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Healy, John Joseph, 1909-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1427
  • Person
  • 21 August 1909-21 February 1988

Born: 21 August 1909, Percival Street, Kanturk, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1927, Tullabeg
Ordained: 03 June 1939
Final Vows: 02 February 1945
Died: 21 February 1988, Los Angeles, CA, USA - Californiae Province (CAL)

Transcribed HIB to CAL : 02 September 1929

Father was a draper.

Second eldest of six boys and has four sisters.

Early education was at a Convent school in Kanturk, then at Ballygraddy NS and then at Kanturk National School. He then got an entrance scholarship to St Colman’s, Fermoy at age 14.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Joined CAL Province for health reasons

Hyde, John, 1909-1985, Jesuit priest, theologian and Irish language scholar

  • IE IJA J/37
  • Person
  • 19 November 1909-31 May 1985

Born: 19 November 1909, Ballycotton, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1945, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 31 May 1985, Our Lady's Hospice Harold's Cross, Dublin

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

Parents were farmers.

Eldest of four boys and two girls.

Early education at local National School at 3.5. In September 1923 he went to St Colman’s College, Fermoy, County Cork.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 60th Year No 4 1985

Obituary

Fr John Hyde (1909-1927-1985)
(† 11th May 1985)

Five minutes alone with John Hyde was more than sufficient to convince anyone that here was a very remarkable man.
No matter what the occasion or topic of conversation, vibrations of peace and depth accompanied his economy in words, his concentration on what was said qualified a head-down self- effacement that had become second nature to him, and a curious sense of his having a firm hold on spiritual priorities was unconsciously communicated in a simple way. It is not easy to write with confidence about a man like that, difficult to avoid the tendency to confuse first impressions with fact and difficult to steer clear of conclusions based on oft-repeated anecdotes that lent them- selves to good-humoured inflation. John seldom spoke about himself and left no trace in his room of anything directly autobiographical although inferences can indeed be drawn from many folders of notes on spirituality, local history and theology. Yet, granted the right atmosphere and the appropriate question that he could see did not stem from mere curiosity, John would be self revealing where he felt his own experiences would be the source of encouragement to another. What follows is coloured by a few self-revelations of that kind. It is based on the memories of many who gained much from living with him in community over the years; it is also dependent on the recollections of very many non-Jesuit friends particularly in the Midlands who knew him in a way that was not possible for his confrères.
John Hyde was born in the bilingual community of Ballycotton, attended the local National School (in bare feet some of the time) and in his teens was privately tutored in French by two retired ladies in the district who recognised his promise and his eagerness to learn. This promise was confirmed during his years “on scholarship” in St Colman's College, Fermoy, where his early interest in the priesthood led him, by way of a College retreat by Fr Timothy Halpin, towards the Society, The move to the noviciate in Tullabeg in 1927 was in fact a reasoned preference for a disciplined community way of life over the fairly predictable career that would have begun had he accepted the free place in the Irish College in Rome offered him by the Bishop of Ross. While Tullabeg represented a cultural shift for John, Rathfarnham and UCD was a greater one which he found socially difficult but spiritually and academically agreeable. At this time he read widely in the history of the Society and continued a noviciate habit of close contact with the lives of Jesuit saints. Philosophy, Tullabeg 1933-1936: he was glad to be back in the country but felt sad at being separated by Province custom from the local people whose difficult lot at that time he appreciated through his own Ballycotton roots. The scholastic codices he used at this period bear witness to his meticulous efforts to understand and also to his predilection for Irish since many of his own notes in whatever language are written in gaelic script.
Regency in Belvedere and in Galway was traumatic. I remember him just shaking his head and waving his hands without comment in typical fashion when I asked him about the experience of standing before a class of irrepressibles who, as we can readily imagine, would often take advantage of his natural shyness and imitability. He admitted to being particularly lonely in the Society at that time and this loneliness remained during the Milltown theology years when, in moments of depression, and disturbed by the effects of his lack of interest in current affairs, he wondered whether his Jesuit option had been wise. He met the challenge by strengthening his belief in two principles that later would occur frequently in his lectures and conferences – that God is always faithful and that no one is asked to undertake unbearable burdens. Ordination in 1941 was followed by a fourth year during which he recalled efforts to translate abstract doctrine into homely metaphors in order to assist one or other of his contemporaries in the pre-Ad Grad repetitions; thus were laid the foundations of that metaphor-laden pedagogy of later years which benefitted his so many as he would, for example, expressively compare original sin with a puncture in a tyre and describe the Lutheran position on human nature after Eden in terms of the irremediable effect of a fall into a bottomless pit instead of the reparable injury resulting from a fall from a tree to the ground that characterised orthodox doctrine. Soon after the Tertianship Long Retreat in Rathfarnham, the Milltown years of of preferred study and inactivity exacted their toll as John contracted pleurisy and tuberculosis and spent some months in two Dublin nursing homes. The earlier depression increased during long hours gazing at walls and ceilings, as he felt his life to have been a failure and his studies useless. Providentially, and at least initially at his sister's request, he was moved to Tullabeg to recuperate. The depression gradually lifted over two years during which the philosophers recognise how helpful he could be and to confirm for themselves the reputation for asceticism and insight that had in fact preceded his arrival among them. As his strength returned, he entered at depth into the study of Aquinas which he would develop through his life. Also through the confessional and parlour apostolates, he took his first steps in the contacts with the sick and elderly which were to become such a prominent feature of his life. Both activities restored his self-confidence and confirmed his trust in the 'the divine plan that governs all by governing each'; he never looked back.
Appointed to the academic staff in 1946, John's talents for pedagogy at this particular level and his reputation for consistency developed enormously over sixteen years of quiet, unassuming application. To the uninitiated, his codex pages could be enigmatic, their elliptical, staccato format and expressly Aristotelian-Thomist inspiration difficult to follow without long reflection on the sources, but to those attending lectures with patience, these pages were prized, stimulating understanding for all and inspiring the more speculative minds to further originality of expression. In the countryside, his reputation grew as he became a familiar sight in Tullamore, Clara, Pullough and Ballycumber, cycling in all weathers to respond to some call for his presence and blessing. His familiar figure represented for the Midland people an ideal charismatic holiness which his interest in their individual difficulties abundantly confirmed. Others might say what he did, other priests might come to anoint or absolve, but none could measure up in their rural eyes to what they found in John at a time when lasting consolations were rare enough and Bord na Móna not yet fully established as a secure source of income. He was very much at ease with them in their humble circumstances, frequently brought cakes or sweets for the children began to that we, the philosophers, gathered up for him as he cycled away after our villa day alfresco meal, and relished the tea and home-made bread they laid before him, following, in some cases, his guided tour of the farmyard and his . solemn blessing of the household.
The move to Milltown in 1962 saddened him even though he could clearly see the hand of God in the decision. He found it extremely difficult at that time to sympathise with the scholastics' preference for urban life and the cultural possibilities it would afford; for him, philosophical reflection and a fully committed religious life demanded, at least in formation years, something like the quasi-monastic enclosure of a place like Tullabeg. While respecting the judgement of “those who know about these things”, he felt that both studies and prayer would suffer. Later in Milltown, the establishment of the present Institute and the increasing extra-mural concerns of all the students were also great puzzles to him and on many guarded occasions he lamented what he considered to be an inevitable drop in academic standards. Environment and concentration were of paramount importance to him; prevailing ephemeral interests were distractions best avoided until such time as religious and academic foundations were well and truly laid. Certainly, too, he was saddened by his own enforced separation from the rural scene and from the people who meant so much to him. On one occasion he admitted that God also wished then to remove him also from the Jesuit community dimension that he found supportive in the Bog-years: from now on he would find common interests at community recreation so much rarer and so his lapses into silence became habitual.
Yet he applied himself to theology with enthusiasm even though he sincerely felt himself unequipped to teach it. This last admission would surprise anyone present in his classes but the 'I'd like to run away' comment, made several times to me at least, was sufficient indication that his awareness of his own inability to communicate effectively with modern trends and sophisticated minds ran deep. He worked at a steady pace, relying on critically chosen authors and reviews, checking the accuracy of references with a keen suspicion of generalisations, and was always unmoved by trends that for lesser minds would prompt radical revision. While he was always uneasy about his own ability for accurate communication of what he himself knew to be true, and very much aware of many fields for related investigation, the gates to which he never had time or energy to open, his contribution to our understanding of scripture-based meaning and development cannot be overestimated. It is hoped that a fairly comprehensive assessment of that contribution may be made elsewhere, but at least here it is worth noting that the major concern in his teaching was to bridge the gap between an over-speculative systematic theology and our own religious experience, in line with the early Lonergan stress on self-appropriation which had delighted him in his later years in Tullabeg. That particular concern is clear on almost every codex-page he produced.
While in Milltown, concern for the sick and elderly continued undiminished through an enormous correspondence, visits to hospitals and to Mountjoy jail, parlour contacts and his return visits to the Bog in summer, at Christmas and at Easter. Up to a year before his death he was out on the bicycle if weather permitted, or, whatever the weather, if an urgent request came to him to visit some direct or indirect acquaintance who had been transferred from the Midlands to a Dublin hospital. He was particularly sensitive to the loneliness felt by country people suddenly removed from their own environment to Dublin; visiting them became a primary concern and I have heard first-hand accounts of after noon trips to the hospitals at Cappagh, Peamount, Blanchardstowni, Loughlinstown and Rathcoole. On a few occasions “the machine let me down” and once, in a winter storm, he walked back from Tallaght satisfying himself when he got home with tea and bread in an empty refectory after supper. This last incident could be paralleled by many other occasions both in the Bog and in Milltown when his own well-being took second place to the demands of his preferred apostolate; it was quite common for him to put the thought of supper out of his mind because of a parlour call or an urgent visit by sudden request. Superiors had to be watchful but so often John, even during his last months, indeliberately escaped their vigilance.
Invalid contacts in Tullabeg brought him to Knock in the mid-sixties and he established a relationship with invalids at the shrine that lasted until he died, Instrumental in the development of a Pious Union of Handmaids (which includes a special status for invalids) as the first stage towards the establishment of a Secular Institute, John worked steadily on their Constitutions, regularly wrote to the member-invalids in various parts of the country, visited some of them in their homes (taking advantage the free travel pass) and directed their annual retreat in Knock each August.
This year I was privileged to follow in his footsteps and could sense the depth of the invalids' grief at the fact that he was no longer with them as before. Yet his spirit remains as they prize memories of his quiet concern, his reading-visits to those who were blind and the customary blessing with a relic of John Sullivan which he constantly carried in his hatband. As with Midland recollections, the accounts of cures effected through his prayers, of extraordinary foresight with regard to eventual recovery, of flourishing families and farms due to his spiritual advice, and of problems solved merely by his presence and concern, are manifold.
Not until his death could we realise his life-long hobby-interest in the local histories of Ballycotton and Offaly. He has left copybooks, odd pages and letters, sheets of statistics and meticulously traced maps which bear witness to hours spent in the National Library, the Public Records Office, the Royal Irish Academy and similar places.
Lists of local populations with names, dates, land valuations and property mingled in his room with genealogies, land-charts and press-cuttings sent him by like-minded enthusiasts. His correspondence on the subject, frequently in reply to requests from people descended, as I understand it, from Ballycotton emigrants, extended to America and Australia; he was in regular contact with local archaeological societies, in 1982 he gave a lecture to the Cloyne Literary and Historical Society that was much appreciated, and pursued right up to the end. This work will not be lost to sight; photo copies will be sent to the appropriate societies.
From his notes and copybooks, it is also clear that his love for the Old Testament Canticles was not a transient one: the publication of his own translation in Irish of The Song of
Songs (Laoi na of Laoithe; it has been incorporated in An Bíobla Naofa) and a typical staccato style commentary, is but the outward evidence of an interest in a readily understandable
conception of divine love that informed his unique approach to the theological tracts on grace and charity - a prime example of his efforts to bridge that aforementioned gap between
systematics and experience.
His scattered preparatory notes on various retreats for religious, his simple but forceful articles in An Timire, his conferences on prayer (it disturbed him to find these typed and distributed), some domestic exhortations and his circular letters to invalids are a mine of practical spirituality, simply expressed, that many feel would repay editing and composite publication. The very idea the extent of would have appalled him for he was genuinely convinced that he had little to offer to a modern, outwardly sophisticated readership, and was self persuaded that his own lack of style and polish in English composition would be the an obstacle. In spiritual matters, could not but keep things simple and frequently professed incompetence in the field of the discernment of spirits; he would never have envisaged himself engaged in directed retreats - 'I wouldn't know what to say' - the admission was sincere. With individuals who came to him for spiritual advice, he consistently turned to scriptural principles leaving inferences to be drawn by his confidant; for those with little practice in spiritual thought, he provided one or two provocative parables from everyday life, but even then would never presume to make the directly personal application himself. His relationship with sisters is not easy to interpret. Undoubtedly he was a favourite retreat-giver in the old style, certainly he helped many individually in their convents and in parlours, but it was clear to us that he felt very uneasy with the post-Vatican aggiornamento that closer relationships with male communities understandably brought sisters into. His attitude was by no means anti-feminist - quite the opposite, as I could see from the Knock situation. I can only ascribe it to a combination of natural shyness and lack of common ground for conversation on the one hand and on the other, a personal desire to be at ease in the refectory (this applied particularly to his later Tullabeg visits) with those whom he knew well, an attitude that will be readily appreciated by those who have themselves spent the morning or afternoon hours in concentrated study.
Self-effacement was characteristic of the man, so clear in each of his apostolates and accentuated over the years in the Society where he eventually became content with his position outside the cultural mainstream. He could never have more than a passing interest in current events, in radio or newspapers, never watched television, and was in touch with developments only through side-references in review articles and very occasional press headlines noticed during his usual dinner-hour peek at the obituaries in the recreation room. Consequently he was happy to be unobtrusive and remain silent in small-talk recreations and sophisticated company. He suspected his unconcern and social awkwardness, as he saw it, would be disconcerting and, unless directly addressed by one of the company, he preferred to withdraw without fuss to the peace and that meant so much to him. His oft-noted absence at Province funerals and functions was quite typical - “these things are not for me” became a principle of ever-increasing application. Some found him a difficult person to live with because of his self-depreciating manner which, however, was certainly not feigned. It was not just shyness. He seemed to think that his own simplicity of outlook and sincere lack of interest in ephemera automatically placed him on a very low rung of the social ladder and he never had any incentive to climb. He willingly stepped back to give way to anyone - this was what God had decreed for him, and he accepted it. In the refectory he was seldom able to join three others already seated even though he would genuinely welcome them if they joined him, and the familiar sight of John standing back until all others were served just underlined his consistency. Yet in conversation, particularly with one or two, he could sparkle if the topic were congenial - local history or some curiosity of the Irish language or news from the Midlands, but anything polemical was avoided: if pressed to take sides on any issue, he would invariably appeal to some general principle and leave it at that. On administrative issues, he would express no opinion. Many post-Vatican moves, inspired by authority whose judgement he always respected, were a puzzle to him, and many were distinctly at variance with his own religious ideals, but he was con tent to accept in silence so much of which he knew he could never be a part. At the same time he was never on the side of the prophets of gloom: here his theological perspectives came to his aid as he insisted daily on an eventual realisation of the divine plan and on the reality of Providence at work in the world.
In theology or spirituality, John seemed to have a built-in radar for that 'phoniness' that sometimes made people uneasy. Many times in his room I have sensed its beeps either in relation to something I said or in his expressed views on some books or articles that had quiet caught the popular theological eye. He very much lamented the general trend towards concentration on man rather than on God as a theological starting point and felt much in tune with Hans Urs von Balthasar who, from a position of greater learning, confirmed his attitude and underlined the soundness of the general approach of Thomas Aquinas, whose work and personality were so dear to John. Simplicity of faith, whatever the later reasoning, was a factor that John could sense so well and his lectures or conferences implicitly emphasised its importance in pastoral or academic activity. Another point of absorbing interest was his quiet insistence that in general we do not have sufficient faith in what God wants to do for each of us - John 15:5 was one of his favourite texts; and his nose for the pelagianism subtly interwoven in the pages of popularising theologians was quite remarkable. His own faith in the prayer of petition (“like a shop with well-filled shelves: it's all there but we must ask”) surely accounts for some of the unusual events that so many Midlanders have attributed to his concern and prayers.
With so few of his personal notes available, it is not possible to do more than draw inferences regarding his own spiritual life. Certainly reverence was a key feature. Memories of John kneeling rigidly in the chapel, head down and oblivious to all around him, come easily to mind as does the recollection of him offering Mass in a subdued emotionless voice (he never concelebrated, through rather than from principle) and the studied concentration that would accompany the simple blessing of a rosary. His pre-lecture retreat prayer that all our actions be directed solely (with a deliberate emphasis on the word) to the praise and service of God seems to have been a reflection of his life. In his last month he did mention that his priestly intention had always been that he might be able to imitate “the Master” as closely as possible within the limitations imposed by his retiring dispositions and by the academic calling which he fully accepted but would all too willingly have passed to others better able to do it than himself. He gave himself credit for nothing: the Isaian potter moulding his clay to suit his plans was an image of God that was dear to him - probably John mentioned it in every retreat he gave. At every stage of his life, “I did the best that I could do” - the divine plan daily worked out in this unusually faithful and selfless way of service for others. His own interests were secondary. Many recall how he would gladly interrupt any work to answer a call to the parlour, giving as much time to that as his visitor needed. If we went to him in his room,we knew indeed that we and not he would have to terminate the interview, and this was particularly difficult to do in his last year, since, with his powers of solitary study for long periods on the wane, he seemed more and more to welcome individual company..
A final pointer to another characteristic known only to those who knew him fairly well whether in community or on his pastoral rounds - his sense of humour. Many stories have been told of cryptically witty remarks he made, sum ming up a situation or a character in a way that would have occurred to no one else and displaying his own satisfying cleverness in a broad tight-lipped smile. He thoroughly enjoyed the bantering conversation of a refectory foursome even though his own contributions would be infrequent - and these would invariably raise a laugh. Some years ago, Fred Crowe, visiting Milltown, looked forward to chatting with John because of all he had heard about him. Asked after two days during which they had not met if he would recognise John, Fred replied that he thought he would, “He's the man in the refectory who sits with his head down seemingly uninvolved with all that was being said by the other three ... until after a while he looks up, says something very briefly, and the three burst into loud laughter ... the memory is typical. It confirms what we all knew - that his reclusiveness was not the whole story but had to be qualified by a subtle mischievousness which, perhaps, is a key to an understanding of the loneliness that he sometimes keenly felt. It is well worth noting that in Midland homes and with the Knock invalids he is remembered so well for his general cheerfulness and contagious happiness.
So much more could be and will be said about Fr John. He mystified some people, was much admired by others. He cannot be stereotyped in anything he ever did. All of us were affected by him in some way or other and we know that we will never meet anyone quite like hiin again. After a very fruitful life he slipped away as quickly and unobtrusively as he would have wished. The memories and his influence remain.
B. McNamara

As the end approached, the attractiveness of goodness warmed me to Fr John Hyde. Although he suffered a great deal, he never complained. He often ended a description of his day with the phrase, “I've no complaints”, and one was left with the impression that he spoke from a deep sense of acceptance.
While he would have preferred to die at home, he accepted the decision that he would die in Our Lady's Hospice. When the time came to go, twenty-four hours before he died, he took only what he could carry in his small leather case and neither hat nor coat. The journey in the house car was clearly, in his mind, his last. He didn't speak of the future but rather of the present and the present was grand.
Those who attended him at the Hospice, doctors, nurses and sisters, felt cheated that he died so quickly after his arrival. "We would have liked to have nursed him for a little longer", one of them said to me. They too had been touched. In life John taught that the christian life is but a preparation for death. In death John demonstrated that he practised what he preached. May he rest in peace.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 40 : September 1985
A Personal Appreciation : John Hyde
Paddy Gallagher
Fr. John Hyde died on 31st May, 1985. Writing from Canada, a former student of his and a former confrère of ours sent INTERFUSE these pages appreciation of a devoted friend.

Shortly before his death, John wrote to me in Canada saying that he was not in pain and that he was really looking forward to seeing God. God has since fulfilled that desire and, like Zacchaeus up in the tree, John must have a great view. One is left with a deep feeling of peace and fulfillment; the words, consummatum est, seem to express the meaning of it all.

For ten steady years and then, in much more sporadio fashion, for another fifteen, I had the privilege of close conversation with a friend who shared all he had so generously. My fondest memory of John is being with him in his room thinking out some difficulty. There was no need to pretend to be learned when you were with him because closeness to God coupled with a naturally gifted intelligence enabled him to discard these attitudes. John accepted you as you were with all your stupid questions and awkward formulations. I could not count the hours I spent asking questions while he patiently listened. During my years as a scholastic in Clongowes, I spent three Summers in the Bog and many an evening after supper he would come into the library and talk. His eyes would light up and he would haul out book after book selflessly putting the of his insight and learning at my disposal in an utterly selfless way. I felt deeply honoured and very humbled in the presence of a highly intelligent and very kind saint in a remote place in the Irish midlands.

John was deeply aware of his limitations and often spoke to me about them. By temperament he was a solitary and it was a measure of the power of God in the Society of Jesus coupled with John's own unwearying efforts that he was enabled to communicate intellectual light and much goodness and kindness.

Conversation with him could be very difficult because those long silences could easily unsettle someone not used to them. He was no good on Church politics or the news and his small talk was nearly always about some person he knew or some locality he was familiar with. He hated writing and found it very painful. Often he said to me that, when writing and stuck for a word, the Irish equivalent or some line from our Irish literature would come more easily to him. He was incredibly shy and felt quite lost in company other than that of close friends and simple people. With sophisticated people he was not at ease and to the best of my knowledge John did not seek out the modern unbeliever or the alienated Catholic in any great number.

The combination of certain aspects of John's temperament and the course of events from his early fifties onward could easily have led to bitterness and negativity. His sharp mind, which could be devastating, and his solitary bent, which was most at home in the older world of Irish life, could have resulted in a minefield detonating whatever came in its path. The closing of Tullabeg, certain changes in the Society's and the Church's way of life, the breakdown of Irish culture, the demise of philosophy as a serious formative factor in modern life, all these things could have conspired to corrode and embitter this small, quiet man because for John these were serious matters and he felt them deeply. John's finer qualities, however, kept these influences at bay and he chose to live out of his more positive talents, I found in him a profound docility to the truth of things; the deepest respect and care for the mind which God gave him to respond to this truth; and a limpidly pure heart. He drew deeply from his love of Christ, his love of the Society, the riches of Irish culture, his thorough knowledge of the wisdom of western Christianity and from his untiring work among the disadvantaged, to respond to the challenges in his life.

It was this man, then, with all his limitations and talents, that was thrust into the maelstrom of modern theology and, out of obedience, went to live in the city. How would he react? The temptation was to stick to the older textbooks but John's concern for the truth ruled that out. He found serious inconsistencies within then so he patiently set out to rework the whole system and made what I think was his finest achievement: a coherent wh philosophy and revelation are thoroughly and consistently integrated into a theology. It is a body of work which to some extent satisfied his own integrity and which he honestly felt addressed the fundamental problems of the world after the manner of Gaudium et Spes. It is here that we find John's attitude towards modernity and while he had many “No’s” to say to it, nevertheless much more significant are the clear signposts which he thinks will keep us on our way to the truth. The following is an effort to identify these signposts and I trust they do justice to his thought. If they are unsatisfactory, then I urge the reader to go to “The Sheets” themselves: Tolle, lege!

John insisted on the importance of asking a penetrating question on a fundamental problem and following it through to the end with intellectual integrity. While this seens obvious in theory, in practice it is extraordinarily difficult. It accounts for the painstaking care which he took over each minute step as he moved on in the truth. Secondly, he insisted on the importance of being keenly aware of the unity of the truth and that we must come to grips with the foundations of that unity. This point accounts for the architectonio quality of his thought. Lastly, he insisted that we must make "God in Christ reconciling the world to himself" the focal point of all our questions. John was ever orientated towards God in Christ and, both in his living and thinking, this ruled him entirely. This last point means that his thought is at once a nourishing spirituality and a sati intellectual project.

Towards the end of his life, John was getting tired and he found it harder to concentrate and remember what he was reading. He had always made God in Christ the centre of his life and now he began to speak much of the greatness of God and His great love. He often spoke to ne saying that he would love to be able to make the beauty and the goodness of God the central explanatory factor in his understanding of Being but that he was too old now and, besides, he didn't think he had the originality and talent to work it out as he would like it to be done. I suppose that is one of the things I will always remember about him, the ability to pick out, in the complexity of modern reflections, an original, energing contribution; the ability to indicate lines of possible development; and the humility to say that it was beyond his capability to do it justice. What more can you ask of anyone?

This insight into God's beauty and goodness was matched by a corresponding warmth and breadth in his kindness. A few instances involving myself made it for me to overlook it. When I came home from Canada and met him for the first time in Milltown as an ex-Jesuit, I simply did not know how he would react. I need not have feared. We talked for hours and then it was time for dinner. John always enjoyed his meals - I think food was the only material thing he used up in large quantities unless we take paper and ink into the reckoning! He stood up and invited me to dinner with the community. I was very embarrassed and did not wish to intrude. He would hear none of it and asked very firmly and clearly did I want to have dinner. No doubt it seems a small gesture; but to me it revealed his very real kindness and sensitivity. The last memory I have of him as I left him in August 84 is seeing him bending down, rooting behind a wee curtain and rummaging in a large, brown paper parcel, “I have something you might like to see”, he said, thrusting a small book at me. “Would you like a copy?” he asked. I was deeply moved. John had never in his life considered anything he wrote worth giving to anyone. Gladly, I took it. It was Lóchrann do no Chosa do Bhriathar, a published collection in Irish of his spiritual articles over the years. As I quietly closed the door of his room behind me for the last time, I said to myself that it was now much easier for me to believe that truly God is wonderful, very kind and absolutely brilliant.

Is aoibhinn dó sin a bhfuil grásta Dé ar a anam. Is é atá sa bhás dó sin oscailt an dorais go dté se isteach san áit is fearr dá bhfuil.

Happy is he whose heart is full of God's grace. For him, death means the opening of a door so that he may go into the very best place there is.

Interfuse No 54 : September 1988

Poem : Neil O’Driscoll

THOUGHTS ON THE DEATH OF JOHN HYDE

(Dedicated to Dick and Colin)

A countryman he was in speech and style,
His manner mild, hands clasped waist-high,
He looked out on the world with pensive glance.

Mostly 'twas listening that he did, forever probing
Mysteries as others talked -
And talk they did for many an hour,
He all the while pondering with modest smile.

The odd word from his lips were weighted
And awaited by the one for comfort come,
A crumb of wisdom shared with others
Yet oft by them repeated to their friends.

He had a human side and liked the cup of tea
With folk who lived nearby, on bike he'd come,
In wind and rain to visit and console, and bless the cow.

Well-read he was, sure wisdom was his line,
Could argue with the best and smile the while!
Questioning and searching lest his students slip away
With half learning, feeling 'twas quite simple after all.

A man of God with habits rare,
Pursuits more normal did not figure there.
No idle talk, no papers or T.v. could drag him
From the mystery there for all to see -
if only they would look
Beyond the veil of God-made "tings" to One Who fashions all.

But now he's gone, his spirit's free,
He's surely with Aquinas. Con Lonergan, Joey,
Tying all the ends unravelled here below,
And beckoning to us lest we should lose our way.

Interfuse No 99 : Winter 1998

HYDING THE TRUTH

Harold Naylor
It is now forty years since that beloved wailing voice said: “Walk seeking the Truth, with one hand in that of Thomas Aquinas”. I also recall the echoes of his prayer before Theodicy class (1958) in Tullabeg: “Send forth your wisdom from Your Holy Throne, that she may labour with me and lead me, so that we may be pleasing to you....”

John Hyde came into my life during the First Vows Retreat in Emo in 1953 and we remained close friends. Unfortunately I did not study Theology in Milltown, but I called on him whenever I could. In 1957 he'd been engrossed in reading Bernard Lonergan's Insight, which he told me was the work of a biennium, but by 1972 in Milltown he had passed on to Urs von Balthasaz, whom he told me was a real theologian!

All people can know the Truth and so know God, and come to their final destiny. This is the basis for human dignity and human rights. Without this people are just production units or tools for those in power. But people are not always intellectuals or intelligent, and most are devoid of resources. But as God loves the poor, so did John Hyde make ordinary people the focus of his life.

We used to call him the Cardinal of Pullagh-where the River Barrow flows. Here he was revered as a saint by farmer and old aged, sick and poor. And this came from his devotion to the Truth, revealed in Jesus Christ, as the ultimate goal of creation and of our personal lives.

The love of wisdom is not only for the brilliant and sophisticated but is mostly for the humble. And I saw it in John Hyde, who spent hours preparing for a lecture to the dozen or so of us philosophers. The afternoons and free days were spent with people on their pilgrimages to eternal joy.

I consider him to have come from south Tipperary, as his strong accent betrayed. In 1976 I called in on his secondary school in Clonmel. He joined the Society from Clongowes but was looked upon by his contemporaries as a joke. Small and insignificant he had bad health as a scholastic. After Tertianship he was in a tuberculosis sanatorium and then sent to Tullabeg to recuperate. By chance, he was asked to take a few classes to fill in for Professors. He prepared so assiduously and explained so simply in his monosyllabic words, summarised succinctly on the blackboard in colour chalk, that he was a great success. He spoke to us, not repeating what he had read or relating past experiences. This helped to deal with ordinary people, training us in pastoral approaches, not in self centred showmanship. His wit was scintallating, but his humour often barbed. I think he had deep wounds from people who looked down on him. Charlie Chaplin had the same hang-up from his early days in the East End of London. But John Hyde was leading us to be close to the sick and suffering, the poor and marginals to bring them the light of the Gospel Truth.

He had a horror of superficiality and verbiage. When people speak of what they did not know, I often saw his verbal stiletto flash with "What do you mean?". His remarks on people we knew found their mark in loud laughter in the class room, but they also encouraged the pursuit of truth. He was like the wise man waiting on the path were wisdom walks, stalking like a hunter, and yet always aware that wisdom lead to truth which is a gift.

His class were unique. What he had to teach was summarised in colour chalk in a few words on the blackboard. His wit was colourful and sharp. Some remarks were full of irony, others of innuendoes referring to people we all knew. He was painstakingly trying to form pastoral priests and to form honest people who sought truth and witnessed it in their lives.

I read The Tablet of London. I am sure John Hyde would have spent his time like this. I always saw him meditating on the Scriptures, and referring to Thomas Aquinas. I knew he spent much time in the library consulting monographs and serious papers on what he was teaching. He never did special studies so he did not have the ways of university folk. I imagine him the type of revered village school master, who knew what he taught and loved those he taught, leading them to truth,

He did no light reading - but he read people's eyes - those of the poor and suffering, the sick and humble. He hardly looked at the daily press or listened to the radio, and of course there was no TV in his days. He was a priest. And people want such people to bring the Truth of revelation to them. They want people who have experienced the things of God and the life of grace and they found it in John Hyde.

In the October 24 issue of The Tablet I read a summary of Pope John Paul II's encyclical on Fides et Ratio. As I carefully read the lines I recalled John Hyde, who entered the truth and made his home under the shade of Wisdom and dwelt there. He sought wisdom like the hunter watching his prey and waited in its path to receive truth.

In the pages of The Tablet are recorded the struggles of many Catholics and other Christians. There are voices of dissent and criticism, John Hyde was one who received the ultimate truth about human life and shared it with others. He had the wonder awakened by the contemplation of creation. But central to his life was the light of revelation, the mystery of the saving plan of God, and the ultimate truth about human life given in the Paschal Mystery

Philosophy today is sometimes relegated to tidying up thinking, or analysis language. It avoids ultimate questions like: "Why is there something instead of nothing?" Philosophy tends to talk of opinions but sheers away from absolutes and certainties. But we say that every truth is but a step towards the fullness of truth which will appear with the final revelation of God. And there
can be no real dialogue unless we have a firm basis of belief and understanding of what we affirm as truth.

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth. Today humanity is faced with the pressing issues of ecology, peace and the coexistence of different races and cultures. Christians, with the light of Faith, need to collaborate with followers of other religions and other philosophies to work for the renewal of humanity.

We need a firm vision in life and this comes from certainties which truth gives us. And we can know the truths of who I am, where I come from and where I am going, and why there is evil. We proclaim certitudes to help in steps to attain greater truth which leads to the fullness of truth which will appear with the final revelation.

Knowledge is to lead to rigorous modes of thought and produce a logical coherence of affirmations made in the organic unity of content. We are called to direct our steps toward a truth which transcends us. Too many are adrift no longer seeking the as radical questions about the meaning and foundation of human existence.

Jesus is the revealer of God, who gives the ultimate truth of life and the goal of history. Apart from Jesus the mystery of existence remains an insoluble riddle. Only in the light of Christ's passion death and resurrection are we to find answers to our dramatic questions.

Freedom is not realised in decisions against God, as it is He that enables our self-realisation. Christian revelation is the loadstar for all, and it is only when we return deep into ourselves that we will find where truth is. And this truth is gratuitous and not the product of our efforts.

Thomas Aquinas is proposed as a model of a man of faith and reason in the fullness of revelation. There are the pitfalls of eclecticism, scienticism, pragmatism, and even biblicism to mention but a few.

In Hong Kong, there is a background of Chinese thought and culture, but a much stronger current of technological and financial factors. The logic of the market economic often prevails and there is every confidence in technology. But technology is only an instrument and if not guided by ultimate truths can harm humanity.

Philosophical ethics must look to the truth of the good.

In Christ is revealed the mystery of love, truth and meaning. The truth of Christ is the one definitive answer to humanity's problems. Such a philosophy provides a potent underpinning for the true and planetary ethics which the world needs. All people are to find their grandeur in choosing to enter the truth, to make a home under the shade of wisdom. Just as Mary lost nothing of her true humanity and freedom in giving her assent to Gabriel's summons, so philosophy loses nothing of its freedom when it heeds the summons of the Gospel truth.

John Hyde would delight in such words - I remember him as one hidden in the truth.

And I look to this new encyclical guiding my thoughts and leading me deeper into the Truth of God.

Lyons, William, 1903-1936, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/234
  • Person
  • 26 September 1903-30 July 1936

Born: 26 September 1903, Lowertown Street, Mitchelstown, County Cork
Entered: 25 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 30 July 1936, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Parents have a hardware shop at family home.

One older sister and one younger brothers.

Early education at Christian Brothers Scool, Mitchelstown and then three years at St Colman's College, Fermoy. He then went to St Patrick’s College Maynooth as a candidate for the Cloyne Diocese, was there for three years and got BA 1st Class Honours and 2 years Philosophy.

by 1927 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1930 third wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Ordained 31 July 1935, finished Theology and died of cancer 30 July 1936

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 11th Year No 4 1936
Obituary :
Father William Lyons
Father C. Daly has most kindly sent us the following appreciation. He was with Father Lyons both in China, and, for theology, at Milltown Park.

The death of Father Lyons at the early age of thirty-three came as a great shock to all who had known him and come to appreciate the sterling qualities of his character. After a brief illness, which became acute only in its last stage, he died on Thursday evening July 30th, on the eve of the first anniversary of his ordination.
Born at Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, he received his early education at St. Colman's College, Fermoy. He went later to Maynooth where he did his degree in Celtic Studies, and then entered the novitiate at Tullabeg in September, 1924. After his noviceship he went to Pullach where he studied Philosophy for three years. In 1929 he was sent to China, where in addition to acquiring a very high proficiency in the language he taught at the Sacred Heart College, Canton, and later lectured in Philosophy at the Serminario S. José, Macao. Returning to Ireland in 1932 he had just, completed his theological studies when the end came.
Those who lived with Father Lyons could not have failed to have been struck by the fact that he possessed outstanding qualities both in the natural and supernatural order, qualities that pointed to assured success in the work for which he had already been set aside. During his magisterium in China and before that at Pullach he proved his aptitude as a linguist. His command of German was so good that on his way out to China an officer on the German boat was convinced that he was a German until near the end of the voyage. He tackled the formidable problem of Chinese with characteristic energy and thoroughness and in a short time acquired a fluency and correctness of tone quite above the average. He taught his classes with painstaking devotion, and later on at the Seminary in Macao was rewarded by the affection and esteem of the Seminarians.
There was always in him something above the ordinary, a greater spirit of self-sacrifice and unselfishness, a more exact devotion to rule and a greater severity towards himself all pointing to a deep interior life. This spirit brought him through a period of stress and anxiety during his first months at Canton when his endurance was tested and he had to do things very trying to his particular temperament. His life even in China, where many causes tend to drain one's energy, was most intense, and it was a marvel how persistently he followed out his daily routine and remained loyal to all his duties. Many do not find it difficult to take things quietly and be at rest, but that, I think, was what he found most difficult.
As a theologian at Milltown Park he was solid, painstaking, a slow worker, yet tenaciously holding what he had mastered. His public appearances at circles and disputations were not marked by any brilliant flights, but by a clear and lucid grasp of his subject in exposition and defence. He was ever ready to be of assistance to others and would gladly put aside his own work to come to the rescue of one who not infrequently got into difficulties in theological waters.
His spiritual life we can only gauge by exterior indications . At Milltown Park he spent his days as did the rest of us, and yet here too as in China there was a difference. There were little things on the surface that showed the swiftness of the current beneath, his anxiety, for example, to be with and to help those from other provinces. If we are right in judging of a man's interior life by his spirit of self-sacrifice, charity and general observance of rule, then Father Lyons led a life here amongst us very close to God indeed.
His last illness was comparatively short and the end came quickly. A few weeks after his Ad Gradum examination he became unwell complaining of rheumatic pains in his body. He was removed to a private hospital where he remained for some weeks. He was treated for an abscess under the teeth and seemed to be suffering from a general break-down. Then trouble developed in the kidneys and he was removed to St. Vincent's Hospital for X-Ray treatment On Tuesday, July 28th, he was found to be very seriously affected with cancer, and from that on sank with startling rapidity. He was quite resigned and although he knew there was no hope of recovery he put up a tremendous fight to the last. One of his last requests was to congratulate those who were to be ordained on the following day. He himself was not to see that day and he knew it. He was not suffering any very severe pain, but it was quite obvious that he would not last the night. At about 8,30 p m. on Thursday July 30th, after a severe struggle he quietly passed away.
His death was a great loss to our young Mission, a second sacrifice demanded of us. The first was made with resignation and has brought abundant blessings , the second will be equally abundant. We can confidently face the future with the thought that three of our number are of even greater assistance to us now than if they were with us in the flesh.

Moloney, William, 1880-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1750
  • Person
  • 27 May 1880-24 January 1972

Born: 27 May 1880, Nelson Street, Tipperary Town, County Tipperary
Entered: 7 September 1899, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1914, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 2 February 1917, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia
Died: 24 January 1972, Campion College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Parents are farmers. Youngest of four sons and five sisters.

Educated Christian Brothers School, Tipperary Town, St Colman’s College Fermoy and Mungret College SJ 1895-1899

by 1902 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Bill Maloney was educated at Mungret College, where he was captain of the school, and he entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 September 1899, after graduating in arts from the Royal University of Ireland. After noviceship at Tullabeg, 1899-1901, he studied philosophy at Stonyhurst, 1901-04, theology at Milltown Park, 1911-15, and tertianship at Tullabeg, 1915-16.
He was sent to Australia and St Patrick's College in 1916, and remained there all his working life until 1968, teaching mainly physics. He was also minister, 1918-45, procurator, 1946-68, consulter, 1918-45, and spiritual father and admonitor, 1946-68. He retired from teaching in 1964. When St Patrick's College closed in 1968, he went to Campion College until his death. His presence there was valued by the scholastics.
Moloney was doyen of the province at the time of his death, a genial and lovable priest, unassuming, humble, kind and charitable, of regular religious observance. He was a person of
powerful frame, an active, vigorous, outdoor man in his earlier years, a champion handballer and an enthusiastic fisherman. He was a good teacher, not only because of his efficiency, but also because of his patience, kindness, generosity and encouragement. He was particularly good with the weaker students. For some years he was director of the Sodality of Our Lady, and his talks were well remembered for simplicity and straightforwardness. He had a deep and practical piety, never forced nor strained nor extravagant, but based firmly on truth.
Moloney was also well liked as a retreat-giver, being not eloquent, but firm and practical and having a vein of quiet humour. He adapted to the post-Vatican Church by concelebrating Mass and wearing a tie. His adaptability was helpful to those who found the changes difficult.
To look for something spectacular in Moloney would be to look in vain. His life was dedicated to the unspectacular, to the routine of daily life. Quietly, with perseverance and patience, he went through the regular pattern of each day and each year. His was a life of fidelity, to his vocation, to the duties of the present moment, and to his fellow Jesuits. In attitude he was young. What he could not understand he did not criticise, even though he sometimes marvelled.

O'Donoghue, Patrick Charles, 1885-1949, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/327
  • Person
  • 09 May 1885-06 July 1949

Born: 09 May 1885, Mitchelstown, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1907, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1917, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1923, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 06 July 1949, Armagh, County Armagh

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

Father was a general merchatnt and small farmer.

Second eldest of a family of six sons and two daughters.

Early education was at Christian Brothers School, Mitchelstown and then St Colman’s College, Fermoy. Then he went to St Patrick’s College Maynooth

by 1915 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Had studied 2 years of Theology in Maynooth and received Minor orders before entry

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 24th Year No 4 1949
Obituary
Fr. Patrick O’Donoghue (1885-1807-1949)
He was born at Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, on 9th May, 1885. He was educated at St. Colman's, Fermoy, and entered Maynooth in 1902 where he studied philosophy for two years and theology for two. During his Maynooth course he secured high prizes in Church History, Elocution and Irish generally leading his class in the last mentioned subject. He entered the Society on 7th September, 1907 and had as Master of Novices, Fr. James Murphy for his first six months novitiate (Fr. James died on 22nd March, 1908). In the conspectus vitae written by novices shortly after their entry, Bro. O'Donoghue, as he then was, set down as his preference the giving of missions and retreats : “I should rather like teaching, but my great ambition would be preaching, giving missions and especially giving retreats to religious, students, etc.” This youthful ambition was destined to be splendidly realised.
After four years teaching at Crescent and Mungret Colleges he spent a year at Stonyhurst revising his philosophy, then passed to Milltown Park for theology, being ordained there on 31st July, 1917. From 1918 to 1931 he was teaching again at the Crescent and also for a good portion of that time engaged in church work, where his talent as preacher and lecturer got ample scope. In 1931 he joined the mission staff and from that time onward was engaged in the work of missions and retreats. He was Superior of the mission staff from 1942 till his death.
On Monday, 4th July of this year Fr. O'Donoghue travelled to Armagh to conduct the first week's clergy. retreat. He gave the usual. talks to the priests on the Tuesday, ending with a discourse on death, which touched his hearers deeply. The next morning he was awaited in the chapel for the morning talk, but when the President of the College went to fetch him he found him dead in the bathroom where he had already shaved. Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated the next morning in the Cathedral, at which His Grace the Archbishop, Dr.
D'Alton, and the eighty priests on retreat attended. The Rector of Milltown and Fr. E. J. Coyne (who finished the priests' retreat) were also present.

An Appreciation :
From his earliest years in the Society Fr. O'Donoghue seemed to have his mind bent on becoming a useful preacher of the Catholic Faith. His assiduity in the preparation of his sermon matter was most remark able. Monsignor Benson used to say that, if he was to speak to a small country audience, he would give many hours to preparing his address. Father O'Donoghue was most diligent in collecting material for his sermons and retreats. He wrote out his sermons and meditations with great care. He was gifted with a deep resonant pleasing voice, which was a great asset to him in fulfilling his ambition. His broadcast talks one Lent on the Passion of Our Lord were listened to with rapt attention all over the country, and were highly praised by priests and laity alike. For some years in the latter part of his life, owing to acute heart trouble, he was forced to retire from an active and successful participation in the missions. He continued the work of organisation as Superior of the Mission Staff, until his death.
Fr. O'Donoghue - like Our Holy Father, St. Ignatius - took always a kindly and detailed interest in the doings of Ours it gave him the greatest joy to hear of their successful work. In his dealings with the members of his staff he was considerate and sympathetic, and was gifted with a saving sense of humour. He went to endless trouble in his correspondence, both with Parish Priests, to make the mission work smoothly, and with his fellow missioners to explain to them in detail the arrangements he had made, Like a good organiser, he left nothing to chance. When he was obliged to retire through ill health the Mission Staff suffered a great loss. Fr. O'Donoghue was most anxious to continue the work of giving priests' retreats. His zeal led him to make the journey to Armagh to give the Diocesan Retreat, and this was the occasion of his sudden and tragic death. He had done the work that the Lord had given him to do.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Patrick O’Donoghue (1885-1949)

Father Patrick (1885-1949), was a native of Mitchelstown and educated at St Colman's, Fermoy. He entered Maynooth College in 1903 and was a second year divine when he obtained his bishop's permission to leave the diocese and enter the Society. He spent one year of his regency at the Crescent, 1910-11. He was ordained in Dublin in 1917.

For a short time after his ordination, Father O'Donoghue was master in Mungret College and Clongowes and on finishing his tertianship in 1921 was assigned to Sacred Heart College. The next nine years were spent here during which time he gave excellent service in the classroom. But, above all, he profitted by the opportunities afforded him of preaching in the church. In 1930 he joined the mission staff and became widely known for his splendid ability in preaching. He was superior of the Mission Staff until his death. His death came suddenly on 5 July, 1949 when he was conducting the annual retreat for the clergy of the archdioceses of Armagh.

O'Sullivan, Donal, 1904-1977, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/347
  • Person
  • 26 July 1904-19 November 1977

Born: 26 July 1904, Bantry, County Cork
Entered 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Innsbruck, Austria
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 19 November 1977, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

Father was a Ntional School Teacher.

Only boy with one sister.

Early education was at a National School until age 14, when he went to St Colman’s College, Fermoy gaining a Rice scholarship. In 1921 he went to the North Monastery, Cork City. He then went to UCC for one year studying engineering.

by 1929 at Eegenhoven, Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1935 at Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria (ASR) studying
by 1939 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
O'Sullivan, Donal
by Lawrence William White and Aideen Foley

O'Sullivan, Donal (1904–77), priest and arts administrator, was born Daniel Joseph Sullivan on 27 July 1904 in Donemark, Bantry, Co. Cork, the only son among two children of John Sullivan, a national school teacher, and Mary Anne Sullivan (née Keohane). After receiving primary and secondary education locally, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg (Rahan), near Tullamore, Co. Offaly (1923). He pursued undergraduate studies at UCD till 1928, then studied philosophy in Eegenhoven, Belgium. He taught at Clongowes Wood college, Co. Kildare (1931–4), before studying theology for three years in Innsbruck, Austria, where he was ordained a catholic priest (24 June 1937). He completed his theology studies at Milltown Park, Dublin (1937–8). After a brief period spent giving missions and retreats, he became rector of the philosophate at Tullabeg (1940–47); during these years he ministered to republican prisoners in Portlaoise prison, with whom he enjoyed some credibility owing to his family having supported the anti-treaty side during the civil war. He was rector and novice master at Emo Court, Portarlington, Co. Laois (1947–59). Thereafter he belonged to the Jesuit community at St Ignatius Residence (House of Writers), 35 Lower Leeson St., Dublin.

Anticipating the reforms of the second Vatican council, O'Sullivan promoted among fellow clergy a more sensitive and artistic presentation of the liturgy, especially the mass. Through encouragement and facilitation of patronage, he contributed to the mid-twentieth-century revival in standards of catholic ecclesiastical art in Ireland. Enjoying a long friendship with stained-glass artist Evie Hone (qv), he arranged the placement of her work in churches and religious houses throughout the country, and commissioned one of her most notable achievements, the five windows for the new community chapel at Tullabeg (1946). After Hone's death, he helped organise the major memorial exhibition at UCD, Earlsfort Tce (1958). Appointed to the Arts Council in 1956, he served for thirteen years as the body's director (1960–73). Overseeing a redefinition of the council's responsibilities based on an appraisal of needs and resources, he directed activities and expenditure away from support for music, drama, and dance, to a concentration on the fine visual arts, his own area of primary interest and expertise. At the suggestion of council member C. S. ‘Todd’ Andrews (qv), he initiated a scheme whereby the Arts Council purchased paintings and sculptures by Irish artists for resale at half-price to public institutions and state-sponsored bodies, including schools, CIÉ hotels, and local authorities. Securing the appointment of an Arts Council exhibitions officer, he attracted important travelling exhibitions to Ireland, including the influential ‘Art: USA: Now’ exhibition (1964). His encouragement of the preparation of carefully researched catalogues to accompany such exhibitions helped stimulate the emergence of art history as a discipline in Irish universities. He brought to Dublin an exhibition of works by the controversial Irish-born artist Francis Bacon (qv) (1965), and encouraged the highly successful Rosc exhibitions of 1967 and 1971 at the RDS, which introduced Irish audiences to a large selection of contemporary international art. His foremost achievement was the formation (1961) and development of the Arts Council collection of contemporary Irish painting and sculpture, comprising some 800 purchases by 1969; the initiative stimulated the establishment of similar collections by private interests, and thus proved an important catalyst of patronage.

Through such initiatives, O'Sullivan dynamically promoted an understanding and acceptance of modern art in Ireland, thereby helping effect a revolution in public taste. However, in exercising his personal preference for abstract works in the prevalent international hard-edge style, he controversially neglected not only artists practising more conservative styles, but also the emerging school of expressionist figurative artists, leading to accusations of confusing artistic merit with private taste, and failing to represent and support the full range of contemporary painting styles in Ireland. Accused of practising an autocratic style of leadership, early in his tenure he led the council into two highly contentious decisions on planning issues, by advising the relevant local authorities to approve demolition of a row of Georgian buildings in Lower Fitzwilliam St., Dublin, to allow construction of a modern office block for the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), and to approve location of a nitrogen factory on an historic and scenic site near Arklow, Co. Wicklow; both decisions embroiled the Arts Council in febrile public rows. He excluded various popular and traditional forms from the range of art eligible for Arts Council support, favouring the fine and applied arts over genres that he regarded as primarily participatory. Ignoring the important 1960s revival of folk and traditional Irish music, he was also accused of inadequate support for artistic activity outside of Dublin, and for work in the Irish language. His approach implied an elitist concept of art as an activity of professionals producing work of a high standard (as determined by presumed experts) for the aesthetic appreciation of a consuming audience that was largely middle-class and urban, and ran against the demotic spirit of the 1960s and prevailing international trends in arts policy.

O'Sullivan was a founding director of the Kilkenny Design Workshops (1965–77) and of the stamp design committee. He served on the editorial board of the Jesuit periodical Studies, to which he frequently contributed. Intimidating to some associates, inspiring to others, he concealed a fundamentally withdrawn, contemplative nature beneath an opinionated, supercilious persona. Recent biographers of the English writer Graham Greene have alleged that over many years from the late 1940s O'Sullivan was involved in a sexual relationship with Catherine Walston (1916–78), the beautiful, impetuous American-born wife of a millionaire British financier, whose overlapping relationship with Greene inspired the latter's novel The end of the affair (1951). After retiring from the Arts Council, O'Sullivan was superior to the Jesuit residence on Leeson St., where he died on 19 November 1977

Jesuit Year Book (1974), 145–6 (photo.); Ir. Times, 21 Nov. 1977 (obit. and photo.); Irish Province News [Jesuit], xvii, no. 1 (1978), 28–32; Brian P. Kennedy, Dreams and responsibilities: the state and the arts in independent Ireland (c.1990) (photo., 131); Michael Sheldon, Graham Greene: the man within (1994); William Cash, The third woman: the secret passion that inspired The end of the affair (2000), 209–13

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 51st Year No 2 1976

Leeson Street
Since the last issue of the Province News, our Superior, Fr Donal O’Sullivan, was the recipient of a signal honour from the French Government. This, l’Ordre National du Mérite, was conferred on him in recognition of his services in promoting French culture, especially in artistic fields. At the presentation the Ambassador, M Pierre du Menthon, mentioned the keen pleasure it gave him, a past pupil of the Society, to confer this order on Fr O’Sullivan

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 1 1978

Leeson Street
Fr Paul Leonard has been appointed Superior and his immediate predecessor, Fr Donal O’Sullivan died. For quite some time Fr O’Sullivan’s health had been deteriorating steadily. During a visit to Cork in the summer he was taken to hospital with heart trouble and on his return to Dublin he spent a long and tedious period in the Mater Hospital, suffering from several serious complaints. He longed to return home to his room in Leeson street and his doctor finally gave him permission to re-join the community at the end of October. But he became steadily weaker and on 19th November he died unexpectedly but very peacefully. May he rest in peace.

Obituary :

Fr Donal O’Sullivan (1904-1977)
Father Donal O’Sullivan SJ, died unexpectedly, although after a long illness, in Dublin, on Saturday, 19th November.
He was born in Bantry (Cork) on July 26th, 1904 and entered the Noviceship in Tullabeg on August 31st, 1923. Of the normal Jesuit studies he was at Egenhoven, Belgium for Philosophy (1928-1931) and studied three years of Theology at Innsbruck where he was ordained on June 24th 1937: he completed his theology course at Milltown Park 1937-1938.

He was Rector of the Philosophate at Tullabeg from 1940-1947; and went to Emo in 1947 where he was Rector. He was Master of Novices there from 1947-1959. He was in Leeson Street from 1959 until his death on December 19th, 1977. For some of these years he was Spiritual Father to the students at University Hall and was Director of the Arts Council (a State Body) 1960-73. Father Ó Catháin, a contemporary, helps us more fully to understand the great interests and achievements of Father Donal.

Father Ó Catháin writes: Father Donal O’Sullivan is probably best known for his work as Director of the Arts Council from 1960-73. Mervyn Wall, who was Secretary to the Council in those years, has written about that side of his work. He was also a director of the Kilkenny Design Workshops, as Mr. Wall writes, until June of this year. In addition he was a founder member of the Stamp Design Committee and was active on that Committee up to his death.
These were what might be called his external, public, activities. In addition, or even of greater importance, though parallel with them, was what he did in two areas of the spiritual life of this country. Long before the modern post-Vatican stress on the liturgy became fashionable, he did all he could, by example and encouragement, to promote a seemly and beautiful presentation of the liturgy, of the Mass in particular. In this way he influenced not only the young Jesuits whose novice-master he was for twelve years, but also many lay-people whose spiritual life he directed.
In addition he encouraged artists, both young and well-established, to give of their talents to the glorifying of God's house. His friendship with Evie Hone resulted in the appearance of many of her best works in churches throughout Ireland. Probably the most striking collection of them is the windows in the Community Chapel in what is now the Jesuit Retreat House near Tullamore, commissioned by him when he was Rector there in the years 1940-47.
One little-known activity of his was his work among the political prisoners in Portlaoise jail in the early mid-forties. Coming as he did of a family which had chosen the Republican side in the civil War, he had what would now be called “credibility” with many of these men. He would not wish any details of that work to be known; but there must be many still alive of those men he helped who will remember him with gratitude when they see the announcement of his death.

Mervyn Wall writes: many years ago Fr O’Sullivan helped in setting up an Evie Hone exhibition in University College, Dublin. So successful was this exhibition that he was appointed a member of the Arts Council in 1957. On the death of his predecessor, Mgr. Pádraig de Brún in 1960, he was appointed by the President to the post of Director of the Council. He was twice re-appointed and served as Director for thirteen years until the Arts Council Act of 1973 extended the powers and membership of the Council.
During his term of office his particular interest was the promotion of contemporary art. He was interested in Swedish design and cooperated in the visit of some of its experts on a visit to Dublin which resulted in a valuable report on commercial Design in Ireland. This report led to the establishment of the Kilkenny Design Workshops of which he was one of the founding Directors; he remained on the Board until June of this year. He also acted as Chairman of the committee on Stamp Design, set up as an advisory body by the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs.
While he was chairman of the Arts Council many important exhibitions of contemporary Art were brought to Dublin under the auspices of the Council. These included an exhibition of German church architecture and exhibitions from the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, and from the U.S.A. and Britain. More recently, he had the courage to bring to Dublin an exhibition of the work of the controversial English Artist, Francis Bacon. He was active in giving all the help he could to the Rosc exhibitions and in building up the Arts Council's collection of Contemporary Irish Paintings which he accompanied on a tour of the Scandinavian countries. A valuable scheme which he initiated was the purchase of paintings and sculpture by Irish artists for re-sale at half-price to public institutions and hotels.

In an appreciation in the Press by James White we read: “His closest collaborator and friend in the Arts Council was Michael Scott the architect for whom he had unbounded admiration. Together they could sway opposition and dare projects that others might find forbidding. But those who came close to them have been inspired by the conviction that when faith is well anchored, then nothing should deter one.
The Rosc exhibitions are a typical example. The first two mounted in the RDS in an unsuitable setting somehow achieved the impact of a major international success which has put Dublin on the record of every Art institution in the world. More important from a native point of view, was the impact which they had made on our national consciousness. They gave our complacency a jolt from which we will never recover”.

Father Ó Catháin concludes: “He also tried to help, within the limits of the government grant to the Council and in a quiet and private way, struggling young artists in whom he recognised the promise of talent. He did not always receive the thanks he merited, but it can be said of him that, - fortunately, perhaps - he did not work for thanks. He was interested rather in bringing Ireland out of a sterile academicism into the life of European and World Art.”

From 35 Lower Leeson Street, Father Peter Troddyn writes concerning Father Donal O’Sullivan’s Collaboration with editors of “Studies”:
For many years Father O’Sullivan was a valued collaborator with successive editors of STUDIES. His name was signed to many book reviews over a very long period. Those reviews were always readable, well-judged in length according to the worth of the books under review, and giving just the right account for a reader of that worth, For an editor, he was the ideal reviewer: he never accepted a book without delivering his review of it on time, no matter how busy he might be: and the review was always ready for printing just as it came from his typewriter, requiring not even minor editing. He was a member of the STUDIES editorial board. In this capacity he read many articles sent for publication, and would give a shrewd - and again prompt - assessment of them. His advice helped to shape the contents of many issues of the magazine. That advice was always well-balanced and constructive, objective and solidly-based on his own wide reading in many fields. Such collaborators for any magazine are not easily found, nor easily replaced.

One who was a novice under Fr O’Sullivan's period as Master of Novices was Father Michael Sheil, now Deputy Headmaster in Clongowes Wood College. He was a great friend of Father Donal and was at his decoration by the French Embassy with the Légion d'honeur as his special guest.
Father Shiel very kindly found time from among his many duties to send the following tribute: “The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Fr Donal was his breadth of vision and his courage to carry out many of his liturgical 'innovations' at a time when they were not fashionable. He used often to say to us in the Novitiate that the worst enemies of the Liturgical movement were those who were too. enthusiastic' and also "too impulsive and unreflective.
One of his great phrases used to be that ‘grace builds on nature’ and he certainly lived that out in his own life. He is for me an example of a Jesuit ‘Finding God in all things’.
He also gave to us insular and just-our-of-school novices some concept of the world-wide body of the Society - he used always talk of the ‘Company of Jesus’, not the Society!
After the usual ‘anti-Mag. Nov’ feelings which most experienced in the years immediately after the noviceship, it was extraordinary to see the position of respect and affection with which Donal was held by us.
His obvious enthusiasm for the Arts was rubbed off to some extent on us and his attempts to educate us in this field in Emo were not without fruit! I think that he saw the Liturgy as a form of visual art, leading men towards God, and his own reverential attitude at Mass, linked to the majesty of the Liturgy, signified to us the posture of man-in-communion-with-God.
His familiarity with the Constitutions was striking - I remember how much he was opposed to some of the changes proposed in the early 70s. Yet, who can forget his intervention at the first. Province Meeting in Rathfarnham in 1973, when, having done a volte-face after considering further the reasons for such changes, he persuaded the gathering there that it was best to remain in ‘plenary session’ so that ‘the voice of the Province may be heard’. And I will always remember his homily at the closing Eucharist of the '75 meeting in Milltown.
Donal was a ‘Man-before-his-time’. What he sowed others will reap - may we be worthy to follow in his footsteps, as we have walked in his shadow. His death marks the end of an era”

Another former novice under Father O'Sullivan, Father H S Naylor, of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, wrote an appreciation of Father O’Sullivan's work as novice-master. The appreciation included the following warm words: “I have many friends in the Society, and many more whom I have admired and now respect, but Donal O'Sullivan was the greatest of them all. I had the opportunity to say this to him as we walked up and down the garden in Leeson Street this (1977) June. He was tired of being Superior, which he had been since he left the Tertianship, and though hopeful for the future he was perplexed by the modern Society, and personally anxious about his health.
I had said that I owed it to his formation that I could sail through the changes of the Second Vatican Council and the problems that came with it. He was a man well ahead of his time, and prepared us well for the Society in the Sixties. Time and time again, in retreats and preparation of talks, I have used materials he gave us or was inspired by things he had said”.

2021, Damien Burke notes.
Daniel Joseph Sullivan - educated locally until fourteen, then three years at St Colman's College, Fermoy, Cork on a Rice scholarship. One year at the North Monastery, Cork and then, University College Cork in 1921. Studied 1st Engineering, but took no exam.

Will of Evie Hone, 10 November 1954: 'To Fr Donal O'Sullivan SJ the sum of One Hundred Pounds to be expended by him for artistic purposes or the purchase of livestock for the Order'; 'I Give and Bequeath my Roua Acquitant to Fr O'Sullivan SJ'. Will states the 'I I Give and Bequeath unto my said sister Mrs Nancy Connell and my friend Mrs Harrie Clarke all my paintings being my own work'.

Codicil to the will of Anna Frances Connell, 11 March 1957. 'AND as regards Copy Rights of any of the works of my said sister Evie Hone I DIRECT that the control of the same shall be under, in the hands of and in the sole discretion of the said Father D. O'Sullivan and Mr Leo Smith or such person or persons as they or the survivors of them shall select or appoint.

Paye, Frederick, 1895-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/355
  • Person
  • 26 May 1895-21 May 1972

Born: 26 May 1895, Albert Place, Fermoy, County Cork
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 16 April 1927, Institute Catholique, Paris, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1934, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 21 May 1972, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Father was a master painter and died in 1901. Mother died in December 1911.

Youngest of 6 sons and one daughter.

Educated at a Convent school and then at the Christian Brothers, Fermoy. In 1912 he went to the Apostolic School at Mungret College SJ

by 1918 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1925 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1927 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) studying
by 1930-1931 at St Beuno’s, Wales for Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 3 1927

Fr Paye was ordained on Holy Saturday. He had been ordained Deacon in Paris by His Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop.

Irish Province News 47th Year No 2 1972

Obituary :

Fr Frederick Paye SJ (1895-1972)

On August 31st, 1914, when World War I was not a month old, a little cavalcade of sidecars making its way in the warm late evening sunlight from Tullamore, jogged up the curved avenue where green beeches were already beginning to emulate their copper rivals and deposited a dozen aspiring Novices on the shallow stone steps of Tullabeg, to be greeted by the Novice Master - Father Martin Maher and his versatile Socius - Father Charles Mulcahy. The first car carried Fred Paye, one of four Mungret boys who together with one from Castleknock, and seven from Clongowes comprised the largest single influx to date of man power to swell the growing Irish Province.
Fred Paye hailed from Fermoy and was a junior member of a family of seven, six boys and one sister; he was bereaved of his father practically in infancy and in early boyhood lost his mother, the duties of paterfamilies devolving on the eldest brother, William, After elementary school in his native town, when Fred gave evidence of a vocation, William gladly seconded his inclination and on completing the Intermediate course at Mungret, Fred was accepted for Tullabeg.
Not surprisingly the group came to be nicknamed, at least among themselves, “The Twelve Apostles”, or for short “The Twelve”.
Which of them thought out the idea that two of the number should, on the “free Communion” days of the week, offer their Communions for the perseverance of the group is a matter of conjecture. It was a plan which incurred the unqualified condemnation of the Socius; “forcing God's Hand” he declared it, but in the event seven of the twelve have, please God, joined the Jesuits Triumphant, and five pensioners may be found in the ranks of the Society of Jesus Militant.
In 1914 no one talked of A.B's or X.Y's image, but there was a G.I. Noviceship text book, which contained an ideal of the Model Novice called Imago boni Novitii; Brother Paye strove earnestly to approximate to the ideal. One not surprising result of this was a long reign as Beadle, and the opportunity to guide in some measure the “A B’s” of whom he was a more than competent “Leading Hand”. The metaphor would not have pleased him. He was already a fair Irish scholar and a Gaelic enthusiast, deriving some of his competence from Fr P O'Leary's living language at Castlelyons. If he was no man's enemy he had little love of the English, believing perhaps like St. Joan of Arc “God loves them in their own country”. It was an era of resurgence and for him the Easter Week Rising, the first news of which reached the Novices playing cricket, presented a challenge to which he made a generous and constant response.
Noviceship was followed by a year of Home Juniorate; a year very much of high thinking and plain living. No one who spent Christmas to Easter of 1917 on the frozen central plain of Ireland is likely to forget it. The canal was frozen for a long period and deep snow covered the ground, practically, for several months; the only available fuel was damp turf in a small smouldering stove lit during night recreation which was the sole source of heat in St. Mary's dormitory. To this was added a spartan regime entailed by the sacrifices expected during the doldrums of the war. On the intellectual front, however, the young men profited by the splendid teaching of Mr Harry Johnston in Greek, Latin and English, the quaintly couched presentation of natural philosophy of Fr Willie Byrne - all braced by Father Charles Mulcahy's resourceful pedagogy. In the group which included Eddie Coyne, Arthur Little and Joe Carbury, it could not be said of Fred Paye that he merely met the scholars; he was a solid, serious, methodical student; as a group they were closely knit, cheerful and even exciting. After the Juniorate philosophy, and philosophy meant the Seminary at Stonyhurst. To join an English Province House at a time when memories of 1916 were all too fresh, and when Ludendorff's last stand heightened the tension the prospect for one of Fred Paye's outlook was not delectable. The threat of conscription in 1918 eased the situation in bringing the Irish contingent back in 1918 to Milltown Park and Minor Orders; the Status gave Mr a teaching appointment in Belvedere, where he saw the Anglo-Irish war come to a close. Two years later in 1922, he was transferred to Clongowes, a long regency being still common. There, as Lower Line Prefect, he had to succeed such energetic characters as Father Corboy and Father McGlade. He coached or had coached rugby and cricket, organised debates and plays and lectures and controlled effortlessly and without severity the least controllable of the line. As a teacher, now and later, his absolute sense of justice, his undemonstrative manner, his decisive competence and industry made him trusted and effective - as was remarked a “hustler”. At his funeral one of his Galway boys to was to proclaim he “owed his vocation to Father Paye”. He was not alone in this.
In his nearer approach to the priesthood Mr Paye was fortunate in his Professors for he did his theology in Ore Place, Hastings, where the most distinguished of the French Jesuits, dispossessed by their own Government and living as refugees in England, maintained the highest theological traditions. Afterwards he went to Paray-le-Monial for his Tertianship.
In 1930 he returned to Ireland and for the next quarter of a century he taught in the Colleges. An enthusiastic Irish scholar, he was too clear-headed not to realise that the revival would constitute a long haul; boys at Mungret and in Galway, during the periods when Fr Paye was attached to those houses, later recalled him as a quietly dominating personality in the classroom.
He is perhaps most happily remembered in these years by his services as Villa Master of Jesuit Irish Villas in Ballyferriter, and his devotion to Ballingeary. But it was in the last years of his life that he really came into his own. An old friend of his, Father T. Mulcahy had the prescience to realise what he might do as a “Churchman”, and for seventeen years he was attached to Gardiner Street.
He had a wonderful charisma for dealing with the “hard case”. Gentleness, firmness and confidence all played a part in making him “the sinners' friend”, as His Master had been called.
His services were given most generously and freely, and very soon many - not least the Brothers of the Morning Star, came to count on his help. It is, of course, work which shuns publicity, and only in death can be paid to him the tribute of praise and gratitude he never sought.
His fidelity to the duties of Gardiner Street was admirable; his box, one of the busiest in the church, was invariably occupied as assigned hours; his preaching, 'as of one having authority', thought
fully prepared, logically constructed and deliberately enunciated bore in upon bis hearers the conclusiveness of his message. As a Director of the Cuallacht Mo Bhí - the Irish speaking St. Vincent de Paul Conference - the same loyalty was manifest; possibly most impressive, the punctuality with which he visited with Holy Communion clients, bedridden, some for months, some continuously for years.
We offer our sympathy to his nieces in Cork who so kindly provided some details of family background. Fr Paye, whose day of death was May 21st, survived his sister and all his brothers. May they all rest in peace.