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Article in 'The Commonweal'

Article from The Commonweal entitled ‘Father William Doyle, S.J.’ by Henry Longan Stuart.

Society of Jesus

Biographical information on Fr Doyle

Biographical information on Fr Doyle including a copy of his birth certificate and memorial card.

Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 1860-

Biographical information on Fr Michael Bergin SJ

Biographical information on Fr Michael Bergin SJ, M.C., (Province of Lyons) chaplain to Australian forces. Includes:
– extract on Fr Michael Bergin SJ from the Australian Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 7, p.274 (n.d., 1p.);
– pamphlet entitled A Happy Warrior: Being a Sketch of the Life of Father M. Bergin SJ by Patrick J. Gannon SJ (1934, 2 copies, 19pp each);
– letter from Mr Graham Wilson (late of the Australian army) to Fr Stephen Redmond SJ (Assistant Archivist to the Irish Province) on Fr Michael Bergin’s military career and death in action on 12 October 1917, enclosing photocopy of a colour photograph of his grave (25 June 1996, 2 items);
– article on Fr Michael Bergin SJ entitled ‘Trooper Bergin SJ’ by Graham Wilson and Joe Crumlin (1997, 28pp);
– photocopy of obituary and photograph of Fr Bergin from the Irish Press (3 April 1933, 1p.);
– letters from various French and Syrian Jesuits on Fr Bergin and letter from Fr Bergin’s cousin Michael S. Bergin (solicitor) to Fr Farley SJ following his visit to Fr Bergin’s grave. Encloses photograph of grave (23 June 1923, 2 items);
– ‘A son of St. Patrick: memoir of Fr Michael Bergin SJ’ 1933 by Sister Sophie (his sister);
– exhibition curated by the Irish Jesuit Archives on Fr Michael Bergin SJ at Roscrea Library, Tipperary (October 2017) with invite and exhibition panels (by Alan Dunne); comment book; newspaper and website articles; details of Fancroft Mill and Gardens, Roscrea;
– copies of letters sent by Elaine O’Doherty (great grand-niece of Fr Michael Bergin SJ) found in the family’s possession (2017). Note from Fr Michael Bergin SJ to Lill (6 October 1917);
– copy of letter from Senior Australian Chaplain to Sister Madeline Sophie (15 November 1917) and a letter from Fr John Delaney SJ to Sister Madeline Sophie (December 1917).

Gannon, Patrick, 1879-1953, Jesuit priest

Correspondence between Thomas V. Nolan SJ, the War Office and T. Stratton, Staff Officer to Principal Chaplain

  • IE IJA CHP/1/64
  • File
  • 26 December 1918– 25 August 1919
  • Part of Jesuit chaplains

Correspondence between the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ, the War Office and T. Stratton, Staff Officer to Principal Chaplain (R.C.), concerning the demobilisation of various Irish Jesuits and the need for chaplains for transport ships to Australia.

Nolan, Thomas V, 1867-1941, Jesuit priest

Documents relating to Fr Austin Hartigan’s service as military chaplain

  • IE IJA CHP/1/33
  • File
  • 12 January 1916 –15 August 1918
  • Part of Jesuit chaplains

Documents relating to Fr Austin Hartigan’s service as military chaplain. Includes:
– certificate appointing Fr Hartigan chaplain to the Forces, 4th Class, Land Forces (Temporary) (12 January 1916, 1p.);
– letters written to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ by Fr Hartigan while serving in Mesopotamia with the Connaught Rangers (20 March 1916 – n.d., 5 items);
– documents relating to Fr Hartigan’s death in Amara on 16 July 1916 (from jaundice) (27 July 1916 – 15 August 1918, 12 items).

Hartigan, Jeremiah Austin, 1882-1916, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Documents relating to Fr John FitzGibbon SJ during his time serving as a chaplain

  • IE IJA CHP/1/21
  • File
  • 14 March 1916 – 29 November 1918
  • Part of Jesuit chaplains

Documents relating to Fr John FitzGibbon SJ during his time serving as a chaplain attached to 23rd and 16th Field Ambulance, B.E.F., France. Includes letters to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr FitzGibbon (14 March 1916 – [April 1918], 19 items) and documents relating to Fr FitzGibbon’s death in action on 18 September 1918, including official letters from General Headquarters, British Armies in France, solicitors’ letters and official certificate of death (20 September 1918 – 25 May 1919, 16 items).

FitzGibbon, John, 1882-1918, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Documents relating to Fr John Gwynn’s service as a chaplain

  • IE IJA CHP/1/30
  • File
  • 23 August 1914 – 19 September 1921; 2015
  • Part of Jesuit chaplains

Documents relating to Fr John Gwynn’s service as a chaplain attached to the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards, B.E.F., France. Includes:
– letters written by Fr John Gwynn volunteering to be a chaplain (23 August – 8 November 1914, 2 items);
– documentation dealing with Fr Gwynn’s appointment as a military chaplain (9 November 1914 – 16 March 1915, 9 items) including the certificate appointing him chaplain to the Forces, 4th Class, Land Forces, (Temporary) (16 March 1915, 1p.);
– certificate of safe conduct with attached photo of Fr Gwynn (4 July 1915, 1p.);
– letters and notes sent to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ (n.d., 3 items);
– official letters sent to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ following Fr Gwynn’s death in action on 12 October 1915 (11 October 1915 – 19 September 1921, 23 items);
– pamphlet 'A Great Irish Chaplain: Father John Gwynn, S.J.' by John Bithrey SJ (n.d., 20pp);

  • material on centenary of Fr Gwynn's death - the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton celebrated Mass at the Sacred Heart Church, Caterham, Surrey, England where the Irish Guards have erected a tablet in Fr Gwynn’s memory (11 October 2015).

Gwynn, John, 1866-1915, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Documents relating to Fr Joseph Flinn’s during his time serving as a chaplain

  • IE IJA CHP/1/22
  • File
  • 31 January 1917–10 October 1918
  • Part of Jesuit chaplains

Documents relating to Fr Joseph Flinn’s time as a chaplain attached to VI Corps Rest Station North, 10th Royal Dublin Fusiliers, the Munster Fusiliers, the 60th and 88th Brigade, R.G.A., B.E.F., France. Includes: certificate appointing Fr Flinn Chaplain to the Forces, 4th Class, Land Forces (Temporary) (22 March 1917, 1p.);
– letters to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr Flinn written from the Front (31 January 1917 – 10 October 1918, 21 items).

Flinn, Daniel Joseph, 1877-1943, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Fr Willie Doyle SJ

William Joseph Gabriel Doyle was born (1873) at Melrose, Dalkey Avenue, Dalkey, county Dublin. Known as Willie, Billie or Sloper (a comic book hero of the time), he was the youngest of seven children of Hugh Doyle, registrar of the insolvency court, and Christine Doyle (née Byrne). Growing up, Willie was devout, caring and cheerful. Educated at Ratcliffe College, Leicestershire, in 1891 Willie followed his older brother Charles into the Jesuits. After two years as a novice, he taught at Clongowes Wood College, where he produced The Mikado and founded the school magazine, The Clongownian. His Jesuit formation included periods in Belgium and England, and further teaching at Clongowes and Belvedere Colleges. After ordination at Milltown Park on 28th July 1907, Willie began work as an urban missionary and retreat giver in Ireland. His positive attitude made him a great success, and he travelled all around the British Isles. He was also the author of best-selling pamphlets on retreats and vocations.

Volunteering as a military chaplain in First World War, Fr Doyle was sent to France with the Royal Irish Fusiliers in early 1916. Within days of his arrival at the Front, he showed himself outstanding in the work of a chaplain. Lt Col HR Stirke noted that Fr Doyle was ‘one of the finest fellows that I ever met, utterly fearless, always with a cheery word on his lips and ever ready to go out and attend the wounded and the dying under the heaviest fire’. Present at the battles of the Somme and Messines, Fr Doyle was killed during the third battle of Ypres on 16th August 1917, while going to the aid of a wounded man near Frezenberg. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial, Belgium. Fr Doyle was awarded the Military Cross, and he was put forward for the Victoria Cross posthumously but did not receive it. Writing to Willie’s father, Hugh, in December 1917, Major General WB Hickie remarks that: ‘I could not say too much about your son. He was loved and reverenced by us all. His gallantry, self sacrifice and devotion to duty were all so well known and recognized. I think that his was the most wonderful character that I have ever known.’

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

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 Province of the Society of Jesus, 1860-

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 McMahon SJ became Provincial. Also includes letters to 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 J.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)

Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 1860-

Jesuit Chaplains in the Vocational Educational Committee Colleges, Dublin

Jesuit involvement as chaplains in VEC (Vocational Educational Committee) Colleges, Dublin can be traced to the early 1940’s when a number of Irish Jesuits taught religion in technical schools in Dublin. From 1951, when Fr John McAvoy SJ (1908-1983) was appointed Spiritual Director of the Centre of Technology in Bolton Street, Jesuits have worked as chaplains at the College of Commerce, Rathmines and at the Colleges of Technology, Bolton Street and Kevin Street.

The material consists of documents which outline the establishment of the College of Technology at Bolton Street; attempts to establish a student centre (1965); chaplains’ correspondence with Fr. Provincial on the status and role of chaplains: problems and issues (1965-1973), ‘John Austin House’, 135 North Circular Road (1974) and a proposal to set up Jesuit house in Dominick Street (1976); Fr. Provincial’s nominations for chaplains (1968-1976); Archbishop of Dublin’s Planning Commission for V.E.C. Colleges (1971-1972); Role of college chaplains ([ ]; 1973); reports (1973-1978); The V.E.C. and chaplains (1973; 1975).

Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 1860-

Jesuit Chaplains to Irish emigrants in Britain

In the late 1940s, Fr. Leonard Sheil SJ (1897-1968) travelled to Britain in an effort to serve Irish emigrants. Fr. Sheil was a familiar sight on his motorbike visiting building sites, construction camps, mines, steel works, oil refineries and industrial hostels. Frs. Matthew Meade (1912-1992) and Kevin Laheen (1919-) also provided missions.

General papers on Irish Jesuit missions;
Letters to the Provincial from Irish Jesuit missioners which give their opinions and impression of mission work in England (1960-1961);
Irish Episcopal Commission for Emigrants Easter conferences (1960-1977) which concerns the attendance of the Jesuit Provincial (1960-1972) and reports of proceedings, minutes and addresses (1962; 1977);
Working Party on the Irish Emigrant Missions in England and Wales (1973);
Mission reports and statistics (1966-1975) including Jesuit missions (1966-1970) and Irish Catholic missions in England and Wales (1968; 1974-1975);
Jesuit Chaplains in Westminster and Birmingham Archdioceses (1966-1969);
Irish Chaplaincy Scheme (1971-1979) including conference reports (1978-1979), details of chaplains and services (1971; 1976-1977) and Jesuit appointments (1974-1979);
Irish Centre Advisory Service, Liverpool (1976);
Lillie Road Centre London (1978).

Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 1860-

Letters and postcards from Fr Francis X O’Brien SJ to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ written while a chaplain

  • IE IJA CHP/1/46
  • File
  • 18 March 1917 – 20 January 1919
  • Part of Jesuit chaplains

Letters and postcards from Fr Francis X O’Brien SJ to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ written while a chaplain attached to the No. 5 Prisoners of War Company, B.E.F., France and the 30th General Hospital, B.E.F., France.

O’Brien, Francis X, 1881-1974, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Letters and postcards from Fr Frank Browne SJ to Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ

Letters and postcards to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr Francis M. Browne SJ, written during his time serving as a chaplain to the forces – 1st and 2nd Battalions, Irish Guards, British Expeditionary Force, France and 2nd Battalions, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, 16th Division.

Browne, Francis M, 1880-1960, Jesuit priest, photographer and chaplain

Letters and postcards from Fr Hugh Mulhall SJ to the Irish Fr Provincial written during his time as a chaplain

  • IE IJA CHP/1/45
  • File
  • 8 February 1916 – 23 December 1918
  • Part of Jesuit chaplains

Letters and postcards from Fr Hugh Mulhall SJ to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ written during his time as a chaplain to the 3/1st East Lancashire Division, Codford, Wiltshire and 5th East Lancashire Regiment, Witley Camp, Surrey and in Park Hall Camp, Oswestry.

Mulhall, Hugh, 1871-1948, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Letters and postcards from Fr Patrick Morris SJ to the Irish Fr Provincial written while serving as chaplain

  • IE IJA CHP/1/43
  • File
  • 4 September 1916 – 7 January 1919
  • Part of Jesuit chaplains

Letters and postcards from Fr Patrick Morris SJ to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ written while serving as chaplain to 2/8 Battalion, L.F., Sobraon Barracks, Colchester and also in France, before being sent back to England in November 1917 with ‘clinical dysentery.’

Morris, Patrick, 1882-1966, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Letters and postcards to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr John Elliott SJ

Letters and postcards to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr John Elliott SJ, written during his time serving as a military chaplain in Catterick Camp, Yorkshire and at the Officer's Hospital, Burley on the Hill, Oakham, Rutland, England.

Postcard of Burley on the Hill, Oakham, Rutlandshire - ‘This is a gorgeous place inside + outside. It is the finest house I have ever seen. Charles and I stayed here when it belonged to the Duke of Buckingham’, (28 October 1918) where Fr Elliott convalesced from a bout of double pneumonia (‘I am only 8st 7lbs with my clothes on’).

Elliott, John J, 1857-1942, Jesuit priest and chaplain

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