Showing 2 results

Collection
Jesuit houses of formation, Ireland
Advanced search options
Print preview Hierarchy View:

Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

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

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

The papers of Rathfarnham Castle concern: the management of Rathfarnham Castle (1911-1995); the Jesuit community (1913-1985); the history of Rathfarnham Castle (1912-1994); the farm (1917-1920); the seismograph (1918-1954) and retreats (1922-1995). Material is in the form of letters, plans, maps and photographs.

Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 1860-