Mines Department), W S Dun (Geological Survey), E H Matthews, F K Du Boise, Herbert Brown, R H Bulkeley, FRAS, M B Young, O S Cleary.

Letters of condolence were received from the following :The Old Boys' Union, NSW Chamber of Agriculture, The Shires Association of NSW, Dr C J Prescott (Headmaster, Newington Coll ege), Lane Cove Municipal Council, British Astronomical Association (NSW Branch), Commonwealth Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Chemical Society of the Sydney Technical College, the Royal Society of New South Wales, The Hon Sir Norman Kater, Kt, MLC, and many others.

The following letter was received from: the New South Wales Cabinet:

Premier's Office, Sydney, N.S.W.
22nd May, 1929.
Dear Sir,
At a meeting of the Cabinet this morning mention was made of the sad loss this State has sustained in the death of Reverend Father Pigot, one of its most distinguished citizens. I was invited by my colleagues to convey to you, as Principal of the eminent educational establishment, with which Father Pigot had the honour to be associated, an. expression of the deepest sympathy from the Members of the New South Wales Ministry.

The memory of Father Pigot, who was a per sonal friend of many of us, will be kept ever green by reason of his high scholastic and scien tific attainments, modest and unassuming demean our, and ni sy of character.
Yours faithfully,

E. A. BUTTENSHAW,
Acting Premier,


The Rev Father Lockington SJ, StIgnatius' College, Professor

H, H. Turner, of the British Association and the International Seismological Summary, speaks of “the splendid work done by Father Pigot in seismology; Riverview has been for many years our standby in the discussion of earthquakes near Australia”.


Professor Sir Edgeworth David, quoted in the “Catholic Press”, writes:

“By his death Australian science and the science of seismology have sustained a loss that is almost irreparable. He initiated what now ranks among the very best seismological observatories in the world. He was able to secure the best in struments for recording the variations in heat transmitted from the sun to the earth for his solar observatory at Riverview, and to make observa- . tions. This science in time we will rely upon to put mankind in possession of long range forecasts as to future rainfall and weather in general.

He was well known to all leading physicists and astronomers, and entirely because of his great reputation the University of Sydney was able to borrow for a period of six years some extremely valuable pendulums from Germany for measuring small displacements of the earth's crust at the great reservoir at Burrenjuck.

It was not only for his profound learning that scientists reverenced him. They could not fail to be attracted by his magnetic personality, for though frail and often in weak health, he ever preserved the same charming and cheerful man ner, and was full of eagerness and enthusiasm in discussing plans for the better pursuit of seien tific truth. Surely there. never was any scientific man so well beloved as he”.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, Golden Jubilee 1880-1930

The New Seismographs at Riverview

That Seismology, and especially Seismographs, are in the air at pres ent, there can be no doubt. We have recently experienced in Sydney such a series of earthquake tremors, some of which have been usually large, and all coming on top of one another, as it were, that the subject was a common topic of conversation for several weeks. But the greatest interest centred not so much on the earthquakes as on the Riverview Seismograph that recorded them. When, a few weeks ago, the papers announced that a big and destructive earthquake had occurred so many thousands of miles away, "A big earthquake somewhere," one Melbourne Daily headed the re port-the safe announcement following that it was possibly in the sea somewhere, did much, we are sure, to nullify any exciting effect the tid ings might have had on even unsceptical readers. The news two days later, however, that a severe earthquake had taken place in Sumatra, and that 250 people had been killed, made the Riverview Seismograph not only known, but famous. With Father Pigot's permission (or, shall I say, with out Father Pigot's permission?) I purpose giving a short account of the Seismographs to accompany our illustrations,

The idea, as a mere remote possibility, of starting a Seismographical Observatory at Riverview, occurred to Father Pigot a few years ago at Zi ka-wei (Shanghai), just when leaving for Australia, where he was oblijed by ill-health to return, and received a fresh impetus when he was passing through Manilla on the voyage south. The splendid seismographical work done by the Fathers for many years at these two great Jesuit Observator ies of the Far East (not to speak of all that they have achieved in their other departments, viz., Meteorology, Terrestrial Magnetism, and Astro nomy, above all, of the tens of thousands of lives saved by their typhoon warnings during the last thirty years), was a sufficient incentive to Fr Pigot, who had been on the staff of the former Observatory for some time, to attempt a small beginning of at least one branch of similar high class work in Australia. No doubt excellent records had been obtained for several years in Australia and New Zealand by the well-known instrument of the veteran Seismologist, Professor Milne; but it was interesting to see what results would be obtained by a more modern type of Seismograph of one or other of the recent German models. Those of Professor Wiechert, of Gottingen University, were decided upon, if funds would per mit. The decision was most unexpectedly confirmed by the arrival in Syd ney shortly after, on his way home to Germany, at the expiration of his term of office as Director of the Samoa Observatory, of Dr Linke, who showed his Wiechert earthquake records to Father Pigot, at Riverview. Dr Linke, who now, by the way, is Director of the Geophysical Institute in Frankfort (Germany), has since taken the kindliest interest in our embryo Observatory.

But where was all the necessary money to come from? Needless to say, a lot of expense was involved. As two of the principal instruments are now installed, we may say that nearly the whole of the expense of the larger (horizontal) Seismograph was defrayed by our kind and generous friend and neighbour, the Hon Louis F Heydon, MLC - a man whose charity is equalled only by his love of learning and scientific progress ad majorem Dei gloriam. To the Hon Mr Heydon, therefore, for the great pioneer part he played in giving Seismology a foothold in Riverview, not Father Pigot's alone, but Riverview's warmest thanks are due. But though Seismology has certainly got a foothold in Riverview, it must be remembered that at present our Observatory is only in an embryonic con dition. Space has been provided in the building for other Geophysical re search work, to be carried out later on, when, like the Hon. Mr. Heydon, other lovers of scientific research shall have recognised in the Riverview Observatory, a work deserving of their patronage and generosity.

In July, 1908, Father Pigot paid a visit of three weeks to Samoa, where, through the kindness and courtesy of the Director of the Observa tory, Dr. Angenheister, and his assistants, he was able to study the con struction and working of the various instruments, the methods for the reduction of the records, etc. On his return, he set about erecting the building and fittings for the instruments the half-underground, vaulted, brick building (not as yet covered with its protecting mantle for tem perature), and woodwork fittings. These were admirably constructed respectively by Brother Forster SJ, and Brother Girschik SJ, with their usual indefatigable care. In the early autumn the instruments arrived from Germany, and soon afterwards they were recording tremors and earthquakes. The instruments are amongst the most modern in use at the present day, and are known as the Wiechert Seismographs or Seis mometers, named from their designer, Professor Wiechert. Until quite recently they were not numerous, being confined, with the exception of the Samoa instrument, to European Observatories. Now, however, they are being installed in various regions of the globe. The extreme delicacy of the instruments is almost incredible; an unusual weight on the floor of the Observatory (a party of visitors, for example), even at some dis tance from the instruments, would be sufficient to cause serious derange ment of the recording pens; the ocean waves dashing on the coast six miles away on a rough day are frequently recorded. It is in this extreme delicacy that the value (and, incidentally, the trouble) of the instruments consists. As a consequence they demand the most careful handling, and almost constant attention.

There are two instruments: a Horizontal Seismograph and a Vertical Seismograph, to receive, as the names suggest, the horizontal part (or component, as the scientists call it), and the vertical part respectively of the earth-waves set up by any seismic disturbance. The Horizontal Seismo graph, however, consists practically of two Seismographs in as much as it separates the waves it receives into two directions; NS and EW, giving a separate record for each, as may be seen from the two recording rolls hang ing down in front.

The horizontal is an inverted pendulum whose bob is a large iron cylindrical (or drum-shaped) mass of 1000 kilograms, or a little over a ton weight. This mass is supported on a pedestal which is poised on four springs set on a large concrete pillar built on the solid rock, and separated from the surrounding floor by an air-gap one inch wide. When an earth quake occurs in any place, that place becomes the centre from which earth waves travel in all directions, through the earth and round the earth (surface waves). These waves on reaching Riverview disturb our concrete pillar, and set the pendulum in motion. The iron mass is reduced to a "stable equilibrium” by a system of springs, so that when the base is disturbed, the large mass will not fall over, but will oscillate or swing backwards and for wards till it comes to rest again. Now, a very ingenious air-damping arrangement (the two drum-like structures over the mass) destroys the oscillation or swing set up in the mass by the first wave, so that the second and third and succeeding earth-waves will not be affected by the oscillation of the mass itself, but each wave, no matter how quickly it comes after the others, will have its own effect on the mass. Consider, for illustration sake, one of those now-antiquated punching-ball apparatus that consist of a heavy leaden circular base, into the middle of which is inserted a stout four or five-foot cane, on the top of which is fixed the punching ball. When you punch this ball it and the cane oscillate, or swing backwards and forwards (the heavy base remaining stationary). If you determine to hit out at this ball at a fixed rate, say thirty punches a minute, you cannot be certain that every blow will have its full effect on the ball-in many cases you may not hit the ball at all. But if you contrive to make the ball stationary, so that it keeps still, or moves very little, when you punch it, every punch, no mat ter at what rate you punch it, will catch the ball and have its full effect upon it. In somewhat the same way our large iron mass is kept as station ary as possible, by the damping cylinders, while each earth-wave has its full effect upon it. This effect is received by the arrangement of levers above the mass, and magnified enormously, which magnified effect is traced by the recording stylus or pen--a tiny platinum pin-on the smoked re cording roll of paper, Waves coming in a N or S direction are recorded on one of the rolls; those in an E or W direction are recorded on the other, while waves coming in any other direction are recorded on both.

The Vertical Wiechert Seismograph is a Lever-Pendulum, consisting of an iron mass of 160lbs. weight at the end of an arm (under the wooden temperature-insulation box), and a spiral spring (enclosed in the box) be tween the weight and the fulcrum, the weight and the spring keeping the arm of the lever in equilibrium. Hence this pendulum can move only up and down, only by the vertical part of the earth-waves. The effect, as before, is highly magnified and recorded by the stylus. The damping (drum-like) arrangement in this instrument is seen at the left-hand back corner of the table. The temperature-insulation box is simply a double-walled wooden jacket packed with carbon, to protect the spiral, as well as a zinc-steel grid iron compensation, from change of temperature. One of the greatest diffi culties with these instruments is keeping the instrument room at the same temperature always. For this reason the brick building is not yet nearly completed, as it will have to be covered by a thick layer of protecting material, which will finally have to be covered by a proper roofing. Again, scientifically inclined and generously disposed friends, please note!

To lessen any disturbance from the room itself (visitors, etc.) the floor of the building is covered with sand to the depth of a few inches, and in the case of the Horizontal, an air gap to the depth of a few feet sepa rates the instrument from the surrounding floor.

The records, which are changed every twenty-four hours, are traced on specially-prepared smoked paper, and can be fixed at once with a suitable varnish. On the instruments, the records are stretched by drums which, by a very nice clock-work device (c.f, weight and escapement) are rotated once every hour, and moved to the right at the same time. Fur thermore, by an ingenious electro-magnetic contrivance connected with a Wiechert contact-clock (seen with the Vertical Seismograph), the hours and minutes are accurately recorded on the earthquake tracing itself, and not at the side. Consequently, the exact second almost at which a distur bance begins is known. The rate of tracing is about fourteen millimetres per minute for the Horizontal, and ten millimetres per minute for the Vertical Seismograph.

To the uninitiated, at least, the results in the matter of records are really marvellous. They are worth the trouble they entail, and they do en tail lots of trouble. So far, there have been records of at least four con siderable earthquakes (one of which has been already identified), as well as eight or nine smaller ones. Some of these have probably been subma rine, and can be localised when reports come in from other distant Obser vatories. There is one more point to be treated in this rather crude explanation, and it will explain the last sentence. How is the distance of the earthquake ascertained? Well, in a large seismic disturbance, if situ ated at a considerable distance, preliminary earth tremors or short waves precede the long earthquake-waves. The distance of the centre of the dis turbance (which usually lasts for an hour or two) can be calculated from the time elapsing between the first preliminary tremors, and the beginn ing of the long waves. Consequently when three Observatories sufficiently distant and suitably situated calculate the distance of a particular shock, say, in mid-ocean, the actual centre can be found by simple geometry.

I have tried to give a simple, straightforward, unscientific explanation of the instruments, without going into more detail than was absolutely necessary. In fact, it would be unwise to go into much detail, for, if I did, I should probably become helpless very soon, and should require a kind and helping hand from Father Pigot to extricate me. But the calculations in volved are terrific—a fact that will appear plausible when we say (I have it on Father Pigot's word) that the pressure of the stylus on the record, equivalent to a weight of one milligram, must be allowed for in the reductions of the observations.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1902

Letters from Our Past

Father Edward Pigot SJ

China

Father Pigot SJ, whom our past students of late years will remember, writes from the Shanghai district: to somewhat the same purport :

“Oh, if we only had a few thorough-going Irish priests here, how many more poor Chinese could be received into the Church! In some parts, as in the North, and in Father Perrin's section, one priest more would nean the certain conversion of hundreds and hundreds of Pagans. But Father Superior is at the end of his tether and can not send any more men just now; for the Christian villages around here cannot be left without their missionaries”.

In another letter, dated October of present year, Father Pigott writes :

“Here in our mission, as indeed throughout nearly the whale of China, things are quiet enough : how long it will last I do not know, The Boxers have lately broken out again in the south-west. We had many deaths this past year among our missionaries, and are badly in want of men, especially in the newly opened up districts in the north and in parts of the west of our mission. I send you the lately published yearly “Resumé” of the Kiang Nan. It is, above all, in the Sin-tchcou-fou (Western) Section that the greatest movement of conversion has taken place recently among the people whole villages sometimes asking to be received for instruction for baptism. But how receive them? The means are wanting - above all men. If Fathe

Potter, Henry, 1866-1932, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1998
  • Person
  • 19 April 1866-18 November 1932

Born: 19 April 1866, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny
Entered: 01 June 1885, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1901
Final vows: 15 August 1903
Died: 18 November 1932, Dublin

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

Older brother of Laurence Potter - RIP 1934

First World War Chaplain.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Medical student before entry

by 1893 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1898 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1902 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 7th Yorkshire Regiment, France
by 1918 Military Chaplain : 37 London Road Chelmsford
by 1919 Military Chaplain : 21 Wellington Esplanade, Lowestoft

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 8th Year No 1 1933
Obituary :
Fr Henry Potter
Father H. Potter died in Dublin, Friday, I8th November, 1932.
He was born in Kilkenny 19th April, 1866, educated at Christian schools, Diocesan College, and Castleknock, and began his noviceship at Dromore, Is June, 1885. Two years juniorate followed, the first in Milltown Park, the second in Tullabeg (the noviceship was changed from Dromore to Tullabeg in 1888).
At the end of the two years Father Potter was sent to Clongowes, where he remained for three years as master or prefect, and then to Enghien for philosophy. His course was
interrupted when he had done two years, and in 1894 we find him in Mungret when he put in three more years as prefect before resuming philosophy at Stonyhurst. Theology at Milltown immediately followed, and then tertianship at Tronchiennes.
When the tertianship was over in 1902 he began his long career as Minister - Clongowes, Belvedere, Gardiner St., Crescent - until in 1911 he was back in Belvedere as master. He spent three years in the classroom, when once more the ministership claimed him, by way of variety, at Leeson St. This brought him to the memorable year 1914, when Father Potter donned the uniform as Military Chaplain. He saw service both in France and England, and in 1919 was back in Gardiner St. as Oper. A year in Milltown, Director of Retreats, stood between him and his special vocation, in 1923 he was minister in Galway. He held the position until 1928, and was thus minister for fifteen years, and in six different homes. For the next three years he had charge of the small study in Clongowes, a year's quiet teaching followed, and then came the end.
On the evening of Monday 14th November he was brought to Dublin in great pain. All the ordinary remedies for lumbago were tried without result, and a growth of some kind, pressing on a nerve centre, was suspected Next day he was very much distressed, and a minor operation was performed to try and give him relief, His heart was in a very bad state, and the doctors advised the Last Sacraments, which were immediately administered. That night he had two very severe haemorrhages, which left him very weak. On Thursday blood transfusion was tried, but did no good, and on Friday morning he collapsed. When asked if there was much pain his only answer was that he was “offering it all up.” He was quite conscious to the very end, and got absolution several times. He joined in the prayers for the dying, and his last act immediately before expiring was to kiss the crucifix, and whisper the Holy Name.
This very happy death was the crown of a holy life. Father Potter did not belong to the class of men whose goodness attracts attention and is freely spoken about, but the goodness was there. And, now that he is gone, stories are being told of his visits to the Blessed Sacrament, especially when few people were about, of his devout prayers, and, especially, of his devotion to the Stations of the Cross, He was charitable, the character of the neighbour was safe in his hands. And he was charitable when charity was difficult, when something was said that invited a sharp retort, that retort was never forthcoming, He was an excellent community man, and will be sadly missed. It can be said of him with truth that he was the life and soul of recreation, was full of fun, and had as keen an eye as most people for what was comical or ludicrous in his surroundings. He was very approachable, and with boys a prime favourite. As soon as he appeared a knot of them quickly gathered round him, and soon fun of some kind or other was in progress. And this was true of all classes of boys, our own College boys or the little lads that come to serve Mass in our Church. May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Henry Potter 1866-1932
Henry Potter died in Dublin on November 18th 1932, He was a native of Kilkenny, being born there on April 19th 1866. Having been educated at Castleknock College he entered the Society at Dromore in 1885.

He spent most of his life as Minister in our houses. In 1914 he became a Chaplain in the Great War, and he served all through it until 1919.

He was a man of deep piety practised in secret. After his death, people spoke of his quiet nocturnal visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and his great devotion to0 the Stations of the Cross.

In his last agony, he remained conscious to the end, joining in the prayers for the dying. His last act was to kiss the crucifix and murmur the Holy Name.

◆ The Clongownian, 1933

Obituary

Father Henry Potter SJ

Though Clongowes cannot lay claim to Father Potter as one of her own Past, some of us can well remember him when he came as far back as to take over the Third Line. He had just finished his Rhetoric as a young Jesuit. So that it was in Clongowes that he began and ended his working life. In the middle of this long span he was Minister here.

He always felt very much at home here, for he was at his best with the boys: one is almost tempted to say: with the little lads. So that there was a strange fittingness in the fact that the Third Line Prefect of 1891 was the Small Study Prefect of 1931. The comic touch of incongruity, apparent only, would often make one smile when one caught sight of him in the centre of a group of Elementarians as they gathered for class at 9.30. He, seemingly grave but thoroughly enjoying the way in which they would solemnly discuss the amazing theories he would propound just to draw them out. In him a cloak of gravity covered a puckish fancy, a fact which explains his general popularity.

Though he was suffering a good deal, it was only on Monday morning, 14th November, that he failed to go down to his small boys. He left that day for a Dublin Nursing Home and died on the following Friday.

We inay be sure that he was sustained in the pains and sufferings of the last year of his life by his devotion to the Stationis of the Cross, a characteristic of his personal life. He is much missed in Clongowes. In the Community recreations his passing away has left a great blank. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Henry Potter (1866-1932)

Was born in Kilkenny and received his early education at St Kieran's and Castleknock College. He entered the Society in 1885 and pursued his higher studies at Enghien and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1901. Father Potter spent two years at the Crescent 1909-11 when he held the position of minister of the house and prefect of the church. At the beginning of the first world war, he volunteered as chaplain and served in England and France. In the years following the war he was sometime director of retreats at Milltown Park and served some seven years as minister at Clongowes. His remaining years were spent in Clongowes.

Power, Patrick, 1867-1931, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/364
  • Person
  • 20 January 1867-11 December 1931

Born: 20 January 1867, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 10 April 1885, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 30 July 1901, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1904
Died: 11 December 1931, Milford House, Limerick

Part of the Crescent College, Limerick and St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street community at the time of death

by 1901 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying
by 1903 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick Power entered the Society in 1885, and came to Australia and taught at Xavier College from 1892, where he was highly respected, teaching senior classes and serving as assistant prefect of studies. For one year, 1896, he was prefect of studies, as the rector who was holding the position became overworked. He returned to Ireland at the end of 1898, and after tertianship worked in schools and performed mission work.

◆ Irish Province NewsIrish Province News 7th Year No 2 1932

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Power

Fr. Power was born in Dublin on the 20 Jan, 1867. educated at Castleknock, and entered the Society at Dromore on the 10 April 1885. Two years Rhetoric, the first at Milltown, the second at Tullabeg, were followed by three years Philosophy at Milltown, and then Australia for five years, He spent all of them at Kew, where he was Prefect of Studies. or
Vice-Prefect, for four of these years.
Two years Theology at Milltown and two more at Chieri brought him up to the Tertianship, which he made at Tronchiennes 1902-03. Then followed various positions at Mungret, Tullabeg, Gardiner St., and the Crescent.
In 1908 he was appointed Rector of the Crescent, held that office for four years, and then went to Gardiner St., to which house he was attached until his death. He died at Limerick on Friday 11 Dec, 1931.
For 4 years he was Rector, for 5 Miss, Excurr., for 8 Praef Stud. (an 11 Mag), for 13 Dir. EX. Spir,, and for 17 Praes. Sod. Obviously, he often discharged at least two of these duties in the same year.
From the above short sketch it will be seen that Fr. Power had his share in nearly all the duties discharged by Jesuit priests and scholastics and in all of them he played his part capably and well. But it was as a director of souls that he will be remembered for a long time, and by a great many. His zeal knew no limits, he gave himself no rest, night, noon and morning, whenever the rule allowed, he was on the move. It will not be known until the great accounting day all he did for souls from the end of his Tertianship to the day of his death 28 years later, especially from 1912 to 1931 when he was stationed at Gardiner St. The great weapons he used, alter the Grace of God that he brought down on the work by prayer and a holy life, were kindness, sympathy, encouragement. Scrupulous people especially found in him a kind and helpful friend, and people who were not scrupulous pointed him out as the priest who showed them the easy road to heaven.
“You will catch more flies”, writes St. Francis de Sales, “or with a spoonful of honey than with a hogshead of vinegar.” Assuredly there was no trace of vinegar in Fr Power's character, but there was abundance of honey. Or, to vary the expression, “his nature was full of the milk of human kindness.” He was the very reverse of that class of directors so severely condemned by St. Francis Jeronimo “Never until the Last Judgment will it be known how many souls have been lost for want of sympathy on the part of the ministers of God.”
Possibly some of our very wise critics will say that kindness and sympathy are very good in themselves, but they can be so readily abused and played upon by tricksters that they are dangerous gifts. That is quite true. But if Fr Power was very kind and sympathetic, he was also very shrewd. His eyes were wide open, He had a keen insight into the foibles
and failings of human nature, and when .any of the trickster class tried to make capital out of his kindness they quickly found out that they had made the mistake of their lives.
In addition to all this Fr. Power was one of the best and most practical Moral Theologians that we had in the Province. His advice on knotty problems was often sought from many and widely separated parts of the country. His numerous penitents and others could depend that his counsel was dictated not only by kindness, and by a keen insight into human nature, but that it was based as well on the solid principles of Theology.
With priests as well as with the laity he was an outstanding success and his retreats to the clergy were highly appreciated.
No wonder then that in most parts of Ireland, for his name and influence were widely extended, was Fr. Powers death sincerely regretted. People felt that they had lost a kind friend and a wise counsellor whose loss it would be difficult to supply. And this feeling of regret and admiration is shared by every member of the Irish province who know him and loved
him, and who were helped along the narrow path by the bright and cheery example that he ever gave thorn. May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Power 1867-1931
As a director of souls, Fr Patrick Power will long be remembered. His zeal knew no bounds. It will not be known until the Day of Reckoning all that he did for souls, from the end of his tertianship until the day of his death, December 11th 1931.

A great deal of this work was done while he was stationed at Gardiner Street, from 1912-1931. With priests too, he was an outstanding counsellor, and his retreats to them were highly appreciated. He was one of the best moral Theologians we have had in the Province.

A deep rooted sanctity, combined with great natural kindness, aided by a clear intellect, all combined to make him the director of souls that he was.

He was born in Dublin on January 20th 1867, and he was educated at Castleknock College.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1932

Obituary

Father Patrick Power SJ

Father Patrick Power, who died at Limerick, Ireland, on December 11th, 1931, will be clearly remembered by Xaverians of 1892-1898. He was then a young scholastic. During the greater part of the time he was here he directed the College studies, and taught with brilliant success. He took a deep interest in all his boys - an interest which, in spite of distance and time, ended only with his life - or didn't end even then? The present writer can recall many a chat with Fr Power in recent years about the old days at Kew College. He was all eagerness to know as much as possible about his former pupils and it seemed that every name was clear in his memory,

Before coming to Australia he studied Philosophy for three years in Louvain, Belgium. On his return to Ireland for Theology after his period with us, he spent one year in Dublin, and then went to Italy-where, after a brilliant course in the higher studies, he was ordained priest. Subsequently, we find him a very successful missionary, well known all over England and Ireland. Later, he was Rector of the Sacred Heart College, Limerick. When his term of office as Rector expired, he was appointed to the staff of St Francis Xavier's Churclı, Dublin. In this busy centre of Catholic activities he laboured assiduously till stricken down by the illness which ended his so useful life. Father Power was a very impressive preacher. He never, indeed, affected the usual devices of pulpit oratory; but his sermons were packed with solid instruction, and enlivened by many a sally of native wit. So, it was always not only a pleasure to hear him, buthiis discourses left a lasting impression.

Perhaps it was as Confessor that lie did the greatest amount of good. When ever he revisited a town where he had once given a Mission, his confessional was besieged by grateful penitents. His mind was so clear and so well informed - his heart so kindly - that hundreds, both young and old, flocked to him for advice and direction. It may be said: truthfully that his arduous labours in priestly work shortened his life.

Those who had known better days, appealed specially to his sympathetic nature, and, in ways most unobtrusive and most tactful, he brightened many a life that would have otherwise been dreary. A wide circle of friends whose personal affection he had won, and many who were in distress, mourn the loss of him upon whose sympathy, judgment, and help they could always rely.

God give him the rest he deserved!

P J McC SJ

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Patrick Power (1867-1931)

Was born in Dublin and received his education at Castleknock College. He entered the Society in 1885 and began his higher studies in Dublin, His regency was spent in Australia where he was four years prefect of studies at the Jesuit College, Kew, Melbourne. On his return to Ireland he resumed his higher studies at Milltown Park but completed them at Chieri and Tronchiennes. He came to the Crescent in 1907 and in the following year was appointed rector, an office he held until 1912 when he became a member of the Gardiner St community to which he was assigned until his death. Father Power was an outstanding spiritual director in his day and was widely known to the clergy of Ireland through his many contacts made on the occasion of the diocesan retreats which he conducted. He died at Millford nursing home.

◆ SHC - Sacred Heart College Limerick 1932

Obituary

Father Patrick Power

His friends in Limerick, and they were many, were grieved to hear of the death of Fr P Power SJ, which took place at the Sacred Heart Convalescent Home, Milford House, Limerick, on Friday, Dec 11, 1931.

Fr Power was Rector here from 1908 to 1912. Since he left Limerick he was attached to St Francis Xavier's Church, Gardiner Street, Dublin. Yet though it is nearly twenty years since he had had direct connection with the College and with the Church in Limerick, few who have worked here are so well remembered by all. While he was ill at Milford House, one heard from those who had known him, young and old alike, stories of his kindness, sympathy and encouragement. Both in Limerick and in Dublin Fr Power was remarkable as a director of souls, for to his kind and genial manner was added a very deep understanding of human nature.

He was widely known through the country by priests and religious for the Retreats he conducted for them, and also by the laity for his practical sermons as a missioner. From all sides came genuine expressions of regret at the loss of a holy priest, who had helped so many, without thinking of himself. During the past few years his active life was interrupted by short periods of illness, but as soon as his strength revived he was busy again at work for others. Last summer he came to Limerick worn out after some months of sickness in a Dublin hospital. At times he seemed to be regaining his health and he often spoke of returning to his post at Gardiner Street. But God willed otherwise, and for some weeks before his death on Dec 11, it was clear that the end was near. During the long period of illness, his gratitude to all who did anything for him and his resignation to God's will produced a deep impression on those about him.

Several of his former penitents came from Dublin for his funeral. After the Office and Requiem Mass at the Sacred Heart Church, presided over by the Most Rev Dr Keane, Bishop of Limerick, the long procession of those who remembered him so well, wended its way to the cemetery at Mungret College. The coffin was borne by members of the Ignatian Sodality, some of whom had been boys at the school when Fr Power was Rector.

May God reward him for his kind and useful life so generously given in His service. RIP.

Russell, Matthew, 1834 -1912, Jesuit priest and editor

  • IE IJA J/27
  • Person
  • 13 July 1834 -12 September 1912

Born: 13 July 1834, Ballybot, Newry, County Down
Entered: 07 March 1857, Beaumont, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1864
Final vows: 15 August 1874
Died: 12 September 1912, Ms Quinn’s Hospital, Mountjoy Square, Dublin

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

by 1864 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying Theology 2
by 1865 at Laval, France (FRA) studying Theology 3

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He came from a very distinguished family and was very gifted. Three sisters entered Religious life. His brother Lord Russell of Killowen, first Catholic to serve as Lord Chief Justice of England.
1860-1865 He taught at Limerick for Regency, and then went to Laval and St Beuno’s for Theology.
1866-1873 He returned to Limerick for more Regency
1873-1875 He was sent to Milltown to complete his studies.
1875 From this time he had various posts in UCD, Gardiner St, Tullabeg and the Gardiner St again, where he spent the rest of his life until he died at Ms Quinn’s Hospital in Mountjoy Square 12 September 1912.

Paraphrase excerpts from Obituary notice of Katharine Tynan :
“Father Russell’s death will have come as a great grief to a great number of people. He was a centre of mental and spiritual health for many of us, and therefore bodily health as well. He was always there, not physically present, but a confidence, a light, a certainty.
For about forty years he fulfilled something of a double Mission in the life of Dublin. He had many personal friendships and gave great care to the poor. But the area I want to focus on is his mission to the young literary people, poets especially, and his work of feeding artistic flame. He took work in the “Irish Monthly” from anyone, no matter their faith or nationality. His own work in Poetry and Prose is well known. ....... Who will be the friend (of writers and artists) now that Father Russell has gone?
He had that most cheerful and lovely personality, very winning, and we used say “robin-like” until illness robbed him of his red cheeks. ... It must be twenty five years since he said he would give up all visiting except of the poor, though he had not the resolve to see this through fully. He had warm personal friendships beyond his work with the poor. He had a whole clientele of working women, such as the two dressmakers who came to him from Limerick looking for patronage. He spoke for the poor because they were inarticulate to speak for themselves. He was a great worker in the cause of Temperance, and an abstainer himself.
(He was Editor of the Irish Monthly for over 40 years.) The “Irish Monthly” gathered gathered in the most unlikely of people. WB Yeats, Frances Wynne and many others, who were unlikely to associate with anything Catholic, did so because of him. Those who came, brought others. Lady Wilde was heard to say “The Irish Monthly had heart behind it” - Oscar Wilde wrote some his earliest poems for it.
My last interview with him in hospital was the most affecting of my life. ...... He was not so far away that he could not remember the children, each one by name. He asked me to forgive someone who had injured me. He talked of the kindness of the nurses.”

Note from John Naughton Entry :
For the last year of his life he was in failing health, and about 10 days before death he was moved to Miss Quinn’s Hospital, Mountjoy Square, where he died peacefully. Fathers Matthew Russell and Timothy O’Keeffe were with him at the time.

Note from John Bannon Entry :
On the evening of his death the Telegraphy published an article on him headed “A Famous Irish Jesuit - Chaplain in American War” : “The Community of the Jesuit Fathers in Gardiner St have lost within a comparatively short time some of their best known and most distinguished members. They had to deplore the deaths of Nicholas Walsh, John Naughton, John Hughes and Matthew Russell, four men of great eminence and distinction, each in his own sphere, who added lustre to their Order, and whose services to the Church and their country in their varied lines of apostolic activity cannot son be forgotten. And now another name as illustrious is added to the list. The Rev John Bannon....

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Russell, Matthew
by David Murphy

Russell, Matthew (1834–1912), Jesuit priest, editor, and writer of devotional verse, was born 13 July 1834 at Ballybot, near Newry, Co. Down, second son of Arthur Russell of Newry and Killowen, Co. Down, and his wife Margaret, daughter of Matthew Mullen of Belfast and widow of Arthur Hamill of Belfast. His elder brother was Charles Russell (qv), later lord chief justice of England and Baron Russell of Killowen. Educated at St Vincent's College, Castleknock, Dublin, and Violet Hill, Matthew also studied at St Patrick's College, Maynooth, at a time when his uncle, Charles William Russell (qv), was president of the college. He entered the Society of Jesus on 7 March 1857 and was ordained priest in 1864. He taught (1864–73) at Crescent College, Limerick, and in 1873 founded a journal, Catholic Ireland (later renamed the Irish Monthly), which he edited until his death. He took his final vows on 15 August 1874.

The Irish Monthly soon established a reputation for publishing the work of young writers and contained some of the earliest writings of Oscar Wilde (qv) and Hilaire Belloc. Russell was also a tolerably accomplished poet himself and published collections of devotional verse which included Emmanuel: a book of eucharistic verses (1880), Madonna: verses on Our Lady and the saints (1880) and Erin verses, Irish and catholic (1881). These collections were very popular at the time and he built up a large following. In his capacity as editor of the Irish Monthly he also acted as a friend and confidant to many writers, and was a guiding force behind the Irish literary revival of the late nineteenth century. His correspondence collection in the Jesuit archives in Dublin reflects the influence he had on the Irish literary scene of this period and includes letters from numerous writers and political figures that he befriended and supported, such as Mary Elizabeth Blundell (qv), Aubrey de Vere (qv), Sir Charles Gavan Duffy (qv), Alfred Perceval Graves (qv), Denis Florence MacCarthy (qv), Lady Gilbert (née Rosa Mulholland) (qv), Judge John O'Hagan (qv), James Stephens (qv), T. D. Sullivan (qv), Alfred Webb (qv), and W. B. Yeats (qv). He also corresponded with Hilaire Belloc about literary and domestic matters.

In 1874 he was attached to the staff of the Catholic University in St Stephen's Green and later moved to St Francis Xavier's church, Gardiner St., where he undertook pastoral duties (1877–86). In 1886 he was appointed as spiritual father at the Jesuit-run UCD, returning to work with the Gardiner St. community in 1903. He died on 12 September 1912 and, following requiem mass at St Francis Xavier's, was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery. His substantial collection of papers in the Irish Jesuit archives also includes manuscript articles, poems, and devotional writings.

Fr Matthew Russell, SJ, files in Irish Jesuit archives, Dublin; Ir. Monthly, xl, no. 472 (Oct. 1912); WWW; Freeman's Journal, 27 Jan. 1923; Crone; Welch

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

University Hall :
On November 16th the Community at Lesson St. celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Fr T Finlay. As a scholastic, Fr Finlay helped Fr. Matt Russell to found the Irish Monthly and the Messenger. The latter periodical ceased to appear after a short time; it was to be revived later, again under Fr Finlay's inspiration.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Matthew (Matt) Russell 1857-1912
In the County Down on July 13th 1834 was born Fr Mattew Russell of that distinguished family which gave a Lord Chief Justice to England.

He entered the Society at Beaumont in 1857, and in the course of his long and fruitful life, was stationed at Limerick, University College, Tullabeg and Gardiner Street, where he ended his days.

His name will always be remembered in connection with the “Irish Monthly”, which for forty years he made the popular literary magazine of Ireland. He had a special mission to encourage young writers and poets, and named among his protegées such famous people as WB Yeats, Speranza, Katherine Tynan, Francis Wynne, Oscar Wilde. He was no mean writer himself, both in prose and poetry.

Apart from his literary activities, which of course had a strong apostolic bias, he was a great lover of the poor. His light shone in many a wretched home that alas was in darkness. He was a very zealous though unobtrusive worker in the cause of temperance.

He was a man of the most cheerful and winning personality, who formed warm friendships among a very diverse circle, high and low, rich and poor, Catholic and Protestant, a talent which he used to the best of his power for the salvation of souls and the glory of God.

He died a most happy and peaceful death on September 12th 1912.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 40 : September 1985

Portrait from the Past

MATTHEW RUSSELL : 1834-1912

Katharine Tynan

A native of County Down, Matthew Russell joined the Jesuits at Beaumont in 1857. Ordained in 1870, he worked in the Crescent (Limerick) and Tullabeg before moving to Gardiner Street where he was Editor of The Irish Monthly for close on forty years. One of Ireland's greatest writers paid him this tribute.

Father Russell's death, which took place on Thursday 13th September, 1912, will have come as a great grief to a great number of people. I have always read with a pang of the death of a great doctor, knowing how many people lean on such a one and are suddenly deprived of their prop. Well, here was one in Father Russell, who was a centre of mental and spiritual health to many of us, and, because of that, in many cases a centre of bodily health as well. He is one of those who, like the sun's warmth and light, are always there; not visibly acknowledged and felt every day - but a confidence, a warnth, a certainty. And when the light and the warmth go, there is a chill in the wind and we shiver. Alas, what a desolation his going leaves!

For something like forty years Father Russell has fulfilled a double mission in the life of the Irish capital. Let his private friendships, his work among the poor and simple, who worshipped him, be told by another. The thing with which I am immediately concerned is his mission to young literary people, poets especially, and his work of feeding the artistic flame which in Dublin which did not find much encouragement. For forty years Father Russell in the Irish Monthly has received all manner of men and women - “Jew, Turk and Atheist” - by which I mean to say, since my country-people are given to literalness, only means that he never asked if you were a Protestant or a Catholic, so long as you were a promising or progressing poet or prose-writer - especially a poet.

His own work in poetry and prose is well known. I need not dwell on it here. But, now that he has left us, I desire to pay him tribute for many a one for all he did for us, young writers, to whom in many cases a cold neglect might have meant extinction. In the social history of Dublin the salon sadly to seek.

From time to time I read an obituary notice in The Times or elsewhere of some distinguished Dubliner of cultivated tastes, who has enjoyed the friendship of famous men of other countries and has delighted to entertain the wits, the statesmen, the writers and artists of the world at some delightful house on the shores of Dublin Bay or in the lovely country about Dublin. There may even be such who have not yet qualified for a notice in the obituary column of The Times but will be so written of one of these days. Now, owing perhaps to the terrible gulf between the creeds in Ireland, these potential patrons and fosterers of literature live and die in absolute isolation fron, even in ignorance of, the young intellectual forces struggling and striving about then. Who will be the friend, now that Father Russell has gone?

To the bare claustral parlours of Upper Gardiner Street has come many a young writer, destined to be of importance in the future literary history of the counrty, and has gone away comforted and uplifted. The brother of Lord Russell of Killowen, that strong fighter for the right and hater of shams, had a very curious facial resemblance to his great brother. You would know - have known, alas! - Father Russell at any chance meeting, anywhere, as Lord Russell's brother, just as you must recognise Lord Russell's sons anywhere by their likeness to their father. But all that was searching, dominating, compelling, in the ivory-pale face of the great Judge and lawyer was in Father Russell changed to something sweet, lovely and winning. He had the nose cheerful personality, robin-like, we used to say before mortal illness had robbed his cheek of colours, but never his heart of its fount of living happiness.

It must be now some twenty-five years ago since he announced that he was goind to give up all visiting except of the poor. Perhaps he relented, perhaps he thought of us as his poor children, for he never carried out that stern resolve. His very last visit to me was on the 3rd July in this year, when he came to see us in our new Irish home and told us cheerfully that he was not coming any more. He made the journey by train from Dublin, walked to and from the station, for he would not hear of being driven, and we left him reading his Office at the station. He would not let us wait until the train came in It was a part of his tender worldliness - I use the word for want of a better - that he was always troubled about any interference with working hours or the like. Seeing him there so cheerful, so much his own dear self - although for a long time the inner light had been shining far too brightly through the frail body - we did not believe in last times, but he knew better.

Of his work among the poor, the poor will not speak, because they are inarticulate. I only know that his light shone in many a wretched home, in many a slum, that else was in darkness. He was a very zealous though unobtrusive worker in the cause of Temperance, and was a total abstainer himself till illness came upon him and he was under obedience and compulsion, I don’t think his experiences went very far even then in the matter of stimulants. I remember when he lunched with us a few years ago that he tasted a glass of white wine - just tasted it - with a child-like wonder as to how it might taste.

He had warm personal friendships beyond those ministrations to the poor. He had a whole clientele of working women - in the larger sense of the phrase - whose interests he pushed as far as right be without being troublesome to his other friends. There was a firm of fashionable dressmakers whose component parts were two young girls who came to him one day from Limerick, with not very much equipment beyond an eye for colours and forms, a magnificent audacity in cutting-out. We used to call them “Father Russell's dressmakers” in those early days; and very soon they were quite independent of the patronage he sought for them. I recall in his letters: “If you should be thinking of getting a new hat, there is a friend of mine, Miss So-and-so, of Dublin; Madam So-and-So, in Sloane Street, who might please you perhaps”. Or “If anyone you know is ill, my friend, Miss So-and-So, has just set up a private nursing home near Cavendish Square”. I think, perhaps, he was interested especially in working women; even apart from literary workers.

Of course the Irish Monthly gathered in the most unlikely people because of Father Russell, I brought there myself, at various times, W B Yeats, Frances Wynne, and others who were little likely to come into association with anything Catholic, least of all a Catholic priest and a Jesuit. Those who came brought others, therefore you might find the sons and daughters of Evangelical households, the daughters of a Protestant bishop, young men from Trinity College, Agnostics of all manner of shades of agnosticism, waiting for Father Russell in one of those bare parlours in Upper Gardiner Street, furnished only with a table, a couple of chairs, a crucifix and some religious pictures on the walls. How far this aspect of Father Russell's work went towards affecting the opinions of non-Catholics in Ireland about Catholies and the Catholic Church it is impossible to say of my own personal knowledge I can vouch that the disapproval of Evangelical friends and relatives in the beginning of those friendships with a “Romish priest” were changed to warm approval.

I remember Lady Wilde saying to me long ago that the Irish Monthly had heart behind it. Speranza said a good many unconsidered things in those days, but for once she was right. There was heart behind it and in it, and the heart was one of the most loving and blessing hearts that ever beat. Perhaps the Irish Monthly for which Oscar Wilde wrote his earliest poems, “have had a share in bringing back at last to the old Mother Church, whose arms are wide enough for all saints and sinners”, Speranza's brilliant and unhappy son to rest and comfort at last.

About a fortnight ago I saw Father Russell for the last time in the Nursing Home where he died. It was the most affecting interview of my life. He was plainly dying - the trailing clouds of glory folding about him - but his loving heart cane striving and struggling back to us from the distance to which he had already wandered. He had always thought of the human aspect of things. We used to smile at the quaint, worldly wisdom which prompted his counsels of economy, of prudence, of not offending people, of not running counter to public opinion. He was not so far away that he could not remember the children, each one by name, He spoke of them with the tenderest pity, as of a saint looking back from the heights to those who have yet to endure the world and save their souls. He asked me to forgive someone who had injured ne, and vexed his last days - a harder thing to forgive. He talked of the kindness of the nurses. It was a swan-song of thanksgiving to a whole world which had been good to him, whereas it was he who had been good to the whole world. He blessed us with more than an earthly father's impassioned tenderness. ... And now - one turns to the pages of St. Augustine, who wrote when his mother died: . “And then, nevertheless, I remembered what Thy handmaid was used to be; her walk with Thee, how holy and good it was, and with us so gentle and long-suffering. And that it was all gone away from me now. And I wept over her and for her, over myself and for myself. And I let go my tears, which I had kept in before, making a bed of them, as it were, for my heart, and I rested upon them. Because these were for Thine ears only, and not for any man”.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Matthew Russell (1834-1912)

Was one of the founder members of Crescent College, having come here in 1859. He had entered the Society only two years previously but had already completed his course in philosophy and was engaged in his theological studies at Maynooth when he decided to become a Jesuit. He completed his regency at the Crescent in 1863 and was ordained three years later. He returned to the Crescent in 1866 and remained on the teaching staff until 1873. In that year he left for Dublin where for many years he was Editor of the “Irish Monthly”. His editorship of that journal was stimulating for young men of letters on the threshold of a literary career and there were few of those at the period who attained to eminence in Anglo Irish letters who were not first discovered by Father Russell. Father Russell was also in his day a popular author of devotional works.

Shaw, Frank M, 1881-1924, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/785
  • Person
  • 29 May 1881-14 January 1924

Born: 29 May 1881, Ennis, County Clare
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1921, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 14 January 1924, Dublin

Chaplain in the First World War.

Part of the Mungret College, Limerick community at the time of death.

Father was a merchant and died in 1883. Mother died in 1890. She was a Protestant before her marriage.

Two brothers and three sisters (one deceased)

Early education was a a convent school and a Christian Brothers school. Then he went to Castleknock College

by 1906 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1908 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1917 Military Chaplain : No 17 Casualty Clearing Station, France
by 1918 Military Chaplain : c/o Archbishop’s House, Wodehouse Road, Bombay, India
by 1919 Military Chaplain : 16th CCS, Mesopotamia, EF

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Castleknock.

After his Novitiate he was sent to Jersey for Philosophy and then to Clongowes for a Regency of some years Teaching and Prefecting.
1912 He began Theology at Milltown.
1917 He was appointed Military Chaplain to No 17 Casualty Clearing Station, BEF, France. He was for some time later In India and Mesopotamia.
After the War ended he was sent to Mungret. he was attacked by some virulent growth and died after much suffering in hospital in Dublin 14 January 1924. He is buried in Mungret.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Electrical Engineer before entry

◆ The Clongownian, 1924

Obituary

Father Frank Shaw SJ

Father Frank Shaw SJ, was not himself an “old Clongownian”, but there must be many old Clongowes boys who would find it difficult to remember their time at Clongowes without recalling “Mr Shaw”. Third Liners of the years 1909-'11 especially will remember him, for he was our Prefect during that time. Many of these Third Liners must have gone to Heaven before him, for they were just the right age to be called upon to take their share in the Great War. Indeed, Father Shaw, who was a chaplain in the Navy for a time, met more than one of his former charges in India or some other of the many places where his duty brought him. But we thought little of wars during 1909-'11, and we remember Father Shaw best as being a bit of a puzzle. From one point of view he was quite intelligible to us; we understood him and sympathised fully with him when he would go in to bat some scorching summer day and scatter the visiting team's best bowlers to the boundaries. We used to thrill with pride - for, of course, we looked upon our Prefect as the product of our training - at his exquisite late cuts and glides, or his powerful straight drives, and shout ourselves hoarse in friendly triumph over the discomfiture of the “enemy” bowlers. But Father Shaw puzzled us by what now we should call his idealistic side: he was a very silent man, yet very humorous when he liked, and sometimes when he did not like, he would be stirred to a slow smile by the whimsical seriousness with which some Third Liner viewed the minor problems of life. He nearly always seemed shy with us boys, but we knew him for a gentle, patient, just man, and I think we half sympathised with his somewhat tired demeanour. We sensed vaguely the fact that he possessed an artistic temperament, and some of us knew how to lure him to the library door by, putting on some of his favourite records. He was a poet, too, and he used to confess how jealous. he was of the phrase, “Our tainted nation's solitary boast” having been written by a Protestant.

He died a most holy death on 13th January, 1924, after weeks of intense pain, He used to murmur, towards the end, to those who visited him, “J'ai fini”, but most of us knew that he was not thinking so much of the close of his old life as of the opening of his new; and his real thought would be rather Nunc coepi”.
E J C RIP

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1924

Obituary
Father Frank Shaw SJ

Born in Ennis, Co. Clare, on May 29th, 1881, Fr Francis Shaw lost his father and mother while still young. Fr D Fogarty was named as guardian of the five children - two girls and three boys - and on his death the present Bishop of Killaloe, Most Rev Dr Fogarty acted as guardian - always an ideally kind one - especially to Fr Frank, his favourite.

In 1892 Fr Shaw was sent to Castleknock College where he remained till 1901, winning a name for himself already in cricket and football. From there he went to Newcastle-on-Tyne for a course of engineering. Here, wishing to be in a position to answer the religious difficulties of his Protestant fellow-students, he got into touch with the Jesuit Father's, with the result that he gave up Engineering and entered the Jesuit noviceship at Tullabeg on September 6th, 1902.

He received his vows on September 8th, 1904, and after studying Philosophy in Jersey and at Stonyhurst, England, he was stationed in Clongowes Wood College from 1909-1913. Coming to Milltown Park in 1913, he was ordained in 1916.

As the call for chaplains was urgent he volunteered immediately, and was appointed chaplain to the British Forces soon after. He served in that capacity till the War was over - in fact till 1920.

His work as chaplain was for some time in France, but mainly on the Eastern Front in Mesopotamia. Here he had a severe attack of malaria and dysentery, and it was here that at odd moments and in odder places he wrote most of his papers on Our Lady.

Demobilized in 1919, he made his tertianship in Tullabeg and in August, 1920, came to Mungret College. He took his final vows on February 2nd, 1921, in the College chapel and remained here till his health gave way in September last. It was then judged expedient to send him to a specialist in Dublin. From the first the doctors had not much hope; and an exploring operation confirmed their worst fears. Cancer was diagnosed, and it was clear he could only last some months.

Sister Ignatius broke the news to him a week or two after the operation; and soon after found him crying - but as he hastened to reassure her - for joy that he was to “go home so soon”. Everyone who came in contact with him - Sisters, nurses, doctors, visitors - all were amazed at his cheerful patience and his simple manly holiness.

A prominent Dublin doctor who had attended many saintly people in their last illness stated Fr Shaw was the holiest of them all. The terrible disease wore him slowly down. He hoped to get “home with the Kings” he said; and the day after the Octave of the Epiphany news came of his happy release. And so his body was brought to Mungret, “the old spot” he loved, coming in the train that brought the boys back from Holidays. He had gone on the unending Holiday. And the boys with their keen intuition of things, said openly and half-enviously that he was in Heaven - for he was a saint,

Judged by ordinary standards his death seems naturally premature - yet he said himself before leaving for Dublin that he had seen and had as much of life as he wanted. And the circles in which be moved - his old school, the communities in which he lived, the regiments of which he was in spiritual charge, and most of all, Mungret, both the school and the Community - know and feel his life has not been in vain and will not forget how he brightened life for them, always full of playful whimsical humour, always doing what he had to do conscientiously and well. His disposition was essentially kindly and amiable. He was a splendid athlete, and in all games maintained his reputation till the very end. They speak of his batting and football yet in Clongowes. In France he shot the winning goal for his regiment after he had received a nasty “ankle-tap” which kept him prone for six weeks. In India they would hold up cricket matches till the Padre's boat came in from Basra. And in Mungret he proved himself as skilled in hurling and rounders as in the other games.

He liked simple things and candid people, and never was afraid to hear or speak the truth. He was a great lover of Nature and his hobbies included Astronomy and Botany. His chief characteristic, however, was a love for Our Lady that glowed all his life at white heat. He sang Her praises in prose and in verse, hunting up every text of scripture that referred to Her, ransacking every Doctor of the Church who spoke of Her. He seemed to see all life through Her, and so to the poor, to women and children he was wonderfully gentle and courteous as beloved our Lady's knight.

He was as well a passionate lover of Ireland, of Clare, and of Mungret. When in a base hospital over in Mesopotamia some English officer's made disparaging remarks of the 1916 men, the quiet Padre faced a ward-full of them, and an icy frightened silence followed! He sensed the truth out there; he never swerved for one half-second from the head line set by Pearse, and McSwiney through all the later tangled times.

Mungret seemed somehow to be waiting for him, and he for her. As spiritual Father to the boys, her “holiness and homeliness” appealed to his manly piety and sincerity; and as teacher he revelled in the Gaelic national tradition here. Going through his papers, one finds the list of the Mungret wild flowers and the date on which he first sees them every year, and then the Gaelic name side by side with the high-sounding Graeco Latin botanical term. He loved everything and everyone that was in Mungret or loved Mungret. The evening that in a tense silence the hearse came crunching and creaking up the avenue - one of the little birds he used to feed from his window kept flying from it to the writer's and back again. At last after tapping impatiently with its beak on the panes of the closed window next door, it flew away. The hearse had stopped. The coffin was being borne to the chapel.

Yet the “Father, Who is in Heaven” will care for the little feathered friends of Fr Shaw in Mungret, and Father Shaw will remind Him even of them because they are of the Mungret he loved, and for which he worked and prayed and works and prays that she still may be “kindly Irish of the Irish”, full of the old homely holiness, the natural super naturalness of the Gael - and with some at least of his splendid love for Muire Máthair.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam!

To his brothers and sisters and to, Most Rev Dr Fogarty, Bishop of Killaloe, who was nearer and dearer to him than anyone on earth, we offer our sincere sympathy.

Tyndall, Robert J, 1897-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/424
  • Person
  • 05 September 1897-10 December 1988

Born: 05 September 1897, Trafalgar Terrace, Monkstown, County Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1931, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 10 December 1988, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

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

by 1923 in Australia - Regency at Studley Hall, Kew
by 1930 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Robert Tyndall was educated by the Vincentians at Castlenock and entered the novitiate in 1914. Regency was at Xavier College, Burke Hall, 1921-25. He looked after boarders, taught classes, ran the library and even managed junior cadets, all with great success. Tyndall had considerable capacity for friendship, from Archbishop Mannix to his smallest students. Many of these friends maintained a lifelong correspondence with him.