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Australian Mission

The Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia was initiated due to the will of Fr John Joseph Therry (1790-1864), who named the Irish Jesuits as beneficiaries to his property in Australia, and by an invitation to the Irish Province by James Alipius Goold, Bishop of Melbourne (later Archbishop) (1812-1886) to set-up a mission in his diocese. The first two Irish Jesuits, Frs William Lentaigne (1805-1884) and William Kelly (1823-1909), arrived in Melbourne in September 1865. Previously, two Austrian Jesuits, Frs. Kranewitter (1817-1880) and Klinkowstroem (1819-1896) had arrived in 1848 after Jesuit expulsion from Austria. The Austrian Mission centred on South Australia and the Northern Territory. In 1901, the Austrian and Irish missions amalgamated. Australia was made a Vice-Province in 1931 and Fr Austin Kelly SJ (1891-1978) was named the first Provincial of the Australian Province in 1950.

The papers of the Australian Mission provide a comprehensive history of the Irish Jesuit Mission, concentrating on the years 1865-1931. The Irish Jesuits worked as missionaries, educators, writers, chaplains, theologians, scientists, pastors and directors of retreats, mainly in the urban communities of eastern Australia.

Subjects touched upon include: agreements with Archbishops in establishing Jesuit houses in a particular diocese; reflections on the journey to and from Australia; administration of schools, colleges, universities and Jesuit residences - (St. Patrick’s, Melbourne; St. Francis Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne; St. Aloysius, Dunedin (NZ); St. Aloysius College, Sydney ; St. Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney; St. Louis, Claremont, Western Australia; Newman College, University of Melbourne); parishes - (Norwood and Sevenhills in South Australia; Invercargill (NZ); Melbourne; Sydney; Toowong and Indooroopilly in Queensland); financial documents; expansion of the Mission; and correspondence between Father Provincial in Ireland and Jesuits in Australia. By far the greatest number of letters sent to Father Provincial in Ireland was from Fr. John Ryan SJ (1849-1922) (Superior of the Mission from 11 February 1901-14 June 1908; 9 April 1913-24 October 1917). Until the creation of the Australian Mission as a Vice-Province, the Irish Provincial was kept informed of every minor detail about the Mission and often decision making in Australia was delayed until approval from Dublin was given.

Superiors of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia (1865-1931)
Fr Joseph Lentaigne SJ 1865-1866
Fr Joseph Dalton SJ 1866-1872
Fr Thomas Cahill SJ 1872-1879
Fr Joseph Dalton SJ 1879-2 September 1883
Fr Aloysius Sturzo SJ 2 September 1883-5 April 1890
Fr Patrick Keating SJ 5 April 1890-1 February 1895
Fr Timothy Kenny SJ 1 February 1895-11 February 1901
Fr John Ryan SJ 11 February 1901-14 June 1908
Fr Thomas Brown SJ 14 June 1908-9 April 1913
Fr John Ryan SJ 9 April 1913-24 October 1917
Fr William Lockington SJ 24 October 1917-20 June 1923
Fr Jeremiah Sullivan SJ 20 June 1923-19 March 1931

Vice-Provincials of the Vice-Province of Australian (1931-1950)
Fr John Fahy SJ 19 March 1931-25 August 1939
Fr John Meagher SJ 25 August 1939-1 October 1947
Fr Austin Kelly SJ 1 October 1947-1 November 1950

Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 1860-

Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

The papers of Coláiste Iognáid (St Ignatius’ College) and the Jesuit community offer an insight into the social, cultural and religious life of Galway. There are documents on the history of the Jesuits in Galway, property details such as deeds, leases and plans of property at Sea Road, Renmore, Sherwood Fields and Nuttall’s Garden, and correspondence with various Bishops of Galway and Jesuit Provincials. These documents illustrate major events in Jesuit community life: the return of the Jesuits and the establishment of a residence and school; building developments, ‘Attacked by Beetle: work to save church roof’ (1939); 1963 centenary celebrations and the erection of St Ignatius as a parish (1971). House histories, minister’s journals, visitations, and consults illuminate the ordinary life of members of the Jesuit community in Galway, ‘we have been hit hard again by the “Flu” (25 February 1919).

Roll books, school diaries, college calendars and school publications, such as ‘Turas na Sóisear’, which detail bicycle outings in the Galway area, with hand-drawn maps and route schedule (1940-1947). The arts and sports at Coláiste Iognáid are documented through photographs, scrapbooks and programmes of plays (The Rising of the Moon by Lady Gregory, 1941, for example), debates, theatre and musicals performances, rowing, rugby and GAA. The administration of the Jesuit school, community and Jesuit-run church provides information on: the role of Irish in the school; staffing; past pupils; Penny Dinners; sodalities; altar notices and masses. Financial papers, which consist of church and college accounts, bequests and intentions, also exemplify church activity and functions.

Coláiste Iognáid SJ, 1862-

Fr Arthur Little SJ

Catalogue online 2021.

Little, Arthur, 1897-1949, Jesuit priest and writer

Fr Aubrey Gywnn SJ

Catalogue online late 2020.

Gwynn, Aubrey, 1892-1983, Jesuit priest and academic

Fr Cyril Power SJ

Catalogue online 2021.

Power, Cyril, 1890-1980, Jesuit priest

Fr David Murphy SJ

Catalogue online late 2020.

Murphy, David, 1944-1982, Jesuit priest

Fr Denis Nerney SJ

Catalogue online late 2021.

Nerney, Denis, 1886-1958, Jesuit priest

Fr Edward Cahill SJ

Catalogue online late 2021.

Cahill, Edward, 1868-1941, Jesuit priest

Fr Edward Coyne SJ

Catalogue online late 2021.

Coyne, Edward, 1896-1958, Jesuit priest

Fr Edward Nolan SJ

Catalogue online late 2021.

Nolan, Edward, 1826-1893, Jesuit priest

Fr George O’Neill SJ

Catalogue online late 2021.

O’Neill, George, 1863-1947, Jesuit priest and academic

Fr Henry Fegan SJ

Catalogue online late 2021.

Fegan, Henry, 1855-1933, Jesuit priest

Fr Henry Gill SJ

Catalogue online late 2020.

Gill, Henry V, 1872-1945, Jesuit priest, scientist and chaplain

Fr Henry King SJ

Catalogue online late 2021.

King, Henry, 1889-1963, Jesuit priest

Fr James Cullen SJ

Catalogue online late 2021.

Cullen, James, 1841-1921, Jesuit priest and temperance reformer

Fr John Bannon SJ

Catalogue online late 2021.

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

Fr John Conmee SJ

Catalogue online late 2020.

Conmee, John S, 1847-1910, Jesuit priest

Fr John Coyne SJ

Catalogue online late 2021.

Coyne, John, 1889-1978, Jesuit priest

Fr John Curtis SJ

Catalogue online late 2021.

Curtis, John, 1794-1885, Jesuit priest

Fr John Delaney SJ

Catalogue online 2021.

Delaney, John, 1883-1956, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Fr John Hyde SJ

Catalogue online late 2021.

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

Fr Lambert McKenna SJ

Catalogue online 2021.

McKenna, Lambert, 1870-1956, Jesuit priest, Irish language scholar and Catholic social thinker

Fr Leonard Sheil SJ

Catalogue online late 2020.

Sheil, Leonard, 1897-1968, Jesuit priest and missionary

Fr Matthew Russell SJ

Catalogue online 2021.

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

Fr Michael McGrath SJ

Irish manuscripts
Material relating to the lives of saints and scholars
Material relating to the Life of St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Lecture notes and articles
Miscellaneous prose

McGrath, Michael P, 1872-1946, Jesuit priest and Irish language scholar

Fr Michael Pelly SJ

Catalogue online late 2020.

Pelly, Michael, 1907-1990, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Fr Patrick Joy SJ

Catalogue online late 2021.

Joy, Patrick, 1892-1970, Jesuit priest

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