Cherryfield Lodge

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Andrews, Paul W, 1927-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/818
  • Person
  • 10 January 1927-27 November 2018

Born: 10 January 1927, Campsie, Omagh, County Tyrone
Entered: 14 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1962, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 27 November 2018, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1951 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1960 at Nth American Martyrs, Auriesville NY (NEB) making Tertianship
by 1964 at Selly Oak, Birmingham (ANG) studying

Baggot, P Anthony, 1918-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/585
  • Person
  • 21 October 1918-19 March 2001

Born: 01 October 1918, Elm Grove, Baggot Road, Cabra, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 14 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1954, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 19 March 2001, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Father was a publican and a grocer.

Only chid

Early education was at Dominican Convent Cabra and then at Belvedere College SJ.

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001

Obituary
Fr Anthony (Tony) Baggot (1918-2000)
21st Oct. 1918: Born in Dublin
Early education at Dominican College, Cabra and Belvedere College
14th Sept. 1936: Entered the Society at St. Mary's, Emo
15th Sept. 1938: First Vows at St. Mary's, Emo
1938 - 1941: Rathfarnham, studying Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1944 - 1946: Belvedere College - Regency
1946 - 1950: Milltown Park - studying Theology
31st July 1949: Ordained at Milltown Park
1950 - 1951: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1951 - 1953: Emo - Socius to Novice Director
1953 - 1959: Clongowes - Rector
2nd Feb. 1954: Final Vows
1959 - 1962: Rathfarnham - Spiritual Father to Juniors; Assistant Director of Retreat House
1962 - 1969: Leeson St. - Director Sodalities; Editor of Madonna
1969 - 1978: CIR - Superior
1978 - 1983: CIR - Director Marriage Courses,
1983 - 2001: Gonzaga - Director Marriage Courses, Courses in spirituality and relationships.

Tony was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in July 1999 suffering from prostate cancer. He remained in reasonably good health until three months before his death, when walking became difficult for him. He died peacefully at Cherryfield at 3.30 a.m. on Monday, 19th March, 2001.

Myles O' Reilly preached at Tony's Funeral Mass...

We are all here because we have known Tony Baggot in some capacity - as a friend, a relative, a Jesuit colleague, a counsellor, a participant in one of his retreats or workshops, or a grateful reader of his writings, or a carer from the Jesuit nursing home in Cherryfield. We have all been deeply touched and enriched by his gentle spirit, by his wisdom, compassion and his kindness, We are here because we want to acknowledge our love for him and our gratitude to God for him. We are only a small fraction of the many thousands of people that Tony touched throughout his 64 years as a Jesuit. To Tony all this positive regard for him would be totally mystifying. He placed himself in the lowest seat at the table of the Lord, but we intuitively know that Jesus will place him in the highest seat - “Well done good and faithful servant, come and inherit the kingdom which God has prepared for you since the beginning of the world”.

Tony had a secret weapon that enabled these qualities that endeared him so much to others to shine forth and through him. A prayer that he loved and said everyday and that he said frequently at his weekly Mass with the boys and the teachers here in Gonzaga for the last 15 years of his life, barring the last two when he got sick. It is a prayer he often used during his Retreats and Workshops also. It goes like this:

Lord Jesus I give you my hands to do your work
I give you my feet to go your way
I give you my ears to listen like you I give you my tongue that I may speak your words
I give you my mind that I may think like you I give you my heart that you may love in me
I give you my spirit that you may pray in me
I give you my whole self that you may grow in me So that it is you, Lord Jesus, that may live, love and pray in me.

What we loved in Tony were the qualities of Jesus shining through him - the Beatitudes - poor in spirit, gentle, merciful, a peacemaker etc. There are many eras to Tony's life, an only child born to Patrick and Harriet Baggot. Tony a Belvederian, who as a boy was a splendid pianist and tennis player, joined the Jesuits at the age of 18 and did the usual training. He was ordained in 1950 and only then did his interesting and varied pastoral life begin. He started with two years as Socius to the Novice Master in Emo.

Then, at the age of 32, he was made Rector of Clongowes for 6 years - he was the youngest Rector ever in the history of the Irish Province. One of our Jesuit Gonzaga community remembers at the age of 11 going to Clongowes and Tony was the first Jesuit he shook hands with. Little did he know that he would be the last Jesuit to hold Tony's band before he died last Monday night - on the Feast of St Joseph, patron of the dying.

After Clongowes Tony went back again to formation work, to being spiritual father to the young Jesuit Juniors in Rathfarnham for 3 years, and also to being a retreat director at the retreat house there. Then, in 1962, he was appointed as Editor of the Madonna, which came on in leaps and bounds under his control. That was where I first met Tony through his writings in the Madonna. I used to marvel, as a novice and a Junior, at his ability to weave passages from novelists like Graham Greene and Morris West into his articles and show how all that is, is Holy, and that God is the deepest inside of us.

Then, in 1969, Tony went to NCIR from where he became director of the Jesuit pre-marriage course for 17 years. He became a legend in his own time in his work. On some of his courses he had over 100 couples, and had no difficulty in filling the Milltown Park hall for a public lecture on marriage. During this time he wrote 3 books on marriage that were best sellers in their day, “To have and to hold”, “You and your marriage” and “Enjoy a happy marriage”.

Tony was a great listener and was particularly sensitive to women. He was an intuitive feeling type, as in the Myers Briggs personality definition, rather than a rational thinker. He learned from experience more than from principles. I am currently chaplain to a group of young married couples that meet every fortnight to help one another grow in their marriage. Only last month one of them read “To have and to hold”, and was enthralled by it, and wants it to be one of the prescribed books for the group. During these 17 years Tony gradually got into counselling, and helped hundreds, if not thousands, of couples.

One of those couples who met Tony 38 years ago, and who are here today, went to Tony with a dilemma – The mother of the Bride to be, who was not too keen to let her daughter go, said her daughter was too young and wasn't ready to get married etc. Tony paused for a while then broke into a grin. “Why don't you go to the maternity boutique in Leeson Street, and buy a maternity dress and hang it up in your wardrobe - that will surely help her to let go!!!”

Tony came to Gonzaga here in 1983 and continued his marriage work for 3 more years. After that he became a full time therapeutic counsellor and ran courses on spirituality and relationships in Tabor House, Chrysalis Conference Centre, and in the Dominican centre in Sion Hill. He became very interested in healing early childhood wounds and pioneered some splendid work in this area, which is still carried on in Chrysalis today.

He never charged any money for his work but he received so many donations that he refused to take a state pension – “Others might need it more than me”, he would say. All this wonderful productivity and creativity came from Tony's depths and from his spirituality. Some quotations from Tony's writings will give us an idea of what resonated with Tony.

Inevitably we live in the presence of holy mystery, a presence we cannot escape, for we are immersed in it. In music, in the sea, in a flower, in a leaf, in an act of kindness, I can see what we call God in all these things."

I said to the cherry tree, “Tell me of God”, and the cherry tree blossomed. That is more eloquent than any definition of God for me.

When I address God I do not address one who is outside. God is the deepest inside of everything, myself included, and the goal of personal growth is the birth of God in the soul. Life itself is the primary sacrament. Religious faith is human life seen as a disclosure of God.

What is called losing the faith is often not so, but a search for a deeper one.

God speaks from the depths of the heart, not the top of the head.

The movement of God, or the movement, which is God, activates me, flows through me.

Rather than governing from without, God is enlivening from within.

This one work has to do - Let all God's glory through (G M Hopkins)

Spiritual life is the flowering cosmic energy and Jesus, as the high point of God's presence, released a new spiritual power - the Christ power. That presence which radiated from his physical body in Palestine is to radiate through his mystical body in the world now.

He was one who, precisely by being human in the fullest degree, was God's existence in the world -- His divinity or godly quality was not something different from his humanity but was his humanity at its highest point. The Ignatian description for Tony's spiritual journey during these fruitful years would be that he lived the grace of the Second Week. That is, working and labouring with Christ in bringing about his kingdom in the world. But little did he know that, like his master, Jesus, his last few years would be a sharing in the sufferings of Christ before he entered into his glory.

Tony gave his last retreat almost three years ago. From then on his health went slowly into decline. The slow onslaught of what turned out to be cancer of the bone began. Tony lost all his physical energy, he lost all taste for things he liked - gardening, reading and writing. His memory was deteriorating, too. He could no longer do his counselling. He loved being a priest and felt he understood it more richly than ever. He cried with frustration at the loss of not being able to minister any more.

The black dog of depression set in with bouts of scrupulosity. He felt so guilty at occupying a room in Cherryfield at such expense. Surely he wasn't sick enough. He was, like Christ on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me”. He felt so empty. The days were so long - nothing to do - nothing to live for – he couldn't pray, read, think.

Even though this was his inner state most of the time, he was always so gracious with the nurses, never failed to be aware of any act of kindness and always quick to thank them. Thank you for your care' he used to say and they grew to love him. They could see that there was something special about Tony, a childlike transparency, a constant sincere gratitude, a freedom from pretence, an honesty of feeling whether positive or negative, never a sharp or nasty word - always gentle. Their acts of kindness were his experience of God during those last dark years, as also were the visits of his friends that he so much appreciated.

Last September a change came about in Tony - a peace came into his soul and it came from saying over and over again this simple prayer every night in the dark of the chapel for half an hour. There was more surrender and humble simplicity in this prayer than in the previous one. Through this prayer he found the peace and the capacity to accept what was happening to him.

I place my hands in yours. I place my will in yours, Lord
I place my will in yours. I place my days in yours, Lord
I place my days in yours. I place my thoughts in yours, Lord
I place my thoughts in yours. I place my heart in yours, Lord
I place my heart in yours. I place my hands in yours, Lord I place my hands in yours.

Angela Ashwin

Whenever his friends would visit him in Cherryfield he would always be glad to give them his blessing before they left. He would always say with a sign of the Cross on the forehead - May Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit guard you and guide you on your way'. One day, close to his death, I was with him, and was about to leave, but Tony wasn't offering his blessing. “Aren't you going to give me your blessing?” He looked confused. The words wouldn't come to him. And then, after a pause, he said “My suffering is my prayer for you”. We can be sure that his sufferings were offered for all of us, not just me.

All he had left to give were his sufferings and his gratitude. Like his saviour on the cross, on Monday night, surrounded by a few friends Tony's work was finished. With Him he could say “It is finished. Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit”. “Lord Jesus receive my soul”. A few hours before he died, Tony's eyes came back from their unconscious glazed state, and focusing, looked intently across to the far window as if he was seeing somebody, he smiled and sank back into his glazed look again. Blessed are those who die in the Lord. Happy indeed, the Spirit says. Now they can rest forever after their work, since their good deeds go with them. (Apoc. 14.13) We surely have an advocate in heaven in Tony Baggott.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 2001

Obituary
Tony Baggot SJ

The Community and College gladly mourn Fr. Tony Baggot SJ, who died peace fully after a long illness on the 19th March, the feast of St. Joseph: gladly, because he richly deserves to be with his Lord; mourn, because we have lost a truly gentle man, who brought peace, comfort and solace to so many of us and others over a long life. Tony's main work throughout his 64 years of Jesuit life was in relationship counselling, especially marriage and personal development counselling. Through his pre-marriage courses, which he directed for 17 years, he let Christ touch many thousands of lives and relieved so many from wrongful perceptions of God; Tony's love and care modelled God's love for them.

Tony came to Gonzaga in 1983 to continue his very extensive counselling prac tice. He joined in with the College pastoral programme by helping with the daily Morning Mass, the sacrament of Reconciliation and other liturgical celebrations, especially at Christmas and Easter and Graduation. His stately figure roamed the grounds, engaged many in conversation, pointing out God's gesture to us in the environment; Tony contributed to beautifying the environment by his work on the rockery beside the tennis courts and the flowerbed at the house. Tony's knowledge of the trees, their provenance and characteristics, was amazing, but only to those who did not appreciate his integration of the whole of creation with God's caring provision for all our needs, body, mind and spirit.

Tony's touchstone prayer reveals the man and the spirit he would have us live by:

Lord Jesus I give you my hands to do your work
I give you my feet to go your way
I give you my ears to listen like you
I give you my tongue that I may speak your words
I give you my mind that I may think like you
I give you my heart that you may love in me
I give you my spirit that you may pray in me
I give you my whole self that you may grow in me
So that it is you, Lord Jesus, that may live, love and pray in me.
(From Fr. Myles O'Reilly's homily)

Tony's Funeral Mass in the college was attended by his cousins, a goodly number of his Jesuit confreres, and a not surprisingly large number of friends and acquain tances. The occasion was graced by an excellent homily by Fr. Myles O'Reilly SJ and the Senior Choir, under the baton of Mr. Potts and organist Mr. Murphy. Fr. Rector and the Community would like to thank all who participated in celebrat ing Tony's life and who have conveyed their sympathies.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Fr John A Dunne SJ

Bailey, Anthony, 1923-2007, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/586
  • Person
  • 17 October 1923-09 May 2007

Born: 17 October 1923, Lettermore, Rosmuck, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1945, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final vows: 02 February 1956, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 09 May 2007, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Originally Entered in 1942 but Left March 1942 due to leg injury, re-joined 1945

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007
Obituary

Br Anthony (Tony) Bailey (1923-2007)
17th October 1923: Born in Lettermore, Rosmuck, Co. Galway.
Early education in local National School.
Left Lettermore in 1936 for Rathcarn, Athboy, Co. Meath.
15th September 1941: Entered Society at Emo as a Postulant, but had to leave in March 1942, suffering from a leg disease.
7th September 1945: Rejoined the Novitiate at Emo. After First Vows stayed on at Emo as Cook and Houseman.
He did a cookery course at Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin.
1968 - 1975: Mungret -
1968 - 1970: Cook, in charge of house staff and infirmarian
1970 - 1972: In charge of house staff and infirmarian
1972 - 1975: Cook, in charge of house staff and infirmarian
1975 - 1986: Tullabeg -
1975 - 1985: Assistant Maintenance man and gardener
1985 - 1986: Assistant Minister
1986 - 2007: Manresa - Painter / Decorator and houseman
9th May 2007: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Dermot Mansfield writes:
Tony Bailey always remembered his birth date, 17th October 1923, because it was the feast of St Margaret Mary Alacoque, one of his favourite saints. Always, indeed, he looked to the guidance and protection of the saints, including Ignatius, the young “Star”, as well as Margaret Mary, the Little Flower, and his own Anthony of Padua. Quite a motley lot, the seven are, but good congenial company for Tony. And now he has gone to join them. Many of us, I think, will include Tony among our favourites. Our memories of him are so rich, whether his mischievous wit and sparkling conversation are recalled, his quick intelligence, or his essential shyness, and deep love of quiet and contemplation. We surely have a good friend who will steer us still and keep us on the right track from the heavenly realms beyond.

He was born into the family of Colman Bailey and Anne Coyne at Lettermore, Rosmuck, in Co Galway. The world of Connemara, therefore, was his as a growing boy, and he received his formal education at the local National School. Then came a big upheaval, when the family moved in 1936 right across the country, to the new Gaeltacht set-up at Rathcarn, near Athboy in Co Meath. However, the West was not forgotten, and indeed Tony's first contact with the Jesuits was through our house in Galway. This eventually led him to first join the Society at Emo in September 1941 as a postulant. But TB meant he had to leave in March 1942, and he would then spend quite a while as a young patient in Cappagh sanatorium. Tony often spoke of that experience, and no doubt during it his spirit of patient endurance especially developed, as well as his gift of prayer. A legacy of his illness was the unhealed leg he had for the rest of his life.

In 1943, his sister Barbara joined the Society of the Sacred Heart at Mount Anville. Perhaps it was Barbara's example that helped Tony in his determination about his own vocation, leading him on 7th September 1945 to rejoin the novitiate at Emo. Without question, he was finally where he wanted to be, and was happy in that setting. In particular, he had a great warm regard for Tommy Byrne, his novice master, who cared for him in a fatherly way.

After his First Vows, Tony did a cookery course at Cathal Brugha Street in Dublin. He stayed at Milltown Park during that time, and was one of those who experienced the trauma of the life there. Then it was back to Emo, where he was to spend so many years as gifted cook, and where his vital personality would exercise an immense influence on the great number of novices passing through there in the 1950s and 1960s. In the somewhat Upstairs-Downstairs world of that time, it could be a pleasant change for us scholastic novices to be on experiment with the brothers and our fellow brother novices. The encouragement and humour of "the Abbot Bailey" helped many a downcast young soul, as did the example of what seemed to be his effortless spirit of prayer. Then again, his spontaneity could manifest itself in surprising ways, as when he brought home a captive cock pheasant, christened it “Montini” (after the new Pope in 1963), and with it started up a spectacular pheasantry. And it goes without saying that he loved the grounds, the farm, the lake and woodlands all around.

In 1968 he moved from Emo to Mungret along with Paddy Cusack. He was cook there for a while on the community side, but he had grown weary of that work, and moved out of it into dealing with the house staff and acting as infirmarian. Once again, nature enthralled him, especially the winter wildlife on Loughmore nearby, and along the Shannon estuary. In this regard Peter Doyle was a kindred spirit, as was Eric Cantillon, and also the fondly remembered scholastic of that time, Pat O'Farrell. They all had many interesting times and exploits together. Tony, of course, was interested in the boys and their welfare, and often those with similar interests would seek him out for chats.

With Mungret's closure in 1974, Tony was back up in the Midlands again, this time at Tullabeg. Although in itself not a house to inspire one or raise the spirits, Tony found much there to his liking. He had good company in Pat Guidera, Andy Bannon, and especially Brogan Whittle, his friend from Emo days. In particular, Michael Gallagher's time as superior was much valued by him, as were the visits and ministry of John Hyde. He loved the Public Church, its atmosphere, and was interested in all the people from near and far who found their way there. He made great friends in the neighbourhood, with families, like the McLoughlins, the Corcorans and the Guinans, to name but a few. As well, he took an active interest in the comings and goings of retreatants, both lay and religious, and also in the Tertians during their years there. His one trip out of Ireland was during these years, when he went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes organised by Brian McNamara. He thought very highly of Brian, and his heart went out to him as Brian struggled often in vain with his serious alcoholism.

In 1980 Tony's sister Barbara died, after 38 years in religious life. Eight years older, she, too, was a remarkable person, and was remembered affectionately by her Sacred Heart sisters. The things said of her point to somewhat similar aspects in Tony's character. She had “a passionate sense of justice, which made her suffer all her life”. She was seen as a “fiercely independent spirit”, who was “generous and forthright”. But, above all, this most certainly applies to her brother: “She was always filled with wonder at the work of God in the world and in people”.

A few years later came the next change, and one that posed a real challenge for Tony. For it can be said that our spacious country houses had suited Tony best, and very understandably. So how was he going to adapt when, in 1985, he finally came to Dublin and had to settle down in Manresa? How would he manage in the relatively confined atmosphere there? Formerly, because of his retiring nature, Tony could easily have his meals at times other than the official community one, but now there was no option like that open to him. Everyone came at the set times to dinner and supper, including the Novices from down the grounds. In addition, we had sisters and lay people on the retreat staff, and other visiting directors much of the time. But, in fact, Tony blossomed in such company, entering into conversation with everyone, and displaying interest in all that was happening. Again, too, he was in a Novitiate situation, and so he wished once more to be an encouragement to the younger men coming our way. And, importantly, he became especially close to Pat McNamara, who only a year or two earlier had made his own big change from Belvedere.

For other reasons one ought to have had no worries about Tony coming to Manresa. For, straightaway, he grew to love every inch of the grounds around him, and the trees, the birds, and all the wildlife along the seashore. At one stage he managed to entice red squirrels into our property, a delight to behold. Early on too, in memory of the great avenue of Californian Redwoods (”Wellingtonias”) at Emo, he planted a young example not far from the house, and which now twenty years later is steadily reaching for the sky - a fitting memorial to his own adventurous outlook. And the sky itself overarching Manresa in all its moods, and the movement of the stars and planets on winter nights, were for him a ceaseless source of wonder.

In February 1989 the spectre of ill health came over him again, with the sudden stroke that severely limited his activity, Courageously, he fought his way back to a good degree of mobility. If anything, however, he now became even more a central part of the community scene, aided by the care and friendship of Pat McNamara and Michael Gallagher, and then, too, Mike Drennan, among others. You could say that in these later years Tony really became the heart of our life together. He lightened things for us; he was full of questions and comment, and always his own spirit was a constant reminder of what really matters. Often be was to be found in the chapel. I will always picture him among that faithful group at our community Mass, along with Tom Donnellan, Pat McNamara, and Paddy Meagher.

It was a great shock, however, when Pat died suddenly just before Christmas in 1997. Tony missed him sorely. Yet he adapted in time, and continued on as best he could. There were still treasured family visits, of course, from his brother Jimmy and sister-in-law Kathleen, and from his fond nephew Seán, his wife Jacinta, and their children. There were the contacts from old friends of Rahan days. Sometimes there was loud laughter and animated talk over tea and cakes on Sunday afternoons in the community room, when Joe Osborne came to visit, or Jim Sutton and Brendan Hyland, Gerry Marks, or Jim Barry. George Fallon, too, was often a welcome guest at lunch. Also his faithful friend Brogan Whittle, who had left the Society at this stage, was a regular caller. And later, there was the valued company once again of Peter Doyle, and then of Joe Ward. As I recall, his last holiday was when Michael Gallagher brought him for some days to Galway, back once more to the West.

Then little signs were indicative, at least in hindsight, of the forgetfulness that overtook him more recently. We were all affected by this loss, by this withdrawal in him. Yet despite such diminishment somehow Tony always remained himself. The glint remained in his eyes, the liveliness in his striking voice. He really did continue to be a part of the community, until he required the permanent care that only Cherryfield could give. And finally, in his 84th year, he slipped gently away from this world, in the forenoon of Wednesday, 9th of May, 2007.

How fitting it was to bring his mortal remains back to Manresa – first, overnight, to the new Tertians' chapel, and then the next morning to the Retreat House chapel for his funeral Mass. In his homily, Joe Dargan spoke of Tony's gratitude at the end, and it was in a spirit of great gratitude that so many friends gathered for that final farewell, with large numbers of his family.

But also, although it was time for him to go, he cannot but be sorely missed by such a variety of family and friends, and by his Jesuit companions. Knowing Tony, and sharing our lives with him, was for many of us one of the greatest gifts we have ever received, His was a unique spirit, always vital, alert, interested, humble, vulnerable, and true. He could bring out the best in people, the humanity that was there, the prayer, the laughter within. And now in the company of the blessed, without a doubt he is still prodding us, and egging us on, and making us keep our eyes fixed on the main purpose of it all.

Barrett, Cyril D, 1925-2003, Jesuit priest, art historian, and philosopher

  • IE IJA J/561
  • Person
  • 09 May 1925-30 December 2003

Born: 09 May 1925, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 30 December 2003, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1962 at St Ignatius, Tottenham London (ANG) studying
by 1963 at Mount Street, London (ANG) studying
by 1964 at Church of the Assumption, Warwick (ANG) studying
by 1973 at Warwick University (ANG) teaching
by 1993 at Campion Hall, Oxford (BRI) teaching

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Barrett, (Denis) Cyril
by Patrick Maume

Barrett, (Denis) Cyril (1925–2003), Jesuit priest, art critic and historian, and philosopher, was born Denis Barrett in Dublin on 9 May 1925 (Cyril was his name in religion). He was the son of Denis Barrett, the last assistant commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police. His mother died of cancer when he was aged three, and his father subsequently remarried; the two marriages produced four sons and a daughter. Young Denis grew up at the family home in Booterstown, south Co. Dublin; his relationship with his stepmother Evelyn was close and affectionate. The family background was well‐to‐do catholic with some landed gentry elements which might have been described as ‘castle catholic’ but which offered scope for self‐expression, often eccentric; like several of his ancestors, Barrett was noted for charm, eccentricity, and intellectual brilliance.

He was educated at Killashee school in Naas, at Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, and at Clongowes. He joined the Jesuits in 1942, underwent a Thomist training in philosophy at the Jesuit college in Tullabeg, and studied theology at Milltown Park in Dublin. The Jesuits recognised and encouraged his academic vocation, and his career took advantage of the wide latitude allowed to an imaginative Jesuit in pursuance of his vocation. He studied Latin and history at University College Dublin (the latter discipline, as taught by John Marcus O’Sullivan (qv), had a strong philosophical component, and Barrett recalled being introduced to political philosophy by studying Rousseau as being thrown in at the deep end) and graduated with a first class BA in 1947. After a year studying anthropology and the role of myth at the Warburg Institute, Barrett began a peripatetic teaching career, including three years at Clongowes, three years teaching psychology at Tullabeg, and a period at Chantilly (France). He also studied theology at Milltown Park. Barrett was ordained priest in 1956 and took his final Jesuit vows in 1960. He undertook advanced research in philosophy at the University of London, receiving a Ph.D. in 1962 for a dissertation on symbolism in the arts.

In 1965 Barrett was one of two founding members of the philosophy department at the University of Warwick, where he was successively lecturer (1965–7), senior lecturer (1967–72) and reader (1972–92). Shortly after his appointment to Warwick he established his reputation, first by editing a well‐received selection of papers by innovators in the philosophy of art and criticism, Collected papers on aesthetics (1965), then by persuading the notoriously reluctant Wittgenstein estate to allow him to publish a collection of notes by three students of Wittgenstein of the philosopher’s remarks on aesthetics, psychology and religion. Lectures and conversations on aesthetics, psychology and religious belief (1966) offered new perspectives on Wittgenstein’s aesthetic and religious interests, whose extent had barely been realised, and became the basis for an extensive critical literature.

Barrett maintained his involvement with Wittgenstein throughout his career, summing up his views in Wittgenstein on ethics and religious belief (1991). He maintained that the gap between Wittgenstein’s early and late views had been exaggerated; the importance Wittgenstein attached to value remained constant and the Tractatus logico‐philosophus, widely seen as an exercise in positivism, was in inspiration a document of moral inquiry. He did not call himself a Wittgensteinian (he was sceptical of the concept of philosophical discipleship) but was influenced by Wittgenstein in his eclectic preference for addressing disparate problems rather than seeking to build an overarching system, and in his interest in the nature of perception.

The mature Barrett held the Wittgensteinian view that religion could not be stated in propositional terms (i.e. as a set of beliefs) but can only be experienced as a way of life, though Barrett also maintained that this did not entail relativism between such ways; real belief was required. This view would have been seen as heterodox by large numbers of Christians throughout the history of Christianity (including some of Barrett’s contemporaries) but was part of a wider reaction within twentieth‐century catholic theology against what were seen as excessively mechanical and rationalistic forms of neo‐Thomism and of a desire to rediscover the approach of the early church fathers based on the view that reason might illuminate faith from within but could not create it where it did not exist.

Barrett disliked clerical politics and what he saw as the intellectual narrowness and social conservatism of the church hierarchy. He was hostile to the neo‐orthodoxy of Pope John Paul II; his comment in a public venue on the day of the pope’s attempted assassination by Mehmet Ali Agca (13 May 1981), that the greatest fault of ‘that bloody Turk’ had been not shooting straight (Times, 15 Jan. 2004), was occasionally cited by more conservative catholics as symbolic of the perceived deterioration of the Jesuits after the second Vatican council. Barrett’s friends recall, however, that despite his pleasure in flouting what he regarded as petty‐fogging rules and the constraints of his calling, he maintained a deep personal faith in God and was a valued and compassionate confessor and adviser; beneath his questing was an underlying simplicity.

He was a champion of various schools of modern art, particularly Op Art (in 1970 he published one of the first significant books on this form of abstract art, which uses optical illusions to focus the viewer’s attention on the process of perception). He was a regular visitor to eastern Europe where he combined religious activity with encouragement of those artists who were resisting official pressure to conform to Soviet realism; his trips were financed by eastern bloc royalties from his own publications (which could not be transferred into western currencies) and the profits from smuggling out disassembled artworks as ‘agricultural implements’. He also helped to mount several art exhibitions to popularise favoured trends, and established extensive (and hard‐bargained) relationships with London dealers. He played a significant role in building up Warwick University’s art collection, and at various times donated forty works from his own collection (including items by Bridget Riley, Micheal (Michael) Farrell (qv), and Yoko Ono) to the university. Barrett’s fascination with kitsch led him to produce a paper, ‘Are bad works of art “works of art”?’ (Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures, vi (1973), 182–93), inspired by some of the religious art he encountered at Kenilworth Priory, Warwick. (Barrett’s answer was a qualified Yes.)

He did much to popularise modern art in Ireland through his frequent contributions to the Jesuit quarterly review Studies (he was assistant editor for a year in the early 1950s, and throughout his subsequent career wrote and reviewed for the journal on a wide range of topics) and other journals such as The Furrow and Irish Arts Yearbook. He produced a widely respected catalogue of nineteenth‐century Irish art (Irish art in the 19th century (1971)), and with Jeanne Sheehy (qv) contributed two chapters on the visual arts and Irish society to A new history of Ireland. VI. Ireland under the union, II. 1870–1921 (Oxford 1996) and an account of twentieth‐century art to A new history of Ireland. VII. 1921–84 (Oxford 2004). He also published monographs on the artists Micheal (Michael) Farrell and Carmel Mooney.

Although his flair for teaching and disputation was celebrated on campus, Barrett, like many old‐style academics, lacked administrative aptitude and in his later years at Warwick he was irritated by the increasing bureaucratisation and quantification of higher education. In 1992 he retired from Warwick to Campion Hall, the Jesuit college at Oxford, where he organised an exhibition of its art holdings, used the Latin‐language procedure in applying for a Bodleian reader’s ticket, and was a frequent visitor to the rival Dominican hall, Blackfriars. At Campion Hall he continued to work as a tutor, though he maintained that leisure (expansively defined as ‘life lived to its fullest’) was the proper end of human life and the proper state of mankind; he devoted as much time to it as possible.

He was a world traveller (wont to describe some of the ricketier charter planes he encountered as ‘Holy Ghost Airlines’), a gourmet cook who loved to entertain guests, a convivial drinker, and fond of betting on horseraces; he regularly attended the Merriman summer school in Co. Clare with his friend the broadcaster Seán Mac Réamoinn (1921–2007). He was a voluble critic of the provisional IRA. At the time of his death he was working on an analysis of the morality of war (he was always critical of the view that a just cause justified any means), a philosophical autobiography My struggles with philosophy, and a revision of the Spiritual exercises of St Ignatius Loyola. He also wrote poetry inspired by his reactions to the cancer which was killing him. Cyril Barrett died in Dublin on 30 December 2003.

Ir. Times, 10 Jan. 2004; Times (London), 15 Jan. 2004; Independent (London), 25 Feb. 2004; https://warwick.ac.uk/services/art/teachinglearningandresearch/onlineexhibitions/cyrilbarrett/

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

Fr Cyril D Barrett (1925-2003)

May 9th 1925: Born in Dublin
Early education at Kiliashee, Naas, Co.Kildare, Ampleforth College, Yorks. and Clongowes
Sept. 7th 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
Sept. 8th 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1947: Studied Arts at UCD
1947 - 1950: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1950 - 1953: Clongowes - Prefect and Teacher
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
July 31st 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park
1957 - 1958: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1958 - 1959: Leeson Street - Minister, Asst. Editor Studies
1959 - 1960: Tullabeg - Prof. Psychology; Subminister
Feb. 2nd 1960: Final Vows
1960 - 1961: Tullabeg -Prof. Psychology; Minister
1961 - 1964: London - Postgraduate Studies (History of Philosophy), London University (PhD)
1964 - 1965: Chantilly, France - Lecturer in Philosophy
1965 - 1966: Warwick University - Lecturer in Philosophy
1966 - 2003: Milltown Park
1966 - 1967: Dean of Philosophy; Prof. Philosophy at MI
1967 - 1972: Senior Lecturer in Philosophy - Warwick U.; Reader / Visiting Lecturer - Milltown Institute
1972 - 1992: University of Warwick - Reader in Philosophy
1992 - 2002: Oxford - Tutor in Philosophy
2002 - 2003: Milltown Park - writer
Dec. 30th 2003: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

Fr. Barrett was diagnosed as suffering from cancer in Autumn 2003. Despite a brief remission his health deteriorated steadily. He was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on Christmas Day. There he died on the morning of Dec. 30th 2003.

Obituary from Times of London, January 15, 2004:

Dinner with Father Cyril Barrett - and you would dine well with this accomplished cook, even if in somewhat chaotic surroundings – was an intellectual feast composed of unpredictable ingredients. A man of huge charm, voracious curiosity and lively humour, he made an open house of his great learning. It was a place that offered inspiration and discovery to those who stepped across its threshold, at the University of Warwick where he taught philosophy for nearly three decades, in Dublin and London, or on his adventurous travels on a Jesuitical shoestring. (Holy Ghost Airlines, he would joke about the dodgier charter flights to dodgy destinations.) As an experimental new university in the mid-Sixties, Warwick attracted, and was attracted by, his interdisciplinary and questing cast of mind. Barrett was as authoritative on Op Art as he was on Wittgenstein's aesthetics.

Inducted almost straight from school into the Society of Jesus but, wisely, given free rein to pursue his strong academic vocation, Cyril Barrett found his reference points as writer, critic and lecturer in philosophy, aesthetics and a lifelong engagement with religious meaning; but he branched outward in multiple directions. He could discourse as intriguingly on hot racing tips, the samizdat blue films circulating in Cold War Central Europe (about which he was alarmingly well informed), kitsch or even knitting, as he talked about medieval aesthetics, Kierkegaard or Picasso. The most unclerical of priests, his faith was deep yet never unquestioning, just as the intellect that made him a renowned philosopher and art critic was tempered by the intensity of his inner spiritual dialogue.

Denis Cyril Barrett was born in 1925 in Dublin, to the sort of horse-and-hounds family that throws up, as it did with his great-uncle Cyril Corbally, such eccentric luminaries as champion croquet players. But this was independence-era Dublin, with its charged politics. His father Denis, the last Assistant Commissioner of the pre-1922 Dublin Metropolitan Police and the first of the Garda Siochana that replaced it, was to resign out of disgust with de Valera's brand of nationalism and the virulence of the IRA – a disgust always shared by his son. His mother died when he was three, and he was brought up by his adored stepmother Evelyn.

His early trajectory was conventional, from Ampleforth to a first in History and Latin at University College, Dublin, and thence to licenciates both in philosophy and in theology before ordination. How little these disciplines were to confine him was demonstrated by his doctorate, on symbolism in the arts, and a subsequent year studying anthropology and the role of myth at University College, London and the Warburg Institute, His large body of books and essays was to be almost equally devoted to modern art --- where his influence was enormous and Europe wide -- and to philosophical studies.

As a philosopher, Barrett became celebrated for publishing, in 1966, a selection of student notes of Wittgenstein's lectures and conversations on aesthetics, psychology and religious belief -- a small corpus out of which has developed a massive secondary literature and which has profoundly influenced aesthetics and theology. All his formidable persuasive skills were put to the test in gaining the consent of the notoriously possessive executors; Wittgenstein declared that "only aesthetic and conceptual questions” really gripped him, but without the Barrett enterprise, few would have known for many years of his grapplings with the former, or indeed with religion.

A quarter of a century later he gave his own considered account of Wittgenstein on ethics and religious belief, arguing that his views on value developed but did not change. Wittgenstein, he maintained, held that seeking to inculcate moral principles, and teaching religion in propositional form, is contrary to the true nature of ethics and religious belief - a position he endorsed. But he resisted the influential misinterpretation according to which Wittgenstein held religious belief to be nothing more than a way of life according to a picture. Belief is involved. The “picture” of Judgment Day is more than a mere picture or exemplar; it is a picture to live by, and there are better and worse such pictures; Wittgenstein “was no more a relativist than any reasonable person can avoid being”.

While never a Wittgensteinian, and indeed hostile to the notion of philosophical discipleship, he certainly learnt from him, and in aesthetics this influence came out in at least two ways. First, in his preference for tackling particular problems and clarifying ideas, over constructing elaborate theories, and secondly in his engagement with the interconnections between aesthetics and psychology, expressed most notably in his pioneering work popularising and explaining Op Art, both in books and by organising exhibitions. As an art critic he was wide-ranging and formidable -- his catalogue of 19th-century Irish Victorian Art is a classic of its kind - but also creative. He was a driving force in establishing Warwick University's art collection, and in cultivating understanding of modern art in Ireland. “Are bad works of art ‘works of art’?”, he asked in an influential essay; his suitably nuanced answer was that they may well be.

Jesuits, avowedly and by direction, are deeply involved in the world's affairs - and the greatest of them are mavericks. To someone of Barrett's catholic interests, impatience of convention and detestation of intellectual narrowness, Catholicism can be a hard master. Like many Jesuits down the centuries, Barrett made no attempt to disguise his chafing at the Vatican's hierarchical politics and social conservatism - going so far as to declare on the day of the attempted assassination of the Pope, in a bellow that filled a London restaurant, that “the only thing wrong with that bloody Turk was that he couldn't shoot straight”. The religious affairs correspondent of The Sunday Times, seated at a nearby table, turned beetroot.

Yet Barrett could readily assume his priestly guise and, in that capacity, was a compassionate and subtle counsellor and eminently practical moralist, ultimately convinced of the intelligence as well as the goodness of the Holy Spirit and able to instil that belief in others.

Academic politics bored Barrett at least as much as the priestly variety, and the world of league tables, research assessments and other bureaucratic rigidities even more. He left Warwick in 1992 for Campion Hall, Oxford, with some relief, striding into the Bodleian and demanding (successfully) to use the Latin language procedure for registering for a reader's ticket,

He continued writing to the very end of his life, back in Dublin, and was working in the last weeks on books and articles ranging from the morality of war to the limits of science, as well as writing poetry and rewriting the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. Barrett would, however, have described this as the pursuit of leisure, which for him was “not a trivial pursuit”, and nothing to do with idleness, but, rather, “life lived to its fullest”.

Work was necessary for survival, he wrote, but “It is not an end in itself. Leisure is. It is the end, the goal, of human life, the proper state of man” -- which is why the quality of leisure matters. There are echoes here of Aristotle, even of St Augustine's idea of entering the holy Sabbath of God. But Cyril Barrett's genius was to draw the classical forward into the present; to cite one of his aphorisms, “philosophy may be perennial, but it is not static”.

◆ The Clongownian, 2004

Obituary

Father Cyril Barrett SJ

Father Cyril Barrett, SJ, who died on December 30th, 2003 aged 78, was a philosopher and art critic of international renown. He had his first direct encounter with philosophy as a student at University College Dublin, through Prof Marcus O'Sullivan's treatment of Rousseau. Philosophy, he would later remark, was a matter of learning to swim by diving in at the deep end but, he cautioned, the deep end of Rousseau's political philosophy was not to be recommended.

He wrote in “Studies” on subjects ranging from Picasso to Kierkegaard. His first book on Wittgenstein, dealing with aesthetics, psychology and religious belief, was published in 1966. Twenty five years later, he published Wittgenstein on Ethics and Religious Beliefs, a mature exposition of the questions that engaged him as a philosopher.

He played a major role in fostering an appreciation of modern art in Ireland. He was a member of the committee of ROSC that provided a showcase for the work of leading international artists. A regular contributor to “Art Monthly”, his publications include a study of op art and monographs on : Michael Farrell and Carmel Mooney. He contributed a section on art in the 20th century to the most recent volume of “A New History of Ireland” (2003).

Denis Cyril Barrett was born on May 9th, 1925, in Dublin, the son of Denis Barrett and his wife Lily (née Kearney). His father was assistant commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and the family lived in Booterstown. His mother died when he was three and his father later remarried. His early education took place at Killashee, Naas, Co Kildare, Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, and Clongowes Wood College. In 1942 he entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained in 1956, taking his final vows in 1960.

He studied arts at UCD and in 1947 secured a first class honours in Latin and History. Having studied philosophy at Tullabeg, Co Offaly, he taught for three years at Clongowes. He spent the next three years studying theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. Following a year as assistant editor of “Studies”, he taught psychology at Tullabeg. He completed a PhD at London University in 1964 and afterwards caught philosophy at Chantilly, France, and at the University of Warwick, where he remained until 1992. Retirement from Warwick brought him to Campion Hall, Oxford, as a tutor for 10 years. Throughout this time he was a visiting lecturer at Milltown Park.

At the time of his death he was in the process of writing a philosophical memoir with the working title “My Struggles With Philosophy”. In it he addressed the question of understanding other philosophers whose views are alien, not only to one's own thought but also to the precepts of common sense.

A man of many parts, he was a world traveler, a gourmet cook who liked to entertain and he had the knack of picking a winner on the racing page or at an occasional race meeting. He also enjoyed attending the Merriman Summer School with his friend, Seán Mac Réamoinn. But, as his colleague, Father Bill Mathews, said at his funeral Mass, “At the centre of it all, I believe there was in him a very simple faith in God and in the goodness of God”.

Predeceased by his brother Matthew, he is survived by his stepmother Evelyn, brothers John and Father Francis, and sister Eve.

Courtesy of The Irish Times

Bourke, Gerard, 1926-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/812
  • Person
  • 17 January 1926-20 August 2017

Born: 17 January 1926, Ranelagh, Dublin
Entered: 14 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 03 December 1981, Tokyo, Japan
Died: 20 August 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Japanese Province (JPN)

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

Transcribed HIB to JPN : 16 December 1960

by 1952 at Eiko, Yokosuka-shi, Japan (JPN) studying
by 1959 at Hiroshima, Japan (JPN)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/much-travelled-jesuit/

A much-travelled Jesuit
Irish Jesuit Fr Gerry Bourke SJ, who spent a good part of his Jesuit life in Japan, passed away on Sunday 20 August. He was aged 91 years. His funeral Mass took place in Milltown Park Chapel on Tuesday 22 August.
Fr Bourke SJ, a native of Ranelagh, Dublin, was a student in CBS Synge St. before he joined the Society in 1943. Shortly after his ordination in 1957, he joined the Japanese mission, and in 1960 he became formally a member of the Japanese Jesuit Province. After a short period as parish priest in Hiroshima, Gerry spent many years teaching in a Jesuit high school in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo. He left in 1971, and went to New York, and then to Hawaii, where he did academic and pastoral work. He returned to Japan in 1984, where he taught and ministered at Sophia University in Tokyo.
After another stint in Hawaii, Gerry returned to Ireland in 2001, and for much of the next decade was deeply immersed in Jesuit communications, particularly with the innovative and thriving apostolate of Sacred Space. He moved to Cherryfield Lodge nursing home in his native Ranelagh in 2013 where he settled in very well and appreciated all that was done for him. It was there that he passed away peacefully on Sunday 20 August.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at CBS, Synge Street, Dublin
1945-1948 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1948-1951 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1951-1954 Yokosuka, Japan - Regency : Learning Language; Teaching at Eiko Gakuen Jesuit High School
1954-1958 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1958-1960 Hiroshima, Japan - Parish Priest at Gion Kioku kunai
1959 Tertianship at Hiroshima
1960-1971 Yokosuka - Teaching at Eiko Gakuen Jesuit High School
1971-1972 Fordham University, New York - Education Studies; Parish Ministry; Family Consultation Service
1972-1978 Riverdale, New York - Campus Ministry at College of Mount St Vincent
1974 Lecturer in Psychology at Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry New York
1978-1984 Honolulu, Hawaii - Superior at University of Hawaii Jesuit Community; Campus Ministry
1984-1991 Sophia University, Tokyo - Director of Counselling Institute; Lecturing in Psychology
1991-1996 Honolulu, Hawaii - Parish Ministry at St Anthony’s Church, Kailua
1993 Parish work at Star of the Sea Church, Honolulu
1994 Pastor at Sacred Heart Church, Pahoa
1995 Parish Administrator at St Ann’s Church. Maui
1996-1997 Manila, Philippines - Lecturing at East Asia Pastoral Institute
1997-2001 Farm St Church, London - Ministering to Japanese Community in London; Parish Staff
2001-2017 Leeson St - JCC; Sacred Space; Editor of “Latest Space” & “Interfuse
2003 Editor “Scared Space”
2014 Praying for Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Brady, John M, 1935-2014, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 03 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: 15 August 1973, College of Industrial Relations, Dublin
Died: 15 April 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 156 : Summer 2014

Obituary

Fr John Brady (1925-2014)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Toner

Brady, Patrick, 1922-1994, Jesuit brother

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

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

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

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

Obituary
Patrick (Paddy) Brady (1922-1994)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daniel Dargan

Brady, Peter, 1926-2007, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1954 at Hong Kong - Regency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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)

Brennan, Martin, 1912-1999, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Father was a charge attendant at the Central Asylum in Dundrum. Parents both still alive.

Second youngest of six boys with two sisters.

Early education at Dundrum NS and then at Synge Street

Studied Natural History at UCD

2 periods at Peamount Sanatorium in 1937 & 1938 for TB

Uncle of Fergal Brennan - Ent 1959

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

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

Fr Proinnsias Ó Fionnagáin writes...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good Jesus our Lord, give him eternal rest.

Proinsias O Fionnagáin, SJ
Translation Brian Grogan SJ

Brereton, Joseph P, 1920-2012, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

Obituary

Fr Joseph (Joe) Brereton (1920-2012)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 2012

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

The Captains Last Voyage

by Tom Goodman (Poetry)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-oOo-

Officers, Gentlemen and Villains

by Rossa McDermott (OC ‘78)

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

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

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

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

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

Browne, Liam, 1929-2017, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Burke Savage, Roland, 1912-1998, Jesuit priest and editor

  • IE IJA J/35
  • Person
  • 11 August 1912-15 September 1998

Born: 11 August 1912, Rutland (Parnell) Square, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, St Ignatius Leeson Street, Dublin
Died: 15 September 1998, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Father was a physician at St Vincent’s and Jervis Street hospitals, and he died in 1912. Mother resided at Ardenza Terrace, Monkstown, County Dublin supported by private means.

Youngest of three sons (and has two step-brothers from his father’s first marriage).

Early education at Sion Hill Convent, he went to Presentation College, Dun Laoghaire. In 1926 he went to Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1946 at St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Savage, Roland (‘Ronnie’) Marcus Anthony Burke-
by David Murphy

Savage, Roland (‘Ronnie’) Marcus Anthony Burke- (1912–98), Jesuit priest and editor, was born in north Dublin on 11 August 1912, son of Matthew Burke-Savage, medical doctor, and his wife Alice (née O'Connor). Educated at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare, he entered the Society of Jesus at Emo Court, Co. Laois, on 7 September 1931. He lived with the Jesuit community in Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin, while he studied arts at UCD (1933–6), where he was Hutchinson Stewart scholar in English literature (1934) and graduated BA (1936) and MA (1941) with first-class honours.

Professed of his first vows in March 1934, he moved to Milltown Park in Dublin, where he studied theology (1941–5). Ordained on 31 July 1944, he spent his tertianship at Milltown, before moving to the Leeson St. community in 1946 as a writer and assistant editor of Studies. He published his biography of Catherine McAuley (qv) in 1946 (reprinted, 2nd ed., 1955), a work of which he was justifiably proud. In 1947 he took over the editorship of the Irish Monthly (1947–50), while still continuing to work on Studies, of which he became editor in 1950. During his tenure as editor of Studies he reorganized the journal's administration and encouraged a new generation of contributors, including Garret FitzGerald. Towards the end of his term as editor it was thought by some that Studies had become less critical of the catholic hierarchy than it had been previously. In 1968 he handed over the editorship.

Having served as superior of the Leeson St. community (1951–9), he was appointed in the latter year director of the Central Catholic Library from which he resigned in 1968. Moving to Clongowes, he worked as house historian, writer, and editor of the Clongownian. He served later as college archivist and curator of the college museum. In failing health he moved to the Jesuit nursing home at Cherryfield Lodge, Sandford Rd, Dublin, in 1997 and underwent an operation. He never really recovered and died there 15 September 1998. He was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery. Throughout his life, Ronnie Burke-Savage suffered from depression and found life more difficult as he grew older. His affliction often manifested itself in reclusiveness and difficult relations with his colleagues.

ITWW; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory (1991); Ir. Times, 16 Sept. 1998; Studies, lxxxvii, no. 348 (1998); Interfuse (Jesuit in-house publication), no. 101 (1999); information from Fr Fergus O 'Donoghue SJ and Dr Thomas Morrissey SJ

◆ Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999 & ◆ The Clongownian, 1999

Obituary

Fr Roland (Ronnie) Burke-Savage (1912-1988)

11th Aug. 1912: Born in Dublin
Early Education at Clongowes
7th Sept. 1931: Entered the Society at Emo.
13th Mar. 1934: First Vows at Emo.
1933 - 1936: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD, MA
1941 - 1945: Milltown Park - Theology
31st July 1944: Ordained at Milltown Park.
1945 - 1946: Tertianship
1946 - 1968; Leeson Street
1947 - 1950: Assist Editor Studies; Editor Irish Monthly, Writer.
1950 - 1951: Minister, Editor Studies.
1951 - 1959: Superior; Editor Studies.
1959 - 1968: Director Central Catholic Library,
1968 - 1997: Clongowes - Editor Clongownian; Writer; House Historian.
1973 - 1976: Writer; Curator College Museum.
1976 -1997: Writer; College Archivist; Curator College Museum.
1997: Cherryfield Lodge - Prays for the Church and the Society

Father Burke-Savage had been in Cherryfield Lodge for the last year. He underwent a serious operation last May and never fully recovered. Although in good form he deteriorated over the week-end and died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge at 6.10 a.m., Tuesday, 15 September 1998.

Homily at the Funeral Mass of Fr. Burke-Savage
The popular writer, Fr. John O'Donohue has a wonderful image of birth and death.

“Imagine if you could talk to a baby in the womb and explain its unity with the mother. How this cord of belonging gives it life. If you could then tell the baby that this was about to end. It was going to be expelled from the womb, pushed through a very narrow passage finally to be dropped out into vacant, open light. The cord which held it to its mother's womb was going to be cut and then it was going to be on its own for ever more. If the baby could talk back, it would fear that it was going to die. For the baby within the womb being born would seem like death."

Death is a kind of re-birth. We cling to the cord of life but eventually we must let go and then we enter a new world where time and space are utterly different, a world without shadow, darkness, loneliness, isolation or pain. We are at home with the God from whom we came and to whom we go. We are in God's world of goodness, unity, beauty , truth and, above all, absolute love. The Trinity, Absolute Love, Absolute Giving and Receiving, Absolute Intimacy and Creativity is where all the longings of the human heart at last find fulfillment.

It is to that world that Ronnie, as he was affectionately known in the Society, has now gone. Roland Marcus Anthony, to give him his full name, was born in Dublin in 1912. Somehow that name fits for, in many ways, he was a renaissance man. Educated here in Clongowes, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1931. He took a first class honours BA in UCD and later a first class honours MA also in UCD. While in UCD, he was president of the Literary and Historical Society and thought nothing of bringing the likes of the poet T.S. Eliot to speak to the students. In 1946 he became the assistant editor of the Jesuit review “Studies” and at the same time he published a life of Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, a book of which he was very proud.

In 1950 he became the editor of Studies. During his years as editor he was embroiled in many controversies. At the same time he got to know many of the students in UCD and had a deep and lasting influence on many of them. Some later rose to prominence in Irish public life.

In 1959 he became the Director of the Central Catholic Library and in 1968 he retired to Clongowes where he was the college archivist and curator of the college museum.

All his life, Ronnie suffered from one major cross. He was prone to deep depression but he bore this cross with great constancy and faith. It was his faith that sustained him and gave him the courage and will power to continue.

In many ways his life, particularly in his later years, can be illustrated by two stories. The first is a Taoist tale.
The carpenter said to his apprentice: “Do you know why this tree is so big and so old?” The apprentice said: “No. Why?” Then the carpenter answered: “Because it is useless. If it were useful it would have been cut down, sawn up and used for beds and tables and chairs. But because it is useless, it has been allowed to grow. That is why it is now so great that you can rest in its shadow”.

Ronnie, in his periods of depression, often felt that he was useless. But as he grew to accept himself for what he was - when he ceased to link his own value and worth to past achievements or to work he could or could not do in the present, as so many people tend to do - then, like the tree, he achieved a serene and gentle maturity as, in these latter years especially, he quietly prayed for the Church and his brother Jesuits. Another story sums up his life:

The Master was in an expansive mood so his disciples sought to learn from him the stages he had passed through in his quest for the divine. “God first led me by the hand”, he said, “into the Land of Sorrows; there I lived until my heart was purged of every inordinate attachment. Then I found myself in the Land of Love whose burning flames consumed whatever was left in me of self. This brought me to the Land of Silence where the mysteries of life and death were bared before my wondering eyes”. “Was that the final stage of your quest?” they asked. “No”, the Master said. “One day God said, ‘Today I shall take you to the innermost sanctuary of the temple, to the heart of God himself. And I was led to the Land of Laughter’.”

May Ronnie's joy now be complete, all the longings of his heart fulfilled as he joins the Lord he served for so long in that Land of Laughter.

Philip Fogarty

Casey, Dermot M, 1911-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/22
  • Person
  • 02 June 1911-16 February 1997

Born: 02 June 1911, Phibsborough, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died 16 February 1997, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Parents residing at Haddon Road, Clontarf, Dublin.

Youngtest of four boys and he has four sisters.

Early education at a National School in Dublin and then at O’Connell’s Schools

by 1935 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
1936-1939 at Paris France (FRA) studying psychology

Casey, Seán Joseph, 1921-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/492
  • Person
  • 01 August 1921-21 February 1995

Born: 01 August 1921, The Terrace, Glin, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1959, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 21 February 1995, St Joseph’s, Shankhill, County Dublin

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

Parents were National School Teachers

Eldest of three boys

Early education with his father (Timothy) and in 1935 went with his brother to Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1963 at St Ignatius Chicago IL, USA (CHG) studying

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 86 : July 1996
Obituary
Fr Seán Casey (1921-1995)

1st Aug. 1921: Born in Glin, Co. Limerick
Education: Clongowes Wood College
7th Sept. 1939; Entered Society at Emo, Co. Laois
8th Sept. 1941: First Vows at Emo
1941 - 1942: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1942 - 1943: Supplying at Clongowes, Belvedere, Mungret
1943 - 1946: Philosophy at Tullabeg, Co. Offaly
1946 - 1948: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1948 - 1950: Regency at Crescent College, Limerick
1950 - 1954: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1953: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park by Archbishop J.C. McQuaid
1954 - 1958: Teacher - Crescent College, Limerick
1958 - 1959: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1959 - 1962: Teacher, Spiritual Father - Crescent College, Limerick
1962 - 1963; Studied Counselling in Chicago, USA
1963 - 1965: Teacher of Philosophy - Apostolic School, Mungret, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1965 - 1966: Teacher of Philosophy - Rome, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1966 - 1967: Teacher of Philosophy - Apostolic School, Mungret, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1967 - 1969: Spiritual Father and Adult Education - Crescent College, Limerick
1969 - 1972: Ministered in Sacred Heart Church, Limerick and Adult Education
1972 - 1973: Lecturer in Philosophy - Milltown Institute
1973 - 1975: Director of Adult Education - Limerick
1977 - 1980: CLC.
1980 - 1985: Chaplain - "Eye & Ear" Hospital, Dublin
1985 - 1990: Cherryfield Lodge
1990 - 1995: Kilcroney Nursing Home and St. Joseph's Centre, Crinken Lane, Shankill, Co. Dublin
21st Feb. 1995: Died

The words of our Gospel just read really startle us. They contradict our worldly experience and scale of judgements. “Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted”. This does not make sense to us when we feel a great loss and are confronted by the awe and mystery of death. Yet, I think, that it is only in the experience of bereavement that we can come to understand the meaning and truth of these words. For there is a blessedness in mourning that can bring us comfort.

We mourn because we have loved and lose and are loved. And St. John has told us that those who love, live in the light.

When we mourn, we support each other, often in silent, unobtrusive ways. That love between us is a truly blessed thing, for it tells us that God is really present among us and walks with us in our grief.

When we mourn, we often think and talk about the one who is no longer with us. Incidents in his life are recalled, words he spoke, humourous sayings, mannerisms or incidents. This fills out the picture of a person's character and life. But such memories are private recollections, intimate and personal, not shared in public - because they are sacred. But they nourish love. They are a comfort.

When we mourn, we learn what the really important things in life are and accept that suffering and the cross touches every life. We come to understand that a person's worth is not measured by success in life or achievements. It rests on their relationship with God and others, by their sincerity, goodness and generosity.

These were qualities Sean possessed in a remarkable degree. He was blessed with a keen, subtle mind. He loved study and was considered to be a person who would achieve great things in the academic world of philosophy. But ill health constantly interfered with his studies. He had to turn to less burdensome, apostolic work which he pursued with all his kindness and skill.

Then he had the terrible accident that rendered him incapacitated for the remainder of his life.

But I never heard him complain. When I visited him in hospital, I saw many of the beatitudes reflected in his demeanour, gentleness, a poverty of spirit that prevented him from criticizing anybody, Jesuit or non-Jesuit. But frequently I heard him expressing gratitude, especially for the care and kindness he received from the Staff and Community in Kilcroney and St. Joseph's. The patients, too, felt at ease with him, "I like Fr. Casey," a patient said to me the last time I was with him, only two days before he died. "I'd like to meet him and talk with him." This was Sean's apostolate over the last few years as he offered himself daily to be one with the Lord. It is in qualities such as these that true greatness is achieved.

The last great comfort that mourning brings us is that it widens our horizons. Our Lord seems to take us away from the narrow confines of a hospital bed and takes us, as it were, to a cliff-top and directs us to look out at a vast expanse of ocean where death and life intermingle, where love in time flows into love in eternity. Those we love never die. “He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood shall live for ever” Christ said. This, surely, is the greatest comfort for all who mourn.

Paul Leonard SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1995
Obituary
Father Seán Casey SJ

Seán Casey was born on the first day of August in 1921 in Glin, Co. Limerick. After school he joined the Jesuits in Emo and took his First Vows there two years later on 8 September 1941. He broke off his Arts studies, pursued at UCD while living at Rathfarnham Castle; to help out in his old school and, also spent spells in Belvedere and Mungret. From there, he proceeded to Philosophy at Tullabeg and only when he had completed this part of his course in 1946 did he return to Rathfarnham and UCD and complete his Arts degree.

With one year's “regency”, as a Jesuit's years as a teaching scholastic are known, already behind him, Seán spent only two more at the “chalk-face”, this time back in his native Limerick, at the Crescent. He then went on to Milltown Park for the regulation four years of Theology and was ordained after three, on 31 July 1953, by the late Archbishop John Charles McQuaid.

He went back to the Crescent to teach in 1954 and remained at this work and that of Spiritual Father until 1962, with just one intermission, in 1958, when he made his Tertianship at Rathfarnham.

As the Second Vatican Council was ushering in a new era for the Church in the autumn of 1962, Seán headed west to study counselling in Chicago. Immediately afterwards, he went to Mungret to teach Philosophy in the Apostolic School and begin his own doctoral studies in Philosophy, which he later pursued in Rome. After a final year in Mungret, he moved once more to the Crescent, when the work of the Apostolic School ended.

For the next five years, he engaged in Adult Education, acted as Spiritual Father in the school (1967-69) and ministered in the Sacred Heart Church (1969-72). A further five years were devoted to teaching Philosophy in the Milltown Institute (1972-3 and 1975-77) and filling the role of Director of Adult Educaiton in Limerick (1973-75). After that Seán worked for the Christian Life Communities movement (formerly the Sodality of Our Lady) for three years and then, in 1980, took up chaplaincy at the Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin.

Seán's own health, never robust, failed in the last period of his life. He spent five years at the Jesuit infirmary, Cherryfield Lodge, and then, in 1990, when the need for more intensive care arose, he went to Kilcroney Nursing Home. He died peacefully at St Joseph's Centre, Crinken Lane, Shankill, Co, Dublin, where Kilcroney had been transferred, on 21 February 1995.

Seán Casey was a humble, even diffident man, whose considerable intellectual gifts were often concealed by his diffidence. His various postings in Dublin and Limerick gave him opportunities to deploy his gifts for study and teaching and the gentle listening which was one of his marked characteristics. May he rest in peace.

Cassidy, Dermot, 1933-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/828
  • Person
  • 01 June 1933-24 April 2017

Born: 01 June 1933, Ballyfoyle, County Laois
Entered: 17 September 1951, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1966, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 17 June 1981, Sacred Heart Church Crescent, Limerick
Died: 24 April 2017, Mater Hospital, Dublin (Highfield Healthcare, Whitehall, Dublin)

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

by 1970 at Mount St London (ANG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-dermot-cassidy-sj-reflective-voice/

Fr Dermot Cassidy SJ – a reflective voice
Fr Dermot Cassidy SJ passed away peacefully on the night of 24 April at the Mater Hospital in Dublin. Fr Cassidy was 83 years old. Born and raised in County Laois, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1951. During his regency training, he worked as a teacher in Crescent College SJ in Limerick. Upon ordination in 1966, he returned to Limerick where he assisted in the Church of the Sacred Heart and promoted the missions for over thirty years (1975-2006). He spent his last few years between Cherryfield Lodge and Highfield Healthcare in Dublin where he prayed continuously for the Church and the Society.

An interview with Fr Dermot
In an interview with Pat Coyle from Irish Jesuit Communications, Fr Dermot spoke about his Jesuit life. He had a very active pastoral ministry for many years where he loved to talk to ordinary people on the streets, in shops and in pubs. Speaking about meeting people in Limerick, he said, “I was always gentle on them. It wouldn’t mean that you could never have an argument. An argument is often a way of contact too and the next time you would meet then you might discuss things at a more human level.”
Since a child, he had a gift of reflection and could perceive things differently, “That’s my nature you know, and what comes by nature can’t be defeated by artifice and artificiality”.
Fr Dermot saw the spiritual hunger of people as a very positive force. As he saw it, this hunger was a mainstay of Irish life. It showed in the determination of people to learn from the past, to build Irish society with a sense of purpose, and to find new and better ways to do things.
The Jesuit had a special connection with Northern Ireland. “I always had a love for the North and still have. They have changed the world perspective on things. People used to say, ‘You’d never think that Christians could fight’ and the same people have now said, ‘You’d never think that Christians could unite and find a way forward’”. He was a committed nationalist and admired Sinn Féin and the way the party worked to try and bring about a united Ireland by engaging in the peace process. And former Sinn Féin Director of publicity and author Danny Morisson expressed his appreciation to Fr Dermot after the ceasefire with a signed and dedicated book. He always kept that book in his room.
Fr Dermot remembered a spontaneous meeting at a pub in Limerick with a Muslim television journalist who was preparing a production on ‘What is Ireland?’. The Jesuit spoke to him about conflict and peace in Ireland and abroad. He also spoke about the spiritual needs of the world. At the end of the talk, the journalist said: ‘I came in here rather upset, and after our conversation I am at peace’.
Asked if he had any regrets, he said: “Only that I haven’t had more opportunity to say what I want to say and that other people who have nothing to say have every opportunity”. His words were certainly not wasted on the queues of people who often came to see him.

A special friendship
Nissanka (Nicky) Gooneratne was a long-time friend of the late Jesuit. Here, the Sri Lankan pays tribute to and regularly kept in touch through visits to Ireland and via telephone calls across continents. Nicky sought spiritual accompaniment from the late Jesuit right up until the time of his death.
Nicky was a young agnostic engineer when he first met Fr Dermot in London. The Jesuit told him, “London is not a Christian country unlike the USA, Canada and Australia”. After a while, they went for walks in Hyde Park where Dermot spoke about the history of the British empire. Eventually, Dermot returned to Ireland and Nicky visited him on holidays and called him regularly. The Sri Lankan was especially grateful to the Jesuit for helping him to discern his career. For example, his resignation from an engineering job in Scotland brought him great peace.
Nicky returned to Sri Lanka where he got married in the Catholic Church and had five children. From across continents, he often heard of his friend’s love for the sick and poor of Limerick. When Dermot moved to Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, they promised to look out for each other to the end. “I used to call almost daily without exaggeration,” says Nicky, “recently, he used to be asleep quite a bit but he was always sharp. He was always gentle and kind. He used to end our conversations with a long Irish blessing. And I was filled with shock and sorrow when I heard he died.”
The Sri Lankan remembers one of his friend’s favourite sayings: “An answer will be given beyond our thinking”. And he recorded one of Fr Dermot’s poems from 1975, written after a young relation died. :

Door a-jar
Come, guide the stars Little one
God has held for you heaven’s door a-jar. Ah, boy that died Young man profitable Young man, young You started the origins of life to flow.
The high corn
is green grown now The child is borne
The blessing of summer is heaven in the sky
Ah, heaven high
on earth does grow.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at CBS Athy, Co Kildare

1953-1956 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1956-1959 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1959-1960 Crescent College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1960-1962 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1962-1963 Crescent College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1963-1969 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1967 Assistant Editor of “Messenger”
1969-1974 Mount St, London, UK - Assists in Mount St Church
1974-1975 Tullabeg - Assists in Community work
1975-2006 Crescent Sacred Heart, Limerick- Assisting in Church; Promoting Missions
2006-2017 Coláiste Iognáid SJ - Assisting in Church
2009 Praying for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge
2013 Praying for the Church and the Society at Highfield Healthcare, Whitehall, Dublin

Clear, John B, 1922-2009, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/768
  • Person
  • 13 September 1922-21 September 2009

Born: 13 September 1922, Mount Street Crescent, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1958, Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 21 September 2009, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Father was a Railway offical and reded at Rathdown Road, Phibsborough.

Eldest of three sons with two sisters.

Early education was four years at a Convent School, and then Christian Brothers School, St Paul's CBS Brunswick Street (1930-1934). He then went to O’Connells Schol for seven years.

by 1974 at Oxford, England (ANG) working
by 1986 at Reading, England (BRI) working
by 1989 at North Hinksey, Oxfordshire (BRI) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 142 : Winter 2009

Obituary

Fr John Clear (1922-2009)

13th September 1922: Born in Dublin
Early education Stanhope St. Convent and CBS Richmond St.
6th September 1941: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1943: First Vows at Emo
1943 - 1946: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1946 - 1949: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1949 - 1951: Crescent College - Teacher
1951 - 1952: Clongowes - Prefect
1952 - 1956: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
28th July 1955: Ordained at Milltown Park
1956 - 1957: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1957 - 1958: Loyola House - Minister
3rd February 1958: Final Vows at Loyola House
1958 - 1961: Gardiner Street - Church work; Sodality
1961 - 1968: Emo - Mission staff
1968 - 1969: Rathfarnham - Mission staff
1969 - 1971: Tullabeg - Mission staff
1971 - 1973: Rathfarnham - Mission and Retreat staff
1973 - 1978: Holyrood Church, Oxford, England - Parish work
1978 - 1985: Rathfarnham -
1978 - 1981: Mission and Retreat staff
1981 - 1983: Mission and Retreat staff; Asst. Director Pioneers
1983 - 1985: Asst. Director Retreat House; Asst. Director Pion.
1985 - 1986: Reading - Parish Ministry; Asst. Editor Messenger
1986 - 1990: Oxford -
1986 - 1988: Parish Ministry
1988 - 1990: Parish Priest
1990 - 1991: St. Ignatius, Galway - Parish Curate; Spiritual Director, Our Lady's Boys' Club
1991 - 1998: Dooradoyle -
1991 - 1996: Subminister; Asst. Treasurer; Asst. for John Paul II Oratory; Asst. in Sacred Heart Church
1996 - 1997: Minister; Care of John Paul II Oratory; Assistant in Sacred Heart Church; Health Prefect; Librarian
1997 - 1998: Treasurer; Care of John Paul II Oratory; Assistant in Sacred Heart Church; Health Prefect; Librarian; Asst. Minister
1998 - 2002: John Austin House - Pastoral work; Vice Superior; Assistant Hospital Chaplain
2002 - 2009: Gardiner Street - Assisted in the Church
4th August 2009: Fr. Clear was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home on from the Mater Hospital following a short illness. His condition deteriorated very quickly.
21st September 2009: Died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge

Brian Lennon writes:
John died early on Monday 21st September 2009 at the age of 87. His health had gradually declined over the past few years. He was beginning to lose his memory, Over the summer he had a few bouts of confusion and pain. He spent some time in hospital in the Mater and Vincent's in Dublin. Eventually inoperable cancer was diagnosed and he arrived in Cherryfield on 4 August, where, like so many, he got great care.

He was born in Dublin on 13th September 1922 and educated by the Christian Brothers at O'Connell's School, North Richmond Street, Dublin. He went to Emo in 1941, so was a Jesuit for 68 years. He went through the normal course of studies and then spent 21 years working in parishes and 19 on the Mission staff. Hearing confessions was very important to him, especially in the years he spent in Gardiner St. since 2002 right up to the year of his death. It was a natural apostolate for him because he had great kindness. He told me once that in his parish work he always involved lay people, and - extraordinarily - he never had a row with any of them.

At different times he was based in Emo, Rathfarnham, Tullabeg, Oxford, Reading, Galway, Limerick, Loyola and John Austin House, as well as Gardiner St, from 1958 to 1961 and then again since 2002.

He wrote a lot: pamphlets on “Mary My Mother”, “Elizabeth of Hungary: Princess, Mother and Saint”, the “Japanese martyrs”, and “Lily of the Mohawks - Kateri Tekawitha”, the first North American saint. He also wrote many articles for the Pioneer and other journals.

My memory of him is of someone with a great sense of humour. I sometimes teased him about not attending events like Province Days and also polluting his room and the whole corridor with his infernal pipe smoke, to all of which he would respond with a deeply satisfied belly laugh. He had no airs or graces and he had a natural way of relating to people. He had a very simple view of life with a great devotion to Our Lady. He was deeply grateful for even the smallest things one did for him.

When his remains were brought to Gardiner Street there were several Sisters of Charity present. Two of them knew at least seven other sisters who traced their vocation to meeting John. One of them said: 'He showed me my way to God', a pretty good obituary for anyone. There must have been a lot of others in those 21 years in parishes and 19 years on the Missions who would say the same thing, but these are the stories that we other Jesuits may be the last to hear about.

He took an interest in what was happening around him. He was a great reader. One of the topics that fascinated him in recent years was research on DNA pools, showing where we have all come from, and that all of us all over the world are much more closely related to each other than many might like. He would always check out new publications by Jesuits.

He had a great friendship with some families, and loved to go back to Oxford to visit them. One of them told the story of John giving out to a young three year old, Daniel, by telling him that he was “too bold”, to which the young man responded that he was not “two bold”, but “three bold”.

He was a great swimmer in his young days. His brothers say that they coped with his leaving home for Emo with a certain amount of delight because they had more room in the house, and they suggested also that John, the eldest, was a bit correct and rule bound at that stage. They danced on his bed when he left, something they would not have had the nerve to do while he was still there. By the time he had grown old gracefully he had certainly lost any stiffness.

He died on the feast of St Matthew. The tax collectors were bad apples: not only did they rob people with little money, they also collaborated with the foreign occupiers who polluted the holy places. The fact that Jesus had fellowship with them by eating and drinking with them was deeply scandalous to the Jews, and understandably so. The meal in Matthew's house may have taken place after Matthew's conversion, but others there were surely not converted. But that did not stop Jesus eating with them. Calling Matthew to follow him was worse.

It's a feast that is appropriate for John's own day of entry into eternal life. He too reached out to people in trouble, and the cause of the trouble was never a block for him. He has now gone to join Matthew and the other tax collectors, and many of those with whom he walked during his ministry. He will also join the Pharisees, whom he knew are in each one of us. May he rest in peace.

Cleary, Joseph, 1921-2012, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/770
  • Person
  • 21 January 1921-09 October 2012

Born: 21 January 1921, Ringsend, Dublin City
Entered: 25 May 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1958, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 09 October 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/brother-joe-cleary-rip/

Brother Joe Cleary RIP
Brother Joe Cleary SJ died in Cherryfield on 9 October, aged 91. A native of Ringsend, Dublin, he had a variety of jobs before entering the Jesuits at the age of 27: 3 years egg-
testing and store work, 8 years delivering groceries, four of them by horse and cart, and four driving a lorry.
He was a keen soccer-player, a member of St John’s Ambulance, and, during the Emergency, of the Local Defence Force.
As a Jesuit he will be remembered above all for his long record of care of the sick, and his cheerful, kindly disposition – he was always good company and will be sorely missed. God be good to him.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 51st Year No 2 1976

Rathfarnham Castle
The happy death of Fr Jerry Hayes took place on Wednesday, 21st January. Though he showed signs of failing for some six weeks and knew that the end was fast approaching, he was in full possession of his mental faculties up to about ten days before he quietly passed away at about 3 pm in the afternoon with Br Keogh’s finger on the ebbing pulse until its last beat. For Br Keogh it was the end of thirty-three years of devoted care and skilful nursing and a patience which never wavered. For Fr Hayes it was happy release from a whole life-time of suffering heroically borne. Br Joe Cleary, who took over with Br Keogh for about the last six years, rendered a service which Fr Hayes himself described as heroic. Despite his sufferings and his physical incapacity, Fr Hayes lived a full life of work and prayer and keen interest in the affairs of the Society and the Church and of the world, and of a very wide circle of intimate friends with whom he maintained regular contact either by correspondence or by timely visits to them in their homes or convents, We have no doubt that the great reward and eternal rest which he has merited will not be long deferred. Likewise, we considered it wise and fitting, that the necessary rest and well deserved reward of their labours should not be long deferred in the case of those who rendered Fr Hayes such long and faithful service. This we are glad to record Brs Keogh and Cleary have. since enjoyed in what Br Keogh has described as a little bit of heaven.
As one may easily imagine, Rathfarnham without Fr Jerry Hayes is even more empty than it was. Yet, we feel that he is still with us and will intercede for us in the many problems which our situation presents both in the present and in the future. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis!

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 150 : Winter 2012

Obituary

Br Joseph (Joe) Cleary (1921-2012)

21 January 1921: Born in Ringsend, Dublin.
Early education at St. Patrick's National School, Ringsend
1937 - 1948: Worked in a variety of commercial enterprises: 3 years egg-testing and store work; 8 years delivering groceries: four years by horse & cart and four driving a lorry
25 May 1948: Entered the Society at Emo
28 May 1950: First vows at Emo
1950 - 1955: Rathfarnham - Refectorian Catholic
1955 - 1965: Workers' College (NCIR) Refectorian/Houseman
1957 - 1958; Rathfarnham - Tertianship
15 August 1958: Final vows
1965 - 1970: Loyola House - Refectorian
1970 - 1976: Rathfarnham - Assistant Infirmarian (care of Fr Jeremiah Hayes); Sacristan
1976 - 1982: Milltown Park - Infirmarian; Assistant Sacristan; Ongoing Formation; experience with St. John's Ambulance and an active representative in the organization for 6 years, at rugby matches, horse racing etc.
1982 - 1993: Cherryfield Lodge - Infirmarian
1985 - 1986: Mater Hospital - Pastoral care course
1993 - 2012: Milltown Park
1993 - 2002: Sacristan, Infirmarian
2002 - 2007: Sacristan
2007 - 2008: Assisted in community
2008-2012: Cherryfield Lodge: Praying for the Church and the Society

Brother Joe Cleary was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in May 2008 where he was active and enjoyed many outings, including a trip to Lourdes in 2011. Over the last year, he slowed down and showed signs of old age but, thankfully, he remained mentally alert to the end. His condition deteriorated over the past several weeks and he died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge on Tuesday 9th October 2012. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

“Look at the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your Father takes care of them all so that not one of them falls without your Father knowing about it. Are you not worth more than many birds?” Matthew 6:26

This verse was the guiding light of Pauline Cleary (née Kelly) mother of Joseph Cleary. It later became the guiding light of Br. Joe's life. He was born on the 21st January 1921, in Ringsend Dublin. He was the third of six children. Joe often told how he was born with a “caul”. This was part of the amniotic sac which sometimes adheres to the head of a new-born baby. There is a belief that it is the sign of great good fortune and particularly that the individual will be protected from drowning. Joe did speak of how he came close to drowning on a number of occasions. He grew up beside the Liffey but never learned to swim

Joe's education began at the age of four in St. Patrick's NS in Ringsend. Joe did not take easily to schooling in a class of 70 bare footed youngsters, few of them rich enough to own a schoolbook, During these years his great relief came playing soccer, at first in bare feet, in Ringsend Park. He left school at fourteen, and got his first job helping a delivery man with the Swastika Laundry in Ballsbridge. Around this time he began playing soccer with CYMS. The team was managed by Willie Behan who went on to play for Manchester United. During his time with CYMS he won medals at every level in the League of Ireland.

Joe's next job was with Carton Bros, in Halston Street. He first worked as an egg tester and later delivered groceries for eight years, four of them by horse and cart, and four driving a lorry: altogether a more interesting preparation for the religious life than many of his Jesuit brethren. Around this time he discovered the Retreat House in Rathfarnham. He made a retreat there and got to know a Fr. Farrell and a Br. John Loftus. He soon became a promoter for the Retreat house and used to borrow the van from Carton's at weekends to ferry men to Rathfarnham for retreats.

At the outbreak of World War Two, or the Emergency, as it was known in Ireland, he enlisted in the Local Defence Force (Army Reserves) and served for the duration of the war.

During all this time Joe kept up his contact with the Jesuits in Rathfarnham and after the war his thoughts turned to a Jesuit vocation. He talked to his friend Fr. Farrell, who encouraged him, and after an interview with the Provincial, Fr. Tommy Byrne, he travelled by bus to the Jesuit noviciate at Emo Park in late 1947. After two and a half years Joe took his first vows on the 28". May 1950. In July of that year he moved to Rathfarnham Castle where he looked after the refectory for five years. In 1955 he moved to the “Catholic Workers College," where he worked for ten years. He was the first Jesuit Brother to work there.

After that he spent five years at Loyola House, the Provincial's office. Then it was back to Rathfarnham as Infirmarian. As a Jesuit he will be remembered above all for his long record of care of the sick, and his cheerful, kindly disposition. For seven long years in Rathfarnham he looked after Fr Hayes, who was confined to a wheelchair. Joe admitted that it was a heavy job, that took a lot of dedication and devotion. “I often reflected then and since that I could never have continued in a work like that without the support of my Jesuit spirituality and my prayer life”.

In 1976 he moved to Milltown Park where he served as Infirmarian and Sacristan. During this time he joined the St.John's Ambulance Brigade. This was a work that he enjoyed. During this time he also did a course in pastoral care in the Mater Hospital; he may have been the first Irish Jesuit to do so. He also spent some years working in Cherryfield Lodge and then back to Milltown.

He was always good company and will be sorely missed. In a recent interview he said: “During all these years and indeed throughout my life as a Jesuit I have always been very content. If I had to do it all again, I would not change anything”.

Rest in peace Brother Joe, you are greatly missed.

Joe Ward

Connolly, Michael John, 1906-1994, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/489
  • Person
  • 20 January 1906-01 January 1994

Born: 20 January 1906, Ballinagh, County Cavan
Entered: 21 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 01 January 1994, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Father was a shopkeeper. Mother was Elizabeth Farrell.

Second eldest of three brothers and one sister.

Early Education at Ballinagh NS and at 12 years of age won a scholarship to St Patrick’s College Cavan. He then went in 1922 to St Patrick’s College, Maynooth as a candidate for the Kilmore Diocese. He gained a BA there.

He entered the Society with the permission of the Bishop of Kilmore.

by 1938 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1939 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr Michael Connolly (1906-1994)

20th Jan. 1906: Born Ballinagh, Co. Cavan
Secondary studies: St. Patrick's College, Cavan
Third level studies: St. Patrick's College, Maynooth - H. Dip in Ed
21st Sept. 1926; Entered Society at Tullabeg
28th Sept. 1928: First Vows at Tullabeg
1928 - 1930: Philosophy at Milltown Park
1930 - 1933: Regency in Belvedere College
1933 - 1937: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1936: Ordained a Priest in Milltown Park by Bishop Alban Goodier
1937 - 1938: Tertianship, St. Beuno's, Wales
1938 - 1939: Gregorian University, Rome
1940 - 1941: Milltown Park - Studies in Economics
1941 - 1961: Tullabeg - Professor of Ethics and Anthropology,
1947 - 1953: Rector
1953 - 1961: Prefect of Studies
1961 - 1969: Rathfarnham Castle - Tertian Director
1969 - 1993: National College of Industrial Relations - Lecturer in Philosophy of Person, Treasurer, Coordinator of Missions, Retreats and Novenas
1993 – 1994: Cherryfield - Prays for the Church and the Society
1st Jan. 1994: Died at St Vincent's Hospital

Michael Connolly spent the last twenty five years of his life as a member of the Jesuit community at the National College of Industrial Relations (Sandford Lodge). Those of us who knew him in those years remember his strong and faith-filled presence in the community. Michael in these years had left behind the years in Tullabeg as teacher of philosophy and superior of the Jesuit community, and no longer was the tertian instructor. So, we knew him as an energetic and active Jesuit, giving of his best to the community and apostolate in the twenty five years or so that made up this phase of his life. Michael's love for the Society was evident in the way he participated so fully in many community and Province events during these years, and discussed the issues of the day with concern and energy. He wasn't slow to argue his point, and would put difficult questions to you when necessary. He found great freedom in these years to rediscover aspects of Ignatian spirituality and Jesuit life. He had great energy for tackling difficult reading material. He always approached the liturgy of the word with a scholarly knowledge of the text, which he wanted to share at a concelebrated liturgy.

Of course we joked, too, about his approach to life. As a bursar, Michael took the financial side of the community very seriously. He lived a very frugal life himself. He would be the one at night to turn out electric lights when others wouldn't be bothered to ask who was going to pay the bill. Even with the community hog, it was recounted that Michael would usually look for a monthly account of masses and stipends, before dispensing with the monthly allowance! Kevin Quinn. a renowned economist, had the theory that all communities needed some kind of a "slush fund" out of an experience at the NCIR of buying Sultan, an expensive dog, and then having to request Michael Connolly for the full amount of the purchase.

In the final years of his life, Michael had a great determination to go on living life to the full, and not be deflected by emergency visits to the hospital nor special nursing at Cherryfield. No sooner had he recovered from one of these set-backs than he was taking steps to be back in his room and resuming duty.

The changes that took place in Michael's long association with the College - from Catholic Workers' College to College of Industrial Relations to National College of Industrial Relations - show how Michael's links with the College spanned the best part of forty years. Michael's serious approach to his topic as a teacher meant that he would be well prepared. He probably lacked the imaginative flair to be a memorable teacher. Yet, his conversation and his ability to meet with students and teachers meant that he played an important role in the vision of the Jesuits at NCIR to be a presence in the world of work at a key phase of the development of an industrial society in the Republic of Ireland.

Michael Connolly was born on the 20th January 1906 in Ballinagh, Co. Cavan. He received his secondary education at St. Patrick's College, Cavan, and then went on to St. Patrick's College, Maynoth for his arts degree and Higher Diploma in Education with a view to ordination in the diocese of Kilmore. However, Michael decided to enter the Society of Jesus, and went to Tullabeg in 1926. He went on to Milltown Park for two years of philosophy, and then did regency at Belvedere College from 1930 to 1933. This time at Belvedere was a time that Michael looked back on with a lot of satisfaction. It gave him the opportunity of learning to be a teacher, and to be involved with the pastoral care of the students, and to be interested in all their activities. He also liked to mention that he was the editor of the Belvederian during those years. Theology at Milltown Park followed, from 1933 to 1937, with ordination at Milltown Park on the 31st of July 1936 by Archbishop Alban Goodier. The ordination retreat given by Alban Goodier made a deep impression on Michael, He often spoke about it in later years when talking about preaching and giving the Spiritual Exercises. Michael went to St. Beuno's in Wales for his tertianship.

The next important event in Michael's life was the Provincial's decision to send him for the biennium in Rome, specializing in moral philosophy. This was a vote of confidence in Michael's abilities at his studies. However, looking back in his later years Michael regretted that he had not been informed earlier in his formation that he was to specialize in this field. He felt that he might have been better able to be competent in these disciplines were he to have worked at them over a longer period. Among his fellow students at the Gregorian was Bernard J.F. Lonergan - the great Canadian philosopher and theologian. His room was beside Michael's. Michael often recounted how with the onset of the signs of war in Italy in 1939, Lonergan spoke about the certainty of the direction events were taking, and of the way war would shape their lives. Michael had to leave Rome after a year's study - again, something he felt made it hard for him to feel competent at teaching in the specialized discipline of moral philosophy.

Michael was sent to Tullabeg to teach philosophy in 1939. This was to be his home until 1961. He taught moral philosophy and was rector of the community from 1947 to 1953. He also gave retreats in the summers. He acted as visiting confessor to some of the religious communities in the mid-lands, going out on his bicycle to visit them.

During the 1950's the Catholic Workers' College was beginning and Michael came to Ranelagh every Thursday - to teach courses in social ethics and on the philosophy of man (or of the person, as it would be called today). During these years Michael was a member of the European Jesuits in the Social Sciences, which met every two years, and which later took on the title of Eurojess. He was glad of the opportunity to meet at these gatherings some of the experts in Catholic Social Teaching: Oswald von Nell-Breuning and Leonard Janssens.

The next major turning point in Michael's life was his appointment as tertian director in 1961. He was to hold this position until 1969 when the tertianship at Rathfarnham was closed. Michael prepared for his post as tertian instructor by visiting Auriesville, New York, and other tertianships in the United States. Tertian Instructor was a demanding job. The whole shift in emphasis in Jesuit formation during those years with the 31st Congregation and the Second Vatican Council meant that Michael found it hard to meet all the expectations of young Jesuits. For those in the Juniorate at Rathfarnham, Michael could also be a bit demanding: Michael had a more orderly life than the Juniors and their late night arrival at Rathfarnham might disturb the quiet of the tertians' corridor. Among the tertians at Rathfarnham was Ignacio Ellacuria, who was one of the Jesuits murdered in El Salvador in November 1989.

Michael was appointed to the Catholic Workers' College in 1969, The Workers' College was later to change to the College of Industrial Relations and more recently to the National College of Industrial Relations. Michael was appointed bursar and also taught courses in the philosophy of the person.

During his years at what is now the NCIR, Michael was also the director of the Jesuit Mission band. He responded to requests for Jesuits to give Missions and retreats. He also gave retreats himself. Right down to his eighty-fourth birthday, Michael continued to give retreats and missions.

Frank Sammon SJ

-oOo-

Albert Cooney remembers Michael and some of his outstanding gifts: In Belvedere during my Regency I first met Michael, a confident, self-assured young man with a quiet sense of humour. He was liked by the boys, and they trusted him and confided in him. Often I remember saying to one of the boys: “Better talk that over with Mr, Connolly”. The Bicycle Club went to Pine Forest and the Glen of the Downs, and Michael found wise and entertaining stories to amuse the boys.

I next met him when I returned from Hong Kong. He was Rector in Tullabeg, courteous and affable - one of the best Rectors I have met in the Society and I have been in many houses all over the world.

When I was in Malaysia I mentioned to our Provincial the possibility of Michael coming to Malaysia where he would find interesting and useful work, and learning a language would not be necessary as in Hong Kong. Michael heard no more of that proposal. That's the Michael I knew. We kept in touch up to the end when he died here. I cannot say that his road of life was paved with friends. But they were many and true. He will remember us all now where there is Peace and Rest in the sunlit uplands of Eternity. His epitaph could be: 'He never spoke an unkind word about anyone'.

Michael was a conscientious and hard-working Jesuit. In his later years he had remarkable will-power to keep going, despite emergency visits to St. Vincent's hospital.

Michael had wide-ranging interests. He was interested in the life of priests and liked to be informed about developments in the places where Jesuits were working. He also had a keen interest in the Missions: his brother was superior-general of the Columbans.

Through his work in social ethics and in Catholic Social Teaching, Michael developed an interest in the co-operative movement. For many years he administered the funds of the Finlay Trust - a small fund established to foster the co-operative movement,

Michael Connolly's life touched each decade of this twentieth century, His faith helped guide his steps through these decades. He often felt himself not quite properly equipped to face the challenges and tasks he was asked to take on as a Jesuit. Nevertheless, in later life he had mellowed, and seemed to be able to smile wryly that life never works out exactly as we would plan it. Yet he would always want to be a man of the “magis” of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. We thank the Lord for having given him to us during these decades as our companion.

Cooney, Albert, 1905-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/649
  • Person
  • 31 August 1905-06 December 1997

Born: 31 August 1905, Clarinda Park, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1938, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 06 December 1997, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin community at the time of death

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

Parents resided at Healthfield Road, Terenure, Dublin

Older of two boys.

Educated at St Dominics Preparatory College, Cabra and then to Belvedere College SJ. In 1920 he went to Mungret College.

by 1927 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1937 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1960 at St Aloysius College Birkirkara, Malta (MEL) teaching

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Albert Cooney, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Albert Cooney died in Dublin on 6 December 1997. He was 92 years old and had been a Jesuit priest for 62 years.

Albert Cooney was born in Ireland on 31 August 1905 and as a young man became very interested in the performing arts.

Before entering the Society of Jesus on 31 August 1923 he toured Ireland with a drama group. He was ordained on 31 July 1935.

On completing his formal training in the Society he was sent, in 1937, to the Hong Kong Mission where he immediately went to Tai Laam Chung, a language school in the New Territories, to study Cantonese.

At the end of two years of language study he was sent to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, where he was in charge of providing for the material needs of the community when the Pacific War began on 8 December 1941.

With the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, Wah Yan became a Chinese middle school and Father Cooney joined his confreres who set out for free China in April 1942. First they went to Macau and from there on to fort Bayard (Kwangchowan). Towards the end of May he set out from Fort Bayard on the carrier of a bicycle for Pak Hoi in Southern china where he worked in a parish before moving on to Hanoi for a spell. Eventually he came back again to Pak Hoi but in less than a year he was recalled from there to join a new Jesuit venture in Macau.

With the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, about 4000 Portuguese families returned to Macau. To look after the youth, the Macau governor asked the Hong Kong Jesuits to set up a school with all expense paid. The school, St. Luiz Gonzaga, began in January 1943 and Father Albert Cooney was called back from Pak Hoi when the school was well under way. He always looked back to the time that he spent in Macau and happily remembered the boys he taught there.

The war over, St. Luiz Gonzage College closed its doors in December 1945 and Father Albert returned to Hong Kong Wah Yan College. He worked on several committee dealing with social work, helping the Boys and Girls Clubs Association, saying Mass for the US naval forces, and helping students to get into US universities.

In 1947 while on home leave in Ireland, he was informed of his appointment as Rector of Wah Yan. Before returning to Hong Kong he went to the US to collect information about school buildings and equipment for possible Jesuit schools both in Hong Kong and Canton and made arrangements with universities to take students on graduating from Wah Yan College.

Although administration was not his forte, he was well-beloved by the community and was noted for his kindness and thoughtfulness.

On 31 July 1951 he was transferred to Wah Yan College, Kowloon. In October of that year he suddenly suffered a stroke. Although he survived the crisis, a long convalescence kept him in Ireland for the next 10 years.

In November 1962 he arrived back in the Orient, this time to Singapore to take up parish work. The following year he was transferred to St. Francis Xavier’s Church in Petaling Java, Malaysia to work in the church giving retreats and conferences. He was also warden of Xavier Hall. But in 1969, the “right of abode” issue for foreign missionaries in Malaysia forced him to move on.

Early in 1970, he arrived back in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He was to spend the next 22 years of his life here doing light work and keeping in contact with his former students of St. Luiz Gonzaga College.

In September 1992 he finally said good-bye to the Orient when he returned home to Ireland.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 January 1998

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He came from a wealthy family and a brother of his became a Carmelite priest. He had a keen interest in the performing arts and toured with a group in Ireland.

When he came to Hong Kong after Ordination in 1937, he went to Tai Lam Chung to study Cantonese. He taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong and became involved in various social work committees. He also worked with the Girls and Boys Clubs and said Mass for the US Naval forces.

In August 1942 he moved to Luis Gonzaga College in Macau. He also went to Singapore for parish work, and he spent time at St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, working in the church and giving retreats and conferences.He enjoyed producing English plays acted by students, and had a great love of drama and poetry..

He left Hong Kong in 1951 and returned again in 1969 until 1996. At one time he was Principal at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

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

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 97 : Special Edition Summer 1998

Obituary

Fr Albert Cooney (1905-1997)

31st Aug. 1905: Born in Dublin
Education: Belvedere and Mungret
31st Aug. 1923: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
1925 - 1926: Rathfarnham: Juniorate
1926 - 1929: Vals: Philosophy
1929 - 1932: Belvedere College: Regency
1932 - 1936: Milltown Park: Theology
31st July 1935: Ordination
1936 - 1937: Tertianship St. Beuno's:
1937 - 1939: Hong Kong studying Cantonese
2nd Feb. 1938: Final Vows
1939 - 1941: Wah Yan Hong Kong: Minister and Teacher
1941 - 1943: Pak Hoi, China: Church work
1943 - 1945: Macau: Minister and Teacher
1947 - 1951: Wah Yan Hong Kong: Rector and Teacher
1951 - 1953: Recuperation from illness
1953 - 1957: Mungret: Teacher
1957 - 1958: Belvedere College: Teacher
1958 - 1959: Gardiner Street: Convalescence
1959 - 1960: Malta: Teacher at St. Aloysius College
1960 - 1962; Loyola Dublin: Librarian
1962 - 1963: Singapore: St. Ignatius Church, Pastoral work
1963 - 1969: Malaysia, Petaling Jaya: Warden of Xavier Hall
1969 - 1992: Wah Yan College Kowloon: Pastoral work, Tutor
1992 - 1997: Cherryfield Lodge.
6th Dec. 1997: Died aged 92.

Fr. Cooney maintained a consistent state of health during his time at Cherryfield. At the end of October concern was expressed at his condition, but he recovered. He made his farewells and left instructions that he was to be laid out in his Hong Kong gown. On December 5th he said he would go to the next life on the following day. He died shortly after prayers for the dead were recited in the early hours of December 6th. May he rest in peace. Albert enjoyed every moment of his five years in Cherryfield Lodge. He appreciated the comfortable lifestyle and especially the great care and attention he received from his Jesuit colleagues and the staff. He could not speak highly enough of the great kindness he received in the declining years of his long life. When one realizes that Albert was quite a demanding patient, the loving care and attention he received was all the more praiseworthy.

I suppose it was only natural that Albert should fully appreciate and thoroughly enjoy the kindness he experienced during those five years in Cherryfield, because he was such an extremely kind person himself so he could graciously accept the care and attention he received. He spoke frequently of the happiness he enjoyed; he was satisfied that he made the right decision when he decided to return to Ireland. I accompanied him when he left Hong Kong in 1992 and I feared that after a little while in Cherryfield he would grow restless and pine for a return to the Orient, but I need not have worried. His heart may still have been in the East, but he was happy and content in Cherryfield.

One of the most prominent traits in Albert's character was his concern for others, and his desire to do all he could to make life more comfortable and agreeable for them. One of my first memories of him goes back to Holy Week of 1948. Four of us, scholastics, were studying Chinese in Canton at the time and Albert, as Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong invited us to join his community during the Easter holidays. I can well remember his sending us out to Repulse Bay - one of Hong Kong's most popular beaches - to enjoy a swim and sunshine on Holy Thursday. Can you imagine, long before the more relaxed days that followed Vatican II, there we were, on Holy Thursday, relaxing in the glorious sunshine. If some of us had qualms about such frivolity during Holy Week, Albert felt that was what we needed and he saw to it that was what we got. That was just one of the many kindnesses Albert showed us as we struggled with the intricacies of the Chinese language. We were always welcome to join his community during our vacations and he frequently sent us cakes, chocolates and other goodies while we were in Canton.

In those days clerics were permitted to go to the cinema in Hong Kong only if they had the express permission of the Bishop granted on each occasion. Albert must have thought this was an unfair position. He used to borrow 16mm films and invite all the Jesuits in Hong Kong to showings in Wah Yan College. Another of his initiatives was to prevail on one of his friends who owned a cinema to have private previews for the convenience of all the clergy in Hong Kong. This was a facility that was much appreciated and well attended. It was just another example of Albert's desire to help all he could.

When the Japanese occupied Hong Kong in 1941 plans that had already been prepared by the government were put into operation. Albert, along with several other Jesuits, was assigned to “billeting” duties. The job consisted mainly in finding quarters for those who were displaced by the fighting, Little more than a year after the occupation, Albert, like many other Hong Kong residents, left the colony. Many Chinese returned to their native villages and many of Portuguese extraction set out for Macau - a Portuguese overseas territory, not far from Hong Kong. After some time Albert made his way first into South China, then Vietnam and then back again to South China, where he worked in a parish.

Then began for him what was probably one of the most interesting periods of his life. The government of Macau invited the Jesuits to open a college for young Portuguese boys who had come to Macau from Hong Kong. Albert seems to have loved the two years he spent there, and up to the end of his life he took an intense interest in the young men he had been teaching. He continued to keep in touch with some of them over the years - one of them even visited him while he was in Cherryfield.

After the end of the war in Asia Albert returned to Ireland on home leave and in 1947 he was informed that he would be the new Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. School administration was not one of Albert's strong points but he was extremely fortunate that during his term of office he had two excellent Prefects of Study - Fr. Harry O'Brien and Fr. John Carroll - who ran the College very efficiently. More or less relieved of the responsibility of running the College, Albert was able to devote much of his time to other activities. He took a special interest in the “Shoeshine Boys Club” - a club started by Fr, Joe Howatson for “Shoeshine Boys” - young lads who earned a meager living by shining shoes in the Central district of Hong Kong. In the Club they were given some basic education, they could play games in the College and they were given a hot, nourishing meal three evenings each week.

In July, 1951 Albert was transferred to Wah Yan College, Kowloon and in less than three months he was taken suddenly ill, due to a blood clot near his brain. For some time he was in a critical condition and eventually had to return to Ireland for a very long period of convalescence. He did not return to the Orient until 1962, this time to Singapore where he did parish work for one year and then was transferred to Petaling Jaya, in Malaysia, where, in addition to parish work he was Warden of a hostel for University students. Immigration restrictions limited his time in Malaysia and he returned to Wah Yan College, Kowloon in 1970. There he helped out in the church engaged in a good deal of tutoring, and kept in touch with past pupils of Wah Yan College and St. Luis Gonzaga College - the College in which he had taught in Macau.

With his health declining, Albert expressed a wish to return to Ireland; thus in September, 1992 he took up residence in Cherryfield. As long as his health continued, he did some tutoring; one of his pupils was a French gentleman to whom he taught French! He also took a keen interest in foreign scholastics who were helping out in Cherryfield, and helped them with their English.

Albert led a full life, active as long as he could be and went peacefully to his reward on 6th December, 1997. May he rest in peace.

Joe Foley, SJ

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1998

Obituary

Father Albert Cooney SJ (OB 1938)

Fr Albert Cooney died on 6th December 1997 in Cherryfield Lodge. He was educated at Belvedere and taught there in the late 50's. Albert was an extremely kind person. He spoke frequently of the happiness he enjoyed. He had lived so much of his life in Hong Kong but he was satisfied that he made the right decision when he decided to return to Ireland for health reasons. His heart may still have been in the East, but he was happy and content in Cherryfield.

One of the most prominent traits in Albert's character was his concern for others, and his desire to do all he could to make life more comfortable and agreeable for them.

As long as his health continued, he did some tutoring in Cherryfield; one of his pupils was a French gentleman to whom he taught French! He also took a keen interest in the foreign scholastics who were helping out in Cherryfield, and helped them with their English.

Albert led a full life, active as long as he could be and went peacefully to his reward. May he rest in peace.

Corboy, James, 1916-2004, Jesuit priest and Roman Catholic Bishop of Monze

  • IE IJA J/590
  • Person
  • 20 October 1916-24 November 2004

Born: 20 October 1916, Brookville, Caherconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 24 November 2004, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Father was a doctor and died in 1933. Mother then resided at Dunrow House, Gilford Road, Sandymount, supported by prtivate means.

Third of three boys with three sisters.

Early education for seven years at Caherconlish NS, and then at age 12 to Crescent College SJ, Limerick (1929-1931). In 1931 he went to ClongowesClongowes Wood College SJ

by 1951 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969
Bishop of Monze, 24 June 1962. Retired 1992

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
The diocese of Monze was set up on 10 March 1962, an offshoot of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. Fr James Corboy S.J., at that time a professor of theology in Milltown Park, Dublin, Ireland, was appointed to be the first bishop of the new diocese. This new diocese was three-quarters the size of his own country of Ireland. It had a population of a million people, 16% of whom were Catholic. At that time there were 8 mission stations in the whole area centred at Chikuni. It was a daunting task ahead for the new bishop.

Bishop James was born in Caharconlish, Co Limerick, Ireland in 1916. He was the son of a country doctor who lived on a small farm. There he grew up appreciating nature and farming. He attended Jesuit schools and entered the Jesuits in 1935, followed the Jesuit course of studies, arts, philosophy, regency and theology, being ordained priest at Milltown Park on 28th July 1948. After tertianship, he went to the Gregorian University for a doctorate in Ecclesiology. Later as bishop he attended the Vatican Council and became really interested in theology, something that he continued to study passionately throughout his life.

He returned to Milltown Park to lecture and also take charge of the large garden. He always loved pottering around in the garden of any house he lived in. He became rector there in 1962.

At the age of 43 he found himself appointed to be the Bishop of a newly set-up diocese of Monze in Zambia, where the Jesuits had been working since 1905. So on 24th June he was consecrated bishop in Zambia. For 30 years he was the bishop of Monze. The task before him as he saw it was fourfold: development, pastoral work, health and education. He invited a number of congregations to help him in this task. Monze hospital was set up and run by the Holy Rosary Sisters. The Sisters of Charity and the Handmaids were already in the diocese. Presentation Sisters, Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Sisters of Charity of Milan and others entered into pastoral work, and the teaching and healing ministry. The Spiritans, Christian Brothers and John of God Brothers are the chief male religious groups who came to help in various fields.

As early as four years after becoming bishop, he put into effect a project after his own heart – promoting vocations from the people themselves. So in 1966, he built Mukasa, a minor seminary in Choma to foster and encourage young boys who showed an interest in the priesthood. Boys came here not only from the dioceses of Monze but also from, Livingstone, Lusaka and Solwezi. Over 50 Mukasa boys have been ordained priests and several are studying in the major seminaries.

Another project very close to his heart was the establishment of a local congregation of sisters – Sisters of the Holy Spirit – in 1971. The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary helped out in this venture. These local Sisters are involved in teaching, pastoral work, nursing and formation work among their own people. The last eight years of his life Bishop James spent in Milltown Park, Ireland on the advice of doctors both here and in Ireland. Whenever anyone visited him from here, his first question invariably was: "How are the Holy Spirit Sisters”?

He regularised the eight mission stations as parishes and set up 13 more parishes. Development was another project close to his heart. With the help of Fr Fred Moriarty SJ Monze became the leading diocese in the country in promoting development

People found Bishop Corboy approachable, kind, caring and simple. He spoke simply (deceptively so, some said). He could explain himself in quite simple language, understood by all. He had to learn ciTonga in which he had a passable skill and even that was spoken simply but correctly. He was unassuming. Often in a crowd, one would often ask 'which is the Bishop?'. He loved to pray the Rosary. He was a very shy man and avoided large social gatherings when he could. Inevitably after doing a confirmation he would say, ‘Gosh, I’d love to stay for the celebrations, but I have some important business to get back to in Monze’.

On 24 October 1991 he was called to State House to receive the decoration of Grand Commander of the Order of Distinguished Service for his work in the Monze Diocese.

He retired as Bishop in 1992, worked for four years at St. Ignatius in Lusaka before returning to Ireland because of his blood pressure. A short time before he died in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, his nephew, Dr John Sheehan, was with him and thought the Bishop looked distressed and asked if he was in pain. Bishop James replied. "No. God bless you, and good bye"! He died on 23 November 2004, aged 88 years.

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
”Sher is a great loss. Apart from his work, he was a great community man”, said the Bishop of Monze. “He was part and parcel of everything that went on in the community. He was interested in parish affairs. He never stinted himself in anything he did. In community discussions he often brought them back to some basic spiritual principle’.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/celebrating-bishop-corboy-sj/

Celebrating Bishop Corboy SJ
The life and work of James Corboy SJ, Bishop of Monze, Zambia, was celebrated with the launch of his biography by Sr Catherine Dunne, in the Arrupe Room, Milltown Park on Thursday 24 January. It was a great occasion described by some there as a “reunion of the diocese of Monze”. Over fifty people attended the launch, including members of Bishop Corboy’s family, who had an opportunity to meet many of those who had known him in Zambia.

The Irish Jesuit Provincial, Tom Layden SJ, warmly welcomed the publication of Catherine Dunne’s book, ‘The Man Called James Corboy’, published by The Messenger Office and sponsored by the Irish Jesuit Missions. He recalled meeting Bishop Corboy, whilst studying for his Leaving Certificate at Clongowes, and he remembered how he spoke about the plight of farmers in Zambia with real concern.

The Provincial said reading the book he was struck by the impact Vatican II made on James Corboy and how its vision of the Church as the people of God was always to the fore in everything he did in the Monze diocese. It permeated his leadership style and his sense of purpose, he said.

He also referred to the fact that James was given the Tonga name of “Cibinda”, meaning a wholesome person who knows where he is going and where he is leading others. Listen here to his talk. (http://www.jesuit.ie/content/onsite/irish-jesuit-podcasts/two-funerals-for-jesuit- bishop)

Two of James Corboy’s nieces, Joanne Sheehan and Ann Ryan, painted an intimate picture of their uncle, especially in his later years at Cherryfield, far removed from his beloved Zambia.

Ann recalled how she and he shared a great love of gardening, flowers and muck! She said he also took great interest in the progress of his great nephews and nieces. Indeed, his great-nephews, Josh and Alan, and his great-nieces, Anna and Alice, were all present and received copies of the book from Catherine Dunne.
Joanne Sheehan told of how there had been Jesuits in the Corboy family for nearly 200 years. She said her uncle “gave his whole life to other people and in that way he was a real Jesuit – a true man for others.” But he only ever claimed a tiny role for his work in Zambia acknowledging the tremendous group of Irish people who had made an enormous contribution to the country besides himself.

Damien Burke from Jesuit Archives provided a recording of Bishop Corboy’s own words from 1962 on the occasion of his consecration as Bishop, along with slides from his early life and time in Zambia. In the recording Bishop Corboy said that “Africa owes a tremendous debt to the Irish people” and thanked everyone for their continued prayers and financial support.
Sr Pius, an 89 year old missionary nun who worked with him in Monze, recalled his attempts to teach them about Vatican II on his return from Rome. “He said that the Council changed his life forever, and he talked about ‘communio’ so often. Something about him touched our hearts as he tried to teach us about the Second Vatican Council – even us ‘noodley’ heads were moved.” She said he valued people and valued particularly the wisdom of women. “We owe him a great debt.”
Sr Catherine Dunne also spoke and read an appreciation of the book from Sr Rosalio of the Holy Spirit Sisters, the order founded by the Bishop with the assistance of Catherine herself.
She said she was encouraged to know the book meant so much to people because, “many’s a time whilst writing it I heard his voice from behind me saying ‘have you nothing better to do with you time?’ I’m glad I didn’t heed that voice now”.
After the launch and a celebratory lunch, Sr Catherine spoke in depth to Pat Coyle of the Jesuit Communication Centre about ‘This Man Called James Corboy”: Listen here : (http://www.jesuit.ie/content/onsite/irish-jesuit-podcasts/the-man-from-monze).

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 37th Year No 3 1962

GENERAL
On April 18th the midday news from Vatican Radio contained the announcement that Fr. James Corboy, Rector of Milltown Park, had been appointed bishop-elect of the newly-created diocese of Monze, Northern Rhodesia.
The bishop of Monze entered the Society at St. Mary's, Emo, in 1935.. and from 1937 to 1941 studied at U.C.D., where he obtained his M.A. Degree in Irish History. He studied Philosophy at Tullabeg and taught at Belvedere 1944-45. His Theology was done at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in July 1948. After his Tertianship at Rathfarnham, he attended the Gregorian University, where he obtained the D.D. in Dogmatic Theology. Since 1952 he has been Professor of Fundamental Theology and Rector since 1959.
The diocese of Monze comprises the mission area assigned to our Province in 1957 and, before its constitution as a separate entity, formed part of the archdiocese of Lusaka.
Bishop Corboy left Ireland on May 31st for Rome and thence to Rhodesia. The consecration has been fixed for June 24th at Chikuni and the consecrating prelates are Most Rev. Adam Kozlowiecki, S.J., Arch bishop of Lusaka, Most Rev. Francis Markall, S.J., Archbishop of Salisbury, and Right Rev. Timothy O'Shea, O.F.M.Cap., Bishop of Livingstone.
The Province and the Mission received with great joy the news of the erection of the diocese of Monze and of the election of its first bishop, who can be assured of the good wishes and prayers of all for a long, happy and fruitful pastorate.

Milltown Park
It was during the same week that news came of the appointment of our Rector, Fr. Corboy, to the newly-created diocese of Monze. Our pleasure at this compliment to Fr. Corboy and at the progress it signifies in the development of Rhodesia was marred only by our regret to be losing so kind and capable a Superior. A special lecture was organised on May 9th, the proceeds of which were presented to the bishop-elect. We are grateful to Fr. Moloney of the Workers' College for speaking on the title “Education for Marriage, 1962”. At a reception afterwards in the Retreat House Refectory, the Ladies Committee and the Men's Committee both made presentations to Dr. Corboy. A dinner was given in his honour on May 23rd and after it several speeches were made. Fr. Patrick Joy, Acting Rector, took the opportunity to assure Dr. Corboy of the continuing support of all those associated with Milltown, including the Ladies Committee. Fr. Brendan Barry, having prefaced his remarks with the words “Egredere de domo tua”, congratulated the mission on the erection of the new diocese and the election of its bishop. Fr. Tom Cooney then rose to voice on behalf of the missionaries their pleasure at welcoming one so young and capable to the government of Monze diocese. In fact he had to apologise for mistaking the bishop-elect a few days previously for a scholastic. In more serious vein, he went on to trace for us the history of the whole question of the Province's responsibility for a mission territory, since the appointment of a bishop has always been the corollary to that issue. He told us that it all went back to before the war, when it still seemed that we could expand in China. When that proved impossible there was question either of a territory in Rhodesia or of educational work in Malaya. Eventually it was Fr. General who decided on our taking responsibility in Rhodesia. Fr. Cooney viewed Dr. Corboy's appointment in the light of all that development and he wished to pay tribute to the constant generosity of the home Province, towards Australia, the Far East and Rhodesia. Fr. Kevin Smyth spoke on behalf of the Faculty, remarking that he was glad to note the departure from usual practice in selecting the bishop not from the canonists but, as he said, from the theologians. To the speeches of the upper community Mr. Guerrini, our Beadle, added his “small voice” on behalf of the scholastics. He proposed his tribute in the form of a thesis. This thesis, he said, was theologically certain, since it met with the constant and universal consent of the Theologians - not to mention the Fathers. There were no adversaries, and he went on to prove his point from the experience of the last few years. Dr. Corboy then spoke. He expressed his attachment to Milltown and of the debt of gratitude he felt towards all who had worked with him in Milltown. He commended the diocese of Monze to our prayers.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005
Obituary
Bishop James Corboy (1916-2004) : Zambia Malawi Province

Oct. 20th 1916: Born in Caherconlish, Limerick
Early education at The Crescent, Limerick and Clongowes Wood College
Sept. 7th 1935: Entered the Society at Emo
Sept. 8th 1937: First Vows at Emo
1937 - 1941: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944 Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1944 - 1945: Belvedere College - Teaching (Regency)
1945 – 1949: Milltown Park -Studied Theology
July 28th 1948: Ordained at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1950 - 1952: Gregorian, Rome - Studied Fundamental Theology
1952 - 1962: Milltown Park:
1952 - 1959: Lecturing in Theology and in charge of farm
Feb. 2nd 1953: Final Vows
1959 - 1962 Rector; Lecturing in Theology; Prov. Consultor
June 24th 1962: Consecrated Bishop of Monze, Zambia
1962 - 1996: Pastor of Monze Diocese.
1996 - 2003: Retired as bishop; returned to Milltown Park; writer, House Librarian.
2003 - 2004” Cherryfield Lodge.
Nov. 24th, 2004: Died in St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

Bishop James Corboy Pioneer of Catholic Church in Zambia

From: Times of Zambia, 18 Dec. 2004 Written by: James P. McGloin, S.J. (Socius, ZAM Province)

Bishop James Corboy, S.J., the retired bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Monze, died in Dublin, Ireland on 24th November 2004. On 10th December a well-attended memorial Eucharist was held at the Monze Cathedral with Bishop Emilio Patriarca of Monze presiding. Bishop Raymond Mpezele of Livingstone and many clergy from the diocese and elsewhere concelebrated at the Eucharist. Fr. Colm Brophy, S.J., the provincial of the Jesuits, preached.

In 1962 the Diocese of Monze was established from the southern part of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. In March of that year Fr. James Corboy was appointed its first bishop. At the time he was a professor of theology and rector of the Jesuit School of Theology in Dublin. He had never been to Africa before. Looking from our perspective, it seems like a very strange appointment. However, the area of the new diocese was a mission area under the auspices of the Irish Jesuits based in Chikuni. These Jesuits ran the mission, Canisius College and Charles Lwanga Teachers' College in Chikuni along with seven other mission stations in the new diocese. Perhaps the Jesuit missionaries who were already there were thought too independent minded to accept one of their own as bishop. Perhaps it was thought that someone from the outside might bring a new perspective to the work. Whatever the reason, James Corboy, without any experience of Africa, was appointed the first bishop.

Bishop Corboy was born in the small village of Caharconlish in County Limerick, Ireland in 1916. Being from a rural area, he grew up appreciating nature and farming, an appreciation he kept all his life. He did his primary school in the village and got a good basic education. For early secondary school he had to travel to the nearest town. This meant using a bicycle to the train station, then by train to the town, then a walk to school, and back again each day. Since, his travel took so much time each day, his parents later sent him to a Jesuit boarding school to finish his education.

After his secondary school in 1935, he entered the Jesuits and was ordained a priest thirteen years later in Dublin. He went to Rome, then, and studied at the Gregorian University, receiving a doctorate in theology. Returning from Rome, he began his career as a professor in the school of theology, where he eventually was made rector.

At the time of his appointment as bishop, the great reforming council of the Catholic Church, Vatican Council II, began in Rome. Bishop Corboy attend all four sessions of the Council from 1962 to 1965. The Council had an immense influence on him. He was wont to say that, despite his doctoral studies, he never really studied theology until the Council. During the Council he studied and read theology, something that he continued to do passionately throughout his life.

When he was ordained bishop in Monze in June 1962, there were about twenty Jesuit missionaries working in the area, some Religious Sisters of Charity, and one eminent Zambian priest, the late Fr. Dominic Nchete. Bishop Corboy began inviting other missionary groups into the diocese to improve the education and health services of the area. The Holy Rosary Sisters opened Monze Mission Hospital (now District Hospital) and Mazabuka Girls' Secondary School; the Christian Brothers began St. Edmund's Secondary School in Mazabuka and Mawaggali Trades Training Institute in Choma; the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary managed St. Joseph's Secondary School in Chivuna while the Presentation Sisters managed Kasiya Secretarial College; the Sisters of Charity of Milan opened a mission hospital in Chirundu and the John of God Brothers began a rehabilitation centre for the handicapped in Monze. Many lay volunteers came from overseas in these early days to help staff these new institutions.

In the area of development a well-run diocesan office was opened in Monze which, among many projects, offered agricultural advisory services and courses throughout the diocese. The Monze Youth Projects, managed by the Sisters of Mercy, was opened, offering catering, tailoring and carpentry training. In almost every parish in the diocese a homecraft or tailoring centre was begun.

Much of this development took place during the initial, exciting years of Zambian Independence. Bishop Corboy's vision of a better Zambia for all its people went hand in hand with the vision of the newly independent government. His contribution was recognized by President Kenneth Kaunda, who awarded him the honour of Grand Commander of the Order of Distinguished Service in 1991.

The bishop was also concerned with the pastoral development of his diocese. Besides inviting the Spiritans and Fidei Donum priests from other dioceses to open new parishes, he realised the importance of developing a local Zambian clergy. In 1966 he opened Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma as a secondary school for boys considering a vocation to the priesthood. At present there are nearly 50 ordained priests from the boys who began their schooling in Mukasa. These priests work in the Monze Diocese and in other dioceses that send boys to the seminary. He also saw the need for Zambian Sisters and in 1971 began a diocesan congregation of sisters, called the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. Today the sisters have convents in Chikuni, Choma, Chivuna, Mazabuka and Monze and offer a variety of services in the schools, hospitals and parishes.

From the Vatican Council, Bishop Corboy learned deeply that the Church was not just bishops, priests and sisters. Rather the Church, to use the Council's great image, is the People of God. Bishop Corboy wanted a well informed Catholic laity in his diocese, good Christians who could run parish councils effectively, preach and offer Sunday services when a priest was not available, teach young people the essential truths of their faith and prepare them to receive the sacraments. During his time as bishop, St. Kizito Pastoral Centre outside of Monze was open to offer courses in Christian and pastoral formation for the people of the diocese. Oftentimes, the bishop himself would present much appreciated talks on scripture and on different theological topics.

When Bishop Corboy came to Zambia, he studied Citonga and had a passable knowledge of the language. Whenever he preached in the language he spoke simply but clearly and correctly. Even in English, he always preached simply and sincerely also. Every year when he came to Charles Lwanga Teachers' College, his homily was essentially the same. He remembered still his own primary school teachers, men and women, who were dedicated to their work and concerned about the children. Then, he told the Lwanga students that they had chosen a noble profession and how they could be a force for good in the lives of so many young people.

True to his rural roots, Bishop Corboy loved nature and farming. For a day off he might spend a few hours bird watching at nearby Lochinvar National Park. He always had a small garden behind his house in Monze and would often be found there watering or weeding. It is said that sometimes. visitors who did not know him would be told that he was outside. They would meet the old man working in the garden saying, "Brother, we would like to meet the bishop." He would tell them to go back to the office and the bishop would be there in a few minutes. Shortly, the bishop, out of his garden clothes, would introduce himself to the surprised visitors.

A very shy man, the bishop avoided large social gatherings when he could. Inevitably, after doing a confirmation at one of the colleges or parishes, he would say, “Gosh, I'd love to stay for the celebrations, but I have some important business to get back to in Monze." Although shy, the shyness did not deter him from working well with different organisations and groups of people. He was able to listen, to offer advice and to give his lay and religious colleagues plenty of leeway to do their work without interfering.

Bishop Corboy tried always to defer to the opinions of the Zambian bishops in the Episcopal Conference. Archbishop Mazombwe, in a condolence letter, recalled an event in 1973 when he had just taken over from Bishop Corboy as president of the Zambia Episcopal Conference. Bishop Corboy wrote to him, "I am not coming to the Executive Board Meeting of ZEC and I am not going for the AMECEA (the Bishops of all of Eastern Africa) Plenary Meeting in Nairobi. I am tired, I have been teaching mathematics at Mukasa Seminary and I will be in retreat." The Archbishop, who was then Bishop of Chipata, relates how he interrupted his own retreat and said, "My Lord, I have never chaired a ZEC meeting, this will be my first time. I need you. I have never attended an AMECEA Plenary Meeting, I need you.” Bishop Corboy's response was immediate and to the point. "I will come to the ZEC Executive Board Meeting, but I will not go for the AMECEA Plenary because there are enough African bishops with experience."

Looking forward to the day when a Zambian would replace him, Bishop Corboy had his dream come true in 1992, after thirty years as bishop of Monze. In that year Bishop Paul Lungu, S.J. succeeded him as bishop. From the 8 mission stations at the origin of the diocese, there were 21 parishes when Bishop Lungu took over, Bishop Corboy was able to hand over a well-established diocese with an active and effective body of Zambian clergy, religious and laity.

Bishop Corboy did not leave Zambia immediately on retiring. He moved to St. Ignatius Jesuit Community in Lusaka where he frequently helped in the church and served as librarian at the Jesuit Theological Library in Chelston. In 1996 when his health began to deteriorate, he returned to his native country where he continued his reading and writing until his death.
His nephew, Dr. John Sheehan, who worked for sometime in Monze Hospital, was with him when he was dying. Dr. Sheehan saw his breathing was very bad and asked him if he could give him something for the pain. Bishop Corboy, in his typical way, held out his hand and shook hands with his nephew, saying, “No, thanks very much, I'm all right...and then continued, “Good-by now, God bless you”. Then he died. "Good-by. God bless you”-his final words to his nephew-but also to the people of the Diocese of Monze whom he loved so much and served so well.

Tom McGivern wrote in ZAM Province News, Dec. 2004:

The diocese of Monze was set up on 10" March 1962, an offshoot of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. Fr. James Corboy, S.J., at that time a professor of theology in Milltown Park, Dublin, was appointed to be the first bishop of the new diocese. This new diocese was three-quarters the size of the whole country of Ireland from which the new bishop came. It has a population of a million people, 16% of whom were Catholic. At that time there were 8 mission stations in the whole area centred at Chikuni. A daunting task ahead for the new bishop!

At the age of 43 he found himself appointed to be the bishop of the newly established diocese of Monze where the Jesuits had been working since 1905. On the 24h of June 1962 he was ordained bishop in Monze.

For 30 years he was the bishop. The daunting task before him was fourfold as he saw it: development, pastoral work, health care, and education. He invited a number of congregations to help him in this task. The Sisters of Charity and the Handmaid Sisters were already in the diocese. The Holy Rosary Sisters, Presentation Sisters, Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary, the Sisters of Charity of Milan and others entered into pastoral work, health care and education. Spiritans, Christian Brothers and John of God Brothers were some of the men religious groups who came to help in various fields.

As early as four years after becoming bishop, he put into effect a project after his own heart-vocations from the local people themselves. In 1966 he built Mukasa minor seminary in Choma “to foster and encourage young boys who show interest in the priesthood”. Boys came from the dioceses of Monze, Livingstone, Lusaka and Solwezi. At present there are about 50 of these boys who have been ordained priests and there are numbers in the major seminaries.

Another project very close to his heart was the establishment of a local congregation of sisters, the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. In 1971 the congregation began and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary helped out in this venture. As the bishop wished, the sisters are now involved in teaching, nursing, pastoral and formation work among the people of the Monze Diocese. The last eight years of his life Bishop James spent in Ireland on the advice of doctors. Whenever anyone visited him from Zambia, the first question invariably was, “How are the Holy Spirit Sisters?”

As bishop, he regularised the 8 mission stations as parishes and set up 13 more. He also set up a development office in Monze, headed for many years by the late Fred Moriarity, S.J. Because of it, Monze became one of the leading dioceses in development in the country.

In Matthew's gospel when Christ sent out the Twelve, he advised them to be as clever as snakes and as simple as doves. Bishop James was extremely clever and yet very simple. To set up hospitals, schools, parishes, churches et al., money and personnel had to be found mostly from overseas. A frequent question on his lips to his secretary, the late Joe Conway, S.J. was, :Joe, has that cheque come through yet?”

When the war in Zimbabwe was raging, the Zambezi Valley was strewn with land mines, yet Bishop James drove down alone to Chirundu to make sure the people there were safe and to encourage them. After the war some government official wanted to close down the hospital there, but unsuccessfully, as he had to deal with Bishop James.

The bishop was a good theologian, and, for any important conference he had to give, he would retire to Chikuni to pray, read and prepare. Once sisters involved in health care had a day's seminar on the Theology of Healing. His phrase, "Healing begins at the door of the hospital” lasted with them for a long time.

People found him approachable, kind, caring and simple. Simple? He spoke simply (deceptively so, some said). He could explain himself in quite simple language, understood by all. He had to learn ciTonga in which he had a passable skill and even that was spoken simply but correctly. And he was unassuming. Often in a crowd, one would ask, “Which is the bishop?”

From Colm Brophy's homily at a Memorial Mass in Monze:

His nephew, Dr. John Sheehan—who worked here in Monze hospital—was with him when he was dying. John saw his breathing was very bad and asked him if he was in pain and could he give him something for the pain. Bishop James, in his typical way, said: “No, thanks very much, I'm all right”. - and then held out his hand and shook hands with his nephew John and said: “Good-by now, God bless you”. And then he died, That handshake, that “Good-by now, God bless you” was his “Good-by, God bless you” for all of us.

◆ The Clongownian, 2005

Obituary

Bishop James Corboy SJ

James Corboy, who has died at the age of 88, was the first Bishop of Monze in what was then Northern Rhodesia. As a bishop he was to play an important role in the development of church and state in the emerging: Republic of Zambia.

He was born, the third of six children, to Dr John and Josephine (nee Coman) Corboy in Caherconlish, Co Limerick, in 1916. He was educated in Clongowes Wood College and entered the Society of Jesus in 1935. He studied History at UCD where he obtained his MA. After his ecclesiastical studies and ordination, he was sent to Rome to take a doctorate in theology. He returned to Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was a professor of theology becoming rector in 1959. He was made Bishop of Monze in 1962

The second Vatican Council had already begun and so he was plunged into the heart of what was happening in the church. He found himself transferred from a leisurely, well-ordered, sheltered life of an academic into a daunting range of new experiences and demands.

Nothing prepared him for setting up a new diocese, the size of Ireland, in a country and a church of which he knew little or nothing, while grasping and implementing the radically new attitudes of the second Vatican Council. He believed that the mission of the church was the evangelisation of the whole person, not just “saving souls”. He used to talk of his regret at how he had been sheltered from the hardships of the ordinary people of Ireland during the 1940s and '50s and was determined that he would not make the same mistake in the face of the poverty and needs of the poor in his diocese.

At the conclusion of the council, he began to implement its teaching, especially on the church in the modern world. This meant answering the pressing needs of the Tonga people, keen farmers, rearing cattle and growing maize. He began to develop the skills already there in the local people. He gathered around him like-minded people as the Monze Diocese Development Department parish priests, sisters, lay people, some of whom were trained agricultural instructors and social development workers. He was instrumental in starting the first credit union in what had now become Zambia. Monze diocese established excellent relationships with the aid agencies, including Ireland's APSO, which not only provided generous funding for the many projects that he initiated, but also sent out and supported a series of dedicated social workers, teachers and medical personnel.

He was keenly interested in education and recruited religious congregations to staff the schools and training institutes which sprang up under his efforts: the Christian Brothers opened a secondary school and a trades training school; the Presentation Sisters assumed responsibility for a commercial college; the Sacred Heart of Mary sisters and the Holy Rosary sisters both opened secondary schools for girls. The Irish Sisters of Charity, as they were called at that time, added a secondary school to the apostolates they had already begun in the area before James Corboy arrived. Monze hospital under the care of the Holy Rosary Sisters became a centre for the surrounding countryside for childcare clinics and a nursing school.

He used to say that the church in Zambia had to become a church of the laity if it was ever to shake itself free from being an adjunct of the church in Europe, depending on expatriate mission personnel and funding. So he set up Kizito Pastoral Centre, which catered for every sort of training for laity. The bishops of east and central Africa decided that their main pastoral thrust would be based on the formation of small Christian communities. The pastoral centre was timely and provided a centre for the training of the community members.

While he was a shrewd administrator and fund-raiser, he was the most unpretentious of men, with a simplicity that was most effective in winning people's minds and hearts. He was fully accepted by the people of Zambia, from the president down to the simplest subsistence farmer. He seemed to be happiest when working in the vegetable patch that he cultivated in his backyard.

He returned to Ireland where he lived simply and quietly in retirement until his death in November after a short illness. His brother Dr Patrick and sisters Maureen and Dr. Bernie survive him; his brother Shane and sister Alice predeceased him.

The Irish Times

Coyne, Richard C, 1917-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/621
  • Person
  • 27 January 1917-07 February 1999

Born: 27 January 1917, Ballyvaughan, County Clare
Entered: 29 September 1947, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 07 February 1999, Sacred Heart community, Limerick City

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999

Obituary

Fr Richard Coyne (1917-1999)

27th Jan 1917: Born at Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare
Early education: St. Joseph's, Ballinasloe, Galway, up to Leaving Cert, and scholarship.
31st July 1957: Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1958 - 1959: Rathfarnham, Tertianship
1959 - 1961: Mungret College, Limerick, Asstd. Dir. Apostolic School
1961- 1963; Crescent College, teaching Classics
1963 - 1964: Belvedere, teaching (+H Dip Ed, UCD)
1964 - 1969: Mungret College, teaching, Editor “Mungret Annual”
1969 - 1972: Rathfarnham, bursar, study Social Science, UCD
1972 - 1989: Tullabeg, Asst. Director of Spiritual Exercises, assisted in the Church, Librarian
1989 - 1991: Cherryfield Lodge, promoted “Bethany Groups”
1991 - 1999: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick, Church work.

Father Coyne felt a little unwell on the Saturday evening and retired to bed. He was visited a number of times by members of his community and seemed to be resting peacefully at bedtime. He was found dead in bed on the Sunday morning, 7th February.

I first came to know Dick Coyne in the 1980's when he was in Tullabeg and I had returned from Zambia. We found that we had interests in common (including Wodehouse and history) and a friendship developed. He helped me to wade through the Tullabeg archives and assorted papers prior to Jesuit departure - though perhaps his help was rather dubious because of his “conserving” tendencies.

I associate some of my more placid memories of the 1990's with him: visiting Clonmel, Cashel, Kilkenny, Waterford in honor of pre Suppression Jesuits; another holiday in Galway with visits to Aran and Ballyvaughan; meeting him in Veritas and being treated to coffee in Wynn's (which seemed the absolutely right hotel for him); seeing him off at Heuston (on one occasion not so placidly diverting him from the wrong train)...

He was a most pleasant companion, understanding and undemanding but (on holiday) quietly intent on seeing what interested him - with, I seem to remember, a prior visit to the local tourist office. He was a great man for telling you in the most civilized and encouraging way) what you should do for God. And when you modestly told him what you were doing, you felt that you were being listened to. He reached out for and appreciated companionship (I wonder if there was a lonely streak in him), and was close to his family.

As I say, I associate him with placidity. I am sure that many people associated him with peace. He was, I am told, a good listener, “would inquire how things were going”, very patient and kind. It was not surprising that he was drawn to the Bethany bereavement apostolate. He was a peaceful presence in his Tullabeg “parish” and afterwards kept in touch with “his flock” in annual pilgrimage to Knock. And I like to think that something of the peace-giving came across in the way he celebrated Mass.

He was a man of the mind: he combined being a civil servant and later a bursar with university courses. His incredible array of pamphlets, magazines, cuttings, notes (carefully classified), seemed to indicate a passion for the written and conserved word. I suspect that this interest in intellect and its expression derived from his school-master father.

And I more than suspect that this urge to keep everything on file camę largely from his Civil Service experience. The paper clips and rubber bands which had served the State were, as it were, transferred to the service of the Church: in both areas symbols of a personal and professional integrity and devotion to duty.

He delighted not only in the word of the spirit' but in the word of humour and wit (Wodehouse was a favourite author), of friendly conversation, of history and tradition. (His long-term assignment in Tullabeg enabled him to explore and appreciate the roots of the people he served.) His interest in the focal Gaelige went back at least to his days at St. Joseph's, Ballinasloe and his careful and researched writing in An Timire was an example both of his devotion to the Sacred Heart and of his attachment to Irish tradition.

Fear ann féin é. Fear sibhialta é omósach i gcursaí dúchais, feasach i gcúrsaí comhshaolacha. Cara dílis. Thar gach ní, fear le Dia. Requiescat.

Stephen Redmond

Craig, Harold Edward, 1901-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/106
  • Person
  • 03 July 1901-29 October 1985

Born: 03 July 1901, North Strand, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 01 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 14 June 1932, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1935, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 29 October 1985, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of St Stanislaus College community, Tullabeg, County Offaly at time of his death.

Father was a country Inspector with the RIC. Mother died in 1918.

Second eldest of four sons and has two sisters.

Educated at initially up to age 10 by a governess and then at Crescent College SJ

by 1929 in Australia - Regency at Xavier College, Kew
by 1934 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1935 at Catholic Mission, Ngau-Pei-Lan, Shiuhing (Zhaoqing), Guandong, China (LUS) language studies
by 1936 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
by 1944 at Xavier, Park St, Calcutta, West Bengal, India (BEL M)
by 1948 at Sacred Heart Accrington (ANG) working
by 1949 at St Joseph’s Leigh (ANG) working
by 1955 at St Francis Xavier Liverpool (ANG) working

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Harold Craig, SJ
R.I.P.

Father Harold Craig, S.J., died in Ireland on 31 October 1985, aged 84.
He worked in Hong Kong, mainly as a teacher in Wah Yan College, until 1941. After the Japanese occupation he went to India, flying the hazardous route then known as ‘across the Hump.’ He worked in India till after the end of the war. He then worked in parishes in Lancashire, England, for over a quarter of a century. About a decade ago he transferred to a rural parish in the Irish midlands, and did not give up this work there till after his 83rd birthday. His retirement lasted less than three months.

Few people in Hong Kong will remember Father Craig after a gap of over forty years, but that few will remember him vividly. He was original in thought, word and action. Such men are not easily forgotten.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 8 November 1985

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He came to Hong Kong in 1934 after Ordination and left Hong Kong in 1941

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
In 1942 with Fr Harold Craig - who had come with him in 1933 - he went to Kwelin (Yunan) in mainland China, staying with Mgr Romaniello.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
After early studies in the Society, Harold Craig was posted to Xavier College for regency, where he taught from 1926-28, followed by a year at Riverview in 1929.After tertianship, Craig worked in the Hong Kong Mission, 1934-44, including 1942-44 at Guilin, Guangxi province, China, after the Japanese occupation brought the work of the mission to an effective halt. He then moved to India, 1944-47, working in Calcutta and Darjeeling before going to England. There he worked in a series of parishes until 1977 when he moved to Tullabeg as a base for more pastoral work. Harold Craig was known in the province as a raconteur frequently regaling people with stories of the past, particularly of his time in Australia.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 61st Year No 1 1986

Obituary

Fr Harold Craig (1901-1919-1985)

3rd July 1901: born in Limerick,1911-19. studied at Sacred Heart College, The Crescent. Ist September 1919; entered SJ.
1919-22 Tullabeg, noviciate and home juniorate, 1922-25 Milltown,philosophy.
1925-'9 Australia, teaching: 1925-28 in Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne; 1928-29 St Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney.
1929-233 Milltown, theology (14th ordained a priest). 1933-34 St Beuno's, Wales, tertianship.
1934-44 China/Hong Kong mission.
1934-35 Shiuhing, learning Cantonese.
1935-36 Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, HK, minister.
1936-38 Wah Yan HK again. The Japanese occupation of of Hong Kong brought the work of the Irish Jesuit Mission to a virtual standstill.
1942-44 Kweilin, Kwangsi province.

  1. India.
    1944-45 Calcutta.
    1945-47 Darjeeling.
    1947-77 England, pastoral work.
    1947-48 Accrington.
    1948-54 St Joseph's church, Leigh.
    1954-77 St Francis Xavier's church and parish, Liverpool.
    1977-85 Tullabeg, pastoral work.
    1985 Cherryfield Lodge nursing unit (his health failing). He died suddenly and and peacefully at 3 am on Tuesday, 29th October 1985.

I personally met Harold for the first time only in 1977, when he came to Tullabeg, so I cannot speak with first-hand knowledge of the earlier and longer part of his life. However, it seems to me that such a man revealed a great deal about the long years that went before: the man who in the late autumn of his life was always friendly, always cheerful and serene, always bubbling with life, always faithful in performing the work to which he had been assigned - this was the Harold I knew.
The most immediately obvious characteristic of Harold was that he was a great talker. He loved to talk and to recount experiences of his long and varied past. (Take for example his four years' teaching in Australia, a period that left an indelible mark on his memory). His love of talk was all part of his instinctive friendliness, his desire to reach out to others. The last time I saw him was about 10th October Cherryfield Lodge, I had feared that enforced inactivity might damp down his accustomed cheerfulness. Not at all. He was as cheerful and talkative as ever. He told me - not without pride - that the people of the neighbourhood, where he had already made many contacts, called him “the friendly priest”. I believe that right up to the end he showed people what he had always been, a sign God's friendliness, of God's interest in them and concern for them.
We all know that there is a vast difference between chronological old age and mental old age. Harold was 84 years of age and therefore chronologically old, but certainly was not mentally old. On the contrary, he had a wide range of interests. Despite the weakness of his legs, he spent at least a couple of hours every day in the garden; he had his favourite tv and radio programmes, he read widely about a variety of topics. That an old man could be so alive is an encouragement to those of us who are beginning to approach old age.
During those years in Tullabeg, I was always moved by the alacrity with which he answered the almost continual summonses to the confessional or hall-door. I do not know how many times I saw him sit down to a favourite tv programme - and getting into a chair was no small feat for him. A minute later he'd be called to the parlour or confessional. Invariably, without a murmur of complaint, he'd manoeuvre himself back onto his feet and go straight to the person who needed him, I am sure this generous availability characterised his whole life.
Finally, Harold had an immense affection for the members of his family. He was interested in each of them - old and young - and very proud of them. When I saw him last in Cherryfield, he told me how warm-heartedly his family responded to his affection, how frequently they visited him, and how happy they were that at last he was allowing others to care for him. His family - like the community in Cherryfield - will miss him greatly. May he live in Christ.

Cremins, Richard, 1922-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/751
  • Person
  • 24 August 1922-21 February 2012

Born: 24 August 1922, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 05 October 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1961, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 21 February 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZA

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

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Arthur J Clarke Entry
During his six years as rector, he was blessed with such outstanding heads of Canisius as Dick Cremins and Michael J Kelly. Arthur's vision for Canisius as a leading secondary school was influenced by his experience of Clongowes Wood College in Ireland. First, he wanted a proper house for the community. Though the actual building was the responsibility of Fr McCarron and Br Pat McElduff, the siting and design of the spacious community house are largely Arthur’s.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/203-missionary-experience-of-the-late-fr-richard-cremins

Missionary Experience of the late Fr. Richard Cremins
Father Richard Cremins, SJ died on 21st February 2012 in Cherryfield Nursing Home in Milltown Park after a long illness. The funeral mass took place on Friday 24th February in Milltown Park Chapel, after which Fr. Cremins was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Fr. Cremins spent over 50 years working as a missionary in Zambia until a stroke brought him back to Ireland in 2006 where he remained until his recent death.
Fr. Richard Cremins was born in 1922 and attended Blackrock College in Dublin. He went on to study at university for 3 years before making the decision to become a Jesuit priest after being impressed by the spirit among the students of Milltown Park. Fr. Cremins taught in Belvedere College for 2 years before he was ordained in 1955. In 1957 Fr. Cremins was sent out to Zambia, then Northern Rhodesia, to work in the Chikuni Mission. He spent several months learning the local language, Tonga and was mainly involved with the primary schools in the area. He spent a year travelling around the country finding schools a job which required him to learn a second language, Bemba. In 1964, Fr. Cremins was sent to Monze to step in as principal of the secondary school for 6 months. He remained in the post for four and a half years until the appointment of Michael Kelly as principal. Fr. Cremins spoke fondly of his time as parish priest in Monze. “They were lovely people. Very nice” he said. He felt it was important to value the customs and traditions of the people in the area. He recounted an early experience he had of a woman who was having trouble with her husband and he had been asked to step in. He sat with them in their family home but realized that his presence there was enough. “They had their own way of settling these things. So I never tried to interfere and just let things take their course”. Fr. Cremins kept this stance throughout his time in Zambia. He did a lot of work in development in the area which included the setting up of Church councils in each area and also the translation of the Bible into Tonga. This occurred in 1970 after the events of Vatican II.
Fr. Cremins was most noted for his work in AIDS prevention and development in Zambia. He went to Lusaka, the capital, in 1970 and spent 12 years there working on development with particular attention given to the introduction of natural family planning. This followed the work of Doctor Sister Miriam Duggan who wanted to introduce the idea to the area. After the implementation of a programme in Lusaka, Fr. Cremins then moved to Malwai in 1990 where he spent 12 years working on a similar project resulting in the establishment of FAMLI. In 2004, he helped to set up an AIDS programme called Youth Alive which aimed at educating young people in Malawi about the risks of AIDS.
Fr. Richard Cremins enjoyed his work as a missionary and spoke positively of his experiences abroad. “I always had a principle that if you have to do something you might as well enjoy it and I always enjoyed my work whatever it was".

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/225-fr-richard-cremins-sj-1922-2012

Fr. Richard Cremins, SJ 1922-2012
Dick was raised in Dublin during the post independence and post civil war years. He attended the Holy Ghost Fathers' Blackrock College and then proceeded to do undergraduate studies at University College Dublin (UCD). Afterwards he began legal studies spending one year at King's Inn, passing his first bar exam with first class honours. He was a formidable debater and was elected president of the LH Society (Literary and Historical Society), well known for the who's who of Irish politicians and professionals who had been members in their younger days. Dick resigned as president of the Society and discontinued his legal studies to join the Society in 1943. He followed the usual course of studies in Ireland doing regency at Belvedere and Mungret Colleges. After theology at Milltown Park he was ordained a priest in 1955.
In response to a request from Father General, the Irish Province formally assumed responsibility in 1949/1950 for missionary work in much of the Southern Province of Northern Rhodesia (later to become the independent country of Zambia). This led to the establishment of the Chikuni Mission in the Southern Province with a procure in the capital, Lusaka. Building on the great accomplishments of the Zambezi Mission and of Jesuits from the Polish-Krakow Province who had laid the foundations of Church presence in this area, the new arrivals for the Chikuni Mission quickly found themselves engaged in the work of mission development. This they did through the establishment of parishes, the consolidation and expansion of secondary and teacher training institutions, the management and growth of an extensive network of primary schools, and the advancement of women and lay leadership in the Church.
Throughout the 35 years of his period in Northern Rhodesia/Zambia, where he arrived in September 1957, Dick Cremins found himself involved in each one of these works, apart from teacher training. On completion of a period learning chiTonga, the major local language used in the Chikuni Mission territory, his first assign- ment was as Manager of Schools, in charge of supervising, improving and expanding the large network of Catholic primary schools for which the Mission was responsible. In an era when Church presence in an area tended to be closely linked to educational presence through a Church-managed primary school, this involved much hard bargaining with similarly placed representatives from other Christian Churches and colonial officials. Though he threw himself into this work with enormous verve, this was something that did not fit well with Dick's broader ecumenical vision. Neither did it give much scope for his manifest abilities, including his sharp understanding of the needs of a colonial territory that sooner rather than later would become independent.
The situation changed for him in 1959 when he was appointed as Principal of Canisius College, a Jesuit boys' secondary school which had commenced in 1949, much to the displeasure of the colonial authorities who protested at the time that the territory already had a secondary school for boys and so did not need a second one. But by 1959 the winds of change were already blowing in Northern Rhodesia and Dick saw it as his duty, not to challenge the colonial authorities, but with their (sometimes grudging) financial support to develop a school that would respond to the territory's future needs for well qualified human resources. His task in doing so was facilitated by the transfer of the teacher training component from Canisius to the newly established Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College nearby, leaving Dick free to promote a programme of expanding boarding and teaching facilities (especially science laboratories and a library) at Canisius and to increase the number of staff.
A very significant development during the four-and-a-half years of Dick's tenure as Principal of Canisius was the commencement of 6th Form (A-level). Those who completed this programme would have spent almost fifteen years in school - this in a territory where by 1963 less than 1,000 (up to 200 of them from Canisius itself) had completed even twelve years in school. Equally significant, and an early sign of what would be a major con-cern throughout the rest of Dick's life, was his determination that girls should benefit from this development and be able to attain the highest possible level of education. This resulted in Canisius becoming the only school in Northern Rhodesia that offered 6 h Form education to both girls and boys - a noteworthy advance not only towards gender equity but also in Jesuit understanding of the need to ensure that the equality between women and men became a lived reality.
A further development was the active recruitment of a large number of lay teachers for the staffing of the expanding Canisius College. But more was at work in Dick's case, for here he found it possible to give expression to his pre-Vatican II vision of increasing the role of the laity in Church affairs. The strength of Dick's convictions in this area led to his appointment in 1964 as parish priest of the town of Monze and subsequently as chaplain to the Lay Apostolate Movement in the newly established Diocese of Monze. That same year, Northern Rhodesia's colonial status ended when it became the independent country of Zambia. Dick identified wholeheartedly with the new State and as soon as it was possible for him to do so adopted Zambian citizenship, even though this necessitated renouncing his status as a citizen of Ireland, the country of his birth. For the rest of his life, Dick remained a Zambian, a man committed to improving the status of women, and a man passionately concerned to give practical expression to Vatican II's vision of the importance of the laity and the involvement of the Church in the development of peoples.
Dick worked indefatigably for six years as parish priest of Monze town and for five years as promoter of the lay apostolate throughout the diocese. An outstanding legacy to his term as parish priest was the establishment by the Holy Rosary Sisters of Monze Mission Hospital. Dick always proved himself a staunch ally of these Sisters, some of them still fresh from the Biafran war in Nigeria. Always conscious of the dignity of women and the active role that lay and religious women could play in the Church, he supported the Sisters with deep practical love and respect (which they in turn generously reciprocated). Dick pursued these apostolic commitments in Monze Diocese at such expense to himself that he had to spend the greater part of 1976 rebuilding his health. When he was strong enough to return to Zambia late that year, his enduring commitment to the development of the laity resulted in his transfer to Lusaka and appointment, on behalf of the Catholic Hierarchy, as national chaplain for the lay apostolate and secretary for development. For the next seven years he spent the greater part of his time educating and training the laity, mobilising and energising lay groups, and advocating on their behalf. His constant concern was to ensure that Vatican II's vision of the role of the laity became a reality energetically adopted and practised, not only by the ordained ministry of the Church and by members of the Society, but also by lay-persons themselves. These years also saw his trail-blazing support for the National Council of Catholic Women in Zambia, with his unflagging insistence to the women who asked him to implement some of their ideas, "No; this is for you to do, yours are the voices that should be heard." His belief in the power of women was remarkably vindicated in 1982 when, because of the outspoken opposition of the Catholic Women's League to the Zambian Government's inclusion of communist ideology in the curriculum for schools at all levels, the Government capitulated and backed off from this development.
Dick's experience and reflections during this time brought into sharper focus for him the importance of the family. A prime concern here was to enable women to control the number of children they bore while observing the teaching of the encyclical Humanae Vitae about contraception. He was motivated here not just by loyalty to Church teaching, but also by his commitment to improving the lot of women and his anguish at the suffering women endured in bearing more children than their health, their means, the well-being of their already-born children or their prospects as persons who were fully equal to men, could sustain. He was further energised by his deep-seated conviction on the supremacy of human life and hence was driven by the imperative of preventing abortion and opposing its legalisation.
Both of these concerns led Dick to become a protagonist for natural family planning as a way that respected human dignity, while enabling women take more control of their lives and avoid abortions by not having unwanted pregnancies. He became skilled on the medical and social aspects of natural family planning and was soon recognised as a national and international authority in this area. His views did not always find acceptance with others, but this did not diminish their respect for his integrity, the consistency of his approach, and his manifest commitment to bettering the condition of women. His involvement in the area of natural family planning be- came more all-consuming when in 1983 he was appointed as Director of Zambia's Family Life Movement. He was to remain in this position until his appointment to Malawi, the second country that constitutes the Zambia- Malawi Province, ten years later. During this Lusaka period Dick also served for six years as Superior of the Jesuit community of St. Ignatius. Throughout the latter years of that time, St. Ignatius' was the base for the newly established Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, a faith and social justice think-tank which received wholehearted support from Dick's wisdom, experience, and vision.
In 1993 Dick was sent to Lilongwe in Malawi to set up a Jesuit residence there. Since a number of Jesuits were already working in the Malawian seminaries, Malawi was now recognised as part of the Zambian province, but there was no specifically Jesuit residence there. Dick first stayed with the Kiltegan Fathers for a few months as he surveyed the houses which came on the market in Lilongwe. He was responsible for the purchase and rehabilitation of the present residence of Our Lady of the Way, more usually known as 9/99, the official address. This house became the rallying point for a scattered Jesuit community whose members were working hundreds of kilometres away to the four points of the compass (Zomba, Kasungu, Kachebere and Mangochi).
However 9/99 was not merely a convenient staging point - one of the attractions was meeting Dick. At breakfast and especially after evening meal, one could be sure of a stimulating discussion arising on some point relevant to our mission that had been noticed by Dick and obviously pondered over by him. One might not always agree with Dick's point of view, but that made the discussions all the more stimulating. Dick continued the family apostolate he had animated so well in Lusaka and set up an official NGO called FAMLI, supported by overseas aid.
In Lilongwe in 2007, Dick experienced a massive stroke that ultimately led to his return to Ireland and admission to Cherryfield, the Irish Province's nursing home for infirm, disabled and recuperating Jesuits. Here Dick was to remain until his death in February 2012. But his approach to his transformed conditions was not one of self-pity. Instead, with characteristic determination and enormous courage, he succeeded in teaching himself to speak with some sort of clarity and in making himself mobile with the aid of a "walker" that had been designed according to his specifications for a person whose right hand was crippled. The strength of his resolve and his unfailing commitment to his priesthood were shown by the way he struggled every week to serve as principal celebrant at the community Mass. Despite his limited mobility, he succeeded in attending outside lectures and functions. He taught himself to use a laptop by tapping out messages with one finger of his left hand. And in an effort to build up a sense of camaraderie among his fellow-residents in Cherryfield and the wider community of Jesuits living in the Dublin area, he organised Scrabble and draughts competitions.
Dick put his hard-won computer skills to good use in these final years. From the darkness that must have enshrouded his own life, he regularly sent warm and supportive messages to colleagues who, like himself, were experiencing the cloud of unknowing. But even more, despite his limitations, he continued to press for the better- ment of women, loyal adherence to the teachings of Humanae Vitae, ever greater involvement in the official Church on the part of "outstanding lay Catholics who are to be found as leaders in every walk of life," and advocacy for a Church "where St. Peter might feel at home. "At a meeting just six weeks before his death, he expressed concern that Cherryfield might be obtaining its medical supplies from a pharmacy where the "morning-after" pill could also be purchased. His spirited contributions continued after his death - nine days after he died, The Furrow, the respected religious journal from Maynooth, published his article in support of the Irish government's decision to close its Embassy to the Vatican as he saw this as a step in the direction of making it possible for the Church to remain true to the simplicity of the Gospel.
Throughout his long and very full life, Dick Cremins emerged as a gentle person, kind and peaceful, who lived his life joyfully in the service of others and in pursuit of the highest ideals. At times, people could be upset by his sabre-sharp remarks or forthright statement of his views. But behind these there always lay his fearlessness in challenging accepted points of wisdom, his passion to see the Kingdom of God as envisaged by Jesus realised among us, his zeal for the genuine development of all peoples, his razor sharp mind and his powerful sense of humour with its love of irony, laughter and the joy of people.
Years ago, Dick was characterised as being shaped like a paschal candle - tall, thin and luminous. But his moral stature far surpassed his physical tallness. The Bible tells us that there were giants in the early days. But Dick Cremins shows us that giants are still to be found in modern days.

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 147 : Spring 2012

Obituary

Fr Richard (Dick) Cremins (1922-2012) : Zambia Malawi Province

24 August 1922: Born in Dublin.
Early education: Blackrock College, UCD and 1 year at King's Inns (legal studies)
1943: Obtained a BA Degree in Legal and Political Science in 1943 from UCD
5 October 1943: Entered Emo
October 1945: First Vows: Emo
1946 - 1949: Tullabeg, studying Philosophy
1949 - 1951: Belvedere - Regency
1951 - 1952: Mungret College, Teaching, Prefecting
1952 - 1955: Milltown Park, studying Theology
28th July 1955: Ordained
1955 - 1956: Milltown Park, 4th Year Theology
1956 - 1957: Rathfarnham, Tertianship
1957 - 1958: Zambia, learning the language
1958: Chikuni, Manager of schools
1959 - 1963: Chikuni, Canisius College, Principal
2 February 1961: Final Vows at Chikuni
3 December 1969: Transcribed to Zambia Province
1964 - 1970: Monze, Parish Priest
1971 - 1975: Monze, Chaplain, lay apostolate
1976: Monze, Nairobi, Dublin, recovering health
1976 - 1983: Lusaka, Catholic Secretariat, Chaplain, Lay Apostolate, Secretary for Development
1983 - 1992; St. Ignatius, Director Family Life Movement St. Ignatius,
1983 - 1990: Superior
1990 - 1993: Luwisha House, Director Family Life Movement
1993 - 2007: Lilongwe (opened the house in 1993) FASU consultancy (later FAMLI)
1999 - 2004: Chaplain Lilongwe International Catholic community
2000 - 2001: Assistant Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator
2007 - 2012: Dublin, Cherryfield Lodge, recovering health. Praying for the Church and the Society
21 February 2012: Died Cherryfield

Obituary : Conall Ó Cuinn
Dick grew up in Dublin and was the last surviving sibling, having been predeceased by his brothers, Pat, Gary and Paul, and by his sister, Nora. Though his education at Blackrock College left a strong mark, unlike his brother he was clear that the Holy Ghost Fathers were not for him. General Richard Mulcahy, his mother's cousin, connected him with the turbulent socio-political situation of post-independence and post civil-war Ireland. So it was not surprising that he studied Law and Politics in UCD, including a year at King's Inns. He was a bright student, a formidable debater with a razor sharp sense of humour tinged with a certain killer instinct, not always appreciated by his adversaries, and which sometimes got him into trouble. Having graduated from UCD and passed his first Bar exam, both with 1st class honours, he joined the Society at the then late age of 21, a late vocation, a man of the world. And all of this during World War II.

Zambia--Monze (1957-1975)
Dick spent 50 years living and working in Zambia (Northern Rhodesia for his first 7 years there). He embraced the new State on independence and became a Zambian citizen, a symbolic statement representing a desire to insert himself into Zambian life and culture. This involved revoking his Irish citizenship so that he required a visa each time he needed to visit Ireland. He put down roots in the Chikuni Mission which was later to become Monze Diocese. He arrived there in 1957, just nine years after the first involvement of the Irish Jesuits. From there he later launched himself nationally, and even internationally.

Learning Tonga for a year was always the first task before being thrown into the apostolate. His first job was that of Manager of Schools at a time when the primary education project of the mission was in full swing. He then became Principal of Chikuni Secondary College in the lead up to Independence (1964). Effectively he was educating what would become the leaders of the new Zambian state. And clearly Dick was seen by his superiors as a man of ability and initiative.

In 1962, as the Second Vatican Council was getting underway, James Corboy, then Rector of Milltown Park and Theology Professor, was appointed Bishop of Monze. The Council changed James, as a person and an ecclesiastic. He embraced it as a process, and ever afterwards claimed that the Council was his introduction to theology, especially the seminars given on the fringe of the Council's formal sessions. On his appointment to Zambia he had a clear vision of the importance of the laity and the involvement of the Church in the development of peoples. With that vision he gathered people of the calibre of Dick Cremins around him to promote the project of Vatican II in the new Diocese of Monze. Dick would be a right-hand man when appointed Parish Priest of Monze in 1964 and also Chaplain to the Lay Apostolate movement.

At the same time and at the invitation of Bishop Corboy, the Holy Rosary Sisters were establishing their hospital next door. Dick became great friends with the sisters, a camaraderie and friendship similar to that of siblings in a family, brothers and sisters who supported each other in deep and practical love. This is an occasion to acknowledge and give public thanks for such support and love, and to thank God for it, not just to the Holy Rosary Şişters, but also to the Sisters of Charity, the RSHM sisters (Ferrybank), and the Holy Spirit Sisters (founded also by Bishop Corboy).

Amid the hardship, labour and struggle of those first years there was much fun and laughter. Dick's humour became legendary in the land. For example, rushing out the door at 9.50 a.m. one morning he declared: “I've got to rush. There is a meeting that was due to start at 8.00 am and I don't want to be late!”

And another, told by Sr. Theresa, a Holy Rosary sister. She arrives in the country, fresh with a sociology degree and some notion of community development. Her first task is to interview the PP to avail of his vast experience and local knowledge. Dick lets her ask her questions and avidly write her notes with that neophyte enthusiasm of the recently arrived. “Sister”, interrupts Dick as she begins to ask another question, “I'd like you to know that I've only arrived here myself 3 days ago. So I'm finding my feet too:. They became friends that moment, a friendship which included Theresa sitting by Dick's bed as he lay dying, 38 years later. Such was the quality of friendship on the Mission that we celebrate and acknowledge today.

Shortly after independence when three of the Sisters were PI'd (declared persona ingrata] by the new, youthful and over-confident government, for refusing the orders of local officials regarding medical matters, Dick went to bat for them with the government officials in Lusaka. The PI order was revoked after hours of palaver. Dick came within a hair's breadth of being PI'd himself, so that Zambia nearly lost this “troublesome priest”, a term used to describe him in a government memo on the events.

Zambia -- Lusaka (1976-1993):
Vatican II had taken place; the Decree on the Laity played a central role in Bishop Corboy's strategy. As a result a huge investment was made in the education and training of lay people. Dick, given his experience in Monze, moved to Lusaka in 1976 to take up an appointment at the Catholic Secretariat (set up by Fr. Colm O'Riordan SJ) as National Chaplain to the Lay Apostolate, and Secretary for Development

He was a trailblazing supporter of the National Council of Catholic Women of Zambia, at a time when women were invisible supernumeraries both in the church and in Zambian society. Dick encouraged them to take a lead and use their power. He campaigned hard for them to have an appropriate place both in the church and in African society, and he saw his job as an enabler, giving them the courage to make the moves themselves; so when they came up with an idea and asked him to act on it, he would say No, yours is the voice that should be heard.

Later in 1983, he became Director of the Family Life Movement which tried to implement the teachings of Vatican II on family life. Dick was very much taken with Humanae Vitae when it was published in 1968, and believed its practical teaching could be put into practice if the vision behind it were understood and assimilated. Of course, this was controversial, and in a sense grist to Dick's mill. With determination and humour he developed and led the organization, Famously, he introduced himself to a somewhat sceptical if not hostile international conference with a statement, that he had practiced natural family planning all his life!

So Dick had many friends, and some enemies. An example of such friendships is the message of Clare Mukolwe, now a graduate student at Fordham University in New York:
“A gentle spirit gone before us marked with a sign of faith. I was introduced to Fr Richard Cremins by my mother Grace Mukolwe. They worked together for the National Council of the Laity. Fr Cremins was also my mother's first spiritual director and he introduced Mum to the Ignatian Spirituality retreats. He gave me my first real job straight after high school. It was fun”.

Malawi --Lilongwe (1993-2007)
As a number of Malawian men had joined the Society, Malawi opened up as a mission possibility in the early 90's. Dick was sent to open a new house in Lilongwe and to develop his Family Life apostolate in that country. He worked there for 14 years, until his stroke in 2007. Like a tree being felled, he was suddenly reduced from full health to a state of great disability, both in his walking and in his speaking. He returned to Ireland via Zambia and moved into Cherryfield Lodge, his last home.

Ireland--Cherryfield (2007-2012)
Dick's approach was not one of self-pity. In his usual manner he confronted the problem head on. Getting himself as mobile as possible, and getting himself to speak with some sort of clarity was now his main goal. And with great determination, never accepting to lie down in the face of difficulty or refusal, he achieved much of what he set out to do. The sharp mind and quick wit never deserted him, even after the stroke in March 2007 which crippled and distressed him --- as with characteristic determination he set himself to recover clarity of speech.

An example of his logic and determination had to do with his wheeled walker: All wheeled walkers have two brakes, literally one on the left hand and one on the right hand. But what if your right hand doesn't work, as was the case for Dick and thousands of other stroke victims? Two-handed breaks do not work. They are positively dangerous. If you asked a car driver to break with two break pedals, he argued, there would be carnage on the roads. Why are stroke victims expected to do with two-handed breaks? Such a break doesn't exist, he was told. Should exist, he insisted, and if you won't locate one, I will do so myself. So using the Internet he located one in Sweden. Expensive, but existent. It was bought and functioned well. But he needed to redesign the right handle to suit his withered hand which design he then sent to Sweden where they made it for him and sent back to Ireland for fitting, Where Dick had a will, there was a way: Dick's way, “No” was not an option for Dick when he saw that something was possible.

And again the humour: Matron Rachel McNeil was the subject to which one of Dick's Ditties was addressed:

    Poem to Rachel
Dick has more problems with his vowels
than with his bowels
And therefore needs more alcohol
than Movicol®

Dick died six months short of his 90th birthday. Even to the end of his days in Cherryfield he was a formidable crusader for a number of causes, often a champion against the authorities, and always on the side of life – whether it was through natural family planning, or organising a draughts championship in Cherryfield for men who'd have thought their gaming days were over. He lived life to the full and to the last. In his last week in hospital he had an article accepted for publication in the Furrow, and one in the Irish Catholic. All he needed was a WiFi modem to send it to the editors. Both articles were controversial, questioning the standard version. Both rocked the boat.

Now the questioning and the rocking and the struggling are over. For those who did not know Dick, remember how a chieftain in Tanzania described him: :I know only one human being who is shaped like the paschal candle: Fr Dick Cremins, tall, thin and luminous”. His light faded for us on 21 February, but shines now in a broader heaven.

Crowe, Patrick J, 1925-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/826
  • Person
  • 05 March 1925-04 July 2017

Born: 05 March 1925, Edenderry, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1961, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died 04 July 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1977 at St Ignatius College Prep San Francisco CA, USA (CAL) Sabbatical

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/paddy-crowe-sj-a-quality-educator/

Paddy Crowe SJ – a quality educator
Paddy Crowe SJ died peacefully on Tuesday morning, 4 July, in the wonderful care, love and compassion of the staff at Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, Milltown Park, Dublin 6. At his funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on 6 July, former community member and friend Bruce Bradley SJ gave the homily. He was buried in the Community Cemetery in Clongowes, Clane, Co. Kildare.

Born on 5 March 1925 in Edenderry, Co Offaly, Paddy was the oldest boy in a large family. He was educated at Clongowes Wood College SJ in Co Kildare before entering the Society of Jesus in 1943. Early on, it was thought he would make a good professor of philosophy, but he had a more active interest in schools. He soon found himself working in education under various roles. At Clongowes Wood College SJ, for example, he became teacher, prefect, rector, and eventually headmaster.

He served as Director of Education Policy and Education Delegate for the Irish Province and worked at several other schools, including Crescent College SJ and Mungret College SJ in Co Limerick, and Belvedere College SJ, Gonzaga College SJ, and Greendale School in Dublin. Referring to his personality, Fr Bradley said: “He was an extrovert and had such a sense of humour. He was bravely adventurous, who loved to travel, have new experiences and make new friends”.

“Educational value,” Paddy said once, “is based largely on personal contact of good people with the young.” Fr Bradley, who worked with him for many years, noted: “In all the schools where he served, he was demanding and firm, but fair. He lived in the continual tension between the old and the new, always reading, questioning, and seeking to move on”.
One of his former students commented: “You always knew where you stood with Fr Crowe”.

Paddy was consultant to Fényi Gyula Jesuit High School, the only Jesuit school in Hungary, founded in 1994. He was heavily involved in the University of Scranton (USA) Scholarship Scheme, which led in time to his honorary doctorate in education, of which he was justly proud.

Later from 1998 to 2009, he returned to Clongowes where he lived among his Jesuit community; acted as spiritual father for students; assisted in a local parish and ministered to the Holy Family Sisters. His mind remained very alert as his physical health deteriorated. As one friend said of him: “He was a great man to have a conversation with but a terrible man to play scrabble with”. He also retained a great interest in computers and loved using up-to-date devices.

His passing is deeply regretted by his family, Jesuit companions, friends, former colleagues and his many students, some of whom posted warm tributes on Facebook. Fr Bradley concluded: “As Paddy arrives at last at the father’s house, we can rejoice with him and for him. Paddy, go without fear. Amen”.

Early Education at Edenderry NS; Knockbeg College, Carlow; Clongowes Wood College SJ

1945-1948 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1948-1951 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1951-1953 Crescent College SJ, Limerick - Regency : Teacher
1953-1954 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Third Line Prefect; Studying for CWC Cert in Education
1954-1958 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1958-1959 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1959-1960 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Lower Line Prefect; Teacher
1960-1965 Mungret College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher
1965-1976 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher
1968 Rector
1971 Headmaster
1976-1977 St Ignatius Prep. San Francisco, CA, USA - Sabbatical
1977-1978 Loyola House - Province Special Secretariat
1978-1979 University Hall - Vice Superior; Province Special Secretariat; Director Province Education Policy
1979-1984 Belvedere College SJ - Working in Education; Director Province Education Policy
1980 Headmaster; Teacher; Education Delegate; Colloquium
1984-1987 Campion House - Education Delegate; Director Colloquium
1985 Manager Gonzaga College SJ; Chair Board Gonzaga College SJ; Vice-Superior
1987-1992 Loyola House - Superior; Education Delegate; Director Colloquium
1990 Central Province Admin; Asst Education Delegate; Chair Board Gonzaga College SJ
1992-1995 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Rector; Provincial Team
1995-1998 Belvedere College SJ - Principal of Junior School
1997 Chair Board Cherryfield Lodge
1998 - 2017 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Assists in Clane Parish of St Patrick & St Brigid
1999 Chair Board of Greendale School, Kilbarrack, Dublin
2001 Spiritual Father to Third Line
2006 Ministry to Holy Family Sisters, Clane, Co Kildare
2009 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ The Clongownian, 1977

Appreciation

Father Patrick Crowe SJ

It is doubtful if anyone has had such a varied experience of responsibility in Clongowes as Fr Crowe, our first Headmaster, who left us last summer. He was Third Line Prefect 1953-54, Lower Line Prefect '59-60, Prefect of Studies '65-68, Rector '68-71 and finally Headmaster from '71 to '76. For eleven years, then, his office, if not regal, was at least consular in the Roman sense: he was one of two holding “imperium” in our little state. Anyone in a position to make a “before-and-after” assessment of that period in Clongowes must agree that the many changes which took place have amounted to a transformation. These range from unlocked notice-boards and study. halls to new buildings, from boys distributing their own letters to voluntary Mass on week-days, from entrance exams to self-service in the refectory, from a catering committee to a School Council, from monthly breaks to women teachers, from an integrated staff lunch to a stand-by generator, from cups for tennis, choir and orchestra to work for the poor and aged of the district and the handicapped children in Stewart's hospital, from masters' classrooms to parents' meetings, from social evenings to an O Level year, from boys telephones to a crowded programme of holiday engagements in the college. The degree of Fr Paddy's involvement in these changes varied, of course, from agonising personal decision to mere encouragement of other people's energy and initiative. But the work of any man in government or administration is judged, for credit or condemnation, by what actually took place during his term of office. By that test our first Headmaster when he comes back to visit Clongowes - which we hope he will do very often - will be able, with all the confidence and gratification of Christopher Wren in St Paul's, to look around and see everywhere monuments to his vision and efficiency. His devotedness to visiting the sick and attending funerals will endure in the grateful memory of very many parents and past pupils, the community and teaching staff, and all whom, in a favourite phrase, he liked to call the “Clongowes family”.

◆ The Clongownian, 2017

Obituary

Father Paddy Crowe SJ : A Quality Educator

Fr Paddy Crowe SJ died peacefully on Tuesday morning, 4th July, 2017 in the wonderful care, love and compassion of the staff at Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, Milltown Park, Dublin 6 and was buried in the Community Cemetery in Clongowes, Clane, Co. Kildare. Paddy spent much of his life in Clongowes, first as a pupil and then as teacher, prefect, rector as well as being the first headmaster. At his funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on 6th July, former community member and friend Bruce Bradley SJ gave the homily

Herbert McCabe, the English Dominican theologian of Irish descent and a near contemporary of Paddy's, wrote in his book, “Faith Within Reason”, published posthumously in 2007: “The whole of our faith is the belief that God loves us; [...] there just isn't anything else. Anything else we say we believe is just a way of saying that God loves us”. And the corollary of that is that everything we hear in Scripture is the message of God's love. The whole of salvation history, the account of God's interaction with us from the beginning of time, through different epochs, across diverse cultures, expressed in a variety of human literary forms and devices, all of that history recorded in the complex collection we call 'the Bible', carries the same message, finally summarised in St John's heartbreakingly simple phrase of just three words at the end of the New Testament: “God is love”.

Herbert McCabe's fellow-Dominican, the great Flemish theologian Edward Schillebeeckx, prefaced his book on the Church with a memorable anonymous quotation: “People are the words with which God tells his story”. In the Word of God we read at a funeral, we seek to cast light on the human life we are celebrating and to discern the working out of God's love in that life. It's not difficult to see that the leit-motif of Paddy Crowe's story, the leading theme, was education. On one occasion, speaking in this instance about Clongowes - but the remark has much wider application when referred to himself - Paddy said: “We think Clongowes is a good school and to it we are willing to give our time, our energy. our humanity, our lives”. Education, the eliciting of potential and the nurturing of gifts and talents in young lives, is, properly understood, above all a work of creative love. And that is the work to which Paddy gave himself, directly or indirectly, for much of his long, dedicated life.

Clongowes, of course, where he went after the local national school and a period in Knockbeg, looms large in his story. The oldest boy in a large family from Edenderry, to which he remained always attached, he was there as a student in the war years from 1938 to 1943. The records - as is often the case - hardly presage the distinguished career in education that lay ahead of him, although he was clearly an able first division student and produced excellent Leaving Certificate results. He was a prominent and able debater from the beginning and in his second year - perhaps a little harder to imagine but accurately reflecting the interest he always had in music - he was praised for his portrayal of the shy and petite Germaine in the comic opera “Les Cloches de Corneille!”

His keen, enquiring intellect
Having joined the Jesuits straight from school, in the course of his formation he was at one stage envisaged as a future professor of philosophy. That points to his keen, enquiring intellect but it was almost certainly a misreading of his temperamental inclinations and he was destined to more active work in schools for almost all of his life. He served as Third Line Prefect in Clongowes from 1953 to 1954, as Lower Line Prefect from 1959-60, as Prefect of Studies from 1965 to 1968, as Rector in the old days of the Rector Magnificus from 1968 to 1971, as Headmaster from 1971 to 1976, as Rector again from 1992 to 1995 (though by then, as he discovered somewhat to his disappointment, with headmasters now in place to lead the school the role had gone down a bit), and, finally, for the years from 1998 to 2009, as a member of the community and carrying out some duties inside and outside the school, but without the burdens of office which he had carried for so long and at a time when his health was beginning to decline.

“But Clongowes was far from the whole story. Apart from the valuable work he did in other Jesuit schools in Ireland - the Crescent in Limerick; Mungret, where he was Prefect of Studies for five years before moving to the same role in Clongowes; Belvedere, where he served as Headmaster for four years at the beginning of the eighties, after his long stint in Clongowes, and later as Principal of the Junior School in the mid nineties; and Gonzaga, where he was manager for a time - he was also Education Delegate to the Provincial in the 1980s, giving him oversight of all the schools and those who worked in them. In addition, he was heavily involved in these years in promoting what was known as the Colloquium, which brought Jesuit and lay teachers together to talk about their shared aspirations - the kind of dialogue he had come to believe in more and more. It partly explains, too, his great interest in psychology. And I have not mentioned the many organisations and projects and committees beyond the Jesuit sphere to which he made substantial contributions, often in leadership roles, to promote an educational vision and foster its practical application to the actual life of classrooms; or his chairing of the board in Greendale Community School in north Dublin for several years from 1999; or his heavy involvement in the Scranton University scholarship scheme, which led in time to an honorary doctorate in education, of which he was justly proud; and so on. And that list, long as it is, is not exhaustive.

Paddy thought a lot about education and, over his time of leadership in Clongowes, he delivered reflective, well-crafted addresses at the annual past pupils' dinner, expounding his own developing understanding and the need for change. One such speech even made the front page of The Sunday Press! His first administrative appointment was to Mungret in 1960 and he would remain in school leadership continuously until 1976, almost two decades, which finally left him exhausted. This was a period of huge change in Ireland and further afield. Paddy was keenly aware of such change and worked hard, reading and consulting widely, to keep abreast of it. in his speech to the Clongowes Union, in the autumn of 1969. he made what must have been one of the earliest references to computers in such a context - computers, as we know, would prove a lifelong passion and his room in Cherryfield became something of a computer graveyard, as latest model succeeded latest model in the relatively confined space, all identified and ordered on-line by Paddy himself! In that speech he also spoke, in the same sentence, of the government's pivotal Investment in Education report and the all-important decree of the Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 'The Church in the Modern World'. The introduction of free education in Ireland, followed by the points system, gradually transformed the system here, asking new questions of Clongowes and all the Jesuit schools. The Church's role in education, as has become so familiar to us now, was beginning to be called into question. Les évènements in Paris in 1968 took place as he was making the transition from Prefect of Studies, in which he had been, in the words of “The Clongownian”, “the architect of aggiornamento”, to the heavier responsibilities of Headmaster.

Personal contact of good people
“Educational value”, he said once, “is based largely on personal contact of good people with the young”. Paddy himself was one such good person and he sought this kind of contact to the extent that he could. Over time, his direct manner, which could be intimidating, softened considerably. In all the schools where he served, he was demanding and firm but fair. One former student was quoted as saying that you always knew where you stood with him. He was never afraid to confront but colleagues and parents found him accessible and often became his good friends. A notable part of his legacy in Clongowes was the effective abolition of corporal punishment, which took full effect after he left. In Belvedere he put an end to streaming just before he completed his term, a no less important change for the atmosphere and culture of a school. Schools, boarding schools especially perhaps, have a tendency to be somewhat conservative places and Paddy was well aware that his modernising policies were the subject of criticism inside and outside the school. He confronted the challenge directly at the Clongowes Union Dinner in 1974. “Meeting many of the older men here”, he said, “sets me thinking of all the things that have changed”. Having listed some of the changes, he asked: “How did it happen? If you like simple answers to complex questions, take your choice: ‘they’ have gone permissive, soft, have no backbone, will not stand out against the rot... As we see it, things began to happen, matters were forced on our attention - we began to listen to others, began to accept an enormously changed world, began to reflect more on what we were trying to do and what in fact we were doing. The Catholic school could easily become a place of comfortable conformity, he had said a year earlier.... Priests and religious do not wish to stay in their schools for this ... We are at the end of Phase | Catholic Education in Ireland. The response of 1814 does not answer the needs of 1973”.

He ended one of his addresses by quoting the inspirational Jesuit General of the time, Father Pedro Arrupe, whose “Men for Others” address in Valencia would soon make its impact on all Jesuit schools: “If our schools are to perform as they should, they will live in continual tension between the old and the new, the comfortable past and the uneasy present”. Paddy, destined to lead schools in a period of extraordinary change, always wanted them to live in that way. That was where he tried to live himself, always reading and questioning and seeking to move on.

Bravely adventurous There is so much more to be said but time does not allow and, despite what you might think, this is not, in the end, intended to be a lecture on the educational career of Paddy Crowe or a mere personal eulogy. Through these - often lonely and taxing - endeavours (and he could get down and discouraged), Paddy was working out his vocation, responding to God's call, telling God's story through his own life. In this very inadequate sketch, I have stressed the educational component and the richness of what he achieved, for particular reasons. From our present vantage-point, Paddy's life easily seems to fall into what we might almost think of as two “halves”. There have been more recently what seem - and certainly seemed to him - like the long years of decline, which weighed so heavily on him, despite the devotion - and even, we have to say, the forebearance! - of Mary Rickard and Rachel McNeill and the staff who cared for him in Cherryfield, since he went there actually less than a decade ago. Even before that, in his last years in Clongowes, as the extrovert that he was, with such an appetite for life and involvement and activity, as a man who was so bravely adventurous and loved to travel and have new experiences and make new friends, as a man used to being in authority and exercising influence and in control, he felt himself”'beached” and on the sidelines and found this very painful. Who knows what heroism he practised, behind the mask of failing powers and old age, as he went, increasingly and inscrutably silent, through all this? And so it is appropriate to correct the balance and beware of forgetting his achievements in the many earlier decades of his life. That's my first reason for laying such emphasis on them now, as the trajectory of that life comes more clearly into focus.

The second reason for thinking about those achievements, which perhaps brings us closer to what Paddy's inner experience was like, is that I think he did not always believe in all the good he had accomplished himself. And, for all his extroversion and his capacity to encourage others and promote development around him, there was a depressive side which showed at times and he was prone to self-doubt or at least to doubt the extent to which his efforts were appreciated by others. For him, on a superficial level at least, the measure of success - and perhaps of approval - was always further worthwhile employment. And when, in the judgment of others though not his own, he was past that, he found it harder to cope.

I began by quoting Herbert McCabe and I want to end with him. Paddy, full of humanity, longed for acceptance and emotional connection with others. In him I sensed that the emotion was often masked behind the brusque, direct, sometimes even abrasive manner. He was hardly aware of this or the degree to which it conditioned some of the responses he evoked in others. I think, to the extent that I knew this or have any right now to make such a surmise (and we lived and worked together in a variety of capacities over many years), in some measure it affected his spirituality and his search for a closer felt relationship with God. The uncertainty of the prodigal son in the parable in Luke's gospel at the reception he might expect from his father when he returned home, the journey on which we are all embarked, sometimes, judging by what he would say himself, seemed to infect Paddy's efforts to pray and to find rest in prayer. Herbert McCabe, interpreting that wonderful, utterly seminal parable in his posthumous book earlier referred to understands the essence of the story of the prodigal not to be the father's forgiveness of the son, but the father's welcoming and celebrating the son's homecoming with a feast. The love shown in this by the father is, for McCabe, analogous to God's love for us, sinners that we are. “His love”, he writes, “does not depend on what we do or what we are like. He doesn't care whether we are sinners or not. It makes no difference to him. He is just waiting to welcome us with joy and love”. As Paddy arrives at last at the Father's house and the banquet of which Isaiah writes so eloquently (Paddy would appreciate that!), the good fight finished (and he was always a fighter) and his race run, we can rejoice with him and for him that he knows the truth of the parable of the returned prodigal and the heavenly Father's welcome now. Now he can say with the psalmist that, through all his endeavours and all his struggles, “I was always in your presence; you were holding me by your right hand” (Psalm 73 1721,23). In the words Pope Francis, a man after Paddy Crowe's heart, likes to use for such a moment, we say to him: “Paddy, avanti senza paura! Go without fear! Amen”.

Cullen, Paul, 1936-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/479
  • Person
  • 09 February 1936-16 September 1997

Born: 09 February 1936, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Died: 16 September 1997, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin community at the time of death

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

by 1963 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
A familiar picture of Fr. Paul (known as Cu) was of him rubbing the palm of one hand against the back of the other with a skittish laugh.

He was born in Clonmel in Co. Tipperary on in 1936, attended the Christian Brothers there for school and then entered the Jesuit novitiate at Emo Park in 1954. After his degree at University College Dublin and philosophy in Tullabeg, Paul came to Zambia in 1962. This involved, first of all, giving time to learn ciTonga and then teaching in Canisius Secondary school accompanied by the many chores which scholastics had to do when in a teaching job. He enjoyed these three years with his fellow scholastics, for Paul was essentially person-oriented.

Paul returned to Ireland to study theology at Milltown Park in Dublin and was ordained priest there in 1968. Prior to returning to Zambia, he asked to do a course in London (teaching English to foreign students) and a counselling course in the USA, which he believed would be of help to him when he came back whether he was assigned to teach or to work in a parish.

He returned to Zambia in 1969 and went to teach in Canisius for a short time then to Fumbo mission in the valley (which he found extremely difficult) and then back to Canisius. As a priest he wanted to help people. For him people were more important than any issues. Just teaching in a school with a little prefecting was not his idea of priestly work. To counsel schoolboys at a deeper level, he found that the differences in cultural background interfered and were a block. In Fumbo parish he discovered that the type of life there was not for him: the language barrier, cultural differences, loneliness and a certain anxiety in his character, all militated against a fruitful sojourn in the valley.

He left the mission and returned to Ireland in 1972. From then to his death in 1997, twenty five years were spent in parish work in a number of Dublin parishes, Walkinstown, Bonnybrook, Ballymun, and finally in Gardiner Street where he was curate from 1985 to 1991 and then parish priest from 1991 to his death. His priesthood was expressed in his care for people. Working in a parish gave him great scope for this. Always with a thought for others, he had a sensitivity for the concerns of those with different opinions and any differences he had with people were always expressed with an apology.

When a sabbatical year was the in-thing in the eighties, Paul's thoughts turned to Zambia not the USA or Canada, as he wrote to the Provincial there. "I would like a chance to visit old places with the Holy Spirit. I believe it would be good for me personally. However I would also like to help in a genuine way". This offer was accepted in Zambia, but the actual going never materialised.

Paul had a sense of fun and a hearty laugh. He liked to be with people with whom he related. A contemporary of his wrote, "There were great depths of kindness, sympathy, generosity and love in him, which even longed for a fuller expression. He needed his own freedom and the assurance of encouraging affirmation, something Paul did not always experience. He was basically a pastor, sympathising with strange waywardness while kindly suggesting a way forward, or dealing jovially with people".

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 93 : Autumn/Winter 1997 & Interfuse No 97 : Special Edition Summer 1998

Obituary
Fr Paul Cullen (1936-1997)
9th Feb. 1936: Born at Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
Early education: Christian Bros. School, Clonmel.
7th Sept. 1954: Entered Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1956: First Vows at Emo
1956 - 1959: Rathfarnham: Arts at UCD
1959 - 1962: Tullabeg: Philosophy
1962 - 1965; Zambia: Canisius College: studying language;
Canisius College: teaching
1965 - 1969: Milltown Park; Theology
10th July 1968: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park
1969 - 1972: Zambia; Fumbo Parish, Director and Minister; Canisius College, Teacher
1972 - 1974: Walkinstown Parish, Curate
1974 - 1975: Tertianship, California
1975 - 1977: Walkinstown Parish, Curate
1977 - 1982: Bonnybrook Parish, Curate
1982 - 1985: Ballymun Parish Curate
1985 - 1991: SFX Parish, Gardiner Street, Curate until 1991
1991 - 1997: SFX Parish, Parish Priest
16th Sept. 1997: Died aged 61

The seriousness of Paul's illness was diagnosed 6 months ago. He fought it with great determination. He was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge following major surgery, where he received six months continuous Palliative care.

When his energy was good, Paul planned to visit Lourdes in September with his sister, but this was not to be. In the last few days, it was evident that death was near. He faced death with great calmness and died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge in the afternoon of 16th September 1997. May he rest in Christ's Peace!

AN APPRECIATION OF PAUL CULLEN SJ

This writing runs the risk of falling into the two great errors of funeral homilies which we are wisely warned against - giving a “curriculum vitae” or being a eulogy. All judgement has to be left to the Almighty - with normally no declaration of a saint or a giant - Who knows? More fittingly it has to be in line with the biblical advice, which presents death as novelty, and suggests that we leave the past behind: “Remember not the events of the past..... See I am doing something new” (Is 43.18; cf Rev). And while it is more appropriate to try to figure out the greatness to which Paul has hopefully advanced, some glimpses of the past bring to light aspects of him that are (or are coming) to the fore in his new existence.

Death was far from our minds, as Paul Cullen and I and another who left after a few years joked and laughed in an innocent way, while hay making many years ago in Emo. Our conversation, then, as frequently afterwards, turned to the thrills of Munster hurling. Still, despite the gaiety and the apparent ease, Paul made me alert to the insecurity of life in that lovely midland scene. Quietly now and again, he kept me informed that the old horse Quare Times' was running again - meaning that someone was about to leave or had left the noviceship. He could read the signs of the times better than me or perhaps had his ear more to the ground.

A host of Rathfarnham memories and events come back to mind, hours of tame adventure and good-humour, handball games (Paul liked to win, and I often proved a weak partner) etc. But there were tensions too, in a world where the psychological vision of developing youth was gravely lacking - faith in a rule being paramount - and where the acquiring of erudition was grossly over-valued. The wounds Paul suffered there left a deep mark on him. Yet for this there was never any personal bitterness in him - he could readily laugh at the characters of the past - just the plain recognition that the “times and seasons” of that period needed to be changed. His and my blatant revulsion at a refusal to be allowed to listen to a Munster hurling final led to a secret “escapada”, with the aid of an accomplice (since left), to the seismograph house, where the unbecoming world outside gave us some cheer. Our quiet defiance was just an indication that something was rotten in the state we were in, and that “aggiornamento” was called for.

I could go on prolonging the drama of light and shade in his noble character over many years. It was the struggle that was part of his existence, and which sprang basically from his goodness. There were great depths of kindness, sympathy, generosity and love in him, which ever longed for fuller expression. He needed his own freedom and the assurance of encouraging affirmation, to allow these to calmly blossom - something Paul did not always experience, since others, alas, are disjointed too. Yet his truest qualities always marked his life and his winning ways, even when the legitimate circumstances and drives of others and their different views curtailed him and did not smooth his path. He found it hard to accept preferences shown to others. He was intuitively shrewd at assessing people, but was, at times, intolerant of their incapacitates or limitations. I have never heard him express an idea that was totally wide of the mark!

He had clear views on the role of a priest. He often quoted what a man once said to him: “Your job, Father, is to keep the God dimension alive in my life”. He was a good parish priest - I can vouch for this myself - with a disposition that left him close to ordinary people. His “forte” tended to be in the charismatic, spontaneous sphere. He might have been more at ease as a secular parish priest. Challenged settings did not suit him.

I have not dwelt enough on his sense of humour, his openness towards life, his profound faith, and the serenity and dignity of his end - something those who knew him well would have expected. It has been said, “As a person lives so he dies”. And doesn't the Bible say that the worldly find it hard to die? Paul was very humble, vividly conscious of human frailty, and used to yielding to life's whims.

And so he has gone forward to probably the stretch called purgatory - which we'll all most likely have to go through. There in the words of Dante, the human soul is purged, 'e di salire al ciel diventa degno'. This marvellous writing on the high peaks to be climbed with difficulty, finishes with a moving account of the complete confession of sins made in shame and humility, and with the washing in the river of forgetfulness, and that of renewal, which magnifies the good deeds of the past. And then it's on to eternal glory - to the heaven allotted to each by the Creator - perhaps even to the highest: “al ciel ch'e pura luce, luce intellettual, piena i amore, amor di vero ben, pien di letizia: letizia che trascende ogni dolzore”.

Paul is the first of our novitiate to go. He was never a beadle or a superior - yet what cares the scales of eternity for such honours! - but has been chosen by God for something greater. He is the one who has gone before us, to be our leader, sharing for us in Christ's role of being 'the pioneer and perfecter of our faith'. He has departed to play his part in hopefully bringing the rest of us to glory. The more one ponders over this, the more one gets a glimpse of the wisdom and the originality of God.

It is inspiring to reflect on the wonderful creature that Paul now is. His dying is not sad, being a call and a mission of love. May divine glory shine through him, creating in him his final adornment. He is hopefully at peace in Christ, and remains as he always was, though now to an unimaginable degree augmented, a comforting friend to many.

James Kelly

Curran, Shaun N, 1924-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/622
  • Person
  • 29 December 1924-14 August 1999

Born: 29 December 1924, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 02 October 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 06 January 1978, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 14 August 1999, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1949 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1985 at Regis Toronto, Canada (CAN S) Sabbatical

Cusack, Patrick, 1918-2003, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Born at Holles Street maternity Hospital.

Father was a publican and family lived at Inisbeg, Nashville Road, Howth, County Dublin, supported by the pub in North Strand.

Eldest child of six boys and six girls.

Early education at a private school and then at O’Connells School (1929-1936)

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

Fr Patrick (Paddy) Cusack (1918-2003)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dargan, Daniel, 1915-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/592
  • Person
  • 24 January 1915-21 September 2007

Born: 24 January 1915, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 21 September 2007, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Middle brother of Bill - RIP 1983; Herbert - RIP 1993

Great grandnephew of Daniel Murray, 1768-1852, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin

Father was a doctor at St Vincent’s Hospital

Fourth of five boys with one sister.

Early education at St Gerard’s College, Bray for three years and then at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 134 : Christmas 2007
Obituary
Fr Daniel (Dan) Dargan (1915-2007)

24th January 1915: Born in Dublin
Early education at Christian Brothers, Patrick's Hill, Cork, Patrician Brothers, Mallow, and Clongowes Wood College
7th September 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1935: First Vows at Emo
1935 - 1938: Rathfarnham - Studied Classics at UCD
1938 - 1941: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1941 - 1943: Belvedere - Teacher (Regency)
1943 - 1947: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1946: Ordained at Milltown Park
1947 - 1948: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1948 - 1983: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street
2nd February 1951: Final Vows
1948 - 1957: Editor “Pioneer”; Assistant Director Pioneers 1957
1977: Director of Pioneers; Editor “Pioneer”
1977 - 1980: Assistant Director of Pioneers; Editor “Pioneer”; Assisted in Church
1980 - 1983: Superior; Director, SFX Social Service Centre
1983 - 1991: St. Ignatius, Galway -Parish Priest
1991 - 2003: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick -
1991 - 1992: Ministered in Church
1992 - 1994: Minister; Ministered in Church; House Staff; Director of Pioneers' Society
1994 - 2000: Superior, Prefect of the Church; House Staff; Director of “Pioneers” Society
2000 - 2003: Prefect of the Church; House Staff; Director of “Pioneers” Society, Director Sodality BVM & St. Joseph; Promoter of Missions; President of Cecilian Musical Society; House Consultor
2003 - 2007: Cherryfield Lodge - Praying for Church and Society
21st September 2007: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

Homily preached by Barney McGuckian at the Funeral Mass in Gardiner Street, September 24, 2007
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). These are the words of a man who discovered the identity of Jesus with practically his last breath. They are still appropriate today as we take our leave of Fr Dan Dargan, a man who spent the greater part of ninety years trying to plumb the depths of the mystery that is Jesus, nearly seventy-five of them in the Society of Jesus and thirty-five of them in the community here at St Francis Xavier's. These words are among the Last Seven that loomed so large in the devotion of the people here in the Church during Dan's early years here. He himself must have preached on them on a number of occasions and learned from the edifying attitude and example of the Good Thief. Fr Donal O'Sullivan, novice master of some of us here, (neither the very old nor the very young), used to say that we were all most appropriately represented on Calvary: by two thieves, a good one and a bad one, but both thieves all the same! All of us try to rob God of the glory that is His.

The Good Thief has the distinction of being the only person in the New Testament who addresses Jesus simply as Jesus, without further qualification. Others added titles such as the Christ, Son of David, Master, Rabbi, Teacher, Lord. He simply calls him Jesus or, more probably, Joshua which in his native language literally means "God saves". At this stage all that matter is salvation. The other qualifications are superfluous. As a Jesuit, Dan would have known the importance the founder attached to the very name Jesus. Indeed Ignatius was prepared to abandon the whole project to found an order if he was not permitted to use the very name Jesus.

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”. This request came at the conclusion of an altercation between two of the condemned men about the identity of the third. One was so incensed at the obtuseness of the other that he rounded on him: “Have you no fear of God at all?” He is astonished that even at this late stage, with death staring him in the face, the other man has not even the beginnings of wisdom that comes from a healthy fear of God.

He himself is obviously sorry for his own past life and would love, if possible, to undo it, even at this late stage. He decides to go for it. In a great act of faith he takes the chance that the inscription over the head of Jesus really means what it says: “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews”. He simply asks Jesus to remember him when he comes into his Kingdom.

The reply must have astonished him as much as it does us. “Indeed, I promise you. This day you will be with me in Paradise”. He pulled off the biggest job of his life when he was already on death row. All he did was to make a good confession and say his prayers, which is all any of us have to do if we want to join him in Paradise.

Dan did not wait to the end of his long life to do this. Dan was born into a privileged situation in the best sense of the word. He came from a happy Catholic family with a long tradition of service to the Church and the Irish people. An intensely private person he did not wear his heart on his sleeve but you just knew it was in the right place. He once confided to me that after his father died his mother told him that they had never had a row during the whole course of their married life. I think this must have had a profoundly formative effect on himself. He was a man of peace who tried to spread it wherever he found himself.

An industrious man, I always thought his signature tune should have been “Perpetua mobile”. It used to introduce Joe Linnane's “Question Time” on Radio Éireann on a Sunday night many moons ago. Perhaps that was the Dargan in him. In a John Bowman programme a few years ago I learned that William Dargan, his illustrious ancestor, builder of so many of the railways of the country at one stage employed something of the order of 140,000 workers. The ecumenical dimension of the family's contribution is evidenced by the fact that even within the last two decades large bridges in both Belfast and Dublin have been named after Dargan. Queen Elizabeth II came over to open one of them. Two of that great man's uncles were hanged in Wexford during the '98 rising.

No Jesuit could lay more claim to a funeral here in St. Francis Xavier's than Dan. His great grand uncle, Archbishop Daniel Murray of Dublin, offered the first Mass here in the Church 175 years ago this year. He himself gave the best years of his life to all the apostolic activity of the house, especially the Pioneer Association, the Pioneer Club and the Pioneer magazine. He was first editor of the magazine, which is still thriving in spite of the changes in society. It will celebrate its 60th birthday in January coming.

He was beloved of the staff in the office, more like an elder brother than a boss. It is wonderful to see two of his secretaries here with us today, Geraldine White (then Murtagh) and Maureen Manning.

In an interview with an internal Jesuit periodical (Interfuse #124) a couple of years ago he confided that he still holds the Clongowes record for the largest score ever run up at cricket, that he played schools tennis at Interprovincial level, and made the First Rugby Fifteen. It was while a student at Clongowes that his decision to enter the Jesuits matured and he followed his elder brother Bill, and later was followed by his younger brother, Herbert. At Clongowes he was privileged to know Fr. John Sullivan whose funeral took place in the college during his final year before going to the novitiate. It was appropriate that his mortal remains for the last two nights in the Sacred Heart Chapel besides those of the great Servant of God.

I first met Dan in August, 1955, when he was on holidays in the Glens of Antrim with Fr Kieran Hanley. They came to see around our family farm, where my father and his brothers had gained a reputation for advanced methods in pig breeding. I was deputed to show these two Jesuits around. I recognised Fr Dan from photos in the Pioneer magazine. It was obvious that the farmer was Kieran Hanley, and that Dan was only there to make up the numbers. When Kieran was dying I brought this up: “I don't think Dan had much interest in the pigs that day”. Kieran pulled himself up in the bed and said, “Absolutely none whatsoever”. But it was typical of Dan to fit himself into whatever situation he found himself in.

I was privileged later to work for a number of years as his Assistant before succeeding him as Central Director of the Pioneers. In that role he was totally at the beck and call of everyone. He drove to parishes, schools, colleges and halls all over the country, never sparing himself. He had not a fanatical bone in his body. He understood the Pioneer Association as an expression of devotion to the Sacred Heart. It would never have entered his head that there was anything evil about wine. But he did realize that if not used wisely and well it can lead to endless heartbreak and sorrow. He was convinced that the Pioneer way of prayer and consecrated abstinence could make a significant contribution to the quality of life of the whole community.

He invested a great deal of time and energy into the Pioneer Club on Mountjoy Square, especially the musicals. He survived the occasional storms in that particular tea-cup. I remember one of his wry comments. “It's extraordinary how the closer people get to the stage the more unreasonable they become”.

Dan appeared always to be in good health, although I learned from one of his Jesuit colleagues, the late Pearse O'Higgins, that as a young Jesuit he became seriously ill. His life was in danger. As a last resort his father, who had the reputation of being a brilliant diagnostician, agreed to examine his son, He came to the right conclusion, prescribed accurately, and his son lived to be 92.

During his declining years Dan was a model patient. He was always in good humour, kept himself alert with the Irish Times crossword every morning, and kept up his reading to the end, both serious and light. He confessed that he had read all Jeffrey Archers novels. I am prepared to forgive him this.

The response of Jesus to the Good Thief was unambiguous. “Indeed, I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise”. The first Joshua led the Chosen People into a Promised Land. We pray that today Jesus, the true Joshua take his friend Dan to the definitive Promised Land to be with Him in joy and happiness forever. As one of those who, with his brothers Bill and Herbert, have instructed many in virtue, surely he will be among those whom the Prophet Daniel tells us will shine as bright as stars for all eternity.

◆ The Clongownian, 2007

Obituary

Father Daniel Dargan SJ

Dan was born into a privileged situation in the best sense of the word. He came from a happy Catholic family with a long tradition of service to the Church and the Irish people. An intensely private person he did not wear his heart on his sleeve but you just knew it was in the right place. He once confided to me that after his father died his mother told him that they had never had a row during the whole course of their married life. I think this must have had a profoundly formative effect on Dan. He was a man of peace who tried to spread it wherever he found himself
His early education began with the Christian Brothers in Cork and the Presentation Brothers in Mallow. His five years at Clongowes (1928-1933) saw a period of great transformation with the “New Building” changing the physical face of the College in 1929. In an interview with an internal Jesuit periodical a couple of years ago he confided that he still holds the Clongowes record for the largest score ever run up at Cricket, that he played schools tennis at Interprovincial level and made the First Rugby Fifteen. It was while a student at Clongowes that his decision to enter the Jesuits matured and he followed his elder brother Bill and later was followed by his younger brother, Herbert, At Clongowes he was privileged to know the saintly Fr John Sullivan, whose funeral took place in the college during his final year before Dan left to enter the Society of Jesus, to begin a long and richly filled life continuing his Family's tradition of service to the Church and the Irish people”.

He began his period of formation with a BA In Classics at UCD, followed by Philosophy in Tullabeg (the former St Stanislaus College boarding school which amalgamated with Clongowes in 1886). He spent two years in regency in Belvedere before going on to Milltown Park, Dublin, for Theology. He was ordained there on St Ignatius Day 1946. Then began his long association with St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner Street, for 35 years, most of them spent as Editor and later Director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association. He was first Editor of the magazine which is still thriving in spite of the changes in society and which will celebrate its 60th birthday early 2008. He was beloved of the staff in the office, more like an elder brother than a boss.
In that role he was at the beck and call of everyone. He drove to parishes, schools, colleges and halls all over the country, never sparing himself. He had not a fanatical bone in his body. He understood the Pioneer Association as an expression of devotion to the Sacred Heart. It would never have entered his head that there was anything evil about wine. But he did realize that if not used wisely and well it can lead to endless heartbreak and sorrow. He was convinced that the Pioneer way of prayer and consecrated abstinence could make a significant contribution to the quality of life of the whole community. He also invested a great deal of time and energy in the Pioneer Club on Mountjoy Square, especially the musicals.

After three years as Superior of the Community and Director of the Social Service Centre and at an age (68) when many of his contemporaries in the world were well retired, Dan started out on 20 years of parish ministry, serving first the Jesuit Church in Galway and then the Crescent in Limerick, where, at the age of 88 he was still Prefect of the Church, Director of the Pioneers, Director of the Sodality of Our Lady and St Joseph, Promoter of Missions and President of the Cecilian Musical Society!

An industrious man an understatement!), Dan's signature tune could have been “Perpetua mobile”. Perhaps that was the Dargan in him. In a John Bowman programme a few years ago we learned that William Dargan, his illustrious ancestor, builder of so many of the railways of the country at one stage employed something in the order of 140,000 workers. The ecumenical dimension of the family's contribution is evidenced by the fact chat even within the last two decades large bridges in both Belfast and Dublin have been named after Dargan. Queen Elizabeth II came over to open one of them. Two of that great man's uncles were hanged in Wexford during the ‘98 rising

With his brothers Bill and Herbert, Dan has ensured that that his family's long tradition of service to the Church and Ireland will long be remembered and, with them, he himself will surely occupy a privileged place when that service is recorded in our country's history.

Dan appeared to always be in good health although as a young Jesuit he became seriously ill and his life was in danger. As a last resort his father, who had the reputation of being a brilliant diagnostician, agreed to examine his son. He came to the right conclusion, prescribed accurately and, in 2003, in sight of his 90th birthday, Dan joined the Jesuit Community in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin, where his final mission was “to pray for the Church and the Society” he had loved and served so well, During his declining years he was a model patient. He was always in good humour, kept himself alert with the “Irish Times” crossword every morning and kept up his reading to the end, both serious and light. He confessed that he had read all Jeffrey Archer's novels.
Dan's great grand uncle, Archbishop Daniel Murray of Dublin had offered the first Mass in the Church of St Francis Xavier in 1832, and so it was doubly fitting that, as the autumnal leaves began co turn, Dan's Jesuit Companions should gather with younger generations of the Dargan Family to bid him adieu at his Requiem Mass and to celebrate a richly filled and fruitful life in sight of his century. May he rest in peace.

BMcG

Dargan, Herbert J, 1918-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/500
  • Person
  • 20 April 1918-22 June 1993

Born: 20 April 1918, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 22 June 1993, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Peter Faber community, Belfast, County Antrim at the time of death.

Transcribed : HIB to HK; 03/12/1966; MAC-HK to HIB 19/11/1991

Youngest brother of Bill - RIP 1983; Dan - RIP 2007

Great grandnephew of Daniel Murray, 1768-1852, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin

Father was a doctor at St Vincent’s Hospital.

Fifth of five boys with one sister.

Early education at Sacred Heart Convent, Leeson Street, he went to St Gerard’s College, Bray (1927-1931) and then at Clongowes Wood College SJ (1931-1936)

Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong Mission: 21 June 1960-1965
Father General's Assistant for East Asia: 1966
Tertian Instructor, Tullabeg: 1978

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966; MAC-HK to HIB: 19 November 1991

by 1956 at Ricci Hall Hong Kong - working
Mission Superior Hong Kong 21 June 1960
by 1966 at Rome, Italy (ROM) Assistant for East Asia
by 1977 at Regis, Toronto ONT, Canada (CAN S) Spiritual year
by 1978 Tertian Instructor

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :

Note from Daniel MacDonald Entry
At the Chapel of Ricci Hall, Catholic Hostel at the University of Hong Kong, a solemn Requiem Mass was offered last Thursday by Father Herbert Dargan, S.J. the present Warden of Ricci Hall, for the repose of the soul of one of his predecessors, Father Daniel McDonald, S.J., whose death occurred in Ireland on 14 May 1957.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was born into the family of a prominent Dublin doctor. Following his education at Clongowes he was a pre-medical student before joining the Society in 1937. His elder brother Bill was already a Jesuit who was for many years procurator of the Irish Province, and his younger brother Dan also became a Jesuit and was head of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association for many years. Yet another brother was a magistrate in Hong Kong.

He did his Regency at Belvedere College SJ and a HDip in Education, and then he was ordained at Milltown Park i 1951. After Tertianship he was assigned to Hong Kong. he began studying Chinese at Cheung Chau and was then appointed Warden at Rici Hall.. Later he was Rector of Wah Yan Hong Kong (1955-1957).
In 1960 he was appointed Mission Superior in Hong Kong (1960-1965).

He was appointed to the Board of Education which produced a white paper “Reorganization of Primary & Secondary Education”. He was Chair of the “Catholic Grant Schools Council”. He freed Fr John Collins for fulltime social work, set up “Concilium” with Frs Ted Collins, John Foley and Walter Hogan. he also set up CMAC in 1963. He sent Fr John F Jones for special training in Marriage Life. He also sent Fr John Russell to Rome for training in Canon Law. he was involved with rehabilitation of discharged prisoners and he visited prisons.
He was also involve din the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong Housing Society, serving on four of its sub-committees.
He was also involved in religious broadcasting and began regular internal Jesuit communication with the “Hong Kong Newsletter”.

At his Golden Jubilee with Fr Séamus Doris, he was contrasted as being “mobile”, whereas Séamus, who had never missed a class in teaching (1954-1982) was said to be “stable”. He served in Rome as Fr General’s East Asian Assistant (1965-1975), was then Tertian Instructor in Tullabeg (1977-1986), and then went to Belfast to work as a spiritual director of priests

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 82 : September 1995
Obituary
Fr Herbert Dargan (1918-1993)

20th April 1918: Born, Dublin
Early Education: Clongowes Wood College, and pre-medical year at University College Dublin
7th Sept. 1937: Entered the Society at Emo.
1939-1942: Juniorate: Rathfarnham - UCD Degree
1942 - 1945: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1945 - 1947: Regency: Crescent College, Limerick
1947 - 1948: Regency: Belvedere College (H. Dip. Ed.)
1948 - 1952: Milltown Park - Studying Theology
31st July 1951; Ordained, Milltown Park
1952-1953: Tertianship
1953 - 1955: Cheung Chau - Studying Chinese language
1955 - 1957: Ricci Hall - Superior and Warden
1957 - 1960: Wah Yan College - Rector and Principal
1960 - 1965: Superior, Hong Kong Mission
1965 - 1976; Jesuit Curia, Rome, Regional Assistant for Eastern Asia
1976 - 1977; Sabbatical, Toronto Tullabeg:
1977 - 1986: Tertian Instructor (Superior: 1983-86)
1986 - 1987: Milltown Park - Giving the Spiritual Exercises
1987 - 1989: Manresa - Giving the Spiritual Exercises and Director of NCPI
1989 - 1993: Belfast - Giving the Spiritual Exercises
22nd June 1993: Died in Cherryfield Lodge.

It was in Herbert's last year in Belfast that I arrived there. As a member of the British Province I was soon made to feel at home in Brookvale and this was very much due to his presence. Herbert was first and foremost a member not of the Irish Province but of the world-wide Society of Jesus. It showed in the way that he welcomed Jesuits from any part of the world. His interests too were far from provincial.

During the cricket season he would ask to share my “Guardian”; he would be glued to the TV during the snooker matches, and loved to forecast the next shot. He was at his best when, with a glass of Bushmills in his hand and a cigarette in his mouth, he was telling stories about his friend and hero Pedro Arrupe or encouraging Paddy Doyle in his more extra-terrestrial flights of philosophic fancy.

My most vivid memory of him is at the British Province Assembly the Easter before his death, We invited him to Leeds knowing that it was probably the last time he would be able to visit his many British Province friends. He spoke about his life in Belfast and said that Brookvale was the happiest community he had lived in. He spoke straight from the heart of how the community members prayed with each other and tried to support each other in ministry. It was his best experience of community life. By the many who attended that meeting, his words will long be remembered.

Herbert Dargan was a very warm and loving person. The enlarged photograph that we have hanging in the community room at Brookvale captures something of the freedom and warmth of the man. It was a privilege for me to have lived with him in his last days.

Ron Darwen

Working with Herbert and with Paddy Doyle on his Armagh Priests Survey, I came to appreciate his enormous wisdom. He could listen attentively to a point of view and eventually, without ever claiming to speak from mere authority, he gave his opinion firmly and confidently but without arrogance. His long association with NCPI courses for priests had given him an insight into the lives of diocesan priests as well as a sympathy and understanding which they deeply appreciated.

Over a period of a year we visited nearly every priest in the 60 parishes of the diocese. We met regularly as a threesome and also with the sponsoring committee and it was Herbert who eventually wrote the section on the personal life of the priest. In the light of Pastores dabo vobis and subsequent Roman instructions, Herbert's understandings and insights can be seen to be prophetic. His was a demand for an incarnate spirituality based on a formation and support structure which were firmly based in reality.

All his life experience was drawn on - in Hong Kong and Malaysia, the Far East, Rome and as Tertian Instructor, This reflection went on to the very end.

He drove from Belfast to Milltown Park for the Province Assembly when he was clearly a dying man. The journey back had to be taken in easy stages, but it was a journey he wanted to make. He fulfilled his ambition

Senan Timoney

◆ The Clongownian, 1993
Obituary
Father Herbert Dargan SJ

Death is sad because it is a parting, and partings are painful. But Jesus Christ has promised us that death is only a temporary separation, and that it is the gateway to eternal life. He has told us that this life is a pilgrimage and we are only pilgrims passing through.

We are here this morning to pray for a pilgrim, my brother Herbert, and to ask the Lord in His mercy to grant him eternal happiness.

We are here also to thank God for Herbert and for the good he was able to do throughout his life. He had a very varied life. As a young priest he went overseas to work on the Irish Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong. The first two years he spent in a language school, learning Chinese, which is a very difficult language for us in this part of the world. The same sound has a different meaning if spoken on a high, medium or low pitch of tone. I remember Herbert telling me that one morning he said to his Chinese teacher that he wanted to get a haircut that afternoon. So the Chinese teacher told him what to say and patiently got him to repeat it over and over again, so that he would get it absolutely right. That afternoon he went along to a hairdressers, and in his best. Chinese asked for a haircut. The barber looked at him, puzzled, and replied: “Me no speak English”, Herbert felt like coming home on the next boat, but he soldiered on.

The Lord was very good to Herbert, and gave him several gifts, including a level head, an understanding heart and a creative mind.

It was, I suppose, largely due to these gifts that for most of his life he was asked to take on important posts of responsibility. He held the offices of Rector and Principal of Wah Yan College, a large secondary school for Chinese in Hong Kong. He was then made Superior of the Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong, and in 1965 he went as Assistant to our Fr General in Rome where he was based for the next eleven years, with responsibility for the Jesuit Provinces of East Asia and Australia.

On his return to Ireland he became Director of the Tertians. Every Jesuit priest does a third year noviceship after ordination - this is known as his Tertianship, and Herbert was director of the Tertians for nine years.

After that, his main work was giving retreats, and directing twelve-week courses, under the auspices of the National Council of Priests, courses for the pastoral and spiritual life of priests.

When our Jesuit house opened in Belfast in 1988, he was one of the small community. Life in Belfast can be very stressful but he told me that he liked it very much, not only because he was living in a very happy community but also because the bishops, priests and people of Belfast gave the Jesuits such a warm welcome. The Lord also gave Herbert a good sense of humour and an ability to fit in easily with others. He was well-liked and had many friends from all quarters of life.

The first indication of his serious illness occurred when, one Sunday while he was saying Mass for the prisoners in Crumlin Road gaol, he collapsed suddenly. Some days later he received a letter from the prisoners expressing concern about his illness and saying how much they liked him coming to them. He was very touched by this. The day before he died he told me that two good friends of his, Terry and Linda, were coming from the United States to see him, and he added: “I wonder will I be alive”. In fact Fr Paddy Doyle (his colleague in Belfast) phoned them the news of his death. Terry was not able to get away but Linda flew the distance of five thousand miles and arrived at this church just as this Mass was about to begin.

Herbert was a very spiritual person, and several priests and people have told me that he gave them great help with their prayer life, through his talks and spiritual guidance.
With his wide experience and common sense, and his readiness to give encouragement to others, he was in much demand as a counsellor, and many priests, nuns and lay people used to come to him. Fr Doyle tells me that people were constantly knocking at the door asking to see him.

When he was diagnosed as having a tumour, he accepted the news bravely and with resignation and continued to work for as long as he could. He remained cheerful to the end.

At the moment like this my thoughts naturally turn to my parents, and I feel 'I should say and I know that Herbert would endorse this, that our mother and father, especially as they went on in years, were very grateful to God that three of their six sons became Jesuit priests.

Daniel Dargan SJ (Funeral Homily)

Diviney, Andrew, 1930-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/593
  • Person
  • 11 February 1930-26 May 2006

Born: 11 February 1930, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1961, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 26 May 2006, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1978 at San Francisco CA, USA (CAL) sabbatical
by 1992 at Northridge CA, USA (CAL) working

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr Andrew (Billy) Diviney (1930-2006)

February 1930: Born in Dublin
Early education at CBS, Synge Street
7th September 1948: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1950: First Vows at Emo
1950 - 1952: Rathfarnham - Studied Science at UCD
1952 - 1955: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1955 - 1958: Clongowes - Teacher; Third Line Prefect
1958 - 1962: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1961: Ordained at Milltown Park
1962 - 1963: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1963 - 1977: Clongowes -
1963 - 1966: Lower Line Prefect
1966 - 1969: Minister
1969 - 1977: Teacher
1977 - 1979: San Francisco - Parish Ministry and Sabbatical
1979 - 1980: Loyola - Exec Officer of Marriage & Family Apostolate
1980 -1982: Milltown Park - Assistant to President and Treasurer
2nd February 1981: Final Vows at Milltown Park
1982 - 1983: Gonzaga - Minister; Director, Adult Education Registrar and Treasurer at Milltown Institute
1983 - 1991: Crescent College Comprehensive; Dooradoyle - Teacher
1991 - 2004: California - Our Lady of Lourdes, Northridge, Pastoral Assistant
2004 - 2006: Milltown Park - Praying for Church and Society
26th May 2006: Died in Cherryfield, Dublin

Liam O'Connell writes:
Andrew Diviney was born the third child of six, Michael, Angie, Billy, Margo, Ted and David. Nobody is exactly sure why Andrew ended up being called Billy, but as a young person that name stuck with him in his family and among his friends.

A picture of his parents was always prominent in Billy's room. His family were very important to him, and his strong affection for them extended to his nieces and nephews. He in turn was important to his family, and they loved the attentive, joyful and personal way he celebrated their weddings and religious profession and baptisms. When Billy's niece, Helen, entered religious life, Billy gave her a copy of the Imitation of Christ, with a passage from Philippians inscribed on the front page. This passage was chosen for his funeral Mass and is a reminder of what was important to him in religious life.

Billy went to school in Synge Street, where he was in the scholarship class. He was twice the Leinster Schools 100 yards champion, and won the Lord Mayor trophy for athletics. He enjoyed school and always spoke of his Christian Brother teachers with admiration and great affection. He used to say that they were Great Men.

When Billy joined the Society in 1948 in Emo, he was a member of a large year of 22 other novices. His contemporaries include Joe Brennan, Joe Cleary, Tom Morrissey, Conla O Dulaine and Frank O'Neill. Two others, Jimmy McPolin and Joe Shields died recently. Billy was a gentle and popular member of the group, and an outstanding soccer player. His contemporaries noted his lifelong gift for enjoying good company and appreciating other people.

In Mark's Gospel, when Jesus is baptised, we hear the Father taking delight in Him as He says, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”. Delight and enjoyment and love are at the heart of God. Billy had this divine gift, the ability to delight in other people, and to enjoy and relish what others might have been too hurried to appreciate.

After studies at Rathfarnham and Tullabeg, Billy went to work for three years in Clongowes, and for two of these years he was the Third Line Prefect, in charge of the first and second year students. He still has good friends from these years. Billy then resumed his studies in Milltown, and, after ordination and tertianship, he returned to Clongowes in 1963, first as Lower Line Prefect and Minister, and then as a teacher of Mathematics and Religion. In religion class he taught the Papal social encyclicals, because he. believed that they were revolutionary and liberating, and his teaching method was based on the asking of questions and the querying of the students' assumptions. These classes often produced heat as well as light.

Life in large communities produced its own tensions, and Billy was one of those who oiled the wheels of community life at Clongowes. He turned the annual holiday, the community villa, from being an ordeal into a pleasure for his colleagues. A close Jesuit friend from these years says that Billy regularly took on difficult and unpleasant work, and this friend admired him for his lifelong faithfulness and integrity.

Many people only learn to identify the “good old days” years later and while looking backwards. They end up saying. Those were the good old days, 20 or 30 years ago, and we did not realise it. But this was not so for Billy. He had a great capacity to enjoy small things and his enjoyment was infectious. He took delight in people, and he knew at the time, that these were the good old days. Past students from Clongowes and Crescent remember these qualities of delight and enjoyment and encouragement. While in Clongowes, Billy would go on Saturday afternoons to the races with his elderly father, and this was important to both of them.

Billy was concerned for people who put themselves under undue pressure. I can remember him in Clongowes calming people down who were upset and overwrought, with an extended hand and the word Easy said in a soothing tone. He worried about those whom he described as Driven. He admired people with balance in their lives, and a word of great praise from him was when he described someone as Poised.

During a sabbatical year in San Francisco, Billy studied psychology, which he found personally enriching. On his return to Ireland he worked for a time with marriage counsellors and those involved in parenting courses. He organised a significant Irish visit by the well-known author and counsellor Jack Dominian. At this time he also taught religious knowledge to seniors at Belvedere.

Next he worked for a period as Registrar in the Milltown Institute. In 1983, when he was 53, he returned to teaching, at Crescent College Comprehensive in Limerick. Today people think of retiring from teaching at this stage of their lives, but Billy enjoyed his return to the classroom and was great company in the staff room, where he made many strong and lasting friendships, and these friends still quote his sayings.

During summer holidays Billy had ministered in parishes in the Los Angeles diocese, and when he retired from teaching he worked for 13 years in Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Northridge, California. These were great years, or as he would say himself 'marvellous years'. He treasured his priesthood, and he enjoyed the reading and work he put into preparing his homilies. He was happy to release his fellow priests by saying the Sunday evening Mass. Billy was loved and appreciated and the parishioners were able to express their gratitude to him in 2001 when Fr. Peter Moran and the parishioners celebrated in style the 40th anniversary of his ordination

In his 60's, Billy took up golf and played with Roddy Guerrini in a four-ball every Tuesday at Elkins Ranch, north of Los Angeles. It should not have been a surprise that the athletics champion developed an effective swing and a tidy golf game. But in golf, too, he never became a fanatic. Just as he never needed to be told that these were “the good old days”, Billy did not need to be told as a golfer to smell the flowers. At golf he enjoyed all of the small things, and he delighted in the company of his friends.

When Billy returned to Milltown fourteen months before his death, he faced serious health problems. The support of his own family was important to him at this time. In the last four years, Billy and his family had to cope with the death of four of his own brothers and sisters, and David is the sole surviving family member. Billy did not speak often about the things that were most important to him, but those who lived with him knew that he was strong and serene and happy as he prepared for the final journey, on Slí na Firine.

Billy died close to the feast of the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, when heaven and earth are brought close together. We trust that the delight that Billy took in living, the delight that he took in his friends, and the delight he took in simple pleasures, will increase and flourish. We trust the God of Surprises to surprise him when Andrew Billy Diviney learns the length and breath and depth and height of the delight that God takes in his beloved son.

◆ The Clongownian, 2007
Obituary
Father Andrew (Billy) Diviney SJ

Andrew Diviney was born in Dublin on the 11th February 1930; he was the third child of six. Nobody is exactly sure why Andrew ended up being called Billy, but as a young person that name stuck with him in his family and among his friends. A picture of his parents was always prominent in Billy's room. His family were very important to him, and his strong affection for them extended to his nieces and nephews. He in Turn was important to his family, and they loved the attentive, joyful and personal way he celebrated their weddings and religious profession and baptisms. When Billy's niece, Helen, entered religious life. Billy gave her a copy of the Imitation of Christ, with a passage from Philippians inscribed on the front page. This passage was chosen for his funeral Mass and is a reminder of what was important to him in religious life.

Billy went to school in Synge Street CBS, where he was in the scholarship class. He was twice the Leinster Schools 100 yards champion, and won the Lord Mayor trophy for athletics. He enjoyed school and always spoke of his Christian Brother teachers with admiration and great affection. When Billy joined the Society in 1948 in Emo, he was a member of a large year of 22 other novices. His contemporaries include Joe Brennan, Joe Cleary, Tom Morrissey, Conla Ó Dúlaine and Frank O'Neill. Two others. Jimmy McPolin and Joe Shiels died recently. Billy was a gentle and popular member of the group, and an outstanding soccer player. His contemporaries noted his lifelong gift for enjoying good company and appreciating other people. In Mark's Gospel, when Jesus is baptised, we hear the Father taking delight in Him as He says, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”. Delight and enjoyment and love are at the heart of God. Billy had this divine gift, the ability to delight in other people, and to enjoy and relish what others might have been too hurried to appreciate.

After studies at Rathfarnham and Tullabeg, Billy went to work for three years in Clongowes, and for two of these years he was the Third Line Prefect in charge of the first and second year students. He still has good friends from these years. Billy then resumed his studies in Milltown and, after ordination and tertianship, he returned to Clongowes in 1963 first as Lower Line Prefect and Minister, and then as a teacher of Mathematics and Religion. In religion class he taught the Papal social encyclicals because he believed that they were revolutionary and liberating, and his teaching method was based on the asking of questions and the querying of the students' assumptions. These classes often produced heat as well as light. Life in large communities produced its own tensions, and Billy was one of those who oiled the wheels of community life at Clongowes. He turned the annual holiday, the community villa from being an ordeal into a pleasure for his colleagues. A close Jesuit friend from these years says that Billy regularly took on difficult and unpleasant work, and this friend admired him for his lifelong faithfulness and integrity.

Many people only learn to identify the 'good old days' years later and while looking backwards. They end up saying those were the good old days, 20 or 30 years ago, and we did not realise it. But this was not so for Billy. He had a great capacity to enjoy small things and his enjoyment was infectious. He took delight in people, and he knew at the time that these were the good old days. Past students from Clongowes and Crescent remember these qualities of delight and enjoyment and encouragement. While in Clongowes. Billy would go on Saturday afternoons to the races with his elderly father, and this was important to both of them. Billy was concerned for people who put themselves under undue pressure. I can remember him in Clongowes calming people down who were upset and overwrought, with an extended hand and the word 'easy said in a soothing tone. He worried about those whom he described as “driven”. He admired people with balance in their lives, and a word of great praise from him was when he described someone as “poised”.

During a sabbatical year in San Francisco, Billy studied psychology, which he found personally enriching. On his return to Ireland he worked for a time with marriage counsellors and those involved in parenting courses. He organised a significant Irish visit by the well-known author and counsellor Jack Dominian. At this time he also caught religious knowledge to seniors at Belvedere. Next he worked for a period as Registrar in the Milltown Institute. In 1983, when he was 53, he returned to teaching, at Crescent College Comprehensive in Limerick. Today people think of retiring from teaching at this stage of their lives, but Billy enjoyed his return to the classroom and was great company in the staff room, where he made many strong and lasting friendships, and these friends still quote his sayings.

During summer holidays Billy had ministered in parishes in the Los Angeles diocese, and when he retired from teaching he worked for 13 years in Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Northridge, California. These were great years, or as he would say himself ‘marvellous years'. He treasured his priesthood, and he enjoyed the reading and work he put into preparing his homilies. He was happy to release his fellow priests by saying the Sunday evening Mass. Billy was loved and appreciated and the parishioners were able to express their gratitude to him in 2001 when Fr Peter Moran and the parishioners celebrated in style the 40th anniversary of his ordination. In his 60's, Billy took up golf and played with Roddy Guerrini in a four ball every Tuesday at Elkins Ranch, north of Los Angeles. It should not have been a surprise that the athletics champion developed an effective swing and a tidy golf game. But in golf, too, he never became a fanatic. Just as he never needed to be told that these were “the good old days”, Billy did not need to be told as a golfer to smell the flowers. At golf he enjoyed all of the small things, and he delighted in the company of his friends.

When Billy returned to Milltown fourteen months before his death, he faced serious health problems. The support of his own family was important to him at this time. In the last four years, Billy and his family had to cope with the death of four of his own brothers and sisters, and David is the sole surviving family member. Billy did not speak often about the things that were most important to him, but those who lived with him knew that he was strong and serene and happy as he prepared for the final journey, on Slí na Firine. Billy died close to the feast of the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, when heaven and earth are brought close together. We trust that the delight that Billy took in living, the delight that he took in his friends,

Donnellan, Thomas Desmond, 1919-2002, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/594
  • Person
  • 26 April 1919-16 April 2002

Born: 26 April 1919, Saint Alphonsus Terrace, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 16 April 2002, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Father was Secretary of the Limerick Water Works.

Older of two boys with two sisters.

Educated at St Philomena's Convent school and then at Crescent College SJ for eight years.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 112 : Special Edition 2002

Obituary

Mr Thomas (Tom) Donnellan (1919-2002)

26th April 1919: Born in Limerick
Early education in St. Philomena's, Limerick and Crescent College, Limerick.
7th Sept. 1936: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1938: First Vows at Emo
1938 - 1941: Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1941 - 1943: Receiving psychiatric treatment at “Health Centres”.
1943 - 1973: St. Ita's Psychiatric Hospital, Portrane
1973 - 2002: Manresa House - Sacristan, Ministered in the community
16th April 2002: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Tom was hospitalised recently in St. Vincent's Hospital for three months and had his left leg amputated. His heart remained weak, as it had been for the last few years. He was discharged to Cherryfield Lodge on 4th April, and died there, peacefully, on 16 April, 2002.

Paul Andrews writes....
Even as Jesuits go, Tom had an extraordinary story. He had deep and affectionate roots in Limerick where he came second in a family of four, of the strong Donnellan clan. Unusually the two boys outlived the two girls, now only Frank is left. Tom spent three years with the FCJs, and ten with the Jesuits in the Crescent. He was bright, led his class all the way, was looked up to as a star athlete, loved life. When he left school in 1936 it was not rare for such a boy to choose the Jesuits. He went to Emo for two years noviciate, then to Rathfarnham to start a degree in UCD.

Here is the sobering bit for us Jesuits. At the end of his long retreat Tom had offered God the unconditional service of his liberty, his mind and understanding. God heard him in a way he would never have wished. He had what was then called a broken head. His contemporaries noticed that he was skipping Sunday walks in order to study more at home. At the age of 21 Tom had a major breakdown, and for many years lost the use of his fine mind and understanding. The hardest loss of all was of his liberty, and for thirty years.

It was before the days of psychotropic drugs and there was little that medicine could do except contain him. A doctor remarked recently that if Tom fell sick that way today, he would be out of hospital after three weeks. But Tom was behind walls for more than a third of his life, while he grew from his splendid youth to middle age.

When his sister Maureen, then married in the USA, visited St Ita's Hospital in 1972, she found her little brother grey-haired, with a wispy beard, in heavy institutional clothes, but with his mind now functioning, with the help of new drugs. In some distress she wrote to Cecil McGarry, then Provincial, who replied with a compassionate letter, and sent out Joe Dargan (Rector of Manresa) and Paddy Meagher (then Socius) to visit Tom in Portrane. Paddy remembers how interested Tom was in the Province, and knew about several moves of his friends.

Maureen was the one who instigated his move back to a Jesuit house. The change was done gradually and carefully, and was slowed down not by any sickness of Tom but by habits born of long institutionalisation. He came to Manresa, which was both a retreat house and, at that time, a novitiate. Where the community treated him with some caution, unsure how to respond, it was the novices who did most to bring Tom back into the human race, treating him in a matter-of-fact but supportive way.

At the age of fifty-four he began to resume control of his own life. Asked about returning to Jesuit living he had said, “I would like to try preaching. My degree was in Latin so perhaps I could teach that”. But he never resumed formal studies, nor prepared for ordination; nor did he receive final vows, though the application went to Rome - the officials there did not want to canonise the role of perpetual scholastic. He loved the service of the altar, preparing the chapel and reading at Mass. He was invited to work in the grounds, but resisted, probably because that had been his staple occupation in Portrane.

He gradually took over other work around the house, and developed a rhythm of healthy habits: walking, collecting his Pension from the GPO on a Friday, sea swimming in all seasons), and nostalgic holidays in Limerick and Kilkee with his brother Frank. He was the proud holder of one record, not mentioned in the Guinness book: among all the Jesuits worldwide, Tom was the senior scholastic.

When we think about the Tom we have known, one grace is remarkable. While he was a quiet, unobtrusive man, he had also an innate dignity, which drew deep reverence and affection from those he met. He never complained, in any of his sicknesses, even at the end when failing circulation led to the amputation of his left leg. There was an interior life there at which we can barely guess. As we grow older, we talk about the difficulty of no longer being able to achieve anything, or to work. Spiritual writers tell us we have to be content just to be rather than do; and in our declining years that can seem hard. It is sobering to realise that Tom, a handsome, athletic man of great ability , faced that for most of his life.

Yet he seemed a happy man. He was conscious of being liked. When in the last month, his illness grew more acute and he was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital, he told them there, in a wry, self-mocking way: In Cherryfield I am the pet. In Manresa, too, we missed him when he was away: not for his work- though it was reliable and invaluable; not for his talk - he would sit happily through a buzzing conversation without uttering a word, though he relished good stories. What we missed was his presence, a gentle, undemanding man with a unique history and a wonderful smile.

He was happy also in his going. The Cherryfield nurses tended him with a care and affection that brought tears to the eyes of his brother Frank, when he recalled it at the funeral lunch in Manresa. On the last evening, three of his community, together with Eddy Fitzgerald, anointed him slowly and lovingly, Tom opened his eyes and took it in. Less than thirty minutes later he had gone to God.

There are times, when the sun is shining and life is sweet, that we may worry that our Lord will say to us at the pearly gates: You have had your reward. There is no such fear in Tom Donnellan; he has had his suffering. His rewards, at least to human eyes, have been few. May God be as good to him as he was to God.

Donnelly, Leo, 1903-1999, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/595
  • Person
  • 09 August 1903-31 January 1999

Born: 09 August 1903, Rutland Square, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1920, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1934, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1938, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 31 January 1999, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Younger brother of Don Donnelly - RIP 1975

Father was a doctor in Dublin and parents nbow live at Kilbarrack House, Raheny, Dublin

Younger of two boys (brother in the Society) and two girls.

Educated at Belvedere College SJ from age 5 and remained there for twelve years.

1942-1946 Second World War Chaplain.

by 1923 at Lyon, France (LUGD) studying
by 1936 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1952 in Australia
by 1956 at St Albert’s Seminary, Ranchi India (RAN) teaching

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926

Mr Leo Donnelly has already commenced his career as an author by the publication of a small but very readable and interesting book entitled “The Wonderful; Story of the Atom”. It is meant to cater for the popular taste, and does so admirably. Possibly, in a few places, it may be a little too technical and learned for those not initiated into the mysteries of modern science.

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

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

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

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

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

India.
Fr. Leo Donnelly, St. Mary's College, Kurscong, D. H. Ry, India, 24-8-46 :
“Fr. Rector here and the Community received me very kindly and are doing their best to make me feel at home. I left Southampton on July 25th and reached Bombay on August 10th after an uneventful voyage. There were two other Jesuits on board : Fr. Humbert of the Aragon Province for the Bombay Mission, and Fr. Shields, a Scotsman. for the Madura Mission. Fr. Shields was an Army officer in the first war and an R.A.F. chaplain in the second. In addition there were seven Redemptorists : the Provincial and another priest and five students en route for Bangalore. Don met me at Bombay and brought me to Bandra, where I spent a week. He introduced me to his ten Chinese candidates. They are certainly splendid boys, industrious, serious-minded, but withal very cheery. At Calcutta I met the eleventh candidate, a medical student who is returning to Hong Kong where he will either complete his course or apply for admission to the Society, immediately, as the Superior decides. He has been held up since May, but hopes to leave on August 31st. The riots in Calcutta delayed me for two days, as Sealdha Station (from which the Darjeeling Mail leaves) was a centre of disturbance and was unapproachable. In the end I got a military lorry to take me. It will take some time adequately to prepare myself for my job here, but I suppose allowances will be made for my lack of ‘Wissenschaft’.”

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Leo Donnelly who has been offered to the Vice province of Australia, completed his course at Kurseong recently (he was professor of Church History) and sailed on the SANGOLA for Hong Kong on 10th September. “As it proves impossible”, he writes, “to secure a passage direct to Australia within reasonable time, Fr. Austin Kelly has given me permission to travel via Hong Kong. It was quite easy to book a passage to that port, and Fr. Howatson has booked a berth for me from there to Melbourne. Needless to say, I am delighted at the chance of seeing the Mission, even if I am not to stay there. The ship for Australia will not sail till near the end of October, so that I shall not be at Fr. Kelly's disposal till sometime in November. This, however, is quicker than waiting for a direct passage”.

Fr. Donnelly's name was published in the London Gazette on 8th November, 1945, as mentioned in a Despatch for distinguished service as Army Chaplain. The document from the Secretary of State for War recording His Majesty's high appreciation was not received till early in September, 1948.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

On 6th November Fr. Daniel O'Connell, of the Vice province, who during his stay in Ireland gave evidence in Fr. Sullivan's cause, left Southampton for U.S.A. on 6th November. Fr. Leo Donnelly reached Sydney by air from Hong Kong (on his way from India to Australia) on 16th November ; after a week's stay he resumed his journey to Melbourne where he was welcomed by Fr. Provincial; he is doing temporary work at St. Ignatius Richmond until the status when he will be assigned to one of the Colleges.

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 2 1977

Calcutta Province

Extract from a letter from a Jesuit of Calcutta Province, Darjeeling Region (Fr. Edward Hayden, St. Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling, Western Bengal)

I was one of the old “Intermediate” boys of the Christian Brothers, Carlow. I left off in 1910, 67 years ago, at the end of June. Yes, we learnt the Gaeilge. The Brothers - or some I met, one in particular, a Brother Doyle, was very keen on it. The others didn't teach it as it was only in the “Academy” that they began with languages: French, Gaeilge, Algebra, Euclid and of course English. (5th Book - Senior Elementary Class - was followed by the “Academy”). The Brothers had dropped Latin just before I joined the “Academy”. We were living at a distance of 5 Irish miles from Carlow, and I was delicate, so I often fell a victim of 'flu, which didn't help me to make progress in studies - made it very hard: but at that time the rule was “do or die”. There was only one excuse for not having home work done – you were dead! That was the training we had: it stood me in good stead through life; it is the one thing I am grateful for.
We had a number of Irishmen here, a handful: Fr Jos Shiel, Mayo, died in Patna. Fr James Comerford, Queen's County, died in Bihar. I met the Donnelly brothers, they were Dubliners. The one who died (Don) was Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Many of his stories were about horse-racing - he must have read plenty of Nat Gould when he was a boy! (Nat wrote a number of horse-racing stories supposed to have been in Australia). There are three Irishmen in Ranchi: Frs Donnelly, Phelan and Lawlor. Fr Phelan has spent nearly his whole life in India. As a boy he was in North Point, and after his Senior Cambridge he joined the Society. At that time there was only the Missio Maior Bengalensis of the Belgian Province. The Mission took in half or more of north-east India - Patna, Ranchi and south of it, Assam, Bhutan and Sikkim - an area four or five times that of Ireland! Needless to say, there were parts of it which had no SJ within a hundred miles ...Down here in the Terai where I am “hibernating” out of the cold of Darjeeling, some forty-five years ago there was no priest. One or two of the professors of theology from Kurseong, some 40 miles away, used to visit this district at Christmas and Easter. It was very malarious. Catholics from Ranchi came here to work on the tea plantations. Then a Jesuit was sent to reside in it. Now the district has schools and Jesuits galore, also non-Jesuits. Great progress has been made. The Salesians took up Assam, the American SJs took over Patna. The Northern Belgians took over Ranchi and the Southern Belgians took Calcutta. (The Belgian Province grew till its numbers reached 1400. Then, about 1935, Belgian separated into Flemings - North - and Walloons - South). Ranchi was given to the North and Calcutta to the South. On the 15th August last year (1976) Calcutta was raised from being a Vice Province to be a full-blown Province. 100% of those joining the SJ now are sons of India. Madura in the south has been a Province for years. Nearly all the Europeans are dead: no more are allowed to come permanently unless for a very, very special reason, India has begun to send her sons to East Africa in recent years.
Fr Lawlor is Irish-born but somehow joined the Australian Province about the time it started a half-century or so ago.
Brother Carl Kruil is at present in charge of an ashram: a place for destitutes, in Siliguri. Silguri is a city which grew up in the last forty years around the terminus of the broad gauge railway and the narrow (two-foot) toy railway joining the plains with Darjeeling - one of the most wonderful lines in the world, rising from 300 feet above sea-level, 7,200 feet in about 50 miles and then dropping down to about 5,500 feet in another ten. Three times it loops the loop and three times climbs up by zig-zags. I seem to remember having met Fr Conor Naughton during the war. Quite a number of wartime chaplains came to Darjeeling. The mention of Siliguri set me off rambling. Br Krull remembers his visit to Limerick. (He stayed at the Crescent, 11th 13th June, 1969). He is a born mechanic. Anything in the line of machinery captivates him. He has to repair all the motors and oil engines – some places like this have small diesel generators which have to be seen to from time to time and all other kinds of machinery: cameras, typewriters etc. At present he comes here to do spot welding (electric welding of iron instead of bolts and nuts.
The PP, here is replacing an old simple shed with a corrugated iron roof by a very fine one with brick walls and asbestos-cement roof. Two years ago or so, the roof was lifted by a sudden whirlwind clean off the wooden pillars on which it rested. Since then he has been saying the Sunday Masses on the veranda of a primary school. In this school 235 children receive daily lessons and a small mid-day meal. The Sisters are those of St. Joseph of Cluny – all from South India. They are really heroines: no work is too difficult for them. They do all their own work and cook for us. Their Vice-Provincial is from somewhere in the centre of the “Emerald Gem”. They are growing in numbers and do great work, running a dispensary amongst other things. The church is very broad, approximately 90 by 60 feet. As no benches are used - people sit on the floor - it will hold nearly 450 people at a time. The altar is in one corner. :
Fr Robert Phelan (Ranchi Province) had a visit one night from dacoits (armed robbers), but with help managed to beat them off.
Ranchi had several of these raids last year. In nearly every case the dacoits managed to get some cash.
One night about two weeks ago a rogue elephant (one that is wild and roaming away from the herd) came to a small group of houses close by. A man heard the noise and came out. The elephant caught him by the leg and threw him on to a corn stack - fortunately. The corn stack of rice waiting to be thrashed was quite broad and flat on top! He was very little the worse for the experience. And that is the end of the news.
One more item: please ask the new Editor of the Irish Province News to let me have copies as (?) and send them by overland (surface mail). Even if they are three months coming, they will be news. God bless you and reward you handsomely.
Yours in our Lord,
Edward Hayden, SJ (born 15th October 1893, entered S.J. 1st February 1925, ordained 21st November 1933, took final vows on 2nd February 1936. Now conf. dom. et alumn. and script. hist. dom. at the above address).

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999

Obituary
Fr Leo Donnelly (1903-1999)

9th Aug. 1903: Born in Dublin.
Early education at Belvedere College.
1st Sept. 1920: Entered the society at Tullabeg.
2nd Sept. 1922: First vows at Tullabeg.
1922 - 1923: Fourvière, start of Juniorate
1923 - 1926: Rathfarnham, study science at UCD
1926 - 1927: Milltown Park, study philosophy
1927 - 1928: Pullach / München
1928 - 1931: Belvedere, teaching
1931 - 1935: Milltown Park, study theology
31st July 1934: Ordained at Milltown Park
1935 - 1936: Tertianship at St. Beuno's
1936 - 1941: Belvedere, teacher, games master
1941 - 1946: British Army chaplain (England, France, Germany) Crescent College, teacher
1946 - 1948; St. Mary's, Kurseong, teacher of church history
1949 - 1950: Newman College, Melbourne & St. Patrick's College, teacher
1950 - 1954: Holy Name Seminary, N.Z., teacher of philosophy
1954 - 1981: St. Albert's College, Ranchi, teacher of philosophy and church history
1981 - 1999: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick, church work

Fr. Donnelly was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in September 1998. He had recently become frail and needed treatment for leg ulcers. He remained reasonably well and mobile up to mid-January. He was admitted to St. Vincent's Private Hospital on 24th January 1999 for investigation and was due to return to Cherryfield Lodge on the 31st, but died peacefully early on the morning of the 31st January 1999 at the hospital.

Father Leo Donnelly was born in Dublin on August 9, 1903 and died there in a private hospital on January 31, 1999. He had his early education at Belvedere College in Dublin too. He was, therefore, a truly Dublin Irish-bred Jesuit for the whole of his life. He entered the Society on September 1, 1920, and pronounced his First Vows there on September 2, 1922. His studies brought him in contact with much of Western Europe's culture: juniorate at Fourviere, philosophy at Pullach, Munchen and back to Ireland for Theology. He displayed his talents for sports during his six years teaching at Belvedere. Enlisted in the army in 1941, he took part in the Normandy landing on the second day of the offensive. Six years of roving with army units developed in him a liking for adventure. After the war he looked for wider horizons: Ireland was too small for his dreams. We find him successively as professor of Church History at St. Mary's, Kurseong; teaching at Newman College, and St. Patrick's College, Melbourne; professor of philosophy at Holy Name seminary in New Zealand; till he finally landed at St. Albert's College, Ranchi for a long spell of 27 years (1954-1981). There he had been teaching philosophy, Church History and Science. In 1981 he returned to Ireland and resided at Limerick where for some years he exercised priestly ministry. He fell sick towards the end of 1998 and died peacefully at St. Vincent's Private Hospital on January 31, 1999.

-oOo-

I have known Father Leo only when I joined the staff of St. Albert's in 1962. Father L. Donnelly belongs to that large group of Jesuits who are steady workers, fulfilling their tasks quietly and conscientiously, who make no noise and are not in the limelight, yet have a great impact because they are fine religious men.

Not withstanding his keen intelligence and vast knowledge, he was a truly humble man, aware of his limitations. He never spoke about his past achievements, but acknowledged and appreciated the success of others. He had a deep faith, firmly rooted in his Irish past; sober, not too ostentatious, but ardent and apostolic. Being a fiery Irish nationalist, he would never fail to celebrate the Mass of St. Patrick, Sunday or no Sunday, Lent or no Lent. That day he would appear at breakfast proudly displaying the three-leafed clover freshly received from Ireland. He was a regular visitor of the Irish Sisters at Loreto Convent, Doranda. He led a life of poverty and his room was rather bare. He often gave to the poor the little he had. He showed a keen interest in the life of the church. His liturgical and biblical education, however, did not keep pace with Vatican II, and he would often censure persons in Rome who dared to tamper with the liturgy, abandoned cherished prayers and novenas. He could really get excited when the conversation turned to those new-fangled” ideas of some biblical scholars, who then got rough treatment from him. He found it difficult to adapt himself to the changes in the Society during Father Arrupe's generalate. Yet he remained totally loyal to the Church. In the sixties and seventies, he used to give regular monthly instructions in Manresa House, Ranchi to all the Jesuits of the neighbourhood, an ungrateful task to such a critical audience.

He was a very prayerful person. One of his chief preoccupations was to instill in the Seminarians, especially in those who went to him for spiritual direction, a taste of prayer, and helped them to lead a life of solid virtue. He would often give meditation points, especially on the mystery of the rosary in the month of October. He often meditated with them in the philosophate chapel. With his students he was kindness itself, very understanding and encouraging. He kept a regular correspondence with so many of his old students. After his return to Ireland he often inquired from me how his former students were faring, and also about the seminary and the Church in India.

He was a great lover of sports, and he could get excited when the philosophers did not play football as well. He was impatient with a referee who whistled too many off-sides. In a hushed voice he would give the team a tip on how to win the match. “You know what you have to do to win?” he would ask. The magic reply to their question then came. “You have to score!” Like his elder brother he was a lover of horses. On the day of the great derby in Ireland, he would be glued to the radio so as not to miss any word of the commentary. One of his distractions was a game of bridge with some colleagues.

As a teacher he was rather dry and monotonous. The students found it difficult to understand his Irish accent. He was not gifted for languages and his Hindi was restricted to a few words.
This is only a glimpse of Fr. Leo Donnelly's personality, a very likable, intelligent, kind and generous person. “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.”

Flor Jonkheere

-oOo-

When I came back to the Crescent in 1990, I met Fr. Leo Donnelly for the first time. He was then well into his 80's. He had returned to Ireland after over 25 years as a lecturer in Church History in a Jesuit Seminary in Ranchi, India. He was posted to the Church here as operarius. After a while I noticed that he never read the Limerick Leader or the Limerick Chronical. His vision was wider. Every day he spent much time after breakfast reading the national papers. He often wrote to the Prime Minister of England or to government ministers at home. He pointed out mistakes that they were making and told them how things should be done. I discovered that he was born in Rutland (now Parnell) Square in Dublin, around the corner from Belvedere. Belvedere was in his blood, you might say. He was a very independent character and this showed itself early in life. As a young boy he was brought out early one evening by his nurse-maid. In Parnell Street she met a friend of hers and stopped for a chat. Leo quietly slipped his hand loose and ran home. He stood up on the mud scraper and rang the bell. His mother answered the door.

“What brought you home Leo?” she said, “Oh”" said Leo, “the nurse met a friend and stopped for a chat. I had no interest in their conversation so I thought I would come home and not waste my time”.

Because Leo had a brother Don in Belvedere his mother managed to persuade the Rector to take Leo also, although he was not yet the required age. He did well at school but always in the shadow of his brother Don whom he idolised. After school he entered the Jesuits. He followed the normal course of studies but went on the continent for two periods. He picked up a good knowledge of spoken French and some German. He did his regency in Belvedere where he trained a junior rugby team which won the Leinster Junior Schools cup. From time to time we were to learn of this in the Crescent. "Bertie" was the nick-name given to him by the boys. This name in brackets was given in the announcements of his death in the newspapers, at his own request. After ordination he was again sent to Belvedere. Then he was appointed Chaplain to the British Forces and landed on the Normandy beaches on “D” Day. While stationed in a small town in Normandy, he was invited to lunch by a local countess who had a very pretty daughter. On walking down the street with them he noticed the young officers eyeing him with envy as he chatted away in French with the two ladies. He had a twinkle in his eye as he told us of this incident. He later spent a year in Australia, then in New Zealand, before being appointed to India, as I have already mentioned.

As a man he was very fixed in his ideas. He did not take kindly to many of the changes made after the second Vatican Council. He had a bias against anything American. He was a very pleasant person to live and had many worthy stories. Belvedere always remained a big part of his life. He did not interest himself in the local scene in Limerick. In India he was not, it seemed to me, that interested in the way of life of the people and never learned any Indian dialect. To use an old fashioned word, he was very edifying in his life style. Mass at 6.30a.m. every morning. Altar prepared the previous night. A simple room and a regular prayer life. He was a “fear ann féin”!!

Seán Ó Duibhir

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1986
The Travelling Donnellys

Don Donnelly SJ (1915) died in 1975 after a varied life in a different world. His brother Leo (1920), now in Sacred Heart Church Limerick, sends this report which he calls “The Travelling Donnellys”:

The older, Donal or Don (later Latinised into Daniel or Dan), Belvedere 1903-1915, was always first in his class. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1919 after taking his MSc in UCD After two years in Tullabeg, Rahan, he went for Philosphy to Valkenburg, Holland, with the German Jesuits expelled from Germany by Bismarck. After three years teaching in Clongowes, he studied Theology in Innsbruck, Austria. Ordained in Dublin in 1929, he spent a year in Rome attached to the Jesuit Mission Secretariat. Then, after Tertianship in North Wales, he sailed for Hong Kong in July 1932.

Having learnt the Cantonese version of Chinese mainly with the Portuguese Jesuits in Shiu Hing, he worked as Headmaster of Wah Yan College in Hong Kong until the second World War broke out. No more Scholastics would come from Ireland, so the house intended for their Language School was vacant, and was utilised as a Minor Seminary for boys intending to become Jesuits. Don was put in charge. Then, on 8th December 1941 the Japanese invaded and occupied Hong Kong. The Irish Jesuits, as neutrals, were not interned. So, after things had quietned down, Don made his way into Free China with a dozen of the “Little Lads”. He settled down with the American Maryknoll Fathers at Tanchuk. Alas, a year orso later, the Americans began to construct an airfield nearby. Whereupon the Japanese Army made a drive to occupy that part of China as well, so the Maryknoll Minor Seminary had to be abandoned.

With his charges Don made an adventurous journey westwards by antiquated train, up turbulent rivers in over-crowded boats, and finally up steep mountain roads in delapidated trucks, ending in Kunming, the Capital of Yunnan Province, the nearest to India. To Kunming the Allies were bringing supplies by air over the “Hump” for the Chinese Army of Chiang Kai Chek. The planes were returning empty to India, so Don succeded in getting passage for himself and the twelve boys. Eventually they settled in St Stanislaus School, Bandra, Bombay. When the war was over and the older boys had completed their matriculation, the party returned to Hong Kong by sea.

Don went on to Canton, now liberated, to act as Headmaster in the Archbishop's school. But all too soon the Communists took over the whole of China, and Don was on his travels again. He asked to return to India and worked in Bombay for twenty five years as Headmaster in various schools until his death of a stroke in 1975.

The younger brother, Diarmuid Leo (the second name was always used) Belvedere 1908 - 1920 was never first in his class. He entered the Jesuits straight from school. After two years in Tullabeg, he was sent for a year to study Humanities in France. Then after three years Science in UCD, he began Philosophy in Milltown Park. However, owing to illness, a colleague returned to Ireland and, to replace him, Leo was transferred to Pullach-bei-München in Germany.

There followed three years teaching and coaching Rugby in Belvedere. Then, after Theology and Tertianship he returned to Belvedere to teach Mathematics as a side-line to coaching Rugby.
In September 1941 he was appointed Chaplain in the British Army. He spent nearly three years in various posts in Great Britain, then transferred to Normandy on D-day. Always remaining safely behind the lines, he ended the war in Ostend, Belgium. Shortly after he was appointed to the Irish Guards in Germany, and was demobbed early in 1946.

On suggestion oF his brother he was appointed Professor of Church History in Kurseong, the Theologate of the Jesuits in India, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, After a little over two years, he was transferred to Australia, visiting Hong Kong on the way. There followed one year in Newman College, Melbourne, and then five years in the Holy Name Minor Seminary, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Belgian Jesuits in India were having difficulty in securing Visas for new blood from Belgium, so a “swop” was arranged. Leo went to Ranchi, Bihar, India, while a Belgian went to the Irish Jesuit Mission in Zambia. Leo remained as Professor of Philosophy in the Regional Seminary, Ranchi for twenty six years, and finally returned to Ireland in 1981.

(Editor: Fr. Leo forgets to mention something about his 1938 SCT...)

Dooley, John, 1930-2022, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/530
  • Person
  • 22 May 1930-12 November 2022

Born: 22 May 1930, Ilford, Essex, England / Tramore, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1961, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1963, Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway
Died: 12 November 2022, Cherryfiled Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park Community at the time of death

FSS
Born : 22nd May 1930 Ilford, Essex, UK
Raised : Tramore, Co Waterford
Early Education at Waterpark College, Waterford; Clongowes Wood College SJ
7th September 1946 Entered Society at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
8th September 1948 First Vows at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1948-1951 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1951-1954 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1954-1957 Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway - Regency : Teacher; Studying for H Dip in Education
1957-1961 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
31st July 1961 Ordained at Milltown Park Chapel, Dublin
1961-1962 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1962-1965 Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway - Teacher; Assistant Prefect of Studies
2nd February 1963 Final Vows at Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway
1965-1966 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Teacher
1966-1980 Instituto Leone XIII, Milan, Italy - Teacher
1980-1981 Milltown Park - Assistant Librarian
1981-1994 Mazabuka, Zambia - Teacher and Spiritual Father at St Edmund’s Secondary School; Community at Nakambala Catholic Church
1994-2006 Choma, Zambia - Chaplain; Teacher at Mukasa Minor Seminary
2006-2008 Mazabuka - Assists in Parish at Nakambala Catholic Church
2008-2010 John Austin House - Recovering health at Cherryfield Lodge
2010-2022 Milltown Park - Assists in Community and Cherryfield Lodge
2018 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/john-dooley-sj-gentle-generous-and-good/

Tributes were paid to Fr John Dooley SJ who died in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Dublin, on 12 November 2022, aged 92 years. Fr Hector Mwale described him as “gentle, generous, and good” during the opening remarks at the Funeral Mass in Gonzaga College Chapel, Dublin on 16 November 2022. The Zambian diocesan priest, currently studying for his PhD in Church history at St Patrick’s College Maynooth, spoke on behalf of the many students taught by Fr Dooley during his years a missionary in Zambia.

Fr John was known to visit the Jesuit communications office in Dublin before his illness prevented him from doing so. There, he spoke of the need to address the various issues of the day in a respectful manner, including the right to life from womb to tomb. He was always generous, gracious, kind and gentle, even if he didn’t agree with a person on an issue.

Fr John was born in Essex, UK, on 22 May 1930. He was raised in Tramore, County Waterford, and he was educated at Waterpark College, Waterford and Clongowes Wood College SJ, Kildare. He entered the Society of Jesus at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois on 7 September 1946 and he took his first vows two years later.

His Jesuit formation included studies in Arts at UCD, Dublin; philosophy at Tullabeg, County Offaly; and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. He was ordained a Jesuit priest at Milltown Park Chapel, Dublin, on 31 July 1961.

During his earlier years as a Jesuit priest, he taught in Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway and Clongowes Wood College SJ, Kildare; and he taught in Instituto Leone XIII Jesuit school, Milan, Italy from 1966 to 1980.

Later, he was an Irish Jesuit missionary in Zambia from 1981 to 2008. He was a teacher and Spiritual Father at St Edmund’s Secondary School in Mazabuka and Chaplain and teacher at Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma. He also assisted in the Parish at Nakambala Catholic Church in Mazabuka.

Fr John returned home to Ireland in 2008 due to health reasons. Since 2010, he lived in Milltown Park, Dublin where he assisted in the community and at Cherryfield Lodge nursing home.

He moved to Cherryfield Lodge nursing home in 2018 where he prayed for the Church and the Society of Jesus. Following his Funeral Mass on 16 November 2022, he was buried in the Jesuit plot at Glasnevin Cemetery.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

Interfuse No 14 : April 1981

FROM BOSTON TO TAMPA

John Dooley

As part of his sabbatical year, John visited many of our secondary schools in the United States. Here's what he found memorable about such places as Boston College High School, Regis (New York), St. Francis Xavier's (Cincinnatil, St. Ignatius College Prep. (Chicagol, Matteo Ricci (Denver), "S.I." (San Francisco), Brophy (Phoenix) and Disney World (Tampa).

I left Milan for Boston on September 18th last on the first leg of a three-month tour of the United States. My sabbatical year is being divided between a visit to the U.S. and a Renewal Course at Nemi outside Rome. Having been Chaplain to the American and English-speaking people in Milan for eleven years, I wanted to take a look at U.S. teaching systeins and get an over-all picture of Church life there. A special discount for visitors allowed me to use internal flights at the modest cost of 400 dollars.

I chose Boston as my first stop because I knew I would be more at home there. I stayed at Boston College High School for a fortnight and sat in on classes, especially Religion and Classics. In some classes (Freshmen and Sophomore, i.e. 1st and 2nd years) Religion teaching was integrated with English Literature, as an experiment. For Juniors and Seniors (15 - 18 yrs age-group), besides formal Religion classes a Retreat Program was organised, presenting a variety of one, two, or three-day experiences to help students explore their relationship with God at a deeper level.

I stayed for a longer period at Boston because I knew that the High School there would be typical of our other American High Schools.

From Boston I went to Regis High School, New York. We have three other High Schools in the city but I had time to visit only one. Regis is unique among Jesuit Schools in that all the students are there on scholarships and have no tuition fee. Of course the 'I,Q.” is very high because the entrance test requires an above-average standard. Although I did not visit Fordhan Prep. School I know that it has a special carisma for individual treatment of boys, directing them to apply themselves to those subjects which most suit their particular character and personality.

From New York I went to Washington D.C., to Gonzaga High School, whose President is a fr. Bernard Dooley. He has the task of integrating pupils from the 70% Negro population of the United States Capital. It is a delicate matter as the legro students must be capable of following a normal course of studies. At present 23% of the students are Negro, and the integration process is working successfully.

Cincinnati was iny next stop. St. Francis Xavier High School is a new building outside the town. There I found Fr. Pat McAteer, a former Co. Down G.A.A. player, now training the school soccer tean. The Science equipment and teaching methods are among the best I have seen. Although there are very few Negro students, the Religion Department is headed by a Negro lay-teacher who does an excellent job. There are quite a number of non-Catholics in the school, but they all attend the Religion classes.

Chicago is indeed a Windy City'. I was met at the airport by smiling Medical Missionary of Mary, Sr. Jeane, St. Ignatius College Prep, has a well-deserved name among the citizens. Integration is a live question here, too, but my main interest in the school was the Religion teaching. I attended Fr. Mark Link's classes and was able to learn something from his method; the textbooks on Scripture written by him are deservedly popular and he has the kack of making them come to life.

From Chicago I was able to pay a flying visit to Marquette University High School in Milwaukee where, as I sat in on a Religion Class I heard students reading and discussing Fr. Arrupe's famous address at Valencia on “Men for Others”.

St. Louis was my next port of call. We have two High Schools there: St. Louis University High School and De Smet High School. I stayed at St. Louis University High, alma mater of the famed Dr. Tom Dooley to whom, I believe, I may be related (since his people came from the midlands). Among the languages taught at this school are Russian and Chinese. The library is excellently laid out and possesses several micro-film units including microfilms of almost all the editions of the “New York Times” since 1850. One of the Fathers teaches shooting!

By early Noveaber I found myself at our High School (also called Regis) in the lone-mile-high' city, Denver, Colorado has the sub-title of “State of the Mountain Plains”. Said Fr. Ralph Houlihan, the new headmaster: “Denver is the fastest developing city in the United States. We are experiencing a large influx of Spanish-Mexican immigrants. Eighteen per cent of our boys are of Latino origin. At one time Regis was the Cinderella of our mid-western High Schools, but standards are improving. From Denver I was able to phone Fr. Joe Carlin, who is P.P. of a parish near Pueblo.

A D.C. 8 brought me from Denver, North-West over snow-covered Wyoming and Idaho to Seattle. There I stayed at Matteo Ricci High School on East Eleventh Avenue. The climate of Seattle is very like our own, temperate and moist. Our school is labouring under a shortage of fathers: there are only seven or eight of them for 600 students - hardly sufficient to give a truly Jesuit imprint.

I arrived at St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco; on Nov. 13th. “S.I.”, as the school is endearingly called, is deservedly held in high esteem by the San Francisco people. It is the most modern Jesuit school building that I saw in the U.S. and it has been built to last. I attended a comedy produced by the boys; “The Goodbye People “by Herb Gardner. The excellent standard of acting was enhanced by the presence of actresses from the local Convent of Mercy school.

At Los Angeles I visited a Parish Priest in Bellflower, Fr. Philip McGarth from Kilkenny. This gave me an opportunity of observing American parish life. We have a high-quality school in Los Angeles and the student population is evenly divided between Latino, Negro and white boys.

If you suffer from rheumatism or arthritis, Phoenix is the place to go. The climate of Arizona is dry and warm all the year round. Brophy College Prep., built in a charming Spanish architectural style, has the best centre of audio-visual aids I have come across. Fr, Menard, who is in charge of the Centre, buys equipment and materials at reduced rates, but his speciality lies in making, as much as possible, his own slides, “It's quite easy to make them”, he told me, “and you can build up your own slide library using a simple index system”.
'
In Houston I stayed with a family who used to be my parishioners in Milan. I visited the famous Space Centre where all the scientists and employees are keyed up for the launching of a shuttle space-craft in the near future. I also helped out in a suburb parish delicated to St. Ambrose where Fr. Chang, a Hong Kong Jesuit, is assistant.

New Orleans is a city with a distinct character and wandering through the French Quarter in the evening is a delightful experience. Our students at Jesuit High have a touch of class? and wear Khaki uniforms, a dress which makes them rather conspicuous in public, The school has a tradition of serious study and solid fomation.

Tampa, Florida, was my last overstop. Of course the climate and environment are ideal. There surely is no other Jesuit Community House which can boast of a swinning-pool in the patio. The school buildings are modern and compact. The only lement the staff have is that the holiday atmosphere of Florida makes application to study more meritorious and some times even heroic. I managed to visit Disney World where one is wasted into a drean-world and one experiences the meaning of the word 'enchantment.

During my visit to the United States I was able to enjoy other experiences such as assisting at the Papal Mass in Boston Common, and again at Yankee Stadium New York, My most spectacular moment was an hour's flight in a six-seater plane through the Grand Canyon just before sunset. There is a lot that I did not manage to do, but the over-all picture I have is of the committment of our American Jesuit priests and brothers to the cause of education at all levels, and of a Church vibrant and active even if certain tensions occur which are less in evidence here. It was a bird's-eye view, brief yet enriching, of our sister-continent, “America the beautiful”.

Interfuse No 28 : September 1983

A LEAP IN THE TWILIGHT

John Dooley

A “late vocation” to the Foreign Missions, John encourages others to follow in his foot-steps to Africa where the harvest is rich: and the number of middle-aged labourers from the Irish Province could be profitably doubled.

When I accepted Bishop Corboy's invitation to do a two-year stint in his diocese, I took a leap in the twilight. I would not have so done without the express encouragement of Fr. Provincial, Three times the Bishop had stayed at Instituto Leone XIII, Milan, while attending the Synod of Bishops and paying a visit to Cardinal Colombo: a generous and efficient group of Milan Diocesan priests are working in Monze diocese, particularly in Siavonga and Chirundu, near Kariba. I was glad to come to Zambia and saw it as a happy extension of the eleven years spent in Milan.

My stay in Zambia comes under the category of “lived experience”. It is difficult to give an adequate picture of something one has lived; in fact it is an impossible task, precisely because it is “vital”. Nevertheless I am acceding to the wishes of the Bishop in writing down the general impression left on me after this two year experience. Besides, if we never even tried to jot down our impressions, however imperfectly, how could we ever share with each other? No Interfuse!

The first impression. I had of Zambia was that it is surprisingly modern. The airport, with its impeccably landscaped highway approach, the city of Lusaka with its high-rise banks and public buildings (designed in part by Irish architects), the well built school-buildings and community and teachers houses, the hospitals, the flourishing projects and plantations, the presence of tractors and modern machinery, ... all gave me the impression that Zambia has stepped right into the twentieth century. And all this has been achieved, largely, since independence was won in 1964 .

I was more than happy to see a model library at the Novitiate, planned and carefully built-up by Fr. Eddie Murphy a library with books at arms' reach, no climbing stairs, well-stocked and with artistic touches. An armchair foyer invites one to browse and lends a homely touch. I am told that in Vienna one per cent of money spent on public buildings. is set aside to make them artistic-looking, Fr. Eddie has taken a leaf from that.

I was assigned to act as chaplain to two secondary schools in Mazabuka, 20 kms. west of Lusaka and 60 kms. From Monze. My main duties have been in the boys school which is called “St. Edmund's” (after the 13th century archbishop of Canterbury and patron saint of Edmund Rice). I have not been allowed to neglect the Girls Secondary school which is directed by the Holy Rosary Sisters. The initial adaptation required of me taxed any hidden energies and several times I was tempted to run away. But I stood my ground. I soon discovered that school life in Zambia is no less full of interest than ät home.

My first impression of St. Edmund's was that I was continuing a tradition. Others had sown and I had come to reap. Frs Tony Geoghegen, Bob Kelly, and John O'Holohan had ploughed away happily in the fertile soil of the African soul. They, and the Irish Christian Brothers, had established customs and values that form the boys to piety. I was especially impressed by the unself-conscious devotion of the African student during Mass. It struck me that they have a lot to teach us in Europe about spiritual matters.

Indeed, it is that spiritual, “mystical” character in the Africans that struck me most. Their own traditions keep them very much in touch with the spirit world. They have a rich variety of names to convey the idea of God'. Their spontaneous approach to piety gives their liturgies a joy and élan' that are not so common in cold northern climates. God is a reality in their lives.

Various groups and associations have been well established at St. Edmund's: Legion of Mary, Apostleship of Prayer, Altar Servers (Sodality of St. John Berchmans), Choir, Pioneer Total Abstinence
Association, army cadets, catechumenate, drama, . The boarders, who comprise two thirds of the student population, are naturally. more involved in some of these groups.

The Pioneer Association deserves special mention. The movement has caught on remarkably well in Africa. There are Centres in very many parishes and schools. There is no need to spell . out for the students the dangers of excessive alcohol: beer-drinking after football and dancing, is a national pastime. The Pioneer Association with its spiritual and organized tackling of the problem has proved itself very effective. A new “Handbook for Africa” has just been produced by Fr. Robert Kelly. Last Autumn ('82) we had a very successful Rally between tbe two schools and Fr. Kelly was the principal speaker.

There is even a rival to the “Artane Band” at St. Edmund's: For marching and musical verve, especially on public occasions, the school Band is in the true “Artane” tradition. Almost every public ceremony of any importance in Mazabuka (and occasionally elsewhere) is graced by their musical presence. It is a proud sight, the blue jacketed, white-trousered troupe leading the school children of the entire township to the Show Grounds to attend a Youth or Independence Day Rally. The Band was founded by Bro, Tony McGeagh who was headmaster of St. Edmund's during the crucial years when it was being built up to its present strength. Bro. McGeagh is a former head of Synge St. CBS. He has recently returned to Ireland for good.

The role of the school chaplain has received a growing importance in recent years. Written articles have been appearing in various reviews on the subject, and special commissions appointed by: various Episcopal Conferences around the world such as the Bishops of England and Wales have drawn up an exhaustive and inspiring document on the role, duties and rights of the School-Chaplain. The chaplains operating in Zambia (including chaplains of Third Level Institutions) have formed a National Chaplains' Association. This Association runs a yearly workshop which is very helpful for all involved in this field. A revision has been made of the English document to suit the Zambian situation.

My duties at St. Edmund's have been no different from of those of any normal school Priest-chaplain. Daily Mass in both the Girls' and Boys' schools is well attended. Each of the schools has its own separate Sunday Mass. Teaching Load (in Relig Education) is not excessive, to allow the chaplain time for spiritual animation. A weekly confession period is well availed of. There is ample time for personal conversations with students and spiritual direction. Perhaps in one sense my position has been a bit special: the fact that both schools are being run by religious. This fact calls for a high degree of cooperation and understanding between chaplain and religious community, an exercise in dialogue which requires a certain suave if at times tenacious disposition. The chaplain is a
very important person in a school, but he is not God almighty!

A big problem for the chaplain is the fact that in all mission schools now there is a large proportion of non- Catholics. Seventh Day Adventists, New Apostolic Church, Salvation Army, the whole gamut: the poor people of Zambia have been subjected to the influence of all the divisions that have occurred in the Anglo-Saxon brand of Christ's one, true Church. No wonder they are confused. In St. Edmund's about half the school population is Catholic. In Canisius College the percentage is around 40.

In actual fact, and in the light of modern religious approaches, the religious pluralism of the mission schools works to our advantage Zambia has given a lead from which Ireland itself might well take an example. There is a common religious syllabus for all primary and secondary schools which aims at giving the pupils religious values: these values spiritual and moral involve obviously an appropriate behaviour The pupils are led to appreciate these values by a study of the main religious traditions in Zambia (namely, Christianity, Indigenous beliefs, Hinduism and, Islam). There are religious elements in the Zambian National Philosophy, Humanism, and these are also integrated into the syllabus.

I have often thought that a similar course is urgently needed in Ireland. In our religious formation we must take account of the various traditions existing in our country: English, Anglo-Irish and Gaelic Christianity, with at least some knowledge of world religions.

The Zambian Schools Religious Education Syllabus is heavily Biblical a fact that goes to show that the bible is acceptable to everone (in examinations, the Muslims generally are among the first places, which made one Brother remark that perhaps we should first turn the students into Muslims!). Of course, each student receives additional formation on a separate occasion in the traditions and beliefs of his own religion or church.

Although ecumenical dialogue is one of the key approaches in religious formation today, it still remains true that the faith needs to be defended. This was borne in upon me by my conversations with Fr. Michael Moloney in St. Ignatius, Lusaka. Recently, one of the foreign Sects published a booklet entitled “Comparative Religion” in which all the old supposed skeletons in the cupboard were paraded. Fr. Michael is just completing an answer to this booklet, in which he refutes, line for line, the caricature of Catholic doctrine presented in it. Fr. Michael is convinced that a little theology out here goes a long way, and he is looking for help!

The influence of Religious Sisters is very noticeable in Zambia. The indigenous female religious vocations are numerous, so much so that the “Irish Sisters of Charity” have had to drop the “Irish”. The Holy Rosary Sisters (Meath), Mercy, Ferrybank, Sisters of Charity together with indigenous, Polish and Italian Sisters - to mention only those operating in Monze Diocese - make a formidable company of persuasive evanglisers. A local catechumen declared: “It was either the SDA or the Catholic Church. And then I met the Sisters”. The Holy Rosary Sisters include two Americans and two Nigerians among their number.

The international aspect of the Zambian vice-province appealed to me in a special way. The history of the Zambesi Mission, as it was then called, shows how international it was almost from the beginning, ever since Fr. General Beckx realised it was too great a challenge for any single province. The French Jesuit Fr. Joseph Moreau has left an indelible impression on the Tonga land and People: he even taught them how to plough with oxen. Today Zambian, Slavic and Oregon Jesuits bring an aura of universality to many of our works, not to mention the Chelston Novitiate for East Africa. East and West have certainly met here, and that helps North and South meet, too, at a deeper than monetary level.

These are just a few of the impressions left on me during my first tour of Zambia. It hasn't been a picnic, but neither has it been too difficult. The needs of Zambia are much greater, relatively, than those of home. The poverty is greater, but not human poverty or poverty of values. A lot is being spoken and written at present on the subject of justice. I often think that Fr. John Sullivan, were he alive today, would cut the cackle and come out to Africa where there are so many of his beloved sick and poor. Fr. John had only a bicycle. We have the jet. If there be a Zambian who can speak Irish, he is saying to the reader of these lines (”si capax est”). “Tar agus Feach! Come and see!”

Doyle, Patrick J, 1922-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/772
  • Person
  • 24 April 1922-14 September 2008

Born: 24 April 1922, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 01 October 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 16 November 1974, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 14 September 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 09 September1975-1981

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

by 1965 North American Martyrs, Auriesvile NY USA (BUF) making Tertianship

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/the-death-of-fr-paddy-doyle-sj/

The death of Fr Paddy Doyle SJ
Former Irish Jesuit Provincial Fr Paddy Doyle SJ died in Cherryfield in the early hours of Sunday morning. His body was in repose at Cherryfield on Tuesday Sept 16 at 2.30pm
followed by prayers at 4pm. His funeral mass will take place in Milltown Park chapel on Wed Sept 17th at 11am. As he had worked for peace on the frontiers, he crossed the final frontier peacefully. God be good to him. In sickness and in health Paddy was a man who meant a lot to the Irish Province. He was 31, a seasoned engineer, when he entered the noviceship, almost a grandfather figure for his peers. For the Jesuit students he cared for in Rathfarnham, he was a source of encouragement and affirmation, giving them a sense of warmth and freedom in their vocation. Succeeding Cecil McGarry as Provincial he showed a strongly contrasting style, but like Cecil contributed to the Province’s growth in a providential way. Paddy had negotiated first with Derry, then with Armagh, for access to the North, and he spent the rest of his active life as a brilliantly unobtrusive yet effective presence in Portadown. When he was gradually debilitated by strokes, his personality remained serene, humorous, accepting, deeply rooted in his faith. As he had worked for peace on the frontiers, he crossed the final frontier peacefully. God be good to him.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/paddy-doyle-and-the-ise/

Paddy Doyle and the ISE
Many others besides Jesuits have felt the loss of Paddy Doyle SJ, former Irish Provincial, who passed away recently. Below is a piece from Robin Boyd, the second director of the
Irish School of Ecumenics, who offers an intriguing perspective on Paddy’s contribution to the school at a crucial stage of its development. “Slight in stature but strong in presence,” Boyd comments, “Paddy was a man of warmth and quiet friendliness, sometimes few in words, but the words were worth waiting for.”

Remembering Paddy Doyle SJ - By Robin Boyd
With the death on 14 September of Fr Patrick Doyle the Irish School of Ecumenics has lost a true friend and effective supporter. Born in Dublin in 1922, Paddy Doyle studied Physics at UCD, and became a research worker at ICI and the Research Institute; and it was not until he was thirty-two that he entered the Society of Jesus. He was ordained in 1963 and took his final vows at Milltown Park in 1974. He became Provincial of the Irish Jesuits in 1975, and was succeeded by Fr Joseph Dargan in 1980, the changeover happening at precisely the time when I entered on my term as Director of the ISE. So although he was no longer the Roman Catholic Patron of the School and President of the Academic Council by the time I assumed office, I knew that in those capacities he had played a vital part in the process whereby the School’s founder, Fr Michael Hurley, was succeeded by a Protestant, and not – as had been widely expected, not least by the Hierarchy – by a Catholic. The story is told by Michael in chapter 2 of The Irish School of Ecumenics (1970- 2007).
It was – for Paddy and Michael as well as for the School – a very tense and difficult period; but Paddy was tactful as well as fearless, and was able to pilot the School through stormy waters not only safely but successfully. For myself I am glad to relate that my relations with Archbishop Dermot Ryan were always cordial; Paddy had smoothed the way. And I think I can truly say that had it not been for Paddy Doyle I might never have come to the ISE; and that was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Paddy was largely responsible for the establishment of Jesuit communities in the North of Ireland, first in Portadown (1980) and later in Belfast (1988). The Portadown experiment coincided with the development of the School’s Northern Ireland programme, when it first became affiliated with what was then the New University of Ulster. Paddy’s presence in Portadown was a great help and encouragement to Brian Lennon SJ and later Declan Deane SJ – who operated the Certificate programme from this base – as well as to me and other members of staff who were frequent visitors to “Iona”, the small but welcoming council house where Paddy lived.
Slight in stature but strong in presence, Paddy was a man of warmth and quiet friendliness, sometimes few in words, but the words were worth waiting for. He suffered a number of small strokes in 2002, and latterly lived at Cherryfield Lodge, where he continued to exercise a ministry of prayer. The last time I saw him, his powers of communication were sadly diminished, but his smile and the twinkle in his eye were still there. We give thanks to God for this good man.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 138 : Christmas 2008

Obituary

Fr Patrick (Paddy) Doyle (1922-2008)

24th April 1922: Born in Dublin
Early education in CBS, Synge St, BSc (Phy) and MSc (Phy) at UCD.
He was employed in research work at ICI and the Research Institute before joining Society.
1st October 1954: Entered the Society at Emo
2nd October 1956: First Vows at Emo
1956 - 1959: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1959 - 1960: Clongowes - Teacher (Regency)
1960 - 1964: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1963: Ordained at Milltown Park
1964 - 1965: Tertianship at Auriesville, USA
1965 - 1967: Mungret College - Prefect of Studies
1967 - 1971: Rathfarnham- Rector, Minister of Juniors; Co-ordinator of Studies in the Province
16th November 1974: Final Vows at Milltown Park
1971 - 1974: Milltown Park - Rector, Co-ordinator of Studies in the Province; Provincial Consultor
1974 - 1980: Loyola House -
1974 - 1975: Vice-Provincial
1975 - 1980: Provincial
1980 - 1988: Portadown - Superior, Pastoral Ministry
1988 - 1994: Belfast - Superior; Directed Spiritual Exercises; Church Assistant, CLC
1992 - 1994: Tertian Director
1994 - 2002: Milltown Park - Directed Spiritual Exercises
2002 - 2008: Cherryfield Lodge - Prayed for Church and Society
14th September 2008: Died at Cherryfield

Brian Lennon Remembers taken from his Funeral Homily):
.....Paddy went to school in the Christian Brothers in Synge St, then to UCD, and then he worked in England for over 10 years as a physicist before finally joining the Society at the then ripe old age of 32. Eddie O'Donnell tells us in one of his books that Frank Browne, a famous Jesuit, was saying Mass in Beechwood Avenue Church - it is less than a mile from our chapel here in Milltown and during his sermon he said that he was now an old man and was looking for someone to take over from him as a Jesuit. So he asked any young - or not so young man who felt like responding to come and see him in the sacristy after Mass. Paddy Doyle turned up.

Paddy made an enormous contribution to the Irish Province. He spent 25 years in administration. He became Provincial in 1974-75 at the age of 52. Much of his work as Provincial was about planning, as we worked out how to respond to Vatican II. One of the ideas going the rounds was MBO (Management by Objectives). Someone came up with the idea of CFP (Concept of Forward Planning), but Paddy capped that with CRP (Concept of Retrospective Planning). That was the one that worked! It allowed Paddy to proclaim modestly “I always said that was the way things would turn out!”

Some people wondered where all the planning was going. In fact I suspect Paddy didn't know, any more than the rest of us. To me this was one of his most attractive qualities - he was an explorer, not somebody with all the answers, and he never pretended otherwise. So, I have memories of him at large meetings of Jesuits, drawing overlapping circles on the board to make some big point about organisations and I don't think he knew where it was all headed. But it didn't worry him. He trusted his instinct. And he was right. He made a real contribution to helping us to take on changes that were absolutely necessary,

He was great with younger Jesuits. I doubt very much if I myself would still be a Jesuit had it not been for the support, encouragement and challenge of Paddy. I know that is true of others who were with him when we were in Rathfarnham going to University. Before his time as superior, young Jesuits were meant never really to mix with other students in College. God knows what that could lead to. Paddy changed all that – he allowed us to do our own exploring, because he believed deeply that exploring was a large part of what human beings are about. He allowed us to grow as human beings, to test our vocations, to see where it was that God was really calling us. He opened up possibilities for us to explore. That mattered a lot.

In 1981 Paddy moved to Northern Ireland. He was the one who set up JINI (Jesuits in Northern Ireland) and during his time as Provincial he had made a major effort to open a house there. He succeeded when Cardinal O'Fiach gave us permission to open the community in Iona in Portadown. Ask any of the older people in the local estates in Portadown and they will remember “Wee Fr. Doyle”. Paddy had to deal with local Church people, with ecumenical encounters, with political difficulties and with local people, and he did all that - as far as I could see - without making enemies. I can think of the night that the police fired 135 plastic bullets into a local crowd, the night they put an Orange parade up the road having banned it a few hours beforehand, and decisions had to be made about how to respond to these and other events. On all these occasions Paddy was passionate about justice, but he was also wise. He was able to think things through, to look at the wider consequences, to recognise that no one side had all the right or all the wrong, that it was important to think about future relationships.

My biggest memory of him, though, was of him with local people. I remember going out one evening and seeing him with one man who was a great talker. Four hours later Paddy was still there, still listening, still involved, still caring.

One of the locals said to me: "You could learn from Paddy what it means to be a Christian”. They really felt his loss when he moved to start the new community in Belfast in 1988.

This was also was a difficult task for him because he had to work at getting the community accepted in the diocese and by the local clergy. There also he got involved with groups of local people, especially with CLC, which was something very dear to his heart. At the heart of community was coming together to work out what they were being called to do by the Lord.

The joint British-Irish Tertianship, which he started with Ron Darwen, was another important new venture. It helped the two Provinces to work together. It trained young Jesuits. And because there were three communities of young Jesuits, from many parts of the world, in different parts of Northern Ireland, it made an impact on local people, and helped young Jesuits to learn from them how to become Jesuits.

Paddy was always committed to ecumenical work and he was a strong supporter of the Irish School of Ecumenics.

In 1994 illness struck – a hard, harsh illness that impaired his memory, at times his ability to read, and at times his speech. It gradually got worse. Yet during that time, more than ever, he showed an extraordinary serenity. He was always able to smile at people, tell them that he hadn't a clue of their names – no change there - he had always been bad at names, and then start communicating deeply with them.

My more recent memory of Paddy was seeing him in Cherryfield where he would – with great difficulty – often end up saying something similar to what he had said many times before: “You are there, and I am here. And I am connected to you, and you are connected to me, and we are all connected with everyone in the whole world”. It didn't come out like that. The words came with groping effort, with hesitancy, but always with the serene smile. Then at the end he would say something like: “The whole thing is a mystery, a complete mystery. But it is going to be great, absolutely great - I am sure of that”.

Noel Barber Remembers (the Novice 1954-1956):
On October 194 1954 I was the first novice into the refectory after evening meditation. There was one person there at the end of the Novices' long table: a small elderly man - he turned out to be all of 32 years. It was the new novice we had been told about who had an MA in Physics and had worked in industry in England. Br. Doyle, as we got to know him, was quite unlike most of us, who had entered straight from school. However, we did have other older novices, among them Neil O'Driscoll, an army officer, but they were younger than Paddy by several years. I remember Paddy Gallagher engaging him in detailed discussions about Physics and his experience in England; another novice, long left us, questioning him endlessly on the possibility of England's conversion back to the true Faith. Paddy was affable, unassuming, gentle, with an unforced superiority that was not sought but readily conceded and taken for granted by all. Never did he show the slightest irritation at the pettiness of the novitiate regime though he must have felt it. Fortunately we had Donal O'Sullivan as Master of Novices, whose magnanimity mitigated that pettiness and would have been particularly helpful for the 'older' novices, Paddy acted from time to time as Donal's driver and this entailed days in Dublin and afternoons on the loose in the big city while the great man went about his business.

I wonder how adolescent we appeared to him and what he made of our almost unnatural seriousness. Whatever he thought, he never gave the slightest indication that he was out of sympathy with anything in the Novitiate, not even the unpredictable interventions of the Socius, Arthur Clarke. His adjustment to the boarding school regime of Emo seemed perfect. Given his subsequent history, I suspect, however, that he smiled inwardly and took some of what was on offer with a pinch of salt.

Senan Timoney Remembers (the Mungret Prefect 1965-1967):
To follow directly in another's footsteps is to get a first hand impression of so much of one's predecessor's activities. Three times in life I followed Paddy - first in 1967, after he had been Prefect of Studies in Mungret for two years, and later in Portadown in 1988 after he had pioneered the return of the Jesuits to the North, and, finally, in 1994 when he set up our house in Belfast in 1988.
Looking back I can see how much he was an agent of change. In Mungret he set about the provision of Science Laboratories and a different regime of study for senior students in their final year. In Portadown he managed to insert the Jesuit ethos in a non-threatening way among the people of all sides who didn't know what to expect; and in Belfast his task was to direct a Jesuit way of proceeding in response to a situation which combined welcome with restriction.

Paddy's gentle nature might suggest contemplation rather than activity but that was not the case. As I read the documents of GC 35 I realise how much Paddy in his relatively short Jesuit life anticipated much of their spirit – especially Decree 3 - Sent to the Frontiers.

Gerry O'Hanlon Remembers (Rathfarnham Rector 1967-1971)
I first met Paddy in 1967 when I arrived as a Junior in Rathfarnham Castle just as he took over as Rector. He was a breath of fresh air: opening all kinds of then closed doors to us in our Jesuit lives as College students (I was given permission to play rugby at UCD), but always with the kind of wisdom and prudence which avoided a populist, overly-permissive approach (I was told I could play matches on Saturdays but not go to mid week practice sessions, in case my studies suffered; a glorious period of a year playing for UCD 3rd B's followed!).

That same wisdom was available to me when I went through a long period, during my time at Rathfarnham, of wondering should I really be a Jesuit at all. About once a month, for well over a year, Paddy listened patiently, completely unfazed, suggesting various strategies for arriving at a decision. I always remember that, in the end, he suggested Easter Sunday as a deadline for decision. I duly trooped up to his office on that Easter Sunday, my heart in my boots, to tell him that I still could not make up my mind. I was afraid he would be annoyed, fed-up at my indecision and what seemed to me like the waste of all his time. Not a bit of it: he was calm, said that while deadlines can be helpful they didn't always work, better not to force, it will come...and it did, about 3 months later, when I wasn't thinking consciously about the matter at all, like an apple falling from a tree. He was such a good father-figure.

He had great intellectual curiosity and ability, without at all being an academic. His musings about Jesus Christ as Everyman, the way we are all, everywhere and from every age, linked to him, so that ultimately to know Christ is to know every man and every woman – these were not the common currency of Christology in those pre-anthropological, pre-interfaith dialogue days. Some of these musings were, if I remember correctly, written up with the help of Des O'Grady as an article for an Irish theological journal.

There was something a little unconventional, even anti establishment characteristic of Paddy's deep humanity which I found very attractive. He was a loyal Catholic and a happy Jesuit: but his obedience was always thoughtful and his belonging was never exclusive of wider interests and loyalties. A great man, a great Jesuit.

I found it touching and inspiring to meet the Paddy Doyle of Cherryfield years. Forgetful and struggling for words, he still radiated that lively curiosity and trustful serenity characteristic of the whole of his life and expressive of his deep faith.

Kennedy O'Brien Remembers (the Provincial 1975-1980):
Paddy Doyle was Provincial when I joined the Society in 1975. I met him first during the interview process. This focussed entirely on my interests, my sporting career at Coláiste Iognáid, my enjoyment of English at school, and my love of nature (including some discussion of fishing Lough Bofin, a small lake just outside Oughterard; I was delighted that Paddy could be as enthusiastic as myself about this little lake).

After the interview Paddy walked to Milltown Park with me, and having shown me to my room, handed me his key to the front door. He asked me to take particular care of this key; he had already lost one, and thought it unlikely he would be given another.

After supper at Eglinton Road later that evening, recognizing that I was no expert on the geography of south Dublin, Paddy got into his little Toyota and led the way to Kenilworth Square where I was due to have a psychological assessment. I was, needless to say, astonished by the level of personal care taken of me by the Provincial; I felt deeply respected despite my schoolboy status.

Another memory that comes to mind was Paddy's arrival at Manresa the evening that Conall O Cuinn and I took vows. It was my father who commented afterwards how impressive it was to see how Paddy, as Provincial, moved about among the other Jesuits without fuss, almost unnoticed, and very obviously a “first among equals” rather than someone who expected to be afforded special treatment in recognition of the dignity of his office.

Declan Deane Remembers (Portadown Superior 1980-1988):
I soldiered with Paddy Doyle for 7 years in Iona, Portadown. Whenever I come across Kipling's line - “(If) you can walk with kings, nor lose the common touch”, I think of Paddy Doyle. Not that we had kings crossing our threshold at Iona, but there was a constant stream of learned people from many disciplines who came to pitch their tent on the notorious Garvaghy Road. Paddy could hold his own, with a considerable degree of dogmatism, on virtually every topic from history to nuclear physics to politics to philosophy to theology. But we knew that his real delight was to sit down before the fire in our neighbours' houses, debating whether the new fireplaces were superior to the older ones or whether the “Wheaten rounds” on sale up the town were the equal of those dispensed by Jerry in the Spar. Basically, everyone in Paddy's life was treated like royalty.

Paddy had an instinctual knowledge of human nature. He knew what made people tick. Example: shortly after I arrived in Iona, a delegation of the local women showed up, presumably to vet me. I offered them tea, but they declined. I tried again and got the same response. Soon Paddy arrived and rounded on me saying, “Why did you not offer them tea?” I replied, “I did, twice”. With a twinkle in his eye he scolded me, “Did you not know you must offer three times?” Whereupon tea was served all round, and a lesson learned.

It was Paddy's extraordinary hopefulness that I now remember most. When things seemed at their bleakest in Northern Ireland, he refused to be downcast. “They'll soon have to sit down and talk, it could happen any day now”, he'd say. To me it seemed the Troubles could go on for five hundred more years. Thank God he was right, and I was wrong.

More on his hopefulness: it extended to the weather. This was a touchy point with me, who am an acute sufferer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). But for the Irish climate, I would still be living happily in the bosom of Prov. Hib. So there was many a morning when I would greet Paddy gloomily with some comment on the frightfulness of the day. He would “Tsk, tsk” reproachfully, pull aside the curtains, draw on his cigarette and point to the sky: “I'm certain I can see a little patch of blue”. In later years when he was prostrated by his stroke, I often thought of that remark as I joined the many pilgrims to his little room in Milltown and later in Cherryfield. His good humour was indestructible, his hopefulness intact. Alone among us all, he could discern that little patch of blue and knew it would win the day. Lux eterna luceat ei.

Brian Mac Cuarta remembers (Belfast Superior 1988-1992):
It was an evening in February 1988. The scholastics were on a mid-term visit to Belfast. The house had recently opened. We were all gathered in the large lounge of the Jesuit house, overlooking the street and the waterworks, enjoying a buffet meal. Suddenly the cry went up “Some is trying to break into one of the cars!” Without a moment's hesitation, Paddy, then aged 66, rose from his chair, and moved like lightning down the stairs, and onto the street. His presence scared the culprits, and he gave chase, before returning to the gathering.

Ron Darwen Remembers (Tertian Director 1992-194):
My memories of Paddy Doyle are of a very warm and deeply spiritual human being When I think of him my mind always goes back to the community room in Brookvale where, late at night, he would be sitting chatting with Herbert Dargan, cigarette in hand pontificating on the state of play in a snooker match.

He was a man who made friends easily. I was always impressed by the many different kinds of people who came to see him and treasured his friendship. It is true that you always had to give him the leeway to take off on one of his latest scientific theories but he always came down to earth, and was willing to get stuck into the nitty-gritty of life.

I count my days in Northern Ireland among the happiest I have spent in the Society. It was Paddy who set the tone of the house, and made it feel like a home. He did not fuss. The atmosphere he helped to create was warm and friendly yet deeply spiritual. He was insistent that we met regularly for prayer and sharing every Thursday morning. We listened to one another. He always made sure that we were heard. I count it a great privilege to have worked with him as a co-tertian instructor

It was always an inspiration in his later days to visit him in Cherryfield. He would never remember my name but the smile on his face when the penny dropped made the visit worth while. Paddy Doyle, like his great friend Herbert Dargan, was a great man and an inspiring Jesuit.

Colm Lavelle remembers:
I find it fascinating looking at Paddy's curriculum vitae. Most of the tasks he was given in the Society were things for which, in spite of his years of study, he had little preparation, and into which he entered exceedingly well. His vision was not burdened by preconceptions, but carried by the spirit and respect for those around him. He was always accessible. To enter into discussion with him was always a pleasure, whether or not you agreed with him before or after. He was always an alert listener.

In spite of being by nature a philosopher, he was a great lover of people. Was he driven primarily by his love and interest in people or by his love of ideas, or by vision? Was it a capacity to see in the dark, to recognise and work for the possible, or into the future to recognise the Lord's call into the unknown? He was not afraid of uncertainty.

My memory of him in his later years in Milltown during his ill health was that there was always a quiet serenity and humour - even after his move to Cherryfield, that he was glad to be back with old familiar faces and places in Milltown. He was always a grateful patient. Just occasionally in the last weeks, he was frustrated by the feeling that he did not know where he was or what was going on - however this would not last with the help of those caring so well for him.

It was my experience that in his last months or year the old love for discussion and exploring things was as alive as ever, but that you had to fish around for a while to find what roads were still open to traffic and those that were blocked by landslides caused by his stroke or other troubles. In many ways it was a question of trying to show him the patience and respect for his current thought processes which he had always shown to others.

For those friends from Ulster and elsewhere who could not often visit him, it must have been very painful to find him so helpless. But they readily recognised that he was happy to be with them, as they were with him, and that he knew them, whether or not he could name them. He was certainly showing us all how to be ready, and how to walk forward with confidence to the Kingdom prepared for us.

Tom Layden Remembers:
I first met Paddy Doyle just before Easter 1975 in Clongowes during his visitation as provincial. I was a sixth-year student seriously thinking about entering the Society. His low key, self-effacing approach immediately put me at my ease. Though aware that I was in the company of a man who was wise and had broad life experience, I felt treated as if I was an equal.

My next meeting with him came three years later when I was trying to come to a decision about when I should actually enter the novitiate. Some friends were saying to me that I should decide to either join straight away or else give up on the idea of vocation. I did not feel comfortable in either of these options. I have a clear memory of meeting with Paddy in his office in Eglinton Road. In the course of a conversation that helped me to adopt a more relaxed approach to my situation, he made a comment about the mystery of vocation. He said to me “you never know with a vocation. It could all become clear in a year's time. Or it might take ten years”. In my case it would become clear in a year's time. But his words had the effect of giving me a sense of freedom to be led in the Lord's time. There was no pressure to decide straight away. This was enormously liberating for me at the time. And Paddy was the Provincial who admitted me to the Society when I joined in 1979.

My last sustained contact with Paddy was in the summer of 2006. The Belfast house was undergoing refurbishment and I spent most of the summer in my sister's house in Carrickmines. I got into the pattern of attending the Cherryfield Mass on a regular basis. Paddy's benign presence at the Mass and at the subsequent cup of coffee is one of the cherished memories I have from that time. There was that characteristic gentleness, lack of fuss and absence of self-preoccupation which I found refreshing. That freedom of spirit in Paddy I had first encountered in Clongowes over thirty years earlier was still there and I was greatly edified by the way in which he was able to surrender and let go of the past and simply be present to the people in Cherryfield.

Oliver Rafferty Remembers:
Over the years I spent a couple of summers at Portadown and became a member of JINI. Paddy was a considerate chairman of JINI and despite my status as a lowly scholastic he always encouraged me to have my say at meetings. I did not, however, really get to know him until I went to live in Belfast in 1988 when the house there was first opened. Paddy subsequently told me that the Irish Province had asked for me to be loaned to the Belfast house for its first years. The Irish province had produced three 'heavy weights for those early years, Paddy himself, Herbert Dargan and Finbarr Lynch and then there was me.

It was an exciting time and Paddy steered the community through those early days with a mixture of patience, latitudinarianism and steely determination. Herbert Dargan once told me that when he was tertian instructor not one of the tertians had a bad word to say about Paddy as provincial. I think he was at his best when dealing at that macro level. In day-to day decision- making, in a small house with different and competing personalities, his grasp on details was not always comprehensive. There could be flashes of temper but these quickly subsided and so far as I could tell he never held grudges and was the most tolerant and forgiving of individuals. Paddy was a kindly and compassionate man with an immense capacity to listen and was unbendingly supportive to those who had difficulties or problems of any kind.

Paddy was very much a man of faith. The search for God came naturally to him and he had an unaffected piety. He was also something of an iconoclast, in a gentle way, and attributed this to a sceptical disposition he inherited from his father. He sat lightly to what he considered the more overweening demands of ecclesiastical authority. He was, however, no rebel, either religiously or politically.

Although in no way an academic or indeed not even especially widely read, he had a genuine philosophical turn of mind. He thought deeply about people and situations and was as interested in ideas as he was in individuals. It was a sorry sight to see him in his declining years when a once vigorous mind was reduced merely to periodic recollections of personalities, situations and events.

Kennedy O'Brien Remembers:
I was privileged to experience the British-Irish Tertianship, in Belfast, under Paddy and Ron Darwen. The image comes to mind of Paddy, relaxing with his post dinner whiskey one evening, discussing the simple beauty of “chaos theory”. For him “finding God in all things” was not a lofty ideal; it was the everyday experience he shared enthusiastically with anyone who would take the time to listen.

Doyle, Peter, 1932-2017, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/829
  • Person
  • 06 September 1932-21 February 2017

Born: 06 September 1932, Fairview, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 July 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final vows: 15 August 1964, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 21 February 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early Education at St Joseph’s, Marino

1956-1957 Tullabeg - Cook; Refectorian
1957-1960 Milltown Park - In charge of Staff; Refectorian
1960-1963 CIR - Ministers in Community
1963-1974 Mungret - Ministers in Community; Tertianship in Tullabeg (1963)
1974-1981 Coláiste Iognáid, Galway - Maintenance; Carpentry
1981-1982 Chelston, Lusaka, Zambia - Maintenance at Jesuit Education Centre, Xavier House
1982-1983 Chisekesi, Zambia - Maintenance at Canisius College
1983-1985 Manresa House, Dublin - Maintenance; Painter; Ministering in Community
1985-1992 Chisekesi, Zambia - Maintenance at Jesuit Residence, Canisius College
1992-2002 Mazabuka, Zambia - Maintenance and General Services at Nakambala Catholic Church
2002-2017 Manresa House, Dublin - Cares for the fabric of the House and Grounds

Dunne, James, 1921-2014, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/845
  • Person
  • 22 May 1921-07 November 2014

Born: 22 May 1921, Kilbeggan, County Westmeath
Entered: 07 November 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final vows: 02 February 1960, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 07 November 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969; ZAM to HIB 1979

by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
In 1951 he accompanied the first two scholastics, Bob Kelly and Joe Conway, and Br. Jim Dunne, on their way to the then Northern Rhodesia.

Note from Joe McCarthy Entry
In the late 50s, Joe pioneered the Chivuna Mission where he built the community house, church and Trade School with the co-operation of Br Jim Dunne and won the esteem and affection of the people in the locality

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 158 : Winter 2014

Obituary

Br James (Jim) Dunne (1921-2014)

22 May 1921: Born in Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath.
Early education at Rahugh National School and CBS Tullamore.
Worked in the family business
7 November 1949: Entered the Society at Emo
8 November 1951: First Vows in Zambia
1951 - 1959: Chivunia Mission, Zambia – Teacher in technical and building skills
1959 - 1960: Manresa, Roehampton - Tertianship
1960 - 1974: Bishop's House, Monze - Builder
2 February 1960: Final Vows at Chikuni
1974 - 1981: Belvedere College - Minister
1981 - 1983: CIR - Secretary to the College
1983 - 1985: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street - Minister; Supervisor of staff
1985 - 1987: Tullabeg - Minister
1987 - 1988: Tullabeg - Sabbatical; studying Theology at Milltown Institute
1988 - 1995: Milltown Park - Treasurer
1995 - 1999: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street - Assisted in the church
1999 - 2007: Milltown Park - Assisted in the Community
2007 - 2014: Cherryfield Lodge – Prayed for the Church and the Society

Brother Jim Dunne was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 13th July 2007. He was a happy resident and enjoyed fairly good health over the years. His condition deteriorated over time and he died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

On Friday, 7th November 2014, Brother Jim Dunne, a member of the Milltown Park community, died at Cherryfield Lodge, at the age of 93 years and several months - a monumental age for a man of many monuments. Always a man of few words, Jim became more quiet-spoken as the years advanced. But underneath this quiet exterior lay a deeply spiritual man whose longings and desires were always for the Lord and how he could use his talents to make the love and service of Christ our Lord a reality in his own life, as well as in the lives of his fellow-Jesuits and the many individuals whom he encountered during his many years with us.

From the very beginning of his religious life, Jim was a rock-solid man of God. Very early witness to this was the trust that the Irish Provincial, Fr. Tommy Byrne, placed in him by sending him in his second year as a novice to Northern Rhodesia, to what was then a newly developing world for Irish Jesuits. Jim was just over 30 at the time, mature in years but still grappling with the beginnings of the religious life. However, there was no need for any fear about the depth of his commitment. His solid spirituality stood by him through the long sea and rail journey from London (via Cape Town) to Chisekesi and on to Chikuni, where he arrived early in September 1951, and during the months of learning Chitonga in the somewhat spartan conditions that then prevailed. And it never deserted him after he took vows in Chikuni on the feast of St. Stanislaus Kostka later that year. This gave Jim the remarkable distinction of being the only Irish Jesuit ever to take his First Vows in what today is Zambia. He reaffirmed his Jesuit commitment on 2nd February 1960 when he took his Final Vows, again at Chikuni.

Endowed with great practical intelligence, Jim brought into the Society a wide range of skills developed and exercised in the family's workshop not far from Tullamore. Construction, artistic brick-laying, carpentry, joinery, plumbing, electrical work – he took all of these in his stride, almost as if they were second nature to him, and yet he was always prepared to learn more from those who were more qualified than he was. Jim was also a gifted manager, with a flair for organising and getting the right people, with the right tools and equipment, into the right place at the right time. His ability to give directions simply and effectively, and his own manifest skills, helped greatly in building up confident teams of proficient and well-motivated building workers. Working with and through these, Jim became key to building-development in what was to become the Diocese of Monze. But in addition to the buildings that bear his stamp even today, Jim also left a great monument in the skills that he passed on to the local people with whom he worked. He was very particular that anything he turned his hand to should be of the highest quality and he always tried to make sure that his trainees and workers would also be concerned not just with getting a job done but with getting it done to the highest possible standards.

One of Jim's earliest assignments was to develop and run with Father Joe McCarthy the Civuna Trades Training Institute (TTI). In time, the TTI gave way to a secondary school for girls, but not before, under Jim, it had qualified several hundred first-rate carpenters and brick-layers who fanned out to bring building development across much of the southern part of Zambia. Later, when the Diocese of Monze was established, Jim became in effect its building manager, working closely with Fr. Fred Moriarty and others in the development of Kizito Catechetical Centre, churches, parish houses, schools, and houses for teachers and catechists.

In the strangely coincidental ways in which God's providence works, another Jesuit Brother from the Irish Province came to Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) in 1952, one year after Jim's arrival in Chikuni. This was Pat McElduff who in his younger years had done some of his apprenticeship as a tradesman in Rahugh on the borders of Westmeath and Offaly where, in the years before he joined the Jesuits, Jim himself had been trained. The two knew each other from these early years and now they found themselves working together again, this time on a larger canvas. And almost after the manner of the Apostles Peter and Paul, building responsibilities were assigned to them in different ways: Jim became responsible for all projects that belonged to Monze Diocese, while Pat took on those that belonged to the Jesuits (or Chikuni Mission). As a result of this arrangement, for the last period of his life in Zambia, from 1960 to the time of his return to Ireland in 1974, Jim lived in what was to become the Bishop's house in Monze. While he was happy there and got on very well with Bishop Corboy and the rest of the community, at times he felt almost out of his depth and yearned for more interaction with the fellow-Jesuits he had lived with in earlier days. In the way of many quiet people, things sometimes got through to Jim, making him feel that bit down in himself. However, as a solid religious man, he would not let this interfere with his commitment as a hard working Jesuit but would eventually regain his equilibrium through his prayer, work, community involvement and, sometimes, rest and better physical health.

Jim was a very agreeable companion, one who was easy and enjoyable to live with. He was quiet in his manner but this did not stop him enjoying a game of cards, a good movie or the comradeship of a walk in the evening with one of the community. He was greatly loved by the Batonga people among whom he worked and is particularly remembered for the concern he showed that their marriages be happy and stable and that their children attend school. He showed special kindness and understanding towards Jesuit scholastics newly arrived in the country and was particularly attentive to their health needs; many a young Jesuit received gentle but firm admonitions from him about taking their anti-malaria medicines or wearing a hat until acclimatised to the sun.

Ironically, it was malaria that brought Jim's years in Zambia to a close. He contracted fever in days long before Artemesin or other drugs could provide powerful protection. Though frequently quite unwell, he continued with his work as best he could, but in time developed a recurrent form of malaria that was intractable to treatment. In the circumstances, the Holy Rosary Doctor-Sisters (Lucy O'Brien, Maureen O'Keeffe, Eileen Kane) advised that he return permanently to Ireland, because remaining in Zambia would always mean serious health problems for him.

So it was that after 23 years in Zambia, from 1951 to 1974, Jim returned to Ireland and was re-incorporated into the Irish Province. Until his mid-80s he was busy, a wonderful man to have on your side, practical and resourceful, moving where he was needed, always concerned about those around him; ever seeking perfection in anything undertaken by him or any of those for whom he was responsible; and always, simply always, a solid man of God, devoted and faithful to his religious duties, serving the God he loved through what he could still do, building up others through his sympathetic and understanding nature. Jim, sparing of speech, gentle and perceptive, contributed massively to the smooth running of the five Irish houses in which he served. These were not always the havens of peace one would like to imagine. Belvedere, where he was Minister for seven years, was a settled (I nearly wrote entrenched) community, hard-working but not easy to administer. If Jim was quiet, he was also alert, and concerned about everyone around him. From his sick bed in Cherryfield he would admire and appraise the craft of workmen in the building opposite. His regular greeting of How are you? was no formality. He wanted to know. No wonder he is missed. May God be good to this deeply spiritual Jesuit.

Michael J Kelly

Dunne, John A, 1944-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/773
  • Person
  • 15 May 1944-27 December 2008

Born: 15 May 1944, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1962, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final vows: 31 May 1979, Crescent College Comprehensive, Dooradoyle, Limerick
Died: 27 December 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Loyola, Sandford Road, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/john-dunne-sj-rip/

John Dunne SJ RIP
Fr John Dunne SJ died peacefully at 10:30 am on the morning of 27 December 2008, the Feast of John the Evangelist. He was commended to the Lord by the prayers of his sister, Anne, Jesuit colleagues and nursing staff.

John Dunne SJ
15 May 1944 – 27 December 2008
John’s early education was in Trim and Coláiste na Rinne, Dungarvan. After secondary school in Clongowes Wood College he entered the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1962 at Emo. After First Vows, John went to Rathfarnham and studied Arts at UCD and later Philosophy at Milltown Park. He taught at the Sacred Heart College in Limerick before returning to Milltown in 1971 to study theology.

After ordination on 21 June 1974, he studied guidance counselling at Mater Dei and went as teacher and guidance counsellor to Crescent College Comprehensive where he remained until 1981. During this time he made Tertianship in Tullabeg and took his Final Vows on 31 May 1979. While in Limerick he studied computing and continued this interest, later beginning LayJay bulletin, forerunner to today’s AMDG.ie. He served in Galway from 1981 to 1987 as Rector, teacher, guidance counsellor and chair of the board of management. In 1987 John was appointed to Gonzaga where he was to spend the next fourteen years in roles as various as pastoral co-ordinator, guidance counsellor, teacher, librarian and Rector.

Following a year’s sabbatical, during which John spent some time at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, California, and travelling in Asia and Africa, he moved to Loyola House in 2002 where he became Superior and Socius (Assistant Provincial).

John was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 19 December following a short illness which was diagnosed at the beginning of October. He died peacefully on the morning of Saturday 27 December, feast of Saint John the Evangelist.
May he rest in the peace of Christ

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/john-dunne-sj-funeral-homily/

John Dunne SJ: funeral homily

The death of Fr John Dunne has drawn condolences from near and far, including, from Zambia-Malawi, Declan Murray SJ and Provincial Peter Bwanali. Also, there have been
numerous requests for the text of the homily which Brian Grogan SJ gave at the funeral mass in Gonzaga Chapel. Brian spoke warmly of John’s life and character, concentrating on three areas – the “three E’s”: the Enterprise of John’s life, his Endurance, and his Everlasting joy. Read the full homily below :

It’s impossible to capture a person’s life fully and I shall not try. But John loved photography: he lost 18 volumes of snapshots in the fire on Good Friday 2007! So I too shall be content with snapshots. I also note that at the Vigil we held for him last evening, friend after friend came up to the microphone and each gave us a distinct snapshot of how John had impacted on their lives. And the stories will go on and on. So I shall focus just on three areas:

The Enterprise of John’s life – this is the longer bit! His Endurance. His Everlasting joy. Three “Es” so you will know when I’m coming in to land!

  1. The Enterprise of John’s Life
    We celebrate a good man. Now that may seem obvious: but I believe that one should try to write a homily with the bible in one hand and the Irish Times in the other – which makes it hard to do any writing, but there you are! Now there are two things to note about today’s Irish Times: first, those of you who are worried about your stocks and shares should take my advice and not invest in Pringles (= a form of potato crisps), because the value of these shares has plummeted since John lost his appetite!

Next, the paper is full, as always, of the wrongdoings of many people: violence, deception, murder, rape, domination – the unsavoury side of humankind. Measure John’s life against that picture. True, his life was ordinary: he taught for 25 years, but many of you have taught for much longer. He was a Superior for 18 years, but that was nothing special. We had a famous man, a scripture scholar, who was once asked if he’d like to be a Superior. ‘No’, he said finally, ‘but I’d like to live like one!’ But in fact it’s an ordinary job of service, just as being the assistant to the Provincial is. An ordinary man: John was not an academic; he liked the quip: ‘You can tell an intellectual but you can’t tell him much!’

An ordinary man. A good man. 46 yrs of service as a Jesuit. His story is ours. We can relate to him: I speak to the ordinary among you – please remain seated! The others can stand!
There’s a book of short stories by Flannery O’Connor: A Good man is Hard to Find. Good people are hard to find, and would that our world had more of them. Don’t take the faithful servant for granted! God doesn’t: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’

About 50 years ago John made a decision as an adolescent: not to do his own thing, not to win public approval or to make lots of money. He chose a life of love and service. He would serve the world! ‘In all things to love and serve’ is an Ignatian phrase. It sounds fine, but he took it seriously and lived it out, year after plodding year, until Dec 19 of this year to be exact, after the end- of -year office lunch. He then went home and spruced up for a Christmas meal given by Anne, his sister. That evening he gave in and went to Cherryfield. Two days earlier he had summoned up enough energy to go to Dundrum and do his Christmas shopping. Many of the gifts have yet to be given out.

To serve the world, through the Jesuit Order. This was his enterprise, and he fulfilled it. It wasn’t easy. He loved the Society & the Province & the community, and he loved his family and friends. A loyal servant, he was ‘Ready for everything’ – It’s an Ignatian phrase, and he lived it. He did all that was asked of him, especially when made Assistant to the Provincial 6 yrs ago. Punctual, organised. He was out to work by 08.00, home for 6 p.m. day after day, not knowing what demands each day would bring.

In mid-Oct the doctors told him he could go home – ‘But no work!’ We were so amazed at his going back to work after hospital in mid-Oct that we thought he hadn’t understood that he was terminally ill. Only accidentally did I learn that on his discharge he had told the hospital chaplain that he ‘was going home to die.’

A Good Man is hard to find. Good people – ordinary good folk – change the world. This world of ours has been the better for John’s presence, for his carrying out his freely chosen enterprise.

As the second reading emphasised, our enterprises must be loving ones. Perhaps each of us is asked by God to reflect to the world a particular facet of the divine? So God asks one person to reflect energy, another justice, a third compassion, a fourth good administration and so on. I suggest John’s task was to reflect lovableness! That’s what I’ve heard most emphasised over these days. He loved his family and his friends and his Jesuit brethren, and in return he was well loved.

He was amazed at the outpouring of concern, care, prayer, compassion, love, for himself when sick. He couldn’t see why this should be. He was humble. He never knew over the last days that many of the Jesuits in Cherryfield had said that they would cheerfully have taken his place – they were retired and ill, whereas he had still so much potential. That’s a nice tribute, to find others willing to lay down their lives for you! Check it out!! Don’t get me wrong: his loving was of the unique Dunne brand! He could be gruff; he could get mad with you! But the squall passed and blue skies returned.

John was uniquely present to reality. If he was eating, that’s what he was engaged in. If he was sorting out a mess created by someone, that’s what he was doing. He got to appreciate Buddhism during his sabbatical in 2001. He had Buddhist qualities: that of being full present to reality. He could also, like Buddha, enjoy life to the full, whether it was TV, DVDS, recliners, holidays, good company....In Jewish folklore, the single question that God will ask as we approach the pearly gates is: Did you enjoy my creation? ‘Yes, yes, yes!’ must have been John’s answer the other morning! Most obviously at table: the feast of flowing wine etc... – And the pouring cream! John enjoyed it all. I sometimes fantasised, as he put on more weight and several chairs gave way, that perhaps he was becoming a reincarnation of the Buddha...
It was hard to stay mad with him for long. In our little community of four we divide time into BC – before the conflagration – and AD, after the disaster. Well, when we got into our new house after much work on John’s part, we found that there were two en-suite and two plain bedrooms. I proposed in best Ignatian fashion that we should do a discernment in order to choose who got what. ‘Fine’, said John as he ambled up the stairs, ‘I’ll take the en-suite on the left and you boys can discern about the other three!’ But the same man would give his time and ability endlessly to sort out my computer problems after a long day in the office.
It was because he was so massively present that his death creates a massive loss. Others of us are more peripherally present to what we do. For John, his Yes was Yes, and his No was No! He could be devastatingly honest. I felt he used to contradict me a lot, and I said one day: ‘There isn’t a single statement that one could make in this house that won’t be contradicted.’ Immediately John shot back: ‘That’s not true!’
It’s time to move on.

  1. His Endurance
    Chardin wrote a book about the divinising of our activities and of our passivities. He divided life thus into two: what we do and what happens to us. For him, what happens to us is about 80% of our life experience, and his concern was how we respond.

We’re talking about the things that happen to us and how we respond. We’re talking about the sanctification of the ordinary, about the tradition in Christian spirituality that unavoidable suffering, patiently endured, is graced. We’re talking about the simple Morning Offering.

For John, as for all of us, there were the times he lived in: Post-war world. Dev’s Ireland. Economic development. Vatican 2. GC 31 – the Jesuit effort at genuine renewal. Subsequent turmoil in the Church and in the Society. Assassination of JFK and MLK. Communism and its fall. Northern Ireland Conflict. Rwanda. Palestine. Kosovo. Decline in vocations. The loss of many things cherished. The Celtic Tiger and its demise. Scandals and tribunals. Child Sexual Abuse.... The list continues. We can ignore it, get depressed at it, become cynical about it, or we can entrust our battered world to God and pray and do what we can about our troubled times. Ignatius speaks of ‘courage in difficult enterprises’ and John had that.

Moving along in this area of the things endured: Close to his heart was the death of his sister Margot. Last year there was the fire and the loss of everything. This year: His knee replacement; End of use of motorbike. It was hard for him but no complaining. Then his incipient deafness humbly acknowledged.

Then in October, his final illness. He was so massively practical about it: ‘The news is bad!’ ‘I’m going home to die!’ ‘This is how it is. We’ll see.’ He had in consequence to let go of his trip to the Holy Land in October, though he sneaked a trip to Fatima in early December!

You know the novel by P J Kavanagh: The Perfect Stranger? Well, over the past three months, John was the perfect patient. One morning at breakfast recently I said to him: ‘ You’re very patient.’ He replied: ‘What else can one do?’ ‘Well’ I said, ferreting around in my own feelings, ‘you could choose depression or rage or self-pity? ‘I’d hate that’ he said.’ Days before his death a visitor asked him how he was feeling? ‘Smashing!’ was the reply.

Sickness is no less a gift than health – so said Ignatius rather tersely. Perhaps I’m beginning to see the meaning of that. There’s so much to be learnt from him on how to face sickness. And I have been struck by all the good that has come out of this mess, this mess of sickness and of dying, which is not the way God intends things to be; I mean the love and care from others, in Cherryfield and right across the world. I think I believe more than before that God brings good out of evil, and that’s a blessing.

  1. His Everlasting Joy
    So much for the outer side of his life. But as the fox said to the Little Prince, ‘The things that are essential are invisible to the eye.’ At the end of all his letters as Assistant to the Provincial, John had: Working for God on earth may not pay much, but the retirement plan is out of this world! It took some faith to write that!
    What’s the Retirement Plan? For those of us who see our pension schemes fall apart, it would be good to know that there is one that won’t fail! Another John Donne, 1572 – 1631, (died at 59) to help us catch the mystery of how it is with him now: it’s from the Holy Sonnets, since not all his sonnets were such!

Death, be not proud: though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so...
For those whom thou thinkst thou dost overthrow Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
And soonest our best men with thee do go...
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more: death, thou shalt die.

So what do we wake to? Firstly, there’s God, a God who is pleased with him and loves him. There’s the welcome and congratulations as he staggered over the line on the 27th, the feast, of course, of St John the Evangelist! The loveableness he was entrusted with is now perfected. The Lover gives all to the beloved! So says Ignatius at his mystic best... What is that like? Multiple overwhelmings... Later in this Mass we acknowledge: ‘We shall become like him, for we shall see him as he is.’

Next, I can imagine John looking around to see where the banquet is set! Then there’s the unalloyed joy of great companionship. Then agility of body. John’s body was worn out at the end: now Hopkins line comes into play: “This jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood/Immortal diamond/Is immortal diamond.” Then insights into the mysteries of God: his imagination caught.

Then a commissioning ceremony: asked by God to be caring still: to be a solid presence to the rest of us until we meet him again. ‘Placed over many things!’
John loved celebrations: he is now celebrating what we celebrate here: that Jesus Christ by dying destroys our death, and by rising restores our life. He is all Joy. This is how Jesus expresses it in St John’s gospel: ‘I will see you again and Your hearts will rejoice, And no one will take your joy from you’ (16:22).
May it be so for us all. Amen.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/losing-john-dunne/

Losing John Dunne
In the consciousness of Irish Jesuits, the dominant mood this Epiphany is of loss. It is just a week since we buried John Dunne, who had been Socius (companion, secretary,
counsellor, support) to the last two Provincials, a cheerful, competent, selfless presence at the heart of the administration. Conscious of his terminal state with galloping cancer, he worked until he dropped, a good model of Winnicott’s prayer: ‘May I be alive when I die’. He had served Galway, Gonzaga, Eglinton Road and Sandford Road as superior; and the Institute of Guidance Counsellors as their president for many years. A crowd of friends, from all the chapters of his life, packed Gonzaga chapel to overflowing in a memorable funeral Mass, and responded warmly to Brian Grogan’s affectionate homily. It was a good send-off, one which John would relish. But the loss is heavy, most of all for his sister Anne.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 139 : Easter 2009

Obituary

Fr John A Dunne (1944-2008)

15th May 1944: Born in Dublin
Early education at Mercy Convent and CBS, Trim; Ring College, Dungarvan; Clongowes Wood College
7th September 1962: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1964: First Vows at Emo
1964 - 1967: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts
1967 - 1969: Studied Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1969 - 1971: Dooradoyle - Teacher at Crescent Comprehensive
1971 - 1974: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
21st June 1974: Ordained at Gonzaga College Chapel
1974 - 1975: John Austin House - Studied Guidance and Counselling at Mater Dei Institute, Dublin
1975 - 1981: Teacher, Guidance Counsellor
1977 - 1980: University of Limerick - Computer Studies
1977 - 1978: Tertianship at Tullabeg
31st May 1979: Final Vows at Crescent College Comprehensive, Dooradoyle
1981 - 1987: Galway - Rector; Teacher; Guidance Counsellor, Chair, Board of Management
1987 - 2001: Gonzaga -
1987 - 1993: Pastoral Care Co-ordinator; Teacher, Guidance Counsellor
1993 - 1998: Rector
1996 - 1998: Guidance Counsellor; Teacher
1998 - 2001: Information Technology Co-ordinator; College Librarian; Assistant Pastoral Counsellor; Teacher of Computer Studies
2000 - 2001: Minister; ECDL Course
2001 - 2002: Sabbatical
2002 - 2008: Loyola House - Socius, Superior; Province Consultor; Provincial's Admonitor; Provincial Team
27th December 2008: Died in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Brian Grogan writes:

An Ordinary Man
John was born in Dublin, but the family lived in Summerhill, near Trim in Co. Meath, so he received his early education at the local Mercy Convent, and then at the CBS. His father was an army man, and he had two older sisters, Anne and Margot. He spent some time in Colaiste na Rinne, Dungarvan, and then went to Clongowes. He entered the Society at Emo in 1962, immediately after school, then studied arts, including archaeology, at UCD, 1964-1967. He studied philosophy at Milltown 1967-1969, when the Institute was just beginning. Following two years teaching at Crescent College Comprehensive, and three years of Theology again at Milltown, he was ordained on 21 June 1974, and spent the following year at Mater Dei, studying Guidance Counselling, which became a lifelong interest: he was later President of the Association of Guidance Counsellors in Ireland. He taught again in Limerick for the next six years, and took up a part-time course in Computer Studies in 1977: computers were to fascinate him for the remainder of his life. He was Rector in Galway from 1981-1987, and in Gonzaga 1993-1998 where he spent fourteen years in all: he was Superior in Loyola and Socius to the Provincial from 2002-2008.

All told, he taught for twenty-eight years and was a Superior for seventeen. He enjoyed a well-earned sabbatical in Berkeley, Thailand and Nepal in 2001-2002, where he developed an interest in Buddhism. He left behind several photos titled “The Buddha and I', and his gastronomic exploits made one wonder if he might become a reincarnation of the Buddha. His hobbies were photography and computers; he read no newspapers or serious novels, but was well informed on current affairs, and had a sharp mind and a good memory, as well as a sound knowledge of the Irish Province. He liked TV and DVDs, and his preferred mode of travel was the motorbike, which he relinquished only after a knee operation in May 2008.

After forty-six years of Jesuit service, he died at sixty-four, having been diagnosed with cancer in early October 2008. He spent a little over a week in Cherryfield, and was the first to die in the new building. He died, appropriately, on the Feast of St John the Evangelist, after whom he was named. He saw himself as an ordinary man: he was not an academic, and liked the quip: "You can tell an intellectual, but you can't tell him much!' But about fifty years ago he had made a decision: not to do his own thing, not to win public approval or to make lots of money. He chose a life of love and service: he would serve the world through the Jesuit Order. This was his enterprise, and he fulfilled it in the demanding times in which he lived.

A Good Man
There's a book of short stories by Flannery O'Connor: A Good man is Hard to Find. As the media make clear in giving us our daily dose of bad news, good people do seem hard to find, and God doesn't take them for granted. The gospel text for his requiem was: 'Well done, good and faithful servant!' People who spoke at the Vigil in Gonzaga Chapel the night before his funeral said over and over: He was a good man! Ordinary good people change the world, and many testified that their world was so much the better for John's presence, for his carrying out his freely chosen enterprise.

John came across as a good man because of his love. He loved family and friends, but especially he loved the Society and more concretely the members of the Irish Province. Being a Jesuit was a fulltime reality for him, and it came across. A loyal servant, he was “ready for everything” as Ignatius would have wished. He did all that was asked of him, especially when made Assistant to the Provincial six years ago. Punctual and organised, he was at his desk early and working his way through the myriad mundane tasks that fall to a Socius - fifty per day, according to a survey! When the curia moved to Sandyford after the fire, he prepared his lunch daily from the leftovers of the previous evening meal and set off before 8 am, and was a genial Office Manager, with an inimitable style. “Carry on the good work!” was his usual phrase to encourage the staff in their labours.

When his diagnosis was confirmed in mid-October the doctors told him he could go home - “But no work!” In the community we were so amazed at his going back to work immediately that we thought he hadn't understood that he was terminally ill. Only accidentally did we learn that on his discharge he had told the hospital chaplain that “he was going home to die”. But instead he went home to serve out the remaining weeks of his life to the full. “In all things to love and serve” is an Ignatian phrase which sounds fine, but he took it seriously year after plodding year, until December 2008 - to be exact. After the end-of-year office lunch in the IMI he went home to spruce up for a Christmas meal given by his sister Anne. That evening he gave in and went to Cherryfield. Two days earlier he had summoned up enough energy to go to Dundrum Shopping Centre to do his Christmas shopping. He never had the joy of distributing most of the gifts, which were found after his death. Many of us, I suggest, if we were told at his age that we had three months to live would leaf through A Thousand Places to See Before You Die and ask for an open credit card. Nothing wrong there, but John's loyalty and tenacity brought him in another direction.

Living to the Full
John enjoyed living. He was welcoming and hospitable, believing that enjoyment was to be shared. He engaged fully in whatever he was doing, whether it was a good meal, a sabbatical, a glass of brandy, an administrative issue, a DVD, a discussion, a computer problem, a rugby match on TV, a holiday with his sister Anne. It is said that part of Jewish belief is that eternal judgement will consist in a single question from God: 'Did you enjoy my creation?' To this John would have given a resounding Yes! This quality of complete engagement gave him a certain magnificent simplicity. His Yes was Yes, and his No was a definite No: he had little space for indecision, and would engage in robust discussion to bring things to conclusions. At his funeral Mass the Provincial, John Dardis, told of times when he himself would return enthusiastically from Rome with a bright idea on how to move Province affairs forward, If John didn't like it he'd bark out: “That's ridiculous! Won't work!” Yet he was open to persuasion and then embrace the project wholeheartedly.

Clearing his plate meant not only enjoying good food to the last bite: it also meant that he liked to delegate. When commissioned to get something done his strategy was to delegate rather than to do the job alone. So in early October last when Fr Jack Donovan died in London, John, who was in hospital at the time, was assigned to see to arrangements, and I got a call: “Will you take this over?” - after which John presumably moved on to the next task. He enjoyed this style of management, somewhat more, perhaps, than those at the receiving end of his phone calls! But it was hard to stay mad with him for long. When after the fire we got into our new house - due to much work on John's part, we found that there were two en-suite and two plain bedrooms. It was proposed in best Ignatian fashion that we should do a discernment to choose who got what. “Fine”, said John as he ambled up the stairs, “I'll take the en-suite on the left and you boys can discern about the other three!” But the same man would give his time and ability endlessly to sort out someone's computer problems after a long day in the office.

It was because he was so massively present to whatever he was doing, whether looking after others or discussing or relaxing, that his death creates such a massive sense of absence. Others of us are more peripherally present to what we do. Not for him the soft-footed approach: he could be devastatingly honest. I used feel that he used the contradictory mode perhaps a shade too much, and said one day:
“There's not a single statement that one could make in this house that won't be contradicted”. Immediately John shot back: “That's not true!” He could be gruff, “like an angry bear” as someone said “but a teddy-bear beneath it all”. He could get mad with “eejits” but the squall passed and blue skies returned. He travelled unencumbered by the baggage of resentment or self-pity.

Enduring to the End
John not only enjoyed the good things of life: he also endured its painful side patiently. For him there was the post-war Irish scene: firstly de Valera's Ireland, succeeded by economic development, then difficult times, then the Celtic Tiger and its demise. Add into the mix the Northern Ireland conflict, political and financial scandals and endless tribunals. In the religious dimension there was the hope and promise of Vatican Two, and in the Society and the Province the hard-won renewal set in motion by GCs31 and GC32; all of this to be followed by turmoil in the Church and in the Society, and in our relationship with the Vatican, leading to the resignation of Arrupe and its aftermath. Locally there was the spectre of Child Sexual Abuse. The list could continue endlessly. How did John respond to these situations which were not of his making, not part of the plan?

In the seventies a commentator on religious life observed that the contemporary religious would suffer the loss of many things cherished: colleagues, vocations, institutions, thriving apostolic works etc. So it has been, and John's stance was to face the difficulties and diminishments within the Province and the Church honestly, without growing cynical or indifferent. Ignatius speaks of “courage in difficult enterprises” and John had that. He worked energetically against the corporate depression which can accompany diminishing numbers and their consequences. Long before GC35 he promoted the renewal of the Province with a project titled “Sparks Light Fires” and no one who attended Province events over the past decade will have failed to notice John's recurring bidding prayer for an increase in vocations.

Closer to home was the untimely death of his sister Margot. Then on Good Friday 2007 there was the Loyola fire and the loss of everything, including for him eighteen treasured volumes of photos of family, friends, Irish Jesuits etc. (cf the interview he gave to Paul Andrews, shortly after the fire, but not published until one year later - Summer 2008, Interfuse #136) It was his mammoth task with Bill Toner, John Maguire and others, to deal with the curial aftermath of the fire, to find new premises for the community, and to help each member to find appropriate ways of coping. This he did by gathering us regularly for a Revision de vie, followed by a Eucharist and a meal, together with some sessions in post-traumatic stress. He dealt with all of this in a healthy matter-of-fact way, though he used to refer to the fire as the elephant in the corner - something he had not yet fully integrated, despite his dedicated efforts at (retail therapy' on that Good Friday afternoon.

The Perfect Patient
In May 2008 he had a knee replacement; this meant the end of motorcycling, hard for him but there were no complaints. In August his incipient deafness was noticed and humbly acknowledged. In October, out of the blue, began his final illness. He was massively practical about it: “The news is bad!” “I'm going home to die!” “This is how it is. We'll see”. He had to let go of a planned trip to the Holy Land, though he sneaked a “pilgrimage” with his sister to Fatima in early December, and regaled us afterward with tales of the delights of a Lisbon hotel.

John was the perfect patient. One morning at breakfast, weeks before he died, I said to him: “You're very patient”. He replied: “What else can one do?” “Well”, I said, ferreting around in my own feelings and drawing on my Kubler-Ross theories about stages of dying, “you could choose depression or rage or self-pity?” “I'd hate that”, he said. Days before his death, when his breathing had become difficult, a visitor asked him how he was feeling. “Smashing!” was the one-word reply.

Sickness is no less a gift than health: so said Ignatius rather tersely. Perhaps those who were close to him saw something of the meaning of that. “Let them give no less edification in sickness than in health” for there was much to be learnt from him on how to face sickness. And good things came out of this tragedy of his sickness and dying. He was amazed at the outpouring of concern, prayer and compassion for himself. he couldn't see why this should be. But people found him lovable, presumably because they experienced that he loved them. He never knew that in his last days many of the Jesuits in Cherryfield had said that they would cheerfully have taken his place – they were retired and ill, whereas he had still so much potential.

Joy
So much for the outer side of his life. What about the inside? At the end of all his letters as Assistant to the Provincial, John had the slogan: Working for God on earth may not pay much, but the retirement plan is out of this world! John never got to elaborate on the Retirement Plan, for he was not an eschatological speculator, but perhaps he would have agreed with the earlier John Donne, 1572 - 1631, who wrote:

Death, be not proud: though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so...
And soonest our best men with thee do go...
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more: death, thou shalt die.

So what did he wake to? To the welcome and congratulations of those gone before him, Jesuits and family and friends, as he staggered over the line on December 27th. Then the multiple overwhelming by God: “the Lover gives all to the beloved” as Ignatius says at his mystic and cryptic best. Next, one can imagine John sniffing the air for hints as to where the great banquet might be set! Then there's the unalloyed joy of great companionship, the excitement of the vastness of the world of God, agility of body and so on. Then a commissioning - placed over many things and asked by God to be a caring presence to the rest of us until we meet him again. John loved celebrations: he is now celebrating endlessly on the inside what we celebrate fitfully and in hope. He is all Joy.

Here is another farewell, different, spoken by Jim O'Higgins at John's Month's Mind, and copied as it was forwarded:

Fifty years ago the face of welcome
In his solid frame, from John the delegate
To call my name and he greeted me
To that large Kildare domain
The prefect later on, that John
sent out again to ease the tense
the taut and restrain the mini gangs

John the true disciple of Loyola
Guidance counselled young hope
from west to east and once again
he's called to mediate between
the grief of parents of the suicided child
Or the dumbfounded ire of the mother
of a manslaughtered son and the why
the what of that God of his
and his own priestly purpose
Or ask in whose image we are made
or where was The Virgin in the keep
at Lourdes on that drowning day

John, called to jollify and feast with
with friends, a Friar Tuck, called
Bonzo, Buster or, with bourgeois respectability, Fr. Bun
The love of Table talk in his so communitaire
of duties in an S.J. house or sitting
in a kitchen ,one leg on the bench
and, not quite a keg ,upon the table
Or in the deep affection of his
nieces and proud nephew in Dublin
six, fourteen, or four of Tullamore
And for the many pieces de resistance
He could rely on his beloved Anne to
see him well ensconced in some
exotic Resto or Hotel Excelsior
Or in sweet Silverdale
Or Long Island Sound

John gifted with the rooted gem
of insight in himself so he could discern
what he could do within
what was beyond his reach
he humbled hubris and defaced its mask
in a paradox of earthy tongue
relating us and our mere creaturehood
To Immanence and Who it was we served
Chuckling his falstaffian way
to his next set of minutes or report

John called to be the techie in I.T.
The Socius systems, Sounder out
The teller of the truth without the frills
And yet again being sent on far flung
Flights with postcards from the edge
in misspelt greetings from some land
remembering and reminding us
in that unsure hand of what we are to him
and we know now what he is to us

John who could be nothing but a goodly man
You leave us for a while on the day of your
own feast of John loved Disciple.

Another appreciation, different in style, from Michael Hurley:
The thoughtfulness of the following letter from John is deeply moving; the circumstances make it more so, and the strained light heartedness at the beginning and end makes it still more moving.

Dear Michael,
May we bury the hatchet for the moment in exchange for prayers for my tryst with the medicos, hopefully from tomorrow. Learnt this morning of liver trouble and bile duct blockage — yellow as a canary, I am. This is by way of communicating!
John A. Dunne, SJ (September 25, 2008 4.51 pm)

The bone of contention between John and myself was my continuing emphasis on communication in the Province, or, rather (as I experienced it), the lack of such communication: in particular between M and the rest of us. I had suggested a Curia Newsletter and sent him a draft of a letter about the matter - which I thought of sending to a Delegate - and later a draft of a few words I might possibly say at a Delegates Friday lunch. He didn't like my drafts, especially a suggestion that if we knew what was happening at IMI we might be less worried about whether our (sic) money was being used responsibly.

Preparations for the visit of the Assistant halted these discussions. What happened next was that Kevin O'Rourke, our Rector, sharing some of my concern, made arrangements for a visit here of three of the delegates; he did so independently but with the knowledge and encouragement of John. This turned out to be a very happy, successful, community event at which I took the liberty of broaching the idea of a Curia Newsletter.

John and I were not at daggers drawn, far from it, but his letter, so remarkably thoughtful, so magnanimous, did enable us, in the time he had left, to communicate not only amicably but affectionately. Which I trust will continue.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 2009

Obituary

John Dunne SJ

Fr. John Dunne died on the 27th of December 2008. His death drew condolences from near and far, not just within Ireland, but also from as far away as Zambia and Malawi. However, it will be his contribution to Gonzaga which will receive most attention here.

He came from Summerhill, Co. Meath, received his early education in Trim and then went to Clongowes. He entered the Jesuits in 1962, studied Arts in U.C.D., with a particular interest in archaeology. He was ordained in 1974, which was followed by a year at Mater Dei, studying Guidance Counselling, which became a lifelong interest.

He taught at the Crescent College Comprehensive for six years, during which he took up a course in Computer Studies. Computers fascinated him for the rest of his life.

He was superior in Colaiste Iognaid, Galway from 1981-1987, and in Gonzaga from 1993-1998, where he spent 14 years in all. From 2002-2008 he was superior in Loyola House, Eglinton Road, where he was Socius (assistant) to the Provincial. All told, he taught for 28 years and was superior for 17. After 46 years of Jesuit life, he died of cancer, aged 64.

He saw himself as an ordinary man. He was not an academic. He liked the quip “you can tell an intellectual, but you can't tell him much!” His Yes was Yes, and his No was a definite No. He could be devastatingly honest and gruff “like an angry bear” as someone said, “but a teddy-bear beneath it all”. He could get mad with “eejits” but the squall would pass and blue skies return. He travelled unencumbered by the baggage of resentment or self-pity.

It was in 1987 that he came to Gonzaga, remaining here for fourteen years. He was superior of the Jesuit community from 1993 to 1998. He made many contributions to the life of the school, but particularly in Career Guidance, Computer Studies, pastoral care and photography.

He was a very active member of the Career Guidance Association, being its president for many years. He transformed the place of such guidance in Gonzaga, and is remembered very genuinely and gratefully by many of the past pupils because of his professional services.

It was Fr. John who basically introduced Computer Studies to the school. He began with the staff, and many of his colleagues have expressed their indebtedness to him. The acquisition of equipment and its location provided many problems, but John's optimism overcame them all. That having been achieved he offered evening classes to interested parents.

In the field of pastoral care he involved himself in many areas. He brought groups of 6th year boys to London with the annual Dublin pilgrimage. He developed what was known as the “urban plunge”, where 6th years lived in the inner city. He organized retreats for the senior students and it was under Fr. John that the practice of having a "forum" for the parents of each year was initiated and which has proved such a blessing for both school and parents.

Throughout the school year he was always on the watch-out for the opportunity of a good photograph. Many a "Gonzaga Record” benefited from his enthusiasm. It was most unfortunate that most of his collection was lost in the fire at Loyola House, Eglinton Road on Good Friday 2007.

He had a sabbatical year 2001-2002 where he first studied at Berkeley, California, and then travelled to various Jesuit missions in Asia and Africa. Later in 2002 he was appointed Socius to Fr. Provincial and became superior of the community there. He made the Province much more email friendly, thereby improving its efficiency. In October 2008 he was diagnosed with cancer, but he continued working. On the 19th December he was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, where he died on Saturday 27th December, the feast of St. John the Evangelist.

Good came out of his sickness and dying. He was amazed at the outpouring of concern, prayer and compassion for himself; he could not see why this should be. He never knew that in his last days many of the Jesuits in Cherryfield had said that they could cheerfully have taken his place - they were retired and ill, whereas he had still so much potential. Yet this brief account shows that John did indeed fulfil his potential in a most varied and generous way. He was truly a blessing for all in Gonzaga College SJ.

JAB SJ

Farren, Anthony, 1923-2015, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/839
  • Person
  • 04 September 1923-26 December 2015

Born: 04 September 1923, Carndonagh, County Donegal
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows; 05 November 1977
Died: 26 December 2015, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Coláiste Iognáid, Galway community at the time of death.
Buried at Carndonagh, County Donegal

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966

by 1952 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death Notice

Father Anthony Farren SJ, who returned to his homeland of Ireland in 2001 where he lived in retirement in Galway after almost 50 years’ service in Hong Kong, died at 12:30am on 26 December 2015 last year.

His funeral was held at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Carndonagh on 29 December.

A memorial Mass will be offered for his intentions at 7:30pm on January 13 at the chapel of Wah Yan College in Kowloon, where he was principal from 1960 to 1966, in addition to remaining on the staff until 1978, before returning as supervisor from 1985 to 1997.

Born on 4 September 1923, he entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1942, coming to Hong Kong in 1950. He was ordained a priest on 31 July 1956.

Au Lok-man wrote in a letter published by the Apple Daily that although there was no apparent relationship between Father Farren’s native Ireland and Hong Kong, he crossed the seas to serve its people for almost 50 years, many of whom will mark the moment he passed from this world with deep gratitude for his life.

May he rest in peace.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 10 January 2016

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He first came to Hong Kong in 1950 for Cantonese language studies and then he taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong for a year.

He returned as a Priest in 1958 to Wah Yan Kowloon and in 1960 he was appointed Rector. As a young dynamic man in his 40s, he was highly respected by other local Catholic Schools such as St Francis Xavier College (Marist Brothers), La Salle College (Christian Brothers), Maryknoll Convent, and St Rose of Lima (Franciscan Missionaries of Mary). As Rector, he lived Jesuit life prudently and peacefully. As a Principal he was looked up to as a model teacher and he was liked. He spent much time with the teachers and he encouraged everyone.

During his time Wah Yan Kowloon was at its peak. The large Chapel of St Ignatius with 600 seats was opened just before he came. He took a keen interest in the Masses there, principally for the students and their parents, past students and friends. After six years there was a rule that Jesuit Rectors would change and so he moved to Yah Yan College Hong Kong as an English teacher. He again returned to Wah Yan Kowloon in the 1980’s as Rector and in 1991 Supervisor. Thomas Leung succeeded his as Rector in 1997, and Tony went back to Wah Yan Hong Kong, and he remained there until he retired to Ireland in 1999.

He is still remembered with love and respect by many. He was known to be a man of patience and discretion, peaceful and simple.

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 163 : Spring 2016

Obituary

Fr Anthony (Tony) Farren (1923-2015)

It is a long way from Carndonagh to Hong Kong where Tony gave forty six years of his life as teacher and friend to numerous pupils and past pupils. That journey began with a shorter journey, though an arduous one for a twelve-year-old, when he took the bus and train to Mungret College.

The most striking thing about Tony's room in Galway, where he lived for eleven years on his return from Hong Kong, was the scattering of letters with Chinese stamps and photos of Wah Yan past pupils and their families. It was obvious was that his past pupils held their former English and history teacher, football, tennis and debating coach and priest, in great esteem.

Esteem wasn't lacking among his fellow Jesuits. Twice he was appointed rector of the Jesuit community - a duty, according to one of his contemporaries, that weighed heavily on him, especially when his first appointment came only two years after Tertianship, and he was at the same time made headmaster of Wah Yan College where he worked. Equally unusual was his appointment some years later to a second term in the same community. It testifies to the level of trust shown by both those who made the appointments, and by his fellow-Jesuits who welcomed him as their superior. Tony was the opposite of ambitious. He saw himself as an ordinary guy serving his brethren; but in the consistency and quality of that service over many years, he was truly extraordinary. He was a rock of sense with a sharp eye for people's needs. That caring kindness was evident even in the last days of his life.

A sign of our growth in faith is gratitude. Tony was immensely grateful to his family, for their care for him in later years when staying in the family home, and for their many visits. However he hated people to fuss over him and he didn't want parents away from their families coming up to Christmas. They didn't always listen to what he said. On my last visit just before his death, he told me that he had sent out an edict to his family: no visits! And what was the result? Three nieces arrived, followed by two nephews! So I jokingly said to him: weren't they were very disobedient? Yes, but the right sort of disobedience, he answered with a smile.

The marks of family stay with us to the grave. Family affects our faith: With all its imperfections and changes, it gives us a first experience of love, and therefore of the Lord of love. It is hard for anyone to believe in the unmerited love of God who has not enjoyed the unmerited love of a parent. In Tony those marks were evident: in his stability and strength, his gentleness and kindness. It showed in his football, the ideal centre half, masterly but unselfish, feeding his forwards. It showed in his work, a natural leader, inspiring huge loyalty. Tony's pastoral care of students in Hong Kong left a lasting mark, as his plentiful post and visits testify to. His students would happily come from Hong Kong to Cherryfield to touch base with him again - distance no object. After Tony came back to Ireland, his old friend Dr Simon Au, came here every year to visit.

I only knew Tony when he was in his 80s, in Galway. Even then, he wanted to be fully informed of all that was going on in the church and school, Wanted also to fulfil his priestly duties in whatever way he could. Galway parishioners spoke of his kindness to them. When he was no longer able to say a public Mass, he still continued to hear confessions every Saturday afternoon. When I visited him three days before his death, his voice was weak, but his mind clear. We parted by giving one another a blessing. What was striking was his enormous gratitude to the nursing staff. He was emphatic that he couldn't be receiving better care anywhere else. The nurses and carers for their part loved and cherished him.

Being a teacher was in his DNA. His nephews and nieces recalled how on his infrequent but lengthy stays in Carndonagh, he taught them swimming, tennis, played football with them and took a keen interest in their studies, he was their fond priest uncle.

While a pleasant presence in community, ever attentive to visitors, Tony maintained a certain reserve. There was an anxious side to him, and maybe it was this that made him slow to share more of himself? No more than the rest of us, he could be impatient with the foibles of some of his brothers,

He was ready for death, was anointed and shriven, peaceful. As we give back his soul to God and his body to Carndonagh, we Irish Jesuits would like to thank the Farrens for giving us such a man. The great mystery of God's providence is how God uses us fragile creatures to accomplish great achievements. May the Lord now complete what He began in Tony many years ago and reward him for his goodness: all those goodbyes to family and friends to remake that journey to Hong Kong, not to mention the letting go of all those Hong Kong friendships when he felt the time had come to return to Ireland at seventy-eight because he thought he could be of more use back in Ireland. May he rest in peace.

Charlie Davy, with help from James Hurley

FitzGerald, Edward J, 1918-2003, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/560
  • Person
  • 05 April 1918-01 November 2003

Born: 05 April 1918, Wellington Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1954, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 01 November 2003, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Father is a barrister and family resided at Cloneevin, Killiney Avenue, Killiney, County Dublin

Second of three boys with two sisters.

Early education at St Gerard’s School, Bray for two years and then he went to Clongowes Wood College SJ. After school he went to Trinity College Dublin and studies Arts for one year.

by 1954 at Rome, Italy (ROM) - studying

◆ Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2005

Obituary

Fr Edward (Eddie) Fitzgerald (1918-2003)

5th April 1918: Born in Dublin
Early education at St. Gerard's, Bray and Clongowes
7th Sept. 1936: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1938: First Vows at Emo
1938 - 1942: Rathfarnham -Studied Classics at UCD
1942 - 1945: Tullabeg- Studied Philosophy
1945 - 1946: Mungret College, Limerick - Regency(Teacher)
1946 - 1947: Belvedere College - Regency (H Dip Ed UCD)
1947 - 1951: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1950: Ordained at Milltown Park
1951 - 1952: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1952 - 1954: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick - Ministered in the Church
1954 - 1956: Gregorian University, Rome - STD
2nd Feb. 1954: Final Vows, Sacred Heart College, Limerick
1956 - 1967: Milltown Park - Professor of Dogma, Liturgy
1967 - 1973: Mungret College, Limerick - Teacher
1973 - 1980: Milltown Park - Lecturer in Theology at M; Spiritual Director (SJ)
1980 - 1984: Sullivan House - Lecturer in Theology at MI; Spiritual Director (S.J.)
1984 - 1985: Tullabeg - Director Spiritual Exercises
1985 - 2003: Milltown Park - Chaplain at Eye & Ear Hospital
1994: Assists in Cherryfield Lodge
1997: Spiritual Director (S.J.)
1st Nov. 2003: Died at Cherryfield Lodge.

Fr. FitzGerald was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in September, 2003, when cancer of the bone was diagnosed. There he received palliative care, remained in good form and was free from pain. In the last week he began to weaken, but his death on Saturday afternoon was quite unexpected.

Noel Barber writes:
When I think of Father Eddie Fitzgerald and look for a biblical character to reflect his personality, I think of Nathaniel, who makes two fleeting appearances in John's gospel but appears nowhere else in the NT. Nathaniel's quality without guile' conveys so much about the character of Eddie Fitzgerald who was indeed without guile, highly intelligent, modest, one of the least self-centred people I have ever met, ever willing to do whatsoever required doing, a man of prayer and solid piety, above all a man of prayer. He loved prayer: to love prayer is to love the one to whom one prays and with whom one journeys. One found him regularly in the early hours of the morning in our community oratory.

At his death, those to whom he was near and dear were unashamedly caught up in their loss, sorrow and pain. He was a much loved, and significant figure in his community, family, in the Eye and Ear Hospital where he ministered and in many other places. In losing him we lost something of ourselves. In his case, the manner of his death softened the pain of loss. Death cut prematurely the relentless advance of his cancer. The palliative care he received in Cherryfield Lodge kept him in good form, free of pain and with his many interests undimmed. He had just completed Declan Kiberd's Inventing Ireland and had cheered on the Irish rugby team - albeit in vain – against Australia. The sudden death spared him much and for that we were all grateful. This truly good man without guile was born in Dublin into a distinguished legal family 85 years ago. He was educated at St. Gerard's, Bray and Clongowes and entered the Jesuits in 1936 followed by his brother, John, the next year Having completed his novitiate he studied Classics at UCD where he took a first class primary degree followed by an MA. He then studied Philosophy in Tullabeg. Before going on to study Theology, he taught for two years, the first in Mungret and the second in Belvedere. I was a small boy in Belvedere at the time. He did not teach me but I recall that he was noted for his kindness, which the Belvederians exploited with characteristic wickedness. He was ordained at Milltown Park in 1950 with his brother, John. After his theological studies in Milltown he was sent to Rome where he obtained a doctorate in Theology. It seemed then that he was destined for an academic life for which his ability and interests well equipped him. Not only was he a competent scholar, he was an excellent lecturer. Allied to his mastery of his subject was a keen interest in his students, a kindness and of course a totally unpretentious disposition, a characteristic not found universally amongst the professorial class. To his colleagues as a student and young priest he was companionable, supportive, always kindly and obliging. The orderly aspect of religious life appealed to him; he was a natural rule follower to whom obedience came easily as did simplicity of life. Intellectually he became progressively more liberal but by temperament and style of life he remained to the end conservatively monastic. At times he seemed a little ashamed of his opinions and would apologise profusely for holding outrageous views, views, it must be said, that often seemed far from outrageous to his companions.

After twelve years lecturing on Theology he fell ill: he had a breakdown and this experience developed his already considerable capacity to help others, and to feel for them in their sickness. He then taught in Mungret College before returning to lecture in Milltown, to be the Spiritual Director there and then to the Jesuit university students. All the time he gave retreats, and was spiritual director to several groups of religious sisters. In these tasks he gave great satisfaction to all but himself. He was never able to savour his own ability, gifts and attainments while ever keen to observe and appreciate those of others. Within the community he was a gem: interested in and supportive of all: ever willing to help in every way he could. Any notice asking for a priest to supply here or there would have his signature at once. He was, of course, tense and somewhat strained, could build up a steam of exasperation and let fly against something “ghastly”, a favourite word of his in an exasperated state. That exasperation could, at times, be exasperating. But to all of us who lived with him he leaves a most benign and lovable memory.

At the age of 64 he was appointed Chaplain to the Eye and Ear Hospital, Adelaide Road where he remained until the end of this summer when cancer of the bone was diagnosed. There he flourished; it gave him an outlet for his pastoral zeal and he was at his happiest in serving the sick with absolute devotion and total commitment. The work revealed all his fine qualities and he won the hearts of staff and patients alike. Of course, when he spoke of the hospital, he spoke never of the good he did but of the good the Hospital did to him, giving him those happy years. Typically, he was ever aware of the goodness of others to himself but discounted his goodness to them.

At this time he developed an apostolate to dying Jesuits in Cherryfield Lodge. He spent hours praying with and for his colleagues in the final stage of their lives, supporting them as they left this world. This he did unstintingly. His presence there is sorely missed

He accepted his cancer easily and in the final weeks his talk was all about the excellence of the care he received, the goodness of the staff and the great kindness of all who visited him. He faced death as he faced life in steadfast faith and firm hope. So while his sudden death left his family, community and friends stunned it must have been a delight for him. One moment he was sitting waiting for his supper, then in a blink of an eyelid he was facing the Lord he served so well. Now he has been received into that place of peace and joy that was prepared for him from before the foundation of the world.

FitzGerald, James B, 1914-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/598
  • Person
  • 26 September 1914-13 August 2007

Born: 26 September 1914, St Luke’s Hospital, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 11 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 13 August 2007, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin community at the time of death.

Father was the Resident Medical Superintendan at St Luke’s Mental Hospital in Clonmel. Mother died in 1918 andf father remarried.

Secon of eight boys with three sisters.

Early education at Loreto Convent Clonmel, he then spent seven years in the High School, Clonmel. At age 15 he went to Clongowes Wood College SJ for four years (1929-1933)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

During the summer Frs. Jas. FitzGerald, Kearns and Scallan helped in the campaign organised by Dr. Heenan, Superior of the Mission House, Hampstead, to contact neglected or lapsed Catholics in Oxfordshire. Writing Fr. Provincial in August, the Superior pays a warm tribute to the zeal and devotion of our three missionaries :
“I hope”, he adds, “that the Fathers will have gained some useful experience in return for the great benefit which their apostolic labours conferred on the isolated Catholics of Oxfordshire. It made a great impression on the non-Catholic public that priests came from Ireland and even from America, looking for lost sheep. That fact was more eloquent than any sermon. The Catholic Church is the only hope for this country. Protestantism is dead...?”

◆ Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2007
Obituary
Fr James (Jim) FitzGerald (1914-2007)
26th September 1914: Born in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
Early education at High School, Clonmel, and Clongowes
11th September 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
12th September 1935: First Vows at Emo
1935 - 1937: Rathfarnham – Studied Arts at UCD
1937 - 1940: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1940 - 1943: Belvedere College - Teacher
1943 - 1947: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1946: Ordained at Milltown Park
1947 - 1948: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1948 - 1959: Mungret College, Minister, Prefect, Teacher
2nd February 1949: Final Vows at Mungret College
1959 - 1973: Rathfarnham Castle - Minister; Bursar
1973 - 1981: Milltown Park - Minister; Prefect of Health
1981 - 1982: Overseeing building of Cherryfield Lodge
1982 - 1985: Director, Cherryfield Lodge
1985 - 2007: Gardiner Street -
1985 - 1989: Minişter; Health Prefect; Guestmaster
1989 - 1991: Assistant Vice-Postulator cause of John Sullivan SJ; Health Prefect; Guestmaster
1991 - 1997: Assistant Vice-Postulator; Health Prefect
1997 - 2007: Assistant Vice-Postulator
13th August 2007: Died in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Adapted from an interview with Jim in Interfuse #129:

Jim's father was the medical officer in the mental hospital in Clonmel when he was born. They had a very pleasant way of life, very simple, which meant they had their own grounds – marvellous grounds around it - to go through and play. But Jim felt that they were too sheltered and didn't meet enough with the boys that they met at school. He started in Loreto, Clonmel, but the boys were only taken there until the age of 8. Then he went to the Christian Brothers and stayed with them till 1929, when he went to Clongowes, from which he entered the Society four years later.

He heard from the novices in Emo that “the Provincial, Larry Kiernan, was down to see them and he asked them if they knew where one of the new novices was coming from. And then he announced that I was coming from a mental hospital!” And Jim added, “Emo was a very pleasant kind of house to live in”.

His only memories of Rathfarham were recounted as follows: “I tried to show my prowess at the Bird House by jumping a little bit of water that was there with one bound. And, of course, I realised half way through that I couldn't make it. I knocked my knee off the far side, and when I pulled up my trousers I was just pumping blood. When I got back in the Brother fixed me up some way. He should have sent for the doctor”. A fortnight later, when he was sent to the Doctor, he said, “Sorry, I can't do anything with it now. You can't stitch, unless it's done immediately”.

From Rathfarnham he was moved after two years to Tullabeg. “I was thrown out”, he said, “on the results of the second year...I went to Tullabeg. Again it was a very comfortable kind of life”. He was sent to Belvedere after Philosophy. “It was a marvellous house. It was very free and we had a great time there”. He did his three years there and then on to Milltown. After ordination and a final year in Milltown, he went for tertianship in Rathfarnham. Then started his career as Minister for some 40 years in Mungret, Rathfarnham, Milltown, and Gardiner Street. During his time as Minister in Milltown he oversaw the building of Cherryfield Lodge and became its first Director.

Of his move to Milltown as Minister he said: “In Rathfarnham I had Paddy Doyle as Rector at some stage, and when he moved, he said he would like me to come as minister. And I said, ‘No, Father. You'd better give me a bit of time to think that one out’. So he did nothing about it that year. And the next year I was on the status for Milltown and it went quite well. It was a hard house to go to. But I was one of those old fashioned Ministers, who was · supposed to do what the Rector told them. I think that went out after my time. The Minister considered that he was boss in his own line and did what he wanted in his own line”.

As to his assignment to oversee the building of Cherryfield, he commented: “Thinking about it afterwards, it was quite foolish to put somebody in who didn't know what powers he had. I used to wake up at night and wonder had they done such and such. And, very often, I would find out next morning that my worst fears were justified up to a point. Plasterers were so anxious to get the whole job done, that switches and things like that would be covered, there was no sign of a switch. It was a mere matter of locating where it was and then opening it. We had arranged that the doors for the different rooms would be big enough take a bed without any bother, so you could just roll it out the door, twisting it left or right whichever way you wanted it. It was only when the building was complete we found that they hadn't done that. We could do nothing about it”.

In his later years he was appointed Vice Postulator for the cause of Fr. John Sullivan, whom he knew when he was a student in Clongowes. In fact, he died when Jim was there. When asked about his personal devotion to Fr. John, he responded: “Well, I have great admiration for him, but once I put my foot in it in Gardiner Street. Three old ladies stopped me on the corridor one day and said, ‘What about Father Sullivan? Is he going to be made a Saint?’ And I said, ‘Well, pity he wasn't born in Poland!’”

The interview was entitled "Prone to Accidents", so often in his life did he have accidents. But he had no regrets, and ended the interview with the words: “I will never leave here now. Unless, of course, to go to the new Cherryfield, if I last that long. That will be about three years. I doubt if I will last that long”.

A poetic remembrance from Tom MacMahon, 14 August 2007:

Jim and I were novices together -
'Twas in the year of nineteen thirty three;
I'm not altogether certain as to whether
He three or four months older was than me.
Step by step we did the normal studies,
Right 'til we began philosophy;
But he and Dan, those former schoolboy 'buddies',
Skipped a year, and got ahead of me.

Seventy four years on, and still united,
We, the last survivors of our year,
In Cherryfield were, shall we say, 'benighted',
Never thinking death would be so near.

And yet, so quickly, our 'Jim Fitz' was taken -
Quietly and peacefully he went, .
Leaving us two feeling quite forsaken,
Yet grateful for the great life he had spent.

God be with our dear friend, Father Jim.
When our time comes, may we be one with him!

FitzGerald, John M, 1919-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/774
  • Person
  • 29 September 1919-13 January 2012

Born: 29 September 1919, Wellington Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1953, Southwell House, London, England
Died: 13 January 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1953 at London (ANG) studying

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
“We imagine his going left many hearts empty and evoked memories of all kinds of services and kindnesses, not least his unfailing patience and cheerfulness”. With these words Fr John Fitzgerald, writing from the Seychelles, summed up well the immediate aftermath of Br Sherry's death on the night of Saturday 5 November 1983.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/60-years-after-the-milltown-fire/

60 years after the Milltown Fire
At 5.40 a.m. on Friday, 11 February, 1949, a fire was discovered in a pantry of the Milltown Park building where the community lived. The fire brigade was summoned, and shouts went up to arouse those sleeping nearby. The fire was of the “flash-over” type: propagated by the secret spread of smoulder inside floors, stairs, partitions and lofts until a critical temperature is reached and the smoulder bursts into flames simultaneously at different points. At ten to six, with a muffled explosion, a great wave of fire and smoke rose up to the roof and flowed into the corridors of the house. The roof was in flames, the lights went out and within minutes the whole place was engulfed in thick smoke and fumes. Within two hours Fr Jimmy Johnston was burned to death, Michael Reidy was injured, and the Milltown building was a ruin. Below, Fr John Fitzgerald recalls that winter morning :

I rose early and left my room with a jug to get hot water. There was some commotion below, with the sound of jugs filling. I cried: “I’ll go down to help” – but a shout came up: “Get out!” All I recall is hurrying back, putting on shoes and some clothes, and calling Des Coyle, my neighbour. “There seems to be a fire. We’re ordered to get out.”
By now there was some heat and smoke. I made for the fire escape across the corridor. An iron ladder was the lifeline for about 30 Jesuits on the two upper stories. Barring an emergency, none of us would have tackled that ladder, as it was narrow and vertical and passed some distance from the window sills. There was no hesitation then.
We gathered on the grass between the refectory and the library. Mick Reidy was on the projection of a bay window. We urged him to jump. Michael was no athlete. He dropped like a stone, fell on the grassy slope and back into the area, fracturing his spine. That was the only injury, but sadly there was a fatality. Jimmy Johnston had the last room on the top floor. He was to have said the late Mass at the convent, so while his neighbours hurried to safety Jimmy slept and the flames raced up. He left his room too late and was overpowered on the corridor.
All those on the first floor would have probably survived, provided they waited behind closed doors. Those on the top floor were surely saved by the fire escape. Fr Packy Gannon was at the end of the first floor and when he turned his doorknob his hand was burned. He was making his peace with God when the fireman came. Dick Brennan and Piaras O’Higgins were rescued from the roof of the roadside bay window. Piaras’ mother remarked: “Piaras would usually fall over a pin!”
We gathered near the Minister’s House (the reception area in today’s Milltown). It was an awesome sight to watch the fire fighters, and the fire engulfing the upper rooms, and showers of sparks scattering upwards as the roof fell in. We saw a fireman shepherding down Fr Edmund Power from the topmost room of the Minister’s House. Back inside Fr Tommy Byrne told us that Jimmy Johnston was missing. Soon after, a fireman brought down his body.
Some final reflections: Those on the top floor lost everything. Jim Corboy and my brother Eddy had a souvenirs the corpus of a vow crucifix half melted by the heat. If I had closed my door I would have lost nothing to fire. The smell was all pervading, and unlike anything experienced before or since.
A sad note to end. Jimmy Johnston was a kindly and thoughtful soul, scholarly and sensitive. In 1945 he handed over senior history classes to me in Clongowes. Caring and perceptive as ever, he tried to alert me to the pitfalls ahead, as he foresaw the fate of one ill-equipped to enliven later medieval European history. At Milltown we gardened together and shared an interest in nature.
Jimmy’s death came as an immense shock to his family. I don’t think his elderly mother could take in the tragedy. Perhaps the circumstances were kept from her. But Jimmy’s younger brother was deeply saddened, puzzled and disappointed. Why had Jimmy alone died? How was it no-one had thought of him? It was hard to reassure, and besides Fr Tyndall in his imperious manner waved Eddie and me away as we approached the family at the coffin. The whole episode of 11 February was mysterious and tragic, but also miraculous for most, and befitting the Lourdes feast.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-sullivan-the-last-witness/

Fr Sullivan: the last witness
Fr John Fitzgerald SJ, the last surviving Jesuit to have been taught in Clongowes by Fr John Sullivan, shared some precious memories at the commemorative Mass :

The bones of Fr John Sullivan are your precious possession. They draw his clients from near and far. If John is beatified, St Francis Xavier’s will be a place of pilgrimage like St Thomas a’Becket is at Canterbury, Blessed Pope John XXIII at St Peter’s, Bl. Mother Teresa at Calcutta, and as Cardinal Newman will be at the Oratory in Birmingham. The people in a quiet corner of County Kildare still keep such fond memories of John. They were greatly saddened when his bones were taken away from them for Gardiner Street in 1961. It is a sad separation they will always feel. In fact his grave has been visited ever since.
The relocation of Father’s bones is as good for his cause as it is for you who give them this new home. You have always by your devotion shown how grateful you are to have him. You bring him day by day the stories of your needs – they are always pressing and often sad. John listens – he was always a ready and eager listener to others’ worries.
Coming to St Francis Xavier’s was in a sense a homecoming. John had been baptised in Temple Street (St George’s), and Dublin was his home until he joined the Jesuits. During the years in Clongowes, the City’s hospitals, the Mater included, were within range of his trusty old bicycle.
Sometimes people have asked me what was he really like. Some have a nagging impression that he must have been an ascendancy type, as his father was a baronet and he had passed through Portora Royal School to Trinity College. My own memory of him – clear and vivid – is of a humble, entirely self-effacing person, riveted on the one thing necessary, the commandment of love. He was completely focussed on the needs of others, particularly of the poor and suffering. For him the face of the Lord was there. Gardiner Street would have been an ideal assignment with so much sickness, suffering and poverty all around in the hungry years between the wars.
Clongowes in its rural isolation does not seem an ideal place for one so drawn to the poor and suffering. I knew John in the last three years of his life – my memories are boy’s memories – a child’s impressions – but still so vivid. His appearance so well captured in Sean Keating’s drawing – the sunken cheeks, the fine crop of brown hair, the bowed head, the penetrating eyes – a true man of God. I remember his wrinkled leathery hands. Meeting you on a stone corridor on a bleak cold winter’s evening he would clap those hands and say “Cheer up, cheer up, cheer up”. He well knew the mood of small boys – short of funds, nursing chilblains and facing into two hours’ study. I have a memory of Johnny O shuffling quickly from the sacristy, head bowed, halting at the altar rails – a welcome interruption to the evening rosary. Always he would describe a visit he had made to some sick or dying person. He was no gifted story-teller, no gifted preacher. There were no embellishments; sincerity shone through, telling of his complete devotion to the sick and needy.
John was occupied with the People’s Church and the boys’ spiritual needs with very little teaching. He took the smallest ones for Religion classes. Often we delighted to annoy him by rowdiness and irreverence. This drew the condemnation we intended: “Audacious fellow – pugnacious fellow!” Deep down we revered him, but we played on him.
If some day you visit the Boys’ Chapel, you see at the back on your left Fr John’s Confessional. The “toughs” – the ones never selected as prefects and who won no prizes – were most often there. The smaller boys would crowd into his very bare room after supper. We would come away with rosaries and Agnus Deis which John got from convents he knew. The People’s Church is the easiest place for a visitor to find. There is where John spent long hours and helped so many in times of trial. There he prayed long after the boys were tucked in bed.
Father John was our Spiritual Father. His life and interests revolved round the boys’ spiritual needs. He took no part and had no interest in our games – never appeared at matches, debates, concerts or plays. Free time meant time for prayer or the sick. No use asking Johnny O to pray for victory at Croke Park today, but he will listen to your sorrows, he will pray for your sick and departed ones.
The day of Fr John’s funeral in 1933 comes back clearly. I was in the youngest group and so was up front in the Chapel, and near the coffin. I tried without success to cut off a splinter – as a keepsake, a relic. We had been privileged to know Fr John for three years. Not everyone is so blessed – perhaps only a few have been close to saintliness in one who so well mirrored the Lord Jesus, the Suffering Servant. It is a joy to be here in St Francis Xavier’s and to share your treasure – the Venerable John Sullivan.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/198-interview-with-late-fr-john-fitzgerald-sj

Interview with late Fr. John Fitzgerald SJ
Fr. John Fitzgerald, SJ died on 13th January 2012 in Cherryfield Nursing Home, Ranelagh after a long illness which he bore graciously to the end. He was buried in Glasnevin cemetery following the funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on Monday 16th January. Below is an interview with Fr. Fitzgerald before his death in which he recounts his experience of Zambia as a Jesuit Missionary.

‘Zambia was a completely new world,’ began Fr. John Fitzgerald, as he recalled his years spent in Africa. It is certainly easy to imagine that the Northern Rhodesian bush, as it then was, would have been a world away from Fr. Fitzgerald’s native Killiney!
Fr. Fitzgerald was born in 1919, and was educated at Clongowes Wood College before joining the Jesuits in 1937. He was ordained with his brother Teddy in 1950. He spent 48 years of his life abroad, living and working in Zambia, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Seychelles, before returning to Ireland in 2001. Although it was only one of many posts, it was Africa on which his mind used to dwell.
Fr. Fitzgerald was sent to the Jesuit mission station in Chikuni, Zambia in 1953, where he worked at St. Canisius College, the Jesuit-run secondary school, and Charles Lwanga Teachers’ College, a centre for trainee teachers. Although he did not view himself as a natural teacher, witnessing the benefits of education proved to be his greatest consolation in mission. Seeing students on the path to better career prospects and a higher salary was gratifying because of the appreciation displayed by the students. In his own words, ‘you didn’t give them very much, but they’d gobble it up. They were good, eager students- even though I wasn’t a good teacher!’
Listening to Fr. Fitzgerald, one couldn’t help but conjure up exoticised images of a world completely foreign to our own. This was particularly true of his descriptions of the physical landscape, the seasons, and the flora and fauna. Life was governed by the changing seasons rather than the ticking clock, and everything depended on the coming of the rains. Although the landscape would remain dusty and barren during the dry season, ‘in the rainy season, everything changed. You quickly had a carpeting of all kinds of wild flowers, all totally different in appearance... I was teaching in a rural area, and so much depended on the rain.’ With the rain, however, came danger: thunderstorms were frequent, and injury by lightning was not unheard of. Other occupational hazards included venomous snakes and poisonous spiders, with the puff adder being the most dreaded. If one stood on a puff adder, it could be fatal: because of the distance to the hospital, it was difficult to receive the necessary antidote. For this reason, snakes were always quickly ‘dispatched’, regardless of their species! Climate and wildlife were not the only differences which Fr. Fitzgerald encountered. He soon came to realise that Zambian Catholicism was expressed in ways which would be unfamiliar to Irish Catholics.
‘They threw themselves into Christianity wholeheartedly. In comparison to what we are used to here, they are much more demonstrative in their piety: they sing, they dance, they participate. Kneeling in silence, as we do, might be completely foreign to Tongan Christians.’ New and innovative ways of expressing Christian worship were devised to accommodate Zambian culture. One such method involved using local hunting songs as templates from which to create Christian hymns: this allowed people to experience a message which was unfamiliar in a format which they recognised. These hymns are still sung in Zambia today.
Missionaries in Africa have always worked as agents of development, and Fr. Fitzgerald believed that development is a key part of the missionary project: ‘Christianity cannot make any headway unless people also develop economically. Without development, I don’t think Christianity could be easily accommodated.’ He stated that Dr. Corboy, who was appointed Bishop of Monze, Zambia, in 1962, was interested in developing Africa ‘along African lines’, so as to ‘promote the African.’ There was a great emphasis on promoting development in such a way that it fit with African culture.
However, some cultural practices were found to be difficult to integrate with Catholicism. Fr. Fitzgerald argued that the ‘superstitions’ of the Tonga had an occasional tendency to ‘spill over into Christian living’. This was particularly apparent with regards to local understandings of health and sickness. Because the Tonga believed that all misfortune could be attributed to evil spirits, there was a constant struggle over their reactions to hospitals and Western medicine. Certain practices which were antithetical to Christian living also proved difficult to stamp out. For example, some converts would revert to polygamy because it was seen as an economic practice which was necessary for subsistence farming.
As an Irishman, Fr. Fitzgerald admitted that he originally found the cultural divide between Killiney and Chikuni quite difficult to bridge. However, the influence and efforts of other Jesuits, some of whom produced cultural studies, English-Tongan dictionaries, and works of anthropology, made the transition more manageable for those who came later. ‘In our days it was a good deal different, but later works focused more on enculturation.’
Although the Chikuni mission is now run by Zambian locals, there is still a part for Irish Catholics to play in promoting the missionary spirit. Fr. Fitzgerald believed that volunteering is a great help: ‘the fact that people are willing to go out and work must make a big impression [on their hosts].’ Such work benefits not only the recipients, but also the volunteers, by ‘breaking down barriers’ and facilitating the opening of a ‘global conversation.’
Fr. Fitzgerald always remained optimistic about the future of the Jesuits in Africa. Vocations have been successfully promoted, and studies for the religious life, from first interest up to ordination, are completed in Africa. Returning missionaries are happy to pass the torch to their African brothers; this was, of course, always the end goal! ‘It’s a healthy looking, locally-grounded church. The Jesuits will continue to do excellent work there, just as they do here in Ireland and in our other foreign Provinces.
All indications are that it will become stronger.’

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 147 : Spring 2012

Obituary

Fr John Michael Fitzgerald (1919-2012) : Zambia Malawi Province

29 September 1919: Born in Dublin.
Early education in St. Gerard's, Bray, Clongowes and Trinity College, Dublin
7 September 1937: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1939: First Vows at Emo
1939 - 1942: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1942 - 1945: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1945 - 1947: Clongowes - Teacher
1947 - 1951: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31 July 1950: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1951 - 1952: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1952 - 1953: London Institute of Education - Study
2 February 1953: Final Vows
1953 - 1959: Chikuni and Monze – Teacher
1959 - 1960: Charles Lwanga Training College - Teacher
1960 - 1961: SFX Gardiner Street - Church Work and help in Mission Office
1961 - 1970: Sacred Heart Church, Monze -
1962 - 1964: Secretary to Bishop
1964 - 1970: Vice-Superior; Treasurer; teaching in Monze Secondary
1970: Transcribed to Zambia
1972 - 1973: Charles Lwanga – Vice Superior and teaching
1973 - 1976: Australia, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles - Teaching and Pastoral work
1976 - 1978: Chikuni - Teaching
1978 - 1981: Seychelles - Pastoral work
1981 - 1982: Chivuna - Assistant Parish Priest
1982 - 1990: Seychelles – Parish Priest
1992 - 1993: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick - Assisted in Church, Promoter of Missions
1992 - 2001: Seychelles - Pastoral Work
2001 - 2002: Recovering health; Milltown Park - awaiting an assignment
2002 - 2006: Crescent Church, Limerick - Assisted in Church, Promoter of Missions
2006 - 2011; Leeson Street - Chaplain in Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital
2011: Resident in Cherryfield Lodge, praying for the Church and the Society
13th January 2012: Died at Cherryfield

Fr John FitzGerald was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 28th January 2011. He maintained his interest in books and continued to proof-read documents when possible. He was happy in Cherryfield as his condition slowly deteriorated during the year but he remained mentally alert. He died peacefully in the early morning of Friday 13th January 2012. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Obituary : Michael J Kelly
Father John Fitzgerald was born in September 1919, entered the Society in September 1937, was ordained in July 1950, took Final Vows in February 1953, and died in January 2012. On completion of his tertianship and further studies he spent fifty-eight years in active ministry before assuming the ministry of praying for the Church and the Society in Cherryfield Lodge in January 2011. He spent twenty four of these years as a teacher or trainer of teachers in Zambia and thirty-four as a parish priest, pastoral worker and hospital chaplain in the Seychelles, Australia, Papua New Guinea and Ireland.

John was a Jesuit through and through. As a schoolboy in Clongowes he was enormously influenced by the asceticism, Jesuit commitment and joyful holiness of the saintly Father John Sullivan and strove to guide his own life by similar ideals. Throughout his Jesuit training he absorbed the spirit of St. Ignatius to such an extent that he sought always to live according to two of Ignatius' guiding principles: “that in everything God might be glorified” and “go where you see a need”.

And so it was that John threw himself wholeheartedly into whatever teaching or pastoral assignment to which he was missioned, while at the same time showing an almost restless zeal to do more and to respond to the needs and challenges of those in other parts. Like his predecessor Francis Xavier, he lived, as one of his companions in later years put it, “with both feet in mid-air”, always available, always ready to undertake difficult enterprises courageously and cheerfully. In these and so many other ways he was the sort of Jesuit dear to the heart of St. Ignatius.

But Ignatius would not have been alone in this love. In all his diverse assignments John radiated love, gentleness, and kindness and brought out the same qualities in all those with whom he interacted. As the sanctity and mellowness of Father John Sullivan attracted him so strongly from the time of his boyhood, so his own holiness and graciousness attracted others, not just to himself but also to God. In the spirit of one of the hymns for the office of Readings, the Holy Spirit inflamed with love each of his senses so that other souls might kindle thence. For there can be no mistake about it: Father John Fitzgerald was a holy, saintly and very humble man, in the very best sense of each of these words. He sought at all times God's glory, not his own; the well-being and happiness of others in preference to his own. He always wanted that God and others should increase while he himself would decrease, but he strove that this should come about in a way that would give free rein to the Spirit in its work of transforming people.

Long before his death, people spoke of the way they were attracted to John. They spoke of the example of his life, of his generous service, of his uprightness and integrity, of his warm approving manner, of his words of encouragement and understanding, of his generous smiling openness, of his wisdom and gentle humour. It is clear that they found in John a man who in an unselfconscious way shared with all-comers the fruits of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, forbearance, gentleness, faith, courtesy, temperateness, purity”. This then was the man who spent twenty-four years as an apostolic worker in Zambia, twenty in the Seychelles, three in Australia and Papua New Guinea and eleven in Ireland, living and showing in his person the Good News of God's passionate love for every man, woman and child.

On completing his tertianship in 1952, John spent one year at the Institute of Education, University of London, preparing himself for what was to be his initial assignment as a teacher trainer in Zambia (Northern Rhodesia at the time). There he was the right-hand man of Father Bob Thompson (and later of Father John Counihan) in running the training programme, at first within the physical and organisational structures of Canisius College and subsequently at Charles Lwanga Teachers' College when the teacher training was hived off to independent status at this newly established college. During these early years he was closely associated in his work as a trainer of teachers with the “early feminist”, Sister Joseph Helen RSC, who though eleven years John's senior, predeceased him by just four days in her hundred and fourth year.

In one notable respect Charles Lwanga College conferred on John a kind of immortality (his own words), since it was he who advocated that it be called “Charles Lwanga” and not just “Lwanga”. But John's immortality was written more strongly in the many teachers he helped to train, men and women who learned from him not only how to be good teachers but also how to be good people.
The strength of John as a teacher trainer was brought out in a protest from the Zambia Ministry of Education UK-born and Oxford educated inspector for teacher training. When John was redeployed from Charles Lwanga to teach at the government secondary school in Monze, the inspector tartly observed: “You Jesuits are supposed to be great educators. But here you are, taking the best teacher trainer in all Zambia away from the work in which he excels and relegating him to teach in a secondary school”. Characteristically, John's response on being told of this was to deprecate himself and to allege that the inspector had a misguidedly high opinion of him.

John served with great distinction in Monze for several years, and subsequently for short spells in Australia and Papua New Guinea and back again in Zambia at Canisius College. These latter interludes heightened his desire to be engaged in more directly pastoral work, the realisation of which a remarkable intervention of the Spirit set dramatically in train. In 1978, he was requested to accompany an elderly and infirm Jesuit whose condition required that he return to Sri Lanka where he had previously worked. The travel entailed a stopover in the Seychelles where John and his companion were hosted by the local Bishop, the first Seychellois to be appointed to this office. During their brief stay the Bishop painted such a graphic picture of the pastoral needs of his people that on his return to Zambia John felt impelled to seek permission to exercise his apostolic ministry in the Seychelles. The permission was reluctantly given, though at first for only a few years. So began John's apostolic life in the Seychelles where, as the Bishop Emeritus of the islands stated at the time of John's death, “over many years he gave great pastoral and spiritual service to the people of the Seychelle Islands”. There were a few short returns to Zambia, and one on health grounds to Ireland, but for the next twenty-three years John's essential ministry was to the people of the Seychelles whom he heard calling out to him for the Mass, the Sacraments, the Word of God, the compassion of Christ and the presence of the Spirit. Following the footsteps of the Lord whom he loved so wholeheartedly, he saw the people of the Seychelles as sheep without a shepherd, he was filled with pity for them and set out to teach them at length. His ministry extended to every person within the large areas where he served - La Digue, Mont Fleuri (Bon Pasteur parish), Baie Ste Anne and Victoria (the capital city). During these years he also gave greatly appreciated service to the formation of seminarians and to the guidance of members of religious congregations. Well known for his availability and discretion he found himself as the confessor of choice of many religious, including Blessed Teresa of Calcutta at the time she was establishing her congregation in the Seychelles.

Throughout his life, John was an ascetic who lived as poorly as his situation would allow. He had a minimum of personal possessions and could easily pack his few belongings into a single case when moving from one place to another. Although he lived in the idyllic surroundings of the Seychelles, with its enticing sea and beaches, there was never any danger of his becoming a “beach potato”. Indeed, he was almost a decade in the Seychelles before he even walked a beach - and on that occasion he had to get the loan of swim wear before going into the sea.

But John's asceticism took its toll on his health. While in Zambia and Australia, community routines ensured that he was regularly presented with sustaining meals. But living by himself, as he did in the Seychelles, the needs of the poor and the upkeep of the church buildings were a greater priority for him than his body's need for adequate nutritious food. His poor diet gradually led to his becoming physically very run down, necessitating a visit on health grounds to Ireland and eventually to his final departure from the Seychelles and definitive return to Ireland in 2001.

John spent the last decade of his active apostolic life, first in the Crescent Sacred Heart Church in Limerick and, after this was closed, in Leeson Street, Dublin, from where he served as chaplain to the nearby Eye and Ear Hospital. During these years he bore a great deal of physical discomfort, but quietly and without fuss. He was low-key in his presence but always a most gracious helper to colleagues and host to visitors in the Limerick and Leeson Street communities, to those he served from the Sacred Heart Church, and to the patients and staff in the Eye and Ear Hospital. Indeed he was graciousness itself and was noted for his gentle good humour and great smile. These became increasingly more characteristic of him, even as advancing years took their toll. He had the rare gift of being able to listen to others and hear what they were really saying, without letting his own interests, declining health or physical discomfort come between them and him.

Early in 2011, his adverse health condition brought John to his final earthly home, Cherryfield Lodge. Here his gracious and uncomplaining manner, with his gentle and humble disposition, quickly endeared him to the other residents and staff and elicited from them extraordinary care and attention. There are many memories of John's patience and prayerfulness during his last months on earth - his dedication to the Rosary, his wise advice, his graciousness to the almost unending stream of visitors who called to see him, his delight when visited by his brother Julian and members of his family, his generous comments about others, his insightful but ever-gentle humour, his gratitude for any little thing done on his behalf, his reluctance to talk about the pains, bad nights and poor appetite of a man experiencing great physical discomfort, his ability to keep himself abreast of major sporting events, his almost childlike pleasure in the bright skies he could see outside and the flowers that were brought to him in his room.

One memory that endures is very simple. It is of John lifting his pain-filled body to reach towards a nearby vase of roses, allowing the roses to be brought before his face, and his great smile of satisfaction and happiness as he breathed their fragrance and sank back on to his pillow. You could almost hear him say with Simeon of old, “At last, all-powerful Master, you give leave to your servant to go in peace, according to your promise”. Clearly, we had a saint among us and scarcely knew.

Fitzgerald, Kyran Joseph, 1922-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/504
  • Person
  • 03 March 1922-07 May 1997

Born: 03 March 1922, Grangemore, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1940, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 September 1977, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Died: 07 May 1997, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Father was a doctor.

Younges of five boys and one girl

Early education at a private school unyil age 7 and then to Waterpark College. At age 14 he went to Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Interfuse

Obituary

Fr Kyran Fitzgerald (1922-1997)

3rd Mar. 1922: Born in Waterford
Early education: Waterpark College and Clongowes Wood College.
7th Sept. 1940: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1942: First Vows at Emo
1942 - 1945: Rathfarnham, Arts at UCD
1945 - 1948: Tullabeg, Studying Philosophy
1948 - 1951: Clongowes, teaching Cl. Cert in Education
1951 - 1955: Milltown Park, studying Theology
29th July 1954: Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1955 - 1956: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1956 - 1961: Clongowes, teaching
1961 - 1968: Mungret College, teaching
1968 - 1970: College of Industrial Relations, studying Psychology at UCD
1970 - 1971: Galway, teaching & Career Guidance
1971 - 1986: Gonzaga, teaching & Career Guidance work ('71-'85)
1985 - 1986: Sabbatical
1986 - 1991: Chaplain, Lansdowne Road N. Home Subsequently listed as "assistant librarian" "writer".

Homily at Funeral Mass of Fr. Kyran Fitzgerald
We have come together this morning for Mass, to celebrate the eucharist: to remember with gratitude, with sorrow and with concern the passover of Christ in the first place, but today the passover also of Kyran. Doing this in memory of him, breaking together the Bread of the Word and the Bread of the Eucharist, we give thanks for the life and work of Jesus of Nazareth, for his suffering death and resurrection which, as the Creed puts it, were for us and for our salvation. But in that gratitude today we give special place to Kyran as a priest of the Society of Jesus. We give thanks for his life of self-sacrifice as a faithful Jesuit religious, a life which started long ago in 1940 when soon after the beginning of the London Blitz we both went as novices to Emo Park near Portarlington; we give thanks for his ministry as a devoted teacher of History and of Latin not only in Gonzaga but previously in Clongowes, Mungret and Galway, especially for his pioneering work as a career guidance counsellor: he was one of the founding members of that profession in this country; we give thanks too for his great capacity for friendship, for his gleaming eye and sense of humour, for his winning way with young people, for his love of fun and games and of celebrations such as the great party which - with so much thoughtfulness and imagination - the Matron of Cherryfield gave for him recently on the occasion of his 75th birthday.

As well as giving thanks at Mass we are sorry and ask forgiveness firstly of course for our ungratefulness and unfaithfulness in our following of Christ but in our sorrow at today's Mass we include and ask forgiveness for our failure to love Kyran as much as we should have, our failure to recognize and appreciate to the full all that he was by God's grace. He was a real charmer, brilliant in conversation skillful in argument and debate, patient and courageous and hopeful in suffering (as the first reading recalled so beautifully and so appositely), wide and catholic in the scope of his interests and strong in his convictions but tolerant, benignly tolerant with those of us who were unable to go along with all his views, political or theological, or unable to match his skill at bridge. And although he once loved to play a card game called 'Spite and Malice' and of course to win and therefore to beat you and to enjoy winning and beating you, there was in Kyran not the slightest trace of any spite or malice. He was innocent of all unkindness and uncharitablness. For our failure to appreciate to the full all these and other spiritual gifts, all these and other signs of God's goodness and grace we ask Kyran's forgiveness at this Mass.

But the eucharist, our Mass, expresses not only our gratitude and our sorrow but also our concern, our concern for the salvation of God's world, so we make intercession for God's people and in that intercession today we naturally give pride of place to Kyran's relatives, to his sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and extended family, to his Jesuit confreres, to all those whose interests he had and still has so much at heart: asking the Holy Spirit to come and comfort and console us. A special memento is of course owing to Dr. Joe Martin and to the Matron of Cherryfield, Nurse Mary Ryan and all her staff: they took exquisite care of him in his last years and in that way made all the more real for Kyran God's own loving care of him.

For me it is a special comfort and consolation that we are burying Kyran on what is in Ireland the Vigil of the Feast of the Ascension and that Wednesday last, the day he died, was the Vigil of the Ascension in most of the rest of the Christian world. There is, as I tried to tell him on Wednesday afternoon, a certain appropriateness in dying at Ascensiontide when we celebrate what was for Jesus the end of his earthly existence and his return to the Father in Heaven. Above all the Ascension reminds us of the great mystery enshrined in the last article of our Creed: “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sin, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting”,

This mystery is hard to take, hard to stomach as the fourth gospel puts it with reference to the related mystery of the eucharist - the bread of immortality. It is mind-blowing, mind-boggling and we are all, each and every one of us, only too conscious of our hesitations and uncertainties, of our unbelief. But it is perhaps communities who believe rather than mere individuals and the Christian Community's sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, as expressed at Mass, in today's Mass especially, is therefore a great comfort to us in our own personal unbelief. We find our hearts strangely warmed by the Church's confident faith in the next life, in the after-life, in life with God, in everlasting life in the heavenly places where, as St. Paul tells the Corinthians, (1 Cor 15:42-54), our corruptible bodies will be mysteriously clothed with incorruption and immortality and glory and power.

When I was saying Mass last Wednesday evening shortly after visiting Kyran just two hours before he died and with him especially in mind, the epistle for the day was taken from St. Luke's account in the 17th chapter of Acts, of St Paul's speech to the Athenians in which he had proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Verse 32 read “at this mention of rising from the dead, some of them burst out laughing”. Still today, perhaps even more so today and not only in Athens but everywhere, belief in the other world and in the last article of the Creed is just laughable, an idea to be dismissed with a laugh. For too many people the parameters and perspectives of their lives are very much this-worldly: getting and spending we lay vast our powers; a materialism and consumerism which puts things before people is too pervasive. Death makes such a life style very questionable: for those of us with any vestige of belief it is a salutary reminder that life may begin but hardly ends here below.

According to the Christian faith of the Church, life for Kyran is now changed not ended. He has completed his baptism into the death and resurrection of Christ, he has entered his promised inheritance and his joy none can now ever take from him. He has been warmly welcomed into Paradise not only by the choirs of angels and saints and by the Blessed Trinity but also by the members of his own family to whom he was always so devoted and whose photos were so prominent in his room: his mother and father, his beloved sister Peggy, and his distinguished brothers Oliver, Paddy, Gerald and Alexis. He will also have been warmly welcomed by the many friends who have gone before him marked with the sign of faith and not least, if I may say so, by our mutual friend, John Mulligan, with whom we both spent many an enjoyable holiday and with whom it will no doubt give Kyran special pleasure to discuss again the evolving political situation not only in these islands but all over the world.

We can no longer see or touch or hear Kyran but he is none the less close to us. The visible and tangible and audible is only a very small part of reality. Kyran has become part of the more vast, invisible universe and paradoxically but truly become even closer to us, because no longer subject to the limitations of life here below, the limitations of time and space. He has passed on, passed over, passed out of this world into the peace of heaven. We pray for him that he may rest in peace but only because we know that the rest and peace of heaven are not by any means to be equated with inactivity and indifference.

Shalom, the peace of heaven, is life, life in all its fullness and vibrancy, eternal life. As Jesus ascended into heaven 'on our behalf (Hebrews 6:20), 'for our good', 'to prepare a place' (In 14:2) for us, to give us hope, to send us the Spirit as a foretaste and promise here and now of the liberation and joy of the hereafter, so Kyran has gone before us not to abandon us but to prepare a place for us, not to forget us but to pray for us and indeed not only for us but for the whole Church and the whole world and the whole Society of Jesus. In Heaven, like Jesus and with Jesus, he now lives for ever to make intercession for us, to send down on us the Spirit who renews the face of the earth and the face of the Church; he has gone before us so that where he is we also may be: with him in our Father's house where there are many rooms.

And now what he is probably trying to say to us is what, according to St Luke (Acts 1:11), the Angels said to the disciples just after the Ascension: why are you standing around here, hanging about here, looking up into the sky, into heaven, star gazing? Kyran would surely want us to do as the disciples did in response to those reprimanding words of the Angels after Jesus left them; he would want us after the funeral to go back home full of joy, our hearts burning within us, to praise God and to be witnesses to the resurrection in our daily lives.

Michael Hurley, SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1997

Obituary

Father Kyran Fitzgerald SJ

Kyran Fitzgerald was born in Waterford in 1922 and came to Clongowes after attending Waterpark. His Jesuit studies, on which he entered immediately after school followed the then standard course of novitiate at Emo, university studies at Rathfarnham Castle, philosophy at Tullabeg, regency and theology at Milltown Park, ending with tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle. Kyran's regency consisted in a three-year teaching stint as a scholastic in his old school, 1948-51.

Following ordination in 1954, he returned here to teach for another five years, 1956-61. He taught at Mungret until 1968 and then studied psychology at UCD, where he had taken his Arts degree, to prepare himself for the work of career guidance to which he devoted the next fifteen years of his life, first in Galway for a year and then in Gonzaga. After a sabbatical year, he spent the last years of his active ministry as chaplain to a nursing home and helping in various capacities in the community.

By 1991, Parkinson's Disease, the ravages of which he bore with remarkable patience and courage, made it impossible for him to continue working. He died in the Jesuit infirmary at Cherryfield on May 7 1997.

Fitzgerald, Stephen, 1912-1990, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/502
  • Person
  • 24 August 1912-10 November 1990

Born: 24 August 1912, Myshall, County Carlow
Entered: 20 April 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 02 February 1945, Miltown Park, Dublin
Died: 10 November 1990, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

Fitzgerald, William J, 1921-1995, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/505
  • Person
  • 04 May 1921-08 September 1995

Born: 04 May 1921, Shanaclough, Oola, County Limerick
Entered: 14 August 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1960, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 08 September 1995, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 92 : August 1996

Obituary
Br William (Willie) Fitzgerald (1921-1995)

4th May 1921: Born in Shanaclough, Oola, Co. Limerick
Education: Oola NS, Co. Limerick
Employment: 10 years farming
14th Aug. 1950: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1952: First Vows at Emo
1952 - 1959: Emo, Farm Steward Tertianship,
1959 - 1960: Roehampton, England
15th Aug. 1960: Final Vows, Emo
1960 - 1967: Emo, Farm Steward
1967 - 1995: Clongowes - Plant maintenance, House and College
1st June 1995: Admitted to Naas Hospital. Convalescence in Cherryfield Lodge
8th Sept. 1995: Died at Cherryfield Lodge

There is a tradition in the neighbourhood around Clongowes that there is always a “holy Jesuit” at the College. In recent years the pupils at the school would have had no doubt about who the “holy Jesuit” was. Br. Willie Fitzgerald was their idea of a holy man. They have their own stringent criteria for assessing holiness. And according to their criteria he never failed: he was invariably helpful and he repaired the same window they had broken yet again with the same patient good humour. He never gave out to them. Maybe his reputation said more about his fellow Jesuits in Clongowes than about Willie, but the reputation stood the test of time.

In a college where Fr. John Sullivan had set the standard, his fellow Jesuits noticed the similarities: Willie had a most extraordinarily cheerful willingness to help, no matter what time it was, no matter how inconvenient it was, and no matter how often he had had to do it even that very day. And that same cheerfulness survived nearly thirty years of breakages, broken windows, missing slates, clogged drains and blown bulbs. He often uncomplainingly repaired the same window twice in the same day.

For him love was found in deeds not in words. As with John Sullivan he knew when he was being taken advantage of, yet neither of them lost their temper, neither used recrimination even when they knew the damage was malicious. When you come across that kind of thing you know you are dealing with something special. As the boys in Clongowes knew in both cases, for nothing fake could take that much.

Br. Willie was hard to find, except twice a day, in the chapel. No matter what had disturbed his sleep during the night he was up and in the chapel as usual at 5,10 the next morning. In this too he was like John Sullivan. It was quietly done, but he was never late, never absent. He was there unobtrusively at different hours when nobody else was around. And we knew we were blessed; he prayed for us, the community, the boys.

Like John Sullivan too he suffered and always in silence. He suffered much from arthritis and was nearly crippled before he underwent the hip-operation, Afterwards there were strict injunctions that there was to be no climbing of roofs, no lifting of ladders. There was no stopping him. There was work to be done, and he did it. In his final illness there were long periods of pain, sleeplessness, but as always it was borne without complaint.

Vocation - that mysterious calling to imitate Christ - for Br. Willie it was not to imitate him in his teaching ministry but in his serving ministry. “I have come not to be served but to serve". For Willie it was a pouring out of self, without question, without complaint, AND doing it willingly, doing it cheerfully.

I think for the pupils of the school it was a choice they found difficult to envisage. With their young talents they dream of taking a place in life commensurate with their gifts. His vocation was challenging, all the more challenging because it was free. Willie Fitzgerald had talents that few guessed at. He had been best in his class at school, he had been a talented actor as a young man, and a keen sportsman. He would cycle to Carlow of a Sunday for a GAA match. Gerard Manley Hopkins was his favourite poet, and he could recite whole poems of his by heart. He had many talents but he chose a life of service as his way of imitating Christ.

I entered the noviciate in 1950, the same year as Willie Fitzgerald; we took our vows on the same day. I heard him make his dedication of himself; I saw him over more than forty years live out that dedication, not as a burden but cheerfully and willingly - just like his warm salute every time you met him.

Willie had a hermit streak, but he was a vital member of his community because he prayed for us. It was typical of him that when he was in Naas hospital during his final illness other patients and their visitors gravitated towards him and asked for his prayers. In his final days in Cherryfield I visited him and before taking my final leave of him I made sure to add my request to that of others, pray for me”. I know a good thing when I see it. The Community miss all the things he did around the place, but we feel sure of his prayers. Willie Fitzgerald died on 8th September 1995.

JL

◆ The Clongownian, 1996

Obituary
Brother William Fitzgerald SJ

“Willie Fitz”, as we called him in the Jesuit community, died peacefully after an illness of some months on the morning of 8 September 1995 in Cherryfield Lodge, the same day as young Stephen Downes a few miles away in Beaumont Hospital.
Willie came from Oola, Co. Limerick, where he was born on 4 May 1921. He farmed there until joining the Jesuits on 14 August 1950, at the age of 29. Almost uniquely for a Jesuit, his whole life was lived in just two houses: St Mary's, Emo, where he entered and remained a member of the community until 1967, shortly before the house was closed, and then Clongowes. In Emo he looked after the farm; here he was part - or several parts - of the maintenance staff. As we discovered after his death, although we had suspected it long before, he did the work of three men and no neat description of his job or his duties could properly encompass all the labours with which he filled his days.

He was a skilful handyman in several departments, in addition to the mechanical jobs for which he was formally responsible. Much of the work he did was hard, physical labour. He worked with complete fidelity and reliability. Broken windows never remained broken for long. The boiler was switched on and off personally - Willie never had much time for mechanical devices and preferred personal supervision. But the hallmark of all his work and his personality was his unfailing cheerfulness. This, more than the work itself, was one of the clues that Brother Fitzgerald was an unusually holy man. He was impossible to put out of countenance. Whatever the demand, he responded without complaint.

The present writer remembers him being called from his bed (or at least from his bed room - he retired late and rose extremely early) long after the midnight hour to secure entry to the top floor of the infirmary for a lay teacher who had got locked out. This necessitated Fitz going down to his workshop, carrying a heavy ladder to the back of the building and climbing up outside and through a window on the back-stairs. We, who were waiting inside, knew he had arrived when we heard his characteristically jovial singing on the other side of the door. That small, but revealing, incident was repeated time after time and typified his complete availability to others, utterly unmindful of any cost to him self. This is surely one of the principal marks of sanctity in a human being.

He was physically very robust and agile, until the end of his life. The heavy ladder he hoisted on his shoulders that night was one of countless loads we saw him carrying round over the years. The sight of Fitz up a ladder erected against a precariously wavering flag pole on top of the “29 Building” to run up the flag for Union Day inspired severe misgivings in others but he clearly thought nothing of it himself When he travelled, his favoured mode of transport was the bicycle. He went for long trips when he was allowing himself a little time off and, when he went home on holidays once a year, he cycled to Oola and back. We had no evidence that he even broke the journey.

All the while, he was making a more important journey and scaling other heights. We knew that he prayed - not as so many of us pray, as if, in the words of the Curé of Ars, we were saying, “I am just going to say a couple of words, so I can get away quickly”, but more like John Sullivan (and the reminiscence is not by chance), about whom a fellow scholastic once marvelled: “Mr Sullivan actually talks to Jesus in the chapel”. We only caught glimpses of this in Fitz - from the nature of things and because much of it was in the early hours when no one else was about - but we were keenly aware of it.

He was, in any case, a deeply private man. He was not unfriendly or unsociable. He was anything but unapproachable. But you did not feel he needed conversation or recreation, In some ways, living his slightly reclusive life, he was almost more a Carthusian than a Jesuit. He kept a certain kind of reserve, always, for example, addressing the rest of us as “Father” or “Brother”, never by our first names. He lived in obscurity, unknown except by the small circle of his family, his fellow-Jesuits in the community and those he worked with or met through his work. That was the way he wanted it and it revealed another dimension of his profoundly Christian personality, a humility which had no false note.

He had a good, alert mind and he was a shrewd observer of what was going on around him. We remember the sight of him in the community library after tea (his taken early), studying the newspaper, always The Irish Independent. He was keenly interested in sport, especially hurling and football. He had a hearty sense of humour, which could be sharp but was never unkind. We were amused and touched to discover that he used to send jokes to Ireland's Own, in the hope of winning the small prizes offered. Whoever the money was for, if he did win, it was certainly not for himself.

There was a depth of goodness and humanity in Willie Fitzgerald, which touched every one and he was a completely real person. Although his contact with the boys was some what indirect, “Brother Fitz” was a very familiar figure, always working, always on the move, always good-humoured and cheerful, and many of them had a sense of his special quality.

The day he died was the 43rd anniversary of his First Vows as a Jesuit. Those of us who had the privilege of living with him know that few have lived those vows with such awe-inspiring goodness and commitment as Willie Fitzgerald did. We convey our deep sympathy to his family.

Flannery, Denis, 1930-1999, jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/662
  • Person
  • 02 December 1930-08 March 1999

Born: 02 December 1930, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 08 March 1999, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin Dublin - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM: 03 December 1969

Educated at Belvedere College SJ

by 1958 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Denis was born in Dublin, Ireland, on the 2 December 1930. He attended the Holy Faith Convent School and Belvedere College for his secondary education. He was a member of the photographic club in 'Belvo' and toured the many historical sites around Dublin in that capacity. In September 1949, he entered the novitiate at Emo, followed by the juniorate and philosophical studies after vows. Four scholastics from his year were assigned to go to Zambia for regency but Denis was not one of them. However, one of the four asked that he be sent to Hong Kong, so Denis was then assigned to Zambia. How Providence works!

When he came to Zambia he worked in Monze and then went to Fumbo in the valley for a year to struggle with Tonga while living with Fr Joe McDonald. Then he had two years at Canisius Secondary School, the beginning of his life-long contact with youth.

After his theology and ordination at Milltown Park on 31st July 1963, he flew out once again to Zambia, to Monze. Bishop Corboy of the newly established diocese of Monze (1962) saw the need for a minor seminary (a secondary school) to nurture young boys who might have a vocation to the priesthood. Fr Denis was asked to work there, so he went to Mukasa at Choma which was being built and opened the first Form 1 with the help of two scholastics, Frs Paddy Joyce and Clive Dillon-Malone. Denis remained Headmaster until 1970 putting Mukasa on a firm footing. He came again as Headmaster from 1986 to 1990 when the need arose. He moved to Fumbo for a year as parish priest and then returned to Monze to be a teacher and chaplain at Monze Government Secondary School for 14 years until 1985. With all his experience behind him, Denis now became travelling chaplain for the Catholic Teachers in the primary schools of the Monze diocese. He was also Diocesan vocations promoter and spiritual director of the Monze major seminarians. The diocesan Newsletter written by him for many years, always had 'full' pages for reading.

That was Denis the 'activist'. What about Denis the man?

He was a devoted priest and Jesuit, devoted to the poor and the sick. Wherever he went he had the Holy Oils with him ready to anoint the seriously sick.

He was a strict disciplinarian in the schools, whether in Mukasa or Monze Secondary. He knew the name of every boy in the school, even the hundreds in Monze Secondary. While in Monze one evening as he passed the Freedom Bar, he spotted a few Monze boys (boarders) enjoying themselves inside, out of bounds, of course. Out came Denis' note book and down went the names even though they scattered in the crowd. He did not have to ask anyone. Denis seemed to revel in adversity! Crises attached themselves to him. Someone once said that if there was no crisis, Denis would make one! Twice he came across dead bodies on the main road and like the Good Samaritan, he did not pass by. As headmaster, he could be quite radical in the sense that he would send home a whole class for infringements of discipline.

The Boy Scout Movement had a special place in his heart from the time he was a scholastic. He kept up this interest even in his busy life, becoming coordinator of the Boy Scouts in the Southern Province of Zambia.

Service was uppermost in his life. He was ready to drive down the Valley to Chipepo Secondary School for a Sunday Mass even after having had a church service in Monze in the morning. If a football match needed a referee, Denis was there. Sports and clubs saw him as active and at times dramatic! And he loved to regale his fellow Jesuits with the events and incidents (of which there were many!) in which he was involved, especially late at night. Midnight often did not register with him.

His last years with cancer were painful ones. Cherryfield in Dublin was where he was for many months. He hated to be alone and always wished for the company of his sisters, his fellow Jesuits and his friends. The Mass was central to his suffering life and he said or attended it each day in his room. In his last weeks, the way he carried his suffering became for those who were with him an example of great courage and faith.

Note from Paddy Joyce Entry
In August 1964, he came to Zambia for three years, the first year teaching at Canisius Secondary School, the second year he went to Choma with Frs Flannery and Clive Dillon-Malone to be the founder members of Mukasa Minor Seminary.

Fleury, Dermot John, 1918-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/599
  • Person
  • 09 September 1918-04 October 2001

Born: 09 September 1918, Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Fourvière, Lyon, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1954, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome, Italy
Died: 04 October 2001, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Father was a Veterinary Sergeant and Civil Servant for the British Government in Malaysia. When he retired the family returned to Ireland and resided at Alor Setar, Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire.

Eldest of two boys with three sisters.

Early education for six years at Dominican Convent Wicklow and then at at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1948 Lyon, France (LUGD) studying
by 1952 at Rome, Italy (ROM) Substitute English Assistancy Secretary

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 112 : Special Edition 2002

Obituary
Fr Dermot Fleury (1918-2001)

9th Sept. 1918: Born in Penang, Malaya
Early education in Dominican Convent, Wicklow, and Clongowes Wood College
7th Sept. 1936: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1938: First Vows at Emo
1938 - 1841: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1944 - 1946: Clongowes - Regency; Teacher; Certificate in Education
1946 - 1947: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
1947 - 1950: Fourviere, France - Studied Theology
31st July 1949: Ordained at Lyons
1950 - 1951: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1951 - 1954: Curia, Rome - Sub-Secretary to English speaking Assistancy
2nd Feb. 1954: Final Vows at Gesu, Rome
1954 - 1960: Belvedere - Teacher
1960 - 1962: Clongowes - Teacher
1962 - 1968: Emo - Teacher of Latin/Greek to Novices
1968 - 1988: Milltown Park - Institute Librarian; Community Librarian; Librarianship Diploma at UCD
1988 - 1991: Tullabeg - Prefect of People's Church
1991 - 2001: St. Ignatius, Galway
1991 - 1996: Parish Curate
1996 - 2001: Assisted in Church, Guestmaster.

Fr. Fleury was admitted to Cherryfield on August 3rd, 2001. His balance was poor, and there was a marked weakness on his left side. Following a brain scan he was found to have a brain tumour. He attended Dr Moriarty, and had a short course of radiotherapy. His condition continued to deteriorate, and he died peacefully in Cherryfield on Thursday, 4th October, at 3.45 a.m.

Eddie Fitzgerald writes....
When I was asked to write Dermot's obituary I consented with some misgivings. We were exact contemporaries and lived together in Clongowes, in Emo, in Rathfarnham and Tullabeg. We were patients together in Cherryfield during Dermot's final illness. So I suppose it was natural that I should be asked to write the obituary. But my misgivings began in the last weeks of his life. It was then that I fully realized that I was not really among his circle of friends - those few Jesuits, but many lay men and women, who really knew Dermot in the intimacy of friendship. I knew the facts of his life, but I did not really know Dermot himself as true friends know one another.

In CWC, he and I had Father John Sullivan teaching us Latin and R.K., and we were present with Dick Brenan and Bob Thompson at his requiem Mass and burial on that winter's day in February, 1933. I am sure Father John's prayers (even more than his example) turned our thoughts and our steps towards Emo. Dermot was among the brightest in the Rhetoric class of "36, competing against Eoin O'Malley and Harry Counihan for first place in our weekly exams. He was a fine athlete, playing as hooker in the Senior Cup team and also having a place on the cricket eleven. I could not claim to have been a friend of his. My attitude to Dermot would have been admiration streaked with green-eye.

I have no memories of Dermot in the noviceship. In fact, I think the noviceship training set the lasting pattern of a cautious approach to friendship between us scholastics. While we tried to come to an intimate interior knowledge of Christ, we were cautioned against the danger of particular friendships. We could be friends in the Lord without being attached to any particular novice friends.

In Rathfarnham I studied classics with Dermot and Tony Baggot. The class was very small, the three of us with about four Spiritans. Strange to say the two years of shared classes and courses did not draw us any closer. Thinking of the text of Scripture, “A brother helped by a brother is like a strong city”, I am surprised today that we never turned to one another for help and support. He went to Tullabeg in 1941, I followed him a year later. If the shared study of classics in Rathfarnham did not draw us closer together, the two years in Tullabeg only confirmed us in our mutual respect and reserve. When he went to Clongowes in 1944, we would not live together again until 1973 when I returned to Milltown after seven years in Mungret, finding Dermot had been in the community since '68.

Dermot's three years of theology in Fourviere (47 to '50) and his three years in the Curia in Rome as sub-secretary to the English-speaking Assistancy (51 to '54) tended to confirm him in his character as a loner in the Province. He was strengthened in his firm loyalty to Father General and the Pope. The concept of a loyal opposition was totally anathema to him. If Vatican II showed signs of the Rhine flowing into the Tiber, Dermot was not sure that the confluence was good for the Roman stream. When he came to Milltown as Librarian in the Milltown Institute he would have shared many of Sean Hyde's misgivings about some of the developments in theology since Vatican II. He did not share the widespread enthusiasm for Rahner and Lonergan but, with John Paul II and Sean Hyde, considered Von Balthasar the greatest contemporary theologian. I was teaching some courses for the Shorts' from '73 to '83 but Dermot and I never discussed theology. I was convinced he was out of sympathy with what he and Seán Hyde saw as the new style of supermarket theology.

But if he was a silent critic of the Institute's aggiornamento in the teaching of theology and philosophy, his work as Librarian made him a major contributor to the work of the Institute. With his characteristic courage and dedication, he undertook the total renewal of the library register. To equip himself for this task he obtained a diploma in librarianship in UCD. Then with help from Michael Ryan he set about re classifying all the theology and philosophy books according to the system of the Library of Congress. His relentless work over many years laid the foundation for the computerized register now operated by the librarian and her two assistants. But he was not content to devote long hours every day to the tedious task of re-classifying the books. Come Saturday, he would spend hours sweeping the library and even duşting the books shelf by shelf. Thursday was his shopping day for the library. He would get an early bus in to town. Among the shops he would visit, Greene's in Clare Street was specially favoured. He became a firm and lasting friend of Mr Pembrey and his sons.

While Dermot was held in the highest esteem and respect by all in the Jesuit community, few if any could claim him as a close friend. And yet, as later in Tullabeg and Galway, he had a large circle of men and women friends. He had friends among the hardy group of all-year-round swimmers at the Forty Foot. Through his work as Librarian he made many friends - Mr Pembrey and his sons, a former lady librarian in UCD, German friends, made while attending courses in the Goethe Institute. One of our longest serving telephonists remained closer to Dermot than to anyone else in the community. He had a charism for friendship. His circle of friends embraced old and young, men and, perhaps even more, women and children.

I feel sure he found his change to the church in Tullabeg a sacrifice. Contact with many friends made during his twenty years in Milltown was made more difficult. Before he left Milltown he asked me to visit a widow in Cherryfield Avenue that he had supported by regular visits since the death of her husband. Having no local contacts at all, I was glad to enter into his good work. When she died some years later, he came up from Galway for the requiem Mass in Beechwood Church. We concelebrated the Mass and I was in admiration of his homily full of warm human sympathy and the firm hope of the Resurrection. Not long before his last illness, he came up from Galway again to celebrate the requiem of Mr Pembrey, whom he had often visited during the last months in a nursing home.

In the short three years as prefect of the people's church in Tullabeg, he made another circle of friends and he used to visit them from Galway on his days off. Among his parishioner friends he was very devoted to the family who ran the Post Office in Rahan. Dermot's last ten years were spent working in the church in Galway. I only met him in the summer when he came to spend his villa in Milltown or in Belvedere, visiting his large circle of friends from the Milltown years. I attended his requiem Mass in October '01, and John Humphreys' homily, together with the colorful reminiscences of the community, made me fully aware of Dermot's charism for friendship. Of course he had many friends from the parish but his circle of friends extended far beyond the parish boundaries. Unlike the Forty Foot, which was a male preserve when Dermot was in Milltown, Blackrock in Galway was not so exclusive and among his swimming friends was an “exotic mermaid from Russia”.

I was recovering from a prostate operation in Cherryfield when Dermot paid me a visit on August 2nd. He was coming to spend his villa in Milltown visiting his family and his many friends from the old days. He admitted being very tired from work in the church and attending to summer visitors. The very next day he was admitted to Cherryfield suffering from serious loss of balance - the first signs of the brain tumour that was to lead to his death two months later.

I treasure two memories of my last meetings with Dermot. I offered to get him any books he wanted. He said he was happy with his A Kempis, but asked me to get him a copy of the Morning and Evening prayer of the church. He could no longer say the full office to which he was devoted. He confided to me that no book had meant more to him than the autobiography of Edith Stein, written when she had become a Carmelite - Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. I had read it some years before, but read it again since Dermot died. Looking back on her own life Edith Stein expressed the thought: “What was not included in my plans lay in God's plan”. Those words are marked in pencil in the margin. Dermot was scrupulous in his care of books, but those pencil marks could well be his. He was able to see that his last fatal illness was part of God's plan for him. Like Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, he was able to help others to bear their burdens because he drew his strength from the Passion of Christ. His younger brother Kevin suffered a serious accident in Canada, where he was working in an insurance company. He was brought back to Ireland, but he never recovered from his injuries. He was bed ridden at home and Dermot faithfully supported him and his young wife till his early death. One of Dermot's sisters was a life-long victim of depression, and, again, he was a faithful visitor to her in hospital or at home. If Dermot enjoyed rude health till his final illness, his devotion to the cross helped him to live Saint Paul's words: “Bear one another's burden and you will fulfil the law of Christ”.

This is another treasured memory from those last months. I was saying Mass in Cherryfield one day when I was told that it was Dermot's birthday. He was 83. I said I was offering the Mass for him and referred to our faith journey together since the days in Clongowes. After Mass the nurses had the usual party and birthday cake for him. I think, with all his selfless modesty, he realized how much he was loved by the nurses and all his fellow patients. That simple celebration was a small symbol of the celebration Dermot was soon to share with his many friends, when the Good Shepherd had led him into his Father's house.

-oOo-

Dermot Fluery came to Galway when Tullabeg closed in 1991. He spent the last years of his life working in the Parish, an apostolate in which he had been engaged in Tullabeg. I had not lived with him since our teaching days in Belvedere in the 1960's, and my first impression was that he had changed. He took to his pastoral work with real vigour and I could see that his stint in Tullabeg had benefited him.

Formerly he had been somewhat distant and reserved, but now he was anxious to get to know the parishioners and their families, and he took a great interest in all their affairs. He was very devoted to the sick and housebound, and visited them regularly with Holy Communion. He had a gift in remembering names in families and could recite all the names from grandparents to grandchildren.

The custom in the Galway Diocese is to bring the Blessed Sacrament to the sick on the First Friday of every month, but, when we were constituted a parish, he was among those who thought it should be every week. This practice continues to the present day.

He was very keen on physical exercise both in the winter and summer. He regularly took a good walk and a swim in ocean every Sunday and Wednesday. He never learnt to drive .a car but he had a reliable bicycle, which he used almost up to his final days. The people of the parish held him in very high regard and at his funeral remarks like, “He was a lovely priest always ready to help people”, could be heard. He will certainly get a rich reward for his devoted service in the priesthood.

Foley, Joseph Gerard, 1921-2006, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

Father was a Senior Tax Office in the Civil Service. The family resided at Loretto, South Circular Road, Limerick City.

Second in the family with an older sister and a younger brother and four younger sisters.

Early education was at the Model School in Limerick and then at Coláiste Mhicil, Limerick.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fook-Wai Chan, Francis, 1923-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/491
  • Person
  • 29 January 1923-04 December 1993

Born: 29 January 1923, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Entered: 17 August 1940, Rizal, Philippines (MARNEB for HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1958, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 04 December 1993, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CHN : 1992; CHN to HIB : 15 September 1992

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Francis Chan Fook Wai, SJ., a long-serving teacher in Wah Yan College Kowloon and a sought-after priest at St. Ignatius Chapel there, died in Dublin, Ireland, on 4 December 1993, aged 70 years.

Born to a Catholic family in Shamshuipo, Kowloon, in 1923, he graduated from Wah Yan College Hong Kong which was then situated on Robinson Road. He joined the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) in 1940 and went to the Philippines for his novitiate, taking his vows there under Japanese occupation in 1942.

After studies there in humanities and philosophy, he returned to teach for a year at his old school and then moved to Ireland to study theology in 1950-54 at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained a priest in 1953. He made his final year of spiritual formation in Wales, followed by a year of educational studies in London.

After returning to Hong Kong in 1956, he took up what was to be his life-long career as a secondary-school teacher, this time in Kowloon Wah Yan College on Waterloo Road.

He was to teach full-time at Form Five level for over 30 years, a period broken only by his going to Canada in 1969 to take a Master's degree in history at the University of Saskatchewan. Even after official retirement at 65 in 1988, he continued with a reduced teaching load for a further two years. During the course of those long years, he had served also as Prefect of Studies of the school and as the first Chinese Rector of the Jesuit community.

His pastoral work at St. Ignatius Chapel had begun as early as 1972 but from 1990 this became his main concern. There he had already become known for the many groups whom he personally instructed for Baptism. Every year he prepared two groups of over fifty adults. He often baptised a whole family, including grandparents and grandchildren.

In early 1992 he moved to England to care for the Chinese Catholics living in London. But soon after taking up that responsibility, he had to undergo major surgery. He was happy to be able to resume his pastoral work for some months but when the problem recurred in mid-1990, he sought medical treatment in Ireland and it was there that he died peacefully on 4 December.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was in Wah Yan College Hong Kong.
He made his Novitiate in Manila, and the studied Humanities and Philosophy.
1950-1954 he was sent to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology.
After that he studied Spiritual formation in Wales and Educational studies in London.
He taught at Wah Yan College Kowloon and then in 1992 he moved to London, England to care for Chinese Catholics living there.

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Francis (Frank) Chan (Fook-wai Chan) (1923-1993)
29th Jan. 1923: Born in Hong Kong to a Catholic family Primary studies: Tun Mui School, Hong Kong
Secondary studies: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Graduating 1940
14th Aug. 1940: Entered Society at Novaliches Novitiate, Philippines
15th Aug. 1942: First Vows at Novaliches
1942 - 1944: Juniorate at Novaliches, studied English, Latin and Greek
1944 - 1946: Philosophy at Novaliches
1946 - 1950: Regency in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
1950 - 1954: Theology in Milltown Park
31st July 1953; Ordained a priest in Milltown Park by J.C. McQuaid
1954 - 1955: Tertianship at St. Bueno's, Wales
1955 - 1956: Diploma in Education at Strawberry Hill College, London
1956 - 1958: Taught in Wah Yan College, Kowloon
3rd Feb. 1958: Final Vows, professed
1959-1965: Prefect of Studies in Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
1965-1967: Fund-raising for new school wing
1967-1970: Studies for M.A. in history at University of Saskatchewan, Canada
1970-1990: Taught in Wah Yan College, Kowloon
1972-1978; Minister of community
1972-1991: Prefect of Church
1972-1982: Consultor of Vice-Province
1978-1994: Rector of Wah Yan College
1985-1991: Minister of community
1991-1992: Sabbatical Year
1992-1993: Director of London Chinese Catholic Association, St. Patrick's Church, London
1992: Transcribed to Irish Province
4th Dec. 1993: Died at Our Lady's Hospice, Harolds Cross

I suppose “single-minded” is the word that best sums up Fr. Francis Chan. I first noticed this when we were together in Theology in Milltown Park in the early fifties. For Francis it was slog and swot every spare hour of the day. The result was that he outshone many of his colleagues who considered that they were of higher intellectual ability than him. There was a certain amount of chagrin that Francis got his “Ad Grad” and was thus on the way to becoming Professed Father, while some of his colleagues had to be satisfied with becoming "mere" Spiritual Coadjutors.

Francis continued to show that same determination to achieve academic success after completing his tertianship in St. Beunos, North Wales. He first studied for a Diploma in Education in Strawberry Hill, London. Then, after his return to Hong Kong in 1956, he sat his Matriculation Exam and an external degree in history from London University - no mean achievement as he was a full-time teacher during that period. Later, he obtained a Master's degree from Regina University, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Francis devoted himself with the same single-mindedness to the very difficult task of fund-raising for Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He was Chairman of the Committee and gave himself wholeheartedly to the task, contacting his many friends and Past Students of the College.

When he became Minister of Wah Yan College, Kowloon he showed the same efficiency that he had displayed in classroom teaching and in his term as Prefect of Studies in the College. However, his single mindedness and his determination to achieve sometimes meant that he was lacking in the art of good personal relationships. However, I must say that whenever I visited the College when Francis was minister, or later when he became Rector, he was always most welcoming, considerate and attentive.

I think that this appointment as Minister of Wah Yan was really a turning-point in Francis's career. As Minister, he was in charge of the “School Chapel”. It needs to be explained that the “Chapel”, to all intents and purposes, is a “mini parish church”; funerals or weddings are not performed, but other normal parish activities are carried out. (The official designation of St. Ignatius Chapel is a “Pastoral Zone” - the only one in the whole diocese of Hong Kong!!). It was in this work that Francis really blossomed and it became evident that while he threw himself wholeheartedly into his work as a teacher, his heart wasn't really in it. This might help to explain why he never developed a close personal relationship with his students. Anyhow, he relished his work with the people who came to St. Ignatius Chapel and took a deep interest in them. He prepared very many for Baptism himself, when the general practice of the diocese was to leave this task to catechists. And the people loved him. When he later became Rector, and would normally have ceased being in charge of St. Ignatius Chapel, he continued his association with it. Still later, when he retired from full-time teaching in the College he was able to devote practically all his time to his “parishioners”.

The thought of the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 was something that caused Francis a great deal of anxiety and he made no secret of the fact that he intended to leave well in advance of that date. So, in 1992 he left Hong Kong: first to visit his former parishioners living in Canada and then he came to Ireland. He obtained an Irish passport and became a member of the Irish Province in September of that year. Earlier, he had signed a three-year contract with the Archdiocese of Westminster to be the priest in charge of the Chinese Catholics in London - “Director of the Chinese Catholic Association, London” was his official title.

However, he soon experienced ill health and had prostate surgery in Dublin that same year. Against medical advice, Francis insisted on returning to his flock in London. He realised that, on account of his cancer, he didn't have very long to live so he paid a final visit to Hong Kong without revealing to anyone his serious medical condition. When the cancer worsened he had to leave his pastoral work in London and took up residence in Cherryfield Lodge in August, 1993. As his health continued to deteriorate, he moved to Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross, Dublin where he died on 4th December, 1993.

Something of the single-mindedness that had marked his life was evident in his final illness. He knew that he hadn't long to live so he committed himself totally into the hands of his Creator. The nurses in the Hospice said that they had never seen anyone die with such peaceful resignation - a peace that was clearly evident on his face after his death. May he rest in peace.

JG Foley

Frewen, Francis J, 1915-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/601
  • Person
  • 10 April 1915-28 October 2000

Born: 10 April 1915, Kingswell House, Kingswell, County Tipperary
Entered: 30 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 28 October 2000, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Father was a solicitor and died in 1933. Family resided at Ard na Chree, Tipperary Town.

Ninth of ten sons with four sisters.

Early education was at Our Lady’s Bower, Athlone and then at The Monastery Primary School, St Patrick’s Avenue, Tipperary. In 1928 he went to Beaumont College, Windsor, England until 1933.

◆ Interfuse No 112 : Special Edition 2002 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2002

Obituary

Fr Francis (Frank) Frewen (1915-2000)

10th April 1915: Born in Kingswell, Co. Tipperary
Early education at Our Lady's Bower, Athlone, and Beaumont College, Old Windsor, England.
30th Sept. 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
1st Oct. 1935: First Vows at Emo
1935 - 1937: Rathfarnham - Home Juniorate
1937 - 1940: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1940 - 1942: Crescent College - Regency
1942 - 1944: Clongowes Wood College - Teaching
1944 - 1948: Milltown Park - studying Theology
30 July 1947: Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1950 - 1962: Clongowes Wood College - Teaching
2nd Feb. 1951: Final Vows at Clongowes
1952: Study Prefect 1958 Minister
1960: Teacher
1962 - 1974: Mungret College - Teacher, Farm Manager
1971: Minister
1974 - 1997: Clongowes Wood College
1974 - 1997: Supervisor of Farm, Garden and Pleasure Grounds
1980 - 1983: Vice Rector
1990: Ministered in People's Church
1992: Guestmaster
1997 - 2000 Cherryfield Lodge
28th Oct. 2000: Died at Cheryfield Lodge, Dublin

Father Frewen was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in April 1997. He had become frail and his eyesight was poor. Although his health was declining, he continued his daily walks up to a few weeks before his death, although he latterly needed assistance.

Michael Sheil writes:
The story of Frank Frewen's life is simply told - as simply as Frank himself lived. But he was such a private sort of person that his background seemed always to be shrouded in mystery!
He received his secondary education in Beaumont College, Old Windsor. So his students thought that he was English through and through. But, in fact, he had been born in Kingswell, Co. Tipperary and spent his primary school years in Our Lady's Bower, Athlone.

He entered the Society in 1933 and followed the classic formation programme. Rathfarnham, Tullabeg, Crescent and Clongowes for regency, theology at Milltown - and he was ordained on July 30 1947. After Tertianship in Rathfarnham he began nearly fifty years of an active life as a priest. Two periods of 12 years each were spent, first in Clongowes (where, in turn, he was Teacher, Study Prefect and Minister) and then in Mungret, where, as well as teaching, he was in charge of the farm. After Mungret's closure, in 1974, Frank returned to Clongowes, where, for all of 23 years, he was Supervisor of the Farm, Garden and Pleasure Grounds, Vice-Rector and Priest-in charge of the People's Church, and Guestmaster.

I was a student for 6 of Frank's years in Clongowes and remember an (already silver-haired) urbane Jesuit, polite but not aloof, who brought to the soul-destroying job of big Study Prefect a great sense of humanity, humour and (there again!) even urbanity. Subsequently, I began my working life as a priest in Mungret, where I came to appreciate even more the rich qualities of this very private and reserved companion. We were to meet again for 15 years in Clongowes, where Frank never seemed to age until his sight began to fail.

In 1997, with failing health and poor eyesight, he was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge, where he waited quietly and simply for the final call, which came on October 28th 2000.

-oOo-

In his homily, preached at the Funeral Mass in Clongowes on the Eve of All Saints' Day, I think that Senan Timoney caught something of the simplicity and mystery of Frank's life when he spoke as follows:

Thee, God, I come from, to Thee go." This is the first line of a poem of Gerard Manley Hopkins, which well describes the circle of life, from origin to terminus. The ring of life can be of a wide diameter, in Fr Frewen's case a very wide one - 85 years of age, 67 years as a Jesuit, 53 years as a priest. He served in many roles, but he was always a priest - a priest-teacher, a priest-farmer, a priest-administrator, saying the Sunday Mass for the cement workers when in Mungret, and then for many years the early morning Mass in the People's Church in Clongowes, hearing confessions and other priestly functions - all this means that his priesthood was central to him.

But his was not a disincarnate spirituality. It was rooted in his surroundings. He came not to be served, but to serve - by teaching and in farm management for well over thirty years. As a teacher his integrity and honesty commanded reverence and respect. He inspired boys with enthusiasm for English literature and gave them tools for sound criticism.

Common sense belonged to Frank, and in his family I know that this was highly regarded. He took a pride in the farm in Clongowes and in Mungret and this was pride he shared with those with whom he worked.

In one of his lectures Cardinal Newman says that it is almost a definition of a gentleman to say that he is one who never inflicts pain. Fr. Frewen was a gentleman and a farmer. He was not a gentleman-farmer. He took a pride in the golf course in Clongowes, and it was only when you saw him hit a four-iron from a tight lie on the fairway that you realized that here was an artist at work.

Recently I met him in Cherryfield Lodge, where he was cared for so devotedly over the last three years of his life. His face lit up when I mentioned Mungret (where we had worked together for many years). It was only then perhaps that I realized how much of a loss his failing eyesight was and how it must have affected him, who was such an avid reader.

In this life we see through a glass, dimly, - then we shall see God face to face. This is our prayer for Frank: :Thee, God, I come from, to Thee go...”

Fr Frank's life was a life of distinguished service, if an unspectacular one - and yet, what is fame? What is glory? What is exploit? Living the Beatitudes (the Gospel text of this funeral Mass) is not spectacular - but it is distinguished service.

There is another Hopkins sonnet, which Frank would surely have known. It was written on the occasion of the canonization of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, who for forty years was porter at the College of Palma in Majorca (and we celebrate his feast on this eve of All Saints' Day).

He that hews out mountain, continent
Earth, all at last; who, with fine increment,
Trickling, veins violets and tall trees makes more
Could crown career with conquest. While there went
Those years and years by of world without event
That in Majorc' Alonso watched the door.

Gill, Joseph M, 1915-2006, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/623
  • Person
  • 03 February 1915-22 June 2006

Born: 03 February 1915, The Mall, Westport, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 22 June 2006, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Father was a doctor in Westport.

Second of five boys (eldest died at 18 months) and two sisters, one his twin.

Early education at a Convent school in Westport and then at the Christian Brothers school in Westport. In 1928 he went to Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1949 at Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - joined Patrick Walsh and Patrick JT O’Brien in Second group of Zambian Missioners
by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
The sad and peaceful death of Fr Joe Gill, SJ, took place in the afternoon of 22 June, 2006, in the Jesuit Nursing Home, Cherryfield, Dublin. His passing marked the end of an era, for he served 72 years in the Society of Jesus. May his noble soul be at the right hand of God.

Joseph Mary Gill was born to the late Dr Anthony and Mary (nee Mulloy) Gill of Westport on 3 February 1915. He got his early education in the Mercy Convent and the Christian Brothers' Schools in Westport and in Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare.

At the age of 19, Joe entered the Jesuit noviceship at Emo Park in 1934 and took his first vows in 1936. During the following ten years (1936-1946) he completed his third-level studies in arts (at UCD, 1936-1939), in philosophy at Tullabeg (1939-1942) and in theology at Milltown Park, Dublin (1942-1946). He was ordained a priest at Milltown Park on 31 July, 1945.

After his tertianship (1946-1947) he taught for a year in the Crescent Secondary School for boys in Limerick. He took his final vows as a Jesuit on 2 February 1948.
In 1948, Fr Gill was chosen to become one of the 'founding fathers' of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Zambia in Africa (then known as Northern Rhodesia). During his eight years in Zambia he worked tirelessly as pastor, builder, teacher and administrator in St Ignatius Church, Lusaka, in St Peter Canisius College, Chikuni, and in the mission outstations of Kasiya, Chivuna and Fumbo.

On his return to Ireland in 1956 Fr Joe was made minister of the recently founded Catholic Workers' College in Ranelagh, later to be known as the National College of Industrial Relations and today renamed as the National College of Ireland.

It was in 1958 however, that Father Gill was given his major appointment for the pastoral, spiritual and administrative care of souls in St Francis Xavier's Church, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. This was to be his spiritual vineyard for the next 48 years. For the first 44 years of his time in Gardiner Street, Fr Joe achieved an extraordinary grace as pastor and spiritual counsellor. He spent hours upon hours hearing confessions and trying to bring peace of mind to a wide variety of penitents from the ranks of clergy, religious and laity. He was always available as long as his health enabled him. In addition to the onerous tasks of the confessional and the parlour, Fr Joe encouraged an extraordinary gathering of devout souls in the Sodality of Our Lady and Saint Patrick and the Association of Perpetual Adoration. He became spiritual director of both groups in 1989. Every year his dedicated friends would make a wonderfully colourful variety of vestments for Churches in Ireland and in the Mission fields. Fr Joe was extremely proud of the creative work of his team.

Following an accidental fall in 2002 which resulted in a hip replacement (in Merlin Park Hospital. Galway), Fr Joe's health began to fail somewhat. This extraordinary pastor kept up his role as spiritual counsellor in the Jesuit Nursing Home until all his energy had faded away. His passing marked the completion of a very full life as a priest and as a kind friend.

Fr Joe will be sadly missed by his Jesuit brothers and members of his family. Although living and working away from Westport, he kept constant contact with the parish of his birth and early rearing. He is survived by his sister.

Note from Maurice Dowling Entry
After the war, when the Jesuits in Northern Rhodesia were looking for men, two Irish Jesuits volunteered in 1946 (Fr Paddy Walsh and Fr Paddy O'Brien) to be followed by two more in 1947, Maurice and Fr Joe Gill. They came to Chikuni.

Note from Bill Lee Entry
In 1951, two of these places (Kasiya and Chivuna) became new mission stations. Kasiya was set up by Fr. Bill Lee in 1951, the year after he arrived in the country. Later in December, he was joined by Fr J Gill.. When Fr Gill arrived and a 250cc motorbike was available, Fr Gill looked after the station and set out to visit the centers of Christianity within a radius of up to 30 miles.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948
Frs. Dowling and Gill will be leaving soon for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia.
Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949
Frs. Dowling and Gill who left Dublin for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia, on 7th October reached their destination on 4th November; for the present they are stationed at Chikuni and Lusaka respectively.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr Joesph (Joe) Gill (1915-2006)

3rd February 1915: Born in Westport, Co. Mayo
Early education in Mercy Convent & CBS Westport and Clongowes Wood College
7th September 1934: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1936: First Vows at Emo
1936 - 1939: Rathfarnham -Studied Arts at UCD
1939 - 1942: Tullabeg -Studied Philosophy
1942 - 1946: Milltown Park -Studied Theology
31st July 1945: Ordained at Milltown Park
1946 - 1947: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1947 - 1948: Crescent -Spiritual Father (boys) & Teacher
2nd February 1948: Final Vows at Sacred Heart College
1948 - 1949: St. Ignatius Church, Lusaka
1949 - 1951: Canisius College, Chikuni - Minister and Teacher
1951 - 1952: Kasiya - Building Outstations
1952 - 1954: Civuna and Fumbo -Building Outstations
1954 - 1956: Canisius College, Chikuni - Minister and Teacher
1956 - 1958: Catholic Workers College, Dublin - Minister
1958 - 2006: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street -
1958 - 1977: Pastoral Ministry; Director SFX Social Services;
1977 - 1985: Ministered in the Church
1985 - 1989: Sub-minister
1989 - 2002: Assisted in Church; Director of the Sodality of Our Lady and St. Patrick and the Association of Perpetual Adoration and work for poor parishes.
2002 - 2006: Cherryfield - praying for the Church and the Society.
22nd June 2006: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Micheál MacGréil wrote in the Mayo News July 12th 2006:
Joseph Mary Gill was born to the late Dr Anthony and Mary (nee Mulloy) Gill of Westport on February 30, 1915. He got his early education in the Mercy Convent and the Christian Brothers' Schools in Westport and in Clongowes Wood College.

At the age of 19 years, Joe entered the Jesuit Noviceship at Emo Park (near Portarlington) in 1934, and took his first vows as a Jesuit in 1936. During the following ten years (1936-1946) he completed his third-level studies in Arts (at UCD, 1936-1939), in Philosophy (at Tullabeg, County Offaly 1939-1942) and in Theology (at Milltown Park, Dublin 1942-1946). He was ordained a priest at Milltown Park on July 31, 1945. Following a third spiritual year (Tertianship, 1946-1947), he taught for a year in the Crescent Secondary School for boys in Limerick. Fr Joe took his final vows as a Jesuit on February 2, 1948.

In 1948, Fr Gill was chosen to become one of the founding fathers' of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Zambia in Africa (then known as Northern Rhodesia). During his eight years he worked tirelessly as pastor, builder, teacher and administrator in St Ignatius Church, Lusaka, in St Peter Canisius College, Chikuni, and in mission outstations in Kasiya, Civuna and Fumbo.

On his return to Ireland in 1956, Fr Joe was made Minister (administrator) of the recently-founded Catholic Workers' College in Ranelagh (later to be known as the National College of Industrial Relations and today renamed as the National College of Ireland).

It was in 1958, however, that Father Gill was given his major appointment for the pastoral, spiritual and administrative care of souls in St Francis Xavier's Church, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. This was to be his spiritual vineyard for the next 48 years. For the first-44 years of his time in Gardiner Street, Father Joe achieved an extraordinary grace as pastor and spiritual counselor. He spent hours upon hours hearing confessions and trying to bring peace of mind to a wider range of penitents - from the ranks of clergy, religious and laity.

He was always available as long as his health enabled him. In addition to the onerous tasks of the confessional and the parlour, Father Joe encouraged an extraordinary collectivity of devout souls in the Sodality of Our Lady and Saint Patrick and the Association of Perpetual Adoration. He became spiritual director of both groups in 1989. Every year his dedicated friends would make a wonderfully colourful variety of vestments for Churches in Ireland and in the Mission fields. Father Joe was extremely proud of the creative work of his team.

Following an accidental fall in 2002, which resulted in a hip replacement (in Merlin Park Hospital, Galway), Father Joe's health began to fail somewhat. This extraordinary pastor kept up his role as spiritual counsellor in the Jesuit Nursing Home until all his energy had faded away. His passing marked the completion of a very full life as a priest and as a kind friend.

Fr Joe will be sadly missed by his Jesuit brothers and members of his family. Although living and working away from Westport, Father Joe Gill kept constant contact with the parish of his birth and early rearing. He is survived by his sister, Moya Gill, Westport; his nieces Marlene Lavelle (Achill), Brenda Furnace (Dublin), Janice Gill (England) and by his nephews, Joe, James, Peter and Vincent McGovern (Newport, Westport, Galway and Naas), John and Paul Gill (Dublin), Anthony, James, John and Joseph Gill (England).

Fr. Joe was predeceased by his twin sister, Ella McGovern, and his brothers, Dr Anthony, Lt. Col. Gerrard (Engineer Corps) and Xavier (Xavie) Gill. His removal and funeral Mass were celebrated in St Francis Xavier Church, where he ministered for so long. The final tribute to Father Joe was given by the Jesuit Superior of St Francis Xavier's Community, Father Derek Cassidy, SJ, during his sermon at the funeral Mass. There was a very large and representative attendance at Fr Joe's funeral Mass, including members of his extended family from Ireland and abroad.

The Irish Jesuit Provincial, Father John Dardis, SJ, and the former Jesuit Provincial of Zambia, Father Paul Brassil, SJ, concelebrated the Mass with scores of other priest colleagues of Father Joe's. A substantial representation of Jesuit Brothers, and Sisters and Brothers of other congregations also took part.

It was very fitting that so many friends travelled from west Mayo to make their prayer of farewell to 'one of their own', whose great love was boating on Clew Bay, Sagart dilis, muinteartha, carthanach a bhí ann. Rinne sé a dhícheall ar son an tsoiscéil bheo. I bhfochair Dé go raibh sé.

◆ The Clongownian, 2006

Obituary

Father Joseph M Gill SJ

The sad and peaceful death of the late Fr Joe Gill SJ, took place in the afternoon of June 22, 2006, in the Jesuit Nursing Home, Cherryfield Lodge, Ranelagh, Dublin. His passing marked the end of an era, having served 72 years in the Society of Jesus. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

Joseph Mary Gill was born to the late Dr. Anthony and Mary (nee Mulloy) Gill of Westport on February 3, 1915. He got his early education in the Mercy Convent and the Christian Brothers Schools in Westport and in Clongowes Wood College, near Clane in County Kildare. At the age of 19 years, Joe encered the Jesuit Noviceship at Emo Park in 1934, and took his first vows as a Jesuit in 1936. During the following ten years (1936-1946) he completed his third-level studies in Arts (at UCD, 1936-1939), in Philosophy (at Tullabeg, County Offaly 1939-1942) and in Theology (at Milltown Park, Dublin 1942-1946). He was ordained a priest at Milltown Park on July 31, 1945. Following a third spiritual year (Tertianship, 1946-1947), he taught for a year in the Crescent Secondary School in Limerick. Fr Joe took his final vows as a Jesuit on February 2, 1948.

In 1948, Fr Gill was chosen to become one of the “founding fathers” of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Zambia in Africa (then known as Northern Rhodesia). During his eight years he worked tirelessly as pastor, builder, teacher and administrator in St Ignatius Church, Lusaka, in St Peter Canisius College, Chikuni, and in mission outstations in Kasiya, Civuna and Fumbo, On his return to Ireland in 1956, Fr Joe was made Minister (administrator) of the recently founded Catholic Workers' College in Ranelagh (later to be known as the National College of Industrial Relations and today renamed as the National College of Ireland).

It was in 1958, however, that Father Gill was given his major appointment for the pastoral, spiritual and administrative care of souls in St Francis Xavier's Church, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. Father Joe achieved an extraordinary grace as pastor and spiritual counselor. He spent hours upon hours hearing confessions and trying to bring peace of mind to a wider range of penitents - from the ranks of clergy, religious and laity. He was always available as long as his health enabled him. In addition to the onerous tasks of the confessional and the parlour, Father Joe encouraged an extraordinary collectivity of devout souls in the Sodality of Our Lady and Saint Patrick and the Association of Perpetual Adoration. He became spiritual director of both groups in 1989. Every year his dedicated friends would make a wonderfully colourful variety of vestments for Churches in Ireland and in the Mission fields. Father Joe was extremely proud of the creative work of his team.

Following an accidental fall in 2002, which resulted in a hip replacement (in Merlin Park Hospital, Galway), Father Joe's health began to fail somewhat. This extraordinary pastor kept up his role as spiritual counsellor in the Jesuit Nursing Home until all his energy had faded away. His passing marked the completion of a very full life as a priest and as a kind friend.

Fr Joe will be sadly missed by his Jesuit brothers and members of his family. Although living and working away from Westport, Father Joe Gill kept constant contact with the parish of his birth and early rearing. He is survived by his sister, Moya Gill, Westport; his nieces Marlene Lavelle (Achill), Brenda Furnace (Dublin), Janice Gill (England), and by his nephews, Joe, James, Peter and Vincent McGovern (Newport, Westport, Galway and Naas), John & Paul Gill (Dublin), Anthony, James, John and Joseph Gill (England). Fr Joe was predeceased by his twin sister, Ela McGovern, and his brothers, Dr Anthony, Lt Col Gerrard (Engineer Corps) and Xavier (Xavie) Gill. His removal and funeral Mass were celebrated in St Francis Xavier Church, where he ministered for so long.

The Jesuit Superior of St Francis Xavier's Community, Father Derek Cassidy, SJ, gave the final tribute to Father Joe during his ceremony at the funeral Mass. There was a very large and representative attendance at Fr Joe's funeral Mass, including members of his extended family from Ireland and abroad. The Irish Jesuit Provincial, Father John Dardis, SJ, and the former Jesuit Provincial of Zambia, Father Paul Brassil. SJ, concelebrated the Mass with scores of other priest colleagues of Father Joe's. A substantial representation of Jesuit Brothers, and Sisters and Brothers of other congregations also took part.

It was very fitting that so many friends travelled from West Mayo to make their prayer of farewell to “one of their own”, whose great love was boating on Clew Bay. Sagart dílis, muinteartha, carthanach a bhí ann. Rinne sé a dhícheall ar son an csoiscéil bheo. I bhfochair Dé go raibh sé.

M MACG

Grant, Henry, 1934-2023, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J2354
  • Person
  • 27 February 1934-02 August 2023

Born: 27 February 1934, Buncrana, Co Donegal
Entered: 06 September 1952, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1966, Milltown Park Chapel, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 19745, Final Vows at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 02 August 2023, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park Community (Cherryfield) at the time of death

FFS
Born : 27th February 1934 Buncrana, Co Donegal
Raised : Buncrana, Co Donegal
Early Education at St Columb’s College, Derry, Northern Ireland
6th September 1952 Entered Society at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
8th September 1954 First Vows at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1954-1957 Rathfarnham - Studying Science at UCD
1957-1960 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1960-1963 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1963-1967 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
28th July 1966 Ordained at Milltown Park Chapel, Dublin
1967-1968 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1968-1971 Crescent College SJ, Limerick - Teacher; Spiritual Father & Counsellor
1971-1973 St John of the Cross, San Diego, CA, USA - Doctoral Studies in Human Behaviour at Alliant International University
1973-1976 Rathfarnham - Research into Social Conditioning especially in Northern Ireland
1974 Research on Conflict in Northern Ireland and Workshops on Human Relations in Zambia with Jesuits
5th November 1975 Final Vows at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
1976 Working in Nigeria with St Patrick’s Missionary Society
1976-1981 Tabor House/Belfast - Research into Northern Ireland; Writer
1981-1989 Iona, Portadown - Works in Social Renewal in Northern Ireland; Manresa Associate; Writer (till Jan 89)
1989-2003 Asunción, Paraguay - Advisor to ADEC;Assists in CEPHSI; Community Education Organisation and Pastoral Renewal at Collegio Tecnico Javier
1991 Community Development (April - September 1991 - 1993) & London (Oct - Mar, 1991 to 1993)
1992 Secretario y Profesor en el CEPHSI, Assists in Parish Trinidad y de la Sagrada Familia
1998 “Out from the Centre” Project; Vice-Superior; Advisor to ADEC and Paraguay Japotiva; Co-ordinates Department of Humanities; Teaches Social Psychology at Department of Philosophy at ISEHF; Assists in Parishes of Trinidad and Sagrada Familia
2001 Commission Member of “Paraguay Japotiva”; Assessor ADEC
2002 Co-ordinates Parishes of Trinidad and Sagrada Familia
2003-2023 Milltown Park - Academic Tutor Milltown Institute; Writer
2005 Academic Tutor to students in SJ Communities
2007 JUST Ballymun coaching students for Third Level Learning; Writer
2009 JUST Advisory Group
2017 Academic Tutor to students in SJ communities; Writer
2020 Tutor Emeritus
2021 Cherryfield Lodge - Prays for the Church and the Society

Jesuitas del Paraguay

  • P Henry Grant SJ
    27-02-1934 - 02-08-2023

(Translated from thenSpanish by Michael O’SullivanSJ)

Fr Henry Grant, SJ, was born on 27 February 1934 in Buncrana, Ireland. He joined the Jesuits in the Novitiate of Emo Park on the 6th September 1952. After the Novitiate he did the customary studies of Jesuits. In the Society he studied chemistry, geochemistry and maths, then philosophy, and taught for three years while studying education and doing pastoral work with young people. He studied theology for four years. He was ordained on 28 July 1966 in Dublin, Ireland.

After his priestly ordination, he went to the US during summers, and there he studied counselling at the University of Fairfield, Connecticut.
On finishing in Fairfield, he went to San Diego, California, where he studied social psychology with special reference to intercommunity conflicts y leadership. At the same time he used to travel to Northern Ireland in order to work with groups who were working for peace in the midst of the conflicts. There he also did research for his doctoral thesis, centring it on the action of leaders of moderate positions in the inter-community conflicts. While working in Northern Ireland he also collaborated in the South of Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, the US, Zambia and Nigeria in Africa.

He arrived in Paraguay for the first time in October of 1988, encouraged by his Jesuit companion, Fr Kevin O’Higgins. In February of 89 he returned to Northern Ireland to carry out a work there. In October 1989 he returned again to Paraguay.

From October 1992 as a result of a request of an inter-church agency made through the Provincial in Ireland he began to divide his time between Paraguay and London, spending six months of the year in each place. In Great Britain, Scotland and Ireland he worked with leaders of various churches (Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, etc), facilitating the planning of their work and especially their efforts to act together. Also, he researched with CABE (UNIAPAC in England -The International Christian Union of Business Executives or UNIAPAC is an ecumenical organization for Christian business people (the meaning of UNIPAC was added by MOS)) and other business organisations in St George’s House at Windsor Castle about how to create wealth, and how to utilise and distribute it. On weekends he was involved in ecumenical pastoral work.

In Paraguay he was for a number of years advisor/consultant to ADEC (Association of Christian Businesses). And he was an active member and a great inspirer of the Paraguay Jaipotáva Project (MOS: as far as I know this was a project addressing the need for ethics and accountability in Paraguay because of the corruption of the Stroessner regime – K O’Higgins could be asked about that); he taught at and coordinated the Dept of Humanities of ISEHF (The Higher Education Institute of Humanities and Philosoph)y being very sensitive to the difficulty of Guarani students to express themselves in Spanish; in spite of not knowing Guarani he looked for creative ways to help them. Henry also offered his assistance at Javier Technical College and collaborated in the parishes of Trinity and Holy Family. During the time he was in Paraguay he lived in the community of “Taita Róga” Javier in Asunción. Due to where he came from he was more accustomed to a cold climate, and so had to make great efforts to adapt to the heat of Paraguay, but his self-giving did not lessen because of that. In the end he returned to his province in 2005 in order to stay definitively in Ireland.

Heny Grant went to the house of the Father on 2nd of August 2023, in Dublin. From the Province of Paraguay we give thanks to God for the generosity and dedication of this companion who, being an academic of great quality and high level studies, came as an ordinary man, as a missionary disposed to collaborate with the mission of Christ, giving his great knowledge and his human quality to the Paraguayan people, sharing their faith and their hope like one companion more among us.

On Friday, 4th August, a Mass will be held in memory of Ft Henry Grant, SJ, in the Parish of Christ the King in Asuncion, at 7pm. We are sending a very wide invitation to all Jesuits and friends in Paraguay.

In order to read more (in Englsih): Interview with Fr Henry Grant, SJ https://www.iji.ie/2012/04/12/interview-with-fr-henry-grant-sj/

https://jesuit.ie/news/death-of-a-much-loved-jesuit/

Death of a much-loved Jesuit

Henry Grant SJ, a much loved Jesuit, uncle, brother, and friend, died peacefully in St Vincent’s Hospital on Wednesday 2 August. He was 89 years old. His funeral Mass was held in Gonzaga College chapel and was followed by his burial in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin. on Friday 5 August 2023.

Henry was born in Bucrana Co Donegal and all his family from there travelled to Dublin for the funeral. Other family members from various parts of the world either attended the Mass in person or were able to watch it live-streamed by one of his nephews.

Bill Callanan SJ, former rector of Milltown Park (Henry’s community before he transferred across to Cherryfield nursing home) presided at the Mass attended by Jesuits, family, friends, and Cherryfield nursing staff.

In his homily, he spoke of the long and varied years of work that Henry carried out so willingly and competently as part of his Jesuit vocation. The work was underpinned by Henry’s expertise in sociology and group dynamics and his doctoral research in those fields. His training was particularly useful in the wake of Vatican II when many religious orders were seeking to implement the council’s changed and renewed vision of ‘church’ and their role within it. Henry worked with many groups and congregations helping them to negotiate the type of change that would last and bear fruit for them.

Henry also spent many years in the North during the worst of ‘The Troubles’. There his primary concern was trying to help communities in conflict either with each other or with the state. He wanted to help them work out the often unconscious dynamics and processes that fuelled their separation and antagonism so that they could work together for justice using peaceful means. He facilitated ecumenical groups, cross-community groups, and paramilitary or ex-paramilitary representatives.

What he learned up North was also put to good use in his next place of work – Paraguay. He took a crash course in Spanish and tried to learn some Guaranían so he could work with the indigenous people there and over time they set up local community groups who worked together to secure their basic human rights.

On his return to Dublin after almost 15 years in South America, he continued to work in the broad field of adult education. He was a mentor for students in JUST, the Jesuit University Support Trust, situated in Ballymun and which works in partnership with Dublin City University in order to encourage the participation of the local community in the educational opportunities offered by the university.

As Bill Callanan noted, even to his last days, Henry was always interested in the future and how to change life for the better. He would acquire a mammoth book like Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age and digest the whole 500 pages by talking to anyone he met about it, said Bill. And many a visitor to his room in Cherryfield would be presented before leaving with an article photocopied from The Guardian or the latest book he was reading, about protecting the environment, or good gut health, or the latest scholarly research on the Christ of the gospels.

Above all, it was Henry’s deep faith that was the bedrock of his lifelong work. “Henry read widely on many topics, but there was always a book about spirituality theology on the go,” said one of his friends when people gathered out in the chapel grounds after the funeral Mass. “He loved the work of biblical scholar and theologian John Shea. For years he read his wonderful commentaries on the Sunday gospel readings, and of course, photocopied them and shared them widely with his friends and fellow Jesuits. He was so young at heart, so forward-looking, even in his faith. He welcomed change, it never scared him”

There were tears shed as Henry was laid to rest in Glasnevin. Tears of sadness but also of gratitude for having had the privilege of knowing such a good and caring man. As all his family said, ‘He will be sorely missed’. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Guidera, Patrick, 1900-1992, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/503
  • Person
  • 06 June 1900-26 December 1992

Born: 06 June 1900, Mountrath, County Laois
Entered: 28 November 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 02 February 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 26 December 1992, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

Part of the Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin community at the time of death

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Painter before Entry

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 75 : Christmas 1993 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary
Br Patrick Guidera (1900-1992)

6th June 1900: Born, Mountrath, Laois
Worked as painter/decorator for 20 years in the family business
28th Nov. 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
1935 - 1941: Belvedere - Painter
1941 - 1942: Crescent College - Maintenance
1942 - 1948: Emo - Plant Maintenance
1948 - 1990: Tullabeg - Plant and Church maintenance/Fundraiser
1990 - 1992: Cherryfield Lodge
26th Dec. 1992: Died at Cherryfield Lodge

Pat Guidera was a few days short of his thirty-third year, when in the belief that God was calling him to the religious life, he arrived at the door of the Jesuit Novitiate, St Mary's, Emo Park. It was the evening of May 28th, 1933. The decision which brought him that evening from his home in Mountrath to the steps of St Mary's was not an easy one for a man of his age and experience.

Pat was the eldest son in a large family; he was a skilled painter and decorator whose work was widely appreciated. His father and younger brothers had come to rely on his skills and on his ability in dealing with the business side of his and their work. He was, too, a devout Catholic, a popular neighbour, a mature man with, as he tells us himself, serious plans to marry and father a family of his own.

Such in a nutshell was his position when the call to the religious life, of which he had been vaguely conscious, became more insistent. The Hound of Heaven was not to be denied! It was on the occasion of the Eucharistic Congress in 1932 that Patrick made his first outward response. Through the Brigidine Sisters at their convent in Mountrath, he made contact, with his first Jesuit, the late Fr James Whitaker who was conducting the Sisters' annual Retreat. Under this priest's kindly and understanding direction, Pat finally made up his mind to apply for admission as a religious Brother in the Irish Province of the Company of Jesus.

Thus it was that Pat Guidera, after much soul-searching and prayer, came to leave all' to follow the Christ who went down to Nazareth and lived a life of dependence on his parents to whom He was subject. The surrender of his independence as a mature man was, perhaps, at the core of his sacrifice. Indeed, few, if any, of his fellow novices, had anything like the sacrifices to make as those required of him on answering that same call. Surely that tells us something of the mutual love between God and himself as he knocked at St Mary's door. Even then he was a man after St Ignatius' own heart - a man of generous spirit and desiring to be detached from “all that the world loves and embraces”.

After his first chat with the master of novices, Pat realized that Canon Law required him to wait six months in residence at St Mary's before admission to the Noviceship. This proved a wise provision in his case as it gave him time and space to reconsider in a prayerful atmosphere his decision to leave a comfortable home, to forego the happiness of married life and to bind himself to a life of obedience and dependence. It was during these first months he came to appreciate the wise and firm direction of the late Fr John Coyne of whom Pat was untiring in his praise all his long life. He began his two-year noviceship on Nov 22nd 1933, and immediately entered on the Thirty Day Retreat; after this experience, he never “looked back”.

Now in later years Brother Pat would say that he found his noviceship years a real trial. It is to his credit and to the continuing power of the grace of vocation that he persevered and happily made his first Vows as a Brother in the Society of Jesus.

During the next eleven years, 1935-46, he had ample opportunity to exercise his talent as a painter and decorator, first at St Mary's Emo, then at Belvedere and for a short period at Rathfamham. And as was the common practice at the time for every member of the Province, he was expected to be ready and able to help out in spheres of activity for which he had no special training or aptitude. Brother Pat, no doubt, found the words, Ad dom! after his name in the annual Catalogus. In practice it direct ed him to be at the service of all whenever he might be needed. In this, too, he was like his Master who was 'among us as one who serves'. So, as the years went by Brother Pat could be found at work as a carpenter, or electrician, a motor mechanic and chauffeur, a builder in stone, a plasterer, a glazier and general handy-man. This was the patter of his daily work from February 2nd, 1946, when he made his final vows in the Company of Jesus, up to a few years before his death on December 26th 1992.

Sometime in 1948, he was asked to leave St Mary's Emo and go to Tullabeg on loan for the purpose of painting and decorating the People's Church there. However, he remained in Tullabeg for the next forty-two years, 1948-1990. During the years up to 1962, Brother Pat's life was hidden from most of us, even from some of his fellow Brothers! Being a jack-of-all-trades and master of most, he was difficult to find in the labyrinth that was old Tullabeg House and farm out-offices. Moreover, he rose earlier than most and was always a step ahead in his morning prayers. He often breakfasted on the foot and after a long day's toil was the last to retire. In part, this was the kind of life he chose to live. If one permitted a mild criticism, it would be that perhaps our brother was too wedded to his work. But he'd surely have a reply to that.

It would be true to say of him that he was a worrier, a man not easily satisfied with himself or his work, whatever it might be. And if his efforts did not always please others, they did not always please himself. His standards as a religious were high, and high, too, were the standards of work he set for himself. Often finding himself pulled from “Billy to Jack”, often expected to make “a silk purse out of a sow's ear”, our Brother occasionally found his fellow Jesuits disapproving either of his way of acting or of his actual work. He would listen in silence, make little or no defence, offer no excuse, but with head bowed and with a characteristic back ward shovelling of his feet, he would depart with his new instructions, which he feared would not remedy the situation. In such situations, the example of Jesus, the Son of the Carpenter of Nazareth, was a source of strength to him. His way of silence in the face of criticism, of obedience to lawful authority, of charity to all was the way Brother Pat continued to strive to follow Him who is the way for every religious. Like many of his contemporaries Pat lived his life in the Second Degree of Humility with many an excursion into the Third. And in his last years, he came to be like his Master in others ways, too, not least in his love of prayer, in his love of the Mass and in his devotion to the Mother of Jesus. In 1991 he visited our Lady's Shrine at Medjugorje and in 1992 he visited Knock with a group from Rahan and Tullamore.

In 1990, the Lord asked one more sacrifice from his faithful friend - to leave Tullabeg and retire to Cherryfield Lodge. In time he came to accept that too. In the story of his life as told to, and beautifully edited by Fr Eddie O'Donnell, SJ, there is much to admire, much to smile at, and not a little to make one wonder at the loving providence of God.

Edmond Kent SJ

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1995

Obituary
The above is Fr Kent's account of Br Pat's life, but Pat, in the months before he died wrote his own autobiography, “The Story of my Life”. What follows are his own words on his years in Belvedere (1935- 41):

I spent most of my life as a Jesuit Brother at Rahan, near Tullamore, County Offaly. I was stationed there for over forty years, from 1948 to 1990. Since that period deserves a chapter all to itself, what I'm going to do here is bring you from the year I took my First Vows (1935) up to 1948. Okay?

Immediately after taking my vows in Emo, I was transferred to Belvedere College, the Jesuit day school in Dublin. My first job there was to repair the roof of the community building with the help of a couple of handymen. I bought lead sheeting from Lenehan's shop in Capel Street - which is still going strong - and had the work finished in no time.

Then I was asked to paint all the windows on the front of the house. This entailed the erection of a scaffolding, which was quite an awkward operation on account of the “area” beneath the building. We managed it all right. At that time there was a lot more painting to be done on the windows than there would be today. The windows were “Georgian”, with a lot of small panes like those in the houses nearby. In later years, these were replaced by single-pane, plate-glass windows, a mortal sin from the architectural point-of-view.

At that time in Belvedere, there was a fountain in the middle of the school yard. It had a pond or basin around it. I was asked to clear it away altogether. I started this work with the help of a few construction workers but a twenty-six week builders' strike had just started and these lads were told not to work with me. A group of workmen came into the yard and kicked up a shindy, so I was left on my own. One of the priests in the community - Fr Charlie Scantlebury SJ, who was editor of “The Sacred Heart Messenger” for many years - came out to give me a hand.

The militant workmen returned and tried to beat him up! Punches were exchanged and I had to go to his rescue. We waited for the strike to finish before completing that job, although I did a lot of work on it early each morning myself.

Another task I was given was to install electric chandeliers in the Front Parlour. I knew nothing about electricity but decided to have a go all the same. When I was nearly finished, I remember standing up on a ladder to cut off some loose ends with a sharp knife. Suddenly, there was a sheet of flame, a flash like lightning, that knocked me off the ladder. I will never forget that narrow escape.

My next assignment was to paint the school hall, or the “Gymnasium” as it was called. It's where the boys did their drill as part of the curriculum. It's also where the school operas were staged and where the Old Boys held their annual dinners. Everyone was very pleased with the work I did there, especially with the college crest and its motto, “Per Vias Rectas”, painted on the centre of the side wall. Fr Charlie Byrne SJ, was particularly delighted. He was in charge of putting on the operas - usually Gilbert & Sullivan - and he realised he had found someone who could do a proper job on the scenery in future.

When the Second World War broke out in 1939, there were a lot of shortages in Dublin. Coal boats couldn't cross over from England so we had to make do with turf. During the winter of 1939 itself, we still had a fair bit of coal left but Fr Rupert Coyle, SJ, in an effort to spare the fuel, told me to leave off the boiler in the Senior School during the Christmas holidays. There was a bad frost, unfortunately, and the pipes burst, flooding the whole building from top to bottom. There was an awful lot of damage done. I can leave you to guess whose job it was to clean up the mess.....

In 1940 the Rector of Belvedere, Fr John Mary O'Connor, SJ (affectionately known as “Bloody Bill”) received a letter from his opposite number in Rathfarnham Castle, Fr P G Kennedy SJ (the famous ornithologist) asking if he could send me over to paint the chapel. Like Emo and Belvedere, Rathfarnham Castle had ornate Georgian ceilings. The ceiling in the chapel took me over a month to paint. Like Michelangelo in Rome, I had to lie on my back on top of a scaffolding for days on end painting the intricate ornamentation.

When the ceiling was finished I did the walls and the sanctuary and then painted the front and sides of the altar. To restore the altar to its original glory, I had to purchase special gold-leaf paint which was manufactured in Dublin by a firm called Phillips (it can only be obtained from a firm in England nowadays). The Rector and his second-in-command, Fr “Dolly” Byrne SJ, were both very satisfied with what I did.

Then it was back to Belvedere, where the Minister, Fr Leo Donnelly SJ, had a major enterprise awaiting me. Away back in 1881 the Jesuits had bought a house on Temple street (opposite the Childrens' Hospital) and for two years it had been run as a third-level college called after St Ignatius. During the Second World War, this building was being used to house the domestic staff of Belvedere, but it was very dilapidated. I was asked to construct a bridge from the back of Belvedere College, across Temple Lane, into the back yard of “Temple Chambers” as the place was known then. This took quite a while, On account of the shortage of building materials during the war.

Anyhow, we got the bridge built and had to cover it in because it was the object of numerous missile attacks by kids from ... (nearby).

Then I had to renovate Temple Chambers. Another Brother and myself used to sleep there at night, Our rooms were right at the top, with the domestic staff occupying the lower storeys, now nicely re-papered: My room must have been at the front, because I remember being kept awake at night by the crying babies in the hospital across the street. Early in 1941, one of these babies was suffering from a rare-insect bite and screamed all night for weeks on end. He grew up to become Fr Eddie O'Donnell, SJ!

Later in 1941, the Rector of Milltown Park (Fr John McMahon SJ) who had admired my work in Rathfarnham, asked if I could come over and paint the domestic chapel at Milltown. This was a fairly straightforward job in comparison with the one at Rathfarnham. It took me less than a month to repaint the entire chapel.

When I returned to Belvedere during the summer of that year, most of the community were away on holidays. The Bursar, Fr John Calter SJ, was in charge and he asked me to paper and paint the room of Fr Frank O'Riordan. This was a tall order because Fr O'Riordan used to practise playing golf in his room! He'd hang a blanket, so I had to spend ages repairing the plug marks in the walls before the re-papering could start. All went well, however, and Fr Calter was delighted with the finished product, so delighted, indeed, that he decided to move into that room himself! When Fr O'Riordan returned, there was an awful rumpus. But I wasn't there to hear it because I had been transferred to Clongowes Wood.

Guiney, John, 1928-2019, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/856
  • Person
  • 25 January 1928-17 November 2019

Born: 25 January 1928, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 17 June 1976, Loyola House, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 17 November 2019, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1994 at Rome Italy (ROM) Assistant to General Treasurer

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/john-guiney-sj-a-man-of-unfailing-courtesy/

John Guiney SJ – a man of ‘unfailing courtesy’
Fr John Guiney SJ died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge, Milltown Park, Dublin 6, on Sunday 17 November 2019. His funeral Mass took place at Gonzaga College Chapel on Wednesday 20 November followed by burial in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Fr Guiney was born in Dublin on 25 January 1928. He attended Belvedere College SJ and entered the Society of Jesus at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois, in 1946. His Jesuit training included studying Arts in UCD, philosophy in Tullabeg, regency in Mungret College SJ and theology in Milltown Park before being ordained in 1959.
He discovered his metier early in life. His brilliant head for figures and his shrewd judgement made him a ‘natural’ for financial matters. This led to a thirty-one years posting as Revisor, and later Irish Province Treasurer, followed by a six years stint on the Roman Curia’s Financial team.
In his later years, he served as Minister in Milltown Park and was Financial Director in Cherryfield Lodge. He prayed for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge before passing away aged 91 years.
Fr Guiney is predeceased by his brothers Tom and Eddie and his sister-in-law Sheila. He is fondly remembered by his nephews Edward and Michael, niece Carina and their partners, Aoife, Carrie and Darren, grandnephew Senan and grandnieces Beth and Ruby, and his Jesuit Community in Milltown Park.
Bill Toner SJ, current Irish Province Treasurer, gave the homily at the funeral Mass (Click here to read full homily).
Fr Toner began by thanking God for the life and work of Fr Guiney, to pray for his happy repose, and to offer condolences to his relatives, especially Edward, Michael and Carina, and their families.
Fr Toner referred to John as a “very shrewd investor” but noted that his business acumen did not interfere with his ability to relate to others. “John himself was a man who took great care to preserve good relationships with everyone he came into contact with in the course of a day’s work. This included in the first place his fellow Jesuits, and lay colleagues, but also bank officials, investment managers, estate agents, insurance brokers, solicitors and so on.”
Remarking that when he himself left the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice to become Province Treasurer he turned from a socialist to a capitalist overnight he went on to joke, “I never saw it written down anywhere, but I am sometimes told that Jesuits at large are supposed to pray for their Province Treasurers, that is, for their eternal salvation, not for their investing skills”.
He continued in humorous vein recalling that John often said to him that “I never fell out with anybody about money. On hearing this one Jesuit said to me, well, he didn’t fall out with anyone over money because everyone was afraid to ask him for money.”
According to Bill, John is remembered with great fondness by older Jesuits who encountered him when he worked in the finance office in the Head House, or Curia, in Rome. He brought a “joie de vivre” to the community life there through “introducing novel practices such as Friday night films and golf outings, and evening excursions to enjoy gelato”.
In his concluding remarks, Fr Toner said: “John could have done many different things in his Jesuit life. He was extremely well-read and was very good at languages... But I think that John recognised that his work enabled many other Jesuits to work, to keep close to God, to stay healthy, and to grow old gracefully... May he rest in the Lord’s peace.”
Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilís.

Early Education at Belvedere College SJ

1948-1950 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1950-1953 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1953-1956 Mungret College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1956-1960 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1960-1961 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1961-1962 Milltown Park - Treasurer; Sub-Minister; in charge of New Building Construction
1962-1993 Loyola House - Revisor of Temporal Administration of Houses; Revisor of Province Funds
1966 Minister; Assistant Provincial Treasurer
1974 Superior; Province Treasurer; Revisor of Temporal Administration of Houses
1988 Sabbatical - (Sep 88 to Jan 89 & Sep 89 to Dec 89)
1993-1999 Borgo Santo Spirito, Rome, Italy - Assistant to General Treasurer; Revisor of Temporal Administration of Roman Curia
1999-2019 Milltown Park - Minister
2000 Cherryfield Lodge Consultant
2002 Vice-Rector; Treasurer; Financial Director in Cherryfield Lodge
2004 Treasurer; Financial Director in Cherryfield Lodge
2018 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Guiry, Eric, 1935-2020, former Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 04 April 1935-15 April 2020

Born: 04 April 1935, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1953, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1967, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1972, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 15 April 2020, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin (Monkstown, County Dublin)

Left Society of Jesus: 30 May 1975

Educated at Mungret College SJ

Hamilton, Timothy P, 1916-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/602
  • Person
  • 02 September 1916-08 March 2006

Born: 02 September 1916, The Terrace, Leap, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 April 1983, Loyola House, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 08 March 2006, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Father was a member of the Navy and died in 1918.

Younger of two boys.

Early education at Leap NS, he then went to Rochestown College, Cork.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

Fr Timothy (Tim) Hamilton (1916-2005)

2nd September 1916: Born in Leap, Co. Cork
Early education at Rochestown College
7th September 1934: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1936: First Vows at Emo
1936 - 1939: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1939 - 1942: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1942 - 1945: Belvedere College - Teacher
1945 - 1949: Milltown Park -Studied Theology
28th July 1948: Ordained at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Tertianship at Rathfarnhamn
1950 - 1951: Gonzaga College - Teacher
1951 - 1954: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
1954 - 1956: Gonzaga College - Minister; Teacher
1956 - 1987: College of Industrial Relations - Lecturer in Economics and Sociology
3rd April 1983: Final Vows at Loyola House
1987 - 1989: Assistant at Centre for Faith and Justice
1989 - 1990: Sabbatical
1990 - 1998: College of Industrial Relations - Writer; Directed Spiritual Exercises; Province Spiritual Director
1998 - 2005: Gonzaga - Writer, Directed Spiritual Exercises; Province Spiritual Director; Rector's Admonitor; Spiritual Director SJ
2005 - 2006: Cherryfield Lodge - Praying for the Church and the Society
8th March 2006: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

Fr. Hamilton was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 19th April 2005. He was very weak and had a history of falls. His condition deteriorated rather rapidly and he was not expected to recover. However, hie slowly improved and resumed daily activities: walking with an aid, reading and receiving visitors. He remained very fragile and required nursing care. There was a marked deterioration in his condition on Tuesday evening, 7th March. He died peacefully on Wednesday 8th March at 12 midday.

Noel Barber writes:
Fr. Tim Hamilton was for many years an influential 'backroom' member of the Province and a prized Spiritual Director. He exercised his influence on Province policy as a Consultor and as a highly regarded advisor of Provincials. His influence was at its height at the time the Province was grappling with the implementation of the Faith and Justice thrust of the Society. It was a thrust that had his whole hearted and steadfast allegiance. As a lecturer for over 30 years in the College of Industrial Relations, he was, despite his shyness and reserve, an effective teacher and a strong influence on his students. A quintessential scholar himself, he could communicate effectively with students of little educational background and develop in them an intellectual curiosity. When he was in community - here lies a paradox in his life - he was shy, reserved, and unfailingly courteous, and some, at least, held him not only in admiration but also in affection.

He was born in Leap, West Cork on September 2nd 1916, the second of two sons. His mother was the daughter of a small farmer and his father, a fisherman, had been an Able Seaman in the British Navy, a fact not always alluded to in a family that became strongly nationalistic. He always had a strong bond with his family and he was a beacon of sanity in his brother's family, a fact beautifully depicted in his nephew's book Speckled People. He was educated on a scholarship in the Franciscan College, Rochestown, Cork where he was an able and diligent student. Reading O'Rahilly's life of Fr. Willie Doyle pointed him away from the Franciscans and towards the Jesuits. Was it Doyle's asceticism as a religious or his heroism as a Chaplain that appealed so strongly to him? We do not know, but join the Jesuits he did in September 1934. He left Cork and was not to spend much time there again. But, as the saying goes, one can take a person out of Cork but you cannot take Cork out of a person. He remained a Corkman all his life: to the day he died he retained his Cork accent - not without an effort, one suspects - identified with the county and exhibited the shrewdness that rightly or wrongly the rest of us attribute to Corkonians.

He found the Novitiate difficult. He was wont to portray himself there as a simple country boy amongst sophisticated urbanites with a Novice Master who found his Cork accent painful and made it abundantly clear that he did so. Perhaps the Master's displeasure may have been the reason that he retained the accent so tenaciously. In a delightful interview he gave to Interfuse (Easter, 2006) shortly before he died, he recounted with great pleasure how the Ground's Man in Gonzaga said to him, “Well there is one thing for sure, you never lost your West Cork accent”.

After the novitiate he studied Classics at UCD and did very well, as he did at Philosophy. Then he went to Belvedere where the simple country lad from West Cork had no difficulty in keeping the Dublin sophisticates under his thumb. He was an efficient, strict and somewhat distant teacher. He did his Theology at Milltown Park. Given his keen interest in Theology and his intellectual ability, one would have expected that he would have been a star there. In fact, due largely to indifferent health, he left Milltown without the Ad Grad and so was not considered for further studies in Theology. One suspects that the Province lost a first class Theologian. He was ordained at Milltown Park on July 28th 1948. He did his tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle in 1949/50 under that strange figure, Fr. George Byrne, a great weeper, who wept his way through the Second Week of The Exercises. At the end of the Repose Day before the 3rd week, an irreverent Tertian – not Fr. Hamilton – said to a colleague, “Listen, you bring a raincoat and I'll bring a brolly”.

After tertianship he was sent as a “founder member” to Gonzaga College along with Frs. Charles O'Conor, Bill White and John Murphy. It was often said that Gonzaga was founded on blood (The O'Conor Don), beauty (Murphy), brains (Hamilton) and ballast (White). Given Fr. White's contribution to Gonzaga the description of him as mere ballast was very wide of the mark. So the young Fr. Hamilton spent the year teaching boys of Junior School age. Hardly, one would have thought, his natural métier. At the end of the year lie moved to the Crescent where he taught Classics, Irish and Religion. One of his brightest pupils remembers him as a strict but kind teacher, methodical with a good feeling for the average pupil but not inspiring.

After three years in Limerick he was back in Gonzaga for two more years as teacher and Minister; he carried out both tasks with his characteristic diligence. At this time Fr. Eddie Kent was keen to get him for the staff of the then Catholic Workers' College, and, as a first step, suggested that he should give some classes there while still teaching in Gonzaga, The Rector of Gonzaga strongly resisted the suggestion and it was not until he had left office as Rector did Fr. Hamilton move to the Workers' College to the delight of Fr. Kent. However, that relationship was to end in tears.

While the Kent/Hamilton partnership began promisingly, it has been suggested that Kent interpreted Hamilton's attentive listening as a sign of agreement and was not pleased when he found out that this was not the case. Be that as it may, what is certain is that there was a falling-out and that, as a result, Fr. Hamilton actually ceased living with the community and spent most of his time with his family, coming to the College to work. Needless to say this arrangement caused eyebrows to be raised and questions to be asked. However, the pattern remained, albeit in an attenuated form, until he went to Cherryfield.

He said that his experience in the College of Industrial Relations enabled him to enter the world of the working class. He saw himself as having been working class, but becoming middle class by joining the Jesuits. Indeed, one occasionally got the impression that he believed that if he had not entered the Society he would have remained a simple country lad and avoided the stigma of being middle class. Of course, given his education and ability, he would have become middle class in any case. One can easily imagine him becoming a senior Civil Servant as so many able people of his background did. It was precisely by becoming a Jesuit that he was given a way back to the working class. That would not have happened had he become a senior Civil Servant or an academic. He tended to attribute to himself rather exceptional insight into workers' lives. In the interview in Interfuse he suggests that in the Province only Bill McKenna has his knowledge of their lives!

From the late 1950s he spent his summers in Germany studying Theology in which he was passionately interested and read voraciously. The Second Vatican Council gave his theological interest a great boost and it is said that at this time Bishop Corboy used him as a theological consultant. To the end he remained open and fresh in his theological thinking, always balanced in his judgement with a deep respect for the Church and its teachings.

He was an avid Gaelic enthusiast, having a love for the language, history and culture of the country. He always hoped that he would attract people to an appreciation of the 'hidden Ireland of the heart, culture, civilization and language that people knew nothing about for about 1,000 years'. In this, as in all other matters, he was convinced that one should work with persuasion and attraction, never polemically.

He was completely committed to the 32nd Congregation's teaching on Faith and Justice and, as a Consultor, used his influence to advance that teaching. At a Province assembly some 10 years ago, he gave a review of the previous 30 years in the Province. It was remarkable in that he was totally positive; he did not seem to entertain a single doubt about decisions that had been taken. He either did not observe any negatives or chose to play them down in the light of what he believed to be the overwhelming benefits of the changes to the Society after the Council. Some were surprised that he did not address some of the misgivings.

He became a spiritual director of Jesuits and others who found his attentive listening, his ability to get people to see the good in themselves and his generous way of speaking enormously attractive. I am told that some have attributed the saving of their vocation to his guidance.

In April 2005 he was admitted to Cherryfield after a series of falls, and was not expected to recover, but did so sufficiently to resume his reading, receive his many visitors and walk with some assistance. However he was fragile and at times gave the impression that he was fading away. He deteriorated sharply on March 7h 2006 and died peacefully the next day.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 2006

Obituary

Tim Hamilton SJ

Fr Tim Hamilton was for many years an influential 'backroom' member of the Irish Jesuit Province and a prized Spiritual Director. He exercised his influence on Province policy as a Consultor and as a highly regarded advisor of Provincials. His influence was at its height at the time when the Province was grappling with the implementation of the Faith and Justice thrust of the Society. It was a thrust that had his wholehearted and steadfast allegiance. As a lecturer for over 30 years in the College of Industrial Relations, he was, despite his shyness and reserve, an effective teacher and a strong influence on his students. A quintessential scholar himself, he could communicate effectively with students of little educational background and develop in them an intellectual curiosity.

He was born in Leap, West Cork, on September 2nd 1916, the second of two sons. His mother was the daughter of a small farmer and his father, a fisherman, had been an Able Seaman in the British Navy, a fact not always alluded to in a family that became strongly nationalistic. He was educated on a scholarship in the Franciscan College, Rochestown, Cork, where he was an able and diligent student. Reading O'Rahilly's life of Fr Willie Doyle pointed him away from the Franciscans and towards the Jesuits. Was it Doyle's asceticism as a religious or his heroism as a Chaplain that appealed so strongly to him? We do not know. But join the Jesuits he did in September 1934. He left Cork and was not to spend much time there again, but as the saying goes, you can take a person out of Cork but you can not take Cork out of a person. He remained a Cork man all his life: to the day he died he retained his Cork accent - not without an effort, one suspects - identified with the county and exhibited the shrewdness that rightly or wrongly the rest of us attribute to Corkonians.

After the novitiate he studied Classics at UCD and did very well, as he did at Philosophy. Then he went to Belvedere where the simple country lad from West Cork had no difficulty in keeping the Dublin sophisticates under his thumb. He was an efficient, strict and somewhat distant teacher. He did his Theology at

Given his keen interest in Theology and his intellectual ability one would have expected him to have been a star there. In fact, due largely to indifferent health, he left Milltown without the Ad Grad and so was not considered for further studies in Theology. One suspects that the Province lost a first class Theologian. He was ordained at Milltown Park on July 28th 1948.

After tertianship he was sent as a 'founder member to Gonzaga College along with Frs Charles O'Conor, Bill White and John Murphy. It was often said that Gonzaga was founded on blood (The O'Conor Don), beauty (Murphy), brains (Hamilton) and ballast (White). Given Fr. White's contribution to Gonzaga, the description of him as mere ballast was very wide of the mark. So the young Fr. Hamilton spent the year teaching boys of Junior School age. Hardly, one would have thought, his natural métier. At the end of the year he moved to the Crescent where he taught Classics, Irish and Religion. One of his brightest pupils remembers him as a strict but kind teacher, methodical with a good feeling for the aver age pupil but not inspiring. After three years in Limerick he was back in Gonzaga for two more years as teacher and Minister; he carried out both tasks with his characteristic diligence. At this time Fr Eddie Kent was keen to get him for the staff of the then Catholic Workers College and, as a first step, suggested that he give some classes there while still teaching in Gonzaga. The Rector of Gonzaga strongly resisted the suggestion and it was not until he had left office as Rector that Fr. Hamilton moved to the Workers' College, to the delight of Fr Kent. Fr Hamilton said that his experience in the College of Industrial Relations enabled him to enter the world of the working class. He saw himself as having been working class, but having become middle class by joining the Jesuits. Indeed, one occasionally got the impression that he believed that if he had not entered the Society he would have remained a simple country lad and avoided the stigma of being middle class. Of course given his education and ability, he would have become middle class in any case. One can easily imagine him becoming a senior Civil Servant as so many able people of his background did. It was precisely by becoming a Jesuit that he was given a way back to the working class. That would not have happened had he become a senior Civil Servant or an academic. He tended to attribute to himself rather exceptional insight into workers' lives.

From the late 1950s he spent his summers in Germany studying Theology, in which he was passionately interested and read voraciously. The Second Vatican Council gave his theological interest a great boost and it is said that at this time Bishop Corboy SJ used him as a theological consultant. To the end, he remained open and fresh in his theological thinking, always balanced in his judgement with a deep respect for the Church and its teachings. 1. He was an avid Gaelic enthusiast, having a love for the language, history and culture of the country. He always hoped that he would attract people to an appreciation of the 'hidden Ireland of the heart, culture, civilization and language that people knew nothing about for about 1,000 years'. In this, as in all other matters, he was convinced that one should work with persuasion and attraction, never polemically.

He became a spiritual director of Jesuits and others who found his attentive listening, his ability to get people to see the good in themselves, and his generous way of speaking enormously attractive. I am told that some have attributed the saving of their vocation to his guidance.

In April 2005 he was admitted to Cherryfield after a series of falls and was not expected to recover, but did so sufficiently to resume his reading, receive his many visitors and walk with some assistance. However he was fragile and at times gave the impression that he was fading away. He deteriorated sharply on March 7th 2006 and died peacefully the next day.

Fr Noel Barber SJ

Hanley, Kieran C, 1915-1998, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/603
  • Person
  • 06 October 1915-22 July 1998

Born: 06 October 1915, Castletownbere, County Cork
Entered: 08 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 April 1983, Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 22 July 1998, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999 & ◆ The Clongownian, 1998

Obituary
Fr Kieran Hanley (1915-1988)

6th Oct. 1915: Born in Castletownbeare, Co. Cork.
1929 - 1934: Educated in Mungret College, Limerick.
8th Sept. 1934: Entered the Society of Jesus at Emo
9th Sept. 1936: First vows at Emo
1936 - 1939: Rathfarnham - BA (English History)
1939 - 1942: Tullabeg - Philosophy
1942 -1944: Belvedere College - H.Dip
1944 - 1949: Milltown Park - Theology.
28th July 1948: Ordained at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1950 - 1962: Tullabeg - Minister & Bursar, Farm from 1953
1962 - 1965: Clongowes - Farms in CWC and Tullabeg
1965 - 1972: Tullabeg - Superior; Assistant in Parish; Minister
1980 - 1981: Loyola - Socius
1981 - 1983: Socius and Superior
1983 - 1989: Clongowes - Rector
1989 - 1993: Manresa - Rector, Socius to Novice Master; Director Spiritual Exercises
1993 - 1997: Clongowes - Assistant in People's Church.
1997: Cherryfield

Kieran went to Cherryfield at the beginning of December 1997. After Christmas he spent some weeks in the Bons Secours Hospital and then returned to Cherryfield where he made some improvements but was still weak. On Sunday, July 12th Kieran had a turn which left him very weak. Since then he had slowly deteriorated and passed away very peacefully on Wednesday morning July 22nd, 1998.

Kieran Hanley SJ was born in Castletownbeare on the southern tip of Co. Cork and maybe his interest in the origins of others grew from his own inordinate pride in the place of his birth. Certainly, he knew where everyone known to him came from. And he seems to have known everyone, whether it was in the years that he ministered in the midlands, or when he supervised in the Jesuit farms, or when he lived in the Jesuit schools.

Although he lived into his eighties and was a prodigious worker, he was no stranger to illness, and indeed he nearly died before completing his theological studies. It was therefore a particular joy for him and his family when he was ordained in 1948 and took his final vows in the Society of Jesus on the 3rd of April 1983.

In 1950 he began a career as an administrator in the Jesuit order that encompassed nearly 50 years. For 23 years, at the college and farm outside Tullamore, he learnt about farming from his neighbours and first displayed his particular gift of absolute integration into the midland's community. He was a bright and willing student, as some who attended his funeral remember, and soon he undertook the direction of the Clongowes farm as well. He was to spend 10 years in Dublin, in Gonzaga College, as superior in the church in Gardiner Street and as assistant to the provincial of the order. Finally he became rector in Clongowes Wood College in the plains of Kildare in 1983 and it was here he was to end his days, except for a four year interlude as rector of Manresa, the retreat house in Clontarf. It was to Manresa that the beautiful Evie Hone stained glass windows were moved and suitably housed under his supervision and he rejoiced in displaying them to visitors.

It was in Clongowes that he seemed most at home and during his 11 years there he got to know every pupil in the school, all their parents and most of their relations. He was a great raconteur and had an infectious sense of humour. His ability to orchestrate and transmit the best of West Cork common sense was an absolute delight and was perhaps the secret of his rapport with people. His advice was worth having and you would not go far wrong if you listened to it.

He died peacefully on July 22nd at Cherryfield Lodge, the Jesuit nursing home in Dublin, and is buried in the community graveyard at the top of the long avenue in Clongowes, past the large beech trees, where small black crosses with Latin inscriptions mark the graves. A student visited the new grave some days after the funeral and then proceeded up to the castle, only then to realise what Fr. Hanley's death meant when he did not find Kieran walking around and cheerfully welcoming him by name. There are thousands all over Ireland and in the diaspora who will miss this generous man and yet still feel his presence, most of all his family. Only six months before he died he had overcome what seemed certain death, but once more he recovered. Finally he was too weak to fight death anymore.

He was a very modest man who loved to joke about his contributions. He recalled that his novice master, in an effort to foresee the future, foretold distinguished futures for all other novices, but paused when he came to Kieran, and then he said that a holy man would be welcome in any house. The poor man did not know the half of it, but he was right; Kieran Hanley was always welcome in any house. With his other unique attributes there was a true humility. Finally, Fr. Hanley invariably added to his farewells the phrase, “and thank you”. Now, we all reluctantly say farewell, and thank you.

Harnett, Philip, 1943-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/506
  • Person
  • 06 January 1943-20 December 1996

Born: 06 January 1943, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 10 October 1961, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 23 June 1972, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1982, Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 20 December 1996, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 31 July 1986-30 July 1992
1st President of the European Conference of Provincials 1992-1996

Cousin of Donal Doyle SJ (JPN)

by 1966 at Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain (TOLE) studying
by 1973 at Washington DC, USA (MAR) studying
PROVINCIAL 01 September 1986
by 1994 at Brussels Belgium (BEL S) President European Conference
by 1995 at Strasbourg France (GAL) President European Conference

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Harnett, Philip
by Peter McVerry
Harnett, Philip (1943–96), Jesuit priest, was born 6 January 1943 in Dublin, the third child of Patrick Harnett and Ursula Treacy. He had two brothers, John and Patrick, and three sisters, Anne, Catherine, and Mary. Following an education at Pembroke School, Ballsbridge, and Belvedere College, he joined the Jesuits on 10 October 1961 and studied arts at UCD, philosophy in the Jesuit College, Madrid, and theology in Milltown Park, Dublin. He was ordained a priest on 23 June 1972.

Harnett studied as a drugs counsellor in Washington, DC, in 1972 and worked for the Dublin diocese as a drugs advisor until 1974. He was then appointed parish priest in the inner-city Jesuit parish of Gardiner Street where, for six years, he coordinated a major community development programme. From 1980 to 1983 he worked in the central administration of the Irish Jesuits before being appointed to the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. During this time he lived in the socially deprived neighbourhood of Ballymun and sought to raise awareness of the structural injustices in Irish society; he also lectured and gave many workshops on this theme. He worked closely with residents in Ballymun to support their struggle to improve the quality of life in their neighbourhood.

In 1986 Harnett was appointed provincial of the Irish Jesuits. In this post he led the Jesuits through a period of rapid change in Irish society and the Irish church, and his leadership skills became very evident. Although he had to make difficult, and sometimes unpopular, decisions to respond to the changing circumstances, he retained the respect of those whom he led. He encouraged and supported the Irish Jesuits in their commitment to social justice, which he saw as a central thrust of their mission. In 1993 he was appointed to the newly created post of president of the Conference of European Jesuit Provincials, which reflected the high esteem in which he was held, and moved to Strasbourg. Three years later he was diagnosed with cancer, and despite a course of immuno-therapy in Strasbourg he became progressively weaker. He returned to Dublin, where he died 20 December 1996.

Irish Province Jesuit Archives; personal knowledge

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 92 : August 1996
Obituary

Fr Philip Harnett (1943-1996)

6th Jan. 1943: Born in Dublin
Early education: Pembroke School, Ballsbridge and Belvedere College
10th Oct. 1961: Entered the Society at Emo
11th Oct. 1963: First Vows at Emo
1963 - 1965: Rathfarnham, Arts at UCD
1965 - 1967: Madrid, studying Philosophy
1967 - 1969: Crescent College Comprehensive, Teaching
1969 - 1972: Milltown Park, studying Theology
23rd June 1972: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park
1972 - 1973: Washington, Diploma in Drugs Abuse Training
1973 - 1974: Gardiner St - work for Archbishop on Drugs SFX
1974 - 77: Gardiner Street, Parish Priest
1977 - 1978: Tullabeg, Tertianship
1978 - 1980: SFX Gardiner St - Parish Priest
1980 - 1983: Loyola House - Special Secretariat
1983 - 1986: Arrupe, Ballymun Superior - work at CFJ
1986 - 1992: Loyola House, Provincial
1992 - 1993: Sabbatical
1993 - 1996 Brussels/Strasbourg: President of Conference of European Provincials

Philip was feeling a lack of energy after Christmas 1995. His doctors diagnosed cancer and this necessitated the removal of a kidney. Under medical supervision, he initially returned to work in Strasbourg but his doctors eventually prescribed a course in immuno-therapy that lasted several months during which time Philip was unable to work. On completion of the therapy he returned to Dublin to stay with his sister Anne for some weeks. After a fall, he was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital and then to Cherryfield Lodge. He made very determined efforts to regain his health and members of the province prayed for him through the intercession of Fr. John Sullivan. Gradually, however, he became weaker and was more and more confined to bed. He died at 3am on Friday 20th December 1996.

Homily for Philip Harnett's funeral Mass, December 23rd, 1996
Can't you imagine Philip Harnett as Jesus asks him does he love him more than these others, and then asks him for a second and third time does he really love him? What I imagine is that Philip would be wondering what kind of manipulation and emotional blackmail all this was! I think he'd probably call for some kind of small group session in Ignatius' court of heaven, perhaps with himself, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, to facilitate the Lord's apparent insecurity!

In this, the end of John's gospel, we have played out before us the last act of the drama, which began with the invitation to the disciples in the first chapter of John to "come and see". This last act for Philip wasn't as he had either anticipated or wanted: somebody else was putting a belt around him and taking him where he would rather not go. This last journey and meeting with Jesus began last January with news of his serious illness, and intensified in September when he returned to Ireland and it became clear that his illness according to conventional medicine was terminal. It was mostly a journey through his memory, his mind and his heart. Philip the mountain climber, the hill walker, the marathon runner, that vibrant and handsome physical presence, went on this most important of all his journeys with disintegrating body, struggling for breath, but with spirit undiminished and even expanding, as he yearned for life and yearned to understand better the meaning of his and our lives.

What did he find out? Well: that, as always, he was held by the hand of Jesus. That was core and central: beneath all his banter and mockery, it was always clear that for Philip his relationship with Jesus Christ was the bedrock of his life, I heard him once as Provincial articulate this in an impassioned and unguarded way, confirming what I had always suspected was true. This came out so strongly in these last few months: if Jesus was leading him, even where he would himself not want to go, then it was alright. He might argue, protest, even rant and rave, but in the end, warts and all, it was alright. And this is what happened: Philip was able to say “I'm happy”, even as he continued to desire life and felt it ebbing out of him: all will be well, all manner of things will be well, because Jesus Christ, his life-time companion, was with him.

What he found out also was that as he got closer to Jesus and the next life, he got closer to his family, his friends, to his life. He pondered long the influence of his deceased mother and father, his relationship with his brothers and sisters, John, Anne, Catherine, Patrick and Mary, his extended family of in-laws, nephews, nieces and aunts. It was such a great joy to him to be able, after a characteristically honest, searching, and healing look-back, to embrace this network of relationships with heightened appreciation. I know, because he told me and others more than once, how deeply touched he was in particular by the palpable love he felt from his immediate family: he relished the directness of their affection, he was so pleased that it could be expressed so openly, and he wanted so much for them to understand how much they meant to him. Of course he was still capable of saying "God bless" if there was even a hint of mawkishness or false sentimentality in any of this: but he did, more than ever before, want to own and relax into the love he felt for an received from others. And he did so that last journey was simplifying and purifying in a way that surprised and made him very happy - through his prayer, his pondering and sifting, his talking it over with others in a characteristically open way, he found that in coming closer to Jesus Christ he became closer to the rest of us. As his body contracted, his heart expanded.

This applied also of course to his relationship with his friends - with Bernadette in Australia (whose brother Joseph is, I'm glad to say, with us this morning), Catherine in France, with his many friends, Jesuit and lay, from Ireland and different parts of the world, many of whom are here today. He was inclined in fact to dwell less on his achievements, and more on the people who had enriched his life: this was a bit different for a Jesuit, as he well realised! He appreciated so much the care he received in Strasbourg, in Elm Park, above al in Cherryfield. This included those who so generously offered him the help of various alternative medicines, as with typical whole heartedness he embraced every way to continue with life which he had such a huge desire for. And he was so pleased too that the Jesuit Province was praying through John Sullivan's intercession for a miracle cure: I think there may have to be another small group meeting in heaven, involving Philip. John Sullivan and a facilitator to sort out what exactly John Sullivan thought he was at, before the two of them can be the good pals Paul Cullen was talking about last Saturday!

But this was something that Philip also found out: that God, the Father, was not aloof, distant, judgmental, and to be feared. Rather, he marvelled to discover the infinite, inexhaustible patience of God, so open to taking all the anger, the fear, the rage that someone in Philip's terrible predicament felt, and yet there for Philip, as Jesus was. That again was wonderful: this after all is the God of life, and Philip again was reassured that against all the odds God, who is Father and Mother, was there for him, no matter what.

I have spoken of Philip through what I know of his own eyes. The reading from the Romans, with talk of the groaning of creation, gives us an opportunity to assess Philip through our own eyes, because this is also part of the truth of who it is. Creation groans because God's kingdom is being established against great opposition, and Philip had dedicated his life to this Kingdom. What are the kind of qualities which made his contribution so important, particularly in his life as priest in Gardiner Street, Special Secretariat in Loyola, work in Ballymun and the Centre for Faith and Justice, as Provincial and then as President of the Conference of European Provincials?

Well: I think his leadership qualities were remarkable. I remember joking with him that as a leader of the pack on our rugby team he was remarkable for the fact that he could roar at the rest of us to get up first to the break-down point, while arriving himself half a yard behind everyone else to the next line-out! There was something here that was truly great: the ability to motivate others, to inspire, to empower, to make others believe in themselves, not to feel that he could or had to do everything himself. Some of this of course came from his great sense of vision: in many ways for us Irish Jesuits he personified what it was to be a Jesuit after our 32nd General Congregation in the 1970's, with our mission defined in terms of faith and justice, Some of it too came from his skill in management and group work - think of all those meetings, and he was still conducting them from his sick-bed! There was too his creativity: he displayed this perhaps to greatest effect in the last job he had in Europe, where he really was trying to get something very embryonic going in difficult circumstances and in a way which won the respect of all. He had a sharp mind, a shrewd intelligence, an original and critical reading of the world and the signs of the times. Allied to all this was his ability to challenge, in a way which brought the best out of others. As you heard at the start of the Mass, Fr. General himself obviously appreciated this quality in Philip, which leads me to believe that in their relationship of great mutual respect and not a little affection, there may also have been that Harnett push for the magis, the 110%, felt by Fr. General! And of course there was his terrific humanity, his openness in dialogue, his ability to respect the institution but never let this suppress the Spirit-led unorthodoxies in himself or others, his utterly irreverent wit. Very interesting, he would say, when bored stiff; the pious put-down, God bless; the hilarious, Inspector Clousseau grappling with French vowels, particularly of the eu variety, with corresponding facial grimaces.

The stories are legion, and most of them unrepeatable. An edited, maybe apochryphal one will have to act as catalyst for your own favourites: it tells of Philip, as Provincial, being driven in the back of a car up the Milltown drive to preside at an important Province meeting. On the way he passes a group of the younger men, and in self-mocking style waves to them airily, in truly regal and almost pontifical style. Then, as the car passes, they see the same Philip gesticulating at them wildly like a school-boy from the back window of the car. He could not be pompous: sacred cows were there to be slaughtered, the unsayable was suddenly sayable, and none of it was cruel because it was rooted in the ability to be contrite and laugh at himself ( I feel so guilty!) and to be deeply serious when it mattered. He made doing what was good seem adventurous, attractive - and just plain fun! Through all of this he achieved so much, and we may rightly assess this as of more significance than he himself was inclined to do in his illness. You will all have your own list of these achievements: I mention the Signs of the Times Seminar, the development of the Milltown Institute and the Irish School of Ecumenics, as examples of how to my certain first-hand knowledge his leadership has touched the lives of so many.

He was, then, a giant of a man and will be sorely missed. He meant so much to so many. We who are left behind, his family, his friends and colleagues, his brother Jesuits, have a right to ask why? Why now? A right to grieve, to be sorry, to be angry. In doing so we will be helped by the Spirit referred to in the reading from Romans, who helps us in our weakness. We will be helped too by the spirit of Philip, who trusted in God and Jesus, who would understand that we needed to grieve and be angry, but who might say to us in the future, when we might be tempted to use our grief in a maudlin way to block our own lives - well, he might say a gentle, God bless, and help us realise that his God is the God of life, and it is even deeper life that he now enjoys.

This is what the reading from Isaiah suggests I think - more mountains, food and drink, the heavenly banquet - all in continuity with this life. This is another of Philip's great gifts to us: dying, with all its terrible rupture and loss, is for the person of faith a passing to new life. Philip lived this rupture and this hope in an extraordinarily holistic way. He told me early on that he did not want to die well", in the sense of whatever conventional expectations might be there: he laughed often, even through those last few months, and when he got angry, he would say, in aside, Kubla-Ross/stages of dying! He wondered too what would happen if there was a miracle: would he become a bit of an exhibit, like Lazarus, and would he be asked to go to Rome as part of the evidence for the cause of John Sullivan?! This apparent gallows humour was in fact more of what I have already alluded to: he loved life, he loved Jesus who was utterly incarnate, of flesh, for Philip: and if he trusted Jesus and God to bring him through death to new life, then this new life was in continuity with all the fun, the love, the mountains, the food and drink of this life. This was not a denial of death: rather it was a hymn to life, the ultimate compliment to and praise of the God of life. A 10th Century Celtic poem captures some of this sentiment:

The heavenly banquet
I would like to have the men of Heaven
In my own house:
With vats of good cheer
Laid out for them.

I would like to have the three Marys,
Their fame is so great.
I would like people
From every corner of Heaven
.
I would like them to be cheerful
In their drinking,
I would like to have Jesus too
Here amongst them.

I would like a great lake of beer
For the King of Kings,
I would like to be watching Heaven's family
Drinking it through all eternity,

This symbolic picture of the heavenly banquet, so true for example to the great satisfaction experienced by Philip in his two trips to pubs for a drink with his brother John in the weeks before he died, is part of Philip's gift to us as he parts. It tells us to treasure life to the full; to seek its meaning in responsible love and in Jesus Christ; to hope with great realism and joy for a reunion of all creation at God's heavenly banquet. In his last few days when Philip, master of meetings, wanted a bit of time on his own he used to say, courteously, humorously: the meeting is over, you may go now! The meeting is indeed over now, Philip: and although it breaks our hearts, you may go: and we thank you and God for all you have meant to us, and for the hope that we may continue to make this world a better place and may enjoy life to the full with you in the future.

Peter Sexton, SJ

-oOo-

When Philip Harnett became Provincial of the Society of Jesus in Ireland, he automatically assumed a number of responsibilities relating to the Irish School of Ecumenics. Firstly he became the Roman Catholic Patron, secondly he became Trustee, and lastly he assumed the Presidency of the Academic Council. In this last role he quickly became aware much more fully of the work of ISE - its degree/diploma programmes in Dublin, its adult education courses on reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the research and outreach efforts of the academic staff. Already in ISE there was a growing realisation that the Irish Churches should take a more positive interest in ISE and Philip saw and endorsed this aim. He also learned of the precarious financial position of ISE and he realised the need for change and development in the school's administration. As time passed the Provincial felt a growing need to take a more constructively active role to help ISE - discerning that those who were running ISE - Executive Board and Director - were too close to the action and too fully involved to stand back and be objective. With the agreement therefore of those in ISE, of the other Patrons and the Trustees, Philip invited (to use a politically correct term which probably understates the nature of the 'invitation') two business men whom he could rely on to act as consultants to the Patrons and to draw up a report on ISE.

That report, when in due time it was presented to the Patrons, was comprehensive and in some areas radical. Its recommendations were accepted by the Patrons who left it to Philip to set up a 'task force' to work with ISE in implementing the recommendations.

This process has resulted in long term advantages and reforms, the outworking of some of these is still in progress. It developed a new relationship for ISE with the Irish churches. The Archbishop of Dublin (Roman Catholic) together with a nominee for the Episcopal Conference have become Patrons (in the place of the Jesuit provincial who remains President of the Academic Council and one of the Trustees together with the Patrons from the other larger churches in Ireland, Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian. Equally significantly the churches committed themselves to a programme of financial grants to ISE. This opened up the way for ISE to establish an Endowment Fund and to approach the corporate business sector for significant donations,

The Executive Board of ISE was given much greater responsibility and authority, making it possible for the Academic Council to concentrate on broad policy and the maintenance of Academic standards and research. These changes have been fundamental to the most recent development - albeit one not foreseen in the Consultants' report - that of grant-aid for ISE from the Minister for Education.

Throughout this whole process Philip Harnett retained his interest in and enthusiasm for ISE and for the aims and principles of the school, He gave constant personal support to those of us involved within ISE, and his quiet encouragement and guidance were always available and freely given. His commitment to ecumencial co-operation was a practical and constructive involvement and his actions stemmed from genuine concern and spiritual motivation. He saw ecumenical action and co-operation as a natural part of his Christian life and witness, and he put this vision to good effect in relation to ISE.

Over the time span of history many people have contributed to the formation of ISE's structures, visions and programmes. The recent development of the School is no exception and while successive provincials and directors have made their contributions, it fell to Philip to be the School's Jesuit patron at a critical phase. Philip Harnett had the vision - a vision that combined ideas and imagination with gentleness and compassion, allied to an administrative experience and skill. These attributes enabled Philip to help the school, grown too large for its original “family structure, to develop into a well administered institution. His was a contribution that came at the right time and was made in the right way.

David Poole

David Poole who is a member of the religious Society of Friends, was Chair of ISE's Executive Board from 1987 to 1996.

◆ The Clongownian, 1997

Obituary

Father Philip Harnett SJ

Fr Philip Harnett SJ, whose older brother John was at Clongowes (1954-57) but who himself attended Belvedere, served as a member of the Board of Governors on two separate occasions. The first time was for a year in 1979-80, when he was Parish Priest of Gardiner St. Later, he was ex officio President of the Board during his creative and memorable six-year term as Jesuit Provincial, 1986-92. He was appointed President of the Conference of European Provincials in 1993, with his base in Strasbourg, a task with which he grappled with characteristic energy and commitment. He fell ill at Christmas 1995. Despite a heroic battle to overcome his illness, to the very great grief of his family and his fellow-Jesuits, Philip died on 20 December 1996, aged 53.

Hayes, James FG, 1933-2016, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/838
  • Person
  • 06 July 1933-31 January 2016

Born: 06 July 1933, Pery Square, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 14 September 1951, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1965, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 31 January 2016, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Educated at Crescent College SJ

by 1976 in London, England (ANG) working
by 1991 at Torry, Aberdeen, Scotland (BRI) working
by 1994 at Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland (BRI) working
by 2001 at Liverpool, England (BRI) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jim-hayes-sj/

Jim Hayes SJ
AMDG Express has saluted two of the Irish Jesuits working in Britain: Kieran Barry-Ryan and (posthumously) Jack Donovan. Jack’s near-contemporary, Jim Hayes, is living in
Liverpool, but for many years he has hardly featured on the horizons of Province activities despite a remarkably active priestly life. Paul Andrews’ report on a recent conversation with Jim.
When I rang Jim Hayes to hear his story, one picture stayed vividly with me. Jim asked had I seen “Tunes of Glory”, and in particular the scene in an officers’ mess, where you see officers at each end of the dining room table, eating in a shared solitude, with nobody saying hello. Jim’s first breakfast in Belvedere, in the early 70s, was like that. He had moved across the city from Milltown, appointed as Minister to a large community which he had never known before. He sat at one end of the table, some of the brethren gathered at the other end, and nobody greeted the newcomer or said hello. Things eased with time. Rupert Coyle, Michael Reidy, Jim Dunne and others became and remained good friends. But the Belvedere of 1970 tolerated unfriendliness, even inhumanity, in a way that reduced everyone’s energy.
Jim is remembered in both Milltown and Belvedere not just for efficiency as a Minister, but for an almost maternal eye for the needs of the brethren, and readiness to take pains and spend money to meet those needs. He is remembered with affection, and it is important for him to realise that.
Despite his frosty start in Belvedere, he worked hard at his job and grew to like it there; so he was sad, and felt it as something of a reproach, when the Provincial moved him after three years. He is happy to recall that years later the same Provincial wrote to him with an apology for making that move, and an acknowledgement that he had followed the wrong advice and done Jim an injustice.
After a short spell in his native Limerick, (at that time there were more priests in its main street than in the whole of Zambia), he was invited by Fr Oliver McTiernan to ease the shortage of priests in London. With the support of both Irish and British Provincials he moved to Islington for fifteen happy years. Both Oliver and Bruce Kent, his companions in Islington, later left priestly ministry, but Jim stayed with his parish, schools and hospital.
In the mid-1980s he felt moved to offer himself for the diocese of Aberdeen, where the shortage of priests was so chronic that it survived only through an infusion of Jesuit volunteers. Jim was parish priest in a Highlands parish west of Inverness, then in a city parish, and then for seven years in the Shetland Islands. When he went there, he found only four native Catholics, but with the development of the oil fields their number was swollen by a surge of workers, from Scotland, England, Ireland, Poland and elsewhere.
Despite the loneliness and the long winter nights, Jim enjoyed Shetland very much, moving round his parish by car and boat. But ten years ago he found that his half-moon glasses no longer served him adequately. A specialist told him that he was suffering from loss of central vision due to diabetes (of which he was unaware). His sight gave way suddenly. He could not distinguish parishioners, and he knew he had to leave the parish and the island.
He was happy to accept an invitation from the British Provincial to serve as full-time chaplain in the Catholic Institute for the Blind in Liverpool. He had to give up the chaplain’s post when he found he could no longer see faces clearly enough to recognise them. Now he is a resident, in a state of high dependency, blind and afflicted by Parkinson’s, but still able to celebrate Mass. When I asked him about the good and bad years in his memory, he said that most of his years had been good, but the last year has been an annus horribilis. Is there anything we can do to bring this good Jesuit closer?

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/20674/

Fr Jim Hayes RIP: committed to kindness and service of the Gospel
There were two sides to Jim Hayes, the Limerick-born Jesuit who has died at the age of 82. At first blush a stranger might find him serious, almost stern, in face and manner; but where he was looking after others – as he was for most of his ministry – he was kindness itself. He is remembered in both Milltown and Belvedere not just for efficiency as a Minister, but for an almost motherly eye for the needs of the brethren, and readiness to take pains and spend money to meet those needs. Any Jesuit in the job of Minister lives in a tension between the needs of the brethren and the moneywise watchfulness of superior and bursar. In that tension Jim put the brethren’s needs first. So he is remembered with great regard and affection. He sometimes felt the pressure of the bursar’s books, for instance when he was unexpectedly moved from Belvedere. Years later the Provincial who moved him wrote to him with an apology for making that move, acknowledging that it was a poorly-founded decision.
After a short spell in Limerick, (at that time there were more priests in its main street than in the whole of Zambia), he was invited by Fr Oliver McTiernan to ease the shortage of priests in London. With the support of both Irish and British Provincials he spent fifteen happy years in Islington. Both Oliver and Bruce Kent, his companions in Islington, later left priestly ministry, but Jim persevered faithfully.
In the mid-1980s he felt moved to volunteer for the diocese of Aberdeen, where the shortage of priests was so chronic that it survived only through an infusion of Jesuit volunteers. Jim was parish priest in a Highlands parish west of Inverness, then in a city parish, and then for seven years in the Shetland Islands. When he went there, he found only four native Catholics, but with the development of the oil fields their number was swollen by a surge of workers, from Scotland, England, Ireland, Poland and elsewhere.
Despite the loneliness and the long winter nights, Jim enjoyed Shetland, moving round his parish by car and boat. But ten years ago he found that his half-moon glasses no longer served him adequately. A specialist found that he was suffering from loss of central vision due to diabetes (of which Jim was unaware). His sight gave way suddenly. When he could not identify parishioners, he knew he had to leave the parish. The British Provincial asked him to serve as full-time chaplain in the Catholic Institute for the Blind in Liverpool. He worked there for fourteen years until, blind and afflicted by Parkinson’s, he returned to Ireland and settled well into Cherryfield Lodge. His condition deteriorated quickly in the past two weeks, and he died peacefully on 21 January, surrounded by his family and Jesuit companions.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 162 : Winter 2015

Obituary

Fr James (Jim) Hayes (1933-2016)

6 July 1933: Born in Dublin. Raised in Limerick City.
Early education at Crescent College SJ, Limerick.
14 September 1951: Entered Society at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
15 September 1953: First Vows at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
1953 - 1956: Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1956 - 1959: Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1959 - 1962: Clongowes - Regency : Teacher; Prefect; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1962 - 1966: Milltown Park - Studying Theology
29 July 1965: Ordained at Gonzaga Chapel, Milltown Park, Dublin
1966 - 1967: Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1967 - 1970: Milltown Park - Minister
2 Feb 1968: Final Vows at Gonzaga Chapel, Milltown Park, Dublin
1970 - 1974: Belvedere - Minister
1974 - 1975: Crescent - Minister in Church
1975 - 1990: London, UK - Curate at Church of St John the Evangelist, Islington
1990 - 1993: Aberdeen, Scotland, UK - Parish priest at Sacred Heart Church, Tory
1993 - 1999: Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland, UK - Parish Priest at St Margaret's
1999 - 2013: Liverpool, UK - Chaplain at Christopher Grange Centre for the Adult Blind
2013 - 2016: Loyola - Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Having worked mostly in parishes in Britain, Jim returned home to Cherryfield Lodge from Liverpool on February 2nd 2013. He settled very well into Cherryfield, and while his overall wellbeing was fragile, he enjoyed life again in an Irish community. His condition deteriorated quickly in the past two weeks, and he died peacefully surrounded by his family, his sister Thérèse, brother in law John, nieces and nephew, and members of the Jesuit community, May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

James Francis Gerard Hayes, was born on 6th July 1933, in Limerick City. He was the eldest in the family, and he had a brother and two sisters.

In 1951 Jim joined the Jesuits in Emo, and three others who joined the same day, Sean Coghlan, Dermot Cassidy and Harry Naylor are still living. After doing an Arts degree in UCD and studying philosophy in Tullabeg. He then worked for three years in Clongowes. Here he taught French, History and Geography, and he was he also was the choir master. For the study of Theology Jim went to Milltown Park, where he was ordained on 29th July 1965.

After Tertianship Jim's first appointment was as Minister in Milltown Park in 1967. This was a community of 45 priests, 9 brothers and 54 scholastics, and the Minister also had responsibility for the catering and maintenance of Tabor Retreat House. At this time the furnishings and décor were institutional. Jim had a different vision of caring after people, and of surprising them and giving them more than they expected. The celebrations and fellowship that Jim enabled brought the Jesuit community together, and when Jim died, there were many stories of his kindnesses and care of the Milltown Park Community.

After two years, in 1970 Jim was sent to the Belvedere College community, to bring about the same changes in the community there. Apparently he was not welcomed with open arms, and he remembered his first morning there at breakfast, where the atmosphere was decidedly chilly. However his care for people warmed the atmosphere at Belvedere too, and Jim formed great friendships there. Four years later when he left Belvedere, Jim was especially missed by the catering and maintenance staff at Belvedere House, because he was a wonderful person to work for.

After Belvedere, Jim was then sent to be Minister in the Sacred Heart Church in his native Limerick. However Jim longed for direct pastoral work, and was attracted by the need in London, which were described to him by his friends, Fr Ken Mc Cabe and Fr. Oliver McTiernan,

So for fifteen years Jim went to minister at the church of St. John the Evangelist, in Islington, from 1975 till 1990. When Jim died the present parish priest of St John's, Mgr. Seamus O'Boyle, wrote to assure Jim's family and Jesuit colleagues of his prayers and those of the parish. Seamus reflected that parish register in St Johns tells its own story, of hundreds of baptisms and weddings and Anointings of the sick, conducted by the youthful Fr. Hayes. When Jim arrive at Islington Harold Wilson was Prime Minister, and when he was leaving, John Major was taking over from Margaret Thatcher. These were turbulent years in Britain, with the IRA bombings in Hyde Park and Regents' Park and Brighton. These were also years of deep divisions in society, of the miners' strike, and of massive protests for nuclear dişarmament, led by the secretary of CND, Mgr. Bruce Kent who lived in the same rectory as Jim. These were also turbulent years in the church too, and both Bruce Kent and Oliver McTiernan eventually left the priesthood. During all these upheavals and during all of this unrest, Jim Hayes faithfully preached the Gospel of love and forgiveness and the mercy of God, at the parish of St. John in Islington.

In 1990 Jim moved again, to where the need was great, to Scotland. He worked in Aberdeen for three years, at the Sacred Heart Church in Torry and then in 1993 at St Margaret's Church at Lerwick on the Shetland islands. Lerwick is further north than Oslo and Stockholm, with long summer evenings, and dark cold winters. Despite these extremes Jim loved it there. Here his congregation was made up of a small number of native Shetland people and a large number of immigrants who worked in fisheries and on oil rigs. On hearing of Jim's death, Anil Gonzalves of St Margaret's church wrote to say: “I am sorry to hear about Fr Jim Hayes. I will inform the parish and a Mass will be offered for his intentions”.

Jim's sister Theresa and her family, the Hurleys, were regular visitors to Jim in Lerwick. Jim's sister Mary visited him there too, and Jim had happy memories of Mary clearing the snow with a brush from the roof of the presbytery. When Mary sadly died about 15 years ago, Jim recalled these carefree times. Mary's death was a heavy cross for Jim to bear.

After nine years in Scotland, in 1999 Jim was surprised to learn the reason for the rapid deterioration of his eyesight. It was caused by diabetes, and the damage to his eyes was permanent. Even in in his blindness, Jim was willing to go where there was an apostolic need, and so he went at Chaplain to Christopher Grange Centre for the Adult Blind, in Liverpool. For three years he celebrated the sacraments for this special community, and learned to master technology so that he could 'read' the texts to celebrate Mass, and to administer the sacraments. During his period Fr. Matthew Power SJ from the nearby Jesuit community kept in touch with him, and his long-term medical needs were monitored by his sister Theresa, and by Mary Rickard, the Irish Provincial's health delegate. Theresa and Mary formed a mighty alliance, and they liaised with Bernadette Lavin, who looks after the health of the British Jesuits.

After complex negotiations, diplomatically handled, Jim came to live in Cherryfield in 2013. The transfer was planned with military precision, with a vanguard, a main guard, and a rear-guard action. The time in Cherryfield was a time of great blessings in Jim's life, because he could be close to the Hurley family, and when Jim was able to perform the baptism of baby Sam Fogarty, his grandnephew, last June, in the Cherryfield chapel, it was a special time of blessings for everybody.

The time in Cherryfield gave the Terry and her Hurley family a chance to be close to Jim, and he loved their visits and support. They shared their pride in Munster Rugby and their careers, and Jim was proud of them.

About six years ago, while in Liverpool, Jim prepared the liturgy for his funeral Mass. The readings and the hymns, and special recorded music reflected the interests of a person coping with serious illness and with his blindness. The pealing of church bells, which was a feature of a Sunday morning BBC programme he loved, and the signature tune for the BBC Shipping forecast called “Sailing By”, were played at his request. The Gospel included Jesus reassurance “It is I, do not be afraid”. In Jim's final years he suffered from Parkinson's disease, and despite the kindness of the Cherryfield staff and the support of his family and Jesuit colleagues, these were difficult years. When Jim died on January 31st, 2016, the prayers for eternal rest had a special poignancy.

Liam O’Connell

Heelan, Patrick A, 1926-2015, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/766
  • Person
  • 17 March 1926-01 February 2015

Born: 17 March 1926, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1961, Fordham University, The Bronx, New York, USA
Died: 01 February 2015, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1950 at St Louis University MO, USA (MIS) studying geophysics
by 1960 at Münster, Germany (GER I) making Tertianship
by 1962 at Franklin Park NJ, USA (MAR) studying at Princeton
by 1963 at Leuven, Belgium (BEL S) studying
by 1966 at Fordham NY, USA (MAR) teaching

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/rip-fr-patrick-heelan-sj/

RIP: Fr Patrick Heelan SJ
Fr Patrick Heelan died in Cherryfield Lodge on 1 February. In one of the many entries online, he gives a succinct account of his life and work: I am a Jesuit priest, a theoretical physicist and a philosopher of science. I was born in Dublin in 1926, and studied theoretical physics, philosophy and theology in Ireland, Germany and the USA. I moved permanently to the USA in 1965. In my studies in theoretical physics I was fortunate in having been supervised by three Nobel Prize winners: Schroedinger in Dublin during the war, Wigener in Princeton and Heisenberg in Munich, all of whom were among the founders of quantum physics. I am grateful for having had such a wonderful life as a priest and a theoretical physicist.
Patrick learned his love of mathematics in Belvedere, and looked forward to becoming a Jesuit scientist. During his first spell in USA he won a doctorate in geophysics by devising mathematical formulae to enable seismographs to distinguish between natural earthquakes and seismic activity from nuclear explosions. What he called his first conversion was the experience of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, which remained a crucial resource for him through his life. In the course of a stellar academic career he worked in seven universities, as professor, researcher and administrator – he was Vice President in Stony Brook State University and then Provost in Georgetown University, before retiring, in an increasingly frail body, to Cherryfield in 2014. So this gentle priest of extraordinary intellectual gifts saw out his days close to his much loved family of in-laws, nieces and nephews.
In 2005 Patrick wrote a memoir which fills in the factual features of his life, structured round five conversion points. It is meaty but not easy reading, concerned as it is with quantum theory and the perception of space. Here are the five conversion points, each followed by its date and location:
The role of Ignatian discernment: 1951: Wisconsin Lonergan: transcendental method: 1957: Tullabeg Consciousness’ role in quantum physics: 1962: Princeton Van Gogh’s pictorial geometry: 1966 Fordham
Space perception and the philosophy of science: 1982: Stony Brook
These five stepping stones still omit much of Patrick’s range of interests. His seminal work on Van Gogh’s paintings reflected a broad and sharp-eyed knowledge of European art. He explored “Music as a basic metaphor and deep structure in Plato” in a paper that showed familiarity with studies of music’s origins and structures. At the end of his life he was deep into a serious study of Islam. A friend compared Patrick to a high Renaissance Florentine prince, a polymath at home in the full range of arts and sciences, illuminating wherever he cast his attention.
In the course of a stellar academic career he worked in seven universities, as professor, researcher and administrator – he was Vice President in Stony Brook State University and then Provost in Georgetown University, before retiring, in an increasingly frail body, to Cherryfield in 2014. So this gentle priest of extraordinary intellectual gifts saw out his days close to his much loved family of in-laws, nieces and nephews and his friends.

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/pat-coyle/georgetown-salutes-fr-heelan/

Georgetown salutes Fr Heelan
in Pat Coyle

Fr Patrick Heelan SJ’s death has been well noted by Georgetown University, Washington, where he spent so many years and did so much good work as academic and as administrator. The current President, Dr. John J. DeGioia, has written to the university community as follows:
February 11, 2015
Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:
It is with great sadness that I share with you that Rev. Patrick A. Heelan, S.J., a beloved Georgetown administrator, professor and member of our Jesuit community, passed away earlier this month.
Fr. Heelan came to our Georgetown community in 1992 as Executive Vice President for the Main Campus before becoming the William A. Gaston Professor of Philosophy in 1995. As an administrator, Fr. Heelan helped to guide our community through a difficult financial period with an unwavering dedication to our distinct values and a vision of long-term excellence. In his role, he oversaw changes to the structure of the administration and strategic investments in our community to better advance our mission and meet the needs of our growing student population. He was also deeply dedicated to our policies of need-blind admissions and our commitment to meeting full need in financial aid, seeing them as cornerstones of our University’s future success. Fr. Heelan’s leadership strengthened our community in so many ways and was integral to bringing us to where we are now.
In addition to his contributions as a leader, Fr. Heelan was a renowned physicist and a philosopher, whose extensive scholarship sat at a unique intersection of what he called “the hermeneutic philosophy of science”—or the study of how we make meaning from scientific observation. His scholarly research spanned disciplines, including theology, philosophy, psychology and physics. His many scholarly contributions included publications on spatial perception, quantum mechanics and human consciousness and drew upon the intellectual tradition of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, and Bernard Lonergan.
After retiring from Georgetown in 2013, Fr. Heelan returned to his native Ireland for the duration of his life, where he passed away surrounded by loved ones earlier this month.
I was deeply saddened to learn of his passing, and I wish to offer my heartfelt condolences to the many faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of our Jesuit community who had the chance to work with him.
Should you wish to express your condolences, please direct notes to: Irish Jesuit Provincialate, Milltown Park, Sandford Road, Dublin 6, Ireland.
Please join me in expressing our deepest sympathy to the friends, family and many lives that were touched by Fr. Heelan’s kindness, leadership and good will.
Sincerely,
John J. DeGioia

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 159 : Spring 2015

Obituary

Fr Patrick (Paddy) Heelan (1926-2015)

17 March 1926: Born Dublin
Early education at Belvedere College SJ
7th September 1942: Entered Society at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
8th September 1944: First Vows at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
1944 - 1948: Rathfarnham - Studying Maths & Maths/Physics at UCD
1948 - 1949: Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1949 - 1952: St Louis, MO, USA - Studying for PhD in Geophysics at St Louis University
1952 - 1954: Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy; Research Associate at Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
1954 - 1955: Clongowes - Regency: Teacher; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1955 - 1959: Milltown Park - Studying Theology
31st July 1958: Ordained at Gonzaga Chapel, Milltown Park, Dublin
1959 - 1960: Westphalia, Germany - Tertianship at Münster in Westphalia
1960 - 1961: Bronx, NY, USA - Fullbright Fellowship post Doctorate Studies in Physics at Fordham University
2nd February 1961 Final Vows at Fordham University, Bronx, NY, USA
1961 - 1962: St Augustine's Parish, Franklin Park, NJ, USA - Fullbright Fellowship post Doctorate Studies in Physics at Palmer Laboratory, Princeton University
1962 - 1964: Louvain, Belgium - Studying for PhD in Philosophy of Science at Catholic University of Louvain
1964 - 1965: Leeson St - Lecturer in Maths & Maths/Physics at UCD; Assistant Prefect University Hall; Research Associate at Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
1965 - 1970: Bronx, NY, USA - Assistant Professor (later Associate Professor) of Philosophy at Fordham University
1968: Visiting Professor of Physics at Boston University
1970 - 1992: Stony Brook, NY, USA - Professor of Philosophy, Chair of Department of Philosophy, Dean of Arts and Sciences at State University of New York
1972: Acting Vice-President, Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean of Arts & Sciences; Professor of Philosophy
1975: Vice President for Liberal Studies
1990: Dean of Humanites & Fine Arts
1992: Present Emeritus Professor
1992 - 2013: Washington, DC, USA - Executive Vice-President for Main Campus; Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University
1995: William A Gaston Professor of Philosophy
2013 - 2015: Milltown Park - Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Fr Patrick Heelan was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in June 2013. He settled in well and was very content as a member of the Community. In recent months his condition deteriorated, and he died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge on Sunday 1st February 2015. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

In 1958 Archbishop McQuaid laid hands on Patrick as he knelt in the Milltown Park chapel to receive the sacrament of ordination. It would be fair to say that we, his peers, revered Patrick (the long form will be used here, though he was Paddy to his peers; in USA, where he settled in 1965, he was unhappy with the overtones of Paddy). By the time of his ordination he was already a seasoned scholar, with a Master's in maths from UCD, a rigorous apprenticeship with Schroedinger in the Dublin Institute of Higher Studies, and a doctorate in geophysics from St Louis. Even at that stage he had already worked in two of the seven universities he was to join (UCD, St Louis, Louvain, Fordham, Princeton, Stony Brook, Georgetown).

What mattered more to him was what he called his first conversion, when he gained an insight into the role of discernment in Ignatian prayer. This was the practice of assessing, during a time of peace and recollection, the spiritual authenticity of one's thoughts, feelings and desires; a new level of self-awareness and interiority. It remained with Patrick as a resource through the ups and downs of his life.

You might think it was mostly ups. He routinely got first honours in exams (with one explosive exception when J.R. McMahon, then Rector and Professor of Canon Law in Milltown, awarded Patrick a Fail mark in Canon Law, with the aim, it was said, of giving him a useful experience of failure). God, on the other hand, was generous to young Patrick. He was born into a stable home in Dalkey, with an aloof father and a remarkable warm and gifted mother to whom he was always close. He had an older brother, a successful lawyer and financier, and Esther, who he said was all you could look for in a young sister.

Patrick himself was generously endowed, with a brilliant mind, and a healthy body. He was not athletic, but was never sick, never in hospital till old age. He was hugely responsive to beauty, whether in mathematics (”I liked maths because it was clear, logical, beautiful and unassailable”), in music, especially Bach and Mozart, in flowers and in visual art. He loved his friends, though in his early years he described himself as a selfish introvert. On top of that he had excellent schooling, first in Belvedere, and then with formidable third-level mentors. He sought God in the created world; his search focussed particularly on how we perceive that world, and give it meaning,

Patrick was quickly in demand for third-level posts, but as a Jesuit under obedience he experienced the limits to his freedom. He was at first dismayed when he was commissioned to spend his travelling studentship in geophysics rather than his beloved maths. He was being used; superiors fingered him for the management of the worldwide network of Jesuit seismographs. The US army used and surreptitiously funded him to find a way of distinguishing natural earthquakes from nuclear explosions. The Russians translated his doctoral thesis for the same reason, and claimed the pirated version as a triumph for the Leningrad Acoustical Institution. The Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid, sought his services to teach neo-scholastic philosophy to seminarians.

So Patrick was used by the Jesuits, the Pentagon, Russian scientists, the Archbishop of Dublin, and no doubt several others. In face of this he became not angry but wise. Without losing his joie de vivre he recognised and welcomed the down-sizing of his ego. A written comment from his later years suggests his use of discernment in his development: "I came to experience my life in the Jesuit order, not as a career to be established, but as a story always under editorial revision and reconstruction, continuously discontinuous, yet with persistent Catholic and catholic threads and an interiority that tended to be affirmative and to bring, as was promised in the gospels, rest to my soul.”

In three issues of Interfuse in 2005-6, Patrick wrote Le petit philosophe, a 3-part memoir which fills in the factual features of his life, structured round five conversion points. It is meaty but not easy reading, concerned as it is with quantum theory and the perception of space. Here are his five conversion points, each followed by its date and location:

  1. The role of Ignatian discernment: 1951: Wisconsin
  2. Lonergan: transcendental method: 1957: Tullabeg
  3. Consciousness' role in quantum physics: 1962: Princeton
  4. Van Gogh's pictorial geometry: 1966: Fordham
  5. Space perception and the philosophy of science: 1982: Stony Brook

These five stepping stones still omit much of Patrick's range of interests. His seminal work on Van Gogh's paintings reflected a wide and sharp-eyed knowledge of European art. He explored “Music as a basic metaphor and deep structure in Plato” in a paper that showed familiarity with studies of music's origins and structures. At the end of his life he was deep into a serious study of Islam. A friend compared Patrick to a high Renaissance Florentine prince, a polymath at home in the full range of arts and sciences, illuminating whatever he gave attention to.

In the course of a stellar academic career he worked in seven universities, as professor, researcher and administrator – he was Vice President in Stony Brook State University and then Provost in Georgetown University. He lived through the inevitable power struggles of academic life, especially in Georgetown, where he worked hard at the reform of structures.

In 2014 he retired, in an increasingly frail body, to Cherryfield. So this gentle priest of extraordinary intellectual gifts saw out his days close to his much-loved family of in-laws, nieces and nephews. He was 88 years of age, and in his 73rd year as a Jesuit. He wrote of himself: “In my studies in theoretical physics I was fortunate in having been supervised by three Nobel Prize winners: Schroedinger in Dublin during the war, Wigener in Princeton and Heisenberg in Munich, all of whom were among the founders of quantum physics. I am grateful for having had such a wonderful life as a priest and a theoretical physicist”.

Paul Andrews

Interfuse No 114 : Summer 2002

60 YEARS IN THE SOCIETY OF JESUS

Patrick Heelan

A homily delivered by Patrick Heelan, on September 7, 2002, in St. Ignatius Chapel of Holy Trinity Church, Georgetown.

At the age of 11, I was enrolled as a student in Belvedere College in Dublin, Ireland. It was my first encounter with the Jesuits. Not many years before, another fellow Dubliner, James Joyce, had a similar encounter with the Jesuits at roughly the same age at Clongowes Wood College, the Jesuit boarding school. He later moved to Belvedere College, my school. Even at that early age Joyce was a sophisticated observer of the Jesuits. In his Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, Joyce tells of his early encounter. Under the name of Stephen Daedelus, he recounts his reverie during a Latin class taught by Fr. Arnall, SJ. Fr. Arnall had been angry, “in a wax”, as he says, because the whole class had missed the declension of the word “mare”, the Latin word for “sea”. I will quote this piece because the narrator could easily have been me when I first encountered the Jesuits; it began with a reflection on Fr. Arnall's being “in a wax”.

“Was that a sin for Fr. Arnall to be in a wax? Or was he allowed to get into a wax when the boys were idle because that made them study better? Or was he only letting on to be in a wax? It was because he was allowed, because a priest would know what a sin was and would not do it ... hmm! BUT if he did it one time by mistake, what would he do to go to confession? Perhaps, he would go to confession to the Fr. Minister of the Jesuit community. And if the minister did it, he would go to the rector: the rector to the provincial: and the provincial to the general of the Jesuits. That was called the order ... hmm! He had heard his father say that they were all clever men. They could all become high up people in the world if they had not become Jesuits. And he wondered what Fr. Arnall and Paddy Barrett would have become, and what Mr. McGlade and Mr. Gleeson would have become, if they had not become Jesuits (Mr. McGlade and Mr. Gleeson were scholastics at the time; I knew Fr. McGlade as a priest and a great teacher.) It was hard to think WHAT, because you would have to think of them in a different way with different coloured coats and trousers and with beards and moustaches and different kinds of hats”. (p. 48)

There was already a sophisticated awareness, even in the eleven-year old, of the reality of sin and confession, and of what the Oxford English Dictionary calls “jesuitry'; also he knows of the high regard people had for the worldly abilities of Jesuits - but notes that the clerical uniform was an obstacle to the imagination. If only they dressed “in different coloured coats and trousers, wearing beards and moustaches”. There was a certain prophetic character to this last phrase - Jesuits today often dress “in coloured coats and trousers and wearing beards and moustaches”, but no one these days wears hats, not even priests!

At the end of his schooling in Belvedere, Joyce was invited to join the Jesuits, but he turned it down because he felt, mistakenly, I think, that the Jesuits frowned on the Eros of beauty -- but Stephen admitted that in his case the Eros of beauty had led him astray from the path of – well! - let us say good Jesuit behaviour. However, as for me, I did not have these challenges or reservations, but knowing something of the history of Jesuit accomplishments in natural science, I accepted the invitation, for I wanted to be a Jesuit scientist. Sixty years ago to a day, on September 7, 1942, I entered the Jesuit Novitiate at a Paladian Villa once owned by the Earls of Portarlington, then called St. Mary's, Emo, Co. Leix, to become, as I then thought and hoped, a Jesuit scientist.

Let me now draw down the spiritual lesson from the gospel reading (In. ch. 9). In the gospel story the blind man was changed by bathing in the waters of Siloam, but at first this only gave worldly sight to his eyes; he came to see only the world around, a splendid sight to see as he saw it for the first time in his life, a world of different people in their various coloured costumes. What did he think of Jesus, his benefactor? The great scholar Raymond Brown says he probably thought of him as just an ordinary miracle worker - not that being an ordinary miracle worker was a small thing. But it took events – like challenges from the Pharisees, parents, and bystanders – to make him see the spiritual realities underlying the opening of his eyes. Only when his spiritual eyes were opened did he come to recognize Jesus as God's presence in the world as a fully human person.

The theme of my homily then is that I am the blind man; I was washed in the waters of baptism; at first, like the blind man, I too only saw the business aspects of the world. Like the blind man, I came to see the spiritual context of human life and labour only by being challenged by events in the world and by its institutions. Reflecting on the other anniversary that we memorialize at this time, I recall that this is one of the frightening lessons of 9-11!

Returning, however, to my own story: the Jesuit part of my training was not easy; it consisted in adopting a certain kind of askesis, or spiritual practice, founded upon the Exercises of the founder, St. Ignatius. This was fundamental to the Jesuit life. I'll come back to this later. And then came science.

My scientific career began well at University College, Dublin, and at the School of Theoretical Physics of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. During World War II, this latter was a haven for refugee European scientists from Germany and Central Europe. I studied there under Erwin Schrödinger, one of the founders of the quantum theory, and John Synge, a famous cosmologist. Later I was to study quantum field theory and elementary particles under Eugene Wigner at Princeton, and came to know and correspond with Werner Heisenberg of the Uncertainty Principle fame. In 1964 I wrote a book about Heisenberg, which was accepted as a doctoral dissertation in philosophy at the University of Leuven.

But my first Jesuit assignment in 1949 was to study earth science, particularly seismology. As it turned out, my pursuit of a scientific career was terminated when I was told to move from earth science and physics to philosophy. You must understand that the context of decision making within every Jesuit life includes both worldly and religious dimensions. The story of a Jesuit's life is always a dialogue with the world around, a kind of spiritual “reading' of the worldly environment, called the “spirit of discernment,' within the context of that practiced way of life characteristic of the founder, St. Ignatius. Like the great spiritual practices of old such as Stoicism and Epicureanism, Christian spiritual practices, like the Jesuit practices, were the practices of a certain philosophical way of life - the human side – that linked up with the primacy of Christian faith -- the religious side.

The Jesuits are an institution that from the time of its founder, took on the world, teaching both worldly and sacred knowledge or more accurately, they adopted ways of living that are both in the world, worldly, while being spiritually attuned according to the practices of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. Some may find this paradoxical. Monks live in closed monasteries and behind high garden walls all the time; they have little or no contact with the world. Religious orders older than the Jesuits, such as the Dominicans and the Franciscans, live in tight supervised communities and sally forth only to meet the world for pre-planned sessions of preaching, prayer, or charitable work The Jesuits' special mission, however, has been to promote worldly and spiritual life together, not separately. That is a complex, difficult, and paradoxical project. Like all spiritual projects, however, this is a deeply human social project but also marked by personal and social decision making requiring a special spiritual training, or askesis. This is the charism of the Jesuit way of life, of living in the Company, or Society, of Jesus.

To return to my own story: I was assigned to become a Jesuit scientist, like so many other Jesuit scientists of the past. But it did not work out the way it was originally conceived. My first assignment was to work with the great Jesuit seismologist, Fr. Macelwane at St. Louis University, with the intention possibly of taking charge of the great worldwide Jesuit network of earth science observatories established at Jesuit schools everywhere and linked globally. This was a unique network of its kind and had been in existence for over a hundred years. But in 1954, two years after my doctorate in geophysics, the U.S. Government put billions of dollars into the International Geophysical Year. This moved the earth sciences far beyond where they were. It was done mostly for military purposes to monitor underground nuclear test activity and to track underwater nuclear powered naval craft in the great oceans of the world, and much of the new research was top secret. In a short time, the Jesuit global seismological network became redundant and as a consequence there was no longer any need within the Jesuit Order for experts in this field. I then entered the field of high energy physics at Princeton University under the mentorship of Eugene Wigner, one of the original founders of the quantum theory. But this, too, was soon interrupted, when the Faculty of Philosophy at University College, Dublin, requested that I be assigned to teach the philosophy of science. This required further training, which took me to the University of Leuven, Belgium, where I finished a book on Werner Heisenberg's physical philosophy.

And so, at the age of 38, I began my first serious teaching job. This was in the physics department at University College, Dublin, as professor of relativistic cosmology, waiting for an appointment to philosophy. There followed my one and only - and most satisfying - job teaching science! But in the middle of my first year, I received an invitation from Fordham University in New York, to go there to teach my new specialty, the philosophy of science. I then began in 1965 a new career in the philosophy of science.

But further challenges were to follow. Five years later, the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook, was given the mission to become a great research university, to become, as it was then said, an 'instant Berkeley. Out of the blue, it invited me to become chair of the philosophy department, and to begin a doctoral degree program in philosophy. In a few years, Stony Brook became the leader in continental philosophy in the US with vast public funding and with the full backing of the administration. A few years after the successful establishment of that program, I was invited to become Vice President and Dean of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook. After the establishment of the Staller Fine Arts Centre, I was recalled to administration as Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts. I spent 22 years in all at Stony Brook. Then in 1992, on the invitation of Fr Leo O'Donovan, then President of Georgetown University, I left secular public higher education and re-entered the domain of private Catholic and Jesuit higher education, as the person responsible for the Main Campus of Georgetown University.

You might want to know how I experienced secular higher education in a top research public university. In retrospect, I have to say that I found extraordinary respect for one who was, oddly, both a priest and a Jesuit. Of course, being also a card carrying scientist did help a lot. Catholic friends in higher education have since said to me: 'You must have horror stories to tell about the secular values of public education. Not really! Academic life in both the public universities and the Catholic universities is much the same - commitments to social justice, public responsibility, and “What's new!” are not much different in the practical order. The big difference is in the limitations of public discourse and the public practices of life. Religious language and ritual are absent; motivations are expressed in terms of human rights, professional ethics, and other secular humanistic doctrines - or without further definition, the pursuit of excellence! My frustration was mitigated by the discovery that many of the values we know as Christian values have by now migrated beyond the Church, they are no longer challenged but taken for granted as due to humanity and human society. I asked: How did this come about? I think the reason is that universities grew up under the Christian umbrella before they came to shelter themselves under the shadow of the state, and they carried much of the Christian tradition with them.

I often found beneath the surface a hidden quasi-religious commitment clothed in secular and human rhetoric. I came to feel sure that Jesus would not condemn these people. Many, both Jewish and agnostic, were like Nicodemus, or like the blind man emerging from the pool of Siloam, they shared the vision of Jesus, but they had not been challenged in such a way as to recognize the divine presence that he represents in the world.

My years at Georgetown University have also been a challenge and a gift. I am so happy that we celebrate religious rituals, and that religious motivations and spirituality can be spoken of, and are needed and heeded by many students and faculty without interfering with the usual and expected academic standards of the disciplines. It is so comforting to be in a community where the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius are known and used to promote a way of life that gives spiritual sight to the business of the world. Since the time of Stephen Daedelus and of my youth, changes have taken place: Jesuit priests now go round in different coloured coats and trousers, [even some with beards and moustaches.' And in doing so they are affirming a world vibrant - Yes! - with divine life....

Interfuse No 125 : Autumn 2005

PATRICK HEELAN : “LE PETIT PHILOSOPHE” (1)

Patrick A Heelan

‘Le petit philosophe’
My family tells me – usually with good humored teasing -- that, when I was baptized, my godfather, a lawyer and a philosopher of sorts, looked at me in the cradle bemused, and said, “Le petit philosophe!” Recalling who the “philosophes” were, it could have been an ironic comment on the promises just made on my behalf but, if it was intended as a prophetic statement, this is where my “evangelium” should begin!

When I was young, I lived with my family in a pretty seaside town, Dalkey, on the South side of Dublin – once the home of George Bernard Shaw and today of U2's Bono. It was then about one and a half hours commute by bus or train to and from my Jesuit high school, Belvedere College, on the North side of the River Liffey. Consequently, neither before nor after school did I have the companionship of other Belvederians, nor indeed much other young companionship. As the second son, I was eclipsed by my brother, Louis, who seemed to have a large circle of friends and colleagues, boys and girls, which I did not have. I enjoyed reading, mathematics, music, home carpentry, and the company of my mother. She had come from Antwerp, Belgium as a young girl during the first World War, to study English and accountancy, and she stayed in Dublin after the war, met my father in Dalkey and married him. I had a younger sister – still living - and an older brother - now gone. My sister was a good junior partner. She tried hard to keep up with her brothers but sadly she was derided for being a girl! She was the first among us, however, to become a doctor, a real M.D. She married a dentist, and devoted her life to raising a large family and serving on Catholic medical boards. My brother became a cautious lawyer; also raised a large family; worked in venture capital investment, including the film industry; and was a lifelong active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society for helping the indigent. My father was a senior civil servant, an economist, fluent in French and German, aloof, given to three hobbies - rose gardening, musical composition and, after retiring, the translation of theological works from the German - even some from Karl Rahner, S.J. I was an introverted and selfish kid.

At Belvedere, I had good math teachers. I liked math because it was clear, logical, beautiful, and unassailable, and, as I thought, did not require company. Mathematical physics seemed to me to be the true model of all authentic knowledge of the world. My attitude towards the world was abstract and aloofly contemplative. This attitude was only to be confirmed by my scientific, philosophical, and theological education in the Jesuit Order - until wisdom made its entrance.

Reflection:
What follows is the story of several conversions, each connected with unplanned zigs or zags, contingent events from which, by divine grace - for how else explain it? -- an intelligible narrative emerged that was accompanied by - or eventually brought - wonder and joy, as well as “rest to my soul.' The frustrations along the way were met with unexpected gifts of help, from people, some living and some now dead, too numerous to name. Some will be mentioned in the following narrative. Among them is St. Ignatius Loyola whose Spiritual Exercises were indispensable; Bernard Lonergan, S.J., whom I had the privilege of knowing personally though only in a small way, whose books, Insight and Method in Theology found their way to me at crucial moments of transition. With the help of them and many others on the way, I came to experience my life in the Jesuit order, not as a career to be established, but as a story always under editorial revision and reconstruction, continuously discontinuous, yet with persistent Catholic and catholic threads and an interiority that tended to be affirmative and to bring, as was promised in the gospels, rest to my soul.

UCD and the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (1944-48)
Now for some particulars! In 1942, at the age of 16, I joined the Jesuits, directly from high school. I knew that I was joining a society that respected science and mathematics, and looked forward to a possible Jesuit career in the sciences. Spiritually, I was no more than a cultural Irish Catholic who felt comfortable with the way of life of the Jesuits he knew. An eventual career in the sciences seemed to be confirmed by my early university studies as a Jesuit in mathematics and mathematical physics (BA, 1947; MA, 1948, all with first-class honors) at University College, Dublin (UCD). In 1948 I was awarded a fellowship in Mathematical Physics to study for a doctorate wherever in the world I could find a perch.

The years of my mathematical studies in Ireland coincided with the chaotic post-war years in Europe during which the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies offered hospitality to many émigré European scientists. I was privileged then to be able to attend seminars given by very eminent theoretical physicists at its School of Theoretical Physics in Dublin. Among those resident there at the time were Erwin Schrödinger and John Synge, both mathematicians famous for their work in General Relativity and Cosmology. Relativistic Cosmology explained gravitation as due to curvatures of four-dimensional space-time related to the presence of physical masses in space time; these warp the geometry in ways not compatible with Euclidean geometry. But as a classical theory, it is clear, logical, elegant, deductive, and mathematically unassailable. These descriptors also fitted Schrödinger's own teaching, the elegance of his style, and what he expected of others. It set the tone for his students among whom I was happy to be counted.

The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies with its School of Theoretical Physics was founded by Eamon de Valera, the Prime Minister of Ireland during those years, who was a mathematician. I remember being told, when I was small, that only seven people in the world understood Einstein's Theory of Relativity and that de Valera was one of them. Wanting to belong to this small group, I took courses with Schrödinger and Synge. From Schrödinger I came to understand that the General Theory of Relativity did not support the 'relativism' of truth; to the contrary, it was founded on constancy, invariance, and symmetry, as befitted the rational design of Him whom Einstein called the “Old One”. Einstein's motto was, “Der Herrgott würfelt nicht' - God does not throw dice!” It was carved above the fireplace of his office in the old Palmer Laboratory of Princeton. It was Einstein's challenge to Heisenberg and to quantum mechanics. At this time, I felt I was with Einstein.
One class episode with Schrödinger opened my mind to a new way of thinking about human consciousness. He spoke about the foundations of mathematics and cosmology in the intuition of non-Euclidean geometrical spaces. Since the dominant scientific and philosophical view before Einstein was that real Space as intuited by our imagination was necessarily Euclidean, a fundamental principle of both mind and body had been breached and needed to be re-studied at all levels of relevance.

Reflection:
The notion that cosmology forced us to imagine curved three- and four-dimensional spaces that can be both finite in size and yet have no boundaries grabbed me in a profound way and gave me a new concern, with consciousness and its role in psychology, physics, philosophy, and spirituality.

In 1948, my final year at UCD, I won a prestigious Fellowship (called a Travelling Studentship) that paid for doctoral studies abroad anywhere in the world. I was sent to pursue doctoral studies at St. Louis University as a junior Jesuit scholastic. My provincial wanted me to study geophysics and seismology. Why seismology? And why at St. Louis? In the late 1940's, the Vatican Observatory managed several scientific research programs besides astronomy. Among them was an international network of seismological stations not just at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, but at Jesuit colleges around the world. The Director of the Vatican Observatory in 1948 was Father Daniel O'Connell, SJ an Irish Jeşuit. He spoke to my Provincial and, much to my chagrin, requested that I be sent to study geophysical seismology at St. Louis University, a Jesuit university that had a special Institute of Geophysics.

The Director at that time of the Institute of Geophysics at St Louis University was Father James Macelwane, SJ, a scientist of considerable fame. He worked closely with the oil exploration industry and the Pentagon. Under his direction, my assigned research project: was to find a means of telling from seismic records whether a seismic disturbance was of artificial or natural origin. This involved finding a correlation between the seismological signatures of underground disturbances and their source. Being, like Schrödinger, a mathematical physicist, and not at all an experimental physicist, I transformed the practical problem into a mathematical one. I studied no records, but instead, using simplified assumptions, I looked for solutions of the elastic wave equations that seemed to define the problem. My research was supported by the US military though I did not know this until much later, for its real purpose was to find the seismic key to monitoring underground nuclear tests (for a retrospect, see, Broad, W. New York Times, 2005). In response to the great success of Soviet science with the launching of Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite, in 1957, Russian scientific papers began to be translated into English. To my great surprise a copy of my doctoral papers appeared in 1961 – as translated from the Russian complete with the identical mathematical typos that appeared in my papers - seemingly attributed to the Leningrad Acoustical Institute. Following the major U.S. Federal government investment in geophysics during the International Geophysical Year (1957-58), the Jesuit Seismological Network folded, and there was no longer a potential job in seismology for me with the Jesuits.

Conversion #1: Insight into “discernment” in Ignatian prayer
My first breach with the orientation towards mathematics as the preferred instrument of reason occurred while making the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises with other scholastics, I think in the sutnmner of 1951, in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. The retreat master was Father Charles Hertzog, SJ. For the first time, I had insight into the role of 'discernment in Ignatian prayer. I had made many retreats before this, but the meaning of discernment had escaped me. This is the practice of assessing, during a time of peace and recollection, the spiritual authenticity of one's interior thoughts, feelings, and desires, as they emerged into consciousness against the background of faith in and love for the crucified and risen Jesus. I don't any longer recall how spiritual discernment was presented by Fr. Hertzog, but the impact on me at that time was certainly due to his expositions and my deep need for something of that kind. It breached a barrier in my consciousness that brought about a 'conversion' event. After that time, I began to notice and take seriously how people and events came to me. They came differently from before now they seemed to carry messages for concem, invitations to new tasks, either as providers of peace and consolation, or as warnings against involvement, and so on. This brought about a new level of self-awareness and interiority that challenged the anonymous, often self-serving habits, practices, and conventions of the unconscious self. I was not yet curious about the cultural origins of that unconscious self, but a route was opened that had not been there before.

I returned to Ireland in 1952. My science studies had to be put aside for eight years. I spent two years in philosophy, one in regency teaching, four in theology- my ordination was at the end of my third year in 1958 - then after theology there was Tertianship, a final spiritual and pastoral year (1959-60) that I spent in Münster, Germany. My studies in philosophy were done at the Jesuit School of Philosophy, in the farming community of Tullamore, Ireland. My theological studies were done at the Jesuit School of Theology, Milltown Park, in a suburb of Dublin. Jesuit seminary philosophy made little mark on me; it did not have the clarity, elegance, and explanatory function - nor even the empirical outlook – that I was used to in science, and it seemed to me also at the time that its insights were anonymous and lacked the joyful and sublime moments that might have saved it from irrelevance. There was one notable exception, the course on sacred scripture at Milltown Park, which introduced us to the historical, archaeological, and literary studies of biblical texts.

In the middle of my theological studies, I was summoned to the Provincial's office nearby, and was told that the Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid, wanted me to be assigned to teach philosophy at UCD. The Faculty of Philosophy at that time served almost exclusively the seminarians of the Archdiocese. But there was agitation from a group of lay students to open the philosophy curriculum to modern topics such as the philosophy of science. The Dean and Professors of the Faculty, all priests of the Dublin Archdiocese, persuaded the Archbishop of the need to make this possible. I, however, had no knowledge of this situation and was at a loss to know how I came to be chosen for this job. I was shocked at the Archbishop's proposal and my consideration of it gave me no joy. Aware that the Archbishop was not a patient listener to contrary advice, I, nevertheless, dared, like Job in the Old Testament, to argue with the Almighty! I represented that I was not competent to teach the philosophy of science because I found little joy in the subject and because my scientific training was badly in need of an upgrade for such a task after so many years away from science. The Archbishop's reply came to me from my Provincial: “Tell Patrick Heelan to read a good book!” He made no suggestion, however, as to what book I should read.

Conversion #2: Lonergan's transcendental method of Insight
As it happened, Bernard Lonergan's Insight, was published in the summer of 1957. It hooked my interest from the start, perhaps because it began with mathematical examples. I found it exciting, and it gave me great joy. I found it intensely illuminating with respect to philosophical method. It seemed to me to describe correctly the role of intuition in mathematics as well as the role of experience in concept and theory formation. It gave me notions, such as transcendental method, intentionality, assessment, interiority, empirical residue, that expanded my mind with pleasurable excitement. After finishing the book, I lent my copy to Fr Eamonn Egan, a brilliant young Jesuit who professed philosophy. He read it through, from cover to cover - and, it is said, that he neither ate nor slept during that time and was found lying on the floor of his room exhausted, three days later. Others at Milltown Park also read Insight and their excitement led to the formation of a Lonergan caucus or “fan club” at Milltown Park that has continued to the present day, The Archbishop was right, I needed a good book ... and the good book had found me!

Course notes on De Methodo Theologiae (in Latin) were also being passed around from courses Lonergan gave at the Gregorian University in Rome. They were early versions of what later became his Method in Theology, which appeared in 1972. I also noted the coherence between Ignatian discernment and Lonergan's notions of interiority and authenticity. That summer I had my second “conversion” - to a better understanding of the kind of human cooperation that divine grace needed when working for the Kingdom of God in today's scientific culture.

Lonergan's approach to philosophy was his discovery in Aquinas of an account of human knowing that was based on the recognition of (what is called today) transcendental method. A transcendental process is one that affects all human processes, 'transcendental' being the Kantian term for “a priori, universal, and necessary”. Lonergan's transcendental method went beyond Kant and described a sequence of four functions (processes) that operate sequentially and recursively in the process of all human inquiry. They are: 1. experiencing, 2. understanding, 3, judging, and 4. decision-making. The four functions operate on experiencing and from this draw their objective content. Their actions are recursively used again and again to review, revise, update, confirm or drop. This recursive use is called hermeneutical since each use shapes some aspect of meaning: the first produces perceptual meanings (related to descriptive concepts); the second produces theoretical meanings (related to networks of mutually related phenomena); the third, produces judgments of truth/falsity (after evidence is assessed), and the fourth and final phase produces practical action (related to human values and sensibility). A cycle of the four functions is called a transcendental hermeneutical circle (or spiral).

This new way of thinking changed the emphasis of my thinking from the mathematical to the practical, from the world as object to the interiority of the inquiring subject's engagement with the world, and from formal language to descriptive language. I began to see these recursive interior processes as the source of all human and cultural development in historical time and the natural sciences as the domain in which the embodied character of transcendental hermeneutical method is most clearly to be seen.

This new start in philosophy convinced me all the more that I needed to update my physics and learn more philosophy. So I applied for a Fulbright Fellowship to Princeton University to do post-doc work in quantum field theory. My application was accepted. Much to the chagrin of the Archbishop, however, I requested that my two years in the United States be followed by two years at the University of Leuven (Louvain), Belgium, to study the philosophy of science. I believed I could with luck finish a doctorate there in two years.

Conversion #3: Role of Consciousness in Quantum Physics
After a few months of preparatory work at Fordham University, I went on to Princeton arriving there around Christmas, 1960. My experience at Princeton was, indeed, mind blowing. The Princeton physics department at that time was probably the best physics department in the world! I worked with Professor Eugene Wigner, a Nobel Laureate and one of the founders of the quantum theory, and Fr Matsuo Yanase, SJ, a Japanese Jesuit physicist who was soon to become the President of Sophia University, Tokyo. Wigner was Hungarian, Jewish by birth and Lutheran by faith. He had been trained in chemical engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin. He had a very keen sense of both the empirical and the technological side of science. Ironically, Wigner occupied Einstein's old office in the Palmer Lab with the famous inscription I already mentioned. I soon switched my allegiance from Einstein to Heisenberg, and from General Relativity to Quantum Theory.

Einstein loved the objective order of geometry where everything had its determinate time and place. This is characteristic of classical physics - roughly all physics with the exception of quantum physics - where it is assumed that theoretical terms in physics exist and have determinate properties independently of any engagement with human culture, with observers or their instruments. Classical objects are thought to be, using Lonergan's phrase, 'already out there now real,' that is, present beyond human culture and history and in principle independent of human filters. Such a view tends to see the world entirely in material terms. Wigner's view was that the only evidence we can rely on is given in experience. Experience, however, involves contingency and risk, for what is observed is observed through many human bodily, instrumental, and linguistic filters. None of these filters can sift incoming signals with infinite precision and, as the quantum theory predicted, some of these filters are mutually incompatible. The question that most quantum physicists and philosophers of science found troubling is the epistemological one: What CAN a physicist know absolutely about the real world? - which is probably unanswerable. Wigner, however, changed the basic question to an ontological one (Wigner 1967, 171-184): What IS knowing in quantum physics? This was the same move that Kant, Lonergan, Husserl, and Heidegger had made. Wigner in an interview towards the end of his life said: “My chief scientific interest in the last 20 years has been to somehow extend theoretical physics into the realm of consciousness consciousness is beautifully complex. It has never been properly described, certainly not by physics or mathematics”. (Szanton 1992, p. 309).

At the end of my Fulbright Fellowship in the Fall of 1962, I went directly to Leuven, to begin my doctoral work in the philosophy of science. It was natural then for me to focus my research on the problem of objectivity in Heisenberg's quantum mechanics and the role of consciousness in measurement.

Leuven (1962-4) and Quantum Mechanics and Objectivity (65)
I arrived at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) in September, 1962, to begin work towards a PhD in the philosophy of science. There was no philosophical program there in the field of the natural sciences, but only in logic and the social psychological sciences. The Institut Supérieur de Philosophie was, however, the home of the Edmund Husserl Archives, brought there by Fr HL Van Breda, OFM, a Franciscan priest, who in 1939 with great personal risk had saved Husserl's papers from confiscation and destruction by the Nazi regime in Germany. My mentor was Professor Jean Ladrière, a brilliant and most beloved logician and mathematician, whose interests included Husserl and the social sciences. During this time, I studied the principal published writings of Husserl. Husserl was a trained mathematician. From 1901 to 1916, he taught philosophy at the University of Göttingen in what was then called the Faculty of Philosophy, which included Natural Philosophy. Among its faculty were also the mathematicians and physicists who were responsible for the early 20th century revolution that committed mathematics to the service of physics. Aquinas, Kant, Lonergan, Husserl, and Martin Heidegger, provided the resources I used to study the philosophical questions I brought from Wigner's Princeton. I read all of Heisenberg's published papers up to the time of my writing, visited with him several times at the Max-Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics in Munich, and discussed with him what I found unclear in his presentations. I found him most cordial and open, and our relationship continued after I left Leuven until his death in 1976. I defended my dissertation in 1964 and received the grade of félications du jury, 'which is the highest honors. I was told by my good friend and Heidegger counsellor, Fr. Bill Richardson, S.J., of Boston College, that it was an invitation to prepare for a faculty appointment at Leuven.

My dissertation was published under the title: Quantum Mechanics and Objectivity: A Study of the Physical Philosophy of Werner Heisenberg (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1965). I will refer to it below as QMO. Of QMO, Heisenberg wrote in the personal letter to me (dated November 10, 1970): “I very much enjoyed reading your book. Precisely the connection between a description of the historical development and a very careful philosophical analysis seems to me to be a felicitous foundation for the reader being able to really penetrate into quantum theory and its philosophy”.

QMO has been widely read and, until recently, was part of the history of science curriculum at Oxford. Some years ago, I was happy to learn that parts of it were being read at the elite Dalton School in New York City in a seminar for the best and brightest among New York high school seniors.

The thesis of the book sustains Wigner's point that there is in quantum physics the emergence of a distinctively new and explicit role for subjectivity at the moment when a datum observation is made. By 'new', I mean 'absent from classical physics. By 'explicit,' I refer to a conscious discrimination between two types of discourse, 1) theoretical (model) discourse and 2) empirical (fact) discourse. Facts occur only in appropriate practical horizonal situations. By horizon/horizona! I mean the practical situatedness of an event - here, a measurement event in a laboratory environment. The principal (but not exclusive) function of a horizon is to specify the space/time and momentum/energy variables. In classical physics, all such horizons are assumed to be mutually compatible. This compatibility breaks down in quantum physics, where cross-correlations exist between data taken in different complementary horizons, for example, the space/time horizon and the momentum/energy horizon are 'complementary. The choice of horizon is controlled by a free decision of the measuring subject. Wigner took this dependence of 'what is factual' on 'what humans have chosen to measure to be evidence of the presence of a human interpretative (and cognitive) role inside the new physics that is absent from classical physics. He saw this as evidence for the existence of an immaterial factor within human consciousness that plays a role in the practice of the new physics.

Reflection:
Much of my later work was inspired by Wigner's problem and the desire to understand it better. In doing so, I read deeply about the biological, historical, and cultural origins of the four functions that in Lonergan's account, constitute the transcendental core of human conscious living. I asked: How did they come to be structured the way we find them today? and How do they operate within the contexts of history, culture, and religion? In the light of Wigner's view that quantum physics implies a role for human consciousness, I began to think that it might be possible to describe the individual embodied human being as a Quantum MacroSystem (CMS).

Return to the USA (1965)
I returned to Ireland from Leuven in the mid-summer of 1964, ready to teach the philosophy of science at UCD in the Fall of that year. Earlier that year I had received some telephone calls from Ireland telling me that there was a crisis brewing about what I would teach in the Fall, but the cause of the crisis was not mentioned. Arriving back in Dublin, I found that I was not listed among the Faculty of Philosophy, but among the faculty of the Department of Mathematical Physics, assigned to teach the graduate course in General Relativistic Cosmology. It was some time before I learned what had been going on in the last few feverish months while I was completing and defending my philosophy dissertation. I was told that the Jesuit professors at UCD had voted – no doubt with others - to give the Chair of Medieval History to someone other than the Archbishop's candidate for that position. The Archbishop then pressured the university to appoint the Archbishop's candidate to a Chair of Medieval Philosophy in the Faculty of Philosophy, and to assign to him the budget line that up to that time was being kept for me. As part of the deal, I was given a position in the Department of Mathematical Physics. I was encouraged, nevertheless, to offer a course in the philosophy of science but only for science students, but I was told that the course would not be listed among courses in philosophy. When I asked why, the reason given me was to ensure that my name would not be put forward as a candidate for Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy when the present Dean retired. The Archbishop had his own candidate for that position. My Provincial had no option but to acquiesce in this matter. The students thought otherwise, however, and showed their disapproval by briefly occupying the office of the Dean of Philosophy.

And so le petit philosophe plus the 'good book that was sent his way “to clear his path” returned for the time being at least to be un petit scientifique hastily boning up on material learned sixteen years earlier at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. But destiny was to win out!

References:
Broad, W, 2005. “Listening for Atom Blasts, but Hearing Earthquakes”. New York Times, January 18, 2005.
Heelan, P. 1965. Quantum Mechanics and Objectivity: A Study of the Physical Philosophy of Werner Heisenberg. The Hague: Nijhoff.
Szanton, A. 1992. Recollections of Eugene P Wigner as told to Andrew Szanton. Plenum Press.
Wigner, E. 1967. Symmetries and Reflections. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Hennelly, Francis G, 1913-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/507
  • Person
  • 05 April 1913-13 February 1989

Born: 05 April 1913, Ballindine, County Mayo
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1947, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 13 February 1989, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

Part of the Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at St Jarlath’s College, Tuam, County Galway; Tertianship at Rarthfarnham

Hughes, Seán J, 1910-2003, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/604
  • Person
  • 29 October 1910-19 June 2003

Born: 29 October 1910, Greenmount Road, Terenure, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 02 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 19 June 2003, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Father is a Civil Servant

Only boy with two sisters.

Early education at O’Connell’s School

by 1935 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary
Fr Seán Hughes (1910-2003)

29th Oct. 1910: Born in Dublin
Early education in National School, Fairview and O'Connell School (CBS), Dublin
2nd Sept. 1929: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
3rd Sept. 1931: First Vows at Emo
1931 - 1934: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1934 - 1937: Jersey - Maison St. Louis - Studied Philosophy
1937 - 1939: Mungret College - Regency (Choir Master)
1939 - 1940: Clongowes - Regency (Choir Master); Clongowes Certificate in Education
1940 - 1944: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
29th July 1943: Ordained at Milltown Park
1944 - 1945: Mungret College - Sub-Minister
1945 - 1946: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1946 - 1953: Mungret College
1946 - 1949: Minister; Lecturer in Philosophy
1949 - 1953: Teacher; Lecturer in Philosophy, Choir Master
3rd Feb. 1947: Final Vows at Mungret College
1953 - 1959: St. Ignatius, Galway - Rector; Men's Sodality
1956 - 1964: Province Consultor
1959 - 1965: Gonzaga College - Rector
1965 - 1973: Crescent College - Rector; President: Sod. BVM
1973 - 1974: Belvedere - Director, Secretariat Catholic Secondary Schools (1973-1977)
1974 - 1977: John Austin House - Bursar, Belvedere
1977 - 1984: Manresa - Minister, Asst. Director, Retreat House; Socius to Novice Director
1984 - 1995: John Austin House - Superior, Directed Spir.Ex.
1995 - 2003: Loyola House
1995 - 1997: Librarian; Treasurer; Directed Spir. Ex.
1997 - 2001: Assistant Treasurer; Directed Spir. Ex., Sacristan; House Historian
2001 - 2003: Resided in Cherryfield Lodge

Following his return to Cherryfield from four weeks in the Royal Hospital in May, where Seán regained some mobility, and his sharpness of wit returned, he took a sudden turn on June 16th during the night. His heart and kidney function deteriorated rapidly over the next few days but he entertained friends even on the previous Thursday afternoon! Seán on 19 June 2003, at Cherryfield Lodge, aged 92 years.

Dermot Murray writes:
Seán Hughes was born on 29th October 1910 in Dublin. He attended the National School in Fairview and O'Connell Schools before entering the Society in Tullabeg at the age of eighteen. Following the noviceship (Tullabeg and Emo) and his degree studies in UCD, he was sent to Jersey for Philosophy in 1934. Two years in Mungret, one year in Clongowes and three years in Milltown Park were followed by ordination on 29th July 1943. His fourth year in Milltown was followed by a year in Mungret before Tertianship in Rathfarnham, a return to Mungret in 1946 and the beginning of his life of service as a priest in the world of education.

After his seven years in Mungret, Seán went to Galway as Rector. Six year later he went to Gonzaga again as Rector and this was followed by eight years as Rector in Crescent, where he was deeply involved in the move to Dooradoyle and the setting up of Crescent College Comprehensive. On his appointment as Director of the Secretariate for Catholic Secondary Schools, Seán left Limerick in 1973 and, following a short stay in Belvedere, moved to John Austin House in 1974. He then spent seven years in Manresa before returning to John Austin House as Superior from 1984 to 1995. Then, at the age of 85, he moved to Loyola House where he spent six happy years before moving to Cherryfield House for the last two years of his life. He died on 19th June 2003.

In a letter to Fr. Provincial on the occasion of Seán's death, Mr. Seán McCann, General Secretary of ACS paid him this tribute:

“The history of School Management in Irish Post primary education cannot be adequately written without honouring the memory of Fr. Sean Hughes'

There is no need in this obituary to go into the details of his work in the development of the structures of second level in education in Ireland. But it is worth quoting the words of Eileen Doyle in her book, Leading the Way in which she notes that”'the credit for proposing a managerial body that would represent the interests of all the churches is rightly attributed to John Hughes SJ”.

Seán worked very hard to obtain this. The fruits of his efforts – his among others - lie in the Secretariate for Catholic Secondary schools and in the Joint Managerial Body (MB), representing all secondary schools. And when he became Chairman of the Board of Crescent College Comprehensive, he was one of the founding fathers and the first Chairman of the Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools (ACS).

I first came to know Seán when I was a scholastic in Crescent in 1965 when Sean was appointed as Rector. He had already been Rector in Galway and in Gonzaga and some members of the Crescent community at the time thought that his appointment was another example of musical chairs. But they were wrong. I was a young scholastic at the time, beginning my second year of regency in Crescent. What struck me then - as it did in the years since – was that, despite his many and well known foibles, Seán was a Vatican 2 person and remained so until the end of his life.

I came to know him more deeply when he was Chairman of the Board of Crescent College Comprehensive and I was Headmaster. We became great friends and I became aware of the depth of his own spirituality – confirmed by the letters received since his death - and his wonderful humanity. He performed an enormous service to the world of Irish second level education. He had a wide range of friends and a wonderful sense of family; and he did love 'fine wines and foods rich and juicy' as Isaiah described the banquet that Lord would prepare for his people. May he enjoy it eternally in heaven.

Humphreys, John, 1943-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/846
  • Person
  • 30 April 1943-10 October 2014

Born: 30 April 1943, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1961, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 May 1981, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 10 October 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1970 at University of Warwick, Coventry (ANG) studying
by 1975 at Rome, Italy (DIR) studying
by 1997 at Cambridge MA, USA (NEN) Sabbatical

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/loss-leader-john-humphreys/

Loss of a leader: John Humphreys
Last Friday, 10 October, the Irish Jesuits lost one of their great servants. John Humphreys, aged 71, had been unconscious for two days, and increasingly sick with a brain tumour for five months. John was a Limerick man, a passionate fan of Munster rugby. His father, 25 years older than his mother, had died in 1953, leaving 10-year-old John as man of the house. He learned to manage the burdens of responsibility in a calm and kindly style, and as a result was landed with them all his life, as captain of Clongowes, beadle of scholastics during his years of study, Socius (companion and close advisor) to three Provincials, and Rector of several houses. When he was taken sick he was in his ninth year as rector of St Ignatius, Galway, charged with the thankless task of raising two million for school buildings.
John’s administrative gifts would not explain the grieving crowds who packed Gardiner Street church for his funeral. John was loved, and will be terribly missed. His style was upbeat, encouraging and giving. He was a humble man, a quiet listener, ready to learn from his mistakes. A Jesuit friend remembers him as good company at table, not saying much, but smiling at the craic and adding to it.
The source of this warmth became particularly clear in his last months of life. When he learned that his cancer was probably terminal, he lived with it, and his increasing sickness, with good humour nourished by his prayer. He asked a friend to seek out the text of a prayer which touched him, and described his spiritual state:
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve. I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 158 : Winter 2014

Obituary

Fr John Humphreys (1943-2014)

30 April 1943: Born in Limerick,
Early education at Sacred Heart College, Limerick and Clongowes Wood College
7 September 1961: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1963: First Vows at Emo
1963 - 1967: Rathfarnham - Studied Science at UCD
1967 - 1969: Milltown Park - Studied Philosophy
1969 - 1970: Warwick University - Studied Philosophy
1970 - 1971: Clongowes - Lower Line Prefect: Regency
1971 - 1974: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
21st June 1974: Ordained at Gonzaga Chapel, Dublin
1974 - 1976: Gregorian, Rome --Studied Theology (Residence: S. Roberto Bellarmino)
1976 - 1981: Galway – Teacher
1978 - 1979: Tertianship in Tullabeg; Vice-Rector; Teacher
1979 - 1981: Rector; Teacher; Province Consultor (1978)
15 May 1981: Final Vows at Galway
1981 - 1987: Milltown Park - Rector; Delegate for Formation; Province Consultor
1987 - 1996: Loyola - Socius; Vice-Superior; Province Consultor
1991 - 1996: Socius; Province Consultor. Chair of Board Crescent College Comprehensive
1996 - 1997: Sabbatical – Weston Jesuits, New England
1997 - 1999: Clongowes - Chaplain; Pastoral Care Corordinator; Chair, Vocations Vocations Promotion Team
1998: Acting Socius
1999 - 2002: Loyola - Superior; Socius; Prov. Consultor; Provincial Team; Chair Vocations Vocations Promotion Team
2002 - 2005: Dominic Collins - Province Consultor; Prov. Assistant for Strategic Planning; Delegate for Child Protection; Revisor of Province Funds
2005 - 2014: Galway - Rector; Revisor of Province Funds; Province Consultor; Child Protection Delegate; Spirituality Delegate; Chair Coláiste lognáid Board
2008 - 2014: Galway - Rector; Director of Spirituality Centre; Revisor of Province Funds

Fr. John Humphreys was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 19th May 2014. He settled in well though his condition deteriorated over time. He died peacefully in Cherryfield on 10th October 2014.

“Past all grasp God-throned behind death with a sovereignty that heeds, but hides, that bodes but abides”. Hopkins stretching words about the mystery of death and God.

I remember my mother told me one time whenever John's father, Louis, would tell a funny story – long before be got to the punch line he would get into helpless fits of laughter and tears were running down his face, so that everyone around started laughing with him and you mightn't get the punch line at all, but it didn't matter. And the same was true of John. The abiding truth of John was that you just felt better in his company - his humanity and palpable goodness made those with him feel good about themselves. An extraordinary gift!

When Sir Thomas More heard about the sudden death of Bishop John Fisher at the hands of Henry VIII because he had refused to bow to his bullying: More said: Ah, Fisher, a lovely man. An amazing number of people would say just the same of John Humphreys: a lovely man.

Karl Rahner, the German 20th century Jesuit theologian, was asked in an interview how could a modern man become or remain a Jesuit. And part of his answer was: my reason is not because the Society of Jesus still has a significant influence within the Church or in the broader world. Rather, it is because I still see around me living in many of my companions a readiness for disinterested service carried out in silence, a readiness for prayer, for abandonment to the incomprehensibility of God, for the calm acceptance of death in whatever form it may come, for the total dedication to the following of Christ crucified.

It could be a pen-picture of John's life-of many others too as Rahner says – but John is the focus today : disinterested service – John was the Provincial's (three of them in fact – Philip Harnett, Laurence Murphy & Gerry O'Hanlon) Socius, or right hand man or consigliere for many years - I used to refer to him as 1A - the servant of us all in the Irish province of the Jesuits – enormously competent; painstaking, generous, good-humoured, compassionate, including his hidden & committed labour in the not-easy area of child-protection. Readiness for prayer: John's faith in Christ Risen was the constant and the anchor in his life, and his abandonment and calm acceptance were astonishing when he suddenly became ill in April and was soon diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour, which claimed his life within 6 months - John's dealing with this was for us Jesuits an embodiment of the P & F in the Spiritual Exercises where Ignatius writes that we were all made to praise, reverence and serve God our Lord, and everything else in creation was made to help us do this - and so we should neither prefer a long life to a short life, sickness to health - John lived this freedom or detachment as it's sometimes called. Mary Rickard, our Province Health Supremo who with John's doctor-niece Sally masterminded John's care, said of his time in Cherryfield, where he was so lovingly cared for, that he was no trouble - So easy to look after – and he just slipped away last Friday afternoon - no trouble - he died as he lived.

However, unlike yourself or myself, John wasn't perfect in every way. My mother again was a source of information on his earlier years - reminding me that she asked John once when he was about eight, how do you say what time is it in French - John replied grumpily claratelle - my mother (a French teacher) tried to correct him, but John wouldn't budge - his father had told him it was claratelle. And claratelle it was. As stubborn as a mule. Loyal to the end. Then shortly afterwards he got his appendix out and he completely changed, she said, and became the delightful John we all knew! John and I use to play Mass too when we were about 10 - though he claimed that I was always the priest and he was the server. Well, that all certainly changed in later life! But he could be fussy and get a bit ratty too - on holiday he once rebuked me for not getting to the washing up. I replied any time I go to it you have it half-done already - it was so strange seeing him completely passive in our most recent holiday last July in Alison & his late-cousin Seamus’ Glandore house.

As you well know, John had a great sense of humour - his great friend Tom told me that John's own father had named a horse Bundle of Fun after John when John was only an infant! he was always ready for a party and dance - Louis told me he burned up many a dance-floor at weddings, had a spontaneous awareness of beauty and beauty responded; he was a charmer ! Always happy for a sing-song -- now he was no Pavarotti and would never have got into OLCS, but he was totally involved, with his head and feet going steadily to rhythm right to the end in the Cherryfield masses. We'd often speak in authentic Limerick accents when together - and he'd get great mileage if I told him I was listening to two men talking at the traffic lights in Limerick one time : and one said the doctor told me to take it easy; Geez, replied the other fella, you'll find that very hard you've done feck all for the last 40 years !

He loved Galway - spending two sustained spells there in the Jes both in the 70s and for the last eight years in many roles-where he has been loved and hugely appreciated, and where he will be, like in so many other places, greatly missed.

John was matured and purified by his life's experience: his father died when he was about 10, his mother (my godmother) was very unwell in her latter years, his lovely sister Reena, and only sibling, died 18 years ago after a long illness and her husband Paddy, 10 years ago – their legacy is the delightful family of his nieces and nephew, Sally, Louis and Judith, whom he dearly loved. And now John, just over the Biblical three score and ten. He had his difficult moments too: having an academic stumble in Warwick University in his earlier years, where he went full of Lonergan philosophy to the uncomprehending English - there he found that so many conversations ended with: Oh, how very interesting – but after all, who's to say?! And all his time of shepherding Jesuit scholastics in Milltown Park was no bed of roses.

I think that this purification made him such an attractive person to so many people - there was nothing threatening or intimidating about John - he was a great listener -- and when he had positions of responsibility he was just so human, so humble, so understanding, so compassionate.

The readings: Wisdom 4: 7-15; 2 Tim 4; 6-8; Mt 5: 1-12 - speak for themselves, perhaps most eloquently Paul's own farewell.

Fr Pedro Arrupe, the then General of the Jesuits, meeting with the provincials of the Philippines some years ago, was trying to clarify the main characteristic to be sought in Jesuits who are making final vows (sjs take final vows a few years after ordination) and thrashing it around for a while someone eventually said 'disponibilité' ie availability, freedom from possessiveness, or a sustained freedom from selfishness and self-concem. Arrupe nodded vigorously and said, that's it. John was available. The late Fr Michael Sweetman was a boy in Clongowes when Fr John Sullivan was there and Sweetman wrote about him: ‘he had wiped out selfishness so completely that you could not fail to see what, or rather Who, was in him.

There was nothing else there: he was all goodness, all Christ.' I think that's not a bad description of John. There wasn't a bone of selfishness left in him. I think Ignatius would have been pretty pleased.
And when you come to think of it isn't that what the Christian life is all about too !

So, while John's death is profoundly sad for us all, it's not tragic, though leaving us all bereft -- he did live over the three score and ten: the psalmist says our span is 70 and 80 for those who are strong - though we thought John was strong! We have all been enormously enriched by him. He was sublimely ready to go. He was just serenely waiting for the call in the last few months. So while we grieve as we must, we grieve not as vague agnostics, but like John himself as followers of Christ Risen, recognising as Paul Claudel wrote that Christ has come not to explain suffering, but to share it and to fill it with his presence.

There is, of course, no way in which anyone's life, not to mention that of a person of John's calibre and influence, can be remotely captured adequately in a homily or a panegyric - it can just be hinted at. But we are surely called to give profound thanks for John, for his life, his companionship and his service. And his swift departure is a call to all of us to get our own lives more into perspective, to shed some of our illusions and foolish obsessions and preoccupations – we are so easily seduced by the ephemeral and unimportant. John's death can teach us how to walk more lightly through life – to live in a less cluttered way - to attend to what is essential & important – to live more nobly and more generously – in the words of St Paul, to live a life more worthy of our vocation. And more in the spirit of inner freedom & serenity that John embodied. Helmut Thielicke, the German Lutheran theologian wrote: “Because of the Resurrection everything is now different: we do not know what is to come, but we do know who is to come. And if the last hour belongs to us, we do not need to fear the next minute”. And in conclusion St John of the Cross pithily: 'In the evening of our lives we will be judged on love'. It's an exam in which I think John will do rather well.

Peter Sexton

Hurley, James, 1926-2020, Jesuit priest

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

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

Part of the Milltown Park community at the time of death

Younger brother of Michael - RIP 2011

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Priest of the young and the worker calls it a day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final farewell to Father James Hurley SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Father James Hurley - A gem of a man

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Memorial Mass for celebrated for Father James Hurley

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

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

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

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

Lee said that he could find many similarities between Father Hurley’s life and his own. They were both inspired by Father Fergus Cronin in the fight for people’s rights.

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

Lee recalled how Father Hurley sought clearance before attending a press conference to speak for the students and Father Cronin, the then-Jesuit superior in Hong Kong, told him: “Go James, attend! This is where you must be.” Father Hurley said he could not forget such a clear instruction and was grateful for the support.

Lee recalled that when he started in politics, he also visited Father Cronin, who was then seriously ill, and asked what he could do for the Church. Father Cronin told him to follow his conscience and do what he thought he should do.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesuit Community offers Mass in memory of Father Hurley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Early Education at Mount Mellary Abbey, Cappoquin, Co Waterford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hurley, Joseph, 1905-1984, Jesuit priest and Irish language editor

  • IE IJA J/3
  • Person
  • 29 July 1905-20 December 1984

Born: 29 July 1905, Woodview Cottage, Ahakista, Bantry, County Cork
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 20 December 1984, Dublin, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Father was a National School teacher. Mother was also a teacher and died in 1906. Father remarried a teacher.

Only child.

Educated at the local National School and then from age 14 at Mungret College SJ

Editor of An Timire, 1949-71.

by 1939 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 60th Year No 1 2 1985

Obituary

An tAthair Seosamh Ó Murthuile (1905-1923-1980)
Fr Joseph Hurley

Born 29th July 1905. Entered SJ on 31st August 1923. 1923-25 Tullabeg, noviciate. 1925-28 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1928-31 philosophy (1928-30 in Milltown, 1930-31 in Tullabeg). 1931-34 Clongowes, regency. 1934-38 Milltown Park, theology (ordained a priest, 24th June 1937). 1938-39 St Beuno's, tertianship.
1939-'46 Clongowes, teaching. 1946-'61 Tullabeg, writing. Editing An Timire (Gaelic ‘Messenger of the Sacred Heart') from c. 1950. Same occupations in Gardiner Street (1961-62), Belvedere (1962-68) and Milltown Park (1968-82) where he gave up on the editorship of “An Timire” c 1971. He was listed as an assistant editor, nevertheless, until 1982. The Gaelic form of his name was used by the Province catalogues only from 1976 on; previously the form used was Joseph Hurley. The last 2.5 years of his life he spent in Cherryfield Lodge nursing unit.

Fr Joe Hurley passed to the Lord on 20th December 1984. Having lived with him for twenty early years of our Jesuit lives, I retain very clearly the memory of Joe at our most revealing period of life. As I recall his virtues and few faults, the first thing I must mention is his charity.He never offended in word or deed. I should add here, though, that he did fail in the virtue by omission. He was a heavy sleeper, especially in the morning, and left us the other scholastics to serve his as well as our own Mass. We used to be rather annoyed at this, and we let him see our annoyance too. Joe however took it all both humbly and penitently. Of course penitence should include a purpose of amendment, but he continued to snore and oversleep on occasions. The truth, though we hardly recognised it at the time, was that Joe was quite a genius, a poet and “dreamer of dreams”, and the strict regularity of scholasticate life was not for poets or dreamers of any kind. It hindered, I think, the flowering of Joe's great abilities.
Joe however made his way through the various stages of the well-meant training though without displaying any great love of philosophy or theology. His first and last love was Irish: and to Dark Rosaleen, in that mythical goddess who for him seemed to summarise all Irish history (or rather, her story) with the dark blemishes blotted out, he clung passionately all his life. I should say here that Joe was an intellectual in the French sense. He lived in and on matters of the mind. Being a poet, he spent much time versifying silently as he strolled around. He dreamed in Irish, he spoke it to all who knew it, he pushed his abnormal interest in things connected with it down your throat. It was all this that made Joe both lovable and exasperating. One admired the untiring devotion to a worthy object, but felt angry at having willy-nilly to share the enthusiasm. Of course he used the pen and wrote many articles both in Irish and English, for he was a real scholar in English too. Much of his writing however came later, when he had exchanged the classroom for the editorial office. He taught Irish and some English(which he hated to teach) for about ten years (regency and after tertianship), and he infused a great enthusiasm for Irish . into some - but not all - of his pupils. He really gave them indigestion by his over-emphasis on the subject. The truth was that he was never meant to be a teacher. It was like asking a racehorse to do the work of a carthorse. Superiors saw this after a time, and mercifully (from Joe's point of view) changed him to Tullabeg. This change finally severed my association with him.
As I try to summarise his character as I knew him, besides the charity I mentioned, I recall the good humour he displayed, and the brilliant limericks he composed to our intense amusement. He was always a pleasant companion, and never took offence. He would and did annoy one by his obsession with Irish, which revealed itself sooner or later in all his conversations. He showed no anger or feeling of hurt when he took a 'nasty dig' from a bored listener. It was this refusal to reply in kind, and his continued pleasant attitude to his teaser, which was Joe's most marked characteristic and one of the causes of his amiability.
I must leave it to someone else to draw up an account of Joe's life from 1946 on, as I never lived with him again. I am glad I had for so long an intimate relationship with him, and benefited greatly from it.

Hyland, Brendan, 1927-2016, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/836
  • Person
  • 18 September 1927-01 October 2016

Born: 18 September 1927, Inchicore, Dublin
Entered: 22 October 1955, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final vows: 15 August 1966, Sacred Heart Church (Crescent), Limerick
Died: 01 October 2016, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early Education at CBS Inchicore, Dublin; CBS James’ Street, Dublin; Post Office, Islandbridge, Dublin

1957-1959 Emo - Gardener
1959-1961 Milltown Park - Gardener
1961-1971 Crescent - Sacristan
1966 Tullabeg - Tertianship
1971-1985 Loyola - Minister; Bursar; in charge of Maintenance
1985-1990 Tullabeg - Treasurer
1986 Assistant Minister
1990-2010 John Austin - Subminister; Sacristan; Library Bursar in Milltown Park
1991 Cherryfield Lodge - Convalescing
1998 Minister; Treasurer
2000 Minister; Sacristan; Garden
2010-2016 Milltown Park - Helps in the Garden
2012 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/ordinary-things-love/

Doing ordinary things with love
The life and death of Brother Brendan Hyland SJ was marked with moving tributes from his family and fellow Jesuits at his funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on Monday 3 October. Brendan died peacefully at the age of 89, in Cherryfield Lodge. He’d been living with the Jesuit community there for the last four years of his life when severe arthritis curtailed his physical health and affected his mobility, particularly in the last six months of his life.
Brian Grogan SJ, who preached the homily at the funeral mass was a novice with Brendan in 1955. “He was 28 and I was 16 but we had shared backgrounds notably our Christian Brother education and hurling.” Brendan was a keen gardener and fine hurler, and Brian developed a life-long friendship with the man he said was, ‘Like Cassius Clay… He could fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee!”
He had many roles in his Jesuit life, said Brian. He was a minister, treasurer, gardener, sacristan, maintenance man, who eventually ended up invalided. And in all these roles he was always welcoming and gentle. Brian said it was appropriate that he died on the feast day of Thérèse of Lisieux who practiced her ‘little way’, serving God with great love by doing the small things in life really well. “That was Brendan. He was one of God’s little ones, with a great charge given, an Ignatian command – in all things to love and serve. And Brendan did just that.”
Bill Callanan SJ confirmed this in the tribute poem he read at the Mass. It was from the pen of Gerard Manly Hopkins and about another Jesuit brother St Alphonsus Rodriguez, who was a doorkeeper for forty-five years. The theme centred around doing ordinary things with love: “Those years and years by of world without event/ That in Majorca Alfonso watched the door.”(Read full poem below)
Brendan’s family chose hymns concerning gardening and growth and, referring to the famous gospel of the beatitudes that they also chose for the Mass, Brian said: “They chose this gospel outlining the eight forms of happiness because they knew this is what made Brendan tick. When you live as this gospel requests, then you enter a different world, the world of God. If you live like this, then happiness is yours and you radiate blessings to a needy world. Brendan radiated that happiness in his smile.”
And his was a special smile, according to Brian, who quoted the French mystic who once said to God, ‘You gazed on me and You smiled’. And that smile, that gaze of God, conveys infinite love. “Brendan knew that smile for he knew the truth of Pope Francis’ words, ‘When all is said and done we are infinitely loved.’ And Brendan smiled back. Even in his suffering. And he suffered greatly with depression, feeling of uselessness, arthritis but he bore it all patiently… and even with a smile.”
Speculating on Brendan’s new journey, Brian said he has now becoming radiant, like a morning star, “becoming like God because he sees God as God is. Freed from the constraints of space and time, Brendan’s full life, for which this one was only a rehearsal, begins. Now he’s playing in the galaxies in the company of the ever-creative God. And one day we shall join him there.”
In the meantime we have our own lives to live here. With that thought in mind, Brian speculated on what advice Brother Brendan Hyland might have for those present. “He’d say Fr Arrupe was right when he wrote, ‘Nothing is more practical than finding God’. May Brendan help us find God more and more. Amen.”
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilís.

Keaney, Joseph, 1948-2021, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2357
  • Person
  • 22 December 1948-20 July 2021

Born: 22 December 1948, Galway City, County Galway
Entered: 07 September, 1966, St Mary’s Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 23 June 1978, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final Vows: 22 August 1988, Kitwe, Zambia
Died: 20 July 2021, St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia - Southern Africa Province (SAP)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 22 August 1988

1966-1968 St Mary’s, Emo
1968-1971 Rathfarnham Castle - studying
1971-1973 Milltown Park - studying Philosophy
1973-1975 Canisius College, Chikuni, Zabia - Regency, studying language
1975-1977 Milltown Park - studying Theology
1977-1978 Tabor House - studying Theology at Milltown
1978-1979 Missionary Institute, The Ridgeway, London, England - studying Theology
1979-1980 St Kizito Pastoral Centre, Monze, Zambia
1980-1982 Catholic Church, Namwala, Zambia - Parish Priest
1982-1983 Galway - Chaplain at Coláiste Iognáid
1983-198 Jesuit Residence, Kitwe, Zambia - teaching
1986-1987 Joint HIB/BRI Tertianship - Tullabeg and St Beuno’s
1987-1993 Jesuit Residence, Kitwe, Zambia - teaching
1993-199 St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia

https://jesuitssouthern.africa/2021/07/20/fr-joseph-keaney-sj-rip/
RIP
Fr Joseph Keaney SJ
22 December 1948 – 20 July 2021

The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) mourns the loss of Fr Joseph Keaney SJ.

After a long battle with serious illness he passed away peacefully this afternoon, Tuesday 20 July 2021, at St Ignatius Jesuit Community in Lusaka. Fr Keaney will be remembered for his pastoral care and missionary zeal. He was a friend to many and will be fondly remembered.

We commend Fr Keaney to the Lord, knowing that he is now at peace and has no more pain.

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

Keelaghan, Edward, 1925-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/625
  • Person
  • 15 April 1925-08 April 2005

Born: 15 April 1925, Ballybay, County Monaghan
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 26 July 1957, Innsbruck, Austria
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 08 April 2005, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1956 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR) studying
by 1986 at East Acton, London (BRI) working Hammersmith Hospital

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006
Obituary
Edward (Ned) Keelaghan (1925-2005)

15th April 1925: Born in Ballybay, Co. Monaghan
Early education at CBS, Monaghan
7th September 1943: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1945: First Vows at Emo
1945 - 1948: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1948 - 1951: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1951 - 1954: Belvedere - Regency
1954 - 1955: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
1955 - 1958: Innsbruck - Studied Theology
26th July 1957: Ordained at Innsbruck
1958 - 1959: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1959 - 1960: Clongowes - Teacher, Assistant Prefect of Studies; Lecturer in Pedagogy
1960 - 1962: Crescent College - Teacher; Assistant Prefect of Studies
1962 - 1963: Clongowes - Lower Line Prefect; Teacher; Lecturer in Pedagogy
1963 - 1966: Clongowes - Minister
1966 - 1967: Tullabeg - Mission Staff.
1967 - 1969: Rathfarnham - Director of Retreat House
1969 - 1974: Leeson Street - National Director of Sodalities & CLC Group
1974 - 1976: Gardiner Street - Minister
1976 - 1978: University Hall - Principal
5th November 1977: Final Vows
1978 - 1980: Leeson Street - Minister; Directed Spiritual Exercises
1980 - 1985: University Hall
1980 - 1983: Assistant Principal; Mission Staff
1983 - 1984: Promoter of Messenger
1984 - 1985: Minister in Leeson Street
1985 - 1988: London - Chaplain in Hammersmith Hospital
1988 - 1989: Chaplain to Irish Emigrants
1989 - 1994: Cherryfield Lodge -
1989 - 1993: Vice-Superior
1993 - 1994: Superior
1994 - 1995: Dooradoyle - Assistant Chaplain
1995 - 2001: John Austin House - Superior; Eucharistic Youth Movement, Directed Spiritual Exercises
2001 - 2004: Belvedere
2001 - 2002: Mini-sabbatical; Promoted Eucharistic Youth Movement; Directed Spiritual Exercises
2002 - 2003: Minister; Health Prefect; Guestmaster
2003 - 2004: Promoted Eucharistic Youth Movement; - Directed Spiritual Exercises, Assisted in Gardiner St
2004 - 2005: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street - Church work.
8th April 2005: Died in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Father Keelaghan was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on March 4", 2005 having spent some time in the Mater Hospital. For the first few weeks he seemed to improve and was mobile. In the final ten days his condition deteriorated slowly and he died peacefully on Friday 8th. April. Father Dargan and the nursing staff were present.

John Guiney writes:

A brief glance at Ned's "curriculum vitae" indicates a great wealth and variety of talent. Most of his apostolic life after formation was spent in areas of responsibility as Superior, Minister, Director of Retreat House, Principal of University Hall, Superior in John Austin House, and Cherryfield.

There is a little vignette previous to his appointment to run Cherryfield Lodge. The then Provincial , Philip Harnett, was visiting Ned in the U.K. prior to his next status. When discussing the next status, Philip asked, “What about Cherryfield?" Ned was naturally somewhat nonplussed - was it not too soon ? (he was only aged 63 ) – he thought Philip was suggesting he become a patient there.

What suited Ned so admirably to fulfil these various areas was his outstanding talent of friendship and kindness with others. Ned was always sympathetic, generous, thoughtful, kind. If he needed help, he was not shy to ask for it.

Ned had a wealth of friends and admirers outside the Society, due not only to his variety of apostolates, but also to his obvious goodness. This made him quite unafraid, on occasion, to enlist help. He was not slow to take an initiative or make expected requests.

When he was Minister in Clongowes in 1963-66 (with Hilary Lawton as Rector), Clongowes had plans for a large new building, but all our usual bankers refused to furnish the necessary loan facilities, much to Hilary's disappointment and frustration. However, he had not counted on the initiative of his Minister who went into the Ulster Bank in Naas (unusual territory for us), the management of which was very happy to secure the large prestigious Clongowes account. And so the building forged ahead.

Ned's years as Superior in Cherryfield were notable for his invitations to open it to the Province by inviting all of us to use the unoccupied space for stays in Dublin or for private retreats. He was gracious in his hospitality, and if ever he was visiting a sick member of the staff, or other associates, he could come loaded with flowers or chocolates or a bottle of wine.

From the homily by Derek Cassidy at the Funeral Mass in Gardiner Street:

In his early days Eddie was a cheerful boy, attending school at CBS, Monaghan, and, I am very reliably informed, addressing all his homework with great care and even a song! He was a contented and a happy child, little trouble to anyone. I suggest that this is the way Ned led all his life - little trouble to anyone. Indeed to all who have spoken to me of their experience of Fr Eddie, this sense of a quiet and contented person has been theirs.

Eddie joined the Society of Jesus, at Emo Park, Portarlington, in 1943, and after eight years of studies, he joined the Community at Belvedere College as a 'scholastic' or Regent until 1954. It was the beginning of some lasting friendships and good companionships and again many Past Pupils have expressed their deep gratitude to me for this gift to them from Ned. After Belvedere, Ned went to Milltown for one year and then completed his study of Theology at Innsbruck, where he was ordained in 1958.

Over the years Ned had a most fruitful and varied ministry: all of his ministry may well be summed up in the response we have used in our psalm: "The Lord is Compassion and Love". I have no doubt that God used the talents of His friend and priest, Ned, to bring to our world this awareness of compassion and love. Ned could be a tad obsequious from time to time and some, including myself, found it infuriating! But I am sure that this only reflects on my own impatience, and nothing to be set against Ned!
The first reading from the Book of Wisdom (3:1-9) has God reminding you and me that “Grace and Mercy await those He has chosen”. How deeply Ned longed for these qualities. He practiced 'grace' everywhere he went - a gentleman to his very core, and his God will, without any hesitancy, reflect that same gentle mercy to him now:

◆ The Clongownian, 2006

Obituary

Father Edward Keelaghan SJ

Those who were in Clongowes in the late 1950s and early 1960s will have been sad to learn of the death of Fr Edward Keelaghan, who spent some years in Clongowes after his ordination in Innsbruck in 1957. A Monaghan man, he came to teach for a year in 1959 and returned for another four years in 1962, during which he was first Lower Line Prefect and later Minister. He subsequently filled a wide variety of roles in the Province - working for the Messenger of the Sacred Heart, assisting in University Hall, ministering to Irish emigrants in London, caring for sick Jesuits in Cherryfield Lodge, to name just a few of them. But, throughout the years, he managed to keep in touch with those he had known here and was a faithful and much-appreciated attender at class reunions. He was a member of the Gardiner Street community when he succumbed to his final illness in April 2005 and died just one week short of his 80th birthday.

Keenan, Francis, 1929-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/863
  • Person
  • 04 October 1929-22 April 2020

Born: 04 October 1929, Portrush, County Antrim/ Glenavy, County Antrim / Belfast County Antrim
Entered: 24 March 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1966, Collège Saint-Michel, Etterbeek, Belgium
Died: 22 April 2020, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM: 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB 1999

by 1952 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1957 at Monze, Zambia - Regency, teaching
by 1966 at Mukasa, Choma, Zambia - teaching
by 1967 at Kizito, Zambia - Director of Training Centre
by 1971 at St Louis MO, USA (MIS) studying
by 1993 at Upper Gardiner Street (HIB) Mission Office
by 1996 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) working
by 2007 at Upper Gardiner Street (HIB) - working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-frank-keenan-sj-a-faithful-servant/

Fr Frank Keenan SJ – ‘a faithful servant’
Fr Francis (Frank) Keenan SJ died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Dublin, on 22 April, 2020. He was an Irish Jesuit missionary who spent 30 years in Zambia. Due to government guidelines regarding public gatherings, a private funeral took place at Gardiner Street Church, Dublin, on 25 April followed by burial at the Jesuit grave in Glasnevin Cemetery. The main celebrant at the funeral Mass was the Gardiner Street Superior, Fr Richard O’Dwyer SJ, while Irish Provincial Fr Leonard Moloney SJ and Parish Priest Fr Gerry Clarke SJ concelebrated. His death is deeply regretted by his loving sister Bernadette, by his nephew John and his wife, Sally, and family, and by his Jesuit confreres and friends in Ireland and Zambia.
Francis was born on 4 October, 1929, in Portrush, County Antrim. He was raised in Belfast and in the village of Glenavy and attended St Mary’s CBS before entering the Society of Jesus at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois, in 1950. After taking his first vows, he studied in Laval, France, for two years followed by philosophy studies in Tullabeg and regency as a teacher in Monze, Zambia. Upon further Jesuit formation in Ireland, he studied Catechetics in Brussels, Belgium, and then returned to Zambia where he was a teacher of the local language at Mukasa Secondary School.
From 1967 to 1979, he worked in a variety of roles in Monze including Director of Catechetics, Parish Priest, Retreat Director and as Vicar General for Religious in the Archdiocese of Lusaka. He also studied Pastoral Theology at St Louis University, Missouri, USA. Later, he directed the Spiritual Exercises at the Jesuit Education Centre in Lusaka and worked in the Kizito Pastoral Centre in Monze before returning to Ireland in 1993.
Fr Francis was Director of the Jesuit Mission Office, Spiritual Director and Parish Assistant while living in Gardiner Street Jesuit community in Dublin. He was also a community member of St Bueno’s retreat centre in Wales for 11 years and directed the Spiritual Exercises there. From 2007 to 2017, he continued active ministry in Gardiner Street as Spiritual Director, Parish Assistant, Chaplain, Assistant Treasurer and Pastoral Worker. He prayed for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge nursing home right up until his death.
Fr Richard O’Dwyer SJ, who gave the homily at the funeral Mass, noted that Francis grew up in difficult circumstances. He experienced the death of his father when very young and witnessed bombing in Belfast during the Second World War. His family supported each other and moved to Glenavy village about 15 miles outside of Belfast. He came to appreciate the gift of life and told his sister Bernadette in later years, “I have loved every day of my life”.
Fr O’Dwyer said that Fr Francis became very proficient in the Zambian language of Tonga and taught it for a number of years and wrote a book on grammar. He said, “Francis was very humorous and a very kind, considerate man.”
Fr O’Dwyer noted that when Fr Francis came home to Ireland after 30 years in Zambia he was a very committed presence among his community and very much appreciated. He said, “He was always very willing to offer Mass, hear confessions, and he had a very good reputation as a very compassionate and“He was also a very sympathetic preacher and explained the Good News in a very compassionate and understanding way”. Fr O’Dwyer referred to his chaplaincy work at St Monica’s Nursing Home in Dublin City, saying he was “utterly reliable and very faithful in his ministry with the elderly”.
Fr O’Dwyer said, “He was a very faithful servant. Any work he undertook he did so with a great spirit of service and dedication. I’m sure now the Lord will welcome him with these words: ‘Well done my good and faithful servant, come and enter your master’s happiness.'”
Mr Colm Brophy, art psychotherapist and former Jesuit missionary in Zambia, paid tribute to his late friend.
“Frank, as we called him in Zambia always wanted to be known as Francis. This I only discovered in Cherryfield. He was renowned for his sharp, even acerbic, wit coupled with kindness, hospitality and generosity. He did not suffer fools gladly and hated hypocrisy as the gospel hates it.
And so he could bring a person down to earth with a brilliant, yet highly humorous thrust of the verbal dagger. He was kindly towards wisdom and kept another person’s honesty close to his heart. I always enjoyed joining him for a meal over his years in Kizito.
He had four roles in Kizito’s. First, Kizito’s was built as a compound of family cottages where Monze diocese catechists and their families lived while following a two-year program. Then it became a diocesan pastoral training and retreat centre for a wide variety of groups. Francis was the director. One of the groups was the ciTonga language school. He wrote a grammar of, and taught, the local language for a period.
He also wrote a book for those directing the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius for retreats in daily life. He was also a great confident of Bishop James Corboy and a member of the diocesan consult. He dealt with a great number of different people coming through the centre and had a gracious ability to adapt.
His other time in Zambia was a number of years he spent in Lusaka archdiocese in the role of Vicar General for religious. It meant having the listening skills to sort out two sides of an argument where strong personalities were involved.
I miss meeting Francis in Cherryfield. May he rest in peace.”
A recording of the funeral Mass is temporarily available on the Gardiner Street website. Under recordings,
see the funeral Mass for 25 April. Click here for the link ».
Fr Frank spoke about his missionary work in Zambia with Irish Jesuit Missions in 2010. Click here to watch
the video ».
A Memorial Mass will be held at a future date. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis.

Full text of the homily at the funeral Mass
Francis Keenan was born in Portrush, Co Antrim, and grew up in north Belfast, the second youngest in a happy, close-knit and united family of 5 children with his parents John and Mary Agnes.
When Frank was only 7 years old, his Dad, John died suddenly at the age of 39. Just 2 years later, World War 2 began. As you know Belfast was heavily bombed especially in 1940 and the area where Francis and his family lived at the intersection of the bottom of the Cliftonville/Duncairn Gardens had a number of houses destroyed and badly damaged. I remember Francis mentioning to me once that sadly the local school survived unscathed and I said to Frank that his story reminded me of John Boorman’s film Hope and Glory set in London during World War 2. John’s school was destroyed in the London blitz and when he sees the bombed-out school, he murmurs “thank you Adolf”. Francis said to me I would have liked to have uttered the same words about my school!
Francis’ sister Bernadette said that because of the danger of bombing, she and Frank were evacuated from Belfast out into the country to the village of Glenavy about 15 miles west of Belfast very close to Lough Neagh. Bernadette was 5 and Frank was 10. They grew very close to each other and forged a deep bond between them. It would have been easy for Francis to opt to play with boys his own age but after the death of his father, under the care of his mother, the family grew very close and supported each other in their loss and grief. They had to pull together to survive. Out in the country, Francis grew to love nature and the countryside, something which never