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Collection
Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931
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'Our Australian Missions', 1886 & 1898

Copies of a publication entitled 'Our Australian Missions', 31 July 1896 (2 copies) and 1 September 1898

Australian Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1931-

Account for the Melbourne Mission

Account for the Melbourne Mission, total receipts and expenses in Australia, '3 students and one teacher were fed daily'.

Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931

Articles on the history of the Jesuit mission to Australia, includes articles on Ireland

Series of articles bound into book format concerning the history of the Jesuit mission to Australia:

  • 'The Woodstock Letters'. Vol. XXXVII. No. 3 'The Society of Jesus in Australia' pp303-318; Vol. XXXVIII. No. 1 pp1-9; Vol. XXXVIII. No. 2 pp161-176; Vol. XXXVIII. ? pp341-349; Vol. XXXIX. No. 2 pp145-160; Vol. XXXIX. No. 3 pp304-318; Vol. XL. No. 1 pp1-16; Vol. XL. No. 2 pp145-160; Vol. XL. No. 3 pp274-288; Vol. XLI. No. 1 pp1-6;

  • catalogue of the Adelaide residence of the Australian Mission (1862; 1869-1870; 1874; 1877; 1880; 1886; 1889) and the Australian Mission (1887; 1893; 1902; 1912);

  • contemporary newspaper clippings of Jesuit houses in Australia;

  • copy of 'Edmund Campion’s History of Ireland' by the Rev. John Hungerford Pollen SJ with an inscription to Fr John Conmee SJ by J. H. Pollen SJ reprinted from ‘The Month’, December, 1905, and February, 1906.

  • articles by Fr Matthew Devitt SJ on 'Summerhill, County Meath and its neighbourhood', published in Kildare Archaeological Society;

  • 'Irish University Education: A plea for Fair Play' by Fr William Delany SJ (1904);

  • 'Brief memoir of Fr Patrick Duffy SJ' (1904);

  • 'The Annual Report of the Apostolic School of Ireland' (Society of Jesus) 1884-1885, 1886, 1895;

  • extracts from the diary of Mungret College (1884-1885);

  • copy letters from Rev. F. Ronan to the Fathers and Students of Mungret College during the journey through the United States (September 1884- Christmas 1885).

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); S. 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.

Although this collection provides a comprehensive history of the Australian Mission, there are some gaps. For example, the collection does not contain any deeds or other legal documents relating to property obtained by the Society of Jesus in Australia and it is presumed that these documents would have been kept by the Superior of the Mission and later the Vice-Provincial of the Vice-Province in Australia, where they remain today.

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 Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830-

Bound volume of the accounts of the Australian Mission in account with the Irish Province

Bound volume of the accounts of the Australian Mission in account with the Irish Province. Includes Robert Little Estate (23 March 1922 - 25 February 1926, pp. 246 - 247), Fr Joseph Canavan's Estate (1 March 1924, p. 399), Half Year's Contribution (25 March 1884 - 29 September 1884 pp. 401 - 402).

Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931

Copy college mems. in Fr Moore's hand

Copy college mems in Fr Moore's hand from Fr Nolan SJ to Irish Fr Provincial. Includes a note written by Fr Moore concerning the college and expanding some points.

Cutting with a tribute to Fr Aloysius Sturzo SJ

Cuttings from 'The Catholic Press' of an article entitled 'How the Irish Came to Queensland. The Voyage of the "Erin-go-bragh" and a tribute to Fr Aloysius Sturzo SJ'.

Australian Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1931-

Letter concerning the two fathers setting out from Ireland to establish the Australian Mission

Letter from the Irish Fr Provincial Edmund O'Reilly SJ, Milltown Park, Dublin to [ ] concerning two fathers setting out from Ireland to establish the Australian Mission (Fr William Kelly SJ and Fr Joseph Lentaigne SJ). Refers to Fr Therry's brother in Cork who has agreed to co-operate in anyway so that the Jesuit fathers may secure their bequest.

O'Reilly, Edmund J, 1811-1878, Jesuit priest

Letter from Fr Michael Watson SJ concerning news about various members of the Australian Mission of the Irish Province who have died

Letter from Fr Michael Watson SJ, St Francis Xavier's College, Kew, near Melbourne, Australia to the Irish Novices concerning news about various members of the Australian Mission of the Irish Province who have died. They include Frs Aloysius Kranewitter, James Joyce, Bros. John O'Flynn, William Aloysius Wrigley, Michael Goodwin and Archbishop Steins.

Watson, Michael J, 1845-1931, Jesuit priest

Letter from Archbishop Mannix to Irish Fr Provincial referring to the work of the Society of Jesus in Australia

Letter from Archbishop Daniel Mannix, Raheen, Kew, Victoria to Irish Fr Provincial John Fahy SJ thanking him for sending a copy of Fr McKenna's book on Fr Cullen. Refers to the work of the Society of Jesus in Australia and praises it making special reference to Newman College and Corpus Christi College.

Mannix, Daniel, 1864-1963, Archbishop of Melbourne

Letter from Archbishop Thomas J Carr to Fr Timothy Kenny SJ concerning Fr Kenny's visit to Australia

Letter from Archbishop Thomas J Carr, St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne to Irish Fr Provincial Timothy Kenny SJ concerning Fr Kenny's visit to Australia. Expresses his gratitude to the Jesuit Fathers for the work they have carried out. Refers to relations between himself and the Jesuit Fathers and describes them as unsatisfactory until Fr Kenny's arrival. Remarks 'You have met all my representations in an open, disinterested and religious spirit. You have framed wise and salutary regulations...You have carried out...the whole object of your mission in a very successful manner.'

Carr, Thomas Joseph, 1839-1917, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne

Letter from Archbishop Thomas J Carr to Fr Timothy Kenny SJ him thanking him for his letter

Copy letter from Archbishop Thomas J Carr, St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne to Irish Fr Provincial Timothy Kenny SJ thanking Fr Kenny for his letter and expresses the wish that the work of the Jesuit Fathers in the Archdiocese will be a 'great gain both to the diocese and to all their works. This is certainly my wish and desire as I know it is yours.'

Carr, Thomas Joseph, 1839-1917, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne

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