Emo

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Emo

  • UF Ioma

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Emo

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Andrews, Paul, 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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/a-man-of-many-talents/

A man of many talents
Milltown Chapel was packed on Friday morning, 30 November, for the funeral of Paul Andrews SJ, who passed away peacefully in Cherryfield Nursing Home on 27 November. A large number of family members joined Paul’s fellow-Jesuits, and they paid tribute, both by bring up gifts and by recounting stories, to the deep and meaningful role he played in their lives. In his opening remarks, the principal celebrant Bill Callanan SJ noted the many talents Paul had received and the generous way in which he responded to them. Paul was a writer, a therapist, a psychoanalyst, an educationalist, and a spiritual director. He was also a pivotal presence at critical moments in the life of the Irish Jesuit province.

In his homily Bruce Bradley SJ picked up this same theme, emphasising Paul’s willingness and enthusiasm when it came to a new venture. He was particularly heartened by his work in the 1970s chairing several national committees and writing their reports, most notably the ICE (Intermediate Certificate Examination) and FIRE (Future Involvement of Religious in Education). But his involvement in education was not only at a policy level. Over the years he taught in Clongowes, head-mastered in Gonzaga, and was rector of Belvedere College. He also, for 18 years, directed St Declan’s special school, a venture founded by the Jesuits for primary school children who need special attention and support for personal or emotional reasons. He was especially dedicated to this work. Both in St Declan’s and through private practice, Paul served about 10,000 individual clients in psychotherapy or spiritual direction. As Bruce Bradley said, “Paul was effortlessly intelligent and correspondingly but unselfconsciously articulate, but he wore his learning lightly and what he knew and what he could achieve through his education was essentially in aid of the pastoral ministry to which he had dedicated his life.”

Fr Bradley also recalled a curious accomplishment of Paul’s from his time as editor of the Old Clongownian, when he was a scholastic:
In 1955, well-read and highly cultured man that he was and always remained, with full knowledge of what he was doing, he invited a near-contemporary of Joyce to write his reminiscences of the college in the 1890s, in which the writer recalled what he had heard of Joyce at that time. This was the first occasion when any reference had been made to the school’s most famous past pupil for more than fifty years, even his death in 1941, as by then a world-renowned writer, having been passed over without comment in the college magazine and in other Jesuit quarters. Undeterred, not setting out to shock or act as the enfant terrible and draw attention to himself, which was never his way, but judging that it was time and, although even – as it used to be said – ‘a mere scholastic’ (how we wish we had a few more ‘mere scholastics!’) and in his mid-twenties, Paul was quite prepared to break the disapproving silence and begin the process of setting the record straight at last.

In many ways throughout his Jesuit life, Paul proved himself to be a skilled communicator. He wrote over 300 articles for the Sacred Heart Messenger, about 1700 contributions to Sacred Space, a best-selling book called Changing Children, and many sections of other books and magazines, in psychology, Jesuit history, and spirituality. In 2010 he began working in Irish Jesuit communications, editing Irish Jesuit News and Interfuse, and writing the obituaries of Jesuits.

The enthusiasm which Paul showed in all his work ventures also showed in his more leisurely activities. In particular he was a very keen fisherman, in Ireland, England and even New Zealand, which he loved to visit in the later years of his life.

Ar dheis Dhé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at Cross & Passion, Lytham St Annes; CBS, Great Crosby; Belmont Abbey, Hereford; Wimbledon College, London; St Columb’s Derry; Blackrock College, Dublin
1946-1950 Rathfarnham - Studying Classics at UCD
1950-1953 Pullach, Isartel, Germany - Studying Philosophy at Berchmanskolleg
1953-1955 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; CWC Cert in Education
1955-1959 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1959-1960 Auriesville, NY, USA - Tertianship in Our Lady of the Martyrs
1960-1963 Rathfarnham - Minister of Juniors; Inspector of Studies in Colleges of Province; Psychology Studies at UCD
1963-1966 Birmingham, England - Studying Pedagogy at Birmingham University
1966-1972 Gonzaga College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher of Religion; Province Prefect of Studies
1971 Directory of Province Organisation Project
1972-1976 Loyola House - Special Secretariat; Writer
1976-1982 Belvedere College SJ - Rector; Lecturer in Psychology at UCD & Milltown; Director of St Declan’s, Northumberland Road, Dublin
1982-1989 Gonzaga College SJ - Director of St Declan’s; Lecturer in Psychology at UCD; Writer
1988 Psychotherapy Studies - St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin
1989-2000 Leeson St - Director of St Declan’s; Lecturer in Psychology at UCD
1992 Province Consultor; Chair Board of St Declan’s School
1996 Consultant Psychotherapist; Lecturer; Writer
1999 Sabbatical
2000-2006 Manresa House - Rector; Continuing Formation Delegate; Treasurer; Counselling; Writer
2006-2010 Leeson St - Director Communications; Associate Editor Sacred Space; Therapist; Directs Spiritual Exercises; Board Jesuit Communications
2008 Editor “AMDG” & “AMDG Express”
2010-2018 Milltown Park - Assistant Editor Sacred Space; Editor AMDG Express; Directs Spiritual Exercises; Therapist; Writer
2012 Editor Irish Jesuit News; Editor Interfuse; Editor Province Obituaries; Assistant Chaplain at Cherryfield Lodge
2015 Chaplain at Cherryfield Lodge
2016 Editor “Interfuse”; Province Obituaries; Rector’s Admonitor
2017 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Baggot, P Anthony, 1918-2001, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 01 October 1918, 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.

◆ 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.

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.

Bannon, Andrew, 1929-1997, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/496
  • Person
  • 24 December 1929-02 November 1997

Born: 24 December 1929, Dublin
Entered: 16 March 1951, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 02 February 1962, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 02 November 1997, Gonzaga College SJ, Ranelagh, Dublin

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
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”.

Barrett, Cyril J, 1917-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/641
  • Person
  • 30 April 1917-02 July 1989

Born: 30 April 1917, Charleville, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1976, Hong Kong
Died: 02 July 1989, St Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966
◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Cyril Barrett Died after Long Illness, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Cyril Barrett, SJ, died in St. Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, after a long illness, very bravely on Sunday, 2 July 1989.

The late Father Cyril J. Barrett, SJ. was born in Charleville, Co. Cork Ireland in 30 April 1917. He was educated in Clongowes Wood College and in 1935 he entered the Jesuit Order. He finished his academic studies and professional training in 1951 and in that year came to Hong Kong where he has lived and worked since then.

At first he was assigned to study Chinese (Cantonese) for two years and then went to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong at first as a teacher, then in 1954 became Prefect of Studies, in 1956 he was appointed Rector and Principal. In 1962 he went to Ricci Hall Studies, in 1956 he was appointed Rector and Principal. In 1962 he went to Ricci Hall where he was Warden until 1969 and during this time Ricci Hall, with minimal dislocation to the residents was totally rebuilt, and Father Barrett was very busily engaged in the fund raising for this new project. In 1970 he returned to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, as Principal where he continued until 1982. Since then he has in 1983 received an honorary doctorate “Doctor of Social Science” from the University of Hong Kong, and has busied himself with making contact, either in person or through letters with practically every former Wah Yan Student studying abroad. He made long trips to Australia, the United States and Canada, and the United Kingdom, visiting secondary schools and Universities and other higher educational institutions, and there meeting with the Wah Yan past students.

In the past five years he has known that he has a serious cancer condition and other debilitating illnesses. He has suffered a great deal, but was always trying to lead as normal a life as possible. In summer 1988 he went to Ireland on holiday and returned to Hong Kong even though most of his friends thought the journey would be too much for his greatly weakened condition. Since then he has been almost continually in hospital, getting gradually weaker. Until finally on 2 July 1989 he died.

All through his life he was interested in many other matters besides education. He was a dedicated bird watcher and an occasional helper in archaeological digs in the New Territories. He was a fairly constant writer of letters to the papers on matters connected with education.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 7 July 1989

◆ 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 the son of a banker and received his early education in Bagenalstown County Carlow and then at Clongowes Wood College.
In his Jesuit studies he graduated BA at UCD, then spent three years studying Philosophy at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.
He was then sent to teach at Belvedere College SJ for Regency.
He then went to Milltown Park for four years Theology, followed by a year making Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle.

1951-1953 He came to Hong Kong and spent two years at Xavier House, Cheung Chau, studying Cantonese.
1953 He began his long connection with Wah Yan College Hong Kong, as a teacher, educationalist and Principal. In 1983 he was awarded a Doctorate of Social Science by the University of Hong Kong, in recognition of his contribution to Hong Kong society. He set up the Wah Yan Post-Secondary Education Trust Fund, set up to award scholarships to former students wishing to study overseas. At the same time he had a keen interest in the archaeology of the New Territories.
He was a regular contributor to the newspapers and a keen campaigner for the Anti-smoking movement in Hong Kong.

Barry, Brendan, 1920-1972, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 34th Year No 4 1959

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

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

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

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

Barry, James, 1925-2002, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/555
  • Person
  • 23 July 1925-27 November 2002

Born: 23 July 1925, Mallow, County Cork
Entered: 11 March 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1955, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 27 November 2002, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary

Br James (Jim) Barry (1925-2002)

23rd July 1925: Born in Mallow, Co. Cork
Early education in St Peter's, Bray, and Presentation College, Bray
11 March 1944: Entered the Society at Emo
12th March 1946: First Vows at Emo
1946 - 1956: Emo- Gardening.
15h August 1955: Final Vows
1956 - 1958: Milltown Park - Gardening, Farming
1958 - 1964: Clongowes - Supervisor of Staff
1964 - 1965: St. Ignatius, Galway - Supervisor of Staff.
1965 - 1974: Catholic Workers College - Assisted in the Community
1974 - 1975: Crescent/Mungret - arranging for closing down of school buildings
1975 - 1991: Gonzaga College - Supervisor in College; Sacristan
1991 - 2002: Leeson Street -
1991 - 1997: Minister; Assistant Treasurer
1997 - 2002: Minister; Assistant Treasurer; Health Prefect

Following several months of concern about his health among members of his community, Jim was prevailed upon to go to Cherryfield for a rest on 25th October, 2002. He was transferred to St. Vincent's Private Hospital for tests on 4th November, where he was diagnosed as having an advanced form of lung cancer. He was half-way through a course of radium treatment, when his condition deteriorated suddenly on the evening of Sunday, 24 November, and he was found to have contracted pneumonia. That night, and during the following day, he experienced periods of distress, but on Tuesday he became more comfortable, and slipped into a coma. He died peacefully on Wednesday, 27" November, at about 7.30 p.m.

Fergus O'Keefe writes:
Jim Barry may have been born in North Cork but his first years were spent in West Cork. His father lived and worked in Timoleague. Jim always identified with his native county's successes in hurling and gaelic football. The family moved to Bray, where he received his early education. He always remained close to his family and was a regular visitor to his brother's and sister's homes in Bray. One nephew, Oliver Barry, an Oblate, is a parish priest in England.

Jim spent thirteen years in Emo as postulant, novice, refectorian and gardener. He had a powerful physique, tall, spare and strong. A novice on experiment in those days tells of being put standing on the head of the refectory squeegee, already weighted with lumps of lead, while Jim hauled it to and fro to bring up the shine on the waxed floor. He had a droll sense of humour, asking another novice, “Do you know how to play darts?" "Then dart down there with some plates.” At harvest time when all hands used be called to the farmyard to help, Jim was to be seen heaving huge sacks of grain effortlessly from the threshing machine to the waiting trailer. When the novices, teenage townies most of them, would begin to wilt, Jim would spur them on with an encouraging word and that memorable basso-profundo chuckle that seemed to rumble up from his boots. He was a faithful supporter of the local Emo footballers and would often travel to matches or to Croke Park with them.

For ten years (1946-1956) Jim worked in the walled garden at Emo with John Treacy who had worked there in earlier times under the head-gardener, Dan Deegan. Dan could remember the Earl of Portarlington on horseback marking out with canes the spots where the Wellingtonia avenue saplings were to be planted. John used to speak, engagingly, of “the Lord's time”. Years later when Jim was in Dublin the papers carried a death notice for a John Treacy in Emo. Several members of the Province travelled to Emo for the funeral, only to discover that retired gardener John was in attendance, too. Next time the canny Jim was visiting Emo, John chided him, “You never came to my funeral!”

After two years spent in the garden and on the farm at Milltown Park, Jim was appointed to Clongowes. From 1958 to 1964 he had charge of the many staff there, skilled and unskilled. Most of the refectory and cleaning staff then were young lads who lived on the premises. Jim's room adjoined their dormitory (now the SRPA loft) and he would have had them into work by 6 a.m. In those days there were no summer projects, as now, when staff could be retained and gainfully employed while school was out. Instead Jim organised ambitious schemes, joining in the work - and the fun - himself. One year it was all hands on deck to rip up the worn-out wooden floorboards of the boys' refectory. Dry fill was wheel-barrowed in, concrete poured and skimmed, tiles laid and sealed – a perfect finish, still good to this day. In the course of another summer, indoor and outdoor staffs combined to surface the entire length of the side avenue, boiling the tar, spreading it, coating it with limestone chippings and rolling it, proud as punch and enjoying themselves in the summer sunshine under Jim's genial supervision.

A year in Galway was followed by nine assisting in the community at the Catholic Workers College. Changes of Jesuit personnel and policy in what became the College of Industrial Relations did not affect Jim greatly and he always seemed content there, getting on well with community, staff and students alike.

In 1974 he was chosen for a daunting task - to assist Fr Scan McCarron in closing down Mungret College, disposing of furniture, etc. One morning Sean failed to turn up for Mass. Jim went to his room and found him dead. Being on his own after that, he was anxious about security; so he spread the rumour among the locals that the college was haunted. If Jim was to be believed (frequently problematic – Jim was a past master at 'codding', the national pastime), the rumour was not unfounded. One night the remains of several Jesuits that had been exhumed from a small burial plot close to the school were being held on the premises in readiness for reinterment next day in the enlarged Jesuit plot in the old Mungret Abbey cemetery. As Jim told it, Sean and himself were wakened in the middle of that same night by persistent ringing on the door bell.

Except for that year in Mungret, from 1964 on Jim was to then spend thirty-six years in Dublin. In those days he was a familiar, if incongruous, sight setting off to visit family in Bray, this gentle giant on his wee Honda 50. There was a touch of bravado about his regular trips to the Forty Foot for the Christmas Day swim and many an afternoon in between, wrapped only in a faded gaberdene. No leathers for Jim! No persuading him to invest in a bigger bike. He had always tried to save money wherever he had worked; so he was never going to start spending on himself.

As part of the administrative team at Gonzaga (1975 1991), Jim was, as one colleague recalls, "very dependable, a great companion." He related well with staff, treating all with respect and good humour. Some became his friends for life. Standards of maintenance, decoration and cleanliness improved greatly under his leadership. With the proliferation of prefabs, so difficult to keep clean, Gonzaga, of all places, had become a bit of a slum. Jim and his staff were happy to see the end of them. He coped well with two successive sets of contractors, come on site to build, first, the eight-classroom block and, later, the science building. With his keen eye for good workers, he spotted a likely candidate for groundsman in the foreman on the latter building. Typical of Jim's tongue-in-cheek humour was his instruction, to the consternation of the same groundsman, that the great purple beech on the front lawn, the glory of the college grounds, would have to come down. Needless to say, it is still standing, as magnificent as ever.

Those were happy years for Jim. The boys used to crowd into his little office at breaks to join in the craic. He shared their enthusiasms, especially for sport. The boys were fond of him - he was a ready and sympathetic listener. In his own schooldays at Presentation College, Bray, he had been known to take a penalty at soccer with such force that it carried both ball and goalie to the back of the net. His rugby loyalties were divided between Gonzaga and Pres Bray, where a nephew was on the cup team. Jim supported winners and was annoyed when Gonzaga let the Senior Cup slip out of their grasp in the semi final. He switched allegiance to Liverpool at a time when they were on the up-and-up in the League.

It was the same when Jim went to the races. He always seemed to back winners; at least, the community never heard of him losing. He loved horses and claimed to be able to spot the winner by “the glint in the eye”. Even for years after Jim had left Gonzaga, appreciative parents would present him with an annual pass to the enclosure at Leopardstown Racecourse. At the races past students would gather round as soon as they saw him. At Jim's funeral the mother of a past Gonzagan spoke of him as “a dote”. She recalled that whenever the parents were organising a function he would welcome them with a warm smile and would have everything they needed set out for them.

Sadly, in latter years Jim seemed to lack the energy to attend race meetings. His years at Leeson St (1991-2002) were dogged by ill-health, yet he was determined to carry out to the full all his tasks as Minister, Assistant Treasurer and Health Prefect. His total dedication, even when his energies were fading, was remarkable. Rather than look for help, he would still try to do everything himself, even when he was no longer able. His feet gave him trouble; he couldn't walk or stand for any length of time. His prayer-life was undemonstrative. Every morning he would spend half-an-hour in the community oratory and again ten minutes at night.

Over his last few weeks at St. Vincent's Private Hospital his sheer goodness made a deep impression on the staff there. Despite his suffering and weakness he was totally undemanding, He never once rang the bell for assistance. Most of all, the nurses loved his smile, bashful maybe, but always warm. The only word his friend Fr Todd Morrissey heard him say was “Tough going”.

-oOo-

In the November issue of the Messenger, Paul Andrews writes of Jim: “Fifteen years ago he was operated on for cancer, something went wrong, and he was at the point of death. Later he told me about the day of extreme crisis. Though apparently unconscious, he was aware of a sense of foreboding around his hospital bed, and he felt his body in terrible shape while medics worked feverishly to keep him alive. Then Jim's mind withdrew from the body, and he remembers moving across a bridge towards a bright, beautiful place on the other side. He was happy, buoyed up by a feeling of joy and anticipation. Round the middle of the bridge the joy was interrupted. People were pulling him back, and when he came to himself he was, sadly, in the hospital bed, in a painfully sick body, disappointed and rather angry at being hauled back from happiness. For the next fourteen years he laboured in an increasingly sick body, and was noted for his tender care of sick people. Perhaps he could convey to those who were facing the end, that there was a lot to look forward to, and that the last act of life is beautiful. When his final sickness overtook him, he went in extraordinary peace”.

Barry-Ryan, Kieran, 1929-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/820
  • Person
  • 20 February 1929-17 November 2018

Born: 20 February 1929, Cappaghwhite, County Tipperary
Entered: 06 September 1947, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1960, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1965, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 17 November 2018, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Uper Gardiner Streey community at the time of death.

by 1950 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency
by 1971 at Coventry, England (ANG) working
by 2007 at Annerly, London (BRI) working
by 2011 at Beckenham, Kent (BRI) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/kieran-barry-ryan-sj-a-gifted-marriage-counsellor/

Kieran Barry-Ryan SJ: a gifted marriage counsellor
Fr Kieran Barry-Ryan SJ died peacefully after a short illness in St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin on Saturday, 17 November 2018 aged 89 years. His funeral took place in St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner Street in Dublin on 20 November followed by burial in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Born in Cappaghwhite, County Tipperary, Fr Kieran was educated in Ireland and England before entering the Society of Jesus at St Mary’s, Emo, Country Laois in 1947. His Jesuit training included studies abroad in France and Zambia, and he was ordained at Milltown Park Chapel, Dublin in 1960.
As a Jesuit priest, Fr Kieran taught Religion at Bolton Street DIT in Dublin and was a member of the Gardiner Street community for many years. He was deeply involved in marriage and family ministry. He identified a great need for this work, helping to set up pre-marriage courses, writing the material for them, and training those who would give them.
Fr Kieran said that the most challenging part of marriage and family ministry was encouraging the trainers to reflect and draw on their own experience of faith and prayer. Rather than focusing simply on human development which had a strong gravitational pull for people, he helped to nourish and develop the religious heart of the sacrament of marriage.
He lived in England from 1997 to 2013 where he continued his popular pre-marriage courses. He became known as a wise and kind presence to the many couples and families who were referred to him. Later, he was a Chaplain to Emmaus Nursing Home in Kent, England.
The Irish Jesuit returned to Gardiner Street community in 2013 and spent his last four years in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Dublin where he prayed for the Church and the Society. He died in St Vincent’s Hospital while being surrounded by his family and friends.
Dr Chris Curran, who is working on the Loyola Institute initiative, was a friend who attended the funeral on 20 November. He remarked that Fr Kieran, fondly known as ‘Kerry’, was a person of good fun and laughter: a very good bridge player, a golfer, fluent in French, someone who worked very well with groups and who loved an argument.
“Kerry was a close family friend of very long standing”, said Dr Curran. “He was involved in the life of my family for many years where he officiated over the sacraments. He was dedicated and committed in particular to the marriage apostolate”.
Fr Kieran is sadly missed by his sisters Eileen Dooley, Wimbledon and Patricia MacCurtain, Jesuit confreres and friends. He is predeceased by his sister Maureen Lightburn. ‘Kerry’ was known to be a much loved brother, uncle, granduncle, priest and friend. He will be particularly remembered in Ireland, England and America.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at St Augustine’s, Ramsgate; Downside School, Bath; College of Surgeons, Dublin
1949-1951 Laval, France - Juniorate
1951-1954 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1954-1957 St Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia - Regency : Teacher
1957-1961 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1961-1962 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1962 Teacher of Religion at Bolton St DIT, Dublin
1968-1970 Gardiner St - Assisting in Church; teaching at Bolton St
1971-1976 Leeson St - Director of Marriage Courses at CIR
1976-1997 Gardiner St - Assisting in Church; Marriage & Family Apostolate; Marriage Counselling & Courses
1988 Director of Church Apostolate
1991 Sabbatical
1997-2009 Annerley, London, England - Parish Work; Marriage and Family Apostolate at St Anthony of Padua Church
2009-2013 West Wickham, Kent, England - Chaplain to Emmaus Nursing Home
2013-2018 Gardiner St - Sabbatical
2014 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Bartley, Stephen, 1890-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/62
  • Person
  • 25 December 1890-17 May 1955

Born: 25 December 1890, Grange, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 17 May 1955, St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin

Part of St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois community at the time of his death.
by 1911 at Cividale del Friuli, Udine Italy (VEM) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 30th Year No 3 1955

Obituary :
Father Stephen Bartley 1890-1955
Born on Christmas Day, 1890, at Grange (Boher), Co. Limerick, Fr. Stephen Bartley was educated at the Crescent and entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1906, where he also did his juniorate before going to Cividale in Italy for philosophy. His years of regency were spent in Clongowes and in 1922 he was ordained at Milltown Park. With the exception of one interval as Minister in Milltown his whole priestly life was to be spent in Tullabeg, where he was Minister, Procurator and Rector, and in Emo, where he was Procurator for the last eleven years of his life. He died in St. Vincent's Hospital on May 17th.
Many of the qualities that went to make the man as we knew him came with the boy Stephen Bartley from the Co. Limerick farm: a traditional Irish Catholic faith, simple and undemonstrative though rooted deep; a loyalty to men and causes that, once given, was unwavering; a reserve shy to the: verge of secretiveness; an asceticism which had much of stoicism; a memory retentive of facts and a keen mind to order them; an eye for the best in man and beast and soil and a shrewd sense of money which, while never mean, had the millionaire's conviction of the value of a farthing. Those were talents out of the ordinary and within the limits of chronic ill-health-and at times beyond Stephen Bartley traded with them to the full. As Minister, Rector and Procurator he served the Province and the three houses in which his life was lived with devoted loyalty; and few, if any, excelled him in the heroic art of reading the greater glory of God from the prosaic pages of journals and ledgers. His antique battered fountain-pen has the quality of a relic. Barred from the pulpit by ill-health he was to find in the Confessional the spiritual outlet for his zeal. For 17 years his “box” in the People's Church in Tullabeg was a place of pilgrimage; and it would be hard to overestimate the veneration and esteem in which people of every walk in life held him. In Emo he became the valued confessor and confidant of the local clergy and he directed and consoled by letter many of the clients of his Tullabeg days. Many too are those in his own communities who must bear him lasting gratitude for his prudent and kindly guidance. Heroic in the quality of his hidden service to the Society and to souls, he was no less heroic in his acceptance of almost constant discomfort and suffering, Only in the last years of his life was it possible to get round him to make any real concession to his needs. His fire was a community joke; the few medicines he bothered to take were asked for with the simplicity of a novice; he had to be forced to take a holiday. It is probably true to say that no one ever heard him complain - certainly not of anything that concerned his personal requirements.
His very deep love for the Society found a suitable expression in his devotion to community life. His pleasure in recreation was a pleasure to see and save, when overwhelmed by numbers, he took full part in it. Secretly addicted to the reading of P. G. Wodehouse and Curly Wee, he had an unexpected turn of humour that stood him in good stead when parrying the recreational thrusts of his brethren or avoiding coming to too close quarters with some importunate query or request. His answers in such dilemmas have become part of the Province folk-lore. To a Father commiserating with him on the poisoning of a cow he replied gravely: “As a matter of fact, Father, we had one too many”. And after 20 years, one must still chuckle at the discomfiture of the scholastic who asked leave to go to a hurling match : “It wouldn't be worth it, Mr. X. All the best hurlers have gone to America”.
His peaceful and undemonstrative death was utterly in keeping with his life. The humour perhaps was in grimmer key when he begged his Rector not to allow an operation: “I'm not an insurable life, Father”. But his life's dedication to obedience's appointed task was all of a piece. Almost the last words he spoke were: “Everything will be found in order. I have brought the books up to date”. We cannot help being convinced that they are echoed in eternity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 45th Year No 3 1970

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Benson SJ (1923-1970)

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

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

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

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

Bonfield, Francis, 1911-1988, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/494
  • Person
  • 08 April 1911-22 July 1988

Born: 08 April 1911, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 20 April 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1945, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 22 July 1988, Inverin, County Galway

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 4 1988 (Final Edition)
Obituary
Br Francis Bonfield (1911-1935-1988)
Br Francis Bonfield was born in Nenagh on 8th November 1911. He entered the noviceship at Emo on 20th April 1935. After his vows in 1938 he went to Manresa House, Roehampton, London, to train as an infirmarian. He returned to Milltown Park in the summer of 1939 to look after the refectory. The next year he was sent to Tullabeg as infirmarian and in charge of staff. He stayed there until summer 1952, when he was transferred to Galway, Sacristan (to the church and community chapel) and infirmarian were his principal occupations, For the first few years he also had charge of staff. So at his death “Bonnie”, as he was affectionately known by us all, was thirty-six years in Galway. He was also the last member of a large family to die: his sister preceded him before Christmas 1987.
In Tullabeg he was very popular, especially with the philosophers, as he looked after their health. He also got to know the local people over the years there. He continued to maintain an interest in them and their families, even during his time in Galway.
These were pre-Vatican II days when he came to Galway. As church sacristan, he had to be up every morning to ring the angelus at 6 am, and to have the church open and ready for the 6.50 am Mass. usually said by Fr Paddy O'Kelly († 1968). In summertime, the holiday season, you could have any number of Masses being said by visiting priests at the various altars in the church and community residence. Most of these priests would be seculars from all over Ireland. Then there were a lot of devotions: so his life was a busy one.
In those days also Fr Kieran Ward was in charge of the St John Berchmans Altar-Servers Society. The servers then continued to serve Mass up to and even during their Leaving-certificate years. Here Bonnie's charisma for making lasting friendships displayed itself. He made friends with many of those Mass-servers, and the friendships lasted right up to his death. Some would call and bring him out for a meal: others would bring him for a weekend holiday, or invite him to their weddings. He also had numerous friends amongst the people who came to the church: he was concerned about them and their families.
As sacristan, he was witness to and involved in all the changes that took place in the church and its liturgy after Vatican II.
Up to 1977 Bonnie was very active: but on 22nd April 1977 he was affected by a severe stroke. He was suffering from high blood-pressure, and did not seem to know it. He went into Merlin Park hospital, and was there for months. When he came out, after the best of medical attention, his right side was somewhat paralysed, and he had not the use of his right hand. It was noticed also that there was an impediment in his speech. With the great help of Fr Richard Butler, Bonnie made valiant efforts to deal with this handicap. Gradually, over a space of time, his speech came back to normal.
Over the years since, Bonnie has been a living example to us of how sickness can be no less a gift than health. He edified us and many others by how patiently, nay, how cheerfully he accepted this cross in his life. It meant now, for example, that such things as dressing oneself were difficult and time-consuming. He had to make a complete adjustment to his way of life. His handicapped physical condition confined him more or less to the house and church and their environs. He could not go up town or to Salthill on his own, as he was unable to travel on buses. However, he never complained.
At Christmas-time, Bonnie was faced with a problem. What would he do about sending greetings to his relatives and friends? With his usual tenacity he came on a solution to his problem. He ordered his Christmas cards like all the rest of the community. He enlisted help to draw up a list of those to whom he was accustomed to send cards, bought the required number of stamps, and so with help he continued to greet those whom he loved.
Members of the community and province had sympathy for him and helped him when possible. Bonnie often expressed his gratitude for this at community meetings. He loved a Sunday-afternoon excursion in a house-car. Part of the ritual when he went out in the car was the reminder to purchase some ice-cream. He got extra enjoyment out of it when he knew he had persuaded the driver to pay for it. He was able to get to Lourdes. He even went to at least one all-Ireland hurling final with the help of an tAthair Connla O Dúláine. Then the Brothers of the Province rallied round and took him with them on their holidays, be it to Cork, Wexford, or Donegal. Actually he died at the end of a holiday that Fr Frank Sammon had arranged for him.
One of the main characteristics of Bonnie's life was his love for people. This showed itself in the enjoyment he got out of attending parish socials, senior citizens' Christmas parties, and other functions. Another was his love for his own community. His contribution to the Galway community is enormous. Apart from his example in adversity he was always amiable, affable, and cheerful; was interested in everything, loved theological discussions, which he some times initiated, and wore his heart upon his sleeve about some things such as hurling, his native county of Tipperary, and his political affiliations. These fatter were the cause of much merriment and debate, especially as Galway are so prominent in hurling at present.
He once expressed a wish to a lay friend of his that he would like to have the Coolin played at his funeral Mass. In the circumstances of his death, and at such short notice, it was not possible to have this done. However, at his month's mind Mass, concelebrated in the church by the Rector, Fr Murt Curry, with other members of the community, there was a beautiful rendering of the Coolin on a violin.
Bonnie has died: but the love he had for the Society, and the way he lived up to the Jesuit ideal, especially with his infirmity, will remain as an example and inspiration to us all.

Booth, Edward, 1917-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/483
  • Person
  • 24 November 1917-12 April 1988

Born: 24 November 1917, Kells, County Kerry
Entered: 14 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1957, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 12 April 1988, St Joseph’s, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 3 1988

Obituary

Fr Edward Booth (1917-1938-1988)

24th November 1917: born in Kells, near Cahirsiveen, Co. Kerry. Schooled at local national school; Christian Brothers' school, Cahirsiveen; and Mungret College.
14th September 1938: entered SJ. 1938-40 Emo, noviciate. 1940-43 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1943-46 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1946-48 Mungret, Third-club prefect. 1948-52 Milltown Park, theology. 31st July 1951: ordained to priesthood by Archbishop John C McQuaid. 1952-53 Rathfarnham, tertianship, during which he received his assignment to Zambia (then called Northern Rhodesia). During the summer of 1953, along with his fellow-missionaries he received a course of vaccine injections against tropical diseases. (The other members of the group departed for Africa on 11th August, without Ted.)
On or about 6th August 1953: the stroke which changed his life. 1953-55 Milltown Park. 1955-70 Clongowes. 1970-85 Belvedere. 1985-88 Kilcroney nursing-home, Bray, Co Wicklow. 12th April 1988: died.

Fr Ted, or, as he was better known to his family and Jesuit colleagues, simply "Ted", was a true Kerryman, as he delighted in reminding us all. For his regency he was assigned to Mungret College, where he had been schooled and where he had full scope for his down-to earth practical ability.
It was two years after his ordination to the priesthood and five days before his expected departure for Zambia that Ted suffered a very sudden stroke and brain haemorrhage, which caused semi paralysis and effectively deprived him of speech for the remaining thirty-five years of his life. Suddenly and unexpectedly life had radically changed. The strange ways of Providence and the mystery of suffering in the world were exemplified in Ted's life during these thirty-five years. His frustration was intense, and he often expressed it in words soon to become very familiar to us: “Long time”. Heroically he carried his cross during all these years. The will power he manifested in his daily endeavours to overcome his disability was matched by the ingenious ways he devised of coping with it and preserving his limited independence.
The ultimate suffering for Ted came during the last three years of his life, as his condition in 1985 necessitated that he should be moved to the St John of God Brothers' nursing-home in Kilcroney. There he received the most dedicated care and attention of the community and staff. The limited communication which he had was now reduced to mere recognition. Life in a Jesuit house with a Jesuit community had been one of the supports of Ted's life, but now this strong support was removed, and he suffered the corresponding pain of such a loss. He died peacefully and suddenly in the late evening of 12th April. Ted's poignant “Why?” in relation to his suffering is now no longer dependent on our feeble attempts to answer or to clarify.
Ted was always practical and down-to earth, with a no-nonsense approach to all aspects of life. Those who were more at home in abstract speculation and decidedly ill-at-ease and lacking on the practical level could expect a knowing and sympathetic nod from Ted. Back in Milltown, in 1949, he was one of the first to alert the community on the fateful night of the fire. He it was who brought the aged Fr Bill Gwynn to safety on that night. Study was not an indulgence for Ted; it was a laborious and heavy burden, but one he shouldered with great determination and tenacity.
To us in the community, Ted was a very rich presence. He was our brother, who had come through the years of formation with several of us, and could share the jokes about our noviceship under Fr John Neary, Tommy Byrne's philosophy lectures (“stingo”), and all the rest. In his tragic incapacity, his few words and his extraordinary sense of fun, he was like a child in our midst, almost a son to us. But in the unspoken and inexpressible mystery of his vocation to share the Cross of Christ so intimately, he was our father, one who had gone far ahead of us on the path to Cal vary by which we must all walk.
In community, he was always at hand, and always ready to extend a welcome to visitors with his familiar salutation “Hello” or “You are well?”. He was a catalyst at recreation, and where the laughter was, there you might expect to find Ted. He had a great sense of humour, especially when subjected to leg-pulling. Of course you had to give him the opportunity of scoring off his teaser, and this gave him great delight. He thoroughly enjoyed the cut and thrust of an argument, and his “Good, good” left no doubt where his sympathies lay, while “Bad, bad” clearly indicated his strong denunciation.
There was a minimum of self-pity about Ted. He immediately related to anyone he met. His regular fortnightly visit to Mrs Carroll was an important event on his agenda. She gave him devoted medical attention, of which friendship, hospitality and support always formed part. A special gift to Ted was his family, especially his sisters Katty and Peggy, whose love and care for him were very special indeed. How Ted used to look forward to holidays with them in Kerry! In the mutual attention, concern and devotion Ted had for his nieces and they for him, the age gap was completely swept aside. The members of the Clongowes and Belvedere communities, among whom Ted spent almost the entire thirty-five years of his illness, showed him extraordinary consideration, understanding and consistent kindness. The constant caring attention of Fr Jim Lynch in Belvedere was a never-failing source of strength and support for Ted.
Ted was a man of prayer and a very holy man, with the Mass as the centre of his very life. His customary early-morning ritual was to trudge over to Gardiner Street or celebrating Mass in Belvedere. He lived the Cross in his daily life and so could appreciate in the Mass the Sacrifice of the Cross. The gospel read at his funeral Mass said of St Peter: “When you were young you , . . walked where you liked; but when you grow old . . . somebody else will ... lead you where you would rather not go”. St Peter would have grown old before he was led away, but Ted was still a young man, strong and ready for action, when he was led where he would rather not go.

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, 1935-2014, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 156 : Summer 2014

Obituary

Fr John Brady (1925-2014)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Toner

Brady, Patrick, 1922-1994, Jesuit brother

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

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

Obituary

Patrick (Paddy) Brady (1922-1994)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daniel Dargan

Brady, Peter, 1926-2007, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1954 at Hong Kong - Regency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brangan, Gerald, 1912-1978, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 54th Year No 1 1979

Obituary :

Fr Gerald Brangan (1912-1978)

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

Brangan, P Dermot, 1932-2021, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed HIB to JPN, 15 August 1967

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

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

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

By Robert Chiesa, SJ

Brenan, Richard Henry, 1918-1995, Jesuit priest

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

Brennan, Brendan, 1910-1968, Jesuit priest

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

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

Cornelius changed to Brendan in HIB 1956

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

Brennan, John F, 1920-2002, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

Brennan, Joseph, 1929-2018, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

by 1966 at Brussels Belgium (BEL M) studying

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

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

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

Brennan, Martin, 1912-1999, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Uncle of Fergal Brennan - Ent 1959

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000

Obituary

Fr Máirtín Ó Braonáin (1912-1999) : translation by Brian Grogan SJ

Martin's health began to decline in 1996 and he spent periods of time in Cherryfield, returning to Leeson Street as often as he could. Later, for health reasons, he remained permanently in Cherryfield. In the last couple of weeks his strength was fading and he died peacefully on Wednesday July 21st, 1999 in Cherryfield.

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

Fr Proinnsias Ó Fionnagáin writes...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good Jesus our Lord, give him eternal rest.

Proinsias O Fionnagáin, SJ

Translation Brian Grogan SJ

Brereton, Joseph, 1920-2012, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 05 December 1920, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
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

Interfuse No 148 : Summer 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.

Brosnan, Matthew, 1923-1997, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

by 1951 at Hong Kong - Regency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Francis Mary Hegarty Browne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

China :

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960

Obituary :

Fr Francis M Browne (1880-1960)

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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, 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.

Early education at 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

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 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

Butler, Richard, 1915-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/588
  • Person
  • 27 November 1915-21 April 1999

Born: 27 November 1915, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1950, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 21 April 1999, Galway University Hospital, Galway City, County Galway

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999

Obituary

Fr Richard (Dickie) Butler (1915-1999)

27th Nov. 1915: Born in Waterford
Educated at Waterpark College, Waterford
7th Sept. 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1935: First vows at Emo
1935 - 1938: Rathfarnham, study Arts at UCD
1938 - 1941; Tullabeg, study Philosophy
1941 - 1942: Mungret College, teaching
1942 - 1944: St. Ignatius College, Galway, teaching
1944 - 1948: Milltown Park, study theology
30th July 1947; Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1948 - 1949; Rathfarnham, tertianship
1949 - 1951: Hong Kong, at language school
1951 - 1952: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, teaching
1952 - 1954: Wah Yan College, Kowloon, teaching
1954 - 1999 St. Ignatius College, Galway:
1954 - 1956: Teaching
1956 - 1961: Prefect of Studies
1961 - 1990: Teaching

When he retired from teaching in 1990, Richard continued in College administration, and as health prefect. He was admitted to University Hospital, Galway, almost two weeks before Easter. He was operated on for a perforated ulcer. Though initially he appeared to make good progress, he subsequently suffered a stroke, rallied somewhat again, but then suffered kidney failure. He died very peacefully at 6.45 a.m. on Wednesday 21st April 1999.

I first met Father Dickie Butler, as we affectionately knew him, on the doorsteps of Coláiste lognáid in Galway, 31 years ago, when I arrived there to begin my regency. I had spent the whole summer in the Gaeltacht building up my Irish but I knew about the place I was going to teach, and was somewhat fearful. I was greeted at the front door of the residence by a tall, mandarin-like figure with small round glasses and winged gown. On learning that I had just arrived to embark upon my teaching life, he informed me that he was the acting-minister and that before I went any further I was to put down my case and follow him. He ushered me into the kitchen and within five minutes produced a full glass of red wine, and giving it to me said “Drink that boy, you'll need it”.

Dickie Butler was a man who always made people feel welcome. He had a great eye for the details of life. I could say that Christianity is all about caring, - caring for one another, “whatever you do to one of these”, - because Christ first cares about us. Dickie was a man who always cared and made room for others. I'm sure that he has now found the room in his Father's house prepared for him from the beginning. (Though I should say “the mansion” in his Father's house, for Dickie did not update biblical translations lightly).

Richard Butler was born in Waterford in 1915 and entered the society at Emo. He studied at UCD, Tullabeg and Milltown Park and spent his regency teaching at Mungret and Coláiste lognáid in Galway. He was ordained priest at Milltown Park and after his Tertianship at Rathfarnham, went to teach at Wah Yan College in Hong Kong, with a view to moving further inland on the mission. He used to say that Celtic Scholars were particularly marked out by the Provincials for work on the missions, especially in China, presumably because somebody thought that if you could make headway in the Irish language you could certainly master Chinese. Whether it is true or not, what is definitely true is that Dickie Butler was a brilliant Irish scholar, a wonderful speaker of Irish and an excellent teacher of the language to generations of schoolboys (and latterly, girls).

He became the great Irish teacher he was because his health broke down in China in 1954 and he was sent to the school down in Galway where he taught for 45 years. Dickie was a man of great discipline, a man with an incisive mind. He served as a headmaster in the school before he returned to the classroom to teach for 37 years, at a time of rapid change in Ireland and in education. I lived in his community for 12 of those years and met with him regularly afterwards. Dickie was an engaging and imaginative conversationalist; he had a marvelous command of both the English and Irish language, and he used both daily in his daily all his adult life. Sitting at a table with him in the refectory was informative and entertaining as well as refreshing. Much of his colourful imagery will remain with those of us fortunate enough to have been in his community. Whether he was sharing his insights into information in the Province or on some aspect of contemporary Irish culture, he was always well worth listening to.

Dickie was a theologian and theology was never far from his thoughts. He was an avid reader, especially of the latest publications in theology. Often in the refectory we would watch with interest as visiting theologians, in Galway for a few days rest, sat down at table with Dickie and how he would ask them some seemingly innocent question about theology which would lead to a whole conversation that would keep them on their toes, so to speak, defending whatever their side of the argument was through the whole meal, answering the questions he put so casually. His favourite phrase throughout these encounters was “de vera religione”. I think Dickie would have made many a theological board proud with his questioning. I always felt he would have made a fine professor of theology but he only wanted to do what was asked of him, whether it was going on mission to China at the beginning of his priestly life, or working in College administration towards the end. He had what we used to call in the Province 'a fine mind' but he was a humble man too and one who never put himself forward. He was both modest and devout.

Dickie Butler was a very personal man, who always gave you the impression that he was speaking directly to you. He was interested in everybody in the community and the work they were at. Some might have seen him as old-fashioned but that might be because he had very definite ideas on things and would let you have the benefit of them whether you wanted them or not. Everyone I knew who met with him acknowledged that he was a wise man, and that brings me again to this mandarin-like figure. In his later years Dickie rode a motorbike and dressed in his special biker's gear, with the wire glasses and the all-seeing eyes, he cut a dashing figure as he rode up Sea Road, off into the dust.

Dickie was a man of routine who did not move much out of Galway. But in the early 1980's he decided, and we helped him, to go to America for a summer supply. He had not been out of the country for nearly 30 years when he boarded the plane for California. Despite his initial trepidation, he loved California once he became accustomed to it. But even in this he was different because Dickie took a supply in an island parish at the edge of a hot desert. And he continued this supply until he retired from teaching, and then he moved into school administration in Coláiste lognáid where his genius at Irish was much appreciated and must have caused many an envious eye in the Department of Education when school reports were processed. When Dickie was taken to hospital just before Easter this year he was very concerned to let the school authorities know that his work for the school right to the end of the summer term was all prepared and sitting on his desk.

He was a man of great discipline. The last time I spoke with him, he was sitting in his room with the door open, seemingly doing nothing. We had a few words and I asked him if he was waiting for something. He replied in his lovely Irish, “When you get to my age, you'll know what I'm waiting for”.

We say good-bye to an excellent teacher held in high esteem by his colleagues, a marvelous companion in community, a scholar and a storyteller, but most of all, a good Jesuit and a holy man. An tAthair Risteard de Buitléar will be missed by many.

In lothlainn Dé go gcastar sinn.

Liam Greene

-oOo-

Funeral Mass of Fr. Richard Butler, SJ
A Jesuits room reveals a great deal about its occupant. The most striking feature about Fr. Dickie's room was how spartan it was. All that was superfluous had been removed by Dickie in the last few years. It was as if he had folded up his tent some time ago and had already moved most of his belongings to a more everlasting home. But not everything was superfluous - some things had to be kept - just in case!

What remained tells you a great deal about this kind and gentle man. Only seven books are to be found on his bookshelf. These books are the New Testament; The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma; The Code of Canon Law; The Catechism of the Catholic Church; The Concise Oxford Dictionary; Dineen's Irish-English Dictionary and The Oxford Book of Irish Verse. Fr. Dickie was a man who thirsted for God, for Truth, for Certitude, for Precision and if the mysteries of faith were sometimes shrouded in darkness, Dickie would struggle for light. If the intricacies of Irish grammar left other mere mortals somewhat disillusioned, Dickie would delight in shedding much needed light.

St. Ignatius warns anyone who might want to be a Jesuit, “Let any such person take care, as long as he lives, first of all to keep before his eyes God and then the nature of this Institute which is, so to speak, a pathway to God; and then let him strive with all his effort to achieve this end set before him by God.” Dickie always strove to remain faithful to his vocation as a Jesuit priest. His personal, unobtrusive fidelity to prayer and the daily celebration of the Eucharist in what became affectionately known in the house as “Dickie's Chapel”, spoke more loudly than long lectures in theology.

Not that Dickie was adverse to theological discussion and argument. He was never too certain about all this new-fangled theology since Vatican II. Sometimes he would put the younger Jesuits through their paces just to check out their theological orthodoxy. I remember one Easter Sunday evening being the victim of one of Dickie's theological inquisitions. In his estimation I probably came out with today's equivalent of a “D3” on the Foundation level paper!

The Ardmháistir of Scoil Iognáid, Niall Ó Murchadha, said to me only last Tuesday, “Bhí an t-Athair de Buitléar go hiontach ag múineadh Teagasc Chríostaí". One of Dickie's past students, now a Jesuit priest himself, remarked how Dickie would insist with the boys (for there were only boys in Coláiste Iognáid then) that they must always remain faithful to the basic truths of Christianity and to the teaching of the Church. However, Dickie confessed to the same class of boys, “Boys, when I was in Honk Kong in the early Fifties, if those Communists had invaded from China brandishing red hot pokers, I'd have said anything they wanted me to - I'd even have sworn that there were twelve persons in the Blessed Trinity!” Here indeed was a good man who though he struggled for Truth, acknowledge his own limitations and kept a gentle sense of humour.

Obviously I chose today's readings with this good man in mind. The first reading spoke of the necessity always to pursue and to respect Wisdom. It said, “Is le hintinn ghlan a d'fhoghlaim me agus tugaim uaim gan doicheall; ni choinnim a saibhreas i bhfolach”, or translated, “What I learned without self interest, I pass on without reserve, I do not intend to hide her riches”. Over the past few days, many of Dickie's past students have spoken to me of their fondness for him as a teacher. They spoke of how organised he was, how every class was planned, how clear he was in explaining the subject matter. But more than that, they spoke of how gentle he was, as the Beatitudes would have us be. A card arrived for Dickie a few days ago, it reads:

“I heard that you were poorly. I am sorry to hear this and so I just wanted to say hello. I'm not sure if you remember me; I finished the Jez in 1981 and you taught me Gaeilge for about five years. If you recall, I was a bit of a chatterbox and, to dissuade me from talking, you used to place me right in front of you. I didn't mind it and it did me no harm. Thank you. I have very fond memories of you teaching us.”

Fr. Dan Dargan, a former parish priest of St. Ignatius' here and a contemporary of Fr. Dickie's in the order said to me the other morning that there was always a “a certain giddy quality” about Dickie, a sense of fun, that twinkle in the eye. Past students of Dickies from the fifties and sixties speak of how he used to delight the young first years by shouting at them (gently, of course) in Cantonese. He objected strongly to the use of bad language in English and so taught his classes how to curse really and truly “as Gaeilge” much to their delight and to the advancement of the Irish language. Even in the last year when Dickie was much more confined to the house, he would often watch the students “ag pleidhcíocht” in the yard and would give a guffaw of laughter. Little did the students know that they were being watched in more ways than one for it was Dickie who right up to the end almost wrote out the term reports for each student in Coláiste Iognáid. He loved to help Joan with this seemingly tedious work, but this was important for Dickie because it meant that this former headmaster was still part of the school administration and Jesuits, as you know, never retire!

My lasting memory of Dickie will be that he was forever whistling Lara's Theme from Dr. Zhivago. I sometimes wondered did he know any other song. Even in the last months, Dickie would walk along the corridor whistling, and so I found it particularly poignant one day when he stopped me and said in Irish for he always spoke to me in Irish, “Ta a fhios agat, a Bhreandáin, go mbímse i gcónaí ag feadail - níl ansin ach cur i gcêill - taimse ag fulaingt go mór”. Before he went into hospital, this essentially discrete and private man, spoke very movingly of his own physical weakness and sense of anxiety, I thought at that time of the first Beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” in other words, blessed are those who know their own fragility and their need of God. The same beatitude continues with consoling words “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.

Dickie, guímid uile ar maidin nach bhfuil tuileadh de dhíth ort, go bhfuil tú i gcomhlúadar Dé agus naomh uile - bain sult as an bhfírinne go síoraí, a chara shéimh, uasail.

Brendan Comerford

Byrne, Davy, 1935-2013, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/805
  • Person
  • 15 January 1935-14 August 2013

Born: 15 January 1935, Dublin
Entered: 14 March 1957, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 02 February 1975, St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street
Died: 14 August 2013, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Iona, Portadown, County Armagh community at the time of death.

by 1971 at Bethnal Green, London, England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/256-goodbey-to-davy-byrne

A uniformed band played ahead of the hearse as they brought Davy Byrne’s body down the Garvaghy Road to be buried. Davy came to Portadown 28 years ago, after working on social services in Gardiner Street.

◆ Interfuse

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/256-goodbey-to-davy-byrne

A uniformed band played ahead of the hearse as they brought Davy Byrne’s body down the Garvaghy Road to be buried.
Davy came to Portadown 28 years ago, after working on social services in Gardiner Street.

Interfuse No 153 : Autumn 2013

Obituary

Br Davy Byrne (1935-2013)

15 January 1935: Born in Dublin.
Early education at the National School, Rialto, and the Kildare Place Training College.
He was in employment from 1949 1956 as a mechanic on duplicating machines before joining the Society.
14 March 1957: Entered Society at Emo
29 March 1959: First Vows at Emo
1959 - 1960: Milltown Park - Cook at Gonzaga
1960 - 1967: Milltown Park - Refectorian
1967 - 1969: St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia - in charge of staff
1969 - 1970: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1970 - 1972: London – Courses in Sociology at Polytechnic, Barking College
1972 - 1974: Milltown Park – Working in Social Service Centre, Gardiner Street
1974 - 1985: North Circular Road - Working in Social Service Centre, Gardiner Street
2 February 1975: Final Vows at Gardiner Street
1985 - 2013: Iona, Portadown;
1985 - 1996: Community Development
1996 - 2004: Community Development and Reconciliation; House Consultor
2004 - 2011: Pastoral Visitation, Bereavement Counselling; Reconciliation
2011 - 2013: Pastoral Visitation, Ministry of Presence, House Consultor

Davy Byrne was born in Dublin on 15th January 1935. His mother died seven weeks later and he knew little about her. One of many things he came to appreciate about his adoptive family was that he got to go to a Protestant school for his early education, despite the protestations of his local parish priest.

He was in employment from fourteen years of age until he joined the Jesuits in 1957, and during that time he developed an enthusiasm for long-distance cycling. He took part in many team races and had one serious fall over the handlebars of his bike.

After the noviceship he worked mainly in the Milltown Park refectory for seven years. From 1967-69 he was in charge of staff at the high school in Lusaka, Zambia. There he experienced the alienation of the manual worker in relation to established Jesuits. He was, nevertheless, convinced of the role of the brother's vocation in the church. It really mattered to him that he was a Jesuit brother. He never had any desire to be a priest. He knew that he could do things as a brother that priests cannot. His friends among the Irish Jesuit brothers contributed wonderful music and prayers to his requiem.

After Tertianship he stayed with a religious community in London while taking courses in sociology at Barking Polytechnic.

Following this, he worked from 1972 to 1985 in the Social Service Centre, Gardiner Street, where he developed a lifelong friendship with his colleague Sister Emmanuel. There he looked after people on the streets who needed food, a wash and a shave. He had great stories about the characters he met. He cared for them, and could understand where they came from.

Being a Jesuit was a deeply important part of his life. Every year he would make the Spiritual Exercises. In these he would hear again the call of Christ to serve his Kingdom. He would also reflect on the experience of God that Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, had at the river Cardoner, near Manresa in Spain. Ignatius never spoke much about what went on in this, other than to say that he experienced God in a completely new way. From then on he was able to see God in all people and in all things. Davy would also remember Ignatius' vision at La Storta in which he saw Christ telling his Father that he wanted Ignatius to follow him. Davy heard that call and responded to it, however much he failed, like the rest of us.

He had a great love of God and of prayer. He used to talk of Holy Cross, the Benedictine monastery in Rostrevor, as his second spiritual home, especially in later years when his health failed. For many years he attended meetings of the European Jesuit Workers' Group. These were Jesuits who worked alongside people in difficult situations in factories and tried to find Christ in their situation. It was important to Davy that these Jesuits came from many different European countries: he knew the Society is an international body.

In 1985, as a fifty-year old true Dub, he took the courageous step of joining the new venture at Iona, Portadown, in the middle of The Troubles. Portadown was to become his home, where he wanted always to be, and he was the first ever Jesuit to be buried in Northern Ireland. There was a Jesuit house in Donard, County Down, in the 19th century with some Jesuit graves, but that was before the creation of Northern Ireland.

The Jesuit work in Churchill Park began with community development, and Davy was part of the setting up of the Drumcree Community Centre. People from there attended his funeral. He developed a more personal mission to people in stress, which was expressed in the Gingerbread group. Many people give testimony to Davy's presence and words of healing wisdom. He said that his real work was being present to people. When he was present and listening to them, God was present.

He made close friends among Protestants, especially in the Corcrain area which is across the peace wall from Garvaghy Road. In Corcrain they paint the kerbstones red and blue and burn foreign flags on enormous bonfires, but on the day of the funeral a woman from there commented on how he was mourned by so many there. It was very important to him that some of his closest friends were Protestants. Building relationships in Portadown between Catholics and Protestants was very important to him. He hated bigotry and sectarianism.

In 2012 he discovered that his mother was buried in Templemichael, near Arklow where she had grown up. He managed two trips to the grave, which meant very much to him. The final trip included a visit to Sr Emmanuel in Co, Wexford. Some months later she preceded him in death. Mutual friends arranged that he was buried with her rosary beads. His friend Gabrielle, of Gabrielle's flower shop, began to send him single red roses for his mother's grave. In the end he sent two for Davy's grave,

He would have loved his own funeral - the uniformed band preceding the hearse, the hosts of neighbours and friends, the sense of a life fulfilled. A fellow Jesuit said it was the happiest funeral he ever attended. The bishop of the diocese, Cardinal Sean Brady, presided over the liturgy, and while Davy may not have been impressed by celebrity, he would in this case have smiled. Fr Thierry OSB was there to represent the Benedictine community of Rostrevor. Davy had very little family but was always close to his nieces and their families in Birmingham. They obviously cherished him, visiting him during his illness and turning out in force for his funeral.

People regretted the passing of a gentleman, a friend, one whose presence was like a timely sent angel. He ambled along, trusting in the right moment, saying it as he felt it, and people got the message and loved it.

Byrne, Thomas, 1904-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/82
  • Person
  • 30 November 1904-03 August 1978

Born: 30 November 1904, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1941, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Died: 03 August 1978, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

Older brother of Patrick Byrne - RIP 1968

by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 15 August 1947-30 July 1953.
Mission Superior, Hong Kong, 09 May 1957
Father General's English Assistant (Substitute), at Rome Italy (ROM) 1962

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Thomas Byrne, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Thomas Byrne, Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits from 1957 to 1960, died in Ireland on 3 August 1978, aged 73.
Father Byrne was born in Ireland in 1904. He joined the Jesuits in 1922 and was ordained priest in 1933. In 1934, the Irish Jesuit Province lent him to Hong Kong, where he taught Philosophy (1934-1936) and Dogmatic Theology (1936-1939) at the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen. He returned to Ireland in 1939 to complete his Jesuit training.

After a period as Master of Novices, he was appointed provincial Superior of the Irish Jesuit Province.
He returned to Hong Kong as Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits in 1957. In 1960, he was summoned to Rome to be Assistant to the Jesuit Superior General (1960-1963). In his last years he was assistant priest at St. Ignatius Church, Galway, Ireland.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 August 1978

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Educated at O’Connell’s School Dublin, he Entered the Society in 1922 at Tullabeg. He obtained a BSc and MSc and then did Philosophy at Milltown Park. He then went straight from Philosophy to Theology
In 1936 he was sent to the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen as Professor of Dogmatic Theology.
In 1939 he returned to Ireland to make Tertianship and was then sent to Tullabeg to teach Philosophy.
In 1945 he was appointed Master of Novices
In 1947 he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province
In 1957 he was appointed Superior of the Hong Kong Mission

During his term as Provincial (1947-1953) he sent many Jesuits to Hong Kong, and then in 1951 he started the Irish Jesuit Mission to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). He also saw the needs in Singapore and Malaysia and sent Jesuits to work there - like Kevin O’Dwyer, who built St Ignatius Church in Singapore; Patrick McGovern who built St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, and also Liam Egan, Gerard (Geoffrey?) Murphy and Tom Fitzgerald. He opened the Novitiate in Cheung Chau in 1958, starting with 10 Novices.

In 1960 he was brought the Roman Curia as the English Assistancy Assistant to Father General, and held this role until 1965.
In 1965 he returned to Ireland and teaching Theology at Milltown Park.

He was an intellectual. His social contribution in public committees included the housing Authorities and Discharged Prisoners Society.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 4 1978

Galway
The death of Fr Thomas Byrne on August 3 came as a great shock. He became unwell after dinner on August 2. When the doctor saw him, he ordered him into hospital immediately. His heart condition worsened that evening, and he died on the morning of August 3, R.I.P. The funeral Mass was on August 5. Dr Eamonn Casey, Bishop of Galway, presided. The Provincial, Fr Patrick Doyle, the Rector and Parish Priest, Fr Robert McGoran, and Fr Bernard Murray, were the chief concelebrants. Very many members of the Province travelled to Galway to pay their last respects to Fr Byrne.
Herewith is a tribute by Fr McGoran to Fr Byrne in the September issue of the Parish Newsletter
“Hardly had we recovered from the sense of loss at the death of Fr Jack Kerr, when God took to himself a second member of our Parish team, Fr Tommy Byrne. Although Fr Byrne had had a rather severe operation last February, he appeared to be holding his own in recent months - although everyone noticed that he had slowed down a great deal. However, for a week or two before his death he was visibly failing; yet he remained faithful to his parish duties right up to the eve of his death.
During his eight years here in Galway, Fr Tommy endeared himself to all the parishioners, and many felt his death as the loss of a close friend, and one who felt for them in their cares and difficulties. He was untiring in his visitation of families and utterly devoted in ministering to the sick and the aged. He took a keen personal interest in the families entrusted to this care and had a very special way with children. He was a kindly and encouraging man and seemed able to forget his own ailments in his solicitude for other people”.

Another tribute is paid by Fr Desmond O'Loghlen in the July/August issue of the Jesuits in Zambia News. Sincere thanks to him for it.
“Fr Thomas Byrne did not spend long in Africa, only three months. Nevertheless the occasion of his death calls for grateful remembrance of his lasting contribution of the Jesuit Mission effort in Zambia, To this end we may make use of a report on the Chikuni Mission written in 1967 for the Sociological Survey of the Society. (It should be borne in mind that at that time the Lusaka Mission and the Chikuni Mission had not yet amalgamated to form the Vice Province, but were still separate, attached to the Polish and Irish Provinces respectively).
Fr Thomas Byrne Irish Provincial at the time) arrived to visit Northern Rhodesia (as it then was) in April 1952. He spent about three weeks in Africa, met the Apostolic Administrator (Very Rev Adam Kozlowiecki SJ) and the Regional Superior (Very Rev Marian Folta SJ) and saw all the Irish Jesuits in the country. Fr Byrne was the Provincial, who, in 1950, had taken the generous step of Officially pledging the Irish Province to help the Mission. On his initiative nine new members, (eight priests and one brother) joined the Mission in 1950, and eight more in 1951 (five priests, two scholastics, and one brother) and others followed yearly. From this visit of Fr. Provincial, in consultation with the Apostolic Administrator and the Regional Superior, emerged the main lines of development followed by the Irish Jesuits for the next ten years, through the establishment of the Chikuni Mission in 1956 up to the establishment of the Diocese of Monze in 1962.
Plans were made to continue the pastoral and educational work already built up around Chikuni by Frs Moreau, Zabdyr, Prokoph, and others. Three new stations had been already started at Chivuna, Kasiya, and Fumbo. Plans were also made for pastoral coverage of Mazabuka, Monze, Choma, Kalomo, with an eventual westward thrust to Namwala. Provision was made for Irish Jesuits to work in Lusaka.
Fr Byrne again visited the Mission in 1963, now as Assistant of the English Assistancy, and took deep interest and evident satisfaction in the progress of the work, which owed so much to his earlier initiative. At this time he explored views about the possible union in one Province of the Jesuit Missions in Zambia and Rhodesia. However, this project was halted by the declaration of UDI to the south of us, and subsequent developments.
In December 1969, when the Zambia Vice-Province was established, Fr Thomas Byrne was an honored guest at an informal gathering in Dublin to mark the occasion. We can trust, now that he is in Heaven, his interest and his benign influence will continue to benefit the work in Zambia. May he rest in peace”.

Obituary :

Fr Thomas Byrne (1904-1978)

On August 3rd Father Tom Byrne died at Galway, where for nearly eight years he had been engaged on Parish work. This period in Galway was the peaceful, retired conclusion to an exceptionally active, varied and front-line work as a Jesuit.
Father Tom Byrne was born at Dun Laoire on November 30th 1904. He entered Tullabeg as a novice on August 31st 1922. Having pronounced his First Vows on September 1st 1924 at Tullabeg, he passed through the rest of the scholasticate training in Ireland: from Rathfarnham he studied Science at UCD (1924-1927); 1927 to 1934 were spent studying Philosophy and Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on July 31st 1933. He completed his Tertianship at Rathfarnham: 1939-1940.
From the end of his Tertianship in 1940 to his commencement of parish work in Galway in 1970, Father Tom Byrne was a “specialist” in one form or another. He was Lecturer in Sacred Scripture and Dogma in the Regional Seminary, Hong Kong: 1934-1939. He lectured in Philosophy in Tullabeg 1941-1945; 1953-1957. He was Master of Novices in Emo for two years (1945-1947). He was Provincial in Gardiner Street from 1947 to 1953: and it was by his enterprise and decision that the “mission” in what is now part of the Vice-Province of Zambia was begun by the opening of the Irish Mission at Chikuni: eight priests and one brother reached Chikuni from Ireland in August 1950. They began at once to work in the Mission Church at Chikuni, to open “mission stations” further afield, and to staff Canisius College which rapidly developed to become a splendid Secondary School. For many years after our arrival at Chikuni there was only one other Secondary school in “Northern Rhodesia” (now Zambia): the Government Secondary school Munali in Lusaka.
Father Byrne visited us within a few years of 1950 and continued generously to send brothers, scholastics and priests, so that Ireland's commitment in what is now the Vice-Province of Zambia developed rapidly.
After his second period as Lecturer in Tullabeg - after being Provincial - (1953-1957), Father Tom Byrne went to be Superior in the Hong Kong Mission. He remained in this Office until 1960 when he went to Rome for five years as English Assistant, substituting for Father J Swain who was Vicar General (1960-1965).
Father Tom Byrne was Prefect of Studies and Spiritual Father in Milltown Park from 1965 to 1968. There followed two years in Tullabeg as Spiritual Director of the Sisters there (1968 to 1970). In 1970 he moved to take up the parish work in Galway which occupied the last eight years of his work-filled life.

One of his many admirers - Father Harold Naylor, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, writes:
“As a philosopher in Tullabeg I remember being impressed by the vigour of the religious observance of ‘Tommy’ who was then professing Psychology. He was the first at Morning Oblation at 6 am. I met him again in 1977 in Galway and found the same man I had always known, with alert mind and zealous heart. Assistant to the Parish Priest in St Ignatius, he was always ready to hear confessions and take calls at the door to help people. I noticed something else which is not common in Jesuits of over forty - he had great hope in the future of the Church and of the Society. He had well assimilated the thrust of the Second Vatican Council, and made his own the content of the last two General Congregations. He was at home in the new Church, and the modern Society and had no nostalgia for the past. He could appropriate to himself our new life style and see every advantage in it. I sometimes wondered if this was not partly due to what he taught on obedience of the intellect, and to a real self abnegation, seeing the Will of God in everything and having the real spirit of Ignatian indifference ...”
See also the special tributes included in the contributions from Galway, tributes from Galway and Zambia.

Irish Province News 54th Year No 1 1979

Galway

Fr Thomas Byrne RIP
We are greatly indebted to an unnamed contributor to the Hong kong Vice-Province Letter/August, 1978, for the following account of Fr Thomas Byrne's life. Sincere thanks to him. The account arrived too late for inclusion in the October issue of the Province News,
Fr Thomas Byrne, Superior of the Hong Kong Mission from 1957 to 1960, died on 3rd August, after a few hours of illness, aged 73. The following account of his life has been contributed by one who knew him well.
Though he is a major figure in the history of the Hong Kong Jesuits, Fr Thomas Byrne spent in all only eight years here. For information about his pre-Jesuit years, his forty-five Jesuit years in Ireland, and his three years in Rome, I have had to rely on vague memories and hearsay. Much must be left vague, and some details may be inaccurate. .
He was born on 30th November 1904, and was educated at O’Connell’s School, Dublin. In 1922, he entered the novitiate at Tullabeg, where he had as contempararies R Harris, C Daly, and G Casey. As a junior, he did a brilliant BSc. He later - during his philosophy at Milltown Park, I think tried for a travelling studentship (in Philosophy?), but was beaten, to the surprise of many, by the Clonliffe student who, as Fr. Boyland, was to leave the Dublin Archdiocese to become a Carthusian.
Mr. Tommy Byrne, already destined for a professorial chair, did no “colleges”, and went straight from philosophy to theology. He came, I think, to regret this gap in his formation, especially when appointment as a major superior made him responsible for the well being of many schools.
He was ordained priest on St Ignatius Day, 1933. In 1934, the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, found itself critically short of staff. The Irish Provincial, Fr L Kieran, lent Fr Byrne to Hong Kong, on the understanding that, when the Seminary could spare him, he should return to Ireland to do his tertianship and then settle down there as a professor, probably of philosophy. He came to Hong Kong, by ship of course, with Fr H Craig and two scholastics, F Cronin and T Sheridan, and for his first two years taught philosophy in the Seminary.
Since he had not come as a permanent member of the Mission, it was taken for granted that he should not even attempt to learn Cantonese - another gap in his formation that he was to regret in later years.
In 1936, he became professor of dogmatic theology in the Seminary. It was in that year that I first met him. I still feel gratitude for the warmth of the welcome he gave me on my arrival in Hong Kong. By then he had developed to the full his aptitude for giving lengthy analysis of any subject that might turn up - the state of the world, the calling of a bridge-hand, St Jerome’s outlook on bishops, or his own outlook on his duties as minister. This may suggest that he had turned into a bore. The suggestion is false. He was interested in your views as well as in his own, and he was unaffectedly delighted when you knocked him off his perch. This made all the difference.
He went to Ireland for tertianship in 1939, making no secret of his wish to return to Hong Kong if possible. However, when his tertianship ended, the course of World War II had made immediate return impossible. After tertianship, Fr Byrne went to Tullabeg to teach philosophy. In 1945 he was appointed Master of Novices.
He was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province in 1947. By then the world was beginning to settle down after the confusion and frustration of war and its aftermath. The time called for initiative, and Fr Byrne was ready to initiate. In the course of his provincialate the Manresa Retreat house and the Workers' College (now the College of Industrial Relations) were opened, and the Irish Province accepted a new mission in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Not since the legendary days of Fr Sturzo had any Irish Provincial added so much to the work of the province.
I myself left Ireland soon after Fr Byrne's appointment. I therefore know little about his administration or his dealings with individuals. I do remember an aged fountain of ideas. Fr R Devane,
saying rather sadly: “At last there is a Provincial who will listen to me; but I am too old now". There are rumours that scholastics were put off by Fr Byrne's highly characteristic habit of gazing into the middle distance and musing on the nature of things or giving gnomic advice. Presumably they felt inhibited from knocking him off his perch - unfortunate but inevitable.!
At the end of his term as Provincial, Fr Byrne returned to Tullabeg, and seemed likely to spend the rest of his days there. Then in 1957, to the surprise of the most highly skilled forecasters, he was appointed Superior of the Hong Kong Mission. He returned with delight; an eighteen-year-old dream had come true.
Neither Hong Kong nor Singapore was in great need of initiative. In Hong Kong, the two new Wah Yans had been built shortly before, and it would have been difficult to find staff for new works. In Singapore, the plans laid in the earlier 50s were moving towards fulfilment. In Malaysia, however, things were still tentative. The cancellation of a government invitation to undertake a major work faced the Superior with the decision: to go forward or to retreat. Fr Byrne decided to go forward. Perhaps nothing in his superiorship interested him more deeply than the problems of Petaling Jaya. A grasp of the geography of Kuala Lumpur and its environs became necessary for anyone who wanted to understand his conversation.
In Hong King, Fr Byrne’s main task was to encourage the work that was being done by individuals and institutions. For himself, he took up the work of public committees - the Housing Societry, the Discharged Prisoners Aid Society and so on. In Ricci Hall, where he lived, he quickly made many friends among the students. Equally quickly he made himself a welcome guest in all Jesuit houses. When he had to act as Superior he was unmistakably the Superior. At other times, like a famour duke, “he never remembered his rank unless you forgot it”. In spite of recurring bad health - stomach trouble and phlebitis - he enjoyed life, and he wished others to enjoy life. The brilliant frivolity of Fr J B Wood’s speech of farewell at the end of Fr Byrne’s Superiorship was a tribute to the friendliness and personal equality that he had made characteristic of his period of authority here.
He was Superior for only three years. In 1960 he was summoned to Rome as Substitute Assistant for the English Assistancy. Of what happened at that high level I know nothing except that Fr Byrne seemed to enjoy it.
He returned to Ireland after the 31st General Congregation, but his interest in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia never waned, as returning visitors from these parts will testify.
He spent his last years as curate in St. Ignatius' Church, Galway, and it was there that I last met him. He was unchanged - full of interest in the Vice-Province and better informed about it than I was - ready to speculate about the state of the world and of all things in it, and full of philosophical interest in the future of the Jesuit parish in Galway,
No hint had been received here that his health was failing. The news of his death came as a shock, and to many it meant, not “a former Superior has died”, but “a cherished friend is dead”.

Calter, John A, 1885-1946, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/84
  • Person
  • 06 May 1885-10 November 1946

Born: 06 May 1885, Newry, County Down
Entered: 20 June 1916, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1934, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 10 November 1946, Ms Shuley's Home, Dublin

Part of St Mary’s community, Emo, County Laois at the time of his death.

by 1932 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Obituary :
Fr. John Calter (1885-1916-1946)

Fr. Calter died at Miss Shuley's Home, Mount St. Crescent, Dublin, on Sunday, 10th November, at 8 a.m. Some four weeks previously he had been motored up from St. Mary's, Emo, suífering from serious asthma trouble. He appeared to be improving despite recurrent attacks, when he died very peacefully and somewhat unexpectedly. The funeral took place to Glasnevin after Office and Solemn Requiem Mass, at which Fr. Mahony, his Rector, was celebrant, on 12th November. R.I.P.
Fr. Calter was born at Newry on 6th May, 1885, and educated at the school of the Christian Brothers in the same place. Before his entrance into the Society on 20th June, 1916, he was for some fourteen years working as an accountant, first at The Newry Mineral Water Co., and later on the staff of Messrs. Knox, Cropper and Co., Chartered Accountants, Spencer House, London, E.C. After his two years' noviceship at Tullabeg he studied philosophy and theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on 31st July, 1924. From 1926 to 1931 he was master and prefect at Mungret College and in the following year did his tertianship at St. Beuno's, North Wales. He was on the teaching staff at Clongowes during the years 1933-1938, when he was transferred to Belvedere College, where he remained, as procurator, till 1944, when failing health rendered a change advisable. He was at Milltown Park for a year, and then last July was given a rest at St. Mary's, Emo.
A former fellow-novice of Fr. Calter sends us the following appreciation :
“Father John Calter was what our telescopic vocabulary calls ‘a late vocation’. I well remember the evening - it was a lovely June day's close - when he first arrived in Tullabeg. Outwardly, he was certainly the average man's idea of the religious novice, but it did not take any of us long to discover that our new Brother (the very name would have jarred upon him) was going to be ‘up against it’. He was neat, fastidious, sensitive, frail and already in his thirties, and he had set young in his ways. We were for the most part breezy, care free, jovial and hefty young men. I shall always remember his noviceship as something akin to heroism. One visualises J.A.C. in a once smart and fashionable suit of light grey cloth, now the colour of Joseph's coat and the consistency of plate-mail from many layers of paint. It was his somewhat startling manual works outfit. In it he toiled leaf-collecting on the avenue and weed hacking on the long vanished Spiritual Meadow or performed the Weekly Offices and cleaned the fowl-run with nose physical and moral slightly averted, but hands and heart steady enough. One recalls, too, a memorable July day, his first in the noviceship and one which he loved to recall to the very end, when he carried - he alleged - an endless chain of buckets filled with scalding water from Coffee-scullery to the Old Dormitory, relaxing only for one minute to sit on the bottom step of the stairs and draw breath for the climb, but to be implored by the master of the company to rouse himself, praise God and pass the ammunition. Of course it was not all toil. He spent happy hours in the Sacristy, where his great taste in decoration and an enduring capacity for putting on a good show staged floral festivals that would have delighted the kind lady who sent the December roses and early lilies he enjoyed so much.
Perhaps it is true that Superiors tested this unusual late-starter more than most. He would have been the first to admit the justification for it. But he came through, not so much with flying colours as with colours nailed to the mast, surviving gallantly a last trial, the postponement of his vows until a ruling could be obtained that the ‘New’ Code of Canon Law did not abrogate the Jesuit privileges of making swiftly a perpetual self-dedication.
Noviceship over, he did not go to the University, but embarked at once, on his priestly studies, carrying them through without the usual break in Colleges. It was again a formidable task, for he had no special scholarly taste, and though his mind was orderly and his judgement good, he was well aware, as he told me during our student days, that he could aspire to nothing more than a good standard of priestly efficiency. It requires little effort to imagine the strain nine years of unbroken student routine meant to a man who was over forty when he was ordained.
On the conclusion of his studies, he was sent before and after his tertianship to the Colleges, first to Mungret and then to Clongowes, finally to Belvedere, each time as a bursar, a post which his pre-Jesuit activities as an accountant in his native town of Newry and in London made rather obvious. In addition he taught Religious Knowledge clearly and painstakingly, and business methods with uniform and rather marked success. At Mungret, now many stages behind him, I overtook him again and found him good to live with. He was loyal to a friend, up to and perhaps beyond partisanship. I remember an occasion on which a cherished scheme seemed about to fail, and J.A.C. came to the rescue, holding, on the last night of term, an impromptu concert at which he accompanied every item on the piano and provided the hit of the night by an undignified contest in mere speed with the boy who manufactured the violin music for the Irish dancing. At this time he had a strong hold on boys, not as much perhaps through their affection, for his character made little natural appeal to them, but rather by his determination to make them do their best for their own sake. Some years ago one of his pupils described to me ruefully, but gratefully, the appalling ordeal of being coached for an ‘interview’ for a position by this master of business-methods. It included a close examination of seventeen-year-old's ill-kept nails. But he got him the job.
At Clongowes he had less to do with boys, and in Belvedere scarcely anything. It was perhaps a pity, for the conventional clerk, which was certainly part of his make-up, became more apparent. But it was a scarcely avoidable pity, for with advancing years his health failed notably. He was forced to abandon the care of the little study which he had ruled with a rod of iron (but a minimum of strap) and in which office, as I can testify, no Prefect of Studies could have had a more faithful or reliable coadjutor. Year after year he would have one, two or three bouts of bad flu, and those who for the first time saw him down with one could easily believe his half-joking and often reiterated statement that he was dying. But he kept on. Gone in the end was much of his gaiety. He had a keen sense of humour and could give the most redoubted wit a Roland for an Oliver, but he used it chiefly in defence. In the end, too, he tended to be at times and in ways more difficult to work with, a little exacting and not always consistent. He himself was naturally so orderly and accurate in figures and papers and details that he perhaps exaggerated their importance or overlooked the difficulty they present to many not trained as he was. He had a great admiration for the Brothers' vocation, which he often expressed to me, and I think the late Br. James O'Grady had more of his affection and respect than any other friend. But he easily over looked the difficulties which lack of experience in a Brother or his lay staff.could create, and like many an admirer, tended to set quite impossible standards. With all this he did loyal service, and his twenty years of hard toil and uphill fight against ill health almost continuous and finally crushing, deserve recognition.
His more intimate life as a Jesuit was not so easy to fathom. Exact, he was, devout, conventional, a zealous retreat-giver, a steady upholder of law and rule, whether it pinched or not, and there was behind all a strength of will approaching passion and a simple devotion to Our Lord and His Mother which made him, at a word from Fr. Willie Doyle, leave his worldly prospects to go to the Irish bog and take up an uncongenial life and pursue it with dogged persistence in ever deepening pain and weariness till God crowned his efforts with a swift and peaceful death. I saw little of him in his last years, for I was much away, but am glad to remember that our last contacts were two trifling points of business, in one of which he served me and in the other of which I served a friend at his request. The request reached me in a letter, written a matter of days before his death. In it he characteristically said nothing of his illness, but made a wry half jest at his retirement to country life. That was the J.A.C. with whom those who really knew him were proud to share their vocation. May he rest in peace.

Cantillon, Eric, 1924-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/769
  • Person
  • 24 September 1924-02 April 2011

Born: 24 September 1924, Cork City
Entered: 28 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 02 April 2011, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/eric-cantillon-r-i-p/

Eric Cantillon R.I.P.
Eric Cantillon SJ was 86 when he died on 2 April. He was a quiet Corkonian with the air of a countryman, loved by his parishioners in Staplestown where he has been a
curate for 32 years, happiest when he had a dog to walk with him, remembered warmly by Mungret alumni, especially the swimmers and athletes – he had trained them in Mungret and Belvedere with startling and untrumpeted success. The memory that unfailingly brought the light to his eyes was of a morning on Lough Currane when he fished the Comeragh river, swollen with fresh rain, where it enters the lake. He was held skillfully in position by boatman Jack O’Sullivan. They packed it in at lunch time with sixteen salmon in the boat – all taken on the one fly, tied by Eric. He landed every fish that rose to the fly, then gave them all away.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011

Obituary

Fr Eric Cantillon (1924-2011)

24th September 1924: Born in Cork
Early education in Lauragh Christian Brothers College, Cork
28th September 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
29th September 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1947: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1947 - 1951: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1951 - 1953: Clongowes – Teacher
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1957 - 1958: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1958 - 1964: Mungret College - Teacher and Prefect
2nd February 1959: Final Vows
1964 - 1965: Gardiner Street - Bursar
1965 - 1973: Mungret College - Teacher
1973 - 1979: Belvedere College - Teacher; Swimming Coach; Pool Supervisor
1979 - 2011: Clongowes: Parish Curate, Staplestown
1979 - 1993: Rector's Admonitor
1998 - 2011: House Consultor
2000 - 2011: Rector's Admonitor
2nd April 2011: Died at Clongowes

Eric had been showing signs of failing health for some months before being admitted to St Vincent's Private Hospital for tests on 8th March. These revealed that he was suffering from cancer of the pancreas, with secondaries. His own wish, as he put it, was for 'comfort, not intervention, and he was very anxious to come home to Clongowes, where the people among whom he had ministered for more than 30 years have some opportunity of coming to see him. Relatives, local clergy, Bishop Jim Moriarty (who had also visited him in Dublin), and his friends from the parish of Staplestown and Cooleragh came to visit him here, after his return on 19" March. Over the following fortnight his condition gradually deteriorated and he died at 9.25 on Saturday morning, 2nd April. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

Obituary by Bruce Bradley
Eric went to hospital in Dublin for tests exactly four weeks before his funeral. I met him on the stairs in Clongowes as he was preparing to travel. “I'm off on my vacation”, he said, with the hint of a twinkle in his eye, though he knew he was unwell and must have been anxious about what lay ahead. After he had returned to Clongowes on 19th March, feast of St Joseph, patron of a happy death, knowing that he had, at the very most, only months to live, he spoke of going on another journey'. On the 2nd of April, much sooner than any of us foresaw, that journey was accomplished.

His reference to another journey puts us in mind of his first journey, the journey that began 86% years ago and took him from his childhood and schooldays in Cork to the Jesuit novitiate in Emo, Co. Laois, then to studies in UCD and Tullabeg and Milltown Park, with an interval of some years spent as a teacher and prefect in Clongowes, culminating in his ordination to the priesthood on 31st July 1956, a few months short of his 32nd birthday. For some twenty years after that he worked in schools – in Mungret until shortly before its closure, then for six years in Belvedere in the middle of Dublin. It was only in 1979 that, in a certain sense, he found his true vocation by coming to the parish of Staplestown and Cooleragh. There he was able to give himself to the pastoral ministry for which he was so supremely fitted and which, as his parishioners and his fellow-priests know so well, was to prove such a wonderful success.

Eric was raised and formed in the pre-Vatican II Church. His faith was planted and nurtured in those more tranquil but also more narrow times. As a young Jesuit, he experienced a formation process in ways out of touch with real life and divorced from people's needs, something for which he had little tolerance and wasn't slow to remark on in later years. Its authoritarianism, in particular, irked him, and authority in any form never got an easy ride from Eric.

Priests formed at that time, including not a few of his fellow Jesuits, were apt to find themselves a little like beached whales when the changes of the 2nd Vatican Council burst upon a largely unsuspecting Irish Church in the 1960s, their theology and spirituality largely irrelevant, leaving them struggling to adapt or function effectively in the new and evolving environment. But not Eric. One of his most obvious characteristics was his independence and his strength of mind. He thought for himself, he was full of common sense, and he kept himself in tune and up-to-date by whatever means it took. He knew who he was and what he wanted and he was unwilling to make himself the slave of any system.

This had some inconveniences at times, if you happened to be his religious superior, but it had huge benefits – for him and for the people to whose care he gave himself so completely. The professionalism with which he equipped himself to be a pastoral priest in a country parish was a quality he had already shown in previous assignments, some of them much less congenial from his point of view. He had a natural interest in and aptitude for sport of all kinds. In Mungret, Fr Jack Kerr had built a swimming pool during Eric's time there, which Eric had helped to run. When Jack Kerr was transferred as rector to Belvedere, a swimming pool, and then Eric, soon followed.

Eric was a countryman to the core, who never lost touch with his roots. He read the Irish Field every week, keen follower of horses that he was, and the Irish Examiner, as we now call it, every day. I cannot imagine that he found living in the cramped conditions of the inner city was remotely to his taste. But he set himself to become a hugely professional and meticulous supervisor of the pool in Belvedere, which not only served a large school but also public clients to whom it was hired out. He gave the long hours and immense care this charge involved, while also engaging with and befriending the boys and their families and coaching many a successful swimming team. Subsequently, through his work with St Kevin's Athletic Club in Cooleragh, he emerged as a hugely committed and highly skilled athletics coach.

Whatever he did, he made himself master of, always quietly and without any fanfare. And he met and mastered the requirements of his pastoral care in the parish in the same way. He absorbed and applied the person-centred theology of Vatican Two in his ministry and preaching and, at an age in life when many of his contemporaries preferred to have nothing to do with such modern gadgets as a mobile phone, Eric - never off duty, even at meal-times - was inseparable from his. The only difficulty that posed was that, in his last years, his deafness meant that we all heard his phone ringing in his pocket long before he did. Then he'd be up with his big diary, entering a new appointment, always available, even in the final months of his life.

Another hallmark of Eric's approach and personality was his love of, even insistence on, privacy. He was a very private man. We in the community heard little enough about his family or his pastoral duties, although we could see his relentless devotion. We almost never heard him preach, unless he happened to be celebrating the funeral of someone connected with the college. Of his success as an athletics coach we heard nothing, and only the chance of Fr Leonard Moloney, headmaster of Belvedere in the 1990s, bumping into him at the All-Ireland Schools Athletics Championships in Tullamore alerted us to the fact that Eric was bringing his young trainees from the parish to the highest levels of competitive achievement.

One of his favourite recreations was fishing - usually indulged just once a year in the west of Ireland, in the company of his Layden cousins and other friends. As a fisherman, he was as professional as he was at everything else to which he tumed his finely tuned practical intelligence. Once again, this was something about which we rarely heard much, not even about his record-breaking catch in the mouth of the Comeragh more than 30 years ago - the astonishing grand total of 16 salmon and a sea trout on a size 7 fly, with the assistance of Jack O'Sullivan. I know even this much because Anita Layden kindly drew my attention to an entry on the internet she happened to stumble on. Exceptionally, in this instance, Eric had actually shared the story with us about a year ago. Someone had written a ballad about the exploit of the Jesuit priest', as he was called, and it was broadcast on the radio. All those years later, quite untypically, Eric actually let us hear the tape. Otherwise - and I think this applied even within his own family – he kept the different compartments of his life almost completely separate.

Eric was a wonderful priest and his great friend, who was his second parish priest in Staplestown, Fr Pat Ramsbotham, spoke eloquently about that on the occasion of his funeral. He was a priest through and through, but he never, mercifully, acquired a clerical personality. In the same way, although he was nearly 87 when he died, he never really became old. It wasn't just the colour of his hair, which doggedly refused to turn properly grey, putting some of the rest of us to shame. It was his whole attitude and demeanour. He remained interested in what was going on and interested, above all, in the lives of people. His great humanity, his shrewd wisdom, and his unselfishness drew people to him. As Frank Sammon accurately remarked, he had a tremendous feel for the life and faith of local people and local priests. His days were shaped by the day-to-day lives of the people. He shared their lives and served them in so many ways. His conversation was not about himself and he was intolerant of pomposity or self-importance in others. He was extremely disciplined.

Following his car accident a number of years ago, he was utterly faithful to the daily walk which was part of his rehabilitation. One of my favourite memories of him now is of seeing him from my window in Clongowes heading off round the track behind the castle one morning, puffing his pipe as he still did at the time, with his little black cat trotting along at a respectful distance behind him.

I should say a word about the cat. He loved wild-life and was immensely knowledgeable about it, although, needless to say, he never flaunted his knowledge. Here, and earlier in Mungret, I think, he had kept a dog. The cat in question was dumped at our door, half domesticated, about six or seven years ago. As soon as he became aware of the cat, he began to feed her. From that time forward, he almost never missed a day and, if he did, Brother Charlie Connor filled in. With his usual professionalism, he provided a judicious mixture of milk, community left-overs and carefully selected cat-food. Inevitably, the cat became Eric's cat. For a long time, she had no name but eventually Eric decided she should be called Reilly because, as he said, she had the life of Reilly. One of our colleagues on the staff, Geraldine Dillon, told me of how she had been rushing from the staff-room one day and was stopped in her tracks by seeing, through the window, Eric sitting on the bench by the castle door, quite still and looking down the avenue. “His cat”, as she said, “was on the bench too, sitting up straight and facing the same direction”. “Apart and close”, as she said.

“Apart and close”. Perhaps that gets something profoundly true about Eric. He was a man apart in ways, partly reflecting the instinct for privacy I mentioned, partly reflecting how unusual and un-stereotyped he was, partly reflecting his priesthood itself. But he was also close to people, as the grief and bewilderment his death, even in his ninth decade, has caused among so many clearly shows. His humanity flowed out in his relationship with people. He had a particular gift for relating to the young, because of his interest in them, the range of his own interests, and the absence of all pomp and ceremony. He didn't waste words. As the old dictum says, he didn't speak if he couldn't improve the silence.

In his room after his death was a small pile of Mother's Day cards, bought for him at his request by Charlie Connor, which he was still hoping to send in the final days of his life. Perhaps the mothers for whom they were intended know who they are and will take them as sent.

They have better than Mother's Day wishes from Eric now.

I think everyone knew he wanted to die in his community in Clongowes and not in “that Cherryfield”, as he was once heard to say, fearing that he would have been too far away from his own people. Just a month before he died, showing clear signs of illness and finally acknowledging them himself, he went to St Vincent's Hospital for tests, which quickly showed that he had advanced cancer. He returned home ten days later and it became increasingly obvious that he had weeks rather than months to live. He said quite clearly on more than one occasion that he had had a good life and believed in the life to come. And so he prepared to embark on that 'other journey' to which I referred at the start.

In his last days, he was unfailingly gentle and grateful to the nurses and members of the Clongowes house-staff who cared for him with so much love and tenderness. He was especially grateful to his great friend in the community, Charlie Connor, who lived in the room beside him and took increasing care of him as the end grew near. The end came quickly. Only hours earlier, he had been looking forward to the Munster Leinster match, for which we had installed a television set in his room. He didn't get to watch television but, as Fr Dermot Murray suggested, he had by then acquired a better seat, May he rest in peace.

Carlin, Joseph M, 1915-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/480
  • Person
  • 11 December 1915-13 July 1988

Born: 11 December 1915, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1950, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 13 July 1988, St Francis, Cape Girardeau MO, USA - St John’s Parish, Leopold MO, USA

by 1962 at St Francis Xavier Phoenix AZ, USA (CAL) working
by 1965 at Brophy Prep, Phoenix AZ, USA (CAL) working
by 1968 at Our Lady of Guadaloupe, San Antonio TX, USA (NOR) working
by 1971 at Catholic Charities, Fort Worth TX, USA (NOR) working
by 1974 at New Orleans LA, USA (NEB) working
by 1975 at Tulsa OK (MIS) hospital chaplain
by 1977 at Aguilar CO, USA (MIS) working
by 1982 at Mountain Grove MO (MIS) working
by 1985 at Verona MS, USA (MIS) working
by 1987 at Leopold MO, USA (MIS) working

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 4 1988 (Final Edition)

Obituary

Fr Joseph Mario Carlin (1915-1933-1988)

11th December 1915: born in Dún Laoghaire (then called Kingstown). 7th September 1933: entered SJ. 1933-35 Emo, noviciate. 1935-38 Rathfarnham, juniorate (1938: BA). 1938-41 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1941-44 regency (teaching, direction of choir): 1941-42 Belvedere, 1942-43 Mungret. 1943-44 Clongowes. 1944-48 Milltown, theology (30th June 1947: ordained a priest). 1948-49 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1949-59 Belvedere: 1949-52 teaching, direction of the choir (1957-59; also teach ing). 1952-59 editing and writing: 1952-53 assistant editor of Madonna and Messenger (then published from Belvedere). 1953-59 editor of Jesuit Year Book, which name he substituted for the older one used till 1954, Irish Jesuit Directory. 1956-59 he also edited The Sheaf, the organ of St. Joseph's Young Priests Society. (In a later summary of his career during the period 1953-59 he characterised himself as “editor, writer, newspaper columnist”.)
On 24th November 1959 Fr Carlin left Ireland to take up parish work in the Californian Province (IPN, January 1960), So began a career which was to span three American Jesuit provinces.
1959-67 California: St Francis Xavier parish, Phoenix, Arizona, assistant pastor. 1959-62 also athletic director and counsellor at the parochial grammar school. 1962-66 director of Youth office of Catholic Charities of Arizona and chaplain to the Maricopa county juvenile detention home, Phoenix.
1967-74 New Orleans: 1966-67 Our Lady of Guadalupe church, San Antonio, Texas, assistant pastor. 1967-69 Graduate studies, School of Social Work, University of Texas, Austin, Texas (1970: MSc in social work) and chaplain to Brown school for emotionally-disturbed children. 1969-73 Fort Worth: 1969 (half-year) social worker in Family Services; 1969-71 director of youth department at Catholic Charities; 1971-73 director of Catholic Social Service. 1973-74 (on a semi-sabbatical) assistant to Catholic Charities, Austin.
1974-88 Missouri: 1974-6 St Francis hospital, Tulsa, Oklahoma, chaplain. 1976-81 St Anthony Church, Aguilar, Colorado, pastor. 1981-82 Sacred Heart church, Mountain Grove, Missouri, pastor. (His few remaining assignments were also in Missouri state.) 1982-83 Mercy Villa, East Montclair, Springfield, chaplain, 1983-84 St John Vianney parish, Mountain View, associate pastor. 1984-86 Sacred Heart, Verona, administrator. 1986-88 St John's, Leopold, pastor.
13th July 1988; died in St Francis Medical Centre, Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Fr Luke J. Byrne SJ, pastoral assistant to the Missouri Provincial, in summer 1980 received from Joe a résumé of his curriculum vitae. To this Joe had appended a short self-assessment, the only one available to the present writer:
Present (1980) skills, capacity, and preferences :
1) Hospital chaplaincy in busy live-in hospital. Social Work degree and experience might be acceptable in lieu of chaplaincy certification.
2) Pastoral work, preferably in a one priest parish. Location is not important but distance from Aguilar, Colorado, might be, to avoid any kind of continuing “entanglement”.
In the next year Fr Byrne forwarded the résumé to the bishop of Springfield - Cape Girardeau, M R Bernard Law (who since became archbishop of Boston and a cardinal), with the qualification that Joe “presently” (1981) wanted the one-priest parish and not the hospital. “His doctor thinks the lower altitude of the Middle West will be favourable toward his high blood pressure problem which he treats with medication”.

At the hospital where Fr Carlin died, the chaplain and Director of Pastoral Care was Mr Arthur Kelley, a Catholic layman. In a long letter addressed to one of Joe's three sisters last August, he wrote:
It was as chaplain here at the hospital that I first met my dear friend Fr Joseph Carlin, SJ, Needless to say, with a name like Kelley we got along famously. He was always a refreshing interlude in my day. I treasured the sweetness of his wit and his genuine sense of spirituality.
Whenever he was hospitalised I saw to it that he received the Sacrament of the sick and daily Eucharist. Though his hospitalisations were usually minor problems they seemed to be spaced at steady, predictable intervals, and may have been indicators that his general health was declining. However, he was not one to complain. Since we are the only Catholic hospital in the area, we were assured of a steady customer in Joseph, who except for his last admission always felt satisfied.
Forgive me if I seem frivolous, but I can almost sense him peering over my shoulder, chiding me about being too somber and urging me to treat his obituary with levity. Joseph loved to laugh - and we had many together,
Fr Carlin's death may have seemed sudden, but I can't say it was totally unexpected either by him or by me. As I said, I felt his health had been declining for some time. Still he clung tenaciously to his parish ministry. Truly, he was a priest forever ......'
After describing the progressive deterioration of Fr Carlin's condition, Chaplain Kelley wrote that in all probability his death resulted from a clot, with other conditions as complicating factors. His death was pain-free: for his last two or three days he was not conscious or responsive, therefore could communicate nothing. From the time that his condition began to deteriorate, the bishop kept in touch by phone, as did Joe's Jesuit confrères in St Louis. Since I (Chaplain Kelley) was the only one who was here consistently, I kept them informed of everything.
Fr Carlin's funeral Mass was absolutely beautiful. The bishop's homily was superb and the church was packed. The choir was truly heavenly. He would have loved it. They laid him to rest under the trees in a quiet country cemetery near the church with some thirty priests in attendance. It was a fine send-off.

Dorothy Holzum Arnzen, PhD, composed a poem in Fr Carlin's memory and offered it to the Missouri Provincial. In her accompanying letter she wrote: ‘I was privileged to know him as our pastor at Leopold, Missouri. A few days before he left for the hospital, Fr Carlin spoke to me of the deep affection that he had for the Jesuit community. If you wish to publish the poem in your Jesuit bulletin, I would consider it an honor: but whether you wish to publish it or not, I wanted to share with you in a small way the respect and regard that we had for Fr Carlin :

In memory of Father Carlin, SJ
by Dorothy Holzum Arnzen
Some said we needed a younger man
Not such an aging one:
A priest that wouldn't move so slow
And be able to get things done.

But in the midst of all of us
He moved with tranquil grace,
With kindly ways and manners
And a smiling Irish face.

He touched the sick and dying
In a very special way,
And to the soul that longed for peace
He knew just what to say.

He could speak an innate gentleness
That was for him a part
He reached out with loving kindness
And touched our parish heart.

He came to be our Pastor
When his race was almost won,
But before he reached eternity
The important things were done.

For the above poem and most of the above information, thanks are due to Mrs Nancy Merz, Associate Archivist at the Jesuit Missouri Province Archives, St Louis, USA

Carroll, Denis, 1920-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/644
  • Person
  • 18 January 1920-29 October 1992

Born: 18 January 1920, Geashill, Walsh Island, County Offaly
Entered: 22 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, St Ignatiuis, Lusaka, Zambia
Died: 29 October 1992, Kizito Pastoral Centry, Monze, Zambia - Zambiae Province

Part of the Mukasa Secondary School, Choma, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

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

Younger brother of John Carroll - RIP 1957

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Denis Carroll, known to his colleagues as "Dinny", was born in Offaly, Ireland in 1920, into a large family of farming stock, with strong religious traditions. These traditions were far more prominent during his life than his agricultural background, though at one stage he took charge of the school garden in Mukasa. Five of his sisters entered religious life and his brother, John, was a Jesuit on the Hong Kong Mission.

After his schooling at Mungret College, he entered the novitiate at Emo in 1937 and went through the normal training, being ordained a priest in 1950. Two years later he came to Zambia and went almost immediately to the eastern province to learn ciNyanja at which he became quite proficient.

Dinny's life can be divided into two distinct ministries: the apostolate of the school and the apostolate of the parish, the latter being determined to a large extent by his proficiency in ciNyanja. He served in many parishes along the line of rail in the Monze diocese. He started his parish work, however, in Regiment parish in Lusaka around 1953. He came to Chikuni in 1956 as Rector of the community, teaching and supplying at Mazabuka, Choma and Kalomo. A bout of sickness took him to Ireland for two years and when he returned he was posted to Choma parish in 1962. Mazabuka and the Sugar Estate saw him from 1968 to 1975.

One would never have classed Dinny as a well organised person whose program of work was drawn up with meticulous care. Yet despite his fluid approach, one thing was uppermost in his mind while he worked in the parishes: the administration of the sacraments. He made them available to his parishioners and was always willing to administer them. He was conservative in his theology and never liked the phrase "the people of God". His vision of God's people was as a Sacramental People, a Eucharistic People. He saw the Eucharist as the centre of Catholic parish life. He himself had a very deep faith and reverence for the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

He tried to serve the people as he found them, offering liturgies in different languages. He preached strongly and upheld the sanctity and sacramentality of Catholic marriage. In his parish work he believed in family-by-family visitation. In that way he got to know his parishioners, both adults and youth. At a later stage, many would consult him on their marriages and the advice he freely gave was, solely and loyally, from the Catholic point of view. He worked with the St. Vincent de Paul Society and engaged the services of some of his adult parishioners in the teaching of catechism to the youth.

While his move from parish work to school work in the mid seventies was partly necessitated by considerations of health, (his arthritis was making constant physical movement around the parish more and more difficult for him) nevertheless he had a firm conviction of the value of Catholic education. He decried the closure of Jesuit schools here and there, and he saw the practice of superiors of allowing young Jesuits to choose apostolates other than teaching as abdicating responsibility for the Catholic educational apostolate. For 17 years he liked teaching and was not happy at the thought of possibly having to give it up because of failing health. The Lord read his mind and Dinny taught right up to three days before his death. He was a fine teacher, attaining excellent results in all his subjects, English and English Literature, History and even ciNyanja. He understood the youth and had good rapport with them. From time to time the unwise and misguided behavioru of boys would depress him, but by and large he had the understanding and patience to accept such conduct in its own context. He took it for granted and did not judge them harshly. He often acted as mediator between them and the administration, thus earning for himself the title of "Peacemaker" while, at the same time, he would never compromise the Headmaster, his fellow members of staff nor the aims of Mukasa Seminary. At his funeral Mass, at least five of the concelebrants were Zambian priests who had been past pupils of his.

As a religious and Jesuit, Denis Carroll was a man of prayer and deep faith with a personal closeness to Christ in the Eucharist. He was loyal to the Society and interested in its growth and its apostolates. He was worried about how devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus seemed to have taken a less prominent place in the life of the Society. He felt that it should be more actively promoted and practiced by all.

Though failing in strength little by little, his death was sudden and very simple. He had gone to St. Kizito's Pastoral Centre for ten days rest as ordered by the doctor. While waiting for supper on the second day there, the Lord called him home to his reward on 29th November 1992.

"Criost an Siol" was an Irish religious phrase frequently on his lips. It means "Christ of the Sowing" and they are the first words of a beautiful poem and Eucharistic hymn which talks about Christ sowing and reaping and bringing us from death to new life. In a way, it sums up Dinny's life of faith and the work Christ did through him even though at times he might have uttered them in order to express mild exasperation.

Carroll, James, 1934-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/645
  • Person
  • 12 February 1934-02 May 2006

Born: 12 February 1934, Caherconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 06 September 1952, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1966, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1971, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 02 May 2006, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 15 August 1971

by 1961 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Big Jim, as he was often referred to, grew up in Limerick Ireland and was of farming stock. He attended the Jesuit Crescent College in Limerick and entered the Society at the end of his secondary school. At school, he was a fine rugby player and would have gone far in that field if he had not entered the Society. After novitiate, he attended the university for his B.A. and went to Tullabeg outside Tullamore for philosophy.

Then he headed for the then Northern Rhodesia to Chikuni where he remained from 1960 to 1963. Here he learned ciTonga, the local language, taught in Canisius Secondary School along with performing the other duties which a scholastic in regency normally does. He returned to Ireland to Milltown Park for theology where he was ordained on 28th July

  1. On completion of tertianship, he returned to Zambia.

Jim was both able and adaptable. When he returned to Chikuni, he became Minister of the house and assistant parish priest. In 1969, he became rector and taught in Canisius again for six years. He then moved to the parish for five years as parish priest. He went to Monze as secretary to the Bishop, Rt Rev James Corboy S.J. in 1981. This he did for seven years and then became director of building for the diocese. This entailed buying supplies, supervising building, carpentry, electrical work and plumbing. He added wings to Monze hospital and built a chapel there. Outstations benefited from his ability with the building of schools and churches. A special building dear to his heart was the school for the handicapped, St Mulumba, in Choma. His interest in these handicapped children never waned and varied from helping to send a few of them to the USA for the Special Olympics (where some medals were won) to sending money on the 21st birthday of the school so that the children could have a treat.

Heart trouble brought him back to Ireland for two years from 1991 to 1993, where he did some pastoral work in his beloved Limerick. With improved health, he returned to Zambia, this time to a rural area, Chilalantambo, a one-man station on the road from Choma to Namwala.

Jim loved the place and the people. He extended an awning from the veranda of the house and here he met, talked to, chatted with, debated local affairs with the people from all walks of life, including Chief Mapanza himself who lived quite near. Coming from a farming family, he gardened and planted trees in all the places he lived. He helped the farmers around Chilalantambo, buying their maize and selling it in Choma to the Indian traders, bringing back seed and fertiliser for them. He organised schemes for the women for food production. His advice, usually good, was sought for and listened to.

On weekends, Jim would head out to an outstation to celebrate Mass for the people. Confessions, baptisms, church council meetings were all part of the Sunday supply work.

Being of a practical turn of mind, he had a no-nonsense approach to life and its problems and could be quite critical of the institutional Church for its failure to allow and encourage lay participation in the running of the Church. This, combined with his placid and unruffled disposition, did not endear him to everyone. In fact, some found him difficult to understand. He was a good cook and when you went to visit him at Chilalantambo, you were sure of a tasty meal.

After five years in Chilalantambo, he went to Ireland on leave but his health prevented him from returning. That was a sad day for him, for his heart was in Zambia. That was in 1998. He was posted to Gardiner Street, Dublin, where he joined the church team. He never complained about his ill health but would say with a grin, "Looking after your health is a full time job"!

His end was a no-fuss one. He was in bed in hospital and was talking to his sister, a nun, about the possibility of moving out of the hospital when he turned over in the bed and died. He loved Scripture and spent some time in Jerusalem during a mini-sabbatical which consolidated that love.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll.

Note from Bill Lane Entry
On Friday, 9 January 1998, Bill was on his way to Chilalantambo with Fr Jim Carroll to give some Scripture talks to the parishioners. As they drove on that bumpy road, Bill suddenly stopped talking. Fr Jim was shocked to find that Bill was dead beside him. There seems to have been no intervening period of sickness or pain. His departure was, as he had wished, ‘quickly and without fuss’.

Note from Joe McCarthy Entry
Jim Carroll was with him for his last four hours of life. When taking his leave of Jim in his final moments, Joe revealed so much of himself in his final words: ‘I think you should leave me here, old chap; there are certain formalities to be undergone from here on’! Within minutes Joe had died

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
Br Sherry's passing was sudden. On Friday ‘Sher’ (as he was known to his friends) stayed in bed for the greater part of the day. He came to meals and evening prayer. The following morning saw him as usual at the early Mass. At about 1300 hours on Saturday he phoned the Sisters in the hospital. The Sisters and doctor came over. The crisis came at about 22.50 when Sher struggled to the door of Fr Jim Carroll’s room to say that he could not breathe. Sr Grainne arrived and started cardiac massage. But the Lord had called Sher to himself.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

Fr James (Jim) Carroll (1909-2005) : Zambia-Malawi Province

12th February, 1934: Born in Limerick, Ireland
6th September, 1952: Entered in Emo Park, Co. Leix, Ireland
1960 - 1963: Chikuni, Canisius, teaching, regency
28th July, 1966: Ordained in Milltown Park, Dublin
1968 - 1969: Chikuni, Canisius, minister, asst. parish priest
1969 - 1975: Chikuni, Canisius, rector
15th August, 1971: Final Vows in Chikuni
1976 - 1981: Chikuni, Chikuni parish, parish priest
1981 - 1988: Monze, secretary to the Bishop of Monze
1988 - 1991: Monze director of building for the diocese
1991 - 1993: Limerick, pastoral work
1993 - 1998: Chilalantambo, parish priest
1998 - 2000: Ireland, recovering health
2000 - 2006: Dublin, Gardiner Street, assisting in Church
2nd May, 2006: Died in Dublin

Paul Brassil writes:
The death of Fr. James Carroll has come as a shock to all who knew him. The major part of his life was lived out in Zambia where he served from 1960 until 1998. During that time he held inany posts of responsibility in various fields, as well as being a Consultor for both the Province and for the Diocese, a tribute to his ability and adaptability.

There is no doubt that his farming background played a big part in shaping his outlook and apostolate. He was always observant of the natural order, and had a sympathy for those who worked the land. In his pastoral ministry he set an example by planting trees and orchards and getting vegetable gardens under way as soon as he moved into a new parish. For the local farmers he helped organise the provision of ploughs, seeds and fertifiser and assisted them in the marketing of their crops. In this he was very much a faithful follower of Fr. Joseph Moreau the founder of Chikuni Mission back in 1905. Inevitably Fr. Carroll was involved in fighting drought and famine which recurred with dreadful frequency.

Towards the end of his studies in Milltown, consideration was given to sending him on for further studies in Moral/Canon Law. But the need for men back on the mission in Zambia prevailed. With hindsight this was a pity because his practical and down to earth approach to life could have tempered the academic approach more usual in those areas of specialisation.

His talents as organiser were called on to guide the building programme of the Diocese of Monze. In the course of his time in charge of that programme he was responsible for building hospital wards, churches, schools, houses and third level institutions. This meant having three separate teams of builders, carpenters, electricians and drivers. It meant buying, transporting, storing and distributing all necessary supplies. At certain times there were severe shortages due to political instability caused by the war in neighbouring Zimbabwe and the cutting of economic ties with South Africa. In overcoming these difficulties Jim showed great ingenuity.

Among his special interests was St. Mulumba's School for the Handicapped, where he collaborated with Sr. Phillippe in building and supporting various initiatives. It was in connection with St.Mulumba's that he was involved in the Special Olympics. This work was dear to his heart. He was also concerned with the Aids epidemic.

In his pastoral work, especially during his time at Chilala Ntambo, he had warm relations with the local Anglican community, both clergy and laity. At his house the Chief, Chief Mapanza, and other Government officials, could be found enjoying his hospitality and discussing local matters. His voice on these matters was listened to because of his obvious concern for the people. Despite his own poor health, endured for many years, he travelled extensively and regularly on bad roads to bring Mass and services to the far flung out stations of the parish. Jim mixed easily with the people; his fluency in the language greatly helped, as well as his empathy for their rural way of life.

In the course of his missionary life Jim was very interested in the promotion and formation of both diocesan clergy and religious life candidates. Many young seminarians spent extended time with him, getting to know pastoral methods, and learning at first hand parish work. He was very encouraging to the religious Sisters with whom he worked, sympathetic to their efforts and supporting them as best he could

As a young man, Jim was an outstanding rugby player and was considered a loss to Irish Rugby on his entry to the Society of Jesus. He was very athletic, and had a great interest in all kinds of sport. He certainly was a skilled hurler and rode the few horses that came our way bareback. He played many a round of golf and enjoyed the game. He walked the Dublin and Wicklow Hills with verve and energy throughout his time as a student in Rathfarnham and Milltown. He always retained an interest in the horses, and had the occasional flutter. On more than one occasion he mentioned that as a boy he had exercised the greyhounds for his father, In truth he was a real Limerick man in his interests and his skills.

Jim loved a good meal and was no mean cook himself. But for the most part he lived a life of frugality and simplicity especially during the years he spent alone in Chilala Ntambo. This was certainly true during times of famine, when all his available resources were employed for the alleviation of hunger in the area. It speaks volumes for Jim that he found willing allies among the Indian traders in his relief efforts, just another example of his ability to relate well with so many different people.

One special interest that grew with the years was his interest in Scripture. He had the opportunity during his brief stay in Ireland to give a number of retreats to laity and found this work very much to his taste. The role of the laity, as proposed by the Second Vatican Council, was vital for the future of the Church in his opinion. In fact, he was very critical of the institutional Church for its failure to allow and encourage lay participation in the running of the Church.

During a mini-sabbatical he spent some three months in Jerusalem at the Biblicum. This was very special for him; it gave him an abiding interest in the Scriptures and in the Holy Land, which he used with good effect in the various retreats he directed.

It has been a privilege and a blessing for me to have known Jim and experienced his support and kindness. I can only guess at the loss that his family are enduring. For Jim, his family meant so much. He followed their careers with intense interest, especially those of the next generation, and was proud of their achievements. He found in them a source of pride, support and love. May he rest in peace.

Carroll, John, 1911-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/87
  • Person
  • 02 April 1911-20 January 1957

Born: 02 April 1911, Geashill, Walsh Island, County Offaly
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 06 January 1945, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 20 January 1957, Mater Hospital, Vulture Street, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Part of the Manresa, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia and Wah Yan, Hong Kong communities at the time of death

Older brother of Denis Carroll - RIP 1992

by 1939 at Loyola Hong Kong - studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was one of twelve children, eight of whom entered Religion, and a brother of his Denis also became a Jesuit and worked in Zambia (RIP 1992).
His early education was at Mungret College, and he was one of 32 Novices who entered St Mary’s, Emo in 1930.
1932-1935 After First Vows he went to Rathfarnham Castle Dublin, and studied at University College Dublin, where he graduated BA in English and History.
1935-1938 He was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg for Philosophy
1938-1941 He was went for Regency to Hong Kong, including language school at Cheung Chau and teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong. he found the Cantonese dialect very difficult, and yet while there he also edited the Wah Yan College Annual “The Star”.
1941-1945 As it was impossible to return to Europe for Theology, he and three other Scholastics were sent to Australia for these studies. he enjoyed his time there and the Australian Jesuits found him pleasant company. While waiting for Theology to began he taught for a bit at St Ignatius College Riverview.
1946-1947 He went to Ireland and Rathfarnham Castle to make Tertianship
1947-1956 He returned to Hong Kong and Wah Yan, where he was assistant Prefect of Studies, and went back to editing “The Star”. he was appointed Vice-Rector in 1951, and Rector a year later in 1952, and was also prefect of Studies. He managed all these tasks very efficiently, even though he was never of robust health. One of his achievements also was the planning of the new Wah Yan College, on Queen’s Road East. By 1955 he was no longer capable of heavy work, and in 1956 underwent a serious operation for intestinal cancer, he suffered many months of pain after this, and he bore it with great fortitude.
1956 By June of this year he had recovered sufficiently to fly to Brisbane for a period of convalescence. By November his condition had worsened, and he required another operation, but died in January 1957

His death at the Mater Hospital Brisbane at an early age, deprived the Hong Kong Mission of a most esteemed and valuable member. He had a deep interest in educational matters, and his thorough understanding of the Hong Kong educational system had established him as a very well informed representative and spokesman of Catholic Schools in Hong Long and their dealings with the government there.

He was a tall man, with a stately and almost stiff bearing and a habitual serious expression. He was a spiritual man and an observant religious, good at English literature and the craft of elaborate lettering of manuscripts, and the poignant epigram. He was meticulous, some would say excessive in the preparation of his classes. he was a hard worker and efficient administrator, strict on himself and a stern judge of those who did not measure up to his own high standards. At time he could appear to be stiff and unbending, but he had a good sense of humour and was able to laugh at himself. Towards his students he was uniformly kind though reserved, and this, combined with his unceasing devotion to duty, made them esteem him highly.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Fr. John Carroll, S.J.
Former Rector of Wah Yan College

News has been received of the death of Rev. John Carroll, S.J., who was Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from 1951-1956. It took place in Brisbane, Australia, where he had gone for convalescence after a serious operation at the beginning of last year.

Fr. Carroll, who was forty-six years of age, was born in Leix, in Ireland. He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, and entered the Society of Jesus in 1930. he continued his studies in the National University of Ireland, where he took the B.A. degree and Higher Diploma of Education.

He came to Hong Kong in 1938, and after two years of Chinese studies was assigned to Wah Yan College, where he taught literature and history and was editor of the college magazine “The Star.” He then went to Australia to study theology, and was ordained by Archbishop (now Cardinal) Gilroy in 1945. At the close of the war he went to Europe and then returned to Hong Kong in 1947.

All the succeeding years were spent in Wah Yan College. After a period of teaching he was appointed Prefect of Studies in 1949, and then Rector. He supervised the building of the new college in Queen’s Road, East, and presided at its inauguration in September, 1955. A few months later his health broke down and he bore a long illness with great fortitude.

Fr. Carroll’s death is a considerable loss to education in Hong Kong. He had conspicuous literary and artistic ability, but the interests of his later years were wholly directed to education. He kept himself well informed on educational developments in many countries and his only regret at his loss of health was that he was unable to put into practice the many plans that he had in mind for the development of the school. He was a member of the Grant Schools Council and of the Board of Control of the Hong Kong School Certificate Examination Syndicate. He was also a member of the Court of the Hong Kong University.
Sunday Examiner, Hong Kong - 25 January 1957

Requiem Mass for Former Wah Yan College Rector

Large Numbers of priests, religious and lay people including some eight hundred pupils and Old Boys of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, attended the Solemn Requiem Mass last Wednesday at St. Margaret’s Church, Happy Valley, for the repose of the soul of Father John Carroll, S.J., former Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong.

His Lordship Bishop Lawrence Bianchi presided at the Mass and gave the Absolution. The present rector of Wah Yan College, Father Cyril Barrett, S.J., was the celebrant. He was assisted by Father Charles Daly, S.J., and Father Kevin O’Dwyer, S.J.

Father Carroll who died on January 20 in Brisbane, Australia, was Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from 1951 to 1956 when he went to Brisbane for convalescence after a serious operation earlier that year. He was 46 years of age and was born in Leix, Ireland, Educated at Mungret College, Limerick, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1930.
Sunday Examiner, Hong Kong - 1 February 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 came from a large family in Geashill, Walsh Island, County Offaly, 8 of whom entered religious life.
His early education was at Mungret Cllege SJ before he joined the Society of Jesus in 1930.

1938 He was sent to Hong Kong
1941 he was sent to Canisius College Pymble Australia during the war for Theology, and was Ordained there in 1945.
1946 He returned to Ireland to make Tertianship

By September 1955 his dream of the construction of the new Wah Yan College was completed. His health was poor and so he died in 1957.
He was the “architect” on the Wah Yan College, Queen’s Road East campus, Prefect of Studies and then Rector of Wah Yan Hong Kong. Schoolwork was his life, and he gave his classes not mere instruction, but affection and respect. he prepared his classes with as much care as if he had to face a group of post-graduate university students. Although ruthless on himself, it pained him to be hard on students.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Frs. John Carroll, Kevin O'Dwyer and Cyril Peyton, of the Hong Kong Mission, who completed their theology at Pymble recently, left, Sydney on December 9th on the Aquitania for England via the Cape. They hope to be home by the end of January. They are accompanied by Fr. Vincent Conway, an old Mungret boy, member of the Vice Province. All four will make their tertianship in Rathfarnham next autumn.

Fr. John Carroll, on the Aquitania, 13-12-45 :
“We left Sydney on time, at 8 am, on Monday 10th, and expect to be in England by the middle of January. Rumour says Southampton about January 12th. We are travelling as a military transport with some 200 civilian passengers. The total number of persons is said to be 4,700. It is therefore far from being a pleasure cruise, but the food is good and the ship so far is riding beautifully. There is a nice altar specially reserved for Catholics in a curtained recess in the library, and we have the place to ourselves from 6.45 to 7.45. The official chaplain, Church of England, claims the half hour from 8 to 8.30. There are two other priests on board, one of them Fr. Frank Bouchier who was at Mungret with me”.

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 2 1957
Obituary :
Fr John Carroll (1911-1957)
The death of Fr, John Carroll in the Mater Hospital, Brisbane, Australia on the 20th. January last, at the early age of 46, deprived the Hong Kong Mission of one of its most esteemed and valuable members. For Fr. Carroll by his deep interest in educational matters, and his thorough understanding of the Hong Kong educational system, had established himself as the best informed representative and spokesman of the Catholic schools in Hong Kong in all their dealings with the Government. The numerous messages of sympathy which the Superior of Missions (Fr. Harris) received after his death from the principals of the Catholic schools bore eloquent testimony to how deeply they appreciated his advice and assistance, and regretted his untimely death.
Fr. John Carroll was born on the 2nd April, 1911 in Walsh Island, Geashill, Offaly. He was one of twelve children, eight of whom entered religion. He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, from which he entered the Society on the 3rd September, 1930, being one of the thirty-two first-year novices who began their life in the Society in Emo Park the year that house was established as the Novitiate. In September, 1932, Fr. Carroll went to Rathfarnham Castle for his Juniorate studies, and in 1935 obtained his B.A. degree in English and History. During the following three years, he studied Philosophy in Tullabeg, and in 1938 was assigned to the Hong Kong Mission, where he arrived in the autumn of that year, and proceeded to the Language school, Loyola, Taai Lam Chung, For two years he applied himself most diligently and conscientiously to the study of the language, but in his case, it was very much like watering the dry stick. He had no special gift for languages, especially for Cantonese, and it was with no little relief that in 1940 he passed on to Wah Yan College, then situated in Robinson Road. It was soon clear that teaching and college work generally, were his true vocation in the Society, and though he spent only one year as a scholastic at this work, he proved an excellent teacher from the very beginning. Another task with which he was entrusted that year, and which he found most congenial as it gave scope for his artistic gifts was the production of the College annual, The Star. As it was impossible in July, 1941 to return to Ireland for Theology owing to the war, Fr. Carroll went with three other scholastics to the theologate of the Australian Vice-Province (as it was then) at Pymble, Sydney. His four years there were very happy ones. In later years, he often spoke of them with lively pleasure. His stay in Australia left him with pleasant memories not only of the great kindness which he received from his Australian brethren of the Society, but also of the reunion with many of his brothers and sisters who were already living there. As the scholastic year in Australia does not begin until February, Fr. Carroll spent several months before he began Theology teaching in St. Ignatius College, Riverview. He was ordained priest on 6th January, 1945, an appropriate date for a member of such a large missionary family.
In 1946 he went to Ireland for Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle, and the following year, 1947, he returned by plane to Hong Kong and by September, he was back at his teaching post in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. In rapid succession, he was appointed Assistant Prefect of Studies, Prefect of Studies, Vice-Rector, and finally Rector of the school in 1952. All these tasks he carried out capably and efficiently, in spite of health which was never very robust. His great achievement during his term as Rector, was the planning and building of the new Wah Yan College on Queen's Road East. When that great task was completed, in September, 1955, and Fr. Carroll had the happiness of seeing his dream become a reality, his term of life was drawing to a close, though it was not fully realised then, In the final months of 1955, he was not capable of any heavy work, and in January, 1956 underwent a grave operation for cancer of the intestines. Many months of pain, discomfort, and suffering followed, which he bore with great serenity and fortitude. By June, 1956, he had recovered sufficiently to be able to travel by plane to Brisbane, Australia for convalescence. He was most hospitably welcomed there by the Jesuit community, and it was hoped that during his stay with them, he could help in the parish work. However he grew worse in November, and had to enter the Mater Hospital, where his sister is a nun. Another operation in December brought no relief and after several weeks of intense suffering, he died on 20th January, 1957, a fortnight after the twelfth anniversary of his ordination.
Fr. Carroll was a deeply spiritual man, and a most observant religious, His onerous duties as Prefect of Studies, or Rector of Wah Yan College were never permitted to make any inroads on the time assigned to spiritual duties which he performed most faithfully. He had a very deep love of the Society, and consequently was visibly hurt whenever a word or action on the part of another fell short of the ideals which he felt every Jesuit should live up to. As a Rector he insisted on a high standard of observance, and this taken together with his natural shyness, made him appear stiff and unbending. He had, however, a highly developed sense of humour, and was always ready to laugh at himself. Towards the boys he was uniformly kind though reserved, and it was these qualities, coupled with his unceasing devotion to duty which made them esteem him so highly. It was when he became seriously ill, that the extent of that esteem appeared most, and his death was mourned by both past and present students as that of a true friend. In St. Margaret's Church, within sight of the beautiful school for which he laboured so much and in the presence of the Bishop and a large number of the clergy of the city, and nearly a thousand of our boys, Catholic and pagan, a Solemn Requiem Mass was offered for his soul.
To his brother, Fr. Denis Carroll, Rector of Chikuni College, we offer deepest sympathy. May Fr. John rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Carroll SJ 1911-1957
Fr John Carroll was one of twelve children, eight of whom entered religion. Born at Geashill in 1911, he was educated at Mungret whence he entered the Society in 1930.

To his great delight, he was assigned to our Chinese Mission in 1938. Owing to the outbreak of the World War, he did his Theology in Australia, and often referred to these years as the happiest of his life. After his tertianship he was appointed Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, in 1852. During his term of office the new Wah Yan on Queen’s Road was built.

In January 1956 he was operated on for cancer, and he went back to Australia to recuperate. However, his health further deteriorated and he died on January 20th 1957.

Fr John was a deeply religious man, one of those Jesuits of whom you could say that he never lost the fervour of the noviceship. He never allowed pressure of business or occupation to interfere with his observance of his religious duties. To the casual observer he would have appeared somewhat rigid and austere, but that was because being of a very high ideal himself, he expected th same of others. Nevertheless, like a true religious man, he could, when necessary, make allowances, and his sense of humour and his contribution to community recreation betrayed and understanding as well as an exacting spirit.

Carroll, William, 1939-1976, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/88
  • Person
  • 11 January 1939-24 January 1976

Born: 11 January 1939, Avondale, Corbally, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1957, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 June 1971, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 24 January 1976, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1963 at Chantilly, France (GAL S) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 51st Year No 2 1976

Crescent
Fr Billy Carroll (at school here 1946-257): After a short period in St. John's hospital, Limerick, Billy died in Dublin on 24th January. As a past pupil and member of the Society, he was much loved and respected by his schoolmates and all his friends in Limerick. The concelebrated Mass (29th January) was attended by a great number of past pupils, relatives and friends.

Obituary :

Fr Billy Carroll (1939-1976)

It is difficult to get used to the idea that Billy Carroll, who would have been thirty-seven in June this year, is no longer with us. I spent about thirteen years with Billy in Emo, Rathfarnham, Chantilly, Clongowes and Milltown. He was always quiet, with a wry sense of humour, always able to pick out and imitate the various accents and idiosyncrasies of sports commentator, superior or lecturer. An excellent athlete from his schooldays, he arrived late in Emo because he was playing rugby for Munster in the summer of '57. He was on the Irish school boys international athletic team, and as a novice, junior, philosopher or theologian he seemed at his happiest on the football field.
Billy was never an academic. He found the years of training tough, but quietly and uncomplainingly steered his way through the various intellectual forests. He was at his happiest with youngsters, and the number of them at his funeral witnesses to the fact that they were impressed with his instinctive goodness, ready wit and genuine concern.
Billy did his philosophy in France where if, like the rest of us, he did not learn too much philosophy, he certainly learnt French and was a very popular figure in that large community of Chantilly. His soccer abilities were invaluable to the Chantilly team and his wit enlivened many a gloomy hour in exile. His ability to imitate was used on occasion to brighten up philosophy lectures and when, at the end of a course, it was the custom to do a “take off” of a particular professor, Billy would use his talent to the delight of professor and students alike.
On returning to Ireland, Billy was sent to Clongowes as Third Line prefect. Here he showed great rapport with the boys, but a mysterious Providence had him moved to Limerick the following year. He was happy to be back in his home town.
He ploughed his way through theology with difficulty and was ordained in 1971. The next year found him back in Limerick, and it was here that his illnesses began. His most bitter disappointment was when he was moved from the Crescent to the Milltown Retreat House and he found it difficult to settle into his new job, particularly as his health was poor. But he gave himself to his job with dedication.
It was always difficult to read Billy’s heart, for he seldom spoke of his inner self, but his quiet ways and gentle smile will always be a happy reminder of how good it was to have him around and to have known and worked and played with him. I hear that on the day he died he enjoyed watching the Australia/ Ireland rugby match. It fits. We look forward to joining him in times to come.
PF

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.

Early education at O’Connell’s Schools

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 25th Year No 2 1950
GENERAL :
Father Dermot Casey is staying at Wimbledon College, and working each day, from Monday to Friday, at the Manor Hospital, Epsom. His work in practical psychology is so much appreciated by the Principal that when one of the staff left before Christmas to take up another appointment. Father Casey was invited to take his place for as long as he could manage. He is now paid for his work and is gaining most valuable experience. He is also attending a very good course on juvenile delinquency. He is attending the Psychological Congress to be held at Stíllorgan in celebration of the 4th centenary of the death of St. John of God during the week following Easter week.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 92 : August 1996

Obituary

Fr Dermot Casey (1911-1997)

2nd June 1911: Born in Dublin
Early education, CBS Schools, Nth Richmond St
1st Sept. 1928: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
2nd Sept. 1930: First vows at Emo
1930 - 1933: Rathfarnham: Studied Science at UCD
1933 - 1934: Tullabeg: Studied Philosophy
1934 - 1936: Jersey: Studied Philosophy
1936 - 1939: Sorbonne: Doctoral studies in Psychology
1939 - 1940: Mungret College: Teaching
1940 - 1945: Milltown Park : Studies in Theology
29th July 1943: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park
1945 - 1946; Rathfarnham: Tertianship
1946 - 1949: Tullabeg: Prof. of Rational & Experi. Psychology
1949 - 1952: London: Psychologist at Epsom hospital
1952 - 1958: Tullabeg: Professor of Psychology
1954: University of Detroit (Jan-June) Prof. of Psych
1958 - 1970: Leeson St: Founder, Director St. Declan's Child Guidance Centre
1970 - 1975: Rathfarnham: Director St. Declan's School
1975 - 1979: Leeson Street: Director St. Declan's School until 1977
1979 - 1981: Limerick/Clongowes: Counsellor
1981 - 1982: Rathfarnham: Counsellor
1982 - 1997: Leeson Street: Messsenger Office work, Writer

Dermot Casey arrived in Tullabeg on 1st September 1928 to begin his noviceship. I met him at recreation only a few times before his long retreat which was then made throughout October. In the second week of November, Father Martin Maher, the Master of Novices, sent for me to tell me there was another musician in the house - Brother Casey - a 'cellist. Over the next few days I was assigned to preparing with him in free time the pieces he was to play at the novices' concert on the night of the feast of St. Stanislaus. I saw at once that he was no amateur but a musician of impeccable technique. Later I was to learn that Dermot's parents were both professional musicians - his father being leading cellist in the then Dublin Philharmonic Society, forerunner of the Radio Symphony Orchestra.

During our juniorate years, together with Fr. William Saul, we played the Beethoven and Schubert trios. In Tullabeg for our one year of philosophy together, Dermot and I played the same lovely trios with Fr. Arthur Little, probably the greatest violinist the Irish Province could boast of whether before, then or since.

Dermot finished his philosophy in Jersey and then transferred to Paris where he graduated Doctor of Philosophy at Sorbonne. He was able to finish his studies in Paris just before the outbreak of World War II. Strange to say he never returned to Paris. He often remarked to me that he saw during his years there the construction of the great seven storey building in the rue de Grenelle which was not yet occupied before his return to Ireland.

Back in Ireland, 1939, he spent a year in Mungret, teaching and in charge of the choir. We met again in Milltown in the years 1940-42, but twenty more years were to pass before we found ourselves once more in the same community.

He was ordained in 1943 and after the completion of his studies and tertianship was appointed professor of psychology at Tullabeg. He could hardly have foreseen then that Tullabeg would close down as a philosophate in 1962 on the recommendation of the Visitator, Fr. John Mc Mahon (USA). But already he was preparing a new field of activity. Ever since the early 1950's he was engaged in Youth Guidance and took up residence in Leeson Street. The last decade of his connection with Tullabeg must have been demanding on his health as he had now to commute regularly between Dublin and the Bog in the days of bad roads or uncomfortable trains. Already by 1960 he had established St. Declan's. In 1961, I myself was assigned to Leeson St. Over the previous twenty years, it was only on a few occasions, at funerals, that I met Dermot. On my arrival in Leeson Street Fr. Tom Shuley, the minister (and incurable leg-puller), called me aside to warn me against causing any annoyance to Father Casey by asking “how is your backward school doing?” As I suspected, no one ever dared to put such a question to Dermot. He was now an acknowledged power in the land in his clinical work in St. Declan's.

Over the next thirteen years I could appreciate his way of life in his mature years: he was an excellent community man, a self-sacrificing worker - and utterly selfless. He had long given up the 'cello but he would ask me about the piano. There was none in Leeson St. - there was a very bad one in University Hall but I could depend on two houses of friends to keep in practice.

In 1970 he left us for Rathfarnham, after which I saw little of him except at funerals. Four years later I also left Leeson St for work in France. It was about this time he resigned from St. Declan's, but continued work at Child Guidance centres in Limerick and Clane - in these latter years he was a member of the Crescent community and then at Clongowes. He returned to Leeson Street in 1982 and for the next three years was assistant at the Messenger Office. The year before that I returned from France and soon was back visiting the archives in Leeson Street. For the first few years Dermot and I met only occasionally. We were both busy - Dermot at the Messenger Office and myself at work on the Irish Martyrs (chiefly Dominic Collins). We were both in our seventies. There were still a few old Fathers in Leeson St and at a moment's notice Dermot might be called on to drive one of them to see the doctor or the dentist. But towards the end of the 1980's he was suffering from hip-trouble. In spite of a successful operation he was now a changed man.

For the last ten years of his life he became more and more immobile - his walks from “35” were now no further than to the Grand Canal. He was a lonely man, for most of his contemporaries of 1928 were dead and gone. In our Saturday morning chats he would recall dead contemporaries: Pádraig O Brolcháin, Walter O'Connor, Alphonsus O'Connell, Lol Kearns, etc etc. Fortunately his pensive mood would be discontinued by a sally of his delightful, pawky humour: “I say, Frank, this place is a house of communications - you have young women here shouting all day from one landing to the next”. One of these observations became known to the subject thereof and to her hearty amusement: “This is the office of the President of Ireland - Mrs Mary Rickard”. Another day it was the visit of a young theologian at dinner that drew the following observation: “I don't know whether that young man works much at his theology but he is trying to look like Gerry Adams”.

He had a deep love for the Society and regretted much the closing down of Mungret, Rathfarnham and Tullabeg. I did my best to persuade him that all this was in God's Providence and in any case we were recommended by Christ Himself to pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send labourers into his harvest - to send us again many young men as in the past to continue the mission of the Society. That Dermot was nostalgic for the past was understandable. He belonged to the great period inaugurated seventy-five years ago by Fr. John Fahy when the Irish Province was en plein essor, what with its populous scholasticates, good religious observance and generous idealism.

He looked forward to my Saturday visits. When the mood was on both of us we would have some music and now and then he might tactfully ask me would I like to hear my favourite morceau of Brahms. Occasionally too he might mention a passage from a spiritual book which he found spiritually regarding. His favourite authors were always the well-tried classics of the past. In spite of his increasing lameness, he would insist on seeing me off at the hall door. To the last he was courtesy itself. After a meeting with him I felt the real beneficiary. For me, acquaintance with Dermot Casey was one of the great blessings of life. RIP

Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin SJ

Casey, Seán, 1921-1995, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 01 August 1921, 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.

Early education at 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

Cassidy, Derek, 1943-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/811
  • Person
  • 10 April 1943-30 March 2017

Born: 10 April 1943, Howth, Ballyfermot, Donnycarney, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1965, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final vows: 04 March 1985, Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway
Died: 30 March 2017, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin

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

Grew up in Howth, Ballyfermot, Donnycarney, Dublin.
by 1977 at Regis Toronto ONT, Canada (CAN S) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/derek-cassidy-sj-man-soulful-presence/

Derek Cassidy SJ – a soulful presence
Fr Derek Cassidy SJ died peacefully on Thursday morning, 30 March, in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. He had been a dialysis patient for many years. In recent months, his health began to deteriorate very rapidly. The staff of Beaumont Hospital knew him well and gave him great care. He lay in rest at Belvedere College SJ on 2 April and his funeral mass took place on 3 April in Gardiner Street Church, followed by burial at Glasnevin Cemetery. Leonard Moloney SJ, the Irish Provincial who worked with Fr Derek in Belvedere College, was the principal celebrant and homilist at the mass.
Fr Derek served as Rector of Belvedere College since 2002 and was a much-loved member of the College community. He was also a member of the Jesuit community in Gardiner St, Dublin and will be sadly missed by them. He is deeply regretted by his brother Damien and wife Anne, sisters Thelma, Sandra and Denise, nephew Joe, nieces Frances, Susan and Jennifer, grandnieces Chloe, Lucy, Katie and Baby Anne, Jesuit brothers, extended family and his many friends.
Tributes were paid to Fr Derek through the Irish Jesuits page on Facebook. Bláth McDonnell commented, “Rest in Peace Fr. Derek. He had always been such a calm, kind and gentle presence around the College and will be sadly missed”. Thomas Giblin said, “What I remember of Derek was his complete presence in a conversation. It is in his eyes in the photo above. When you needed him, he was with you. There was no doubt. That made him a great chaplain and a wonderful friend”. And Clar Mag Uidhrin said, “So sorry to hear this. I’m blessed I had the opportunity to work alongside him. Rest in peace Fr Derek”. And Niall Markey noted, “Rest in peace, Derek. Thank you for the kindness you showed to me throughout my Jesuit journey. God bless”.
Fr Derek worked in school chaplaincy for a large part of his Jesuit life. He also taught as a Religious Education/Religious Studies teacher at Belvedere for several years. His ratings were above the average at 4.35/5 stars as recorded on ratemyteachers.com. Students comments included: “Biggest baller going, inspiration and a half, aspire to be like this man”; “legend of the school”; “great guy”; and “a class act, very quiet but when he preaches it all makes sense, especially with the Simpsons references”. The school’s pastoral blog noted his Golden Jubilee in 2015 and remarked, “Fr Derek is a wonderful example of what Jesuit life represents”.
Fr Derek made deep impressions on the Belvedere community during the last 16 years of his life. Headmaster Gerry Foley was particularly close to him, as evident from this personal tribute:

Remembering Derek
When we gathered in St. Francis Xavier Church, in Gardner Street, we gathered in sadness, but we wanted to celebrate and give thanks for Fr. Derek’s life with his family and with the Jesuit province. Each of us knew Derek in a different way and we all have memories of a man who could laugh at himself, the world and laugh and talk with people of very different ages and backgrounds. In mourning him we remember fondly stories that highlight his wit, his willingness to confront what he perceived was wrong, even if that led to a difficult experience for both himself and whoever thought he was going to hold back, simply because of his vocation. You did not have to guess Derek’s opinions and views. He could be subtle or when required, bold and forthright when subtlety failed.
Derek’s response to illness made you realise that we should never take being alive and having health, for granted. The theology of salvation was not theoretical for him, it was a lived example.
Images of him laughing, chatting driving in the car or the cheerleaders in the minibus, mix with images of him being silent and attentive. I was lucky enough to bring him the Leinster Senior Cup on the Sunday morning after St. Patrick’s Day. He was delighted and it was uplifting to see the chief cheerleader who loved rugby so much. He received that cup three times previously on the Front door of Belvedere House, so it represented commitment and dedication for him.
There are many things in his office, which point to who Derek is and what he brought to the college. There is a small-framed reproduction of the painting, Light of the world, Holman Hunt, Jesus carrying a lantern knocking on the door. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice, open the door, I will come to him, and I will sup with him and he with me”. On the left side is the human soul, locked away behind an overgrown doorway. Derek invited people to listen more carefully for that knock and when it came, wrench open the door, which could be difficult, and invite Jesus in.
On the table in Derek’s office is “The Simpsons and Philosophy, The D’oh of Homer.” It’s noteworthy that Richard Dawkins, Brief Candle in the Dark” is on the shelf, so Derek was catholic in his sources of inspiration. The connection may not seem obvious, but one of Derek’s favourite episodes of the Simpsons, which he used in his homilies, is the one where Bart, declaring he does not believe in having a soul, sells it, only to regret it when he discovers that life with soul is a life deprived.
If you re- watch the episode of the Simpsons he oft quoted, where Bart sells his soul, you will get a better understanding of Derek’s ability to pick something simple and use it to point to what is profound. He used it in his homily to remind all of us that soul is important, the essence of who we are and not to sell out for something else. For what doth it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what should a man give in exchange for his soul?
By using the Simpsons, Derek highlighted the challenge of Jesuit Education, to place the person of Jesus at the heart of what we do.
So, amid all Derek’s jocularity, there lay a sincerity, a belief that life was so much better lived if the gentleness of humility and care of Jesus was our inspiration.
Looking around his office, the photograph of one of the first Kairos, a card depicting Fr. John Sullivan, the photo of Fr. Reidy, photos of his family, the mass booklet from one of the Past Pupil Reunions, the framed newspaper article on the Jes winning the cup, The Belvo black and white, the Poster of the Holy Land, the model of the BMW 3 series reveal that Derek treasured many people and held them close to his heart, and indicated why he was held in their heart.
One of Derek’s many achievements in Belvedere was to develop the role of Rector, which was a challenge given we are not residents in the school but we are a community almost without boundaries. His presence as a man who was reflective and invited reflection has had an impact on so many people and on so many different levels.
His dry wit often brightened the moment and his genuine question asking “How are you?...” was never followed by a hurried moment, he gave generously of his time and gave people space so they could take time out of their hurried day, to stop, think and enter that space where prayer leads us. That appreciation of the moment lay at the heart of so many memories of him either sharing a glass, or at a meal or on a journey in somewhere like Greece, Rome, with students, or for me, very fond memories of when we were setting up the Chinese Exchange or the Boston exchanges. In Hong Kong, climbing a steep hill, the hand drawn rickshaw pullers approached Derek and avoided both the late Barry O’ Leary and I. We joked that it was the result of old age being respected in China, he quipped that their reluctance to approach us was a justified concern for their back, given our weight!
These exchanges expanded the Jesuit network and helped develop the sense of being a community sharing our faith journey. As with his untiring work in Fundraising and on the Buildings Committee, and Jesuit Identity Committee, he was passionate in providing the right environment to nurture community, friendship and learning.
Derek’s publican background gave him the skills to be fully present to people, to hear their story and enter into it with them. That is why so many students hold his memory dearly and fondly. He was there, fully present, not just physically, but in his un-divided attention to them.
If you asked Derek how he was, he never complained, instead he would reply with something like, “looking down on the daisies, which is better than looking up at them!” Even when he lost his toe he made a joke of it, saying the coffin was getting lighter by the day, and that was another aspect of Derek that made him attractive, particularly to students, he was a bit of a rebel, could be anti-establishment, feared not death because he believed and yet remained true to all that was good.
When we went to Hong Kong, Derek met Fr Joseph Mallin SJ (102), the last surviving child of Michael Mallin, executed leader of the Easter Rising in 1916. Derek and he shared a Republican background and he was immensely proud to be Irish. The Coleman’s mustard, sitting on the shelf in his office, is probably the only British thing he would admit tasted good.
On the little table is the statue of the Holy Family, Joseph and Mary looking at Jesus as he learns the trade of carpentry. Joseph’s hand is raised, obviously in instruction, while Mary looks on with great pride in her son. Derek had that care and pride for the students as they grew in their apprenticeship of what would be their adult personality. He loved young people and loved the privilege of being involved in their life. Lastly there was the prayer on the wall, and I think it captures a lot of his humour and honesty.
“Dear God, so far today I’ve done alright, I haven’t gossiped, I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or over indulgent. I’m very thankful for that. But in a few minutes God, I’m going to get out of bed, and from then on I’m probably going to need a lot more help...”
Derek was that help for a lot of us and while extending our sympathy and condolences to his community and his family, I want to extend, on behalf of the Belvedere family, a sincere Thank You. For 16 years, we enjoyed Derek as chaplain, teacher, Form Tutor, Rector and Board member. You shared him with us and we are forever grateful for that. His soul will continue his work with the students and families and we gain strength from his example as a Jesuit, a priest, a friend and a companion.
May he rest in the peace of Christ. Gerry Foley

Early Education at St Mary’s Convent Arklow; SS Michael & John, Smock Alley, Dublin; De La Salle, Ballyfermot, Dublin; Mungret College SJ; Apprentice Solicitor & Barman

1967-1970 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1970-1971 Mungret College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying for H Dip in Education at UCD
1971-1976 Milltown Park - Studying Philosophy & Theology (integrated)
1974 Milltown Park - Administration at Irish School of Ecumenics
1976-1977 Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Studying Theology at Regis College
1977-1978 Tabor House - Vice-Superior; Minister; Assistant Director of Retreat House
1978-1980 Leave of Absence
1980-1982 Coláiste Iognáid SJ - Chaplain; Teacher
1982-1983 Tullabeg - Tertianship
1983-1989 Coláiste Iognáid SJ - Director of Pastoral Care; Teacher
1989-1990 Tabor - Vice-Superior; Young Adults Delegate; Assistant in Retreat House
1990-1999 Campion House - Vice-Superior; Young Adults Delegate; Assists Tabor House & JVC; Young Adult Ministry
1993 Superior at Campion
1995 Principal & Treasurer at University Hall
1996 Formation Delegate
1999-2001 Leeson St - Principal & Treasurer at University Hall; Young Adults & Formation Delegate
2000 Sabbatical
2001-2004 Belvedere College SJ - College Chaplain; Teacher
2002 Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2003 Superior of Gardiner St Community; Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2004-2017 Gardiner St - Superior of Gardiner St Community; Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2011 College Chaplain & Teacher at Belvedere College SJ
2012 Rector of Belvedere College SJ

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

Chan Yu-hai, Wilfred, 1942-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1043
  • Person
  • 04 February 1942-13 April 2017

Born: 04 February 1942, Kunming, Yunnan, China
Entered: 07 September 1967, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois (HIB for Hong Kong Province HK)
Ordained: 17 December 1977
Professed: 02 February 1980
Died: 13 April 2017, Taipei, Taiwan - Sinensis Province (CHN)

by 1969 at Milltown (HIB) studying

Clarke, Arthur J, 1916-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/646
  • Person
  • 11 April 1916-08 March 1995

Born: 11 April 1916, Dublin
Entered: 12 November 1938, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 08 March 1995, John Chula House, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambiae Province

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
After leaving school at Clongowes Wood College in 1933, Arthur worked for about five years in the Hibernian Bank. Later he enjoyed recalling his days as an oarsman in a crew of eight, racing on the river Liffey in Dublin.

Arthur took as his model and ideal his Master of Juniors, Fr Charles O'Conor Don, whose motto, ‘faithful always and everywhere’, Arthur took as his own. He was noticeable for his observance of rules, regularity at prayer, simple faith, thoroughness in his work – even polishing the floor of his room. He was outstanding for his charity especially towards those in trouble or unwell. These traits remained with him all his life. One who lived with Arthur said that he had a characteristic blend of the ridiculous with a stern sense of duty.

When he finished tertianship, Arthur became socius to the Master of Novices for about two years and then became Minister at Clongowes Wood College for two years. The job of Minister seemed to have followed him in all the houses he was posted to.

1958 saw him in Zambia, in Chivuna where he studied ciTonga and acted as Minister. He was transferred to Chikuni, again as Minister, but after two years became Rector there, In the role of rector, as in the rest of his life, Arthur never once showed the slightest trace of malice, vindictiveness or favouritism. 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. Then came the expansion of Canisius with better quality classrooms and dormitories, a fitting dining room and kitchen. Arthur was deeply involved too in the design of the college chapel.

From 1967 to 1973 he was at Namwala Government Secondary School as teacher and later as Deputy Head. Arthur revelled in giving himself to the demands made on him: teaching, conscientious correction of assignments, availability to students, and counsellor to his fellow teachers. Becoming Deputy gave him the extra load of maintaining discipline and setting high standards of behaviour and work among the students. This seems to have been one of the happiest times of Arthur's life in Zambia and every indication was that he had excellent relations with the staff and pupils, due no doubt to his inherent kindness and generosity. He actually wore himself out and was then transferred to the smaller Mukasa minor seminary in Choma in 1974.

However, in 1974, he went on long leave to Ireland where he was exposed to new styles of living the religious life and nuanced modifications of traditional ways of expressing Catholic doctrine. Arthur became confused and deeply upset, as his simple faith had always delighted in accepting the traditional textbook expression of the Catholic faith which he had learnt in theology. So he held on grimly to his convictions for the rest of his life, as he continued to think and preach in scholastic categories. He found Mukasa too small for him after the vastness of Namwala and was moved after two years. His eight years (1976–1984) at Charles Lwanga T.T.C. gave him fresh scope for his zeal and energies. He enjoyed being in a large community house which he kept spotlessly clean during his years as Minister. His lecturers were meticulously prepared and all assignments corrected. He was tireless in supervising teaching practice. He worked hard to build up the morale of a small group of Catholic pupils at Rusangu Secondary School.

In the end he wore himself out again and was transferred to St Ignatius in Lusaka as assistant in the parish (1984-1990). He was especially devoted to hearing confessions and generous in answering calls on his time. When Fr Max Prokoph began to fail, Arthur was as assiduous as ever in helping him. Ascetical in his own life, stern towards those for whom he felt responsibility, Arthur was surprisingly indulgent towards the various strays and ‘inadequates’ who quickly detected in him and easy touch and flocked around St Ignatius.

He was moved to the infirmary at John Chula House as his mind began to fail even though his body was strong and healthy. It was painful to see him slowly losing touch with the outside world as Alzheimer’s took its inevitable toll. At the end, Arthur died quite suddenly. It was discovered that he had widespread cancer of which he never complained. He was never one to vacillate or waffle and when the time came he took his leave of life as he had lived it, with dispatch and no nonsense.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Arthur Clarke (1916-1995)

Arthur Clarke was born on April 11th 1916 in Dublin and went to school in Clongowes, After he left school he entered the Bank of Ireland, but was not fully satisfied. A close friend told me that both he and Arthur considered going to Kenya under a British Government scheme to grow coffee. On a solitary walking holiday in the South of Ireland Arthur stayed in a Trappist monastery and decided that this was what he wanted. A short stay with the monks led to their advising Arthur that “he was too introspective” for their way of life and directed him to the Society of Jesus. There he stayed until he died in the retirement home in Lusaka Zambia on 8th March 1995.

He entered the novitiate in Emo on November 5th 1938 and followed the usual course of formation, doing his regency in the Crescent College Limerick. After Tertianship he was Socius to the Novice Master and then Minister in Clongowes, where he learnt of his appointment to Northern Rhodesia in the normal way, by someone telling him casually on the way into the refectory.

Five of us travelled out by Union Castle to Cape Town. At the Rhodesian border in Bulawayo, Arthur, always a man of integrity, insisted on paying duty on all his new clothes, despite the efforts of the Customs to assure him that as all our goods and chattels were going to Chikuni Mission there was nothing to pay.

This illustrates Arthur's characteristic blend of a keen sense of the ridiculous with a stern sense of duty. When these two clashed, Arthur would resolutely do what he considered was his duty, while muttering the while that it was all a lot of nonsense, but we had to do it. This he applied to his stints as Minister in our communities. He made no secret of his dislike of the job, but laboured might and main to keep the house spotless, and turn out magnificent meals on big occasions, even though he was not at ease in celebrations. From time to time Arthur would recount hilarious incidents of his formation years, normally involving the deflation of some pomposity or affectation. The following morning there would be an attack of conscience resulting in a stern admonition to us scholastics to show more respect in speaking of the very people Arthur had been taking off the previous evening.

Arthur had a difficult time adapting to life in Africa at first, though not through lack of trying. He was of that generation which had done no studies outside Ireland and this must have been his first experience of another culture. He took a long time to shake free of the conventions of the Irish Province, many of which were ill suited to life in the bush.

Arthur became Rector of Chikuni where he ruled with an utterly unbiased if somewhat stern hand. Sean McCarron, in Zambia to build the Teacher Training College, would point out that even he had been taken to task by Arthur for some misdemeanour, leaving us mystified as to why he should consider himself immune to Arthur's sense of what was appropriate behaviour. In the role of Rector, as in the rest of his life, Arthur never once showed the slightest trace of malice, vindictiveness or favouritism.

After his stint as Rector, Arthur went to teach in Namwala Government Secondary School. The Zambian Principal, no doubt in recognition of Arthur's commitment to order and discipline, appointed him Vice-Principal and then allowed him to get on with running the entire school, while he pursued a more leisurely way of life. This seems to have been one of the happiest times of Arthur's life in Zambia and every indication was that he had excellent relations with the staff and pupils, due no doubt to his inherent kindness and generosity.

While stationed at St. Ignatius parish in Lusaka Arthur showed his compassionate side in his care for Fr. Max Prokoph who was deteriorating in health and required constant care around the house, which Arthur showed him to a remarkable degree of patience. Fr. Dominic Nchete, a Zambian priest, said that if for nothing else, this would assure Arthur's going straight to heaven. Ascetical in his own life, stern towards those for whom he felt responsibility, Arthur was surprisingly indulgent to the various strays and inadequates who quickly detected in him an easy touch and flocked around St. Ignatius.

For someone who led such an organised and full life, it was painful to see him slowly losing touch with the outside world as Alzheimer's took its inevitable toll. Increasingly it was clear that he did not recognise those who had lived with him over the years. At the very end Arthur died quite suddenly. He was never one to vacillate or waffle, and when the time came he took his leave of this life as he had lived it, with despatch and no nonsense.

Frank Keenan

Clear, John B, 1922-2009, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 13 September 1922, 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

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

Coghlan, Seán, 1933-2021, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2354
  • Person
  • 29 October 1933-02 September 2021

Born: 29 October 1933, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1951, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1965, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1970, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 02 September 2021, St Paul’s Hospital, Hong Kong - China Province (CHN)

Part of the Ricci Hall, Hong Kong community at the time of death

1951-1953 St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1953-1956 Rathfarnham Castle - Studying
1956-1959 St Stanislaus College Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1959-1961 Xavier, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency, studying language
1961-1962 Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Regency, teaching
1962-1966 Milltown Park - studying Theology
1966-1967 Rathfarnham Castle - Tertianship
1967-1978 Wah Yan Kowloon, Hong Kong - teaching; Rector (1972)
1978-1981 Provincial’s Residence, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong
1981-1983 Casa Ricci, Largo de Sto Agostinho, Macau, Hong Kong
1983-1988 Wah Yan Kowloon, Hong Kong
1988-1996 Wah Yan Hong Kong
1996-2021 Provincial’s Residence, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/sean-coughlan-rip/

Remembering Sean Coghlan, SJ (1933-2021)

Sean was born in Limerick in 1833 and was educated at Sacred Heart College, the Crescent. A good student, with a quiet sense of humour and easy manner, he had a keen interest in sport, especially rugby and hurling, though his own slight frame militated against prowess in such games.

Beneath an unassuming exterior, he had a strong will and a deep spiritual sense. He joined the Jesuits on leaving school and followed the usual programme of formation until 1959 when he was appointed to Hong Kong. Returning to Ireland for theology, he was ordained priest in 1965. He returned to Hong Kong two years later and in 1972 was appointed rector of the Wah Yan College, Kowloon. Aged 40 years, he was the youngest of the 46 Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong.

Many years on, marking his golden jubilee in 2001, the General of the Society wrote praising him for his leadership as rector of Wah Yan, Kowloon, 1972-’79, and as principal of Wah Yan, Hong Kong, 1986-1997. There was also a mention of his efforts in support of the rights of seamen (a life-long interest), and his initiatives in the work of street sleepers. The General might have added his service of refugees, and his abiding interest in and care of students, past and present.

In this last area, he and Fr Deignan, as principals of the two Wah Yans, went to Canada in August 1990 as guests of the Past Students Association in Toronto and Vancouver. They received a most warm welcome. Seven years later, during a furlough, Sean had a memorable visit to past students in the United States and Canada. He recalled: ‘Ex-HK people were in tears when they saw me’. He was ‘bewildered and humbled by the gratitude and respect expressed by the alumni’.

One past student put into writing a tribute to Jesuit education which Sean cherished – “Jesuit education … probes the meaning of human life… Its objective is to assist in the fullest possible development of the God-given talents of each individual person as a member of the human community … Jesuit education insists on individual care and concern for each person.” It reflected Sean’s own care and concern.

Despite the responsibilities of position and office, Sean, though he could be quite assertive when the occasion required it, remained affable, approachable, and kept his sense of fun and humour. This characteristic could lead to unusual situations at times. Notably in 1989 when Father General, Pedro Arrupe, visited Hong Kong.

Sean, as rector, and Paddy McGovern, as his minister, waited at the lift one night for the return of the General from a late dinner. From time to time they used to put in time clowning at bull fighting. On this occasion, after a long wait, they indulged in the pursuit. To the extent, indeed, that they did not hear the lift starting up. Consequently, when the General emerged from the lift he found the Father Minister crouched down with his fingers to his head representing horns and fiercely charging the Rector in trousers and singlet, waving his shirt as a cape and executing a dangerous pass. Fortunately, Fr Arrupe, a Basque gentleman, found the spectacle amusing.

Ten years later, in 1999, there was much concern over an operation for cancer on Fr Freddie Deignan. After the operation, Sean sent a relieved fax message to the Provincial that Fr Deignan had come through the operation very well – ‘Shortly after the operation he asked me if Manchester United had won their match last night’.

In 2005, on the occasion of a visit from the Irish taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, Fr Deignan, in his address, mentioned that the Irish province had sent a total of 105 Jesuits to Hong Kong and that now there were just ten left. The decline in numbers led to a decision to produce a history of the Hong Kong Mission. This was commissioned in 2005 and was published in 2008 as Jesuits in Hong Kong, South China and Beyond (1926-2006), a volume of more than 800 pages and 236 photographs.

In the subsequent years the work of the mission proceeded at a somewhat lesser pace, with Fr Deignan receiving honorary doctorates in recognition of his work for education in Hong Kong, while his friend Sean Coghlan remained a welcoming presence at Ricci Hall and went on with his quiet work for students as warden.

For recreation, he continued his practice of long walks, often accompanied by his friend, a Protestant minister. As the years passed, his health deteriorated gradually, but he still kept an active interest in the fortunes in rugby of his home province and rejoiced at the all-Ireland success of his home county in hurling. He died loved and respected at the age of eighty-eight years. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Thomas Morrissey,

Collins, Bernard P, 1910-1987, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/97
  • Person
  • 24 November 1910-12 August 1987

Born: 24 November 1910, Laragh, Swatragh, County Derry
Entered: 02 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 03 February 1953
Died: 12 August 1987, St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambia Province (ZAM)

Part of the Namwala Catholic Church, Narwal, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969

Early education at St Columb’s College Derry

by 1948 at Rome Italy (ROM) - editing “Memorabilia”
by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners

Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Bernard Collins (known to his friends as Barney) was born in the north of Ireland at Laragh, Co Derry. He entered the Society in September 1929. His course of studies was the usual one followed by members of the Irish Province. After the novitiate, a degree at the university in Dublin in humanities and a Higher Diploma in Education, philosophy in Tullabeg, and theology in Milltown Park where he was ordained on 31 July 1943.

At the university he took a classics degree, Latin and Greek, and when he did the Higher Diploma, he got a certificate to enable him to teach through Irish. He went to Rome for a number of years after his tertianship as an assistant secretary to the English Assistant. He added an extra language to his store, namely, Italian.

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. The ship's doctor diagnosed heart trouble in Barney so that he spent most of the voyage immobile in the prone position including when going through customs. At the Blue Sisters hospital in Cape Town, he was pronounced healthy and free from any heart ailment. It must have been the sea air that cured him as they were at sea for two weeks!

From 1951 to 1960 he was parish priest in Chikuni. It was here his renowned proficiency in Tonga showed itself. His earlier linguistic studies stood him in good stead as he composed several booklets. In Tonga, he produced 'Lusinizyo', his pamphlet against the Adventists; ‘Zyakucumayila’, 61 Sunday sermons for harried missionaries; a Tonga grammar (now used in schools); a short English/Tonga dictionary; a translation of a pamphlet on the Ugandan Martyrs; and ‘A Kempis' which was written but never published. His knowledge of the villages and people of his time is legendary and he was always willing to give of his time to any willing ear that might wish to know the Chikuni people and their relationships. Towards the end of this period in Chikuni, he founded the first Pioneer Total Abstinence Centre.

From 1960 to 1966, he worked in Chivuna as parish priest and Superior and also taught the language to the scholastics, who delighted in relating stories of far off days when they struggled to master the prehodiernal past.

Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll. He went back to Namwala as superior and parish priest with Fr Piekut as his assistant. The scene changed in 1984 when Fr Frank 0'Neill became superior and Barney was the assistant in the parish. This was his status at the time of his death
It was during lunch at St Ignatius, Lusaka, on Wednesday 12th August that Barney began to show signs of not being well. By five that evening he had gone to his reward. The funeral took place at Chikuni with 29 priests concelebrating. Fr Dominic Nchete, the principal celebrant, paid tribute to the long years that Fr Collins had mingled closely with the Tonga people. Bishop Mpezele in both English and Tonga re-echoed the sentiments of Fr Nchete.

Fr Collins, a very unassuming man, had a deep knowledge of the Tonga people and was truly an incarnation of becoming all things to all people. With his fluency in Tonga, it was a delight to listen to him preach which he did in the grand manner. He had a sympathy and understanding of the mentality and customs of the Tonga that few from overseas have achieved. Here are the concluding remarks of the funeral oration: "We pray that Fr Barney may have eternal rest where we are sure he will be able to sit and speak with so many from Tongaland that he had sent on before him"

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 62nd Year No 4 1987

Obituary

Fr Bernard Patrick Collins (1910-1929-1987) (Zambia)

The following obituary notice has been adapted from the one printed in the newsletter of the Zambian province, Jesuits in Zambia.

Fr Bernard Collins, born on 24th November 1910 in northern Ireland, entered the Society on 2nd September 1929. His course of studies was the usual one followed by members of the Irish province: noviciate (at Tullabeg and Emo, 1929-31), juniorate (at Rathfarnham, 1931-34) with university degree in classics, philosophy in Tullabeg (1934-37), regency in Belvedere (and Higher Diploma in Education: 1937-40), theology in Milltown Park (1940-44, with priestly ordination on 29th July 1943), and tertianship in Rathfarnham (1944-45). After two more years' teaching in Belvedere (1945-47) he was sent to the General Curia in Rome, where he worked as substitute secretary for the English assistancy (1947-51). There he also edited the Latin news-periodical, “Memorabilia Societatis Iesu”, which was a forerunner of the present-day “SJ news and features”.
In 1951 he accompanied the first two scholastics, Bob Kelly and Joe Conway, and Br Jim Dunne on their way to Northern Rhodesia (as Zambia was then called). En route the ship's doctor checked Barney's medical condition and diagnosed heart trouble, so that for most of the voyage and the passage through customs he lay flat and immobile. At the Blue Sisters hospital in Cape Town he was pronounced healthy and free from any heart ailment.
From 1951 to 1960 Barney was parish priest of Chikuni, and it was here that he developed his renowned proficiency in Tonga and wrote his Grammar, also “Lusinizyo”, his pamphlet against the Adventists. His knowledge of the villages and people of the Chikuni area were legendary, and he was always ready to give of his time to any hearer wishing to learn about the Chikuni people and their interrelationships. It was in April 1958, towards the end of his first time in Chikuni, that he founded the first Pioneer Total Abstinence centre.
From 1960 to 1966 he worked in Chivuna parish and was vice-superior of the community. He also taught the language to newly-arrived scholastics, who still entertain us with stories of those happy far-off days when they struggled to master the intricacies of the pre hodiernal past. During this time he was also a mission consultor.
From 1969 to 1974 Barney worked in Namwala parish with Frs Arthur Clarke and Edward O'Connor as his companions in the community. In 1975 for a short time Barney was parish priest at Chilalantambo. In 1976 he returned to Chikuni to be parish assistant to Fr Jim Carroll. During this his second spell in Chikuni, he had for some time Frs Joe McDonald and T O'Meara as collaborators. In 1983 he went to Namwala as superior and parish priest with Fr Antoni Piekut as his assistant. In 1984 the scene changed, with Fr Frank O'Neill becoming superior and Barney becoming parish assistant: this was his status at the time of his death.
It was during lunch at St Ignatius (Lusaka) on Wednesday, 12th August, that Barney began to show signs of illness. By five o'clock that evening he had gone to his reward. His funeral took place on the Friday (14th), with 29 priests concelebrating Mass. Fr Nchete as principal celebrant paid tribute to Fr Collins for mingling so closely with the Tonga people for long years. Bishop Mpezele in both English and Tonga re-echoed Fr Nchete's sentiments.
Fr Collins, a very unassuming man, had a deep knowledge of the Tonga people, and was truly an incarnation of the Pauline ideal of being all things to all people. He had a sympathy and understanding of Tonga mentality and customs that few from overseas have achieved. We pray that Fr Barney may have eternal rest where, we are sure, he will be able to sit and speak with the many from Tongaland that he had sent on before him.

Collins, Desmond, 1920-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/493
  • Person
  • 04 July 1920-02 February 1996

Born: 04 July 1920, Clonskeagh, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1956, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 02 February 1996, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

Youngest brother of John (RIP 1997) and Ted RIP (2003)

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr Desmond (Des) Collins (1920-1996)

4th July 1920: Born in Dublin
7th Sept. 1939: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1941: First Vows
1941 - 1944: Rathfarnham Castle, BA at UCD
1944 - 1947: Tullabeg, Philosophy Limerick,
1947 - 1949: Crescent College, Regency
1949 - 1950: Belvedere College, Regency
1950 - 1954; Milltown Park, Theology
31st July 1953: Ordination at Milltown Park
1954 - 1955: Rathfarnham Castle, Tertianship
1955 - 1959; Clongowes Wood College, Teacher and Study Prefect
2nd Feb. 1956: Final Vows
1959 - 1973: Belvedere College, Teacher
1973 - 1976: Rathfarnham Castle, Minister
1976 - 1996; St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street
1976 - 1980: Assistant Prefect of the Church
1980 - 1981: Minister, Church Ministry
1981 - 1990: Chaplain to St Monica's, Director Jesuit Seminary Association (TSA), Church Ministry
1990 - 1994: Assistant Chaplain to St. Vincent's Private Hospital, Director JSA, Church Ministry
1994 - 96: Director JSA, Church Ministry, Assistant to Cherryfield Lodge.
Fr. Collins continued his Chaplaincy work at St. Vincent's Private Hospital until very recently, although in failing health. At the end of January, he got a severe pain and was operated on the same day for a ruptured aneurism. He suffered a heart attack during the operation, followed by renal failure. He never came off the life-support.
2nd Feb. 1996: Died at the Mater Hospital.

“I believe in the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting”.

This belief in the communion of saints is the reason for us all being here today for the funeral Mass of Fr. Des Collins who died last Friday. We are here either because we are his relatives or his companions as Jesuits or parishoners and friends who experienced his love and affection. The communion of saints is a bond which is not broken even by death.

In this funeral Mass we come together to ask God to have mercy on Des and to forgive him any sins which he may have committed in this life and to beg God to admit Des into the company of His saints in heaven.

Our Mass is also our Eucharist. We come together to thank the Lord for all the gifts he has given to this companion of Jesus and for all the good done by the Lord through Des during his life on this earth.

Des gave himself to the Society of Jesus when he was 19. After 14 years in formation, he was ordained a priest of the Society in 1953 and lived the priestly life to the full for 43 years - until he died last Friday, on the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple. Des could say as Simeon said so long ago: “At last, all powerful Master, you give leave to your servant to go in peace, according to your promise”.

I have lived as a priest in Hong Kong for the past 46 years and so many of you had more contact with Des over the years here in Ireland. For the first 18 years of his priestly life he was teaching, first in Clongowes and then for about 14 years in Belvedere. For this period of his life I had little contact with him, as we did not come home so often from the missions. What I remember about him at that time was that he was a dedicated tennis coach in Belvedere, as well as being a dedicated teacher. But for the rest of his priestly life he was involved in more direct pastoral work and for over twenty years lived in this community of St. Francis Xavier's Gardiner Street, assisting in the Church but involved in many other pastoral activities as well.

To find out what people thought of Des, I asked several persons here with whom he lived or who knew him well. Many said he was a quiet, unassuming person. A person of great faith, he had a great love of persons. He had a good whimsical sense of humour. He was a very dedicated person both to his work and to his friends, many of whom were poor or sick. One colleague said to me at breakfast this morning “I wonder what will he say to Martin Luther when he sees him in heaven”, I myself thought afterwards, “And what will Paul the 6th say to him when Des meets him in heaven?” I met Des on the stairs one night at about 12.30, just after he had let a man out of the house. When I asked Des how come, he told me that this person had AIDS and that he was trying to find a place for him to live. Des had his limitations, as all of us have. But he was a kind, dedicated person who stood up for two fundamental values which he considered paramount: in the wider society he was pro-life and in his life in the Society he was pro-Pope. He concentrated so much on these two issues that I myself for a long time thought he over-emphasised them: the dignity of the human person, big or small and loyalty to the Pope as the mark of a Jesuit. But now he knows the truth and I wonder if he will feel vindicated. These two human and Christian values have many ramifications which we are now only beginning to realize.

Christ was a man for others and Des was a follower of his in this respect. When I was asked to say something about Des, a saying from Vatican II came to mind: “God has willed to make persons holy and save them, not as individuals but as members of a people” or of a family. I said that Des was involved in many other pastoral activities besides St. Francis Xavier's Church. For over twenty years he lived here and served in different capacities and was well loved by people in the parish. He was interested in the history of Gardiner Street Church and on the occasion of its 150th anniversary wrote a pamphlet on its history. What, then, were these other pastoral activities? I will mention only two here because I feel those were ones in which he had a special involvement. The first was being assistant chaplain to St. Vincent's Private Hospital. He was chaplain there for only five years but was sad and a bit indignant when his religious Superiors withdrew him for reasons of health. “I consulted several doctors”, he said to me, “and they told me my heart was alright”. But events showed that his superiors were right. The people in St. Vincents, whether patients or staff, had a deep affection for him.

The second pastoral activity was his summer holiday in California. Every year for more than twenty years he took a month or six weeks holiday in Susanville, north California, taking the place of the Irish pastor there who took his holidays in Ireland. Des would protest when we asked him: When are you going on holidays this year? I'm not going on holidays, he would say, I'm going to work in a parish. The parishioners there loved him and I found many letters to him in his room. Des could never take a holiday just for the sake of a holiday. When in Susanville he liked to golf on his free day. But this was an occasion for a group of Irish pastors in the diocese of Sacramento to meet him on the golf course, some travelling quite a distance. I believe he was to many of them an “anam chara” to whom they could bring their troubles, even on the golf course. They will miss him. So too his relatives, many of whom are here today.

One last remark. Since coming back, I have been living in Des's room and only here have I realized how much he himself has suffered from ill-health. I think it was a secret he kept to himself for he never complained until the pain was acute and he had to go to hospital. I chose the reading from St. Matthew's gospel today because I thought it appropriate to Des. Des had a love for persons, especially the sick and the marginalized. It was an Ignatian type of love, shown more by deeds than by words, for Des was not a demonstrative type of person. I can hear Christ saying to him: “Come you blessed of my Father and enter the kingdom, prepared for you since the coming of the world. As often as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me!” May we too hear these words from Christ's lips when we too come to the end of our journey in this life!

Ted Collins SJ, Tuesday, 6th Feb 1996 Feast of SS Paul Miki and Companions.

Collins, Edward, 1915-2003, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/647
  • Person
  • 09 August 1915-27 February 2003

Born: 09 August 1915, Clonskeagh, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 27 February 2003, Canossa Hospital Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

part of the Ricci Hall, Hong Kong community at the time of death

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

Middle brother of John (RIP 1997) and Des RIP (1996)

by 1939 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
After a short illness, Father Edward Collins, SJ, went peacefully to the Lord in Canossa Hospital (Caritas) on Thursday evening, 27 February 2003.

He was born into a very devout Catholic family in Dublin, Ireland, on 9 August 1915. At the age of 18 he followed his elder brother, John, into the Society of Jesus; another brother, Desmond later followed their example.

After first vows, he studied for a B.Sc. in maths and physics and complete his philosophical studies, then taught for three years before beginning a four-year course in theology. He was ordained a priest on 30 July 1947.

In 1949, he was sent to Hong Kong where he joined his elder brother John. After two years studying Cantonese, he was assigned to teach moral theology in the Regional Seminary, where he remained until 1964. Father Collins took two years during that time to obtain a doctorate in Rome.

In 1964, the Regional Seminary closed its doors and the building was handed over to the diocese of Hong Kong. Father Collins then devoted much of his time to setting up the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council (CMAC), which was finally gazetted in 1967. At the same time he acted as defender of the marriage bond in the Diocesan Tribunal and became embroiled in the controversy about the legalisation of abortion in Hong Kong.

By 1971, he was back in the chair of moral theology, first in Dalat, Vietnam (1971-1973) and then in the Holy Spirit Seminary in Aberdeen, Hong Kong (1973-1981). He did not confine himself to forming the consciences of seminarians in the classroom. He also made himself available to give retreats and spiritual direction. His friendly manner ensured that he was much sought after as a confessor.

For years he was the spiritual guide of the Catholic doctors’ guild and the Catholic nurses guild. He spent the years from 1986 to 1992 as the master of novices and then as a full-time director of retreats in Xavier Retreat House, Cheung Chau.

Apart from teaching and spirituality, Father Collins took a keen interest in helping the marginalised in Hong Kong. He followed the example of his brother John, who had set up credit unions and fought for the rights of the disabled. The two brothers made a great contribution to giving Hong Kong a human face. Father Collins requested that a photo of his brother be put in his coffin with him.

◆ 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 an ardent Catholic family in Dublin. He followed his older brother John into the Society, and a younger brother Des joined later.

After his Novitiate he studies at UCD, graduating with a BSc in Mathematics and Physics. He then studied Philosophy, and Theology.

He came to Hong Kong where he studied Cantonese and later taught Moral Theology at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen until 1964. He then went to Rome to study for a Doctorate.
When he returned to Hong Kong he was devoted to setting up the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council (HKCMAC) and helping the marginalised in Hong Kong. In this he was following in the footsteps of his older brother John who had set up credit unions, and fought for the rights of the disabled.

According to Freddie Deignan, Ted founded CMAC and was a Member of the Hong Kong Social Service.
In 1969 he took care of the lepers in Hong Kong and wrote many articles on moral questions.

He was a great defender of the marriage bond, and he also served as Spiritual Advisor to the Catholic Doctor’s and Nurses Guilds.

Note from Herbert Dargan Entry
He freed Fr John Collins for full-time 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.

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
Ted Collins was with him in Limerick

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary

Fr Edward (Ted) Collins (1915-2003) : China Province

Born, Dublin 9 Aug 1915.
Entered Emo, 7th September 1933.
Ordained in Milltown, 20th July 1947.
Joined the Hong Kong Mission, 1950,
Died in Hong Kong, 27th Feb 2003

Harry Naylor writes:

A month previously, Ted had been at a meeting of Spiritual Directors, dressed neatly and colourfully as usual, but with the obvious forgetfulness for which he was well known. A week earlier, he had been hearing confessions at the Catholic Centre as he had done for many years. The Monday before he died, he was at the priests' Day of Recollection.

The day before his operation, Fr Bemard Tohill SDB went to ask his advice and heard him say that he was second oldest Jesuit in Hongkong, after Joe Mallin.

Ted was taken to the Canossa Hospital on Wednesday 26th February for an operation because of a blockage in his intestines but, because of his heart condition, he declined to undergo it. He died at 9 pm in the hospital with Freddie Deignan (Delegate for Hongkong), Robert Ng, Seán Coghlan and Eaodain Hui (a longtime CLC member who had kept vigil by his bedside).

It was a mild dry evening on Monday 3rd March, when the Vigil Liturgy began at 8pm in a small room which could only seat fifty at the North Point Funeral Parlour. Fr Paul Chan conducted the service and spoke of Fr Ted as a real friend to many and a soulfriend to many more. The large crowd present was a clear indication of this. There were up to two hundred people in the corridor, bathed in the Buddhist sutra chants and sounds of cymbals and drums coming from an adjacent room. It was only with the singing of a hymn and later, when Paul Chan led the Glorious Mysteries, that all could participate in a loud voice.

The chief mourners were Freddie Deignan, Sean Coghlan and Sean Ó Cearbhalláin, with about a dozen other Jesuits, including Jimmy Hurley, Ciaran Kane, William Lo, Tom McIntyre, Joe Mallin, Harold Naylor, John Russell, Joe Shields, Simon Wong, There were also six other priests and a Protestant pastor friend, Hans Lutz. Among the Sisters were 6 Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception (MIC), 5 Little Sisters of the Poor, 3 Little Sisters of Jesus, 4 Columban Sisters. There were also lay people from the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council, Caritas HK, from the chapels of our two Jesuit schools and our retreat house. Fr Ted had worked with all these congregations and had spent his final years with the Little Sisters of the Poor, first as chaplain and later as a resident of their home.

On the day of the funeral there was a light drizzle and strong gusts of wind. The funeral Mass was held at the spacious Christ the King Chapel at St Paul's Hospital (Sisters of St Paul de Chartres) in Causeway Bay. The chapel was packed. It was a diocesan and not just a Jesuit funeral. The chief celebrant was Bishop Joseph Zen of Hongkong. Concelebrating in the sanctuary were Auxiliary Bishop John Tong with Msgr Eugene Nuget, Freddie Deignan, Ciaran Kane, Thomas Leung, Anthony Tam and Robert Ng and, in the body of the church, a large number of priests including Jesuits, diocesan priests from the cathedral, the seminary and parishes (17), Dominicans (3), Maryknoll (5), PIME (7) and Salesians (6) - about 60 altogether.

Also in the body of the church were some 300 mourners including representatives from the religious congregations (Little Sisters of the Poor, Canossians, Good Shepherd Sisters, St. Paul de Chartres, Irish Columbans and others). The laity were represented by the Catholic Women's League, the Focolare Movement, prayer groups as well as many elderly people whom Fr Ted had served. The liturgy was entirely in Cantonese.

Fr.Robert Ng spoke in Cantonese of Ted's seventy years as a Jesuit, 50 of which had been spent in were in Hong Kong and 30 teaching moral theology in seminaries. Robert spoke of Ted as being all things to all: poor and rich, Chinese and foreign, sick and healthy. He was a counsellor and an apostolic priest. Often on pilgrimages, he was recently in Shanghai and asked where he would like to make his next pilgrimage, to which he replied, “Eternal Life”.

Freddie Deignan spoke of him as one who loved his own family members, two of whom are still alive in Ireland, along with many nephews and nieces. With a group of dedicated Catholic doctors and nurses, Ted had set up the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council much to the delight of Bishop Bianchi of Hongkong. He made a significant contribution to the Church in Hong Kong and its society for more than fifty years. His life was one of hope in Eternal Life. There was a time to mourn as we do now, but also a time to die.

Ted was laid to rest in the Catholic cemetery in Happy Valley together with those Jesuits who had gone before him.

Arriving in Hongkong in 1950, Ted taught at the South China Regional Seminary and then went to Rome in 1959 for a doctorate in moral theology. On his return Bishop Bianchi asked him to help Catholics after the controversial encyclical Humane Vitae of 1968. Ted remained a loyal member of the CMAC till his death. He was most esteemed as a spiritual counsellor and had dedicated his life to spiritual direction.

After the Regional Seminary became the Hong Kong diocesan seminary, Ted continued to teach there while also being involved in other ministries, such as giving retreats. He also spent two years teaching moral theology at the major seminary in Dalat, South Vietnam. On his return to Hong Kong he became very interested in the plight of the Vietnamese “boat people”, thousands of whom had fled to Hongkong in the 1970s and after.

In later years, he spent a number of years at Xavier Retreat House on Cheung Chau Island but had to leave it in 1992 as a heart condition made the steep climb to the house difficult for him. He then became chaplain to St. Mary's Home for the Aged in Aberdeen, on the south side of Hong Kong Island, until 2000, when he himself became a resident, while still attached to the Ricci Hall community.

Ted was always deeply interested in the evangelisation of China and made spiritual direction his priority. He was also, for many years, a member of the Jesuit Faith and Justice Group and, like his older brother John, very committed to social justice.

Conran, Joseph, 1913-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/490
  • Person
  • 24 February 1913-23 August 1990

Born: 24 February 1913, Ballinrobe, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 23 August 1990, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny

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

by 1967 at Holy Family Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1969 at Aston, Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1970 at Monterey CA, USA (CAL) working
by 1971 at Carmel CA, USA (CAL) working

Conway, Joseph B, 1925-1981, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/100
  • Person
  • 07 March 1925-17 May 1981

Born: 07 March 1925, Kilmihil, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died:17 May 1981, Cahercalla Hospital, Ennis, County Clare - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Joseph Conway was born in Co. Clare, Ireland on 7 March 1925. After the normal period of primary and secondary education, which latter he did at Mungret College, he entered the noviceship on 7 September 1943. He followed the usual university and philosophical studies and arrived in Chikuni in August 1951 with Fr Robert Kelly, the first two Irish scholastics to be sent to the Zambian mission. He spent three years at Chikuni teaching but at the same time made himself thoroughly fluent in Tonga. In 1954 he returned to Ireland to study theology and was ordained in July 1957. By August 1959, he was ready to return to Zambia to begin his real life's work, beginning as parish priest in Chikuni for 13 years. He had no difficulty in learning the ciTonga language and was the picture of a man who had the ability, determination and dedication to carry out his life's work. For the next 13 years he labored single-handed in Chikuni parish, which for part of that time included areas covered by the present Monze town and St. Mary's parishes.

As parish priest Joe was meticulously dedicated to his work. Not only did he take great care of the parish records but by degrees he equipped himself with pocket records of all the parishioners, village by village, which he brought up to date on his annual visitations. The people knew their parish priest and Joe was known and is remembered as a pastor who "spoke about God", as one .who “told us the ways of God", as one who "told us how God wants us to live". At times people referred to him in the same context as Fr Moreau. He was also manager of schools. In this capacity he once again had direct contact with his teachers now in their more professional and temporal needs. He built outstations at Chipembele, Choompa and Gwembe. Just before he left Chikuni, he supervised the building of the new parish church which was designed by his architect brother, Senan Conway and built by Br Martin Murphy.

Appreciating the value of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Movement in the promotion of strong Christian family life, Joe was the diocesan director of the Movement for most of his time at Chikuni. To promote recreation among the young men of the parish, he started a football league between the different districts. This league was most successful, culminating each year in the big event of the Bishop's Cup.

After 13 years as parish priest at Chikuni, he became secretary to the Bishop of Monze which post he held until he was forced to go to Ireland because of failing health in December 1980. On top of all this responsibility, his work also included being bursar of the diocese and coordinator of the diocesan building team.

Joe's greatest contribution was his service to the personnel in the diocese. Being at the same time superior of the Bishop's house, he kept an open door. Everyone experienced his hospitality and helpfulness, especially the sisters of the diocese.

Joe did not lose his pastoral interests during this long period of administration. Each weekend he did his "supplies", preferring the small and isolated communities to the centers of large congregations. Fundamentally, he was a community man, loved the Christmas get-together and other similar occasions. He never wore his spirituality on his sleeve. One of the dominant features of Joe's spiritual life seems to have been the sacramental life offered to us by the Church and about which he frequently preached.

In 1977 he went to Ireland on long leave. He had a complete medical check-up together with operations for gall stones and hernia. When he returned to Zambia, he was the picture of health.

For more than a year and a half, he remained in good form. Then his health began to decline and he was flown to Ireland in December 1980. Almost immediately on arrival, a tumor on the brain was diagnosed. His family took him home to Co. Clare and agreed to his own request to keep him there as long as possible. He became totally blind. Two days before his death, Joe became semi-comatose and was moved to a nearby hospital run by the Sisters of St. John of God. While in this state, he spoke Tonga and also answered Fr O’Driscoll in Tonga who was with him the day before he died. His two sisters, both of whom are nuns, were with him when he died on Sunday evening, 17 May 1981.

The Lord took Joe peacefully home though not at the time of life Joe would have planned for himself. One of Joe's last prayers was to the Lord of the Harvest to send more shepherds, especially Zambian shepherds, to the Church in Zambia.

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 Bob Kelly Entry
He followed the normal course of studies in the Society but for regency he went to Northern Rhodesia in 1951 with Fr Joe Conway.

Note from Fred Moriarty Entry
He inherited the Credit Union from Fr Joe Conway and was able to live with all the hassle involved.

Irish Province News 56th Year No 4 1981

Obituary

Fr Joesph Benignus Conway (1925-1932-1981)

Joseph Conway was born in Co Clare, and after secondary education at Mungret College entered the noviceship. After the usual university and philosophical studies he arrived in Chikuni in August 1951, being one of the first two scholastics of the Irish Province to be sent to the Zambian Mission. He spent three years in Chikuni and made himself thoroughly fluent in Tonga, did some teaching and helped in the building of some of the out-stations and schools. In 1954 he returned to Ireland, and after theology, ordination and tertianship, returned to Zambia in August 1959.
I remember well the arrival in Chikuni of himself and Fr Robert Kelly - the first scholastics to return as priests. Both Joe and Bob were full of enthusiasm for the building of God’s Kingdom among the Tonga people. In his first Sunday sermon, in the old parish church, Joe told his people of all the questions the people of Ireland had asked him about Zambia and Chikuni in particular. He exhorted all present to live up to the answers which he gave to their questions. He was buoyant after Mass and was warmly greeted by the Bapati, the Kachosas, the Nkandus, the Choobes, by teachers and past students who had known him previously. As he met group after group under the shade of the great fig-tree (which alas was soon to disappear!) he had no language difficulty. He could even joke and enjoy jokes in Tonga. For the next thirteen years he laboured singlehanded as priest of Chikuni parish, then including areas covered by the present Monze town and St Mary's parishes.
He was meticulously dedicated to his work. Not only did he take great care of the parish records, but by degrees equipped himself with pocket records, village by village, which he brought up to date on his annual visitations. He aimed at visiting all areas in his far-flung parish at least once a year. He carried out this heavy programme during the dry season, staying out from Tuesdays to Fridays, sleeping in classrooms and cooking for himself; later he acquired a caravan. His people knew their parish priest. He met them at home in their villages. He had first-hand contact with the teachers. He expected a lot from his Catholic teachers - perhaps too much at times - but he saw that they were key figures in the planting of the faith in the hearts of the youth. He did all he could to help them keep their families together and to be faithful to their marriage. His flock saw him baptising, offering the Eucharist, blessing marriages, preaching, looking after and visiting the sick and the dying, conducting funerals. Before the day of the catechetical training centre at St Kizito’s, Joe took care of his own catechists. Every First Friday they were brought into Chikuni for instruction, Mass and an opportunity of the sacrament of Penance from some priest other than himself.
For a period he was also Manager of Schools; he ferried supplies of textbooks and school materials to his near and distant schools, and planned the siting and the building of new schools or extensions to existing ones. Later he had to take responsibility for the diocesan building programme: the building of out-churches at Chipembele, Choompa and Gwembe; and just before he left Chikuni, he was able to supervise the building of the new parish church designed by his architect brother Mr Senan Conway,
Joe was diocesan director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence movement for most of his time in Chikuni. Because of their growth, the annual Pioneer rallies had to move out from the original small classroom to larger and larger halls. Joe saw the great need for the Pioneer movement if family life was to be rescued from near destruction.
The temporal side of his parishioners’ life also interested him. He started a football league between the different districts of his parish. In this also he was a pioneer! - seeing the need of wholesome social activity. The league was most successful, culminating each year in the big event of the Bishop’s Cup. So successful was the league that later on, local football organisers copied the idea, and in the end robbed the Chikuni league of many of its best players! Joe felt this deeply, but did not become embittered.
To improve his parishioners’ standard of living, he started a parish credit union - a most successful and lasting venture. He preached the need of Zambian vocations among both boys and girls.
Following the call of obedience (September 1971) Joe took up the post of secretary to the Bishop of Monze, which post he held until forced to return to Ireland because of failing health (December 1980). As well, he was a diocesan consultor, consultor of the Vice Province, and bursar of the diocese. When Br James Dunne returned to Ireland for medical reasons, Joe had to assume the extra responsibility of the full diocesan building programme. As Superior of the Bishop’s house he kept an open door. All diocesan personnel and visitors alike experienced his hospitality and helpfulness. Fundamentally, at heart, Joe Conway was a community man. He loved the homely game of cards. He greatly enjoyed week-ends with the community and Christmas get togethers.
Sickness was something almost foreign to him, but from 1976 onwards he began to experience ill-health; sudden attacks of numbness in jaw and arm. In 1977 he went to Ireland and had a complete medical check-up together with operations for gallstones and hernia. The doctors failed to get to the root cause of the numbness: a brain scan revealed nothing. Back in Zambia, seemingly the picture of health, occasional attacks of the numbness recurred, this time with vomiting and severe headaches, from which he had never before suffered, and depression. On medical advice he was flown home to Ireland, where almost immediately a brain tumour was diagnosed, unknown to Joe himself. From Belvedere he was taken home to his family in Co Clare. Despite nursing, day and night, his health steadily declined. Total blindness set in. After Easter he was visited by Frs J Dargan (Irish Provincial), V Murphy and his brother Msgr Kevin Conway, who anointed him. After that he became increasingly resigned and peaceful. Two days before his death Joe was moved to a hospital at Cahercalla, Ennis, run by the Sisters of St John of God. His two sisters, both of whom are nuns, were with him when he died late on Sunday evening, 17th May, 1981. .
Even though in nursing Joe at home his family carried a great burden of love, yet I am convinced that nobody was more relieved at his passing than Joe himself. Some weeks before his death he had admitted that it had been “a long haul”. May the presence and peace of the risen Lord be felt by his sorrowing family. To his aged father, his brothers, sisters, relatives and friends let us offer the consolation and certainty of our faith in the Resurrection.

Conway, Vincent, 1909-1985, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 24 May 1909, County Meath
Entered: 10 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Sydney, Australia
Final vows: 15 August 1948
Died: 11 May 1985, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
One of eight children, his early education was at the Salesian Agricultural College (Warrenstown), Drumree, County Meath, as it was thought that he would follow his father into farming. However, he changed to the De La Salle School, Navan, County Meath for the last two years of his education, and from there entered the Diocesan Seminary (St Finian’s) in Westmeath, and two years later Entered the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985

Obituary

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

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

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

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

Obituary

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

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

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

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

Corbally, Matthew C, 1911-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/486
  • Person
  • 08 November 1911-25 January 1989

Born: 08 November 1911, London, England
Entered: 14 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 19 May 1945, Zi-Ka-Wei, Shanghai, China
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 25 January 1989, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December by 1940 in Hong Kong - Regency

by 1943 at Bellarmine, Zi-ka-Wei, near Shanghai, China (FRA) studying1966

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Corbally S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Matthew Corbally, SJ, of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, died suddenly on Wednesday, 25 January 1989, aged 77. He was in full vigour until late in the proceeding week. Then for a few days he complained of loss of all energy. In the morning of 25 January, he collapsed suddenly and never recovered full consciousness.

The news of his death came as a severe shock to the many people who had met him recently, full of life and energy. Some who had known him less well asked it he was the very tall man who smiled so readily. The answer was Yes. Father Corbally was a very tall man - six feet four - but his friendly smile was even more characteristic than his great height.

Though an Irishman, he was born in London, on 8 November 1911. After schooling in Clongowes, Ireland, and Stonyhurst, England, he joined the Society of Jesus in 1931. From the beginning of his Jesuit life he was outstanding as a man of deep charity: he enjoyed being kind. This characteristic he retrained to the end.

He came to Hong Kong as a scholastic in 1939 and, after two years spent studying Cantonese, he joined the staff of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. Very soon, war interrupted education. Like his fellow Jesuits he took a vigorous part in the work of civil aid during the siege of Hong Kong, working tirelessly and fearlessly. At least one Hong Kong it owed his survival to prompt help from Father (then Mr.) Corbally.

He did his theological studies in Shanghai and was ordained priest there in 1945. In 1946 he went to Ireland for the completion of his Jesuit training and for a last meeting with his dearly loved mother.

He returned to Hong Kong in 1947 and spent the rest of his life in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong (1947-63 and 1966-89) and Wah Yan College, Kowloon (1963-66), as teacher and usually also sports master. From 1969 to 1974 he was Rector of the Jesuit community of Wah Yan, Hong Kong. For most of the other years he held the post of Minister (housekeeper), a post giving full scope to his unfailing charity. In particular it fell to his lot to welcome visitors. They were made very welcome indeed. He threw himself into the work of the school with enthusiasm, retaining his interest in the students and their sports to the end of his life.

Cardinal John B. Wu led the concelebration of the Mass of the Resurrection in St. Margaret’s Church on Monday, 30 January. Father Corbally was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 3 February 1989

Note from Timothy Doody Entry
In the noviceship he had as a contemporary Father Matthew Corbally, who was to die, also as member of the Wah Yan community, on 25 January this year. Father Doody and Corbally lived in the same houses through most of their 57 years as Jesuits, and only five weeks separated their deaths.

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

◆ 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 the eldest son of an Irish Catholic family and received his education at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire England, and Clongowes Wood College in Ireland.

He joined the Society of Jesus in 1931 and then went to UCD where he studied French, Latin and Greek. After this he went to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg for three years of Philosophy.
By 1939 he was sent to Hong Kong for Regency and studied Cantonese under Fr Charles Daly (who authored a Dictionary of Cantonese Chinese).
Because of the war he was sent to Shanghai for Theology along with Tim Doody, Joe McAsey and John Wood.
Then he returned to work at Wah Yan College Hong Kong and Kowloon.
His keen interest was in sports and he was Sports Master at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

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

Corbett, Martin Burke, 1876-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/103
  • Person
  • 27 December 1876-05 January 1957

Born: 27 December 1876, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 December 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, Belvedere College SJ
Died: 05 January 1957, Mungret College, County Limerick

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 32nd Year No 2 1957

Obituary :
Fr Martin Corbett (1876-1957)
On the morning of Sth January, Fr. Corbett was unexpectedly taken from us in the 81st year of his age and the 62nd of his religious life, Only a few days before, during the Christmas festivities, we had been celebrating a well-known domestic event, his birthday. This year there seemed to be special cause for jubilation. Fr. Corbett had just made a very good recovery from a cycling accident which had kept him in St. John's Hospital for many weeks, he was now almost back to normal activity, and we looked forward with confidence to see him add quite a few more years to the goodly four score completed, On Friday, the day before his death, he had an X-Ray examination in St. John's which it was hoped might throw light on a certain stomach trouble that had been causing anxiety over Christmas. He returned to us at midday, a little tired after the ordeal, but obviously pleased that a thorough investigation had been made, and also relieved that nothing serious had been discovered. The remainder of that day went in the usual community round and he retired after Litanies at 9 o'clock. Next morning he was up in good time and apparently fully dressed when he felt the first warning of a heart attack, without seeming to recognised it as such. When it was just time to go down for Mass he came out to the corridor and, finding one of the Community nearby, asked him to come over to his room. Here he explained in a few words the symptoms of a sudden attack which seemed to puzzle rather than frighten or distress him. With a slight hesitation he accepted a suggestion to lie down for a while, then stretched himself as he was full length on his bed and seemed to settle down to rest. In perhaps less than a minute more, and with only a slight sign of struggle, he had passed into unconsciousness.
Father Rector was immediately summoned and anointed him. All the available members of the Community gathered to say the last prayers.
At the Solemn Office and Requiem on Monday His Lordship the Bishop presided and gave the last Absolution. Father Rector was celebrant of the Mass and Father Provincial said the prayers at the graveside. A large number of priests and laity were present.
Fr. Corbett was born on 27th December, 1876. After five years as a boy in Clongowes he entered the Noviciate on the eve of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1895. When the usual period of Noviceship and Juniorate was completed he was sent to Valkenburg for Philosophy where he remained three years. His first year of colleges was spent in his Alma Mater as Prefect and Editor of The Clongownian. Next year he was transferred to the staff of Belvedere, where, besides being engaged in teaching, he was assistant editor of the Messenger for two years, In 1905 he returned to Clongowes as Prefect for four years after which he went to Milltown Park for Theology. He was ordained priest in 1912 and made his Tertianship in Tullabeg the following year. From 1913 to 1917, years eventful enough in Irish and world history, he was Minister in Belvedere College and was witness of many stirring scenes in Dublin in those days. In 1917 he went for a year as Procurator to Tullabeg and then as Procurator to Clongowes for a further six years. In 1924 he began his long association with Mungret, where he was first Procurator of the house and farm for two years, then Procurator of the farm for the next seven years. From 1933 onwards he was chiefly engaged in teaching, most of the time taking charge of the subsidiary subjects, English and Physics, in the school of Philosophy. In this work he continued to the end, and no doubt will be kindly remembered by many an Old Mungret priest on the Foreign Mission field.
Fr. Corbett was an excellent community man. Despite his deafness, increasing with the years and so patiently borne, he always managed to keep contact with the brethren and to contribute a full share to the happiness and gaiety of every one. The community was his home, he was never willingly far away, Polite and courteous - in a word, found as he would like to be found, a gentleman. His sound judgment, accurate memory and shrewd sense were recognised, and his verdict or opinion sought on a variety of subjects. Was there a big legal case or a sworn inquiry in the news - he was in his element commenting on the cross examination, speculating on the probable result. Invariably he would recall a similar case of long ago, or tell a good story of a clever swindle or a dramatic arrest-his stories in this line were numerous, but he had many others too, not all in serious vein, of course, but all told word perfect. In matters of practical bearing on the improvement of Mungret, which indeed he ever had at heart, his suggestions were listened to by Superiors with respect and often acted on with profit. It was no small tribute to his practical versatility that he was chosen by Fr. Fahy, when Provincial, to take charge of the arrangements for the preparation of St. Mary's, Emo, for the Novices in 1930. When he was Master of a Villa the community could be confident that every detail would be seen to, in particular that the commissariat would be all right. They could be sure too, incidentally, that, kind-hearted though he was, a modicum of discipline would be maintained for the good of everyone. Fr. Corbett was himself, first and last, a man of regularity, who did not believe in avoidable absence or un - punctuality in community duties. His own example in this, and in particular his devotion to the Brothers' Points night after night for over twenty years were most edifying.
But no picture of Fr. Corbett could be complete without the old bicycle. The local people will surely miss the vision of the ageing priest, upright on the high frame, quietly and purposely pushing his way, hugging the side of the road - he took no needless risks - as the cars and lorries whisked past. It was his afternoon recreation, simple, inexpensive and healthy, and must have kept him not only healthy but cheerful and bright in darker times. He loved the countryside, the stretch of Lough More, the ploughed fields, the waving corn. He loved the Limerick Docks and the ships from all parts - to speak here and there perhaps with an old friend or acquaintance and then to tell at home of all he heard and saw. “A grand old man” “a noble priest” “a most loyal Jesuit”, they said about him.
At the turn of the year, when days are lengthening, a season of hope, he liked to talk about and think upon, it was then it came the day that knows no darkening - “that the highest Truth ever enlightened, a day always secure and never changing its state for the contrary”. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Martin Corbett SJ 1876-1957
Like Fr William Kane, Fr Martin Corbett was connected so long with Mungret as to become almost identified with it. Like Fr Kane too, his imposing frame seated on the inevitable bicycle was familiar to all the inhabitants of Mungret and the denizens of the Docks. This was his invariable form of recreation and exercise for years.

A man of remarkable gifts of mind, he was hampered throughout his life by deafness, yet his judgement and practical ability were prized by Superiors.

He held the post of Procurator in Tullabeg, Clongowes and Mungret, and was chosen for his administrative ability by the Provincial Fr Fahy, to open our new house at Emo.

He was a valuable asset in the community, a model of punctuality and observance, faithful to the duties assigned to him, teaching English and Physics to the Apostolic School for many years. All of these past Apostolics will remember him with affection and gratitude.

He had quite a flair for writing in his younger days and wrote a couple of boys’ stories which had a wide circulation published by the CTSI and the Messenger Office.

He died quite suddenly on January 5th 1957 in his 81st year, having lived 61 years in the Society he loved so well.

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, 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.

Early education at Clongowes 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.

Counihan, John, 1916-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/650
  • Person
  • 29 December 1916-07 March 2001

Born: 29 December 1916, Ennis, County Clare
Entered: 09 February 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1959, Charles Lwanga College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died; 07 March 2001, John Chula House, Lusaka, Zambia

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

1st Zambia Province (ZAM) Vice-Provincial: 03 December 1969
Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969-1976

by 1957 at Chivuna, N Rhodesia - Regency

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr John was a man for whom decisions came before sentiment and who rarely changed his mind once he had made it up. This was the basis of the affectionately critical nickname given to him by some scholastics and others, namely "Dr No" because of his "no" to many requests. After finishing as provincial, he returned to Charles Lwanga TTC to lecture in education. One evening at table, a member of the community said to him, "John, you are right. You seem to know everything”. John replied, 'They do not call me" "Dr. Know" for nothing'!

He was born in Ennis, in Co Clare, Ireland, into a large family. He went to Clongowes Wood College for his secondary education and left laden with academic prizes. He attended University College in Dublin to study classics and after an M.A. won a traveling scholarship in ancient classics which brought him to Leipzig University in Germany. His academic habits served him well in studying the scriptures which would be his favourite spare time occupation for the rest of his life. Later a Greek New Testament and a Tonga dictionary helped him prepare Sunday homilies.

At the age of 26, he entered the Society at Emo in 1942. After the customary study of philosophy and theology, he was ordained priest in Milltown Park in 1951. He went to teach Latin and Greek at Belvedere College in 1953 but three years later found him in Zambia. He learnt ciTonga after arrival and then moved to Canisius Secondary School until the newly built Teacher Training College across the river was opened. Then he went there to be its first principal, 1959 to 1964.

He then went to Monze as education secretary for the diocese and Bishop's secretary. However the unification of the two Missions of Chikuni and Lusaka brought about the creation of the vice-province of Zambia with John as first provincial from 1969 to 1976. This was no easy task, to get the different nationalities of Jesuits to think of themselves as one province. He organised an international novitiate for Eastern Africa, built Luwisha House near the university for future scholastic undergraduates and encouraged the recruitment of young Zambians into the Society. Such recruitment had been inhibited for a long time by the necessary policy of building up the local clergy. In 1975, the province began working in the Copperbelt. He was duly gratified at the end of his term of office when Fr Mertens, the Assistant for Africa said to him, “You have done a good job, you have set up a Jesuit province”.

After being provincial, he returned south again to the Monze diocese to the staff of Charles Lwanga TTC from 1978 to 1984, and then to Kizito Pastoral Centre, 1985 to 1998, to help in the formation of local religious.

A colleague paid the following tribute to him: "I recall some of John's characteristics. Such an intelligent man can hardly have been blind to the difficult spots in the characters of some of his confrères. Yet, I never heard him speak negatively of another. His tendency was to idealise them. Even if he was firm to the point of inflexibility in his decisions, he was unfailingly courteous, considerate and kind to others. You could always count on him being in a good humour. He did not wear his prayer life on his sleeve, yet he was everything that is implied in the term, ‘a good religious’. Without being overly pious he clearly gave priority to his spiritual life, took an Ignatian view of life's details and sought God in everything".

In 1999, John retired to Chula House in Lusaka, the infirmary for Jesuits, where he died peacefully on 7th March 2001.

Note from Jean Indeku Entry
He was pulled back to Charles Lwanga TTC as minister and bursar where he looked after the brethren well. Later the first provincial, Fr John Counihan used to tell the story of how, as he was being transferred to Monze, went into to John and asked him where the week-end refreshments appeared in the books, which he had carefully scrutinised but failed to locate. Fr Indekeu replied laconically ‘Look under jam’.

Note from Philip O’Keeffe Entry
I was privileged to live, for Philip was born in Ennis, Co Clare on 12 June 1946. Two genuinely saintly men. The elder statesman, John Counihan, would stand up promptly at eight pm and announce ‘All right boys, I'll leave you to it. It's time for me to retire’. And he'd toddle off to his room to the Greek New Testament and Tonga New Testament laid out side by side on his desk – no English – and he'd prepare his homily for the following day

Counihan, Tom, 1891-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/461
  • Person
  • 11 October 1891-12 January 1982

Born: 11 October 1891, Kilrush, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1909, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1928, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 12 January 1982, Richmond Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park community at the time of death
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ
Awarded a BSc 1st Class at UCD 1914, and offered a Postgraduate Scholarship, which he did not accept.
by 1915 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948
Frs. Counihan and Edward Coyne are acting as members of a Commission set up by the Government Department of Social Welfare, at the end of March, to examine Emigration and other Population Problems. The former is still working on the Commission on Youth Unemployment, while Fr. Coyne, who served on the Commission on Vocational Organisation appointed in 1939, and whose Report was published five years later, is at present Deputy Chairman of the Central Savings Committee, Chairman of the Joint Industrial Council for Beads Industry, Chairman of the Joint Labour Committee for Solicitors, Member of the Joint Labour Committee for the Creamery Industry, Member of the Council of the Statistical Society.

Irish Province News 57th Year No 2 1982
Obituary
Fr Thomas Counihan (1891-1909-1982)

I well remember Fr Tom Counihan coming to Belvedere in September 1916, when I was a boy in “prep”. We boys thought it strange that he should be so bald, knowing that he was only in his middle twenties. Our first impression of him was that we had a pleasant-looking fellow as our master, one who seemed happily disposed towards us and might not be too strict. Furthermore, on talking to us he gave us the impression of being kindly, and before long we discovered that he had a good sense of humour and could laugh just like any of ourselves.
As we got to know him better, we found that we had a master who would stand no nonsense and would expect us to listen to him and learn from what he had to say. He was strict, firm and determined, all with a view to teaching us and getting the best out of us. Behind all this we found him a most understanding teacher, scrupulously fair and prepared to listen to us. His subjects were mathematics and chemistry and he was a most competent teacher of both subjects.
Two very close and lifelong colleagues of his were in Belvedere to meet him on the first day he arrived: Fr Tom Ryan [d. 1971] and Fr Charlie Molony [d. 1978]. The former was dedicated to Dublin newsboys and particularly to the Belvedere Newsboys' Club, where he was much beloved by the boys. In later years he spent all his time working with the people of Hong Kong. The latter on leaving Belvedere spent most of his time in St Francis Xavier's church, Gardiner street, and during his free time gave much support to the Old Belvedere Rugby Club, of which he was a founder member.
In his second year at Belvedere Fr Tom was assigned to the task of training the JCT. In the previous year, Mr Vincent Conlon, an Australian scholastic (d. 1959), had trained the team with such success that they won the Cup, beating our old rivals Blackrock in the final. Fr Tom had come to Belvedere from Clongowes, where he had played soccer. He knew nothing about the finer points of the game rugby, yet by sheer determination and dedication, he learned rugby skills to great perfection. Twice a week time we trained and on Wednesdays and Saturdays we had games against other schools. By the end of the season our team had greatly improved, especially in the art of passing the ball, and due to Fr Tom's efforts and enthusiasm we went through the Cup series winning all our games, thereby retaining the Cup, having played Castleknock three times in the final. The following year, Fr Tom trained us again with the same eagerness and keenness as in the previous year, and his dedication was so earnest that there was nothing we boys would not do for him. The result was that for the third year in succession we won the Cup, having beaten Blackrock once again in the final. It must be said of Fr Tom that for one who knew so little about rugby when he came to Belvedere, great credit was due to him for being the trainer of two consecutive Cup-winning sides. We schoolboys were conscious of his great devotion to our Lady of Lourdes. He knew by heart the days when she had appeared to St Bernadette, and rolled them off for us. He would expect a postcard from any boys going to Lourdes, and it would be seen later on his mantelpiece. If you went to Lourdes and failed to send a card, he would tell you so when next he saw you. He helped in the formation of the Belvedere Society of our Lady of Lourdes. Fr Tom was chaplain to the Belvedere Newsboys’ Club for many year later and endeared himself to the boys by his love and concern for them, They too regarded him as a friend whose advice they sought and respected. The young newsboys sold the Dublin Evening Mail and the Evening Herald barefoot on the streets of Dublin. The price of a paper then was one old penny, and a boy’s earnings for the evening were about a shilling, provided he had sold four dozen papers. Fr Tom gave many retreats to these newsboys, during which they came to know him really well, making friendships that lasted many years.
We Old Belvederians greatly enjoyed the retreats Fr Tom gave us in Milltown Park. He kept strictly to the Gospels and would talk to us for three-quarters of an hour without a note in front of him. We benefitted greatly from all he told us. To the Christian Brothers also he gave many retreats in their various houses: he was proud of his connection with them. One year he gave a retreat in the Clarendon street Carmelite church, a fairly big church. For five or six days he spoke to the people, having pushed the micro phone to one side.
He had a loud voice and used it to great effect in churches and oratories, the classroom and the playing-fields, I might add that he also used it in his own room, and when people knocked at his door he answered “Come in” with a voice that could be heard at the end of the corridor. Many visitors came to his room daily, some for a chat, some for advice, and some for confession. He would not leave his room in case he might miss one of these friends who needed him.
He had a great admiration for Frank Duff, who was a particular friend of his throughout life. He read Abbot Marmion's books and thought them excellent for spiritual reading. Fr Tom did not smoke, but to the end enjoyed his pinch of snuff, which he said kept him from dozing.
To me who knew him when he came to Belvedere and later visited him in his last days in Milltown Park and Richmond hospital, Fr Tom had changed very little. He came to Belvedere as one who was always happy, with a pleasant smile on his face, jovial and friendly, with a good sense of humour. Later on, he uttered criticism at times but laughed it off as a bit of fun. He would not spare those in high office: yet he had nothing but the highest praise for his own superior, who showed the utmost concern for his needs at all times.
We Belvederians well remember him as a true friend, one with a deep affection for us, whose wisdom and advice we sought and respected, who was deeply spiritual and put all his trust in the Mother of God. He told us: Devotus Mariae nunquam peribit, nunquam.
E.D.

Here is a viewpoint from the Far East:
As a student in the College of Surgeons, I first met Fr Counihan while on a week-end retreat in Rathfarnham in 1950. I was enthralled by his patriarchal manner, so understandingly human and yet so authoritarian and inspiring. He prided himself on voting Labour, and certainly was the working-man’s guru. Later on in the Society, I always had a warm spot in my heart for him. For three years in Rathfarnham I helped in the refectory by reading at meals for boys and men on retreat. Fr Tom and I got to know each other well.
He prided himself on Abbot Marmion, whom he had known. Everything said by Vatican II is in Marmion, he used to say! Perhaps the Belvedere connection was important here. He always had a predilection for Belvederians! This however did not restrain him from making caustic criticism. His witty tongue spared no one, and his prophetic denunciation covered all - Provincial and Taoiseach, superior and bishop - usually to the delight and enjoyment of listeners. With a whiff of snuff, the word of God was on his tongue. He claimed to be a priest to whom boys - and most ordinary men - listened. He had the wavelength of, and a charism for, people of the 1950s and 1960s. I remember his week-end retreats were based on the Sunday liturgy. The Mass prayers and Scripture texts were written out in his hand and placed on the board. His spirit was indomitable, forthright and courageous - to the edification and admiration of most people. A man of God for men, he told me he never visited anyone, as a visit was a waste of time, He was always available for anyone who called on him: many did call.
Surely he was a disciple of John the Baptist. May he pray for vocation to preach the word of God, to bring consolation to the desolate, forgiveness to the erring and vision to the down hearted.

Irish Province News 57th Year No 3 1982

Obituary
Fr Thomas Counihan (1891-1909-1982) : Continued
†12th January 1982
Fr Thomas Counihan passed into eternal life in the 91st year of his age, having outlived his eight brothers and five sisters. The President of Ireland, Dr Hillery, and the Archbishop of Dublin,Dr Dermot Ryan, who had been a schoolboy under him at Belvedere, sent letters of condolence. The former spoke of the encouragement he had been given Fr Tom when he was minister for Education, while the latter noted the sustained interest which Fr Tom had taken in the welfare of many of the priests and people of the diocese. Many other hearts were moved to pay tribute, and several of these appear in these pages. The brethren rallied in strength to his requiem; Fr Tom had remarked some years ago, on the death of one of his years.Jesuit peers, that now there were no more colourful characters left in the Province. It was an ingenuous judgment: he himself was one of the great characters among us; an institution, larger than life, he sailed like a liner among tugs, bumping some and swamping others, and it was impossible not to notice him with awe, so certain was his course and so majestic. He was very human, full of contradictions, an extravagant personality, never dull, gleefully imitated.
He was born in Kilrush, Co.Clare, and went to the local Christian Brothers School; there began that interest in and respect for the Brothers which endured throughout his long life. “I saw Christianity in the Brothers in Kilrush. Their ascetic spirituality appealed to him, and in his latter years he used lament the softness and slackness into which he saw the Society slipping, and contrast us unfavourably with the Brothers. For thirty years he was their spiritual director and through direct contact and a large : correspondence had enormous influence among them. He loved them and trusted them, “When I die, the Brothers are to be told first, and a Brother will come and clear out my room: I want no Jesuits to touch it”. Given the state of his room, a small battalion would have been required for this labour of love, but Tom had no doubt but that the Brothers would have responded to the call.
He finished his secondary education in at Tullabeg. He moved on to UCD for three years, taking a science degree - he had obtained first place in Ireland in Chemistry while at Clongowes, winning a gold medal in the process. Because of the outbreak of World War One his further studies in science were interrupted, nor were they ever resumed. He went to Stonyhurst for two years philosophy, and returned in 1916 to teach in Belvedere. Among the pupils of that five-year period was Kevin Barry, whose confidence he won, and who sent for him the night before his execution.
In 1921 he began theology at Milltown Park, and was ordained after two years, a privilege granted to those who had spent many years in regency. After two further years of theology, Fr John Fahy, the Provincial of the day, seeking to remedy some urgent problems at Mungret College, sent Tom there as Minister instead of forwarding him to tertianship. Tom remembered the challenge well: there were three tasks assigned him; the ending of the food strikes by the boys; the cleaning of the house, and the reconciling of the opposing views of the Rector and the Superior of the Apostolic School. His principle for reform, repeated to me 55 years later in reference to Milltown Park was: bona culina, bona disciplina. “When. I got to the front door, I asked for water and a mop. I washed my way to my room! I found an excellent layman to take over the kitchen, and the whole atmosphere changed within a week. Everyone was thrilled: I examined every plate of food and every cup, and the Provincial said at Visitation that I was the best Minister he ever appointed”.
The following year saw Tom in tertianship in Tullabeg. He was remembered as “always jolly and gay, . and a good choirmaster”. In 1927 sent back to Belvedere, where he was Headmaster for six years. Highly respected and successful, he taught Maths and Science, coached successful rugby and cricket teams, and had great control over the boys. He had a lifelong interest in sport, and was good at games. To the end he recalled a Visitors versus Community match about 1930, when, partnered by Fr Matty Bodkin, he scored 97 runs. And during a school retreat in . 1954 at Rathfarnham, to illustrate the importance of determination, he told us how once, when playing Gaelic in Kilrush, he got the ball near the goal, lay down and yelled to his team-mates: |Kick me into the net!” He told me that he was excellent at tennis: “Cyril (Power) and I at were unbeatable: I stayed at the back and Cyril went to the net: I returned all the shots he missed”. Reminiscences of such feats, delicately tinted with passing of the years, consoled him in the time of his infirmity.

In the public eye
In 1933 his talents as preacher and as a 'man's man' were given full scope, when he was appointed to the Mission and Retreat Staff. He was stationed at Emo first (1933-41) and then at Rathfarnham (1941-'43), Although he once described himself as “patched-up second tenor” he knew he had a splendid voice and could pitch it at will: he made of it a most effective apostolic instrument. His clear faith, unclouded as it seems by even a moment's doubt, made his message clear and convincing. He liked especially his work with Fr Garahy: between them they attracted huge crowds. Tom developed hymn-singing and revelled in leading his congregation at Missions and Benedictions, although once, to general dismay, he failed to get the right note, and overheard a remark afterwards that he sounded like a bellowing calf. He claimed he could drown out the Rathfarnham organ; to which challenge Fr H. Croasdaile rose by putting on an 8 foot Diapason.
He was at the height of his energies in this period; he remarked once that he had had indifferent health till his mid-forties, and suffered from a distressing, though harmless heart complaint throughout his life, but now he was travelling the length and breadth of Ireland, moving from parish to parish, always available. “I came home once after giving a Long Retreat, and got a message to start another one that night, and off I went. I gave more and better retreats than anyone else. To give a long retreat you have to make it yourself and give good example. I never took a villa – too many retreats to give ...”
For many years Dr John C. McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin, was his friend. “The Arch' as Fr Tom called him, engaged him to give spiritual nourishment to the seminarians in Clonliffe and so began a series of long retreats and lasting friendships with men of the diocese. His Grace asked for him to sit on the Government Commission on Youth and Unemployment (1943-50). His work as civil servant was obviously appreciated, for he was next appointed to the Commission on Emigration. The reports of both Commissions are published. Fr Tom had little to say in later years about their impact, “but at least I got all the members coming to confession and reading Marmion!” He was a fine public speaker and often addressed several meetings a week. His addresses were always full of Christian principle and conviction: the Labour men respected him, and Jim Larkin on his death-bed would have no one else but Fr Tom. We who came to know him only in his declining years would not have thought of him as a mediator; yet the daily arrival of a personal copy of the Irish Independent was a constant reminder that he had intervened to avert a newspaper strike. He was Chaplain to the Lord Mayor in the 1950s. He and "The Arch' fell out at a public meeting about the same time, because of a disagreement over policy. Happily good relations were restored at the time of Rathfarnham Retreat House's golden jubilee (1963).
His naive candour about his achievements ("Guess how many confessions I heard tonight!) added to his ex cathedra statements (I'm telling you ...) frustrated and annoyed many: those who disagreed with him found him difficult; patience was needed, but there seem to have been no shortage of patient men around, for the number of those who valued his friendship was legion. They valued his prayers during his lifetime too, and now have even greater trust in ' his power of intercession with God on their behalf. He had the ability to relate ' easily with young and old; doctors, : lawyers, bricklayers, priests – all could come and use him as consultant, moral theologian, as confessor and as friend. He was a great supporter of the Larkins and of James Connolly, and was sensitive to the rights of workers. He knew the social teaching of the Popes, and warned that anyone taking the encyclicals seriously would get into trouble. Men of vision and nonconformists often found in him an ally; institutions and officials which were failing in their duties found in him an outspoken and fearless critic. The lapsed called him 'the hound of heaven'; his zeal for souls sent him out on the streets to search for a relapsed alcoholic. He was sensitive, and visibly saddened if a penitent failed to keep the contract made in confession. He acknowledged that he good at helping the determined, but poor with the indecisive: he was grateful to be able to turn those with vocation crisis over to men like Fr Joe Erraught.

Retreat work
In 1950 he moved from Leeson street to Rathfarnham as Assistant Director of the Retreat House, and was equally effective both with men and boys. His years at Belvedere had taught him all the tricks of the schoolboy mind: in early 1954 we Sixth-years from St Vincent’s came trooping up the avenue towards the Castle, plotting all sorts of mischief. But the “The Coon” as we called him, dominated everything. He was impressive with his bald head and its odd bump at the back covered by a black skull-cap; but more by his voice and his kindly face. We knew he cared about us. He spaced us out, four to a bench, each with his own place, so that there would be no fooling in the chapel; he had a book which all must sign and this entailed going to his room, which ended in a chat and confession. His simple emphasis on the person of Christ was compelling. The tough grew silent, and that autumn, ten of the group went on for the priesthood.
For him the weekend retreats were times as of maximum effort. He was to be found after midnight of the opening night, patrolling Rathfarnham avenue with Br s John Adams, to catch the 'trailers - the nervous and the drunk. “The best wine comes last”, he'd say. He would see a man in the distance, go to him and lead him gently in. He became oblivious of time when dealing with the men in his room: Bishops took their turn in the queue, “I'm no respecter of persons”. Retreats didn't end on Monday morning: he encouraged men to return for direction. Marmion was most recommended; also Fulton Sheen. For spiritual ills, his remedies were crisp: frequent confession, penance and spiritual reading.
His penances were widely known was among the retreatants. “It's good for them to hear me (using the discipline)” he would say. The whole of religion is pain; you have to pay that price for the conversion of others. We are priests and victims. No man has ever refused to see me, because I suffered for them all. I used the discipline and the chain for the conversion of sinners. I got the idea from Michael Browne, my novice-master – he's a saint. A Bishop once asked me: “Is it true you use the scourge?” I said: “Yes. Do you?” I asked about his arthritis which had become so crippling towards end. “That's from the chains I wore.After a while the metal dug into the flesh and then affected the bone. Of course the pain is terrible, but I won't take anything to ease it. I must offer it to God, to make up what is wanting to the sufferings of Christ”. One felt that God must be impressed by his motivation. Not many could follow his ascetical path: “I didn't go to him for confession or counselling said one of the brethren, because I was afraid of his grá for the discipline”.
He came to Milltown in 1957, after some turbulence over the management of Rathfarnham, Again he was appointed Assistant Director of the Retreat House.
It may be noted that except for some work in England, he never travelled abroad: one may speculate on the scope of his life-work had he been assigned to Australia or to Hong Kong after tertianship. Priests' and professional men's retreat work, retained his connections during Fr Tom's time as Assistant Director. He continued to do outside retreat work retained his connections with the Christian Brothers, had time for innumerable visitors and penitents, and followed the fortunes of the English cricket team. His certitude about the rightness of his own convictions gave great security to many friends and penitents: “If you'll just do as I say, you'll be all right!' He loved company and friendship, and even in his declining years had a marvellous memory of persons met long ago. His correspondence was huge: requests for Masses and prayers were unending.
He loved the poor and was very kindly. As rector, I got into the habit of asking him for cash for the needy who came to the front door, and he never failed: sometimes he would give his pocket-money, while on other occasions he would tell a well-to-do penitent that money was needed, and it would be generously given. When he finally went into hospital the poor at the door mourned his departure. A side of him that was suitably hidden from most was his great generosity, thoughtfulness and sympathy for the really poor and those who have no one to champion their cause. He was never embarrassed to use his influence for them: he kept to the end a great interest in them and their families. He interceded with State bodies for the poor, and could be relied on to get jobs for the needy, with his vast network of friends, but more by his gift of persuasion. His remarkable memory for names and faces helped here. A correspondent who lived many years with him gives the following summary:
“One reason for his great apostolic success was that he kept his nose to the grindstone: his was the asceticism of being in his room, always welcoming and available. He took little exercise, and no holidays - nor did he take dessert, nor drink nor smoke cigarettes. All he allowed himself was a little snuff. He never, to my knowledge, read a novel, nor watched a film; he restricted his use of the radio to sport, and refused TV altogether. He went to bed at all hours, as the apostolate demanded, but was up often at 4.15 am. He had great devotion to the Stations of the Cross, which he said in the Chapel until his legs would support him no longer, and in his final years made them in his room, where he had a large set on the wall. He admired Fr Willie Doyle, Matt Talbot, and most of all his novice master, Fr Michael Browne – all of them great ascetics. He lived for the spread of the Gospel, and if he took a day off, he spent it with the Christian Brothers in Bray, hearing in dealing with them. confessions. A simple pleasure which he indulged to the end was the crossword. When stuck, he used ring up one of his friends for help, and the business of the city would be halted while the clue was worked out!”
In regard to Fr Michael Browne, another correspondent adds: “He told me he owed everything to Fr Browne, and that he had tried to build his life on his teaching. He said that whatever way Michael Browne spoke, of us you would be moved by what he said; for example, by the statement: God needs you, or We must be not only priests but victims. I think Fr Michael would have been proud of him: everything he undertook for God, he did well”.

The later years
From about 1970 onward, his arthritis gave increasing trouble, and we watched with awe his declining years, the slowly diminishing sphere of his activity. First a room on the first floor, so that getting to the door would not be too awkward. Then a handrail so that he could manage the stairs. Then a room on the Chapel Corridor when stairs became impossible. Slow walks up and down the drive with faithful and patient companion, Fr Brendan Lawler. Then confined to the room, a den of wild chaos: plants, dust, tattered booklets, snuff. We spent weeks wondering would he refuse the wheelchair. Then one day: “There are our stages in getting old, you know. First it's the room, then the chair, then even the bed, and then the box”. He wondered once if Fr Willie Doyle, whose photo he had in his room, would have coped well with the pains of old age, a harder asceticism than the freely-chosen austerities of youth. Lively and athletic as he had been, he never complained about the ever-increasing restrictions the Lord placed on him. He was blessed in his infirmarian, Br Joe Cleary, even if he seldom acknowledged it openly. Joe built him a padded chair, and it became his throne: there he sat and slept and prayed, and held court and heard confessions, read the Tablet and said innumerable rosaries - the 15 mysteries daily.
He loved Our Lady, and read a five-volume Life of her, written by the Ven. Mary Agreda, and used quote at length passages detailing “facts” known neither to scripture nor tradition. He kept all Mary's feastdays with great solemnity, and was deeply devoted to Our Lady of Lourdes and Bernadette. Little wonder that Frank Duff was a long-standing friend, and that Legion of Mary affairs were important to him. I like to think of of him being wheeled down the Milltown Corridor by Br Joe Cleary or Bill Reddy – the latter used to stand in for the infirmarian, and put up patiently with lots of abuse when Tom was in poor mood, and that Bill did so is a measure of the devotion and respect Tom inspired in so many. Anyway, down the corridor he'd come and swing into the refectory: anyone daring to obstruct his progress t got poked with a stick. Tom dominated the refectory from his chosen table, singing a hymn at the top of his voice, and delighted if he created attention or gathered a chorus. “They're all too dull in his here: look at them all with their solemn faces. They need to smile”. It was hard, even on a wet morning, not to smile at him, with his black knitted hat firmly on the back of his head, and his gown and coat covered in snuff. Perhaps he recognised that he was not a community man, and that in fact distances and chasms yawned between him and some of the brethren, and in his own inimitable way was trying to make up, by allowing himself to become a figure of fun. It was a source of lifelong hurt to him never to have been invited to give a retreat to Jesuits; he felt a lack of trust in the “management”. He ignored the fact that many other good men had also failed to receive such an invitation.
He was a convinced anti-feminist, though he gave many retreats to sisters in his heyday. He had an Aloysius-like respect for the Ne tangas, rejected female nurses, and would have no women in for confession: he was there for the men, and others could look after the weaker sex. Sisters crowding around the Milltown Institute notice-boards learned to scatter at his approach. In the chapel, if one happened to be obscuring his line of vision of the tabernacle, a stage whisper would float through the air and the guilty soul, breathless with adoration though she might be, had to slink further along her bench. He opposed the introduction women visitors into the refectory: in this he was not unique. But when the battle was long lost, he still continued a guerrilla warfare by protesting against any women who happened to be facing him: they should all face up the Refectory and away from him. In his last year, however, spent in the Richmond, had to submit to the ministrations of the female staff, and by and large bore it well. He used to boast at Milltown that he took a bath twice a year, whether he needed it or not: when the nurses took charge of him, they apparently decided that this boast had been true, and proceeded to give him an ether bath, “They removed four or five pounds from me. They're very wicked nurses; now I'll be a prey to all sorts of diseases which the dirt saved me from”. The nurses grew very fond of him and tended him with love: it is not clear just how much that love was reciprocated!
The obverse of that simple certitude which was a blessing to so many was a quality of intolerance with those who disagreed with him. He was an easy man to work with only while one was on his side. The tale is told of a retreat for priests at Milltown. Tom had not been assigned to give it, but he thought little of the man who had, So at the end of each talk he would lurk about at the door of the chapel and waylay one of the group and ask: “Well, what did he say this time?” One being told, he would snort: “Rubbish”, and proceed to give his, the correct, version. These remedial instructions were so comprehensive that one retreatant was left with the scruple that perhaps he should pay for two retreats instead of one, while another felt that he was excused from the obligation of the following year's retreat.
He had a clear eye for the faults of the brethren, and could articulate them in devastating fashion. As Headmaster he acknowledged that he would have got rid of a number of scholastics then teaching in Belvedere, while fifty years later he offered unsolicited advice of the same nature to me at the breakfast-table. In his early years with the Christian Brothers. he was idolised by many because he seemed so far ahead in his outlook: it was sad that growth stopped at some point such that the forward movement of the Society and of the Province since 1965 left him angry and embittered. He could see nothing but compromise and weakness in many developments, and felt that the original spirit of the Society had been betrayed. Perhaps not surprisingly, he seemed untroubled by any regrets for his sometimes scathing criticisms. Superiors bore the brunt of his wrath, and so I entered on the job of Rector of Milltown in 1974 with trepidation, but a reliance on the fact that he had a soft spot for me, having sent me to the novitiate. Thus began a breakfast-table friendship, something forbidden all others. Through good moods or ill we chatted about the issues of the day; as the years passed and his deafness (selective, some thought) increased, I was cast as passive listener: while he played the part of self-appointed admonitor of all who needed correction, from Father General down to the kitchen staff. The remarkable thing was that if one stood up to him and contradicted him, there would be a brief storm, after which he would ease up and laugh. It was said of him that he lived by indignation. Certainly he loved the ring of battle: Quem timebo? he would say. But while he took joy into the smash that put his opponent away, he could acknowledge a good return and passing shot too. I look back on my years with him as a great privilege: sometimes I wonder if his crusty exterior was a façade for an inner gentleness. When he left Milltown for the last time, en route first to Our Lady's Hospice and then, at his nephew's insistence, to the Richmond (where Harry, his nephew, was Consultant), I went to tidy his room, and found there the letter I had sent him in 1954, three days after my entering Emo. Why should that have meant so much to him? Another gentle touch came at the end of a visit to him in hospital, when he said: “I. hope I wasn't boring?” On another occasion I was sitting on his bed, chatting, and moved position after a while. There was silence for a bit, then he said: “Now you're sitting on my other leg”. When I took leave of him in September 1981, and said I'd see him in six months, he was silent, but I'd almost swear his eyes glistened.
Thus, like most of us, he was a man of contradictions. 'Quem timebo?' yet he could not bear to sleep alone in the house at night. A totally spiritual man, yet he feared death and could be thrown into panic by a heart condition which though distressing, he knew to be harmless. Likewise, he had his gentle side and his rough edges. The trick was to learn to roll with the punches. 'Whatever job they give you next, he said to the Province Delegate for Formation, 'I hope it won't be in formation: you're useless at it! Fourth-year Fathers had to learn not to take too seriously the admonition; "You're not fit for hearing Confessions, Leave that work to me: it's me they want."

The end
He cherished for long a desire to be buried with the Christian Brothers: opinions differed on the real reason: Was it his lifelong friendship with them, or the fact that Brothers are buried in individual graves, whereas Jesuits have a single mass grave? The latter would appear to be the true reason; he let slip one day that he was concerned that in 50 years' time 'people won't be able to find me in Glasnevin!' The presumption was that there'd be those around who would wish to know: some of his brethren would consider this an irritating conceit. But he operated with a different frame work from that currently in vogue: Fr Michael Browne had taught him the importance of sanctity: it was a goal to be achieved, not simply admired in the saints of old. The means were clear: constancy in prayer, asceticism, zeal for the Kingdom of God, and total faith in God's grace. Tom saw miracles of grace worked in his friends and penitents; it did not seem too strange to him to think that God would do likewise in himself, and that he might be chosen by God as a channel of grace for others after his death, just as he had been during his lifetime.
In 1979 Fr Tom celebrated his 70th year in the Society, and the occasion was marked by a lunch in his honour, at the close of which he made a speech. "Love and joy' he said, “have been the chief characteristics of my life.' His hearers were a trifle incredulous then, but not so now. He has entered into the company of Love and Joy, and laughter and the love of friends innumerable are his again. And I have little doubt but that as he looks down on our topsy-turvy world he indulges in the occasional comment, meant for Them, as to what remedial steps should be taken.

Coyle Desmond A J, 1912-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/739
  • Person
  • 10 April 1912-11 October 1962

Born: 10 April 1912, Clontarf, Dublin
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Woodstock College MD, USA
Died: 11 October 1962, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

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

Younger brother of Rupert - RIP 1978; Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1947 at Woodstock MD, USA (MAR) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

America :
Fr. Desmond Coyle, Woodstock College, Woodstock, Maryland :
“There were three other priests on board, two Irish-American parish. priests and a Capetown parish priest, so we had four Masses each morning in the ship's library, the first said by myself at 5.30. The times of the Masses were announced over the public address system in English and French, A French sub-deacon from Marseilles did the French announcing. We had Confessions on Thursday for the First Friday and 47 went to Holy Communion. After the Masses on Friday the Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart was recited. One of the priests, who bad made the voyage several times, said he had never seen so many attending Mass. The three priests were a godsend to the passengers, as they were very lively and organised sing-songs every evening for young folk. It was amusing to see some very black Protestants from Belfast succumb to the charm of Fr. Thomas Masterson of Longford, now of Springfield diocese, Illinois. He ran the ship. They could not understand how a Catholic priest could be so affable. He is a great friend of our Fathers in St. Louis, and for the last seventeen years has had them three times a year for missions and retreats.
I am staying at St. Ignatius' Rectory, Park Avenue, for the moment. Fr. Vincent McCormick very kindly showed me some of the parish after dinner, as well as Mrs. Julia Grant's house (we had suffrages for her a few years ago ; she built and endowed the only endowed Jesuit school in U.S.A.). A few of the Fathers bound for Rome are here at present Among them is Fr. Dragon of Canada. The church here has two patrons : St. Ignatius and St. Lawrence O'Toole”.
Fr. Coyle is doing the second year of his doctorate in theology at Woodstock. He reached New York on August 4th after a pleasant sea trip on the S.S. Brasil

Irish Province News 38th Year No 1 1963

Obituary :

Fr Desmond Coyle SJ

Desmond A. J. Coyle as he usually liked to sign himself-was born in Dublin in 1912, the youngest of a large family of boys. He went to school in Belvedere in 1921 and from there to Clongowes, in 1923, after the death of his mother. His brother, Father Rupert, was Lower Line Prefect at the time. A friend who remembers him at that time writes: “What stands out most in my memory is his complete friendliness. He was one of those happy boys who have nothing to conceal and who win friendship by taking it for granted that others are their friends”. In his final year in school - a year incidentally in which Fr. E. Mackey gave the retreat - six boys entered the novitiate; three of these were from a group of five friends: Val Moran, Harry Fay and Des Coyle. It would be hard, I think, to exaggerate the influence that Harry Fay had on Des's life. All of that large vintage of novices for a time there were fifty in the newly-opened Emo - will have vivid memories of Harry's break-down in health from heart disease and his long struggle from that first year in Rathfarnham until his death in Milltown Park in 1939 before he was ordained. Desmond did not have his own first serious skirmish with death till 1937, but even during Juniorate he was seldom really well. He had an unbounded admiration for Harry Fay's extraordinary unselfishness and courage. For Harry kept to the end a great zest for life, especially intellectual life, and he had a flattering way of making everyone else of his numerous friends feel that they had the same kind of capacity as he.
After getting a B.A. in Classics, Desmond went to Tullabeg for Philosophy. In November 1937 the very serious nature of his illness showed itself; he had a haemorrhage from duodenal ulcer early in the morning. Mr. Donal Mulcahy was soon on the scene and then Fr. Billy Byrne. He was anointed and Fr. Billy pronounced him “finished” of course thinking he was unconscious. Des heard this at the time and recalled it with relish as soon as he started to recover. In this crisis he showed himself an extremely courageous and even humorous patient. His remark, when he could barely whisper, “I am as tired as So-and-so”, went into folklore. From this on for a few years his studies were disorganised. He did a brief period in the colleges - Mungret - and then returned to Tullabeg.
When he came to Milltown Park he settled into a routine of life which in essentials he maintained to the end: extremely hard, conscientious work at theology, coupled with a surprising capacity for other interests. He thoroughly enjoyed concerts, matches, etc., perhaps more as social occasions and a meeting place for friends than for themselves. One thing he allowed no place for and that was self-pity on the score of health, which remained more than precarious. He could on occasion be vigorous in protest about some lesser snag but never about this. During his fourth year he became so engrossed in work that he husbanded every minute; though the story that he blessed the Palms in Roundwood from the bus to save time and be able to get back home in the morning is probably apochryphal!
After the Tertianship in Rathfarnham under Fr. L. Kieran, he was assigned to further study in theology; but as this was now the middle forties there was no question of going to Rome or any European centre. After a year in Maynooth he went to Woodstock College, Maryland. Here I should say, from the way he always spoke of it, he was extremely happy. Desmond really loved meeting new people; he was keen to hear all they had to tell him about their work and interests, and was tireless, in turn, in arranging things for them, whether a journey through the realms of dogma or through a city.
He taught the “Short Course” for a while and then Major Dogma; this was probably for him the term of his “ambition”. He was an enthusiast for theology and while in formal lectures his method was somewhat dry for most tastes and too cumulative of authorities, his industry and confidence in its supreme importance were inspiring. He was at his best in his room, speaking privately; visitors always seemed most welcome to him. While he shrank from committing himself to print he was tireless in helping others to amass authorities and sources for an article or book. With his encouragement and assistance, papers, originally read in class, were subsequently published in first-class theological journals. Fr. L. O'Grady, then Provincial, gratefully remembers the work he did in checking references and sources for his two papers read at the Maynooth Summer School and afterwards published in the book Mother of the Redeemer,
A notable and very pleasing trait in his character was his readiness to congratulate anyone who had written, lectured in public, etc. He was most genuinely appreciative on these occasions. In offering condolence and saying Mass for those in trouble he was particularly thoughtful and kindhearted.
He was very interested in Mariology and was an active member of the Irish Mariological Society. A run wrote of “a wonderful course of theological lectures which he gave to the community in the Marian Year on the Maternity of Our Lady. So we were much impressed by the fact that Our Lady should call him on that identical feast”. Another spoke of “his ardent zeal for theology which was contagious. ...”
Fr. A. Gwynn in a recent Province News commented on Fr. Coyle's most useful work as librarian in Milltown for nine years, in the increase “in number and quality of the periodicals purchased”, which attract students also from outside the Society.
Fr. Desmond had a number of very devoted lay friends whom he helped in all family events - baptisms, deaths, marriages, etc. He became a great apostle of the timely and frequent administration of Extreme Unction, as also of Confirmation of dying children and Communion for the sick. It gave him real pleasure to make full use of the relaxation of the fasting laws in such cases. In fact, for Desmond, not to use a privilege to the full was almost equivalent to heresy!
It was a hard bout of work on recent rubrical changes which showed that his strength was ebbing. At first it appeared that he was only some what overwrought and needed rest. While he was in hospital receiving suitable treatment the old, or similar, trouble recurred and he underwent surgical treatment for it. He had a long and trying illness during much of which he struggled with all his old resilience to get back to work. At what stage he realised that this was very unlikely is hard to know. However much he suffered he probably refused to think other than optimistically of his prospects and may have managed, as it were from habit, to exclude other considerations from his consciousness; certainly he never made melancholy play with them. He was a fine example of how to lead a hard life happily. May he rest in peace.

Coyne, Richard, 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

Cremins, Richard, 1922-2012, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 24 August 1922, Dublin
Entered: 05 October 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1961
Died: 21 February 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

◆ 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.

Croasdaile, Henry, 1888-1966, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/760
  • Person
  • 09 October 1888-30 November 1966

Born: 09 October 1888, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 07 September 1908, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1921, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1925, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 30 November 1966, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1912 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

Irish Province News 42nd Year No 2 1967

Obituary :

Fr Henry Croasdaile SJ (1888-1966)

Lancelot Henry Croasdaile was born on the 9th of October 1888, at The Drift, Belfast, the native place of his mother, formerly a Miss O'Rourke. His childhood was spent at Rynn, Rosenallis, in the then Queen's County, the estate of his father, Major Croasdaile, D.L., J.P. He had a brother, who died in infancy, and two sisters, younger than himself. His father was a member of the Church of Ireland, but all the children were brought up Catholics. His mother died in 1905. Harry was educated at home until early in 1906 when he was sent to Clongowes. Though over sixteen, he was in the junior grade for his first two school years and ended in the middle grade. This comparatively undistinguished career was doubtless due to the informal nature of his previous education. He was later to show that he had more than average intellectual powers. In his last year at Clongowes he was Secretary of the House, an office then usually bestowed not for athletic prowess, but for the ability to entertain visitors, a task for which he was admirably suited.
In September 1908 he entered the noviceship at Tullabeg. His father, not unnaturally, strongly opposed this step, and Harry must have had considerable strength of character to persevere and to renounce an inheritance which must have been peculiarly attractive to one who had such a love of country life. After a year's juniorate at Tullabeg, he went to St. Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, for philosophy.
From 1914 to 1919 he taught at Clongowes. He was quite an effective teacher, and his musical gifts added to his usefulness on the staff. He figures in many photographs in the Clongownian as a member of the choir and conductor of the orchestra. He was very popular with the boys, and no doubt this popularity was enhanced by his remarkable prowess as a sportsman. Though it belongs to his later time at Clongowes, there may be recorded here an excerpt from a letter still treasured in the family of one of the boys. “We went for a walk today with Fr. Croasdaile and he shot a peasant (sic)”
During this period occurred an incident which he was fond of recounting. In the early days of the Easter Rising of 1916 he be came anxious about his sisters, who were then living in Dublin, and set off on his bicycle to try to locate them. On reaching Dublin, he found the usual roads blocked by the military. He then attempted a circuitous approach, but somewhere in the vicinity of Dundrum was arrested by a patrol of soldiers and brought to Dunlaoire police station. Here he was lucky in finding a sympathetic sergeant of the D.M.P. who was indignant at the arrest of a priest and secured his release.
It may be mentioned in passing that Fr. Croasdaile used to boast that he was the only member of the Province to be imprisoned for his country. This was not correct. During Easter Week a present member of the Milltown Park community was lodged for an hour in Beggars Bush barracks. Some idea of the confusion that reigned in the minds of the military may be formed from the fact that the chief grounds for making the arrest were that the Jesuit had in his pocket a handkerchief with the initials of another member of the community and a list of names (which turned out to be his selection of “Possibles” for the next rugby international).
In 1919 Harry went to Milltown Park for theology and was ordained in 1922. After tertianship at Tullabeg he taught for a year at Belvedere and then returned for his second spell on the staff at Clongowes, 1926-31. It was about this time that he began to write a series of short stories for boys, largely based on his own experiences. At intervals, published by the Irish Messenger Office, appeared Stories of School Life, Parts 1-6, and later When the Storm Blew and a Dog Led. It seems to have been during these years also that his interest in organ-building was developed. He had a remarkable combination of the two gifts required for this craft, being a good musician (he played, besides the organ, the double bass and the euphonium - an unusual combination) and a first-class carpenter. This activity continued all his life until ill health forced him to relinquish it. He was an adept at buying up old organs and combining their parts to make new ones. He thus provided organs for Emo, Rathfarnham, Clongowes and for several country churches.
In 1931 Fr. Croasdaile was transferred to Mungret where he again taught and organised musical activities until 1939. He then acted as Assistant Director of Retreats at Rathfarnham, and in 1944 was appointed teacher of religion in the Commercial College, Rathmines, which post he held until 1955. In some ways this was the most successful period in his life. His Grace the Archbishop of Dublin had in 1941 appointed the first teachers in the Dublin vocational schools and the system was still in an experimental stage. Fr. Croasdaile entered into the work with enthusiasm, and carried out the purpose intended, not merely to teach religion formally, but to act as spiritual guide to the pupils. He interested himself in all their activities, especially, as might be expected, in music, and with a production of The Geisha in Rathmines Town Hall began a tradition of musical entertainments which still con tinues. He also established most friendly relations with the members of the teaching staff. One of them recalled a statement made to him by the late Mr. George Clampett, then Principal of the College : “I am not a co-religionist of Fr. Croasdaile, but I have no hesitation in saying that he has meant more to this school than any other person”. The following tribute to Fr. Croasdaile was recently paid by Mr. Seán O Ceallaigh, the present Principal :
“The teenage boys and girls attending the Technical School in Rathmines accepted him immediately as one of themselves. His fatherliness, his simple loyalty to the simple Christian principles which at their age they could understand, his facility in using the language which they could grasp, his obvious interest in the material progress and spiritual welfare of each one of them and of their families, all these virtues endeared him to them in a perfectly natural way. The obvious happiness which he took in their extra curricular activities brought them nearer him; his active participation in their games, in their drama, in their operas, in their Gaelic cultural activities (to make up, as he used to tell them, for his being a direct descendant of Oliver Cromwell!), and particularly his desire to give them a love for church music, exemplified in his accompanying the school choir in their rehearsals for the annual Votive Mass.
He took the greatest pleasure in meeting ex-students and in his daily conversation with the men and women teachers of different denominations in the school. He was really the first of the permanent priest-teachers in the city's technical schools; he exercised a new and wonderful influence on all of them. To this extent, Fr. Croasdaile was the pioneer, the man who proved to the educational and religious authorities that priest-teachers could play a vital role in vocational education. The remarkable development of this work in recent years is a monument to his character”.
When Fr. Croasdaile retired from his work in the College of Commerce in 1955, his health had been for some time giving cause for anxiety. After a year as Assistant in University Hall, he was transferred to Emo, and from that on was more or less an invalid. One who knew him well wrote: “There was a staunch courage and hardy faith about the way he met the ever-present prospect of death during the later precarious years of his life”.
It was, however, a consolation to him to be back in the county of his boyhood. He had always been devoted to his native Rosenallis, and delighted in reminiscences of his family. He found relief also from the inevitable monotony of a semi-invalid's life in a new interest which he developed, the local history of Laois. In this he was helped by the kindly interest of a good neighbour, Fr. Barry O'Connell, C.C., Mountmellick, with whom he made frequent historical and archaeological trips. His death, so often expected, came at last on 30th November 1966.
In the foregoing sketch many of Fr. Croasdaile's gifts have been touched on, his success in dealing with boys and young people, his musical talents, his skill in field sports, which was often a help to him in establishing good relations with men who would ordin arily have fought shy of a priest. To fill in the picture, a word must be said about him as a good companion. During the long years in which he worked in the colleges, he was heart and soul in his task. Knowing the boys so well, their work and play were a constant source of interest to him, and he had a droll sense of humour which enabled him to see the amusing side even of their misdemeanours. He was, therefore, a great community man, a great enlivener of recreation. He was an outstanding raconteur, and seemed to have an uncanny gift of getting involved in strange experiences, which he related with gusto. It is regrettable that the best of his stories have escaped the writer's memory.
Such are our memories of Fr. Harry Groasdaile, “Cro”, to use the name by which he was affectionately known throughout the Province, a memorable character, and, in his own humorous and original way, a most loyal and devoted son of the Society.

Crowe, Michael A, 1919-1990, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/484
  • Person
  • 04 January 1919-17 October 1990

Born: 04 January 1919, Galway
Entered: 14 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1963, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 17 October 1990, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

Entered Scholastic Novice until just before Ordination;

by 1947 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying

Crowe, Patrick, 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

Cryan, Martin, 1924-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/124
  • Person
  • 02 March 1924-16 December 1978

Born: 02 March 1924, Tubercurry, County Sligo/Galway City, County Galway
Entered: 06 September 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 16 December 1978, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Hong Kongensis Province (HK)

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

by 1951 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Martin Cryan, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Martin Cryan, SJ, of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, died suddenly at Wah Yan on 16 December 1978, aged 54. The Hong Kong Jesuits have lost an inspiring and original thinker, a teacher of force and lucidity, a dedicated priest and a very good companion.

An outline of his life suggests placid academic devotion - Birth in Tubercurry, Co. Sligo, Ireland, in 1924: education at St. Ignatius’s Galway: Jesuit novitiate, 1941: Hong Kong, 1949-52, for study of Chinese and teaching in the Wah Yan Hong Kong afternoon school: Ireland, 1952-57, for theology and ordination: 1957, Hong Kong, teaching first in Wah Yan, Kowloon, and then in Wah Yan, Hong Kong, broken only by a year of special study of biology in the Ateneo. Manila, after which he concentrated chiefly on teaching biology.

Placidity was, however, the last thing his friends associated with Father Cryan. His life was one long adventure. He seized on every idea that caught his interest, Squeezed all that he could from it, and then thrust eagerly forward to put the idea into practice, without regard to hampering conventions. This made him an agreeably unpredictable companion. His last passion was for astronomy. Again and again he passed his nights in a sleeping-bag on a hillside so that he might see his well-loved stars at their brightest.

He will be much and lastingly missed.

He was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley, on 18 December, after Mass at St. Margaret’s. The Bishop led the concelebrating and officiated at the graveside.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 22 December 1978

◆ 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 at Coláiste Iognáid in Galway.

After his Novitiate he studied at UCD, graduating with a BA in History, he then went on to study Philosophy at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, and later Theology at Milltown Park.

He taught Biology at Wah Yan Colleges in Hong Kong and Kowloon, even though History and Theology were his interests.

he was interested in broad educational matters and was a founding member of the Educators’ Social Action Council (ESAC). In fact, at the time of his death, he was helping to compile a handbook for ESAC on Counselling Services in Hong Kong.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 56th Year No 3 1981

Obituary

Fr Martin Cryan (1924-1941-1978)

Mairt Cryan died suddenly at 6 pm on Saturday, 16th December 1978. He was in his room getting ready to concelebrate Mass with Donal Lawler, when he called Derek Reid and Dick McCarthy to tell them he was not feeling well. They contacted Ruttonjee hospital, run by the Columban sisters, but Mairt was dead by the time help arrived. He had never been to hospital, and had very rarely visited a doctor. True, he had seen Sr Aquinas only a week or so earlier about his hypertension.
He was considered one of the strongest and most robust of the “younger” men of the province. In recent years particularly, he took long walks at the weekends and in the early mornings, and not infrequently camped out on his own overnight. On his last home vacation in 1977, he camped out for a few weeks on the island of Crete, and walked, cycled and camped over much of his native West of Ireland. However, he did have some inkling of his high blood pressure, and privately often expressed a desire to die while still in fuil possession of his faculties, quickly and without troubling anyone, and relatively young.
Born at Tubbercurry, co. Sligo, he later moved with his family to Galway, where he studied at St Ignatius College. After joining the Society at Emo in 1941, he took a good degree in history at UCD before his philosophy at Tullabeg. In 1949 he went to Hongkong, and after studying Cantonese taught in the after- noon school at Wah Yan, Robinson road. Returning to Ireland for theology, he was ordained in Milltown Park in 1955. After tertianship he returned in 1957 to Hongkong and spent the rest of his life in the classrooms. The subject of his special study was biology, and for this he went for a year to the Ateneo, Manila, in the 1960s.
He gave enormous energy and devotion to his classroom teaching, demanding high standards and a strict discipline of his students, coupled with a real concern for their full development and warm encouragement for their growing interests whether in biology or in other school or “life” subjects. (V-PL) He had some unorthodox teaching methods. He was one of the first to research and introduce scientific multiple-choice testing methods in his own subject. Educational matters held a deep interest for him. He was a founder member and active contributor in the Educators' Social Action Council. He saw himself as a Jesuit priest educator. His colleagues did not always find him the easiest of men to deal with - he was sometimes exasperating in his ways - but they always nonetheless regarded him with esteem and affection.
Theology and history remained two of Mairt's particular interests, though he was well-read in many fields. He was a simple, humble, modest and private person, behind the external excitableness and occasional bluster: at heart, a very kind and gentle man. One of his community wrote about him for the daily press. The following is an excerpt from the appreciation:
“He had the command ing personality, tinged with agreeable eccentricity, that makes a schoolmaster vibrate in the memory of those he taught. He was interested in many things and pursued his interests with what may be described as intellectual and practical ferocity”.
An engaging eccentric, whose eccentricity was rarely difficult for others, he could be oblivious to the consequences of his noisy habits. He invariably saw things from an original angle, but always with absolute honesty. He was a shy man who liked people. He was first a priest and religious, next a teacher, and when he had fulfilled his obligations to these métiers, he had time to think over the problems of the world around him: he was extremely concerned about others, His witness to poverty was very clear, as anything he had was always old, well worn and practical. He was an excellent teacher, going to great pains to prepare his classes, and he had the art of being able to explain the most complicated matters with great clarity and force.
Harold Naylor

Cuffe, Frederick, 1887-1951, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/107
  • Person
  • 10 June 1887-06 April 1951

Born: 10 June 1887, Dublin
Entered: 01 February 1907, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1920
Final Vows: 02 February 1924, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 06 April 1951, Dublin

Part of St Mary's community, Emo, County Laois at time of his death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ.

by 1911 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1912 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 3 1951

Obituary :

Fr. Cuffe was born in Dublin on June 10th, 1887. He was educated in the College of the Josephite Fathers, Ghent, Belgium, and at Clongowes. He entered the Society in 1907, and after his Juniorate, studied philosophy at Louvain and St. Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst. As a scholastic he taught in Clongowes, Belvedere and Mungret, besides being Third Line Prefect in Clongowes and Third Club Prefect in Mungret. He studied theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1920. After his Tertianship at Tullabeg (1922-23), he was appointed Vice-Superior in the Apostolic School, Mungret, a post which he held until 1933. He was then transferred to Clongowes where, in addition to his duties as master, he had charge of the People's Church. In 1943 he was appointed Spiritual Father at St. Mary's, Emo.
During the last few years of his life he suffered from heart trouble, which steadily became more acute. Shortly before Easter of the present year he went to stay with his family at Rathnew, Co. Wicklow, where, it was hoped, a period of complete rest and quiet would revive his fast-ebbing strength, But he was soon attacked with congestion of the lungs. His case became so serious that he was transferred to a nursing home in Leeson St., Dublin, where, fortified with the rites of the Church, he peacefully died at about 7 p.m. on Friday, April 6th.
Fr. Cuffe's personality and character, simple, straightforward, honest, devout, answered in a striking manner to the description of “the just man” in Holy Scripture. For him life had no brain-bewildering, heart-aching problems, but was a plain matter-of-fact business of ordinary duties to be faithfully performed day in day out. Be was of a courteous, cheerful disposition, a pleasant companion to live with, free from every trace of moodiness or low spirits, scrupulously exact in doing the work assigned to him, and ever ready to help in times of stress and strain. He was easily disturbed, it is true, when things went wrong, but impatience was but a passing “shadow of annoyance”, swiftly fleeting across the sunny landscape of his spirit. He was, indeed, incapable of deep and enduring resentment, and I doubt if he ever said a hard word about any of his brethren.
His religious life was cast in the same mould. Upon the deep spiritual foundation laid down by him in the noviceship, he raised the solid structure of his holy life as a Jesuit. The performance of his spiritual exercises, observance of rule, progress in virtue, he never failed to regard as duties of strict obligation, which he fulfilled with edifying exactitude. During the last few months of his life on earth, when physical debility rendered him incapable of even the lightest work, he was most assiduous in prayer, with the rosary or Dolour beads constantly in his hands. Death came to him peacefully; and I can well believe that he answered the Master's call with unruffled tranquility, as though it were part of the day's routine.
To simple-hearted, faithful servants such as Fr. “Freddy” Cuffe Our Lord Himself gives testimony : “Of such is the Kingdom of God”.

Cullen, Brian, 1917-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/481
  • Person
  • 24 June 1917-08 December 1995

Born: 24 June 1917, Armagh City, County Armagh
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1954, Belvedere College SJ,Dublin
Died: 08 December 1995, St Joseph’s, Shankhill, County Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr Brian Cullen (1917-1995)

24th June 1917: Born, Armagh, Northern Ireland
Education: CBS, St. Patrick's College, Armagh
7th Sept. 1937: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1939: First Vows at Emo
1939 - 1943: Rathfarnham, Arts and H Dip in Education, UCD
1943 - 1946: Tullabeg, Philosophy
1946 - 1947: Crescent College, Teaching
1947 - 1948: Belvedere College, Teaching
1948 - 1952: Milltown Park, Theology
31st July 1951; Ordained at Milltown Park
1952 - 1953: Rathfarnham, Tertianship
1953 - 1962: Belvedere, Teacher, Choirmaster
1962 - 1995: Clongowes:
1962-70: Teacher and Prefect of Study Hall
1970-81: Promoting S.R.P.A. and teaching in Naas Technical College.
1981-82: Promoting S.R.P.A. and teaching in Prosperous Vocational School.
1982-90: Promoting Society for Relief of Poor and Aged (S.R.P.A)
1990-95: Retired from active apostolate due to ill health.
8th Dec, 1995; Died.

All his life, Brian Cullen remained proud of his Armagh origins. He was proud of having been an altar server of Cardinal McRory and of having known his successors down the years. His contemporaries recall his powerful build as a novice, his fine voice and his prowess on the violin. In his scholastic years, he was often given the role of choirmaster. He was gifted with his hands; he could make almost anything. As a scholastic in Milltown, he helped Jim Lynch and John McAuley install the first internal phone system in Clongowes!

Brian was of shy disposition, preferring the company of one to a group. Although a bit of a loner, he had a roguish sense of humour. One of his year said of him that “he kept custody of the eyes, yet took everything in!” On one occasion in Rathfarnham Castle he slept it out and missed morning oblation. When he finally appeared on the juniors' corridor he spotted Charlie O'Connor, the minister of juniors, at the chapel end, so he about turned and headed off down the back stairs to the stone corridor on the ground floor. The O'Conor Don, dutiful by nature, pursued him. All in vain; the unrecognised scholastic had vanished into a brush room!

A fellow philosopher in Tullabeg with an interest in the grounds used knock on scholastics' doors for volunteers for outdoor works. Whenever he asked Brian, “Visne rastrare, frater?”. Would you like to do some raking, brother?. Brian used answer with a roguish smile, “Non hodie, Frater”, Not today, brother. On a famous occasion also in Tullabeg, when the rector was away, the scholastics planned a meal in the chemistry lab. Brian's contribution was to supply the chicken. A contemporary recalls Brian returning from the farm, rosary beads in one hand, the dead chicken in the other. Such moments provided a welcome break from class and study that was far from being student friendly.

What carried Brian through these years was his strong desire to be a priest. According to one of his year, “There was nothing Brian wanted more than to be a priest”. His priestly life was spent in two houses: Belvedere and Clongowes. He liked Belvedere and I am told that initially he found the change to Clongowes enormously trying.

Brian's quiet voice and shyness did not help him to establish authority in the classroom. It made teaching difficult. It explains why as the years went by he did less and less teaching and was given the job of study prefect, supervising one of the large study halls: a job he did not like.

These were difficult years, but Brian was not without the capacity to respond creatively. For several years he taught in the Vocational School in Naas and in the mid-sixties started the SRPA (Society for the Relief of the Poor and Aged). He had became aware of many old people living within a few miles of Clongowes, some of whom were on their own and living in poor housing. He saw that responding to their needs could also be a "schola affectus" for the older boys.

For twenty-five years this great work became the focus for all his energies, skills and compassion. He built up a well run organisation. Each year he made a careful selection from the members to form his committee. He taught them how to grow plants, make all sorts of toy animals, dolls, soldiers, lamp-stands and so much else which were sold on Union Day to raise funds.

On Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays his white van would be seen around the country roads dropping off the boys in pairs to visit, clean, paint, chop firewood or just chat with an old person. Eyes were opened, and hearts were moved to respond. Many boys attained a responsibility that might not otherwise have been attained. The SRPA shed occupied a sort of extra territorial status within the school! Prefects and teachers respected this embassy-like status, and never entered. The SRPA was not confined to Clongowes. A branch still functions in Rathnew girls school, and for a time there were other branches in towns where former members lived. Brian wrote out a constitution to guide its development.

One cannot understand Brian without knowing something of his family. When he joined the Society, his mother was already widowed, his older sister Rita was an invalid, and his younger sister, Sally, a nurse in England. Brian worried about them and sought to attend to their needs as best he could. This was especially true of his time in Belvedere when he made many journeys to Armagh at weekends, sometimes “sub rosa’. Perhaps it was through them that he grew sensitive to the needs of the sick and the old.

My first meeting with Brian was not very auspicious! While on a visit to Clongowes as a scholastic, I asked him how the SRPA was going. I got the initials mixed up calling it the SPRA or something. Brian looked at me and said, “You are typical of the Province, you have no interest in what I am doing.....” This unexpected response was perhaps an indication that he felt his work was not appreciated by his brethren.

Ten years later when I was stationed in Clongowes we came to know one another better. It was the year before his stroke. He was still running the SRPA I remember being with him in Rathnew at the opening mass of the year for their ŞRPA. In community he enjoyed the company of some who could pull his leg. With others he was not at ease. Community meetings were not his joy! At recreation his conversation often went back to things of the past which did not make it easy for younger people to engage with him.

He always had a strong sense of priesthood and was most faithful to daily mass, office, and rosary. Brian loved nothing more than to head off in his van for a few days to visit friends. He hated to be tied down. He loved the independence of being able to come and go as he wanted. He was truly blessed in having wonderful friends. It was in their company that he was most at ease, most himself.

In June 1990 all was to change. While staying with his good friends, Maurice and Anne Dowling in Carlow, he suffered a stroke. After a fortnight in St. Vincent's the prognosis was not good. His speech was greatly impaired and conversation was difficult. The medical advice was that he would need some nursing care. I remember telling him that he would be going to Hazel Hall nursing home in Clane. He accepted it without complaint, mentioning he knew it from his visits. Thus began a stay of twenty months. He was well looked after. But it was not home. The day was long and he was often anxious; numerous were the telephone calls to Br. Cha Connor whose care of him was second to none. While he liked to be brought to Clongowes for his lunch, he was always anxious to leave again immediately afterwards. This was a time of adjustment; gone was his van, his bedroom in the castle, the SRPA work. Yet in all this he was sustained by visits from friends and Jesuits and his deep faith in God. In the midst of his confusion he never forgot the things of God and received Holy Communion with utmost reverence. From time to time he indicated his desire to go to confession, through some wordless gesture that I came to know. The mystery of the sacrament was deepened by his utter humility and my inability to understand anything he said.

Then came a moment of crisis that turned into a blessing. Brian began to get confused about which room was his! The nursing home with great regret told us they could not keep him any longer. There was a brief stay in Cherryfield followed by some time in St. John of God's, Stillorgan. It was while in Stillorgan that his close friends of twenty five years, Bill and Bridie Travers, asked if they could look after him in their country hotel in Prosperous, two miles from Clongowes. Their kindness and that of their family to Brian was truly wonderful. He remained with them until his health deteriorated still further and necessitated his going to the new St. John of God's nursing home in Shankill for his last three months.

It was fitting that Brian died in the company of Bill and Bridie, who along with their family had taken turns to keep vigil with him during his last week. Fitting too that Brian who had such love for Our Lady should have died in the early hours of the 8th December.

Charlie Davy SJ

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 incapacities 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

Cunningham, Patrick J, 1924-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/108
  • Person
  • 30 March 1924-15 June 1972

Born: 30 March 1924, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 15 June 1972, Fujen Catholic University, Dalat, Vietnam (Kingsmead Hall, Singapore) - Hong Kong Vice-Province (Died in air crash)

Part of Kingsmead Hall community, Singapore at time of his death. Died in air crash

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966
by 1952 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ 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 at Belvedere College SJ, Dublin. he had a keen interest in things that moved : cars, ships, trains and planes, but above all he was interested in helping people.

His strength was his pastoral work, and particularly teaching catechistics, which he taught at the Swiss School, the Australian Army School and the International School.
He was a founder of the Road Safety Association in Hong Kong.
He also worked in Singapore where he focused on drug addiction.

he died in 1972 when the plane he was in blew up over South Vietnam.

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 47th Year No 2 1972

The tragic news of Fr Patrick Cunningham's death, together with 80 others, in the air-smash in Vietnam, reached us in the middle of June, first surmised, then confirmed. We hope to have further information later.
We offer sympathy to Fr Cunningham's brother, Frank, on the calamity.
Fr P. Cunningham's remains, after various delays, were conveyed to Dublin - Gardiner Street - 20th July. There was an Obsequial Mass concelebrated by Fr Provincial and twelve other participants on Friday 21st. R.I.P.

Irish Province News 47th Year No 4 1972

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Cunningham SJ (1924-1972)

A brief notice of the tragic death of Fr Cunningham in the middle of June and of his obsequies in Gardiner Street on July 20th was contained in the last issue of the Province News Editor.]
When we think of Fr Paddy Cunningham (PJ or Pat as his contemporaries knew him) we think of mechanical things and movement. We think of cars and aeroplanes, of launches and ships and of a man who was ever on the move. We think of a man ready at a moment's notice to address any audience on any topic what ever and in any part of the world. He would then return home and either delight or annoy his community with endless chatter about the people Pat had met and the things Pat had done. I once saw him rather obviously choose a place at recreation beside the late Fr Tommy Ryan and I heard Fr Ryan's opening remark : “Well, I suppose you're going to tell me about all your works and pomps!” Pat could be pompous at times especially when wearing one of those unnecessary uniforms he loved so well.
Never a scholar, he was a man, nonetheless, whose interests were limitless and he carried in his head an astonishing amount of factual information about all kinds of unlikely persons, places and things. He used to chuckle over a comment made by a superior who once told him that he would make an excellent railway porter with information about timetables, ticket prices and train stops at his finger-tips. But you could not be sure of the information at Pat's finger-tips. He never could say, “I don't know” or “I'll check that for you”. To any question he always made an immediate and definite reply and he would be right a surprising eighty per cent or so of the time. The trouble was you never knew which twenty per cent was not correct so you always had to verify Pat's statements.
On 7th September 1942 twenty three novices entered Emo, five of them from Belvedere and Patrick Joseph Cunningham was one of these. It was not long till he made his presence felt especially at Socius' Conferences where we looked forward to his shared reflections, observations and suggestions which were never dull and often sensational. Once he suggested that a novice should be appointed to collect the skin from on top of the hot milk - enough could be collected each morning, Pat assured us, to make a plastic egg-cup. That was Fr Brendan Brennan's first year as Socius and he never quite knew how to manage Brother Cunningham.
In Rathfarnham Pat was more at home ... not because it gave him an opportunity for study but because Dublin was the place where Pat was born and he knew Dublin street by street. Indeed if one believed him he knew everyone who lived in every street - at least everyone who mattered. He claimed connections at managerial level with many commercial firms and not only scholastics but fathers, too, were taken in by this. More than one man entered Dublin firms on Pat's recommendation hoping to get special terms by using his name only to discover that nobody in the firm knew a Patrick Cunningham. Tullabeg meant back to the country and Pat was essentially a city man and his three years there might have been trying ones for him were it not for the building of the swimming pool in which he was deeply involved. He also claimed a multitude of relations in the neighbourhood.
Then came his appointment to Hong Kong and his influence with people really blossomed. No one would rate him an expert at the Chinese language and yet he could somehow establish contact with Chinese people in almost any dialect. But he did not confine his apostolate to Chinese people. He had a universal love for mankind and a desire to help wherever help was needed. A characteristic he revealed in Emo was a generosity with his time and a readiness to go to the assistance of anybody and this characteristic he never lost. He was a man for others. He loved people and served them. Thus, as well as the boys in our schools, the groups he worked for or with in Hong Kong included Chinese hostesses from Cathay Pacific Airways, British Airforce personnel, Rotary Clubs, Road Safety Associations, to say nothing of the seamen of varied nationalities that he dealt with in his work for the Apostleship of the Sea.
The pattern in Singapore was the same as the following paragraphs from Father Liam Egan testify :
“In a little less than two years in Singapore Pat had won an astonishing number of friends and admirers. ... Pastoral work, and in particular, catechetical work proved to be his forte. To those of us who knew him well his success with children and especially with teenagers both boys and girls and of all nationalities was incredible.
He taught catechism in two convent schools, in the Swiss school, the Australian Army School, the International School and the children loved him. Not only did he teach them but he established an extraordinary rapport with them. He organised a weekly evening session in Kingsmead Hall for the “tough” teenagers of the American School and the International School. They attended in ever increasing numbers: they brought their friends : some of them brought their parents. They became enthusiastic about their religion, possibly for the first time in years”.
And then came the fatal air-disaster of 15th June and with it the end of life for Pat at the age of 48. He loved to be alive and he loved to be on the move and for one who was liable to turn up almost anywhere at almost any time it is hard to believe that he won't turn up again. An enquiry into the cause of the crash established that it was caused by a bomb placed on the plane in Bangkok and which exploded over Vietnam. The exceptionally large crowds that turned out for requiem Masses offered for him at Singapore and Hong Kong bear testimony to the love and esteem that so many had for him. He will be remembered by many for a long time. May he rest in peace.

Cunningham, Peter, 1917-1990, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/487
  • Person
  • 29 June 1917-23 October 1990

Born: 29 June 1917, Boyle, County Roscommon
Entered: 25 October 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 23 October 1990, Sacred Heart, Limerick

Curran, Shaun, 1924-1999, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 29 December 1924, 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

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Shaun Curran was born on 29 December 1924 in Dublin. Before he entered in 1946, he was at school with the Christian Brothers in Dublin after which he did a three year's projectionist's course at Kevin Street Institute of Technology. His formation in the Society was the normal one except that he was sent to do his juniorate in Laval, France.

After his ordination, he was posted to a number of different jobs which revealed the diversity of his talents and his skill in adapting himself to different circumstances. He was appointed to Zambia after his tertianship. An attractive plan was presented to him: he should stay there for a few months, make a film of the mission for propaganda purposes, then go on to Hong Kong to do the same there and then return to Ireland. He made the film in Zambia but then got involved in the building of the MacMahon stadium at Canisius College, Chisekesi. He procured a small bulldozer and delighted in running it, gouging, removing, transferring and leveling the area – all to his heart’s content. He did a great job. "Good enough!” as he so often said.

However he was recalled to Ireland. He did a stint as chaplain at Rathmines Technical School for a year and became minister at Gardiner Street and Director of St Francis Xavier Hall. Later as minister at Milltown Park, he went to Glencree to set up the Peace Centre. This was a new pioneering work in which, for a number of months, he lived in a caravan feeding himself on cornflakes and orange juice! Although he had an excellent committee to help him, shortage of funds was a big problem. Shaun did many trips trying to raise funds for the project. Northern Ireland saw him many times. He also did a trip to the United States where a journey covering many states was organized for him. One of his memories was of being met at the airport by a large car with American and Irish flags on the wings and being driven to address a large audience at a Rotary Club in Hawaii. Another memory was praying with a Protestant Minister at a service when the minister collapsed and Shaun had to complete the service as best he could.

After working for ten years in his Glencree Peace work, he turned his attention to work for the itinerants, forming a school for them. A well deserved sabbatical year was spent in Canada. Returning to his work with the itinerants, Shaun had to beg around for a bus to collect pupils for school and deliver them home after school. He liked the work and got on well with the pupils. "The travellers are great" he used to say, ‘especially when they see that you trust them’.

The wear and tear of his lifestyle caused concern and he was persuaded to have a health checkup. He had to face heart surgery and while recovering at the Jesuit nursing unit of Cherryfield he got on so well with both patients and staff, that he was invited to stay on. If there was a crisis, Shaun was the man to fix it. He helped at Cherryfield using his many mechanical skills. He also helped with the patients and was very kind to the staff, often driving them home on a wet evening, the most natural thing for him to do.

He was not as strong as he appeared and he would sometimes be confined to bed with his computer unplugged! A few times when he did go away, even for a break or retreat, he often returned in bad shape. He got an asthma attack and was admitted to Naas hospital with heart failure. He returned to Cherryfield after being discharged from the hospital. But only for a few days as he was again admitted to hospital in Dublin. He always used to say that he would like to keep working and "go out like a light". His wish was granted on the morning of 14 August 1999 after his breakfast.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000

Obituary

Fr Shaun Curran (1929-1999)

29th Dec.1924: Born in Dublin.
Early education: St. Vincent's CBS Three years' Projectionist's course at Kevin St. Institute of Technology.
2nd Oct. 1946 Entered the Society at Emo.
3rd Oct. 1948 First vows at Laval, France.
1948 - 1950: Laval, Juniorate.
1950 - 1953: Tullabeg, studying philosophy.
1953 - 1956: Belvedere College, Regency.
1956 - 1960: Milltown Park, Studying theology
31st July 1959: Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1960 - 1961: Rathfarnham, Tertianship
1961 - 1963: Chikuni Mission, Zambia
1963 - 1964: Rathfarnham, Chaplain D.I.T. Rathmines
1964 - 1967: Gardiner St., Minister, Director SFX Hall
1967 - 1968: Mungret College, First Prefect
1968 - 1972: Milltown Park, Minister, Film Work
1972 - 1982: Glencree, Peace work
1982 - 1984: Milltown Park, work for Itinerants
1984 - 1985: Canada, sabbatical year
1985 - 1993: Milltown Park, work at St. Declan's School for Travellers.
1993 - 1999: Cherryfield Lodge, House administration, Treasurer;

Shaun took ill in Clongowes where he was making his retreat and was admitted to Naas hospital on 16th July '99 with heart failure and an acute asthma attack. He returned to Cherryfield Lodge for a short period before admission to St. Vincent's Private Hospital on 3rd August, following a relapse. He died peacefully on the morning of Saturday, 14th August

Paul Leonard writes ...
Shaun Curran's formation in the Province was very routine. The one exception to the normal course was that he was sent to do his juniorate in Laval, France. It was a time he enjoyed and he had a warm admiration for his rector there, Father Roisin, who had written a book on "The Art of Better Government". He always made anything he wanted you to do seem like a compliment to himself, Shaun used always say. He also had Fr Bertrand de Marjoire as his French teacher and he expressed his gratitude for his teaching as "he never let me get away with anything." Probably it was at Laval that he developed his absorbing interest in Formula One car racing.

After his ordination he was posted to a number of different offices, which revealed the diversity of his talents and his skill in adapting himself to different circumstances. He was appointed to Zambia after his tertianship. An attractive plan was presented to him that he would stay there for a few months, make a film of the mission, then go on to Hong Kong, do the same there and return to work from our Irish Jesuit Mission Office. In Zambia he was asked to do the work of a man who had become ill, and remained there for a good time until he was summoned by Provincial Telegram to return to the Province. He was appointed as chaplain to the D.I.T. in Rathmines for a year, then on to Gardiner Street to be Minister and Director of S.F.X. Hall. He initiated the installation of central heating in Gardiner Street. He had one serious confrontation with his Superior whom he reminded that he had never had a Minister for more than one year. That evening his Superior invited him to come to a film with him, an invitation Shaun readily accepted. He was never a man to hold grudges and was grateful that his Superior was the same. From then on the relationship was cordial. After Gardiner Street he spent a year in Mungret as First Prefect and then moved on to Milltown where he was minister and did some lecturing on film work. Milltown was to be the centre of his operations for a number of years. It was from there he went to Glencree to set up the Peace Centre. A new pioneering work, in which for a number of months he lived in a caravan, feeding himself on Corn flakes and orange juice on the cold and desolate mountain side. He had an excellent committee but was short of funds for the centre. He spent a lot of time and travel trying to raise funds.

He visited Northern Ireland often and had many ecumenical contacts and friends. He also did a trip to the States where a journey covering many States was organised for him. One of his memories was of being met at an airport by a large car with American and Irish flags on the wings and being driven to address a large audience at a Rotary Club in Hawaii. Another was praying with a Protestant Minister at a service when the minister collapsed and Shaun had to complete the service himself, which he did as best he could. (There were no canonical reverberations to his obliging adaptability.)

He was helped in his Glencree peace work by a committee, which included Lady Wicklow and Mr Bewley, whom he admired greatly. After his ten years at Glencree, he turned to work for the itinerants, forming a school for them. This was interrupted by a well-deserved Sabbatical year, which he spent in Canada. On his return he continued his work in establishing the school for itinerants. Funds were meagre (much less than when the school was handed over to a Government sponsored body!). Shaun had to beg for money to buy a bus to collect his pupils and deliver them home after school. He liked the work and got on well with his pupils. “The travellers are great”, he used to say, “especially when they see that you trust them”.

His work at the school waas quite wearing and people became concerned about his life-style. He was persuaded to have a health check up where, not surprisingly, they discovered a number of things were wrong with him. They only attempted to remedy the most urgent. Shortly after this he had to face heart surgery from which he recovered well and came to Cherryfield. Father Keelaghan's discerning eye saw how well he fitted in with both patients and staff and he invited him to stay on, which his Superiors allowed. So he remained in Cherryfield and was available to everyone, staff and patients. If there was any crisis Father Curren could cope with it, mending erratic television sets, radios and razors as well as broken dishwashers and washing machines or dryers. He was knowledgeable on mechanical things as well as being patient and skilful in mending them. He got a special happiness in helping the patients, especially if they were disturbed or wanted help. He was particularly kind to Father Frank Chan when he was in the palliative unit in St Mary's, Harold's Cross, visiting him everyday, bringing him anything he needed or thought might help him. He was also attentive to the needs of the staff and often offered to drive them home on wet evenings. He did not make a compliment of this. It was for him the natural thing to do.

The nursing staff at Cherryfield knew he was not as strong as he appeared and watched over him carefully. At times he would be confined to bed, be forbidden his office and have his computer unplugged. The judgement of the nurses was often proved right. A few times when he went away he returned in bad shape, once or twice from his holidays in the sun and finally after his retreat in Clongowes where the journey from the dining room to his living room he found exhausting. He got an asthma attack and was admitted to Naas Hospital with heart failure. He was full of gratitude to Clongowes for the speed with which they got him to hospital and of praise for Naas Hospital “a really democratic hospital”. He was discharged to return to Cherryfield. He remained with us only a few days and then was admitted to St Vincent's Private Hospital for special care. It was thought that his illness might be prolonged. He always used to say that he would like to keep working and “go out like a light”. His wish was granted on the morning of August 14th after his breakfast.

In the ensuing darkness of his absence many of us in Cherryfield were left confused and sad.

May he rest in peace.

Paul Leonard SJ

Curran, Stephen, 1911-1960, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/109
  • Person
  • 02 January 1911-02 June 1960

Born: 02 January 1911, Spiddal, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 02 June 1960, St Stephens Hospital, Glanmire, County Cork

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

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 35th Year No 3 1960
Obituary :
Fr Stephen Curran (1911-1960)
Stephen Curran was born near Spiddal, Co. Galway, on 2nd January, 1911. He was at school at St. Mary's College, Galway, but in 1927 he transferred to the Apostolic School, Mungret College, where he remained until he entered the Noviceship at Emo in 1931. In due course he moved from Emo to Rathfarnham Castle for his Juniorate (1933-36), during which he read for his degree in Celtic Studies at University College, Dublin. For the next three years we find him studying Philosophy at Tullabeg, In 1939 he was assigned to St. Ignatius College, Galway for his “Colleges”, and in 1942 he began Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1945. After Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle, 1946-47, he spent the remaining years of his life in teaching at Mungret College, Limerick.
“A gentle scholar, poet and universal friend”. These words from a very appreciative letter of sympathy from the Mungret Union give a true impression of Fr. Curran.
Gentle he was all his life and in every way, notably in a certain delightful charm in his manner of speech and conversation, gentle too in his habitual judgments and outlook, in his dealings with others, and in his exceptional degree of modesty about his own very highly cultivated talents.
A true scholar also. He was blessed with the knowledge of Irish as his natural language, he had enriched this knowledge by a deep and lifelong study. He also had studied kindred Celtic languages. Added to this was a persistent study of Irish history, literature, poetry and art, ancient and modern. A few years ago he became interested in Spanish; this interest turned into serious study and he became proficient at the language and taught it successfully to the Philosophers. It is characteristic that at the same time he studied the history, literature and art of Spain, reading Cervantes, St. John of the Cross, modern drama, novels and biography, Added to this he cultivated Spanish boys in the school, listened to Spanish radio, got to know their newspapers and periodicals, and hoped to have an opportunity of visiting Spain.
This all indicates that he “saw life whole”; it also brings us to his predominant characteristic, his wholehearted and affectionate interest in people. This was evident in the whole bent of his conversation, especially in Irish. Another example is this : the Hungarian Rising inspired him with sympathy and admiration for that people. He studied their history and literature and mastered some of the fundamental mysteries of their so very different language; but his real happiness was when he visited the refugee camp and got in touch with the living Hungarian people. As well as this natural interest there was the urge of his apostolic priesthood. He envisaged translations of religious matter from Spanish into Irish, and had published at least one article, an Irish version of a poem on the Nativity. He worked in England for the last two or three summers and returned with great sympathy for the people. The outstanding example of this interest of his comes from his time in hospital in Cork; he got to know all the patients around him, and all about their families, occupations, ailments and personal histories. When visited by any of his Community he divided the time talking, with wholehearted interest, about the patients and about Mungret. Incidentally his genuine and obvious delight at seeing his brethren was a pleasure to witness, and his sense of gratitude, for what he truly thought quite undeserved attention, would almost overcome him. In a letter shortly before his death he said that so good had everyone been to him by prayer and every way that he expressly wished that to every prayer of petition for him should be added one of thanksgiving
After his Tertianship in Rathfarnham he came to Mungret, his own school, in 1947, and there he laboured until his last illness. The word is used deliberately. Fr. Curran laboured to the fast ounce of his strength. He taught Irish classes right through the school, every day and nearly all day. But the curriculum was merely basic. Irish for him was something loved and living, and he strove with all his inward and outward power to make it live for others. He was like one devoted, lighting little beacons in the darkness and little fires in a great cold. He seemed fully informed about every development in Irish, about writers of the day in prose or poetry, about books, periodicals and plays, and even about techniques in printing and publishing; in general, all received his happy approval, He spoke Irish to the boys, interested them in Club Leabhar na Sóisear, Inniu, An Gael Og, etc. With scarcely any recreational space or facilities he kept Cumann na Gaeilge going with conversation, debates, dramas, prize essays, and a lending library.
Indeed in his last illness he provided for the awarding of the Bonn Óir le haghaidh óráidíochta and the Corn le haghaidh comhrá. Once or twice a year he produced Irish plays. For these he himself planned the stage, painted the scenery, did all the coaching in speaking and acting, costurned the players and was an expert at make-up. One year he produced the opera Maritana, making his own translation very beautifully. On several occasions his players took part in the Féile Luimní, He really was the life and soul of Irish in the College, and we seriously fear that without him, whom all of us together cannot match, it may lapse into a mere class subject.
He whose home tongue was Irish and whose native earth was betwixt the hills and the sea in Cois Fhairrge must have found the inland plains dull and the English language flat. Be that as it may, an unwonted gaiety and joyousness took possession of him when on holidays in a gaeltacht beside the sea and his companionship was a delight. There he who ordinarily was so retiring became a leader, full of happy enterprise and initiative; there too his natural gifts as a homely raconteur shone.
His last illness began with what might have been an ordinary attack of flu. He soon showed symptoms of pleurisy and pneumonia and was brought to the Regional Hospital. They found grave disorder in the lung and recommended Surgeon Hickey, St. Stephen's Hospital, Cork. He made the journey by car on Shrove Tuesday. He had there a big exploratory operation and it was found that the lung and surrounding area was flooded with a great quantity of blood. It had come from a leak in the main artery very near the heart. This artery was in a very thin and worn condition. For nearly two weeks after this he was so low that those who visited him thought him dying. But he made a great recovery and became quite himself, saying Mass and spending some time out in the grounds. He knew he was building up for the crucial operation and he knew its nature, but he kept cheerful and optimistic, planning away for the future, always with the proviso, “If it be God's Will”. The operation consisted in grafting a patch on to the defective artery. Without this he could not live, but the chances of its success were small. It was said that the only other place it could be performed is in Texas. Nothing could exceed Mr. Hickey's devotedness and attention, and Fr. Stephen had full confidence in him and a tremendous admiration for him. The operation began at 1 p.m, and was not over till after 9 p.m. About 10 p.m. Fr. Stephen came to himself and spoke to the doctor, Mr. Hickey. Mr. Hickey said to Fr. Rector: "You may go home now Father and pray he may get through the night, if he does he should be all right". About an hour later he took a bad turn and at 12.25 on Thursday, 2nd June he died. He had been anointed and the chaplain was with him. Those who saw him after death remarked on the tranquillity and peacefulness of his appearance. He was buried in the Community cemetery on the Eve of Pentecost.
Ar dheasláimh Dé go raibh a anam ar feadh na síoraochta.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Stephen Curran 1911-1950
Fr Stephen Curran was a truly gentle and lovable soul. Born near Spiddal on January 2nd 1911, he never lost his tender love of his native language nor his native place. Next to God and the Society, this was his one love.

He worked unremittingly in his Alma Mater, Mungret, from his tertianship in Rathfarnham in 1947 until his death in 1960. Is devotion to his classes was his leading trait, and his energy was unflagging in promoting our native language, in producing plays and running debating societies, and in writing for various Irish periodicals.

His early tragic death at the age of 49 may be traced to the exemplary execution of his duties. The early habits and customs of the noviceship he carried out right to the end. If ever a man earned the right to hear those words “Well done good and faithful servant”, Stephen Curran surely did.

“Ár dheis-lamh Dé go raibh a anam”, as he himself would like to say.

Cusack, Patrick, 1918-2003, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

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.

Cush, Peter, 1916-1939, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1154
  • Person
  • 16 December 1916-22 June 1939

Born: 16 December 1916, Pomeroy, County Tyrone
Entered: 07 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 22 June 1939, Barnageary, Skerries, County Dublin

Part of the Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin community at the time of death

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 14th Year No 4 1939
Obituary

Mr Peter Cush
1916 Born
1935 Entered Emo, 7th September
1936 Emo. Novice
1937-38 Rathfarnham, Junior

Mr. Peter Cush was drowned at Barnageary, between Balbriggan and Skerries, on Thursday, 22nd of June, 1939. Mr, Cush's death was sad, not only because his robust health and strength gave promise of a long life of useful work in the Society, but also because it occurred on the second day of his Major Villa, a time set apart for rest and relaxation in preparation for the coming year. Mr Cush's companions did all they could to save him, even going into danger themselves, but the unusually high sea that was running made all their efforts useless.

Mr. Cush was born in Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone, in the year 1916. He was educated at the College, Armagh. On the 7th September 1935, he entered the noviceship at Emo. During his noviceship he was conspicuous for his simple and generous piety, and in particular for his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The patent sincerity and generosity of his soul gave promise of a holy and useful life as a Jesuit. He pronounced his Vows on the 8th September, 1937. In Rathfarnharn he settled down to his studies at the University, in which he succeeded very well. He had just finished his second year course in Latin, English and Greek when he met his sudden death. Solemn High Mass was offered for the repose of his soul in Pomeroy, by his uncle, Father Cush , representatives of Rathfarnham Castle assisted at the Mass. Father Provincial, and a great gathering of our Fathers and Scholastics, as well as Carmelite Scholastics who were Mr. Cush's colleagues in the University attended the Mass in the Ignatian Chapel, Gardiner Street. The following appeared in the papers :
“The parents and brothers of the late Mr. Cush, S,.J., of Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, wish to return sincere thanks to all those who sympathised with them in their recent sorrow, especially to those students who risked their lives to save him, and to the Jesuit Fathers for their kindness.” To those who lived with him, Mr. Cush was always associated with child-like simplicity and great innocence, and the fun and laughter that went with them. His death has taken from the Society one who, without doubt, would have been eminent for his apostolic zeal, and from his own community a cheerful, engaging and lovable companion. R.I.P. (J. KELLY, S.J.)

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
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

Early education 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 bom 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 moming, 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.

Dargan, Herbert, 1918-1993, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 20 April 1918, St Stephen’s Green, 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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

Dargan, Joseph, 1933-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/847
  • Person
  • 21 January 1933-01 June 2014

Born: 21 January 1933, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 24 May 1964, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Final Vows: 02 February 1968, Catholic Workers College, Dublin
Died: 01 June 2014, Blackrock Clinic, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus : 01 September 1980-1986

by 2003 at Mwangaza Nairobi, Kenya (AOR) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/joe-dargan-vision-and-task/

Joe Dargan: vision and task

It is rare for us to mourn such a servant of the Irish Jesuits as Joe Dargan. His looks were unremarkable: small, bespectacled, usually smiling. He was sturdy, a wing forward on Clongowes cup teams. His friends would describe Joe’s style of rugby as robust. It showed the steely determination hidden under a mild façade.

Wherever he went, he was landed with responsibility: starting with Third Line Prefect in Clongowes (he commented ”In 1958 when I volunteered to go to Zambia, I was told that my Zambia was to be Third Line prefect in Clongowes.”). He went on to be Director of the Province Social Survey, Rector of Emo, of Manresa (twice), of Clongowes, of Gonzaga, and of Belvedere. He was Master of Novices, Instructor of Tertians, Pastoral planning Consultant to the Irish Bishops, and also to the Major Religious Superiors (CMRS), director of the Manresa Centre of Spirituality, Socius to the Provincial, and Provincial. They never made him General, though it’s said that they thought of thrusting a bishopric on him.

You’d imagine that a man with such a gift for administration might be a nerdy type, with rows of secretaries ticking boxes for him. Joe was indeed a methodical man, who consulted wisely, prayed before making decisions, and stayed on the job till it was complete. For instance, he not merely designed the tertianship house in Manresa, but visited the site every day, made friends with the workmen, and so created a beautiful, functional building.

When, as rector of Belvedere, he had to raise funds for a school building, he showed his ability to balance the short-term and the long-term issues. As he put it to groups which he addressed: “A vision without a task is but a dream. A task without a vision is drudgery. A vision with a task is the hope for the future.” Parents were constantly reminded that education was the greatest gift they could leave to their children. With this vision before them, Joe and his collaborators worked on a 30-year plan. Part of the process entailed winning over all the constituents of the college: the Jesuit community, boys, teachers past and present, and past pupils. The target was four million pounds, and Belvedere passed it. If it has received generously, it also gives generously. Between their various projects Belvedere boys raise about a quarter of a million euro annually for charity. It is that vision of men for others, rather than lists of figures, that made these years a stimulating time for Joe Dargan rather than a begging bowl nightmare.

What people remember of Joe, however, is not so much his administrative ability as his kindness, and his readiness to give his time lavishly. He was every inch a priest, with a special gift for being with those in their last illness. It was probably this ease in his priestly role, coupled with his passion for sport, that underlay his friendship with Alex Ferguson of Manchester United.

When he was told some very few months ago that his illness was terminal, Joe was immediately filled with consolation and gratitude for the key people in his life – those he had met and loved, in his family, in the Society, in those extraordinarily rich friendships that he so enjoyed with such beloved friends, male andfemale. As the doctor actually spoke to him, those people’s names and images passed before his inner eye and he was filled with joy and gratitude. Most of us would have sunk at such a moment: not Joe, because the gratitude was to God and to those who were God’s hands and eyes and ears for him in this life.

A friend remarked that Joe was the most extraordinary of ordinary men, unthreatening, affable, and open to the Lord, who achieved great things through him.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 157 : Autumn 2014

Obituary

Fr Joe Dargan (1933-2014)

21 January 1933: Bom in Dublin.
Early education at Dominican Convent, Eccles Street, Dublin, Belvedere, Rockwell College and Clongowes Wood College
7 September 1950: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1952 First Vows at Emo
1952 - 1955: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1955 - 1958: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1958 - 1961: Clongowes – Third Line Prefect: Teacher
1961 - 1965: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
24 May 1964: Ordained at Clongowes Wood College
1965 - 1966: Rathfarnham – Tertianship
1966 - 1968: CIR – Director of Province Social Survey
2nd February 1968: Final Vows at CIR
1968 - 1969: Emo - Rector & Master of Novices
1969 - 1974: Manresa House – Rector and Master of Novices
1974 - 1977: Manresa - Rector; Director Centre of Spirituality
1977 - 1979: Clongowes - Rector; Asst. Provincial (visitor)
1979 - 1980: Socius to Provincial
1980 - 1986: Loyola House - Provincial
1986 - 1987: Loyola House - Sabbatical, assisted CMRS
1987 - 1993: Gonzaga - Rector & CMRS General Secretary
1993 - 2002: Belvedere - Rector; Consultant to Bishops on Pastoral Planning; Belvedere – Rector; Consultant to Bishops on Pastoral Planning (until 1997) Chair of Boards of Management of Manresa and Belvedere College.
2005 - 2014: Manresa – Vice-Rector; Tertian Director
2006 - 2012: Manresa Rector; Tertian Director
2012 - 2014: Vice-Rector and Tertian Director

Joe was not feeling well for some weeks and went into the Blackrock Clinic on March 23rd. Tests revealed extensive cancer. He accepted the results and the prognosis with grace and faith, continuing to reach out to people over the following weeks. There was a gradual decline in his condition and he died peacefully on Ascension Sunday morning. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Since Fr Joseph Dargan, or just Joe (as I came to know him), passed away on the day we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension, he has been pointing not to himself but to the God he loved. In the manner of his dying, down to the very timing, and at his funeral, he was asking us to grapple with the question in the first reading at the funeral Mass from Deutero-Isaiah: “Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges: can you not see it?” He was inviting us to listen to the message of hope and encouraging us to live out of that hope. The words of St. Patrick's Breastplate have been reverberating in my mind these past days:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me.

These words represent the key to understanding what Joe desired, and the reality to which he pointed in all his interactions with us, when talking of God or mammon (in the form of Manchester United) - and everything in between.

The American Poet, Mary Oliver, in Honey Locust, describes a tree, native to North America, in blossom and the bees seeking the nectar:

The bees circle the tree and dive into it.
They are crazy with gratitude,
They are working like farmers.
They are as happy as saints.

I am going to frame my words around these lines.

The bees circle the tree and dive into it
This is the disposition that Fr. Joe brought to everything he did. He engaged fully. He dived into life, in whatever circumstances: in Manresa, in the then CMRS, in Gonzaga, Clongowes and Belvedere, in Mwangaza, in Loyola. And in whatever role, from Provincial to spiritual director, from Chair of the Board to lover of family, and so on.

And how he loved bis family: while I name only his brother Michael (or Mick) and his beloved sister Mairéad, they stand for all the family, those who have gone before Joe, those here present including the 18 nieces and grandnieces - not forgetting the nephews, including Joe the younger. He also enjoyed the deepest of friendships. And I have often thought that his great gift of being able to relate with women was modelled on the way that Jesus himself related to women in the Gospels, Joe engaged with all persons in the fullest way possible.

The bees are crazy with gratitude
Joe had almost zero concern for the material things of this world. As a. novice, I remember a fellow novice speculating one day that he thought that Joe had only one pair of shoes: in fact, watching thereafter, we never saw him in other than that one sturdy, black pair. That's not to deny that he didn't enjoy being able to stream the big football game - say Man U at home to Liverpool this season! But when challenged about such a worldly use of the computer, Joe would say simply, that the computer is merely an apostolic aid!' He was truly indifferent to worldly possessions. Given that significant business people who came to know him well, even to depend on him in some measure, would say that had Joe chosen a different path, that he would undoubtedly have been a very successful businessperson, we might ask ourselves, what is the source of his indifference to worldly goods?

The answer in significant part lies in the reading from Deutero Isaiah. Like the exiled Jewish people in Babylonia, so Joe needed to hear - and did hear at the deepest level of his being - those words from God through the prophet:

“I regard you as precious, since you are honoured and I love you. Do not be afraid for I have redeemed you. No need to remember past events. Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges: can you not see it?”

These words were heard as being addressed to him - and to each of us! It intrigued Joe that the reading ends with a big question: “Can you, can we, not see it?” In the Ascension, God did something new with Jesus and it emerges that there is hope and that hope is grounded in the death, resurrection and ascension of the Son of God. And, in his dying on the Feast of the Ascension, God did something new in Joseph. Can you not see it?

Out of this was born the person that Joe became: a most grateful person.

When he was told some very few months ago that his illness was terminal, Joe was immediately filled with consolation and gratitude for the key people in his life - those he had met and loved, in his family, in the Society, in those extraordinarily rich friendships that he so enjoyed with such beloved friends, male and female. As the doctor actually spoke to him, those people's names and images passed before his inner eye and he was filled with joy and gratitude.

Most of us would have sunk at such a moment: not Joe, because the gratitude was to God and to those who were God's hands and eyes and ears for him in this life.

But, to be clear, Joe was not like a plastic or alabaster statue. As a young Jesuit student in Rathfarnham and Tullabeg and Milltown, he would come from his room, football boots in his hands, pay a visit to the Blessed Sacrament on the way to the pitch, pray intensely out of gratitude to God - and then go out on the pitch and hack down anyone who dared to try and pass him, leaving his opponent sprawling on the ground, with Joe standing over him, full of concern!

And in the spirit of consolation that sustained him in recent weeks, on being visited by Mr. Gerard Foley, currently headmaster of Belvedere, Joe's mischievous sense of humour enabled him to whisper, Thank God you came in to Belvedere when you did: that other fellow left an awful mess!'

Gratitude and grace - the latter understood as relationship with God - and consolation - but never without bite, never without humour!

The bees around the honey locust are working like farmers
Out of that spirit of gratitude, I suspect that unlike most of us, Joe wasted very few moments during his 81+ years. He gave his all to every project and to every person: in his presence, one never felt that Joe had to be elsewhere - you got his undivided attention.

From sticking faithfully to a physiotherapist's instructions, to thorough engagement with the Irish Province social survey in response to Vatican II back in the 1960's, to the meticulous attention to detail in the planning document, Our Mission in Ireland drawn up during his time as Provincial - strategic planning was a prominent feature of every work that he engaged in, not least with the CMRS - down to the legacy that is the tertianship today, co-created with his Dutch colleague Fr. Jan van de Poll - in all of that, the focus was always on the mission, to bring the love of Christ to the other.

Who knows how many lives he saved - I mean that in the deepest sense - through his love-enriched, Christ-focused interaction with so many people, bom of the Spiritual Exercises, of his love of the poor - witness his work in Africa, his work on the bursary programme in Belvedere, his reception of the orphans from Africa every summer - and of his love of the Church?

In the Letter to the Ephesians, read like Deutero-Isaiah at his funeral, St Paul prays for his “hidden self to grow strong”. Richard Rohr says somewhere that “the True Self is that part of you who knows who you are and whose you are, although largely unconsciously. Your False Self is just who you think you are - but thinking doesn't make it so”. Throughout his life, Joe took the risk of going deeper, below the ego, to discern “who and whose” we are. Joe lived the self-reflective prayer of Ignatius known as the Examen. He truly devoted himself to prayer and reflection. And so his “hidden self” grew out of and into God, into Jesus Christ, enriched greatly through his love of Mary, the Mother of God, and of the Church, and of the Society of Jesus.

Everything he did was to try to get us on the same path, knowing it was the way to genuine inner peace and contentment for each of us. In the prayerful words of the late Pedro Arrupe S), former General of the Society:

Grant me, O Lord, to see everything with new eyes,
To discern and test the spirits
That help me read the signs of the times,
To relish the things that are yours
and to communicate them to others.
Give me the clarity of understanding that you gave Ignatius'.

This became Joe's own prayer.

In a wonderful little piece, Leonard Cohen asks, “what is a saint?”:

A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love. Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve the chaos....but he is at home in the world. He can love the shapes of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have amongst us such (persons), such balancing monsters of love.

Joe was just such a person, filled with the energy of love and with that balance. He knew, of course, that it is in Christ that an ever deeper hope resides.

But this is not to go back to the alabaster statue. A Jesuit friend and I went out to dinner one night, in a restaurant very close to Manresa. (I remember it well because I paid!) This mutual friend put a little idea into our heads: why not call in to visit Joe on the way home, but not tell him why we were there together, leaving him with the impression that the Provincial had given us a very important task, on behalf of the Province, which we were not free to talk about! We didn't have to travel far into Manresa: there was Joe walking the upper path, rosary beads in hand. At every opportunity, for months after, indeed for the past couple of years, Joe never missed an opportunity to try to find out what was going on. He was innately curious. He loved to know what was going on.

A Board colleague of the time reminded me of a Board meeting in Belvedere in the days when Belvedere was well run!) when, as headmaster, I conveyed some information about an issue to do with rugby (of all things!). Joe, sitting next to me, rounded on me and asked if I was informing the Board of this matter or asking their opinion. A bit perplexed, I - allegedly - floundered and said I supposed I was informing the Board. Joe's two hands stretched out, in a familiar gesture of his and said: “Fine, fine, that's fine - because if you were asking us, I wouldn't agree with you!” Saintly, but as cute as a fox, wise as the serpent, simple as the dove.

Like his fellow Jesuits, he knew himself to be a sinner yet loved by Jesus: on his sick-bed he acknowledged that he had made mistakes in his life, but that these were forgotten and forgiven.

Those bees are as happy as saints
The integrity, the consistency of the spoken word and gesture, and the manner of his dying, confirm for us that Joe meant what he said, and said what he meant.

He understood himself and each one of us to be a new creation, and that in life and in death we give witness to the Resurrection. All this in faith and in hope. He made as his own Pedro Arrupe's prayer in his own illness:

Now more than ever I find myself in the hands of God.
This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth.
But now there is a difference:
The initiative is entirely with God.
It is indeed a profound spiritual experience
To know and feel myself so totally in God's hands!

In recent times, Joe was unable to celebrate Mass: a Sister friend suggested to me the other evening that this was his time to be, like Pierre Teillhard de Chardin SJ, offering his “Mass on the world”. Once, when in China, Teillhard had no bread or wine with which to celebrate Mass. He expressed his deep love for the Eucharist in his essay of that name, which begins:

Since once again, Lord .... I have neither bread nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the real itself; I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and it will offer you all the labours and sufferings of the world.

Joe chose the funeral Mass reading from Matthew's Gospel because the words, “This is My body - this is My blood”, were the centre-piece of his vocation. These, he said as he faced death, are the most important words to say at that hour.

In the final lines of Honey Locust, Mary Oliver writes:

So it is if the heart has devoted itself to love,
There is not a single inch of emptiness.
Gladness gleams all the way to the grave.

A fitting epitaph for Joe, as God in him and throughout his life, says to us: “Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges: can you not see it?!”

Leonard Moloney

Joe Dargan: Three Memories

Brendan Staunton

First memory:
During my first year theology in Milltown, Joe asked me to come to Manresa on Sunday mornings and introduce the novices to literature. So I'd cross the city on my Honda 50, with Saul Bellow, Ayn Rand, James Joyce and Co., in tow. The rhetoric of fiction was closer to my existential concerns than the theological questions we were being fed. In fact, the fare was all answers to issues and battles fought long before our time. So the answers were stale. The waves of Vatican Two were approaching, however, onto Irish shores, and Milltown, broadly speaking, was receptive and open to the experiential and empirical. So Joe's invitation was a Godsend, and at the end of our two-hour sessions he would hand me a ten pound note, saying “that's for petrol”! (Less than two would fill the tank!)

Second Memory:
I'm about to go on Tertianship. Joe calls. He had been at a function in The Red House, where Dermot Ryan had complained about all the Religious going abroad to be trained for formation work Particularly the USA. Joe, Head of CORI, told him he had someone at home now who had trained in London. So the idea of Loreto House was born, and I was asked to set it up and get it going with two Sisters. And the rest is history!

Third Memory:
We are in Rome for a month's Conference on the Spiritual Exercises, attended by 101 people, mostly Jesuits, but also other religious and lay collaborators from 40 countries. The approach is mostly academic: content orientated; lecture style; dense and heavy. Starting with Fr General, the lecturers were all stately, formal figures from the Greg. After three long mornings, Joe raised his hand, and asked a question. A huge burst of applause broke out! Only Joe would have got away with it, as there was no offense heard, but the feedback hit the nail on the head. The fact of his being a previous Provincial probably helped too, and the talks and afternoon sessions became more experiential and participative.

De Hindeberg, Piaras, 1912-1982, Jesuit priest and Irish language writer

  • IE IJA J/183
  • Person
  • 01 December 1912-07 October 1982

Born: 01 December 1912, Portlaw, County Waterford
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, Sacred Heart Coillege SJ, Limerick
Died: 07 October 1982, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Early education at Waterpark College, Waterford; Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Waterpark student
by 1938 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 58th Year No 1 1983
Obituary
Fr Piaras de Hindeberg (1912-1931-1982)

Piaras de Hindeberg's death occurred at about midday on Thursday, 7th October 1982, at Rathfarnham Castle, where he had lived for the last thirty years of his life. He was within two months of completing his seventieth year, and two years past the golden jubilee of his entry into the Society.
Piaras regularly joined a small group of the community for early tea at about 5.30 pm. This group missed him that Thursday. Br Andy Williams, the Minister, went up to his room at the top of the castle and on breaking in the door, found Piaras lying on his bed, fully dressed, his spectacles on, but obviously some hours dead – five, according to medical opinion.
This brief account of the circumstances of his death is revealing in itself.
They missed Piaras, whose company they always enjoyed so much. It was here he was most at home: here he showed his depth and wide range of knowledge, his sharpness of mind, his sense of humour and above all his charity. He was never cynical about the affairs of the Province, or critical about modern trends in the Society or the Church. He could see things in the context of the changed times in which we are living. They missed him. There are more people than we shall ever know of whom the same can be said.
Piaras passed away quietly, in the midst of his work, without being a cause of trouble to anyone - just as he would have wished it to happen. When I say that he died in the midst of his work, I have no doubt that it was this that brought on the attack from which he died. For the last two years or so he had been working against time as though he realised that he was living on borrowed time. There were some students in advanced studies in modern Irish who came to him by appointment in the late evening for sessions which went on into the late hours of night. In preparation for these sessions, he put in long hours of intensive work. One of these students was expected that evening and arrived at the time the announcements of his death were being prepared. It was he who prepared the announcement which was published in the press for the following day. Happily some of these students will be able to assess the value of Piaras's work of a lifetime. It would not be within my competence to evaluate what must contain a monumental collection of material of inestimable value. We must leave this task to the scholars in times ahead.
Unostentatiously but very solidly, Piaras was a man of prayer and religious fervour; his daily Mass, Rosary, pro longed visits to the Blessed Sacrament and the tattered breviary were the substance of his daily life. He believed in physical activity, and for one who sustained a deadly heart attack about nine years ago and suffered three heart arrests while in intensive care, it was unbelievable to see the strenuous exercises he would constantly undertake: brisk walking, work in the grounds with scythe or saw or even a sledge hammer. Always obliging, he would supply Mass at an early hour travelling by motor-bike or even on foot through snow and ice if no other transport were possible. He never failed to keep an appointment and never cared for himself no matter what difficulties he had to surmount.
The late Fr William Stephenson and Piaras de Hindeberg lived for about thirty years together. During all this time, Piaras never spoke a word to the Old man, an omission which the Old man felt very much. He just wasn't Piaras' cup of tea. But a time came when the Old man was no longer able to gather his own firewood and saw it up for the fire which he always had in his room. Piaras quickly saw the Old man's difficulty and, despite his own condition of health, for the last years of Father Stephenson's life, he gathered the fire wood, sawed it up into handy blocks, filled a large basket and day after day carried the load up the back stairs into the Old man's room and left the pile conveniently in the corner: in and out, day after day, and never a word spoken. For his part, Fr Stephenson sent out for a small bag of mints from time to time. He climbed up to Piaras's room, hung the bag of sweets on the door handle and left it there. 'He likes the sweets' the Old man used say to me. Love is shown in deeds.

Piaras was a man of high ideals. He had a clear vision of his calling both in the religious life and towards his kith and kin; his native land; its language, its culture and its people, and from these ideals he never swerved. It took courage and he had that courage, the courage that saints and martyrs are made of. He never curried favour. In him there was no personal pride or selfish ambition. He never gloried in his academic achievements and he had attained the highest. He did not expect others to emulate his standards. Towards others of different background and upbringing, he was tolerant and looked for nothing more in return. “I go my way and you go your way”. When I think of his dedication to the cause of the Irish language and how one might explain it, I am reminded of what was said by somebody when speaking about the miracles at Lourdes: to those who have the Faith, no explanation is necessary; to those who have not the Faith, no explanation is possible.
It was my privilege to have known Piaras from boyhood. We were classmates at Waterpark College, Waterford. There he was recognised as one of outstanding ability not only in Irish, which was bred in him and nurtured from infancy, but in the Classics and in all other subjects. Fr Ernest Mackey was quick to pick him out as a subject for the priesthood and for the Society, which he entered in 1930 and in which he lived out his life in complete fidelity to his religious vocation and to his hereditary culture and ideals.
Nothing could have been more fitting than the tribute paid to him on the occasion of his obsequies at Gardiner Street church. His religious brothers did Piaras royally. May I on behalf of his family thank you all most sincerely for this as they have requested me to do. A special word of thanks is due, I feel, to Fr Seán Ó Duibhir, chief celebrant, and to the choir under the baton of Brendan Comerford. Ar dheis Dé go raibh anam sár-uasal Phiarais.
Matthew Meade SJ

Deevy, John A, 1887-1969, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/800
  • Person
  • 15 June 1887-10 March 1969

Born: 15 June 1887, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1920, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1924, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 10 March 1969, Regional Hospital, Limerick

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

by 1911 at Cividale del Friuli, Udine Italy (VEN) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 44th Year No 2 1969

Obituary :

Fr John Aloysius Deevy SJ (1887-1969)

For some months before his death Fr. John Deevy had been growing weaker, and experiencing greater difficulty in walking. He had got permission to say Mass sitting down, and as long as he could make his way to the little Altar near his room, even by pushing before him a chair on which he leaned, he clung to his daily Mass. But that period soon passed and he came to need the constant professional care which he could get only in a hospital. His last weeks were spent in the Regional, near Mungret, where he died on Saturday March 10th. He was buried from the College Chapel after a concelebrated Requiem Mass, in which the Rector of Mungret, Fr. Senan Timoney, and ten other priests, chiefly from other houses, took part in the presence of Fr. Provincial. After the Gospel the Rector made a short address in which he dwelt on the two chief devotions of Fr. Deevy's life : devotion to his daily Mass, and his devotion to Mungret. He mentioned that Fr. Deevy, before his last illness had declared that he missed his daily Mass only twice in his life of forty nine years as a priest.
The ceremonies of the Requiem were carried out impressively with the boys choir singing hymns to the accompaniment of two guitars. Afterwards the boys lined the avenue from the chapel to the graveyard where Fr. Deevy was laid to rest among the fellow Jesuits with whom he had lived.
John Aloysius Deevy was born in Waterford on June 15th, 1887. He belonged to a very well known Waterford family, which consisted of four boys and nine girls. None of his sisters married, only one survived him and was at his funeral. He was a layboy at Mungret from 1903 to 1906, when he entered Tullabeg with seven other companions. It was a small vintage, but all of the eight persevered in their vocation and four of them predeceased him. From the beginning he showed himself the John Deevy that so many were afterwards to respect and to like, bright, cheerful, utterly sincere and honourable. The Master of Novices, Fr. James Murphy, at once perceived the sterling qualities of Brother Deevy, and held him up as a model of the spirit he sought to inspire in his novices, which he expressed in his often repeated words : “What is right is right, what is wrong is wrong and that settles the matter”. You could not know John Deevy for any length of time without coming to admire his sincerity and straightness, and his unswerving sense of honour and truthfulness.
His constant flood of energy, and his zeal for what was good, were not always appreciated by less vigorous companions. He was a formidable companion at the pump. For a later and softer generation it should be explained that pumping water up to tanks in the garret was a part of the manual work of the novices. It was also a test of solid virtue. Br. Deevy would throw himself into this back-breaking activity while his companion, wilting over the other handle of the pump, would feel inclined to greet the ardour as an excess of zeal. At the oars in the boats on the canal, on the long summer afternoons, he rowed like a Roman galley slave.
He did his Juniorate in Tullabeg, under Fr. John Keane and then went to Cividale in Italy for his Philosophy. His colleges were done in Belvedere, Mungret and Clongowes. He was an excellent teacher of Latin and, especially, of Mathematics; he had a gift of expounding clearly that severe discipline, if not of enlivening it. From 1918 to 1922 he did his theology at Milltown Park where he was ordained on August 15th, 1920, earlier than the canonical date, because he had been delayed by the war. He did his tertianship under Fr. Bridge, of the English province from 1922 to 1923 at Tullabeg,
For the first years of his priesthood he circulated around the colleges and everywhere he was true to the image he had shown in his years at Tullabeg, friendly, bright, energetic, a thoroughly devout priest but without a trace of smugness or solemnity. After some years he began to be more engaged in administration for which his energetic and practical temperament fitted him. He was changed from the classroom and allotted to the duties of minister, procurator and Superior. Mungret, Tullabeg, Milltown Park, the Crescent, and Emo Park saw him successively. His years at Emo, twelve of them, deserve a special mention. He was Procurator, then Superior and finally Rector. In these positions he came to know intimately the secular clergy of the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin and particularly those who lived about Emo. He was at once accepted as one of themselves, and was soon a welcome and frequent guest at their dinners. He was at home in their presbyteries. The gossip, the politics of the diocese were openly discussed in his presence. And he contributed to the gaiety of the dinner table by his large stock of clerical stories which he narrated with the skill of a born raconteur. As a Superior he had a car at his disposal and he took a boyish delight in dashing into Portarlington and Portlaoise and further afield on errands or business or visits. The Society had opened Emo as a noviceship house in 1930 and were timidly making their way into the good will of the priests of the diocese. Fr. Arthur Murphy, the P.P. of Emo had been our sponsor there, and to him we owe, more than to anyone else, our settlement in the diocese. But Fr. Deeyy's contact with the priests did great service in changing toleration into genuine friendliness. Fr. Deevy was the least “Jesuitical” of men, as defined in the Concise Oxford dictionary, a “dissembling person, a prevaricator”. On everyone who met him he left the impression that he was a man whose word was as good as his bond, whose speech was “yea and nay”.
By temperament he was active and practical and took naturally to administration. He liked working with his hands and was glad to do odd jobs; he spent a good deal of time tinkering with things. He was not a reading man and would not often be seen in his room reading. That was a pity as he was intelligent and had a clear and vigorous mind. It was a pity also that he so early in his priestly life allowed his administrative activities to take him from pastoral work and, especially, from retreat-giving, a ministry which his deep spirituality, his good judgment, his kindness and his bright manner fitted him for to a high degree.
In 1944 Fr. Deevy returned to Tullabeg as Procurator and in 1953 he was assigned, in the same office, to Mungret; it was his last change and it was fitting that the end of his life should be spent in the place where he had made his first contact with the Society. The wheel of his changes had come full circle. For the years left him he was the same useful worker;, the same bright popular community man. He had little contact with the boys, they only remember the white-haired old priest who was so regular with his Mass. A good part of these years. was spent in compiling the Mungret Record, a list of all the past Mungret boys with their places of origin and their years in the College, It was a work which demanded a great deal of minute research in the Mungret Annual, old lists of the Prefects of Studies, of the Procurator, in the account books. It was done with the thoroughness and accuracy that were characteristic of all his work. The typed volume will remain as a very useful book of reference as well as a monument to Fr. Deevy's love of Mungret.
His death was felt throughout the province with a very genuine regret, by those who had ever lived with him. One of these, one who made his acquaintance on the 7th of September 1906, who drove him on the same sidecar to the noviceship, renders in these pages his sincere, if inadequate, tribute, his Ave atque Salve to a Very near friend of a lifetime. Ar dheis-Dé go raibh a anam.
Two of Fr. Deevy's sisters deserve a brief mention, Tessa was a well known playwright. Many of her plays were presented with success at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin and outside Ireland. Another, Agnes, entered the Carmelite monastery, Delgany, where she was known as Mother Mary of the Incarnation and was Mother Prioress for many years. She was revered and loved by her community and those who knew her still cherish the memory of her outstanding charity and holiness.

Deignan, Alfred J, 1927-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/817
  • Person
  • 25 March 1927-11 December 2018

Born: 25 March 1927, Mullagh, County Cavan
Entered: 07 September 1945, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong
Died: 11 December 2018, St Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Part of the Ricci Hall, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Transcribed : HIB to HK 15/08/1970; HK to CHN 1992

Mission Superior, Hong Kong - 1996-2002

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Long time educator to receive honorary doctorate

The Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIED) announced, on September 25, that it will award an honorary doctorate in education to Jesuit Father Alfred J. Deignan, at a ceremony scheduled for November 13.

In a press release, the institute saluted Father Deignan’s more than 50 years of dedication to education in Hong Kong and the region, nurturing young people from all walks of life.

Father Deignan worked at the Wah Yan College campuses in Waterloo Road, Kowloon, and in Queen’s Road East, Hong Kong. The HKIED noted that he “put into practice the pedagogical principles of the Society of Jesus, introduced various education programmes and made both schools two of the most respected” in the territory.

The institute noted his “active participation in social and community service” that has “won the respect of society” and pointed out Father Deignan’s belief that education extends beyond the academic confines of the classroom.

The Jesuit priest worked together with leaders of religious bodies and school principals to push the government to revitalise moral education. This effort bore fruit with the release of the official Guidelines on Moral Education in 1981. In 1997 he teamed with educators, school principals and teachers to start the Hong Kong International Institute of Educational Leadership to promote the holistic development of the person and the learning of positive values.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 19 October 2008

Beloved Jesuit mourned

Father Alfred Deignan of the Society of Jesus died in the early hours of 11 December 2018 at St Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. He was 91-years-old.

Father Deignan was born in Mullagh, County Cavan, Ireland, on 25 March 1927. He entered the society at Emo Park, Portlaoise, Laoise, on 7 September 1945 and was ordained to the priesthood on 31 July 1959 in Dublin. He professed his final vows on 5 November 1977 at Ricci Hall, where he was warden from 1970 to 1978.

He was conferred an honorary doctorate in Social Sciences by Hong Kong University (HKU). His citation on its Honorary Graduates webpage notes that he arrived in the city in August of 1953 and lived for two years on Cheung Chau island where he learned Cantonese.

The citation notes that Father Deignan “experienced at first-hand the struggles of the villagers and boat-people against poverty and hostile natural conditions. But besides their need for help, he also saw and appreciated their inventiveness and resilience, an appreciation which developed, over the years, into strong bonds of affiliation with the young and old who came under his apostolic care. As Father Deignan, he is loved, respected, and revered by many in the Hong Kong community, past and present?

He began a long association with Wah Yan College Hong Kong after he left Cheung Chau and, between 1962 and 1970,served first as vice-principal and then as principal of the school. He was also principal of Wah Yan College Kowloon from 1978 to 1992.

In a 2017 interview with the SCMP, he lamented the state of education and society in Hong Kong, saying, “There is too much about exams and academic achievement and a complete lack of spirituality,” adding that far more work had to be done in schools on the personal development of children.

A final tribute is scheduled to be held at St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, from 8.30 to 10.45am. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11.00am followed by burial at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery, Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 16 December 2018
◆ Adam Schall Residence Catholic Community The Chinese University of Hong Kong 1972-2012

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/alfred-deignan-sj-death-of-a-great-educator/

Alfred Deignan SJ: death of a great educator
Irish Jesuit missionary Fr Alfred Deignan, who spent 65 years in Hong Kong mostly as an educator, passed away on Tuesday 11 December, aged 91. He was superior of the Hong Kong mission from 1996 to 2002.
Originally from Mullagh, Co. Cavan, Alfred was one of thirteen children. Neither he nor anyone in his family had any contact with the Jesuits, but a chance meeting with a Jesuit in the parish church set the course of his life. “Towards the end of my time in the local school a priest came to give a mission,” he recalled some years ago. “I was serving at Mass when he turned round and asked me if I’d ever thought of becoming a Jesuit. I said no. But the strange thing was that at that moment I seemed to be filled with happiness that this was what I wanted to be. So I went home and told my mother and she said: ‘What’s a Jesuit?’ And I said: ‘I don’t know’.”
Thanks to a scholarship to Mungret College in Limerick, Alfred came to know the Jesuits. He entered the novitiate in 1945, and in 1947 he began an Arts degree in University College Dublin. In 1953 he was sent to join the Hong Kong mission. “It was such a complete change,” he said of arriving in Hong Kong after 28 days on board the RMS Carthage. “Everything was strange. It was my first time out of the country.”
It was as an educator that Fr Alfred excelled in Hong Kong. He was at different times principal of both Wah Yan College in Kowloon and Wah Yan College on Hong Kong Island. He also co-founded the Hong Kong International Institute of Educational Leadership (HKIIEL) in 1997. In recognition of his contribution to education in Hong Kong he received honorary doctorates from The University of Hong Kong (2003), The Hong Kong Institute of Education (2008) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (2012).
Fr Deignan also worked tirelessly to combat the rise of HIV/Aids. He was a member of the Hong Kong Advisory Council on Aids, member and Vice-Chairman of the Hong Kong Aids Foundation, Member of the Council of the Aids Trust Fund, and Chairman, Expert Panel for HIV Infected Health Care Workers. In 1993, he received the Governor’s Commendation for Community Service Award in recognition of his contribution.
In response to news of the death of Fr Deignan, the Irish Minister of State for the Diaspora, Ciarán Cannon, said:
I have learned with sadness of the death of Fr Alfred Deignan. Since his arrival in Hong Kong 65 years ago, Fr Deignan dedicated his life to education and was loved and respected by generations of his pupils. He also played a leading role in tackling the impact of AIDS in Hong Kong. His life is a testament to the untiring and selfless work of Irish missionaries in Hong Kong – and more widely around the world – in the fields of education, health and welfare. I would like to convey my deepest condolences to his family, friends and to all his past pupils who mourn his loss. Ní fheicfimid a leithéid ann arís.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/209-alfred-deignan-missionary-in-hong-kong

What it means to be a missionary in Hong Kong today
Alfred Deignan SJ
One day when talking to a layman friend, he spoke with real appreciation saying, “Father, we admire you missionaries , who have left your country, families, relatives and friends to come to Hong Kong and work among us, learning our difficult language.” This kind of appreciation and gratitude is part of our consolation and encouragement, which we receive from people we meet and work with.
Jesus said “I came not to be served but to serve”. Yes, to serve –this is what it means to me as a missionary in Hong Kong - whether that service is in teaching, preaching, counseling, directing retreats, giving instruction, chaplaincy or parish work, helping the poor or sick.
I am happy that in God’s providence I was assigned to Hong Kong. There is so much service can be given. Even though I am involved in the very important apostolate of education, I always had opportunities of being involved in marriage counselling, in working for Aids patients and the formation of youth and teachers.
The majority of Hong Kong people are Buddhist or Taoists, but the Church is growing in numbers. Imagine 3,000 adult baptisms last year! The Church is a young Church and a Church of the young. The growth is partly due to the number of good Catholic schools in which there is a mixture of Catholic and non-Catholic students, and the vibrant life of the parishes.
Christ’s call “Go and teach all nations “is a call to missionaries and of course to all Catholics. Our answer is “Here I am Lord, send me.” The Irish Jesuits have played an important role in the evangelisation of the Chinese people and they are very grateful. Let us continue to pray for the millions of Chinese people who have yet to know Christ.

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/550-fr-freddy-deignan-sj-in-hong-kong

FR FREDDY DEIGNAN SJ IN HONG KONG
“How did God take me out of that small village and plant me in Hong Kong!” Fr Freddy Deignan SJ laughs when he recalls his little home town of Mullen in County Cavan, Ireland. In an interview with John Guiney SJ, he looks back over his long life as a Jesuit educator.
Go South or go East?
He has been on mission in the metropolis of Hong Kong with a population of almost seven and a half million people for 65 years and admits to have learned a great deal since being sent there in 1953. He has compiled a history of the Irish Jesuits 90th anniversary in Hong Kong, (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/543-90th-anniversary-of-the-arrival-of-the-jesuits-in-hong- kong)celebrated in 2016.
One of his desires was to go to Zambia and when as a young priest his future was being discussed with the Provincial, the reason he gave was that Fr Joe Conway there was in contact: Zambia was tempting. “ You’re not going” said the Provincial, ‘ There’s only one person going to Zambia” and that was Fr Tom McGivern.
What awaited was difference with a capital ‘D’! Language, customs, food, weather— typhoons even—it was a complete change for the young priest. Learning the language wasn’t easy but he persevered over two years and credits his eventual proficiency through his teaching of primary school pupils. He particularly enjoyed the education work.

There and back again
Bringing his Chinese books to continue his learning on the long voyage back to Ireland to study Theology in 1961, was more aspirational than practical. He admits with a smile that he never did actually read them. Having requested another year learning Chinese, he returned to Hong Kong and the language school there with good intentions. The busy life of a Jesuit and work duties intervened however, leaving less time for study.
A sabbatical in 1992 followed the end of his principalship at Wah Yan College, Kowloon allowing him to go to Manresa Retreat House in Dublin. The walks in the beautiful St Anne’s Park nearby are a particularly fond memory. Back to the bustle of crowded Hong Kong then to work as assistant secretary to Jenny Cho for the East Asia Oceania Jesuit Conference of Education, as it was called then.
The position required travelling to Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/534-endings-and-beginnings-in-the-far-east) Thailand, the Philippines and even back to Ireland! He enjoyed giving the workshops on Ignatian pedagogy and staff development, especially in Catholic schools. Eight teams were formed and in one year alone, nearly 200 workshops were given.
Unbelievable generosity of past pupils
“I think it’s unbelievable” says Freddy, “to experience the loyalty, dedication and gratitude of past pupils to us. They are so grateful for the education they have received.” One of the things they have done—because the Jesuits in Hong Kong (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/546-irish-men-behind- the-far-east-jesuit-missions) are ageing and thus more prone to illness—was to establish the Jesuit Nursing Fund to help pay for medical expenses. The goodness and care of his doctors—freely given as old age takes its toll—is also a source of great appreciation.
Another sign of their great generosity was to establish the Wah Yan Family Foundation that has supported the schools for the last 10 years. “It has made such a big difference” he says and means more teachers with smaller classes. It also helped fund activities like athletics, music, swimming and other games. The fund has raised the amazing amount of 120 million in total: Fr Freddy explains its distribution in the interview video.
Fr Deignan retains his deep interest in an ever changing education landscape. “ The dialogue on teaching as a service is still continuing” he says “even to this day”.

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/615-death-of-influential-educator-in-hong-kong

DEATH OF AN INFLUENTIAL EDUCATOR
Fr Alfred (Freddie) Deignan SJ, of the Irish Jesuit community in Hong Kong died, aged 91, on December 11, 2018. As Principal of both Wah Yan Colleges and Chairman of the Jesuit Board of Education he was an influential figure in education whose presence will be greatly missed. RIP.
Fr Deignan was born in 1927 in the village of Mullagh, Co. Cavan. He was from a farming family, and was sixth of 12 children (https://jesuitmissions.ie/news/550-fr-freddy-deignan-sj-in-hong-kong). He won a scholarship to become a boarder at the Jesuit-run Mungret College in Co. Limerick which influenced his decision to become a Jesuit priest. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1945 as a Novice and took his First Vows two years later. A BA degree in UCD in 1950, was followed by three years of philosophy study in Tullabeg College, Co. Offaly. He then set off for Cheung Chau, Hong Kong to study Cantonese for two years before taking up a teaching position in Wah Yan College.
He recalled, in interview, his first impressions of Hong Kong being the heat, the food that was strange to an Irish palate and the poverty that people were living in, after WWII. He said :
"The people were very poor. Of those who could work, some were doing two jobs in order to support the family, and some were doing ‘piecework’; the factory would give them the material to do the work at home. I remember out in Cheung Chau, one family I knew, when I visited, they were just sitting around a basket in the centre, they were making match boxes, each of them was rolling a matchbox. They would send them back to the factory and they would get about 5c for 100 boxes. I met a young fellow in the hospital and asked him if he was working, he said yes and I said how did they pay you? And he said no he wasn’t paid anything, but it gives me a bed space and feeds me, and he seemed happy with that. People lived at the top of buildings and in little shacks on the hillsides, made out of wood or galvanised iron. They were very poor at that time, very poor."
Fr Deignan returned to Ireland in 1956, and was ordained as a priest in 1959. He studied theology in Milltown Park for three years and received a Bachelor of Divinity in 1960. On completion of his Tertianship in Rathfarnham, he returned to Hong Kong in 1961, taking his Final Vows a year later. He also returned to Wah Yan College, as Prefect of Studies in 1962, becoming Principal in 1968 to 1970.
He spent 1970 to '78 involved in the running of Ricci Hall which accommodated Catholic students attending university in Hong Kong. Deignan was Principal of Wah Yan College in Kowloon from 1978 to 1992, and after this used his vast experience who held several key positions within the educational framework of the Society including Assistant Secretary for Jesuit Education in East Asia Oceania Region and Chairman of the Jesuit Board of Education. He was awarded honorary degrees for his life-long contribution to education in Hong Kong, including the Degree of Doctor of Education in 2008 and the Degree of Doctor of Social Science in 2012.
As part of the Society of Jesus community in Hong Kong, Fr Deignan shared his life there with fellow Irish missionaries Joseph Mallin SJ and Harold Naylor SJ, both of whom also died this year. The Irish Jesuit presence there is diminishing but their influence is still felt among the Jesuits from China and other international Provinces, laypeople they have worked alongside and students they have educated. "Hong Kong was blessed with and has been enriched by Father Deignan’s love and visionary contributions, and will miss him dearly" said Alan Leong, Civic Party Chairman.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

◆ 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 large family of 12 children. His early education was at Mungret College SJ, Limerick. When asked there as a boy what he would like to become he said “I want to be a Jesuit priest”.
He Entered at Emo in 1945, and the read History, Irish and English at UCD, followed by Philosophy at Milltown Park.
In 1953 he was sent for Regency to Hong Kong, beginnig with studying the language at Cheung Chau. During this time he also played foorball for Hong Kong FC, and was a good Irish dancer.
He gave courses on self development, love and life. He offered them not only at Wah Yan but other catholic schools. To each of his students who needed help, he was a patient and sympathetic listener, and someone in whom people placed their trust and on whom they could rely on in terms of crisis or everyday disappointments. He brought this experience with him then when he was made Warden at Ricci Hall (1970-1978). Here he was Chaplain and contributed as an active member of the Warden’s Committee and President of the University’s Social Service Group (1972-1978)

His educational philosophy was founded on the firm belief that young people should have faith in themselves and others. The need for a positive self-image was particularly urgent for some of his students from underprivileged backgrounds, others suffering abuse from family members or reacting against parental pressure to compete and succeed.His counsel to both teachers and students was to begin with self-reflection, and through this, to recognise their own good qualities, not to become complete in self-confidence, but to initiate the path to self-reform and better human relations.

He served at Way Yan Hong Kong, first as Vice Principal and then as Principal (162-1970), Under his leadership it became the nurturing ground of young men who not only excelled academically, but also received the holistic education that so well prepared them for personal fulfilment and social distinction. Many more now stand at the apex of Hong Kong society, and some have achieved international renown. His achievements as a teacher and educator were equally evident at Wah Yan Kowloon, where he was Principal (1978-1992). he was much sought after for advice and leadership by those in Catholic eduction and many in the educational field. He taught classes in English and Ethics, and was dearly loved by teachers, students and parents, always encouraging and leading to trust and serve.

His vision of educational reform exemplifies the twin vocations of the Jesuits -teaching and the welfare of the spirit. “Dialogue on teaching as a Service”, a programe which he initiated in Hong Kong in 1980, and this was followed by others such as “Characteristics of Jesuit Education” and “Reflective or Ignatian Pedagogy”. he mapped out for teachers the detailed process of reflection on experience, preparation, sharing and cooperative learning.. This is vocational training with a significant difference, using new pedagogical or presentation skills, teachers lean how to integrate ethical values into their periodical re-examination of themselves, their classroom experiences and their care for students wellbeing as individuals and social members.
He was Assistant Secretary in the Jesuit Conference of East Asia and Oceania (1992-1996), Regional Superior for Jesuits in Macau and Hong Kong (1996-2002), and the Provincial Delegate for Hong Kong from 2003.He was a member of the HK Advisory Council on AIDS, a member and Vice-Chair of the HK AIDS Foundation, a member of the Council for AIDS Trust Fund, and Chair of the Expert Panel for HIV infected healthcare workers. He received the Governors Commendation for Community Service Award in 1993.
In 1997 with a group of educationalists in tertiary and secondary institutions he established the HK International Institute of Educational Leadership, of which he was Chair.The Institute’s vision is “to fister a community which is fair, honest, just, caring, compassionate, responsible, trustworthy, generous and with courage, a community which lives in harmony and sets a high standard of moral behaviour” This statement encapsulates his educational vision and mission

In 2003 he was awarded a Doctor of Social Science by the University of Hong Kong for his social contributions. He was also awarded a Doctorate in Education by the Hong Kong Insttitute of Education in 2008 for his educational contributions, and a further Doctor of Social Science from the Chinese University of Hong Kong for his social contributions.

Delaney, Hubert, 1929-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/557
  • Person
  • 24 October 1929-01 April 2001

Born: 24 October 1929, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1966, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 01 April 2001, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Hubert Delaney was born in Dublin on 24 October 1929. After secondary school at the Christian Brothers in Dublin, Hubert entered the Civil Service for 15 months. However a higher calling brought him to the novitiate at Emo Park in 1948. He did the normal course of studies, B.A., philosophy, regency and then theology at Milltown Park in Dublin and crowned them with his ordination to the priesthood on 1962.

After tertianship, his life was lived in educational work. Up to 1974, secondary education occupied him, first at Belvedere College as prefect of studies of the Junior School followed by a year at Clongowes Wood College as teacher and higher line prefect. This was again followed by a three year stint as Headmaster at Gonzaga College in Dublin.
He moved from this into tertiary education and it was philosophy which absorbed his interests for the rest of his life. He lectured at the Milltown Institute in philosophy for eight years up to 1982. He continued lecturing but also studied for his M.A. in philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. He later obtained a Doctorate at Cork University and then went on a sabbatical 1989/1990. He went back to the Milltown Institute as lecturer and was also Director of the Lonergan Centre. He took a year off lecturing and went to Leeson Street as writer and researcher. For two years, 1993 to 1995, he was a tutor in philosophy at the Milltown Institute.

A complete change of venue brought him to Zambia, Africa, to the University of Zambia in Lusaka, invited by Fr Dillon-Malone, head of philosophy there. He stayed for a year lecturing and returned to Ireland to write but he first moved to Korea to lecture for a semester at Sogang University in Seoul. He was back in Leeson Street in 1997 as writer and doing research work again.

His health had not been good. He developed a serious heart condition and other ailments which hospitalised him several times. A stroke in March 2001 sent him to the Mater Hospital. Cerebral apathy and liver disease were diagnosed. All these led to his death on 1 April 2001.

Spontaneous testimony came from two of his former students who later became members of the staff of the Milltown Institute. Both spoke of him as a wonderful teacher, interesting, stimulating, challenging, but, most significant of all, he invited one to enter into a personal engagement and psychological growth. In his teaching he was not only the educator but also the pastor and the priest.

Friendship and service were two of Hubert's qualities. There were many on-going friendships with his former pupils and their families, as well as in the Jesuit communities in which he lived and in the family of his brother Peter. The Morning Star Hostel for ‘down and outs’, the Patricians, the Cenacle Retreat House were some of the areas where Hubert was of service. He had a love of literature, of classical music and of football. He missed all these when he came to Zambia for a year. After all, he was 66 years of age when he came and it is so difficult to make new friends and to fit into a new culture at that age .However he was of service at UNZA when he did come. Hubert's life was one of developing the talents that God had given him, a life centred on his priesthood and on the Mass.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001

Obituary

Fr Hubert Delaney (1929-2001)

24th Oct. 1929: Born in Dublin
Early education in St.Patrick's, Drumcondra and CBS, Richmond Street, Dublin.
1947 - 1948: 15 Months in Civil Service
8th Sept 1948: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept 1950: First vows at Emo
1950 - 1953: Rathfarnham, studying Arts at UCD
1953 - 1956: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1956 - 1959: Belvedere - Teacher, H.Dip in Ed. at UCD
1959 - 1963: Milltown Park - studying Theology
31 July 1962: Ordained at Milltown Park
1964 - 1964: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1964 - 1965: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
1965 -1970: Belvedere College: Prefect of Studies of Junior school
2nd Feb 1966: Final Vows
1970 - 1971: Clongowes: Higher Line Prefect and teacher
1971 - 1974: Gonzaga College: Headmaster
1974 - 1982: Milltown Park - Lecturer in Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1982 - 1985: Lecturing in Philosophy at Milltown Inst. studying for MA in Phil. Ed. at TCD
1985 - 1989: Doctorate studies in Philosophy at UCC
1989 - 1990: Sabbatical
1990 - 1992: Lecturer in Philosophy at Milltown Institute; Director, Lonergan Centre
1992 - 1993: Leeson St; Writer and Research
1993 - 1995: Tutor in Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1995 - 1996: Lecturer in Philosophy at UNZA, Lusaka Writer;
1996 - 1997: Lecturer in Philosophy at Sogang University, Seoul, Korea (Spring semester)
1997 - 2001: Leeson St; Writer & Research; Chair Virgin Mary School Board, Ballymun
1st April 2001: Died in the Mater Hospital, Dublin

In 1997 Hubert developed a serious heart condition, cardio myopathy, for which he was receiving regular medical treatment. Within the past three years he was hospitalised several times - to have an artificial knee joint fitted, a hip joint replaced and multiple skin grafts on his legs.

The state of his health had been declining noticeably since last September and even more so since February of this year. On March 21s he suffered a stroke and was admitted to the Mater Hospital, where cerebral apathy and liver disease were diagnosed. The combination of his many ailments led rapidly to renal failure, which was the immediate cause of his death.

Des. O Grady preached at Hubert's Funeral Mass...

Hubert has us all where he wants us now - gathered together with him as his sisters and brothers in our Father's house. We are brought together here by our love of Hubert and by the faith we share with him, our faith in the power and love of God who is the Father of us all: “the Father from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name”.

We are brought together today by our sorrow and our need, by our desire for the support we find in the company of one another and by our need to pray for Hubert, to give thanks for the gift he has been to us, and to surrender him back to the Father. In doing so we echo the faith of Job, which is also the faith of Hubert: “I know that my redeemer lives... These eyes of mine will gaze on him and find him not aloof”.

Jesus lives now for Hubert as the one who has gone before him to prepare a place for him. We pray that Hubert will now hear the words: “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord”.

We need not be in any doubt about Hubert's being welcomed into our Father's house. If we who are so poor in love always had a welcome for Hubert in our homes, how much more will our heavenly Father welcome him into his true home now. Unprofitable servants we may be, but beloved children first and last.

Our confidence for Hubert today is our confidence in the Father's love for him. That love has showered gifts on Hubert in this life, gifts that Hubert has turned to good account for us as our presence here today testifies more eloquently than anything I can say

If one looks through the official record of Hubert's assignments as a Jesuit priest Hubert's commitment to education is what stands out most of all. Hubert has worked at all levels of education - primary, secondary and tertiary, as well as in adult education. He taught in Belvedere, Clongowes, the Crescent, and in Gonzaga. He served as prefect of studies in the junior school in Belvedere and as headmaster in the senior school in Gonzaga.

In 1974 Hubert came to Milltown and began his career in third level education and I had spontaneous testimony to the value of his work there from two of his former students who are now members of the staff of the Milltown Institute. Both spoke of him as a wonderful teacher: interesting, stimulating, challenging, but most significant of all, as inviting one to personal engagement and growth. In his teaching he was not only the educator, but the pastor and the priest.

Hubert was able to teach so well because he himself was a lifelong student. And if we look at the topics of his MA thesis, “Imagination in Aristotle”, and his Ph.D. dissertation, “The Self-correcting Process of Learning”, we will realize that Hubert's study, though enjoyed for itself, was always focussed on the service of others. Hubert, like his Lord and Master, was among us as one who serves, and we have all benefited from the graces that God has given to Hubert.

That, as I said, is the official record. But off the record there is a whole parallel world of friendship and service; the Teams of Our Lady, the Morning Star, the Patricians, the Cenacle Retreat House, to name but some of the ones I know of Added to that there is his on-going friendship with many of his former pupils and their families, and, last but not least, his presence in his Jesuit communities and in the family of his brother Peter.

As we pray for Hubert today we can draw confidence from our faith in God and from the evidence of God's love in the gifts and graces he has showered upon Hubert, gifts Hubert turned to good account in his priestly life. Hubert's priesthood was at the centre of his life. He shared the word of God with us all and he gave of himself unsparingly. And at the heart of his every day and every work was the Mass.

There is so much more that could be said - his love of nature, and the joy and inspiration he drew from it - his doctoral dissertation about human development was entitled “The Tree of Life”. Then there was his love of literature. During the last few months he was reading again the novels of Jane Austen. Then there was music - mainly classical, and, of course, football.

Right up to the end Hubert enjoyed all of these. The day before he went to hospital for the last time, just two weeks ago today, he was, much against my wishes, let it be said, in Ballymun to chair a Board meeting of the Virgin Mary School, and then after than he spent the evening with his friends, Michael and Aileen Hardigan. The following day Hubert was too weak to get himself out of bed in the morning, and had to be taken to the Mater Hospital where, in spite of the best efforts of the doctors and nurses he died on Sunday morning of renal failure.

He died, yet he lives. He lives on in our hearts and our thoughts but also, we confidently trust, in our Father's home where he continues to work for us and bless us.

Diffely, Edward, 1916-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/501
  • Person
  • 10 April 1916-22 September 1993

Born: 10 April 1916, Cloonfad, Co Roscommon / Wood Quay, Galway
Entered: 07 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1950, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 22 September 1993, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Eddie was born in Cloonfad, Co Roscommon in 1916. His family moved to Galway where Eddie attended St Joseph's College and later Coláiste Iognáid. He entered the Jesuits in 1934 and was ordained priest at Milltown Park, Dublin, in 1947.

He spent almost fifty years in the active apostolate, first of all as a scholastic in Clongowes and as a priest in Coláiste Iognáid and Belvedere; secondly in giving retreats and missions throughout Ireland; and lastly in mission work in Zambia. To all of these, he brought unbounded drive and enthusiasm.

Eddie was a conscientious and successful teacher, mostly of Irish and Religion. He had a tremendous capacity for motivating young people and drawing the best out of them. They followed his lead with enthusiasm and zest. Many of them remember him years later with gratitude and affection.

It was probably outside the classroom that Eddie exercised his greatest talent. He was strong and athletic with considerable natural talent for a variety of games. In each of the colleges in which he taught, his love for the Irish language and Irish culture was carried over from the classroom into a wide range of extra-curricular activities: Irish dancing, debating, hurling and Gaelic football. His interest in these continued through life. His great interest, however, was in rowing. As a schoolboy, he with a few others organised the first rowing crew to appear on the river for many years. This was in the early thirties and ever since the college rowing club has played a large part in the history of Galway rowing. One of the highlights of his life was his selection as President of the Irish Rowing Union.

He had a natural gift for friendship. Wherever he went, he made friends. A casual meeting would lead to further contacts, growing eventually into a close friendship which often lasted for life. His warmth and humanity and genuine interest in people broke through all barriers of nationality, colour, religious belief or social caste.

He loved company and social occasions and he enlivened every one of these. But it was not all fun. Many a time at one of these functions he would be called out by someone who had been away from the Church for many a year.

He was very faithful to the way of life he had undertaken. Number one in Eddie Diffely's book was his priesthood and Jesuit vocation. No one was ever under any illusion about his commitment to these. His faithfulness to the Mass and the breviary was absolute. He never omitted these no matter how crowded his day was.

What were his failings? It can be said that he had quite a few, most of them springing from a generous nature that was quick to react to any form of injustice. Cheek from a pupil in class or a motorist parking and blocking an entrance could produce a fit of rage and he would tear strips of the offender with typical Diffely eloquence.

His short two years in Zambia brought the same characteristics of this generous man with his gift for friendship and conviviality. He was a teacher in Mukasa, minister in St Ignatius and he gave retreats. Generosity and a desire to help deserving causes were always part of Eddie's apostolate. He took an active part in fund-raising to found a Cheshire Home for disabled people in Galway as well as other charities which benefited from his efforts – Simon, Samaritans and St Vincent de Paul Society.

He had a long spell of illness at the end of 1992 which left him weak and apparently beyond recovery. But he rallied and regained some strength. He was due to leave for England to visit relations in September and was looking forward to the holiday. But the Lord had different plans for him and took him to Himself the evening before he left. Thus he was active and generous to the end. The news of his sudden death came as a great shock to his family and to many people in Galway. Yet all were agreed that this is how he himself would have chosen to pass away among his own while still active and in touch with many people, with a minimum of fuss.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Eddie Diffley (1916-1993)

10th April 1916: Born, Cloonfad, Roscommon
7th Sept. 1934: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1936: First Vows at Emo
1936 - 1939: Rathfarnham, Arts at UCD
1939 - 1942: Philosophy at Tullabeg, Offaly
1942 - 1944: Clongowes - Regency, Teacher, H.Dip in Ed
1944 - 1948: Milltown Park, Theology
30th July 1947: Ordained by Archbishop J.C. McQuaid at Milltown Park
1948 - 1949; Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1949 - 1954; St. Ignatius, Galway - Teacher
1954 - 1962: Belvedere College - Teacher
1962 - 1964: Tullabeg - Retreats
1964 - 1966: Milltown Park/Rathfarnham - Retreats
1966 - 1968; Zambia - Retreats, Teacher, Minister
1968 - 1971: Manresa - Retreats
1971 - 1993: St. Ignatius, Galway - Minister, Teacher, Rowing Coach
22nd Sept. 1993: Died at St. Ignatius, Galway

In the evening of 22nd of September, 1993, Fr, Eddie Diffely was taken ill suddenly at St. Ignatius, Galway and within a few short minutes, he died in the presence of three or four of his friends in the community. Although Eddie had not been well for some while past, the news of his sudden death came as a great shock to his family and to many people in Galway.

Yet all were agreed that this is how he himself would have chosen to pass away: among his own, while still active and in touch with many people, with a minimum of fuss.

Eddie Diffely was born in Cloonfad, Co. Roscommon in 1916. Shortly afterwards, the family moved to Wood Quay, Galway. He was educated in St. Joseph's College, run by the Patrician Brothers, for whom he had a lifelong regard, and later in Coláiste Iognáid. He entered the Jesuit novitiate at Emo in 1934 and was ordained at Milltown Park in 1947.

He spent almost fifty years in the active apostolate, first of all as a scholastic in Clongowes and as a priest in Coláiste Tognáid and Belvedere; secondly, in giving retreats and missions throughout Ireland, and lastly, in mission work in Zambia. To all of these, he brought unbounded drive and enthusiasm.

Eddie was a conscientious and successful teacher, mostly of Irish and Religion. He had a tremendous capacity for motivating young people and drawing the best out of them. They followed his lead with enthusiasm and zest. Many of them remember him years later with gratitude and affection.

It was probably outside the classroom that Eddie exercised his greatest influence. He was strong and athletic with a considerable natural talent for a variety of games. In each of the colleges in which he taught, his love for the Irish language and Irish culture was carried over from the classroom into a wide range of extra-curricular activities: Irish dancing, debating, hurling and Gaelic football. His interest in these continued through life. In Galway, he was a co founder of St. Kieran's Gaelic Football club, which flourished for a considerable number of years. His interest in Irish politics continued through life.

His great interest, however, was in rowing. As a schoolboy, he and a few contemporaries organised the first rowing crew to appear on the river for many years, this was in the early thirties and the college rowing club has played a large part in the history of Galway rowing ever since.

Rowing appealed to Eddie for many reasons, its competitiveness, its striving for excellence through regular training, the travel involved to various regattas, its whole social dimension. His immense enthusiasm conveyed itself to the boys and to the many coaches who helped him in the training. Rowing, more than any other activity, widened his range of friends, not only in Ireland - North and South - but in Britain and further afield. One of the highlights of his life was his selection as President of the Irish Rowing Union.

He had a natural gift for friendship. Wherever he went, he made friends. A casual meeting would lead to further contact growing into a close friendship which often lasted for life. His warmth and humanity and genuine interest in people broke through all barriers of nationality, colour, religious belief, social caste. He had an extraordinary ability for recognising people even after a lapse of many years and recalling not only their names but also many aspects of their lives - their families and relations, especially any who were ill or incapacitated, their careers and way of life. Despite the huge range of his friends, people somehow felt that Eddie had a special regard for them and treasured their friendship.

He loved company and social occasions. He enlivened every one of these, baptisms and weddings, anniversaries and club socials, even funerals, with his sense of fun, his swapping of yarns, his singing - both solo and as part of the general chorus. Consequently he was greatly in demand for all such festivities.

It was not all just fun. There was an aspect of Eddie's friendships known mainly by his closer friends. Many of these can recall times when in the midst of all the conviviality, someone would tap him on the shoulder and Eddie would be asked to see a person - man or woman - who wished to have a word with him. Right away, he would join whoever it was, go off to another room or into a hidden corner and would be away for quite a while. God alone knows the number of people - mostly men - some of whom had not darkened the door of a church for many years, who were brought back to friendship with God and to the practice of their religion through a chance meeting with him at a wedding or regatta. Others undoubtedly unloaded their problems or were consoled in times of bereavement or trial.

The impression might be given from all this activity that this was a disorganised life, each day a round of hectic engagements, carried out in haphazard fashion. In fact, it was exactly the opposite. Eddie was meticulous in fulfilling his engagements and went to great lengths to keep appointments. A close friend who travelled to Belfast with him on the Saturday before he died said that his main concern on the way home was to be in time for the Mass which he had arranged to say for the students in the school on the Sunday.

He was very faithful to the way of life he had undertaken. Number one in Eddie Diffely's book were his priesthood and Jesuit vocation. No one was ever under any illusion about his commitment to these. Where others of the clergy might appear on social occasions in casual dress, he invariably wore the clerical garb. One of his closest friends remembers his first appearance as President of the Irish Rowing Union at a function of the Ulster Branch in Belfast. Rowing in the North is largely the preserve of the various Protestant denominations and it was an unusual experience for them to be addressed by a Jesuit priest in full clericals. They were soon won over by Eddie's friendliness and laid-back manner and many of them became good friends of his over the years.

Another aspect of Eddie's priesthood was his faithfulness to the Mass and the breviary. These were never omitted no matter what other activities were crowded into his day. His Masses were offered sometimes in unusual surroundings - in factories, canteens, club houses and in the open air at regattas. One man I spoke to recalled a Mass offered at Fermoy regatta with the bonnet of a car as the altar near the finish-point of the races. During the Mass, a great cheer went up urging the Jes crew on to greater efforts. “Hold it, hold it for two minutes”, came from Eddie, and the crowd at the finish witnessed the scene of Eddie clad in vestments urging the lads on for a win. For him, Mass was part of daily life. Those who attended those Masses vouch for the fact that quite a number from other clubs joined in the prayers and celebration.

What were his failings? It can be said that he had quite a few, most of them springing from a generous nature that was quick to react to any form of injustice. Cheek from a pupil in class or a motorist parking and blocking an entrance could produce a fit of rage and he would tear strips off the offender with typical Diffely eloquence. Nor did it always end with mere words.

I remember, soon after I took over from Eddie as games-master in Coláiste lognáid in 1954, we were present at a match in Carraroe, featuring St. Kieran's and the local club. It was a crucial game and the excitement was intense. We were standing near a group of Carraroe supporters including a local business-man named O'Shea and the verbal battle between Eddie and himself got more and more heated. Finally O'Shea roared “If it weren't for the collar, I'd show you....” with various expletives. Eddie tore off his collar, followed by his jacket: they squared up to each other and if the crowd had not intervened, there would have been real damage done.

Such episodes only emphasised the general goodness of his life. Generosity and a desire to help deserving causes were always part of Eddie's apostolate. We were always aware of this but it was only after his death that the extent of his commitment became apparent. He was particularly interested in the Cheshire Homes for disabled people and took an active part in their fund-raising efforts to found a house in Galway. Apart from actual fund-raising, he was always available for Masses and functions of all kinds. After his death, a considerable sum of money was found among his effects and a long list of charities which benefited from his efforts - the Cheshire Homes, Simon, the Samaritans and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

The last few years of Eddie's life saw a serious deterioration in his health, with was a continual source of concern for all his friends. The years of intense activity began to take their toll. Severe arthritis in different parts of his body, but especially in his legs, caused considerable pain which could only be relieved by regular injections, He had a long spell of illness at the end of 1992 which left him weak and apparently beyond recovery. But he rallied and regained some strength. He was due to leave for England to visit his relations in September and was looking forward to the holiday. But the Lord had different plans for him and took him to Himself the evening before.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Bob Mc Goran

Diviney, Andrew, 1930-2006, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 11 February 1930, 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.

Donnellan, Thomas, 1919-2002, Jesuit scholastic

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

Born: 26 April 1919, Limerick City
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

◆ 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.

Donovan, John, 1931-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/764
  • Person
  • 08 February 1931-01 October 2008

Born: 08 February 1931, Woodford, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1978, Mount Street, London, England
Died: 01 October 2008, Newham University Hospital, Glen Road, London, England

St Margaret & All Saints' Church, Barking Road, Canning Town, London, England - Part of the Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1970 at St Ignatius, Tottenham London (ANG) working
by 1981 at Custom House, London (ANG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jack-donovan/

Fr Jack Donovan has died in London, a largely forgotten hero. He had worked in London for forty years, and on one occasion
volunteered for a parish that no other priest could handle. A parish priest had been convicted of child abuse, provoking understandable fury in the parishioners. In the spirit of the Ignatian Third Degree of humility Jack lived with the hatred, anger and resistance of the parish. In the end the people learned to accept this quiet, inarticulate, intensely private Corkman. He seldom appeared in Ireland, and eventually retired to be first a chaplain, then a resident in sheltered accommodation in London. Brian Grogan and other Jesuits will join his funeral next weekend.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/burying-jack-donovan-sj/

AMDG does not normally report funerals, but Jack’s was special. All through his life he had opted for obscurity. He was described at the funeral Mass as a “low maintenance
priest, a humble servant”. He was a voracious reader. He slept in a chair because his bed was buried under books; so was the gas metre in his sheltered accommodation – that nearly got him evicted. But his death brought out the crowds. London traffic was held up as the funeral procession walked for half an hour from St Anne’s church where he had been PP, to St Margaret’s where he died. His beloved Filipinos held an all- night vigil for him before the funeral, and escorted him to St Patrick’s Cemetery, the resting-place of the nuns immortalised by Hopkins in the “Wreck of the Deutschland”. May he rest there in peace.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 138 : Christmas 2008

Obituary

Fr John (Jack) Donovan (1931-2007)

8th February 1931: Born in Woodford, Galway
Early education in Kanturk Secondary School, Cork, and Mungret College, Limerick.
7th September 1949: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1951: First Vows at Emo
1951 - 1954: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1954 - 1957: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1957 - 1960: Belvedere - Teacher
1960 - 1964: Milltown Park - Theology
31st July1963: Ordained at Milltown Park
1964 - 1965: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1965 - 1966: Gardiner Street - Mission Staff
1966 - 1968: Rathfarnham - Assistant Director, Retreat House
2nd February 1978: Final Vows at Mount Street, London
1968 - 2008: London, England - Pastoral Ministry
1968 - 1998: Parish Priest, St. Anne's parish, London
1998 - 2008: Retired, but continued with pastoral work with the poor of London, particularly immigrants
14 October 2008: Died in London aged 77 years.

Paul Andrews writes:
The reason why Jack was born in Galway but grew up in Kanturk was that his father was a Garda, who was moved around. They were a large family, seven boys and two girls. Of these, Jack was closest to Tom, and used stay with him when on holidays. One brother became an Oblate priest, another a Columban, and a sister joined the Mercy nuns, taking the name of Loyola out of affection for Jack, who at that stage had opted for the Jesuits.

He had his early schooling with the Mercy nuns, then in a secondary school run by Mr and Mrs Kelleher. He read about the Jesuits - he was always a voracious reader - and declared his interest to Fr Tommy Byrne, then Provincial. At the Provincial's request, the Rector of Mungret accepted Jack for a year, to complete his Leaving Certificate, and so that Jack could get to know the Society better, and the Society get to know Jack better. The Provincial agreed to pay Jack's fees:”'I think that Seán deserves the chance to fulfil his vocation”. Big and strong, Jack made the senior rugby team as a second row forward, and reached the final of the cup.

When he entered Emo in 1949, he changed from Seán to Jack, and dropped the O' of his surname - a hint there of a residual tension with his father. Donal O'Sullivan welcomed this fellow-Corkman into his care. Fellow novice Tony Geoghegan remembers him as a gentle soul, a kind but shy person. They soldiered together through Rathfarnham, Tullabeg and Milltown. During his regency in Belvedere Jack volunteered for Japan “because of the state of Ireland”. This application was neither accepted nor supported by the Provincial, Luigi O'Grady. Five months later, in a letter to the incoming Provincial, Charlie O'Conor, Jack repeated his desire, and prayed “that my life in Japan be less useless than it has hitherto been”.

There is a hint here of huge frustrated longings. A bright mind, open to experience, disappointed in his scholastic success up to then (he had a breakdown during his UCD studies), was looking for broader horizons than were visible in the Ireland and Irish Province of 1959. He wanted to be on the frontiers. In 1960 he wrote to Father General volunteering again for the Japanese Mission, “having given the matter prayerful consideration for seven years”. Still no joy.

After ordination he went for two unhappy years to Rathfarnham Retreat House, where the Director failed to see his potential and reduced him to leading the Rosary. So he was 36 when, to his delight, Provincial Brendan Barry sent him on the English Mission. He worked for ten years in the Jesuit parish of Stamford Hill with a large West Indian population. He had a great way with them. He loved them and they loved him. His ministry in England gave Jack a new lease of life. Visitors to the parish house looked above all for Father Jack. He had discovered his strength, as a servant of the parishioners, with a huge heart for the most needy. His focus was always on his parishioners. He touched lives all over London.

When the parish of St Anne's, near London City Airport, ran into crisis (the PP had been convicted of child abuse, and the parishioners were understandably furious, at times stoning the presbytery in their anger), and a British Jesuit retreated from it after a few months, Jack volunteered to hold the fort. See Pat Davis's graphic account below of how Jack managed this difficult move. It was his finest hour. He looked after the beleaguered church for twenty years, and his tough kindliness slowly impressed the reluctant parishioners. One unsought ally turned up in the notorious Kray Brothers, who liked Jack, and made it clear that anyone who messed with Jack, messed with them.

Dermot Brangan visited him at St Anne's and remembers: “Jack was a great man for visiting the sick or the hospitalised, especially in the evenings. He told me in a simple but serious way that he was thinking of investing in a bicycle to help him get around more easily - but a bike costs money. He cooked for himself using the frying pan to rustle up meals that were mostly junk food – instant this and that. He probably never had a cook. About 20 years ago when I visited him I noticed that several of his teeth were missing and he did not seem to be in a hurry to do anything about the gaps. This must have played havoc with his already unclear diction. I suspect sermons were a cross for him, but he soldiered on, and the people loved and trusted him. He took phone calls at all hours. The house was in total, glorious chaos, with stuff piled up to the ceilings. And yet you could catch glimpses of the real man, Jack was a good priest. Praise and thanks be to the Lord”.

He built a new church for the parish, and faced the labour of begging funds for it in a circular letter in 1981:
“Berwick Road's new octagonal, unpretentious building was completed for the estimated £134,000 - all Bank Manager's money, Sunday congregations have now risen four-fold, but the weekend plate in these parts does not exactly brim over - £88 p.w.!”

Jack was easy with people, and loved gardening, but he was not good with money: he had no meas on it, except for giving it away. At his death, coins and notes littered the floor of his room. Nor was he good with machines. Computers remained a closed book to him. When his brother Tom tried to teach him to drive his car, Jack burned out the clutch. In London he bought himself a bicycle, but it was stolen and the parishioners bought him a car, but he could not manage it and gave it away. At the end of his life his closest friend said: “He gave everything away - except books. He lived in the spirit of the old Dean in Babette's Feast: ‘The only things we take with us from our life on earth are those which we have given away’.”

Jack remained intellectually ravenous, and bought books and magazines all his life. They so filled the presbytery at St. Anne's that in the end he took to sleeping in the church. He peppered the parish newsletter with quotations from Lonergan and Rahner, to the mystification of his flock. In the flat where he lived at the end of his life, he slept in a chair because his bed was buried under books; so was the gas metre, to the indignation of the gasman, who threatened to have him evicted.

There was a period at the end of his tenure of St. Anne's when Jack became a recluse. He was always open to his parishioners, but kept a distance from other clergy, including Jesuits. Jack feared to return to the Irish Province - he had a misconception that things would not have moved on from the time he had left, over thirty years before. He, who had been terrified of dogs from his childhood, got an Alsatian to guard the house. He neglected himself. His last visit to the dentist was at the age of six, and he began to pay the penalty for that in middle age. So in 1999 the bishop moved him into retirement - he was 68. In some desolation Jack tried a sabbatical, staying with his brother Tom; it only lasted one week.

A friend helped Jack to acquire a Council flat in sheltered accommodation, modest in size, but secure. For the last nine years of his life he continued his pastoral work from there, supported by the Warden, Irene Jackson, who became a close friend and admired him: “He was a great man, very gentie, made no demands on anyone, never said anything negative about anyone, and great love was shown him in return. It was a privilege to be with him”.

Two years ago he was hit by cancer, which resisted treatment. He lost an ear and joked that a dog had bitten it off. He recovered, and resumed work, but then developed colon cancer and began to pack up. He was happy to die and would not have wanted to be a patient. He was moved to Newham General Hospital where he had been the first Catholic Chaplain, and where he was anointed several times. He died there unexpectedly while sedated.

His death brought out the crowds. The British Provincial, Michael Holman, attended the Mass on the eve of the funeral. 24 priests concelebrated the funeral Mass on the following day. Fr Brian Grogan, representing the Irish Provincial, John Dardis, was principal concelebrant, and read a tribute from John at the start of Mass. The current PP of St. Anne's, Mgr John Armitage, preached the homily and spoke of this humble servant, this low maintenance priest. London traffic was held up as the massive funeral procession walked for half an hour from St Anne's church where he had been PP, to St. Margaret's where he died. His beloved Filipinos held an all-night vigil for him before the funeral, and escorted him to St. Patrick's Cemetery, the resting-place of the nuns immortalised by Hopkins in the “Wreck of the Deutschland”.

In his last years Jack saw much of the Filipino community and gained their trust and affection, travelling with them to many places. They looked after him as best he would allow. Leave the last word to them: “We have been privileged to know him, or at least to know about him. He lives in people's hearts. He will hardly be formally named a saint but surely is. He was a shy, quiet man with no great achievements, but there is more love and hope and goodness in the world because of him. We are glad for him, proud of him, miss him and look forward to meeting him again”.

Memories of Jack received from Pat Davis, Peter Faber House, Belfast:
I first met Jack in the autumn of 1974 when I came to join the community at Stamford Hill in North London. Jack was working in the St Ignatius parish and I was in my final year for the BD at Heythrop. There was a large Irish community at that time in Tottenham and Jack ministered to them as one of the staff on the parish. After finishing the Licentiate at the Greg I returned to London to teach at Heythrop and Campion House, Osterley in the autumn of 1979. I had heard from a priest friend of the Brentwood diocese, Fr Joe White, who I knew at Mungret, that Jack had gone to look after the parish at Custom House.

Fr Joe had been asked by his bishop to stand in at St Anne's Custom House for a weekend. In the early hours of the Sunday morning the shattering of glass woke Joe up. There was a mob outside hurling bricks through the windows and baying for the blood of the priest. Joe rang for the police immediately and they appeared promptly on the scene. It was only then that Joe was informed of the situation at Custom House. The mob was looking for the paedophile priest who had molested their children. The priest had already been arrested and was in custody. The crowd had not realised that Joe was not that priest.

The situation in the parish caused by the paedophile priest was grim to say the least. To make things even worse the Church building at Custom House had just been demolished due to shaky foundations as a result of war damage. So Custom House had no Church, the local Primary school Hall being used for the weekend masses. The bishop had difficulty in finding a priest to take over the parish and he approached the Jesuits for help. Jack very generously stepped into the breach and took over the parish.

I rang Jack and asked if I could be of help at the weekends and he was delighted for the help. So from autumn 1979 until I went to terianship in summer 1981 I helped out at Custom House with Jack. One of the things that helped in my relationship with Jack was the fact we had both been at Mungret. My fond memory of Jack was of a very shy man who was dedicated to his mission to those local people. He was a man wedded to a life of poverty both actual and spiritual and went about his work in a quiet determined but unassuming way.

The previous parish priest had abused not only the local catholic children but also the protestant children. Hence there was a great deal of hostility towards the Church there and the locals regularly stoned Jack's presbytery. At one stage Jack ran out of the presbytery and collared one of the children breaking his windows. He was reported to the police for assault but it came to nothing due to the understanding of the local police. Jack told me in that first year that the other local Church got more money for the flowers on their altar than the total amount in his collection each weekend. Jack was quite at home living a life of not only of spiritual poverty but real poverty.

During my two years there Jack visited the local parishioners regularly and built up the congregation slowly from a handful on Sunday to a sizeable number. His quiet unassuming simple manner won over the local community, He also had the job of overseeing the building of the new Church, which we moved into in early 1981. He was a huge support to the local primary school. He also worked hard at landscaping a garden outside the presbytery beside the Church, which became the envy of the neighbourhood.

A measure of his success in winning over the local resident both Catholic and Protestant was the year the East End club West Ham won the FA cup in the summer of 1980. Early on a the Sunday morning after the win the leaders of the local community approached Jack and asked him to adjudicate the children's fancy dress at the street party to celebrate the great victory. I attended with Jack and noticed how they went out of their way to make sure Jack had all he need in the way of food and attention. So within the two years I attended Custom House the people came to love and appreciate this humble Jesuit from Ireland.

He decided he would have a Corpus Christ procession around the local area. I had to admit I was sceptical of the outcome but to my pleasant surprise it was a huge success. Jack had the wisdom to realise that he could appeal to the faith of the parents in the area through their children who were keen to dress up their children for the procession and come to see them.

The first wedding in the new church was an Irish “travellers” wedding. The wedding ceremony was delayed due to the arrival of the police on the scene because of the traffic congestion caused by the travellers' lorries around the Church. I remember Jack pointing out to me as we awaited the bride coming down the aisle, that she was chewing gum. We had difficulty also accommodating her seventeen bridesmaids! The East Enders had experienced nothing like this before!!

Jack went on to be parish priest there for twenty years, building the parish from little or nothing to a very vibrant parish. Record keeping and timekeeping were not his strongest attributes but I can't help feeling that given Jack's personality, he was just the right man for St Anne's parish in Custom House in their hour of need.

Doody, Timothy F, 1913-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/653
  • Person
  • 26 December 1913-02 March 1989

Born: 26 December 1913, Dundalk, County Louth
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 19 May 1945, Zi-Ka-Wei, Shanghai, China
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 02 March 1989, Queen Mary Hospital, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

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

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Doody, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Timothy Francis Doody, SJ, of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, died in Queen Mary Hospital on Thursday, 2 March 1989, after a short final illness, aged 75.

Father Doody was born on 26 December 1913, in Dundalk, Ireland. He received his schooling from the Irish Christian Brothers in Synge Street, Dublin, and joined the Jesuits in 1931. In the noviceship he had as a contemporary Father M. Corbally, who was to die, also as member of the Wah Yan community, on 25 January this year. Father Doody and Corbally lived in the same houses through most of their 57 years as Jesuits, and only five weeks separated their deaths.

Father Doody (then Mr. Doody), having passed through eight years of placidly laborious Jesuit formation, came to Hong Kong in 1939. After two years of malaria-troubled language study, he joined the staff of Wah Yan College in the autumn of 1941. In December of that year, war came to Hong Kong. Placidity was at an end, and amid the labours and perils of the siege, the young Mr. Doody manifested the gifts that were to characterise his apostolate to the end of his life.

He was appointed a Billeting Officer. Soon, as the late Father T.F. Ryan put it in his Jesuits under Fire, “Mr. Doody was proving to be a “religious dowser” of exceptional ability; he had a faculty for discovering Catholics in the most unlikely places and he rarely returned from one of the billeting trips without having a new address for a priest to visit.”

Another passage in this book also describes Mr. Doody busy amid shelling and bombing. During a lull in his billeting work he found a new apostolate. Two priests were sheltered in the M.E.P. Procure on Battery Path. Mr. Doody took up his position outside the Procure and boldly enquired of all who passed if they were Catholics, and, if they were, did they wish to go to confession. The results were almost startling. The most unexpected persons turned out to be Catholics, from bright young things to old China hands, and after the first start of surprise at the question in the open street in staid, pleasure-loving Hong Kong, they generally took the turn indicated by Mr. Doody and found Father Grogan of Father Fitzgerald of Father O’Brien ready to meet them inside.

These far-off memories show the young Mr. Doody as already possessed of a “nose” for apostolic and pastoral opportunities and of complete lack of shyness or diffidence in pastoral and apostolic work. These gifts, along with a deep personal interest in the people he was working for, were to characterise his priestly work to the end of his life.

He went to Shanghai in 1942 for his theological studies and was ordained priest there in 1945. After a year in Ireland for the completion of his Jesuit formation, he returned to Hong Kong in 1947. From then till 1964 he was almost continuously on the staff of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, but he became ever more deeply involved in direct apostolate of individuals, and this remained his all-absorbing interest until the end of his life.

In the late 1950s he was assigned for a time to Singapore to help in building St. Ignatius’ Church there. In what may be described as typically Doodyish fashion, he integrated donation-giving into the devotional life of the parish. This strengthened parish life; moreover it was so effective materially that the church was paid for before construction ceased - perhaps a unique achievement.

From 1964 onward he devoted himself to his individual apostolate in his individual way. He instructed his converts with great care and maintained close personal contact with them ever afterwards, taking a deep interest in their activities, their happiness, their families and all that concerned them. He took no part in organized activities, yet few priests had more numerous or more devoted friends.

In recent years he suffered several light strokes and a light heart attack, and took them all lightly. On Tuesday, 28 February, he collapsed when celebrating Mass. He was conscious, though unable to speak, when receiving the Sacrament of the Sick. He then lapsed into a coma, and died on 2 March without recovering consciousness. He will be much missed by many.

Cardinal John B. Wu led the concelebration of the Mass of the Resurrection in St. Margaret’s Church, Happy Valley, on Monday, 6 March. Archbishop D. Tang, SJ, officiated at the graveside in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 10 March 1989

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

◆ 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 at Mercy Convent Dundalk, and then at CBS Synge Street before he Entered the Society at Emo.
After First Vows he was sent to Rathfarnham Castle studying at UCD and graduating with a BA in Latin, History and Irish.
1936-1939 he was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg for Philosophy
1939-1941 He was sent for Regency to Hong Kong.
1941-1946 Due to WWII he was sent to Zikawai, Shanghai for Theoloigy with Mattie Corbally, Joe McAsey and John Wood until 1946, and in 1945 they were Ordained by Bishop Cote SJ, a Canadian born Bishop of Suchow.
1946-1947 He returned to Ireland to make Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle.
1948 He returned to Hong Kong, making Final Vows at Wah Yan College Hong Kong
1948-1958 He was a teacher at Wah Yan College Hong Kong
1958-1960 He was sent to Singapore to help collect funds for a Jesuit Church there and was highly successful.
1960 He was then back in Hong Kong raising funds for what became the Adam Schall Hostel at United College, of The Chinese University of Hong Kong
1964 He began running classes for adult catechumens and he became the first and only Director of the “Catholic Information Service SJ”. is classes saw a continual flow of people coming for instruction in the Catholic faith.
He also regularly gave Retreats up to 1973, and the fruit of this experience resulted in a sizeable book on the Spiritual Exercises called “Iñigo” which he had published privately.

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

Doris, Séamus, 1918-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/654
  • Person
  • 27 July 1918-23 March 1988

Born: 27 July 1918, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 23 March 1988, Our Lady of the Rosary, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Seamus Doris, SJ, assistant parish priest at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Kennedy Town, died in Queen Mary Hospital on Wednesday 23 March 1988, after a very brief illness, aged 70. He had dined at Wah Yan College, Wanchai, on the previous evening and seemed to be in excellent health. He felt unwell in the tram on his way back to Kennedy Town and collapsed soon after his return. He was brought to hospital, where he was able to receive the Sacrament of the Sick with full attention and was even able to chat a little on Wednesday morning. But he sank rapidly and died shortly after noon.

Father Doris was born in Ireland on 27 July 1918. He joined the Jesuits in 1937, was ordained priest in 1950, and came to Hong Kong in 1952.

After language study, he taught physics and chemistry to the higher forms in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. For about a quarter of a century, combining his educational tasks with zealous pastoral and apostolic work. About seven years ago he turned to whole-time pastoral work, serving in Macau, Cheung Chau and finally in Kennedy Town.

He was a man of conservative bent, and accepted liturgical and other changes stemming from Vatican II with reluctance, but never allowed that reluctance to hinder full acceptance of lawful change. He was an exceptionally devout priest, a very hard worker, and a good companion. A fellow priest in his last parish described him as a man who never said an unkind word about anyone and never said No to a request. That is his just and enviable epitaph.

◆ 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 in 1937 and came to Hong Kong after Ordination in 1951, and he studied Cantonese at Cheung Chau for two years. He was a man who led a simple and austere life, one of dedication and serious work.
He was good friends with Harry Naylor, Joe Mallin and Dan Fitzpatrick.

1954-1982 He taught Physics at Wah Yan College Kowloon and Hong Kong.

According to Harry Naylor “- “He never missed a day or a class, was always teaching seriously, and demanding accurate and careful work. He would have jo new lab equipment or teaching materials or methods. It was the same i his Jesuit life. His real love was to be with simple ordinary people, where his integrity and simplicity was highly revered..

He always helped in parishes. Wang Tau Hom and Diamond Hill (1954-1981) in Macau, and Kennedy Town as an Assistant Pastor in Our Lady of the Rosary Parish from 1985 until he died in 1988

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

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

1942-1946 Military Chaplain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

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

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

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

Irish Province News 18th Year No 1 1943

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

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

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

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

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

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949

LETTERS :

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

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

Irish Province News 41st Year No 1 1966

Obituary :

Fr Maurice Dowling SJ (1896-1965)

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 126 : Christmas 2005

MISSIONED TO ZAMBIA : MAURICE DOWLING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doyle, Francis, 1931-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/771
  • Person
  • 04 October 1931-17 March 2011

Born: 04 October 1931, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 25 March 1963, Wah Yan College, Kowloon
Final Vows: 22 April 1977, St Francis Xavier, Kulala Lumpur, Malaysia
Died: 17 March 2011, Arrupe, Quezon City, Manila, Philippines - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

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

by 1958 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1961 at Bellarmine , Baguio City Philippines (ExOr) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Former editor dies

A former editor of the Sunday Examiner and the first Jesuit to be ordained a priest in Hong Kong, Father Frank Doyle, died in Manila, The Philippines, on 17 March 2011, after suffering a stroke on 6 February 2011. He was treated at the Medical City in Manila, but his condition continued to deteriorate.

He was farewelled from the Loyola House of Studies on the campus of Ateneo de Manila University on 23 March 2011, with Father Mark Raper as the main celebrant at his requiem Mass, and buried at the Jesuit novitiate in Quezon City.

Born in Ireland on 4 October 1931, he entered the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1949. His ordination at Wah Yan College Chapel in Kowloon on 25 March 1963 is described as being a big moment in the history of the Jesuits in Hong Kong, receiving headlines in the newspapers and on the radio news.

The newly ordained priest did interviews for the radio and historian, Father Thomas Morrissey, described it “a widespread manifestation of friendliness towards the Church and the society,” in his book, The Jesuits in Hong Kong, South China and Beyond.

He is described by Paul K. B. Chan, as “as a very friendly teacher and a good spiritual director.”

During his years in Hong Kong, Father Doyle was at the forefront of many activities and was particularly active in the push for direct elections from 1988 into the early 1990s. He addressed a forum of 10,000 people, along with the Democratic Party champion of the cause, Martin Lee Chu-ming, and on 21 May 1989 was present at a prayer meeting in St. Margaret’s Happy Valley at the end of a day when an estimated crowd of between 400,000 and one million people walked the streets of Hong Kong in support of the issue.

Father Doyle also worked in the Jesuit Centre of Spirituality at Cheung Chau, as well as among the students at Ricci Hall, and was among the first group to go from Hong Kong to the East Asia Pastoral Institute in Manila to study.

After an initial stint teaching at Wah Yan College, Father Doyle went to Singapore, where his career with newspapers began, working on the diocesan publication, Catholic News. He later became the founding director of the Pastoral Institute in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he stayed for the full 10 years allowed to a foreign resident by the government at that time.

Back in Hong Kong, he continued his writing at UCA News, before coming to the Sunday Examiner. He is remembered from his years at the editor’s desk (1991 to 1993) as an extremely good speaker of Cantonese, as well as a joyful and enthusiastic person.

“He would sing as he worked,” one of the staff said, “adding that he seemed to be able to do almost everything from writing articles to designing advertisements and doing the artwork himself.”

He is also remembered for giving a job to a hearing impaired woman. Staff who go back that far, say that he was patient and took time to teach her how to cut and paste to set out a page for the printers. They say that he continually encouraged her and, gradually her self-confidence grew and she began to speak more freely. Eventually, even, her hearing appeared to improve and in the end, she could talk quite fluently.

Father Ciaran Kane, from Xavier House in Cheung Chau, studied with him in high school in Ireland and they were again together in the Jesuit formation programme, coming to Hong Kong at about the same time.

Father Kane described his old friend as charming and a man who made friends easily, although in many ways he could be called a loner, as he liked to do his own thing in his own way. Father Kane said that something changed in him in later years. In describing him as dapper, he noted that in his later years he become really casual and even grew a beard.

“But he really loved writing,” Father Kane said, “and he was good at it. For many years after he went back to Ireland, he would return to Kuala Lumpur and do a month at the Catholic paper each year. He wrote many things.”

Father Doyle left Hong Kong when he finished at the Sunday Examiner and returned to Ireland where he worked in high school ministry and also retreat work.

Father Kane said, “He never forgot his Cantonese though and kept contact with Chinese people in Ireland and England, as well as in Vancouver and New York for many years.”

Father Doyle finished his days in Manila among the Jesuit scholastics as a spiritual adviser. He is also remembered as an author of prayers and reflections.

He once wrote, “Perhaps I haven’t seen things from this perspective, or have forgotten it, but it is the truth of my life: I am called by name, journeying along a unique path, God with me, God before me, all along the way that is mine.”

Tributes to him have poured in from every country in which he worked. May he rest in peace.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 3 April 2011

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/frank-doyle/

Frank Doyle, an Irish Jesuit priest of the Chinese Province, died on Saint Patrick’s Day 2011. After some years working in Ireland, Frank had returned to Asia in 2010, undertaking
work as a spiritual director in Manila. For many years he wrote the Living Space commentaries – reflections on readings and saints – on the Sacred Space website. His requiem and burial took place in Saint Ignatius Oratory, Loyola House of Studies, Manila on 22 March. Messages sent on news of his illness and other more general comments indicate how meaningful his apostolate had become to so many whom he had helped in their search for the Lord. The text of the homily delivered at his funeral can be read at Living Space, courtesy of Mark Raper SJ, President of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific. The text of the homily (http://sacredspace.ie/livingspace/funeral-homily/)

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/frank-in-sweaty-manila/

Frank Doyle SJ (left in photo) recently exchanged the green and leafy delights of Gonzaga for the humid heats of Manila, where there has been no rain for a long time and it is extremely hot, exceeding 30C and going up to 36, with humidity to match. After years in Hong Kong, Frank served Chinese exiles in many parts of the world, including Dublin. His ease with groups of diverse languages and cultures will stand to him in his new job as spiritual director to Jesuit students from at least twelve different countries. On arrival he joined a team directing the spiritual exercises in an upcountry retreat house. He lives on the large (Belfield-size) campus of the Jesuit university, Ateneo de Manila, and is praying for some cool rain

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

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
Among his students were Ciarán Kane and Frank Doyle in Belvedere

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011

Obituary

Fr Frank Doyle (1932-2011) : China Province

Obituary by Myles O'Reilly
Who is Frank Doyle? He had so many lives within one life that no one seems to know the whole Frank. On top of that, he was quite a private person and very self-sufficient. No wonder the editor found it so hard to find someone to write his obituary and the lot falls to me, being his last Rector in Ireland. Outwardly Frank was an exemplary novice like monk who never wasted a minute of his time. He rose at six in the morning, faithfully meditated for an hour, had breakfast in silence on his own, dutifully sat at his desk dealing with emails, researching, reading and writing for his Sacred Space contributions, celebrated Mass once weekly in Gonzaga school, and for the rest of the week at 10 30 a.m. with the Cherryfield community, for whom he had great affection, continued his morning desk-work until lunch to which he went with a certain reluctance (Frank was strongly one-to-one in preference).

After a short friendly chat in the kitchen with Linda the cook, he went to his room for a siesta, continued his reading and writing but interlaced it with listening to the radio, listening to his favourite music, usually jazz, and getting some physical exercise. This brought him to a late supper where he was careful to eat a healthy diet. After this, he played the piano for half an hour, relaxed in the library, having a chat with Kennedy O'Brien, whenever he was there, and then went off to bed. He was usually cheerful, had a great hearty laugh, loved a joke, passed many a one by email to his friends (including blue!!). He wore simple clothes, always wore a ring as a sign of his commitment to Christ, and always kept his room simple and uncluttered.

Yet he was also deeply serious and reflective and could be easily drawn into a theological discussion, usually taking a liberal line but in a gentle, non-aggressive way. Despite being wedded to his routine, he was always ready to drop it at the request for some help of any nature. He was also generous with his time for directees or friends that came to visit him. On Sundays he joined the Dublin Chinese community for Eucharist, after which he would join his brother Philip and his family for lunch, where he was a great hit with his nephews and nieces, and their children, all of whom he baptized and with whom he would watch television (only time in the week he permitted himself such an indulgence!). . For some of his summer, Frank became a curate in an all-Chinese community in New York, In September he offered himself as chaplain to a group that went to Lourdes every year. Occasionally throughout the year he would give a preached retreat, usually to nuns in the Loreto retreat centre in Linsfort, Co Donegal. He also loved to stand in as chaplain in St Vincent's private hospital in Dublin when required. So far this is only a brief external description of Frank in his Gonzaga incarnation

From his outer conformity to routine, you could be forgiven for thinking that Frank could just as easily have been a Cistercian as a Jesuit, but when you read his retreat reflections from the early 90's you realize that nothing could be further from the truth. True to Ignatian spirituality, we are defined by what is our deep heart's core. Even the ancient spirituality of the Upanishads recognized this. “You are what your deepest driving desire is; as your desire is, so is your will, as your will is so is your deed” The following is how Frank expressed his deepest desire.

    “My deepest desire is
to work for the kingdom of God
in whatever place
and in whatever work
to which I believe God is calling me
In the spirit of the beatitudes
especially in companionship with Christ today
in the poor and the discriminated against
even if it means suffering and rejection
using only the weapons of compassion, justice and freedom”.

We can easily hear the call of Christ the King, and the “Two Standards” in this deepest desire. True to it, throughout his reflections in his diary and his retreat notes, Frank is always questioning himself as to whether he is in the right place or doing the right work in terms of promoting God's kingdom. Could he be more effectively employed elsewhere? Even though the Chinese left the deepest imprint in his heart, it did not stop him from wondering whether it would be best for the Hong Kong mission that he leave, as a more indigenous Church would be more acceptable to mainline China when they would take over Hong Kong in 1997. Ought not the Hong Kong Church stand on its own feet, and best evangelize its own people? A combination of external circumstances and internal discernment led Frank to switch his missionary life to Malaysia where he put down fruitful roots for 10 years, enhanced by his willingness to learn the Malay language. He was deeply impressed by the strength of the indigenous church there, which gave him the freedom to consider turning the last quarter of his life to the Western world. The first part of this was spent in Canada where he was confronted with the challenge of making a stand for the gay community on what he saw as a human rights issue. This led to his having to leave ministry there and come back to Ireland as chaplain to Gonzaga school, which he undertook for three years.

Inwardly Frank was always chiding himself for writing just for himself alone. He saw it as too self indulgent. “Did not Ghandhi write solely for the edification of people? And Jesus did not write at all!!” But somehow he knew his vocation was to write. He had been editor of the “Hong Kong Examiner” and he had ambitious writing goals to fulfil. He longed to write about the Eucharist, the Beatitudes, New Testament syllabi for Hong Kong schools, sermon notes, Discernment of Spirits, and the use of “eros”, “philia”, and “agape” in the New Testament.

Late in his life he got his opportunity, a chance to channel all his in-depth reflections over the years on these topics through “Sacred Space”, which had an outreach to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. He was asked to provide reflections on the liturgical readings of each day in the year and on the lives of the saints. He thrived on this mission and even found time to write a book on “A New Sexual Ethic” in his spare time, that I hope the Jesuits will find in his computer in the Philippines. The quality of the responses that Frank got from all over the world from his readers, when they heard of his stroke, was amazing. Emails came flooding in from Italy, Canada, India, Scotland, Brazil, Norway, USA, England, Portugal, Philippines, Malta, Korea, Honk Kong, Malaysia, Australia, Ireland and Spain in their hundreds. I quote a few just to give the reader a flavour of the remarks.
“You communicate the message of Christ convincingly to contemporary culture”...
“You touch, inspire and challenge me, I relish the Jesuitness that oozes out from your deep integrated life” ...
“On many occasions, I felt like the disciples on the way to Emmaus having the scriptures opened to them”...
“You are like St Paul, Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” etc

When Frank was riding high apostolically at the age of 77, his deepest desire, the guiding principle of his life, did not leave him. It led him to agreeing to go back to Manila in the Philippines, to where he did his theology as a scholastic, as chaplain to 40 Chinese students. There was a feeling of St Paul leaving one of his missionary communities, never to return, as we said good bye to him on the steps of Gonzaga community two years ago, as he headed off to the East yet again to fittingly die among the people that struck the deepest chord in his heart, the Chinese on, of all days, St Patrick's Day!! St Francis Xavier will surely gladly be among the welcoming party for Frank, but might be a little envious that Frank got to work and live among the Chinese, spoke their language, and travelled his missionary 100,000 miles by plane and train!!! May he rest in peace.

Doyle, Patrick, 1922-2008, Jesuit priest

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

Born: 24 April 1922, 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, Auriesvilel 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