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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830-
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'A Diary or Jottings' by Fr James F. Murphy SJ

  • IE IJA J/15/1
  • Item
  • 25 December 1889 - 1 November 1892
  • Part of Irish Jesuits

'A Diary or Jottings, from day to day of events, especially 1 Nov. 1892 regarding the Society and, in particular, this (Irish) Province, which may prove interesting &, perhaps, even useful when The Writer shall be many years dead and gone.’ Found enclosed is a typed note (n.d., 2pp) by an unknown Jesuit (possibly Fr Fergal McGrath SJ, Irish Province Archivist 1975-1986) giving brief biographical details of Fr Murphy. Also comments on the contents of the diary, ‘Some interesting things recorded are: the initial history of all the houses of the province: the story of the setting up of Milltown as a Coll. Max.: the dispute with the Bishop of Meath (Dr Nulty) over faculties for fathers at Tullabeg: the biographies of various S.J.s (and, e.g., reference to W. Coyne, later father of Fr Eddie Coyne and to Charles Kennedy a benefactor of the province): the account of the great storm of 1890/1 and of the influenza epidemic which swept over Europe from Russia. Minutiae of the day-to-day life, customs, studies and so on, and the final account of the Provincial Congregation (June 1892) after Fr General’s (Anderledy) death are also of interest and some historical value.’ Enclosures includes extracts from diary kept in Tullabeg, 1856 (9pp).

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

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-

Copies of Irish ‘Informationes’ transcribed from the ‘Codex Novitiorum’ and ‘Informationes Novitiorum’

Copies of Irish ‘Informationes’ transcribed from the ‘Codex Novitiorum’ and ‘Informationes Novitiorum’ kept at Galloro, Roman Province. Sent with covering letter (12 February 1933, 1p) by Fr Denis Nerney SJ to Fr John MacErlean SJ. Includes ‘Informationes Novitiorum Hib. S.J. in Tirocino Romano, 1826 - 1841’ (in Italian, 6pp) and extracts from the Codex Novitiorum, 1565 – 1586 (in Latin, 7pp).

Irish Jesuit Chaplains in the First World War

Thirty-two Jesuit chaplains of the Irish Province served in the First World War. They served on the battlefields of France, Belgium, Egypt and Mesopotamia. Four Jesuits were killed: Frs John Gwynn (12 October 1915), William Doyle (17 August 1917), Michael Bergin (12 October 1917) and John Fitzgibbon (18 September 1918). Two Jesuits died from illness: Frs Austin Hartigan (16 July 1916) and Edward Sydes (15 November 1918).

Approximately eleven Irish-born Jesuit chaplains of the English Province served in in the First World War. They included Frs Timothy Carey (Cork) and Walter Montagu (Cromore, Portstewart, County Derry) who both died on active service. Fr William Keary SJ (Woodford, Galway) initially joined the Irish Province but transferred to the English Province.

The majority of letters are from individual chaplains to the Irish Jesuit Provincial Fr Thomas V. Nolan SJ, (1914-1919). There are some postcards, photographs and medals. Some are rich in details (Fr Daniel Roche SJ, 43 items) others have but an obituary. Includes letters to the Irish Jesuit Provincial from Archbishop’s House, Westminster, England concerning the nomination of various Irish Jesuits as chaplains to the forces and their demobilisation, letters on wages and expenditures of chaplains and the appeal for chaplains. Six Jesuits served with the Australian army.

Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830-

Irish Jesuit Chaplains in the Second World War

Twenty-one Irish Jesuit chaplains served as chaplains in the Second World War in the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. Fr John Hayes SJ, who died of typhus on 28th December 1944, was the single casualty to the Irish Jesuit Province.

The papers of the Irish Jesuit Chaplains in the Second World War consist mainly of letters and telegrams from individual chaplains to the Irish Jesuit Provincial - Fr Laurence J. Kieran SJ was the Irish Provincial at the outbreak of the War and on 8 September 1941, Fr John R MacMahon SJ became Provincial. Also includes letters to Irish Father Provincial Laurence J. Kieran SJ from various Jesuits volunteering to become military chaplains (1 September 1939-7 April 1941); letters and telegrams from Monsignor John M. Coghlan (Principal Chaplain (R.C.) and Vicar General, British Army, War Office) seeking chaplains to serve in the forces and thanking Father Provincial for those he has offered (1941-1944); memoranda and lists (1942); volunteers’ letters (April 1941-July 1942); correspondence with the Royal Air Force (1941-1945); letters from newly appointed chaplains (1941); miscellaneous letters to Provincial (1941-1945).

1st four left Dublin, 26 May 1941: Richard Kennedy (Tertian); Michael Morrison (Tertian); Conor Naughton (Tertian); Cyril Perrott.
2nd batch, left 1 September 1941: John Burden; Leo Donnelly; John Hayes; Sydney Lennon; Conal Murphy.
9 September 1941: Fr Gerard Guinane.
29 December 1941: Fr Maurice Dowling.

Michael O’Mahoney (1905-1981), County Tipperary, part of the Australian province of the Society of Jesus, served as chaplain in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830-

Jesuit Year Book

Copy of an image from the Jesuit Year Book on the occasion of Irish Fr Provincial Thomas Byrne SJ visitation to Northern Rhodesia.

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 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

Letter from Roger Bede Vaughan, Archbishop of Sydney to Fr Thomas Cahill SJ, concerning the establishment of the Society in Sydney

Letter from Roger Bede Vaughan, Archbishop of Sydney, St John's College, Sydney to Fr Thomas Cahill SJ (Superior of the Mission) concerning the establishment of the Society in Sydney. Remarks that he has no objection but wishes to discuss a number of conditions. Refers to the closure of Lyndhurst College. Remarks 'The result of this very painful duty will be at all events to clear away complications and you will have no reason for feeling any delicacy in accepting the offer I am going to make to you when you come.

Vaughan, Roger William Bede, 1834-1883, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney

Letter from the Archbishop of Melbourne concerning the procurement of a community of religious

Letter from Joseph Alipius Goold, Archbishop of Melbourne, Archbishop's Residence, St Patrick's, Melbourne to Fr Thomas Cahill SJ (Superior of the Mission) concerning the procurement of a community of religious to take charge of schools for girls.

Goold, James Alipius, 1812-1886, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne

Letter from the Archbishop of Sydney, to Fr John Ryan SJ issues namely a sanction for a loan to extend St Mary's Church

Copy of a letter from the Micheal Kelly, Archbishop of Sydney, St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney to Fr John Ryan SJ (Superior of the Australian Mission) concerning two issues raised in letters from Fr Ryan SJ to the Archbishop, namely sanction for a loan to extend St Mary's Church, Milson's Point and the restoration of parish duties to the Fathers at Loyola.

Kelly, Michael, 1850-1940, Archbishop of Sydney

Letter from the Irish Fr Provincial to the Bishop of Melbourne, on the arrival of two Jesuits

Copy of a letter from Irish Fr Provincial Edmund O'Reilly SJ, Milltown Park, Dublin to the Bishop of Melbourne, James Alipius Goold, concerning the arrival of Frs Lentaigne and Kelly in Australia in order '...to take preliminary steps for the establishment of our Society in Melbourne.'

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

Manuscript by Dr Richard Robert Madden comprising a history of the Society of Jesus

Unpublished manuscript by Dr Richard Robert Madden comprising a history of the Society of Jesus from its foundation to the early nineteenth century. Attached is a printed title page dated 1874, ‘The Jesuits: In Relation to Religion, Civil Government and Society at Large, In the Several Countries From Which They Have Been Expelled’. Manuscript is divided into two ‘volumes’ (each with an attached printed title page). Volume 1 comprises 17 chapters (c.1,163pp) and Volume 2 contains 21 chapters (c.1,100pp). Also includes three sets of appendices – Volume 1 Appendix with 6 Sections (c500pp); Volume 2 Appendix with 4 Sections (c400pp) and Appendix with 14 Sections (c400pp). Also includes an explanatory note by Fr Fergal McGrath SJ (Irish Province Archivist until 1986) (2pp, 20 April 1977). (R.R. Madden lived at 3 Vernon Terrace, Booterstown, County Dublin; the manuscript also contains envelopes dating to 1874 addressed to Madden at the Loans Office, Dublin Castle) (Part of the last page of chapter 17, volume 1 is missing)

Madden, Richard Robert, 1798-1886, doctor, traveller, historian and anti-slavery campaigner

Mungret College, Limerick

The papers provide an insight into the daily workings of the Mungret College, as well as the Jesuit community who resided there. The bulk of material relates to correspondence, deeds, leases, minutes, account books, custom books, photographs, diaries and journals. Includes reference to:

  • the establishment of Mungret College in 1882 (including references to the Mungret Model Farm and school), purchase of the site and deeds;
  • correspondence between Lord Emly, Tervoe, (1812-1894), Limerick and Fr William Ronan SJ (1825-1907) concerning Mungret;
  • Fr William Ronan SJ (1825-1907) - biographical information, letters to Irish Fr Provincial on establishment of Mungret (1880-1882), fund-raising Tour (1882-1893), letters written by Fr Ronan SJ (1882-1896);
  • lists, registers, catalogues and results of students to the Apostolic and Lay school;
  • accounts for Mungret College (1882-1928);

Fr Thomas Morrissey SJ has researched the history of Mungret College and his research notes are included in the papers.

Mungret College, Limerick, 1882-1974

Province Visitation reports

Visitation reports of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus by Fr William Power SJ, Visitor (17 September 1922) (2 copies) and Fr John J McMahon SJ (August 1962).

Special Collections

  • IE IJA S
  • Fonds
  • 1570-2020

Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830-